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  • Ukraine
  • blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    Tatarstan’s head Rustam Minnikhanov said on his Telegram channel that Russian manufacturing facilities there have been subject of a drone attack.

    Looks like Ukraine might have used a modified full sized* light aircraft in this attack.   The attack was 1100 km from the nearest Ukrainian territory.  Incredible that it wasn’t intercepted by Russian AD. It would be interesting to know if it was marked with a Russian general aviation registration and using local transponder codes to look like a legit Russian light aircraft.  More ingenuity using limited resources from Ukraine.

    *I think that it would be classed as a fixed wing microlight in UK.

    https://x.com/Sierra__Alpha/status/1775140629783187612?s=20

    thols2
    Full Member

    Looks like Ukraine might have used a modified full sized* light aircraft in this attack.   The attack was 1100 km from the nearest Ukrainian territory.  Incredible that it wasn’t intercepted by Russian AD.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    Aye, I recall that. Crazy bloke! They weren’t fighting a full scale war in Europe at the time though (just a mini one in Afghanistan).

    futonrivercrossing
    Free Member

    An oil refinery was also hit today, at a similar range.

    timba
    Free Member

    @DT78

    There’s more information on drone manufacture in Russia here… https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/russias-iranian-made-uavs-technical-profile

    The Shahed 131 and 136 aka Geran-1 and Geran-2 (Geranium) in Russia. Russian made drones have been “winterised” and different warheads have been used, including one which had been made for maximising infrastructure damage according to the UK’s Conflict Armament Research organisation.

    timba
    Free Member

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has proposed changes that would include NATO being in charge of co-ordinating weapons aid to Ukraine rather than the US. It’ll be months before agreement is reached, but there is a NATO summit in July

    He’s clearly planning for the possibility of a Trump win and his proposal includes $100bn in aid over five years https://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Russian%20Offensive%20Campaign%20Assessment%20April%202%2C%202024%20%28PDF%29.pdf

    timba
    Free Member

    The US House of Representatives doesn’t officially return until 9th April.

    Marjorie Taylor Greene has already filed a motion to vacate the US Speaker should he do anything positive with the Ukraine aid bill, no Speaker, no vote. The discharge motion isn’t over the 218 signatures needed for a vote without the consent of the Speaker (191 on 22nd March) so it’s hard to see progress in the near future. There may be some arcane paragraph in the constitution somewhere, but that would surely have been wheeled out before now

    You’ve probably seen that Israel was sent military aid during the US recess period. That was a sale process rather than an aid process with different rules on informing Congress

    DT78
    Free Member

    thanks for the links interesting reading

    on the light aircraft, they are assuming it took off from ukr. I would be surprised if that was the case, you woukd expect the border to be closely watched. if it came via another route, or even took off in a remote part of russia you could see how it might be missed if eyes are on the front line. admittedly it is a long border between russia and ukr but still its astounding if you could just fly over and not be spotted

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    Agreed.  A lot of those sub 600kg fixed wing microlights have removable wings for trailering.  Take it a stage further, many are designed to be ‘homebuilt’ so are delivered in a handful of crates. It would be necky, but possible if they had a safe workshop to assemble these inside a remote part of Russia.

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    I suppose when your advanced AWACS airframes have been turned into submarines then monitoring hundreds of miles of borders becomes harder.
    If they flew it really low , and slow over unpopulated areas I can see how it made it all the way to it’s destination.
    Love to know how they “piloted” it . Pre designated GPS co ordinates I guess with maybe some sort of plc doing the in-flight adjustments or tracking and remote control but it’s a long distance for that.
    Cheap weapon though, perhaps we could gather up a few hundred tired old Cessna 150 school planes and donate them . Compared to a Tomahawk or Storm. Shadow missile be a fraction of the cost.

    timba
    Free Member

    Ukraine has struck three Russian airfields with drones:

    Morozovsk in the Rostov region, Engels in the Saratov region and Yeysk in Krasnodar

    All are in the south of Russia; Morozovsk and Yeysk are comparatively close to Ukraine but Engels is much more of a challenge

    https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2024/04/5/7449784/

    futonrivercrossing
    Free Member

    Claimed that 6 jets destroyed

    hatter
    Full Member

    Osh, nice work if true.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Seems Russia is also trying all sorts to reduce the opportunity Ukraine now has with the missing A50 planes.

    Seems though that Ukraine striking Kerch bridge is all but useless with the other railways and roads? All the same, Fresh targets.

    tthew
    Full Member

    I don’t know how you come to that conclusion.  If the bridge is gone, it’s a hellish long way for any supplies, military or otherwise to travel to Crimea from Russia. And vulnerable to also being cut by missiles/drones.

    hatter
    Full Member

    It all seems to me like a long term coordinated shaping operation to eventually give Ukraine air superiority over Crimea as the F16’s start to arrive en masse, which is currently scheduled to start in the 2nd half of 2024.

    Ukraine are in a tough spot but there’s a lot of serious stuff in the pipeline if they can hold out until late 2024/early 25.

    Even if Trump gets back in and decides to shaft them for Daddy Putin the last 6 months have seen a major stepping up from the rest of NATO to the point where the USA removing all support will be very painful, but not decisive.

    Poopscoop
    Full Member

    hatter
    Full Member
    It all seems to me like a long term coordinated shaping operation to eventually give Ukraine air superiority over Crimea as the F16’s start to arrive en masse, which is currently scheduled to start in the 2nd half of 2024.

    Anyone know how make F16’s are being delivered to Ukraine in theory?

    hatter
    Full Member

    48 and counting

    Poopscoop
    Full Member

    ^^ Got to be enough to have a pretty telling effect then.

    argee
    Full Member

    You need overall air superiority and support network, otherwise it’s just another 48 aircraft doing the same thing.

    hatter
    Full Member

    Getting the support network in place is why it’s taken so long, all the maintenance manuals are in English for instance.

    Considering Ukraine’s demonstrable talent for ‘doing more with less’ and the fact they should be back on rough parity with artillery ammunition by then, I’d say so.

    Russia’s air assets (the KA-52’s in particular) were instrumental in Ukraine’s inability to make major gains last summer, they seem determined not to make the same mistake next time and are doing everything they can to nullify Russia’s air advantage.

    mattyfez
    Full Member

    Ukraine will lose war without US aid, says Zelensky
    Kyiv will lose the war against Russia if the US congress does not approve military aid to battle Moscow’s invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said.
    “It is necessary to specifically tell Congress that if Congress does not help Ukraine, Ukraine will lose the war,” Zelensky said during a video meeting of Kyiv-organised fundraising platform United24.
    Republicans in Congress have been blocking tens of billions of dollars in military assistance for Kyiv for months.

    Ukraine just doesn’t have the resourses to keep going at the current rate of attrition…

    This bodes really badly for Europe in the first instance, that so much relliance is on aid from the US, if trump gets back in this autum.

    Very worrying.

    blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    A Russian missile corvette (Serpukhov) in Kaliningrad has suffered an onboard fire.  Apparently  “its communications and automation equipment were completely destroyed”.  Another smoking accident I’m guessing.

    https://x.com/Gerashchenko_en/status/1777343588323442924

    hatter
    Full Member

    in Kaliningrad

    I do wonder how long the status quo in Kalinigrad will hold, it’s a completely artificial statelet willed into being by Russian imperial ambitions and maintained only by the threat of the great Bear, a threat the likes of Poland are increasingly confident they can handle.

    See also Transnistria, South Ossetia etc.

    timba
    Free Member

    Ukraine’s drones have struck the 160th Training Aviation Regiment training school for Russian frontline bomber crews. It’s on the Borisoglebsk Airbase in the Voronezh region in the west of Russia

    It’s apparent that Ukraine is concentrating on the aircraft (and crews) that launch cruise missile attacks and KAB bombs against their cities and bomb their frontlines with modified FAB bombs. The bombs aren’t especially accurate, but at between 250kg and 1500kg they cause massive problems over a wide area.

    SM reports that in the earlier attacks on:
    Engels airbase, lost 7 personnel and 3x Tu-95MS strategic bombers (Kh55, Kh101 and Kh102 cruise missiles) were seriously damaged,
    Morozovsk lost 20 personnel and had 6 aircraft destroyed and 8 seriously damaged, probably a mix of Su24 (23mm cannon with options for ground attack rockets/missiles and 250kg, 500kg and 1500kg bombs) and Su34 (similar to Su24, with the addition of cruise missiles)
    Yeysk 4x Su-30SM, a gen4+ fighter (30mm cannon with options for ground attack rockets/missiles and bombs), two transport aircraft, and one Beriev Be-200 Altair flying boat https://kyivindependent.com/sources-russia-lost-7-aircraft-including-amphibious-jet-in-april-5-attack/

    Reports on the damage are confused, but are the nearest that I can see

    A drone attack on Kursk airfield slipped beneath my radar last week, but damage hasn’t been reported on.

    A Kamov Ka27 helicopter was brought down over Crimea today (10th)

    timba
    Free Member

    The US sent small arms to Ukraine that have been seized on supply runs from Iran to Houthi rebels.

    CENTCOM said the hardware included more than 5,000 AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and more than 500,000 rounds of ammunition, which is enough to equip a brigade.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/us-sends-seized-iranian-weapons-ukraine-2024-04-09/

    nickc
    Full Member

    ^^ Got to be enough to have a pretty telling effect then

    If the Russians haven’t covered the countryside in AA missiles and gun batteries I’d be amazed. It’s clear that the airspace is massively hostile to fixed wing operations, as both sides have failed to gain air-superiority. If there’s 48 being delivered a good portion of those will be non flying each day becasue of servicing, loads will be otherwise lost in training accidents, pilot error, and to enemy action. I don’t want to put a damper on it, the F16 is a good airplane it’s not a miracle-worker.

    timba
    Free Member

    Drones have attacked the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which is currently occupied by Russia. No worrying damage has been caused. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-68757082

    If I were a betting man then I’d guess that it’s an operation by Russia in an attempt to convince the world that they should be recognised as responsible keepers of ZNPP, which would be a major boost for them domestically. Both Ukraine and Russia have requested a meeting with the IAEA tomorrow

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/iaea-board-meet-ukraines-zaporizhzhia-thursday-diplomats-say-2024-04-09/

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Once again, Russia showing how stupid they can be.

    timba
    Free Member

    snip…the F16 is a good airplane it’s not a miracle-worker.

    nickc+1

    Ukraine needs long-range accurate missiles far more ATM

    48 isn’t a huge number in the grand scheme, although I think that they’ll be extremely valuable for patrolling Ukraine’s borders when this is all over

    thols2
    Full Member

    My guess is that the main job of the F16 will be air defense rather than attacking ground targets. Ukraine isn’t going to risk them doing low-level bombing runs so any attacks on land targets will be using guided missiles with the F16s kept out of range of Russian air defense.

    branes
    Full Member

    Once again, Russia showing how stupid they can be.

    Indeed. I’ll bet they’re aiming their drones at relatively benign areas of Zaporizhzhia, but with their track record I hope they’re leaving a lot of margin for error.

    timba
    Free Member

    A dam in the city of Orsk in the Orenburg region of Russia burst on Friday due to a lack of maintenance https://edition.cnn.com/2024/04/06/europe/russia-dam-flooding-orsk-intl/index.html

    Flood waters are continuing to rise and 10500 homes throughout Russia’s Ural Mountains, Siberia, Volga and areas of Kazakhstan are affected while 96000 people were evacuated in Kazakhstan https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/homes-flooded-after-ural-river-rises-quickly-russias-orenburg-2024-04-10/

    Russia has a series of new Voronezh early-warning radar sites throughout Russia to “see” ballistic missile and aircraft attacks. One site in the chain is in the Orenburg region

    Russia will continue to suffer disasters because working age men are being sent to war. The UK MoD reported that the Russian health system is under strain, not helped by 2% of doctors leaving Russia to avoid being sent to war https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2024/04/8/7450224/

    mrauer
    Full Member

    I will post this here, because this is Ukraine – related.

    An Ukrainian bicycle bag maker, sells through Etsy. I have ordered bags on three separate occasions, everything was well-made and shipped promptly. Two of my mates have also ordered bags, they also do custom orders in addition to the selection. Mostly they are not 100% waterproof, but synthetic materials still shrug off some moisture. For totally waterproof needs I use Ortlieb, these go on on the days there is no heavy rain. I got some bottle holder bags, several handlebar bags and a couple that sit on top of front racks.

    Consider supporting them…

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/LesenokBag

    rickmeister
    Full Member

    …and in a similar vein, here’s another.
    https://www.instagram.com/katelab_brand/

    I bought some of her work, it really is very well made. Delivery no problem and very high quality materials.

    In other news, another helicopter downed in Crimea….

    DT78
    Free Member

    surely russia is starting to really run out of aircraft and boats with all these losses. they arent equipment that can be replaced quickly, nor are the crews

    i also read that russia is starting to import oil and 14% of its refinary cabapability has bern damaged or destroyed.

    nickc
    Full Member

    @DT78 both Ukraine and Russia found out very quickly that without air supremacy, simple AA missile systems – some of them shoulder launched throw-away cheap-as-chips weapons, make it too costly so it’s massively difficult to maintain any sort of air war. It’s one of the reasons the war has static fronts and WW1 alike trenches. Most of the aircraft shot down on both sides now are drones.

    If you tally up all the known ‘proper’ aircraft that’ve been verified independently as lost, (fighter jets helicopters, AEW, transports, that sort of thing)  it’s about 3% of the total Russian air force fleet. There have been substantial losses to particular aircraft types; the  SU-34 fleet and the Ka-52 helicopter fleet have both borne the brunt of the losses, but overall, both sides generally don’t fly over the front lines, it’s just too dangerous. The loss of the helicopter crews and fighter pilots is probably more damaging to Russia than the airframe losses.

    Ukraine had a much older and smaller air force (about 125 fighters, helicopters and transports) and has written off 40% of them. that they’ve keep going with the teeny amount left is amazing. Ukraine did have some older SU24 that they rushed back into service, but I don’t know what’s happened to them.

    hatter
    Full Member

    Since we’re on the subject of supporting Ukranian bike companies, these racks are lovely.

    https://hyacinth.cc/

    kimbers
    Full Member

    Cant help but feeling pessimistic atm

    The russian takeover of the GOP has weakened Ukraine to the point where Russia looks set to keep grinding away and I cant see much that will stop them, as long as Putin is willing to throw ever more men at it.

    Shortage of artillery, air defense and soldiers is going to hit Ukraine harder and harder, especially if Russia launches a big offensive in the summer

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2024/04/kyiv-spring-ukraine-military-aid/678013/

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