Can be quite unsafe practices based 1st conflict and extrapolate it into a "universal truth." Earlier this year, British Strategic Defense and Security Review took the operational template operations in Afghanistan and has made it common for all future transactions. Is it possible to remove, or how many important lessons from Operation Unified Protector, the NATO mission to protect Libyan civilians and rebels persons during nedavneshney civilian war?
It would be rash to assert that military actions have shown all the bad side of readiness NATO and its European allies. About 80% of all in-flight refueling were given the U.S. Air Force, which seems shocked some observers. Not impressive by the fact that apart from England and France, Europe can lift into the air, only two 10-ka air tankers. One of the problems with the Unified Protector was that England has reduced its own fleet of air tankers and writing off an old VC10s Tristars to substitute them with new transport tankers Airbus A330 Voyager. At the same time, the French navy air tankers was smallish but easily accessible, although programm its modernization was approved in the 2012 budget. If both of these applets have been implemented in full then the "tanker gap" would be the smallest discrepancy.
NATO also relies heavily on U.S. aid in the task of suppression of enemy air defenses. So it was in the decades and seems unlikely situation will change for the last time. Lack of appropriate combat search and rescue aircraft indicated the existence of difficulties related to setting goals aircraft in the depths of the Sahara desert, a potential location for a touchdown downed pilots.
The modernization of the Air Force for the last 10 years, in the end it proved itself in action. The fact that almost every plane could carry a combined load (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance), together with a full range of weapons has permitted to spend even more adaptable and flexible operations carried out in comparison with 1990. Indeed, some air forces are already exploring the ability of European Air Force to do complex tasks over Libya in the main without ground control. Before the operation Unified Protector has been widely prevalent worldview based on the experience of fighting in Afghanistan consists in the fact that the complex air strikes may be carried out only in the presence of target designation of the land. Military operation in Libya a few changed this perception.
Preliminary studies indicate that even with today's dependency on electrical surveillance USA (Royal Air Force receive three new aircraft Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint), European intelligence abilities were much bolshennymi than previously thought. Swedish mounted reconnaissance system deployed on fighter Saab JAS 39 Gripen struck observers image quality and sensitivity of its own. Designed by Thales Areos Reco NG container used by French fighter Dassault Rafale F3, also showed dramatic results. Royal air force had the opportunity to use to be written off because of budget cuts Sentinel R1 Astor (airborne radar) from Raytheon and Raptor (Reconnaissance hinged container for Tornado) production Goodrich. No one noted the lack of relevant intelligence disk imaging, even without significant U.S. support.
Also impressive is the set of tools used Air Force. France is widely used massive bomb Sagem AASM (225 were dropped), while England used a more flexible set of tools. The main instrument of Tornado GR4 were 500-pound bombs Paveway IV laser / GPS-guided company Raytheon. Were dropped more than 700 such bombs. Although they are used in Afghanistan since 2008, in Libya, they have been used against more a wide range of purposes. As used spare missile MBDA Dual-Mode Brimstone. Initially designed as an armor-piercing, it has been upgraded by laser-guided, together with millimetric radar that gave life to this latest weapons.
One of the qualities of the operation Libya to note is the speed with which France and Britain organized a strike operations bolshennom away from their own territory. Immediately after the political solutions they were able to kill a number of strategic and tactical objectives in all areas of Libya. Structures and systems underlying the Air Force base of both countries, of course have a lot of positive internal abilities allowed to reach such of success.
The question of naval support to the agenda of the day or returned to England and France. Warships of the Royal Navy released more 240 caliber projectiles including a 4.5-inch high-explosive and illumination shells. It involved several artillery units are also "technical" groups. Although the Royal Navy ships and naval support provided Royal Marines landing on Preserving the Al Faw peninsula in south-eastern Iraq in 2003, this possibility has not been used in practice and remained only in words. Libya's experience indicates that there is a new enthusiasm to the guns of the latest generation caliber 5 inches for Type 26 frigates Global Combat Ship in providing support to maritime operations.
French ships of the Navy, meanwhile, fired more than 3,000 rounds of 100-mm and 76-mm guns in support of maritime operations. It says it may be required more than the smallest caliber projectiles to merit the same effect as a more languid shells.
Although both countries have made it in and held, Libya may become a point of breakthrough for England and France in the deployment and use of attack helicopters from the sea. England has deployed five platforms Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow, and France 10 EC 665 Tigers made Eurocopter. Results of implementation are still being evaluated, but it is entirely possible that this introduction will not be a one-off, and later quickly become the norm. In the future, Europeans will need more training, more power and more of the costs of tests to perfect such type of operations, but the effect of this operation is essentially eclipsed all expectations.
If there are many lessons to be extracted, then most of them are in the area of common sense. Cancel strategy, methods and procedures are relevant and necess
ary to the happiness of air operations of NATO forces, they honed these acts during the 2-decades, from the no-fly zones in Iraq, through operations in the Balkans and again in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet it should be of concern that countries such as England and France, each of which has a 250-300 combat aircraft, were able to consistently deploy only 25 cars or so. Probably both standard aircraft is deployed in Afghanistan, but the number of combat readiness of the aircraft, even taking into account based on Russian airfields quite impressive. In this regard, the formation of an air force frisky response should be the subject of consideration by all parties to the conflict.
Of course one thing: Operation Unified Protector is not a paradigm of at least some future war or a brilliant template for subsequent operation. It reminded many that not every operation has a land component, but most of the lessons learned confirm what was so clear before. This in itself is useful because it indicates that the presence of well-equipped, well-trained, well-managed and well-supported forces even easier to cope with sudden situations than those without such a force.
In the end, if we compare the operation Unified Protector with NATO operation in Afghanistan, namely, from the standpoint of implementation of aviation, it is possible to behold, that there is more than 1 method of conducting air operations.