The expert spoke about the lessons of the helicopter attack in Belgorod to protect the Crimean bridge

President Zelensky declined to comment on the attack of Ukrainian helicopters on the Belgorod oil depot. One version – Zelensky simply did not inform about this operation, to which the United States and NATO probably had a hand. So, new similar attacks on objects in the depths of our territory are not excluded? And are, for example, nuclear power plants or the Crimean bridge protected from them? How are these objects protected from air strikes? “MK” talks about this with the former chief of the anti-aircraft missile forces of the Special Purpose Command (Moscow Air Defense District), Reserve Colonel Sergei Khatylev.

– Nuclear power plants and facilities, which are classified as special facilities – the so-called “CO”, already have stationary protection, as well as reconnaissance and fire cover systems, – explains the expert. “You don’t have to re-create anything there.” Everything is already there. Belgorod – and it’s no secret – is not on the list of industrial centers, which must be covered in a special way by the air defense system. At medium and high altitudes, everything there is blocked by S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft missile regiments stationed nearby, as well as by a military air defense brigade with Buk complexes. But in this case we are talking specifically about extremely low altitudes. And this is a completely different story.

After the start of the special operation, several S-400 regiments were pushed to the border with Ukraine. Their radars scan almost the entire territory of Ukraine, providing a no-fly zone over it at medium and high altitudes. But in order to create it at low altitudes, you need a powerful radio reconnaissance system, which must be conducted around the clock.

– And this, apparently, is very expensive?

– Very expensive. There are also organizational aspects. For example, since Soviet times, the idea has been discussed that military air defense, which is responsible for low and ultra-low altitudes, should be part of a large unified air defense system. It is possible that, after the end of the special operation, some organizational decisions will finally be made, based on the combat experience gained.

– Well, well, and if we assume that the enemy will somehow also direct helicopters, for example, to the Crimean bridge? When you go on it, you see the positions of the air defense forces. Is it reliable?

– That’s right, the bridge is covered from air strikes. Several S-400 regiments have been deployed in Crimea. That’s a lot, they cover the peninsula in a circle.

– But, as you say, only at medium and high altitudes. And what about the little ones? And if there are drones that the Americans are now going to deliver to Ukraine?

– There for these purposes there are complexes “Armor”. It is reliable. In addition, air defense tasks are also set for the fleet. The entire Black Sea Fleet, all ships are provided with air defense equipment, including complexes that can cover these facilities and work on the high seas. In Crimea, a powerful military group, an entire army corps. It also has all the means of air defense.

– Are they also able to shoot down targets at low altitudes?

– They can. You will understand, Crimea is a local territory, everything is there, everything is concentrated, everything works.

– That is, the Belgorod situation will not be repeated?

– No, of course. On the contrary. Especially important objects are covered all. But to create a continuous zone of anti-aircraft missile fire at low altitudes – such a task can not be solved by any army in the world. Nobody has such forces and means. But I can say that now, after what happened in Belgorod, measures will probably be taken.

First, radio engineering intelligence will be strengthened. Low-altitude platoons will go out, look, count in which directions low-altitude targets can operate, after which the radio engineering troops will redistribute their stations and add something.

Secondly, fighter aircraft will be involved in combat duty. And not only at airfields, but also in the air, so that you can immediately detect and destroy a low-altitude target. And our fighter aircraft have such capabilities.

– Can we say that such decisions have already been made or agreed?

– Definitely. The teams passed. Orders on this subject are all issued. Part of the forces and resources will be allocated to combat low-altitude targets.

– You say that along the border there are S-400 regiments, which covered the sky over Ukraine. And why didn’t they see the helicopters?

– Once again: we flew at low altitudes. I know this area very well. This is a hilly terrain, riverbeds. There the helicopter descends over the hill, flies along the riverbed, and no one sees it. It can only be seen by an aerial observer, and only for a few seconds.

“Who is this?”

– The air observer is usually in the company or in a separate division. He can visually observe the flight of the object at a distance of up to eight kilometers. This is called a visual observation post. An old forgotten practice, when the air situation is monitored with eyes, binoculars and stereo tubes during the period of increased combat readiness. And this practice must now be remembered.

An oil depot in Belgorod caught fire after helicopter fire: footage of a fire

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