Georgian War report: “The Tanks of August”

August 14, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The_Tanks_of_August_map_sm The Center for Analysis of Strategies & Technologies, a Moscow-based think tank, has published a comprehensive report on the 2008 conflict in Georgia, aptly named “The Tanks of August”.

According to the report’s description:

The first essay looks into the transformation of the Georgian armed forces under President Mikhail Saakashvili and details Tbilisi’s key preparations for the war.

The second and central essay offers a detailed timeline of the hostilities. It draws on a wide range of sources, from official chronicles and statements to recollections of the eyewitnesses on both sides and Internet reports. The timeline contains detailed descriptions of all the key combat operations and episodes during the war.

The third essay analyses Georgia’s efforts to rebuild its military machine since August 2008, as well as the existing military situation and the balance of power in the region.

The four remaining chapters look into several individual aspects of the Five Day War, including combat losses on both sides, Russian aviation losses, and the post-war deployment of Russian military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, now recognized by Moscow as independent states.

The Annex details in chart form Georgia’s procurement of heavy arms and military equipment in 2000-2008.

The report can be freely downloaded from the CAST website, here.

PAK-FA: Preliminary analysis

January 30, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

a6b98c2c-1753-4836-9cda-490a9a0e2939.Full Defence aviation oldtimer Bill Sweetman has been quick to trot out an interesting preliminary report based on the photos/videos of the PAK-FA’s first flight.

You know you’ve got some good stuff to read when the analysis begins like this:

First of all, for anyone contemplating the use of the word "Raptorski":  don’t. While this is an airplane that could have been the answer to the Advanced Tactical Fighter requirement, way back when, it’s not an F-22 in many important ways.

Definitely a recommended read.

PAK-FA first flight

January 29, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 


pak[1]Sukhoi has conducted the first flight of its prototype PAK FA fifth-generation fighter, with the aircraft having conducted a 47min sortie this morning.

[…]The PAK FA is powered by two NPO Saturn "Item 117" engines, developed from the Item 117S design already flown on Sukhoi’s Su-35 and a Su-27M testbed. The experimental aircraft’s integrated flight control system controls the engines, along with all other major systems.

Sukhoi says other key design elements include the use of composite materials, advanced aerodynamic techniques and measures to reduce the aircraft’s engine signature, which it claims results in an “unprecedented small radar cross section in radar, optical and infrared range”. The PAK FA is also equipped with an advanced phased-array antenna radar, it adds. Russia’s Tikhomirov NIIP displayed an active electronically scanned array design for the fighter at last year’s Moscow MAKS air show.

[…]The first stage of flight trials involving the PAK FA prototype will last until 2012, when the Russian defence ministry and air force are expected to decide on the future of the project.

Yuri & Dmitri Donskoy

January 5, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Possible candidate for photo of the month, by the Russian Navy Blog.


Perimeter, again

September 26, 2009 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

defcon Wired has a very interesting article on the Russian “dead hand” fail-safe command system for nuclear retaliation, called “Perimeter”. We have discussed this system before, but the article reveals some new and highly intriguing information about the nature and purpose of the “dead hand”:

According to both Yarynich and Zheleznyakov, Perimeter was never meant as a traditional doomsday machine. The Soviets had taken game theory one step further than Kubrick, Szilard, and everyone else: They built a system to deter themselves.

By guaranteeing that Moscow could hit back, Perimeter was actually designed to keep an overeager Soviet military or civilian leader from launching prematurely during a crisis. The point, Zheleznyakov says, was "to cool down all these hotheads and extremists. No matter what was going to happen, there still would be revenge. Those who attack us will be punished."

And Perimeter bought the Soviets time. After the US installed deadly accurate Pershing II missiles on German bases in December 1983, Kremlin military planners assumed they would have only 10 to 15 minutes from the moment radar picked up an attack until impact. Given the paranoia of the era, it is not unimaginable that a malfunctioning radar, a flock of geese that looked like an incoming warhead, or a misinterpreted American war exercise could have triggered a catastrophe. Indeed, all these events actually occurred at some point. If they had happened at the same time, Armageddon might have ensued.

Perimeter solved that problem. If Soviet radar picked up an ominous but ambiguous signal, the leaders could turn on Perimeter and wait. If it turned out to be geese, they could relax and Perimeter would stand down. Confirming actual detonations on Soviet soil is far easier than confirming distant launches. "That is why we have the system," Yarynich says. "To avoid a tragic mistake. "

Most definitely a must-read for anyone interested in nuclear matters.

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