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Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #15
We have eight Triton UAS and, as they are modified for maritime surveillance, I suspect that they are a little more expensive than your standard Global Hawk.
I saw the early version of the Triton at the Melbourne Airshow years back, they are rather impressive and had the Global Hawk on the tarmac next to it. Triton was significantly chunkier build and I gather this reflects it's potential payloads, Wikipedia claims they are dimensionally the same but I doubt that, I suspect they have just used the Global Hawk data for the Trition page.
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Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #16
UAVs operate in tandem with aircraft. If the other side dominates the air, then drones would be picked off pretty quickly. That's the remarkable thing about the Ukraine war: everybody assumed the Russians would quickly dominate the airspace but Ukraine's fighter pilots and missile defence systems have ensured the Russian fighters are occupied with other threats.
Russia havent deployed their best jets/pilots on mass as yet, their commanders dont want to risk them after losing a SU34 early in the conflict to the Ukraine anti-aircraft missile systems which as you described have proven very adequate.
Its the same with their best troops who have been kept back as well, Putin thought his conscripts and armored columns would do the job but they have also failed with the infantry not so keen to engage the Ukranians on the ground and leaving their tanks exposed to very good anti tank weaponry supplied by the British in the main.
Ukraine were hard hit when they split from the USSR and had to give up their nukes and airforce which included a decent air fleet of bombers which would have been very handy today. Lot of their Nukes were in silo's which would have been a major deterrent to Putin as would those bombers which could carry nuclear payloads as well as conventional bombs.

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #17
Russia havent deployed their best jets/pilots on mass as yet, their commanders dont want to risk them after losing a SU34 early in the conflict to the Ukraine anti-aircraft missile systems which as you described have proven very adequate.
Its the same with their best troops who have been kept back as well, Putin thought his conscripts and armored columns would do the job but they have also failed with the infantry not so keen to engage the Ukranians on the ground and leaving their tanks exposed to very good anti tank weaponry supplied by the British in the main.
Ukraine were hard hit when they split from the USSR and had to give up their nukes and airforce which included a decent air fleet of bombers which would have been very handy today. Lot of their Nukes were in silo's which would have been a major deterrent to Putin as would those bombers which could carry nuclear payloads as well as conventional bombs.

In fact, the Russian troops Putin sent into Ukraine are volunteers, not conscripts.  Apart from poorly maintained vehicles and logistical problems, Putin's forces have largely failed because Ukraine's air defences have held up very well and, without overwhelming air superiority, the ground forces are vulnerable to well-equipped Ukranian forces fighting on their own territory. 

The tanks deployed by the Russians are primarily 1970s vintage T-72s and T-80s (the latter designed and built in Ukraine) and they have been next to useless in the face of an onslaught of mainly British/Swedish Javelin anti-tank missiles.  The next generation T-90s, a development of the T-72, have fared little better and the Russians' 21st century T-14 Armata MBT is so unreliable that it cannot be deployed.

Czech Republic T-72s are now being sent to Ukraine and Russia's numerical superiority in MBTs is slowly being reversed.

NATO would be pleased in the knowledge that its more sophisticated MBTs and anti-tank weaponry would make mincemeat of the Russian armoured columns.

“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”  Oddball

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #18
35% of the Russian army are conscripts 18-27 year olds forced into national service for 1 year, Putin's elite national guard, elite paratroops, navy seals etc have not entered the fray. Putin has even been sending 60 year olds into battle armed with old rifles from WW2.
Don't think you will find too many genuine volunteers given the Spetsnaz and Rosgvardiya commanders don't want to be involved and have told Putin they will be staying home.
My son in law is Ukranian and his family back home say there are Russians fleeing from death squads who are shooting deserters.

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #19
I read a while ago that by law in Russia conscripts can't be sent to war outside Russia. They're supposed to be a kind of Home Guard. Yes, I know that's somewhat farcical as whatever Putin says goes therefore the law is just a veneer. But the law exists because it reduces the risk of discontent amongst parents who fear their kids will be sent off to die in some stupid war.

Conscripts were apparently told they were required for manoeuvres and before setting off they were required to sign documents. Those documents "upgraded" them to volunteers. Volunteers are paid more but can lawfully be sent off to fight. There's debate about whether Putin was kept in the dark over this strategy to send conscripts to fight.

It must have been a shock to the conscripts to find themselves in lethal combat with little training. No wonder morale has collapsed.

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #20
By the way, although there has been a surprising reliance on Russia's conscripts and volunteers, Putin did send in the spetnaz special forces but I imagine the losses they suffered resulted in more reliance being placed on mercenaries and conscripts:
Quote
When President Vladimir Putin launched his war on Feb. 24 after months of buildup on Ukraine’s borders, he sent hundreds of helicopter-borne commandos — the best of the best of Russia’s “spetsnaz” special forces soldiers — to assault and seize a lightly defended airfield on Kyiv’s doorstep.
...
On the first morning of the war, Russian Mi-8 assault helicopters soared south toward Kyiv on a mission to attack Hostomel airfield on the northwest outskirts of the capital. By capturing the airfield, also known as Antonov airport, the Russians planned to establish a base from which to fly in more troops and light armored vehicles within striking distance of the heart of the nation’s largest city.

It didn’t work that way. Several Russian helicopters were reported to be hit by missiles even before they got to Hostomel, and once settled in at the airfield they suffered heavy losses from artillery fire.

An effort to take control of a military airbase in Vasylkiv south of Kyiv also met stiff resistance and reportedly saw several Russian Il-76 heavy-lift transport planes carrying paratroopers downed by Ukrainian defenses.

Although the Russians eventually managed to control Hostomel airfield, the Ukrainians’ fierce resistance in the capital region forced a rethinking of an invasion plan that was based on an expectation the Ukrainians would quickly fold, the West would dither, and Russian forces would have an easy fight.
Russia's Failure To Take Down Kyiv Was A Defeat For The Ages, Huffpost.

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #21
I read a while ago that by law in Russia conscripts can't be sent to war outside Russia. They're supposed to be a kind of Home Guard. Yes, I know that's somewhat farcical as whatever Putin says goes therefore the law is just a veneer. But the law exists because it reduces the risk of discontent amongst parents who fear their kids will be sent off to die in some stupid war.

Conscripts were apparently told they were required for manoeuvres and before setting off they were required to sign documents. Those documents "upgraded" them to volunteers. Volunteers are paid more but can lawfully be sent off to fight. There's debate about whether Putin was kept in the dark over this strategy to send conscripts to fight.

It must have been a shock to the conscripts to find themselves in lethal combat with little training. No wonder morale has collapsed.
Yep, no doubt Putin tricked a lot of his troops thinking it was a training exercise, then threw them in vs a battle hardened Ukraine military that have so far whipped their rusky behinds. The use of Drones by the Ukrainian military has been a real eye opener for me on how modern battles are now fought, seems the Russians are still doing it by numbers from the WW2 playbook and have been poorly led as well by their commanders who have now decided to sit back and just level cities with rockets/artillery etc rather than engage Ukrainian ground forces.
Been talk of Russian tank crews selling their equipment for Ukrainian passports and citizenship.

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #22
35% of the Russian army are conscripts 18-27 year olds forced into national service for 1 year, Putin's elite national guard, elite paratroops, navy seals etc have not entered the fray. Putin has even been sending 60 year olds into battle armed with old rifles from WW2.
Don't think you will find too many genuine volunteers given the Spetsnaz and Rosgvardiya commanders don't want to be involved and have told Putin they will be staying home.
My son in law is Ukranian and his family back home say there are Russians fleeing from death squads who are shooting deserters.

As Mav posted, Spetsnaz units were part of the initial assaults, as is their role.  Some Spetsnaz units perform the same roles as US Navy SEALs, our clearance divers, etc and they would have carried out the coup de main attacks on Ukrainian ports and naval bases.

The death of Colonel Sergei Sukharev has received extensive coverage in Russia.  He was the CO of the elite 331st Parachute Assault Regiment of the Kostroma Guards.  Mark Urban, who is a widely published author of military history works, details Sukharev's death, its impacts, and Ukrainian tactics employed to defeat Russian airborne forces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chwUmbOTjPU

Then there's Colonel Yury Medvedev who was killed by his own troops after half of the unit became casualties.  Col Medvedev is  thought to have commanded Russia’s 37th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade.

The idea that Putin has deployed 'cannon fodder' to Ukraine and will follow up with 'elite' units is spin.  They have committed their best troops but many of them are poorly trained three-year 'volunteers' with low morale and a history of refusing to follow orders.  Conscripts have even less training and most are restricted to logistics tasks and logistics has been one of the Russians' biggest fails.
“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”  Oddball

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #23
Conscripts have even less training and most are restricted to logistics tasks and logistics has been one of the Russians' biggest fails.
And the rumours are they are not being paid, so they are selling off their own equipment and resources to the Ukrainian public.

There is a political rumour going around that Russia primary motivation is economic, they want to the Ukraine to become dependant on Russian resources, this  is rationalised by the weirdness of the attacks of the Ukraine power stations. Basically, Russia has taken them offline and tried to put them in a state that will see them as unserviceable for many years, but then allowed the workers to return to the sites to ensure the safety and security is maintained around the waste piles.
The Force Awakens!

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #24
And the rumours are they are not being paid, so they are selling off their own equipment and resources to the Ukrainian public.

There is a political rumour going around that Russia primary motivation is economic, they want to the Ukraine to become dependant on Russian resources, this  is rationalised by the weirdness of the attacks of the Ukraine power stations. Basically, Russia has taken them offline and tried to put them in a state that will see them as unserviceable for many years, but then allowed the workers to return to the sites to ensure the safety and security is maintained around the waste piles.
They are selling equipment for passports, tanks are being sold for Ukrainian citizenship.
Ukraine wanted to join the EU power grid but are tied to Russia...the date of the invasion coincided with Ukraine wanting to disconnect from Russia and test various loading issues they will cause when they connect to other EU countries.

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #25
Does the Russian debacle in Ukraine signal the end of the era of tanks & attack helicopters? Militaries have a tendency to fight the last war and are slow to anticipate future needs. Back in the day, the battleship was the terror of the seas, but WW2 put an end to that. It became obvious that they were vulnerable to attack by the air if they didn't have their own air cover, and aircraft carriers became the big dogs of naval combat. Bismark was sunk following attacks by old-style biplanes, while the Tirpitz was sunk by Lancaster bombers while hiding in the fjords of Norway. Then the British learned their lesson when they sent HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse to the Indian Ocean despite the aircraft carrier that was supposed to cover for them being delayed after running aground. They were sunk by Japanese planes. Ultimately, naval strategists realised that there wasn't much point assigning aircraft carriers to protect battleships given that the reach and potency of bombers from aircraft carriers was much greater than that of battleships anyway. In their turn, aircraft carriers may now be too vulnerable to missile and submarine attack to be of much practical use in a real war.

Are tanks now the land-based equivalent of battleships: terrifying monsters in days past which are now vulnerable to a bloke carrying an anti-tank missile? And anyone who saw Black Hawk Down understands how vulnerable attack aircraft are to hand-held missile attack. Both of these vulnerabilities have been exploited by the Ukrainians.

This article argues time's up for tanks & APCs: Ukraine has become a graveyard for Russians — and for modern weapons systems, Salon.

On Netflix, there's a 4-part doco Age of Tanks. It summarises its last part Twilight of the tanks in this way: "In a new era of warfare, the once-invincible tank progressively becomes a dangerous, vulnerable and costly liability". It notes that Western powers haven't developed new tanks for the last 25 years because of these concerns. But Russia created an allegedly high-tech tank, the T-14 Armata, in 2014. The Russians claim it has active armor (radar detects incoming missiles and a counter-shot is fired to destroy it) and has stealth characteristics which will make it harder to target. It also has an automated turret while the 3 tank crew are protected by a capsule under the main armour at the front of the hull. You'd think that the Russians would take advantage of the Ukraine War to test out this new tank, but I haven't heard anything that suggests they've been doing so.

It's pretty obvious the Russians have been pretty poor at future-proofing their military. In particular, it's hard for them to abandon prestige weapons such as tanks which have been used to intimidate rebellious populations in their orbit and which won such legendary battles as the Battle of Kursk. I'd hope the US is more agile, but the main problem the US faces is the power of the military-industrial complex. Many in Congress will fight tooth and nail for increased spending on weapon systems manufactured in their State and former military and heads of the DoD are able to find lucrative jobs as lobbyists or with corporations supplying the military.

And then you have idiots like Trump who are in love with potent symbols of military strength such as aircraft carriers when military strategists might prefer smaller, less costly weaponry. Direct political interference can also hamstring military planning. For instance, under Trump the military was banned from taking Climate Change into account in its planning even though the military itself wanted to know whether rising sea levels would inundate some of its sites and whether changes in rain patterns might create new areas of instability etc.
   

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #26
Of course, Biden's a military genius as is his sidekick climate change idiot Kerry ::) 

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #27
You don't have to be a genius to allow the military to consider all relevant information.

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #28
Nor evacuate through a protected military airfield (Bagram) and choose Kabul.   And he STILL has done sfa for his own citizens left behind ... numbered in the thousands

Re: Defence procurement bungles and wins

Reply #29
Nor evacuate through a protected military airfield (Bagram) and choose Kabul.  And he STILL has done sfa for his own citizens left behind ... numbered in the thousands
So in a war zone, you want to allow thousands of "civilians" unfettered access to a defensive military stronghold!

Thousands of "friendly foreign eyes" inside the airfield boundary!

I suspect there is a reason all the various allied forces used the public airport for evacuations, rather than expose the positions and layout of the military targets.
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