The methods of the Russian commander of the operation in Ukraine to neutralize the anti-aircraft defenses of kyiv.
Published on 14.12.2022
Unlike many ground troop generals, even in NATO, the Russian commander in Ukraine, Russian General Sergei Surovikin is self-taught. He has forged a military vision for the 21st century, in which the advantages of the aerospace sphere should not be overlooked. That’s why he surprises everyone with the most modern methods. Obtaining air supremacy over the whole of Ukrainian territory by neutralizing anti-aircraft defenses is now one of General Sergei Surovikin’s priorities.
Let’s see how he goes about tackling this problem.
NATO state commands that follow the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine in detail have observed many changes in combat methods over the past two months.
For example, since the appointment of General Sourovikin to the post of commander of the special operation, Geran kamikaze drones operate alone or simultaneously with naval and air cruise missiles. But only at night and only if there are no clouds in the sky.
The reason for this is easy to suspect if one recalls that on December 1, the Soiuz-2.1b spacecraft carrying a heavy advanced military satellite was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome. This is the second multi-sensor military satellite of this type launched since the start of the special operation.
First, we need to understand that Ukraine’s critical infrastructure targets are not in rural areas, but around major cities. Long and medium range Ukrainian AA missile batteries defend large cities and are deployed on their outskirts. Ukraine is warned of Russian cruise missile launches by NATO AWACS aircraft. The latter also permanently transmit to the Ukrainian military the position of the targets evolving in the airspace.
This allows the radars of the Ukrainian missile batteries to work only for a few minutes, that is, when the targets come within range, while the AA missiles have them in their sights. This complicates strikes against Ukrainian radar antennas with Kh-31 anti-radar missiles from Russian aircraft, due to the long distance.
Meanwhile, from orbit, the Russian military’s ELINT (Electronic INTelligence) satellites are doing their job. The Ukrainian radar broadcast is received by the satellite and allows the coordinates of the AA battery’s radar antenna to be determined. However, the missile battery has 6-8 mobile launchers with 4 missiles, located up to 1 km from the radar. Military reconnaissance satellites are equipped with infrared and ultraviolet sensors, and work best at night when the sky is clear, to detect the trail of the AA missile as soon as it is launched. This makes it possible to determine the position of each battery launcher thanks to the drag of the missile launch. Once these positions are known, they are constantly monitored by another military satellite, the one equipped with a radar. Even if the launchers are hidden in buildings, the satellite radar can “see” through 20-30 cm of concrete. Changes in position of AA rocket launchers do not go unnoticed by the radar satellite. And the Russian military is planning strikes on the AA launchers soon after their discovery. It is therefore not surprising that the daily press releases of the Russian Ministry of Defense mention the destruction of 1-2 Ukrainian AA missile launchers or radars per day.
But NATO continues to deliver more and more AA rocket batteries to Ukraine, so even more military reconnaissance satellites will be put into orbit by Russia.
By Valentin Vasilescu : Military expert. Former deputy commander of the Otopeni military airport in Romania.
Sources : Politros; translation Avic – International Network