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War in Ukraine, technical and military aspects only


bojan

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17 minutes ago, bojan said:

What is the need for "considerable" number of nuke armed ones? IIRC Soviet normative was 3 nuke armed missiles per Bn of Tochkas, that is 3/36 or 3/60 missiles per 12-launch vehicle Bn being nukes. If we assume same ratio for Iskander (since it serves same role), it ~5-8% of all missiles being nukes.

 

That would be correct assuming that they managed to produce the full allotment of missiles for existing units, as you calculated the number would be north of 5000. If they only managed a 1000, so far, the nuclear armed variant could very well be  disproportionate, after all it is the more important capability.
This all is a speculation of course, but I'd be very careful with making assumptions on the state of RU arsenal based only on theoretical combat loads for produced launchers.

Edit:

Also, according to all the sources I found, like this RUSI article, a brigade consists of only 12 launchers plus related equipment, 4 per battalion. Which puts the total number of fielded launchers at a more realistic ~150, and a total of say 1000 missiles nicely fitting the ~3 combat loads figure.

Edited by Huba
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They would not have organized additional units w/o producing at least x3 combat load existing ones  Even they are not that silly.

But that is quite different Bde structure than what @alejandro_ provided. @alejandro_, what is your source for 3 Bns of 12 launchers per Bde?

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10 minutes ago, bojan said:

They would not have organized additional units w/o producing at least x3 combat load existing ones  Even they are not that silly.

But that is quite different Bde structure than what @alejandro_ provided. @alejandro_, what is your source for 3 Bns of 12 launchers per Bde?

Сейчас в каждой бригаде есть три дивизиона с 12 пусковыми установками. После появления новой техники количество пусковых установок вырастет до 16, что обеспечит залп в 32 ракеты. Кроме того, дивизионы получат дополнительные подвижные пункты подготовки информации (здесь разрабатывают полетные задачи для ракет), командно-штабные, транспортно-заряжающие и машины техобслуживания.

Now each brigade has three divisions with 12 launchers. After the appearance of new technology, the number of launchers will increase to 16, which will provide a salvo of 32 missiles. In addition, the divisions will receive additional mobile information preparation points (here they develop flight missions for missiles), command and staff, transport-loading and maintenance vehicles.

https://iz.ru/952462/aleksei-ramm-bogdan-stepovoi/raketnoe-obedinenie-brigadam-iskanderov-uvelichili-ognevuiu-moshch

Note that "division" in this context is tricky to translate.

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20 minutes ago, alejandro_ said:

Сейчас в каждой бригаде есть три дивизиона с 12 пусковыми установками. После появления новой техники количество пусковых установок вырастет до 16, что обеспечит залп в 32 ракеты. Кроме того, дивизионы получат дополнительные подвижные пункты подготовки информации (здесь разрабатывают полетные задачи для ракет), командно-штабные, транспортно-заряжающие и машины техобслуживания.

Now each brigade has three divisions with 12 launchers. After the appearance of new technology, the number of launchers will increase to 16, which will provide a salvo of 32 missiles. In addition, the divisions will receive additional mobile information preparation points (here they develop flight missions for missiles), command and staff, transport-loading and maintenance vehicles.

https://iz.ru/952462/aleksei-ramm-bogdan-stepovoi/raketnoe-obedinenie-brigadam-iskanderov-uvelichili-ognevuiu-moshch

Note that "division" in this context is tricky to translate.

It says that brigades have 3 battalions and 12 launchers, not that each battalion has 12. This is in line with all the information that is available in other sources. Also note that it says that brigades will be expanded, by adding one more battaliion, do you have a more contemporary source that confirms it actually happened? The RUSI article I linked is from August 2022, I guess they'd know about this change.
The division ("dywizjon" in Polish) means artillery battalion, in English it's just easier to stick with battalion across the board.

Edited by Huba
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4 minutes ago, Huba said:

It says that brigades have 3 battalions and 12 launchers, not that each battalion has 12. This is in line with all the information that is available in other sources. Also note that it says that brigades will be expanded, do you have a more contemporary source that confirms it actually happened? The RUSI article I linke is from August 2022, I guess they'd know about this change.

In my original message the number of launchers refer to the entire brigade. There is typo for the initial salvo of 14 brigades with 16 launchers: 16 launchers × 2 missiles × 14 brigades = 448 missiles (and not 480 as I wrote before). Regarding RUSI, maybe they missed that information (no sources for the article are provided). I have not come across any confirmation, latest news about this system was the creation of the 14th brigade. 

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Just now, alejandro_ said:

In my original message the number of launchers refer to the entire brigade. There is typo for the initial salvo of 14 brigades with 16 launchers: 16 launchers × 2 missiles × 14 brigades = 448 missiles (and not 480 as I wrote before). Regarding RUSI, maybe they missed that information (no sources for the article are provided). I have not come across any confirmation, latest news about this system was the creation of the 14th brigade. 

Allright then. Assuming 14 brigades, it is 168 to 224 launchers, depending if the expansion to 4 battalions actually happened, which at this point is unconfirmed, and IMO unlikely to be true.

Using the lower figure, 3 combat loads for all the launchers is 168 x 2 x 3 = 1008. IMO the cited 900 missiles as an initial stockpile sounds more or less reasonable. Production capacity at 50 per annum should also be about right, given that it's in service since maybe 20 years? I say this numbers might be off by several %, and it's really interesting how many are they able to crank out at the war footing now, but IMO this graphic is reasonably correct after all - chief argument being almost complete disappearance of Iskander-M from the battlefield lately.
I'd also be happy to see some data regarding the R500, I recall these being launched at UA rather recently, AFAIR with the first Shaheed waves, but also ceased to being mentioned lately.

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If data about 12/16 per Bde is correct, then Ukrainians probably calculated (minimal) amount of missiles same way we did, then subtracted 10% for nukes.

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Pecheneg is PKM heavier barrel, so I doubt there would be any serious difference to PKM.

AK-12 has mixed "reviews" so far.

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14 hours ago, bojan said:

Pecheneg is PKM heavier barrel, so I doubt there would be any serious difference to PKM.

AK-12 has mixed "reviews" so far.

Thanks for your reply.
If the PKP is not better than the PKM and is heavier then it is a step backwards.

Can you expand a little more on the subject of AK-12 please?

In general I have not seen much RPG-7 on the Russian side. Did the formation of the squad change from the official one?

a137e0_25b37a415c374f8ea1279c640acb78cc~mv2.png

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RPG-7 is used in the "armsroom" concept, if estimated to be needed and it will be often left behind. Has been that way since Afghanistan at least.

PKP is better LMG than PKM, since overall you save weigh by not lugging spare barrel around. It has gained about 1.2kg over PKM, being still pretty light at 8.7kg empty, while spare barrel for PKM was about 2.3kg IIRC.

Edited by bojan
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Haven’t really heard anything about Russian barrel replacements either though that has to happening a lot as well. Both sides are firing so many shells they must burn out 1-3 battery’s worth of barrel life a day.

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Russians has large number of "stored" arty systems where they can at least pull barrels off even if the rest is not good for anything.

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Last summer in the Donbas region shell usage

* UA: 6-7k / day

* RU: 40-50k / day

* US produces 15k / month

* The shortage in 155-mm artillery shells “is probably the big one that has the planners most concerned... If you want to increase production capability of 155 shells it’s going to be probably four to five years before you start seeing them come out the other end.”


The West is also trying to come up with alternative systems, even if they are older, to substitute for shrinking stocks of expensive air-defense missiles and anti-tank Javelins. It is sending strong signals to Western defense industries that longer-term contracts are in the offing — and that more shifts of workers should be employed and older factory lines should be refurbished. It is trying to purchase ammunition from countries like South Korea to “backfill” stocks being sent to Ukraine.

* ATACMS  with a range of some 190 kilometers, or about 118 miles,will not be given for fear they could hit Russia - clearly confusion about the range 

* tanks and fighter jets are just too complicated, requiring a year or more to train in how to use and maintain - if they would've started even in May, they would be already halfway there

* air defense: NATO and the United States deactivated most of their short-range air defense after the Cold War, and there is little to go around. Producing more can take up to two years - yep, as soon as Buk/S-300 missiles are gone - the handful of NASAMS / IRIS-T won't cover much 

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/26/world/europe/nato-weapons-shortage-ukraine.html

Edited by Strannik
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14 hours ago, bojan said:

Russians has large number of "stored" arty systems where they can at least pull barrels off even if the rest is not good for anything.

If the reports of the Russian using tens of thousands of shells a day a few months ago were true, they were burning through roughly a battalion worth of tubes per day. I’d think they’d have had to switch out barrels several times per gun by now. I’d guess new production is still a priority, especially since I’d assume no piece was put in storage with zero use (especially after Chechnya).

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I have reasons to suspect those numbers as "average daily" use, I think those are for peak days only. Anyway, Russian inventory before 24.2.:

- 85mm D-44 - unknown small quantity, still in Rosguardia use

- 100mm T-12/MT-12 - 526 active, ~2000 stored

- 122mm D-30 - ~200 active, ~4400 stored

- 122mm 2S1 Gvozdika - ~300 active, ~2000 stored

- 152mm D-20 - ~1000 stored

- 152mm 2S3 Akatsiya - ~800 active, ~1000 stored

- 152mm 2A65 Msta-B - 200 active, ~600 stored

- 152mm 2S19 Msta-S - 536 active, less than 100 stored

- 152mm 2S5 Giatsint-S - 100 active, 850 stored

- 152mm 2A36 Giatsint-B - less than 100 active, rest stored, 1100 total

- 160mm M-160 towed mortar - ~300 stored

- 203mm 2S7/2S7M Pion/Malka - ~360 total, no active/stored breakdown

- 240mm towed mortar - unknown number stored

- 240mm 2S4 - 40 active, 390 stored

 

So everything except Msta-S has potentially large reserve of spare barrels.

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A very nice breakdown of RU rail logistics situation in occupied Ukraine. Nothing new, but worth reading for anyone who didn't familiarize himself with the railroads map yet. 

 

Edited by Huba
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45 minutes ago, bojan said:

I have reasons to suspect those numbers as "average daily" use, I think those are for peak days only.

I agree.  Daily avg. numbers are probably 4-5 times less than that.

But even with these UA soon should find themselves with little arty and ammo left.

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1 hour ago, bojan said:

I have reasons to suspect those numbers as "average daily" use, I think those are for peak days only. Anyway, Russian inventory before 24.2.:

- 85mm D-44 - unknown small quantity, still in Rosguardia use

- 100mm T-12/MT-12 - 526 active, ~2000 stored

- 122mm D-30 - ~200 active, ~4400 stored

- 122mm 2S1 Gvozdika - ~300 active, ~2000 stored

- 152mm D-20 - ~1000 stored

- 152mm 2S3 Akatsiya - ~800 active, ~1000 stored

- 152mm 2A65 Msta-B - 200 active, ~600 stored

- 152mm 2S19 Msta-S - 536 active, less than 100 stored

- 152mm 2S5 Giatsint-S - 100 active, 850 stored

- 152mm 2A36 Giatsint-B - less than 100 active, rest stored, 1100 total

- 160mm M-160 towed mortar - ~300 stored

- 203mm 2S7/2S7M Pion/Malka - ~360 total, no active/stored breakdown

- 240mm towed mortar - unknown number stored

- 240mm 2S4 - 40 active, 390 stored

 

So everything except Msta-S has potentially large reserve of spare barrels.

Thanks for summarizing; that is quite comprehensive.

 

I don’t think they are running short, merely that they must also be taking a lot of guns off the line for maintenance as well. I would assume they had barrels in storage from Soviet times on top of entire systems in reserve.

Edited by Josh
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On 11/24/2022 at 5:32 PM, bojan said:

They would not have organized additional units w/o producing at least x3 combat load existing ones  Even they are not that silly.

But that is quite different Bde structure than what @alejandro_ provided. @alejandro_, what is your source for 3 Bns of 12 launchers per Bde?

there was also an article in Janes Defense Weekly about 1 1/2 years ago (IIRC) about the Iskander Brigades moving from 3 Bn to 4 Bns.

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Meanwhile, Reuters speculates that ground launched SDB will soon debut in Ukraine - no official confirmation of course, but US European Command reportedly talks with Saab and Boeing about purchasing it. Should be just enough to ruin anything on the occupied territories except the southern Crimea. They also note that it shouldn't be more expensive than GMLRS, and could use existing SDB stocks as warheads, so a lot could be available quickly.
Perhaps the only drawback if it is that slow SDB would be more susceptible to being shot down by AD - OTOH the glide mode allows more precise strikes on some structures like bridge supports.
https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/100-mile-strike-weapon-weighed-ukraine-arms-makers-wrestle-with-demand-sources-2022-11-28/

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Maybe it is best to leave speculations and rummors for "Kiev..." thread until those are confirmed?

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