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Everything posted by Machor

  1. Without taking the thread OT - wow! Medvedev has always been portrayed in the West as the 'good cop' vis-a-vis Putin; even the latest BBC long read on Russia mentions "The ambitious project was launched during a brief liberal “spring” when Dmitry Medvedev took over the presidency. The constitution barred Vladimir Putin from running for a third consecutive term so Medvedev kept his seat warm." (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/russia_election ) Anyways, dropping the political discussion with some food for thought on Western foreign policy 'expertise' brought to my attention by Burak Kadercan's twitter feed: "Guilty Men:" https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/04/24/guilty-men/
  2. Are you referring to Sergei Ivanov? I believe you. Can you give the name?
  3. Very interesting, thanks. It would be interesting to compare how South Korea, Sweden, and post-war Italy and Japan developed their defense industries - those being cases I could think of where exports were marginal or non-existent. I do recall reading that Japanese tanks are the most expensive in the world. Shhh, you just gave away the secret of Stryker.
  4. "When whole communities go to war - whole peoples, and especially civilized peoples - the reason always lies in some political situation, and the occasion is always due to some political object. War, therefore, is an act of policy. Were it a game of CM complete, untrammeled, absolute manifestation of violence (as the pure concept would require), war would of its own independent will usurp the place of policy the moment policy had brought it into being" - Clausewitz That credit goes to @Oleksandr. If you read the part of the thread that starts several posts before Steve's post that I linked to, you'll find a most informative discussion of tank thermal sights, including what is probably the most that a US armor officer can disclose without violating OPSEC.
  5. Beyond semiconductors and electronic engineering, there are challenges of materials and industrial engineering, which, for Russia, may be difficult to overcome as they require industrial reorganization and long-term investment:
  6. @Sgt.Squarehead I am describing the perspective of the Turkish public that supports the Afrin operation, not making a normative statement.
  7. Indeed, which is why I would love to try it in CMFG - Combat Mission: Fulda Gap.
  8. Here's what Steven Zaloga has to say in BMP Infantry Fighting Vehicle 1967-94 (Osprey, 1994): "In the eyes of many Soviet tacticians, the BMP-1 was not entirely suited to conventional warfare. On a nuclear battlefield, NATO anti-tank guided missile and rocket teams would be severely inhibited by the contaminated environment; under such conditions it was argued that the BMP-1 could reign freely at the head of combined tank-motor rifle groups. But in a conventional war, there would be a profusion of anti-tank teams. The lightly armoured BMP-1 was especially vulnerable to the wide range of infantry anti-tank weapons available to NATO. The Red Army questioned how the BMP could be employed in these different scenarios, and concluded that new tactics were required. It was accepted that BMPs could be employed in actions where there was little resistance, such as during the break-out phase of offensive operations, or in pursuit of a disorganised enemy force. When resistance was strong, the BMP-1 would be used as part of a tank-infantry team with the infantry dismounted. A platoon of tanks would be placed in a wave in the vanguard, since they were better able to absorb the blow of anti-armour defences. Infantry would follow 200 m behind the tanks to help root out enemy anti-armour teams. The BMPs would follow no more than 300-400 m behind the infantry, providing fire support for the tanks, and preparing to move forward to pick up the infantry once the opposition was overcome." (pp. 10-11) "Bronegruppa (armoured group) tactics are an evolution of BMP tactics, but using the vehicles for missions without their infantry dismounts. When a company or battalion of motor rifle troops dismount and dig in for defensive fighting, the unit commander can take some of his BMPs away to form a central bronegruppa reserve instead of leaving them dug in with their rifle squads; this gives the company or battalion commander a mobile reserve, and counterattack force that can be held back until the enemy's objective is clear." (pp. 37-8)
  9. I have no intention to take the thread OT; just a footnote to "the only truly progressive group:" For a scholarly take on the YPG, see the second half of "Twilight of the Kurds:" http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/16/twilight-of-the-kurds-iraq-syria-kurdistan/
  10. I quickly looked up info only about the BMP-2, and found this: "The commander can exit the vehicle by two means - the hatch above him, or by spinning the turret to face the rear, and then going out through the passenger compartment. In the latter case, he must swing open the turret basket perimeter shield (shown below) to exit the turret." https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.ca/2016/05/bmp-2.html#comstat Given those restrictions for movement between the commander's position and the passenger compartment, I'd say the way this is modeled in the game for the BMP-2 is spot-on.
  11. And where's 2016?... Ah, here we go! Seriously, Western non-interference in the fall of Aleppo [in which the YPG played a crucial part - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Aleppo_offensive_(February_2016) - which may not be known or was forgotten by folks in the West, but certainly not by the FSA fighters in Afrin] and the humanitarian tragedy around it profoundly impacted the Turkish public in two ways: - It relativized the ethics of war, so that any criticism today can be brushed off with "What about Aleppo?" - It did the equivalent of tens of billions of Qatari / Saudi petrodollars in pushing the Islamist / Jihadist message that democracy and human rights are only a smokescreen for a war against (Sunni) Islam [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_against_Islam ]. I have seen a realistic proposition for getting out of this mess only today: "What Washington must do about Turkey and Afrin" https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/02/05/what-washington-must-do-about-turkey-and-afrin/?utm_term=.b2d435ee9135 In short, pressure the PKK to declare a cease-fire inside Turkey, quid pro quo for limiting the operation in Afrin. It would still give Erdogan his victory for reelection, but lifting the state of emergency would at least restore constitutional order, no matter how flawed the constitution. The part that the proposition does not account for is whether the PKK would be willing to go along with this. After all, they have everything to gain from a state of affairs where the only outlet for Kurdish dissent is through their armed ranks.
  12. My thoughts as well. The tank does not appear to have been in combat when the missile was fired; I think the YPG team may have infiltrated what was thought to be a secure area, or blended in with the civilians there. Also note the (white?) civilian car that was parked next to the tank, and sped away right after missile launch - proof that they detected the launch. In related news, the FSA intercepted a large shipment of ATGMs, including Konkurs, to the YPG, that originated from a town under Al Nusra control. The Syrian conflict's mess of disparate interests, loyalties, and alliances is certainly up there with the 30 Years War:
  13. The missile has been confirmed as a Konkurs (AT-5): Five tankers - including a lieutenant - were KIA. Does a LEO2 have space for five people inside?: Presumably the destroyed LEO2, with a crewman who was KIA. I assume he was the loader, as he held the lowest rank:
  14. A rule of thumb that I've picked up from playing Slitherine's Pike&Shot / Sengoku Jidai / Field of Glory 2 at their hardest settings is to give the AI a 50% point advantage, on top of whatever advantage it is already getting for attacking etc. To achieve this in CM, I increase the AI's points by 70% when I'm defending [the AI is very vulnerable to ambushes if you can set up one where the map designer didn't expect it], and decrease my own points by 40% when I'm attacking. If I give the AI even more points, that tends to kick in the "quantity has a quality of its own" phenomenon. I have been able to win total victories in CMBS rolling with Abrams against Russians in poor visibility, when I had the full 60% penalty for my own force. I remember that ancient movie every time I play against the AI - it should be made obligatory for all wargamers.
  15. Bellingcat investigation by Nick Waters, an ex-British Army officer. Lots of images, an alleged video of the January 6 attack, and thorough analysis: "The Poor Man’s Air Force? Rebel Drones Attack Russia’s Airbase in Syria" https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/01/12/the_poor_mans_airforce/
  16. "Black Market Sold Drones Used in Russian Base Attack" https://www.thedailybeast.com/black-market-sold-drones-used-in-russian-base-attack "... days before the unique, jury-rigged drone bomber surfaced in the attack, a seller in a rebel social media arms market based in Syria’s Idlib province posted an advertisement for an identical-looking model of rickety homebrew drone along with similar munitions, casting serious doubt on Moscow’s tales of high tech transfer. ... ... the black market drone advertisement, posted on Dec. 31 in a Telegram arms market where rebels trade everything from motorcycles to machine guns, suggests that the weapon may have been available to any rebels who had the cash to buy it. The seller offered the drone alongside two small, grenade-sized munitions. “Brothers,” the author wrote next to pictures of the weapons, “reconnaissance plane which drops shells for sale.” ... In a Facebook post after the air base attack, Russia’s defense ministry wrote that its electronic warfare systems defeated six of the drones and that its Pantsir air defense systems shot down an additional seven during the attack. Photos accompanying the post reveal a nearly identical drone to that seen in the Telegram arms market with the same boxy fuselage covered in green plastic wrap and tape, capped by a wood casing surrounding the engine. Captured munitions from the photos posted by the Russians also show starkly similar munitions to the ones offered on Telegram, with semi-transparent casings, white plastic fins, and a thick metal hook to attach them underwing. The bombs contain “BB’s embedded in epoxy around an explosive core and then placed in an aerodynamic plastic shell,” says Nick Waters, an analyst who researches for Bellingcat, an investigative journalism nonprofit. “They were designed for fragmentation rather than destroying planes.” But the Hmeimim incident wasn’t the first sighting of that particular model of slapdash drone in the wild. On Jan. 1, the day after the black market drone posting, Saray al-Areen, an Assad regime-aligned militia, posted pictures of another identical drone with similar munitions fragments on its Facebook page, writing that it had captured “two aircraft with munitions outside of Qeraha and Jablah,” villages not far outside the Russian air base at Hmeimim. “The explosions heard today at noon are the results of these shells,” the group advised. The capture followed a New Year’s Eve attack on Hmeimim which killed two Russian troops and which Russian authorities subsequently described as a mortar attack. Then again on Jan. 2, wreckage from what appears to be another of the same model drone surfaced in a separate attack. The Russian publication Rusvesna published pictures of wreckage sporting the same same green tape, plastic and plywood-covered engine, claiming that the aircraft had been launched by the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham rebel group at a Russian military engineers’ training facility in northern Homs province before being shot down by local troops. The aircraft has a unique, improvised design, which doesn’t appear to come from any known commercial models or kits, suggesting a stronger connection between the drone offered for sale on Telegram and the models captured by Russian and Syrian forces. “From what I can see, this ‘drone’ was fabricated using wooden parts and tape. Perhaps the servos and engine were purchased online, although it’s more likely been scavenged from a model airplane,” says Mike Blades, a drone industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan."
  17. This just in: "Who is attacking Russia’s bases in Syria? A new mystery emerges in the war." https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/who-is-attacking-russias-main-base-in-syria-a-new-mystery-emerges-in-the-war/2018/01/09/4fdaea70-f48d-11e7-9af7-a50bc3300042_story.html?tid=pm_world_pop&utm_term=.32c85e2ed4f8 "Perhaps the biggest question of all, however, is who was responsible. What makes the attacks especially unusual is that there has been no claim, triggering a frenzy of speculation in the Russian and Syrian news media over who may have carried them out. Russia’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday appeared to accuse the United States of supplying the technology for the drone attack, saying that assault required a higher level of expertise than any armed group in Syria is known to possess. Compounding the suspicions, the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page that a U.S. Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft was in the skies above the area for four hours during the drone assault. Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said the allegation was “absolutely false.” The Islamic State has often used armed drones against U.S.-allied forces in eastern Syria and Iraq without “significant impact” he said, adding that small drones are readily available commercially. But the nearest Islamic State positions are hundreds of miles away from the western coastal province where Khmeimim is located, making the group one of the more unlikely culprits. Most of the Islamic State drones used against U.S. allies, moreover, had a range of no more than one to two kilometers, according to an analysis by the defense consultancy IHS Markit group. The Russian Defense Ministry statement said the drones used in the Khmeimim attack came from between 50 and 100 kilometers away, making them far more sophisticated and expanding the pool of potential suspects, the IHS analysis said. One of the myriad Syrian opposition groups is the most probable suspect, Suchkov said. But, none of the rebel groups is known to be within mortar range of the base, and they typically assert responsibility for all their operations. “If it was the opposition, they tend to put everything online and boast about it,” he said. Among the theories circulating widely is that disgruntled Alawites from Assad’s own minority sect were responsible. A statement about the attacks on the base, which is in a predominantly Alawite area, was posted online in the name of a shadowy group called the Free Alawite Movement. It warned Alawites who support the Syrian regime that the attacks proved Assad’s hold on power is not secure but did not explicitly claim that it carried out the attacks. A number of Alawite opposition members said they did not think the group is real and speculated that foreign intelligence agencies are seeking to create the impression of strife among regime loyalists. Another claim made in Syrian opposition news outlets is that an Iranian-backed militia fighting on behalf of the regime and located in the government-controlled hills nearby, was responsible. According to that theory, Iran wants to thwart Russia’s efforts to impose a peace settlement on Syria that would undermine Iranian interests." One thing that seems certain is that CMSF2 couldn't be timelier.
  18. I do not see the basis for this. Just two days ago, Chechen jihadists in Idlib suffered a huge loss after their HQ was attacked with a VBIED presumably by a rebel group that supports the Astana agreement, and yesterday, a Turkish military convoy was ambushed in Idlib, presumably as retaliation. Ever since it adopted the 'contain the YPG first' strategy, Turkey has stayed very close to the Russian line. It is understandably mad at Assad exploiting the civil war among the rebels to gain territory, but this is not a motive to attack Russia. In fact, in light of the S-400 procurement and calls among pro-government circles for Turkey to withdraw from NATO, abetting an attack against Russia would be outright bizarre. Do note that the fuses and explosives that were captured may well be of Turkish or US origin, which proves nothing as they were most likely taken from existing stock, and may have been bought or captured from third parties. What will be of interest is the analysis of the parts that would have required precise machining. Whoever used the UAVs should have known that some were highly likely to be captured intact, so they would have taken steps to hide where the parts were sourced. One thing that seems certain is that both attacks were carried out by the same group and with a symbolic intent, as they fell on New Year's eve and the eve of Russian Orthodox Christmas.
  19. Looks like they have an SOP where the loader covers the rear of the vehicle while a column is moving through close terrain.
  20. Am not going to even quote from this one: "Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows" http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42575155
  21. By all accounts that have appeared online, the M60T outperformed early build LEO2s in Syria. One even survived a Kornet hit in Iraq, though it was also particularly lucky in the angle of impact. That being said, the M60T was a very expensive project whose main purpose was to transfer technology to build a domestic tank; therefore, it was something more than an 'upgrade.' Interestingly, the M60T project came about after the failed bid to build the Ukrainian Yatagan, which didn't work out since the Russians refused to transfer their APS technology. Considering this was Yeltsin's cash-strapped Russia, it speaks volumes about the strategic value they placed on APS.
  22. This had been buzzing around online for some days and now appears to be official - it would dwarf the previous ISIS attack on Russian helicopters near Palmyra: "Syria war: Photos 'reveal' Russia jet damage at Hmeimim base" http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42580378 "A Russian military journalist has published photos of Russian warplanes which are believed to have been damaged by rebel shelling in Syria. Roman Saponkov posted them on social media after reports of the attack. Russia's defence ministry acknowledged a 31 December rebel mortar attack on Hmeimim airbase but denied any jets had been disabled. It also confirmed two servicemen's deaths. Russia's Kommersant newspaper said seven jets had been destroyed. ... According to Kommersant, in the attack "at least seven planes were destroyed: four frontline Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S multi-role fighters and an An-72 transport plane". Posting on the social media site vKontakte, Saponkov listed the losses as: six Su-24s; one Su-35S; one An-72; one An-30 spy plane; and one Mi-8 helicopter." I couldn't help but think about the RAND report Snakes in the Eagle's Nest. To quote from the conclusion of that study: "In conclusion, attacks by small forces with the limited objective of destroying aircraft have succeeded in destroying or damaging over 2,000 aircraft between 1940 and 1992. This fact is powerful testimony to the effectiveness of small units using unsophisticated weapons against typical air base defenses and is a sobering precedent for those responsible for defending USAF bases against this threat." I think there's an argument to be made here - putting aside naval airpower - in favor of long-range bombers and strike aircraft, using PGMs to compensate for long distance missions with loitering.
  23. She actually wasn't military. Continuing Soviet tradition, Russian prosecutors have parade uniforms.
  24. @Michael Emrys & @3j2m7, My previous post was only meant to be funny and did not reflect my own taste. To my eyes, a winterized IS-2 looks like this: For factory finish photos: "OK Google: Anastasiya Scheglova" Am putting the lid on this perceptual - if not perceptive - discussion before the thread goes south.
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