New imitation air-target and complete air defence operation make their debut in a training exercise

Autor: Nuala Casey, Oldrich Holecek

A new type of imitation air target, and the complete operation of the reconnaissance, surveillance, command and control fire system using the RBS-70 missiles made their debut last week, with several live fire tests executed during the training of the 252nd Air Defence Missile Battalion, held at the Military Training Area in Boletice.

"The imitation air target; a sleeve named IVC-2R, was towed by a remote controlled drone, which can also be automatically programmed, without being piloted," said Major Jan Suchy, Commander of the 252nd Air Defence Missile Battalion, based at Strakonice, adding that this is an effective and economical system of training soldiers.

The towed target sleeve is a five-metre in length object, 60 centimetres in diameter, and is towed using a 50-metre rope. As soon as the target is hit, the drone lands, and soldiers then lock on to a new target. On reaching the appropriate flight level, operators of the RBS-70 identify, aim and finally destroy the target by missile fire.

"The range of targets the soldiers must be able to identify and shell is extensive, from transport to tactical aircraft, helicopters to drones. The towed target sleeve, by comparison to the potential range of targets, is relatively small. Therefore, it is a more challenging exercise, not only for the RBS-70 operators, but also for the entire system of reconnaissance, surveillance, command and control," explained Major Suchy.

And what are the future plans for the Strakonice personnel? "Our ambition is to widen the range of imitation air targets, from both stationary and towed to using remote controlled targets. In the future, we should be able to shell these types of targets with both radar and infra-red guidence system and, in due course, we will be able to offer this expertise to our alliance partners," concluded Major Suchy.

The RBS-70 was purchased in 2006 from the Swedish Armed Forces. The Czech operators were trained in Sweden, and the first missile was launched by the Czech crew in 2008.

August 13, 2014