Each country chooses its own way to solve this complex issue. Ukraine, which today is one of the leading players in the political arena of modern Europe in the context of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine, should also make its choice.
Analysis of the Wars of Modern Era
War is a constant companion of human history. Up to 95% of all known societies used military actions to resolve external or internal conflicts. According to scientists, over the past 56 centuries, there have been about 14,500 wars in which more than 3.5 billion people have died. In order to achieve the most desirable results in wars, the means of performing, weapons and military hardware (WMH), tactics, strategy, and so on were constantly improved. Analysis of the nature of the armed struggle, especially in recent decades, shows a sharp increase in WMH impact on the course and results of military operations. It can be confidently argued that WMH today is the basis of combat power of the armed forces of any state and is a decisive factor for success in a potential war or arms conflict.
Weapons should comply with the most modern technologies, while taking into account the nature of modern wars, which has changed significantly compared to the recent past.
If until recently the main goal of war was to destroy the enemy by armed struggle and capture its territory in order to use its industrial, raw materials and labor resources for their own purposes, then modern war can be waged and achieve its goals without this. Economic, political, informational, ideological, psychological, and other methods of warfare are becoming increasingly important, but they are effective only if the country that is waging such a war has sufficient economic and military potential. It can be argued that the main goal of most modern wars is the maximum weakening of the economic potential of the enemy state in a “contactless” way, no matter where it is located on the globe.
Characteristic features of modern wars are also:
- Use of different forms and methods of combat, including the use of non-traditional and previously unknown, performing armed combat on land, in the air and space, at sea, while increasing the role of air and space attack;
- Combination of military actions according to the rules of military science with guerrilla and terrorist actions;
- Widespread use of criminal groups;
- Transience of military operations;
- Selectivity of objects to be affected;
- Increasing role of remote action with the use of high-precision (guided and unguided) weapons;
- Striking of key targets critical to the economy and infrastructure;
- Combination of military and powerful political and diplomatic, economic, informational, cybernetic, psychological, humanitarian and other effects on the enemy, and so on.
Ukraine should take all these features into account when rebuilding its national security and defense. Despite the fact that Ukraine has declared a course to join the Euro-Atlantic System of collective security, it is not yet a member of it, and therefore, in protecting its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, it should rely on its own defense forces, which are based on its armed forces (AF). To answer the question of whether the armed forces of Ukraine (AFU) meet the requirements, what is their quality level, in what areas they need to develop, it is advisable to consider the trends in the armed forces development, especially WMH systems and items in the leading countries of the world.
Trends in WMH Development in Developed Countries.
Taking into account the above features of modern wars, the leading countries of the world are constantly improving existing and creating new systems and models of air defense systems. At the same time, the general trends in their development do not objectively depend on each individual country. However, each of them takes these general trends into account in different ways to the best of their capabilities and geopolitical needs. Therefore, it makes sense to analyze the trends in the development of instrumentality of war at the global level and at the level of the leading militarily countries of the world. Such trends are well known, and therefore, it is advisable to pay attention to only two of them, which are not very common, at least in Ukraine, but, according to experts in military affairs, are promising in terms of development, serial production and application of air defense systems based on them.
1) Intellectualization of military struggle means: creation and mass use of robots, autonomous and remote-controlled systems and samples of air defense systems. Experts believe that the use of such systems can cover all areas: from the underwater environment to outer space. The range of robots use only in the ground forces is very wide. Ground-based robotic vehicles have already been used in wars and armed conflicts in recent years, in particular for overcoming mine obstacles, searching for and clearing mines, and performing combat operations in difficult and safe conditions. The latest ground-based remote-controlled combat vehicles are being created for operations in urban environments, as well as for other tasks.
An example of traditional WMH models intellectualization can be easily removable hardware, which, if necessary, allows to turn regular combat vehicles and cars into remotely controlled ones. The American company Tracking Point is developing a so-called “smart” sight for a sniper rifle, which automates the process of aiming and firing and increases the accuracy of the first shot by 5 times compared to a traditional optical sight.
Another example of this trend is the use of light and relatively inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for operational intelligence and communications. Recently, the range of use of medium- and heavy-class UAVs has significantly expanded, which are successfully used as part of unmanned aerial or intelligence-strike systems to solve both traditional (intelligence, electronic warfare, communication relay) and new combat tasks. In the future, the scope of application of the most robotic and autonomous UAVs in aviation will expand, replacing manned aircraft and helicopters, and the future sixth generation of tactical aircraft will also be able to perform flight in unmanned mode.