This article was written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/making-sense-of-the-russian-naval-task-force-off-the-coast-of-syria/
The AngloZionst Empire’s propaganda machine, otherwise known as the corporate media, has had great difficulties deciding what it should say about the Russian naval task force which has been sent to Syria. The Americans have decided to express their usual contempt for anything Russian and describe this force as centered on the “geriatric” aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, while the Brits chose to describe it as a formidable “armada” about to completely obliterate the moderate terrorists in Syria.
My friend Alexander Mercouris has recently written a superb analysis explaining that, in reality, this task force was neither geriatric nor that formidable. Rather than repeating it all here, I prefer to write what I will consider a follow-up to this excellent piece with a few more details added to it. The first step will be to debunk a few fundamental misconceptions.
Let’s begin by the Russian aircraft carrier.
The “Heavy Aircraft-Carrying Cruiser Admiral of the Soviet Fleet Kuznetsov”
Did you know that the Russian don’t even call the Admiral Kuznetsov an aircraft carrier. The official designation of the Kuznetsov is “Heavy Aircraft-Carrying Cruiser”. It is important to understand why.
What is, in your opinion, an aircraft carrier? Or, let me put it this way, why does the United States maintain a force of 10-12 heavy aircraft carriers? If you believe Ronald Reagan, it is to “forward deploy” and bring the war to the Soviets (that was, then, the rationale for a 600 ship navy and US carriers in the northern Atlantic). Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that US, British, French aircraft carriers are a colonial rule enforcement tool. You park one or two aircraft carrier battle groups a few hundred miles from a disobedient country, and you bomb the shit out of it until it rolls over. That is, in reality, the only rationale for these immense structures. And the beauty of it is that you can threaten most of the planet and that you do not depend on allies agreeing to your mission. So, we can say that US and other western aircraft carriers are a long range power projection capability to be used against weak and poorly defended countries.
Why weak and poorly defended only?
Here is the ugly secret that everybody knows: aircraft carriers cannot be defended against a sophisticated enemy. Had the Cold War turned hot, the Soviets would have simultaneously attacked any US carrier in the north Atlantic with a combo of
- Air launched cruise missiles
- Submarine launched cruise missiles
- Surface ship launched cruise missiles
- Submarine launcher torpedoes
I cannot prove the following, but I can just testify that I had plenty of friends in the US military, including some who served on US aircraft carriers, and they all understood that US carriers would never survive a Soviet saturation attack and that in case of a real war they would have been kept away from the Soviet shores. I will only add here that the Chinese apparently have developed specialized ballistic missiles designed to destroy carrier battle groups. That was then, in the early 1990s. Nowadays even countries like Iran are beginning to develop capabilities to engage and successfully destroy US carriers.
The Soviets never built any real aircraft carriers. What they had were *cruisers* with a very limited amount of vertically launched aircraft and, of course, helicopters. These cruisers had two main purposes: to extend the reach of the Soviet air defenses and to support a landing of a force from the sea. One very special feature of these aircraft carrying Soviet cruisers is that they had very large (4,5-7 tons) cruise missiles designed to strike at a high-value enemy ships, including US aircraft carrier. You can read up on the “Kiev-class” aircraft carrying cruiser here. Another key characteristic of these Soviet aircraft-carrying cruisers is that they carried a rather lame aircraft, the Yak-38 which was plagued by problems and would have been a very easy target for US F-14. F-15, F-16 or F-18. For that reason, the Kiev-class air-defenses were centered on its surface-to-air missiles and not on its complement of aircraft. By time the Kuznetsov was built, the Soviet had developed aircraft which were at least equal, if not superior, to their western counterparts: the MiG-29 and, especially, the SU-27. And that gave some of them the idea to build a “real” aircraft carrier.
The decision to built the Kuznetsov was an extremely controversial one which faced a lot of opposition. The Kuznetsov’s “selling points” were that she was a much superior air defense platform, that she could carry vastly superior aircraft and, last but not least, that she could compete for prestige with the US heavy aircraft carriers, especially the planned but never built nuclear-powered follow-on generation. I find that argument wholly unconvincing and nowadays I am pretty confident that most Russian naval force planners would agree with me: Russia does not need US-style aircraft carriers and if she needs any aircraft carriers at all, then they would have to be designed around a *Russian* mission requirement and not just to copy the Americans.
[Sidebar: I would love to get on my favorite soapbox and tell you all the bad things I think about aircraft carriers in general and why I think that the Russian Navy should be submarine and frigate centered, but this would take up too much space. I will just say that I much rather have many frigates or corvettes than a few heavy cruisers].
So the Kuznetsov ended up being a mega-compromise and, as compromises go, a pretty good one. Think of it: even though the Kuznetsov packs 12 massive Granit anti-ship missiles, it has, at least potentially, a complement of aircraft bigger than the French Charles de Gaulle (50 vs 40). Initially, the Kuznetsov carried 12 pure air to air SU-33, but now these will be gradually replaced with 20 much more modern MiG-29K and its 24 Ka-27 helicopters will be replaced by the most advanced reconnaissance and attack helicopter on the planet, the Ka-52K. The Kuznetsov still has two major weaknesses: a frankly dated propulsion (see the Mercouris article) and a lack of on-board AWACs aircraft. The latter is a direct consequence of the design philosophy of the Kuznetsov which was never designed to operate much beyond 500-1000km from the Russian border (again, the crucial roughly under 1000km Russian force planning philosophy).
To sum this all up: the Kuznetsov is a fine aircraft carrier which nevertheless reflects a compromise design philosophy and which was never intended to project Russian power at long distances the way western, especially US, carriers have.
Now let’s turn to the rest of this Russian naval task force
The rest of the Russian naval task force around the Kuznetsov
One big name immediately stands out: the Heavy Nuclear Rocket Cruiser Peter the Great.
This is one heavy beast and currently the most heavily armed ship on the planet. I won’t even go into all the details here, check this article for a list of armaments if you are interested, suffice to say here that this battlecruiser can do everything: anti-air, anti-ship, anti-submarine. She is packed with top of the line sensors and advanced communications. Being the flagship of the Northern Fleet she is also the de-facto flagship of the entire Russian Navy. Last, but not least, the Peter the Great carries a formidable array of 20 Granit anti-ship missile. Please note that the combined firepower of Granit anti-ship missiles of the Kuznetsov and Peter the Great is 12+20 for a total of 32. I will explain why this important below.
The rest of the task force is composed of two Large Antisubmarine Ships (destroyers in western terminology), the Vice-Admiral Kulakov and the Severomorsk, and a number of support vessels. The Kulakov and the Severomorsk are based on the Udaloy design and are modern and all-around capable combat ships. All these ship will soon merge into one force, including two small missile ships (corvettes in western terminology) which carry the famous Kalibr cruise missiles and which specialize in attacking surface ships. Finally, though this will not be advertised, I believe that this task force will include at least two Akula-class nuclear attack submarines, one Oscar-II cruise missile submarine (armed with another 12 Granit cruise missiles) and several Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines.
To sum this all up.
The Russian naval task force is a Russian attempt to bring together a number of ships which were never designed to operate as a single naval task force far away from Russia. If you want, it is clever Russian “hack”. I would argue that it is also a rather successful one as this task force as a whole is a very impressive one. No, it cannot take on all of NATO or even the USN, but there are a number of things which it can do very effectively.
Now we can turn to the big question,
What can the Russian naval task force in Syria really do?
Before looking at the bigger picture, there is one detail which I think deserves to be mentioned here. Just about every article I read about the Granit cruise missile says that it is an anti-ship cruise missile. I also wrote that above in order to keep things simple. But now I have to say that the Granit probably always had a “B” mode, “B” as in “beregovoy” or, if you prefer, “coastal” or “land” mode. I don’t now whether this mode existed from day 1 or whether it was added later, but it is now certain that the Granit has had such a mode. It was probably a fairly minimalistic capability, without fancy guidance and other tricks (which the Granit has in its main anti-ship mode), but the Russians have recently revealed that the upgraded Granits now have a *real* (“complex”) land attack capability. And that requires a totally new look at what that means for this task force. This is what we know about the new and improved Granit (which the Russians refer to as 3M45):
- Mass: 7 tons
- Speed: Mach 1,5-2
- Range: 500-600km
- Warhead: 750kg (conventional and nuclear capable)
The Granit is also capable of some very advance things, including having one missile flying at 500m or higher to detect the target and the rest of them skimming the surface while receiving the data from the high-flying one. These missiles are also capable of automatically attacking from different directions to better overwhelm air defenses. They can fly as low as 25m and as high as 17’000m. What this all means is that these Granits missiles are very capable tactical-operational range missiles of their own right. And considering that there are at the very least 32 such missiles in the Russian task force (46 if a Oscar-II class sub is also present), that means that this task force has a tactical missile firepower similar to an entire rocket brigade! Should things go very wrong, this task force could not only seriously threaten any USN/NATO surface ship withing 500km of Syria, but also every single city or military base in this range. I am rather surprised that the western fear-mongers missed this one because it ought to scare NATO pretty badly :-)
To be honest here, some specialists are expressing big doubts about the land-attack capabilities of the Granit. Everybody knows that these are relatively old and very expensive missiles, but nobody knows how much effort was really put in their modernization. But even if they are not nearly as capable as advertised, the fact that 32 to 46 of such missiles we be sitting just off the Syrian coast will be a formidable deterrent because nobody will never know what these missiles can do until they really do it.
The combined capabilities of the Russian naval task force and the S-300/S-400 missiles deployed in Syria give the Russians a world-class air-defense capability. If needed the Russians could even throw in A-50 AWACs from Russia protected by MiG-31BMs. What most observers do not realize that is that SA-N-6 “Grumble” which forms the core of the air defenses of the Peter the Great is a S-300FM, the modernized naval variant of the S-300. It is also capable of the amazing Mach 6 speed, has 150km range, an added infrared terminal capability, a track-via-missile guidance system which allows it to engage ballistic missiles and an altitude envelope of 27’000m. And, guess what – the Peter the Great has 48 such missiles (in 20 launchers), roughly the equivalent of 12 S-300 batteries (assuming 4 launchers per battery).
One of the major weaknesses of the Russian deployment in Syria has been the relative low number of missiles the Russians could fire at any one time. The US/NATO could simply saturate Russian defenses with large numbers of missiles. Frankly, they can still do it, but this has now become much, much harder.
Can the Russians now stop a US attack on Syria?
But they can make it much harder and dramatically less effective.
First, as soon as the Americans fire, the Russians will see it and they will warn the Syrian and Russian armed forces. Since the Russians will be able to track every US missile, they will be able to pass on the data to all the air defense crews who will be ready by the time the missiles arrive. Furthermore, once the missiles get close, the Russians will be able to shoot down a lot of them, making necessary for the Americans to conduct battle damage assessment from space and then re-strike the same targets many times over.
Second, stealth or no stealth, I don’t believe that the USN or the USAF will risk flying into Russian controlled airspace or, if it does, this will be a short-lived experiment. I believe that the Russian presence in Syria will make any attack on Syria a “missile only” attack. Unless the Americans take down the Russian air defenses, which they could only if they want to start WWIII, US aircraft will have to stay outside the Syrian skies. And that means that the Russians have basically made their own no-fly zone over Syria and that a US no-fly zone is now impossible to achieve.
Next, the Kuznetsov will be brining a number of fixed and rotary wing aircraft including 15-20 Ka-27 and Ka-52K helicopters, and 15-20 SU-33K and MiG-29K (I don’t think there has been an official figure announced). What the Russians have said is that the fixed wing aircraft will be upgraded to be able to attack ground targets. Will all that make a difference? Maybe, on the margins. It will definitely help dealing with the expected influx of moderate terrorists coming from Mosul (courtesy of the US operation to flush them down to Syria), but the Russians could have simply moved more SU-25 or even SU-34 to Khmeimin or Iran at a much smaller cost. Thus in terms of its air-wing, I fully agree with Mercouris – this will be mainly a real-life training opportunity and not a game changer.
This deployment is highly uncharacteristic of what the Russians have been training for. They have basically found a way to reinforce the Russian contingent in Syria, especially against Hillary’s “no fly zone” nightmare. However, this is also case of making virtue out of necessity: the operation in Syria was always too far from the Russian border and the Russian force in Syria always to small for its task. Furthermore, this deployment is not sustainable in the long term, and the Russians know it. They have successfully imposed a “Yankee no fly zone” over Syria long enough for the Syrian to take Aleppo and for the Americans to vote for their next President. After that, the situation will either get dramatically better (Trump) or dramatically worse (Hillary). Either way, the new situation will require a completely different Russian strategy.
PS: I am aware of the semi-official Russian announced plans to build a modern aircraft carrier, probably a nuclear one, with catapults and all. For whatever it’s worth, I am very much opposed to this idea which I find wasteful and which does not fit the Russian defense doctrine. The new generation of Russian subs (SSNs and SLBMs), however, gets my standing ovation.
The following Pentagon plan from 1992 explains why the US empire is waging war against Russia.
“Excerpts From Pentagon’s Plan: ‘Prevent the Re-Emergence of a New Rival’
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.
the U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. Second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role. An effective reconstitution capability is important here, since it implies that a potential rival could not hope to quickly or easily gain a predominant military position in the world.
access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil;”
In 2009 the EU think tank ISS announced the current war against Russia and the motives for it:
“Hard power politics – Clausewitzian influence over alienated state regimes. Some alien-
ated regimes will still exist in 2020 – the key uncertainty here being the Kremlin. If so, we will need to retain a capability to meet their deliberate challenges to our vision of the world. This will require hard military power, but also an increased focus on asymmetrical forms of destruction, notably in the cybersphere. This is of major concern to the East-
ern members of the EU, and if the ESDP is unable to provide this then they will turn to NATO or directly to the US.”
“While jihadi militias pursue their military offensive launched on the weekend in Aleppo, the German government is increasing its pressure on Russia.”
an open letter to the members of unesco including those arab nations that seek to deny judaisms connection to jerusalem and the temple mount.
jerusalem and the temple mount are not yours to vote on,not your history to vote on.remember carefully the words of zechariah as mentioned every succot.3 companions,7 falling stars,the earth shall open,an ancient stream shall flow again.
God is not only yours – nor is Jerusalem. Jews are not the master race.
Your pseudo-religious fundamentalism is showing.
The irony is that you probably are an anti-Arab antisemite.
Your quote from the book of tribal, desert warlord conflicts of a few thousand years ago is stale and unconvincing.
I do not know what Zack was smoking but Trump is a Carl Jung of mental health compared to whoever authored that hash-inspired bad trip of hackneyed imagery: ‘Falling stars’, ‘opening earth’ and ‘ancient streams flowing again’.
Perhaps the availability of Viagra for such ‘prophets’ would have spared us a few thousand years of bad hymns and psychotic believers such as yourself.
Buddy, the messiah came and went. Sorry you missed him. Everything else is remorse and retribution.
Some people never get over missing out on a good deal.
The Jews love to talk about the part where the land from the river to the sea was promised to them by god. What they always leave out is the part where god to them to leave and not to come back until he invited them back, which he hasn’t done.
“This will be the first ever combat deployment of Admiral Kuznetsov and the battlecruiser – the largest surface ship in the world, excluding aircraft carriers. Deployed near the Syrian shore, the multi-mission naval group will beef up the air strike power by increasing the number of jets and provide extra capabilities to counter air and submarine threats. Sea-based MIG-29K warplanes will also go through their first combat trial.
The carrier’s naval aircraft may test the new X-38 missiles in combat action. Unlike NATO ships of the same type, Admiral Kuznetsov is well armed with anti-ship, air defense, artillery and anti-submarine warfare systems. Russia is the only country in the world with such a heavily armed aircraft carrier, which does not need many escort ships – it can defend itself against a wide range of threats. More importantly, when the battle group reaches Syria, the Russian Navy will rival the firepower of the US Sixth Fleet in the region.
Few nations in the world possess the capability to deploy an aircraft carrier group at great distances from their shores. It makes Russia a member of the elite club to include the US and France and, to a limited extent, India and China. Some countries have amphibious and other air-capable ships, that can launch some aircraft, but they are no match for aircraft carriers.
Other nations will closely watch the Admiral Kuznetsov’s performance. India will reportedly shortly announce a tendering procedure for building its fourth aircraft carrier. This year, the Krylov State Research Centre, a Russian shipbuilding institute, held talks with Indian partners about eventually buying a version of Moscow’s future nuclear-powered carrier, known as Project 23000E.
The project was first revealed to the public in June at the Army-2015 show near Moscow, where a scale model of the ship was exhibited. Russia will have many more chances if Admiral Kuznetsov and its sea-borne aircraft prove to be effective in combat conditions. If signed, the deal will become a boon for Russia’s ship-building industry.”
The Granits missiles from Kuznetsov has been already removed to accommodate more air assets.
My information is that such a swap (missiles for space) is planned, but that it has not been made yet.
No; the redeployment kaboshed Adm. Kuznetsov’s refit short, unfortunately.
Hopefully some improvements were made to on-board living conditions as the crew will need high morale. On the other hand, shore leave on sunny Syrian beaches would make up for a lot of shipboard discomforts.
Ironically, this rusting wonder would probably survive the unlikely hot war with NATO on the Mediterranean while the shiny newer NATO carriers become radioactive reefs.
Surely the advisability of a true aircraft carrier would depend on geopolitical considerations. Granted that Russian doctrine is to focus almost entirely on defence of the homeland, we see today that the Russian government sees fit to devote substantial resources to the war in Syria. This was not really something they chose – more something that was forced on them. Moreover, the Americans no doubt calculated that the Russians would not intervene, that Assad would go down, and the terrorists could then move on to the Caucasus and infiltrate Russia and China. Preventing that was vitally important.
If having one or more true aircraft carriers makes it easier (or even possible) to win any future wars in the Mediterranean, or around the coasts of Russia, surely that would be an acceptable price to pay.
Carriers are obsolete, and they cost too much. Quantity is better
Especially when “quantity” is asymetrical: effective, deadly, and costs pennies on the dollar compared to a carrier. That’s smart.
” I will just say that I much rather have many frigates or corvettes than a few heavy cruisers.”
Worked well against the Bismark and I think it would still work against aircraft carriers.
How does the planned base at Sidi Barrani fit in with this naval excursion? Certainly if a naval base were to built at Sidi Barrani it would help the Russians establish their naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.
I think the Russians will do a lot for the Egyptians to accommodate their desire to open a base at Sidi Barrani.
If you look at the geography of the eastern half of the Mediterranean sea, their current presence in Tartus and Latakia only covers the north eastern corner of the MS. One of the cardinal reasons they have intervened in Syria and one of chief reasons for Russia’s large naval presence in the eastern MS is to preclude a surprise attack by US with Tomahawk missiles on southern Russia. US will never use the Black See for any conceivable real war scenario, and likely the Greeks will prevent them from using the Aegean See too to stage an attack against Russia. That leaves the US sixth fleet the portion located just south of the island of Crete, north of Egypt and just east of Sicily as staging area for an Tomahawk attack on Russia proper. Block III has range of 1,300km and Block IV has range of 1,700 which could reach Crimea and northern Caucasus region if lunched from that area.
In this context having a few anti submarine ships, a few sub hunting helicopters and a few planes armed with Kh-35 anti ship missiles in standby mode stationed at Sidi Barrani would go along way into keeping the US sixth fleet at bay and neutralizing any attack commencing from that region. For that Sidi Barrani, located in the north eastern corner of Egypt would be of paramount importance to the Russians, especially now that they have lost access to Libya’s cost line.
Great analysis. What’s the timing on this? How long will it take for this fleet to arrive and put themselves into position? Is is possible for the US to impose their own no-fly zone before they arrive?
Can the Russians now stop a US attack on Syria?
Definitely No, if US makes a first move.
Probably yes, if Russian strike first.
I am glad you are not an admiral. Russia is not going to strike anything except mercenary terrorists in Syria and any other invaders. Should the US feel the urge to give it a try – good luck!
I think Admiral’s laconic assessment is correct; he whoever strikes first would have a huge advantage over the party he would have to react to such an attack. Given the balance of forces in the Mediterranean sea ( which tits heavily in NATO”s favor, certainly in terms of number of assets at sea and under the sea), the Russians would only stand a credible chance to inflict serious damage against NATO naval assets if they strike first.
Russian’s hesitant stance and endless policy of appeasement so far has not really rewarded them much on the battle field. I am afraid it will only embolden the wreckless NATO forces to lunch a surprise attack at some point against Syrian land based target, banking on the idea that Russia will not retaliate and will certainly not escalate. Time will tell what will happen and how Russians will react if that nefarious scenario really unfolds under Hillary’s command.
Well-reasoned. But how will “the west” see this? As, I suggest, opportunity to achieve “a decisive victory”?
Yes, I know, that’s crazy. Well, yes it is, that’s my point. How will the delusional “folks” see this scene? Think Hubris here, and desperation, fear, panic…what could go wrong?
There may be crazy results from crazy people. This has been the case so far, and there does not seem to be any reason to expect this to change. That is one way to spot lunatics…they do crazy things…
No one can say how these things will go, but only that they follow the pathways of history. The empire is vastly corrupt (I am not complaining, simply saying the truth). The corruption, seen as symptom, indicates a pathological process, ketosis, looting, senility (bat-chit crazy fits) and then coma, and so on. Sooner or later they’ll make a “hail-Mary”, and lose.
I would not be surprised if there were a major naval conflict. Like Salamis, the outcome may take a while to assess. But it could be lots worse.
I am, as an old man, familiar with the US navy gunnery and radar systems of the 1950’s, and the capabilities of, say, a Fletcher-class tin can. The capabilities of the ships as described deployed by RF is breath-taking. If there’s a fight, and the thing results in a “draw”, that would be, like Salamis, sort of. That would not be acceptable to empire, would it? Only a “total victory” would suit the Imperial Necessities, is this not so?
Absolutely Not. The Empire just blows every thing up into fire and rubble. Then they declare “victory” and leave the mess for someone else to clean up.
It is not the amount of military equipment that matters so much as the willingness to use it.
The only question that matters is – will the Russian/ Syrian air defences adopt a policy of shooting down aggressor NATO warplanes?
As has been well documented, up to now they have not and the aggressors have been able unchallenged to fly bombing missions into Syria with impunity. Syrian people continue to die as a result of US led bombing attacks and so far not a shot has been fired at them.
This is the acid test surely.
The Admiral Kuznetsov was a Serb.
Nikolay Gerasimovich Kuznetsov was born into a peasant family of Serbian descent in the village of Medvedki in the Kotlassky District of Arkhangelsk Oblast.
Thank you Pandos.
I wasn’t aware of Kuznetsov’s Serbian origins.
It is very ironic that I used to play a PC flight simulator flying the SU-33 from the Admiral Kuzntzov before I started reading The Saker blog several years ago.
Here is the youtube video I posted back in 2010:
(I made an error by calling the plane the SU-35….of course it should be the SU-33)
Might as well be the river hudson hideously outgunned from fixed sites and choke exits in all directions. If the shtf they’ll be little they could do other than a humiliating surrender.
Makes no sense tactically other than a sacrificial pawn for a much larger a-symmetrical retaliation, pos star wars Maybe they know war is inevitable and it just gives them a trip wire. All thats needed is a crazy out of their depth leader to start it all off. Hillary where are you?
Sadly, the people reading this know a blow with Russia is not going to be a walk in the park. The ones not reading this will wake up if a lot of body bags with their children return home to the Western hemisphere and reality is not what was portrayed by their Satanic leaders.
And the Satanic leaders don’t give a damn, the more death and mayhem the better.
But yes, all with some sanity left should do the upmost to prevent any war and human suffering of any kind.
Contrary to Alexander’s analysis at Russia Today, I believe this battle group is being sent to keep Turkey out of Aleppo and to minimize the chance that Turkey will try to seize more Syrian territory than Russia is prepared to allow.
It is also being sent to insure a US no-fly-zone is not attempted. Alexander says this deployment was made months before US discussion of a no-fly-zone. But Russia intervened last fall primarily for two reasons: 1) the failing condition of the Syrian armed forces; and 2) US rumors of imposing a no-fly-zone.
When Turkey invaded Syria, everyone said this was a Good Deal for Russia. I disagreed. It was obvious to me that this was an attempt by Turkey to establish a “safe zone” for ISIS and AlQaeda and hobble the Kurds ability to seal the Syria-Turkey border. Turkey had been clamoring for this for three years, so now we were supposed to believe this was a Good Thing?
I think Putin realized this was a problem – and while he was prepared to allow Turkey to engage the Kurds, he was not ready to cede Aleppo and huge swaths of Syrian territory to Turkey. So I believe he gave the green light for the battle group in order to improve Russia’s ability to engage Turkey if it becomes necessary to enforce Syrian sovereignty.
The problem for Turkey is war with Russia. Russia can stop Turkey’s advance into Syria simply by bombing the border crossings repetitively.
The problem for Russia is Turkey is a NATO member which risks having to engage NATO and potentially the US as well.
The question remains: How far is Turkey prepared to go in Syria, either on Erdogan’s own initiative or supported by the US? How far is the US prepared to go in Syria?
Until these questions are answered, the situation is extremely dangerous.
Thank you for that very adult and informed analysis.
I wonder if ‘The West’ is aware that just as their actions in Kosovo have changed the rules so will their illegal seizures of parts of Syria.
Is this not certain to become the template for the coming partition of the former ‘The Ukraine’?
Richard Steven Hack on October 25, 2016 · at 4:07 pm UTC
“Contrary to Alexander’s analysis at Russia Today, I believe this battle group is being sent to keep Turkey out of Aleppo and to minimize the chance that Turkey will try to seize more Syrian territory than Russia is prepared to allow”
Not so sure that Putin doesn’t want Turkey out of Aleppo- there have been reports that Russia and Turkey have an agreement regarding clearing Aleppo of terrorists.
Is Russia allowing Turkey to seize Syrian territory? “Turkey will try to seize more Syrian territory than Russia is prepared to allow” That’s implied in your statement but diametrically opposite to what both Russia and Turkey have stated?
There is also the question of whether or not Turkey can defend anymore territory? Considering the daily attacks by the PKK?
It is also being sent to insure a US no-fly-zone is not attempted.
Perhaps not a total no fly zone
It’s doubtful Russia can enforce a no fly zone over all of Syria
Not without assistance from other partners
“There is also the question of whether or not Turkey can defend any more territory”
Morale would be an issue.
The Turkish military are conscripts operating outside their border, the PKK are volunteers, battle hardened and defending their homeland.
acc to Thierry Meyssan, the US is already attempting to disengage in Syria.
i would add that domestic political risk and damage in the US, is underestimated on this site.
the real issue in this election is not Hillary vs Trump; it’s that the political system at the national level has imploded.
Thierry Meyssan is, in my opinion, wrong.
The US is not looking to disengage in Syria- They may be looking to obfuscate/hide their involvement- (think of the nonsensical lead from behind Libya spin) perhaps by invoking a NATO article 5, as I had mentioned in a previous comment, but disengage? No. The US is fully committed to this Sykes Picot 2- remake the middle east and north africa.
The political system in the US, as in my country of Canada has long imploded. It’s not an issue
As for Saudi Arabia- it appears the US is grooming a new more pliable leader.. maybe there will be a coup? Or someone will die inexplicably?
A reader/commenter at my blog left an excellent lengthy article link regarding Saudi Arabia
Prince Mohammed looks to be deep in the pocket of the US already and being groomed for further use- He took it upon himself to drag Saudi Arabia into the Yemen quagmire- this must have brought tears of joy to the US and Israel
I agree; Meysson seems a bit off this time. The truce extension is probably Moscow saying to Washington, OK, lets see you take Mosul without a ‘humanitarian disaster’, you deceiving whiner, not a quid pro quo for Ukraine.
Which again ties the U.S. in knots. Although they get an excuse to prolong the war – Russia can’t bomb Aleppo because of humanitarian concerns – OK, but humanitarian concerns would have stopped Russia anyway. However, the U.S. now can’t (in theory) crater Mosul after making such a big deal about civvie casualties. Not that they won’t try and spin a difference between good bombs and bad bombs.
Plus there’s no shortage of targets for Russia to bomb outside East Aleppo anyway.
Much Saudi oil is of poor quality – not ‘exceptional quality and quantity’; its just easy to access, Meyssan really exaggerated Saudi oil strength.
Saudi oil is a good match against what the Russians put out, but what the world really wants is light sweet crude from such sources as North American frackers. The light oil ‘glut’ is primarily what tanked the heavier oil producers, coming out at a ‘bust’ period of boom and bust capitalist cycling.
Russia is also unlikely to be present and active in Yemen militarily. Why would they be? The claim makes superficial sense only if one mistakes the long-ended Soviet-era presence as having any postmodern importance. It doesn’t.
Syria is the outer edge of Russian expeditionary reach. The Russian naval task force is hardly going to enter the Gulf of Aden to back non-existent ground force capacity there.
I disagree. Where are the mass demonstrations in the streets of US cities and university campus that were so pervasive during the Vietnam war?? The vast majority of the Americans are too gullible, too busy watching ball games, stupid sitcoms and idiotic reality shows to realize what really is going on in the world. I would dare say that 90% of the Americans have no clue how close they are to world war III scenario. Ask them the results of the last hockey or baseball game and they will tell to you in second. Ask them where Aleppo is on the map, and most would look somewhere at the South American side of the map.
By the way, I have been living in very large north American city for many years, and I know what I am talking about. Where I work (office environment at large corporate bank) does even remotely follow the events in the Middle east and the Mediterranean. If Russian misses will star raining on US soil for most they would come out of the blue. So do not bank too much on on the US population to revolt on mass. It won’t happen this time! I would dare say that the French are the closes to a pre-revolutionary stage.
“I’ll take ‘Capt. Obvious’ for $1000, Alex.”
“What is no more draft or honest war reporting?”
The American peace movement was broken by the end of the American Middle Class. The revolt is Trumpism, and demanding legal and fair elections. This is the biggest revolution since the Revolution of 1800 between John Adams (Federalist/Statist) and Thomas Jefferson (Constitutionalist/Populist).
The end of the draft, MSM complicity, and stereotyped boobery doesn’t change the fact that many American commentators are are the cutting edge of criticism of their own empire. Alex Jones, Justin Raimondo, Paul Craig Roberts, Mike Adams, and Robert Parry more than compensate for the ignorant few and false activists like David “war is a crime – even defensive war” Swanson neutering the truth.
The unwillingness to openly violently revolt is more a sign of a kind of maturity. Or, at the very least, there may be enough understanding of extra-electoral ‘regime change’ abroad to maybe get that trying it at home is a very bad idea.
Because the Russian anti-ship/plane/missile capabilities are so formidable, I doubt that there will be a need to use them. I think that capability is the primary reason for the task force off of Syria.
Can Russian-backed forces complete the takeover of Aleppo (probably) and Idlib (doubtfully) before January 20th? If so, this would be a significant to great accomplishment.
But can the Syrian Army defeat ISIS at Deir-al-Zor and co-opt an attack on Raqqa by US-backed forces in the meantime? I don’t see how this naval task force can have any impact on the battles to control the Euphrates River valley. If the SAA cannot regain control of the Euphrates, then Syria will inevitably split apart.
Training? Are you kidding? Suddenly, Russia wants to train…. Right after American activity in Diego Garcia?
This is Russians showing how serious they are while showing off their new toys with a nice bluff.
Got something? Oh yeah, here is what I got and I will only show you what it looks like, not what it can do…
Russia is posing in a way with a stronger shield, since the possible US attack will not be just left alone without naval response..
Please training, he says …. !! Pufhhhh
The Russian fleet raises the stakes for many actors in the region. One not mentioned is Ukraine. It wouldn’t take much to divert the fleet north to support Crimea if need be. This is a very strategic deployment indeed.
It would take going through the “Straits” at Istanbul. And if there was a war situation that would be a big problem.
Thanks for that interesting analysis Saker. I very much enjoyed it and read it entirely to my husband.
” You park one or two aircraft carrier battle groups a few hundred miles from a disobedient country, and you bomb the shit out of it until it rolls over.”
When I read that sentence my mind immediately went to Iraq- 2003
In spite of all the impressive fire power- Russia cannot take on all of NATO.
If I may Saker? There was an interesting letter written to wsj, obviously, from a Washington insider..
The author is promoting the idea of NATO invoking article 5 and attacking Syria.
Article 5 would let Obama off the hook- have little to no affect on the election
Force Europe to fight in the middle east- effectively making this a real world war
Pay particular attention to what he says about Turkey.
“First, NATO must stop the civil war in Syria by implementing the necessary no-fly zones and safe-haven enclaves. The new zone for President Bashar al-Assad and the Alawites must cover their area of influence, which is only about one-quarter of the country, in the West and North. This should stop the tidal wave of refugees to Europe.
NATO would take control of an existing airport in Syria, perhaps Deir Ezzour or Palmyra, thus countering the basing problem caused by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s denial of operating use of Incirlik air base to America and NATO.
Bringing in NATO would mean European, not American, boots on the ground. The U.N. and relief organizations are encountering great difficulties in bringing in relief supplies to various locations in Syria, and this initiative would give them much improved security and access, and America would no longer be paying the full cost This initiative doesn’t require President Obama’s approval.
President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to try to block this. Indeed, it would be irrational for him to want to block an effective attack on ISIS.”
What are your thoughts if NATO were to make this move?
And finally… Hubby thinks the US will not go up against that big bad ship Peter the Great- without a first strike (tactical nuke?) on the ship. (Taking out the biggest threat first, if at all possible)
Me I don’t know?
If the crooks in UN managed to get a resolution re humanitarian concerns in East Syria then would Russia be in a position to use its veto or be demonised to prevent the implementation of such a resolution based on the possible intentions remarked on above?
Doesn’t the US weild it veto all the time to prevent Israel from being sanctioned by the UN for its multiple X multiple war crimes perpetrated against the near defenseless Palestinians?
Russia and China will never again allow any UNSC Resolution to pass that gives international backing to the Regime Change crimes of the US and it’s NATO buddies.
Libya was the last such folly.
“Russia and China will never again allow any UNSC Resolution to pass that gives international backing to the Regime Change crimes of the US and it’s NATO buddies.
Libya was the last such folly.”
Indeed. And the Maidan was the last Color Revolution (in Russian vicinity).
I may be totally missing the point here but the first thing I thought about was that the Russian flotilla was heading out to open seas. It’s not strong enough to change the calculus in the Levant but it would be far more useful there instead of the Baltic. This is a little scary but I would be more concerned if the submarines of the Pacific fleet went out to sea and if the Black Sea fleet were fueled and ready to go.
No, its a good point.
Ultimately the U.S. Sixth Fleet and NATO could triumph over the Russians if they shot first – and Russia/Syria certainly aren’t shooting first – but the mess would all be in the East Mediterranean (NATO/Israel’s doorstep). Not the Baltic (Europe/Russia’s doorstep).
Cleaning up an ocean after sinking several nuclear powered warships there, with the closest ports all smashed, is a victory below pyrrhic.
NATO can bluff and even pretend to be crazy, but Russian Mediterranean deployments make war far more unpalatable to Anglo-Zionism than a deployment in the North Pacific.
Where do you get 12 P-700 Granit (Nato SS-N-19 Shipwreck) on Oscar Class (Russian 949A Antey) SSGN (cruise missile sub) …?
Open source info says between 20 and 24 complement per boat…
First the interesting possibility to hit land targets…such a test was reportedly successfully carried out just days ago…launched from the SSGN Smolensk in the Barents Sea and hitting a target in Novaya Zemlya in Arctic…here is translated page…
Conceptually, there is no reason why a missile designed to target ships could not as easily hit land targets…
The fact that this test was carried out to coincide with the large naval deployment to Syria…with a total of possibly up to 56 Granits brought to theater…Kuznetsov 12…Peter The Great (Kirov Class) 20…Oscar Class SSGN 20 to 24…represents a pretty big arsenal of firepower…and a definite message…
Just to expand a bit on the technical characteristics of the impressive P700 missile…
It weighs 7 metric tons and has a range of at least 500 km and a flight speed of up to Mach 2.5…the 750 kilogram high explosive warhead can punch a pretty big hole in any US carrier…
The missile is a sea-skimmer to reduce chance of detection by defending radar…but it’s fired in salvos of 4 to 8 with a unique guidance mode…where one pops up to acquire the target and feeds the others skimming low by datalink…if the popup is shot down…another one pops up to take its place…
Granit sea skimmers are going M 1.6…twice the speed of a Tomahawk…so there is not much time for target to react…
Compared to subsonic cruise missiles like the BGM-109 Tomahawk…which smaller HE punch (450 kg)…the Granit is much more difficult to defend…
Incidentally…the Kursk had just test-fired two Granits before it went down…West learned a lot about this missile at that time…it was thought to be turbojet powered, but actually uses a ramjet engine…
Now about air defenses…We know at least one S-400 battalion has been deployed to Syria…after the Turkish downing of the Su24 attack aircraft…each S-400 battalion consists of eight launchers with four missile tubes each…for a total of 32 missile launchers…
Last month…after the coalition air raid on the SAA position at Deir Ezzor…RF deployed the S-300 VM…Antey 2500…this is completely different from the S-300 P road mobile system which uses wheeled vehicles…the Antey uses tracked chassis and is “…one of the most lethal area defense systems ever developed…firing hypersonic missiles designed to engage aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles…”
The Peter The Great (Kirov class) cruiser now sailing to Syria carries the S-300FM (SA-N-20)…with the 48N6 long range missile with speed of M 6…which is used on the S-400 as well…
This ship has 12 8-tube rotary launchers for a total of 92…the Slava class Moskva missile cruiser which has been in Syrian waters for some time has eight 8-tube launchers for a total of 64…
All of these systems make use of powerful radars for long-range detection, acquisition, target and guidance…as well as electronic countermeasures…
So what we see with this additional naval deployment is basically a doubling of the air defense capability already there…plus an entirely new OFFENSIVE dimension with the P-700 Granit…
Bottom line is that this is a formidable area defense for Syria that realistically has no hope of being neutralized…
I cannot imagine a scenario where coalition could mount an effective SEAD (suppression of enemy air defense) operation on this kind of force…
It is useful to recall the initial strike in the first Iraq war Operation Instant Thunder…first came a night raid by 9 AH-64 Apaches directed by 3 Sikorsky Pave Lows…they succeeded in knocking out the Iraqi early warning radar sites…helos are slow but they have the advantage of flying low and using terrain to hide from radar…
This opened a hole for Next F117 strikes against against Iraqi operations centers…and then a Tomahawk missile volley that disabled the country’s electrical grid…using warheads filled with carbon rods to short-circuit the system…now having to light up their air defense radars Iraqi radars were easy to pick off with anti-radiation missiles…”HARM Heaven…”
That scenario could not be repeated in Serbia in 1999, where the huge coalition air armada was never able to fully suppress enemy air defenses which continued to pose a threat until the last day of the campaign…due to superior Serb tactics, even with outdated equipment…
An attempt at suppressing Syrian air defenses using an air armada would attempt to jam enemy radar and deliver anti-radiation missiles from stand-off distance…this would be very difficult…
An airborne jamming platform (ECM) like the EA18 Growler…Tornado ECM…EC130H Compass Cell carries a large radio jamming pod instead of weapons…but the problem is when it runs up against a powerful radar that can burn through that noise…a radar’s power is the product of its electrical power (in watts) and its aperture size (physical size of the receiver…or more precisely the number of radiating elements)…
The 91N6E Big Bird radar (on mobile chassis) has a 30 percent bigger aperture than the US Navy Aegis AN-SPY 1 radar…”it amounts to a mobile land based Aegis class package. It has no direct equivalent in the West…”
The Big Bird is powered by its own large gas turbine electrical generator on a separate chassis…and this amount of power certainly is not available on an airplane…in other words trying to fly an ECM mission against this beast is the definition of futility…
Without the ability to jam the air defense radars…the accompanying “wild weasel” (F16C) and perhaps stealth F22 trying to take out the radars with HARMs (high speed anti-radiation missile) and long-range standoff missiles (AGM-154) are sitting ducks…
The Antey 2500 is known to include a UHF band radar which is in the 0.1 to 1 meter wavelength range and therefore very effective at detecting low-observable (stealth) aircraft…
Bottom line is that an air armada attempt to suppress the on-shore and off-shore area defense in Syria is hopeless…the only real shot is a long-range saturation volley of cruise missiles…the Antey 2500 and other air defense equipment in place can certainly take down cruise missiles…the only question is how much would be too much…
An air-launched cruise missile volley (ALCM) with the long-range AGM-86 launched from B-52s could not likely put up enough missiles to overwhelm the defenses in place…
Only real option is huge salvo from navy cruisers, destroyers and subs…of course such an open aggression on Russian forces would be war…
RF aerospace forces would be forced to retaliate on the US naval flotilla firing that massive Tomahawk salvo…would not take more than a few long-range cruise missile shots from Tu22M “Backfire” Tu160 “Blackjack” (Russian White Swan)…strategic bombers to sink a few ships…
Also retaliation from RF missile subs and other ships with Kalibr cruise missiles…
That scenario gets very ugly very fast…
flankerbandit, thanks for very informative & well thought analysis! Bring some more… ;)
Flankerbandit, Saker;s analysis followed by your brilliant exposition makes it clear that once the fleet is in the eastern med and has integrated its assets with those already in place, the Russian defense will be nearly unbreakable. It would require a protracted buildup for the Americans to overcome–if this even possible. What worries me just now, though, is that the fleet is not yet on the scene. The crazy talk enamating from US military circles makes me wonder if some of these people are not arguing that while the Russian defense may be invulnerable once the Baltic fleet is on the scene the fleet itself will be vulnerable in isolation while in the atlantic or western med. You can almost hear them saying “This is our last chance to avoid stalemate!” We know that there has been a huge buildup in Diego Garcia with numerous B1 and B2 bombers, black painted B-52s etc,that large numbers of f-18s have been flying across the Atlantic, and God knows what else. A friend in DC, very much an insider, called a couple days ago to describe the intense controversy inside the pentagon and the “sense of madness” pervading US decision making.
An open agression by the US would be so utterly irrational that one can hardly imagine it really happening. But I’d very much like to hear your erudite opinion on (a) the vulnerability of the fleet prior to merger and (b) the form US agression against it might take. one hundred and 11 years ago a very different Baltic fleet. untrained, drunken, manning dysfunctional equipment went to sea on an 18,000 mile death ride to the Tsushima Strait. I’ll feel a lot better when this fleet reaches the scene.
Best regards from the Wyoming high country,
I think most, including the author of the article, missed a couple or three important items in the overall situation.
First, this fleet is a very public statement as to the intent of Russia concerning Syria. I have no doubts with the current and ongoing insurrection in the upper echelons of US Armed Forces that there was, and is, some deviltry afoot and Russian Intel knows this. This major addition to the Russian Med. Fleet, while not a game changer per se, says in essence ‘don’t try it, we know what you are planning to do’. The significant reinforcement of air defense assets with the presence of these heavy units should deter any foolishness on the part of nato/us concerning possibly planned attacks, authorized or not, on Syrian AF and/or Russian AF in the zone.
Second, this fleet, which was an addition to not insignificant Russian Navy units stationed in the east Med, is very far from ‘swinging in the wind’. Remember, the entire East Med is well within range of Caspian Sea Fleet units, Black Sea Fleet units in the Black Sea, various and sundry other river units and significant land based units of Ru. Armed Forces. If it comes to a fight trust me, violations of Turk airspace will matter not one whit if missiles need to head for the east Med to support our fleet.
Third, and of relative import, is the Kuznetsov is not listed as an aircraft carrier, he is listed as a cruiser as is Piotr. Therefore if I am not mistaken it is completely legal by international treaty for the Kuznetsov to enter the Black Sea with the two Udaloy destroyers. Peter the Great I don’t know since he is nuclear powered but I think he can also enter the Sea. When their mission is over all four can base in Sevastopol or be split up between Novorossysk and Sevastopol. The dry dock in Sevastopol, after they clean 25 years of beer bottles from it, can accommodate both cruisers. The Udaloys are a piece of cake, the floating dry dock in harbor can take the Mockba so destroyers methinks would fit with a few meters to spare. Nuclear power plant repairs are also no problem in Sevastopol, seems there’s a school for that sort of thing somewhere in this berg.
Bottom line, the simple addition of four warships, two cruisers and two destroyers, is a quite large increase in anti air, anti ship and anti submarine Russian assets in the east Med. And at this time we don’t know what ‘holes in the ocean’ accompanied this fleet from the Atlantic, actually we may never know, but they, too, are significant both in their presence and in their ability to toss missiles hither and yon.
I doubt there will be any untoward events over or in Syria for the time being, no attacks as planned on SAA and/or SyAf, no ‘nato’ units getting involved in the Aleppo fighting more than are there now (and you wondered why all the screaming about the SAA attack on Aleppo. Think not small units of US and nato troops now trapped in that city with no way out. Debaltsyevo it won’t be.).
Still and all, the next few months are going to be a pretty wild ride.
Never The Last One https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZGCY8KK
An Incident On Simonka https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERKH3IU
“(and you wondered why all the screaming about the SAA attack on Aleppo. Think not small units of US and nato troops now trapped in that city with no way out. Debaltsyevo it won’t be.).”
And you believe that they do not have underground TUNNELS 3 to 5 miles long to get in and out of the surrounded area?
They learned something very important from Vietcong, these incredible man, they learned a lot about tunnels and the US army was using “tunnel rats” to deal with the Vietcong deep underground.
And you think Mother does not know about each tunnel in existence, where it begins, how many galleries and feeds and where and how many exits beyond ‘the lines’? The foreign troops are trapped just like in Debaltsyevo. Unlike that event there will be no stand down to allow the golden pheasants to escape, just as there will never be another Debaltsyevo type stand down in Novorossiya.
This would also explain the sudden Western hysteria over the bombing of Aleppo and the failure of the ceasefire. NATO and Israel have frinedly forces on the ground in East Aleppo that must be protected.
Definitely, your “Mother” doesn’t know how many new tunnels are open recently by NATO with up to date technologies, with small section, wide enough to allow personel, ammo and food to move in and out. This is another explanation why the battle for Aleppo is turned in a meat grinder for Assad’s and Putin’s forces, and at the end they will withdrew from these tunnels to reappear somewhere else. The point is Russia cannot deal with NATO. NATO air power can overwhelm Russian S 300 / S-400 systems just with cruise missiles, and after with airplanes and after carpet b bombing with napalm can annihilate Syrian / Russian forces. Why they do not do it yet? Because since 1980 the Russian elite was divided and the pro western lobby is in the drivers seat. It is as something that many name it as the 5th column in Kremlin. Actually most of the Russian media, economy and financial system are controlled by the west. The West isn’t pushing things to hard because they are waiting until the right moment will come, and a color revolution would turn Russia to a N.A.T.O asset. Slovenly but surely we are going toward an apolar world and the last obstacle isn’t Russia but China.
And you do know how many new tunnels are in operation and their location? And you are sure Mother does not know. If you don’t recall, a few weeks ago one such ‘secret tunnel’ in the mountains just west of Aleppo was visited by three Kalibr missiles fired from Black Sea Flot units in the Med. End of tunnel and end of numerous nato operatives directing operations in Aleppo from same.
As an aside, ‘Mother’ is a shortened and familiar of Мать Россия, just for your information. We don’t refer to her as ‘my Mother’, she is simply Mother, generally used as a term of respect. Try it some time, you’ll like it.
I would suggest you read not only this article but all the articles in this blog concerning both this war and the war in Novorossiya. In the articles and posts to the articles you may find some interesting informations from people who seem to be a bit more up to date than you are on the situation in Novorossiya, Syria, Turkey, Krimu, Mockba and a few other locations. Color revolution in Russia? I doubt in the near or not so near future.
With Kindest Regards
Author, Never The Last One, a deep view in to Russian culture and her special forces.
You may also like my short story, listed with the novel. It concerns the third defense of Sevastopol, fictionally written. Any good fiction has enough truth in it to make the story believable.
The Purge is coming. Evgeny Fedorov
That’s the Putin’s Purge??!!!
Putin blasts 5th columnists
Did he really blast 5th columnist? Nooo… Putin didn’t gave them at lest a slap on the wrist …
Funny, very funny video …
The first book a read in Russian was “Наша Великая Родина”. There isn’t any “Наша Великая Родина” any more … it has been sold since 1985 …
Uh, would NATO/Israel really be dumb enough to deploy official servicemen amid Jihadis who would just as soon kill them/take them hostage/use them as human shields?
Black ops mercenaries or operatives disguised as mercenaries/Jihadi brides or whatever, sure, but such would be completely expendable, at least to the politicians.
The ‘trapped operatives’ angle doesn’t make sense unless they’re mercs and have already been taken hostage with some sort of incriminating documentation by their supposed allies.
I whole hardly agree with your assessment and then add some more;
The presence of the 16 ready to lunch S-400 missiles at Khmeimim (I have only seen 4 batteries in all videos that I have watched and the 10 to 12 S-350 missiles at Tartus is two fold: 1) to dissuade[ the Americans from any foolish move and 2) to take on isolated NATO plane that at any point in time may pose a direct threat to Russia’s and Syria’s air force. That it it. So far they have achieved their intended goal. AT not point did the Russian military strategist though of the 26 or so ready to lunch missiles as sufficient means to effectively counter act saturation salvo of Tomahawk missiles.
I tend to agree with you that the much touted US led attack against Syrian air force bases, radar installations and other command and control centers will not commence, at least not till early next spring.
If, however, Hillary and her generals would heed the nefarious call of Nosferatu and decide to test the Russian resolve in defending the Syrian secular forces under Assad, they would most likely do it in relatively ” limited” way by lunching perhaps as many as 200 to 250 Tomahawk missiles.
I am no military expert but this number of missiles would make sense as it would accomplish several US goals: destroy Assad air force bases and some of its planes ( the one who will happen to be on the ground), it would test the Russian reaction and their level of commitment ( a very dangerous attempt in my opinion but based on Russian reluctance to retaliate in kind so far it may be a warranted assumption on part of US military strategists) and last but not least, it will finally put to the test the ability of the Russian air defense systems to shoot down Tomahawk missiles.
Given the kill probability ratio of these missiles ( listed on Wikipidia and other sources) of around 80-90% against cruise missiles, the Russian can at best hope to neutralize around 20 of the 200 to 250 Tomahawks. That is it. I personally disagree with the contention made by Shaker and others on this blog that the Russian navy stationed off Syrian coast would use its anti air missiles to down the cruise missiles. For one, I am not sure they are all best positions ( geographical) to accomplish this task, secondly these missiles are rather meant to take down airplanes, helicopters and perhaps anti ship missiles. Perhaps the most compelling reason that would prevent them from using their on board missiles again Tomahawk is the fact these missle would be much need for their own defense if situation really get out of control and all war in the eastern Mediterranean brakes out. If they use their air defense missiles ( with variable and questionable degree of success which again, are not really specialized to take on cruise missiles the way S350 are – cruise missiles that are targeting land based assets in Syrian rather than the ships proper- what would be they left with to fight back if need be, if they are under attack? They would be left with no ammunition, virtually sitting ducks. having spent their precious cargo chasing Tomahawks of which the Americans have plenty.
Replenishing a ship with missiles will take a trip back to Sevastopol (at least a week if not more); so that is out of question. No sane ship commander will use its on board air defense missiles to shoot down targets that are not immediately treating the ships themselves. That would leave only the land based S-400 AND s350 of which there is not enough in the theater of operations.
I am no military strategists, but it is safe to assume that US probably has around 800 to 1,000 cruise missiles in eastern Mediterranean ( between the ships and submarines), which is about 30% of the Tomahawk missile inventory listed on Wikipedia. An equal amount is probably available in the north Indian ocean and Arabian sea. My uneducated hunch is that the cruise missile capable US submarines are not even in the Mediterranean sea but rather in the Red See just off the Saudi Arabia coast. That would be a much more secure potion to launch their misses ( better protected form Russian anti submarine asserts in the Med.) I am positive that neither the Saudis, Jordan or Israel would mind the launch of Tomahawks over their territory, heading for Syria. Makes senses?
In the Med. there would be mostly attack subs positioned to take on the Russian fleet, I am may be wrong but I am tempted to think that NATO subs in the Med, at this point, outnumber Russians subs by a factor of 4 to 1 ( at least); Between the US, Great Britain, France, Turkey and possible Germany , I am positive there are at least 25 attack subs in that area at any given time for the past few months. I would add Israels own subs here as possible enemy subs. Since subs have no national signature when used, they could be used without fearing any consequences. I do not think Russian have more than 6 to 7 subs max in the Med at this point. They now that -short of committing their entire sub fleet- they are still outnumber not matter what. So why put all your eggs in the same basket? Beside they have vast maritime territories that they still need to patrol, never mind those sub that are in the port for various reasons.
This bring me back to the earlier contention that he who attack first would have a decisive edge in any potential doomsday conflict scenario. Two to three Russian attack sub, if they attack first, still have a pretty good change of sending the entire (or most of it) Mediterranean NATO fleet to the bottom of the see. If NATO sub will attack first, the only potential chance for the Russian fleet is for any surviving Russian subs to use its nuclear torpedo.
I have always thought that if nuclear weapons are to be used by the two major super powers, the first one to be used will be nuclear armed torpedoes; Reason: low visual impact, only military casualties, less media impact then the detonation of surface nuclear device. Of course, the usage of these type of torpedo would only be the beginning.
You make some good points. I agree it would be a waste for the Russians to use their s300 & s400 missiles to shoot down Tomahawks, but the Russians have a bit more than just those.
The the Kuznetsov has an additional 192 s9 missiles plus 6 gatling guns, The Peter has an additional 128 s9 & 40 s4 plus 8 gatling guns. The Varyag which is on site now has 64 s300s, 40 s4 plus 6 gatling guns. Plus additional missiles on other ships, so they can look after themselves.
On the round the Russians have upgraded and intergraded the Syrian AA system but the real changer is they are at present deploying 700 Pantsir missiles that are very suitable for shooting down Tomahawk cruise missiles.
With all this in place I think Putin does intend to try and shoot down most of the incoming Tomahawks.
If the US fires 200-300 cruise missiles and they do little damage because most are shot down, then without the Russians even retaliating it becomes a loss for the US.
Hmm… What land-based target within Syraq would be worth attacking with a granit or several? Yes, I expect them to be employed before their shelf-life expires, perhaps on November 8, selection day within the Outlaw US Empire.
Going by the timing, Russia is preparing for the worst, depending on the outcome of the US election.
Perhaps they will fire off a few of the old granits at jihadists, but the naval build up seems to be as a deterrent in the Mediterranean for when/if Clinton is inaugurated.
Saker what is the minimum ‘war’ goal for Russia now in Syria?As it is only about pipelines,if Syria is divided what is the acceptable line which can be ok for Putin and though for Gazprom(meaning denying any Qatar/Saudi pipelines possibilities)?
I heard about a possible pipeline project between Israel and Erdogan,would it go through sea or by land?
@ Richard Steven Hack
“…When Turkey invaded Syria, everyone said this was a Good Deal for Russia. I disagreed…”
That’s a valid point…Turkey is obviously the wild card in this whole thing…Erdogan is unpredictable and even less trustworthy…
However a clue about how the West is looking at the Turkish incursion is provided by their propaganda…
The MSM made quite a bit of noise about the recent Turkish air raids on the Kurds…
And their one-man propaganda show…the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights…has likewise been squawking quite a bit about civilian casualties on US-allied Kurd positions…
We can infer from this noise that the US is not thrilled by Turkey’s direction…
OTOH…Russia is keeping mostly quiet…and Syria’s objections seem perfunctory at best…some have suggested VVP is keeping Erdo on a short leash…but this may be wishful thinking too…
We do know the foot soldiers for Euph Shield are mainly FSA…remember a few weeks back their hostility to US special forces with Kurds…and said forces ignominious decampment…to chants and jeers from same FSA…
On your second point I don’t see the RF naval deployment as some kind of counter to the silly noises about a coalition-imposed no-fly zone…
There is a very real albeit undeclared no-fly zone in place right now…a Russian one…the power to shut down the entire Syrian airspace is in the RF hands…and everyone knows it…this power will be bolstered considerably by the naval contingent on its way…
But openly declaring such is a political shove that could push the empire into an embarrassing corner where war is the only way out…Russia doesn’t want to make the first push…
right now we have a situation where a line has been drawn in the sand over the September coalition strikes against SAA in Deir Ezzor…
The Antey 2500 was then moved into theater and RF military spokesman made perfectly clear that any future “unidentified” planes will be shot down…
The warning seems to have been heard and is being heeded…the Belgian incident seems to have been a measured provocation…and was met with a stern response…
Bottom line…coalition aircraft are flying with permission of RF in Syria…in ever more tightly controlled fashion…and they certainly know it…
I wouldn’t worry too much about wild no-fly noises from here on in…regardless of who takes over in January…it is not an option other than all-out war…at that point all bets are off…
The Russians were likely aware from the start that the jihadis would not allow any movement out of East Aleppo. The truce was done to (a) allow more time for the Kuznetsov battle group to get in place (b) give the Mosul attack time to heat up to a level where comparison to Aleppo in terms of civilian casualties etc would be obvious (c) reinforce the encirclement of Aleppo since the SAA has more freedom of movement that the jihadis in the city.
The timing of the extension and termination of the truce would have been a tactical consideration based on the above. The jihadis are likely now to make a concerted effort to break the siege. Remains to be seen if Syria and its allies are ready for them.
Yup. And they’re sure to be ready.
Russia/Syria not bombing Aleppo means everywhere else now has greater priority.
Well done analysis, Saker, also thanks for the informative comments by JJ, Flankerbandit and Auslander.
This Russian naval deployment has another benefit. Since AK is fresh from refit, she no doubt mounts the latest Russian radar, and other detection elements, along with ecm and other upgrades, especially with handling pindo stealth attacks. 3 years is a long time in refit and we can be sure of total modernisation. This ship will give the Russians much larger eyes to see what is going on both south and north of Syria, not just the west, and provide much needed additional early warning of israeli-american incursions, as well as work to keep the Turks “honest”. The other ships in this little fleet may have also been given upgrades that enhance detection, com and control and more, for all I know. The zionazis, and their cowardly colonials, rely upon stealthy, surprise attacks (the stab in the back), illuminating them, with the things knowing how exposed their plans are, is a very effective deterrence, and therefore, healthy preventative.
The refit was cut short; the AK is probably more expendable that way.
Which is possibly a more scary message to NATO than sending a fully refitted and more expensive asset to the front lines insofar as it suggests Russia expects WW IV yet is still willing to play.
The real ships to worry about are the two large anti-submarine warships Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral Kulakov and unknown number of Russian submarines.
Quote: Should things go very wrong, this task force could not only seriously threaten any USN/NATO surface ship withing 500km of Syria, but also every single city or military base in this range. I am rather surprised that the western fear-mongers missed this one because it ought to scare NATO pretty badly :??? Ohh.. They didn’t miss that one ?? They are busy changing their diapers ?? So is the “most moral army” in the little shitty country ??? Russian people haven’t forgotten the holocaust implemented by the light upon nations on Russian Orthodox people ??? Revenge is a frozen dish !!
I am always hearing of the invincibility of the US Navy and Air Force in the region, but exactly what is that capability? Seems some time ago I recall that after a US cruise missile barrage in Iraq(?) there was some concern that the US was running out of cruise missiles. This of course begs the question – if the US stock of cruise missiles is threatened against an essentially unarmed foe, how long can it sustain an effective saturation attack against a fully capable air defence? And how easy would it be for the Russians to cut off any supply lines carrying reinforcements – indeed, just how many cruise missiles does the US have in the first place, given their funding priorities on technical monsters like the F-35, littoral cruisers and new aircraft carriers?
And somewhere I read that NATO capability is more paper-based than actual as much of the NATO equipment is outdated and in serious need of repair – again due to funding priorities.
Lastly, I have to assume that much of the missile barrage thrown against Syria would have to come from either B-52s flying at extreme high altitudes, or from carrier fleets located at sea. As Russia is not known for being delicate in her responses to attacks, what is to prevent the Russians from immediately destroying the entire carrier fleets threatening them, thus eliminating the saturation threat early-on? No ships, no missiles….
At that point of course the US has a choice – back off or launch the nukes – a very stark choice. And it is this choice that faces the US decision makers today I am certain as they contemplate a US-led no-fly zone over Syria.
AMERICANS –> TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR BALLOT BEFORE YOU MAIL IT OR DROP IT!!!!
And say other Americans do it that way !! OK !! Then nothing form Cabal win !! Right !! You have a BINGO proof at any moment !! Right !!
Saker where are you ? In sense you have came back to U.S. right !
Ok information to Good Guy Saker and his team !!
Take in account this important information prior to your article.
RUSSIAN CENTRAL NAVY COMMAND – MOSCOW 15 OCTOBER 2016 HAVE STARTED COUNTDOWN AT SYRIAN WAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST ISIS TERRORIST.
Russian army know if they dont stop ISIS at Syria and Iraq then ISIS will for sure come on Russian land burning the whole central asia and taking all central asian resources under their control. Precise under control of Jewish Illuminati Cabal in Israel and Washington dc. Thats the main clue !!
According to informations from East Russia – Russian Pacific Region , lot of war ships 15. October 2016 hav took a long journey to Mediterranean sea to finish RUSSIAN-SYRIOAN WAR CAMPAIGN against ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq. So will be two Russian fleets joined in one and taking stay at Syria a long time.
Accounting leasing 2 big military bases from Syrian government for a period of 50 year starting from 2016.
About Pacific Fleet – I am suspect that their main goal is bigest US.NAVY military base at Guam.
So there is a list of ships taking long journey to Syria.
Big anti-submarine ship – «Адмирал Трибуц»
Navy Destroyer «Быстрый»
Big anti-submarine ship «Вице-адмирал Кулаков»
Big anti-submarine ship «Североморск»
Big Rocket Cruiser «Пытливый»
Big Rocket Cruiser «Адмирал Григорович»
Big Rocket Cruiser «Ярослав Мудрый»
Frigate «Cообразительный Гвардейский»
Rocket Cruiser «Мираж»
Rocket Cruise «Серпухов»
Rocket Crusier «Зеленый Дол»
Rocket Cruiser «Ивановец»
Big Landing Vessel «Георгий Победоносец»
Big Landing Vessel «Александр Шабалин»
Big Landing Vessel «Цезарь Куников»
Mine-sweeper «Иван Голубец»
And more 14 Navy sheeps and support vessels
As Pacific Navy Fleet support more than 4 Nuclear Submarines with long range ICBM «Syneva»
Source: Rusian big semi-military blog
В дальний боевой поход вышла корабельная группа Тихоокеанского флота
Gosh that’s pretty hardware. The Dogbert in me almost regrets NATO and Russia can’t fight it out openly and directly.
Those pesky nukes really take the fun out of total war.
Er, heel Dogbert heel…
Saker more info for you !!
BREAKING NEWS 26. October. 2016. year
Syrian Army Recaptures Oil-Rich Regions in Eastern Homs
The Syrian Army and popular forces continue to beat ISIL back from two main oil-rich regions in Eastern Homs after they regained control over the territories North of al-Maher oilfield. [VIDEO at Tube]
Iraq’s Joint Military Forces Liberate More Villages South of Mosul
Iraq’s joint military forces have liberated more than 70 percent of the territory lying to the South of the ISIL-held Northern city of Mosul since they started a massive operation to drive the Wahhabi-Takfiri cult out of its last stronghold.
Iraq’s joint military forces have liberated more than 70 percent of the territory lying to the South of the ISIL-held Northern city of Mosul since they started a massive operation to drive the Wahhabi-Takfiri cult out of its last stronghold.
Terrorists’ Rockets Hit Civilian Neighborhood in Quneitra
Residential areas in Quneitra came under Fatah al-Sham (Nusra) Front’s Grad missile and rocket attacks again on Tuesday with several civilian casualties reported.
Iraqi Military Troops Liberate More Villages, Continue Hitting ISIL inside Mosul
Military campaign by the Iraqi military troops to liberate the city of Mosul continued on Tuesday with army sources reporting that government troops are within a distance of only 3 km from the Eastern edge of the ISIL-held city now.
Syrian Military Forces Push Terrorists Back from More Lands in Northeastern Hama
Syrian Army soldiers and popular forces engaged in fierce clashes with three main terrorist groups in Northeastern Hama, and forced them to retreat from key positions in the region.
Syrian Army Destroys Convoy of Terrorists’ Military Vehicles, Tanks in Western Ghouta
Syrian government forces fended off terrorist groups’ offensive on their strongholds along Khan Sheih-Deir al-Khabiyeh road, inflicting 23 casualties on the militants and destroying at least three tanks of the Takfiri groups.
Pakistan Attack: Nearly 60 Killed in Terrorist Attack on Quetta Police Academy
At least 59 people were killed and more than 117 others were injured after a group of heavily armed suicide attackers stormed a police training academy in the Pakistani city of Quetta.
The Day After: Mosul Is Not a Make or Break Battle for Iraq
The long and hard offensive to liberate Mosul could determine the future of ISIL in Iraq. It would also determine the fate of Iraq, but it won’t break the country if unsuccessful.
Iranian Supreme Leader Receives Chairman of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei receives visiting chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, in Tehran on Tuesday. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is also present at the … more
Retired Army General: Syrian Army in Final Phase of Western Ghouta Operations
Retired Army General Heisam Hassoun said the Syrian army is nearing the end of its large-scale military operations in Western Ghouta and the war on terrorism in the Western parts of Damascus province will end soon as tens of towns and cities.
Syrian Army Spreading Control from Southwestern Aleppo to Northern Hama And Southeastern Idlib
A senior war strategist said the Syrian army has initiated action to spread forces to regions Southwest of Aleppo, including Khan Touman, in a bid to drive terrorists back to Northern Hama and Southeastern Idlib to eventually isolate.
Syrian General: Syrian Army, Kurds Ally to Push Back Turkey from Al-Bab in Northern Aleppo
The Syrian government troops and Kurdish fighters have formed a coalition to stand against Turkish army’s incursion into Northern Syria, a retired Syrian army general said.
Interior Minister: Several Foreigners Among Terrorists Captured in Southern Iran
Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli disclosed that several foreign nationals have been among the terrorist cell that was busted just before conducting a horrifying attack in the Southern province of Fars earlier this month.
Russian Envoy: Iran Informed of Details of Moscow-Washington Talks on Syria
Russian Ambassador to Tehran Levan Jagarian underlined strategic ties between Tehran and Moscow, and said Russian official inform their Iranian counterparts of details of its negotiations with the US on Syria.
Rouhani to Run for 2nd Term in Upcoming Presidential Election
Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli made the first official announcement about President Hassan Rouhani’s bid to win a second term in office in the next year presidential election in Iran.
Syria: Widening Rifts Lead to War among Terrorist Groups in Eastern Damascus
Disputes and sporadic clashes between Jeish al-Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman have increased after the Syrian army’s crushing victories in Eastern Ghouta in recent days, media sources close to the opposition forces disclosed.
Syrian Army Targets ISIL’s Military Column in Dara’a Province
Syrian Army’s artillery units shelled heavily a long military column of ISIL’s vehicles and forces on a road to Northeastern Dara’a, inflicting major loss and casualties on the terrorists.
ISIL’s 6 Main Tactics against Iraqi Forces in Mosul
The ISIL terrorist group is using special tactics and methods to block the Iraqi army, popular and Pishmerga forces’ further advance and liberation of more lands in Mosul.
Battle for Mosul on Tuesday: Artillery Fire Starts Hitting ISIL inside Mosul
Military campaign by the Iraqi military troops to liberate the city of Mosul continued on Tuesday with army sources reporting that government troops are within a distance of only 3 km from the Eastern edge of the ISIL-held city now and have.
Senior MP: US Helping ISIL to Flee Mosul to Syria’s Raqqa
Officials in Damascus expressed deep worries about the United States’ deliberate moves to help ISIL terrorists to flee to Raqqa in Syria from the city of Mosul in Iraq’s Nineveh province.
Over 100 Journalists Jailed by Turkey in Post-Coup Crackdown
A new report on Turkish media freedoms found that 107 journalists are currently in jail, while another 2500 journalists are unemployed after the government shut down 155 media organizations.
Yemeni Forces Capture Strategic Point in Saudi Arabia
The Yemeni Army and their popular allies captured a strategic point near Yemeni-Saudi border region after a fierce clash with the Saudi army and border guards.
Afghan Taliban Use Drone to Film Suicide Attack
Afghan Taliban Use Drone to Film Suicide Attack
The Afghan Taliban released aerial footage of a suicide car bombing in southern Helmand province, marking the first time the militant group has used a drone to record an attack.
ISIL Still Training, Dispatching Child Soldiers to Battlefields across Syria
ISIL Still Training, Dispatching Child Soldiers to Battlefields across Syria
Opposition groups disclosed on their media pages on Tuesday that over 155 child soldiers have finished their military courses in an ISIL-held training camp in Raqqa and are to be sent to battlefields in Northern Aleppo.
Turkey Continues Support for Terrorists in Syria
Ankara has sent several trucks of ammunition to the Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra) Front and Ahrar al-Sham terrorists stationed at a base near Atme border region in the Northern province of Idlib.
Syria: ISIL Retreats from More Heights in Energy-Rich Regions East of Homs
Syria: ISIL Retreats from More Heights in Energy-Rich Regions East of Homs
The Syrian Army and popular forces continued to beat ISIL terrorists back from two main oil-rich regions in Eastern Homs, establishing a 10-kilometer-deep buffer zone around one of them.
Militant Commander Beheaded by Rival Group in Syria’s Idlib
Militant Commander Beheaded by Rival Group in Syria’s Idlib
The militants of Jund al-Aqsa militant group reportedly beheaded the leader of rival Faylaq al-Sham group in Southern Idlib on Tuesday.
UPDATE BREAKING NEWS 26.10.16 – Minute news
U.S.Army backed ISIS Jihadist Terrorists Counter-Offensive in Southern Aleppo Ends in Disaster
aleppo-syrian-army take control
AlMasdarNews reports: U.S.Army ISIS Jaysh Al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) launched a counter-offensive in the southern sector of Aleppo City on Tuesday night, targeting the Syrian Arab Army’s defenses at the Air Defense Base. However, the jihadist terrorists counter-offensive in southern Aleppo ended way before it could ever get started; this was due in large part to the nonstop air raids conducted by the Russian Air Force and the heavy artillery launched by the Syrian Arab Army. According to a military source in Aleppo City, the Syrian Armed Forces killed over 20 jihadist terrorists and destroyed 8 of their armored vehicles that were traveling from Tal Mu’tah to the Air Defense Base. The military source added that the southern Aleppo front is now quiet, with sporadic gunfire taking place every few minutes.
SAKER TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR BALLOT BEFORE YOU MAIL IT OR DROP IT!!!!
ALSO INFO FOR ALL AMERICANS –> TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR BALLOT BEFORE YOU MAIL IT OR DROP IT!!!!
And say other Americans do it that way !! OK !! Then nothing form Cabal win !! Right !! You have a BINGO proof at any moment !! Right !!
Don’t refuel Putin’s fleet in the Mediterranean, Nato urges Spain because warships are on their way to bomb Aleppo
Flotilla of many Russian warships is on the way to Syria to bomb Aleppo
Nuclear-powered flagship is among those due to dock in Cueta in Spain
But head of Nato urged Spain to refuse port to vessels due to join attack
Comes as Russia faces criticism for killing civilians in the Syrian city
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3873032/Don-t-refuel-Putin-s-fleet-Mediterranean-Nato-urges-Spain-warships-way-bomb-Aleppo.html#ixzz4OB6ECErH
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
“Don’t refuel Putin’s fleet in the Mediterranean, Nato urges Spain”
As expected, the refuling saga continues.
“While details are unclear, Europa Press reports that Russia has cancelled its request to refuel three of its warships at Spain’s eastern Mediterranean port of Cueta. Whether this is a pre-emptive move to avoid being shunned by Spain – after massive opposition from politicians and NATO officials – is unclear.”
Honestly, I can’t help thinking that this was just a Russian prank, to ask the Spanish vassal state for a refueling stop at Cueta, well knowing that in NATO’s current state of latent paranoia and acute hysteria, such a request would result in great slap-stick action from the exceptionals,
The Admiral Kuznetsov ship was to station in Ceuta (nos Cueta, as you said). Ceuta is in Northern Africa, and is part of Spain as “constituent territory”, not as colony or overseas territory, BUT IS NOT APRT OF NATO TERRITORY. NATO has not integrated ceuta (neiuther the other Spanish African city, Melila) in its defense system, so Spain theoretically can host a Russian ship there without askin g NATO any permission. In theory they can.
But of course, another thing is if NATO members make pressure on Spain not to do so, so Spain then has turned down the offer to Russia (officially, it was Russia which turned down their request, but we now that as NATO chairman Stoltenberg and Verhofstadt made pressure to Spain -because Ceuta is on Spanish responsability, they can understand that like if it was a “disloyalty” by Spain, and Russia poabably wanted to avoid an unconfortable situation for Spain). Really Spain had suyrrendered their will, because they had not any obligaiton to NATO in Ceuta.
(A disclaimer here: NATO Consittution is a bnbit ambiguous, because as long as they have not includede Ceuta and Melilla in NATO territory, so they have not obligation to this cities, but a last reform (i think in 2007) of Constitution, says thyat NATO is obliged to “defend member State’s coitizens”. As long as Ceuta and Melilla are constitutionary part of Spain, their citizens are full citizens of Spain, son can be tied to NATo Constitution).
This affair, in Spain, had be voiced from a Catalan “Leftist” pro-Independence party, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia), that despite their “independence” and “leftist” banner, it is fully pro-Zionist and pro-NATO (they are no alternative to the system, the only “change” the promote is a change of borders and the birth of a new State, but that will be identical to other European States, including Spain. Typical of Soros “left”). This party said that “it is unbelievable that a NATO member of Spain is willing to host Russian ships that are fighting for Assad; it is a disloyalty that an EU member like Spain that accorded EU sanctions agianst Rusia now is hosting Russian ships”. So this partu located as even more pro-NWO that the vassal Spanish State. Shame on them!
Had to be Russian trolling; there’s no way the Kuznesov or any other Russian vessel would head to the Med without enough gas. Then there’s what Oxandabaratz had to say about nos Cueta’s non-NATO status, which the Russian would know full well.
Must be the Trump effect; that and NATO is making itself so trollable even publicly stoic Russian admirals can’t resist.
This comment is slightly off topic, but I’ll say it anyway.
Today Reuters ran an article titled “NATO seeks troops to deter Russia on eastern flank.” Check out the photo of Jens Stoltenberg. He looks bug eyed and depraved…like an ideological maniac of some sort.
Stoltenberg’s personna — in this photo at least — reminds me of Sergei Eisenstein’s depiction of the fanatic Teutonic Knight leaders in the movie Alexander Nevsky. When you think about it, that makes sense. There’s little difference between today’s NATO leaders and the 13th century Teutonic Order. NATO has embarked on a crazed quest to destroy Russia for reasons of liberalism and geopolitics. The deranged medieval German knights sought to overrun Russia for reasons of religion and colonialism.
History moves in circles.
And let’s not forget, Jens Stoltenberg was a key player – if not the key player – in the fake far-right Zionist Breivik hoax.
He changed his “course” after his first Bilderberger intro By his father Thorvald Stoltenberg previous foreign minister of Norway. As leader of the social-democratic (Arbeiderpartiet) youth organisation he was strictly against Nato. (yearly youth camp at Utøya).
After the massacre at Utøya, when he was Prime Minister, and when he uttered the famous words:
“The responsibility is mine and mine alone, as head of state, I do take that very serous and have decided to stay in my position as Prime-Minister”.
He did get the message all right, scared sh””les,, and later accepted the “reward” and succeeded the equally incompetent Anders Fogh Rasmussen as Secretary General of NATO.
See for yourself: http://telemarksporten.no/Tegneserier/Jens_Stoltenberg_Nato_Intro_Faces_of_Evil.jpg
The Rasmus: http://telemarksporten.no/Tegneserier/Anders_Fogh_Rasmussen_Exit_Faces_of_Evil.jpg
BRUSSELS, October 26. /TASS/. The defense ministers of the North Atlantic alliance will discuss strengthening of NATO presence in the Black Sea region, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.
NATO warships in the Black Sea (archive)
Russian NATO envoy says Black Sea will never be “NATO’s lake”
“We will mark progress in plans for more NATO presence in the eastern part of our Alliance, and also in the Black Sea region,” Stoltenberg said at the start of the meetings of NATO defense ministers.
“And we will discuss Russia’s recent military activity along our borders. Close to our borders, Russia continues its assertive military posturing,” he added.
Stoltenberg also expressed discontent with the deployment of Iskander missile systems in Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad region and the suspension of the weapons-grade plutonium disposal agreement with the United States. He also accused Russia of destabilizing eastern Ukraine saying that Moscow allegedly provides the separatists with military and financial support.
The law on suspending this agreement was unanimously approved by the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, earlier on Wednesday. The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said Iskander missile systems were deployed in Kaliningrad for combat training purposes.
Ties with Russia’
but note he says!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The North Atlantic Alliance plans to have more constructive relationship with Moscow, Stoltenberg added.”
I think there are better ways to do that…………………….
BRUSSELS, October 26. /TASS/. NATO is urging Russia to stop strikes on Syria’s Aleppo, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday upon arrival at the North Atlantic alliance’s defense ministerial meeting.
Gallery 12 photo
Russian Navy ships in fight against Islamic State
“Russia has the right to operate in international waters. We have seen before the deployment of Russian naval ships and also the Russian carrier group to the Mediterranean. And we have also of course seen before port visits of Russian ships also to NATO ports. So this has happened before,” Stoltenberg said.
“The thing which is different this time is that we are concerned about the possibility that the Kuznetsov carrier group can be used as a platform for more attacks against Aleppo and Syria, and thereby exacerbating the humanitarian catastrophe we already see in Aleppo and Syria,” he said.
“And therefore we are following this more closely and we are concerned about the potential of increased Russian airstrikes against Aleppo,” Stoltenberg said.
Russia withdrawn request to refuel in Spain.
Apologies..was request to refuel in a Spanish port in Africa apparently.
Rus says had considered but never formally requested such a port visit……..the truth is out there somewhere?
Tass has article .today..NATO confirms at their defence ministers meeting sending even more troops from variety of countries, at 20.43 pm ,to increase NATO presence in the Black Sea area in Rumania, plus more countries contribute troops to Baltic countries…but confirms wishes to hold nato-russia council
sometime soonish,maybe, at Ambassador level….sounds like blackmail or confrontation to me.
Perhaps the West is practicing some kind of Eugenics.
I suspect that all the people they are sending into the dead-zone that is the former Eastern Europe are being cleansed.
Try to not underestimate power of three deployed Russia theater anti air systems. S-300/S-400 has quite a lot of launcher vehicles per battery and each vehicle is carrying 4 missiles.
Thus main goal of the Russian fleet is arriving in Syria without breaking down. And show they are capable of moving back after they did what they wanted. Perhaps they would even visit Crimea.
How is the USA tied to the Turkish attempted coup and civil war? What about this “Muslim cleric” living in PA?
Not being a military weapons expert, I will refrain from commenting on the merits of this Armada and the shitload of diapers US needs to procure and courrier to their troops. I have to defer to the obviously well informed and savvy people commenting on this post, starting with The Saker himself.
I would rather point out that there has been, for many years in the intelligence circles in US, a complete and utterly stupid contempt for all the other armed forces on the planet, starting with Russia. Only a handful of (mostly old) specialized analysts do understand that Russia has -today- a fully coherent force, with the right soldiers, with the right mindset, manning the right equipment.
That is as important as any modernization of the embedded electronics of the equipment. Furthermore, any -God forbid- erupting conflict will not require the creation of a narrative to be “sold” to the Russian soldiers. There is an overwhelming understanding of the Kremlin’s policy, firmly anchored into an airtight legal framework, coated with a noble tradition of honoring International alliances commitment.
Put yourselves in the levitating shoes (no boots on the ground :) of an American G.I., adviser, trainer, special forces or specialist left alone to decipher the US “strategy” while watching Fox News and the American farcical elections show.
-Would you feel supported by your country?
-Would you contemplate living the rosy future of a veteran?
-Would you clearly identify the reasons of your presence in the living hell of Syria and Iraq?
-Having time to watch your reflection in the mirror -don’t shave to better blend in your environment, populated with Wahabis wannabe bearded martyrs- would you feel defending a good and just cause?
-And, last but not least, would you believe your remote superiors when they characterize Russia as playing a game of chicken?
Odds are that you are not too keen to play roulette with the ethnical group who made it a common word.
I bumped a few times in a previous life with kids and officers commuting to Afghanistan via various Central Asia airports and hotels. You barely have 20% of them stupid and gullible enough to be indoctrinated and gobbling crap arguments. The others would gladly be sent back to their families and birth places to live the decent lives they deserve.
There was a stark contrast between these guys and the hordes of “contractors” which have been ferried in droves to theaters of operations. These are greater than life caricatures of very bad guys in Hollywood movies. It takes a non-violent pacifist less than 5 minutes of conversation to start looking for a gun or a knife to end the conversation in the only possible way with these scumbags.
Therefore, Russia has a decisive advantage over any potential adversary in this conflict. They bring deterrence, clear rules of engagement, willingness to follow orders and appeased conscience.
This little tour de force is bringing a smile to my face. To see all the usual suspects hyperventilating over it is priceless; such a cheap propaganda victory. The Brits could see the smoke from the Admiral Kuznetsov rising over the cliffs of Dover as she sailed through the Channel. Then force NATO to deny refuelling, making them look like the aggressors. And every step closer to Syria closes whatever window exists to prevent this fleet from joining the fray. With the naval refuelling station at Tartus being flagged to be upgraded to a full naval base, it will need its own fleet. Coupled with the reactivation of the old Soviet naval base in Sidi Barrani, Egypt, this battle group could be a permanent fixture in the Mediterranean. The pressure on NATO military planners is palpable.
BREAKING NEWS 27.October.2016
Aleppo: Tough Battle Underway Between Syrian Soldiers, Terrorists in Housing Project 1070
Syrian army troops and popular forces are engaged in a tough battle against the terrorists of Jeish Al-Fatah coalition to take back a few remaining building blocks still under their control in Southwestern Aleppo.
Terrorist Groups Pull Forces Back from More Lands in Northeastern Hama
Syrian Army soldiers and popular forces engaged in fierce clashes with terrorist groups in Northeastern Hama and forced them to retreat from key positions in the region.
Over 5,000 Civilians Massacred by US Airstrikes on Syria in 2 Years
A senior politician and member of Syria’s Democratic Union blasted the wrong reports given out by different US and world bodies on the number of the civilian victims of the US airstrikes on Syria, disclosing that Washington’s uncontrolled air strikes – fire at will.
Zarif, Lavrov Discuss Bilateral Ties, Syrian Crisis over Phone
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in a telephone conversation on Wednesday discussed bilateral ties and the latest developments in Syria.
More Areas Retaken from ISIL Near Iraq’s Mosul
Iraq’s joint military forces have liberated more areas around the northern city of Mosul in a massive offensive aimed at retaking the entire city from the ISIL terrorists.
Yemeni Popular Forces Preparing to Fight against Saudi Aggressors
After Riyadh’s deadly air campaign against Yemeni civilians in Sana’a which killed and wounded nearly 900 people, more popular forces have joined army troops and Ansarullah forces to fight against Saudi Arabia and its allies. [P … more
Aleppo: Terrorists Fire Mortar Shells on Residential Areas, Kill and Wound Civilians
Three people were killed, including a seven-year-old girl, and 28 more were wounded after terrorists shelled residential areas in government-held Western Aleppo.
Secret ISIL Tunnels Hidden Beneath Mosul
A series of intricate ISIL built tunnels containing living quarters have been discovered beneath Mosul as government forces drive the terrorist group from the Iraqi city.
ISIL Sets Fire to Oil Wells as They Flee Mosul
ISIL terrorists are setting fire to oil wells South of Mosul, pursuing scorched earth tactics while escaping the city.
Children and Their Mothers Flee ISIL after Being Liberated by Iraqi Troops
Iraqi families are gathering on a roadside after being driven out of their homes due to the ongoing battle to recapture Mosul.
Incontrovertible: British Government Trains Saudi Pilots Committing War Crimes in Yemen
As the murderous Saudi campaign goes by in Yemen, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away. The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is:
Senator Speaks of Middle East’s True ‘Axis of Evil’
Republican member of the Virginia State in US Senate Richard Hayden Black said in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Tuesday that the war in Syria would have been over by now if the US had put an end to its intervention when Russia … more
Senior MP Urges France to Help Stop Saudi Regime’s Massacre of Yemeni Nation
A senior Iranian lawmaker called on France to help stop massacre of the Yemeni people by Saudi Arabia.
Iran, Russia, Syria to Discuss Anti-Terrorism Efforts in Moscow Meeting Friday
Top diplomats from Iran, Russia and Syria are to convene in Moscow on Friday to discuss coordinated efforts to fight against terrorism in Syria.
WikiLeaks Released Email: Clinton ‘Still Not Perfect in the Head’
In a 2015 email leaked by WikiLeaks, a top aid to the Democrat presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton said that Clinton was “still not perfect in the head”.
Battle for Mosul on Wednesday: Battle to Liberate Mosul in Advanced Stage
Military operation by the joint Iraqi forces to liberate the city of Mosul continued on Wednesday and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the military campaign has now come to an advanced phase, noting that the performance of the Iraqi … more
Yemeni Army Blocks Pro-Saudi Attack on Key Region in Sana’a Province
The Yemeni army and popular forces pushed back an attack by pro-Saudi troops to advance towards a strategic region in Sana’a province on Wednesday, inflicting heavy losses on them.
Iraqi Forces Prepare to Storm Mosul City
Iraqi forces inched within striking distance of Eastern Mosul on Wednesday as Special Forces moved more than 1,000 people from villages near the front lines of the battle to retake the city under ISIL control.
ISIL Heavily Pounded in Eastern Aleppo
The Syrian air force and artillery units launched heavy strikes on ISIL positions in Deir Hafer, the terrorist group’s second largest stronghold in Eastern Aleppo after al-Bab.
Iran, China Ready to Boost Scientific Cooperation
Vice-President for Scientific and Technological Affairs Sorena Sattari voiced Iran’s preparedness to boost cooperation with China in various areas of science.
Iran Urges West to Stop Supporting Terrorist Groups
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi blasted certain western countries for supporting terrorism in Syria and Iraq, and called for a halt to their financial and logistical supports for the terrorist groups.
UN: ISIL Uses Civilians as Human Shields in Battle for Mosul
The United Nations said the ISIL terror group has recently executed dozens of civilians and used many more as human shields, as Iraqi forces continue to close in the ISIL-held city of Mosul.
Iraqi Forces Evacuate 1,000 Civilians from Mosul Front Lines
Iraqi Special Forces moved more than 1,000 people from villages near the front lines of the battle to retake the ISIL-held city of Mosul.
Turkey’s border police opened fire on a number of Syrian civilians near the town of Amude as activists and eyewitnesses reported that the civilians were trying to escape the ongoing war in Syria.
Large Cache of ISIL Weapons Seized by Peshmerga near Iraq’s Bashiqa
Iraqi Peshmerga forces said on Wednesday that they have found a tunnel, which is the largest ISIL weapons depot discovered so far in the Bashiqa front.
The Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAYF) reportedly killed one of the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) highest ranking commanders in the northern Homs countryisde on Wednesday. According to an Al-Masdar field correspoondent in Damascus City, the Syrian Arab Air Force killed the Chief of Staff for the Free Syrian Army’s Syrian, Colonel Shouki Ayyoub, in the northern Homs countryside. The field correspondent added that at least 5 other Free Syrian Army soldiers were killed alongside Colonel Shouki Ayyoub inside the town of Al-Rastan. Colonel Shouki Ayyoub was one of the first officers to defect from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in 2011; he would play an integral role in the formation of the Free Syrian Army.
BREAKING NEWS 27.10.2016 UPDATE !!
STATE OF THE ART IN JEWISH ZION-CABAL MADNESS !! (Enjoykin(
State Departmen accused Moscow and Putin for “act of aggression” Battle Polar Lights over the USA
The State Department of the USA accuses the Moscow authorities of creation of the polar lights in many large cities of the USA. According to many American diplomats, because of this phenomenon cases of fights and conflicts in the cities increased. The first official representative of the White House Josh Earnest was carried out the assumption concerning fault of Russia in creation of the natural phenomenon. According to him, Moscow generates the strongest polar lights that people couldn’t sleep and became angry and irritable. Ernest was supported by many American diplomats, and also the ambassador of the UN in the USA Samantha Power. According to them, on this “act of aggression” there will be the appropriate response in the form of sanctions very soon.
BREAKING NEWS 27.October.2016 COMPLETE UPDATE
Syria in Past 24 Hours: Scores of Militants Killed, Wounded in Aleppo
Syria in Past 24 Hours: Scores of Militants Killed, Wounded in Aleppo
The Syrian army and its allies continued to advance in different parts of Aleppo and other provinces, killing and wounding dozens of terrorists.
Syrian Army troops, the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi al-Nujaba Movement are engaged in an intense battle with Jeish al-Fatah in Housing Project 1070 in Southwestern Aleppo city, capturing more positions in the battlefield, military sources said Wednesday.
“The Syrian government forces continued to target Jeish al-Fatah’s strongholds in Tal (hill) al-Ahd near the newly-freed hill of Tal Bazo,” the sources said.
“In the first round of their attack, the government forces captured a part of Tal al-Ahd, inflicting major damage and heavy casualties on the militants,” they added.
“With the seizure of Tal al-Ahd, the Syrian army and popular forces will be able to storm another main position of Jeish al-Fatah in Tal Mo’ata, which is close to al-Hikmah school, whose liberation will be easer after recapturing Tal al-Ahd and Tal Mo’ata,” the sources pointed out.
Also, military sources disclosed on Wednesday that experienced commandoes of Desert Hawks Brigade have arrived in Aleppo city to join a large-scale battle against the terrorist groups in the region.
“The Syrian Special Forces, also known as Liwa Suqour al-Sahra, are also experienced in street battle,” the sources said, adding, “The Brigade will lead the operation of government forces to drive Jeish al-Fatah out of Aleppo city and its outskirts in the next few days.”
A military source disclosed on Tuesday that the Syrian Army troops and Air Force struck a large gathering of the terrorist groups in the Northern outskirts of Aleppo city, killing or wounding scores of them and foiling their plan to hit government strongholds.
“Following sensitive intel received from army agent in the region, the Syrian government forces and fighter jets carried out surprise attacks on terrorists’ concentration centers in Haraytan and al-Malaah regions near Castello road to preempt them and defuse their plan for raiding army positions in the Northern outskirts of Aleppo city,” an army officer told FNA.
“Dozens of militants were killed or wounded in the attack, and now the Castello road is safe and under the army’s full control,” he added.
Also, in the past 24 hours, Russian and Syrian warplanes and artillery units targeted reinforcements, gatherings and military columns of the terrorist groups in Northern and Western Aleppo, preventing their move towards Aleppo city to lift the army siege on the militant-held districts, Arab media reported.
Al-Watan reported that the terrorist groups in the Northern and Western territories of Aleppo province had been preparing to launch a large-scale operation, codenamed Great Epic Operation, against government positions around Aleppo city, but the Syrian armed forces and their Russian allies in a preemptive move attacked the militants’ gatherings and foiled their plan.
“The Syrian Army’s artillery units shelled the terrorists’ gathering in the town of Kafr Dael in Northern Aleppo and near the town of al-Mansoureh in the Western countryside of Aleppo city, inflicting heavy losses on the militants, who were preparing to move towards Aleppo city,” the source said.
“In the meantime, the Syrian and Russian fighter jets targeted a convoy of terrorist reinforcements, as they were moving into the region held by Turkey-backed terrorists of Nouralddeen al-Zinki from Idlib, inflicting a heavy death toll on them,” the source went on to say.
“Three convoys of fresh militants were targeted and a large number of fighters were killed or wounded before arriving in al-Zinki-held region, which was deemed as the terrorists’ start point for launching Great Epic Operation,” the source added.
Also, on Wednesday, the Syrian army soldiers and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters are engaged in an intense battle with Jeish al-Fatah terrorists to open their way into Southwestern Aleppo province to launch a massive operation to win back the key town of Khan Touman, military sources said.
“Following the recapture of the air defense battalion base and its nearby hills along the Aleppo-Khan Touman road, the Syrian government forces have launched a new round of attacks on Jeish al-Fatah to capture more strategic hills along the road and open a safe way towards the town,” the sources said.
“The Syrian Air Force has also been targeting Jeish al-Fatah’s gatherings in the neighborhoods of Rashedeen 4 and 5 and Arz al-Jabas, the town of Khalseh, Zeitan, Khan Touman, al-Eis, al-Zerbeh and along the Aleppo-Damascus highway, inflicting major losses and heavy casualties on the militants,” the sources went on to say.
Also, in the past 24 hours, the Syrian army troops and popular forces fended off Jeish al-Fatah’s offensive to take back the Air Defense Battalion base on the Southern outskirts of Aleppo city, killing at least 20 militants and wounding dozens more.
Syrian government forces, backed up by the country’s fighter jets, repelled Jeish al-Fatah’s attack on army positions at the air defense battalion, and claimed the lives of at least 20 terrorists.
Army reports said eight vehicles of the terrorists were also damaged completely in the battle.
A military source said on Wednesday that the Syrian air force and artillery units launched heavy strikes on ISIL positions in Deir Hafer, the terrorist group’s second largest stronghold in Eastern Aleppo after al-Bab.
“The attacks destroyed 6 military vehicles of terrorists and killed dozens of the ISIL militants,” a military source said.
Analysts believe that intensified army attacks on ISIL gathering centers in Deir Hafer and Maskanah which is seen as the gate to Raqqa province is a sign of imminent operations by the Syrian forces to capture the terrorist group’s self-proclaimed capital.
Syrian military forces stopped two pickups of terrorist groups and seized a large volume of ammunition and weapons heading towards militant-held regions in Damascus province.
Two shipments of weapons and ammunition which had been prepared to be sent to the militants in Qalamoun region were seized by army soldiers.
Also, on Wednesday, a long military column of the terrorist groups was destroyed by the Syrian Army as it was taking tens of fresh forces to Khan al-Sheih region in Western Ghouta.
The military convoy of Ahrar al-Sham and Fatah al-Sham Front, including a tank, four military vehicles and tens of fresh forces, came under heavy attack by the Syrian government forces on the way to Khan al-Sheih.
The convoy was to join terrorist groups in Khan al-Sheih to help them resist against the growing advances of the Syrian army in the region.
A large number of terrorists were killed or injured in the attack.
Also, in the past 24 hours, the Syrian military forces continued to beat the terrorist groups back from more lands in Khan al-Sheih region in Western Ghouta, capturing several farms after brief clashes.
Syrian army troops struck terrorists’ defense lines in the farms between the Northwestern side of the town of Khan al-Sheih and the Southwestern side of the town of al-Zakiyeh, inflicting heavy casualties on the militants and capturing several farms.
The terrorist groups’ military equipment sustained major damage in the attack.
Also, yesterday, the Syrian army soldiers and popular forces continued to strike at Jeish al-Islam’s defense lines near the strategic city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, inflicting major casualties on the terrorists.
Syrian government forces engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists of Jeish al-Islam in al-Reihan region and along the road connecting Tal Kurdi to Douma.
In the meantime, Syrian army units hit terrorists’ centers hard near the town of al-Shifouniyeh, and captured more positions.
Farms around the towns of Jesrin and al-Mohammadiyeh were also the scenes of heavy fighting between the Syrian soldiers and Jeish al-Islam militants.
Syrian fighter jets, meantime, played a crucial role in beating the terrorists back from their positions in Eastern Ghouta.
Syrian Army soldiers and popular forces continued to drive Jeish al-Fatah out of more positions near the newly-freed town of Ma’an in Northern Hama, restoring security to three key regions on Wednesday.
The government forces inflicted major losses and a heavy death toll on Jund al-Aqsa and Fatah al-Sham Front and pushed them back from the regions of al-Borj and Zohrat al-Fatas and Tal (hill) Khirbet Kahileh.
The Jeish al-Fatah terrorist coalition, specially Fatah al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa, suffered a heavy death toll and pulled the remaining pockets of their forces back from the battlefield.
Also, on Wednesday, a notorious field commander of Tajamo al-Ezzah terrorist group was killed in heavy airstrikes in Northern Hama.
Syrian fighter jets pounded terrorists’ concentration centers and gatherings near the towns of Souran, al-Latamina, Ma’an, Tal Bazam, Taybat al-Imam and Kafr Zita, killing scores of the militants, including commander of Tajamo al-Ezzah Mohammad al-Ashtar.
Several missile launchpads, mortar launchers and military vehicles of the terrorist groups were destroyed in the airstrikes as well.
Also, in the past 24 hours, Syrian government forces and military helicopters repelled ISIL’s attack in the Eastern side of the town of al-Salamiyah, inflicting dozens of casualties on the terrorists.
ISIL launched a large-scale operation in al-Salamiyah region to capture a key triangle from the town of Aqarib, to the village of Eastern Mofaker and to the oil pipeline, but the Syrian government forces forced them to retreat from the battlefield with heavy fire.
The ISIL suffered a heavy death toll and pulled back to evade more casualties.
The Syrian amry helicopters also targeted ISIL’s vehicles and positions, playing a crucial role in repelling the terrorists’ assault.
Syrian Army troops and National Defense Forces repelled ISIL’s offensive on their defense lines in al-Maher oilfield in Eastern Homs, inflicting several casualties on the terrorists.
The Syrian government forces fended of ISIL’s attack to recapture the position they have lost in the battles of the last several days.
The ISIL terrorists suffered a number of casualties in the failed attack.
Meantime, Syrian fighter jets pounded ISIL’s centers in Arak oilfield and its nearby areas, near the town of al-Sukhnah and in the village of al-Tibeh in Eastern Homs.
Syrian army men also clashed with terrorist groups of Fatah al-Sham Front, Ahrar al-Sham and Rejalollah near the town of al-Rastan blocking their invasion.
So how did that school get bombed today?
About Russian bases, today, the Moscow-based catalan journalist Angel ferrero has written that in Spanish newspaper “Publico”:
under the title “Are really forieng Russian military bases a threat?” Ferrero gives some interesting data:
-Russia is the fouth country on absolute miilitary budget, behing USA, China and SAudi Arabia (even them!). Usa Budget is nine or ten times bigger than Russia’s.
-The alarmis, on “Russian threat” is because the successful modernization of Russian Army under Putin, not because Russian real attitude, which is not particularly aggressive.
-Russia has, counting with the widest measure (counting Crimea as Ukraine, counting military petrol-stations as Tartus or Cam Rahn in Vietnam as “bases”, and counting interposition stationary forces as Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transdnistria) only 18 “bases in the world. Great Britain ahs a similar number of foreign bases, 16, but this are conventional bases, not as Russia’s ones, that those 18 are using the widest measure posible. In the other hand, USA has 800 foreing bases “the largest torrps display in the history by every nation or Empire”.
-Russia has only one “mobile foreing base” or plane-carrier ship, the “Admiral Kuznetsov”, whereas USA has 11.
So according the journalist, there is not reasonable basis for the “Rusian threat” claim.
@ Tom Garrett
“…I’d very much like to hear your erudite opinion on (a) the vulnerability of the fleet prior to merger and (b) the form US aggression against it might take…”
The question of a possible Nato attack on the Russian fleet while en route is a valid one…considering especially the unreality displayed by some Washington actors lately…
I think the political context you describe is quite accurate…Clearly there seems to be a crazed determination on the part of the US to prevent Syria from slipping through its fingers…as this now begins to appear inevitable…Aleppo has basically fallen as Trump remarked in the last two debates…but insane people do not want to deal with reality…
Right now the Russian side is basically in a holding pattern in Syria…trying to dampen the rising crescendo of hysterical “humanitarian” propaganda with a unilateral moratorium on RF and SAA aviation sorties on East Aleppo…now holding for nine days…they know Aleppo is in the bag and are simply waiting for the hysterics…including the dirty tricks with puppet UN agencies like the ironically named UN Human Rights Council…to die down…
So to try to get a fix on the interesting question you pose…keeping in mind my experience is in aviation, not naval operations… I will try to put together a “tale of the tape” if you will… some of the weapons systems and tactics that might come into play…as well as the possible response / retaliation…
You are correct that the fleet would appear vulnerable while en route…for one thing it is passing by the shores of UK… which hosts a large US air and naval contingent…as well as UK air and naval forces…other large air contingents are in Germany and Italy…Also in the Atlantic theater are the vast US mainland-based air and sea assets…
A big question is how much Nato support could be mustered for such a dangerous aggression against a nuclear superpower…this is definitely playing with fire…the recent EU meeting that resulted in no new Russia sanctions…or even mention of such…due to resistance by Italy, Spain and others…gives a clue that US is increasingly politically isolating itself with its hardline politics…
Even Germany and France leadership which are willing to play the sanctions game are aware of strong anti-war public opinion…in Germany there is growing dissatisfaction with continued US occupation…especially the Ramstein base that is the staging ground for criminal drone hits across Africa, Middle East and South Asia…
It would be quite unlikely that a unanimous Nato decision could be mustered as a fig leaf cover for such an operation…at least not without some serious restrictions…such as refusal to allow strikes from bases on European territory…
So any possible attack on this naval armada would likely be mostly a US op…the US could of course count on at least some support of lapdog UK…and even Hollande seems crazy enough to at least symbolically join such a mini-coalition…perhaps some minor outliers as well…
Let’s examine the options…both aviation and naval…
This is not going to be a naval slugfest…as far as I’m aware there is no surface fleet in the area that could take on this force…for another US Carrier strike groups (CSGs) are not technically designed to take on opposing naval fleets…they are in fact a tool for colonial enforcement as Saker pointed out…
But let’s first look at what a CSG consists of and what kind of weapons it carries…the centerpiece is of course a US supercarrier of the current Nimitz class…with a carrier air wing…current numbers are typically about 64 aircraft…this includes a strike fighter squadron of 12 to 14 F/A-18E or F Super Hornets…and an additional two strike fighter squadrons of 10 to 12 F/A-18C Hornets each…
Also on board would be four to six electronic warfare aircraft…either the Northrop Grumann EA-6B Prowler (in service since 1971)…a twin turbojet, subsonic four-seater…or the Boeing E/A-18G Growler…a supersonic capable (M 1.8) twin afterburning turbofan, two-seater based on the Super Hornet airframe…both of these carry the AN/ALQ-99 airborne electronic warfare system manufactured by EDO corp…this is a jamming system that has been in use since the Vietnam war…presumably with incremental updates…
The bigger Prowler airframe can carry three under-wing jamming pods as well as a tail pod for receiving…the Growler can carry two under-wing jammers…The Prowler has far greater range but the Growler has the option of dash speed and can carry A2A missiles…both carry AGM-88 HARMs…(high-speed radiation missiles designed to hit enemy radar with a max range of 150 km…)
The aging AN/ALQ-99s effectiveness against modern, powerful SAM radars is likely slim to none..the reliability of the system itself has a poor reputation…with “frequent failures” cited in a 2010 GAO (General Accountability Office) report…even over Serbia Prowlers were often out of commission…including, reportedly on the night of the F117 downing…
The jammer is also said to interfere with the aircraft radar and the ram-air turbine that generates the electrical power for the system reduces the aircraft’s speed…
Interestingly in April 2016 the US deployed a squadron of Prowlers to Incirlik…and they have reportedly accompanied coalition anti-ISIL strikes in Syria…some claim these will “prevent” RF and Syrian air defense from tracking coalition aircraft…
I would seriously doubt the Prowler is capable of doing that…and with Russian precise radar data reports on that disputed Belgian raid…this would seem to be proof of the Prowler’s ineffectiveness…
Technically… throwing this jamming suite against powerful Russian SAM radars is like hunting elephant with a slingshot…the AN/ALQ-99 max power output is 6.8 kilowatt each and a small transmitter antenna area of a few square inches… it has little chance of disrupting a powerful ship radar or the even the Big Bird 91N6E (land mobile) used by the S-400 system…which have peak power in the megawatt range and aperture size 30 percent bigger than the vaunted AN/SPY-1…Aegis radar on US cruisers…
Here is more on the Prowler…about a quarter way down this page you can see the AN/ALQ-99 jamming pod mounted under Prowler wing…and the little propeller turbine on its tip that supplies power…
So the question is…even if the US throws a carrier strike group against the Russian Fleet…how much damage could it do…?…what are the vulnerabilities…?
As mentioned such an assault would probably never be contemplated in the first place…the air wing could throw up maybe 40 Hornets and Super Hornets…which would have to deal not only with the superior Su-33 Flankers on board the Kuznetsov…but also the equivalent of an S-400 battalion plus an S-300 battalion on board the nuclear powered cruiser Pyotr Velikiy (total 96 missile launchers)…
The cruiser also packs a total of 128 SA-N-9 Gauntlet SAM missiles which is basically a ship-based version of the Tor missile system…this was the first air defense system in the world designed to shoot down precision guided weapons like the AGM-86 air-launched cruise missile (ALCM)…
The two Udaloy class destroyers, Kulakov and Severomorsk… are also equipped with 64 each of the SA-N-9…
This is basically a floating integrated air defense roughly equivalent to what is already on the ground in Syria…btw here is an interesting article on a matchup between the Super Hornet and Flanker…but somewhat dated (2007)…
Bottom line is that there can be no realistic scenario of a US carrier strike group trying to engage this Russian fleet…this is not the fight the US CSGs were designed for…they were designed to park offshore a third-world country…establish air superiority over a tinpot force and then pummel land targets with massive Tomahawk salvos…
A CSG typically includes one or two Ticonderoga class Aegis guided missile cruisers…the main armament is two 61 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems (VLS) for a total of 122 missile tubes… which can launch either the BGM-109 Tomahawk subsonic cruise missile (up to 2,500 km range)…or any number of RIM Standard Missile anti-air or anti-ballistic missile rounds…as well as the Harpoon anti-ship missile…
(Incidentally…this multimode capability of the VLS is what appears to be driving Russian objections to the Aegis Ashore installation in Romania and Poland…since those launch tubes for missile defense (which effectiveness is in some doubt) can also launch nuclear-tipped Tomahawks…)
In any case the Tomahawk has no anti-ship capability although there is some talk about trying to adapt it to that role…
In Sept 2014, 47 Tomahawks were fired at ISIL targets in Syria…a total of 802 Tomahawks were launched against Iraq in 2003…The US has a stockpile of 3,500 Tomahawks…
The same Mk 41 VLS can also launch the Harpoon anti-ship missile…but this has a range of only about 125 km…and has a rather small 221 kg warhead…
Los Angeles Class nuclear attack subs also have the same VLS and can launch the same Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles…
The problem is the rather short range of the Harpoon…which, although a sea-skimmer flies at subsonic speed…this slow speed makes it vulnerable too…
Defending against this rather anemic weapon would not be much trouble for the 256 total “Tor” missiles on board the cruiser and two destroyers…
The Mk41 VLS on both the surface ships and subs can also launch the RIM-67 which can be used against ships…this missile has a range of up to 185 km but packs only 62 kg of warhead… this is a much more potent weapon with supersonic flight speed…but again the problem is range…
At 600 km out a CSG would be met with a swarm of 600+ km range, supersonic P700 Granit missiles…with a 750 kg high explosive warhead each…entering that ring of fire would be suicide…
So what about aviation with standoff cruise missiles…there are some options available here BUT they are currently only for land targets…and this is what we could see in Syria…especially since there are noises directly mentioning standoff weapons to counter the integrated air defense in place…
The AGM-154 joint standoff weapon (JSOW) is supposedly designed to attack from outside “standard” aircraft defenses…but its maximum range (high altitude release) is only 130 km…even if this could be used against ships…it is well within the reach of the 250 km range of the 48N6 missile on the Russian cruiser (and also used on the S400…which also adds the 400 km range 40N6 missile…and which uses the same launch tube and could well be on the ship as well…)
The AGM-158 joint air-to-surface standoff missile (JASSM)…which is said to have a range of 370 km…this 2,200 lb missile can be carried by B1, B2, B52, F15E Strike Eagle, F16 , and F/A 18 Hornet…maximum of two each on the smaller aircraft…this is not an anti-ship weapon but could be one of the options they are contemplating in a Syria standoff strike…
The extended range (1,000 km) JASSM-ER can only be carried by the B-1 Lancer at this point…although it is planned for the other airframes as well…again not an anti-ship missile, but could figure in on the possible Syria strike…
The ER is the base for the planned AGM 158C LRASM (long range anti-ship missile)…which will “address range and survivability problems with the Harpoon anti-ship missile and to prioritize defeating enemy warships, which has been neglected since the end of the Cold War…”
So the bottom line is this…a carrier strike group really doesn’t have the right kind of weapons right now to challenge this kind of armada…and standoff aviation strikes are only an option against land targets…although we can certainly see this is an option for a Syria strike…as is a massive Iraq-style Tomahawk volley form a CSG parked in the Red Sea…
Of course US would have to think about what comes after that…way back the Soviets made the smart decision to counter US carrier power not with their own carriers but with a carrier-killer weapon system that could not be defended…
That missile is the Raduga KH-22…Launch platform is the Mach 1.9 Tupolev Tu-22M3 “Backfire” which can carry three in its internal bay or mounted underwing…
With a range of 600 km, a speed of M 4.6 and a 1,000 kg warhead the KH-22 is designed to blow a 5 m wide hole…12 m deep…
The high supersonic dash speed of the Backfire makes interception very difficult to say the least…
This was the weapon that spurred the US to develop the Aegis system…
If the Aegis and Standard Missile works as advertised it could conceivably put up a defense against this beast…but with 70 Tu22M3s in current inventory that could be a salvo of over 200 missiles…
And now the next generation KH-32 is ready…
With a range of 1,000 km and speed over M 5 “…its combination of speed and flight path makes it virtually invulnerable to interception by ground-based air defenses and fighters…”
An interesting picture (about three quarters down the page) from Soviet era (undated)…with Admiral Charles R. Larson, then Commander of the US Pacific Fleet…taking a seat inside a Tu-22M…the look on his face says it all…
Nato naval assets available might include Los Angeles class nuclear attack subs, Ticonderoga class guided missile cruisers…and Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers…the surface ships in these two classes make use of the Aegis Combat System…equipped with the powerful AN/SPY-1 radar and the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System that can fire both the BGM-109 long-range Tomahawk cruise missile…as well as a wide range of Raytheon RIM surface to air and anti-ballistic missiles…from the same launch tubes…
However the long range Tomahawk (1,500 km) is not an anti-ship weapon at this point so would not enter into the equation…although the US is working on this…
At the same time…the Russian fleet cannot count on the air defense support from the formidable integrated air defense network (IADS) now in place on the ground in Syria…nor the air assets there…including a small but potent force of Su30 air superiority fighters that are useful not just for air to air engagements but also defending against various cruise and standoff missiles…
If Nato are going to hit…now is the time…
The defensive capabilities of the Russian fleet are formidable in their own right…starting with the nuclear powered cruiser Peter The Great…
I can’t thank you enough flankerbandit for your superbly documented summary of the current situation. It deserves to be widely distributed. Anyone who reads it will be, as I am, much in your debt. Readers/posters of the Saker blog are fortunate to have it as a definitive reference.
Churchill–who told his share- said that “War is accompanied by a bodyguard of lies.” American policies today today are absolutely afloat in lies, even, if would seem, propelled by them. That’s one reason why impregnably documented straight talk, such as you have provided. is so critically important. The thing now is to get it into the hands of people positioned to use it politically.
Right now I have no choice but to take off for our ranch. On return I’ll try to do my part. And once more thank you and best regards from old Wyoming. Tom
I think Mercouris is correct. It is a joy ride to wind up NATO and have the Russian Navy flex their muscles.
Clearly passage via the Straits of Dover and Gibraltar is a great big middle finger to NATO plus the planned but now abandoned refuel at Cueta, a straight finger to the UK.
With Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt coseying up to Russia the bogus refuel shams did more damage to the nerves of the US bases in Spain and Italy.
The whole escapade shows up just how pathetic the NATO navies have become, with a special highlight of the absurdly ridiculous Royal Naval man-marking charade, that indicates to the world that the Royal Navy will be down to one mine sweeper by 2025 at this rate.
Good fun for the Ruskies…pathetic debilitation for NATO.
The reason why Russia has no “Aircraft Carriers” is a technical one:
This treaty forbids transit of Aircraft Carriers through the Bosporus, but not of other vessels that amongst other things can also launch aircraft.
Rusia is not alone with this, the Japanese classify their Hyuga- and Izumo- class a/c as “destroyers”, despite their 27’000 t displacement (10 x of a typical destroyer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harukaze-class_destroyer)
Of course your points remain valid despite of this, the Russians just made a virtue out of a necessity.
@ Tom Garrett
Thanks for the kind words and glad to be of some use in this important discussion on the Syria conflict and particularly its military-technical dimension…
My aim has been to try to clarify some of the technical capabilities of force structures in place (and on the way) and what that means in terms of what we might realistically expect to see in case of a complete political breakdown…ie an open US military aggression on Syria…
I would also like to point to an excellent article from two days ago by Alex Mercouris…
“…The intense anti-Russian campaign in the West is a sign of weakness rather than strength. The Russian air defense system in Syria has closed down the US’s military options. Hillary Clinton knows it and her policies in Syria if she is elected President will be simply a continuation of Obama’s…”
This is a very astute reading of the situation…superbly supported by logic and a good handle on the technical capabilities of the opposing Russian and US forces…
His very clear thesis can be simply stated as…the US military has thoroughly evaluated the capabilities of the Russian air defenses and has decided not to dance with this bear…
Mercouris underlines the important point that the US has now clearly decided to “take a knee” in this confrontation…
The collapse of the Lavrov-Kerry ceasefire “…culminated in high level discussions within the US government about possible attacks on Syrian army bases, followed by public threats from Russia to shoot down US aircraft if such attacks took place. As The Duran reported – but as the Western media has conspicuously failed to do – following these threats from Russia, the US backed down…”
Any way you look at it…this is a humiliation…with the schoolyard bully faced down in public…
Mercouris also notes the “brave” talk following the US climbdown…in which some US media “…claimed the US military is confident of its ability to take on and defeat the Russian air defense system…”
But despite this after-the-fact bravado…Mercouris points to an unequivocal “official” admission to the contrary…by none other than the Washington Post…
“…Russia’s completion this month of an integrated air defense system in Syria has made an Obama administration decision to strike Syrian government installations from the air even less likely than it has been for years, and has created a substantial obstacle to the Syrian safe zones both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have advocated….”…states the WaPo in its lead sentence…
For once we get an MSM story that paints a fairly realistic picture…
“…For more than two years, Syria has tacitly accepted U.S. and coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State, in areas relatively far afield from where the civil war is being fought…”
In other words…the Russians are giving the US permission to fly in Syria but keeping them on a short leash… And as for the much-touted US-enforced no-fly zones…
“…The possibility of using U.S. air power in the civil war, even to patrol a safe zone for civilians, has never been favored by the Pentagon, which has argued that it would involve preemptory (sic) strikes on Syria’s fixed air defenses. Now, with the installation of a comprehensive, potent Russian air defense system, many military officials see it as risking a great power game of chicken, and possible war, according to senior administration officials…”
“…But while such zones — protected by U.S. air power — were established during years past in Iraq, Libya and Bosnia, all were against relatively weak opponents and conducted under United Nations authorization. Neither presidential nominee has addressed the question of comprehensive Russian air defenses…”
So there you have it…after some sober thought, the legendary (at least in its own mind) US air power has backed away from an actual fight against a real opponent…even admitting in the WaPo that beating up the equivalent of a 90 pound weakling is basically the extent of their bravado…
But I want to go back to some of those “brave noises” in some quarters of the US media about how US airpower…while politely saying no thanks to Konashenkov’s direct challenge to go mano a mano in the skies over Syria…nonetheless walks away muttering under its breath about how they can take the Russians anyway…like the bully-clown after being humiliated in public starts waving his arms in front of his buddies while shouting…”hold me back fellas…”
Just for thoroughness Mercouris gives a couple of interesting links to these “brave noises…”
This story outlines the ultimate fighting match between the super-hyped Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter…versus the deadly serious Russian air defenses…
This matchup…although never likely to take place as we shall see…is the stuff of gameboy fantasies for many …including the author of the above piece…one Dave Majumdar…who writes about aerospace for The National Interest…a rag founded by Irving Kristol…the father of neo-conservatism…
As one can imagine…the bailliwick of this gang is agit-prop…with a sprinkling of pop-sci…
A quick look at Majumdar’s LinkedIn resume reveals a liberal arts education and spotty career in PR and writing for third-rate rags…no hard science background whatsoever…never mind actual training in either civil or military aviation or weapons…yet here he is an aerospace “analyst…”…one assumes Majumdar has at least educated himself extensively by way of wikipedia and youtube…a la bellingcat…
The crux of Majumdar’s “brave noise” article is that while Russian air defense capabilities are formidable…the Raptor would still win…and he cites some experts and links…
The pop-sci explanation for this is that Russian longwave radars…while being able to see stealth aircraft at long range…do not have the capability to actually guide a SAM missile to the stealth target…at first blush there is some technical veracity in this…but the devil is always in the details as we shall see…
So let’s look at this supposition in a realistic technical way…I will try to present here some of these technical details in a way that is understandable to the layman…if any participants here are interested in more detail I will gladly try to oblige…
The first thing to understand is the idea of SEAD/DEAD…the suppression or destruction of enemy air defenses…
This is the crucial first step in establishing control of a contested airspace…and has been a pillar of US warfare since at least the first Iraq war…
An air defense system in its simplest sense consists of long-range detection and tracking radars which are similar in concept to the radars used for civilian air traffic control (ATC)…and a separate class of radars is used to “lock” on to air targets and guide ground-launched missile interceptors to destroy the target…these are called engagement and fire-control radars…
There is a tradeoff between range and accuracy in these two types of radars…the long range detection and tracking radars lack the precision of the shorter-range engagement radars…
In modern air defense systems all of these components…radars, command centers and rocket launchers are carried on separate, high-mobility off-road vehicles…this shoot-and-scoot capability is a vital aspect of the system…and the latest systems are designed for a 5-minute turnaround…
In addition, these assets are protected by point-defense systems which are designed to shoot down incoming missiles targeting the SAM components…an example is the very potent Pantsir S1/ S2 system which is also a capable medium-range SAM in its own right…as demonstrated by the Syrian downing of the Turkish McDonnell-Douglas F4 Phantom 2 in 2012…
The Tor M2 is another very capable point defense weapon…designed specifically to protect S300 / S400 systems from precision-guided munitions launched from SEAD aircraft…
Incidentally the naval version of the Tor system is amply deployed on the Russian warships…including the fleet now sailing to Syria…The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser has 192 of these launchers on board…Peter The Great nuclear guided missile cruiser has 128…and the two Udaloy-class destroyers have 64 each…for a total of 448 “Tor” class point defense launchers on board this fleet…I have already talked about the 96 S400 class launchers on board the cruiser…
And again incidentally…these Tor systems are extensively deployed in Syria and they are very effective at killing long-range cruise missiles…both air and sea-launched…as well as the previously mentioned short-range PGMs…like the AGM-88 HARM (high-speed anti-radiation missile and the GBU-39 small-diameter bomb (SDB) carried by the F-22…
Again a little off topic but Russia has supplied Tor systems to Syria as well as the potent medium-range Buk M2…and Konashenkov’s warning to the US included a comment that the Syrian air-defense system has been “restored…”
And just to stay off topic a little longer…there has been mention on this thread that even a volley of 200 Tomahawks would result in S300s and S400s killing only “about 20…”
I have to address this because it is completely uninformed…the S300 V4 (Antey 2500) and S400 are the top tier of the integrated air defense system…they are going to go after high value targets like US AWACs…and any Raptor that might be foolish enough to try to sneak in…cruise missile volleys would be capably handled by the Tors and Pantsirs at short range…a task for which they were specifically designed…and also by the Buks… also specifically designed for killing Tomahawks…but at medium ranges…
So to get back to the air defenses that the mighty Raptors would have to contend with…assuming they can sneak past the Russian radars and get within range of their SDB bombs…said to have flight range of 110 km against a stationary target…the SDBs…which are actually glide-bombs, not missiles like HARMs…will be met by Pantsirs, Tors and perhaps even nastier stuff…including possibly a “radio-frequency cannon” which is a directed energy weapon designed to produce electrically lethal damage to the electronics on board an incoming missile or aircraft…
There is very little information on this class of weapon (either Russian or US)…first reported in 2001 and called the Ranets E…it does not use lasers but directs a very high-power, targeted microwave beam against the target…basically an extremely high powered radio transmitter (500 megawatts)…all mounted on a mobile chassis and with a claimed 20 km kill range…here is a good overview of all the Russian point defense systems mentioned (including Ranets and some directed laser weapons)…although the info is a little dated…
We will discuss a bit later the ability of the Raptor to get within 110 km of the Russian SAMs in the first place…but let’s talk a little about the actual weapons that it might use to take out the Russian SAM components…
We mentioned the SDB glide-bomb…unlike a missile this weapon has no propulsion power of its own…it relies on the speed of the aircraft launching it to fly to its target…using fold-out wings for extra aerodynamic lift and thereby glide distance…
The downside is that its speed is not going to be faster than the aircraft speed…at most Mach 2 at launch…and will almost certainly be subsonic by the time it reaches its target…its range therefore also is dependent on the aircraft speed…
Another point that is not clear is how this glide bomb is supposed to attack SAM radars…right now it does not have that capability…in 2014 development began on a version that is able to do that…using a seeker similar to the AGM-88 HARM…which is designed to home in on SAM radars…
Ironically, the AGM-88 is not carried by the F-22…so one has to wonder what exactly it is going to use to take out Russian SAMs…?
The supersonic AGM-88 (M 2.2 flight speed…150 km range) is clearly a much better choice for this mission than a glide-bomb that does not even have a radar-seeking navigation system…The F-35 is supposed to carry the AGM-88 anti-radar missile…but… well…we have no idea when and if that F-35 will actually fly in any kind of combat situation…
In the meantime the only HARM platforms are the F15, F18 and F16…none of these have stealth to speak of…so getting within 150 km of the Russian SAMs will put them 250 km inside the kill range of the S400.. and likely the Antey 2500 (S300 v4) as well…
Incidentally I noticed quite bit more stir in the US commentariat after the Antey deployment…following the “accidental” coalition air raid against the SAA in September…
This reaction is quite telling…it says to me that US intel knows enough about this very recent generation SAM that there is some real worrying going on…moreso apparently than over the already somewhat familiar S400…
In any case…we see now that the F-22 vs S400 matchup is nothing more than gameboy fantasy…
The F22 quite clearly was not intended for that role…or it would have been equipped with the HARMS to do so…
But let’s just suppose that the Raptor has some superpowers we don’t know about and that it’s going to waltz into the defended airspace over Syria…
Because…well…because we know the Russians have radars that can see the Raptor and track it…but those radars are not capable of actually hitting it with a missile…
“…the fact remains that even if Russian low-frequency search and acquisition radars can detect and track tactical fighter-sized stealth aircraft such as the F-22 or F-35, fire control radars operating in C, X and Ku bands cannot paint low observable jets except at very close ranges…”…asserts Mr. Magameboy with authoritative confidence…
He cites an anonymous US Navy source explaining it thusly…
“…the problem with VHF and UHF band radars…is that with long wavelengths come large radar resolution cells…That means that contacts are not tracked with the required level of fidelity to guide a weapon onto a target…”
This statement is basically scientifically sound…lower frequency radar (longer wavelength) can see stealth aircraft at long distances…and it is also true that the “accuracy” of these radar returns is not as precise as shorter wavelengths (higher frequency) radar signals…this is a basic physical principle having to do with electromagnetic radiation and the inverse square law…
However…this simplification is not the entire story…
The Russian radar approach is to use the lower frequency radar to detect and track…and provide a cue for the higher frequency engagement and fire-control radars which can guide missiles to the target…this technique is called data fusion…in essence the long range radar steers the missile control radar to a particular sector where the target has been located…
The above is decent open-source report dating from 2012…the author holds a PhD in engineering and is certainly not a gameboy-class analyst…
The system described in that report is the NNIIRT/Almaz-Antey 55Zh6M Nebo M radar system for which an order of 100 was placed in 2012…
It includes a VHF band radar which is a low-frequency band in 1 meter to 10 meter wavelength range which can clearly see any stealth aircraft from hundreds of km…a UHF band radar which is in the decimeter length range (0.1 to 1 meter) which also sees low observable aircraft, but has higher cell resolution…as well as an S-band or C-band radar…S band is in the centimeter range (7.5 to 15 cm)…while C-band is in the 3.75 to 7.5 cm range…
Engagement radars that guide the missile to the target…also called fire-control radars are often in the X band (2.5 to 3.75 cm) range…and sometimes in the slightly longer C band…
So what we have with the Nebo M is a layered radar system that is datalinked into a very precise picture at the operator’s console that can and presumably does guide the missile right to its target…
It can best be explained thus…the longwave radar finds the stealth aircraft in a box that does not have enough resolution to determine the target’s pinpoint location, speed and direction…but this information points a shorter band radar that makes that box smaller…which lastly points an even shorter wavelength third radar that makes the target box small enough that there can be no escape…
Now I have previously discussed the reasons why longer wavelengths can see stealth aircraft and it has to do with the fact that aircraft shaped according to stealth physics depends on a vital fact that aircraft shapes must be at least eight times as long as the radar wavelength in order for the shaping to scatter the waves and minimize radar returns…these aircraft shapes or features include things like tail surfaces which are not very big…and also engine air inlets which are even smaller…
When a longwave radar like VHF or UHF is used…its wavelength is almost as big as some of the airplane features…so radar signals are not scattered away but bounce back…and stealth does not work…
So what we have in the Nebo M data fusion radar system is the ability to not only see the target from long range, but also guide a missile to it by cuing the engagement radars on the target box…
A flaw in Majumdar’s take…and also given some play in the above auairpower article is that data fusion of radars is typically used (eg in naval use) where radars of the same type are pointed from several different directions…in order to get a look at aircraft from aspects at which the aircraft is more visible…such as the beam aspect (from the side)…
This plays into a discussion of so-called all-aspect stealth…where the airplane is designed to be stealthy from front, back and sides…
But it really has nothing to do with the data fusion concept of linking radars of differing wavelengths in order to progressively tighten the “box” as described above…this is the idea behind Nebo M…
There is obviously little publicly known data about the true capabilities of this fifth generation system…but I don’t believe that people like Konashenkov would make empty threats…and the fact that the US clearly backed off after those threats were made tells me that people with info of a better grade than that publicly available have some reason to believe this is so…
I have also discussed previously that the entire branch of “stealth” physics was invented by Russian scientist Petr Ufimtsev in 1962 and is known as the Physical Theory of Diffraction (PTD)… The two volumes of his work establishing this theoretical framework were translated into English in 1971 by the USAF National Air Intelligence Center…and this was the basis for the F117, the B2 and the entire US stealth program…
Ufimtsev’s employer, the Institute of Radio-engineering and Electronics in Moscow did not consider this to be militarily significant and allowed the work to be published freely…giving the US access to what they developed into their stealth program…although again one must wonder how advanced Russian radar technology really is today if more than 50 years ago they were able to formulate such an advance in fundamental physics…
The fact that the Russians invented stealth is downplayed severely in the US blabbersphere about to the point that it is almost never mentioned…despite the fact that Ufimtsev is considered a giant of science by the very American scientists and engineers who built their work on his foundation…he was given a standing ovation by a roomful of Lockheed engineers on his first trip abroad to speak at an academic conference in Europe soon after the collapse of the USSR…curiously Ufimtsev had no idea who these people were or why they considered him a hero…
Of course engineers and scientists in the US certainly do not control the flow of discourse in the public consciousness…that is left to people with giant bullhorns like Irving Kristol and useful idiots like Majumdar…
In the same vein…I can say it is astounding that the Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation…another fundamental physical insight credited to a Russian space pioneer…is referred to simply as “The Rocket Equation” in US astronautics textbooks…
These small behavioral insights carry a lot of meaning in my view…psychology is not my game…but am familiar enough with the concept of “compensation” which I think all humans can recognize…
“…In psychology, compensation is a strategy whereby one covers up, consciously or unconsciously, weaknesses, frustrations, desires, or feelings of inadequacy or incompetence in one life area through the gratification or (drive towards) excellence in another area…”
The historical weakness of the US in the hard sciences is certainly well documented…were it not for German rocket scientist Werner von Braun…the architect of the Apollo program…and the hundreds of other German scientists and engineers brought to the US in Operation Paperclip after WW2, one has to wonder where this country would be today scientifically…yet little is ever heard about these foreign gifts to American science…
They even had to borrow the turbojet engine from the British and Germans…while the Russians were developing their own…see Arkhip Lyul’ka…whose name is still carried on the powerful engines that power today’s Sukhois…
“…In 1939-1941 Arkhip Lyul’ka elaborated the design for the World’s first turbofan engine, and acquired a patent for this new invention on April 22, 1941…”
Which leaves one to wonder only about what direction the US is compensating toward with a drive to “excellence”…wouldn’t be propaganda by any chance…?…nah…
In any case…we see some ridiculous hype about the F22 today…I will just sign off with a more sober assessment from more serious sources…including former military test pilots and engineers…
Russia might not even have to have to waste missiles and aircraft.
Simple microwave ovens in 1999 almost shut down the NATO air war in Yugoslavia.
The art of cruise missile jamming can only have advanced since then.
Of course, Russia/Syria can also shoot back far more effectively than the Serbs ever could.
Wonderful stuff Doctor. I can only hope others are learning as much from your expositions as this old rancher is. Best from Wyoming. Tom
Russia’s Mediterranean excursion is more a training mission than anything else.
There’s nowhere else in the world the Russian navy can get live-fire training against a legit foe, shadow-dance with U.S. surface and submarine forces, and test its logistics capabilities. Unlike the U.S., the Russians don’t get much expeditionary war experience.
Of course, a President Hilary might change things if only by ‘carelessness’. Still, the mechanics of war simply don’t support war with Russia as a rational NATO alternative.
I’m not sure if Granit is the most optimal anti ship missile due to its size and speed but the note that it’s also land strike able is interesting. It’s so large it would be also able to carry a 500kt warhead according to some articles. Though I’m sure there wouldn’t be any installed…
Nukes are possibly too valuable to place on a vulnerable surface asset even in reserve, for use on an outdated platform.
The weapons techies are probably eager to see how the old stock Granits perform otherwise, though.
Just a quick supplement to my post of Oct 30 on the question of US stealth aircraft versus Russian air defenses…
I noted that the Russian approach with its latest Nebo M system is to use several radars of varying wavelengths to defend against aircraft with good low observable characteristics…ie stealth…
In that article I mentioned a serious misconception propagated by technically unqualified and uninformed sources…specifically National Interest aerospace “analyst” Dave Majumdar…who has written often about this subject…
His take is that while longwave radars can detect and track stealth aircraft at long ranges…they are not able to guide a missile to those targets because that requires a shorter wavelength fire-control radar that is unable to get a missile lock on stealth targets at long range…
…”fire control radars operating in C, X and Ku bands cannot paint low observable jets except at very close ranges….”
I countered that this is not an accurate take on Russian counter-stealth radar…where longwave (low frequency) acquisition and tracking radars…are coupled with high frequency fire control radars in a data fusion scheme that does indeed enable deadly SAM shots from long range…in fact well outside the range of any air to surface weapons carried by stealth aircraft…
Here is confirmation of that correct interpretation…
This is a 2014 story citing a then-recent report by the US naval Institute that presumably examined the counter-stealth capabilities of the Russian (and Chinese) multi-frequency radar fusion scheme…
An anonymous US navy official gives this quote…
“…The lower frequency radars can cue the higher frequency radars and now you’re going to get wacked…”
This is what I tried to explain in my previous post…what is meant by “cuing” is that the long-range radars tell the fire-control radars exactly where to aim their beam…so instead of scanning a large sector …the fire control radars now focus their beam on the relatively small “box” of airspace identified by the long-range radars…this is radar 101…
“…With a low frequency bead placed on a target, high frequency radar can use that information to plot a mock position on a fast-mover and accurately engage an enemy with lethal force…”
Please this is off topic and I am referring the question to the Saker: what is the conclusion of the investigation about the Russia submarine that sunk during the 1st tenure of president Putin. Please I do not mean the account of the official version but the account of the reality. Thanks
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (11:20 A.M.) – The Russian Navy is sending the Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate to Syria’s territorial waters, Russia-based RIA Novosti reported on Thursday.
The Admiral Grigorovich is reportedly scheduled to join the Admiral Kuznetsov fleet that is already making its way to Syria’s territorial waters.
According to Military-Today, the Admiral Grigorovich is comprised of six ships that are armed with air defense missiles.
The American forces must also contend with the possibility that those Granit anti-ship missiles could target their beautiful, high value huge sitting duck aircraft carriers and brown water navy amphibious ships in an out of control escalating game of tit-for-tat.
I agree that Russia would waste an incredible amount of lives, time, resources and treasure trying to copy the US Navy’s aircraft carrier capabilities. Carrier aviation is very dangerous even for the Anericans. The Russians have few if any imperial possessions amenable to the use of carrier aviation. To keep one aircraft on station anywhere indefinitely they’d need at least three. That’s an initial outlay, using approximate American costs, of around $30 billion for a Nimitz-class carrier and all of the assets required for an operational capability, not including protective escort ships. Russia would be much better with many small surface ships and submersible anti-shipping and land attack missile platforms.
‘AngloZionst Empire’; your info is of interest, your Anglo-Zionist comment tired and worn out… Saudi is running the Sunni show and the US v Russia show. Israel and US get on, Israel and Putin get on. Get over Israel, and focus on Russia/US in ME Syria/Iraq/Iran/Saudi. Thanks for your info on Russia.
2nd comment. Would be nice to have ref. sources for your info/opinions.