Blyatskrieg

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bjn
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:41 pm

Looks like the US is going to sell Grey Eagle drones to the Ukraine, the US Army’s version of the Predator. 30 hour flight time, better intelligence gathering and three times the ordinance payload of a Bayraktar.

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 022-06-01/

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by jimbob » Thu Jun 02, 2022 7:42 am

bjn wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:12 pm
A somewhat odd essay with a bunch of points I disagree with (but I was only ever a part time private, never made it to colonel, so what do I know).

The Ukrainians changed training and command under NATO guidance to be more like “us”. They managed to defeat the Russians in the north and north east using mobile tactics with a command structure that delegated downwards, even if they couldn’t fully use combined arms and it was still a bit soviet at the top of the command. So in a sense “we” did beat the Russians. As for his picking on the river crossing that went wrong, in all likely hood “we” wouldn’t have tried it as we’d have better intelligence and seen it was strongly opposed.

re: the Nazis having their arses handed to them by the Russians, yes the Germans were tactically much more able, but Barbarossa was ultimately a massive logistical failure and was doomed from the start, before you even factor in Hitler’s operational and strategic stupidities. If it’s one things the Americans can do really bl..dy well, it’s logistics.

The section of force protection was interesting and I thought along those lines before. If force protection is your primary goal, why bother sending your forces into theatre in the first place.
Indeed, I have seen it claimed that the Nazis had over a thousand different TYPES of lorry for Barbarossa, and their own wargaming beforehand said that they wouldn't be able to take Moscow.

and it's the Russians who seem to be trying to emulate the Nazi approach to waging war in the area around Ukraine.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bjn » Thu Jun 02, 2022 9:04 am

Austrian Colonel Markus Reisner does a bunch of videos on the war in Ukraine, his latest goes into the current battle for the Donbass.

- the russians tried multiple river crossings, up to 9 times, and they all failed.
- Ukrainians also tried to cross the river, but also had their pontoon bridges destroyed by artillery, so they infiltrated troops over the river using small boats instead.
- it describes how the russians broke through at Popasna in the south, pinning fortified ukrainian positions with second echelon troops while using more experienced troops to break through weaker sections of the defense, then a general advance behind, a 'flower'
- the 10-15,000 Ukrainian troops in the Donbas cauldron are really stressed and morale is suffering
- the T-62 is actually useful as a mobile assault gun in the Donbas, as it's not tank on tank battles,
- T-80s are being sent in as well
- HiMARS will make a difference as it will give the Ukranians the ability to hit back hard against Russian artillery (it wasn't obvious at the time it was made that the HiMARS will be delivered)

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Jun 07, 2022 10:29 am

I've got to admit, I'm not thrilled by the messaging around the delivery of HIMARS.

It's not that there's anything wrong with sending M30/31 rockets and not sending ATACMS. M30/31 let HIMARS and M270 accurately hit out to 70-80km. It's a game changer against Russian artillery.

But by ruling out "long range missiles that can hit Russia" and publically talking about pressuring Ukraine not to hit Russian territory, Biden's painting the US into a corner. If they were now to suppy ATACMS, that will be treated as a bigger escalation than if it hadn't been initiall ruled out. It wouldn't have been too hard to say "Ukraine needs to hit at Russian artillery that is attacking their military and civilians, so we have sent them M30/M31 as that's what they need at the moment" and left it at that.

It's interesting, though, to look at the Russian response. There was all sorts of bluster and threats, and yet once it was confirmed it definitely was going ahead, suddenly they are saying that it's no more capable than Smerch/Urugan, and that it is just replacing Ukrainian losses.

Now that's not true - in terms of raw range and warhead and so on it is, Smerch and Urugan are capable systems - but the key letter in GMLRS is the G - guided projectiles completely transform the capability of MLRS.

That will also be true for the British - and potentially other nations - supply of M270, which carries two pods on a tracked chassis, where the HIMARS carries one on a wheeled chassis, the pods being identical.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Tue Jun 07, 2022 11:03 am

Taking a position which is limited to supplying weapons to Ukraine to defend it's territory rather than weapons to attack Russian territory is quite understandable.

From a defensive standpoint Ukraine only needs weaponry to push Russian units back out of artillery range of it's borders... so they only need to moderately outrange Russian guns to achieve that.

I accept that there are valid military targets much deeper inside Russia (stores, garrisons, etc), but giving the capability to hit targets far from Ukraine turns this from a war of defense into a war of NATO supported attack... and that's a different thing which will not have support at home from the supplying nations and could galvanize support for Putin within Russia.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Jun 07, 2022 3:25 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 11:03 am
Taking a position which is limited to supplying weapons to Ukraine to defend it's territory rather than weapons to attack Russian territory is quite understandable.

From a defensive standpoint Ukraine only needs weaponry to push Russian units back out of artillery range of it's borders... so they only need to moderately outrange Russian guns to achieve that.

I accept that there are valid military targets much deeper inside Russia (stores, garrisons, etc), but giving the capability to hit targets far from Ukraine turns this from a war of defense into a war of NATO supported attack... and that's a different thing which will not have support at home from the supplying nations and could galvanize support for Putin within Russia.
There's also plenty of important targets inside Ukraine but more than seventy kilometres from the frontline - supply lines, Sevastopol harbour, airfields in Crimea, one end of the Kerch Strait bridge. There's nothing wrong with seeking assurances Ukraine won't use MGM-140 on targets inside Russia, but they'd been better off just not mentioning it at all, as they've created a situation where A) The worries about perception of escalation are now bigger if they do supply it and B) They are publically seen to be pressuring Ukraine rather than backing them to the hilt at a time they need reassurance.

The M30/31 guided rockets will still be extremely useful, on the eastern, northern and southern fronts, and also against Snake Island - a handful of HIMARS or M270s could wipe out everything on Snake Island in a salvo, a process which could be repeated when necessary to prevent the Russians using it.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Tue Jun 07, 2022 3:40 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 3:25 pm

There's also plenty of important targets inside Ukraine but more than seventy kilometres from the frontline - supply lines, Sevastopol harbour, airfields in Crimea, one end of the Kerch Strait bridge.
Fair point...
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by jimbob » Wed Jun 08, 2022 3:30 pm

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/c ... home-depot

Including photos of thermal imagers for Spetsnaz troops.

Not exactly what one would expect for elite troops which have been portrayed since Soviet times as equivalent to the SAS or SEALS.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jun 08, 2022 4:49 pm

Is there a competition for silly weapon names? HIMARSE? Really?

Sorry.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jun 08, 2022 5:06 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 4:49 pm
Is there a competition for silly weapon names? HIMARSE? Really?

Sorry.
It’s like with rock bands. All the good names were picked decades ago.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:41 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 4:49 pm
Is there a competition for silly weapon names? HIMARSE? Really?

Sorry.
HIgh Mobility Artillery Rocket System is comparatively sensible compared to, say, Weapon Of Magnesium, Battalion, Anti-Tank.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by bob sterman » Wed Jun 08, 2022 8:51 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 3:25 pm
There's also plenty of important targets inside Ukraine but more than seventy kilometres from the frontline - supply lines, Sevastopol harbour, airfields in Crimea, one end of the Kerch Strait bridge. There's nothing wrong with seeking assurances Ukraine won't use MGM-140 on targets inside Russia, but they'd been better off just not mentioning it at all, as they've created a situation where A) The worries about perception of escalation are now bigger if they do supply it and B) They are publically seen to be pressuring Ukraine rather than backing them to the hilt at a time they need reassurance.
Regarding Crimea - I wonder if the Ukrainian's have been asked to give assurances that they won't use the rockets on targets inside what the majority of the international community consider to be Russia? Or inside what Russia considers to be Russia (e.g. its 22nd Republic)?

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by jimbob » Wed Jun 08, 2022 9:40 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 8:51 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 3:25 pm
There's also plenty of important targets inside Ukraine but more than seventy kilometres from the frontline - supply lines, Sevastopol harbour, airfields in Crimea, one end of the Kerch Strait bridge. There's nothing wrong with seeking assurances Ukraine won't use MGM-140 on targets inside Russia, but they'd been better off just not mentioning it at all, as they've created a situation where A) The worries about perception of escalation are now bigger if they do supply it and B) They are publically seen to be pressuring Ukraine rather than backing them to the hilt at a time they need reassurance.
Regarding Crimea - I wonder if the Ukrainian's have been asked to give assurances that they won't use the rockets on targets inside what the majority of the international community consider to be Russia? Or inside what Russia considers to be Russia (e.g. its 22nd Republic)?
Why should they?

Ukrainian forces have (justifiably) attacked logistical targets in what everyone accepts is Russia. Evan Russia didn't complain.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jun 10, 2022 7:48 am

Ukraine's MOD published this summary on twitter.

150 artillery platforms of 155 mm caliber are already in Ukraine. AHS Krabs from Poland joined M777, FH70, CAESARs, M109A3.
So, we have already 5 types of NATO-style artillery, which play a decisive role.

We received around 250 armored vehicles: M113 TM, M113 YPR-765, Bushmaster, Mastiff, Husky, Wolfhound.
And Western partners supplied us thousands of MANPADS (Stinger, Starstreak, Mistral, Piorun, Grom), ATGMs (NLAW, Javelin, Milan) and grenade launchers.

Our goals are as follows:
⚡many NATO-type MLRS;
⚡complete replacement of some Soviet-type calibers;
⚡organic units immediately ready for combat;
⚡hundreds of heavy armored vehicles;
⚡fighter jets, anti-aircraft and missile defence systems.

These requests are viable. Some, like fighter jets, will take time - more time given the timidity of western governments in the face of Russian imperialism - but many wont take that long.

Ukrainians are learning western systems fast. If you actually look at how long western troops spend training before they are able to use something like a tank or an artillery gun, it's often not as long as you might think.

To give an example; If, at the start of the main invasion, we'd taken aside some Ukrainian soldiers fresh from boot camp with no specialist knowledge or skills, and sent them to Bovington and put them through the normal, relaxed, peacetime armoured vehicle crew course, without any attempt to speed it up to meet wartime demand, they'd be >75% of the way to being qualified to operate Challenger 2 by now.

Though it's often hard to tell exactly what's going on - and for good reason - the time taken to get Ukrainian crews trained onto the m109s Norway supplied and to get them actually into the field and shelling the Russians appears to have been weeks, not months.

It's also worth noting that there are shortcuts that can be taken. HIMARS has sapphire laminate windows. This isn't necessary - in fact, judging by the details of the enormous Polish order for HIMARS, it is quite possible to put the launcher on any suitable chassis. Perhaps Ukrainian Smerch and Uragan systems could be converted, if ammunition for those old Warsaw Pact systems becomes unavailable as is feared. There's a lot of ways to potentially speed production.

There's also significant amounts of arms in storage. Spain appears to be talking about sending some older model Leopard 2s. Previously, when one nation's crossed what was thought to be a threshhold and supplied something more capable, others have followed suit. Hopefully this will spur America to dig out some of their numerous stockpile of older model Abrams. Sure, they aren't the very best, but they'll be up against mostly cold-war era tanks - T-80s, T-72s, T-64s and even T-62s.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Jun 12, 2022 9:31 pm

“This is hell on Earth,” Mace says quietly. We are watching as BM-21 Grad rockets rain down on Ukrainian positions near a village called Sviatohirsk. It’s impossible to see their individual effects amid the smoke and haze covering the densely forested hills. Standing in an observation post on high ground amid feathery grass and wild garlic, I give up on trying to count individual impacts and instead just count the salvos, timing each barrage. I witness as many as 480 rockets fired on a single position in less than a minute, followed by artillery.

Between my service in the U.S. Marines and over more than a decade as a foreign correspondent, I’ve been engaged in the professional study of organized human violence for 25 years. But I’ve never seen anything even close to this volume of artillery being unleashed.

Mace has chosen our ground well, as you’d expect from an officer in an elite reconnaissance unit. We’re in a fold of earth on a hill that gives us a clear view of the battle raging around Sviatohirsk — a quiet little village nestled among chalk hills, overlooked by a nearly 400-year-old monastery on the opposite side of the river. It lies to our left. We can also see the fighting around Lyman — a key railway junction — to our right.

What these two places have in common is they are on the Russian-occupied side of the winding Seversky Donets River, the main natural barrier to the enemy’s advance. There are tens of thousands of Russian soldiers with hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles attacking here, assaulting in a vast crescent surrounding Severodonetsk, one of the largest cities in Donbas that remained in Ukrainian hands before the invasion began in February.

Lyman is obscured by smoke from a forest fire that began amid the fighting. The white smoke of the burning trees is interlaced with dark columns rising from destroyed buildings or vehicles. The rumble of booms is almost continuous. The whump-whump-whump of artillery is punctuated by the scream of tactical ballistic missiles, and the salvos of rocket artillery make a distinctive pattering of successive concussions. Almost all of it is being fired by the Russians. The Ukrainian soldiers here have endured this maelstrom for weeks.

“Things usually start to really kick off around 3 p.m.,” Mace says. He describes what has become routine for his brigade of paratroopers: Russian scouts move forward to probe Ukrainian positions, then call in large-scale artillery strikes when they make contact. The artillery is followed by masses of armor supported by infantry. It’s classic “combined arms” warfare, and would have been as familiar to a soldier in World War II as it is to Mace.

“The biggest problem is the artillery,” Mace says. “The Russians just have so much.”
What about the long-range artillery being provided by the United States and others?
“It’s just starting to show up on the battlefield,” Mace says. But for now, “there’s just too much artillery. Too many tanks. We are fighting too hard.”

[…]

“Their actions are not as haphazard as before,” Oleksandr Motuzianyk, the spokesman for Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, tells me back in Kyiv when I ask about changing Russian tactics. “They’re using combined arms and air support more effectively.”

[…]

Slovyansk and Kramatorsk are just a few miles apart, and they have become staging areas for the Ukrainian military. They are under constant attack from Russian missiles and rockets: I am awoken throughout the night by resounding booms and constant air raids. One strike takes down the power grid and cellular networks for hours. Multiple strikes in both cities kill civilians, who refuse to leave their homes.

[…]

The commandeered building that the recon teams are using as their base is a hive of activity. There’s civilian cars and captured Russian trucks the paratroopers are trying to get back into service. Many of the vehicles sport bullet holes or other obvious battle damage.
These paratroopers receive intensive instruction — many have trained with U.S. Special Forces and other elite NATO units — and their experience is unmatched: they have been regularly rotating through Donbas since 2014. Mace suggests I speak to one of his most seasoned veterans, a hardcore fighter who has been operating in Donbas for eight years. He’s a rugged looking guy with a scratchy voice. I ask him what has changed now.

[…]

“One of the biggest problems is the drones,” says “Ostap,” the nom de guerre of the scout. “I hear Orlans [a type of Russian reconnaissance drone] all the time. But I almost never see them. They’re too small and too high. It’s next to impossible to shoot them down.”
But the defense ministry says that soldiers have shot Russian drones down in the hundreds, I say.
He shrugs. “I don’t know. I only believe what I see with my own eyes.”
A big part of the problem in defending this part of Donbas, Ostap believes, is that the people who have stayed behind — the people who haven’t fled — don’t really believe they are part of Ukraine. In his view, the civilians who remain are all separatist sympathizers. He says they help the Russians navigate backcountry roads that aren’t on the maps.
“Yeah, they’re all waiting for Russkiy mir,” Mace says, laughing when I ask his opinion about the locals. Russkiy mir, or “Russian world,” is the revanchist concept that Russia needs to restore its central role in the affairs of its neighbors, and its borders, to what they were at the height of the Soviet empire.
He asserts there have been instances of local collaborators getting caught providing information about Ukrainian troop movements or locations. Indeed, Slovyansk fell to Russian separatists in 2014: The retaking of the city by the Ukrainian military later that summer was the first major battle in Donbas.
“Almost everyone here is pro-Russian. But you can’t arrest people just for that,” Mace says. In any case, the police and the SBU —Ukraine’s internal security service — were doing what they could. “The SBU even arrested a couple of people in our brigade,” he says.

[…]

“The problem is that we don’t have enough well-trained people,” he says. “The Territorial Defense Forces [volunteers called up for the current crisis, often with minimal training and equipment] will go to their trenches, and as soon as they see an enemy tank, they fill the radio net with panicked chatter and then run away, abandoning their positions.”
He shakes his head grimly: “We need quality, not quantity. The opposite of the Russians.”
As we dash through the forest, we happen upon a Ukrainian unit using an intersection as a staging area, they gather in a small clearing next to a large oak tree. They’re in a mix of uniforms, some are even wearing articles of civilian clothing. Most of them are standing in front of a prisoner.
The prisoner is on his knees, blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back. He’s wearing the distinctive uniform of Russian infantry. Because of Mace’s dedication to fast driving, I don’t process what I’ve seen until we pass. “A Russian prisoner!” Even as the words leave my mouth, a single gunshot cracks out.
I whip around to look back over my shoulder at the scene through the rear window as we turn left, praying I am not witness to a war crime.
There is no evidence of widespread abuse of prisoners of war by Ukrainian forces, but there are several ongoing criminal investigations into isolated incidents in which Russian prisoners appear to have been tortured or even executed.

The military here has more than doubled since Russia’s invasion in late February. More than 700,000 Ukrainians are now under arms, and perhaps only one-third of those have received anything resembling professional military training. But there is no shortage of hatred on the battlefield. Only days before, I attended a Defense Ministry briefing, unveiling a series of online videos designed to ensure Ukrainian soldiers understood the laws of war.
“Sometimes we face skepticism, people say, ‘Well, the Russians don’t obey the rules of war. Why should we?’” said Col. Viacheslav Rachevskiy, the officer conducting the briefing. “But it is about being a civilized army.”
Ukraine can’t afford to let untrained soldiers jeopardize Western support, and it wants to highlight that it takes the issue seriously. The moral high road is as much an asset in this fight as any weapon system. Ukraine has worked to codify the laws of war into the Ukrainian criminal code, to bring the country in line with the generally accepted norms of international humanitarian law, according to Rachevskiy. “It’s the sign of a European, modern democratic army,” he said.
When I look back, the prisoner is still on his knees: He’s talking. He appears alive and unharmed. I don’t see anyone pointing a weapon at him. What did I hear? An accidental discharge? A celebratory gunshot? A mock execution? There is no way to know.

[…]

Less than 30 minutes into the drive, Sasha opens up suddenly and unexpectedly. What he reveals is chilling, and indicative of how bad things have gotten in Donbas.
“I nearly beat to death one of the men in my unit,” he confides. “We were in trenches on the front lines. He was using his cellphone.”
Sasha breathes heavily.
“The Russians tracked his signal and located our position. He called his mom for 15 minutes, then his wife for 15 minutes … and then his girlfriend for almost two hours. They bombarded us all night. That’s why I beat him.”
Later, he tells us more about the front.
“We lost six men on our first patrol,” he says. “Six out of 10. They were all my friends.”
He breaks down and begins to cry.
Sasha eventually admits that he has been given leave to go to a hospital to seek therapy, for what soldiers a century ago would have called shell shock and what we now call PTSD. He has been given 10 days to recover from his battlefield trauma and return to his unit.
When we have a chance to talk alone, he shows me videos of his wedding in October. He tells me he is scared to talk to his family about his experiences. Sasha doesn’t want to return to combat. All he can think about are the soldiers who were killed on his first patrol.
“Those six men were my friends, they were my brothers, and I love them very much,” he says. “I can’t just leave them behind. I will always carry them with me.”
He looks down, overcome with emotion.
“What is in my heart is that I never wish to see Donbas again in the future. Nothing you do there makes any difference.”
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Mon Jun 13, 2022 9:39 am

I don't know about hundreds of Orlans being shot down, but it's certainly many dozens. There's fifty seven Orlan-10 Recon drones documented by Oryx, and Oryx is always going to be an undercount, perhaps especially with aircraft - an Mi-28, for example, was added to the list yesterday after Ukrainian troops reached the crash site, but had been shot down some time earlier.

Broken record here, but the west needs to be sending as much anti-drone equipment as possible. I'm pleased to see the UK doing a fair bit here, committing an anti-drone radar recently, and sending LMM Martlet, which appears to be effective against drones where other MANPADs would struggle to lock on.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Jun 13, 2022 9:58 pm

Ukrainian shopping list:
Being straightforward – to end the war we need heavy weapons parity:

1000 howitzers caliber 155 mm;
300 MLRS;
500 tanks;
2000 armored vehicles;
1000 drones.

Contact Group of Defense Ministers meeting is held in #Brussels on June 15. We are waiting for a decision.
https://twitter.com/podolyak_m/status/1 ... nUSf9YQ_Rg

Most of that could only realistically come from the US.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Tue Jun 14, 2022 10:05 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Jun 13, 2022 9:58 pm
Ukrainian shopping list:
Being straightforward – to end the war we need heavy weapons parity:

1000 howitzers caliber 155 mm;
300 MLRS;
500 tanks;
2000 armored vehicles;
1000 drones.

Contact Group of Defense Ministers meeting is held in #Brussels on June 15. We are waiting for a decision.
https://twitter.com/podolyak_m/status/1 ... nUSf9YQ_Rg

Most of that could only realistically come from the US.
Half the tanks could come from European nations that have supplied/expressed willingness to supply arms to Ukraine without a single active duty tank being removed from any European army. Most would be Leopard 2A4s - more capable than the overwhelming majority of vehicles already in action in the war - while a few would be Leopard 1s upgraded at the end of the Cold War, still probably better than the T-62 and useful for covering second-line roles to free up frontline tanks.

The US could also pretty easily supply three-figure numbers of older model Abrams, though it would take a while to get them across the Atlantic.

I've not time to dig into the other requests, but this list does not look like a "Ukraine cannot win without provision of the following", it looks like "Ukraine, if provided with this, would win quite quickly and with minimal risk". That is enough to equip multiple armoured/mechanised corps, let alone divisions or brigades. It would like give Ukraine a substantial advantage in the numbers of those types of equipment, even with Russia digging into deeper reserves.

It's worth remembering Ukraine is continuing to inflict multiple to one ratios of destruction on Russian equipment (and by our best guesses, the personnel figures are similar). Going by Oryx's numbers, Russian losses are four times Ukrainian losses when it comes to tanks, more than six to one on IFVs, two to one on towed artillery, three to one on self propelled artillery and four to one on MLRS.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:34 am

I'm getting sick of this "bUt WOuLd tHEy kNow HOw tO/Be aBLE to uSE iT?" meme regarding supply of more advanced and capable weapons to Ukraine.

They aren't f.cking neanderthals. They have a capable military, and had a domestic arms industry producing fairly advanced arms before the war escalated this February. They have successfully used Starstreak - a difficult missile to master - and Brimstone, they quickly took the M109, a vehicle as complicated as a tank, and got it into frontline service.

And when it comes to training up and equipping the hundreds of thousands of volunteers willing to fight for Ukraine, there isn't any need to stick to old Warsaw Pact kit - if they are going to learn, it may as well be on something good. The German idea of sending Marders to Greece in exchange for Greece sending ancient BMP-1s to Ukraine - apparently they can only spare 30 BMPs anyway - is patronising, stupid and counterproductive. Ukraine has much more need for the more capable Marder, which could just be sent directly.

Likewise American comments about sending more HIMARS once Ukraine's proven they can use them - they've already used GMLRS in the form of the BM-30 derived Vilkha - the problem is they need more systems. GMLRS is not a concept unfamiliar to the Ukrainian military. Sending four launchers, and then following up means a delay of weeks before the next tranche arrive while crews are trained. That delay will have a price measured in lives.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:15 pm

Latest US tranche of aid includes Harpoons and HIMARS ammunition, as well as some other things.

The Russians have re-established their positions on Snake Island, either as a staging ground for an eventual attack on Odesa, to maintain their blockade on Ukrainian exports, notably including a significant amount of grain needed in other countries, or to act as a forward AA position to defend occupied-Sevastopol.

Harpoons and HIMARS may cause them to regret the decision to go back to Snake Island. Harpoons - even the least capable versions - can threaten any ship re-supplying or defending the island, whereas HIMARS can saturate the place with accurate rocket fire, and almost certainly overwhelm the air defences.

For context, a battery of four HIMARS could land twenty four guided rockets on the island, all landing in the space of less than a minute. Few air defence systems, save those of modern AA destroyers, would have a chance at stopping all of them. A salvo like that, if using the cluster warhead, could effectively destroy everything on the island.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Fri Jun 17, 2022 10:14 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:15 pm
For context, a battery of four HIMARS could land twenty four guided rockets on the island, all landing in the space of less than a minute.
Or two M270 MLRS - given it can carry 2x the pods of HIMARS... The UK is sending them three M270's, as is Germany, whereas US sending four HIMARs. So in this sense, Ukraine is receiving more MLRS based fire capacity from UK or Germany than the US - which surprises me given that the US has a lot more of these systems (around 220) than the UK or Germany does (each have around 40).

Hopefully they're salami slicing and more will follow - along with longer range missiles.
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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jun 17, 2022 10:51 am

TopBadger wrote:
Fri Jun 17, 2022 10:14 am
EACLucifer wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:15 pm
For context, a battery of four HIMARS could land twenty four guided rockets on the island, all landing in the space of less than a minute.
Or two M270 MLRS - given it can carry 2x the pods of HIMARS... The UK is sending them three M270's, as is Germany, whereas US sending four HIMARs. So in this sense, Ukraine is receiving more MLRS based fire capacity from UK or Germany than the US - which surprises me given that the US has a lot more of these systems (around 220) than the UK or Germany does (each have around 40).

Hopefully they're salami slicing and more will follow - along with longer range missiles.
That's how it went with M113 and M777. The US reportedly wants Ukraine to prove they can make good use of them before sending more.

Which is extremely patronising, and will result in more Ukrainian soldiers and civilians being killed. Ukraine already has a GMLRS platform - Vilkha - but the problem is it was new, and both launchers and ammunition are either in very short supply or depleted entirely. They know what to do, and M270/HIMARS aren't necessarily the most difficult systems anyway. As far as I can tell, it's type in the coordinates of where you want to hit so the missiles know where to go and the launcher knows what trajectory to start them off on, and push the big red firing lever. It's used by reservists in the states.

That said, the firepower available from a single M270 is simply absurd. Back when they were used with unguided cluster rockets, they were nicknaked Grid Square Removal Systems, and their "Steel Rain" achieved a frightening reputation in the Gulf War. Guided rockets have only increased that, and a single M270 can easily launch enough guided rockets to overwhelm most anti-missile defences, and now out to a range of 70-80km.

One thing I have been wondering, though, is how to step up production in general of what Ukraine needs. There's options out there that I hope are being considered.

They are facing shortages of 152mm ammunition, and worn out 152mm gun barrels. Would it be possible to replace those worn out guns with 155mm, but then send them to a western country with decent heavy industry and rebarrel them/reline the barrels into 155mm?

And what weapons that the west has in good supply can be mounted on either available military vehicles, or all-terrain civilian vehicles? A good example of this being done is the Brimstone Technical. Brimstone doesn't need line of sight, so the launcher is less likely to need armour. Brimstone missiles might not be available in such numbers, but Hellfires are. Ground launched, they can hit out to 7km or possibly more, a longer range than the highly successful Stugna-P. Ukraine needs IFVs - vehicles that can transport infantry and then offer fire-support at range while the infantry fight on foot - and the most available vehicle to donate appears to be the M113, an APC that can transport infantry, but can't offer much fire support. Would adding a launcher for Hellfire or APKWS - a 70mm rocket converted to laser guidance with the addition of a distributed aperture seeker - turn an M113 into an ersatz IFV? It's worth trying.

And for longer range fires, if enough M270 and HIMARS can't be found to launch M30/31 guided rockets, could the launcher from a HIMARS go onto a different truck bed? Or, given that six guided rockets really is an enormous amount of firepower, would it be possible to mount one or two launch tubes for M30/31 onto a much smaller vehicle? The range of these projectiles means awkwardness like having to align the vehicle to do all but fine tune the launch wouldn't be a problem, if a fully rotating launcher proved impossible, and the expectation of use with M30/31 guided rockets means the train and elevation of the launcher don't need to be quite so precise as for systems originally designed for unguided rockets.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jun 17, 2022 10:58 am

Another one to consider. Given that the Ukrainian Air Force is flying brave, dangerous missions in helicopters and SU-25s, only to lob unguided S-8 rockets in the general direction of the target due to a lack of precision air-to-ground munitions, and given that the guidance system of the APKWS conversion kits has successfully demonstrated on rockets other than the Hydra-70 it was designed for, is there any possibility of using that system to convert S-8 rockets into laser guided rockets, which would radically increase the effectiveness of these missions.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by EACLucifer » Fri Jun 17, 2022 11:05 am

Looks like they are going for Snake Island again. Ukraine reports striking a Russian ship - a supply ship rather than a surface combatant - with Harpoon missiles nearby. Unlike claims re: Admiral Makarov, there's footage of the hits.

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Re: Blyatskrieg

Post by TopBadger » Fri Jun 17, 2022 11:08 am

EACLucifer wrote:
Fri Jun 17, 2022 10:51 am

That said, the firepower available from a single M270 is simply absurd. Back when they were used with unguided cluster rockets, they were nicknamed Grid Square Removal Systems.
Yep - when I was a younger man who was thinking about joining the regs I got to see a fire power demonstration from Royal Artillery - so I've seen an MLRS turn a grid square (that's 1km x 1lkm for those reading not in the know) to dust as the finale of the demo. Scary stuff to be on the receiving end of.

What was also impressive were the parachute artillery guys... pushing a 105mm light gun out of the back of a low flying Hercules and then jumping behind it... I think they had it set up and firing on target in under 5 mins of leaving the aircraft.
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