Skip to comments.SOVIET MILITARY POWER
Posted on 07/03/2012 6:27:31 PM PDT by moonshot925
I remember reading this in 1983.
It is propaganda, but still an interesting read.
I have all copies up until 1990.
You might find this interesting http://www.hourofthetime.com/wordpresstest/?p=6553 and pt.2 http://www.hourofthetime.com/wordpresstest/?p=6724
Not propaganda, but unclassified DIA assessments of Russian military technology and hardware. Most of it turned out to be off the mark, but the artwork was dang cool!
Many people claimed that the Soviets could wipe out over 90% of our Minuteman silos in a first strike.
In 1979 a film called first strike was shown to President Carter with an erroneous conclusion.
I know some of the Navy SLBM engineers, and the deal with the Russians was that they could not miniaturize their rocket and warhead components like the U.S. could, and needed much larger yielding warheads to make sure that their targets were hit during a nuclear war. Their circular error probable (CEP) was measured in miles, whereas ours was measured in yards and feet. Therefore, we could afford to deploy warheads with yields in kiloton ranges (since we could always hit our target precisely), but the Rooskiis needed megaton-range warheads to take out theirs since their accuracy sucked.
And of course in First Strike, Carter surrenders, the cowardly bastard!
However, I still prefer a mindset that believes potential foes are much farther militarily than they are, in contrast to one that assumes everything potential foes have/are in the process of having is crap.
Obviously, the best approach would be one that is balanced and objective; but between a choice of overpreparing for an enemy or underpreparing for an enemy I will take over-preparation any time of the day.
For instance, there was really no need to create the F-15 when its development started in the F-X program in the late 1960s. Continued development of the F-4 Phantom would have been more than sufficient, maybe even leading to a similar developmental path taken by the Turks with the F-4 Terminator variant. However, when the US saw the MiG-25 they thought it was a Soviet super-fighter, when the truth was it was simply an interceptor the Soviets had come with to shoot down supersonic US nuclear bombers (the B-58 Hustler, but in particular the B-70 Valkyrie that never even went into production). That is why the MiG-25 had its crazy speed, and why its engines didn't need to last long ...reason being its sole purpose was to get off the ground fast, and very quickly intercept a Mach 2 (B-58) or Mach 3 (B-70) nuclear bomber. Who cared if the engines fried after that if it managed to shoot down the incoming bomber (although to this day the fact its engines didn't have long life, and that the MiG-25 couldn't maneuver, is used to say that the plane was 'useless' by the usual silly people who don't consider what the plane was for).
Anyways, pictures of the MiG-25 came out, and it looked like a 'super fighter' rather than what it was (an anti-supersonic-nuclear-bomber interceptor). Result? Development of a plane that was supposed to be better than the F-4, and that gave birth to the F-15. The F-15, which to date is the BEST fighter in the world. Even in today's world where the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, and SU-35 want to claim the title of best non-Generation-5 fighter, the F-15 still keeps shining via its advanced F-15 variants (e.g. the K and the SG), as well as the SE. The F-15 will probably be the best fighter of all time considering its true unbeaten record. It has shot many other planes down without one being shot down in return by enemy fire, something no other fighter plane can say. Not the F/A-18 - shot down by a MiG-25 in Iraq; or the F-16 - a Turkish Viper shot down by a Greek Mirage 2000; can claim that ....the F-15 can. As for the Typhoon and Rafale - when they have a record like the Eagle's maybe they can speak up. As for the Raptor - chances of any being shot down is low, but I also doubt it will be involved in as many fights as the F-15 has been, especially considering it is only used by the USAF and even there as a tip-of-the-spear (as opposed to the continuous use of the Eagle by the USAF and the Israelis in conflicts).
The F-15 ...a superlative plane that is a result of over estimation of enemy capability.
There are a number of other examples of this ...the Raptor itself is a product of the 'need' to overcome projected Soviet 'super fighters' that were supposed to come up, and it is only now that the Russians are coming up with something (the PakFa) that is not even as good as the Raptor and will never be. Or look at the Sea Wolf submarine (you claim to have been a former USN submariner). It was due to a need to defeat Soviet super subs that were supposed to be fast and dive deep. Result? The Sea Wolf, a submarine so good that its 'cheaper' cousin, the Virginia, is still better than anything else out there (although the Brits with their Astute may want to say something).
What's the opposite of overestimation? Underestimating enemy capability, like what I see on FR where some FReepers have actually said all the US needs are F-15s and A-10s! Or how Obama at some speech had his guys remove a F-22 that was to be the background of his podium and replaced it with a F-15. Underestimation of capabilities will have one clear result ...dead Americans! Yes, America may still win the war, but it will be at the cost of American soldiers,airmen, sailors and marines who need not have died. That 'junk' Chinese equipment can still kill.
Anyways ...the article posted was a very interesting one. A lot of information considering when it was printed (when the Frogfoot was 'new' LOL), and a lot of nascent truth wrapped in error. A lot of overestimation that borders of propaganda.
However, I will take that overestimation over the current underestimation.
I would rather face someone with a self-aiming super-science laser-gun when all they have is a rock and a frayed slingshot, rather than face someone with an AK-47 when what I have is an M-4 with better optics. I am a strong believe in unfair advantage. It brings loved ones home.
I know the artist - he is my father.
Correct. The Soviet subs were faster and could dive deeper. But we were quieter and had better SONAR. I was on USS Memphis (SSN-691) in the early 1980’s and our boat had the AN/BQQ-5 SONAR system. It used two 32-bit computers and allowed us to hear the Soviet boomers at long ranges. At medium and high speeds they sounded like a freight train. We knew almost immediately when a Soviet submarine put to sea. We knew the type and in many cases we knew the exact hull number.
I'd rather overestimation of the enemy, which gives birth to the likes of the F-15, F-22, Sea Wolf, Virginia, Abrams, etc; rather than underestimation where in a naval engagement in the protection of Taiwan we'd be sending F-18s within reach of China.