In the crosshairs of a soulless mechanism

In the crosshairs of a soulless mechanism

Marines in Iraq with the third generation anti-tank complex "Dart» (FGM-148 Javelin). Homing device "captures" the infrared image of the target, and the warhead explodes on impact with the armor. Photo: Sgt Mauricio Campino, USMC

The modern instrument requires less man in the conduct of combat

The development of military technology has led to the emergence of an opponent who is incapable of thinking, but take it as a bit of solutions second. Knows no pity and never takes no prisoners, pounding almost without fail — but not always able to distinguish their own from strangers …

It all started with a torpedo …

And … if exact, it all started with the task accuracy of shooting. And no, not a rifle, and even artillery. Was the question squarely before the XIX century explorers who faced with a situation where they are very expensive "torpedoes" were wide of the mark. This is understandable: they were moving very slowly, and the enemy is not standing still, waiting. Maneuver the ship for a long time been the most reliable way to protect against torpedo gun.

Naturally, with the acceleration of torpedoes to dodge them getting more difficult because a great part of the forces designers squandered specifically for it. But why not go the other way and not try to adjust course have to move around a torpedo? Asked the question, known inventor Thomas Edison (Thomas Alva Edison, 1847-1931) in conjunction with the least-known Sims Winfield (Winfield Scott Sims, 1844), presented in 1887, the e-torpedo, which links the mine to the ship four wires. The first two — feed her engine, and the second — were used to control the rudders. The idea, however, was not a new one, try to design something similar before, but torpedo Edison-Sims was the first taken into service (U.S. and Russia) and moves the mass production of remote-controlled weapon. In this case, it was only one drawback — the power cable. What's all the same to thin wire management, that they are now used in most modern types of weapons, for example in anti-tank missile (ATGM).

In the crosshairs of a soulless mechanism

Russian anti-tank missile system "Fagot". Adopted in 1970. Wire-guided missile, it can proparhat to 2 km and hit the target, move at a speed of not more than 60 km / h

All the same wire length limits "target range" of such projectiles. This dilemma at the very beginning of the XX century, a broker decide not peaceful radio. Russian inventor Popov (1859-1906), as well as the Italian Marconi (Guglielmo Marconi, 1874-1937), came up with something that allows people to talk among themselves, and not to kill each other. But, as you know, science does not always allow yourself to pacifism, as it is driven by military orders. In the middle of the inventors of the first radio-controlled torpedoes were Nikola Tesla (Nikola Tesla, 1856-1943) and the eminent French physicist Edouard Branly (Édouard Eugène Désiré Branly, 1844-1940). And while their offspring quickly reminded submerged in water propelled boat with add-ons and antennas, the very method of control appliances via radio signal was, without exaggeration, a revolutionary invention! Children's toys and unmanned aircraft, car alarms and remote controlled from the ground gallakticheskie devices — all offspring of those awkward machines.

Still, even these torpedoes, even remotely, but were aiming person — which at times characterized miss. Delete the "human factor" CONTRIBUTE thought homing weapon that can seek out the purpose and without the help of others to maneuver it without the human role. At first this idea was expressed in a mind-blowing works of literature. But the war between man and machine did not have a fantasy even earlier than we think.

Vision and hearing electric sniper

Over the past 20 years, the U.S. Army has participated four times in the big local conflicts. And every time they started to transform, by means of television, in a typical show, creating a positive image of the achievements of American engineering. High-precision instrument, guided bombs, without the help of others finding target missiles, unmanned spy planes, control the fight with orbiting satellites — all of this was to shake the imagination of ordinary people and prepare them for new military spending.

But the Americans were not in the original. Propagation of different "miracle weapons" in the twentieth century — a commonplace thing. It is extensively conducted in the 3rd Reich: although the Germans did not have the technical ability to remove its application, well respected and secrecy, they, too, could boast of different technologies — which looked even more unusual for long. And radio-controlled bomb PC-1400X was not far the most impressive of them.

In the crosshairs of a soulless mechanism

Storage torpedoes the British Army since the second world war. Photo: OSS from the collection of the State Archives of the United States

First, the second world war in a massive collision with the royal navy, defending British Islands, the German Luftwaffe and the U-Boat Waffen carried languid loss. Enhanced anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weapons, supplemented by the latest technology, making the British ships more secure, and means and more than unsafe targets. But the German engineers began working on this discrepancy before it occurs. Since 1934, they pored over the creation of a torpedo T-IV «Falke», which had a passive acoustic homing (its layout was developed earlier in the USSR), reacting to the sound of propellers ship. How and more than perfect TV «Zaunkonig», it was designed to increase the accuracy of shooting — which was especially important when launching torpedoes carried out at long range, a non-hazardous for the submarine or in the criteria of a complex maneuver battlefield. For the same aircraft in 1942, was created Hs-293, which has become, in fact, the first anti-ship cruise missile. There is a strange-looking design was dropped from the aircraft a few miles from the ship, out of the acts of its anti-aircraft guns, overclocked engine and meant to target, controlled by radio.

The gun looked impressive for its time. But his performance was not great: the target were only 9% of homing torpedoes, and only about 2% of the administered rocket bombs. These inventions have achieved profound improvements than after the war and took up the victorious allies.

Still, specifically rocket and jet cannon second world, starting with the "Katyusha" and ending with huge V-2 was the basis for the development of new systems that became the basis of all modern arsenals. Why exactly is the rocket? Did not their only advantage in the range of flight? Maybe they were elected for the upcoming development to the same as the designers have seen in these "aerial torpedo&quot
; is the best option for creating managed in-flight projectile. And at first this handy tool to combat aircraft — taking into account that the aircraft is a high-speed maneuvering target.

However, to do it on the wire, keeping the goal in sight of their own eyes, as the German Ruhrstahl X-4, it was unreal. This method is still rejected by the Germans themselves. Fortunately for the human eye even before the war have invented a good substitute for — a radar station. Electrical pulse sent in a certain direction, vorachivalsya reflected from the target. By the time delay of the reflected pulse can be measured by the distance to the goal, and the change of the carrier frequency — the speed of its movement. In air defense systems S-25, in 1954, he joined the Russian army weapons, missiles controlled by the radio and control commands were calculated from the difference coordinates of the missile and target, the measured radar. Two years later came the big-name C-75, which was not only able to "lead" directly 18-20 goals, and has good mobility — it can be relatively rapidly move from place to place. Rockets this particular set of spy plane was shot down Powers, and then "filled up" hundreds of U.S. aircraft in Vietnam!

In the crosshairs of a soulless mechanism

South American anti-radar missile, "Shrike» (AGM-45 Shrike) at the time of the meeting with the radar. Photo: US Navy

In the process of improving the missile guidance radar systems are divided into three types. Semi-active member of being on board a rocket, receiving radar that catches the reflected signal from the target, "illuminated" the second station — radar target illumination, which is on the launch complex or a fighter aircraft and "leads" the enemy. Its advantage is that more massive emitting plants can hold their own in the arms of the target for a very significant distance (up to 400 km). In the active guidance systems have their own radar emitter, it is more independent and accurate, but its "horizon" even narrower. Because it is usually only cut one at the approach to the target. Third, a passive guidance system, has emerged as the Smartest decision to use the enemy's radar — a signal which she directs the missile. Specifically them, namely, destroyed enemy radars and air defense missile systems.

Is forgotten and was not as old as V-1, the inertial system guided missiles. Her initial conventional design, which only required to report to the projectile, advance established line of flight movements, now complemented by satellite navigation systems, adjustments or the typical Orienteering zipping underneath areas — with altimeter (radar, laser) or a camera. With all of this, for example, the Russian Kh-55 can not only "see" the terrain, and maneuver over her height, keeping close above the surface — so to hide from enemy radar. However, in its pure form, such a system is only good for hitting targets motionless, as it does not guarantee the highest precision hit. So it is usually supplemented by other guidance systems that switch on at the final step of the way, when approaching the goal.

Besides extensively known infrared, or heat, the guidance system. If it is the first model could capture only heat the hot gases escaping from the nozzle of a jet engine, but now their sensing range much higher. And these are the thermal head pointing not only to the short-range MANPADS acts such as "Stinger" or "needle", and in rockets class "air-to-air" (for example, the Russian R-73). In general, their are other, more mundane target. After warm engine emits not only the aircraft or helicopter, and the vehicle, armored vehicles, the infrared heat is even possible to see, which is isolated structures (windows, air passages). However, these heads are referred to as thermal imaging guidance, and they can build, and to distinguish the outlines of purpose, not only incomprehensible blur.

In the crosshairs of a soulless mechanism

The portable laser designator (portable laser designator rangefinder) allows homing head is not to be mistaken with a purpose. It highlights her small pulses are not visible to the eye but perfectly recognizable navigation system launch. Photo: Staff Sgt. Cruz G. Sotelo / USMC

In a certain extent they can be attributed, and semi-active laser guidance. Its operation is very simple: the laser itself is directed at the target, and the missile flies neatly on a colorful reddish dot. Laser heads, namely, stand on the high-precision missiles of "air-to-ground" X-38ME (Our Fatherland) and the AGM-114K Hellfire (USA). Curiously, they are often targets designated abandoned to the rear of the enemy saboteurs with the typical "laser pointers" (only massive). And that is how to destroy targets in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If infrared systems used mostly NIGHT MODE, the TV, on the contrary, is only of days. The main part of the head pointing such missiles — the camera. With it comes the image on the monitor in the cockpit, which selects the target and presses the trigger. Next is managed by the rocket, its electric "brain" which recognizes the excellent target, keeps it in the camera field of view, and selects an impeccable line of movement of the flight. This is the principle of "fire — and forget", which is now considered to be the tip of military technology.

But to shift the responsibility for the conduct of the battle on the shoulders of machines was a mistake. Sometimes, proruha happened and electrical old woman — as, for example, it came out in October 2001 when, during the shooting exercises in the Crimea Ukrainian S-200 missile has chosen a curriculum is not the target, and a passenger airliner Tu-154. Such disasters are not uncommon during the conflicts in Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan and Iraq — the most high-precision tool simply is "wrong", choosing a civilian purposes, and not those that were assumed by people. But they did not sober either military or designers who continue to design all new models hanging on the wall of weapons capable of not only without the aid of other aim — and shoot when deemed necessary …

In the crosshairs of a soulless mechanism

XM501 rocket launcher with remote control. Each container 15 comprises a missile. The launches of the different containers are managed from a single console, the target missile directed infrared heads. Photo: US Army

Sleeping in ambush

In the spring of 1945 hastily assembled for the defense of Berlin battalions "Volkssturm" were laconic military training. Aimed at their instructors from among retired soldiers were taught to injury teen appeal with hand grenade "Panzerfaust" and, trying to cheer up lads, argued that this "wonder weapon" people can just knock out at least some tank. And shyly lowered his eyes, knowing full well that they lie. Since the effectiveness
of "Panzerfaust" was very small — and only their unlimited enabled him to earn a reputation as thunderstorms armored vehicles. Each successful shot accounted for 10 of the fighter or militias, chamfered queue or crushed tank tracks — and a few more of those, throwing his gun, just ran from the battlefield.

Years passed, the armies of the world there were more advanced anti-tank rocket launchers, then PTURC complexes, but the problem remains the same: the grenade throwers and operators were killed, often without even having to make your own shot. Armies who valued their own fighter and not lusted overwhelm the enemy armored vehicles with their bodies, it has become very severe discrepancy. But the protection of tanks and constantly improved, including the active fire. There was even a special type of combat vehicles (BMPT), which comes in a puzzle detection and destruction of enemy "faustnikov." In addition, potentially unsafe areas of the battlefield are for previously "worked through" artillery or air strike. Cassette, and even more isobaric and "vacuum" (CWA), shells and bombs left little chance even to those who hid in the days of the trench.

But there is a "fighter", which is not quite the death of creepy and you do not wish to sacrifice — as it was designed to do. This anti-tank mine. Cannon, massively used during the second World War, so far remains a severe threat to the entire land of military equipment. In general, traditional mine does not flawless. Defense to block the sites they need to place the 10's, and sometimes hundreds, with no guarantee that the enemy will not see them and did not neutralize. More successful in this regard seems to Russian TM-83, which is set not in the way of the likely route armored enemy, and on the side — for example, with the side of the road, where she will not find engineers. The approximation of the target it is made known seismic sensor, which responds to ground motion and includes an infrared "eye" — and that, in turn, closes the fuse when the hot engine compartment in front of the machine is mine. And it explodes, throwing forward the core of the cumulative impact that can hit the armor at a distance of up to 50 meters But even being detected, the TM-83 is difficult to access an adversary rather a man to approach her at a distance of 10 meters, as its sensors will work on his steps and heat body. The explosion — and the enemy sapper go home covered with the flag.

In the crosshairs of a soulless mechanism

Noncontact detonation device DDP-P "Hunting". It contains a 5 min, guided by the sound of steps. Illustration: «Warsaw pact mines» from the archives of Oleg Walecki

Now all seismic sensors are widely used in the construction of various mines, replacing the classic push-fuses "whiskers" and "stretch." Their advantage is that they are able to "hear" the moving object (person or equipment) for a long time before he comes near to the mine itself. In general, approach it is unlikely he will be able, as these sensors are closed fuse even earlier.

Even more mind-boggling seems the South American mine M93 Hornet, also similar Ukrainian development nicknamed "Woodpecker" and several others, while still experimental development. The gun of this type represents a complex consisting of a set of sensors passive target detection (seismic, acoustic, infrared) and the launcher of antitank missiles. In some cases, they can supplement anti ammunition, while the "Woodpecker" even anti-aircraft missiles (like MANPADS). In addition, the "Woodpecker" can be installed covertly, being buried in the ground — which, at the same time, protects the complex from the shock waves of explosions, if the site will undergo fire.

So, in the affected area of the complexes is enemy's equipment. The complex began to work towards the goal of releasing a homing missile, which is moving along a curved line of traffic, will get right on the roof of the tank — its weakest point! And the M93 Hornet warhead explodes just above the target (IR blaster fire), hitting it down to these same cumulative core as TM-83.

The principle is similar min appeared in the 1970s, when adopted Russian Navy adopted automatic anti-complexes: a mine-rocket TMR-1 and mine-torpedo PMT-1. In the U.S., there was a system analogous to Mark 60 Captor. Practically speaking, they represented the already existing at the time of self-guided anti-submarine torpedoes, who decided to put on a self-tour of duty in the marine abyss. They had to start at the command of acoustic sensors that react to noise sailing close to the enemy submarines.

In the crosshairs of a soulless mechanism

B-52 bomber drops anti-submarine torpedo «Mark-60." Photo: SSgt. Russ Pollanen / USAF

Perhaps a similar fully automated yet cost only defense forces — in general, the development of air defense systems, which would have protected the sky almost without any human role, is already underway. What did come out? At first, we did a controlled weapon, then "taught" it without the help of others to guide itself to the target, but now we have allowed him to take the most basic decision — to open fire for effect!

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