Skip to comments.No-Fly Zone
Posted on 08/25/2022 2:34:31 PM PDT by delta7
I’ve become increasingly intrigued by the fact that western military analysts – even among those not burdened with the epidemic strain of virulent antipathy towards Russia – have not spoken much (if at all) about what I consider to be quite arguably the most impressive revelation of the war in Ukraine.
In addition to imposing a virtual “you fly, you die” rule against the Ukrainian Air Force and the various drones they employ, the Russians are, with a formidable array of air defense systems of varying capacities, routinely shooting down: ballistic missiles, MLRS rockets, HARMS anti-radiation missiles, and even artillery shells.
Russian Pantsir Short-range Air Defense System
They are also effectively employing a variety of electronic counter measures to: block signals to GPS-equipped ordnance; spoof the targeting radars of both satellites and radar-equipped missiles, and otherwise confuse the variety of targeting technologies employed in both older Soviet and American weapons being fielded by Ukrainian forces.
This is an absolutely unprecedented achievement on the battlefield.
Neither Israeli nor American systems have ever demonstrated the capability to routinely shoot down advanced missiles or rockets of any type.
Iraqi Scud missiles defeated the American Patriot missile defense system, as have much cruder missiles fielded by the Houthis in Yemen against Saudi targets ostensibly protected by American-provided US air defense systems.
More relevantly, Iranian missiles have proven to be much more formidable than was previously believed. And although it remains uncertain (or purposely unacknowledged) that US air defense systems were in the vicinity at the time, Iran dropped a couple dozen of their home-made ballistic missiles with 1000 lb. warheads within 5-meter circles at the US air base at Ayn al-Asad in Iraq during their “Vengeance for Soleimani” strike in January 2020. (Impressive drone video of the strike at that link.)
This is particularly embarrassing for the US, because they had prior warning, hours in advance, that a missile strike would be launched against Ayn al-Asad.
Even in strictly controlled tests against advanced ballistic missiles, the successful interception rate for US Patriot and THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defense) systems falls far short of impressive.
And yet, after a handful of successful early strikes by Ukrainian forces, the Russians have now shot down the overwhelming majority of the Soviet-era Tochka-U ground-to-ground missiles Ukraine has fired over the course of the past six months.
The Tochka-U is a reasonably formidable weapon. Mach 5.3; 150 meter accuracy; variable warhead.
But other than a single ammo dump strike, there have been no successful Tochka-U hits on Russian targets since the third week of March 2022.
Dozens have been shot down.
By comparison, the US ATACMS missile is almost twice as large as the Tochka-U, with a longer range, but considerably slower speed (Mach 3+).
There is little reason to suppose the ATACMS can succeed where the Tochka-U has failed – at least if it is used against targets covered by Russian air defenses.
But, of course, it’s not just the ballistic missiles Russia is shooting down. They have been shooting down Ukrainian artillery rockets from the beginning of the war. And most recently, they are shooting down an impressive percentage of the HIMARS GPS-guided GMLRS rockets when they challenge air defense coverage areas.
And just in the past week, as yet unconfirmed evidence has emerged of a US HARMS (high-velocity anti-radar missile system) missile shot down by Russian air defenses. I suspect we’ll see additional evidences of that capability in weeks to come.
But what must be understood is that no military on the planet had, previous to the war in Ukraine, consistently demonstrated the capability to do what Russia has been doing routinely for the past six months: imposing from the ground what amounts to a reasonable facsimile of a no-fly zone over those areas of the battlefield where it has chosen to mass its air defenses.
To be sure, there have been missile and rocket strikes that have hit their marks elsewhere. And there have even been missiles/rockets that, when fired in large salvos, have, to varying degrees, successfully penetrated concentrated Russian air defenses, such as the batteries attempting to provide protection for the Antonovsky Bridge near Kherson. But even in these salvo attacks, the Russian Ministry of Defense consistently claims an interception rate of 50% or more.
The undeniable fact is that Russia is doing something that has never previously been done with any degree of regularity: shooting down incoming missiles and high velocity rockets.
I don’t understand why a bigger deal is not being made about this.
I am confident that Pentagon war planners are shaken to the casters on their fat leather chairs when they contemplate the significance of what they are seeing play out in Ukraine on an almost daily basis.
It is, in my estimation, a revolutionary development on the battlefield.
And it is a capability that no other nation has yet demonstrated.
Yes, yes, I know … there are some who will start shouting Iron Dome from the back of the room. But seriously … if anyone believes Israel’s Iron Dome is a proven system against advanced missiles or rockets, I'm sorry, but I've seen no evidence to support such faith. They have been used primarily to intercept the rather crude “bottle rockets on steroids” launched from the hapless Palestinians in Gaza – not hardly a glowing resumé.
It remains to be seen if Iron Dome can even stop the now-formidable arsenal possessed by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
As for Iranian missiles? I do not believe Iron Dome could intercept more than a minute fraction of them should a massed strike ever take place.
The bottom line is that Russia has now incontrovertibly demonstrated a reliable capability to intercept a large percentage of advanced missiles and rockets.
There is also very good reason to suppose they have not revealed their full capabilities in Ukraine, for fear of tipping off the US/NATO in advance of a potential confrontation against them.
In any case, the capabilities already manifest at this juncture appear to me to represent a likely war-winning advantage accruing to Russia in the event of a future conflict against the United States.
Uh he dismisses Iron Dome way too quickly and praises russia’s defenses too easily.
I’m not saying it’s not worth discussing but this is a fanboy article.
“Neither Israeli nor American systems have ever demonstrated the capability to routinely shoot down advanced missiles or rockets of any type.”
Hmmm... I haven’t wasted any time following this mini-war, but, apparently according to Baghdad Bob in his column in Imetatronink, it’s over anyway...
The moslems have already overrun most of Europe already, the Rus-Uke war is unimportant, IMHO...
If our defense department wasn’t controlled by pantywaist wokists, they’d be carefully treating the R-U war as a testing ground to make our weopons stronger & more effective...
They are not, however, since their duties promoting diversity, inclusiveness, and vaxxing take up 99% of their time and attention...
What is important to be following is the war inside this country...
People should pay more attention to our being overrun by the American version of Trotskyite communists...
Ludicrous. Or are you saying the Russians shelled the Antonovskiy bridge themselves out of incompetence? That's more believable.
I watched some of these on video - but of course our news will never show such things. Also watched several Russian drones taking out Ukraines military rocket sites who shoot from dug in places.
Schryver is just a blogger with no military or technical background. He only uses open access information that supports his preconceived opinions and not any balanced analysis.
They are demonstrating capabilities we were not fully aware of, and that is not necessarily a good thing for Russia in the long term. Now we have a better idea of what to expect in the event of a true conflict.
However, then we have to deal with the deliberate gutting of our military by the left, not to mention the SPR being drained. Almost seems like we're being set up to fail in the near future....
Pardon me tovarish, but you seem to be having a problem with 'impressive' here. On 24 February 2022, Tsarevitch Putin launched a planned aggression by the Russian State military against the western portions of the Ukraine not already controlled by him or his thinly disguised minions.
Considering the grossly mismatched resources of armament, manpower, budget and the advantage that comes from being the aggressor, the most impressive revelation of the war in Ukraine is how BAD it has been for Russia! Six months and Putin has not only NOT gotten his walkover win in the Ukraine, he has burned his trading markets in Europe almost to the ground and is having to rework his oil sales where he has to build new infrastructures. While Russia is 'handling' its currency and making happy marketing publicity at the moment, most analysts predict very hard times to come before anything like the pre-invasion status is restored!
If anyone thinks that Putin is the first Russian leader to have put his foot in it, they should look at the "Winter War" / First Soviet-Finnish War (1939-40). Two months after dividing Poland and after the absorption of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania, Stalin decided that tiny Finland was next on his plate. On 30 November the Soviet Union invaded Finland from 4 fronts expecting victory in 3-4 weeks. What they got was a lesson in home defense, a KIA ratio of 5-1 in the Finn's favor and an expulsion from the League of Nations. While Finland did sign a very adverse peace treaty (Treaty of Moscow, 13 March 1940) that lost some 9% of its territory, Stalin & Soviet Union probably lost a lot more in convincing Hitler that he could win in Russia.
Wonder what Putin will be thinking about at the 5th or 10th anniversaries, assuming he is still around?
If you’d follow the discussion about Iron Dome in Israel, many think it is not working and a way to steal taxpayer’s money.
Some of us know better ;-)
This “article” is nothing more than Russian propaganda & lies
IF Russia’s anti-aircraft capabilities were so over whelming, then there would be no strikes on Crimea (like the last 2 weeks) or a hit on the Moskva - yet there was ...
Obviously, the World can see how Russia has gone thru a lot of money, equipment, and troops for meagre gains ... everyone can see that Russian equipment is junk and now no one wants to buy, so Russia has to pump out pathetic bogus “reports” like this one
Meanwhile, Vlad continues his special military operation, occupying just at 30 percent of Ukraine. The eastern provinces and the Donbass now 98 percent secured, the south rolled up…..keep your eyes on Bakmut, once those eight year old heavily fortified Ukie positions fall ( built in 2024/15) the Ukies must retreat to the Dniepner, flat plains all the way.
The bigger question is does he decide to eat Odessa next? As it has been a Russian populated city since the late 1700’s, ( established by Catherine the Great) my bet is he takes it. Once taken, the Ukies are strangled with no ports.
Game over, the corrupted little beggar goes to the negotiating table ( or is ousted) and he watches from his million dollar properties in Florida or Switzerland as Ukraine is carved up.
In between the events, the EU freezes, their manufacturing crippled, the Euro currency is destroyed ( now at historic lows) , inflation hits absurd levels, and Vlad says Checkmate, again. Not bad for a rag tag Army, and he never even mobilized his 900,000 plus army.
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