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Old 20th October 2022, 10:07 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
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?
I believe, some cheap/re-usable countermeasures are already on their way to Ukraine. Its just like a "gun" that you point at the drone and it blocks out the radio signals to it. Save the more expensive AA missiles for manned aircraft and internally guided munitions. Another option would be to re-start production of the classic "stinger". Probably much cheaper to manufacture and will probably work great against these drones.
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Old 20th October 2022, 10:46 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
...
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. ...
BUT Russia can't (or at least doesn', it seems) build even only the college-project level drones in any industrial level - they import them! I like the way Peter Zeihan expresses it:
"And now, [the Russians] are reliant upon what are basically flying mopeds from a country that has been under sanctions for 30 years and is a technological leader in nothing."
While the West (well, some members of the US MIC ) can and does produce complex, high tech military gear conveyor-belt style, the Russians essentially manufacture each piece by hand. They used to be able to mass-produce tanks and planes and missiles, but no longer.
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Old 20th October 2022, 10:55 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I believe, some cheap/re-usable countermeasures are already on their way to Ukraine. Its just like a "gun" that you point at the drone and it blocks out the radio signals to it. Save the more expensive AA missiles for manned aircraft and internally guided munitions. Another option would be to re-start production of the classic "stinger". Probably much cheaper to manufacture and will probably work great against these drones.
The drones should be very easy to shoot down with modern guided AA-guns, the likes of which you find e.g. on Gepards. Main problem is the limited range (hald a dozen km) of such systems. I would guess that AA-guns are there to protect active military units from drone strikes, while it is not feasible to protect the entire width and depth of the country that way.
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Old 20th October 2022, 11:33 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
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.
I see the term "loitering munitions" used a lot on "military"* twitter feeds though I am unsure it applies to all the drones used.


*Ex-military, historians etc
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Old 20th October 2022, 11:55 AM   #165
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There's a lot of practical overlap between missile, cruise missile, loitering munition, and suicide drone. Practically speaking, a V-1 flying bomb, a BGM-109 Tomahawk, and a Shahed 136 are all the same kind of thing. At a certain point, making a distinction between a cruise missile and a "suicide drone" becomes completely pointless.
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Old 20th October 2022, 12:05 PM   #166
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My understanding is that the Iranians claim that Shahed can be outfitted with cameras or other gizmos to allow it to loiter while the operator searches for a target, but that the ones used so far don't have those gizmos installed and get no user input once launched.

It's just programmed to go to coordinates and uses GLONASS which is less accurate and more susceptible to jamming than GPS is. Or so they say, I wouldn't really know.

Some kamikaze drones have the ability to be recovered and reused if no suitable target is found - they can land again or have little parachutes. So far as I know no "real" cruise missiles can do that and I don't think the Shahed can do that either.

So I would say that as currently used, the Shahed is just a slow loud and funny looking cruise missile, but the hardware can supposedly (according to Iran's propaganda machine) be reconfigured to also work as a drone.
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Old 20th October 2022, 12:10 PM   #167
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Old 20th October 2022, 01:19 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
BUT Russia can't (or at least doesn', it seems) build even only the college-project level drones in any industrial level - they import them!
That doesn't matter so long as they can get the hardware. Puts them in much the same position as Ukraine, except that Russia's suppliers expect the bear to pay.

And while western nations have generously dug into their stockpiles, I don't think we've yet seen any of the west's game-changing weapons ramp up to wartime production levels. America can outfight anyone because America outspends anyone on class-leading weapons. But even with such deep pockets you can't go to the likes of Raytheon and say you want a hundred a week of some complex weapon which they contracted to make one batch then ongoing production of only a dozen or so per year. Of course there will be emergency plans to ramp up to wartime production but unless you do that, the component supply chain is not in place and most of the team who built the main production run are scattered to other projects and other employers.
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Old 20th October 2022, 01:42 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
That doesn't matter so long as they can get the hardware. Puts them in much the same position as Ukraine, except that Russia's suppliers expect the bear to pay.
Well, true, but still marks a major difference between Russia and the combined West: The economic and technological capacity.

Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
And while western nations have generously dug into their stockpiles, I don't think we've yet seen any of the west's game-changing weapons ramp up to wartime production levels. America can outfight anyone because America outspends anyone on class-leading weapons. But even with such deep pockets you can't go to the likes of Raytheon and say you want a hundred a week of some complex weapon which they contracted to make one batch then ongoing production of only a dozen or so per year. Of course there will be emergency plans to ramp up to wartime production but unless you do that, the component supply chain is not in place and most of the team who built the main production run are scattered to other projects and other employers.
Good points, and for some months already I have been wondering about the highlighted bit: Europe certainly does not want to ed with fewer weapons than it started 2022, and there is big country (Ukraine) to e stocked with a full supply of real weapons, plus replacements, so I have been figuring for a while that production ought to have been ramped up (with well-established public funds to back it up) already: Of tanks, of everything that affects performance in the air, of all sorts of missile systems.
There has been an order by Ukraine of 100 PzH2000, to be delivered of the course of several years, so I assume that is one fabrication line that's coming online. Poland ordering a hundred or so HIMARs is another. Pretty sure there are other projects underway that I am not aware of. But MANPADs? MBTs? Ukraine will in not too long a time need some good planes, not just 1970s designs, more like 1990s stuff, which no donor country would give them out of existing stock. Is anyone reviving such production runs? Or has anyone already ordered latest generation planes so the previous gen stuff can go to Ukraine in the not too distant future?
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Old 20th October 2022, 01:56 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
There's a lot of practical overlap between missile, cruise missile, loitering munition, and suicide drone. Practically speaking, a V-1 flying bomb, a BGM-109 Tomahawk, and a Shahed 136 are all the same kind of thing. At a certain point, making a distinction between a cruise missile and a "suicide drone" becomes completely pointless.
Technology and terminology are both moving targets. Once we get a good definition for current technology it likely won't be current anymore. The historians will get to pick the final terminology. Those dealing with things in real time will never be free of inconsistent definitions.
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Old 20th October 2022, 01:57 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Europe certainly does not want to ed with fewer weapons than it started 2022
Why not?

Seriously, what's the point of Europe's weapons stockpiles? Mostly as a contingency against war with Russia. Well, this is war with Russia, just by proxy. The more that they deplete their stockpiles giving to Ukraine to fight Russia, the weaker Russia will be and the less they will need those stockpiles themselves. Spending those stockpiles in Ukraine is an efficient use of them.

Not saying they shouldn't ramp up production, they absolutely should. But you can deplete stockpiles much faster than you can ramp up production. There's no reason for Europe to hold back on arms shipments to Ukraine out of concern that their own stockpiles will go down. This is exactly what those stockpiles are for.
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Old 20th October 2022, 02:42 PM   #172
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Honestly I think one of the outcomes of this war is reduced NATO procurement spending pretty much across the board. American petulance about its European allies not holding up their end of the bargain will be met with open laughter instead of heavy sighs and discreet eye-rolling.

R&D spending will continue, of course, and procurement of drones and anti-drone systems will probably see an increase in funding. And I think a lot of the funds currently reserved for shoring up defenses against the Russian horde will be quietly shifted to the Pacific.

Which makes me wonder if the US knew about Russia's hollowed-out military industrial complex twenty years ago, and Obama was in principle correct about pivoting the US military to China.
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Old 20th October 2022, 03:14 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Why not?

Seriously, what's the point of Europe's weapons stockpiles? Mostly as a contingency against war with Russia. Well, this is war with Russia, just by proxy. The more that they deplete their stockpiles giving to Ukraine to fight Russia, the weaker Russia will be and the less they will need those stockpiles themselves. Spending those stockpiles in Ukraine is an efficient use of them.

Not saying they shouldn't ramp up production, they absolutely should. But you can deplete stockpiles much faster than you can ramp up production. There's no reason for Europe to hold back on arms shipments to Ukraine out of concern that their own stockpiles will go down. This is exactly what those stockpiles are for.
Right. Which is why I think that production ought to have been ramped up already. I am not suggesting Europe should give less to UA.

In the end, when this is all over and European stocks are back to a "new normal", I think this ought to be a higher level than at the beginning of 2022. Here is why:
Russia will retain at least some of its nuclear arsenal.
The prefered way to counter a non-MAD threat with nukes is a credible threat that a conventional retaliatory strike will be quick, decisive and very painful. And Europe perhaps wants to reduce its reliance on the USA delivering this.
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Old 20th October 2022, 03:22 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
...
Which makes me wonder if the US knew about Russia's hollowed-out military industrial complex twenty years ago, and Obama was in principle correct about pivoting the US military to China.
The trend was bleeding obvious: All you had to do was to look at economic growth rates and population size.
The USSR had come down in large part because of outsized military spending, so it was inevitable that the Russian armed forces would stall on a significantly reduced level conventionally, while there was no end in sight to China's rise. (There is, however, an end in sight now!)
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Old 20th October 2022, 05:05 PM   #175
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I noticed this morning that another video from Kings and Generals had dropped, but I haven't had a chance to watch it yet.
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Old 20th October 2022, 05:37 PM   #176
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When discussing this whole "Cheap drones vs. expensive missiles" issue, perhaps keep in mind: If the West decided to start producing cheap drones in quantity, we could completely overwhelm Russia and Iran, and pretty much anyone else as well. So even if Ukraine does run out of expensive missiles, that doesn't mean Russia will win.
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Old 20th October 2022, 05:55 PM   #177
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It would be hilarious if the US started mass producing Iranian-pattern buzz bombs and giving them to Ukraine. Let the Wagner group fight in the shade, if that's their pleasure.
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Old 20th October 2022, 05:59 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It would be hilarious if the US started mass producing Iranian-pattern buzz bombs and giving them to Ukraine.


And then send Iran, like, one cent in royalties for every one the Ukrainians use in combat.
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Old 20th October 2022, 06:15 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
And then send Iran, like, one cent in royalties for every one the Ukrainians use in combat.
Deposit the cents in a frozen bank account, to be delivered to the Iranian people after the regime change and the lifting of sanctions.
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Old 20th October 2022, 07:33 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Deposit the cents in a frozen bank account, to be delivered to the Iranian people after the regime change and the lifting of sanctions.


I'm picturing something more like an airdrop of a million pennies somewhere close enough to Tehran to be seen, but far enough to avoid major damage.
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Old 21st October 2022, 02:30 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Honestly I think one of the outcomes of this war is reduced NATO procurement spending pretty much across the board. American petulance about its European allies not holding up their end of the bargain will be met with open laughter instead of heavy sighs and discreet eye-rolling.
Except that several NATO countries have already announced increased spending as a result of the war. For example: https://www.ft.com/content/d24a5196-...5-bc19fad93197

Quote:
R&D spending will continue, of course, and procurement of drones and anti-drone systems will probably see an increase in funding. And I think a lot of the funds currently reserved for shoring up defenses against the Russian horde will be quietly shifted to the Pacific.

Which makes me wonder if the US knew about Russia's hollowed-out military industrial complex twenty years ago, and Obama was in principle correct about pivoting the US military to China.
Twenty years ago, it may not have been as hollowed out as it is now. However, yes, I think our intelligence services were aware of the problems. They probably had better awareness of Russia's military readiness - or lack thereof - than Vladimir Putin.
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Old 21st October 2022, 05:32 AM   #182
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I'm not sure if Iran will be supplying drones for very much longer.
US reveals location of USS West Virginia Ballistic missile submarine. (Somewhere in the Arabian Sea)

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Int...in-Arabian-Sea
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Old 21st October 2022, 05:52 AM   #183
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So there are fears that the Ruscists plan on demolishing the dam of the Kakhovka Reservoir at Nova Kakhovka, which would have several grave effects at once, among them:
  • Flood places along the river downstream, including Kherson itself
  • Take out the hydroelectric power plant - another blow to electric power supply
  • The Zhaporizhzhia nuclear power plant receives its cooling water from the reservoir - so there may be a risk one or more blocks might overheat

But then there is, I think, another:
The North Crimea Canal begins next to the dam at the reservoir. Since water flow depends on gravity - nothing is pumped -, taking out the dam and thus lowering the water surface level in the reservoir, may decrease, or even stop, the flow of water to Crimea!
Sure Russia managed water supply to Crimea somehow in the years since Ukraine shut off the canal (in 2015, I think), but ... it's something to consider.
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Old 21st October 2022, 07:53 AM   #184
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https://liveuamap.com/en/2022/20-oct...onivsky-bridge

Ukraine hit the bridge out of Kherson again. It would be great to see Ukraine bag most of the Orc army group in Kherson. That would be a huge humiliation for the head Orc and the new commander.
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Old 21st October 2022, 09:19 AM   #185
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Mod Info Discussions of potential changes in US support to Ukraine after the mid-term elections moved to http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=362398
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Old 21st October 2022, 10:00 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
Except that several NATO countries have already announced increased spending as a result of the war. For example: https://www.ft.com/content/d24a5196-...5-bc19fad93197
Good point. I think the NATO members will continue to modernize. But I think in terms of overall numbers, amount of reserves, size of ammo stockpiles, these governments will revisit their current spending levels and adjust them down over the next 5-10 years.
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Old 21st October 2022, 10:01 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
I'm not sure if Iran will be supplying drones for very much longer.
US reveals location of USS West Virginia Ballistic missile submarine. (Somewhere in the Arabian Sea)

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Int...in-Arabian-Sea
Unless it's going to start shooting at Iran, I don't think it will have any effect on this issue.
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Old 21st October 2022, 10:33 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
When discussing this whole "Cheap drones vs. expensive missiles" issue, perhaps keep in mind: If the West decided to start producing cheap drones in quantity, we could completely overwhelm Russia and Iran, and pretty much anyone else as well. So even if Ukraine does run out of expensive missiles, that doesn't mean Russia will win.
If it's left up to the US military, your cheap drone would cost millions of dollars each and take 15 years in development. Then be cancelled because it doesn't work.
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Old 21st October 2022, 10:53 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
If it's left up to the US military, your cheap drone would cost millions of dollars each and take 15 years in development. Then be cancelled because it doesn't work.
This is belied by the number of different drones at a wide range of price points that the US military has developed over the past twenty years or so.

I think a lot of people get confused by the US military's procurement process for new weapon systems. They often go through one or two rounds of R&D competitions, discarding the prototypes but keeping the lessons learned after each round. After a couple rounds of this, they apply the lessons and come out with the new system. You can see this throughout the US military's many drone programs.
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Old 21st October 2022, 12:00 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Unless it's going to start shooting at Iran, I don't think it will have any effect on this issue.
I think they have located the plant that makes them.
One cruise missile would end that facility.
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Old 21st October 2022, 12:50 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
I think they have located the plant that makes them.
One cruise missile would end that facility.
Say no more. I understand.
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Old 21st October 2022, 07:26 PM   #192
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Reviewing the Deepstatemap.live site, it appears that a lot of the disputed territory in the north and west is showing up as under Russian control. Not much forward movement from Ukraine.

Not sure why. But then the map there has never showed just what Russian units are defending in the north.

Could be that Ukraine is holding back troops because of an expected attack from Belarus. If that is the case, it will be a mess for both sides but far more so for Russia. The question on it is will Belarus troops be involved. With the current quality of Russian conscripts I would not expect it to take any major ground if there is any resistance at all from Ukraine. But we don't know how many troops are available to defend it.

One analyst I saw today was claiming the attack would be to cut off the Ukrainian troops from the western half of the courtney. This sounds like they are going to attack on one or more of the same routes they used the last time out. More irradiated troops in Chernobyl again? What happens to the Russian troops if this is not over and winter really hits? I don't think Russia suddenly got a bunch of new trucks to supply everyone.

The other option is that this is a feint to force Ukraine to hold off and not push where they have already made gains. Likely this is a smarter move. But smart is not what we have seen so far from Russia.
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Old 21st October 2022, 09:02 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
I'm picturing something more like an airdrop of a million pennies somewhere close enough to Tehran to be seen, but far enough to avoid major damage.
So long as you don't drop them all at once in the same place, they won't cause much damage.

How Dangerous is a Penny Dropped From a Skyscraper?
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Old 21st October 2022, 09:33 PM   #194
Aridas
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Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
Reviewing the Deepstatemap.live site, it appears that a lot of the disputed territory in the north and west is showing up as under Russian control. Not much forward movement from Ukraine.

Not sure why. But then the map there has never showed just what Russian units are defending in the north.

Could be that Ukraine is holding back troops because of an expected attack from Belarus. If that is the case, it will be a mess for both sides but far more so for Russia. The question on it is will Belarus troops be involved. With the current quality of Russian conscripts I would not expect it to take any major ground if there is any resistance at all from Ukraine. But we don't know how many troops are available to defend it.

One analyst I saw today was claiming the attack would be to cut off the Ukrainian troops from the western half of the courtney. This sounds like they are going to attack on one or more of the same routes they used the last time out. More irradiated troops in Chernobyl again? What happens to the Russian troops if this is not over and winter really hits? I don't think Russia suddenly got a bunch of new trucks to supply everyone.

The other option is that this is a feint to force Ukraine to hold off and not push where they have already made gains. Likely this is a smarter move. But smart is not what we have seen so far from Russia.
I doubt that Ukraine's actions there have anything to do with Belarus, personally. I'd say that it's more likely that the weather is generally making the battlefield very unfavorable to go on the offensive, first of all. Heavy equipment being restricted to main roads makes defense so very much easier. Second, well, it's entirely plausible that Ukraine's shifting some units elsewhere while they mostly wait out the mud up there. There's been... claims of a force buildup in Zaporizhzhia, for example, there's Russian Kherson panic, there's apparently been a tactical Ukrainian counterattack on the east front, and so on. With that said, the weather near Zaporizhzhia is generally relatively better in this part of the year, if I understand the situation correctly, and Tokmak, for example, would be an excellent place to retake.
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Old 21st October 2022, 10:30 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
I doubt that Ukraine's actions there have anything to do with Belarus, personally. I'd say that it's more likely that the weather is generally making the battlefield very unfavorable to go on the offensive, first of all. Heavy equipment being restricted to main roads makes defense so very much easier. Second, well, it's entirely plausible that Ukraine's shifting some units elsewhere while they mostly wait out the mud up there. There's been... claims of a force buildup in Zaporizhzhia, for example, there's Russian Kherson panic, there's apparently been a tactical Ukrainian counterattack on the east front, and so on. With that said, the weather near Zaporizhzhia is generally relatively better in this part of the year, if I understand the situation correctly, and Tokmak, for example, would be an excellent place to retake.
I've been waiting to see a move on Tokmak. So far nothing.

In the north, easy progress is likely stopped by terrain alone at this point. But areas shown in dispute of who controls them seems to be shrinking with Russia getting more of what is left for now. That does not look like a defensive effort but you cannot really tell from the map alone.

One side or the other may be planning for something during the colder months. Likely both. But we know who has the more messed up logistics already. It would be interesting to see some news reports on how much winter gear is being sent to the Ukraine now.
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Old 22nd October 2022, 01:10 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
Reviewing the Deepstatemap.live site, it appears that a lot of the disputed territory in the north and west is showing up as under Russian control. Not much forward movement from Ukraine.

Not sure why. But then the map there has never showed just what Russian units are defending in the north.
What I gather is that there is some very active fighting and maneuvering going between the Oskil river and that road further East through Svatove that Ukraine surely would like to get control over. The Ruscists are genuinly fighting back hard and occasionally counter-attack. The moment of surprise is long gone, it's simply getting harder to break through.

Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
Could be that Ukraine is holding back troops because of an expected attack from Belarus. If that is the case, it will be a mess for both sides but far more so for Russia. The question on it is will Belarus troops be involved. ...

One analyst I saw today was claiming the attack would be to cut off the Ukrainian troops from the western half of the courtney. ....

The other option is that this is
a feint to force Ukraine to hold off and not push where they have already made gains. Likely this is a smarter move. But smart is not what we have seen so far from Russia.
A freight train loaded with tanks (T-72s and lesser) was tracked going from Belarus through Russia proper all the way to Rostov on Don. That's not the logistics you do when you plan to attack from Belarus. it seems implausible that Belarus would have plenty of tanks to spare and still be capable to invade Ukraine.
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Old 22nd October 2022, 02:20 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
A freight train loaded with tanks (T-72s and lesser) was tracked going from Belarus through Russia proper all the way to Rostov on Don. That's not the logistics you do when you plan to attack from Belarus. it seems implausible that Belarus would have plenty of tanks to spare and still be capable to invade Ukraine.
And on the other hand, there were reports that equipment was being or would be sent to Belarus. But I think it is quite probable that there is not going to be a proper attack from that direction.

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Old 22nd October 2022, 03:47 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
I think they have located the plant that makes them.
One cruise missile would end that facility.
It's a boomer. Its role is not to toy with Iran. Its role is to end the world. It popped up to scare Russia, not Iran.
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Old 22nd October 2022, 07:52 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
A freight train loaded with tanks (T-72s and lesser) was tracked going from Belarus through Russia proper all the way to Rostov on Don. That's not the logistics you do when you plan to attack from Belarus. it seems implausible that Belarus would have plenty of tanks to spare and still be capable to invade Ukraine.
Unless those are excess tanks that Belarus doesn't have the manpower to utilise.

Then again it's more likely that Belarus is just going to keep troops along the border to tie up Ukrainian forces without any intention of actually attacking.
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Old 22nd October 2022, 10:46 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Wildy View Post
Unless those are excess tanks that Belarus doesn't have the manpower to utilise.
...
To fix such understaffing, Russia is sending in fresh troops for a joint brigade or something.
Russia is running low on good tanks. Pulling some out of Belarus can only be interpreted as depleting Belarus stocks in favor of defending occupied Zhaporizhzhia oblast (my guess of where they might end up).
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