Monday, April 25, 2022

Ukraine War: Time For India To Rethink its Military Doctrine Modeled On Russia's?

India's Russian-equipped and trained military is watching with great concern Russia's losses in the Ukraine war. Moscow has lost 20,000 soldiers, nearly 500 main battle tanks and a large warship so far, according to media reports. Ukraine's use of Turkish drones, US-made anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) Javelins and Ukrainian anti-ship Neptune missiles has taken a heavy toll on the Russian Army and Navy. It is notable that India's Cold Start Doctrine against Pakistan is modeled on the Russian formation known as the “operational maneuver group” (OMG).  

Russian Influence On Indian Military Doctrine. Source: Air University, US Air Force

Russian Influence on Indian Military Doctrine:

It is well known that the Indian Army relies on Russian tanks, artillery, rockets, and ammunition. The Indian Navy uses Russian ships, submarines and missiles and the Russian Su-30 MKI forms the backbone of the Indian Air Force. Like Russia, the Indian military doctrine is based on deploying large platforms (tanks, artillery, ships and fighter-bombers) with massive firepower.  Here's an excerpt of an article by Dr. Vipin Narang, an Indian-American analyst, on the subject: 

"In terms of doctrine and strategy, although it may be difficult to trace direct influence and lineage between Russia and India, there are several pieces in India’s conventional and nuclear strategy that at least mirror Russia’s behavior. On the conventional side, the core formation in the quick-strike concept known as “Cold Start” or “proactive strategy options” was modeled on the Russian formation known as the “operational maneuver group” (OMG). The idea was to have a formation that could be rapidly assembled from tank and armored divisions that could break through reinforced defenses—NATO for Russia, and Pakistan’s I and II Corps in the plains and desert sectors for India.

"On the nuclear side, India is currently seized with the same dilemma as the Soviet Union was during the Cold War: both NATO and Pakistan threaten battlefield nuclear weapons against conventional thrusts (India, at least, presumably would be retaliating following a Pakistan-backed provocation). While both states refined their conventional concept of operations, there may have also been corresponding adjustments to their nuclear strategies. It was long believed that, in response to NATO threats to use nuclear weapons first on the battlefield, the Soviet Union had strong preemptive counterforce elements in its strategy to try to at least disarm the United States of its strategic nuclear weapons for damage limitation. It is increasingly evident that at least some serious Indian officials are interested in developing the same sort of option: preemptive counterforce against Pakistan’s strategic nuclear forces, both for damage limitation and to reopen India’s conventional superiority. It is no surprise perhaps, then, that India chose to go ahead with acquiring Russia’s S-400 missile and air defense system, despite the threat of Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions from the United States: the S-400 is key to India’s damage limitation strategy, capable of potentially intercepting residual ballistic and cruise missiles that a counterforce strike might miss". 

Turkish Drones: 

Turkish Bayraktar TB2 has been highly effective in destroying Russian tanks and armor in Ukraine. It is playing a key role in Ukraine's counter offensives against Russia's invasion. It is proving so effective that "Ukrainian forces are singing its praises, literally", according to a CNN report

Indian Army has nearly 6,000 tanks of Russian origin. These tanks are just as vulnerable to drone and anti-tank missiles as the Russian tanks that perished in Ukraine. 

Pakistan has developed Baktar Shikan, a second-generation man-portable anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system which uses optical aiming, IR tracking, remotely controlled and wire transmitted guidance signals. It can also be mounted on attack helicopters and Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs). Its long range, penetration power and a powerful anti-jamming capability form a potent defense against armored targets.

Pakistan is also reported to have already acquired Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones recently. It was displayed in the Pakistan Day Parade on March 23, 2022, along with other military equipment acquired recently by the Pakistani defense forces. 

Anti-Ship Missiles:

Ukraine claims that its Neptune anti-ship missiles hit and sank Moskva in Black Sea.  It was a large 10,000-ton guided missile cruiser of the Russian Navy that was launching cruise missiles on targets in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. It is the largest warship to have been sunk in action since WWII. 

Vast majority of Indian Navy ships, including its aircraft carriers and missile frigates, are designed, built and equipped by Russians.  

Pakistan recently showcased its anti-ship missile Harbah at DIMDEX 2022, a defense expo in Qatar. It  is a medium range ship launched subsonic cruise missile system capable of targeting sea as well as land targets in “all weather operation” at a maximum range of 280 kilometers, according to a report in NavalNews. The missile is fire and forget type. It relies on inertial navigation technologies with GPS and GLONASS systems. According to its manufacturer GIDS, the missile features the following guidance systems: a DSMAC camera, imaging infrared seeker, and radar seeker.

Summary:

The war in Ukraine is forcing a defense strategy rethink in countries such as India which rely on Russian equipment and training. Hindustan Times has quoted an unnamed former Indian Army Chief as saying:  “War videos available show that the Russian Army has tactical issues in Ukraine war. Tell me, which tank formation goes to war in a single file without air or infantry cover when the opponent is equipped with the best anti-tank guided missile like Javelin or Turkish Bayraktar TB2 missile firing drones? There is question on Russian air supremacy with Ukraine Army armed with shoulder fired Stinger surface to air missiles as well as the night fighting capability of the Russian Air Force.”

Related Links:

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Pakistan's Aircraft Exports

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Ukraine's Lesson For Pakistan: Never Give Up Nukes!

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Riaz Haq Youtube Channel

VPOS Youtube Channel


31 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

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Javed E. said...

Hopefully the Russian debacle will give pause to all aggressors, even though America’s debacles are often followed by another adventure.

samir sardana said...

The debacles of the Russian army,are to be expected,for an invading army,with a hostile population,and guerilla tactics - when the guerillas are supported,by superpowers !

The REAL DISASTER = SINKING OF RUSSIAN DESTROYER !

On Day 50, the star of the Black Sea Fleet, is lying at the bottom,of the Sea of Azov

Sunk by a Soviet modified land based missile,launched from a mobile launcher

2022

Destroyers are obsolete and Traditional Navies are obsolete

Drones and Shore based missiles,make ships, sitting ducks

What is the future, of the Indian Navy ?

DOOM !

In January,2022, Russian warships were exercising,in the (A)rabian Sea.In April 2022, their star is sunk in the (A)zov sea !

The Russian star,sank on the 14th of April,2022,and the Russian-Naval exercises were held on the 14th of January,2022

The Indian Navy,is banking on Russian Ships,Subs and Mine sweepers !

Just 1 missile hit below the water line,near the engine or the ammu/fuel dump - and then, gravity takes over.

The same applies to the Mach 10 land based aircraft carrier killer missiles, of PRC ,targetting the US Aircraft carriers,in the SCS !

TURNING POINT IN THE UKRAINE WAR

BUT........................

it is the US and NATO which AIDED the UKR military.W/o US/NATO aid and INT,the ship could not,have been sunk

The Missiles and the Ship, are both Soviet,and the UKR military,is trained by the Soviets and Russians,and knows all their tactics and INT and EW and CM.BUT W/O US/NATO tracking and targetting aid, the SHIP,COULD NOT HAVE BEEN SUNK

ODESSA WILL STILL REMAIN CLOSED - TILL THE RUSSIANS ARE IN AZOV - BUT THE SOLUTION TO THE RUSSIAN BLOCKADE HAS BEEN FOUND - AND THE TURKISH STRAITS ARE CLOSED

NATO will ship out the Anti-Ship Missiles soon.Russian Navy will have to keep far off,from land - which will make Ship based missile attacks,from the Russian Navy,on Kiev/Mariupol, unviable

It will also make the fuel and food ships,from Russia to UKR ports unviable.THERE IS NO WAY THAT THE RUSSIAN FRIGATES CAN BLOCK,LAND BASED ANTI-SHIP MISSILES.

AND THIS BRINGS THE US/NATO - DIRECTLY INTO THE WAR - WITH RUSSIA.W/O US/NATO INT AND TECH - NO RUSSIAN SHIP,CAN BE SUNK.dindooohindoo

AND THAT WILL CAUSE THE GEOMETRIC ESCALATION BY PUTIN - AND THE 1 WAY TICKET TO WW3 !

Ranjit S. said...

Actually, the militaries of the whole world is watching. Ukraine is being armed from numerous NATO countries. It seems like the key to Ukraine’s success are drones, hand held anti tank weapons and information from American satellites about Russian positions. I was surprised to see Russian tanks moving in such close formations openly without securing Airspace. Ukraine soldiers are highly motivated as the Pakistani soldiers were motivated in saving Lahore during the 1965 war. Lastly Ukraine Army is not a small Army besides they are intimate with Russian Military hardware and tactics. This war is a great learning opportunity for all armies. Major mistake the Russians made was not moving in a rapid great force. One must overwhelm the enemy, though I do understand that it is very hard for Russians to fight a people who basically are your kin. Hope this senseless war ends soon.

Shams N. said...

How long do you think Russian forces need to bomb out of existence the Kiev airports that are receiving arms, or to blow up the arms coming in by road, or via the port of Odessa? Do you seriously believe that Russians who built in 1980s the International Space Station (while the US/Euro still are not able to) are so incompetent to not be able to target the way they want?

I am convinced that the media reports we are getting are far from the truth, and even farther when it comes to Ukraine's successes. Ukraine is the size of Texas state, and Russia already has full control of Ukraine's entire Black Sea access, except for Odessa which is about 2/3rd the capacity of Karachi port.

Riaz Haq said...

Shams: "I am convinced that the media reports we are getting are far from the truth, and even farther when it comes to Ukraine's successes"

Forget western media reports and ask yourself the following:

Russia’s assault began on February 24 2022, more than 2 months ago. Why has Putin not already been able to subdue Texas-size Ukraine?

Why did Russia abandon armored assault on Kiev?

Who stopped miles long Russian armored column dead in its tracks?

How did a huge warship Moskva cruiser sink?

Think for yourself.

My take: Russia will eventually prevail over Ukraine but at great cost in terms of Russian lives, economy and military. It will be at best be a Pyrrhic victory for Putin.

Riaz Haq said...

#Russia Can’t Depend on #India Either. #NewDelhi may be frustratingly tolerant of #Putin, but it isn’t likely to help him substantively in #UkraineWar. #Modi @dhume https://www.wsj.com/articles/putin-cant-depend-on-india-either-russia-ukraine-moscow-energy-exports-oil-new-delhi-11651173078 via @WSJOpinion

Russian oil makes up a small fraction of Indian oil imports—only around 2% in 2021. Despite its recent purchases, India isn’t among the top 10 importers of Russian energy. As Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar pointed out last month, this is unlikely to change. Most of Indian energy comes from Gulf nations that are friendly to America. As of 2020, its top three oil suppliers were Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while its top gas suppliers were Qatar and the U.S. With access to reliable energy supplies from the Gulf, Indian refiners don’t need to turn to faraway Russia.

------

India’s reliance on Russian arms has been declining—down from 69% of Indian arms purchases in 2012-16 to 46% in 2017-21. Western sanctions on Russia could accelerate this decline by undermining Russia’s ability to maintain a sophisticated defense-industrial base. Russia’s battlefield losses may also force its arms producers to focus on replenishing its own stocks over expanding exports. And though Moscow has been a reliable strategic partner to New Delhi in the past, its growing closeness to Beijing makes it less dependable. Mr. Tellis predicts a continued “gentle decline” in Indian arms imports from Russia, at least compared with India’s imports from other nations such as the U.S., Israel and France.

Riaz Haq said...

India Arming Its Russian Choppers With Israeli Anti-Tank Missiles

https://www.thedefensepost.com/2022/04/26/india-choppers-anti-tank-missiles/


India is arming its fleet of Russian-origin Mi-17V5 helicopters with Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles, Asia News International hasreported.

A limited number of Rafael Spike NLOS (Non-Line-of-Sight) missiles have been ordered, while a larger quantity of the munition will be locally manufactured, the news outlet added, citing sources.

The deployment of tanks and infantry combat vehicles by the People’s Liberation Army along the mountainous Line of Actual Control during a faceoff with the Indian Army two years ago prompted the Indian Air Force to purchase the weapon.

The missile can target armored vehicles, mobile air defenses, and command and control posts.

Riaz Haq said...

“Drones do the talking in Pakistan’s anti-#terror offensive”. #Pakistan has launched a #drone campaign in #Afghanistan against the #TTP– the Pakistani #Taliban, after the #Afghan Taliban’s failure to crack down on the TTP on Afghan soil https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/drones-do-talking-pakistan-s-anti-terror-offensive, via @LowyInstitute


On 16 April, two days after eight Pakistani soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack on a military convoy near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in North Waziristan District, Pakistan military drones targeted TTP hideouts in the Khost and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan. Pakistani officials claimed that the TTP suffered huge losses after its bases near the Afghan border were hit by the strikes.

Pakistan’s attack was in retaliation for the spike in cross-border terrorist attacks that followed an announcement by the TTP on 30 March of a spring offensive during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The TTP still has between 3,000 and 5,000 fighters in Afghanistan according to a recent report by UN monitors.

Contrary to Islamabad’s optimism, Pakistan has witnessed an exponential rise in attacks on the country’s security forces since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August. It appears that Taliban rule has actually emboldened and strengthened the TTP. The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan last year, which significantly reduced US air strikes in the region, also allowed the TTP to operate with increased impunity.

The Taliban has done little to counter the TTP, besides facilitating talks last October between Pakistan and the banned group, and suggesting that Islamabad declare amnesty for the TTP. The October talks failed after the TTP declared an end to a month-long ceasefire with Pakistan in December.

Although Pakistan has repeatedly pressed the Taliban to crack down on the TTP, it’s likely that the Taliban’s reticence is driven by a fear of pushing the group towards Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K). The IS-K is already involved in terrorist activity in the strife-torn country and its actions threaten to destabilise the Taliban government.

Islamabad has conveyed to Kabul that the Afghan government could use a crackdown on the TTP as a test case to address not only Pakistan’s concerns but also establish Afghanistan’s credentials internationally with regards to dealing with terrorist outfits. Use of Afghan territory by the TTP to launch attacks on Pakistan contradicts the Taliban’s commitment made under the 2020 Doha accord with the United States and the international community that Afghanistan would not become a launchpad for attacks by al-Qaeda or other outfits against a third country.

Disappointed by the Taliban, Islamabad ultimately resorted to the much criticised drone attacks, previously used by US forces against Islamic extremists in the so-called Af-Pak region. Pakistan developed its own military drone and used it successfully for the first time in September 2015 in a counterterrorism operation against Pakistan Taliban in its northwestern tribal area along the Afghanistan border.

Pakistan’s most recent drone attack escalated the Pakistan-Taliban tensions that had been on the rise since last August when the Taliban militarily conquered Kabul. In December, Taliban fighters, in a provocative move, uprooted the metal fence erected by the Pakistan military to check infiltration of TTP militants along the border. The Taliban strongly oppose what they call the “illegal” fence, but are unwilling to take the action necessary to keep the group from using Afghan soil for attacks on Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

8 years back, Modi promised to transform India’s military. Today, the plan is in disarray
A large number of standalone military reforms have been conceptualised but for inexplicable reasons have not been executed.

https://theprint.in/opinion/8-years-back-modi-promised-to-transform-indias-military-today-the-plan-is-in-disarray/942695/

Even the worst critics of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideology acknowledge that it was committed to national security and a strong military befitting an emerging power. It was expected that the BJP would give utmost priority to national security and transform the armed forces for conflicts of the 21st century. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had absolute clarity on this issue when he addressed the Combined Commanders Conference on 15 December 2015 — “Modernisation and expansion of forces at the same time is a difficult and unnecessary goal. We need forces that are agile, mobile and driven by technology, not just human valour. We need capabilities to win swift wars, for we will not have the luxury of long drawn battles.”

Eight years down the line, the transformation process Modi directed to be implemented, is in disarray. There has been much rhetoric from the political and military hierarchy and the media, based on “reliable sources”, dutifully gave out details of numerous standalone reforms in the offing. However, despite the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff on 31 December 2019, none of the major reforms except a policy with respect to atmanirbharta or self-reliance in defence equipment, which is yet to bear fruit, have fructified.

The political leadership has neither “owned” the transformation by giving clear strategic directions and laying down the process with timelines, nor shown the drive to supervise the execution. Consequently, a “bottom up approach” from a statusquoist military known for inter-Service squabbles was adopted. Non-appointment of a CDS — who could have at least continued to coordinate this flawed approach — for five months, only proves the point.

Own the transformation and correct the process
Historically, transformation of the military is politically driven. The government must carry out a long-term strategic review to evolve ‘National Security Perspective 2050’. From this must emerge a progressive National Security Strategy reviewed periodically and matched with the forecast of the GDP. This is the responsibility of the government and not the military and has been pending with the National Security Advisor since 2018.

----------------

Make a fresh start
Let there be no doubt that, so far, no tangible major reforms have taken place towards transformation of the armed forces. Indeed, a large number of standalone reforms have been conceptualised but for inexplicable reasons have not been executed. The government failed to own the transformation by not formalising a National Security Strategy, issuing formal directions to the armed forces and supervising/coordinating the execution by setting up an empowered committee under the defence minister.

The armed forces too failed to rise to the occasion. They should have seized the opportunity opened by cryptic directions of the Prime Minister given during the Combined Commanders Conferences and systematically reformed from within. More so, when the draft for the Prime Minister’s speech is forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office by the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The government and the military must get back to the drawing board and make a fresh start.

Lt Gen H S Panag PVSM, AVSM (R) served in the Indian Army for 40 years. He was GOC in C Northern Command and Central Command. Post retirement, he was Member of Armed Forces Tribunal. Views are personal.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's ‘Harba’ Missile - How Is Indian Navy Preparing To Defend Itself From Moskva-Like Incident

https://eurasiantimes.com/pakistans-harba-missile-how-is-indian-navy-preparing/

Pakistan’s ‘Harba’ Missile – How Is Indian Navy Preparing To Defend Itself From Moskva-Like Incidents?
By
Haider Abbas
May 1, 2022
Alarm bells rang out through India’s defense establishment on April 14, 2022, as the Russian warship Moskva was sunk by Ukrainian Neptune missiles.

In the name of national security, India needed to immediately probe and uncover how one of the world’s mightiest naval forces could lose such a prestigious warship? More so, at the hands of a so-called “underdog” like Ukraine. Furthermore, could India face a similar strategic threat from its own “underdog” neighbor Pakistan?

Soaring High! India’s LCA Tejas To Undergo Critical Testing While Delhi Eyes ‘Debut Deal’ With Malaysia
This was a debacle for Russia, one that India needs to urgently focus on to dissect and learn from. Large portions of India’s arms and weaponry bear the “made-in-Russia” seal.

Russia has been India’s largest supplier of arms and experts in New Delhi would be keenly watching the performance of Russian military hardware in the Ukrainian conflict.

-------------

Pak's Harba missile: How India is preparing to prevent Moskva like incident
Published on May 06, 2022 07:26 PM IST
Since sinking of Russian flagship cruiser- Moskva, after being hit by a Ukrainian missile. India has been keeping a close watch on Pakistan navy’s anti-ship missile - Harba. In March 2022, Pakistan showcased its anti-ship cruise missile Harba for the first time in Qatar. It was developed for Pakistan navy to create an indigenous solution for its vessels. Watch this video for more. #Habra #India #Pakistan #Russia #Moskva #Navy #Ukraine

https://www.hindustantimes.com/videos/world-news/paks-harba-missile-threat-how-india-preparing-to-prevent-moskva-like-incident-101651845149904.html

Riaz Haq said...

The US intelligence community is carrying out a sweeping internal review of how it assesses the fighting power of foreign militaries amid mounting pressure from key lawmakers on Capitol Hill who say officials have failed twice in one year on the two major foreign policy crises faced by the Biden administration in Ukraine and Afghanistan.

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday sent a classified letter to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Defense Department and the CIA pointing out that the agencies broadly underestimated how long the Ukrainian military would be able to fend off Russian forces and overestimated how long Afghan fighters would hold out against the Taliban last summer after the US withdrawal from the country, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. They questioned the methodology behind the intelligence community's assessments, and the underlying assumptions behind them, the sources said.
CNN has learned that one smaller intelligence agency within the State Department did more accurately assess the Ukrainian military's capability to resist Russia. But while that assessment was shared within the US government, it did not override the wider intelligence community's predictions.


https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/13/politics/us-intelligence-review-ukraine/index.html

Current and former intelligence officials acknowledge that only looking at military "capabilities" leaves out the quintessentially human factors that could prove decisive. Assessing a population's will to fight is an art, not a science, that defies purely data-driven analysis, the senior State Department official said. But, the official said, it is a key element to determining how successful a military will be in a fight.
"The basic challenge is, you can see what you can count: so you know something about the armaments they have and you can maybe see something about the training they have," said Treverton.
"But the things that matter are all intangible," he said. "You just don't know how good they're going to be and how willing they're going to be to fight. I've never seen us have much by way of a good method for doing that."

Riaz Haq said...

Ukraine crisis: Could India cut its defence ties with Russia?


https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-61274042

"There's strong reason to believe that... Russia will be unable to fulfil its contractual commitments to India with delivery of all of the S-400 system," says Mr Lalwani.

He also believes that the losses Russia has incurred in Ukraine could mean it may not be able to meet India's needs "because it will be desperate to use all the spares to replenish its own forces".

Why is Russia losing so many tanks in Ukraine?
And he says Indian policymakers may be taking note of some of the issues that have faced Russian battlefield equipment and munitions in Ukraine.

Could India manage without Russian arms?
That looks unlikely at the moment.

A US Congressional report in October last year said that the "Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian-supplied equipment and will continue to rely on Russian weapons systems in the near and middle term".

The report noted that Russia offers its weapons at relatively attractive prices.

Sangeeta Saxena, editor of Delhi-based Aviation and Defence Universe, says the Indian army in particular will continue to keep buying from Russia.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan to launch 3rd Babur class guided missile heavy corvette this month

https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/13-May-2022/pakistan-to-launch-3rd-babur-class-guided-missile-heavy-corvette-this-month


According to the Pakistan Strategic Forum, "The class of four Babur corvettes are being built under the joint venture MILGEM project between Pakistan and Turkey, with 2 ships being built in Istanbul, Turkey and 2 in Karachi, Pakistan at a cost of around $1.5 Billion to the Pakistan Navy. The Babur Class Corvettes are 3,000 tonne multi-mission platforms, equipped for anti-ship warfare (AShW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) as well as anti-air warfare (AAW).

"In the Anti-Surface category, the corvettes will be armed with ATMACA anti-ship missiles, with two four-cell launchers. ASuW helicopters can also be deployed from the ship, carrying anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons.

"In anti-air warfare, the corvettes have a 12 cell GWS-26 vertical launch system (VLS) that carries the MBDA Albatros NG/Common Anti-Air Modular Missile-Extended Range (CAMM-ER) surface-to-air missile (SAM) with a range of between 50-65 kilometres. The Babur-class will also use an Aselsan Gökdeniz dual 35 mm close-in-weapon-system (CIWS) with Aselsan ATOM airburst ammunition for terminal and point air defense.

"In Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), the corvettes have two 3-cell 324 mm lightweight torpedoes launchers as well as the Yakamos hull-mounted sonar and a HIZIR towed array sonar system as well as decoy. ASW helicopters can also be deployed from the ship with submarine hunter-killer capabilities.

"Other weapons systems include a 76 mm OTO Melara Super Rapid main naval gun and two Aselsan STOP 25 mm machine guns. The ships will also have a 10-ton capacity helicopter hangar and deck. The warships have a range of 9,300 kilometres and are powered by General Electric LM2500 CODAD engines.

"The electronics suit for the four ships will be supplied by Aselsan at a cost of 215 million dollars which includes a main 3D AESA S-band naval radar, ASELSAN ALPER LPI Surface Radar, AKREP (AKR-D Block B-1/2) Fire Control Radar, SATCOM, a new network-oriented battle-management system, ARES-2NC ESM modules, ELINT and SIGINT modules, Electronic Warfare (EW) modules, SeaEye-AHTAPOT EO Reconnaisance and Survellience System, ASELSAN Piri (Infrared Search and Track) IRST system, as well as the Yakamos hull-mounted sonar system and HIZIR torpedo countermeasure system. The HIZIR is a complete suite consisting of a towed array, decoy array and expendable decoys."

Riaz Haq said...

Is Indian Navy's aircraft carrier a big threat to Pakistan Navy?

https://cscr.pk/explore/themes/defense-security/is-indian-aircraft-carrier-a-big-threat-for-pakistan-navy/


The possession of an aircraft carrier is of significant value for any navy. The idea behind the development of an aircraft carrier is to project power at a long distance in peacetime and achieve air dominance at sea during a war. It restricts the adversary warships outside of a designated area, acts as a coercive tool, protects interests at sea, and exercises influence over an area. All major powers having interests outside of their territories have developed them, especially after World War II when the potential of carriers to strike targets accurately at a long-distance using aircraft was effectively demonstrated. India operates one aircraft carrier; another is under sea trials, and the third one is planned. The possession of these carriers lifts India as a major power in the Indian Ocean Region. However, the possession of carriers may have more utility during peacetime than a full-fledged war due to the growing effectiveness and success of anti-ship capabilities.

Indian Maritime Doctrine and Aircraft Carriers

Indian Maritime Doctrine outlines a large area as an area of interest for the Indian Navy to strengthen its position as a blue water force capable of operating and projecting power beyond its home waters. The doctrine enlists primary, secondary, and “other areas” as areas of interest based on the location of the Indian Diaspora and overseas investments vital for the Indian Navy. It also enlists various enabling concepts to protect interests in these areas like “sea control” and “sea denial.”

The backbone of a blue water navy is the aircraft carrier and the Indian Navy plans to possess three aircraft carriers in total, giving it the flexibility to have two operational carriers all the times. INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier with a displacement of 45,000 tons is the current operational carrier of India. The under-trial carrier is domestically built INS Vikrant and is slated to be commissioned early next year. The construction of follow-on to Vikrant is being debated in India due to the questions on the utility of aircraft carriers in comparison to submarines. It has not been approved by the Indian Government yet. Indian Navy operates two squadrons of MiG 29K carrier-borne multi-role aircraft inducted in 2010. Various operational problems have been observed in the aircraft like engine, airframe, and fly-by-wire system.

Limitations of Indian Aircraft Carriers

While the anti-ship capabilities are becoming common, more advanced, and precise, Indian carriers are not among the most advanced in the world. There are also certain limitations of the Indian carriers to operate and effectively project power against Pakistan. Firstly, Indian carriers have limited displacement and can carry up to 36 mixes of aircraft. The limited displacement also means reduced fuel load and an operational range of aircraft, forcing it to operate near the adversary. Displacement capacity also impacts the weapons load on the aircraft. Secondly, the aircraft on the carriers are allocated defensive and offensive roles. Increasing numbers for one role can have catastrophic implications for the other. Thirdly, take-off and landing on the carrier are totally different from ground-based landing and take-off. Indian carriers use Short Take-off But Assisted Recovery (STOBAR) take-off and landing system, which has a slower take-off rate than the more advanced Catapult Assisted Take-off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) system.

Riaz Haq said...

Is Indian Navy's aircraft carrier a big threat to Pakistan Navy?

https://cscr.pk/explore/themes/defense-security/is-indian-aircraft-carrier-a-big-threat-for-pakistan-navy/

Pakistan’s Counter Options against Aircraft Carriers

Pakistan is beefing up its muscles against the increasing number of Indian warships and capabilities. Part of its efforts is focused on developing anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities. It is developing various anti-ship capabilities to effectively neutralize the Indian advantage of large numbers of warships and aircraft carriers. There are three layers of defence against Indian aircraft if deployed against Pakistan.

Firstly, Pakistan deploys anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) on its submarines. Pakistan currently operates two Agosta-70 submarines that can fire Harpoon anti-ship missiles, three Agosta 90B submarines that can carry Exocet anti-ship missiles. Eight submarines are on order from China which will also have anti-ship capabilities. Secondly, it has also developed or acquired several ASCMs such as Harba ASCM launched from the ship and the air-launched CM-400AKG anti-ship missile with supersonic speed. The coastal/land-based Zarb ASCM provides the third line of defence in the coastal waters of Pakistan against the intruding carrier. The Navy is also reportedly developing a supersonic cruise missile and an anti-ship ballistic missile. The development of anti-ship ballistic missiles will create a long buffer zone against the Indian carrier depending on the missile’s range.

Indian Navy will seriously consider the growing effectiveness of Pakistan’s anti-ship capabilities for the deployment of its carriers. These capabilities will force Indian carriers to operate from a safer distance making it less useful against the country. Even if trying to carry out a blockade of Pakistan or achieve air dominance against Pakistan in the Arabian sea, it risks its survival against Pakistan’s potent anti-ship capabilities.

Riaz Haq said...

Early in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it wasn’t just Moscow that believed its offensive could succeed quickly. In February, even U.S. officials warned Kyiv could fall in days.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-a-simple-ratio-came-to-influence-military-strategy-11652434202

Russians had numbers on their side, or more precisely a number: the 3:1 rule, the ratio by which attackers must outnumber defenders in order to prevail. It is one of several “force ratios” popular in military strategy. Russia, it seemed, could amass that advantage.

The war in Ukraine has brought renewed interest in force ratios. Other ratios in military doctrine include the numbers needed to defeat unprepared defenders, resist counterinsurgencies or counterattack flanks. Though they sound like rules of thumb for a board game like Risk, the ratios have been taught to generations of both American and Soviet and then Russian tacticians, and provide intuitive support for the idea Ukraine was extremely vulnerable.

“I would imagine that most of them are thinking in those terms, that you need something on the order of a 3:1 advantage to break through,” said John Mearsheimer, a University of Chicago professor whose work focuses on security competition between great powers. “It’s clear in this case that the Russians badly miscalculated.”

Modern versions of the 3:1 rule apply to local sectors of combat. A Rand Corp. study determined a theater-wide 1.5-to-1 advantage would allow attackers to achieve 3:1 ratios in certain sectors.

Overall, Russia’s military has quadruple the personnel and infantry vehicles, triple the artillery and tanks, and nearly 10 times the armored personnel carriers, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the London-based think tank.

With 190,000 Russian troops concentrated to invade in February, and Ukraine’s military spread across the country, (only 30,000 troops, for example, were estimated to be in Ukraine’s east near the Donbas region) it appeared Russia had the numbers to overwhelm Ukraine.

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Ratios don’t account for Western intelligence and materiel support, for Ukrainian resolve, for low Russian morale, for Russia’s logistical struggles, or for severe Russian tactical errors, like leaving tanks exposed in columns on major roadways, Mr. Biddle said.

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These ratios originate from 19th-century European land wars.

In his seminal 1832 text on military strategy, “On War,” the Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz proclaimed: “The defensive form of warfare is intrinsically stronger than the offensive.” By the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Prussians distilled this to requiring triple the attackers. Prussia decisively triumphed; maybe they were on to something.

World War I, with years of stalemate in the trenches as combatants struggled to break through defenses, lent further credibility to the idea.

English Brigadier-General James Edmonds, writing shortly after World War I, recorded an early version of the rule: “It used to be reckoned in Germany that to turn out of a position an ebenbürtigen foe—that is, a foe equal in all respects, courage, training, morale and equipment—required threefold numbers.”

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Still, he said of Ukraine: “It’s obvious in this case, the force ratio, the number of static units, are a very poor predictor of what’s going to happen on the battlefield.”

To Mr. Epstein, force ratios exemplify a quip from the writer H.L. Mencken—and a lesson Russia is learning the hard way:

“There is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.”

Riaz Haq said...

India may buy Rafales to give its aircraft carriers more strike options
Navy plans to buy 26 MRCBFs, so that INS Vikrant has more strike options

https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/india-may-buy-rafales-to-give-its-aircraft-carriers-more-strike-options-122051600018_1.html

The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant, the Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1), is undergoing lengthy sea trials, after which it will enter operational service late this year.

With the 45 Russian MiG-29K/KUB fighters notorious for their unreliability, the Navy plans to urgently procure 26 multi-role carrier-borne fighters (MRCBF) from an international vendor, so that INS Vikrant has more strike options besides the unreliable MiG-29s. With INS Vikrant likely to be followed by a second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-2) named INS Vishal, another 31 MRCBFs will be ...

Riaz Haq said...

Boeing, Dassault ‘Fire Salvo At Each Other’ As Both Eye Multi-Billion Fighter Jet Deal For Indian Navy

https://eurasiantimes.com/boeing-dassault-pr-teams-fire-salvo-at-each-other/

As the Indian Navy plans to procure an aircraft carrier-borne fighter, US defense giant Boeing is confident of its F/A-18E Super Hornets, sidelining the French Rafale jets challenge.


Later this month, Boeing will display the aircraft’s potential at the Indian Navy’s Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa in Goa. The F/A-18E Super Hornet will be put to the test for a few weeks until June. The facility has been chosen as it has a ski jump modeled after the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Alain Garcia, vice-president of India business development, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, and Global Services, said – the aircraft will conduct jobs requested by the Indian Navy and in different configurations. He claimed that Boeing’s fighter jet would exceed the Indian Navy’s expectations.

Earlier in January, France displayed the capabilities of its Rafale maritime fighter jets at the SBTF.

Both Rafale-M and F/A-18 twin-engine fighters compete for India’s need to operate from the 40,000-tonne indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC). The aircraft carrier will be commissioned in August after completing sea trials, which are currently underway.


India’s multi-role carrier-borne fighters (MRCBF) procurement program seeks to acquire 57 naval jets to outfit with India’s first IAC. However, the exact figure is still being sorted out.


Garcia, who had piloted Super Hornet in the US Navy, had said that the Boeing type was ideal for India, stressing that the Block III configuration – which is about to enter US service – plays an essential role in generating a uniform tactical picture.

In an interview with FlightGlobal, he also revealed details about the aircraft’s capabilities that would be evaluated.

“He [Garcia] feels the type will integrate well with other US equipment in service with the Indian navy, such as the Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R anti-submarine warfare helicopter and Boeing P-8I Neptune, the Indian variant of the 737-derived P-8A.

Moreover, a Super Hornet acquisition would also allow the Indian Navy to work more closely with the US Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, both of which operate Super Hornets.”

Garcia mentioned the Super Hornet’s advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, wide cockpit displays, and ‘open systems’ architecture, allowing quicker electronics updates.

Is Rafale Marine A Better Option?
Dassault Aviation and Boeing have been aggressively promoting their fighter jet’s capabilities, citing substantial advantages over their rival.

One advantage the Super Hornet has over the Rafale, according to Garcia, is the ability to fold its wings, making it simpler to get into an elevator. Boeing has also designed a mechanism for Indian deck crews to load and unload the Super Hornet onto and off Indian ship elevators.

Super Hornet-Block III
File Image: Boeing-Super Hornets
Furthermore, Garcia has also previously emphasized that the Super Hornet had a twin-seat variant that operated from aircraft carriers, whereas Rafale’s naval version was only available in a single-seat configuration. Twin-seat jets are thought to be better suitable for long-distance missions and activities like electronic warfare and ground attack.

On the other hand, French news outlet La Tribune reported last month that the French government has been considering selling four used Rafale Marine jets to the Indian Navy.

The report revealed, “the sale of four used Rafale Marine to the F3-R standard is likely to give a competitive advantage to France against the Americans in the context of the Indian call for tenders to equip the INS Vikrant.

These four recently modernized devices could indeed be quickly put into service on the Indian aircraft carrier.”

Riaz Haq said...

By June 2022, India intends to deploy the S-400 missile defence system that it has received from Russia to defend itself against threat from Pakistan and China, a Pentagon spy master has told US lawmakers. India started receiving the delivery of S-400 missile defence system from Russia in December last year, Lt Gen Scott Berrier, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a recent Congressional hearing. As of October 2021, India's military was seeking to procure advanced surveillance systems to strengthen its land and sea borders and boost its offensive and defensive cyber capabilities.

https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/180522/india-to-deploy-s-400-missile-system-to-defend-against-pakistan-china.html

“In December, India received its initial delivery of the Russian S-400 air defence system, and it intends to operate the system to defend against Pakistani and Chinese threats by June 2022,” Berrier said.

“India continued to develop its own hypersonic, ballistic, cruise, and air defence missile capabilities, conducting multiple tests in 2021. India has a growing number of satellites in orbit, and it is expanding its use of space assets, likely pursuing offensive space capabilities,” he said.

Berrier told lawmakers that New Delhi is pursuing an extensive military modernisation effort encompassing air, ground, naval, and strategic nuclear forces with an emphasis on domestic defence production.

India is taking steps to establish Integrated Theatre Commands that will improve its joint capability among its three military services.

Since 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given priority to strengthen India's economy by expanding its domestic defence industry, and establishing a negative import list to curtail defence purchases from foreign suppliers.

“India's longstanding defence relationship with Russia remains strong, holding their first ‘2+2' format talks in December — a joint foreign and defence ministerial that India previously only held with the United States, Japan, and Australia.

“India has maintained a neutral stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine and continues to call for peace,” Berrier told the lawmakers.

---------

Berrier said that Chinese-Indian relations remain strained following the fatal clashes in summer 2020 between their respective forces along the Western sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

During 2021, both sides held multiple rounds of high-level diplomatic and military talks that resulted in a mutual pullback of forces from several standoff points. However, both sides maintain close to 50,000 troops along with artillery, tanks, and multiple rocket launchers, and both are building infrastructure along the LAC, he said.

Riaz Haq said...

The US is preparing a military aid package for India to deepen security ties and reduce the country’s dependence on Russian weapons, people familiar with the matter said.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-17/us-seeks-to-wean-india-from-russia-weapons-with-arms-aid-package

The package under consideration would include foreign military financing of as much as $500 million, according to one person, which would make India one of the largest recipients of such aid behind Israel and Egypt. It’s unclear when the deal would be announced, or what weapons would be included.

The effort is part of a much larger initiative by President Joe Biden’s administration to court India as a long-term security partner, despite its reluctance to criticize Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, according to a senior US official who asked not to be named.

Washington wants to be seen as a reliable partner for India across the board, the official added, and the administration is working with other nations including France to make sure Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has the equipment it needs. While India is already diversifying its military platforms away from Russia, the US wants to help make that happen faster, the official said.



The major challenge remains how to provide India major platforms like fighter jets, naval ships and battle tanks, the official said, adding that the administration is looking for a breakthrough in one of these areas. The financing package being discussed would do little to make those types of systems -- which can cost billions or tens of billions of dollars -- more affordable, but it would be a significant symbolic sign of support.



India’s Foreign Ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Officials at the State Department and US embassy in New Delhi didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.



India is the world’s largest buyer of Russian weapons, although it has scaled back that relationship of late. Over the past decade, India has bought more than $4 billion worth of military equipment from the US and more than $25 billion from Russia, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which collects data on arms transfers.

India’s dependence on Russia for weapons against neighbors China and Pakistan is a big reason Modi’s government has avoided criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine. As the US, Europe, Australia and Japan piled economic sanctions on Russia, India has held off and instead continued imports of discounted Russian oil.



While the US and its allies were initially frustrated with India, they have sought to woo Modi’s government as a key security partner -- including against China in the Indo-Pacific region. Modi is set to join a summit with Biden next week in South Korea. The meeting will include leaders from the Quad, a partnership between the U.S., India, Japan and Australia that has drawn criticism from China. Modi also received an invitation to join the Group of Seven leaders in Germany next month.



Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made the point about China when he spoke at a news conference in April with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Indian Defense Minster Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

“We’re doing all this because the United States supports India as a defense industry leader in the Indo-Pacific and a net provider of security in the region,” Austin said. “And we all understand the challenges that we face there. The People’s Republic of China is seeking to refashion the region and the international system more broadly in ways that serve its interests.”

Why the Aukus, Quad and Five Eyes Pacts Anger China: QuickTake

Links between the US and India have steadily deepened over the past two decades, with the two sides reaching agreements that allow for more interoperability between their military platforms.

Riaz Haq said...

Retired colonel speaks out on Russian TV

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61484222

Russia's mainstream media outlets offer a view of the Ukraine war that is unlike anything seen from outside of the country. For a start, they don't even call it a war. But our Russia editor reflects on a rare exchange broadcast on state TV.

It was an extraordinary piece of television.

The programme was 60 Minutes, the flagship twice-daily talk show on Russian state TV: studio discussion that promotes the Kremlin line on absolutely everything, including on President Putin's so-called "special military operation" in Ukraine.

The Kremlin still maintains that the Russian offensive is going according to plan.

But on Monday night, studio guest Mikhail Khodarenok, a military analyst and retired colonel, painted a very different picture.

He warned that "the situation [for Russia] will clearly get worse" as Ukraine receives additional military assistance from the West and that "the Ukrainian army can arm a million people".

Referring to Ukrainian soldiers, he noted: "The desire to defend their motherland very much exists. Ultimate victory on the battlefield is determined by the high morale of troops who are spilling blood for the ideas they are ready to fight for.

"The biggest problem with [Russia's] military and political situation," he continued, "is that we are in total political isolation and the whole world is against us, even if we don't want to admit it. We need to resolve this situation.

"The situation cannot be considered normal when against us, there is a coalition of 42 countries and when our resources, military-political and military-technical, are limited."

The other guests in the studio were silent. Even the host, Olga Skabeyeva, normally fierce and vocal in her defence of the Kremlin, appeared oddly subdued.

In many ways, it's a case of "I told you so" from Mr Khodarenok. Writing in Russia's Independent Military Review back in February, before Moscow attacked Ukraine, the defence analyst had criticised "enthusiastic hawks and hasty cuckoos" for claiming that Russia would easily win a war against Ukraine.

His conclusion back then: "An armed conflict with Ukraine is not in Russia's national interests."

Criticism in print is one thing. But on TV - to an audience of millions - that is another level completely. The Kremlin has gone out of its way to control the informational landscape here: shutting down independent Russian news sources and ensuring that television - the principal tool in Russia for shaping public opinion - is on message.

It is rare to hear such realistic analysis of events on Russian TV.

Rare. But not unique. In recent weeks, critical views have appeared on television here. In March, on another popular TV talk show, a Russian filmmaker told the presenter: "The war in Ukraine paints a frightening picture, it has a very oppressive influence on our society."

So what happened on 60 Minutes? Was this a spontaneous, unprompted and unexpected wake-up call on Ukraine that slipped through the net?

Or was it a pre-planned burst of reality in order to prepare the Russian public for negative news on the progress of the "special military operation"?

It's difficult to say. But as they say on the telly, stay tuned to Russian TV for further signals.

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.
BY
JOSEPH TREVITHICK
MAY 19, 2022 3:52 PM


https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/massive-drone-swarm-over-strait-decisive-in-taiwan-conflict-wargames


Wargames that the U.S. Air Force has conducted itself and in conjunction with independent organizations continue to show the immense value offered by swarms of relatively low-cost networked drones with high degrees of autonomy. In particular, simulations have shown them to be decisive factors in the scenarios regarding the defense of the island of Taiwan against a Chinese invasion.

Last week, David Ochmanek, a senior international affairs and defense researcher at the RAND Corporation and a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Development during President Barack Obama's administration, discussed the importance of unmanned platforms in Taiwan Strait crisis-related wargaming that the think tank has done in recent years. Ochmanek offered his insight during an online chat, which you can watch in full below, hosted by the Air & Space Forces Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

https://youtu.be/qYfvm-JLhPQ

At least some of RAND's work in this regard has been done in cooperation with the Air Force's Warfighting Integration Capability office, or AFWIC. Last year, the service disclosed details about a Taiwan-related wargame that AFWIC had run in 2020, which included the employment of a notional swarm of small drones, along with other unmanned platforms.

"I’m sure most everybody on this line has thought extensively about what conflict with China might look like. We think that, as force planners, we think that an invasion of Taiwan is the most appropriate scenario to use because of China’s repeatedly expressed desire to forcibly reincorporate Taiwan into the mainland if necessary and because of the severe time crunch that would be associated with defeating an invasion of Taiwan," Ochmanek offered as an introduction to RAND's modeling. "U.S. and allied forces may have as few as a week to 10 days to either defeat this invasion or accept the fait accompli. And the Chinese understand that if they’re to succeed in this, they either have to deter the United States from intervening or radically suppress our combat operations in the theater."

Ochmanek explained that the Chinese military has amassed a wide array of capable anti-access and area denial capabilities in the past two decades or so that would be brought to bear either to deter or engage any American forces, and their allies and partners, that might seek to respond to an invasion of Taiwan. This includes a diverse arsenal of ballistic and cruise missiles that could be used to neutralize U.S. bases across the Pacific region, anti-satellite weapons to destroy or degrade various American space-based assets, and dense integrated air defense networks bolstered by capable combat aircraft, among other things.

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/massive-drone-swarm-over-strait-decisive-in-taiwan-conflict-wargames

"With all of this, our forces are going to be confronted with the need to not just gain air superiority, which is always a priority for the commander, but to actually reach into this contested battlespace, ...and find the enemy and engage the enemy’s operational center of gravity – those hundreds of ships carrying the amphibious forces across Strait, the airborne air assault aircraft carrying light infantry across the Strait," he continued. There will be a need to "do that even in the absence of air superiority, which is a very different concept of operations from what our forces have operated with in the post-Cold War era."

Those operational realities present immense challenges for the U.S. military in responding to a potential future Chinese invasion of Taiwan. U.S. military wargames exploring potential cross-strait crisis scenarios in recent years has more often than not, to put mildly, produced less than encouraging results when it comes to the performance of the American side.

Ochmanek says that modeling that RAND has done, including simulations conducted in cooperation with the Air Force, shows that large numbers of unmanned aircraft, especially relatively small and inexpensive designs capable of operating as fully-autonomous swarms using a distributed "mesh" data-sharing network, have shown themselves to be absolutely essential for coming out on top in these wargames.

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/massive-drone-swarm-over-strait-decisive-in-taiwan-conflict-wargames

The former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense outlined one broad, but still detailed scenario for how such a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) would be employed in the defense of Taiwan:

"We're doing some simulations that capture scenarios in which we’re trying to rapidly sink that invasion fleet in the Strait. We’re also trying to clear the skies of PLA [People's Liberation Army, the Chinese military] fighters, transports, and attack helos, [and] transport helos. So, think of this. Imagine 1,000 unmanned UAVs over Taiwan and over the Taiwan Strait. They are not large aircraft, but they are flying at high subsonic speed. You can imagine making their radar cross section indistinguishable from that of an F-35. And the UAVs are basically out in front. They’re doing the sensing mission. Manned aircraft are kind of hanging back. Imagine now being an SA-21 [S-400 surface to air missile system] operator on the mainland of China or on one of the surface action groups trying to project [power], your scopes are flooded with things that you gotta kill. If you don’t kill those sensors, we’re gonna find you. And if we find you, we’re gonna kill you. So, A, we’re creating defilade if you will, camouflage, for the manned aircraft to hide behind.

B, we’re potentially exhausting the enemy’s magazines of expensive SAMs, and on the right side of the cost-exchange ratio. C, you could put some jammers on a few of these UAVs, as well, to further suppress the effectiveness of the SAMs. And then, the key is, these UAVs create a sensing grid that tells you where the targets are on the surface, where the targets are in the air, so that the F-35s, F-22s can conduct their engagements passively. You never have to turn on your radar. You know what that means for survivability. So, we call these UAVs the pilot’s friend.

Now, I know there’s culturally there may be some sense of competition between manned and unmanned and so forth … from an operational perspective we do not see a downside in terms of the synergy between manned and unmanned in this model."

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/massive-drone-swarm-over-strait-decisive-in-taiwan-conflict-wargames

What Ochmanek laid out are exactly the kinds of significant advantages an autonomous drone swarm has the potential to offer in terms of operational flexibility, as well as cost, over manned aircraft, something that The War Zone regularly highlights. Since the individual drones in an autonomous swarm are designed to collaborate with each other, this means that each individual platform does not automatically have to be configured to perform all of the desired missions that the group is collectively expected to carry out.

If a single unmanned aircraft only has to act as a sensor node, weapons truck, jammer, or datalink relay, among other things, it then also opens up the option to make that platform smaller and cheaper than it would be if it had to be a more exquisite multi-role platform. Of course, as Ochmanek himself points out, a swarm offers important additional benefits in a scenario in which it is teamed directly with manned platforms.

The video below, from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) program, depicts many of drone swarm concepts that Ochmanek described.

https://youtu.be/qYfvm-JLhPQ

"For many, many years this country’s been on a vector of increasingly sophisticated, expensive platforms in ever-smaller numbers, and we’ve seen the inventory of combat aircraft in the Air Force decrease because of this ineluctable trend of increasing cost per platform. That had a strong rationale when we had technical and operational superiority over our adversaries and when in fact we were very concerned about attrition," Ochmanek said. "The advent of autonomy means that we have the opportunity now to flood the battlespace essentially with inexpensive platforms that can do the jobs that human beings have in the past done and done them actually more robustly than manned concepts."

Ochmanek highlighted how advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), and separate networked weapon concepts that the Air Force, among others, is working on now, will only add to a future autonomous swarm's capabilities in any context. He indicated that this had been an additional factor in the game-changing employment of swarms in Taiwan Strait conflict simulations.

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/massive-drone-swarm-over-strait-decisive-in-taiwan-conflict-wargames

"The image we have is you send these things out to the battlespace and they are talking so to speak among themselves. When someone ‘sees’ something of interest – oh that looks like a Renhai [People's Liberation Army Type 055 destroyer] – they’ll gang up on it, and you’ll get multiple looks ... from multiple angles," he explained. "They’ll share data. The automatic target recognition function will turn those data into a nominated target. And as weapons come in, the mesh itself will grab that weapon and say ‘your primary target is this. I’m not only going to assign you to that target, I’m going to help you hit 47 feet aft of the bow so you maximize your probability of kill against that particular platform.'"

Ochmanek acknowledged that there are concerns about the maturity of the technology needed to underpin all of this, as well as the need to mitigate various threats, especially from electronic warfare attacks. He said that RAND, at least, is confident that these challenges are surmountable, particularly through the use of a distributed 'mesh' network formed by the swarm itself, with systems that are available today.

"In a recent Air Force wargame, I was briefing this concept to the adjudication team, and I think it's fair to say the adjudicators were a little bit skeptical about all the magic we were invoking for this sensing grid. And one of them asked ‘well who’s going to command and control all these hundreds of UAVs?'" Ochmanek recounted. "I said, ‘the same guy who commands and controls the 10,000 Uber drivers on the island of Manhattan.’ It’s not Mildred sitting at a switchboard saying ‘Joe, you go to the corner of 42nd and Broadway,’ no it’s the AI. It’s not that hard given the state of current computing to imagine a system where the targeting grid is quote commanding and control itself."

At the same time, "we all know that the EMS [electromagnetic spectrum] environment in any conflict with China, or Russia for that matter, is going to be very demanding," he added. "We also know that if you want to have literally hundreds up to thousands of UAVs operating in the battlespace it’s not going to be practical to have them all be remotely piloted, particularly when your space-based comms are under intensive attack, both lethal and nonlethal."


Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/massive-drone-swarm-over-strait-decisive-in-taiwan-conflict-wargames

"We looked at eight different classes of radios in different frequency bands, we looked at different jamming threats in terms of their proximity and intensity, and so forth in the Strait, and we concluded that in the 5G band and the high 5G band, even very intensive comm jamming can’t prevent the UAVs in the mesh from communicating, from linking with one another," Ochmanek continued. "And we’re talking about a density in which there’s never more than 10 kilometers [just over 6 miles] between UAVs in that mesh. So that 10-kilometer link distance was our threshold value and we’re quite confident that, even with fair low power off-the-shelf radios, you can sustain that level of connectivity even in the presence of highly powerful jammers."

The former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense further pointed out that doing initial data processing right "at the edge" of wherever the drone swarm is operating will help reduce the amount of information that needs to be transmitted to any additional node. That, in turn, reduces the total amount of bandwidth necessary – "we’re thinking one-tenth of a megabyte per second is more than sufficient" – for the network to operate effectively, further improving its resiliency.

It's not clear exactly how much the Air Force's own internal modeling of cross-Strait conflict might reflect the work at RAND that Ochmanek described during the recent online chat. However, as already noted, RAND has worked closely with AFWIC on wargaming out these scenarios.

The autonomous drone swarm in AFWIC's 2020 Taiwan crisis wargame, which was linked together using a distributed mesh network, was cited as a key contributor to the defeat of Chinese forces in that particular scenario. "Although they were mostly used as a sensing grid, some were outfitted with weapons capable of — for instance — hitting small ships moving from the Chinese mainland across the strait," according to a report on this simulation from Defense News last year.

“An unmanned vehicle that is taking off from Taiwan and doesn’t need to fly that far can actually be pretty small. And because it’s pretty small, and you’ve got one or two sensors on it, plus a communications node, then those are not expensive.,” Lt. Gen. Clint Hinote, the Air Force's Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Integration, and Requirements, told Defense News in a related interview. "You could buy hundreds of them."

At the same time, the victory over the Chinese side in that Air Force simulation two years ago was described in subsequent reporting as "pyrrhic," pointing to still-heavy losses in personnel and materiel. During the Mitchell Institute discussion, Ochmanek specifically highlighted how the U.S. military is aware of the significant existing and emerging threats to established air bases and other facilities in any future high-end conflict, especially one against China in the Pacific, potentially over Taiwan, but has not yet mitigated those risks.

Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/massive-drone-swarm-over-strait-decisive-in-taiwan-conflict-wargames

"We have not solved the problem of the missile threat to airbases. Our active defenses are expensive. They’re not impermeable. They can be overwhelmed by modest sized salvos," he said. "And yet we need to operate from inside the threat ring in order to generate the kind of combat power that is called for by these intensive operations."

Extensive Chinese strikes against U.S. facilities across the Pacific in the opening phases of a conflict over Taiwan is a common occurrence in wargaming this scenario. Just recently, NBC News' "Meet the Press" sponsored a series of independent Taiwan Strait wargame that was run by Washington, D.C.-based Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think tank, the outcomes of which were summarized during the show's May 15 broadcast. The 'red' team, representing the regime on mainland China, was able to seize at least some Taiwanese territory in each playthrough, despite suffering significant casualties and equipment losses. It's unclear whether a U.S. military drone swarm was factored into the CNAS-led wargaming or not.

Chinese strikes on U.S. bases, including those in Japan, as part of a Taiwan invasion operation were a key factor in these simulations. Members of the 'blue' team – representing the United States, Taiwan, and their allies and partners – were surprised by this aggressiveness and suggested that this was an unrealistic portrayal, with Chinese officials more likely to work up to an intervention after first making various feints and otherwise attempting to throw the international community off-balance.

However, Lt. Gen. Hinote subsequently told Air Force Magazine that this scenario "'rhymes' with many of the things we see in our more detailed wargaming" at "the strategic and operational levels." He added that the airspace "is likely to be contested over Taiwan in a way we have not seen in a long time."

During the Mitchell Institute talk, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Ochmanek said that swarms of unmanned aircraft, especially if they are runway independent, could be part of the solution to the problem of defending against or otherwise remaining resilient in the face of Chinese strikes in a defense of Taiwan scenario. He specifically cited Kratos' XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aircraft, which is launched and recovered without the use of a runway, and that the Air Force is using as a testbed for various advanced warfighting experiments now, as one example. Kratos has previously presented a concept for a containerized launch system for the XQ-58A, which would further enable it to be rapidly and flexibly deployed, even to remote or austere locations.


Riaz Haq said...

Air Force and independent think tank simulations show giant drone swarms are key to defeating China’s invasion of Taiwan.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/massive-drone-swarm-over-strait-decisive-in-taiwan-conflict-wargames

All told, there is ever-growing evidence to support the immense and potentially game-changing value of autonomous drone swarms in any potential Taiwan Strait crisis, among other potential conflict scenarios. The U.S. government is now reportedly pushing the Taiwanese military to expand its fleets of unmanned aircraft, among other weapon systems purchases that American authorities believe would do the most to bolster the island's ability to at least resist a Chinese invasion.

This all comes as the U.S. Intelligence Community continues to assess that the Chinese military is aiming to be in a position by 2027 where it would feel confident in its ability to succeed in any future operation to retake Taiwan by force. Of course, U.S. military officials have also said that this does not mean that the People's Liberation Army would automatically launch such an intervention after that point.

It is worth noting that the Chinese military has been heavily investing itself in various advanced unmanned capabilities, including technology to enable networked swarms, and has arguably made more progress in fielding platforms than its American counterparts, as least as far as we know. A future conflict in and around the Taiwan Strait could very well see the People's Liberation Army employ its own drone swarms, launched from areas on the mainland or even ships at sea.

Regardless, concerns are growing that the long-standing potential for a conflict over Taiwan could turn into a reality. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. Air Force, or any other branches of the U.S. military, will take the necessary steps to be able to deploy an autonomous drone swarm if it becomes necessary to defend the island, which looks like it could be a decisive factor in the outcome of such a crisis.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's 3rd MILGEM corvette 'PNS BADR' launched in Karachi - Naval News

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2022/05/pakistans-3rd-milgem-corvette-pns-badr-launched-in-karachi/


Turkish state-owned company ASFAT ceremonially launched the third PN MILGEM corvette for Pakistan Navy (PN), PNS BADR (281), at Pakistan's Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) on 20 May 2022.


PN MILGEM Program consists of 4 ships, 2 ships will be built in Istanbul Shipyard Command and 2 ships will be built in KSEW. The program started on 11 March 2019. 4 ships are planned to be delivered in August 2023, February 2024, August 2024, and February 2025, respectively.

The exact configuration of the Pakistan Milgem-class ships has not been made public yet. During the Aman Naval Exercise held in February 2019, Admiral Abbasi said that Pakistan ships will be fitted with a 16-Cell VLS behind the main gun. It is expected that the Babur-class corvettes will be armed with MBDA’s Albatros NG air defence system and Harbah Anti-ship and land attack missiles.

The propulsion system for all the MILGEM ships consist of one LM2500 gas turbine in a combined diesel and gas turbine configuration with two diesel engines; total propulsion power is 31,600 kilowatts.

Turkey’s Ada-class are multipurpose corvettes able to conduct a wide a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare.

Key data:

Displacement: 2,926 tonnes
Length: 108.2 m
Beam: 14.8 m
Draft: 4.05 m
Propulsion: CODAG
Max speed: 31 knots
Range: 3500 nautical miles
Endurance: 15 days at sea
Crew: 93+40