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Yes but you have to ask the question way distorted the reports? Moscwo make unreasonable demands and the only practical way out is to distorted the reports...

Sorry but it is not working: He is officer, supposed to risk his life if necessary facing enemy – so if he is afraid of reporting real situation in his units (in peace time, without any danger to his life etc.) - he is not proper person for this job anyway. Of course everybody play tricks with reporting (not only in military but also in business and politics) – but when (if) caught there is price to pay. Imagine CEO providing fake data to please company stock holders – will “unrealistic business targets” be excuse for him?

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Stuart, I know Russian SAMs have long range, but the distance from Navra to Tallinn is 210.2km and from St Petersburg to Narva 158.1km (admittedly by road). I am simply not buying any Russian SAM having the capability to shoot down a low flying F-15E at 100km, let alone the 300 or so necessary for that engagement. Not given the terrain in the area.

 

The border between Estonia and Russia is pretty much a defender's dream. There is a vast lake/river delta between the two countries. All of the axes of advance are heavily wooded and easily interdictable.

 

Yes, the Russians have lots of artillery, but the target has still be there when the incoming arrives. The Estonians are clearly practicing hit and run tactics. I would be amazed and disappointed if they don't already have a serious, multiply redundant, obstacle/countermobility plan in the place on all possible threat axes (of which there aren't that many)

 

As to the Russian Baltic fleet interdicting resupply. What Baltic fleet would that be? It was a couple of Kilos, a few corvettes (some decidedly vintage) and a destroyer the last time I looked. They would have to transit narrow choke points to get into a position to interdict. NATO might have something to say about that.

 

 

Attack helos are not terrifically good at hunting down targets in dense forests. They have limited range and endurance and would have to operate from somewhere. It would not take much for stay behinds to send the coordinates of FARPs back so they can be receipients of long range standoff munitions. Estonia also has 25 MBDA Mistral SAM launchers cued by 5 Ericson Giraffe radars which might put a crimp on attack helicopter operations depending on how vulnerable they are to countermeasures (Lithuania and Latvia use the essentially unjammable RBS-70). They also have 98 ZU-23-2s according to Wiki.

 

As to the S-400 menace, you can bet that that system is at the absolute top of NATO's targeting list. They still have to emit EM which makes them rapidly geolocatable. Assuming they haven't trashed our bases with cruise missiles or gone completely postal on us by then, you would expect them to get some serious attention from the outset. That's not to say it's not a very impressive system, but it's also a very high value target.

 

Clearly the Estonians, alone, are not going to stop and all out, multi axis Russian advance and drive it back, but they only need to be able to demonstrate that they can delay it sufficiently whilst imposing unacceptable casualties. If NATO can then take down or suppress the Russian AF and SAMs (admittedly easier said than done) it really is all over for the Russians.

 

What bothers me is that NATO has deliberately made things hard for itself in so many ways whilst at the same time potentially provoking the Russians with silly acts like operating a B-52 over Estonia and sailing cruise missile armed Destroyers within a few hundred km of St Petersburg.

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Stuart, I know Russian SAMs have long range, but the distance from Navra to Tallinn is 210.2km and from St Petersburg to Narva 158.1km (admittedly by road). I am simply not buying any Russian SAM having the capability to shoot down a low flying F-15E at 100km, let alone the 300 or so necessary for that engagement. Not given the terrain in the area.

 

The border between Estonia and Russia is pretty much a defender's dream. There is a vast lake/river delta between the two countries. All of the axes of advance are heavily wooded and easily interdictable.

 

Yes, the Russians have lots of artillery, but the target has still be there when the incoming arrives. The Estonians are clearly practicing hit and run tactics. I would be amazed and disappointed if they don't already have a serious, multiply redundant, obstacle/countermobility plan in the place on all possible threat axes (of which there aren't that many)

 

As to the Russian Baltic fleet interdicting resupply. What Baltic fleet would that be? It was a couple of Kilos, a few corvettes (some decidedly vintage) and a destroyer the last time I looked. They would have to transit narrow choke points to get into a position to interdict. NATO might have something to say about that.

 

 

Attack helos are not terrifically good at hunting down targets in dense forests. They have limited range and endurance and would have to operate from somewhere. It would not take much for stay behinds to send the coordinates of FARPs back so they can be receipients of long range standoff munitions. Estonia also has 25 MBDA Mistral SAM launchers cued by 5 Ericson Giraffe radars which might put a crimp on attack helicopter operations depending on how vulnerable they are to countermeasures (Lithuania and Latvia use the essentially unjammable RBS-70). They also have 98 ZU-23-2s according to Wiki.

 

As to the S-400 menace, you can bet that that system is at the absolute top of NATO's targeting list. They still have to emit EM which makes them rapidly geolocatable. Assuming they haven't trashed our bases with cruise missiles or gone completely postal on us by then, you would expect them to get some serious attention from the outset. That's not to say it's not a very impressive system, but it's also a very high value target.

 

Clearly the Estonians, alone, are not going to stop and all out, multi axis Russian advance and drive it back, but they only need to be able to demonstrate that they can delay it sufficiently whilst imposing unacceptable casualties. If NATO can then take down or suppress the Russian AF and SAMs (admittedly easier said than done) it really is all over for the Russians.

 

What bothers me is that NATO has deliberately made things hard for itself in so many ways whilst at the same time potentially provoking the Russians with silly acts like operating a B-52 over Estonia and sailing cruise missile armed Destroyers within a few hundred km of St Petersburg.

 

The Baltic fleet at the moment have taken delivery of a few new Frigates last I looked. Not long legs, but they are packed full of weapons and relatively cheap to procure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steregushchy-class_corvette

They also had at least one Sovremenny, unreliable old tubs but the long range missiles work ok, so its still of some value. They are also taking delivery of a new Kilo developed boat, Lada class submarines, that last I looked seem to show some promise.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lada-class_submarine

 

Not enough to defeat NATO. Strong enough to face up to a NATO STANAG? Without substantial reinforcement on the part of NATO, probably. And they are still procuring after all. We and many others are cutting our builds of important new warships in half. The responsibilities arent getting any less though.

 

S300V is reputedly receiving a 400km missile, possibly the same one (or related to) the one they are mounting on S400. Ive no ideal if its fielded yet, but the potenial of longer range weapons on a missile system designed for battlefield mobility is obvious. I think they already have a missile capable of reaching out to 250km IIRC. Thats enough range to put missiles in the air over tallin if they based the system at Kingisep, just over the border from Estonia.

(Im not certian of that by the way, Bojan or someone whom is Rus AD savvy might be able to confirm it). I do recall reading the S300 had a mast mounted radar system, so that it would be viable to engage low level cruise missile threats. They are also fielding a raid warning system, that will network Verba manpads. No idea if they might integrate that with brigade defence systems like Tunguska or Gauntlet, but if so we are looking at real difficulty penetrating anywhere near Russian military airspace. Of course the cynic will say, well they really need some decent deconfliction systems in that that they seem to have managed to have shot down one of their own Backfires in Georgia. Ill not be a prophet of doom and say we are all screwed. Im just suggesting that they are putting a lot of money into air defence, and for good reason, they are worried about our air and cruise missile capablity. Considering how relatively few stand off munitions NATO has, this is perhaps an emerging problem.

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Great points Carrierlost, and thank you for going so easy on this armchair general. :)

 

Yes, I agree Latvia has a real problem. Your regular brigade has about 4 battalions including Artillery, along with some good APCs. Latvias has its artillery as part of the territorial forces (in an area that looks sure to be overrun quickly by insurgents if it came to it) and has only 3 battalions in its brigade, one of them a support battalion with the mortars and air defence units. It does have a special forces unit which I daresay is good, but its not going to do much against mechanised forces. Its only AFVs are 40 year old British Spartans and Scimitars. For the country it has to cover it has problems. OTOH, it does have a centrally located port which means bringing in supplies and reinforcements would be much easier than Estonia, where to bring in supplies you are essentially doing it right in the face of the Russian navy and short range airpower, including attack helicopters.

 

So Latvia is weak. But it does have a lot of room to trade for time, and it seems likely that it and Lithuania are far more likely to be reinforced than Estonia, unless fighting remains at a fairly low level and allows reinforcement at an early stage. Once a war begins I have a job seeing anyone flying into Estonia, and even sending landing ships up that way is chancing one's arm.

 

Thanks for the vids and all, food for though that.

To trade space for time you have to be at least as mobile (preferably more mobile) and more tactically proficient than the opponent. That rules out Zemessargi - at best they can hold urban areas for a time, but in that case they will simply be bypassed for follow-on forces. The two regular battalions can, but not against multi brigade assault backed up by artillery/air/EW/cyberwarfare.

 

By the way, the big problem I had with Schireff's book was his belief that counter-insurgency would demand commitment of front line forces. He absolutely neglected the fact that Russia has Interior ministry troops (now National Guard) which are supposed to do exactly that and there is enough of them to control the Baltics by themselves.

 

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Yes, they definitely have radars mounted on very tall masts, but there is definite limit on what you could achieve by that approach unless you were in the Himalayas looking down onto the Ganges floodplain. Over 200km range the curvature of the Earth alone is going to be about 16 metres, you can add 10 metre tall trees to that. The coastal plain also isn't billiard table flat. Here's a discussion of S-300 radar range from Wiki.

 

The 30N6 FLAP LID A is mounted on a small trailer. The 64N6 BIG BIRD is mounted on a large trailer along with a generator and typically towed with the now familiar 8-wheeled truck. The 76N6 CLAM SHELL (5N66M[36] etc.) is mounted on a large trailer with a mast which is between 24 and 39 m (79 and 128 ft) tall. Usually is used with a mast. Target detection range of 90 km if altitude of the target of 500 meters above the ground (with a mast).[3 (snip)

The 36D6 TIN SHIELD radar can also be used to augment the S-300 system to provide earlier target detection than the FLAP LID radar allows. It can detect a missile-sized target flying at an altitude of 60 metres (200 ft) at least 20 km (12 mi) away, at an altitude of 100 m (330 ft) at least 30 km (19 mi) away, and at high altitude up to 175 km (109 mi) away. In addition a 64N6 BIG BIRD E/F band target acquisition radar can be used which has a maximum detection range of 300 km (190 mi).

 

They would then run into the RCS problem. I'm not sure how accurate these figures are, but they're food for thought.

 

http://www.alternatewars.com/BBOW/Radar/Radar_Targets.htm

 

Note that the radars quoted are detection radars, not engagement ones, which sit closer to the ground and are much more LoS limited.

 

I think NATO has a definite hole where medium range standoff weapons are concerned. There are arguably sufficient long range JASSM/Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG/Taurus, but we need Spear 3 and powered versions of GBU-39 and 53 or armed I-TALDs and lots of them.

 

Failing that, rather than use an F-15E or F-22, a few 4x4 trucks or vans carrying teams with cratering charges and necklace charge sets would do the same job for much less money.

http://www.mondial-defence.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=93#prettyPhoto

 

The only real long-term threat posed by the Russian navy are the submarines which are definitely dangerous. Everything else is going to stay in port or be toast very early on to standoff weapons of one sort or another. As long as they stayed in port, however, we probably would not attack them out of realistic respect for Russian sensibilities - we want to stop them grabbing a chunk of NATO real estate, not have the Crazy Monkey bite them on the arse. If they lobbed a cruise missile into the London Stock exchange or our electricity grid control centre, I suspect all bets would be off, however.

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Start of building of 2 extra barracks was authorized today by Estonian goverment for NATO troops in addition to one of barrackcs that was completed and has been taken into use last week. Barracks are standardized, each one is meant for around 300 soldiers and their gear.

 

So looks like the there will be around 900 or so soldiers stationed in Estonia from other NATO countries.

 



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Yes, they definitely have radars mounted on very tall masts, but there is definite limit on what you could achieve by that approach unless you were in the Himalayas looking down onto the Ganges floodplain. Over 200km range the curvature of the Earth alone is going to be about 16 metres, you can add 10 metre tall trees to that. The coastal plain also isn't billiard table flat. Here's a discussion of S-300 radar range from Wiki.

 

The 30N6 FLAP LID A is mounted on a small trailer. The 64N6 BIG BIRD is mounted on a large trailer along with a generator and typically towed with the now familiar 8-wheeled truck. The 76N6 CLAM SHELL (5N66M[36] etc.) is mounted on a large trailer with a mast which is between 24 and 39 m (79 and 128 ft) tall. Usually is used with a mast. Target detection range of 90 km if altitude of the target of 500 meters above the ground (with a mast).[3 (snip)

The 36D6 TIN SHIELD radar can also be used to augment the S-300 system to provide earlier target detection than the FLAP LID radar allows. It can detect a missile-sized target flying at an altitude of 60 metres (200 ft) at least 20 km (12 mi) away, at an altitude of 100 m (330 ft) at least 30 km (19 mi) away, and at high altitude up to 175 km (109 mi) away. In addition a 64N6 BIG BIRD E/F band target acquisition radar can be used which has a maximum detection range of 300 km (190 mi).

 

They would then run into the RCS problem. I'm not sure how accurate these figures are, but they're food for thought.

 

http://www.alternatewars.com/BBOW/Radar/Radar_Targets.htm

 

Note that the radars quoted are detection radars, not engagement ones, which sit closer to the ground and are much more LoS limited.

 

I think NATO has a definite hole where medium range standoff weapons are concerned. There are arguably sufficient long range JASSM/Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG/Taurus, but we need Spear 3 and powered versions of GBU-39 and 53 or armed I-TALDs and lots of them.

 

Failing that, rather than use an F-15E or F-22, a few 4x4 trucks or vans carrying teams with cratering charges and necklace charge sets would do the same job for much less money.

 

http://www.mondial-defence.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=93#prettyPhoto

 

The only real long-term threat posed by the Russian navy are the submarines which are definitely dangerous. Everything else is going to stay in port or be toast very early on to standoff weapons of one sort or another. As long as they stayed in port, however, we probably would not attack them out of realistic respect for Russian sensibilities - we want to stop them grabbing a chunk of NATO real estate, not have the Crazy Monkey bite them on the arse. If they lobbed a cruise missile into the London Stock exchange or our electricity grid control centre, I suspect all bets would be off, however.

Re RCS, bear in mind the F117 was stated to be in the region of a sparrows eyeball in RCS, yet it didnt stop the Serbians shooting one down with an SA3. Far better I think to have stealthy stand off munitions, rather than having stealth aircraft deliver non stealthy munitions. After all, you pretty much end up unmasking when you drop ordnance anyway.

 

Everyone keeps underrating the Russian navy. For example, I was listening to this last year where experts were saying how poor it was at power projection, and how insignificant it was. 3 months later it led the launch of the cruise missile attack on Syria.

 

I guess what im saying is, there was a momentum to believe during the cold war the Soviet military machine was first rate, even when it was pretty clearly falling to bits. There is a similar confirmation bias today, when everyone expects the Russian navy to continue the trend of stagnating, a trend it started in the 1990s. When there is actually pretty good evidence they are starting to get some really nice coastal warships together. And for another thing, this is the only major navy in the world with surface to surface warfare experience. Limited its true, but we havent done it since 1945, and I dont think the Americans have done it since Vietnam. They demonstrated an ability to land troops in Georgia too. This isnt quite the black hole of Calcutta of Russian military resources as we might choose to believe.

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Great points Carrierlost, and thank you for going so easy on this armchair general. :)

 

Yes, I agree Latvia has a real problem. Your regular brigade has about 4 battalions including Artillery, along with some good APCs. Latvias has its artillery as part of the territorial forces (in an area that looks sure to be overrun quickly by insurgents if it came to it) and has only 3 battalions in its brigade, one of them a support battalion with the mortars and air defence units. It does have a special forces unit which I daresay is good, but its not going to do much against mechanised forces. Its only AFVs are 40 year old British Spartans and Scimitars. For the country it has to cover it has problems. OTOH, it does have a centrally located port which means bringing in supplies and reinforcements would be much easier than Estonia, where to bring in supplies you are essentially doing it right in the face of the Russian navy and short range airpower, including attack helicopters.

 

So Latvia is weak. But it does have a lot of room to trade for time, and it seems likely that it and Lithuania are far more likely to be reinforced than Estonia, unless fighting remains at a fairly low level and allows reinforcement at an early stage. Once a war begins I have a job seeing anyone flying into Estonia, and even sending landing ships up that way is chancing one's arm.

 

Thanks for the vids and all, food for though that.

To trade space for time you have to be at least as mobile (preferably more mobile) and more tactically proficient than the opponent. That rules out Zemessargi - at best they can hold urban areas for a time, but in that case they will simply be bypassed for follow-on forces. The two regular battalions can, but not against multi brigade assault backed up by artillery/air/EW/cyberwarfare.

 

By the way, the big problem I had with Schireff's book was his belief that counter-insurgency would demand commitment of front line forces. He absolutely neglected the fact that Russia has Interior ministry troops (now National Guard) which are supposed to do exactly that and there is enough of them to control the Baltics by themselves.

 

 

I was reading that book on the 'Forest Brothers' I related above and was interested to note that interior troops took the lead on that. But of course viewing Lithuania as part of the Soviet Union they would use internal security, rather than Army troops. In actual fact there were claims they also used Paratroopers to make up the numbers. They dont seem to have been very good, the Lithuanians seem quite often to have got a 3 to one kill ratio over the Interior troops. But of course the Soviets had plenty of replacements, and Lithuania didnt.

 

I was also looking into Galeottis book on Russian internal security forces, and whilst there seems to have been a shakeup in forming the national guard, many of the formations at present seem to be about the same. For example, ODON (formerly the Dzerzhinsky Division) still exists, and remains in theory deployable for security roles around Russia, perhaps (im not sure this has ever been stated) even in security roles outside its borders. The problem is numbers. That is what, 3 regiments, another training regiment. Its not nearly enough to provide security on all 3 Baltic nations at once. I mean yes, perfectly adequate to maintain eastern areas of Latvia and Estonia, but not all of them. Any occupation would I think either require less mobile units of the Interior Ministry to deploy, or require regular army to back them up.

 

The question I ask myself is, if they did have to maintain security in this way, what would they use to maintain security at home? ODON provides regime security in Moscow. There are other units, but they take the chance of an angry mob trying a Maidan? After all, ive not read of them using any of these forces in Syria, which if they have a deployability one would presumably expect them to play a role at some point.

 

Im not saying they wouldn't play a role. But to do so, and maintain security at home, they really want beefing up in numbers fairly significantly I would have thought. They are reputed I read somehwhere to have played a role in security in East Ukraine. But Ive not read of signfiicant numbers. Not compared to the Army at any rate.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Everyone keeps underrating the Russian navy ... , this is the only major navy in the world with surface to surface warfare experience. Limited its true, but we havent done it since 1945, and I dont think the Americans have done it since Vietnam.

 

What surface to surface warfare has the Russian navy done recently?

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Everyone keeps underrating the Russian navy ... , this is the only major navy in the world with surface to surface warfare experience. Limited its true, but we havent done it since 1945, and I dont think the Americans have done it since Vietnam.

 

What surface to surface warfare has the Russian navy done recently?

 

Well I wouldnt call it Trafalgar or Midway, but its more than we have done lately.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_off_the_coast_of_Abkhazia

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Come on, Stuart! Apart from sinking Belgrano in 1982 (saying 'but it was a submarine' is special pleading: it doesn't make any difference), RN ships sank several Iraqi vessels in 1991. Ten were sunk by Sea Skuas fired by Lynxes flying off RN destroyers & frigates, & four others damaged, at least two of which were lost as a result of the damage. HMS Gloucester shot down a Silkworm missile (surface-launched) in 1991. That's naval surface-surface warfare.

 

The RN's landed troops a few times since 1945, e.g. Suez, the Falklands, & Sierra Leone.

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The RN has as much experience as the russian fleet if not more Id say.

 

 

That the russian navy is under rated may be influenced by such high profile accidents like the Kursk sinking and the general rust bucket look most ships have had in the last twenty years. And never underestimate the hybris of "we won the cold war".

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Come on, Stuart! Apart from sinking Belgrano in 1982 (saying 'but it was a submarine' is special pleading: it doesn't make any difference), RN ships sank several Iraqi vessels in 1991. Ten were sunk by Sea Skuas fired by Lynxes flying off RN destroyers & frigates, & four others damaged, at least two of which were lost as a result of the damage. HMS Gloucester shot down a Silkworm missile (surface-launched) in 1991. That's naval surface-surface warfare.

 

The RN's landed troops a few times since 1945, e.g. Suez, the Falklands, & Sierra Leone.

 

True, there was the sea skua attacks. Yes when you get down to it, that could just as easily have been undertaken by shore based attack helicopters, or coalition airpower. I dont mock it, other than suggest it was just one more capability in an area where we had lots of capablities back then, not least Sea Eagle. Chris himself pointed to the removal of Sub Harpoon and sea eagle some years ago being a mistake, and how right he was.

 

We might mock the Russian experience, except its the first time since 1945 they demonstrated an ability to attack another navy at sea, and land military power on a hostile cost. Did it again in 2014 come to that. We might say 'well that is nothing compared to what we were doing 25 years ago'. Indeed. Now lets see if we still really have those capabilities, because I think we are basing what our navy and what the Russian navy can do on perceptions laid down 20 years ago. Not recent experience.

 

 

The RN has as much experience as the russian fleet if not more Id say.

 

 

That the russian navy is under rated may be influenced by such high profile accidents like the Kursk sinking and the general rust bucket look most ships have had in the last twenty years. And never underestimate the hybris of "we won the cold war".

For sure its got major problems, not least an ability to get new warships built on time. And yet, lets look at the evidence. They are taking delivery of new ships and submarines, have new maritime attack aircraft and helicopters, and are clearly purging an incapable leadership. And when they demonstrate any competence at sea we say 'Well they still arent as good as us'. Well clearly not, but its pretty evident look at all the evidence that at least as far as litorial capabilities, they are making substantial improvements.

 

Rather than compare them to the Soviets, lets look at them with a clean sheet of paper with no preconceptions.The gap is narrowing, if only in litorial capabilities, and its hardly as if Russia really needs to challenge NATO in the North Atlantic to achieve a successful operation in the Baltic. Are we really going to be sending supercarriers in the Baltic in wartime? I have to doubt it.

 

Im just suggesting, lets keep an open mind here. We still have the impression this is a navy incapable of going to sea and doomed to die tied up at its moorings. Its clearly changing.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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I was reading that book on the 'Forest Brothers' I related above and was interested to note that interior troops took the lead on that. But of course viewing Lithuania as part of the Soviet Union they would use internal security, rather than Army troops. In actual fact there were claims they also used Paratroopers to make up the numbers. They dont seem to have been very good, the Lithuanians seem quite often to have got a 3 to one kill ratio over the Interior troops. But of course the Soviets had plenty of replacements, and Lithuania didnt.

 

I was also looking into Galeottis book on Russian internal security forces, and whilst there seems to have been a shakeup in forming the national guard, many of the formations at present seem to be about the same. For example, ODON (formerly the Dzerzhinsky Division) still exists, and remains in theory deployable for security roles around Russia, perhaps (im not sure this has ever been stated) even in security roles outside its borders. The problem is numbers. That is what, 3 regiments, another training regiment. Its not nearly enough to provide security on all 3 Baltic nations at once. I mean yes, perfectly adequate to maintain eastern areas of Latvia and Estonia, but not all of them. Any occupation would I think either require less mobile units of the Interior Ministry to deploy, or require regular army to back them up.

 

The question I ask myself is, if they did have to maintain security in this way, what would they use to maintain security at home? ODON provides regime security in Moscow. There are other units, but they take the chance of an angry mob trying a Maidan? After all, ive not read of them using any of these forces in Syria, which if they have a deployability one would presumably expect them to play a role at some point.

 

Im not saying they wouldn't play a role. But to do so, and maintain security at home, they really want beefing up in numbers fairly significantly I would have thought. They are reputed I read somehwhere to have played a role in security in East Ukraine. But Ive not read of signfiicant numbers. Not compared to the Army at any rate.

Stuart,

 

ODON is the flagship unit, but as you know, it's hardly the only one. Many VV operational units have been rotating through Chechnya in the last decade, and they have significant institutional memory of COIN warfare. Even if we dismiss lower readiness police units, as well as units dedicated to static security within Russia, we're still talking about several dozen brigade-equivalents of VV and OMON, equipped as a mix of mechanized (BMP) and motorized (BTR) infantry, backed up by their own artillery and air support. Putin could quickly deploy 10-20% of them without sacrificing security within the Motherland. We're talking about force size exceeding the Baltic armed forces in total, which could be sustained by rotation on a long term basis..

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Stuart,

 

ODON is the flagship unit, but as you know, it's hardly the only one. Many VV operational units have been rotating through Chechnya in the last decade, and they have significant institutional memory of COIN warfare. Even if we dismiss lower readiness police units, as well as units dedicated to static security within Russia, we're still talking about several dozen brigade-equivalents of VV and OMON, equipped as a mix of mechanized (BMP) and motorized (BTR) infantry, backed up by their own artillery and air support. Putin could quickly deploy 10-20% of them without sacrificing security within the Motherland. We're talking about force size exceeding the Baltic armed forces in total, which could be sustained by rotation on a long term basis..

Didn't they have MBT in their ORBAT? T-62 were to be replaced by some older T-72 variant or another iirc.

Edited by Panzermann
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Im just suggesting, lets keep an open mind here. We still have the impression this is a navy incapable of going to sea and doomed to die tied up at its moorings. Its clearly changing.

 

 

No, it's not. The seas they are able to control (uncontested) are closed like the Black Sea or the Baltic, but they don't have the logistics to support a TF at sea, like NATO navies routinely do (Atalanta anyone?). The PRC has developed a larger, more balanced navy in just 15 years, while the Russians are still living off the riches of the 80s.

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Everyone keeps underrating the Russian navy ... , this is the only major navy in the world with surface to surface warfare experience. Limited its true, but we havent done it since 1945, and I dont think the Americans have done it since Vietnam.

 

What surface to surface warfare has the Russian navy done recently?

 

 

 

I would say that the Simpson,Bagley and Wainwright sinking the Joshan and Strauss hitting Sahand with a Harpoon would actually classify as a bigger surface action than the action off Georgia.

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Im just suggesting, lets keep an open mind here. We still have the impression this is a navy incapable of going to sea and doomed to die tied up at its moorings. Its clearly changing.

 

 

No, it's not. The seas they are able to control (uncontested) are closed like the Black Sea or the Baltic, but they don't have the logistics to support a TF at sea, like NATO navies routinely do (Atalanta anyone?). The PRC has developed a larger, more balanced navy in just 15 years, while the Russians are still living off the riches of the 80s.

 

 

If you look at a map (and I'm sure you do, frequently) you'll see their chances of controlling the Baltic are precisely nil. They, via a couple of quite good subs, might be able to deny its free use to our side for a while though.

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I was reading that book on the 'Forest Brothers' I related above and was interested to note that interior troops took the lead on that. But of course viewing Lithuania as part of the Soviet Union they would use internal security, rather than Army troops. In actual fact there were claims they also used Paratroopers to make up the numbers. They dont seem to have been very good, the Lithuanians seem quite often to have got a 3 to one kill ratio over the Interior troops. But of course the Soviets had plenty of replacements, and Lithuania didnt.

 

I was also looking into Galeottis book on Russian internal security forces, and whilst there seems to have been a shakeup in forming the national guard, many of the formations at present seem to be about the same. For example, ODON (formerly the Dzerzhinsky Division) still exists, and remains in theory deployable for security roles around Russia, perhaps (im not sure this has ever been stated) even in security roles outside its borders. The problem is numbers. That is what, 3 regiments, another training regiment. Its not nearly enough to provide security on all 3 Baltic nations at once. I mean yes, perfectly adequate to maintain eastern areas of Latvia and Estonia, but not all of them. Any occupation would I think either require less mobile units of the Interior Ministry to deploy, or require regular army to back them up.

 

The question I ask myself is, if they did have to maintain security in this way, what would they use to maintain security at home? ODON provides regime security in Moscow. There are other units, but they take the chance of an angry mob trying a Maidan? After all, ive not read of them using any of these forces in Syria, which if they have a deployability one would presumably expect them to play a role at some point.

 

Im not saying they wouldn't play a role. But to do so, and maintain security at home, they really want beefing up in numbers fairly significantly I would have thought. They are reputed I read somehwhere to have played a role in security in East Ukraine. But Ive not read of signfiicant numbers. Not compared to the Army at any rate.

Stuart,

 

ODON is the flagship unit, but as you know, it's hardly the only one. Many VV operational units have been rotating through Chechnya in the last decade, and they have significant institutional memory of COIN warfare. Even if we dismiss lower readiness police units, as well as units dedicated to static security within Russia, we're still talking about several dozen brigade-equivalents of VV and OMON, equipped as a mix of mechanized (BMP) and motorized (BTR) infantry, backed up by their own artillery and air support. Putin could quickly deploy 10-20% of them without sacrificing security within the Motherland. We're talking about force size exceeding the Baltic armed forces in total, which could be sustained by rotation on a long term basis..

 

 

So you're talking a force of about 4-6 brigades trying to control an area of what? 275,000 km2? With a population well over six million. This they would have to do in heavily forested countries being contested by NATO and most likely pretty soon under their total air supremacy. What was the size of force the Russians turned against the Forest Brothers and how long did it take them to suppress them?

 

Stuart, an SA-3 was used to take down an F-117A that used the same ingress route several times. They detected it because it had its bomb bay doors open. The SA-3s were launched from 13 kilometres range. That is slightly different to a non line of sight engagement of a low flying, high performance aircraft at 250km range

:)

 

Do you consider the Indian Navy to be "major"?

 

 

OK, they might have missed something out...

 

https://www.russellphillipsbooks.co.uk/the-sinking-of-ins-khukri/

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So you're talking a force of about 4-6 brigades trying to control an area of what? 275,000 km2? With a population well over six million. This they would have to do in heavily forested countries being contested by NATO and most likely pretty soon under their total air supremacy.

Coalition forces had similar force ratio in Iraq. And while forests are more challenging to control than deserts, they are highly unlikely to have to deal with suicide bombings. I think it's a wash.

 

What was the size of force the Russians turned against the Forest Brothers and how long did it take them to suppress them?

Let's not make direct comparisons to WWII, it leads to silly results.
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