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    There are two myths which are deeply imprinted in the minds of most US Americans which are extremely dangerous and which can result in a war with Russia. The first myth is the myth of US military superiority. The second myth is the myth of US invulnerability. I believe that it is therefore crucial to...
  • “During the first Cold War both American and Soviet forces took great care to avoid direct conflict, rightly afraid it could lead to uncontrolled escalation.”

    Did you know, that it was WALL STREET BANKERS that FINANCED Russia’s TECHNOLOGICAL rise to Super-Power status, from at least 1945 to 1965? Read Stanford Professor Antony C. Sutton’s book THE BEST ENEMY MONEY CAN BUY. Now, WHY, exactly, would the (((Western 1% CENTRAL BANKERS))) (predominantly counterfeit “Jews”, by the way) SEEK TO EMPOWER (((BOLSHEVIK/SOVIET))) RUSSIA by FINANCING its RISE to Super-Power status? Oops! I think I answered my own question.

    One question: (((WHO))), exactly, would BENEFIT, from starting a WW III between historically WHITE, CHRISTIAN AMERICA, and historically WHITE, ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN RUSSIA? Oops! I just answered my own question, again.

    ALL WARS ARE (((BANKERS))) WARS

    “O, what a tangled web (((we))) weave when first (((we))) practice to deceive” ~ Walter Scott

    Parentheses added. When are AMERICANS going to WAKE THE HELL UP?! Seriously.

    Here is what needs to go mainstream:

    [MORE]

    The so-called “Sephardi” “Jews” (10% of all “Jews” today) are of BERBER-ARAB descent. The remaining 90% of so-called “Jews” today (the “Ashkenazi”) are of SLAVO-TURKIC descent. This means, that they have NO LEGITIMATE CLAIM to being the direct lineal descendants of the original, true IBERI (Hebrews) of the Old Testament era! NONE. WHAT-SO-EVER. Read Paul Wexler’s work in _The Non-Jewish Origins of the Sephardic Jews_, and _The Ashkenazic Jews: A Slavo-Turkic People in Search of a Jewish Identity_. Also, read THE GREAT DECEPTION: SYRIA, BRITAIN AND THE ROMAN CONSPIRACY, by Comyns Beaumont, IF you wish to discover the TRUE geographic location of the people, places & events described in both the Old & New Testament.

    And, (((they))) ADMIT AS MUCH, in (((their))) own publications:

    Encyclopedia Judaica 1971, Vol 10:23: “Jews began to call themselves Hebrews and Israelites in 1860 [AD].”

    Page 3 of the 1980 Jewish Almanac states: “Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an Ancient Israelite a Jew or to call a contemporary [modern] Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew.”

    (You see, what these BERBER-ARABS & SLAVO-TURKS did, was HIJACK the very much VENERATED name & identity of the TRUE, ORIGINAL IBERI, or IBRI (Hebrews) of the Old Testament era (~ highly-esteemed in the minds of Western Christians ~) on their way to HIJACKING the entirety of Western Civilization! When did they do it? 1860 AD. Do you see what they did? They HIJACKED, and appropriated FOR THEMSELVES, the very NAME & IDENTITY of the true, original Hebrews of the Old Testament era, thereby claiming to be their direct lineal descendants, when, in fact, they are NO SUCH THING. Please, wake up some people in your sphere of influence, by sharing these VITAL HISTORICALLY-DOCUMENTED FACTS WITH THEM! Let’s try to save America, shall we?

    With regard to the meaning of ZION-ism, read these three extremely relevant quotes about “Jew”-ish SUPREMACISM (i.e., ZION-ism):

    1) “We Jews regard our race as superior to all humanity, and look forward, not to its ultimate union with other races, but to its triumph over them.” (Goldwin Smith, Jewish Professor of Modern History at Oxford University, October, 1981)

    2) “We Jews, we are the destroyers and will remain the destroyers. Nothing you can do will meet our demands and needs. We will forever destroy because we want a world of our own.” (You Gentiles, by Jewish Author Maurice Samuels, p. 155).

    3) “We will have a world government whether you like it or not. The only question is whether that government will be achieved by conquest or consent.” (Jewish Banker Paul Warburg, February 17, 1950, as he testified before the U.S. Senate).

    Source: 1001 Quotes By and About Jews: https://www.stormfront.org/posterity/13texan/q351-400.htm

    WHY, is all the foregoing SO VITAL for ALL AMERICANS to FULLY comprehend? Read on:

    Study the history of the so-called “Russian” “Revolution”. It was (((Rothschild)))-agents, (((Paul Warburg))), and (((Jacob Schiff))) who FINANCED fellow-tribesman (((Lev Bronstein))) alias (((Leon Trotsky))), FROM WALL STREET!, to the tune of $20 Million (USD) in gold, when (((Bronstein/Trotsky))) boarded a ship in New York Harbor!, bound for Russia, and the (((Rothschild)))-financed overthrow (really massacre) of the 300-year-old ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN Romanov Family Dynasty. It is historically significant, that the so-called “Russian” “Revolution” was a FAKE, PHONY, COUNTERFEIT, IMPOSTER “Jew”-ish operation, from beginning to end, and from top to bottom.

    All America Must Know the Terror That is Upon Us

    https://www.amfirstbooks.com/IntroPages/ToolBarTopics/Articles/Featured_Authors/strom,_kevin/kevin_strom_works/Kevin_Strom_1991-1994/Kevin_A._Strom_19930814-ADV_All_America_Must_Know_the_Terror_That_Is_Upon_Us.html

    Again, WHY is ALL the foregoing information SO VITAL for EVERY AMERICAN to comprehend? Read on:

    1) Dual Citizenship — Loyal to Whom?, by Dan Eden for View Zone:

    http://www.viewzone.com/dualcitizen.html

    2) Zionists Are a Fifth Column in America:

    http://www.henrymakow.com/zionists_fifth_column_in_ameri.html

    3) How Many U.S. Politicians Can Counterfeit “Israel” Buy with $6.3 Billion Dollars?

    https://needtoknow.news/2018/03/many-politicians-can-buy-6-3-billion-dollars/

    It’s NOT the “New” World Order. It’s the counterfeit “Jew” World Order.

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  • Inconsistency with regard to Russia is nothing new. The Soviet Union’s military was ridiculed – ramshackle etc. Yet at the same time it was presented as a juggernaut that could punch from East Germany to the Channel ports in 72 hours. Viktor Suvorov, a defector, ridiculed the Soviet Army in The Liberators in ways that should logically have posed the question as to whether it was really a threat. But joined-up thinking did not exist and still does not.

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  • @Avery
    {Or is it anti-semitic to mention the belligerent ziocons?}

    Is it so-called anti-Semitic to mention the reptilian ziocon filth who are actively engaged in the extermination of Christians in Middle East?


    {Are you really serious about the occupation of Russia’s huge landmass?}

    Anyone who wants to get the Stalingrad-treatment must go ahead and _try_ to occupy any piece of Russian landmass.

    "Karaganov*: Russia will never again fight on its own territory ..."

    After (Soviet/Russia) saved Europe from the Nazi menace at a cost ~25-27 million people, Russia has earned the right to nuke any country who dares to invade RF. US nuked two Japanese civilian targets, because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, a _military_ target.
    SU/Russia lost ~15-17 million civilians to genocidal Nazi invaders.
    Enough already.
    Next time Neocon reptiles cross the border of RF - Nuke'em ALL.
    (and let God sort them out...)

    ___________________
    *
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-putin-foreign-policy-advisor-sergey-karaganov-a-1102629.html

    When the time comes, China will have no difficulty occupying, controlling, and settling that territory. China can settle more people there than the Russians had.

    An old, slowly dwindling population of actual Russians won’t stand a chance.

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  • @DESERT FOX
    The Zionists did 911 and it was an attack so blatant that Netanyahu said 911 was good for Israel and the Zionists did the attack on the USS Liberty and monsters like these Zionists will not blink at watching the U.S. and Russia destroy themselves, the Zionists are straight from Hell.

    I have only one friend or acquaintance who’s absolutely happy at the prospect of millions of Russians dying or suffering in destitution if the US finally “teaches them a lesson.” He’s Jewish.

    His girlfriend, a Jew who was born and raised in Russia, wishes them nothing but the worst.

    It’s good that those stereotypes about Jews never being loyal to their host countries and peoples aren’t true.

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  • @Sergey Krieger
    Soviet era generations were far more ready to serve in any adverse conditions and draft was considered honorable duty with almost every guy serving 2 years. Despite as you say support current young generation tends to avoid draft and service was reduced to just one year. Still, I have no doubt on case of aggression there will be far more Russians willing to get drafted than Americans. It is just Russian peculiarity.

    Most young white Americans will still show up if America is truly threatened here at home.

    African-“Americans” won’t show up, and they wouldn’t be trustworthy if drafted.

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  • @yeah
    Your main posts were brilliant. But Re China being the USA's real long term rival, not Russia, what is the basis of believing that? Russia simply cannot be written off given its scientific and technical advanced development. The problem is its economy and to some extent the dividedness of its people. After seeing the overall revival of Russia after the Yeltsin era disaster, all possibilities must be treated as being open. Russia has the kind of natural and water resources that any country can only envy and that China badly lacks.

    Nor is inherent hostile rivalry among the three poles of power (US, Russia, China) a long term given. Things can change for the better, or perhaps I should say 'better'. In any case, it does seem to be that the world's peoples are evolving similar attitudes and mindsets, down to believing in similar identity/gender/LGBTQ nonsense. As the young in these and other countries tweet, chatter, and blog on similar topics, in similar sound-bites, it becomes harder to imagine them as serious warriors.

    Then there remains the problem of predicting the actions of the EU and its main countries. Can we simply extrapolate the status quo of their current unconditional alliance with the US into the long term future?

    I think long term predictions are simply not possible. In the short term we are muddling through, one gaffe at a time, sometimes multiple ones a day or month. The real danger lies in the day-to-day policy blunders that the US is increasingly committing. If these can be mitigated, the long term can be left to evolve on its own - without predictions and interventions, especially interventions.

    The Russian population is inadequate already, and it is not growing. Russia can’t lose a lot of men and persist intact, while China can. Russia can’t lose millions of people fighting on two fronts and survive with a large ready army; China can.

    As for extrapolating european actions into the future, of course not. The European countries will soon bear little resemblance to their recent and historical selves, racially and culturally and economically and politically. That will change their foreign policies.

    I don’t see a Muslim-dominated white-hating England, France, Germany, or Italy being willing to join the us gov’s military adventures, particularly against Muslim peoples but more generally as well. And that is the near and almost certain future for the countries mentioned (as well as the tiny, militarily insignificant countries in Europe like the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, which are all fairly rapidly going Muslim and African too).

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  • @Rich
    Does the Saker actually believe that conventional weapons would have any effect on a war between the US and Russia? Does anyone? As soon as either nation's territory was threatened, the nukes would fly and the war would be over. It's that simple. There can be no limited war between the US and Russia. The chance for a semi-limited war between the US and China is probably still possible, but that time is quickly fading. Soon the Chinese will be as invulnerable as the US and Russia, if they haven't reached that point already. The purpose of the US conventional force now is to keep smaller US allies safe from invasion, and to intimidate smaller nations that act against US interests. Probably time for the Saker to get off this comparison of US and Russian conventional force showdown.

    “Probably time for the Saker to get off this comparison of US and Russian conventional force showdown.”
    ____________________

    And his incessant assertions of what he claims “the majority of Americans think.”

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  • @Robert Magill

    You can think of the RS-28 Sarmat as a successor of the already formidable RS-36 Voevoda (SS-18 Satan in US classification) missile: it is a heavy, very powerful, intercontinental ballistic missile with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (warheads):

    Weight: 100 tons
    Payload: 10 tons
    Warheads: 10 to 15
    Hypersonic glide vehicles: 3-24 (that’s the Yu-71 we will discuss below)
    Range: 10,000km
    Guidance: Inertial , satellite, astrocelestial
    Trajectory: FOBS-capable
     
    Now deployed on railroad cars throughout the forests of Siberia therefore almost invisable.

    On 9/11 the loss of 3000 innocent people placed the vast majority of US Americans into a total state of shock which resulted in a massive over-reaction at all levels (which was, of course, exactly the purpose of this false flag operation by the US and Israeli deep states).

     

    Not helpful in an otherwise fact-laden report.

    robertmagill.wordpress.com

    Yup, that pretty much killed the article for me.

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  • Not definitive proof of course but a good example of the US mindset
    “Van Riper was extremely critical of the scripted nature of the new exercise and resigned from the exercise in the middle of the war game. Van Riper later said that the Vice Admiral Marty Mayer altered the exercise’s purpose to reinforce existing doctrine and notions of infallibility within the U.S. military rather than serving as a learning experience.

    Millenium Challenge 2002
    Has anything changed?

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  • @Flavius
    Whither goes the future of US - Russia relations, no one knows; but there is little reason for optimism and there is every reason to think about the unthinkable in the hope of avoiding it.
    In my wildest imaginings at the end of Cold War I, I could not have predicted that we would have arrived here from there, reading necessary essays like the Saker's above; and the fault, regrettably, is as close to entirely on the belligerence, hubris and sheer stupidity that has been woven into our national fabric that one can get.
    The utter derangement of the Washington elites and our political obsessives over Trump's election has placed into the equation the folly that ginning up another Cold War is preferable to accepting the results of valid election. How is one to dispel madness like this that runs so wide and deep? Trump has shown himself to be no prize, isolated as he has become from his campaign promise to restore cordial and correct relations with Russia; and he has not served himself well by staffing the White House with generals and family members as if he were the chief of state in Guatemala.
    But the question remains: if Trump is deposed over spurious nonsense like Russian 'meddling,' what comes next? Does it fall on the engineers of the coup d'etat to devise some suitable punishment for Russia having 'spoiled' an American Presidential election; do they lift the ridiculously inappropriate sanctions they have already visited on Russia in gratitude for having given them the pretext for removing this troublesome President? Who knows? Our political 'masters' abetted by their media shills are in the full throes of a nervous breakdown and anything is possible.

    Remember that Guatemale would not have a bad president if the US did not interfer in the country, as it does.

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  • @Robert Magill

    You can think of the RS-28 Sarmat as a successor of the already formidable RS-36 Voevoda (SS-18 Satan in US classification) missile: it is a heavy, very powerful, intercontinental ballistic missile with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (warheads):

    Weight: 100 tons
    Payload: 10 tons
    Warheads: 10 to 15
    Hypersonic glide vehicles: 3-24 (that’s the Yu-71 we will discuss below)
    Range: 10,000km
    Guidance: Inertial , satellite, astrocelestial
    Trajectory: FOBS-capable
     
    Now deployed on railroad cars throughout the forests of Siberia therefore almost invisable.

    On 9/11 the loss of 3000 innocent people placed the vast majority of US Americans into a total state of shock which resulted in a massive over-reaction at all levels (which was, of course, exactly the purpose of this false flag operation by the US and Israeli deep states).

     

    Not helpful in an otherwise fact-laden report.

    robertmagill.wordpress.com

    Well presented arguments.

    But people are being slow poisoned by civilian and military jets, glyphosphate and Morgellans. What if the plan is to get as many people dead as possible in as short a time as possible without any regard for dangers from their rat hole cities?
    These neocon, khazarian mafia and imperialists are truly insane and may just be trying for armageddon. Rothschilds especially are fond of making misguided interpretations of biblical predictions happen.
    A second notion, what if it is bluff to avoid Merkel getting too pally with Russia, a cold war would avoid that.
    Then there’s the Romans from their hidey hole in Greenland and the Satanic Vatican control of the EU and America’s regimes.
    And there’s the gas shortage in Britain and Russia is supplying gas to fill the gap. Another two cold spells are forecast. I haven’t seen Mrs May make very many intelligent decisions. Perhaps Boris is calling the shots as a Mason under London Sq. Mile?
    Last one, Mrs M is called a traitor for selling Britain out for EU favours. A distraction?
    That’s as far as I got thinking outside the box.
    Porton Down is a short taxi ride from the scene of the crime and has the poison.
    Also Clinton has been implicated as Skripal has evidence against her. His buddy Steele of Trump dossier fame may have been topped by Skripal to distance Clinton from the dossier. Then he was to be removed for the same reason?

    http://theduran.com/the-poisoning-of-sergei-skripal-reads-right-to-hillary-clinton-and-the-dnc/

    I doubt President Putin would happily have such a person killed.

    Thanks to the Saker for the work that went into the article. I used a couple paragraphs in my blog.

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  • Calvinball at NPR! I listened carefully to the house intelligence hearings on cspan, as they talked about Russian election meddling as the homeland security guy was asked how much more money and legislative authority they need, (to make sure they get it), – darn thing went on and on, without ANY example of any such meddling. It comes down to the unspoken criticism of alleged Russian hacks of Podesta and the DNC. They can’t actually say it because they can’t prove any of it, and as time passes, it becomes more and more absurd to accuse them of it. It took under a minute to get the emails, via timestamps on the pilfered emails, and a hack job would take much much longer. It was a insider with a memory stick.
    (Ask Assange damn it. Look into Seth Rich maybe). So they talk for hours without any detail.
    Maybe the Russians had a couple of Facebook accounts. a few bots on Twitter. but they don’t even say that so you can’t refute any detail at all, because there isn’t any given! How the hell did they manage to talk for hours without any detail at all? It is a rhetorical miracle!

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  • @Quartermaster
    You're welcome to any fantasies you wish to embrace. Putin is trying to reacquire his near abroad and has been recognized as the aggressor by everyone that matters.

    Ah, but OUR opinion has been recognized as right by everyone who matters, because people who disagree with us don’t matter.

    So we win.

    Wow, that was easy! Thanks for introducing me to that technique.

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  • @Svigor
    "Two Great American Myths"

    One Great Russian Myth: that Americans think about Russia even 1/10th as much as Russians (apparently) think about America. Yes, we know (((Big Media))) is obsessed with Russia's designs on our precious bodily fluids. That's as far as it goes.

    Uh-huh, right. Perhaps you can explain then why NPR can’t shut up about Russia, Russian President, keeps broadcasting interviews with “random people from Moscow”, (most of which have heavy Polish, Baltic or English accent), and have been at it for nearly a year. You know, we appreciate all the attention, but that’s way overboard. Perhaps, it’s the time that Americans start focusing on their own problems. For example: laughable education, non-existent medical care, “just wait a week, it’s probably just a virus” being a default answer to a call to pediatrician, non-existent maternal leave, social programs only applicable to preferred minorities, shrinking middle class birth rate, mass shootings becoming a norm coast to coast, insane cost of living, debt that’s 108% of GDP, ~$56,000 per capita, with 40% of american citizens not even making that much a year, before tax. I could fill up a small soft-cover with just enumeration of your internal problems before even getting to the global subjects, where you fail miserably anywhere from being actually a cohesive country to your behaviour on international arena, the only area in which you succeed being bullying defenseless countries of the size of Texas at most, but even then managing to screw it up…
    So, yank, your attempted sarcasm is just as nil as your bluff as a state.

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  • @Quartermaster
    Anyone quoting "Russia Insider," is a bloody idiot. The place is a fever swamp of morons.

    Anyone quoting “Russia Insider,” is a bloody idiot. The place is a fever swamp of morons.

    Luckily there are not that much of morons here . If not count you of course.

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  • @The Scalpel
    "Reality says that Russia with an economy roughly the size of Holland and Belgium would not be able to sustain an extended conventional war "

    I think the guys who planned Barbarrosa said the same thing

    Thank you.
    What is the definition of insanity? – “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” — This time they are Israel-firsters that have a flaming desire to destroy Russia.
    First, it was hospitable Iran (Persia) that was “rewarded” with Purim and “Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks” (Psalm 137:9)
    Then it was Russia that was “rewarded” with Bolshevik revolution and GULAG. Among the worst criminals were Kaganovich (Holodomor), Frankel (GULAG), Zemlyachka (Red Terror), Yagoda (secret police), and other haters of Russia culture and Russian people.
    “Ms. Roza Zemlyachka was an utterly merciless and power-crazy woman who worked as a Chekist in the Crimea together with two other Jewish serial killers; Bela Kun and Boris Feldman – their mass murdering sprees were Russian state secrets until 1990.” https://enigmachannel.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/the-worlds-most-evil-woman/

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  • @Anon
    They are a composite face of the US-propped power in Ukraine:
    1. Misha Saakishvilli (wanted in his native Georgia), a darling of the US StateDept. had been appointed a governor of Odessa in 2015 (Misha was deposed since then); currently, he is leading a "new Maidan" https://thetruthspeaker.co/tag/maidan-2017/
    2. Groysman is a Prime Minister of Ukraine: "An ally of Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, Groysman is a man in his late thirties was born to Jewish parents in Vinnytsia in west-central Ukraine. Today Jews total approximately one percent of the population in Ukraine..." http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ukraine-prime-minister-volodymyr-groysman-to-visit-yad-vashem/2017/05/14/
    3. Biletsky is a leader of Ukrainian neo-Nazis and he is a member of the Ukrainian Parliament (no kidding): http://russia-insider.com/en/neo-nazi-leader-vows-dissolve-rada-and-depose-poroshenko-great-shut-and-do-it-already/ri19020

    Anyone quoting “Russia Insider,” is a bloody idiot. The place is a fever swamp of morons.

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    • Replies: @yurivku

    Anyone quoting “Russia Insider,” is a bloody idiot. The place is a fever swamp of morons.
     
    Luckily there are not that much of morons here . If not count you of course.
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  • @Anon
    What is the Presedent Poroschenko's current rating among Ukrainians? - 1.9%
    What was Yatz' (the Kagans' choice) rating at a time of his departure - 2%?
    Don't you like a unon of Misha Saakishvilli (wanted in his native Georgia), Groysman (a Jew) and Biletsky the neo-Nazi? They are the face of Ukraine today.
    There are also some loud talks that the corruption in Ukraine is currently worse than under the last legitimate president. Have you heard this? Or this is also Russia's fault - after three years of "independence" under the NATO/CIA watch?
    http://observer.com/2017/06/ukraine-corruption-petro-poroshenko-vladimir-putin/
    "Polls say that those who led the revolution have lost the public’s trust. According to Sofia Center for Social Studies, 82 percent of Ukrainians do not trust Andriy Parubiy, commander of the Maidan revolution and current head of Ukrainian Parliament. Eighty-one percent do not trust Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov, and 81.5 percent do not trust Head of the Council for Defense and Security Oleksandr Turchynov. Eighty-nine percent of Ukrainians do not trust Parliament, and 86.2 percent do not trust the government as a whole. Only 1.9 percent of Ukrainians trust President Petro Poroshenko. An overwhelming 78.1 percent do not. In fact, Poroshenko is so despised in Ukraine that one store in Kiev prints “Poroshenko asshole” on their receipts."

    All nice. All irrelevant. What it does show is that Ukrainians are not sheep as are Russians. Putin has drubbed his economy and everyone, except his mafia buddies, are worse off than when he came in. Ukrainians don’t like Poroshenko, but they can throw him out in the next election. Putin won’t allow such choices, as we have seen recently.

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  • @Anon
    "...you will have no objection to Russia leaving Ukraine, which Putin has been trying to tear apart for several years now, including annexing her territory in Crimea."

    This is so a yesteryear "interpretation."
    Relax, "Quartermaster." Similar to Saakishvilli's (& Israelis) headless aggression in 2008, the Kagans' revolution and "liberation" of Ukraine in 2014 have brought nothing but the infamy and hardship to the ordinary citizens. Read European press to learn about the Georgian aggression (2008) and Crimea referendum (2014). Your pro-banderite sources are obviously inadequate.
    And stop quetching about the lost revenues from Russia re the gas transit via Ukraine. Ukrainians have no choice but to beg, on their knees, the ZUSA dealers, for whom Ukraine is just a convenient and pliable patsy in a geopolitical game.

    You’re welcome to any fantasies you wish to embrace. Putin is trying to reacquire his near abroad and has been recognized as the aggressor by everyone that matters.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Ah, but OUR opinion has been recognized as right by everyone who matters, because people who disagree with us don't matter.

    So we win.

    Wow, that was easy! Thanks for introducing me to that technique.
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  • @Sergey Krieger
    The problem here is about how USA would take losing conventional war without going nuclear.

    Not very well, judging from this US DoD review (100 pages):

    https://fas.org/wp-content/uploads/media/2018-Nuclear-Posture-Review-Version-2.pdf

    I found the part about training nuclear scientists/engineers and ramping up plutonium pit production to be quite funny as there are only a couple of universities in the US that have the training programs and the plutonium chemists from the Hanford 325 building are long retired.

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  • The Saker, in this piece seems to be addressing ordinary Americans regarding these myths he sees as a problem. Saker, the American people have no input into the decision to go to war with Russia. It doesn’t matter whether the average American believes these myths. The common people here are pretty much like passengers on a train, as far as US foreign policy goes.

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  • “Reality says that Russia with an economy roughly the size of Holland and Belgium would not be able to sustain an extended conventional war ”

    I think the guys who planned Barbarrosa said the same thing

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    Thank you.
    What is the definition of insanity? - "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result" -- This time they are Israel-firsters that have a flaming desire to destroy Russia.
    First, it was hospitable Iran (Persia) that was "rewarded" with Purim and "Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks" (Psalm 137:9)
    Then it was Russia that was "rewarded" with Bolshevik revolution and GULAG. Among the worst criminals were Kaganovich (Holodomor), Frankel (GULAG), Zemlyachka (Red Terror), Yagoda (secret police), and other haters of Russia culture and Russian people.
    "Ms. Roza Zemlyachka was an utterly merciless and power-crazy woman who worked as a Chekist in the Crimea together with two other Jewish serial killers; Bela Kun and Boris Feldman – their mass murdering sprees were Russian state secrets until 1990." https://enigmachannel.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/the-worlds-most-evil-woman/
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  • agree

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  • @Michael Kenny
    There could be no better proof of Russian military inferiority and Russian vulnerability than that a Russian author feels the need to write this article! The author’s fear is palpable! The whole thing is just laid on too thick! You can just “cut to the chase”, which is the last two sentences: “Russia represents absolutely no threat to the United States or anybody else (including the three Baltic statelets)”. Russia certainly represents a threat to Ukraine! Putin’s justification, defence of supposedly persecuted Russian minorities, applies as much to the Baltic Republics as to Ukraine. The justification that his American supporters put into Putin’s mouth, namely, a supposed plan to establish NATO bases in Ukraine, applies also to the Baltic. The three republics are already members of NATO. The author thus defeats his own argument by referring to the Baltic Republics. Equally, he disingenuously postulates a land attack on Russia from the west. Why would anybody do that nowadays? Russia is most vulnerable to air attack, which can come in from all four sides at once. The “juiciest” targets are the string of oilfields spread out along the Arctic coast from the Urals to the Lena, which are very easy to hit across the Arctic (Russia is Canada’s northern neighbour!) Also, the hysterical tone of that last sentence shows just how scared the author is of an attack. Part of that may well be that it seems highly improbable that young Russians will fight for the gangsters who have been robbing them for the last 25 years. They’ve all been reminded recently of the virtues of a military mutiny in bringing down an evil regime! It is also highly improbable that an order to launch a nuclear weapon would be obeyed (that actually happened in Soviet days). Why would they do something that might well bring down nuclear retaliation on the heads of their own families? Isn’t that exactly the sort of situation in which a 1917-style military mutiny is called for? How stupid does the author think Russians are?

    Reality says that Russia with an economy roughly the size of Holland and Belgium would not be able to sustain an extended conventional war and the nuclear option is unthinkable

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  • @2stateshmustate
    I could be wrong, and yes it's a broad generalization, but. If you look at the average Russian man compared to a typical American man it seems the Russians look like fighters and the Americans either really fat or really skinny look like wimps, who've had all the fight bred out of them.
    I don't think the majority of Americans have it in them anymore to defend their country in a real war. And I think that was part of the plan all along.
    That said, Russia is not the enemy of the US. The real enemy are the filth that conspired to do 911 and are still running things here in the US.

    I don’t think the majority of Americans have it in them anymore to defend their country in a real war. And I think that was part of the plan all along.

    I know a number of American men who look just fine and some do look like warriors (some of them are my friends and colleagues and combat veterans and we just get along wonderfully), I knew and know, in fact some worked under me, a number of Vietnam vets–exemplary people. In the same time I know many Russian men who look like slobs and are wimps. But in general, trend-wise, metrosexualism and emasculation of an American man does exist–this is undeniable, while Russian culture always emphasized, and still does, self-sacrifice and warrior spirit. Per “defending their country”–here is a “slight” problem: no American serviceman ever fought directly in defense of the US, nor American population has any clue what real war is. I remember Sean Hannity screaming on Fox some years ago that his some remote relative was wounded at Iwo Jima or something like that. Really? That affected Sean for life? Talk about pain threshold difference.

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  • I could be wrong, and yes it’s a broad generalization, but. If you look at the average Russian man compared to a typical American man it seems the Russians look like fighters and the Americans either really fat or really skinny look like wimps, who’ve had all the fight bred out of them.
    I don’t think the majority of Americans have it in them anymore to defend their country in a real war. And I think that was part of the plan all along.
    That said, Russia is not the enemy of the US. The real enemy are the filth that conspired to do 911 and are still running things here in the US.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    I don’t think the majority of Americans have it in them anymore to defend their country in a real war. And I think that was part of the plan all along.
     
    I know a number of American men who look just fine and some do look like warriors (some of them are my friends and colleagues and combat veterans and we just get along wonderfully), I knew and know, in fact some worked under me, a number of Vietnam vets--exemplary people. In the same time I know many Russian men who look like slobs and are wimps. But in general, trend-wise, metrosexualism and emasculation of an American man does exist--this is undeniable, while Russian culture always emphasized, and still does, self-sacrifice and warrior spirit. Per "defending their country"--here is a "slight" problem: no American serviceman ever fought directly in defense of the US, nor American population has any clue what real war is. I remember Sean Hannity screaming on Fox some years ago that his some remote relative was wounded at Iwo Jima or something like that. Really? That affected Sean for life? Talk about pain threshold difference.
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  • @Priss Factor
    Location Location Location.

    It depends on where.

    If Russia were to invade the US, it wouldn't have a chance.

    If Russia and US were to engage in a neutral nation, US would crush Russia.

    If the US were to invade Russia, Russia would have home field advantage. US could not win, but it can destroy several Russian cities with air superiority.

    Of course, this is all on the assumption that the war doesn't go nuclear.

    Alliances Alliances Alliances.

    Both US and Russia face problems with Alliances.

    If US were to attack Russia, it wouldn't do it alone. It would pressure its vassals, EU and Japan, to join. So, Russia would be against the material and manpower might of US and EU, the two richest parts of the world. From the east, it would have to face Japan. Now, it's unlikely Japan will militarily engage Russia, but it will serve as a giant aircraft carrier for the US.

    Those are huge alliance-deficit for Russia.

    But if US were to attack Russia, China will have Russia's back. China is warily watching US as the sole superpower that wants to encircle China forever.

    Now.. there is a possibility that if US calls for attack on Russia... the EU will finally rebel against the US, especially if the war happens under 'crazy Trump'. EU remembers Napoleon and Hitler. Russia is the Big Jinx of European politics. Also, if the US doesn't prevail against Russia, Russia might swallow up parts of Eastern Europe again. Poles and Ukrainians would be taking a huge gamble if they sided with US aggression against Russia. US better crush Russia... or else Russia is gonna get some revenge on US puppets around Russia.

    Poles and Ukrainians would be taking a huge gamble if they sided with US aggression against Russia.

    True enough, and they have too much historical baggage. They need to realize that we’re in 2018 and the Cold War is long gone. Russia isn’t the USSR, and the USA isn’t the “Shining city on a hill”.

    Ukraine is a hopeless mess, but Poland, for its own safety, would be advised to disconnect from the US/NATO ASAP and remove missile bases from its territory. The ideal has to be a place like Switzerland, that is internationally friendly but automatically neutral.

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  • @Rzhevskiy
    Show me a yank that would paint himself blue and rage into a battle to his own demise just for the cause and I might agree with you. But that’s not the reality. All those star-spangled ladyboys have got zero morale because they have got zero to fight for. Devoid that - yanks lack what’s most important in the survival battle - the cojones. Things would be nice and amicable in the world, at least much more so, if yanks stopped acting like they got the means, the goal and a pair to stand for it.

    Show me a yank that would paint himself blue and rage into a battle to his own demise just for the cause and I might agree with you.

    Um… I was referencing ancient Nordic warriors such as the Berserkers, whose pre-battle rituals involved going into a drug/alcohol induced rage and rendered them immune to pain or fear.
    About as far as you can get from today’s Rainbow Keyboard Warriors.

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  • @Priss Factor
    Location Location Location.

    It depends on where.

    If Russia were to invade the US, it wouldn't have a chance.

    If Russia and US were to engage in a neutral nation, US would crush Russia.

    If the US were to invade Russia, Russia would have home field advantage. US could not win, but it can destroy several Russian cities with air superiority.

    Of course, this is all on the assumption that the war doesn't go nuclear.

    Alliances Alliances Alliances.

    Both US and Russia face problems with Alliances.

    If US were to attack Russia, it wouldn't do it alone. It would pressure its vassals, EU and Japan, to join. So, Russia would be against the material and manpower might of US and EU, the two richest parts of the world. From the east, it would have to face Japan. Now, it's unlikely Japan will militarily engage Russia, but it will serve as a giant aircraft carrier for the US.

    Those are huge alliance-deficit for Russia.

    But if US were to attack Russia, China will have Russia's back. China is warily watching US as the sole superpower that wants to encircle China forever.

    Now.. there is a possibility that if US calls for attack on Russia... the EU will finally rebel against the US, especially if the war happens under 'crazy Trump'. EU remembers Napoleon and Hitler. Russia is the Big Jinx of European politics. Also, if the US doesn't prevail against Russia, Russia might swallow up parts of Eastern Europe again. Poles and Ukrainians would be taking a huge gamble if they sided with US aggression against Russia. US better crush Russia... or else Russia is gonna get some revenge on US puppets around Russia.

    I think China is ready for a lest 10 years already but keeps very quiet about what she has.
    I lived in China for 12 years. Everything there is way more advanced than in the US nowadays and all is geared for the people not the 1%.
    China is super ready.

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  • Regarding space flight – there is no future for man in it – robots can do it much, much, much better. Humans can productively go to orbit and that is all.

    SpaceX is putting this one to bed, at least for a while. Robots aren’t advancing fast enough to replace humans for the broad spectrum of mission tasks being contemplated now.

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  • The US astronauts did not only die in two shuttle disasters as you state, unless you mean only the in-flight disasters. For a long while the biggest US disaster was the three-men Apolo 1 crew which burned and suffocated when a fire broke out during pre-flight tests and their capsule could not be opened from the inside then only from the outside. One of the most stupid losses of lives in the history of space exploration.

    In service of the eventually successful mission to land men on the Moon, something the US has done repeatedly, but Russia has never done. Do polish that safety record statue, though.

    I get the sense that you are out of arguments.

    It took a while for you to fold, but never mind, you were certainly entertaining. Good effort!

    Apparently, FB can play the credentialist card forever. He probably keeps a whole deck atop his flat head.

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  • @Robert Magill

    You can think of the RS-28 Sarmat as a successor of the already formidable RS-36 Voevoda (SS-18 Satan in US classification) missile: it is a heavy, very powerful, intercontinental ballistic missile with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (warheads):

    Weight: 100 tons
    Payload: 10 tons
    Warheads: 10 to 15
    Hypersonic glide vehicles: 3-24 (that’s the Yu-71 we will discuss below)
    Range: 10,000km
    Guidance: Inertial , satellite, astrocelestial
    Trajectory: FOBS-capable
     
    Now deployed on railroad cars throughout the forests of Siberia therefore almost invisable.

    On 9/11 the loss of 3000 innocent people placed the vast majority of US Americans into a total state of shock which resulted in a massive over-reaction at all levels (which was, of course, exactly the purpose of this false flag operation by the US and Israeli deep states).

     

    Not helpful in an otherwise fact-laden report.

    robertmagill.wordpress.com

    Perhaps unhelpful. True, nevertheless. For those of us who have spent hundreds of hours looking into 9/11, this is simply the truth.

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  • @jilles dykstra
    You really think wars are determined by rationality ?
    In 1914 Belgium did not accept a German occupation, you really think the Russians would accept a USA occupation ?
    Writing this, how could the USA accomplish an occupation ?
    The USSR imploded for two reasons, a centrally controlled economy cannot produce those consumer goods the consumer wants, but second the USSR could no longer afford the occupation costs of E Europe.
    How long can the USA afford its more than 800 overseas military bases ?
    USA voters want a single payer health system, not 800 military bases.

    Many of us don’t want EITHER.

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  • @AnonFromTN
    This piece, however reasonable, misses the key point: wars are fought and won by humans, not hardware. Simple example: Afghanistan. US troops with sophisticated infinitely superior hardware are scared to venture out of their highly fortified bases, whereas Taliban fighters with Kalashnikovs and medieval mentality roam free outside, doing whatever they want. Another example: Yemen. Saudis with their highly superior US- and European-made hardware are repeatedly losing to Houthi warriors with infinitely inferior gadgets but superior will to fight. Enough said.

    This piece, however reasonable, misses the key point: wars are fought and won by humans, not hardware.

    Another key point that often gets missed in all the drama regarding the shooting phases of wars is the fact that wars often begin and are waged long before any shooting starts.

    Despite it’s “cunning” and perversity, the US and its master, Israel, are constantly waging war on nearly all others and they are getting increasingly weak in those departments too because people are waking up to their perfidy and are fed up with it as well.

    Weakness in moral authority is no advantage, and we ‘Merkins need to clean up our own home first and only.

    Yankee come home.

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  • @Svigor
    "Two Great American Myths"

    One Great Russian Myth: that Americans think about Russia even 1/10th as much as Russians (apparently) think about America. Yes, we know (((Big Media))) is obsessed with Russia's designs on our precious bodily fluids. That's as far as it goes.

    One Great Russian Myth: that Americans think about Russia even 1/10th as much as Russians (apparently) think about America

    Sure, one can see it in every US stupid paper or Hollywood picture how little Americans are thinking about us.

    We elected you Trump, didn’t you forget that, buddy? Now we’re gonna teach you to die hard (not like Bruce Willis did) if of course you need these lessons.

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  • Jesus, Flathead Bolshevik is blathering about chamber pressure in this thread, too?

    Russian RD-180
    SpaceX Merlin
    SpaceX Raptor

    Chamber Pressure:
    RD-180: 3,870 psi
    Merlin: 1,410 psi
    Raptor: 3,600 psi

    First Flight:

    Russian RD-180: 2000
    SpaceX Merlin: 2006
    SpaceX Raptor: early 2020s (projected)

    There’s obviously a lot of room for speculation here. But one thing Russian nationalist flatheads like FB won’t acknowledge is that SpaceX is on a much better trajectory than ULA or EU or Russian launch providers. It’s easy to point to your perfect reliability record when you’ve been sucking off the taxpayer tit since the sixties and you don’t have to turn a profit or even project to turn a profit to stay in business. That’s a great situation for Boeing and Lockheed, and a big shit sandwich for space exploration. It’s much harder to do what SpaceX has done, which is come out of nowhere and become the space leader in under 20 years.

    That said, I’m not crowing about the Raptor being projected/planned to have basically the same chamber pressure as an RD-180 because 1, it hasn’t even been used in to launch a rocket yet, 2 there are several versions of the Raptor, and Musk has recently scaled back from the ITS to the BFR, and seems to be planning to go with a smaller version of the Raptor. I’m just pointing out that FB the flathead may want to go ahead and get all his crowing over the RD-180′s chamber pressure out of the way soon.

    But really if the RD-180′s chamber pressure is so important, where’s the ULA Mars base? The NASA Mars plan that comes in under $200 billion?

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  • That attitude will change as soon as 100,000,000 Americans die.

    Obviously. I doubt that’ll be anytime soon. Various parties have been yakking about megadeath in toe-to-toe nuk’l’r combat since the fifties. It keeps not happening.

    Any nation that attacks another nation as part of an effort to enslave that nation, I hope God preemptively destroys so that the attacking nation is uninhabitable for eternity.

    Sounds like you just like the idea of millions of people dying.

    I say leave the nations out of it; let God destroy the offending gov’ts instead. I don’t recall the Russian people rising up to condemn their gov’t for slaughtering the people of Afghanistan…

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  • Georgia, Caususus, 2008/8/8

    US-NATO tries to use Canada to start a war against Russia:

    {Emphasis is mine}

    “In August 2008, following a large-scale joint military exercise with U.S. troops, the Georgian military mounted a full offensive into South Ossetia, resulting in Russia’s retaliatory intervention. In the resultant clash, Russian forces quickly destroyed the Georgian forces and restored the previous territorial boundaries of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

    “That same year, Canada led the campaign to admit both Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. Had Canada been successful in that effort, the third world war would have either erupted in 2008 over South Ossetia, or in March 2014 over Russia’s annexation of the Crimea from Ukraine.”

    From:
    ON TARGET: WHO’S IN WHO’S FACE
    By Scott Taylor

    http://espritdecorps.ca/on-target-whos-in-whos-face/2016/5/24/on-target-whos-in-whos-face

    Russia was not the aggressor. US-NATO backed Georgia and attacked South Ossetia to provoke Russia. More than 2000 died:

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  • @Svigor
    "Two Great American Myths"

    One Great Russian Myth: that Americans think about Russia even 1/10th as much as Russians (apparently) think about America. Yes, we know (((Big Media))) is obsessed with Russia's designs on our precious bodily fluids. That's as far as it goes.

    That attitude will change as soon as 100,000,000 Americans die.

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  • @Flavius
    Whither goes the future of US - Russia relations, no one knows; but there is little reason for optimism and there is every reason to think about the unthinkable in the hope of avoiding it.
    In my wildest imaginings at the end of Cold War I, I could not have predicted that we would have arrived here from there, reading necessary essays like the Saker's above; and the fault, regrettably, is as close to entirely on the belligerence, hubris and sheer stupidity that has been woven into our national fabric that one can get.
    The utter derangement of the Washington elites and our political obsessives over Trump's election has placed into the equation the folly that ginning up another Cold War is preferable to accepting the results of valid election. How is one to dispel madness like this that runs so wide and deep? Trump has shown himself to be no prize, isolated as he has become from his campaign promise to restore cordial and correct relations with Russia; and he has not served himself well by staffing the White House with generals and family members as if he were the chief of state in Guatemala.
    But the question remains: if Trump is deposed over spurious nonsense like Russian 'meddling,' what comes next? Does it fall on the engineers of the coup d'etat to devise some suitable punishment for Russia having 'spoiled' an American Presidential election; do they lift the ridiculously inappropriate sanctions they have already visited on Russia in gratitude for having given them the pretext for removing this troublesome President? Who knows? Our political 'masters' abetted by their media shills are in the full throes of a nervous breakdown and anything is possible.

    Any nation that attacks another nation as part of an effort to enslave that nation, I hope God preemptively destroys so that the attacking nation is uninhabitable for eternity.

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  • (which was, of course, exactly the purpose of this false flag operation by the US and Israeli deep states).

    Yeah, the deep state’s brilliant, nefarious plan was to make it look like…drumroll… the Saudis did it. Cuz they wouldn’t want to blame it on America/Israel’s allies, like Iran, Syria, Iraq, etc.

    FFS. Saker = clown.

    That’s my argument…

    …that you are a total fake…

    …who presumes to contradict the written consensus of leading experts…

    WHILE POSSESSING ZERO QUALIFICATIONS OR KNOWLEDGE ON THE SUBJECT…

    And guess what…?

    I just proved my argument…

    Yes, you just proved, for the umpteenth time, that you think argumentum ad hominem fallacy is a good argument.

    Congratulations, you dim-witted, flathead fuck.

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  • “Two Great American Myths”

    One Great Russian Myth: that Americans think about Russia even 1/10th as much as Russians (apparently) think about America. Yes, we know (((Big Media))) is obsessed with Russia’s designs on our precious bodily fluids. That’s as far as it goes.

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    • Replies: @JamesinNM
    That attitude will change as soon as 100,000,000 Americans die.
    , @yurivku

    One Great Russian Myth: that Americans think about Russia even 1/10th as much as Russians (apparently) think about America
     
    Sure, one can see it in every US stupid paper or Hollywood picture how little Americans are thinking about us.

    We elected you Trump, didn't you forget that, buddy? Now we're gonna teach you to die hard (not like Bruce Willis did) if of course you need these lessons.
    , @Медведь
    Uh-huh, right. Perhaps you can explain then why NPR can’t shut up about Russia, Russian President, keeps broadcasting interviews with “random people from Moscow”, (most of which have heavy Polish, Baltic or English accent), and have been at it for nearly a year. You know, we appreciate all the attention, but that’s way overboard. Perhaps, it’s the time that Americans start focusing on their own problems. For example: laughable education, non-existent medical care, “just wait a week, it’s probably just a virus” being a default answer to a call to pediatrician, non-existent maternal leave, social programs only applicable to preferred minorities, shrinking middle class birth rate, mass shootings becoming a norm coast to coast, insane cost of living, debt that’s 108% of GDP, ~$56,000 per capita, with 40% of american citizens not even making that much a year, before tax. I could fill up a small soft-cover with just enumeration of your internal problems before even getting to the global subjects, where you fail miserably anywhere from being actually a cohesive country to your behaviour on international arena, the only area in which you succeed being bullying defenseless countries of the size of Texas at most, but even then managing to screw it up...
    So, yank, your attempted sarcasm is just as nil as your bluff as a state.
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  • @Erebus

    Platforms are still important, of course, but it is how they are integrated and interact within battle-space.
     
    I'm just recently coming to be aware of more than the headline slogans. Without doubt, network centric warfare is a paradigm shift in many ways, but it seems rather vulnerable to me.
    Reading about how Hezbollah's hard-wired communications system (literally wires laid all over S. Lebanon) played a key role in saving their arse in 2006 because it couldn't be jammed or intercepted. They also used motorcycle runners to carry encrypted paper orders manually.
    Meanwhile, HZB were jamming/intercepting IDF transmissions and turning that into kills when Israeli units got isolated by communication breakdowns and literally didn't know what to do next, or drove straight into waiting ambushes, and again didn't know what to do.

    Of course, "the networked battle-space" is just the modern equivalent of the good old days of Generals standing on hilltops watching the battle unfold, sending up flags and runners out with orders. Now it's turning into the battle of the Algorithms.

    Gonna take me some time to sort this new stuff out in my head. Painting yourself blue and running naked, screaming into battle in an alcoholic rage has a cache no algorithm can match.

    Show me a yank that would paint himself blue and rage into a battle to his own demise just for the cause and I might agree with you. But that’s not the reality. All those star-spangled ladyboys have got zero morale because they have got zero to fight for. Devoid that – yanks lack what’s most important in the survival battle – the cojones. Things would be nice and amicable in the world, at least much more so, if yanks stopped acting like they got the means, the goal and a pair to stand for it.

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    • Troll: Twodees Partain
    • Replies: @Erebus

    Show me a yank that would paint himself blue and rage into a battle to his own demise just for the cause and I might agree with you.
     
    Um... I was referencing ancient Nordic warriors such as the Berserkers, whose pre-battle rituals involved going into a drug/alcohol induced rage and rendered them immune to pain or fear.
    About as far as you can get from today's Rainbow Keyboard Warriors.
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  • @anon
    Actually the British admiralty didn't want to send the two ships there without air support. It was Churchill's idea. He made the decision for political reasons, not militarily sound ones. He felt it would reassure Australia and intimidate Japan. Neither assumption proved correct.

    Heh, that was a typical western response “it’s not us, it’s just Churchill”. Well, the reality factor for you – Churchill at the time was what represented Great Britain as a political entity. Just as any yank’s yelp “oh, it’s just (insert a name of an inept politician) – the excise doesn’t fly. Your inept politicians are elected by YOU from YOUR kin. Therefore, you bear full responsibility for their actions. How would you like this – we nuke your shit to smitherines and then excuse ourselves – “oh, it’s not us, it’s just (insert a name of a scape goat who pressed the button) ”. Will you feel any better about getting nuked to smitherines? Well, we don’t like the fact that your military shit is at our borders. No excuses left for you. Come to your senses and withdraw. Or you won’t know who “won”, because even if you personally do survive, you’ll live the rest of your days in Stone Age.

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  • The Saker writes about the hypersonic antiship cruise missile Zircon and its destructive power. However, he does not mention the supersonic antiship cruise missiles such as the Moskit and the Yakhont. Naval surface ships are just as vulnerable to these missiles as they are to the Zircon. They travel at Mach 2.5 or faster, which is faster than the average rifle bullet. There is no stopping them, especially if fired in sufficient numbers. The Aegis defensive system onboard American ships is designed to stop subsonic cruise missiles and even then that system can be overwhelmed by numbers of such subsonic missiles. In reality, the antiship cruise missile has rendered naval surface ships obsolete.

    Smaller countries such as Iran, North Korea India or Serbia could easily destroy an American carrier battle group with these supersonic missiles or even with the subsonic variety.

    I am convinced that one of the major reasons that Iran is not attacked by American air and naval forces is that the American navy would suffer a catastrophic defeat. Not only would the aircraft carriers be destroyed but they would lose many aircraft. Iran has both subsonic and supersonic antiship cruise missiles.

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  • @Flavius
    Whither goes the future of US - Russia relations, no one knows; but there is little reason for optimism and there is every reason to think about the unthinkable in the hope of avoiding it.
    In my wildest imaginings at the end of Cold War I, I could not have predicted that we would have arrived here from there, reading necessary essays like the Saker's above; and the fault, regrettably, is as close to entirely on the belligerence, hubris and sheer stupidity that has been woven into our national fabric that one can get.
    The utter derangement of the Washington elites and our political obsessives over Trump's election has placed into the equation the folly that ginning up another Cold War is preferable to accepting the results of valid election. How is one to dispel madness like this that runs so wide and deep? Trump has shown himself to be no prize, isolated as he has become from his campaign promise to restore cordial and correct relations with Russia; and he has not served himself well by staffing the White House with generals and family members as if he were the chief of state in Guatemala.
    But the question remains: if Trump is deposed over spurious nonsense like Russian 'meddling,' what comes next? Does it fall on the engineers of the coup d'etat to devise some suitable punishment for Russia having 'spoiled' an American Presidential election; do they lift the ridiculously inappropriate sanctions they have already visited on Russia in gratitude for having given them the pretext for removing this troublesome President? Who knows? Our political 'masters' abetted by their media shills are in the full throes of a nervous breakdown and anything is possible.

    Heh, yeah, Russia and US amicably and equally cooperating would be the best what can possibly happen to this world. But. Russia has extended the hand on more than one occasion. Yanks were too stupid and stuck up to accept. This is your last chance, star-spangled fucks. Things can still improve, although you’d have to jump out of your skins to prove yourselves as trustworthy partners in an equal multipolar world, still, there’s a chance. But the window is rapidly shrinking. You either do the right thing and accept that you are nobody and your name is nothing and proceed with repairing the relations from that stance, or…. Well, there’s be no yanks – you are on the path of failure and as stuck up as you are, nobody will lend you a helping hand when you do yourselves in.

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  • @jilles dykstra
    The article reminds me of the fate of two GB battleships, ifI remember correctly the Repulse and the Prince of Wales, sent to Singapore for the defence against the Japanese, without an aircraft carrier for defense against plane attack.
    The GB navy top brass at the time still believed that the air defences of these ships would resist any plane attack.
    Both big ships were sunk.
    Generals fight the last war, is an expression.
    The exception was Germany in WWII, it fought a present war, with success, until masses of Russian blood and masses of USA industrial production, overwhelmed it.
    Those who can read french can see how how the French army in 1940 still operated on WWI principles
    A. Goutard, ‘1940 La Guerre des Occasions Perdues’, Paris 1956

    Actually the British admiralty didn’t want to send the two ships there without air support. It was Churchill’s idea. He made the decision for political reasons, not militarily sound ones. He felt it would reassure Australia and intimidate Japan. Neither assumption proved correct.

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    • Replies: @Rzhevskiy
    Heh, that was a typical western response “it’s not us, it’s just Churchill”. Well, the reality factor for you - Churchill at the time was what represented Great Britain as a political entity. Just as any yank’s yelp “oh, it’s just (insert a name of an inept politician) - the excise doesn’t fly. Your inept politicians are elected by YOU from YOUR kin. Therefore, you bear full responsibility for their actions. How would you like this - we nuke your shit to smitherines and then excuse ourselves - “oh, it’s not us, it’s just (insert a name of a scape goat who pressed the button) ”. Will you feel any better about getting nuked to smitherines? Well, we don’t like the fact that your military shit is at our borders. No excuses left for you. Come to your senses and withdraw. Or you won’t know who “won”, because even if you personally do survive, you’ll live the rest of your days in Stone Age.
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  • @Erebus
    Yeah I heard of the symbolism of the "26" before. The Theodore Roosevelt was scheduled to leave for maintenance anyway, but that doesn't really detract from the symbolism. Everyone got the message, even if the Russians didn't intend to send one.

    I hadn't heard your point about the American devaluing it to 22, but it may be exactly as you say. In the event, they let the claim die pretty quietly.
    The Americans must have studied that launch pretty carefully. It's pretty clear they found something they didn't like. The 26/26 success rate would be enough to drop their jaw, and even 22/26 (85%) puts the Kalibr in another league over the Tomahawk's <40% success at Shayrat.

    Everyone got the message, even if the Russians didn’t intend to send one.

    If there really were only 26 missiles fired, then I believe that Russians had to have intended a message, and that the US read that message and acted in the only rational way, which was to eliminate the risk, a risk not to one aircraft carrier, but to the present world order.

    If a nuclear power sinks a US aircraft carrier, what can the US do? Either a tit-for-tat raid on say, Sevastapol, killing around five thousand Russian sailors and sinking a few billion dollars worth of Russian naval vessels, or escalation with the risk of things going all the way to Armageddon.

    So in reality, the US would have only one sane option, which would be a tit-for-tat response, leaving the credibility of US claims to exceptionalism and global military hegemony totally destroyed.

    So, by firing 26 or even 30 missiles (perhaps for intended ambiguity) in the general direction of the USS Theodore Rooseveldt, Russia successfully called US bluff. It is now clear to the world that the US Navy is no more than an imperial police force to deploy against small nations that fail to form an alliance with Russia or China.

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  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Those are dangerous concepts that can blind one to realities. The problem is that they are fully embedded, forming some of the basic foundational level principles that then drive the USM’s organizational, battle, procurement, war-fighting, and political doctrines.
     
    Absolutely.

    Anyways, that means the USM is almost impossible to reform. The baby, the bassinet, the whole damn nursery would have to be thrown out with the bathwater, along with the nurse. Ain’t gonna happen.
     
    Agree. We have more than 70 years of mythology and wrong lessons (or rather not learning them) which provided and immense impetus which is sustained by institutional inertia of such a scale that I, personally, never saw anything comparable in my life.

    I get the sense that “exceptionalism” and “indispensability” played little role in their military doctrines
     
    True.

    We have more than 70 years of mythology and wrong lessons (or rather not learning them) which provided and immense impetus which is sustained by institutional inertia of such a scale that I, personally, never saw anything comparable in my life.

    Of course, every large organization, especially nations and civilizations, is held together by a mythology, or narrative. What they do and how they do it is driven by the foundational narrative that instructs all of the participants.

    Organizations fall when some inherent/foundational tenets in their narrative eventually come up against an uncooperative physical reality. Often, this is because the physical world has changed, and the myths now contradict the new reality. When that happens, you’d think the primary task of an organization’s elites is to manage the modification of the narrative myth to accommodate the new reality and continue as a renewed/redefined entity thereby.

    However, what they typically do is try to save the narrative at all costs. That narrative, after-all, is what places them in a privileged position, and so they have a vested interest in keeping it alive. Change is necessarily going to place their position at risk. As long as fundamental concepts need only modification, this can be handled. If fundamental concepts have to be jettisoned, the enterprise and their place in it is necessarily subject to far greater risk of going out of control. I suspect this is largely what happened to the Soviet Union as it tried to modify its fundamental principles. It went out of control, and was hi-jacked in a weak moment. So, the result is inertia until a dam breaks somewhere and the floodwaters carry the whole thing away.

    The USM’s mythology/narrative problem is a fractal of the West’s much larger mythology/narrative problem. The whole Western enterprise is founded on a 500+ yr old mythology that is running headlong up against new realities. Its ideas of Progress, of Exceptionalism, of being the pinnacle of Development of Justice and Governance, are running into the realities of resource depletion, economic and martial decline, and a lazy, decadent & corrupt political elite, as against competitors who are on the opposite trajectory. To the the extent that the Pentagon’s mythology was written in the context of a surging West, it borrows much of Western mythology. The Pentagon hasn’t re-written its mythology, and probably can’t until the West re-writes the larger version.

    I, personally, never saw anything comparable in my life.

    Given the above, you couldn’t possible have. In classical physics, inertia is proportional to mass. As the largest organization on the planet (or at least employer), it shouldn’t surprise us that the US DoD exhibits the most organizational inertia.

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  • @NoseytheDuke
    It really isn't even nearly most of the yanks or the Euros who hate Russia, rather it is the well organised, well funded and fully psychotic few who have worked for many, many years to gain control of everything strategic especially with regards to influence making. This includes education, academia, law and governance but especially in media so they can cause chaos in those places where they try to retain some independence from the reaches of global banking.

    Those who do hate Russia are often the same individuals who hate the US too and are actively working to destroy it. Some Americans and Europeans do hate the Russians due to a lifetime of almost ceaseless propaganda but the majority don't and are quite happy to comment with envy that Russia appears to have a leader who values national interests unlike their own leaders who kneel before the globalists.

    “Those who do hate Russia are often the same individuals who hate the US too and are actively working to destroy it”
    True. Sigh….

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  • @CanSpeccy

    all 26 missiles hit within 3 meters of intended target… The 4 missiles that the US claimed crashed in Iran were likely jettisoned 2nd stages. (I know, sounds TGTBT…)
     
    It was suggested that the US aircraft carrier named after 26th US President, Theodore Rooseveldt, was withdrawn from the Persian Gulf in response to the warning implied by Russia's 26-missile strike on Syrian targets. Happily, the report of four missiles crashing in Iran spares American honor.

    Yeah I heard of the symbolism of the “26″ before. The Theodore Roosevelt was scheduled to leave for maintenance anyway, but that doesn’t really detract from the symbolism. Everyone got the message, even if the Russians didn’t intend to send one.

    I hadn’t heard your point about the American devaluing it to 22, but it may be exactly as you say. In the event, they let the claim die pretty quietly.
    The Americans must have studied that launch pretty carefully. It’s pretty clear they found something they didn’t like. The 26/26 success rate would be enough to drop their jaw, and even 22/26 (85%) puts the Kalibr in another league over the Tomahawk’s <40% success at Shayrat.

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    Everyone got the message, even if the Russians didn’t intend to send one.
     
    If there really were only 26 missiles fired, then I believe that Russians had to have intended a message, and that the US read that message and acted in the only rational way, which was to eliminate the risk, a risk not to one aircraft carrier, but to the present world order.

    If a nuclear power sinks a US aircraft carrier, what can the US do? Either a tit-for-tat raid on say, Sevastapol, killing around five thousand Russian sailors and sinking a few billion dollars worth of Russian naval vessels, or escalation with the risk of things going all the way to Armageddon.

    So in reality, the US would have only one sane option, which would be a tit-for-tat response, leaving the credibility of US claims to exceptionalism and global military hegemony totally destroyed.

    So, by firing 26 or even 30 missiles (perhaps for intended ambiguity) in the general direction of the USS Theodore Rooseveldt, Russia successfully called US bluff. It is now clear to the world that the US Navy is no more than an imperial police force to deploy against small nations that fail to form an alliance with Russia or China.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    As another side trip, in my sojourn through the Russian war-geek scene I learned that Russia is applying “wolf-pack-ish” thinking to tank warfare as well.
     
    A general trend in warfare--away from platform-centric force to a net-centric one. Platforms are still important, of course, but it is how they are integrated and interact within battle-space. Russians/Soviets experimented with this concept as early as late 1950s with the first proto-networks in P-6/35 missile complexes which had regimes of both duplex information exchange (from targeting data, including actual radar and TV images) in the external guidance by TU-95RTz , submarine and missile(s). Similar principles were realized in MiG-31 and, of course, in P-700 Granit (SS-N-19 Shipwreck). In late 1990s late Admiral Cebrowski of US Navy wrote a seminal piece on Net-centric Warfare, in which he formulated several key principles--many of them became realizable with the development of new communications technologies. But, what is interesting--the first visual of a first approximation of such network is portrayed excellently in James Cameron's Aliens. Add the possibility of all guys from platoon not only to have duplex comm with their vehicle but also between themselves and here you are--a simple network of the tactical level. In ideal conditions in Aliens during guys' first encounter with nasty creatures--network would have helped to prevent the death of Apone and guys shooting at each-other since, granted good visual and IR, would have designated sectors and targets properly. But, OK, that was 1986, no processing power and Kalman Filters to deal with informational "noise";)

    Platforms are still important, of course, but it is how they are integrated and interact within battle-space.

    I’m just recently coming to be aware of more than the headline slogans. Without doubt, network centric warfare is a paradigm shift in many ways, but it seems rather vulnerable to me.
    Reading about how Hezbollah’s hard-wired communications system (literally wires laid all over S. Lebanon) played a key role in saving their arse in 2006 because it couldn’t be jammed or intercepted. They also used motorcycle runners to carry encrypted paper orders manually.
    Meanwhile, HZB were jamming/intercepting IDF transmissions and turning that into kills when Israeli units got isolated by communication breakdowns and literally didn’t know what to do next, or drove straight into waiting ambushes, and again didn’t know what to do.

    Of course, “the networked battle-space” is just the modern equivalent of the good old days of Generals standing on hilltops watching the battle unfold, sending up flags and runners out with orders. Now it’s turning into the battle of the Algorithms.

    Gonna take me some time to sort this new stuff out in my head. Painting yourself blue and running naked, screaming into battle in an alcoholic rage has a cache no algorithm can match.

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    • Replies: @Rzhevskiy
    Show me a yank that would paint himself blue and rage into a battle to his own demise just for the cause and I might agree with you. But that’s not the reality. All those star-spangled ladyboys have got zero morale because they have got zero to fight for. Devoid that - yanks lack what’s most important in the survival battle - the cojones. Things would be nice and amicable in the world, at least much more so, if yanks stopped acting like they got the means, the goal and a pair to stand for it.
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  • @Erebus
    Looking at the numbers you're presenting, my comment about "100M" is starting to look optimistic, especially over highly varying terrain. TLAMs aren't going to be hiding by following rivers in narrow valleys.

    Not to interrupt your tech series, but if we can take a sidetrip the following may be of interest. I've been wondering why Western analysts were so "shocked" by the Caspian strike. After all, the Soviets had jet-propelled cruise missiles for at least a decade, including some that mimicked the Tomahawk's performance and appearance pretty closely.

    Though the Kalibr family is surprisingly large, Wiki says the 3M-54 is pretty close to the TLAM, with its primary advantage being a rocket assisted terminal approach.

    However, the Wiki 3M-54 Klub (aka Kalibr) article has an oddball entry on the Caspian Kalibrs under Domestic Variants. It's the only entry without a model designation, and references Russian TV and news reports.


    According to state television news (broadcast of 11.10.2015),[44] launch of production took place in 2012. Details of this version[45] - the maximum speed of Mach 3, the range of 4,000 km, basing in the air, on land, on water and under water (shows launch from water depth). The missile can make in-flight maneuvers 147 times or more (in any direction), the minimum height of 10 meters, an average of 20 – 50 meters (up to 1000), it will automatically follow terrain, the missile can be controlled in flight.[46]
     
    It looks hastily inserted, and piqued my interest as the reaction to the Caspian launch suggested a potent new development. Struck out looking for official info, so I went looking for Russian war-geek forums/bloggers using Russian search terms.

    The following should be read with a salt-lick nearby, but the variant used on that launch possibly does have some "shocking" additional features. I saw nothing regarding engine power, wing-loading, or the like, but I compiled some features that would be shocking if they really did apply. Leaving their likelihood open for the more knowledgeable to discuss (with my comments added):

    - was not a known 3M-54 variant, but 1st public launch of a new model, designation unknown
    - follows "contoured" terrain at 20 meters, flat terrain at 10m, altitude radar good to 1m (the relief of the "contoured" terrain it can follow at 20m was not mentioned)
    - drone verified accuracy: all 26 missiles hit within 3 meters of intended target... The 4 missiles that the US claimed crashed in Iran were likely jettisoned 2nd stages. (I know, sounds TGTBT...)
    - final approach at just under Mach 3, as jet stage is dropped and rocket powered warhead/guidance module takes over (making it a 3-stage cruise missile counting the steerable nozzle lift-off booster)
    - the 147 instances of manoeuvres can be executed at a "high attack angle", making it "immune" to missile defence (not clear if this is available during 3rd, rocket powered stage)
    - as per other Kalibrs, can also be deployed remotely, (eg: from "ordinary looking" shipping containers on trucks/trains/container barges)

    And now for the kicker...
    - launched & flown in formation(!), prior to final targeting data being uploaded (might be a machine translation issue, but that's what 2 translators indicated), (this is very interesting because it suggests that a salvo of Kalibrs may be able to self-organize as a "wolf-pack", like the Oniks anti-shipping missile. If so, it's a major innovation in long range LACMs that would put it generations ahead of anything in its class.)

    Caveat Emptor, of course.

    If any of the above are true, especially the "wolf-pack" capability, Western analysts may well have had good reason to be shocked.

    all 26 missiles hit within 3 meters of intended target… The 4 missiles that the US claimed crashed in Iran were likely jettisoned 2nd stages. (I know, sounds TGTBT…)

    It was suggested that the US aircraft carrier named after 26th US President, Theodore Rooseveldt, was withdrawn from the Persian Gulf in response to the warning implied by Russia’s 26-missile strike on Syrian targets. Happily, the report of four missiles crashing in Iran spares American honor.

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    • Replies: @Erebus
    Yeah I heard of the symbolism of the "26" before. The Theodore Roosevelt was scheduled to leave for maintenance anyway, but that doesn't really detract from the symbolism. Everyone got the message, even if the Russians didn't intend to send one.

    I hadn't heard your point about the American devaluing it to 22, but it may be exactly as you say. In the event, they let the claim die pretty quietly.
    The Americans must have studied that launch pretty carefully. It's pretty clear they found something they didn't like. The 26/26 success rate would be enough to drop their jaw, and even 22/26 (85%) puts the Kalibr in another league over the Tomahawk's <40% success at Shayrat.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus
    Thanks your comments.
    For the record, the "wolf-pack" phrase ain't mine, but picked up in the course of my ploughing through those bloggers/forums. I honestly can't remember where I got it, but it's adapted from German U-Boat tactics, and very apt in describing the way the Oniks/P-700 formations attack shipping. Real wolf-packs hunt in organized formations, with each wolf's role determined by his social rank/place in the pack as it selects and isolates the victim and then harries it into the final kill.

    As you say, it ain't just about how many Angstroms you can get down to in jamming transistors into a chip. For complex war-fighting systems, vastly more important are algorithm development and the efficiency of the executing code.

    In the code warrior field, the US ranks quite poorly, and the fact that US software companies often outsource to an even lower ranked India doesn't improve matters. Proclaiming oneself "exceptional" and "indispensable" are poor substitutes for doing the actual heavy lifting.

    HackerRank did an assessment of its 1.5M users to answer the question: "... which countries do the best at programming challenges on HackerRank?".


    According to our data, China and Russia score as the most talented developers. Chinese programmers outscore all other countries in mathematics, functional programming, and data structures challenges, while Russians dominate in algorithms, the most popular and most competitive arena. While the United States and India provide the majority of competitors on HackerRank, they only manage to rank 28th and 31st.
     
    You can see the full results here: http://blog.hackerrank.com/which-country-would-win-in-the-programming-olympics/
    Not definitive, but it correlates well with more formal, high end competitions such as the ICPC (https://www.rt.com/news/343723-russian-programmers-icpc-contest-victory/)

    As another side trip, in my sojourn through the Russian war-geek scene I learned that Russia is applying "wolf-pack-ish" thinking to tank warfare as well. The new Armata will go into battle accompanied by 2-3 drone tanks under its command and a tethered aerial drone for continuous reconnaissance & communications which is then shared with other Armata "wolf-packs". Neat concept, maximally leveraging the human factor while minimizing human risk. Daredevil "kamikaze" tactics that no manned tank battalion would even consider can be undertaken by the drones, and you don't need a lot of Armata MBTs to bring devastating power into the field. Networking the Armatas with artillery and air support, and a whole new paradigm for fighting land wars emerges... "Never march on Moscow" will remain the best advice for some time, it appears.

    As another side trip, in my sojourn through the Russian war-geek scene I learned that Russia is applying “wolf-pack-ish” thinking to tank warfare as well.

    A general trend in warfare–away from platform-centric force to a net-centric one. Platforms are still important, of course, but it is how they are integrated and interact within battle-space. Russians/Soviets experimented with this concept as early as late 1950s with the first proto-networks in P-6/35 missile complexes which had regimes of both duplex information exchange (from targeting data, including actual radar and TV images) in the external guidance by TU-95RTz , submarine and missile(s). Similar principles were realized in MiG-31 and, of course, in P-700 Granit (SS-N-19 Shipwreck). In late 1990s late Admiral Cebrowski of US Navy wrote a seminal piece on Net-centric Warfare, in which he formulated several key principles–many of them became realizable with the development of new communications technologies. But, what is interesting–the first visual of a first approximation of such network is portrayed excellently in James Cameron’s Aliens. Add the possibility of all guys from platoon not only to have duplex comm with their vehicle but also between themselves and here you are–a simple network of the tactical level. In ideal conditions in Aliens during guys’ first encounter with nasty creatures–network would have helped to prevent the death of Apone and guys shooting at each-other since, granted good visual and IR, would have designated sectors and targets properly. But, OK, that was 1986, no processing power and Kalman Filters to deal with informational “noise”;)

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    • Replies: @Erebus

    Platforms are still important, of course, but it is how they are integrated and interact within battle-space.
     
    I'm just recently coming to be aware of more than the headline slogans. Without doubt, network centric warfare is a paradigm shift in many ways, but it seems rather vulnerable to me.
    Reading about how Hezbollah's hard-wired communications system (literally wires laid all over S. Lebanon) played a key role in saving their arse in 2006 because it couldn't be jammed or intercepted. They also used motorcycle runners to carry encrypted paper orders manually.
    Meanwhile, HZB were jamming/intercepting IDF transmissions and turning that into kills when Israeli units got isolated by communication breakdowns and literally didn't know what to do next, or drove straight into waiting ambushes, and again didn't know what to do.

    Of course, "the networked battle-space" is just the modern equivalent of the good old days of Generals standing on hilltops watching the battle unfold, sending up flags and runners out with orders. Now it's turning into the battle of the Algorithms.

    Gonna take me some time to sort this new stuff out in my head. Painting yourself blue and running naked, screaming into battle in an alcoholic rage has a cache no algorithm can match.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus
    Having read your blog-post, I can only repeat myself.

    Proclaiming oneself “exceptional” and “indispensable” are poor substitutes for doing the actual heavy lifting.
     
    Those are dangerous concepts that can blind one to realities. The problem is that they are fully embedded, forming some of the basic foundational level principles that then drive the USM's organizational, battle, procurement, war-fighting, and political doctrines. They've defined the careers of countless officers and civilians who lived and worked in that "world", and the >2M that live and work in it now.

    Weltanschauung comes close, but misses something in covering what I'm trying to say. For all of them, save a few academic analysts, those principles are as firmly rooted as Newton's 3 Laws. That's why they got "shocked" when 26 Kalibrs launched from corvettes in the Caspian nailed their targets 1500km away. There's no room in "Exceptional" for peers. It forms a massive blind spot.

    Anyways, that means the USM is almost impossible to reform. The baby, the bassinet, the whole damn nursery would have to be thrown out with the bathwater, along with the nurse. Ain't gonna happen. It would be like getting a brain transplant. The patient and surgeon would die of exhaustion or old age before the millions of inter-connections could be physically re-made.

    Now, the Russians were forced to undergo just that kind of catharsis when the USSR crashed, but they didn't have to cut as deep. I get the sense that "exceptionalism" and "indispensability" played little role in their military doctrines and as soon as coherent minds rose to re-organize and command a renewed RuM, legacy engineering got updated quickly and efficiently, and incorporated. They're still working through the rot, it's a work-in-progress, but that progress is front & centre visible in Syria.

    Those are dangerous concepts that can blind one to realities. The problem is that they are fully embedded, forming some of the basic foundational level principles that then drive the USM’s organizational, battle, procurement, war-fighting, and political doctrines.

    Absolutely.

    Anyways, that means the USM is almost impossible to reform. The baby, the bassinet, the whole damn nursery would have to be thrown out with the bathwater, along with the nurse. Ain’t gonna happen.

    Agree. We have more than 70 years of mythology and wrong lessons (or rather not learning them) which provided and immense impetus which is sustained by institutional inertia of such a scale that I, personally, never saw anything comparable in my life.

    I get the sense that “exceptionalism” and “indispensability” played little role in their military doctrines

    True.

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    • Replies: @Erebus

    We have more than 70 years of mythology and wrong lessons (or rather not learning them) which provided and immense impetus which is sustained by institutional inertia of such a scale that I, personally, never saw anything comparable in my life.
     
    Of course, every large organization, especially nations and civilizations, is held together by a mythology, or narrative. What they do and how they do it is driven by the foundational narrative that instructs all of the participants.

    Organizations fall when some inherent/foundational tenets in their narrative eventually come up against an uncooperative physical reality. Often, this is because the physical world has changed, and the myths now contradict the new reality. When that happens, you'd think the primary task of an organization's elites is to manage the modification of the narrative myth to accommodate the new reality and continue as a renewed/redefined entity thereby.

    However, what they typically do is try to save the narrative at all costs. That narrative, after-all, is what places them in a privileged position, and so they have a vested interest in keeping it alive. Change is necessarily going to place their position at risk. As long as fundamental concepts need only modification, this can be handled. If fundamental concepts have to be jettisoned, the enterprise and their place in it is necessarily subject to far greater risk of going out of control. I suspect this is largely what happened to the Soviet Union as it tried to modify its fundamental principles. It went out of control, and was hi-jacked in a weak moment. So, the result is inertia until a dam breaks somewhere and the floodwaters carry the whole thing away.

    The USM's mythology/narrative problem is a fractal of the West's much larger mythology/narrative problem. The whole Western enterprise is founded on a 500+ yr old mythology that is running headlong up against new realities. Its ideas of Progress, of Exceptionalism, of being the pinnacle of Development of Justice and Governance, are running into the realities of resource depletion, economic and martial decline, and a lazy, decadent & corrupt political elite, as against competitors who are on the opposite trajectory. To the the extent that the Pentagon's mythology was written in the context of a surging West, it borrows much of Western mythology. The Pentagon hasn't re-written its mythology, and probably can't until the West re-writes the larger version.


    I, personally, never saw anything comparable in my life.
     
    Given the above, you couldn't possible have. In classical physics, inertia is proportional to mass. As the largest organization on the planet (or at least employer), it shouldn't surprise us that the US DoD exhibits the most organizational inertia.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    I’ve been wondering why Western analysts were so “shocked” by the Caspian strike. After all, the Soviets had jet-propelled cruise missiles for at least a decade, including some that mimicked the Tomahawk’s performance and appearance pretty closely.
     
    Legendary Arleigh Burke when talking to Elmo Zumwalt before him taking the position of Chief of Naval Operations in 1970 stated, famously, "remember, US Navy has got used to travel first class". Under "first class" Burke meant very large combatants, ranging from aircraft carriers to nuclear submarines. The whole notion of missile age unfolding already in 1970s and 1980s is STILL to a very large degree denied (while, obviously, being in denial) by many in top naval brass in the US. It comes down now to open hysteria, see my entry about John Lehman:

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/11/mr-secretary-get-hold-of-yourself.html

    The whole concept of a small combatant having a firepower of a destroyer is absolutely alien to US Navy which is carrier-centric. This shock, actually, is not only not gone--it deepens since 3M22 is officially operational now and consider geopolitical, military and financial (money, money huge money for a single CBG) ramifications. Just roughly, from the top of the head--the cost of single US Navy's CBG with airwing--20-22 billion? At least. To be sunk by a salvo of P-800 or 3M54, let alone 3M22 with a total cost of what--10-15 million dollars and with a very high probability? This means a collapse of a whole doctrine which was built for decades and was supported by thousands of lobbyists, think-tanks, lawmakers. Recall dialogue of Roy Shyder and Sean Connery (Barley) in Russia House about the nature of Cold War, now turn this dialogue exactly 180 degrees. Basically NOT a single objective from From The Sea vision can be achieved anymore other than against third world defenseless shitholes. Can you imagine that if USNC WILL make F-35B work, however poorly, from its America-class LHA(R)? Consequences will be catastrophic for carrier lobby.

    Having read your blog-post, I can only repeat myself.

    Proclaiming oneself “exceptional” and “indispensable” are poor substitutes for doing the actual heavy lifting.

    Those are dangerous concepts that can blind one to realities. The problem is that they are fully embedded, forming some of the basic foundational level principles that then drive the USM’s organizational, battle, procurement, war-fighting, and political doctrines. They’ve defined the careers of countless officers and civilians who lived and worked in that “world”, and the >2M that live and work in it now.

    Weltanschauung comes close, but misses something in covering what I’m trying to say. For all of them, save a few academic analysts, those principles are as firmly rooted as Newton’s 3 Laws. That’s why they got “shocked” when 26 Kalibrs launched from corvettes in the Caspian nailed their targets 1500km away. There’s no room in “Exceptional” for peers. It forms a massive blind spot.

    Anyways, that means the USM is almost impossible to reform. The baby, the bassinet, the whole damn nursery would have to be thrown out with the bathwater, along with the nurse. Ain’t gonna happen. It would be like getting a brain transplant. The patient and surgeon would die of exhaustion or old age before the millions of inter-connections could be physically re-made.

    Now, the Russians were forced to undergo just that kind of catharsis when the USSR crashed, but they didn’t have to cut as deep. I get the sense that “exceptionalism” and “indispensability” played little role in their military doctrines and as soon as coherent minds rose to re-organize and command a renewed RuM, legacy engineering got updated quickly and efficiently, and incorporated. They’re still working through the rot, it’s a work-in-progress, but that progress is front & centre visible in Syria.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Those are dangerous concepts that can blind one to realities. The problem is that they are fully embedded, forming some of the basic foundational level principles that then drive the USM’s organizational, battle, procurement, war-fighting, and political doctrines.
     
    Absolutely.

    Anyways, that means the USM is almost impossible to reform. The baby, the bassinet, the whole damn nursery would have to be thrown out with the bathwater, along with the nurse. Ain’t gonna happen.
     
    Agree. We have more than 70 years of mythology and wrong lessons (or rather not learning them) which provided and immense impetus which is sustained by institutional inertia of such a scale that I, personally, never saw anything comparable in my life.

    I get the sense that “exceptionalism” and “indispensability” played little role in their military doctrines
     
    True.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB
    Some very good research there E...

    I had heard that the Kalibr is capable of terminal speed of about M3...but wasn't sure how this was accomplished...

    That anecdotal info about the jet engine dropping off and a rocket motor then taking over to accelerate to supersonic makes sense from a configuration point of view...ie the same way that multistage rockets are put together...

    I was guessing that either the high terminal speed was an exaggeration...or they used reheat [afterburner]...or perhaps some kind of ramjet-reheat combo like the Pratt J58 used on the Lockheed SR71 'Blackbird'...

    The rocket motor makes more sense though...it would be simpler and lighter...plus the benefit of the jet engine dropping off would decrease weight...which, in turn, would decrease wing loading and make for better maneuvering in the terminal stage...

    Yes you are correct that this 3-stage engine configuration is pretty interesting and a first for this type of cruise missile...[the first stage being the launch rocket motor as you pointed out...]

    The Soviets had long had cruise missiles launched form aircraft...the first ones entered service during the Korean war era...

    http://www.ausairpower.net/V-MF/KS-1-Kometa-Kennel-ASCM-1S.jpg

    This is the KS1 'Kometa'...which as you can see is basically a MiG15 without the canopy and with self-guidance and warhead installed...

    This was carried underwing of the Tu4 [a Soviet knockoff of the B29 'Superfortress'] and then on the Tu16 'Badger' turbojet heavy bomber...

    Little side story here...the Tu4 came about because several US B29 crews had to make emergency landings in Siberia while in action in the pacific...Stalin really wanted a heavy bomber in the Superfortress class which was unique at the time...so he ordered the Andrei Tupolev design bureau to make an exact copy...

    There is good doc here...

    Tupolev had already been well along with a design of their own for a super heavy in the same class...and were not enthusiastic about doing a copy [Tupolev felt their own design was superior and were eventually proved correct]...but Uncle Joe insisted!!!

    The fact that they pulled this off in two years is pretty astounding...[Stalin originally demanded it be done in a year!!!]...it was quite the feat of reverse-engineering...US analysts doubted it could be done at all...[incidentally trying to reverse engineer today's tech like S400 etc...is basically hopeless]

    The crews of those B29 expected to be sent home right away being allies and all...but they ended up being 'guests' for several months...this due to Stalin's strict observance of the Soviet-Japan neutrality pact that was still in force...they were eventually secretly smuggled to Iran which was jointly occupied by US and USSR during WW2...the B29s were returned eventually as well...

    A similar kind of top-down pressure was at play in the Shuttle /Buran exercise...and the Concorde / Tu144...

    But back to the meat and potatoes here...the Soviet Kh55 which entered service in 1983 is in fact very similar to the T-hawk...

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/81/H-55_AS-15_Kent_2008_G1.jpg

    Many in the West have the mistaken idea that the Soviets 'copied' the T-hawk concept...not so...


    '...The Kh-55 family of cruise missiles owes its origins to a series of internal studies at the Raduga OKB during the early 1970s. Raduga were unsuccessful initially in convincing the Soviet leadership of the value of their concept, but this changed as public knowledge of the US AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) program became better known in the Soviet Union...'
     
    The Kh55 is actually a better cruise missile in a lot of respects...its diameter is slightly smaller...weight is a little more...but the turbofan engines are considerably more powerful than the Williams F107 engines on the T-hawk...putting out up to 1,100 lb of thrust...compared to the T-hawk's 600 to 700...

    '...The TVD-50 is a critical piece of technology in the Kh-55 as it is a compact and fuel efficient turbofan in the thrust and size class required to power cruise missiles, standoff missiles and UAVs. The cited thrust rating is 400 to 500 kg (880 to 1,100 lbf), with a dry mass of 95 kg (210 lb), a Specific Fuel Consumption of 0.65, a length of 0.85 m (33.5 in) and diameter of 0.33 m (13 in)...'
     
    Another point is a slightly longer span...at 3.1 m [10.2 ft] compared to 8.75 ft on the T-hawk...also the tail configuration is different...and the Block 4 T-hawk adopted the Kh55 configuration...

    '...The Tomahawk uses a four surface tail control assembly with anhedral on the stabilators, whereas the Kh-55 uses only three larger surfaces, with more pronounced anhedral, a configuration since adopted in the new Block IV RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile. The largely symmetrical aft fuselage of the Tomahawk differs from the more pronounced sculpting of the Kh-55 aft fuselage...'
     
    The tail is significant also because it provides the roll control [bank] with its movable surfaces...as well as pitch [up down] and yaw [side to side]...

    The above info from Dr. Karlo Kopp...

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Rus-Cruise-Missiles.html#mozTocId152650

    Now when we get to the latest Kalibr [or 3M54] there is not much hard info as you pointed out...

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/3M-54E1.jpg

    Here we see what appears to be the launch booster attached...and we also see what appears to be a ring just forward of the engine where it might detach...

    We also see some interesting aerodynamic details...the aft body tapers down with nicely shaped compound curvature to the jet engine nozzle...as opposed to more straight taper on the T-hawk...

    And we also see that those tail control surfaces are all-moving...ie they rotate instead of flapping about a hinge as on the T-hawk...

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Tomahawk_Block_IV_cruise_missile_-crop.jpg

    http://img-new.cgtrader.com/items/26279/large_tomahawk_missile_3d_model_3ds_fbx_c4d_dxf_obj_X_c91044a3-d779-427a-abbc-c8fb002413fc.jpg

    And here's a T-hawk that the Serbs shot down in 1999...

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Downed_Tomahawk_cruise_missile_in_Belgrade%2C_Serbia.jpg

    And here we thought that the 'ground hugging' T-hawks are difficult to detect and shoot down...just think what a competent air defense with modern Russian equipment [and ECM] could do...


    '...And now for the kicker…

    - launched & flown in formation(!), prior to final targeting data being uploaded (might be a machine translation issue, but that’s what 2 translators indicated), (this is very interesting because it suggests that a salvo of Kalibrs may be able to self-organize as a “wolf-pack”, like the Oniks anti-shipping missile. If so, it’s a major innovation in long range LACMs that would put it generations ahead of anything in its class...'
     

    The 'wolf-pack' technique to borrow your coinage...is indeed a very powerful idea...it has been in service with the big P700 ship-buster since 1983...this from wiki...

    '...The missile, when fired in a swarm (group of 4–8) has a unique guidance mode. One of the weapons climbs to a higher altitude and designates targets while the others attack. The missile responsible for target designation climbs in short pop-ups, so as to be harder to intercept.

    The missiles are linked by data connections, forming a network. If the designating missile is destroyed the next missile will rise to assume its purpose.

    Missiles are able to differentiate targets, detect groups and prioritize targets automatically using information gathered during flight and types of ships and battle formations pre-programmed in an onboard computer.

    They will attack targets in order of priority, highest to lowest: after destroying the first target, any remaining missiles will attack the next prioritized target...'
     

    And this from the manufacturer website...in Russian...

    '...Also in the onboard computer there are data on counteracting the means of electronic warfare of the enemy, capable of jamming the missiles from the target, tactical methods of evading the fire from air defense means...'
     
    The p700 was thought to be turbojet powered by western intelligence...but is actually a ramjet...as is the newer P800 Oniks / Brahmos...

    Kopp describes the capability thus...


    '...The missile and fire control system introduced numerous innovations. A digital weapon system fused tracking data from numerous sensors, automatically prioritised targets, and allocated missiles. The design was intended to assign search boxes for the missile seekers to ensure that only the highest priority targets were acquired, and lower priority targets rejected, and to ensure deconfliction between missiles...'
     
    Note the 'data fusion' part...this is a buzzword we have only recently been hearing in terms of the F35 and such...

    The fact is that the Russians have long been making use of data networking in both missiles and aircraft...

    The MiG31...with a top speed of near Mach 3...was designed expressly to defend against low-flying US cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads [including T-hawk]...this would work with a flight of four '31s flying abreast about 80 nautical miles apart and sweeping the combined sector ahead for incoming cruise missiles...this from Kopp...


    '...Tactically the aircraft is often flown in sections of four, spread out to sweep a strip of 320 NM width, and using the datalink to coordinate operation...'
     
    And this from wiki...

    The APD-518 datalink enables a flight of four MiG-31 to automatically exchange radar-generated data within 200 km (124 mi) from each other.

    It also enables other aircraft with less sophisticated avionics, such as MiG-23,25,29/Su-15,27[15] to be directed to targets spotted by MiG-31 (a maximum of 4 (long-range) for each MiG-31
     

    aircraft). The A-50 AEW aircraft and MiG-31 can automatically exchange aerial and terrestrial radar target designation,[37] as well as air defense...'

    So this is what buzzwords like 'network-centric' warfare and 'data fusion' mean in practice...and the Russians have been doing this for decades...

    Incidentally the MiG31 was the first fighter with an electronically scanned radar...

    http://www.ausairpower.net/PVO-S/000-Foxhound-A-5.jpg

    There is no 'dish' as such and the radar beam is steered electronically...the 'Zaslon' was unveiled in the west in 1991 at the Paris air show...where the Lockheed F117 'Nighthawk' was also present...the Russians reportedly challenged their colleagues to a flight to see if their Zaslon could detect the Nighthawk...the US declined...

    So the network philosophy has been a key factor in Russian aircraft, cruise missile and also SAM design for quite some time...I had mentioned previously the 'Nebo' [meaning sky in Russian] anti-stealth radars using data fusion to build up a 'composite' target track that a low-frequency radar alone could never do...

    People forget that when it comes to computers it's not all about microcircuit size...the heart of it all is the program intelligence that is written into the code...and that comes down to the math ingenuity...an expertly written piece of code can do a lot while being very compact and not taking up much bandwidth or speed...

    Anyway...my own reaction to some of the points you have uncovered is that I find it quite credible indeed that these wolf-pack [great phrase] abilities could be built into the new Russian cruise missiles...they have been there for quite some time...the P800 inherited that from the earlier P700 etc...

    As for the T-hawk performance...you mentioned this...


    '...Looking at the numbers you’re presenting, my comment about “100M” is starting to look optimistic, especially over highly varying terrain. TLAMs aren’t going to be hiding by following rivers in narrow valleys...'
     
    I agree...I'm actually in the middle of a full flight performance workup on the T-hawk...[I have good engine data which is a big help...]

    ...and the numbers are actually eye-popping...more to come...this could be a real eye opener...

    Thanks your comments.
    For the record, the “wolf-pack” phrase ain’t mine, but picked up in the course of my ploughing through those bloggers/forums. I honestly can’t remember where I got it, but it’s adapted from German U-Boat tactics, and very apt in describing the way the Oniks/P-700 formations attack shipping. Real wolf-packs hunt in organized formations, with each wolf’s role determined by his social rank/place in the pack as it selects and isolates the victim and then harries it into the final kill.

    As you say, it ain’t just about how many Angstroms you can get down to in jamming transistors into a chip. For complex war-fighting systems, vastly more important are algorithm development and the efficiency of the executing code.

    In the code warrior field, the US ranks quite poorly, and the fact that US software companies often outsource to an even lower ranked India doesn’t improve matters. Proclaiming oneself “exceptional” and “indispensable” are poor substitutes for doing the actual heavy lifting.

    HackerRank did an assessment of its 1.5M users to answer the question: “… which countries do the best at programming challenges on HackerRank?”.

    According to our data, China and Russia score as the most talented developers. Chinese programmers outscore all other countries in mathematics, functional programming, and data structures challenges, while Russians dominate in algorithms, the most popular and most competitive arena. While the United States and India provide the majority of competitors on HackerRank, they only manage to rank 28th and 31st.

    You can see the full results here: http://blog.hackerrank.com/which-country-would-win-in-the-programming-olympics/
    Not definitive, but it correlates well with more formal, high end competitions such as the ICPC (https://www.rt.com/news/343723-russian-programmers-icpc-contest-victory/)

    As another side trip, in my sojourn through the Russian war-geek scene I learned that Russia is applying “wolf-pack-ish” thinking to tank warfare as well. The new Armata will go into battle accompanied by 2-3 drone tanks under its command and a tethered aerial drone for continuous reconnaissance & communications which is then shared with other Armata “wolf-packs”. Neat concept, maximally leveraging the human factor while minimizing human risk. Daredevil “kamikaze” tactics that no manned tank battalion would even consider can be undertaken by the drones, and you don’t need a lot of Armata MBTs to bring devastating power into the field. Networking the Armatas with artillery and air support, and a whole new paradigm for fighting land wars emerges… “Never march on Moscow” will remain the best advice for some time, it appears.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    As another side trip, in my sojourn through the Russian war-geek scene I learned that Russia is applying “wolf-pack-ish” thinking to tank warfare as well.
     
    A general trend in warfare--away from platform-centric force to a net-centric one. Platforms are still important, of course, but it is how they are integrated and interact within battle-space. Russians/Soviets experimented with this concept as early as late 1950s with the first proto-networks in P-6/35 missile complexes which had regimes of both duplex information exchange (from targeting data, including actual radar and TV images) in the external guidance by TU-95RTz , submarine and missile(s). Similar principles were realized in MiG-31 and, of course, in P-700 Granit (SS-N-19 Shipwreck). In late 1990s late Admiral Cebrowski of US Navy wrote a seminal piece on Net-centric Warfare, in which he formulated several key principles--many of them became realizable with the development of new communications technologies. But, what is interesting--the first visual of a first approximation of such network is portrayed excellently in James Cameron's Aliens. Add the possibility of all guys from platoon not only to have duplex comm with their vehicle but also between themselves and here you are--a simple network of the tactical level. In ideal conditions in Aliens during guys' first encounter with nasty creatures--network would have helped to prevent the death of Apone and guys shooting at each-other since, granted good visual and IR, would have designated sectors and targets properly. But, OK, that was 1986, no processing power and Kalman Filters to deal with informational "noise";)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    I’ve been wondering why Western analysts were so “shocked” by the Caspian strike. After all, the Soviets had jet-propelled cruise missiles for at least a decade, including some that mimicked the Tomahawk’s performance and appearance pretty closely.
     
    Legendary Arleigh Burke when talking to Elmo Zumwalt before him taking the position of Chief of Naval Operations in 1970 stated, famously, "remember, US Navy has got used to travel first class". Under "first class" Burke meant very large combatants, ranging from aircraft carriers to nuclear submarines. The whole notion of missile age unfolding already in 1970s and 1980s is STILL to a very large degree denied (while, obviously, being in denial) by many in top naval brass in the US. It comes down now to open hysteria, see my entry about John Lehman:

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/11/mr-secretary-get-hold-of-yourself.html

    The whole concept of a small combatant having a firepower of a destroyer is absolutely alien to US Navy which is carrier-centric. This shock, actually, is not only not gone--it deepens since 3M22 is officially operational now and consider geopolitical, military and financial (money, money huge money for a single CBG) ramifications. Just roughly, from the top of the head--the cost of single US Navy's CBG with airwing--20-22 billion? At least. To be sunk by a salvo of P-800 or 3M54, let alone 3M22 with a total cost of what--10-15 million dollars and with a very high probability? This means a collapse of a whole doctrine which was built for decades and was supported by thousands of lobbyists, think-tanks, lawmakers. Recall dialogue of Roy Shyder and Sean Connery (Barley) in Russia House about the nature of Cold War, now turn this dialogue exactly 180 degrees. Basically NOT a single objective from From The Sea vision can be achieved anymore other than against third world defenseless shitholes. Can you imagine that if USNC WILL make F-35B work, however poorly, from its America-class LHA(R)? Consequences will be catastrophic for carrier lobby.

    USNC

    Correction: USMC

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus
    Looking at the numbers you're presenting, my comment about "100M" is starting to look optimistic, especially over highly varying terrain. TLAMs aren't going to be hiding by following rivers in narrow valleys.

    Not to interrupt your tech series, but if we can take a sidetrip the following may be of interest. I've been wondering why Western analysts were so "shocked" by the Caspian strike. After all, the Soviets had jet-propelled cruise missiles for at least a decade, including some that mimicked the Tomahawk's performance and appearance pretty closely.

    Though the Kalibr family is surprisingly large, Wiki says the 3M-54 is pretty close to the TLAM, with its primary advantage being a rocket assisted terminal approach.

    However, the Wiki 3M-54 Klub (aka Kalibr) article has an oddball entry on the Caspian Kalibrs under Domestic Variants. It's the only entry without a model designation, and references Russian TV and news reports.


    According to state television news (broadcast of 11.10.2015),[44] launch of production took place in 2012. Details of this version[45] - the maximum speed of Mach 3, the range of 4,000 km, basing in the air, on land, on water and under water (shows launch from water depth). The missile can make in-flight maneuvers 147 times or more (in any direction), the minimum height of 10 meters, an average of 20 – 50 meters (up to 1000), it will automatically follow terrain, the missile can be controlled in flight.[46]
     
    It looks hastily inserted, and piqued my interest as the reaction to the Caspian launch suggested a potent new development. Struck out looking for official info, so I went looking for Russian war-geek forums/bloggers using Russian search terms.

    The following should be read with a salt-lick nearby, but the variant used on that launch possibly does have some "shocking" additional features. I saw nothing regarding engine power, wing-loading, or the like, but I compiled some features that would be shocking if they really did apply. Leaving their likelihood open for the more knowledgeable to discuss (with my comments added):

    - was not a known 3M-54 variant, but 1st public launch of a new model, designation unknown
    - follows "contoured" terrain at 20 meters, flat terrain at 10m, altitude radar good to 1m (the relief of the "contoured" terrain it can follow at 20m was not mentioned)
    - drone verified accuracy: all 26 missiles hit within 3 meters of intended target... The 4 missiles that the US claimed crashed in Iran were likely jettisoned 2nd stages. (I know, sounds TGTBT...)
    - final approach at just under Mach 3, as jet stage is dropped and rocket powered warhead/guidance module takes over (making it a 3-stage cruise missile counting the steerable nozzle lift-off booster)
    - the 147 instances of manoeuvres can be executed at a "high attack angle", making it "immune" to missile defence (not clear if this is available during 3rd, rocket powered stage)
    - as per other Kalibrs, can also be deployed remotely, (eg: from "ordinary looking" shipping containers on trucks/trains/container barges)

    And now for the kicker...
    - launched & flown in formation(!), prior to final targeting data being uploaded (might be a machine translation issue, but that's what 2 translators indicated), (this is very interesting because it suggests that a salvo of Kalibrs may be able to self-organize as a "wolf-pack", like the Oniks anti-shipping missile. If so, it's a major innovation in long range LACMs that would put it generations ahead of anything in its class.)

    Caveat Emptor, of course.

    If any of the above are true, especially the "wolf-pack" capability, Western analysts may well have had good reason to be shocked.

    I’ve been wondering why Western analysts were so “shocked” by the Caspian strike. After all, the Soviets had jet-propelled cruise missiles for at least a decade, including some that mimicked the Tomahawk’s performance and appearance pretty closely.

    Legendary Arleigh Burke when talking to Elmo Zumwalt before him taking the position of Chief of Naval Operations in 1970 stated, famously, “remember, US Navy has got used to travel first class”. Under “first class” Burke meant very large combatants, ranging from aircraft carriers to nuclear submarines. The whole notion of missile age unfolding already in 1970s and 1980s is STILL to a very large degree denied (while, obviously, being in denial) by many in top naval brass in the US. It comes down now to open hysteria, see my entry about John Lehman:

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/11/mr-secretary-get-hold-of-yourself.html

    The whole concept of a small combatant having a firepower of a destroyer is absolutely alien to US Navy which is carrier-centric. This shock, actually, is not only not gone–it deepens since 3M22 is officially operational now and consider geopolitical, military and financial (money, money huge money for a single CBG) ramifications. Just roughly, from the top of the head–the cost of single US Navy’s CBG with airwing–20-22 billion? At least. To be sunk by a salvo of P-800 or 3M54, let alone 3M22 with a total cost of what–10-15 million dollars and with a very high probability? This means a collapse of a whole doctrine which was built for decades and was supported by thousands of lobbyists, think-tanks, lawmakers. Recall dialogue of Roy Shyder and Sean Connery (Barley) in Russia House about the nature of Cold War, now turn this dialogue exactly 180 degrees. Basically NOT a single objective from From The Sea vision can be achieved anymore other than against third world defenseless shitholes. Can you imagine that if USNC WILL make F-35B work, however poorly, from its America-class LHA(R)? Consequences will be catastrophic for carrier lobby.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    USNC
     
    Correction: USMC
    , @Erebus
    Having read your blog-post, I can only repeat myself.

    Proclaiming oneself “exceptional” and “indispensable” are poor substitutes for doing the actual heavy lifting.
     
    Those are dangerous concepts that can blind one to realities. The problem is that they are fully embedded, forming some of the basic foundational level principles that then drive the USM's organizational, battle, procurement, war-fighting, and political doctrines. They've defined the careers of countless officers and civilians who lived and worked in that "world", and the >2M that live and work in it now.

    Weltanschauung comes close, but misses something in covering what I'm trying to say. For all of them, save a few academic analysts, those principles are as firmly rooted as Newton's 3 Laws. That's why they got "shocked" when 26 Kalibrs launched from corvettes in the Caspian nailed their targets 1500km away. There's no room in "Exceptional" for peers. It forms a massive blind spot.

    Anyways, that means the USM is almost impossible to reform. The baby, the bassinet, the whole damn nursery would have to be thrown out with the bathwater, along with the nurse. Ain't gonna happen. It would be like getting a brain transplant. The patient and surgeon would die of exhaustion or old age before the millions of inter-connections could be physically re-made.

    Now, the Russians were forced to undergo just that kind of catharsis when the USSR crashed, but they didn't have to cut as deep. I get the sense that "exceptionalism" and "indispensability" played little role in their military doctrines and as soon as coherent minds rose to re-organize and command a renewed RuM, legacy engineering got updated quickly and efficiently, and incorporated. They're still working through the rot, it's a work-in-progress, but that progress is front & centre visible in Syria.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • FB says:
    @Erebus
    Looking at the numbers you're presenting, my comment about "100M" is starting to look optimistic, especially over highly varying terrain. TLAMs aren't going to be hiding by following rivers in narrow valleys.

    Not to interrupt your tech series, but if we can take a sidetrip the following may be of interest. I've been wondering why Western analysts were so "shocked" by the Caspian strike. After all, the Soviets had jet-propelled cruise missiles for at least a decade, including some that mimicked the Tomahawk's performance and appearance pretty closely.

    Though the Kalibr family is surprisingly large, Wiki says the 3M-54 is pretty close to the TLAM, with its primary advantage being a rocket assisted terminal approach.

    However, the Wiki 3M-54 Klub (aka Kalibr) article has an oddball entry on the Caspian Kalibrs under Domestic Variants. It's the only entry without a model designation, and references Russian TV and news reports.


    According to state television news (broadcast of 11.10.2015),[44] launch of production took place in 2012. Details of this version[45] - the maximum speed of Mach 3, the range of 4,000 km, basing in the air, on land, on water and under water (shows launch from water depth). The missile can make in-flight maneuvers 147 times or more (in any direction), the minimum height of 10 meters, an average of 20 – 50 meters (up to 1000), it will automatically follow terrain, the missile can be controlled in flight.[46]
     
    It looks hastily inserted, and piqued my interest as the reaction to the Caspian launch suggested a potent new development. Struck out looking for official info, so I went looking for Russian war-geek forums/bloggers using Russian search terms.

    The following should be read with a salt-lick nearby, but the variant used on that launch possibly does have some "shocking" additional features. I saw nothing regarding engine power, wing-loading, or the like, but I compiled some features that would be shocking if they really did apply. Leaving their likelihood open for the more knowledgeable to discuss (with my comments added):

    - was not a known 3M-54 variant, but 1st public launch of a new model, designation unknown
    - follows "contoured" terrain at 20 meters, flat terrain at 10m, altitude radar good to 1m (the relief of the "contoured" terrain it can follow at 20m was not mentioned)
    - drone verified accuracy: all 26 missiles hit within 3 meters of intended target... The 4 missiles that the US claimed crashed in Iran were likely jettisoned 2nd stages. (I know, sounds TGTBT...)
    - final approach at just under Mach 3, as jet stage is dropped and rocket powered warhead/guidance module takes over (making it a 3-stage cruise missile counting the steerable nozzle lift-off booster)
    - the 147 instances of manoeuvres can be executed at a "high attack angle", making it "immune" to missile defence (not clear if this is available during 3rd, rocket powered stage)
    - as per other Kalibrs, can also be deployed remotely, (eg: from "ordinary looking" shipping containers on trucks/trains/container barges)

    And now for the kicker...
    - launched & flown in formation(!), prior to final targeting data being uploaded (might be a machine translation issue, but that's what 2 translators indicated), (this is very interesting because it suggests that a salvo of Kalibrs may be able to self-organize as a "wolf-pack", like the Oniks anti-shipping missile. If so, it's a major innovation in long range LACMs that would put it generations ahead of anything in its class.)

    Caveat Emptor, of course.

    If any of the above are true, especially the "wolf-pack" capability, Western analysts may well have had good reason to be shocked.

    Some very good research there E…

    I had heard that the Kalibr is capable of terminal speed of about M3…but wasn’t sure how this was accomplished…

    That anecdotal info about the jet engine dropping off and a rocket motor then taking over to accelerate to supersonic makes sense from a configuration point of view…ie the same way that multistage rockets are put together…

    I was guessing that either the high terminal speed was an exaggeration…or they used reheat [afterburner]…or perhaps some kind of ramjet-reheat combo like the Pratt J58 used on the Lockheed SR71 ‘Blackbird’…

    The rocket motor makes more sense though…it would be simpler and lighter…plus the benefit of the jet engine dropping off would decrease weight…which, in turn, would decrease wing loading and make for better maneuvering in the terminal stage…

    Yes you are correct that this 3-stage engine configuration is pretty interesting and a first for this type of cruise missile…[the first stage being the launch rocket motor as you pointed out...]

    The Soviets had long had cruise missiles launched form aircraft…the first ones entered service during the Korean war era…

    This is the KS1 ‘Kometa’…which as you can see is basically a MiG15 without the canopy and with self-guidance and warhead installed…

    This was carried underwing of the Tu4 [a Soviet knockoff of the B29 'Superfortress'] and then on the Tu16 ‘Badger’ turbojet heavy bomber…

    Little side story here…the Tu4 came about because several US B29 crews had to make emergency landings in Siberia while in action in the pacific…Stalin really wanted a heavy bomber in the Superfortress class which was unique at the time…so he ordered the Andrei Tupolev design bureau to make an exact copy…

    There is good doc here…

    Tupolev had already been well along with a design of their own for a super heavy in the same class…and were not enthusiastic about doing a copy [Tupolev felt their own design was superior and were eventually proved correct]…but Uncle Joe insisted!!!

    The fact that they pulled this off in two years is pretty astounding…[Stalin originally demanded it be done in a year!!!]…it was quite the feat of reverse-engineering…US analysts doubted it could be done at all…[incidentally trying to reverse engineer today's tech like S400 etc...is basically hopeless]

    The crews of those B29 expected to be sent home right away being allies and all…but they ended up being ‘guests’ for several months…this due to Stalin’s strict observance of the Soviet-Japan neutrality pact that was still in force…they were eventually secretly smuggled to Iran which was jointly occupied by US and USSR during WW2…the B29s were returned eventually as well…

    A similar kind of top-down pressure was at play in the Shuttle /Buran exercise…and the Concorde / Tu144…

    But back to the meat and potatoes here…the Soviet Kh55 which entered service in 1983 is in fact very similar to the T-hawk…

    Many in the West have the mistaken idea that the Soviets ‘copied’ the T-hawk concept…not so…

    ‘…The Kh-55 family of cruise missiles owes its origins to a series of internal studies at the Raduga OKB during the early 1970s. Raduga were unsuccessful initially in convincing the Soviet leadership of the value of their concept, but this changed as public knowledge of the US AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) program became better known in the Soviet Union…’

    The Kh55 is actually a better cruise missile in a lot of respects…its diameter is slightly smaller…weight is a little more…but the turbofan engines are considerably more powerful than the Williams F107 engines on the T-hawk…putting out up to 1,100 lb of thrust…compared to the T-hawk’s 600 to 700…

    ‘…The TVD-50 is a critical piece of technology in the Kh-55 as it is a compact and fuel efficient turbofan in the thrust and size class required to power cruise missiles, standoff missiles and UAVs. The cited thrust rating is 400 to 500 kg (880 to 1,100 lbf), with a dry mass of 95 kg (210 lb), a Specific Fuel Consumption of 0.65, a length of 0.85 m (33.5 in) and diameter of 0.33 m (13 in)…’

    Another point is a slightly longer span…at 3.1 m [10.2 ft] compared to 8.75 ft on the T-hawk…also the tail configuration is different…and the Block 4 T-hawk adopted the Kh55 configuration…

    ‘…The Tomahawk uses a four surface tail control assembly with anhedral on the stabilators, whereas the Kh-55 uses only three larger surfaces, with more pronounced anhedral, a configuration since adopted in the new Block IV RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile. The largely symmetrical aft fuselage of the Tomahawk differs from the more pronounced sculpting of the Kh-55 aft fuselage…’

    The tail is significant also because it provides the roll control [bank] with its movable surfaces…as well as pitch [up down] and yaw [side to side]…

    The above info from Dr. Karlo Kopp…

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Rus-Cruise-Missiles.html#mozTocId152650

    Now when we get to the latest Kalibr [or 3M54] there is not much hard info as you pointed out…

    Here we see what appears to be the launch booster attached…and we also see what appears to be a ring just forward of the engine where it might detach…

    We also see some interesting aerodynamic details…the aft body tapers down with nicely shaped compound curvature to the jet engine nozzle…as opposed to more straight taper on the T-hawk…

    And we also see that those tail control surfaces are all-moving…ie they rotate instead of flapping about a hinge as on the T-hawk…

    And here’s a T-hawk that the Serbs shot down in 1999…

    And here we thought that the ‘ground hugging’ T-hawks are difficult to detect and shoot down…just think what a competent air defense with modern Russian equipment [and ECM] could do…

    ‘…And now for the kicker…

    - launched & flown in formation(!), prior to final targeting data being uploaded (might be a machine translation issue, but that’s what 2 translators indicated), (this is very interesting because it suggests that a salvo of Kalibrs may be able to self-organize as a “wolf-pack”, like the Oniks anti-shipping missile. If so, it’s a major innovation in long range LACMs that would put it generations ahead of anything in its class…’

    The ‘wolf-pack’ technique to borrow your coinage…is indeed a very powerful idea…it has been in service with the big P700 ship-buster since 1983…this from wiki…

    ‘…The missile, when fired in a swarm (group of 4–8) has a unique guidance mode. One of the weapons climbs to a higher altitude and designates targets while the others attack. The missile responsible for target designation climbs in short pop-ups, so as to be harder to intercept.

    The missiles are linked by data connections, forming a network. If the designating missile is destroyed the next missile will rise to assume its purpose.

    Missiles are able to differentiate targets, detect groups and prioritize targets automatically using information gathered during flight and types of ships and battle formations pre-programmed in an onboard computer.

    They will attack targets in order of priority, highest to lowest: after destroying the first target, any remaining missiles will attack the next prioritized target…’

    And this from the manufacturer website…in Russian…

    ‘…Also in the onboard computer there are data on counteracting the means of electronic warfare of the enemy, capable of jamming the missiles from the target, tactical methods of evading the fire from air defense means…’

    The p700 was thought to be turbojet powered by western intelligence…but is actually a ramjet…as is the newer P800 Oniks / Brahmos…

    Kopp describes the capability thus…

    ‘…The missile and fire control system introduced numerous innovations. A digital weapon system fused tracking data from numerous sensors, automatically prioritised targets, and allocated missiles. The design was intended to assign search boxes for the missile seekers to ensure that only the highest priority targets were acquired, and lower priority targets rejected, and to ensure deconfliction between missiles…’

    Note the ‘data fusion’ part…this is a buzzword we have only recently been hearing in terms of the F35 and such…

    The fact is that the Russians have long been making use of data networking in both missiles and aircraft…

    The MiG31…with a top speed of near Mach 3…was designed expressly to defend against low-flying US cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads [including T-hawk]…this would work with a flight of four ’31s flying abreast about 80 nautical miles apart and sweeping the combined sector ahead for incoming cruise missiles…this from Kopp…

    ‘…Tactically the aircraft is often flown in sections of four, spread out to sweep a strip of 320 NM width, and using the datalink to coordinate operation…’

    And this from wiki…

    The APD-518 datalink enables a flight of four MiG-31 to automatically exchange radar-generated data within 200 km (124 mi) from each other.

    It also enables other aircraft with less sophisticated avionics, such as MiG-23,25,29/Su-15,27[15] to be directed to targets spotted by MiG-31 (a maximum of 4 (long-range) for each MiG-31

    aircraft). The A-50 AEW aircraft and MiG-31 can automatically exchange aerial and terrestrial radar target designation,[37] as well as air defense…’

    So this is what buzzwords like ‘network-centric’ warfare and ‘data fusion’ mean in practice…and the Russians have been doing this for decades…

    Incidentally the MiG31 was the first fighter with an electronically scanned radar…

    There is no ‘dish’ as such and the radar beam is steered electronically…the ‘Zaslon’ was unveiled in the west in 1991 at the Paris air show…where the Lockheed F117 ‘Nighthawk’ was also present…the Russians reportedly challenged their colleagues to a flight to see if their Zaslon could detect the Nighthawk…the US declined…

    So the network philosophy has been a key factor in Russian aircraft, cruise missile and also SAM design for quite some time…I had mentioned previously the ‘Nebo’ [meaning sky in Russian] anti-stealth radars using data fusion to build up a ‘composite’ target track that a low-frequency radar alone could never do…

    People forget that when it comes to computers it’s not all about microcircuit size…the heart of it all is the program intelligence that is written into the code…and that comes down to the math ingenuity…an expertly written piece of code can do a lot while being very compact and not taking up much bandwidth or speed…

    Anyway…my own reaction to some of the points you have uncovered is that I find it quite credible indeed that these wolf-pack [great phrase] abilities could be built into the new Russian cruise missiles…they have been there for quite some time…the P800 inherited that from the earlier P700 etc…

    As for the T-hawk performance…you mentioned this…

    ‘…Looking at the numbers you’re presenting, my comment about “100M” is starting to look optimistic, especially over highly varying terrain. TLAMs aren’t going to be hiding by following rivers in narrow valleys…’

    I agree…I’m actually in the middle of a full flight performance workup on the T-hawk…[I have good engine data which is a big help...]

    …and the numbers are actually eye-popping…more to come…this could be a real eye opener…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus
    Thanks your comments.
    For the record, the "wolf-pack" phrase ain't mine, but picked up in the course of my ploughing through those bloggers/forums. I honestly can't remember where I got it, but it's adapted from German U-Boat tactics, and very apt in describing the way the Oniks/P-700 formations attack shipping. Real wolf-packs hunt in organized formations, with each wolf's role determined by his social rank/place in the pack as it selects and isolates the victim and then harries it into the final kill.

    As you say, it ain't just about how many Angstroms you can get down to in jamming transistors into a chip. For complex war-fighting systems, vastly more important are algorithm development and the efficiency of the executing code.

    In the code warrior field, the US ranks quite poorly, and the fact that US software companies often outsource to an even lower ranked India doesn't improve matters. Proclaiming oneself "exceptional" and "indispensable" are poor substitutes for doing the actual heavy lifting.

    HackerRank did an assessment of its 1.5M users to answer the question: "... which countries do the best at programming challenges on HackerRank?".


    According to our data, China and Russia score as the most talented developers. Chinese programmers outscore all other countries in mathematics, functional programming, and data structures challenges, while Russians dominate in algorithms, the most popular and most competitive arena. While the United States and India provide the majority of competitors on HackerRank, they only manage to rank 28th and 31st.
     
    You can see the full results here: http://blog.hackerrank.com/which-country-would-win-in-the-programming-olympics/
    Not definitive, but it correlates well with more formal, high end competitions such as the ICPC (https://www.rt.com/news/343723-russian-programmers-icpc-contest-victory/)

    As another side trip, in my sojourn through the Russian war-geek scene I learned that Russia is applying "wolf-pack-ish" thinking to tank warfare as well. The new Armata will go into battle accompanied by 2-3 drone tanks under its command and a tethered aerial drone for continuous reconnaissance & communications which is then shared with other Armata "wolf-packs". Neat concept, maximally leveraging the human factor while minimizing human risk. Daredevil "kamikaze" tactics that no manned tank battalion would even consider can be undertaken by the drones, and you don't need a lot of Armata MBTs to bring devastating power into the field. Networking the Armatas with artillery and air support, and a whole new paradigm for fighting land wars emerges... "Never march on Moscow" will remain the best advice for some time, it appears.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB
    The problem of turning performance in a T-hawk deserves a closer look...since any kind of terrain following requires good turning performance...

    When an airplane banks into a turn its wing produces less lift in the vertical direction...this is because the direction of lift is always perpendicular to the wing...as illustrated here...

    http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/performance/turn/bank.gif

    We see that in a bank the total lift vector is also tilted to the side...that means that only the vertical component of lift is available to counter the weight of the aircraft...which is in the vertical direction down...

    That means the aircraft will lose altitude unless the tail elevator is commanded up...which increases the wing angle of attack with respect to the airflow and creates greater lift...

    But this also increases the stall speed...which in the T-hawk I had estimated to be 300 mph...due to its small wings with no high lift devices [eg flaps] and high wing loading...

    We can crunch the numbers quite easily...the amount of vertical lift decreases by the cosine of the bank angle...

    If we bank into a 45 degree turn...the cosine of 45 degrees is 0.707...

    If the aircraft weighs 1,000 lb...it means we ar3e now making only 707 lb of vertical lift...to remain in level flight we need 1,000 lb of lift...which means a total lift of 1000 / 0.707 = 1,414 lb...

    This is a load factor of 1.4 g...

    At 60 degree bank our load factor 2 g...in other words the plane [and pilot] feel twice their normal weight...[this is due to the horizontal component of lift in the bank...which creates the centrifugal force that makes us feel 'heavy'...

    Now the load factor directly affects stall speed...ie a load factor of 2 will increase stall speed by sqrt of 2...ie 1.4...

    This is because lift increases by the square of the airspeed...so stall is a function of the square root of load factor...

    So if our straight and level stall speed is 300 mph...our stall speed in a 60 degree bank will be 300 x 1.4 = 424 mph...

    That means that if we are flying slower than that...our wing will stall and the aircraft will go down...

    But we recall that in order to be able to climb...we need to be flying slower than our maximum speed in order to have climb power in reserve...

    So we can see how quickly the T-hawk can get into trouble in challenging terrain where it must turn and climb...often at the same time...

    We also note here another important factor which is turn radius...the higher the wing loading the higher the minimum turn radius...

    Ie...an airplane with low wing loading will be able to make a turn of a smaller circle...ie a tighter turn...higher wing loading means a wider turn...

    We see this in the equation for minimum turn radius R...which is a function of several things...air density...load factor [g]...and wing lift coefficient...

    If all these remain equal it comes down to only W / S...which is wing loading...[ie Weight over Surface area]

    We recall that load factor is a function of bank angle...so let us directly compare an airliner with a wing loading of 100 lb/ft^2 with the T-hawk with it wing loading of 300 lb/ft^2...

    In any turn of equal bank [ie equal load factor, g] and at equal air density [ie altitude]...the T-hawk will have turn radius 3 times bigger than an airliner...

    It's just not a flight vehicle that is good at turning...or climbing...here are a couple of references that get into more tech details...

    http://turbineair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Bank-Angle-vs-stall-speed-2013.pdf

    http://www.dept.aoe.vt.edu/~lutze/AOE3104/turningflight.pdf

    Looking at the numbers you’re presenting, my comment about “100M” is starting to look optimistic, especially over highly varying terrain. TLAMs aren’t going to be hiding by following rivers in narrow valleys.

    Not to interrupt your tech series, but if we can take a sidetrip the following may be of interest. I’ve been wondering why Western analysts were so “shocked” by the Caspian strike. After all, the Soviets had jet-propelled cruise missiles for at least a decade, including some that mimicked the Tomahawk’s performance and appearance pretty closely.

    Though the Kalibr family is surprisingly large, Wiki says the 3M-54 is pretty close to the TLAM, with its primary advantage being a rocket assisted terminal approach.

    However, the Wiki 3M-54 Klub (aka Kalibr) article has an oddball entry on the Caspian Kalibrs under Domestic Variants. It’s the only entry without a model designation, and references Russian TV and news reports.

    According to state television news (broadcast of 11.10.2015),[44] launch of production took place in 2012. Details of this version[45] – the maximum speed of Mach 3, the range of 4,000 km, basing in the air, on land, on water and under water (shows launch from water depth). The missile can make in-flight maneuvers 147 times or more (in any direction), the minimum height of 10 meters, an average of 20 – 50 meters (up to 1000), it will automatically follow terrain, the missile can be controlled in flight.[46]

    It looks hastily inserted, and piqued my interest as the reaction to the Caspian launch suggested a potent new development. Struck out looking for official info, so I went looking for Russian war-geek forums/bloggers using Russian search terms.

    The following should be read with a salt-lick nearby, but the variant used on that launch possibly does have some “shocking” additional features. I saw nothing regarding engine power, wing-loading, or the like, but I compiled some features that would be shocking if they really did apply. Leaving their likelihood open for the more knowledgeable to discuss (with my comments added):

    - was not a known 3M-54 variant, but 1st public launch of a new model, designation unknown
    - follows “contoured” terrain at 20 meters, flat terrain at 10m, altitude radar good to 1m (the relief of the “contoured” terrain it can follow at 20m was not mentioned)
    - drone verified accuracy: all 26 missiles hit within 3 meters of intended target… The 4 missiles that the US claimed crashed in Iran were likely jettisoned 2nd stages. (I know, sounds TGTBT…)
    - final approach at just under Mach 3, as jet stage is dropped and rocket powered warhead/guidance module takes over (making it a 3-stage cruise missile counting the steerable nozzle lift-off booster)
    - the 147 instances of manoeuvres can be executed at a “high attack angle”, making it “immune” to missile defence (not clear if this is available during 3rd, rocket powered stage)
    - as per other Kalibrs, can also be deployed remotely, (eg: from “ordinary looking” shipping containers on trucks/trains/container barges)

    And now for the kicker…
    - launched & flown in formation(!), prior to final targeting data being uploaded (might be a machine translation issue, but that’s what 2 translators indicated), (this is very interesting because it suggests that a salvo of Kalibrs may be able to self-organize as a “wolf-pack”, like the Oniks anti-shipping missile. If so, it’s a major innovation in long range LACMs that would put it generations ahead of anything in its class.)

    Caveat Emptor, of course.

    If any of the above are true, especially the “wolf-pack” capability, Western analysts may well have had good reason to be shocked.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB
    Some very good research there E...

    I had heard that the Kalibr is capable of terminal speed of about M3...but wasn't sure how this was accomplished...

    That anecdotal info about the jet engine dropping off and a rocket motor then taking over to accelerate to supersonic makes sense from a configuration point of view...ie the same way that multistage rockets are put together...

    I was guessing that either the high terminal speed was an exaggeration...or they used reheat [afterburner]...or perhaps some kind of ramjet-reheat combo like the Pratt J58 used on the Lockheed SR71 'Blackbird'...

    The rocket motor makes more sense though...it would be simpler and lighter...plus the benefit of the jet engine dropping off would decrease weight...which, in turn, would decrease wing loading and make for better maneuvering in the terminal stage...

    Yes you are correct that this 3-stage engine configuration is pretty interesting and a first for this type of cruise missile...[the first stage being the launch rocket motor as you pointed out...]

    The Soviets had long had cruise missiles launched form aircraft...the first ones entered service during the Korean war era...

    http://www.ausairpower.net/V-MF/KS-1-Kometa-Kennel-ASCM-1S.jpg

    This is the KS1 'Kometa'...which as you can see is basically a MiG15 without the canopy and with self-guidance and warhead installed...

    This was carried underwing of the Tu4 [a Soviet knockoff of the B29 'Superfortress'] and then on the Tu16 'Badger' turbojet heavy bomber...

    Little side story here...the Tu4 came about because several US B29 crews had to make emergency landings in Siberia while in action in the pacific...Stalin really wanted a heavy bomber in the Superfortress class which was unique at the time...so he ordered the Andrei Tupolev design bureau to make an exact copy...

    There is good doc here...

    Tupolev had already been well along with a design of their own for a super heavy in the same class...and were not enthusiastic about doing a copy [Tupolev felt their own design was superior and were eventually proved correct]...but Uncle Joe insisted!!!

    The fact that they pulled this off in two years is pretty astounding...[Stalin originally demanded it be done in a year!!!]...it was quite the feat of reverse-engineering...US analysts doubted it could be done at all...[incidentally trying to reverse engineer today's tech like S400 etc...is basically hopeless]

    The crews of those B29 expected to be sent home right away being allies and all...but they ended up being 'guests' for several months...this due to Stalin's strict observance of the Soviet-Japan neutrality pact that was still in force...they were eventually secretly smuggled to Iran which was jointly occupied by US and USSR during WW2...the B29s were returned eventually as well...

    A similar kind of top-down pressure was at play in the Shuttle /Buran exercise...and the Concorde / Tu144...

    But back to the meat and potatoes here...the Soviet Kh55 which entered service in 1983 is in fact very similar to the T-hawk...

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/81/H-55_AS-15_Kent_2008_G1.jpg

    Many in the West have the mistaken idea that the Soviets 'copied' the T-hawk concept...not so...


    '...The Kh-55 family of cruise missiles owes its origins to a series of internal studies at the Raduga OKB during the early 1970s. Raduga were unsuccessful initially in convincing the Soviet leadership of the value of their concept, but this changed as public knowledge of the US AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) program became better known in the Soviet Union...'
     
    The Kh55 is actually a better cruise missile in a lot of respects...its diameter is slightly smaller...weight is a little more...but the turbofan engines are considerably more powerful than the Williams F107 engines on the T-hawk...putting out up to 1,100 lb of thrust...compared to the T-hawk's 600 to 700...

    '...The TVD-50 is a critical piece of technology in the Kh-55 as it is a compact and fuel efficient turbofan in the thrust and size class required to power cruise missiles, standoff missiles and UAVs. The cited thrust rating is 400 to 500 kg (880 to 1,100 lbf), with a dry mass of 95 kg (210 lb), a Specific Fuel Consumption of 0.65, a length of 0.85 m (33.5 in) and diameter of 0.33 m (13 in)...'
     
    Another point is a slightly longer span...at 3.1 m [10.2 ft] compared to 8.75 ft on the T-hawk...also the tail configuration is different...and the Block 4 T-hawk adopted the Kh55 configuration...

    '...The Tomahawk uses a four surface tail control assembly with anhedral on the stabilators, whereas the Kh-55 uses only three larger surfaces, with more pronounced anhedral, a configuration since adopted in the new Block IV RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile. The largely symmetrical aft fuselage of the Tomahawk differs from the more pronounced sculpting of the Kh-55 aft fuselage...'
     
    The tail is significant also because it provides the roll control [bank] with its movable surfaces...as well as pitch [up down] and yaw [side to side]...

    The above info from Dr. Karlo Kopp...

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Rus-Cruise-Missiles.html#mozTocId152650

    Now when we get to the latest Kalibr [or 3M54] there is not much hard info as you pointed out...

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/3M-54E1.jpg

    Here we see what appears to be the launch booster attached...and we also see what appears to be a ring just forward of the engine where it might detach...

    We also see some interesting aerodynamic details...the aft body tapers down with nicely shaped compound curvature to the jet engine nozzle...as opposed to more straight taper on the T-hawk...

    And we also see that those tail control surfaces are all-moving...ie they rotate instead of flapping about a hinge as on the T-hawk...

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Tomahawk_Block_IV_cruise_missile_-crop.jpg

    http://img-new.cgtrader.com/items/26279/large_tomahawk_missile_3d_model_3ds_fbx_c4d_dxf_obj_X_c91044a3-d779-427a-abbc-c8fb002413fc.jpg

    And here's a T-hawk that the Serbs shot down in 1999...

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Downed_Tomahawk_cruise_missile_in_Belgrade%2C_Serbia.jpg

    And here we thought that the 'ground hugging' T-hawks are difficult to detect and shoot down...just think what a competent air defense with modern Russian equipment [and ECM] could do...


    '...And now for the kicker…

    - launched & flown in formation(!), prior to final targeting data being uploaded (might be a machine translation issue, but that’s what 2 translators indicated), (this is very interesting because it suggests that a salvo of Kalibrs may be able to self-organize as a “wolf-pack”, like the Oniks anti-shipping missile. If so, it’s a major innovation in long range LACMs that would put it generations ahead of anything in its class...'
     

    The 'wolf-pack' technique to borrow your coinage...is indeed a very powerful idea...it has been in service with the big P700 ship-buster since 1983...this from wiki...

    '...The missile, when fired in a swarm (group of 4–8) has a unique guidance mode. One of the weapons climbs to a higher altitude and designates targets while the others attack. The missile responsible for target designation climbs in short pop-ups, so as to be harder to intercept.

    The missiles are linked by data connections, forming a network. If the designating missile is destroyed the next missile will rise to assume its purpose.

    Missiles are able to differentiate targets, detect groups and prioritize targets automatically using information gathered during flight and types of ships and battle formations pre-programmed in an onboard computer.

    They will attack targets in order of priority, highest to lowest: after destroying the first target, any remaining missiles will attack the next prioritized target...'
     

    And this from the manufacturer website...in Russian...

    '...Also in the onboard computer there are data on counteracting the means of electronic warfare of the enemy, capable of jamming the missiles from the target, tactical methods of evading the fire from air defense means...'
     
    The p700 was thought to be turbojet powered by western intelligence...but is actually a ramjet...as is the newer P800 Oniks / Brahmos...

    Kopp describes the capability thus...


    '...The missile and fire control system introduced numerous innovations. A digital weapon system fused tracking data from numerous sensors, automatically prioritised targets, and allocated missiles. The design was intended to assign search boxes for the missile seekers to ensure that only the highest priority targets were acquired, and lower priority targets rejected, and to ensure deconfliction between missiles...'
     
    Note the 'data fusion' part...this is a buzzword we have only recently been hearing in terms of the F35 and such...

    The fact is that the Russians have long been making use of data networking in both missiles and aircraft...

    The MiG31...with a top speed of near Mach 3...was designed expressly to defend against low-flying US cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads [including T-hawk]...this would work with a flight of four '31s flying abreast about 80 nautical miles apart and sweeping the combined sector ahead for incoming cruise missiles...this from Kopp...


    '...Tactically the aircraft is often flown in sections of four, spread out to sweep a strip of 320 NM width, and using the datalink to coordinate operation...'
     
    And this from wiki...

    The APD-518 datalink enables a flight of four MiG-31 to automatically exchange radar-generated data within 200 km (124 mi) from each other.

    It also enables other aircraft with less sophisticated avionics, such as MiG-23,25,29/Su-15,27[15] to be directed to targets spotted by MiG-31 (a maximum of 4 (long-range) for each MiG-31
     

    aircraft). The A-50 AEW aircraft and MiG-31 can automatically exchange aerial and terrestrial radar target designation,[37] as well as air defense...'

    So this is what buzzwords like 'network-centric' warfare and 'data fusion' mean in practice...and the Russians have been doing this for decades...

    Incidentally the MiG31 was the first fighter with an electronically scanned radar...

    http://www.ausairpower.net/PVO-S/000-Foxhound-A-5.jpg

    There is no 'dish' as such and the radar beam is steered electronically...the 'Zaslon' was unveiled in the west in 1991 at the Paris air show...where the Lockheed F117 'Nighthawk' was also present...the Russians reportedly challenged their colleagues to a flight to see if their Zaslon could detect the Nighthawk...the US declined...

    So the network philosophy has been a key factor in Russian aircraft, cruise missile and also SAM design for quite some time...I had mentioned previously the 'Nebo' [meaning sky in Russian] anti-stealth radars using data fusion to build up a 'composite' target track that a low-frequency radar alone could never do...

    People forget that when it comes to computers it's not all about microcircuit size...the heart of it all is the program intelligence that is written into the code...and that comes down to the math ingenuity...an expertly written piece of code can do a lot while being very compact and not taking up much bandwidth or speed...

    Anyway...my own reaction to some of the points you have uncovered is that I find it quite credible indeed that these wolf-pack [great phrase] abilities could be built into the new Russian cruise missiles...they have been there for quite some time...the P800 inherited that from the earlier P700 etc...

    As for the T-hawk performance...you mentioned this...


    '...Looking at the numbers you’re presenting, my comment about “100M” is starting to look optimistic, especially over highly varying terrain. TLAMs aren’t going to be hiding by following rivers in narrow valleys...'
     
    I agree...I'm actually in the middle of a full flight performance workup on the T-hawk...[I have good engine data which is a big help...]

    ...and the numbers are actually eye-popping...more to come...this could be a real eye opener...

    , @Andrei Martyanov

    I’ve been wondering why Western analysts were so “shocked” by the Caspian strike. After all, the Soviets had jet-propelled cruise missiles for at least a decade, including some that mimicked the Tomahawk’s performance and appearance pretty closely.
     
    Legendary Arleigh Burke when talking to Elmo Zumwalt before him taking the position of Chief of Naval Operations in 1970 stated, famously, "remember, US Navy has got used to travel first class". Under "first class" Burke meant very large combatants, ranging from aircraft carriers to nuclear submarines. The whole notion of missile age unfolding already in 1970s and 1980s is STILL to a very large degree denied (while, obviously, being in denial) by many in top naval brass in the US. It comes down now to open hysteria, see my entry about John Lehman:

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2017/11/mr-secretary-get-hold-of-yourself.html

    The whole concept of a small combatant having a firepower of a destroyer is absolutely alien to US Navy which is carrier-centric. This shock, actually, is not only not gone--it deepens since 3M22 is officially operational now and consider geopolitical, military and financial (money, money huge money for a single CBG) ramifications. Just roughly, from the top of the head--the cost of single US Navy's CBG with airwing--20-22 billion? At least. To be sunk by a salvo of P-800 or 3M54, let alone 3M22 with a total cost of what--10-15 million dollars and with a very high probability? This means a collapse of a whole doctrine which was built for decades and was supported by thousands of lobbyists, think-tanks, lawmakers. Recall dialogue of Roy Shyder and Sean Connery (Barley) in Russia House about the nature of Cold War, now turn this dialogue exactly 180 degrees. Basically NOT a single objective from From The Sea vision can be achieved anymore other than against third world defenseless shitholes. Can you imagine that if USNC WILL make F-35B work, however poorly, from its America-class LHA(R)? Consequences will be catastrophic for carrier lobby.
    , @CanSpeccy

    all 26 missiles hit within 3 meters of intended target… The 4 missiles that the US claimed crashed in Iran were likely jettisoned 2nd stages. (I know, sounds TGTBT…)
     
    It was suggested that the US aircraft carrier named after 26th US President, Theodore Rooseveldt, was withdrawn from the Persian Gulf in response to the warning implied by Russia's 26-missile strike on Syrian targets. Happily, the report of four missiles crashing in Iran spares American honor.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB
    The relationship between mass and gravitational force also takes into account the radius of the body...as per Newton's law of universal gravitation...

    ie...the Force of gravity = universal gravitational constant x mass of body / radius squared...

    So it is not just a matter of mass...and I didn't say it was...

    Since the gravitational constant is 6.674 x 10^-11

    Mars' radius is roughly half that of earth...0.52 to be precise...

    Its mass is 0.1075 that of earth...so to get the precise ratio of mars to earth gravity...

    0.1075 / 0.52^2 = 0.379

    So Mars gravity is 38 percent that of earth...

    In force units that means earth gravitational force of 9.8 m/s^2 x 0.379 = 3.728 m/s^2 = 3.728 newtons of force...

    Now you have the actual science that goes with that discussion...rather than just a wikipedia entry...

    So it is not just a matter of mass…and I didn’t say it was…

    Niether did I say you did. And I do understand that gravity is proportional to mass. But as you were speaking of the challenge of the Martian environment to humans, it seemed worth noting that, so far as the gravitational effect on humans on the surface of a planet is concerned, Martian gravity is 38% of Earth’s gravity.

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  • @Erebus
    I couldn't find any info on this matter with reference to the Tomahawk, but at least some models in the Kalibr family feature steerable nozzles. That's gotta add significantly to manoeuvrability.
    The Kalibr family is actually quite wide ranging in type, and some variants match the Tomahawk for weight, but would have to dig much deeper for wing-loading & thrust/weight.

    The problem of turning performance in a T-hawk deserves a closer look…since any kind of terrain following requires good turning performance…

    When an airplane banks into a turn its wing produces less lift in the vertical direction…this is because the direction of lift is always perpendicular to the wing…as illustrated here…

    We see that in a bank the total lift vector is also tilted to the side…that means that only the vertical component of lift is available to counter the weight of the aircraft…which is in the vertical direction down…

    That means the aircraft will lose altitude unless the tail elevator is commanded up…which increases the wing angle of attack with respect to the airflow and creates greater lift…

    But this also increases the stall speed…which in the T-hawk I had estimated to be 300 mph…due to its small wings with no high lift devices [eg flaps] and high wing loading…

    We can crunch the numbers quite easily…the amount of vertical lift decreases by the cosine of the bank angle…

    If we bank into a 45 degree turn…the cosine of 45 degrees is 0.707…

    If the aircraft weighs 1,000 lb…it means we ar3e now making only 707 lb of vertical lift…to remain in level flight we need 1,000 lb of lift…which means a total lift of 1000 / 0.707 = 1,414 lb…

    This is a load factor of 1.4 g…

    At 60 degree bank our load factor 2 g…in other words the plane [and pilot] feel twice their normal weight…[this is due to the horizontal component of lift in the bank...which creates the centrifugal force that makes us feel 'heavy'...

    Now the load factor directly affects stall speed...ie a load factor of 2 will increase stall speed by sqrt of 2...ie 1.4...

    This is because lift increases by the square of the airspeed...so stall is a function of the square root of load factor...

    So if our straight and level stall speed is 300 mph...our stall speed in a 60 degree bank will be 300 x 1.4 = 424 mph...

    That means that if we are flying slower than that...our wing will stall and the aircraft will go down...

    But we recall that in order to be able to climb...we need to be flying slower than our maximum speed in order to have climb power in reserve...

    So we can see how quickly the T-hawk can get into trouble in challenging terrain where it must turn and climb...often at the same time...

    We also note here another important factor which is turn radius...the higher the wing loading the higher the minimum turn radius...

    Ie...an airplane with low wing loading will be able to make a turn of a smaller circle...ie a tighter turn...higher wing loading means a wider turn...

    We see this in the equation for minimum turn radius R...which is a function of several things...air density...load factor [g]…and wing lift coefficient…

    If all these remain equal it comes down to only W / S…which is wing loading…[ie Weight over Surface area]

    We recall that load factor is a function of bank angle…so let us directly compare an airliner with a wing loading of 100 lb/ft^2 with the T-hawk with it wing loading of 300 lb/ft^2…

    In any turn of equal bank [ie equal load factor, g] and at equal air density [ie altitude]…the T-hawk will have turn radius 3 times bigger than an airliner…

    It’s just not a flight vehicle that is good at turning…or climbing…here are a couple of references that get into more tech details…

    http://turbineair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Bank-Angle-vs-stall-speed-2013.pdf

    http://www.dept.aoe.vt.edu/~lutze/AOE3104/turningflight.pdf

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    • Replies: @Erebus
    Looking at the numbers you're presenting, my comment about "100M" is starting to look optimistic, especially over highly varying terrain. TLAMs aren't going to be hiding by following rivers in narrow valleys.

    Not to interrupt your tech series, but if we can take a sidetrip the following may be of interest. I've been wondering why Western analysts were so "shocked" by the Caspian strike. After all, the Soviets had jet-propelled cruise missiles for at least a decade, including some that mimicked the Tomahawk's performance and appearance pretty closely.

    Though the Kalibr family is surprisingly large, Wiki says the 3M-54 is pretty close to the TLAM, with its primary advantage being a rocket assisted terminal approach.

    However, the Wiki 3M-54 Klub (aka Kalibr) article has an oddball entry on the Caspian Kalibrs under Domestic Variants. It's the only entry without a model designation, and references Russian TV and news reports.


    According to state television news (broadcast of 11.10.2015),[44] launch of production took place in 2012. Details of this version[45] - the maximum speed of Mach 3, the range of 4,000 km, basing in the air, on land, on water and under water (shows launch from water depth). The missile can make in-flight maneuvers 147 times or more (in any direction), the minimum height of 10 meters, an average of 20 – 50 meters (up to 1000), it will automatically follow terrain, the missile can be controlled in flight.[46]
     
    It looks hastily inserted, and piqued my interest as the reaction to the Caspian launch suggested a potent new development. Struck out looking for official info, so I went looking for Russian war-geek forums/bloggers using Russian search terms.

    The following should be read with a salt-lick nearby, but the variant used on that launch possibly does have some "shocking" additional features. I saw nothing regarding engine power, wing-loading, or the like, but I compiled some features that would be shocking if they really did apply. Leaving their likelihood open for the more knowledgeable to discuss (with my comments added):

    - was not a known 3M-54 variant, but 1st public launch of a new model, designation unknown
    - follows "contoured" terrain at 20 meters, flat terrain at 10m, altitude radar good to 1m (the relief of the "contoured" terrain it can follow at 20m was not mentioned)
    - drone verified accuracy: all 26 missiles hit within 3 meters of intended target... The 4 missiles that the US claimed crashed in Iran were likely jettisoned 2nd stages. (I know, sounds TGTBT...)
    - final approach at just under Mach 3, as jet stage is dropped and rocket powered warhead/guidance module takes over (making it a 3-stage cruise missile counting the steerable nozzle lift-off booster)
    - the 147 instances of manoeuvres can be executed at a "high attack angle", making it "immune" to missile defence (not clear if this is available during 3rd, rocket powered stage)
    - as per other Kalibrs, can also be deployed remotely, (eg: from "ordinary looking" shipping containers on trucks/trains/container barges)

    And now for the kicker...
    - launched & flown in formation(!), prior to final targeting data being uploaded (might be a machine translation issue, but that's what 2 translators indicated), (this is very interesting because it suggests that a salvo of Kalibrs may be able to self-organize as a "wolf-pack", like the Oniks anti-shipping missile. If so, it's a major innovation in long range LACMs that would put it generations ahead of anything in its class.)

    Caveat Emptor, of course.

    If any of the above are true, especially the "wolf-pack" capability, Western analysts may well have had good reason to be shocked.

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  • @CanSpeccy

    Mars is also a very challenging environment for humans…its mass is only 1/10′th that of earth…so its gravity is smaller by the same amount…
     
    Martian gravity at the surface is 38% of terrestrial surface gravity: 3.711 m s-² versus 9.807 m s-².

    The relationship between mass and gravitational force also takes into account the radius of the body…as per Newton’s law of universal gravitation…

    ie…the Force of gravity = universal gravitational constant x mass of body / radius squared…

    So it is not just a matter of mass…and I didn’t say it was…

    Since the gravitational constant is 6.674 x 10^-11

    Mars’ radius is roughly half that of earth…0.52 to be precise…

    Its mass is 0.1075 that of earth…so to get the precise ratio of mars to earth gravity…

    0.1075 / 0.52^2 = 0.379

    So Mars gravity is 38 percent that of earth…

    In force units that means earth gravitational force of 9.8 m/s^2 x 0.379 = 3.728 m/s^2 = 3.728 newtons of force…

    Now you have the actual science that goes with that discussion…rather than just a wikipedia entry…

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy

    So it is not just a matter of mass…and I didn’t say it was…
     
    Niether did I say you did. And I do understand that gravity is proportional to mass. But as you were speaking of the challenge of the Martian environment to humans, it seemed worth noting that, so far as the gravitational effect on humans on the surface of a planet is concerned, Martian gravity is 38% of Earth's gravity.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB

    '...Yes, I already mentioned that...'
     
    It's what you didn't mention that's at issue...

    I have provided the Rest of the Story...

    1. First nation to REACH Mars...and make a flyby...Russia...two years before US...

    2. First successful soft landing on Mars...Russia...four years before US...

    '...I count six successful missions out of eight attempts. That’s clearly a superior record to the SU’s two out of seventeen...'
     
    Maybe you also need to learn to count...

    US launched a total of 22 Mars missions between 1964 and 2014...

    Six of them Failed...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_Mars#Timeline

    Soviet Union launched five Mars missions between 1960 and 1962...before US even launched their first attempt at Mars mission in 1964...which failed...

    Only one of the Soviet missions was a partial success...Mars 1 in 1962...but it was nonetheless the first that reached Mars...

    The first US mission to Mars in 1964...Mariner 3 was a failure...but Mariner 4 accomplished a flyby...

    Russia has attempted only two Mars missions since the Soviet era...one in 1996 and another in 2011...both of which failed...

    US had three consecutive failures in 1998-99...Mars Climate Orbiter...Mars Polar Lander...and Deep Space 2...

    Nasa has definitely had a good success with Mars since 2000...with eight successes and no failures...

    Assessing space missions is not like reading sports scores...even knowing how to read a baseball box score will tell you much more about the actual contest than simply looking at the final score...

    '...And thanks for the note about Luna 16 returning soil samples from the moon – I had no idea that ever occurred!..'
     
    It seems you still have a lot to learn...successful Luna sample return missions also included Luna 20 and Luna 24...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luna_24

    '...I can only speculate that factors such as Venus’s crushing air pressure, toxic atmosphere, and sizzling surface temperature played a role in America’s prioritizing exploration of Mars over Venus.

    After all, humans might conceivably visit Mars some day, whereas it’s doubtful in the extreme that humans would ever attempt to land on Venus...'
     
    Mars is also a very challenging environment for humans...its mass is only 1/10'th that of earth...so its gravity is smaller by the same amount...

    Long-term exposure to low gravity is a very significant physiological challenge...perhaps the most challenging to long-term human exposure...

    While Venus atmosphere does have 90 times the atmospheric pressure on earth [at sea level]...Mars' atmospheric pressure is nearly 200 times less than Earth...almost a vacuum...

    In terms of life support...not much to choose from...

    The high surface temp on Venus is in fact a more challenging environment for a lander...which Nasa never attempted...

    All things considered...it may in fact prove easier to overcome the high temperature on Venus...than the extremely low gravity on Mars...

    PS: India has completed a successful orbit of Mars in its first and only attempt...by your accounting method that would place India firmly in the lead...with 100 percent success...

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

    Mars is also a very challenging environment for humans…its mass is only 1/10′th that of earth…so its gravity is smaller by the same amount…

    Martian gravity at the surface is 38% of terrestrial surface gravity: 3.711 m s-² versus 9.807 m s-².

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    • Replies: @FB
    The relationship between mass and gravitational force also takes into account the radius of the body...as per Newton's law of universal gravitation...

    ie...the Force of gravity = universal gravitational constant x mass of body / radius squared...

    So it is not just a matter of mass...and I didn't say it was...

    Since the gravitational constant is 6.674 x 10^-11

    Mars' radius is roughly half that of earth...0.52 to be precise...

    Its mass is 0.1075 that of earth...so to get the precise ratio of mars to earth gravity...

    0.1075 / 0.52^2 = 0.379

    So Mars gravity is 38 percent that of earth...

    In force units that means earth gravitational force of 9.8 m/s^2 x 0.379 = 3.728 m/s^2 = 3.728 newtons of force...

    Now you have the actual science that goes with that discussion...rather than just a wikipedia entry...

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  • @Kiza

    On another subject relating to why the US didn’t attempt to shoot down North Korea’s missile launches, I suspect the decision was political, not technical. Indeed, these same questions are raised about why Russian air defenses did not engage the Americans’ TLAM attack at Shayrat, or the multitude of Israeli attacks against Syria and Hezbollah. I have no technical expertise in these subjects, but, again, I think the decision on behalf of the Russians was political, not technical
     
    Your comment is reasonable, but here above you have mixed apple and oranges.

    The Russian decision to purportedly not engage the 59-count barrage of US TLAMs was primarily tactical, because such attempt would deplete the limited air-defense resources (launchers) that Russians had in Syria and potentially endanger the primary mission of protecting the air base and the port. Simply put, the danger was moderate since the barrage was announced and it strongly resembled a bait.

    The Russians not engaging Israeli planes bombing Syria was/is a political decision, a fine balancing act between pushing against US and Israeli supported terrorists in Syria and creating a casus belli for an all out attack against Russia and Syria. What happened later proved that this was the correct political decision. Tolerating Israeli bombings is very similar to tolerating 13 (permanent) US basis in Syria. By destroying the proxies, Russia is ensuring that Israeli bombing sorties and US basis have less and less reason to exist. Thus, the Western travelling terrorist show COLT (The Coalition of the Lovers of Terrorism) is now moving on to Lebanon.

    Finally, Aegis not engaging North Korean missiles brought zero political gain and therefore there is no political reason not to try to shoot-down. Quite the opposite, US desperately needed a show of force after the humiliation in Syria, not for NK then for China and Russia. Your mixed up statement above only tries to establish the non-existent equivalence between the Russian behavior and US behavior, but without a grain of explanation as to why was the US decision not to shoot-down NK missiles a political decision. In other words, classical wishful thinking.

    Finally, Aegis not engaging North Korean missiles brought zero political. gain

    But as the success of such engagement was uncertain, perhaps even improbable, non-engagement avoided loss of credibility.

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  • @Avery
    First of all, I have to say I am amazed at the amount of technical knowledge you appear to have accumulated and the highly detailed, researched posts you somehow find the time to write.

    Regarding US pulling ahead:

    There was a race between US and SU to showcase to the rest of the world which system was better.
    SU was first in space with Sputnik, first man in space, robotic exploration, etc.
    But SU lost the race to the manned moon landing, and you agree.
    The timeframe I was referring to about US pulling ahead was during that race.
    But both SU (now Russia) and US went into a hiatus as far as space exploration, because all the hard/glamorous stuff that could be accomplished has been accomplished. I understand Chinese are planning to land a man on the moon some day, but frankly both SU and US did the hard stuff decades ago, so there is no prestige. Been there, done that.
    No gold medal.
    The next gold medal is landing people on Mars, if possible at all.

    Regarding Space Shuttle and Buran:

    You may disagree, but Space Shuttle _was_ a technical achievement. A lot of tough challenges were solved. For example, the heat shields that allowed the Shuttle to dissipate the enormous heat generated when it came back to land and hit atmosphere. It did take people to space and brought them back, save for the two deadly accidents.
    But as a space program it was a disaster.
    The original 'Sell' was that it would be like a space-truck: reliable, cheap to operate.
    If memory serves, they were supposed to be able to send up one a week (or maybe one a month?).
    It didn't even come close.

    And despite Buran's impressive tech specs vis-a-vis the Shuttle, Buran never took people to space:Agree?


    Regarding human losses:

    Both US and SU tragically lost people during the space race, as you well know.
    It's an inherently risky business.
    And it is great that Russian engines are highly reliable, as they are the only ones available to take people and cargo to the ISS.
    Even Pentagon uses Russian engines to send their satellites into orbit (!).
    So far, thank God, there has been no human losses going to and coming back from ISS on Soyuz engines. Hope it stays that way forever.

    There was a race between US and SU to showcase to the rest of the world which system was better.

    An extraordinary example of hubris leading to nemesis, and showcased to the World at Vancouver’s Expo 86, where the Soviet pavilion featured many examples of the Soviets use of nuclear power, while the entrance to the US pavilion feature a mock-up of the Space Shuttle.

    The exposition opened on May 2, 1986, just three months after the crash of the Shuttle Challenger (January 28, 1986) and only days after the meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor (April, 26, 1986).

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  • @FB

    '...Russian EW mischief was my first call, but I now think you’re probably right...'
     
    I thought EW at first also...and it still may be that the quite simple and cheap R330ZH 'Zhitel' jamming system may have been used in the Shayrat attack...

    It can jam GPS...cell phone and sat phone signals...

    http://www.armyrecognition.com/images/stories/east_europe/russia/artillery_vehicle/r-330zh/R-330ZH_Zhitel_jamming_communication_station_for_satellite_cellular_communication_systems_Russia_Russian_army_640_001.jpg

    http://www.armyrecognition.com/russia_russian_missile_system_vehicle_uk/r-330zh_zhitel_jamming_cellular_satellite_communication_station_technical_data_sheet_pictures_video.html

    That would at least disrupt the GPS precision in the terminal phase...but would not explain the low number of actual hits...

    And we don't know that this was even deployed at or near Shayrat...I would say most likely not...

    However...it is almost certain that Zhitel units are in Syria...as we have seen the Russians intercepting a lot of comms from the Jihadists and their US supplied sat phones...[some of these intercepts no doubt embarrassing and probably going to be made public at the right time...]

    Other than that unconfirmed possibility...the low effectiveness of the TLAM could well be what I have suspected all along...

    Not a very good design...and I still think that the flight planning had something to do with it...

    By whatever means that flight planning may be done...I think the same kind of incompetence we see elsewhere could well be at play here...

    '...My guess is that the TLAM isn’t really “ground hugging” at all. Probably adequate as a sea-skimmer, but unable to follow terrain except at elevated altitudes, say 100M or so...'
     
    Agree on this possibility...from a flight dynamics perspective...just some rough back of the envelope math makes me question how this thing is supposed to fly through mountainous terrain...

    I'm intending to do a complete workup on this thing to accurately determine things like climb rate and minimum flying speed...

    '...it’s the value of the asset the S400 is protecting that’s the gating item...'
     
    Agreed...this thing is going to go after high value assets like AEW planes [aka awacs] like the Boeing E3 'Sentry'...that have long range radar and can be well outside the reach of less capable SAMs...

    I couldn’t find any info on this matter with reference to the Tomahawk, but at least some models in the Kalibr family feature steerable nozzles. That’s gotta add significantly to manoeuvrability.
    The Kalibr family is actually quite wide ranging in type, and some variants match the Tomahawk for weight, but would have to dig much deeper for wing-loading & thrust/weight.

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    • Replies: @FB
    The problem of turning performance in a T-hawk deserves a closer look...since any kind of terrain following requires good turning performance...

    When an airplane banks into a turn its wing produces less lift in the vertical direction...this is because the direction of lift is always perpendicular to the wing...as illustrated here...

    http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/performance/turn/bank.gif

    We see that in a bank the total lift vector is also tilted to the side...that means that only the vertical component of lift is available to counter the weight of the aircraft...which is in the vertical direction down...

    That means the aircraft will lose altitude unless the tail elevator is commanded up...which increases the wing angle of attack with respect to the airflow and creates greater lift...

    But this also increases the stall speed...which in the T-hawk I had estimated to be 300 mph...due to its small wings with no high lift devices [eg flaps] and high wing loading...

    We can crunch the numbers quite easily...the amount of vertical lift decreases by the cosine of the bank angle...

    If we bank into a 45 degree turn...the cosine of 45 degrees is 0.707...

    If the aircraft weighs 1,000 lb...it means we ar3e now making only 707 lb of vertical lift...to remain in level flight we need 1,000 lb of lift...which means a total lift of 1000 / 0.707 = 1,414 lb...

    This is a load factor of 1.4 g...

    At 60 degree bank our load factor 2 g...in other words the plane [and pilot] feel twice their normal weight...[this is due to the horizontal component of lift in the bank...which creates the centrifugal force that makes us feel 'heavy'...

    Now the load factor directly affects stall speed...ie a load factor of 2 will increase stall speed by sqrt of 2...ie 1.4...

    This is because lift increases by the square of the airspeed...so stall is a function of the square root of load factor...

    So if our straight and level stall speed is 300 mph...our stall speed in a 60 degree bank will be 300 x 1.4 = 424 mph...

    That means that if we are flying slower than that...our wing will stall and the aircraft will go down...

    But we recall that in order to be able to climb...we need to be flying slower than our maximum speed in order to have climb power in reserve...

    So we can see how quickly the T-hawk can get into trouble in challenging terrain where it must turn and climb...often at the same time...

    We also note here another important factor which is turn radius...the higher the wing loading the higher the minimum turn radius...

    Ie...an airplane with low wing loading will be able to make a turn of a smaller circle...ie a tighter turn...higher wing loading means a wider turn...

    We see this in the equation for minimum turn radius R...which is a function of several things...air density...load factor [g]...and wing lift coefficient...

    If all these remain equal it comes down to only W / S...which is wing loading...[ie Weight over Surface area]

    We recall that load factor is a function of bank angle...so let us directly compare an airliner with a wing loading of 100 lb/ft^2 with the T-hawk with it wing loading of 300 lb/ft^2...

    In any turn of equal bank [ie equal load factor, g] and at equal air density [ie altitude]...the T-hawk will have turn radius 3 times bigger than an airliner...

    It's just not a flight vehicle that is good at turning...or climbing...here are a couple of references that get into more tech details...

    http://turbineair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Bank-Angle-vs-stall-speed-2013.pdf

    http://www.dept.aoe.vt.edu/~lutze/AOE3104/turningflight.pdf
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  • @Erebus

    I really can’t stress this point enough…the T-hawk is a slug even compared to a commercial jet…yet it is asked to fly the most demanding kind of flying possible…
     
    That's what happens when you start thinking like a Sole Superpower. You stop development on real weapons, and start developing lucrative boondoggles. Not much baksheesh in a new missile. Lots more in a new carrier or an F22/35. 30 yrs later, you're flight planning your father's cruise missiles while the opponent you never saw coming is launching salvoes at you that are 4 generations ahead. Not a good position to be in.

    I really can’t stress this point enough…the T-hawk is a slug even compared to a commercial jet…yet it is asked to fly the most demanding kind of flying possible…
     
    My guess is that the TLAM isn't really "ground hugging" at all. Probably adequate as a sea-skimmer, but unable to follow terrain except at elevated altitudes, say 100M or so.

    I would not be surprised if this is the big secret behind the Shayrat fail…
     
    Russian EW mischief was my first call, but I now think you're probably right. I did a little reading, and there's apparently no reason to think that the TLAM is better than 50% effective, and quite probably less. Especially in pre-Block IV versions. In particular, its ability to change direction (hello!) has been cited as a frequent cause of getting "clobbered"; aka flying into terrain.

    …an S400 round costs practically as much as a T-hawk…
     
    Yeah, but it's the value of the asset the S400 is protecting that's the gating item. The S-400 may be protecting a maintenance hangar with 3 SU-35s in it, or a Comm center, in which case it's cheap insurance no matter the cost of the munition threatening it.

    ‘…Russian EW mischief was my first call, but I now think you’re probably right…’

    I thought EW at first also…and it still may be that the quite simple and cheap R330ZH ‘Zhitel’ jamming system may have been used in the Shayrat attack…

    It can jam GPS…cell phone and sat phone signals…

    http://www.armyrecognition.com/russia_russian_missile_system_vehicle_uk/r-330zh_zhitel_jamming_cellular_satellite_communication_station_technical_data_sheet_pictures_video.html

    That would at least disrupt the GPS precision in the terminal phase…but would not explain the low number of actual hits…

    And we don’t know that this was even deployed at or near Shayrat…I would say most likely not…

    However…it is almost certain that Zhitel units are in Syria…as we have seen the Russians intercepting a lot of comms from the Jihadists and their US supplied sat phones…[some of these intercepts no doubt embarrassing and probably going to be made public at the right time...]

    Other than that unconfirmed possibility…the low effectiveness of the TLAM could well be what I have suspected all along…

    Not a very good design…and I still think that the flight planning had something to do with it…

    By whatever means that flight planning may be done…I think the same kind of incompetence we see elsewhere could well be at play here…

    ‘…My guess is that the TLAM isn’t really “ground hugging” at all. Probably adequate as a sea-skimmer, but unable to follow terrain except at elevated altitudes, say 100M or so…’

    Agree on this possibility…from a flight dynamics perspective…just some rough back of the envelope math makes me question how this thing is supposed to fly through mountainous terrain…

    I’m intending to do a complete workup on this thing to accurately determine things like climb rate and minimum flying speed…

    ‘…it’s the value of the asset the S400 is protecting that’s the gating item…’

    Agreed…this thing is going to go after high value assets like AEW planes [aka awacs] like the Boeing E3 ‘Sentry’…that have long range radar and can be well outside the reach of less capable SAMs…

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    • Replies: @Erebus
    I couldn't find any info on this matter with reference to the Tomahawk, but at least some models in the Kalibr family feature steerable nozzles. That's gotta add significantly to manoeuvrability.
    The Kalibr family is actually quite wide ranging in type, and some variants match the Tomahawk for weight, but would have to dig much deeper for wing-loading & thrust/weight.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB

    '...the goal of delivering a warhead anywhere on earth in 1 hour requires an enormous database of fully “canned”, or at least “fill in the blanks” plans...'
     
    Yes...ICBMs need targeting data as well...and it is simply punched into the INS system onboard the missile...

    But these targeting plans are much much simpler than a terrain-following flight...they only need to go up and then come down...they are not really a flight plan at all in the aeronautical sense of the word...whereas T-hawks are...

    Terrain following is the most challenging flying there is...

    '...Even an automated system has limitations, and all aircraft with terrain-following radars installed have limits on how low and fast they can fly. Factors such as system response-time, aircraft g-limits and the weather can all limit an aircraft...'
     
    And that's with a fighter that has four times the thrust to weight ratio and one quarter the wing loading of a T-hawk...

    I really can't stress this point enough...the T-hawk is a slug even compared to a commercial jet...yet it is asked to fly the most demanding kind of flying possible...

    Both turning and climbing are part of what a T-hawk has to do all along the flight route...yet it is not physically capable of doing either in any way comparable to a combat aircraft...

    The big issue is the continuous adjustments that are necessary to engine power...in order to achieve both turning and climbing...especially simultaneously...

    I would not be surprised if this is the big secret behind the Shayrat fail...

    The T-hawks against Belgrade and Baghdad in previous years did not need to be so careful about terrain following...since the adversary air defense systems were not of a class that the T-hawks would need to hide from very much...

    In Syria...I think the assumption was that the Russian and Syrian Pantsirs would try to knock some of them down...so they had to use terrain masking more aggressively...

    Incidentally...the clueless media often mention the Russian S300 and S400 going up against T-hawks...but that is bizarre...an S400 round costs practically as much as a T-hawk...and is actually not as effective as a small and more maneuverable Pantsir round...which costs peanuts...

    However the big S300/400 radars would play a role...they are all networked together with point defense systems like Pantsir...as would the AEW aircraft like the A50...[aka awacs...]

    I really can’t stress this point enough…the T-hawk is a slug even compared to a commercial jet…yet it is asked to fly the most demanding kind of flying possible…

    That’s what happens when you start thinking like a Sole Superpower. You stop development on real weapons, and start developing lucrative boondoggles. Not much baksheesh in a new missile. Lots more in a new carrier or an F22/35. 30 yrs later, you’re flight planning your father’s cruise missiles while the opponent you never saw coming is launching salvoes at you that are 4 generations ahead. Not a good position to be in.

    I really can’t stress this point enough…the T-hawk is a slug even compared to a commercial jet…yet it is asked to fly the most demanding kind of flying possible…

    My guess is that the TLAM isn’t really “ground hugging” at all. Probably adequate as a sea-skimmer, but unable to follow terrain except at elevated altitudes, say 100M or so.

    I would not be surprised if this is the big secret behind the Shayrat fail…

    Russian EW mischief was my first call, but I now think you’re probably right. I did a little reading, and there’s apparently no reason to think that the TLAM is better than 50% effective, and quite probably less. Especially in pre-Block IV versions. In particular, its ability to change direction (hello!) has been cited as a frequent cause of getting “clobbered”; aka flying into terrain.

    …an S400 round costs practically as much as a T-hawk…

    Yeah, but it’s the value of the asset the S400 is protecting that’s the gating item. The S-400 may be protecting a maintenance hangar with 3 SU-35s in it, or a Comm center, in which case it’s cheap insurance no matter the cost of the munition threatening it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB

    '...Russian EW mischief was my first call, but I now think you’re probably right...'
     
    I thought EW at first also...and it still may be that the quite simple and cheap R330ZH 'Zhitel' jamming system may have been used in the Shayrat attack...

    It can jam GPS...cell phone and sat phone signals...

    http://www.armyrecognition.com/images/stories/east_europe/russia/artillery_vehicle/r-330zh/R-330ZH_Zhitel_jamming_communication_station_for_satellite_cellular_communication_systems_Russia_Russian_army_640_001.jpg

    http://www.armyrecognition.com/russia_russian_missile_system_vehicle_uk/r-330zh_zhitel_jamming_cellular_satellite_communication_station_technical_data_sheet_pictures_video.html

    That would at least disrupt the GPS precision in the terminal phase...but would not explain the low number of actual hits...

    And we don't know that this was even deployed at or near Shayrat...I would say most likely not...

    However...it is almost certain that Zhitel units are in Syria...as we have seen the Russians intercepting a lot of comms from the Jihadists and their US supplied sat phones...[some of these intercepts no doubt embarrassing and probably going to be made public at the right time...]

    Other than that unconfirmed possibility...the low effectiveness of the TLAM could well be what I have suspected all along...

    Not a very good design...and I still think that the flight planning had something to do with it...

    By whatever means that flight planning may be done...I think the same kind of incompetence we see elsewhere could well be at play here...

    '...My guess is that the TLAM isn’t really “ground hugging” at all. Probably adequate as a sea-skimmer, but unable to follow terrain except at elevated altitudes, say 100M or so...'
     
    Agree on this possibility...from a flight dynamics perspective...just some rough back of the envelope math makes me question how this thing is supposed to fly through mountainous terrain...

    I'm intending to do a complete workup on this thing to accurately determine things like climb rate and minimum flying speed...

    '...it’s the value of the asset the S400 is protecting that’s the gating item...'
     
    Agreed...this thing is going to go after high value assets like AEW planes [aka awacs] like the Boeing E3 'Sentry'...that have long range radar and can be well outside the reach of less capable SAMs...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @NoseytheDuke
    What is old is new again. The cable as defensive weapon was first used in WWI and again on a grander scale in WWII... with results
    http://www.worldwar-two.net/weapons/barrage_balloons/

    Thanks for the link, Nosey…

    Some good reading there…and yet another possible low-tech, low-cost counter to the cruise missile…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB
    Just to continue with a bit more detail on this...

    '...Power wires are a danger to all aircraft flying at low level and "wire strikes" are common, such as the Cavalese cable car disaster.

    Special maps are produced that plot the routes of these wires but these are difficult to keep up-to-date, especially for foreign/enemy countries.

    Pilots are trained to scan for the pylons or power-poles that support these wires, because they can be seen at a distance where the wires themselves cannot...'
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nap-of-the-earth

    That Cavalese incident refers to a US A10 'Warthog' ground attack jet that snapped a ski lift cable and left dozens dead in Italy some years ago...

    Another useful link that talks about a few more hazards of low level flying...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_flying_military_training#Hazards

    Note that even bird strikes here can be catastrophic...especially for a small airframe like the T-hawk...

    I do agree with your earlier observation that there is no way to tell just how successful all those previous TLAM strikes have been...

    We only know what we are told by the Liars Club...

    And speaking of cables...I remember seeing in a WW2 doc how the Germans laid a huge anti-submarine net from Sweden to Germany to stop Soviet subs that were sinking the iron ore ships from Sweden...

    It had thick cables and actually stopped the subs from getting through...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Sea_campaigns_%281939%E2%80%9345%29#Operations_in_1943

    That type of idea might actually be used against terrain following aircraft and missiles...it would not have to be all that strong...even something like rope netting getting stuck on the wings or tail surfaces would destroy their lifting ability and cause the aircraft to crash...

    I will always remember that Canadair 600 bizjet test flight crash in 1980 where the emergency spin chute fouled the tail surfaces and the crew had to bail...

    Doesn't take much to bring down an aircraft when there is even a minor mid air collision with something at high speed...

    What is old is new again. The cable as defensive weapon was first used in WWI and again on a grander scale in WWII… with results

    http://www.worldwar-two.net/weapons/barrage_balloons/

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB
    Thanks for the link, Nosey...

    Some good reading there...and yet another possible low-tech, low-cost counter to the cruise missile...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Just to continue with a bit more detail on this…

    ‘…Power wires are a danger to all aircraft flying at low level and “wire strikes” are common, such as the Cavalese cable car disaster.

    Special maps are produced that plot the routes of these wires but these are difficult to keep up-to-date, especially for foreign/enemy countries.

    Pilots are trained to scan for the pylons or power-poles that support these wires, because they can be seen at a distance where the wires themselves cannot…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nap-of-the-earth

    That Cavalese incident refers to a US A10 ‘Warthog’ ground attack jet that snapped a ski lift cable and left dozens dead in Italy some years ago…

    Another useful link that talks about a few more hazards of low level flying…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_flying_military_training#Hazards

    Note that even bird strikes here can be catastrophic…especially for a small airframe like the T-hawk…

    I do agree with your earlier observation that there is no way to tell just how successful all those previous TLAM strikes have been…

    We only know what we are told by the Liars Club…

    And speaking of cables…I remember seeing in a WW2 doc how the Germans laid a huge anti-submarine net from Sweden to Germany to stop Soviet subs that were sinking the iron ore ships from Sweden…

    It had thick cables and actually stopped the subs from getting through…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Sea_campaigns_%281939%E2%80%9345%29#Operations_in_1943

    That type of idea might actually be used against terrain following aircraft and missiles…it would not have to be all that strong…even something like rope netting getting stuck on the wings or tail surfaces would destroy their lifting ability and cause the aircraft to crash…

    I will always remember that Canadair 600 bizjet test flight crash in 1980 where the emergency spin chute fouled the tail surfaces and the crew had to bail…

    Doesn’t take much to bring down an aircraft when there is even a minor mid air collision with something at high speed…

    Read More
    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    What is old is new again. The cable as defensive weapon was first used in WWI and again on a grander scale in WWII... with results
    http://www.worldwar-two.net/weapons/barrage_balloons/
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus
    Thanks.

    …the specifics of how the TLAM flight planning process works is not public knowledge…so unless somebody shows up here with first-hand experience as one of those flight planning specialists…and is willing to talk about it…[not likely]…we may only guess…
     
    At the time of Shock and Awe in Baghdad, I remember reading on some forum that has long since disappeared an outline of how it is done by somebody who credibly claimed to have insider knowledge. I had less interest then, and also had less cognizance of how closely held those procedures were. I regret not paying as much attention to it as I should have, and so have but the vaguest memory.

    Keeping track of all that for that many targets is a big job…
     
    No doubt it is, and has no doubt consumed a large part of the USM's budget over decades. The USM's Prompt Global Strike program was to overlay current targeting capabilities with a new generation of super/hyper-sonic missiles and space-based launch platforms. Not much has been done with that (afaik), but the goal of delivering a warhead anywhere on earth in 1 hour requires an enormous database of fully "canned", or at least "fill in the blanks" plans. If PGS depended on a database that had yet to be built, it was a total pipe dream.

    ‘…the goal of delivering a warhead anywhere on earth in 1 hour requires an enormous database of fully “canned”, or at least “fill in the blanks” plans…’

    Yes…ICBMs need targeting data as well…and it is simply punched into the INS system onboard the missile…

    But these targeting plans are much much simpler than a terrain-following flight…they only need to go up and then come down…they are not really a flight plan at all in the aeronautical sense of the word…whereas T-hawks are…

    Terrain following is the most challenging flying there is…

    ‘…Even an automated system has limitations, and all aircraft with terrain-following radars installed have limits on how low and fast they can fly. Factors such as system response-time, aircraft g-limits and the weather can all limit an aircraft…

    And that’s with a fighter that has four times the thrust to weight ratio and one quarter the wing loading of a T-hawk…

    I really can’t stress this point enough…the T-hawk is a slug even compared to a commercial jet…yet it is asked to fly the most demanding kind of flying possible…

    Both turning and climbing are part of what a T-hawk has to do all along the flight route…yet it is not physically capable of doing either in any way comparable to a combat aircraft…

    The big issue is the continuous adjustments that are necessary to engine power…in order to achieve both turning and climbing…especially simultaneously…

    I would not be surprised if this is the big secret behind the Shayrat fail…

    The T-hawks against Belgrade and Baghdad in previous years did not need to be so careful about terrain following…since the adversary air defense systems were not of a class that the T-hawks would need to hide from very much…

    In Syria…I think the assumption was that the Russian and Syrian Pantsirs would try to knock some of them down…so they had to use terrain masking more aggressively…

    Incidentally…the clueless media often mention the Russian S300 and S400 going up against T-hawks…but that is bizarre…an S400 round costs practically as much as a T-hawk…and is actually not as effective as a small and more maneuverable Pantsir round…which costs peanuts…

    However the big S300/400 radars would play a role…they are all networked together with point defense systems like Pantsir…as would the AEW aircraft like the A50…[aka awacs...]

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    I really can’t stress this point enough…the T-hawk is a slug even compared to a commercial jet…yet it is asked to fly the most demanding kind of flying possible…
     
    That's what happens when you start thinking like a Sole Superpower. You stop development on real weapons, and start developing lucrative boondoggles. Not much baksheesh in a new missile. Lots more in a new carrier or an F22/35. 30 yrs later, you're flight planning your father's cruise missiles while the opponent you never saw coming is launching salvoes at you that are 4 generations ahead. Not a good position to be in.

    I really can’t stress this point enough…the T-hawk is a slug even compared to a commercial jet…yet it is asked to fly the most demanding kind of flying possible…
     
    My guess is that the TLAM isn't really "ground hugging" at all. Probably adequate as a sea-skimmer, but unable to follow terrain except at elevated altitudes, say 100M or so.

    I would not be surprised if this is the big secret behind the Shayrat fail…
     
    Russian EW mischief was my first call, but I now think you're probably right. I did a little reading, and there's apparently no reason to think that the TLAM is better than 50% effective, and quite probably less. Especially in pre-Block IV versions. In particular, its ability to change direction (hello!) has been cited as a frequent cause of getting "clobbered"; aka flying into terrain.

    …an S400 round costs practically as much as a T-hawk…
     
    Yeah, but it's the value of the asset the S400 is protecting that's the gating item. The S-400 may be protecting a maintenance hangar with 3 SU-35s in it, or a Comm center, in which case it's cheap insurance no matter the cost of the munition threatening it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB

    '...Anyway, this can only be definitively answered by somebody who has real knowledge...'
     
    I agree...the specifics of how the TLAM flight planning process works is not public knowledge...so unless somebody shows up here with first-hand experience as one of those flight planning specialists...and is willing to talk about it...[not likely]...we may only guess...

    But educated guesses are better than nothing...

    For example the civil air transport system has thousands of 'canned' procedures in place...specifically with regard to the departure and approach procedures...

    These aeronautical charts [called 'plates' for their small size] number in the thousands just for the US...they describe very clearly the procedures for executing a departure or approach...and there is more than one for every runway at every airport...

    All of those 'expire' after only 56 days because they are updated regularly...there may be changes with things like ground obstructions, radio navaids and all kinds of other things...

    Pilots by law must fly with current charts and plates...so it comes as a subscription service...in fact with updates every 28 days...

    In the old days that big case the pilots lugged around the airport contained those plates...you used to get those new plates on paper and had to insert all the updated ones...and remove the expired ones...

    Now they can be electronic on even an ipad which makes things easier...

    Even so...with all that canned flight plan info...the airplane flight plan must still be entered manually...with the particular departure chosen...the en route flight plan and waypoints...the various altitudes in the different flight segments...and the various approach options...

    It's not exactly a simple thing...even with all that canned info...and even though a commercial flight is not nearly as challenging a s ground-hugging T-hawk flight...where much much more comes into it...

    Since they must fly low and terrain and waypoints can change...ie a radio tower can pop up...a bridge can be built...etc...

    Keeping track of all that for that many targets is a big job...

    Also the fact that the T-hawk does have flight performance limitations that are much greater than even a commercial jet...combined with the fact that it must fly those ground-hugging routes...means there is very little room for error...

    And those flight planners need to take into account every mile of the way...to make sure the |T-hawk can actually climb at a sufficient rate to keep up with rising terrain...on any particular route...

    That means controlling the speed during every portion of the flight...because in order to climb fast enough for a given situation...the speed must be reduced sufficiently to have enough 'climb power' in reserve...as I explained previously in the aerodynamics comment...

    That means adjusting the engine power throughout the flight...

    Commercial jets don't need to do that...you simply set cruise power for the entire en route portion of the flight...

    So the T-hawk flight plan is much much more complex than a commercial flight plan...

    That's just to shed a little technical light on the subject...although again...we don't have access to the actual procedures on how this is done...

    Thanks.

    …the specifics of how the TLAM flight planning process works is not public knowledge…so unless somebody shows up here with first-hand experience as one of those flight planning specialists…and is willing to talk about it…[not likely]…we may only guess…

    At the time of Shock and Awe in Baghdad, I remember reading on some forum that has long since disappeared an outline of how it is done by somebody who credibly claimed to have insider knowledge. I had less interest then, and also had less cognizance of how closely held those procedures were. I regret not paying as much attention to it as I should have, and so have but the vaguest memory.

    Keeping track of all that for that many targets is a big job…

    No doubt it is, and has no doubt consumed a large part of the USM’s budget over decades. The USM’s Prompt Global Strike program was to overlay current targeting capabilities with a new generation of super/hyper-sonic missiles and space-based launch platforms. Not much has been done with that (afaik), but the goal of delivering a warhead anywhere on earth in 1 hour requires an enormous database of fully “canned”, or at least “fill in the blanks” plans. If PGS depended on a database that had yet to be built, it was a total pipe dream.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB

    '...the goal of delivering a warhead anywhere on earth in 1 hour requires an enormous database of fully “canned”, or at least “fill in the blanks” plans...'
     
    Yes...ICBMs need targeting data as well...and it is simply punched into the INS system onboard the missile...

    But these targeting plans are much much simpler than a terrain-following flight...they only need to go up and then come down...they are not really a flight plan at all in the aeronautical sense of the word...whereas T-hawks are...

    Terrain following is the most challenging flying there is...

    '...Even an automated system has limitations, and all aircraft with terrain-following radars installed have limits on how low and fast they can fly. Factors such as system response-time, aircraft g-limits and the weather can all limit an aircraft...'
     
    And that's with a fighter that has four times the thrust to weight ratio and one quarter the wing loading of a T-hawk...

    I really can't stress this point enough...the T-hawk is a slug even compared to a commercial jet...yet it is asked to fly the most demanding kind of flying possible...

    Both turning and climbing are part of what a T-hawk has to do all along the flight route...yet it is not physically capable of doing either in any way comparable to a combat aircraft...

    The big issue is the continuous adjustments that are necessary to engine power...in order to achieve both turning and climbing...especially simultaneously...

    I would not be surprised if this is the big secret behind the Shayrat fail...

    The T-hawks against Belgrade and Baghdad in previous years did not need to be so careful about terrain following...since the adversary air defense systems were not of a class that the T-hawks would need to hide from very much...

    In Syria...I think the assumption was that the Russian and Syrian Pantsirs would try to knock some of them down...so they had to use terrain masking more aggressively...

    Incidentally...the clueless media often mention the Russian S300 and S400 going up against T-hawks...but that is bizarre...an S400 round costs practically as much as a T-hawk...and is actually not as effective as a small and more maneuverable Pantsir round...which costs peanuts...

    However the big S300/400 radars would play a role...they are all networked together with point defense systems like Pantsir...as would the AEW aircraft like the A50...[aka awacs...]
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus

    However…the sheer amount of possibilities as far as number of targets…with each one having a number of possible routes…and possible launch points would probably involve at least some detail flight planning…
     
    Well, some of those 1.3M active service personnel, plus another 800k civilians gotta be doing something. I'd think they have every imaginable target documented by now. After all, the TLAM has been in service for ~35 years, and they would have started well before the first one deployed.
    Anyway, this can only be definitively answered by somebody who has real knowledge.

    Exerpt below is from a link I found which may be of interest if you haven't seen it. It hints at "canned" plans that the President can choose from.


    “During that planning period, all the forces, in this case the two ships, had basically options, and then all they had to do was, we just had to tell them the presidential-picked option. And that helps speed up that execution,” the official said. “We prepositioned forces so that if there was an order received we could have that quick response. … So by the time the options were given to the president, we were in position to execute upon order. And so when the order was given and passed along to the commander, forces were in position in order to launch the missiles.”
     
    https://news.usni.org/2017/04/07/us-planned-executed-tomahawk-strike

    ‘…Anyway, this can only be definitively answered by somebody who has real knowledge…’

    I agree…the specifics of how the TLAM flight planning process works is not public knowledge…so unless somebody shows up here with first-hand experience as one of those flight planning specialists…and is willing to talk about it…[not likely]…we may only guess…

    But educated guesses are better than nothing…

    For example the civil air transport system has thousands of ‘canned’ procedures in place…specifically with regard to the departure and approach procedures…

    These aeronautical charts [called 'plates' for their small size] number in the thousands just for the US…they describe very clearly the procedures for executing a departure or approach…and there is more than one for every runway at every airport…

    All of those ‘expire’ after only 56 days because they are updated regularly…there may be changes with things like ground obstructions, radio navaids and all kinds of other things…

    Pilots by law must fly with current charts and plates…so it comes as a subscription service…in fact with updates every 28 days…

    In the old days that big case the pilots lugged around the airport contained those plates…you used to get those new plates on paper and had to insert all the updated ones…and remove the expired ones…

    Now they can be electronic on even an ipad which makes things easier…

    Even so…with all that canned flight plan info…the airplane flight plan must still be entered manually…with the particular departure chosen…the en route flight plan and waypoints…the various altitudes in the different flight segments…and the various approach options…

    It’s not exactly a simple thing…even with all that canned info…and even though a commercial flight is not nearly as challenging a s ground-hugging T-hawk flight…where much much more comes into it…

    Since they must fly low and terrain and waypoints can change…ie a radio tower can pop up…a bridge can be built…etc…

    Keeping track of all that for that many targets is a big job…

    Also the fact that the T-hawk does have flight performance limitations that are much greater than even a commercial jet…combined with the fact that it must fly those ground-hugging routes…means there is very little room for error…

    And those flight planners need to take into account every mile of the way…to make sure the |T-hawk can actually climb at a sufficient rate to keep up with rising terrain…on any particular route…

    That means controlling the speed during every portion of the flight…because in order to climb fast enough for a given situation…the speed must be reduced sufficiently to have enough ‘climb power’ in reserve…as I explained previously in the aerodynamics comment…

    That means adjusting the engine power throughout the flight…

    Commercial jets don’t need to do that…you simply set cruise power for the entire en route portion of the flight…

    So the T-hawk flight plan is much much more complex than a commercial flight plan…

    That’s just to shed a little technical light on the subject…although again…we don’t have access to the actual procedures on how this is done…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus
    Thanks.

    …the specifics of how the TLAM flight planning process works is not public knowledge…so unless somebody shows up here with first-hand experience as one of those flight planning specialists…and is willing to talk about it…[not likely]…we may only guess…
     
    At the time of Shock and Awe in Baghdad, I remember reading on some forum that has long since disappeared an outline of how it is done by somebody who credibly claimed to have insider knowledge. I had less interest then, and also had less cognizance of how closely held those procedures were. I regret not paying as much attention to it as I should have, and so have but the vaguest memory.

    Keeping track of all that for that many targets is a big job…
     
    No doubt it is, and has no doubt consumed a large part of the USM's budget over decades. The USM's Prompt Global Strike program was to overlay current targeting capabilities with a new generation of super/hyper-sonic missiles and space-based launch platforms. Not much has been done with that (afaik), but the goal of delivering a warhead anywhere on earth in 1 hour requires an enormous database of fully "canned", or at least "fill in the blanks" plans. If PGS depended on a database that had yet to be built, it was a total pipe dream.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB
    Those small boxes that sparkon mentioned are about vehicle size...if that's the case...they may have been moved in between the before and after shots...

    Since the satellites would not be in place to capture those images in anything less than 24 hours...due to the polar orbits I mentioned previously...in fact it could be several days...

    That apron in front of the hangar is not actually a taxiway...the taxiway starts where those three aprons merge...

    As far as flight plans...I agree that they may have some 'canned' plans in place...that would seem to make sense...

    However...the sheer amount of possibilities as far as number of targets...with each one having a number of possible routes...and possible launch points would probably involve at least some detail flight planning...

    However…the sheer amount of possibilities as far as number of targets…with each one having a number of possible routes…and possible launch points would probably involve at least some detail flight planning…

    Well, some of those 1.3M active service personnel, plus another 800k civilians gotta be doing something. I’d think they have every imaginable target documented by now. After all, the TLAM has been in service for ~35 years, and they would have started well before the first one deployed.
    Anyway, this can only be definitively answered by somebody who has real knowledge.

    Exerpt below is from a link I found which may be of interest if you haven’t seen it. It hints at “canned” plans that the President can choose from.

    “During that planning period, all the forces, in this case the two ships, had basically options, and then all they had to do was, we just had to tell them the presidential-picked option. And that helps speed up that execution,” the official said. “We prepositioned forces so that if there was an order received we could have that quick response. … So by the time the options were given to the president, we were in position to execute upon order. And so when the order was given and passed along to the commander, forces were in position in order to launch the missiles.”

    https://news.usni.org/2017/04/07/us-planned-executed-tomahawk-strike

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB

    '...Anyway, this can only be definitively answered by somebody who has real knowledge...'
     
    I agree...the specifics of how the TLAM flight planning process works is not public knowledge...so unless somebody shows up here with first-hand experience as one of those flight planning specialists...and is willing to talk about it...[not likely]...we may only guess...

    But educated guesses are better than nothing...

    For example the civil air transport system has thousands of 'canned' procedures in place...specifically with regard to the departure and approach procedures...

    These aeronautical charts [called 'plates' for their small size] number in the thousands just for the US...they describe very clearly the procedures for executing a departure or approach...and there is more than one for every runway at every airport...

    All of those 'expire' after only 56 days because they are updated regularly...there may be changes with things like ground obstructions, radio navaids and all kinds of other things...

    Pilots by law must fly with current charts and plates...so it comes as a subscription service...in fact with updates every 28 days...

    In the old days that big case the pilots lugged around the airport contained those plates...you used to get those new plates on paper and had to insert all the updated ones...and remove the expired ones...

    Now they can be electronic on even an ipad which makes things easier...

    Even so...with all that canned flight plan info...the airplane flight plan must still be entered manually...with the particular departure chosen...the en route flight plan and waypoints...the various altitudes in the different flight segments...and the various approach options...

    It's not exactly a simple thing...even with all that canned info...and even though a commercial flight is not nearly as challenging a s ground-hugging T-hawk flight...where much much more comes into it...

    Since they must fly low and terrain and waypoints can change...ie a radio tower can pop up...a bridge can be built...etc...

    Keeping track of all that for that many targets is a big job...

    Also the fact that the T-hawk does have flight performance limitations that are much greater than even a commercial jet...combined with the fact that it must fly those ground-hugging routes...means there is very little room for error...

    And those flight planners need to take into account every mile of the way...to make sure the |T-hawk can actually climb at a sufficient rate to keep up with rising terrain...on any particular route...

    That means controlling the speed during every portion of the flight...because in order to climb fast enough for a given situation...the speed must be reduced sufficiently to have enough 'climb power' in reserve...as I explained previously in the aerodynamics comment...

    That means adjusting the engine power throughout the flight...

    Commercial jets don't need to do that...you simply set cruise power for the entire en route portion of the flight...

    So the T-hawk flight plan is much much more complex than a commercial flight plan...

    That's just to shed a little technical light on the subject...although again...we don't have access to the actual procedures on how this is done...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sparkon
    You wrote:

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar…[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    They didn’t even hit the hangar apron…ie the ‘driveway’ in front of the hangar….
     
    Where you see "two clear misses," I see two direct hits on the group of relatively small, generally rectangular black objects, features, or structures, that previously occupied space on either side of the taxiway where the small yellow circles are drawn, as can be clearly seen in the before image. Based on your scaling, the largest of these objects was approx 20 ft. on one side.

    http://www.imagesatintl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Hangars-1-1024x346.png
    ISI image

    I don't know what these objects might have been, but I really doubt that "clear misses" would have directly impacted them on both sides of a taxiway quite so neatly. In short, until the black features are identified, we cannot eliminate them as targets, nor call impacts on them "clear misses."

    The Syrian army said on Friday the attack had caused extensive damage to the base.
     
    There it is, straight from the horse's mouth. Usually, a military will try to downplay its losses, but in this case, what the Syrians said is not appreciably different from what U.S. authorities have said in the wake of the attack.

    The fact that a few aircraft took off from al-Shayrat in the aftermath of the attack means only that a runway remained open, which is not the same thing as an air base on full operational status, and able to conduct military flight operations. For that intense activity, you need a host of infrastructure, including fuel, munitions, workshops, parts depots, and related facilities to support flight operations, air crews, and technicians. According to ISI, and U.S. military spokesmen, at least some of that supporting infrastructure was targeted, and apparently knocked-out at al-Shayrat by the Tomahawks.

    Even Pres. Trump knew, or got good advice, that runways are relatively easy to repair, and therefore were not targeted at al-Shayrat.

    The reason you don't generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2017
     
    As the Russians got advance notice of the attack, they apparently evacuated, no doubt taking their helicopters and attack aircraft with them, so I would argue it would make little sense in this case for them to tip their hand with ECM to protect assets that were mostly no longer there.

    Nor would it have made sense for the Americans to warn the Russians of the attack if there was some electronic intelligence that might have been gained without the advance notice. Of course, there is ample precedent in human affairs where the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

    And in closing, I would remind all that we are dealing with open source material, low resolution imagery, and the fog of war--all in the age of fake news--so let's keep an open mind, with the salt shaker close at hand.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3366174/syrian-airbase-operating-again/

    And in closing, I would remind all that we are dealing with open source material, low resolution imagery, and the fog of war–all in the age of fake news–so let’s keep an open mind, with the salt shaker close at hand.

    To the salt shaker, I’d add a slice of lemon and a shot glass of one’s favourite tequila.

    Following your thought, the isolation and very high profile the Shayrat strike enjoys is quite unusual. This allows us to pick nits that are normally unavailable to us.
    Normally one just hears of 100s of TLAMs shocking and awing a city like Bahgdad with little indication where they all hit. They will show, say 1 or 2 hitting a power station, but where the other 100s went is indicated only by fireballs against a skyline. The USM spokesman solemnly announces that “90% hit their targets”, shows a video of a building in crosshairs getting blown up, but we have no idea what the rest of the salvo actually accomplished. IOW, for all I know, Shayrat may have been quite typical of TLAM salvoes. If it is, the USM’s 3500 pc inventory is actually critically low.

    As for the runways, given that the Russians (and therefore Syrians) were given warning, the only high value targets remaining at Shayrat would have been the runways. Shayrat was used as a boneyard for aircraft parts donors, so had a few ancient MiGs that hadn’t flown in decades left behind in their pre-strike evacuation. Some of those did appear to have been destroyed.
    Blowing them up, but leaving the runways intact does look damn odd to me. Remember that the rationale for the strike was that Shayrat was supposedly the base from which Assad was “gassing those beautiful babies” which had to be stopped. Trump’s weak excuse makes it even odder.

    In sum, if Shayrat was all about sending a political message, it backfired. A lot of media outlets wondered why the runways weren’t destroyed, esp in the M.E., causing Trump to twitter out a lame excuse, causing even more wonder. Whether/how that message got tampered with is what we’re trying to come to some sort of grips with.

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  • @Erebus
    Good post

    The fact that the order came down so quickly to strike meant that there was very little time to plan…
     
    I don't know, but would assume that the USM (and all others) would have a library of pre-calculated target and flight plans that they can pull up as required. EG: under the rubric of "war-planning", one of CENTCOM's functions would be to select likely targets in all the countries under its mandate and generate suitable approaches and salvo plans for them using a variety of munitions. Ships would be standing by in locations corresponding to those plans awaiting orders (or sail to them), which would look something like "Execute Salvo Plan Shayrat XX.XXX.XX" which would itself get pulled up from a library of plans. Again, I have zero experience with this, but it's the only way I can see pulling off the sort of reaction times needed in a real war.

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar…[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]
     
    I remember those two intrigued me the 1st time. There are 2 small black objects there in the "before" picture. Their hard lines and angles suggest they're some kind of equipment. If they were targets, those "misses" were actually precision hits. Anyhow, I eventually pencilled them in as likely hits.
    Having said that, the Serbs got very good at getting NATO to attack decoys. NATO spent enormous sums blowing up plywood/inflated tanks and APCs, fake artillery batteries, fake radars (using modified microwave ovens to give off a radio signal) etc. As is well-known, very little damage was done to the Serbian military despite NATO's glorious "kill" numbers. Perhaps that's what those 2 objects are.

    EDIT: Didn't see Sparkon's post until after posting this.

    Those small boxes that sparkon mentioned are about vehicle size…if that’s the case…they may have been moved in between the before and after shots…

    Since the satellites would not be in place to capture those images in anything less than 24 hours…due to the polar orbits I mentioned previously…in fact it could be several days…

    That apron in front of the hangar is not actually a taxiway…the taxiway starts where those three aprons merge…

    As far as flight plans…I agree that they may have some ‘canned’ plans in place…that would seem to make sense…

    However…the sheer amount of possibilities as far as number of targets…with each one having a number of possible routes…and possible launch points would probably involve at least some detail flight planning…

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    • Replies: @Erebus

    However…the sheer amount of possibilities as far as number of targets…with each one having a number of possible routes…and possible launch points would probably involve at least some detail flight planning…
     
    Well, some of those 1.3M active service personnel, plus another 800k civilians gotta be doing something. I'd think they have every imaginable target documented by now. After all, the TLAM has been in service for ~35 years, and they would have started well before the first one deployed.
    Anyway, this can only be definitively answered by somebody who has real knowledge.

    Exerpt below is from a link I found which may be of interest if you haven't seen it. It hints at "canned" plans that the President can choose from.


    “During that planning period, all the forces, in this case the two ships, had basically options, and then all they had to do was, we just had to tell them the presidential-picked option. And that helps speed up that execution,” the official said. “We prepositioned forces so that if there was an order received we could have that quick response. … So by the time the options were given to the president, we were in position to execute upon order. And so when the order was given and passed along to the commander, forces were in position in order to launch the missiles.”
     
    https://news.usni.org/2017/04/07/us-planned-executed-tomahawk-strike
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  • @russian bear
    why yankees (and their european curs) are so fixed on the idea that evil russian bears "want" you? from russian point of view americano and europeano are exhausted decadents - wanting much to be "taken" - and FED - by russians or whoever - be it little yellow men (china) or little green men - you are on the verge, no choice. But why would anyone want to FEED you failures? Amazing. The only thing we "underdeveloped" want - you civilized racketeers to stop robbing us.

    It really isn’t even nearly most of the yanks or the Euros who hate Russia, rather it is the well organised, well funded and fully psychotic few who have worked for many, many years to gain control of everything strategic especially with regards to influence making. This includes education, academia, law and governance but especially in media so they can cause chaos in those places where they try to retain some independence from the reaches of global banking.

    Those who do hate Russia are often the same individuals who hate the US too and are actively working to destroy it. Some Americans and Europeans do hate the Russians due to a lifetime of almost ceaseless propaganda but the majority don’t and are quite happy to comment with envy that Russia appears to have a leader who values national interests unlike their own leaders who kneel before the globalists.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    "Those who do hate Russia are often the same individuals who hate the US too and are actively working to destroy it"
    True. Sigh....
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  • meant to post this video…also on the scene within hours of failed strike…

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  • @FB

    '...It may have just been stunningly bad luck or equally bad execution, but Shayrat represents a success rate less than half of the ~85% one reads is the Tomahawk’s success rate across 1000s of launches...'
     
    Yep...I for one would like to know more about the flight planning procedure for TLAMs in general...

    The fact that the order came down so quickly to strike meant that there was very little time to plan...

    I also noted previously the T-hawk's poor aerodynamic performance...ie poor climb and turn rate...etc...due to its physical limitations of high wing loading and poor thrust to weight ratio...

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2056929

    We also saw from topo maps that the flight profile would be challenging...with little room for error...

    It could just be a rushed job in terms of flight planning...and those MIA T-hawks simply clobbered into terrain along the way...

    Otoh we did see at least two very obvious misses at Shayrat [thanks ISI] that exceeded the CEP by probably a factor of ten...

    http://www.imagesatintl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Hangars-1.png

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar...[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    They didn't even hit the hangar apron...ie the 'driveway' in front of the hangar...

    That is a very big clue that the T-hawks were interfered with...since its CEP even without GPS is about 30 feet...[10 meters]

    It is easy to jam GPS signals because they are so weak...and since the T-Hawk uses the GPS to enhance terminal guidance accuracy...not en route...the lack of precision in a lot of the hits evident in the imagery can be explained by that fact alone...

    But to miss by 300 ft...that's another story...

    Here is a good article that talks to a Russian weapons expert about the Shayrat strike...

    http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/focus-analysis/naval-technology/5112-tomahawk-cruise-missiles-proved-to-be-difficult-targets-for-russian-electronic-warfare-system.html

    He talks about the inertial nav system [INS]...and how INS drift is corrected by geographical waypoints along the route...these waypoints being identified by an optical image sensor [Digitized Scene-Mapping Area Correlator...or DSMAC]...

    I had discussed these T-hawk guidance modes in my comment on the other thread...

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2067155

    The T-hawk...like all terrain-following aircraft...use a radar altimeter to measure their height above ground level [AGL] so as not to hit terrain...

    I had explained that in previous comments also...but just to review...the radio altimeter is also used in commercial aircraft...and is basically a very small radar antenna that points down...because of its small antenna size and weak power it too can be easily jammed...

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

    The radio altimeter is used in conjunction with the pre-loaded topo map in the flight plan...a terrain following combat aircraft works the same way...with its auto-pilot designed to fly the airplane at a safe distance from the ground...

    This means that the readings from the radalt must be continuously cross-checked with the digital topo map data...if there is a conflict...the T-hawk is designed to climb up to a safe altitude in order to avoid hitting terrain...

    So we see that there are three nav systems that rely on outside signals...the optical sensor [ie a camera]...the GPS receiver...and the radalt...

    Any of these three can be interfered with...the only system that cannot be interfered with is the INS system...which is the primary nav system...since it is self-contained and does not rely on any outside signals...which is why ICBMs use those...

    The GPS being the easiest to jam [amateurs do this all the time just for mischief]...but GPS is only used for terminal guidance once the T-hawk reaches the target area...

    The optical sensors can be blinded by lasers...the radalt is easy to overpower because it's antenna is so small and so is its electrical power...

    However being that its antenna is highly directional [pointing down]...interfering with the radalt means you would need to be right under the T-hawk flight path...so you would need to know the flight route in advance in order to position equipment along the way...this is not something you can predict easily...

    [Although if the target is important enough...it would certainly be worthwhile to examine possible ingress routes using topo data and the flight performance of the T-hawk...more on that in a bit...]

    Jamming the radalt to protect a certain target is not actually that big a problem ...you would just place jammers in a large perimeter around the target...perhaps several such defensive layers...

    Once the T-hawk arrives in the target area it climbs up in order to use its optical sensor to visually sight targets...the new TLAM Block 4s can choose from priority targets using this visual sensor...

    This may be a clue to explaining those two very obvious misses seen in the above sat image...using a laser to blind those sensors...plus the GPS being jammed by even weak and rudimentary 'telcoms' grade equipment...

    What the T-hawk would do next after its optical sensor is blinded is somewhat unpredictable...

    Now in the case of Syria...studying the topography...there are really only a couple of ingress routes that make sense...

    Besides the one I discussed in my above comment with the route along the Kabir al-Janoubi river valley that denotes the border between northern Lebanon and Syria...the best possible alternate would be coming in at Haifa in northern Israel...

    http://www.nationsonline.org/maps/Syria-Topographic-Map.jpg

    But this is actually a more challenging route for the T-hawk...as it would need to climb fairly quickly from the coast to the inland Syrian desert plateau which is at a height of about 3,000 ft...and starts at about 30 km inland...

    Again...the T-hawk's poor climb performance comes into play...

    Once inland in southwestern Syria...the T-hawk would need to turn north and fly right through the Jabar ar Ruwaq mountain range...Shayrat is on the other side in that valley bounded by the three mountain ranges...

    So there are a number of possibilities...

    The most solid 'hypotheses' we can offer is that the GPS was almost certainly interfered with in the Shayrat area...

    That would explain the general lack of accuracy...but not those two very big misses...even with GPS turned off the INS itself is enough to get the T-hawk to within 10 meters...100 meters is just too big...

    So we may consider, with less confidence, that laser interference was perhaps used in the Shayrat area...blinding the optical sensors...and causing some unpredictable behavior...that might explain those two big misses...

    Going out on a limb even more...we may suspect that there was some radar jamming equipment in a wide perimeter around the Shayrat area...

    Jamming the radalt in areas of mountainous terrain could be quite devastating for a T-hawk...and might explain why a couple of them reportedly hit villages several miles away...

    Now we also know that the Russians have had many years to devise a way to protect their sensitive targets in Russia from a TLAM attack...

    I would say with good confidence that this involves first determining the ingress flight routes that a T-hawk is actually capable of flying...ie the aerodynamic limitations of this flight vehicle are easy to figure out...as I have done in my comment here...

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2056929

    Obviously a T-hawk can't climb over a mountain...so the routes it can take to any given target could be figured out in advance...

    I honestly doubt that they have gone to this trouble in Syria...but it is possible that they deployed some of their new electronic countermeasures [ECM] toys in Syria...just to see how they work...and how they could improve them...

    Good post

    The fact that the order came down so quickly to strike meant that there was very little time to plan…

    I don’t know, but would assume that the USM (and all others) would have a library of pre-calculated target and flight plans that they can pull up as required. EG: under the rubric of “war-planning”, one of CENTCOM’s functions would be to select likely targets in all the countries under its mandate and generate suitable approaches and salvo plans for them using a variety of munitions. Ships would be standing by in locations corresponding to those plans awaiting orders (or sail to them), which would look something like “Execute Salvo Plan Shayrat XX.XXX.XX” which would itself get pulled up from a library of plans. Again, I have zero experience with this, but it’s the only way I can see pulling off the sort of reaction times needed in a real war.

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar…[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    I remember those two intrigued me the 1st time. There are 2 small black objects there in the “before” picture. Their hard lines and angles suggest they’re some kind of equipment. If they were targets, those “misses” were actually precision hits. Anyhow, I eventually pencilled them in as likely hits.
    Having said that, the Serbs got very good at getting NATO to attack decoys. NATO spent enormous sums blowing up plywood/inflated tanks and APCs, fake artillery batteries, fake radars (using modified microwave ovens to give off a radio signal) etc. As is well-known, very little damage was done to the Serbian military despite NATO’s glorious “kill” numbers. Perhaps that’s what those 2 objects are.

    EDIT: Didn’t see Sparkon’s post until after posting this.

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    • Replies: @FB
    Those small boxes that sparkon mentioned are about vehicle size...if that's the case...they may have been moved in between the before and after shots...

    Since the satellites would not be in place to capture those images in anything less than 24 hours...due to the polar orbits I mentioned previously...in fact it could be several days...

    That apron in front of the hangar is not actually a taxiway...the taxiway starts where those three aprons merge...

    As far as flight plans...I agree that they may have some 'canned' plans in place...that would seem to make sense...

    However...the sheer amount of possibilities as far as number of targets...with each one having a number of possible routes...and possible launch points would probably involve at least some detail flight planning...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sparkon
    You wrote:

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar…[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    They didn’t even hit the hangar apron…ie the ‘driveway’ in front of the hangar….
     
    Where you see "two clear misses," I see two direct hits on the group of relatively small, generally rectangular black objects, features, or structures, that previously occupied space on either side of the taxiway where the small yellow circles are drawn, as can be clearly seen in the before image. Based on your scaling, the largest of these objects was approx 20 ft. on one side.

    http://www.imagesatintl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Hangars-1-1024x346.png
    ISI image

    I don't know what these objects might have been, but I really doubt that "clear misses" would have directly impacted them on both sides of a taxiway quite so neatly. In short, until the black features are identified, we cannot eliminate them as targets, nor call impacts on them "clear misses."

    The Syrian army said on Friday the attack had caused extensive damage to the base.
     
    There it is, straight from the horse's mouth. Usually, a military will try to downplay its losses, but in this case, what the Syrians said is not appreciably different from what U.S. authorities have said in the wake of the attack.

    The fact that a few aircraft took off from al-Shayrat in the aftermath of the attack means only that a runway remained open, which is not the same thing as an air base on full operational status, and able to conduct military flight operations. For that intense activity, you need a host of infrastructure, including fuel, munitions, workshops, parts depots, and related facilities to support flight operations, air crews, and technicians. According to ISI, and U.S. military spokesmen, at least some of that supporting infrastructure was targeted, and apparently knocked-out at al-Shayrat by the Tomahawks.

    Even Pres. Trump knew, or got good advice, that runways are relatively easy to repair, and therefore were not targeted at al-Shayrat.

    The reason you don't generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2017
     
    As the Russians got advance notice of the attack, they apparently evacuated, no doubt taking their helicopters and attack aircraft with them, so I would argue it would make little sense in this case for them to tip their hand with ECM to protect assets that were mostly no longer there.

    Nor would it have made sense for the Americans to warn the Russians of the attack if there was some electronic intelligence that might have been gained without the advance notice. Of course, there is ample precedent in human affairs where the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

    And in closing, I would remind all that we are dealing with open source material, low resolution imagery, and the fog of war--all in the age of fake news--so let's keep an open mind, with the salt shaker close at hand.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3366174/syrian-airbase-operating-again/

    As for the damage to the airfield see this video…shot by a Russian news channel hours after the attack…I like the part where he drives the length of both runways…

    Yes there are TWO runways…15/33 and 11/29 to be precise…

    All of this has been covered in quite some details on the other thread…

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2053684

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2049255

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  • @NoseytheDuke
    I would imagine that the risk of landing on Russian territory (land) was considered to be preferable to the risk that a landing at sea could present being more likely reached by US ships before the Russians could get to it, the US having a far bigger navy. The Russian landings have enjoyed a high rate of success too.

    why yankees (and their european curs) are so fixed on the idea that evil russian bears “want” you? from russian point of view americano and europeano are exhausted decadents – wanting much to be “taken” – and FED – by russians or whoever – be it little yellow men (china) or little green men – you are on the verge, no choice. But why would anyone want to FEED you failures? Amazing. The only thing we “underdeveloped” want – you civilized racketeers to stop robbing us.

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    It really isn't even nearly most of the yanks or the Euros who hate Russia, rather it is the well organised, well funded and fully psychotic few who have worked for many, many years to gain control of everything strategic especially with regards to influence making. This includes education, academia, law and governance but especially in media so they can cause chaos in those places where they try to retain some independence from the reaches of global banking.

    Those who do hate Russia are often the same individuals who hate the US too and are actively working to destroy it. Some Americans and Europeans do hate the Russians due to a lifetime of almost ceaseless propaganda but the majority don't and are quite happy to comment with envy that Russia appears to have a leader who values national interests unlike their own leaders who kneel before the globalists.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sparkon
    You wrote:

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar…[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    They didn’t even hit the hangar apron…ie the ‘driveway’ in front of the hangar….
     
    Where you see "two clear misses," I see two direct hits on the group of relatively small, generally rectangular black objects, features, or structures, that previously occupied space on either side of the taxiway where the small yellow circles are drawn, as can be clearly seen in the before image. Based on your scaling, the largest of these objects was approx 20 ft. on one side.

    http://www.imagesatintl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Hangars-1-1024x346.png
    ISI image

    I don't know what these objects might have been, but I really doubt that "clear misses" would have directly impacted them on both sides of a taxiway quite so neatly. In short, until the black features are identified, we cannot eliminate them as targets, nor call impacts on them "clear misses."

    The Syrian army said on Friday the attack had caused extensive damage to the base.
     
    There it is, straight from the horse's mouth. Usually, a military will try to downplay its losses, but in this case, what the Syrians said is not appreciably different from what U.S. authorities have said in the wake of the attack.

    The fact that a few aircraft took off from al-Shayrat in the aftermath of the attack means only that a runway remained open, which is not the same thing as an air base on full operational status, and able to conduct military flight operations. For that intense activity, you need a host of infrastructure, including fuel, munitions, workshops, parts depots, and related facilities to support flight operations, air crews, and technicians. According to ISI, and U.S. military spokesmen, at least some of that supporting infrastructure was targeted, and apparently knocked-out at al-Shayrat by the Tomahawks.

    Even Pres. Trump knew, or got good advice, that runways are relatively easy to repair, and therefore were not targeted at al-Shayrat.

    The reason you don't generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2017
     
    As the Russians got advance notice of the attack, they apparently evacuated, no doubt taking their helicopters and attack aircraft with them, so I would argue it would make little sense in this case for them to tip their hand with ECM to protect assets that were mostly no longer there.

    Nor would it have made sense for the Americans to warn the Russians of the attack if there was some electronic intelligence that might have been gained without the advance notice. Of course, there is ample precedent in human affairs where the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

    And in closing, I would remind all that we are dealing with open source material, low resolution imagery, and the fog of war--all in the age of fake news--so let's keep an open mind, with the salt shaker close at hand.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3366174/syrian-airbase-operating-again/

    ‘… The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2017…’

    That’s the smoking gun about the whole Shayrat BS…

    Besides the fact that anyone who knows anything about targeting airfields knows that hitting the runways is always job one…

    …here is a copy of a US plan to hit SIX Syrian airfields in 2013…

    ‘…Degradation is achieved by damaging the runway enough to preclude flight operations…’

    ‘…US long range PGM were not designed to completely destroy runways, but will cause some cratering of runways, enough to preclude flight operations…’

    ‘…Once PGM crater a runway, repairing is a lengthy process that requires specialized equipment, materials, engineering support, and significant manpower…

    Which is why you don’t see your city freeway repaved overnight…instead of a year…

    You can read the whole plan here and see how they planned to hit the runways…

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

    The above quotes from page 7…

    And here is Cmdr. Harmer’s biography…

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

    He even goes on to outline at what intervals runways should be hit…

    ‘…Targeting runways: Desired Mean Point of Impact [DMPI]…’

    ‘…8 DMPI per SAF AB runway at roughly 1,000 ft intervals…’

    It is quite clear reading this plan that the runways were the first target…since they are always mentioned first in any list of targets…

    Remember the Gulf War…?

    Here you can read the account of an RAF Group Captain…who was there…

    The RAF were given the mission of destroying the Iraqi runways…[which btw were concrete...not asphalt like Shayrat...and thus required heavy runway buster bombs which the US planes were not equipped to carry...]

    ‘…After four nights the air opposition had been effectively neutralised, for the loss of four Tornados…’

    https://www.raf.mod.uk/history/AirPowerintheGulfWar.cfm

    You and Trump should have told those 8 airmen that gave their lives busting Iraqi runways that they are easy to repair…and not worth hitting…

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB

    '...It may have just been stunningly bad luck or equally bad execution, but Shayrat represents a success rate less than half of the ~85% one reads is the Tomahawk’s success rate across 1000s of launches...'
     
    Yep...I for one would like to know more about the flight planning procedure for TLAMs in general...

    The fact that the order came down so quickly to strike meant that there was very little time to plan...

    I also noted previously the T-hawk's poor aerodynamic performance...ie poor climb and turn rate...etc...due to its physical limitations of high wing loading and poor thrust to weight ratio...

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2056929

    We also saw from topo maps that the flight profile would be challenging...with little room for error...

    It could just be a rushed job in terms of flight planning...and those MIA T-hawks simply clobbered into terrain along the way...

    Otoh we did see at least two very obvious misses at Shayrat [thanks ISI] that exceeded the CEP by probably a factor of ten...

    http://www.imagesatintl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Hangars-1.png

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar...[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    They didn't even hit the hangar apron...ie the 'driveway' in front of the hangar...

    That is a very big clue that the T-hawks were interfered with...since its CEP even without GPS is about 30 feet...[10 meters]

    It is easy to jam GPS signals because they are so weak...and since the T-Hawk uses the GPS to enhance terminal guidance accuracy...not en route...the lack of precision in a lot of the hits evident in the imagery can be explained by that fact alone...

    But to miss by 300 ft...that's another story...

    Here is a good article that talks to a Russian weapons expert about the Shayrat strike...

    http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/focus-analysis/naval-technology/5112-tomahawk-cruise-missiles-proved-to-be-difficult-targets-for-russian-electronic-warfare-system.html

    He talks about the inertial nav system [INS]...and how INS drift is corrected by geographical waypoints along the route...these waypoints being identified by an optical image sensor [Digitized Scene-Mapping Area Correlator...or DSMAC]...

    I had discussed these T-hawk guidance modes in my comment on the other thread...

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2067155

    The T-hawk...like all terrain-following aircraft...use a radar altimeter to measure their height above ground level [AGL] so as not to hit terrain...

    I had explained that in previous comments also...but just to review...the radio altimeter is also used in commercial aircraft...and is basically a very small radar antenna that points down...because of its small antenna size and weak power it too can be easily jammed...

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

    The radio altimeter is used in conjunction with the pre-loaded topo map in the flight plan...a terrain following combat aircraft works the same way...with its auto-pilot designed to fly the airplane at a safe distance from the ground...

    This means that the readings from the radalt must be continuously cross-checked with the digital topo map data...if there is a conflict...the T-hawk is designed to climb up to a safe altitude in order to avoid hitting terrain...

    So we see that there are three nav systems that rely on outside signals...the optical sensor [ie a camera]...the GPS receiver...and the radalt...

    Any of these three can be interfered with...the only system that cannot be interfered with is the INS system...which is the primary nav system...since it is self-contained and does not rely on any outside signals...which is why ICBMs use those...

    The GPS being the easiest to jam [amateurs do this all the time just for mischief]...but GPS is only used for terminal guidance once the T-hawk reaches the target area...

    The optical sensors can be blinded by lasers...the radalt is easy to overpower because it's antenna is so small and so is its electrical power...

    However being that its antenna is highly directional [pointing down]...interfering with the radalt means you would need to be right under the T-hawk flight path...so you would need to know the flight route in advance in order to position equipment along the way...this is not something you can predict easily...

    [Although if the target is important enough...it would certainly be worthwhile to examine possible ingress routes using topo data and the flight performance of the T-hawk...more on that in a bit...]

    Jamming the radalt to protect a certain target is not actually that big a problem ...you would just place jammers in a large perimeter around the target...perhaps several such defensive layers...

    Once the T-hawk arrives in the target area it climbs up in order to use its optical sensor to visually sight targets...the new TLAM Block 4s can choose from priority targets using this visual sensor...

    This may be a clue to explaining those two very obvious misses seen in the above sat image...using a laser to blind those sensors...plus the GPS being jammed by even weak and rudimentary 'telcoms' grade equipment...

    What the T-hawk would do next after its optical sensor is blinded is somewhat unpredictable...

    Now in the case of Syria...studying the topography...there are really only a couple of ingress routes that make sense...

    Besides the one I discussed in my above comment with the route along the Kabir al-Janoubi river valley that denotes the border between northern Lebanon and Syria...the best possible alternate would be coming in at Haifa in northern Israel...

    http://www.nationsonline.org/maps/Syria-Topographic-Map.jpg

    But this is actually a more challenging route for the T-hawk...as it would need to climb fairly quickly from the coast to the inland Syrian desert plateau which is at a height of about 3,000 ft...and starts at about 30 km inland...

    Again...the T-hawk's poor climb performance comes into play...

    Once inland in southwestern Syria...the T-hawk would need to turn north and fly right through the Jabar ar Ruwaq mountain range...Shayrat is on the other side in that valley bounded by the three mountain ranges...

    So there are a number of possibilities...

    The most solid 'hypotheses' we can offer is that the GPS was almost certainly interfered with in the Shayrat area...

    That would explain the general lack of accuracy...but not those two very big misses...even with GPS turned off the INS itself is enough to get the T-hawk to within 10 meters...100 meters is just too big...

    So we may consider, with less confidence, that laser interference was perhaps used in the Shayrat area...blinding the optical sensors...and causing some unpredictable behavior...that might explain those two big misses...

    Going out on a limb even more...we may suspect that there was some radar jamming equipment in a wide perimeter around the Shayrat area...

    Jamming the radalt in areas of mountainous terrain could be quite devastating for a T-hawk...and might explain why a couple of them reportedly hit villages several miles away...

    Now we also know that the Russians have had many years to devise a way to protect their sensitive targets in Russia from a TLAM attack...

    I would say with good confidence that this involves first determining the ingress flight routes that a T-hawk is actually capable of flying...ie the aerodynamic limitations of this flight vehicle are easy to figure out...as I have done in my comment here...

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2056929

    Obviously a T-hawk can't climb over a mountain...so the routes it can take to any given target could be figured out in advance...

    I honestly doubt that they have gone to this trouble in Syria...but it is possible that they deployed some of their new electronic countermeasures [ECM] toys in Syria...just to see how they work...and how they could improve them...

    You wrote:

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar…[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    They didn’t even hit the hangar apron…ie the ‘driveway’ in front of the hangar….

    Where you see “two clear misses,” I see two direct hits on the group of relatively small, generally rectangular black objects, features, or structures, that previously occupied space on either side of the taxiway where the small yellow circles are drawn, as can be clearly seen in the before image. Based on your scaling, the largest of these objects was approx 20 ft. on one side.


    ISI image

    I don’t know what these objects might have been, but I really doubt that “clear misses” would have directly impacted them on both sides of a taxiway quite so neatly. In short, until the black features are identified, we cannot eliminate them as targets, nor call impacts on them “clear misses.”

    The Syrian army said on Friday the attack had caused extensive damage to the base.

    There it is, straight from the horse’s mouth. Usually, a military will try to downplay its losses, but in this case, what the Syrians said is not appreciably different from what U.S. authorities have said in the wake of the attack.

    The fact that a few aircraft took off from al-Shayrat in the aftermath of the attack means only that a runway remained open, which is not the same thing as an air base on full operational status, and able to conduct military flight operations. For that intense activity, you need a host of infrastructure, including fuel, munitions, workshops, parts depots, and related facilities to support flight operations, air crews, and technicians. According to ISI, and U.S. military spokesmen, at least some of that supporting infrastructure was targeted, and apparently knocked-out at al-Shayrat by the Tomahawks.

    Even Pres. Trump knew, or got good advice, that runways are relatively easy to repair, and therefore were not targeted at al-Shayrat.

    The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2017

    As the Russians got advance notice of the attack, they apparently evacuated, no doubt taking their helicopters and attack aircraft with them, so I would argue it would make little sense in this case for them to tip their hand with ECM to protect assets that were mostly no longer there.

    Nor would it have made sense for the Americans to warn the Russians of the attack if there was some electronic intelligence that might have been gained without the advance notice. Of course, there is ample precedent in human affairs where the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

    And in closing, I would remind all that we are dealing with open source material, low resolution imagery, and the fog of war–all in the age of fake news–so let’s keep an open mind, with the salt shaker close at hand.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3366174/syrian-airbase-operating-again/

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    • Replies: @FB

    '... The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2017...'
     

    That's the smoking gun about the whole Shayrat BS...

    Besides the fact that anyone who knows anything about targeting airfields knows that hitting the runways is always job one...

    ...here is a copy of a US plan to hit SIX Syrian airfields in 2013...


    '...Degradation is achieved by damaging the runway enough to preclude flight operations…’
     

    '...US long range PGM were not designed to completely destroy runways, but will cause some cratering of runways, enough to preclude flight operations…’
     

    '...Once PGM crater a runway, repairing is a lengthy process that requires specialized equipment, materials, engineering support, and significant manpower…'
     
    Which is why you don't see your city freeway repaved overnight...instead of a year...

    You can read the whole plan here and see how they planned to hit the runways...

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

    The above quotes from page 7...

    And here is Cmdr. Harmer's biography...

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

    He even goes on to outline at what intervals runways should be hit...


    '...Targeting runways: Desired Mean Point of Impact [DMPI]...'
     

    '...8 DMPI per SAF AB runway at roughly 1,000 ft intervals...'
     
    It is quite clear reading this plan that the runways were the first target...since they are always mentioned first in any list of targets...

    Remember the Gulf War...?

    Here you can read the account of an RAF Group Captain...who was there...

    The RAF were given the mission of destroying the Iraqi runways...[which btw were concrete...not asphalt like Shayrat...and thus required heavy runway buster bombs which the US planes were not equipped to carry...]


    '...After four nights the air opposition had been effectively neutralised, for the loss of four Tornados...'
     
    https://www.raf.mod.uk/history/AirPowerintheGulfWar.cfm

    You and Trump should have told those 8 airmen that gave their lives busting Iraqi runways that they are easy to repair...and not worth hitting...

    , @FB
    As for the damage to the airfield see this video...shot by a Russian news channel hours after the attack...I like the part where he drives the length of both runways...

    https://youtu.be/Ow5Ux17YKdM

    Yes there are TWO runways...15/33 and 11/29 to be precise...

    All of this has been covered in quite some details on the other thread...

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2053684

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2049255
    , @Erebus

    And in closing, I would remind all that we are dealing with open source material, low resolution imagery, and the fog of war–all in the age of fake news–so let’s keep an open mind, with the salt shaker close at hand.
     
    To the salt shaker, I'd add a slice of lemon and a shot glass of one's favourite tequila.

    Following your thought, the isolation and very high profile the Shayrat strike enjoys is quite unusual. This allows us to pick nits that are normally unavailable to us.
    Normally one just hears of 100s of TLAMs shocking and awing a city like Bahgdad with little indication where they all hit. They will show, say 1 or 2 hitting a power station, but where the other 100s went is indicated only by fireballs against a skyline. The USM spokesman solemnly announces that "90% hit their targets", shows a video of a building in crosshairs getting blown up, but we have no idea what the rest of the salvo actually accomplished. IOW, for all I know, Shayrat may have been quite typical of TLAM salvoes. If it is, the USM's 3500 pc inventory is actually critically low.

    As for the runways, given that the Russians (and therefore Syrians) were given warning, the only high value targets remaining at Shayrat would have been the runways. Shayrat was used as a boneyard for aircraft parts donors, so had a few ancient MiGs that hadn't flown in decades left behind in their pre-strike evacuation. Some of those did appear to have been destroyed.
    Blowing them up, but leaving the runways intact does look damn odd to me. Remember that the rationale for the strike was that Shayrat was supposedly the base from which Assad was "gassing those beautiful babies" which had to be stopped. Trump's weak excuse makes it even odder.

    In sum, if Shayrat was all about sending a political message, it backfired. A lot of media outlets wondered why the runways weren't destroyed, esp in the M.E., causing Trump to twitter out a lame excuse, causing even more wonder. Whether/how that message got tampered with is what we're trying to come to some sort of grips with.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The Atlantic’ Editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg cannot help himself but to remain a petty fraudster: http://theduran.com/russiagate-unravels-goldstone-confirms-trump-junior-veselnitskaya-meeting/
    “The Atlantic edited one of the emails Wikileaks sent to Donald Trump Junior” to slander Wikileaks. – And got caught.

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  • FB says:
    @Erebus

    …not many people realize that the ‘father’ of this science was a Russian engineer named Petr Ufimtsev…
     
    I was aware that the intellectual heavy lifting for stealth technology was done by the Soviets, and that they dropped it. They didn't think much of another invention, the laser, as a weapon either. It took the MIC's marketing ingenuity to turn them both into blockbuster swindles. On the other hand, scramjets seem to have caught the Russian's attention...

    As for the Shayrat mystery…well…there is still much more to discuss on that…
    I am not and have not been making assumptions as you well know…but examining and discussing things that we can know with good confidence…well it may just get us closer…
     
    Indeed there is much more, and I doubt we'll get as close as I'd like.
    It may have just been stunningly bad luck or equally bad execution, but Shayrat represents a success rate less than half of the ~85% one reads is the Tomahawk's success rate across 1000s of launches. On that basis, >50 should have hit their intended target. In the event, only 14-16 clear hits could be seen in the sat photos, plus a few obvious misses that were arguably within the TLAM's CEP. The rest were nowhere to be found. An abominable performance that begs an explanation.

    ‘…It may have just been stunningly bad luck or equally bad execution, but Shayrat represents a success rate less than half of the ~85% one reads is the Tomahawk’s success rate across 1000s of launches…’

    Yep…I for one would like to know more about the flight planning procedure for TLAMs in general…

    The fact that the order came down so quickly to strike meant that there was very little time to plan…

    I also noted previously the T-hawk’s poor aerodynamic performance…ie poor climb and turn rate…etc…due to its physical limitations of high wing loading and poor thrust to weight ratio…

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2056929

    We also saw from topo maps that the flight profile would be challenging…with little room for error…

    It could just be a rushed job in terms of flight planning…and those MIA T-hawks simply clobbered into terrain along the way…

    Otoh we did see at least two very obvious misses at Shayrat [thanks ISI] that exceeded the CEP by probably a factor of ten…

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar…[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    They didn’t even hit the hangar apron…ie the ‘driveway’ in front of the hangar…

    That is a very big clue that the T-hawks were interfered with…since its CEP even without GPS is about 30 feet…[10 meters]

    It is easy to jam GPS signals because they are so weak…and since the T-Hawk uses the GPS to enhance terminal guidance accuracy…not en route…the lack of precision in a lot of the hits evident in the imagery can be explained by that fact alone…

    But to miss by 300 ft…that’s another story…

    Here is a good article that talks to a Russian weapons expert about the Shayrat strike…

    http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/focus-analysis/naval-technology/5112-tomahawk-cruise-missiles-proved-to-be-difficult-targets-for-russian-electronic-warfare-system.html

    He talks about the inertial nav system [INS]…and how INS drift is corrected by geographical waypoints along the route…these waypoints being identified by an optical image sensor [Digitized Scene-Mapping Area Correlator...or DSMAC]…

    I had discussed these T-hawk guidance modes in my comment on the other thread…

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2067155

    The T-hawk…like all terrain-following aircraft…use a radar altimeter to measure their height above ground level [AGL] so as not to hit terrain…

    I had explained that in previous comments also…but just to review…the radio altimeter is also used in commercial aircraft…and is basically a very small radar antenna that points down…because of its small antenna size and weak power it too can be easily jammed…

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

    The radio altimeter is used in conjunction with the pre-loaded topo map in the flight plan…a terrain following combat aircraft works the same way…with its auto-pilot designed to fly the airplane at a safe distance from the ground…

    This means that the readings from the radalt must be continuously cross-checked with the digital topo map data…if there is a conflict…the T-hawk is designed to climb up to a safe altitude in order to avoid hitting terrain…

    So we see that there are three nav systems that rely on outside signals…the optical sensor [ie a camera]…the GPS receiver…and the radalt…

    Any of these three can be interfered with…the only system that cannot be interfered with is the INS system…which is the primary nav system…since it is self-contained and does not rely on any outside signals…which is why ICBMs use those…

    The GPS being the easiest to jam [amateurs do this all the time just for mischief]…but GPS is only used for terminal guidance once the T-hawk reaches the target area…

    The optical sensors can be blinded by lasers…the radalt is easy to overpower because it’s antenna is so small and so is its electrical power…

    However being that its antenna is highly directional [pointing down]…interfering with the radalt means you would need to be right under the T-hawk flight path…so you would need to know the flight route in advance in order to position equipment along the way…this is not something you can predict easily…

    [Although if the target is important enough...it would certainly be worthwhile to examine possible ingress routes using topo data and the flight performance of the T-hawk...more on that in a bit...]

    Jamming the radalt to protect a certain target is not actually that big a problem …you would just place jammers in a large perimeter around the target…perhaps several such defensive layers…

    Once the T-hawk arrives in the target area it climbs up in order to use its optical sensor to visually sight targets…the new TLAM Block 4s can choose from priority targets using this visual sensor…

    This may be a clue to explaining those two very obvious misses seen in the above sat image…using a laser to blind those sensors…plus the GPS being jammed by even weak and rudimentary ‘telcoms’ grade equipment…

    What the T-hawk would do next after its optical sensor is blinded is somewhat unpredictable…

    Now in the case of Syria…studying the topography…there are really only a couple of ingress routes that make sense…

    Besides the one I discussed in my above comment with the route along the Kabir al-Janoubi river valley that denotes the border between northern Lebanon and Syria…the best possible alternate would be coming in at Haifa in northern Israel…

    But this is actually a more challenging route for the T-hawk…as it would need to climb fairly quickly from the coast to the inland Syrian desert plateau which is at a height of about 3,000 ft…and starts at about 30 km inland…

    Again…the T-hawk’s poor climb performance comes into play…

    Once inland in southwestern Syria…the T-hawk would need to turn north and fly right through the Jabar ar Ruwaq mountain range…Shayrat is on the other side in that valley bounded by the three mountain ranges…

    So there are a number of possibilities…

    The most solid ‘hypotheses’ we can offer is that the GPS was almost certainly interfered with in the Shayrat area…

    That would explain the general lack of accuracy…but not those two very big misses…even with GPS turned off the INS itself is enough to get the T-hawk to within 10 meters…100 meters is just too big…

    So we may consider, with less confidence, that laser interference was perhaps used in the Shayrat area…blinding the optical sensors…and causing some unpredictable behavior…that might explain those two big misses…

    Going out on a limb even more…we may suspect that there was some radar jamming equipment in a wide perimeter around the Shayrat area…

    Jamming the radalt in areas of mountainous terrain could be quite devastating for a T-hawk…and might explain why a couple of them reportedly hit villages several miles away…

    Now we also know that the Russians have had many years to devise a way to protect their sensitive targets in Russia from a TLAM attack…

    I would say with good confidence that this involves first determining the ingress flight routes that a T-hawk is actually capable of flying…ie the aerodynamic limitations of this flight vehicle are easy to figure out…as I have done in my comment here…

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2056929

    Obviously a T-hawk can’t climb over a mountain…so the routes it can take to any given target could be figured out in advance…

    I honestly doubt that they have gone to this trouble in Syria…but it is possible that they deployed some of their new electronic countermeasures [ECM] toys in Syria…just to see how they work…and how they could improve them…

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    • Replies: @Sparkon
    You wrote:

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar…[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    They didn’t even hit the hangar apron…ie the ‘driveway’ in front of the hangar….
     
    Where you see "two clear misses," I see two direct hits on the group of relatively small, generally rectangular black objects, features, or structures, that previously occupied space on either side of the taxiway where the small yellow circles are drawn, as can be clearly seen in the before image. Based on your scaling, the largest of these objects was approx 20 ft. on one side.

    http://www.imagesatintl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Hangars-1-1024x346.png
    ISI image

    I don't know what these objects might have been, but I really doubt that "clear misses" would have directly impacted them on both sides of a taxiway quite so neatly. In short, until the black features are identified, we cannot eliminate them as targets, nor call impacts on them "clear misses."

    The Syrian army said on Friday the attack had caused extensive damage to the base.
     
    There it is, straight from the horse's mouth. Usually, a military will try to downplay its losses, but in this case, what the Syrians said is not appreciably different from what U.S. authorities have said in the wake of the attack.

    The fact that a few aircraft took off from al-Shayrat in the aftermath of the attack means only that a runway remained open, which is not the same thing as an air base on full operational status, and able to conduct military flight operations. For that intense activity, you need a host of infrastructure, including fuel, munitions, workshops, parts depots, and related facilities to support flight operations, air crews, and technicians. According to ISI, and U.S. military spokesmen, at least some of that supporting infrastructure was targeted, and apparently knocked-out at al-Shayrat by the Tomahawks.

    Even Pres. Trump knew, or got good advice, that runways are relatively easy to repair, and therefore were not targeted at al-Shayrat.

    The reason you don't generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2017
     
    As the Russians got advance notice of the attack, they apparently evacuated, no doubt taking their helicopters and attack aircraft with them, so I would argue it would make little sense in this case for them to tip their hand with ECM to protect assets that were mostly no longer there.

    Nor would it have made sense for the Americans to warn the Russians of the attack if there was some electronic intelligence that might have been gained without the advance notice. Of course, there is ample precedent in human affairs where the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.

    And in closing, I would remind all that we are dealing with open source material, low resolution imagery, and the fog of war--all in the age of fake news--so let's keep an open mind, with the salt shaker close at hand.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3366174/syrian-airbase-operating-again/
    , @Erebus
    Good post

    The fact that the order came down so quickly to strike meant that there was very little time to plan…
     
    I don't know, but would assume that the USM (and all others) would have a library of pre-calculated target and flight plans that they can pull up as required. EG: under the rubric of "war-planning", one of CENTCOM's functions would be to select likely targets in all the countries under its mandate and generate suitable approaches and salvo plans for them using a variety of munitions. Ships would be standing by in locations corresponding to those plans awaiting orders (or sail to them), which would look something like "Execute Salvo Plan Shayrat XX.XXX.XX" which would itself get pulled up from a library of plans. Again, I have zero experience with this, but it's the only way I can see pulling off the sort of reaction times needed in a real war.

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar…[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]
     
    I remember those two intrigued me the 1st time. There are 2 small black objects there in the "before" picture. Their hard lines and angles suggest they're some kind of equipment. If they were targets, those "misses" were actually precision hits. Anyhow, I eventually pencilled them in as likely hits.
    Having said that, the Serbs got very good at getting NATO to attack decoys. NATO spent enormous sums blowing up plywood/inflated tanks and APCs, fake artillery batteries, fake radars (using modified microwave ovens to give off a radio signal) etc. As is well-known, very little damage was done to the Serbian military despite NATO's glorious "kill" numbers. Perhaps that's what those 2 objects are.

    EDIT: Didn't see Sparkon's post until after posting this.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB

    '...Not “useless”, as low-frequency necessarily implies poor resolution of size, location & velocity. Powerful low-frequency radars make themselves useful by giving early threat warning for high frequency radars to focus on in networked systems...'
     
    Of course...as I noted this was a breezy overview light on details...

    The rest of the story is that the Russian Nebo M complex as pictured here uses three radio frequencies...the low-frequency [meter-band] with the yagi antennas...then a decimetric [L band]...and finally the S band in the background in this image...

    http://www.ausairpower.net/PVO-S/NNIIRT-55Zh6ME-Nebo-M-RLS-A.jpg

    All three work together in a data fusion scheme...whereby the low band radar picks up the general location of the target...and then points the L-band to that sector for finer resolution...which finally hands off the S-band for targeting...and guiding the missile shot...

    '...Anyway, it’s pretty clear that the penalties one pays for “stealth” (weight, cost, etc) aren’t worth the candle...'
     
    Right...there is also the issue of availability...the F22 has to have something like 30 hours of maintenance for each flight hour...how many sorties a day does that add up to...?

    The weight penalty is especially damaging for anything that needs to fly...excess weight literally kills aircraft performance...range...payload...maneuvering...

    As I mentioned previously I have had first-hand experience with that stealth skin coating and its weight is ridiculous...

    Although again it must be noted that the coating does not need to be applied heavily everywhere...

    The 'stealth' technique relies largely on airframe geometric shaping...which is designed to scatter radio waves instead of reflecting them back...

    Incidentally...not many people realize that the 'father' of this science was a Russian engineer named Petr Ufimtsev...

    He developed a complete theoretical framework which he was allowed to publish openly...since the Soviet military did not see much value in it...

    The USAF found a copy and translated this work in 1970...this provided the scientific underpinnings for the Have Blue project...which turned into F117 and B2...

    '...In 1964, Pyotr Ufimtsev, a Soviet mathematician, published a seminal paper titled Method of Edge Waves in the Physical Theory of Diffraction in the journal of the Moscow Institute for Radio Engineering, in which he showed that the strength of the radar return from an object is related to its edge configuration, not its size...'
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-117_Nighthawk#Background_and_Have_Blue

    The translated paper [actually book length] is still available...

    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0733203

    Ufimtsev's main insight was that the aircraft geometry could be arranged in such a way to reduce the 'size' of its radar returns...ie make it smaller and harder to see for the intents and purposes of a radar...

    That is why you see all those flat edgy features on the F117...it actually worked quite well...at least against Iraq's air defenses...

    But there is still the problem of the vertical tail surfaces on 'stealth' models like the F22 and F35...So typically you would have much heavier radio absorbing skin on those areas of the plane...

    The B2 is a flying wing design without vertical tails...that gets rid of that problem...

    But you still have the turning problem...unless the stealth airplane flies in a straight line...it will need to bank...exposing a very large surface that even conventional high frequency radar can detect...

    Considering the counter-stealth radar advances...such as the data fusion scheme mentioned...it would seem to make very little sense...

    As for the Shayrat mystery...well...there is still much more to discuss on that...

    I am not and have not been making assumptions as you well know...but examining and discussing things that we can know with good confidence...well it may just get us closer...

    …not many people realize that the ‘father’ of this science was a Russian engineer named Petr Ufimtsev…

    I was aware that the intellectual heavy lifting for stealth technology was done by the Soviets, and that they dropped it. They didn’t think much of another invention, the laser, as a weapon either. It took the MIC’s marketing ingenuity to turn them both into blockbuster swindles. On the other hand, scramjets seem to have caught the Russian’s attention…

    As for the Shayrat mystery…well…there is still much more to discuss on that…
    I am not and have not been making assumptions as you well know…but examining and discussing things that we can know with good confidence…well it may just get us closer…

    Indeed there is much more, and I doubt we’ll get as close as I’d like.
    It may have just been stunningly bad luck or equally bad execution, but Shayrat represents a success rate less than half of the ~85% one reads is the Tomahawk’s success rate across 1000s of launches. On that basis, >50 should have hit their intended target. In the event, only 14-16 clear hits could be seen in the sat photos, plus a few obvious misses that were arguably within the TLAM’s CEP. The rest were nowhere to be found. An abominable performance that begs an explanation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB

    '...It may have just been stunningly bad luck or equally bad execution, but Shayrat represents a success rate less than half of the ~85% one reads is the Tomahawk’s success rate across 1000s of launches...'
     
    Yep...I for one would like to know more about the flight planning procedure for TLAMs in general...

    The fact that the order came down so quickly to strike meant that there was very little time to plan...

    I also noted previously the T-hawk's poor aerodynamic performance...ie poor climb and turn rate...etc...due to its physical limitations of high wing loading and poor thrust to weight ratio...

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2056929

    We also saw from topo maps that the flight profile would be challenging...with little room for error...

    It could just be a rushed job in terms of flight planning...and those MIA T-hawks simply clobbered into terrain along the way...

    Otoh we did see at least two very obvious misses at Shayrat [thanks ISI] that exceeded the CEP by probably a factor of ten...

    http://www.imagesatintl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Hangars-1.png

    We see those two clear misses circled with the small yellow circles about 300 ft in front of that double hangar...[we had scaled the double hangar size to be about 300 ft wide at least...based on ground pictures with an aircraft of known wingspan inside...]

    They didn't even hit the hangar apron...ie the 'driveway' in front of the hangar...

    That is a very big clue that the T-hawks were interfered with...since its CEP even without GPS is about 30 feet...[10 meters]

    It is easy to jam GPS signals because they are so weak...and since the T-Hawk uses the GPS to enhance terminal guidance accuracy...not en route...the lack of precision in a lot of the hits evident in the imagery can be explained by that fact alone...

    But to miss by 300 ft...that's another story...

    Here is a good article that talks to a Russian weapons expert about the Shayrat strike...

    http://navyrecognition.com/index.php/focus-analysis/naval-technology/5112-tomahawk-cruise-missiles-proved-to-be-difficult-targets-for-russian-electronic-warfare-system.html

    He talks about the inertial nav system [INS]...and how INS drift is corrected by geographical waypoints along the route...these waypoints being identified by an optical image sensor [Digitized Scene-Mapping Area Correlator...or DSMAC]...

    I had discussed these T-hawk guidance modes in my comment on the other thread...

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2067155

    The T-hawk...like all terrain-following aircraft...use a radar altimeter to measure their height above ground level [AGL] so as not to hit terrain...

    I had explained that in previous comments also...but just to review...the radio altimeter is also used in commercial aircraft...and is basically a very small radar antenna that points down...because of its small antenna size and weak power it too can be easily jammed...

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

    The radio altimeter is used in conjunction with the pre-loaded topo map in the flight plan...a terrain following combat aircraft works the same way...with its auto-pilot designed to fly the airplane at a safe distance from the ground...

    This means that the readings from the radalt must be continuously cross-checked with the digital topo map data...if there is a conflict...the T-hawk is designed to climb up to a safe altitude in order to avoid hitting terrain...

    So we see that there are three nav systems that rely on outside signals...the optical sensor [ie a camera]...the GPS receiver...and the radalt...

    Any of these three can be interfered with...the only system that cannot be interfered with is the INS system...which is the primary nav system...since it is self-contained and does not rely on any outside signals...which is why ICBMs use those...

    The GPS being the easiest to jam [amateurs do this all the time just for mischief]...but GPS is only used for terminal guidance once the T-hawk reaches the target area...

    The optical sensors can be blinded by lasers...the radalt is easy to overpower because it's antenna is so small and so is its electrical power...

    However being that its antenna is highly directional [pointing down]...interfering with the radalt means you would need to be right under the T-hawk flight path...so you would need to know the flight route in advance in order to position equipment along the way...this is not something you can predict easily...

    [Although if the target is important enough...it would certainly be worthwhile to examine possible ingress routes using topo data and the flight performance of the T-hawk...more on that in a bit...]

    Jamming the radalt to protect a certain target is not actually that big a problem ...you would just place jammers in a large perimeter around the target...perhaps several such defensive layers...

    Once the T-hawk arrives in the target area it climbs up in order to use its optical sensor to visually sight targets...the new TLAM Block 4s can choose from priority targets using this visual sensor...

    This may be a clue to explaining those two very obvious misses seen in the above sat image...using a laser to blind those sensors...plus the GPS being jammed by even weak and rudimentary 'telcoms' grade equipment...

    What the T-hawk would do next after its optical sensor is blinded is somewhat unpredictable...

    Now in the case of Syria...studying the topography...there are really only a couple of ingress routes that make sense...

    Besides the one I discussed in my above comment with the route along the Kabir al-Janoubi river valley that denotes the border between northern Lebanon and Syria...the best possible alternate would be coming in at Haifa in northern Israel...

    http://www.nationsonline.org/maps/Syria-Topographic-Map.jpg

    But this is actually a more challenging route for the T-hawk...as it would need to climb fairly quickly from the coast to the inland Syrian desert plateau which is at a height of about 3,000 ft...and starts at about 30 km inland...

    Again...the T-hawk's poor climb performance comes into play...

    Once inland in southwestern Syria...the T-hawk would need to turn north and fly right through the Jabar ar Ruwaq mountain range...Shayrat is on the other side in that valley bounded by the three mountain ranges...

    So there are a number of possibilities...

    The most solid 'hypotheses' we can offer is that the GPS was almost certainly interfered with in the Shayrat area...

    That would explain the general lack of accuracy...but not those two very big misses...even with GPS turned off the INS itself is enough to get the T-hawk to within 10 meters...100 meters is just too big...

    So we may consider, with less confidence, that laser interference was perhaps used in the Shayrat area...blinding the optical sensors...and causing some unpredictable behavior...that might explain those two big misses...

    Going out on a limb even more...we may suspect that there was some radar jamming equipment in a wide perimeter around the Shayrat area...

    Jamming the radalt in areas of mountainous terrain could be quite devastating for a T-hawk...and might explain why a couple of them reportedly hit villages several miles away...

    Now we also know that the Russians have had many years to devise a way to protect their sensitive targets in Russia from a TLAM attack...

    I would say with good confidence that this involves first determining the ingress flight routes that a T-hawk is actually capable of flying...ie the aerodynamic limitations of this flight vehicle are easy to figure out...as I have done in my comment here...

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2056929

    Obviously a T-hawk can't climb over a mountain...so the routes it can take to any given target could be figured out in advance...

    I honestly doubt that they have gone to this trouble in Syria...but it is possible that they deployed some of their new electronic countermeasures [ECM] toys in Syria...just to see how they work...and how they could improve them...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Kiza
    You do write sarcastic looking comments, which will not endear you to serious people here. At other times, you contradict yourself in two consecutive sentences:

    Not “useless”, as low-frequency necessarily implies poor resolution of size, location & velocity. Powerful low-frequency radars make themselves useful by giving early threat warning for high frequency radars to focus on in networked systems
     
    And this just after FB explained to you how the Serbians shotdown one/two US "stealth" planes by using passive and/or low frequency (low resolution) radar.

    But at least you provide a good short summary of this discussion:


    it’s pretty clear that the penalties one pays for “stealth” (weight, cost, etc) aren’t worth the candle
     
    Only the weight has little to do with problems of "stealth", the main issue is the reduced weapons carrying capability to remain "stealthy" and then the lower maneuverability.

    I do have some expertise in radar (and jammers) and I truly thought that US lost the plot when it went for the concept of "stealth" (a pure marketing term for el stupodo tax payers), low observability being the correct term. As FB correctly points out, the "stealth" is primarily effective against high-band airplane radar. Simply, no "stealth" plane can penetrate an integrated air defense system, which combines detection from multiple (ground) radars (illuminating "stealth" from different angles). Just like ABMD, "stealth" is another MIC's offensive military technology which is easy and relatively cheap to counter.

    You do write sarcastic looking comments, which will not endear you to serious people here.

    Of course, I’m not looking for endearment here, but I’m not looking to be called names either. When the latter happens, I typically respond with sarcasm, whatever “serious” people may think.

    … you contradict yourself in two consecutive sentences:

    Had you included FB’s statement to which those two were a response, you’ll note that the contradiction disappears.

    Only the weight has little to do with problems of “stealth”…

    As FB points out, and as Riccione did, the weight penalties directly related to stealth requirements are indeed high. Namely, the heavy absorptive coating along with the increased overall size and structural considerations for internal weapons bays combine to increase weight. These also combine to degrade performance and increase costs well past the point where any advantage stealth may yield gets swamped. Better to be lighter, faster, more manoeuvrable, and cheaper (leading to more planes). “Stealth” is little more than a marketing slogan for “Boondoggle”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus

    It is doubtful any of these countries would give the US permission to launch an air war against Russia… For one thing…Russia could then legitimately destroy those fields with standoff weapons…ie Kalibr and the air-launched longe range cruise missile Kh101… and others… (And, if from carriers)…the legitimate retaliation for Russia would be to sink those carriers…
     
    That is the crux of the matter (at least in 2015), and with that statement, you've finally acknowledged Martyanov's point. Thank you.
    BTW, you forgot Israeli bases, which the Russians may be less eager to destroy.

    A few other points stick out:

    Simple fix…don’t read my stuff
     
    OK, I'll restrict myself to looking at the nifty pictures, but if an occasional tidbit pops up that I wasn't aware of, I'll remain grateful.

    The Russian SAMs come with very powerful and mobile low frequency radars that make ‘stealth’ useless…
     
    Not "useless", as low-frequency necessarily implies poor resolution of size, location & velocity. Powerful low-frequency radars make themselves useful by giving early threat warning for high frequency radars to focus on in networked systems. Anyway, it's pretty clear that the penalties one pays for "stealth" (weight, cost, etc) aren't worth the candle.

    As for my earnest reply about details of T-hawk targeting…your sarcastic response is a disgrace…
     
    I fail to see any sarcasm in my reply to your "earnest" attempt at explaining TLAM targeting. It was quite as earnest as your reply.
    Perhaps even more so, as I suspect that the targeting process may hold the secret to the TLAM failure at Shayrat. The only other suspect that comes to mind is that the TLAMs took 2 (or more) flight paths, along pre-determined "missile corridors", one (or more) of which proved problematic. Not knowing where those 36 went, of course, means I'm making wild-assed guesses.

    You do write sarcastic looking comments, which will not endear you to serious people here. At other times, you contradict yourself in two consecutive sentences:

    Not “useless”, as low-frequency necessarily implies poor resolution of size, location & velocity. Powerful low-frequency radars make themselves useful by giving early threat warning for high frequency radars to focus on in networked systems

    And this just after FB explained to you how the Serbians shotdown one/two US “stealth” planes by using passive and/or low frequency (low resolution) radar.

    But at least you provide a good short summary of this discussion:

    it’s pretty clear that the penalties one pays for “stealth” (weight, cost, etc) aren’t worth the candle

    Only the weight has little to do with problems of “stealth”, the main issue is the reduced weapons carrying capability to remain “stealthy” and then the lower maneuverability.

    I do have some expertise in radar (and jammers) and I truly thought that US lost the plot when it went for the concept of “stealth” (a pure marketing term for el stupodo tax payers), low observability being the correct term. As FB correctly points out, the “stealth” is primarily effective against high-band airplane radar. Simply, no “stealth” plane can penetrate an integrated air defense system, which combines detection from multiple (ground) radars (illuminating “stealth” from different angles). Just like ABMD, “stealth” is another MIC’s offensive military technology which is easy and relatively cheap to counter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    You do write sarcastic looking comments, which will not endear you to serious people here.
     
    Of course, I'm not looking for endearment here, but I'm not looking to be called names either. When the latter happens, I typically respond with sarcasm, whatever "serious" people may think.

    ... you contradict yourself in two consecutive sentences:
     
    Had you included FB's statement to which those two were a response, you'll note that the contradiction disappears.

    Only the weight has little to do with problems of “stealth”...
     
    As FB points out, and as Riccione did, the weight penalties directly related to stealth requirements are indeed high. Namely, the heavy absorptive coating along with the increased overall size and structural considerations for internal weapons bays combine to increase weight. These also combine to degrade performance and increase costs well past the point where any advantage stealth may yield gets swamped. Better to be lighter, faster, more manoeuvrable, and cheaper (leading to more planes). "Stealth" is little more than a marketing slogan for "Boondoggle".
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus

    It is doubtful any of these countries would give the US permission to launch an air war against Russia… For one thing…Russia could then legitimately destroy those fields with standoff weapons…ie Kalibr and the air-launched longe range cruise missile Kh101… and others… (And, if from carriers)…the legitimate retaliation for Russia would be to sink those carriers…
     
    That is the crux of the matter (at least in 2015), and with that statement, you've finally acknowledged Martyanov's point. Thank you.
    BTW, you forgot Israeli bases, which the Russians may be less eager to destroy.

    A few other points stick out:

    Simple fix…don’t read my stuff
     
    OK, I'll restrict myself to looking at the nifty pictures, but if an occasional tidbit pops up that I wasn't aware of, I'll remain grateful.

    The Russian SAMs come with very powerful and mobile low frequency radars that make ‘stealth’ useless…
     
    Not "useless", as low-frequency necessarily implies poor resolution of size, location & velocity. Powerful low-frequency radars make themselves useful by giving early threat warning for high frequency radars to focus on in networked systems. Anyway, it's pretty clear that the penalties one pays for "stealth" (weight, cost, etc) aren't worth the candle.

    As for my earnest reply about details of T-hawk targeting…your sarcastic response is a disgrace…
     
    I fail to see any sarcasm in my reply to your "earnest" attempt at explaining TLAM targeting. It was quite as earnest as your reply.
    Perhaps even more so, as I suspect that the targeting process may hold the secret to the TLAM failure at Shayrat. The only other suspect that comes to mind is that the TLAMs took 2 (or more) flight paths, along pre-determined "missile corridors", one (or more) of which proved problematic. Not knowing where those 36 went, of course, means I'm making wild-assed guesses.

    ‘…Not “useless”, as low-frequency necessarily implies poor resolution of size, location & velocity. Powerful low-frequency radars make themselves useful by giving early threat warning for high frequency radars to focus on in networked systems…’

    Of course…as I noted this was a breezy overview light on details…

    The rest of the story is that the Russian Nebo M complex as pictured here uses three radio frequencies…the low-frequency [meter-band] with the yagi antennas…then a decimetric [L band]…and finally the S band in the background in this image…

    All three work together in a data fusion scheme…whereby the low band radar picks up the general location of the target…and then points the L-band to that sector for finer resolution…which finally hands off the S-band for targeting…and guiding the missile shot…

    ‘…Anyway, it’s pretty clear that the penalties one pays for “stealth” (weight, cost, etc) aren’t worth the candle…’

    Right…there is also the issue of availability…the F22 has to have something like 30 hours of maintenance for each flight hour…how many sorties a day does that add up to…?

    The weight penalty is especially damaging for anything that needs to fly…excess weight literally kills aircraft performance…range…payload…maneuvering…

    As I mentioned previously I have had first-hand experience with that stealth skin coating and its weight is ridiculous…

    Although again it must be noted that the coating does not need to be applied heavily everywhere…

    The ‘stealth’ technique relies largely on airframe geometric shaping…which is designed to scatter radio waves instead of reflecting them back…

    Incidentally…not many people realize that the ‘father’ of this science was a Russian engineer named Petr Ufimtsev…

    He developed a complete theoretical framework which he was allowed to publish openly…since the Soviet military did not see much value in it…

    The USAF found a copy and translated this work in 1970…this provided the scientific underpinnings for the Have Blue project…which turned into F117 and B2…

    ‘…In 1964, Pyotr Ufimtsev, a Soviet mathematician, published a seminal paper titled Method of Edge Waves in the Physical Theory of Diffraction in the journal of the Moscow Institute for Radio Engineering, in which he showed that the strength of the radar return from an object is related to its edge configuration, not its size…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-117_Nighthawk#Background_and_Have_Blue

    The translated paper [actually book length] is still available…

    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0733203

    Ufimtsev’s main insight was that the aircraft geometry could be arranged in such a way to reduce the ‘size’ of its radar returns…ie make it smaller and harder to see for the intents and purposes of a radar…

    That is why you see all those flat edgy features on the F117…it actually worked quite well…at least against Iraq’s air defenses…

    But there is still the problem of the vertical tail surfaces on ‘stealth’ models like the F22 and F35…So typically you would have much heavier radio absorbing skin on those areas of the plane…

    The B2 is a flying wing design without vertical tails…that gets rid of that problem…

    But you still have the turning problem…unless the stealth airplane flies in a straight line…it will need to bank…exposing a very large surface that even conventional high frequency radar can detect…

    Considering the counter-stealth radar advances…such as the data fusion scheme mentioned…it would seem to make very little sense…

    As for the Shayrat mystery…well…there is still much more to discuss on that…

    I am not and have not been making assumptions as you well know…but examining and discussing things that we can know with good confidence…well it may just get us closer…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    …not many people realize that the ‘father’ of this science was a Russian engineer named Petr Ufimtsev…
     
    I was aware that the intellectual heavy lifting for stealth technology was done by the Soviets, and that they dropped it. They didn't think much of another invention, the laser, as a weapon either. It took the MIC's marketing ingenuity to turn them both into blockbuster swindles. On the other hand, scramjets seem to have caught the Russian's attention...

    As for the Shayrat mystery…well…there is still much more to discuss on that…
    I am not and have not been making assumptions as you well know…but examining and discussing things that we can know with good confidence…well it may just get us closer…
     
    Indeed there is much more, and I doubt we'll get as close as I'd like.
    It may have just been stunningly bad luck or equally bad execution, but Shayrat represents a success rate less than half of the ~85% one reads is the Tomahawk's success rate across 1000s of launches. On that basis, >50 should have hit their intended target. In the event, only 14-16 clear hits could be seen in the sat photos, plus a few obvious misses that were arguably within the TLAM's CEP. The rest were nowhere to be found. An abominable performance that begs an explanation.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • It is doubtful any of these countries would give the US permission to launch an air war against Russia… For one thing…Russia could then legitimately destroy those fields with standoff weapons…ie Kalibr and the air-launched longe range cruise missile Kh101… and others… (And, if from carriers)…the legitimate retaliation for Russia would be to sink those carriers…

    That is the crux of the matter (at least in 2015), and with that statement, you’ve finally acknowledged Martyanov’s point. Thank you.
    BTW, you forgot Israeli bases, which the Russians may be less eager to destroy.

    A few other points stick out:

    Simple fix…don’t read my stuff

    OK, I’ll restrict myself to looking at the nifty pictures, but if an occasional tidbit pops up that I wasn’t aware of, I’ll remain grateful.

    The Russian SAMs come with very powerful and mobile low frequency radars that make ‘stealth’ useless…

    Not “useless”, as low-frequency necessarily implies poor resolution of size, location & velocity. Powerful low-frequency radars make themselves useful by giving early threat warning for high frequency radars to focus on in networked systems. Anyway, it’s pretty clear that the penalties one pays for “stealth” (weight, cost, etc) aren’t worth the candle.

    As for my earnest reply about details of T-hawk targeting…your sarcastic response is a disgrace…

    I fail to see any sarcasm in my reply to your “earnest” attempt at explaining TLAM targeting. It was quite as earnest as your reply.
    Perhaps even more so, as I suspect that the targeting process may hold the secret to the TLAM failure at Shayrat. The only other suspect that comes to mind is that the TLAMs took 2 (or more) flight paths, along pre-determined “missile corridors”, one (or more) of which proved problematic. Not knowing where those 36 went, of course, means I’m making wild-assed guesses.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB

    '...Not “useless”, as low-frequency necessarily implies poor resolution of size, location & velocity. Powerful low-frequency radars make themselves useful by giving early threat warning for high frequency radars to focus on in networked systems...'
     
    Of course...as I noted this was a breezy overview light on details...

    The rest of the story is that the Russian Nebo M complex as pictured here uses three radio frequencies...the low-frequency [meter-band] with the yagi antennas...then a decimetric [L band]...and finally the S band in the background in this image...

    http://www.ausairpower.net/PVO-S/NNIIRT-55Zh6ME-Nebo-M-RLS-A.jpg

    All three work together in a data fusion scheme...whereby the low band radar picks up the general location of the target...and then points the L-band to that sector for finer resolution...which finally hands off the S-band for targeting...and guiding the missile shot...

    '...Anyway, it’s pretty clear that the penalties one pays for “stealth” (weight, cost, etc) aren’t worth the candle...'
     
    Right...there is also the issue of availability...the F22 has to have something like 30 hours of maintenance for each flight hour...how many sorties a day does that add up to...?

    The weight penalty is especially damaging for anything that needs to fly...excess weight literally kills aircraft performance...range...payload...maneuvering...

    As I mentioned previously I have had first-hand experience with that stealth skin coating and its weight is ridiculous...

    Although again it must be noted that the coating does not need to be applied heavily everywhere...

    The 'stealth' technique relies largely on airframe geometric shaping...which is designed to scatter radio waves instead of reflecting them back...

    Incidentally...not many people realize that the 'father' of this science was a Russian engineer named Petr Ufimtsev...

    He developed a complete theoretical framework which he was allowed to publish openly...since the Soviet military did not see much value in it...

    The USAF found a copy and translated this work in 1970...this provided the scientific underpinnings for the Have Blue project...which turned into F117 and B2...

    '...In 1964, Pyotr Ufimtsev, a Soviet mathematician, published a seminal paper titled Method of Edge Waves in the Physical Theory of Diffraction in the journal of the Moscow Institute for Radio Engineering, in which he showed that the strength of the radar return from an object is related to its edge configuration, not its size...'
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-117_Nighthawk#Background_and_Have_Blue

    The translated paper [actually book length] is still available...

    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0733203

    Ufimtsev's main insight was that the aircraft geometry could be arranged in such a way to reduce the 'size' of its radar returns...ie make it smaller and harder to see for the intents and purposes of a radar...

    That is why you see all those flat edgy features on the F117...it actually worked quite well...at least against Iraq's air defenses...

    But there is still the problem of the vertical tail surfaces on 'stealth' models like the F22 and F35...So typically you would have much heavier radio absorbing skin on those areas of the plane...

    The B2 is a flying wing design without vertical tails...that gets rid of that problem...

    But you still have the turning problem...unless the stealth airplane flies in a straight line...it will need to bank...exposing a very large surface that even conventional high frequency radar can detect...

    Considering the counter-stealth radar advances...such as the data fusion scheme mentioned...it would seem to make very little sense...

    As for the Shayrat mystery...well...there is still much more to discuss on that...

    I am not and have not been making assumptions as you well know...but examining and discussing things that we can know with good confidence...well it may just get us closer...
    , @Kiza
    You do write sarcastic looking comments, which will not endear you to serious people here. At other times, you contradict yourself in two consecutive sentences:

    Not “useless”, as low-frequency necessarily implies poor resolution of size, location & velocity. Powerful low-frequency radars make themselves useful by giving early threat warning for high frequency radars to focus on in networked systems
     
    And this just after FB explained to you how the Serbians shotdown one/two US "stealth" planes by using passive and/or low frequency (low resolution) radar.

    But at least you provide a good short summary of this discussion:


    it’s pretty clear that the penalties one pays for “stealth” (weight, cost, etc) aren’t worth the candle
     
    Only the weight has little to do with problems of "stealth", the main issue is the reduced weapons carrying capability to remain "stealthy" and then the lower maneuverability.

    I do have some expertise in radar (and jammers) and I truly thought that US lost the plot when it went for the concept of "stealth" (a pure marketing term for el stupodo tax payers), low observability being the correct term. As FB correctly points out, the "stealth" is primarily effective against high-band airplane radar. Simply, no "stealth" plane can penetrate an integrated air defense system, which combines detection from multiple (ground) radars (illuminating "stealth" from different angles). Just like ABMD, "stealth" is another MIC's offensive military technology which is easy and relatively cheap to counter.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Also my picture of the Russian Nebo M ‘anti-stealth’ mobile radar did not come through…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus
    Unless you're Humpty Dumpty, words don't mean whatever you want them to mean. Please look up the meanings of "article" and "debate", and any other words you're unfamiliar with so as to avoid confusing your readers.
    In addition to Sparkon's criticisms, your distortion of the opponent's point, and your fast 'n loose treatment of words puts up a wall of noise that makes any signal you may be sending difficult to extract.

    That is a political question obviously…
     
    Well, war has ever been an answer to one or another political question. In this case, the US' national strategic objective (as political as it gets) was in question. So, my question stands:

    If Russia’s current A2AD in Syria is too much for the USM to handle, what caused them to stand down when it wasn’t?
     
    Your answer has been prominent in its absence.

    The Empire signed its abdication letter in the days following Oct 7, 2015. That was the day 26 Kalibrs from the Caspian hit ISIS targets 1500kms away.
    You're trying to tell us that it signed because 10,000s of missiles (Tomahawks incl) along with 1000s of F-22/15/16/18s are no match for a few dozen S-300s (not sure if the Pantsirs were there yet). Maybe, but you haven't made that case.
    Rather, I suspect that Stalin's old dictum that "Quantity is a quality all its own" still reigns. If it does, on Oct 6, 2015 CENTCOM was vigorously looking at their options on getting those impudent Russians out, or at least to bog them down as Obama openly threatened. Alas, by Oct 8 the most astute of their analyst-planners realized they didn't have any options which didn't invite wholesale destruction of their M.E. presence. By the time the KH-101s entered the theatre a month later, the US had altered course for its new strategic objective, namely to spoil the soup. Their first act was to gin up a Turk to ambush a Russian SU-24. In the following months, Russia enhanced their A2AD capabilities, and eventually perhaps made even their own stand-off capabilities redundant.

    As for Breedlove, the man's deranged, a full-blown nutcase. His hysterical nonsense regarding imaginary columns of Russian tanks and combat vehicles invading Ukraine left his European allies wondering whether he'd succumbed to madness. If he wasn't in one of his hallucinatory fits at the time, his statements regarding Russia's A2AD capabilities sound very much like just another Air Force general proposing multi-$Bs solutions to problems that wouldn't exist had he and his colleagues been paying attention to NATO's mandate.

    Those details are not generally known to the public…since they involve very sensitive operational issues…
     
    I assumed the details wouldn't be public, but had hoped that a "block diagram" level description of the process would be available. The reason I asked, of course, is that I'm inclined to believe that it's here where the vulnerabilities to significant mischief lie.

    I had planned on examining this subject further…ie means that may have been used to ‘influence’ the flight path of those TLAMs…
     
    Go for it.

    Sorry…posted the same picture of the AN/ALQ99 jammer twice…

    meant to post this cutaway showing the antenna size…

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • FB says:
    @Erebus
    Unless you're Humpty Dumpty, words don't mean whatever you want them to mean. Please look up the meanings of "article" and "debate", and any other words you're unfamiliar with so as to avoid confusing your readers.
    In addition to Sparkon's criticisms, your distortion of the opponent's point, and your fast 'n loose treatment of words puts up a wall of noise that makes any signal you may be sending difficult to extract.

    That is a political question obviously…
     
    Well, war has ever been an answer to one or another political question. In this case, the US' national strategic objective (as political as it gets) was in question. So, my question stands:

    If Russia’s current A2AD in Syria is too much for the USM to handle, what caused them to stand down when it wasn’t?
     
    Your answer has been prominent in its absence.

    The Empire signed its abdication letter in the days following Oct 7, 2015. That was the day 26 Kalibrs from the Caspian hit ISIS targets 1500kms away.
    You're trying to tell us that it signed because 10,000s of missiles (Tomahawks incl) along with 1000s of F-22/15/16/18s are no match for a few dozen S-300s (not sure if the Pantsirs were there yet). Maybe, but you haven't made that case.
    Rather, I suspect that Stalin's old dictum that "Quantity is a quality all its own" still reigns. If it does, on Oct 6, 2015 CENTCOM was vigorously looking at their options on getting those impudent Russians out, or at least to bog them down as Obama openly threatened. Alas, by Oct 8 the most astute of their analyst-planners realized they didn't have any options which didn't invite wholesale destruction of their M.E. presence. By the time the KH-101s entered the theatre a month later, the US had altered course for its new strategic objective, namely to spoil the soup. Their first act was to gin up a Turk to ambush a Russian SU-24. In the following months, Russia enhanced their A2AD capabilities, and eventually perhaps made even their own stand-off capabilities redundant.

    As for Breedlove, the man's deranged, a full-blown nutcase. His hysterical nonsense regarding imaginary columns of Russian tanks and combat vehicles invading Ukraine left his European allies wondering whether he'd succumbed to madness. If he wasn't in one of his hallucinatory fits at the time, his statements regarding Russia's A2AD capabilities sound very much like just another Air Force general proposing multi-$Bs solutions to problems that wouldn't exist had he and his colleagues been paying attention to NATO's mandate.

    Those details are not generally known to the public…since they involve very sensitive operational issues…
     
    I assumed the details wouldn't be public, but had hoped that a "block diagram" level description of the process would be available. The reason I asked, of course, is that I'm inclined to believe that it's here where the vulnerabilities to significant mischief lie.

    I had planned on examining this subject further…ie means that may have been used to ‘influence’ the flight path of those TLAMs…
     
    Go for it.

    ‘…In addition to Sparkon’s criticisms, your distortion of the opponent’s point, and your fast ‘n loose treatment of words puts up a wall of noise that makes any signal you may be sending difficult to extract…’

    Simple fix…don’t read my stuff…

    That way you can continue in ignorant bliss…

    As for my earnest reply about details of T-hawk targeting…your sarcastic response is a disgrace…

    Don’t bother asking me any more questions…I only discuss with polite people…

    ‘…You’re trying to tell us that… 10,000s of missiles (Tomahawks incl) along with 1000s of F-22/15/16/18s are no match for a few dozen S-300s (not sure if the Pantsirs were there yet). Maybe, but you haven’t made that case…’

    I said exactly what I said…[throughout this massive debate with Martyanov...and you as a wise-cracking, but clueless sidekick...]

    1. A SEAD operation would be the first order of business in trying to ‘overwhelm’ Russian forces in Khmeimim and Tartus…[or evict if you will...]

    2. A SEAD [suppression of enemy air defenses] operation can only be carried out by means of combat aviation…as Breedlove has publicly admitted…[he may be a megalomaniac...but that does not necessarily make him incompetent...]

    3. The Russian A2/AD capability has advanced to the point that the US has no effective means to counter those…which is why Breedlove stated that new ‘tools’ must be developed that do not rely solely on aviation

    The reason US aviation cannot take out Russian A2/AD is due to reasons of physics involved in the two opposing combat systems…

    The main components of air defense [or A2/AD] are radars and surface to air missiles…[SAMs]…

    The main tools for SEAD are airplanes carrying radar jammers and air to surface missiles that home in on radar signals…ie HARMS…high-speed anti-radiation missiles…

    So we have basically aircraft radars and missiles going against truck based radars and missiles…

    The physical limitations on what an aircraft can carry are the determining factor in important parameters like missile range…and jammer effectiveness…

    For mobile SAM radars and missiles physical size and weight are not a real issue…they do not need to fly…

    They are mounted on trucks and can be larger and heavier than any aircraft could possibly carry…

    That itself is a clue as to who wins this contest…but let’s get a little deeper…

    Let’s look at the search and acquisition radar of the S400 system…the 91N6E…here is some technical info on its performance from Dr. Karlo Kopp, noted expert in the field…

    ‘…This system operates in the 2 GHz band and is a phased array with a 30% larger aperture than the US Navy SPY-1 Aegis radar…

    …even accounting for its slightly larger wavelength it amounts to a mobile land based Aegis class package. It has no direct equivalent in the West…’

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Acquisition-GCI.html#mozTocId420074

    There you can see the size comparison with the Aegis radar…also note that this radar has been updated since the time of Kopp’s writing and is now called the 91N6E…more on that here…

    http://ausairpower.net/APA-S-400-Triumf.html#mozTocId952598

    Now I believe you know something about radar…and that radar performance is based on the product of its aperture [ie antenna size] and its electrical power…ie the power-aperture product…

    Against this beast the US is going to throw the AN/ALQ-99 airborne jammer…

    You can see the size of this unit under the wing of an Grumman EA6B ‘Growler’…which carries one under each wing…

    The radar antenna on this is about 8 inch diameter…the electrical power comes from that little propeller at the pod’s nose…which is called a ram-air turbine…you can see the dinky little antennas here…

    So this is going to try to jam up an Aegis-class radar…?

    Incidentally the 91N6E has a range of 600 km…which means it will see approaching aircraft long before the aircraft can see it…

    It’s the same kind of mismatch in missiles…

    The AGM-88 HARM carried by US fighter aircraft has a maximum range of 150 km…but that’s only at a high-altitude supersonic release…

    In practice Harm aircraft are going to try to sneak in by flying low to terrain and the range may be no more than about 20 km…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-88_HARM

    The S400 missiles have a range of up to 400 km…

    The AGM88 total weight is 355 kg…the long range 40N6 missile on the S400 weighs 1893 kg…

    Those are the basic physical facts behind the aircraft vs SAM showdown…

    Bottom line is that Russia has evolved its A2/AD capability by several generations…while the US ‘tools’ like the AGM88 Harm and AN/ALQ99 jammer are the same as they were in the 1970s…

    In previous wars…like the Gulf War…when SAMs were not mobile but stationary…it was possible to overcome those…because you knew where they were and if you had enough Jamming and Harm aircraft you could go after those…

    Against Serbia in 1999…this proved not to be the case anymore…even though the Serbns had ancient Soviet equipment…they shot down two stealth F117s [as Col Riccione notes...the second one made it back to base but never flew again...so it counts as downed]…

    …plus the F16 piloted by then Col. David Goldfein…now USAF chief of staff…

    The US even with 1,000 aircraft…was evading SAM shots until the last day…

    New stealth aircraft like the currently operational F22 were supposed to be the secret weapon against modern A2/AD…

    But ‘stealth’ as the Serbs demonstrated in real combat doesn’t actually work against low-frequency radars…[this is a technical issue that bears more detailed discussion which I will not get into in this comment...]

    But suffice to say…that stealth aircraft are designed to be hard to detect by other fighter aircraft…which carry fairly small, high frequency radars…

    And that only at certain aspects…namely the frontal…or head-on aspect…as soon as a ‘stealth plane begins to bank…it exposes its large underbelly surface…making it visible even to opposing aircraft…

    Col Riccione touches on that and much more in his devastatingly honest critique of the F22…which paper I have linked to here previously…

    The Russian SAMs come with very powerful and mobile low frequency radars that make ‘stealth’ useless…

    http://ausairpower.net/APA-Nebo-M-Annex.html

    You mentioned thousand of airplanes…although the reality is that there are only so many aircraft equipped for the SEAD mission…ie able to carry jamming pods and Harms…

    And where are they going to come from…?

    Turkey is for sure not going to let US aircraft use its territory to launch a war against Russia…

    What about Qatar…where the US has a big base…?

    Or even Britain…with its air base in Cyprus…?

    It is doubtful any of these countries would give the US permission to launch an air war against Russia…

    For one thing…Russia could then legitimately destroy those fields with standoff weapons…ie Kalibr and the air-launched longe range cruise missile Kh101… and others…

    We recall that US has not bothered to develop A2/AD exclusion zones of its own…as Breedlove pointed out…leaving those bases vulnerable to standoff weapons…

    That leaves only carrier aviation…

    How many aircraft can be mustered for such an ambitious SEAD mission from a couple of carriers…?

    The answer is Not Enough…

    Even so…the legitimate retaliation for Russia would be to sink those carriers…and they have long had the weapons for that job…ie Tu22 suprsonic heavy bombers carrying 7 ton missiles that go mach 4 and carry 1.5 ton warhead…

    So that is how the situation looks from a technical perspective…Syria is now an A2/AD zone…Russia also has Beriev A50 Airborne early warning aircraft there…

    So any attempt to infiltrate the airspace would be detected very quickly…

    The US simply does not have the tools to take on such an exclusion zone…as I have now explained…although rather briefly…and as Breedlove made plain in his comments…

    And here we have a history lesson…from 1983…the last time the US attacked Syria by way of a SEAD mission using carrier aircraft…

    Several planes shot down…an American pilot captured…etc…an embarrassing failure that cost the lives of several airmen…for zero gain…not even taking out one Syrian mobile SAM…

    https://www.cfr.org/blog/when-america-attacked-syria

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @FB


    '...I pointed out that the premise of the article…overwhelming the Russian contingent in Syria using massive salvos of standoff weapons like TLAMs…is fantastical…since these weapons are not designed to accomplish a SEAD mission…'
     
    '...It is quite unclear to me why you think that was the premise of Andrei’s article. The only point where he explicitly touches on the subject of forcing the Russians out of Syria, he says...'
     
    Well...E...it seems you are working very hard to get your picture in the dictionary...right beside the definition of 'disingenuous...'

    You of all people...know darn well the subject of my extensive debate with Andrey...

    No disrespect to Andrey...who does appear to have a professional level of knowledge in naval technology and operations...

    ...but he is not an aviation guy...and was in way over his head on the subject of SEAD [suppression of enemy air defense...]

    ...which...as Gen. Breedlove's comments confirm...is strictly a type of operation that is tackled by means of aviation...

    '...That begs the question “Why did the USM not immediately put down an ultimatum, and prepare to oust them, or at least to impede/prevent their operations?”. If Russia’s current A2AD in Syria is too much for the USM to handle, what caused them to stand down when it wasn’t?...'
     
    That is a political question obviously...

    My focus all along has been on providing sound information in the technical sphere...as this is very much misunderstood among the public...yet has significant ramifications even on such political questions...

    Ie...I have tried to show how the technology involved works...and illustrated that with credible expert analyses of historical conflicts...

    ...but I am not about to start guessing as to what politicians may or may not have been thinking...

    As to your comment on the other thread...where you ask about...

    '...details of how and where the target and flight path instructions are generated and how that “package” gets into the missiles computer(s)...'
     
    Those details are not generally known to the public...since they involve very sensitive operational issues...

    ...and it would seem that knowing those details would allow an adversary to possibly attack such by means of any number of vectors...ie social 'engineering'...computer hacking...etc...

    Think of the stuxnet virus attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities a few years ago...

    However...what we can credibly deduce is this...

    1...the data involved in planning TLAM flight routes would clearly be enormous...this would involve very fine-resolution topographical data for a huge geographic swath of the earth's land surface...

    ...since the US has a lot of potential targets it would wish to hit...including much of the Eurasian landmass...West Asia [ie middle east...]...etc...

    This topo data would likely come from sat mapping using synthetic aperture radar [SAR]...as well as open sources...since such data is openly available for many countries...

    Besides the topo data...there would be huge amounts of actual image data...which is required for the DSMAC [digitized scene mapping area correlator]...which is necessary for cruise missile course correction...using geographic waypoints...

    These would need to be obtained by means other than satellite...usually spy plane flights...

    2...the people who program these cruise missile flight paths would need to be highly trained experts...having intimate knowledge of both the aeronautical flying characteristics of the 'missile' [which is actually more of an aircraft as I have noted on several occasions]...

    ...as well as very high expertise in navigation...which is in fact a highly specialized field of aeronautics itself...

    Considering these two points...one might well deduce that keeping such personnel on board the ship itself may not be desirable...

    So I would say it might make sense to keep these specialists stateside...like we see with the drone pilots who fly these aircraft in real time around the world...but from locations mostly in Nevada...if I recall..

    This means that some transferring of data probably occurs between ship and shore...again...the same way a drone pilot's flight control inputs are transmitted by encrypted sat comms...

    The final part of course is getting the flight plan data into the TLAM flight computer...

    For security...I would think this kind of data transfer is done strictly by direct wireline connection...it would seem better than some kind of wireless data transfer...since even if encrypted...it would allow for some opportunity of outside interference...

    So my take is that the heavy lifting is likely done on shore...with the flight plan data then sent to the ship...where the final part of loading the flight plan on to the cruise missile is done...

    Still...even knowing the exact details of how this is done does not really get us any closer to understand the Shayrat fail...

    I had planned on examining this subject further...ie means that may have been used to 'influence' the flight path of those TLAMs...

    ...but of course distractions happen...

    Here is the link to my comment on the other thread to which you were responding...

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2067155

    Unless you’re Humpty Dumpty, words don’t mean whatever you want them to mean. Please look up the meanings of “article” and “debate”, and any other words you’re unfamiliar with so as to avoid confusing your readers.
    In addition to Sparkon’s criticisms, your distortion of the opponent’s point, and your fast ‘n loose treatment of words puts up a wall of noise that makes any signal you may be sending difficult to extract.

    That is a political question obviously…

    Well, war has ever been an answer to one or another political question. In this case, the US’ national strategic objective (as political as it gets) was in question. So, my question stands:

    If Russia’s current A2AD in Syria is too much for the USM to handle, what caused them to stand down when it wasn’t?

    Your answer has been prominent in its absence.

    The Empire signed its abdication letter in the days following Oct 7, 2015. That was the day 26 Kalibrs from the Caspian hit ISIS targets 1500kms away.
    You’re trying to tell us that it signed because 10,000s of missiles (Tomahawks incl) along with 1000s of F-22/15/16/18s are no match for a few dozen S-300s (not sure if the Pantsirs were there yet). Maybe, but you haven’t made that case.
    Rather, I suspect that Stalin’s old dictum that “Quantity is a quality all its own” still reigns. If it does, on Oct 6, 2015 CENTCOM was vigorously looking at their options on getting those impudent Russians out, or at least to bog them down as Obama openly threatened. Alas, by Oct 8 the most astute of their analyst-planners realized they didn’t have any options which didn’t invite wholesale destruction of their M.E. presence. By the time the KH-101s entered the theatre a month later, the US had altered course for its new strategic objective, namely to spoil the soup. Their first act was to gin up a Turk to ambush a Russian SU-24. In the following months, Russia enhanced their A2AD capabilities, and eventually perhaps made even their own stand-off capabilities redundant.

    As for Breedlove, the man’s deranged, a full-blown nutcase. His hysterical nonsense regarding imaginary columns of Russian tanks and combat vehicles invading Ukraine left his European allies wondering whether he’d succumbed to madness. If he wasn’t in one of his hallucinatory fits at the time, his statements regarding Russia’s A2AD capabilities sound very much like just another Air Force general proposing multi-$Bs solutions to problems that wouldn’t exist had he and his colleagues been paying attention to NATO’s mandate.

    Those details are not generally known to the public…since they involve very sensitive operational issues…

    I assumed the details wouldn’t be public, but had hoped that a “block diagram” level description of the process would be available. The reason I asked, of course, is that I’m inclined to believe that it’s here where the vulnerabilities to significant mischief lie.

    I had planned on examining this subject further…ie means that may have been used to ‘influence’ the flight path of those TLAMs…

    Go for it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB

    '...In addition to Sparkon’s criticisms, your distortion of the opponent’s point, and your fast ‘n loose treatment of words puts up a wall of noise that makes any signal you may be sending difficult to extract...'
     
    Simple fix...don't read my stuff...

    That way you can continue in ignorant bliss...

    As for my earnest reply about details of T-hawk targeting...your sarcastic response is a disgrace...

    Don't bother asking me any more questions...I only discuss with polite people...

    '...You’re trying to tell us that... 10,000s of missiles (Tomahawks incl) along with 1000s of F-22/15/16/18s are no match for a few dozen S-300s (not sure if the Pantsirs were there yet). Maybe, but you haven’t made that case...'
     
    I said exactly what I said...[throughout this massive debate with Martyanov...and you as a wise-cracking, but clueless sidekick...]

    1. A SEAD operation would be the first order of business in trying to 'overwhelm' Russian forces in Khmeimim and Tartus...[or evict if you will...]

    2. A SEAD [suppression of enemy air defenses] operation can only be carried out by means of combat aviation...as Breedlove has publicly admitted...[he may be a megalomaniac...but that does not necessarily make him incompetent...]

    3. The Russian A2/AD capability has advanced to the point that the US has no effective means to counter those...which is why Breedlove stated that new 'tools' must be developed that do not rely solely on aviation...

    The reason US aviation cannot take out Russian A2/AD is due to reasons of physics involved in the two opposing combat systems...

    The main components of air defense [or A2/AD] are radars and surface to air missiles...[SAMs]...

    The main tools for SEAD are airplanes carrying radar jammers and air to surface missiles that home in on radar signals...ie HARMS...high-speed anti-radiation missiles...

    So we have basically aircraft radars and missiles going against truck based radars and missiles...

    The physical limitations on what an aircraft can carry are the determining factor in important parameters like missile range...and jammer effectiveness...

    For mobile SAM radars and missiles physical size and weight are not a real issue...they do not need to fly...

    They are mounted on trucks and can be larger and heavier than any aircraft could possibly carry...

    That itself is a clue as to who wins this contest...but let's get a little deeper...

    Let's look at the search and acquisition radar of the S400 system...the 91N6E...here is some technical info on its performance from Dr. Karlo Kopp, noted expert in the field...

    '...This system operates in the 2 GHz band and is a phased array with a 30% larger aperture than the US Navy SPY-1 Aegis radar...

    ...even accounting for its slightly larger wavelength it amounts to a mobile land based Aegis class package. It has no direct equivalent in the West...'
     
    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-R6IiDKOS5e4/Ub3W50wdjdI/AAAAAAAABV4/mAET6aqS9BU/w500-h344-no/64N6E.jpg

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Acquisition-GCI.html#mozTocId420074

    There you can see the size comparison with the Aegis radar...also note that this radar has been updated since the time of Kopp's writing and is now called the 91N6E...more on that here...

    http://ausairpower.net/APA-S-400-Triumf.html#mozTocId952598

    Now I believe you know something about radar...and that radar performance is based on the product of its aperture [ie antenna size] and its electrical power...ie the power-aperture product...

    Against this beast the US is going to throw the AN/ALQ-99 airborne jammer...

    https://turnnburn.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/img_3685.jpg

    You can see the size of this unit under the wing of an Grumman EA6B 'Growler'...which carries one under each wing...

    The radar antenna on this is about 8 inch diameter...the electrical power comes from that little propeller at the pod's nose...which is called a ram-air turbine...you can see the dinky little antennas here...

    https://turnnburn.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/img_3685.jpg

    So this is going to try to jam up an Aegis-class radar...?

    Incidentally the 91N6E has a range of 600 km...which means it will see approaching aircraft long before the aircraft can see it...

    It's the same kind of mismatch in missiles...

    The AGM-88 HARM carried by US fighter aircraft has a maximum range of 150 km...but that's only at a high-altitude supersonic release...

    In practice Harm aircraft are going to try to sneak in by flying low to terrain and the range may be no more than about 20 km...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-88_HARM

    The S400 missiles have a range of up to 400 km...

    The AGM88 total weight is 355 kg...the long range 40N6 missile on the S400 weighs 1893 kg...

    Those are the basic physical facts behind the aircraft vs SAM showdown...

    Bottom line is that Russia has evolved its A2/AD capability by several generations...while the US 'tools' like the AGM88 Harm and AN/ALQ99 jammer are the same as they were in the 1970s...

    In previous wars...like the Gulf War...when SAMs were not mobile but stationary...it was possible to overcome those...because you knew where they were and if you had enough Jamming and Harm aircraft you could go after those...

    Against Serbia in 1999...this proved not to be the case anymore...even though the Serbns had ancient Soviet equipment...they shot down two stealth F117s [as Col Riccione notes...the second one made it back to base but never flew again...so it counts as downed]...

    ...plus the F16 piloted by then Col. David Goldfein...now USAF chief of staff...

    The US even with 1,000 aircraft...was evading SAM shots until the last day...

    New stealth aircraft like the currently operational F22 were supposed to be the secret weapon against modern A2/AD...

    But 'stealth' as the Serbs demonstrated in real combat doesn't actually work against low-frequency radars...[this is a technical issue that bears more detailed discussion which I will not get into in this comment...]

    But suffice to say...that stealth aircraft are designed to be hard to detect by other fighter aircraft...which carry fairly small, high frequency radars...

    And that only at certain aspects...namely the frontal...or head-on aspect...as soon as a 'stealth plane begins to bank...it exposes its large underbelly surface...making it visible even to opposing aircraft...

    Col Riccione touches on that and much more in his devastatingly honest critique of the F22...which paper I have linked to here previously...

    The Russian SAMs come with very powerful and mobile low frequency radars that make 'stealth' useless...

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=nebo+m+radar&t=ffab&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images&iai=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ausairpower.net%2FPVO-S%2FNNIIRT-55Zh6M-Nebo-M-VHF-Radar-1S.jpg

    http://ausairpower.net/APA-Nebo-M-Annex.html

    You mentioned thousand of airplanes...although the reality is that there are only so many aircraft equipped for the SEAD mission...ie able to carry jamming pods and Harms...

    And where are they going to come from...?

    Turkey is for sure not going to let US aircraft use its territory to launch a war against Russia...

    What about Qatar...where the US has a big base...?

    Or even Britain...with its air base in Cyprus...?

    It is doubtful any of these countries would give the US permission to launch an air war against Russia...

    For one thing...Russia could then legitimately destroy those fields with standoff weapons...ie Kalibr and the air-launched longe range cruise missile Kh101... and others...

    We recall that US has not bothered to develop A2/AD exclusion zones of its own...as Breedlove pointed out...leaving those bases vulnerable to standoff weapons...

    That leaves only carrier aviation...

    How many aircraft can be mustered for such an ambitious SEAD mission from a couple of carriers...?

    The answer is Not Enough...

    Even so...the legitimate retaliation for Russia would be to sink those carriers...and they have long had the weapons for that job...ie Tu22 suprsonic heavy bombers carrying 7 ton missiles that go mach 4 and carry 1.5 ton warhead...

    So that is how the situation looks from a technical perspective...Syria is now an A2/AD zone...Russia also has Beriev A50 Airborne early warning aircraft there...

    http://previewcf.turbosquid.com/Preview/2014/05/25__14_46_04/A50_03.jpg0b4e19d3-52e5-4c69-a5ac-9ed7e34eae2bOriginal.jpg

    So any attempt to infiltrate the airspace would be detected very quickly...

    The US simply does not have the tools to take on such an exclusion zone...as I have now explained...although rather briefly...and as Breedlove made plain in his comments...

    And here we have a history lesson...from 1983...the last time the US attacked Syria by way of a SEAD mission using carrier aircraft...

    Several planes shot down...an American pilot captured...etc...an embarrassing failure that cost the lives of several airmen...for zero gain...not even taking out one Syrian mobile SAM...

    https://www.cfr.org/blog/when-america-attacked-syria
    , @FB
    Sorry...posted the same picture of the AN/ALQ99 jammer twice...

    meant to post this cutaway showing the antenna size...

    https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/equip/an-alq-99-jamitf1.gif
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  • @silviosilver
    I get the sense that you are out of arguments.

    It took a while for you to fold, but never mind, you were certainly entertaining. Good effort!

    ‘…I get the sense that you are out of arguments…’

    Aww…come on plankton-man…

    Where is your answer to the question…

    Chickening out is not the answer…

    Here is the question again…just in case you missed it…

    ‘…What is the significance of chamber pressure in a rocket engine…[or nozzle pressure ratio in a jet engine]…with respect to the engine specific thrust…?

    And how does chamber pressure [or NPR] relate to nozzle expansion ratio…?’

    That’s my argument

    …that you are a total fake

    …who presumes to contradict the written consensus of leading experts…

    WHILE POSSESSING ZERO QUALIFICATIONS OR KNOWLEDGE ON THE SUBJECT…

    And guess what…?

    I just proved my argument…

    You have no clue about even a simple, fundamental aspect of aerospace technology…

    You owe everybody here an apology…

    For dumping here on this serious discussion a wagon-load of total crap…

    Come on plankton-man…

    You issued your ‘challenge’ as I recall it…

    Now I have issued mine

    HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW…

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  • @Sparkon
    Take or leave it, but I offered you good advice based on long experience. It is you taking up bandwidth with all that unnecessary white space, which is just padding that could be eliminated entirely by organizing your thoughts into paragraphs. I think there are many smart people here; you don't need to talk-down to them, and you certainly don't need to re-invent punctuation, as what we have works just fine.

    The engineering mind should grasp the concept and principle of standards. They exist for writing, and any professional publication will insist that you adhere to them.

    Switching back on topic, the photo-analysts at the ISI website claim that there were 44 hits on the airbase at al-Shayrat that took out fuel and ammunition storage areas, workshops, AA positions, and hardened shelters, along with some parked aircraft, but you call it a fail.

    Up to 20 Syrian air force aircraft were destroyed, and the airbase temporarily lost its ability to refuel, rearm, and presumably service aircraft. I wouldn't call that a failure, at least on the tactical level, but it certainly was a very poor political decision by Pres. Trump, in my view, to launch the attack at all.

    Finally, we have occasional discussions here about 9/11 and the ability of mostly aluminum airplanes like the 767 to cut through steel-box columns on the WTC, leave their outlines punched out of building's facade, and initiate the chain reactions said to have led to their collapse, disintegration, or whatever it was. I haven't noticed any input from you on these topics, but if they come up again, I hope you'll contribute.

    based on long experience

    somehow, doesn’t fit with

    I think there are many smart people here; you don’t need to talk-down to them,

    The primary goal of “Internet communication” of this type is socializing of people with similar viewpoint.
    I’ll leave to you to deduce what viewpoint is primary here.
    Most people have an emotional need to socialize with similar minded people.
    Sort of…”online community”.
    You are aware that all communities have leaders, followers and all those elements that keep the community as such. Keeping the structure, proper place within it etc.

    Then, on top of it you have ego feeds.
    So, actually, there is a very high need to talk down to people.

    And here is the crux:
    One can try to communicate with emotional detachment; another comes back with emotional need.
    No way detached can keep up with the attached..
    Different motive, hence different drive.

    Now, on this site, I agree, there are a couple of smart guys. A couple.
    Won’t mention the names, of course.
    They do have, IMHO, a very good method: they post a long one, do a couple….a couple, not more “debate posts” after that, and then move on.
    I guess you could do the same.

    Just my two cents.

    And, yes, I do agree with:

    I wouldn’t call that a failure, at least on the tactical level, but it certainly was a very poor political decision by Pres. Trump, in my view, to launch the attack at all.

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  • @Sparkon
    Take or leave it, but I offered you good advice based on long experience. It is you taking up bandwidth with all that unnecessary white space, which is just padding that could be eliminated entirely by organizing your thoughts into paragraphs. I think there are many smart people here; you don't need to talk-down to them, and you certainly don't need to re-invent punctuation, as what we have works just fine.

    The engineering mind should grasp the concept and principle of standards. They exist for writing, and any professional publication will insist that you adhere to them.

    Switching back on topic, the photo-analysts at the ISI website claim that there were 44 hits on the airbase at al-Shayrat that took out fuel and ammunition storage areas, workshops, AA positions, and hardened shelters, along with some parked aircraft, but you call it a fail.

    Up to 20 Syrian air force aircraft were destroyed, and the airbase temporarily lost its ability to refuel, rearm, and presumably service aircraft. I wouldn't call that a failure, at least on the tactical level, but it certainly was a very poor political decision by Pres. Trump, in my view, to launch the attack at all.

    Finally, we have occasional discussions here about 9/11 and the ability of mostly aluminum airplanes like the 767 to cut through steel-box columns on the WTC, leave their outlines punched out of building's facade, and initiate the chain reactions said to have led to their collapse, disintegration, or whatever it was. I haven't noticed any input from you on these topics, but if they come up again, I hope you'll contribute.

    ‘…Up to 20 Syrian air force aircraft were destroyed, and the airbase temporarily lost its ability to refuel, rearm, and presumably service aircraft. I wouldn’t call that a failure, at least on the tactical level…’

    Thanks for your interest in Shayrat…I had devoted some number of comments to that on the ’800 lb Gorrilla’ thread…

    Although there is still much more to cover…

    And I hope there is continuing interest in that topic as this is very big coverup…

    You may recall that the Syrian planes were taking off again after only four hours of the TLAM strike…

    The main reason being that none of the runways was hit…

    This was quickly ‘addressed’ by completely bogus ‘official statements’ that they did not intend to hit runways…

    I discuss that…I link to a 2013 plan to strike Syrian airfields with TLAMs…written by a USN officer [retired]…here is my comment link…

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2049255

    The statement and all others relating to runways post-Shayrat…are proved to be demonstrably false…

    And in that 2013 plan…the conclusion was that it would take a total of 72 PGMs [TLAMs...ALCMs...etc...basically the same thing] to ‘degrade’a total of SIX Syrian air bases…

    Yet 60 was not enough to seriously hamper the operation of even one…

    I continued the Shayrat discussion with a technical look at the ISI imagery…including a technical discussion of what image ‘resolution’ actually means…here is that link…

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2054895

    I added some more info on sat imagery in the comment linked to below…

    What is plainly obvious is that not more than about 20 visible targets hits can be located on the images ISI have provided…

    More Important…we see also in those same images…a number of obvious misses that did not come near anything other than dirt…

    http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2055259

    Now I had started on trying to figure out what might have happened…but I have not yet covered all the basics that need to be covered…before some plausible scenarios [not conclusions] can be drawn…

    Hopefully that conversation can continue…

    There are more Shayrat comments of mine interspersed among the three threads I have been posting on here…

    Regarding 911…I do have some technical thoughts…especially with regards to the aviation aspects…if there is interest I will be glad to put something together…

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