Polina Tikhonova — Value Walk Oct 26, 2015
Russia has just unveiled its cutting-edge weapon that emits light so powerful it can literally blind enemies. The new weapon is expected to be used in Russia’s ongoing military operation against ISIS militants in Syria.
The new dazzling weapon, a ‘visual optical jammer’ called Grach, was unveiled at a military expo in Russia last week.
It was earlier reported that the Russian Navy is poised to conduct military tests with a new prototype of the ray gun on the frigate Admiral Gorshkov as well as other vessels.
“It [the new ray gun prototype] can save lives and hardware and causes a strong psychological effect on the enemy,” deputy director of device creator OPK Sergey Skokov said, as quoted by The Sunday Express.
Skokov added that the new weapon will be used only against terrorists such as ISIS as well as pirates, and will not be limited to only the Russian military, which means the Kremlin plans exporting this weapon.
“Not only foreign navies, but also border guards and law enforcement agencies fighting against piracy on the seas may find it useful,” Skokov said.
The ray gun features four projectors, with the capacity to be controlled remotely. It is expected to be attached to defense vehicles such as hovercrafts, amphibious vehicles and hydrofoils in order to provide allied troops with cover by blinding enemies with strong light.
Russia uses Syrian conflict to test its weapons in the battlefield
The new weapon is expected to be used by Russian forces in Syria against ISIS targets. However, there have been numerous indications that Russia also targets U.S.-backed rebels, who oppose against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime.
Last week, it was reported that Russian jets bombed 27 hotspots believed to be held by ISIS. However, it was also reported that Russian jets have bombed 9 Syrian hospitals in the last month, according to the American Thinker.
Russian defense ministry recently reported that the Russian military campaign in Syria has destroyed a total of 71 armored vehicles, 30 other types of vehicles, 19 command facilities, 2 communications facilities, 23 depots with fuel and supplies, 6 plants manufacturing car bombs as well as several artillery units and training camps.
Russia’s military campaign in Syria thus presents a unique opportunity for the Russian military to test the effectiveness of its new weapons and see how they operate in the battlefield.
Russia has not had an opportunity to test its weapons in actual combat zones ever since the war in Afghanistan, while the U.S. and its Western allies have tested many of its tactics and weaponry in such military confrontations as Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.
Russia builds a significant force in Syria
The weapons that Russia is using in the Syrian military campaign include the Kh-25 laser-guided missile and the KAB-500S Glonass satellite-guided bomb. According to reports, these weapons are used in moderation.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Russia has 30 fixed-wing aircraft as well as 20 jets currently operating in Syria, all of which are deployed in the coastal city of Latakia.
Russia has conducted a total of 669 sorties in Syria, 115 of which were launched at night, which indicates that Russia has been working on its armed forces’ night vision capabilities, according to Russian media.
The last month of Russian aerial campaign in Syria indicates that Russia is focusing mainly on precision strikes, rather than more traditional Russian air-ground cooperation operations. However, there have been several operations, in which Russia provided air support for advancing Syrian army.
Military comparison: Post-Soviet Russia vs. Modern Russia
The West has not seen what the Russian military is like in actual combat since the war in Afghanistan, and now Russia shows off its modernized and new military capabilities, which differ greatly from the Soviet forces.
Russian military is now capable of effectively using drones and precision weapons, while constantly advancing its aircraft and naval technologies. The post-Soviet Russia relied largely on nuclear weapons, while now the Russian military might is capable of presenting a great challenge to enemies with its conventional forces.
By using a few small corvettes deployed in the Caspian Sea, Russia managed to carry out the launch of brand new Kalibr NK cruise missiles at targets located nearly 1,000 miles away. This kind of missiles provides Moscow with the kind of strike capabilities even the U.S. does not have.
Nearly 80 percent of Russian airstrikes landed on non-ISIS targets
Nearly 80 percent of Russian airstrikes in Syria have targeted areas not held by ISIS, according to Reuters analysis, which was done based on Russia’s defense ministry data.
The number – 80 percent – prompts to doubt Moscow’s claims that the main target of its airstrike campaign in Syria is exclusively ISIS targets.
According to the analysis, most of bombs landed in the areas held by anti-Assad regime rebels, including affiliates of Al Qaeda, as well as U.S.-backed rebels, some of which were trained by the CIA.
Reuters’ report proves Washington and its allies’ claims that the Russian invasion in Syria, which is the largest military operation of the country since the collapse of the USSR, has the ultimate goal to assist Bashar al-Assad, who visited Moscow last week to thank Mr. Putin for his help.
However, Russian officials keep dismissing such accusations, reiterating that the sole goal of Russian military operation in Syria is to destroy ISIS as well as other groups that identify themselves as terrorist Islamists. According to the Kremlin, both Moscow and the West have a common enemy. But do they, really?