Army aviation of Russia: history, comparison with foreign analogues
The Russian Air Force is divided into fighter, assault, bomber, reconnaissance, special and transport aviation. Each of these units has its own, strictly defined purpose. In addition, they include long-range, military-transport, operational-tactical and army aviation. It is about this and will be discussed in this article.
The history of the birth of a new kind of troops
It is generally believed that the history of the Russian army aviation originates from the creation in 1948 in Serpukhov of the first helicopter squadron. However, it would be a mistake to ignore the combat path traveled by Russian and Soviet military aircraft in the period of previous wars.
It is known that as far back as 1909, several foreign-made aircraft appeared in the arsenal of the tsarist army. Their baptism of fire they received during the First World War. At the same time in Russia, the first private enterprises were created that produced aircraft and aircraft engines. By 1917 there were about twenty of them.
Despite the fact that combat vehicles were used mainly for reconnaissance and bombing attacks, much of the experience of those years formed the basis for the subsequent creation of army aviation. Basically, the need for its appearance became evident during the battles of the Great Patriotic War.
The tasks facing the army aviation
Modern army aviation serves to solve a wide range of operational and tactical tasks. During combat operations, it strikes, hitting the enemy's living force, as well as tanks, anti-tank weapons and armored vehicles. In addition, it provides fire support for ground troops and is conducting reconnaissance.
Thanks to the role that army aviation plays in the course of combat operations, combined-arms divisions, units and formations have the opportunity to significantly improve their operational mobility. It acquires special significance for providing communication and control over the actions of ground troops, as well as for mining, evacuation, search and rescue of the wounded.
Brigades of army aviation are used in the fight against a certain category of enemy air forces. Practice shows that their use is especially effective in performing tasks related to the destruction of low-flying aircraft and helicopters. They are indispensable for suppressing air defense weapons.
Assignment of shock combat helicopters
Army aviation in Russia has at its core units, complete with helicopters of all types and modifications. By their designation, they are divided into three categories: military transport, transport and combat and combat. Let us dwell in more detail on each of them.
Combat, or, as they are also called, attack helicopters, are equipped with various types of weapons and perform a wide range of operational tasks. They are charged, in particular, with fighting armored vehicles, as well as enemy tanks and defeating small-scale land targets. They also strike airborne troops in the course of operations, accompany military transport helicopters and, in case of an air enemy, fight it.
An important field of application for combat helicopters is aerial reconnaissance and surveillance, in which data on the location of targets are transmitted to ground-based weapons, as well as to bombers or ground-attack aircraft.
Subdivisions of transport-fighting vehicles
The next category of helicopters, part of the Russian army aviation, is transport and combat vehicles. They are designed to provide all the necessary ground troops, delivery and disembarkation of troops, as well as various rescue operations and the evacuation of the wounded. In addition, their task may include the installation of minefields and the defeat of ground targets.
What is a military transport helicopter?
And, finally, the last group consists of military transport helicopters. These are, as a rule, medium and heavy vehicles intended for transfer to designated areas of personnel units, as well as the delivery of weapons and ammunition. The transported goods can be placed both inside the helicopter and with the help of an external suspension. Machines of this type are also used for landing troops and various search and rescue operations.
Modernization of army aviation in the post-Soviet period
As follows from the data published by military observers, most of the Russian Air Force helicopter fleet was created before the collapse of the USSR and moved to today's army by inheritance. These include Mi-24 attack helicopters, Mi-26 heavy transport vehicles and a number of other aircraft that have proven themselves in local military conflicts, surpassing their foreign counterparts for a number of technical characteristics.
The beginning of a large-scale modernization of military equipment, which involved Russian army aviation, began in 2000. In addition, that during this period a large number of new modifications of machines previously in service appeared, several fundamentally new models were launched. Among them, a special place was occupied by multipurpose multi-role helicopters Ka-52, as well as MI-28N. At present, they are included in the number of combat vehicles that form the basis of the power of Russian army aviation.
High combat readiness of flight parts
The fighting capacity of this kind of troops, which manifested itself during the difficult years of the Afghan conflict, did not decrease in the nineties, despite all the economic difficulties. The crews of the helicopters of the Air Force of Russia honorably performed their duty during the operations conducted in Chechnya, as well as in a number of other "hot spots". Everywhere they demonstrated an example of high professionalism and readiness to perform any task assigned to them.
In the early 2000s, there was a trend towards a general reduction in tensions that caused local conflicts, often turning into military clashes. This made it possible to make efforts to re-equip the flying units and increase the skill of their personnel. Throughout the country, large-scale military exercises began to be conducted regularly , in which army aviation also participated. Photos of such training flights are given in the article.
Operation in Syria, which became a military exam
A real test of combat training was the participation of Russian pilots in a large-scale anti-terrorist operation, launched in Syria. Despite the fact that the actions are not carried out with respect to the regular army, but against isolated bandit formations, they involve the extreme risk and require from all participants high training and coherence of actions.
A special complexity is created by a qualitatively increased level of air defense equipment of the enemy and by difficult climatic conditions in which it is necessary to solve the assigned tasks. It is these factors that led to losses among the personnel of Russian units.
Army aviation of foreign states
Helicopters were also used in the armed forces of other large states of the world. For example, in the United States, a special Army Aviation Corps has been set up, which, in addition to conventional vehicles, also has unmanned aerial vehicles. Its purpose is to conduct joint military operations with infantry, armored and airborne formations.
According to official data published in 2007, the US Army helicopter fleet numbered about 4,200 combat vehicles. At present, this information is certainly obsolete, but it also gives an idea of the importance that this troop of troops overseas gives. The same can be said about the armed forces of Germany and England, where along with multipurpose helicopters transport planes of various types are used.