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Thread: The Russian Military: Declining or Better?

  1. #61
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    We really need a Cold War Redux thread.

    In a patriotic fervour, Russians are asking President Vladimir Putin to bring back the US state of Alaska, sold off to the United States in Tsarist times. Putin's answer? It's too cold.

    During Putin's annual marathon phone-in session Thursday, when Russians pose questions to the Russian leader, a pensioner asked him to possibly follow the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine with the taking of Alaska.
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/n...ex-putin-jokes
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
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  2. #62
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Japan's defence minister said Sunday there have been an "abnormal" number of flights by Russian military aircraft close to Japanese islands in recent days.

    The country's air defence force scrambled fighter jets for seven days in a row through Saturday after spotting Russian military planes flying along the Japanese archipelago, according to the defence ministry.

    On Friday six Russian TU-95 bombers were seen flying two by two, with one pair moving around the Okinawan islands and then going north along Japan's Pacific coast.

    The two other pairs flew over the Sea of Japan (East Sea). None of the flights intruded into Japanese airspace.
    http://www.afp.com/en/node/2306271
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


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  3. #63
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default "Little Green Men" lose their GPS

    Missed by many I suspect, so hat tip to Australia's Lowy Institute e-briefing:
    The failure two weeks ago of GLONASS was frankly an unprecedented total disruption of a fully operational satellite constellation. At just past midnight Russian time (GMT + 4) on 2 April, every GLONASS space vehicle began broadcasting corrupt data. This rendered the system completely unusable to all receivers worldwide, and the system remained that way for about eleven hours.
    The slim technical details:http://gpsworld.com/glonass-gone-then-back/

    The US report and wondering about reliance on non-Russian GPS:http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...-backup-to-gps

    Which has an interesting Crimea-related passage:
    It should be no surprise that those unbadged Russian troops swarming into Crimea last month brought with them trucks with very recognizable GPS jammers. The new R-330 Zhitel system appears to have enough power to jam even military-grade receivers over a wide area, and a dispersed deployment of them could overwhelm even the most sophisticated electronically-steered antennas.
    I note this failure was on the 2nd April 2014, after April Fool's Day.
    davidbfpo

  4. #64
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    The one article doubts the system was hacked. Right, like you said, the day after April Fools.

    But as far as our reliance GPS goes I asked a battle captain once what the drill would be if GPS went down. He got a thoughtful look on his face and said more or less, he had no idea at all.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  5. #65
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Map Reading and shooting azimuths

    Imagine yourself in Zaire with a cell phone that worked in only three major cities (if you called (pardon the pun) ahead to get a connection), and you had a compass and map from the 1960s.

    Half of the high end Garmins with purportedly unlimited free updates can't get you around this tiny little country.

    We've lost our very basic military training where the drill sergeant snapped the eraser off the pencil, gave it back and told you, "you were not yet trained to use that end of the pencil"

    Carl,
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  6. #66
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Stan, the problem would not be land navigation. It would be GPS guided "smart" munitions or drones that rely on GPS for course corrections for weather conditions.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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  7. #67
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    Stan, the problem would not be land navigation. It would be GPS guided "smart" munitions or drones that rely on GPS for course corrections for weather conditions.
    Jeez, Stan... That begs the question

    We are guiding our million dollar sierra with Russian satellites

    Hence the term "Smart" as in street wise from DC or Intelligent from God knows where ?

    We still have SR teams that lase the targets behind enemy lines for far less cash !

    EDIT:

    If I look back on the blunders of Russian smart bombs in Georgia with most of the ordnance landing miles from what we concluded were their intended targets, I would have to conclude that a Russian satellite blackout might be a good thing.

    My point however is the same. I can still call in Artillery using a map, can still call in my location using a map, and, the map batteries never die when I need them the most. Worst case scenario, I need to sharpen a pencil.
    Last edited by Stan; 04-28-2014 at 05:52 PM.
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  8. #68
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    I don't know if there would be panic in the ground guy community if the GPS went down and stayed down. I suspect there would be.

    I know there would be panic on the aviation side
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  9. #69
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Half of the high end Garmins with purportedly unlimited free updates can't get you around this tiny little country.

    We've lost our very basic military training where the drill sergeant snapped the eraser off the pencil, gave it back and told you, "you were not yet trained to use that end of the pencil"

    U.S. Army land navigation skills with compass and map were already a running gag in (parts of) the Luftwaffe (!!!) back in the 90's.

    It's one of those skills which make it really easy to embarrass people in general.


    (Disclaimer: I'm fine with maps, yet horrible without.)

  10. #70
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Fuchs,
    Good point

    However, when put to the test in the middle of the Sub-Sahara with only lunch and a cold beer in the back of the truck, you better get it right !

    We did, and several times over.

    It was in fact 1994 and both of us are still alive.

    Land navigation skills are not for the common soldier and few pass a 16 mile road march at White Sands.

    But then, few from the Luftwaffe make it past the first day at Bragg, nor do most other soldiers, regardless of nationality.

    Pilots are not land navigators, unless following rivers and mountains qualify as navigating


    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    U.S. Army land navigation skills with compass and map were already a running gag in (parts of) the Luftwaffe (!!!) back in the 90's.

    It's one of those skills which make it really easy to embarrass people in general.


    (Disclaimer: I'm fine with maps, yet horrible without.)
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    It was in fact 1994 and both of us are still alive.
    That time and place was a great incentive not to get lost... a scenario which can't be emulated during training (obviously).

  12. #72
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    That time and place was a great incentive not to get lost... a scenario which can't be emulated during training (obviously).
    Mark,
    Exactly !

    I wonder, just how many herein know what a "click" really means

    Then, there are expressions related to thickness, something about pubic hair, which, we will not get into herein
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  13. #73
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Assessing the old and the new

    A short review on WoTR of the recent excursions by Russia's "little green men". It starts with:
    With the rapid operation that resulted in the annexation of Crimea earlier this year, the Russian military returned to the collective consciousness of the American public. Many commentators were impressed with the “little green men’s” professional demeanor and shiny new equipment. In some cases, this impression was undeservedly expanded to apply to the rest of the Russian military. In this context, it is important to discuss what the Crimean operation does and does not tell us about the capabilities of the Russian military.

    The first clear lesson from the Crimean operation is that the Russian military understands how to carry out operations with a minimal use of force. This observation may initially seem banal or trivial, but we should keep in mind how Russian troops acted in previous operations in Chechnya and even to some extent in Georgia. Subtlety was not a strong suit in these operations, nor did it seem to be particularly encouraged by the political leadership
    Link:http://warontherocks.com/2014/05/cri...litary-fights/
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  14. #74
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    Default The Soviet Red Army

    I think you have to look at the former Red Army in the context of its organization prior to 1989. A Motor Rifle Regiment carried 5 battalions: There were two BTR equipped light motor rifle battalions, a BMP equipped heavy motor rifle battalion, a T-54/55 equipped tank battalion, and a Sp. 122mm howitzer battalion. In all, the regiment carried 27 companies/batteries, 70% of which were fire capable. The Motor Rifle Division carried 5 regiments: two light motor rifle regiments, (assault forces) a heavy motor rifle regiment, (exploitation force), a T-62/64 equipped tank regiment, (exploitation force) and an Sp. 152mm howitzer regiment. The division carried 58 battalions to include a T-72 equipped independent tank battalion. The motor rifle battalion of the exploitation forces carried a Battalion HQ, three motor rifle squads for HQ security, three (3) motor rifle companies, an 82mm mortar battery, and a technical services company comprised of a repair platoon, a medical platoon, a transportation platoon, and a communications platoon. The assault force had the immediate task of breaching the enemy line. The battalion making the most progress received regimental arty support. A battalion not making good progress was left to its own devices. NCO' s were not allowed to carry maps, and could not call for arty or air support. If the platoon leader was killed in action, the senior NCO could not take command of the platoon. Having said all of this, I think you have to look at the current organizational structure of a motor rifle regiment and its current doctrinal TTP. You'd also have to look at leadership and whether or not platoon leaders, company commanders, etc. are now permitted to exercise initiative. This seems the only logical way to determine whether or not the Russian army of today is Declining or Better. The Russian army now has about 90 active divisions.
    Last edited by novelist; 07-28-2014 at 09:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Mark,
    Exactly !

    I wonder, just how many herein know what a "click" really means

    Then, there are expressions related to thickness, something about pubic hair, which, we will not get into herein
    If I'm not mistaken, a "click" is a kilometer.

  16. #76
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    I'll make the argument that the question is not relevant insofar that Russia's military capabilities should properly be measured in comparison with other states rather than itself at two different periods of time. Military capabilities should also be analyzed within the context of the political outcomes pursued by war.

    Here are some statistics:

    o Since 1991, Russia has participated in ten (10) conflicts. Of these, seven (70%) ended in favorable conditions for Russia. Only one (10%) ended in defeat (First Chechen War). This compares with the 71.43% favorable rate of the U.S. in the same time period.

    o Of the ten conflicts, half (50%) were external conflicts, and four (80%) of these ended on favorable terms, with one (20%) ending in a armistice (civil war in Tajikistan)

    o In quantitatively measuring manpower, defense budget, power projection, and nuclear capabilities, Russia ranks #2 (18.25%) after the U.S. (30.34%).

    o Russia ranks #1 (as of 2013) in the following quantitative factors of military capability: nuclear weapons and strategic bombers.

    o It ranks #2 or #3 in the following: nuclear submarines (#2), strategic airlift (#2), amphibious landing ships (#3), and budget (#3).

    The other factor to consider is the rate of growth in military capabilities - is it increasing or decreasing relative to U.S. or other major state capabilities? One of the major triggers of World War I was German intelligence assessments that despite the significant disparity between German and Russian military capabilities, Russian capabilities were increasing significantly faster than German capabilities. This created political pressure to attack Russia, or to at least treat it with hostility (and thereby increase insecurity in the international system). This is something that should also be considered in the modern context when assessing Russia's emergence from the shadow of the USSR and what it means for the U.S and international security.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 07-30-2014 at 07:02 PM.
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  17. #77
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Russians may not be giants

    A short review article on Defence in Depth (Kings War Studies) that examines the Russian threat, which ends with:
    So, it is not all gloom and doom. Yes, Moscow is rattling sabres, but not as many as it might.
    Link:http://defenceindepth.co/2015/04/20/...-not-just-yet/
    davidbfpo

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    More Jane's information on the new Russian MBT.

    Jane's @IHS4DefRiskSec in-deth look at Russia's new fighting machines http://www.janes.com/article/51469/r...our-revolutionhttp://www.janes.com/images/assets/4...9/p1633366.jpg
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-16-2015 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Moved here from another thread

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    http://theweek.com/articles/565028/r...ce-falling-sky

    The Russian Air Force is falling out of the Sky
    Now, after months of aggressive flying, Russia's overworked air force is falling out of the sky. On July 5, a Su-24M tactical bomber crashed during takeoff at Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East. The plane banked sharply after takeoff and hit the ground. Both pilots were killed.
    Several other examples provided, so it does seem that history at least rhymes even if it doesn't repeat itself.

  20. #80
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    Russia Lost 5 Aircraft Last Month, Linked to Too Many Exercises and Lack of Qualified Pilots http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...alified-pilots … pic.twitter.com/diBtD0kbp1

    Russia has grounded 3 fleet of aircraft due to crashes; Su-24, Mig-29, & Tu-95. http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...alified-pilots … pic.twitter.com/ESd3euow1D

    Russian source close to MoD: "There are less pilots [in Russia] than there are aircraft" http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs...alified-pilots … pic.twitter.com/zMxAtRXFqf

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinio...rm/525556.html
    War in Ukraine Ruined Russian Military Reform

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