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  #481  
Old 01-26-2023, 06:05 AM
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I’d be interested to know the spares, maintenance, sustainment, and recovery package going with the tanks. I read that there are some M88s being sent, anyone heard anything else? Going off the density of tanks alone there should be a couple Forward Support Companies worth of tools, trucks, etc.
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  #482  
Old 01-26-2023, 07:27 AM
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This is particularly ironic being that, during the Cold War, the Dutch did own/field the Leopard II. They got rid of them in around 2010, essentially because Russia was no longer perceived to pose a threat to Europe (resulting in budget cuts and force restructuring).
Dutch sold their Leopard 2A6 tanks to Finland.

Last tanks were delivered after Russian invasion to Ukraine. There was minor uproar in Holland about their defense policy…
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  #483  
Old 01-26-2023, 09:34 AM
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Apparently due to tech export restrictions the US M1 will need to be new builds, delaying them until 2024. I have read that the Australians have retired essentially the same versions (no advanced armor package) as they are getting the newest versions as part of our unified defense against China.

Has there been any talk of Australia donating these lower tech units to the cause? I know the US is trusting Australians with the holy grail of our tech (nuclear sub stuff), so lets do this swap out early and get the M1A1a moving to Europe.
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  #484  
Old 01-26-2023, 10:43 AM
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My biggest worry is what Putin's response will be. There's been saber-rattling before the transfers were even confirmed. He may try something desperate before the modern Western MBTs arrive on the battlefield. This could lead to the escalation the German government was worried about. We shall see.
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Word has it that the past couple of days have seen increased levels of combat, particularly in the south near Donetsk and Zaporizhia. ISW at least perceives these assaults as spoiling attacks, presumably in preparation for a large increase of Russian troop numbers along the Svatove direction that they believe precludes a looming Russian offensive.
While it makes sense from a domestic propaganda perspective for Russia to try to reclaim the lost territory near Kharkiv, I can't help but wonder how much metal they still have available to try such a large offensive.

To your point Rae, I also wonder if this is Russia realizing that with western tanks inbound, their time to make big moves may be coming to an end. While a couple of battalions of western tanks won't win the war on its own or anything, it would be enough to put the war's initiative back into Ukraine's hands. And as we saw previously with HIMARs transfers, these MBT offerings from the west may be just the beginning. The floodgates are opening, and I'm not sure I see a path back for Russia, despite their manpower advantage.
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  #485  
Old 01-26-2023, 06:04 PM
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Apparently due to tech export restrictions the US M1 will need to be new builds, delaying them until 2024. I have read that the Australians have retired essentially the same versions (no advanced armor package) as they are getting the newest versions as part of our unified defense against China.

Has there been any talk of Australia donating these lower tech units to the cause? I know the US is trusting Australians with the holy grail of our tech (nuclear sub stuff), so lets do this swap out early and get the M1A1a moving to Europe.
Ukraine is allegedly (according to multiple anonymous sources) being provided with M1A2 (exact version unclear, but AFAIK only SEP v3 is currently in production, while older ones could be pulled out of mothballs). Army leadership said yesterday they're providing civilian leadership with a number of options on how to deliver those, since Lima has around 2.5 years of production backlog between Taiwan and (especially) Poland at current rates. I expect one option will be diverting new export builds, while another option will be taking old turrets and replacing the DU armor inserts with the FMS armor inserts. There might be other options as well, but those are the first two to come to mind.
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  #486  
Old 01-27-2023, 05:09 AM
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Recent reports put Russian KIA and WIA, combined, at between 100-180k. Ukrainian losses- again, both KIA and WIA combined- are believed to be upwards of 100k. That's not even a 2 to 1 ratio in Ukraine's favor.
The big factor here would be the ratio between KIA and WIA and from what we know about the war - reliable sources are the biggest problem here - Ukrainian medical care is superior to Russian. That has several factors:
  1. Russian (and Soviet) CASEVAC and care was always far worse than Western and Ukraine was trained close to Western standards,
  2. supply issues regarding first aid and all other tiers of medical care are well documented for the Russian side in this war,
  3. Ukraine is fighting on its own soil, so hospitals are closer at hand and
  4. civilian volunteer forces are available, because defense of the nation is an accepted common goal,
  5. Russia is fighting an invasion and occupying Ukraine after a very destructive conquest, so their own hospitals are further away from the frontlines, even those in territories of their proxies, and
  6. critical infrastructure in occupied territories is often damaged, especially due to the destructive nature of Russian offensive warfare: where Russia goes, its forces can hardly use critical infrastructure or only in vastly diminished forms, also, local volunteers are hardly available.
None of these factors benefits Russian forces to regenerate its forces from MIA casualties. In fact, it all of these factors are detrimental to medical care, increasing the number of Russian casualties that decease after reaching rearward medical care as MIAs or become permanently invalid.

Next, permanently invalids of the Russian forces are lost for the war effort almost completely. They will receive a pension, at least nominally, but are unlikely to contribute meaningful to further force generations. Ukrainian invalids have started civilian efforts to further the war effort (humanitarian aid mostly) or can, in some cases, be of use to the armed forces in administrative positions. This allows the armed forces to free up certain personnel.

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I'd like to see some POW figures from both sides. My impression is that more Russian troops have been captured, but what's the actual difference? Is it statistically significant?
That's a big blurry subject in open sources, yes. My impression from the few numbers released was that Ukraine is eager to get its people back, so they often made deals that released their own people in infavorable ratios: more Russians were released than Ukrainians. But that seems to have changed recently, this compilation at the end of the text tells me: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casual...isoners_of_war

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Again, Ukraine is at or near full mobilization. Russia, on the other hand is not. They still have untapped manpower reserves. Yes, qualitatively, Russia's replacement troops are inferior but, quantitatively, Russia still has a decided edge.
Ukraine is very far from total mobilization and I don't know where you get an otherwise impression. Ukraine has somewhere around 11 million men at an available age for service and around 6,5 to 7 million fit for military service. About 400,000-450,000 men reach mobilization age each year. Mobilization so far has brought the strength of the armed forces to around 700,000 soldiers.

Quantities don't matter unless they're exploitable. And Russia's junta has clearly refrained from exploiting the full quantities available. This partially thanks to dismembering the necessary infra structure and blatant corruption in the remaining structures of mobilization during the years of "reforming the army", i. e. building a professional, expeditionary force and largely abandoning conscription service. However, another big factor is that mobilization en masse would mean mobilizing in the metropolitan centers of Moscow and Saint Petersburg as well as other large cities. This would be hugely unpopular and would mean bringing large swathes of unhappy people from all across the country into these cities - because that's how large scale transport works in Russia - and arm them. That trick didn't work well in 1917 for the government in power at the time.

As long as Russia mobilizes by scraping barrels in the provinces and sending inmates to the front as mercenaries, their quantitative factor remains unexploited. And since they lost most of their experienced long term cadre, including a good chunk of school staff early in the war, their training is now hampered.

Ukraine on the other hand trains new troops by the thousands, including the core of two new armored/mechanized divisions in the UK, Poland and Germany (by German and American instructors). Their instructors are among the best in the world, training them in mechanized warfare to the standards that so far kept Ukraine free and were proven successful at least twice in Iraq.

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True, but I worry about the psychological toll that almost a full year of near continuous combat operations is taking on the Ukrainian military. Combat exhaustion is real. Physical and psychological wounds tend to degrade combat effectiveness over time.
Combat exhaustion is a true problem and its effects remain to be studied in this war. However, it's not true that Ukrainian soldiers or Western volunteers don't get time off. Force regeneration is definitely important and Ukraine knows this.

However, what Ukraine's forces can do that Russia's cannot is transfer of experiences. Human wave tactics - as seen in Bakhmut recently - and the horrific losses during the early weeks around Kyiv and the Northeast of Ukraine, have destroyed previously prestigious Russian divisions, including the vaunted VDV, and prohibit learning lessons on an operational level.

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Why are you so certain?
Lukashenka is good at one thing: Staying alive and in power. He gains nothing from joining the war. He can loose everything. First of all, it makes his nation a target. Second, he couldn't count on Putin defending Belarus, if NATO would take punitive actions against Belarus. The Belarusian armed forces are a joke. Their size was reduced to minimal forces, equipment is decrepit and their best tanks were given to Russia. Lukashenka did this on purpose. The armed forces are pro-Russian and were for a long time his most likely internal opposition with the means to oust him.

He built his own internal security troops to counter that inner threat to his power. Fortunately, this also made Belarus a military dwarf. The installations and barracks are still around, though. So he could offer Russia his help training Russian soldiers, similar to what Western armies do for Ukraine. The difference though is that Belarus has no high standards to train Russians too. They have no experience. So, most likely Belarussian soldiers guard the barracks and donate equipment, letting Russia do all the rest: bring trainers, curricula and recruits.

Next, Russia is clearly playing the long game in Belarus. ISW stated that for the foreseeable future, the northern attack vector through Belarus seems unlikely for a new Russian offensive. They neither have the troops nor the equipment ready there. Would Belarus join in an offensive in the next winter? Unlikely. Again, Lukashenka would have to expand his military for that and reequip it, too. That only gets him to have a well armed internal opposition. Should Putin win, they would be on his side and better experienced than Lukashenka's internal security force. Should Russia loose, they'd likely drag Belarusian troops with them, probably sacrificing them first. This would generate unrest in the forces, making a mutiny more likely. Who'd be guilty of getting Belarusians killed in Ukraine? Lukashenka! That's a good way to end up like Ceaușescu.

Lukashenka needs to fear the war on all layers and probably does so. But the new sanctions hit him hard too, so he needs Russia for his survival, too. Also, if Russia becomes chaotic, that's not good for him either. Should the war end with a Ukrainian victory, Belarusian fighters who volunteered for Ukraine, will return home and probably start to dismember his power, maybe even using direct action and guerilla warfare. So, a frozen conflict would be Lukashenka's best option. For that, he needs Russia to keep going, but not win.
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  #487  
Old 01-27-2023, 02:35 PM
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I confess that I've been largely playing devil's advocate in this debate, both as a foil of sorts to the more sanguine among us, and to temper my own expectations lest I be disappointed.

Your points are all well taken, Ursus. I shan't argue simply to argue. In actuality, I am very hopeful that Ukraine emerges victorious and territorially whole again. That said, I don't want to get my hopes up too high.

Also, since this is a T2k forum, I almost can't help myself from looking at the Ukraine War through a T2k lens- trying to extrapolate plausible ways that this regional conflict could escalate, spill over, and result in a much wider war, even WW3. I'm not too worried about this happening, IRL, any time soon but, to be totally transparent, the Cold War kid in me still fears nuclear Armageddon.

I guess you could say that I'd rather focus on closer-to-worst-case scenario and end up being pleasantly surprised at a more positive outcome than expecting a best-case scenario and be disappointed when things end up worse than anticipated.

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  #488  
Old 01-27-2023, 03:25 PM
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I don't see a way Russia "wins" without resorting to nukes.

At this point, I think Russia being able to hold onto Crimea and the Donbass is suspect. They already lost the best of their mechanized forces, burned through most of their PGMs, and don't have the industrial capacity to re-generate their forces. Having to import drones from Iran and artillery shells from North Korea is a *really bad sign*. This would be like the US having to purchase ammo from Guatemala.

Yes, they can keep throwing people at the problem, but that just generates more bodies to bury. Hoping your opponent runs out of ammo before you run out of bodies isn't a great military strategy in this day and age.

And Ukraine doesn't need force parity to defeat the Russians. Two heavy mechanized divisions equipped, trained, and supplied to Western standards is going to be sufficient to route a bunch of paroled convicts and old conscripts with 1 or 2 days of training, no food, and suspect leadership.

And part of me can't shake the feeling that Poland is itching to get it on with Russia. I highly suspect that if it looked like Ukraine was going to fall now, that Poland would intervene. And then it gets real sporty.

The $64,000 question is whether or not China makes a military play for Taiwan (which, I don't think they will do without also getting North Korea to attack South Korea). That's the only non-nuclear wildcard that might give Putin some daylight.
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  #489  
Old 01-28-2023, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kato13 View Post
Apparently due to tech export restrictions the US M1 will need to be new builds, delaying them until 2024. I have read that the Australians have retired essentially the same versions (no advanced armor package) as they are getting the newest versions as part of our unified defense against China.

Has there been any talk of Australia donating these lower tech units to the cause? I know the US is trusting Australians with the holy grail of our tech (nuclear sub stuff), so lets do this swap out early and get the M1A1a moving to Europe.
I haven't seen any discussion on this in the Australian media, it's mostly been trumpeting the donation of Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles.
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  #490  
Old 01-29-2023, 07:43 PM
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Anyone have "Israel launches drones from inside Iran(or possibly Azerbaijan) to disrupt drone delivery to Russia" on their unexpected twists in this conflict bingo card?

We are serious amateurs/under appreciated professionals at making this kind of stuff up and this one still me.

Last edited by kato13; 01-29-2023 at 09:06 PM. Reason: typo
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  #491  
Old 01-29-2023, 10:06 PM
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Anyone have "Israel launches drones from inside Iran(or possibly Azerbaijan) to disrupt drone delivery to Russia" on their unexpected twists in this conflict bingo card?

We are serious amateurs/under appreciated professionals at making this kind of stuff up and this one still me.
I suspect disrupting drone delivery to Russia was an unintended consequence. Israel's interest is in disrupting Iran's production of weapons to prevent their distribution within the Middle East, with little concern (although probably not no concern) for how it affects things elsewhere on the globe. Their primary concern is Shaheds making their way to Hezbollah rather than Shaheds striking Kyiv.
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  #492  
Old 01-30-2023, 08:20 AM
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I suspect disrupting drone delivery to Russia was an unintended consequence.
Given that Israel has so far refused to provide military aid to Ukraine, despite direct pleas from the latter party, I'll second this VW's assessment. Nonetheless, these strikes may end up indirectly helping Ukraine so that's pretty cool.

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  #493  
Old 01-30-2023, 08:50 AM
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Given that Israel has so far refused to provide military aid to Ukraine, despite direct pleas from the latter party, I'll second this VW's assessment. Nonetheless, these strikes may end up indirectly helping Ukraine so that's pretty cool.

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It is a distinct possibility, but your and VWs assessment is the perfect cover to not get the Russians to escalate in Syria and make the US happier about their non action in regards to Ukraine. Maybe a 50/50 play?
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  #494  
Old 02-06-2023, 04:30 PM
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Anyone else want to do a T2k campaign/adventure in Bakhmut, Ukraine, USSR now? I feel like I now know that area, just as well as I know the area around Kalisz or Krakow.
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  #495  
Old 02-09-2023, 03:29 PM
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It is a distinct possibility, but your and VWs assessment is the perfect cover to not get the Russians to escalate in Syria and make the US happier about their non action in regards to Ukraine. Maybe a 50/50 play?
Definitely a possibility.

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Anyone else want to do a T2k campaign/adventure in Bakhmut, Ukraine, USSR now? I feel like I now know that area, just as well as I know the area around Kalisz or Krakow.
As far as Ukraine's war-torn urban scenery, the images will definitely be useful for Ref's attempting to set the scene for their players. The photos could work for pretty much any Eastern European urban setting, as pretty much all Bakhmut's distinct identifying features have been blasted beyond recognition.

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  #496  
Old 02-09-2023, 03:41 PM
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Ukrainian forces have terminated their first Russian BMPT. Hopefully the other "Terminators" meet the same fate very soon.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...combat-vehicle

It looks like the "Terminator" in question had been abandoned prior to the artillery strikes, as it makes no effort to evade or reposition after the first near miss.

If that is indeed the case, it highlights another major shortcoming of the Russian ground forces that's become very apparent since the invasion kicked off almost a year ago- the failure to recover disabled AFVs. Do the Russians simply lack sufficient numbers of ARVs with which to do so, or is this failure more a function of poor tactics and battlefield command and control? I tend to think it's more the latter, as like vehicles (i.e. another BMPT or AFV with sufficient horsepower) could conceivably taken its disabled sister under tow and drag it out of harms way.

Also, the footage could indicate that the BMPT was operating alone. This is a tactical blunder that we've seen repeated over and over by the Russian ground forces in Ukraine.

Bringing this back around to T2k, does the BMPT make an appearance in your T2kU? (It does in mine.)

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  #497  
Old 02-09-2023, 04:38 PM
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Also, the footage could indicate that the BMPT was operating alone. This is a tactical blunder that we've seen repeated over and over by the Russian ground forces in Ukraine.
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I have to admit that Russia's absolute bonkers lack of viable armor doctrine has been one of the more shocking revelations of the war. It's been over a year now, and we're still continuing to see armor, completely unsupported by infantry, moving forward to assault entrenched positions. Not only are we still seeing this kind of activity on the Russian side, but it doesn't seem to be improving at all.
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Old 02-09-2023, 08:39 PM
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Ukrainian forces have terminated their first Russian BMPT. Hopefully the other "Terminators" meet the same fate very soon.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...combat-vehicle

It looks like the "Terminator" in question had been abandoned prior to the artillery strikes, as it makes no effort to evade or reposition after the first near miss.

If that is indeed the case, it highlights another major shortcoming of the Russian ground forces that's become very apparent since the invasion kicked off almost a year ago- the failure to recover disabled AFVs. Do the Russians simply lack sufficient numbers of ARVs with which to do so, or is this failure more a function of poor tactics and battlefield command and control? I tend to think it's more the latter, as like vehicles (i.e. another BMPT or AFV with sufficient horsepower) could conceivably taken its disabled sister under tow and drag it out of harms way.

Also, the footage could indicate that the BMPT was operating alone. This is a tactical blunder that we've seen repeated over and over by the Russian ground forces in Ukraine.

Bringing this back around to T2k, does the BMPT make an appearance in your T2kU? (It does in mine.)

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It was reported as disabled before the indirect fire strikes. This might have been a strike to eliminate it before it could be dragged away for repairs. It was destroyed by the 140th Marine Reconnaissance Battalion, a relatively new unit that was stood up in 2019. The fighting was geolocated to a forest between Kreminna and Bilohorivka, Luhasnk Oblast.

A little further south, Russia lost 31 vehicles in Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast, including 13 tanks (mostly T-72B3, at least one T-80BVM) and 12 BMPs.

Getting back to the game, I haven't used the Terminator. It's too new for the timelines I've run, with a single company of 9 vehicles formed last year. If I was going to use the BMPT concept, I'd probably go back to the late 1980s BMPT designs. Both were built on modified T-72B hulls in 1987.

Object 781 sb.7 used two independently rotating turrets, each with a 2A42 30mm autocannon and a coaxial PKT. Each turret could also have either a 4-pack of smoke grenades or a twin ATGM launcher (I've seen different sources claim it as either a Konkurs or Ataka launcher). There were also a pair of 30mm grenade launchers or a pair of PKTs in the front fenders, along with a pair of NSV machine guns to cover the flanks and rear from a low-profile "mini-turret" behind the main turrets. It carried 550 rounds for each autocannon, 2000 rounds for each machine gun, and 300 grenades for each launcher (inf installed). Crew was 7 - a driver and two gunners at the front of the hull, the commander and gunner in the middle, and two NSV gunners at the rear.

Object 781 sb.8 had a more conventional layout with a turret containing a 2A70 100mm gun from the BMP-3 and a coaxial 2A42 30mm gun with 50 and 500 rounds respectively, along with up to 4 Bastion gun-fired anti-tank missiles. It also had a pair of hull-mounted PKTs that could fire to the side or front, and the same fender-mounted automatic grenade launcher and PKT module as Object 781. It had 1,000 rounds for each PKT and 300 for each grenade launcher, and likewise had a crew of 7.

Allegedly there was also an Object 781 sb.9 with a 57mm gun, but I haven't found any solid information on that. The Soviet Union was more impressed with Object 781 sb.7 and planned to put it into production, and then the collapse happened.
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Old 02-11-2023, 09:08 PM
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According to a European acquaintance of mine, one of the rumors/theories/speculations going around Russian social media of people with an interest in military matters is that Ukraine is using RAAM (Remote Anti-Armor Mine) shells to re-fill minefields after Russian units clear them, and that is the reason for some of the recent videos of multiple vehicles getting taken out by mines. The theory is that Ukraine's laying a minefield, waiting for scout units to clear a path (and presumably observing where the path is from a drone), then using RAAM to re-deploy anti-tank mines into the cleared path before the main body of a formation can pass through. Each 155mm RAAM shell deploys 9 anti-tank mines with either a 4 hour or 48 hour self-destruct designed into them.
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Old 02-12-2023, 01:58 PM
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According to a European acquaintance of mine, one of the rumors/theories/speculations going around Russian social media of people with an interest in military matters is that Ukraine is using RAAM (Remote Anti-Armor Mine) shells to re-fill minefields after Russian units clear them, and that is the reason for some of the recent videos of multiple vehicles getting taken out by mines. The theory is that Ukraine's laying a minefield, waiting for scout units to clear a path (and presumably observing where the path is from a drone), then using RAAM to re-deploy anti-tank mines into the cleared path before the main body of a formation can pass through. Each 155mm RAAM shell deploys 9 anti-tank mines with either a 4 hour or 48 hour self-destruct designed into them.
I seem to remember reading about a similar tactic, albeit drone-free, in Red Storm Rising or similar late Cold War military fiction.

On Friday, Reuters reported that Russia has resorted to the "tactic" of sending conscripts across minefields in the vicinity of Vuhledar to "clear" them in advance of the main effort. That might just be Ukrainian propaganda fed to the Western media, but I certainly wouldn't put it past the Russians at this point.

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Last edited by Raellus; 02-12-2023 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 02-13-2023, 12:30 PM
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According to a European acquaintance of mine, one of the rumors/theories/speculations going around Russian social media of people with an interest in military matters is that Ukraine is using RAAM (Remote Anti-Armor Mine) shells to re-fill minefields after Russian units clear them, and that is the reason for some of the recent videos of multiple vehicles getting taken out by mines. The theory is that Ukraine's laying a minefield, waiting for scout units to clear a path (and presumably observing where the path is from a drone), then using RAAM to re-deploy anti-tank mines into the cleared path before the main body of a formation can pass through. Each 155mm RAAM shell deploys 9 anti-tank mines with either a 4 hour or 48 hour self-destruct designed into them.
Seems we've had confirmation of the US M70 mines being used, which is indeed RAAM-deployed. I remember reading about FASCAM in the Big Yellow Book so many years ago and wondering about the system and its uses - it's interesting to actually see it being deployed for its intended purpose like this. It sounds as though we've provided Ukraine something like 10200 RAAM rounds since the start of the war.
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Old 02-13-2023, 01:49 PM
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Seems we've had confirmation of the US M70 mines being used, which is indeed RAAM-deployed. I remember reading about FASCAM in the Big Yellow Book so many years ago and wondering about the system and its uses - it's interesting to actually see it being deployed for its intended purpose like this. It sounds as though we've provided Ukraine something like 10200 RAAM rounds since the start of the war.
RAAM is one component of FASCAM. On the artillery side there's also ADAM (Area Denial Artillery Munition), which is like RAAM but with 36 anti-personnel mines instead of the 9 anti-armor mines. They also have either a 48 hour (M67) or 4 hour (M72) self-destruct mechanism, along with a battery that will discharge in 14 days so that even if the self-destruct fails, the detonator will be inactive after 2 weeks.

GEMSS and Volcano were/are the ground vehicle mine dispensing systems for FASCAM, while GATOR and Volcano were/are the aerial vehicle mine dispensers. GATOR was used in the Gulf War to inhibit Iraqi mobility, but had a rather horrendous dud rate, possibly because it was hotter than their designed limits. Its mines could be set (by a switch on the dispenser before take-off) to self-destruct in 4 hours, 15 hours, or 15 days, and the battery would be discharged in 40 days.
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Old 02-13-2023, 03:27 PM
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I seem to remember reading about a similar tactic, albeit drone-free, in Red Storm Rising or similar late Cold War military fiction.

On Friday, Reuters reported that Russia has resorted to the "tactic" of sending conscripts across minefields in the vicinity of Vuhledar to "clear" them in advance of the main effort. That might just be Ukrainian propaganda fed to the Western media, but I certainly wouldn't put it past the Russians at this point.

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Nor would I-could be disinformation but sounds very reminiscent of the NKVD penal units sent forward through minefields. Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
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Old 02-17-2023, 12:30 PM
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For what rainy day is Russia saving its air force?
  • Spring boarding an offensive
  • Exploiting a breakthrough
  • Stopping a UKR offensive (perhaps towards Mariupol?)
  • Punishing civilian targets if the war starts to sour
  • Last ditch effort to protect Crimea
  • Some form of complicated logistical interdiction (intercepting new NATO Equipment?)

I was expecting a bit more action from the Russian air force for the probing attacks and small scale advances that have been made in the last few weeks. But I have not heard of any tick up. When do you think they will make a major appearance?

Last edited by kato13; 02-17-2023 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 02-17-2023, 12:57 PM
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I don't think the airforce will make an appearance. Its felt to me like loosing a helicopter or aircraft always resulted in more promotional advantage for Ukraine, that its not worth the risk to Russia to fly them. Too embarrassing to loose a single unit.

Or, aircraft require so much more maintenance that they are not fit to fly.

So i don't think its a case of saving the air force for a rainy day. Its either embarrassment or not in a fit state.
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Old 02-17-2023, 02:30 PM
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It is somewhat surprising that the Russians haven't made greater use of their air force during this war. In the lead up to the war, much was made of Russia's superiority in air power vis-a-vis the Ukranians.

That said, I have seen references to an uptick in Russian tactical air sorties during the recent fighting for Bakhmut. In fact, in a PR stunt, the Wagner PMC head challenged President Zelensky to an air duel after allegedly flying a SU-24 over the embattled city. That same SU-24 was damaged a day or two later by a MANPAD in the AO, but the aircraft made it to base safely.

Re helicopters, I recently read that the Russians have changed their tactics after losing up to a third of their KA-52 fleet so far. They are now pairing KA-52s with Mi-28s because their respective defensive countermeasures complement each other. I can't remember which is which, but one is stronger against radar-guided SAMs and the other is better against heat-seeking missiles.

I think KC makes a good point re appearances. In the cost benefit analysis, the Russians have probably concluded that benefits of using their air power do not outweigh the combat losses plus the PR embarrassment of same.

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Old 02-17-2023, 02:36 PM
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So strange they don't see losing 1000 men a day as not worth the PR.

I guess keeping that Ace always in the hole makes the UKR forces reticent to push when they have a slight advantage. Personally I am not sure Putin could survive the loss of Crimea, if that is threatened that is where I expect to see all cards go onto the table.
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Old 02-17-2023, 02:38 PM
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So strange they don't see losing 1000 men a day as not worth the PR.
I agree, but for the Russians, life is cheap. Literally. A SU-34, on the other hand...

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Old 02-17-2023, 03:12 PM
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In the early days of the war, I saw a lot of stories about how the Switchblade loitering munition was going to make a big impact in the hands of the Ukrainian army. Aside from a couple of videos showing Switchblades in action (including one where it attacked a civilian sedan), I've not seen/heard any references to their use or effectiveness (or lack thereof).

On the other hand, the Ukraine Weapons Tracker Twitter feed regularly shares video clips of Russian Lancet loitering munitions in action. Although they appear pretty accurate, they don't seem to do much damage to hard targets- in many cases the target can be repaired and returned to action relatively quickly. I get the impression that the Lancet's warhead is not very powerful.

Is this evidence of the rare example of a Russian system (Lancet) that is more effective than a comparable NATO one (Switchblade), or is there another explanation?

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Old 02-17-2023, 03:33 PM
Vespers War Vespers War is offline
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In the early days of the war, I saw a lot of stories about how the Switchblade loitering munition was going to make a big impact in the hands of the Ukrainian army. Aside from a couple of videos showing Switchblades in action (including one where it attacked a civilian sedan), I've not seen/heard any references to their use or effectiveness (or lack thereof).

On the other hand, the Ukraine Weapons Tracker Twitter feed regularly shares video clips of Russian Lancet loitering munitions in action. Although they appear pretty accurate, they don't seem to do much damage to hard targets- in many cases the target can be repaired and returned to action relatively quickly. I get the impression that the Lancet's warhead is not very powerful.

Is this evidence of the rare example of a Russian system (Lancet) that is more effective than a comparable NATO one (Switchblade), or is there another explanation?

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I think it's mostly that Switchblade 300 isn't all that visually impressive. There have been a few videos of their use taking out bunkers and tank crews, but because of how that version functions, they often look like failures. The 300 uses a directional fragmentation warhead roughly equivalent to a 40mm grenade that detonates ahead of the target and kills infantry or soft-skin vehicles. Particularly if the target's under cover, it looks like the system blows up short and nothing happened. The 600 isn't in full production, but would likely generate more video attention because it uses a warhead based on Javelin's.

As far as Lancet goes, the smaller Lancet-1 is a 5 kilogram drone with a 1 kilogram warhead, while Lancet-3 is 12 kilograms with a 3 kilogram warhead. Switchblade 300 is smaller (2.7 kilograms including its carrying case and launcher), while Switchblade 600 is much larger (54.5 kilograms). The debris from a destroyed Lancet included parts from Samsung, Semtech, Analog Devices, Infineon, NXP Semiconductor, and Mtech, all COTS bits, so the Russian electronics industry is as nonexistent as ever.
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