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Russia's Stand-Off Capability: The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria
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Size does matter and so does range and speed whenever anyone talks about weapons. It seems that there is a great deal of confusion which perpetuates itself in regards to a relatively small Russian military contingent in Syria. The most popular indicator of this confusion is a never ending discussion of a possible American attack on the Russian forces in Syria, primarily on the air base Khmeimim. Can such an attack, once one considers the size of forces US can deploy against Russians, succeed in “defeating” them?

This is both a legitimate but also a highly unprofessional question. In fact, there are many people of prominence in the US who apart from considering such a terrifying scenario are actually pushing for it. Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters doesn’t mince words when it comes to attacking Russians; in fact, he is a very straight to the point guy when giving prescriptions on how to fight those Russians: This could spin out of control very, very fast. If it does, we have to win rapidly and decisively — and keep it within Syria.

There is no doubt that Peters and the bunch of US military and political people he represents did partake in the strategic wisdom of the past, from Clausewitz to Moltke to Guderian, but it is here where a seemingly legitimate question on the probability of American success in bombing those nasty Russkies into the stone age at Khmeimim and elsewhere in Syria stops being, well, serious. Of course, US can unleash whatever it has at its conventional disposal at Khmeimim and it will eventually overwhelm whatever the Russians have there, from several SU-35s to S-300s and S-400s and, possibly, make Peters’ wet dream of keeping the whole ordeal confined to Syria very real. This would work, say against anyone’s military contingent except Russia.

At issue here is not the fact that Russia is a nuclear superpower—everyone knows that. Even the most rabid American Russophobes know this and can grasp, however slightly, the concept of their poor dears turning into radioactive ash pretty fast if they do the unthinkable, such as attacking Russia proper with nuclear weapons. Syria, however, is a bit different—the escalation to a nuclear threshold could, indeed, be controlled by those who hold a decisive advantage conventionally. At issue here is the fact of conventional war—a precise type of a conflict US military prided itself on for the last 30+ years, boasting of being able to handle any kind of adversary.

In the foundation of this, rather overly assertive approach, the self-assurance was the real and not so real advantage of the US in stand-off weapons. Aggression against Yugoslavia showed the US military could overwhelm the air-defense of a nation such as Serbia fairly fast and from distances far beyond the reach of its obsolete air defenses. There were Tomahawk cruise missiles, which were launched at Serbia in thousands and which rendered her air defense almost useless after the first couple of weeks of incessant bombing.

But here is the problem for the US: Russia can take this hypothetical conventional conflict well beyond Syria any time it wants and I am not talking about other strategic theaters, such as Ukraine, where Russia can “compensate” for a hypothetical “defeat” in Syria. The reason for this is purely technological—Russia can go tit-for-tat conventionally in Syria and anywhere in the Middle East. In fact, the Russian military has in its possession the most advanced arsenal of High Precision stand-off weapons which have been demonstrated in action for the whole world to see.

This is what makes the whole talk about “defeating” the Russian contingent in Syria very amateurish. War is much more than some shoot-out between belligerents, the war starts in the operational rooms and political offices well before any shot is fired. If the Russian contingent in Syria had been deployed there say in 2005, there would have been no problem in imagining Ralph Peters’ scenario. But it is not 2005 and an 800 pound gorilla, which many continue to ignore, in the room is Russia’s stand-off capability—it is simply much better than the American one and it opens an operational door, in case of a hypothetical conventional attack on Kheimim, for a massive retaliation against any US asset in the region.

Yesterday, in the wake of the death of Lieutenant General Asapov in Syria, allegedly with some “help” from the so called Coalition in the vicinity of the liberated Deir-ez-Zor, Russia’s strategic aviation launched long-range stealthy X-101 cruise missiles at ISIS targets in Syria. There is nothing new now in Russia’s using 5,500+ kilometer range cruise missile, nor is there news any more for the Russian Navy being able to launch 2,500+ kilometer range 3M14 of Kalibr family from anywhere in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Caspian Sea. These are ranges which are simply beyond the reach of any stand-off weapon in US arsenal with Tomahawk TLAM-A Block II having the maximum range of around 2,500 kilometers while TLAM Block IV, currently being most produced variety, having the range of 1,600 kilometers.

Raytheon says that these missiles are capable of loitering and that Tomahawk would be able to hit moving targets. It is all fine and dandy but the key is range and precision and here the US is not in the leading position to put it mildly. Range gives an unprecedented operational flexibility and yesterday’s launch from Russian Tu-95 Bears strategic bombers had a very serious message—not in terms of X-101′s range, even longer range cruise missiles are getting ready for procurement, with ranges in 10,000 kilometers vicinity. The message was in the fact that missiles were launched from Iranian and Iraqi aerospace. They didn’t have to do so, this could have been easily done from the area of the Caspian Sea. But Bears launched while being escorted in Iranian aerospace by Su-30s and Su-35s of Russian Air Space Forces and that, apart from obvious hint at Russian full capability to reach any US ground asset in the area, provided some ominous signs.

Iran knows for sure that should the unthinkable but not improbable happen, such as an American attack on the Russian forces in Syria, Iran will not be left standing on the side—she gets immediately “involved” whether she wants it or not. So, the logic goes, why not make the best of it when all bets, other than nuclear, will be off. Iran may as well have Russian forces on her side and in her airspace, which, obviously helps significantly. But that also opens another serious operational possibility in case of a real conventional conflict in the area between Russia and the US—a scenario Neocons, due to their military illiteracy and overall detachment from the strategic reality, are dreaming about. Putting inevitable emotions aside and looking at the factual side of things, Russia’s Military Doctrine since 2010, reaffirmed in 2014 Edition, views the use of stand-off High Precision as a key in strategic force containment, as Article 26 of a doctrine clearly states. Russia doesn’t want war with the US, but if push comes to shove Russia is totally capable of not only reaching US ground assets, such as CENTCOM’s Qatar forward installation but, what is even more significant, also the naval ones in the Persian Gulf.

Apart from 66 long-range strategic bombers, the Tu-160s and Tu-95s, Russia has at her disposal more than 100 TU-22M3 bombers many of which are capable of both inflight refueling and of carrying a rather intimidating weapon—the X-32 (Kh-32) cruise missile whose range is 1000 kilometers and the speed is in excess of Mach 4.2. This missile, apart from being able to attack anything on the ground, is capable in fact was designed primarily for the purpose, of hitting anything moving on the surface of the sea. The missile, let alone a salvo of those, is incredibly difficult if possible at all to intercept and as yesterday’s demonstration showed, Iran, most likely would have no problem with allowing these very TU-22M3s to operate from her airspace in case of the worst case scenario. Launched anywhere from Darab area the salvo will not only cover all of a Persian Gulf but will reliably close off Gulf of Oman for any naval force. No ship, no Carrier Battle Group will be able to enter this area in case of a conventional conflict with Russia in Syria—the strategic ramifications of this are enormous. Even the salvo of 3M14s from Caspian Sea on October 7, 2015 made such an impression that USS Theodore Roosevelt and her CBG almost immediately left the Gulf.

Moreover, this simple, single operational fact shows precisely why for two years a relatively small Russian military contingent has been able to operate so effectively in Syria and, in fact, dictate conditions on the ground and in the area of its operations. The answer is simple—many adrenaline junkies are lowered in a cage into the water to face sharks, with only metal rods separating them and sharks’ deadly jaws. Yet, up there, in the boat one can always put a man with a gun which can be used in case of emergency to a deadly effect should the cage give. The Russian military contingent in Syria is not just some military base—it is the force tightly integrated with Russian Armed Forces that have enough reach and capability to make anyone face some extremely unpleasant choices, including the fact that it is Russia, not the US, who controls escalation to a threshold and that can explain a non-stop anti-Russian hysteria in US media since the outcome of the war in Syria became clear. Let us only hope that all described above remains merely speculation and has no basis in real life—if those scenarios do not become reality, it is all for the better.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Iran, Russia, Syria 
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  1. Randal says:

    From your lips to the ears of the US military regime, we must hope.

  2. Ron Unz says:

    In support of the strategic thesis advanced in this important article, I seem to recall that the original Russian military intervention in Syria was accompanied by a volley of ultra-long-range cruise missiles, whose capabilities greatly surprised American military analysts.

    At the time, such a high-tech attack on ISIS positions seemed rather cost-ineffective to me, but presumably a major purpose was to dissuade America (and Israel) from considering any future attack on what was a rather small and isolated Russian expeditionary force.

    Also, since Russia, Iran, and Iraq have become de facto allies in the Syria War, I’d think that the use of Iranian and Iraqi airspace as the launch point for the latest bombardment is also meant to raise much greater doubts in Trump’s military advisors about the huge risks in any future attack against Iran or attempt to forcefully renegotiate the existing nuclear treaty.

  3. Advanced Russian cruise missiles–or at least should not be news to military planners.

    They were well known in Cold War times and discussed in Western defense publications such as Jane’s.

    The entire purpose of the failed F-111B and its replacement, the F-14, was to keep Soviet maritime bombers and their deadly cruise missiles as far away from the fleet as possible. A lesson obviously forgotten since the end of the Cold War.

    The existence of advanced military technology in Russia (or, really, anywhere outside of America) does appear to surprise American civilian leaders however, few of whom have any military expertise these days.

    The real question: how many working cruise missiles does Russia have in inventory? If Soviet stocks still exist the answer could be quite a lot.

  4. @Thorfinnsson

    Advanced Russian cruise missiles–or at least should not be news to military planners.

    Second generation Anti-Shipping Missiles, starting from Malakhyt and ending with P-700 Granit are not news since 1980s. We are talking about latest generation of high precision land and surface attack weapons which make all previous Soviet weapons obsolete and look like amateurs. 3M14 and X-101 are a new word in TLAMs which, apart from Inertial, GLONASS and TERCOM guidance use other quirky things and, again–nothing was produced ever with combat range of 5,500+ kilometers. None. You are talking about mostly anti-shipping missiles. Among them today only P-1000 Voulkans are retained on old Missile Cruisers of Slava-class and P-700 Granits (NATO: SS-N-19 Shipwreck) carried by some Project 949A (Oscar-II class) SSGNs and Cruiser Peter The Great–most of those will be removed (some are being as I type it) and will have new generation of: P-800 Onyx, 3M54 Kalibr family and 3M22 Zircon hyper-sonic missiles installed. X-32 also is already fully operational for strategic aviation. Those are game changers. Once Mach=8 capable 3M22 Zircon comes on-line, it is pretty much over for the naval warfare as we know it. Real American military professionals know it, others only sense it.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  5. @Ron Unz

    I believe it occurred even earlier, when a Russian warship intercepted an exploratory volley of cruise missiles fired from either a US or Israeli vessel and aimed at targets inside Syria.

    A few days later, a Syria-based Russian AA unit downed a Turkish fighter probing Syrian air defenses.

    • Replies: @TheJester
  6. What nations need to develop is the satellite missile system. Load a satellite with huge bombs, missiles, and even nukes. Send them into space and fly them over enemy nations. And if a nation attacks you, bomb it from the satellite. Like in Bubblegum Crisis.

    • Replies: @yeah
    , @Talha
    , @El Dato
  7. yeah says:
    @Priss Factor

    “What nations need to develop is the satellite missile system. Load a satellite with huge bombs, missiles, and even nukes. Send them into space and fly them over enemy nations. And if a nation attacks you, bomb it from the satellite. Like in Bubblegum Crisis. ”

    Wish, hope, and pray that such “progress” never comes about. By the time I came to your allusion to bubblegum crisis, my heart was already pounding at this horror of horrors, at this mad scramble to effect mass human extinction. Some things should never ever be joked about, even in this age when no holies are left. Peace.

  8. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Trump will slaughter the Russians in Syria.

    • Replies: @Wally
  9. @Priss Factor

    I think that you are in the US and so you should be familiar with the phrase, follow the money. That the US outspends the rest of the planet combined on its military yet it nevertheless always seems to be lacking whenever and wherever it flexes its “muscle”, and that the Russians seem to spend quite a bit less by orders of magnitude and yet still produce cutting edge weaponry, as it certainly appears to, should answer your question for you.

  10. peterAUS says:

    Read the article.

    Interesting.

    Say it’s all true. So what?

    MAD was assured during Cold War.So what? Soviet/Warsaw Pact was superior in conventional capability then NATO. So what? The end result was dissolution of not only Warsaw Pact but Soviet Union itself.

    And that’s precisely what’s going on here. Not an all out war with Russia. I mean, it can happen but neither party would want it. If it happens it will be one of those “oh SHIT!” moments. Anyway.

    The purpose of war in Syria, from US (OK…Zionist Empire/whatever) point is ongoing chaos in that region. Chaos……in…………that…………region.

    Russia can not make that chaos go away. Or if it can, well….fine. I just don’t see it.

    All this missiles/high tech/who has a bigger dick thing is …….just…….irrelevant.

    The Professor is doing a fine job of spinning positive image on that General (and some other people) death here and that’s fine. Not a bad job.

    But the game which killed the General will go on. And on……..and on…..and it won’t be solved by advanced missiles and what not.

    Russia is in Syria to prop its strategic ally and keep the presence there. The presence there is the objective.

    Russia can keep the presence—–US (yes..sorry..Zionist Empire) will maintain chaos. Both winners.

    Military personnel on both sides will keep being killed and mutilated. Part of the job. High tech assassinations and just bad luck.

    And Islamists from all over the world will keep fulfilling their destiny.

    The Syrians, though………..mice and elephants.

    Long term goal for US…I meant Zionist Empire, is weakening the regime in Moscow and executing a regime change. Long term goal for Russia is enduring and waiting/hoping for US..umph…Zionist Empire implosion.

    All fine. Unless one is a Syrian.

  11. Nobody voted for Trump to advocate a dreamer amnesty, and nobody voted for Trump to continue the neocon’s foreign policy. So right now Trump has two big black marks against him. I hope Trump can be convinced to back off from his military brinkmanship but with the generals in his administration I am not optimistic. Russia is on the right side of the Syrian conflict.

  12. Wally says: • Website
    @peterAUS

    Nowadays the US and the little Israeli boys don’t do well when they suffer even relatively few deaths, casualties.

    The US / Israeli “embedded” media might not publish many pictures of military coffins anymore, but the loss of an entire base or aircraft carrier to Russian attack could not be overlooked.

  13. unit472 says:
    @peterAUS

    Indeed, high tech ( and expensive) weaponry is almost useless against groups like the Taliban or ISIS. Unless you are willing to wage a Mosul type campaign and slaughter civilians on an industrial scale rooting out bands of armed brigands requires infantry. A $ 10 million drone firing a $100,000 missile may take out a terrorist ‘leader’ but these guys are not indispensable. OTOH some guy driving a car or wearing a suicide vest can take out a whole bunch of highly trained military professionals.

  14. peterAUS says:

    the loss of an entire base or aircraft carrier to Russian attack could not be overlooked.

    Yeah……

    That….idea……..seems somehow popular around.

    So, what do you think, what could be the next steps in that play?
    Just out of curiosity.

    Anyone else is welcome to chime in.

    Say
    “Loss of an entire base or aircraft carrier to Russian attack”.

    What happens next?

    Oh, BTW, maybe irrelevant, but I do remember Cold War “war games”.

    Go ahead, please…..

    • Replies: @Frankie P
    , @The Alarmist
  15. unit472 says:

    Sinking a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier has not yet been done. They are pretty resilient ships and unless you can catch them with their decks full of fueled and armed aircraft as happened to the Japanese at Midway or hole them with torpedoes they tend to stay afloat even after being hit with conventional explosives.

    The Forrestal survived multiple detonations and explosions on its flight deck back in 1967 though over 100 sailors died. Smaller US WW2 era carriers survived direct hits from Kamikazi attacks so it is one thing to knock them out of action but another to sink them.

  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Check out this article and video of a Russian cruise missile launch, hitting ISIS targets a thousand miles away. Very impressive. This was from the Deir al-Zor operation from a few weeks ago. In the comments section there is dispute as to weather the USN has this same vertical launch system capability (launch rate).

    VIDEO: Russian Frigate Fires 3 Cruise Missiles on ISIS Targets in Syria

    https://news.usni.org/2017/09/05/video-russian-frigate-fires-3-cruise-missiles-isis-targets-syria

  17. Eagle Eye says:
    @Ron Unz

    Thank you, Mr. Unz, for bringing these items – which are of fundamental strategic importance – to a wider public.

    Just found that the Russians actually released a video of the October 2015 cruise missile launches from the Caspian Sea.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/oct/07/russia-launches-missiles-on-isis-from-caspian-sea-video

  18. Vidi says:
    @peterAUS

    The purpose of war in Syria, from US (OK…Zionist Empire/whatever) point is ongoing chaos in that region. Chaos……in…………that…………region. Russia can not make that chaos go away.

    Chaos has a bad habit of expanding and can be extremely bloody and difficult to control; see the Thirty Years War. Does Israel really want to risk this in the country next door?

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @peterAUS
    , @byrresheim
  19. Iran knows for sure that should the unthinkable but not improbable happen, such as an American attack on the Russian forces in Syria, Iran will not be left standing on the side—she gets immediately “involved” whether she wants it or not. So, the logic goes, why not make the best of it when all bets, other than nuclear, will be off. Iran may as well have Russian forces on her side and in her airspace, which, obviously helps significantly.

    “Whether she wants it or not”?

    “why not make the best of it”.

    Possibly, tovarich, you may ask the “her” in question if she shares your rather “provincial” romantic notions.

    Even the crazy mullahs of Iran are not so despicable as to let some Russian outfit in Kremlin determine the fate of the Iranian nation. Unless, of course, they are your moles.

    The “signal” regarding the Iranian “aerospace” that matters here is the uproar in Iran regarding the decision to let Russian planes use an Iranian airbase. What makes you think IRGC will let Russia dictate the direction of the defense of Iran? Russian base in Syria goes boom, well, that is YOUR problem. Iran is there to protect IRANIAN interests. It is not in Iran’s interest to have Russia use Iran as a forward base. Dream on, and quit hitting that vodka bottle.

    Iranians remember the parition of Iran between Russia and Britain the “great game”, Russian push for spinning away Azarbaijan and Kurdistan away from Iran after WWII and having to be forced out by the USA, and song and dance of “nuclear weapons” that resulted in Iran being subject to an IAEA regiment not directed against any other nation on Earth. (And Russia was there with the West when that went down, remember comrade?)

    • Replies: @EugeneGur
    , @Bayan
  20. Frankie P says:
    @peterAUS

    You miss the more immediate goal of the Anglozionist Empire, namely the prevention of the Shia Crescent becoming a stable and calm area, protected and strengthened by well-trained, battle-hardened, united forces, including of course the SAA, Iran, the Iraqi militias, and Hezzbollah. For although as you mentioned the Zionist narcissistic great evil and its Yinon Plan to destabilize the entire Middle East / North Africa has long been a goal, we see once again that reality presents them having bitten off more than they could chew, and actions like the Iraq War, a neocon feast of overconfidence and bluster, ended up strengthening the true resistance, the true danger to their regional hegemonic plans. They doubled down, as psychopathic narcissists are prone to do, in Syria, and the resulting action by a stronger and more aggressive Russia has shone the light on the folly of their ways. The resistance has now become The Resistance, and with America’s continuing belligerence pushing Russia and China ever closer, we will soon be calling it THE RESISTANCE.

    Frankie P

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Carroll Price
  21. Frankie P says:
    @peterAUS

    Nuclear Armageddon would be the short answer.

  22. @Ron Unz

    At the time I thought it was just a sales pitch for Russian arms exports, but this explanation also makes sense.

  23. Randal says:

    So, what do you think, what could be the next steps in that play?

    OK let’s look at it a bit closer. But to do so we must recognise that we are moving to the realms of wider politics rather than its subset, war. At the level we are talking about, the decisions are always political rather than military, even when they are taken by military men in an overtly military regime.

    The context is what is discussed by Martyanov above – the US regime, presumably listening to some of the less wise amongst its senior military men and the less honestly motivated amongst its influential political and media figures, decides to try to defeat and destroy the Russian forces in Syria whilst counting on what they believe is the US’s general escalation superiority to constrain Russian responses and keep the open conflict contained to the region. After the initial probably devastating US attack on Russian forces in Syria, involving the overloading and suppression by various means including direct SEAD attacks of the limited air defences in theatre, the Russians respond with large standoff attacks that effectively destroy US bases and/or carriers used in the attack or in the vicinity. They would not have enough to keep all US and allied ships and bases from which attacks could be launched in Syria out of action, but they could presumably render several substantial bases unusable for significant periods and sink a number of ships including carriers, which would have to operate from more distant locations, rendering operations more costly and less effective.

    What does the US do next? Militarily it has to retaliate, but it can choose how far to escalate in doing so. The problem is that substantive retaliation presumably requires attacks on Russian bases inside Russia, which involves very high risks of uncontrolled escalation to a strategic nuclear exchange. Do they do that? If they launch limited attacks inside Russia (eg an attack on a base used to launch the strategic bombers, say), Russia has the strategic capability to carry out direct tit for tat responses.

    Given the likely involvement of the forces and bases of regional allies (though who really knows how enthusiastic Turkey would really be, these days), it seems likely the attack on Russian forces in Syria could still be prosecuted to completion with their effective destruction, and meaningful Russia reinforcements interdicted successfully, but that would now seem rather a sideshow. And meanwhile Iraqi and Iranian involvement would be likely, and not to the advantage of the US’s interests on the ground. Russian ships in the region and perhaps elsewhere could (certainly would in the case of ships in theatre) be engaged in full scale air/sea battles likely resulting in their fairly prompt destruction, but not without significant ongoing losses to US naval forces.

    While all this is going on, what is the political response that will drive the long term outcome? Imo that depends on the political context – is this Pearl Harbor or the Beirut bombings for the US regime? In Pearl Harbor the Japanese executed a “Bush Doctrine” preventive attack on US military forces intended to forestall what they probably correctly saw as an existential threat from a rival. The result was that although they did considerable military damage all they ultimately achieved was to provide the political context in which the US regime could do what it had not previously been capable of doing, namely to wage a total war to defeat and occupy its Pacific rival. In Beirut the US was interfering in a Lebanese conflict under the transparently false pretext of “peacekeeping”, and their enemies struck back at them by carrying out a large suicide bombing attack on their military base in theatre. The result was not the creation of a political motivation for invasion and occupation, but rather the discrediting of the intervention policy and the withdrawal of US military forces from Lebanon.

    In the context under discussion, would the loss of US bases and/or carriers, with massive loss of life and arguably even greater loss of prestige (and, it should be remembered, substantial loss of actual military intervention capability in theatre, even if that could be rebuilt and replaced over time), result in an American political determination to engage in a long, massive military confrontation to defeat Russia strategically (a WW2 Japan-style open war of invasion and occupation is ruled out by the modern nuclear peace), and would the US have the necessary global support in waging such a campaign to give it any chance of succeeding?

    Or would it result in a backlash, both domestic and international, against the US regime itself for attacking Russian forces in Syria and essentially provoking the Russian response?

    Much depends on propaganda – does the US regime and its various collaborating elites still have sufficient control of the global and domestic media environment to impose the necessary narrative of a dastardly Russian act of aggression (yes, incredibly enough that is how they try to would portray it – the Americans have demonstrated over the years a shocking degree of hypocrisy when it comes to viewing themselves as the victims in cases of retaliation against them for the actions of their own government and military)? But much also would depend upon the particular circumstances in which the initial American attacks took place and how they were justified (supposed chemical attacks, WMD, responses to provocations, etc).

    In the end, all the dithering in Washington over the past six years about how far to go in Syria has been in large part about who gets the blame if things go wrong.

    So would the result be some kind of strategic defeat for Russia (as for Japan in WW2), or political turmoil in the US resulting in a loss of stomach for further interference (as in Lebanon)? If the former, then you have to explain how such a defeat is realistically going to occur given the reality of the strategic nuclear deterrent Russia has against any massive military attack, and its very significant defensive conventional capabilities, as well as the reality that even if the US’s European and Pacific satellites might be willing to go along in such a venture (questionable in some cases, depending on the context), China and most of Asia, and much of Africa and South America, certainly would not, and these areas weigh much more heavily in the global economic balance than they did a few decades ago.

    The real lesson of all this, of course, is that the US regime would have to be profoundly stupid or desperate to risk attacking Russian forces in Syria. Sadly that’s not as reassuring as it ought to be.

  24. There are reasons why that rabid attack chihuahua Peters retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, not the least of which is an inability to grasp the meaning of tactical and strategic indicators and the differences between them. He undoubtedly makes great money giving Fox red-meat quotes for the Rah-Rah crowd who drive the advertising, but I doubt anyone who is anyone, except for a few of the dumbest neocons, takes anything he says seriously.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  25. @peterAUS

    “Say
    “Loss of an entire base or aircraft carrier to Russian attack”.

    What happens next?

    Oh, BTW, maybe irrelevant, but I do remember Cold War “war games”.

    Polo Hat seems like the most likely analogue for the response.

  26. bb. says:
    @peterAUS

    Russia can not make that chaos go away. Or if it can, well….fine. I just don’t see it.

    TBH i don’t realistically see it either, but if you think about it, it’s kind of a win win situation for them anyways. My thinking goes like this (correct me pls if I am off)

    If Russia can stabilize the region on the helm of a coalition of Iran-Iraq-semiTurkey(bc. you never know what the turk will do) it would achieve a massive win in the trade war against the petrodollar. (Meanwhile China is making moves in Africa to secure the pipelines)

    If Russia fails to stabilize the region, it would mean rising oil prices, which again, is free money for them in the medium term.

  27. @TheJester

    I believe I read it in 2011-2012, but did not note it.

    I’ve asked The Saker if he can turn it up and, if he can, I’ll let you know.

    On reflection, it does fit with what followed: nobody attempted to overfly Syrian cities, which is usually the first US tactic.

  28. Rather than a direct attack on Russian forces, it is more probable that the US will resort to sneaky backstabbings, with deniability potential. Direct attacks on the Syrian army could escalate, on the other hand.

  29. @The Alarmist

    but I doubt anyone who is anyone, except for a few of the dumbest neocons, takes anything he says seriously.

    Here is the problem, Peters is not alone, in fact, a lot of his hysteria is echoed by such people as former SACEUR Phil Breedlove, today it is Dunford etc. Another matter, because those are still uniformed (or were recently) it is really bad idea to behave as psychopaths as Peters but all of them read from the same script, just the method of delivery differs, slightly at that. As per neocons–these are exact people who set foreign policies in D.C. Their military incompetence is appalling (which is expected from people with their backgrounds) and as such they are extremely dangerous. So I would dispute this thesis of yours. Militarily all neocons are dumb. For people who think that the history of Peloponnesian War (in their big honcho Kagan’s version) has any relevance to the age of GPS/GLONASS and Combat Informational Control Systems with Stand-off weapons–these people should be looked at very seriously by psychiatrist.

    for the Rah-Rah crowd

    So, we agree–it is 99% of American military, political and, so called, intellectual elite, right?

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  30. Randal says:
    @Ron Unz

    At the time, such a high-tech attack on ISIS positions seemed rather cost-ineffective to me, but presumably a major purpose was to dissuade America (and Israel) from considering any future attack on what was a rather small and isolated Russian expeditionary force.

    Clearly it made no sense in a tactical military sense to use cruise missiles when straightforward air attack was available, and the use of the Kalibrs in October 2015 was certainly motivated as a demonstration of capability. To what degree it was a warning to potential enemies (the US regime, Israel and the Gulf states, obviously, but also remember at the time still Turkey, though that brief hostility seems to have been managed out of existence, helped by the US turning to the Kurds as their proxies in Syria, since then), as opposed to a marketing pitch (the Russians have been selling export versions of these missiles for many years) is open to question – probably both.

    The issue is not so much the possession of cruise missiles – the Soviets had nuclear armed Tomahawk equivalents back in the 1980s, and it’s always been assumed that those (the air and sea launched ones, anyway) were repurposed as conventionally armed missiles. It’s having them, along with deployable launchers, in numbers and proving that they work reliably that was the issue. There’s an understandable post-Soviet tendency in the US sphere to discount Russian capabilities in terms of high tech weapons. And in order to use cruise missiles in the way Martyanov describes here – basically as a base-denial weapon against a peer rival – you need plenty of them. To hit a US base and render it unusable with conventionally armed weapons, you have to hit it accurately and you have to hit it multiple times, evading or overloading the defences and counter-measures. To take out a carrier, you have to locate the target first, and then beat the counter-measures to hit it at least once and preferably several times, though one hit could be a mission kill. And in the case of the land base, you have to be able to do it again a few days later, and keep hitting it.

    So the Russians, with their repeated uses of cruise missiles and the introduction of more modern and potentially significantly more capable missiles that Martyanov refers to, have been building a credible case that the US can no longer count on escalation superiority in Syria to protect them.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
  31. @unit472

    Sinking a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier has not yet been done.

    And hopefully will not be done in the future–let’s keep our fingers crossed.

    The Forrestal survived multiple detonations and explosions on its flight deck back in 1967 though over 100 sailors died

    Tragic scenario which still rendered USS Forrestal nonoperational. But then again: E=(mv^2)/2 . If to discount explosives, kinetic energy alone of Mach=3 (not to mention Mach=7+) of a single missile will surpass anything what Forestall or, for that matter, USS Enterprise endured in 1969. But here we get into the main issue of “leaker” and this is the problem which any US naval air defense system is not capable of solving. You may read more on the issue on US Naval Institute written by me.

    https://blog.usni.org/posts/2017/08/28/aircraft-carriers-drama

  32. This sort of “Russia is invincable” bluster is old hat. It suggests that Putin’s American supporters are getting nervous.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Carroll Price
  33. Now I see how shooting from Iranian airspace increases salvo.missiles with shorter range can be used which could not have been used from Russian airspace. Now the logic behind longer range missiles is also clear to avoid being dependent on allies too. Those are not reliable
    One can only say in retrospective that were it not for what happened in 90s soviet/ Russian stand off capabilities would be absolutely crushing strong long time ago. Now, combined with EW capabilities, air defences and fast moving hard hitting land forces all this United by computerized control it must be something.

  34. @Andrei Martyanov

    There are reasons why Breedlove was pushed out. I’ve been out of the “war” for a couple decades, so my confidence that there are saner heads where it counts might be misplaced.

    I wouldn’t say 99%, but the number is non-trivial, and that is alarming. Peters is aimed at the folks who buy the medicines and other crap hawked on Fox. It helps sell his fiction to people who used to read Tom Clancy but now have to take a step down. If he were taken seriously, he’d be doing more appearances on the Sunday shows.

    Stoltenberg’s militancy is distressing, but I again hope his masters have him on a short leash, meaning he will bark but he won’t bite.

    The neocons are a problem. I think they’ve largely been kept in check by calmer heads in the military, which has to do the fighting and occasional dying in the fights the neocons want to pick, which in my opinion is why the neocons have gone about achieving their aims using the Company and its assets.

    DoD has undoubtedly seen and assessed the standoff capability of the Russians, which is why their involvement has been somewhat muted, but yeah, there are some rabid types down the chain who are itching to try their toys on the only real adversaries we have in the world, and given the independence we often give field commanders, they can get us in trouble.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  35. @Andrei Martyanov

    Pardon the pun, but converting anti-ship missiles into land attack missiles doesn’t sound like rocket science.

    Even if the Soviet Union didn’t have advanced land-attack cruise missiles in the 80s, it should still have been obvious to anyone that their anti-ship missiles could be developed into land attack missiles.

    We’re really just talking about a different guidance package, and depending on the sensors involved that can be as simple as a software change. GLONASS began to enter service in 1982, and the first test of a satellite guided bomb was conducted in 1993. Any idiot should’ve been able to put two and two together here, and at least some Western writers have been warning about increasingly sophisticated Russian weapons for more than a decade.

    Whether or not anti-ship missiles make surface warships obsolete I do not know. My hunch is certainly yes (and the future obsolescence of surface warships was predicted already before the war), but this is one of those things we won’t truly know until we see it done.

    For that matter I’m not sure that hypersonic missiles are game changers for naval warfare…presumably one could simply saturate any naval task force with cheaper subsonic missiles and overwhelm defenses. If none of the of the ships in the task force have low frequency radars, stealth aircraft could drop laser guided bombs right down the blind stack directly on top of warships. A 2,000 pound high explosive bomb would sink more or less any warship afloat today. The Australian theorist Carlo Kopp proposed this for the F-22 as part of his pet cause to get his country to acquire F-22s.

    It has long struck me as idiotic that modern surface warships are largely unarmored, and I also find it curious how few CIWS Western warships have compared to Russian ones.

  36. The Zionist neocons who control the U.S. are used to invading and destroying small countries with no regard for international law and killing millions of civilians including men , women and children, this is what the Zionist neocons do or rather this is what they make the American military do.

    America is run by a Zionist crime cabal that operates much as Hitler and the Nazis did with no regard for life or limb, ie a rogue nation that creates terror groups such as ISIS and AL CIADA that it uses to wreck countries and pretends to fight this self created terror.

    The Zionist warmongers are going to destroy America and in case of war with Russia both nations will be destroyed and fools like col. ralph peters are typical of the toy officer contingent that is harbored in the military, and who are puppets of Israel.

    The real GORILLA is the Zionists and Israel who have driven American foreign policy for decades and who are going to destroy America as just as a parasite destroys its host so shall Zionist Israel destroy America.

    GOD BLESS RUSSIA AND SYRIA

    • Replies: @hunor
  37. Kiza says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The existence of advanced military technology in Russia (or, really, anywhere outside of America) does appear to surprise American civilian leaders however, few of whom have any military expertise these days.

    Two separate illusions are to blame for not understanding the foreign, or particularly Russian military capability:
    1) the US population in general has been brainwashed that US is the technologically the most advanced country in the World; this may be true in many areas but it is far from being true in all areas, and
    2) the US population and its leaders believe that military superiority, especially the one based on technology, is proportional to the budget, which is totally non-sensical; it may be true within US, although the mergers of the MIC companies have reduced the competition to only a few, but it definitely does not apply even to the comparison with the efficiency of spending military funds even by Western allies of US, let alone to Russia and China.

    My top of the envelope estimate is that Russia spends its military budget about five times more efficiently than US, and about three times more efficiently than the EU/NATO allies of US. China is very similar, possibly even slightly more efficient than Russia. BTW, this efficiency is only partly due to lower labor costs, but this is a discussion which I had with Andrei before.

  38. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Vidi

    France did pretty well out of the Thirty Years’ War.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Vidi
  39. @Thorfinnsson

    Pardon the pun, but converting anti-ship missiles into land attack missiles doesn’t sound like rocket science.

    Converting P-700 with its inertial guidance and active seeker designed specifically to work against radio-contrast targets (yes P-700s recently were launched at coastal targets but that is not their main mode) and installing guidance packages for TLAM functions are two very different things. In the end P-700 range is around 700 kilometers, 3M14 is, officially, 2,500+. Moreover, 3M14 is naval missile, X-101 is air-launched, same as X-32.

    For that matter I’m not sure that hypersonic missiles are game changers for naval warfare…presumably one could simply saturate any naval task force with cheaper subsonic missiles and overwhelm defenses.

    It is much easier to achieve leaker with fewer missiles (hence increased survivability of launch platforms) and in much shorter time in case of hyper-sonic not to mention sea-skimmer. Some probabilities are already made public. Yes, saturation MO also is a viable option (in fact that is how models for First Operation in 1970s and 1980s were calculated) but ALL options must be considered. Generally, saturation threshold for a single Aegis DDG or Cruiser is known in case of SUBsonic salvo.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  40. @Thorfinnsson

    “Whether or not anti-ship missiles make surface warships obsolete I do not know. My hunch is certainly yes ..:.”

    Shhh! We’re still making money with that product line.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  41. @The Alarmist

    I can only hope that you are right. I do know that there are many good level professionals on mid to mid-high levels in DoD.

  42. Talha says:
    @unit472

    Hey unit472,

    one thing to knock them out of action but another to sink them

    A carrier with an inoperable flight deck is pretty much a floating slab of metal (other than being a communication point for command and control) – am I right? I’ve not read of any aircraft carriers loaded with offensive weapons like surface-to-air missiles, cannons, etc.

    If so, it’s totally unnecessary to put all the effort into sinking the damn thing other than as a morale-crippling move.

    Peace.

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
    • Replies: @unit472
    , @reiner Tor
  43. Talha says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Hey Andrei,

    Going off of my comment about simply making an aircraft carrier inoperable as opposed to sinking it; what do you know of Russia’s forays (if they’re even into this) into developing an EMP device. I would imagine you could take out a capital ship plus a few others in a fleet if you could detonate something that had a radius of say quarter mile or so:

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Sharrukin
  44. @Andrei Martyanov

    And hopefully will not be done in the future–let’s keep our fingers crossed.

    An admirable sentiment, or outcome of rational, moral principle.
    Maybe the wisest statement in this whole OP + comment thread.

    If grown-ups are in charge in Russia, China and then U.S., then it is the case for all three that:

    1. Their foreign and military policies are intended to advance, sometimes forcefully, their national interests
    2. Their military, forceful, national interest is defined as being sufficiently powerful to deter one another from the use of force … specifically with the intention of preventing an outcome from ever happening where one or the other is in open conflict
    3. Because, open conflict with one or another is an outcome that’s wholly incompatible with #1

    Sooooooo many words people toss about finding n-more ways to peal the onion of US/Russia/China power, but really just two things that matter:

    1. The US is always paying too much for its military, regardless of what it gets for what it paid
    2. The most worrisome thing on the world stage is a US leader or person in the US decision-making chain of command, losing his cool, and acting rashly, out of irrational fear that US dominance is threatened or the infantile possession of a belief that US dominance means dominance over near-peer partnersaries

    In any case – if the US blanketed Russian military positions in Syria:

    A. Definite outcome – somewhere on the planet Russia would face-savingly even the score by sinking (or otherwise destroying) a carrier … yes they are difficult to sink but a Syria debacle would create a will for a partnersary with ways
    B. Unclear outcome – whether it would stop there

    Because of B, this must never happen. Let’s hope to God our leaders understand that.

  45. Wally says:
    @Anonymous

    And OJ is innocent.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
  46. Wally says:
    @Anon

    But the Frenchmen actually fought.

    On the other hand, the wimpy Israelis are good at killing women & children who throw stones, but then run home to mommy when they take a few hits.

    Witness Hezbollah / Lebanon, 2006 … a rout.

  47. Wally says:
    @Michael Kenny

    Pay attention.

    The Russians are still in Syria and Syria has taken back most of it’s territory because of it.

    • Replies: @Anon
  48. @Andrei Martyanov

    @Andrei Martyanov

    Converting P-700 with its inertial guidance and active seeker designed specifically to work against radio-contrast targets (yes P-700s recently were launched at coastal targets but that is not their main mode) and installing guidance packages for TLAM functions are two very different things. In the end P-700 range is around 700 kilometers, 3M14 is, officially, 2,500+. Moreover, 3M14 is naval missile, X-101 is air-launched, same as X-32.

    Again, this just doesn’t sound terribly challenging. Writing software for the new guidance package and then testing the missile is obviously laborious, but it’s an order of magnitude simpler than the engineering of the original anti-ship missile.

    Adapting a naval missile for air launch consists of adding a mechanical device to connect to a hard point. Big whoop.

    Any analyst could’ve figured out these weapons were coming. Unfortunately Western civilian leaders are wholly ignorant of…well everything (and this is not to praise the fruit salad plastered dweebs in the officer corps).

    It is much easier to achieve leaker with fewer missiles (hence increased survivability of launch platforms) and in much shorter time in case of hyper-sonic not to mention sea-skimmer. Some probabilities are already made public. Yes, saturation MO also is a viable option (in fact that is how models for First Operation in 1970s and 1980s were calculated) but ALL options must be considered. Generally, saturation threshold for a single Aegis DDG or Cruiser is known in case of SUBsonic salvo.

    Sure, it’s obviously a useful weapon and adds more options for the attacker. A sea-skimming hypersonic anti-ship missile seems particularly useful for a surprise attack for instance. The odds of current CIWS intercepting a hypersonic sea skimmer seem to be close to zero. Best hope is that the missile simply misses. No hope of surviving a hit since current surface warships are fragile and the large number of women on Western warships means damage control will be futile.

    @Talha

    Hey Andrei,

    Going off of my comment about simply making an aircraft carrier inoperable as opposed to sinking it; what do you know of Russia’s forays (if they’re even into this) into developing an EMP device. I would imagine you could take out a capital ship plus a few others in a fleet if you could detonate something that had a radius of say quarter mile or so:

    Boeing has developed such a weapon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counter-electronics_High_Power_Microwave_Advanced_Missile_Project

    Raytheon is developing a higher powered version.

    I’m skeptical of non-nuclear EMP device producing enough energy to disable major warships other than exposed radio transmitters as the on-board ICs are likely both shielded and rad-hardened.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  49. Ram says:

    Russia in effect has far more valuable very vulnerable targets in the area than the US does.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  50. @Wally

    Don’t you know that as soon as he is released, OJ shall be resuming his quest to locate and apprehend the real killers?

  51. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Wally

    If we funded the FSA to the extent that we did the Mujahadeen, the Russians would be on their heels. If we had actual boots on the ground, it would be game, set, and match.

    In short, Assad got back territory thanks to Russia, it’s true, but that’s only because Russia has not been seriously opposed.

    Not that we should intervene. Just saying that it’s an incomplete picture being drawn.

  52. peterAUS says:
    @Vidi

    Beats, options wise, having a stable Arab democracy next door, wouldn’t you think?

    Democracy supported, most likely, by Russia and China.

    For both security of the state of Israel and The Empire strategy in ME, chaos is definitely much more preferable option.

    Definitely.

    • Replies: @Vidi
  53. peterAUS says:
    @Frankie P

    Sorry mate, you lost me at

    well-trained, battle-hardened, united forces, including of course the SAA

    If that’s your assessment of that….something………. called “SAA” let’s agree to disagree and move on.

    But, surprisingly enough, you got

    Nuclear Armageddon would be the short answer

    right.

  54. utu says:

    It all comes down to the nuclear deterrence which mask the actual level of imbalance in conventional weapons between Russia and the US. Neither Russia nor the US may demonstrate conventional weapons advantage in an actual exchange to prevent the opponent from being forced to resorting to the use of nuclear weapons. Thus the Saving Face Exit Option (SFEO) will be always left by the stronger one for the weaker one. This means that we will not find out about the actual conventional strike and counter strike capabilities. It will be left to speculations, phantasies, disinformation and propaganda.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  55. peterAUS says:
    @Randal

    Thoughtful and civilized response…as expected.

    Rare quality, though, in this “fanboy” blathering.

    I’ll try on the similar level (civilized, quality of thought is always debatable).

    First, overall, you are correct, BUT, I feel you’ve made a basic error in “The Mission” part of METT-T.
    All the rest, although correct, isn’t relevant I am afraid.
    I’ll explain below.

    OK let’s look at it a bit closer. But to do so we must recognise that we are moving to the realms of wider politics rather than its subset, war. At the level we are talking about, the decisions are always political rather than military, even when they are taken by military men in an overtly military regime.

    Agree.

    The context is what is discussed by Martyanov above – the US regime, presumably listening to some of the less wise amongst its senior military men and the less honestly motivated amongst its influential political and media figures, decides to try to defeat and destroy the Russian forces in Syria whilst counting on what they believe is the US’s general escalation superiority to constrain Russian responses and keep the open conflict contained to the region.

    THIS is the element I feel you got wrong.
    So, either that IS their intention/objective and you are correct.
    Or, that is NOT their intention/objective……

    My position is that is NOT their mission/objective.

    As I’ve stated before in other threads, I believe the objective is to bog Russia in quagmire in the region.
    The same strategy that dissolved Soviet Union . In this case the goal is to execute regime change in Moscow.

    All the rest is an interesting reading, but, I believe it is not relevant for the situation in Syria (or ME in general).

    Now, if we really want to go along that scenario (just as a chat) here is my 2 cents.

    After the initial probably devastating US attack on Russian forces in Syria, involving the overloading and suppression by various means including direct SEAD attacks of the limited air defences in theatre, the Russians respond with large standoff attacks that effectively destroy US bases and/or carriers used in the attack or in the vicinity. They would not have enough to keep all US and allied ships and bases from which attacks could be launched in Syria out of action, but they could presumably render several substantial bases unusable for significant periods and sink a number of ships including carriers, which would have to operate from more distant locations, rendering operations more costly and less effective.

    Agree.

    What does the US do next? Militarily it has to retaliate, but it can choose how far to escalate in doing so. The problem is that substantive retaliation presumably requires attacks on Russian bases inside Russia, which involves very high risks of uncontrolled escalation to a strategic nuclear exchange. Do they do that? If they launch limited attacks inside Russia (eg an attack on a base used to launch the strategic bombers, say), Russia has the strategic capability to carry out direct tit for tat responses.

    Agree.
    And from here on………….it can be fast drive into death of civilization as we see it.

    Given the likely involvement of the forces and bases of regional allies (though who really knows how enthusiastic Turkey would really be, these days), it seems likely the attack on Russian forces in Syria could still be prosecuted to completion with their effective destruction, and meaningful Russia reinforcements interdicted successfully, but that would now seem rather a sideshow. And meanwhile Iraqi and Iranian involvement would be likely, and not to the advantage of the US’s interests on the ground. Russian ships in the region and perhaps elsewhere could (certainly would in the case of ships in theatre) be engaged in full scale air/sea battles likely resulting in their fairly prompt destruction, but not without significant ongoing losses to US naval forces.

    Agree.

    While all this is going on, what is the political response that will drive the long term outcome? Imo that depends on the political context – is this Pearl Harbor or the Beirut bombings for the US regime? In Pearl Harbor the Japanese executed a “Bush Doctrine” preventive attack on US military forces intended to forestall what they probably correctly saw as an existential threat from a rival. The result was that although they did considerable military damage all they ultimately achieved was to provide the political context in which the US regime could do what it had not previously been capable of doing, namely to wage a total war to defeat and occupy its Pacific rival. In Beirut the US was interfering in a Lebanese conflict under the transparently false pretext of “peacekeeping”, and their enemies struck back at them by carrying out a large suicide bombing attack on their military base in theatre. The result was not the creation of a political motivation for invasion and occupation, but rather the discrediting of the intervention policy and the withdrawal of US military forces from Lebanon.

    Agree.

    In the context under discussion, would the loss of US bases and/or carriers, with massive loss of life and arguably even greater loss of prestige (and, it should be remembered, substantial loss of actual military intervention capability in theatre, even if that could be rebuilt and replaced over time), result in an American political determination to engage in a long, massive military confrontation to defeat Russia strategically (a WW2 Japan-style open war of invasion and occupation is ruled out by the modern nuclear peace), and would the US have the necessary global support in waging such a campaign to give it any chance of succeeding?

    Or would it result in a backlash, both domestic and international, against the US regime itself for attacking Russian forces in Syria and essentially provoking the Russian response?

    Much depends on propaganda – does the US regime and its various collaborating elites still have sufficient control of the global and domestic media environment to impose the necessary narrative of a dastardly Russian act of aggression (yes, incredibly enough that is how they try to would portray it – the Americans have demonstrated over the years a shocking degree of hypocrisy when it comes to viewing themselves as the victims in cases of retaliation against them for the actions of their own government and military)? But much also would depend upon the particular circumstances in which the initial American attacks took place and how they were justified (supposed chemical attacks, WMD, responses to provocations, etc).

    In the end, all the dithering in Washington over the past six years about how far to go in Syria has been in large part about who gets the blame if things go wrong.

    Agree.

    So would the result be some kind of strategic defeat for Russia (as for Japan in WW2), or political turmoil in the US resulting in a loss of stomach for further interference (as in Lebanon)? If the former, then you have to explain how such a defeat is realistically going to occur given the reality of the strategic nuclear deterrent Russia has against any massive military attack, and its very significant defensive conventional capabilities, as well as the reality that even if the US’s European and Pacific satellites might be willing to go along in such a venture (questionable in some cases, depending on the context), China and most of Asia, and much of Africa and South America, certainly would not, and these areas weigh much more heavily in the global economic balance than they did a few decades ago.

    The real lesson of all this, of course, is that the US regime would have to be profoundly stupid or desperate to risk attacking Russian forces in Syria. Sadly that’s not as reassuring as it ought to be.

    Agree.

    Well…isn’t

    the US regime would have to be profoundly stupid or desperate to risk attacking Russian forces in Syria

    what’s my basic premise here?

    I, personally, see the possibility of above, unfortunately, because of unbalanced decision making in Washington. THAT is the real problem here.
    Moscow decision making process (and execution) is much more stable and predictable then Washington.
    That launch on Syria by Trump was……….just……terrible in that regard.

    So, how about my scenario here:
    As the current situation continues it will be more death and mutilation of Russian personell there.
    Russians will absorb that and will NOT try to retaliate.
    But, sooner or later, by pure fog of war, a bomb/missile/shell will get Western SOF team on the ground. Not necessarily Russian….it can be simply a “speculative fire on that hill” by SAA.
    THEN we’ll see what happens and God help us.

    With the current politics in Washington and Trump team decision making process what can we expect?
    A retaliatory attack on….what?
    How much of Russian men and material could be caught in it?

    From then on, yes, your scenario can spiral out in instant.

    So….time to get religious and start praying?

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
    , @Thirdeye
  56. Avery says:
    @Anon

    {… but that’s only because Russia has not been seriously opposed.}

    Who would seriously oppose Russia?
    How?

    I think it was either [TheSaker] or [Karlin] who noted that both NATO and/or Israel can bring to bear assets at least 10X what Russia has in Syria.
    But obviously something gives NATO/US and/or Israel 2nd thoughts.
    I have no idea what it is, but the reason there is no interference with Russia is not because NATO/US/Israel are charitably disposed towards Russia.
    Clearly they are concerned (or worried) about something.

    The pending defeat of the Reptiles in Syria is a BIG deal.
    It throws of giant monkey wrench in the PINAC plan to redraw the Middle East for Eretz Yisrael.
    Short of directly attacking Russia – with unpredictable consequences – they tried pretty much everything:.
    - Chemical attack and mass murder of Syrian civilians by Turks and ISIS (…blamed on Assad).
    - Shootdown of RuAF Su-24 by Turkey/NATO.
    - Several attacks on SAA by US either by ‘mistake’ or directly.
    - Blatant violation of Syrian airspace by NATO pirates.
    ……

    Despite all that, SAA+Russia+Iran+Hezbollah are relentlessly grinding down the cannibalistic invaders. Israel-firsters and anti-American slime who have invested the State dept, Pentagon, and CIA are apoplectic.

    But clearly they don’t know what to do.
    Otherwise, they would have done it already.

    • Agree: Carroll Price
    • Replies: @Wally
  57. peterAUS says:
    @utu

    It all comes down to the nuclear deterrence which mask the actual level of imbalance in conventional weapons between Russia and the US. Neither Russia nor the US may demonstrate conventional weapons advantage in an actual exchange to prevent the opponent from being forced to resorting to the use of nuclear weapons.

    Agree.

    Thus the Saving Face Exit Option (SFEO) will be always left by the stronger one for the weaker one. This means that we will not find out about the actual conventional strike and counter strike capabilities. It will be left to speculations, phantasies, disinformation and propaganda.

    Hopefully.

  58. @Thorfinnsson

    Again, this just doesn’t sound terribly challenging. Writing software for the new guidance package and then testing the missile is obviously laborious, but it’s an order of magnitude simpler than the engineering of the original anti-ship missile.

    If you look at P-700 Granit–it is rather a very laborious process to update it to what you are talking about when the talk is about multiple platforms. Each Oscar II carries 24 of those. I will not disclose you any secret if tell you that launch systems of P-700s on all Project 1144 (Kirov-class) cruisers required a flooding (exactly as it happens on Oscar-class subs) before launch. It is a wet start, with flooding of the cells, even on the surface ships which testifies to the fact that things are not as simple as they seem. Moreover, Granits are genuine supersonic missiles with even cruising speeds in well in excess of Mach=1.5, with terminal up to Mach=2.5, all that, mind you–on very low flight profiles, this immediately imposes a rather different limitations both on an air-frame and combat load, than it would be the case with something like subsonic Harpoon or was the case with initial Tomahawks which WERE conceived initially namely as a anti-shipping missiles. G-loads and temperatures anti-shipping missiles, such as crazy violent maneuvering on terminal older SS-N-22 Sunburn (Moskit) or newer P-800 or 3M54, experience–no TLAM will survive it, it will simply disintegrate. No matter how well the code is written.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  59. @Frankie P

    They doubled down, as psychopathic narcissists are prone to do, in Syria, and the resulting action by a stronger and more aggressive Russia has shone the light on the folly of their ways. The resistance has now become The Resistance…

    Indeed. Relatively unknown (at the time) Hezbollah, who in 2006 put a royal shellacking on Israel, has not only survived, but emerged many magnitudes stronger and more confident than anyone could have ever imagined.

  60. yeah says:
    @Anon

    There were boots a plenty on the ground in Vietnam – and how did that one end? In case you missed Vietnam, Iraq has had plenty of boots on the ground as well; this one hasn’t still officially ended but has not been going well, not well at all. And Afghanistan. And Korea in the fifties.

    As to Russia not having been seriously opposed in Syria: well, short of all-out war with Russia what else could have been done? If we try to understand the real game being played, we would be very concerned. From a Machiavellian perspective, the US strategy has been succeeding brilliantly. Boots on the ground did not succeed in Vietnam, but the Machiavellian plan certainly did. Allow me to elaborate a little below.

    Let us stop this knee-jerk, rah-rah rooting for the home team and try to think coolly. The first thing that comes to mind is that there isn’t really any home team. This whole ball-game is not about wining once and for all, it is about keeping these crises going – all the time, everywhere. Russia is also learning how to play this game: after all, it, too, has to put on a game for its citizens lest they start getting all sorts of wrong ideas. So the powers that be collude, and keep these fires smouldering so that they can continue to collect protection fees from their respective citizens and client states.

    Who suffers? People who end up being boots on the ground. People who pay taxes. People who want a strong, but noble and inspiring, America. People who want to live and let others live.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Anon
  61. @Randal

    Just to augment your train of thought (I do not agree with everything in it, but it is a decent effort): get to the Google Maps, click on the middle of the Caspian Sea, then right click “Measure Distance”, put cursor, say on Kandahar in Afghanistan, left click and a lot will become very clear. As per Eastern Med, well, it is a very funny thing because this will require literally counting for, say, number of hulls of the Submarines at piers in such places as main bases of Northern Fleet, if you know what I mean;-)

  62. @Michael Kenny

    Dream on. The fact that Russia has won the war in Syria, and will likely remain there indefinitely, tells me the US considers them invincible.

  63. peterAUS says:
    @yeah

    This whole ball-game is not about wining once and for all, it is about keeping these crises going – all the time, everywhere. Russia is also learning how to play this game: after all, it, too, has to put on a game for its citizens lest they start getting all sorts of wrong ideas.

    Agree.

    So the powers that be collude, and keep these fires smouldering so that they can continue to collect protection fees from their respective citizens and client states.

    Collude on one level; compete on another.
    A fine game the current leadership in Washington could have a problem playing.

    Who suffers? People who end up being boots on the ground. People who pay taxes. People who want a strong, but noble and inspiring, America. People who want to live and let others live.

    Yup.
    Worked that way since Babylon.

  64. @Thorfinnsson

    Who’s fooling who? What does it tell you about Russian military technology when the US can’t put a weather satellite in orbit without first purchasing a Russian-built rocket engine?

  65. @Andrei Martyanov

    What does the Tomahawk have to do with this?

    It’s well known that Western countries have lagged Russia in cruise missile development for decades now. I’m not even entirely sure why–more confidence in our sea and air power?

    The USA developed some of the first (perhaps the first?) supersonic cruise missiles all the way back in the 1960s, but there was no development since then. Today hypersonic weapons are seriously being pursued, however.

  66. @The Alarmist

    During congressional hearings in the 1970s, Admiral Hyman Rickover considered aircraft carriers as being obsolete targets. It’s more than obvious to any reader of this forum why they continue being produced.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  67. @Anon

    I don’t think so, and apparently neither does the US military. The 1980s are long gone.

  68. @peterAUS

    Just wondering; Have either of you military geniuses ever consider enrolling in the US War College?

  69. EugeneGur says:
    @survey-of-disinfo

    the uproar in Iran regarding the decision to let Russian planes use an Iranian airbase

    There is always somebody in any country who’d create an uproar whether it is in the interests of the country or not.

    In case you haven’t noticed the author isn’t talking about Russia dictating the defense of Iran but about Iran objectively being in the same boat as far as Western aggression is concerned. The animosity towards Iran in the USA is just as great as towards Russia – the difference is Russia is capable of defending itself, vodka bottle in hand, which is not at all certain about Iran.

    It is not in Iran’s interest to have Russia use Iran as a forward base. Dream on, and quit hitting that vodka bottle.

    By using the Iranian airspace, Russia isn’t using Iran as a forward base but, on the contrary, signaling that Iran isn’t alone – this is to your advantage, buddy, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.

    If you guys want to dwell on the past insults, real or perceived, go right ahead, but remember – this is a loosing proposition unless, of course, you possess a time machine.

    If you think Iran’d be better off allied with the US – who is stopping you?

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
  70. ig says:

    I see a different context although the lookaside view into Persian gulf is also very real.
    I see a scenario, where X102 and not 101 would be launched. 101 and 102 have the same mechanics, but 2 is a nuclear version.

    imo it is a nice greeting to Tel Aviv for their threats against Putinˇs life.

  71. Sunbeam says:

    If you’ve got this kind of range on cruise missiles, and the kind of accuracy to hit what you are aiming at, there are other land based targets that are attractive as well.

    For purely military applications, things like fuel and ammo depots appear vulnerable. Hangars as well. Really can’t see anyone spending the money to harden these things against this sort of thing.

    As to whether a particular target is worth an expensive cruise missile, it depends I guess. Pretty easy to imagine a situation where losing 200 million in missiles to take out 10 million dollars worth of fuel, but paralyzing air operations for a few days is worth it. Without risking a single pilot or a plane that costs 200 million (B-2?).

    The second thing is targetting civilian targets. Refineries, ports, bridges, transit tunnels, rail tracks. Aside from directly curtailing civilian transportation, it also makes it more difficult to move around troops and hardware. Not ot mention shutting down a nation’s sole source of funds (say exporting petroleum) or just stopping trade untile a port can be repaired…

  72. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @yeah

    We weren’t fighting the Russians in Vietnam. We were fighting the Vietnamese and therein lies the difference.

    • Replies: @yeah
  73. Our military record is not so great.
    Russia, on the other hand, has held its lands for a millennia.

    The only war we (the USA) have truly won since the War of 1812 was the Pacific Theater of WWII.

    Everything else was done by others (WWII European Theater was mostly Russian work), or a miserable stand-off (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan) or a totally unnecessary fiasco (War Between The States, WWI, Iraq ) such that “winning” was no benefit to the “victor”.

    You might say the Mexican War gave us some good territory but the Mexicans are winning their Reconquista invasions while we sleep and dilly dally.

    The bloodthirsty neocons are dangerous fools. At least the Japanese Imperial Forces wore uniforms and flew their flag when attacking, even if a sneak attack. Neocons are silent killers of their host.

    Neocons are like clogged arteries – you know they will be a problem but failing to comprehend the danger, that heart attack can occur most unexpectedly, killing the host.

    You know you need to clean the crud out of those clogged arteries but you just don’t do what is needed to clean out and become safe.

  74. peterAUS says:

    Regarding

    The 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria

    there is another, more pertinent one: Assad regime in general and SAA in particular.

    The problem for Russian main objective in Syria (maintaining presence there) is not the US/whatever high tech operational/strategic capability.
    The problem is SAA.

    They are, simply, incapable of anything serious.
    They, in essence, keep dragging this exercise on and on.

    Give any other…ahm…”army” (speaking of SAA) this level of support it would’ve eaten the opposition in 6 months tops.
    But not the Syrians…………

    I am positive that the regime in Moscow thought (as any reasonable people would) that the mission would’ve been completed in 6 months.
    Yes, they’ve read for sure “Arabs in war” (classic…), but, still, with THAT Russian support even Arabs can deliver against some militias.
    Well….no……….

    And that will keep to be the problem no high-tech Russian hardware could solve.
    Anybody’s hardware for that matter.

    As West/whatever is stuck with ….those people…in Afghanistan and Iraq, well, Russians are stuck in Syria.

    A cynic would think that focusing less on high-tech hardware and more on basic soldiering would benefit Russians more there.
    Trying to instill that in Syrians……..well….is apparently proving much harder then developing high-tech weaponry.

  75. Even if Russia were militarily the weakest nation on earth, a US attack on the Russians would still be a colossal mistake.

    No American national interests or civilizational interests are advanced by attacking Russia.

    On the contrary, American lives and wealth would be wasted, and America’s reputation tarnished, in a war which would benefit America’s real enemies, Sunni jihadists such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS, while diminishing American export opportunities, providing a pretext for the ongoing migrant invasion of Europe, and ethnically cleansing Middle Eastern Christians.

  76. @Carroll Price

    Just wondering; Have either of you military geniuses ever consider enrolling in the US War College?

    You just made my day;)) Excellent comment, Carroll!

  77. @Thorfinnsson

    The USA developed some of the first (perhaps the first?) supersonic cruise missiles all the way back in the 1960s

    Regulus II, 1950s. The program was shut down and why it was so is well described in Elmo Zumwalt’s excellent memoirs “On Watch”.

  78. peterAUS says:
    @Carroll Price

    A bit confused.
    Positive you’ll help.

    You mean enroll as a student or you mean seek an employment as a lecturer and such?

    If student, well…………why would one want to do that?

    If lecturer, again, why would one want to do that?

    Just one reason would suffice.

    I’ll try to help:
    Pay is good?
    Career prospects?
    The highest level of (military related) expertise/wisdom gained?
    Just looks good in resume?
    Food is good there?
    Available…..entertainment…..affordable (depends of vice/sexual preference)?

    So…why…if you’d be so kind?

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  79. One Tribe says:
    @Ron Unz

    First of all, thank you Andrei Martyanov for the very informative analysis/article.
    Also, thank you Ron Unz for this supporting addendum.

    I am very much interested in further information concerning the U.S. military establishments seeming (increasingly alluded to) weak assessment/intelligence of Russian military capability, especially armaments.

    Iraq is going to be a topic of (likely dramatically) increasing heat and attention (in the uncensored press which reports on the issues that are the most important to everyone alive, like this web site).
    The ‘referendum’ in the Kurdish dominated area of Iraq will make the 24 month long reverse polarization of Turkey (from NATO/US partner to Russian partner) look like an indecisive epic.

    If anyone thought the ‘war’ in Iraq was going poorly for the Americans before, ‘they ain’t seen nothing yet’! Also, the passing the point of no return for Turkey; they’ve had enough lies and disingenuous promises from the Euroangangstas; their future association to the U.S. and (western) Europe will be exclusively from the Eurasian-centric multi-polar world perspective, under which they will prosper as well or better than they ever have before.

    Iraq is a country, in which, even the most pro-American Iraqis (outside of the Kurdish dominated region), will, at this very moment (2017.09.28.17h03 NA EDT) be 100% deciding that they have been screwed! And not very nicely, at that.

    With all of this Russiaphobia (let us not forget that this emanating as a deflection from the revelations a corrupt candidate who was cheating to win a party’s nomination for the U.S. presidential candidate), it is highly politically incorrect to reference how far ahead V. Putin’s geopolitical movement is compared to the west, especially the civil war crippled U.S.A..

    One can see so much thoughtfulness and ‘communication’ in the completely unnecessary flight path, through Iraq of the bombers delivering their payloads.
    In fact, it could be the most telling aspect of the entire operation!

    Iraq is lost to the western empire.
    Unfortunately, the response to on-ground western-empire supported aggression in the Kurdish-dominated region of Iraq, and likely in other Kurdish dominated middle eastern regions (outside of Iran), will like be decisive and therefore brutal (but, alas, understandable).

  80. Very informative article. It looks like 3D even 4D planning now. Not for amateurs for sure. Each factor is interconnected with others. What worries me is that USA side those who make decisions get those subtle and not so subtle messages. Hope everybody understands ramifications of making bad and hasty decisions.

  81. Sun Tzu says:

    The Russian salvo of 26 cruise missiles from Caspian Sea sent a subliminal message to the Teddy Roosevelt CBG. Whether scheduled or not the Teddy Roosevelt CBG departed the theater shortly after. Remember that Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th POTUS.

  82. @peterAUS

    You mean enroll as a student or you mean seek an employment as a lecturer and such?

    In your case, probably all three – simultaneously .

    • Agree: Kiza
  83. @Ram

    Russia in effect has far more valuable very vulnerable targets in the area than the US does.

    That’s why Russia ringed their military assets with S-400 batteries, the most advanced anti-aircraft, anti-missile system ever deployed. The fact they have not been called upon to show it’s capabilities, is proof that the US fully understands it’s capabilities.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic commenter
  84. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    EugeneGur says:
    September 28, 2017 at 7:21 pm GMT • 200 Words
    @survey-of-disinfo

    In case you haven’t noticed the author isn’t talking about Russia dictating the defense of Iran but about Iran objectively being in the same boat as far as Western aggression is concerned. The animosity towards Iran in the USA is just as great as towards Russia – the difference is Russia is capable of defending itself, vodka bottle in hand, which is not at all certain about Iran.

    The author who is too shy (or tongue tied, comrade?) to rely except to agree with you, is saying that but Iran is not in the same boat as Russia.

    As for Iran not being able to defend itself, that is no thanks to the Russians and their mañana, mañana about S300. Note how quickly the S400 deal with Turks was signed. Iran certainly noted that! :)

    As for Russia being able to decent herself, well bully for her. Just do it from Russian territory and go easy on the vodka, tovarich :)

    As for “animosity towards Iran in the USA”, it is fueled by the same Jews who run Russia, so it’s a wash.

    By using the Iranian airspace, Russia isn’t using Iran as a forward base but, on the contrary, signaling that Iran isn’t alone – this is to your advantage, buddy, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.

    Tell that to the Syrians getting bombed by Israelis :)

    Our advantage, “buddy”, is our independence, our valor, our smarts, and our tendency to asymmetric thinking.

    There is NO advantage to Iran allowing Russian military to strike American assets in the area. The entire military doctrine of Iran is deterrence based.

    At a basic personal level, an American and an Iranian can relate and understand each other. But the Russians are cold fish and were it come down to choosing one hegemony over another, the American brand is just more attractive. Sorry, comrades.

    The substantial majority of Iranian people are pro-American. A less substantial subset are fully aware of the historic aggression of Russians against the Iranian nation. 1953 is peanuts compared to years of Russian meddling in Iranian affairs.

    History matters.

    There is not a single record of a Russian, for example, coming to aid of Iranians, but to this day an American who fought with Iranians in the revolution of early 20th c. is honored in Iran.

    Culture matters.

    Russia wants Syria because with her secret ally, the Zionist entity, the control of Syria gives Russia a veto power over energy and goods transfer from Asia to Europe. (Listen up, China.)

    A strong and independent Iran is completely unpalatable to Russia. Why do you think Russia is in Syria? Because an Iranian gas pipeline to Europe would undermine Russian energy hegemony over Europe.

    Why does nutty yahoo fly to Moscow with meetings with Putin? Because they need to communicate securely.

    Is Hezbollah smart enough to note and nullify Russian attempt to penetrate their organization via Syria? Nassurllah looks and sounds plenty smart to me! :)

  85. Vidi says:
    @peterAUS

    For both security of the state of Israel and The Empire strategy in ME, chaos is definitely much more preferable option.

    Not if the chaos draws in all the powers in the region by proxy, including Turkey and Iran, and Israel is engulfed in the flames.

    Not even Uncle Sam will be able to save the little country. The US could threaten the major nations in the area, but they will shrug and say they have no control of the chaotic situation. Israel will wish it had never listened to the neocons who started the flames in the neighborhood.

  86. Vidi says:
    @Anon

    France did pretty well out of the Thirty Years’ War.

    Israel is not France.
    Israel is not even at the Hezbollah level.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic commenter
  87. yeah says:
    @Anon

    Wow! So you think fighting the Russians would be easier than fighting the Vietnamese? If you do, there is little scope left for any rational talk.

    • Replies: @Anon
  88. Talha says:
    @Anonymous

    History matters…Culture matters.

    Very true, which is why Iran will have an easier time working with a post-Communist Russia in which traditional religion is respected versus the post-modernist craziness that the elite from the US seem to want to promote everywhere.

    Worrying over what some Tsar did to the Qajar dynasty centuries ago is interesting but people need to have serious perspective about what really counts in the time that we live in. Sure, these are marriages of convenience from both sides – which is fine as long as both net a positive benefit.

    A strong and independent Iran is completely unpalatable to Russia.

    Possibly – but that’s going to require some serious soul-searching within the various Muslim countries of the region to come to the table in a more cooperative posture. They have the resources and strength to go it alone without outside interference if they can be united. Barring that, they will always be a feather in someone else’s hat.

    Peace.

  89. @SimpleHandle

    It is likely that President Trump is unaware of the NeoCon hijinks in Syria.

  90. @Vidi

    And France today is not France of the thirty years war.

    For one thing, they are in the thrall of a parasite people.

  91. It is unfortunate that we have not been treated to a demonstration of the capabilities (or lack thereof) of the S400 system(s) in Syria.

    It would be so illuminating.

  92. @Carroll Price

    This is not true. It could be that Russia does not want to demonstrate the deficiencies of the S400 systems.

    It is such a pity we have not been given a demonstration of their capabilities when the shit hits the fan.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
    , @Kiza
  93. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Sorry Talha, but your “post-Communist” Russia with “traditional religions” is sci-fi to me.

    Remember: “The Believer is discerning”. (Hadith)

    The Russian approach to ethnic fabric of their expansionist quilt is entirely practical. First principle is “cultural disconnect” whereby Crylic alphabet replaces ethnic alphabet. This is to counter cultural continuity. The second principle is “Mommy/Daddy state overseer” of “traditional religions”. Chechnya is a pri

    Worrying over what some Tsar did to the Qajar dynasty centuries ago is interesting

    Come now, Talha, Uncle Joe was not a Tsar. Russia going along with the West with the charade of “nuclear threat” from Iran was not a Tsarist project. We will omit for the moment the role of USSR in the agitations that resulted in ’79 revolution, but there also that little matter.

    Possibly – but that’s going to require some serious soul-searching within the various Muslim countries of the region to come to the table in a more cooperative posture. They have the resources and strength to go it alone without outside interference if they can be united. Barring that, they will always be a feather in someone else’s hat.

    The 57 Muslim nations would be an amazing block and definitively counter the devious war mongers. That is the answer. Not Russia. Not China. Not US. Not EU. The 57 Muslim Nations are an incredible power block.

    Were these nations ruled by rational people, they would forge an alliance between Turkey and Iran, unifying the Sunni-Shia Muslim world. China would applaud this as it would guarantee passage to EU outside of Russian control. Russia would not like this. EU would not like this. US would not like this. Zionist would not like this.

    > “Peace”

    Salaam always sounded better to me and fills me with spiritual delight (just like OM), Talha. Also, as you must know, Salaam means more than just “peace”. It means HARMONY, EQUANIMITY, and HEALTH.

    (You know, I have entertained the idea if whether the close phonetics of “Peace” and “Piss” — try French, if you prefer Latin languages with Paix and Pisse– have something to do with the approach of the related people to the idea of “peace” … )

    Don’t be shy brother. After all, ALLAH revealed the Quran in Arabic tonque for a reason. Say Salaam as God intended you to say it.

    • Replies: @Talha
  94. @Peripatetic commenter

    Hopefully, we’ll never find out. In the meantime, successful bluffs are as good, if not better than the real thing.

  95. Sun Tzu says:
    @Anonymous

    Russia defends the JCPOA but Israel and USA wants to renege on it. Russia agreed to General Soleiman’s request to provide support for Syria. Russia and Iran are under economic sanctions from you know who and barter oil and gas in non dollar trade. Russia nixed Netanyahoo’s request to keep Iran and PMUs or Hezbollah out of Quneitra. But according to you Russia is big bad wolf and Iran is sheep.

  96. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    You’re deranged.

    Russians at least punch you in the mouth. Americans backstab.

  97. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @yeah

    The Russians don’t have real skin in the game in Syria, like they didn’t in Afghanistan, which is why the Muhajadeen could beat them. Compare that to Barbarossa or Napoleon’s war — home turf makes a big difference.

    We could plow over the NVA anywhere but Vietnam — short of nuking the place we were never going to beat them at home.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  98. peterAUS says:

    There is, perhaps, another possibility we might consider (Jack Ryan…..).

    Regarding Russian stand-off capability.

    If we assume that MAD prevents “employment” of such capability against US…ops…sorry…Zionist Empire…..maybe that capability isn’t just wasted.

    I mean…if Russsians made it, and they aren’t going to sell it, and they aren’t going to use it aganist “ZE”, and those resources could be used to be a bit more independent from Western consumer goods imports………well….

    How about using that capability against “little guys” inside Russian sphere of interest?

    Like “little guys” in former Warsaw pact for example?
    From Baltic to Bulgaria.

    I mean, “ZE” used similar capability against Yugoslavia ’99, for example.

    Why Russians wouldn’t use it against ….somebody……in Eastern Europe?

    Ah…yes….because they are good guys.
    Sure.

    Just a thought, mind you.

  99. @Anon

    The skin is quite real. Russia is learning lessons and prefer to fight enemies as far as possible before they attack or destabilize Russia proper. This whole article and stand off weapons is about Russia trying to fight enemies from a far and preventing threats from materializing destroying them before too late.

  100. KenH says:

    All the talk of technical specs and capabilities of the various weapons systems are above my pay grade, but my worst fears have been realized and it seems the U.S. and Israel are trying to provoke Russia into a reaction that will justify wider war for the purpose of “securing the realm”. Things in Syria were not to Israel’s liking and Syria will not be bifurcated nor does it appear that a puppet leader subservient to America and Israel will supplant Assad.

    This is probably why Israel attacked a Hezbollah position recently so they could stir things up a bit and try to regain some momentum towards their ultimate objective. Israel knows it can start another military conflagration then quietly exit the scene with little cost to itself while their American vassal will take over and do the rest. And if America doesn’t take the bait then Izzy’s innumerable agents in the media and Congress will scream anti-semitism and moan about how the president has turned his back on our greatest ally in the region until the desired outcome is achieved.

  101. @Thorfinnsson

    It’s well known that Western countries have lagged Russia in cruise missile development for decades now. I’m not even entirely sure why–more confidence in our sea and air power?

    It could be the rare example of the US military practicing the policy of “quantity is a quality all of its own”. At least until recently they’ve had a lot of Tomahawks in inventory and while we hear all this squawking about how we need a 300 ship navy, fact is we can put to sea far more than pretty much everyone (how many are deployable due to other readiness criteria is another matter – but in terms of shear number – there’s plenty of jaw to house the teeth).

    3500 Tomahawks is probably adequate to sink the Russian and Chinese navies, in a fairly short period of time, supersonic or no. The respective admiralties probably know that.

    That said: if it is a case of a good strategic decision around quantity/quality … I would wager my money it is the right decision, for the wrong reason(s).

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @1RW
  102. Talha says:
    @Priss Factor

    Wow – if it comes to that, I believe the crisis would have well expanded beyond just bubble gum – I would imagine lollipops and cotton candy would also be in peril!!!

    Peace.

  103. Bayan says:
    @survey-of-disinfo

    Agree. In the long run the best thing for Iran is to stop its military involvement in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon; and limit its relations to culture and economy. Iranian military coming into battle with American forces in these countries is no good for Iran. Furthermore, eventually Iraqis and Syrians will rebel against Iranian domination of their countries despite their religious affinities to Iran. That is the nature of the nation state. Iranians should be smart enough to understand this. It is a question of when to begin the withdrawal.

  104. hunor says:
    @DESERT FOX

    ” the Zionist warmongers are going to destroy America and in case of war with Russia both
    nations will be destroyed….”

    You nailed it that is the plan! Stack up the best and brightest of the Caucasian males against
    each other, Nato vs. Russia , with modern weapons they will most effectively wipe out each other.
    They are the only ones who can hinder the plan of NWO. , so they have to be discarded. the remaining goyims will be forcefully crossbred , and microchiped , hence NWO. Nirvana for some
    lunatics , humanity for none.

  105. Wally says:
    @Anon

    Anon said:

    “If we funded the FSA to the extent that we did the Mujahadeen, the Russians would be on their heels. If we had actual boots on the ground, it would be game, set, and match.”

    Laughable.

    I suggest you actually read the article under discussion.

  106. Wally says:
    @Avery

    But obviously something gives NATO/US and/or Israel 2nd thoughts.
    I have no idea what it is, but the reason there is no interference with Russia is not because NATO/US/Israel are charitably disposed towards Russia.
    Clearly they are concerned (or worried) about something.

    It’s called ‘casualties’ / losses.

    A base or aircraft carrier cannot be swept under the Zionist media’s rug.

  107. Wally says:
    @SimplePseudonymicHandle

    “fact is we can put to sea far more than pretty much everyone”

    And sluggish floating targets they are.

    • Replies: @Anon
  108. Sharrukin says:
    @Talha

    I assume you mean a non-nuclear EMP missile and I have thought that this might be a rather useful concept. I would think that the naval ships are somewhat protected from such attacks, but even a partial effect or temporary interference with the complicated radars and electronics in a carrier battle group during an antishipping missile attack could turn a minor attack into a knockout blow.

    • Replies: @Talha
  109. Kiza says:
    @Peripatetic commenter

    Ok, what you say is true – there has been no proof of S400 capabilities. This may be:
    A) because Russia did not want to reveal its capabilities in the heavily monitored Syrian military theater, to avoid giving US and Israel a chance to develop counter measures
    B) because they could not find a volunteer, such as you, till now who is willing to verify how poor the performance of S400 is by flying a military plane into its defensive zone.

    Perhaps, the Russians also wanted to know how effective S400 would be in detecting F22 Raptors flying from Incirlik. Smaller Radar Cross Section typically means only detection at a reduced distance, not invisibility as the US MIC marketing says. This could have been an even more important task, relevant to the whole of mother Russia, than defending the Russian contingent in Syria.

    • Replies: @Peripatetic commenter
  110. Dingo says: • Website

    Here we go again. Russian cruise missiles how good they are. How much help did they give to iraq when it was needed. So to syria when incursion by israel air force hit military targets where is the highly vaunted anti aircraft missiles russia has supposedly given syria . A couple of these fantastic cruise missiles sent back over the border to israel would wake the americans and israelis up. How come no response from russia _all talk no action.= russia fell part in the nineties.

  111. unit472 says:
    @Talha

    It depends on your war scenario. A US carrier hit by Iran might make its way home and be repaired. That was how the US Navy operated in WW2 before armored flight decks. Interestingly the British carriers operating off Okinawa absorbed kamikazi attacks and stayed on station while the wooden flight decks on American carriers were not so robust.

    Today in a major war I tend to believe you go to war with what you have on day one and who can hit hardest in the first few days will prevail. There will be no time to move factories beyond the Urals or create an ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ out of range of enemy attack. In that scenario a carrier becomes, like everything else, an expendable platform.

    • Replies: @unseated
  112. @Talha

    I’ve not read of any aircraft carriers loaded with offensive weapons

    Maybe not American carriers, but there’s at least one carrier with such weapons: The cruiser role is facilitated by Admiral Kuznetsov’s complement of 12 long-range surface-to-surface anti-ship P-700 Granit (NATO reporting name: Shipwreck) cruise missiles.

    • Replies: @Talha
  113. @Dingo

    One of the parties involved gotta be sane to avoid really bad things happening. It is Russia
    You have to have similar historical experience and cultural background to understand and appreciate wisdom and restrain. Otherwise we all would have been like chimps throwing crap at each other at smallest cause, except we can throw a lot more dangerous things than doing.

  114. Talha says:
    @Sharrukin

    Hey Sharrukin,

    These were my thoughts exactly. One wonders what the effect would be on aircraft carriers running on (multiple) nuclear reactors. I definitely wouldn’t want to be around to find out.

    Peace.

  115. Talha says:
    @reiner Tor

    Thanks reiner Tor – very interesting. It seems a small payload of 12 anti-ship missiles is meant as a means of keeping a defensive posture.

    Peace.

  116. Talha says:
    @Anonymous

    Salaam Bro,

    Didn’t know you were Muslim.

    Remember: “The Believer is discerning”. (Hadith) The Russian approach to ethnic fabric of their expansionist quilt is entirely practical.

    Agree with both. However, one must give credit where it is due – this may be realpolitik, but Russia and her Orthodox authorities have been fairly good about acknowledging Islam as a natural part of the Russia milieu (this goes all the way back to Catherine the Great). For sure they will promote an Islam that is not a threat to their political structure, but that is to be expected. Generally though, mosques are going up everywhere and traditional Islam is on the rise among the populace and Russia is even giving a kind of leeway in how the various Muslims administer their own localities. Just recently, there was an agreement to open up a new Islamic university in Grozny that will be in conjunction with the Syrian ulema.

    Uncle Joe was not a Tsar.

    He was not – and the Communist regime’s crimes against both the Orthodox community and Muslims were tremendous. However, the Communists are gone – and, frankly, were a hiccup in Russia’s long history. They have tried to start things anew – I think we owe it to the people of Russia to give it a go from our side:

    Look, I don’t like it that Russia is backing Assad, but honestly, it has always seen itself as the guarantor of the rights of Orthodox Christians in that area and when you think about what Daesh (which happened to be the strongest group against the regime) was doing to the historical minority communities in that area, you realize why they came into the conflict as they did. And frankly, part of me is kind of happy that there is now a Chechen tripwire force in Syria that will prevent Israel from taking advantage of the situation.

    It’s a big mess – I don’t know that there is one correct way to look at it – pray for the innocent.

    That is the answer. Not Russia. Not China. Not US. Not EU. The 57 Muslim Nations are an incredible power block.

    Agreed – and you probably only really need 6 to start a core – the rest of the smaller guys will follow; Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi and Indonesia. I might have added Iraq, but that place is a complete mess right now. Saudi is the tough one to get on board with anything and is stirring up a lot of trouble around the world (even next door in Yemen).

    Fi amanillah, wa salaam

  117. EugeneGur says:
    @Anonymous

    the American brand is just more attractive. Sorry, comrades.

    When go for it. You leaders, however, appear to be smarter and understand better what usually happens to the ones choosing such “attractive brand”.

    A strong and independent Iran is completely unpalatable to Russia. Why do you think Russia is in Syria? Because an Iranian gas pipeline to Europe would undermine Russian energy hegemony over Europe.

    Of course. And that is precisely why Russia was instrumental in pushing that Iranian agreement through, the agreement that would lift the Iranian sanctions and allow Iran to sell its oil again. BTW your “attractive brand” people are trying their damnedest to renege on that deal.

    Why does nutty yahoo fly to Moscow with meetings with Putin? Because they need to communicate securely.

    If you mean Netanyahu, then of course he did want to meet in secret, because he tried to convince Putin to boot Iran out of Syria. Israel is getting positively hysterical about the Iranian presence in Syria. Iran, in case you haven’t noticed, has not just the US but also Israel as its enemy. Putin, however, sent Netanyahu on his way. Russia maintains reasonably friendly relations with Israel but not about to let Israel dictate its actions.

  118. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Wally

    That’s not an argument.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  119. utu says:
    @Dingo

    You are asking good questions. Already comrade Sergey Krieger answered you that you won’t be able to understand the wisdom of Russia’s actions or should we say inactions because you are not Russian. So stop bothering with western logic and rhetoric because their validity ceases to apply once it enters Russia’s physical and mental space.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  120. 1RW says:
    @SimplePseudonymicHandle

    All antiship tomahawks were withdrawn from service in the ’90s.

    Brown people don’t do boats, and with the Soviets gone and the Chicoms not yet a concern I guess the US navy decided that their job was attacking land targets, not sparring with Kirov class battle cruisers.

    Besides that, even antiship tomahawks wouldn’t take out subs or aircraft – things Russians like to launch antiship missiles from.

    Finally, land attack Tomahawks might have trouble dealing with hardened targets, like one of those Chinese islands could be hardened to the point of impermeability to 1000 lb warheads and have enough missiles on it to keep planes and ships away.

    So I don’t think that the USN brass are as cocky as you

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  121. When Bismarck was asked how he would defend German interests in Africa from French encroachment, he replied: “A sortie from Metz”.

    Nato has handily placed its toe in places where the Russians can slam a door on it whenever they need to.

  122. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @1RW

    Not just the islands. Even Chinese ships have anti-missile defenses – this was several years ago.

    https://www.defensetech.org/2011/05/20/the-ten-barreled-ciws-of-chinas-aircraft-carrier/

    Its now standard on the PLAN 052D and coordinated with their versions of AEGIS. The world doesn’t stop developing weapons just because the US has gone dumb, you know.

  123. @Kiza

    because they could not find a volunteer, such as you, till now who is willing to verify how poor the performance of S400 is by flying a military plane into its defensive zone.

    I am too old for that shit.

    Your second point about testing how well the S400s detect F22s and other stealth aircraft is interesting.

    I also suspect that the Russians do not have the issues with diversity that the US has. That is, when you have lower IQ diverse peoples in your forces and high-tech equipment you can expect their effectiveness to be lower than if you didn’t have those lower IQ diverse people. I suspect you have to apply a penalty to diverse forces and it might be as much as 50%.

  124. unseated says:
    @unit472

    Required reading:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002

    “Red, commanded by retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, adopted an asymmetric strategy, in particular, using old methods to evade Blue’s sophisticated electronic surveillance network. Van Riper used motorcycle messengers to transmit orders to front-line troops and World-War-II-style light signals to launch airplanes without radio communications.

    “Red received an ultimatum from Blue, essentially a surrender document, demanding a response within 24 hours. Thus warned of Blue’s approach, Red used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of Blue’s fleet by the second day of the exercise. In a preemptive strike, Red launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles that overwhelmed the Blue forces’ electronic sensors and destroyed sixteen warships. This included one aircraft carrier, ten cruisers and five of six amphibious ships. An equivalent success in a real conflict would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 service personnel. Soon after the cruise missile offensive, another significant portion of Blue’s navy was “sunk” by an armada of small Red boats, which carried out both conventional and suicide attacks that capitalized on Blue’s inability to detect them as well as expected.
    At this point, the exercise was suspended, Blue’s ships were “re-floated”, and the rules of engagement were changed …”

  125. @Dingo

    I believe that an old saying with regards to Russian forces is that they are slow to saddle up but they ride very fast. This is advice to take to heart based on historical events alone.

  126. eirzl says:
    @Ron Unz

    Agree. Don’t know for sure, but having operated in that military-legislative influence sphere for a time, I’d almost guarantee that this $700B defense increase was driven by the “surprise” effectiveness of Russian weapons systems. I’d bet that it’s almost exclusively an RDTE increase on top of the ongoing O&M war fighting (re: imperial) budget structure of the last 15 years. It’s been zero sum between those two categories, but I suspect now that’s no longer the case.

  127. peterAUS says:

    Reading all that feels just……….great.
    To certain “fanboys” around.
    That’s O.K.

    Those in business of not feeling great, as some of us addressed in certain other threads, could take all that with a grain of salt (like one tonne size of grain).

    One could think like:
    Well, that was 2002, Iraqi walkover was in 2003 and nothing of the sort happened.
    Navies of all the big players keep building big surface ships (including Chinese). Including aircraft carriers. BIG carriers.

    Bottom line: that exercise addressed “Iran thing”.

    Should it come to “Iran thing”, all mentioned in the exercise won’t mean anything.

    As addressed already several times on this site, the only problem in that “thing” could be clearing sea lines from mines in Hormuz.
    All the rest………easy……….

  128. @Anon

    That’s a quote from Monty Python’s Flying Circus and anyway, it was a comment.

  129. Iain W says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Tomahawk is a dog slow museum piece. There is strong evidence that the Russians ‘splashed’ the first batch of Tomahawks fired at the Syrian airbase and that is why they had to fire a second batch. I think Russia ‘EW’ capabilities are not fully known and understood.

    I don’t think I would want to be on any US naval assets and have to try and shoot down multiple missiles. As one strategist commented – there are targets and there are subs. The article did not mention that these missiles can be launched in a number of ways – from land, sea, under the sea and from the air and outside the defensive capabilities of the intended targets.

  130. @utu

    How ironic. Meanwhile looks like that it has been working just fine for Rusian side which deployed miniscule resources in the region. The thing is that outcome pretty much confirms who is right and who is wrong. There is also no need to make rush moves at the moment. Things are going in right direction. It is not dick swinging contest if you have not noticed.

    • Replies: @iffen
  131. They’re both 800 lb gorillas, the only difference is the Russian gorilla is fluent in six languages and reads Tolstoy and Pushkin while the American gorilla has type 2 diabetes, a sixth grade education and spends its day jerking off to internet porn.

    • Replies: @Ondrej
  132. Omar says:

    The 800 lb Gorilla is not Russia, but Israel. How many times, Netanyahu been to Russia in the last 2 years and came back empty handed? Even he came back empty handed from USA too!

    God bless Trump, as he was not born yesterday. We American are lucky under his leadership, as Time will prove me right.

  133. Omar says:

    Here is my prediction. Trump will abandon The Nuclear Deal. Iran will be able to then pursue Peaceful Nuclear Program without any sanctions. However, there will be lots of noises and threats of sanction but nothing will come out of them.

    It gonna be pay back time for USS Liberty (1967) and 9/11.

    How long the Prime Minister was in Coma before his death?

    Wonder Why!

    God bless USA and Trump. God bless True Children of Israel.

    Blessed be HaShem!

  134. Ondrej says:
    @Buba Zanetti

    only difference is the Russian gorilla is fluent in six languages and reads Tolstoy and Pushkin

    Six languages is probably overstatement, also I would say has read Tolstoy and Pushkin + ton of classics.

    But on other hand, if you look at “top elite” level, you will mostly find out that knowledge of two or more systems of writing + 1 fluent language + other one or two on level of understanding is quite common.

    Be it Putin, Lavrov, Shoigu, Zacharova, Ivanov, Antonov, Matvyenko and you can search and check for others.

    And yes this gorilla speaking in her internal language 35+ languages, which lot of people from west does not realize.

    As for collective communication with outside world trough its well trained diplomatic corps is uses probably languages most of us did not even heard of;-)

  135. Sean says:

    https://defenceindepth.co/2017/02/17/the-russian-militarys-view-on-the-utility-of-force-the-adoption-of-a-strategy-of-non-violent-asymmetric-warfare/

    [MORE]

    Russian military thinking seems to have reached the point now where the idea of using force intentionally in conflicts with peer-state adversaries has been almost completely ruled out. This seems a radical move. But there has been a clear recognition within this military that better strategic outcomes for Russia will result from the use of non-violent ‘asymmetric warfare’ activities rather than those which will or can involve the use of force – such as conventional war or hybrid warfare.

    Asymmetric warfare, of course, and in a nutshell, is a method of warfare employed by the weak against the strong where the former seeks to level the battlefield with the latter. The weaker party, using its own relative advantages, attempts to turn the strengths of its opponent into vulnerabilities, which can then be exploited. The means used are ones which, in essence, cannot be used in return – reciprocated – by the target (‘asymmetrical’ means that which cannot be mirror-imaged). Fundamentally, asymmetric warfare is all about activity that, rather than bludgeoning a target into strategic, operational and tactical defeats, actually manipulates it into them. And it is all done, ideally, with no use of force. As Sun Tzu, the ‘father’ of asymmetric thinking, told us, the acme of skill in the conduct of warfare is to defeat the adversary without the use of any force. See, for instance my book titled Asymmetric Warfare: Threat and Response in the 21st Century.
    [...]

    Other articles present similar arguments for the use of asymmetric warfare by the Russian military. The overall message for this military, and as the influential military newspaper Red Star (Krasnaya Zvezda) summed up last year, is that when it comes to the conduct of warfare in the current era, ‘The main emphasis must be placed on asymmetrical means and methods’.

    The principal aim of Russian asymmetric warfare is to create degrees of destabilisation (destabilizatsiya) within targeted states and within collectives of targeted states (e.g. NATO, EU). A target that is destabilised (in whatever sense) is one that, in Russian military thinking, is more susceptible to Russian leverage, i.e. it can be manipulated more easily.[...]

    Conventional military assets are still needed, of course. But these days they may be seen to be acting in a supporting role for the asymmetric warfare campaign against NATO interests. Their outwardly sabre-rattling movements, deployments and activities are seen as means of creating ‘indirect leverage’ that can, in turn, manipulate western actors into making counter moves that actually suit Moscow’s purposes.

    The Russian military is now also employing asymmetric warfare methods that these western actors find very difficult to retaliate against on a like-for-like basis – reciprocity is largely denied. Russian democracy has become very much a ‘managed’ one and this closes down many avenues of retaliation. Russia is also not open to cyber attack in the same way that western states are and defences in the country are more pronounced.

    The Russian military can and is using non-violent asymmetric means to considerable strategic advantage against NATO. They are, wherever one looks, destabilising and manipulating to good effect. Given this continuing situation and the strategic results that are patently being produced in NATO countries, why would the Russian military need to consider the conventional use of force? What utility does it have?

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  136. peterAUS says:
    @Sean

    Russians and asymmetric warfare?
    “Soft power” in particular.

    Yeah……

    Could they produce something like this ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Innocents_(2016_film)

    Doubt it.

  137. @peterAUS

    As per your link, this is how the movie ends:

    “The final scene is three months later, with a photographer at the convent taking pictures of the nuns and happy orphans.”

    See, happy orphans. Good PR.

  138. @peterAUS

    In Soviet times there were many excellent films produced. Now, not so much. I tried to watch few only to turn off tv very quickly. I would say Soviet version of Hamlet was outstanding. Did you watch it?

  139. @Priss Factor

    No. You’re thinking about the former Soviet Union. Russia is not the same thing. Also no, the USA military exists for no other purpose than profit making. It is the most corrupt on earth by its definition. The pentagon pays thousands of dollars for a bolt which exists with the same part number in a GM catalogue for less than ten dollars. That was years old but typical of the utter joke the US military is. Did we forget the 6 trillion dollars the Pentagon lost the day before 9/11 in 2001? Or the more recent announcement of a similar amount LOST? Nobody else even has a budget the size of the missing money in the US one.

  140. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    Russia is very corrupt in some ways – but it has cleaned up on the military side. Remember that the US is only less corrupt because we define lobbying to be legal.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  141. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Carroll Price

    For smashing up developing countries from a safe distance?

    Works well as long as the developing country in question doesn’t have backup.

  142. @Vidi

    Providing chaos to Germany from 1618 to 1648 and beyond proved to be a winning strategy for the French, so …

  143. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Why does nutty yahoo fly to Moscow with meetings with Putin? Because they need to communicate securely.

    You don’t think they know how to use SSL?

  144. 1RW says:
    @peterAUS

    They just produced Время Первых or “Spacewalker”

    It’s excellent propaganda and a great movie about the early Soviet Program. Actually a better space themed movie since I don’t know when, maybe since Appolo 13. Which ironically is the American version.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  145. @1RW

    I assume you realize that the entire Apollo program was a studio production. Sure they shot a few people a couple hundred miles up and parachuted them back into the Atlantic Ocean, but other that, along with studio productions of the moon landings, that pretty much covers it.

  146. I have a DVD of how the moon landing was faked and every single person whom I’ve loaned it to starts off by thinking I’m nuts but then returns it saying that they agree that the landing was faked. The kicker for me is the facial expressions and body language of shame and disgust from the astronauts themselves on an occasion where they should have been elated and proud.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  147. Erebus says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    I have a DVD of how the moon landing was faked

    And the title of that DVD is? Is it publicly available?
    If that achievement becomes an object of doubt, American “Exceptionalism” goes into the toilet, and with it what’s left of “Brand America”. 9/11, and who knows what else, will break free of its shackles (Holocaust?) and tear the nation, if not the West, to pieces.
    Parenthetically, it was when I learned that all of the design/engineering/fabrication/video/photographic documentation, both NASA’s own and that of all the contractors, disappeared, that I went “Hmm… that’s a bridge too far”. Under lock and key, in climate controlled vaults, available only to accredited researchers? I can buy that, but lost? NFW.

  148. Indulging in conspiracy theories can occasionally be great fun. Here’s my pet conspiracy theory: many commenters (perhaps the majority) who are spreading the most idiotic conspiracy theories (like the “moon landing hoax” conspiracy theory) on dissenting websites (like The Unz Review) are paid agents of the CIA or some other similar organization.

    • Replies: @Erebus
    , @iffen
    , @ussr andy
  149. Erebus says:
    @reiner Tor

    Here’s my pet conspiracy theory…

    And here’s mine:
    The theory that only “paid agents of the CIA or some similar organization” would accuse anybody who expresses doubts about the more fantastic of the official narratives propagated for socio-political purposes of being a “paid agent of the CIA or some similar organization”. Your turn, duffus.

  150. iffen says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    It is not dick swinging contest if you have not noticed.

    It’s pecker measuring contest, Serg, not swinging. Although, come to think of it a longer pecker would have a lot more swing in it.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
  151. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor

    on dissenting websites (like The Unz Review)

    Why would what we think be worth the trouble?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  152. Thirdeye says:
    @Randal

    There’s an understandable post-Soviet tendency in the US sphere to discount Russian capabilities in terms of high tech weapons.

    There could be books written about the complete failure of the US to foresee Russia’s achievement of parity+ with the West in advanced weaponry. The Donald Cook incident in 2014 gave a shock about Russian EW capabilities on the order of the shock the U2 incident gave about Soviet air defense capabilities. Something quietly queered the TLAM attack on the Syrian airbase earlier this year. The image that the US kept of Russia was left over from the 1980s, that the Soviet Army was a mighty but unwieldy big iron force with plenty of firepower but wanting in capabilities related to advanced technology. During the first Chechen War in 1996, the Russian Army was referred to in US media as a “glorified Third World army.” That’s an exact quote. The performance of Soviet-designed aerial weaponry, largely during the mideast wars of 1973 to 1982, gave a distinct impression of a disadvantage related to avionics. But that may have been misleading, as the performance of export aircraft could have been inferior to that of the home fleet. Either the US estimate of Soviet technology in the 1980s was way off or post-Soviet Russia developed advanced technology at a remarkable pace, even more so since it occurred during such chaotic times.

  153. Thirdeye says:
    @iffen

    “It ain’t the meat it’s the motion, it’s the movement that gives it the sock.”

    Sing it.

  154. ussr andy says:
    @reiner Tor

    RT comment section, too. Pure cancer, what with flat earth, chemtrails, etc. No way to prove, of course.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  155. @iffen

    I guess you’re aware that these guys don’t actually convert many people here to the belief that the Earth is flat or that the Moon landings were a hoax. However, their presence is quite off-putting to most normies who happen to visit this site. They’ll conclude that this is a crackpot conspiracy site for tinfoil hat idiots.

    I’m not sure the CIA is really that smart to spread the most stupid conspiracy theories in The Unz Review comment sections, and I can’t deny that there are certainly a number of tinfoil hat people flocking to dissenting websites on their own. But when the conversation has devolved into the dumbest conspiracy theories anyway, I like amusing myself with floating my pet conspiracy theory. I’m not sure about it either way.

    • Replies: @iffen
  156. @ussr andy

    There is one way this could all happen naturally: I think it’s possible that the most idiotic conspiracy theorists are flocking to alternative websites that are dissenting from The Narrative. The Unz Review (probably also RT and other sites) is an obvious candidate for such spontaneous activity. But yes, there’s a possibility that some conscious effort is made to make these websites look bad.

    One interesting thing I noticed is that some 8-10 years ago I spent a lot of time debating 911 truthers. I found a number of websites dedicated to debunking conspiracy theories. The strange thing is, just a couple of years ago, I tried to search for some information on 911, and basically it appeared from Google and YouTube searches as if the debunking (anti-truther) websites have greatly decreased in visibility. I needed to do targeted searches on them (and even so, the results always contained a large number of the truther websites or videos) to find them. I once debated a “moderate” 911 truther guy. He basically believed most of the official narrative (i.e. that Osama did it), except he thought either that Osama was a CIA agent or patsy or that at least he was allowed to proceed by TPTB. He thought that the idiotic conspiracy theories (the “controlled demolition” crowd or the more extreme “the planes were holograms”) were actually spread by the CIA (or some other similar organization) in order to crowd out the more intelligent questions about the event. Basically, most people think that either the official narrative is true to a dot or it’s a controlled demolition. Now I happen to more or less believe the official narrative on 911, but it was an interesting thought, and could be applied to other things.

    • Replies: @Bobjil
  157. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor

    It is interesting to think about. There are many unknowns. How many people just visit and read the articles without paying attention to the comments? (Of course we have quite a few above the fold articles that match or exceed the bizarreness of the comments). I check several sites and have never even read the comments at most of them. I only read a few of the contributors at Unz and regularly comment at fewer still. I am impressed by many of the knowledgeable comments that can be found here. One has to wade through quite a bit of muck to get to the worthwhile stuff. (I am sure some feel the same about some of my comments, especially when I am down in the muck wrestling with the pigs.)

    Back to the particulars of your comment. Would the CIA be interested in sowing distrust of alternative media and limiting its distribution and influence? I can see where they would have an interest. As in, if everyone had complete trust in someone, say like Uncle Walter, then it would be simple enough to see that Uncle Walter got the material that you wanted him to have. If we have anarchy in the media and the populace’s trust is all over the place then peddling the influence that you want would be complicated. You couldn’t just drop a Tonkin Gulf incident into the hopper and get the predictable results that you used to be able to get with minimal effort.

    Just in case they have their eye on you and your interlocutors, I’m putting my hat back on. :)

  158. Thirdeye says:
    @peterAUS

    There’s some speculation, based on the timing and the targeting, that the recent Russian cruise missile attacks in Idlib may have targeted US SOF in retaliation for Deir Ezzor and northern Hama. The US couldn’t respond because to do so would be an admission that SOF are working with HTS and HTS-supporting groups.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/syria-russia-issues-third-warning-against-us-cooperation-with-terrorists.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef01bb09ca6f1a970d#comment-form

  159. Bobjil says:
    @reiner Tor

    Read “Solving 911″ by Christopher Bollyn. It gives very good details and names about the who and why of 911. Buildings falling in their footprints, thin skinned passenger planes going through thick steel framed towers (3 of them), passport of “hijacker” in the dust – obviously we are not getting the full picture in our MSM.

  160. FB says:

    While the question of what would happen if the US decided to attempt to neutralize the Russian aviation and air defense contingent in Syria is a very serious one…this article by Mr. Martyanov unfortunately proceeds from a faulty premise…

    It is true that Russian standoff missiles such as the ship and sub-launched Kalibr, and the air-launched Kh-101 [aka X-101] are advanced and formidable weapons…but this author’s analysis makes a fundamental error in assuming that Russian aviation and air defenses in Syria would be ‘eventually overwhelmed’ by a US and possibly ‘coalition’ allied attack…and that the deterrent against any such action would be a possible Russian retaliation on US ships and airfields in the region using said standoff weapons…

    This is a deeply flawed assumption that does not make any serious attempt at understanding modern SEAD [suppression of enemy air defenses]…nor of reviewing the voluminous and expert analysis of the most recent US SEAD operation in the 1999 air war against Serbia…

    The results of Operation Allied Force came as a deep shock to air combat experts…[incidentally, Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, who is linked to here as someone advocating for a US strike on Russian air assets in Syria, is neither an airman nor has any expertise in SEAD whatsoever, so his ramblings in the non-technical media can be dismissed as amateurish...]

    Perhaps the definitive expert review of the OAF SEAD results were published by Dr. Benjamin S. Lambeth in 2002, in the Aerospace Power Journal, published quarterly as ‘the professional flagship publication of the United States Air Force.’

    The Summer 2002 journal can be accessed here in pdf format…Dr. Lambeth’s paper starts on page 9…

    http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-16_Issue-1-4/sum02.pdf

    Despite putting over 1,000 aircraft into the attack on Serbia…

    ‘…NATO never fully succeeded in neutralizing the Serb IADS, and NATO aircraft operating over Serbia and Kosovo were always within the engagement envelopes of enemy SA-3 and SA-6 missiles— envelopes that extended as high as 50,000 feet. Because of that persistent threat, mission planners had to place such high-value surveillance-and-reconnaissance platforms as the U-2 and JSTARS in less-than-ideal orbits to keep them outside the lethal reach of enemy SAMs. Even during the operation’s final week, NATO spokesmen conceded that they could confirm the destruction of only three of Serbia’s approximately 25 known mobile SA-6 batteries.

    [Lambeth...page 16...]

    Let’s look at the overall scorecard in the battle of NATO SEADS versus Serb air defenses…again from Lambeth, page 16…

    ‘…US and NATO aircraft fired at least 743 HARMs against radars supporting these enemy SAMs. Yet, enough of the Serb IADS remained intact—mainly the persistent AAA and MANPADS threat—to require NATO fighters to operate above a 15,000-foot floor throughout most of the air effort…’

    HARM missiles are carried by strike aircraft like F16s, F18s, the European Tornado and others and are designed to target enemy air defense radars…ie High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles…

    It is important to note here that HARMs are basically the only type of weapon that can be used against air defenses like SAMs [surface to air missiles]…cruise missiles like the Tomahawk [and Russian analogues for that matter] are useless against such targets…and Mr. Martyanov’s mention of such is puzzling in the SEAD context…

    The reason being that modern SAMs are mobile and designed to ‘shoot and scoot’ with setup times of just several minutes…they are also a small target, unlike a building or a bridge…the only way to take them out is to target their radars, without which a SAM is useless…

    So we see from Lambeth that of the 743 HARMs fired, only three resulted in kills against the ancient [1960s era Soviet] SA6 mobile SAM…

    The HARM used by the US against Serbia was the AGM88, the latest version of which was upgraded in 2010 with some claimed improvements…However, it is important to note that the maximum range of this air-launched missile is only 150 km…and in most cases less, since range depends on the aircraft speed and altitude at missile launch…ie a missile launched by an aircraft flying at mach 2 [twice the speed of sound] and from a height of 50,000 ft, is going to reach farther than one released at lower speed and height…

    Lambeth notes that in return, the Serbs fired 800 SAM shots…124 of which were manpads [Man Portable Air Defense System...ie shoulder-held 'Stinger' type]…

    So the rate of fire and counter fire was about the same…US killed three SA6 mobile SAMs and as many as eight stationary SA3s [aka S125, early 1960s Soviet SAM]…

    But the Serbs took down an F117 stealth aircraft, damaged another badly enough that it never flew again [proving that the F117 takedown was not a one-off fluke], and also shot down an F16, flown by current USAF chief of staff Gen. David L. Goldfein [more on that later]…in addition, several A10 ‘Warthog’ ground attack jets were damaged, and another F16 was written off due to damage…

    In short, the US attempt to defeat Serbian air defenses did not succeed…Lambeth points out what it was like for Nato pilots…[page 11]

    ‘…Indeed, the SAM threat to NATO’s aircrews proved far more pronounced and harrowing than media coverage typically depicted, and aggressive jinking and countermaneuvering against airborne SAMs frequently became necessary whenever the Serbs sought to engage NATO aircraft…’

    And…

    ‘…General Jumper added that a simple look at cockpit-display videotapes would show that “those duels were not trivial…”’

    Lambeth also notes that of those 800 Serb SAM shots, most were unguided…ie ballistic shots without engagement radar guidance, as the Serb tactic was to keep their SAM radars off in order to deny targeting by NATO HARMs…

    The fact that the Serb air defense continued as a credible threat to the final day constricted the NATO air operations, Lambeth points out…

    ‘…unlike the more permissive operating environment in Desert Storm, limitations to airspace availability typically made for high predictability on the part of attacking NATO aircraft…’

    In other words, optimal flight paths were effectively denied by the Serb defenses…high value [and high risk] targets could not be engaged…

    Nato did fire 218 Tomahawk missiles at various targets…including a lot of civilian infrastructure, such as factories, power plants, and even hospitals and schools…and of course the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade…

    Besides that the ground attack jets and heavy bombers did a lot of damage to civilian targets as well…but the overall damage to the Serb military was minimal…

    Dr. Martin Andrew [RAAF, retired], a respected technical expert based in Australia summed it up thus…

    ‘The Federal Yugoslav Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) survived Operation Allied Force (OAF)…Serbia certainly left Kosovo, and suffered a tremendous amount of damage to its infrastructure in Serbia, yet in the face of an air campaign that at the end numbered over 1,000 aircraft, Serbian combat power remained substantially intact…

    And…

    ‘…The number of sorties generated by the NATO forces, particularly the United States Air Force, left them short of spare parts and munitions, required increased maintenance, and a force reduced in effective size due to the decreased fatigue life of many aircraft. This virtual attrition, with little relative destruction of the opposing forces, has shown that the Serbian military strategy was successful, even if the Milosovic regime did not achieve its political objectives…’

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-04.html

    Besides the Nato battle against Serb air defense…there is another aspect that is useful to review, which is air-to-air engagements, which I will cover in a subsequent comment…

    To sum up for now, Operation Allied Force mustered 1,031 aircraft plus 30 attack ships and submarines (including aircraft carriers USS Theodore Roosevelt, HMS Invincible, and France’s Foch) from 13 NATO countries…led by US…including UK, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Canada, Spain, Norway, Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium…

    Yet the SEAD mission was never accomplished…

    It is useful to remember that Russian air defenses in Syria are a completely different ballgame altogether…S400s, S300s, S350 [now reportedly deployed], plus Pantsir as well as the Syrian S200s [and possibly S300s] all networked into an integrated air defense system…are very much more capable opponents than what the Serbs could muster…[I will go into some relevant technical aspects later]

    Besides the Russian and Syrian SAMs, we must consider the Russian A50U Airborne Early warning aircraft [EAW] that are stationed in Syria…as well as at least a squadron strength of latest generation Sukhoi ‘Flanker’ Su35, Su30 and Su34…

    I will bring those and other considerations into the discussion in a subsequent comment…but it is enough to recall the failed SEAD operation of OAF to preclude any assumption that Russian air and SAM assets in Syria could be overwhelmed…

    In fact, it is arguable that such a result is not possible at all…

  161. Erebus says:

    I will bring those and other considerations into the discussion in a subsequent comment…

    Any time soon?

    • Replies: @FB
  162. @FB

    Very informative, thank you. Comments such as this only add to the already great value of The Unz Review and make it so special. Like Erebus I look forward to the promised follow ups. Cheers.

  163. FB says:
    @Erebus

    Glad to hear someone found this useful…

    Yes there is plenty more to come…starting tomorrow…

    Thanks also to NoseyTheDuke for the reply…

  164. @FB

    Lambeth also notes that of those 800 Serb SAM shots, most were unguided…ie ballistic shots without engagement radar guidance, as the Serb tactic was to keep their SAM radars off in order to deny targeting by NATO HARMs…

    You could have reduced your long post just to that. Per “overwhelming” in Syria–those are opinions of Russian professionals, e.g. Colonel Murahovski, among many. That is why additional S-400 have been deployed a week or so ago in Syria. I appreciate your honest and decent effort but facts are facts–thresholds of saturation of Syrian (that is Khmeimim-based) Russian AD can be calculated and it is not very difficult to do. Even with state-of-the-art EC(C)M endemic in most modern Russian AD systems, what IS in Syria currently, while capable of dealing a very serious damage to attacker, when faced with a massive salvo of Tomahawks and the activity of couple of air-wings from carrier would eventually give. This is not a theorem but axiom. Having said all that, there is no denial of a massive deterrent potential of what is already in Syria. This potential translates in a high probability, even while being suppressed and eventually disabled, of a very high and embarrassing (that matters) losses for any attacker. What matters is that it is within US capability to saturate Russian AD in Syria, even with significant losses for itself. In other words, it can be done in case of real escalation. But again, services and forces do not operate “separately”, they are all parts of a complete, across the board military capability of the Armed Forces and as such a tightly integrated.

    While there is no denial of partial failure of suppressing Yugoslav AD in 1999, truth is–it still proved to be enough to not allow it to operate effectively. Hence your (correct) quote above. Back to Syria: yes, it was this threat of this AD which prevented US attack and as such it has done its job but considering fluidity of the situation on the ground (and in the air) it was the Russian ability to “project” in the strategic depth which kept the whole thing under control–it was not one or another, it was a complex of things simultaneously.

    The Russian military contingent in Syria is not just some military base—it is the force tightly integrated with Russian Armed Forces that have enough reach and capability to make anyone face some extremely unpleasant choices, including the fact that it is Russia, not the US, who controls escalation to a threshold and that can explain a non-stop anti-Russian hysteria in US media since the outcome of the war in Syria became clear.

    In short, in real war one doesn’t fight with one weapon, however good (and S-400 is outstanding, probably the best AD system in the world) this weapon, or, more general, capability, might be, one uses all of them in a tightly integrated complex which is known to military professionals as Operation.

  165. FB says:

    thank you for your feedback…

    There is more to the story than just S400…

    What I am trying to do is to present technical information that is factual and in a way that is understandable to the layman…

    Yes, I am arguing head-on against your thesis that the Russian air defenses could be ‘overwhelmed’…

    I have not yet provided the entire explanation to support my thesis…

    However, I must again draw your attention to the issue of using a massive tomahawk salvo against Russian air defenses…as you have now again stated…

    As I have already alluded, cruise missiles are ineffective against SAMs [surface to air missiles]…and have never been used in a SEAD operation [suppression of enemy air defense]…

    Modern air defense SAMs like S300 and 400 are mobile…a cruise missile can only hit a stationary target that is programmed into its guidance system before launch…once launched the missile can’t go anywhere except a per-programmed geographic location…

    Even if the cruise missile operator knows the location of enemy SAMs at the time of launch…those SAMs will no longer be there by the time the cruise missile arrives…

    A tomahawk [and Kaliber, KH-101 etc] fly at subsonic speeds…ie about 500 mph…fired from standoff range…ie outside the engagement range of coastal defense missiles like the Bastion which is in Syria and has been used against land targets…the flight time to cover 300 miles [500 km, just outside the range of Bastion missile] would be about 40 minutes…

    By that time, the SAMs would be long gone…they can fold up and ‘scoot’ in 5 minutes…and the tomahawk launches would have been detected instantaneously by Russian radars and other sensors…the tomahawks would hit only dirt…this is why this is not done…

    So it is meaningless to talk about tomahawks in the context of taking out Russian SAMs in Syria…I do not understand why you do this…and would appreciate any answer you can offer

    An attack by US aircraft on a SEAD mission is the only possibility…and I will discuss that shortly…

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  166. @FB

    Even if the cruise missile operator knows the location of enemy SAMs at the time of launch…those SAMs will no longer be there by the time the cruise missile arrives…

    It is rather strange to discuss something based on a completely false premise drawn from a different theater and different time. To start with:
    Star Variant attack. You know what Star is? Preposition:

    a) 3 Ohio-class SSGN theoretical 154 x 3 = 462 BGM-109 in theoretical salvo. One SSGN in Persian Gulf, another two Central-East Med.
    b) 4-5 Virginia-class SSNs, 5 x 12 = 60 BGM-109, one-two Virginia to Persian Gulf, others Central-East Med.
    Sum per subs: 522 BGM-109 in theoretical first salvo.

    c) Arleigh Burke-class DDG 4 in two CBGs–Central-East Med–theoretical salvo (in practice will be smaller somewhat due to occupancy of MK-41) of 96 BGM 109 per hip, say we go for 80 per hull, so 80 x 4 =320 BGM 109.

    d) 4 Ticonderoga-class Cruisers, up to 122 BGM-109, go for same 80, 80 x 4 =320.

    This is the first wave, so to speak, without accounting CBGs’ airwings with all their capability, so altogether we have in first theoretical salvo: 1162 BGM-109s only from different directions (hence Star).

    I would love to hear your opinion on FERs on missiles alone, granted that you know the saturation threshold. After that we may start to discuss other issues.

    • Replies: @FB
  167. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Mr. Martyanov…

    Let me try to simplify things…

    1. Tomahawk cruise missile cannot hit a moving target…

    2. A mobile SAM becomes a moving target as soon as it starts to move…

    3. A Tomahawk cruise missile fired from standoff range will require a flight time of at least 30 minutes to arrive on target, covering approx. 250 miles…[in reality the flight time will be longer due to missile maneuvering as it follows a nap-of-the-earth flight path...ie winding its way through terrain...and the standoff distance will be likely be considerably longer too...]

    Let’s say that the US goes ahead and launches ’1162′ Tomahawks from ships and subs as you propose…[out of the 3,500 total that the US possesses..ie one third...]

    Let’s also assume that the Russian military does not notice or does not care that all of those ships have moved into an attack perimeter…

    Let’s also assume that the Russians have just one single SAM…and let’s further assume that they don’t bother to start moving this single SAM until they detect the first volley in that massive salvo…

    All of these assumptions are clearly ridiculous, but let’s play along…

    The Russian SAM now has five minutes to fold up and get going…

    It starts moving at a speed of just 15 km/hr…which is three times the normal walking speed of a human…

    In the remaining 25 minutes before the missiles start hitting, that single SAM can cover only 6.25 km…although in any given direction…

    Now let’s figure out how likely it is that one of those

    So the precise target location is unknown…

    Let’s assume the US knew the location of the SAM at the time of Tomahawk launch…

    That single Russian SAM can now be anywhere in a 6.25 km radius…it should be easy to kill right…?

    Well let’s see…a 6.25 km circle has an area of 122.7 square km…

    What are the chances that one of those 1,162 Tomahawks will make a direct hit?

    let’s say the SAM target is 100 square meters [10 m x 10 m]…

    So…122.7 square km = 122.7 million square meters…vs 1,162 Tomahawks…

    Ie…there is a one in a thousand chance that a Tomahawk will actually hit the SAM…

    But of course it doesn’t have to score a direct hit to disable it…it only needs to get close enough for its blast to damage or destroy it…

    How close?

    The standard metric in blast damage is measured in ‘over pressure’…ie that amount of pressure above atmospheric pressure which is enough to cause damage or destruction…an over pressure of 2 psi [13.8 kilopascals...]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overpressure

    The radius at which overpressure reaches that threshold for a 450 kg [1,000 lb TNT charge as per Tomahawk] is about 60 meters [200 ft]…there is a calculator at this site…

    https://www.un.org/disarmament/un-saferguard/kingery-bulmash/

    But let’s say it is 100 m just to be safe…

    So what are the chances of one of those 1,162 Tomahawks getting to within 100 meters of that single Russian SAM that has moved a mere 6.25 kilometers [although in an unknown direction...]…?

    Well we already know the maximum area that it could be in 122.7 km^2…or 122.7 million square meters…

    Since our overpressure radius is 100 meters, that’s an area of 10,000 square meters…

    It would therefore take 12,271 Tomahawks to ensure that a single one comes within 100 meters of our single SAM…

    I hope you can understand that this is the reason that cruise missiles are useless against any moving target…even a ship…

    So let me just end this discussion now of a ‘massive cruise missile salvo’ as something in the realm of possibility…and get on with my attempt to paint a realistic picture of what a SEAD operation against Russia might look like…

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  168. @FB

    Let me try to simplify things…

    No, I do not want you to “simplify” things since what you describe here is an absolutely ridiculous scenario which also doesn’t explain such simple fact of Pantsyr ZRAKs being deployed in what is known as “raketoopasnye napravlenia” (missile threatening) directions. Obviously, somehow nobody wants to move those systems and provide for them mobile and specifically designed for low flying missiles Pantsirs. You obviously do not understand that S-400 and S-300 (not counting AD systems of Russian naval ships ADs) are there to provide coverage to facilities of air-base Khmeimim and especially so to ground and air assets based on it. But I also repeat my question–do you know saturation thresholds for S-300 or 400? Obviously the fact of real time targeting with updates which US has, especially on a effectively desert deployed assets (see the difference with Serbia here?) is not known to you but it is in place. So battle “profile”, in short, you propose here is what in Russia is called Murzilka, after children’s illustrated magazine.

    I hope you can understand that this is the reason that cruise missiles are useless against any moving target…even a ship…

    Latest versions of Tomahawks will be (already?) able to strike moving targets. I repeat my question on threshold and then, we may have fun.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    , @Gigi
    , @FB
  169. @NoseytheDuke

    Any thoughts on this at all? If true I would imagine there would be all sorts of implications.

    I simply don’t know. As per implications if true? Until the Israeli Air Force aircraft is shot down, I see nothing really important happening.

  170. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Yes, I know my scenario was ridiculous…I said so myself…

    And the reason it is ridiculous is that cruise missiles do not work against moving targets…

    That fact has not changed in 1999…

    ‘…Obviously the fact of real time targeting with updates which US has, especially on a effectively desert deployed assets (see the difference with Serbia here?) is not known to you but it is in place…’

    Yes, in fact the precise technical capabilities of each and every aspect of the Tomahawk is very well known to me…but apparently it is you who does not understand these technical characteristics adequately…

    The real-time targeting update you speak of was added in the Block 4 upgrade of the Tomahawk…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomahawk_(missile)#Upgrades

    This latest version, which is in use now [although not all deployed Tomahawks are Block 4...] added the so-called ‘strike controller’…which means that the target can be changed while the missile is in flight…

    This is done by satellite link…which sends a message to the missile guidance computer to change its pre-programmed target to another one of 15 maximum pre-programmed targets that were already programmed in as ‘alternates…]

    In practice…this is analogous to an airliner that is flying on a course that the captain programmed into the flight management computer [ie navigation system] before taking off…

    Once in flight, the crew may need to deviate from the original flight plan and land at an ‘alternate’ airfield…so that new flight plan is punched in…

    This is exactly what the Tomahawk flight controller does…the crew commanding the missile flight on board the ship can order a change in flight plan to one of 15 alternate targets…

    But to which new target…?

    Even in the ridiculous example where I showed the SAM moving only 6.25 km/hr in any given direction…the target area becomes huge…122.7 square km [at least...probably much bigger]…how would the crew that programmed the 15 alternate targets possibly guess where that SAM could have gone…?

    It can’t…it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack…which was the point of my ridiculous example…

    ‘…Latest versions of Tomahawks will be (already?) able to strike moving targets…’

    Not so fast…this is a feature that is in development now…not currently available…when it comes online and is actually demonstrated in use, I’m sure we will all hear about it…

    In order for a missile to hit any kind of moving target it must have some kind of guidance ‘seeker’…in AA missiles this is often an IR sensor that seeks the heat of the aircraft engine exhaust…

    The other type is a radar seeker, which sends out radio signals and homes in on the returns that bounce back off the target…that is the only way a cruise missile [or any kind of missile for that matter] could hunt down a moving target [at least a target that does not emit a lot heat]…

    The Tomahawk does not have a radar…it cannot hunt down anything…

    Adding a small radar seeker is how Raytheon plan to upgrade the coming version…although it will be a simple ‘passive’ radar seeker…ie it will not send out radio signals of its own, but will simply ‘listen’ for radio signals emitted from the target…

    [It should be noted that the Tomahawk...and all such cruise missiles... do have a 'radar altimeter' which is a small downward pointing radar that is also used on commercial aircraft, in order to determine the aircraft's height above the ground...on the cruise missile this is crucial because the vehicle flies low above the ground...30 to 50 m...and needs to avoid hitting terrain...]

    I do not know where you got the idea that anyone in their right mind would contemplate attacking an integrated air defense system [IADS] with cruise missiles…that is pure fantasy…

    I’m sorry I have to say it so bluntly…

    PS I will have more on the Tomahawk shortly…I am having difficulty posting my comments on this site…

  171. Even in the ridiculous example where I showed the SAM moving only 6.25 km/hr in any given direction…the target area becomes huge…122.7 square km [at least...probably much bigger]…how would the crew that programmed the 15 alternate targets possibly guess where that SAM could have gone…?

    Read attentively from my previous post, I quote myself:

    Obviously, somehow nobody wants to move those systems and provide for them mobile and specifically designed for low flying missiles Pantsirs. You obviously do not understand that S-400 and S-300 (not counting AD systems of Russian naval ships ADs) are there to provide coverage to facilities of air-base Khmeimim and especially so to ground and air assets based on it.

    You obviously also have no clue that any CO who gives a command upon detection of enemy’s salvo on “moving” the complex which is there specifically for protection of assets will be in Court Martial immediately, not least because of the fact that while “saving” his S-400 “ass” on the move he broke the radar filed and de facto removed the system from combat. I mentioned only one reason, there are dozens of those that your “avoiding” the salvo is a sheer incompetent lunacy.

    I do not know where you got the idea that anyone in their right mind would contemplate attacking an integrated air defense system [IADS] with cruise missiles…that is pure fantasy…

    Well, I do. I omit here my background but for starters educate yourself on that:

    2016
    Oct. 12, 2016: The U.S. military strikes three radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory on Yemen’s Red Sea coast using Tomahawks launched from USS Nitze (DDG 94). The strikes target radar sites involved in the earlier missile launches threatening USS Mason (DDG 87) and other vessels operating in international waters in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb.

    http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/swmag/Pages/Where-are-the-Shooters.aspx#.Wedbc9xryUk

    Obviously you forgot somehow that the reason, and I am beginning to repeat myself, is the base at Khmeimim which houses all infrastructure for both Russian Air-Space Forces aircraft, personnel, communications facilities, ammunition and fuel storage, etc.–precisely the types of targets for attacking which BGM-109 was designed. S-300 and S-400 are there to defend those targets, not to withdraw themselves in the middle of launch in progress thus rendering themselves nonoperational during the moving. Anyone who comes up even with the possibility of such a sheer lunacy has to be completely detached from any realities of modern combat.

    This is in addition to you constantly trying to preach things to me in which I have a graduate degree and a substantial practical experience. Time after time you fail to answer simple question, obfuscating it with a shitload of pop-war info and the question is simple: Do you know saturation threshold for S-400? Obviously you don’t, as well as you do not understand a simple modeling of a leaker issue which is applicable in this case. Here is a basic not-augmented salvo model (for warm up) which is completely applicable here, I gave you the order of magnitude of US Navy’s (and possibly Air Force) assets which can be brought to bear in conventional escalation scenario. We will omit here a distribution and concentrated force (and power) relations (this may come later) but you basically have no clue on the subject matter:

    The model is not “perfect” it is just the start but should you have been at least acquainted with basic (I omit here augmented) Osipov-Lanchester model and its quadratic solution, again–just for warmup, you obviously have no idea what are mathematical expectations for single missile of each type and for a different types of salvos–you would have thought really carefully before posting here a load of crap for fanboys.

    • Replies: @FB
  172. FB says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    I will field this question if I may…

    This story of the damaged F-35 ran yesterday originally in the Israeli media…

    http://www.kan.org.il/item/?itemId=23623

    you can use google translate to get the English version…

    The story is that the F35 was damaged in a bird strike as it was coming in to land…in a training incident that is claimed to have happened two weeks ago…but only reported hours after the skirmish with Syrian air defenses…

    ‘…the plane is grounded since the incident and it is unclear when it will resume activity – if at all…’

    There are a number of interesting technical considerations here…

    First and foremost is the matter that the plane appears to be seriously damaged…since the report states that it is not clear if it will ever fly again…

    ‘…An Israeli stealth aircraft of the F-35 (Adir), considered to be the most advanced in the world, was hit two weeks ago during a bird-training exercise…’

    Say what…?

    What the hell is a bird-training exercise…?

    If such an ‘exercise’ took place it would be the world’s first…since it is difficult to imagine how one could get birds to cooperate by flying into an airplane…

    Then an IAF spokesman called these reports incorrect…

    ‘… In preparation for a routine landing of the F-35, two injuries were found in the fuselage following a collision with the birds…’

    So we know one very important piece of information…the bird strike happened during the landing phase of the flight…this is important because the landing speed is the slowest flying speed of any aircraft…

    The F35 landing speed is not published…but we can compare what is known about the F16, which is similar in weight and wing area…

    The F16 landing speed is about 140 knots [160 mph]…this is about the speed at which a small private piston-prop engine cruises…

    At this rather slow speed it would take a very large bird to cause significant damage to the airframe of a fighter jet which is much stronger than a slow-speed piston aircraft…

    There have been literally hundreds of bird strikes involving such low-speed propeller light aircraft…in most cases the bird flies into the propeller and is instantly diced…causing no real damage…the worst scenario is where a bird strikes the windscreen and can shatter it, although even light-aircraft windscreen need to meet certification standards for bird strike resistance…

    here is a thread with many first-hand accounts of private pilots who have experienced bird strikes…

    http://www.pprune.org/private-flying/599521-anyone-else-had-bird-strike-light-aircraft.html

    Reading these accounts is instructive…

    Here’s one that is particularly interesting because it hit the airplane wing…

    ‘…Hit a seagull on short final (doing about 65 knots) in a PA28 a few years ago. Right wing, right between the two outer ribs. Made a huge dent, with the edges of the aluminum plating torn from the rivets and whatnot. The repair took three weeks…’

    A seagull is a fair-sized bird…although the speed of 65 knots is quite low…much lower than a fighters landing speed which is about double…but again, we note that a fighter structure is many times stronger than that of a light plane…

    Here’s an FAA report with pictures of a Navy T44A that struck a very large bird on its wing…a turkey vulture…

    http://lessonslearned.faa.gov/ll_main.cfm?TabID=1&LLID=11&LLTypeID=7

    The T44 is a military version of a popular civil turboprop, the Beechcraft King Air…which cruises at about 300 knots [350 mph]…

    The damage to the wing is considerable, but did not preclude a safe landing…

    My own take on this is that a bird strike on a fighter airframe during landing would not result in serious damage…[a bird ingestion into the engine would be more serious...but this is not what is reported to have happened...]

    Another crucial clue…the IAF has not released any pictures of the airplane…why not…?

    Let us look at the pictures and see for ourselves if the damage is consistent with a bird strike or whether it indicates something else as the cause…

    This fact alone is enough to call the IAF story into doubt…as well as the curious timing…why announce it hours after the scuffle with Syrian SAMs…why wasn’t it announced two weeks ago when it happened…?

    There is no plausible answer to either of these questions…

    Of course various know-nothing commentators are quickly dismissing the possibility that the F35 sustained damage from a missile shot as ‘conspiracy theory’…

    Mostly these know-nothings claim…without any basis in fact…that the Syrian SA5 [aka S200] could never hit an F35…or even an F16 or F15…

    Bottom line is that this question cannot be resolved at this point…but there is certainly much to suspect here…

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  173. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    ‘…The strikes target radar sites…’

    Exactly…those are fixed ‘sites’…ie stationary targets…not mobile radars like the truck-mounted ones on modern SAMs…

    As for your ‘math’…why don’t you do what we call in mathematics a ‘worked example’…ie work out an example here so we can all understand your point…which as presented is quite difficult to understand…

    Whatever qualifications you may possess, I certainly respect that, and I mean no disrespect for you…which is more than I can say about your ‘spirited’ denunciations of my comments…

    but the point of any discussion is to argue the merits of the case…not the ‘qualifications’ of the debaters…

    I could say myself I have XYZ qualifications and experience…but I should not want anyone to take what I say as fact because of that…

    Isaac Newton invented classical physics and contributed greatly to the invention of calculus…the math that makes modern science and engineering possible…

    It does not mean that he could present his arguments to his peers and colleagues just by saying…well I am Isaac Newton…so that is that…

    Nobody does this in peer-reviewed technical literature…and no one ever has…it is ridiculous…you still have to prove your point demonstrably using mathematical and physical principles all can agree on…so there is no point in saying ‘I’m an expert’…prove it with your argument…

    the fact of the matter is that Tomahawks are not designed to target mobile objects…that is an established fact…now you don’t even try to defend your previous claim to the contrary…but attempt to bring in other aspects such as what a CO [commanding officer] would and would not do…

    This only confuses the issue…

    I will have more to say…that I believe people will find credible and instructive…please calm down and try to participate in a collegial exchange…

  174. As for your ‘math’…why don’t you do what we call in mathematics a ‘worked example’…ie work out an example here so we can all understand your point…which as presented is quite difficult to understand…

    It is not “my” math. “My” math doesn’t exist in nature, Theory of Operational Research, and of Operational Planning, however does exist universally and is based on fundamental mathematical laws (from differential equations to Probability Theory) combined with actual practical operational and tactical experiences. Per “worked” examples, I can suggest only one thing for you, to google, as one example of many, post-graduate thesis of Omur Ozdemir: EVALUATION AND COMPARISON OF FREEDOM CLASS LCS AND OTHER FRIGATES/CORVETTES AGAINST SMALL BOAT, FPB AND SUBMARINE THREATS IN CONFINED WATERS , from Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterrey, CA. Or, AN ANALYSIS OF DISTRIBUTED COMBAT SYSTEMS, Keith Jude Ho, Captain, Singapore Army BA(Hons), MA, Cambridge University, UK , 1997, Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTERS OF SCIENCE IN SYSTEMS INTEGRATION from the NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL.

    Those are unclassified, general application Salvo Model reviews with some, also unclassified, applications to a specific (mostly fictional) scenarios. Just to help you, you can view Khmeimim base as a singular unit (ship, stationary aircraft carrier with CBG consisting of capabilities of Russian surface fleet around Syria). If you need some basic intro in Osipov-Lanchester model you can enlighten yourself on quadratic solutions of basic differential equations (with the example) in my blog.

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2016/05/150th-motor-rifle-division-and-much_17.html

    I am not here to teach anyone, I assume that people who express their opinions at least know something (other than pop-sci fodder) about the subject. I am also not privy to all, highly classified, technical data of S-300 or S-400 but you can, just for very primitive and raw (just to give a slight impression) view US salvo as a collection of several units A (see my previous post on a number of TLAMs US Navy can bring to bear) but let’s say there are 450 in first salvo, with US force A obviously sustaining no dA since we omit here the scenario of a direct naval confrontation and all huge complexities of ASW and search for US Navy’s SSGNs and SSNs (you see–here we have to now go with Operational Sweeps and other lovely things, which are not the focus of our discussion here). So you will need to address, say, B which will be Khmeimim viewed as a single and extremely well defended single entity. So look at dB and play with coefficients, especially with b1 and b3. To take Khmeimim out of action for at least several days–two weeks from the top of my head is 100-120 TLAMs, this is your b1. But the trick of course and the whole point is to know your b3. In reality, in augmented model, which calculates degrading (attrition dB) b3 is merely a multiplier in formation of b3′ (Prime) which is a product of b3 itself, Delta(b) (lower case) which is Defensive Alertness/Readiness, and Tau (lower case) which is Training Effectiveness. You will also need b4 which is Seduction Countermeasure Effectiveness and the whole thing suddenly becomes very complex and hm… classified. But, say, we give our b3 a value of 200 (remember, my question on Saturation Threshold? You know how many missiles of S-300 or S-400 takes to shoot down a single TLAM? Math. expectations, those proverbial Omegas–a huge state secret). Hey, let’s say even 300 but then comes the issue what if there are several 150 TLAM salvos? Picture changes yet again and so on. And this is just for deterministic model, of course real life is stochastic and shit happens unexpectedly and that is why you need external force in a shape of Russian Navy and TU-22M3 with X-32 to ensure that a US forces impressive first salvo would be its last. But then again, you obviously didn’t read my article attentively. I will leave the rest of your verbose post without the answer.

    • Replies: @FB
  175. FB says:

    Correction on my comment on the Israeli F35…

    Regarding the Navy T44…the damage was actually to the airplane’s horizontal stabilizer [aka tailplane]…not the wing…

    http://lessonslearned.faa.gov/ll_main.cfm?TabID=1&LLID=11&LLTypeID=7

    This is important because the tailplane is much smaller than the wing and not as sturdy…but it is in fact a very vital piece of the airplane…the loss of the either the horizontal tail or the vertical tail [fin] would result in instant loss of control and certain catastrophic crash…

    We do not know at what speed the bird strike occurred…the brief report doesn’t say…but the landing approach speed of a King Air 90 is about 100 knots…and a turkey vulture is a very large bird…

    The fact that this tailplane stayed on and the airplane landed…even assuming a minimum collision speed of 100 knots…well this makes it very difficult to imagine how a fighter jet can be seriously damaged by a bird strike during landing…

    The damage to the King Air tailplane is quite repairable and this airplane would certainly not be written off…

    Also the King Air is a civil aircraft that is not nearly as strong as a fighter jet…which must be able to withstand violent maneuvering at very high speeds…

    I would say that I am very suspicious of this story…it may indeed be true…but it is hard to imagine how a modern fighter could sustain serious damage to its airframe at landing speed…

  176. FB says:

    One more comment about that F35 ‘bird strike’…

    No doubt we will hear comments in various quarters about the lack of pictures being explained away by an excuse like the IAF would not release such pictures relating to an aircraft training incident…

    Well…

    Many folks remember the famous incident of IAF F15 that landed on one wing…after most of its right wing was sheared off in a collision with another F15 during a training exercise…

    [no there were no kamikaze birds involved who were somehow persuaded to collide with an aircraft in a 'bird-training exercise'...]

    https://theaviationist.com/2014/09/15/f-15-lands-with-one-wing/

    There is much more photo and video coverage of this…this was incidentally a legendary piece of airmanship by the IAF pilot…who managed to land the plane [at 260 knots...twice the normal landing speed] by using the engine’s enormous power to keep the ship aloft…

    Even more remarkable…this airplane entered service again after a new wing was installed…

    this incident actually spurred Nasa to try to devise a fly-by-wire method to try to get the airplane computer to do what that pilot did…ie save an airplane with catastrophic structural damage…

    Point being, that the IAF had no problem in releasing photos and videos…apparently the ‘cone of silence’ applies only to this particular incident…

  177. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Ok…so let’s briefly review this debate…

    I read your article here and identified a basic problem in your premise of conducting a SEAD operation using Tomahawks and other standoff cruise missiles…[aka TLAM...ie Tomahawk Land Attack Missile...]

    I remarked only in passing that this notion is not factually valid, since TLAMs and ALCMs [Air Launched Cruise Missiles]…do not have the ability to strike moving targets…such as mobile Russian SAMs in Syria…

    It is a physical fact that TLAMs and ALCMs do not have the targeting equipment…ie radar guidance…to strike at mobile targets…

    So my initial comment was to try to explain SEAD basics by first starting with the latest US SEAD operation, which was Serbia in 1999…I noted that I would follow up with more information as to what an actual SEAD operation in Syria might look like…

    But I have not been given a chance to continue because you took exception to my factual assertion that TLAMs and ALCMs have no role in any SEAD operation…

    You then skipped onto another topic by challenging me with a ‘mathematical model’ of ‘saturation’ thresholds or some such matter…

    You presented two equations without any contextual information…which I found very confusing…and no doubt left many others scratching their heads…

    When I asked you to do a simple worked example…you have now declined…instead you have now directed us to the Osipov-Lanchester Equations…

    I honestly can say that indeed I am not familiar with the Osipov-Lanchester mathematics, nor the saturation threshold math…and would therefore be very grateful to you if you could explain this in a way that a ‘pop-sci’ dummy like me can understand…

    I will admit that I do have more than a nodding acquaintance with differential and integral calculus…so it should not be very difficult to explain these math models to me…

    I am not trying to be facetious…I take you at your word that your math will support your scenario…and I would like to understand fully how this math relates to the subject under discussion here…ie a hypothetical SEAD operation in Syria…

    And finally, you have now made the assertion…

    ‘…To take Khmeimim out of action for at least several days–two weeks from the top of my head is 100-120 TLAMs…’

    Fine…I will start from there…in my next comment…where I will be discussing what is known about the TLAM strike on Shayrat airfield last April…

    PS: For anyone else reading this…and considering that two commenters have graciously experessed interest in hearing my further discussion…my continuation of a realistic SEAD operation in Syria will be postponed until I finish my rebuttal to the above claim regarding Hmeimim airfield from Mr. Martyanov…It should not take long…

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  178. @FB

    I read your article here and identified a basic problem in your premise of conducting a SEAD operation using Tomahawks and other standoff cruise missiles…[aka TLAM...ie Tomahawk Land Attack Missile...] I remarked only in passing that this notion is not factually valid, since TLAMs and ALCMs [Air Launched Cruise Missiles]…do not have the ability to strike moving targets…such as mobile Russian SAMs in Syria…

    Here is what you remarked actually:

    It is true that Russian standoff missiles such as the ship and sub-launched Kalibr, and the air-launched Kh-101 [aka X-101] are advanced and formidable weapons…but this author’s analysis makes a fundamental error in assuming that Russian aviation and air defenses in Syria would be ‘eventually overwhelmed’ by a US and possibly ‘coalition’ allied attack…and that the deterrent against any such action would be a possible Russian retaliation on US ships and airfields in the region using said standoff weapons…

    Here:

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2043747

    Now, after I gave you the approximate number of TLAMs of US Navy which could be the part of the first salvo–not to mention carrier aviation which would follow (see the size of airwings for 2 theoretical CBGs)–you are trying to preach some abstract BS SEAD based on a campaign which was 18 years ago and saw a completely different set of strategic, operational and tactical circumstances which are absolutely inapplicable to what we have in Syria and you do this without addressing a single operational constant except posting some platitudes. I gave you a basic salvo model–a foundation of what is taught in any serious military academy, which yours truly graduated in 1985 (apart from other officer schools). See the list of constants, again, here:

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2047814

    Until you can justify at least probable values for those, all this discussion makes no professional sense whatsoever. As per how armed forces fight–that is a whole other story, obviously you don’t have good ideas about it. Again, WHY there are so many Pantsirs in Syria? Have an answer?

    • Replies: @FB
  179. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    I have asked you several times to explain your math because I really do want to understand your point…

    As you refuse to do so, I am left to assume that you were home sick that day from military academy when they explained how that math works…

  180. @FB

    Thank you. I can’t help thinking that if the most expensive, and some would say controversial, fighter plane in history can be hit with a much older SAM then it would surely be totally at risk to exposure to the newer and vastly superior variants and a huge denunciation of the Emperors fine raiment, sending ripples throughout the MIC and it’s customer base worldwide.

    • Replies: @FB
  181. @FB

    I thank you both for continuing this debate as both of you appear knowledgable whereas I know next to nothing of these matters. That’s the thing about conflicts and wars, nobody really knows for sure and the testing is terrible. I’ve learned a lot about many different topics here at Unz from many contributors and commenters. Do carry on. Cheers

    • Replies: @FB
  182. FB says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    Thank you for your comment…I’m glad this discussion is of interest and I will do my best to try to bring a better understanding…

    As for the IAF F35…we must remember that we cannot assume that the plane was actually hit by the Syrians…we simply note the weakness of the story presented by the Israelis…

    Let us keep in mind that the F117 shot down in Serbia was the F35 of its day…the shootdown was a bolt from the blue that nobody expected…Dr. Lambeth, in the paper I cited in my first comment used the analogy of 9/11 to describe it…I will give the link again here

    http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-16_Issue-1-4/sum02.pdf

    Dr. Lambeth’s article starts on page 9…

    And also we note that a second F117 was heavily damaged by Serb SAMs…as Col. Everest Riccione [USAF, retired] writes in 2005…

    ‘…Of the three aircraft shot down during our incursion into Serbia, one was an F–16 flown by a pilot doing other than he was directed to do, and two were the most stealthy F–117 Night Hawks, one of which staggered back to its home base never to fly again, so it is seldom counted…’

    That quote is in this paper by Col Riccione…bottom of page 10, footnote 18…

    http://www.pogoarchives.org/m/dp/dp-fa22-Riccioni-03082005.pdf

    It is correct of course to count that second F-117 as shot down, because any plane that is damaged beyond repair in combat and is written off, has always been counted as such…

    This is an important point…as it proves that the Serb F117 takedown was no fluke…both shots came from a 1961 Soviet SAM the SA3 [aka S-125]…which is even more ancient than Syrian S200 and far less capable…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-125_Neva/Pechora#FR_Yugoslavia

    Both of those F117 kills, as well as Goldfein’s F16 were brought down by the same Serb air defense unit…the 250′th Air Defense Missile Brigade, commanded by Colonel Zoltan Dani…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/250th_Air_Defense_Missile_Brigade

    The S125 is a stationary SAM but Col Dani trained his men to knock it down in 90 minutes so it could be transported by truck and reassembled at another site…he drilled his men well and the result is that his one SAM brigade brought down two F117 jets and an F16…

    This is an important point that is lost on armchair generals…training is the most important part…even the best hardware is useless in the wrong hands…

    And…even ancient hardware used properly and creatively can knock some teeth out of so-called wonder-weapons…

    You will notice that Col Riccione has much to say about stealth and the F22 etc…he passed away in 2015 at age 93, but he was a great test pilot and very influential in the development of modern fighter jets and tactics…a core member of so-called ‘Fighter Mafia’ which brought us the F14, F15,F16,F18 and A10…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_Mafia

    I will have more to say about ‘stealth’ if anyone is interested in exploring this subject…

  183. Erebus says:

    Echoing Nosy, my thanks to both FB and Andrei for continuing the discussion.

    In my thinking of WTF happened in Syria that allowed the Russians to apparently saunter in and take over the M.E. involves more than one 800lb gorilla.
    In the first place, the most striking thing about the RuAF’s operations is their combat efficiency. So few doing so much for so long belies a very carefully constructed force plan. I remember seeing some (ex?)USAF pundit on TV in the very early days talking about what he could do with a force that size: “I could get 20-25 sorties a day out of our guys with that size force. We’ll see what the Russians do”. In the event, the RuAF routinely doubled and sometimes tripled his boast.
    That, and the early demonstration of stand-off power in the form of Kalibrs from the Caspian and TU120s from Russian airspace, occasionally augmented by sorties from Iran, was coupled to what I believe (or imagine) were and remain what gave the other 800lb gorillas room to manouver.

    The next gorilla is the Russians coupled this optimally efficient but minimal force to a closely coordinated training and refit of the SAA (inc SAAF) and especially took their officer corps back to school to give them a crash course on how to combine arms effectively. The boost in morale for an army that had been fighting uphill for 4 bloody years must have been incalculable. However efficient the RuAF were, without equally effective boots on the ground they weren’t going to accomplish much but prolong the bloodshed and destruction. Russian battlefield advice and (my guess) de-facto command then cemented that new knowledge and esprit de corps into battlefield victories. There’s nothing like a few victories to turn battle fatigued soldiers back into an effective fighting force.
    As that developed, the Syrian/Russian intelligence networks began to work together effectively to get timely information to their commanders so they could begin to leverage what they learned and gain victories, creating a virtuous circle. Within a year, the SAA became the most battle hardened, and probably the most effective indigenous ground force in the region.

    The 3rd gorilla, and this one is probably 900lbs, is that while all that was going on the Russians turned on a diplomatic-political full court press that totally caught the West flat-footed. If the USM worried about Kalibrs, the US DoS and its EU/M.E. satraps stood slack-jawed as anti-Assad miltants were pre-emptively turned into neutrals (and occasionally joined the SAA), peace talks were arranged and attended, de-confliction zones were created, humanitarian aid delivered, and partnerships formed and firmed with Turkey, Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq, Egypt and of course Syria. Now Libya beckons, and even the Saudis and their little GCC brothers are tugging their forelocks and looking for reasons to visit Moscow while Netanyahu is shitting pyramids. That adds up to an unprecedented diplomatic accomplishment. Everyone, and not just the Americans, are still standing slack-jawed wondering what happened. All those Foreign Ministers and their 1000s of staff had no plan, nothing to offer and were stood off as effectively when Lavrov’s people went to work as the USM was. Sword dancing and belated THAAD approval is no substitute for energetic goal-oriented diplomacy.

    If the Kalibrs gave the USM pause, and allowed the RuAF the room to run their program to maximum effect, it was in support of an even more effective and carefully coordinated diplomatic program that leveraged battlefield and intelligence developments into political solutions. Combined arms are maximized when they are in turn combined with effective diplomacy. Lavrov’s now a rockstar, while Kerry’s been forgotten and Tillerson can’t seem to find his office. The Russians hit the M.E. theatre with 3 gorillas (at least) and all were supremely fit for the job.

    • Replies: @FB
  184. @FB

    I have asked you several times to explain your math because I really do want to understand your point…

    Here is my point:

    You state:

    It is true that Russian standoff missiles such as the ship and sub-launched Kalibr, and the air-launched Kh-101 [aka X-101] are advanced and formidable weapons…but this author’s analysis makes a fundamental error in assuming that Russian aviation and air defenses in Syria would be ‘eventually overwhelmed’ by a US and possibly ‘coalition’ allied attack…and that the deterrent against any such action would be a possible Russian retaliation on US ships and airfields in the region using said standoff weapons…

    I state: it is a fanboy BS written by somebody who has zero serious military experience and never dealt professionally with any types of weapon systems, let alone used them in training or combat settings.

    I reiterate, you stated that my article was wrong and claimed that you can prove it. So far you proved this: a list of things you have no clue about any military real professional who graduated any US War College is taught:

    In classic Salvo Model, here are coefficients you have to be able to elaborate upon and justify.

    Without that, there is NO substantive professional discussion–this is the point I am trying to convey to you for how many posts now? You claimed that my point was wrong, the burden of proof is on you. I already gave you some basic intro into classic, not classified, combat models and now you are asking me to explain the whole “math” behind it? I gave you (some) sources and presented a couple workable examples (I assigned some coefficients in classic Salvo model–just plug them in formula) to at least give you some minor impression of how professionals assess (before the whole thing goes into computers in OPD in US or GOU in Russia, as an example, which run several–a range–of operational outcomes). You ask me to effectively teach you things which require years of training and people write some serious advanced graduate and post-graduate theses on that. The range of my capabilities in that are my articles which I write, where I already take a burden on myself in making statements which exclude necessity for others who read them to plow through fairly tedious and unclear for many raw calculations and assessemnts. I am not here to give lessons on basic operational research, let alone on Operational Planning which in every seriously armed nation is contained in the Operational Manuals which go under the Top Secret (Special Significance–Osoboi Vazhnosti–in Russia) or Code Word–extremely classified documents category. I repeat, again, my question without answering which this whole thing is absolutely useless: do you know saturation threshold of S-300 or S-400? Can you define it? How does it factor into dyadic salvo relations? If you cannot define it–then what’s the point of discussing anything here? You also still continue to omit the answer to a very direct question: why Russia suddenly delivered the second batch of Pantsirs to Syria? It has everything with TLAMs and S-300, 400 there.

    https://southfront.org/syrian-air-defense-force-and-its-pantsir-s1-systems/

    I see no reason to continue to discuss anything before you answer questions and elaborate on the coefficients I presented. After all, you stated, not me, that my point is based on a false premise and that S-400 (recall when the S-300 actually arrived in Syria, it was AFTER S-400) will easily shoot down anything. I have different opinion, despite knowing (for sure) that Russian AD complexes are best in the world, and that is what stated in my article, which, in your opinion, is based on a false premise.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Erebus
  185. FB says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    Thanks for your comment…

    We must remember that we cannot be certain that the F35 story about a bird-strike is not true…I have simply tried to bring some facts about bird strikes to the discussion, which seem to raise suspicion about this story…

    As for the the possibility of the Syrian SAM hitting the F35…we cannot be sure about that either…

    I had mentioned in my very first post on this thread the Serb shootdown of the US F117 stealth jet…that was the F35 of its day…the pinnacle of US military technology…

    Yet the Serbs brought one down with a 1961 era S125 [aka SA3], which is not even as capable as the Syrian S200 [aka SA5], which were the next generation after S125 …

    I also mentioned that a second F117 was damaged enough that it never flew again…here is my source…a 2005 paper written by former USAF test pilot Colonel Everest S. Riccione…

    ‘…Of the three aircraft shot down during our incursion into Serbia, one was an F–16 flown by a pilot doing other than he was directed to do, and two were the most stealthy F–117 Night Hawks, one of which staggered back to its home base never to fly again, so it is seldom counted…’

    That is on the bottom of page 10, footnote 18…you can find the Riccione paper here…

    http://www.pogoarchives.org/m/dp/dp-fa22-Riccioni-03082005.pdf

    Lambeth also mentions the second F117…on page 16…

    ‘…another F-117 sustained light damage from a nearby SA-3 detonation…’

    On this matter, the account of Riccione can be considered more authoritative as he is a retired USAF officer with more access to sensitive information than a civilian like Dr. Lambeth…also his 2005 paper is more recent than Lambeth’s 2002 paper, so more sensitive information would have trickled out by then…

    Lambeth himself acknowledges that he found it difficult to get information from the USAF regarding the F117 shootdown…page 13 second paragraph…

    ‘…the Air Force has remained understandably silent about the confluence of events it believes occasioned the F-117’s downing…’

    This silence is typical when an embarrassing loss occurs…as is disinformation like putting out the story that the second F117 was only ‘lightly damaged…’ [note the similarities between the IAF story on the bird strikes, ie light damage...]

    Fortunately we get the real story from Col. Riccione…Btw any aircraft that is written off due to battle damage counts as a kill, even if it manages to limp back to base and land…if it doesn’t fly again it is counted as killed…

    So we see here a perfect example of the kind of deception games played by the military…this is true of any country’s military of course…none of them will admit an air combat loss, unless the adversary has irrefutable proof…

    Btw…here is the link to the Lambeth paper again…it starts on page 9…

    http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-16_Issue-1-4/sum02.pdf

    Also a note about Col. Riccione…he was not only a top USAF test pilot, but an influential expert on air combat tactics and aircraft design for many years…he passed away in 2015 at the age of 93…

    He was a core member of the “Fighter Mafia’…which was largely responsible for the design characteristics of the F14…F15…F16…F18…and A10…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_Mafia

    The heavily politicized wikipedia now casts the fighter mafia individuals as ‘controversial’ and tries to downplay their historical significance…which is pathetic to those who know better…

    [hint...the reason is that many of the surviving members of the group have been the ones pointing out the serious flaws in the F35...which is said to fly like an F16 carrying external fuel tanks...ie severely degraded and not capable of air to air engagements...a fighter pilot will drop his external tanks instantly if engaged by an adversary...]

    Anyway…the Riccione paper is very relevant to today’s situation and today’s generation of stealth aircraft, especially the ultra-hyped F22…

    I will have more on stealth in further discussions…

    And finally…it is worth noting that all three Serbian kills of US aircraft…the two F117s and Goldfein’s F16 were accomplished by the same Serb air defense unit…the 250′th Air Defense Missile Brigade, commanded by Col. Zoltan Dani…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/250th_Air_Defense_Missile_Brigade

    Col. Dani trained his men to knock down their stationary S125 in 90 minutes…load it on a truck and set it up in another location…thus creating improvised mobility…

    He also trained his men to be highly proficient in following a set of tactics, which paid off greatly…

    This highlights the role of training and proficiency…unlike the focus on hardware among many amateur commentators…the best hardware in the wrong hands is useless…whether it be an airplane or a SAM…

    Likewise even old hardware in the hands of top-notch crews can knock teeth out of overconfident cowboys sporting the latest shiny gizmos…

  186. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Judging by the tone of your tirade…I would say you must have also been sick on the day that they taught officer etiquette at that military academy of yours…

    Look…I’m not here to get into a silly catfight so I will make it short…

    You have now reposted this salvo equation of yours for the umpteenth time without showing how it works…or how you got your result of ‘overwhelming Hmeimim with 100 Tomahawks…

    You said…well just plug in the coefficients…

    Well why don’t you do that…?

    You’re the ‘expert’…so walk us through the steps it takes to get the result…

    That equation is a simple algebraic equation…so if you know the coefficients it should not take more than a couple of calculation steps to arrive at the answer…

    I looked up the salvo combat model…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvo_combat_model

    As far as I can tell it relates only to Naval battles…

    It lists as examples the Falklands War…the Battle of the Coral Sea…and the Battle of Savo Island…

    All of this has exactly nothing to do with SEAD…if it does then please explain how…

    The closest I could find in terms of relevance is that this model has also been ‘modified’ to use in gaming ‘tactical ballistic missile defense…’

    We note here that ballistic missiles have nothing to do with cruise missiles, which are actually improperly called ‘missiles’ because they are actually aircraft…they fly on wings creating aerodynamic lift and they are powered by aircraft-type turbofan engine,s burning aircraft jet fuel…

    I will just note in passing that in previous comments you have berated my comments about the SEAD operation in the Kosovo War as irrelevant because it is 18 years old…

    Yet that Salvo model of yours lists examples from WW2…and even the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War of the 1850s…

    Since you have been rather blunt with me…I shall do likewise…either put up or shut up with your salvo model math…

  187. @FB

    As far as I can tell it relates only to Naval battles…

    Well, guess what Fleet against Shore is? In fact, main task of US Navy is “projection of power” inland. In fact, US Congress has a subcommittee: United States House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces. All missiles in theoretical salvo will be fired from US Navy’s assets in and under the sea. I told you, to “reduce” the Khmeimim base to a single stationary fleet entity, which in essence it is and could be in terms of its force structure be precisely (AD Complexes, aviation etc.) “reduced” to some theoretical Aircraft Carrier. This is first. Second, Salvo Model is a model which is developed for a MISSILE EXCHANGE and all other parts of basic operational theory, from augmented (expanded) Osipov-Lanchester Equations to development of math. expectations for specific weapon systems are totally applicable to a ground warfare. You need those omegas and probabilities when developing ground operation. Third, since you refuse, for unknown reason, to plug in assumed (dopushennye) coefficients, into what effectively could be reduced to a simplest (vulgar) attrition percentage model, OK. I quote myself from previous post:

    So you will need to address, say, B which will be Khmeimim viewed as a single and extremely well defended single entity. So look at dB and play with coefficients, especially with b1 and b3. To take Khmeimim out of action for at least several days–two weeks from the top of my head is 100-120 TLAMs, this is your b1. But the trick of course and the whole point is to know your b3. In reality, in augmented model, which calculates degrading (attrition dB) b3 is merely a multiplier in formation of b3′ (Prime) which is a product of b3 itself, Delta(b) (lower case) which is Defensive Alertness/Readiness, and Tau (lower case) which is Training Effectiveness. You will also need b4 which is Seduction Countermeasure Effectiveness and the whole thing suddenly becomes very complex and hm… classified. But, say, we give our b3 a value of 200 (remember, my question on Saturation Threshold? You know how many missiles of S-300 or S-400 takes to shoot down a single TLAM? Math. expectations, those proverbial Omegas–a huge state secret). Hey, let’s say even 300 but then comes the issue what if there are several 150 TLAM salvos?

    1. A x Alpha=number of US Navy units attacking Khmeimim with a single initial salvo of TLAMs: 2 Ohio-class SSGNs, 2 Ticonderoga-class Cruisers, 1 Arleigh Burke-class DDG–this is your A. We “spread” for each hull, in reality it will be uneven, 5 hulls x 80 TLAMs each (this is your Alpha) = 400 TLAMs in first salvo;

    2. Your B=1, since Khmeimim is “reduced” to a single (which it is BTW) combat entity.
    3. Your b3 we assume as 300–this is how many missiles (in reality calculation is very complex but not the focus of this discussion), here I go overboard, thus making your product of b3 x B= 300 x 1=300.

    4. Your b1, which is the number of TLAMs required to put Khmeimim out of action is 120.
    5. We plug in numbers in our BASIC Salvo dB= (400 – 300)/120= 100/120= 0.8333 = 83.33%

    Roughly 83 per cent of Khmeimim will be obliterated due to 83% percent of “leackers” . This is a hard kill. Reality, however, will be much more complex and I gave you a very favorable numbers for Russians. Now, I am not going to discuss with you whole complexity of a situation which does account for about couple hundreds different variables which factor in all of that, including specific tactical and operational methods designed to mitigate an obvious disadvantage of Russian Forces in Syria should CENTCOM decides (ordered) to bring to bear and it can bring some damn serious forces. But, as I said, how it is done and calculated is in documents which constitute a most serious state secret for any nation with the first class militaries–both Russia and US qualify. Expounding on the augmented models? Again: do you know S-300 and S-400 saturation threshold? As per 800-pound gorilla I already wrote in my article.

  188. @FB

    Since you have been rather blunt with me…I shall do likewise…either put up or shut up with your salvo model math…

    Still counting how many times I asked you questions which you simply ignore. Do you want me to repeat them yet again? I can even tell you why you are ignoring them, but both me and you we know why.

  189. FB says:

    Let us now consider the question of the US attack on the Syrian Shayrat airfield on April 6, 2017…

    This topic deserves some discussion that is more than superficial…

    It was my original intent to discuss in a straight line a hypothetical US attack on Russian air assets in Syria…ie a realistic what-if scenario…and I will continue that discussion in further comments…

    However the Shayrat incident, while only peripherally related to any such hypothetical attack …is still instructive…so consider this a small detour that will nevertheless try to be helpful…

    What I have seen here on this discussion site, as well as others, is that ‘ordinary’ people are not dumb …and they simply seek to understand political and military events more fully…the explanations generally offered in the media are often suspect and people realize this…

    There is also a lot of media dedicated to military technology issues…such as National Interest, Business Insider etc…but this writing is generally not helpful at all, mostly because the writers are unqualified to explain important details to the layman…[ie possessing engineering, pilot training, or other military/technical credentials...]

    This type of media is considered ‘popular’ media by definition…like Popular Science magazine for instance…it is often completely unhelpful and unreliable…it can in no way be considered authoritative on anything…only peer-reviewed technical literature can be considered as such…[I have given examples and links to two such pieces of literature previously...ie Lambeth and Riccione...]

    I will also split up this discussion of Shayrat into two separate comments…the first a general discussion of what is factually known…and the second a more technical look inside the weapons used and how they actually work…ie the Tomahawk…and the weapons that may be used to defend against it…

    So let’s dive right in…here is what we objectively know about the Shayrat strike…

    The US launched a total of 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles from an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean Sea, from two Arleigh-Burke class destroyers…one of the TLAMs malfunctioned at launch and 59 continued flying to the target…

    The US claimed that all 59 TLAMs hit the Shayrat field, while the Russian military directly contradicted that claim and stated that only 23 actually hit the field…

    It is scientifically pointless to try to determine which of these two opposing narratives is true…

    However…what we can do is to look at all the information available…both pre and post-strike and see what we can learn that is actually useful and beyond dispute…

    Let us first consider what I will call exhibit 1…

    This is a 2013 plan to attack six Syrian airbases, written by Christopher Harmer, Commander, US Navy [retired]…and published by the Institute for the study of War [ISW]…here is that 2013 Harmer paper…[note...it is actually an 'executive summary'...ie a powerpoint presentation, mostly in bullet form, so it is a quick and easy read...]

    http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/RequiredSorties-to-DegradeSyrianAirPower.pdf

    Cmdr. Harmer’s bio is here…

    http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Chris%20Harmer%20June%202016.pdf

    We note here that Harmer, a retired officer, does possess some legit credentials, including flying as a navy pilot and having studied at the USN War College…

    But we also note that the ISW is a neocon think tank founded by Kimberly Kagan…[no need to go into that name and the Kagan clan...]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_the_Study_of_War

    Before diving into Harmer’s plan for hitting six Syrian ‘primary’ airfields with standoff weapons…let me put up another disclaimer…this ‘plan’ does not necessarily reflect the thinking or approval of the US navy or any other military or government official…we take this document for what it is…a ‘plan’ written by a former USN officer now working for a pro-war think tank…

    Having said that…let us now look at Cmdr. Harmer’s plan…we start with the title…

    Required Sorties and Weapons to Degrade Syrian Air Force Excluding Integrated Air Defense System (IADS)

    Right off the bat we make an important observation [ie the part I highlighted in boldface]…the plan does not include tackling Syrian air defenses…this is because the plan does not include any SEAD component…it only includes standoff weapons like the TLAM, which are useless against SAMs and IADS as I have maintained from the beginning…

    The second observation is that the plan is to ‘degrade’ not ‘destroy’ the Syrian airfields…Harmer explains the difference in his presentation and I will not dwell on this distinction as it is pretty easy to understand the difference as explained by Harmer…

    Let us now move on to a more important point…ie the number of precision guided munitions [aka PGMs] Harmer estimates to be needed for the objective of ‘degrading’ six Syrian ‘primary’ airfields…[note that Shayrat is not considered by Harmer as a primary, but merely a secondary tier of the Syrian air bases...]

    Harmer’s plan requires a total of 72 PGMs to accomplish the job…exactly 12 PGMs per airfield…

    Of these 12 PGMs per field, four would be Tomahawks…another four would be the JASSM [joint air-to-surface standoff missile...basically an air-launched cruise missile very similar to Tomahawk...]

    The remaining four would consist of the JSOW [joint standoff weapon]…

    It is important to note here that the JSOW is not a cruise missile like the other two…it is a glide bomb…ie a bomb with small wings to increase its glide range…it has no engine like the other two…

    Another difference is in the warhead type…the TLAM and JASSM both have 450 kg [1,000 lb TNT warheads]…the JSOW can only carry a bomb half that size [500 lb...227 kg]…

    I will get further into the technical specifics of these weapons in my separate follow-up comment on Shayrat…but here is basic info on the three PGMs proposed in Harmer’s plan…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomahawk_(missile)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-158_JASSM

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-154_Joint_Standoff_Weapon

    A quick review of these weapons…

    The TLAM and the JASSM can be considered basically the same thing…they carry the same 1,000 lb warhead…the main difference being the platform from which they are launched…the former being ship launched, the latter aircraft-launched…

    The TLAM has a longer range, but they are both powered by the same small turbofan engine…[more on that when we get into the TLAM specifics...]

    The JSOW packs half the warhead punch as noted…and also much shorter range…its maximum range is only 130 km [80 miles]…and that is only from a high-altitude release…dropped from low altitude it can only reach 22 km [13 miles]…

    We recall here that in 2013, the Russian military was not present in Syria…and it would have been considered doable for US aircraft to come within 100 km of their target, especially considering the poor state of repair of the Syrian air defenses at that time…many of the sites having been overrun and seized by militants…

    So let’s step back and consider the amount of destructive power that Harmer estimated for each airfield…ie four TLAMs…four ALCMs…and four glide bombs…

    The combined equivalent of those 12 PGMs per target is equal to 10 Tomahawks…since the JSOWs only pack half the punch of the other two…

    Point number one…

    Let us assume that 59 Tomahawks hit Shayrat…that is six times what this navy man estimated would be required to knock these airfields out of action at least for some amount of time measure in weeks, if not months…

    Point number two…

    The Shayrat field was up and running with aircraft taking off and landing within hours of the strike…

    Conclusion…

    Assuming all 59 TLAMs hit the field, six times more than required by the pre-strike estimate of a qualified naval officer…they obviously did not do enough damage to preclude flight operations for more than a few hours…

    Combat Effectiveness of the Shayrat strike must be assessed as extremely low…

    Now let us move to a far more interesting question…one that reveals who is fibbing and who is not…

    One of the reasons that flight operations were able to resume almost immediately is the fact that neither of Shayrat’s two runways were damaged…

    This was noticed by many…but was quickly explained away by officials…starting with Trump and on down the line…that runways weren’t actually targeted…

    This was done because runways are ‘easy to repair’ and the TLAM does not pack enough punch to take out runways…

    Let’s start by stating categorically that we have no way to determine whether the navy actually targeted the Shayrat runways or not…

    However…we can look at what Cmdr. Harmer said about targeting runways in his 2013 plan…

    We note first that Harmer’s executive summary mentions runways 20 times…

    On page 7 we find a large page heading…

    ‘Analysis: Requirements to Degrade Runway and Support Structures’

    On that page Harmer discusses the differences between ‘destroying’ and ‘degrading’…the Syrian fields…

    He first lists a set of bullet points relating to destroying an airfield…let’s leave that aside and move down to the list that talks about ‘degrading’ the airfield…

    We note first of all that the very first bullet point states this…

    ‘Degradation is achieved by damaging the runway enough to preclude flight operations…’

    The second bullet point states this…

    ‘…US long range PGM were not designed to completely destroy runways, but will cause some cratering of runways, enough to preclude flight operations…’

    The final bullet point states this…

    ‘…Once PGM crater a runway, repairing is a lengthy process that requires specialized equipment, materials, engineering support, and significant manpower…’

    On the next page…p 8…we see even more interesting stuff…

    This page starts off with listing the number of weapons we have already described…ie four each of TLAM, JASSM, and JSOW per Syrian airfield…for a total of 12 PGM per airfield…

    Right after that we get to this…

    ‘Targeting runways: Desired Mean Point of Impact [DMPI]‘

    And right under that…

    ’8 DMPI per SAF AB runway at roughly 1,000 ft intervals’

    So not only are runways the first target discussed, but even the matter of how they should be hit…ie at 1,000 ft intervals…is outlined…

    Are we beginning to smell something ‘fishy’ in the ‘official’ explanation that runways were not targeted in the Shayrat strike…?

    Before leaving page 8, we note that targeting of ‘support’ infrastructure is discussed only after the discussion about targeting runways…

    This gives us a clue as to what the primary target would have been in the Shayrat strikes…

    And it comes as no surprise to anyone that knows anything, or has first hand experience in actual air combat operations…that runways are always the first and primary target when striking an airfield…

    As an example let’s look at a credible account of what is involved in hitting enemy runways, in this case during the first Iraq War…written by Group Captain Andrew Vallance – Director of Defense Studies for the Royal Air Force…

    https://www.raf.mod.uk/history/AirPowerintheGulfWar.cfm

    The RAF was tasked with hitting the Iraqi runways with their Tornado jets …

    ‘…The Tornado GR1s – thanks to their uniquely effective JP233 airfield denial munition – made a particularly distinguished contribution to the counter-air element of the campaign…’

    ‘…The Tornados were tasked to attack over a dozen Iraqi main operating bases at low-level supported by F-15 fighters, F-4G ‘Wild Weasels’ and EF-111A ‘Raven’ electronic countermeasures aircraft…’

    ‘…After four nights the air opposition had been effectively neutralised, for the loss of four Tornados. Eight Iraqi main operating bases had been closed while the operations of several others had been markedly reduced…’

    Now why if hitting runways is so unimportant, did the RAF lose four Tornados along with their two-man crews…for a total of eight airmen downed…?

    The official excuse for not hitting runways at Shayrat can be definitely labeled as patently absurd…

    This kind of crap is put out because they think they can fool the public, many of which may not have direct knowledge of these matters…

    As for the idea that TLAMs don’t pack enough punch to completely destroy a runway…well that much is true…it takes a 2,000 lb or even 5,000 lb bomb to do that…

    But the TLAM’s 1,000 lb warhead is more than enough to cause very serious damage…a 1,000 lb bomb will make a crater of 20 to 30 ft…

    And if anyone tries to tell you that this is easy to fix…then why don’t we see our city freeway repaved overnight, instead of taking a year…?

    It is not difficult to imagine the kind of construction machinery, materials and manpower required to fix a runway crater of 30 ft…

    Here are some pictures of a crater left by a 1,000 lb bomb…[from Vietnam...and just for fun...]

    http://www.angelfire.com/tx3/247infantry/crater.html

    I could go on and point out that the Shayrat runway is pavement, not concrete…and is therefore much easier to damage…

    But I think the point has been made…

    So where does that leave us in our initial assessment of the Shayrat strikes…

    Point one…

    The US admits that it did not hit runways, but says it did not try to…

    Everyone who knows anything about these matters finds this excuse totally preposterous…including of course Cmdr. Harmer, who did not write what he did about targeting runways with Tamahawks because he is a dummy who doesn’t know anything…

    there is much more to explore in my next comment…where we will look into how a TLAM works, its engine, airframe, guidance etc…

    PS: I will note in passing that Mr. Martyanov’s Salvo model tells us that it would take 100 TLAMs to destroy 83 percent of Hmeimim airfield…

    I would say that judging by the 59 TLAMs fired at Shayrat…that this may be a bit…er…optimistic…

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  190. @FB

    PS: I will note in passing that Mr. Martyanov’s Salvo model tells us that it would take 100 TLAMs to destroy 83 percent of Hmeimim airfield…

    Now you understand why I am blunt in calling you full of shit?

    1. It is 120 not 100, to start with.
    2. For a fanboy like you–it is not “Mr. Martyanov’s Salvo Model”–it is one of the foundations of Operations and is universal across the globe.
    3. Apart from collecting pieces and bits of internet info and then pasting them as some kind of sound analysis, for which you have no background whatsoever.

    So, I repeat it what time now? What are the saturation thresholds for S-300 and S-400? So can you tell me? Or, yet again, you will continue to ignore it?

    Now, try to contradict Murahovsky:

    — Наша система ПВО С-400, которая развернута в Сирии, на авиабазе Хмеймим, чисто технически не смогла бы сбить американские «Томагавки», — отмечает полковник запаса, член Экспертного совета коллегии Военно-промышленной комиссии РФ Виктор Мураховский. — До сирийской авиабазы Шайрат, по которому нанесли удар американцы, от Хмеймима порядка 100 км. Однако для систем ПВО есть ограничительное понятие радиогоризонта.

    Да, максимальная дальность поражения С-400 составляет 400 км. Но надо понимать: это досягаемость по воздушным целям, которые действуют на средних и больших высотах. Крылатые ракеты, которые действуют на высотах 30−50 метров, не видны с такого расстояния просто потому, что Земля «кривая» — шарообразная. Словом, американские «Томагавки» находились за пределами радиогоризонта С-400.

    Замечу: никакая система ПВО — что российская, что американская, — физически не способна увидеть крылатые ракеты на такой дальности.

    Для увеличения радиогоризонта используют различные меры. В частности, в системах ПВО радиолокатор поднимают на вышках. Такая вышка есть и в Хмеймиме, тем не менее, она не позволяет увеличить дальность обнаружения так сильно — до 100 км

    http://www.km.ru/forum/world/2017/04/07/siriiskii-krizis/800203-nash-kompleks-s-400-ne-mog-sbit-tomagavki-vypushchennye-po-

    • Replies: @FB
  191. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Easy there fella…

    You’re getting a little too free in the language you’re directing at me…

    As for your salvo model…yes it is your model…just as if I were to construct a mathematical model of an aircraft’s aerodynamic characteristics…it would be my model…

    I have looked at your math [which you have explained quite inadequately] and acquainted myself briefly with the ‘Hughes Salvo Model’…

    http://weaponsanalysis.com/docs/SalvoModel.pdf

    As I said before…this model has no applicability in a suppression of enemy air defense [SEAD] discussion…

    The Hughes model and all the updates to it appear to be primarily concerned with Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCMs)

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  192. FB says:

    My comment got accidentally posted before I was finished…

    ASCMs are fundamentally different from TLAMs and ALCMs in that they are designed to strike a moving target…ie a ship…

    The difference as I have already explained is that TLAMs and ALCMs lack any kind of seeker capable of homing in on moving targets…such as radar guidance…either passive or active…

    In summary I find the application of this salvo model completely inappropriate…not to mention that any math model is just that…I have seen math models used very well, and I have also seen them used very poorly…

    Also I must reject your denigration of my source material…

    I have presented here…

    1. a paper published in the Aerospace Power Journal…the flagship technical publication of the USAF…

    2. A paper published by one of the most noteworthy air combat experts of our time…Col. Riccione…

    3. A paper by an acknowledge SEAD PhD-level expert and RAAF [retired] aviator…

    4. An article by an RAF captain and Director of Defence Studies for the Royal Air Force…

    What are some of the sources you have presented…

    I have seen none…

    My position remains the same…

    I have considered your model and find it completely unrelated to the subject under discussion…

    • LOL: Andrei Martyanov
  193. @FB

    You’re getting a little too free in the language you’re directing at me…

    Nope, I call you for what you are. An amateur hack, who obviously doesn’t understand what missile exchange is and continues a spread of utter BS, including ignoring answering key questions which are exposing you as a fraud.

    I repeat for n-th time the question–any professional will easily answer it–what is saturation threshold for S-400? I omit here S-300–I made it easy for you, just S-400. So, quoting you, “put up or shut up”. I can see why this question runs you into stupor–it will demolish all your BS you spewed here in an instance in relation to Syria. Now, here is from your hyperlink in response to your another ignorant BS, I quote your BS below:

    The Hughes model and all the updates to it appear to be primarily concerned with Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCMs)

    This, however, what your source puts into the description of SAMs:

    SAM Defense The SAM defense strategy attempts to assign a fire control channel to each ASCM and decoy in the salvo.

    Remind me please, my memory is a bit fuzzy here, what is SAM? (wink, wink).

    Evidently you do not understand (it is expected) why I stressed a Missile Exchange and, obviously, you never opened Captain Hughes’ book (I own one) with the title Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, which gives a superb transition from Osipov-Lanchester to salvo Model. But since you are obviously way out of your depth, here is a little bit of education for you which gives (you don’t need to know Russian) an Osipov-Lanchester approach to…. armored warfare. It is from the Operational Research textbook from 1980s from Armored Warfare War College (Akademia Bronetankovykh Voisk) in late USSR. Math doesn’t change, coefficients, of course, do.

    Here comes a bomb for you. Tell me then, why ground warfare uses mostly Osipov-Lanchester Model? If you will answer this correctly, the whole BS about “mostly ASCM” will come crushing down on you. So, we start clock (or counter) on how long or how many times it will take you to avoid answering this question, by ignoring it. I repeat it again: Why ground (such as armored) warfare concerns itself mostly with Osipov-Lanchester Model? Is question understood? You can distill at least some answers even from this post of mine, until I will completely expose you as a Clanciesque fraud. As one real professional wrote in his superb book:

    • Replies: @FB
  194. FB says:

    Your obvious hysteria and name calling is beneath the dignity of any professional I know…

    This petulant reaction also proves that you know you have lost the argument…it’s like the kid who gets punched out and then runs away screaming insults…

    As for your mention of shipboard SAMs…yes the Salvo model talked about in that paper I linked to talks specifically about the threshold of a warship’s SAM defenses to withstand enemy attack by anti-ship cruise missiles…

    Now that you have confirmed that this is your analogy to a possible SEAD operation against Russian air assets in Syria…it makes it very easy to debunk…

    The problem with your scenario is that a ship-borne SAM cannot go anywhere…it is on the ship and stays on the ship…it cannot disperse its launchers and radars across hundreds of square kilometers in a matter of minutes…

    This type of fight is all about how much punishment the defending ship and its SAMs can withstand before they fold…obviously this is a very simple scenario and is nothing more than a numbers exercise…

    If you are trying to tell me that this bears any kind of resemblance to the scenario of a SEAD operation against RF forces in Syria…then I have to dismiss this as complete frivolity…

    And while I’m at it…your math is quite nonsensical…

    You present the salvo model as a means to solve for the most important variable…ie how many cruise missiles would it take to overwhelm a stationary defense…?

    In your previous statement where you outlined the steps of your calculations…you said this…

    ‘…4. Your b1, which is the number of TLAMs required to put Khmeimim out of action is 120…’

    But wait a minute…?

    Where does this number of 120 TLAMs come from…you have presented this as one of the ‘assumptions’…ie a known variable in the equation…or one of the known coefficients…whatever…

    I thought the whole point of the salvo model was to figure out how many missiles it takes to overwhelm the defender…?

    But it appears that in your salvo ‘model’ we already know that it takes 120 missiles…the only thing we don’t know is how much damage will be done…in percentage terms…ie in your ‘worked example’ 83 percent…

    So this is your ‘model…?’

    Also I will just finish by saying that this is more a mathematical simulation than an actual ‘model’ in the proper sense of the terms…

    When real professional talk about numerical methods we talk about things like finite element analysis in structural engineering, or computational fluid dynamics in the area of aerodynamics and thermal science…this is quite involved mathematics that is mostly transparent to the user…

    What you have presented here is a very simple algebraic construct…which appears to have started with the study of ballistics…ie gunnery…but has been ‘updated’ to reflect more modern weapons…

    Any person engaged in real science knows that simulation tools have their place…in the case of this tool I would say it is a very minor place…

    The fact that you have been harping on this as the ‘final word’ on this issue tells me that you do not bring a balanced approach to the question…

    Bottom line: I am not impressed with this tool, nor they way you apply it…

  195. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    ‘…I repeat for n-th time the question–any professional will easily answer it–what is saturation threshold for S-400?…’

    Any professional what…?…wrestler…figure skater…pianist…?

    A saturation threshold in the context of an S400 defending against incoming missiles implies two possible scenarios…

    1. The attacker knows the location of the S400 and is directing all his fire on that location [including TLAMs...the attacker's missiles need not have any kind of radar-homing seeker because the attacker knows the position of the S400 and the S400 has decided to stay exactly where it is...deciding that the weapons designers who provided for a truck chassis and wheels obviously didn't know what they were doing...for reasons known only to God...A. Martyanov...and possibly Osipov, Hughes and Lanchester...

    2. The attacker does not know the location of the S400 components and needs to find them first before attacking with weapons designed to target a SAM...specifically HARM missiles which seeks out radio emissions from SAM radars...and homes in on them...

    If number 1, then yes your salvo model could be used to game some grade-school level scenario of two opposing forces firing at one until one guy runs out of bullets...I'm sure there are good video games along these lines...

    If number 2, then what...?

    The AGM88 HARM missile is carried by F16, F18, F35, Tornado and other aircraft...it has a maximum range of 150 km...that's a high altitude shot...typically the aircraft will be flying low and using terrain masking to hide from powerful SAM radars...making its missile range only several tens of km...

    The range of S400 anti aircraft missiles is 400 km...I would like to the see the F16 driver who is going to volunteer for this mission of flying around over Russian airspace in Syria, trying to figure out where the S400 is hiding...

    But let's say the US manages to find the location of the S400 and direct some shots at it...the Pantsir goes with every S400 like a shadow...designed to take out Harms like taking candy from a baby...

    After the initial Harms are defeated then what...I guess in your scenario the S400 crew, knowing now that their location is known to the enemy decides to do what...?

    Why of course they decide to stay right where they are...after all they have been taught all about Lanchester and Hughes...

    Or perhaps someone has the bright idea to pack up in five minutes and get the hell out of there...

    Now let's look at what the US does...it has now discovered the location of the S400...Of course they also guess correctly that the S400 crews...being disciples of Hughes and Lanchester are going to stay put...

    They thereby launch a volley of 450 Tomahawks [500 million bucks] from eight warships that somehow sneaked up over the last two weeks…because they know for sure that the S400 has stayed exactly where it was last seen…

    the tomahawks arrive about one hour and 20 minutes later and the S400 and Pantsir are eventually overwhelmed…

    Hooray…Lanchester, Osipov, Hughes and Martyanov have won the battle…

    Or perhaps I forgot I was in disneyland and talking to one of the seven dwarfs…

  196. Erebus says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    I note that the coefficients in your insert (red boxes) appear to be qualitative terms, sorta like the “Q” of a resonance. Are there mathematical formulas from which these terms are themselves derived (as a resonance’s “Q” is), or are they purely qualitative, IOW arbitrary estimates based on more or less formal assessments of intelligence reports?

    If the latter, as the values assigned to the coefficients could have a pretty dramatic impact on the end values generated by the equations, one can see how bad intelligence/assessment can easily result in one side “bringing a knife to a gunfight”. In particular, as the USM seems to find itself caught flat-footed every time the Russians make a move, it indicates that the USM badly needs to update its coefficients.

    I also note that the definition of b3′ uses terms not defined elsewhere on the page. What is b3′?

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  197. @Erebus

    Are there mathematical formulas from which these terms are themselves derived (as a resonance’s “Q” is), or are they purely qualitative, IOW arbitrary estimates based on more or less formal assessments of intelligence reports?

    Excellent question. Most of them–empirical data, hence mathematical expectations. For example, Scouting Effectiveness (lower case Sigma) depends on a huge variety of factors from weather, to ECM environment, to even Intelligence Factors (used in simplified Stochastic Models), so vast arrays of data are needed to assign a value. And no, they are NOT arbitrary. Another example, all combat training (lower case Tau) in armed forces is quantifiable, from simplest life fire exercises with small arms on the range (deviations on targets are measured easily for squad, platoon, etc.) to a very complex use of high-end weapon systems all of which is measured in the final both simulated (and scored) combat exercises to an actual combat, when possible. That is why it is possible to quantify the training of personnel from simplest Bad-Good, to a plethora of combat data which allows to identify strong and weak points in combat performance. So, there is mathematical apparatus to calculate these math expectations.

    If the latter, as the values assigned to the coefficients could have a pretty dramatic impact on the end values generated by the equations, one can see how bad intelligence/assessment can easily result in one side “bringing a knife to a gunfight”. In particular, as the USM seems to find itself caught flat-footed every time the Russians make a move, it indicates that the USM badly needs to update its coefficients.

    My book theoretically should be in print sometime early 2018–I do address there this question, we are talking about really dramatic, in fact stunning, several generations long gross underestimation and misrepresentation of pretty much most of data and capabilities which were coming from the Soviet Union, and now Russia–from social and cultural issues to pure military assessments which were for the lack of better word–bi-polar. There is, however, no denial of US Navy being the most powerful Navy in the world, even degraded for its internal problems. For how much longer will it stay this way? Well, it is a very interesting question to ponder.

    What is b3′?

    It is number of hits denied to A by defender counterfire, degraded for defender alertness and training deficiencies. Those “additional” coefficients are present in the so called Embellished Salvo Equations and give somewhat more precise picture of the attrition . In general, I prefer to deal with Embellished (sometimes called Augmented) Salvo Equations. As I posted above somewhere, before getting embroiled with exchange with some people here, I posted above a link to two superb post-graduate theses of Ozdemir and Ho which give a very good introspective (and scaling) to all those values. Very clear and very easy to understand. I hope I answered your questions.

  198. @FB

    Hooray…Lanchester, Osipov, Hughes and Martyanov have won the battle…

    Yep. So, since you continue to ignore all my pointed questions I will, finally, answer for you (from Russian sources, not from Wiki–but if you’d your due diligence…) S-400′s Saturation Threshold is… drum roll… its ability to stay in combat which its ability to engage and destroy targets and it is ability to engage: track, lock, develop firing solution for 36 of them while shooting (obstrel) 72 SAMs of different types . Does it give you now some impression of scale of things? Do you understand now why Pantsirs and S-300 were brought in? You may also check, while at it, how much time does it take to reload S-400, but I am sure US military professional know this already. Now comes this very interesting question–How Many SAMs are required for a reliable (and you, of course, know that “reliability” is a probability) to shoot down a single TLAM? Tick tock, tick tock. Google, Google, dive, dive. Good luck with finding any relevant answers for that. But since you continue to ask amateur questions, such as this:

    I thought the whole point of the salvo model was to figure out how many missiles it takes to overwhelm the defender…?

    No, the whole point of Salvo Model, if you didn’t notice, the same as of Osipov-Lanchester Model is the SAME–to find FER (Fractional Exchange Rates) or, in layman’s lingo, attrition of opposing forces. How could you miss that, I really am puzzled. Remember, I gave you good (highly professional) references to the post-graduate theses of the graduates of US Naval Post-Graduate School? But to calculate your force (that is in Russian Naryad Sil) you will need to start with this (one of very many other relevant things):

    As per this:

    Your obvious hysteria and name calling is beneath the dignity of any professional I know…

    OK, let’s say I am hysterical. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that I already pointed out about your demagoguery, not to mention my huge suspicion that you don’t know any serious military professionals with appropriate, as you say “credentials”, since they would be pretty much telling you, with some minor deviations, same things I do.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FB
  199. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Martyanov…

    Whatever education you may have on technical matters, it obviously has not yet reached the invention of the wheel…

    You will notice that all modern air defenses have wheels…ie they can quickly move somewhere else…there is a reason for this and the mobility part of air defenses has been the game-changer that SEAD theoreticians are still grappling with…

    The fact that mobility does not come into your ‘model’ or your thinking betrays a complete lack of even rudimentary grasp on the subject matter…

    The moment I saw your article premise where TLAMs and ALCMs are overwhelming RF air defenses I realized this was written by someone who has no business writing about air combat…but I was not going to say that due to simple human respect…which you have now thrown to the wind anyway…

    And yes SEAD is all about air combat…aircraft firing anti-radar missiles is the only way to fight SAMs…that is kindergarten level…

    You will notice in the literature I pointed to on Serbia that even the stationary S-125 SAMs were targeted by aircraft with HARMs…[this was also the case with Iraq in 1990...]

    The Serb SAMs were hard to find even though they were not mobile…but their locations were not known by Nato…

    ‘Adm Leighton Smith, USN, retired, commander of NATO forces in Bosnia from 1994 to 1996, said that the resulting efforts to neutralize the Serb IADS were “like digging out potatoes one at a time.”’

    That’s from Lambeth…page 9…

    http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-16_Issue-1-4/sum02.pdf

    That’s the whole point of a SAM…it is like a leopard…it lies in ambush, its presence undetected by its prey…waiting for one to wander into its kill zone…

    Now you are trying to tell me that a state of the art mobile SAM system is going to sit there like a set piece on a chess board…bolted to the ground…and fire back and forth like two artillery cannons…

    That is completely ridiculous on its face…and even the layman with no real knowledge on this can see the soundness of this statement…

    Let me just state here categorically that this salvo model that you are pushing as some kind of ‘insight’ into a hypothetical US attack has absolutely no place in this discussion…

    It is like someone trying to push Einstein’s theory of relativity into a discussion of aerodynamics of aircraft or thermodynamics of combustion engines…

    It is ludicrous…like pounding a square peg into a round hole…

    I am quite amazed that somebody would have the gall to come here to argue such nonsense…

    And then continue to do so with ever more hysteria when someone with actual knowledge of the subject matters exposes this sham…

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  200. Let me just state here categorically that this salvo model that you are pushing as some kind of ‘insight’ into a hypothetical US attack has absolutely no place in this discussion…

    LOL. Ok, do you want me to switch to Osipov-Lanchester Model? BTW, it proved itself highly accurate in Iwo Jima, among some other places. We, certainly, can review a Network Model or how Linear Programming is used. No problem, since this discussion gets this way. But then again, questions:

    1. What is usually a criterion of a success in operation?
    2. What is that, below?;-)

    3. Do you need me to go over Network Model?
    4. What posting here some references to the general review of fighting doctrines of US Air Force from a magazine where there is not a single model discussed achieves? I understand that you are waxing poetic here:

    That’s the whole point of a SAM…it is like a leopard…it lies in ambush, its presence undetected by its prey…waiting for one to wander into its kill zone…

    But it doesn’t explain the reason for you to continue to post a total BS when the location of the S-400 and S-300 around Khmeimim:

    a) is well known, especially with the modern ISR complex and especially in semi-desert environment. Hell, they even have photos on the internet of those S-400 and S-300 there, in their permanent enclosures (pads).

    b) S-400 and S-300 are going NOWHERE from their fixed positions and that is why they have Pantsirs guarding them, like here:

    My question, however, of course not answered by you, you, being, obviously too busy trying to post here irrelevant POS, is this:

    You continue with this crap of yours about irrelevant and inapplicable “lessons” of Serbia and Iraq, despite the fact that, in accordance to your own “source”, namely of USN aviator Mr. Harmer whose “credentials” obviously impressed you (obviously I for now withhold mine), look what he even writes (your source, not mine):

    Target requirement: We assess that 6 primary SAF airbases (AB) are in current operational use, and that a total of 12 PGM targeted at each AB will significantly degrade the ability of SAF to operate from those Abs.

    Initial strike requirements per SAF AB to degrade the physical infrastructure:

    4 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM)

    4 Joint Air to Surface

    Standoff Missile (JASSM)


    4 Joint

    Stand Off Weapons

    (JSOW

    You see, TLAMs are present in any scenario, so are other stand-off weapons. Hey, I merely use your sources. Here is what he posts too–from the same source you gave us all:

    We assess that a maximum of 100 SAF fixed wing aircraft are operable. We have identified a total of 109 aircraft bunkers or pads at the six primary SAF ABs.

    Initial strike will render primary airbases unusable. As a result:

    Operable SAF aircraft will be unable to reposition to secondary airbases

    Reconnaissance assets can easily identify exact locations of operable aircraft

    Secondary strike requirements

    109 TLAM, 1 X per operable aircraft or aircraft bunker or pad

    SAF aircraft in the open can be targeted with TLAM bomblet

    SAF aircraft in bunkers can be targeted with TLAM unitary warheads

    Secondary strike total weapons requirements

    109 TLAM, 1 X per aircraft, bunker, or pad

    Targeting aircraft, bunkers, or pads: Desired Mean Point of Impact (DMPI)

    109 total DMPI, 1 X TLAM per DMPI

    Sortie requirements

    3 X Navy Surface Combatants to launch 109 total TLAM

    Because you have no clue what are you talking about, you, of course, never heard about saturation strikes. That is why you do not understand the issue of:

    1. Difference of Object and Zonal Air Defenses;
    2. You still believe that S-300 and S-400 installations will NOT be attacked by TLAMs (I omit here the issue in my first posts to you, remember–I was talking about 2 US Navy CBGs? Do you know why?), nor are you willing to answer ANY substantive weapons’ related question. Such as, why Pantsirs are there, next to S-400?
    3. Now the main one: S-300 and S-400, Pantsirs etc. are there to defend the base which is stationary, fixed object and which goes nowhere.

    So, you decide how you want to continue to humiliate yourself. But I posted above several basic questions and now that you know what is (plus-minus) saturation threshold for S-400 can you provide any numbers to play with? Let’s go with Lanchester Model. So what will be your attrition coefficients? ;-)

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FB
    , @Y.L.
  201. @FB

    That is completely ridiculous on its face…and even the layman with no real knowledge on this can see the soundness of this statement…

    LOL. Wasn’t it you who stated this:

    When real professional talk about numerical methods we talk about things like finite element analysis in structural engineering, or computational fluid dynamics in the area of aerodynamics and thermal science…this is quite involved mathematics that is mostly transparent to the user…

    What you have presented here is a very simple algebraic construct…which appears to have started

    with the study of ballistics…ie gunnery…

    but has been ‘updated’ to reflect more modern weapons…

    Actually, you almost got this one right in terms of gunnery, except, and I am answering yet another my own question to you, having abandoned any hope of reading an answer from you. Here is the answer: it is difficult to use Salvo Model for ground warfare since… drum roll… you can not shoot down artillery shell or a bullet from M-16 or AKM. In case of Khmeimim–you can shoot down TLAMs. That is Khmeimim has an active defensive mechanisms (there are also static ones) which make a case for Salvo Model. But since we are still at TLAMs–you decide yourself if I need to do it myself, that is finding your BS about not attacking some IADS, but here is what US Navy officially states:

    1996
    Sept. 3, 1996: Operation Desert Strike begins in retaliation for the Aug. 31 dispatch by Saddam Hussein of 40,000 Iraqi Republican Guardsmen and regulars against Irbil, a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan town 48 miles east of Mosul. Desert Strike attacks Iraqi fixed surface-to-air missile sites and air defense command and control facilities in southern Iraq. The guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) fire 14 Tomahawks. The next day, the destroyer USS Hewitt (DD 966), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Russell (DDG 59), and fast attack submarine USS Jefferson City (SSN 759) fire 17 more.

    http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/swmag/Pages/Where-are-the-Shooters.aspx#.Weorm9xryUl

    Here is how FAS elaborates:

    On 03 September 1996, a coordinated cruise missile attack was launched against the Iraqi air defense infrastructure, including surface-to-air missile sites and command and control nodes in southern Iraq. Laboon (DDG 58) and Shiloh (CG 67), on station in the Gulf as part of NAVCENT’s Task Force 50, fired 14 of the 27 cruise missiles while Air Force B-52s, escorted by F-14s from Carl Vinson (CVN 70), from Barksdale AFB [Air Force Base] LA staged out of Guam on a 34-hour mission and fired 13 conventional air-launched cruise missiles (CALCMs) in the early morning hours of September 4th.

    https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/desert_strike.htm

    Any comments on that? ;-)

    • Replies: @FB
  202. @FB

    After the initial Harms are defeated then what…I guess in your scenario the S400 crew, knowing now that their location is known to the enemy decides to do what…?

    Why of course they decide to stay right where they are…after all they have been taught all about Lanchester and Hughes…

    Or perhaps someone has the bright idea to pack up in five minutes and get the hell out of there…

    Yep, they decide to stay and fight and defend what is entrusted to them and to which they gave an Oath. I understand that you never served a day in uniform, but that is what military does–it fights for objectives. But again, this sheer lunacy which you proposing here is such that one is left with one’s mouth opened in awe of this idiocy. Meanwhile, while we at the issue of military duty, read on that:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Samuel_B._Roberts_%28DE-413%29

    or that:

    http://www.defensionem.com/height-776-chechnya-6th-company/

    People die in war, you know?

  203. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    For those who may be confused by Mr. Martyanov’s continued reference to the ‘Salvo Model’ let me try to clarify things a little bit…

    I don’t say this as an expert on the subject, since I claim no expertise in land or naval warfare…I am simply taking a stab at explaining what I have learned on the subject by a quick perusal of the basics…

    [...In fact I claim no expertise whatsoever...since it is beneath my dignity to do so anonymously on a chat room...my aim is to let the reader judge for himself whether my comments have any utility for them...it makes no sense to say...'trust me, I'm an expert'...that will not bring clarity to any question under any circumstance...]

    First off…the original idea for this ‘salvo model’ was formulated by Frederick Lanchester in 1916…and has come to be known as Lanchester’s laws…

    [Incidentally I am familiar with Lanchester in the context of aerodynamics, where he also made contributions...notably to the 'circulation theory of lift'...]

    [Also it is accepted that the same equations proposed by Lanchester...'were discovered simultaneously and independently by the Russian scientist Osipov'... see my RAND link below]

    ‘…In 1916, during World War I, Frederick Lanchester devised a series of differential equations to demonstrate the power relationships between opposing forces. Among these are what is known as Lanchester’s Linear Law (for ancient combat) and Lanchester’s Square Law (for modern combat with long-range weapons such as firearms)…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanchester%27s_laws

    I am posting this because Mr. Martyanov neglected to explain the basics that would put this subject into some kind of context…

    The Lanchester idea was then brought into the modern age with the ‘Salvo Combat Model’ which Mr. Martyanov has been talking about voluminously…

    But here is the most important part, as it relates to this discussion…

    ‘…These equations assume that each side is using aimed fire; that is, a force knows the location of its target and can aim its missiles at it…’

    This tells us everything we need to know…

    The salvo model has no applicability whatsoever to SEAD operations…because in any SEAD operation, the attacking force does not know the location of the enemy’s air defenses…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvo_combat_model#Types_of_warfare

    Furthermore…

    ‘…If however a force knows only the approximate location of its target (e.g., somewhere within a fog bank), then it may spread its fire across a wide area, with the hope that at least some of its missiles will find the target…’

    There it is…the only hope is to throw up a massive salvo and try to hit the hidden targets by sheer chance…

    This is exactly what I presented in my prior comment where I worked through a very simplified scenario of TLAMs being fired at a SAM whose location is not known…

    As the above clearly tells us…that is equivalent to shooting birdshot into empty sky in the hope that a duck will fly through one of the shots by sheer fluke…

    Here is what RAND says about the Lanchester model and how it compares to more complex simulations…

    ‘…Most computer simulations deal separately with different classes of weapon-on-weapon interactions and treat maneuver as fundamental, not an annoying complication…’

    https://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR638/app.html#fn11

    There is the crux of the matter…the fatal flaw in Lanchester et al is the idea of ‘manuever’… ie mobility…it is treated as an ‘annoying complication…’

    ‘…Unfortunately, such computer simulations [ie not Lanchester-based but those incorporating maneuver] are then more complicated to understand and discuss. Hence, Lanchester equations continue to have a place in explaining simple points…’

    And finally…

    ‘…For readers interested in understanding the relationship between Lanchester equations and “physics-level calculations,” a recent study may be illuminating… It illustrates how a Lanchester square law can–in simple cases–be a reasonable approximation of events when the opponents approach each other frontally.

    ‘…The authors began with item-level simulations with individual shooters (e.g., tanks) and kill-per-shot probabilities dependent on range. They assumed flat, featureless, terrain. Even in this case, moving to and understanding the Lanchester representation was nontrivial and, in practice, was informed by theory and experimentation with the higher-resolution simulations…’

    Notice the part I have highlighted…

    This is something anyone in science knows…ie that mathematical simulations have earned a place at the table…but ‘theory’ and ‘experimentation’ are still the two major legs of the triad of science…in practice good simulations can add value…but only if they are used in conjunction with the other two scientific methods…

    And to explain here for the layman that when we say in science ‘theory’ it doesn’t mean something that implies guesswork or conjecture…in fact quite the opposite…

    ‘…A scientific theory is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested, in accordance with the scientific method, by using a predefined protocol of observations and experiments… Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and are a comprehensive form of scientific knowledge…’

    For example Newton’s Laws of Motion are a theoretical construct that allows us to accurately predict everything from the strength of beams in a bridge…to the motion of aircraft and spacecraft…

    No self-respecting scientist would rely only on simulation to argue a technical point…that is preposterous on its face…yet that is exactly what Mr. Martyanov continues to do here…he has completely left out scientific theory and experiment…

    It is not my intention to discredit Mr. Martyanov nor humiliate him…that is never my intention…

    However…objective truth is important…people engaged in this discussion here want to know the best facts available about this question of how a hypothetical US attack on Russian air assets in Syria might unfold…

    It is an important question and therefore deserves careful and serious consideration…

    Unfortunately Mr. Martyanov has failed to act in a serious way…he has thrown up a lot of confusing ‘chaff’ that appears to be aimed only at making people even more confused…

    He has failed to provide basic info on this salvo stuff…and how it relates to the subject at hand…[which it doesn't...]

    Further…he has failed to add a vital disclaimer that is required in any kind of mathematical simulation exercise…ie no matter how sophisticated the sim models may be…it must be validated by experiment and scientific theory [as explained above]…

    I regret that my assessment of Mr. Martyanov has had to end on such a harsh note…perhaps he can bring himself to consider the fundamental problems with his position and try to engage in a helpful way going forward…as any honest scientist would do…

    Bottom line is this…there has never been any case of attempting to shoot at air defenses, whose location is not known, with cruise missiles…not in Serbia, nor Iraq, nor anywhere…[with the exception of ship-based air defenses...where the location is obviously known...]

    And…as far as I know…the ‘salvo’ models have never been applied to the question of SEAD operations…at least in any peer-reviewed literature…

    Therefore my premise from the beginning stands…this is a fantastic scenario without any link to reality…

  204. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Ok…now I see that you are completely dishonest…

    Here’s proof…

    You quote extensively from the Harmer ‘plan’ for bombing Syrian airfields with TLAMs…

    And you conclude thus…

    ‘…You see, TLAMs are present in any scenario, so are other stand-off weapons. Hey, I merely use your sources…’

    Of course what you leave out is this…the actual title of that Harmer ‘plan’…

    ‘Required Sorties and Weapons to Degrade Syrian Air Force Excluding Integrated Air Defense System (IADS)’

    What part of Excluding Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) are you having trouble with…?

    Where in that Harmer plan does it mention targeting Syrian air defenses…?…it only talks about targeting the runways, support structures and any parked airplanes…

    And as for your comment and pictures of parked S400s and Pantsirs…yes they may be parked now…

    But, as far as I know, we cannot be sure of their exact locations and those pictures do not give us any information on that…[if you have exact coordinates of their locations please let us know...]

    But notice also the wheels on those vehicles…what do you think those are for…?

    To stay parked when a crisis starts unfolding and preparations for a US attack are seen to be clearly in progress…?

    Please tell me if that is what you are proposing…so we all know exactly what you are saying…

    Are you now saying that those S400s and other mobile air defense equipment is going to stay in the place where the enemy knows their location and fire back and forth like the shootout at the OK corral…?

    That would help clear up some suspicions I have about your level of ‘expertise’…

  205. Where in that Harmer plan does it mention targeting Syrian air defenses…?…it only talks about targeting the runways, support structures and any parked airplanes…

    You do have reading comprehension issues, do you? The point, of course, not IADS but the fact that any operation starts with salvo. In case of Syria it could be a massive salvo. I quote myself, remember this?

    Because you have no clue what are you talking about, you, of course, never heard about saturation strikes.

    Rings the bell? Or you have a very selective memory gaps?

    Are you now saying that those S400s and other mobile air defense equipment is going to stay in the place where the enemy knows their location and fire back and forth like the shootout at the OK corral…?

    Now?! You are slick, man. I guess, sitting in mom’s basement does it to you. If you do not remember, here is quote from me 2 days ago:

    Obviously you forgot somehow that the reason, and I am beginning to repeat myself, is the base at Khmeimim which houses all infrastructure for both Russian Air-Space Forces aircraft, personnel, communications facilities, ammunition and fuel storage, etc.–precisely the types of targets for attacking which BGM-109 was designed. S-300 and S-400 are there to defend those targets, not to withdraw themselves in the middle of launch in progress thus rendering themselves nonoperational during the moving. Anyone who comes up even with the possibility of such a sheer lunacy has to be completely detached from any realities of modern combat.

    and the other one:

    You obviously also have no clue that any CO who gives a command upon detection of enemy’s salvo on “moving” the complex which is there specifically for protection of assets will be in Court Martial immediately, not least because of the fact that while “saving” his S-400 “ass” on the move he broke the radar field and de facto removed the system from combat. I mentioned only one reason, there are dozens of those that your “avoiding” the salvo is a sheer incompetent lunacy.

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2047690

    Sir, you are ignorant badly educated attention-seeking troll–the person who can not plug values of variables into what essentially is a simplest binomial can not have any clue, it became very apparent two days ago . Now, this is my last response to you: I know personally a number of former COs of Air Defense battalions and regiments, including those who commanded S-300 units. I served with the son of the Chief (Commander) of PVO system of Transcaucasus Military District, just a hint. Yes, fanboy, they will stay and fight, any such complex (with the exception of Pantsir and Tor-M2-3, which are specifically designed for a fight on the go) are designed for arriving into position and deploying (razvertyvanie) in it and they stay in it until either they prevail or are annihilated. Now, my advice–if you ever encounter (which I doubt) American military professional try to preach to him that S-400, the moment the salvo is detected, starts packing up and leaving–I think that it will be the last time he will speak to you. I was patient enough with you for three days, still affording you a benefit of a doubt of some kid who wanted to learn something. You verbose and militant ignorance is stunning, no matter how you try to obfuscate it with cadences of utter non-military and anti-scientific Bullshit. So, I am done talking to you. I think you are a very young fellow, so get some tutoring and, granted you pass physical, get yourself into any US Service military academy–they may start you on some things about which you learned for the first time here. Otherwise, get back to your basement and pretend you are something, which you obviously are not. Have a good life.

    • Replies: @FB
  206. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Mr. Martyanov posted this quote from a USN website outlining the history of Tomahawk strikes…in this instance the only known use of cruise missiles against air defense targets…

    ‘…Desert Strike attacks Iraqi fixed surface-to-air missile sites and air defense command and control facilities in southern Iraq.

    http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/swmag/Pages/Where-are-the-Shooters.aspx#.Weorm9xryUl

    He is attempting to conflate this cruise missile strike on fixed and known air defense sites to an actual SEAD operation…

    This is of course misleading…because of the context that is left out…[as usual...]

    We can read a full account of Desert Strike in wikipedia…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_cruise_missile_strikes_on_Iraq

    Here is the interesting part Mr. Martyanov decided to leave out…

    ‘…The strikes were initially planned to be by aircraft launched from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), including aircraft from Fighter Squadron 11 (VF-11) and Fighter Squadron 31 (VF-31), both operating F-14D Tomcats; Electronic Attack Squadron 139 (VAQ-139), operating EA-6B Prowlers; Attack Squadron 196 (VA-196), operating A-6E Intruders equipped with the Target Recognition and Attack Multi-Sensor (TRAM) system; Anti-Submarine Squadron 35 (VS-35) flying S-3B Vikings; and Strike Fighter Squadron 113 (VFA-113) and Strike Fighter Squadron 25 (VFA-25), both operating F/A-18 Hornets…’

    In other words a proper SEAD operation…involving EA6B electronic warfare aircraft designed to jam enemy radar systems…and each carrying up to four AGM88 HARMs targeting SAM radars…

    Some of the other attack aircraft would have been carrying HARMs too…as well as other weapons and bombs…

    ‘…However the strike was instead launched by U.S. Navy surface warships and U.S. Air Force bombers, using cruise missiles…’

    I do congratulate Mr. Martyanov for digging out the one known instance in cruise missile history where these weapons were fired against air defense targets…as can be seen from that USN list of tomahawk strike history…

    And here is some more info…

    ‘…The attacks were primarily aimed at retaliation for the targeting of USAF fighters in the Northern and Southern no-fly zones…’

    As far as I am aware, no serious air combat practitioner or theoretician considers this a SEAD operation…

    Notice the highlighted part about the no-fly zones…that means that the US already controlled the airspace…the airspace was therefore not contested…which by definition disqualifies it as a SEAD mission…

    Taken fully in context…this was a situation where the US already controlled the skies and decided there was no need to mount an aviation operation, where even an accident or equipment malfunction or friendly fire might result in loss of personnel and equipment…

    The choice was made to simply hit the known, fixed air defense sites with cruise missiles…

    The sites were known because having control of the skies, the US ISR aircraft [intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance] like the U2 would have been able to construct a detailed picture of the enemy formations…

    None of this was the case in Serbia…the airspace was contested from the first day to the last…and such ISR missions were hampered…

    We note again here the comments by Lambeth…

    ‘…Because of that persistent threat, mission planners had to place such high-value surveillance-and-reconnaissance platforms as the U-2 and JSTARS in less-than-ideal orbits to keep them outside the lethal reach of enemy SAMs…’

    I really do wish Mr. Martyanov would stop his dishonesty…it would be good for everyone…it would be good for the discussion…

    I have already had to respond to his attempt to use my Shayrat comment in a patently dishonest way…in my very first comment on Shayrat and Harmer, I highlighted the fact that the plan did not include targeting Syrian IADs…

    Yet here he is taking things out of context and deliberately misleading…this is not very good for anyone…

    This comment has absolutely no relevance to a hypothetical SEAD operation against Russian air defenses in Syria…

  207. FB says:

    You are slick, man. I guess, sitting in mom’s basement does it to you.

    And…

    ‘…I know personally a number of former COs of Air Defense battalions and regiments, including those who commanded S-300 units. I served with the son of the Chief (Commander) of PVO system of Transcaucasus Military District, just a hint…’

    Yeah…whatever man…

    I’m actually starting to feel embarrassed for you…I have never encountered a person who presents himself as serious and degrades down to this level of indignity…

    Of course I realize that you are upset at me…having demolished your ‘salvo’ of nonsense…

    But I must continue to answer ever more noise from you…at what point do you just say ‘uncle’…?

    You say that those S400s aren’t meant to move and will not move even if preparations for a large-scale SEAD operation by the US are detected…

    Well…that is interesting…

    I do hope you send a note to Dr. Karlo Kopp…[an acknowledged expert who seems to consider SAM mobility as an overarching]…and set him straight…

    https://www.ausairpower.net/APA-SAM-Support-Vehicles.html

    Anyone who even glances at this paper will note the amount of energy and analytical effort put into this subject…

    ‘…The subject of Air Defense System Vehicles, examples being Transporter Erector Launcher and Radar (TELAR), and TransLoader (TL) vehicles, or radar vehicles, receives far less attention in contemporary Western defense analysis than it merits…’

    ‘…This is particularly unfortunate given the rapid growth in the mobility of Russian…IADS elements over the last decade, and the introduction of a new generation of wheeled and hardened vehicles. We are observing a deep transformation in the manner of IADS deployment with commensurate improvements in IADS survivability…’

    But of course weapons system survivability is not important according to the Martyanov Doctrine where people are supposed to do everything they can do get themselves and their equipment killed in battle…

    ‘…Perhaps the most famous quote by Generaloberst Heinz Wilhelm ‘Schnelle Heinz’ Guderian is: “Der Motor des Panzers ist ebenso seine Waffe wie die Kanone” i.e. “The engine of a tank is as much a weapon as the cannon”…’

    ‘…The corollary of Guderian’s saying is simply that “the mobility of a SAM, SPAAG or SPAAGM system is as important as the lethality of its missile or gun system”…’

    Even in good ol’ wikipedia we find information [with citations to RF sources]…

    ‘…Ready for operation on a signal while driving on the march (by the signal strength before the start fight) 5 (min)…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-400_missile_system#Base_statistics

    And of course we will dismiss the thoughts of…

    Dr Alexander Lemanskiy, Chief Engineer on the S-400, Igor Ashurbeili, General Director, and Nikolai Nenartovich, Chief Engineer, of Almaz-Antey, published in the Russian language Vozdushno-Kosmicheskaya Oborona journal, No.3 (40), 2008

    We will ignore these gentlemen since they are also sitting in their mom’s basement…

    Lemanskiy et al observed that several key imperatives were followed during the design process:

    An open system architecture with a high level of modularity, intended to permit follow-on capability growth in the design;
    Multirole capabilities and the capacity for integration with legacy IADS technologies;
    Suitability for the air defense of fixed infrastructure targets, as well as manoeuvre forces;
    Suitability for integration with naval surface combatants;
    The ability to exploit legacy missile rounds already in operational use;
    High operational mobility and deployability;
    High lethality and jam resistance;

    http://ausairpower.net/APA-S-400-Triumf.html#mozTocId422270

    So while I sit in my mom’s basement, I somehow manage to burst every soap bubble that my esteemed colleague who served in PVO manages blow into the air…[PVO means air defense in Russian]

  208. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    ‘Salvo Man’ says…

    ‘But it doesn’t explain the reason for you to continue to post a total BS when the location of the S-400 and S-300 around Khmeimim:

    a) is well known, especially with the modern ISR complex and especially in semi-desert environment. Hell, they even have photos on the internet of those S-400 and S-300 there, in their permanent enclosures (pads).’

    I recall in earlier comments Mr. Martyanov made mention of the differences in terrain in Serbia [mountainous] and Syria…[flat desert]…

    Let’s have a look at a topographic map of Syria shall we…

    http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/syria-topographic-map.htm

    What do we see…?

    A north-south chain of mountain ridges stretching from northern Israel to southern Turkey…some of the peaks rising to greater than 2,000 meters [6,600 ft]…

    In the vicinity of Latakia city near the Hmeimim base…we see that just 20 km inland the An Nusayriyah Mountain range…rising to about 5,000 ft…

    Surely the Russian air defense folks are not smart enough to realize that this is ideal terrain for mobile SAM routes…

    Not to mention that SAM mobile radars will be able to ‘see’ much farther when sitting on high ground…

    We notice that even the inland desert plateau sits at a mean height of over 1,000 ft…and is interspersed with several named mountain ranges…

    But of course none of this matters…because the Russian air defenses are designed, equipped and trained to park their highly mobile SAMs and radars in one spot…well known to the enemy…and will refuse to move in case the enemy is seen to be moving into attack position over a matter of days, if not weeks…

  209. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Now, my advice–if you ever encounter (which I doubt) American military professional try to preach to him that S-400, the moment the salvo is detected, starts packing up and leaving–I think that it will be the last time he will speak to you.

    Actually what I said and what would in reality happen is that the S400 battalions [we don't actually know how many there are...] would start moving long before that first ‘salvo’…

    [which wouldn't be a cruise missile salvo anyway...it would be a SEAD sortie by a group of aircraft designed to hunt down and kill IADS...]

    What I have not yet got around to discussing…thanks to about 100,000 wasted words on ‘salvo’ nonsense…is how US planners might approach that kind of operation…

    Or if they would even consider it a realistic option in the first place…

    There are any number of steps that each side would take if such a crisis were to begin unfolding…

    There is much interesting stuff to consider there…none of which involves a cruise missile salvo on Hmeimim airfield as the opening shot…

    I will explain why if anyone is still interested…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  210. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘Echoing Nosy, my thanks to both FB and Andrei for continuing the discussion.’

    Thanks for a very good comment, Erebus…

    Sorry I missed it until now due to the rather spirited exchange with Andrei…

    I think you pulled together very well all of the military, political and diplomatic dimensions in the transformation we are now seeing in the Middle East…

    ‘In my thinking of WTF happened in Syria that allowed the Russians to apparently saunter in and take over the M.E. involves more than one 800lb gorilla.’

    ‘In the first place, the most striking thing about the RuAF’s operations is their combat efficiency. So few doing so much for so long belies a very carefully constructed force plan.’

    Well put…

    ‘However efficient the RuAF were, without equally effective boots on the ground they weren’t going to accomplish much but prolong the bloodshed and destruction. Russian battlefield advice and (my guess) de-facto command then cemented that new knowledge and esprit de corps into battlefield victories. There’s nothing like a few victories to turn battle fatigued soldiers back into an effective fighting force.’

    Again…an important point…

    ‘The 3rd gorilla, and this one is probably 900lbs, is that while all that was going on the Russians turned on a diplomatic-political full court press that totally caught the West flat-footed. If the USM worried about Kalibrs, the US DoS and its EU/M.E. satraps stood slack-jawed as anti-Assad miltants were pre-emptively turned into neutrals (and occasionally joined the SAA), peace talks were arranged and attended, de-confliction zones were created, humanitarian aid delivered, and partnerships formed and firmed with Turkey, Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq, Egypt and of course Syria.’

    And of course… ‘Netanyahu shitting pyramids…’

    I agree that the military aspect is just one dimension…and cannot be considered outside of the political and diplomatic…

    What I have tried to do is to bring some discussion to bear on just the military technical aspects…

    We live in dangerous times and while it is unlikely that Russia and US are going to clash militarily in Syria…there are many influential people who are advocating just that…

    It was only months ago that H. Clinton was spouting the neocon plan to impose a US no-fly zone in Syria…

    If such a program were to be embarked upon…a Russo-American clash could conceivably take place…

    We recall also the incredibly irresponsible Shayrat strike which luckily did not draw Russian blood…these things can spiral quite unexpectedly…

    I sense on this thread that people do want to explore the military dimension…and I will offer commentary as long as anyone requests it…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  211. peterAUS says:

    Let’s start with:

    I sense on this thread that people do want to explore the military dimension…and I will offer commentary as long as anyone requests it…

    And continue with:

    Now you understand why I am blunt in calling you full of shit?

    Nope, I call you for what you are. An amateur hack, who obviously doesn’t understand what missile exchange is and continues a spread of utter BS, including ignoring answering key questions which are exposing you as a fraud.

    Your obvious hysteria and name calling is beneath the dignity of any professional I know

    Easy there fella…
    You’re getting a little too free in the language you’re directing at me…

    You do have reading comprehension issues, do you?

    I’m actually starting to feel embarrassed for you…I have never encountered a person who presents himself as serious and degrades down to this level of indignity…

    That exchange was…..something.

    Now, admit, I simply passed over all that stuff about US/Russia exchange in Syria. Or anywhere else for that matter. Sorry about that…..

    But, I do have remarks of sort. Yugoslavia/Kosovo wise.

    enough of the Serb IADS remained intact—mainly the persistent AAA and MANPADS threat—to require NATO fighters to operate above a 15,000-foot floor throughout most of the air effort…’

    Sounds ….weak a bit.
    Do I read this as AAA and MANPADS were a major threat for ground attack air assets at the time, too? Or just for fighters ?
    I mean, you can always have a couple of roaming trucks with AAA and MANPADS anywhere to create a threat. Looks, to me, that it was (or is) not so much about the actual threat but domestic “perception management” related to possible casualties.

    In short, the US attempt to defeat Serbian air defenses did not succeed

    That’s one way to look at it.
    Another is that it succeeded well enough to deliver the objective of that “military enterprise”.

    Lambeth also notes that of those 800 Serb SAM shots, most were unguided…ie ballistic shots without engagement radar guidance, as the Serb tactic was to keep their SAM radars off in order to deny targeting by NATO HARMs…

    Most unguided !?
    So….how exactly they were supposed to hit a target?
    To a layman (of sort) it looks as quite effective suppression of air defence.
    What am I missing here?

    the Serbian military strategy was successful, even if the Milosovic regime did not achieve its political objectives…’

    That’s interesting point of view.
    Milosevic regime lost, its enemy won, but Serbian military strategy was successful.
    Quite interesting, actually.

    So, say, possible Iran “military enterprise”.
    Could Iranian military strategy be expected to be as successful as Serbian?
    If yes, not bad.
    For neocons I mean.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FB
    , @FB
  212. Erebus says:
    @FB

    We recall also the incredibly irresponsible Shayrat strike which luckily did not draw Russian blood…these things can spiral quite unexpectedly…

    Actually, I’ve been wondering about Shayrat in light of Andrei’s models.

    Shayrat was certainly stationary, and apparently not closely defended, yet 59 Tomahawks did very little damage. If the USM’s Salvo Model predicted the destruction of the base, it obviously failed completely. I don’t buy the idea that the missiles were intentionally mis-targeted because this strike was “just symbolic” or intended only to “send a message”. Shayrat was probably ideal for symbolic messages as it is not an important base, but a message is best sent by a successful strike, like the Kalibrs from the Caspian, not by missing the target. IOW, unless the message Trump wanted to send to the world was that “Not only are our Salvo Model coefficients out-of-date, our Tomahawks aren’t any good either”, Shayrat would have been rendered inoperable.

    According to the Russian Defence Ministry, only 23 hit their target, and 36 were unaccounted for at the time. Let’s assume the RuMoD isn’t lying materially. The Tomahawk may be slow, but it ain’t inaccurate while subsequent reports from Syria indicated missiles landing 10s of kms from the target. So WTF happened here?

    Well, the critical coefficients in this case would those representing the target’s defences. If the USM’s Salvo Model coefficients are in fact wildly off the mark, it specifically looks like their value for coefficient RhoB (Distraction Countermeasures Effectiveness) failed to include some critical element that, in the event, sent 36/59 (>60%) Tomahawks astray. If I’m reading Andrei’s models right, and if the USN calculated that 50-60 hits would destroy the base, their Salvo Model should have told them to send ~150 Tomahawks to do the job. It apparently didn’t, so the message backfired.

    I realize this is idle speculation, but if something like that happened, a message certainly got sent… to Washington. IE:“Don’t try this again, kids. It’s all fun ‘n games until somebody loses CENTCOM”.

  213. Erebus says:
    @FB

    Actually what I said and what would in reality happen is that the S400 battalions [we don't actually know how many there are...] would start moving long before that first ‘salvo’…

    Sorry to butt in here, but if I’m reading Andrei right, he’s saying the opposite about the S3/400 installations at Khmeimim. These have a specific 24/7 job to protect the base, and not simply to avoid getting hit or to provide a wide area “no-fly zone”. If there are S3/400s providing wide area AD in Syria (I don’t know offhand), they probably are mandated to change location occasionally whether threatened or not. There may well be such wide area S3/400s offering a first line of defence to Khmeimim. It’s this versatility that makes them especially attractive, and why everyone’s lining up to get them some.

    Anyway, moving base specific S3/400s would mean compromising base defense for at least that period of time that they were on the road. An adversary would know this and if he expected them to move he would simply mix missile types and salvo timing accordingly. Make the S3/400s move, and while they’re moving nail the base.

    So, they are stationary, at least in the short term and any movement would have to be planned to minimize the temporary shortfall in defensive capability.

    Or if they would even consider it a realistic option in the first place…

    The Pantsirs were installed specifically to dissuade them from so considering it.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FB
  214. FB says:
    @Erebus

    Thanks for jumping into the discussion…

    ‘…if I’m reading Andrei right, he’s saying the opposite about the S3/400 installations at Khmeimim. These have a specific 24/7 job to protect the base, and not simply to avoid getting hit or to provide a wide area “no-fly zone”…’

    ‘…If there are S3/400s providing wide area AD in Syria (I don’t know offhand), they probably are mandated to change location occasionally whether threatened or not…’

    The pertinent observation here is that we do not know how many actual pieces of Russian air defense equipment are in Syria…

    However it is known that a base S400 [aka SA21] unit is one battalion, which consists of eight to 12 launchers [Transporter Erector Launcher...]…this is the large 8 x 8 truck that carries four launch tubes per truck…

    We can safely assume that at least one battalion was originally deployed to Syria…since this is the base operational unit of both personnel and hardware…it would be inconceivable that some kind of piece smaller than that would be deployed since the battalion is designed to operate as a single unit…

    The public domain pictures that Andrei showed of a single S400 TEL dug in on the base may in fact be ‘parked’ there…although we cannot know if even that one TEL actually stays there all the time, or whether it performs the regular patrols that any mobile SAM unit is designed to do…these patrols are part of the normal operation to ensure crew proficiency and to operational readiness…

    So can safely assume seven to 11 more TELs as part of that battalion that are almost certainly doing what this system was designed to do…ie nearly continuous patrols and exercises…

    Of course we do not know if only one battalion was deployed, even in that original deployment back in November 2015…although we can assume here that it was one battalion…

    A second S400 battalion was deployed this year at Maysaf, Hama governorate…after the Shayrat strike…

    Jane’s website has some imagery…we notice thety have identified four TELs here…but as noted already…there would be at least eight, possibly 12…

    https://web.archive.org/web/20171002012653/http://www.janes.com/article/74500/second-russian-s-400-in-syria-confirmed

    Also important to note that a long-range SAM does not need to be on the airfield in order to protect it…it’s missile range is up to 400 km, so it could protect the base just as effectively from a remote location…

    Terrain and mobility both figure prominently in a SAM’s ability to protect a target…this is especially true of the radars…which gain advantage with height…

    Other aspects come into it as well…such as the probable ingress routes and flight paths of attacking aircraft or cruise missiles [which as I stated previously should be considered self-guided aircraft...]

    The air defense components such as TELs and radars would be placed in the most advantageous position…to be more precise, the battalion command would work out a plan that combines both mobility and placement along those most advantageous routes…

    ‘…Anyway, moving base specific S3/400s would mean compromising base defense for at least that period of time that they were on the road. An adversary would know this and if he expected them to move he would simply mix missile types and salvo timing accordingly. Make the S3/400s move, and while they’re moving nail the base…’

    I think my above comments address that…most people in the general public assume that an S400 consists of just one of those big trucks with the launch tubes…in fact there are at least eight…this kind of information is not provided in the media because, as I have pointed out alreay, the people writing this crap are totally incapable of understanding technical matters…

    ‘…Actually, I’ve been wondering about Shayrat in light of Andrei’s models…’

    Well…I think you know by now what I think of Andrei’s models…

    These kinds of models…including many that are much more sophisticated and take mobility into account [unlike the simple salvo model...]…are the domain of the theoretician and academic…not the practitioner…

    There is more than enough real-world experience with TLAMs and ALCMs and other standoff weapons that coming up with a strike plan would not require any consideration of computer models…

    Andrei’s exclusive reliance on such constructs was to me one of the very problematic aspects of his argument…

    Based on your own comments regarding resonance [a complex field of applied physics]…I suspect you have the background to understand the idea that computer simulations are just one part of the scientific method…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  215. FB says:
    @Erebus

    [just posted an unfinished comment by accident...again...]

    ‘… I don’t buy the idea that the missiles were intentionally mis-targeted because this strike was “just symbolic” or intended only to “send a message”…’

    Of course not…can you imagine a USN commander who has been given the green light to conduct a missile strike also getting the instruction to ‘miss on purpose’…?

    That is preposterous…and not just for the USN but for any military on earth…missing on purpose is not what military men do…they get ahead by being effective killers…this is a killing business after all…

    Of course there will be a certain segment of the population who choose not to think with their own head…they will believe whatever makes them feel good…

    ‘…The Tomahawk may be slow, but it ain’t inaccurate…

    Exactly…I promised to get into detailed look at what makes a Tomahawk tick and still plan to do so…

    But for now it is enough to say that even during the first Gulf war in 1990…the TLAM CEP [circular error probably was on the order of 10 to 20 meters...[33 to 66 ft]…considering also the substantial warhead of 1,000 lb [450 kg]…this will do a lot of damage…

    ‘…subsequent reports from Syria indicated missiles landing 10s of kms from the target. So WTF happened here?…’

    Again…this is an important question that has not been tackled in a serious way by anyone that I am aware of…

    We can not be certain of exactly what happened, since we do not have access to sensitive information from either the Russians, nor the US…nor does anyone who is willing to talk…

    That does not mean that we cannot bring considerable light on this question…we can do more than just speculate…

    But this is something that cannot be summed up in one sentence or paragraph…I have said here that I will do my best to explore this question in a serious way…

    Square one is to begin by explaining exactly how the Tomahawk works…

    As for the Pantsirs…we really have no idea how many are there…what we do know is that this is a self-defense system for the big guns like the S300/400 etc…

    Although it is also a very capable SAM of its own…

    Judging by the Pantsir’s technical specs…it should be very capable of bringing down cruise missiles with a very high single shot kill percentage…

    A competent pilot in a fighter jet can also knock down a cruise missiles with one shot…the cruise missile is basically a subsonic airplane that is incapable of maneuvering [low thrust to weight...high wing loading...] and has no defensive countermeasures…not even a radar warning receiver [RWR] that a fighter jet has…

    Considering the at least squadron strength of modern fighters at Hmeimim…I would say that just those aircraft and the Pantsirs there could knock down a ‘salvo’ of 120 TLAMs which Andrei suggests as the saturation threshold for that base…

    But that’s another story…I will give the [perhaps technically longwinded explanation] behind that scenario as we examine the issue in more detail…

    In the meantime, I appreciate the questions [and in fact head-on challenges from Andrei if he is still interested...]

  216. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    Thanks for your questions about the Kosovo air campaign…

    ‘…That’s interesting point of view. Milosevic regime lost, its enemy won, but Serbian military strategy was successful…Quite interesting, actually…’

    Actually…the result of the conflict was not nearly that clear-cut…even from a political perspective…which I will address first, before getting to the military result…

    First we refer to wikipedia…[a very politicized source...but nevertheless a good starting point...]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_bombing_of_Yugoslavia

    We note first of all the wiki ‘template’ of covering battles and military conflicts…these always feature a summary box on the top right of the page, where various points are summarized…starting with…

    1. Date

    2. Location

    3. Result

    4. Territorial changes

    This is the standard format for every military conflict on wiki…

    The ‘Result’ part states either a ‘victory’…’decisive victory’…’indecisive’… or some treaty or treaties that were then signed by the belligerents…

    We note that in the Result category…there is no mention of a victory for either side…here we see first a reference to the Kumanovo Agreement…a military-technical agreement between the belligerents which concluded the war…

    However…legal experts have questioned the validity of this agreement due to the fact that it was ‘coreced’ by use of force…

    ‘…it is doubtful whether the Kumanovo Agreement can be considered valid according to Article 52 of the VCLT [Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties], which states that ‘a treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations’…

    The legal arguments continue that in fact to remedy the legal issues arising what is needed is for Status of Forces Agreement to be entered into with Belgrade…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumanovo_Agreement

    We note here that Kosovo is still legally Serbian territory…although some [including wikipedia and the rest of the Western media prefer to label it as 'disputed'...

    We note that Kosovo is not a UN member state...ie it is legally not a country...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo#Independence

    The most important political result however was the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1244...which affirms the territorial integrity of Serbia [then still called Yugoslavia...]

    Page 2 of UNSC 1244 states…

    ‘…Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia …’

    And Paragraph 4…

    ‘…Confirms that after the withdrawal an agreed number of Yugoslav and
    Serb military and police personnel will be permitted to return to Kosovo
    to perform the functions in accordance with annex 2…’</blockquote

    And Paragraph 9 (b) states…

    ‘…Demilitarizing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups…’

    And Annex 2, Paragraph 6…

    ‘…After withdrawal, an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serbian personnel will be permitted to return to perform the following functions…

    [including]…Maintaining a presence at key border crossings…’

    https://undocs.org/S/RES/1244(1999)

    UNSC 1244 also calls for ‘substantial autonomy’ for Kosovo…the term itself implies Serb sovereign authority over Kosovo…just as Catalonia enjoys autonomy within Spain…[at least for now...]

    So what we see in fact is a political victory of sorts for Milosevic…legally, Kosovo remains part of Serbia…which is what Milosevic fought for…

    Serbia legally maintains control of the Kosovo borders…[although not in practice...]

    So Serbia certainly did not ‘lose’ the Kosovo war even in the political sense…UNSC 1244 was clearly less than what the US wanted…ie legal secession of Kosovo…that still has not happened…nor can it happen until and unless the UNSC says so…

    We recall that only the UNSC has the legal authority to recognize an entity that secedes…which then allows that new country then obtains membership in the UN…

    For example both Kosovo and Palestine are on equal footing when it comes to legal status…

    However…we see that the US has grossly violated the 1244 resolution…no Serbian security forces have been allowed to return, never mind control the borders…

    The US is of course in gross violation of international law as usual…as in the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003…and the bombing of Serbia in 1999 to begin with…

    However the Western narrative of whatever happens in the world is the one that most people are exposed to…not to say inundated with…

    And key facts and details are willfully obscured by the information services…

    I will get to the military specifics in my next comment…but I would guess that some of these details on the political dimensions are perhaps new and useful information for you in any case..

  217. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    [my previous reply got truncated probably due to an editing error of my own...]

    So just to sump the question of the political outcome of the Nato-Serbia war I will just add a couple of relevant quotes from the UNSC Resolution 1244 I linked to previously…

    https://undocs.org/S/RES/1244(1999)

    In the ‘preamble’ on page 2…

    ‘…Reaffirming the commitment of all [UN] Member States to the sovereignty andterritorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia…’

    This is the meat and potatoes of the matter…we recall that a UN Security Council Resolution is the final word on international law…

    This explicit recognition of the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia [now Serbia] is what Milosevic was fighting for…it means simply that Kosovo remains a part of Serbia…

    Pragraph 4 states…

    ‘…Confirms that after the withdrawal an agreed number of Yugoslav and
    Serb military and police personnel will be permitted to return to Kosovo to
    perform the functions in accordance with annex 2…

    And in Annex 2 we find the ‘fine print’…Paragraph 6…

    ‘…Yugoslav and Serbian personnel will be permitted to return to perform the following functions:…Maintaining a presence at key border crossings…

    That means that Serbia gets to be in control of with states neighboring the Kosovo province…

    All of this amounts to Serbia in fact achieving its political goals…

    I will return to the military question and your specific questions on that shortly…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  218. peterAUS says:
    @FB

    Well….first, appreciate civilized and measured reply, which, itself, is a quality here.

    I would guess that some of these details on the political dimensions are perhaps new and useful information for you in any case..

    You would guess wrong.
    I carefully followed the conflict at the time, with communicating with actual people on the ground.BOTH sides.
    Both military and civilians.
    Since then, for obvious reasons, have kept studying the conflict.
    Also been keeping in touch with people on the ground. Actually, Serb wise, not so much on the ground anymore…..got ethnically cleansed from their land. With their churches burned, property taken…. the usual Balkan stuff.
    As for this:

    All of this amounts to Serbia in fact achieving its political goals…

    I really couldn’t disagree more with your perception of “winners/losers” in that conflict.

    Before you get into “military question” a clarification, if I may.

    Don’t want to get personal on Internet, but some information is desired before going into that type of chat.

    For my part, briefly, I went through some military/civilian education chain, spent some time in military, achieved some rank and, among other duties, was a staff officer and a C.O. of a,say, battalion sized unit.
    Have some combat experience too.
    How about you?

  219. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    Let me now address your questions about the military aspects of the Nato-Serbia war…

    I had said…

    ‘…In short, the US attempt to defeat Serbian air defenses did not succeed…’

    You replied…

    ‘…That’s one way to look at it…Another is that it succeeded well enough to deliver the objective of that “military enterprise”…’

    And…

    ‘…To a layman (of sort) it looks as quite effective suppression of air defence.
    What am I missing here?…’

    To cite Lambeth…

    ‘…NATO never fully succeeded in neutralizing the Serb IADS, and NATO aircraft operating over Serbia and Kosovo were always within the engagement envelopes of enemy SA-3 and SA-6 missiles— envelopes that extended as high as 50,000 feet…’

    ‘…The persistence of a credible SAM threat throughout the Kosovo air war meant that NATO had to dedicate a larger-than-usual number of strike sorties to the SEAD mission to ensure reasonable freedom to operate in enemy airspace….’

    We note here that the point of a SEAD mission is to allow the bombers and ground attack aircraft to get to work without worry of getting shot down…

    Ie those bombers and attack aircraft are tasked with actually degrading or defeating the enemy military on the ground…destroying important military targets…weapons etc…

    But Nato did not succeed in inflicting any serious damage on the Serb military…as Andrew points out…

    ‘…Serbia retained its ground combat strength, in the face of overwhelming air power…’

    Here again are the links to Lambeth and Andrew…

    http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-16_Issue-1-4/sum02.pdf

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-04.html#mozTocId831933

    ‘…Do I read this as AAA and MANPADS were a major threat for ground attack air assets at the time, too? Or just for fighters ?…I mean, you can always have a couple of roaming trucks with AAA and MANPADS anywhere to create a threat. Looks, to me, that it was (or is) not so much about the actual threat but domestic “perception management” related to possible casualties…’

    Here is Lambeth again…

    ‘…Serb air defenders also sought to sucker NATO aircrews down to lower altitudes to bring them within the lethal envelopes of widely proliferated man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) and AAA emplacements. A common Serb tactic involved firing on the last aircraft in a departing strike formation, perhaps on the presumption that those aircraft would be unprotected by other fighters; flown by less experienced pilots; and low on fuel, which would limit their freedom to countermaneuver…’

    Triple A and manpads are always a threat at low level…and there is no real way to take those out as you point out…manpads can be dealt with by countermeasures like chaff to deceive the infrared seekers on those missiles…to various degrees of effectiveness…

    Triple A defense is basically pilot maneuvering…ie get the hell out of there…or the airplane’s ability to withstand punishment…Lambeth notes that several A10 ground attack jets were pretty beat up [despite their armor]…some of them likely never flew again, so they would rightly count as kills…

    But the problem was the credible threat posed by the Serb SA6 mobile SAMs…these can reach a lot higher than manpads…and as Lambeth points out…they forced the hand for NATO air tactics to less than ideal…

    Your question about the ballistic SAM shots…

    These were meant as simply putting up a lot of flak…they obviously had little chance of hitting anything…but it would again force the hand in terms of the attacker’s tactics…

    They were unguided by radar because the Serb tactic was to control radio emissions…which would allow for targeting…as Lambeth points out…

    ‘…The understandable reluctance of enemy SAM operators to emit and thus render themselves cooperative targets made them much harder to find and attack, forcing allied aircrews to remain constantly alert to the radar-guided SAM threat through-out the war… This situation also had the effect of denying some high-risk targets for a time, increasing force-package size, and increasing overall requirements for SEAD sorties…’

    Bottom line is that very little Serb military was actually destroyed…nobody counts this war as a ‘victory’ for Nato…the Serbs caved because of the heavy damage to civilian infrastructure…more on that in below…

    The result in a nutshell is that the Serbs put up an effective defense with what little they had…a lot of valuable targets were denied, and Nato basically turned to intentional bombing of civilian infrastructure…

    This included power plants, factories and even hospitals and schools…the large petrochemical plants near Belgrade were particularly devastating due to release of toxic chemical into the Danube and Sava rivers…

    We recall also that the Chinese embassy was bombed…and even the Serbian television station, which Nato openly admitted to bombing, claiming it as legitimate…

    Even a look at the wiki page says this [in the summary box, under 'Result'...

    '...Heavy destruction of Yugoslavia's economy and infrastructure...'

    That sentence has three citations for further reading...[incidentally, it is always a good idea to look up the wiki references...]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_bombing_of_Yugoslavia

    I had occasion to visit Belgrade two years ago and several large office buildings in the heart of the city…in fact right across from the national parliament…were still standing wrecks…

  220. peterAUS says:

    the point of a SEAD mission is to allow the bombers and ground attack aircraft to get to work without worry of getting shot down…

    That’s one way to look at it.
    The another is to minimize the threat to within acceptable level.
    The acceptable level depends, first and foremost, on the “military enterprise” objective given by policy makers.
    Or, in simple terms: more risk/casualties go with more important objective.

    ‘…The understandable reluctance of enemy SAM operators to emit and thus render themselves cooperative targets made them much harder to find and attack, forcing allied aircrews to remain constantly alert to the radar-guided SAM threat through-out the war… This situation also had the effect of denying some high-risk targets for a time, increasing force-package size, and increasing overall requirements for SEAD sorties…’

    That’s one way to look at it.
    The another is to see that as an effective suppression of those SAMs.

    Bottom line is that very little Serb military was actually destroyed…nobody counts this war as a ‘victory’ for Nato…the Serbs caved because of the heavy damage to civilian infrastructure.

    Perhaps you could take a look at some writing of Clausewitz?

    How about we both accept we have different perceptions of reality here and move off this topic?

    • Replies: @FB
  221. Sounds like a bit of a cop out to me. You’ve jumped in with both feet wearing military issue boots (no doubt size XXL) then tried pulling rank, then diversions (what did Clausewitz have to say about SEAD BTW?) and now it’s time to move on. Dinner time or something like that?

    I’m left wondering if you dusted off the old uniform and donned it just to get in the military mood to type better? Do please let me know. Thanks.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @peterAUS
  222. Erebus says:
    @FB

    The pertinent observation here is that we do not know how many actual pieces of Russian air defense equipment are in Syria…

    Frankly, I’m not sure how pertinent it is. We may not know the number, but we can be pretty sure that the number is a fraction of the number of assets the USM can throw at them. Andrei’s point was that the…

    … US can unleash whatever it has at its conventional disposal at Khmeimim and it will eventually overwhelm whatever the Russians have there…

    That can probably be applied across Syria, and not just Khmeimim. Without any modelling, if there’s (say) 500 S3/400s in Syria, then attacking Russia’s Syrian bases, ports, command & control assets with 2000 Tomahawks and 1000 F16/B1/B2s (or whatever number’s appropriate), pretty much guarantees those installations will be destroyed. In that scenario, Russia’s Syrian contingent would simply run out of bullets before the USM runs out of things for the Russians to shoot at. It may be a moot point, but I don’t see how one would quarrel with it, or why.

    As this is already well known by all, the above indicates that the Russian AD complexes in Syria aren’t there to thwart a massive attack, but to thwart “rogue” and “symbolic” attacks of the Shayrat sort. In colloquial terms, the S3/400s force the US to go big or go home. In chess terms, their presence puts the US in zugzwang. It’s their move, but the US can’t respond without damaging its geo-political position.

    A mass attack may sound nuts, but consider that Russia’s entry into Syria presents an existential choice for the Hegemon. Since the early ’90s, the primary tenet of US foreign policy and of its defence posture has been the prevention of the rise of any rival who could challenge its Global Hegemony. That that tenet is in the process of being lost in Syria has dawned on Washington, and if losing a few 100 planes and a few 1000 missiles was the total price for holding on to it, they’d have paid it long ago.
    However, the price would in fact be an order of magnitude, or more, higher. The 800lb gorilla, the reason the US hasn’t attacked en masse, is simply Russia’s ability to inflict damage from well beyond the USM’s reach on USM assets supporting said attack.
    Cooler heads know that Peters’ desire to “keep it in Syria” would vaporize shortly after launch. By the time the first 1000 Tomahawks were halfway to their targets, Kalibrs from the Caspian and X-101s from somewhere over the Urals would be on their super-sonic way to CENTCOM, Manama, and ??? with no way to stop them. That prospect, and not moving S3/400s around, forced the USM to stand down.

    With that price in mind, the calculus is obvious. Better to be a chastened Hegemon with M.E. assets intact, than a deeply damaged Hegemon with most of its M.E. assets vaporized. Russia can’t lose much, but the US would lose its presence in the M.E., and with that its Exceptional Hegemony would go into life-support.

    Both sides would have gamed this out and it seems they came to the same conclusions. Russia’s stand off weapons assured that there was no way the USM could stop Russia’s military-political-diplomatic agenda in the Middle East without taking the fight to the Russian homeland, and that remains a bridge too far (Ralph Peters et al notwithstanding).

    As for computer models, I’ve done enough FEA work to know that in theory, theory and practice are the same. But in practice, they’re not. :-)

    • Replies: @FB
  223. FB says:

    Without any modelling, if there’s (say) 500 S3/400s in Syria, then attacking Russia’s Syrian bases, ports, command & control assets with 2000 Tomahawks and 1000 F16/B1/B2s (or whatever number’s appropriate), pretty much guarantees those installations will be destroyed.

    Well…now you have switched the subject from your previous questions and my answers thereto…without any comment or critique on what I actually presented…

    But let’s say this scenario were to happen…the US unleashes a huge salvo of cruise missiles against the ‘Syrian bases, ports, command & control assets’…which ‘pretty much guarantees those installations will be destroyed…’

    Not so fast…60 T-hawks did very little damage to one decrepit Syrian base…[I have started on that discussion and there is much more to consider...]

    Let me just direct you to two articles…the first talks a little about how one might defend such targets against T-hawks…including electronic warfare and shooting them down with Pantsirs…

    http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/focus-analysis/naval-technology/5112-tomahawk-cruise-missiles-proved-to-be-difficult-targets-for-russian-electronic-warfare-system.html

    The second is more technical and talks about the Pantsir design and history…

    http://ausairpower.net/APA-96K6-Pantsir-2K22-Tunguska.html

    We note that a Pantsir is a small self-contained vehicle, short range SAM and AAA…all mounted on a single high-mobility chassis and using its own AESA radar [active electronically scanned array]

    We note also that a Syrian Pantsir killed a Turkish F4 jet five years ago with a single shot…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantsir-S1#Operational_history

    Those would be protecting such sites as well a the big SAMs…

    ‘…Originally Soviet strategic missile systems had been placed in fixed, hardened sites. Newer systems such as the S-300PS/PM (SA-10/20) on the other hand was much more mobile which reduced its vulnerabilities to attack, However, once the S-300 unit was found by enemy forces it was still very vulnerable to precision weapon systems. One of the roles for the Pantsir-S is to provide air defence to the S-300 missile systems…’

    Is all my discussion of mobility now starting to make some sense to at least somebody out there…?

    And that is not even to mention how the T-hawks can be severely messed with by EW…[I was going to get to that too...but somehow I keep covering the same ground over and over...]

    My previous comment was in reply to your question about whether the S400 at Hmeimim would stay put or disperse…

    I pointed out that an S400 battalion consists of up to 12 TELs [Transporter Erector Launchers]…so the one TEL that may or may not be parked at Hmeimim would make no real difference anyway, even in the unlikely situation that it chose not to disperse and remain a sitting duck…as some people seem to posit…

    I wish someone would actually read [or at least scan] those two expert and peer-reviewed papers I linked to on Operation Allied Force [OAF]…

    http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-16_Issue-1-4/sum02.pdf

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-04.html

    You don’t have to go very far into either one to get some information that is useful to your question about the ‘parked’ S400 at Hmeimim…

    In Lambeth, in the fifth paragraph we find this…

    ‘…Before the initial strikes, there were reports of a large-scale dispersal of SA-3 and SA-6 batteries from nearly all of the known garrisons…’

    And From Andrew…right in the exeuctive summary…

    ‘…Operation Allied Force showed mobility was the key element to survivability, as the fourth part of this paper shows…’

    And…

    ‘…The first key lesson the campaign produced, was that an opposing ground force must be driven out from cover, to induce the concentration of force required to facilitate efficient targeting and destruction by firepower…

    ‘…The second key lesson of the war was the effectiveness of the passive air defence measures, especially mobility and decoys…’

    And this…

    ‘…The Russian military certainly took notice of Operation Allied Force and this is reflected in fundamental doctrinal and technological changes in their approach to operating and designing air defence systems…

    And…

    ‘…the biggest lesson learnt by Russian strategists was the need to be able to ‘shoot and scoot’…’

    This is why I kicked off the discussion with OAF…it was one of those watershed conflicts in air combat that resulted in rethinking of many aspects of such warfare…OAF is still the go-to case study today in any consideration of air combat against a modern integrated air defense system…[IADS]

    In other words there is a straight line from OAF to the current Russian air defense systems and operational doctrine…

    So clearly the overriding lesson of OAF was mobility…that is clearly beyond any dispute…

    The Russian lesson from this was that they worked extremely hard on getting shoot and scoot down to five minutes on their big SAMs…ie S400 etc…the smaller point defense SAM/AAA like Pantsir have actually been given the ability to engage and shoot while on the move…

    The S400 deployment time was reduced from 10 to 15 minutes during development [10 to 15 is what the previous generation S300 could do...] to just five minutes…cutting those last 10 minutes must surely have been a huge effort…

    And likewise the crew training that goes hand in hand with that…

    As I said in my comments previously…the point of SEAD is to be able to clear a path in the sky for the actual strike aircraft to get to work destroying ground targets [ie bombers and ground attack aircraft]…

    Just reading Lambeth and Andrew one can gain some insight into this subject very quickly…Lambeth starts with a review of the very effective SEAD operation in the first Iraq war…

    ‘…the coalition’s initial SEAD attacks focused on neutralizing Iraq’s radar-directed medium- and high-altitude SAMs with AGM-88 high-speed antiradiation missiles (HARM) so as to open up a sanctuary for coalition aircraft above 10,000 feet…’

    You need that safe corridor in order for any ground attack to be successful…

    As for launching a massive salvo of Tomahawks…I think I have dwelt on that enough…it has no place in any serious discussion on this subject…

    Let me ask you a question…what do you think would happen if the US did decide to launch 2,000 Tomahawks…[out of the 3,500 total they have...ie two thirds of their cruise missile capability]

    ‘…As of 2015, the United States Navy has a stockpile of around 3,500 Tomahawk cruise missiles of all variants, with a combined cost of approximately US $2.6 billion…’

    https://thediplomat.com/2015/03/us-subs-getting-firepower-boost/

    And my follow-up question is what do you think those T-hawks would hit…any S400, Pantsir components etc…?

    PS: USAF has 795 total F16s…and where would they fly from…?[only a small fraction are SEAD aircraft...]

    in the war against Serbia Nato aircraft flew from Aviano base in Italy…a flight distance of just under 400 miles [640 km]…

    US would almost certainly not get permission from Turkey to fly from their territory…even Qatar is questionable…

    but even if they did get the OK to attack Russia… the distance from Doha to Latakia is nearly 1,200 miles [1,900 km]…

    That is a distance greater than the combat radius of any US strike or fighter aircraft…even with full external fuel…in-flight refueling for an armada of 1,000 aircraft…? [would like to see that]

    Only other option is Akrotiri RAF base in Cyprus…this only has two runways and could certainly not support any kind of large air operation…any more than the single Russian airfield at Hmeimim…Even that is nearly 600 miles [950 km]…

    That’s 50 percent farther than Aviano-Belgrade…Lambeth pointed out that a lot of SEAD [and strike missions for that matter] were hampered by fuel considerations…two instead of four Harms could be carried for instance…etc…

    That leaves only carriers…I was going to get into that interesting discussion because there are certainly a lot of Russian generals who would love to throw the formidable forces they have developed with the single goal of destroying carriers…

  224. FB says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    …what did Clausewitz have to say about SEAD BTW?. .

    Thanks for that injection of common sense into this ‘discussion’…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  225. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…the Russian AD complexes in Syria aren’t there to thwart a massive attack, but to thwart “rogue” and “symbolic” attacks of the Shayrat sort…’

    I have to categorically disagree with this…

    My entire discussion, starting with OAF and Serbia was to show how difficult it is to actually achieve an effective SEAD…even against a very small and technically primitive force…

    Serbia had far less SAMs than what Russia has in Syria today [not to mention several generations behind in technology]…and yet a 1,000 aircraft armada was not able to fully suppress it after 78 days…

    ‘…Russia’s entry into Syria presents an existential choice for the Hegemon…’

    Agree fully with this…the stakes are very high…

    ‘…if losing a few 100 planes and a few 1000 missiles was the total price for holding on to it, they’d have paid it long ago…’

    Have to disagree with this one, although the numbers you present of possible US aircraft and missile losses if it attacked Russia in Syria are actually realistic…

    US can’t afford to lose that much…it’s [self-generated] reputation as the ruler of the skies would be put to rest once and for all…

    Even the two F117 kills in Serbia made a huge dent in that reputation…

    But the reason the price is not worth paying, is because even with all those losses the US could not remove the Russians from Syria and take control of the airspace…

    That is of course my take on it…[call it opinion if you want, but I believe I am actually arguing that case very soundly...]

    That is the whole crux of the matter…the million dollar question…

    Could the US drive Russia out of there even if they wanted to…?

    My answer is no…while others are arguing that yes they could…but the retaliation would be too high a price…

    I will just say…please make up your own minds when I have finished presenting my entire case…

    I started off by pointing out the obvious flaw of Mr. Martyanov’s scenario…that cruise missiles work against SAMs…they don’t…never have, never will…especially mobile SAMs…

    Now I am having to go over the exact same ground again and again, without finishing up the rest of the story if you will…

    I also strongly disagree with the notion that the Russians would attack US targets willy nilly…just for the sake of retaliation…

    In the case of a SEAD operation [which as I posit is highly unlikely, simply because it has no chance of success]…the Russians would hit back only at the attacking elements…

    that would be the aircraft carrying out the sorties…and the carriers launching those sorties…

    It would also include hitting any nearby foreign airfield supporting those operations…

    It would not get into retaliating at ‘targets’ of opportunity that are unrelated to the US attack…

    That is a sure way towards possibly uncontrollable escalation…which neither the Russians nor US want…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  226. peterAUS says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    what did Clausewitz have to say about SEAD BTW

    Bottom line is that very little Serb military was actually destroyed…nobody counts this war as a ‘victory’ for Nato…the Serbs caved because of the heavy damage to civilian infrastructure.

    War is the continuation of politics by other means.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  227. peterAUS says:
    @FB

    There is an interesting trend here.

    Declaring defeats as victories.

    Reeks of desperation.

    Facts are “massaged” to fit the agenda. Sounds familiar?
    Seeing that on “alt-right” side is…….interesting.

    An American analyst with an axe to grind simply uses wrong examples.

    The “intervention” in Kosovo/Serbia/Rum Yugoslavia was a success for Clinton administration.
    The very first “humanitarian intervention”. The template.

    West/Albanians won.
    Russia/Serbs lost.

    Not seeing and accepting that is, well….delusional.

    Fear not. I’ve spent quite some time discussing the issue with Serb military personnel. Same attitude.
    And Albanians, for that matter. They also believe they won.

    Now, Serb military people believe they won.
    Serb civilians from Kosovo, even Serbia proper don’t share the sentiment.
    Especially those ethnically cleansed. From Croatia, through Bosnia to the latest event.

    But, at least, in Serbs case one can understand the rage, desperation and humiliation and, for the sake of “mental health” accept their attitude.
    But seeing that from Americans, on “alt-right” side, well….that’s quite something.

    • Replies: @FB
  228. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    I had cited Lambeth…

    [in reply to your previous objection wherein you questioned my contention that the Nato SEAD operation was not effective and did not ultimately succeed...]

    ‘…The understandable reluctance of enemy SAM operators to emit and thus render themselves cooperative targets made them much harder to find and attack, forcing allied aircrews to remain constantly alert to the radar-guided SAM threat through-out the war… This situation also had the effect of denying some high-risk targets for a time, increasing force-package size, and increasing overall requirements for SEAD sorties…’

    You replied…

    ‘…That’s one way to look at it…The another is to see that as an effective suppression of those SAMs…’

    Fair enough…I’m willing to listen to your argument…please go ahead…

    I will note here the part of the Lambeth quote I highlighted…ie denying certain targets [at least for a time]…

    Also will note a couple of more Lambeth observations…

    ‘…Moreover, unlike the more permissive operating environment in Desert Storm, limitations to airspace availability typically made for high predictability on the part of attacking NATO aircraft…’

    With that statement we are getting away from the realm of opinion and into the the domain of fact…

    By definition…‘limitations to airspace availability’ means there is no SEAD accomplished…

    There is much more to quote and cite here and more technicalities to get into…but the fact that Nato was denied full control of airspace during the entire 78 duration of the campaign…means by definition that SEAD was less than successful…

    Of course there are degrees of ‘success’ and each individual’s interpretation is his or her prerogative…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  229. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    ‘…There is an interesting trend here.

    Declaring defeats as victories.

    Reeks of desperation.

    Facts are “massaged” to fit the agenda. Sounds familiar?…’

    thanks for keeping it ‘civil’…it was nice while it lasted…

    Let me first recap this discussion…the purpose of my being here is to shed some light on a very specific military/technical question…ie US kicking RF out of Syria…

    I started off with OAF [Nato-Serbia war]…because, as I already pointed out…it is instructive for the scope of this specific discussion…

    [In fact it is considered a watershed conflict in the context of the study of air power vs air defense...as I also previously pointed out...and has been instrumental in the subsequent development of technology and tactics...this is beyond dispute in any credible circle involving air combat]

    You jumped in arguing first that the Nato SEAD operation was indeed successful…based on the fact that US political objectives were achieved…

    I responded by putting up some factual info, including the text of UNSC Resolution 1244, arguing that this ‘political victory’ was in fact questionable

    Now I find myself embroiled in having to defend this position, which actually has nothing to do with the narrow scope of the discussion I have embarked on…

    I do not want to get into that discussion…

    My opinion is simple…and so are the facts…

    UNSC 1244 guarantees the ‘territorial integrity’ of Serbia…that is an absolute fact that is beyond any dispute…if you want to argue that then I will not respond further on this because it is a derailment of my core discussion…

    The Serbs and Milosevic decided to fight because they would not agree to voluntarily recognize Kosovo independence…that is also a fact…see the Rambouillet ultimatum…

    After a 78 day air campaign that was actually bigger than Desert Storm in its air component…the US accepted the ‘territorial integrity’of Serbia…and even that Serbia would control its borders, including within Kosovo…

    the fact that the US has trampled on UNSC 1244 does not make the letter of the law any less valid…

    Israel has likewise continued to trample UNSC resolutions for more than 50 years…but for how much longer…?

    Anyway this is all irrelevant…

    My mistake was going for your bait in the first place and allowing the discussion to get sidetracked…

    If you want to stand on your argument that the Nato SEAD operation in Serbia was ‘successful’ because of the way you choose to interpret the political outcome and UNSC 1244, then I will not contest that any longer…

    My goal was simply to bring OAF into the context of the current issue…ie a US attack on Russia in Syria…

    the basic point being that NATO never managed to neutralize the mobile SAM threat throughout the 78 day campaign…and this is a fact accepted by every credible expert…

    This is a useful starting point for the discussion in Syria…

    Thank You..

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @peterAUS
  230. peterAUS says:
    @FB

    Well….O.K.
    Let’s roll.

    You probably get who you are communicating with.

    I am getting an impression I am communicating with a “civilian”. Say, “academic type”.
    Intelligent, educated, well read…well researched…interested in topic(s).

    That’s on plus side.
    On the minus side no practical experience.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but that’s my premise here.

    Because this site is, IMHO, about presenting stuff here we go from my angle.

    I had cited Lambeth…

    I don’t cite much people when actual combat is concerned.
    I recollect my training exercises and real combat I was involved in.
    From running around to speaking with attached pilots.
    And the angle, SEAD wise, then and there was: the defense is suppressed enough so the attack on the primary objective can be successful.
    Key worda: primary objective and successful.
    Success is measured by achieving objective versus own casualties. As in any “military” engagement.
    Or, you lose one plane/pilot to destroy a tank. Not good.
    You lose one plane/pilot to destroy a main armament factory of the enemy. Good.

    I’m willing to listen to your argument…please go ahead…

    Reread what I wrote.
    In my book that is successful suppression.
    If it isn’t in yours it’s fine.

    By definition…‘limitations to airspace availability’ means there is no SEAD accomplished…

    No it does not.
    Limitation is not suppression.
    It’s “harder to do it but can be done” As it was being done.

    Nato was denied full control of airspace during the entire 78 duration of the campaign

    So what?
    NATO had enough control to accomplish its mission given by policy makers.
    THAT is what counts.
    That is why/how it was being done then.

    I’ll use infantry example so we can skip technicalities.

    There is an enemy shooter on a hill.
    MG fires on his position to suppress him, so the assault team can take the hill.
    Objective…..”take the hill”.
    Acceptable cost: none. If one man goes down we abort.

    We go. Every now and then the shooter on the hill pops up and fires a round. So….the assault team has “limitations”. Can’t just stroll to his position. Have to bound, crawl, wait for bursts, communicate….the works. But the attack goes.
    The shooter sees that they are closing. He gives up and retreats back.
    The assault team takes the hill.
    Objective accomplished.

    The squad moves in. The overall (platoon/company) attack goes on.

    Who won that little skirmish?
    Attackers didn’t even nick the shooter. They had “limitations” in taking the hill. They didn’t have “full control” of the approach.
    They accomplished the objective within given parameters.

    That is how military works.

    Compare that to this SEAD thing in Kosovo.
    If you want.

    The NATO objective was to take Kosovo from Serbia.
    Done with acceptable loses.

    The Serb objective was to retain Kosovo.
    Not done. With acceptable loses too.
    The regime in Belgrade correctly assumed that loses (especially infrastructure) will keep increasing above acceptable level.

    I think you see loses as ‘tanks and troops”.
    No.
    The loses are also railway stations, hospitals, bridges and bakeries.
    And the role of military is to prevent that.
    WAR.
    Not a battle.
    WAR.
    Clausewitz.

    Simple?

    • Replies: @FB
    , @NoseytheDuke
  231. peterAUS says:
    @FB

    If you want to stand on your argument that the Nato SEAD operation in Serbia was ‘successful’ because of the way you choose to interpret the political outcome and UNSC 1244, then I will not contest that any longer…

    Not quite.
    I measure the political outcome (again….Clausewitz) by seeing ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo.
    Except that enclave in the North. Occupied enclave.
    THAT is what only matters.

    Not some scholarly writings somewhere.
    Anywhere.

  232. peterAUS says:
    @FB

    the basic point being that NATO never managed to neutralize the mobile SAM threat throughout the 78 day campaign…and this is a fact accepted by every credible expert…

    If that is the basic point I do agree.
    And, to quote you

    Anyway this is all irrelevant…

    For Syria and the basic premise of the article I don’t much care, honestly.
    I am positive, should it get there it will go nuclear rather fast.
    And then SEAD and stuff won’t mean anything anymore.

    I got into the discussion because The Professor (and you, apparently) do know a lot about particular technicalities.
    My interest, though, isn’t in Syria but Iran, at this stage.

    So, simply trying to put those “technicalities” into big “Iranian” picture.
    And Yugoslav “example” feels closer than the Syrian.

  233. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    ‘…Well….O.K.

    Let’s roll.

    You probably get who you are communicating with…’

    Yes…I do indeed ‘get’ who I am communicating with…it becomes clearer by the minute…

    As for ‘let’s roll’…well…your ‘mileage’ may vary…

    [make sure to check your tire pressure before you 'roll' too far...]

    ‘…I am getting an impression I am communicating with a “civilian”. Say, “academic type”.Intelligent, educated, well read…well researched…interested in topic(s)…’

    I’m very glad to hear your ‘impression’…

    Thanks also for that analogy using ground combat…I will not question the authenticity of your stated credentials [while posting anonymously on a chat room]…

    As a mere ‘civilian’ I am certainly glad I have a chance to finally talk to someone who has been there and done that…

    ‘…I recollect my training exercises and real combat I was involved in.
    From running around to speaking with attached pilots…’

    ‘Unattached’ pilots are worth talking to also…especially if they are the opposite sex…

    But seriously…do tell more on this interaction with pilots…we could have much to discuss here…

    You can start with the context of those conversations…

    Any particular subject…?

    SEAD possibly…?

    Perhaps those pilots were tasked with ground support…?

    In all seriousness, this would be logical since your experience is in commanding a brigade-size ground unit if I recall correctly…

    So I would assume you would have been present at air crew mission briefings and post-mission debriefings…?

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @peterAUS
  234. peterAUS says:
    @FB

    ….your experience is in commanding a brigade-size ground unit if I recall correctly…

    Battalion.
    Staff officer in Corps size unit.

    So I would assume you would have been present at air crew mission briefings and post-mission debriefings…?

    Battalion: Recce. FACs. Transport.
    Helps in understanding attacker point of view SEAD wise.
    Corps:Planing/controlling of Corps size operations. Being a small part of it. As some “air” guys too. Worked together.
    Helps in understanding both attacker and defender point of view SEAD wise.

    Also, being there helps understanding a BIG picture.
    The only picture that matters.

    Subject matter experts are notorious about focusing on their toys.
    Mostly incapable of seeing the full picture.

    Often incapable of understanding that they are a minuscule part of a big setup.
    Of understanding what their expertise is really about and what for.

    Sounds familiar?

    I mean, I do get that some of you guys have a lot to say about particular topic.
    Frequencies, alloys, meters and such. Even only from books.
    That’s fine. Could be useful.

    You, at the other hand, would be wise to get that people would like you to get to the correct point/conclusion based on your facts.
    The problem is when conclusion is faulty.
    Then one starts doubting the facts.

    Sounds familiar?

    So, my interest. Iran.
    Neocon “military enterprise” against Iran.
    SEAD as minuscule part of that picture.
    The part where your expertise could be of use.

    Simple?

  235. peterAUS says:
    @FB

    Just to complete my train of thought for the moment.

    Comparison Yugoslavia/Iran (possible scenario). The reason I got into this thread.

    Neocons start their thing->Iran sends all its airplanes (as Iraq once upon a time) into friendly country. Say, Russia.
    Conclusion: Iran hasn’t a lost single plane/air battle in the war.
    Serbs, at least, did execute a suicide mission with Mig-29s.
    Respect.

    Iran keeps moving its mobile launchers around and most of the time don’t even emit anything, let alone fire at something.
    Conclusion:
    “..forcing allied aircrews to remain constantly alert to the radar-guided SAM threat through-out the war… This situation also had the effect of denying some high-risk targets for a time…”

    “US never managed to neutralize the mobile SAM threat throughout the 120 day campaign…and this is a fact accepted by every credible expert…”

    “Bottom line is that very little Iranian military was actually destroyed…nobody counts this war as a ‘victory’ for US…the Iranians caved because of the heavy damage to civilian infrastructure.”

    US air campaign destroys most of Iranian infrastructure->the regime accepts international mediation.

    Peace.

    Result: Iran put 30 years back.

    Iran won?
    US lost?

    Not bad.
    For neocons.

  236. FB says:

    Battalion: Recce. FACs. Transport.

    See…I told you we’d have stuff to talk about…

    So where you qualified as an FAC [forward air controller] yourself…or where the FACs merely under your command…?

    Helps in understanding attacker point of view SEAD wise.

    Not sure I follow this part…but I assume that you worked closely with an ALO…?

  237. peterAUS says:

    FACs merely under your command…?

    Merely.

    Helps in understanding attacker point of view SEAD wise.

    What is required, SEAD wise, to accomplish a mission.

    Mission is the key.
    SEAD is a very small part of the mission.
    And, it is much more time than space wise.

    In simple terms, attacker needs SEAD of certain level/type to accomplish the mission.

    US/Yugoslavia type:
    Say, the mission is to destroy a bridge of strategic importance.
    One plane is acceptable loss.
    The only SEAD of importance is along the route to and from the objective and around the objective.
    One plane lost, bridge destroyed.
    The defender can have total control of all the rest of the tactical space and all the time and even the objective space all other time…doesn’t matter.
    The mission is success. SEAD was achieved.

    Similar for defender.
    Not the same, but similar…..
    Anti-Assad force, for example:
    Say, the enemy (Russians) have total control of air space. Attacker mission is to hit a bridge (plant charges).
    The only important defense against air assets/attack is during the mission.To and from target and during the actual attack/assault on the object in fact. Actually, if done right, only during the attack and very briefly. The rest is about …..feints, surprise,hiding/running. Or more…unorthodox methods (say, hostages etc on the way out).Anyway.

    TIME is the key, not space.

    From tactical, through operational, to strategic level.

    Back to Iran.
    Objective: destroy a capital power plant. The only SEAD of importance is to and from the objective at the TIME of the mission, and around the objective, of course.
    After that, providing the plant is rendered unusable, Iran can have all the control of their tactical airspace all the time.
    Until the next attack.
    And next….and next….until the objective given by policy makers, is achieved.
    Say, pushing Iran back for 30 years.

    Clausewitz. MIC. Neocon paradigm. Whatever.

    So, that’s about a very brief overview and conclusion/point.

    Experts are now most welcome to get embroiled in frequency hopping, encryption…wafer/alloy production……and probability calculus.
    Altitudes, speeds, tactical/operational/strategic space…types of assets…..groupings, camouflage, visibility, optical aids …etc…etc.

    • Replies: @FB
  238. @peterAUS

    I must give you credit for guessing correctly that I truly relish a decent serving of irony. Writing that something “reeks of desperation” after writing the following delivered exactly that… thanks,

    “I really couldn’t disagree more with your perception of “winners/losers” in that conflict.

    Before you get into “military question” a clarification, if I may.

    Don’t want to get personal on Internet, but some information is desired before going into that type of chat.

    For my part, briefly, I went through some military/civilian education chain, spent some time in military, achieved some rank and, among other duties, was a staff officer and a C.O. of a,say, battalion sized unit.
    Have some combat experience too.
    How about you?”

    I can’t speak for FB but I rather suspect that he’d hoped you would make your point by arguing on the merits of your case, I certainly did. Anyway, thanks again for the chuckle.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  239. @peterAUS

    Are you sure it was Clausewitz that you studied and not Custer?

    • Replies: @FB
  240. peterAUS says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    Desperation: current state of affairs among some alt-right opponents of Empire/ZOG/Neocons/US/Anglo empire/whatever.

    Most likely a result of living under, or facing, a juggernaut with no feasible alternative/force to effectively stop it.

    Or, in simple words: we are fu&*ed and we can’t accept it.

    Based on that desperation a desire to believe in any delusion that helps alleviate the feeling.
    Common practice among defeated or about to be defeated.

    Among those delusions a deep belief in:

    …..the Serbian military strategy was successful….

    …Serbia in fact achieving its political goals…

    …nobody counts this war as a ‘victory’ for Nato…

    Lucky Serbs.
    Poor NATO.

    No wonder that “loses” as this keep the juggernaut going.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  241. @peterAUS

    I do hope that you weren’t initially issued one of those little entrenching tools when it’s quite clear that you prefer a shovel.

  242. FB says:

    ‘…I do hope that you weren’t initially issued one of those little entrenching tools when it’s quite clear that you prefer a shovel…’

    Aww come on Nosey…

    You gotta think of the folks reading this who might just drop their taco…

  243. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    What is required, SEAD wise, to accomplish a mission.

    Mission is the key.

    SEAD is a very small part of the mission.

    Thanks for the..er…clarification…

    I think I have a pretty good idea now…was just a little confused before…

    Say what happened to Andrei…?

    I think I might want to take another look at his ‘Salvo’ model…

    At this point it couldn’t hurt…

  244. FB says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    ‘…Are you sure it was Clausewitz that you studied and not Custer?..’

    Aww dang…there goes that taco…

    C’mon now Nosey…they both start with C…

  245. FB says:

    I will now continue my discussion of the US Tomahawk strike on Shayrat…

    By way of review, I had first posted this introductory comment…

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2049255

    In that comment we discussed simply the known basic facts of the incident…

    1…the US launched 60 T-hawks [one failed at launch] at a decrepit Syrian airfield, but did very little apparent damage…

    2…the RF military said only 23 of those T-hawks actually hit targets, while US media said 58 reached their targets…

    Importantly neither the US navy nor any military official has has gone on record to state how many T-hawks actually hit their targets…

    It is impossible to determine which of these narratives is actually true…

    Most notably, neither of the two runways were hit…and we conclusively debunked the official excuse that the USN was not trying to hit those runways…

    Syrian media reported that two T-hawks hit a village located two to three miles from the airfield…However…these accounts cannot be verified so we will treat this as speculation…

    In this comment, we will try to address two basic questions…

    1…what is the accuracy of the T-hawk…?

    2…What can we learn from imagery of the Shayrat field after the strikes…this includes both satellite imagery and on-the-ground photographic and video images…?

    Let us first look at the question of T-hawk accuracy…

    What is the actual accuracy of the T-hawk…?

    Surprisingly…this question is difficult to answer…

    Neither the manufacturer, Raytheon, nor the US military disclose an accuracy figure…

    Hence when we look up the T-hawk on wikipedia we do not get this information either…

    However the consensus among experts is that the circular error probable [CEP] is not more than 10 meters [33 ft]…[even for early variants of the T-hawk used in the 1991 strike on Iraq...]

    [CEP of 10 m means that 50 percent of the missiles will land within a 10 diameter circle...by simple math, this means that if you launch two missiles, there is a 95 percent chance that one will land within that circle...]

    Also it must be mentioned that this 10 m accuracy is without the aid of GPS [global positioning satellite], which current T-hawks now use..

    With GPS guidance the accuracy is likely significantly improved…about 3 meters or even less…[we base this on the fact that GPS accuracy even in your phone is in that range]…

    Here is a discussion on this…where various persons…whether qualified or not…offer some answers…

    https://www.quora.com/How-accurate-is-the-GPS-on-Tomahawk-missiles?share=1

    The best answer there is that without GPS a T-hawk can hit a house…while GPS capable T-hawk can fly through a window…

    Most people with expertise in the area of aerospace guidance and navigation systems would agree with this…

    We will come back to this question of GPS later…but for now let us assume that the accuracy of the T-hawks launched at Shayrat is 33 ft [10 m]…

    Note…the T-hawk accuracy is given as ‘less than’ 5 m [16 ft] in that 2013 plan for attacking Syrian airbases written by USN Cmdr [retired] Chris Harmer…here is the link again…T-hawk info is on page 14…

    http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/RequiredSorties-to-DegradeSyrianAirPower.pdf

    Now let us look at what imagery and video we have of the Shayrat strike…

    First let us turn to the official USN website of damage assessment on Shayrat…

    http://www.navy.mil/view_imagex.asp?id=234823&t=1

    We see here a satellite image that shows four damaged aircraft shelters…and one destroyed aircraft shelter…

    We also see another aircraft shelter at the very bottom center of the picture that is not damaged at all, nor is labeled as such…and also a second undamaged shelter at the top right of the picture…

    We also see two bomb craters in front of one of the shelters [right center of picture] that clearly missed and did not hit anything…

    There is a link on that page for downloading a high-resolution version of this same image…and I would suggest that readers download this image and examine it closely…

    This one image is the only ‘official’ image we have from the US military…

    We do not have precise information on how many aircraft shelters there are at Shayrat…but Fox news stated between 45 and 50…

    http://fox2now.com/2017/04/07/shayrat-what-we-know-about-the-syrian-airfield-hit-by-us-strikes/

    We noted at the beginning that the US military has not said how many targets at Shayrat were hit…

    http://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/PRESS-RELEASES/Press-Release-View/Article/1144711/statement-from-pentagon-spokesman-capt-jeff-davis-on-us-strike-in-syria/

    The claim that 58 out of 59 missiles hit the base where only circulated in the US and other mainstream media…

    We now turn to another source of satellite imagery that had much more to say about the specific targets supposedly hit by the T-hawks…

    This is the Israeli company ImageSat International [ISI...]

    Here is their ‘presentation’ of the Shayrat strike damage assessment…

    http://www.imagesatintl.com/us-strike-syria/

    We note their picture at the top of this page that shows a number of targets supposedly hit, each one circled in yellow…

    But the only thing we can say for certain from this picture is that neither of the two Shayrat runways were hit…

    Further down on the page we see a series of pictures with higher resolution where it is possible to make out what do appear to be circular craters on several aircraft shelters…

    However what is even more interesting is that we do not see any pictures of the other targets highlighted in the first picture [at top of page where it is impossible to make out anything]…

    Note; you can click on each of the pictures on that page for higher res…

    Interestingly…the text of this article from Israeli firm ISI says…

    ‘…An in-depth examination of the damage to the objectives shows that 13 double hardened aircraft shelters (HAS) got 23 hits…’

    We recall that 23 is the exact same number given by the Russian defense ministry as to the number of T-hawks that actually hit targets…

    So just to recap here…

    1…the US media and an Israeli satellite company said 58 of 59 T-hawks hit their targets…

    2…the US military has never said anything about how many targets were successfully hit…

    Close examination of the Israeli sat images shows only 13 aircraft shelters hit…possibly by as many as 23 T-hawks…

    No imagery whatsoever has ever been presented to back up the claim that various other targets like workshops, fuel tanks, ammunition starges and other airfield infrastructure were hit…

    Neither the USN sat imagery, nor any other shows any such thing…so we can safely say this…

    The only targets that can be confirmed indisputably as hit are those 13 aircraft shelters…

    Now let’s try to figure out what this means in terms of the accuracy that those T-hawks displayed in these images we have reviewed…

    In order to do that we first need to figure out how big those aircraft shelters are…

    Here is a short, one-minute video from a Russian news media…

    We stop the video at 23 seconds…

    Here we see one of these double hangars at Shayrat, each with an airplane inside…

    both airplanes are easily identified as Su17 ground attack jets…which have a wingspan of about 40 ft…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_Su-17#Specifications_.28Su-17M4.29

    From this known scale we see that the width of each hangar is more than twice the wingspan of the plane…ie about 80 ft…

    Now that we know the width of the hangar is 80 ft…we estimate that the width of the entire structure is about five times that…about 400 ft…[100 meters]…

    Now we go back to the sat pictures above and note that the width of each such double-hangar is about twice that of the length…

    So we have arrived at a target size of about 400 ft x 200 ft…[120 m x 60 m]…

    Just to be on the safe side…let’s call it 100 m by 50 m [330 ft x 165 ft]

    In terms of area that is 5,000 square meters…

    We recall that the credible minimum accuracy of the T-hawk is 10 meters CEP…

    This means that it should be able to hit a target of 10 m diameter, which is 32 square meters…

    So here is the million dollar question…and it has to do with the sat images both from the USN and ISI showing those two big craters that missed one of the shelters and hit about 300 ft in front of it…here is the USN link again…

    http://www.navy.mil/view_imagex.asp?id=234823&t=1

    We see also from the same sat pics that the runways appear to be about 200 ft wide…again we are scaling to the dimensions we figured out for the aircraft shelters…

    Let us sum up for now…and continue this discussion later…[there is much more to come]

    The T-hawk which is acknowledged to have an accuracy of 10 m is only able to hit a very large aircraft shelter that is many times bigger…

    We see two very obvious misses…and we see that the runways are not hit at all… [the most important part obviously of any airfield, civilian or military]

    We see that even the Israeli sat company ISI shows evidence of only 23 total missile hits…[on 13 shelters...some of them hit twice...]

    In my next comment we will get into more detail about satellite imagery and how the T-hawk actually works…

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  246. @FB

    Very impressive, FB. Well done. I’m pretty sure that even those who dropped out of the discussion earlier cannot help themselves from checking in and checking out these ongoing developments. I look forward to future instalments. Cheers.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Andrei Martyanov
  247. FB says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    Thanks Nosey…

    There’s more to come on this…

    My focus here is to look at the best available facts, not speculation…

    As mentioned, I plan to discuss more ‘nuts and bolts’ stuff so people can really understand what these things can and can’t do…

    We are simply inundated with completely useless nonsense from all the media when it comes to understanding the basics of things like cruise missiles…air defense systems etc…or even sat imagery for that matter…

    We get people coming on TV or writing in magazines and newspapers who haven’t the faintest clue of how these things actually work…

    There is no question that the layman can fully understand these things if it is properly explained…then make up your own mind…

    Looking forward to carrying on…

    PS: I had to get a couple of stitches in my side after reading your last few comments…but I should be good to go…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  248. Erebus says:
    @FB

    ‘…Russia’s entry into Syria presents an existential choice for the Hegemon…’

    Agree fully with this…the stakes are very high…

    Apparently not so fully, as you go on to say:

    ‘…if losing a few 100 planes and a few 1000 missiles was the total price for holding on to it, they’d have paid it long ago…’

    Have to disagree with this one…
    US can’t afford to lose that much…it’s [self-generated] reputation as the ruler of the skies would be put to rest once and for all…

    I’m not so sure it would take a massive hit to its reputation, but even if it did it’s nothing (absolutely nothing !), compared to the hits its reputation, indeed its Hegemony is still taking because it failed to act. The key word here is “existential”.
    On the contrary, I would suggest that losing substantial materiel and personnel to a successful defence of Hegemony and its M.E., indeed global security structure would show commitment to its goals and allies. It would send the diametrically opposite message to what you seem to believe in your quote.

    FB, the over-riding question here is why the US failed to act when the Russians presented a direct threat to its international standing, and then with methodical confidence laid it low. The audacity of the Russian move still has people shaking their heads. Prima facia, they went into the lion’s den armed with a foam baseball bat. What stayed the USM’s hand? They must have known what it meant, and sure enough the results are now plainly visible. The “resonance” of Salman’s bow to Putin in Moscow is being felt in every foreign office in every capital, even in some of the less insensitive circles in Washington.
    Put another way, if ~50 planes & helicopters and a few dozen(?) wheeled SAMs (all there was in Syria until the coalition attack on the SAA in DeZ mid 2016) are enough to make the Global Hegemon and “greatest military power in history” stand down, then it just declared itself a paper tiger to the whole world. IOW, it just abandoned its stated Defence Posture and with it, its geo-political goal of Global Hegemony.

    If you’re going to argue that putting wheels on Russian SAM launchers was the killing blow, you’re going to attempt a very tendentious case. As one element, however important, in a complex of defensive assets? Sure. As the coup de grâce? Hmm…

    As a quick note to your #251..
    While I’m very interested to learn the technicals of Tomahawks and satellite imagery, I can’t but keep in mind the over-riding question I posed above. Going forward, I hope you do too.

    Some larger questions/points…
    During the 1-2 hours that the Tomahawks flew inbound over the Med, did any S3/400 complexes pack up and start motoring around? Did any SAM of any sort launch in defence? Not that I heard of, but you seem better informed.
    We’re told the Russians got a 1 hour warning, but I’m guessing that the Ross and Porter would have been closely watched and that the Russian side knew of the launch as soon as it happened. As they watched them come in, one would think they’d send up a few Pantsirs, and move a few S3/400s off position as a real life training exercise/test of personnel and systems, no? If they didn’t, either the Russians know that the USN has been stocked with defective Tomahawks, or something else sent the missing Tomahawks on an unguided tour of the Syrian countryside.

    [CEP of 10 m means that 50 percent of the missiles will land within a 10 diameter circle...by simple math, this means that if you launch two missiles, there is a 95 percent chance that one will land within that circle...]

    Wikipedia defines this a little further:

    … if CEP is n meters, 50% of rounds land within n meters of the mean impact, 43% between n and 2n, and 7% between 2n and 3n meters, and the proportion of rounds that land farther than three times the CEP from the mean is approximately 0.32%.

    What immediately hits the eye is that the 0.32% probability of missing its target by >3n meters (90m) that the Tomahawk should have achieved was increased dramatically to >60% in the Shayrat case. The Ross and Porter might as well have used their guns.

    The next thing that comes to mind is that that “something else” was interception by Russian EW. Now that is scary, because if that’s what happened the USM’s missile Salvo Models are patently useless, and they might as well be shooting at the moon until they sort this issue out and harden the Tomahawk’s guidance systems.

    The flip side of that is whether this was in fact a (partial) failure of Russian EW intercept systems. Did they intend to send 100% astray by >3n meters, but in the event succeeded with only >60%? Are they now pouring over the data looking to improve next time?

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to your next instalment.

    • Replies: @FB
  249. Erebus says:
    @FB

    I plan to discuss more ‘nuts and bolts’ stuff so people can really understand what these things can and can’t do…

    Great. Looking forward to it.

  250. FB says:
    @Erebus

    Just a quick comment E…

    Your comment is getting into the whole political/diplomatic/military dimension here…

    This has a big place of course…but |I want to tackle things one at a time…and the place to start is the technical/military dimension because this is where I see the most need for clear information and that ‘aha’ moment when folks realize how this stuff works on a technical level…

    And just to respond to our exchange about why the US losing several hundred planes and many hundreds of cruise missiles would not be worth it in my view…

    I did mention the loss of US reputation as you quoted me above…

    But I also said this…

    ‘But the reason the price is not worth paying, is because even with all those losses the US could not remove the Russians from Syria and take control of the airspace…’

    I intend to back that up the discussion on which I am embarked…you may not agree at the end, nor may anyone else…but I guarantee that those who pay attention will come away armed with a lot more useful knowledge…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  251. Erebus says:
    @FB

    An even quicker reply….I was aware of your “… could not remove…”, but didn’t respond as I felt my comment already growing overlong.
    In summary, I don’t think you’re right, but more to the point I don’t think it’s relevant. Remember, the SAA was on the verge of collapse by mid-2015, and the Iranian-Iraqi-Hezbollah militias were taking heavy losses both at the fighter/materiel, but especially at the officer level. It took the Russians a year to turn them back into fighting force.
    My position, pending dissuasion, is that had the US moved early, Russia’s ability to “save Syria” would have been thwarted and al Baghdadi would very likely now be sitting in the presidential palace in Damascus.

    Be that as it may, let’s leave that aside for now, while you compose the next instalment.

  252. @NoseytheDuke

    Very impressive, FB. Well done. I’m pretty sure that even those who dropped out of the discussion earlier cannot help themselves from checking in and checking out these ongoing developments.

    You are making very broad generalizations, to start with. Here is some things which may explain the whole absurdity of those “developments”.

    http://fishing-app.gpsnauticalcharts.com/i-boating-fishing-web-app/fishing-marine-charts-navigation.html#6.66/34.970/35.395

    Even the brief look at Google maps allows to see the whole lunacy of this whole discussion. Just to give some impression. Draw imaginary line following contour of the Syria’s coast but in the 50 nautical miles from it–this is roughly the area where Russia’s ASW assets (ships, subs, patrol aviation on call) can make a salvo exclusion zone. Beyond this zone it is very difficult to guarantee any exclusion in peaceful time. So, beyond this zone salvo is possible. Why it is possible is another matter I swear never again use actual numbers let alone operational coefficients, such as in our case Operational Sweep and Detection Probabilities map, not to mention MDR and other things people study in military academies–it is a waste of time for civilians. However, just to give understanding of Salvo flight time (podletnoye vremya) we have here, granted that Khmeimim is located in about 1 mile from the shore, in salvo from the edge (kromka) of exclusion zone a time of:

    TLAM speed: 550 mph, or 890 kmh, converted from nautical miles, say distance of 60 nm = 60 x 1.85 = 111 kilometers. So, now you can easily calculate the Flight Time: 111/890 = approx. 0.128 of an hour, which is about 8 minutes. Just for additional info: the search area in this case will be, granted almost straight geometry of Syria’s coast and with the exception of the area with isobath of 50 meters which is very close to the shore, we have a general search area of roughly (3.14 x 100^2)/2= 15 700 sq. kilometers. Discarding all those “insignificant” things such as hydrology properties of the Eastern Med (hence acoustic ones), meteorological etc. One has, in this case, the area of the State of Connecticut to be monitored 24/7. In reality the area will be much-much larger, why–I am not discussing anything of real substance here anymore. For anyone (not the case here) who have a slightest clue on how navies fight this whole discussion is one clinical (with the exception of Erebus who asks excellent questions and is logical) case of militant ignorance. That is why I “dropped out”–it is impossible to discuss anything with ignoramuses, who do not even want top look at the map. But if anyone wants to calculate Operational Sweep, granted they know parameters of their weapon systems and other things which matter, say for brigade of the ASW ships, sure–here is the basic formula for Flaming Datum analysis:

    But I am sure that this is all irrelevant. LOL. Now you see, that is why I “dropped” from this “discussion”.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @NoseytheDuke
  253. Talha says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Hey Andrei,

    Completely off topic – or maybe not. I was just recently remembering the Challenger tragedy for some reason. I remember ti well because they beamed that entire broadcast into practically all classrooms in the US (because a school teacher was going to be an astronaut). I was ten years old and it was one of those things that gets embedded into your mind – especially the thought that adults can’t just make everything OK and that there are things beyond their control.

    Anyway, Cold War was in full swing and there was obviously a space program rivalry between the US and USSR – I was wondering what the average Russian thought about it at the time.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  254. @Talha

    Anyway, Cold War was in full swing and there was obviously a space program rivalry between the US and USSR – I was wondering what the average Russian thought about it at the time.

    Actually, Challenger’s tragedy was viewed in USSR by a very large majority as a tragedy. You, actually, raised here a very important topic–even during the Cold War space remained a paradoxical bond between USA and USSR and this bond was significant since it was exclusive to superpowers and there were some non-written rules. So, in general, it was along the lines “well, too bad, folks, we also know what it is to lose space-explorers”.

    • Replies: @Talha
  255. Talha says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    That makes sense – there really were no other nations in competition thus the two had that as a shared experience.

    Thanks for the insights!

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  256. @Talha

    That makes sense

    There also was no de-humanization of average Americans on Soviet side due to both Marxist “proletariat”, aka “working people of America” cultural caveats and due to traditional Russian outlook on the world, even in 1980s there was a lot of warm memories of Second Front and Lend-Lease. So was true to a degree in US, where Russians were portrayed as “not communists” who just wanted to “come out”. At that time Sting still could win Grammy for his Russians, Billy Joel would fill Olympiyskii on his concerts and wrote such a masterpiece as Leningrad. Today it is impossible. As I stated not for once–the scale of de-humanization of Russians in the US today is simply unprecedented historically. Cold War pales in comparison.

    • Replies: @Anon
  257. FB says:

    Let’s talk about satellite imagery…

    We all know that modern satellites have an amazing ability to read a license plate of a car driving around New York City…[and in real time of course...]

    After all, how many times have we all seen this in Hollywood movies and TV shows…?

    When we go to wikipedia and look up satellite imagery…we find lots of useful-sounding info that tells us the ‘resolution’ of various imaging satellites…

    For instance…

    ‘…The GeoEye-1 satellite has the high resolution imaging system and is able to collect images with a ground resolution of 0.41 meters [16 inches]…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_imagery#Imaging_satellites

    Why that’s amazing

    That means we can clearly see an object of just 16 inches from space…so I could easily see my dog, or my mailbox or even that Fedex package in front of my front door…

    Isn’t technology wonderful…?

    This just proves that those Hollywood movies and TV shows are presenting us with a realistic understanding of today’s technology…

    Well…let us see what this ‘resolution’ thing actually means…

    If we scroll up a bit in that same wiki article we find this…

    ‘…spatial resolution is defined as the pixel size of an image representing the size of the surface area (i.e. m2) being measured on the ground…’

    [the m2 part means meters squared...and should properly be written as m^2...]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_imagery#Resolution_and_data

    Gee… what does this mean…

    Well guess what Bunky…it means that the 16-inch resolution on that state of the art satellite means that an object on the ground measuring 16 x 16 in…will appear on your computer screen as one pixel…

    Now we all know what a pixel is right…it is one of many thousands of ‘dots’ on our screen…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel

    If you are reading this on a standard HD monitor with resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels then that means you are looking at exactly 2,073,600 dots [pixels] on your screen…[1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600]

    In plain English that is two million pixels on that 20 inch screen in front of your face…

    See if you can make out a single one of those two million pixels with your naked eye…

    And now that you have identified exactly one of those two million pixels on your screen…remember that this equals an actual size of 16 x 16 inches…

    That amazing sat image you’re looking at contains 16 x 16 inches [ie 256 square inches...1.8 square ft] on each and every single one of those two million pixels on your screen…

    That means that on that standard HD screen in front of you…you are seeing a total area of 3,686,400 square feet…that’s exactly 0.132 square miles

    [1.8 ft^2 x 2,073,600 pixels = 3,686,400 square feet...]

    [one square mile = 27,878,402 square ft...so 3,686,400 ft^2 / 27,878,402 = 0.132 square miles...]

    Yes that’s all there on your 20 inch monitor…

    To get an idea of how big 0.132 square miles is…go outside your house and walk down the street for a little more than one third of a mile…ie 640 yards

    Then turn right 90 degrees and walk another 640 yards…then again turn right and walk another 640 yards…and finally turn right and walk the last 640 yards until you come back to your starting point…

    [one mile = 1,760 yards...so 640 yards = 1,760 / 640 = 0.36 miles...0.36 x 0.36 miles = 0.132 square miles...]

    You will have covered 2,560 yards…a decent exercise walk of about one and a half miles total…that’s a half-hour walk for the average person at the ‘preferred walking speed’ of 3 mph…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferred_walking_speed

    So that is what you are looking at on your 20 inch screen…640 yards by 640 yards…the amount of land area it would take you to walk in half an hour…

    So yeah…it’s a cinch obviously to read license plates from sat images…

    And that’s using the GeoEye satellite which has a resolution of 16 inches…we will soon discuss the ISI satellite that has not nearly as good resolution…

    Btw…thanks wiki writer geniuses for properly explaining that …

    [or perhaps they just like to be useful idiots for the powers that be who obviously prefer to keep people at the intellectual level of ants...]

    Here is a simple to read article that explains how sat resolution works…

    http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geomatics/satellite-imagery-air-photos/satellite-imagery-products/educational-resources/9407

    The explanation of resolution we just talked about is in the third paragraph from the top…

    ‘…If a sensor has a spatial resolution of 20 meters and an image from that sensor is displayed at full resolution, each pixel represents an area of 20m x 20m on the ground…

    So that’s sat image resolution for you…in a nutshell it means the resolution is a square of a given size…ie 16 x 16 inch…that is represented as one single pixel on your computer screen…

    I could go on to explain more fully how those satellites actually move around the earth snapping those ‘high res’ pics…

    Those satellites orbit the earth about 500 km [300 miles] above the ground…

    The important point to remember here is that satellites are flying over the earth’s surface at very high speed…they are not standing still over one spot…[only geosynchronous satellites can do that...and they are located at 26,000 miles above earth...from where they could not see anything...]

    The typical orbital velocity at low earth orbit [LEO] is 7.8 km per second…that is exactly 17,448 miles per hour…

    [One km/s = 2,237 mph...7.8 km/s * 2237 = 17,448 mph...]

    That is about 30 times faster than a passenger jet flying at 550 mph…or a T-hawk flying at the same speed for that matter…

    So those sats collecting images are flying past very quickly…they can only get glimpses of the ground that is zooming past underneath…

    They circle the entire globe about once every 85 minutes…

    [earth circumference is 24,900 miles...divided by 17,448 mph = 1.4 hours...ie 85 minutes...]

    So how do they see all the different places on earth…?…they need to fly over as much of the earth’s land territory as possible in order to take pictures of all those different places…

    The way they do this is to fly in an orbit going north south around the poles…while the earth is spinning east-west below them…that way they get a glimpse of every spot on earth, every once in a while…

    Ie they can capture images of any point on earth…but only at specific time intervals…for instance they might only get a glimpse of Syria once every 10 or 20 earth orbits…ie once a day or maybe once every two days…etc…

    you can read more about LEO here…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Earth_orbit#Use_of_LEO

    So keep this in mind next time you see a Hollywood movie or TV show where the good guys…ie CIA or FBI ‘superheroes’ are running after some bad guy and they call in sat surveillance because the bad guy is about to get away in the urban maze of NYC…

    Of course there is magically a satellite that just happens to be right over NYC at this exact moment in time…as it is flying at 18,000 mph around the earth…as opposed to being over say Timbuktu at this particular moment…

    And of course since the ‘resolution’ is good enough to read a license plate…the ‘sat’ pictures quickly find the bad guy and his exact location so the good guys can nab him…

    The general public would like to thank Hollywood…Harvey Weinstein…the CIA which produces most Hollywood movies and all the rest of these very helpful people for giving us a very good idea of HOW THINGS ACTUALLY WORK…

    So…now that we have a little bit of basic technical idea about how sat pictures work…let’s go back to our Israeli friends ISI…[ImageSat International]

    We first go back to that picture on their website where they show us the Shayrat field after the TLAM attack…

    We see that the ISI folks have helpfully circled in yellow all the targets that were hit…

    Of course these targets can only be actually ‘seen’ by the ‘experts’ at ISI…because to any ordinary human being the most we can actually make out are the two big runways…each of which is about 10,000 ft long [approx 1.5 miles]…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shayrat_Airbase

    And if we try really hard we might actually make out those big aircraft shelters, which are about 400 ft wide x 200 ft long…[as we scaled in our previous comment...]

    We also see at the bottom of that pic a whole bunch of little yellow circles of ‘other targets’ supposedly hit…

    Of course no human eye can possibly see what is inside those little yellow circles…but we will just trust these guys…[here is the ISI 'team'...]

    http://www.imagesatintl.com/team/

    [Notice the obvious 'genius' look on those faces...]

    So now we go back to our wiki article on sat imagery and we find the ISI there…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_imagery#ImageSat_International

    We find that this company has two sats…EROS A…and EROS B

    EROS A has a resolution of 1.9 m…[74 inches...ie 6 ft 2...]

    EROS B has resolution of 70 cm…[27.5 inches...ie 2.3 x 2.3 ft...]

    So even that high res sat will give us 5.3 square feet per pixel on our screen…

    That is much lower than the Geo-Eye satellite we used in our previous example…which has a resolution of 16 x 16 inches per pixel..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_imagery#GeoEye

    Which means the standard 20 inch HD screen on which we are looking at this ISI picture is now showing 11 million square feet of actual land area…

    This means that the actual land area we are looking at on our monitor is nearly eight million times bigger than the size of our 20 inch monitor…

    ie that 11 million ft^2 equals 0.4 square miles that we are looking at on our 20 inch screen [which has an area of approx 200 square inches.....see note 1 at bottom for the math...]

    0.4 square miles of land area equals a square of 0.62 x 0.62 miles…[sqrt of 0.4 = 0.62...]

    Now you are going to need to walk a square of 1,100 yards per side…covering a total distance of 4,400 yards [1100 x 4]…or total walking distance of 2.5 miles just to get a real feeling of what it is that you are seeing on the 20 inch screen in front of you…

    That 2.5 mile walk will take you nearly an hour…

    Keeping all this mind we conclude quite definitively that the ISI ‘team’ is full of shit…

    And secondly that they are trying to fool only the most uninformed people on this planet with their obvious bullshit

    Of course that works most of the time…since Hollywood…Harvey Weinstein…and the CIA do not think it is necessary for people to know simple facts about the physical world in which we live

    In fact their goal is just the opposite…to baffle us with ‘science’ about satellite imagery resolutions that are never actually explained…

    At least that’s my opinion…

    Let me know yours…

    PS…we note in the previous link to our wiki on ISI sat imagery…that

    ‘…The satellites are deployed in a circular sun-synchronous near polar orbit at an altitude of 510 km…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_imagery#ImageSat_International

    These are the parameters I explained above in how image sats work…ie a circumpolar orbit so that the sat can take pictures as the earth spins beneath it…

    Btw…it is interesting to follow that link to ISI on that wiki page…we land here…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EROS_(satellite)

    We find out that this Israeli company has launched its two satellites…

    ‘…EROS A was launched on the Russian Start-1 launcher on December 5, 2000, from the Svobodny Launch Complex in eastern Siberia, to a Low Earth orbit (LEO) altitude of 480 km…’

    And…

    ‘…EROS B was finally launched on April 25, 2006 aboard a Russian Start-1 rocket from the Svobodny Launch Complex in eastern Siberia…’

    Well…that’s funny…

    I would have thought that those Israeli geniuses would have been able to LAUNCH THEIR OWN SATELLITES…

    I guess not…their superpowers only extend to being able to make out an object of about 2 square feet that occupies about a millionth of an inch on a computer screen…

    But of course we recall that launching space vehicles is old hat technology…no need for the US or Israel to bother with that ancient stuff…

    When it comes to building aircraft, air defense systems and other such things…why the Russkies are of course centuries behind ‘Western technology’…

    Note 1…here is the math behind how much bigger that land area covered in the sat image is than our 20 inch diagonal monitor…

    1…Our standard HD res is 1920 x 1080 for an aspect ratio of 1.777…ie 16 to 9…[16 / 9 = 1.777]

    2…let’s assume for math simplicity that our monitor is square…ie aspect ratio of 1 to 1…[this makes little difference, as I will explain in note 2 at bottom...]

    3…Our diagonal of 20 inch means that our screen is really two right triangles of the isosceles type each with a hypotenuse of 20 inches [ie our 20 inch diagonal screen dimension...]

    4…we find the length of the other two sides of this triangle [both of which are the same length in an isosceles triangle] by simple trig…ie we know that the corner angle is 90 degrees…and since the total of all three angles in the triangle must be 180 deg…it means that each of the other two are 45 degrees…

    5…The sine of 45 degrees is 0.7…[just enter 45 into your calculator and then hit 'sin'...]…you get 0.7…that’s the ratio of the length of the shorter side to the hypotenuse-diagonal…[each shorter side is the same length in a square...]

    6…so the length of each side is therefore the length of our hypotenuse of 20 inches times 0.7…which equals 14.14 inches…

    7. so our square monitor with a 20 inch diagonal length is 14.14 x 14.14 inch = 200 square inches…equals 1.4 square ft…

    8…we recall that the ISI EROS B satellite with resolution of 70 cm will show us a land area of 11 million square feet on standard HD monitor…

    9…that 11 million square feet we are looking at on our monitor of 1.4 square ft area is therefore 7.87 million times bigger than our 20 inch [diagonal] monitor…[11 million / 1.4 = 7.87 million...]

    Note 2…

    1. Our aspect ratio is 16:9 or 1.777:1…

    2…I will take a trig shortcut here and say that with a 20 inch diagonal our horizontal screen length is 19.1 inches…and our vertical screen height is 10.8 inches…

    3…our screen area is therefore 19.1 x 10.8 = 206 square inches…[we found 200 square inches with our simplified assumption of a square monitor...not much difference as I said...just makes the math easier to explain...

    4...206 in^2 = 1.43 ft^2...[206 / 144 =1.43]

    5…the area of the ISI picture we are looking at with the 70 cm resolution is approx 11 million ft^2…

    6…therefore the actual land area we see on our 20 inch [16:9] screen is 11 million / 1.43 = 7,634,780 times bigger than our screen…

    • Replies: @Erebus
    , @FB
  258. FB says:

    Forgot one thing on that sat imagery discussion…

    Here is a link to pictures taken by aerial photography at various resolutions…starting from 3 inch resolution…which no civilian satellite can do…and up to 2 ft resolution which is just a little better than the best ISI resolution…

    http://www.aerialarchives.com/hiressamples.htm

  259. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    the scale of de-humanization of Russians

    Perhaps I’m out of touch but as an American I simply don’t understand this.

  260. Erebus says:
    @FB

    What you say about resolutions of satellite imagery is not debatable as far as the numbers go, but these images are obviously made at great expense and do actually reveal a great deal about what’s going on below. Probably, “no (ordinary) human eye” can tell what’s in some of those yellow circles, but the “(trained) human eye” is not looking for recognizably obvious photos of objects but for pixel patterns indicating the presence of whatever he’s looking for.
    The trained imagery analyst may know what his object looks like in real life, or he has seen that pattern before numerous enough times to know what that unrecognizable something is.

    A couple of anecdotes may illustrate what I’m on about…

    - If I go to Google Earth and zoom in on my house, I get a pretty fuzzy picture of a roof, green masses where I know my trees are, and a few white/green/blue/whatever blobs scattered around the property. As I happen to know that the red blob is my lawnmower parked in its usual place, and the double blue blob must be my garden tractor and its trailer parked nearby, I can now recognize the pixel pattern they created to identify (EG) my neighbour’s yellow blob as his lawnmower with pretty high level of confidence.
    Likewise, having seen the ground level photos of the aircraft shelters at Shayrat, their rather fuzzy, oddly shaped, sat images nevertheless immediately present themselves, mutatis mutandis, as those shelters.

    - The 2nd anecdote comes from the Cuban missile crisis. As you probably know, the images of that time came from very high altitude reconnaissance aircraft like the U-2. According to a book I read decades ago on the crisis, analysts focussed on Cuba had been looking at photographs of Soviet missile installations for months and thinking nothing of them because they had no idea what they were looking at. They weren’t looking for “ICBM installation ‘pixel patterns’” because everyone knew there weren’t any ICBMs in Cuba, so they didn’t see any. It was when an analyst who had been working in the group analysing U-2 photos of the USSR got transferred to the Caribbean group that the photos were recognized for what they were. Even so, said analyst got ignored for several weeks/months and finally had to enlist the aid of his previous superiors to be heard.

    So, what’s in those yellow circles may not be recognizable to you or me, but someone trained and experienced at looking for whatever that pixel pattern represents may be able to state its presence with a pretty high level of confidence. That’s not to defend ISI. They may well be dead wrong, but they’re not dead wrong because “no human eye” can tell what’s in those circles.

    • Replies: @FB
  261. @Andrei Martyanov

    Fair enough. I’m not sure what you mean by me making any generalisations though. I suspected that those who dropped out earlier were continuing to check in, as indeed you have. I have not questioned your knowledge or experience, in fact I’ve stated on other threads that you seem to really know your stuff. I’m not a technical person at all and have stated as such, but I was enjoying the back and forth by people who clearly know far, far, more about these matters than I ever will.

    In discussions where disagreements arise, it is my opinion that usually the one who becomes rude or insulting usually does so due to a lack of will to make their point as you seem to have done so. I am not in any position to judge and anyway, in matters of warfare the proof is invariably “in the pudding” and the loser pays in blood, materials, territory and prestige. I shall continue to read any future articles that you write with the same interest as I did the former.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Andrei Martyanov
  262. @Anon

    During the Cold War almost every villain had a Russian accent, the women were portrayed as ugly fat babushkas or as masculine “camp guards” types and Western media disparaged any and all achievements of the Soviets. They were always shown to be people who existed in a lesser manner of sophistication and modernity than we did in the West. Sting recorded a song called, I hope the Russians love their children too. After a while that changed and the villains instead became Arabs and now it is the Russians again. It is simply vile and dangerous propaganda from Western “free society” media.

  263. FB says:
    @Erebus

    I appreciate the fact that image analysis involves some very particular skills and techniques…

    However…you may had read one of my previous comments where I said that I am interested in looking at only the best available facts, not speculation…

    Your below falls into the realm of speculation…

    ‘…So, what’s in those yellow circles may not be recognizable to you or me, but someone trained and experienced at looking for whatever that pixel pattern represents may be able to state its presence with a pretty high level of confidence. That’s not to defend ISI. They may well be dead wrong, but they’re not dead wrong because “no human eye” can tell what’s in those circles…’

    Especially the ‘high level of confidence part…’

    So we can now get into an endless speculative debate on the science of image analysis…

    OR…

    We can simply state the best available facts

    This ISI outfit posted exactly five pictures on their website…the first one is that low-resolution shot that takes in the entire field…which I already posted…

    Here are the other four…which are of a higher resolution and do not take in as big an area…

    Now here is question one…

    Do you see anything other than those big aircraft shelters in those four high resolution pictures…?

    [the last one has several big buildings that are identified as 'workshops'...but look to be even bigger than the shelters...

    So where are the rest of those 20 to 30 circles from the original wide angle shot at the top of the page...[the one I posted previously]..?

    Here is that wide shot again…

    Now you tell me why we DO NOT HAVE HIGH RES PICTURES OF THOSE LITTLE YELLOW CIRCLES…?

    This does not pass the smell test for ‘best available facts’…sorry…

    If they had anything to show they would show it…so what is stopping them…?

    And then we have the kicker

    ‘…The results show that the target hits were accurate and that the Tomahawks have been used effectively against quality targets….

    Although 58 missiles hit the base, it seems that the overall damage to the base is limited because the warhead of the Tomahawk is not considered large and weighs about 450 kg…’

    Why of course a 1,000 lb high explosive warhead is not considered large…

    Large compared to what…a 100 kiloton nuke…?

    Large compared to bigger conventional warheads in the US standoff weapon arsenal…?

    Sorry…but 1,000 lb is THE BIGGEST warhead the US has in its standoff weapons arsenal…

    And it has over 3,000 of them…so if they do not pack enough punch…then somebody better do some more math…

    Why does ISI ‘analysis’ this look like utter BULLSHIT…?

    Solely for the consumption of UTTER DUMBSHITS

    The ONLY thing bigger than 1,000 lb is only available in gravity bombs…

    Ie the Mark 84 which 2,000 lb…

    ‘…The Mark 84 is capable of forming a crater 50 feet (15.2 m) wide and 36 ft (11.0 m) deep…’

    So I guess a bomb merely half that size would only make a crater of what 16 inches…?

    PS…enjoyed your lawnmower stories…do you have any about weed-whackers…?

    • Replies: @Erebus
  264. FB says:

    Here’s the link to the Mark 84

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_84_bomb#Development

    Oh and btw ISI [and fans]…the 2000 lb Mark 84

    ‘…is a streamlined steel casing filled with 945 lb (428.6 kg) of Tritonal high explosive…’

    Guess what…that 945 lb of explosive is actually smaller than the T-Lam warhead of 1,000 pounds high explosive…

    So I guess the US should really consider scrapping all of those as well…because…’they don’t really do much damage…’

    And I guess the US should scrap entirely its inventory of Mk 82s which are 500 lb overall and only 192 lb of explosive…

    Why that’s only one fifth of the T-hawk…what damage could those little things possibly do…?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_82_bomb

    We see the B2 bomber dropping a bunch of those…but to what purpose…?

    I guess those sharp-eyed ‘analysts’ at ISIS would figure what…about a million of those to take out Shayrat…?

  265. FB says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    ‘…In discussions where disagreements arise, it is my opinion that usually the one who becomes rude or insulting usually does so due to a lack of will to make their point as you seem to have done so….’

    I just thought that was worth repeating…

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  266. @FB

    Thanks and I almost spat burrito at my screen at weed-wackers.

  267. Erebus says:
    @FB

    Of course ISI’s publication is suspect for the reasons you suggest, but that is all quite irrelevant to the point I was making, which you indeed acknowledged in your opening sentence:

    I appreciate the fact that image analysis involves some very particular skills and techniques…

    In other words, resolution ain’t the whole of it. So we agree.
    You go on to cast aspersions on ISI’s intentions, suggesting they are intentionally hiding the truth and calling them “BULLSHIT!”. However justified that may be, you apparently failed to notice my closing statement:

    That’s not to defend ISI. They may well be dead wrong, but they’re not dead wrong because “no human eye” can tell what’s in those circles.

    With this post and subsequent ones you also seem to have lost sight of your original claim to be

    … interested in looking at only the best available facts, not speculation…

    Sorry FB, but you’ve gone far beyond the facts with statements like:

    Solely for the consumption of UTTER DUMBSHITS

    Anyway, I see nothing contentious in my post, and have no idea what’s caused you to go off your stated MO and get tangled up in your knickers.
    Now (@271) you’re off and ranting about Mk84 bombs vs T-Hawks. Ok, but what they have to do with image analysis escapes me. Perhaps it’s the next step in your “just the facts” exposition?

    • Replies: @FB
  268. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…Now (@271) you’re off and ranting about Mk84 bombs vs T-Hawks. Ok, but what they have to do with image analysis escapes me…’

    Thanks for the ‘ranting’ part…

    As for the ‘image analysis’ I had said earlier…

    ‘…we can now get into an endless speculative debate on the science of image analysis…’…OR…stick to best available facts

    That seems easy enough to understand…as does your transparent attempt to derail that…

    As for ISI I am using strong language because nothing gets me more upset than obvious attempts to bamboozle the general public with ‘science’ by people who claim to be experts

    Their role when addressing a general audience should be to explain, not confuse…and especially not to confuse in obvious service of a highly slanted narrative…

    Ie…my point was to examine their credibility, in view of ‘best available facts’…

    I went on to show quite obvious obfuscation…notably their failure to present high-res picture of every circle they had made in their first photo…where they claimed to have identified 44 hits…

    That fact alone is enough to discredit their ‘analysis’

    In case this is not clear to everyone let us go over those photos…

    1. In the low res ‘overview’ photo…if you count all yellow circles they show 13 big ones…and 29 small ones…for a total of 42 circles representing 42 ‘targets’ hit…[not 44 as they claim]

    2. They go on to show four more pictures, these being closer-in, higher resolution shots where we can clearly make out the large aircraft shelters and other large buildings…and we can see in these shots that some have received hits…

    3. They do not show any close-in, high-resolution shots of the 29 small yellow circles contained in that low-res, wide angle shot…

    Now you tell me…are we supposed to argue pointlessly about what may or may not be inside those non-existent images…?

    It seems very much that is what you are trying to do [see your above quote for proof]…

    You in fact do want to get into a discussion of image analysis…even though ISI has not even shown any high-res images of those 29 little yellow circles for us to see…

    You will notice I am not disputing the four high-resolution images they have presented…because we can clearly see evidence of hits

    But now you want to derail the discussion into ‘image analysis’ of what ISI chose not to present…ie the 29 little yellow circles supposedly hit

    So we will now proceed to look at those pictures again…

    The caption beneath this ‘overview shot says this…

    ‘…ISI very high resolution satellite imagery was able to reveal the results of the Tomahawk cruise missiles attack on the Al-Shayrat Air Base. According to ISI experts, the total of 44 targets hit. Several targets may have hit twice. Photo and analysis of the attack were carried out within 10 hours of the attack…’

    But here is inconsistency number one…they say 44 targets were hit, but if we count all the circles both big and small…we get a total of 42…13 big circles and 29 small circles…

    Here is the first high-res image…

    The caption beneath this picture says…

    ‘…An in-depth examination of the damage to the objectives shows that 13 double hardened aircraft shelters (HAS) got 23 hits. 5 workshops got hit. The workshops are not necessarily related to WMD, but to aircraft and their ability to do maintenance and fly…’

    Well…that is interesting…in this picture we see only four double aircraft shelters…plus two large buildings that were not hit at all…[bottom left of the picture]

    The four shelters are circled and we do see some craters on at least three of them…the fourth one on the extreme left does not have any evidence of hits on its roof…

    But…since we are now getting into looking at sat images…[the point of my previous comment was merely to explain the technology...]

    So let us see what we see here…the clearest evidence of a crater is in the two shelters at right…

    But here we see something interesting…just to the top of the yellow circle on the far right we see two black round spots that clearly didn’t hit anything…

    They do resemble the craters we see on the shelters…were those misses?

    I don’t know…we are not getting into speculation here…neither you nor I have training in image analysis…[other than your experiments involving google earth and your neighbor's lawnmower...]

    In fact if we examine the top right corner of this picture we see a whole bunch of rough terrain that does not look anything like the smooth grassy terrain immediately to the left and throughout most of the picture…

    In fact this particular area in the top right corner looks really torn up…that is quite obvious…

    Now I could sit here and speculate that this looks like a bunch of T-hawk craters that would neatly account for the 36 missed shots that the Russians claim…

    But of course I have no interest in speculation…for all I know this area could have been some kind of excavation or landscaping activity…

    Also we notice the shelter on the far left side of the shot…this one is circled but we see no craters on the roof…just two craters at the bottom of the shelter…

    Do we count these as hits…?

    I don’t know because I can’t tell if those two holes at the edge of the structure where it blends into the ground are actually blast craters…

    What I do see is that this shelter’s roof is clearly undamaged…

    Yet this counts as a hit…according to ISI…

    Bottom line…from this picture we see three shelters clearly showing signs of craters on their roof…[the three ones on the right of the picture...

    The shelter on the left shows no signs of penetration of its roof like the other two...there is one roundish indentation on its roof...but no penetration...[again we can speculate here that the T-hawk hit the roof but maybe failed to detonate...]

    And we also see on that same shelter what look like two misses…ie two penetration holes [black round circles] that managed to hit only dirt beside the actual shelter…

    Moving on…

    And here is my favorite

    This is actually two photos side by side…a before and after shot…the after shot being the one on the right…

    This is my favorite because we see those two shots that hit about 300 ft in front of the single aircraft shelter at the right of the picture…

    I had already noticed and pointed out those two clearly missed shots in previous comments…including in the single image that the USN posted on its website…

    The ISI folks helpfully circled those two misses in yellow…

    That paved area in front of the hangar is called an ‘apron’…think of it as a driveway that leads from the hangar to the taxiways on the field…

    [an apron is where you can park an airplane...as opposed to a taxiway where parking is never allowed...and operating on which is done only by explicit instructions from air traffic control...]

    So why on earth should an apron be a legitimate target…and counted as a hit…?

    That’s like saying I tried to hit your house but managed only to hit the edge of your driveway…

    In fact we can clearly see that those two T-hawks [worth about $3 million] didn’t actually even score a direct hit on the apron…each one hit only at the edges

    And clearly the apron is still usable for its function of allowing the airplane to get to the taxiway…

    This is the definitive proof that ISI is not being objective…

    We recall that the definition of BULLSHIT is trying to deceive…ie not being objective, but selectively presenting information…and obviously attempting to play on the ignorance of the general audience…

    We do see clearly that the single shelter at left was completely destroyed…hooray…60 T-hawks worth $100 million managed to actually destroy a single hangar worth what…a few thousand bucks…

    [and incidentally...since we know from ISI that the 1000 lb warhead is 'not large' and will therefore cause little damage...we see that they were indeed large enough to actually destroy one hangar...]

    You know…does anyone see inconsistency after inconsistency with the ISI narrative…?

    Here we also see for the first time…little red circles…marking the craters on the roof of the two hangars at the right…

    But what’s that in the extreme top left corner of the picture…?

    No it’s not circled red…but it looks exactly like those craters on the hangar roofs…

    I don’t suppose that could be a missed shot…?…we will not speculate

    [btw...you can click on the images here to see the full resolution...]

    Moving on…

    Here we see again a before/after shot of what are supposed to be bunkers

    Clearly we see the after shot at right showing heavy damage to the structures…

    But again, we see a number of what strongly look like missed shots…

    Here we use our before shot as a useful reference…

    Notice the paved area behind the bunkers…then notice what appears to be dirt berms behind that…two rows in fact…

    Now look at the after picture on the right…again we look at the area behind the bunkers…

    Nothing is circled in this photo presentation…[I love their consistent presentation method]…

    But what do we make out…admittedly faintly…right behind that paved area behind the bunkers we just discussed…?

    Why it looks so much like all those T-hawk craters that have been circled in previous pictures…

    And what exactly do we have at the right corner of this structure…?

    We have at least two identifiable craters that missed the building and hit right at the berm..

    Now if we are going to look for those pixel patterns that you pointed out…I would love to hear what an actual image analyst would say about these pictures…

    But wait there’s more…

    To the right of that structure we see what look like a couple of more misses

    Right at the edge of the right hand side of the paved area around the bunkers…we see two more ‘suspicious’ craters…these would appear to be quite well off the mark…again hitting nothing but dirt…

    I think I am beginning to understand why they did not circle anything here…

    And then the last of the four high res pictures…

    This one’s called ‘workshops’…

    Again it’s a before/after shot…with the after on the right obviously…

    We see first five big yellow arrows pointing to hit targets in the after shot…

    Obviously some of those structures have been damaged badly…the big one at the bottom [arrow 3 from left] looks almost destroyed…

    The one at the top right [arrow 4] does look fully destroyed…

    But the other three are smaller, as we see in the before shot…and they actually look fairly intact…[specifically we are looking at , from left to right, arrows 1, 2 and 5...]

    All three are obviously still standing, although damaged…

    But here is again an interesting observation…

    Notice that they have now gone back to not circling the hits in red…why not…?

    Well…let’s look at the building on the far left…[arrow 1]

    It’s obviously still standing and does not appear to have sustained a direct hit…

    But we see what look like two crater holes…one each to the left and right of the building…

    These are nice round little black circles that are clearly not visible on the before shot…

    We also see another same size round black dot to the immediate right of the second yellow arrow from the left…this one is to the right of the top of the arrow shaft, not its pointy end…

    What the heck did this one hit…?…It’s clearly in the middle of nowhere…

    The last arrow closest to the right edge of the picture points to a building that is still standing and looks largely intact…

    But right below that building we see a bunch of vehicles parked there in the before shot…and they have obviously been destroyed in the after shot…

    So the TLAMs hit a bunch of trucks but the building remains standing…what’s going on there…?

    So let’s look at the best available facts from these pictures…

    We are considering only the high res pictures since we can actually see [at least partly] what is going on…

    1. In those four high res shots we see a total of six big yellow circles…

    2. We also see five big yellow arrows…

    3. we also see three little red circles…

    4. We also see three little arrows with red tips and blue shafts…

    Summing each and every one of those markers we get a grand total of 15 marked objects…

    We have seen one shelter completely destroyed…

    We have seen three bunkers completely destroyed…[photo 4]

    In photo 5…we see one large ‘workshop’ fully destroyed [arrow 3]…and one smaller building fully destroyed…[arrow 4]…

    Now we compare what ISI has highlighted to what they claim…

    1. they claim 58 tomahawks hit their targets…including two that targeted, but did not quite hit a hangar apron

    2. They have presented photographic evidence that proves exactly nothing to support their general premise…

    We conclude therefore that this ISI analysis does not show anything we can file under the category of ‘facts’ that supports 58 TLAM hits…

    We note their obvious attempts at deception…most notably the two apron shots…

    We recall the saying…fool me once…

    Just this bit of tomfoolery with the aprons is enough to thoroughly discredit their entire narrative…

    We recall that the very idea of professionalism means objectivity…

    Ie professionals do not lie or try to deceive…if caught doing so…they are immediately considered BULLSHITTERS

    And my problem with your comment is that you were quite obviously trying to derail the discussion …to pull me into a pointless argument about image analysis…

    I had said this is beyond the narrow scope I have defined and I have stuck to it…

    Thank you for your input…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  269. @Andrei Martyanov

    So that’s the “scale”?

    One comment by James Clapper?

    I think you might have really thin skin. That comment “pales in comparison” to dozens of comments about Americans made by Russians on UNZ Review every day.

    Lighten up. He meant it figuratively. He’s not a geneticist. He is talking about Russians in the spy game…which, oh, wow, he’s in too. Imagine that.

    For God’s sake. “De-humanization.” You can’t be serious.

  270. FB says:
    @FB

    Correction on my math on monitor size in comment at…

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2054895

    where I talked about satellite image resolution

    I had said…

    ‘…our screen area is therefore 19.1 x 10.8 = 206 square inches…[we found 200 square inches with our simplified assumption of a square monitor...'

    In my haste I made an incorrect trigonometry computation...

    The screen dimensions of a 20 inch diagonal HD monitor of 1920 x 1080 resolution [16:9 aspect ratio] would be 9.8 in x 17.43 in…

    That actually gives a screen area of 170 square inches [1.2 square ft]…which is less than the 200 square inch area of the square screen with a 20 inch diagonal…

    That means the actual land area of that sat image of approx 11 million square feet is over 9 million times bigger than our screen…

    I rechecked my math because I remembered that a square always encloses the maximum area of any rectangle of a given diagonal dimension…

    So naturally the rectangle of a monitor would have to have a smaller area than a square of the same diagonal…

    I rechecked and found my error…so we confirm now that a screen of 9.8 x 17.43 inches actually has a diagonal of 20 inches by using the Pythagorean theorem…

    sqrt(9.8^2 + 17.43^2) = 20…so the diagonal is 20 inches

    And for our square monitor with equal sides of 14.14 inch…

    sqrt(2 x 14.14^2) = 20…again the diagonal is 20 inches…

  271. Erebus says:
    @FB

    Ok, so after all that, the takeaway is that the Russian MoD’s immediate and public assessment that 23 missiles reached the base (not necessarily hitting a target) and 36 went astray is probably pretty close what really happened.
    That became apparent when the base went operational the next day and the Americans made preposterous claims about not targetting the runways.

    That 36/59 Tomahawks went astray is interesting.
    That the US (with ISI support) denied it isn’t. It’s just SOP.

    Great. What’s next?

    • Replies: @FB
  272. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…Ok, so after all that, the takeaway is that the Russian MoD’s immediate and public assessment that 23 missiles reached the base (not necessarily hitting a target) and 36 went astray is probably pretty close what really happened…’

    Well…that’s what ‘best available facts’ seem to point to…

    Again…I do not want to get into speculation..so we can’t even be sure that only 23 missiles reached the base…

    It could, in fact, be possible that all 58 did reach the area of the base…we simply do not know…

    We keep in mind that the size of this airfield is probably about 3 x 3 miles…perhaps about 10 square miles of area…

    We recall the each of the two runways is approx 1.5 miles long…then we have all the surrounding area…etc…

    How do we know that some of those T-hawks didn’t impact somewhere in the weeds on that field…?

    We don’t and we can’t…nobody [that we know of] has gone around that entire land area and looked…and that would be only the Russian and Syrian military who would have access there…

    So even if this is what happened…they may feel it is best not to show that…keep them guessing type of thing…?

    If the US has drone footage of all kinds of TLAMs hitting weeds…would they show it…?

    And speaking of drone footage…why have’t we seen any from the US…?

    What we have done so far is to look at really the only high res pics of that base post-strike…

    We have seen only a handful of buildings actually destroyed…and just one single aircraft shelter…I didn’t do a count but we have less than 10 buildings destroyed from the looks of those photos…

    And yes, we have certainly established that the runways would obviously have been targeted…the fact that no runway was hit is actually incredible

    Did some sort of electronic warfare [EW] play a role in the defense of the field…?

    Again…we can only look at this question factually…which is to explain how T-hawks work…and how they might be messed with…and with what kind of equipment…

    That’s going to be focus going forward…

    So summing up…we have looked at the best publicly available evidence…

    What we have seen is truly underwhelming

    Something went wrong…that is a pretty safe bet…

    If someone had told me six months ago that one single airfield hit by 60 TLAMs could basically ‘walk away’ from such a train wreck…I would have had a hard time believing it…

    Just think what one tenth of that would have done to those two runways…ie 3 TLAM hits per runway…spaced about 2000 ft apart…

    Shayrat would still be closed to air operations to this day…IMO

    Anyone who has experience flying civil or military aircraft knows that runways [or portions of runways] can be down for ‘improvements’ for months, even years…

    The explosive power of the TLAM is indeed very impressive…we are talking about 1,000 lb of TNT…and those runways are pavement not concrete…

    I would be very comfortable saying that the USN officers in control of that strike would have wanted to see those runways torn to shreds…even as a trophy…and to demonstrate their destructive ability…

    If I was forced to speculate…I would say that the defensive measures applied…whatever they were…would have focused on protecting those runways…

    If this speculation was the case… then the defenders succeeded spectacularly…

    Clearly the underwhelming strike aftermath was a huge surprise for interested observers like myself…

    We simply ask ourselves…how many TLAMs would it take to actually take out five or six of these fields like some people had proposed back in 2013…

    300 TLAMs to end up with six Shayrats…?

    Doesn’t seem worth half a billion does it…just to have airplanes taking off the next day…

    People underestimate this Shayrat thing…or they don’t think about it much…but really it is very instructive…

    We recall that in 1991 Iraq got quite a pasting from 288 total TLAMs…

    Here is a good on the ground video report from a Russian news outlet…hours after the strike…[with English subtitles...]

    • Replies: @Erebus
  273. @Johnny Rico

    I took the James Clapper example to be just that, an example. Anyone would need to have their head in a bucket all day, every day not to see a pattern in the dehumanising of Russians unfolding in a broad variety of media that Americans are exposed to, that or exist in a state of denial. You don’t happen to live in Egypt do you?

  274. Erebus says:
    @FB

    … nobody [that we know of] has gone around that entire land area and looked…and that would be only the Russian and Syrian military who would have access there…

    I have to assume the Russians had done a damage survey before stating that “According to the objective monitoring data, 23 missiles reached the Syrian Air Base.” and that the whereabouts of the other 36 was unknown at the time. They may have been lying, of course, but in scouring a number of sat photos found on the web I couldn’t see anything that looked like a recent missile hit (blackened, disrupted topology, etc) in the base area. Of course, there’s probably a few fotos out there that I didn’t find, so there may have been some, but that there were 36 scattered about, say <10n meters from a plausible target is unbelievable. The missiles that “reached” the base seem to have been either hits or within their CEP, indicating that the 36 lost their guidance systems in part or in whole.

    Again…we can only look at this question factually…which is to explain how T-hawks work…and how they might be messed with…and with what kind of equipment…
    That’s going to be focus going forward…

    Great. I’m with ya.

    I would say that the defensive measures applied…whatever they were…would have focused on protecting those runways…
    If this speculation was the case… then the defenders succeeded spectacularly…

    Yes, if this wasn’t a cockup/fluke, they succeeded so spectacularly that the implications should water more than the USN’s eyes. If USAREUR CG Hodges found the reports of Russian EW from Ukraine “eye-watering”, he’ll find the reports from Shayrat heart stopping.

    People underestimate this Shayrat thing…or they don’t think about it much…but really it is very instructive…

    Shayrat isn’t the first indication of odd things happening to American hi-tech weapons in encounters with Russian defences. None of the previously known incidents such as the 2013 “misdirection” of 2 Tomahawks over the Mediterranean, the 2014 USS Donald C. Cook Black Sea incident, reports from the Ukraine in Donbas and Crimea were verified, but they were echoed by the marketing hype from Russian companies (EG: KRET) responsible for such weapons and Hodges’ “eye-watering” statement. If the USN’s dismal result at Shayrat was the result of EW defence, it is Russia’s first public demonstration of just how far ahead Russia’s strategy of focusing on asymmetric warfare technology has taken them.

    I hope your explication of what makes the Tomahawk tick includes how this may have been possible.

  275. @Erebus

    It makes sense to me that since so much of Russian history involves defence of their homeland and always at such a terrible cost that they would have different priorities than US defence contractors where much fudging has been the norm (Vietnam era M16 ammo comes to mind) and profits and prestige have always been first and foremost objectives.

  276. @Johnny Rico

    So that’s the “scale”?

    Johny Rico, I think you are genetically… and so are your parents. I think I will petition some high ranking State Duma MP to state this publicly on Russian TV and then we will see how “thin” is your skin. I also would love to see reaction of US media.

  277. @Erebus

    Shayrat isn’t the first indication of odd things happening to American hi-tech weapons in encounters with Russian defences.

    Two things:

    1. “Shift” of GPS “grid” thus denying TLAMs approach to a fine lock by DSMAC. Possible? Possible, but that would then affect the whole salvo, plus there is a purely political issue here between US and Russia in Syria. The foundation of this de-conflicting arrangement can be distilled to this: you don’t touch our assets, we don’t touch yours (for now). In general, it is not easy to EW Tomahawks, it is possible though.

    2. More “plausible” scenario with the ONLY electronic input (a “hole”) in Tomahawks (apart from GPS-command receiver antenna) being their altimeters with Syrian forces literally running them into the ground by providing a false altitude–an immensely complex task which would require some damn serious machinery to do so.

    Another issue, however, is a simple fact that approaches to Shayrat are extremely barren and flat and there is literally very little to “grab onto” in terms of imagery. This could have been a factor too. I think we will not know the whole story for some time.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  278. @NoseytheDuke

    In discussions where disagreements arise, it is my opinion that usually the one who becomes rude or insulting usually does so due to a lack of will to make their point as you seem to have done so.

    I don’t know your background, but assuming that it is not in medicine, do a forensic experiment: try to go to the forums of medical professionals (gastroenterologists? heart surgeons?) and start throwing in there a complete medical BS or some irrelevant crap, then see the reaction. I have an extremely well-tuned BS meter in many issues related to warfare, so if I call things as I see them I judge them on the actual merit. In the end, I do not insert myself in discussions on the issues I have no clue about. I may have disagreements with my doctor and I, to be frank, offer sometimes “suggestions” to him, one of which received a response (we are not close friends but have very good relations) to the effect–stop the BS, shut up and schedule a surgery. I obliged. Hell, I always oblige–he is a professional here. For the country which produced Tom Clancy it seems quite normal to have a vast strata (those exist everywhere, but only in US they reach such a proportion) of military “specialists” who never served a day in uniform, let alone graduated military academy, let alone served in command or staff capacity on tactical and operational level but offering their “expertise”, which in most cases is a BS. Good example is Bellingcat–a collection of morons. There is a reason why people attending military academies and War Colleges are required to have an extremely strong math and physics background, to start with. Military science, yes–it is science, is an extremely complex world, especially today. If you want to see, as one of very many examples, what goes into study and how operations are planned, even on the example of WW II, here is a link to Operational Study of ASW operations in WW II.

    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep/ASW-51/ASW-13.html

    That is what is studied, together with a shitload of other very specific and complex subjects, in any serious military academy. So, now make a conclusion if you want your appendectomy to be performed by a surgeon with medical degree and experience or by a plumber with GED who has a hobby of vivisecting frogs. I hope I expressed myself properly.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @NoseytheDuke
  279. FB says:

    Ok…so let’s get into the Tomahawk…

    What we are going to do first is to look at the T-hawk’s flight performance…this is important…

    For example Raytheon will tell you that the T-hawk has a speed of 550 mph…well I can tell you that this is definitely NOT the speed at which it will cruise…which will be lower…

    We also note that this, or any land-attack cruise missile, is designed to fly low to the ground and make use of terrain masking…ie following valleys etc. in order to hide from enemy radar…

    So it is vital that this air vehicle have the aerodynamic performance required to do that…ie to climb and turn quickly when needed, in order to avoid plowing into terrain…

    We will examine the guidance system in my further comments in this series…for now we will learn about the T-hawk’s aerodynamic performance…and why this is important…

    here is a useful cutaway illustration…

    We see that this ‘missile’ is actually more of an aircraft…[in fact it is a self-guided aircraft that has terrain following capability...a special capability that must be added to say a 'regular' fighter or bomber...]

    It has wings that keep it aloft by means of aerodynamic lift like an airplane…it is propelled by a turbofan engine shown in the back…basically a miniature version of the turbofan engines we find on airliners…

    And it has a cylindrical fuselage to carry its fuel, payload, engine etc…plus three tail surfaces for maneuvering …ie climbing and turning…

    Let’s first describe what we are looking at…wiki gives specifications in the box at the right top of page …these are based on Raytheon info…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomahawk_(missile)

    We note that the fuselage diameter is 20.4 inches…[not very big]…it’s overall length is just over 18 ft…and it weighs 2,900 lb…

    Now the two most important parameters of any aircraft are its thrust to weight ratio and its wing loading

    Let’s start by explaining what this means so that everyone can understand it…and why this is so important…

    Thrust to weight is quite easy to understand…it is obviously comparable to power-to-weight in a car…a car with a powerful engine that is also lightweight will naturally outperform a heavy car with a weak engine…

    The T-hawk Block 4 thrust is 700 lb [Williams F107 turbofan of the WR402 model]…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williams_F107#Specifications

    So we see that our thrust to weight ratio is 700 / 2900 = 0.24…ie for each lb of aircraft weight there is about one-quarter lb of thrust…

    This is not very impressive even compared to an airliner…for instance the ubiquitous Boeing 737-400 has a maximum takeoff weight of 150,000 lb…and has two engines of 23,500 lb thrust each …thrust to weight = 47,000 / 150,000 = 0.31…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737#Specifications

    An F15 has a thrust to weight ratio of about 1…or even higher depending on how much fuel is on board…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_F-15_Eagle#Specifications_.28F-15C.29

    That means it can actually climb straight up since it has more thrust than it weighs…in physical terms its propulsive force [ie thrust] is greater than the force of gravity acting on the aircraft [ie the aircraft weight]…

    Now the other big parameter is wing loading…this too is easy to understand…it is simply the weight of the aircraft divided by its wing area…

    For example…the F15 has a wing loading of about 73 lb per square ft…the B737 is about 153 lb/ft^2…about twice that of the fighter…

    The wing loading of the T-hawk Block 4 is about 320 lb per square ft…twice that of an airliner and about four times that of a fighter…

    This is bad…and we will soon understand why…but first an explanation of how we arrived at this figure, which is not published…

    The wing area is simply the span of the wing times the wing’s chord [ie width] just like any other surface area measurement…

    The T-hawk’s wingspan is published as 8.9 ft [see above wiki link]…

    But we do not know the wing chord…which is not given…however, we can estimate this quite reliably using photos of the T-hawk and knowing its fuselage diameter is 20.4 inches…

    Here’s a good shot of one in flight…

    We see that the wing chord is perhaps a little bit more than half the fuselage diameter…ie a little bigger than 10 inches…call it 12 inches or one ft…

    That means the wing area is 8.9 ft x 1 ft = 8.9 ft^2…cal it 9 square ft…

    We find wing loading by dividing weight by wing area…so 2,900 lb / 9 ft^2= 322 lb/ft^2…

    We see that T-hawk wing loading is more than twice that of the B737 and more than four times the F15…

    This is bad

    Why is high wing loading bad…?…here is a basic explanation…a highly loaded wing means simply that each square inch of surface on that wing is carrying more weight…

    This reduces the aircraft’s ability to climb first and foremost…it also means a high stall speed…ie the minimum speed at which the aircraft can stay aloft…

    It also reduces the ability to maneuver or turn

    Think of climbing up a set of stairs while carrying a backpack…if you are carrying 100 lb as opposed to 20 lb is it going to make a difference…?

    Here is a general illustration…we all know that an airliner is hardly a hot rod…you don’t have to be a Boeing test pilot to know that…although nosing over a jumbo jet into a steep dive [a test requirement for FAA certification] will certainly get the juices flowing…

    Comparing an airliner to a fighter is like a Ferrari against the family Buick…

    Now that is the general picture…we see that the T-hawk has lower thrust-to-weight than even an airliner…and more than twice the wing loading…

    In short…this thing will fly like a slug…especially in two crucial areas…the ability to climb…and the ability to maneuver [ie turn]…

    Now most people don’t even realize these basic facts…certainly not the bozos who write utter crap about missiles and fighters in joke publications like National Interest and Business Insider etc…

    So let’s dive a little deeper shall we…?

    Here we will get a little more technical…but believe me, this is easy to understand…

    First of all some of you may already be asking…ok so the T-hawk may be a slug even compared to an airliner…but why is this important…?

    Well…just remember that the T-hawk is meant to fly at about 100 to 200 ft off the ground and to wind through terrain in order to hide from radar…ie it is supposed to find mountain valleys and canyons and fly through those because that will keep enemy radar from seeing it…

    [we will get into a technical discussion on radar when we start discussing countermeasures...]

    Technically this terrain following is called nap-of-the-earth flying {NOE]…and this kind of flying is very challenging in terms of the aerodynamic capabilities of the aircraft and the power [thrust] of the engine…

    This kind of flying can also be very dangerous even in high performance jets specifically designed to do this and with highly proficient pilots at the controls…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_flying_military_training#Hazards

    Here is a quick primer on terrain following…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrain-following_radar

    Lots of military jets are designed for terrain following…the best known being the F111 which is no longer in service with the US…now that role is filled by the F15E…the European Tornado…and the French Rafale…

    These are all very high performance jets with very high thrust to weight and low wing loading…

    But let’s get into the technical meat and potatoes of the T-hawk flight performance capabilities, in a way that anybody can understand…

    Thrust to weight is obviously easy to understand…it’s like horsepower to weight on a car…

    Wing loading requires some more explanation…

    Let’s start with the basics of how a wing produces lift…the air flowing over the wing is what creates lift…obviously an aircraft sitting there has no airflow over the wing and cannot lift itself off the ground…

    That’s the point of the takeoff roll…to get enough airflow over that wing to get the plane off the ground…

    Now the smaller the wing, the faster the airplane must be moving in order to get enough airflow over the wing to lift off or even to stay aloft once flying…that should be obvious…you don’t see a jumbo with the wing of a Cessna…

    Now we know already that the B737-400 has less than half the wing loading of the T-hawk [153 lb/ft^2 vs 320 lb/ft^2]…just imagein a 737 with a wing half the size…

    So let’s look at the takeoff speed of the B737-400…it’s about 160 knots [185 mph] at the airplane’s maximum takeoff weight…it will be lower at lower takeoff weights…here’s a handy chart…[Vr means liftoff speed...ie velocity at rotation...ie when you rotate the airplane nose skyward...]

    http://www.b737.org.uk/vspeeds.htm

    So with twice the wing loading, the T-hawk, if were to take off from a runway…it would need to reach a considerably higher speed before it could lift off…

    Why is this important…?…because this tells us that obviously the T-hawk cannot fly at less than this speed…ie this would be its minimum flying speed…

    Try to go any slower and the wing sill stall aerodynamically [ie loss of lift] and the T-hawk will plummet to the ground…

    So what is the T-hawk’s minimum flying speed…?

    My computation says it would be about 300 to 350 mph…depending on fuel weight…

    As the T-hawk burns off fuel weight its minimum flying speed would decrease down to about 300 mph…at full fuel it will need to go about 350 mph to avoid stalling…

    Note…this computation involves a little more aerodynamic math that we need not go into right now…but if anyone is interested I will be happy to do the math in a separate comment…

    So why is the minimum speed important one may ask…?

    Well simply this…an airplane that wants to climb must slow down……no airplane can climb at its maximum speed…

    And…the more you can slow down the airplane without stalling the wing…the more steeply you will be able to climb…

    Let’s look at the B737 again…here is some information from the pilot manual…

    Climb Airspeed:

    Departure Altitude to 10,000 ft. – no greater than 250 KIAS

    Above 10,000 ft. – Fly Mach Number = .43 to .47 Mach

    http://www.flywestwind.com/Hangar/Aircraft_Files/FOMs/B733FOM.pdf

    So now to explain what that means…

    From takeoff to 10,000 ft altitude we have a speed limit of 250 knots indicated airspeed…[KIAS]…this is a limit set by the FAA so we could actually fly a little faster…and in practice often do…since it is difficult to get a ‘speeding ticket’…[but not impossible...]

    Now the important part is what happens after 10,000 ft…here we see the speed setting as 0.43 to 0.47 mach…

    This is just a bit over half the 737 maximum speed of mach 0.8…[ 0.43 / 0.8 = 0.53 ]

    Another way to compare a 737 to a T-hawk is a performance measure of minimum speed to maximum speed…[this is called the speed range and is an often used parameter used to compare different aircraft...]

    The 737 has a minimum flying speed of about 185 mph [at full weight] as we already discussed…its maximum speed is M 0.8 which equals 520 mph…

    The ratio is then 2.8…ie the 737 can fly 2.8 times faster than its minimum flying speed…

    The T-hawk minimum is let’s say 300 mph [and that's with low fuel near the end of the flight]…the maximum is 550 mph…so the ratio is just 1.8…

    So this is how an airplane can climb…it must fly at a lower speed…

    But the T-hawk can’t slow down very much to begin with…because it’s minimum flying speed is almost twice that of a 737…ie 350 mph vs 185 mph…

    Engine thrust also comes into it…the rate of climb is a function of excess thrust available…over and above what is required to fly the airplane straight and level… ie not climbing…

    Ie…you need to have power in reserve…if you are already going flat out…you obviously have no chance to increase power and thus climb…

    So right here we have the big basic problem of the T-hawk…

    The T-hawk is required to fly a very challenging flight profile that involves flying through mountain passes and rising terrain…

    Yet it has neither the engine thrust, nor the wing size needed to maneuver in any way that could be described as satisfactory for such a challenging flight profile…

    A terrain following fighter is going to outperform a T-hawk in this kind of flying like a Ferrari would smoke a Yugo…

    This is something we have to think about…this aircraft can easily get itself into trouble with no way out…

    Let’s say the T-hawk is cruising along through a mountain pass…low to the ground…

    But just up ahead the terrain rises steeply and starts winding also…the T-hawk must now both climb and turn at the same time…

    This is the ultimate challenge…since lift is decreased in a turn it requires more engine power just by itself, even if you do not need to climb…

    Now you also need to climb but with less lift available…what happens…?

    It slams into the mountain…that’s what happens…and this has in fact often happened with the T-hawk…it’s called ‘clobbering’

    If you do a search for TLAM ‘clobber’ you will find very little…obviously the bozos that call themselves ‘aerospace analysts’ at joke publications mentioned above have no interest in such technicalities…especially since such deficiencies are embarrassing to the hype that they peddle…

    But the problem of clobbering was such a big deal even in 2003 Operation Desert Storm…that neighboring countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran raised a big fuss…

    ‘…In response to the political fallout from these stray missiles, the Navy suspended launches of Tomahawk missiles from ships in the Mediterranean and Red Seas…’

    http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/202560/why-the-navy-should-retire-tlam-n/

    This author does not hold any real technical credentials either [ie advanced degrees in hard sciences like engineering or physics]…but he is at least intelligent enough to learn basics before putting pen to paper…

    So there is the aerodynamic problem in a nutshell…

    It means that those specialists who have programmed the T-hawk’s flight plan must do a very good job…

    And each and every flight is unique…because the terrain underneath is unique…

    So it’s not just a matter of launching a T-hawk and kicking back with a beer…

    That pre-programmed flight plan must by necessity take account each and every mile along the way…

    There is no pilot on board who can deal with unexpected contingencies…so even the slightest error or miscalculation will mean ‘clobbered’ T-hawks…

    In specific terms it means this…the flight plan must set the T-hawk’s speed and engine power very carefully…at each mile along the way…

    We have already mentioned that the minimum flying speed is around 350 mph…and this is flying on the edge of a stall with full fuel…

    Even just a turn will mean having to increase engine power…ie push in the throttle…to keep the thing in the air…

    Now let’s say the T-hawk is flying at a safe speed of 400 mph…at this speed it has some engine power in reserve so it can turn and climb, even at the same time…but only up to a point…

    Ie…that point is the limit of what the T-hawk can do in terms of its specific rate of climb and rate of turn…

    So far…this explanation still does not give us any real numbers on that…ie…

    What is the maximum rate of climb of the T-hawk…?

    What kind of climb performance would it need to fly in the particular terrain of Syria…?

    Those are really the key questions…

    Let me stop at this point and we will get into the answers to the above two questions in my next comment…

  280. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Welcome back Andrei…

    A few comments ago you said this…

    ‘That is why I “dropped out”–it is impossible to discuss anything with ignoramuses…’

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2054551

    Regarding your ‘words’ to Nosey…

    ‘…I don’t know your background but assuming that it is not in medicine, do a forensic experiment: try to go to the forums of medical professionals (gastroenterologists? heart surgeons?) and start throwing in there a complete medical BS or some irrelevant crap, then see the reaction…

    I have an extremely well-tuned BS meter in many issues related to warfare, so if I call things as I see them I judge them on the actual merit. In the end, I do not insert myself in discussions on the issues I have no clue about…’

    Well…we certainly know everything about your glorious background now don’t we…?

    You have been touting yourself like some kind of peacock prince since moment one…

    Your storied military academy…your glorious officer career…and on and on…

    You’re been talking down to everybody here…

    In short…you’ve been an obnoxious, pompous blowhard…

    While offering very little actual knowledge…if any…mostly trying to dazzle us ‘simple folks’ with your fancy math models and equations…[which I suspect you yourself don't understand...]

    Why do I get the feeling that you’re the kind of guy I would love to punch in the mouth…?

    [but wait...don't tell me...you're also a master in martial arts...I believe the Russian military training is Sambo...SAMozashchita Bez Oruzhiya...ie self-defense without weapons...]

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  281. @FB

    Welcome back Andrei…

    Goodbye.

  282. @Andrei Martyanov

    I cannot imagine why anyone would care a fig about my background in a comment section such as this, especially as I’ve made no claims about my professional history. I would also mention that I have encountered many instances where the thinking of professionals has been limited by their training and solutions to problems have often be found by fresh thoughts from creative minds from outside of that field.

    Thankfully I don’t require an appendectomy and have always enjoyed robust good health along with athleticism and youthful good looks. I credit my parents for that, an extremely vital and handsome couple. The point of my comment was to simply point out that I felt that you did yourself a disservice by behaving the way you did as I’d hoped you’d continue with the discussion, though in a more civil manner. I don’t expect you to lose any sleep over it but you shouldn’t get your knickers in a twist either. You may rest assured that I won’t miss a wink myself.

  283. Erebus says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Thanks Andrei,
    I am aware of those two “windows” into the TLAM, but as you point out, they don’t adequately account for what we see in the Shayrat case. I’m also aware that flat, barren terrain, and of course water, make both the terrain-following and image-mapping guidance unreliable.
    In regards to the latter, one wonders if the missiles took two (or more) different flight paths into Shayrat.

    To my mind, there’s one fundamental, statistically incredible feature in this case. 23 missiles either hit their targets dead-on, or hit within their CEP (or near enough), but they hit only relatively low-value targets that had little/no impact on base operations. On the other hand, the 36 that missed did so by very wide margins.
    Ergo, if the object of the strike was to disable the base, at least some of the missiles were aimed at the runways and taxiways, yet all of the hits & near misses are associated with non-critical base infrastructure. The prima facia conclusion is that all of the high value targetted TLAMS went astray and only low value targetted ones got through. This is either a statistically inordinate piece of bad luck, or it is due to some particular defensive measure of which we are as yet unaware (though I have some conjectures, depending on which variant of the Tomahawk was used). I’m doubtful that we’ll ever learn enough to conclude one way or the other.

    Parenthetically, the “gentleman’s agreement” regarding the sides’ respective assets seems to have been abandoned by the time Gen. Asapov was killed.

  284. Erebus says:

    Did this thread die due to lack of interest, or were comments lost in the great crash? I was looking forward to FB’s explications of what makes Tomahawks tick.

    • Replies: @DavidKNZ
  285. DavidKNZ says:
    @Erebus

    From faraway NZ… Also looking for further insight… 36 Tomahawks gone AWOL cannot be reassuring to the US military planners.. bad enough with Afghan recruits vanishing.

    Also, can anyone provide more information on the earlier “Coalition” missiles (1/2?) (TLAMS?) launched at Syria (from Mediterranean ??) that either failed to reach Syria or were destroyed ??

  286. slorter says:
    @Anon

    An incomplete picture is also being drawn by you as well!

  287. Batambob says:

    In Comment 138, Sean points us to an article from the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London on Russian military non-violent asymmetric warfare .

    The Russian military’s view on the utility of force: the adoption of a strategy of non-violent asymmetric warfare By Dr. Rod Thornton

    https://defenceindepth.co/2017/02/17/the-russian-militarys-view-on-the-utility-of-force-the-adoption-of-a-strategy-of-non-violent-asymmetric-warfare/

    This article is reminiscent of Jewish tactic of projectionism, where the sins and shortcomings of the accuser are projected upon the accused. In fact, there is nothing new or uniquely Russian about non-violent asymmetric warfare; it forms the underlying thesis of Sun Tzu’s Art of War; which itself is based on ancient Chinese principles of effective governance of human society – “Qunshu Zhiyao”.

    The Law Of Hybrid Warfare by Andrew Korybko

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/andrew-korybko-hybrid-wars-the-indirect-adaptive-approach-to-regime-change/5469242

    The Transformation of War: The Most Radical Reinterpretation of Armed Conflict Since Clausewitz by Martin Van Creveld

    https://www.amazon.com/Transformation-War-Reinterpretation-Conflict-Clausewitz/dp/0029331552

  288. El Dato says:
    @Priss Factor

    That’s a blast from the good old past! Eagerly awaiting unleashed “Boomer” semi-intelligent robots performing false flag attacks in Neo-Tokyo. We could it in a few years.

    Load a satellite with huge bombs, missiles, and even nukes.

    There is a UN contract about everyone promising NOT to lift nukes into orbit trajectories (I think it even applies to nuclear reactors, which is a pity, would like to see those flying again)

    Send them into space and fly them over enemy nations.

    Orbital gymnastics do not really work this way, also we have ICBMs which have the exact same effect + are safe against being damaged in orbit by other nukes or, uh, “low-radar-signature in-orbit repair robots”.

    (Reminds me of “Rendezvous with Rama” where the extra-large fusion device sent by the paranoid Mercury colony to destroy the Alien Spaceship is sabotaged easily with a spacesuit and a pair of wire cutters. Mercury can’t do anything because it takes longer to send the detonation signal via lightspeed from Mercury than to cut the wires)

  289. @Priss Factor

    Corruption, the absence of morality, is one of the spoils of war. In wartime, corruption permeates the entire society. War has no rules, respects no property and does not give a damn about anyone’s life but one’s own.

    The corruption lies in the fact that Russia, Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran have been forced to assist with the defence of Syria. Sick Pharaoh-Capitalist drive mentally ill or greedy [slave-driver=national leaders] to arrange their respective nations: “Line up your people, and tell them to stop what they are doing. Tell them to crank up their factories, tell them to pretend they can defend themselves and things, and tell them to prepare to play the game of war”. Why: because the Pharaoh-Capitalist are restless?

  290. Paw says:
    @SimpleHandle

    If there are enemies against Russia-Syria, it is Israel who by helping them , can not stay away from any escalating conflicts.
    No mention of Israel in this article, the big “player” there…

  291. Uncle Sam says:

    Mr. Martyanov is factually incorrect about his statement that the Yugoslav/Serbian air defense system being overwhelmed and destroyed. NATO aircraft had to fly at such high altitudes that they were completely ineffective in destroying the Serbian ground forces. Moreover, NATO lost 70 aircraft including three F117 stealth bombers, one B2a and one B52 and another 50 or more aircraft were damaged.

    They failed completely in their attempts to suppress the Serb air defense system. That system remained intact during that war. In fact, NATO’s logistics were stretched almost to the breaking point. They had to put pressure on the Russians so that they in turn would pressure the Serbs to end war. Yeltsin got a big IMF loan for his efforts. Victor Chernomyrdin was the diplomat who pressured the Serbs, and to this day the Serbs say he stabbed them in the back.

  292. krollchem says:
    @FB

    In regards to the NATO war against the FRY, the Serbian air force commander used a innovative and complex decoy strategy. From my close accounting of the war the NATO forces wiped out over a thousand fake artillery pieces, hundreds of fake tanks (along with one museum T34 ), an unknown number of microwave oven “radar” batteries, and a couple dozen plywood full scale models of Mig-29s. Yes the F-117 was shot down on a clear night with advanced warning from older long wave Russian radar. Sadly the Serbian commander was one of a very few air defense members that was killed in the war.

    It was only the bombing of civilian targets that forced the Serbian forces out of Kosovo. Otherwise the NATO ground forces would ave been defeated in the one and only pass into Kosovo. The NATO forces did, however, wipe out a few hundred KLA troops and one of the KLA helicopters.

    Thus, I agree that the NATO war against FRY was ineffective. While the combined NATO plus Israeli, Saudi, UAE and Baraini air and missile forces could overwhelm the Russian forces in Syria at a great cost this would never happen. First, the Russian announcement of many advanced weapons demonstrated a deterrence in depth. Second, a massive attack on Russian military forces in Syria would trigger a nuclear response against the naval forces and land bases (even if only using tactical nuclear weapons). The western world would back down as no one would win a nuclear war and few would survive the nuclear winter.

    Thus the Russian announcement of advanced weapons is most likely a means to prevent the Western powers from doing something stupid. Hopefully, the Western powers understand game theory and the eventual outcome of any offensive action against Russian forces.

    • Replies: @Uncle Sam
    , @FB
  293. Uncle Sam says:
    @krollchem

    It was not the bombing of Serbian civilian targets that ended the war but rather Russian pressure in the person of Victor Chernomrydin exerted on the Serbs that ended it. The Russian military did not want to pressure the Serbs, because they wanted the Americans and NATO to exhaust themselves—which would have happened had the war continued—and admit defeat, go to a ground war or negotiate an end to the war. In fact, one of the leading Russian generals, Leonid Ivashov, publicly argued with Chernomyrdin over his tactics, but the big IMF loan (mentioned in my previous post) made the difference.

    Had the war continued America would have had the choice of a ground war or some sort of negotiated settlement to save as much face as possible. A ground war would have been out of question because none of the other NATO countries would have supported it. In other words, America faced the very real possibility of being humiliated.

    I do not know the exact number, but it is true that dozens of decoys of tanks, artillery pieces, armored personnel carriers and planes were destroyed by the NATO air forces. The Serbian army suffered very minimal damage, although its air force lost a few MIG 29′s.

    From a purely military standpoint the war against Yugoslavia/Serbia was defeat for America/NATO.

    • Agree: FB
  294. Uncle Sam says:
    @Uncle Sam

    NATO did not deliberately attack the Serbian civilian population, although they went after the infrastructure, after their frustrating failures to suppress the Serb air defense system. However, even that was unsuccessful.

    Any attack or sustained attacks on the civilian population would have brought the Russians into the war.

    Correction: the last sentence of my previous post should read … was a defeat….

  295. @Uncle Sam

    It was not the bombing of Serbian civilian targets that ended the war but rather Russian pressure in the person of Victor Chernomrydin

    Chernomyrdin merely danced to the tune of the “reformist” cabal in government and drunk imbecile Yeltsin. For all intents and purposes Russia betrayed Serbia. Even worse–sold her out. This is a hard cold fact of Russia’s history, it is also one the most humiliating and shameful one.

    • Agree: yurivku
    • Replies: @yurivku
  296. FB says:
    @krollchem

    Generally correct…just some minor corrections…

    ‘…Sadly the Serbian commander was one of a very few air defense members that was killed in the war…’

    Incorrect…

    Col. Zoltan Dani…the commander of the 250′th Missile Brigade which shot down the F117…plus damaged another…which was written off and should count as a kill…plus an F16 flown by current USAF chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein…

    …is alive and well with his family…and working as a baker in Serbia …

    In 2013 a documentary film…The Second Meeting…came out…where the F117 pilot…USAF Lt. Col. Dale Zelko…and Dani reunited in Serbia…

    Zelko on left and Dani at his bakery…

    Here is a trailer of the film…

    And a review of the film in the NYT…

    The canopy and tail of then col. Goldfein’s F16 is on display at the Belgrade Aviation museum…

    The second F117 that was hit by Dani’s unit and written off maanged to get back to base at Aviano…but never flew again…

    The late USAF test pilot and academy instructor Col. Everest Riccioni mentions this in his critique of the F22…see footnote 18 on page 10…

    ‘…Of the three aircraft shot down during our incursion into Serbia, one was an F–16 flown by a pilot doing other than he was directed to do, and two were the most stealthy F–117 Night Hawks, one of which staggered back to its home base never to fly again, so it is seldom counted…’

    The F16 pilot ‘doing other than he was directed to do’ was Goldfein…now sitting on the Joint Chiefs…

    So we see here a case of one single air defense unit that punched well above its weight…confirming yet again the basic principle that people and training are the most important factor…ideas come second and hardware a distant third…as Pierre Sprey has noted…

    The Serbs had antiquated ’50s and ’60s hardware…what would have happened even if they had a couple of modern Russian SAMs…?

    Dr. Benjamin Lambeth poses this question in his comprehensive review of the Kosovo air war…published in 2002 in the USAF Academy Aerospace Journal…[page 19]…

    ‘…One SA-10/12 [S300] site in Belgrade and one in Pristina could have provided defensive coverage over all of Serbia and Kosovo.

    They also could have threatened Rivet Joint, Compass Call, and other key allied aircraft such as the airborne command and control center and the Navy’s E-2C operating well outside enemy airspace…’

    You said…

    ‘…While the combined NATO plus Israeli, Saudi, UAE and Baraini air and missile forces could overwhelm the Russian forces in Syria…’

    Disagree strongly…

    Nato had over 1,000 aircraft attacking Serbia for 78 days and did not manage to knock out its air defenses…

    We note the above comment from Lambeth about just two S300 sites defending all of Serbia and Kosovo…

    What the Russians have in Syria dwarfs this…numerous S400 and S300 as well as the lower tier Buk and Pantsir providing protection to the big guns…

    Not to mention the top notch pilots flying state of the art Flankers…the A50 AWACS etc…

    Basically Syria is an A2/AD zone now…[ie Anti Access, Area Denial...]

    As I have talked in detail in other threads…these are the modern equivalent of the impregnable fortress of medieval warfare…

    Also the idea that anyone…much less Israel…Saudi or anyone else in the region would even grant the US permission to launch attacks on Russian forces from their soil is so far fetched as to be nonsensical…

    No one is going to sign up for that…

    The US… if it was insane enough to try to take out Russian air defenses in Syria would have its carrier aircraft and that’s it…I doubt even the poodle UK would allow US jets to attack Russia from their Cyprus Akrotiri air base…

    [the base would be toast in a matter of minutes by way of Kalibr missile barrage if any attacking aircraft took off from there...]

    This is clearly a non-starter…US has no chance to dislodge Russia in Syria…that is just a fact of life…

    Let’s hear what the Israelis had to say after the Syrians downed that F16 last month…

    ‘…Israel hasn’t had true air superiority in the region since late 2015, when Russia decided to install an S-400 missile defense battery in Syria powerful enough to track the vast majority of Israeli airspace.

    Since then, Israel has effectively been operating in Syria by the grace of Moscow.

    A fly can’t buzz above Syria without Russian consent nowadays,” an Israeli defense official told the International Crisis Group think tank after the S-400 was installed…’

  297. Rzhevskiy says:

    Well written! To the likes of Ralph Peters – there’s a reason why some of the terrorist targets in Syria have been effectively destroyed by the missiles launched from Caspian Sea. I think you get the hint what would happen to every yank in Syria if US is stupid enough to launch an attack on Russian property.

  298. ThumbsUp says:
    @FB

    Great comment and especially the video post. As usual, the real story way outshines the teenage boy pollution produced by Hollywood, so called “behind enemy lines”. As expected from Hollywood, Serbs were painted as some sort of medieval brutes. This video, albeit short, shows the real Serbian people. The fact alone that the US pilot went to visit the “enemy” tells a lot about what the reality of the encounter was and how despicable US propaganda is, from White House, to State Dept., to MSM, to Hollywood (the frontier of propaganda, really).

  299. Y.L. says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Andrei, all these mathematical and technical details are beyond me and it’s almost like FB is working for DOD trying to get answers from you that otherwise would be top secret.

    Kidding; DOD isn’t that smart and FB seems like a nice guy. And USA techs must be aware of all the mathematics and factors you describe.

    This on drone swarms may be garbage/fake news/propaganda but after recent drone attacks in Syria have you heard about using drone swarms to take out the S-400? Maybe the U.S. is probing and testing.

    You’d know.

    Here’s the YouTube, which you may with your expertise laugh at.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  300. @Y.L.

    Typical propaganda for fanboys:

    1. S-400 sees so called “Stealth” aircraft just fine and can shoot them down, doesn’t matter if it is B-2, F-22, or F-35. But somebody forgot to update those dudes at “Defense Update”.
    2. Normal people do not deploy S-400 merely as a collection of radar and launchers, it is always a complex which builds like LEGO and includes, as it is the case for Russian S-400 in Syria:

    a) Layered AD: from short range and much cheaper Pantsir. With new Gvozd (Nail) missile a single platform carries 48 of them + guns.
    b) Buk-M2s and different additional radar and optronic sensors.
    c) Comprehensive EW complex. Capable, among other things, to basically disable any drone.

    3. In case of Russian forces in Syria the AD network involves also S-300 and in Tartus or near ships’ AD complexes from Shtil (naval version of Buk) to Fort (S-300) which also allow a very good coefficient of coverage-overlap (koefficient perekrytia).
    4. And then, of course, come “on call” or “discreet” patrols of A-50U which have arguably the best “look down” detection capability against ground (podstilayushaya).

    5. I omit here satellite capabilities, who knows what is out there.

    This is just for warmup. But if those “professionals” on “Defense Update” expect S-400 fight swarms of drones–they really have to educate themselves on what REAL air-defense is and what it entails. But we can forgive them–for people who thought that Iraq had “integrated” modern AD it is kinda understandable not to get a real thing.

    • Replies: @Y.L.
  301. Y.L. says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Andrei, as I suspected.

    So YouTube is basically only good for movie trailers, left wing propaganda, the struggling Alex Jones, etc.

    I did see the unedited Putin interview on the Russia Insight channel. I’m sure YouTube will try to take it down.

    If there are good channels/reports, let me know.

    Embarrassing. Or sad that all that America puts out is propaganda.

    Did you think, if you’ve read it, that Shamir here on Unz is right, by the way? I think so. I realize that Putin must understand many millions of Americans (and Brits, hence their delivery of natural gas) *do not* think like their “ruling class.”

    Shamir wrote:

    The reason for Putin’s speech was a different and more urgent one: a terrible crescendo of threats had made Russia feel very vulnerable. Presumably their spy agencies convinced the Russian leader the threats were real.

    The US establishment has been looking for a way to humiliate and punish Russia since Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians. The indictment alleged that “the Russian conspirators wanted to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy,” in the words of Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general overseeing the Mueller’s inquiry. It did not matter that the indicted Russians weren’t officials of the Russian state; that their effort (if these existed at all) were puny: a few ads at the cost of about $100,000, a drop in the ocean compared to the vast amounts of money spent by both the Clinton and Trump campaigns. However, the US establishment called these minor actions of private Russian citizens an “act of war.”

    On February 19, Glenn Greenwald summed up the US reactions in the piece called A Consensus Emerges: Russia Committed an “Act of War” on Par With Pearl Harbor and 9/11. He reminded us that Senators from both parties, such as Republican John McCain and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, have long described Russian meddling in 2016 as an “act of war.” Hillary Clinton described Russia’s alleged hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s email inbox as a “cyber 9/11.” Tom Friedman of the New York Times said on “Morning Joe” that Russian hacking “was a 9/11-scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor-scale event.”

    After the indictment, this comparison became a common place rhetoric. “The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty, complaining about President Donald Trump’s inaction, asked readers to “imagine how history would have judged Franklin D. Roosevelt in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, if he had taken to the radio airwaves to declare that Tokyo was ‘laughing their asses off.’ Or if George W. Bush had stood in the rubble of the World Trade Center with a bullhorn and launched a name-calling tirade against the Democrats.”

    Greenwald concluded: “If Russian election meddling is on par with the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks, then should the U.S. response be on par with its response to those attacks?” In other words, the US politicians and media called to give Russia the same treatment the US gave to Japan (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and to Afghanistan (invasion followed by 16 years of occupation).

    http://www.unz.com/ishamir/putins-weapons/

    What a mess! I’m ashamed of this criminal sociopaths. Psychotic junior high school girls with nuclear weapons.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  302. Erebus says:
    @Anon

    Thanks.
    That’s an excellent article from an unexpected source. Well worth the time to read it.

    Where Watergate was a story about a crime that came to define an entire generation’s oppositional attitude toward politicians and the country’s elite, Russiagate… has proved itself to be the reverse: It is a device that the American elite is using to define itself against its enemies—the rest of the country.

    I am reminded of the underlying purpose of Orwell’s 2+2=5. By forcing the Party membership to proclaim absurdities, the Inner Party guaranteed their full control of the Outer Party’s thinking. What the proles thought was immaterial.

    So it is with Russiagate. It’s brilliant, actually.

  303. yurivku says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    For all intents and purposes Russia betrayed Serbia. Even worse–sold her out. This is a hard cold fact of Russia’s history, it is also one the most humiliating and shameful one.

    Well, yes, it’s shameful. Very.
    I feel it as well as I know that we won’t forget and wont’t forgive US and her ass-kissers for that crime.
    Even if Serbs like Japanese will forget.

  304. @Y.L.

    Did you think, if you’ve read it, that Shamir here on Unz is right, by the way?

    Yes, Israel Shamir definitely has a point in his excellent piece.

    • Replies: @Y.L.
  305. Y.L. says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Sadly, things are getting worse with the “torturer” as head of CIA and Neocon Pompeo as the new Secretary of State. Will America listen? That’s a rhetorical question.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-13/russia-threatens-military-action-against-us-if-washington-strikes-syria

    Here’s an excerpt:

    The General also said Russia had “reliable information” about militants preparing to falsify a government chemical attack against civilians. In other words, another US-false flag attack, like the one launched in 2013 which nearly caused military conflict between Russia and the US.

    Gerasimov predicted that the U.S. would then use this attack to accuse Syrian government troops of using chemical weapons. He added that the U.S. would then plan to launch a missile strike on government districts in Damascus.

    “In several districts of Eastern Ghouta, a crowd was assembled with women, children and old people, brought from other regions, who were to represent the victims of the chemical incident, ” Gerasimov said, according to RIA.

    But far more ominously, Gerasimov said Russia would respond to a U.S. strike on Syria if the lives of Russian servicemen were threatened, targeting any missiles and launchers involved: “In case there is a threat to the lives of our military, the Russian Armed Force will take retaliatory measures both over the missiles and carriers that will use them,” the Russian General said.

    Thanks for your time and your brilliance and integrity, which is in short supply in Washington. I’ll watch this space for how Phil Giraldi responds; he had harsh words for Gina Haspel on a post last year here at Unz.com

  306. Krollchem says:
    @FB

    It was Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) Colonel General Ljubisa Velickovic, not Col. Zoltan Dani, who was killed in the Kosovo war:
    “Deputy of C-in-C Supreme Command Headquarters for the AF Colonel General Ljubisa Velickovic was awarded the Medal of War Flag – First Degree. General Velickovic was killed in combat.”

    http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Air_Force_of_Serbia_and_Montenegro

    The point I was trying to make is that the FRY air combat strategy was designed to deny NATO bombers the air space below 60,000 ft. Col. Zoltan Dani’s strategy of “shoot an scoot” was critical in preventing NATO from destroying the FRY air defense systems. You will also recall that the FRY deployed many arrays of kitchen microware ovens, with their doors removed and the safety mechanism disabled, as radar decoys for the NATO bombers to attack. The actual SAM radar systems were only turned on for short periods and then moved.

    The NATO war against FRY was a test of how to win a war using the air force. Some 60,000 sorties were flown by NATO pilots with 35,219 sorties flown by US pilots of 720 planes. To counter the FRY SAM barrages the NATO pilots deployed a lot of decoys and chaff to confuse the missiles. Under such conditions, the NATO bombers were basically trading decoys for missiles in a stand off air war. The FRY did lose some half dozen MIG-29s in air combat and a few close air support planes as well as a few dozen other planes (4 MIG-21s, 4 MIG-23s)on the ground. Likewise the NATO forces lost the planes you mentioned as well as over a dozen planes taken out of action due to missile damage. I saw reports at the time that a couple of NATO planes crashed in neighboring countries after being hit by SAMs. A number of NATO planes and helicopters were lost in Albania near the Kosovo border due to mechanical difficulties and some perhaps shot down by manpads.

    NATO deployed hundreds of UAVs to get ground truth in Kosovo. Some 60 of these were shot down using SAM missiles and manpads. Since the NATO pilots were generally denied the opportunity to bomb at lower altitudes the FRY was able to trick NATO into attacking decoy fake tanks (some made of plywood), artillery pieces (about a thousand made of old tires and irrigation pipe), mortars, bridges (plywood) and even several plywood Mig-29s. In the case of tanks, the NATO forces destroyed some 14 real “tanks” of which one was a T-34 towed out onto a field. The other 12 were previously scrapped tanks and tank carriers. I only saw video one actual operational FRY tank being destroyed.

    The FRY admitted that some 462 FRY soldiers and 114 police were killed during the war. A majority of these losses most likely occurred in fighting between the FRY and the KLA.

    Chernomyrdin stated that some 3,000 people were killed during the NATO/FRY war. Discounting KLA losses, the remainder of the civilians killed were due to the NATO bombing campaign. In Kosovo, NATO killed 75 Albanians in a refugee convoy and it was reported that NATO B-52 bombers carpet bombed a concentration of KLA troops at a mountain near the Kosovo border. NATO incorrectly bragged that several hundred (FRY) troops were killed in the bombing.

    The civilian deaths in Serbia are well documented in the book Kosovo crisis. The FRY ambassador to Moscow reported that 300 civilians were killed and 3,000 wounded by bombing attacks in Serbia. The deaths include BelgradeTV station staff in the FRY, residents of Aleksinac, bridge and rail bombings, Chinese embassy, etc…

    I agree with your comment that Russia has “numerous S400 and S300 as well as the lower tier Buk and Pantsir providing protection to the big guns…” I presume that you are referring to the TorM2 (SA-15 Gauntlet) when you mention the Buk system. Martyanov has well documented these and several other air defence systems deployed by Russia and Syrian forces in an integrated command system. In addition, the Russian air superiority fighters are more than a match for Western fighters due to their carrying of more missiles, longer range missiles and better CoC. I would expect that Russia could inflict a 4:1 kill ratio.

    I , however, stand by my comment that ‘…While the combined NATO plus Israeli, Saudi, UAE and Baraini air and missile forces could overwhelm the Russian forces in Syria…’ One has to realize that these forces can deploy 2-3 thousand fighters and bombers that rapidly follow up missile attacks by various cruise missiles and UAVs designed to soak up the hug number of Russian air defense missiles. The fighters could launch many thousands of air to ground missiles to further soak up Russian and Serbian missiles. The bombers would be called in to finish the job.

    The new result would be destruction of Russian and Syrian air bases in Syria hundreds of Western fighter jets lost along with carrier battle groups and land bases in Turkey, Israel, Barain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and perhaps Jordan. Most of the land bases destroyed would come from Russian standoff missiles from the Caspian and Black sea forces. Lebanon would join in the battle with over a hundred thousand missiles fired against Israel.

    The end result would be global thermonuclear war and the ensuing nuclear winter dropping air temperature to far below freezing for several years due to massive quantities of nitric oxide, carbon dioxide, soot carbon, sulfur dioxide from gypsum in volatilized homes and dust entering the upper atmosphere. Toon et al. in 2007 also indicate that the soot (carbon black) “is likely to become coated with sulfates, organics, and other nonabsorbing materials, which could act as lenses, refracting light onto the soot. This effect might increase absorption by ∼50%, leading to potentially greater impacts than those we modeled.”

    Thus Putin’s warning about Russian military capabilities serves as a final warning that game theory requires all parties to avoid war. I once shocked Dr. Toon, the principle author of many nuclear winter studies, by pointing out to him that simply putting nuclear weapons in all major cities and setting them off in case of attack would be effective in stopping any attacks. A quick death is more humane that a slow death due to freezing and starvation.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  307. Krollchem says:
    @FB

    You may be interested in a little geopolitical background on the “definlandization” of Yugoslavia. The initial destruction of Yugoslavia was arranged by the IMF and the World bank. This economic attack on Yugoslavia created ethnic tensions resulting in the Balkan wars between Yugoslavia forces and the breakaway regions of Croatia and the Muslim portions of Bosnia. This is described by Dr. Bob Allen is Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia in his paper titled “Why Kosovo? The Anatomy of a Needless War”

    https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC_Office_Pubs/kosovo.pdf

    Subsequently, the USGS claimed that the Caspian basin contained over 200 billion barrels of light sweet crude that needed to get to western markets. This led to CIA led Islamic terrorist attacks in Chechnya, Dagastan, and a few smaller Russian regions. The FRY (Serbia) was still a barrier to transport of this oil into southern Europe via pipelines as well as goods up the Danube. Kosovo was just an excuse to neutralize the FRY in order to control its transportation routes and buy up its remaining industries (not destroyed by NATO) at pennies on the dollar.

    The late Sean Gervasi, first warned of the potential for NATO to serve as the military security force for this globalist New World Order while at the 1996 Prague Conference on the Enlargement of NATO. His paper, “Why is NATO in Yugoslavia,” demonstrated that Yugoslavia stands at the crossroads of a oil trade and transportation route combining Emperor Charlemagne’s dream of a great European waterway with the fabled Silk Road:

    http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/gervasi/why.htm

    This and other geopolitical factors behind the Kosovo war are also covered in the paper “Wagons East—NATO oil trade route war”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/1999/06/comm-j23.html

  308. FB says:

    Now I know next time not to waste my time responding to a Down syndrome sufferer…

    You clearly said this…

    ‘…Yes the F-117 was shot down on a clear night with advanced warning from older long wave Russian radar. Sadly the Serbian commander was one of a very few air defense members that was killed in the war…’

    Which is taken to mean the commander of the 250′th Air Defense Missile Brigade…which was commanded by Col Dani…

    The man y0u mentioned, Colonel General Ljubisa Velickovic, had nothing to do with the F117 downing…

    The site you linked to is useless because it doesn’t provide any citations…however…the Serbian language wikipedia page on Gen. Velickovic does…

    You can use google translate…and will find that Gen. Velickovic was killed on June 1, 1999 while visiting a PVO [Serbian for air defense] site in Pancevo…

    That is more than two months after the F117 shootdown…and the site he visited had nothing to do with the 250′th which claimed the kill…[as well as the two others...]

    So who are you trying to kid here…with this nonsense…?

    ‘…I presume that you are referring to the TorM2 (SA-15 Gauntlet) when you mention the Buk system…’

    Brilliant Watson…absolutely brilliant…

    The Tor M2 has nothing to do with the Buk…

    The former being a short range system…the latter a medium range…they are different classes of SAM and have nothing to so with one another…

    Noting the above facts

    …I take your opinion on what would hypothetically happen in Syria as approximating the flatus emanating from my Irish setter’s derriere…

  309. Krollchem says:

    I believe that you confuse a low ranking tactical officer such as Col Dani with those such as Colonel General Ljubisa Velickovic who planned the air defense strategy, which was what I was referring to.

    Glad you understand the difference between the Buk and the TorM2 as you failed to mention the latter in your comment. I just figured you got your missile defense systems confused. Andrei Martyanov has published several articles on Russian and Syrian missile systems and their capabilities which serve as a good start in understanding the Syrian war.

    As for the hypothetical attack on Russian forces my point is that game theory makes such an attack impossible.

    It is disappointing that you choose to insult those who are providing comments such as myself and Andrei Martyanov. You must be a very angry man.

  310. Erebus says:
    @Krollchem

    ‘…While the combined NATO plus Israeli, Saudi, UAE and Baraini air and missile forces could overwhelm the Russian forces in Syria…’
    … The new result would be destruction of Russian and Syrian air bases in Syria hundreds of Western fighter jets lost along with carrier battle groups and land bases in Turkey, Israel, Barain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and perhaps Jordan…
    …The end result would be global thermonuclear war and the ensuing nuclear winter…

    I agree that Russian and Syrian assets would suffer a virtual wipeout, but my gut feel is that a few days of losing “hundreds of Western fighter jets along with carrier battle groups and land bases…” would quickly take the steam out of any Western enthusiasm for this war. Almost immediately, word would be hitting the media that carriers were going down with all hands, F16s/22s were falling out of the sky, not to mention HZB rockets raining down on TelAviv.

    The obvious problem for the West is that the Russians, and even the Syrians don’t have much to lose in the Syrian theatre compared what the West has at risk. Most of the destruction of Western assets would come from Russian territory and airspace, and everyone knows there’ll be hell to pay if bombs start landing on Russian soil. Russia’s Syrian bases could be rebuilt in a matter of 5-7 months, judging by what they accomplished in 2015, while the West would be unlikely to ever recover its current presence. I’d wager they’d be leaving the ME forever.

    In short, if the present trajectory continues to a kinetic confrontation, I expect a short but ferocious exchange, followed by a pregnant pause. One can hope the pause will be long enough to be used wisely.

    • Replies: @FB
  311. Krollchem says:

    I home you are right that the West would just leave the ME for good after causing so much death and destruction. Given Trump’s loading of his administration with Iran haters I am not optimistic:

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/trump-votes-for-rexit-torture-girl-to-become-cia-director.html#comments

    I only mentioned the outcome of any major attack on Russian/Syrian forces to demonstrate that parity now exists between the West and Russia. Putin appears not to be playing around anymore and I suspect that further attacks on Syrian forces will not happen. Based on the noise overhead, the Whidby Island naval station has really ramped up the flights of their electronic warfare Prowler and Growler planes in anticipation of something.

    The latest I have heard is that the West will now focus on recruiting a proxy army to fight the Syrian and Russian forces in Syria.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-seeks-congressional-funding-for-60000-man-army-to-overthrow-assad/5631433?print=1

    Likewise, game theory technically shows that any nuclear attacks on Russia cannot happen. Unfortunately, the US military leaders think they can win a nuclear war and survive the aftermath:

    https://fas.org/2017/01/turning-a-blind-eye-towards-armageddon-u-s-leaders-reject-nuclear-winter-studies/

    Having worked in the nuclear chemistry field and trained in CBR, I am very pessimistic about nuclear war as the science supports the Nuclear Winter models. Few people have the mental and physical health, Knowledge, Skills and aptitude to survive several years under freezing twilight conditions and ultimately the stench of the frozen corpses thawing out along with little ozone layer protection.

    I hope this helps.

  312. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…I agree that Russian and Syrian assets would suffer a virtual wipeout…’

    I assume that under ‘assets’ you are not counting the Russian mobile SAMs…[S300/400...Pantsir...Buk etc...]

    And if you are…perhaps you might explain the method by which those would be wiped out…?

    Being mobile…[the big systems including radars are 5 minute shoot and scoot...the Pantsirs can even fire on the move...] what weapons in the US arsenal would take them out…?

    The only weapon in the West’s inventory that can go up against mobile SAMs is the AGM88 HARM…high speed anti-radiation missile…which has a maximum range of 150 km…

    That means that the launch platform [F/A18...Tornado, F16...] would need to get 250 km inside the 400 km range of the S400s hidden in various places…

    And that’s not the whole story on Harm range…

    That maximum is based on a ‘Pre-Brief, Pre-Emptive or Position-Known (PB/PE/POS) mode’…ie where the target position [S400 radar] is known before launch…

    Here is a good description from Carlo Kopp…

    ‘…Lock On After Launch (LOAL) mode… is used for standoff maximum range attacks on emitters of a known type and location, within several degrees of the missile boresight.

    This is the basic mode used by dedicated defense suppression (SEAD) aircraft such as the F-4G and Tornado ECR, or F-16CJ/HTS.

    In PB/PE/POS mode, as used by the Tornado ECR or F-4G, the aircraft’s Emitter Locating System (ELS) determines the identity and position of the target, which are downloaded to the missile.

    The launch aircraft will then toss the missile to impart the best possible range…

    How exactly are you going to have Harm-carrying aircraft operating inside the multiple S400/300 protected airspace…?

    That is the question…?

    If you have a coherent answer I would love to hear it…

    Even if some Harm shots managed to get through those would be mopped up by the Pantsir which is designed for precisely that…

    Either that…or having fired from standoff range…that mobile SAM could move before the Harm shot arrives on scene…

    Russian IADS in Syria is not Serbia 1999…

    Even then as Lambeth points out…

    …1,050 Nato aircraft were able to take out only 3 total mobile 2K12 Kub SAMs…and 7 fixed S125s…[1950s vintage]

    That’s in 78 days of nonstop air combat…and the Serb air defenses were never ‘wiped out’…not even close…

    Over 800 harm shots were fired…Serbs fired about 750 SAM shots…and were still firing on the last day…

    Also there is there is the question of who exactly would let US aircraft fly attack missions on Russian forces from their airfields in that region…?

    Who might that be…?

    I would love to hear this one…[maybe Jordan...]

    As Lambeth noted in his conclusion…the Kosovo SEAD operation was a wake-up call that the US needs to retool…that has never happened…

    Any such attempt at hostile US aircraft entering what is undeniably an A2/AD fortress in Syria right now would be a massacre…

    So it is silly to contemplate these scenarios…the other day you made a very good comment about the ‘zugzwang’ predicament…

    That is precisely the military situation the US is facing now…with respect to Syrian airspace…it’s a no-go zone…

    Yes they could wipe out the Russian airfield at Hmeimim and the naval port at Tartus…but those ships which launched such attacks would be at the bottom of the sea minutes later…

    It does not change the fact that the airspace over Syria could not be taken…that’s the zugzwang right there…

    • Replies: @Uncle Sam
    , @Erebus
  313. Uncle Sam says:
    @FB

    During the war with Serbia the Serb air defense crews would switch their radars on and off in order to trick the HARM missiles and their equivalents. The HARM missile senses radiation between 400 megahertz and 10,000 megahertz. When its sensors pick up that radiation the missile launches itself down the radar beam coming from the radar site. The pilot does not have to do anything. If the radar is switched off the HARM goes blind and goes off course because it loses contact with the radar emitter. There is one instance wherein a Serb commander–I believe his first name was Ljubisa –failed to shut off the radar and he and his crew were killed. It was incompetence on his part.

    The Serbs also used microwave ovens to trick the HARMs. They would line up 7 or 8 in a row, take the doors off and activate them. Microwaves emit radiation at around 2400 or 2500 megahertz, enough to attract the HARM. Of course, there was no need to shut off the microwave ovens; they were dispensable. So in reality the NATO and American air forces knocked out quite a few microwave ovens. The Serbs were then able to direct their radar guided SAMs to the attacking aircraft.

    In other words, the whole idea was to get the F16′s, which carried the HARM missiles, to fire them at worthless targets or go way off course so that the attacking aircraft could be targeted by the intact radars and shot down.

  314. FB says:

    ‘…The pilot does not have to do anything…’

    Sorry but that is quite incorrect…

    There are four modes of operation on the AGM88

    I described the PB/PE/POS which is used for maximum range and it works only several degrees off boresight…so the pilot must fly the airplane nose pointing towards the target…

    Equations-Of-Motion [EOM] mode allows somewhat more off-axis freedom than the baseline PB mode …but requires more precise target position information…which means the target data would need to be supplied by a recon aircraft like the RC135 Rivet Joint…

    But these had to be kept well outside their optimum orbits even in Serbia…due to the reach of the S125s…[see Lambeth...]

    Then there is the target of opportunity mode [TOO]…which is lock on before launch…ie the target must be acquired before launch…this allows the widest off-axis shots…using the full field of view of the missile antenna…

    Finally there is the Self Protect or Launch Off RWR [SP/RWR] which much shorter range…here the Harm is slaved to the airplane’s radar warning receiver and can go in 360 degrees…

    Anyway…having cleared up that technicality…I was talking specifically about the range mismatch between the Harm and the big SAMs…

    That 150 km maximum range is only in the PB mode where the missile flies an energy efficient trajectory…similar to ballistic…first ascending…then coming down and using its potential [height] energy to increase its reach…

    So my point is that in most cases the Harm shot is not going to be made from anywhere approaching 150 km from target…it may be only a few dozen km…depending on the threat environment…

    There are actually more technicalities to this specific discussion…such as differences between USN and land based aircraft in terms of the equipment carried…ie rangefinder receiver…USN F/A18 typically were not equipped to take the long range PB shots…

    …and those are precisely the planes we are looking at for Syria because of the problem of who is going to give the US permission to use their country’s airfields to attack Russia…?

    And the big question…again…is how is the launch airplane going to get within 100 km of a SAM that has missiles and radars that reach 200 or 300 or even 400 km…?

    I agree with you on the Serb tactics…but shutting the radars on and off is not necessary with shoot and scoot capability…

    You take the SAM shot…then scoot…

    Also the Pantsirs are specifically designed to protect the big S300/400 radars from Harms…those harms only fly about Mach 2…

    Point is that everybody involved in this ‘business’ knows all this…which is why it is goofy to talk about taking out those S400s in Syria…

    Never Going To Happen…

  315. Erebus says:
    @FB

    And if you are…perhaps you might explain the method by which those would be wiped out…?

    FB, you’ve voiced this before, but it’s understood that if USM/NATO tries to do another Yugoslavia, the Russians have little to worry about.
    Like Andrei’s, Krollchem’s scenario is hypothetical. The underlying assumption in both is that USM/NATO is prepared to take whatever losses required to remove Russia from Syria. In WWII Bomber Command flew daily into heavy AD, with 45% of its airmen not surviving the war. If USM/NATO takes on that level of commitment, it becomes a simple numbers game.

    The number of SAMs (BUK, Pantsir, S3/400, etc) available to Russia’s Syrian contingent is limited (say 500?), while their aircraft contingent is miniscule. USM/NATO can put an almost unlimited number of low-value targets up for them to shoot at in the form of decoys, weaponized drones, cruise and land/sea/air-launched missiles before further depleting AD assets with 1000s of manned aircraft. They can do this at a pace that the Russians couldn’t hope to replenish. IOW, they don’t need to “wipe them out”. They need only force them to be used.

    By way of illustration…

    … having fired from standoff range…that mobile SAM could move before the Harm shot arrives on scene…

    Maybe so, but by launching laser/infrared/optical/satellite guided missiles by the 100s or 1000s alongside those HARMs towards whatever target those mobile SAMs are defending forces them to sit still and defend, or lose the targeted asset.

    The one fly in that soup is that no-one seems to know what the Russian EW suite is really capable of. If “we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet” (EG: Shayrat), the Russians/Syrians may be in a position to take the occasional hit, having redirected the bulk of the incoming guided weapons from their targets. If that is so, then the depletion rate of their kinetic AD assets may well drop to the point where the USM/NATO would have to be prepared to take kamikaze level losses of manned aircraft to continue.
    I suspect, however, that that’s the least of their worries. During the mayhem over Syria, they’d also be looking at their regional naval and land assets being destroyed by stand-off weapons coming from Russian territory and/or airspace. They have no effective defence against this without attacking Russian territory, and that is too far into the hypothetical for me.

    Also there is there is the question of who exactly would let US aircraft fly attack missions on Russian forces from their airfields in that region…?

    Indeed, that question stands out amongst quite a few others in the real world, but this is a hypothetical scenario so we can just assume that all USM and NATO in-theatre assets are available.

    • Replies: @FB
  316. FB says:
    @Erebus

    Also there is there is the question of who exactly would let US aircraft fly attack missions on Russian forces from their airfields in that region…?

    Indeed, that question stands out amongst quite a few others in the real world, but this is a hypothetical scenario so we can just assume that all USM and NATO in-theatre assets are available.

    ‘Hypothetical’ does not equate with ‘Unrealistic…’

    In 1999 US was able to use Aviano airfield in Italy and other bases throughout Europe…it’s not 1999 today…and Russia is not Serbia…I would say even impoverished Jordan which is owned lock stock and barrel by the US [ie main base for cranking out Syrian terrorists...] is going to think very hard about signing off on US aircraft taking off from its territory to attack Russian forces…

    They are surely aware of not just the military implications…[ie instant retaliatory destruction of its airfields and other supporting infrastructure] but also the long-term political ramifications…any country in the ME that signs up for this is going to be isolated badly post-war…

    Turkey and Incirlik is out of the question of course…in fact any such US attack [from non-Turkish locations] would probably mean the heave-ho from Incirlik…permanently…

    ‘…Maybe so, but by launching laser/infrared/optical/satellite guided missiles by the 100s or 1000s alongside those HARMs towards whatever target those mobile SAMs are defending forces them to sit still and defend, or lose the targeted asset…’

    You see…this is the problem when a layman with limited understanding of important technicalities tries to get into a debate centered on these very technicalities…

    ‘Laser’ guidance is not used on any kind of air launched missile…only on precision guided munitions…ie bombs…which do not have any propulsion and thus their range is tiny…

    Infrared, optical and sat [ie GPS] are used on standoff missiles…a good example of a latest-generation such weapon being the AGM158 JASSM…

    This is basically an air launched cruise missile that has the same problem…it can only hit stationary targets which positions are known in advance…

    This is completely useless in a SEAD operation…especially against mobile SAMs…which is why this type of weapon…which has been around for decades…has never been used in the SEAD role…nor even contemplated…

    So your hypothesis about using munitions other than Harms to tackle the IADS is ridiculous…[sorry to use such strong language...but it's true...]

    There are other factors…a buildup of a SEAD force takes time and preparation…which would be visible to Russian recon…ie carrier ships moving into position…SEAD aircraft moving into whatever land airfields might be politically available [probably none]…etc…

    This gives the IADS time to go to battle plan…ie disperse the mobile radars and launchers…get the A50 AEW [airborne early warning aircraft] flying 24/7…

    …24/7 fighter patrols not just from Kheimim but from Southern Russia…the topline Flanker has the longest range of any fighter…

    …about double the F15…and can be refueled in air…it would not be just the Khmeimim aircraft that would be in the air to meet any SEAD armada…

    These would be patrolling the perimeter well outside the range of the S300/400s in Syria…and controlled by the AEWs…

    Flight distance from Rostov on Don to Damascus is 1,500 km…Flanker range is 3,500 km without refueling…

    Conversely…vital US air assets like AEW [aka AWACS] and recon [Rivet Joint...vital to finding SAM radars for targeting] would have to stay well clear of this defensive perimeter…even in Serbia they had to do that…again see Lambeth…

    Tu22M supersonic long range heavy bombers carrying carrier killer missiles would also be on round the clock patrol…

    It would surprise no one that even a threatening action by a US carrier…such as launching a strike force from its deck would precipitate an immediate launch of Kh22/32 missiles [three of these six ton Mach 5 monsters per Su22M...range up to 1000 km...Kinzhal is just icing on the cake]…

    Admiral Charles R. Larson, Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, sits in the cockpit of a Soviet Tu-22M Backfire aircraft during a visit to a Soviet air base during the latter Cold War period.

    Facial expression tells all…

    Even the flankers can carry the smaller standoff ship killer Kh15…[Mach 5]

    All of this would be in place by the time the US was ready to strike…at this point it would be suicide…

    That Shayrat attack proved laughable…but the Russian thinking turned 180 degrees at that point…

    A Russian ally had been the victim of an unprovoked attack…it will not happen again…

    Sorry E…but you have to face facts…Syrian airspace is what the whole game is about…both sides know this…

    If the US can gain control of this airspace it’s game over for the Russians in Syria…that is the basic equation…

    Now if you or anyone thinks the Russians are not prepared to stop this then that is just wishful thinking…

    They are completely capable of holding onto Syrian airspace…and are prepared to do so…otherwise even being in Syria would be pointless…

  317. Erebus says:

    So your hypothesis about using munitions other than Harms to tackle the IADS is ridiculous…[sorry to use such strong language...but it's true...]

    I have time for but a quick response, but you continue to misunderstand the premise of my (actually Andrei’s & Krollchem’s) hypothesis.

    The hypothesis contemplates USM/NATO going to full scale war to preserve their pre-eminence in the M.E., and indeed globally. Their only hope to break out of the zugzwang is to knock the pieces off the board. So, everything is on the table, including bases on the territory of non-NATO allies such as Qatar.

    The salvos of “1000s” of missiles aren’t going to be “tackling the IADS”. They’re indeed aimed at a fixed target (airfield, CnC, port, depot, etc), with only a small percentage, presumably HARMs, aimed at the IADS protecting it.

    If the mobile AD components pack up and leave, the now abandoned target is exposed and gets clobbered. You can bet your last copper penny that the crew would be court-martialed if they abandoned their duty in this way. If they stay put and do their duty, they deplete assets. If they don’t run out of assets in this wave, they will in the next, or the next.

    If the US can gain control of this airspace it’s game over for the Russians in Syria…that is the basic equation…

    They are able to, but the price (realistically) is beyond anything they’re willing to pay, at least until now. That’s why they haven’t tried, until now.

    As it happens, Russia’s General Staff spokesman Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said at a news briefing on Saturday that “Strike groups of the cruise missile carriers have been formed in the east of the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and Red Sea.” Quite likely that we’ll see a major strike soon, though nowhere near that contemplated by the hypothesis.

    • Replies: @FB
  318. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…As it happens, Russia’s General Staff spokesman Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said at a news briefing on Saturday that “Strike groups of the cruise missile carriers have been formed in the east of the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and Red Sea.”

    Quite likely that we’ll see a major strike soon, though nowhere near that contemplated by the hypothesis…’

    Yes…I noticed that bit of news also…

    And some good opinion pieces that connect the dots between the Skripal hysteria…the Assad chemical weapons etc…it all leads to Syria…

    ‘…you continue to misunderstand the premise of my (actually Andrei’s & Krollchem’s) hypothesis…’

    I understand y0ur hypothesis…but it’s you who is not paying attention…

    I said already that the US with a massive standoff salvo [almost certainly ship launched T-hawks] could obliterate fixed targets…including the Khmeimim airbase…Tartus…and probably lots of government buildings in Damascus…

    But that does not win a war…

    Again I go back to the Serbia example…in downtown Belgrade some of those ruins are still standing in the middle of downtown core and across the street from the parliament…

    But nobody is calling that war a victory…Milosevic actually got what he wanted… UNSC 1244…which recognizes the territorial integrity of Serbia, including Kosovo…plus a number of other measures which the US then simply proceeded to ignore…as is the wont of the outlaw…

    Still…the words and paper are there…military might and empires come and go…

    But the main thing here is this…

    ‘…It’s all about the airspace stupid…’

    They can flatten all of those sites I mentioned…and still not win…ie they lose…

    If…they do get control of the airspace…then they win…

    That is how these neo-colonial wars work in the age of modern aviation…see Libya for example…or Iraq in 1991 and 2003…

    If the US can gain control of this airspace it’s game over for the Russians in Syria…that is the basic equation…

    They are able to, but the price (realistically) is beyond anything they’re willing to pay, at least until now. That’s why they haven’t tried, until now.

    That’s nothing more than speculation…and not very informed speculation at that…

    I happen to think the opposite…they have no chance of gaining control of Syrian airspace…no matter the cost…

    As for defending assets on the ground etc…those would be done by point defense systems like the Patnsir and Tor etc…the IADS is not going to defend ground targets…that is not what it’s there for…sheesh…

    Yes those point defenses could probably be overwhelmed by massive standoff weapon salvos…but we don’t know that for sure either…

    There have been many flights from Russia to Syria by the giant An124 [150 tons payload]…one could actually check the flight tracker websites to get an exact tally…not to mention the smaller Il76 transports…[50 tons]…

    Nobody really knows what is in Syria at this moment…

    But we do have recent reports that US presence in Incirlik is almost nil…just fuel tanker planes…

    German planes and personnel already left Incirlik last year…

    This problem with Turkey is also contributing greatly to the US zugzwang…

    Losing Syria is huge for the empire…it is probably being looked at as the first domino…as these lunatics used to portray Vietnam and just about everything else…

    But I will make a prediction here right now…there is no way that the US actually makes a hostile move on Syria…not even a Shayrat…

    They are blowing hot air…watch and see…

  319. Erebus says:

    The Krollchem Hypothesis predicts that a full scale attack by USM/NATO would result in the…

    … destruction of Russian and Syrian air bases in Syria hundreds of Western fighter jets lost along with carrier battle groups and land bases in Turkey, Israel, Barain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and perhaps Jordan…

    Leaving aside that his next step is thermonuclear exchange, Krollchem’s/Andrei’s hypothesis simply says the Russian contingent would get decimated, and you seem to agree…

    I must have missed wherever it was you said

    … that the US with a massive standoff salvo [almost certainly ship launched T-hawks] could obliterate fixed targets…

    and a quick review didn’t reveal it. Perhaps you can point me to it. In any case, in making my comments, I understood you to be specifically arguing that they couldn’t.

    Having said that, with bases, CnC, point defences depleted/obliterated, etc etc, one wonders what sort of calculation says that the USM/NATO wouldn’t have air supremacy? A few hundred S2/3/400s roaming about against the 2-3x their number of aircraft USM/NATO could put in the air over Syria doesn’t cut it. At best they’d be capable of knocking down an equivalent number of planes, and then what? 100% air supremacy is what my math says.

    Would that mean USM/NATO “won the war”? Well, if their objective was to eliminate Russia from the Middle East then they would have succeeded, at least in the short term, but the victory would be Pyrrhic at best. Krollchem’s predicted losses of

    … hundreds of Western fighter jets lost along with carrier battle groups and land bases in Turkey, Israel, Barain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and perhaps Jordan.

    would probably mean they wouldn’t be able to hold on to their presence in the M.E. That would constitute a geo-political seismic shift of probably devastating consequences for the Empire.

    That’s extent of what the Zugzwang the West finds itself signifies. Even a “winning move” precipitates a much greater loss, and that’s why they’re buying time, making absurd accusations and threats, hoping something flips their way.

    But I will make a prediction here right now…there is no way that the US actually makes a hostile move on Syria…not even a Shayrat…
    They are blowing hot air…watch and see…

    If so, it may be the Russians’ exposure of their plans for yet another FF “gas attack” that took the plausibility of their casus belli out from under them. Frankly, I think a somewhat less than all-out attack from those strike groups followed immediately by their sinking from stand-off range may just bring the Delusionals in DC to reality. It would certainly result in a major political crisis across the West, especially if “Putin’s new wunder-weapons” played a major role.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Uncle Sam
  320. Krollchem says:

    Thanks for emphasizing swarm high intensity attack warfare in order to show that the NATO/FRY war is not directly applicable to any Western mass attack on Syria. The NATO war against FRY involved some 800-1000 aerial attacks per 24 hours. Any hypothetical war in Syria would involve many times that number in less than three hours with drone swarms that would proceed any attack to soak up Russian and Syrian missiles. Having said this, the Russian and Chinese strategic doctrine also uses swarm attacks with, for example Zircon and D21D missiles, respectively.

    I personally think that any Western attack on Syria to be insane. Unfortunately, most Western leaders appear to be insane and this could lead to the situation getting out of hand. Fortunately, “FP” is correct about the US planes leaving Turkey (A-10s, F16s and F15s). Given that Trump has threatened to sanction any country that buys the Russian S-400, it would appear that Qatar is also in the cross hairs leading to the massive US air base there being under new management (Russian?).

    It option of the proxy terrorist army being funded by Trump is REAL. It may take another year for Syria and Russian forces to clean out Iblib from the terrorists. Meanwhile the terrorists being trained in Southern Syria may attack and try to take the Southern region of Syria around Al Bukamal and the T4 pumping station to create an oil export corridor from the Eastern Syrian oil fields to Israel. Interesting that the US Pave Hawk chopper went down in this area..

    With the loss of Afrin the Kurds should be disenchanted with the US, but can be easily squashed have been used like toilet paper. Potentially, the Western powers may only have Israel, Saudi Arabia and UAE as allies in the ME. Unfortunately, Turkey will likely keep the areas they captured, the US will expand the 20 airbases in Eastern Syria and Israel will keep the Golan and add a buffer zone into Syria.

    Given the high cost of the US , NATO and Israeli war machines the internal economic damage will eventually cause the societies to collapse. Hopefully such a fall will be slow enough so that the world will not be taken down too.

    You may be interested in the US nuclear policy review for US plans and misconceptions about the world:

    https://fas.org/wp-content/uploads/media/2018-Nuclear-Posture-Review-Version-2.pdf

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Erebus
  321. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…I must have missed wherever it was you said

    … that the US with a massive standoff salvo [almost certainly ship launched T-hawks] could obliterate fixed targets…

    and a quick review didn’t reveal it. Perhaps you can point me to it. In any case, in making my comments, I understood you to be specifically arguing that they couldn’t.

    Like I said…not paying attention…here it is just a couple comments above at my #320…

    ‘…Yes they could wipe out the Russian airfield at Hmeimim and the naval port at Tartus…but those ships which launched such attacks would be at the bottom of the sea minutes later…’

    As to this…from you…

    ‘…A few hundred S2/3/400s roaming about against the 2-3x their number of aircraft USM/NATO could put in the air over Syria doesn’t cut it…’

    Krollchem mentioned ‘thousands’ of airplanes…

    Where are even ‘hundreds of airplanes going to come from…?

    Nato…with 19 members participating put 1,050 airplanes into the air over Serbia…and as Martin noted in his professional analysis…a lot of those aircraft were suffering ‘virtual attrition’ due to the high sortie rate etc…

    ‘…The number of sorties generated by the NATO forces, particularly the United States Air Force, left them short of spare parts and munitions, required increased maintenance, and a force reduced in effective size due to the decreased fatigue life of many aircraft.

    This virtual attrition, with little relative destruction of the opposing forces, has shown that the Serbian military strategy was successful..’

    —Andrew Martin, RAAF [Retired]…

    And this is from 2016…

    ‘…The United States Marine Corps boasts 276 F/A-18 fighter jets in its inventory, but fewer than 100 of them are flight-worthy, according to the Marines…’

    That’s two thirds that are no airworthy…

    One F15 crew chief remarked online recently…

    ‘…Not having served in the navy i can’t speak to that matter specifically I think it’s fair to say that over 50 percent of the total inventory of the DOD’s airpower couldn’t be mobilized simultaneously in a hurry if it was needed without some serious changes in both parts availability and manpower to keep them fully operational…’

    Go look up the total inventory of fighter aircraft in all the US branches…and then those that are SEAD capable…ie those that will go up against the Russian IADS…

    Putting 1,000 airplanes into the air over Syria is a fantasy…

    I prefer to operate in a reality-based universe…your mileage may vary…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  322. FB says:
    @Krollchem

    ‘…The NATO war against FRY involved some 800-1000 aerial attacks per 24 hours.

    Any hypothetical war in Syria would involve many times that number in less than three hours with drone swarms that would proceed any attack to soak up Russian and Syrian missiles. Having said this, the Russian and Chinese strategic doctrine also uses swarm attacks…’

    And you back that up with what objective data and sources…?

    Drones are useless against IADS…they would nothing but a turkey shoot…even the Serbs shot down many US predator drones…

    You are talking pure nonsense…

    • Replies: @Krollchem
  323. Uncle Sam says:
    @Erebus

    There is no way in hell that America is going launch a massive air strike against Syria with the presence of Russian personnel in the areas to be attacked. Because of the possibility of a nuclear exchange, the Americans would consider Syria as a game not worth the candle.

    Besides, the vessels or bases that would launch such an attack would be destroyed by a Russian retaliatory attack killing hundreds if not thousands of American servicemen.

    It just ain’t gonna happen.

    My understanding is that the Tomahawk missile strike launched against Syria last year resulted in only 23 of the 59 missiles hitting their targets. The Russians obviously were able to interfere with the electronic guidance systems of these missiles causing them to go off course and damage nothing. Remember what happened to the destroyer Donald Cook which lost all its electronics. If the Americans were dumb enough to use satellite guidance, that could also easily explain such a high loss. All the Russians had to do was use hand held GPS jammers.

    A somewhat comparable situation arose in the war against Serbia in 1999. The Serbs used GPS jammers to cause many Tomahawks to go off course apart from the fact that many other Tomahawks were shot down by antiaircraft fire. But the biggest disaster (for America) was the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy. The satellite guided JDAMS had their electronic links blocked by the GPS jammers causing the JDAMS to go off course and hit the Chinese embassy. They were supposed to hit a Serb government building a hundred or so yards away from the Chinese embassy.

    So as you can see, the American electronics technology can be defeated, if the Americans tangle with a competent military opponent.

    • Replies: @Krollchem
    , @Erebus
    , @Krollchem
  324. Krollchem says:
    @FB

    Under a hypothetical situation, any mass swarm attack is just simple math where the defender cannot reload fast enough to defend the infrastructure and the missile defense batteries” Dr. Yoshihara in “Chinese Aerospace Power” notes:

    “ASBMs (anti-ship ballistic missiles) may not need to produce mission kills against the surface fleet to complicate U.S. plans. They only need to reach the fleet’s defensive envelope for the Aegis to engage the incoming threats, thus forcing the defender to expend valuable ammunition that cannot be easily resupplied at sea under combat conditions. Even inaccurate ASBMs, then, could compel the Aegis to exhaust its weapons inventory, leaving it defenseless against further PLA actions. Used in conjunction with conventional ballistic missile strikes against U.S. bases and other land targets across Asia — strikes that would elicit more intercept attempts — ASBM raids could deprive the United States and its allies of their staying power in a sea fight.”

    https://www.amazon.com/Chinese-Aerospace-Power-Evolving-Maritime/dp/1591142415

    You will recall that the Western forces weaponized drones and thousands of cruise missiles which would deplete the stocks of defensive missiles which would then be overwhelmed by a couple thousand fighter/bombers with standoff air to surface missiles backed up with electronic warfare planes such as Growlers and Prowlers.

    A good Chinese example of potential swarm attacks, such as the DF-21D, can be found at: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/chinas-missile-swarms-vs-americas-lasers-drones-railguns-who-16303

    Russian Zircon missile strategy also involves sea skimming swarming with one high to attract antimissile fire.

    See also:
    “winning the salvo competition rebalancing america’s air and missile defenses”

    http://csbaonline.org/uploads/documents/CSBA6173-PGM2_Report_WEB_2.pdf

    In regards to drones, we are talking about weaponized drones which launch one or more missiles that must also be destroyed. We are not talking about primitive drones such as “Russia uses missiles and cyber warfare to fight off ‘swarm of drones’ attacking military bases in Syria”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/09/russia-fought-swarm-drones-attacking-military-bases-syria/

    A good example of a weaponized drone is the “Wing Loong (Pterodactyl) The weaponry options include AKD-10 air-to-surface anti-tank missile, BRMI 90mm guided rockets and FT-7/130 130kg bombs.”

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5786954/these-eight-chilling-weapons-could-hold-the-key-to-chinas-1-trillion-bid-to-become-worlds-most-feared-nation-by-2050/

    The DoD is working on massive drone swarm technologies “The drone-firing weapon is outlined in a solicitation for design proposals from the Department of Defense. Unlike radio-controlled consumer drones, the quadcopters would guide themselves as part of a coordinated swarm. Each would carry an explosively formed projectile (EFP) warhead, firing a high-velocity slug of metal capable of destroying armoured vehicles”
    .https://www.newscientist.com/article/2118412-us-army-wants-to-fire-swarm-of-weaponised-drones-from-a-missile/

    • Replies: @FB
  325. Krollchem says:
    @Uncle Sam

    You are correct in stating that “My understanding is that the Tomahawk missile strike launched against Syria last year resulted in only 23 of the 59 missiles hitting their targets.” despite US propaganda.

    Are you sure that “The Russians obviously were able to interfere with the electronic guidance systems of these missiles causing them to go off course and damage nothing.”? Any evidence that the remainder were not shot down by the coordinated missile defense in Syria? Parts of one Tomahawk missile was found in a garden but did not seem to be intact. The Syrians were also warned about the attack and their flight worthy jets just relocated during the attack.

    You probably also noted the nerve agent canisters near one of the bunkers which the US claimed was evidence of a continuing chemical weapons program. It reality the Syrians used an alkali neutralization method to destroy the agents in the canisters.

    I too have seen reports that the Su-24 the overflew the Donald Cook had a electronic warfare pod but have not seen any confirmation from the US Navy or any other Navies. Do you have any further information on whether or not the destroyer Donald Cook lost its electronics?

    As I stated in an earlier thread, the US was considering closing down the Whidbey Island Naval Station in Washington state but instead started a major electronic warfare program there using Prowlers and Growler aircraft. Perhaps the Donald Cook had its electronic damaged, I just don’t know.

    The US claimed that the map they used was old as the reason why the Chinese Embassy was hit. In War the first casualty is truth and this applies to both sides in the NATO/FRY war. Do you have any links.

    Thanks for the help.

    • Replies: @Tom Gregg
  326. Tom Gregg says:
    @Krollchem

    FYI here is an interesting article on the Donald Cook….

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article185860.html

  327. Erebus says:
    @Krollchem

    Fortunately, “FP” is correct about the US planes leaving Turkey (A-10s, F16s and F15s).

    There’s a plausible take on that is less “fortunate”. Namely, that the Turks have informed the USM/NATO that they can’t use the base for Syrian operations, and so they’ve transferred their assets to bases without that restriction.

    Qatar isn’t the only M.E. US ally shopping for S3/400s. Saudi Arabia and Turkey are also in detailed negotiations, with the latter having made their deposit, or so we’re told. If the US makes good its threat of sanctions, they will be cutting off their nose…

    Unfortunately, Turkey will likely keep the areas they captured, the US will expand the 20 airbases in Eastern Syria and Israel will keep the Golan and add a buffer zone into Syria.

    I’m not so sure about Turkey, but 1 thing I’ve read is that Kurd fighters are leaving the US’ coalition and heading off to battle the Turks. Without the Kurds, the coalition’s ability to hold E. Syria goes limp. It’s not unlikely that that’s part of the calculus that allowed the Turks in in the first place.

    • Replies: @Krollchem
  328. Erebus says:
    @Uncle Sam

    It just ain’t gonna happen.

    Of course not, but not because “it would go nuclear”. It wouldn’t because the USM/NATO would lose their pre-eminence in the M.E. and with that their dreams of Global Hegemony whether or not it went nuclear.

  329. Krollchem says:
    @Uncle Sam

    My comment #328 stated that the Western proxy army will attack from the south and clear out a oil transport corridor and take the T4 pumping station. Apparently, Southfront has picked up part of my theory reports that an attack may be imminent:

    https://southfront.org/us-led-coalition-its-proxies-to-launch-attack-against-syrian-army-in-eastern-syria-reports/

    My comments thus far have tried to show that any air war over Syria would not happen due to the nuclear weapons stalemate. However, the West has hundreds of thousands of Saudi led proxy fighters who will continue the fight on the ground. The terrorist leaders were trained in Saudi Arabia over many years at a high expense to spread their perverse ideology which most Muslims do not recognize as Islam.

  330. Krollchem says:
    @Erebus

    Good points about the possible purchase of S-400s by Saudi Arabia and the Kurds displeasure about US lack of support. The US continues to make a mess of things in the ME.

    Somehow, the US COWs need to conquer some country to keep the financial Ponzi scheme going a little longer. Any thoughts on how the new Iran haters in the Trump administration will try to get at Iran?

  331. FB says:
    @Krollchem

    Let’s get one thing straight from the top…

    You are a complete moron

    I have to say this forcefully because of your persistence in arguing with someone who is actually qualified to discuss the subject matter…

    You have shown your nonexistent level of knowledge of the subject matter by confusing a Buk with a Tor…that is just amateur hour…and then gone on with more utterly ridiculous bullshit…

    This is a technical matter that requires some knowledge of the subject…do you not realize that…do you think you can go and argue about nuclear physics if you have a grade three education…?

    Yet you persist anyway…throwing up ever more bullshit which I then have to factually correct…for the sake of the readers here…[which you don't even consider by throwing up massive amount of spam...]

    This is how mentally challenged people behave…they are incapable of processing even basic information and knowledge that they are presented with…

    They simply persist with the exact same thing they have stuck in their feeble mind…over and over and over…

    That’s you…

    Please realize your limitations…please actually read the many technical and authoritative references I have provided…

    And most of all…please stop throwing up complete non-factual claims which I have to disprove…

    ‘…You will recall that the Western forces weaponized drones and thousands of cruise missiles which would deplete the stocks of defensive missiles which would then be overwhelmed by a couple thousand fighter/bombers with standoff air to surface missiles backed up with electronic warfare planes such as Growlers and Prowlers…’

    The US doesn’t have a ‘couple thousand’ fighter bombers in total…I already told Erebus to go to Flightglobal and get the statistics…

    USAF as of 2017 has 795 F16s and 431 F15s…

    The US navy has 368 FA18s…do the math stupido…

    Obviously not all those aircraft are even airworthy…The FA18 carrier aircraft have already gone beyond their 6,000 service life…

    That was as of 2012…

    This airframe service life is based on metal fatigue…which is the limiting factor in aluminum…having no replacement airplanes in the pipeline…they have supposedly conducted engineering ‘studies’ and extended the service life to 8,000 hours…and even 10,000 hours in some cases…

    However I know for a fact that those pilots are going to be careful about aggressive maneuvering in those aircraft…

    Also simply due to regular maintenance and servicing airplanes are not available like your family car…they need many more hours of maintenance for each hour of flight…availability rates are at an all time low due to the aging fleet…

    But complete retards like yourself pull out of your arsehole that the US would throw a couple of thousand airplanes in the air…

    What a complete and utter retard…

    There is also the question of logistics…in the runup to the gulf war of 1991…it took many weeks for the US to get those air assets into position…those airplanes need maintenance crews, fuel, supplies for both men and machines etc…

    You talk as if throwing a couple of thousand [nonexistent] airplanes in the air is like a Sunday walk in the park…

    This illustrates the depth of your ignorance…

    Then there is the question of which countries in the region will give the US access to use its airfields…or even to overfly its territory…

    In the Iraq invasion of 2003 Turkey refused to allow the US to operate from its bases there…or even to overfly Turkish territory…as did other countries…

    Any country in the region that does allow the US to launch attacks against Russia in Syria would face instant retaliation…Russian Kalibr cruise missiles launched from ships and subs even in Russian territorial waters in the Caspian and Black seas could reach anywhere in the Middle East…

    They are ready to obliterate any airfield in the area from which hostile action is taken…perhaps even pre-emptively if they see that a buildup is under way…

    Certainly they would obliterate those bases right after the first strike…so where would those aircraftg operate from then…?

    Maybe bases in Russia…?

    Then we have your second big pile of retarded bullshit…

    ‘…Under a hypothetical situation, any mass swarm attack is just simple math where the defender cannot reload fast enough to defend the infrastructure and the missile defense batteries” Dr. Yoshihara in “Chinese Aerospace Power” notes:..’

    That scenario has nothing to do with SEAD…suppression fo enemy air defenses and trying to eliminate an A2/AD zone…

    It has specifically to do with a swarm attack on a ship…which is a target whose location is known…and which must expend ammunition…ie rockets and air defense in order to defend itself from being sunk…

    do you even realize that this is not the same as an A2/AD zone…?

    Obviously you don’t…even though I have pointed in you in the direction of plenty of authoritative material…ie Lambeth…Martin etc…that is a good primer on understanding the basic concepts of SEAD…

    This tells me you are a useless slug…who has no interest in actually expanding his knowledge…which is sorely lacking…but like the three year old child who has not yet learned logical behavior…continues unperturbed with the same nonsense…

    You are quite obviously a severely mentally handicapped person…

    Those mobile Russian air defenses cannot be targeted by drones or by cruise missiles or by conventionalk fighter/bombers…as I have already stated on many occasions…

    In a war footing…they disperse and their locations are unknown…the weapons mentioned only work against known targets that are fixed and remain where they are…

    The only weapon that can target these mobile SAMs are missiles that home in on radar signals…ie high speed anti-radiation missiles…or HARMs…

    The US has a limited number of fighter aircraft that can deliver these weapons…as well as a limited number of jamming aircraft that would need to accompany them…

    In any case…the range of those Harm missiles is less than half of those defending SAMs…and the small jammers on board those small aircraft are ineffective against the big and powerful truck-mounted radars of those SAMs…

    Listen to USAF General Phillip Breedlove…

    ‘…The United States has the right tools to take on Russian anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) zones in the European theatre, but it does not have enough capacity to take on Moscow’s new bastions head-on.

    Moreover, the U.S. military is overly reliant on air power to defeat those emerging threats.

    “We have the tools, but we do not have nearly enough of them—and the speed that we would need to eliminate these A2/AD bubbles—to be able to deploy our forces is going to be controlled by the depth of the bench of how we can attack those A2/AD forces,” retired U.S Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, former commander of U.S. European Command told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on June 29.

    “Right now, we’re almost completely dependent on air forces and aviation assets in order to attack the A2/AD problem.”..’

    So…retard…go an argue with Generaal Breedlove okay…you have stretched my patience to the breaking point…

    Also consider the other readers of this thread who do not deserve to be spammed by your bullshit…they are looking for inforative insight and clarity…not retarded drivel…

    Do not bother me anymore…

    Digest what I have presented and go over my previous posts in this thread where I counter Martyanov’s non-factual errors…and if an actuall intelligent thought or question penetrates that massive bonehead of yours…

    …then and only then address me…

    Kapish…?

  332. @FB

    Those mobile Russian air defenses cannot be targeted by drones or by cruise missiles or by conventionalk fighter/bombers…as I have already stated on many occasions…

    You continue to insist on your delirious amateurish BS that AD complexes are not targets, when they are and specifically S-300 and S-400 are in fixed positions. Yet, you continue to parade this sheer idiocy, you obviously being a civilian hack, non-stop. Read my lips–Air Defense complexes at Khmeimim are in fixed positions and they are NOT going anywhere during salvo. As such they ARE targeted by any kind stand off munition in US arsenal. What you “stated” is crap which could come only from some fanboy who never served a day in uniform and has no clue about any serious AD.

    • Replies: @FB
  333. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Shut up amateur blogger…

    You have no business writing about anything technical

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  334. @FB

    As I already stated, I can present my CV to anyone who would require. Then we may compare who is amateur and who is not. But you certainly showed me. ;-)

  335. FB says:

    Your so-called ‘CV’…whatever it may be is quite meaningless…

    Your gibberish writings on various blogs are what counts…

    Proving definitively that you are a minor league dolt…

    ‘…specifically S-300 and S-400 are in fixed positions…

    Read my lips–Air Defense complexes at Khmeimim are in fixed positions and they are NOT going anywhere during salvo…

    As such they ARE targeted by any kind stand off munition in US arsenal…’

    That is airtight proof of your amateur standing…

    I’m not going to rehash the concept of the ‘invention of the wheel’ nor the importance of mobility in air defense…

    That is well known in expert circles…many of which participants are at this minute squirting their morning coffee out their nostrils at your crackerjack humor…

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  336. @FB

    Your so-called ‘CV’…whatever it may be is quite meaningless…

    Sure. I am positive, however, that you illustrating your points with screenshots from Family Guy is a testament to your professionalism and maturity.

    Your gibberish writings on various blogs are what counts…

    I don’t know, look up this thread and read the name of the author of this article.

    Proving definitively that you are a minor league dolt…

    I guess you don’t like to be pointed towards basic tactical and operational concepts of Air Defense not to mention such more specific issues of any operation (ground, air, naval) as reconnaissance and, in Russian also dorazvedka tselei, which is an additional reconnaissance of targets, which is in the foundation of any suppression of AD. You, obviously, stating your BS somehow missed the fact that not only drones can target anything but they already did so thus triggering Kkmeimim’s response both by EW and Pantsir.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/world/middleeast/syria-russia-drones.html

    What is more important is the fact that nobody got S-400 and S-300 “moving out” but instead AD worked as planned and now Pantsirs are receiving Gvozd (Nail) missile specifically designed to repel drones’ attacks and defend high value long range AD systems such as S-400 or S-300. But here we have to get to the issue of targeting and how it is realized technically but this is a whole other story here.

    That is well known in expert circles

    Allow me to assume that you have no access to any real expert circles. In fact, I know so.

    many of which participants are at this minute squirting their morning coffee out their nostrils at your crackerjack humor…

    Sure, those are probably your kind of “experts”.

    • Replies: @FB
  337. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Look I have no interest in debating your nonsense claims about how AD is supposed to stay fixed in place…

    This is patently absurd…

    And if you don’t know this or are prepared to acknowledge this then you place yourself in the category which I have defined for you…

    This proven fact is evidenced by the progression from fixed to mobility in modern SAMs and radars…

    And also proven by the fact that actual authorities [Lambeth...Martin] I have cited take this as a given…

    This is a starting point for any discussion of air defense…

    Even the idea of having to argue this is absurd…but since there may be non-technical people here who care to know the facts…here are just a few…

    Col Zoltan Dani trained his men of the 250′th Air Defense Missile Brigade to dismantle and transport the fixed S125 in 90 minutes…in the Nato air war against Serbia in 1999…

    ‘…Based on experiences of the 1982 Lebanon War, constant relocation of all assets was key to survival of Dani’s unit, the 3rd missile detachment of the 250th Serbian Air Defense Battalion…

    Although the SA-3 / “S-125M Neva” system is not a mobile SAM complex per design, its solid fueled missiles are transportable in near combat ready condition (in fact the Polish Armed Forces and Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces each created mobile versions of the SA-3 on T-72 tank and T-55 tank chassis respectively in the 1990s).

    Therefore, Lt. Col. Dani trained his SA-3 unit to achieve a 90-minute equipment break-down time with minimal lighting provided for better camouflage, one hour better than the standard time.

    Further set-up and break-down time reductions were achieved by reducing the SA-3 unit’s number of active 5P73 launchers and V-601M missiles to just 2×2 from the original 4×4 configuration.

    This reduction in missile capability was justified, because of the expected strictly limited time slots and occasions where a Serbian SAM battery could open fire in face of a tremendous NATO Wild Weasel capability, with any hope of self-preservation…’

    Wild Weasel being the HARM equipped aircraft targeting air defense radars…

    Col. Dani’s unit…due to its mobility tactics…scored all three kills of US aircraft of the war…

    From Martin we have this…

    ‘…Fixed Air Defenses Crippled But Mobile Air Defences Survived…

    Two of Serbia’s three static S-75 Dvina / SA-2 Guideline SAM battalions and 70 percent of their static S-125 Neva / SA-3 Goa SAM sites were destroyed…

    …as compared with only three of their 22 mobile 9M9 Kvadrat / SA-6 Gainful SAM systems…’

    So mobile proved over 90 percent survival as compared to 30 percent for non-mobile SAMs…

    Which would explain all of the above…not to mention the Iranians turning their fixed S200s into mobile…

    ‘…Esmayeeli was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying that a mobile launcher had been developed for the system, in addition to a sharp reduction in its detection-firing-tracing time.

    ”We have given mobility to the S-200 missile system, and the same plan to give mobility to all artillery and missile systems is on the agenda of the Air Defense Force,” he said…’

    And not to mention the huge amounts of effort and expenditure the Russians have invested in reducing shoot and scoot time from 15 minutes on the early S300s to 5 minutes today…

    Proving of course Hans Guderian’s remark that ‘the engine of the tank is just as much a weapon as the cannon’…

    But of course we have no need of engines…nor even the wheel…in the bizarro world of Andrei [aka Smoothie X12] Martyanov…

    Too bad Guderian, Dani, the Russian SAM designers…the Iranians, Polish and Cubans [as well as the American with their mobile Patriot] had not consulted ‘Smoothie’ first…

    They would have been quickly set straight in their ‘amateur delusions’ about mobile SAMs…

    PS…your nonsense about those homemade drones has what to do with anything…?

    it’s supposed to prove that drones can be used against SAMs…?

    Really now…?

    Because those toys were aimed at the airfield…not at the SAMs…

    Stop right now with your patent bullshit here…

    As a writer reaching out to a layman audience…you are supposed to bring facts and clarity not disinformation…

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  338. @FB

    This is patently absurd…

    Exactly–you are not understanding a basic fact of Khmeimim and Tartus being fixed bases totally dependent on AD structure which is erected around them. You also fail completely to grasp a gigantic difference in technology and operational concepts between Serbia 1999 and Khmeimim (and Tartus) 2018. Yet, you continue to come up with amateur crap non-stop. Serbia’s realities are not applicable to Russian Forces in Syria for a huge host of reasons.

    So mobile proved over 90 percent survival as compared to 30 percent for non-mobile SAMs…

    I repeat again: S-400 and S-300 are not going anywhere precisely because they are there to defend Russian military installations against variety of air threats.

    Really now…?

    Because those toys were aimed at the airfield…not at the SAMs…

    Stop right now with your patent bullshit here…

    Or? So, you were the guy who entered the targeting information into them, right? Here is another one, two days ago–again Pantsir at work:

    http://rusvesna.su/news/1521308526

    As a writer reaching out to a layman audience…you are supposed to bring facts and clarity not disinformation…

    Yes, as a writer reaching to a layman audiences, with my background, this is precisely what I am doing–I inform layman audiences how you misinform them. Because you obviously have no idea on the subject matter and continue to propagate your amateur “vision” of mobility of zonal air defense without any consideration of tactical and operational factors in Syria. This BS which you peddle here derives from your complete ignorance on basic military issues as well as on the technological principles realized in both S-300 or S-400 which are called complexes for a reason. It is expected from you, considering your other preposterous statements such as S-400 being “designed around sensor fusion” (or whatever BS you posted–don’t remember exactly–but am sure about meaning) . So, I am just calling your BS. Simple as that. Do not want to get called? Do not write a BS–very simple. In the end, did you see me writing something on gastroenterology or the history of India? No, I don’t write on things I don’t know. You, evidently, do and being called out experience a complex of emotions most of which are negative.

    • LOL: FB
  339. FB says:

    Ok Smoothie

    I’ll bite…just to grind your nonsense into the dust once and for all…

    ‘…I repeat again: S-400 and S-300 are not going anywhere precisely because they are there to defend Russian military installations against variety of air threats…’

    So those S400s are going to stay right where they are and get obliterated…

    Having decided to give up the advantage of mobility and hiding in unknown locations…

    [and we note here that their hidden locations would not decrease their ability to defend Khmeimim and Tartus in the least...since they have a range of hundreds of kilometers...and can defend those positions from quite far away...]

    But let’s play along with your scenario…where they simply stay put parked right next to the airfield in Khmeimim…

    So US doesn’t even need to bother sending airborne jamming aircraft [FA18 Growlers] nor HARM carrying aircraft to try [suicidally] to find those hidden big SAMs and radars and take them out…

    They just need to fire a bunch of Tomahawk cruise missiles at them…

    How convenient is that…?

    I agree…your plan sounds spectacular…in the way a nutcase on the street makes a spectacle of himself…

    And what happens after that salvo takes out all those fixed S300/400s defending those sites…?

    You yourself admitted they would get wiped out eventually…based on naval ‘salvo theory’ if I recall…

    What then…?

    USN destroys fixed Russian air defenses without even putting a single aircraft into the air…

    Well that has to be the plan of the century…

    And what happens once those S300s and S400s are overwhelmed…ie destroyed…?

    Who stops the US from taking control of the airspace and flying fighter patrols over Syria 24/7…supported by AWACS…ELINT…ISR etc…

    …not to mention being now able to bomb any ground target at will…since the air defenses have been wiped out…?

    PS…don’t try to bullshit about Serbia…if you have something of substance to say then say it…

    ‘…You also fail completely to grasp a gigantic difference in technology and operational concepts between Serbia 1999 and Khmeimim (and Tartus) 2018…’

    Ok Smoothie…once again I will bite…

    Pease take all the time you need to explain this ‘gigantic difference’…

    I knew I was dealing with a complete know-nothing…but I never expected I would be going here…

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  340. Krollchem says:
    @FB

    I will not stoop to insults. Such behavior discredits the points one makes as well as the person making them.

    Rather, I have tried to show that swarm attacks can theoretically breech the Russian/Syrian missile defense in Syria but would not be a reasonable approach compared to ground attacks by terrorist proxy armies.

    All this discussion masks the current Western plan which is focused on cutting off the transportation corridor between Iran and Syria/Lebanon . Likewise, capture of South East Syria and the T4 pumping station would allow the West/Israel to restart a oil pipeline to Israel from the US controlled Syrian oil fields.

    https://southfront.org/us-led-coalition-its-proxies-to-launch-attack-against-syrian-army-in-eastern-syria-reports/

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201803191062696904-us-syria-army-attack-iraq/

    As for the hypothetical air attack on Syria:

    First , fighter jets serve as airborne missile platforms with lots of missiles!

    Second, the US has 2567 fighters (excluding F-35s) not the 1594 you mention.

    Third, close allies have another 1886 fighters (excluding the smaller EU countries and Canada/Australia/New Zealand) for a total of about 4453 fighters.

    Fourth, Russia (and China) have demonstrated conventional warfare parity with the US and its allies via advanced missile systems. This prevents direct non-nuclear war.

    Fifth, nuclear war in game theory is also a lose-lose situation due to Nuclear Winter even if the only one party launches their nuclear weapons.

    Here are the facts on fighter aircraft in the US arsenal and among the COWs. The list of active US military active military aircraft can be found here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_United_States_military_aircraft#Navy

    Air force

    F-15 Eagle 236
    F-15E Strike Eagle 220
    F-16 Fighting Falcon 951
    F-22A Raptor 195

    Navy

    F/A-18E/F Super Hornet 507
    F/A-18 Hornet 314

    Marine Corps
    F/A-18A Hornet 36
    F/A-18C Hornet 60
    F/A-18D Hornet 48

    For a total of 2567 fighters (excluding F-35s).

    This total does not include the various bombers, UAVs and electronic warfare planes.

    Add in:
    Israel with 315 fighters
    F-15 Eagle 58
    F-15E Strike Eagle 25
    F-16 Fighting Falcon 223
    F-35 Lightning II 9

    Saudi Arabia with 274 fighters
    F-15 Eagle 96
    Eurofighter Typhoon 48
    Panavia Tornado 88
    F-15E Strike Eagle 186

    UAE with 104 fighters
    Mirage 2000 49
    F-16 Fighting Falcon 55

    UK with 275 fighters
    Eurofighter Typhoon 137
    Panavia Tornado GR4 138

    Germany with 181 fighters
    Panavia Tornado 87
    Eurofighter Typhoon 94

    Italy with 137 fighters
    Eurofighter Typhoon 75
    Panavia Tornado 62

    France (some needing repair) with 306 fighters
    Dassault Mirage 2000 185
    Dassault Mirage F1 65
    Dassault Rafale 56

    You will note that Australia and several other EU countries have also been bombing in Syria. Then there is Turkey with 294 fighters:
    F-4 Phantom II 49
    F-16 Fighting Falcon 245

    • Replies: @FB
  341. @FB

    So those S400s are going to stay right where they are and get obliterated…

    Since you are civilian hack let me explain to you what happens in Khmeimim the moment the salvo is detected–I deliberately will somewhat obfuscate the issue but this is how it will go (plus-minus):

    1. Salvo detected, ETA, course and other what is known initial elements of targets’ movement are established and communicated;
    2. Combat Station (Boyevaya Trevoga) is declared:
    a) All aircraft get airborne;
    b) All AD such as S-400, S-300 go on “high” (vklychayut vysokoe);
    c) Pantsyrs go on high and depending on the chart of missile-threatening (raketoopasnye napravlenya) directions, additional may move to stop-gap.

    3. EW goes on “full”. What is is, I may only speculate.
    4. Some things begin to happen in Russia too, but that is a separate topic altogether, my article is precisely about that.

    Here comes the most important part, once Combat Station is declared–if anyone, namely Nachalnik PVO (Superintendent of AD) of Khmeimim, let alone lower tier command, order removal of S-300 or S-400 from their fixed positions to “not get obliterated”(c)–they will be immediately arrested and placed in custody, to be tried by Court Martial as people who tried to sabotage defense of Air Base Khmeimim.

    This is just rough description. Obviously in your high school they don’t teach basic military facts let alone how force (as in unit or formation) fights. Let me explain why you are an amateur and a “proud” product of internet “education”.

    don’t try to bullshit about Serbia

    For now the only BS which comes out is from your corner:

    And what happens once those S300s and S400s are overwhelmed…ie destroyed…?

    Read the article above this discussion thread.

    And what happens after that salvo takes out all those fixed S300/400s defending those sites…?

    I see you do have issues with reading comprehension, again, read article attentively. Granted, you have to introduce now allowance for second S-400 in Masyaf, plus unknown number of confirmed Buk-M2s in Syria. Plus Garmon’ etc. That changes salvo completely in Syria. But per in bold in your quote: I understand you have no understanding of tactical, operational and strategic levels and how they connected and interact, which is expected, but many “layman” people have no difficulty understanding basic scheme of things and some even tried, to no avail, explain it to you. But I will reiterate–do not write on things you have no clue about. I don’t know, you already tried screenshots of Family Guy, Youtube, what’s next–Ponhub? You are definitely a very young fellow who is desperate for attention but you, obviously, do not understand that internet is no substitution for actual serious military education and service experience. See the difference? People know my name, my background, soon my page comes up for a book on publisher’s site, I can present here peer reviews, among those peers many US military people, senior officers. See the difference between me and anonymous you?

    Now about that “mobility” which you are so obsessed with and evidently cannot comprehend when and how it is used.

    Any combat task consists of elements–that is what course of combat training is, be it naval, AF, AD etc. In particular for AD troops serving with S-300, 400 etc. the issue of deployment to a position is a normal standard element of combat training, including the shooting from:

    a) prepared
    b) unprepared (moving to a new position)

    positions.

    Here is one of the Moscow units of S-400 trains in both a) and b)

    In the end of this small video starting at 2:06 Commanding officer gives the Order of the day and formulates it quite well. In case of Khmeimim it is defense of the base in prepared fixed position. You ideas of a war-fighting is that of an amateur fanboy and it shows.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @The Scalpel
  342. FB says:
    @Krollchem

    ‘…I will not stoop to insults…’

    It’s sometimes necessary for public safety reasons…

    Where did you pull those figures…out of your arse…?

    Don’t bother me anymore…I don’t have time to waste on your stupidity…I already told you to go to FlightGlobal…

    USAF…

    F16C…795

    F15C/E…431

    F22…178…

    US Navy…

    FA18A/C…177

    FA18E/F…368

    EA18G…113…[the only one that really counts here...the jammer Hornet...]

    Just to set the record straight…

    But just like the retarded three year old that you are…you have ignored those real world scenarios I mentioned…ie actual combat availability…[which might be no higher than 50 percent]…

    The ability to get into theater…ie logistics…which means realistically only carrier aircraft…

    Maybe your incredibly thick and stupid skull doesn’t get this…but people here are interested in reality…not kindergarten level bullshit…

    Reality means what can the US actually muster for a SEAD mission in Syria…

    Talk about what other countries have is useless…who will fight against Russia…?

    Most would probably not even give permission to use their airbases…nor even overfly their countries…

    You have chosen to ignore that and proceed baby-like to pull numbers out of your arse about total aircraft…[the vast majority of which have no means of even getting to Syria...]

    Notice the SEAD highlighted…that means suppression of enemy air defenses…

    The US can throw 1,000 ordinary fighters at Syria and the Russian SAM crews will be happy to knock them all out of the air…they have more than enough surface to air missiles to do that…missiles are a lot smaller and cheaper than aircraft…

    The only thing that has a snowball’s chance is to knock out the air defenses…that takes jamming aircraft and Harm aircraft…

    Btw…the F16C is the only aircraft that can be equipped with the AGM88 HARM…

    I asked you reasonably already to stop with the childish nonsense…but you persist…you are a complete moron…

  343. Krollchem says:

    Just a few corrections and comments:
    (1) I did not confuse the Buk missile defense systems with the Tor (Gauntlet) systems. I just thought you had confused the two systems in your earlier comment. I just do not think that the Buk M2E is as effective as the TorM2. See appended capabilities of Russian missile defense systems.

    (2) The US Tomahawk attack on the Syrian airbase was an internal US political statement with the Russians/Syrian given advanced warning of the attack.

    (3) If you read my comment on the number of fighter/bomber attack planes you will realize that I linked to the Wikipedia site of which your link (behind paywall) is only one of many references. Remember your earlier statement “incidentally, it is always a good idea to look up the wiki references…”

    (4) Please consider that fighter aircraft primarily missile platforms meant of attack both air and ground targets. Note that this is how Israel has been operating their fighter jets of take out Syrian forces at standoff distances.

    Yes, the “AGM-88 HARM or high-speed anti-radiation missile, is an air-to-surface tactical missile designed to seek and destroy enemy radar-equipped air defense systems.” Used by the F16c and have a range of 48 plus kilometers.

    http://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/104574/agm-88-harm/

    Your comment “In any case…the range of those Harm missiles is less than half of those defending SAMs” is meaningless as only the S-400 and S-300 missiles have ranges longer than the AGM-88 HARM (see appended summary of Russian systems in Syria). The S-300 and S-400 missiles would be used on carriers (planes) and ships but not missiles.

    However, destruction of such radar-equipped air defense systems are not the only target to be engaged and the defending system must expend their missiles on other missiles designed to destroy fixed targets. This leaves the AGM-88 HARM missiles an opportunity to take out the missile defense systems while their radar systems are on. Here is a link to the US air to surface missiles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_missiles_of_the_United_States_military

    (5) The NATO strategy was not to take out the FRY anti-aircraft missiles but destroy the FRY willingness to continue the fight by destroying the economy so that Serbia could be bought up at pennies on the dollar and opened up for Western manufactured products.

    (6) FRY anti-aircraft missiles that you mention were generally fired on a line of sight mode without radar. The F-117 shoot down was just a lucky shot using such tactics. The US were flying the F-117s (very quietly) in formation over Eastern Washington as early a 1994 and any observer would have noted that they were setting ducks against a missile exploded in proximity to the F-117s.

    (7) When I mentioned the commander who was killed in the Kosovo war I meant Colonel General Ljubisa Velickovic, not a low level tactical officer such as Col. Zoltan Dani.

    (8) You asked for references on swarm attack strategy which I provided. A US Navy Captain also wrote a similar analysis of Chinese DF-21D swarm strategy which you should have seen.

    (9) peterAUS at #233 and #236 #243 hit the nail on the head with his comment on who lost the war despite all the Serbian air defense strategies by their generals. In addition, your response about UNSC 1244 is legally correct but just as irrelevant as UN rulings on the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights. The FRY refused the Rambouillet agreement due to the demand that NATO forces freely travel through the FRY – which happened after the surrender of Kosovo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambouillet_Agreement

    Meanwhile, FRY (Serbian) leaders were banned from travel to EU countries (Col Zoltan Dani didn’t make the list): https://freeserb.home.xs4all.nl/facts/1999/e-spisak300.html

    (10) Why are you still living in your mom’s basement?


    Range of Russian missile systems in Syria:
    S-400 (four missiles) :
    40N6 missile range = 400 km
    48N6DM (48N6E3) missile range = 250 km
    9M96 missile range = 120 km

    S-300 (four missiles):
    48N6E2 missile range = 195 km

    Buk M2E (four missiles):
    9M317 missile range = 45 km (four missiles with reloading taking 12 minutes)

    Pantsir-S1 missile range = 20 km (12 missiles and can fire on the move)

    TorM2 Russian Tor M2U which can fire on the move at 25 km/hr:

    https://www.rt.com/news/327140-tor-missile-move-launch/

    9M9331 missile range = 16 km (8 missiles)
    9M338 missile range = 16 km (16 missiles)

    In the hypothetical swarm attack over Syria the Buk and most other missile defense systems would not have the time the shoot and scoot. If you wish to talk about mobile missiles defense systems then consider the fire on the move Russian Tor M2U which can fire on the move at 25 km/hr:

    https://www.rt.com/news/327140-tor-missile-move-launch/

  344. FB says:

    ‘…peterAUS at #233 and #236 #243 hit the nail on the head…’

    I rest my case…

    Oh and btw…my linkk to the flightglobal info is not behind a paywall…it is merely necessary to complete a free registration in order to access certain info…

    Yet again confirming my earlier assessment of you mental abilities…

    • Replies: @Krollchem
  345. FB says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Well Smoothie…I wouldn’t have thought it possible…

    …but it appears you are even dumber than ‘Trollchem’…perhaps even dumber than Anatoly Karlin…

    No wonder Russia is on such a roll lately…having shed the mentally feeble who have long since left the country…

    First about he youtube video…what’s going on here…?

    Those TELARs are can’t be moving…?

    Using those wheels that you claim are there only for show…

    I assume that those men moving the S400s have therefore been duly arrested and ‘court-martialed…?’

    ‘…Now about that “mobility” which you are so obsessed with and evidently cannot comprehend when and how it is used…’

    I guess the Russian Strategic Missile forces missed the ‘Smoothie Doctrine’ update of sitting in one place and never moving…

    ‘…A Russian military commander has said the army will expand mobile missile patrols in European regions of the country in 2017…’

    Sheesh…those poor devils…if only they knew how wrong they are…

    Perhaps your ‘Smoothie Doctrine’ also applies to nuclear ICBM subs…?

    Surely the same principle of ‘immobility’ being superior to mobility would translate well to the ballistic sub fleet, no…?

    Think of all the money they could save if they simply stayed in port…?

    And now to consider the scenario you present here…

    ‘…1. Salvo detected, ETA, course and other what is known initial elements of targets’ movement are established and communicated…’

    I see…

    So the very first order of business is to sit and wait for ‘salvo’ toi be ‘detected’…?

    That makes sense…

    Why would you waste time and fuel flying those nice Tu214 ISR aircraft…[ie intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance...]

    ‘…This is the second such machine, which arrived at the Khmeimim air base…’

    Surely it is not necessary to detect movements of enemy warships…until they launch their surprise salvo…?


    Also the Beriev A50U AEW aircraft [airborne early warning] that are patrolling the skies of Syria…

    Again…this is not necessary…I see the wisdom of your strategy of waiting for the salvo…so it can be properly ‘detected’…

    Maybe you can include this in your upcoming book…?

    I’m sure the Russian Aerospace Forces…the Strategic Missile Forces and the Russian boomer commanders will be very glad to learn that their strategy of mobility and hiding their locations is no longer valid…

  346. Krollchem says:
    @FB

    Did you even read the comments of peterAUS at #233 and #236 #243?

    He did indeed hit the nail on the head with his comment on who lost the war despite all the Serbian air defense strategies by their generals. In addition, your response about UNSC 1244 is legally correct but just as irrelevant as UN rulings on the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights. The FRY refused the Rambouillet agreement due to the demand that NATO forces freely travel through the FRY – which happened after the surrender of Kosovo. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambouillet_Agreement

    flightglobal info is only one of a few dozen references. You seem also not to be aware of the US Marine Corps air assets.

    You can do much better. Think.

    • Replies: @FB
  347. FB says:
    @Krollchem

    Did you actually graduate from kindergarten…?

    I find that hard to believe…considering my quite detailed discussion of the actual availability of aircraft…taking into account airworthiness…logistics…basing…and many other factors…

    Which seemed to fly right over your head…?

    I’m just wondering because a normal kindergarten graduate would have caught the drift by now…

    Please contact me when you graduate…[sorry...IF you graduate...]

    • Replies: @Krollchem
  348. Erebus says:
    @FB

    Like I said…not paying attention…

    My bad. In searching further up the thread, I missed what was close by.
    The heart of the matter is this:

    ‘…Yes they could wipe out the Russian airfield at Hmeimim and the naval port at Tartus…but those ships which launched such attacks would be at the bottom of the sea minutes later…’

    I’m not sure about how many “minutes later”, but you’ve summarized the hypothesis’ basic posit.
    The USM/NATO didn’t abandon their Empire because they feared the wheels under the Pantsir/S3-400/etc, but because they were showed the zugzwang: “Any attempt to affect our operations and you will lose both assets and Empire. Your move.”

  349. Erebus says:

    … were showed the zugzwang:

    should read … were shown Duh!

  350. DTM says:

    I’ve read a lot of the comments and I’ll say I’m not in any way a military strategist or understand the full scope and potential ramifications of any conflict but what I observe from Putins is that his interest in a fight with NATO is nonexistent.
    One thing that we have witnessed is that he is patient and is a far superior strategist. Always his goal has been to achieve a peaceful resolution. (I won’t go into details because if you’re following Russia the last while you know) small displays of force and more importantly to display as a deterrent advanced weaponry.
    Russia will not be the aggressor and history has proven this. If attacked he will do exactly has he said and will repel and strike the launch sites. His next move is really the topic of the board and as I see it it will be discreet and will be face saving for the west to allow them an exit. Something very simple that likely will never make the news because it would shame and embarrass. Perhaps a sub launched strike on a target of little importance maybe in another theatre with zero causalities. The message will be clear. We are capable where you least anticipate it.
    One thing Russia understands is war and they will not have any part in it unless the motherland is attacked. They have promised to protect it with everything and will never allow the tragedies of the past again. They are honourable and will not seek to humiliate a nation to prove a point publicly as it could foil any chance for diplomacy.
    If the motherland is attacked then the same tactic yet a lot louder with very little to no casualties. Shots across the bow so to speak and if that won’t deter I would expect distant attacks on military bases to show nowhere is untouchable.
    Always diplomacy first, this is the way of humans not savages

  351. Krollchem says:
    @FB

    Why do you continue to make personal attacks which add nothing to the discussion? It is bad form to insult the author of the article and would result in banning at most sites. As for me I can take it and am just here to learn from reasonable discussions.

    I suppose that we will continue to disagree on the effectiveness of swarm attacks and how the Syrian missile defense system defeated NATO.

    The readers will decide for themselves what they believe, regardless of what the other commentators claim.

  352. yurivku says:

    It’s a pity to see what this thread turned out to. The stream of insults without really important things being discussed. Childish accusations with stupid pictures. I won’t name those who are doing this BS, but will ask them just to stop – it’s not adding anything to discussion, but is adding alot to those writers’ image.

    As for me, I’d like to understand the options on future conflict which seems almost inevitable. US strikes with 600 tomahawks from about 5 ships and XXX jets. Will these ships be immediately attacked by Bastions, Onixes and, probably, Kindjals? How many tomahawks per minute can US fire and how that corresponds with flying time of antiship missiles?
    As for jets I’m sure they will be attacked, but not sure about ships (but I’d like to see cople of those be sinked).
    Do Russians prepare (I hope we do) to that fight, are they moving warships and requred airplanes to south borders? We’ve heard about US ships moving to attack order, but nothing on Russian moves.

    So possible scenarios is what seems to be interesting to speak about. May be have not too much time to talk untils stone age comes. I think it was a joke.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  353. @yurivku

    Do Russians prepare (I hope we do) to that fight, are they moving warships and requred airplanes to south borders? We’ve heard about US ships moving to attack order, but nothing on Russian moves.

    Submarines, for once. Apart from SSKs in Tartus we don’t know what SS(G)Ns are in the area. What could be assumed, though, with very high probability is that they are there.

    As for me, I’d like to understand the options on future conflict which seems almost inevitable.

    Well, that is the issue here–it is not preordained. Granted even the imbecility and desperation of D.C. war-hawks.

    US strikes with 600 tomahawks from about 5 ships and XXX jets. Will these ships be immediately attacked by Bastions, Onixes and, probably, Kindjals?

    A lot will depend on the structure of the salvo and how it will be repelled. If significant damage will be dealt to Russia’s interests and assets in the area some “lesson” could, indeed, be taught, say sinking one of the ships. My feel, and I could be wrong, of course, is that Russia has means to shut down electronically, let’s say, a lot.

    How many tomahawks per minute can US fire and how that corresponds with flying time of antiship missiles?

    About 10-15 seconds per missile per launcher, which DDG of Arleigh Burke-class have two, from what I heard. So two TLAMs per 10-15 seconds. TLAMs (as any TLAM) are subsonic. In a worst case scenario Russian subs can launch 3M54, which starts at subsonic or low supersonic speed and on terminal accelerates almost to M=3. It is faster than TLAM, also the “density” of salvo is astonishing, pr. 636 SSK can launch 6 of them in, well count and time it yourself, my time is 3 secs per missile:

    What nukes are carrying? Who knows. Anything from P-700 Granit for pr. 949A to possible 3M54 for pr. 971. I can tell you only one thing for sure–possible battle will have a very complex profile.

    • Replies: @yurivku
  354. yurivku says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    A lot will depend on the structure of the salvo and how it will be repelled.

    Thing the main factor will be a decisiveness of commandment (Putin) which I’m not sure of.

    My feel, and I could be wrong, of course, is that Russia has means to shut down electronically, let’s say, a lot.

    There were a lot of speculations about this in inet, but most “experts” stated that Tomahawks can’t be downed be EW for they will switch to inertial homing in case of EW attack. In Shairat case everything is unclear: how many missiles were downed (if any), how, where the pieces fell etc…

    About 10-15 seconds per missile per launcher, which DDG of Arleigh Burke-class have two, from what I heard. So two TLAMs per 10-15 seconds. TLAMs (as any TLAM) are subsonic.

    So for 2 ships it’ll be 4*2=8 TLAM/min so to fire 2*56 TLAM they’ll spend about 8 mins (where number 600 got from?)

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%AD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%B4%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B5_%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%86%D1%8B_%D1%82%D0%B8%D0%BF%D0%B0_%C2%AB%D0%90%D1%80%D0%BB%D0%B8_%D0%91%D1%91%D1%80%D0%BA%C2%BB

    for speed 850 km/hour it’ll take about 6 min to fly to Damascus/Khmeimim. So even for Kindjals it’ll take too long to be in time, only retaliation strike will be possible.
    I’d like to hear something like Mig 31 got to Iran with Kindjals aboard …

    But you didn’t mention Bastions, I believe they have long enough hands to get these ships.With Onix (3M55) it’s capable to hit ships in up to 400km range and it has M2.5 speed.

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9E%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA%D1%81_(%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%B8%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%BA%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B1%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D1%80%D0%B0%