“Flies a maximum of two minutes”
Armed formations of Ukraine continue to use large-capacity weapons on the civilian infrastructure of Donbass. On March 30, at about 5:30 a.m., the Ukrainian Armed Forces used the Tochka-U tactical missile system in Luhansk. A fragment of the rocket fell next to the tanker, fuel tanks caught fire. A serviceman of the People’s Militia of the People’s Republic of Luhansk received non-life-threatening injuries. Earlier, “Point-U” killed more than 20 people in Donetsk, 28 were injured. Military expert Yevgeny Linin told MK about the difficulties of intercepting tactical missiles.
– Separately, I would like to say about the “Point-U”. They talk a lot about her, but I don’t think they notice the main thing. “Point-U” is a missile of the so-called shorter range – up to 500 kilometers. It is capable of carrying up to half a ton of TNT in its warhead or cassette warhead.
Everyone saw the terrible footage from Donetsk, how the “Point-U” cluster munitions work. There is an explosion – and hundreds of thousands of fragments are scattered and hit everything within a radius of half a kilometer.
If we talk about TNT warfare, the funnel that remains from its arrival – about three meters in depth and ten meters in diameter. The blast wave is so powerful that it blows the whole district. At the beginning of the conflict, Ukraine did not have many such mobile complexes. According to various estimates, about twenty launchers, and missiles to them – about three hundred. In theory, we should have destroyed all this in the first place. And most of them, of course, could be destroyed.
“Why not everything?”
– The main problem in the fight against the “Points” is that these complexes are mobile and rapidly deploy. The maximum preparation time from the march to the rocket launch is 16 minutes. The missile itself is not accurate, it is old and is not guided by any satellites, such as GPS or any other systems. Its inertial guidance head is arranged simply: one stage works for a certain time, then the rocket can perform some maneuvers, after which the engine shuts down, it falls and detonates. That’s all. Therefore, it is impossible to say that it is used to destroy point targets, it is a weapon of mass destruction. No matter where the Point-U arrives, the damage will still be huge.
– What is the difficulty of fighting them for our air defense?
– It is extremely difficult to intercept such missiles, because they fly for a maximum of two minutes. This is the longest distance – 120 kilometers. To work during this time, air defense detection systems must work constantly. They must be separated. That is, one air defense post must overlap another, otherwise there are gaps in defense. Most likely, rockets fly in them. There should be an automatic response to the launch, and this is provided by only a few Russian air defense systems. In the on state, these are “Beech”, “Armor-C” and “Thor”. The problem is that air defense systems must operate continuously and overlap. This is very difficult to achieve, because radar stations have very limited service life, like all equipment in general. At the same time the equipment has to be cooled also. Another important point, the constantly switched-on station is the target for anti-radar missiles, which are guided by radiation from the station.
– How then to fight with “Points-U”?
– Launchers must be found and destroyed at bases and while driving. It is the complexes themselves. It is necessary to use the means of radar, tactical, front-line reconnaissance. Involve sabotage groups to detect. If the launchers are destroyed, the missiles themselves do not pose any danger.