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The loss of su-25 in Syria : errors and insights
Material posted: Ponomarenko Oleg J.Publication date: 06-02-2018

The loss of another combat aircraft in Syria and a number of comments in the media give rise to several important observations.

As in the case with su-24 in 2015, battle planning requires a certain redundancy – if one can call it redundancy - in terms of security measures. So, obviously mandatory, despite the possible agreement with Turkey, was being in a position fighter escort so that they could cover for strike aircraft, controlling the area in the direction of possible threats (Turkey) as an instrumental, and visually (it is, in particular, has drawn attention to "Military review"/ The incident with the su-25 from the same series.

«Businessman» (quote) : "... According to “Kommersant”, the major Roman Filipov in conjunction with the second su-25SM standard was performing a combat mission: patrolling the Syrian province of Idlib ...According to the military, the incident occurred after the execution of the task: when you make a maneuver at a fairly low altitude (about 4 thousand m) engine attack aircraft hit by a rocket fired by militants from MANPADS. ... One of the interlocutors “Kommersant” suggested that flight altitude of su-25 was related to the fact that Turkey has promised to guarantee security in this area. It controls the area of de-escalation of Idlib. "When developing the flight task could rely on it," says Kommersant's source. Until the last moment information about the presence of militants MANPADS has not been confirmed, but now the aircraft will have to take into account this circumstance, says military expert. Retired Colonel Viktor murakhovski emphasizes that to work for such a small and extremely low altitudes, the Russian VKS only started with operations in Deir ez-Zor. ...»

In relation to the su-25 is reduced below a certain tier could be a very short time in so far as it is not possible to realize the start-up SAM MANPADS. Osushestvleniya on the uncontrolled territory of the flight of this nature was not to be.

As a General rule, with all due respect to the intelligence, assessment of possible threats should be assumed that the fact that the intelligence knows now, in the evening – if not before - is already obsolete. And even more strictly speaking, the command should work with what could be, not just given something that is confirmed by intelligence. Yes, and that means there was no data about the presence of MANPADS?

Overview of MANPADS from 2016 (Oleg Valetsky, O. Ponomarenko "Portable anti-aircraft missile systems", p. 163-205 in the collection "Weapons of modern warfare. Application practice») was pacsun the prevalence of this type of weapon, including as a result of events in Libya in 2011, in Iraq in the period after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and in Syria in particular, it was reported about the seizure in 2012 of MANPADS in a warehouse near Aleppo (46th Regiment Base). And attention was drawn to the fact that the production of complexes established and in countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, and smuggling was carried out through many countries, including the Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Yemen. Was given and examples of applications of complexes by the rebels.

In addition, attention was drawn to the subversive use of MANPADS, that is, the piece starts, which is in the region and taking into account the situation in it, - can be produced by well-trained operators and specially delivered quite modern complexes.

So it's no surprise the use of MANPADS in the region could not be for a long time. In fact, already since the late 60-ies of the last century had to expect that MANPADS will spread across the world, including non-state armed groups. Compact arms produced in huge quantities – small arms, big problems.

Over the counter several comments. Not the task of the pilot of the pilot to monitor the launches of missiles at him, which he in most cases objectively and not be able to see, it is the task of the equipment of onboard complexes of defense. They automatically oppose - method of setting various types of noise, including shooting of the false thermal purposes, and the direct impact on homing missiles (laser). The corresponding pilot – Yes, the case of the pilot, but should solve the problem of airborne defense, including warning of missile launch, including missiles with passive homing (GOS priority type to MANPADS missiles). How describes the circumstances of the death of the su-25, spoke in favor of the assumption that the Board was not equipped properly. But if the equipment is not included during this side, he must be equipped with an outboard version of the ADS. Or strictly not to fly in the affected area.

The task exploration, since it is not a drone and strike aircraft based on the use of air weapons should also be resolved not by reduction to an affected area by air defense, and in the presence or in the absence of adequate on-Board system, suspended electro-optical apparatus reconnaissance and targeting in the pod and the availability of a convenient means of displaying information in the cockpit.

And now about the main thing – to exclude such cases would allow use of a controlled (vasotocin) aircraft weapons, which will not force to enter the affected area air defense systems that can be armed formation of the type against which videoconferencing in Syria. This weapon has long been massive, and its cost is quite reasonable, and even if not a very low - life pilots is priceless.

Note that comments ("Izvestiya", Vladimir Shurygin) that the new aiming system, which was equipped with a downed attack, give the opportunity to get free-fall bombs with an accuracy of 1 m with a height of 5-6 km is not serious. Well, that had significantly enhanced accuracy (leaving aside the question about the actual because this is not important) when using conventional bombs, but this does not mean the ability of all tasks, including those which are solved by a managed aircraft weapons. It is no replacement, and the height 5-6 km may not be saved from MANPADS is the performance of modern systems and it is impossible to expect improvement of this technique will stop. Output in the use of guided aircraft weapons.

Have advanced militarily, countries that in the past ten years, they are involved only in local conflicts, should not be the excuses that they are not expecting or do not have the required system at a time when previous experience is often suggested solution. But the generals prepare for past wars... You have to plan and equip their armies so as to be above the level of possible threats that they face.

Thus, the incident with the su-25 reveals certain shortcomings in equipping our armed forces with equipment and in planning combat operations that leads to such tragic, unnecessary losses.

Oleg Ponomarenko

Tags: Russia , Syria

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