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Ukraine weapons thread   General Military Discussion

Started 24/2/22 by gatnerd; 183677 views.

From: Murpat


schnuersi said:

You also should keep in mind that with the latest gear in several cases Russia is not the main user.

And this would appear to be the issue with German procurement as well - tiny orders - needing extensive export orders to make things worthwhile for the manufacturers - even though Germany can afford them - unlike Russia.

For your delight and delectation (!):-

You may have difficulty with the dialect but perservere. 


From: schnuersi


Murpat said:

And this would appear to be the issue with German procurement as well - tiny orders - needing extensive export orders to make things worthwhile for the manufacturers - even though Germany can afford them - unlike Russia.

Well, in Germany its generally viewed as something good that the industry does a lot of exports. This also leads to the industry offering equipment that is not aimed at the domestic market at all. Or even in some cases the domestic market becoming so irrelevant that there is no R&D does to serve the specific needs of the German Military.
So is true though that the low numbers of systems procured it a problem.

What Germany can afford and what not is stuff for debate. The general opinion of defense spending in Germany is that it can not be afforded. Hence the resources have not been allocated.

Murpat said:

You may have difficulty with the dialect but perservere.

No real problems with an australian accent. Much easier to understand than some british or US accents.

Nice video. He is spot on in a lot of things but gets some very wrong. Allthough I think not for lack of understanding but for lack of detailed information.
Most important example: The BAAIN, the procurement agency, does NOT write the requirements. This is usually asumend. Even in Germany. Its wrong though. The requirements are written in the MoD. The BAAIN is a subordinate agency to the MoD tasked with implementing the decisions and requirements made by the MoD. This is one of the major problems of the procurement process. And indeed could be said to put people from the BAAIN into the suicide ward. The technical expertise is allmost entirely concentrated in the BAAIN. The MoD is run by politicians and jurists. Wich often leads to very unrealistic requirements. But since the BAAIN is subordinate there is nothing the technical experts can do to change this. Even if they know it can not be done right from the start.
The Gorch Fock is one of the prime examples. 100 % a political project. Befor the refurbishing started the BAAIN was tasked with conducting a viability study. The outcome was absolutely clear. Scrap the ship. Buy something new. It was simply overruled in the MoD because sombody wanted it this way.

The second important thing is the use of external consultants. These are not used in the operational daily business of the BAAIN. That would be illegal. Such functions can only be filled by sworn civil servants.
What the MoD does is to send consultants in to reorganise the procedures and organisations so they become more efficient... which reads: cheaper. The low readiness and availability of equipment is a direct result of that. The consultants approched the problem like they do in the civillian industry. Like the armed forces are any other customer. The first thing they did was to abolish any form of storage and stockpiling. Everything was supposed to use "just in time delivery". Which is plain and simple madness. The impact was massive. Since lots of the equipment of the BW is old and used in rather small numbers there is no on demand supply. Spare parts are produced in batches. So to get the required numbers for the supplier to actually produce a batch in several cases a significant part of the entire stock of the equipment had to be run down and wait for repair. In some cases even this was not enough. Especially with aircraft. So special permission to stock spare parts for limited time had to be got from high up in the MoD.
This is just one of the things the consultants messed up. People from the BAAIN, the military branches and the indistry warned that this would happen but they where all ignored. After all it was about saving money.
Only very slowly the MoD is rolling back from this and the effects of the damage done in the last two decades is massive and will take quite some time to repair.

The problem with staffing is very true and a major problem. This of course has been caused by budget cuts which lead to decades of not hiring enough. Which means the staff of the BAAIN is over aged. Since its a governmental agency people can not simply be hired. Its pretty complicated and length to become a sworn civil servant. Also looking for replacement is started once a position is vacant. Not befor. Which leads to loss of know how and expertise and currently leaves positions vacant for several years on average. Since the redundancy have been all but cut to the bone this can result in projects loosing their person responsible. Which will halt it dead in its tracks.
The department I am currently working for, more precise serving in since i made it to sworn civil servant, will loose more than half of its staff over a 3 year period starting in two years. We talk about engineers. Technical specialits. Chance for quick replacement: ZERO. Our department leader was really quite extatic that he got me two years ago. This is going to be very intresting in two years. The thing is since we are a government agency and not a civillian firm they can not make use work more or faster. This means in effect the performance this department will be able to deliver will be cut down in half. This is not special BTW. Its pretty typical for the BAAIN. Unless they really streamline the processes it will get very difficult to actually spend the 100 mrd. €.

He is also not right in some very basic things.
For example he says "everyone in Germany can agree that they need a military"... this is not true. There is a significant and loud part of the German polulation who would abolish the military immediatly. Decades of corrosion by the MfS and KGB during the Cold War did bear an evil fruit. This is also one of the main reasons why Germany is flakey on its defense spending. Its allmost entirely dependent on the current political landscape and situation. Its popular to cut defense and security funding and raise social benefits. So the politicians do it.


From: Farmplinker


Man, and I thought us Yankees had won the award for "Most Screwed-Up Procurement Bureaucracy"! Do you have an issue with military personnel being assigned to a 10 year program for only 2 or 3 years? That's helped ruin more than one program in the States.


From: schnuersi


Farmplinker said:

Do you have an issue with military personnel being assigned to a 10 year program for only 2 or 3 years?

No. For starters we don't because the entire procurement agency is civil. No soldiers. Technically there aren't even soldiers allowed. This is one of the things that have been implemented post WW2. The idea was to strictly seperate the civilian administration from the military.
Its a bit softer nowadays but there are noticle few soldiers.

There also are allmost no 10 years programs. It has been shown in the video quite precise. Everything is short term. If the programs drag on its because the funding was reallocated and the program in question is now in procurement limbo. Happened quite often in the last decades.


From: graylion


I am trying to count modern arty systems for UA

- 18 Caesar

- 19 PzH2000

- 18 Krab (+60)

- 8 Zuzana 2

- 8 HiMars

- 7 MLRS

The 30 Gepard should probably be assigned to protecting these. But to me this is beginning to look like at least some modern arty caspability. Will they be turned into a brigade rather than being spread out piecemeal?

  • Edited 06 July 2022 3:14  by  graylion

From: Mustrakrakis


schnuersi said:

Actually WW2 and the immediate post war era was the highpoint of Soviet/Russian logistics. Mostly because the US stuffed the full of truck, locomotives, fuel etc. They also did not have the deal with sea transport. The Americans handled it for them. During the Cold War they compensated by having the majority of their troops stationed less than a half day combat march away from their operational objectives.

Getting material to the USSR was one problem that was largely solved.  The USSR getting that material to where it was needed was another problem entirely, which was not always solved satisfactorily.

schnuersi said:

Yes it does. Because the question is why this is happening. As usual the answer is complex and there are several key factors.

The answer is the same as when they were blowing up in the 90's.  Storing ammunition with people is perfectly safe, as long as the armor is adequate.  The pre-1991 narrative was that the armor was adequate, and then it was found that it wasn't.  The pre-2022 narrative was that the armor (with ERA) was adequate, and then it was found that it wasn't.

schnuersi said:

No they did not. That is one of the reasons why it sunk.

You are familiar with what her defensive systems (at least on paper) were capable of when compared with western equivalents, yes?  If you are, why would you even say something like that?  Even as a person that thinks that they were all garbage, I can appreciate the concept of throwing shit at a wall until some of it sticks.  She had so much shit to throw at that wall that I was left believing that it would still be enough.  As it turned out, quantity over quality doesn't work if the quality is low enough.

schnuersi said:

I think you are missining the point. You yourself a few lines above wrote a summary of the mission profile a Slava Class cruiser was designed for. Has it been used in that way? Its a ship design from the '70 designed and build for a specific and very special purpose. It was used completly the wrong way. Sending it to basically perform litoral combat in threatened waters was a dumb idea.

I think you are missing the point.  I agree with you that she had no business being there, but that doesn't matter.  It wasn't a littoral threat that sank her.  It wasn't as if she ran aground or hit a mine or was swarmed by small boats.  She was taken out by antishipping missiles, something that she was (at least theoretically) extremely well protected against.

schnuersi said:

Basically its a glass cannon or a one use system. Its there to move in attack position on a major ocean and saturate a target with heavy AShMs. What happens to the ship once it fired its load is an afterthought.

No, yes, and no.  If what happened to her after the barrage was an afterthought, they wouldn't have bothered with installing so much crap beyond the antiship missiles.  I mean, come on.  A ton of SAMs?  And 6 CIWS?  And the depth charges and torpedo tubes and such?  She was meant to get away, or at least have an honest chance at doing so.

schnuersi said:

Its basically the same problem as with most Soviet era equipment. The design parameters assumed a very specific mode of opperation. This resulted in quite specialised but comparable optimised designs. For example the lower weight and size of the Soviet MBTs. Lauded since forever. But it came at the expense of flexibility. If the mode of opperation was not as intended the effectivness of the systems is massively reduced.

I don't accept that.  We're not talking about Soviet era equipment failing in weird scenarios halfway around the world.  We're also not talking about monkey model export versions, training ammo, and foreign soldiers that don't know what they're doing.  We're talking about Soviet era equipment failing in a conventional war 200 miles away from where it was made, while operated by the people that it was built for.  The old excuses won't work this time.

schnuersi said:

No it was playing it safe.

No, it was all an elaborate act of theater.  When a new piece of Soviet technology appeared, sooner or later it was in the west.  Even when we weren't directly observing it failing in action against anything that wasn't a generation older, we had plenty of it to play with directly.  The powers that be knew how bad it was on both sides, and it was in the best interests of both sides to pretend that it wasn't that bad.  They both had their reasons.  

schnuersi said:

You also should keep in mind that with the latest gear in several cases Russia is not the main user. This is true for the T-90 for example. How these perform is largely unknown to the wider public. We know they are not the stars of the turret tossing shows. Actually so far only one video of a T-90 being scuttled appeard and it was made quite a big deal. We also know that modern ATGMs or not the Russian army is putting immense pressure on UA and are gaining territorry. Once the fighting stops we will get reliable and detailed information over time. Currently its extremly difficult to make good acessments.

If you're trying to make the argument that Soviet crap can do acceptably against largely equivalent Soviet crap that's operated by less capable soldiers, I'll concede this point to you.



From: Mustrakrakis


schnuersi said:

This was never up for debate. Russia never wanted that in the first place.

Is this true?  You decide.  I will be the first to say that you should never believe the news without additional verification, but when the news assigns a conversation to someone by name and they don't refute it...well, then it might actually be true.  This is not an anonymous source.

schnuersi said:

This is simply not true. Most of the Western world for decades tried to be friend with them and gave them a lot of leeway and benefit of the doubt.

Like how?

schnuersi said:

That is also not true.

Yes, it is.

schnuersi said:

One of the problems the Russian military has are the massive stockpiles of old gear. This makes it very time consuming and expensive to really get new stuff out there.

Having massive stockpiles of old gear is not a problem.  Lacking the money to purchase stockpiles of new gear is indeed a problem.  Would you agree that the lack of money is a problem in this case?  (I understand that you're not a native English speaker and my terminology may not be entirely clear.  When I earlier said that Russia doesn't have the wealth to put it together, assume that wealth = money = credit, as I'm using it.  I apologize for my imprecise language.)

schnuersi said:

Only the party poopers in the West did shower UA with really modern weapons which can deal with old gear with ease.

Because the old gear was, and is, crap, at least when compared with what the west had, and has.  Hence my earlier comments about an elaborate act of theater.  

schnuersi said:

Keep in mind that UA on its own would never have comparable equipment.

I absolutely agree.  In fact, I remember this forum making fun of Ukraine's native arms industry pre-invasion (and indeed pre-Covid) for the stupid garbage that they were peddling.  Ukraine and India were the running jokes around here for quite a while.  I also seem to remember a thread on here (again, pre-Covid) about some big exercise that concluded that Russia would successfully invade Poland in a matter of days.  I don't think that it exists anymore due to how this forum deletes old threads, but man...can you imagine that thread today?

Oh, how the times change.


From: Mustrakrakis


graylion said:

The best reason I have seen suggested is operator fatigue - hours and hours of staring at an analog radar screen

Might be, particularly if there was a lot of drone activity before the strike specifically to annoy the CS people.  That explanation came from a source that I don't trust, but it would be completely plausible from anyone else.

It could even have been a fluke.  I remember a few years back when a US carrier famously failed to engage a drone with its CIWS.  We all had fun with that.  My personal (if limited) experience with the USN version of CIWS is that for a ship with two mounts that was expecting trouble, you didn't have to worry much about the first couple of objects headed your way.  I'd imagine that six mounts would be better.  I'd imagine that six mounts plus a shitload of short and medium ranged SAMs would be even better than that, but western ships aren't nearly that well protected.

It might even be that Moskva's systems worked exactly as designed, and she was simply overwhelmed by the amount of missiles that went her way.  I don't know how many Neptunes that would take, but I'd assume that it would be more than a few.  Some folks have done DCS videos on it.  Of course, DCS assumes that the systems all work as advertised, and that's not an assumption that I share.


From: renatohm


I have issues with this version.

Some analysis I've read show that (at least some of) the radars were in stand by mode.

My opinion? Russians got complacent. There are several pre-war reports in pro-Russian media saying that Neptune is crap.

If you do believe your enemy's weapons are crap, there's a not insignificant possibility you'll get complacent and not follow the book.

I'll illustrate this with a Brazilian piece of history:

Briefly, after police failed to deal with an insurrection in 1896-1897, the local governments asked for help from the central government, which sent one of its most feared and ruthless Army generals - who had just quelled what was probably the biggest insurrection Brazil ever had until then - with a group they thought was big (1,300 troops) and well armed (including howitzers) enough to deal with the group. The insurrectionists were armed with rudimentary weapons pikes, stones, sticks, machettes, plus only a handful of very old firearms, but by then they had already defeated everything the local governments threw at them.

This general inspected a captured firearm, which was basically a flintlock musket, and reportedly said something like "these peasants are doomed". He then went to battle, in front of his troops, on his white horse, in full garment - a very beautiful one which could easily be seen from quite a distance - and stopped from time to time to check around with his binoculars.

He was shot dead by a well hidden 'peasant', his troops dispersed and mauled during the rout that followed. The insurrectionists now had the modern weapons of the defeated Army troops.

Lessons learned, the Brazilian Army finally sent an even larger and better armed force, 3,000 troops packing even more howitzers, which were able to siege the insurrectionists but unable to finish them off. The rebellion was finally quelled by a much larger force of 8,000 troops and yet more howitzers.

This brief 'history lesson' shows that even 'peasants with machettes and sticks' can be quite dangerous if you are complacent with the basics.

Even if Neptune was crap, the Ukrainian Air Force is still flying, and if so wished might have been able to attack the Moskva with dumb bombs from Su-25 Frogfoot aircraft. That possibility alone, no matter how remote, should be enough to keep the Moskva people on high alert 24/7.

  • Edited 07 July 2022 8:04  by  renatohm

From: gatnerd


Mustrakrakis said:

I don't know how many Neptunes that would take, but I'd assume that it would be more than a few.

Estimates I had read at the time of the battleship sinking put the number of Neptunes in existence at about 12 pre-invasion. 

So there would hardly be a fireworks factory level of missiles available to swarm the ships defenses. 

That said, the general history of anti ship missiles seems very favorable to the missile / risky to the ship. So it's not unprecedented by any means that 2 missiles would be fired and a ship would be destroyed.