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  • The Maneuver in Defensive Operations

    I am not sure if this is appropriate in this subforum - I am incapable of posting links, so I am posting my whole translation of this article, which is written by a Russian military scientist and a military colonel. I am hoping this will be interesting to the readers here.

    Translated by Microbalrog from Ryadovoy-K

    E.K.Kolesnikov, Mil. Sc. D.
    Yu. V. Kalinin, Col.


    THE MANEUVER IN DEFENSIVE OPERATIONS

    Combat operations in local wars and armed conflicts of the past decade show that the decisive role in combat operations will still be determined by maneuvers, both by force and fire, with the role of remote fire engagement of opponents growing immesurably as compared to the direct engagement of ground forces. This trend continues.

    As shown by the experience of combat operations in the Persian Gulf region, as well as NATO agression in Yugoslavia, developed countries combating opponents well-known to be at a disadvantage to them, seek to achieve operational, and even strategic war goals through the use of fire. The role of air forces in accomplishing fire objectives reaches 80%. The first task of strike aviation becomes disabling elements of the opponents AA and anti-missile deefense (AMD) and achieving air superiority.

    In such conditions, the defender is faced with a double task. First of all, he must engage as many of the opponents air strike tools, and second – preserve the capability and effectiveness of his air defense system. In resolving this task a major role belongs to the maneuver.

    One has to expect that the aggressor's first blow will be delivered using air-, ground-, and sea-based missiles, against AA and AMD radar stations, as well as stationary communications nodes, airfields and energy industry plants. His main goal will be to “blind” the opponent's air defense system, disrupting control at the state, strategic, and operational-strategic levels.

    In a sudden attack this goal is quite achievable, should defenders fail to utilize the full scope of operational camouflage, including maneuvers by signals forces, AA missile launchers and other mobile weapons – those that would be likeliest targets for the first strike. Attempts by defender forces to create a full radar field to prevent a first strike (and therefore keeping most of their radar stations operating) might become fatal, as the opponent will be able to easily spy out their location and disable them with self-guiding munitions.

    Therefore, the most effective means of aerial reconnaissance on the eve of warfare can be an aviation system of remote radar observation. Its use, coupled with space-based and ground-based radar reconnaissance, performed by individual radar stations on threatened (or not otherwise monitored) directions, will allow the defender to preserve the durability of the entire AA system.

    All other mobile elements of the AA and AMD systems must be kept constantly maneuvering. We believe it would be useful to develop a special maneuver plan for these forces, so as to avoid a contingency where all, or most, of these weapons are simultaneously on the move, and incapable of participating in deflecting an opponent's aerial attack. The same principle applies to mobile radio-transmitting elements of the control systems, whose movement can be easily detected by the opponent's reconnaissance, and which can be struck with guided munitions. Their timely maneuvering, combined with periods of complete radio silence and the use of operational camouflage activities, can preserve the survivability of the C&C system even in the event of sudden aggression by the opponent.

    In a sudden attack is is far harder to preserve the survivability of aviation based on stationary airfields, as their location is easy to determine. Here, too, the most effective method is maneuver, which in this case consists of dispersing the aviation, moving the planes between airfields, using spare (auxiliary) airfields etc. However, preserving the survivability of aviation, AA/ABM systems and C3 – only one side of a united task. The other side consists of engaging the opponent, especially his means of air attack. For this purpose, maneuver by forces and fire is once more required.

    Experience shows that the first to engage the opponent's air attack weapons are the systems of organic AMD (to engage operational-tactical rockets and cruise missiles) and AA. The force of AA missile systems available to Russia can be utilized effectively only if they are united into a single system using computer technology, and can maneuver at the proper time.

    AA and AMD systems must engage OPFOR airplanes and missiles not only on their approaches and at the depth of the defense (i.e. to be deployed in-depth), but to also be able to concentrate the fire of AA rocket complexes dispersed along a front line on a single threatened direction (that is, to maneuver along the front with their rocket trajectory).

    Because developed states' aviation desires to strike ground objects without being threatened by AA weaponry, one can predict with a great degree of likelihood that, before attempting to engage defending forces, the opponent will first attempt to break through the AA and AMD systems. In this context, it is important to restore these systems in those areas where a breakthrough has already occurred, and to accomplish this either by maneuvering AA means from the depth of the defenses or along the front, as well as through shifting (maneuvering by) fire.

    As it is well known, a maneuver by AA forces and units to restore a disrupted system requires quite a lot of time. Time is needed for commanders to take decisions and pose goals, as well as to move units and deploy them in new areas. This period can take several hours, while the restoration of the AA system must be completed before the new OPFOR air strike arrives

    It has to be taken into account that with every new air strikes the possibilities in terms of AA system restoration diminish, i.e. within a few consecutive massed air strikes the opponent may reach his goal – air superiority. Therefore, it would seem to be more effective to restore AA systems on the breakthrough area in the time that OPFOR aviation requires to deliver their blow deep in our defense systems and return home. It is at the moment where the opponent's strike aircraft will be returning through the breach in our AA systems that they will become targets.

    Of course it is unlikely that it would be possible to move AA means within several dozen minutes, for example, to a distance of several dozen kilometers. Therefore, maneuver by fire from the flanks, coordinated with the fire of surviving or ambushing AA weapons can assist in inflicting unacceptable casualties to OPFOR aviation and disrupting its next massed operations.

    Doubtlessly, maneuver alone cannot resolve the task of fending off OPFOR air attacks. A complex of measures is needed, defined in guiding documents and dictated by the theory and practice of the operational art. Nevertheless, there are all the reasons to state that maneuver by AA forces, means and units has a decisive role in preserving the survivability of the entire system and destroying the opponent's main means of aerial attack.

    Maneuver is at least as important while deflecting a ground-forces offensive. When performed by ground fores, aviation, rocket forces' strikes and artillery fire, it assists in creatign a stable, active defense. Maneuver by fire and blows can be utilized to strike the most important targets and OPFOR force groups, as well as covering breaches and gaps in defensive lines.

    Obviously it is impossible to be equally strong in all directions. Concentrating all or most of one's weapons on a limited area, even if it is the most threatened area, is not desirable due to the danger of them being destroyed by the opponent's fire. Dispersion, on the other hand, increases survivability but reduces the possibilities for massing forces and means. Maneuvering by blows and fire allows solving the problem of effort concentration without moving forces, units, and weapons. However, it is not sufficient to shift one's fire to an endangered area to stop an opponent's offensive. As we know, for that we must firmly hold the defensive lines already held, as well as deliver counterblows and counterattacks.

    The stability of the defensive on the directions of the opponent's main blow depends on reinforcing units holding certain defensive lines of positions, including at the expense of maneuvering with units and unit groups (sometimes even strategic groups). In this case the maneuver must be carried out timely, and utilize all forms of force movement, both simultaneous and in turn, utilizing all forms of ground and air transport. The success of a force maneuver is made more likely by the deployment of the forces in echelon. Given that the opponent, most likely, will advance in the directions with the best-developed road networks, it is possible to predict the direction his main blow with a good degree of probability, and concentrate forces there ahead of time.

    In circumstances in which the opponent will attempt to breach or bypass the main defensive line rapidly, reaching a wide-open operational space, the defenders' maneuver must be carried out at a tempo greater than the opponent's offensive tempo. In all cases, during a maneuver the forces must be reliably protected from the opponent's air strikes, the roads and routes of the movement prepared ahead of time.

    Counterattacks and counterblows are the most active form of defensive activities, consisting of moving reserves and second echelons on the threatened directions, and routing a breaching or wedging-in OPFOR group. In short, counter-blow forces carry out their tasks by maneuvering with units, unit-groups, and fire to create a decisive forces and means superiority over the opponent.

    Finally we must note that the maneuver is not a goal in and of itself. It must be carried out to resolve carefully defined tasks, among others, pre-empting the opponent in arriving onto important lines or areas, achieving surprise and suddenness of action, as well as moving forces, units and weapons away from a blow.

  • #2
    E.K.Kolesnikov effectively described Serbian army doctrine in detail during NATO aggression.

    However,while air campaign achieved poor results in terms of casualties and equipment looses inflicted,Serbs were forced to perform only small unit actions on ground, usually limited to few AIFs and company strength of infantry.In case of ground invasion,losses from enemy bombing would have been much heavier since large units would be forced to move and engage enemy trust.However Serbian (Yugoslav) doctrine also envisaged and fully expected and intended that armored,air and naval forces will be entirely annihilated in early phases of ground large scale war.The center of gravity of the Yugoslav Army were infantry formations that are highly mobile,logistically undemanding, and sustainable for extended periods of time in Serbia’s rugged interior.During the air campaign it was the key to use maneuver to preserve all assets that later would be expanded by attrition until retreat of the infantry is complete and after extracting maximum attrition out of the enemy.

    However since war never escalated to phase 2, maneuver characterised the combat operation during the year.NATO commanders were surprised to see the robust columns that eventually withdrew from Kosovo, and they concluded that the Yugoslav 3rd Army could have held out for weeks or even months under air campaign and even ground campaign.

    Why then Serbs retreated?One factor undoubtedly was the devastation wreaked by NATO bombs on Serbia proper.The air war ravaged Yugoslavia's lifelines – its roads, bridges, railways, factories, airports,TV towers,fuel depots and power plants – shutting down the economy and hurting businesses controlled by Milosevic and his associates.

    Only way to preserve fixed civilian assets is to posses impressive anti-air assets or air force capable of minimizing or eliminating the threat of strategic bombing.However that is probably a deterrent on it's own.
    It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

    Косово је Србија!
    Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

    Armored Brigade

    Armored Brigade Facebook page

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    • #3
      I don't really know very much about Serbia, but I remember hearing that they suffered greatly from the relatively low technological level of their AA systems.

      Was not this the reason NATO aviation was capable of operating in such a free manner over Serbia?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MicroBalrog View Post
        I don't really know very much about Serbia, but I remember hearing that they suffered greatly from the relatively low technological level of their AA systems.

        Was not this the reason NATO aviation was capable of operating in such a free manner over Serbia?
        They lacked modern acquisition radars and new missile systems (like S-300),which limited their defensive operations at high altitudes.They were also heavily outnumbered,and due to embargo MiG-29s were all but in combat conditions,for example their radars malfunctioned because of lack of spares.NATO failed in destroying C3 assets,mobile medium-range SA-6 missiles and integrated low-range defense which had significant consequences later in campaign.Nevertheless it was older SA-3 batteries that have took the privilege to down one stealth F-117 Nighthawk,damage another one,and F-16,while SA-6 downed nothing.Over Serbian sky most NATO aircraft flew at high altitudes which hindered their ground attack capability.After couple of months,vain efforts to destroy ground AA and forces on ground bore no fruit,so targets were switched from military to civilian infrastructure.

        Radars were the key.Serbian SA-2, SA-3 and SA-6 batteries were after all largely ineffective (it was essentially a stalemate) due to the use of standoff jamming, anti-radiation missiles and stealth.High training standards and motivation saved AA crews from certain death their Iraqi or other Arab colleagues faced in other conflicts when opposing Western air forces.For comparison NATO forces launched 743 AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile rounds for very little damage effect – around one third of the number used to cripple Iraq’s much larger air defence system in 1991.

        If Serbs possessed better modern radars and arguable newer missiles,result would have been much more different.
        It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

        Косово је Србија!
        Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

        Armored Brigade

        Armored Brigade Facebook page

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        • #5
          Thank you for the clarification. I did not know that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nikolas93TS View Post
            High training standards and motivation saved AA crews from certain death their Iraqi or other Arab colleagues faced in other conflicts when opposing Western air forces.For comparison NATO forces launched 743 AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile rounds for very little damage effect – around one third of the number used to cripple Iraq’s much larger air defence system in 1991.
            Can you elaborate on the strategies and tactics which helped the AA crews survive? Why and how were the HARMs rendered ineffective?
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
              Can you elaborate on the strategies and tactics which helped the AA crews survive? Why and how were the HARMs rendered ineffective?
              I can elaborate to a certain degree,as far as my knowledge reaches,maybe Vathra can give further detailed insight.I described this several times,mostly in F-117 threads.

              Classic example is 250th Serbian Air Defense Battalion.It was tasked with defense of capital city Belgrade and nearby area.Their commander was Zoltan Dani,who followed with attention experiences tactics of other nations in Syria and Iraq,as well in Bosnia 1994/1995.To his own words,he curiously followed development of stealth,and obtained many vital technical informations from simple science and air magazines.Advanced simulators were provided for crews,which allowed them to practice hypothetical combat scenarios.
              Several soldiers were removed from their battle-stations both during the pre-war practice drills and wartime guard shifts,when they proved unable to cope with the psychological stress of being targeted by enemy aircraft,as roughly 40% of personnel were conscripts.

              Lt. Col. Dani trained his SA-3 unit to achieve an incredible 90 minute equipment break-down time with minimal lighting provided for better camouflage,while regular crew following the manual wold demand at least an hour more.SA-3 was designed as fixed SAM,therefore obtaining a mobility greatly surprised NATO planners.Further deployment time reductions were achieved by reducing the number of launchers and missiles to 2x2 configuration instead original 4x4 configuration (this reduction in missile capability was justified when war started,when tremendous SEAD and numerical superiority strictly limited firing time slots and occasions where a Serbian SAM battery could open fire without being locked on and targeted by HARMs).Also both missiles would be launched against any target near simultaneously, in order to maximize hit probability.

              Lt. Col. Dani also made it a strict field rule that the SA-3 fire control radar could only be turned on for a maximum of 2 x 20 seconds in combat,after which the battery's equipment must be immediately broken down and trucked to a pre-prepared alternative launch site,whether or not any missile has been fired.This rule proved essential, because in opening days of campaign some other radar units,working with obsolete manual method,emitting high-frequency radiation for any longer periods or failing to relocate in time,were hit by AGM-88 HARMs,suffering radar equipment and personnel losses.After those .On the other hand 250th battalion was targeted 20 times with anti-radiation missiles,without any losses or damage. (curious fact,I lived not far from location where one radar was blown up on second or third day,IIRC... awful sight,pieces of those poor lads were scattered all over the fields)

              Mobility was impressive,unit trucks had travelled more than 100.000 km during the 78 days of campaign moving along different positions.

              AA sites also had active emitter decoys,which diverted anti-radiation missiles from the real radars.Decoys,and how is said,in few occasions even retired radars were left at well-known military bases to lure NATO planes to waste costly munition on worthless targets like fixed sites for SA-2.In same way,they were convinced that their. At average,NATO spent 109 million $ on each Serbian casualty.

              Although most detail are military secret,it is known that P-18 radar (the one which detected F-117 for first) was modified to the lowest possible frequency and four major capacitors in the electronics were replaced to achieve an even longer wavelength, hoping that meter band waves would reflect from the inside of targets, rendering stealth aircraft skin technology ineffective.Moreover P-18 could be kept almost constantly turned on,since most NATO radar warning receiver devices did not cover such a very low frequency band.There is no radar-invisible aircraft for well trained crew.

              What else can I say you,which I remember in this moment.... ...any specific question?
              It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

              Косово је Србија!
              Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

              Armored Brigade

              Armored Brigade Facebook page

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              • #8
                The mobility, discipline, EmCon, and lures explain it all. Thank you.
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                2) Enjoy playing it
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                4) Enjoy helping others create them

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                • #9
                  Can you tell us more about these active emitters?

                  I have read once such emitters would be comparable to complexity to actual RADAR sets. Is this not true?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MicroBalrog View Post
                    Can you tell us more about these active emitters?

                    I have read once such emitters would be comparable to complexity to actual RADAR sets. Is this not true?
                    I've heard talks about jerry-rigged microwaves..

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                    • #11
                      In circumstances in which the opponent will attempt to breach or bypass the main defensive line rapidly, reaching a wide-open operational space, the defenders' maneuver must be carried out at a tempo greater than the opponent's offensive tempo. In all cases, during a maneuver the forces must be reliably protected from the opponent's air strikes, the roads and routes of the movement prepared ahead of time.
                      Here he is wrong. Disrupting or interrupting the opponet's operating tempo is a far better method than trying to out pace him.

                      Instead of a foot race it is the Alcyoneus Principle applied.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by String View Post
                        I've heard talks about jerry-rigged microwaves..
                        When reading or researching about 1999 campaign,there are many unconfirmed stories and lot of talks.For example,I recently saw article on Wikipedia (suspiciously similar to post I wrote here year or more ago) including the same error in which I was misleaded.They said radars from confiscated Iraqi MiG-21 and MiG-23 were used as decoys,however as suggested by Vathra,by all accounts it is a myth,and there was no need or feasibility to do so.

                        In regard to microwaves ovens,I am quite confident it was tried by different units.But actual efficiency is questionable,since it have been suggested frequencies and signal strength are significantly different.


                        Originally posted by MicroBalrog View Post
                        Can you tell us more about these active emitters?

                        I have read once such emitters would be comparable to complexity to actual RADAR sets. Is this not true?
                        Only thing I was able to find out once Vathra corrected me,was a translation of short text written by Miroslav Gyűrösi for Jane's in 1999.Since I have no original,and I can't find it,I translated Serbian version (with consequent loss of Western radar terminology),and all credits go to author,my-city forum and user Shufle for images.

                        Active emitter decoys (or radar radiation emulator,in Serbian) were developed in the late '80 by VZ Kosmos,major radar overhaul facility in Yugoslavia.
                        During NATO campaign,active emitter decoy are used to protect 250th Air Defense Brigade near Belgrade (8 batteries) and 450th Air Defense Missile Brigade (4 batteries) (both units used SA-3). AEDs had a very important role in the protection and survival of assets in said air defense units.

                        Basic models was MD-04.It was simple and not very expensive device whose main components included transmitter,antenna,remote control units,mobile independent case and power cord.
                        You can see unit cylindrical case which contains electric components mounted on the adjustable base and simple horn antenna.



                        Its transmitter is based on Soviet-built MI-158 magnetron used for scanning radar of P-15 Termit (SS-N-2 "Styx") anti-ship missile.Theoretical maximum output power of MI-158 is 8 KW however output from the MD-04 is usually slightly greater or equal to 5 KW,working at frequencies ranging from 9.2 to 9.5 GHz. (modern MD-04 made today are with enhanced electronics and are offered with different transmitters).
                        Pulses of 0.2 to 0.3 micro-seconds in duration can be irradiated at intervals of 280 or 560 micro-seconds (coinciding with pulse of frequency repetition of about 3.750 and 1.785 MHz).
                        Horn antenna is vertically polarized and directional radiation is less than 30 degrees.

                        Each emulator works with 220V electric current at 50 Hz,and length of the power cord can be up to 150 meters.As a result of early military combat experience,Serbian designers have added an electric motor by rotate antenna with remote control.

                        During 1999 basic MD-04 was supplemented by three other designs developed by MTT Infiz from Zemun, which used common designation IRZ (Imitator Radarskog Zračenja/radar radiation emulator). IRZ-1 is based on the NP-1 pulse generator used by V-601P missile from S-125 Neva (SA-3).It weighted only 5 kilograms,but it was not so effective because power output was only 1 KW.
                        Better result was achieved by using components from transmitting section of RP-22 airborne radar used on MiG-21.First models were designated IRZ-21,weighing 60kilograms and with output of 65 KW.
                        Final design from Zemun factory,again based on RP-22 radar,was IRZ-22.It had same weight as IZR-21 but with an output power of 250KW.
                        All three versions of IRZs operated in X-band with a pulse repetition period of 200 to 2000 imp/sec.The antenna could be rotated 360 degrees with elevation angle of 15 to 60 degrees.Cable length was again up to 150m. Rotating cases and remote control electronics for radar emulators were produced at Lola Institute in Belgrade.
                        During the combat operations in 1999,MTT-Infiz delivered to Serbian Army four IRZ-1, seven IRZ-21 and two IRZ-22, (complementing MD-04)

                        ---

                        I don't know how many were destroyed.Or if those were only models available.In any case they were cost-effective,and available since they were constructed using existing spares from obsolete radars.

                        They were also easy to install.Pics are bit big,so I placed a spoiler.

                        It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

                        Косово је Србија!
                        Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

                        Armored Brigade

                        Armored Brigade Facebook page

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                        • #13
                          I have to question this article – either the author is holding back or Russian anti-aircraft doctrine is far more primitive than I would think it should be by now. The author talks about SAM systems like they are mobile armor reserves plugging holes on the Eastern Front in 1943 to create a linear front to repel the enemy air assault. An F-22 supercruises at mach 1.5 and a SAM-300 cruises along the highway at 50km, so I don’t think there’s going to be much offensive vs. defensive maneuvering going on.

                          There is no mention of the application of obsolete vs. modern SAM’s in the defense net, the relationship between ‘active’ and ‘hidden’ systems to create SAM ambushes, how the C3I systems are to be defended from cyber attack, the architecture for maintaining or diversifiying command and control of different batteries/commands in various tactical situations, the relationship between engagement speeds of the HARM shooter vs. the SAM shooter, shoot-and-scoot mobility, the impact of low observability on SAM tactics, the absolute need for hit-to-kill lethality in all ECM environments, the integration fighter aircraft into the SAM network, the ability to destroy by direct fire any launched aircraft munitions, using cruise and ballistic missiles offensively to disrupt the tempo of enemy air operations, the use of commando units and deep battle assets for same.

                          the defenders' maneuver must be carried out at a tempo greater than the opponent's offensive tempo.
                          The defender must disrupt the offensive tempo by combined arms warfare; forcing the attacking air force to engage in battle on the defender’s terms, where the defender wants. This may be such things as an armored offensive towards an important political objective that draws assets into a heavy SAM environment, or missile battery attacks on economic targets (oil refineries, etc.) that cause ‘Scud hunts’ in lethal environments. That sort of thing. Situations like Iraq and Serbia, where the air defense net was engaged at the leisure of the attacker, have to be avoided.

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                          • #14
                            . An F-22 supercruises at mach 1.5 and a SAM-300 cruises along the highway at 50km, so I don’t think there’s going to be much offensive vs. defensive maneuvering going on.
                            I think everybody knows that trucks are generally slower than planes.

                            But what you don't appreciate, I think, is that time is often needed between air strikes for a variety of logistical, intelligence, and even tactical reasons - time that can be exploited to redeploy AA assets.

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                            • #15
                              I think everybody knows that trucks are generally slower than planes.
                              This Russian General apparently doesn’t. He also doesn’t seem to understand that planes can take different routes to and from targets.

                              There is an old saying that it doesn’t matter what you are shooting at if you miss. You have a SAM umbrella that can’t shoot anything down because it can’t hit to kill through jamming and other active countermeasures. So who cares how fast you can redeploy it?

                              More specifically, why is this Russian focusing on things of minor importance? Is Russian doctrine incompetent, is this disinformation, or is he concentrating on a final, minor way, to improve the wonderful tapestry of the existing Russian doctrine that he is not talking about.

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