A video released by the military shows a bomber flying at tree height at high speed. He then drops bombs on his parachutes and leaves. After a while, a series of explosions occur on the ground.
“The bombing of the long-range structures of the fortified area was carried out in a free maneuver from an extremely low height. For high-explosive actions, aerial bombs were used – this made it possible to achieve the highest efficiency. ”
The Su-24 is designed to carry out missile and bomb attacks. It is equipped with a terrain avoidance system that allows you to safely fly over terrain in manual or automatic mode, including at supersonic speeds.
“The extremely low altitudes at which an aircraft can perform combat missions are considered altitudes between 50 and 300 m. For air defense systems, it is necessary to approach the target at safe altitudes and less noticeable bow angles. Then go to a low altitude and use a means of destruction: launch missiles, shoot or bombard. To ensure a more accurate approach to the target, low altitudes are needed, for the so-called “storm”. The effectiveness of such attacks is very high – you can drop a bomb exactly on the window of a building, ”he told socialbites.ca.
The general noted that the planes of NATO countries can also carry out bombing at extremely low altitudes. “England and Germany are armed with European-made Tornado aircraft, which are practically similar to the Su-24. There is a similar aircraft in service in the United States, but there are very few of them left today – this is the F-111, ”Popov said.
According to him, judging by the published images of the Ministry of Defense, the Su-24M used assault ammunition of the FAB-250 or FAB-500 type, equipped with brake parachutes.
“First of all, these are needed so that the aircraft can safely escape the blast wave and fragments of ammunition. This is very important at low altitudes. For example, there is the FAB-100 grenade – it has a fragmentation spread of 1500 m, but is not equipped with a parachute, it is not safe to use at an altitude below 1500 m. Secondly, if such bombs are used in fortified areas, a parachute is required so that the bomb enters the ground as vertically as possible. It even has a special accelerating engine that works just above the target – so the rocket pierces the concrete and crashes deep into the ground, where it explodes. The Su-24Ms use these munitions very effectively, but at extremely low altitudes it is very difficult to control the aircraft at speeds between 800 and 1200 km/h. “This can be done by a very high class pilot,” he said.
According to Konstantin Sivkov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences, flying at extremely low altitudes allows the aircraft to successfully bypass enemy air defenses.
“When flying at such altitudes, the aircraft is under the radar surveillance zone, at this altitude it is detected too late. As a result, the aircraft can hit without being hit by air defense. As for man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS), when flying at an altitude of about 100 m, the MANPADS operator has to aim at the complex. “Both firearms and small arms are ineffective against an aircraft flying at extremely low altitudes. The only situation where an aircraft can be shot down at extremely low altitude is when a high-altitude radar field is constantly operating in the area, which is premature,” Sivkov told socialbites.ca. can be generated by warning aircraft.”
According to Popov, there is a risk that an aircraft flying at extremely low altitudes will be hit by MANPADS, but this is minimal.
“The footage of the Ministry of Defense shows how the aircraft fires heat traps. They take the missiles with thermal homing heads. All MANPADs work exactly according to this principle – they fire after an air target, that is, in thermal radiation. Aircraft engines are running, gas is running out – their temperature It reaches 600 degrees, the guided head of the MANPADS missile realizes this.
But the temperature of the fired thermal trap is higher – up to 1000 degrees. The missile focuses on it and goes off course – no longer considering the plane as a target of destruction. When he “realizes” that he has strayed from his course, he falls into a second trap. It leaves the target again, this time enough to discharge the rocket engine. The engine runs for 10-15 seconds, after which the rocket flies by inertia. Accordingly, the rudder rocket will not be able to “return” to the plane. So he runs away from the rocket,” he said.