“Increased Vitality”

“Increased Vitality”

Alexey Zakvasin, Elizaveta Komarova

In the Baltic Fleet, the crews of the Bastion coastal missile systems have worked out preparations for repelling an attack by ships of a mock enemy, according to the website of the Russian Defense Ministry. The event was held as part of an exercise to counter military threats “from sea and ocean directions.” Bastion, armed with Onyx missiles, is one of the key elements of Russia’s echeloned coastal defense system. It is designed to destroy sea and land targets at a distance of up to 300 km. The complex enters the Navy troops in mobile and stationary (mine) versions. The Bastion arsenal is currently being upgraded. In this regard, experts do not exclude that the complex may receive an improved Onyx or hypersonic Zircon.
The crews of the mobile coastal missile systems (BRK) “Bastion” of the Baltic Fleet worked out preparations for repelling an attack by ships of a mock enemy with electronic launches. This is reported by the information support department of the Baltic region.
“The crews of military equipment worked out the advancement from the point of permanent deployment to the designated area on the coast of the Baltic S-ea, the deployment and pre-paration of weapons for use in accordance with the current temporary standards,” the website of the Russian Defense Ministry says.
As the military department clarifies, the training took place as part of the exercises of the Navy and the Aerospace Forces “to protect Russian national interests in the oceans, as well as to counter military threats to the Russian Federation from sea and ocean directions.”
“Restricted Zone”
“Bastion” is one of the key elements of the Russian echeloned coastal defense system, designed to destroy targets at a distance of up to 300 km. Its developer is JSC Military Industrial Corporation NPO Mashinostroeniya (Reutov), which is part of JSC Corporation Tactical Missile Weapons (KTRV).
Bastion’s target range includes strike group ships, naval convoys, landing forces, boats, single ships, stationary surface and ground targets. At the end of 2016, the combat use of this DBK took place – the crew of the complex struck at the warehouse of wea-pons and military equipment of Syrian militants.
According to the KTRV and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the Bastion troops often operate in conjunction with the Ball DBK and the Utyos silo-based system.
“Bastion” in a circuit with “Ball” and other complexes forms what is referred to in NATO military doctrine by the term “zone of restriction and prohibition of access and maneuver” – A2 / AD (anti-access / area denial). For the enemy, this means the impossibility of performing any threatening actions, ”military expert Yuri Knutov explained to RT.
From his point of view, the deployment of the Bastion complex in Crimea has recently become the most important measure of the military leadership of the Russian Federation. According to Knutov, this allowed the coastal troops of the Navy to “target” American destroyers almost immediately after they entered the Black Sea.
In a January interview with TASS, KTRV Director General Boris Obnosov said that thanks to Bastion and Bal, the command of the Russian Navy created a unique two-tier system for protecting the coast, sea communications and controlling territorial waters.
“This duet (“Bastion” and “Bal.” – RT ) is capable of destroying any surface and coastal target within the affected zones, ”said Obnosov.
As reported on the KTRV website, Bastion is capable of operating in conditions of “organized fire and electronic countermeasures of the enemy”, and can be used regardless of the weather and at any time of the day. The complex provides a solution to the combat mission, having minimal data on the target.
Bastion positions can be located at an altitude of up to 3 km above sea level and at a distance of 200 km from the coast. According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, one complex with four launchers is capable of defending a coast with a length of more than 600 km.
“The time from the moment the order is received on the march to full deployment to combat positions is five minutes, after which the complex is completely ready for firing,” the military department says.
Bastion self-propelled launchers are mounted on the MZKT-7930 chassis. They are carriers of supersonic cruise anti-ship missiles 3M55 “Onyx” (export version – “Yakhont”). The missiles are in transport and launch cups (TPS) with folded wings and plumage. The maximum ammunition load of the Bastion can reach 24 rounds.
Onyx is a fairly heavy weapon. The launch weight of the rocket is 3 tons, and the total weight with the PTS is 3.9 tons. At the same time, as Yuri Knutov noted, the advantages of the 3M55 lie in a powerful warhead weighing 200 kg, full autonomy of combat use and supersonic flight speed, which is significant makes it difficult for enemy air defense systems to intercept.
“In Onyx, the “fire and forget” principle is implemented, which allows the crew not to accompany the missiles and change position immediately after launch, thereby avoiding falling under a possible return fire. In addition, the launch interval of missiles during salvo fire at the Bastion is 2.5 seconds. In a very short time, the complex is capable of defeating an aircraft carrier group, ”Knutov explained.
In recent years, the defense industry of the Russian Federation has been working on the modernization of Onyx. The characteristics of the improved missile were not disclosed. Earlier, Alexey Kovalev, design engineer at NPO Mashinostroeniya, said that the update affects software, element base and structural materials.
In an RT commentary, the founder of the Military Russia portal, Dmitry Kornev, suggested that Russian specialists are also increasing the range of the rocket by upgrading the fuel system.
“Information about the updated Onyx is scarce. Here it is best to focus on the projects of the Russian-Indian enterprise BrahMos Aerospace, which are aimed at constantly improving the capabilities of various modifications of the Yakhont, including coast-based ones. The NPO Mashinostroeniya team takes an active part in these works, ”says Kornev.
Earlier, in an interview with the Zvezda TV channel, Anatoly Svintsov, Deputy General Director for special-purpose complexes with cruise missiles of the NPO Mashinostroyeniye, said that domestic coastal complexes in the future will be able to use hypersonic ammunition and strike at more distant targets.
“The development of such complexes in the future corresponds to global trends in the development of missile weapons. First of all, this is an increase in the flight speed of a rocket to hypersonic, the range of missiles and complexes in general, the universality of action on targets and uniformity on carriers, ”said Svintsov.
According to Dmitry Kornev, in the future Bastion’s arsenal may be replenished with Kalibr missiles and hypersonic Zircons, which are currently being developed for the needs of the naval and submarine forces of the Russian Navy.
“The Navy is carrying out the unification of launchers. This allows different carriers to use the same set of missiles. True, for the Bastion, the Zircon is a fairly large rocket. You will either have to refine the DBK launcher, or create some kind of modification of the Zircon, which in many respects originates from the Onyx, Kornev suggested.
Yuri Knutov also admitted the possibility of inclusion in the arsenal of “Bastion” missiles “Caliber” and “Zircon”. According to the expert, it is relatively easy to constructively implement such a measure, but the final decision to equip the DBK with new missiles will depend on the military activity of the United States and its allies near the borders of the Russian Federation.
“If Bastion receives naval Caliber and Zircon, whose range is more than 1000 km, this will violate the terms of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the creation and deployment of land-based missile systems with a range of 500-5500 km. Following the United States, Russia withdrew from this agreement, but does not voluntarily deploy such missiles, ”Knutov recalled.
However, if the United States begins to deploy missiles prohibited under this treaty near the borders of the Russian Federation or chooses another form of military pressure, it is reasonable to assume that Moscow will remove the restrictions prescribed in the INF Treaty, the expert believes.
“Increased Vitality”
In addition to the mobile version of the Bastion, the coastal troops of the Navy operate a stationary (mine) modification of the complex. According to Boris Obnosov, this complex is distinguished by “increased survivability and efficiency, as well as low visibility.” As the general director of KTRV noted, this system is well protected from being hit by high-precision weapons.
From the point of view of Yuri Knutov, the mine modification of the Bastion is necessary for building a coastal defense system in hard-to-reach areas – for example, in rocks and mountains, where it is difficult to ensure combat duty of mobile missile defense systems.
“Bastion mine installations can effectively defend naval bases and arsenals. When performing all the necessary measures for camouflage and engineering reinforcement, they are more resistant to damage compared to mobile installations, and their calculations respond faster to threats, ”explained Knutov.
Dmitry Kornev is confident that NPO Mashinostroeniya specialists have managed to create one of the most effective anti-ship missile systems in the world. In his opinion, DBK will certainly improve.
“Bastion has a huge modernization potential, and its capabilities will only increase, and not only due to the appearance of new missiles. Noise immunity, speed of processing and exchange of information will improve, the level of combat coherence with other complexes, including Iskander-M, will increase,” summed up Kornev.

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