One of our readers posted this interview of some Swedish Ph.D in something-something waxing technological about (Russian) weapon systems. And since this was posted, I think I owe some explanation of the abyss of technological incompetence and outright imbecility this Ph.D from Sweden exhibits.
I could last only about 8 minutes before I had to do this:
As you may have foreseen, any search on this Swedish military "luminary" produced an incredibly dry little about him, other than his working for some Swedish military-political "think-tank". And this:
Robert Dalsjö is a politico-military affairs generalist at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), with a focus on hard security in Europe. Recent unclassified reports include the potential impact of Western airpower on a war in the Baltic region (forthcoming), a critical assessment of Russian A2/AD-capabilities in the Baltic region, a concept for threshold defence for small states, a survey of Swedish national interests, problems in conventional arms control, and an assessment Baltic defence capabilities. He has previously served as Senior Advisor to Sweden’s MoD and as Defence Advisor at Sweden’s delegation to Nato. He holds a Ph.D. from KCL and a M.S.F.S from Georgetown, and is also an active reserve officer serving part-time on the joint operations staff.
Immediately few question arise from this short CV on this dude.
1. What his Ph.D thesis--he received his degree from King's College London--was about? After a brief review of King's College London courses related to warfare I discovered same ol' list of "study" courses which provide mostly zero educational value in actual warfare (and its history) and are remarkably along the same lines as courses in political pseudo-science, including same ol' "security studies" and other primarily "humanities"-driven courses which are specifically designed for people with zero STEM education and serious serious background in weapon systems and their tactics and operational dimension. Just to be completely clear on that--my degree reads like this: Navigator-engineer, a specialist in gyro-inertial navigational complexes of naval strategic missile systems. Based primarily around strategic missile submarines of pr. 667 B-BD (NATO: Delta I-II). This is not to mention the fact of receiving equivalent of B.S. in Military Sciences (a subject non-existent in the most Western world), not to mention the fact having second specialty as an officer of tactical command (platoon+) of naval infantry (marines). My graduate thesis was ASW based. Plus I graduated from some funny officer school, or, rather, school for officers. So, feel the "academic" difference.
2. As it turned out M.S.F.S. from Georgetown is nothing more than Master of Science (really?) in Foreign Service, which, of course, is yet another iteration of the political science, and teaches zero serious warfare-related skills. It is primarily designed for people with, you guessed it, mostly interest in generalities and not learning any practical skills as the record of whopping failures of the United States in the "international (or foreign) relations" demonstrates so profoundly.
So, as you can see, it is very difficult to find anything concrete on this type of "scholars" other than very general and short credentials rundown and that is about it. Ah yes, he also goes by the title of Military Generalist--I have no freaking idea what this is. You can download the publication by this dude and other Swedish "researches" here. It is a remarkable report written by people who can barely operate with basic mathematics and physics and are so butt-hurt that I, after suffering through this dude's commentaries on how Air Defense works, decided to address it. Feel free to listen to a delirium this "scholar" pushes as a fact on some British journo, he repeats merely the idiocy which is in his (and others) publication I mention above. It is a mental rape of warfare, physics, mathematics and, in the end, common sense which is totally EXPECTED from the field of so called Anglo (and lapdogs) military analysis saturated with people with zero understanding of modern warfare. Here is one such example:
The S-400 air defence system is often claimed to have a 400-km range, but FOI’s technical experts estimate that the effective range against maneuvering targets at low altitude is much less, even down to 20 km for smaller targets hugging the terrain.21 Russian specialists have estimated the effective range of the S-400 against old and un-stealthy Tomahawk cruise missiles to be 24–36 km in mixed terrain.22 At low altitudes, the masking effect of terrain, trees and buildings can cause a diagram of the effective range to resemble a Rorschach-blot rather than a neat circle. The S-400 system also has limitations when dealing with a large number of targets that appear within a short space of time, such as a swarm of cruise missiles.23
Let me do some autopsy on this steaming pile of ignorance:
Obviously while citing Roger McDermot's very understandably butt-hurt (I may add) "version" of the events mostly through approximation of what Mikhail Khodarenok or whoever else stated re: April 18, 2018 attacks in Syria, they forgot to mention that ANY air-defense complex has its tactical-technical parameters specified for the types of targets which are classified by, as a rule, their height (altitude), velocity, maneuvering parameters and RCS openly, and in EW environment secretly (that is classified). I will omit here the fact, that same Mikhail Khodarenok, while having an impressive air-defense and General Staff credentials, retired from service in 2000 and, as it is inevitable, had his Form 1A (I used to hold one too) clearance removed. S-400 became operational in 2007 and since then has been "improved" constantly. But, I know that they do not teach basic physics and radar technology, especially as it applies to military, in institutions which this Swedish "scholar" graduated from and let me explain why it is a problem,
1. I quote: The S-400 air defence system is often claimed to have a 400-km range, but FOI’s technical experts estimate that the effective range against maneuvering targets at low altitude is much less, even down to 20 km for smaller targets hugging the terrain.
If I deploy S-400 in 30 meters from the 100 meter high wall, S-400 range will be about...30 meters in the wall's "sector". But our Swedish friends need to be given a little lesson in the radar work. We will use the simplest physics without going into such parameters as RLP, which is radio-permeability of the environment, refraction and other physical phenomena which define the use of....read attentively, it will matter later in this post, INTEGRATED AIR-DEFENSE system. So, the terrain matters--everyone understand this, but what about this attack on Russia in Baltic region, which Swedish "scholar" dreams about. Well, consider the most primitive example:
Even the brief review of trees' height in Baltic Sea area reveals that the forest canopy of the region is somewhere around 35 meters.
There are many trees which are even higher, some forests in Finland (you see, if Sweden decides to attack Russia) reach even 45 meters in height, while some Polish trees can reach the height of 50 meters. That means that safe elevation of the salvo of NATO's (or Sweden's?) cruise missiles needs to be around 70 give and take some meters. Most likely more. We may assume the area to be mostly flat, which it generally is. So, we have a cruise altitude at around 70 meters while antenna of S-400 (pay attention, I take here now only ridiculous scenario of a salvo against single S-400 divizion), will most likely encounter this 76N6 thingy which reaches 127 ft. (42 meters) high and leads us to this:
2. See highlighted in yellow.
So, what's the deal with those "smaller targets hugging terrain" and less than 20 kilometers? Even when one considers horizon "interference adjustment" for SOME forests along the path. Of course, I omit here other factors, such as multilayered and easily reconfigured (by maneuver on wheels) fully integrated AD network which includes S1, Tor-M2 and Buk-M3 (S-350 Vityaz is coming soon too) and integrated with external targeting means such as over-the-horizon radar, AWACS such as A-50 and 100 and space-based assets, which allow same S-400 attack even low flying targets at the ranges well beyond the horizon by means of active radar homing missiles such as 9M96 which are specifically designed to kill small, high speed, maneuvering targets. NATO doesn't have high speed, maneuvering land-attack missiles. None exist--all of them are subsonic easily defeated missiles, yes, including Sweden's own (in cooperation with Germany) KEPD 350.
3. Obviously our Swedish friends missed this news too:
China's People's Liberation Army Rocket Force last month tested the S-400 Triumf air defence system successfully shooting down a "simulated ballistic target" almost 250 kilometre away and moving at the supersonic speed of 3 kilometre per second, Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post reported on Thursday, quoting Russian media reports. Details of the location of the test have not been disclosed.
They could have at least bothered themselves with reading good ol' Soviet AD Combat Manuals. But it seems, these "analysts" are not well acquainted with the basics of AD tactics and combat schemes of deployment which seriously consider.
a) The terrain--limitations, as well as advantages. Elevations matter and increase autonomous (stand alone) detection range;
b) Expected threats and probable threat directions (sectors): cruise missiles, aircraft, ground threats;
c) Meteorological and electric state of the environment factors.
d) Maximization of coverage (overlap) of ground, air and space based means for proper detection, tracking and development of firing solutions with proper target designation between deployed AD means. As an example A-50U (not to speak of A-100) have a superb range (hundreds of kilometers) and clutter filtering specifically against low flying targets and are capable of providing targeting to all AD complexes such as S-300 or S-400.
And then, if you survive listening through the gibberish this "analyst" delivers to British journo, his pearl about Russian anti-shipping missiles is simply one of those WTF moments.
4. So, the dude obviously is so illiterate that he doesn't even know that since late 1970s-early 1980s Soviet (now Russian) targeting radar on ships had and still have (including for shore based complexes such as Bastion or Bal) OVER-THE-HORIZON channels which were realized in such systems as Mineral ME Radar, which can detect and develop firing solution over-the-horizon, way way over the horizon. That allows the use of Russian (and Chinese, I am sure Iranian too) anti-shipping missiles at the maximum range, including receiving of targeting data, which is either ephemerids (Lambda, Phi--Longitude, Altitude) or Azimuth (Bearing)--Range, plus maneuvering elements of targets from external sources (course, speed), such as Satellites (Liana), other ships, aircraft or what have you. He obviously never heard of refined final search (dorazvedka) by missiles with active heads. How the ellipses (2D for surface) and 3D for aerial targets are reduced and uncertainties are resolved--I think this is beyond the scope of this post and requires a very long and very mathematical elaborations. I will just add that it has everything to do with the weight of observations, which brings us to another pearl:
5. I quote: At low altitudes, the masking effect of terrain, trees and buildings can cause a diagram of the effective range to resemble a Rorschach-blot rather than a neat circle.
Is this clown for real? He obviously never heard about resolution of uncertainties and data fusion within network which constantly exchanges and signal processes observation data from every RELEVANT node in it and those nodes are not just a single radar from S-400 but a complex of active radar, optronic, passive inputs from several, sometimes very many, sources. In the United States it has a designated term of CEC (Cooperative Engagement Capability)--an ability to collect, process and represent real time tactical and operational information as a combined PICTURE from multiple sources. This is how Ph.D in physics and long time generally respected naval analyst Norman Friedman defines it: Picture-Centric Warfare.
So, in this case I have to ask (rhetorically) myself--if these "analysts" and "military generalist" consult Swedish MoD it is not surprising then that Swedish Navy constantly hunts Russian subs in Baltic and seems never to detect one, while being in the state of constant hysteria. It is not surprising then, that all these "analytical" materials all as one lack any serious numbers or at least competent elaborations on tactical and operational effects, because people who write them, with some very few exceptions, do not operate within a framework in which real military professionals operate. It is downright embarrassing to see a person who goes under the title of military "analyst" spreading a teenage fanboy BS as an "assessment" while having no grasp of basic physical principles realized in modern weapon systems--of course not, one must have serious background in it. So what gives then?
The answer is simple--Sweden is a radically Russophobic nation, to a hysterical pitch Russophobia. Partially it can be explained by Russia winning the Great Northern War thus removing Sweden from the position of Northern (not just Scandinavian) European superpowerdom. Part of it is a memory of embarrassing primarily for the USSR but also for Swedish Navy flop with Swedish Komsomolets in 1981 which fueled flames of Swedish anti-Russian paranoia. Part of it is Sweden turning into cuckold nation long ago and becoming the rape capital of Europe and fighting hard to become #1 in the world, while sticking to the suicidal and humiliating policies domestically. While Swedish women are being raped, sorry, culturally enriched, by hordes of "refugees" Swedes are being intimidated by their "free" media with those crude, Slavic subhumans to the East who are sleeping and dreaming about conquering free Sweden and finally stealing those tremendously important and coveted secrets of Ikea. They cannot conceive that Russians just do not give a damn about Sweden, or about Europe in general anymore and that Russia is long ago is in full defensive posture. In fact, Sweden must face the fact that the times of ABBA are over, and that while Volvo is a good car, Gripen still flies with licensed to Volvo US GE F404 engine. Sweden, of course, leads the world in discovering new genders. So, this, I believe, projected against the background of a general Western intellectual collapse what drives such "researchers" and "scholars" to go out and self-medicate with utter BS designed for consumption of a public which increasingly finds itself already in or ignores rigid shackles of totalitarianism and the death of the free thought and meritocracy in the West. And who can best serve as an exhibit A of this Orwellian reality--Sweden immediately comes to mind. And here you are.
P.S. Did I mention refraction? Wink-wink.