But first, heartfelt congratulations to India with her magnificent achievement.
India just made spaceflight history in more ways than one. The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft's Vikram lander has successfully touched down on the Moon, marking the country's first successful landing on the lunar surface. It's just the fourth country to do so after the Soviet Union, US and China. More importantly, it's the first country to land near the Moon's south pole — a difficult target given the rough terrain, but important for attempts to find water ice. Other nations have only landed near the equator.
Truly a proud moment for this nation.
Now to our sad and earthly matters. I deliberately posted 2 days ago the conversation between Colonel Macgregor and Tucker. First 15-20 minutes of Colonel's remarks are crucial. First, he correctly points out to a horrendous heat signature of all versions of Abrams tanks--Russian satellites can even see them from space--and then he elaborates on modern Russian Recon-Strike Complex without naming it such. In Russian it is known as Разведывательно-Ударный Комплекс (РУК) or, well--Reconnaissance Strike Complex. As Russian military (MoD) defines it:
автоматизированный комплекс вооружения, предназначенный для огневого поражения ударным средствами (ракетными, авиационными) наиболее важных наземных и надводных целей противника немедленно по мере их обнаружения. В РУК входят средства: разведки и наведения, поражения (высокоточное оружие), радиоэлектронного подавления, навигационно-временного обеспечения, управления. В отечественном РУК 60-х гг., предназначавшемся для поражения группировок НК, объединялись информационно-техническими связями ПЛ с противокорабельными ракетными комплексами большой дальности самолёт-разведчик с радиолокационной аппаратурой обнаружения и целеуказания. В последующих поколениях РУК этого вида объединены носители средств поражения (НК и ПЛ) с системой морской космической разведки и целеуказания, которая постоянно ведёт разведку надводной обстановки на акваториях Мирового океана. В США создан РУК ПЛСС (1986) для поражения радиолокационных объектов в полосе шириной и глубиной до 500 км. В его состав входят: 10 самолётов разведки и ретрансляции (дежурная смена - 3 самолёта); наземный центр управления; 12 пунктов наземной радионавигационной сети; до 100 комплексов бортового оборудования для ударных са-молётов и до 500 - для управляемого оружия "воздух - земля" и "земля - земля".
Translation: an automated complex of weapon systems designed to strike the most important enemy ground and surface targets immediately as they are detected by strike means (missile, aviation). The RUK includes the means of: reconnaissance and guidance, destruction (high-precision weapons), electronic suppression, navigation and time support, and control. In the domestic RUK of the 60s, intended to defeat surface ships groupings, submarines were combined with information and technical communications with long-range anti-ship missile systems, reconnaissance aircraft with radar detection and target designation equipment. In subsequent generations of RUKs of this type, carriers of weapons of destruction (Surface Ships and Subs) are combined with a system of marine space reconnaissance and target designation, which constantly conducts reconnaissance of the surface situation in the waters of the World Ocean. In the United States, the RUK PLSS (1986) was created to destroy radar targets in a band up to 500 km wide and deep. It consists of: 10 reconnaissance and relay aircraft (duty shift - 3 aircraft); ground control center; 12 points of the ground radio navigation network; up to 100 sets of on-board equipment for attack aircraft and up to 500 for air-to-ground and ground-to-ground guided weapons.
Of course, this is a very general definition, and for ground warfare Russians use Recon-Fire Complex (ROK) term. The US uses pretty much similar definition and developed its own battlefield ROK such as initial Assault Breaker, which now is being developed into Assault Breaker-2. Here is from 2019.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is researching new long-range smart weapons designed to devastate attacking enemy forces, buying time for the U.S. to send reinforcements in a hypothetical future engagement. The program, known as “Assault Breaker II,” mirrors a Cold War era program designed to stop Soviet armored spearheads poised to roll into Western Europe. The effort would consist of a combination of long-range sensors and bombers loaded with smart weapons designed to seek out and destroy tanks, ships, and other enemy systems.
But here is where the similarity ends. Ever vigilant Lester Grau already in 2018 warned about the way Russians viewed their ROK. Here is how he pointed out Russian artillery use:
Russian military analysts conclude that artillery batteries from direct support artillery battalions and brigade artillery continue to play the most decisive role in the fire destruction of enemy. Further, the role of artillery in contemporary combined arms combat and armed conflicts of varying intensity will only grow. Analysis of limited wars (the Soviet war in Afghanistan, combat in Chechnya, the fighting in Syria) require that new-type artillery tactical formations be capable of:
conducting highly-maneuverable combat with motorized rifle (and tank) subunits, complete multi-kilometer combined road marches, conduct river crossings, etc;
inflicting fire destruction of enemy subunits (or targets) throughout the depths of his combat formation;
destroying enemy targets through direct and indirect fire;
annihilating tactical precision-guided munitions and other weapons as well as artillery from firing positions and from the march;
suppressing and destroying command posts and weapons, radar, electronic combat systems and air defense;
conducting timely and effective defeat of enemy personnel and their weaponry in assembly areas and fighting positions, tanks, command posts and engineer equipment during the preparation for an attack by motorized rifle (or tank) subunits, during
combat in the depth of the enemy defense, during the repulse of the enemy counterattack and during the conduct of the defense;
conducting counterbattery fire;
destroying enemy antitank weapons, tanks and other armored vehicles;
fighting effectively against the approaching enemy reserve and irregular armed elements;
dispersing within the brigade combat formation while preserving the ability to mass fire in time and space.v
Russian analysis and combat experience shows that the execution of fire destruction missions against an enemy should be assigned directly to the organic brigade artillery without establishing temporary formations such as artillery groups.vi Further, in future fire engagements, artillery systems may be integrated into a unified reconnaissance-fire system (ROC) responsible for conducting zone and point reconnaissance and engaging the just-detected enemy in near-real time. The primary method of executing reconnaissance-fire missions will be to engage newly-discovered enemy targets with brief fire assaults and subsequent changes of position to avoid retaliatory fire. However, it may be possible to conduct multiple fire missions without shifting firing positions when engaged in support of low-intensity conflicts.
Here comes this critical difference which hasn't been known in 2018 yet and which SMO demonstrated so dramatically. It is not just about artillery, however important. Few in 2018 could have foreseen the situation that Russia will outproduce NATO combined in high precision stand-off weapons by the order of magnitude, will deploy an astonishing variety of those weapons, including hypersonic ones and, of course, will demonstrate what modern Air Defense and modern Air Force can do.
Few also could have predicted that "work time" (rabotnoe vremya) which is the time between detection of the target and launch (salvo) will be reduced into the strategic and operational depth to minutes. Listen to Macgregor in those first 15-20 minutes. At the tactical depth, I quote my friend Marat Khairullin, even battalion commander can see 20-30 kilometers into the enemy depth almost in real time. Hence slaughter of the VSU. At the Rabotino area the kill ratio reaches astonishing 1 to 30. And then, of course, there is ECM and Russia operates drones which are simply impervious to NATO EC(C)M. Hence sheer idiocy from such "advisers" like Dan Rice, or from our beloved clown David Axe. How to explain politely to these (and other) guys that their Iraq and Afghanistan experiences are worthless in real war.
The Ukrainian air assault force’s 82nd Air Assault Brigade sat out the first nine weeks of Ukraine’s 2023 counteroffensive, which kicked off along several axes in southern and eastern Ukraine on June 4. When the powerful brigade finally rolled into action with some of its 14 British-made Challenger 2 tanks, 40 ex-German Marder tracked infantry fighting vehicles and 90 Stryker wheeled IFVs, it immediately began losing vehicles. This week, the 82nd wrote off at least two of its 20 or so M1132 Engineer Squad Vehicles—mineclearing versions of its 18-ton, eight-wheel Stryker infantry-carriers. The M1132 features a set of hull-mounted minerollers that can detonate buried mines before the vehicle triggers them.
Aw, poor-poor dears! They still think that changing "tactics" can change the outcome. Obviously, explaining to Dan Rice or David Axe what Soviet/Russian attitude towards own TOE, ISR and the role of cadre officers with very strong military education means may fall on deaf ears--they still continue to reside in their Gulf War delusion. But I can only help with quoting yet again Lieutenant-General Klokotov, Chief of the Strategy Department of the Academy of General Staff in 1992:
“I would like to emphasize here that the Persian Gulf war was taken as the standard in studying the strategic nature of possible war. It would appear that this position, adopted in the draft ‘Fundamentals of Russian Military Doctrine,’ is dangerous. The fact is that this war [was] ‘strange’ in all respects [and] cannot serve as a standard.”
They simply believed that they could match such experiences as ended today 80 years ago Kursk Battle. They cannot. That is why they rewrite history. And even that they do unprofessionally.