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Old 19th October 2022, 08:30 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Lord Emsworth View Post
He looks intelligent.
He is intelligent. That doesn't mean every thought that goes through his head is gold.
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Old 19th October 2022, 08:31 AM   #122
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I dunno. It seems there is a really huge power gap between NATO and Russia. Sure, Russia would be in a better logistical and morale position, defending against a NATO attack.

But on the other hand, they'd be defending against a NATO attack. Ukraine's ability to touch the Russian rail system is extremely limited, by the weapons available to them and by the taboo against striking into Russian territory. Remove those limitations, and NATO would almost certainly eliminate the Russian's logistical strengths within the first week of fighting.

And while the morale strength means the Russians would fight harder, and in greater numbers of volunteers, they wouldn't fight better. It seems pretty clear at this point that NATO has more than enough excess capacity to absorb literally any number of highly-motivated but poorly trained and poorly equipped Russian soldiers.
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Old 19th October 2022, 08:48 AM   #123
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Just saw a headline about Putin declaring martial law in the areas of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed. What, if anything, does this mean? Any impact on anyone or anything?
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Old 19th October 2022, 08:52 AM   #124
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Putin has declared martial law in the "new provinces" that he annexed. This is practically speaking a completely meaningless gesture as the area occupied by the Russians in Ukraine (with the exception of Crimea) has effectively been under "martial law" since they seized control. The Russians who control these areas have largely been acting without any accountability to anything other than Putin.

The same applies to him ordering a "economic mobilization" of the provinces bordering Ukraine. While in principle this allows the regional heads of local government stronger legal powers to do things to further the war effort, in practice the law has rarely limited their authority when acting on behalf of Putin. The idea that any industries and businesses are going to start making weapons and munitions is just fantasy.

All in all this is just theatrics orchestrated for the purpose of trying to satisfy extreme rabid Russian imperialists, who make up only a small portion of population but are heavily overrepresented in political and military positions. Those people feel that Putin is not doing enough even-though he didn't even have support for starting the war in the first place.
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Old 19th October 2022, 09:11 AM   #125
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Exclamation

Originally Posted by Stellafane View Post
Just saw a headline about Putin declaring martial law in the areas of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed. What, if anything, does this mean? Any impact on anyone or anything?
It means they can seize private property and deport Ukrianians to Russia.

Meanwhile Russia has declared the annexed lands to be under Russia's nuclear protection.
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Old 19th October 2022, 09:30 AM   #126
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Maybe it's a pilot project to make it more palatable when Crimea and possibly the rest of Russia follow suit.
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Old 19th October 2022, 12:00 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Hercules56 View Post
It means they can seize private property and deport Ukrianians to Russia.
One might be tempted to ask, couldn't they do that anyways?

And the answer is yes, but...

Putin is a dictator, but in a sense he's not an absolute dictator. He has to maintain the fiction that he's democratically elected. One of the consequences of this is that, even though he can do whatever he wants, he still has to go through the motions.

The other problem he has is that the number of decision makers is actually very small. A lot of stuff has to be delegated to people he doesn't really trust, so he can't afford to give them a lot of decision-making power. This means that they are supposed to follow orders, whatever those orders are, and to a large extent that means following whatever the rules are. You don't get in trouble for following the rules. In practice, this means that even though Putin can make whatever rules he wants (he's a dictator, after all), he still need to make the rules as rules, or his decisions don't percolate down to the lower levels.

So, you want to look Donbass for the state, not just for the soldiers who are sending loot home to their girlfriends? You've got to make a rule to enable it.
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Old 19th October 2022, 12:39 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
The next step is obviously martial law and a doubling down of the regime as Russia descends into economic chaos. This will be followed by a North Korea situation, which will only end when/if the population revolts in some bloody rebellion. And maybe China does something to take advantage.

1917 through 1920 in Russia all over again.
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Old 19th October 2022, 12:41 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Musk is really pissing me off. Just because I think positively about Tesla cars and Space-X doesn't mean he's smart about everything. Tesla Solar Company is a joke. So is the Boring Company. Hyperloop is also a joke. His promotion of Mars exploration is selfish and stupid.

And he didn't seem to have studied WW2 an appeasement. MAD is crazy but the Western world cannot just let Russia brutalize neighbor after neighbor until all of Europe is under Russia's control. Appeasement is a terrible idea.
Musk is just like your avatar...unstable genius. Brilliant idea one day, goes batcrap crazy the nest.
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Old 19th October 2022, 12:45 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Good business acumen there. That's what you sell when everything else has been stolen.
Nothing new except it's officers who are doing it instead of noncoms. FOr years a basic fact of life in the Russian aremy was that Noncoms could be bribed to spare you the less pleasent duties.
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Old 19th October 2022, 12:46 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
Modern Warfare is really a war of logistics.
Russian reliance on rail, in a war that has 35-80 mile ranges on artillery of different sorts, has cost them dearly.
War has ALWAYS been about logistics.
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Old 19th October 2022, 12:55 PM   #132
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Apparently in ancient times it was often about which side had the strongest champion. Not a lot of logistics, just a bunch of jumped-up villagers standing around while their biggest guy tussled with the other village's biggest guy.

Once the villagers started thinking, who cares about champions, let's just all rush them at once, and then started thinking, let's make all rushing them at once a reliable system for winning battles, that logistics became a major consideration.
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Old 19th October 2022, 01:06 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Apparently in ancient times it was often about which side had the strongest champion. Not a lot of logistics, just a bunch of jumped-up villagers standing around while their biggest guy tussled with the other village's biggest guy.

Once the villagers started thinking, who cares about champions, let's just all rush them at once, and then started thinking, let's make all rushing them at once a reliable system for winning battles, that logistics became a major consideration.
Technology changed a lot of things. Before trains, taking ground was a means to victory. Logistics mattered but was not the most important thing since stealing food and other supplies usually worked. The degree to which units were supplied still mattered. But battles could still be won by bayonets.

By the time the internal combustion engine reaches the battlefield, destroying the enemies means to fight becomes more important that capturing territory. That usually came about by cutting off their supplies. Mostly still happened on the ground. Air and sea interdiction rarely outright stops supplies but does degrade supply and manufacturing.
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Old 19th October 2022, 01:35 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
Technology changed a lot of things. Before trains, taking ground was a means to victory. Logistics mattered but was not the most important thing since stealing food and other supplies usually worked. The degree to which units were supplied still mattered. But battles could still be won by bayonets.

By the time the internal combustion engine reaches the battlefield, destroying the enemies means to fight becomes more important that capturing territory. That usually came about by cutting off their supplies. Mostly still happened on the ground. Air and sea interdiction rarely outright stops supplies but does degrade supply and manufacturing.
I'm reading about the hundred years war. Looking at English preparations, logistics were vitally important 600 years ago.
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Old 19th October 2022, 03:20 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
Technology changed a lot of things. Before trains, taking ground was a means to victory. Logistics mattered but was not the most important thing since stealing food and other supplies usually worked. The degree to which units were supplied still mattered. But battles could still be won by bayonets.

By the time the internal combustion engine reaches the battlefield, destroying the enemies means to fight becomes more important that capturing territory. That usually came about by cutting off their supplies. Mostly still happened on the ground. Air and sea interdiction rarely outright stops supplies but does degrade supply and manufacturing.
But before trains the worked land couldn't produce enough food to feed both the inhabitants and a large foreign army. Hence why as a soldier in a medieval or early modern army, you were far more likely to die of starvation or diet related disease than by combat. Seriously, a marching army could lose upwards of half its combatants just by having to march 50 miles to engage the enemy in the "right" conditions.
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Old 19th October 2022, 04:51 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Apparently in ancient times it was often about which side had the strongest champion. Not a lot of logistics, just a bunch of jumped-up villagers standing around while their biggest guy tussled with the other village's biggest guy.

Once the villagers started thinking, who cares about champions, let's just all rush them at once, and then started thinking, let's make all rushing them at once a reliable system for winning battles, that logistics became a major consideration.
That is crap. Logistics..feeding your army...was a major factor in Ancient Warfare. Surprised you did not know that.
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Old 19th October 2022, 04:52 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I'm reading about the hundred years war. Looking at English preparations, logistics were vitally important 600 years ago.
They were vitally important in military operations as far back as you care to go.
Rome, for instance, built it system of roads laregly to supply it's legions.
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Old 19th October 2022, 04:55 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Apparently in ancient times it was often about which side had the strongest champion. Not a lot of logistics, just a bunch of jumped-up villagers standing around while their biggest guy tussled with the other village's biggest guy.

Once the villagers started thinking, who cares about champions, let's just all rush them at once, and then started thinking, let's make all rushing them at once a reliable system for winning battles, that logistics became a major consideration.
No, not really. There haven't been many periods in history where major wars were decided by a duel of champions. Smaller arguments yes absolutely, but not major conflicts.
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Old 19th October 2022, 04:57 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Apparently in ancient times it was often about which side had the strongest champion. Not a lot of logistics, just a bunch of jumped-up villagers standing around while their biggest guy tussled with the other village's biggest guy.

Once the villagers started thinking, who cares about champions, let's just all rush them at once, and then started thinking, let's make all rushing them at once a reliable system for winning battles, that logistics became a major consideration.
This is just silly. I suggest you read a book about Ancient Warfare.
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Old 20th October 2022, 05:13 AM   #140
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Scottish press is raising an eyebrow or two about the sudden "loss" of the IT and phone cabling linking the northern isles to the mainland and, seperately, to the Faroes given the damage to the Baltic pipelines recently. Hopefully it's less sinister. Hopefully.
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Old 20th October 2022, 05:23 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
Scottish press is raising an eyebrow or two about the sudden "loss" of the IT and phone cabling linking the northern isles to the mainland and, seperately, to the Faroes given the damage to the Baltic pipelines recently. Hopefully it's less sinister. Hopefully.
Yes because the Shetland Islanders not being able to get on the Internet is a major blow to the Western effort against Russia.
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Old 20th October 2022, 05:27 AM   #142
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I'm not sure you realise just how many cables are in and around the UK for essential comms. The Scottish press has merely commented that it seems suspsicious that both the mainland-Shetland and the Shetland-Faroes cables have gone dead at the same time, that's all.
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Old 20th October 2022, 05:31 AM   #143
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Old 20th October 2022, 06:38 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Architect View Post
Scottish press is raising an eyebrow or two about the sudden "loss" of the IT and phone cabling linking the northern isles to the mainland and, seperately, to the Faroes given the damage to the Baltic pipelines recently. Hopefully it's less sinister. Hopefully.
I have to admit that the thought occurred to me as well
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Old 20th October 2022, 06:41 AM   #145
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Yup

Could be a coincidence but equally it's the sort of uncertainty that Putin would want
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Old 20th October 2022, 06:43 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I have to admit that the thought occurred to me as well
Me too. It's got that signature blend of fiendishly devious, criminally incompetent and utterly futile. My assumption would be that they were trying to cut two different cables.

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Old 20th October 2022, 06:46 AM   #147
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I doubt this particular uncertainty has any value at all to Putin. Or if it does he and his advisors are even stupider than I imagined.

---

Besides, the real reason is that there's Russian boomers moving into the Atlantic, and they're running on the surface due to maintenance issues that prevent safe submersion. So they sent Spetsnaz ahead to cut the phone lines so that the locals can't call in any sightings.
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Old 20th October 2022, 07:37 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I doubt this particular uncertainty has any value at all to Putin. Or if it does he and his advisors are even stupider than I imagined.

---

Besides, the real reason is that there's Russian boomers moving into the Atlantic, and they're running on the surface due to maintenance issues that prevent safe submersion. So they sent Spetsnaz ahead to cut the phone lines so that the locals can't call in any sightings.
I refer you to the first paragraph of this

Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Me too. It's got that signature blend of fiendishly devious, criminally incompetent and utterly futile. My assumption would be that they were trying to cut two different cables.

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Old 20th October 2022, 08:07 AM   #149
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We're hearing about sizable attacks on Ukraine by Iranian-built kamikaze drones. Hey, that's my weapon of choice!

The Ukrs also claim to have shot down the greater number of them. If those claims are true, it suggests either that the drones aren't very capable, or that the Russians aren't using them right.

Whichever is the case -- you'll join me in hoping that both are true -- the situation is bound to change. Technology will improve and operational methods will become more efficient.

Long winter nights and frequent thick weather will favor drone and/or cruise missile bombardment. Or so I predict. Ugly.
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Old 20th October 2022, 08:22 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
The Ukrs also claim to have shot down the greater number of them. If those claims are true, it suggests either that the drones aren't very capable, or that the Russians aren't using them right.
I don't think that actually follows.

Drones do not have high survivability. That's kind of the point: if you don't have a pilot, and the platform is relatively cheap, it doesn't need high survivability. So drones have always been vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire. The deeper you penetrate into enemy territory, the more vulnerable you are likely to become. Drones like Global Hawk can fly very high altitude and so aren't vulnerable to stuff like manpads, but a suicide drone can't stay high altitude.

The real question regarding whether Russia is using them correctly isn't whether a lot of them are getting shot down. The real question is if they are doing enough damage to justify their costs, including the loss rate in the calculation.

So as an example, let's say a drone costs $100k. If that drone takes out a target worth $50k, that's a misuse of the drone unless your enemy is a lot poorer than you. If you take out a target worth $1 million, that's a good use of the drone. If you need to send 4 drones because the enemy shoots down 75% of them, but you're still taking out a $1 million target, then that's still a good use of those drones.

I have no idea how much damage these drones are actually doing, and I doubt Ukraine is going to make details public in a way that really helps Russia evaluate their effectiveness. So I can't say whether they're using them well or not. But the fact that a lot are getting shot down isn't proof in and of itself that they aren't being used effectively. It just raises the bar on what's required to qualify as using them effectively.

Quote:
Whichever is the case -- you'll join me in hoping that both are true -- the situation is bound to change. Technology will improve and operational methods will become more efficient.
Absolutely. War is never truly static.
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Old 20th October 2022, 08:34 AM   #151
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It seems like the main target of these drone attacks is the Ukrainian civilian power grid. Ukrainian officials have reported 30% is down. This seems like a fairly cost-effective use of the drones, as far as it goes.

The real problem is that it doesn't go far enough in terms of reducing the Ukrainian military's effectiveness. Nor does it go far enough in reducing the Ukrainian people's will to fight. Just looking at the raw numbers, the trade of drones for infrastructure seems like a really good deal for Russia. But looking at the overall strategic trend, it just seems like an absolute waste of resources. And of international good will, which is already in extremely limited supply.

---

I'm trying to figure out what else these drones could reasonably be used for, besides attacking civilians. They're too slow and obvious to go after military formations with proper short-range air defenses.

My best guess is that they were originally intended to swarm US destroyers around the Strait of Hormuz, saturating their defenses and providing cover for fast boats to approach and fire off their own missiles.
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Old 20th October 2022, 08:44 AM   #152
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I read some Israeli guy's opinion that a drone that can't survive is "irrelevant." Interesting choice of words. You can be 100% certain that attack and loitering drone "relevancy" is the field of endeavor right now, and long has been -- well, long as measured in drone war terms.

We're still living in the putt-putt era of military drones, but that just means that the rate of development will accelerate.

And any unprincipled SOB who pulls ahead even briefly can sell his robot to Putain. And will.
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Old 20th October 2022, 08:49 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
We're hearing about sizable attacks on Ukraine by Iranian-built kamikaze drones. Hey, that's my weapon of choice!
I don't like the term. These are simply another kind of self-propelled munitions. Cheap cruise missiles, not powered by jet or rocket but by propellers.


Originally Posted by sackett View Post
The Ukrs also claim to have shot down the greater number of them. If those claims are true, it suggests either that the drones aren't very capable, or that the Russians aren't using them right.
What Zigg said: Since these drones are a LOT cheaper than the niftier cruise missiles or mighty hypersonics, you can "waste" plenty before their use becomes inefficient. My recollection is that the price per drone may be as low as US$ 20,000.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It seems like the main target of these drone attacks is the Ukrainian civilian power grid. Ukrainian officials have reported 30% is down. This seems like a fairly cost-effective use of the drones, as far as it goes.

The real problem is that it doesn't go far enough in terms of reducing the Ukrainian military's effectiveness. Nor does it go far enough in reducing the Ukrainian people's will to fight. Just looking at the raw numbers, the trade of drones for infrastructure seems like a really good deal for Russia. But looking at the overall strategic trend, it just seems like an absolute waste of resources. And of international good will, which is already in extremely limited supply.
Taking down infrastructure to raise costs for your opponent and bog them down in repairs and delivery of alternatives (you want to keep your population from freezing) may be a useful objective in military terms. Of course this can only be one component of a more diversified approach to degrading enemy capabilities. In my opinion, attacks on electricity can be valid, legal military targeting, given e.g. that Ukrainian logistics, too, use electrified railroads.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm trying to figure out what else these drones could reasonably be used for, besides attacking civilians. They're too slow and obvious to go after military formations with proper short-range air defenses.

My best guess is that they were originally intended to swarm US destroyers around the Strait of Hormuz, saturating their defenses and providing cover for fast boats to approach and fire off their own missiles.
Remember that the Iranians are heavily involved in the war in Yemen. And occasionally harrass the Saudis directly with attacks on oil production. These drones seem well equipped for such operations.
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Old 20th October 2022, 08:50 AM   #154
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Presumably he means can't survive long enough to complete its mission.

Some drones are obviously supposed to be single-use weapons. Cruise missiles, essentially. They're relevant as long as they can get to their targets with some statistically meaningful success rate.

Others are obviously supposed to be long-lived workhorses, moving in and out of the combat area repeatedly on reconnaissance and bombing missions. Those are relevant if they can actually stay in service for a while.
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Old 20th October 2022, 08:53 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
I read some Israeli guy's opinion that a drone that can't survive is "irrelevant." ...
Well, in a war of economic attrition, if it takes, on average, three SAMs that cost 10,000 apiece to shoot down one drone that costs 20,000 apiece, then the drones are very relevant even if 100% are shot, it you only throw enough at the enemy to exhaust his credit to buy more SAMs.
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Old 20th October 2022, 09:06 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
... What Zigg said: Since these drones are a LOT cheaper than the niftier cruise missiles or mighty hypersonics, you can "waste" plenty before their use becomes inefficient. My recollection is that the price per drone may be as low as US$ 20,000.
They're so cheap that, except for a few which get shot down by small arms fire, even the ones that do get shot down are still very cost-effective as they're using up a missile which cost the defenders many times more than the drone cost the attackers. I read that Russia has asked Iran for another thousand. And Iran is saying "Drones? What drones? Don't know what you're talking about" even as Ukraine is picking up the wreckage of Iranian drones launched at their power infrastructure by Russia.
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Old 20th October 2022, 09:13 AM   #157
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From National Review:

Meloni Backs Ukraine: Atlantic Alliance a ‘Cornerstone’ of Italy’s New Government

There is invariably more going on in European politics than the reductive effort to place Europeans such as Viktor Orbán into American domestic-politics boxes. The Italian election that put Giorgia Meloni in a position to form a government is a perfect example. Meloni has some important commonalities with American social conservatives, but she is neither the heroine of the American Right nor the boogeywoman of the American Left that her American press notices would have you believe. . . .

In the latest news, Meloni is putting the survival of her government on the line in order to pursue a foreign policy that is in harmony with the approach of the EU and NATO to the war in Ukraine:
Her uncompromising statement came after her conservative ally Silvio Berlusconi reiterated his sympathy for Russian President Vladimir Putin and accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of triggering the war. In a sharply worded declaration, Meloni said any party that disagreed with her foreign policy line should not join the government, which is set to take office next week. “Italy with us in government will never be the weak link in the West,” she said. Meloni has staunchly defended Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in February, and has supported Western sanctions against Moscow. “On one thing I have been, am, and will always be clear. I intend to lead a government with a clear and unequivocal foreign policy line,” she said.
She continued, “Italy is a full and proud member of Europe & the Atlantic alliance. Anyone who disagrees with this cornerstone cannot be part of the government, even if this means not forming the government.” Berlusconi has backed down from his remarks in the aftermath.
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Old 20th October 2022, 09:18 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
They're so cheap that, except for a few which get shot down by small arms fire, even the ones that do get shot down are still very cost-effective as they're using up a missile which cost the defenders many times more than the drone cost the attackers.
Another possibility to consider is that the arsenal of democracy can afford many more expensive air defense missiles than clapped-out Russia can afford cheap cruise missiles. Does it really matter how many IRIS-Ts are used to shoot these things down, if Russia will run out of drones before the west gets tired of buying IRIS-Ts at $430,000 each? I think this war will probably be over, before the magician finally empties out his top hat.
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Old 20th October 2022, 09:28 AM   #159
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#Oystein. I use "kamikaze drone" for its connotations; as did whoever first thought of it.* But if a loitering munition has a man in the loop and he guides the weapon to impact, that's similar enough to the Japanese original to justify the term. "Close enough for government work," as we used to say.

I think that remote piloting will prove to be essential to increasing suicide drone survivability. I hope to Jesus that the Ukrainians and their suppliers are pursuing that and can begin deploying specialized machines to make life uncomfortable, unpredictable, and short for Russian troops this coming winter.


* I read widely and superficially, the way a magpie forages. Like a magpie, I collect shiny things. Please excuse me for that. Others do it.
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Old 20th October 2022, 09:37 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Another possibility to consider is that the arsenal of democracy can afford many more expensive air defense missiles than clapped-out Russia can afford cheap cruise missiles. Does it really matter how many IRIS-Ts are used to shoot these things down, if Russia will run out of drones before the west gets tired of buying IRIS-Ts at $430,000 each? I think this war will probably be over, before the magician finally empties out his top hat.
The limit on what the arsenal of democracy can supply is probably politics rather than purely financial capability. For America to maintain the political will to keep going will requires a bunch of other countries to be seen to be pulling their weight too, and that's likely but it's not entirely guaranteed.

Russia's going to keep on so long as it seems to be a way to hurt the other side more than itself.

There's also the question of who can build them faster. One side only has to build college-project level drones from mostly off the shelf parts while the other makes cutting edge custom missiles. Also, since some proportion of drones are bound to get through, can spares and repairs for Ukraine's power generation and distribution infrastructure keep ahead of Russia's seeming current tactic of aiming to leave them blacked out in winter?

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