Page 1




Chief Editor Alexander Bukharov Redactors DmiriySergueev Kirill Yablochkin EvgueniyLisanov Marketing Director SergueyMatveev Deputy Marketing Director Oleg Mescheriakov Press-corrector Anna Korovkina Designers Ekaterina Lapteva Maria Marakulina TimofeyBabkin Press Photographer Anton Patsovskiy Marketing Manager Olessia Lazareva Associate Editor Translation Team Coordinator Ruslan Gubaidullin





Circulation: 5000 The magazine is registered in the Committee for Press of the Russian Federation. Certificate № 016692 as of 20.10.1997. Certificate № 77-15450 as of 19.05.2003. Any material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. The editorial staff’s opinion does not necessarily coincide with that of the authors. Advertisers bear responsibility for the content of provided materials.

ARMS, 2013 ADDRESS P.O. Box 77, Moscow, 125057, Russia Tel.: + 7 495 459 9072 Fax.: + 7 495 459 6042 E-mail:



EDITORIAL DSEi (Defense Systems and Equipment International Exhibition and Conference) is the world’s largest fully integrated defense and security exhibition held every two years since 1999. It is an important commercial event aimed to develop and strengthen trade and industrial relationships between the representatives of the military-industrial complex. This exhibition is not very popular among the Russian manufacturers yet, because they are not familiar with its priorities and “main actors”. It became clear when during preparation of this edition we tried to contact with representatives of the largest Russian corporations which regularly participate in other similar events. Thus, we have a good chance to familiarize you with DSEi briefly. Initially DSEi had a status of the British Army and the Royal Navy Equipment Exhibition. However, nowadays it is a large international exhibition, which supports the military and industrial complex as well as space assets of the European countries. The land, sea and air showcases of DSEi usually include the following military equipment: patrol boats for Coast Guard, equipment and technologies for Air, Naval and Land forces, rockets and missile systems, artillery weapons, torpedoes, submarines, tanks, ammunition, engines as well as aircraft equipment etc. Only specialists may attend the exhibition. The list of this year’s events, scheduled on 10-13 September 2013, includes Security seminar & briefing programme which will focus on defense and security issues of contemporary world. DSEi will host pavilions with demo military equipment, its mock-up as well as platforms with full-scale fixed and rotary wing aircraft. Naval ships will be displayed next to the exhibition pavilion. DSEi provides unique opportunities for government and state organizations, security/integrated security agencies, commercial companies, IT-developers, electronics and robotics manufacturers as well as scientific and research institutes. Having our own experience of participation in this exhibition we point out the unfair assessment of DSEi by Russian businessmen. On our opinion, they should throw away all doubts and fears in order to promote their products and technologies more actively on this “vanity fair”. Alexandr Buharov, Chief Editor




ARMS Defence Technologies Review





Sergey Rusakov, Joint Stock Company “Mechanical Engineering Research Institute”


espite all the variety and strength of missile weaponry, naval artillery still remains an important component of different class ship’s armament and coastal units of Russian and foreign navy. The main missions of naval artillery are as follows: ■■ Anti-aircraft ship defense in combination with AA rocket systems. ■■ Defeat of surface and land targets. ■■ Support of landing of marines. ■■ Land forces fire support. ■■ Counter landing missions (coastal artillery). ■■ Patrol and boarder service, counter piracy missions etc. The missions, mentioned above, are 4

ARMS Defence Technologies Review

carried out using respective artillery rounds that, in combination with auxiliary rounds, constitute ammunition loads of naval and coastal artillery systems. JCS “NIMI” is the leading developer of 76 mm, 100 mm and 130 mm artillery rounds that present the firepower of modern Russian naval artillery. Nowadays there are the following rounds for AK-726 and AK-176 naval gun mounts: ■■ Rounds with high-explosive projectiles (HE) and VGh-67 point detonating fuze. ■■ Rounds with HE anti-aircraft projectile and AR-51 LM radio proximity fuze.

The rounds are developed to eliminate small visible surface and land targets as well as air attack means at ship’s close defensive line, including “dead” zone of AA rocket systems’ range. Auxiliary rounds with practice and drill projectiles are also in service. As for AK-100 and A190 the following rounds are developed: ■■ Rounds with HE projectile and V-429 point detonating fuze. ■■ Rounds with AA projectile and DVM-60M1 mechanical time fuze. ■■ Rounds with AA projectile and AR32 radio proximity fuze and its modifications. The rounds are designed to defeat warships and transport vessels in duel combat, to suppress land targets as well as to defeat air attack means at ship’s close defensive line. The ammunition loads also contain drill, practice and discharging rounds. 130 mm rounds for AK-130 naval gun mount and A-222 coastal artillery defense system (as part of artillery system “Bereg”) include: ■■ Rounds with HE projectile and 4MRM base fuze (penetrating projectile, detonates behind target area). ■■ Rounds with AA projectile and DVM-60M1 mechanical time fuze. ■■ Rounds with AA projectile and AR32 radio proximity fuze and its modifications. The rounds mentioned above are designed to destroy enemy’s defense bases, warships and transport vessels, air attack means at close defensive lines. Auxiliary rounds include drill, warming, discharging and practice ones. The modern naval ammunition are fixed, that allows to use all naval gun mounts’ potential in rate of fire, which is up to 120 rounds per minute (e.g. in 76 mm guns). Yet it required thorough work in developing rounds and assembly technology. Due to motion along a complicated feeding tract and during seating to the gun’s chamber, a round is subject to strong reversal axial and lateral overloads. The mentioned rounds, developed by JCS “NIMI” in cooperation with other research institutes and plants are supplied to foreign countries as well as to Russian Navy. Effectiveness and high reliability of rounds are provided


by decades of complex R&D, technologies and quality control during manufacture process. Today researchers, designers and production engineers are carrying out the mission of sufficient improvement of naval artillery rounds that would be competitive among the world’s best rounds. We should replace obsolete, outdated items with more effective and universal ammunition. Simultaneously ammunition suits have to be amended with new types of artillery rounds that will sufficiently improve functions and possibilities of naval artillery during preparation and combat. The progress in these spheres is connected with and based on the achievements in science and technology, new fields such as microelectronics, information science and nanotechnologies as well as in traditional science. As for fuzes and detonation devices the breakthrough in microelectronics is a question of principle. Multi functionality and adaptability to target of the so called “smart fuzes” allows to drastically improve ammunition lethality against various types of targets.

The technology of data input with the use of inductive fuze setter in combination with digital fire control system allows inputting all possible precise settings in fuze or detonation device. Today for trajectory correction it’s possible to use information from satellite navigation system GLONASS on board a projectile with subsequent generation of steering commands to actuating correction device. Traditional ways of modernizing artillery rounds are also applicable, for example, the use of low-sensitivity explosives, bursting charges’ initiation schemes optimization, the use of preformed fragments including those of heavy alloys, development of prefragmented bodies etc. Another very important route of ammunition development is between services and inside services ammunition unification. This sphere has obvious economic and technical advantages. Our enterprise also plans to design explosion-safe fireproof ergonomic and endurable package made of com-

posite and plastic that will replace traditional wooden package. Naval artillery rounds development is a part of State armament program (GPV-2020). Implementation of the program will allow to equip naval and coastal artillery with effective, reliable and characteristically competitive rounds.




High molecular weight polyethylene – revolution in protective armor equipment

High molecular weight polyethylene as armor material is as revolutionary today as Kevlar was once (aramid fabric which supplanted nylon). This material has an advantage of aramids not only in terms of ballistic stability but as to price and operational requirements (water-proof etc.). urrently high molecular weight polyethylene is widely used in armor vests, armored vehicles, ship and aircraft. Designers try to use the material for head protection as well. As far back as 2007 on US Marine Corps demand several US enterprises started to develop an advanced helmet ЕСН (Enhanced Combat Helmet) made of high molecular weight polyethylene to replace Kevlar helmet АСН. According to the plan the new product should have ensured higher fragment protection (35%) and bullet protection. 10 million USD were assigned for the development. In 2010 a pilot batch of about 240,000 pieces of high molecular weight polyethylene helmets must have been released. However due to



ARMS Defence Technologies Review

Machinery & Industrial Group N.V. is one of the largest Russian integrators of research, engineering and manufacturing resources for mechanical industry both in Russia and abroad. It includes more than 20 largest enterprises in 10 subordinate entities of the Russian Federation as well as in Denmark, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Serbia and the Ukraine. There are five directions of activity, they are: industrial, railway, agricultural, special manufacturing engineering as well as spare parts and OEMelements. Enterprises of Machinery & Industrial Group N.V. have taken up leading position in market segments with their products represented. These segments are – mining, oil and gas, transport, agricultural and defense industries, road and infrastructure construction. Machinery and equipment produced by the Group enterprises are used in more than 40 countries.

some troubles revealed during test the product has not been delivered to the military yet. There were some efforts to use high molecular weight polyethylene for bul-

let-proof helmets made in Russia as well. About 4-5 years ago in Dubna a production of polyethylene helmets for the Ministry of Internal affairs was planned using Dutch manufacturing equipment.


Test models had rather good performances but no full-scale production happened. According to foreign researchers opinion high molecular weight polyethylene should not be deformed much during pressing process. Flat or slightly curved elements show better performances after pressing than complicated shape elements like helmets. Research and Development Institute designers faced another tricks of the advanced material. Studying high molecular weight polyethylene armor panels Institute specialists found that an ordinary rifle bullet pierces a standard 3-rd class (GOST) armor panel at speed of 300-400 m/s. That means during firing at 10 m distance (bullet speed is 720-790 m/s) the panel is reliably bullet-proof according to the State Standard (GOST). But at a distance of 300 m with a reduced bullet speed the panel is pierced. This phenomenon is due to penetration speed which influences penetration mechanism itself and a final result (see photo 1, 2). Photo 1. GOST Р 507844 3-rd class protection standard armor panel made of high molecular weight polyethylene is not pierced with a PS-43 rifle bullet at a distance of 10 m. The bullet appears to get deformed at high speed and stopped by rear layers. Photo 2. The same panel. Pierced after firing at a distance of 300 m. It is clear at low speed of interaction (398 m/s) a bullet is not deformed. It can easily pierce the protective structure. Unlike metal armor polyethylene is absolutely insensitive to interaction angles. It means its resistance against bullet or fragment is almost the same both after right-angled and high angle hit. It is well known that steel, titan or aluminum armor resistance increases proportionally to interaction angle increase.

Along with difficulties in stable ballistics polyethylene initially had problems with adequate blunt trauma. It is very important for helmets. Unlike armor vest head and helmet protective structure contact after bullet impact is not accepted. To reduce blunt trauma level protective structure thickness should be increased. According to Research and Development Institute of Steel experts estimates increase in helmet protective structure thickness can be 50% and more of the one required for ballistic stability. It may result in helmet size, weight and cost increase. Thus, high molecular weight polyethylene helmet will be equal to aramid-based one in terms of protection, weight and cost. This is the reason why many designers worldwide have postponed polyethylene helmet production for an indefinite period of time though researches in this context are still under way. High molecular weight polyethylene has already paved its way to armor vests and machinery but there are still many efforts to be made for it to be used for head protection. Research and Development Institute of Steel, JSC Press Service

Research and Development Institute of Steel, JSC is the largest developer and producer of integrated protection systems including armor vests, outfits, helmets, electric shockers, shields, explosive-snuffing devices, X-ray protection, fire protection, integrated protection systems for light and heavy armors as well as for stationary objects. Since 2010 the Institute has been the part of Machinery & Industrial Group N.V. It is in ex tensive cooperation with Kurganmashzavod, JSC in matters of protection for IFV (infantry fighting vehicle) and AFV (airborne fighting vehicle). The Institute includes Scientific and Research Center for Tractors “NATIc”. 3(70).2013


INNOVATIONS oped our own product, so called “set of tools for sampling of contaminated materials”. General-purpose equipment is provided with manual appropriate both for military and civilians. A great contribution in the process of this product creation made the 27th Research and Development Centre of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. We held a number of negotiations with this Centre and gave them a sample of this set for study in order to determine all the negative and positive features of the equipment. By the end of the year, we are going to study foreign analogues of this equipment, as well as its previous versions, and after that update it and make training film for this product.

General manager SPECOBORONA group of companies Yuri Lapin

SPETSOBORONA: GIVES A CHANCE TO SURVIVE lease, tell us briefly about the history of the creation of your company. You mean – how it all started? The history of creation began from the fact that we had to earn money because it was a hard time. It was the year 2000, and then there was a great demand for respirators.

of any emergency situations – whether natural or human-made character. Profit is not the main goal for our company, the priority for us is the usefulness of our products and the demand for it. Hopefully, before the end of the year we will move to a new nice building. There will be the Department of Innovations, which will be tasked to deal with new developments.

What caused this demand? It was a time of booming for small building organizations associated with packing of cement, sand, chalk and so on. These works required the use of respirators, especially of the Soviet high quality. When the stock of respirators produced in the Soviet Union finished, we tried to develop our own production. Later we realized that the most interesting direction for development was civil defense and rescue equipment in emergency situations. Currently we aimed to offer end products for rescue operations in case

You said that one of the directions of activity of your company is rescue equipment in emergency situations. What about military equipment or military-oriented products? Does your company participate in the production of such products? Well, as you know one of the Army branches is – nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection troops, and for this branch we produce a number of products, which remain in demand, because the enterprise formerly engaged in release of this equipment was closed – obviously, the Ministry of Defense decided that it was not profitable. We devel-



ARMS Defence Technologies Review

As you mentioned before the foreign equipment, there will be another question – do you have any cooperation with foreign companies? Of course, we have. Nowadays we can’t imagine our work without cooperation with foreign companies. Mainly our partners are Swiss companies. Currently Switzerland is the main patent holder. They realized that money must be not only deposited in banks, but also invested in intellectual property. By the way, many of our citizens register patens on their products in Switzerland. But in this case, if intellectual property right is given by the Patent Office of Switzerland, then the holders of rights on this invention will be they, Swiss. Besides Switzerland, we cooperate with China and Belarus. What is the difference between Swiss and Russian patents? Swiss defend in the courts the rights to all inventions have been patented, and they are always successful in their actions. They cherish like the apple of their eyes the intellectual property that belongs to Switzerland. Let’s go back to the set of tools you mentioned before. Am I correct, that it can be used even by the untrained persons? Does it mean that it will be enough to read the manual for correct assessment of the situation? Yes, you are right. But I’d like to show you some examples. Here is, for example, meteorological kit, which is used in the army, too. It is quite easy to operate, and it is used to de-

INNOVATIONS termine the velocity of contaminated clouds and emissions distribution. At present time we work on the next version of meteorological kit. It is expected that it will be more packaged, because it will have more electronics. According to our plans, this new kit will be presented to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation already in May, 2014. The probe, which is similar to the meteorological one, will be designed to take readings from a height of 30-60 meters above the ground and transmit data to a portable device, computer or directly to headquarters for processing of received readings. Until today, systems are used for monitoring of radiation and chemical environment only of stationary type. The military-purposed devices provide the constant monitoring of the current situation, but, unfortunately, no one in Russia produces portable systems of this type. So, our company developed the portable device and now it is our main advantage. I mean the field devices for mobile assessment of situation by NBC protection troops. Could you tell us about the main directions of your activity in the field of civilian products? It's just that now we actively promote. We made a restyling of protective suit L-1 believing that there will be a demand for it in everyday life.

Korund-2 10


ARMS Defence Technologies Review

Therefore, our company released the following protective suits: L-1-Okhotnik (Hunter), L-1- Spasatel (Rescuer), L-1Profi (Professional) and L-1-Rybak (Fisherman). The same protective suit for military use was named L-1-Military. The list of customers for this suit includes not only the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but also private companies associated with civil defense units in the cities and enterprises, which according to national regulations must have its own volunteer rescue teams equipped with above mentioned means of protection. Which activities are priorities for you? One of the most important directions is the creation of educational materials for civil defense units, which train the population. SPECOBORONA is a diversified company, and its main task is to provide the full list of needs for civil defense and population in a particular material when any emergency situations. Another direction of our activity is manufacture of fans for protective shelters. This year we started manufacture of electrical-manual fans, which allow air pumping inside the room in order to ensure the survivability of the protective structure in case of power outage. In the nearest future we plan to replace the manual drive by the mechanical pedal gear.


Your company overcame the crises. Did you get any assistance from the government? No, we did not feel any support. With regard to the defense production, the government deputed its management power to commercial structures. Perhaps it was a contribution to the development of some entrepreneurs, but in fact, there was no funding. The main task at that time was to survive, so we had to differentiate and diversify our business through the search for new directions of development, not leaving the main aim. This was the reason of appearance of such a large number of products. We had to search for profitable directions of development, which helped us to survive in hard crisis times. What benefits have you gained from participation in ISSE-2013 (Integrated Safety and Security Exhibition)? Thanks to the participation in the exhibition, we discovered some very interesting areas of cooperation. Besides that, we found that we were interesting to people as a self-sufficient company, developing many projects related to civil defense and emergency situations. Our advantage is that we work across the whole range of needs of the market. We have something to offer, and we feel that our work is useful.





ritish Government says it will invest £60 million ($90 million) in development of advanced cutting-edge propulsion technology at Reaction Engines Ltd (REL), a U.K.-based technology company that is building a reusable space vehicle. The new investment, first mentioned in a June 1 budget document outlining the nation's 2013 spending plan, would target work on REL's Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket (SABRE), a radical new engine that uses light-weight heat exchangers to chill the incoming air stream from over 1 000 degrees Centigrade to minus 150 degrees Centigrade in less than 1/100th of a second.


David Willetts, U.K. Minister for Universities and Science, during a press conference held on July 15, 2013 in Glasgow touted SABRE's potential to transform access to space and giving Britain a leading position in a growing market of new generation launchers. SABRE has already benefited from €2-3 million in co-financing from the European Space Agency (ESA) under a 2008 arrangement with ESA's ESTEC facility in Noorwijk, Netherlands. In August 2012, REL completed a series of tests managed by ESTEC under the jointly funded agreement. In addition, last year REL made a surprise bid under ESA's New European Launch Services (NELS) program based on the company's single-stage-to-orbit

Skylon rocket concept, which incorporates the SABRE engine design. Although the bid was rejected, it attracted the attention of ESA DirectorGeneral Jean-Jacques Dordain, who at the time said the company is onto something big that could lead to a radical departure in future launch vehicles. Last fall REL said it was negotiating a one-year agreement with ESA worth $1.3 million to support continued work on SABRE. REL, which is more than 90% privately funded, needs to raise close to $400 million to continue SABRE development, including a Phase 3 sub-scale engine demonstration and flight motor design. Based on Press Agencies’ News 3(70).2013




he SKYLON vehicle consists of a slender fuselage containing propellant tankage and payload bay, with delta wings attached midway along the fuselage carrying the SABRE engines in axisymmetric nacelles on the wingtips. The vehicle takes off and lands horizontally on its own undercarriage. The information presented here is for the SKYLON C1 vehicle configuration designed with a target payload of 12 tonnes to Low Earth Orbit. In order to incorporate the technology advances and updated market analysis since the C1 configuration was finalised, a redesign exercise has been conducted to revise the SKYLON system to the D1 configuration with a payload of 15 tonnes to Low Earth Orbit.




ARMS Defence Technologies Review

SABRE ENGINES SKYLON uses SABRE engines in airbreathing mode to accelerate from take-off to Mach 5.5 which allows 1,250 tonnes of atmospheric air to be captured and used in the engines, of which 250 tonnes is oxygen which therefore does not have to be carried in propellant tanks. At Mach 5.5 and 25 kilometres altitude the SABRE engine transitions to its rocket engine mode, using liquid oxygen stored on board SKYLON, to complete its ascent to orbit at a speed of Mach 25. In this space access application, SABRE engines need an operational life of only 55 hours to achieve 200 flights, significantly less than the 10,000s of hours needed for conventional jet engines. CONTROL AND ANOEUVRABILITY During atmospheric flight, control is provided by aerodynamic surfaces:

An all moving tail fin provides yaw control. A delta foreplane (canards) provide pitch control. Ailerons extending along the entire wing trailing edge provide roll control. During the rocket powered ascent the combustion chambers are gimballed to provide pitch, yaw and roll control. Once in space, reaction control thrusters take over from these control surfaces. MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION SKYLON's fuselage and wing load bearing structure is made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic and consists of stringers, frames, ribs and spars built as warren girder structures. The aluminium propellant tankage is suspended within this, free to move under thermal and pressurisation displacements.

INNOVATIONS The external shell (the aeroshell) is made from a fibre reinforced ceramic and carries only aerodynamic pressure loads which are transmitted to the fuselage structure through flexible suspension points. This shell is thin (0.5mm) and corrugated for stiffness. It is free to move under thermal expansion especially during the latter stages of the aerodynamic ascent and re-entry. TAKE-OFF AND LANDING The vehicle takes off and lands using a relatively conventional retractable undercarriage. By special attention to the brake system it has proved possible to achieve an acceptably low undercarriage mass. A heavily reinforced runway will be needed to tolerate the high equivalent single wheel load. At the start of the take-off roll the vehicle weighs 275 tonnes, whilst maximum landing weight is 55 tonnes. At take-off the vehicle carries approximately 66 tonnes of liquid hydrogen and approximately 150 tonnes of liquid oxygen for the ascent. The ground handling operations will be carried out using a standard aircraft tractor and a bonded goods cargo building permitting overhead loading and protection from the elements. For safety and operational simplicity the cryogenic propellants are loaded subcooled without venting of vapour. Cryogen loading is automatic through services connecting in the undercarriage wells whilst the vehicle is stood on the fuelling apron. PAYLOAD CAPABILITIES In the SKYLON configuration presented here, the SKYLON payload bay is 4.6m diameter and 12.3m long. It has been designed to be compatible with expendable launcher payloads but in addition to accept standard aero transport containers which are 8 foot square in cross section and 10, 20, 30 or 40 feet long. It is anticipated that cargo containerisation will be an important step forward in space transport operations, enabling the "clean" payload bay to be dispensed with. The design target for the SKYLON C1 vehicle was 12 tonnes to a 300km equatorial orbit, 10.5 tonnes to a 460km equatorial spacestation or

9.5 tonnes to a 460km x 28.5 deg spacestation when operating from an equatorial site. The updated SKYLON D1 configuration has a payload of 15 tonnes to a 300km equatorial orbit. Although essentially a cargo carrier the payload bay can accommodate tankage for propellant supply to orbit based operations, upper stages for orbit transfer operations and, once endurance certification is achieved, a cabin module for 30 passengers. SKYLON provides no payload support being purely a transport system. PROPELLANTS SKYLON employs two SABRE hybrid air-breathing/rocket engines. These engines employ liquid hydrogen fuel with atmospheric air up to Mach 5.5 and on-board liquid oxygen beyond that to orbital velocities. Whilst in orbit the main propellant tanks are vented and allowed to warm to ambient conditions. Propulsion and attitude control are provided by

SKYLON C1 Statistics Length


Fuselage diameter




Unladen Mass


Fuel Mass


Maximum Payload Mass


Maximum Take-Off Mass 275,000kg

the Orbital Manoeuvering System (OMS) or Reaction Control System (RCS). This uses a common LH2/LO2 propellant storage which is heavily insulated and cryogenically cooled. This system can remain operational on orbit up to 7 days. The RCS employs gaseous propellants supplied by the Gaseous Propellant Supply System (GPSS). The GPSS also supplies reactants to the fuel cells and the auxiliary power turbines. Based on Press Agencies’ News 3(70).2013




Iran and Turkey: prospects for development of combat aviation today’s world only a few countries may to be considered as developers and manufacturers of their own fighters – main and, if it may be so expressed, fundamental type of military aircraft, they are: the Russian Federation, USA, People’s Republic of China, India, Republic of China, France, Sweden, Republic of Korea and Japan as well as consortium of England, Germany, Spain and Italy – united by Eurofighter project. It is expected that other several countries will also join this list. Among them – Turkey and Iran playing in the XXI century increasing prominent role in political and economic life



ARMS Defence Technologies Review

of not only the Middle East but all over the world. In early May, 2013, at International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul, the Turkish state company TAI (Turkish Aerospace Industries) presented an image of three concept designs of advanced multi-rule fighter, known as the TFX. According to some statements, initially the number of configurations was six. It is also expected that the Conceptual design phase of the aircraft should be completed in late 2013. The first Concept design is a oneengine aircraft of canard configuration or tailless with pressurized instrument section; the second Concept de-

sign is also a one-engine aircraft of tailless configuration; and the third one is a two-engine aircraft with two vertical stabilizers designed in classical configuration. Currently TAI company studies all three configurations and at the end of September, 2013 it plans to hold a meeting with participation of representatives of the customer – the Turkish Air Force, in order to make the final choice for the further deep development of one of the offered variants. It has been reported that supercruise maneuverable aircraft with one pilot should have a maximum takeoff weight of more than 20 000 kg and empty weight more than 9 000 kg, i.e. belong the same class with such

ANALYSIS fighters as Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter EF2000 and MiG-29/35. The main feature of the TFX fighter armament control system should be highly advanced multifunctional active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. This radar was designed for effective detection of air targets including low-flying objects, as well as ground/surface targets. It is planned that the Turkish advanced aircraft will be equipped with foreign engine(s). At the same time, the licensed manufacture of engines should be launched at the Turkish enterprise. Moreover, along with above mentioned activities, Turkey plans to realize such an ambitious task as development of its own fighter-class engine. Perhaps, the main features of power plant for advanced fighter will be determined by the Turkish Air Force only after final choice of the TFX design. Earlier, Turkish media reported that Ankara has intentions to hold negotiations on purchase of engines for the TFX aircraft and, obviously, licenses for its manufacture with USA, Europe and Russia. It should be stated also, that currently Turkey has a serial manufacture of the Lokheed Martin F-16. Besides, in cooperation with Israel, Turkey fulfilled a multistage work on upgrading of the fleet of McDonnel Douglas (Boeing) F-4E and RE-4E Phantom II for the Turkish Air Force. Thus, taking into account the experience accumulated by Turkish aircraft industry as well as high-skilled staff of design and industrial engineers, then the TFX project may be considered rather not as a revolutionary, but as an evolutionary step. The preliminary works on the TFX project have been started in December, 2010, when the government of Turkey announced the country’s intensions to develop its own multi-role stealth fighter independently (with minimum foreign technical assistance). In August, 2011, the Ministry of Defense of Turkey and TAI Company signed an agreement, which officially launches the works on project. It is known also, that the government of the Republic of Korea tried to make Turkey a partner within the South Korean and Indonesian program on development of the K-FX fighter. However Ankara, obviously, decided

to ignore the foreign partnership with countries, which have no any significant experience of independent works in such high tech industry as development of supercruise combat aircraft. As a result, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Company has started in February, 2012, the TFX design works independently. Anyhow, to avoid the foreign technical assistance at all became unreal – currently Swedish SAAB, the developer of such popular aircraft as JAS-39 Gripen, provides technological design assistance for Turkey’s TFX program. There was another report that Italy also was going to take part in the TFX project. “We have intentions to take part in the development of the Turkish fighter. Currently Turkey assesses the feasibility of the project, but we already have a proposal”, – stated Gianpaolo Scarante, Italian ambassador to Turkey in early 2012. However, there is a lack of information regarding agreements on military and technical cooperation with Italy within the framework of the TFX program. According to official claim, it is expected that the first flight the TFX fighter will perform in 2023. This aircraft is assigned replace Turkey's Lokheed Martin F-16 fleet. It is worthy of note that Turkey is not going to restrict itself only by development of its own fighter. Some officials close to General Staff of Turkey state that country is on its way of creation of the national carrier-based aviation, that will allow to increase the status of the Turkish Navy, which was one of the most powerful in the Mediterranean. In March, 2012, in his interview to U.S. Naval Institute’s monthly magazine (USNI) admiral Murat Bilgel, Navy Commander touched upon the issues of long-term plans of development of the country’s Navy. According to him, the evolution of the Turkish Navy should be based on up-to-date information technologies to ensure better security, situational awareness as well as operational control of ships. “We expect that our Navy will be equipped with support and supply ships, multi-role destroyer leaders, unmanned helicopters and submarines with increased operational range”, – pointed out Admiral.

But it is not the only plan regarding the Turkish Navy. Along with above mentioned words, in his interview to USNI Mr. Bilgel said that by 2032 Turkey may develop its own aircraft-carrier with STOVL (Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing) fighters, and the probable variant of the aircraft selected for this program would be the Lokheed Martin F-35B Lightning II, except the old Harriers as there are no rivals for this fighter yet. In this regard it must be noted that in May, 2011, Murad Bayar, Head of Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) stated that “ship-building industry of Turkey has enough capabilities to develop its own aircraft-carrier”. On Mr. Bayar’s opinion, Turkey must have minimum 2 destroyers, 1 submarine, 4 guided missile boats and 40 carrierborne fighters along with multi-role, anti-submarine and anti-ship helicopters in order to form an advanced carrier strike group. Besides, Mr. Bilgel said that due to the aircraft-carrier in accordance with 10-year plan of development of the Turkish Navy, the efficiency of deckbased aviation will be increased. According to him, the naval forces have intentions to purchase a number of STOVL fighters. Estimated cost of the Turkish aircraft-carrier, obviously, will not increase $1.5 billion. In this regard, we can assume that it will be relatively compact ship with approximate displacement of up to 24 000 ton, designed for maritime operations in waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. Independent experts believe that Turkish aircraftcarrier could be built within five years if political support and stable funding will be provided. Two more years it will take to perform test procedures and after that it may enter service. At the same time, along with the aircraft-carrier project funding, the 3(70).2013



Ministry of Defense will have to resolve a problem of formation of the carrier-based wing. Currently, according to Mr Bilgel, the Turkish Armed Forces has no aircraft capable to takeoff and land from/on the aircraft-carrier deck. Therefore, in case of a decision on aircraft-carrier building, Turkey “will have to purchase fundamentally new aircraft” within the next 20 years. It should be mentioned that the Admiral’s words have met a mixed response from the Turkish government and the public opinion of the country, and became a subject of public discussion. For example, Ismet Yilmaz, Turkey’s Minister of National Defense said at a press conference on March 14, 2012: “Currently we have no needs in aircraft-carriers, and, therefore, we have no any plans for its development”. However, Adnan Calayan, the famous Turkish military expert considers that Turkey may take a decision on the development of the aircraft-carrier within the next years. On his opinion, Turkey in contrast to other European countries always found the required resources for its national defense. The


ARMS Defence Technologies Review

aircraft-carrier is required for Turkey “in order to project its power onto the overseas territories as well as to improve the status of the country” – says Adnan Calayan. Speaking about the success of another country of the region – Iran, – in the field of development and manufacture of own fighters, it should be mentioned that until the mid 1980s Iran did not have any aircraft industry at all. However, in 1966 the Supreme National Security Council of the country took a decision to create Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO) associated with the Ministry of Defense and aimed to develop and control the aircraft industry of Iran (of course, oriented to USA and other western countries). IAIO, which was similar to Soviet Ministry of Aircraft Production, included Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries (IAMI or HESA on Farsi) – one of the largest Iranian companies. Its main industrial facilities have been built in Shahinshahr – 30 km to the North-West from Esfahan. Works on the creation of the company began in 1975. It was planned in cooperation with American Bell Company to manufacture, under its license, the Bell-214 helicopters. However, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution any assistance to Iran by the Americans was stopped. Anyhow, works continued by Iranians. As a result – in 1989, in Shahinshahr they began maintenance and upgrading works of the U.S. fighters F-5, intensively used in the war with Iraq (1980-1988) that led the aircraft to extremely bad technical condition. It should be mentioned that simple and easy to manufacture the F-5 was also easier for maintenance and upgrading by the Iranian aircraft industry in contrast with the other two Iranian fighters – the F-4 and F-14. The maintenance of the F-5 as well as the F-4 and F-14 aircraft is also has been provided by another large Iranian aircraft enterprise – Iran Aircraft Industries (IACI) based at Mehrabad International Airport, Teheran. At the same time, in 1986, IAMI Company has launched the project (within the framework of Qwaz program) related to development of indigenous fighter based on well-known for Iranians design of the F-5. After victory of Islamic Revolution and break-

ing with the United States, Iran isolated by International Community could use only its own poor industrial facilities as well as cooperate with independent foreign specialists, especially those who had strongly expressed anti-American orientation. Along with above mentioned project, Iran has launched a number of other military or double-purposed aircraft programs, for example – development of the Shahbaz trainer jet fighter as well as two-seat one piston-engine Parastu training aircraft. Alongside with IAMI Company engineers in new project participated specialists from Shahid Sattari Air Force University and the country’s Ministry of Defense. The aircraft was named very “uncommon” for fighter – “Lightning” (Azarakhsh). For the first time the prototype of Iranian fighter was demonstrated in April, 1997 (more than 10 years after the beginning of works). The first flight the aircraft performed in June of the same year. The second prototype performed its flight in February 2000, and by the end of 2001 the total number of the Lightning prototypes reached 6 aircraft. Actually, two-seat fighter-bomber Azarakhsh was different from the F-5F Tiger II even less than the Chinese interceptor J-8-I from the MiG-21F-13 (J-7) fighter. It was a proportionally enlarged American aircraft. Unlike the Chinese, the Iranians have not changed the original twin-engine configuration of the power plant. At the same time they designed the fighter as two-seat aircraft – perhaps, the experience of successful combat use of two-seat Phantom II in a war (19801988) affected the choice. Besides, the American J85-JT-21В (2х2270 kgf) augmented turbojets have been replaced by more powerful and heavy Soviet/ Russian RD-33 dual-flow turbojet engines (2х8300 kgf). But the most significant difference in design of the Iranian aircraft became the cheek-type air-intakes, which in contrast with American F-5, were moved much higher – approximately at one level with cockpit. It should be mentioned that after the winter of 1991, when a large number of combat aircraft have been removed from neighboring Iraq to

ANALYSIS Iran, the country’s aircraft industry obtained a sufficient number of RD-33 engines. According to western media, another Russian element in Iranian aircraft became the N019ME (Н019МЭ) Topaz radar – the upgraded variant of the MiG-29’s NO19 (НО19) radar capable, after its improvement, to detect the ground targets. Although Iranian officials since 2002 many times announced the beginning of serial production of the Azarakhsh fighter, it seems that its real manufacture has been started only in May 2007, when Iran signed a contract on delivery of 50 RD-33 engines that Chernyshev Moscow Machinebuilding Enterprise serially produces for the MiG-29 aircraft. Estimate cost of the contract is about $150 million. On August 5, 2007, the serial Azarakh performed its first flight. On experts’ opinion, the Iranian Air Force has obtained about 30 aircraft within the period from 2008 till 2011. The main characteristics of Azarakhsh are as follows: the wingspan – 9.2 m, its length – 17.7 m and wing area – 21.9 m². The weight of the empty aircraft is more than 8 000 kg, maximum take-off weight – 18 000 kg. Maximum speed of the aircraft is 1680 km/h (М=1.6), and its practical range is 1 200 km. The fighter is armed with a builtin 20 mm gun – obviously, the American M39 removed from old Tiger aircraft. Maximum combat load of the Azarakhsh, according to different sources, is about 3 200 – 4 400 kg. As the F-5E, the Iranian fighter is equipped with 7 external sling systems for released weapon. Another Iranian “clone” of the F-5E is the Saegeh (Thunderbolt) fighter-interceptor (according to Iranian classification). Actually, it is a one-seat variant of the two-seat Azarakhsh fighter-bomber. As its predecessor, the Saegeh fighter was developed by IAMI Company in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense of Iran. Besides that, active participation in development of the project took Shahid Sattari Air Force University. The main differences of the new aircraft from Tiger II and Azarakhsh are – modified fuselage rear with twin vertical tails (stabilizers have a small V-form), and another armament.

It has been reported that the construction of the first Saegeh prototype (known as the Saegeh 80) was launched in 2001, and its first flight was performed in 2004. Two prototypes of this fighter along with Azarakhsh fighters conducted a fly-past at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport during aviation festival on September 20, 2007. The above mentioned event was widely reported by Iranian media, and was attended by Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, the Iranian Defense Minister, as well as the leadership of the Iranian Armed Forces and representatives of the Parliament. Besides that, there was information that the Saegeh fighter entered service of the Iranian Air Force on September 22, 2008. The first flight equipped with this aircraft reached its operational readiness in September, 2009. Currently Iranian Air Force is equipped with 5 (according to other sources – 8) Saegeh aircraft. It is expected that the number of the aircraft will be increased up to 24 units. The layout and size (the wingspan is 9.2 m, length – 17.2 m and wing area – 21.9 m²) of the Saegeh as well as Azarakhsh aircraft are very similar to the original F-5E. The main difference is its heavier weight. Maximum takeoff weight is 16 800 kg, and weight of the empty aircraft is 7 800 kg. Besides twin vertical tales, another principal difference of the Saegeh from its American predecessor the F-5E is its power plant, which consists of two Russian RD-33 (2х8300 kgf) engines. According to Iranian media, maximum speed of the aircraft is 2080 km/h, its service ceiling is 18 000 m, ferry range (using 3 outboard fuel tanks) is 3 000 km, and practical range is 1 400 km. The aircraft is armed with built-in 20 mm gun and up to 7 air-toair missiles (perhaps, R-73 and R-27). Obviously, both aircraft are equipped with Russian K-36D ejection seats. On February 2, 2013, Iran presented its new combat aircraft Qaher-313 (Conqueror-313). According to Iranian media, particularly IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) the indigenously produced aircraft is described as a stealth fighter. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former Iranian President, stated that the Qaher-313 fighter is “one of the most advanced combat aircraft in the world”. The

Iranian test-pilots, who participated in that press presentation, confirmed his words. Besides, it was claimed that the Qaher-313 is characterized by “high level of flight and combat capabilities, as well as capable to take-off and land on short runways and has “easy maintenance”. Of course, such statements are mainly aimed to maintain a “domestic audience”-oriented belief of indestructible National Defense. At the same time, even superficial analysis of the information regarding the Qaher-313 allows to classify the aircraft presented to Ahmadinejad on February 2, 2013 as a “stealth aircraft for special operations”, but not as a fighter. In this regard it should be mentioned that in 1980s the USA developed the F-117, which had a similar purposes (now it is well-known that one of the missions of the stealth-fighter was to perform surprise air-strikes on the widely-known and very popular among the Soviet leadership Foros and the Crimea, in case of conflict between the USA and the USSR). Now it has become clear that capabilities of the F-117 as a tactical strike aircraft are very limited, and as a fighter equal to “zero”. At the same time, the successful development of the Qaher-313 (if this project really will be able to take-off – up till now only radio-controlled (RC) model of the aircraft performed some flights), will mean a significant progress of the Iranian aircraft industry in such a specific area as development of the stealth aircraft. 3(70).2013




Debates over the questions: Whose aircraft is better – American or Russian; Whether Boeing and Lockheed Martin engineers smarter than developers of Sukhoi and MiG; Whether the budget of Russia to meet the cost of new armaments program, – sometimes fade and sometimes rise again. Let’s try to understand who is right through the analysis of the latest American F-35 Lightning II fighter.

PAK FA at the Air Show MAKS-2013


LIGHTNING AND RAPTOR he F-35 is the product of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program started in 2001, when it became clear that the total cost (including operational costs) of the fifth generation F-22 Raptor – $411.7 million was too high. Initially, the design goals called the Lightning II to be the cheaper and more technologically advanced alternative to the Raptor fighter capable to replace all existed aircraft except strategic bombers. It was planned to equip the US Air Force,


ARMS Defence Technologies Review

Marine Corps and Navy with the only type of aircraft in three different versions – conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL), short takeoff and vertical landing (CTOVL) and deck-based. With a total number of 3 000, the Lightning II had to become so called “Wunderwaffe”, in which the pilot in display-helmet, like an alien, could control the aircraft and its armament by the movement of his head or just with his eyes. Year and a half ago, the first batch of fighters, not yet passed into service, were delivered to training bas-

es for basic maneuvers and tactical training. All experts know that due to constant improvements of air defense systems, the new aircraft should be faster (capable to supercruise without using the afterburner), more stealthy and maneuverable, have more advanced avionics and armament than its predecessor in order to perform its tasks successfully and return to home-base. These are the main requirements for the fifth generation aircraft. However, the troubles of the F-35 fighter mainly have been related to above mentioned requirements.

ANALYSIS THE TRUTH FOR INSIDERS The Komsomolskaya Pravda daily newspaper journalists got acquainted with the secret report of the Operational Test and Evaluation Department (DOT&E) of the United States Department of Defense related to the F-35 development. Here is what they found out. First of all, they discovered that the fuel tanks of all versions of the F-35 may explode when hit not only bullets or fragments, but even the usual lightning. Therefore, an additional funding and time will be required to redesign the fuel tanks, perform tests and upgrade the existed aircraft. Currently, the pilots are restricted to approach the lightning closer than 40 km. When using the afterburner (otherwise the Lightning II is not able to supercruise), the vertical stabilizers of the aircraft overheat that may result either in a loss of antiradar skin or damage of the aircraft at all. The report diplomatically noted that it “negatively affects the reliability of the vertical stabilizers and rudders». Actually it means that during the most intensive moment of combat, the aircraft may lose its tail. Moreover, since 2010, developers of the aircraft can not correct a malfunction related to back suction of fuel. Two years ago the test-pilots discovered the fuel spills on the fuselage during the fuel draining before landing and the air flow sucked it towards the hot engine nozzle. No comments. Due to its complicated STOVL system, the F-35B designed for Marine Corps and which is expected to be used on Mistral-class amphibious assault ships was recognized as the most problematic version of the aircraft. It has some malfunctions with a lift fan and drive shaft (both the elements were used on the Soviet Yak-141 and were transferred by the Yakovlev Design Bureau to Lockheed Martin within the framework of mutual cooperation). These malfunctions may cause the aircraft crash at any time. Unfortunately, the Russian know-how is inadaptable to overseas conditions. As for the F-35C (carrier version), it was discovered that it had some troubles related to take-off and landing procedures, such as incorrect design of the catapult fixation and arresting hook, which is located too close to

landing gear unit. Other malfunctions of the F-35C are as follows: originally incorrect design, troubles related to navigation system and lack of capabilities for air support (the main task of carrier aviation). Now let’s analyze the main characteristics of the Lightning II, which determine its combat effectiveness. It has some malfunctions of avionics, lack of maneuverability at high speeds and acceleration, lack of thrust-to-weight ratio (i.e. weak engine), insufficient operational radius of action, as well as poor night vision system, which limits the aircraft abilities for ground air strikes, and, finally, its “miracle helmet” is completely out of the game. Especially strong doubts about the combat effectiveness were caused by the results of Pacific Vision-2008 conference. It discovered that the F-35, announced as the fifth generation fighter, yields to the Su-35 (a 4++ generation) fighter at all. Furthermore, the F-35 had to avoid the area of operation of the S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft system. It will require up to 6 years to correct all the malfunctions of the F-35B and the F-35C versions and to perform the in-flight armament testing, thus the both projects may be cancelled in the nearest future. This fact along with the total operational costs of the aircraft increasing $400 million ($560 million if add the cost of acquisition) has already led to situation when some of the key program partners – Denmark, Australia and Canada decided to cancel the purchase of a fighter. Italy is on the way to take such a decision. “The bottom line: the F-35 is not the wonder its advocates claim. It is a gigantic performance disappointment, and in some respects a step backward… There is only one thing to do with the F-35: Junk it… The dustbin awaits”, – stated Winslow Wheeler, Director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information. WHAT ABOUT RUSSIA? The Sukhoi PAK FA, literally – “Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation” (the Sukhoi T-50 is the prototype for PAK FA) is a jet fighter being developed by Sukhoi since 2002. The Government funding of the 3(70).2013


ANALYSIS project was resumed by the decision of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in 2005. The T-50 prototype performed its first flight in 2010. Currently Sukhoi has 5 flying prototypes. The wingspan and length of the T-50 is larger than the F-22 Raptor, but less than the Su-27. The aircraft meets all requirements to the fighters of the fifth generation – it is a stealth, multi-role, maneuverable at acceleration fighter, which is capable to supercruise without using the afterburner, and equipped with advanced Russian avionics. Composites are used extensively on the T-50 and comprise 25% of its weight and almost 70% of the outer surface. Due to its new anti-lightning skin, the weight of the aircraft was decreased. The new AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar allows to detect the “classmates” at a distance of 200 km; the new optical search and tracking system provides an advantage in the air combat with the F-22 and F-35 as it low-observable and capable to detect the stealth targets. The PAK FA equipped with complete set of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. The in-flight tests with armament are scheduled for 20132014, and it is expected that the air-

PAK FA at the Air Show MAKS-2013


ARMS Defence Technologies Review

craft enter service in 2015. The cost of development – $2 billion. As for international cooperation, it is expected that India, one of the basic military partners of Russia, will join the PAK FA project with estimate contribution of not less than 25%. The total expenditures for the pending works on upgrading and joint design of export version are estimated to be – $810 billion. Thus, the cost of one aircraft will be about $100 million. “T50 project shows us that the Russian aerospace technologies are one of the best in the world” – pointed out Paul Beaver, military expert in his interview to BBC. Our defense industries is often criticized by mass media for its defective products and high costs along with loss of customers and orders, but now look at Americans – they are not saints, too. With regard to Mr. Navalny and his “RosPil” – they are too far from reality. At the same time Washington constantly accuses Russia of militarization, and our pseudoliberals not far behind. Michael Timoschenko


Russia Arms Expo – 2013 The question as to which novelties will be shown on September, 25-28 in Nizhny Tagil at 9-th International Exhibition of Arms, Military Equipment and Ammunition “Russia Arms Expo – 2013” (RAE-2013) has been disturbed the minds of people for some months now. Held under the patronage of the Government of the Russian Federation over its years long history it has become a demonstration ground for 2 000 enterprises from around the world. This year the Expo has a challenging task, i.e. to be as an equal with exhibitions held in the USA, Arab states and France. Therefore, The Army and Navy magazine has made a decision to review what novelties and other interesting objects could be seen at RAE this year. 22

ARMS Defence Technologies Review


ANTITANK EQUIPMENT et us start with new heavy machines for Nizhny Tagil State Exhibition Center with a total area of 400 thousand square meters makes it possible to more fully display capabilities of all ground, sea and air arms. The demonstration ground knows no equals in the world. The unified facility of about 500 km long and 1.5 km wide includes roads for automotive and ar-


mor vehicles (2.425 m and 2.775 m respectively), water area, obstacle paths, helicopter pads, gallery range and fire positions. For example Research and Production Corporation “Uralvagonzavod”, OJSC is planning to show BMPT-72 (tank support fighting vehicle) and T-72 tank at a unique range RAE-2013. Many know firsthand about the 48-ton tank-killer called “Terminator”. However this time it is going to be shown along with defensive aids suit. In general, T-72 tank-based “Terminator” is a perfect machine for street fighting, destruction of personnel, light armor equipment, and tanks as well as for fighting helicopters, low flying slow aircraft in cooperation with tactical air defense units. Besides, the “Terminator” vehicle due to powerful armament and high maneuverability is capable of destroying enemy’s sheltered anti-tank elements armed with grenadelaunchers, AT missile systems and fire arms. “Terminator” weapon station consisting of 30 mm 2A42 and PTRK Shturm-S can effectively destroy light armor targets at a distance of 1 500 m, manpower at a distance of 4 000 m, low flying air targets at a distance of up to 2 500 m. It can also kill enemy tanks and low flying air targets at a distance of up to 6 000 m. Besides, automatic grenade launchers make the area of three square kilometers clean for BMPT. KBP Instrument Design Bureau, JSC is another exhibitor at RAE-2013. The enterprise will show B05Y01, a weapon system equipped with fire control system and Kornet-A controlled weapon, as well as Kornet-AM long-range multipurpose missile system, which is to be mounted on armored vehicles. Kornet-A is capable of destroying armored targets equipped with reactive armor

including advanced tanks, en- Kornet-AM gineering structures like con- mounted crete bunkers and earth-and- on “Tiger” timber emplacements. Besides, vehicle the system ensures a continuous day and night fire support for attacking tanks. Kornet-AM is capable of destroying modern and advanced tanks equipped with reactive armor, light vehicles, fortified structures, surface and air targets (unmanned flying vehi- “Terminator” by cles, helicopters) at a distance Uralvagonzavod of up to 10 000 m. Kornet-AM is Corporation




Russian Machines Corporation is introducing a car reequipped with peripheral surveillance system Viper.

Weapon system B05Y01 with fire control and Kornet-A controlled weapon for armored vehicles

much better than similar range air-defense systems in terms of cost and effectiveness. Fireand-forget automatic mode without expensive self-homers significantly reduces mindbody stress, skill requirements and training time for operators. LIGHT ARMORED VEHICLES Light armored wheeled vehicles will be shown at the Exhibition too. The most famous Russian armored car “Tiger” is going to receive many upgrades by various exhibitors at RAE-2013. Firstly, Kovrov Electromechanical Plant, JSC will introduce for the first time ever a remote-controlled weapon system ICKR.461114.001 (ИЦКР.461114.001) that shall be mounted on Tiger vehicle. With such system a crew may deliver fire protected by armor. However this is not the only novelty for Tiger which visitors can see. French company OPTSYS in cooperation with


ARMS Defence Technologies Review

VIPER OPTSYS By the way, it is the first time OPTSYS is introducing ViDOK optical kit in Russia. The videoperiscope-based kit is designed for perimeter surveillance during stops and on the move for various vehicles (BMP, M113, T72 etc.). VIDOK OPTSYS Besides, French Hutchinson SNC, well-known for its rubber-metal articles for industry and various vehicles, is to introduce Hutchinson SNC wheel system designed for Tiger vehicle. This is a joint project by Hutchinson SNC and Militaryindustrial company “VoennoPromyshlennaya kompania (VPK)”. In addition to that, the French will show RUNFLAT system special aluminum wheel disks ensuring non-stop motion on flat tires, TIRE SHIELD protective system for pneu-

matic tires, fire-protected fuel tanks anti-wear and antiballistic covered as well as chain tracks. Al ong w ith Russian produced equipment visitors will be able to see foreign light armor novelties. ACMAT Defense, one of the world leading producers of combat armored vehicles and light trucks, is going to introduce a new line of BASTION, VLRA and ALTV tactical fighting vehicles. Visitors will see three BASTION versions: BASTION APC, BASTION PATSAS, BASTION APC Extreme Mobility. All of them can be optionally equipped on a customer’s request. For example, BASTION PATSAS, has been created by ACMAT Defense based on experience gained in Africa and Middie East conflicts. Heav y weapons, missile launchers and surveillance systems can be mounted on it due to the open top. Like any others open top vehicles by ACMAT Defense BASTION PATSAS is a unique decision for autonomous operations conducted by special force teams thanks to its maximum tactical mobility and shock power. ACMAT BASTION PATSAS 320 hp Bastion APC Extreme Mobility has been produced since 2012. Unlike a standard model the new vehicle has an


independent suspension. Its ballistic protection varies between level 1 and 3, thus reducing lift capability from three tons to 2.5 tons (level 2) and down to 1.5 tons but at the same time increasing mine protection up to level 2a/2b. Bastion APC Extreme Mobility is capable of carrying eight troops and two crew members. Besides that, RENAULT TRUCKS Defense being one of the leading producers of wheeled armored vehicles is introducing Sherpa Light, new line of tactical and light armored vehicles ranging from 7.7 to 11 tons featuring perfect maneuverability and off-road capability. Sherpa Light family AWD combat vehicles are designed specially to carry infantry, airborne and police troops, thus capable of multi-objective tasks accomplishing. Besides, the vehicle can be easily transported by air and, if necessary, can be equipped with various armor protection (bullet-proof, antimine and anti-home-made explosives) and weapons without losing mobility and operational load. Sherpa Light is equipped with 215 hp Renault engine which has a great torque of 800 N.m. at 1200-1700 rev/min (corresponds to Euro V). More than half-meter ground clearance (0.6 m) ensures high mobility

and protection against mines and home-made explosives. Besides, Sherpa Light is capable of overcoming 100% angle and 40% side slope obstacles as well as crossing 0.9 meters wide trenches. Fording admissible water level is 1.5 meters. At RAE-2013 a sufficiently large line of armored vehicles for personnel transport and protection is introduced by Zaschita, LLC. Among the exhibits there is SBA-60K2 “Bulat” mounted on KAMAZ base and a special armored vehicle SBA62 mounted on KAMAZ-43118 base. Special armored vehicle SBA-60K2 “Bulat” has an increased size and mounting capacities, lift capability and volume capacity, increased offroad capability, steering and stability as well as bullet-proof (up to class 6 protection according to GOST Р 50963-96) and anti-mine protection. The vehicle interior may be equipped with fragment and ricochet protection. There is a 7-tons strong winch installed in front end of the vehicle. SBA-60K2 “Bulat” can be operated in any climatic conditions with any road type. SBA-60K2 “Bulat” capacity is 10 persons: 2 crew and 8 landing troops. As to special armored vehicle SBA-62 it has two following models: 18-seats armored unit with two front and one rear wing doors; and

20-seats armored unit with two rear wing doors. Self-contained heater, air-conditioner, ventilation and gun powder gas extraction system ensure good comfort for a crew. Due to high class armor protection (GOST 50963-96, cab – class 5, armored unit – class 6) SBA-62 is protected against F-1 grenade explosion aground and atop; it is also equipped with armored fuel tanks and batteries. If necessary, the armored unit interior can be equipped with fragment and ricochet protection. The vehicle sides have multilayer bullet-proof glass and portholes for fire arms.

ACMAT Bastion APC Extreme Mobility Sherpa Light RENAULT TRUCKS Defense

CONTROL SYSTEMS It is the first time PO “ELEKTROPRIBOR”, JSC from Penza is planning to show in the public its products 69Е-61RА and Е-61NN, included in a common battery command center 9С737М “Ranzhir-М”. The center is capable of controlling joint air defense systems such as TOR anti-aircraft defense system, Tunguska air-defense system, Strela anti-aircraft defense system and Igla portable air defense system. Meanwhile “RadioZavod”, JSC is introducing MP32M1 command and control vehicle being a part of Slepok-1 system, automated control means for portable air-defense system 3(70).2013


EXIBITIONS MP32M1 by “RadioZavod”, JSC 83t888-1.7 by “RadioZavod”, JSC

9С737М “Ranzhir-М”.

Automated control for portable airdefense system by “Radiozavod”, JSC


ARMS Defence Technologies Review

units and 83t888-1.7 automation facilities for mortar battery command-and-observation post (battery center). MP32M1 command and control vehicle is an independent system of automation and communications, power supply and life support means mounted on KAMAZ 43114 base. MP32M1 main task is automated and non-automated control of missile artillery brigades, battalions and companies operations armed with Smerch MLRS, as well as for supporting speech communications and data transmitting to superior, cooperating and subordinate command posts during stop and on the move. “RadioZavod”, JSC exhibition stand also includes full-scale automated control system for portable anti-aircraft weapon. Mounted on a platoon command post it can provide radio-control for air-defense platoon (9 men) at a distance of 0.5 – 1.0 km. Each portable airdefense system command post has capability to correctly allocate and mark targets. Portable air-defense system group control system advantage is a significantly increased air-defense system combat ef-

EXIBITIONS fectiveness during non-contact tactical operations. Each AD portable weapon has positioning, direction finding aids, computer and display as well as radio transceiver. Control system includes a portable casebased automated control unit (command post for AD platoon) and up to nine personal automation kits for AD gunners. The third novelt y by “RadioZavod”, JSC is 83t888-1.7 automation facilities for mortar battery command-and-observation post (battery center). The system main task is automated control of artillery (mortar) battery during preparation and at war. The system may be introduced in two options (basic and light). The basic one designed for battery commander software and hardware is located in a protected transport case. The light one is located in ammunition vest. AMMUNITION NPO “Pribor”, JSC the leading manufacturer of small caliber artillery ammunition for automatic cannon systems is introducing 40 mm automatic grenade launcher “Balkan”. The system feature is a mortar round with a cartridge extracted, thus increasing ex-

plosive mass nearly twice and leading to a greater fragment effect. Thus, the weight is reduced and weapon power is increased significantly. A mounted grenade launcher including sight without ammunition box has a mass of 32 kg, fire rate of up to 400 shots per minute, firing range of up to 2.5 km. Each Balkan charger-belt contains 20 grenades, two belts in a transport case making it a dangerous weapon. The grenade launcher is mounted on a tripod equipped with a seat on

rear supports. Besides that, “Nerekhta” by Balkan is normally equipped “V.A.Degtyarev with an optical sight. Plant”, JSC In addition to novelties introduced by NPO “Pribor”, JSC at RAE-2013 we should take note of 30 mm automatic cannon cartridges with plastic pull unit. Thanks to such cartridges a barrel life is increased three times, ammunition is used more effectively. BATTLE SUIT Visitors will be able to see the newest Russian battle suit “Ratnik” including mod-




ern fire arms, effective protective systems, reconnaissance and communications aids (totally about 10 various subsystems). In terms of durability and performance this Russian army-accepted “Future Warrior” battle suit outper forms similar NATO outfits. Alongside with combat per formance, “Ratnik ” shall provide effective pro-

Russia Arms EXPO 2013 is to be held on the premises of Nizhny Tagil State Exhibition Center for armaments and military equipment at FSE "Nizhny Tagil Institute of Metal Testing" (FSE “NTIMT”). Within four days participants and visitors will be able to see the newest achievements of Russian military industrial complex and leading world military equipment products. 400 exhibitors from 50 world countries are going to show unique performances. In general, RAE2013 shall provide complete information about priorities, achievements and potential of Russian and world military industrial complex.


ARMS Defence Technologies Review

tection against various adverse factors at battlefield. Battle suit package contains about 40 different elements including fire arms, sight systems, protection, communication, navigation and target marking aids. Military outfit will be also introduced by “Serov Mechanical Plant”, JSC with its sewing room well-known for quality products. At all military exhibitions the sewing room enjoys well-deserved recognition. The first garments by “Serov Mechanical Plant”, JSC were introduced in 2003 within the frameworks of the 2-nd International Exhibition “Russian Defence Expo” at Nizhy Tagil. ROBOTIC MILITARY EQUIPMENT It is worth noting that this year Expo will show many remote-controlled equipment and armament. “V.A.Degtyarev Plant”, JSC is introducing “Nerekhta” multipurpose robotic combat support system. At RAE-2013 the whole system will be shown including remote control center, transport system and three units, they are combat, reconnaissance and transport.

Combat unit is designed to deliver fire upon various targets at day and night. It can be equipped with different armament. Reconnaissance unit is used for terrain reconnaissance and target acquisition at day and night. Transport unit is designed to deliver a pay load to a destination. “Nerekhta” system main advantages are crewless, all-weather, stealth, armored medium grade platform as well as semi-automatic and remote control for monitoring multipurpose robotic platforms. Swiss company Dimond Industrial is introducing unmanned f lying vehicles. However Russian UFV’s will be also seen in the sky above Nizhy Tagil, they are UFV “Forpost” by JSC “Ural Works of Civil Aviation” and UFV “Aileron” by ENIX company. Forpost UFV set up as a successor of Searcher Mk2J by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd (IAI) has been successfully tested early this year and now “Ural Works of Civil Aviation”, JSC is preparing for a serial production. As to UFV by ENIX on completion of comparative testing Aileron-3 and Aileron-10 ranked among the best UFV’s in Russia. Currently, the systems chosen are being state tested at Chkalov State Flight Test Facility for further production stage for the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The developed multipurpose systems with UFV Aileron-3 and Aileron-10 are delivered to various departments: EMERCOM, FSB, Ministry of Internal Affairs, fuel and energy enterprises, forest protection, Arctic expeditions and other organizations. The systems are applicable at various climatic zones: deserts, tropics, taiga, marshlands and highlands including Caucasus, the Khanty-Mansi area, Astrakhan region, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and the North Pole. FSE "Nizhny Tagil Institute of Metal Testing" Press Service


Т-90MS Main Battle Tank

We have a wrong idea that it is quite difficult to sell any product with brand “Made in Russia”. The following event overturned our mind – T-90 was recognized as the most traded combat vehicle in the world. It happened after killing criticism from Russian military department authorities. One of them characterized T-90 as “good and deep upgrading of T-34 tank”. He was right only in one thing – both tanks are equipped with diesel engines. However, the engine of T-90 is twice as powerful – 1,000 hp. Another common feature – both tanks were designed to fight against equal or more powerful enemy in the wide theaters of military operations characterized by lack or poor infrastructure. These characteristics are common for all tanks designed in Nizhny Tagil. evelopment of T-90 started in 1986. In January, 1989, the manufacturer began tests of four tanks. The combat vehicles were tested during one and a half year in mountainous, swampy and sandy areas as well as on the roads. Test engineers decided to indicate in technical passports only data received in worst conditions – up to this point they indicated averaged data. In usual conditions these tanks demonstrated better results. In 1992, the enterprise started serial production of T-90. However, it was a difficult time for Russian defense manufacturers. Export was the only chance to save tank-construction capabilities. But the main problem was home bu-



ARMS Defence Technologies Review

reaucracy. Confrontation between manufacture and bureaucrats lasted for five years. In 1997, at Abu Dhabi Exhibition military specialists from India displayed a sincere interest in T-90S (export version). Their requirement was to upgrade the combat vehicle as it should be competitive during the whole service life. The new tests of this tank were performed in Thar Desert, where the air temperature was up to +55 degree Centigrade. The announced characteristics have been not only maintained but also improved. After oil changing from Russian into British one, the engine power increased up to 1,100 hp. After that, Indian Minister of Defense Mr. D.Singh said that “according to its effectiveness, T-90S will

be the second deterrent power after nuclear weapon”. Therefore, Indian authorities took a decision to reequip the 21st armor regiment by T-90S main battle tanks. The governments of two countries signed an agreement about licensed production of 1,000 T-90S tanks in India till 2019, along with delivery of 600 tanks from Russia. In August, 2009, the first ten Indianmade tanks were delivered to Indian Armed Forces. After India another countries signed contracts for T-90S delivery – Algeria, Turkmenia, Azerbaijan and Uganda. The total number of exported tanks exceeded a number of 1,000 vehicles! As a result, this combat vehicle, designed in the town of Nizhny Tagil, became the most traded main battle

LAND FORCES tank (MBT) in the world within the period from 2001 till 2010. The market niche of T-90S is unique. Money received from export allowed the enterprise to upgrade the tank and design a new T-90MS combat vehicle. Let`s compare the last version of T-90 (designed in 2011) with its foreign rivals – Abrams, Leopard, Leclerc, Challenger and Merkava main battle tanks. Weight of Russian T-90 tank is 48 ton. Weight of rivals varies from 55 ton on Leclerc to 70 ton on Merkava. Multilayered armor of T-90MS is designed from steel-composite-steel construction with built-in reactive armor and active protection system. Reactive armor consists of rectangular containers which contain explosives. When the enemy round hits the tank, reactive armor detonates and diverts the round or explosive jet. The effectiveness of this design is equal to one-piece steel armor with thickness of 1,600 mm. The inner part of the hull is covered by fragmentation protective kevlar. The active protection system is sensitive to laser irradiation of antitank missiles – T-90 immediately turns its gun in dangerous direction and sprays the smoke cloud. Besides that, this tank is equipped with electro-magnetic protection system from mines. The rivals has also multilayered armor with effectiveness equal to one-piece steel armor with thickness of 1,200-1,400 mm. Some of these combat vehicles are equipped with reactive armor as well as Merkava tank is equipped with active protection system. Armament. In this field our tanks hold leading positions. So, T-90MS is equipped with 125-mm smoothbore gun. At the same time, this gun can be used as a launcher for Invar guided missiles, with killing range of 5 km, it provides effective destruction of the enemy tanks, helicopters and protected combat emplacements. Nowadays the main feature of the armored combat is range of fire – if tank will have a small range of fire it will become an easy target for its enemy. The effective range of fire of tank guns is about 2 km, at the same time the Invar launcher gives an opportunity for T-90 to extend its range of fire by 3 km. It means that our tank will have 3-5 minutes of

time gap; it will allow launching from 5 to 10 missiles. Only Israeli Merkava is equipped with the similar gun and LAHAT missiles. Initially T-90 was designed with the most advanced fire control system and X-diesel engine with the power of 1,500 hp – the rivals reached such characteristics only by the end of the 1990s. But, due to lack of financing, both projects were delayed till now. Currently, special attention is given to improvement of target acquisition and fire control at day and night – the system is equipped with thermal imaging device, GPS/GLONASS units and the whole system is integrated into tactical-level С2 automatic system. The driver`s compartment is equipped with a manual control, automatic transmission, night-vision device and rear-view camera. Engine power is – 1130 hp. There is no doubt in good market perspectives of T-90MS tank – it was demonstrated on arms exhibitions in Delhi and Paris, which were held in 2012. At present time it is still not clear what version of tank will be produced for Russian Armed Forces. Our military authorities say that the turret with combat compartment of T-90 complies with all requirements, but other parts of tank – engine, transmission and so on – do not comply with their requirements. On the one hand, if we compare T-90 diesel engine and manual transmission with French Leclerc smallsized turbo-charged diesel engine with power of 1,500 hp and automatic transmission – it looks old-fashioned. It looks like all components were designed in order to improve the mobility of tank. Of course, western main battle tanks look very glorious in temperate European climate. However, hydro mechanic transmission is heavier than mechanic transmission – it means that the weight of tank will also become heavier. So, 1,500 hp engines will be a real dilemma. Besides that, the maintenance systems of tank will also increase the weight of tank as well as its fuel consumption. All above mentioned mean that the western tanks are not able to move on difficult terrain which is easy to operate for T-90 combat vehicles. Two military operations in Iraq dem-

onstrated that within two days of operation a large number of tanks got out of service. Another reason that limited the US armor mobility was a large consumption of fuel – they had to refuel their 500-halon fuel tanks every day. Due to lack of fuel US Abrams tanks could not overtake the Iraqi Republican Guard T-72 tanks! At that time, the US military supply system was the best in the world and there were not the enemy artillery firing or any air strikes. At the same time, the Iraqi forces did not have any supply at all. Now look at the map of Eurasia and answer only one question: what tanks will dominate in this area in case of military conflict – heavy western tanks or cross-country, reliable, easy to operate T-90 tanks? Michael Timoschenko





OF BODY ARMOR FACILITIES Developing body armor is dealing mainly with Requirement specifications defining necessary protective properties, separate protective areas, operational requirements etc. for the product being designed. Available armor materials and protective structures do not always meet all Requirement specifications, thus there may be some failures to comply that are to be put up with. In such a case the priorities and secondary requirements are chosen. A requirement specification often needs to be corrected for optimization of a product structure to comply with specific conditions and tasks. To fulfill the tasks assigned in effective way a designer should have a clear and complete understanding of the product to be. oday large funds are delivered for improvement of battle outfit. Outfit separate elements including body armor are being intensively improved in different countries. However, even now one can see insufficient understanding of the subject both by customers and performers. Correct assessment, development or selection of protection facilities is very difficult without awareness of historical links between operational requirements for then body armor and military thinking development stages as well as experience gained when applied in different war conditions. This article will help fill technical knowledge gaps and understand cause and effect relations between a concept accepted and a decision to make any given product.


Pic.1 American soldiers in helmets М1917 and German breastplates, WWI

Pic.2 Armor vests, Korean War [6]. From left to right: air vest, WWII, army vest М1952, Marine Corps vest М1952А 32

ARMS Defence Technologies Review

MILITARY BODY ARMOR HISTORY Since mid-19-th century till World War One personal protective means had not almost been in use due to large piercing performance of rifled weapons. Some of civilian protections (concealed vests) were used against revolver and pistol bullets. However, development of quick-fire breechloading artillery with explosive shells (high-explosive, fragmentation and shrapnel) has led to necessity of fragment protection availability, to protect head at least. Many countries entered the war equipped with steel helmets. Majority of helmets were broadbrimmed to protect head against cavalry swords. Some armies (German, English, Belgic) were equipped with breastplates and cuirasses (see pic. 1).

RETROSPECTIVES WWI has shown fire means and technical facilities had developed much compared to the previous wars thanks to technological revolution in the latter half of 19-th century. Largescale use of machine guns, engineer obstacles and quick-fire artillery on the one hand, and unavailability of motorized armored units on the other hand resulted in positional war pattern. So it was a trench war. In such a situation cavalry was hardly applicable at battlefield. The movement of Infantry units of high-density formations became impossible. A soldier first had to crawl and then fight in enemy’s trenches. In such conditions cuirasses were very heavy and uncomfortable as well as too weak against point-blank shots. As a result infantry received fragment protected brimless helmets only and protective vests were given to artillery units. Bullet-proof helmets were designed for snipers and observers who needed no intensive movement on a battlefield. Weight burden was not a critical factor for them. Body armor capabilities were limited by ballistic materials available. In fact there were only two materials: steel and silk. Silk was more effective in terms of fragment protection but very expensive. It was used in civilian vests. Therefore military protective means were nearly always made of steel though designers tried to produce aluminum-alloy armor plates. WWII has generally confirmed WWI results. However it differed much due to motorized units in use which substituted a trench war with a moving one. This resulted in armored turrets for snipers and observers instead of heavy helmets. Steel breastplates were used only during street fighting, in particular by assault engineers, who were mostly running but not crawling. Almost all armies’ infantry had only steel helmets as a protection. Industrial development in the USA resulted in new glass and synthetic fiber-based armor materials. Glass fiber was used in the form of pressed composite plates (Doron) and synthetic fiber was in the form of fabric (Nylon). Much cheaper than silk but having poor durability and elastic modulus these materials were ineffective against high-speed fragments. Therefore, the materials came to pro-

tect bomber aircraft crews against lowspeed fragments of AD heavy shells which had to pierce aircraft body before hitting the vest thus losing much energy. Steel and aluminum armor plates were used as reinforcement. US steel helmet M-1 of 1940 vintage had a nylon-based pressed composite insert ensuring protection even against blank-point shot fired from 11.43 mm М1911А1 pistol. Infantry armor vest which entered service in August 1945 had aluminum alloy armor plates along with basic nylon composition. Likewise protective slotted glasses M14 made of steel were developed but not widely used. The new protective means were tactically employed during Korean War. According to body armor operating experience review new vests had good fragment-proof capacity but if aluminum plate was pierced a deformed and fragmented bullet increased a wound severity. Another disadvantage was ricocheting fragments injury due to bullet hitting a plate at an angle. That is why new М1952 products (pic.2) had no rigid aluminum inserts any more. Protective structure of a soft vest М1952, consisting of 12 nylon layers, stopped 68% of damage agents (up to 75% fragments and 24% bullets) having very poor protective properties as of today. Mass potential was to be used to increase protective surface owing to armor shorts. Heavier protection with bullet-proof panels was provided for troopers with no intensive movement (tank, AD gun crews). Armor shorts were not used during Vietnam War due to soldiers overheating. As a result a standard steel helmet М-1 and soft nylon vest М69 and М1952 were to be employed to cover upper body. Ceramic and fiberglass-based bullet-proof panels were first used to protect helicopter crews during Vietnam War. A kit consisted of pilot seat armor panels, side panels inserted in doors and armor breastplates which entered service in February 1966 and proved its combat effectiveness. Meanwhile VIAM Institute, USSR, developed a ballistic-proof vest 6Б1 which entered service in 1956 but was produced in a limited edition. The vest had various protection levels for chest, belly and back. Developers had con-

Pic.3 Afghan War armor vests: 6Б1 (left) and 6Б2 (right)

sidered the Great Patriotic War and Korean War experience. A protective structure consisted of soft aluminum armor plates (alloy AMg7ts(АМг7ц), 95 NV(НВ)) and Avisent fabric (nylon type) back support. Thanks to the solution there were no ricocheting and deforming bullets. With the beginning of war

Body armor 6B-1 and helmet S-43




Pic.4 Vests developed based on Afghan War experience. From left to right: 6Б5 (general view), 6Б12 (general view) and 6Б12 (inner view) in Afghanistan the whole test lot of 6Б1 vests was forwarded to the Army. Armor vest 6Б2 developed in 1979 at Research and Development Institute of Steel had the similar protective properties but lower weight. During development there was a task to reduce the vest mass 10-15% having the same surface area and protective level. The task was accomplished. The vest weighed 4.4 kg compared to 6Б1 (5,2 kg). However its protective structure included very hard titan alloy armor plates and SVM aramid fabric that caused a bullet deformation and more severe wound when pierced. As alternate materials armor steel, titan and hard aluminum alloys were taken into consideration but abandoned due to defor34

ARMS Defence Technologies Review

mation and splitting of bullets. Besides, SVM fabric price was too high. The vest guaranteed storage life reduced from 10 to 5 years. That was the cost for 15% reduction in weight. Both vests were fire-seasoned during war in Afghanistan, 1979-1989 (pic.3). Tactical employment experience has proved high protective properties. 100% fragments and 42% bullets were stopped by 6Б2 vest. However there were disadvantages: increase in wound severity, ricochet, and insufficient ballistic protection against fire arms bullets. As a result of operating experience review a new 6Б3Т vest was produced which had enhanced titan plates as a bullet protection. Later on in 1984-1988 the Institute produced similar products (6Б3ТМ, 6Б4, 6Б5) which had different protective bullet-proof structure (steel, titan or boron carbide-based ceramics mounted on pressed SVM fabric), weight and increased protection areas. The vests had similar protective structure. It comprised a set of chest and back ballistic-proof textile SVM panels enhanced with additional bullet-proof or fragmentation armor plates. SVM fabric made of highstrength aramid fiber had much better protective ballistic properties than polyamide-based fabrics (avisent, nylon). Thus ballistic-proof textile package had several times less weight. Armor plates were located overlapped in series in vest cover pockets. 6Б4 vest had ceramic reinforcement panels and 6Б5 vest depending on design style was equipped with antiballistic titan plates or bullet-proof titan, steel or ceramic reinforcement panels. Vests employment in Afghanistan has confirmed Korean War experience. Fragmentation protection structure should be light-weight and must not contain hard elements causing bullet splitting and ricochet. Bullet-proof protection should be done in several big-surface panels to minimize joints; meanwhile the panels should be thick to stop bullets shot by fire arms which are mostly used in battle. Vest cover should be made of camouflage wear-protected fabric and have pockets for ammunition. It was after Afghan War the experience gained was realized in next vests 6Б11, 6Б12 and 6Б13, entered service in 1999 (pic. 4).

Meanwhile the US company Dupon developed its own aramid fiber called Kevlar which made it possible to significantly increase body armor protective properties without increasing its weight. In 1978-1982 PASGT kit armored helmet and vest entered service which were made of Kevlar threadbased fabric. Ceramic bullet-proof reinforcement panels (chest and back mono-panels) were in a limited use. Besides, in late 80’s Honeywell designed supermolecular polyethylene. Used as pressed composite material it made it possible to significantly reduce bullet-proof reinforcement panels’ weight. Vests with supermolecular polyethylene panels were first used in 1996 by French peacekeepers in Yugoslavia. Combined armor panels with external ceramic layer and supermolecular polyethylene bedding were first used in the US OTV “Interceptor” vest, developed to substitute PASGT and entered service in 1998 (pic. 5). Employment of external ceramic layer is stipulated by protection specifications against armor-piercing bullet which have arrow-headed core easily puncturing pressed panels made of supermolecular polyethylene. When hitting a ceramic plate sharp end of the core is destroyed, core residuals, bullet jacket and ceramic fragments get stopped by bedding. As a result optimized after Korean, Vietnam and Afghan wars protective means entered service of different armies in the end of 20-th century. They were extensively used in 21-st century wars: 2-nd Chechen campaign, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Correctness of common structural solutions has been confirmed by new protective means employed in modern warfare. However some problems were revealed to be settled in the future. Weight should be reduced and ballisticproof protection surface area should be increased. Bullet-proof protection must be optimized as per resistance level and body parts protected depending on applicability and operational theater. CONCEPTS Battle outfit is designed to increase combat effectiveness. Outfit requirements differ according to combat conditions. Body armor, being an integral part of outfit, increases combat effectiveness due to reduction in sanitary

RETROSPECTIVES and irrecoverable losses. Protective means are developed both with consideration for military profile and for operational theater probable. The following main body armor means may be emphasized: Infantry protection kit (armor vest and helmet); Armored vehicle crew protective suit (fire-resistant coverall and armor helmet); Air protective suit (helmet, coverall, breastplate and panel kit); Sapper protection kit (protective suit and anti-mine footwear). Let us see into infantry protection kit being the most wide-spread protective facility and having the longest history of development and employment. Historically ballistic protection has been developing in two lines, i.e. protection against bullets and against fragments. Due to constantly increasing bullet-proof area density armor suit was replaced by cuirass, then breastplate and finally reinforcement armor panel for the modern armor vest. Initial protection against fragments included steel helmet and breastplate partially. In the late 40’s due to breastplate surface reduction fragment protective vests were designed. Since mid-80’s vests mostly have been a combination of fragment protection and bullet-proof panels. One can observe a constant connection between body armor image, weapons prevailing at the moment and protective structure properties. In order to recommend any protection kit for a certain combat situation one should take into account both protective properties and weight of the kit. Weight burden along with intensive physical activity make a soldier exhausted. This has an impact on combat effectiveness. See picture 6 for distance traveled-combat load diagram. The diagram shows that increase of combat load from 14 to 45 kg results in reduction (twice) of day-traveled distance (from 30 to 16 km). 55 kg weight load leads to triple decrease of distance (up to 10 km). According to unit 33491 “Rzhevka” experts each kilo of outfit in a range of 4-46 kg increases task accomplishment time (march, assault of a company position) 2% average. That

means a soldier having more than 40 kg load stays under fire twice longer. Let us not forget that body armor is a part of an outfit. Heavy load makes a person tired, slow and distracted. As a result number of wounded and killed increases and fire effectiveness decreases. Protective means combat effectiveness in certain conditions may appear negative. Such situation and low effectiveness of armor materials caused doubts to use vests for infantrymen in 1940 – 1960’s. Today admissible outfit weight is 24 kg (body armor comprises 8 kg, not more). A soldier should be able to fight for several days running. In order that

a trained soldier could carry protective means for more than 24 hours a vest should have weight of not more than 7.5-9 kg (depending on a soldier mass) and a helmet of 1.5-1.6 kg. These are very strict limitations. Therefore to reduce weight burden it is necessary to combine outfit different elements functions, armor vest and transport system in particular. It was implemented in 1983 for the first time ever in Soviet 6Б3Т vest, though recommendations to equip vest cover with pockets for ammunition had been made well before. Weight is not the only parameter effecting aggregate combat effectiveness. Protective fabric thermal con-

Pic.5 OTV “Interceptor” US vest




Pic.6 Distance traveled within 8-hour march depending on load. Person weight - 78 kg duction is comparable to that of army cloth. Thus a soldier may get noneffective due to overheating. This problem was first encountered by US troops in Vietnam though it had been noticed yet during Korean War. As a result vest protective surface area was reduced and armor shorts were abandoned at all. During Afghan conflict Soviet troops faced the similar problem but they found a solution. In December 1982 a team of experts from “Rzhevka” training range visited Afghanistan to analyze vests employment experience. In 1983 the team proposed to equip vest with air-conditioning backing to move vest sections away from a body and make free air circulation for cooling. That summer the backing was tested for different types of vests in Turkestan military district. The tests showed that at air temperature of + 40 ºС 30 mm-thick backing increases 6Б2 vest wearing time 2-3 times average, thus ensuring long-term (unlimited) wearing. The backing also decreased blunt trauma when hit by AKM bullet (light severity) and SVD bullet (middle severity). Since then airconditioning backing has been an integral part of all Russian armor vests. “Rzhevka” experts have analyzed casualties. The found that in Afghanistan 66% of bullet injures were accrued to chest area, 30% to back and 3% only to side. Bullet injuries made up 54% and fragment ones made up 46%. During highland coun36

ARMS Defence Technologies Review

ter-guerilla operations troops are often hit into back from an ambush. Therefore side protection was abandoned in favor of back protection. European experts had the same opinion. This time new US IOTV vest and its Russian counterpart have side armor panels. However bullet-proof chest and side panels are good only if a soldier is positioned vertically and useless when a man is in prone position. It was discovered yet during WWII. Steel СН-42 breastplates were effective in street fighting but almost useless in field. US experts after analyzing Korean War experience had the similar opinion (pic.7). High probability of sacral bone injury and relatively unlike injury of groin and abdomen is explained by the fact that a soldier may be hit mostly when moving by bounds. Unfortunately the example is not separating bullet and fragment injuries. However considering a soldier position chest and back protection panels deem ineffective due to their horizontal position. This reason along with weight burden requirements had made US Army abandon bullet-proof panels for all-service vests (М1952, М1955, М69, М71, PASGT) before new OTV “Interceptor” entered service. Personal protective means have maximum efficiency during operations without long-distance intensive movements, i.e. standing guard, mounted march, short-term assault.

Therefore chest and back armor panels may be good only for a vertical standing slow-moving soldier. The only appropriate protection for streetfighting is a chest protection. Bulletproof armor panels are improper for long-distance march, mountain operations, reconnaissance and other intensive activities. Head protection is a separate issue. For bullet protection steel antifragment helmets were mostly used which could only protect against long-distance fire. Such helmet became less efficient due to steel-core bullets and intermediate cartridge hand arms. Efforts to equip helmet with bullet-proof face shield made since WWI were fruitless for a rifle bullet hitting a head made neck bone broken even without piercing the armor. A helmet must weigh 8 kg to disable rifle bullet impulse and 4-6 kg to disable sub-machine gun impulse depending on a caliber. This is unacceptable for army helmets thus today they ensure only protection against fragments though efforts to equip them with face shields are still being made. Taking into account weight burden and helmet-mounted reconnaissance and communications means its weight must not exceed 0.7-0.8 kg. A modern Russian army armor helmet includes the following elements: Helmet body (0.8-0.9 kg) Head harness (0.2 kg) Cap comforter (0.1 kg) Winter beanie ( 0.15 kg) Masking cover with ear flaps (0.12 kg) Night-vision device (PNV) (0.38 kg) Goggles ( 0.18 kg) Total: 1.93-2.03 kg Today a well-formed concept of infantry personal protection kit surely exists which includes ballistic-proof armor vest with removable bullet-proof reinforcement panels, antifragment armored helmet with goggles and camouflage protective suit. However the kit total weight is significantly more than 8 kilos required and protective surface area, especially bullet-proof, is very small. Though disputable and painful there is an alternate to abandon bullet-proof protection during high-intensity operations and use it only at non-active missions. According

RETROSPECTIVES to Korean and Vietnam wars experience about 25-30% bullets (ricochet, destabilized and fragmented bullets) hitting a textile vest can be stopped by antifragment structure. To reduce weight in the future along with works in lighter synthesized protective structures it is expected to combine other outfit elements functions for protection (clothes, equipment, individual camouflage means etc.). Mechanized armor suit is a separate task a base for which is a mechanized ‘skeleton’. U.S. and Japanese experts are working on the matter. The concept is probably not optimum. In case of war against a technically developed enemy the most important thing can be infantry masking against modern reconnaissance and weapon homing facilities (night-vision devices, thermal cameras, surface survey sensors). In case of “Big War” many people will be drafted but not in a proper physical fit. Majority will not be able to fight clad in heavy army vests. A mass production of light protection is impossible due to lack of expensive aramid-based fabric. In such a case troops will wear camouflage suits like in the Great Patriotic War or even face unavailability of efficient masking facilities. Optimally every war type has its own personal protection kit but it seems irrational. Many enterprises are developing a modern multi-purpose infantry protection kit. PERSONAL PROTECTION KIT SELECTION GUIDELINE Not only military but other people have to individually choose protection kit from the products on the market. What and how to choose? In terms of efficiency, multi-purpose capability, little weight, low price and free sale the following kit may be recommended as infantry personal protection: Ballistic-proof armor vest with removable chest and back bulletproof panels; Antifragment armor helmet; Goggles (engineering, gunner); Camouflage cape, mittens and mask. A proper antifragment or bullet protection depends on the most probable means of destruction and may differ much according to op-

Pic.7 Location of hits among 286 Turkish soldiers injured during 3-day conflict 27-30/11/1950 erational theater and kit tactical purpose. To increase combat effectiveness a vest should have maximum antifragment surface area, be equipped with side, neck and shoulder protection elements. Armor panels should be removed during operations involving great physical load. During moderate intensity operations a chest armor panel may be only used. Soldiers should have both armor panels when on guard or mounted. It is preferable to equip a vest with ammunition pockets or “MOLLE”type unified pouch system (see pic. 5). Armored helmet is advisable to have a camouflage cover. Color pattern for vest external cover, camouflage cover for helmet and outfit should be the same, if possible. Camouflage kit consisting of cape, mittens and mask is designed to disguise a soldier in certain conditions. The kit color pattern is chosen according to operational theater and season. CONCLUSION Development of efficient body ramor is a difficult matter due to number of contradictory requirements and factors influencing combat effectiveness as well as im-

possibility to foresee future war nature. Meanwhile protective features are directly affected by scientific-and-technological advance in materials engineering and ballistics involving protective structures. Recently quite dynamic development of science and technology has been noticed in these fields. Supermolecular polyethylene and armor ceramics are finding ever-growing use, aramid-based structures are getting optimized, design and synthesis procedures are developing, and requirements for surface area and protection levels are being specified. Thus, a fast progress in protective means and new products can be foreseen. In this regard it is rather important to stay in touch with the past and understand protective means progress not to blindly follow fashion and advertisement, not to repeat old mistakes and rapidly meet modern military and technological situation requirements. The author is hoping this work will help a reader to have a new glance on protection issue in modern conditions. Vasiliy Smirnov




INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLE MEETING THE ‘BABY’ y getting to know and service with infantry fighting vehicle (BMP-3) appeared a bit awkward. At military school (Omsk Higher Combined Arms Command College) I had been taught to operate BMP-2 and BTR-80 (armored personnel carrier) and after the school the first machine to learn and use was BMP-3. Later during service in North Caucasian district I operated BMP-2 and afterwards fought using BMP-1 and BMP-1 based machines. Then again BMP-2 and at last my lovely BMP-3. At school weaponry department we used to learn BMP-3 arms system using only banners and pictures. I could only see the vehicle while standing guard at school vehicles depot and when it slipped by us towards a training range. Yet then I noticed how the vehicle moved across rough terrain. The body of the vehicle was floating in the air and only road wheels were touching all holes and bumps.



ARMS Defence Technologies Review

So after graduation and the first leave being a lieutenant I was assigned to motorized rifle regiment 228, motorized rifle division 85 in Novosibirsk. There I personally encountered BMP-3. Alexander Lozhkin, company commander who had graduated my school a year earlier took me to a depot and having shown the equipment said prosily, “These three vehicles are yours. There is nothing to fear, everything is as simple as that”. At the beginning it was too scary to approach this engineering masterpiece which was filled with electronics like a spaceship as my teachers used to say. But after closer look and getting to know within 20-30 minutes everything appeared quite clear. There is a saying, “All things are difficult before they are easy”. All buttons and triggers were pushed in correct sequence, all starting, arming, sighting and firing procedures happened to be clear. Half of all procedures which should be done in BMP-2 with a screwdriver and a special hook were

taken up by BMP-3. I felt a bit insulted. Why should I have learnt to quickly load munitions, hurt my hands? Now I have to only place a belt end into intake and push a button. After meeting it was time for depot works, preparation for field exercises during which I learnt my vehicle much closer. The great advantage was that all squad leaders, gunners and drivers were sergeants and instructors in a training unit. Factory teams working in the regiment on a constant basis facilitated a lot too. But that is enough about my service. Let us move onto the matter. EXPERT’S POINT OF VIEW Press experts keep on saying, “Crew is more important than hardware”. BMP-3 has a great disadvantage of having rear-mounted engine not like front-mounted M2 Bradley, other western IFV’s and Merkava tank which have an engine as an additional protection for crew and landing troops. One can keep on talking a lot about heavy IFV advantages, i.e. protection level, fire

RETROSPECTIVES power along with tanks… But probably we should see our own reasons… Why does Russian Army need IFV? To accomplish tasks assigned by armed forces applicability. I believe everybody will agree this. Then let us compare the conditions for tasks to be accomplished by our own motorized units but not Israeli and US forces. Russian Constitution, Defense Doctrine and other armed forces directives say that our army has to protect the country against external aggression and participate in domestic counter-terrorist operations as well as in peace-keeping missions according to international agreements within UN frameworks. Therefore, the main theater of operations for Russian armed forces is Russian territory and adjoining states territories. Based on geographic zones of our country we have to assume it is an amphibious IFV that we need which is capable of overcoming water obstacles. A heavy IFV is inappropriate for such a purpose. Israeli Defense Forces do not need amphibious IFV’s since its operational theater has little rivers. US Army infantry units operate IFV M2 Bradley which has initially limited swim capability. Recently US forces have operated in sands thus the further reduction of swim capability due to uparmoring is not a great problem for them. All the territory of Russia is crossed by rivers. I would like to ask experts, “Who of you operated BMP-1 (2) and BMP3? And not the test ride on a smooth surface but at least on an old broken tank-training area which had been used for IFV’s, tanks and selfpropelled artillery units within 3-4 months”, - I even will not ask them about mountain spurs, lacets, paddyfields dirt and clay. – “Who of them fired standard and hand weapons from BMP troop compartments?” I foresee the only answer – none. Those who drove BMP’s know the difference. That is why I am asking the question. Any, even inexperienced driver knows how BMP-1 and 2 wag the nose, how it is hard to drive not to get into a pit. Otherwise suspension may be damaged, torsional bars and balance-beams may be left along the

road or the vehicle can dive into a puddle. BMP-3 is another thing. Due to rear-mounted engine alignment and balance have improved. As well as it has better riding comfort due to double torsional bars in chassis. BMP-3 perfect riding comfort facilitates not only a driver but a gunner who now does not need to search a gap between jumps and dives. So he can fire easily even during movement upon rough terrain with bumps and pits. Gunner should not live by stabilizer alone. One more BMP-3 opposer’s argument is troops location and necessity to fully open the upper rear part to land troops above the engine. Let us see the matter from a practical point of view. First of all, troops feel themselves rather comfortably during extended vehicle march, they are located almost in BMP-3 center of mass that means that infantrymen do not shake like they do in front-mounted engine IFV where they sit on a long lever end. Ask any soldier how he feels during 100 hundred km long march sitting and rolling in a troop compartment along with rucksacks, weapons and neighbors. Besides, infantrymen were fast to learn how to use steps, handles and doors at the vehicle rear. At the very first tactical demonstration exercises conducted for the District Military Council I was surprised when soldiers during overcoming of mine-field did not run behind the vehicle along badly visible tracks on a dry ground but at once jumped onto the steps, grabbed the handles and so rode the mine-field gaps behind the vehicle’s rear protect-

ed by its armor. Speed of mine-field crossing has appeared three times faster than of crossing by foot following a vehicle. Risk of falling and stepping on a mine has reduced to zero. Secondly, escape through engine compartment is not harder than escape through tight rear doors or ramp. Thirdly, when acting in mountainwoody terrain (Chechen Republic) troops prefer to ride on vehicle body but not inside, compartment open hatches make up unique armored sides as a protection. Some BMP-3 critics place the blame on the vehicle creators for the infantrymen acting as bow machine gunners should land under enemy fire through upper hatches located in front. To respond the matter we should consider troop compartment capacity, infantry squad organization and establishment and attack tactics. BMP-3 was created during Soviet times for infantry squad of USSR armed forces. As to establishment the squad included: squad leader (vehicle commander), gunner, driver, machine-gunner, grenadier, assistant grenadier, senior rifleman and rifleman. Eight persons totally. Troop compartment can easily contain five or even six persons. Fighting compartment includes two persons (vehicle commander and gunner). Driving compartment includes three persons. It makes ten persons. There are two places free. Infantry squad personnel strength of Russian armed forces never exceeded eight persons. Let us now speak about tactics. There are two types of attack: against organized defense and hasty defense.

BMP-3 riding comfort is a head taller than BMP-2




If infantrymen prefer to ride on armor BMP-3 troop compartment open hatches make an additional protection

Drivers should be trained to fire bow machine gun (PKT) to kill an enemy


While attacking an organized defense, personnel dismounts and acts by foot supported by IFV. In case of hasty defense, attack against it is conducted without soldiers dismounting. Even with modern warfighting concept after breaching enemy’s defense all leading states focus on stealing a march on escape routes to prevent ordered retreat and establishing defenses on delay positions. Now we may summarize organization and establishment, capacity and tactics. In case of attacking organized defense all landing troops are located in troop compartment, but crew mount through upper hatches. Bow machine gunners places remain free. The bow machine guns get locked and controlled by a driver. If attack is to be conducted against a weaker enemy, without dismounting, than vehicle fire power is brought to the fore. In this case separately controlled PKT bow machine guns are necessary. During pursuit of the enemy and stealing a march to reach delay positions BMP important parameter is front and sideward firing capability without troops dismounting. Thus bow machine guns and capability of firing using portholes are as important as turret weapon fire. I do not know whether there are other IFV’s having such a perfect ability to use side portholes fire or not, but I know for sure that BMP-3 ability is a head taller than that of BMP-1 and 2.

ARMS Defence Technologies Review

I remember how we fired small arms from BMP-1 troop compartment. It was too difficult to aim and shoot at dancing target through a narrow glass sector. I told you before about running characteristics of BMP-1 and 2. When installing a rifle into BMP-3 porthole for the first time I was surprised there was no aiming and target observation window. It turned out that in this vehicle a soldier has no need to aim squeezing up against a rifle. An observation device is equipped with an aiming mark moving along with a weapon. After 5 minutes of exercises aiming mark crosshairs become steady on a target chosen. Combination of double torsional bars, rear alignment and troops located in center of mass of the vehicle ensures conducting of effective fire without necessity to hold a rifle and keep a target in-line simultaneously.

Firing through rear porthole is uncomfortable. Machine gunner should crawl into the tunnel, prepare a weapon in darkness and fire in such an enclosed position. But what is the situation to fire through rear porthole? If the vehicle with troops inside has been trapped by the enemy. In other words this porthole is to be used in case of emergency when tight space and darkness are not the point. However the main IFV armament is a turret gun. The most appropriate armament for such class vehicles is much argued about nowadays. There is an opinion that 30-40 mm caliber is enough. Others think it must be increased up to 57 mm or even be equipped with tank gun. This matter may be much spoken about but there is already an option combining a powerful 100 mm and a rapidfire 30 mm gun. This option is called “Bakcha” weapon station. 100-мм 2А70 gun, being an anti-tank guided missile launcher at the same time, is loaded with high-explosive (HE) projectiles and anti-tank (AT) guided missiles. Ballistic type switch has Р-100 position. Few people know that this function is designed to air burst a projectile approaching a target. This allows to fight enemy manpower on backslopes, in ditches, behind walls and in trenches as well as to conduct effective fire upon air targets. Let me tell you one story from my life just to describe perfect characteristics of BMP-3 fire control system. One of night shooting exercises my sergeant was reported from the tower he had made two overshoots (fire on the


2A70 gun 100 mm, BMP-3 main armament move with 100 mm gun upon a gun crew, which included an apron shield and five man-sized targets). The sergeant got angry and told he was going to destroy the lifting device with a third projectile. Senior range officer was aware of aftermath and cried out not to do it. Later during checking the fire results it was found out two shots had hit the shield center through and the third one hit right under the target base having broken the stand. BMP-3 is equipped with a 100 mm gun and a 30 mm 2A72 gun installed in parallel. Unlike more famous 2A42 the gun is reloaded through long barrel travel thus reducing noxious fumes level in a fighting compartment as well as creating greater impact distribution pattern allowing more effectively conduct fire upon fast low-flying air targets. The gun energy is sufficient to stop T-80 tank moving at full speed with a long burst. One can imagine what will happen inside the tank during such ‘slowdown’. After this ‘shower’ the tank turret loses all observation, aiming, firecontrol systems, active protection and anti-aircraft gun. The turret looks like a shaven skull. BMP-3 AT guided missile is fired by a launcher. To prepare Fagot and Konkurs AT guided missiles at BMP-1 and BMP-2 one had to get outside, insert a launcher into a line and then not using the main sight guide the missile towards a target. In case of BMP-3 a missile should only be rammed into a bore. A missile is guided through main sighting unit. The only advantage of the previous machines is the possibility of using a portable missile launcher. This could be good for BMP-3 as well.

Rear porthole is not good to conduct fire. But it is used only in emergency

In conclusion I would like to speak on PKT bow machine gun. It is really difficult for a driver to operate the vehicle and conduct aiming fire during battle. But the other machines do not have such capability at all. Time after time it happened that a driver saw a target but riflemen did not. At the same time a gunner was firing at another target. Even just a single burst towards the target makes it marked and disturbs its aiming fire. It is not so easy to aim proper when you are under two machine guns fire. However two bow machine guns are not just used to shock but to mainly destroy an enemy. Drivers should train to fire bow machine guns. Therefore training and gunnery course should include appropriate exercises and proper instruction methods. Now let us return to BMP-3 configuration and try to learn how front-mounted engine structure influences troops and crew protection level. A fuel tank installed in the front end of BMP-3 is equipped with partition walls and floats absorbing vibrations of fuel. Protected walls prevent its detonation. In case armor is pierced the tank receives all shock. If a tank is replaced by engine which should protect people how long will a crew live? A vehicle which lost mobility and electric supply due to engine damage has only several seconds before being demolished on a battle field. BMP-3 with a fuel tank damaged and one of crew killed can defend itself, escape risk of being struck and produce a smokescreen to disguise itself and troops. Increase in IFV life, its capability to fight till the end make it possible to save people’s lives but not win several seconds at the cost of vehicle life.

BMP-3 TROUBLES ARE ALL RUSSIAN ARMY TROUBLES During service I heard many blames on BMP-3 from officers. When I asked about service term with this vehicle it was suddenly found out that no one even was familiar with it. All talks about great complexity and field irrepairability of BMP-3 are based on words of third persons. Such talks were heard in our military school in 80’s-90’s. However I have never heard a bad word about complexity from the officers of motorized infantry regiment 228. Drivers drafted from farms and mines repairing engines never said it could be impossible to repair it. Conscripts easily learn how to operate the equipment; the point is that they have to be trained well every day. Easily-operated vehicle must be used by well-trained personnel. Then it will show itself in the best light. Records of 326 failures made within 2 years at infantry brigade have shown that 99% were failures due to personnel fault. Very often inexperienced and badly-trained operators try to shuffle off the blame onto vehicle. Who is to blame? There are no training units for service technicians to maintain BMP-3. Infantry brigade does not have a single battery assembler though low battery is the main problem included in the troubleshooting guide let alone the fact cadets are still being taught to operate BMP-2 and BTR-80 at military schools. During making photos for the article I asked a lieutenant about his impressions. The answer was, ‘Still not sure. We didn’t study the vehicle at school and here I just made a test ride in summer. That’s 3(70).2013



Early production vehicles had rangefinder transceiver installed over a barrel. It should have been adjusted after each route march all’. After all it was winter time when I asked him. On the one hand Army has been released from unnatural functions. All repairs were to be made by factory units. On the other hand by all this a soldier has been deprived of the opportunity to work with equipment on a daily basis. To work personally but not looking at pictures in a classroom. A driver has turned into an ordinary rider not capable of anything but pushing pedals and steering. As a matter of fact the most effective technical training is repairs made under specialist supervision. Senior technicians are sergeants now. And who is sergeant? A sergeant is a conscript having no sufficient experience in equipment maintenance. Thus where do we find senior technicians if all repairs are performed by factory teams? As time passes vehicles get older and out of factory warranty. Military personnel are not able to repair them. That is the problem of outsourcing. Once I commanded an integrated platoon of training vehicles after that was in command of an integrated company of BMP-3 at Shilovo training range. The actual missions of the units included repairs, recovery and preparation of the vehicles for exercises. The first thing I had to do was to study under drivers and artillery mechanics. It was later when I could myself without seeing an engine tell any soldier what had happened and what 42

ARMS Defence Technologies Review

he should have done. But at the beginning I was a student myself. I am not ashamed of saying this. I asked help from soldiers and sergeants, consulted with officers, bothered factory units workers. Nothing to be ashamed of. As you can see I used to study under conscript soldiers but not military professionals thus showing their training level. Like any other equipment BMP-3 has its disadvantages. But is there any machinery without problems at all? The main complaint against vehicle structure was the following: rangefinder transceiver was installed over gun barrel. Thus it should have been readjusted after each route march before being prepared to fire. However now old BMP-3 is being replaced with upgraded BMP-3 having transceivers installed upon turret armor, on the right-side of a gun. Initially BMP-3 should have had variable clearance but the structure appeared to be weak and was a permanent failure. That is why it was first locked and dismounted afterwards. Till now the vehicle still is not equipped with variable clearance mechanism which could increase shooting accuracy upon rugged terrain, improve crosscountry capacity and provide capability for hideout behind ground features. All this could be used to improve fire power potential and survivability on battle ground. Engineering set-up of loading gear for 2A70 100 mm gun has not still been optimized. The set-up (M3) is called “Serial” mode and allows ramming a shell into a bore without pushing M3 button. The point is that in such a mode a shell tong gets driven inward causing stoppage. Besides, it is still unclear whether we need such a

mode. I believe it is not quite essential, and sometimes the “Serial” set-up may do more harm than good, for example when you need to fire another shell but not that loaded in a gun. Anyway active military units do not use this mode at all. On the other hand it is good that there are some changes made in manual-operated system for 2A72 gun 30 mm. Mechanism location and handle are improved. However loading gear is not the main problem for BMP-3. The first in place is the starter which failure rate for some reason or other leaves far behind high pressure fuel pump and hydrostatic drive failures. There are some other small technical features puzzling personnel. For example, there are two ducts connected to oil and coolant tanks and located under the engine. They can be accessed via a special door but to replace oil line one should first disconnect coolant system duct and drain coolant. We are happy that Kurgan factory considers army’s opinion and tries to improve the vehicle by taking out defects even as insignificant as switches or instruments location. For example it was inconvenient to operate gunner sighting unit ballistic switch when using a sight. Now vehicle is equipped with a new sighting unit which has no ballistic switch. The switch is installed on the left of a turret ring in such a way that a soldier can easily find and switch it while observing a battle field at the same time. Sighting unit has a periscope with a wider search area than that of a sight. Earlier the vehicle had another problem. During long-term storage oil flowed into engine cylinders that could cause hydraulic impact.

RETROSPECTIVES Now BMP-3 has a reversible oil pump pumping out oil into a tank first and discharging it into a system afterwards. Engine failure due to this reason is no more a case. The only wish that new gunners have is a more powerful sight. Gun firing range is limited by sighting device. ‘We need a sight like they have on tanks’. Defense Ministry new authorities have made a decision to increase technical training hours and to restitute maintenance units in brigades. Till now factory units have been remedying such troubles like oil leakage, coolant leakage, fuse burnt replacement etc. Quarter of defects in troubleshooting guide is made up of such insignificant problems that could be solved by any trained driver. I can hardly imagine if in the old days a driver tried to ask for some factory specialist’s help to replace a fuse. He then would have been at least laughed at. Shall we wait for factory representatives during battle? There are indeed many BMP-3 breakdowns. But let us see into the problem. The first cause, as I said, is a low training level of personnel and lack of daily exercises in equipment maintenance and operation. The second cause is intensive driving exercises. But low technical competence is still there. There is lack of required maintenance during IFV operation in training and combat units. Vehicles are operated in heavy-duty mode till they break down. They are then replaced by vehicles from combat units. Indeed they break down too. The third is that except equipment of training and combat unit there are antiterrorist teams, company and battalion tactical teams included in big military units (especially in NorthCaucasian military district). Besides, all equipment for these teams must be in good condition and must not contain training vehicles. There is a necessity to reassign machines to make up tactical teams. Shall a temporary operator care for his new equipment? That is the cause for burnt fuses, low batteries, bent microswitches, oil leaks and other problems leading to equipment break-

down. First released BMP-3’s came to the brigade from Moscow military district units where they had been operated since 1990. They are first to break. It is not the vehicle we should blame. It is fault of those people who made such decisions. How can be equipment repaired and maintained without having necessary spare parts? There must be certain people in charge of spare parts required for units to order them, make records of troubles, works done and parts replaced. However due to ‘management system optimization’ only one armor service chief remained in units. He alone cannot be at different places and do any works appropriate at the same time. I am afraid if I go on telling all things negatively effecting BMP-3 image, the article will become a description of army problems. The vehicle is full of great future development potential. In particular it is easily involved in network centric management system. It is sufficient to supply the vehicle with proper data receipt and exchange devices, navigation and telecommunications. The interior space is enough for such purpose. Yet a 100 mm high power guided missile with increased firing range, 100 mm high power high-explosive unguided projectile with increased firing range and 30 mm high power armorpiercing sub-caliber shell have been designed. Unavailability of a proper sight does not allow increasing firing range for Arkan missile up to 5500 m, and 100 mm high-explosive shell up to 7000 m. There is some progress in improving BMP-3 protection. It can be equipped with active armor and breakers for remote explosion means. If there is a need to make an integrated base for different weapon systems location BMP-3 will manage it perfectly. Assault anti-tank weapon “Chrysantema”, SPTO “Sprut” and armored reconnaissance vehicle “Rys” have been developed on its base. Yet there is a possibility to mount “Nona” and “Vena”, various configuration antiaircraft weapons, multiple rocket system guides. Is there any tested base-platform outtopping BMP-3 and its foreign one-class machines? By no means.

“Kurganecz” machine is under development now. Efforts to put BMP on wheels is foredoomed to failure since wheels are inferior to caterpillar drive in terms of cross-country capacity. This option is acceptable in Arabian and Asian sand regions but not in dirt, clay and bad roads. Shall we quit the vehicle which we know still little about in order to please a new but not tested project? Probably we should make industrial orders for a modernized BMP-3 with increased protection and fit to fight day and night in modern warfare conditions. Then there will be time, means and capabilities to further develop new IFV outtopping all others in the world. All we need is to wait for military science opinion about which and what for do Russian armed forces need infantry fighting vehicle. Afterwards I believe engineering concepts will not be found wanting. Boris Korotkov


With army men wishes in mind new BMP-3 has a transceiver relocated




Compas MDB Deputy director general Michael Pestrakov at the Exibition IDEF-2013

IN THE WORLD OF HIGH-TECH & SPACE NAVIGATION The Compas MDB is an up-to-date research & production enterprise majoring in development and manufacture of consumer professional equipment for high-precision navigation operated by signals of GPS/ GLONASS satellite navigation systems (GALILEO & GAGAN). he company has a rich history starting from 1918, when the Soviet government issued a decree on establishing a plant for manufacturing telegraph devices. Compass MDB created the first ever powerful (for that time) transmit-receive airborne radio station of up-to 5,000 km operational range, which provided the record-breaking flight, Moscow - North Pole –Vancouver, by Valery Chkalov’s crew aboard ANT-25 between 18 and 20 July 1937. In 1948, Compas Design Bureau was detached to become an independent structure dealing with the development of navigation and communication equipment.



ARMS Defence Technologies Review

When developing hardware, the staff of Compas MDB relies on the most upto-date technologies, for the company mainly specializes in supplying products for aviation and rocket-and-space facilities. In the 1970s, the digital signal processing techniques were largely used in the enterprise’s innovative developments. Those techniques helped to dramatically reduce the weight, size and power consumption of the hardware, and to create: For the Air Force – A-723 radio navigation receiver-indicator which operated with Alpha and Omega ground radio navigation phase systems of global coverage, as well as with pulse phase systems, including Chaika and Loran-S; For the Navy –

Mars-75 multi-frequency phase radio navigation system designated for supporting ship navigation, executing hydrographic and operational works, as well as servicing flights of aircraft at speeds not exceeding 1,000 km/h. The GLONASS, GPS and GALILEO global satellite navigation systems are subject to active radio interference, due to the low strength of signals emitted by space vehicles. On the horizon of earth surface, they are 40 decibels weaker than natural radio noises. Taking into account the imperatives of our era, the hardware is being worked out for aviation and guided weapon systems, and the research and development works are going on to enable the accomplishment of combat tasks in the environment polluted by enemy radio electronic countermeasures. To jam the new equipment, an enemy would need jamming stations of such a high capacity that would make them easily discoverable and vulnerable for destruction by appropriate means. The enhancement of digital components of navigation hardware allows minimizing the share of analogous devices. When the hardware is mounted on different vehicles, their capabilities have to be modified in conformity with specific tasks and parameters of a vehicle. In terms of analogous equipment, it would mean serious problems of adaptation, up to restarting the development cycle. For the digital equipment, in most cases it is enough to update the software, thus obtaining new qualities of the product. In order to enable efficient execution of all the above mentioned procedures before mounting a product in vehicles, the satellite navigation system simulator, modeling GLONASS/GPS/GALILEO/ GAGAN, has been developed. The development of the satellite navigation system simulator turned to be a complex task, with the use of most modern techniques of digital signal processing. The range of the functions fulfilled by the simulator in the industrial and research field is very broad. It includes, for example, definition of technical solutions at the stage of consumer navigation equipment (CNE) development, adjustment and settings, the assessment of work quality during the production process at the manufacturing plant, issues of incoming inspection and periodical checks during the CNE life cycle, training technical staff in operat-

MACHINE ENGINEERENG TECHNOLOGIES ing it, conducting a complex of scientific and laboratorial researches, as well as inline simulation with the goal of defining a place for mounting the CNE in the vehicle, including highly dynamic systems, working out scenarios of CNE-mounting vehicle movement in the prescribed trajectories with the consideration of complex impacts of atmosphere, ionosphere (radio wave propagation conditions), and use of a priori and a posteriori information on the location of satellites in the space grouping at a certain time period. The A-737 basic product (airborne GLONASS/GPS satellite radio navigation systems receiver-indicator) was developed in the 1980s, primarily for the military aviation. Today, the products of this series are mounted almost in all the aircraft. The purpose of our equipment is to define the position vector of an aircraft, i.e. three location constituents, three velocity constituents, and to receive the exact time reading, since the use of satellite navigation enables to tie to the unified time system. The A-737 product provides the basis for several modifications which support additional functions and enhance the product capabilities in precision of position finding. For instance, the A-737I product brings together the capabilities of satellite navigation and navigation based on terrestrial pulse and phase radio systems. Such a technological solution is due to the fact that the interference resistance of receiver-indicators of satellite navigation systems is not very high, and as for the signals of pulse-phase systems, it is much more difficult to jam them. In combat environment the use of two-system equipment would largely enhance the capabilities of combat operations when enemy uses electronic countermeasures. The next modification is A-737D, which supports differential operation mode. The results of navigational measurements defined by the satellite navigation systems’ receiver-indicators contain errors. One of them is related to the inaccuracy of data about the space vehicle movement parameters (ephemeral information). Since the distance is measured from the vehicle to space vehicles, and such distances are used for calculating the vehicle’s position, the precision of the whole system depends on the accuracy of definition of space vehicle position. The second error is relat-

ed to the fact that the signal emitted by the space vehicle goes through the ionosphere, troposphere, where it is refracted and twisted, and, therefore, the measured distance to the space vehicle proves to be inaccurate. To get rid of these errors, especially when high precision in position finding is required, for example, in the guided weapons operational employment, the differential errorcorrections are used. These corrections are formed by the terrestrial segment of the system, enabling to increase the precision to single meters, which is essential for destroying pin-point targets. Compass MDB currently deals with the issues of development and production of radio navigation systems in various lines: small size automatic direction finders for all aircraft of military and civil aviation (ARK-32, ARK-35, ARK-40); a series of A-737 aviation receiver-indicators for the high precision position finding of different vehicles by GLONASS/GPS satellite navigation system signals (GALILEO in the long run) and terrestrial radio navigation pulse-phase and phase systems; products for ground-supported trajectory measurements of boosters, upper-stage rockets and space vehicles (disposable load); map-enabled navigation pads, providing the planning and execution of flights on air-routes and any prescribed routes out of the air routes, as well as the aircraft special employment tasks, operates with signals of GLONASS/GPS satellite navigation systems; equipment of navigational medium formation: local system of differential error-corrections, retransmitter of satellite signals; instrument-guided landing system for aircraft (helicopters) onto aircraft carriers and unequipped loading sites; portable receiver-indicator for the personal use of signals of GLONASS/ GPS satellite navigation systems (GALILEO in the long run); a number of aerials of different purposes; dedicated jam resistant consumer navigation equipment operating with GLONASS/GPS satellite navigation systems for aircraft of all kinds and purposes;


ARK-35-1 08



monitoring, security and centralized control systems for rail transport; dedicated navigation equipment for the control systems of automobile transport. We have successfully created such system. Its main difference from the standard systems is that it operates in the mode of relative navigation. That is, when the system is activated, the aircraft ‘ties’ itself to the center of landing pad of the ship. And wherever the ship was going, and whatever was the helicopter movement, its position is always defined relating to the center of the helipad. We expect that the successful test results open up new alternatives of using the system in civil industries. Today, the topical issue is providing the helicopter communication with shelf-based drilling plates, ensuring flights of deck-based aviation of the icebreaking fleet, scientific research ships and other sea vessels. In 1996, the plant created navigation means providing ground-supported trajectory measurements for products of rocket-and-space industry: boost3(70).2013



115184, Moscow, Bolshaya Tatarskaya st., 35 bld. 5 Tel: (495) 953-03-21; Fax: (495) 953-26-22 E-mail:




Вussol radiostation

OPDI ers, rockets, upper-stage engines and disposable load. The equipment functions very efficiently and reliably in rocket-andspace vehicles and is demanded by rocket manufacturers. Apart from other reasons, the demand for such equipment is explained by the need for high-precision control of trajectory parameters. There is no secret that the rocket, when deviating from the trajectory beyond the admissible limits, has to be destroyed. Since the creation and maintenance of terrestrial complexes of ground-supported trajectory measurements is a very expensive activity, the use of satellite navigation equipment facilitates the task significantly. Perfect results of satellite navigation use in precision weapon systems especially in air-launched weapons such as correcting air bombs raised a question of firing accuracy improvement for cannon artillery. Therefore, in order to improve command and control component during combat – various navigation boards have been developed. This equipment allowed build up the system of communications at the level of MESH-technologies with data transmission within 500 m network area with possibility of orders, alphabetic/digital data reception/ transmission, target image reception/processing as well as coordinate data transmission for its entering into airlaunched weapons and precision weapon systems. So “Boussole” radio set was developed for navigation board’s network operation support that capable to provide data transmission in protected mode.The obtained high results in the use of satellite navigation in the high-precision weapons, namely aviation weapons, primarily, the correctable 48

ARMS Defence Technologies Review

aviation bombs, lead to the fire accuracy enhancement, in the context of cannon artillery. The new trend in the context of diversification of company’s product mix is the development of search and rescue system with the use of GLONASS/GPS equipment. The above-mentioned system will help significantly reduce time for search and rescue of those in distress as well as improve the search operations efficiency. It is notable that the existing systems do not allow appropriately performing the set tasks. A search and rescue operation begins with reception of distress message which can appear as a signal of distress received or vehicle’s fallout from the radar’s screen or missing radio contact for a certain period. After establishing the fact of distress, it is necessary to find the location of those suffering distress with the sufficient accuracy for rescue groups to contact those in distress directly. For the sake of accomplishment of search and rescue tasks, fast and effective coordination of actions of the search and rescue forces, the two-way information exchange between them and those in distress is required to decrease the detection time and reduce the duration of search and rescue operations. Impossibility of such information exchange should be considered as one of the main drawbacks of the existing systems. In order to remove the mentioned shortcomings of the system, the space system of search and rescue is now under development. It envisages two-way data exchange between the distressed and rescue services. The system being developed is comprised of three segments: the space segment is represented by navigation space vehicles of GLONASS/GPS satellite navigation systems, as well as satellites of global communication systems; the user segment includes emergency radio buoys designed both for being mounted to mobile vehicles (ARB) and for the personal use (ARB-N). There is also a tendency for using radio beacons in certain fixed installations, with the purpose of sending warning signals in critical conditions (for example, in case of ecological or other emergencies); the control system consists of the Unified Coordination Center (UCC),

which collects information about emergencies observed, and a network of regional command and control posts. UCC functions include the monitoring of the whole system too. The emergency radio buoys define their positions through GLONASS/GPS navigation signals. When simultaneously using two global satellite positioning systems, the probability of finding exact position of ARB increases much. An emergency message formed in ARB is delivered to UCC through the radio channel of global satellite communication systems. The emergency message contains ARB’s identifier, the exact position of the ARB at the time of sending emergency signal or message, the accident time and the accident characteristic. UCC forms a response (acknowledgment) to the received emergency message; it goes to the distressed ARB through the channel of global communication systems. This system does not require development of the communication system, since there is a possibility of using the formerly developed and currently operating global satellite communication systems which allow not only organizing a twoway communication channel, but allweather and round-the-clock radio communication. The main advantage is that there are no interruptions in the communication sessions. Therefore, the information about the distressed will be delivered to UCC within the minimum time. The use of the two-way data exchange will enable the fast and effective coordination of actions of search-andrescue teams and those in distress; therewith, the distressed will be informed that their distress signal has been detected and the search-and-rescue services have initiated a rescue operation. The enterprise’s future plans are related with improvement of the radio navigation equipment, increase of the interference resistance, integration with other navigation systems, precise control of airdropped loads, logistics navigation systems and complexes of transport communications, navigation products of general usage. Mikhail Pestrakov, Commercial Director, Director for Special Projects and Special Missions at Compass MDB, OJSC

Arms 4(71)2013  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you