Skip to main content

Russian asymmetry, nukes and missiles for diplomatic measures



Until this weeks kaleidoscopic scramble across Russia’s the western frontier, the Russian armed forces have been following a largely routine schedule since the rolling readiness checks of the October 2017 and the massive Zapad17 exercise.

The recent flurry of activity started with the snap drills of the reconnaissance, artillery and combat engineering units, that are commonly associated with the spearhead formations of the Russian army. Alone these drills are not very remarkable and even when grouped like this, they shouldn’t cause a major alarm with the Western defense planners.

When the entire Strategic Rocket Force (RVSN), ie. the Russia’s ground based ICBM force was alerted and the mobile TEL:s rolled into the vast forests things started to look slightly suspicious. Especially when the readiness check of the nuclear forces coincided with the expulsion of the Russian diplomats by UK, EU and USA.



Simultaneously with the RVSN, the majority of the Russian air defense and anti-ship missile units along the western border from the Arctic to the Black Sea were alerted and sent out to missile drills.

The real surprises came on 29.3.2018, when Russia announced that it would conduct naval missile exercises in the western Baltic Sea. The target areas are closer to the Swedish territorial waters than ever before. There is also a secondary target area close to the Polish waters. Second Naval missile drill by a task force led by the Slava-class cruiser Marshall Ustinov is underway in the Barents sea north of Norway. This is a classic move in any Russian operation that is aimed against NATO or Sweden.

This provocative act is backed with a major annual air force exercise Ladoga 18, that is for the first time conducted with strike packages taking off without pre-designated targets. The pilots will only receive the targets for the live missiles while airborne. This kind of a drill could easily be used as a cover for a strategic strike against a nearby country. There is also an amphibious drill of the Baltic Fleet marines going on in the Kaliningrad as well as some peculiar VDV airborne drills.

Without the activation of the heavy hitters of the Russian ground forces, such as the 1st guards tank army, this isn’t going to be another invasion. Instead it is a very asymmetric response to the western diplomatic actions that were directed against Russia after the chemical weapons attack against the UK.

Russia is signaling loudly that it will not play with the same rules as the western nations. It isn’t even playing the same game.


Comments

  1. Tomorrow, be on the look for our final Dog of the Day post. This last post is going to be a special one. I'll be revisiting current shelter dogs who are looking for forever homes, like I did at the beginning--rather than the success stories I've done the past few days--and featuring one dog who is having some medical issues and needs help from the loving humans in his life.
    Jogo para criança
    jogo 360 online
    io games 4 school

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick guide to identifying the Russian tanks Part 1: main platforms and T-72 variants

As most of the western nations have reduced their inventories to a few or mostly one type of main battle tank model in their active inventories, the myriad of tank platforms and distinct versions employed by the Russian armed forces may feel overwhelming. Here is a quick guide to identifying Russian MBTs. When you come across an image (or the actual thing), follow the steps to identify it properly.



Family of the tankRussian Armed Forces currently operates, or at least storage, the following tank platforms/families: -T-55 (<2000 in storage) -T-62 (2000 in storage) -T-64 (2000 in storage) -T-72 (2000 active duty, 8000 in storage) -T-80 (2000 active duty, 5000 in storage) -T-90 (350 active duty, 600 in storage) -T-14 (20 in field testing)
So how can you identify what type of a tank are you looking at?
There are two features that can be used to distinguishing the tank families: The roadwheel placement and the exhaust ports. The older and smaller T-55 and T-62 have five roadwheels in their suspe…

T-90M ”Breakthrough” the Armata Russia has to live with

The T-14 Armata was supposedly going to be the next main combat vehicle platform that would replace the dozen or so main battle tank versions currently in the Russian service. The development and testing process of the T-14 has been difficult and the manufacturer Uralvagonzavod will deliver the first five pre-production vehicles in the first half of 2020. It’s quite a far cry from the originally planned production run of 2300 Armata’s by the end of 2020.

First newly-built T-90M tanks with redesigned turrets and engines will be delivered for state tests alongside the initial batch of T-14’s. The T-90M, that shouldn’t be confused with the export version upgrade package T-90MS, is actually very capable package with significantly less complicated problems than the more radical T-14.


The T-90M offers the same firepower and mobility with most likely slightly superior optics and situational awareness compared to the Armata. With the conventional layout, many of the camera, display and stabili…

Quick Guide to Turkish Tanks

The Turkish Armed Forces posses the largest tank fleet in Europe, only dwarfed by the Russian reserve stocks beyond the Ural mountains. The Turkish fleet is a mixture of American and German armor with indigenous upgrades.
The Turkish active tank fleet is currently composed of: - 354 Leopard 2A4 tanks - 397 Leopard 1A3 tanks with 170 upgraded to Leopard 1T standard with new fire control system - 932 M60 Pattons, out of which 104 are aging A1 variants, 658 are A3 TTS and 170 are fully modernized M60T Sabra-models, upgraded with Israeli technology. - 758 M48 Pattons with an unknown distribution of M48A3 and M48A5T2 variants.
Out of these tank models the Leopard 2A4 and the M60T Sabra are the most capable ones. Both are clearly superior to the aging Soviet T-72, T-62 and T-55 tanks primarily fielded by the Syrian Arab Army. Both the Leopard 2A4 and M60T have roughly comparable 120 mm main guns, capable of knocking out all armor in the neighborhood.
Both the Leopard 1 and the M48 show the…