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US-led strikes against Syria : Results

Russian top brass reveals ‘true targets’ of US-led strikes against Syria

April 16, 19:53UTC+3

According to the Defense Ministry’s spokesman, the true targets of the strike delivered by the US, the UK and France were Syrian military facilities, including airfields

 

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/.The US and its allies sought to hit Syrian military targets, including airfields, during their missile strike, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.

« The true targets of the strike delivered by the US, the UK and France on April 14 were both facilities in Barzeh and Jaramani and Syrian military facilities, including airfields, » he said.

According to Konashenkov, a photo of a facility located in the Barzeh area shows that « the destruction caused by the missile strike does not correspond to the scale of destruction from the use of three dozen cruise missiles. » « Moreover, the survey of this and other facilities revealed neither this number of ammunition fragments nor the corresponding number of craters, » he added.

A mere thirty missiles would be more than enough for destroying the facilities the Air Forces of the US, UK and France chose as targets for last Saturday’s missile strike, Konashenkov added.

« One can see perfectly well from the satellite photos circulated by the Western media these are ordinary buildings on the surface, » he said.

« I’d like to recall that the Tomahawk missile warhead is equivalent of 500 kg of the TNT depending on its type. »

« That’s why, whatever the method of computation, a mere ten missiles would be enough to destroy each of the three facilities even with account of a three-fold margin, » Gen Konashenkov pointed out.

Syria’s air defense

As many as 112 surface-to-air missiles, including 25 Pansir missiles, were used by Syria’s air defense forces to repel the strike delivered by the United States, France and the United Kingdom, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

« A total of 112 surface-to-air guided missiles were used to repel the strike, » he said, adding that 23 out of 25 missiles fired from the Pansir-S1 system had hit their targets.

« Twenty-nine missile were fired from the Buk system, with 24 of them hitting targets. Eleven missiles were fire from the Osa system. Five of them hit the targets. Thirteen missiles were fired from the S-125 system, five hit the targets. Five missiles were fired from the Strela-10 system, three hit the targets, Twenty-one missiles were fired from the Kvadrat system, eleven hit the targets. Eight missiles were fired from the S-200 systems, none hit the targets, » he said, adding that such poor performance of the S-200 system could be explained by the fact that it was meant to hit aircraft. Moreover, in his words, a missile fire from this system hit a fighter jet of one of the neighboring countries not long ago.

According to the ministry spokesman, facilities protected by air defense systems suffered practically no damages. « All of the four missiles fired at the Dumayr aerodrome were shot down; 18 missiles were fired at the Blei airfield, all were shot down; 12 missiles were fired at the Shairat aerodrome, all were shot down; two missiles were fired at the T-4 aerodrome, all were shot down; five of the nine missiles fired at the Mezze airfield were shot down; 13 out of the 16 missiles fired at the Homs aerodrome were shot down, » he said.

However only five out of the 30 missiles and guided air bombs fired at research facilities at Barze and Djaramani were shot down by Syrian air defense systems.

On April 14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom delivered a massive strike on Syrian targets in bypassing of the United Nations Security Council. According to the Russian defense ministry, the missile strike was in the small hours on Saturday. The ministry reported that a total of 103 cruise and air-to-surface missiles had been fired, 71 of them were shot down by Syria’s air defense units. Three civilians were wounded. Neither of the missiles appeared in the zone of responsibility of Russian air defense systems in Tartus and Hmeymim. Russian missile defense systems were not used.

The United States, the UK and France said the strikes had been a response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma.
http://tass.com/defense/1000148

 

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The Russians and Syrians were not lying when they claimed to have downed more than 70 of the U.S., UK and French missiles

Trump’s Big Flop In Syria by Publius Tacitus

Tacitus01

Do not believe a word you have heard from the Pentagon and the White House about the « success » of the cruise missile strikes on Friday last. A fraud is being perpetrated on the American people and the world at large. Frankly, General Mattis and General Dunford have dishonored themselves by going along with this charade.

If you could go to the CAOC (i.e., the Combined Air Operations Center) located at the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar and speak to officers working for CENTCOM, you would hear a mixture of disgust, shock and anger from many over the President’s claim of « Mission Accomplished. » And I am talking about people who have been supportive of President Trump. But Trump, with the sycophants at the Pentagon and the Joint Staff, has crossed a line into delusional thinking.

(By the way, here’s a picture of the CAOC courtesy of the US Air Force Central Command.)

170623-F-CH060-0003

Why the discontent?

There are at least three sources–First, the United States fully coordinated and deconflicted the attack in Syria with the Russians; Second, well over 50% of the TLAMs launched by the United States, France and Britain were shot down by air defense systems in Syria; and Third, the pundits (like retired General Jack Keane) and politicians who are insisting foolishly that Russia is a second rate military power and won’t hit back. 

Let’s start with the first issue of « coordination and deconfliction. » We have been in daily contact with the Russians telling them where we are flying for almost three years. Who says so? The Associated Press:

FLYING THE UNFRIENDLY SKIES

A U.S.-led coalition has been bombing Islamic State-held territory across Syria, launching 24 strikes on Thursday alone, according to the U.S. military’s Central Command. The coalition includes some 60 countries, with some launching their own strikes into Syria. Russia is waging its own bombing campaign in support of President Bashar Assad’s forces, while the Syrian government has its own air force and air defense systems. That means a lot of aircraft are flying in a small airspace, which raises the danger for pilots. In November 2015, for instance, NATO member Turkey shot down a Russian jet fighter, nearly sparking an international conflagration.

To protect pilots, Moscow and Washington opened a so-called “deconfliction line” after Russia began its bombing campaign in September 2015. On the U.S. side, it is run out of the Combined Air and Space Operations Center at the vast al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which hosts the forward headquarters of U.S. Central Command. There, air traffic controllers and senior military officers are in contact with their Russian counterparts in Syria. They share coordinates and other data to avoid midair collisions or confrontations. One U.S. pilot flying missions over Syria credited his safety to it in a recent Associated Press interview .

With this background you can now appreciate how misleading and deceptive General Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in answering the following question:

Q: I just want to clarify on the deconfliction line. You notified the Russians ahead of time before the operation began what you were going to do and what targets you were going to strike?

GEN. DUNFORD: Gordon, to be clear, the only — the only communications that took place specifically associated with this operation before the targets were struck was the normal deconfliction of the airspace, the procedures that are in place for all of our operations in Syria.

Russia was told where we were going to strike. Russia in turn warned the Syrians. Both the Syrians and the Russians evacuated key personnel and equipment from the target sites. Any claim by the United States that we caused devastating damage or destroyed essential capabilities is total fantasy.

The second issue concerns the imagined success of the U.S. TLAM strike. Before General Mattis (retired) approached the podium Friday night, he knew full well that a significant number of the inbound missiles had been shot down inside Syria. That is why Mattis closed his press conference with the following comment:

Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.

Give the old boy his due. He was inoculating the ridiculous operation against legitimate criticism by simply being able to point out that any information contrary to what the Pentagon said was « propaganda. » Of course, the enlisted and officers that staff the CAOC know differently. The Russians and Syrians were not lying when they claimed to have downed more than 70 of the U.S., UK and French missiles.

I understand the reluctance of the U.S. military leaders to admit the truth about this debacle. It would undermine the confidence of the American people is our supposedly invincible weapon systems and would embarrass and enrage the man child that inhabits the White House. Better to tell him lies and let him believe the fantasy. But this is a very dangerous game. So far the Russians have not pursued significant PR efforts to expose the U.S. lie about the missiles. Maybe they are choosing to keep quiet, like a good poker player, and not tip their hand to the American public. One of these days Trump and company will over bet in trusting the Russians not to punch back (and punch back hard) and the American people will be in for a rude awakening. They will discover that the Russians have a decided advantage over us when it comes to air defense.

A friend of mine who has expertise in these matters wrote me:

Any air defense engineer with a security clearance that isn’t lying through his teeth will admit that Russia’s air defense technology surpassed us in the 1950’s and we’ve never been able to catch up. The systems thy have in place surrounding Moscow make our Patriot 3’s look like fucking nerf guns.

Finally there is the matter of the Russians as a second rate military masquerading as a world power. Another friend who has spoken with military commanders in the CENTCOM AOR told me:

All of the knowledgeable aircraft commanders are usually scared shitless about the prospect of a legitimate air-to-air skirmish with a SU-30 or any Russian air superiority fighter.

But that is not what blowhards, like retired General Jack Keane, believe:

Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.) expressed skepticism over Russia’s threat to shoot down U.S. aircraft in Syria.

Russia’s defense ministry said planes flying in Syria, west of the Euphrates River, would be considered targets after the U.S. Navy shot down a Syrian warplane.

The Syrian SU-22 had just attacked U.S. partner forces battling ISIS and was shot down by a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet.

Keane said on « Fox & Friends » he sees the statement from the Kremlin as more « talk » and « bluster » by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

« That’s rubbish. They’re not gonna shoot at U.S. airplanes. They’re not gonna take on the United States. They have very limited capability in Syria by comparison to U.S. capability, » said Keane, a Fox News military analyst.

General Keane is confusing restraint with weakness and incompetence. That is a dangerous and potentially deadly error to make. Russia, unlike the United States, has a very clear, precise strategy in mind with respect to Syria–defeat the rebels (Islamic and otherwise) and preserve Syria as a political entity. They have been willing to roll with some of our punches because they do not want to disrupt the progress they have made.

We are reaching a point now, however, where such restraint cannot and should not be taken for granted. Our intelligence analysts know full well the type of military capabilities the Russians have put in place in Syria. One can only hope that their briefings are not dismissed as « propaganda » because it does not adhere to the party line being pushed by a delusional Donald Trump.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/trumps-big-flop-in-syria-by-publius-tacitus.html

 

US planning missile and bombing raid against Damascus — top brass

After the provocation, the US plans to accuse Syria’s government forces of using chemical weapons, according to Russia’s top brass
MOSOCW, March 13. /TASS/. Militants are preparing a provocation with the use of chemical agents in Syria to justify a massive US strike against Damascus’ government neighborhoods, Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said on Tuesday.

According to Gerasimov, Russia has hard facts about preparations for staging the use of chemical weapons against civilians by the government forces.

After the provocation, the US plans to accuse Syria’s government forces of using chemical weapons. He added that the United States plans to « furnish the so-called ‘evidence’ of the alleged mass civilian deaths through the fault of the Syrian government and the Russian leadership supporting it. »

« As a countermeasure, Washington plans to deliver a missile and bomb strike against Damascus’ government districts, » Gerasimov said.

He stressed that there are Russian military officials in Damascus in the Syrian Defense Ministry’s facilities, and « in the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s Armed Forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles. »

Retaliation

The Russian Defense Ministry is ready to take retaliatory measures against US’ possible strike over Damascus if there is any danger to the Russian military, head of the Russian General Staff added.

« At the same time, Russian military advisors, members of the Russian Reconciliation Center for the Conflicting Sides and military policemen are staying in the Syrian Defense Ministry’s facilities in Damascus. In case there is a threat to the lives of our military, the Russian Armed Force will take retaliatory measures both over the missiles and carriers that will use them, » he said.

According to Gerasimov, « events to further normalize the situation in Syria’s capital are going on. »

According to earlier reports, illegal armed groups are shelling with mortars both positions of the Syrian government forces and the residential quarters of Damascus and its suburbs.

http://tass.com/world/993678

 

Russie: l’Église orthodoxe, l’État et la société – Entretien avec Nikolaï Mitrokhine

L’orthodoxie est-elle en passe de devenir la nouvelle idéologie officielle en Russie? Dans quel sens vont les réformes entreprises par le patriarche Kirill? Régis Genté a interrogé un historien de l’orthodoxie russe, Nikolaï Mitrokhine, du Centre pour les études de l’Europe de l’Est à l’Université de Brême, en Allemagne, qui donne son point de vue sur ces sujets et d’autres aspects.

Religioscope – Commençons par ce qui fait régulièrement l’actualité en ce moment, lorsqu’il est question d’orthodoxie en Russie. Dans le cadre de son troisième mandat présidentiel, entamé en mai 2012, Vladimir Poutine semble vouloir ériger l’orthodoxie comme la colonne vertébrale d’une sorte de nouvelle idéologie officielle. Est-ce bien de cela qu’il s’agit?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Il me semble que Poutine essaie d’utiliser les valeurs traditionnelles d’une façon très large, allant du patriotisme militaire à des formes de xénophobie. Une partie de sa stratégie consiste à s’appuyer sur l’Église orthodoxe, avec sa philosophie conservatrice et son organisation institutionnelle: en effet, dans chaque région, l’Église offre des structures permettant à M. Poutine de diffuser les idées qu’il veut aujourd’hui promouvoir. L’Église russe est l’organisation qui dispose du plus grand réseau social dans la Russie moderne. De fait, en ce moment, il y a un accord entre Poutine et l’Église sur les principes idéologiques majeurs, du moins dans les grandes lignes. Nous assistons donc à la convergence de deux intérêts. L’Église veut être au centre de la définition des valeurs morales et éthiques du pays. Poutine le lui permet et l’Église lui est donc loyale. Personne sous son toit ne s’oppose à Poutine. Mais tout cela ne signifie pas non plus que l’Église est le principal pourvoyeur idéologique du Kremlin. On ne peut même pas dire que l’Église a la main sur les principes moraux et éthiques promus par le pouvoir. Elle n’est qu’un des acteurs dans ce jeu, mais pas le principal.

Vous savez, Poutine évolue beaucoup dans ses postures idéologiques. Au départ, au début des années 2000, il se voulait technocrate modernisateur et autoritaire, dominant l’élite. Maintenant, durant son troisième mandat, il a décidé de lutter contre les libéraux. Personne ne peut affirmer qu’il va conserver cette ligne idéologique jusqu’à la fin de ce mandat. Bien sûr, nous sentons que la tendance est au durcissement du régime, qui devient de plus en plus militaro-impérialiste et traditionaliste. Je crois que Poutine a une attitude très rationnelle vis à vis de l’Église. Ainsi, il fait beaucoup de gestes formels. Il félicite le patriarche chaque fois que cela est nécessaire et fait des apparitions à l’église lors des grandes occasions. Mais il n’est pas du genre à satisfaire tous les désirs de l’Église. En ce sens, l’Église en Russie se trouve vis à vis du pouvoir dans une situation plus faible qu’en Géorgie, en Moldavie, ou même en Ukraine.

Religioscope – Le chef de l’État russe tourne l’orthodoxie en idéologie anti-occidentale, comme on l’a vu par exemple avec l’affaire des lois dites «contre la propagande homosexuelle». Est-ce votre avis?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Je peux dire que l’Église orthodoxe russe a une stratégie claire pour ce qui est des relations avec l’Ouest, comme on l’observe dans les discours du patriarche Kirill, du métropolite Hilarion de Volokolamsk (qui dirige en outre le Département des relations extérieures du Patriarcat de Moscou) et d’autres personnes du même genre. Au sein de l’Église, il existe plusieurs idéologies anti-occidentales différentes. Certains craignent les catholiques, d’autres détestent les protestants, etc. Mais tous se retrouvent dans une hostilité envers l’Occident, perçu comme un objet potentiellement dangereux. Kirill travaille aussi sur le concept du soi-disant «monde russe», où tous ceux qui parlent russe, sont orthodoxes, slaves, se retrouvent en quelque sorte unis sous un même parapluie civilisationnel et conjoints par leur amour de la Russie.

L’Église russe entretient aujourd’hui de bonnes relations avec les autres Églises orthodoxes, comme celles du pourtour de la mer Noire: géorgienne, serbe, grecque, chypriote et même libanaise. Ces Églises ont même des relations commerciales entre elles, allant du vin aux icônes. Dans la presse orthodoxe russe, on lit régulièrement des portraits et des interviews de prêtres géorgiens, serbes, grecs, etc. Ces orthodoxes font aussi des pèlerinages les uns chez les autres. Si vous allez dans les églises géorgiennes, vous trouverez des icônes de sainte Matrone de Moscou (1881-1952).

Toutefois, une autre question est celle de l’évolution des relations avec les catholiques depuis dix ans. Auparavant, Jean-Paul II, slave et polonais, était considéré avec suspicion. Les orthodoxes enviaient et craignaient à la fois sa popularité. Ils avaient peur que le catholicisme ne se répande de ce fait en Russie. Puis ils ont compris que rien de tel n’arriverait. D’autant que les catholiques eux-mêmes ont mis un terme aux activités missionnaires. Avec Benoît XVI, un Allemand, le chef de l’Église catholique est devenu bien plus sympathique aux yeux des Russes et une renaissance des liens avec Rome a été souhaitée. Ce qui fait qu’aujourd’hui l’Église russe cherche à s’allier sur certaines questions avec l’Église catholique : lorsqu’il s’agit de lutter contre le mariage homosexuel, par exemple.

En fait, l’Église russe a une attitude double vis-à-vis de l’Europe: elle peut être contre l’UE comme organisation politique et les valeurs qu’elle défend, à commencer par la vision du droit des femmes ou des gays, et pour l’Europe lorsqu’elle est vue comme partageant ses valeurs, sa vision morale du monde. Ce qui fait qu’elle cherche aussi des amis européens dans le cadre d’une tentative de création d’une internationale conservatrice. C’est aussi l’une des raisons pour lesquelles elle est très à l’aise avec le nouveau discours conservateur de M. Poutine, qui se pose du même coup comme le dernier défenseur des vraies valeurs européennes. Les Russes, en ce sens, ont le sentiment de se trouver sur le bord du rivage d’où ils regardent couler le navire européen.

Religioscope – Comment l’Église, ou les divers groupes en son sein, réagissent-ils à cette utilisation de l’orthodoxie comme quasi idéologie officielle?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Globalement, elle en est ravie. Bien sûr, les rares libéraux ne sont pas heureux de cette tendance anti-humaniste adoptée par le pouvoir russe et le Patriarcat de Moscou, notamment du fait du recours direct au nationalisme. Les plus conservateurs, eux, ne sont pas contents parce qu’ils voudraient nettoyer le pays de la présence d’autres groupes ethniques ou religieux. Ces conservateurs ne goûtent guère non plus l’amélioration des relations avec les catholiques, par exemple. Mais tout cela est marginal. Aujourd’hui, il a très peu d’oppositions à l’intérieur de l’Église russe.

Religioscope – Diriez-vous que l’Église est un acteur clé du nationalisme qui s’exprime aujourd’hui en Russie? Le Patriarche et divers membres du clergé abondent régulièrement dans le sens de ceux qui ont un discours d’exclusion à l’égard des non-slaves, comme les travailleurs caucasiens ou d’Asie centrale… Nous l’avons vu après les émeutes de Biriouliovo, provoquées par le meurtre d’un Russe par un homme d’«origine caucasienne».

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Je ne crois pas du tout qu’il y a aujourd’hui un réveil du nationalisme en Russie. Il a toujours été existant dans la période moderne et il va le rester. Il est vrai que le niveau de la xénophobie est assez élevé en Russie, mais je crois que la question est ailleurs, qu’elle est différente. L’Église soutient l’humeur anti-immigrants du pays, qui a pris le relais de l’antisémitisme. Comme les juifs ont quitté notre pays, l’antisémitisme tend à diminuer. Y compris au sein de l’Église. Depuis dix ans, je n’ai pas relevé de prises de positions antisémites de la part de l’Église. En outre, la Russie porte un grand intérêt à la Terre sainte. Elle tente d’avoir de bonnes relations avec Israël. Il y a régulièrement des visites de haut niveau entre les deux pays. De toute façon, elle ne s’attaque pas aux religions traditionnelles présentes dans le pays, comme le judaïsme ou l’islam. C’est ce qui explique que l’hostilité se tourne aujourd’hui contre les immigrants, ce qui est une manifestation du nationalisme russe actuel. Mais, comme je le disais la question est plus complexe: il y a des gens qui ne sont pas Russes, ethniquement disons, et qui pourtant sont contre l’immigration.

D’une façon générale, l’Église a une position plus à droite que la majorité du spectre politique russe. Les plus modérés au sein de l’Église russe soutiennent plutôt un parti comme Rodina (Patrie). Mais beaucoup de prêtres et de membres de la haute hiérarchie ecclésiale sont plus à droite encore. Kirill représente lui-même finalement une forme de nationalisme modéré.

Religioscope – La notion d’eurasisme est promue par M. Poutine aujourd’hui, qui veut former une Union eurasienne avec d’anciennes républiques soviétiques. Comment l’Église considère-t-elle cela?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Elle ne soutient pas cette idée. Elle préfère parler de ses territoires canoniques, qui comprennent aussi les républiques musulmanes, même si elles sont indépendantes depuis la fin de l’URSS. Mais l’eurasisme n’est pas très populaire dans ses rangs. L’idée a plus de succès dans les cercles politiques. L’Église soutient davantage l’idée de l’empire russe. Idéalement, elle préférerait que les musulmans se russifient, voire se convertissent à l’orthodoxie. Elle a un peu peur du monde musulman, du moins de celui qui existe dans l’espace russe et postsoviétique. Elle est plus aisément amie avec les chiites iraniens. Ils sont loin.

Religioscope – Depuis une bonne dizaine d’années, l’Église a reçu une place particulière au sein de l’armée russe, où elle a des aumôniers, par exemple. Est-ce que cela participe de la tendance, sous le règne de M. Poutine, à accorder à l’Église russe, et par là-même aux Slaves, un statut privilégié dans l’État russed’aujourd’hui?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – L’Église russe jouit aujourd’hui d’un quasi monopole pour servir auprès de l’armée russe. Mais les militaires n’en veulent pas. Et finalement, au sein de l’Église, il n’y a pas tant de prêtres que cela qui sont prêts à y exercer leur ministère. De facto, l’expérimentation initiée par Dimitri Medvedev, lorsqu’il était le chef de l’État, d’amener davantage l’Église au sein de l’armée a échoué. Au niveau déclaratif, elle se dit prête. Mais en fait, cela ne marche pas.

Religioscope – Nous avons aujourd’hui l’impression, pendant les mandats de M. Poutine, que l’État et l’Église marchent main dans la main. Cela n’a pas toujours été le cas… Qu’est-ce qui fait qu’à présent les deux s’entendent?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Je ne suis pas d’accord avec le fond de votre question. En réalité, chacun travaille pour soi. L’Église est une grande organisation qui défend ses propres intérêts. Et le pouvoir en fait de même. L’Église veut recevoir plus d’argent de l’État et supprimer ses concurrents, ou du moins elle veut que le gouvernement ne leur donne pas d’argent. Parfois, oui, l’Église demande plus de financements étatiques et le gouvernement accède à sa demande. Parfois, elle est la seule à recevoir des fonds publics, parfois les autres confessions en reçoivent aussi.

Prenons l’exemple du programme pour soigner les drogués. Au niveau fédéral, l’Église russe se présente comme l’institution la plus à même d’aider les drogués. Elle explique, notamment devant les caméras de télévision, comment les drogués voient leur vie changer lorsqu’ils passent du temps dans ses monastères et comment elle œuvre en bonne entente avec l’agence d’État chargée de lutter contre la drogue. Mais que se passe-t-il en réalité? Prenons l’exemple d’une région, celle de Perm, où il y a une vingtaine de centres de lutte contre la toxicomanie tenus par les protestants et un seul dirigé par les orthodoxes. Ces centres protestants fonctionnent tous avec de l’argent public. Le problème de l’Église russe est qu’elle n’a pas les ressources humaines pour en faire autant. L’Église russe est moins présente qu’on ne le croit et qu’elle ne le fait croire.

Ces treize dernières années, nous avons vu deux modèles de relations entre l’Église et l’État en Russie. Celui de Poutine est le plus rationnel: le pouvoir calcule s’il a besoin d’aider l’Église ou pas. Le plus souvent, il ne lui a rien donné, contrairement à Eltsine qui, a son époque, avait beaucoup donné à l’Église. Celle-ci voulait créer une taxe pour se financer, cela lui a été refusé. Elle voulait sa chaîne de télévision fédérale, cela lui a été refusé. Elle a cherché le soutien du Kremlin pour lutter contre l’Église catholique, expulser des prêtres catholiques, mais le pouvoir ne l’a pas aidée à le faire et, au contraire, l’en a dissuadée. Avec Medvedev, président de 2008 à 2012, l’approche du Kremlin avait été plus idéaliste vis-à-vis de l’Église. Il avait d’abord fait des choses pour elle: en lui restituant des propriétés, alors que le processus s’était quasi arrêté sous Poutine; en lui ouvrant davantage les portes de l’armée; en l’autorisant à donner des cours sur la culture orthodoxe à l’école. Cela lui avait été refusé avant, sous la présidence de Poutine, lui qui ne donne jamais rien sans contrepartie. Ce qui explique qu’avec M. Poutine, on a souvent vu le Patriarcat russe prendre des positions opposées à celles de Kremlin, que ce soit en 2005 lors des manifestations des retraités ou en 2008 au sujet de la guerre en Géorgie, préférant conserver des bonnes relations avec l’Église orthodoxe géorgienne.

Religioscope – L’Église russe est active sur le plan international? Quelles sont ses ambitions à cet égard?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Son ambition est d’être le leader spirituel de toute l’émigration russe, laquelle devient de plus en plus importante. Avec le soutien du ministère des Affaires étrangères, elle cultive sa présence dans plusieurs endroits du monde. Sa deuxième ambition est de devenir la plus influente Église orthodoxe du monde. [Elle l’est numériquement, mais, dans l’ordre de préséance ecclésiastique], elle n’est aujourd’hui que la sixième Église orthodoxe du monde. Elle veut s’affirmer comme la plus importante d’entre elles, en soutenant les Églises de taille plus modeste. Elle se trouve en rivalité avec Constantinople [pour le leadership du monde orthodoxe].

Une des grandes questions pour l’Église russe est le maintien de son influence sur l’Église ukrainienne, qui tend à prendre de plus en plus d’autonomie [1]. Nul ne sait comment cela va se terminer. Si la Russie perdait l’Ukraine, elle perdrait beaucoup de son poids, compte tenu du nombre de paroisses ukrainiennes, qui sont presqu’aussi nombreuses que les russes.

Religioscope – Depuis deux ans, le Patriarche Kirill transforme son Église pour la faire passez, avez-vous écrit, d’une administration «féodale» à un modèle ressemblant à celui de «l’absolutisme éclairé»; que vouliez-vous dire?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Jusqu’à Kirill, son organisation était féodale. Le patriarche était jusqu’alors important, mais entouré d’autres personnalités puissantes qui occupaient les principaux postes en haut de la hiérarchie. Il était comme le plus premier d’entre les évêques, rien d’autre. L’Église russe n’a pas la même tradition que l’Église catholique, où la voix du pape fait autorité. Dans le cas russe, la voix du patriarche n’était rien tant qu’elle n’était pas soutenue par le Synode. Dans les régions il y avait beaucoup d’évêques nommés par le synode et très indépendants vis-à-vis du patriarche.

Kirill a commencé à changer le système pour le transformer en un absolutisme éclairé, afin de renforcer son pouvoir en tant qu’administrateur. Il a donc créé une sorte d’organe de gouvernement de l’Église qui s’appelle le Conseil suprême de l’Église. Les membres de cet organe collectif de décision obéissent au patriarche en tant que primat de l’Église. L’équilibre des pouvoirs est désormais différent: le pouvoir du Saint-Synode a diminué [2].

En Ukraine a été créé un autre type de conseil, qui rappelle un peu les États généraux de la Révolution française. Les membres sont plus jeunes et des laïcs y siègent également. Le patriarche les écoute et, s’il juge leurs idées intéressantes, il les applique. Kirill a très bien compris la nécessité de moderniser l’Église. Il a aussi réformé la structure des évêchés en Russie. Auparavant, il y avait un évêque par région; maintenant, il a créé un système de métropolites qui dirigent chacun un groupe de trois évêques. Il s’agissait d’être plus efficace pour mieux gérer les paroisses. À la fin de la période communiste, un évêché comprenait entre 40 et 80 paroisses. Aujourd’hui, cela peut aller jusqu’à 200. Ce n’était plus gérable. Au final, l’évêque a plus de contrôle sur les prêtres. Cela permet aussi de mieux collecter les taxes de l’Église. Aujourd’hui, c’est une structure plus complexe et plus formelle. Kirill s’est ainsi donné les moyens de contrôler tous les aspects de la vie de l’Église.

Religioscope – L’effort de Kirill, entrepris par son prédécesseur Alexeï, a été d’inclure des paroisses dans de nouveaux organes, plus inclusifs. Qu’étaient des paroisses, ces prêtres, ces congrégations, qui échappaient au contrôle du Patriarcat?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – L’Église orthodoxe russe est très grande. Beaucoup y avaient l’habitude d’être indépendants. Ceux-ci tentent aujourd’hui de conserver cette indépendance en résistant. Concrètement, par exemple, si un évêque est nommé quelque part et dicte en arrivant de nouvelles règles qui ne plaisent pas, certains vont lui résister et chercher des informations compromettantes à son sujet, sur ses orientations sexuelles éventuellement, ou sur son non respect des règles financières en vigueur. Ils s’appuieront à l’occasion sur l’administration locale ou les organes de sécurité pour le discréditer. Cette nouvelle gestion a dû faire face à la vieille réalité de la Russie.

Religioscope – Vous dites qu’il y avait des motivations à la fois financières et une crainte d’éventuels schismes. Parlons d’abord de la question financière? De quoi s’agit-il? Et l’Église russe est-elle riche?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Parmi les prêtres et les éparchies, il y en a qui sont riches, certaines paroisses riches et certaines éparchies sont riches, mais, en général, l’Église en tant qu’organisation n’est pas très riche. Les finances de l’Église sont dispersées entre des dizaines de milliers d’entités particulières. Le budget général de l’Église est petit, parce que les éparchies ne versent presque rien au centre administratif, au Patriarcat de Moscou. Maintenant, celui-ci s’appuie sur les amendements de la Charte de l’Église orthodoxe de Russie pour augmenter ses rentrées d’argent en provenance des éparchies, mais sans grand succès, me semble-t-il. L’un des objectifs de la réforme des structures de l’Église de Russie, en particulier avec la création de métropoles et l’augmentation du nombre d’éparchies, était apparemment d’accroître le montant des fonds reçus par les paroisses. Avec le système féodal dont je parlais, chacun avait ses propres sources de revenus et 15% seulement du budget du Patriarcat venait du bas de l’échelle. En vertu de la nouvelle réforme, un évêque a la responsabilité de 60 à 100 paroisses. Il lui est donc plus facile de prélever de l’argent de celles-ci que lorsqu’il avait 200 à 300 paroisses sous sa responsabilité.

Le budget global de l’Église russe (c’est-à-dire les revenus consolidés de l’ensemble de ses 27.000 paroisses) est d’environ 750 millions d’euros par an. Cependant, des investissements majeurs de l’Église, principalement la construction de nouvelles églises et la restauration des anciennes, sont surtout réalisés par des philanthropes et par l’État. Ce montant est probablement également de l’ordre de 750 millions d’euros chaque année, mais ces fonds ne passent généralement pas par les mains des prêtres.

Oui, le haut clergé roule parfois dans des voitures coûteuses et dispose de ce genre de choses luxueuses. Parfois, cela est offert par les amis dans les cercles de l’élite politique ou économique. Les serviteurs de l’Église s’habituent à vivre dans un certain luxe, ce qui contraste avec la morale chrétienne. Mais ils ont pris l’habitude de vivre ainsi. Les évêques ou les métropolites sont souvent, dans les régions, le cinquième ou sixième personnage le plus important: le gouverneur, le patron du FSB (services secrets), quelques directeurs des grandes usines du coin, tous ont de belles voitures. Donc, selon la compréhension des choses en Russie et les perceptions sociales, l’évêque ne peut pas avoir une voiture médiocre. Et j’avoue que nous ne savons jamais comment il a eu cette voiture: s’il l’a achetée ou si on la lui a offerte. Dans tous les pays du tiers monde ou émergents, les autorités religieuses veulent bien vivre. En Russie, elles n’échappent pas à cette règle.

Religioscope – Quid de la crainte des schismes?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Il y avait des risques de schisme dans l’Église russe, pour des raisons idéologiques. Au début des années 2000, l’opposition conservatrice luttait contre le Patriarcat de Moscou pour le contrôle des paroisses. Aujourd’hui, je ne vois pas ce danger persister. Il a disparu pour des raisons qui ne sont pas liées aux réformes dont nous avons parlé. Je crois que cela tient à l’arrivée d’une nouvelle génération, des quadragénaires. Ce sont des gens moins prtés sur le mysticisme que les anciens, qui parlent moins de sujets comme les miracles, par exemple. Cette nouvelle génération de prêtres est plus «réaliste», pourrait-on dire. Ils veillent davantage à maîtriser ceux qui protestent contre la hiérarchie et éteignent aussitôt les conflits. Kirill soutient des évêques plus jeunes, qui se font les défenseurs de ses réformes.

Religioscope – En quoi ces réformes sont-elles progressistes au final?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – La vieille approche «féodale» faisait que le fonctionnement des paroisses et des évêchés dépendait des idées de chacun et des relations entre eux des cadres de l’Église. Aujourd’hui, le fonctionnement est davantage basé sur les règles imposées du haut. De telles règles, disant qui doit faire quoi, comment faire ceci ou cela, ne pouvaient que représenter un progrès. C’est la différence entre une gestion familiale et une gestion selon des règles managériales éprouvées, avec un conseil de direction qui se concerte et prend des décisions discutées préalablement et donc rationnelles. Les princes de l’Église russes ont ainsi été affaiblis. Ils demeurent importants, mais ils décident moins de choses qu’avant. Et le grand décideur, aujourd’hui, c’est le patriarche.

Religioscope – Quels sont les grands groupes, les grands courants, qui composent cette Église, qui s’en disputent le pouvoir?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Il n’y a plus vraiment de grandes divisions entre courants au sein de l’Église russe. Traditionnellement, il y avait deux groupes qui s’affrontaient pour le pouvoir. L’un venait de l’Académie théologique de Moscou, l’autre de celle de Saint Pétersbourg. Celle de Moscou est plus monacale dans l’esprit, plus hors du monde, plus anti occidentale, avec parfois des tendances antisémites qui s’y exprimaient. Ce groupe existe encore. Le second groupe est plus occidentalisé, plus tolérant avec les catholiques, plus ouvert sur le monde. Kirill vient de ce groupe de Saint-Pétersbourg : les réformes qu’il a conduites sont marquées de l’empreinte pétersbourgeoise. Dans les temps qui ont précédé l’élection de Kirill, en janvier 2009, des clashes se sont produits. Ses principaux opposants venaient de Moscou. Saint-Pétersbourg l’a emporté parce qu’ils étaient plus réalistes et plus expérimentés en gestion.

Aujourd’hui, les divisions tendent à disparaître, parce que l’Église grandit: ce n’est plus un petit groupe de gens qui décident. On ne peut plus dire qui s’oppose à qui de façon aussi nette qu’avant. Par exemple, il y a aujourd’hui 300 évêques. Ceux qui sont arrivés dans les années 1980 sont les plus actifs aujourd’hui. Les secrétaires des évêques, les chefs des divers départements au sein de l’Église, certains évêques eux-mêmes, ne connaissent pas vraiment cette opposition traditionnelle Moscou – Saint-Pétersbourg. Ils ont souvent reçu une éducation provinciale, pas dans ces deux seules institutions.

La division est désormais davantage entre qui est pour Kirill et sa modernisation, et ceux qui sont plus âgés et ne suivent pas vraiment ces réformes. Ils n’ont souvent pas un vrai statut dans l’Église: ce sont des moines, par exemple, comme ceux du monastère Troitse-Serguïeva Lavra. Ils sont respectés pour leur spiritualité, leur vie, leur foi. Mais ils pèsent aujourd’hui moins lourd que ceux qui tiennent leur pouvoir, leur influence, de leur place dans la hiérarchie. Les plus âgés, hors hiérarchie, ne tenaient leur autorité que de leur mode de vie et de leur foi.

Religioscope – Une des motivations de Kirill avec ses réformes a été de faire en sorte que les Russes pèsent plus lourd que les Ukrainiens dans l’église. Pouvez-nous nous expliquer cela?

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Historiquement, l’Église ukrainienne représentait environ 40% des paroisses de l’église orthodoxe russe. Mais le nombre d’évêques «ukrainiens» était bien inférieur à cette importance en nombre de paroisses. Puis, les évêques ukrainiens et biélorusses ont été proportionnellement plus nombreux au point que, dans la période récente, ils étaient presqu’autant que les Russes. Cela signifie que, si la question de l’autocéphalie de l’Église ukrainienne venait à se poser, il y aurait une proportion importante d’évêques susceptibles de voter pour celle-ci. Kirill a donc tout fait pour changer la situation et revenir à la situation antérieure.

Religioscope – Vous avez mené une étude extrêmement détaillée d’une quarantaine d’évêchés de l’Eglise russe, pendant huit années. Sur la base de cette recherche, que pouvez-vous nous dire du prétendu ou réel renouveau de la foi chez les Russes? Nous entendons les chiffres les plus contradictoires au sujet de la pratique religieuse des orthodoxes russes, du nombre de croyants actifs…

Nikolaï Mitrokhine – Je n’ai pas confiance dans les statistiques «officielles», notamment dans la façon dont elles sont établies, dans la façon dont les questions sont posées pour conduire ces enquêtes. C’est pourquoi je me garderais bien de parler d’une renaissance de la foi chez les Russes. Le nombre de fidèles qui fréquentent les églises me semble en fait à peu près stable. Depuis 25 ans, le pourcentage de Russes qui vont une fois par mois à l’église est le même… et il n’est que de 0,5%! [3] Cela dit, en plaisantant, si l’on parle d’une renaissance en se basant sur le nombre d’églises construites, alors c’est différent. Si l’on parle du nombre de prêtres qui passent à la télévision, alors oui, il y a une renaissance.

Le nombre reste stable, mais les gens qui viennent à l’église changent. Avant, surtout les vieux des régions la fréquentaient. Mais ces gens-là meurent. Aujourd’hui, les fidèles sont de nouvelles personnes, plus jeunes et plus instruites, souvent des hommes aussi. Il y a peut-être une augmentation de la pratique religieuse dans les villes, mais elle est très lente. Ces dernières années, pour les grandes fêtes religieuses, il y a eu une importante augmentation de la fréquentation, probablement de 20%. Mais si on prend le nombre de personnes qui se présentent aux concours d’entrée au séminaire, par exemple, nous nous rendons compte que cela a tellement baissé que certains séminaires ont dû fermer. Beaucoup des nouveaux monastères, ouverts depuis deux décennies, vont fermer dans les dix ans à venir, à mon avis, par manque de fréquentation, surtout dans les régions. S’il y a une renaissance, c’est dans des milieux restreints. Si l’on veut vraiment parler de renaissance, je l’observe plutôt chez les protestants, très actifs un peu partout en Russie [4].


Notes

[1] À côté de l’Église ukrainienne liée au Patriarcat de Moscou, qui jouit d’un statut d’autonomie au sein de celui-ci et dont le métropolite est membre permanent du Saint Synode, deux autres entités orthodoxes existent en Ukraine et fonctionnent de façon indépendante, mais sans bénéficier de la reconnaissance officielle des autres Églises de la communion orthodoxe: l’Église orthodoxe d’Ukraine – Patriarcat de Kiev et l’Église orthodoxe autocéphale ukrainienne (qui est la plus petite des trois). Sur ces concurrences, on peut notamment lire un article publié par Religioscope en 2011: «Orthodoxie en Ukraine: une interminable guerre de positions?»[NDLR].

[2] Le Conseil suprême de l’Église russe reprend en fait le nom d’un organisme qui avait été créé en 1918, puis avait disparu durant les persécutions subies par l’Église orthodoxe russe. Institué en 2011, le nouveau Conseil surpême est explicitement présenté comme analogue à l’organisme antérieur. Dans sa structure actuelle, outre les évêques à la tête des différents départements synodaux, le Conseil suprême intègre des archimandrites et laïcs placés à la tête de différentes commissions. Il faut préciser que le Conseil suprême est soumis au Patriarche et au Saint-Synode, qui demeure l’organe administratif suprême entre les réunions du Concile des évêques; les décisions prises par le Conseil suprême doivent être soumises au Saint-Synode pour approbation [NDLR].

[3] La question des statistiques de pratique religieuse en Russie est complexe: tout le monde s’accorde pour admettre qu’elle n’est pas très élevée (indépendamment de l’autodéfinition de l’appartenance religieuse «orthodoxe» dans un sens identitaire, mais sans lien réel avec une pratique religieuse). Selon une synthèse de 2006, le taux des orthodoxes pratiquants réguliers variait entre 2% et 10% selon les sources (Sergei Filatov et Roman Lunkin, «Statistics on religion in Russia: the reality behind the figures»,Religion, State and Society, 34/1, mars 2006, pp. 33-49). La plupart des sources actuelles suggèrent un taux de pratique régulière autour de 5%. Un récent sondage (2013) de l’institut indépendant Levada aboutissait à un taux de 6% d’orthodoxes participant à un service religieux au moins une fois par mois et 3% deux ou trois fois par mois en Russie (http://www.levada.ru/24-12-2013/rossiyane-o-religii). Enfin, selon un sondage de l’institut Sreda en 2012, «2 % des personnes interrogées disent se confesser au moins une fois par mois, 3 % disent participer à la vie de la communauté paroissiale» (cité dans l’introduction de Kathy Rousselet à un dossier sur l’Église orthodoxe en Russie publié en avril 2013 dans les Archives de Sciences sociales des Religions, N° 162, accessible en ligne). Il faut aussi se rappeler que, dans certaines campagnes, il n’y a pas de lieu de culte proche du domicile des personnes qui pourraient vouloir assister à des services religieux, par suite de la politique antireligieuse menée durant la période soviétique [NDLR].

[4] Les progrès du protestantisme en Russie ont été un phénomène notable des années 1990 (Sergei Filatov, «Protestantism in Postsoviet Russia: an unacknowledged triumph», Religion, State and Society, 28/1, 2000, pp. 93-103). Les différentes formes de protestantisme restent cependant très minoritaires, et leur développement au cours des années plus récentes est sujet à débat (voir par exemple Torsten Löfstedt, «Religious Revival among Orthodox and Pentecostals in Russia: causes and limitations», Religion, State and Society, 40/1, mars 2012, pp. 92-111) [NDLR].

https://www.religion.info/2014/01/10/russie-eglise-orthodoxe-etat-et-societe-entretien-avec-nikolai-mitrokhine/

 

Le nouvel arsenal nucléaire russe rétablit la bipolarité du monde

Alors que les experts s’interrogeaient sur la possible évolution de l’ordre mondial vers un système multipolaire, voire simplement tripolaire, les brusques avancées de la technologie militaire russe imposent le retour à une organisation bipolaire. Revenons sur les enseignements des trois dernières années, jusqu’aux révélations du président Poutine, le 1er mars 2018.

 

Au second trimestre 2012, la Russie et ses alliés s’étaient engagés à déployer une force de paix en Syrie dès l’accord de Genève conclu.

Mais tout tourna autrement lorsque la France relança la guerre, en juillet 2012. Bien que la Russie ait fait reconnaître l’Organisation du Traité de sécurité collective par l’Onu afin de déployer des soldats musulmans, principalement du Kazakhstan, rien ne bougea. Malgré les appels à l’aide de Damas, Moscou resta longtemps silencieux. Ce n’est que trois ans plus tard, que l’armée de l’Air russe arriva et bombarda les installations souterraines des jihadistes.

Durant les trois ans qui suivirent, divers incidents militaires opposèrent la Russie aux États-Unis. Le Pentagone se plaignit par exemple de l’étrange agressivité des bombardiers russes qui s’approchaient des côtes US. À Damas, on s’interrogeait sur le silence de Moscou et l’on se demandait s’il avait oublié ses engagements. Il n’en était rien. La Russie constituait en secret un nouvel arsenal et ne débarqua que lorsqu’elle pensa être prête.

Dès le début de son intervention, son armée installa un système, non pas de brouillage, mais de déconnexion des commandes de l’Otan, dans un rayon de 300 kilomètres autour de Lattaquié. Par la suite, elle déploya le même système en mer Noire et à Kaliningrad. Outre ses nouveaux aéronefs, la Russie utilisa des missiles de croisière plus précis que ceux des USA, tirés par sa marine depuis la mer Caspienne. Le mois dernier elle a testé sur le champ de bataille, des avions multi-rôles ayant des capacités inconnues jusqu’ici.

Il est apparu que, selon les généraux US sur le terrain, l’armée russe dispose désormais de forces conventionnelles plus efficaces que celles des États-Unis. Cependant, leurs homologues du Pentagone doutent encore de cette progression, tant ils sont certains d’être militairement supérieurs pour l’éternité. Selon eux, il est tout simplement ridicule de comparer les deux armées, la leur ayant un budget huit fois plus important. Toutefois, jamais dans la science militaire, on a comparé les performances de deux armées rivales au seul montant de leurs budgets, ce que Vladimir Poutine a souligné en évoquant la qualité exceptionnelle de ses soldats comparée à celle des États-Unis.

Quoi qu’il en soit, si les Russes sont un peu meilleurs en matière conventionnelle, ils ne peuvent se déployer sur plusieurs théâtres d’opération simultanés et Washington conserve sa supériorité nucléaire.

L’entrée en guerre, le 24 février 2018, de l’infanterie russe dans la Ghouta de Damas est certes la conséquence d’un accord avec les Etats-Unis qui se sont engagés à ne plus s’investir en Syrie et donc, à ne pas reproduire le harcèlement qu’ils organisèrent contre l’Armée rouge en Afghanistan. Elle est aussi le signe que le Pentagone craint désormais que l’armée russe ne lui rende la pareille, ailleurs dans le monde.

C’est précisément à ce moment que le président Poutine conteste la supériorité nucléaire US. Lors de son discours devant son Parlement, le 1er mars 2018, il a annoncé que son pays détient un ahurissant arsenal nucléaire.

Tous ces programmes sont plus ou moins connus de longue date, mais les experts ne les imaginaient pas opérationnels avant longtemps. Or, la plupart le sont déjà. On doit se demander comment les Russes ont pu les mettre au point à l’insu des services de Renseignement US. C’est pourtant ce qu’ils sont parvenus à faire avec le Su-57 qu’ils ont testé au combat, il y a trois semaines, alors que la CIA ne l’imaginait pas prêt avant 2025.

Vladimir Poutine a révélé son nouvel arsenal. Le missile balistique intercontinental (ICBM) Sarmate (du nom d’un peuple russe antique pour qui les femmes et les hommes étaient égaux). Il reprend la technique de la « tête orbitale » qui avait déjà assuré la supériorité russe durant les années 70, et que l’Union soviétique avait abandonné en signant et en ratifiant les accords SALT II. Or, le Sénat US n’a jamais ratifié ce Traité, le rendant caduque. Ce type de missile, dont la tête est d’abord placée en orbite, puis entre dans l’atmosphère et fonce sur sa cible, a un rayon d’action illimité. Les Traités prohibant la nucléarisation de l’espace interdisent de placer une charge nucléaire de manière pérenne en orbite, mais pas de la faire entrer dans l’espace durant une partie de son trajet. En l’état actuel des connaissances, il ne peut être intercepté durant cette période. Le Sarmate peut surgir dans l’atmosphère et attaquer n’importe qui, n’importe où.

Le missile Dague (Kinzhal en russe) qui doit être tiré depuis un bombardier pour atteindre dans l’atmosphère une vitesse hypersonique, c’est-à-dire cinq fois supérieure à celle nécessaire pour atteindre le mur du son. Cette vitesse vertigineuse le rend évidemment impossible à intercepter. Il a été testé avec succès, il y a trois mois.

La Russie dispose aussi d’un moteur à énergie nucléaire (c’est-à-dire d’une centrale nucléaire) qui a été miniaturisé au point de pouvoir équiper un missile de croisière à charge nucléaire. Les missiles de croisière ayant un trajet imprévisible et ce moteur ayant une autonomie quasi-infinie, ils sont pour le moment invincibles.

Ce moteur, placé sur un drone sous-marin, lui permet de transporter à une vitesse plusieurs fois supérieure à celle d’un sous-marin classique une charge nucléaire considérable. Outre ses effets radioactifs, la charge transportée pourrait déclencher un tsunami de 500 mètres de haut au large de n’importe quelle côte océanique.

Enfin, la Russie tente de mettre au point un projectile hypersonique, l’Avant-garde, qui non seulement cumulerait les caractéristiques de passage dans l’espace du Sarmate et de vitesse de la Dague, mais dont la trajectoire pourrait en plus être ajustée au cours de son trajet.

Les nouvelles armes nucléaires russes ont été conçues pour rendre inopérant le « bouclier » anti-missiles que le Pentagone développe, base après base, dans l’ensemble du monde depuis une quarantaine d’années. Ce n’est pas un problème de force supérieure, mais de conception technique. Le principe du bouclier n’offre aucune défense possible face à elles.

Pis, le président Poutine a également annoncé la réalisation d’une arme laser dont il a tenu secrètes les caractéristiques. Il semble qu’elle soit capable d’intercepter une partie des lanceurs US.

Pour le moment, les états-majors des pays membres de l’Otan ne croient pas un mot de ces allégations, tant ces armes relèvent à leurs yeux de la science-fiction.

Pourtant, l’Histoire nous a appris que la Russie, le pays des échecs, pas du poker menteur, ne bluffe jamais à propos de son arsenal. Elle a souvent fait croire que des armes à l’étude étaient déjà opérationnelles, mais elle n’a jamais officiellement annoncé « prêtes au combat » des armes qui ne l’étaient pas encore. Les plus de 200 nouvelles armes employées en Syrie nous ont convaincus de l’avancée technologique de leurs scientifiques.

Les immenses progrès de la Russie ont fait perdre aux États-Unis le privilège de la première frappe. Désormais, en cas de guerre nucléaire, les deux Grands pourront se frapper mutuellement. Les USA disposeront d’un nombre considérablement plus élevé de missiles à charge nucléaire, et la Russie sera en mesure d’en intercepter un grand nombre. Chacun ayant la capacité de dévaster plusieurs fois la planète, les deux se trouvent théoriquement à nouveau à égalité dans ce type d’affrontement.

Côté US, le complexe militaro-industriel est en panne depuis une vingtaine d’années. Le plus important projet d’avionique de l’histoire, le F-35, devait remplacer à la fois les F-16, les F-18 et les F-22, mais Lockheed Martin est incapable de concevoir les logiciels annoncés. L’actuel F-35 en est en réalité totalement incapable de remplir son cahier des charges et l’US Air Force envisage de reprendre la production de vieux aéronefs.

Certes, le président Donald Trump et son équipe ont décidé d’attirer de nouveaux cerveaux aux États-Unis pour y relancer la production d’armements et contraindre le lobby militaro-industriel de répondre aux besoins du Pentagone au lieu de continuer à lui vendre les mêmes vieilles carcasses. Mais il lui faudra au moins vingt ans pour récupérer le retard accumulé.

Les progrès techniques de la Russie ne bouleversent pas seulement l’ordre mondial en rétablissement contre toute attente un système bipolaire, ils contraignent aussi les stratèges à repenser la guerre.

L’Histoire nous a appris que peu d’hommes réalisent immédiatement les changements de paradigme militaire. Au XVème siècle, lorsque les armées française et anglaise livrèrent la bataille d’Azincourt, les chevaliers en armure français furent écrasés par les archers et arbalétriers à pied anglais, quoi qu’inférieurs en nombre. Pourtant, des généraux persistèrent à privilégier le corps-à-corps au combat à distance avec des flèches et des boulets. On vit encore pendant un siècle des chevaliers en armure se faire massacrer sur des champs de bataille.

Par exemple, aucune bataille de chars n’a eu lieu depuis la défaite du président Hussein, en 1991 lors de l’opération Tempête du désert. Pourtant la presque totalité des armées n’a pas su interpréter ce qui s’était passé. La victoire, en 2006, de petits groupes de Résistants du Hezbollah contre les chars Merkava israéliens a montré de manière indubitable la vulnérabilité de ce type d’armes. Rares sont les États qui en ont tiré des conclusions, sauf l’Australie et la Syrie par exemple. La Russie elle-même persiste à produire d’énormes forteresses roulantes qui ne résisteront pas à ses propres RPG correctement maniés.

L’arsenal russe est invincible, en tous cas si l’on tente de le combattre avec d’anciennes méthodes. Il est par exemple impensable d’intercepter des projectiles hypersoniques. Mais on pourra peut-être en prendre le contrôle avant qu’ils n’atteignent cette vitesse. Les recherches militaires vont donc s’orienter vers le contrôle des commandes et communications ennemies. Manque de chance, dans ce domaine aussi, les Russes sont en avance.

Thierry Meyssan

http://www.voltairenet.org/article199967.html

 

US air dominance coming to an end but not for reasons conservatives cite

Posted by Picard578 on July 27, 2013

Yes, US air dominance is coming to an end. But it is not because of J-20, PAK FA or lack of funding. It is because of profound mismanagement of resources and lack of clear understanding of what works and what does not, what is important and what is not.

Stealth is seen as a proof of US technological superiority which allegedly secures its unparalleled advantage in the air. But original stealth fighter was not low-RCS, hugely-expensive construct; it was meant to be very small, very agile aircraft that would hunt down enemy air defenses by using air-to-ground anti-radiation missile. Concept of stealth as it is today was developed in Russia, and, having been brought to US by Russian emigrants during the Cold War, it was adopted by United States and became latest obsession of technologists in the USAF. But it came at the cost: all stealth aircraft produced in United States have suffered major cost overruns and force reductions, with possible exception of F-117.

Many US conservatives want “strong defense”, by which they mean lots of highly expensive weapons. Following arguments are usually made:

  1. non-LO aircraft are unsurvivable in face of modern air defense systems
    1. in Vietnam, US lost 8.400 aircraft
    2. Soviet SAMs took heavy toll on Israeli aircraft in 1973
  2. mobile SAMs are largerly invulnerable to SEAD
  3. stealth fighters are unquestionably superior to non-stealth ones in air superiority
    1. only F-22 can defeat PAK FA and J-20; F-15, Rafale, Typhoon and Gripen can only compete with Flanker family
    2. radar-based BVR combat will dominate air warfare

All these arguments are either misleading or outright false. SAMs are usually even larger and heavier than BVR missiles used by fighter aircraft. Thus, their Pk will be way below even that of BVR missiles – in Vietnam, SAMs did not achieve Pk of more than 1%. While they did manage to shoot down many US aircraft, it had mostly to do with how long war lasted.

Reasons for US losses in Vietnam are several. First, F-4 as well as century-series fighters had very bad situational awareness due to bad canopy design. This meant that they were very vulnerable to aimed gunfire, as well as to SAMs, especially until they received radar warners (and even when they did, radar warner only warned them of being targeted, not wether SAM is in the air and what its trajectory and speed were. Guns were optically aimed, rendering RWR useless). Second, they had high wing loading and low thrust to weight ratio; to make things worse, F-4 and F-105 were very heavy. This made them rather sluggish in maneuvering, rendering them vulnerable to SAMs and AAA. B-52s were particularly vulnerable to SAMs due to their large size. Despite that, 8.400 aircraft figure cited simetimes is wrong. US Air Force flew 5,25 million sorties, loosing 2.251 aircraft, of which 1.737 in combat (out of 2851 aircraft that were lost in combat by USAF, USN and USMC). Loss rate was thus 0,043%. For comparision, USAF F-16 and F-117 in Kosovo war suffered 3 losses while flying 5.800 sorties, loss rate of 0,052%, or 0,034% if F-117 that was only mission-killed and subsequently scratched as opposed to shot down is not counted. F-16s flew 4.500 sorties and suffered one loss, for loss rate of 0,022%.

Assumption that LO aircraft are more survivable in face of modern air defenses is questionable at best. During Cold War, German Cessna managed to land in middle of the Red Square, and in 1989 Syrian MiG succesfully landed on defended Israeli air field. During Kosovo war, F-16 suffered one loss while having flown 4.500 sorties, a loss rate of 0,022%. In comparision, F-117 suffered 2 losses out of 1.300 sorties, a loss rate of 0,15% and shootdown rate of 0,077%, making F-16 3,5-7 times as survivable as F-117. Serb SAMs achieved total Pk of 0,36%, achieving kill or mission kill against 3 aircraft (2 F-117 and 1 F-16) in 845 launches. F-117s themselves had very bad maneuverability, no ECM and very bad cockpit visibility, all due to stealth requirements. Hits on F-117s were achieved by a single SAM battery utilizing low-frequency radar combined with IR SAM cueing; despite improved reliability and performance due to usage of IR seekers on missiles, two SAMs were required to shoot down non-evading, unaware F-117 with no ECM escort.

As far as SAMs go, all stealth aircraft in US service can be easily detected by HF and VHF radars. As a result, B-2 and F-22 are just as survivable as B-1 and F-15; former even less so, since it uses terrain-following radar when on penetration mission, one which spans entire B-2s leading edge and can be detected over the horizon (F-22 can at least shut down its own radar). To counter these radars – and modern VHF radars are mobile – small number of highly expensive stealth aircraft is not adequate. What is required are large numbers of small, cheap, agile fighters armed with anti-radiation missiles.

While US Air Force indeed is “geriartric”, as Heritage Foundation puts it, that is not due to lack of funds. Long-range strike missions (or strategic bombing) that Foundation advertises have never proven effective, and most important missions were always transport and supplying of troops, close air support and air superiority. Heavy bombers were only ever effective when employed either directly in support of troops, or in SEAD missions, carrying cruise missiles.

As shown previously, stealth can hardly be called “revolution”. It is simply an evolution of belief that technological superiority can be decisive on its own.

Heritage Foundation warns of proliferation of precision weapons which could enable US opponents to deny US basing ability, but it proposes old solutions, such as building a B2 replacement, reopening F-22 line, building advanced UCAV for penetrating enemy air defenses, continuing F-35 program as planned,

UCAVs have proven useless in air defense environment, despite first UAV flight dating to before first manned flight. Even in relatively permissive Lybian air space, manned fighters had to go in first and supress air defenses so that UAVs could operate.

Foundation’s praise of F-35 is completely undeserved. Combat simulations it cites were ordered by Lockheed Martin and USAF and can thus hardly be called reliable. F-35 can indeed carry missiles and bombs at maximum supersonic speed, but this speed (Mach 1,6) is less than those of Eurocanards in air-to-air configuration with external weapons. At the same time, F-35s EW systems are of about same capability as Dassault Rafale’s at best, and “over-the-shoulder” missile shots F-35 can perform are well within Rafale’s capabilities.

Instead, main problem for USAF is USAF itself. USAF as it is relies on following assumptions to operate effectively:

  1. aircraft quality can beat aircraft quantity
  2. air bases will remain safe from the attacks
  3. future combat will be BVR centric

Unfortunately for the USAF, these assumptions are outright false. In air-to-air combat, stealth fighters rely solely on promise of radar-based BVR combat: namely, assumption that BVR missiles will be effective enough to allow stealth fighters to destroy several times more numerous non-VLO opponent at BVR. However, F-22 costs 260 million USD flyaway, and F-35 costs 200 million USD flyaway. Most expensive non-VLO fighter, Eurofighter Typhoon, costs 130 million USD flyaway; Saab Gripen C costs <40million USD. Thus for each F-22, one can buy 2 Typhoons, while each F-35 costs as much as 5 Gripen Cs. F-22 and F-35 will be lucky to fly one sortie every two days; Gripen and Typhoon can fly 1,5-2 sorties per day. Thus, for same amount of money, F-22 will be outnumbered by Typhoons 6:1 to 8:1; F-35 will be outnumbered by Gripens 15:1 to 20:1. Yet historically, 3:1 was the usual limit where quality could compensate for a quantity.

With these numbers, even perfect missile Pk would not be enough for stealth aircraft to defeat equal-cost force of Gripens. But BVR missile Pk was never perfect. Even against utterly incompetent opponents, Pk was never above 50%. Against competent opponents, it was never above 10%. With 10% Pk and 6 BVR missiles each, 12-aircraft squadron of F-22s would shoot down 7 opponents, assuming that all missiles were launched. This is nowhere enough to secure a victory against a more numerous opponent.

At the same time, these assumptions have led to decline of US air force. Fighter inventory has – as most conservatives have correctly noticed – gotten old, mostly because of failures of procurement plans based on nothing more than wishful thinking. These plans called for 650 VLO F-22s and 3.000 LO F-35s – instead, end force will most likely be 180 F-22s already procured plus 500 – 700 F-35s. These will fly 340 – 510 sorties per day, barely more than what Armee de l Air can fly (currently consisting of 73 Rafale and 167 Mirage fighters, capable of flying a total of 360 to 480 sorties per day). Even the original procurement plan called for replacement of 1.256 F-15s with 750 F-22s, which is even worse as 750 F-22s would only have been capable of flying 375 sorties per day, compared to 1.200 that F-15 were able to support. Such force reduction, no matter how more capable new system is, is always a huge disadvantage.

J-20 is far less of a threat than scare-mongers in US suggest. It is large and heavy LO aircraft; as such, in visual-range combat it will be at disadvantage, and it won’t make enough appearance in the combat zone to be noticed in military terms. Gripen E, Rafale and Typhoon will all have exhcange ratio advantage over J-20, and even fighters without IRST, such as Gripen C and F-16A, will be a tough nut for J-20 as long as they have good RWR and MAW.

Some have gone so far as to state that J-20 signals an end to America’s air invincibility. But this “invincibility” was simply a combination of superior numbers and incompetent, underequipped opponent; J-20 or not, war between US and China would have shattered that invincibility on first day of air combat. F-22 was never going to shoot down enemy at 50 miles; longest-ranged BVR victory in Gulf War I happened at distance of 18 miles, and that was against aircraft with no ECM, no RWR and incompetent pilots. J-20 is not a game changer; it does not strengthen Chinese air power but weakens it. However, perception is always important, and even when incorrect, it can have a major impact; thus J-20 is indeed strengthening Chinese political position, in large part thanks to disinformation campaign sponsored by US themselves after the Gulf Wars.

J-20 itself is, like F-22, based around promise of radar-based BVR combat. But even disregarding rather uninspiring combat performance of radar-guided missiles, using active sensors in combat is suicidal. Radars have always been vulnerable to anti-radiation missiles, and stealth fighters are no exception. Radiation-emitting targets can be easily hit in any weather, as long as missiles can reach them. Radar also does not provide for a reliable IFF identification of opponent; only visual sensors, such as IRST, do. If opponent uses radar himself, however, he can be relatively easily identified, especially of “opponent” in question are United States, which use fixed set of frequencies intended to provide an all-weather capability. If J-20 does not shut down its radar, it will render its radar stealth superfluous and also cause itself to be vulnerable to attack; if it does, it will still render its radar stealth superfluous by being forced to rely on IRST, and/or engage in visual-range combat; in all cases, it will be at disadvantage against aircraft such as Eurocanards due to its weight, size and powerful radar.

 

But F-35, aircraft that USAF planners count on to fill the gap, is utterly useless in air combat. It is too heavy, has huge wing loading, bad cockpit visibility, high drag, low thrust-to-weight ratio; consequently, it has low turn and roll rates (ignore USAF’s propaganda statements) and is unable to challenge modern fighters in air combat – which was always a visual-range combat as long as both opponents were somewheat competent. It is equally vulnerable to SAMs and AAA, not only due to lack of maneuverability but also because of fuel-surrounded engine.

 

Air bases also are not safe from the attack. They never were; from World War II on, attacks on air bases were an unforgiving reality. F-22 and F-35 are both short-ranged fighters, requiring air bases close to areas of conflict, which are thus vulnerable to enemy attacks. Resultantly, even if they do turn out to be stealthy in the air, lack of stealth on the ground due to reliance on easily-found air bases will doom them in the war.

US air dominance coming to an end but not for reasons conservatives cite

 

 

Hypersonic weapons : New Class of Threat

 

Hypersonic missiles — specifically hypersonic glide vehicles and hypersonic cruise missiles — are a new class of threat because they are capable both of maneuvering and of flying faster than 5,000 kilometers per hour. These features enable such missiles to penetrate most missile defenses and to further compress the timelines for a response by a nation under attack.

Hypersonic missiles are being developed by the United States, Russia, and China. Their proliferation beyond these three could result in other powers setting their strategic forces on hair-trigger states of readiness. And such proliferation could enable other powers to more credibly threaten attacks on major powers.

The diffusion of hypersonic technology is under way in Europe, Japan, Australia, and India — with other nations beginning to explore such technology. Proliferation could cross multiple borders if hypersonic technology is offered on world markets.

There is probably less than a decade available to substantially hinder the potential proliferation of hypersonic missiles and associated technologies. To this end, the report recommends that (1) the United States, Russia, and China should agree not to export complete hypersonic missile systems or their major components and (2) the broader international community should establish controls on a wider range of hypersonic missile hardware and technology.

New Class of Threat

  • Hypersonic missiles are a new class of threat because they are capable both of maneuvering and of flying faster than 5,000 kilometers per hour, which would enable such missiles to penetrate most missile defenses and to further compress the timelines for response by a nation under attack.
  • The proliferation of such missiles beyond the United States, Russia, and China could result in other powers compressing their response timelines in ways that set their strategic forces on hair-trigger states of readiness — such as a strategy of « launch on warning. » And such proliferation could enable such states to more credibly threaten attacks on major powers.

 

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2137.html

 

Pentagon Worries That Russia Can Now Outshoot U.S. Stealth Jets

American fighter planes are the fastest, most maneuverable jets in the world. But their weapons are becomingly increasingly obsolete—and that has some in the U.S. Air Force spooked.

High flying and fast, the F-22 Raptor stealth jet is by far the most lethal fighter America has ever built. But the Raptor—and indeed all U.S. fighters—have a potential Achilles’ heel, according to a half-dozen current and former Air Force officials. The F-22’s long-range air-to-air missiles might not be able to hit an enemy aircraft, thanks to new enemy radar-jamming techniques.

The issue has come to the fore as tensions continue to rise with Russia and a potential conflict between the great powers is once again a possibility—even if a remote one.

We—the U.S. [Department of Defense]—haven’t been pursuing appropriate methods to counter EA [electronic attack] for years,” a senior Air Force official with extensive experience on the F-22 told The Daily Beast. “So, while we are stealthy, we will have a hard time working our way through the EA to target [an enemy aircraft such as a Russian-built Sukhoi] Su-35s and our missiles will have a hard time killing them.”

The problem is that many potential adversaries, such as the Chinese and the Russians, have developed advanced digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) jammers. These jammers, which effectively memorize an incoming radar signal and repeat it back to the sender, seriously hamper the performance of friendly radars.

Worse, these new jammers essentially blind the small radars found onboard air-to-air missiles like the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM, which is the primary long-range weapon for all U.S. and most allied fighter planes.

That means it could take several missile shots to kill an enemy fighter, even for an advanced stealth aircraft like the Raptor. “While exact Pk [probability of kill] numbers are classified, let’s just say that I won’t be killing these guys one for one,” the senior Air Force official said. It’s the “same issue” for earlier American fighters like the F-15, F-16, or F/A-18.

Another Air Force official with experience on the stealthy new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter agreed. “AMRAAM’s had some great upgrades over the years, but at the end of the day, it’s old technology and wasn’t really designed with today’s significant EA in mind,” this official said.

Like boxers, every missile has a reach, a range, a limit to how far it can hit. In the not-too-distant future, the AMRAAM might also be out-ranged by new weapons that are being developed around the world. Particularly, Russia is known to be developing an extremely long-range weapon called the K-100 that has far better reach than anything currently in existence.

The problem is not a new one. Historically, the Pentagon has always prioritized the development of new fighters over the development new weapons—it’s a uniquely American blind spot. During the 1970s, the then brand new F-15A Eagle carried the same antiquated armament as the Vietnam-era F-4 Phantom II. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the F-15 received a weapon in the form of the AMRAAM that could take full advantage of its abilities. The same applies to short-range weapons—it wasn’t until the early 2000s with the introduction of the AIM-9X that the U.S. had a dogfighting weapon that could match or better the Russian R-73 Archer missile.

The Air Force officials all said that some of the American missiles would get through during a fight—there is no question of that—but it would take a lot more weapons than anyone ever expected. The problem is that fighter aircraft don’t carry that many missiles.

The Raptor carries six AMRAAMs and two shorter range AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles inside its weapons bays. At the moment, the F-35 carries only four AMRAAM missiles inside its weapons bays, but that might be expanded to six in the future. Older fighters like the Boeing F-15 Eagle carry no more than eight missiles—while the F-16 usually carries no more than six weapons.

That means that if a fighter has to fire—for instance—three missiles to kill a single enemy fighter, the Pentagon is facing a serious problem.

“Getting a first shot is one thing,” said a former Air Force fighter pilot with extensive experience with Russian weapons. “Needing another shot when you have expended your load is another when your force structure is limited in terms of the number of platforms available for a given operation.”

There are some potential solutions, but all of them mean spending more money to develop new missiles. former Air Force intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula said it’s “critical” that the U.S. and its allies move “air-to-air weapons into a future where they can effectively deal with adversary electronic attack.”

One relatively simple fix would be to develop a missile that picks out its targets using radars with a completely different frequency band. Current fighter radars and missiles operate on what is called the X-band, but they don’t necessarily have to. “Getting out of X band is on option,” said one senior Air Force official.

The Pentagon could also develop a new missile that combines multiple types of sensors such as infrared and radar into the same weapon—which has been attempted without much success in the past.

Right now, the Defense Department—led by the Navy—is working to increase the range of the AIM-9X version of the Sidewinder by 60 percent to give the Pentagon’s fighter fleet some sort of counter to the jamming problem. But even with the extended reach, the modified Sidewinder won’t have anywhere close to the range of an AMRAAM.

The other option is to stuff fighters like the F-22 and F-35 with more missiles that are smaller. Lockheed Martin, for example, is developing a small long-range air-to-air missile called the “Cuda” that could double or triple the number of weapons carried by either U.S. stealth fighter. “Look to a new generation of U.S. air-to-air missiles, like Cuda, to neutralize any potential numerical advantage,” one senior industry official said.

The industry official said that despite the small size, new weapons like the Cuda can offer extremely impressive range because it doesn’t have an explosive warhead—it just runs into the target and destroys it with sheer kinetic energy.

But the senior Air Force official expressed deep skepticism that such a weapon could be both small and far-reaching. “I doubt you can solve range and the need for a large magazine with the same missile,” he said.

This official added that future weapons would be far better at countering enemy jamming—so much so that future fighters will not need to have the sheer speed and maneuverability of an aircraft like the Raptor. “I think top end speed, super cruise, and acceleration will all decline in importance as weapons advance in range and speed,” he said.

For a military that’s committed hundreds of billions of dollars to such advanced fighters, such developments might not exactly be welcome news.

 

How Did Japan Lose Its Air Superiority Advantage?

Japan received its first F-15J fighters in 1980, and alongside Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia was one of only four countries permitted by the United States to purchase its advanced fourth generation air superiority fighter at the time. The F-15 far surpassed the capabilities of all those fielded by Japan’s neighbors, with the exception of the Soviet Union’s MiG-31 interceptors and, from 1985, its Su-27 fighters as well.

With 200 F-15 fighters in service among its other potent assets, Japan became the world’s third most capable air force and held this title throughout the 1980s — with only the United States and the USSR fielding similarly capable platforms in comparable numbers. With the United States and USSR maintaining an effective monopoly on the production of fourth generation air superiority fighters, and the former restricting their export where the latter banned them entirely, very few countries possessed such high end capabilities.

As a result of Japan’s alliance with the United States, the USSR had long been considered the East Asian state’s primary potential adversary, as Japan was almost certainly set to be involved in any open conflict between the two superpowers due to the extensive U.S. military presence on its territory. The collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1991 however was somewhat counterintuitively key to undermining the Japanese advantage in the air and causing a severe deterioration in its security capabilities.

With the USSR’s fragmentation and the economies of its successor states in disaster, some of the world’s most modern and capable weapons systems including combat aircraft were made widely available for export as restrictions were removed. China was notably a prime beneficiary of this, and having struggled to develop even a basic third generation interceptor in the 1980s it could by the end of the 1990s count some of the most advanced fourth generation fighters in the world among its air fleet. The country acquired 150 Su-27 and Su-30 Flanker air superiority fighters — the latter which significantly eclipsed the capabilities of the U.S. F-15C and Japanese F-15J. Based on these designs China went on to produce over 300 J-11 fighters, platforms almost identical to the fighters it obtained from Russia, the first batches of which were in fact licence built Su-27 fighters. The F-15J finally had a match in the skies, and Japan within a decade found itself at a disadvantage both technologically and numerically.

Today there is little doubt that China’s most advanced platforms, the Russian-made Su-35 “4++” generation fighter and the indigenous J-20 fifth generation fighter first introduced in 2014 and 2017 respectively, far surpass the F-15J, developed in the 1970s. However, the mainstay of the Chinese air force’s air superiority capabilities remains the J-11, and whether this platform or the Japanese F-15 would have an advantage in air to air combat remains a point of contention.

With both air forces devoting substantial and roughly equivalent resources to training, and neither having any recent combat experience (China’s brief wars with India and Vietnam in 1962 and 1979 respectively did not involve any air units) it is unlikely that either would have an advantage over the other in the quality of their pilots. China’s ability to draw on some limited combat experience operating jet fighters during the Korean War against the United States Air Force remains an asset Japan lacks, however, with the Tokyo having never conducted an air campaign since the beginning of the jet age. The outcome of a conflict will, as a result, most likely be decided by technological factors rather than the quality of the pilots involved.

One indication of which aircraft would retain an advantage in air-to-air combat were war games held in India in 2004 where Indian Su-30 fighters confronted what was then the U.S. Air Force’s most advanced platform — the F-15C Eagle. The results were a 9 to 1 kill ratio in favor of the Indian-operated Russian-made Sukhoi fighters. This bodes ill for the Japanese Air Force considering both the J-11’s near identical capabilities to the Su-30 and its own heavy reliance on the F-15 for air superiority.

In beyond visual range combat the J-11 can deploy R-27 and R-77 air-to-air missiles to strike Japanese fighters at distances of 130 km and 110 km respectively, as well as the domestically produced PL-12 with a range of 100 km. On the other hand, the longest ranged air-to-air missile the F-15J can deploy is the AIM-120B with a range of just 75 km. While the United States has developed more sophisticated long range missile platforms such as the AIM-120C, these were developed primarily for its cutting edge fighters such as the F-22 Raptor and cannot be operated by the F-15J. China and Russia on the other hand have developed modern missiles to be compatible with both modern and older fighter variants, giving Chinese fighters operating these missiles a significant advantage over their Japanese counterparts. With both the J-11 and F-15J roughly comparable in their other long range capabilities including their radars, longer ranged and more modern missiles are likely to be a deciding factor in the J-11’s favor.

In visual range combat however the two air superiority platforms show a more significant discrepancy in their performances. The J-11 maintains a higher climb rate, a superior thrust to weight ratio and can attack at higher angles. It is also extremely maneuverable and can endure G-forces the Eagle cannot hope to match. This enhanced maneuverability is perhaps epitomized by the Pugachev Cobra, the signature maneuver of the Su-27 and its more advanced variants including the J-11. Effectively, the only advantages the older F-15J maintain are its slightly higher speed, Mach 2.6 rather than Mach 2.35, its higher service ceiling of 20,000 rather than 19,000 meters, and the greater number of rounds stored on its cannon — none of which are likely to have a decisive impact on the outcome of an engagement with the J-11

The F-15J ultimately has its origins in the mid 1960s with the F-111 program, with the F-15’s airframe having been a rejected proposal for the United States’ next generation platform that was later adopted. The F-15 was developed at a time when the most advanced fighter in Soviet service was the MiG-25 interceptor, and while modernized it remains a far older concept than the Su-27. The J-11 by contrast is based on a platform inducted into service in the mid-1980s, the Su-27, designed specifically to counter and defeat the F-15 based on observations of the Eagle’s capabilities — a role which the USSR was confident it could fulfil. It is therefore little surprise that China’s most numerous air superiority fighter retains a significant advantage over the most capable platform in Japanese service.

China for its part is set to see its advantage continue to grow with the induction of several new assets including greater numbers of J-20 fifth generation air superiority fighters, commissioning in the near future of ramjet powered PL-15 air to air missiles with a range over 300 km, and the J-11D – a “4++” generation platform using improved variants of the WS-10 engine, radar absorbent coatings, an active electronically scanned array radar and infrared search-and-track systems. With the United States having produced no more capable air superiority platforms than the F-15 for export, Japan has no way of acquiring heavy platforms capable of competing with even the most basic J-11 variants, much less newer and more capable platforms China fields.

This is a direct result not only of China’s rapid progress in modernizing its aerial warfare capabilities, but also of the United States’ unwillingness to supply its allies with modern air superiority fighters, either the fifth generation F-22 or a “4++” generation fighter analogous to the Su-35. Japan’s more recent acquisitions of light multirole fighters, the fourth generation F-2 and fifth generation F-35, hardly alleviate its difficulties considering that neither was designed or is suitable for an air superiority role.

Indeed, the Washington-based defence think tank Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments warned specifically in a report in 2009 about the potentially dire consequences for Japan as a result of the United States’ unwillingness to supply it with the F-22 Raptor, which it sorely needed to regain its technological advantage over neighboring China. Japan, as a result, is forced to either rely heavily on the U.S. military presence on its territory to compensate for its own disadvantage — or else invest in the development of its own air superiority fighter which could well be the only means to regain some for of parity with its fast modernizing neighbor.

Abraham Ait is a military analyst specializing in Asia-Pacific security and the role of air power in modern warfare. He is chief editor of Military Watch Magazine.

 

Russian’s game changer is ready: SS-NX-33

Too fast, too furious: Russia is developing the world’s first hypersonic missile

The first to receive the new-generation weapons will be the country’s Navy, while similar tech is also being lined up to bolster defense systems.

Russia is one step ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to a particular weapon: The hypersonic missile. This devastating prototype projectile can hurtle towards its target at 2.5 km/s (eight times faster than the speed of sound) – now that’s fast!

“Basically, these missiles, which are equipped with the most powerful warheads, will give Russia a new instrument of deterrence, just like nuclear weapons are today,” says Dmitri Safonov, former military analyst at the Izvestia newspaper.

‘Tsirkon’

The first hypersonic weapon is coined the “Tsirkon” anti-ship missile. The Defense Ministry successfully tested it in secret last year but is yet to release any photos or footage.

“Currently, it’s only known that the first version of the ‘Tsirkon’ will be able to strike a target up to 500 km away. The developers are faced with the ambitious challenge of upgrading the weapon so it can travel at speeds of 3.5 km/s,” noted Safonov. Try running away from that!

However, it’s still not known which of Russia’s ships will receive the new-generation missiles although experts believe that heavy nuclear missile cruisers will be modernized to meet the standards of the new weapons.

“The first ship on this list may be ‘Peter the Great,’ the flagship of the Russian navy,” added Safonov.

No country is armed with hypersonic missiles. Therefore, the “Tsirkon” is likely to be the first weapons able to evade any air defense system in the world.

For example, the reaction time of the American “Aegis” air defense system is eight seconds. By this time Russia’s hypersonic missile will be long gone – in fact it will have probably destroyed its target.

Air defense

Moscow is also working on incorporating the missile into its own air defense systems, in case other countries develop similar technology, so the Almaz Antei Corporation is set to integrate hypersonic tech with the new S-500 “Prometei” air defense system.

Also, in the words of the corporation’s general constructor Pavel Sozinov, the company is striving to create a missile that can reach altitudes of 100 km, not far from space.

“We have made calculations about the development of resources for an air-space attack for the next 25 years. Our system must know how to combat those weapons that today don’t yet exist, but can appear. This deals with being able to intercept weapons in non-dense layers of atmosphere, including in the higher layers of atmosphere, hundreds of kilometers from the Earth,” Sozinov explained.

Currently, the S-500 is being tested – if greenlighted it will even be able to take out targets orbiting our planet. It will also be able to recognize and destroy up to ten targets simultaneously traveling at hypersonic speeds.

The weapon producers are preparing to present the first S-500 systems by 2020.

If using any of Russia Beyond’s content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

https://www.rbth.com/science-and-tech/327557-too-fast-too-furious-russia

 

 

La supériorité des armées US en question

Les experts militaires venus observer les combats en Irak et en Syrie sont formels : en matière conventionnelle, l’armée russe est désormais supérieure à l’armée US.

Auditionnés par la Commission sénatoriale des Forces armées, le 7 février 2018, les généraux John Murray, Joseph Anderson, Paul Ostrowski et Robert Dyess de l’armée de Terre US ont confirmé l’impossibilité actuelle d’entretenir à la fois les armements actuels et d’en acquérir de meilleurs.

Les quatre généraux ont affirmé que les armées US seraient prochainement également dépassées par les armées chinoises.

Les généraux ont plaidé pour un accroissement significatif de leur budget. Cependant, la crise de management des armées, qui dure depuis une vingtaine d’années, ne permet pas de savoir si cet argent donnera des résultats ou s’il se perdra en frais bureaucratiques.

Il y a deux ans, nous écrivions : « L’armée russe affirme sa supériorité en guerre conventionnelle », Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 19 octobre 2015. Désormais, c’est le point de vue officiel du Pentagone.

 

 

 

Looks like China just installed a railgun on a warship, beating the U.S. Navy to the punch

Railguns are another way the PLAN hopes to get an edge in 21st-century naval warfare.

China railgun Type 055A destroyer cruiser

TYPE 055A

This fan-made computer-generated image of the Type 055A destroyer shows it with a railgun in place of the 130mm cannon found on the Type 055 (though the Type 055A may use a stealthier railgun turret).

baoxiuyuan

Pictures surfacing online appear to show a new weapon developed in China. The nation may have just installed a full-scale railgun on a warship, something even the United States Navy has yet to do.

HOW RAILGUNS WORK

This BAE graphic illustrates the basic principles behind railgun technology, as well as its advantages: high launch speed and range, affordability, and high firing volume). Chinese railguns on the Type 055A destroyer would likely have similar characteristics.

BAE

 

Railguns use electromagnetic energy, rather than gunpowder, to sling a projectile. The concept has been incredibly appealing to militaries, as the weapon offers the speed and efficiency of a cannon, but with the range of a missile.

China railgun Type 072III 936

A GLOBAL FIRST

Type 072III landing ship tank (LST) Haiyang Shan, #936, would be the world’s first railgun-armed warship. Its small size and lack of combat features means that it will likely be used to test and validate the technologies of the railgun.

Da Feng Cao

 

Photos shared on Twitter show that the Chinese Navy’s Type 072III landing ship tank (LST) Haiyang Shan, #936, has a new turret installed on its bow, replacing the H/PJ76F 37mm anti-aircraft turret. There are also three shipping containers.

China railgun Type 072III 936

CLOSE-UP

The entire railgun measures roughly 65 feet from turret rear to barrel muzzle, with the barrel itself about 33 feet long, and 12-20 feet in diameter. Such a wide barrel provides room for the parallel magnetic rails that propel metal projectiles to speeds of over Mach 7.

AndrewTear

 

The turret spotted indicates the presence of a railgun. It’s large, for one, with a barrel that measures 26-33 feet in length and 12 to 20 inches in diameter. That’s 2-3 times the cannon caliber of conventional tube artillery barrels, which generally have a diameter-to-caliber ratio of 1.25:1. Alternatively, a 350-400mm naval mortar could explain the the barrel diameter and length, but such a large mortar would be hilariously unnecessary.

Due to weight issues, there is virtually no reason for a conventional cannon to have this kind of diameter-to-caliber ratio, and so the barrel’s size likely accommodates magnetic rails to propel shells to hypersonic speeds. The shipping containers are another indicator; it’s likely they contain some sort of power equipment, like generators or capacitors.

Its barrel length makes the Chinese railgun similar in size to the BAE 32 megajoule railgun built for U.S. Navy testing. The BAE system is designed to fire 22-pound projectiles at Mach 7 speeds to more than 100 miles.

US Navy Railgun

USN RAILGUN

Despite previous efforts to install this multi-megawatt railgun on the USNS Trenton, shifting budget priorities in late 2017 may mean that this railgun may never be carried on a USN warship.

US Navy

 

The United States had earlier planned to install a railgun prototype on the USNS Trenton fast transport in 2016, but this was postponed for budgetary reasons. In fact, current railgun research funding has been reported as in trouble, as the Pentagon focuses first on equipping conventional naval guns with the railgun’s low-drag, high-speed ammunition.

China railgun Type 072III 936

A WORK IN PROGRESS

This photo—recently released though taken in fall 2017 but just released—shows the #936 during modifications. The supposed railgun turret is under tarps.

Chinese Internet

China’s advancing work in railgun and other electromagnetic technologies shouldn’t come as a surprise. In addition to copious open-source research by Chinese scientists, a program led by Rear Admiral Ma Weiming has in the past hired Chinese military engineers to build state-of-the-art electromagnetically assisted launch system (EMALS) catapults for future Chinese aircraft carriers. The program also built integrated electrical propulsion systems (IEPS) to meet the electrical needs of future Chinese warships.

And keep in mind: just because the railgun is there doesn’t mean the railgun actually works. Engineers for this test, as with all other railgun work, will have to overcome formidable challenges in material durability, power storage, and projectile guidance. If successful, however, it would offer China a game-changing capability. A working railgun would likely be installed on future versions of the Type 055 destroyer, which makes sense considering the vessel has been reported to have IEPS, which would meet the electrical demands of railguns and other direct-energy weapons like lasers.

In terms of benefits, the railguns’ hypersonic (Mach 5+), long-range projectiles would be perfect for cheaply and quickly knocking out high-threat air targets like ballistic missiles, aircraft, and even future hypersonic vehicles. The long range would also come in handy for missions like anti-ship warfare, supplementing shorter-ranged antiship ballistic and cruise missiles. Finally, such long-ranged artillery would be a significant addition to long-range bombardment of ground targets.

Peter Warren Singer is a strategist and senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He has been named by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues. He was also dubbed an official « Mad Scientist » for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. Jeffrey Lin is a national security professional in the greater D.C. area.

https://www.popsci.com/china-navy-railgun-warship

 

 

 

 

 

China is building a laser 10 trillion times more intense than the Sun that could tear space apart

China is building a mega-laser that’s so powerful it could literally tear space apart. Physicists in Shanghai are constructing what they call a ‘Station of Extreme Light’, which could be operational as soon as 2023. The end goal is to create a laser so powerful it can produce 100-petawatt laser pulses –that’s 100 million billion watts. For context, that’s 10,000 times the power of all the world’s electrical grids combined. These ludicrously powerful pulses could be targeted at incredible precise spots measuring just three micrometers across – that’s 2000 times less than the thickness of a standard pencil. This means the researchers could achieve a laser intensity 10 trillion trillion times greater.

 

China is building a mega-laser that’s so powerful it could literally tear space apart. Physicists in Shanghai are constructing what they call a ‘Station of Extreme Light’, which could be operational as soon as 2023. The end goal is to create a laser so powerful it can produce 100-petawatt laser pulses –that’s 100 million billion watts. For context, that’s 10,000 times the power of all the world’s electrical grids combined. These ludicrously powerful pulses could be targeted at incredible precise spots measuring just three micrometers across – that’s 2000 times less than the thickness of a standard pencil. This means the researchers could achieve a laser intensity 10 trillion trillion times greater than the sunlight striking earth. According to the Science journal, this laser would be so powerful it « could rip apart empty space ». The idea is to achieve a phenomenon known as « breaking the vacuum », whereby electrons are torn away from positrons (their antimatter counterparts) in the empty vacuum of space.

Right now, it’s possible to convert matter into huge amounts of heat and light, as proved by nuclear weapons. But reversing the process is more difficult – although Chinese physicist Ruxin Li believes his laser could manage it. « That would be very exciting. It would mean you could generate something from nothing, » he explained. The team has already created a less powerful version called the Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser, which is capable of a 5.3-petawatt pulse. If the new laser eventually becomes operational, it could give scientists a new way to accelerate particles for advanced physics research.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/02/01/china-is-building-laser-10-trillion-times-more-intense-than-sun-that-could-tear-space-apart.html

 

Pentagon admits half of all F-35 fighter jets not good for anything

Pentagon admits half of all F-35 fighter jets not good for anything

The Pentagon has published a report, in which it was acknowledged that 50% of fifth-generation F-35 fighters were not suitable for combat action. Specialists have not been able to resolve a lot of technical deficiencies, which the renowned aircraft had been repeatedly criticised for, reports Bloomberg.
Pentagon admits half of all F-35 fighter jets not good for anything. 61886.jpeg

The efforts made have failed to improve the reliability of the fighters since 2014, despite the growth of their number. Improved versions of software for the fighter have had 31 updates, but key shortcomings have not yet been corrected.

Thus, as many as 1,000 flaws make the F-35 fighter aircraft just common aircraft.

For example, F-35B modifications for the Marine Corps and F-35C for aircraft carriers cannot be refuelled in the air. Technical defects affect the launch of AIM-120 air-to-air missiles and the release of air-to-surface munitions. The display in the helmet of the pilot, which shows data about the flight and the targets, does not work correctly, whereas the imperfect diagnostic system detects « failures » of systems that actually function normally.

To make matters worse, the Pentagon considers it necessary to reduce the cost of the program of the development of the F-35 that has taken 16 years already. The USA intends to speed up the production of the fighters, despite all problems.

 

The US doubts whether it is expedient to further develop F-35 fighters, as the aircraft has essential deficiencies. According to the American Thinker magazine, ‘ten years after the F-35 first flew, it remains in development, though 180 have been built. None of those aircraft can operate in combat; all will have to be modified if and when the final design has been settled on. There is not much point in doing that, because the F-35 has a number of show-stoppers that would kill it instantly in a rational world.’ It should be also noted, that ‘being designed as a light bomber, the F-35 is less maneuverable than fighter designs up to 50 years old and will be shot out of the sky by modern fighter aircraft.’ The forecast says the Su-35 is expected to be able to shoot down 2.4 F-35s for every Su-35 lost. But even more terrible fact for the Western Air Forces is that they see the F-35’s vulnerability now, when it has not become operational, and by 2020 stealth PAK FA fighters designed by Sukhoi will enter service. Still, there is enough time for the Western fighters’ pilots to change their profession into another, more safe carrier.

http://www.pravdareport.com/news/world/americas/29-01-2018/139844-f_35_fighter_aircraft-0/

 

La Russie a déployé plus de systèmes de défense aérienne S-400 en Syrie

La Russie a déployé davantage d’unités de la défense aérienne moderne S-400 en Syrie.

Mardi dernier, le 23 janvier 2018, les médias étatiques russes ont diffusé des images de l’arrivée de missiles de longue portée sol-air S-400 additionnels dans une des villes portuaires syriennes.

Les systèmes de défense aérienne S-400, déployés à la base aérienne russe en Syrie, située près de la ville de Lattaquié, peuvent frapper des cibles qui se situent également en Israël ; dans la partie Est de la mer Méditerranéenne (y compris Chypre, où sont basés les avions britanniques) ; et vers le nord couvrant une grande partie de la Turquie au-delà de la frontière syrienne.

Le système S-400 est une dernière génération des systèmes de la défense aérienne russes qui sont en service dans l’armée russe. Il est conçu pour engager des cibles aériennes et des missiles balistiques.

Actuellement, la Russie possède deux systèmes S-400 en Syrie.

 

http://defense-blog.fr/la-russie-a-deploye-plus-de-systemes-de-defense-aerienne-s-400-en-syrie/

 

Syrie un système de protection anti-missiles

 

Ce T-72 dispose du système de protection ‘Sarab’ où ‘Mirage’. Il semblerait que ce systeme de protection ait fait ses preuves contre les missiles anti chars lançés par les terroristes.

Developpé par les ingénieurs syriens à son apparition personne ne croyait en ses possibilités. Pourtant testé en combat, le système s’est montré capable de neutraliser des missiles anti chars, y compris les TOW. Le succés du ‘Mirage’ a encouragé les hauts responsables syriens à adapter cette protection sur les T-55, T-62, et autres T-72, BMP, et ZSU-23-4. Malheureusement la recente destruction d’un char T-62 M a quelque peu tempéré les espoirs qu’on portait sur ‘Sarab’. La guerre en Syrie est de fait un  laboratoire de toutes les techniques modernes, et il y arrive par moment d’agréables surprises.

Ici un T-55 equipé de ce système de protection ‘fait maison’.

 

Les Houthis ont «rogné les ailes» des chasseurs américains

Les chasseurs de la quatrième génération de l’aviation maritime des USA ne sont pas protégés contre les systèmes de défense iranien et nord-coréen.

Les rebelles yéménites ont diffusé sur internet une vidéo où l’on voit clairement un missile sol-air abattre un F-15 de l’armée de l’air saoudienne, écrit mercredi le quotidienNezavissimaïa gazeta. D’après ces images, les Houthis disposeraient donc de missiles antiaériens capables de percer la défense des chasseurs de quatrième génération Eagle conçus par la compagnie américaine McDonald Douglas. Ces avions sont dotés du même système de défense que les F/A-18 qui constituent le noyau du parc aérien de la flotte aéronavale des USA.

D’après les spécialistes, le radar du F-15 aurait découvert à temps qu’un missile sol-air avait été verrouillé sur l’appareil mais la défense du F-15 Eagle s’est avérée inefficace contre le système antiaérien à disposition des rebelles yéménites. Étant donné qu’auparavant les Houthis avaient déjà abattu des avions d’attaque saoudiens, ce F-15 devait certainement posséder tout le dispositif de défense nécessaire, y compris de guerre électronique. On ignore quel était le modèle du F-15 abattu mais on sait que depuis 2015, McDonald Douglas fournit le F-15E modernisé — un chasseur de génération 4++ avec l’avionique appropriée. On ne sait également rien du type de missile qui a abattu cet appareil.

Les chasseurs polyvalents F-15 sont en service dans l’aviation américaine. Les F/A-18 Hornet disposent du même système de défense que les Eagle et constituent la base du parc aérien de la flotte aéronavale américaine. Le Pentagone devrait donc se poser des questions, car les Houthis sont approvisionnés en armements par l’Iran.

Par ailleurs, les F-15 polyvalents sont également en service dans l’armée de l’air du Japon et de la Corée du Sud.

Les opinions exprimées dans ce contenu n’engagent que la responsabilité de l’auteur de l’article repris d’un média russe et traduit dans son intégralité en français.

https://fr.sputniknews.com/presse/201801101034683586-houthis-chasseurs-americains/

 

China in talks for sale of jet engine technology to Germany

Export of state-of-the-art machinery to a country known for its high-quality products would improve the international image of China’s manufacturing industry

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 January, 2018, 9:33pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 January, 2018, 11:28pm
China is in talks to sell Germany state-of-the-art machinery and technology critical in the manufacture of high-performance jet engines, a senior government scientist has revealed.

The machinery produced turbine blades capable of withstanding temperatures several hundred degrees Celsius higher than the melting point of metallic alloys, the scientist said.

The scientist, who is involved in the negotiations, asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Turbine blades convert heat generated by combusted fuel into the energy that propels a plane. The blades are one of the most important components in modern aircraft, both military and civilian, and their quality determines how safe, powerful and durable a jet engine will be.

The technological progress could be a very important step for made-in-China jet engines, with China now the world’s largest market for commercial aircraft. Thousands of planes are on order from Airbus and Boeing, and China is also developing its own C919 passenger jet.

In recent years, tremendous leaps in blade-processing technology, combined with breakthroughs in alloy casting and aerodynamic design, have allowed China to produce a brand-new series of powerful military jet engines.

The most notable example is the WS-15 turbofan jet engine, designed for use in China’s J-20 stealth fighter. The WS-15 has experienced reliability problems, but state media boasted last year that its performance matched that of the Pratt & Whitney F119, the world’s most advanced jet engine in military service, which was developed in the United States for the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

 



China and the US are the only countries in the world with tactical stealth jets in service.

“We are willing to share with industrial partners in Germany our latest hardware and technology,” the scientist said. “Industrial representatives from the two sides have finished the first round of contact.”

The export of state-of-the-art machinery to Germany – traditionally known for its high-quality products – would improve the international image of China’s manufacturing industry, he said.

A delegation from Xian, the capital of China’s northwestern Shaanxi province and the main production base for China’s military aircraft engines, would visit Berlin early this year to draft an export proposal with German counterparts, the scientist said.

 

The scientist asked that the government and business bodies involved not be named because the negotiations were still in their initial stage. The deal would require both Chinese and German government approval given the sensitivity of the machinery and technology involved, which could be used for both military and civilian purposes.

Beijing has expressed support for the possible deal.

“The collaboration between China and Germany is continuing to deepen in multiple sectors, the positive progress achieved is broadly recognised, which reflected the high level of Sino-German relations,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday in response to South China Morning Post questions about the negotiations.

“The prospects for cooperation between the two sides in the fields of hi-tech and intellectual property are very promising … we would like to work together with Germany to promote new progress in cooperation in the relevant fields under the principle of mutual openness, mutual benefits and mutual development.”

The German embassy in Beijing did not respond to a request for comment.

Professor Chen Jiang, from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, who was involved in the development of new jet engines for China’s air force, said he would not be surprised if China provided military jet engine technology to Germany, which built the world’s first jet fighter at the end of the second world war and supplies many jet engine components, including turbine blades, to American and British manufacturers.

“It is quite possible,” he said. “China’s manufacturing has achieved some remarkable progress on numerous strategic sectors in recent years.”

But another Beijing-based jet engine scientist, who worked in Germany for years, said the deal might not eventuate.

“Germany is an ally of the United States,” he said. “It will face many restrictions to work with China in this sensitive field of technology.”

The German government and German companies had also voiced concerns about China’s infringement of intellectual property rights through reverse engineering or direct copying, he said.

China’s turbine blade breakthroughs have won numerous top national science and technology prizes since 2010. They include the development of a unique hollow structure to make lighter and stronger blades; new single-crystal alloys capable of withstanding high temperatures; and a special membrane that can be applied to a blade’s surface to accelerate cooling. Two of the national science and technology prizes announced by Beijing this week were awarded for work on turbine blades: one for single crystal alloys and the other to do with mechanical grinding.

The Chinese machinery being discussed with the Germans uses ultra-fast laser beams to bore extremely small holes or other fine structures on a turbine blade that allow air to flow through it and take away harmful heat.

The scientist in Xian said laser processing was widely used in making jet engines, but China was using a new technical approach that differed from the traditional methods adopted in the US and Britain.

The US, Britain and France are home to the world’s four dominant jet engine makers: General Electric (GE), Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and CFM.

He said one challenge was to achieve high output while keeping defect rates low. GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce had been researching the manufacture of turbine blades for decades and guarded the technology as one of their top business secrets.

“Our machine has outperformed theirs on some benchmarks,” the scientist said. “The Germans have seen and grown interested in our technology.”

Another researcher involved in the negotiations said the export of the blade processing machine would be part of wider jet engine collaboration between the two countries.

“We will buy something else from them in return,” he said. “It can be either hardware or technology. The Germans are very good at the design and engineering of compressors [which send fresh air into the combustion chamber].”

Professor Peng Jiahui, who studied laser processing technology in Huazhong University of Science and Technology, said many Chinese researchers and engineers who had worked at GE, Pratt &Whitney and Rolls-Royce had returned to China and significantly increased the pace of jet engine development.

But a more important factor driving China’s technical innovation was the size of market, he said.

China had more than 1,700 military planes in service, second only to the US. The demand for turbine blades from China’s air force, which was still expanding rapidly, required the industry to come up with better manufacturing methods.

“China can make the best mobile phones because there is huge demand,” Peng said. “The same applies to jet engines.”

GIGN adopts MAWL-DA aiming systems

B.E. Meyers & Co., Inc. is pleased to announce that the MAWL-DA has been selected by the French National Gendarmerie’s elite police tactical unit, the GIGN, as their official individual NIR/VIS weapon laser and illuminator. The GIGN is currently upgrading legacy systems, and has begun to integrate new technologies with the unit’s available weapons platforms.

After evaluating various laser aiming and illumination systems through rigorous testing, and in real-world scenarios, the MAWL-DA was proven to be the superior solution, and was selected for formal procurement and deployment within the unit. In addition to the MAWL-DA’s selection by the GIGN, other units in France, and other European SOF units have adopted it for use in their respective operations.

The GIGN is the elite Police Tactical Unit of the French National Gendarmerie. Its missions include counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, surveillance of national threats, protection of government officials, and targeting organized crime. It is renowned for its selection and implementation of innovative technology and tactics, using a comprehensive suite of both small arms solutions, and weapon enabling systems. The unit’s selection of the MAWL-DA as a tool for mission success is notable in light of the GIGN’s pedigree, and reputation as a premiere SOF unit. B.E. Meyers & Co. looks forward to the MAWL-DA’s service with the GIGN as NIR/VIS pointing and illumination system which will assist in the unit’s response to both domestic and international threats.

 

The MAWL-DA (Modular Advanced Weapon Laser – Direct Action) is a high-power infrared and visible green aiming and illumination laser for individual carbines. Offering improved ergonomics, interface, and performance, the MAWL-DA has been designed from the ground up around the needs of the modern night fighter.

 

Engineered to address the shortcomings of common laser devices in use with both military and law enforcement, the MAWL® incorporates cutting edge VCSEL technology which eliminates the current problem of inconsistent and granular, speckled illumination. This unparalleled beam quality is leveraged with multiple modes of divergence and power, based on the ideal settings for any operational environment: Close Range, Mid Range, or Long Range.

 

http://defence-blog.com/news/gign-adopts-mawl-da-aiming-systems.html

 

 

Yémen, les pertes saoudienne deviendraient abyssales

Coalition arabe: 2 pilotes évacués suite à un crash de jet suite à une faute technique

Dimanche 7 janvier 2018 – 18h15
Le colonel Turki Al-Maliki, porte-parole des forces de la coalition
Asharq Al-Awsat

Le commandement des forces de la coalition arabe a déclaré dimanche que la coalition avait mené une opération spéciale pour évacuer deux pilotes après l’écrasement de leur avion de combat en raison d’une panne technique.Dans une déclaration à l’agence de presse saoudienne, le porte-parole des forces conjointes de la coalition, le colonel Turki Al-Malki, a révélé qu’un avion de combat saoudien avait subi une faute technique après avoir mené une opération de légitimation au Yémen.

L’avion s’est écrasé dans la zone d’opération mais son équipage n’a subi aucune blessure, a t-il dit.

« Le commandement des forces de la coalition arabe a mené une opération conjointe privée en collaboration avec les forces aériennes et terrestres pour évacuer deux pilotes vers l’Arabie Saoudite », a ajouté le porte-parole.

bien entendu cette histoire de problème technique n’est que du vent l’avion a bien été abattus ! 
traduction rocbalie & google translate

At least seven Russian planes -might be ?- destroyed by shelling at Syrian air base: Kommersant

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-planes/at-least-seven-russian-planes-destroyed-by-shelling-at-syrian-air-base-kommersant-idUSKBN1ES20C?il=0

 

MOSCOW (Reuters) – At least seven Russian planes were destroyed by rebel shelling at the Hmeymim air base in Syria on Dec. 31, Russian daily Kommersant reported late on Wednesday, citing two sources.

In the single biggest loss of military hardware for Russia since it launched air strike in Syria in autumn 2015, more than 10 servicemen were wounded in the attack by “radical Islamists”, the report said.

At least four Su-24 bombers, two Su-35S fighters and an An-72 transport plane, as well as an ammunition depot, were destroyed by the shelling, Kommersant said on its website, citing two “military-diplomatic” sources.

Kommersant said the Russian defense ministry had not commented. Reuters was not able to immediately reach the ministry.

Earlier on Wednesday, the ministry said a Mi-24 helicopter had crash-landed in Syria on Dec. 31 due to a technical fault and two pilots died.

Last month, Russia began establishing a permanent presence at Hmeymim and a naval base at Tartous although President Vladimir Putin has ordered a “significant” withdrawal of his military from Syria, declaring their work largely done.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

 

 

At least Seven Russian planes destroyed by shelling at Syrian air base: Kommersant

4 Russian Sukhoi Su-24 (NATO: Fencer) attack aircraft 
2 Russian Sukhoi Su-35S (NATO: Flanker-E) fighters
1 Russian Antonov An-72 (NATO: Coaler) transport aircraft

 

Anti-Tank missiles vs Tanks

Russia has long been known for having a large force of tanks, but they also deployed capable anti-tank missiles. Russia has widely exported its missile systems. Russia not only has anti-tank warheads, but also thermobaric systems that can do some serious damage to infantry and light vehicles. Often lost in the discussion of Russian military hardware are the anti-tank missiles. While Russia has long been known for having a large force of tanks (almost 22,000, according to GlobalSecurity.org), they also deployed capable anti-tank missiles. In the Cold War, major systems used by the Soviet Union were the AT-4 Spigot, the AT-5 Spandrel, and the AT-7 Saxhorn. These were all wire-guided systems…..

After Donald Trump Accuses Pak Of « Deceit », US Blocks $255 Million Military Aid

The confirmation comes on the same day when US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but « lies and deceit » and providing « safe haven » to terrorists in return for USD 33 billion aid over the last 15 years.
World | Press Trust of India | Updated: January 02, 2018 10:49 IST

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/us-blocks-255-million-military-aid-after-donald-trump-accuses-pak-of-deceit-1794610

 

WASHINGTON: The United States has suspended its 255 million dollars military aid to Pakistan for now, the White House has confirmed, saying the fate of such assistance will depend on Islamabad’s response to terrorism on its soil.

The confirmation comes on the same day when US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the US but « lies and deceit » and providing « safe haven » to terrorists in return for USD 33 billion aid over the last 15 years.

« The United States does not plan to spend the USD 255 million in FY 2016 in Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan at this time, » a senior administration official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

« The president has made clear the US expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil, and that Pakistan’s actions in support of the South Asia Strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of our relationship, including future security assistance, » he said.

The US administration continues to review Pakistan’s level of cooperation, the official said.

Earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump, in his first tweet of the New Year, blasted the Pakistan leadership by saying that they have given America « nothing but lies and deceit » despite having received more than USD 33 billion in last 15 years.

« They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more! » Trump said, clearly indicating that Pakistan would no longer receive any security aid from the US till the time it sees a change in behaviour from them in fight against terrorism.

Within hours, the Pakistani Defence Ministry fired back alleging that it has got « nothing but invective and mistrust » for all the actions it took in support of America’s war against terrorism.

« Pak as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust. They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis, » the Pakistan Defence Ministry said in a tweet.

Mr Trump who returned to the White House from Mar-a-Lago in Florida where he spent his Christmas and New Year vacation did not respond to shouted questions from reporters on « what is your plan on Pakistan? »

Several US lawmakers came out in support of President Trump adopting a tough approach on Pakistan.

« I support the decision today by President Trump to end aid to Pakistan, » Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma said.

« You’re either with the US, or against us. We will always help our friends, but for too long, the US has propped up countries that do not share our goal to end terrorism. I’m proud to see our president take bold steps to put America first, » Mr Mullin said.

« I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been fighting to end aid to Pakistan for years and will again lead the charge in the Senate, » tweeted Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky.

Samantha Vinograd, CNN’s national security analyst spoke in favour of Trump’s move.

« As a way to make it clear to the Pakistanis that enough is enough, if President Trump actually follows through, it could be an effective move, » she said in an opinion piece published on the CNN website.

« It isn’t the only step by any means, but it could be the right one, » she said.

« Great start. Why give millions to countries who would harbor our enemies? » Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr tweeted yesterday.

Syrian war has revealed a number of technical flaws of Russian Mi-28 helicopter

The Russian military intervention in the Syrian War began in 2015. The intervention consisted of air strikes fires by Russian aircraft and attack helicopters, included modern Mil Mi-28s, stationed in the Khmeimim base in North Syria, against militant groups opposed to the Syrian government.

During a military operation in Syria was revealed a number of technical flaws of Mil Mi-28 (NATO reporting name of “Havoc”) modern attack helicopter designed to close air support and destroy operations armoured and un-armoured vehicles, and enemy personnel in combat.

New Russian helicopters have problems with engine installations, avionics, control and navigation systems. Earlier there were cases had an engine control problem and was reported that debris ejected on the launching of rockets could cause catastrophic damage.

According to head of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee for Defence and Security, Viktor Bondarev, Russian defence industry has fixed a number of technical and design flaws of the helicopter, but still have problems with onboard electronics and night vision systems.

“Electronics is a failure: the pilot does not see anything, hears nothing,” said Viktor Bondarev.

According to the ex-commander-in-chief of the Russian Aero-Cosmic Forces (VKS) Viktor Bondarev, the night vision goggles used on the Mi-28s got the pilots nickname “death to pilots”.

It is worth remembering the crash of a Mi-28 helicopter in the Homs region on April 12, 2016. The tragedy was due to an error of the pilots who operated the flight in the dark conditions, according to the official version. But the military said that the cause of the crash was the problem with the night vision glasses of the helicopter pilot.

The Mi-28 “Night Hunter” is a modern attack helicopter designed to carry out search and destroy operations against tanks, armoured and un-armoured vehicles, and enemy personnel in combat, as well as low-speed airborne targets. The helicopter developed by Rostvertol, which is part of the of Russian Helicopters company,  in Rostov-on-Don.

According to the Russian Helicopters, Mi-28 can operate night and day, and in adverse weather conditions. The Mi-28 “Night Hunter” has been officially accepted into service with the Russian Ministry of Defence.

http://defence-blog.com/news/syrian-war-has-revealed-a-number-of-technical-flaws-of-russian-mi-28-helicopter.html

 

 

Expert: Russian tanks helpless against US-made Javelin anti-tank missiles

Russian defence reporter and military expert Alexey Khlopotov fearing that Russian main battle tanks would be helpless against man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missiles like the Javelin.

Alexei Khlopotov clarified that in the existing versions all Russian serial tanks are practically defenseless against a US-made Javelin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). Khlopotov noted that even with a lot of disadvantages, Amercian ATGMs can confidently hit modern and upgraded tanks of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

The Javelin anti-tank missile is capable of defeating modern tanks by attacking them from above at the top armor, which is generally thinner and has weak protection. It uses a fire-and-forget, automatic infrared guidance that allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch.

The Javelin employs a long-wave infrared (LWIR) seeker for guidance to destroy tanks, bunkers, buildings, small vessel and low-speed helicopters with a high hit probability. It carries a tandem shaped charge enabling a maximum range of 2,500m.

According to the expert, it is urgent to carry out a number of measures that could reduce the effectiveness of such anti-tank weapons. This, above all, installation of active protection systems on tanks, which could reliably defeat ATGMs.

Also, of course, need to improve the means of reducing thermal visibility and it is necessary to fundamentally revise the principles of installing dynamic protection on top armor, the expert emphasized.

Only an integrated approach will significantly reduce Javelin’s threat, said Alexei Khlopotov.

http://defence-blog.com/army/expert-russian-tanks-helpless-against-us-made-javelin-anti-tank-missiles.html

 

 

Apple facing trillion dollar lawsuit for reducing processing speed of aging iPhones

Apple facing trillion dollar lawsuit for reducing processing speed of aging iPhones
A US woman is suing Apple for nearly one trillion dollars after the company acknowledged it had deliberately slowed down iPhones as they get older. The US tech giant now faces nine suits over the issue.

Violetta Mailyan is reportedly seeking compensation, demanding Apple pay her $999,999,999,000.

At least eight other class action lawsuits have been filed in the US District Courts in California, New York, and Illinois over how Apple handles power management of batteries in older iPhones.

The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages from Apple, in addition to reimbursement for the phone’s purchase with two of the plaintiffs asking the court to ban the company from reducing the speed of devices or, at least to oblige Apple to inform users before it does so.

Last week, the corporation admitted it had slowed down older iPhones. Apple said it has algorithms in place to help keep an iPhone running at optimal performance if there is an older battery inside that can’t keep up with the required power. Apple said it aimed to stop unexpected shutdowns of older iPhone models and keep them running to the best possible standard.

A similar case was filed in an Israeli court on Monday after Los Angeles residents Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas took Apple to court shortly after the company announcement.

If it turns out consumers would have replaced their battery instead of buying new iPhones had they known the true nature of Apple’s upgrades, you might start to have a better case for some sort of misrepresentation or fraud,” said Rory Van Loo, a Boston University professor specializing in consumer technology law, as quoted by Reuters.

https://www.rt.com/business/414355-apple-lawsuits-trillion-slowing-phones/

 

Neutralité du Net : le procureur général de New York lance un procès contre la FCC

La FCC a récemment mis fin à la neutralité du net aux États-Unis. Mais tout n’est pas joué : le procureur général de New York vient de lancer un procès à l’encontre de la FCC et a le support de plusieurs États dans cette procédure.

La sauvegarde de la neutralité du Net est l’un des sujets les plus importants de ces dernières années. Et pour cause : tout le monde devrait avoir un accès libre et sans limites au réseau, qu’importe l’opérateur, fournisseur d’accès ou abonnement.

Elle a toutefois connu un énorme coup dur hier, puisque la FCC a réussi à abroger la loi Obama visant à garantir la neutralité du Net. Sous peu, les opérateurs américains pourraient dès lors limiter l’accès à certains sites en baissant les débits, et offrir un Internet à bouquets comme les chaînes satellites.

Eric Schneiderman s’attaque à la FCC

Une modification qui ne passe bien sûr pas pour tous. Le procureur général de New York, Eric Schneiderman, vient d’annoncer qu’il lancerait un procès à l’encontre de cette décision, afin de « stopper le retour en arrière illégal de la FCC sur la neutralité du Net« . Ce procès sera lancé en collaboration avec plusieurs États.

« Nous allons déposer une réclamation afin de préserver les protections de tous les New-yorkais et tous les Américains. Et nous allons travailler d’arrache-pied pour que les dirigeants de la FCC ne puissent pas faire davantage de dégâts à Internet et à notre économie« .

 

Une affaire de commentaires

La décision de la FCC est d’autant plus injuste pour le procureur général qu’elle a été prise alors que de nombreux faux commentaires ont été découverts lors de l’audit public de cette décision. Eric Schneiderman avait ainsi demandé, en compagnie de plusieurs États, à ce que cette décision soit mise en pause pour mener l’enquête.

La FCC a alors poussé son vote sans que les réclamations de ces États n’aient été prises en compte. Il y a donc fort à parier que ceux-ci rejoignent le procès lancé par New York.

 

http://www.frandroid.com/culture-tech/juridique/477601_neutralite-du-net-le-procureur-general-de-new-york-lance-un-proces-contre-la-fcc

 

Clap de fin pour l’Internet

La neutralité du net aux États-Unis, clap de la fin. 

Numérique

Le principe de neutralité du net, entériné sous Obama en 2015, devrait être supprimé jeudi prochain…

O. P.-V.

 — 

C’est une décision qui peut sembler porter sur un détail technique, mais ses répercussions sont potentiellement immenses. Jeudi 14 décembre, la Federal Communications Commission (FCC), en charge des télécoms aux Etats-Unis, devrait enterrer le principe de neutralité qui régit l’Internet américain. 

La fin programmée de cette règle outre-Atlantique est un changement majeur. 20 Minutes fait le point sur la question.

Qu’est-ce que la neutralité du net ?

La neutralité du net est une règle longtemps restée tacite garantissant une égalité de traitement des flux de données par les opérateurs des télécommunications. Pour faire simple, les fournisseurs d’accès n’ont pas le droit de privilégier la qualité du trafic en fonction des sites qu’ils veulent que les internautes consultent. Tout le monde doit pouvoir accéder de manière égale à n’importe quel domaine du Web, tant qu’il y a une connexion. C’est expliqué avec beaucoup d’humour ci-dessous par le présentateur américain John Oliver.

 

Que va changer la décision de la FCC aux Etats-Unis ?

La commission souhaite imposer de nouvelles règles à l’issue du vote du 14 décembre permettant la dérégulation du net, afin que les principaux opérateurs américains, comme AT & T, Verizon et Comcast puissent chacun de leur côté privilégier l’accès à leurs services, ou au contraire ralentir le flux sur les sites et contenus concurrents. L’éditorial du New York Times du 3 décembre résume l’esprit : « La FCC veut laisser les télécoms transformer Internet en une version moderne de la télévision par câble, dans laquelle ils décident ce que les clients peuvent regarder et combien ils paient pour ce contenu ».

Les géants du net (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Twitter, etc.), à travers leur lobby Internet Association, ont bien tenté de faire pression pour annuler le vote, arguant dans un communiqué que « ce projet de décret ignore les souhaits de dizaines de millions d’Américains qui ont exprimé leur soutien à l’ordonnance de 2015 sur l’Internet ouvert ». Une ordonnance passée sous l’administration Obama, entérinant dans la loi américaine le principe de neutralité du net, et sur laquelle veut revenir le nouveau pouvoir.

Car les opposants au vote de la FCC, y compris la puissante Internet Association donc, se sont cassé les dents sur l’intransigeance de son président, Ajit Pai (sur la photo en tête d’article), nommé par Donald Trump, qui assure vouloir « forcer les fournisseurs d’accès à être transparents pour que les consommateurs puissent choisir les offres qui conviennent le mieux ».

Quelles répercussions cela pourrait avoir en France ?

Ce qui se passe aux Etats-Unis ayant toujours un écho à l’international, ce changement de paradigme pourrait avoir des conséquences au-delà des frontières américaines. Comme l’écrit The Verge, « quel que soit ce que les autorités américaines font du respect de l’internet, cela aura des répercussions sur le reste du monde ».

En France, la neutralité du net est inscrite dans la loi pour une République numérique d’octobre 2016, bien qu’un rapport publié le 31 mai 2017 par la Quadrature du net appelle à faire attention à son respect effectif dans le cadre européen. En dehors de l’Hexagone, il existe un exemple sur le continent de pays proche du modèle que souhaite la FCC aux Etats-Unis : le Portugal, avec l’exemple ci-dessous de la multiplication de package qui permettent d’accéder à l’internet lusitanien.

http://www.20minutes.fr/high-tech/2186015-20171211-neutralite-net-etats-unis-clap-fin

Foxhound

La neutralité du net aux Etats-Unis, clap de fin?

NUMERIQUELe principe de neutralité du net, entériné sous Obama en 2015, devrait être supprimé jeudi prochain…

O. P.-V.

— 

C’est une décision qui peut sembler porter sur un détail technique, mais ses répercussions sont potentiellement immenses. Jeudi 14 décembre, la Federal Communications Commission (FCC), en charge des télécoms aux Etats-Unis, devraitenterrer le principe de neutralité qui régit l’Internet américain. La fin programmée de cette règle outre-Atlantique est un changement majeur. 20 Minutes fait le point sur la question.

Qu’est-ce que la neutralité du net ?

La neutralité du net est une règle longtemps restée tacite garantissant une égalité de traitement des flux de données par les opérateurs des télécommunications. Pour faire simple, les fournisseurs d’accès n’ont pas le droit de privilégier la qualité du trafic en fonction des sites qu’ils veulent que les internautes consultent. Tout le monde doit pouvoir accéder…

View original post 413 mots de plus

Russian MoD Reports Incident With US F-22 Fighter Over Syria’s Euphates River

SU-35 Flanker

F-22 Raptor

The Russian Defense Ministry has called the presence of the US air force in Syria illegal.

« An American F-22 fighter actively prevented the Russian pair of Su-25 attack aircraft from carrying out a combat mission to destroy the Daesh stronghold in the suburbs of the city of Mayadin in the airspace over the western bank of the Euphrates River on November 23. The F-22 aircraft fired off heat flares and released brake shields with permanent maneuvering, imitating an air battle, » Major-General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesperson said on Saturday.

The Defense Ministry has commented on the US claims regarding Syria’s airspace, explaining that the majority of near-misses between US and Russian planes in Syria and in the area of the Euphrates were connected with the Washington’s attempts to hinder Daesh’s defeat.

« The statements of the US Army representatives that a part of the Syrian airspace belongs to the US is puzzling, » Konashenkov stated, reminding the Pentagon that « Syria is a sovereign state and a member of the United Nations, therefore, the United States does not own any part of sky. »

At the same time, he noted that « after the appearance of a Russian multifunctional super maneuverable Su-35S fighter, the American fighter stopped dangerous maneuvers and hurried to move into Iraqi airspace. »

he ministry’s representative has also noted that the US has failed to give any answer to the Russian command at the Khmeimim airbase in Syria « concerning this and many other incidents in the Syrian sky, » the general added.

US-Russia Possible Collision in Syrian Sky

The statement was made in the wake of The New York Times newspaper’s Friday’s report, citing US commanders as expressing their concern over a possible collision between Russian and US warplanes over Syria, which might take place because of alleged violations of the deescalation deal by the Russian side a dozen times a day since the agreement had come into force.

« It’s become increasingly tough for our pilots to discern whether Russian pilots are deliberately testing or baiting us into reacting, or if these are just honest mistakes… The greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces, » Lt. Col. Damien Pickart was quoted as saying by the media.

Col. Jeff Hogan, deputy commander of the air operations center at the Qatar base, told the newspaper that he had daily phone calls with Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov, but because of occasional misunderstandings, he had to make additional calls.

According to the newspaper, the military explained Moscow’s actions by the desire to entrench the positions of the Syrian army and cement its territorial acquisitions ahead of the peace talks aimed at ending the seven-year war.

The report was made in the wake of Putin’s Wednesday’s announcement, saying that that the Daesh terrorist group (banned in Russia) had been completely defeated on both banks of the Euphrates River in Syria, following a similar Gerasimov’s statement on the same day, declaring that the remaining terrorists had been defeated in Deir ez-Zor.

US-Russia Deconfliction Deal

The United States and Russia signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding to ensure flight safety during combat missions over Syria in October 2015, specifying that the deconfliction would be implemented in different ways, with the help of separate telephone lines for air and ground deconfliction, as well as face-to-face meetings.

In November 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the planes of the US-led coalition were trying to impede the Russian Aerospace Forces’ operations in Syria’s Al Bukamal. However, the disagreements were later resolved and the sides agreed to fly on opposite sides of a 45-mile stretch of the Euphrates River to avoid collisions.

The US-led coalition of more than 70 members has been conducting airstrikes, ground-based and rocket-propelled artillery fire against Daesh in Syria and Iraq since 2014. These actions, however, were not authorized in Syria either by the government of President Bashar Assad or the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, the Russian Aerospace Forces have been present in Syria since September 2015, following an official request from Assad. Since March 2016, following Vladimir Putin’s order to pull out the bulk of the forces from the country, Russia maintains a military presence in Syria to train and assist local troops.

 

https://sputniknews.com/military/201712091059853377-russia-us-army-syria/

 

Expert on North Korea’s New H-15 ICBM: « You Cannot Stop This Thing »

 

 

The United States likely does not have an effective means to counter North Korea’s massive new Hwasong-15 (HS-15) road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile according to analysts. The missile is so large that it could carry a multitude of decoys and countermeasures. It might even be able to carry multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) in the future.

“This missile potentially has enough throw weight to carry multiple warheads plus decoys, chaff, jammers and other countermeasures to defeat any known missile defense system,” arms-control expert and president of the Ploughshares Fund Joseph Cirincione told the National Interest.

“It could overwhelm, fool and blind the radars, sensors and kill vehicles. You cannot stop this thing.”

Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat-reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, agreed with Cirincione’s assessment.

“Video and photographs of the HS-15 released by the North Korean government indicate that it is more than large enough to carry decoys/countermeasures that would be designed to put further strain on the ground based midcourse defense (GMD) system,” Reif told The National Interest.

“The missile might even be big enough to accommodate multiple RVs [reentry vehicles] down the line, if North Korea could develop compact RVs that are compact enough.”

Moreover, the United States’ Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) is not likely to be particularly effective against the North Korean missile.

“The system is garbage,” Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, bluntly told The National Interest.

“It is intended to deal with a threat like this, but the test record stinks and the payload is roomy enough that we need to think worry about countermeasures.”

Missile expert Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told The National Interest that policymakers cannot count on the GMD to protect major population centers from a North Korean missile.

I wouldn’t bet New York on GMD working,” Narang said.

Reif explained the fundamental problem with the GMD system. “According to the Defense Department’s independent testing office, GMD has ‘demonstrated capability’ to defend the U.S. homeland against a small number of simple, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) threats that employ ‘simple countermeasures,’” Reif said.

“It’s not clear how DoD defines ‘simple countermeasures.’ The May 30 test of the GMD system against an ICBM target reportedly included simple countermeasures, but an analysis of the information on the test released by DoD appear to indicate that the decoy(s) used in the test had different brightness levels than the actual target.”

Moreover, North Korea might not be using simple decoys—and the GMD has never been tested against more complex countermeasures.

“We do know that the system has never been tested against ‘complex countermeasures,’ which DoD defines as ‘Use of target dynamics and penetration aids,’” Reif said.

“Are such countermeasures beyond the capability of North Korea to develop? I highly doubt it.”

Moreover, the North Koreans—despite the wishful thinking of certain commentators—are not stupid. Pyongyang knows exactly how to exploit the weaknesses of the GMD.

“The fact that North Korea tested the HS-15 at night would pose additional challenges to our defenses,” Reif said.

“First, testing the ability to load and launch with little warning would stress our ability to get an early track on the missile and its trajectory. Second, the GMD system has never been successfully intercept tested at night. In fact, there has been only one intercept test that has taken place at night.”

Indeed, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency seems to take pains to make sure that all of its tests take place where the Sun offers some level of illumination.

“All of the 10 successful intercept tests of the system took place with the target directly illuminated by the sun,” Reif said.

“There’s a reason for this. The sun’s rays help to ‘brighten’ the RV and possible decoys/countermeasures for the GMD system’s infrared kill vehicle.”

The Pentagon states that the GMD does not rely on the sun, but there are indications that darkness poses challenges for the interceptors’ electro-optical sensors.

“The Missile Defense Agency argues that the system does not rely on the sun’s rays and thus the time of the test would not be a factor,” Reif said.

“But the dynamics of a nighttime intercept could cause problems such as by confusing the kill vehicle. The signature of a target at night presents a greater challenge than has been demonstrated through flight-testing to date. All of which means we should do more testing of the GMD system under more realistic and/or expected conditions.”

The GMD is not entirely useless however. Under perfect conditions—and if North Korea or another adversary gave some sort of advanced notice that it might launch an ICBM—the GMD offers some level of protection.

“We may be able to intercept a relatively small number of unsophisticated missiles under favorable conditions but a determined adversary—which North Korea is—is unlikely to present us with such a scenario,” Reif said.

“Missile defense will never provide an impenetrable shield and steps to improve and expand defenses will prompt adversaries to take steps to counter them, which is what North Korea is doing. Missile defense has a role to play as part of a comprehensive effort to counter the North Korean threat but it’s a limited one and its capabilities are often vastly overstated.”

However, even reaching an imperfect level of defense would require realistic testing under real operational conditions. Despite the Pentagon’s assertion to the contrary, that has not happened. Right now, the GMD’s chances of success against the HS-15 are more a matter of prayers than science.

“Overall, flight intercept testing of the system has not demonstrated that GMD is capable of reliably defense the U.S. homeland against even a limited threat,” Reif said.

“The current ‘shot doctrine’ would be to fire four interceptors at each incoming missile and then… Cross our fingers.”

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @Davemajumdar.

Image: Reuters. 

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/expert-north-koreas-new-hwasong-15-icbm-you-cannot-stop-23476

 

 

Russian defense minister arrives in Egypt

The Russian defense minister is expected to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

CAIRO, November 29. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu has arrived in Cairo, which hosts the fourth meeting of the joint Russian-Egyptian commission for military and technical cooperation on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said.
During the visit, Shoigu is expected to hold talks with Egyptian Minister of Defense and Military Production Sedki Sobhi to discuss bilateral military and military-technical cooperation.
The Russian defense minister is also due to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. At the meeting, the sides plan to discuss international and regional security.

http://tass.com/politics/977974

 

 

China Pulls Ahead of U.S. in Latest TOP500 List

TOP500 News Team | November 13, 2017 08:59 CET

The fiftieth TOP500 list of the fastest supercomputers in the world has China overtaking the US in the total number of ranked systems by a margin of 202 to 143. It is the largest number of supercomputers China has ever claimed on the TOP500 ranking, with the US presence shrinking to its lowest level since the list’s inception 25 years ago.

Just six months ago, the US led with 169 systems, with China coming in at 160. Despite the reversal of fortunes, the 144 systems claimed by the US gives them a solid second place finish, with Japan in third place with 35, followed by Germany with 20, France with 18, and the UK with 15.

China has also overtaken the US in aggregate performance as well. The Asian superpower now claims 35.4 percent of the TOP500 flops, with the US in second place with 29.6 percent.

The top 10 systems remain largely unchanged since the June 2017 list, with a couple of notable exceptions.

Sunway TaihuLight, a system developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC), and installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, maintains its number one ranking for the fourth time, with a High Performance Linpack (HPL) mark of 93.01 petaflops.

Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2), a system developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) and deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China, is still the number two system at 33.86 petaflops.

Piz Daint, a Cray XC50 system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland, maintains its number three position with 19.59 petaflops, reaffirming its status as the most powerful supercomputer in Europe. Piz Daint was upgraded last year with NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs, which more than doubled its HPL performance of 9.77 petaflops.

The new number four system is the upgraded Gyoukou supercomputer, a ZettaScaler-2.2 system deployed at Japan’s Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, which was the home of the Earth Simulator. Gyoukou was able to achieve an HPL result of 19.14 petaflops. using PEZY-SC2 accelerators, along with conventional Intel Xeon processors. The system’s 19,860,000 cores represent the highest level of concurrency ever recorded on the TOP500 rankings of supercomputers.

Titan, a five-year-old Cray XK7 system installed at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and still the largest system in the US, slips down to number five. Its 17.59 petaflops are mainly the result of its NVIDIA K20x GPU accelerators.

Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system installed at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is the number six system on the list with a mark of 17.17 petaflops. It was deployed in 2011.

The new number seven system is Trinity, a Cray XC40 supercomputer operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. It was recently upgraded with Intel “Knights Landing” Xeon Phi processors, which propelled it from 8.10 petaflops six months ago to its current high-water mark of 14.14 petaflops.

Cori, a Cray XC40 supercomputer, installed at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), is now the eighth fastest supercomputer in the world. Its 1,630 Intel Xeon « Haswell » processor nodes and 9,300 Intel Xeon Phi 7250 nodes yielded an HPL result of 14.01 petaflops.

At 13.55 petaflops, Oakforest-PACS, a Fujitsu PRIMERGY CX1640 M1 installed at Joint Center for Advanced High Performance Computing in Japan, is the number nine system. It too is powered by Intel “Knights Landing” Xeon Phi processors.

Fujitsu’s K computer installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Kobe, Japan, is now the number 10 system at 10.51 petaflops. Its performance is derived from its 88 thousand SPARC64 processor cores linked by Fujitsu’s Tofu interconnect. Despite its tenth-place showing on HPL, the K Computer is the top-ranked system on the High-Performance Conjugate Gradients (HPCG) benchmark.

For the first time, each of the top 10 supercomputers delivered more than 10 petaflops on HPL. There are also 181 systems with performance greater than a petaflop – up from 138 on the June 2017 list. Taking a broader look, the combined performance of all 500 systems has grown to 845 petaflops, compared to 749 petaflops six months ago and 672 petaflops one year ago. Even though aggregate performance grew by nearly 100 petaflops, the relative increase is well below the list’s long-term historical trend.

A further reflection of this slowdown is the list turnover. The entry point in the latest rankings moved up to 548 teraflops, compared to 432 teraflops in June. The 548-teraflop system was in position 370 in the previous TOP500 list. The turnover is in line with what has been observed over the last four years, but is much lower than previous levels.

A total of 102 systems employ accelerator/coprocessor technology, compared to 91 six months ago. 86 of these use NVIDIA GPUs, 12 systems make use Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor technology, and 5 are using PEZY Computing accelerators. Two systems use a combination of NVIDIA GPU and Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors. An additional 14 systems now use Xeon Phi chips as the main processing unit.

Green500 Highlights

Turning to the new Green500 rankings, the top three positions are taken by newly installed systems in Japan, all of which are based on the ZettaScaler-2.2 architecture and the PEZY-SC2 accelerator. The SC2 is a second-generation 2048-core chip that provides a peak performance of 8.192 teraflops in single-precision.

The most efficient of these ZettaScaler supercomputers is the Shoubu system B installed at RIKEN’s Advanced Center for Computing and Communication. It achieved a power efficiency of 17.0 gigaflops/watt.

The number two Green500 system is the Suiren2 cluster at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization/KEK, which managed to reach 16.8 gigaflops/watt.

The number three Green500 slot was captured by the PEZY Computing’s own Sakura system. It achieved 14.2 gigaflops/watt. All of these top three systems are positioned in the bottom half of the TOP500 rankings: Shoubu system B at position 258, Suiren2 at 306, and Sakura at 275.

The fourth greenest supercomputer is a DGX SaturnV Volta system, which is installed at NVIDIA headquarters in San Jose, California. It achieved 15.1 gigaflops/watt, and comes in at number 149 on the TOP500 list. The number five system is Gyoukou, yet another ZettaScaler-2.2 machine.  It achieved an efficiency of 14.2 gigaflops/watt and it currently ranks as the fourth most powerful supercomputer in the world.

Vendor trends

A total of 471 systems, representing 94.2 percent of the total, are now using Intel processors, which is slightly up from 92.8 percent six months ago. The share of IBM Power processors is at 14 systems, down from 21 systems in June.

The number of systems using Gigabit Ethernet is unchanged at 228 systems, in large part thanks to 204 systems now using 10G Ethernet.  InfiniBand technology is found in 163 systems, down from 178 systems in the previous list, and remains the second most-used system interconnect technology in the list. Intel Omni-Path technology is now in 35 systems, down from 38 six month ago.

HPE has the lead in the number of installed supercomputers at 122, which represents nearly a quarter of all TOP500 systems.  This includes several systems originally installed by SGI, which is now owned by HPE.  HPE accounted for 144 systems six months ago.

Lenovo follows HPE with 81 systems down from 88 systems on the June list.  Inspur rose further in the ranks and has now 56 systems, up from only 20 six month ago. Cray now has 53 systems, down from 57 systems six month ago. Sugon features 51 systems in the list, up from 44 in June.  IBM follows with only 19 systems remaining under their label. These are mostly BlueGene/Q supercomputers, reflecting an aging install base. The average age of IBM systems on the list is now five years.

Cray continues to be the clear performance leader, claiming 19.5 percent of the list’s aggregate performance. HPE is second with 15.2 percent of the TOP500 flops. Thanks to the number one Sunway TaihuLight system, NRCPC retains the third spot with 11.1 percent of the total performance. Lenovo is fourth with 9.1 percent of performance, followed by Inspur at 6.3 percent, IBM at 6.1 percent and Sugon at 5.2 percent. All top vendors, with the exception of Inspur and Sugon, lost performance share compared to six months ago.

HPCG Results

The TOP500 list is now incorporating the High-Performance Conjugate Gradient (HPCG) benchmark results into the list to provide a more balanced look at system performance. The benchmark incorporates calculations in sparse matrix multiplication, global collectives, and vector updates, which more closely represents the mix of computational and data access patterns used in many supercomputing codes.

As previously mentioned, the fastest system using the HPCG benchmark remains Fujitsu’s K computer, which is ranked number 10 in the overall TOP500 rankings. It achieved 602.7 teraflops on HPCG, followed closely by Tianhe-2 with a score of 580.0 teraflops. The upgraded Trinity supercomputer comes in at number three at 546.1 teraflops, followed by Piz Daint at number four with 486.4 teraflops, and Sunway TaihuLight at number five at 480.8 teraflops.

The International Space Station computer, built by HPE, is now listed in the HPCG results, making it the “highest” computer on the list.

Chinese Fighter Developments Revealed

 – October 27, 2017, 8:59 AM

New information on China’s jet fighter development has emerged this week, during the twice-in-a-decade Communist Party Congress (CPC). Many of the country’s senior defense industrial leaders also hold positions in the upper ranks of the party. As such, they use the event to try to gain advantage over their rivals in the budgeting process. In particular, significant developments in the stealthy J-20 and FC-31 programs have been revealed.

The Chengdu J-20 first flew in the beginning of 2011 but did not make its first public appearance until the 2016 Zhuhai Air Show—and then only in a brief flypast. The latest reports state that the aircraft has entered low-rate production and that it is close to being deployed with operational combat units. Official but anonymous Chinese sources have stated that putting the J-20 into service is aimed at creating leverage for China in advance of U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit, scheduled for next month.

The same Chinese sources state that the J-20 now has a reliable domestically produced powerplant. Previous models of the J-20 were powered with the Russian-made Saturn/Lyulka AL-31F engine. The Chinese engine can still not match the performance of the Pratt & Whitney F119 that powers the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, but it supposedly enables the J-20 to supercruise. There will be 100 J-20s in service by 2020 and another 100 by 2023, it is reported.

The Shenyang FC-31 has gone through a major redesign to correct a number of shortcomings seen in the original prototypes. Among other changes, the structure has been reworked so that it is now three metric tons heavier and between 20 and 30 inches longer. The aircraft’s Russian-made RD-33 engine has been replaced with a Chinese engine that is supposedly “smokeless,” and the aircraft’s planform has been redesigned in order to reduce its radar cross section.

The new FC-31 variant is also supposed to receive the new WS-19 engine in 2019 and will give this aircraft supercruise capability as well. The radar is also reported to have been upgraded with new modes, including the ability to carry out dependent targeting or battlefield management tasks. The extra airframe structure will help in the eventual design of a carrier-capable version.

Other Chinese sources are also claiming that Indonesia is a serious potential export prospect for the FC-31. Jakarta had previously taken a minor role in the development of the Korean KF-X stealthy fighter. But that cooperation has reportedly ended.

The J-10C is the third and most advanced version of the single-engine fighter produced at Chengdu. It has completed a number of weapons tests and other operational validation flights. Most recently the aircraft successfully demonstrated air-to-air refuelling with one of the PLAAF’s tankers.

A NATO intelligence officer with significant experience in China told AIN that this week’s news was significant for being all about « indigenous » Chinese programs. “You notice that nothing has been said about the Russian aircraft in the PLAAF, or the copies that Chinese industry now builds of the Sukhoi Su-27. That is not an accident, and it shows that in President Xi’s ‘new China,’ the emphasis is definitely on the country’s own home-grown weaponry,” he said.

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2017-10-27/chinese-fighter-developments-revealed

 

US May in Fact Lose War Against North Korea, Ex-Pentagon Commander Says

In a possible conflict between Pyongyang and Washington, the North Korean forces would outnumber South Korea-based US troops, which will be undersupplied, according to a former deputy commander of US Forces in Korea.

Newsweek obtained the text of a letter from Jan-Marc Jouas, former deputy commander of US Forces in Korea to an array of Democratic members of Congress.

In the letter, he warned Washington of the potential consequences of a military confrontation with North Korea, should one arise.

« The 28,500 US Armed Forces personnel in South Korea are vastly outnumbered by North Korean forces, as well as [South Korean] forces that will conduct the overwhelming majority of the fighting. Unlike every conflict since the last Korean War, we will not be able to build up our forces prior to the start of hostilities, » the letter said.

Jouas alleged that it would take days or even months for the US military to deliver its reinforcements and supplies to the Korean Peninsula.

He also warned that any fresh US troops there face the risk of a conventional or chemical weapons attack by an estimated 1.2 million-strong North Korean army, something that he said « will further delay their entry into the war. »

Jouas voiced doubt that North Korea’s nuclear capabilities will be « completely » eliminated by a full-fledged war on the Korean Peninsula, which he said can be fueled by any US military action against Pyongyang.

https://twitter.com/histamin32/status/927264872597000192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsputniknews.com%2Fanalysis%2F201711111059007563-us-pentagon-north-korea-war%2F

His letter came a few days after US President Donald Trump called on North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions, saying that further nuclear provocations will put the country in danger.

https://twitter.com/MikeSington/status/922585834355769344?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsputniknews.com%2Fanalysis%2F201711111059007563-us-pentagon-north-korea-war%2F

Speaking at the South Korean National Assembly, Trump at the same time avoided threatening Pyongyang with « fire and fury, » suggesting that the diplomatic option is viable to resolving the crisis.

Trump also warned that the US is poised and ready to use military force if necessary and called for the international community to join forces « to isolate the brutal regime of North Korea – to deny it any form of support, supply, or acceptance. »

In the past few months, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has exacerbated significantly, following several ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests conducted by Pyongyang in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icHjtFp4yuM

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201711111059007563-us-pentagon-north-korea-war/

 

Irak: le Kurdistan prêt à geler les résultats du référendum

Le Kurdistan irakien, en pleine crise politique et économique et acculé par Bagdad, a proposé mercredi de geler les résultats de son référendum d’indépendance pour tenter de sortir d’une crise dans laquelle il a déjà beaucoup perdu. Les autorités irakiennes n’ont pas immédiatement réagi à cette initiative.
Il y a un mois jour pour jour, cette région autonome dans le nord de l’Irak organisait en grandes pompes une consultation populaire et le « oui » l’emportait massivement. Aussitôt éclatait une crise d’une ampleur sans précédent avec Bagdad, soutenu par des voisins turc et iranien désireux de couper court aux velléités indépendantistes de leurs propres minorités kurdes.
Assuré de ces appuis –mais également des Etats-Unis et d’autres, soucieux de « l’unité de l’Irak », acteur majeur de la lutte contre les jihadistes–, et disant s’appuyer sur la Constitution, le Premier ministre irakien Haider al-Abadi a envoyé ses troupes.
Elles ont repris en quelques jours à peine la quasi-totalité des zones disputées à travers l’Irak aux combattants kurdes, les peshmergas, dans une démonstration de force –qui s’est en de rares endroits soldée par des combats ayant fait une trentaine de morts.
L’unique condition pour éviter ces mouvements militaires, avaient prévenu les responsables à Bagdad, jusqu’au président Fouad Massoum, lui-même kurde, était l’annulation pure et simple des résultats du référendum.
Jusqu’ici, Erbil, la capitale du Kurdistan irakien, refusait en bloc toute condition préalable à l’ouverture d’un dialogue avec Bagdad. Mais mardi des affrontements ont éclaté entre forces kurdes et irakiennes dans le nord frontalier de la Turquie, et Bagdad se dit déterminé à reprendre l’ensemble des points de passage et autres terminaux à la région autonome, aux mains des peshmergas.
Pour éviter « la guerre » et « la destruction du tissu social », le Kurdistan irakien a proposé mercredi de « geler les résultats » de son référendum d’indépendance et d’entamer « un dialogue ouvert » avec Bagdad « sur la base de la Constitution ». Dans son communiqué publié tôt mercredi, la région autonome se dit aussi prête à « un cessez-le-feu immédiat ».
Erbil, en position de force depuis la débandade des forces fédérales en 2014 face à la percée jihadiste, a depuis perdu gros. Et après son référendum, elle n’a pas obtenu le soutien international qu’elle avait espéré.
Sur le terrain, elle a quasiment perdu tous les territoires où ses peshmergas s’étaient déployés au-delà des frontières administratives de la région autonome.
A l’issue des opérations de « restauration du pouvoir central » dans les zones disputées, notamment la riche province de Kirkouk, elle a perdu les immenses champs de pétrole qui aurait pu assurer la viabilité économique d’un hypothétique Etat kurde, assurent les experts.
L’ONU, qui jusqu’à la veille du référendum du 25 septembre plaidait pour un plan alternatif de négociations, a réitéré mardi sa proposition d’aider à des pourparlers entre Bagdad et Erbil pour faire cesser l’escalade.
Dans un communiqué, le représentant spécial du secrétaire général des Nations unies en Irak, Jan Kubis, « offre les bons offices de la mission de l’ONU en Irak pour faciliter les discussions si les deux parties le demandent ».
La proposition d’Erbil intervient au moment où M. Abadi, de retour d’une tournée régionale chez les poids lourds arabes du Moyen-Orient, notamment l’Arabie saoudite et l’Egypte, est attendu en Turquie.
Il a déjà annoncé qu’il évoquerait avec les responsables turcs la question du référendum kurde, de la gestion de la frontière entre son pays et la Turquie dont il entend reprendre le contrôle.
La veille, conséquence de la crise que traverse le Kurdistan dont la classe politique se déchire, le Parlement kurde a reporté les élections législatives et présidentielle, prévues le 1er novembre.
L’opposition kurde réclame la démission du président du Kurdistan Massoud Barzani et un « gouvernement de salut national » pour éviter à cette région, qui traverse une grave crise économique, plus de divisions et de déboires politiques face à Bagdad désormais en position de force.
Ces derniers jours, Erbil et Bagdad ont chacun émis des mandats d’arrêt visant de hautes personnalités politiques et militaires adverses.
Publié il y a 2 hours ago par Assawra
Libellés: Irak

https://assawra.blogspot.fr/2017/10/irak-le-kurdistan-pret-geler-les.html

 

Exclusif: Le Maroc intéressé par l’acquisition du système de missiles sol-air russe S-400

Par M’Hamed Hamrouch le 12/10/2017 à 12h49 (mise à jour le 12/10/2017 à 13h21)

Le Maroc négocierait l’acquisition des missiles sol-air russes S-400 pour renforcer sa Défense anti-aérienne (DCA), apprend le360, au lendemain de la signature d’un accord de coopération militaire maroco-russe, mercredi 11 octobre, à l’occasion de la visite de Dmitri Medvedev. Révélations.

le premier ministre russe, Dmitri Medvedev, a annoncé, hier mercredi 11 octobre, à l’occasion de sa visite de travail à Rabat, la décision de son pays de « livrer des produits militaires » au Maroc, sans toutefois préciser la nature de ces produits. Ne vous y trompez pas: il ne s’agirait pas de livraison du fameux sous-marin russe « Amur 1650 » de quatrième génération, ni de bombardiers Sukhoï, comme cela a été longuement rapporté par les médias spécialisés dans les questions de Défense. Une source militaire contactée par le360 a balayé du revers de la main ces supputations, précisant que « le besoin réel de l’armée marocaine n’est pas en sous-marins, pas plus qu’en aéronefs de guerre, les appareils acquis auprès des USA, notamment les F16, sont suffisants ».

Selon notre source, qui a souhaité ne pas être citée, « le Maroc serait plutôt intéressé par l’acquisition du système de missiles sol-air russe S-400 ». Ce système de grande et moyenne portée, sollicité aussi par de grandes puissances militaires comme la Chine et la Turquie, est destiné à abattre tout type de cible aérienne: avions, drones et missiles de croisière hypersoniques. Le système est capable de tirer simultanément 72 missiles sur 36 cibles éloignées à une distance de 400 km.

 

« Les Russes sont très forts en armement de défense anti-aérienne », fait valoir notre source, « autant que sur le système d’artillerie, notamment les obusiers ». « C’est là que le besoin est ressenti le plus par l’armée marocaine, dans sa composante terrestre pour être précis, pour mieux protéger ses frontières terrestres ».

 

Maroc-Algérie, pour équilibrer le rapport de force

« Il faut évaluer les besoins d’un oeil stratégique », indique notre source. Et sur ce point, il suffit juste de constater que le voisin de l’Est, l’Algérie, si on en juge par des photos publiées par le blog algérien Secret Difa3, possèderait quatre régiments de missiles sol-air S-400, dont une partie est déployée à sa frontière Ouest avec le Maroc. D’après le même blog, un contrat de livraison des S-400 en Algérie avait été signé en 2014. Une photo d’un camion BAZ-64022 équipé d’une rampe de lancement bâchée confirme en effet la livraison. Selon l’auteur, la photo a été prise au printemps 2015 lors de tests des armes livrées. Toujours selon le blog, l’Algérie devrait en équiper 3 ou 4 régiments (soit 6 à 8 groupes composés chacun de huit batteries).

 

Si ces informations venaient à être confirmées, l’Algerie serait le premier acheteur étranger des missiles russes S-400. Il est donc temps que le Maroc équipe ses forces terrestres de ce type de missiles ultramodernes.

http://m.le360.ma/politique/exclusif-le-maroc-interesse-par-lacquisition-du-systeme-de-missiles-sol-air-russe-s-400-138449

 

How Russia Is Trying to Make America’s F-22 and F-35 as Obsolete as Battleships

Charlie Gao
October 14, 2017

Ever since the development of stealth technology for aircraft, many different systems have been advertised as “stealth killing.” One of the more innovative solutions is the Russian Struna-1/Barrier-E bistatic radar system developed by NNIIRT, a division of the Almaz-Antey Joint Stock Company. Almaz-Antey is the premier air-defense and radar manufacturer in Russia; they make the Tor, Buk and S-400 anti-aircraft systems, as well as their respective search radars. The Struna-1 was originally developed in 1999. A further evolution of Struna-1, the Barrier-E system was later showcased for export at MAKS 2007. While it is not part of Almaz-Antey’s online catalog, it was shown alongside other radars at MAKS 2017. The system is rumored to be deployed around Moscow.

The Struna-1 is different than most radars in that it is a bistatic radar, meaning it relies on the receiver and transmitter of the radar to be in two different locations as opposed to conventional radar technology where the receiver and transmitter are located in the same location. Normal radar systems are limited by the inverse fourth power law. As the radar target goes further away from the transmission source, the strength of the radar signal decays as per the regular inverse square law. However, radar detection works by receiving reflections of the radar signal. With a conventional radar, this results in the received signal being four times weaker than that put out. Stealth works because at a distance, an aircraft can mitigate its radar returns to be small by scattering them and absorbing them using radiation-absorbent materials. This degrades the quality of the radar track so it is harder to distinguish precise information about an aircraft.

The Struna-1 solves this problem by positioning the transmitter in a different location than the receiver. The link between the transmitter and receiver has increased power relative to a conventional radar, as it falls off according to the inverse square law as opposed to the inverse fourth power law. This allows the radar to be more sensitive, as it is effectively acting as a radar tripwire. According to Russian sources, this setup increases the effective radar cross section (RCS) of a target by nearly threefold, and ignores any anti-radar coatings that can scatter the radio waves. This allows the detection of not only stealth aircraft, but other objects with low RCS such as hang gliders and cruise missiles. As many of ten receiver/transmitter tower pairs—each tower is called Priyomno-Peredayushchiy Post (PPP) in Russian publications—can be placed. Sources vary in potential configurations of the towers, but the maximum span between two single towers is 50km. This leads to a maximum theoretical perimeter of 500km.

These individual towers have relatively low power consumption, and they do not emit as much energy as traditional radars, making them less vulnerable to anti-radiation weapons. The towers are mobile, allowing for forward deployment in times of conflict. They rely on microwave data links to communicate with each other and a centralized monitoring station, which can be located at a significant distance from the system. The distributed nature also allows the system to keep operating if one node goes down, albeit with less precision. The low height of the transmitter and receiver towers (only 25m off the ground) make Struna-1 very good at detecting low altitude targets, a target set that conventional radars often have trouble with.

Limitations of the Struna-1 include a low detection altitude. The nature of the system results in the detection range being a rough biased parabola between the receiver and transmitter. This limits the detection altitude to around 7km at the tallest point, with the maximum detection range going down as one gets closer to the transmitter/receiver towers. The transverse size of the detection zone islikewise limited, being around 1.5km close to the towers to 12km at the optimal point between the towers. The small size of the detection zone limits the use of the Struna-1 system as a tripwire, it cannot replace traditional radars as an overall search mechanism. However with its high precision tracks of stealthy aircraft, it would serve as a good counterpart to other longer-band radar systems such as Sunflower, which provide less precise tracks of planes. The Struna-1 cannot act as a targeting radar due to its inability to provide constant radar illumination tracking a target, so it cannot be used to guide in semi-active surface-to-air missiles.

While the Struna-1 bistatic radar is not a be-all end-all detection solution for stealth aircraft, it could pose a significant threat to stealth NATO aircraft in a future conflict. Strike aircraft with stealth features are particularly vulnerable, the strike role tends to favor flight profiles that might cause aircraft to fly into the Struna-1’s detection range. In tandem with other modern “stealth-defeating” radar systems, the Struna-1 could provide critical information to an adversary on the position and movement of stealth aircraft.

Charlie Gao studied Political and Computer Science at Grinnell College and is a frequent commentator on defense and national security issues.

Image: Reuters

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-russia-trying-make-americas-f-22-f-35-obsolete-22715

Les Kurdes favorables au dialogue avec Bagdad après l’opération militaire

Le gouvernement du Kurdistan irakien s’est déclaré jeudi favorable à un dialogue avec le pouvoir central à Bagdad dont les forces viennent de chasser les combattants kurdes de zones disputées.
« Le cabinet du Kurdistan accueille favorablement l’initiative du Premier ministre Haider al-Abadi d’entamer des négociations pour régler les problèmes en suspens selon la Constitution et les principes de partenariat », selon un communiqué officiel publié à Erbil, la capitale du Kurdistan.
Le communiqué a été publié après une réunion du cabinet tenue sous la présidence du Premier ministre kurde Nechervan Barzani et du vice-Premier ministre Qubad Talabani.
« Le Kurdistan demande l’aide et la contribution de la communauté internationale en parrainant ce dialogue », selon le gouvernement de cette région autonome.
Lundi et mardi, les troupes fédérales irakiennes et des milices alliées ont évincé les forces kurdes de la riche province pétrolière de Kirkouk (nord-est), ainsi que des provinces de Ninive (nord) et de Diyala (est).
Cette opération visait à rétablir l’autorité du pouvoir central dans les zones disputées du pays. Elle intervenait après un référendum d’indépendance kurde organisé le 25 septembre lors duquel le « oui » l’avait massivement emporté, provoquant la colère de Bagdad.
Mardi, M. Abadi a fait une offre de dialogue tout en affirmant que ce référendum était « terminé et faisait désormais partie du passé », de même que « son résultat ».
Il avait fait de l’abandon du résultat de cette consultation une condition préalable à l’ouverture d’un dialogue avec la région autonome.
L’opération de Bagdad a permis –presque sans combats– au pouvoir central de reprendre le contrôle des zones tenues par les Kurdes depuis 2013. Ces derniers sont désormais largement cantonnés à leurs trois provinces autonomes du nord du pays.
Les Kurdes avaient progressivement gagné du terrain à la suite de l’invasion américaine de 2003 et de la percée fulgurante du groupe Etat islamique (EI) en 2014.
Malgré la volonté de dialogue affichée, des tensions subsistent entre Bagdad et le Kurdistan.
Kosrat Rassoul, vice-président du Kurdistan irakien et haut dirigeant de l’Union patriotique du Kurdistan (UPK), a affirmé que « l’armée irakienne et la police fédérale dans la province de Kirkouk étaient des forces d’occupation ».
Jeudi, un tribunal de Bagdad a émis un mandat d’arrêt contre lui pour « propos provocateurs envers l’armée irakienne », selon une source judiciaire.
« Le tribunal considère ces propos comme une provocation contre les forces armées conformément à l’article 226 du code pénal », a précisé Abdel Sattar al-Bireqdar, porte-parole du Conseil suprême de la magistrature. Il risque au maximum sept ans de prison ou une amende.
Par ailleurs, le gouvernement irakien s’en est pris vivement jeudi, sans le nommer, à l’accord signé la veille par le géant semi-public russe du pétrole Rosneft avec les autorités du Kurdistan irakien.
Le ministère irakien du Pétrole a souligné dans un communiqué que « ce département et le gouvernement fédéral irakien sont les deux seules parties avec lesquelles il faut traiter pour conclure des accords concernant le développement et les investissements dans le secteur de l’énergie ».
Rosneft avait annoncé mercredi un accord avec les autorités du Kurdistan irakien, à qui il compte payer jusqu’à 400 millions de dollars (338 millions d’euros) pour exploiter ses vastes ressources en hydrocarbures, disputées avec le pouvoir central de Bagdad.

 

https://assawra.blogspot.fr/2017/10/les-kurdes-favorables-au-dialogue-avec.html

 

Irak: Bagdad et les Kurdes se donnent 24 heures de plus pour éviter l’affrontement

Bagdad et le Kurdistan irakien se sont accordés dimanche une journée de plus pour éviter par le dialogue tout affrontement armé, alors que leurs troupes, massées dans la riche province pétrolière de Kirkouk, se font face.
En fin de matinée, le président irakien Fouad Massoum, lui-même kurde, a débuté une rencontre avec Massoud Barzani, le président du Kurdistan autonome.
De hauts responsables de l’Union patriotique du Kurdistan (UPK), le parti de M. Massoum, grand rival du Parti démocratique kurde (PDK) de M. Barzani, participaient également à cette réunion à Doukan, dans la province de Souleimaniyeh, fief de l’UPK.
M. Massoum va soumettre aux responsables kurdes « un projet », a indiqué à l’AFP l’un de ses conseillers qui l’accompagnait, Abdallah Aliwaï. Il a refusé de divulguer la teneur du projet mais a expliqué qu’il se basait « sur le dialogue et la négociation pour éviter le conflit et la violence ».
Les peshmergas –les combattants kurdes– se divisent entre les deux partis. Les forces kurdes présentes dans la province de Kirkouk, que les forces irakiennes cherchent à déloger, dépendent de l’UPK.
Alors que les politiques tentent de reprendre langue, des milliers de combattants se font face dans cette province située au nord de Bagdad, trois semaines après la tenue d’un référendum au Kurdistan qui a exacerbé les tensions.
Tôt dimanche, un photographe de l’AFP a vu les troupes irakiennes toujours massées face aux peshmergas, qui tenaient leurs positions, sans qu’aucun mouvement ne soit visible.
Les forces, qui disent « attendre les ordres » de leurs commandements, ont obtenu un nouveau délai de 24 heures, selon le responsable kurde.
Saad al-Hadithi, porte-parole du Premier ministre irakien Haider al-Abadi, a refusé tout commentaire au sujet de ce délai.
Il a toutefois affirmé à l’AFP que « les forces gouvernementales irakiennes ne veulent pas et ne peuvent pas porter atteinte aux citoyens, qu’ils soient kurdes ou autres, mais elles doivent faire appliquer la Constitution ».
La loi, a-t-il poursuivi, prévoit que « le gouvernement central exerce sa souveraineté sur les zones que la Constitution définit comme disputées (dont la province de Kirkouk fait partie, NDLR), de même qu’en matière de commerce extérieur, notamment de production et d’export de pétrole ».
L’Irak exige de reprendre le contrôle des positions tenues par les peshmergas depuis la débâcle de l’armée et de la police irakiennes face à la percée fulgurante du groupe Etat islamique (EI) en juin 2014.
Outre des bases militaires, les combattants du Kurdistan –région qui bénéficie depuis 1991 d’une autonomie étoffée au fil des ans– se sont également emparés d’infrastructures et de champs pétroliers de cette province disputée de Kirkouk.
Les forces irakiennes, gouvernementales et paramilitaires, avaient laissé aux peshmergas jusqu’au milieu de la nuit de samedi à dimanche pour s’en retirer, avaient affirmé les responsables kurdes.
Une fois ce délai expiré, combattants, habitants et politiques disaient redouter le pire.
Dans la nuit, des civils kurdes circulaient en armes dans la ville de Kirkouk, tandis que leur gouverneur, Najm Eddine Karim, limogé par Bagdad mais qui reste à son poste, prévenait: « les habitants aideront les peshmergas (…) nous ne laisserons aucune force pénétrer dans notre ville ».
Jusqu’à présent, les forces irakiennes n’ont pas entamé de combat, se contentant de progresser et de reprendre certaines bases désertées peu avant par les peshmergas.
Leur objectif n’est pas la ville de Kirkouk, indiquent même les autorités à Erbil. Elles veulent reprendre « les champs pétroliers, une base militaire et un aéroport » mitoyen.
En outre, Bagdad, dont le budget est grévé par la chute des cours du pétrole et trois années de mobilisation et de combats contre l’EI, entend reprendre la main sur les 250.000 b/j de pétrole des trois champs de la province de Kirkouk: Khormala, pris par les Kurdes en 2008, et Havana et Bay Hassan, pris en 2014.
Le Kurdistan, qui traverse la plus grave crise économique de son histoire, pourrait lourdement pâtir de la perte de ces champs qui assurent 40% de ses exportations pétrolières.
Bagdad, en crise ouverte avec Erbil depuis la tenue le 25 septembre du référendum d’indépendance y compris dans des zones disputées comme Kirkouk, a récemment multiplié les mesures économiques et judiciaires pour faire plier le Kurdistan.
Autre mesure de rétorsion, l’Iran, hostile au référendum, a fermé dimanche trois postes-frontières permettant le passage de biens et de personnes du Kurdistan irakien à son territoire, a indiqué à l’AFP un responsable kurde.
Washington, allié à la fois des Kurdes et des forces irakiennes dans la lutte contre l’EI, a affirmé vouloir « calmer les choses ».

Analyse sur le rapprochement entre la Turquie et l’Iran

Etude de Cemil Dogac Ipek, docteur en Relations internationales à l’Université Ataturk

Analyse sur le rapprochement entre la Turquie et l’Iran

          L’Iran et la Turquie sont deux puissances régionales qui partagent une frontière de 560 kilomètres qui n’a pas changé depuis près de 4 siècles. Outre l’ambassade de la Turquie à Téhéran, la Turquie a un consulat général à Tabriz, Ourmia et Masshad. L’Iran a de son côté comme représentation en Turquie, l’ambassade d’Iran à Ankara et les consulats généraux d’Istanbul, d’Erzurum et de Trabzon. La Turquie vise à développer ses relations avec l’Iran, sur les principes de respect, de bon voisinage et de ne pas se mêler des affaires internes entre eux. Les deux pays font des efforts en vue de développer et faire avancer le dialogue politique et les relations bilatérales via les visites réciproques de hauts rangs réalisées en particulier ces derniers temps.

L’un des résultats du référendum illégal d’indépendance tenu il y a quelques jours en Irak du nord, a été le rapprochement entre les deux pays. Ce rapprochement, est également évalué par certains comme une nouvelle formation d’alliance au Moyen Orient. Actuellement, il est encore tôt pour qualifier ce rapprochement d’alliance. Toutefois, si le rapprochement entre les deux pays va vers une alliance, ce ne sera pas une surprise.

Depuis de longues années, la Turquie et l’Iran sont en concurrence dans une large géographie allant de l’Asie du sud-est au Caucase, de l’Asie centrale au Moyen Orient. La concurrence n’a jamais disparue. Mais, nous savons que les deux Etats sont en coopération dans les traités où la sécurité est primordiale telles que le traité de Sa’dabad et le pacte de Bagdad, et les organisations centrées sur l’économie et le commerces telles que le RCD, le D-8 et ECO.

Dans ce contexte, la visite du président de la République turque Recep Tayyip Erdogan il y a quelques jours en Iran a tourné l’attention du Moyen Orient vers les relations turco-iraniennes. Nous pouvons affirmer que la dimension sécuritaire est très en avant plan dans les relations turco-iraniennes ces derniers temps en raison de la visite du chef d’état-major turc Hulusi Akar en Iran à la veille de celle du président Erdogan, et de la visite du chef d’état-major iranien Mohammed Bakri en Turquie au mois d’aout.

Le cours des évènements actuel qui va vers une division de l’Irak et de la Syrie, rapproche Ankara et Téhéran. L’approche commune adoptée au terme du référendum illégale réalisé au nord de l’Irak, font hausser les commentaires selon lesquels ce rapprochement pourrait atteindre une dimension supérieure. Dans ce contexte, la visite du président de la République turque Erdogan à Téhéran la 4e réunion du haut conseil de coopération, paraît importante aux yeux de l’opinion publique. Un grand nombre d’accords allant du tourisme au secteur bancaire, de la coopération économique au sujet du gaz naturel, ont été signés lors de cette visite du président Erdogan. Par ailleurs, le volume commercial de 30 milliards de dollars et l’usage des monnaies nationales, ont été les sujets prééminents. De plus, des négociations à savoir quel genre de politique sera suivi contre la décision de référendum de l’administration régionale kurde d’Irak du nord et comment seront dirigées les régions de désescalade en Syrie, ont eu lieu. Cette situation montre que les deux pays sont en quête de coopération étroite dans les domaines de la défense et des renseignements.

Ankara et Téhéran sont déterminés à faire renoncer Barzani à son erreur, en soutenant les mesures prises par Bagdad contre Arbil. Les déclarations et décisions annoncées par Erdogan lors de ses entretiens avec les leaders iraniens à Téhéran, montre cela. Par exemple, l’approche commune adoptée par les leaders iraniens au sujet de la déclaration d’Erdogan, selon laquelle Israël et les Etats-Unis sont derrière cette initiative entreprise par Barzani, est appréciable. Une autre décision prise lors des entretiens de Téhéran, est l’alourdissement des sanctions contre l’administration de Barzani. Ces nouvelles sévères sanctions sont pour le moment inconnues. La Turquie est en particulier restée prudente et devrait maintenir cette approche.

Les organisations terroristes telles que le PKK/PYD soutenu et utilisé comme outils par certains pays occidentaux dans leurs politiques moyen-orientales, ont obtenu certains acquis en Irak et en Syrie. Ces acquis poussent la Turquie et l’Iran à mettre de côté leurs différences de vues sur ces sujets, et à coopérer dans le domaine de la sécurité. A ce niveau, il faut que les alliés de la Turquie qui ferment les yeux sur les intérêts vitaux de la Turquie dans la région, commencent à comprendre que cela pousse Ankara à coopérer avec Moscou et Téhéran. Car ce qu’il se passe, est une question d’existence pour la Turquie. Les alliés de la Turquie doivent comprendre cette situation et faire ce que nécessite l’alliance. Dans le cas contraire, il sera inéluctable que la Turquie se rapproche de l’Iran et de la Russie.

La Turquie et l’Iran sont actuellement conscients de la menace qui les vise dans la région. C’est pourquoi, leur rapprochement va continuer.  Les craintes communes sur la sécurité accélèrent ce rapprochement. La lutte de supériorité en Syrie et en Irak entre les deux pays, a causé le renforcement de l’organisation terroriste PKK qui menace l’intégrité territoriale des deux pays. C’est peut-être pour cette raison que la coopération est désormais devenue une obligation. Alors, est ce que la Turquie et l’Iran pourront mettre de côté leur concurrence historique et se diriger vers une alliance étroite ? Les développements qui auront lieu dans la région dans la période à suivre, nous le montreront.

http://www.trt.net.tr/francais/moyen-orient/2017/10/13/analyse-sur-le-rapprochement-entre-la-turquie-et-l-iran-825668

 

The story of another time the US considered attacking North Korea

Writer Todd Crowell recalls events when Richard Nixon was president of the US and Washington was considering an attack on North Korea.

 

MAY 2, 2017 4:55 PM (UTC+8)

Recent headlines suggest the United States is considering a range of “options” to curb North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile ambitions, up to and including air strikes.

What seems to have been forgotten is that there was a moment between the two countries in the past that also involved the planning of an air attack by the US.

Though it eventually never took place, it’s not as easy for me to forget, as I was personally involved.

There was nothing to indicate that the day April 15, 1969, would be any different from any other day as winter gave way to cherry blossom season in Japan.

I was a young air force lieutenant stationed with the 347th Fighter Wing at Yokota air base as an intelligence officer for a squadron of F-4 Phantoms.

I began my daily routine by stopping by the communications shop to pick up the morning “flemsies,” a military version of teletype print outs. From them I would construct a short briefing for the benefit of what was grandly called the “battle staff.”

On that particular morning there was no indication that anything out of the ordinary was taking place. There was the usual complement of war news from “down south,” meaning Vietnam and Cambodia, where the war was still going strong, and some information on deployment of Russian fighters in the Far East.

As I entered the War Room to give the 7 a.m. briefing, I could see immediately that something was different.

The room consisted of a bank of seats culminating at the top dais where the wing commander and his deputy sat, and people usually slowly drifted in.

But this day every seat was occupied and, it seemed, every eye was on me. I went over to a major sitting in the corner, and bent down to ask him what was going on.

“North Korean jets shot down one of our planes,” he said.

“Oh,” I said. I stood up and turned to face the briefing audience, fully aware that as I repeated what he had just told me, I was probably the last in the room to know.

So I added, optimistically, “We’ll provide more information when we get it.”

That is how I learned about what could have become a seminal event of the Cold War in Asia. Two North Korean MiG-21s ambushed and shot down a U.S. Navy EC-121 electronic surveillance aircraft with the loss of all her crew of 31 sailors and marines over the Sea of Japan.

Within in an hour I was ordered to grab my kit and we were hustled aboard a C-130 transport plane and flown from Yokota to Osan Air Force Base in South Korea, the advance base for our wing of jet fighters.

For the next week we were on a war footing, fully expecting to launch air strikes on North Korea. I still remember our target: Pukchang-ni air base north of the capital, Pyongyang. It is still an important North Korean Air Force base, home for MiG-23 and MiG-29 fighters.

Everyone was on edge. Pilots, who usually could barely conceal their boredom on our briefings, suddenly became very attentive to what we had to say about defenses they might encounter on bombing runs.

We pulled together maps and photos and anything else we could find out about Pukchang-ni in order to make target folders. There wasn’t much we could do, considering how skillfully the North concealed its assets, including placing many aircraft safely in underground bunkers.

Cropped and modified version map from "Historical Crises in North Korea Lessons from the USS Pueblo and EC-121 Incidents—1968 and 1969" by Richard A. Mobley from Studies in Intelligence Volume 59, Number 1 (March 2015). Photo: Central Intelligence Agency

Cropped and modified version map from “Historical Crises in North Korea Lessons from the USS Pueblo and EC-121 Incidents—1968 and 1969” by Richard A. Mobley from Studies in Intelligence Volume 59, Number 1 (March 2015). Photo: CIA.

But after a week of fevered activity we were ordered to stand down. No airstrikes were ordered, and I returned to the comforts of Japan — able to enjoy the cherry blossoms instead of enduring the tag end of a cold Korean winter.

This was former President Richard Nixon’s first real crisis, coming about three months after he was sworn in, or roughly the same time frame President Donald Trump sits in today.

Nixon and his advisors considered several responses, including air strikes on North Korean military facilities. After debating various options, he decided against retaliatory air strikes. Presumably, he believed that one war at a time was enough.

Instead, he dispatched a small armada of warships, built around several aircraft carriers, into the Sea of Japan as a show of force — very much like the flotilla sent into the region by Trump.

But after a time, they departed and Nixon simply ordered the reconnaissance flights to resume, albeit escorted by fighters.

He faced the same conundrum that bedevils policy makers to this day: namely, what kind of force could the U.S. use that would be tough enough to punish North Korea but not so tough that Pyongyang would think it was prelude to a general invasion, requiring a massive retaliation?

Remember, this was a time when nuclear weapons were only a gleam in the eye of supreme leader Kim Il-sung.

The shooting down of the EC-121 was the single largest loss of U.S. aircrew during the Cold War.

There is no memorial to the crew, but the U.S. Navy detachment at Misawa Air Force Base places a floral wreath on the edge of the Sea of Japan and watches it drift out to sea. They have been doing this every April 15 for 47 years.

Todd Crowell is the author of The Coming War Between China and Japan published as an Amazon Single Kindle. This article was first published in the magazine of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. You can see it here.

1920x1200-north_korean_mig_21_93_HD

North Korean’s Mig-21 interceptors

A U.S. Navy Lockheed EC-121M Warning Star (BuNo 143209, tal code JQ-14) of fleet air reconnaissance squadron VQ-2 Batmen in the early 1970s. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A U.S. Navy Lockheed EC-121M Warning Star (BuNo 143209, tal code JQ-14) of fleet air reconnaissance squadron VQ-2 Batmen in the early 1970s

http://www.atimes.com/article/story-another-time-us-came-close-attacking-north-korea/

 

 

How to shoot down a stealth fighter

Posted in Design by Scott Locklin on January 20, 2017

Editorial note: I actually wrote most of this five years ago, but was reluctant to publish it for misguided patriotic reasons. Since people are starting to talk about it, I figure I might as well bring some more sense to the discussion.

I’ve already gone on record as being against the F-35. Now it’s time to wax nerdy as to why this is a dumb idea. I’m not against military spending. I’m against spending money on things which are dumb. Stealth fighters are dumb. Stealth bombers: still pretty dumb, but significantly less dumb.

 

f-35-turkey

 

I have already mentioned the fact that the thing is designed for too many roles. Aircraft should be designed for one main role, and, well, it’s fine to use them for something else if they work well for that. The recipe for success is the one which has historically produced good airplanes: the P38 Lightning, the Focke-Wulf Fw-190, the F-4, the F-16, the Su-27, and the A-10. All of these were designed with one mission in mind. They ended up being very good at lots of different things. Multi-objective design optimization though, is moronic, and gets us aircraft like the bureaucratic atrocity known as the F-111 Aardvark, whose very name doesn’t exactly evoke air combat awesomeness.

What is stealth? Stealth is a convergence of technologies which makes an aircraft electronically unobservable, primarily via Radar. The anti-radar technology is two-fold: the skin of the aircraft can be radar absorbent, but the main trick is to build the aircraft in a shape which scatters the radio energy away from the radar set which sent the signal.  What is a fighter? A fighter is an aircraft that shoots down other aircraft. Fighters use guns, infrared guided missiles and radar guided missiles. Most modern radar guided missiles work by pointing the missile more or less in the target direction, illuminating the target with radar (from the jet, or from the missile itself; generally from the missile itself these days), and launching. The wavelength of the missile and jet radar is dictated by the physical size of the missile or jet. The main purpose of radar-resistant technology for a stealth fighter is avoiding being detected in the first place by enemy radar, but also defeating radar guided air to air missiles.

Of course, what nobody will tell you: the air to air radar guided missiles haven’t historically been very effective. The US has some of the best ones; the AMRAAM. They’ve only shot down 9 aircraft in combat thus far using this weapon; it has a kill probability of around 50% depending on who you ask. Previous generations of such missiles (the AIM-4AIM-7 and Phoenix) were fairly abysmal. The AIM-4 was a complete failure. The AIM-7, also a turkey in its early versions with a 10% kill probability in the Vietnam War (later versions were better). The Phoenix never managed a combat success, despite several attempts, though it was somehow considered a program success anyway, mostly by paper pushing war nerds. By and large, the venerable IR guided sidewinder works best. Amusingly, the Air Force thought the beyond visual range radar guided air to air missile would make stuff like guns and dogfighting obsolete … back in the 1950s. They were so confident in this, most of the Vietnam era fighters didn’t come equipped with guns. They were completely wrong then. They’re almost certainly wrong now as well. Yet, that is the justification for fielding the gold plated turd known as the F-35; a fighter so bad, it can’t even out fight a 45 year old design.

Oh. Well, stealthy planes can defeat the IR missiles that end up being used most of the time, right? No, actually. The stealthy technology can’t really defeat such missiles, which can now home in on a target which is merely warmer than the ambient air. I could build such a sensor using about $40 worth of parts from Digikey. All aircraft are warmer than the ambient air, even “stealthy” ones. Friction is one of the fundamental laws of physics. So, if a stealth fighter is located at all, by eyesight, ground observers or low frequency radars or whatever: an IR missile is a big danger. Worse, the planes which the US is most worried about are Russian made, and virtually all of them come with excellent IR detectors built into the airframe itself.  Airplane nerds call this technology IRST, and the Russians are extremely good at it; they’ve had world beating versions of this technology since the 1980s. Even ancient and shitty Russian jets come with it built into the airframe. The US seems to have mostly stopped thinking about it since the F-14. A few of the most recent F-18s have it strapped as an expensive afterthought to fuel tanks (possibly going live by 2018), and the F-35 (snigger) claims to have something which shoots sharks with laser beam eyes at enemy missiles, but most of the combat ready inventory lacks such sensors.

There is no immunity to gunfire, of course, so if you see a Stealth fighter with your eyeballs, and are close enough to draw a 6, you can shoot it down.

Now, it’s worth thinking a bit about the fighter role. What good is an invisible fighter? There are a couple of issues with the concept, which has never actually been usefully deployed in combat anywhere in all of history. It is also rarely spoken of. If you want to shoot down other jets with your stealth fighter, you have to find them first. To find them, the best way to do it is using radar. Maybe you can do this with AWACS.  AWACS somewhat assume air superiority has already been established. They’re big lumbering things everyone can see, both because they have giant signatures to radar, and because they are emitting radar signals. Maybe you can turn on your stealth fighter’s radar briefly, and hope the enemy’s electronic warfare facilities can’t see it, or hope the passive radar sensors work. Either way, you had better hope it is a fairly big country, and it is dark outside, or someone could find your stealth fighter. People did a reasonable job of spotting planes with binoculars and telephones back in the day. Modern jets are a little more than twice as fast as WW-2 planes, but that’s still plenty of time to alert air defences. Invisibility to radar guided missiles is only of partial utility; if you’re spotted, and your aircraft isn’t otherwise superior in air combat (the F-22 is), you stand a decent chance of being shot down. So, for practical use as a fighter, stealthiness is only somewhat theoretically advantageous. It’s really the attack/bomber role where Stealthiness shines as a concept; mostly for taking out air defences on the ground.

The F-117 (which was a misnamed stealth attack aircraft, an actual use for the technology) was shot down in the Serbian war by a Hungarian baker  by the name of Zoltan Dani.  The way he  did it was as follows: first, he had working radars. He did this by only turning them on briefly, and moving them around a lot, to avoid wild-weasel bombing raids. He also used couriers and land line telephones instead of radio to communicate with the rest of his command structure; he basically had no radio signal which could have been observed by US attack aircraft. He also had “primitive” hand tuned low-frequency radars. Low frequency means long wavelength. Long wavelength means little energy is absorbed by the radar absorbent materials, and, more importantly, almost none of it is scattered away from the radar receiver. Since the wavelength of a low-frequency radar is comparable to the size of the aircraft itself, the fine detail which scatters away modern centimeter-wavelength radars doesn’t have much effect on meter-wavelength radar. Mr Dani shot his SA-3 missiles up, guided it in using a joystick, and that was the end of the F-117, a trophy part of which now hangs in the garage of a Hungarian baker in Serbia.

zoltan-dani-the-serbian-commander-who-shot-down-f-117a-620x330

best hunting trophy ever

Similarly, if you want to shoot down stealth fighters, you need an integrated air defense system which uses long wavelength radars to track targets, and you dispatch interceptors to shoot them down with IR missiles, guided in by the air defense radar. Which is exactly how the Soviet Mig-21 system worked. It worked pretty well in Vietnam. It would probably work well against F-35’s, which are not as maneuverable as Mig-21’s in a dogfight. The old Mig-21 certainly costs less; I could probably put a Mig-21 point defense system on my credit cards. Well, not really, but it’s something achievable by a resourceful individual with a bit of hard work. A small country (I dunno; Syria for example) can afford thousands of these things. The US probably can’t even afford hundreds of F-35s.

Maybe the F-35 is going to be an OK replacement for the F-117? Well, sorta. First off, it is nowhere near as stealthy. Its supersonic abilities are inherently unstealthy: sonic boom isn’t stealthy, afterburners are not stealthy, and supersonic flight itself is pretty unstealthy. It does have an internal “bomb bay.” You can stuff one 2000lb JDAM in it (or a 1000lb one in the absurd VTOL F-35B). The F-117 had twice the capacity, because it was designed to be a stealth attack plane from the get go, and didn’t have to make any compromises to try to get it to do 10 other things. You could probably hang more bombs on an F-35’s ridiculously stubby little wings. But bombs hanging on a wing pylon make a plane non-stealthy. So do wing pylons. In clean, “stealthy” mode, the thing can only fly 584 miles to a target, making it, well, I guess something with short range and limited bomb carrying capability might be useful. The F-117 had twice the range. So, an F-35 is about a quarter as effective in the attack role as the F-117 was, without even factoring in the fact that it is only about a twice the radar cross section of an F-117. It kind of sucks how the F-35 costs a lot more than the F-117, which was designed for and demonstrably more useful for this mission. It’s also rather confusing to me as to why we need 2000 such things if they ain’t fighters with a significant edge against, say, a late model F-16 or Superhornet. But then, I’m not a retired Air Force General working at Lockheed. I’m just some taxpayer in my underpants looking on this atrocity in complete disbelief.

There are three things which are actually needed by Air Force procurement.  We have a replacement for the F-15 in air superiority role: the F-22. It works, and it is excellent; far more effective than the F-35, cheaper and stealthier to boot. We can’t afford many of them, and they have problems with suffocating their pilots, but we do have them in hand. If it were up to me, I’d keep the stealthy ones we got, make them attack planes, and build 500 more without the fancy stealth paint for air superiority and ground attack. It will be cheaper than the F-35, and more capable. Everyone will want to “update the computers.” Don’t.

The most urgent need is for a replacement for the F-16; a small, cheap fighter plane that can be used in the interceptor/air superiority role. The US needs it. So do the allies. It doesn’t need to be stealthy; stealth is more useful in the attack role. Building a better F-16 is doable: the Russian MIG-35, and Dassault Rafale all manage it (maybe the Eurofighter Typhoon also, though it isn’t cheap). I’m sure the US could do even better if they’d concentrate on building a fighter, rather than a do-everything monstrosity like the F-35. I’m sure you can strap bombs to a super F-16 and use it in the attack role as well, once your stealth attack planes have taken out the local SAMS and your air superiority planes have taken out the fighters. Making a fighter plane with a bomb-bay for stealth, though, is a loser idea. If I were king of the world: build a delta winged F-16. The prototype already exists, and there was nothing wrong with the idea. It’s pathetic and disgusting that the national manufacturers simply can’t design even a small and cheap replacement for the ancient T-38 supersonic trainers. All of the postulated ones under consideration are foreign designs. The best one is actually a Russian design; the Yak-130.

The second need is a replacement for the F-117 for stealthy attack on radar and infrastructure. F-35 doesn’t even match the F-117 in this role. The F-22 almost does, but it is expensive and largely wasted on this role. I thought theBird of Prey was a pretty good idea; something like that would serve nicely. Maybe one of the stealthy drones will serve this purpose. Whatever it is, you could build lots of them for the price of a few dozen F-35s.

Finally, we urgently need a decent attack plane for close air support. The F-35, and F-35B will be a titanic failure in this role. They have neither the armor nor endurance required for this. You could shoot it down with a large caliber rifle shooting rounds that cost $0.50. This one is dirt simple: even the A-10 is too complicated. Just build a propeller driven thing. Build a turboprop A-1 Skyraider. The Tucano is too small to cover all the bases. Presumably someone can still build a F4U Corsair or F6F Hellcat and stick a turboprop in it, some titanium plates around the cockpit, and shove a 30mm cannon in the schnozz. People build such things in their backyards. It shouldn’t be beyond the magnificent engineering chops of the present day “Skunk Works” at Lockheed or one of the other major manufacturers. Using inflation on the A-1 or calculating such a device as approximately 1/4 of a C-130, you should be able to build one in the $5m range and have 30-50 of them for each F-35 they replace.

The entire concept of “Stealth Fighter” is mostly a fraud. Stealth bombers and tactical attack planes have a reasonable use case. Stealth fighters are ridiculous. The F-35 is a gold plated turd which should be flushed down the toilet.

https://scottlocklin.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/shooting-down-stealthy-planes/

 

The Parable of Zoltán Dani: Dragon Slayer

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/get-ready-china-the-us-navys-possible-stealth-killer-coming-18966

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2000/01/pentagons-300-billion-dollar-bomb

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-01.html

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a8107/russian-made-tech-vs-americas-stealth-warplanes-13506974/

https://warisboring.com/the-pentagon-has-figured-out-how-to-hunt-enemy-stealth-fighters-3acf9d25cd44#.lm0ryanaa

Ronald Bernard – Partie 3

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbcWUXFih7U

 

Partie 3, témoignage boulversant de Ronald Bernarht. Ceci étant je ne cautionne pas tout ce qu’il dit, et notamment le passage sur le Protocol des Sages de Sions. On y découvre qu’il a été abusé lui aussi par son père.  On ne peut qu’être révolté par l’enfance qui devient un vulgaire produit commercial comme toute chose. Surtout quand il parle de ces infirmières parties en Inde.  Qui les envoyé ? Pour le compte de qui ? Et surtout qui les a reçu ? Qui a organisé ce commerce ? Qui sont les responsables locaux ?  L’Inde c’est vraiment un pays de « merde ». Comme l’avait dit notre ami Stratégika il n’y a rien à espérer de leur sytème. Vous etes « intouchables », vous etes condamnés à être rien.

Mecanisme de l’eternel endettement

 

Ce documentaire, partie 2, fait suite à la partie 1 publié sur le site de Dominique.

https://dodomartin.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/la-haute-finance-criminelle-et-luciferienne-ronald-bernhard/

 

Ronald Bernard explique les principes de l’eternel endettement, et du trés troublant ESM, Mécanisme de Stabilité Européen. Comment ceux qui ont le pouvoir -entre 8.000 et 8.500 personnes – s’arrangent pour rester au sommet de la pyramide, et ceux qui sont en bas, y resteront. Il explique qu’accéder au sommet est impossible. Le coeur de tout ce dispositif c’est la Banque des Regléments Internationnaux -où Bank for International Settlements  BIS-. Celle ci suit les ordres des 8.500 plus puissants, ordonne aux Banques Centrales Mondiales, les gouvernments s’executent. Le restant n’est que baratin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_for_International_Settlements