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ikalugin

Vostok-2018

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Yes, it is that time of the year and the big annual exercises begin.
I would try to cover them, as it seems to me that they are not covered otherwise here and that they may be of interest to the public here.

While they may not be as exciting as Zapad-2017 or Kavkaz-2016 to certain observers in Europe (as we can remember said observers claimed that those exercises are a cover up for an attack on Baltic and Ukraine)  they do seem to be the biggest exercises since Zapad-1981 with 3 MDs (East, Central, North) and various centrally commanded assets (VDV and others) participating. Overall it appears that the overall event can be split into 3 main parts:
- surprise alert drills
- logisics/rear area exercises
- actual final exercises
Between the three above it appears that around 1/4 (some 262k servicemen) participated (and/or will participate, as final exercises would be in September) in the event,
The scenario appears to be combating a mass attack by a peer adversary, with a lot of emphasis placed on:
- mobilisation
- rear services such as repairs and logistics
- inter theatre and local relocation of forces (especially aircraft), dispersal (ie to back up airfields or road strips)
- counter sabboteur exercises (by some VDV air assault units and by Navy)
- cruise missile strikes (by Tu95MSs, Iskander-Ms, Bastions)

Overall it is unclear who is the adversary, as large scale invasion, which would warrant the scale of the exercise, by Western Forces seems implausible in the East and China is participating with some 3200 troops as an ally rather than as an enemy.

Some footage by Zvezda:

https://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/201808210347-s1gh.htm/player/
https://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/201808220534-z7b1.htm/player/
https://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/201808211749-lo17.htm/player/
https://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/201808230431-koxp.htm/player/

 

 

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You are welcome, but actual Vostok-2018 final exercise would start later this month :)

It appears that there are also a number of other exercises and events going on, such as:
- large exercise in Med from combined forces from Northern, Baltic, Black, Caspian, Red seas, 26 ships and vessels would participate, including 2 submarines, as well as 34 aircraft. Flagship would be Marshal Ustinov cruiser. The force would be supported by Naval Aviation MPA  (Tu-142 and IL-38 series) and fighter aircraft (Su-33 and Su30SM), as well by Long Range Aviation's Tu160 bombers.
- RVSN exercise, with mobile TELs being dispersed onto their patrol routes.
- Peace Mission joint exercise of the SOC countries held in southern Urals region (so in the Vostok-2018 area but separate from it), video related:

 

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34 minutes ago, Los said:

Thanks for posting. I love the map at 1:57, I need that for my back yard!

What are you talking about?  That is CM6. You move stuff on the game board then see the activity on that monitor.  I bought a drive in theater and used that screen to replace the monitor.  

That is actually an upcoming AAR with Bil and Ian with all the beta testers present.  That's me over to the left with a blue cap asking where the hell the booze is.  Bil and Ian are seated at the table in center - you can't tell but they are wearing VR glasses so they don't actually see each other's forces.  Should be up for pre order in 2025 according to Steve (I am betting more like 2027).

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6 hours ago, Sublime said:

i think an Indo Pakistani war would be MUCH more exciting though I wouldnt want to see it :)

Exciting, mayhaps -- but certainly not surprising? There's been at least 4 Indo-Pakistani wars since the end of WW2, roughly one war every 20 years.

Considering both nations possess nuclear weapons, I think it's good to see them pretending to get along for the in-laws. Who knows? The 5th one is soon overdue -- hopefully it won't happen.

So they're doing Peace Mission, Vostok and Mediterranean exercises all at the same time?

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11 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

Opfor Cinematic Universe: Infinity War

I doubt that they had some 25k troops, 7k equipment items and 250 helicopters and aircraft in that movie (those are the stated numbers for Cugol training area where the main focus of the exercise would be, as well as PLA/Mongolian troops)

5855732_original.jpg

The plan for Cugol trainin area exercsie
1912134_1000.jpg
Split between "eastern" and "western" forces

Edited by ikalugin

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On 9/6/2018 at 1:51 PM, DerKommissar said:

Exciting, mayhaps -- but certainly not surprising? There's been at least 4 Indo-Pakistani wars since the end of WW2, roughly one war every 20 years.

Considering both nations possess nuclear weapons, I think it's good to see them pretending to get along for the in-laws. Who knows? The 5th one is soon overdue -- hopefully it won't happen.

So they're doing Peace Mission, Vostok and Mediterranean exercises all at the same time?

Most definitely not surprising. According to Wiki ( yes I know..) to this day theres almost monthly firefights and raids.

The nuclear factor definitely would be scary and very interesting - think of it as a gigantic test for mankinds survival - can 2 nuke powers fight a war without it sucking in the whole world?  If said powers use nuke will they be able to contain them to battlefield use only? ( Given the Pakistani's experience with terrorist groups and stuff I fear a 'terrorist' would detonate a nuke in say Delhi and Pakistan would deny responsibility. Still wouldnt stop Karachi being blown away.

Anyways - yeah if both powers cannot refrain from nuclear armageddon if a war breaks out then humanity is more definitely doomed than ever as that bodes incredibly badly for any future conflicts with nuke armed states.

 

Lastly sorry to go OT but I think most of us ineviteably will see a nuclear exchange, 50/50 on a end of the world type, in our lives. Why? N Korea.  Theyve released endless propaganda showing DC NYC getting nuked, endless nuclear threats.... Wait did I say threats?  I dont see them as threats I see it more like theyve explicitly told us what theyre doinh to destroy the US every step of the way and are following through on it.

Just you watch when they have ICBMs they reliably sure they can shower on America, methinks they wont be so hermit-like and become verrry aggressive.

 

Anyways Vostok 18 is very interesting as its a pretend peer on peer war. Fair nuff. Chinas in though... that leaves the US as near peer. Not as scary as the news makes it out though, we did 40 years of drills against VERY thinly veiled Russian (redland or whatever) faux nations and for example when my father did USAF SERE training in the late 70s the fake guards pretended tp be East German ( i wondered about this then realized we probably had a lot more military German speakers in that time than Russian) with faux KGB interrogators coming in. Apparently very very rough. they could break a couple bones and cauae none permanent injury. According to my father he was one of the last guys runming around uncaptured in phase I and the guards played a dirty trick and using loudspeakers told him the ecervise was over and to come out. When he did he got his @ss kicked. "NEVER BELIEVE COMMIE PROPAGANDA!" lol

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To be honest I think it is targeted at more plausible scenarios, such as 080808 style pacification of Ukraine.

The scale is certainly right, both overall alert (~300k troops were alerted and participated in some sort of drills) and on the Cugol training grounds (REDFOR had 4 armies) because we would deploy 4-6 armies (candidates are the 1st Grds TA, 20th Grds CAA, 8th Grds CAA, 49thCAA, 2nd Grds CAA, deployed in two operational echelons and two Fronts) for such an operation.

p.s. it is strange that this thread has been going on for days and Steve is still not here.

 

Edited by ikalugin

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Id agree except for reading the other say Tu95 MS.S were intercepted (by F22s) near the Aleutian Islands participating in the exercises presumably pretending to fire cruise missiles at US missile defenses/radar sites.

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Considering the geography of the exercise they were pretending to be the BLUEFOR (US) bombers attacking the REDFOR.
(in Russian tradition REDFOR are the good guys)

Which, if you think about, makes perfect sense, as US tends  to use massed cruise missile strikes in their campaighns.

Edited by ikalugin

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I disagree about the bombers playing a BluFor role...  There.d be no way to evaluate RedFor intercepting the target or anything and the geography is going the wrong way. Much more sense to have the bombers flying FROM the West and see if they can be intercepted or whatever.

Theres also a good chance the Tu95MS flight maybe had nothing to do with the exercise at all.

Of course the rest I agree - Russia being RedFor, US use of cruise missiles ( and from the US perspective why not? No downed pilots on TV, etc etc)

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One of the objectives of the REDFOR during the snap drills was repelling a massed cruise missile attack.

This is consistent with previous exercises.

Morever when you look at the bases and the aircraft trajectory it would make sense for the BLUEFOR bombers to outmanuever the REDFOR defenses, as both Northern Fleet and the Strategic Aviation play as the BLUEFOR.
5860399_original.jpg

5859404_original.jpg

p.s. in addition to the air defense related stuff when defending against the massed air attack, we were also training for repairing bridges and airfields, etc.

Edited by ikalugin

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Well first off you definitely know a lot more than me about all this but wouldnt it make more sense to have the BluFor bombers try to hit something somewhere in Siberia -( hell its so big you could make a fictitious country for the wargame and you could make it one of the top 5 countries size wise) - so said bombers could perhaps be intercepted tracked practice gained al around?

After all I highly doubt the USAF is going to allow those F22 pilots to fly to Russia to debrief on the Tu95 performance during the exercise. 

(Then again as long as Trump stays out of it otherwise I fear we may GIVE Russia our 'literally invisible, you cant see them at all' stealth aircraft fleet away for being such great guys

 

 

 

P.S.

It may seem we.re speaking about different events. How would Tu95MS flying towards Alaska be any use in repelling a cruise missile attack? That seems more like them DOING the attack? 

Interesting you noted who usually plays Blue - why those units? Why not rotate who plays Blue are those units somehow more Western or foreign than other Russian units?  How did that 'tradition' start?

Edited by Sublime

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The REDFOR air defenses are concentrated down south and are orientated westwards, launching (real weapons or electronically) from the east, after flanking the REDFOR from the north makes sense to me, as this is what the Northern Fleet did (they passed through the northern seaway all the way from Kola).
Because of where those islands are and how ADIZ stretches away from national airspace into international airspace it would make sense for US to intercept bombers going towards their launch positions or from them.
On the other hand, it makes little sense for the REDFOR bombers to fly the same path, as they could cross the "neutral" airspace with no problems on their way to BLUEFOR targets to the west.

It is possible however that those specific bombers were participating in an unrelated exercise or patrol, but I find it unlikely, especially because we know that the Strategic Aviation participated, with Tu95MS refuelling at low alt, etc being reported, video related (but for the REDFOR bombers going after BLUEFOR targets):

 

They are useful because they are the party that launches the supposed attack, which allows you to train both attackers and the defenders. Anti-ship mission for REDFOR or BLUEFOR is unlikely, as while their naval elements may be in the northern Pacific (close to US ADIZ in Alaska) the Tu95MS bombers are not fitted for that role presently.

We do not really have much in terms of OPFOR, so whatever side gets the blue draw, that side plays the OPFOR (in case of CT or COIN exercises spec ops play it as a rule it seems). This is not as bad as it sounds, as our primary likely opponents are from the FSU countries (ie Ukraine) and thus it is easy for regular units to play OPFOR.

 

 

Edited by ikalugin

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24 minutes ago, Erwin said:

One should always have hope...

I don't see what could get your hopes high, after all REDFOR is initially defending in the scenario, which goes to the contrary of say DPRK invasion by Russia and China.

Plus there is the whole diplomatic dimension where things are going fine.

Edited by ikalugin

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