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Ukraine weapons thread   General Military Discussion

Started 24/2/22 by gatnerd; 158306 views.
schnuersi

From: schnuersi

2-Jul

Mustrakrakis said:

I was going to say at least as far back as WWII

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.

Mustrakrakis said:

It does make sense to discuss weapon system strengths and weaknesses when pictures of inverted tank turrets in upstairs bedrooms are appearing on Turret Tossing Olympics threads on various forums.

Yes it does. Because the question is why this is happening.
As usual the answer is complex and there are several key factors. Also keep in mind that what can be seen on the internet is out of context and only a very narrow view.

Mustrakrakis said:

Her antimissile and antiaircraft capabilities had redundancies for redundancies.

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

Mustrakrakis said:

that shouldn't have been possible

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. The main weapon suits of the Moskva have been unsuitable for the mission. 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.
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.
 

Mustrakrakis said:

It was all an elaborate act of theater.

No it was playing it safe.
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.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

2-Jul

Mustrakrakis said:

Getting them into NATO in the 90's was a missed opportunity.

This was never up for debate. Russia never wanted that in the first place. This is a completly unrealistic scenario and not a missed opportunity.

Mustrakrakis said:

and most of the world didn't like them for whatever reasons

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. Turns out this was a mistake and they didn't deserve it in the first place.
 

Mustrakrakis said:

They just don't have the wealth to put it together

That is also not true.
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. Once they start training people on the new equipment their stockpiles would become worthless. But they WANT the stockpiles because the WANT to wage war. Building up to a similar level with new gear would have taken decades but they wanted war NOW. So they had to use what was there. Only the party poopers in the West did shower UA with really modern weapons which can deal with old gear with ease. Keep in mind that UA on its own would never have comparable equipment. They would be in a worse situation than Russia.
On top of that comes the Russian defense industry. Which for most parts is outdated. Old facilities old machinery etc. They have been building the same stuff for almost half a century. Its quite problematic to radically change that. Again it takes time and resources. Doable yes but not if you want war now.

graylion

From: graylion

3-Jul

Mustrakrakis said:

What of the Moskva?  She was a beast.  Her job was to steam over to an American battlegroup, spam a "wall of skill" antishipping missile barrage at it, and then haul ass in the other direction while having a reasonable chance of surviving the deluge of missiles, bombs, and aircraft that would be sent in retaliation.  Her antimissile and antiaircraft capabilities had redundancies for redundancies.  And what was the result?  Even with the oppressive amount of western intel being funneled to Ukraine, that shouldn't have been possible.  I've heard it suggested that their sailors are as bad as their tanks, but I don't believe that.  I don't believe that the people are bad.  When you're in the military and at war, if you're bad at your job, you die.  You're directly motivated to do a good job, and to continually learn how to do your job better.  That's how you survive.  Your equipment, unfortunately, is out of your control, and I suspect that Moskva ended up where she did because her AA systems, in whole or in part, were not performing to spec...because if they had been, Ukraine didn't have enough missiles to sink her.

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

Mr. T (MrT4)

From: Mr. T (MrT4)

3-Jul

Developing and manufacturing new brand new gear from the ground up is not something done with ease even in far more developed countries with much more financial resources and industrial base . If you look at comparable GDP countries , none builds space rockets, jets, helicopters, nuclear subs, tanks and everything else that goes with it . IF you look in Europe french are the closest to sort of manufacturing (even tough in most cases in European cooperation) everything, yet don't even manufacture small arms or ammo.

For Russia the inwestment was mostly to AD systems ,Navy (Subs) and Nuclear deterrent all of these branches got new gen gear . Ground forces were not a big priority when it came to money allocated. so they want to wage war now is not quite what they were planing for.

To ilustrate how small development potential of certain industries is :

Most of the worlds planes use engines from only 2 different manufacturers,  most of the armored vehicles use engines and transmissions from 3-4 different manufacturers, practicaly all the ships use cannon installations from one company ,drives from one , turbines from 2-3 , most of the missiles are made by very small selection of manufacturers , radars from 2or 3 ,electronic parts come from one or two manufacturers .

So when Koreans start a new tank they can buy 50% of the parts off the shelf abroad, same goes for Israelis , one single country building everything while not even having a large civilian manufacturing base that could be taped into pro know how  is in a world of hurt to develop and make every part. Even US buys most of the stuff abroad and has production localized at home. (practically all small arms aside from M4 and M2HB are European) ,many of the new ships are European designs, missiles are being bought in Sweden ,APS in Israel , Stryker was practically rehashed LAV/iranha ,

For Russia post SSSR widely dispersed defense industry was a considerable disavantage , many engines and powertrains were made in Ukraine ,optics in Belarus, NV gear in Belarus and Ukraine , Torpedos in Ingushetia etc... at to that layers of corruption and 60Billion defence budget is not that large considering the size of the armed forces and nuclear deterrent.

You know its much easier to develop around COTS parts sourced all over the world, everyone does it , so its a bit insincere to point out that Russia doing it is somehow different.   Just look at the issues with making a domestic powertrain for many tank projects like Turk Altai tank or Korean Black Panther.

Just imagine Turks building Bayraktar without any foreign parts , there wouldnt be one ever.

Y

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

4-Jul

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

Developing and manufacturing new brand new gear from the ground up is not something done with ease even in far more developed countries with much more financial resources and industrial base .

Actually it is. The R&D is not the problem. Not at all. Especially if there are established organisations and experience. All it usually takes is some time, commitment and money. The problems come from the latter two not being there.
 

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

If you look at comparable GDP countries , none builds space rockets, jets, helicopters, nuclear subs, tanks and everything else that goes with it .

This is relevant why?

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

so they want to wage war now is not quite what they were planing for.

That is very true. They planned for the UA to be a push over and the entire thing done within a few days. A few weeks tops.
Most of their projects are for long term. Once they started to openly antagonise the West they need the strategic assets for it. Never the less even these strategic assets are mostly Soviet era desgings.

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

To ilustrate how small development potential of certain industries is :

First of all you listing isn't correct. You are also mixing supply chain, subsystem contractor and R&D. Its much more complicated than you make it seem. Some things you say are simply false.

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

practicaly all the ships use cannon installations from one company

That for example is utter BS.
Most German Navy ships alone carry guns from three different manufacturers. In the German Navy as a whole guns from at least four manufacturers are used. From the top of my head without google.

You fail to understand how the interconected globalised industry works. For starters the main contractors, who usually get the credit and whos name is mentioned in wikipedia, is not necessarily the manufacturer. They are allmost certainly not the manufacturer of all subcomponents and parts. The country the main contractor is from is usually NOT identical to the country the corporation is from to which they belong. The manufacturers of subcomponents do not produce all parts themself. Usually nowadays the vertical integration of production is rather low. In defense its higher than usual but this is still bellow 50 %. The important question is where do all the subcomponents and parts come from. This is usually negotiated and most of the time it has a very high local percentage.

Its also important to note that certain parts can not be bought. All nations restrict export of security critical parts and know how. If a contract to get this is negotiated it usually comes with a lot of strings attached.

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

So when Koreans start a new tank they can buy 50% of the parts off the shelf abroad

No they can't. As mentioned above. They won't get the critical parts. It also doesn't make sense to design a build your own tank or weapon system in general if you can not produce it domestically.
The Koreans got some help and bought some common and easy to get licenses but the production of the K2 is allmost entirely domestic.

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

same goes for Israelis

Same as the Koreans. Plus there are several nations who will not trade weapons with Israel. Why do you think Israel has such a large defense industry. There used to be embargoes in place which forced them to produce semself. Same with South Africa.
 

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

Even US buys most of the stuff abroad and has production localized at home.

No they don't. They buy from a local part of an international cooperation. They go to great length to make sure all manufacturing is done locally. Who actually developed what is not really important.
Furthermore the question in the argument you are trying to make would be: WHY? Why do they buy x and not y. It has NOTHING to do with the capability to do R&D. The main driving force behind such decision is plain and simple: cost.

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

You know its much easier to develop around COTS parts sourced all over the world

No its not. It produces a lot of new challanges and problems. Which you would not have with a 100 % vertical integration of manufacturing.

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

Just look at the issues with making a domestic powertrain for many tank projects like Turk Altai tank or Korean Black Panther.

Nobody ever said it is easy as such or there won't be any problems. But this is irrelevant to the discussion. Both Korea and Turkey started from 0. Their first domestic MBT programms. They also tried to enter directly into the 3rd gen. In the case of Turkey they are still in the process to become a full industrialised country. Yet they managed to pull it off.
Russia on the other hand has the know how. They have been developing weapon systems for a very long time. They also managed to develope the T-14. As an all domestic program. But they can not manage to get it into production. They don't lack R&D they lack the manufacturing. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain they had allmost 40 years now to modernise. Which they did not. They wasted time and resources for god knows what. Whos fault is it that the Russian industry could not profit from the globalised economy like for example Korea and Turkey could? The Russians deliberatly chose to take the path they are on decades ago. This is now biting them in the ass. The equipment their troops actually use is not up to modern standards.
There is no sugarcoating they fucked up. Royally. Now they are isolated and will be left behind. If they are unluck they will end up like North Korea.
 

Murpat

From: Murpat

4-Jul

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 (!):-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jDUVtUA7rg

You may have difficulty with the dialect but perservere. 

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

4-Jul

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.

Farmplinker

From: Farmplinker

4-Jul

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.

schnuersi

From: schnuersi

4-Jul

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.

graylion

From: graylion

5-Jul

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
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