World history is full of conflicts. Man has been fighting each other throughout its existence. There has never been a time where in some part of world some big or small conflict is not taking place. These conflicts bring lot of innovation with them. They bring new war strategies and validate some old ones and create new ones. Every conflict especially those fought over past 100 years starting from world war one has been dominated by technology, and latest weaponry likes of which humanity never saw before. The conflicts of past 100 years have proven lot of weapons to be reliable and raised questions on usability of others. Russian Ukraine conflict have also proven some weapons and made them what I call shining stars of this conflict. So let’s have a look on what those weapons are and how they have proven their superiority.
Drones, the new Beast in Town
Drones are in use for past 20 years especially by US and Israel. Still both of these two countries used drones against adversaries which lacked good air defense in fact no air defense at all, but in past few years Drones have been put to use in highly contested air spaces which where both sides have fighter jets as well as very solid air defense systems to secure their Air Space still drones have worked to deadly effect. Use of Turkish drones by forces in Libya, Syria and in conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan have changed the game and made drones most essential weapon system to have in these modern times. Drones like TB 2 Bayraktar or Herop kamikaze drones by Israel and other similar drones have unleashed hell on adversary’s soldiers, Tanks, Armored Vehicles, and other equipment. They are put to great use by Ukraine in this conflict and causing great damage to Russian forces. They have proven to be highly effective and way less costly as compared to fighter jets and other weapon systems. Pakistan over past few years have inducted large number of Armed Drones making them a permanent part of our future war strategies.
All Hail the Queen (Artillery)
With emergence of Air Forces and drones in modern warfare people had lot of questions on weapon systems like towed and self-propelled artillery, but they were wrong. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has proven that artillery is still the queen of the battle. Especially with emergence of GPS guided ammo which can hit targets with pin point accuracy, and can even change the target midway if commanded has totally brought artillery back in the game. The effective use of M777 artillery guns by Ukraine and M982 Excalibur ammunition which is a GPS/inertial guided munition has led to destruction of several Russian tanks, APCs, MRL, and infantry. Also from Russian side the use of artillery has been quite effective and has caused severe damage to Ukrainian forces. In short all hail the queen. As a Pakistani I am pleased to say that Pakistan Army over past several decades have paid special attention to it and has been inducting lot of modern artillery guns, and getting older ones upgraded.
MRL Systems the King of Modern War
Another weapon system which has proven its worth in this conflict are Multiple Rocket Launcher systems (MRL). The Russians have used them to deadly effect. The effective use of BM 30 by both sides specially those which are equipped to fire GPS guided rockets have proven by to be highly accurate and can hit targets with pinpoint accuracy. The use of thermo baric system TOS-1 by Russia has resulted in unfathomable damage to Ukrainian forces. MRL specially the ones which can fire GPS guided ammos are need of the hour, and again I happily can say that Armed Forces of Pakistan have been inducting MRLs from various parts of the world, and developing local ones one example of them are Fatah 1 MRL.
Another weapon system which has emerged as a winner in this conflict are man portable anti-tank weapons. Anti-Tank weapons like Javelin and NLAW have been highly effective in obliterating Russian Tanks and armored vehicles. Fire and Forget technology has made these systems highly destructive and if locked on target they most of the times manage to hit their target and destroy the Tank completely while also killing the crew inside the Tank Not to forget systems like Carl Gaustav and RPG are also quite potent, effective and relevant. Pakistan needs to learn from this and get systems like HJ-12 or similar from China as well as Turkey and even from Europe if they can. Pakistan’s Anti-Tank systems are good, but they are not Man Portable yet and Pakistan needs to work on getting this kind of system and get it fast.
Air Defense Missiles
Oddly enough in this conflict medium and long range air defense systems have proven to be highly ineffective, but one type of air defense system which have really shined in this conflict are man portable air defense systems also called MANPADS. US given stinger missiles which are being used by Ukrainian forces have proved to be highly effective against Russian helicopters, and even low flying fighter jets. Despite the fact that many of these singer systems were produced decades ago, and are not upgraded with latest technology they still have proved themselves, and have caused severe damage to Russian helicopters and fighter jets. Pakistan in recent years have inducted lot of modern MANPADS from China, and hopefully would develop some on their own or in joint collaboration with Turkey.
Author: Zarwan Ali