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Desert Defense and Surviving PGMs: the New Russian View
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.
|This article originally appeared in
Red Thrust Star
Desert Storm clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of stationary weapons systems in the desert when confronted with modern reconnaissance systems and precision-guided munitions (PGM).
Active protection against overhead reconnaissance and precision-guided weapons
1. This article is derived from an article by V. Shamshurov, I. Nikolaev and V. Cumin, "Oborudovanie mestnosti pri oborone v pustynnykh rayonakh" [Engineer preparation of the defensive site in the desert], Armeiskiy sbornik [Army digest], Number 2, August 1994, 27-31. BACK
2. The bronegruppa (armored group) is a temporary grouping of 4-8 tanks, BMPs, BTRs or any combination of such vehicles. The BMPs (tracked combat vehicles) or BTRs (wheeled combat vehicles) are deployed without their normally assigned infantry squad on board and fight away from their dismounted troops. The grouping has a significant direct-fire capability and serves as a maneuver reserve. In this case, the bronegruppa consists of three tanks and five BMPs. The vehicles are dug in and the crews are in four covered dug-outs.BACK
3. The Russian concept of a fire sac differs from the US concept. The Russian fire sac is an internal position within a main defensive position designed to be entered by the enemy at cost. The fire sac is lined with obstacles and ringed with firing positions. The enemy is drawn into this sac and then destroyed by fire and counterattack.BACK
4. The KVS-U (ubezhishche, postroennoe iz komplekta volnistoy stali) is a prefabricated shelter built of corrugated steel, designed to be buried in defensive positions and used as a command bunker, living quarters or other personnel shelters.BACK
5. The FVS (fonar' volnistoy stali) is a corrugated steel field shelter which is assembled on site and buried in defensive postions for use as a personnel shelter. When assembled, it resembles a quonset hut or clerestory. The curved steel beams of the FVS are widely used in field fortifications.BACK
8. Interviews with U.S. officers and captured Iraqi officers indicate that the bulk of Iraqi ground combat vehicles were destroyed during the ground offensive. They were destroyed by helicopter-delivered PGMs, A-10 close air support aircraft and ground systems. The exception was the Iraqi 52d Armored Brigade which was caught on the move by A-10s on 12 January, before the ground offensive, during the attack on Khafji. There are solid indications that battle damage assessment (BDA) figures of aircraft kills against dug-in vehicles were exaggerated.BACK