Chief of the General Staff, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, announced the beginning of the service of the promising Peresvet laser systems. This product completed the stage of experimental combat duty and switched to full-fledged combat duty. Reportedly, the task of "Peresvet" is to ensure the operation of mobile ground complexes of strategic missile forces.
Stages of the path
The existence of the laser complex, which later received the name "Peresvet", was announced on March 1, 2018 by President Vladimir Putin. Together with the laser complex, several other types of weapons were announced. Subsequently, "Peresvet" was repeatedly mentioned in various messages, but no new details were received.
In December last year, the country's leadership announced the beginning of experimental combat duty. Such tasks were solved by "Peresvet" from December 1, but details were not reported. The bulk of the data was still not disclosed.
On February 20, 2019, the President brought up the topic of combat lasers again. According to him, all the "Peresveta" put in the troops were planned to be transferred to full-fledged combat duty in December.
On December 18, General Gerasimov, at a briefing with the participation of military attachés of foreign states, disclosed new data on Peresvet. According to him, such complexes have been on alert since the beginning of December. The equipment is deployed in the positional areas of the PGRK. The task of combat lasers is to cover the maneuverable actions of missile systems.
Thus, for the first time at the official level, the purpose and features of the work of the latest domestic development were revealed. The statements of the Chief of the General Staff remove a number of questions and confirm some of the earlier versions.
Targets and goals
The purpose, goals and objectives, as well as the future operators of the "Peresvet" complex, until recently remained unknown. It is now clear that this system was developed in the interests of the Strategic Missile Forces. Its task is to ensure the watch of mobile ground missile systems located in positional areas. It can be assumed how exactly such tasks should be solved.
From the moment of the first reports of the existence of "Peresvet", the most popular version was that this complex is intended for the implementation of air defense. Depending on the characteristics of the laser emitter, it could damage air targets or blind their optics. The most daring assessments also mentioned the possibility of combating enemy space vehicles, such as early warning satellites.
Apparently, the version about the air defense complex, built on the new principles, turned out to be correct. It is this variant of the use of a combat laser that is most useful in the context of ensuring the duty of a PGRK.
The existing PGRK have a number of characteristic advantages and are distinguished by increased combat stability. Due to this, they are a convenient and effective means for retaliating against an aggressor. However, these qualities make the mobile complex a priority target. The enemy will make every effort to identify, detect and timely defeat the PGRK.
Various reconnaissance means can be used to identify missile systems on patrol routes. These can be optical reconnaissance satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, or some types of manned aircraft. In view of the characteristic features of the position areas and patrol routes, optical reconnaissance means are of great importance.
Countermeasures to aerial and space platforms with optics can be performed in several ways. One of them turns out to be the use of combat lasers capable of disrupting the work of reconnaissance systems or destroying them. Now such a niche in our army is occupied by the new complex "Peresvet". His "skills and abilities" are now being used in the interests of the Strategic Missile Forces.
Based on this assumption and the available official data, one can imagine exactly what the combat duty of the laser complex looks like. A system consisting of several mobile units must arrive at a given position and deploy. The well-known form of the Peresvet components shows that this complex cannot work in motion and needs a stationary position.
By external target designation or with the help of its own means, the complex must search for air or space targets and take them for independent support. Then, with the help of high-power laser radiation, the optics are temporarily or permanently disabled. With sufficient power, the laser can literally burn through the structural elements of the target with a fatal result for it.
As a result, the enemy cannot continue reconnaissance of the area and loses the opportunity to identify the PGRK on patrol routes or at firing positions. Thanks to this, missile systems can continue to operate with minimal risk.
It is unclear with what intelligence means Peresvet can fight. Apparently, the laser power with a margin is sufficient to "blind" air targets. Also, its ability to damage their structure cannot be ruled out. The anti-satellite potential of the complex is questionable.
The needs of the army
In the role of a means of ensuring alertness, the "Peresvet" complexes interact with the existing PGRK. Our Strategic Missile Forces have three types of such systems - Topol, Topol-M and Yars. Mobile ground complexes are in service with eight missile divisions deployed in different regions.
The acquisition of all formations with laser complexes and the preparation of positional areas will be associated with certain difficulties and take a lot of time. First of all, significant quantities of serial laser systems are required - up to several dozen. For them, it is necessary to organize positions and ensure interaction with other components of the Strategic Missile Forces.
How many "Peresvetov" and in what time frame the missile troops want to receive is unknown. Probably, such data will remain a secret for a long time. Until they are announced, they will have to rely only on estimates and forecasts.
It is no exaggeration to say that this month began a new era in the history of our armed forces. A promising model, using fundamentally new principles of work, took over on combat duty. A novelty with broad capabilities - and classified characteristics - has found application in the most responsible sector, in the Strategic Missile Forces, and now participates in the processes of strategic deterrence.
In the coming years, we should expect the mass production of serial "Peresvetov" and the gradual introduction of such equipment in the missile forces. It cannot be ruled out that the issues of using such equipment in other branches of the armed forces will be worked out in parallel - with the subsequent purchase and putting into service. However, even without this, already on the basis of the latest news from the Strategic Missile Forces, we can talk about the successful completion of work and the introduction of a fundamentally new system into operation.