During the Falklands War, the two sides used a lot of missiles in the battle and achieved amazing results on the battlefield. Therefore, people in the military circles all over the world called this war "the first battle in the missile era." The advanced weapons used in the Falklands War include all kinds of tactical missiles, guided torpedoes and laser-guided bombs, which are now collectively referred to as precision-guided weapons. The British army used air-to-air, air-to-ship, ship-to-air, ground-to-air, submarine-to-ship, anti-tank and other guided weapons; The Afghan army also used tactical missiles such as air-to-ship missiles, shore-to-ship missiles and ground-to-air missiles. There are 17 kinds of precision guided weapons used by both sides, which are more models, more advanced quality and more outstanding results than the tactical missiles used in the fourth Middle East War in October 1973. From the process of Falklands War, we can clearly see the actual effect of precision guided weapons in combat.
Guided weapons show their magical powers
Since the Afghan army occupied Falklands on April 2, on April 5, Britain formed a task force of 44 warships, 22 auxiliary ships and 45 merchant ships, sailing for 13,000 kilometers and arriving in Falklands waters on April 24. Britain also announced a 200-nautical-mile air and sea blockade of Tsushima Island. On May 1, the British army sent a Vulcan bomber to take off from Ascension Island, refueled in the air and flew over the island for a long distance, and carried out the first air raid to destroy the airport facilities in Afghanistan. Then the air raid was continued by 12 Harrier fighters taking off from the aircraft carrier, and the AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missile carried by the Harrier aircraft shot down Argentina’s first aircraft. Since then, the battle of guided weapons against guided weapons has begun.
Sink the Sheffield.
On May 4th, the British Navy guided missile destroyer "Sheffield" was discovered by Argentina when it was carrying out a warning mission in the waters north of Falklands. The Argentine side immediately sent a fighter-bomber with "super flag" to launch an AM-39 "flying fish" air-to-ship missile (with a length of 4.7m, a diameter of 0.3m, a launching weight of 650kg and a range of 38km, inertial and radar guidance). This kind of missile is a short delay fuze warhead, which exploded in the cabin after breaking a big hole and penetrating the hull. Immediately, all the power, lighting and fire fighting systems in the ship were destroyed, causing a fire in the central fuel tank, and the middle of the warship was full of toxic smoke. Four hours later, the captain ordered the ship to abandon.
A "flying fish" air-to-ship missile worth only $300,000 sank a ship worth $100 million in one fell swoop, claiming to be the most modern destroyer in Britain, which shocked the whole world.
Anti-aircraft missiles are heroic
In mid-May, the marine corps and army units of the inter-mixed ship arrived around the island one after another, ready to land, and set up air defense around the task force. The first layer of defense, by "Harrier" fighter carrying AIM-9L "Sidewinder" air-to-air missile (missile length 2.9m, missile diameter 0.12m, launch weight 84kg, range 18km, infrared guidance), is responsible for air patrol.
The second layer of defense, a ship-to-air missile equipped by two types of warships, and a "sea javelin" ship-to-air missile equipped for type 42 destroyer (the length of the missile is 4.36 meters, the diameter of the missile is 0.42 meters, the launch weight is 550 kilograms, the range is 80 kilometers, and the radar command and terminal guidance); A "Sea Wolf" ship-to-air anti-missile missile (with a length of 2 meters and a launching weight of 82 kilograms) equipped for the 22-type frigate is designed to attack high-altitude targets, but it can also intercept enemy planes flying at ultra-low altitude after quickly adjusting the missile fire control system in combat.
The ship-to-air missiles of these two types of warships constitute a "missile air trap." The third layer of defense, consisting of three or four surface ships’ artillery and ship-to-air missiles, is responsible for driving away the attacking Argentine aircraft. The fourth layer of defense consists of the small-caliber artillery on the assault ship’s troop carrier and the "Sea Cat" ship-to-air missile (the missile length is 1.48 meters, the missile diameter is 0.16 meters, the launch weight is 65 kilograms, the range is 3.5 kilometers, and the radio command guidance), and the "Light Sword" surface-to-air missile (the missile length is 2.24 meters, the missile diameter is 0.13 meters, and the British army deployed on the beachhead position after landing on the island. The "blowpipe" individual carries surface-to-air missiles (the length of the missile is 1.35 meters, the diameter of the missile is 76 mm, the launching weight is 18 kg, the shooting height is 1,800 meters, the range is 4,800 meters, and the radio command guidance), and the "Stinger" individual carries surface-to-air missiles (the length of the missile is 1.2 meters, the diameter of the missile is 70 mm, the launching weight is 9.5 kg, and the range is 4,800 meters) These four layers of defense constitute a large-depth, multi-level and dense air defense firepower network, which implements air blockade and obtains air superiority in local sea areas.
In this war, the British army lost 36 aircraft of various types, including 6 Harrier fighters, 4 Harrier GR3 fighters and 24 helicopters. The Afghan Air Force lost 117 aircraft of various types, of which 86 were shot down in the air and 31 were destroyed on the ground. Of the 86 planes that were shot down, AIM-9L equipped with Harrier, 17 were shot down by air-to-air missiles, 6 were shot down by Harrier, 5 were shot down by Sea Wolf, 8 were shot down by Sea Javelin, and 8 were shot down by Sea Cat.
In all, 72 Afghan planes were shot down by British air defense missiles, accounting for 84% of the total number of Afghan planes shot down, and 14 Afghan planes were shot down by artillery, accounting for 16% of the total number of planes shot down. The proportion of air defense missiles shooting down planes is so large that there have been many war cases in the missile era: in 1972, the US military shot down 32 B-52 strategic bombers in the battlefield of Vietnam by northern Vietnam, of which 28 were shot down by surface-to-air missiles, accounting for 90%; In October 1973, 449 planes were lost by both sides in the Fourth Middle East War, of which 62% were shot down by air-to-air missiles. This shows that the outstanding achievements of tactical missiles on the battlefield are impressive.
Tactical missiles have the upper hand
The Afghan army also used its own tactical missiles in various battles. In addition to the sinking of the British missile Sheffield by a flying fish missile on May 4th, the Roland surface-to-air missile (with a length of 2.4m, a diameter of 0.16m, a launching weight of 63kg, an altitude of 3,000m and a range of 6,500m, and guided by radio command) deployed in the Argentine port once shot down the British tuna.
On May 25th, the Afghan Super Flag fighter launched two flying fish air-to-ship missiles and sank the British 10,000-ton Atlantic Transporter. On June 11th, Argentina deployed a "flying fish" shore-to-ship missile (with a length of 4.12m, a diameter of 0.3m, a vertical launch of 720kg, a maximum range of 37km, and inertial and radar terminal guidance) on the Argentine port, which severely damaged the British destroyer glamorgan. There is also the "Sea Cat" ship-to-air missile equipped on the "May 25th" aircraft carrier, and the "Sea Cat" missile was not used because the naval ship did not participate in the battle in the later period. However, after all, because Argentina has few types and fewer tactical missiles, it can’t be manufactured at home, and it is totally dependent on imports or subject to foreign countries. Foreign countries have banned the sale of missiles and there is no source, so that the Argentine army can’t use tactical missiles in all kinds of battles in the air or on the ground, and has to use conventional artillery and bombs to attack the enemy. For example, 24 British planes were shot down in battle; Except for one British plane shot down by a "Roland" surface-to-air missile, the rest were shot down by Afghan ground anti-aircraft guns and small-caliber artillery.
In the battle, the British army not only used AIM-9L air-to-air missiles, sea javelin, sea wolf and sea cat ship-to-air missiles, light sword, blowpipe and stinger air-to-air missiles, but also equipped the Bobcat helicopter with "sea gull" air-to-ship missiles (the missile length is 2.8 meters. Sink a patrol boat and hit two. Britain also equipped the "Hunting Fan" maritime patrol aircraft with the "Fish *" air-to-ship missile (3.84m in length, 0.34m in diameter, 500kg in launch weight, inertia and radar terminal guidance) as the main weapon of anti-ship. The British army also equipped the Vulcan bomber with the Kuzu air-to-ground anti-radar missile (with a length of 3 meters, a diameter of 0.2 meters, a launching weight of 177 kilograms and a range of 20 kilometers, guided by electric radar), and successfully attacked the Argentine ground radar station in Afghanistan. After the British army landed, it immediately deployed Milan-style anti-tank search bomb (the bomb is 0.75 meters long, the bomb diameter is 110 mm, the launching weight is 6.3 kg, and the infrared tracking wired guidance) at the beachhead position, which is very effective.
British lightsaber air defense missile
Modern warfare has entered the missile era, and the weapons used in the Falklands War are the tests and inspections of precision-guided weapons. Because the whole process of guided weapons from finding the target to completing the attack is controlled by accurate guidance system, the attack distance, hit accuracy and destructive power are far beyond the scope of traditional artillery. Therefore, the development and use of precision guided weapons will greatly increase the destructiveness and cruelty of war. Precise guidance of Wu Jing and the soldiers in the war will also become more and more important.
The Falklands War has passed, but the experience and lessons of Falklands War still exist. In summing up the experience and lessons of this war, Britain said that the basic elements of winning are: firm determination and command of leaders, well-trained officers and soldiers, advanced guided weapons and equipment, flexible combat and tactics, and advanced guided weapons are placed in an important position to win. (Xinhua military blog/blog with a glimpse of the soul)
Editor: Cao Jin