Russia’s New Supersonic Bomb Threatens U.S. Interests

Russia’s New Supersonic Bomb Threatens U.S. Interests
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Russia’s latest and most advanced precision-guided bomb – KAB-250 – is about to complete trials and is expected to be tested by the Kremlin in the Syrian military campaign, according to Russian media.

The KAB-250 is a ‘child’ of the larger KAB-500 PGM, which was debuted in September in Syria and is actively used in the ongoing bombings of U.S.-trained rebels.

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Russian defense specialists develop two versions of the 250-kilogram KAB: a laser-guided version and a satellite-guided one. The bomb have already made the Pentagon and Washington minds concerned because the KAB-250 guided aerial bomb incorporates the latest advances in technology and science.

The bomb is based on the drop-and-forget principle and takes into account the experience of its KAB-500 predecessor during the Syrian military operation.

The bomb works the following way: (1) the inertial guidance system aims at the target area with the bomb, (2) then the bomb’s built-in computer directs the thermal homing head to acquire the aimed target from 1.2 to 1.8 miles away.

(3) The KAB-250’s thermal homing head runs a check on the just acquired image of the target and the reference image uploaded into its memory before discharge. (4) It corrects the trajectory in order for the deviation radius to not exceed three meters. (5) then the deadly bomb is launched.

Technical capabilities of the bomb

The KAB-250 is equipped with a fragmentation missile capable of destroying lightly vulnerable material, thin-skinned vehicles and equipment, as well as many other enemy military installations. The 10.5-feet long bomb can be dropped on a target either individually or in salvoes.

The KAB-250 weighs a total of 565 pounds, while a warhead is 365 pounds and the explosive is 200 pounds. In order to increase its glide range, Russian military engineers equipped the bomb with a complex compact tail design featuring four long-chord, short-span wings. The aerodynamic wings as well as munition close to neutral alignment provide greater range and high maneuverability.

The bomb falls from an aircraft at a rate of 655-1,150 feet per second, and can withstand any weather conditions at any time of the day. The bomb can also be adjusted with different trajectories and speeds of several Mach number.

How to counter Russia’s Mi-24 attack helicopters in Syria?

Russia’s ongoing three-week long military campaign in Syria has showed that the Mi-24 attack helicopter is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite toy.

The highly-effective Syrian operations by Russian attack helicopters have left the U.S. and its regional allies scratching their heads over how to counter such a powerful Moscow’s military aircraft.

Ever since Russia started bombing U.S.-trained rebels in Syria, there have been numerous video reports in the Internet showing Russian Mi-24 attack helicopters, which are Russian army’s unique hybrid transport aircraft and gunship.

Syrian pilots have been flying in Russian helicopters for a while now, which is why it is impossible to say for certain whether Russian pilots are piloting Mi-24 attack helicopters during the ongoing military operation in Syria.

However, those who are watching the conflict closely suspect that it is most likely the Russians who are piloting Mi-24s, since the pilots show too good piloting skills, while videos show models of the new Mi-24 version, which the Syrian army does not have.

However, one of the videos showing a pair of Mi-24s flying at low altitudes and firing rockets showed a “top shelf, highly trained, very courageous, and highly aggressive Russian helicopter crew,” according to Christopher Harmer, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War and a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, as reported by the Foreign Policy.

Russia is going to benefit even more if the Mi-24s are piloted by Russian highly-trained professional pilots, since these attack helicopters are capable of deploying personnel to different parts of Syria.

Sudden changes of Russian tactics in Syria

The Russian Mi-24 helicopter combines the attack capabilities of the U.S. Apache helicopter as well as the transport capabilities of the Huey. But the U.S. does not have any similar analogue to the Mi-24 attack helicopter.

Since Mi-24 has powerful weaponry and a transport hull, it can easily deploy Russian special forces units closer to the battlefront, which allows Russia to focus on coordinating its airstrikes, calling for helicopters’ fire support as well as navigating rocket firing from large distances using air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile fire.

Therefore, if Russian pilots are indeed taking part in military actions in Syria, then it solves one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s biggest problems: the increasing growth of its military personnel losses.

Many military experts who watch the Syrian war closely have noted that latest videos from Syria indicate some changes in the tactics of Russian helicopters: now pilots are flying closer to the ground than before and they are more accurate when firing at the targets. They also assist ground troops more professionally and sophisticatedly.

The knack for flying of the Russian pilots is “a qualitative technical advantage that the Syrian military just doesn’t have; it’s going to significantly reduce Assad’s casualties,” Harmer said.

The only way to avenge the Russians for the bloodshed in Syria

So what is the best defense equipment to counter Russia’s deadly Mi-24 attack helicopters? Many experts believe that it’s anti-aircraft defense systems that Saudi Arabia has offered to supply to Syrian rebels despite objections from the U.S.

However, Mi-24 pilots are trying to reduce the level of their vulnerability to Saudi anti-aircraft defense systems by flying at extremely low altitudes, since it allows to trick the systems by creating echo signals from the ground.

While this tactic does not always work, anti-aircraft defense systems are still the only hope of Syrian rebels to avenge the Russians for the bloodshed in Syria.

Source: Sputnik News

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