Blyatskrieg

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Dec 22, 2023 9:05 pm

bjn wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2023 6:21 pm
The Dutch PM today promised 18 F-16s to Ukraine.

https://nitter.net/MinPres/status/1738176812713210363
They won't be a total game changer, but they will enable things like more flexible use of HARM anti-radar missiles and similar. It's good to see this moving forward, and I'm interested to see how long it actually takes Ukrainian pilots to master the F-16 after the various dubious claims from Americans on this subject. They'll be taking some of the burden of Ukraine's own MiGs and Sukhois, which is important as they are working heavy workloads and there's no way to replace certain parts anymore except by cannibalising other aircraft.

Additionally, given what we know about the shootdowns earlier, which have been credited to an air defence missile unit by Zelenskyy, it looks like the Russian planes may have been attempting to attack the Krynky beachhead with glide bombs. These need to be released at high altitude to achieve decent range, if there's Patriot launchers lurking in the area, they won't be able to do that any more.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Mon Dec 25, 2023 4:41 pm

Speculation that the SU-34s that were destroyed this week may have been downed by F-16s as opposed to Patriot traps. Anders Puck Nelson says it would look pretty much the same if F-16s did it. The Dutch delivery of F-16s was imminent, so it may have been those.

He also recounts the time he asked Ukrainian attack helicopter pilots what they most wanted, it wasn’t the latest Apaches but rather F-16s above them. Their biggest threat is from Russian jets and having F-16s in the air will providing cover force the Russians to be much more cagey about using their jets. This will give the attack helicopters much greater freedom to operate than they have now. Being able to use close air support to blunt Russian attacks, as well to support their own assaults, would be a big step up in capability.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Dec 26, 2023 8:51 am

Looks like Ukraine took out a Russian Ropucha class landing ship overnight. Massive secondary explosions, so could be it was transporting ammunition.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Dec 26, 2023 9:42 am


The first cohort of Ukrainian pilots to receive training from the Royal Air Force are now learning to fly F-16 fighter jets in Denmark, having completed a basic programme of training in the UK.

The RAF began delivering flying and English language training in August as part of the UK contribution to the international Air Force Capability Coalition for Ukraine, which sees allies and partners working together to bolster Ukraine’s air capabilities.

The group was formed of six experienced Ukrainian combat fighter pilots who received aviation-specific English language training to increase their ability to engage with coalition training and support.

A further ten Ukrainian trainee pilots took part in the language training and remain in the UK to continue with practical basic flight training, as well as to learn important skills such as aviation medicine and centrifuge training.

[…]

The programme is designed to give trainee pilots the skills required to advance to the next phase of training on fighter jets with partner nations and bring future Ukrainian pilots closer to a NATO standard approach to flying.

Pilots undergoing the basic flight training scheme are conducting practical lessons in Grob Tutor aircraft with experienced RAF instructors, learning general handling procedures, instrument flying, medium and low-level navigation, and formation flying.

Alongside the pilot training, dozens of Ukrainian aircraft technicians are also receiving English language training, geared towards engineering.

[…]

Once they have completed their training with the RAF, pilots will be trained by another European nation on advanced flying training. This will prepare them for training on the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, overseen by Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States, which lead the Air Force Capability Coalition.

The Prime Minister confirmed the UK’s intent to support the Air Force Capability Coalition earlier this year with basic training, as the UK does not operate the F-16 aircraft Ukraine has selected to develop its future air force around.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukra ... -in-the-uk

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Dec 26, 2023 10:24 am

Image

The Russian landing ship Novocherkassk is done for. Based on the available evidence, it looks like it was probably a Storm Shadow strike. Novocherkassk was hit in Feodosia, occupied Crimea, after sailing from Novorossiysk, presumably carrying ammunition, given the scope of the blast.

This will put further pressure on the Black Sea Fleet to stay in Novorossiysk. Driving the Black Sea Fleet right to the eastern edge of the Black Sea has enabled Ukrainian exports to resume without the need for a new Grain Deal and represents a significant Ukrainian victory this year. Hopefully it will be possible to target the buggers in harbour at Novorossiysk, too, and rules regarding use of western supplied weapons really ought to be changed to facilitate this.

Additionally sinking landing ships puts further pressure on Russian communications and leaves them utterly dependant on the Kerch Bridge.

ETA: An additional key detail that will worry the Russians is that the Novocherkassk was taken out right under the nose of an S-400 battery.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Dec 26, 2023 10:45 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2023 9:42 am

The first cohort of Ukrainian pilots to receive training from the Royal Air Force are now learning to fly F-16 fighter jets in Denmark, having completed a basic programme of training in the UK.

The RAF began delivering flying and English language training in August as part of the UK contribution to the international Air Force Capability Coalition for Ukraine, which sees allies and partners working together to bolster Ukraine’s air capabilities.

The group was formed of six experienced Ukrainian combat fighter pilots who received aviation-specific English language training to increase their ability to engage with coalition training and support.

A further ten Ukrainian trainee pilots took part in the language training and remain in the UK to continue with practical basic flight training, as well as to learn important skills such as aviation medicine and centrifuge training.

[…]

The programme is designed to give trainee pilots the skills required to advance to the next phase of training on fighter jets with partner nations and bring future Ukrainian pilots closer to a NATO standard approach to flying.

Pilots undergoing the basic flight training scheme are conducting practical lessons in Grob Tutor aircraft with experienced RAF instructors, learning general handling procedures, instrument flying, medium and low-level navigation, and formation flying.

Alongside the pilot training, dozens of Ukrainian aircraft technicians are also receiving English language training, geared towards engineering.

[…]

Once they have completed their training with the RAF, pilots will be trained by another European nation on advanced flying training. This will prepare them for training on the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, overseen by Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States, which lead the Air Force Capability Coalition.

The Prime Minister confirmed the UK’s intent to support the Air Force Capability Coalition earlier this year with basic training, as the UK does not operate the F-16 aircraft Ukraine has selected to develop its future air force around.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukra ... -in-the-uk
To recap, the 1990s programme for Finnish pilots to switch from Warsaw Pact fighter aircraft to NATO aircraft needed about two months for advanced language training, seven months training on F-18s and additional unspecified time (see here).

Based on that we’d be looking at these Ukrainian pilots hopefully starting instruction in Denmark or the Netherlands on F16s in January and flying combat missions in the summer or autumn of 2024. Earlier if there are parts of the course that can be dropped, later if they need more training than was needed by the Finns (which seems reasonable as Finland was at peace at the time).

There may be other groups being trained elsewhere.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Martin Y » Tue Dec 26, 2023 10:54 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2023 8:51 am
Looks like Ukraine took out a Russian Ropucha class landing ship overnight. Massive secondary explosions, so could be it was transporting ammunition.
Merry Christmas Ukraine. This on top of the Russian airforce dropping out of the sky, presumably struck by reindeer. They could use a run of positive news like this.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Dec 26, 2023 6:44 pm

bjn wrote:
Mon Dec 25, 2023 4:41 pm
Speculation that the SU-34s that were destroyed this week may have been downed by F-16s as opposed to Patriot traps. Anders Puck Nelson says it would look pretty much the same if F-16s did it. The Dutch delivery of F-16s was imminent, so it may have been those.

He also recounts the time he asked Ukrainian attack helicopter pilots what they most wanted, it wasn’t the latest Apaches but rather F-16s above them. Their biggest threat is from Russian jets and having F-16s in the air will providing cover force the Russians to be much more cagey about using their jets. This will give the attack helicopters much greater freedom to operate than they have now. Being able to use close air support to blunt Russian attacks, as well to support their own assaults, would be a big step up in capability.
I've not seen any evidence of F-16s in Ukraine yet, but that doesn't totally rule it out. So far it looks like they'll see service in the first half of next year, but again, there's not a huge amount of information out there and that's probably a good thing.

There's also rumours that they are getting a radar upgrade before they go, which would be a very good bit of news if true; it would allow them to operate the most advanced missile they are likely to get - late model AIM-120C AMRAAMS - to their full potential and give them more or less a level playing field against most Russian fighters. That said, don't expect to see them taking out Russian planes at the full range of their missiles, as they won't be flying high and fast enough to do so due to the threat of Russian SAMs.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Tue Dec 26, 2023 7:01 pm

The Ukrainians won’t get air superiority with F-16s, let a lone supremacy, but it will severely hamper the Russians the ability to use their warplanes to deliver dumb bombs and glide bombs, so taking pressure off the Ukrainian troops on the ground. Since the SU-34s got shot down they’ve stopped dropping glide bombs on the Dnipro bridgehead. If F-16s can do that for all active parts of the front, they don’t need to shoot down the Russian aircraft to be effective. The same way that the job of Atlantic convoy escorts in WWII was not to hunt and sink subs, but to interfere with their operation so that they were ineffective.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Dec 26, 2023 7:50 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2023 7:01 pm
The Ukrainians won’t get air superiority with F-16s, let a lone supremacy, but it will severely hamper the Russians the ability to use their warplanes to deliver dumb bombs and glide bombs, so taking pressure off the Ukrainian troops on the ground. Since the SU-34s got shot down they’ve stopped dropping glide bombs on the Dnipro bridgehead. If F-16s can do that for all active parts of the front, they don’t need to shoot down the Russian aircraft to be effective. The same way that the job of Atlantic convoy escorts in WWII was not to hunt and sink subs, but to interfere with their operation so that they were ineffective.
Absolutely. They also offer more flexible use of AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missiles, and the potential to carry a wider variety of western standoff air-to-ground munitions - though only if the yanks can be persuaded to part with them.

We've seen how effective Storm Shadow is. The Americans have a similar missile, the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile, which is roughly comparable in performance. It's in production, but more than that they've decided they need the more modern longer ranged variant in the event of war with China and are procuring masses of those, so they could absolutely spare some of the older models. The older models have a bit less range than Storm Shadow, but still plenty enough range to hit occupied parts of Ukraine, and they're already designed to be fired from F-16s. Sadly, as we've seen with the tiny supply of ATACMS provided, the USA is pretty shoddy when it comes to providing decent equipment to Ukraine and the leadership is still self-deterring, aside from issues they have with Congress.

It's increasingly clear the Novocherkassk was carrying ammunition from Russia to occupied Crimea, as the blast was so powerful it distributed chunks of ship across hundreds of metres. That suggests Russia isn't managing to move as much ammunition as they want across the Kerch Strait bridges. They are still vulnerable there, and long range missiles - which with this we've established can hit targets right under the nose of Russia's best SAM systems - can threaten that bridge. Sadly the best missiles for the job are probably Taurus - which the Germans won't send - and ATACMS - of which the Americans only sent a few older models, and despite Ukraine's skilled and successful use of them, has not sent more. The former because it has a void sensing fuse that is perfect for destroying bridges, and the latter because it gets to the target quick enough it could be used to target an ammunition or fuel train as it crosses the bridge to increase the damage inflicted.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Wed Dec 27, 2023 9:30 am

Re: the sinking of the Novocherkassk, it seems that they used 4 Storm Shadows launched from SU-24Ms after saturating Russian air defence with drones. The blast also sank one other warship in the harbour. The downing of the Russian SU-34’s likely influenced the decision to carry out the attack, as the planes launching the Storm Shadows would have been high and operating close to the front lines. That would have made them vulnerable to long range Russian air-to-air missiles. Russian reluctance to put planes in the air could have been a decisive factor in deciding to carry out the operation. Expect more of this sort of thing when the Ukranians get F-16s and the Russian Air Force tries to protect its planes.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:08 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2023 10:45 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2023 9:42 am

The first cohort of Ukrainian pilots to receive training from the Royal Air Force are now learning to fly F-16 fighter jets in Denmark, having completed a basic programme of training in the UK.

The RAF began delivering flying and English language training in August as part of the UK contribution to the international Air Force Capability Coalition for Ukraine, which sees allies and partners working together to bolster Ukraine’s air capabilities.

The group was formed of six experienced Ukrainian combat fighter pilots who received aviation-specific English language training to increase their ability to engage with coalition training and support.

A further ten Ukrainian trainee pilots took part in the language training and remain in the UK to continue with practical basic flight training, as well as to learn important skills such as aviation medicine and centrifuge training.

[…]

The programme is designed to give trainee pilots the skills required to advance to the next phase of training on fighter jets with partner nations and bring future Ukrainian pilots closer to a NATO standard approach to flying.

Pilots undergoing the basic flight training scheme are conducting practical lessons in Grob Tutor aircraft with experienced RAF instructors, learning general handling procedures, instrument flying, medium and low-level navigation, and formation flying.

Alongside the pilot training, dozens of Ukrainian aircraft technicians are also receiving English language training, geared towards engineering.

[…]

Once they have completed their training with the RAF, pilots will be trained by another European nation on advanced flying training. This will prepare them for training on the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, overseen by Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States, which lead the Air Force Capability Coalition.

The Prime Minister confirmed the UK’s intent to support the Air Force Capability Coalition earlier this year with basic training, as the UK does not operate the F-16 aircraft Ukraine has selected to develop its future air force around.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukra ... -in-the-uk
To recap, the 1990s programme for Finnish pilots to switch from Warsaw Pact fighter aircraft to NATO aircraft needed about two months for advanced language training, seven months training on F-18s and additional unspecified time (see here).

Based on that we’d be looking at these Ukrainian pilots hopefully starting instruction in Denmark or the Netherlands on F16s in January and flying combat missions in the summer or autumn of 2024. Earlier if there are parts of the course that can be dropped, later if they need more training than was needed by the Finns (which seems reasonable as Finland was at peace at the time).

There may be other groups being trained elsewhere.
Yes, looks like training of pilots will be done by August, maybe sooner.

That doesn’t mean that they’ll be flying combat missions then, as they’ll also need to train the ground crews and set up infrastructure.
Ukrainian pilots currently undergoing F-16 fighter jet training in the United States are expected to complete their training later in 2024, a U.S. Defense Department spokesperson said in a press briefing on Jan. 4, without providing the exact date.

"I would expect sometime later this year we start to see those pilots graduate," said Brigadier General Pat Ryder, adding that it will take between five to eight months to complete the training, depending on an individual pilot's skill level.

Ukrainian pilots continue their training on the aircraft with U.S. instructors at an airbase in Arizona. The Ukrainians pilots began their training in late October by learning the basics of operating F-16s in classrooms and simulators before moving on to actually flying the jets. Ryder did not comment on how far along the pilots were in their training.

Earlier on Thursday, Belgium confirmed it will send two F-16 fighter jets and 50 training personnel to Denmark from March to September to support the training of Ukrainian pilots in the country. In addition to the United States, Ukrainian pilots are undergoing or will undergo F-16 training in Romania, Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom.
https://kyivindependent.com/pentagon-uk ... d-of-2024/

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 06, 2024 1:31 pm

White House and Pentagon officials have warned that the United States will soon be unable to keep Ukraine’s Patriot batteries supplied with interceptor missiles, which can cost $2 million to $4 million apiece.
https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/06/worl ... ts-us.html

The article doesn’t say why. If it’s due to the US budget issues then it’s a political decision by Republican politicians.

However the problem could be low stocks and production. In which case it could take years to fix.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 06, 2024 7:08 pm

Danish F16s which were due to be delivered to Ukraine around now will be delayed for circa six months. This is due to a lack of trained Ukrainian ground personnel and infrastructure, and problems with the weather. I assume the latter may be connected to there not being airbases available with hangers.

Source in Danish: https://www.tv2.no/direkte/jpybz/siste- ... il-ukraina

Meanwhile, Norwegian F16s have landed in Denmark where they will begin being used to train Ukrainian pilots.
Source in Norwegian: https://www.forsvaret.no/aktuelt-og-pre ... -landet-dk

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Jan 15, 2024 8:25 am

Reports that Russia lost a very valuable A-50U AEWC aircraft yesterday, and an IL-22 was damaged but landed. It looks like the latter may have been an Il-22M command post aircraft.

It’s not confirmed that it was shot down and other explanations are possible.

https://x.com/ralee85/status/1746782431 ... 1zY-PW4R9w

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Jan 15, 2024 10:12 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2024 8:25 am
Reports that Russia lost a very valuable A-50U AEWC aircraft yesterday, and an IL-22 was damaged but landed. It looks like the latter may have been an Il-22M command post aircraft.

It’s not confirmed that it was shot down and other explanations are possible.

https://x.com/ralee85/status/1746782431 ... 1zY-PW4R9w
Now officially claimed by Ukraine.

If the plane was shot down over the Sea of Azov by a Patriot interceptor, it would have had a range of over 100km.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Imrael » Mon Jan 15, 2024 4:34 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2024 10:12 am
Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2024 8:25 am
Reports that Russia lost a very valuable A-50U AEWC aircraft yesterday, and an IL-22 was damaged but landed. It looks like the latter may have been an Il-22M command post aircraft.

It’s not confirmed that it was shot down and other explanations are possible.

https://x.com/ralee85/status/1746782431 ... 1zY-PW4R9w
Now officially claimed by Ukraine.

If the plane was shot down over the Sea of Azov by a Patriot interceptor, it would have had a range of over 100km.
Arent there S300 variants with longer range (if worse anti-missile performance)

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Jan 16, 2024 8:30 am

Some S300s do and some don’t. I’m not sure which variants Ukraine has.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Tue Jan 16, 2024 4:59 pm

Is there any news on GLSDB? What are the odds of seeing these deployed in Ukraine this year? They would allow Ukraine to hit so much harder.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Jan 16, 2024 7:59 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2024 4:59 pm
Is there any news on GLSDB? What are the odds of seeing these deployed in Ukraine this year? They would allow Ukraine to hit so much harder.
According to this, initial delivery to the US DoD in December 2023, followed by several months testing in the US before they are shipped to Ukraine.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Wed Jan 17, 2024 10:13 am

So it's looking good for 2024 then which is great news.

Given the quantity of rockets available* and range these will hopefully stretch the Russian lines and defenses beyond breaking point.

*I think I read somewhere that the US had nearly 500,000 rockets in storage that they were otherwise going to pay to have destroyed.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Jan 30, 2024 7:32 pm

Report that the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs are to arrive this week.
https://www.politico.com/news/2024/01/3 ... e-00138566

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Tue Jan 30, 2024 9:49 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2024 7:32 pm
Report that the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs are to arrive this week.
https://www.politico.com/news/2024/01/3 ... e-00138566
Image
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by FlammableFlower » Thu Feb 01, 2024 12:59 pm

Drone technology, particularly Ukraine's naval drones has reached quite a level - Russian Missile Corvette sunk

I note that what's been happening in Ukraine at a national military level is starting to percolate down to smaller groups/insurgents around the world.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Thu Feb 01, 2024 1:38 pm

Wowzers... Looks like they opened a hole with the first then popped another 1-2 drones through it afterwards (dodging gunfire on the way in). Impressive and scary stuff.

Capital ships are f.cked unless they can defend themselves against this. I expect sea based drones are much harder to detect, and pack a much bigger punch.
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