Space based recon and targeting Liana finally gets its active radar and imaging constellation (passive Lotos satellites are already in orbit) of Pion-NKS into the final stretch with the launch of KOSMOS-2550 on 25 June 2021.
A long-delayed spacecraft believed to be capable of guiding Russian Navy missiles to their targets reached orbit. The liftoff of a Soyuz-2-1b rocket with the Pion-NKS radar-carrying satellite took place as scheduled on June 25, 2021, at 22:50 Moscow Time (3:50 p.m. EDT) from Plesetsk Cosmodrome, north of Moscow.
There is one detail, however, which needs to be explained to laymen--Liana does not "guide" missiles. Missiles are guided by onboard inertial navigation system and correct their path using a wide variety of means from GLONASS to celestial navigation means, to, in case of land attack missiles by means of TERCOM and DSMAC. Liana provides the most important service: it detects the target(s) and "issues" coordinates (targeting data) which allows the guidance of the salvo to the accurate targets' vicinity in which missiles are capable to detect (refined search--dorazvedka) and lock on the target(s) with their seekers, whatever those might be ranging from radar to optronic or mixed. Targeting is the most important thing and Liana is capable to deliver it already, once all Pions are in orbit, well we may only speculate how much territory they will cover but those will undoubtedly be the most important theaters of operations of US and NATO navies. I guess training of TU-22M3s and MiG-31Ks at Khmeimim base has a lot to do with Liana finally coming online in full force. Recall that X-32 has a range of 1000+ kilometers while Kinzhal has a range of 2000 kilometers etc. You know, Mediterranean and all. Recall this from three years ago:
I guess simple middle-school compass and decent map will do in giving an idea that approaching Western Europe for any vessel will be an ordeal with very high probability of a tragic outcome. Any "flank" port facilities in Mediterranean and Baltic Sea become a complete exclusion zones, thus leaving only West-most extremities of French and Dutch port facilities tentatively (well, mostly theoretically) available for any kind of supply of this hypothetical US force which will be deployed in Europe to fight those aggressive Russkies. So, in this case, the title of the article is correct. One is also forced to appreciate Russian base at Khmeimim and the role it may (will) play in shutting down approaches to France and Portugal. Just as a reminder, the distance between Akrotiri AB and...well, let's put it this way--it is not going to last long. The question in this case which matters most is--because conventional campaign in Europe against Russia is unwinnable, when will the US in this scenario decide to use nuclear weapons as the last resort? We may only guess...
We may also thank our wonderful friend Evald (didn't see him in a long time) who drew for us great illustrations:
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