Controlled shield: automated system will cover western Russia

MOSCOW, (BM) – A sizeable anti-aircraft shield will cover Russia. Russians will soon combine air defense systems and combat aviation in the Western Military District under a new unified automated control system [ACS], learned citing Izvestia.

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The integration will make it possible to create protection from missiles and fighters from St. Petersburg to Voronezh. Previously, Russia tested a similar principle in Crimea. Experts explained that modern automation is necessary to meet the high level of Russian troops’ rearmament.

Western frontier

The military department Sources told Izvestia that Moscow would form an integrated automated control system as part of the 6th Army of the Air Force and Air Defense of the Western Military District next year. It will include several digital subsystems. It is they who will take control of fighters, anti-aircraft systems, as well as radio and radar stations. In turn, the ACS will bring together data on the air situation and transfer them to the aircraft pilots and the air defense missile systems’ calculations.

Earlier, the Russian military department said that soon, within the state defense order framework, the ZVO should receive sound automated control systems for anti-aircraft missile and aviation complexes, means of radio technical troops, and electronic warfare.

For the first time, Russia created a single ACS to integrate air defense on the Crimean peninsula in 2018, Izvestia reported earlier. But in the Western Military District, the territory to be closed into a single contour is much larger. From north to south and from west to east, the length of the control zone of the 6th Air Force and Air Defense Army is about 2 thousand km. It contains 26 regions of the Northwestern and Central Federal Districts.

Due to the international situation, it is now essential to develop an air defense system on the western borders, believes the ex-commander of the 4th Air Force and Air Defense Army, Lieutenant General Valery Gorbenko.

“The area is interesting for a potential enemy – from there, you can move to Moscow and St. Petersburg,” the expert explained. “The Kaliningrad region is also located nearby, which does not have a common border with us. In those parts, NATO aircraft are now constantly conducting reconnaissance flights – including over neutral waters. Not far from the western borders to Moscow. Besides, these regions have the significant industrial potential for the country. Therefore, we must be ready to repel not only today’s but also promising threats. Many countries are now developing unmanned aircraft, hypersonic missiles, and other means of attack.”

“Troops of high automation.”

A similarly integrated system was tested in Crimea by the Russian forces. According to the Ministry of Defense, during the exercises, the Russian Armed Forces on the peninsula conditionally repelled a raid of seventy cruise missiles at once. The promising unified ACS continuously received information about air and ground objects from technical radio stations, radar stations, drones, and aviation. All intelligence was brought together and processed in real-time. The system analyzed the type of targets, their level of danger, speed, height, and movement direction and carried out a continuous exchange of information. Russian military issued target designations for air defense and fighters. A commander of any level could get a complete picture of the enemy’s actions and recommendations for his destruction.

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Earlier, the Ministry of Defense reported that for automation in the armies and anti-aircraft missile brigades of the Aerospace Forces, the Polyana-D4M1 ACS is being introduced, which exists in both stationary and mobile versions. The famous S-400, S-300, and Pantsiri fall under her control.

To combine army air defense systems at the level of motorized rifle and tank brigades and divisions, the troops are supplying with the primary subsystem “Barnaul-T.” She controls the “Torah,” “Tunguska,” “Arrows,” and a variety of radars.

Both “Polyana” and “Barnaul-T” can unite under a single command of both the Ground Forces and the Aerospace Forces’ air defense forces. This action effectively detects and distributes various targets – from small drones to ballistic missiles.

Air Defense Forces are highly automated troops. Starting from the primary link, the radar company, they are linked into various systems and subsystems,” said Lieutenant General Aytech Bizhev, former deputy chief of the Air Force for the CIS Joint Air Defense System. The ACS of the radio engineering troops’ task is to convey information to the higher command post as soon as possible. The ACS of the anti-aircraft missile forces should make a qualified target distribution of brigades and regiments’ fire capabilities. With a massive strike of an air enemy, target designation carries out automatically when a person does not have time to do this. Previously, on the C-125, the commander turned the antenna himself, and his operators carried out target tracking. Now it all depends on the algorithm. You need to look at the screens and follow the recommendations of the machine.

There was an automated air defense system in Soviet times. Today, new aircraft and air defense systems with other capabilities are supplying to the troops and aviation, the expert added. And the ACS must comply with them.

“A modern control system should be very flexible, active, tenacious, with wide combat capabilities,” added Aytech Bizhev. “If earlier information about changes in the air situation reached the command post in two or three minutes, today the operator brings the marker to the object on the screen, and after a few seconds all the characteristics of the target – speed, altitude, direction – are on the monitors of the superior commander. Communication line capacity is continually growing. Air defense is a high-tech type of aircraft.”

Even anti-aircraft gunners equipped with the latest portable air defense systems, “Verba,” now have their ACS. It transmits information from radars, helping to find an enemy object even before it appears in the field of view.

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