Why is Russia unable to properly combat the “HIMARS”?

The primary cause of Russia’s inability to identify when HIMARS launches and initiate an efficient countermeasure is the counter-reaction radar’s poor performance.

The US has given Ukraine HIMARS, a rocket artillery that is incredibly hazardous and helps to alter the battlefield dynamics in Ukraine. The precise attacks of HIMARS rocket artillery have recently caused significant damage to Russian soldiers. HIMARS artillery “targeted” everything from ammo stores to major roadways to a number of Russian command locations in Ukraine. Moscow was obliged to evacuate its soldiers in some regions as a result of the Ukrainian army’s persistent employment of HIMARS to ambush Russian forces.

Russia, a military power with a wide variety of weapons, is fully capable of intercepting GPS-guided HIMARS rockets; the issue is: why haven’t they done it yet? such a regressive grouping? Since Ukraine acquired HIMARS, Russian shelling has considerably diminished due to the destruction of up to 40% of the nation’s ammunition supply and the forced retreat of others from the front lines, which has a negative impact on Russia’s momentum in the area. region of Donbass. Russian defence news outlet Avia once remarked that the HIMARS complex had a “hidden feature” that prevents Russian artillery from being able to target and fire back every time.

the US has designed the HIMARS system so that the rocket can change its trajectory after leaving the launch pad and deceive the counter-reaction radar complexes. The site posted a video released by the Ukrainian military to prove its argument. ” the rocket changes its flight path almost immediately after launch. That causes the coordinates of the anti-aircraft radar complex to be hundreds of meters off, making it impossible to carry out precise raids,” . this is the difference between the US systems compared to conventional rocket artillery, which has rockets flying in a fixed trajectory. Russian rocket artillery can be seen firing with a stable projectile.

When asked to comment on this information, the US Army, the force operating the HIMARS artillery, denied, asserting that “the rocket flies on a predetermined trajectory to aim at the target”. Counter-fire is to use radar to track the projectile’s flight path, thereby determining the enemy’s firing position to use overwhelming firepower to destroy. This is considered a difficult operation on the battlefield, even in the most favorable situations. Mr. Samuel Cranny-Evans, an expert from the British Institute of Compound Forces, said that the counter-reaction radar needs to detect the projectile when it has just been launched to predict the trajectory and flight path, then calculate the starting point.

“Therefore, if the radar fails to detect the fired projectile outside its range, the system cannot provide target coordinates,” Cranny-Evans said. Russia is currently using Zoopark-1 anti-aircraft radar, they are capable of detecting rockets within a maximum radius of 20 km, but HIMARS cannons can hit targets 80 km away from the firing position, so 4 times more. maximum detection range of Russia’s most modern counter-cannon radar. “The counter-reaction radar cannot detect the HIMARS rocket launching unless it scans in the right place and at the right time,” Mr. Cranny-Evans said.

“I don’t think Russia has enough counter-reaction radars to establish coverage, so their ability to continuously monitor is limited,” Cranny-Evans stressed. Even if the projectile was detected, the counter-fire radar could only provide an approximate firing position. The artillery would then launch a large-scale assault, hoping to hit something, but not a precision strike. With self-propelled guns like HIMARS, crews often use a “fire and run” tactic, firing a salvo in a few minutes and then quickly maneuvering away from the battlefield at a maximum speed of 85 km/h.

This “fire and run” tactic requires the Russian counter-battery unit to be ready to fire within minutes of detecting incoming enemy shells. Mr. Cranny-Evans said that the command structure of the Russian counter-forces was “too slow to do this”. The process of identifying targets by Russian forces is quite slow, often not responding to moving targets or rapidly changing situations,” said Cranny-Evans. On the other hand, Russia also has very few rockets that can reach the range of the HIMARS artillery. Without enough long-range artillery, the ability to counterattack will be greatly limited.

“If they do not immediately fire on the suspected HIMARS location, Russian forces cannot attack the location of Ukraine’s weapons deployment,” Cranny-Evans added. Currently, Russia has not commented on the assessment of Western experts about the ability to counter HIMARS artillery.

HIMARS is a self-propelled multiple rocket launcher mounted on a wheeled chassis, developed from the M270 crawler rocket system .The HIMARS system transferred to Ukraine has a crew of three, which can carry six 227 mm caliber M31 shells with a range of 80-90 km. The US has delivered to Ukraine 16 HIMARS systems and pledged to deliver 18 more, bringing the total to 34. Although Russia has repeatedly claimed to have destroyed several HIMARS complexes in Ukraine, US officials believe that Russia has not yet done this. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military continues to use HIMARS to attack important targets in the area controlled by Russia

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