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War in Ukraine, technical and military aspects only


bojan

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So a Russian was captured in the base that houses the TOR-M1s here.  He claims he is insane btw, found with cuts to his legs from trying to get in.  Base is in the mountains not near any settlements.

Two days ago another Russian was arrested and expelled for national security reasons (Russian embassy and everyones favorite spokeperson of Russian MFO made a fuss about it) .  I wonder if we avoided an accidental explosion. 

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New deliveries of T-72B3M and T-90M by Uralvagonzavod. Note nets added to the screen to provide protection.

https://rostec.ru/news/uralvagonzavod-peredal-v-voyska-ocherednuyu-partiyu-bronetekhniki/
https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/18975495

ries

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17 minutes ago, BAMF said:

It doesn’t matter what it was. It was a righteous kill. Nothing beats the smell of immolated Russians in the morning.

Read first message in the thread: So it does not get polluted by all crap posted in Kiev thread

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Random thought - have we seen any suspected use of the ATACMs missiles? The cluster bomb version was supposedly released to Ukraine, and then nothing seem to come of it after the announcement.

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12 hours ago, Yama said:

Ooh, that would be interesting, but can't open Twitter threads..

 

12 hours ago, Josh said:

Ditto. Has a Sea Sparrow fitted to Buk ever been documented?

Can you try this link?

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1712562524099395850.html

Note that there are some errors that author corrected in twitter thread, the main one:

 It can detect and identify air targets out to 120 km at altitudes between 30 m - 45 km It should state it can detect a target at 30 m from a distance of up to 45 km.

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13 hours ago, Yama said:

Ooh, that would be interesting, but can't open Twitter threads..

It's a good overview but you're not going to read anything you don't already know in there. I was hoping for more of a review of its (seemingly excellent) performance in the ongoing conflict.

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On 10/11/2023 at 11:58 PM, alejandro_ said:

Read first message in the thread: So it does not get polluted by all crap posted in Kiev thread

He is a troll accout judging by his posts. Why @MODERATOR did not kick him is unknown.

Edited by bojan
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On 10/12/2023 at 6:03 PM, JWB said:

 

"Phosphorus bombs" - his credibility immediately hits 0. Do you know why?

Neither Soviets* nor Russians have any "phosphorous bombs". Because WP sucks at cold weather. Those are thermite based incendiaries.

*After WW2, there was a widespread use of self-igniting liquids for flamethrowers, Molotov cocktails and aircraft bombs based on WP in WW2, but those were all abandoned after WW2 as unreliable during cold weather and incendiary weapons concentrated on "German type thermite incendiary in "Elektron" (Al/Mg alloy) package".

 

Edited by bojan
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1 hour ago, bojan said:

He is a troll accout judging by his posts. Why @MODERATOR did not kick him is unknown.

Moderator, in His mercy, gave him a week off.  I rather suspect that if he comes back and hasn't learned his lesson, Moderator will be less lenient.

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BTR-90 in action
 

 

9 hours ago, ink said:

It's a good overview but you're not going to read anything you don't already know in there. I was hoping for more of a review of its (seemingly excellent) performance in the ongoing conflict.

At least you are in the best place to read more about Soviet/Russian SAMs. The best information I have come across was in this grate sight.

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11 hours ago, alejandro_ said:

Thanks, it works, though as ink said, it contains little new for anyone already familiar with the system from usual public sources.

Buks seem to have performed quite well for both sides. One Ukrainian comment was along the lines that they are 'prime target for the Russians'. Missile situation for the Ukrainians must be pretty dire by now.

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On 10/7/2023 at 9:45 AM, Markus Becker said:


An interesting article about the situation with artillery shell production in Europe - particularly in Sweden - in light of the Ukraine war.

Auto-translated:

The factory in Sweden where the war is decided
"It is inevitable that Europe will run out of ammunition"
Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Of: 
Niclas Vent


LAST UPDATED: YESTERDAY 13.40
KARLSKOGA. An industrial war is being decided on the shop floor.
Right now we are losing.
In Karlskoga, the foundries work around the clock to produce the grenades Ukraine needs most of all.
But seen from here, it is obvious, what no politician dares to say:
The million grenades promised by the EU simply do not exist.
- It is inevitable that Europe will run out of ammunition. The question is how long it will be empty, says Nammo manager Björn Andersson.
Aftonbladet has visited one of the factories where the fate of Europe is decided.
The war is fought in the mud, the cold, the wet and the heat. In dirt, blood and sorrow.

But the war is decided in fluorescent light.

Among steaming pipes and hot ovens.

Of the same rustic machines that have packaged death and destruction in coarse-caliber steel shells since Olof Palme's time.


On floors that for decades have been stained large-flowered by water that has been washed over the concrete.

From Nammo's factory in Värmland's Karlskoga comes the most wanted items of the Ukrainian war:

The explosive grenade in 155 millimeter caliber, which is fired from large howitzers at long distances, usually 15–30 kilometers.

The availability of artillery ammunition is described as the single most important factor that determines how the war in Ukraine will end.

Last year, Russia fired close to 30,000 shells a day. Ukraine would like to fire more, but is rather at around 6,000-8,000 shells a day.

But even in the lower range, that means the Ukrainians consume a staggering 2.2 million shells a year.

The Western countries are now rapidly emptying their already small ammunition stocks to donate what they can.

The EU has promised to deliver 1 million grenades by next spring. So far, it has been just under a quarter, 223,800 grenades.

Björn Andersson, business development manager at Nammo, shrugs his shoulders dejectedly.


- I don't think you can handle it. I don't think that million exists, he says.

- I think it is inevitable that Europe will run out of ammunition. The question is how long it will be empty.

The Ukraine war has become an industrial war. It is difficult to defeat the one who can produce the most.

If Ukraine is to have any chance of winning, production in the West must increase, and very much so.

The problem is that it doesn't work.

Thorstein Korsvold, press manager, Björn Andersson, business development manager and Mikael Eriksson, production manager at Nammo in the factory in Karlskoga.
Thorstein Korsvold, press manager, Björn Andersson, business development manager and Mikael Eriksson, production manager at Nammo in the factory in Karlskoga.
Photo: Lotte Fernvall
There are four major companies in Europe that manufacture 155-millimeter shells:

British BAE Systems, German Rheinmetall, French Nexter – and then Nammo, a company jointly owned by the Norwegian state and the Finnish state-owned defense company Patria.

Together, the four companies produce 300,000–400,000 grenades a year, estimates Björn Andersson. The magazine Defense Aerospace calculates a total European capacity of 500,000–600,000 shells a year.

Everyone is doing what they can to produce more.

Nammo has fivefold the investments in expanded production. But if one is to have any realistic ambition to cover the need, the investments should rather have increased a hundredfold.

Nammo sees it roughly like this:

Imagine a defense industry company that produces 50,000 shells a year.

After one or two years of investments, new machines, more staff and multiple shifts, production has been increased to 70,000 grenades.

The company is proud of a historic increase, all capital is exhausted and they produce for whatever the reins hold.

But what if the company should be producing not 70,000 shells – but 800,000 shells?

- I'm not saying that this hypothetical company is us. But it is not very far from there, says Björn Andersson.

previous
Production manager Mikael Eriksson and caster Ali Akar pass the furnaces.
Explosive content for the grenades.


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Explosivt innehåll till granaterna.
2 av 2
PHOTO: LOTTE FERNVALL
Nammo's factory in the Björkborn industrial area north of Karlskoga was part of Bofors, before the long-established company was broken up after the end of the Cold War.

No major investments have been made in garnet production since the 1970s. Until now.

- Now we are up to the capacity we had when the foundry was new, says Björn Andersson.

30-kilogram shell casings arrive here from the factories in Norway's Raufoss and Finland's Sastamala.


They are hollow, and painted inside with a special color that the explosive can attach to.

In an oven, the sleeves are heated up to 92 degrees and filled with liquid explosive at the same temperature. Flour-like TNT is melted in a round steel container similar to a cement mixer, before the candle-like mush is poured into the grenade.

The explosive must then cool down. A long hot metal rod is lowered into the standing grenade, and then raised in stages so that the explosive solidifies from the bottom up. The explosive must be firm, without cracks or cavities. When the grenade is fired, it rotates 1,500 revolutions per minute in the air - then nothing is allowed to move inside and generate heat.

The cooling process takes 11–14 hours, and is the limit for the entire production.

Photo: Lotte Fernvall
There are 16 cooling ovens in the factory now. It will be up to 32. Once they are in place, the staff will go up in five shifts: That means work around the clock, every day of the week. Not that it will be enough.
Of course, it was possible to see this situation coming, but it was nicer to hope that we would never end up here.

No European country, with the possible exception of Finland, has mined like artillery shells in at least 30 years.

With shrinking defense budgets and wars against guerrillas and terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, it has not been a priority capability.

The Ukraine war was a brutal awakening.

This year, Sweden, Norway and Denmark have ordered new artillery shells from Nammo.

The last time any of the countries ordered something from the company was 1992. Sweden last bought explosive grenades in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, the industry has languished, adapting to a world where a large order from a major European country was for 10,000 or 20,000 grenades.

In light of the needs now, it is next to nothing.

In a high-intensity war, the 1,450 European pieces that exist or are on order would fire off 20,000 shells in just over an hour.

An industry rigged for eternal peace is now expected to supply the most resource-intensive war since World War II. It is hardly surprising that delivery times have skyrocketed.

Before February 24, 2022, Nammo could deliver new grenades in 10 months.

Now the delivery time is 5–6 years, on standing orders.

Those who buy today may receive their gadgets in 2030.

Photo: Lotte Fernvall
There will be many numbers. But we need some more. Because the problem is bigger than Ukraine.
At the same time that the EU countries' stockpiles of shells are running out, NATO wants the member states to be prepared for at least 30 days of combat.

Germany's supplies would run out in two .

In the future, Sweden will have 74 Archer pieces, which in war are each estimated to have to fire 200-300 shells per day.


That means at least 444,000 shells.

So more than Europe's combined industry today produces in a year. One month's stock. For a country.

- Then we are also talking about SEK 20 billion just to buy those grenades, says Björn Andersson.

- I don't think you understand the greats, and if you do, I don't think you want to understand. It would take us 10–15 years to fill the Nordic countries' stores to that level, and it is still a minimum level.

- Nobody wants to say that we should spend SEK 20 billion on artillery ammunition. But no one wants to say that we should not meet NATO's minimum level either.

Only four companies in Europe manufacture 155-millimeter grenades.
Review of x-rays of the grenades.


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Only four companies in Europe manufacture 155-millimeter grenades.
1 of 2
PHOTO: LOTTE FERNVALL
The EU is making attempts to scale up production. The well-known initiative ASAP (Act in Support of Ammunition Production) has been allocated 500 million euros from the EU budget.

But according to Björn Andersson, twelve times as much is needed - 6 billion euros - to reach a production of 2 million grenades per year.

Furthermore, the EU process is notoriously slow.

- During 2023, 2024 and 2025, it will not provide any new capacity, says Björn Andersson.

There are several bottlenecks.

One is lack of explosives. TNT, a common filling in an explosive grenade, is manufactured in only one factory in all of Europe: Nitro-Chem in Poland.
Another bottleneck is propellant charges, the powder bag that makes the shell fly out of the barrel. A normal grenade requires 6 powder bags for maximum charge. One million grenades therefore require 6 million powder bags. "There is no capacity to produce anything like this in Europe today, and no plan to build it up," writes Nammo in a report.
- If you have no propellant charges, you can carry the grenade forward, but you can't do much more, says Björn Andersson.

- The gunpowder industry, the explosives industry and the ammunition industry are in balance. You have to build all three to get the requested capacity increase. It is not enough to make one.

Production manager Mikael Eriksson shows a grenade in cross-section.
Production manager Mikael Eriksson shows a grenade in cross-section.
Photo: Lotte Fernvall
Russia , at the same time, despite Western sanctions, appears to be able to produce both faster and cheaper.

The country is on track to produce two million grenades a year - double what Western intelligence agencies estimated before the war.

Kusti Salm, an official at the Estonian Defense Ministry, estimates that Russia produces seven times more ammunition in total compared to the West.

So how are the Western countries' industries to both supply Ukraine and build up their own countries' dwindling stocks?

In the short term, the answer is simple:

It won't work.

If you want to secure your livelihood in the longer term, Nammo's view is clear:

The market cannot do it on its own.


States, like Sweden, must prepare to own ammunition factories again.

Björn Andersson points to Finland, where the state owns factories that Nammo in turn runs.

- You don't have to invest in the company to get a skill in Sweden, he says.

That the state would own the arms companies themselves again is less likely.

- Sweden released its share in Nammo in the early 2000s. There is probably no reasonable way back.

 

Precisely artillery shells are the big problem on the market.

The availability of fine caliber ammunition is better.

Saab Dynamics, with production in Karlskoga, also does not have the same concerns with its manufacture of ammunition for the support weapons AT4, Carl-Gustaf and NLAW.

Görgen Johansson is head of the Dynamics business area at Saab.
Görgen Johansson is head of the Dynamics business area at Saab.
Photo: Press photo
Production capacity has already doubled – from 100,000 units per year to 200,000 – and by 2025 it should be doubled again, to 400,000 per year, says Görgen Johansson, head of Saab's business area Dynamics.

New factories and expanded facilities are underway in Sweden, India and the USA.

- We have continuously had customers who bought from us. When we saw that so much ammunition was being donated, it was therefore easier for us to decide ourselves to take the first step to meet the demand that would come. That has not been the case for the 155 millimeter production, says Görgen Johansson.

At the same time, the situation is also new for Saab. Earlier this year, Sweden placed an order for Carl-Gustaf ammunition for SEK 3 billion, for delivery in 2026–2030.

- It has never happened before that Sweden has been so forward-leaning, says Görgen Johansson.

In the past, the size of the orders has been smaller and the foresight worse.

- Ammunition has sometimes been bought when you had money to spare, something like that. Now they have realized that it is a critical ability, and then they have changed their behavior, says Görgen Johansson.

 

 

And if anybody wants to really geek out, Cranfield have a PhD on it from 2021 available online:

https://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/16337

 

 

Thanks for this.

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