Blyatskrieg

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bjn
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:09 pm

OK I get it as a political move and I’m not doubting the efficacy of a squadron of Challenger 2s in isolation. But adding complexity to the logistics trail is a always a cost. Your quartermaster ideally likes one type of gun/tank/IFV/MRLS/etc… to feed, a crew trained on one piece of kit wants to flip to a different one of those should their current one break. For every different piece of kit you add, you all make that harder than just getting more of what you currently have. Sometimes it is worth the cost (eg HIMARs), sometimes it might not be. Germany invading Russia with over 2000 different types of transport vehicles in Barbarossa is a prime example of how not to do it.

Ideally we ship all the spare Challenger 2s we have, and probably more than that, because what else are they to be used for?

Meanwhile, mumbling from Germany about Leopards…

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ge ... 023-01-08/

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:59 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 4:28 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 4:10 pm
Ten Challenger 2s as a gateway to Abrams and Leopards
For me it's this... Germany doesn't want to be the first to supply, or enabling (via agreeing export licenses) the supply, of MBT''s. I think there are also logistical arguments about how well Ukraine will deal with western tanks.

Supplying 10 Challengers is the gateway that is needed, because based on what we know we can expect Ukraine to integrate them just fine.
The MTB train left the station months ago. Poland, Czechia, Slovenia, Morocco, even Macedonia have supplied tanks. Certainly they are Soviet pattern models. But they’re still tanks.

Given the devastating effects of the GMLRS that have been supplied I don’t buy fear of escalation at the reason for the UK or US not supplying Challengers or Abrams tanks that will be getting on for 40 years old. What do they think that Putin going to do that he hasn’t done in response to the HIMARS strikes. IMHO instead it comes down to cost effectiveness.

Of course Zelensky etc want tanks. The calculation in Whitehall is a bit different - something similar to within a budget of, say, £100 million what is the most effective aid we can give Ukraine? Things to consider would include the tanks obtained by Ukraine from other sources (including hundreds from Russia), the cost to the UK of training, ammunition and maintenance, and also the cost and time needed to replace them. That doesn’t rule out them sending them, it’s just a different way of thinking.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Mon Jan 09, 2023 8:53 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:59 pm
The MTB train left the station months ago. Poland, Czechia, Slovenia, Morocco, even Macedonia have supplied tanks. Certainly they are Soviet pattern models. But they’re still tanks.
But we're not talking about supplying soviet equalling tanks, we're talking about supplying soviet beating tanks.

Apparently in the gulf war the Iraqi T72s simply couldn't penetrate the armour of an Abrams. I'm not sure if the same is true for Leopards or if its different for possibly upgraded Russian T72s, but it seems to be the case that later era western tanks out range, out gun and out manoeuvre Russian T72s whilst keeping their crews safer, which offers a significant advantage.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Jan 10, 2023 8:13 am

TopBadger wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 8:53 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:59 pm
The MTB train left the station months ago. Poland, Czechia, Slovenia, Morocco, even Macedonia have supplied tanks. Certainly they are Soviet pattern models. But they’re still tanks.
But we're not talking about supplying soviet equalling tanks, we're talking about supplying soviet beating tanks.

Apparently in the gulf war the Iraqi T72s simply couldn't penetrate the armour of an Abrams. I'm not sure if the same is true for Leopards or if its different for possibly upgraded Russian T72s, but it seems to be the case that later era western tanks out range, out gun and out manoeuvre Russian T72s whilst keeping their crews safer, which offers a significant advantage.
Certainly they’re better and they would improve Ukrainian armed forces. I just doubt that they’d be the game changer that HIMARS is. Challenger 2s deployed to a battlefield like Bakhmut would still be vulnerable to Russian artillery and antitank missiles. In any case we are not seeing large tank versus tank battles (instead a mixture of different armoured vehicles, infantry and artillery). If they’re not a game changer like GMLRS I don’t see that the escalation risk is what’s preventing them being sent.

I haven’t mentioned Germany and Leopards. German thinking is somewhat inexplicable.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:04 pm

bjn wrote:
Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:09 pm
OK I get it as a political move and I’m not doubting the efficacy of a squadron of Challenger 2s in isolation. But adding complexity to the logistics trail is a always a cost. Your quartermaster ideally likes one type of gun/tank/IFV/MRLS/etc… to feed, a crew trained on one piece of kit wants to flip to a different one of those should their current one break. For every different piece of kit you add, you all make that harder than just getting more of what you currently have. Sometimes it is worth the cost (eg HIMARs), sometimes it might not be. Germany invading Russia with over 2000 different types of transport vehicles in Barbarossa is a prime example of how not to do it.

Ideally we ship all the spare Challenger 2s we have, and probably more than that, because what else are they to be used for?

Meanwhile, mumbling from Germany about Leopards…

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ge ... 023-01-08/
Poland's talking about Leopards a bit more too.

As for a Challenger squadron, and nonstandard kit in general, it is a problem, but it is a problem for which there are better solutions than they used to be. Ukraine's got plenty of IT experts who have been contributing in various ways, and routing ammunition to the correct units is - IIRC - an area this is occurring (don't quote me on that, I'm going on a dimly remembered article from the summer). In some ways having just one unit with something is perhaps simpler - all the ammunition for the L30 gun goes to that one squadron with the Challengers.

Interchangeability of crew is more of an issue, but given it only takes a few months at Bovington to take recruits from basic training and send them off to their units as tankers, switching from one tank to another probably isn't the biggest challenge.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:12 pm

The US is now talking about sending Strykers to Ukraine, potentially. This would be a good idea also. It is, in effect, a US/Canadian equivalent to the BTR-80 or BTR-4 that Ukraine are already familiar with, in that it is an 8x8 with enough armour to resist 14.5mm from any angle and its primary role is transporting infantry. It is, however, like a lot of American vehicles, a bit undergunned with just a .50 or an automatic grenade launcher, though 30mm armed variants exist, and there's also a 105mm armed variant that America is withdrawing that would add some fairly serious firepower to formations equipped with this sort of vehicle.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Formerly AvP » Tue Jan 10, 2023 1:23 pm

I have wondered if the 14 Challenger 2s in Poland might just possibly have been used to train Ukrainian crews already. Despatching 10 to Ukraine and retaining 4 for further training in Poland might seem a good move.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 12, 2023 9:18 am

The strange circumstances of this war are resulting in some very old kit being relevant and useful. The Iranian Shahed suicide drones - aka Shaitanmopeds - fly low and slow, almost like a first world war aircraft. At least one appears to have been downed by small arms fire, and now we're seeing old 57mm AA guns and even twin 1910 model Maxims on AA tripods with old-fashioned spider sights deployed in areas like the banks of the Kyiv reservoir.

And now Lithuania is sending Bofors guns. Specifically the L70 model rather than the L60 of WW2 fame, but fundamentally the same action, just in its immediate postwar form with a more powerful cartridge. Any system like that is likely to be useful, as it would almost certainly only take one hit to down a Shaitanmoped, and they are a slow, easy target - as much as any aerial target ever is, anyway.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Imrael » Thu Jan 12, 2023 10:59 am

The strange circumstances of this war are resulting in some very old kit being relevant and useful
Somebody - possibly even you - pointed out that using a multi million dollar patriot missile to down a 10K$ drone would eventually get problematic. I guess this is a reflection of that principle.

Its kind of looking like a rough period on the front lines for Ukraine. Likely fall of Soledar and nothing new around Kremina. Possibly hopes for a winter assault success were exagerated.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by jimbob » Thu Jan 12, 2023 11:05 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 9:18 am
The strange circumstances of this war are resulting in some very old kit being relevant and useful. The Iranian Shahed suicide drones - aka Shaitanmopeds - fly low and slow, almost like a first world war aircraft. At least one appears to have been downed by small arms fire, and now we're seeing old 57mm AA guns and even twin 1910 model Maxims on AA tripods with old-fashioned spider sights deployed in areas like the banks of the Kyiv reservoir.

And now Lithuania is sending Bofors guns. Specifically the L70 model rather than the L60 of WW2 fame, but fundamentally the same action, just in its immediate postwar form with a more powerful cartridge. Any system like that is likely to be useful, as it would almost certainly only take one hit to down a Shaitanmoped, and they are a slow, easy target - as much as any aerial target ever is, anyway.
I think it was Perun talking about Bakhmut and saying that although it might look a bit like WWI at first glance, you didn't have drones dropping grenades on the trenches.

My first thought was, ”true, but you did start with basic, almost civilian, aircraft dropping grenades on trenches and improvised air to air weapons.”
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Formerly AvP » Thu Jan 12, 2023 11:23 am

Tweet from the Office of the Polish President yesterday at 15:02, via Google translate (so it doesn't make perfect sense to me).
The Office of President. President Duda in Lviv.
The Leopard tank company to Ukraine will be handed over as part of building an international coalition. Such a decision is in Poland.
Now being covered elsewhere too.
https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireSto ... e-96365346

Refers to 'a company': 14 tanks.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 12, 2023 12:03 pm

Imrael wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 10:59 am
The strange circumstances of this war are resulting in some very old kit being relevant and useful
Somebody - possibly even you - pointed out that using a multi million dollar patriot missile to down a 10K$ drone would eventually get problematic. I guess this is a reflection of that principle.
This is true to a point, but I wish people would be more willing to express this as cost of munition vs cost of damage prevented as well.
Its kind of looking like a rough period on the front lines for Ukraine. Likely fall of Soledar and nothing new around Kremina. Possibly hopes for a winter assault success were exagerated.
There is still slow progress near Kreminna by the look of things, but it's slow. Soledar isn't a huge deal in terms of territory, the key is personnel and attrition. It's not a big place, and it is somewhat in front of where the most natural defensive line lies. I don't want to downplay the suffering or heroism of those fighting, but Soledar is being overemphasised as it is the one thing where the front line is obviously moving right now, but it isn't moving far or fast.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 12, 2023 12:06 pm

Formerly AvP wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 11:23 am
Tweet from the Office of the Polish President yesterday at 15:02, via Google translate (so it doesn't make perfect sense to me).
The Office of President. President Duda in Lviv.
The Leopard tank company to Ukraine will be handed over as part of building an international coalition. Such a decision is in Poland.
Now being covered elsewhere too.
https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireSto ... e-96365346

Refers to 'a company': 14 tanks.
Still requires German approval for re-export, hopefully this puts pressure on Germany prior to donors conference that's happening soon. Also hopefully puts pressure on the USA - the USA is the nation best supplied to supply a quantity of tanks. Ukraine, last time I checked, said they needed about three hundred more. Even if we include in that number the ninety modernised T-72s being worked on in Czechia, To achieve that with Challengers and Leopard 2s would mean taking every single non-active service example and sending it, which won't work as some will need to be cannibalised, most likely. On the other hand, if America agreed to roughly match European tank donations, enough tanks could easily be raised.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Thu Jan 12, 2023 12:17 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 12:03 pm
Imrael wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 10:59 am
The strange circumstances of this war are resulting in some very old kit being relevant and useful
Somebody - possibly even you - pointed out that using a multi million dollar patriot missile to down a 10K$ drone would eventually get problematic. I guess this is a reflection of that principle.
This is true to a point, but I wish people would be more willing to express this as cost of munition vs cost of damage prevented as well.
Also, if you are rich enough, you can afford to spend millions of dollars to take down a $10K drone.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by atled » Thu Jan 12, 2023 1:15 pm

Twitter speculation about 400+ Challenger 1 tanks in Jordan,they were modified by the Jordanains to extend their life and are being retired.
A USAF Globe Mastercargo flight from Jordan arrived at Prestwick airport in Scotland possibly with a tank onboard: Prestwick also handles military traffic.

Would the Challenger 1's be of any use?

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 12, 2023 1:41 pm

atled wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 1:15 pm
Twitter speculation about 400+ Challenger 1 tanks in Jordan,they were modified by the Jordanains to extend their life and are being retired.
A USAF Globe Mastercargo flight from Jordan arrived at Prestwick airport in Scotland possibly with a tank onboard: Prestwick also handles military traffic.

Would the Challenger 1's be of any use?
They achieved something like a 300-0 kill to loss ratio against tanks in the Gulf, though that was against older armour.

The main strength of the Challenger series is their exceptional armour, and though it isn't as advanced as the armour of a Challenger 2, a Challenger 1 still has Chobham armour, which is also found on the American Abrams series. I'm not entirely sure what upgrades the Jordanians applied, but even in the condition they were in when they left British service, they'd be more than a match for most Russian tanks, and there's capacity to improve their armour even further with slat armour, and the ubiquitous explosive-reactive armour the Ukrainians apply to everything. They've got a 120mm rifled gun that can fire an effective APFSDS round, and HESH ammunition too, which combines a general explosive effect with some armour penetration, and is particularly effective against concrete. Western tanks are also generally a bit roomier and easier to work in.

The downside would be spare parts and ammunition. The former could be cannibalised, the latter might need production to be restarted, but that is not beyond the wit of the west, so long as the will is there.

Politically, I don't see this one being easy, but *if* - if - it can be done, it would be brilliant, as there's a lot of them available and they are still a damn good tank. Provision of western tanks isn't just about technological superiority, it's about numbers too as available supplies of T-72s run out. A Challenger 1 is a better tank than a T-72, but in addition, it's more tanks, allowing Ukraine to operate more tank units, and add tanks to support units that otherwise would have had less fighting power.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Martin Y » Thu Jan 12, 2023 4:28 pm

Challenger 1 and 2 use the same gun, don't they? And I believe there is no production facility for new ammunition for that gun. The stockpiles we have were expected to last their service life.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Thu Jan 12, 2023 4:47 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 4:28 pm
Challenger 1 and 2 use the same gun, don't they? And I believe there is no production facility for new ammunition for that gun. The stockpiles we have were expected to last their service life.
Related, but not identical guns. Retasking existing machines to produce appropriate ammunition is not an impossible feat!

Due to fears about the T-72M in the Gulf War, Challenger 1s were rush-issued a new AP round. Ammunition was put into production for Gepards to cover for Swiss intransigence. Modern manufacture uses CNC machines, not row on row of shaping machines, each designed to do one step of one job. It would take a couple of months at least to train tankers from scratch - it's 20 weeks to take British tankers fresh from basic training who may not even be able to drive and train them ready to send to their units - and that's time to contract for the production of ammunition. It's also worth noting that while ammunition goes off, the L11 uses two part ammunition, which means for APFSDS, it's just the charges that need to be produced, while for HESH, the shells may need to be refilled. And yes, new ammunition would be needed to keep them in service for a while. That is not an insurmountable obstacle.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 13, 2023 7:40 am

Under a plan proposed by the U.S. weapons manufacturer Boeing and first reported by Reuters in November, the United States could provide the so-called Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) to Ukraine.

[…]

officials inside the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Air Force are concerned that the long lead time to deploy the SDB could render the weapons redundant given the fast pace of fighting in Ukraine, which has not let up in the Donbas region in towns such as Bakhmut and Soledar despite the onset of a punishing winter.

The ground-launched variant of the SDB, which is jointly produced by Boeing and the Swedish manufacturer Saab, uses a rocket motor to help launch it to altitude before gliding to its target, giving it the ability to fly around terrain or circle back to a target. GBU-39 SDBs would need to be paired with M26 rocket motors—the two main components of the GLSDB—before being used in combat, a process that would take months. But proponents of the move are worried that the dithering could slow down that process even more, pushing the timeline back for when Ukraine fields the weapon as industry waits for the Pentagon’s signoff.

“There’s like a chicken and egg problem,” said one congressional aide familiar with the debate. “It’s bureaucratic fucktardery that’s messing with it now, not political dynamics.”

Estimates vary on how long the integration could take: John Hardie and Bradley Bowman, both analysts at the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington, estimated that Ukraine could get two launchers and 24 weapons within nine months after the Pentagon approves the plan, and 12 launchers and 750 bombs by the end of 2024, without having to build new weapons but simply by integrating old ones already in U.S. stocks. But despite the long lead time, advocates argue that Russia’s invasion is likely to stretch on for months, meaning the system will still be useful when it arrives.

“Every day the Pentagon delays a decision is a day we push back when Kyiv would actually have this capability in their hands,” Bowman told Foreign Policy.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/01/12/ru ... nge-bombs/

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Jan 13, 2023 7:54 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 4:47 pm
Martin Y wrote:
Thu Jan 12, 2023 4:28 pm
Challenger 1 and 2 use the same gun, don't they? And I believe there is no production facility for new ammunition for that gun. The stockpiles we have were expected to last their service life.
Related, but not identical guns. Retasking existing machines to produce appropriate ammunition is not an impossible feat!

Due to fears about the T-72M in the Gulf War, Challenger 1s were rush-issued a new AP round. Ammunition was put into production for Gepards to cover for Swiss intransigence. Modern manufacture uses CNC machines, not row on row of shaping machines, each designed to do one step of one job. It would take a couple of months at least to train tankers from scratch - it's 20 weeks to take British tankers fresh from basic training who may not even be able to drive and train them ready to send to their units - and that's time to contract for the production of ammunition. It's also worth noting that while ammunition goes off, the L11 uses two part ammunition, which means for APFSDS, it's just the charges that need to be produced, while for HESH, the shells may need to be refilled. And yes, new ammunition would be needed to keep them in service for a while. That is not an insurmountable obstacle.
Production of 120mm ammunition for Challengers equipped with rifled guns should be ongoing. At least it was included in a big ammunition contract that BAE signed in 2020. Use in Ukraine may well require more than procured. But increasing production should be possible.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jan 13, 2023 8:04 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2023 7:40 am
Under a plan proposed by the U.S. weapons manufacturer Boeing and first reported by Reuters in November, the United States could provide the so-called Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) to Ukraine.

[…]

officials inside the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Air Force are concerned that the long lead time to deploy the SDB could render the weapons redundant given the fast pace of fighting in Ukraine, which has not let up in the Donbas region in towns such as Bakhmut and Soledar despite the onset of a punishing winter.

The ground-launched variant of the SDB, which is jointly produced by Boeing and the Swedish manufacturer Saab, uses a rocket motor to help launch it to altitude before gliding to its target, giving it the ability to fly around terrain or circle back to a target. GBU-39 SDBs would need to be paired with M26 rocket motors—the two main components of the GLSDB—before being used in combat, a process that would take months. But proponents of the move are worried that the dithering could slow down that process even more, pushing the timeline back for when Ukraine fields the weapon as industry waits for the Pentagon’s signoff.

“There’s like a chicken and egg problem,” said one congressional aide familiar with the debate. “It’s bureaucratic fucktardery that’s messing with it now, not political dynamics.”

Estimates vary on how long the integration could take: John Hardie and Bradley Bowman, both analysts at the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington, estimated that Ukraine could get two launchers and 24 weapons within nine months after the Pentagon approves the plan, and 12 launchers and 750 bombs by the end of 2024, without having to build new weapons but simply by integrating old ones already in U.S. stocks. But despite the long lead time, advocates argue that Russia’s invasion is likely to stretch on for months, meaning the system will still be useful when it arrives.

“Every day the Pentagon delays a decision is a day we push back when Kyiv would actually have this capability in their hands,” Bowman told Foreign Policy.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/01/12/ru ... nge-bombs/
It is deeply frustrating to see delays like this. The GL-SDB is an ideal weapon both for Ukraine and also for Taiwan. Meanwhile, the Russians have set up a helicopter base in Berdyansk, just a little outside the range of M30/M31 GMLRS, and continue to bypass the Kerch bridge by supplying ammunition with landing ships. We know how that went for them when Ukraine had a decent supply of Tochkas - Saratov was sunk and another such ship damaged. Ukraine needs to be able to hit positions like this helicopter base in Berdyansk and also Dzhankoi airbase, which has also seen increased activity, and is at a disadvantage for not being able to do so. There is also little excuse for not sending ATACMS, but there are other options too - the French Apache anti-runway missile would, for example, be particularly effective against airbases.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Fri Jan 13, 2023 9:41 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2023 8:04 am
It is deeply frustrating to see delays like this. The GL-SDB is an ideal weapon both for Ukraine and also for Taiwan.
It's also an ideal weapon for NATO in general - it delivers increase capability at a reduced price by reusing components already in service in a way that the sum is greater than the parts.

I'm honestly surprised this hasn't been signed off already.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jan 13, 2023 9:57 am

TopBadger wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2023 9:41 am
EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2023 8:04 am
It is deeply frustrating to see delays like this. The GL-SDB is an ideal weapon both for Ukraine and also for Taiwan.
It's also an ideal weapon for NATO in general - it delivers increase capability at a reduced price by reusing components already in service in a way that the sum is greater than the parts.

I'm honestly surprised this hasn't been signed off already.
Saab were previously talking about it being available in spring. It's been successfully test fired, and the SDB part of the combination is well proven.

f.ck it, give the Ukrainians some of the Small Diameter Bombs directly - they'll have them fired off Uragan or Smerch rockets before the Pentagon can get its sh.t together, and they'll come in handy for aircraft, too.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Jan 14, 2023 7:49 am

Regarding Soledar, there's more and more reports the Ukrainians pulled back a few days ago. That fits with everything else we've seen. Little sign of rout or disorder, no sign of encirclement on any scale. There's additional defence lines on the bluffs overlooking the town, and along the T0513 road, last I saw Ukrainian forces were holding on to Blahodatne and Krasnopolivka. Ukrainian drones continue to fly over Soledar and direct artillery, and are definitely inflicting significant casualties. Russia was first reported as attacking the eastern edge of Soledar six months and a day ago. It's a town that had, before the escalation, a population of about ten thousand. The Russian rate of advance in this period not much greater than a kilometre a month.

It's not good news that Soledar's fallen. It's not totally trivial that Soledar's fallen. But because it is the one thing measurably happening right now, it is getting treated with more significance than is appropriate by some observers and journalists.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Jan 14, 2023 9:31 am

Four Challenger 2s apparently heading to Eastern Europe immediately, with eight more to follow soon after. Curious that training's happening there rather than in the UK, given the UK's leadership in conducting training on our own soil.

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