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  #691  
Old 02-05-2024, 07:07 PM
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Default Looming Stormclouds

David Axe at Forbes reported Saturday that the Russians have massed, "Five hundred tanks. More than 600 fighting vehicles. Hundreds of howitzers. Forty thousand troops. According to Ukraine’s eastern command, Russia has assembled a huge field army in eastern Ukraine opposite the free Ukrainian city of Kupyansk.

"Some or part of around 10 Ukrainian brigades, anchored in the north by the 3rd Tank Brigade and south by the 4th Tank Brigade, defends Kupyansk and surrounding settlements. It’s a significant forces with perhaps 20,000 troops and hundreds of tanks, fighting vehicles and howitzers.

"But people and vehicles aren’t the problem for the Ukrainians. The problem is ammunition. The United States was one of the biggest donors of 155-millimeter shells for Ukraine’s best big guns—and pro-Russia Republicans in the U.S. Congress cut off aid to Ukraine last fall.

"Since then, Ukrainian forces’ daily allotment of shells has fallen by two-thirds to just 2,000 rounds. Russian forces meanwhile fire as many as 10,000 shells a day, thanks to a steady supply of ammo from North Korea."

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  #692  
Old 02-14-2024, 09:19 AM
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Default Another Russian Warship Sunk

Apparently, Ukrainian naval drones (MaguraV5s) have taken out the Caezar Kunikov, a Project 775 landing craft. This is an older class of ships (the CK was commissioned in 1986) but it still highlights the vulnerability the Russians have vis a vis surface drone swarms. It will also be interesting to see how other navies learn (or fail to learn) the lessons of the Russo-Ukraine War. https://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-update.../live-68251728
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  #693  
Old 02-14-2024, 11:20 AM
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Always a nice surprise when this chart gets updated.

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  #694  
Old 02-15-2024, 09:19 PM
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Apparently, Ukrainian naval drones (MaguraV5s) have taken out the Caezar Kunikov, a Project 775 landing craft. This is an older class of ships (the CK was commissioned in 1986) but it still highlights the vulnerability the Russians have vis a vis surface drone swarms. It will also be interesting to see how other navies learn (or fail to learn) the lessons of the Russo-Ukraine War. https://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-update.../live-68251728
The only newer large landing ships in the Black Sea Fleet are Yamal and Azov, also Project 775 landing ships (Azov is the improved 775M sub-class). The only newer class is Project 11711, and the two examples of that class are both in the Northern Fleet. The Black Sea Fleet still uses a pair of Project 1171 landing ships, a type which entered service in 1965 (they had three, but Saratov was sunk in 2022).
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  #695  
Old 02-16-2024, 11:40 AM
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I've heard that some of these ships were also tasked to help move equipment and cargo to Crimea when the Kerch Bridge suffered a strike a while back. I imagine they're probably still used in that capacity to some extent.
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  #696  
Old 02-22-2024, 08:38 AM
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Default Avdiivka Falls; R.I.P. Navalny

More disappointing and troubling stories from Ukraine these last few weeks.

Without getting too political, the US Congress is still dragging its feet on, if not downright blocking, legislation to provide Ukraine with more military aid. This boggles my mind. The party that used to be the most Hawkish vis-a-vis Containment and international intervention is fast becoming isolationist, if not pro-Russian. I imagine Nixon and Reagan spinning in their graves right now.

By all accounts, the Ukrainians are running very low on artillery ammunition. European manufacturing, despite efforts to gear up closer to wartime production levels, can't keep up with demand. On the other side, the Russians have received fresh infusions of North Korean and Iranian shells, rockets, and guided ballistic missiles.

The latter have been found to contain numerous essential, Western components. The same is true of Iranian drones and Russian missiles. Either the DPRK and Iranians have gotten really good at finding ways around sanctions that have been in place for decades, or unscrupulous Western firms are colluding with dangerous dictatorships, or both. Whatever the case, it's deeply disappointing news.

I'm also troubled by reports of Ukraine's continuing difficulties in recruiting soldiers.

https://apnews.com/article/ukraine-r...217a653989fbc2

On the one hand, I totally get not wanting to fight in a war. After seeing photos and video of conditions on the front lines, I'd be in no hurry to enlist. On the other hand, this isn't some foreign adventure- this is a war for national survival. With Russia continuing to indiscriminately lob missiles at Ukrainian popular centers, this is an existential struggle. That said, the average age of replacement soldiers is reportedly in the 40s (WTF?!?). No amount of Western aid is going to save Ukraine if Ukrainians aren't willing to save their own country. That's easy for me to say, safe behind my keyboard, but I'm really struggling with the psychology of the average Ukrainian 18-35 year-old.

Now, an observation. I check in on the r/UkraineWarVideoReport Subreddit every few days. In the first year-and-a-half of the war, over half the videos showed ATGMs (Saint Javelin et al) taking out Russian vehicles. Over the last 6 months, those types of videos have all but disappeared. I haven't read anything about shortages of ATGMs, but pretty much every Russian-tank-getting-killed video stars a small drone as the killer. Have I missed a story about dwindling supplies of ATGMs? Also, the number of Ukrainian artillery strike videos has gone way down over the past three months- this, of course, reinforces my first point re worsening shortages re shells and rockets.

Anyway, it's looking like Putin will win this war. The Donbass will remain under Russian occupation, and a land-bridge to Crimea (stolen in 2014) has been established. Will he go for more? It's hard to say, at this point. If Ukrainians have the will and Western materiel support to continue to grind down Russian military power, then Russian probably won't make any more significant territorial gains. It's hard to see a better outcome than stalemate for Ukraine at this point. On the other hand, if Ukrainian will continues to wane, this could be the beginning of the end of Ukrainian nationhood.

I can't end on a sour note, so here's a positive: Ukraine somehow managed to shoot down at least six Sukhoi fighter-bombers in the last week or so.

Slava Ukraini!

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  #697  
Old 02-22-2024, 06:15 PM
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That said, the average age of replacement soldiers is reportedly in the 40s (WTF?!?). No amount of Western aid is going to save Ukraine if Ukrainians aren't willing to save their own country. That's easy for me to say, safe behind my keyboard, but I'm really struggling with the psychology of the average Ukrainian 18-35 year-old. -
One factor is probably that the age limits for conscription are 27 to 60, I believe in part because Ukraine is trying to avoid future demographic issues if men who are statistically unlikely to have had children are killed in combat. There is talk of lowering the lower limit to 25, but one of the things they're trying to avoid is not having a workforce in 20-25 years because too many young men got killed and there were no children to grow up to become workers. There's a need to balance immediate needs against long-term needs, and while I have no doubt they'd drop that conscription age if there was significant advancement by the Russians, as long as things are mostly static I don't expect much change.
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  #698  
Old 02-23-2024, 12:04 AM
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Something else to consider that I don't think has been mentioned - Ukraine seems to be doing their damndest to actually give their soldiers rotations from the front. From what I've been reading, this is in contrast to a lot of the Russian units which have been mobilized, and stuck at the front far beyond how a more reasonable military would handle them.
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  #699  
Old 02-23-2024, 03:41 PM
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One factor is probably that the age limits for conscription are 27 to 60, I believe in part because Ukraine is trying to avoid future demographic issues if men who are statistically unlikely to have had children are killed in combat. There is talk of lowering the lower limit to 25, but one of the things they're trying to avoid is not having a workforce in 20-25 years because too many young men got killed and there were no children to grow up to become workers. There's a need to balance immediate needs against long-term needs, and while I have no doubt they'd drop that conscription age if there was significant advancement by the Russians, as long as things are mostly static I don't expect much change.
That's remarkable foresight. I don't envy the Ukrainians this sort of lesser-of-two-evils calculus, but if the younger generation doesn't start pulling its weight here soon, there's a good chance they'll be enjoying their middle age in Russia's westernmost province.

Speaking of Russia, at least one Russian army seems to be evolving- or remembering, since the Soviet general staff developed 'Deep Battle' doctrine prior to WW2- their operational-level warfighting, launching an offensive on multiple, mutually-supporting axes. Why they've waited two years to launch an attack like this is pretty mind-boggling.

If you don't mind rather dry reading, the ISW does some really detailed analysis of the war on a fairly regular basis. See February 22 for the article mentioned above.

https://www.understandingwar.org/

In good news, the Ukrainians are claiming another A-50 Mainstay AWACS. That makes two destroyed, at least one damaged (on the ground, by a small drone).

Slava Ukraini!

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  #700  
Old 02-23-2024, 03:49 PM
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Something that surprises me is. With all the economic sanctions in place against Russia, how is it that they are able to continue to fund the war - but the USA looks to be reducing their spend?

Its almost as if Russia is winning the economic war as well as the war on the ground, which isn't what i expected.
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  #701  
Old 02-23-2024, 04:01 PM
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Something that surprises me is. With all the economic sanctions in place against Russia, how is it that they are able to continue to fund the war - but the USA looks to be reducing their spend?

Its almost as if Russia is winning the economic war as well as the war on the ground, which isn't what i expected.
Deficit spending. Their federal budget went from a 2022 surplus of 1.4 trillion rubles to a 2023 deficit of 2.9 trillion rubles. The forecast 2024 deficit is 1.6 trillion rubles, but that forecast includes selling oil for ~20% more than the $60/bbl cap that's been placed on Ural crude via sanctions.
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Old 02-23-2024, 04:25 PM
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Air Force: Ukraine shoots down another Russian A-50 aircraft over Azov Sea

AGAIN!??????


Incredibly, The Russian Air Force Has Lost Another Rare A-50 Radar Plane

This is reminding me of "Debt of Honor" with the comment about the Japanese AEW-767s. "first about how invincible they were, and more recently about how there were only a few left."


Maybe when the F-16s are finally active (with well trained pilots) they will be able to do better that we all expected.

Last edited by kato13; 02-23-2024 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Added second source.
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  #703  
Old 02-25-2024, 06:50 AM
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Yes, again and it could have been an upgraded A-50U, though that's neither confirmed nor is the exact method of the shoot-down known. What we know is that it happened in the Krasnodar region, which is south of Rostov on the Don and quite far away from the front lines. So we can rule out any of the large premium AA missile systems Ukraine has. Logic follows that infiltrated sabotage/commando type units with drones and or MANPADs are most likely as method for the destruction of this second or third A-50 Russia has now lost. One A-50 was previously shot down and another one earlier possibly sabotaged on ground by an explosive drone attack.

To put it mildly: Russia is losing the war on controlling the skies as it keeps losing data collection, distribution and early-warning methods. Their C³ISTAR capabilites are really thin now, although EW planes with some C²ISTAR capabilites remain. It's unknown how many servicable and especially fly-worthy A-50 remain in Russian service. Before the war nine or twelve A-50 were in service, but their status was unknown in detail.

The successor to the A-50, the A-100, has faced multiple delays in its program and has yet to be introduced into service. This is allegedly planned for this year. However, losing two experienced crews within two months will certainly degrade the Russian AEW&C capabilites in total. This would certainly benefit any military operation against Russia in the foreseeable future.
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  #704  
Old 02-26-2024, 04:21 PM
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Yes, again and it could have been an upgraded A-50U, though that's neither confirmed nor is the exact method of the shoot-down known. What we know is that it happened in the Krasnodar region, which is south of Rostov on the Don and quite far away from the front lines. So we can rule out any of the large premium AA missile systems Ukraine has. Logic follows that infiltrated sabotage/commando type units with drones and or MANPADs are most likely as method for the destruction of this second or third A-50 Russia has now lost. One A-50 was previously shot down and another one earlier possibly sabotaged on ground by an explosive drone attack.

To put it mildly: Russia is losing the war on controlling the skies as it keeps losing data collection, distribution and early-warning methods. Their C³ISTAR capabilites are really thin now, although EW planes with some C²ISTAR capabilites remain. It's unknown how many servicable and especially fly-worthy A-50 remain in Russian service. Before the war nine or twelve A-50 were in service, but their status was unknown in detail.

The successor to the A-50, the A-100, has faced multiple delays in its program and has yet to be introduced into service. This is allegedly planned for this year. However, losing two experienced crews within two months will certainly degrade the Russian AEW&C capabilites in total. This would certainly benefit any military operation against Russia in the foreseeable future.
I suppose it depends on whether or not you want to believe the Ukrainian MOD, but they're apparently claiming it was an S-200 that shot down the most recent A-50.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidax...h=51f6c0bc4743

This would make sense, at least in my mind, as the S-200 has some missiles with a longer range than the Patriot missiles provided to Ukraine thus far.
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Old 02-26-2024, 04:55 PM
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This may also have been a bit of a trap by the Ukrainian forces. They retired the S-200 in 2013, and brought it back during the current conflict with modifications (probably including an improved seeker) to act as a surface-to-surface missile. The speculation I've seen is that the A-50 called it in as an S-200 fired as an SSM, not realizing they were the target for an S-200 SAM.

The S-200 has to make some sacrifices for that range - it's an 8-tonne missile where PAC-2 is 0.9 tonnes and PAC-3 is around 0.3 tonnes, so an entire Patriot TEL with sixteen PAC-3 is only a little more than half the mass of a single S-200. This leads to a situation where its launchers are portable but not mobile; that is they can be transported by vehicles, but they can't move themselves and the set-up and teardown are long by modern standards. This was a smart use of a system that's not very flexible by (assuming the stories are correct) taking advantage of complacency on the other side, where they saw what they expected to see rather than what was actually happening.
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  #706  
Old 03-04-2024, 05:25 AM
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I suppose it depends on whether or not you want to believe the Ukrainian MOD, but they're apparently claiming it was an S-200 that shot down the most recent A-50.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidax...h=51f6c0bc4743

This would make sense, at least in my mind, as the S-200 has some missiles with a longer range than the Patriot missiles provided to Ukraine thus far.
Yes, they seem to claim that's what happened. From what I read by the more credible experts, this seems to be credible, too. I had not thought of that, since the system had been retired 2013 and while it was reactivated some time ago, I think Ukrainian S-200 never possessed the range necessary for such an intercept.

However, there were variants since the 1970s that could reach out to 300 km, namely the S-200M Vega-M (NATO code SA-5b) as well as S-200D "Dubna" (SA-5c). I don't know, if Ukraine purchased or otherwise obtained any of these improved missiles or if an indigenous improvement was developed and deployed. If the former is the case, Bulgaria could be a donor. As a neighboring country with a donor history, it's a likely candidate, but I don't have any knowledge of their inventory.

Another option would be Poland with their indigenous S-200C "Vega" variant. Though the original Soviet SA-200V "Vega" (NATO code SA-5b) could only reach out to 250 km, the Polish variant might be able to surpass this.
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  #707  
Old 03-04-2024, 01:43 PM
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I've been seeing some analysis on the recent batch of Russian planes going down. The gist seems to suggest the following:
  • Russia's been making heavy use of glide bombs lately, which they largely credit with their recent success in Avdiivka. These glide bombs can only be dropped currently from Su-34s and Su-35s, and require those planes to increase altitude up to a few thousand meters, during which time they're vulnerable to AA.
  • While the A50 was shot down allegedly using an S200 missile variant, those missiles aren't really suitable for hitting fighters at extended range due to lack of maneuverability.
  • Germany recently delivered on a second MIM-104 system in December with accompanying advanced radar system. The first one of these systems is allegedly stationed outside Kiev, while the second seems a good candidate for the types of hits being delivered over the last month. My understanding is that Ukraine is up to at least 4 batteries with 6 launchers total (2 systems from the US, 2 systems from Germany now, and 2 launchers from the Dutch).
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Old 03-04-2024, 05:08 PM
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I've been seeing some analysis on the recent batch of Russian planes going down. The gist seems to suggest the following:
  • Russia's been making heavy use of glide bombs lately, which they largely credit with their recent success in Avdiivka. These glide bombs can only be dropped currently from Su-34s and Su-35s, and require those planes to increase altitude up to a few thousand meters, during which time they're vulnerable to AA.
  • While the A50 was shot down allegedly using an S200 missile variant, those missiles aren't really suitable for hitting fighters at extended range due to lack of maneuverability.
  • Germany recently delivered on a second MIM-104 system in December with accompanying advanced radar system. The first one of these systems is allegedly stationed outside Kiev, while the second seems a good candidate for the types of hits being delivered over the last month. My understanding is that Ukraine is up to at least 4 batteries with 6 launchers total (2 systems from the US, 2 systems from Germany now, and 2 launchers from the Dutch).
Yeah, the S-200 is definitely not a fighter-killer. It's an 7-tonne whale of a missile whose warhead alone is 2/3 the weight of an entire PAC-3 missile. It was intended to knock down strategic bombers at very long range; they're perfectly fine against those or cargo aircraft or tankers or AWACS, things which tend to fly high, relatively slow, and don't maneuver well. Against a fighter or attack aircraft that is smaller, faster, and can pull more extreme maneuvers, it's outclassed. Square Pair (the ground-based tracking radar) can track those sorts of targets, but AFAIK the missile has never successfully engaged a small target. It's not a bad system, especially for the era in which it was developed, just specialized.
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Old 03-05-2024, 03:54 PM
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Default Black Sea Fleet Shrinkage

The Russian navy has involuntarily converted another surface ship into a submarine.

https://www.twz.com/sea/ukrainian-dr...vy-patrol-ship

Commissioned in July 2022, the Sergei Kotov was one of four Project 22160 patrol ships, all based in the Black Sea, and each costing roughly $65m.

The Ukrainians had claimed to have hit Project 22160 with either an SSM or shore-launched rocket during the first year of the war, but that turned out to be false.

The loss of the Sergei Kotov has been confirmed by Russian sources.

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Old 03-06-2024, 11:08 AM
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The Russian navy has involuntarily converted another surface ship into a submarine.

https://www.twz.com/sea/ukrainian-dr...vy-patrol-ship

Commissioned in July 2022, the Sergei Kotov was one of four Project 22160 patrol ships, all based in the Black Sea, and each costing roughly $65m.

The Ukrainians had claimed to have hit Project 22160 with either an SSM or shore-launched rocket during the first year of the war, but that turned out to be false.

The loss of the Sergei Kotov has been confirmed by Russian sources.

-
There's a solid nighttime video of the sinking available online for anyone interested in seeing it. It appears as though the naval drone fires a forward facing rocket at the Sergey Kotov just prior to impact, opening up the hull prior to its own impact - it's very impressive. It also seems that the Sergey Kotov was one of the Russian craft in the Black Sea capable of launching Kalibr cruise missiles. A worthwhile target.

I keep reflecting on how drones are radically changing the face of warfare in future engagements. I'm sure every branch of the US and European militaries right now are deeply examining the new risks to their own equipment as those risks are being put in the limelight in Ukraine. It also presents some wild opportunities for new equipment, and the militaries that are able to properly capitalize on the new technologies are going to have a decided edge in future conflicts. As but one example, naval drones likely have a more limited capacity at the moment due to radio waves being unable to penetrate as far under the water. I'm sure folks are already looking at implementing AI onto new naval drones that would allow them to be more of a "launch and forget" system, which would remove the need for radio guidance entirely.

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Old 03-06-2024, 05:20 PM
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Playing devil's advocate, it's worth noting a few things about the Project 22160 patrol boats.
1. They're tiny. The US Coast Guard's Legend-class cutters are almost triple the displacement of a 22160.
2. Their armament is a bit funky, consisting of a 76mm dual-purpose gun, a pair of 14.5mm machine guns, modular missile/torpedo launchers, and anti-personnel grenade launchers. After Moskva was promoted from ship to reef they received a Tor-M2 SAM launcher vehicle to park on their rear deck to provide air defense. Notably they don't have any of the 30mm CIWS or any light missile launchers other than the jerry-rigged Tor system.

They're oriented towards an anti-big ship or surface bombardment role, with Kalibr or Uran missiles or Paket torpedoes, with relatively little weaponry dedicated to self-defense from either surface combatants or aircraft. If I had to compare them to something Western, it would be the dedicated anti-submarine frigates from the Cold War that relied on the rest of their battle group for protection from anything else. They fill a useful role, but they are rather vulnerable on their own.

Allegedly this was an attack by MAGURA V5 drones, which are the same type that sank Tsezar Kunikov on Valentine's Day. Since November they've destroyed three landing craft (1 Serna, 1 Akula, 1 Ropucha) a Tarantul missile corvette, and now the Project 22160 patrol ship.
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Old 03-13-2024, 09:07 PM
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Something new that came up in one of my discussions recently is that Russia appears to be getting more active in tasking long-range fires, using relatively high-flying drones to identify targets and quickly getting surface-to-surface missiles on them. This ties into some of the earlier posts here about the cost of defeating drones. These are generally too high for a Gepard or other small autocannon SPAAG to reach, so right now the only option is an expensive missile. The ubiquity of drones may call for resuming development of larger-caliber SPAAGs, like the 76mm Otomatic and Draco that were prototyped but never purchased. Otomatic was supposed to be fitted to Leopard 1 and/or M60 tanks, and Draco on the Centauro 8x8 armored car. Developing a turret with radars and a high-angle mount for a large autocannon for obsolescent (but still usable) tank hulls and/or the various LAV/Piranha/Stryker type armored cars would provide another layer of air defense between missiles and the small-caliber autocannon SPAAGs that is looking more necessary as drone warfare rapidly evolves.
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Old 03-14-2024, 04:46 PM
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There's a solid nighttime video of the sinking available online for anyone interested in seeing it. It appears as though the naval drone fires a forward facing rocket at the Sergey Kotov just prior to impact, opening up the hull prior to its own impact - it's very impressive. It also seems that the Sergey Kotov was one of the Russian craft in the Black Sea capable of launching Kalibr cruise missiles. A worthwhile target.

I keep reflecting on how drones are radically changing the face of warfare in future engagements. I'm sure every branch of the US and European militaries right now are deeply examining the new risks to their own equipment as those risks are being put in the limelight in Ukraine. It also presents some wild opportunities for new equipment, and the militaries that are able to properly capitalize on the new technologies are going to have a decided edge in future conflicts. As but one example, naval drones likely have a more limited capacity at the moment due to radio waves being unable to penetrate as far under the water. I'm sure folks are already looking at implementing AI onto new naval drones that would allow them to be more of a "launch and forget" system, which would remove the need for radio guidance entirely.
IMHO, commoditized drone tech represents a true "revolution in military affairs."

The cost/benefit ratio is completely out of whack with other weapons platforms. You basically have, roughly speaking $200 to $10k platforms (from the grenade dropping hobby FPV drones to the longer range military suicide drones with thermal and semi-autonomous capabilities) able take out material and personnel much more cost effectively than almost any other option.

For example, the M982 Excalibur 155mm guided projectile costs $68,000 to $250k per round. A JDAM kit $30k - but has to be deployed via a $30 million+ piece of equipment, and a non-permissive environment raises the cost of delivery significantly.

But drones excel in non-permissive environments because they are cheap, the AAA counter-measures are themselves ideal high priority targets for the drones, and no one has really come up with a great strategy to deal with them yet in a near-peer contest like in the Ukraine (in Gaza, Hamas basically just ran out of drones rather than Israel completely nullifying them tactically). Missiles aren't cost effective, and no one has apparently deployed a gun system that works all that great.

The net net is you have a situation where maneuver forces are extremely vulnerable, infantry forces are extremely vulnerable, and Russia's strategy of deploying poorly trained and equipped Mobiks to soak up drones may actually not be the worst strategy out there. Better, from a Russian point of view, to lose a conscript with an AK-74 and some recycled fatigues and boots, than a T-90.
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Old 03-18-2024, 01:19 PM
Heffe Heffe is offline
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I'm somewhat reminded of this scene from Angel has Fallen (absolutely terrible movie btw, would not recommend):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbGxYoxpPdI

But that scene with drones, in hindsight, seems a bit prescient. Perhaps not in the delivery of the drones, but at least in the tactic. As individual drone countermeasures become the norm, I have a feeling we're going to start seeing more "swarming" techniques being used against high value targets. Even a purpose built gun system is going to struggle against 20-50 grenade-sized drones, which each cost $100, all attacking in unison.
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Old 03-22-2024, 12:57 PM
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Well this is going to be a big deal.

Gunmen open fire at people at concert hall near Moscow, (MASS) casualties reported. (Mass added to be accurate)
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe...es-2024-03-22/

The US warned citizens not to go to public places about 2 weeks ago,
https://ru.usembassy.gov/security-al...next-48-hours/

The embassy’s warning came on the same day that Russia’s Federal Security Service said it foiled a plot by an Islamic State-linked group to attack a synagogue in Moscow.
https://ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/int...herings-moscow

If I had to guess I would bet on Islamic separatists or a Russian false flag. But the US warning alone will be enough for this to be spun as a Ukrainian operation necessitating full mobilization.

If you have any new information or opinions always happy to get another perspective.
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Old 03-22-2024, 10:40 PM
Vespers War Vespers War is offline
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Well this is going to be a big deal.

Gunmen open fire at people at concert hall near Moscow, (MASS) casualties reported. (Mass added to be accurate)
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe...es-2024-03-22/

The US warned citizens not to go to public places about 2 weeks ago,
https://ru.usembassy.gov/security-al...next-48-hours/

The embassy’s warning came on the same day that Russia’s Federal Security Service said it foiled a plot by an Islamic State-linked group to attack a synagogue in Moscow.
https://ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/int...herings-moscow

If I had to guess I would bet on Islamic separatists or a Russian false flag. But the US warning alone will be enough for this to be spun as a Ukrainian operation necessitating full mobilization.

If you have any new information or opinions always happy to get another perspective.
ISIS-Khorasan (the branch active in Afghanistan and proximate areas) is claiming responsibility for the attack.
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Old 03-23-2024, 10:01 AM
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Default Developing Story

It's still too early to reach any definitive conclusions. This whole effed-up situation is even more difficult to parse given that two of its lead actors- Putin and the IS- are incredibly unreliable narrators.

The Associated Press and the BBC are both reporting that the US shared intelligence about a planned IS operation against Russian soft targets at around the same time the State Department issued its public warning to US citizens living abroad, despite frosty relations between the two nations.

Undoubtedly, Putin will seek to use this horrific event to further demonize Ukraine and the US with the Russian people. He's already claiming that four of the attackers were apprehended whilst trying to reach Ukraine, and that the Ukrainians had prepared a "window of escape" for them.

Unfortunately, since Putin controls all media in Russia, this is the only story that the Russian people will hear, regardless of its dubious veracity.

IMHO, NATO really needs to step up its information warfare efforts in Russia. I wonder if Radio Free Europe broadcasts reach Moscow.

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Old 03-24-2024, 09:36 AM
LoneCollector1987 LoneCollector1987 is offline
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According to the webpage of the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk of September 16th, 2023 there are about 203.640 male Ukrainians between 18 and 60 who therefore could be called up to serve.

Germany will not sent them back and they could only be returned by force if Ukraine would open criminal proceedings against them (and then it must be not one procedure against them all but it must be an individual procedure).

Since the beginning of the war you cannot claim to be a conscientious objector in Ukraine.

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https://www.mdr.de/nachrichten/deuts...erung-100.html
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Old 04-05-2024, 03:40 PM
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Default Putin's Long Game

Regarding Ukraine's military manpower, the draft age was lowered this week to 25. I hope that doesn't end up being too little and too late.

https://apnews.com/article/russia-uk...w%20conscripts.

Because, apparently, Russia has somehow managed to reconstitute its military.

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon...official-says/

I'm taking this with a grain of salt. A refurbished T-55 is not a new-production T-90, and a poorly trained conscript is not a veteran VDV Paratrooper. It's also worth noting that several NATO/EU officials have publicly disagreed with the US Deputy Secretary of State's assessment.

That said, Russia's still somehow managed to overcome international sanctions and keep substantial quantities of troops and weaponry in the field without breaking its economy or mobilizing for total war. The assistance that Russia is receiving from its allies could prove decisive. I've seen Russian advantage over Ukraine in artillery shells reported anywhere from 3 to 1 to 7 to 1.

Overall, it's looking like the Ukrainian military is really starting to bend under Russia's continuing material and manpower advantages. I hope that it doesn't break, and I also hope that its allies step up and give them the support that they so desperately need.

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Last edited by Raellus; 04-07-2024 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 04-10-2024, 12:02 PM
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Default Shell Game

"God favours the side with the best artillery." - Napoleon Bonaparte

The artillery ammunition situation appears to be rather dire for the UAF.

https://apnews.com/article/ukraine-r...f74c53861734da

Every few days, there's a headline about how one European partner or another has "found" more artillery shells for Ukraine, but they never seem to materialize. There are also regular headlines about how a handful of US Congresspeople are standing in the way of more US military aid for Ukraine.

It's sooooo hard not to bring US politics into this, but I'm going to abide by the forum rules.

To circle back to T2k, I think the correlation of artillery forces between the Soviets and NATO would favor the former. Advantage: Warsaw Pact.

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