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New Russian Weapons versus Old American arsenals
American Foreign Policy Council ^ | Vol. 5, No. 1, Winter 1997

Posted on 05/12/2002 11:35:05 PM PDT by spetznaz

Morningstar: "Russia is carrying out some military modernization programs such as developing the Topol-M, which is a new single-warhead ICBM that is still undergoing testing; this missile is different from the SS-25 Topol only in that it is silo based as opposed to road-mobile. Mr. Waller fails to note that this modernization is permitted under START I and START II."

Response: The State Department does not dispute the contention, "U.S. [CTR] aid has helped dismantle mostly obsolete military equipment Moscow wanted to scrap anyway." Why, then, does Mr. Morningstar minimize the extent of modernization with the qualifier, "some"? Given its severe financial straits and Western bailouts, Russian military modernization is quite significant.

The State Department's description of the Topol-M is inaccurate. According to the authoritative Jane's Intelligence Review, the Topol-M is not, as the State Department says, "different from the SS-25 Topol only in that it is silo-based as opposed to road-mobile." Rather, according to JIR, "the system is not limited to silos and can be adapted to the standard mobile launcher as well." It has several qualitative differences, too, including a lifespan that is 50 percent longer than the SS-25 (fifteen versus ten years). Its larger diameter allows it to carry a more powerful nuclear warhead and a new first-stage engine. These and other features reportedly enable the Topol-M to penetrate certain American defenses against incoming missiles: "Russian accounts have stressed the invulnerability of the new missile to anti-ballistic missile defences."58 Nevertheless, START I legalisms do not consider the Topol-M a "new type" of ICBM.59

In addition to the Topol-M, which was first test-launched in late 1994,60 Russia unveiled in 1995 a new tactical nuclear missile, which NATO has nicknamed SS-X-26 or "Son of 'Scud.'"61 At least two next-generation "stealth" strategic cruise missiles, the Kh-101 and Kh-SD, are under development.62 Also being developed, according to former Defense Secretary William Perry, is new generation submarine-launched ballistic missile to replace the SS-N-20;63 other sources identify it as the R-39 UTTKh (NATO designation: SS-NX-28) to be based aboard a more advanced ballistic missile-firing submarine.64 Existing Typhoon strategic missile subs have been retrofitted to launch an upgraded SLBM, and Russian authorities have announced construction of the new, more advanced strategic ballistic missile submarine, the Boreas class, to replace the Typhoon. The keel-laying ceremony for the first Boreas-class vessel, the Yuri Dolgoruki, was scheduled for 26 October 1996.65 (Ironically, the ceremony, in the shipyards of Severodvinsk, was scheduled eight days after Defense Secretary Perry visited the same port to hail the dismantlement of an obsolete Yankee-class submarine with CTR funds. Yet Perry said nothing about the Boreas-class replacements.)66 The State Department has no comment about the new multi-role strategic bomber, the Sukhoi-T-60S, under development, or the next-generation nuclear-capable cruise missiles to be deployed on the strategic bomber fleet.67 Nor is there any comment on Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov's June 1995 revelation, reported in "To Russia, With Cash," that his ministry was building a new generation of nuclear warheads.68

TOPICS: Announcements; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Free Republic; Government; Russia
KEYWORDS: miltech; russia; stealth; topol; weapons
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All i have to say is that the crusader system is an impressive piece of hardware, however so was the trebuchet of the middle ages. And thus both are obsolete. I am not American (i am African), however it is clear that in the battlefield of the future the US will have to rely on hi-tech weapon variants that are also easy to deploy and have high levels of lethality. This is because a lot of the so-called 'third-world' nations are undergoing leaps when it comes to military tech, and although the US can still whoop all of their collective asses there have been some recent trends that are quite simply frightening for the US. These 3rd world countries know for a fact that they cannot beat the US in a face to face confrontation (and most have military scenarios that pit them against the US incase you did not know this... even your good ol' British ally does this). So what do they do? They engage in what is known as assymetrical strengths. This means that instead of trying to match the US, what they do is get a small arsenal that is meant to tackle US assets. For example russian sun-burn missiles that were invented solely for the purpose of destroying American aircraft carriers (i wonder what would happen if the US had to defend Taiwan from China since China has a good number of these). Or maybe to combat the stealth fighters they have the chezch radar system that can paint (and has been proven to) track the F-117, or the Australian system that can acquire the B-2 spirit. The purpose of this is to negate certain US strengths in such a way that there are many casualties on the American side, and these is meant not to stop the war, but to make the US citizens back home so sick of seeing their kids caming home in body bags that they force congress to stop the war. Call it indirect warfare if you may. And that is the problem with the Crusader. It is a great weapons system, but it is 10 years too late. With threats other than the soviet block rising there has to be a paradigm shift from what the US used to do. And the crusader just has to go. And if you think of it those who are championing the Crusader come from states like Oklahoma that will earn great revenue if it is approved. Now my question is whether giving the US a great military that is not obsolete is the goal, or just to ensure a state gets income from building an outdated system. They should put there state interests aside for the sake of national security. Now i knwo there are some who are asking why i have all of these to say (after all i am not American)? Well, i do have a stake in all this due to several reasons. One for instance is that that stupid Osama idiot bombed one of our buldings in 1998 (the embassy building in Kenya) and killed over 200 kenyans (he got 9 americans in the process). Another reason is like it or not the US stands to be the only barrier to stop kooks who want to mimic hitler from rising up from the dregs of humanity. Third reason is that as a non-american i know things that most americans don't have access to, and honestly only the US stands to protect the world from itself. And although i may sound like a sycophant it is just the plain truth. And people who advocate the crusader as a viable system in the modern era need to wake up and smell the coffee, or else if a war breaks out in the future and the crusader is sent some lessons in military manoeuvrability may be learnt that might be quite dear in terms of numbers lost. Just as the trebuchet is obsolete, so is the the crusader. And i wish someone in congress who is not just trying to get funding for his/her state could read this post!
1 posted on 05/12/2002 11:35:05 PM PDT by spetznaz
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To: spetznaz
Paragraphs are our friends.
2 posted on 05/13/2002 5:52:23 AM PDT by boris
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To: spetznaz
Our weapons were proven in battle. The Russian stuff were busted in battle.
3 posted on 05/13/2002 6:00:48 AM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: spetznaz
The Borey/Yuriy Dologokuriy-class submarine--like its fast-attack counterpart, the Sverodvinsk--is rusting to death on the building ways. They were supposed to be in commission a couple years ago.

Also, the Typhoon-class boats have been decommissioned.

This piece is about six years old and hopelessly out of date.

4 posted on 05/13/2002 6:05:45 AM PDT by Poohbah
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To: spetznaz
The Crusader is the modern equivalent of the battleship. It is cool looking but would be taken out in the first minutes of a confrontation with a serious foe.
5 posted on 05/13/2002 6:34:50 AM PDT by chilepepper
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To: chilepepper
Actually, when backed by a robust sensor and information-warfare system, it's unbeatable.

The real problem is that so is dang near anything else.

I don't think there's a counterbattery radar made that will survive an hour of operation while facing a US division or corps.

6 posted on 05/13/2002 8:03:23 AM PDT by Poohbah
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To: *Miltech
Check the Bump List folders for articles related to and descriptions of the above topic(s) or for other topics of interest.
7 posted on 05/13/2002 9:54:51 AM PDT by Free the USA
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: spetznaz
Russia has indeed some serious stuff. Their new subs can simultaneously engage airplanes, boats and subs, something ours can't do yet apparently. The Topol-M can fly polar orbits and come nuke Chicago via flying over the South Pole. It really is a versatile missile that can come from several directions at the same time, effectively evading or distracting radar targeting.

As for the third world, it is an incredibly powerful platform to ruin America economicaly in pre-emptive manner to a Russian attack. Those who deny the jurisdiction of the third world and Russia over a potential destruction of the US better think again. These armies are solely built against the US, not against European colonization or Russia.

9 posted on 05/13/2002 12:50:36 PM PDT by lavaroise
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To: spetznaz
Spetz - good analysis. I agree. You might be interested in reading a post yesterday entitled "Metal Storm may replace Crusader" Just search on "Metal Storm" and you'll find it.

For a real treat, go to their website and view the streaming video presentation. Absolutely fantastic - and sounds like they have a pretty good connection with DOD and Rummy's thinkers.

For what its worth, I took a small position in the stock this morning....its volume is 10 or 15 times the usual today. Someone else is interested.

10 posted on 05/13/2002 12:58:02 PM PDT by HardStarboard
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To: boris
Hey, our sling shot is still good even if the rubber band is stretched and worn.
11 posted on 05/13/2002 2:04:19 PM PDT by RetiredArmy
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To: AppyPappy
Our weapons were proven in battle. The Russian stuff were busted in battle. by Appy Pappy.

Please i hope you are kidding Appy Pappy! The russian 'stuff' that the US faced in Iraq was OLD. A T-72 is not the frontline russian tank (the T-95 is and even American experts agree it is better than the M1-abrams). The Mig-29's that were shot down by f-16s were flown by inept Iraqi pilots, they also lacked complex combat suites, and furthermore were denied reliable information networks due to the good ol' american wildweasles and their radar busting missiles. However, i was not refering to old russian antiques flown by the iraqis. I was refering to ultra-modern russian fighters like the Su 37 (not to be confused with the russian stealth fighter S-37 Berkrut, which is even better), and to the latest military hardware and software. And yes, i know someone will come and say that there is not chance of a major confrontation between the ruskies and the US, however the russians have been selling this stuff to the Chinese (and there are joint contracts to build the new Mig-MAPO, which coincidentally is a stealth fighter meant to negate the threat of american F-22s.....not the JSF since it is by far much better). What will happen if China attacks Taiwan and the US is forced to enter into the fray due to treaties?

And if you think that the russian stuff is a pile of junk then why is the russian Havoc/alligator attack copter rated the best in the world, why is the T-95 main battle tank also given top honors, why did the sukhoi 33 'beat' american f-15s in a demonstration dog fight, and why do some russian subs have the capability to attack planes subs and ships simultaneously. And then there is the nuclear attack force with hardware like the Topol-M that was designed to be manouevrable, and to beat american ballistic defense systems.

Thank God up to now the US has faced 3rd world nations with antiques for weapons, but what happens if some crazy loony in china decides he wants to vacation in Taiwan, or Pakistan and India get into a fray? It is nice to be patriotic and stuff, however one has to be realistic at the same time.

12 posted on 05/13/2002 6:34:13 PM PDT by spetznaz
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To: lavaroise
People are still over-focused on top-end R & D instead of what really matters, training and maintenance...and the entire Russian military is in the toilet in those two areas. But, R & D is cooler and more exciting.
13 posted on 05/13/2002 10:02:34 PM PDT by John H K
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To: John H K
Topol-M etc are not R&D. They even sell their squall torpedoes, their SS-400 anti-missile/AWACS batteries (better than PAC-3 Patriots) and other high tech goodies to third world nations. Their subs are not R&D either, nor is their latest S-500 batteries.

Russia has maintenance "problems", however they symetricaly favor the maintenance of systems specificaly designed for strategic destruction of the US while the rest they can afford to keep down in maintenance. Indeed Russia has about 10 to 20 times more officers per foot soldier than normal. Since it only takes 2 weeks to train a foot soldier for a war and a couple years for a colonel, they could care less about preparing and maintaining foot soldiers, just as long as they have the right number of officers who get training in Chechnya.

We on the other hand are not preparing for the same kind of surprise confrontation as we are spending on foot soldiers much more. In terms of number of officers our army is much much more inferior than Russia's and maintained in much worse ways. The only superior officers we could dig to match Russia's level of maintanance would be managers from ENRON - try that one out.

14 posted on 05/14/2002 1:35:37 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: lavaroise
Officers are tits on a boar in modern combat. NCOs truly run the show, and their subordinates are right behind them in the learning curve. I've had both good and bad officers, with the majority having a combat life expectancy of a few firefights, and the good ones we would protect with all we had. The Russian military is no different than its' Soviet past - the conscripts don't even know where they are when they are deployed, and they don't have access to maps. (Even if they could read them.) Their tanks follow pre-positioned guides at intersections or just follow a pre-set azimuth regardless of what happens around them. By taking out the command vehicles in a Russian unit, you've taken out the unit. Take out the command vehicles in an American unit, and the others come after you immediately.

What most Americans don't understand if they haven't served in a combat arms unit is that the US military isn't the strongest only because of our weapons - it is mainly due to our tactics and the integration of systems in the Combined Arms doctrine. No other military force can share vital information between various units and branches on the battlefield like we do. We've learned how to take the blitzkrieg to a whole new level, with redundancy built into the system to counteract the loss of individual pieces from asymmetrical warfare.

15 posted on 05/14/2002 2:11:35 AM PDT by 11B3
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To: 11B3
Well the movie and book I wrote is on this premise (just got an agent): ;^)

1.) Russian Military training and morale inproves with its cash flow (oil reciepts help greatly).
2.) President Putin priority of the military reform. To transit to professional Armed Forces Russia needs to increase its military budget at least by 25%. Purchase of armament and combat materiel also requires substantial sums. The share of the defense budget grows at least to 3.5% of GDP.
3. Russian terrorists (alot better trained than the current crop of dummies) takes US out of the equation through various terroritst attacks (the hero stops the nuclear suitcase bomb from going off during the state of the union, at least in my tale).
4. There really is no army on the planet (provided that the US is taken out of the equation) that could stop a Renewed Russian Military and a powerful China as it quests for that little Island south of them. At least that is the premise of my story. I almost believe it. The EMP bomb attack is seriously scary by the way.

16 posted on 05/14/2002 2:37:54 AM PDT by BushCountry
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To: BushCountry
Crap, should not have type so quickly without proof-reading, sorry. Anyways, you get the drift.
17 posted on 05/14/2002 2:44:52 AM PDT by BushCountry
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To: spetznaz
What has the T-95 done in battle? Or the Mig-29 or the SU-33 or SU-37?

Face it, the Russian stuff is unproven. It may look great on paper but the T-72/T-80 was supposed to be unbeatable in the 80's when the M-1 was produced and the Iraqis were battle-tested troops.

Russian planes make great acrobats but that doesn't win battles.

18 posted on 05/14/2002 4:44:58 AM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: AppyPappy
You seem to question the efficacy of these weapons. Well, let me start with the T-95. This MBT has not yet been proven in battle, however in tests against other tanks (including live fire tests) it has been proven to be unstoppable....literally. This is because its reactive armor is better than the Abrams chobam, it also has radar on top of a laser range finder, its main gun fires shells, as well as missiles (that can be used against attack copters), it has a system designed to fire a slew of projectiles at incoming missiles, further negating the effectiveness of the apache, etc etc. Those are strong advantageous i have to say. And as for it not being tested in real combat you should also remmeber the vaunted M1a1 was also 'not tested in combat' until the Iraqi war, and it still worked perfectly there.

Now to the jets. If plasma stealth technology was a sham then why are the russians pouring cash into it in droves? And as for the su-33 and its derivatives being 'just airshow planes,' then why did they win against american F-15s in a play dogfight everytime? And why did some of the american pilots who got a chance to try out the flanker say it surpassed their own equipment?

As for the Mig-29 the main reasons we whooped them in Iraq is because our pilots had better training than the Iraqis, we had better information integration, plus we had destroyed their radar grids. Also we had more planes, and the F-15 is significantly better than the mig-29. Now take the same scenario and imagine well trained russian pilots flying su-37 super-flankers with plasma stealth suites and having the R-77 long range missile (which could only be matched by the F-14s phoenix, which is sadly being retired in favor of the f-18), and our brave valiant f-15 pilots will be in a bad situation. And while the F-22 would boost our assets we still have to cope with the new planes coming up (eg Mig MAPO and the Berkrut), as well as anti-radar targeting.

And comparing the T-95 with a T-72 is tantamount to comparing an F-15 with a WW2 Mustang fighter. They are both planes, but one is light years beyond the other.

And by the way let me ask a question. If the super-manoeuvrability of the sukhois is just a bunch of 'air show theatrics' then why did the US airforce incorporate thrust vector manouevring into the F-22 Raptor? Strange decision if such tech is good 'only for airshows?'

19 posted on 05/14/2002 8:24:13 AM PDT by spetznaz
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To: AppyPappy
I always say it is nice to be a patriot, actually any american who does not love this country is quite truly a strange creature since being born in the States is such a great blessing you have no idea. Trust me, i know.

However while being patriotic it is important at the same time to look at what the 'other guy' has, and if it is better admit it and take steps to make your stuff better that his.

I think it is a mistake to continue assuming that the only nations the US military will be facing are 3rd World banana republics or corrupt desert fiefdoms. This mode of thinking is risky because if the US has to do something big like defend Taiwan from Russia, oops, i meant China, but trust me there will be a LOT of Russia in that conflict even if it will be hidden. Just like in 'Nam when some of the 'Vietnamese' pilots turned out to have blue eyes blond hair and speak only russian. Must have been some long lost vietnamese tribe huh!

Just pretending our only enemy is armed with T-60s and T-72s is not knowing our enemy, and that is when hair-brained projects like the Crusader get put forward. Actually come think of it....the crusader is the one that looks great on paper but would be in reality a logistical disaster. And while we are saying the sukhois are just for show, and while congress is shoving the crusader to the US military (when the military doesn't want it because they would rather have satellite guided munitions), at that same time the Ruskies will be selling high tech stuff to the Balkans and China, as well as any nation that has money and a point to prove.

And then some years down the line more F-117s start getting shot down, and the public will then no longer believe the crap that was shoved to us during the Yugoslav incident when a F117 was brought down but the officials said it was probably a 'malfunction.' The only issue is that it had weapon damage from a missile???!!!!

20 posted on 05/14/2002 8:47:30 AM PDT by spetznaz
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