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Smart weapon technology gives defenders an advantage in the Ukraine war

Weapon evolution affects fighting style

Throughout history, there have been times when military technology has helped strengthen the defenders more than the attackers. And in the current war between Russia and Ukraine this seems to be recurring to some extent.

Over the centuries, there have been countless shifts in that direction. In the past, heavy and difficult-to-move machine guns gave the defense an advantage. At that time, just put the gun in a good defensive position, one can safely pull the trigger to release the bullet to defeat the enemy’s cavalry charge.

But the advantage of the defensive machine gun waned when Britain mounted the weapon on a mobile platform developed by it with the code name “water tank”. Tank warfare strengthened the offensive force by bringing mobile firepower close to the defending force.

Bazooka – an early anti-tank weapon, must be fired at close range to destroy the tank with a high explosive charge. But at such close range, the gunner is sometimes in mortal danger.

Later, the attackers developed a combination of tanks, infantry, and aerial firepower that was very powerful, making it difficult for the defenders to stop.

In front of the combined army formation, in order to regain the advantage, the defenders need to develop a new type of anti-tank weapon, which is the type of anti-tank weapon. weapon can shoot from a distance to protect the soldier using that weapon, and the weapon must be smart enough to be able to track a moving tank in the dark.

The Age of Smart Weapons

Over the past decade, the technology used in smartphones has also been used to create smart weapons.

For example, a soldier could fire Javelin and NLAW anti-tank guided missiles from a distance of more than 1km from a moving tank and wait for the missile to jump up and then snap down on the top of the tank – the position where The armor of the tank is much thinner than in other places.

A man-portable missile that costs about $200,000 (for the Javelin missile made by US firms Raytheon and Lockheed Martin) or as little as $26,000 (for the British-made NLAW missile) can destroy a tank. worth more than 5 million USD. Javelin’s combat effectiveness on the battlefield is said to be more than 90%.

During the Gulf War, American infantry envied tank crews protected by vehicle armor. But with the new types of powerful anti-tank weapons mentioned above, being in a tank now is not necessarily as safe as before.

The problem of limiting air superiority

Today, with inexpensive anti-aircraft weapons, it is possible to challenge the air superiority created by fighters.

Ukraine lacks fighter jets worth $25 million each, so it’s trying to make up for it with man-portable missiles developed four decades ago and becoming increasingly intelligent.

These missiles have the disadvantage that they can only shoot low-altitude aircraft. However, the attackers, if using the aircraft at high altitude, will need high-precision bombs to be able to launch from a high altitude and still ensure to hit the target.

Does Ukraine gain an advantage in the Southeast?

When the fighting took place on mountainous terrain and many forests north of the capital Kiev, the Ukrainian side had the advantage because it could easily apply the ambush attack.

However, when going to eastern and southern Ukraine, where the terrain is flatter, the situation is favorable for Russia to promote the advantage of tanks as they had in the past. the fight Kursk famous during World War II. At that time, at one point, the Soviet Red Army launched 850 tanks to confront 290 Nazi tanks.

However, each tank requires a crew of 3 or more, and the tank constantly needs to be refueled and maintained, so there will still be challenges from shoulder-fired missiles. anti-tank.

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