Let’s examine which nation has the most tactical advantages in case war breaks out in either the Ukraine or the Mideast.
1 Electronic Warfare is the ability to use the electromagnetic spectrum to block or impede an enemy attack. A recent example was the April 2014 USS Donald Cook incident. One unarmed SU-24 plane shut down the electronics of the AEGIS defense system of an American destroyer in the Black Sea. It flew over the USS Donald Cook 12 times coming as close as 1,000 yards (914 meters). All modern Russian aircraft are equipped with the Khibiny Electronic Warfare system. It can be put on Russian helicopters as well. This system increases the ability of a Russian jet to survive because it shuts down NATO radar from our jets, naval ships and ground installations. In the case of the USS Donald Cook their radar screens went blank so they could not fire their missiles and their radar controlled guns were rendered useless.
The Russians also have a mobile ground based system called the Krasukha 4 to protect their military bases. It protects areas up to 600 kms (373 miles) in diameter from AWACS, jets, missiles and UAVs. It can permanently damage targeted radar systems.
The US has nothing comparable.
2 SAM 400 and 500. Russia promised the Iranians the S-300 system as far back as 2008 but I said they would not deliver it because of the power of the Russian Jewish Lobby. Iran started building their own S-300 system more than a year ago. But recently Iran and Syria have become more important to Russia so they agreed to upgrade the Iranians to the S-400 as well as the Chinese. The S-500 is not yet being exported.
The SAM 400 is an anti-aircraft missile system that can target 300 incoming missiles at one time. It is an array radar system so there is no such thing as stealth aircraft. It responds with 3 different types of missiles depending on the situation. It has long, medium and short range missiles with speeds from Mach 2.3 to Mach 6.9. No NATO commander would expect an air attack on the Russian mainland to survive SAM-400 air defenses.
By comparison, the Patriot MIM-104C has missiles ranging in speed from Mach 2.8 to Mach 4.1. An older version was given to the Israelis. They did not like it so they refined it and sold it and their improvements to China. The Chinese added S-300 technology and called it the HQ-9 which they did sell to Iran. The Iranians will use the HQ-9 to protect their SAM-400 installations.
3 The Main Battle Tank for the Russians is the T-90. They gave Hezbollah 75 of their older T-72 tanks so they could play with ISIS in Syria. The photo of the T-90 below is somewhat impressive for its superior maneuverability.
The T-90 fires either armor piercing rounds or laser controlled anti-tank missiles. The missile is capable of hitting low altitude helicopters, planes and drones. Russian soldiers say their weapon is like firing a semi-automatic compared to a single shot American Abrams tank. That means the Russians can fire more rapidly than the Americans. Observers have seen US built Abrams tanks being destroyed by Yemeni forces using US TOW missiles. Russians say that would never happen to a T-90 tank.
4 The US and Russia built drones for different purposes. They both can spy. But the US drones mostly are armed with Hellfire missiles. The Intercept recently revealed American drone profiling systems. For some reason the US concluded that it was acceptable to kill 25 other people to take out one Person of Interest. They also decided that tall men were more likely to become a rebel than shorter men. A drone spotted one man who was exceptionally taller than the dozens of people standing next to him so they fired a missile which killed the man and two dozen children nearby.
Compare that to the Iranians. They are mass producing drones that can fire anti-ship missiles at American ships in the Persian Gulf. The Iranians also have rocket artillery that can deliver 1,322 pound (600 Kg) warheads 130 miles (210 Kms) from their shores.
5 Let’s compare the SU-35 to America’s F-22 and F-35. An American pilot who flew an SU-35 at an air show said the Russians build their planes like tanks. They are built to take a hit.
The American pilot said he could do more in an SU-35 in terms of aerial acrobatics than an F-16. After WW I the Army brass decided we no longer needed planes that could dog fight. They came to the same conclusion after WW II. They finally have succeeded in building the F-35 that can dog fight no better than old Soviet planes from the 1960s. A generic F-35 costs $178 million. But the F-35C that lands on an aircraft carrier costs a mere $337 million each. Those new American aircraft carriers cost $9 billion. Of course they do not work very well and are not really ready for naval combat. That will probably involve a cost overrun. To arm a new carrier with 75 F-35C jets would cost an additional $25.275 billion.
There are a few problems with the F-35. The ejection seat kills the pilot. The F-35 cannot climb and even turn very well. It isn’t very stealthy. In 2014 an F-35 burst into while taking off. The sensors have trouble distinguishing friends and foes.
The SU-50 will be deployed long before the F-35 completes the authorization process.
6 Russian attack helicopters are built to take hits from ground fire and missiles. YouTube took down the video of an older Russian helicopter surviving a hit from a missile. But you can find lots of footage of Russian helicopter attacks on terrorists in Syria. I would point out how close their pilots come to their targets. They know what their machines can do. The Mil 24 is their main attack ship. It can also ferry 8 soldiers. Russians call it a ‘flying tank.’ Mil is the last name of the man who designed the first models.
7 We need to compare anti-ship missiles. The US Harpoon system has speeds up to 537 miles per hour (864 kmh.) The Russians have missiles SS-N26 Onyx and SS-N-27 Sizzler with speeds up to Mach 2.5 and 3. Moskit is Russian for mosquito and is their classification for anti-ship missiles. They have a series of anti-ship missiles code named mosquitoes. Their missiles travel long distances until the final stage when they accelerate to multiples of the speed of sound. The US has no defenses against these missiles. Iran is mass producing their own versions of these and other missiles. The US and Israel cannot attack Iran because their militaries would not survive.
8 TOS-1 Buratino. The US has no comparable weapon. It can fire up to 24 missiles in seconds.
The Buratino fires missiles with fuel air explosive warheads. That means a warhead is filled with a liquid like ethylene glycol. An intial explosion disperses that liquid over a wide area. A second explosion about 25 milliseconds later ignites the previously dispersed combustible liquid. That burns up all the oxygen in the area which kills the enemy soldiers. Traditional warheads and bombs have to pack oxygenates inside so they will explode. A fuel air explosive burns up the available oxygen in the target area. No enemy battle group could survive 24 or 48 or 72 rounds from a TOS-1 Buratino. Russia rarely uses this weapon. The US has nothing comparable.
9 The US is supposed to have an advantage when it comes to geography because they have fleets that can attack anywhere in the world. But the Russians on October 7th fired 26 cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea and accurately hit targets in Syria over 900 miles (1,500 Kms) away. The message clearly was that the US Navy could not just sneak up on land based regional powers like Russia, China and Iran.
When the Syrian bombing first began, Putin said this won’t take more than 3 to 4 months. His forces are attacking areas along the northern borders of Syria with Turkey from Homs to Aleppo. Their Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah forces have already seized the high ground. Battles for the cities are often prolonged and might take a month. Afterwards, there will be battles for Palmyra and Raqqa. And at about that same a battle for the Iraqi-Syrian border to seal off ISIS from outside support. In the near future Putin will be ready to fulfill Iraq’s request for help.
The Americans have been dropping weapons to ISIS and bombing Iraqi militia men fighting the terrorists. The mission of the US in Iraq was always to destroy the place in behalf of Israel.
By the Spring of 2016, the Mideast will be a different place. Iraq and Syria will be united in the fight against ISIS. Russian bases in Syria will have trucks from Baghdad and Tehran supplying them. There will be talk of building a pipeline to the Mediterranean.
Yemen might seek Russian and Iranian help to protect themselves from the Saudi and American war criminals who have illegally blocked food aid. Yemen has to import 90% of their food. The new Saudi King Salman is senile. The Saudis will be forced out of Yemen. Yemen would be an excellent location for a Russian naval base or two.
By Spring of 2016, the Petrodollar will be on its last legs. The US government will soon have to face the painful truth that they can no longer afford to police the world. The US might even have trouble paying the salaries of its overseas military personnel if the dollar is devalued as sharply as Jim Rickards predicted.
Lebanon might even seek Russian help to protect their coastal waters from Israel which is stealing their natural gas. The Israelis are doing the same to the Palestinians in addition to the other abuses and wanton killings of civilians.
Mideast Strategic Advantages: Putin 7 Obama 0.
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