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  • Russian, NATO and US musings

    While not underestimating them, I don't know if I believe anything about the new Russian "superweapons". They may have the theoretical technology to design something, but I don't know if they can follow through with volume manufacturing. Look at some of their projects. Their new Pak FA (Su-57) first flew in 2010. It's supposed to be great but only 10 prototypes have been built so far. They can't build a carrier or keep an old one running. Although they have models of a "super destroyer", the largest ships they are currently building are corvettes. They can't build gas turbines big enough for larger ships. Yet, they supposedly have supersonic torpedoes and hypersonic cruise missiles. Am I missing something here?
    We keep saying that many of the European countries aren't paying their full share towards their military and we have to pick up the slack. While that is partly true, does anyone really think that we would cut defense spending if Europe picked it up? Personally, I don't think so. We take "pride" in being the big dog in the world. We don't want anyone close to us in strength.

  • #2
    Historically the Russians/Soviets have always been good at military technology invention/innovation but pants at mass producing it. For example before WW1 they had produced what was for its time a very advanced sound ranging system backed up with an ingenious mechanical calculator but were never able to get it into service. They also produced the world's first four engined strategic bomber but were unable to produce enough engines for it to have any significant impact on the war. In the 1930s they put a low wing cantilever monoplane fighter with a retractable undercarriage into service well before anyone else but many were so badly built that the windscreen was impossible to see out of, the canopy jammed and the undercarriage covers didn't fit into the wheel wells properly.

    Last March I attended a lecture by Professor Mike Haynes who had some interesting figures on Soviet Weapons production during WW2 - for 'simple' stuff like small arms they were more than self sufficient and didn't need to rely on the Western Allies but as things became more complex they became increasingly dependant on importing components, machine tools etc etc. What they were good at was keeping thingts simple enough that they were within their manufacturing capacity

    They may well have all these wonder weapons - in prototype form - but whether they can produce enough of them to have any significant effect and if they can they are sufficiently 'soldier proof' to maintain in service may well be another matter.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #3
      Whilst on this theme

      The Silvansky IS was developed in 1939 to be one of the new breed of fast super charged monoplane fighters with retractable under carriages. A date was fixed for the prototype to be tested in front of senior Communist Party officials. Shortly before this took place it was discovered that because of misinterpretations of the drawings and inadequate quality control the under carriage legs were longer than the wing wells into which they were supposed to retract. Correcting this by lengthening the wells would take too long unless the planned test was postponed. This was not to be countenanced so the quicker solution of shortening the under carriage legs was adopted. It was then found that this lowered the nose so that the blades of the propeller could not rotate without hitting the ground. This too was resolved with a quick fix – four inches were cut off the ends of the blades. The test took place on time. With the shorter blades the thrust was so reduced that the official test pilot was barely able to get the aircraft off the ground before reaching the end of the runway. He then had extreme difficulty in keeping it in the air long enough to be able to circle the field and land (and could not achieve an altitude that that would have been safe to bale out from). He immediately declared the aircraft unflyable. No attempt was made to make the proper alterations to the aircraft and test it safely. Silvansky’s design team was instantly disbanded and sent to the gulag. The Silvansky IS was abandoned.
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        My favorite Soviet joke of all time came form Krokadil magazine in the 70's, and showed a huge, automated factory stamping out thousands of signs per hour that all said "Elevator Out Of Order". Says it all.

        Under the Soviet system, production was measured by quotas without concern for actual quality or workability. This gave rise to system of churning out substandard products so that the numbers were met rather than the necessary goal.

        Still, the Soviets produced the Typhoon and Akula class nuclear submarines, the advanced MiG and Su series aircraft and are now providing us with rides on their spacecraft into space, so I wouldn't write them completely out of the picture.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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        • #5
          Seems the place to repeat this post of another thread;

          Russia shows off new weapons after Trump summit
          ...
          As European leaders grappled with the fallout from the Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit Thursday, Russian authorities took the opportunity to show off some of the new weaponry Putin boasted in March would render NATO defenses "completely useless."

          In videos posted on YouTube and in stories on the Russian state-run TASS news agency, Moscow gave new detailed looks at five advanced weapon systems -- the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile; the Avangard hypersonic missile system; the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM); the Poseidon underwater drone; and the Kinzhal hypersonic missile.

          The Russian President has previously proclaimed the great strides made by the country's military, describing the technological advancements as among the best in the world.

          But a US military official, speaking shortly after Putin's March speech, cast doubt on the Russian leader's claims. The US assessment was that the weapons were not close to being operational, the official said.

          Here's a look at the five weapons:
          ...
          https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ru...pMW?li=BBnbfcL

          Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
          Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

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          • #6
            Several problems here, starting with all of the "nuclear" designations. Such weapons are useless for ordinary combat since deployment starts WWII and everybody loses.

            Secondly, why put a nuclear engine in a missile? If you have a nuclear engine of that capability you would use it for your space program, or a longer range bomber, but a disposable missile? Why, when you just sacrifice it every time you fire one of?. And, of course, if the word "nuclear"is anywhere in the description, our retaliatory response will be arriving with 15 -20 minutes, and our missiles invented the word "accuracy" and "multiply independent retargetable vehicles", ten two megaton warheads to a Minuteman. And incidentally, Mr. Putin, there is no defense against ICBMs in their terminal phase, so quit kidding around.

            Lastly, the Russians are masters of "maskerovka", the art of deception, and this looks, sounds and smells like a massive propaganda scare campaign designed to create an arms gap that doesn't exist in the hopes of luring America into the kind of arms race that economically destroyed the former Soviet Union, and in the process convince the world that Russia is now the supreme world power.

            Putin may be a mad man with dreams of becoming the Czar of All Russias again, but is he insane enough to attempt a Pyrrhic nuclear victory? Frankly, I think he's afraid of NATO without America holding them back from sweeping into Russia like the Germans did in Barbarossa, only this time along side all of the Batlic/East Bloc nations with a grudge to settle and an axe to grind, and, of course, a very angry Ukraine.

            Fear is dirt cheap. Just lie about what a bad boy you are and hope everyone else believes you. OR, as my gold minng grandafther liked to say:

            "Talk's cheap, but good whiskey costs money."
            Last edited by Mountain Man; 21 Jul 18, 12:45.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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            • #7
              The presentation of the new weapons can be linked to the retirement age reform which is highly unpopular. Show citizens that the money taken from them will be well spent.

              Since they belong to class "slam hard the door", there is no need for much. But simply put cobalt in nukes would be much cheaper.
              There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

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              • #8
                Russian weapons are essentially all defensive , esp their aircraft and naval vessels.I think even at the height of the cold war in the 80s we totally misunderstood the soviet military doctrine.USSR was a status quo power ( unlike fascist japan and nazi germany) and its military was geared towards the following objectives

                1-Warsaw pact was designed to keep " the Poles down, russians in and the germans out "of eastern europe

                2-It had no chance of taking western europe in conventional conflict, so it deployed tactical nukes to make a purely conventional war impossible from the start

                3-It was very good at keeping its biggest land enemy ( china) and naval opponent ( japan) in check in the Far East in conventional conflicts

                4-It could keep its land borders secure against invasions of persians and turks its other historic enemies in conventional conflicts

                5-It could give an illusion of being an equal of USA in military power , in reality their technology in the 80s was atleast 10 yrs behnid that of US military

                6-It could effectively colonize and police moslem central asia and prevent from falling under the influence of either China or Muslim countries

                It accomplished all these quite effectively throughout the cold war, problem is when we overestimate the capacity of russians and soviets and start thinking of them as equals of NATO

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nastle View Post

                  5-It could give an illusion of being an equal of USA in military power , in reality their technology in the 80s was atleast 10 yrs behnid that of US military
                  Not really. The weak point were the electronics but USSR was improving in this domain. US was more concerned with technology to fight against the numbers.
                  There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Emtos View Post

                    Not really. The weak point were the electronics but USSR was improving in this domain. US was more concerned with technology to fight against the numbers.
                    in many key areas NATO outnumbered the USSR

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nastle View Post
                      Russian weapons are essentially all defensive , esp their aircraft and naval vessels.I think even at the height of the cold war in the 80s we totally misunderstood the soviet military doctrine.USSR was a status quo power ( unlike fascist japan and nazi germany) and its military was geared towards the following objectives

                      1-Warsaw pact was designed to keep " the Poles down, russians in and the germans out "of eastern europe

                      2-It had no chance of taking western europe in conventional conflict, so it deployed tactical nukes to make a purely conventional war impossible from the start

                      3-It was very good at keeping its biggest land enemy ( china) and naval opponent ( japan) in check in the Far East in conventional conflicts

                      4-It could keep its land borders secure against invasions of persians and turks its other historic enemies in conventional conflicts

                      5-It could give an illusion of being an equal of USA in military power , in reality their technology in the 80s was atleast 10 yrs behnid that of US military

                      6-It could effectively colonize and police moslem central asia and prevent from falling under the influence of either China or Muslim countries

                      It accomplished all these quite effectively throughout the cold war, problem is when we overestimate the capacity of russians and soviets and start thinking of them as equals of NATO
                      Sorry, but no...The Soviet Union based its strategy on a first strike which is purely offensive in nature. And every move the Russia has made in many years has still been a first strike, not defensive at all. Russia provokes; it does not react.
                      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Emtos View Post
                        The presentation of the new weapons can be linked to the retirement age reform which is highly unpopular. Show citizens that the money taken from them will be well spent.

                        Since they belong to class "slam hard the door", there is no need for much. But simply put cobalt in nukes would be much cheaper.
                        It would be, if they weren't worried about becoming a world-wide extermination project by every other nation with weapons of any kind. If Russia goes to dirty nukes they will automatically become a world pariah. It's the reason why no one will publicly tolerate chemical and bio weapons being used openly, although it still happens.
                        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                          Sorry, but no...The Soviet Union based its strategy on a first strike which is purely offensive in nature. And every move the Russia has made in many years has still been a first strike, not defensive at all. Russia provokes; it does not react.
                          offense is the best defence in their thinking
                          the west and the east has been attacking the slavic heartlands for centuries , and USSR inherited that problem

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                          • #14
                            Maybe it's a Star Wars in reverse? We kept up the publicity about Star Wars even though we knew it wasn't technologically feasible just to bankrupt the USSR. Maybe they are doing the same. The news are always claimed to be leaks but everyone knows Putin doesn't do "leaks". Also, they flip the bad to make it look good. They announce that their corvettes carry cruise missiles that will reach Syria and we get scared because they are putting them on such small vessels. Look at the flip side...they are putting them on corvettes because they can't build anything bigger right now.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                              Sorry, but no...The Soviet Union based its strategy on a first strike which is purely offensive in nature. And every move the Russia has made in many years has still been a first strike, not defensive at all. Russia provokes; it does not react.
                              It's false. There was hardly any first strike made by Russia. Russia usually always leaves a room for negotiation.
                              There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

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