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War with Russia: Two Great American Myths
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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 debunk these myths before they end up costing us millions of lives and untold suffering.

In my latest piece for the Unz Review I discussed the reasons why the US armed forces are nowhere nearly as advanced as the US propaganda machine would have us believe. And even though the article was a discussion of Russian military technologies I only gave one example, in passing, of Russian military technologies by comparing the T-50 PAKFA to the US F-35 (if you want to truly get a feel for the F-35 disaster, please read this and this). First, I am generally reluctant to focus on weapons systems because I strongly believe that, in the vast majority of real-world wars, tactics are far more important than technologies. Second, Andrei Martyanov, an expert on Russian military issues and naval warfare, has recently written two excellent pieces on Russian military technologies (see here and here) which gave many more examples (check out Martyanov’s blog). Having read some of the comments posted under Martyanov’s and my articles, I think that it is important, crucial, in fact, to drive home the message to those who still are thoroughly trained by the propaganda machine to instantly dismiss any notion of US vulnerability or, even more so, technological inferiority. I am under no illusion about the capability of those who still watch the idiot box to be woken out of their lethargic stupor by the warnings of Paul Craig Roberts, William Engdal, Dmitrii Orlov, Andrei Martyanov or myself. But I also think that we have to keep trying, because the war party (the Neocon Uniparty) is apparently trying really hard to trigger a conflict with Russia. So what I propose to do today is to connect the notions of “war with Russia” and “immediate and personal suffering” by showing that if Russia is attacked two of the most sacred symbols of the US, aircraft carriers and the US mainland itself, would be immediately attacked and destroyed.

The aircraft carriers myth

I have to confess that even during the Cold War I always saw US aircraft carriers as sitting ducks which the Soviets would have rather easily destroyed. I formed that opinion on the basis of my study of Soviet anti-carrier tactics and on the basis of conversations with friends (fellow students) who actually served on US aircraft carriers.

I wish I had the time and space to go into a detailed description of what a Cold War era Soviet attack on a US aircraft carrier battle group would typically look like, but all I will say is that it would have involved swarms of heavy air and sea launched missiles coming from different directions, some skimming the waves, others dropping down from very high altitude, all at tremendous speeds, combined with more underwater-launched missiles and even torpedoes. All of these missiles would be “intelligent” and networked with each other: they would be sharing sensor data, allocating targets (to avoid duplication), using countermeasures, receiving course corrections, etc. These missiles would be launched at standoff distances by supersonic bombers or by submerged submarines. The targeting would involve space-based satellites and advanced naval reconnaissance technologies. My USN friends were acutely aware of all this and they were laughing at their own official US propaganda (Reagan was in power then) which claimed that the USN would “bring the war to the Russians” by forward deploying carriers. In direct contrast, my friends all told me that the first thing the USN would do is immediately flush all the carriers away from the North Atlantic and into the much safer waters south of the so-called GUIK gap. So here is the ugly truth: carriers are designed to enforce the rule of the AngloZionist Empire on small and basically defenseless nations (like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq). Nobody in the USN, at least not in the late 1980s, seriously considered forward deploying aircraft carrier battlegroups near the Kola Peninsula to “bring the war to the Russians”. That was pure propaganda. The public did not know that, but USN personnel all knew the truth.

[Sidebar: if the topic of carrier survivability is of interest to you, please check out this Russian article translated by a member of our community which is a pretty typical example of how the Russian don't believe for one second that US carriers are such hard targets to destroy]

What was true then is even more true today and I can’t imagine anybody at the Pentagon seriously making plans to attack Russia with carrier based aviation. But even if the USN has no intention of using its carriers against Russia, that does not mean that the Russians cannot actively seek out US carriers and destroy them, even very far from Russia. After all, even if they are completely outdated for a war between superpowers, carriers still represent fantastically expensive targets whose symbolic value remains immense. The truth is that US carriers are the most lucrative target any enemy could hope for: (relatively) small, (relatively) easy to destroy, distributed in many locations around the globe – US carriers are almost “pieces of the US, only much closer”.

Introducing the Zircon 3M22 hypersonic missile

First, some basic data about this missile (from English and Russian Wikipedia):

  • Low level range: 135 to 270 nautical miles (155 to 311mi; 250 to 500km).
  • High level range: 400nmi (460mi; 740km) in a semi-ballistic trajectory.
  • Max range: 540nmi (620mi; 1,000km)
  • Max altitude: 40km (130,000 feet)
  • Average range is around 400km (250mi; 220nmi)/450 km.
  • Speed: Mach 5–Mach 6 (3,806–4,567mph; 6,125–7,350km/h; 1.7015–2.0417km/s).
  • Max speed: Mach 8 (6,090mph; 9,800km/h; 2.7223km/s) during a test.
  • Warhead: 300-400kg (high explosive or nuclear)
  • Shape: low-RCS with radar absorbing coating.
  • Cost per missile: 1-2 million dollars (depending on configuration)
ORDER IT NOW

All this is already very impressive, but here comes the single most important fact about this missile: it can be launched from pretty much *any* platform: cruisers, of course, but also frigates and even small corvettes. It can be launched by nuclear and diesel-electric attack submarines. It can also be launched from long range bombers (Tu-160), medium-range bombers (Tu-22m3), medium-range fighter-bomber/strike aircraft (SU-34) and even, according to some reports, from a multi-role air superiority fighter (SU-35). Finally, this missile can also be shore-based. In fact, this missile can be launched from any platform capable of launching the now famous Kalibr cruise missile and that means that even a merchant marine or fishing ship could carry a container with the Zircon missile hidden inside. In plain English what this means is the following:

  1. Russia has a missile which cannot be stopped or spoofed by any of the current and foreseeable USN anti-missile weapons systems.
  2. This missile can be deployed *anywhere* in the world on *any* platform.

Let me repeat this again: pretty much any Russian ship and pretty much any Russian aircraft from now on will have the potential capability of sinking a US aircraft carrier. In the past, such capabilities were limited to specific ships (Slava class), submarines (Oscar class) or aircraft (Backfires). The Soviets had a large but limited supply of such platforms and they were limited on where they could deploy them. This era is now over. From now on a swarm of Zircon 3M22 could appear anywhere on the planet at any moment and with no warning time (5000 miles per hour incoming speed does not leave the target anything remotely comparable to even a short reaction time). In fact, the attack could be so rapid that it might not even leave the target the time needed to indicate that it is under attack.

None of the above is a big secret, by the way. Just place “zircon missile” in your favorite search engine and you will get a lot of hits (131,000 on Google; 190,000 on Bing). In fact, a lot of specialists have declared that the Zircon marks the end of the aircraft carrier as a platform of modern warfare. These claims are widely exaggerated. As I have written above, aircraft carriers are ideal tools to terrify, threaten, bully and otherwise attack small, defenseless countries. Even medium-sized countries would have a very hard time dealing with an attack coming from US aircraft carriers. So I personally think that as long as the world continues to use the US dollar and, therefore, as long as the US economy continues to reply on creating money out of thin air and spending it like there is no tomorrow, aircraft carriers still have a bright, if morally repulsive, future ahead of them. And, of course, the USN will not use carriers to threaten Russia. Again, the US press has been rather open about the carrier-killing potential of the Zircon, but what it rarely (never?) mentions are the political and strategic consequence from the deployment of the Zircon: from now on Russia will have an easy and very high value US target she can destroy anytime she wants. You can think of the US carrier fleet like 10 US hostages which the Russians can shoot at any time. And what is crucial is this: an attack on a US carrier would not be an attack on the US homeland, nor would it be a nuclear attack, but the psychological shock resulting from such an attack could well be comparable to a (limited) nuclear strike on the US homeland.

This, on one hand, will greatly inhibit the Russian willingness to strike at US carriers as this would expose Russia to very severe retaliatory measures (possibly including nuclear strikes). On the other hand, however, in terms of “escalation dominance” this state of affairs gives a major advantage to Russia as the US does not have any Russian targets with an actual and symbolic value similar to the one of a US carrier.

There is another aspect of this issue which is often ignored. Western analysts often speak of a Russian strategy of “deterrence by denial” and “Anti-Access Area Denial” (A2AD). Mostly this is the kind of language which gets you a promotion and a pay raise in US and NATO think tanks. Still, there is a grain of truth to the fact that advanced Russian missiles are now providing Russia with a very cheap way to threaten even fantastically expensive US assets. Worse, Russia is willing (eager, in fact) to export these (relatively cheap) missiles to other countries. I find it amusing to see how US politicians are in a state of constant hysteria about the risk of nuclear proliferation, but fail to realize that conventional anti-ship missiles are a formidable, and much more likely, threat. Sure, there are missile export limiting treaties, such as the MTCR, but they only apply to missile with a range of over 300km. With modern ballistic and cruise missiles becoming smaller, deadlier and easier to conceal and with ranges which are (relatively) easy to extend, treaties such as the MTCR are becoming increasingly outdated.

The bottom line is this: as long as deterrences holds, attacking US carriers makes no sense whatsoever for Russia; however, as soon as deterrence fails, attacking US carriers, anywhere on the planet, gives Russia an extremely flexible and powerful escalation dominance capability which the US cannot counter in kind.

Striking at the Holy of Holies – the US “homeland”

If you thought that discussing striking US carriers was bad, here we are going to enter full “Dr Strangelove” territory and discuss something which US Americans find absolutely unthinkable: attacks on the US homeland. True, for the rest of mankind, any war by definition includes the very real possibility of attacks on your own towns, cities and people. But for US Americans who are used to mete out violence and death far away from their own peaceful towns and cities, the notion of a devastating strike against the US homeland is pretty much unthinkable. 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). Just as with carriers, the dangers of a US over-reaction should serve as a deterrent to any attacks on the US homeland. But, just as with the carriers, that is only true as long as deterrence holds. If the Russian territory becomes the object of a US attack this would clearly indicate that deterrence has failed and that the Russian armed forces should now switch from a deterrence mode to a war-fighting mode. At this point, the US American over-reaction to begin attacked or taking casualties could, paradoxically, result in a last-minute wake-up call indicating to everybody that what will come next will be truly devastating.

Introducing the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)

Though officially very little is know about the Sarmat and the Yu-71, the reality is that the Internet has been full of educated guesses which give us a pretty clear idea of what kind of systems we are dealing here.

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

That last line, about being FOBS-capable, is crucial as it means that, unlike most Soviet/Russian ICMBs, the Sarmat does not have to fly over the North Pole to strike at the United States. In fact, the Sarmat could fly over the South Pole or, for that matter, in any direction and still reach any target in the US. Right there this capability is, by itself, is more than enough to defeat any current and foreseeable US anti-ballistic missile technology. But it gets better, or worse, depending on your perspective: the Sarmat’s reentry vehicles/warhards are capable of flying in low orbit, maneuver, and then suddenly plunge towards their targets. The only way to defeat such an attack would be to protect the US by a 3600 coverage capable ABM system, something which the US is decades away from deploying. And just to add to these already formidable characteristics, each Sarmat can carry up to 3-24 (depending on who you ask) Yu-71 hypersonic glide vehicles.

Introducing The Yu-71 (aka “Object 4202) hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV)

Yet again, this is hardly a topic not covered in the media and you can find numerous articles describing what a hypersonic glide vehicle is and how it can be used. (the best article I could find in English was by Global Security, it is entitled “Objekt 4202 / Yu-71 / Yu-74”).

Here is a summary of what we think we know about this HGV:

  • Max Speed: from Mach 5, according to Scott Ritter, to Mach 9, according to a quasi official Russian source, to Mach 15, acccording to Sputnik, to Mach 20 (that’s 7 kilometer per second, or 25,200kh/h, or 15,000mph), according to Global Security. Whatever the true speed, it will be fantastic and far, far beyond the kind of speeds current or foreseeable US anti-missile systems could hope to engage.
  • Hypermaneuverability: Russian sources describe the Yu-71 as “сверхманевренная боеголовка” or “hypermaneuverable warhead”. What that exactly means in turns of sustained Gs does not really matter as this is not about air-to-air combat, but about the ability to perform sudden course changes making it close to impossible for anti-missile systems to calculate an engagement solution.
  • Warhead: nuclear and conventional/kinetic.

That last line is very interesting. What it means is that considering the speeds attained by the Yu-71 HGV it is not necessary to equip it with a conventional (high explosive) or nuclear warheard. The kinetic energy generated by its high speed is sufficient to create an explosion similar to what a large conventional or small nuclear warhead could generate.

Bringing it all together now

Did you notice the similarities between the Zircon missile and the Sarmat+Yu-71 combo?

In both cases we have:

  1. an attack which can come from any direction
  2. speed of attack and maneuver capabilities which make interception impossible
  3. the capability for Russia to destroy a very high value US target in a very short time

It is amazing to see that while US decision makers were talking about their Prompt Global Strike program, the Russians actually developed their own version of this capability, much faster than the US and at a fraction of the cost.

These are all ideal ways to “bring the war home” and to encourage a country which enjoyed total impunity for its policies to seriously thinking about the consequences of messing around with the wrong people.

To make things even more potentially dangerous for the US, the very same geography which protected the US for so long is now becoming a major vulnerability. Currently 39% of the US population lives in counties directly on the shoreline. In fact, the population density of coastal shoreline counties is over six times greater than the corresponding inland counties (source). In 2010 the US Census Bureau produced a fascinating report entitled “Coastline Population Trends in the United States: 1960 to 2008” which shows that the coastal counties provide an “intense concentration of economic and social activity”. In fact, a very large number of US cities, industrial centers and economic hugs are located near the US coastline making them all *ideal* targets for Russian conventional cruise missile strikes which could be launched from very long distances (including over open water). And we are not talking about some future, hypothetical, cruise missile, we are talking about the very same Kalibr cruise missiles the Russians have been using against the Takfiris in Syria. Check out this very well made video which explains how Kalibr cruise missiles can be hidden pretty much anywhere and used with devastating effect on military and/or civilian targets:

The reality is that the US homeland is extremely vulnerable to any kind of attack. This is only in part due to recent Russian advances in military technology. For example, the “just on time” manufacturing or delivery practices which are aimed to minimize costs and inventory are, from a strategic/military point of view, extremely dangerous as it take very little disruption (for example in the distribution network) to create catastrophic consequences. Likewise, the high concentration of some industries in specific areas of the United States (oil in the Mexican Gulf) only serve to further weaken the ability of the United State to take any kind of punishment in case of war.

ORDER IT NOW

Most TV watching Americans will dismiss all of the above by saying that “anybody come mess with us and we will kick their ass” or something equally sophisticated. And there is some truth to that. But what this mindset also indicate is a complete mental inability to operate in a scenario when deterrence has failed and the “other guy” is coming for you. That mindset is the prerogative of civilians. Those tasked with the defense of their country simply cannot think that way and have to look beyond the “threshold of deterrence”. They will be the one asked to fix the bloody mess once the civilians screw-up. Georges Clemenceau reportedly once said that “War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men”. I believe that the exact opposite is true, that war is too serious a matter to entrust to civilians, especially the US Neocons (the vast majority of whom have never spend any time in uniform) and who always make it sound like the next war will be easy, safe and painless. Remember Ken Adelman and his famous Iraqi “cakewalk”? The very same kind of scum is in power today and they want us to believe that the next war will also be a cakewalk or that being on a high speed collision course with Russia is something the US can afford and should therefore engage in. The combined effect of the myth of US military superiority with the myth about the US invulnerability result in a US American sense of detachment, or even impunity, which is not at all supported by fact. I just fervently hope that the people of the US will not find out how mistaken they are the hard way.

In the meantime, the Russian Chief of General Staff, General Gerasimov, has announced that Russia had completed what he called a “non-nuclear deterrence system” based on the Iskander-M, Kalibr and X-101 missiles. According to General Gerasimov, the Russian armed forces now have enough high-precision weapon systems to strike at any target within a 4000km range. Furthermore, Gerasimov declared that the number of platforms capable of launching such missiles has increased twelve times while the number of high precision cruise missiles has increased by a factor 30. General Gerasimov also explained that the combined capabilities of the Kalibr cruise missile, the Bastion mobile coastal defense missile system and the S-400 air defense system made it possible for Russia to fully control the airspace and surface of the Baltic, Barents, Black and Mediterranean seas (talk about A2AD!). Gerasimov concluded his briefing by saying “the development of high-precision weapons has made it possible to place the main burden of strategic deterrence from nuclear to non-nuclear forces”.

To fully evaluate the implications of what Gerasimov said please consider this: deterrence is, by definition, discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences. So what Gerasimov is really saying is that Russia has enough conventional, non-nuclear, capabilities to inflict unacceptable consequences upon the US. This is something absolutely new, a fundamental game changer. Most importantly, that is the official declaration by a senior Russian official that the US does not have any technological superiority and that the US is vulnerable to a devastating counter-attack, even a conventional one. In one short sentence General Gerasimov has put to rest the two most important myths of US geostrategic theory.

Keep in mind that, unlike their US counterparts, the Russians typically like to under-evaluate Russian military capabilities. You will find the Russia media bragging about how “totally awesome and best in the world” Russian weapons systems are, but military personnel in Russia still have a corporate culture of secrecy and under-reporting your real capabilities to the enemy. Furthermore, while junior officers can say pretty much anything they want, senior officers are held to very strict rules and they have to carefully weigh every word they say, especially acting officers. So when the Chief of Staff officially declares that Russia now has a conventional strategic deterrence capability – you can take that to the bank. It’s real.

Alas, the western media is still stuck in the “full idiot” mode we saw during the transit of the Russian aircraft carrier from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean: on one hand, the Admiral Kuznetsov was presented as a rusty old bucket while on the other NATO forces constantly shadowed it as if it was about to strike London. Likewise, US politicians present Russia as a “gas station” while, at the same time, stating that this “gas station” has the capability to decide who lives in the White House. This kind of reporting is not only unhelpful but outright dangerous. One one hand the “the Russians are backward brutes” fosters are arrogant and cocky attitude. On the other hand, constantly speaking about fake Russian threats results in a very dangerous case of “cry wolf” in which all possible Russian threats (including very real ones) are dismissed as pure propaganda. The reality is, of course, very different and simple in a binary way: Russia represents absolutely no threat to the United States or anybody else (including the three Baltic statelets). But if some western politician decides that he is smarter and stronger than Napoleon or Hitler and that he will finally bring the Russians to their knees, then he and his country will be destroyed. It is really that simple.

 
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  1. 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

  2. Randal says:

    the first thing the USN would do is immediately flush all the carriers away from the North Atlantic and into the much safer waters south of the so-called GUIK gap.

    From my own memory, and admittedly we are going back decades now so that’s inherently rebuttable, the strategy was always (I’m talking about late Cold War not immediate post-WW2 years, but that appears to be the Saker’s focus here anyway) to defend the GIUK gap in order to protect transatlantic reinforcement routes for the defence of continental Europe. There was never any serious plan, in the late Cold War, to just park carriers off Russia from the outset and have at it, for the very reasons Saker gives, which were well known and generally accepted, barring the usual arguments about just how vulnerable versus how effective the various systems would be in practice, etc. Was there even any propaganda of the kind Saker describes, at any serious level? I don’t recall any, but doubtless Saker’s memory is better.

    Anyway as far as carriers are concerned, US military deployments have always been vulnerable to attack in ways the homeland was not, and carriers are the same. The significance of a carrier being sunk would imo depend dramatically on the strategic and political context. A carrier being sunk by an opponent seen as third rate, or in a war widely seen as a war of choice, would be potentially catastrophic for US politics and the US leadership. A carrier sunk by an opponent seen as peer or near peer, and/or in a war generally seen as necessary, not so much.

    So to some extent contrary to Saker’s overall thesis, I think the vulnerability of carriers creates more potential problems for the US’s bullying operations, in the long run, than it does for potential wars against Russia or China. Wars against Iran or North Korea are much more likely to be seen as initiated by the US leadership voluntarily (notwithstanding the inevitable propaganda to the contrary), and there will be little sympathy for a leadership that humiliates the US by getting a carrier sunk by one of those countries, though whether the prevailing response will be anger at the perpetrator or anger at the leadership again depends upon the context of the war and the effectiveness of the propaganda management of opinion before and after. Getting a carrier sunk by Russia or China is not humiliating in the same way, though it is clearly very significant, and in a war with Russia or China there are likely to be plenty of other issues for Americans to deal with, coming very rapidly.

    Yes, the increased vulnerability changes operational details of how wars against Russia or China might have to be fought, but in the end wars against those countries have mostly been ruled out for decades now by nuclear deterrence anyway. We do still live in the nuclear peace, even if there are profoundly stupid people amongst the US elites who think that can be defied. Does it mean that destroying the Russian task force in Syria (one such hypothetical case of war) would now be too costly to consider even assuming there would be no escalation to a nuclear exchange? Perhaps, perhaps not – it depends upon the US perception of its ability to protect its carriers in such a situation. But if the US leadership is stupid or corrupt enough to risk a nuclear war to protect Israel’s and Saudi’s interests in the ME then it might well be stupid or corrupt enough to risk attacks on its carriers. Much the same applies presumably to the possibility of a US “limited war” against China to protect the post-WW2 US hegemony in the western Pacific, promoted by the likes of Bannon.

    The continental invulnerability of the US to military attack (other than by the British navy and Japanese balloon bombs) came to an end with the improvement of ranges and missiles in WW2 and the 1950s. Much cultural angst was caused to the American people by the fact that in this aspect they were now no longer different from the rest of the world. True, circumstances and US post-WW1/2 power has meant that the modern US has almost never actually experienced any real military attack on its homeland (hence perhaps the overly hysterical US response to the possibility of terrorist attacks on same).

    But the cultural acceptance of that possibility was made with the Cold War. Will its extension to the possibility of non-nuclear attacks really make all that much difference?

    I suspect again it will largely be a matter of who makes the attack (or perhaps who is believed to have made it) and why.

    To fully evaluate the implications of what Gerasimov said please consider this: deterrence is, by definition, discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences. So what Gerasimov is really saying is that Russia has enough conventional, non-nuclear, capabilities to inflict unacceptable consequences upon the US. This is something absolutely new, a fundamental game changer.

    Conventional deterrence in this context presumably means a military capability to destroy attacking forces and defeat them, not an ability to use non-nuclear weapons to inflict non-nuclear attacks on the US mainland, as Saker implies here. That capability introduces additional intermediate escalation options, but really is hardly a “game changer” in any fundamental sense. I suppose one could imagine a war in which there were a sustained barrage of conventionally armed Russian cruise missiles against military manufacturing targets located in the coastal areas of mainland US without the war escalating to a nuclear exchange, but it’s pretty farfetched imo.

  3. Randal says:

    Georges Clemenceau reportedly once said that “War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men”. I believe that the exact opposite is true, that war is too serious a matter to entrust to civilians,

    No doubt Japanese students of early C20th history will tend to agree with Clemenceau here rather than with Saker.

    especially the US Neocons (the vast majority of whom have never spend any time in uniform) and who always make it sound like the next war will be easy, safe and painless.

    The lesson of the neocons is surely not to entrust matters of war to men with ulterior external loyalties, whether tribal or ideological.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  4. Rich says:

    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.

  5. Heros says:

    One thing we can only speculate about is top secret and illegal weapons, like:

    1. Earthquake/Volcano/Tidal wave creation (Fukushima)
    2. Weather control (Rothschilds are into weather derivatives and own weather channel and weather central)
    3. New DNA based weapons (US Airforce recently advertising to collect pure Russian DNA)
    4. Space based weapons/warfare
    5. Antarctica secrets
    6. Microwave weapons/mind control weapons

    And a lot of other things that I cannot think of off of the top of my head.

    It is also worth mentioning that the Ronald Reagan was contaminated during Fukushima. She would make a great false flag sacrifice to get the sheeple riled up.

  6. Flavius says:

    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.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Rzhevskiy
    , @JamesinNM
    , @Astek
  7. @Randal

    There was never any serious plan, in the late Cold War, to just park carriers off Russia from the outset and have at it,

    Soviet Navy’s First Operation (that is official title) was build around repelling attack by the US Carrier Battle Groups (depended on the season) at the line (Rubezh) Nord Cape-Medvezhiy (Bjornoya) by up to two regiments of MRA (Naval Missile-Carrying Aviation) plus most of the forces of the Northern Fleet. Since 1980 it meant deployment of the Project 949 (Oscar-class) SSGNs. It would have been a slaughterhouse. Obviously, by mid-1980s Soviet Navy and other heterogeneous forces had enough salvo to sink anything at that line. You can see some games around this kind of contingencies in US Naval War College’s famed series of publications known as Newport Papers. I believe NP #4 and # 20 cover this topic.

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

    Well…has to be said: very good posts.
    As usual.

    One can almost see a pattern developing here recently:
    Saker publishes….”something”……
    A couple of commentators balance that “something” into reasonable.

    • Replies: @Sin City Milla
  9. peterAUS says:
    @Rich

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

    Now, that is an interesting proposal.

    For certain reason I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    And, in any case, it is interesting to read such articles and, especially, comments on them.
    There is a definite value there.

  10. 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.

    • Replies: @Tom Angle
    , @Bluenomad
    , @Miro23
  11. CK says:

    I wonder how long it will be before science and engineering make the oceans transparent.
    The Boomers are the last leg of the three legged stool that are as yet undetectable.

    • Replies: @FB
  12. peterAUS says:

    Let’s assume that Saker is a player.

    As most of “eastbound” players he seems to have a fixation on carrier battle groups.

    One of, plausible, reasons is to poke fun at the waste of resources on building and keeping them.
    What makes that point a bit of…weak…..is the fact that HMG is building two Royal Navy (proper) carriers as we speak.
    China is in that business too.

    So, it appears that all those three are in error.

    Or……

    Maybe we have here what’s called a bit of envy or even a bit of a worry.
    Because those groups are NOT about engagement with other mayor NUCLEAR players.

    They are about projecting focused, conventional power onto certain spots.

    You know…sea trade routes first and foremost. Then, resources being taken or planned to be taken from seas.
    And, probably even more important, projecting the same focused, conventional power onto minor players around the world.

    Just a thought.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  13. dearieme says:
    @Rich

    Presumably the big deal is when Russia sells her weapons to third parties.

    • Replies: @russian bear
  14. peterAUS says:
    @peterAUS

    So, just to make this easier.
    Re carriers I mean.

    US are incompetent etc…..that’s, how to put it….. “desirable” around.
    Consequently, UK, as a major ally, is incompetent too.
    That’s easy.

    What make all this “carrier” thing slightly more complicated is:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_001A_aircraft_carrier

    Chinese are incompetent too?
    Well, I guess that could be taken as correct around here.

    But..but…they appear to be a major Russian ally in the conflict with The Empire.
    An incompetent major ally then.
    No prob. Mother Russia will even overcompensate for that.
    Competency wise I mean.

    Yeah…that must be it.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  15. FB says:
    @CK

    ‘…I wonder how long it will be before science and engineering make the oceans transparent…’

    Finally…a good comment / question…

    This article…and the previous one…which is now at about 450 comments…was supposed to be about this kind of thing…ie technology leaps that have big significance in balance of power…

    I tried to address that with my @34 comment there…but the participants here are more interested in gaming ‘what if’ scenarios…as in the various video games that are quite popular among armchair generals…

    And then the amateur historians jump into the fray…ie your basic crapfest…

    Problem seems obvious enough to me…

    Details and technicalities matter…always have…always will…a small invention like the stirrup changed the course of warfare history…

    But today’s attention deficit homo sapiens…including the self-enlightened ones on chat rooms like this…are not going to ever stop to think about those ‘insignificant’ details…

  16. Erebus says:
    @peterAUS

    China’s carriers actually make some sense, and are probably the only ones that do. Their task is to ensure that navigation in the sea lanes China depends on remains free of pirates and independent of the internal political situation in any of the small littoral states, or of relations between them that could disrupt shipping through critical choke points. The Chinese carriers are adequate to that purpose and probably well within China’s ability to afford them.

    OTOH, the UK’s carrier building program looks to be much worse than simple incompetence. Though this one’s from RT, quotes similar to it abound in the UK press: “The total cost of operating the aircraft carrier, which includes deploying additional ships to protect it and jets to launch from it, exceed Britain’s projected military spending, MPs warned.” “What were they thinking?” is the first question that comes to mind. What the French and Italians are thinking in maintaining their carriers might also make one ponder.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  17. peterAUS says:

    China’s carriers actually make some sense, and are probably the only ones that do. Their task is to ensure that navigation in the sea lanes China depends on remains free of pirates and independent of the internal political situation in any of the small littoral states, or of relations between them that could disrupt shipping through critical choke points. The Chinese carriers are adequate to that purpose and probably well within China’s ability to afford them.

    Yup.
    And the little thing with Vietnam, disputed islands etc…

    But when USA (with allies) want similar, emphasize on that “small states”, no..no….that’s just BAD.

    Good you mention French and Italian.
    But not India, and of course, Russia.

    Might make one wonder what’s the criteria in assigning competence/incompetence re the issue.
    Say, “West” bad, anyone else good perhaps…re aircraft carriers only I mean.

    And, yes, internal bickering in Westminster, quoted on RT….

  18. Pearl Harbor was a great victory for the Japanese. They sank all of our outdated battleships.
    Four years later, Japan was a smoking ruin. We did not need to nuke them (we did not need the Russians either). Had the Manhattan Project failed and the war gone on another 2 years the population of Japan would have been cut in half due to starvation. Probably the worst miscalculation in military history.

    • Replies: @CK
    , @russian bear
    , @Parker TV
  19. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    aircraft carriers are ideal tools to terrify, threaten, bully and otherwise attack small, defenseless countries.

    Of course. That’s well understood by anyone who’d spend a few minutes thinking about it. Smaller, weaker countries form the majority of countries throughout the world which is why the US is spending a fortune on the new Ford class carriers. All of South America, Africa and much of Asia are subject to gunboat diplomacy and will remain so for the next hundred years. The Russians aren’t coming to the rescue of the Hondurans anytime soon. There’s no reason for any direct clash between the US and Russia. Ukraine, particularly without Crimea, doesn’t seem like a good acquisition at this time and the flunky Europeans seem reluctant to be dragged into that mess of someone else’s making. There might be some proxy wars, such as Israel attacking Lebanon to try to knock out Hezbollah leading to an Iranian, Syrian and Russian lineup versus the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia. That could lead to all sorts of unpredictable scenarios. It’s entertaining to bash the gullible average person who believes all the dumb war movies they’ve seen but those people don’t run anything. They’re told what they’ll pay this year in taxes and they’ll pay it whether they like it or not. It’s more difficult to assess the level of political capability and judgement of the people doing the actual thinking within the American state.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  20. peterAUS says:
    @anonymous

    Agree.

    One just needs to replace gunboat diplomacy with carrier battle group diplomacy and there we are.

    And:

    It’s more difficult to assess the level of political capability and judgement of the people doing the actual thinking within the American state.

    Well, I believe they do have high level of political capability (especially internal).
    As for judgement…….good luck to all of us there.

  21. Supersonic anti-ship missiles are not desirable. These can be fired toward an area where a carrier is reported, but need time to acquire a target and adjust course to strike. This is very difficult when flying low at Mach+, not to mention that skin heating allows easy detection and targeting while causing problems with the attack missile sensors. Mass cruise missile attacks are the answer, using a variety of types with different sensors, and with missiles that circle around for another run should they fail to hit. I explain all this in detail in my book:

    http://www.g2mil.com/bm747.htm

    Fire 70 missiles at a fleet, 90% may miss or get shot down, so ONLY seven will hit ships. Keep in mind that aircraft carriers are also ammo and fuel ships. Any small hit can set off a chain reaction that can destroy one. Most knowledgeable US Navy officers know this, but they have careers and families to support. The long established annual multi-billion dollar carrier cash cow will continue until a few are sunk.

    Another option are ballistic anti-ship missiles. These would arrive from above at Mach 5 and prove untouchable, but their top attack allows more time to acquire a target and adjust course. They would function best with no explosive warhead, but a long rod perpetrator that punches thru the entire ship, as shown here:

    • Replies: @utu
    , @jilles dykstra
    , @FB
  22. Keep in mind that, unlike their US counterparts, the Russians typically like to under-evaluate Russian military capabilities.

    That’s a bit begging the question. I mean, how do you know that? You can know what they say. But you cannot know what their capabilities are.

  23. Dingo jay says: • Website

    Where are these superior russian missiles when syrian or iran need them.More hot air from Saker.

    • Replies: @Anon
  24. utu says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Missile Mach 1-1km/s, Mach 3-3km/s. Aircraft carrier speed at most 16m/s. If missile acquires the target 5-10km away from target what happens next does not matter because the missile will hit the target if it is not shot down.

    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
  25. 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

    • Replies: @anon
  26. @Carlton Meyer

    It is asserted that there is no defence against the Chinese Silkworm anti ship missile, that flies at wavetop height at Mach three to four.
    Cuba, Iran and Venezuala are said to have them.
    Iranese missiles are said to be in the mountains at the Strait of Hormuz, Cuban and Venezeula are said to be able to launch them from Migs, stationed in the jungle, able to operate from dirt strips.
    Then there is the rumour about the 90 or so atomic bombs that have disappeared from Ukraine around 1990, Iranians are said to have disabled the locks in 2005.
    The stories about USSR suitcase atomic bombs, weighing 20 kg each, also petered out.
    What the article does not mention is the 1600 Russian seventies intercontinental ballistic missiles, each with three to four warheads.
    If many are fired at the same time, USA anti missiles systems will not be able to stop them all.
    Impossible to destroy them while still on the ground, they are mounted on trucks, moved around, and dummy ones, inflatable, now are produced galore.
    From a distance they are as real as the real ones.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  27. Kiza says:

    This is just amazing. Saker, just like Philip Giraldi, is a moron-magnet.

    Except for Andrei’s comment not even one intelligent comment here. The self-congratulating Hasbara trolls have completely taken over. I remember suggesting to Ron to place a limit of five comment per article to discourage trolls from diluting debate.

    This is like when you want to go out for a swim but you find out that the water is full of these floating turds/trolls such as peterAUS and Randal. I cannot believe that serious people like Andrei and Erebus want to honor the troll bull with a debate.

    Then, even usually relatively reasonable commenters, such as Carlton Mayer, started typing total idiocies.

    For Saker, the obvious lesson here is that the US myths have been built purposefully and that they have maintenance teams. Because for anyone who remembers the trauma of US attack on Vietnam, where some 58,000 US military died over some nine years, it is very clear what would happen with US in a war against Russia and/or China where a day with a similar toll would be a quiet day. This is why they generate so much bull here, to defend their myths.

    DO NOT TOUCH THE MYTHS!

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @Anonymous
  28. Heroes and RamboS in merciful defense of freedomS and homelandS.God Bless DPRK!

    • Replies: @FB
  29. Maybe a demo in some God-forsaken American desert would disabuse the Doctrine of Invulnerability once and for all. How about Vegas?

  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Robert Magill

    On the contrary, this part is accurate while the rest is somewhat marred by excessive cheerleading. In the centre of most Western tragedies/weaknesses you’ll find a group of jewish conspirators. 9/11 is a perfect case study.

  31. Accuracy of the statement is not the issue. It’s place in this narrative is what I questioned.

  32. aloisius says:
    @Rich

    Why do you think that? Why would Russians launch nukes and end themselves and probably the world? Losing a conventional war is still much better than starting a nuclear exchange.

  33. dearieme says:
    @Erebus

    “What were they thinking?”

    US levels of corruption: the carriers were built in the constituency of Gordon Brown, who was Prime Minister when the orders were placed.

    Obviously we should sell the damn things to India or China.

  34. Rich says:
    @aloisius

    Mutual Assured Destruction kept the peace in Europe for the last 70 years. Everyone believed that either superpower would resort to nukes in the case of conflict between the two. now, it appears, that intelligent people are beginning to believe a limited war between the two sides could be fought, and won. If the US were to invade Russia with the intention of overthrowing her government, would the leaders and the military allow that to happen? Would they allow themselves to be captured and humiliated and hanged liked common criminals like the German leaders after WWII? The same with the US. I can’t envision the leadership of either nation allowing themselves to be defeated, or their countries conquered. Although maybe you guys have a point. What was unthinkable when I was a kid, has suddenly become a possibility. In the end, however, I believe that nukes would be used.

    • Replies: @aloisius
  35. A war between the U.S. and Russia will be the destruction of both countries and will finally make the Zionists happy as this is their goal to destroy both countries and then the Zionists can rule what little is left of the world, a pile of ashes.

    • Replies: @yeah
  36. @Robert Magill

    The 9-11 comment may be extraneous to his main point, but it’s entirely accurate.

    • Replies: @Robert Magill
  37. Unconventional warfare now must acknowledge the high probability of hidden small nuclear devices in the US, Europe, Russia and parts of the middle east. Who placed those and who knows are questions that have been answered for some, serving for another type of deterrent or sum of all fears. The messages include “do not do anything stupid because the consequences, that you now know, may be catastrophic”.

  38. FB says:
    @Proud_Srbin

    What’s funny there is the tiny size of the black square added to mask the urinator second from left…

    That thing is only about one inch square…why even bother adding that…even without the blackout it would be pretty darn hard to see…

  39. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Flavius

    American democracy on the march in the “liberated” Ulraine: https://www.rt.com/news/409605-germans-join-ukrainian-azov/
    “Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion is reportedly gaining traction in Europe, especially Germany. Over 2,500 foreign mercenaries are currently fighting on their side in E. Ukraine – three times more than in 2014, Spiegel reports, citing security authorities…. Following the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, militants from the Azov Battalion were organized and incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard, used in Kiev’s military action against the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The unit was established by the leader of the ‘Ukraine Patriot’ movement, Andrey Biletsky – also known in nationalist circles by the nickname ‘White Leader.’”

    This is quite a monument to the Kagans’ clan and to the whole AIPAC/ziocon crowd. The rise of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion was nurtured by an Israeli-Ukrainian citizen Kolomoisky (he is also a pillar of Ukrainian Jewish Comminuty): https://www.algemeiner.com/2014/06/24/ukraine-jewish-billionaires-batallion-sent-to-fight-pro-russian-militias/
    “Among those going into battle from the Ukrainian side are some 500 trained fighters in the self-declared Azov battalion, backed by Jewish energy magnate and Dnipropetrovsk region governor, Igor Kolomoisky, according to Israel’s Ma’ariv daily. … A source at Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, cited by Voice of Russia, claimed that “Kolomoisky is the most outspoken opponent of the plan on settling the situation in the East of Ukraine.”

  40. @Beefcake the Mighty

    “THE TRUTH is… anything you agree with and …faith makes it all possible”.

    https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/faith-the-human-o-s/

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  41. Don Bacon says:

    The US has no desire for war with Russia, only for the threat of war from evil Russia. If the US were to lose Russia as an enemy then it would also lose Europe as a dependent ally, and there would be nothing left, no need (except forever provoking North Korea) for a half million person army with tanks and self-propelled howitzers, nothing but PR voyages of aircraft carriers and destroyers, which isn’t much. The US must have a huge expensive army, as in the Cold War and its current sequel. There is no alternative for the PTB. The US now has a reported “tank gap” BTW, with US tanks outnumbered by dastardly Russian tanks.

    • Replies: @MarkinPNW
  42. 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?

  43. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Dingo jay

    Israeli frustration?

  44. Mulegino1 says:

    Hollywood, that kosher redoubt of sexual predators, pedophiles and all around perverts, has damaged the American psyche to a near fatal condition of delusion and the mirage of American military invincibility – ever since the 1940′s. Of course, this is invariably and exclusively when the great Golem of the MIC is harnessed for the wars for Zion, or Zion’s many kinfolk.

    The military history of the US – ever since the Battleship Maine- has been a stage for lies and deception. The fact is that this nation has not engaged with a military adversary at rough parity with it since taking on the Red Chinese in Korea, and that ended in a ceasefire.

    The providential role of America has always been that of a homeland for the peoples of Christian European provenance who desired to build a home within the great continental space of North America and free themselves from the dynastic and internecine squabbles of Europe. The imperial ambitions of warmongers like T.R., his distant cousin F.D.R. and the blackmailed Woodrow Wilson ruined the American nation by turning it into an empire.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  45. CK says:
    @Prof. Woland

    Had the war gone on for another two weeks, the Russian troops would have finished swallowing the Korean peninsula and invaded and captured undefended Hokkaido.
    The distance from Russian re-captured Sakhalin and Hokkaido is 26 miles.
    At which point the Japanese surrender to the USSR not the USA.

    • Agree: FB
    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
  46. @Michael Kenny

    You are a troll. As if young Americans will fight and die for gangsters who have been robbing them blind as well, in imperial adventures to boot (i.e. not in defense of their homeland, as Russians would be).

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  47. @aloisius

    The problem here is about how USA would take losing conventional war without going nuclear.

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
    • Replies: @Krollchem
  48. nsa says:

    The key to keeping the aggressive, force projecting, carrier laden US ZioBorg at arms length is to neutralize its natural geographic advantages…..oceans to the east and west, wimps to the north and south. Even a small weak far away country with enough will and some modest technical expertise should be able to fend off the ZioBorg by credibly threatening the US command and control center…….Izzyville. Hence the idea of The Reverse Samson Option……which may be in place right now. The Hezzies, or any other motivated outfit, burying a bought or stolen nuke on the Izzie border or just off Izzie shores would quickly result in a change of policy in its Wash DC satrap……that jooie dominated New Jerusalem on the Potomac. And then there is always the revenge factor to consider……the ZioBorg and its Izzie master have screwed over so many countries that the temptation might be to just touch off the Reverse Samson firecracker instead of using it as a policy lever. We here in Ft. Meade get paid to think about these matters……..

  49. “Where did all those damned Indians come from?” -General George Armstrong Custer, Battle of Little Big Horn

  50. aloisius says:
    @Rich

    An occupied Russia is a lot better than a nuked Russia, even for the leadership. They also have children and families, what kind of Russia would be left for them after a nuclear exchange? That said, even if the probability of a nuclear response to a conventional conflict is low, hopefully no one wants to test that.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
    , @Anon
  51. Alfa158 says:

    Thank you for the analysis, but the fine details of which military has superior hardware is really over-kill. The crucial facts are these:
    What is significant is not whether Russia is militarily superior, but that Russia has enough military capability that the US cannot attack Russia without suffering unacceptable losses. Americans aren’t going to stand for an aircraft carrier going down with its 6,000 hands on board. Can you imagine just the heart wrenching stories of all the single mothers onboard who would be leaving their children orphaned?
    The US can’t treat Russia like a Third World country and establish no fly zones, carry out drone attacks, send in the SEALS, or parade aircraft carriers through the neigborhood for purposes of imtimidation. The American public has no stomach for a real war and the associated casualties and economic hardships.
    Aircraft carriers are irrelevant in serious wars, they have been known for 70 years to have no utility in war except against opponents with far less military capability. I have studied the history of the naval war in the WW2 Pacific campaigns. After one year of fighting the US and Japanese fleets had both suffered so many losses due to the fragility of the aircraft carrier that they effectively withdrew those ships from proactive combat. Through much of 1942 and 1943 the US Navy was never able to keep more than one flattop deployed at any time. Large scale carrier operations resumed in 1944 only when the US used its enormous industrial capacity to deploy dozens of new carriers equipped with thousands of advanced aircraft and overwhelm weakening Japanese naval and air forces.

  52. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    [It's a bad practice to simply duplicate comments from one thread to another.]

    The globalists that have been, and probably still are, dictating US foreign policy have no intention of waging open war with Russia. As noted on an earlier thread:

    The F35s and the aircraft carriers are for imperial police work: kicking the shit out of little countries that fail to follow advice. Kill a million here, a million there, hang a Saddam or sodomized a Gadhafi with a bayonet and people, especially leaders, get the message: self-determination, democratic or otherwise, is not an option for little countries.

    As for Russia and China and anyone else who can repay aggression with devastating force, the MO is the color revolution. Hence the Maidan in Litttle Russia, aka the Ukraine. Likewise, in the future, in Russia itself. Remember Johny McCain’s taunting Putin (“Dear Vlad, the #ArabSpring has arrived at a neighborhood near you” ). Remember Putin’s recent comment: “Russian interference is a lie to justify American interference in Russia elections.”

    Thing is, the US of Assimilation is so despised by a large proportion of its own population that it’s now at risk of a color revolution at home.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  53. TG says:

    Interesting thoughts. Indeed, Americans need to stop being so bloody mindlessly jingoistically insufferable. True. A few more thoughts though:

  54. @utu

    Many assume the attacking missile will be flying directly toward the carrier. In most cases it will be fired from up to 500km away, beyond the range of the carrier’s protective air cover. It will be fired at the last reported course and speed of the carrier. When the missile the arrives in range for its sensors to make course adjustments, it will likely be a few hundred meters off, so it needs time to detect the carrier and make a sharp course adjustment. And as you note, at Mach 3 that only allows 2-3 seconds, and sharp turns at Mach 3 can damage the missile.

    Speed is not that important because ship CIWS 20mm guns and proposed lasers do not really work. Inbound missiles are tiny targets and bounce around due to air turbulence and course adjustments. A ship will fire a burst at the inbound missile’s radar/computer projected path, but by time bullets arrive the missile’s course has moved a few meters. In the case of lasers, even the yet to be perfected powerful naval ones will only have an effective range of one km due to the atmosphere, and can never maintain an exact lase on a bouncing missile for a couple of seconds to burn through. Here is part from my book:

    A bigger challenge is that ship radar systems are located thirty or more feet above the ocean surface while sea skimming missiles fly around ten feet above the surface. This means systems like Phalanx must look down and attempt to pick out tiny cruise missiles against ocean clutter produced by waves and white caps, while they fly head-on toward the ship with little radar reflection. This is why these systems are tested by having them shoot at a drone flying much higher off the surface, and only one drone at a time.

    Moreover, Phalanx fires a stream of bullets where it predicts the missile will be in a few seconds, yet that tiny target is always making slight flight adjustments to compensate for air turbulence while tracking its moving ship target, so the stream of bullets is likely to miss. Each Phalanx only has ammo to fire for eight seconds, and crews are trained to fire four-second bursts. So even if they work perfectly, each system can only shoot down two targets, then must wait 20-30 minutes until the complex reload is accomplished.

    • LOL: FB
    • Replies: @peterAUS
  55. @aloisius

    how do you feel about occupied usa? what kind of usa would be left after a nuclear exchange? people need to think about these kind of questions from both sides.

  56. @Kiza

    What are we talking about ?
    Anatol Lieven calculated the ratio of USA deaths to foreign deaths as one to fifty.
    With push button drone warriors in Virginia now I suppose the USA does even better.
    That’s why the victims of the USA try to carry the war to the USA itself.
    The price the USA citizens pay is ’1984′, for your protection.

  57. peterAUS says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Disclaimer:
    Whoever likes debates about what weapon is better, please, skip this post.
    You know, M-16 vs AK-47, T-34 vs Panther, MiG-this/that vs F-this/that.
    Just scroll over this post.
    I do it all the time with certain posters/topics.

    Any modern weapon system is a complex piece of hardware/software/human organization.
    Any modern weapon system is vulnerable and CAN be made inoperable.
    Any.

    So, for

    It is asserted that there is no defence against the Chinese Silkworm anti ship missile, that flies at wavetop height at Mach three to four.

    As I wrote before (several times) there is defence against that.

    Simplistic, just an example, in broad terms:
    Say, there is a mobile battery of those.
    You try to deceive them (false targets).
    You try to blind them (overwhelm their sensors).
    You try to damage/destroy them:
    -from air (multiple ways…)
    - from ground (special forces)

    Granted, not easy and not guaranteed, but that’s what combat is all about.

  58. @aloisius

    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.

  59. @Beefcake the Mighty

    In my view they did so all the time.
    As a USA Vietnam veteran said to me ‘we were sent there to defend democracy, but it was not true’.

    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
  60. peterAUS says:
    @Michael Kenny

    Well…actually…disagree.

    Firstly, I disagree with most of Saker posts, but, for a specific reason.
    How to put it: he has good intentions (well, more or less….), but, execution is, IMHO….weird….

    He has all the rights to point to The Empire’s desire to take over and plunder Russia. Also, destroy its culture.
    He also has a very good reason not to trust either competence or/and judgement of elites in West.

    But…..

    Constantly pointing to CONVENTIONAL warfare between The Empire and Russia is just….weird.

    • Replies: @Sean
  61. peterAUS says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Your profile points to: Carlton Meyer, a former Marine Corps officer
    I find your post, with that background, a bit simplistic. I’ll try to point to a couple of things here. I presume you remember debates on courses?

    Many assume the attacking missile will be flying directly toward the carrier. In most cases it will be fired from up to 500km away, beyond the range of the carrier’s protective air cover.

    Depends what you see as “carrier’s protective air cover”.
    The first phase of any, say, aggression, would be air/special forces campaign to damage/destroy the hardware and wound/kill the crews. That campaign could last for weeks before a carrier battle group gets into range.
    It will be fired at the last reported course and speed of the carrier.

    Who/what is going to report the approaching group? First element, acquisition. You blind/damage/destroy/deceive the acquisition system. Or wound/kill the crew. For a “little player” country, not a very hard task.
    Granted….with Russia/China helping that “little country” not so easy, but, achievable.
    Organizing that salvo. Requires sophisticated and robust CiC. A “little country” is unlikely to have it. Or, at least, unlikely to have it operable after the “softening” phase.

    When the missile the arrives in range for its sensors to make course adjustments, it will likely be a few hundred meters off, so it needs time to detect the carrier and make a sharp course adjustment.

    It is a long way….500 Km over seas…flying. Could be shot down. Furthermore, the carrier group could be warned of the approach. Waiting ….
    Which brings to that “sensors”. They also can be blinded/jammed and deceived. You were joking about sharp course adjustment I hope. Unless done to decrease the “picture” with jamming/chaffing.
    And as you note, at Mach 3 that only allows 2-3 seconds, and sharp turns at Mach 3 can damage the missile.

    Speed is not that important because ship CIWS 20mm guns and proposed lasers do not really work. Inbound missiles are tiny targets and bounce around due to air turbulence and course adjustments. A ship will fire a burst at the inbound missile’s radar/computer projected path, but by time bullets arrive the missile’s course has moved a few meters.

    You joking here? One word: dispersion.

    In the case of lasers, even the yet to be perfected powerful naval ones will only have an effective range of one km due to the atmosphere, and can never maintain an exact lase on a bouncing missile for a couple of seconds to burn through. Here is part from my book:
    A bigger challenge is that ship radar systems are located thirty or more feet above the ocean surface while sea skimming missiles fly around ten feet above the surface. This means systems like Phalanx must look down and attempt to pick out tiny cruise missiles against ocean clutter produced by waves and white caps, while they fly head-on toward the ship with little radar reflection. This is why these systems are tested by having them shoot at a drone flying much higher off the surface, and only one drone at a time.
    Moreover, Phalanx fires a stream of bullets where it predicts the missile will be in a few seconds, yet that tiny target is always making slight flight adjustments to compensate for air turbulence while tracking its moving ship target, so the stream of bullets is likely to miss. Each Phalanx only has ammo to fire for eight seconds, and crews are trained to fire four-second bursts. So even if they work perfectly, each system can only shoot down two targets, then must wait 20-30 minutes until the complex reload is accomplished.

    Actually, the length of burst is programmed, not “crew trained”……………algorithm depends on a several factors.
    Plus, there are other systems in place, like higher calibre cannons with proximity fuses.
    And, not to nitpick…2 missiles per cannon…whoah….ring of escort each ship each taking down 2 missiles? Not bad in any book. Add chaffing/jamming….not bad.

    So..again…phases….layers……dealing with a “little country”.

    Don’t get me wrong, but you don’t strike me as a Marine Corps officer who trained with ships/served on ships.
    Just a feeling.
    Nothing personal. Those types just….talk….slightly different.
    Say, I had exercises on the topic. Both in simulators and at sea. Have you?
    Yes, I know anyone can say that on the Internet, but, easy to find out.
    Now, it wasn’t recently…..haha…but, I do remember the basics there.
    Hell…we even had some missiles schematics and realistic models. One could see the radar…..pipes…..electronics….battery…..
    Or, at least, that’s what I spout here.
    Anyone wanting to prove me an ignorant troll go for it. Mind you…two things: it was some time ago (say, the age of PDP-11 based minicomputers) and, PERSEC, of course.
    Always happy to try to learn something.

    The reason I am interested in the topic is a combination of “gunboat”…I mean…”carrier battle group” diplomacy and “axis of Evil” states.
    HORMUZ.
    North Korea.

    Anyway…..

    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
  62. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @CanSpeccy

    [It's a bad practice to simply duplicate comments from one thread to another.]

    But I didn’t “simply duplicate comments from one thread to another.” I prefaced the quotation by a rationalization, which you deleted. Moreover, what I posted was entirely relevant to the current piece by the Saker. In fact it points a fundamental flaw in the analysis.

    But of course, I understand that Unz.com is not a free service provided for the good of the reader, but an expression of the owner’s views and interests and therefore subject to more or less obvious censorship, such as the deletion of parts of my post, as in this case, or the concealment of parts of my post with a “More” tag. as on another recent thread, or the refusal even to acknowledge a submission rebutting one of the more ridiculous posts here.

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

    Mayber they could win a short war but wy would America quit. The US has the most powerful economy in the world and, however it started, the US could expect any conventional war to eventually end with the enemy capitulating . Nukes would be Pyrrhic fools-mate for either side; the US and Russia have not fought and never will fight. Yes, they try to subvert each other and threaten war. The US and Russia are separate rival countries they would be fools to miss any chance to increase their relative power, but by the same token neither are foolhardy enough to go beyond bluster and bluff.

    • Replies: @Randal
    , @peterAUS
    , @Vidi
  64. Randal says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    I have absolutely no doubt that the Soviets prepared for such attacks, nor that prepared attacks on Soviet bases by carrier battlegroups were part of US planning – once the battle area had been structured by destruction of Soviet naval forces and suppression of naval air. Saker claims there was some kind of meaningful pretence that US carriers were unsinkable whilst in reality the US had no intention to make any attacks of the kind you described the Soviets as planning for, because they knew how vulnerable their carriers were (“my [USN] friends all told me that the first thing the USN would do is immediately flush all the carriers away from the North Atlantic and into the much safer waters south of the so-called GUIK gap. So here is the ugly truth: carriers are designed to enforce the rule of the AngloZionist Empire on small and basically defenseless nations (like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq). Nobody in the USN, at least not in the late 1980s, seriously considered forward deploying aircraft carrier battlegroups near the Kola Peninsula to “bring the war to the Russians”.“).

    I certainly recall endless discussions of just how vulnerable carriers would be. What I don’t recall is anybody pretending they were unsinkable in a war against the Soviets, or could be used aggressively without extensive preparation of the battle space, in the way that they could have against the Chinese, say, from when people started to think of the Chinese as potential enemies again up until quite recently.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  65. @CK

    That is about the same distance as the Pas de Calais. That is a long way to go if you don’t have a navy.

    • Replies: @CK
  66. Randal says:
    @Michael Kenny

    How stupid does the author think Russians are?

    Not as stupid as someone would have to be to really believe what you write about the relationship between the Russian government and the Russian people. Are you really so blinkered and ignorant as to believe that it’s in any way comparable to that between the late Soviet government and its subjects? Or that the current Russian government doesn’t enjoy broad popular support, at least comparable to the rather shaky legitimacy enjoyed by the current US regime (and I don’t just mean Trump here, I mean the whole establishment swamp he’s up against).

    Wake up and drag yourself into the C21st, unless you want to keep on being surprised by things that happen in the real world.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  67. Randal says:
    @Sean

    The US and Russia are separate rival countries they would be fools to miss any chance to increase their relative power

    More fools the US regime if that’s their thinking (and for sure it has been for too many of them for the past 25 years). Their rivals, in the medium to long run, are the Chinese, not Russia. All they’ve achieved is to drive Russia gratuitously into the arms of that real rival.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @yeah
  68. yeah says:
    @DESERT FOX

    You have let your hatred of Zionists cloud your reason. If both Russia and the US are destroyed, neither the Zionists nor anyone will have anything left to inherit. A planet that will have gone toxic and lethal with radioactivity is, and should be, everyone’s nightmare, except for rodents and cockroaches, who will be the sole inheritors.

    • Replies: @DESERT FOX
    , @Anon
  69. FB says:

    The question under discussion in this article does not address the REAL issue…

    Which is the question surrounding the actual effectiveness of US weapons systems…particularly in the aerospace domain…as well as the training and capabilityof the personnel involved…

    There is mounting evidence that US aerial weapons…including aircraft…air defense systems…cruise missiles…etc…simply do not work very well…

    And there are serious problems with producing competent personnel…ie training pilots for example…or naval crew [as highlighted by recent collisions...]

    In one of my comments on the previous article by this author…I pointed to a credible critique of the F22 [which is said to be the most capable fighter in the world]…by one of the most credible experts in the field…Col Everest E. Riccione…legendary US test pilot and aircraft designer…

    My comment is here…

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2063846

    And Col Riccione’s paper on the F22 is here…his conclusion is that the F22 is a dog that can’t hunt…

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

    More on the F22 in a bit…

    I pointed out the significance of the Russian Zircon missile…which is entirely owing to its engine technology

    It is the first operational scramjet engine [supersonic combusting ramjet] in the world

    US scramjet technology is lagging far behind, having demonstrated only short experimental flights…many of which ended in failure

    The Russians were the first to fly a scramjet engine back in 1991…and actually shared that technology with the US in a series of flight tests conducted at the Sary-Shagan test range in Kazakhstan…with Nasa invited to participate…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramjet#Before_2000

    The significance of scramjet engine technology cannot be overstated…here is what the Nasa report stated in reference to those Russian flight tests in which they participated…

    ‘…Internationally, several countries, such as the United States, Japan, France, Germany, and Russia, have been involved individually and jointly in the development of air-breathing propulsion technology solutions to efficient, low-cost, point-to-point rapid global access and space transportation….

    The scramjet, its performance potential, and its design methodology validation have been at the center of this quest. Programs, such as this joint Russian-American project, seek to address this last major aeronautics frontier…’

    https://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/pdf/88580main_H-2243.pdf

    I also discussed in that comment the fact that US has a basic problem in its higher education system…and is not graduating engineers and scientists in sufficient numbers and quality [and has not been for a long time]

    Technical professions are not valued in the US…as they are in Russia and China…hence bright young people go into other fields that pay better and carry higher social status…

    Plus the cost of actually getting such an education is out of the reach of many…again unlike in Russia and China where higher education is freely available to any young person with the required intellect…

    Thus we are at the point where US technology capability must be seriously questioned…

    We see very troubling aspects of combat effectiveness when US aerospace weapons are actually used…

    I will proceed to give several recent examples…

    US media reported last year on an attempt by the Israelis to shoot down a Russian-built drone which had penetrated deep into Israeli airspace…

    It is not clear who was operating the remotely piloted craft…but it is presumed that it was not the Russians themselves…who denied knowledge of the flight…

    What is clear is that the Israelis immediately took action to intercept the intruding aircraft…

    ‘…Israeli forces scrambled two F-16s and launched Patriot antiaircraft missiles to destroy the drone…’

    ‘…”One of the planes launched a missile but missed the target,” Ha’aretz writes…

    “The IAF [Israeli Air Force] aerial defense system was also activated, but the Patriot batteries were unable to intercept the drone.

    There was a problem with one of the missiles fired by the battery, while the second missile missed the target.

    The planes chased the drone when it backtracked eastward, toward the Syrian border, but didn’t hit it, and the drone flew into Syrian territory.”…’

    ‘…Israel also appears incompetent…. It fired not one, but three missiles at a drone that probably wasn’t taking evasive action.

    None hit.

    Granted that drones can be hard for air defenses to detect and track, but what if the intruder had been an Iranian ballistic missile or a Hezbollah kamikaze drone aimed at the Haifa ammonia factory?

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/israel-almost-shot-down-russian-drone-17390

    ———————————————————————————————————————–

    In recent months we have the situation of North Korea launching repeated missile test flights over Japan…

    The US has not attempted to shoot down a single one of these missiles with its ship-mounted Aegis missile defense interceptor…despite the fact that the USN pacific fleet has 16 Aegis ships and the Japanese navy an additional four…

    Many people are asking the simple question why not…?

    This is exactly what the Aegis was designed to do…and there are more than enough such ships positioned perfectly in the Sea of Japan to do just that…

    A successful intercept would have a huge effect on the North Korea situation…in fact it is hard to understate the magnitude…

    It would also have a huge effect on peer rivals like Russia and China…

    I realize that a lot of people here who have no technical background and who get their information from MSM and pop-sci outlets which continuously hype US ‘technology’…are going to jump in here…

    For one thing…the ‘official’ excuse given for not attempting an Aegis intercept is that these missiles flew too high…allegedly at about 700 km height above Japan…

    This may fool people with no technical knowledge…but it certainly does not fool any professional in the aerospace sector…

    Here is what the US missile defense agency has to say about how ballistic missile interceptors are supposed to work…

    https://mda.mil/system/elements.html

    We note from the infographic on that page that a ballistic missile flight path follows an elliptical trajectory…and is characterized by several distinct phases…

    Starting with the boost phase when the ballistic rocket is launched skyward…this lasts only several minutes and launches the missile outside the atmosphere…

    Once in space…the atmosphere ends at 100 km [about 62 miles] altitude…the rocket engine is jettisoned…and the missile continues to climb in the ascent phase of flight…

    At the halfway point of its flight the missile reaches its apogee, or highest altitude…

    Once past the apogee and still flying in space…the missile begins to descend…owing to the pull of earth’s gravity…

    Finally…the missile re-enters the atmosphere in its ‘terminal’ phase and plummets toward the target…driven only by the earth’s gravity…

    Here is what the MDA page says about the midcourse phase…

    ‘…The midcourse phase begins when the enemy missile’s booster burns out and it begins coasting in space towards its target. This phase can last as long as 20 minutes, allowing several opportunities to destroy the incoming ballistic missile outside the earth’s atmosphere…’

    We note that the Aegis ABM system is mentioned specifically as a system designed to intercept missiles in this midcourse phase…

    ‘…The Aegis sea-based missile defense element utilizes existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers armed with interceptor missiles designed to defend against short- to medium-range ballistic missiles, and has been successfully tested against an intermediate range missile…’

    https://mda.mil/system/elements.html

    We note here that the midcourse phase begins immediately after the short boost phase…and includes the ASCENT portion of the flight in near space…

    We also note that the NK missiles launched over Japan have been intermediate range [ie IRBM...]

    So it is clear even from the US military’s own public information that the Aegis was designed specifically to shoot down IRBMs…[and several such 'tests' have been carried out]

    And we further conclude…again from the MDA…that the best opportunity to do that is in the ascent portion of the midcourse flight…

    Yet…what have we heard as official excuses for the failure to attempt an intercept…?

    1. The NK missiles flew too high…[reportedly 700 km at apogee...]

    2. US interceptors are designed to shoot down incoming missiles specifically as they are coming down on targets in Japan…ie in the terminal phase…

    Both of those excuses are completely preposterous to anyone with technical knowledge of such matters…

    The second one is demonstrably false…since the Aegis system is specifically designed for a midcourse intercept…not terminal phase intercept…as the MDA itself notes…

    The THAAD [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] is specifically designed for intercept in the terminal phase…ie to defend against missiles specifically falling on a friendly target…

    But that does not explain why Aegis ships positioned in a perfect place to intercept those NK missiles over the Sea of Japan…were not employed to do what they were supposedly designed to do…

    The first point is bogus because the Aegis was never designed to hit a target missile only at its apogee…

    As the MDA makes clear the Aegis is designed to intercept the missile during its entire midcourse phase of flight…including the ascent phase…which would be over the Sea of Japan…

    It is not clear exactly what the maximum height is that the current SM3 version of the Aegis interceptor can reach…

    What is known is that the SM3 did shoot down a malfunctioning US satellite at a height of 240 km…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-161_Standard_Missile_3#Anti-satellite

    The maximum height any rocket can reach depends upon the highest speed it can reach…ie its ‘burnout’ velocity…

    Based on what is known about the SM3…it is thought that the current version could reach a maximum height of 600 km…

    http://allthingsnuclear.org/lgrego/aegis-as-asat

    This by Laura Grego…an eminently qualified scientist who holds a physics PhD from Caltech and is a recognized expert in the field…

    http://allthingsnuclear.org/author/lgrego

    It becomes quite clear that even if the Aegis can reach only to a height of 250 km or so…it should be able to intercept a NK missile right over the sea of Japan…

    The NK missile would have been right over the sea of Japan before it even reached 250 km high…

    Let’s look at the North Korean missile launched on August 28, 2017…which overflew Japan before landing in the Pacific east of Japan…

    Here is a good technical analysis of this missile flight by a scientist eminently qualified to discuss such matters…

    http://allthingsnuclear.org/dwright/north-koreas-missile-test-over-japan

    Here is author David Wright’s bio…

    http://allthingsnuclear.org/author/dwright

    Physics PhD from Cornell just as a start…

    We get from this analysis some important info…

    The NK missile reached Hokkaido after about eight minutes of flight…it would have been near its apogee at this phase of its flight…

    A ‘standard trajectory’ which would give the maximum range [ie minimum energy...] is at a 38.1 degree angle with the earth’s surface at rocket burnout…

    From this we can use simple trigonometry to find the missile height as it flew over the sea of Japan…and all those Aegis missile interceptor ships…over the sea of Japan for several minutes…

    The distance from Pyongyang to the coast at the Sea of Japan is at most about 150 km…the territorial waters extend for 12 miles [20 km] outside that…meaning that US Aegis ships could be [and probably are] sitting at most about 200 km from the NK capital in the Sea of Japan…

    At the burnout angle of 38.1 degrees the missile will be exactly 238 km high by the time it reaches a point in the sea of Japan that is about 200 km from Pyongyang…

    That is the same height of the successful satellite interception the SM3 demonstrated in 2009…

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

    Not only that…but those Aegis interceptors do not need to wait until the NK missile is directly overhead of their position roughly 50 km off the NK coast…

    They could launch much earlier and intercept the missile as it begins ascending into space from an altitude of about 100 km or so…[that is if the Aegis and SM3 actually work as advertised...]

    We conclude…

    The Aegis system was designed specifically for missile intercept in the ascent stage before the missile reaches its apogee…

    This is clear not only from the MDA’s own public information…but also the fact that Aegis ships are deployed near the launch points of the adversary missiles…

    In the waters surrounding China for example…

    Here is an article from the US media that talks exactly about intercepting Chinese short and medium range missiles with Aegis ships offshore…

    https://breakingdefense.com/2013/10/aegis-bmd-passes-key-test-multiple-launches-targets-next/

    It is quite obvious that the US is lying about their excuses for not trying to shoot down NK missiles overflying Japan…

    We expect that the reason is simply that the commanders manning the Aegis ships know this quite well…and are not about to go along with an intercept attempt that will prove to the whole world the incompetence of US technology…

    Yet the above article from an outlet called ‘breaking defense’ talks mighty big…

    ‘…Code-named FTM-22, the test was one more step towards an anti-missile system that could make North Korea or Iran think twice before launching their relatively small arsenals of ballistic missiles…’

    Well…it seems that Rocket Man Kim is not impressed with this hot air from the US fanboy media…

    He continues to sail his rockets right over US ally Japanese heads at will…

    And not one intercept attempt in sight…

    And don’t hold your breath waiting for one either…

    • Replies: @FB
  70. peterAUS says:
    @CanSpeccy

    But of course, I understand that Unz.com is not a free service provided for the good of the reader, but an expression of the owner’s views and interests and therefore subject to more or less obvious censorship, such as the deletion of parts of my post, as in this case, or the concealment of parts of my post with a “More” tag

    That’s an interesting point.

    It’s also interesting to see that remark passing the censorship.

    So, any chance of elaborating further on that?
    Say…what are those “views and interests”?

    And, should that goes through, I’ll try to reciprocate.
    I know, but, well…..still…you first.

    Let’s see…….

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  71. peterAUS says:
    @Sean

    Ups…I thought I made myself clear here.
    Let’s try again:

    I……..do………not……….believe……….in……….any…………conventional………….war……….between……..
    Russia…….and….United States.

    Not that I don’t believe in war between them, though.

    But, should it ever start, it will be NUCLEAR…and, well..short.

    Or, in really plain language: I contemplate war between those two as I contemplate asteroid wiping out the life on Earth.
    Or Marvel vs DC superhero clash.
    Amusing when bored but waste of time really.

    So, in Saker/”easterners” case….I find, again, weird them focusing on that.
    It would be, IMHO, much better on focusing on danger of The Empire’s foreign policy and danger of Armageddon.
    Or…perhaps…they do have some cut from conventional arms sales?
    A part of marketing team?
    Plausible of sort.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Sean
    , @CanSpeccy
  72. Sean says:
    @Randal

    Mearsheimer says multi polar systems are inherently unstable. There are extreme dangers in not talking to Russia, but they lie in the kind of things Nick Bostrom is talking about in China.

    https://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/nick-bostrom-speaks-world-intelligence-congress-china/

    Russia needs to be brought back into the loop.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Philip Owen
  73. You cannot tell what a weapon can or cannot do. The Polaris looked great, but the warhead would not work so we might as well have been throwing rocks.

    The next issues are through put and resupply. Back in the day, the Soviets had a great first punch, but no ability to recover.

    The last is level of risks. We have terrorists all over the place simply because we choose not to inconvenience the sponsors: you can buy a lot of jihadis and they do what you want and you run no risks. We know where the money comes from so why not put some real costs on their jocular actions?

  74. @jilles dykstra

    Stated by you reasons of USSR fall do not reflect reality and are extremely simplistic. It had more to do with elites betrayal and stupidity aka human factor than with anything else. Reasons you provide are fed by liberals to show there is no other choice but liberal capitalistic model. Otherwise Russia always fought well when reason of the war was defence of motherland. I also suspect that the time of massive armies and mobilization circa WW2 is over. Armies will most probably tend to be more professional oriented with some draft but not in tens of millions but considerably smaller. Those militaries that have both professional core and reserves from former draftees will have advantage if war comes to combines arms operations stage.

  75. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @peterAUS

    That’s an interesting point.

    It’s also interesting to see that remark passing the censorship.

    So, any chance of elaborating further on that?
    Say…what are those “views and interests”?

    I have no definite idea. I could speculate, but that would be ill-mannered, and quite likely I would be mistaken too.

    As for what does or does not pass censorship, it is probably not that significant. I assume Ron Unz does not have his finger perpetually on the delete button, which means he delegates the responsibility to someone else, or perhaps to some kind of semi-intelligent system. Either way, the the action will not necessarily indicate positions that Ron Unz is prepared, or is inclined, to defend.

    But it does seem a little odd, to say the least, for Unz, a publisher, not to acknowledge submissions to the Unz Review, and I speak as a former publisher and also as a former published academic (at one time I held academic appointments at three universities simultaneously, including two of the world’s top thirty research schools (according to the Times Higher Ed.), government scientist, and research consultant.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @Anon
  76. FB says:
    @FB

    Correction to my post above regarding the height of North Korean missiles above the Sea of Japan…

    I had said…

    ‘…At the burnout angle of 38.1 degrees the missile will be exactly 238 km high by the time it reaches a point in the sea of Japan that is about 200 km from Pyongyang…’

    This computation is not correct for a burnout angle of 38.1 degrees…but rather for a burnout angle of 50 degrees…[I had inadvertently switched values...]

    The actual altitude of an NK missile launched at the ‘standard’ burnout angle of 38.1 degrees would be just 156 km height…

    That is the missile height directly above a point in the Sea of Japan exactly 200 km east of Pyongyang…

    We find this by taking the tangent of the angle 38.1…which is 0.784…

    Which means that the missile height is 0.784 x the missile distance traveled over the earth’s surface…

    In the case of a US Aegis ship 200 km east of Pyongyang…that gives a missile height of 156 km…

    Even if the US ship was 300 km east of Pyongyang…ie about 150 km off Korea’s coast…the missile flying overhead that ship would be at a height of 235 km…the height at which the US shot down that malfunctioning US satellite as mentioned…

    This makes plain to the knowledgeable observer that the US Aegis missile intercept system is able to hit a target only when it knows exactly the flight path of that target in advance…as in that satellite…

    And as in all of those scripted flight ‘tests’ which many scientists have criticized as being rigged…most notably Prof. Theodore Postol of MIT…

    • Replies: @Kiza
  77. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @peterAUS

    I……..do………not……….believe……….in……….any…………conventional………….war……….between……..
    Russia…….and….United States.

    Not that I don’t believe in war between them, though.

    But, should it ever start, it will be NUCLEAR…and, well..short.

    Agree, and that is why I very much doubt that, absent a direct US attack on Russia, the Russians would sink a US aircraft carrier since that would automatically trigger a tit-for-tat response that could easily lead to an uncontrollable escalation.

    In fact, I would bet that Russia takes every precaution to avoid using its most advanced weapons to prevent the US and other potential adversaries from getting their measure. Likewise, the reluctance of the US to use the Aegis system, however, good or bad it may be. You can surely bet, though, that if Short, Fat, Rocket Man sends a missile in the direction of the US, the Aegis system will be used if there’s the slightest chance of it working.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
    , @FB
    , @FB
  78. Sean says:
    @peterAUS

    When the US was the only nuclear power the US could have attacked the Soviet Union , but it didn’t although John Von Neumann and Bertrand Russel both advocated a nuclear strike or the threat of one to prevent the Soviets getting the bomb.. World domination for the US could have been had back then but it was just too much trouble.

    Conventional war would not progress to nuke out unless there is some prospect of one side actually winning an easy victory by first use of Nukes. Therefore, as long as Russia is not easy to take with nukes, a conventional US-Russia war that never goes nuclear will be far more likely than nuclear war, and any actual nuclear war will be very one sided.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  79. yeah says:
    @Randal

    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.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  80. peterAUS says:
    @CanSpeccy

    I could speculate, but that would be ill-mannered, and quite likely I would be mistaken too.

    Diplomatic.

    Funny that about “ill-mannered” though.
    My impression is that’s the preferable mode for sizable part of posters here.
    But, you are correct. At least complies with that “they bring you down to their level and beat you with experience”.

    he delegates the responsibility to someone else,

    Yup…..

    Been on Internet since its “civilian” inception.
    Always….the….same….pattern…everywhere. Just give it some time.
    Starts great and then…certain types…..slowly, but surely, take over…. moderation.
    The power and the little men.
    Never fails.

    Well, on a positive side, better to have them do it in virtual then in public/workplace/families.

    On a sidenote, not trying to be smart/nasty, based on recent posts of ours, I’d recommend you the book

    https://www.amazon.com/Razors-Edge-Hugh-Bicheno/dp/0753821869/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510519368&sr=1-8&keywords=Falklands+war

    The guy and the book could be refreshing for non-PC types.

  81. peterAUS says:
    @CanSpeccy

    You can surely bet, though, that if Short, Fat, Rocket Man sends a missile in the direction of the US, the Aegis system will be used if there’s the slightest chance of it working.

    Well…..

    The problem with sites/forums like this is that one, really, can’t get into truly serious communication about such topics.

    So, it never feels correct. Method is wrong.

    The best, initial, approach would be to play a “war game”.
    Never happens…….

    And, then, based on that game an additional research and games……
    Say, three games altogether.

    And, haha…..then, the game is done in an exercise.
    Say….just an idea….what those carrier groups are doing over there.

    And that gives you, say, 90 % you could be, sort of aware, what could, most likely, happen.

    So…all this “communication” of ours here is……..ah, well, it is what we have.

    At least we haven’t got political masters to tell us to “change the facts to suit the policy”.

    We do have moderators though.
    Makes you think…..

  82. @Randal

    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.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  83. peterAUS says:
    @Sean

    Conventional war would not progress to nuke out unless there is some prospect of one side actually winning an easy victory by first use of Nukes. Therefore, as long as Russia is not easy to take with nukes, a conventional US-Russia war that never goes nuclear will be far more likely than nuclear war, and any actual nuclear war will be very one sided.

    That’s an interesting point.

    You could be onto something.

    All I know about military screams that use of nukes would be fast and with terrible consequence.
    True, as some guys have been pointing here I am a child of Cold War in that regard.

    Maybe something changed in minds of people in the highest places of military and political leaderships of USA and Russia.
    When we played “war games” in mid/late 80s use of nuclear weapons was always, in outfits I was part of, taken into account. Always….at least a little tactical nuke here…or there. Always.
    Probably as IED now when soldiers play war games now.

    That was simply a part of every exercise.
    Every….exercise. Well, true, except, say “special forces” type games.

    Has anything happened to change that…really?
    I don’t believe that.

    Again, why don’t we play a war game?
    Say, that preferable stuff of “easterners” here…..hard conventional strike on Russian contigent in Syria. Bang….shower them with cruise missiles…out they go.
    Now what?
    Putin scampers away?Maybe.
    Or he, maybe (he, for simplification) launches as The Professor has been saying on CENTCOM etc.
    Heavy damage and heavy loss of life. Plausible.
    Now what?
    Trump scampers away? Maybe.
    Or, he orders a retaliation. Pick something.
    Putin scampers away.
    Or he retaliates. And back…and back….just with conventional. Best case scenario both sides exaust their conventional missile payload and sit to talk.
    Or…..
    One side launches a little…little…0.5 KT device.
    Then other side launches similar back.
    Stop now?Maybe.
    Or, maybe it goes to a couple…several….rising in KT.
    Stop now. How? Who?
    I know, feels like rant. You could write a book and make a movie.

    My point is…looking at people in power now….I am positive should it get there we’d need a miracle to survive. All of us.

    Which points to this article back. And Saker approach to all that.
    Why not write something along those lines?
    That fine line between conventional and nuclear. And what happens when that line is crossed.

    BTW, I remember that the use of tactical nuclear weapons was a doctrinal approach by Soviets in their push into Central Europe. Say, on hard defensive spots within Western defence.
    As was use of tactical nukes on them, by US. On approaching Soviet armored forces.
    Over European soil, we remember…Pershing demonstrations and such.

    My point is…both sides had that in their doctrinal documents/manuals.
    That was the mindset then.

    Things changed in that regard?
    Really?

    Again….where EXACTLY is that red line now?
    WHO/WHY/HOW decides to launch that first one …just a little cruise missile with 0.2 KT yield?

  84. @yeah

    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.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  85. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The next logical topic in this sequence should be an evaluation of the respective capabilities of the DPRK and Iran. This is where the rubber might actually meet the road, both countries being in conflict with the US. An actual war situation could erupt with either country so perhaps that’s where we should be looking.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  86. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @aloisius

    Why don’t you look at a geographical map of Russia before making your amazing statements? Are you really serious about the occupation of Russia’s huge landmass?
    Moreover, had any of your relatives taken part in the WWII (combat), and if yes, on what side? Russians have lost millions among both the military personnel and civilians during the War (learn about the siege of Leningrad). Today, the US-supported junta in Kiev employs the self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who are active on a border with Russia. Mind that the Ukrainian neo-Nazi came to prominence thanks to the Kagans’ clan – see Nuland-Kagan and her amazing command of English language re EU: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/feb/07/eu-us-diplomat-victoria-nuland-phonecall-leaked-video
    Or is it anti-semitic to mention the belligerent ziocons?

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @aloisius
  87. peterAUS says:
    @anonymous

    Couldn’t agree more.

    You’ll find, though, that any such …..conversation…..fast ends in WW2 topics/US-Russia war.
    And Jews……….

    No surprise there, taking into account the main purpose of “Internet chatting”.

    Still, even a tiny minority here wishing that, and with some expertise, can’t do much there.

    This medium is just not good enough for a serious conversation about that.

    Or any serious conversation for that matter.

    Just the nature of it.

    • Replies: @yeah
    , @FB
  88. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @yeah

    The zionists are busy with plotting a continuous war in the Middle East; they are livid that Russia has helped to defend Syria’s sovereignty. Look at the unstoppable attempts by Israel-firsters to make US fight against Iran for the zocons’ glory.

  89. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean

    “Russia needs to be brought back into the loop.”
    This would be against the interests of MIC, FedReserve, and the overblown and mostly parasitic national security apparatus. The behavior of Morell and Brennan (both are opportunistic cowards) indicate that the Deep State is unaware of the imminent danger of the ongoing confrontation with Russia and China. This is the price for eliminating the democracy in the US. The Deep State prefers incompetent and mediocre opportunists.

  90. FB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    ‘…In fact, I would bet that Russia takes every precaution to avoid using its most advanced weapons to prevent the US and other potential adversaries from getting their measure…

    Likewise, the reluctance of the US to use the Aegis system, however, good or bad it may be….’

    This sounds unconvincing…

    Everyone admits today that a big part of the Atomic bombings of Japan in 1945 was to demonstrate that astounding new capability to Moscow…

    The Soviets were more circumspect in demonstrating their advanced hardware needlessly…but I think present-day Russia is not so much…

    For instance the Kalibr strikes [100 and counting] in Syria…as well as Kh101 air launched cruise missile strikes…

    All of those targets could have been destroyed a lot more cost-effectively even with dumb bombs in large quantities…the only reason was show and tell…

    For the present day US the notion of holding back on a genuine technology breakthrough seems pretty ridiculous…

    The US fanboy media is so over the top about the ‘superiority’ of US military hardware…and the press releases from the weapons manufacturers are churning out assembly-line style…letting us know any time anyone passes gas…

    The physics of missile intercept are quite well known…demonstrating on North Korea that it works would do nothing for outside observers like Russia and China…

    Very little would be gleaned from a successful intercept…other than confirmation that the interceptor actually works…

    And that would be to the US advantage…

    If Aegis actually worked…I have no doubt that it would be on full display right now…with the world watching…

    A miss ototh…as in the IAF Patriot airballs on that Russian drone in Syria last year…well that would be devastating…

    Even right now… without the attempt… the US is losing credibility as to its true technology capability…

    Rocket Man is making hay out of US big talk no action…

    Here is my earlier comment with more on this subject…

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/war-with-russia-two-great-american-myths/#comment-2075283

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  91. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “I could speculate, but that would be ill-mannered, and quite likely I would be mistaken too.”
    First you had slandered Ron Unz by questioning his integrity and then you made a pretense on refined civility. Why don’t you take a little bit of your time and made a research of the publications and comments on Unz Review? By the way, we live at a time when smooth academic promotions invite suspicion.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  92. @FB

    but FB, what right does usa have in shooting down the missiles of another sovereign country? the space above japan is not japanese air space, it is space.

    in what context is this ok?

    • Replies: @FB
  93. @Robert Magill

    How fortunate you are to be able to use The Unz Review to promote your little blog. I would imagine it does serve to provide you with a number of new, one-time visitors. Do any of those return, I wonder?

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  94. MarkinPNW says:
    @Don Bacon

    Yeah, the MIC needs a BIG enemy for BIG budgets, and while they’ve tried hyping “Terra”, Iran, and North Korea as BIG enemies, those enemies just aren’t quite BIG enough to cut the mustard.

    • Replies: @Anon
  95. Aedib says:

    Saker rightly complains about USA’s propaganda and exaggerations but he does the same about Russia. Let’s see some facts: Zircon is in testing phase and the mass-deployment date will be around 2025.
    About Sarmat’s payload; RS-20 with more than 200 ton has 8.8 ton payload. How a half-mass missile will have greater payload, even if built with very advanced materials? Sarmat is in the SS-19 league and will have probably around 5-6 ton payload. It will be deployed also after 2020.
    Saker write about them as they were actually deployed. They are not.
    Russian achievements don’t need USA-like propaganda and exaggerations. So, let’s talk about weapons currently deployed. Let’s talk about Onix, Kalibr and RS-24. They are extremely capable weapons and are actually deployed. Conclusions will not change but will be based on facts.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Kiza
    , @FB
    , @L.K
  96. utu says:
    @Aedib

    He has never grown out of playing with lead soldiers. And the soldiers being made of lead may have something to dow with it. Exercise in childish phantasy and bragging that my daddy is bigger than yours.

    • Replies: @Anon
  97. “Likewise, US politicians present Russia as a ‘gas station’ while, at the same time, stating that this ‘gas station’ has the capability to decide who lives in the White House.”

    The “gas stations” who genuinely are influential aren’t Russian! :-)

  98. “The first myth is the myth of US military superiority. The second myth is the myth of US invulnerability.”

    A moral low has been reached when the calculations of making war are based upon whether you can get away with it or not.

    However, even the discredited Just War Theory deems even an otherwise “justified” war (using criteria that have never actually been met in reality) is not moral if the outcome will clearly not be worth the cost in lives and destruction.

  99. FB says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    ‘…Supersonic anti-ship missiles are not desirable…’

    What a ridiculous statement…

    Speed is very hard to defend against…speed plus maneuvering is downright deadly…

    For one thing the reaction time against a sea-skimming missile…

    The radar horizon for a ship is about 23 km…

    A subsonic sea-skimmer traveling at 800 km/hr [220 meters / second] will give a reaction time of 100 seconds…about a minute and a half…

    Lots of surface to air missiles can hit a subsonic cruise missile without much difficulty…such as the Russian Pantsir and similar SAMs from the US [provided they actually work as advertised...]

    So intercepting a subsonic missile is not that difficult…a swarm of course will be a different matter…

    The Russian P-800 Oniks is a ramjet-powered supersonic anti ship missile that travels at mach 2.5…ie 850 m/s…

    Reaction time is now 26 seconds…there’s a lot to do to on board that ship in 26 seconds to get that attacking missile in the cross-hairs…especially if it is maneuvering…as the P800 is designed to do…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-800 Oniks

    It can fly several different flight paths…including a ‘high-low’ where it comes in at higher altitude and then gets down to sea skim to avoid radar detection…

    The Russian Kh22 [and new improved kh32] air launched anti-ship missile is even faster…mach 3.5 for a low-altitude approach…1,200 m/s…

    Reaction time is now down to 19 seconds…

    That’s already close to anyone’s understanding of indefensible…and that missile has been carried by Tu22M long range supersonic bombers for decades…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kh-22

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-22M

    Kh22 can also dive at the target from high altitude at M 4.6…1,560 m/s…

    Unlike the ballistic anti-ship missiles you mention… this missile does not fly a ballistic trajectory…it maneuvers on its way down…

    It will be seen long before impact and will give a nice long reaction time…but trying to hit a maneuvering target at 1,500 meters per second is another story…

    The new Zircon’s flight path characteristics are not yet public knowledge…

    But those knowing something about propulsion will tell you that the ramjet engine in the Oniks is its speed limiter…

    That’s why the Kh22/32 uses a liquid-fuel rocket engine…but even so…this engine does not develop enough thrust to overcome the air resistance at low altitudes where the air is dense…hence its limit is M 3.5 down low…

    It comes down to propulsion

    The Zircon with its scramjet engine overcomes the speed problem…

    It will also likely fly a high-low trajectory and will come in low in the terminal phase at perhaps mach 5 or 6…that’s 1,700 m/s…to 2,000 m/s…

    Reaction time is now 11 to 13 seconds…count that out… out loud…

    The problem of airframe heating at these high speeds and low altitudes is no mystery to anyone with even a nodding acquaintance of chemical thermodynamics…

    These materials science issues are much more challenging for spacecraft reentering the atmosphere at M 30 than they are here…and have been solved long ago…

    As for picking up the heat signature of those hypersonic missiles…it is apparent that you don’t understand how IRST works [infra red search and track...]

    These sensors are highly directional…and have shorter range than radar…

    Atmospheric conditions also come into play…at low altitudes and high air density…the signal is absorbed more by the denser air molecules…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infra-red_search_and_track

  100. Avery says:
    @Anon

    {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

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  101. FB says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    ‘…what right does usa have in shooting down the missiles of another sovereign country? the space above japan is not japanese air space, it is space.

    in what context is this ok?…’

    Good question…as these kinds of technicalities are largely not understood by the public at large…

    Here is the best answer…

    ‘…Interestingly, there is no international law (or agreement) defining the vertical boundary of a nation’s sovereign territory/airspace (the boundary between outer space which is not subject to national jurisdiction and national airspace)…’

    And…

    ‘…Presently the airspace between FL 600 and up to the border between the earth’s atmosphere and outer space (generally an altitude of approximately 100 km (62 mi) (the Kármán line)) is not regulated…’

    Bottom line is that legally at least…any country can ‘declare’ any height limit it wants…

    In practice…all kinds of satellites overfly every country on earth…

    The US shooting down a North Korean Missile even over NK territory at a height of say 100 km [where outer space starts...at least for the purpose of aeronautical records and such]…would have no legal consequences whatsoever…

    Not that the US might be inclined to think twice about breaking any international law…

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/u-2-vertical-boundary-sovereign-territory-h-bertil-nordin

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n_line

    http://scholar.smu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1126&context=jalc

    • Agree: Kiza
  102. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @MarkinPNW

    The MIC is getting more for its prayers than was originally asked: http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/11/mutually-assured-destruction-russia.html
    Putin: “We think that we have simply equalized the situation now. If someone does not like it and someone has a desire to withdraw from the treaty in general – from our side the answer will be instant, I want to warn you about that. The answer will be instant and mirrored.”

    “The US is tearing down the Agreement on the destruction of weapons-grade plutonium, delaying the destruction of its chemical arsenal, withdrawing from UNESCO, threatening to abandon the nuclear deal with Iran, has left the Paris climate agreement, is disregarding their obligations to the WTO – declaring sanctions to the right, left and center. Furthermore, contrary to all their conventions and their own laws, they seize Russia’s diplomatic property in the US and rip Russian flags off the diplomatic missions’ buildings. It seems necessary to ask – where is rock bottom for them? Violating the INF Treaty may just be it – this would be extremely irresponsible, as history may show.”

    The MIC’ paychecks have louder voices for the imbeciles-in-charge than any somber objective assessments.

    • Agree: Kiza
  103. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    He, “utu,” why don’t you start your own blog, under your real name, to present the readers with a detailed and expert assessment of the state of military affairs in the RF and the US? Show others that you are an adult. … For now you sound like an immature envious teen.

    • Replies: @utu
  104. FB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Forgot to mention one more very obvious factor…ie the opportunity to test new weapons in a real combat situation…

    I know the Russians have learned much from the Syria campaign about their aircraft and air-launched weapons…I assume the same is true about the Kalibrs…

    There is just no substitute for battle-testing any new toy…

    Sorry…but I don’t buy the idea that US is holding its Aegis cards close to its vest…

    Never tested in anything resembling real-world scenarios as Prof Postol and others have pointed out…

    Here’ their chance…but they’re not taking it…

    Conclusion is self evident QED…

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  105. yeah says:
    @peterAUS

    Apropos your observations on “internet chatting”, brilliant, LOL!

    Yes, sadly, internet posts and chats bring out obsessions about them jews, commies, muslims, whose dick/military is bigger, and the worst kind of nonsense that the human brain is capable of spewing.

    Clearly a very unsuitable medium for serious conversation, though this site is by and large a pleasant exception.

  106. FB says:
    @peterAUS

    ‘…This medium is just not good enough for a serious conversation about that…’

    Disagree…

    It all depends on how serious the participants are…

    By your standard there would be no such thing as peer-reviewed literature in the scientific community…

    Much of which is communicated by this very medium on which we are exchanging messages right now…

    Only difference…of course…the seriousness of the participants

    The medium is not the problem…this fast-paced medium works just as well as letter post back in Isaac Newton’s day…some would say better…

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  107. utu says:
    @Anon

    “utu” is more differentiating and personal than “Anon”. You can check my past comments while all you do is anonymous drive by. BTW, Anon, is it you Saker? How are the lead soldiers?

    • Replies: @Anon
  108. @jilles dykstra

    Fair enough, many Americans continue to be enthralled by the delusions of American Exceptionalism and so can’t see American imperialism for what it is. And it is certainly true that parasitical finance capitalism (I am a libertarian, BTW) has so drained the American economy that many American men (and women) have few prospects but to become mercenaries. Thus the war machine marches on (but see a link I just posted). However the costs and consequences of these wars are still fairly far removed from the lives of most Americans, and there is increasing sense among the populace that these actions are pointless at best. (This was the one thing Trump was right about and cleverly exploited, however cluelessly it turns out.) The kind of large scale war the system increasingly requires for survival would have very little mass support in the US, absent some kind of false flag that could be credibly attributed to the Russians. (And given the laughable attempts at small scale actions like Las Vegas, it’s doubtful this could be done.) The point is, there is clearly more popular support for the Russian state’s pursuit of its legitimate interests than there is for the American’s pursuit of Empire.

  109. @peterAUS

    I love your post because it demonstrates the smugness, arrogance, and ignorance common among American naval officers. You don’t seek to understand new concepts or debate issues, your response is filled with childish degrading comments with an air of absolute superiority about systems that have never truly been combat tested. Feel free to read my on-line book and try to think and learn.

    Yours is the invincible attitude that causes our billion dollars superships to collide with cargo ships in peacetime. Here is recent video of three carrier battlegroups at sea in Asia. That fleet is impossible to hide, and firing a volley of 70 cruise missiles at it is sure to cause much damage even if just a few hit.

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @peterAUS
  110. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FB

    Re: Aegis

    Here’ their chance…but they’re not taking it…

    Conclusion is self evident QED…

    A possible conclusion is self-evident. But by not proving beyond doubt that Aegis does not work, they require potential enemies to consider that in fact it might.

    • Replies: @FB
  111. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    No, I am not Saker and of course I have no desire to check your other posts. It seems that you, “utu,” have a ridiculous idea that you are superior to Saker. Relax, you are not. As for the toy soldiers — projections, projections, “utu…” Don’t be such a child.

  112. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Anon

    First you had slandered Ron Unz by questioning his integrity and then you made a pretense on refined civility.

    One person calls my comment diplomatic, you call it slander. What I said was:

    I understand that Unz.com is not a free service provided for the good of the reader, but an expression of the owner’s views and interests and therefore subject to more or less obvious censorship, such as the deletion of parts of my post, as in this case, or the concealment of parts of my post with a “More” tag

    In what way is that slanderous, I wonder? Does the Unz Review not, in general, reflect the owners views and interests? And since comments are moderated, are they not bound to be subject to more or less obvious censorship?

    By the way, we live at a time when smooth academic promotions invite suspicion.

    Not sure what that means, but it seem to relate in any way to my academic career.

    When I resigned from the University of Toronto three days after taking up a tenure-track appointment, my entire academic career went poof, my other appointments (as an adjunct full professor at one school and as an adjunct Associate Professor at my home town university) becoming immediately null and void.

    In fact, I thought of submitting an account of my Toronto career to the Guinness Book of Records, to be considered for possible inclusion under “briefest ever academic appointment.”

    • Replies: @Anon
  113. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @peterAUS

    It would be, IMHO, much better on focusing on danger of The Empire’s foreign policy and danger of Armageddon.

    Yes, we seem to have returned to the Cold War, in which the US and the Ex-SU attack one another via proxies. The calculation of the rulers of the Indispensable Nation is, presumably, that as the first phase of the Cold War did not lead to Armageddon, but resulted in the destruction of the Russian Empire (with the result that Russia now has only 149 million citizens under its control, not 300, million), it is safe to proceed to Stage Two: a struggle to induce a further collapse in Russia, so that the place can be taken apart, divided into Poroshenkite Corruptionistans subordinate to the Empire, and where the Empire can locate missile around China, from whence to make the final push for control of the World Island.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  114. Avery says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    { American naval officers}

    He is not American: he is Australian.
    Don’t know if he is an officer.

  115. @Beefcake the Mighty

    The US is not alone in its lunacy, The Australian “Defence Forces” have spend millions of dollars on “gender reassignment” surgeries for its members in recent years.

  116. peterAUS says:
    @FB

    Well….I actually, sort of, agree with you here.
    Up to a point, of course.
    Say, 60/40.

    First, that 40.

    Briefly, serious “shooting topics” have two elements peer reviews in academic world do not.
    TIME and PRESSURE on human factor.

    That’s why any serious military has war games.
    They are of crucial importance there.

    First in simulators and then, when all is ironed out there, in real.
    That approach is simply not done in “chatosphere”.
    I am not saying it can’t be done. The simulator part that is. People play video games all the time.
    Just it is not……….

    But even the best simulators give a fraction of a full picture.
    That’s what exercises are all about.
    Only after them some sort of real approach to an issue can be expected.

    Those current carrier battle groups are doing exactly that as we speak.

    Now, having said that, why I agree, that 60 %.

    That’s simple. There is no other option.
    Internet, or better, technology, has provided an average person to get knowledgeable and means to influence the powers that be.
    Power of Internet they say……

    In theory.

    We know what’s the 90 % of Internet used for.
    How an average person uses Internet and technology in general. No need to get into details here.

    So, there is where you are correct. That “seriousness of the participants”.
    They do not care.

    So….we have powers that be as they are.
    We have a possibility of destroying life as we know it by use of nuclear weapons.
    And we have majority of people who, by all (in)actions of theirs, just do not care.

    Say, in …proper….world, Internet communication would provide in a couple of weeks a realistic solution to the “Korea thing”, for example.
    Say, thousands of persons twice smarter than I am discuss that and hammer it out.
    Then, it’s presented to average people (like me….) to see it and, then, hundreds of millions of those influence powers that be to deliver that.
    Sort of direct democracy in action.
    Idealistic science fiction……..or, just rambling, actually.
    Nobody………..cares………..

    The…funny thing…….likely to happen is: a major crisis develops and then, and only then, people start paying attention. Both smart and average. Even dumb.
    Maybe in time.
    Or just a little too late.

    Personally, I am inclined to see the later as more realistic option.
    Say….60/40.

  117. Kiza says:
    @FB

    Without the quantitative (mathematical) analysis you have put into this topic, I have thought up the same question, but I short-circuited it qualitatively as follows:
    1) they try to shoot-down an unannounced missile of unknown trajectory and they end up with a huge egg on their collective MIC faces and the program gets cancelled, or
    2) they seek a couple of trillion more to develop the capability to shoot-down unannounced missiles and end up laughing all the way to the bank (which they own as well); the you-have-a-problem-we-have-a-trillion-dollar-solution-for-you approach.
    Which one would you chose?

    In other words – of course Aegis does not work!

    • Replies: @FB
  118. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Kiza

    Im all for limiting the number of posts. My vote is to start with stupid comments like yours.

    • Troll: FB
  119. FB says:
    @Kiza

    I love the way you put this…

    ‘…the you-have-a-problem-we-have-a-trillion-dollar-solution-for-you approach.
    Which one would you chose?…’

    Well…done…

    Appreciate the wit…I’m sure Gen. Smedley Butler would as well…

  120. peterAUS says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    You don’t seek to understand new concepts or debate issues

    with

    Feel free to read my on-line book and try to think and learn.

    and

    firing a volley of 70 cruise missiles at it is sure to cause much damage even if just a few hit.

    I’ll be brief.

    Once upon a time I worked with guys who would , as a part of combat estimate, calculate an effect of salvo of sea-skimmers onto a task force.
    Era of PDP-11 minicomputers, Stix, Exocet, Harpoon etc. They could make a ball park estimate in 30 minutes.

    You appear to be of their ilk. I mean, the book etc.

    So, imagine you are one of them.
    You’ve been given a tactical situation as:
    A carrier battle group as it is now (pick one of those 3), fully deployed and in full alert. They know the missiles are coming. Planes, helos, pickets, the works.
    Range 300 KM.
    A volley of 6 C-805s launched from North Korea. Three launch locations, each independent, firing two missiles at a time. Span of 2 minutes between launches.
    So, 6 missiles, range 300 km, approximately from one bearing, 3 pairs, 2 minutes span between pairs.

    What would be a casualty estimate for that task group? Material, men?

    If you don’t feel like doing it, could you, please, point to a place I could try to calculate it myself?

  121. Another great article by the Saker and generally well-informed and interesting comments from readers.

    The smug and insouciant state of mind that the Saker refers to is not just a feature of the US. We Brits have just has our Remembrance Sunday. We wore our poppies and laid our wreaths “lest we forget.” Yes, it’s good to remember that people gave their lives for something more important than switching your gender on a whim.

    However, there are two types of remembering. There’s the soccer-type. “Yes! We whipped their arses and we’ll do it again. Molon Labe.” Then there’s the type of remembrance more appropriate to a tragedy. “Yes, it happened and it must never happen again.”

    Poppy Day in Britain has become a sports event. Nobody, or very few, think anything bad can ever happen to them – again, only much worse than last time.

  122. Kiza says:
    @Aedib

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with you – Saker was writing about future capability as if it were current and emphasising design targets as actual performance (any good engineer can tell you something about such practice). But, if one wants to be even-handed then one would have to admit that most Western/US systems do not perform even close to advertised, pick almost any Western weapons system or check out a comment by FB here. Even the cherished F22 appears to be a pile of crap, let alone F35.

    Overall, it is my impression that in conventional weaponry the Western dependence on a highly concentrated MIC, a result of years of M&A in this sector, is gradually leading to decline and falling behind the Russian and the Chinese developments. In other words, corruption is taking better of the Western weapons development and the bull is replacing the real capability, just like in the political domain. In other words, make believe is dominating reality and leading the West to dangerous self-delusions, which could lead to military adventurism against military peers and subsequent use of nuclear weapons when the nose gets bloody.

    I underline, what is happening in the US weapons development is the engineering equivalent of the Russia-hacked-my-election imbecility. No self-respecting nation would have allowed itself to sink so low. Why would anyone be dumb only in one area?

  123. Vidi says:
    @Sean

    Mayber they could win a short war but wy would America quit. The US has the most powerful economy in the world and, however it started, the US could expect any conventional war to eventually end with the enemy capitulating.

    In the 1790s, England’s economy was far greater than that of the thirteen American colonies, so why did the colonies win?

    Russia only has to hold off the U.S. in the short term, since the pair Russia+China will win in the long term. Russia by itself has more resources than the U.S., and China has lots of natural resources too. Plus China’s productive capacity will soon exceed the U.S.’s by quite a bit. If the war becomes a battle of attrition, the U.S. will lose, and lose badly.

    • Replies: @Sean
  124. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    “..therefore subject to more or less obvious censorship…”
    The lady doth protest too much.

  125. CK says:
    @Prof. Woland

    At that point in WWII, the Russian navy in the far east had already accomplished several sea based invasions: one at Sakhalin and a leapfrog set down the Kuril Islands. The last leap would have been less distance than the D-Day invasion and against undefended beaches.
    The Russians had enough of a navy to accomplish this.

    • Replies: @Prof. Woland
  126. JosephB says:

    “All of these missiles would be “intelligent” and networked with each other: they would be sharing sensor data, allocating targets (to avoid duplication), using countermeasures, receiving course corrections, etc.”

    During the Reagan presidency? The missiles were networked and sharing info with each other? I have a couple of issues here:
    1. Soviet wireless networking must have been well advanced over what I thought at the time. Hell, Tom Clancy didn’t have US technology at anything like this level in his 1980s fiction — and he is optimistic of US capabilities. Was the USSR that far ahead of the US in IT in the 1980s?

    2. Why would missile duplication be a problem? Are there that many aircraft carriers that need to be sunk that a few extra missiles sent to one might result in failure of the mission. In terms of where to focus effort, even if it were technically possible, removing redundancy would appear to be at the bottom of the list.

    I’m not sure of the rest of the article, as this part caused me to stop reading.

  127. FB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    ‘…But by not proving beyond doubt that Aegis does not work, they require potential enemies to consider that in fact it might…’

    I have to admit you do have a point there…

    The Bluff is a time-honored tactic that has proved its worth…especially when accompanied by a good dose of Bluster…

  128. Carlosddh says:

    The zirclon speed looks impressive on paper but its major weekness is its range aver 250 miles.

    Russia doesnt have the projection capability to get within 250 miles of a target. Mid atlantic or pacific as an example.

    • LOL: Andrei Martyanov
  129. @Randal

    What I don’t recall is anybody pretending they were unsinkable in a war against the Soviets, or could be used aggressively without extensive preparation of the battle space

    I do and extremely well, actually. Obviously, starting from Zumwalt and later admitted by the father of US naval carriers, Hyman Rickover himself, that issue was raised–that US Navy’s main strike weapon, a CVN, is not exactly an asset for the job of fighting battles for Sea Control against Soviet Navy. Well, guess what–Zumwalt ran into the concrete wall of carrier “union” resistance immediately and it took enormous efforts to even push through Harpoon, Tomahawk and not least Oliver Hazard Perry-class FFGs. US Navy, even today, simply loves, in Arleigh Burke’s lingo, “to travel first class”, meaning large, expensive combatants. The positions of carrier lobby is as strong as ever despite growing choir of voices from inside the US Navy that the game is over. This lobby, which also for decades dominated key naval positions from CNO down is not going to give up easily on their huge expensive toys and admiral and senior officers positions, and other sinecures, they generate. Many of them still think and push this idea, that US carrier force can do the Midway 2.0, constantly and this is dangerous. They DO think that carriers are unsinkable. This is, obviously, apart from the fact of fat juicy contracts for building and maintaining such a Navy. What is constantly missing, however, from all those discussions is that WHAT will the US do once one of those enormously expensive toys will get hit and, possibly, sunk?

    “Preparation of the battlefield” IS another name for Sea Control battle and without carrier air support US Navy has very slim chances of survival already in Russia’s littoral and slightly beyond, while bringing carriers into this battle guarantees their kill–classic Catch 22, or damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Once Zirkon (3M22) is in place and there are no reasons to believe that it will not be by early 2020s and series production of Pr. 677 Lada SSKs starts in earnest (3 are already being built) and the rest of the park of MiG-31s is upgraded to BM version–Game Over. US Navy knows it, at least some people of influence do. Thus US naval forces become an extremely, in fact scandalously, expensive and dubiously effective force pushed out into the open ocean where it represents no threat or is good only for doing what it does best–blowing shit up inside third world shitholes. I am sure some other fancy wunderwaffe technologies–such as liquid vacuum, zero-point energy or stargate blusters–will be invented to continue the gravy train.

    • Replies: @CK
  130. if some western politician decides that he is smarter and stronger than Napoleon or Hitler and that he will finally bring the Russians to their knees, then he and his country will be destroyed. It is really that simple.

    More importantly, his country will be destroyed by non-nuclear means, so the rest of the world isn’t poisoned.

    My guess is that Syria was one demonstration of this. It would be nice for Russia to precision bomb some locationin the Sahara Desert to make this capability clear.

  131. @JosephB

    During the Reagan presidency? The missiles were networked and sharing info with each other? I have a couple of issues here:

    You shouldn’t since P-700 Granit, aka SS-N-19 Shipwreck had (still have) a full target re-acquisition capability in a salvo and could be controlled as a swarm by one (or two) of missiles used as the “leader”. That is why it is called “shoot-and-forget” weapons.

    Hell, Tom Clancy didn’t have US technology at anything like this level in his 1980s fiction — and he is optimistic of US capabilities. Was the USSR that far ahead of the US in IT in the 1980s?

    Once Tom Clancy appears in discussion–it stops being even mildly competent, let alone professional. Per IT (at the time of large processors aka “mathematics”)–algorithms matter hugely and USSR always had world-class programmers and mathematicians.

  132. FB says:
    @JosephB

    ‘…The missiles were networked and sharing info with each other? I have a couple of issues here:..’

    Maybe you should have kept reading…

    The P700 Granit…in service since 1983… anti-ship missile is a ramjet powered bruiser that weighs 7 tons and can reach speeds of up to mach 2.5…[M 1.6 sea skimming...]

    ‘…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.

    You also added…

    ‘…Why would missile duplication be a problem? Are there that many aircraft carriers that need to be sunk that a few extra missiles sent to one might result in failure of the mission…’

    Answer here…

    ‘…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…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-700_Granit#Design_and_building

  133. @JosephB

    While I am not an expert on This, it still amuses me how Americans think they were ahead in military technologies over ussr. Let’s put as example massive Soviet army exercise West 1981. I learned it pretty recently that it was when networks and computers were used first time the way America used it first only 10 years later in Iraq. Arrogance.

    • Replies: @Avery
  134. Avery says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    {….. how Americans think they were ahead in military technologies over ussr.}

    SU was ahead of US in non-military technologies in some cases as well.
    The Soviet Lunokhod program pioneered robotic exploration of space when in 1970 Lunokhod 1, and then in 1973 Lunokhod 2 landed on the moon.
    Not until 1997, 24 years later, US joined robotic space exploration when Mars Pathfinder landed on Mars.

    Part of the reason Americans thought poorly of Soviet tech was conflating poor quality of consumer goods in SU with non-consumer tech. SU’s best and brightest always worked in military and space tech.
    Of course US eventually pulled far ahead of SU in space with the Moon landing, Space Shuttle, etc.Soviet economy simply could not sustain the necessary expenditures.

    • Agree: FB
    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    , @FB
  135. aloisius says:
    @Anon

    It´s just a hypothetical worst case scenario. It´s not supposed to be realistic.

  136. So when the Chief of Staff officially declares that Russia now has a conventional strategic deterrence capability – you can take that to the bank. It’s real.

    Russia has been bragging on what it could do for years, only to find out it wasn’t true. Putin’s conventional strategic deterrence is most likely non-existent. That does not mean that Russia is not a threat, he is, and remains so because of his weakness, as he has shown in Crimea and the Donbas.

    The reality is, of course, very different and simple in a binary way: Russia represents absolutely no threat to the United States or anybody else (including the three Baltic statelets).

    I suppose, then, 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. You would also have no objection to ending Russia’s saber rattling in the direction of the Baltics, Poland, Georgia and Ukraine.

    Bluntly, this column, like most of your columns, is nothing but manure.

    • Disagree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Anon
  137. @Avery

    Lol, Averi, you are kidding yourself with this old meme that Soviet union could not sustain this or that what USA could afford to sustain. It is typical suckling upon proverbial West superiority tit. One also should ask how practical to send man to the moon? What for? Flashy useless stuff. Look at all that made practical sense. Ussr was doing it all.

  138. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Quartermaster

    “…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.

    • Replies: @Quartermaster
  139. FB says:
    @Aedib

    ‘…Saker rightly complains about USA’s propaganda and exaggerations but he does the same about Russia…’

    Indeed…this author tends to get in over his head when it comes to ‘technicalities’

    I also admired the old Soviet style of Not Bragging about their capabilities…which ‘modern’ Russia is quickly abandoning…its own media trying apparently to match the US fanboy media in a race to the bottom…

    As for your specific comments about the Sarmat payload fraction…your comments are very much on target…

    ‘…How a half-mass missile will have greater payload, even if built with very advanced materials?…’

    Yes…the numbers bandied about for the Sarmat…ie a 10 ton payload on a 100 ton rocket seem quite ridiculous on their face…

    But that is not all there is to it…as I am sure you know…

    For instance the Soyuz 2.1b which continues to be the only spacecraft carrying humans into space as of the last six years…has a payload fraction of about 2.6 percent…

    However…I think it would serve the reader better to put a little more mathematical beef behind this…

    To get our bearings here…let’s start with the relationship between the rocket’s top attainable speed and range…

    This is pretty simple for any ballistic projectile…starting with a gun bullet…the faster its speed…the greater its range…

    An ICBM can trade range for payload…just like an aircraft…and this is in fact done with all ICBMs…though the exact details are not generally in the public domain…

    Some roadposts here…a rocket that wants to reach low earth orbit needs to reach a speed of about 7,600 m/s…ie 7.6 km/s or M 25…

    An ICBM is not intended to go into orbit and can go slower…a burnout speed of even 4 km/s will deliver a much bigger payload but to a much shorter distance…

    So let’s look at specific figures of payload fraction for the US Trident 2…

    It has a total mass of 56,200 kg…

    It can carry from 8 to 14 Mk5 warheads…each of 475 kiloton yield…

    Each of those Mk 5 weighs 180 kg…the bus weight is 1,100 kg for a total payload of between 2,540 and 3,620 kg…

    So the payload fraction can be as high as 6.4 percent…ie 3,620 / 56,200 kg = 0.064..

    More than twice as high as the Soyuz orbital vehicle that needs to reach higher speed to escape earth’s gravity…and not that far off the figure of 10 percent bandied about for Sarmat…

    We note here that the Trident uses solid-propellant rocket motors which are not as efficient as liquid engines by about 30 percent…in terms of specific impulse…

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

    So it is not beyond belief that a liquid engine rocket like the Sarmat could in fact hoist 10 tons…but with a greatly reduced range…

    Now as to your specific point about advanced materials for the airframe…

    This is a big one…because less airframe weight means more fuel can be carried…

    In other words our propellant fraction has now increased…

    The layman reader may not be aware of the relationship between say propellant fraction and delta V…

    Ie…the ability to increase the total amount of fuel carried by the rocket…by means of using advanced materials to make the airframe lighter…

    …Will effect an increase in the rocket’s top attainable speed…which of course determines its range…

    It is…as I am sure you are aware…not a linear relationship…

    Ie a small increase in propellant fraction will result in a much bigger increase in delta V…

    Here we turn to a simple math computation using the Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation…aka Fundamental Rocket Equation…as US textbooks prefer to call it…[surprise there...]

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

    Let’s assume first that our engine efficiency remains the same between the old RS20 [aka R36 Voyvoda...] and the new engine on the Sarmat…

    So let’s say specific impulse is 300 seconds…[which is somewhat low for even the '60s era Russian high pressure engines...but for illustrative purposes it doesn't matter...]

    Let’s assume that the old ICBM had a propellant mass fraction of 0.9…this is a mass ratio [MR] of 0.1 [MR = 1 - propellant mass fraction...]

    And let’s now assume that due to lighter airframe materials the new ICBM has a propellant fraction of 0.95…[again these figures are simply for the sake of illustration...]

    So our mass ratio [MR] changes from 0.1 to 0.05…as propellant mass fraction changes from 0.9 to 0.95…

    Tsiolkovsky tells us that…delta V = g x specific impulse x natural logarithm of 1 / MR…[inverse of mass ratio]

    where g is the acceleration of earth’s gravity which is 9.8 m/s^2…

    So our values now are natural log [ln] of 10 = 2.3

    So we plug that in to get delta V for the Old ICBM…

    Delta V = 9.8 x 300 x 2.3 = 6,770 m/s…

    For the new ICBM with lighter materials and mass ratio of 0.95…we get…

    Delta V = 9.8 x 300 x 3 = 8,800 m/s…

    We note the only difference is that our natural logarithm of our improved inverse mass fraction of 0.5 rises to 3 from our old version with the mass fraction of 0.1 where ln = 2.3…

    We have gained 30 percent greater burnout velocity…which we can trade for increased payload…

    And we have not even considered the engine specific impulse…that is a story in itself…

    The US has not been able to match Russian liquid engine technology over many decades now…which is why they are buying them from Russia…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_V#Replacement_for_the_RD-180_engine

    Mainly the Russian advantage has to do with the very high combustion chamber pressure they are able to achieve…more than twice that of US engines…

    As any thermodynamicist will tell you only pressure energy can be converted to work energy in a heat engine of any kind…

    Russian RD180 chamber pressure = 4,000 psi…

    US engines in development to replace it…chamber pressure < 2,000 psi…[we note here that our friend Jeff Bezos is the 'entrepreneur' behind the Blue Origin engine...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RD-180

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BE-4

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This author also throws in the idea of using Sarmat to perform a FOBS approach...ie where the rocket reaches orbit and comes at the US from the south pole...[fractional orbital bombardment system]

    Well…this is clearly conflating things as the Sarmat will not be able to throw 10 tons into an orbital velocity of 7.8 km /s…

    It will need to reduce payload to do that…

    Again the burnout speed [ie range] vs payload tradeoff…

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

    ———————————————————————————————————-

    Also agree with you on the issue of ‘in development’ and actually in service…

    Those timelines you mentioned are eminently more sensible than talking about it as if was already here…

    But again I have to add a qualifier…

    The beating heart of the Zircon is its scramjet engine…

    There is no doubt that this is a flying article as of right now…

    The significance of this cannot be overstated…

    The scramjet engine is a huge deal…

    Think about this application…a scramjet aircraft can’t take off under its own power…but…

    …A large supersonic aircraft…say the Tupolev 160…world’s biggest combat aircraft… 25 percent bigger than Concorde and capable of flying mach 2…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-160

    …Carries under its wings two scramjet powered powered aircraft that can reach speeds of M 8 [or more] in the upper atmosphere…

    They are released from the mother ship at say M1.5 where the scramjets can start running independently…

    That’s not only scary in military terms…but also a game-changer for reaching space economically…

    Yet this author does not even mention the scramjet…

    But does go on to war game an armchair general scenario of ships and rockets…

    This of course gets us this kind of discussion…

    I sunk your battleship…

    Did Not

    Not helpful…

    • Agree: Kiza
    • Replies: @JL
  140. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Quartermaster

    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.”

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Quartermaster
  141. FB says:
    @Anon

    ‘…Groysman (a Jew) and Biletsky the neo-Nazi…’

    So now being a Jew is equated with being a neo-Nazi…?

    Interesting…

    As for all these replies to ‘Quartermaster’…I don’t get it…

    The Career Clown does not end up in that profession by accident…

    And it is a profession best appreciated by enjoying the amusement it provides…

    • Replies: @Anon
  142. I am very suspicious as to weaponry built in secret.

    Below is an article on Northrup Grumman’s building of a “secret” bomber in Palmdale, Ca.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-fi-northrop-bomber-20171110-htmlstory.h.ca.

    Especially given the state of U.S.- Russia high war tension in Syria, it would be sensible for the Superpowers to not “show all their (firepower) cards” in public.

    One more matter.

    I believe there is another well designed myth to which Americans have fallen under sway.

    World finance is done on a global scale and the age old consensus suggests war is about money, territorial & resource gain…, POWER.

    Perhaps behind the scenes, the 1%-er world Superpower(s) are thinking along the lines of the globalist New World Order and plan to dictate how the planet’s creatures shall economically subsist.

    Of course possibility for nuclear WW III looms heavily. However, I sense it wise to understand such instilled fear might be very scary bluster, compliments of those privileged who would prefer subduing mankind by economic means.

    Thank you.

  143. @Randal

    It’s no joke to say that if Russia focused its firepower exclusively on NY City, Los Angeles / Beverly Hills / Hollywood, and DC, a majority of people in the rest of the country would perceive that to be a net longer-term benefit for our culture, our economy, and our federal budget.

  144. @jilles dykstra

    Gladly agree with you that we will be better off closing many of our military bases abroad. Probably the great majority of them.

    Perhaps have naval and air bases only at economic / energy chokepoints, to combat piracy and any other interference with the free flow of food, fossil fuels, rare-earth minerals, and other important-to-essential goods. (We will presumably have to settle for joint or alternating patrols with Chinese and/or Russian troops at such chokepoints, which could work.)

    All the savings from closing foreign military bases, however, is merely a reduction in annual deficit spending (new borrowing). There won’t be any actual money thereby made available to fund a single payer medical system, a national high speed rail system (which I’d actually like to see and am willing to pay towards), massive solar grids, or any other arguably useful domestic investment.

    We need to eliminate several hundred of our foreign bases just to reduce the size of the Fed gov’s new annual borrowing — and move a small part of the way towards a balanced annual budget. The widespread base closures, combined with a gradual reduction in federal personnel (1-2% per year), still wouldn’t quite balance the Fed budget these days. But we had better get moving on that task, at least.

    More money for domestic priorities must be found elsewhere.

  145. Sean says:
    @Vidi

    The 1776 rebellion happened because the British were trying to protect the Native Americans from land speculators (including George Washington and Ben Franklin), and the defeat of France in Quebec resulted in the French Catholics in Quebec being brought into a large administrative unit with the Yankee Protestant bigots (like Benedict Arnold, an early hero of the Revolution), many of whom saw it as a Papist plot.

    Also, the defeat of France at Quebec meant the Yanks did not need British troops ro protect them from the French army in North America anymore. Britain clearly won the 1812 war, in which the US attacked Britain thinking that Britain would be too busy with the French, only for France to drop out leaving the US fighting alone. The British leader Castlereagh chose to give very generous terms to the US.

    China is going to supplant Russia as the second superpower long before it overtakes the US. China has a big population and a long border with Russia. It’s true Russia has lots of resources but it will have to really pull itself up by the bootstraps to avoid being relegated. From the Russian point of view: unless they can change–a war now would be better than waiting.

  146. Sean,

    Each of the three (nation-state) globalized Superpowers you discussed have major strengths and major weaknesses. Assume the better (humane) part of each distinct oligarch leadership group takes account of commonality, compatibility?

    I am certain that major globalist planners have taken into account and have itemized the above Superpower characteristics. However, they are cunning/ambitious and they know there’s nothing much “kind” about mankind anymore.

    What’s more, the wisest (elite) global “conquistadors” are aware of history, and subsequently they comprehend how the best laid plans for nuclear world war can go awry, go to shit.

    For me, it would make sense for committed globalist Superpowers to “pull up their bootstraps” as one awesome unit of wealth, corruption, power and of course CONTROL.

    Thanks for reading this, Sean.

  147. @Robert Magill

    I know, the author was in full crimethink when he said the 9-11 line. Not acceptable discourse.

    Ironically, jews gassed CeeCee Lyles in an actual real gas chamber after she made that famous phone call.

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  148. “… not acceptable discourse.”

    Cucksworth,

    Recall what Leona Helmsley said about paying taxes as something only little people do?

    Well, only restless “little people” and daring writers are held accountable to “unacceptable discourse” standards!

    So…, unless something is institutionally self-imposed, I propose that there is no such thing as “unacceptable discourse” within the elite Superpower halls of real power.

    Americans would be fools to think that U.S., Russian, and Chinese core leadership (a.k.a., respective Deep States) can not privately talk about who really did psycho stuff like 9/11.

    (Sigh) Not long ago, the Putin government (allegedly) announced that the Russians are in possession of 9/11 satellite imagery that would challenge Corporate Media conventional wisdom!

    Evidently, to show Rus images to the globalized would be “unacceptable discourse,” eh Cucksworth?

    What the he’ll is going on here?

    Thanks, Cucksworth.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @L.K
  149. FB says:
    @ChuckOrloski

    I think Cucksworth is on your side…

    I believe he meant ‘acceptable discourse’ sardonically…

    • Replies: @ChuckOrloski
  150. @FB

    FB,

    My comment tone was leveraged confrontational.

    I trust your judgement about Cucksworth being on my side.

    Thanks for the heads up, FB.

    • Replies: @FB
  151. AnonFromTN [AKA "Informed"] says:

    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.

  152. FB says:
    @ChuckOrloski

    No problem Chuck…

    I had to look up ‘Cee Cee Lyles’…

    Turns out she was the flight attendant that made that famous call on flight 93…

    The part about the ‘Jews’ gassing her…I can’t say…

    But I wouldn’t be surprised at anything to do with that particular day in history…

  153. L.K says:
    @Aedib

    Aedib:

    Saker rightly complains about USA’s propaganda and exaggerations but he does the same about Russia.

    That’s true. It’s a game 2 can play. Nevertheless, Saker’s basic points seem correct.

    The problem with the Saker is that he is more of a polemicist than a careful researcher…
    For instance, he could illustrate the many problems and weaknesses of the ZUSA military from the perspective of various US military reformers; these are people who are NOT generally with the MIC, and are have been generally very critical of the vast wastage that constitutes the ZUSA military budget.
    These folks have written articles and books, and citing excerpts from their work would go a long way in making his points much more convincing( re the US side).

  154. L.K says:
    @ChuckOrloski

    Hey Chuck,

    They do know.
    For example:
    Regarding the matter of whether or not bin Laden and ‘al-Qaeda’ were even capable of orchestrating the attacks, author and professor David Ray Griffin, wrote:

    … several political and military leaders from other countries have stated that bin Laden and al-Qaeda simply could not have carried out the attacks.
    General Leonid Ivashov, who in 2001 was the chief of staff for the Russian armed forces, wrote:

    “Only secret services and their current chiefs—or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations—have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude…Osama bin Laden and “Al Qaeda” cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks. They do not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders.”

    • Agree: ChuckOrloski
  155. @CK

    The Japanese had an elegant expression regarding how they conquered South East Asia that went something like “waiting for the ripe fruit to drop into your hands” In other words, Let Germany weaken England and France and then move in. von Ribbentrop had another expression for it, “stripping a corpse”.

    Yes, after America defeated Japan, the Russians could have invaded.

  156. JL says:
    @FB

    I also admired the old Soviet style of Not Bragging about their capabilities…which ‘modern’ Russia is quickly abandoning…its own media trying apparently to match the US fanboy media in a race to the bottom…

    The Russian leadership is much more concerned with public opinion than its Soviet counterpart back in the day, which could afford to downplay its military capacities. Since ordinary Russians have to make economic sacrifices for their geopolitical stance, they need to see the results and feel like it’s making a difference.

    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.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  157. RHR says: • Website

    I think the war with Russia is not the way cold war state of mind, but rather a barrack of IT war which involved jamming and hacking all of those space satelite, blinding space war control systems at the same time and follows by all that it would involved Russian swarms of heavy air and sea launched missiles coming from different directions, some skimming the waves, others dropping down from very high altitude, all at tremendous speeds, combined with more underwater-launched missiles and even torpedoes. All of these missiles would be “intelligent” and networked with each other: they would be sharing sensor data, allocating targets (to avoid duplication), using countermeasures, receiving course corrections, etc. By the time the DOD realized all of those forward strategy already gone for good.

  158. @AnonFromTN

    Terrain, weather, leadership, fighters and support of the people at home and ‘in-theatre” according to Sun Tsu. The US possibly does have better fighters but 1 out of 5 of the stated necessary requirements for victory isn’t quite good enough.

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  159. CK says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    A question about the aftermath of sinking a nuke powered CVN or several.
    What happens to the reactors and what happens to the oceans?
    I would suspect that the last thing a carrier under attack would want to do is scram its reactors, it needs the power.
    The A4W reactors on the Nimitz class carry enough fuel for 25 years of continuous operation. That is a lot of nuclear waste and enriched uranium to contain should one of these CVNs take a fatal hit.
    Even a conventional confrontation will have nuclear consequences.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  160. @CK

    The A4W reactors on the Nimitz class carry enough fuel for 25 years of continuous operation. That is a lot of nuclear waste and enriched uranium to contain should one of these CVNs take a fatal hit.

    I simply don’t know. But if a Kursk disaster is any indication, Kursk’s reactor automatically shut itself down, thus preventing even greater consequences. How it is on US nukes–I don’t know.

  161. FB says:
    @Avery

    ‘…Of course US eventually pulled far ahead of SU in space with the Moon landing, Space Shuttle, etc…’

    While I do agree with parts of Avery’s comment…this last sentence is quite far removed from reality…

    Moon landing was definitely a historic accomplishment that no other nation has achieved…

    The Shuttle however is another matter altogether…

    Two ships lost in 130 total missions…that’s one ship lost for every 65 missions…

    That’s absolutely unacceptable for human spaceflight…

    If one out of every 65 passenger jets crashed no one on earth would ever step foot an an airplane…

    Of course space travel may never become as safe and reliable as air transport…but still…

    Even more interesting is when we look at the actual technical underpinnings and the technology choices made by the US…

    Two very bad engineering choices were made at the outset…

    1. The decision to use cryogenic liquid hydrogen [LH2] as the fuel for the first stage…

    2. The decision to use solid-fuel rocket boosters…

    Both of these engineering choices were intertwined…

    Hydrogen is a very energetic fuel…ie it has the highest specific energy of any chemical fuel…ie the amount of energy it contains per kg [or lb] of mass is more than three times greater than kerosene…

    That provides for high rocket engine efficiency…ie LH2 engines can achieve higher specific impulse than Kerosene engines…

    But hydrogen has a very low energy density…ie it takes up a huge amount of volume for its mass [or weight]..

    In simple terms…hydrogen is light…but takes up a lot of space…

    Thus the fuel tank required is huge…this was the huge cylinder in the middle…

    Few among the public realize that the shuttle LH2 burning main engines fed by this huge tank…supplied only 18 percent of the total thrust at liftoff…

    The remaining 82 percent was supplied by the two solid-fuel boosters strapped to each side…

    In order for the Shuttle to lift off with just hydrogen engines…that tank would have to be so huge as to be impossible…

    It would cause so much air resistance as the rocket accelerated through the dense lower atmosphere…that it would be impractical…

    This made necessary the use of strap-on boosters to provide the heavy lifting…

    But rather than going with liquid-fuel engines for those boosters…ie the preferred choice of kerosene [common and almost the same as ordinary jet fuel]…

    …the bizarre choice was made to use solid fuel rocket motors…solid engines having never been used for human spaceflight…either before or since shuttle…

    The first Shuttle loss…Challenger in 1986 [didn't actually take long...25'th shuttle flight]…was due to a seal failure in the casing of one of the two boosters…

    We now look at why solid rocket motors are not used for human flight…

    The solid rocket is basically the same thing as a firecracker…that’s really all it is…

    Its solid propellant fuel is packed into a cylindrical casing…in such a way that an empty cylindrical space is left running up the middle…

    Once ignited the fuel starts to burn…and the hot gases escape through a nozzle at the bottom…just like the original Chinese rockets…

    At the bottom is the characteristic bell-shaped nozzle through which the gases expand and create thrust…

    It contains no such thing as an engine…ie no moving parts whatsoever…which is why it is called a rocket motor

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/SolidRocketMotor.svg

    Once this ‘motor’ starts burning…there is no way to throttle it like one would a liquid-fuel rocket engine…or even a car engine for that matter…

    You can’t even shut it down in case something goes wrong…

    Now as simple as this may sound…there is in fact quite a bit of technical wizardry involved in various details of the design…including the sophisticated fuel chemistry…the way the fuel charge is shaped inside the casing etc…the structural design of the casing etc…

    And of course a fix for that Challenger O-ring seal deficiency was found and implemented…

    But then in 2003…another ship was catastrophically lost…this time on re-entry into the atmosphere…the Columbia…

    This time the crash was caused by the second bad engineering choice mentioned above…the use of liquid hydrogen as fuel for the first stage…

    Liquid hydrogen must be kept at a temperature of about minus 250 C in order to stay liquid…so that huge tank had to be insulated…

    This was done with a spray on foam similar to what you have inside your house walls…

    On the mission liftoff and ascent…some pieces of that foam broke off and damaged some of the heat shielding tiles on the shuttle orbiter…

    When the orbiter came back down…the skin friction heating from the atmosphere burned through those areas that were damaged…

    Secondarily…those tiles had proved troublesome from day one…the ceramic material and the method of bonding those tiles to the airframe were not mature technologies…another bad engineering choice…

    Two crashes…14 crew lost…all in the space of 17 years…

    Meanwhile the Russian Soyuz…which continues to be the only spacecraft flying humans into space for the last six years…has been flying since 1967…with only one accident…in 1971 and the loss of the three crew…

    Clearly Russian technology has won the contest for making space travel at least nominally safe and routine…

    It is also useful to note that the Soyuz accident in 1971 was not a catastrophic crash like the two lost shuttles…the ship made it safely back down to earth and the dead crew were discovered only after the hatch was opened…

    The crew had asphyxiated due to cabin depressurization…this was due to a malfunction in an automatic valve…

    …that could also be operated manually…one of the cosmonauts in the program had advised that the crew should in fact do this procedure manually…but his advice was not heeded…

    It is also worth noting here that the Soyuz cabin was pressurized to begin with…which meant that the cosmonauts would not have to wear space suits while inside…

    …Unlike the Apollo crew module which was never pressurized…and astronauts had to wear space suits inside…

    Here again…the cosmonauts use of space suits as a safety precaution would have prevented the Soyuz 11 accident…

    All in all the technical failures in Soyuz 11 were not even of the magnitude of Apollo 13…coming down mainly to crew procedure deficiencies…and a single minor malfunction of an automated valve…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_11

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    It is also interesting to reflect on the Soviet ‘answer’ to the shuttle…the Buran…which made its one and only [unmanned] flight in 1988…

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Soyuz%2C_Space_Shuttle%2C_Buran_comparison.svg

    The Soviets also chose hydrogen as the fuel for the first stage…but the four main engines were on the core hydrogen rocket instead of on the orbiter…

    The most significant difference was the choice of standard kerosene fuel for the four strap-on boosters…

    There are a number of other differences…

    The Buran could lift 30 tons of payload compared to shuttle’s 27.8…

    It could carry a crew of up to 10…compared to shuttle’s maximum of 8…

    Buran was designed for both piloted and autonomous flight…including landing…

    The only Buran flight was unmanned and performed an automatic landing…

    Shuttle was retrofitted with autoland capability only 18 years after Buran…

    The Buran’s aerodynamic performance was considerably higher…a lift to drag ratio of 6.5…compared to Shuttle’s 4.5…

    The engine used for orbital maneuvering on the Buran was also more sophisticated and higher performing…

    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=31376.0;attach=502666;image

    From an engineering perspective the Buran is a much nicer piece of work…

    Even so…the Russians saw that this type of configuration was needlessly complex and offered no real advantage over the Soyuz for getting people into space…

    It was a case of where the political decision came down to match or one-up the Americans…combined with perhaps the more legitimate need to evaluate the engineering challenges involved in such a project…

    But the decision was rightly made that this type of configuration did not make much sense…

    Even without the solid-fuel boosters…hydrogen engines in the first stage do not make sense…although they do make sense in the upper stages where atmospheric drag is not an issue with the big fuel tank size…and the extra efficiency of hydrogen can be put to good use…

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    During the time the Americans were flying the Apollo program…[five manned moon landings in all..a truly impressive accomplishment]…

    …the Russians launched the world’s first Space Station…the Salyut 1…

    ‘…The Salyut program followed this with five more successful launches out of seven more stations…’

    ‘…Heritage of Salyut is still in use on the International Space Station: Mir-2 (DOS-8), the final spacecraft from the Salyut series, became one of the first modules of the ISS…’

    The Salyut was followed by Mir…which flew successfully for 15 years…and was the first modular space station…

    Both the Mir and Salyut programs were hugely successful and advanced man’s capability in space in a very significant way…

    The expertise gained in crucial fields like propulsion…guidance…and life support…were what would make the ISS possible…

    The core of the ISS itself is Russian…the Zvezda module…

    ‘…provides all of the station’s life support systems, some of which are supplemented in the USOS, as well as living quarters for two crew members…’

    Zvezda is still the core of the ISS…the ‘flight deck’ to use an aeronautical term…

    ‘…Zvezda provided early living quarters, a life support system, a communication system (Zvezda introduced a 10 Mbit/s Ethernet network to the ISS[19]), electrical power distribution, a data processing system, a flight control system, and a propulsion system. These quarters and some, but not all, systems have since been supplemented by additional ISS components…’

    ‘…The two main engines on Zvezda can be used to raise the station’s altitude. This was done on April 25, 2007. This was the first time the engines had been fired since Zvezda arrived in 2000…’

    Ie…without Zvezda’s propulsion and flight control systems…the ISS would not stay aloft very long…

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    So a historical look at space activity and accomplishments paints a very different picture than your statement…

    ‘…Of course US eventually pulled far ahead of SU in space with the Moon landing, Space Shuttle, etc…’

    If we take a long historical sweep of the US and Russian space programs…we see a couple of important themes emerging…

    The US…while enjoying massive economic advantage over Russia…especially in the post-Soviet period…has been unable to demonstrate a space capability one might have expected…

    The shuttle program was basically a disaster that led nowhere…leaving the US without a reliable human space travel capability…

    The only US space station…Skylab…which flew for six years in the ’70s…did not lead to a concerted effort to develop the crucial technologies in life support, guidance and propulsion…that would ultimately be needed for more capable space stations like the ISS…

    Ultimately leaving that hole for the Russians to fill…

    The same lack of concerted effort in developing liquid-fuel engine technology has led to a similar situation for unmanned space launches…

    Again the US must rely on Russia for engines…ie the RD180 engine for the Atlas 5 heavy lift rocket…[which also launches crucial military satellites...]

    The Russians otoh…have been working much more methodically and systematically to develope key technologies…such as engines…life support systems…etc…

    If we look at the RD180 engine for instance…we see that its advantage is in the advanced engine cycle…which is known as ‘oxidizer-rich staged combustion’…

    ‘…Oxidizer-rich staged combustion had been considered by American engineers, but deemed impossible…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staged_combustion_cycle#History

    Yet this technology was developed successfully by Russian designers in the 1960s…

    The US still does not have a staged combustion cycle engine…Von Braun’s F1 which powered the Saturn 5 rocket of the Apollo program used the simple ‘gas generator’ cycle…

    Elon Musk…for all the noise he’s making…is still making only gas generator engines…[although he says he will come out with a staged combustion engine 'soon'...]

    In terms of life support systems…the ISS still relies on the Russian module…and the US ‘supplement’ to that only came much later…

    The Chinese success in putting a man in space was built on Russian technology…

    ‘…In 1994, Russia sold some of its advanced aviation and space technology to the Chinese. In 1995 a deal was signed between the two countries for the transfer of Russian Soyuz spacecraft technology to China.

    Included in the agreement was training, provision of Soyuz capsules, life support systems, docking systems, and space suits…’

    We recall even back in the ’60s…the American Apollo atronauts were flying in unpressurized capsules…and did not even have a toilet…

    ‘…While the Soyuz spacecraft had an onboard toilet facility since its introduction in 1967 (due to the additional space in the Orbital Module)…

    …all Gemini and Apollo spacecraft required astronauts to urinate in a so-called “relief tube” in which the contents were dumped into space (an example would be the urine dump scene in the movie Apollo 13), while fecal matter was collected in specially-designed bags

    The facilities were so uncomfortable that, to avoid using them, astronauts ate less than half the available food on their flights.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_toilet#International_Space_Station

    The lesson here is that technical details matter…

    Sending people into space means overcoming a lot of challenges in diverse fields of science…including propulsion…life support…and much more…

    What we have seen from the US over the decades since Apollo is a program without direction…

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Avery
    , @Kiza
  162. Tom Angle says:
    @Priss Factor

    Why would you think that they US would crush Russia in a neutral country? The US has not really won a war since WWII. By winning I mean, when you leave the enemy has been totally destroyed. Think about it. We have not fought an formidable adversary and yet for whatever reason have not won a war of any scale or showed the resolve to take casualties.

  163. AnonFromTN [AKA "Anon"] says:

    Based on the real performance of US troops in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, it appears that there is zero out of five. After all, the last indisputable US military victory was in 1983 against Grenada, with a population of ~90 thousand. Not much to write home about.

  164. FB says:
    @FB

    Forgot a link to my above comment re Buran vs Shuttle comparison…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_programme#Comparison_to_NASA.27s_Space_Shuttle

    Also a link to the Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft based on the Russian Soyuz…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenzhou_(spacecraft)#Design

  165. peterAUS says:

    Mmm…..a bit disappointing lack of….interest perhaps.
    Or, more importantly, an expertise.

    That, I admit very simplistic, question I posted to the (unlikely) ex-Marine officer above, hasn’t been answered.
    Or attempted to be answered.

    See, I do not know the answer.
    I also believe that being able to answer that, and similar, question is prerequisite to serious chat about “missiles/carrier battle groups”.

    Disappointing, really.

    Maybe something changed in all that “desired effect/volley” thing, but I do know that, during the Cold War those calculations were simply a routine in any staff work.
    A part of combat estimate, done by staff and presented to the Commanding Officer to help him make his decision.

    This was the method, briefly:
    A task force of such and such (full estimate of a task force, including fatigue etc…all known about it).
    A “missile group” (number of launchers, types of missiles, quality of crews….all known about them).
    Range of a possible launch, bearings (a very important part, for example), how many missiles in a possible salvo etc.
    And, then, based on all that available data a calculation, resulting in: “we expect two missiles to hit picket ships”. Or, “we expect at least one missile to hit a capital ship”.
    Based on all that, options to prevent/minimized that suggested.
    And based on all that the Boss makes his decision.
    And that could really very well be: “too risky at this stage,we’ll continue to degrade their capability”.

    As I said, it was done in era of PDP-11s with UNIX like (proprietary) software when Exocets, Harpoons and, the most important, various versions of Soviet missiles were in vogue.
    Some time ago…….
    A lot of things changed there, so, what I knew is a bit obsolete.
    Both sides of that game have made decent technological progress.

    So, I was thinking: “well, I’ve been out of this for some time, but, SOMEBODY visiting this site must’ve been onto that”. With all this Internet of Things, leaks and computing power, available software, it must be much EASIER to calculate all that then in, say, “my time”.

    Well….apparently not.

    That’s interesting.

    Now, that’s nothing special.

    When basic infantry is supposed to take a hill and requires an artillery support, the first thing a battery leadership does is calculates amount of shells and type of fire to accomplish that.
    Say, for THAT hill, and THAT enemy to soften them up enough for our guys to attempt a successful assault we need 80 shells. All 4 guns first fire 1o shells in rapid fire and then the rest 10 shells in 2o seconds span each. Not said like that, of course (military is in love with acronyms and such); this is “plain language” translation.

    So, we have people saying “missiles/carrier battle groups” this, “missiles/carriers group” that based on….what?

    Not the majority here, they are here for other reasons (Scott Adams explained that well).
    But, at least somebody giving a shot?

    Interesting.
    Sort of.

  166. Saker would do better to look into the rise in weapons and tech that allow non-state actors with limited funding to attack the US military. Drones, script kiddie tools, social media intel collection, the list is expanding rapidly.

  167. peterAUS says:

    Further to my previous post, a good question somebody would just love to jump to:
    “Well, if you don’t know that, what do you make your opinions based on then, smart guy”?

    And the answer is: the principle of “rising boats”.

    I know how estimates were done in Libya, Iraq , Yugoslavia and Iraq, again 2003, cases.
    Or at least a ballpark estimate.

    So…..we can assume (yes, yes, I know about assumptions) that both sides of that game have made the same progress.

    So, in (possible) confrontation with Iran and/or North Korea I’ve been using the same approach.

    Granted, SOMETHING could’ve changed, so that’s the reason I asked that question.

  168. Avery says:
    @FB

    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.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  169. @Sean

    In business terms, markets with two or three big players have stable prices. Prices wars start at 4 players and become severe at 5. China is not a threat but if the EU or India comes up to strength we are looking at 1914 again.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  170. Jose says: • Website

    Tell me why instead of targeting nukes against America Russia doesn’t have intel operatives within the NSA and/or CIA to blow pedogate wide open. There’s enough dirt and corruption to topple the U.S. government and corrupt Sessions, FBI, NSA other than blackmailing politicians won’t act.

    You think there’s no dirt on McCain, Graham, Schumer? Please.

    Intel doesn’t even have to involve false flags.

    Truth would be more destructive than any nuclear device. I’m disgusted with weapons of mass destruction to be used against civilian populations.

    • Replies: @The Scalpel
  171. Kiza says:
    @JL

    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.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  172. Kiza says:
    @FB

    I will now go back and read some of your previous comments “to learn something new”, as someone else said. And I thought that I was knowledgeable about space flight, instead I was just another victim of the Western self-marketing. Your comparison of engine technologies just reminds me of the story who won WW2: the US PR department did.

    Thanks again for spending time to educate us and please try to ignore this backpedaller Avery, who finds it too hard to admit that he did not know what he was talking about.

    • Replies: @FB
  173. FB says:
    @Kiza

    Thanks for the kind words. Kiza…glad you find the information useful…

    I don’t presume to ‘educate’ here…my aim is only to provide sound technical information…and explain accurately how these technicalities work…

    This is becoming increasingly imp0rtant…as The People are continuously misled about these things…

    This creates dangerous illusions…

    For those who have been lucky enough to ‘play’ in this field on a technical level over the last few decades…particularly the crucial aerospace domain…it is no longer a question of..

    ‘…Is US technology now inferior…?’

    Everyone has known this fact for quite some time…Rather the question is…

    ‘…How did we get here…?’

    This is the only useful question we may consider at this point in time…as knowing where you went wrong at least gives you the ability to learn from mistakes and make a course correction…

    It is extremely dangerous that these facts are deliberately obscured by the corrupt elite that control the media…

    It is also extremely unfortunate that the reasons why they deceive us are not understood…

    Those reasons being that US technology prowess must be believed by The People…in order for this insane pork barrel system to continue…

    Just as it is crucial that Washington’s political lies about its foreign entanglements…ie war on terror etc…must be believed in order for them to continue along that course…

    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    There are several ‘Big’ and highly instructive case studies that can be presented to illustrate the former point…

    One is military aviation…the other is space technology…

    By the time of the Vietnam war the rot in the MIC was already making its presence felt…

    The US lost 10,000 aircraft in that war…

    If we break this down we see that the vaunted McDonnell F4 ‘Phantom 2′…the top US fighter at the time…suffered the most losses of any aircraft type…

    USAF lost 445…the navy another 138…

    Other notable fighter types…

    Republic F105D ‘Thunderchief…335 lost…

    North American F100 ‘Super Sabre’…283 lost…

    Navy also chipped into the effort with 118 Vought F8 ‘Crusaders’ lost…

    That’s a total of over 1,300 supersonic frontline fighters lost…

    …against a total of 164 North Vietnamese MiGs…of all types…and only 64 of the modern MiG21…

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

    No matter how anyone attempts to slice and dice those numbers…and many have…bringing in factors of Soviet SAMs [credible]…to very high ratio of ‘non-combat’ losses [not credible]…to supposed strict rules of engagement [incredible!!!]…

    …there is no way to hide the plain fact that the ‘flying product’ that the MIC handed to US airmen was designed to maximize profit…not combat effectiveness…

    Robin Olds…one of the best fighter pilots in US history…famously said that…had he been a MiG21 pilot he’d have ‘got 50 of us…’

    http://www.west-point.org/users/usma1943jun/13640/

    Things have only got much much worse since then…

    Of course these ‘technicalities’ are carefully kept hidden from The People who pay the freight…

    The US media has nurtured a delusional idea of US technological superiority…

    …which of course has never been proven since at least Korea…as only weak and backward countries have ever been the object of US-administered ‘beatings’…

    ——————————————————————————————————————-

    In the space domain it has been the same pattern…

    The Russians quickly advanced their technical capabilities on all fronts post WW2…by doing things the right way…

    Ie heavy state support of scientific and technical education and infrastructure…

    When Yuri Gagarin made the first human spaceflight in April 1961…he made a full orbit of the earth in a flight lasting 108 minutes total…

    The US public has been ‘educated’ quite thoroughly that just several weeks after Gagarin’s flight…astronaut Sam Shepard ‘followed’ Gagarin into ‘space’…

    What is left out are the technicalities…

    As I mentioned in another comment…the velocity needed to break free of gravity and reach orbit is about 7.8 km/s…ie mach 25…ie 17,600 mph…

    We are never told that Shepard’s flight on the MR3 rocket [Mercury Redstone 3]…reached a maximum speed of exactly 5,134 mph

    Ie…less than one third of the speed required to reach orbit…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-Redstone_3#Flight

    For those who want to see the math…it is actually quite simple…

    Velocity needed to reach orbit = the square root of earth’s radius x the acceleration of gravity…

    Earth’s radius is about 6,300 km…and the acceleration of gravity is 9.8 m/s^2

    So orbital velocity = sqrt(6300 x 1000 x 9.8) = 7,857 m/s…

    [we multiplied the earth's radius in km by 1,000 since there are 1,000 m in a km...]

    It would not be another year and a half before John Glenn became the first US astronaut to reach orbit…in December 1962…

    We note here that the US claim to Shepard’s flight reaching ‘space’ is based entirely on the altitude his 15 minute flight reached…ie 187 km…

    This based on the entirely arbitrary limit of the earth’s atmosphere of 100 km…as defined by the Federation Aernautique Internationale…a ‘committee’ that has set this distance for the purpose of aeronautical records and such…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1rm%C3%A1n_line

    The delusion in some quarters of US ‘space fans’ is such that there are discussions online about how Gagarin’s flight should not ‘count’ because he parachuted from his re-entry capsule about 25,000 ft off the ground…

    But simply reviewing the actual technical facts of the early space race…it becomes clear that the US was desperately playing catch up to Russian technology…

    Ie the Sputnik launched in 1957 had a mass five times greater than the first US satellite, Explorer 1…launched in 1958…[83 kg to 13.3 kg...]

    It is clear that the US rockets were far behind Russian rockets in power…

    Once this became a national emergency…the Kennedy administration committed itself to winning the race to the moon…

    This program was of course a huge success…but the lessons learned have never been heeded…

    Most important…the idea that any large technology undertaking requires a concerted effort from the top down…

    These things don’t just happen if left to the ‘free market’…

    We see this in the steady decline of US space technology after Apollo…

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    It is important to note the technical details here…especially when talking about the Shuttle and how it fits in the historical context…

    My debater, Avery, on this point has mentioned several ‘facts’ that are no such thing…

    The most obvious one being about the ‘technology achievement’ of the heat shield tiles…

    I had specifically mentioned the tile problem in my earlier comment…

    ‘…those tiles had proved troublesome from day one…the ceramic material and the method of bonding those tiles to the airframe were not mature technologies…another bad engineering choice…’

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/war-with-russia-two-great-american-myths/#comment-2077901

    The damaged tiles on Columbia’s takeoff let to the catastrophic disintegration of the craft after it had already completed its space mission and was re-entering the atmosphere…

    ‘…The subject of missing or damaged thermal tiles on the Shuttle fleet only became an issue following the loss of Columbia in 2003, as it broke up on re-entry.

    In fact, Shuttles had previously come back missing as many as 20 tiles without any problem…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Space_Shuttle_program#Shuttle_operations

    I had mentioned specifically the bonding problem…ie gluing the tiles to the airframe…this was a disaster clearly in the making…even before the very first shuttle flew…

    Tiles would actually fall off even before a flight…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_thermal_protection_system#Slow_tile_application

    The Russian tile engineering on the Buran was much more thoroughly thought out…

    For instance…the Russian tiles were arranged in a way that took into account the ‘simple’ geometry of the hot airflow and the angle at which said airflow meets the tile…

    The shuttle tiles took no account of this simple, yet important factor…

    ‘…The tile positioning on Buran is different from the American shuttle. On Buran there are no triangular and acute-angled tiles, and all the long slits between the tiles are perpendicular to the plasma flow (see opposite figure)…

    http://www.buran-energia.com/bourane-buran/bourane-consti-bouclier.php

    The ‘plasma’ referred to here is simply the hot airflow…ie at very high temperatures air begins ‘breaking down’…

    Ie it becomes in technical terms ‘chemically reacting’…in other words…O2 molecules break down into two separate oxygen atoms…and at higher temperatures still…each of those oxygen atoms loses an electron…

    …making the airflow electrically charged…ie a ‘plasma’…

    The simple fact of arranging the tiles in a particular geometric way was overlooked in the Shuttle design…speaking to an inexcusable lack of discipline on the part of designers…

    The smoother flow over the Buran tiles also made for a smoother flight in the atmosphere…and allowed the other big technology jump over the shuttle…which was the autoland system…

    The Russians also used three different kinds of tile material…compared to the STS use of only two

    We may deduce ipso facto that the adhesive used by the Russians was also superior…although the actual material composition details in any such programs are closely held secrets…

    So we see clearly that while the Shuttle effort can be considered a technological achievement…the Russian effort in fact corrected the shuttle technology deficiencies in important areas…

    Why did the Russians not begin flying the Buran regularly…as the US did with the STS…?

    This fact by itself does not prove anything about the comparative technology of the two…

    We recall that the shuttle goal was to fly a mission every month…like a regularly scheduled airliner…

    This goal was missed by such a wide margin as to be ridiculous…

    By 1988 at the time of the Buran’s first and only unmanned flight…the Challenger disaster had already happened…

    The Russians saw no advantage in flying people to space in this complex and costly system…compared to the well-proved and reliable Soyuz…

    The US otoh…had put all its eggs in the shuttle basket…it had no way of getting people into space reliably…and still doesn’t…

    As I had already pointed out…the US never decided to develop advanced liquid engines…and still hasn’t done so…

    These are just smart technology choices…and they need to come from the top…

    If we look at the US space program from beginning we see a complete lack of direction…

    The whole history appears as a helter-skelter series of reactions to Soviet achievements…but with no prolonged and concerted long term goal…

    Space technology is about much more than just national prestige…it is about developing very specific technical capabilities that can and do translate into important military and civilian potential…

    We see now the Russians pulling ahead in the crucial air-breathing propulsion field with the first working scramjet engine…[in the Zircon]

    This technology is bound to have very profound implications for human development…even aside from the obvious military advantage…

    The problem with the US is that you can’t simply take a hit and run approach to these things…

    Those who have been fortunate to see the inner workings of the Russian aerospace infrastructure come away impressed with the cohesiveness and institutional strength that has been built brick by brick over the years…

    This can never happen in the US…where the entire purpose of the political system is to serve the endless greed of the one percent…

    To that end…everything it takes to become and stay a technological world power is sacrificed mercilessly…

    Starting with education…and ending with placing technical programs at the bottom of the totem pole…

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @silviosilver
  174. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Jose

    The problem is that nobody believes anything anymore. If the truth came out, as you say, the affected parties would put their own lies out to contradict the truthful allegations. Such a situation is occurring right now with Hillary Clinton. She was clearly involved in many illegal activities, yet things are going nowhere.

  175. Kiza says:
    @FB

    But, but US makes good science fiction movies and series.

    I do not disagree with anything you wrote, in fact you fill in the small but important gaps in my understanding of these programs and the alleged technological superiority.

    But, I would like to criticise the Soviet decision to land its manned missions on land instead of water. That is hard to justify for the added risk (although there is a wrong prejudice that hitting water at high speed is equally bad as hitting land – wrong!).

    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.

    Nevertheless, the fact remains that the West/US better attack Russia and/or China sooner rather than later, because things will only get worse over time. The MIC is insatiable and it will never turn its practices towards the betterment of the country. The structural problems are too deep.

  176. @Philip Owen

    The EU looks likely to become an impoverished, socially and linguistically balkanized place, physically intimidating and increasingly dangerous for non-Muslims.

    EU member militaries are already small and unimpressive, and one can only imagine the unit cohesion and morale when the forces are split between actual Germans / French etc. and African/Arab “German citizens” and “French citizens.”

    India, though, could be a different story. Intriguing and worrisome.

  177. @Kiza

    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.

  178. @Cucksworth

    Lol

    (got proof she died in a gas chamber and not on that plane, or field or where ever the official story says it ended up? )

    (her phone call is chilling, every single american should listen to it, then read up on cell phone tech from the early 2000s. I wanna know how there was a 40 minute cell phone call from 38000 feet and calls nowadays are still dropped, and the cell phone tech is easily 10 times better now then it was that cold morning in September….)

  179. @dearieme

    but uncle sam sells weapons to whoever pays the egrigeous price

  180. @Kiza

    one more attacker – try, but first read the above article attentively. this planet is tired of crazy uncle sam, exterminating this star-spangled planetary ulcer becomes a necessity

  181. @NoseytheDuke

    why yanks want war so much? because the idiots, as the article points, are convinced war is a stroll, and in other hemisphere. Funny yanks

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  182. @NoseytheDuke

    “The US possibly does have better fighters…..”

    Compared to who? A bunch of grade school kids? You seem to forget our military has given up on being a war fighting machine, and now follows the pc/equality guidelines. Cowards, wimps, mentally ill, women and the physically weak are not only allowed to enlist, they are ENCOURAGED to enlist. The US military has had its soldiers and their fighting attitude gimped since the 90s. Just look at the middle east countries we cant seem to get a leg up on. We should have had no problem winning in Afghanistan, yet we are over there still, losing. Our military lost their will to win. Our soldiers run away and call in air support at the first shot fired at them. Its pathetic.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  183. FB says:

    I had stated in previous comments on this thread and two others…that despite Russia’s limited [some would say small] air contingent in Syria…

    …it would be next to impossible for the US [and allies] to evict Russia by force…

    …as that would require overcoming what is now a formidable anti-access, area-denial zone in Syria…[A2/AD]…

    I had said this…

    ‘…The US has no ability to take over a Russian A2/AD zone…that’s the bottom line…

    …this appears to be exactly what the US deep state is very concerned about…despite the ridiculous propaganda for public consumption…’

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2068280

    And…

    ‘…I have said from the beginning that it would be impossible for the US to now evict Russia from Syria……’

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2067694

    —————————————————————————————————————–

    Now we have confirmation of exactly this in recent public statements from Gen. Phillip Breedlove former commander of US European Command…

    …where he elaborates on the Russian A2/AD problem…

    ‘…We have the tools, but we do not have nearly enough of them—and the speed that we would need to eliminate these A2/AD bubbles…

    …to be able to deploy our forces is going to be controlled by the depth of the bench of how we can attack those A2/AD forces,” retired U.S Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, former commander of U.S. European Command told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on June 29…

    ‘…“Right now, we’re almost completely dependent on air forces and aviation assets in order to attack the A2/AD problem.”…’

    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-one-way-russia-could-beat-nato-war-23169

    —————————————————————————————————————

    Note the general’s statement on the complete reliance on air power to take on A2/AD zones…[ie Russian air defenses...]

    Readers who have been following my comments will take note that I had originally expressed exactly this fact…

    ‘…the reality of air combat has changed profoundly in recent years…

    …the advent of very advanced and mobile SAMs on the Russian side…designed specifically to combat SEAD weapons like airborne jammers and radar-seeking missiles [HARMs]…’

    ‘…While the same US airborne jammers and Harms have remained exactly what they have been since the 1970s…

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2068280

    Breedlove is now publicly voicing a fact that has been undeniable for quite some time…

    Russia has developed new generations of highly mobile and layered air defenses…ie interwoven systems for short, medium and long-range engagement of attacking aircraft…

    …to which the US does not have an effective answer…

    ————————————————————————————————————-

    I had originally decided to post a comment on this website after reading the article…

    ‘…Russia’s Standoff Capability: The 800 lb Gorilla…’

    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…

    …ie to counter modern MOBILE air defenses…and thus break down the Russian A2/AD zone in Syria…

    …and have NEVER been used in such a role…

    I had said this…

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

    It is true that Russian standoff missiles such as the ship and sub-launched Kalibr, and the air-launched Kh-101 [aka X-101] are advanced and formidable weapons…

    …but this author’s analysis makes a fundamental error in assuming that Russian aviation and air defenses in Syria would be ‘eventually overwhelmed’ by a US and possibly ‘coalition’ allied attack…

    …and that the deterrent against any such action would be a possible Russian retaliation on US ships and airfields in the region using said standoff weapons…

    This is a deeply flawed assumption that does not make any serious attempt at understanding modern SEAD [suppression of enemy air defenses]

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

    I noted at the time that the only way [at present] to take on an A2/AD zone is by means of aviation…and Gen. Breedlove’s comments confirm this simple fact…[which is in fact well known in the air combat community...]

    …which is why Breedlove goes on to mention that it is necessary for the US to come up with a new kind of ‘answer’ to Russian air defenses…

    And specifically by means of ground-based [as opposed to aviation] weapons…

    ‘…“We need more long-range, survivable, precision strike capability from the ground,” Breedlove said. “We need dense capability—like the dense A2/AD networks that we face.”…’

    Careful readers will notice that Breedlove [while admitting certain truths] contradicts himself quite flatly…

    First he says ‘we have the tools…but not enough of them’…

    Then he says ‘we need to develop new tools…’

    Of course…the important point is that top military commanders are now acknowledging publicly the US impotence in countering Russian air defenses…

    …And that new capabilities must be developed…

    I had also pointed out that Syrian airspace is now de-facto a Russian A2/AD zone…

    The assets deployed there include two battalions of S400…each battalion consisting of 8 to 12 mobile launchers…and at least five to six mobile radars…

    Additionally…there is a battalion of S300 VM [aka Antey 2500]…with similar numbers of mobile launchers and radars…

    Also a battalion of the latest S350 medium-range SAMs…again the minimum operational unit is battalion strength…

    As well as an unknown number of Pantsir S1 short-range SAMs designed specifically to protect the larger units…ie the mobile radars and SAMs on the S300/350/400…

    Tthe Pantsir is also very good at shooting down cruise missiles like the US TLAM…

    Many here have pointed out that Syria is almost an existential issue for the US…having staked so much on a successful regime-change operation…which would consolidate US and Israeli interests in the entire region…

    Yet…the US and its regional allies are now de facto defeated in Syria…

    We can only guess whether the US would indeed be willing to risk direct war with Russia in Syria…

    …but my own opinion is this…

    ‘…IF the US believed it could overcome Russian air defenses in Syria…[A2/AD]…without crippling losses to its aircraft…including the highly touted but unproven F22 [and suspected of being of low combat capability by actual aviation experts]…

    …the US would have no qualms of doing so…’

    To understand this position completely…it IS necessary to understand the technicalities involved…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  184. @FB

    For all of the SU’s supposed technological superiority over America, how would you explain the total failure of the Soviet attempts at Mars exploration? Out of seventeen missions listed here only two could be called partial successes. At the same time, American Mars missions succeeded on six of eight attempts. Granted, the early American missions were only flybys whereas the Soviets were attempting the presumably more technically demanding orbits, but many of the Soviet missions failed at launch or failed to leave Earth’s orbit. Perhaps merely launching an orbiter is a much more difficult task – ie forget about actually reaching the destination – so the Soviet record isn’t actually as bad as it looks, but on the other hand America successfully launched orbiters on the first attempt, and the same thing with landers. Despite the American space program’s alleged inability to set long-term goals, American Mars exploration seems like a stunning success.

    • Replies: @FB
  185. Sparkon says:
    @russian bear

    Most “yanks” don’t want war.

    I hope most Russians don’t think most Americans wish them any harm, or want war with Russia. This indeed would be a dangerous myth. May cooler heads prevail.

    You probably didn’t hear too much about the massive anti-war protests in the United States (and in Europe) before George W. Bush’s illegitimate invasion of Iraq. You also may not have read much about the 50s and 60s anti-nuke, anti-war movements in the United States–the so-called “peaceniks”–whose scant media attention was bushed aside by the mainstream media’s non-stop fascination with the Hippies.

    These characters were modeled on a few eccentric wild dancers, artistic posers, and assorted runaways, nymphos and satyrs–something like earlier, American variants of your Pussy Riot-type deviant airheads– who hung out with famous musicians, and eventually hijacked the anti-war movement, both in the media and in reality, before and after the manufactured Gulf of Tonkin incident.

    Of course, patrolling destroyers close in to the coast of Vietnam was entirely provocative, and the Vietnamese would have been within their rights to fire off warning shots, which may or may not have happened, but which flimsy evidence was used to justify the Vietnam conflict, a tragic war (but aren’t they all?) that was both unnecessary, and entirely illegitimate.

    The S. Vietnamese stooges had no legal authority, since they (and Eisenhower) had failed to abide by the terms of the Geneva accords, whereby elections would have been held to unify the country under a single leader, after the French colonists had been defeated at Dien Bien Phu

    Anti-war and pacifist sentiments were especially strong in my country after WWI, na primir, which was widely seen in the United States as a manufactured conflict to benefit the few, at the cost to many. Even Ronald Reagan had that view in the early 30s, before he was turned.

    See Gen. Smedley Butler’s War is a Racket. for an example of the kind of thinking that made Americans strongly isolationist up until Pearl Harbor, which was also manufactured by the same kind of Zionist financiers, strategists, and handlers who’d instigated WWI, but this time with Franklin D. Roosevelt as the front man in the United States, with his drunken debtor ally and warmonger Winston Churchill to help set the stage in Europe, and with–in my view– the other major actors Adolph Hitler, Iosef Stalin, Benito Mussilini, Chiang Kai Shek, Mao Tse Tung, and even the Japanese Emperor as willing or unwilling dupes of the hidden hands full of cash, who direct the affairs of nations with the power of the purse.

    These hidden hands also finance various demagogues, philosophers, spiritualists, occultists, journalists, crackpots, and lunatics like Karl Marx, Madame Blavatsky, Sigmund Freud, and probably, L. Ron Hubbard, to give disparate examples.

    The mass media are the pitchmen for the war mongers. In every country there are many voices warning of the various bogey men, many others offering this deterrent weapon or that, and a host of banks ready, willing, and eager to lend the money for modern weapons to whichever front man is calling the shots in that particular nation.

    As a “yank” I don’t necessarily think good Russians should be most concerned about American bellicosity or belligerence–no denial that it exists among the MIC and their cohorts, to exclude the average American–but rather for the peculiar kind of Slavic passion for revolution that let Russia fall to the Bolsheviks in the first place, and which was demonstrated most recently in Euromaiden, where the Ukrainians have demonstrated great skill in shooting both feet, scoring own goals, and being one’s own worst enemy.

  186. FB says:
    @silviosilver

    ‘…For all of the SU’s supposed technological superiority over America, how would you explain the total failure of the Soviet attempts at Mars exploration?

    Out of seventeen missions listed here only two could be called partial successes. At the same time, American Mars missions succeeded on six of eight attempts…’

    You need to go back to school on this…

    The first Soft Landing on Mars was achieved by the Russian Mars 3 space probe in 1971…

    ‘…Mars 3 lander became the first spacecraft to attain soft landing on Mars on 2 December 1971…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_3

    The US did not complete a soft landing on Mars until Four Years Later…the Viking program in 1975…

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

    The key technological achievement here is the Soft Landing of a spacecraft on the surface of another planet…

    The Russians first did this on Venus in 1970…with Venera 7…

    ‘…Venera 7 (Russian: Венера-7 meaning Venus 7) was a Soviet spacecraft, part of the Venera series of probes to Venus…

    …When it landed on the Venusian surface, it became the first spacecraft to land on another planet and first to transmit data from there back to Earth…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera_7

    In fact the Russian Venera program of 1961 to 1984 was in fact a resounding success…with many firsts and milestones…

    ‘…Ten probes from the Venera series successfully landed on Venus and transmitted data from the surface of Venus, including the two Vega program and Venera-Halley probes.

    In addition, thirteen Venera probes successfully transmitted data from the atmosphere of Venus…’

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

    The Venera program is rightly considered the most successful interplanetary exploration program ever…

    We note also that the first soft landing on any extra-terrestrial body was accomplished by the Russians in 1966…

    ‘…On 3 February 1966 the Luna 9 spacecraft became the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the Moon…

    …or any planetary body other than Earth, and to transmit photographic data to Earth from the surface of another planetary body…’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venera_7

    The US has never landed a craft on Venus…

    As far as orbiting Mars successfully…the US did win that race…by a few weeks…with the Mariner 9 in 1971…

    ‘…Mariner 9…reached the planet on November 14 of the same year… becoming the first spacecraft to orbit another planet… only narrowly beating the Soviets’ Mars 2 and Mars 3, which both arrived within a month…’

    We note also that the US has had quite a few Mars mission failures…

    The Russian Mars 2 and 3 both carried a rover vehicle…although Mars 2 crash landed on the Martian surface…being the first to reach that surface…

    While Mars 3 successfully touched down and began transmitting pictures…but stopped after only 20 seconds…the rover was never able to be deployed…

    However…we note that the first remotely-controlled rover was achieved by the Russians on the moon with the Lunokhod program…the first in 1970…and the second in 1973…

    ‘…Not until the 1997 Mars Pathfinder was another remote-controlled vehicle put on an extraterrestrial body…’

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

    Also notable are the Russian sample-return programs from the moon…

    ‘…Perhaps one of the most significant advances in sample-return missions occurred in 1970 when the robotic Soviet mission known as Luna 16, successfully returned 101 grams (3.6 oz) of lunar soil…

    …Likewise, Luna 20 returned 55 grams (1.9 oz) in 1974, and Luna 24 returned 170 grams (6.0 oz) in 1976…’

    The US collected far larger amounts during the manned Apollo moon landings…but have never carried out a robotic sample return mission to any planetary body…

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  187. @FB

    We note also that the US has had quite a few Mars mission failures…

    Yes, I already mentioned that. I count six successful missions out of eight attempts. That’s clearly a superior record to the SU’s two out of seventeen.

    I didn’t write my post in order to detract from Soviet achievements in space. I think much of what they accomplished was brilliant. And thanks for the note about Luna 16 returning soil samples from the moon – I had no idea that ever occurred! I was responding to your claims of Soviet space superiority. I didn’t say anything about the moon missions because I thought that was an indisputable case of American advantage, familiar to most people. The Soviet failures with respect to Mars are considerably less well known, and contrast very poorly to the success of the American missions there.

    I didn’t think to check up on Soviet missions to Venus. Those were clearly more successful than the Soviet Mars missions and give the SU the advantage on this planet. 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.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  188. Kiza says:
    @NoseytheDuke

    My point was about risk not whether it was successful landing cosmonauts on land. From memory, there was an accident in the CCCP/USSR space program where one or more cosmonauts died after slamming into earth. But, overall, it was a risky but functional solution. Of course, I do accept that USSR did not want to risk being pirated on the open ocean by the most exceptional and law-abiding nation on the planet, which has a tendency to call its open-seas piracy some appealing names – such as the 1962 Cuba Quarantine. Therefore, the potential for piracy was the reason for choosing to land on earth rather than any sound technical reason.

    • Replies: @FB
  189. FB says:

    ‘…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

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @CanSpeccy
  190. Kiza says:
    @silviosilver

    I like how you skirt around the list of firsts that FB lists, propaganda must win! This after you made an original statement full of bull.

    You also talk about US not having interest in Venus. But scientifically, Venus is a planet still in development whilst Mars is almost completely dead. Therefore, Venus has a much, much higher scientific value, offering insights into the origins of planets and potentially even life. Mars, on the other hand, could only offer insight into the future of planet Earth. But for Mars, just come to the deserts of Australia and suck out almost all oxygen, that would be very similar – one big nothing.

    Why would humans visit Mars some day, for prestige? If it is for resources, then humans better visit the asteroid belt. Terra-forming Mars is still pure SF and dreaming, maybe never possible.

    The space exploration should be about science (not about grabbing planets for their real estate value) and it should not involve humans inside. The Soviets were the first to healthily recognize this: humans into orbit, robots everywhere else. This is the formula for the future space exploration.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  191. @Delinquent Snail

    Yes, it’s clear that I was being overly generous with regards to the soldiers. Most just want to serve their time and go home to their families, and who can blame them? They shouldn’t be there to begin with.

    I find it hard to believe that people still sign up to serve given the lies and BS that was SOP during the conflict in Vietnam. The defenders, on the other hand, are willing to die for their cause.

  192. @Prof. Woland

    reading comments – methink many did nor read the article, or did not comprehend (dyslexia), so keep on yelping of nuking damn russians. BTW in 1945 as the world war was over – uncle sam immediately developed plans to obliterate stubborn rusian bares to no-entity. Ally, indeed. anglosaxons are homicidal maniacs, the only thing these mental cripples understand – is FORCE

  193. @FB

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

    Where are you seeing this? The first successful American flyby mission was launched in November 1964. There is no record of a Soviet success before this date on the link we’re looking at. The Soviet Mars 1 mission is listed as a partial success, but the note says contact was lost with the spacecraft before it reached Mars. I suppose you could credit that as a Soviet “success,” but it does seem like clutching at straws, given that the closet the spacecraft ever got was an estimated 193,000 km – a distance half way to the moon is not much of a “flyby” in my book, considering how much smaller Mars is than Earth.

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

    I’ve already acknowledged this. But note, the Soviet rover failed to deploy. America, on the other hand, successfully deployed a rover on the first attempt (something neither the Soviets nor the Russian successor state ever accomplished).

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

    Yes, to 2014. But the relevant comparison here is to 1991, the Soviet period, during which time you claim the SU had the technological edge. There were only eight American missions to then.

    It seems you still have a lot to learn…successful Luna sample return missions also included Luna 20 and Luna 24…

    Lol, you seem determined to feel insulted. Look, I’m not denying it – those were indeed some very impressive achievements!

    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…

    No, for two reasons.

    Firstly, one mission simply isn’t enough to go on. If they pulled off five out of five, I would start being very impressed.

    Secondly, India has access to non-Indian technology in a way that neither America nor the USSR did. America and SU were technological originators, whereas India are largely imitators.

    • Replies: @FB
  194. @Kiza

    I like how you skirt around the list of firsts that FB lists, propaganda must win!

    I have no problem admitting the USSR were technologically highly accomplished, in space exploration and in other areas. But if FB is going to claim the SU was technologically superior then I think it’s fair to challenge that claim.

    I forthrightly stated that I was only speculating as to why America focused so much more on Mars. I think humans will one day colonize Mars. Terra-forming is for now only SF, but that is how ideas are born. As technological capacity grows, I think the idea will start to seem perfectly feasible. I certainly hope it happens. Humankind’s destiny is to spread out into the stars. No rush, though. We have millions of years left to pull it off.

    • Replies: @FB
  195. Cyrano says:

    I don’t know if Russia’s military preparedness is so superior as to be able to debunk the 2 myths about US military preparedness, but I know something else – Russia is a threat to democracy.

    Thank God that US saw this on time (after the 2016 presidential election) and was able to warn the world about this unforeseen threat.

    Does anybody remember the “freedom fries”? It was during the build up to the invasion of Iraq, when no one in the world bought the BS about WMD as a justification for that war, and when in their infinite wisdom someone came up with the brilliant idea of replacing “French fries” with “Freedom fries” as punishment to the French for not embracing the idea about invading Iraq.

    I think that a similar gesture should be made towards the Russians for ruining the democracy ideology.

    I suggest that Russian roulette be replaced with “Freedom roulette” in order to punish the Russians and diminish their standing in popular culture.

    I think that Freedom roulette is a more accurate phrase anyway, because Russian roulette unfairly gives the Russians an image of toughness and the devil might care attitude towards everything, including life, while Freedom roulette captures the essence of the activity that it describes – namely that a person playing “Freedom roulette” is one step away from gaining the ultimate freedom from all his worries.

    I think that actually those who accused Russia of interfering in the wonderful process of democracy – the highly esteemed elections – might have themselves played “Freedom roulette” where the bet was the democracy.

    • LOL: FB
    • Replies: @Kiza
  196. FB says:
    @silviosilver

    ‘… I suppose you could credit that as a Soviet “success,” but it does seem like clutching at straws…’

    One could say [much more credibly] that you are the one clutching at straws when you say that Mars 1 was a ‘failure’…

    You first came on here and claimed this…

    ‘…I count six successful missions out of eight attempts. That’s clearly a superior record to the SU’s two out of seventeen…’

    This is demonstrable bullshit…as I have already proved…strike one…

    Now…instead of admitting that you were in fact quite ignorant of the facts until they were presented to you…

    …You say this…

    ‘…But the relevant comparison here is to 1991, the Soviet period, during which time you claim the SU had the technological edge. There were only eight American missions to then…’

    Well…why didn’t you say so from the start…?

    Instead of waiting until your ‘facts’ were shown to be FANTASY…

    Are we in kindergarten now where we get to make up our own ‘pretend’ facts…? strike two…

    The ACTUAL FACTS are this…

    1. The Russians were first with a flyby of Mars…Mars ! 1962…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_1

    The fact that communications was lost means that the mission was not completed as designed…

    But the Russians still got to Mars first…

    The US did not even launch their first attempt at a Mars flyby until two years later…

    And that one FAILED AT LAUNCH WITHOUT GETTING ANYWHERE NEAR MARS…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariner_3

    2. Russians were first to achieve a soft landing on Mars…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_landing#Mars_probe_program

    ‘…But note, the Soviet rover failed to deploy…’

    But note this

    US DID NOT LAND A SPACECRAFT ON MARS OR ANY OTHER PLANET UNTIL FIVE YEARS LATER…

    I actually made a typo previously saying it was four years…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_1

    By that time…Russia had already landed THREE craft on Venus…starting in 1970…

    And did much more than the US would accomplish for many years…on any PLANET

    ‘…Among the other results, probes of the [Venera] series became the first human-made devices to enter the atmosphere of another planet (Venera 4 on October 18, 1967),

    [first] to make a soft landing on another planet (Venera 7 on December 15, 1970),

    [first] to return images from the planetary surface (Venera 9 on June 8, 1975)…’

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

    Viking 1 did not land on Mars until 1976…the very first US craft to land on another PLANET

    SIX YEARS AFTER THE RUSSIANS DID THAT ON VENUS…

    AND FIVE YEARS AFTER THEY DID THAT ON MARS…

    ‘…The Mars 2 and 3 probes each carried a lander, both of which failed upon landing.

    They were the first human artifacts to touch down on Mars. Mars 2 lander impacted on Mars only…

    …while Mars 3 was the first Martian soft lander and was able to transmit from the Martian surface during the first 20 seconds, the first data and a portion of the first picture…’

    So even if you want to clutch at straws and count the Mars 1 flyby as a failure…or even the first Russian soft landing on Mars as a ‘failure’…because it stopped transmitting data…

    It still means the Russians were already there and did that…before the US

    Last time I checked Venus and Mars were both PLANETS

    So you tell me…what exactly are we comparing here…?

    Are we talking about spaceflight milestones like…

    1. First to enter the atmosphere of another planet

    2. First to make a soft landing on another planet

    3. First to transmit data from another planet back to earth…

    ‘…Venera 7 (Russian: Венера-7 meaning Venus 7) was a Soviet spacecraft, part of the Venera series of probes to Venus. When it landed on the Venusian surface, it became the first spacecraft to land on another planet and first to transmit data from there back to Earth….’

    ‘…The probe was launched from Earth on August 17, 1970, at 05:38 UTC…

    SIX YEARS BEFORE US DID THOSE THINGS on Mars…

    …Viking 1…1976

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_1

    What do you want to talk about next…

    How about space flight fatalities…?

    I’m sure you will enjoy that one…stay tuned…

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  197. FB says:
    @silviosilver

    Looks like your ‘challenge’ is not convincing many here…

  198. Kiza says:
    @Cyrano

    But the Russian crimes are much bigger than the French non-participation in the attack on Iraq and they deserve much more than just the Freedom Roulette. This is why anyone who orders a salad with Russian Dressing in a restaurant should be put on the US & Partners no-fly list as a subversive foreign agent.

    • Agree: Cyrano
  199. @FB

    You’re very entertaining.

    This is demonstrable bullshit…as I have already proved…strike one…

    Now…instead of admitting that you were in fact quite ignorant of the facts until they were presented to you…

    Well, at least you didn’t accuse me of lying. There may be hope for you yet.

    Now look, I clearly said from the start that I counted eight US missions and seventeen Soviet missions. Do you think I pulled those numbers out of my ass? Go ahead and count how many US and SU Mars missions there were until 1991 – you’ll find the numbers are eight and seventeen. So how does that make me ignorant of anything?

    Well…why didn’t you say so from the start…?

    Umm…because it was, like, obvious?

    I don’t know why you’re complaining about this, because if I extended the comparison beyond 1991 it would only make Russia look worse, not better. Lol.

    The fact that communications was lost means that the mission was not completed as designed…

    But the Russians still got to Mars first…

    Contact was lost well before the spacecraft got anywhere near Mars, so obviously no Mars data was received. And I’m being generous when I say “near,” because when you miss your planetary target by 182,000 km it’s hard to call that a “flyby” (193,000 closest distance – 11,000 target distance). If archery contests applied your standards, they would award medals to contestants who completely missed the target, but whose arrows were “going in the right direction.” Lol.

    The US did not even launch their first attempt at a Mars flyby until two years later…

    And that one FAILED AT LAUNCH WITHOUT GETTING ANYWHERE NEAR MARS…

    This is hilarious. Soviets failed at launch many more times than the Americans. If you’re going to compare failed launches, Americans win this contest hands down.

    But note this…

    US DID NOT LAND A SPACECRAFT ON MARS OR ANY OTHER PLANET UNTIL FIVE YEARS LATER…

    Yes, but note this…

    USSR DID NOT DEPLOY A ROVER ON MARS OR ANY OTHER PLANET – EVER.

    So much for this supposed Soviet technological edge, lol.

    So you tell me…what exactly are we comparing here…?

    We’re citing evidence to help us determine which side had the technological edge. Nothing you’ve shown me here convinces me that the USSR was decisively technologically superior to the USA. At best, we could say that the two sides were roughly evenly matched – until the mid-70s anyway, after that America ran away with it.

    • Replies: @FB
  200. FB says:
    @silviosilver

    Look ‘silviosilly’…

    I only have so much time to spend on the peanut gallery…

    ‘…Well, at least you didn’t accuse me of lying…’

    Why would you bring up lying…?

    Do you get accused of that much…?

    Because even here you have stated on several occasions this…

    ‘…I count six successful missions out of eight attempts. That’s clearly a superior record to the SU’s two out of seventeen…’

    The fact is actually 8 out of 17…\

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

    Oh…but I forgot… we are in kindergarten ‘pretend world’ now because your idea of ‘partial success’ actually means ‘failure…’

    As for Rovers…here have a look y9ourself…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rover_(space_exploration)#History

    ‘…The Lunokhod 1 rover landed on the Moon in November 1970

    It was the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on any celestial body…’

    US didn’t land a rover on Mars until 1997…27 years later…

    Your whole approach is childish…

    US and Russian engineers do not make silly statements about counting partial successes as failures…

    Even missions that fail at some point along the way…may be technically very ambitious and challenging are deemed worthy of study…

    But of course you would know nothing about that since the closest you have got to either Nasa or Roskosmos…is by reading fanboy magazines…

    You were completely unaware that robotic sample return missions even existed [or 'soil' return as you call them in fanboyland]…

    And was accomplished only by Russia…not once but three times…

    And how is US getting humans into space now…?

    From whom are they buying their heavy rocket engines?

    It’s a good thing the US is being so nice to Russia that they don’t mind selling US the means to hoist their military sats into orbit…

    Or…knowing the American ‘talent’ in engineering…maybe they are just not that worried…

  201. FB says:
    @Kiza

    ‘…From memory, there was an accident in the CCCP/USSR space program where one or more cosmonauts died after slamming into earth…’

    There was one Russian fatality in 1967 with the Soyuz 1…where the parachute malfunctioned and the return capsule hit the ground at high speed…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_1

    Landing on water would likely not have made any difference in this case…a high speed impact with water would be just as deadly…

    The only other Cosmonauts killed during spaceflight was the three-man crew of Soyuz 11…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_11

    Here the capsule landed as planned…but the crew had already asphyxiated due to cabin decompression due to a valve malfunction…

    I had already addressed that accident in my comment here…

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/war-with-russia-two-great-american-myths/#comment-2077901

    We note that this accident was not a catastrophic in-flight failure like the two Shuttle disasters…the Russians have never had such an in-flight vehicle breakup…

    In fact of the total 18 human deaths during spaceflight…14 occurred during those two shuttle disasters…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spaceflight-related_accidents_and_incidents#Astronaut_and_Cosmonaut_fatalities_during_spaceflight

    Clearly when it comes to human fatalities in spaceflight…the US ‘wins’ by a mile…

  202. I specified planet in my comment. (Read it again, it’s there in black and white.) Last time I checked, the moon was not a planet.

    I would be willing to credit a partial success as a success provided it came close enough to achieving its objective. But most of the partial successes listed on that link seem to me much more like failures than successes.

    Let’s review.

    Mars 3: Partial success. First successful landing; landed softly but ceased transmission within 15 seconds. Okay, that’s close enough to a success and I counted it as such.

    Mars 4: Partial success (could not enter orbit, made a close flyby) But the mission planned to send an orbiter. That mission failed.

    Mars 5: Partial success. Entered orbit and returned data, but failed within 9 days.. Another failed attempt to send an orbiter. I would call it a success if 9 days was close to how long American orbiters endure, but the fact is it’s not close. Fail.

    Mars 6: Partial success. Data returned during descent but not after landing on Mars.. The mission was to send a lander. An obvious fail.

    Phobos 1: Partial success. Returned some data. Contact lost while en route to Mars. The mission sent an orbiter and lander. Obvious fail.

    Phobos 2: Partial success: entered orbit and returned some data. Contact lost just before deployment of landers. Another orbiter + lander mission. If contact was lost before the landers deployed, then I assume not much way in the way of orbit data was ever retrieved. Fail.

    Honestly, to count missions like this as a success is to set the bar absurdly low. It would be like a general who assaults a fort but fails to take it calling the mission a “success” just because his troops managed to fire their guns. “Participation awards” like that may count for something in kindergarten, but in the real world of geopolitical struggle they don’t amount to much.

    US and Russian engineers do not make silly statements about counting partial successes as failures…

    Even missions that fail at some point along the way…may be technically very ambitious and challenging are deemed worthy of study…

    Ordinarily, I would agree. But to remind you, your claim was that the Soviets were technologically superior in space. Therefore it’s entirely appropriate to compare the American and Soviet records of mission failure and success. The Soviet missions do not appear to have been any more technically ambitious than the American missions, so the fact the Soviet missions failed more regularly than the American missions counts as evidence against the Soviets being technically superior.

    And how is US getting humans into space now…?

    From whom are they buying their heavy rocket engines?

    This is completely beside the point in a comparison between America and the Soviet Union.

    • Replies: @FB
  203. We note that this accident was not a catastrophic in-flight failure like the two Shuttle disasters…the Russians have never had such an in-flight vehicle breakup…

    This is a unfair comparison, for three reasons.

    Firstly, while America had more fatalities, USSR and USA each had two fatal incidents. The only reasons the Soviets had fewer fatalities is because those crashed spacecraft could fit fewer astronauts. If you were comparing the safety record of two airlines, you’d certainly be more interested in finding out how many of their planes have crashed than finding out the total number of dead passengers. If one airline had a hundred fatalities but only one crash and the other had ten crashes but only fifty fatalities, it’s clear that first airline is safer.

    Secondly, the Americans died in space shuttles. I think the fact that Columbia and Challenger completed 38 missions between them mitigates the significance of the disasters somewhat, from a safety record point of view.

    Thirdly, you specified that Russians have never had an “in-flight vehicle breakup.” But why should the precise point in the mission in which the astronauts died make a difference in a comparison of safety records? To go back to the airlines example, what difference does it make to the safety record if one airline has all its crashes while landing but the other airline has all of its crashes during take-off? You would hardly say, “oh, well, that airline keeps crashing during take-off; our airline has never crashed during take-off – we only crash during landing!!”

    • Troll: FB
    • Replies: @Kiza
  204. Erebus says:
    @FB

    A couple of nits that beg for picking:

    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:

    Of course, US can unleash whatever it has at its conventional disposal at Khmeimim and it will eventually overwhelm whatever the Russians have there…

    In other words, TLAM salvos ain’t the half of it.

    Many here have pointed out that Syria is almost an existential issue for the US…having staked so much on a successful regime-change operation…which would consolidate US and Israeli interests in the entire region…

    The many include myself, but “existential” means much, much more than “stak(ing) so much on a successful regime-change operation”. In a nutshell, it means a geo-strategic shift that will bring the US’ imperial ambitions, and quite possibly the nation itself, to its knees.

    Given that its national strategy revolves around preventing any rival from rising to the point where they can even think of challenging the US’ supremacy, “existential” means that the US has to kiss the Wolfowitz Doctrine and its derivatives good-bye. In doing so, it will have to redefine itself and its role in the world. That this is vastly more portentous than the embarrassment of a(nother) failed regime-change operation should be obvious.

    Also, while the Russians eventually installed a formidable A2AD complex in Syria, there was a long time where that wasn’t true. Throughout 2015, in fact, they had relatively little A2AD in theatre, but the existential question was plain from the moment a Russian general walked into the US Embassy in Baghdad and announced that “We launch Syria air strikes in one hour. Stay out of the way” (owtte). 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?

    Parenthetically, I directed a question to you in one of Saker’s other articles which may have escaped your notice. http://www.unz.com/tsaker/do-you-think-his-assessment-is-accurate/#comment-2071908
    I’m sure many would find it interesting if you could illuminate that aspect of TLAM operations.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Sparkon
  205. Nehemiah says:

    On the US aura of invincibility, and whether it is deserved, we might do well to remember that modern propaganda techniques (during WW One), public relations, the modern advertising industry, positive thinking, New Thought (google it), motion pictures and special effects, and television were all invented in the United States during the first half of the 20th century. We are history’s all time global masters of spin, smoke-and-mirrors, the manipulation of reality so that what you see is not necessarily what is really there. The New York-Washington, DC-Hollywood axis of illusion constitutes a real life Wizard of Oz, the man-behind-the-curtain whom we are admonished to pay no attention to. As Aron Nimzowitsch wrote in his famous hypermodern chess manual, _My System_, in certain situations “the threat is stronger than the execution.”

    (As a curious historical aside, more so since Nimzowitsch was a Jew, “Mein Kampf” was published in 1925, and Nimzo’s “Mein System” was published in a series of installments between 1925 and 1927. Might the title of one book have inspired the title of the other?)

  206. Kiza says:
    @silviosilver

    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.

  207. FB says:
    @silviosilver

    ‘…I would be willing to credit a partial success as a success provided it came close enough to achieving its objective. But most of the partial successes listed on that link seem to me much more like failures than successes…’

    And your qualifications for making such a determination are what exactly…?

    Do you know what a plankton is…?

    You and a plankton have about the same credibility when it comes to aerospace engineering…

    These matters are decided by the leading intellectuals in the field…not by a plankton…

    Not one professional in the field of aerospace science and engineering gives a crap about what a plankton thinks…

    I think it’s time for everyone here to see just how qualified you are to even be in this discussion…

    I am going to give you a simple question that any undergrad aerospace engineering student would be able to answer quite articulately…

    [Think of it as a gas mask for all the readers here...in whose faces you've been directing giant clouds of verbal flatulence...on a subject on which you know absolutely nothing...]

    Here is your question…ready…?

    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…?

    Good luck…plankton…

    We await your answer…

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  208. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…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

    • Replies: @Erebus
  209. Sparkon says:
    @Erebus

    Before FB illuminates anything else with his sprawling, ellipsis-dripping tracts, I prefer he would have a look at Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style, and henceforth adhere to the basic rules of English composition, and punctuation. I keep thinking of Truman Capote’s quip about Jack Kerouac:

    “That’s not writing; that’s typing.”

    III. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION

    9. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic.
    10. As a rule, begin each paragraph with a topic sentence.
    11. Use the active voice.
    12. Put statements in positive form.
    13. Omit needless words.
    14. Avoid a succession of loose sentences.
    15. Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form.
    16. Keep related words together.
    17. In summaries, keep to one tense.
    18. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end.

    https://faculty.washington.edu/heagerty/Courses/b572/public/StrunkWhite.pdf

    Presentation may not be everything, as some design school grads will insist, but it does play a large role in the audience’s reaction to any production. Non-standard punctuation, and a virtually complete reliance on one-sentence paragraphs not only look bad on the page, but also defeat the standard mode of most readers, whose eyes zig zag back and foth left to right, then down, gobbling multi-sentence paragraphs in the process, but this infernal teletype-style burst of one-liners destroys this reader’s natural rhythm, and wears out his scroll finger.

    It’s like trying eat spaghetti when the noodles are all lined up in single file.

    Standard English, please.

    O-negai shimasu.

    • Replies: @FB
  210. FB says:
    @Sparkon

    Who cares what you think…?

    What have you contributed here of any substance…?

    I write in a way that is intended to explain technical matters to the layman…

    I do that quite well…as many here have commented that they have learned some very interesting things that are being concealed by the joke pop-sci media and MSM in general…

    I use a brisk bullet style because it is easier on the eyes…

    Especially compared to long monolithic paragraphs…like you just demonstrated…after reading the first sentence and seeing that huge mass of tightly packed words underneath…

    …the temptation to simply stop reading is overpowering…

    That’s also my use of ellipses…in order to introduce natural breaks between expressed thoughts…

    You have more nerve than a bad tooth jumping into a technical discussion and then spouting some crap about style…of which you know nothing anyway…

    If you have something to add to this technical discussion…then by all means do so…

    Otherwise…stop taking up bandwidth with your useless hot air…

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  211. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @FB

    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

    • Replies: @Quartermaster
  212. Sparkon says:
    @FB

    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.

    • Troll: CanSpeccy
    • Replies: @FB
    , @peterAUS
  213. @FB

    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!

    • Troll: FB
    • Replies: @FB
  214. FB says:
    @Sparkon

    ‘…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…

  215. peterAUS says:
    @Sparkon

    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.

  216. FB says:
    @silviosilver

    ‘…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…

  217. Erebus says:
    @FB

    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.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FB
  218. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…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

  219. FB says:
    @Erebus

    Sorry…posted the same picture of the AN/ALQ99 jammer twice…

    meant to post this cutaway showing the antenna size…

  220. FB says:

    Also my picture of the Russian Nebo M ‘anti-stealth’ mobile radar did not come through…

  221. Erebus says:

    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.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Kiza
  222. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…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…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  223. Kiza says:
    @Erebus

    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.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  224. Erebus says:
    @Kiza

    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”.

  225. Erebus says:
    @FB

    …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.

    • Replies: @FB
  226. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…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…

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @Erebus
  227. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    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.

  228. Sparkon says:
    @FB

    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/

    • Replies: @FB
    , @FB
    , @Erebus
  229. FB says:
    @Sparkon

    ‘… 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…

  230. @NoseytheDuke

    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.

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  231. FB says:
    @Sparkon

    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

  232. Erebus says:
    @FB

    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.

    • Replies: @FB
  233. FB says:

    meant to post this video…also on the scene within hours of failed strike…

  234. @russian bear

    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.

    • Replies: @Anon
  235. FB says:
    @Erebus

    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…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  236. Erebus says:
    @Sparkon

    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.

  237. Erebus says:
    @FB

    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

    • Replies: @FB
  238. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…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…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  239. Erebus says:
    @FB

    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.

    • Replies: @FB
  240. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…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...]

    • Replies: @Erebus
  241. FB says:

    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…

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  242. @FB

    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/

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

    Thanks for the link, Nosey…

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

  244. Erebus says:
    @FB

    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.

    • Replies: @FB
  245. FB says:
    @Erebus

    ‘…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…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  246. Erebus says:
    @FB

    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.

    • Replies: @FB
  247. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Avery

    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).

  248. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Kiza

    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.

  249. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FB

    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.

    • Replies: @FB
  250. FB says:
    @CanSpeccy

    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…

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  251. FB says:
    @Erebus

    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

    • Replies: @Erebus
  252. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @FB

    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.

  253. Erebus says:
    @FB

    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.

  254. FB says:
    @Erebus

    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…

    • Replies: @Erebus
  255. @Erebus

    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.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    , @Erebus
  256. Erebus says:
    @FB

    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.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  257. Erebus says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    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.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  258. @Erebus

    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.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  259. @Erebus

    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”;)

    • Replies: @Erebus
  260. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Erebus

    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.

    • Replies: @Erebus
  261. Erebus says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    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.

    • Replies: @Rzhevskiy
  262. Erebus says:
    @CanSpeccy

    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.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  263. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @NoseytheDuke

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

  264. Erebus says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    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.

  265. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Erebus

    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.

  266. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra

    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.

    • Replies: @Rzhevskiy
  267. Rzhevskiy says:
    @Flavius

    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.

  268. Uncle Sam says:

    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.

  269. Rzhevskiy says:
    @anon

    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.

    • Agree: yurivku
  270. Rzhevskiy says:
    @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. 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.

    • Troll: Twodees Partain
    • Replies: @Erebus
  271. Svigor says:

    “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.

  272. Svigor says:

    (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.

  273. JamesinNM says:
    @Flavius

    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.

  274. JamesinNM says:
    @Svigor

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

  275. H. S. says:

    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:

  276. Svigor says:

    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…

  277. Svigor says:

    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?

  278. yurivku says:
    @Svigor

    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.

  279. @AnonFromTN

    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.

  280. @jilles dykstra

    Many of us don’t want EITHER.

  281. RudyM says:
    @Robert Magill

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

  282. Svigor says:

    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.

  283. Svigor says:

    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.

  284. Bluenomad says:
    @Priss Factor

    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.

  285. Erebus says:
    @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.

    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.

  286. Miro23 says:
    @Priss Factor

    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.

  287. 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.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  288. @2stateshmustate

    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.

    • Replies: @2stateshmustate
  289. @Michael Kenny

    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

  290. The Scalpel says: • Website

    “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

    • Replies: @annamaria
  291. 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.

  292. Krollchem says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    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.

  293. @Anon

    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.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  294. @Anon

    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.

  295. @Anon

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

    • Replies: @yurivku
  296. annamaria says:
    @The Scalpel

    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/

  297. yurivku says:
    @Quartermaster

    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.

  298. @Svigor

    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.

  299. @Quartermaster

    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.

  300. headrick says:

    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!

  301. Clothy says: • Website
    @Robert Magill

    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.

  302. Astek says:
    @Flavius

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

  303. 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?

  304. Thud says: • Website
    @Robert Magill

    Yup, that pretty much killed the article for me.

  305. Gleimhart says:
    @Rich

    “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.”

  306. @yeah

    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).

  307. @Sergey Krieger

    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.

  308. @DESERT FOX

    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.

  309. @Avery

    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.

  310. 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.

  311. “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.

  312. “And what is crucial is this: an attack on a US carrier would not be an attack on the US homeland, nor would it be a nuclear attack, but the psychological shock resulting from such an attack could well be comparable to a (limited) nuclear strike on the US homeland.”

    Let’s remember the last people who said this!!!

    “Before we’re done with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell.”

    - ADMIRAL WILLIAM FREDERICK HALSEY JR. (BULL) , AMERICAN NAVAL OFFICER

  313. Tony M says:

    It was my understanding that Churchill personally insisted on moving the big battleships to Singapore, ordered them there from the Indian Ocean where they were in no danger, although of little use, over the heads of wiser heads in the Navy, and again ignored and over-ruled the advice of the Navy to keep them far out to sea where they would have had much more manouvreability and freedom of action, than they had close in to Singapore Harbour, in order to, paraphrasing him: ‘put on a show’.

  314. Parker TV says:
    @Prof. Woland

    But it wasn’t a victory for Japan at all.
    Yes, they did manage to inflict damage on various vintage WW1 warships moored within the harbour but the actual target of the attack was the destruction of the “new” fleet which fortuitously–or– mysteriously vanished from the harbour hours before the raid.

    The Japanese knew the war was lost from day one.

    (The Broken Seal: The Story of Operation Magic and the Pearl Harbour Disaster, 1967, Farago L.)

  315. @Andrei Martyanov

    I think you said it better than I did

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