Sunday, April 28, 2024

Russia: Putin replaces cancelled May day parade with static display

(Moscow) For the second year running the Russian dictator for life Putin has had to cancel the customary Red Square May day parade due to the threat of Kyiv spoiling the day instead he has ordered his minions to set up a static display of captured Ukrainian vehicles and armour in a pale imitation of the huge display of destroyed and captured Russian weaponry that can be found in Kyiv:

 Leopard 2 A6






Right to left: Humvee, Humvee, Pinzgauer, Saxon, ?, Mamba, Kirpi

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Russia: Pictures emerge of downed Ukrainian suicide drone

(Russia) This past year we have been regaled to numerous stories of military targets deep inside Russia getting hit, presumably by Ukrainian drones, the thing  that many found baffling was the distances involved , resulting in much speculation as well as rumour and rife such as the strike on Soltsy 2 airbase over 400 miles from the Ukraine, but only 40 from Estonia. A strike on a factory in the Alabuga special economic zone in Tatarstan (700 miles from the Ukraine border)  where Russia is making copies of the Iranian Shahed 136 suicide drone on the 2nd of April revealed a small light aircraft crashing into the factory. 

Well things have become a lot clearer when pictures of another such aircraft surfaced which had crashed landed somewhere inside Russia revealing that the Ukrainians have jury rigged a small light aircraft (Ukrainian produced Sky Ranger Nynja,) for remote control and simply added a small bomb underneath. (OFAB-100-120)

The interesting about the UAV in question is how simple it is, I mean everybody else in the world have designed and built bespoke UAVs which no doubt aren't that cheap, yet here, a small aircraft fitted out with 3D printed parts and a small bomb underneath does exactly the same job for less than half the price.

Russia: Ukraine strikes Russia overnight with suicide drones

(Krasnodar Krai)  Overnight on the 26th and into the morning of the 27th April 2023, Ukraine carried out a number of UAV strikes in the Krasnodar Krai region of Russia , which is situated to the east of the Crimea on the otherside side of the Kerch bridge.

So far it is been reported that a oil refinery and the military airfield at kushchyovskaya were struck. The interesting thing about the airfield strike is that it was where the Russians relocated their aircraft based in the Crimea , after their security could no longer be guaranteed there after numerous Ukrainian strikes. (Like the one 10 days ago on the 17th of April) in fact google maps shows over 50 aircraft based at the airfield. 

But that is only half the story. In recent months Russia has regained the momentum in its invasion of the Ukraine and one of the means it has done so is by fitting small wings onto dumb bombs adding the Russian version of GPS (Glonass) and hey presto a cheap guided weapon, which unlike the US version (JDAMS) due to its size doesnt require a direct hit to damage the target area (usually dug in troops) and the Russians have used such to devastating effect 

Well post strike video from the airfield shows the Ukrainians also destroyed a warehouse containing the glide kits for the Russians FAB bombs. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Interlude: Tina Charles - I Love To Love

Greece: Upgrade for Leopard 1A5 tank revealed.

(Athens)  Greece has a fairly large tank force consisting on paper of:

353 Leopard 2 (mix of A6 HEL and A4)
100 M60A3 
Having a belligerent neighbour in Turkey hasn't afforded Greece the luxury to cut back on its military like European countries' to the West have done these past 30 years (But as we have seen that mindset has changed since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022). In fact Turkey has actively spent a lot of time rearming over the same time, problem for Greece, it really cant afford to spend money purchasing new tanks to replace its older ones such as the 520 Leopard 1A5 tanks it has in its inventory .

Greek Leopard 1A5

So in 2022 it asked Industry for solutions regards upgrading the Leopard 1s. First off the bat was Italy with a proposal (as offered to Brazil regards upgrading its Leopard 1 tanks) to fit the turret of the Centauro 2 tank killer onto the chassis of the Leopard 1

Centauro 2

The otherday Greek company EODH, in collaboration with Belgian-Spanish DUMA and German KNDS revealed the Leopard 1HEL concept . This entails fitting a new 1,000-horsepower engine, upgrading the drivetrain, and suspension systems, which will see higher on- and off-road speeds and better obstacle-crossing capabilities.

It also involves updating the tank's turret and hull with advanced systems and technologies whilst retaining the 105mm cannon, which will allow for the large stockpile of existing ammunition to not go to waste. For protection (with lessons learnt in the Ukraine) the latest reactive and passive armour will be fitted, which will be backed up by an active protection sensor suite all of which will increase the weight of the tank to 46 tonnes.

of course this upgrade as a complete revamp of the Leopard 1 will be just that little bit more expensive than the Italian version. Just have to wait and see what the Greeks select. 

Ukraine: A huge mistake by Kyiv sees Russians advance 5 miles in hours.

(Donbas)  So during a roulement change over on the front line between the Ukrainian 47th Mechanized Brigade and its replacement the 115th Mechanized Brigade for some reason or other left the defensive positions the 47th had been holding empty, Russian forces noticing that error, cashed in by quickly sending forces to rush forward and take those positions before the 115th  took over, which resulted in the Russians advancing 5 kilometres into Ukrainian territory, only a counterattack by the Ukrainian 100th Mechanized Brigade stopped the Russians from advancing from the now captured village of Ocheretyne another 7 miles west to the town of Prohres. Huge mistake by the Ukrainians which no doubt will see some heads roll back in Kyiv.

As the map from Ukraine livemaps (below) show, if the Russians had manage to advance to Prohres along the same trainline they used to capture Ocheretyne, then the entire area below it would have become untenable and the Ukrainians would have had to retreat behind the water feature in which to regroup, which would have collapsed that sector of the Ukrainian battle line, even now it is still vulnerable and no doubt the Russians will go all out to capture it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Uk: KC 155 Self propelled gun selected as British next generation mobile fires platform

(London) The Uk has selected the German Remote-Controlled Howitzer 155mm (RCH 155) 52 calibre Wheeled Artillery Systems

to replace the 32 year old AS90 it currently employs in the self propelled artillery role.  The RCH 155 is based on the wheeled Boxer APC , of which the Uk has purchased 623

The Boxer is based around a modular design where the rear compartment  can be switched out with different modules as the mission demands 

The artillery gun module of the RCH 155 is unmanned and provides automated navigation and fire control, features fully automated gun laying, projectile and charge loading. It can fire up to 9 rounds per minute to a range of up to 40km with standard ammunition  An increased range of up to 54km is possible with Very Long Range Artillery Projectiles (VLAP). This allows for a reduced crew of 2 (driver/operator, commander). 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Iraq: Popular Mobilization Forces base attacked

(Iskandariya) A military base in Iraq housing a pro-Iranian militia has been damaged in an explosion, killing one and wounding eight. At this moment in time nobody knows who targeted the base, but naturally all eyes will be looking at Israel.

Aftermath videos of the base which is near the Iraq town of Iskandariya reveals what appears to a be a missile strike 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

NIGER: Tells US to remove its anti-terrorist forces

(Niamey) Niger like many other recent central African countries which have seen a overnight change in government by the bullet and the bomb rather than the ballot box has had no problem turning its back on the West (other than for handouts in the form of aid) and gotten into bed with…Moscow and surprise, surprise, the new government in power has informed the US to remove its forces from the country which comes months after the new government (for life) informed France to remove its forces in the country.

What is most interesting here is the western powers who operated across the Sahel using their advanced weaponry whilst able to keep something of a lid on Islamist terrorism which plagues the region, never got the upperhand. Yet in replacing the West for Russia which is currently occupied inside the Ukraine, they have sided with a country which will be unable to divert resources (military) to combat the rise in terrorism across the Sahel for a good few years and even if it prevails in the Ukraine will still be hard pushed to support its new African besties other than allowing the new military leaders for life to pad out their private bank accounts, I cant see any other reason why these countries have sided with Moscow. 

Russia: Ukraine claims to have shot down a TU-22M, 200 odd miles inside Russia.

(Stavropol) On Friday a video was released showing a Russian TU-22M bomber tumbling out of the sky whilst on fire. strategic bomber has gone down over Stavropol Krai, in the North Caucasus region of Russia.  

Kyiv claims it shot it down, whilst Moscow admitting the loss claims it was due to a technical failure which doesn’t explain why a second TU-22M which was accompanying the one which fell from the sky in flames decided to turn tail and return to base without launching the cruise missiles it was carrying. Yeah, funny that. What is most interesting about this incident , is it took place around 200 miles east of the Kerch bridge well inside Russia well out of the range of the supplied Western Air defence missiles such as Patriot and supports the widely held view that the Ukraine has somehow upgraded its ancient soviet era S200 missiles (range 190 miles+) in which to target and take out modern Russia aircraft in areas (such as the downing of the Russia Beriev A-50 AWAC aircraft) which until of late , Moscow felt its aircraft were safe to operate in.

The TU 22M is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic bomber which entered service with the Soviet Airforce in 1972, that said, the aircraft has been upgraded numerous times over the years and the latest iteration  Tu-22M3M (New engines from Tu-160M2 , 80 percent of avionics replaced or upgraded, including SVP-24-22 bombsights, a phased array NV-45 radar, GLONASS navigation system, modern digital glass cockpit and engine controls, electronic warfare countermeasures, and the ability to use precision air-to-surface weapons.) coming into service in 2018

Iran: So called Israeli counter strike apparently targeted a S300 Missile site in Isfahan

(Isfahan)  So the world woke up on the morning of Friday the 19th April 2024 to reports of Israel bombing Iran. Whilst the western media was acting like Chicken Licken proclaiming the sky was falling in, Iran very calmly was stating the very opposite, that there had been a small drone attack (As in short rage quadcopters) and its air defence system had taken care of it and that life across Iran was getting along as normal.  Anyway, satellite photos have revealed that a S300 missile system based at the north west corner of Isfahan International Airport was taken out:

So the satellite photos reveal evidence of damage to the Iranian S-300PMU2 strategic surface-to-air missile battery in Isfahan since  A probable damaged 30N6E target engagement radar was visible in imagery still on the radar hardstand. Other battery system components however have been withdrawn from the site.

Not sure what the reason was behind such a limited strike (if Israel did indeed carry one out) on a single target, but who fully understands the geopolitical foreplay of the region .

The New York Times is reporting that Israel used a  stealth missile to strike the S300 Missile site in which to send the message to Tehran that they have the capability to hit them without them seeing the attack.

Credit to Chris Biggers for the above story

Israel: Satellite Photos show little damage at IDF airbase struck by Iran

(Nevatim Air base)  So as the entire world and their dog knows, Iran in retaliation for the targeting and killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi in Damascus on the 1st of April 2024 by the IDF on the evening of 13th of April launched 300 UAVs, 30 cruise missiles and 170 Ballistic missiles at Israel these were supported by rocket fire from Lebanon by Hezballah in which to occupy and downgrade the ability of Israel's defensive systems  so as to allow the Iranian weaponry to get through and do their stuff. Well that didn’t go exactly as planned for Tehran as Israel (with a little help from friends) managed to knock out the majority of that Iranian incoming ordnance with only 7 Ballistic missiles getting through and impacting at the major IDF Nevatim airbase in the south of the country. 


 Interestingly the very airbase where the aircraft which carried out the attack on the Iranian consulate which started this whole affair took off from. Israel claimed that little damage had been caused and the base remained operational , however that claim could not be verified until Satellite photos became available and available they have and as the IDF stated, very little damage was caused with just one missile impact site on a taxiway, which has been repaired.

The actual impact point and damage can be found just below the lower runway around 2/3rd from the left and in-between the small apron and said runway on the taxis way in-between as can be identified by the small patch of new tarmac 

For the amount of ordinance launched by Iran and her proxies , Israel was very lucky, don't get me wrong, its defensive systems did exactly as they were meant to do, but 170 Ballistic missiles in anybody's book is a huge amount to defend from and whos to say next time Tehran learning from this, wont launch 340 missiles.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Interlude: Bucks Fizz - My Camera Never Lies

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Interlude: The Police - Can't Stand Losing You

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Interlude: Eagles - Take It Easy