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First Year of War: What We Learn from Ukraine
- Published on Jun 5, 2023 veröffentlicht
- On 24 February 2022 Russia escalated the war in Ukraine. With a direct attack on Kyiv, Russian troops advanced and the Russian Air Force (VKS) flew numerous missions to strike Ukrainian radar and air defense. While the attack stalled and was beaten back, the war dragged on to now a full year. Now locked in a stalemate in the air, both sides maintain a strategy of air denial. After 364 days, we have learned and unlearned much about the air war over Ukraine and will continue to draw lessons from it. Join Chris in his retrospective on an air war that has shattered many assumptions.
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- Sources -
Ben Barry, Russia’s War in Ukraine: What are the emerging military lessons?, p. 39 in Strategic Survey, IISS, January 2023.
Barry Posen, Russia’s Rebound How Moscow Has Partly Recovered From Its Military Setbacks, Foreign Affairs, 4 January 2023, available at www.foreignaffairs.com/ukrain...
Jack Detsch, ‘Stay Down Low’: Ukraine Fears Formidable Russian Air Defenses in the Donbas, Foreign Policy, 2 May 2022, available at foreignpolicy.com/2022/05/02/...
Justin Bronk, Nick Reynolds, Jack Waitling; The Russian Air War and Ukrainian Requirements for Air Defence, Royal United Services Institute, Special Report 7, November 2022.
Joe Skrebels, Video Game Footage Falsely Presented as Videos of Ukraine War, IGN, 25 February 2022.
Mark Cancian, Is the United States Running out of Weapons to Send to Ukraine?, CSIS, 16 September 2022, available at www.csis.org/analysis/united-...
Mark Cancian, The Latest Aid Packages to Ukraine: New Systems, Trade-Offs, Mysteries, and the Long Game, CSIS, 26 August 2022, available at www.csis.org/analysis/latest-...
Matthew Luxmoore, Blasts Rock Ukraine’s Cities as Russia Launches Two Waves of Missile Attacks, Wall Street Journal, 14 January 2023, available at www.wsj.com/articles/blasts-r...
Maximilian Bremer, In denail about denial: Why Ukraine’s air success should worry the west, War on the Rocks, 15 June 2022, available at warontherocks.com/2022/06/in-...
Michael Stafanovic et al., The Somme in the Sky: Lessons From the Russo-Ukrainian Air War, War on the Rocks, 9 Feb 2023, available at warontherocks.com/2023/02/the...
Mykhaylo Zabrodskyi, Jack Watling, Oleksandr V Danylyuk and Nick Reynolds, Preliminary Lessons in Conventional Warfighting from Russia’s 2022 Invasion of Ukraine, RUSI Special Report, November 2022.
Pavel Baev, Russia’s War in Ukraine: Misleading Doctrine, Misguided Strategy, Russie.Nei.Reports, No. 40, Ifri, October 2022, p. 14.
Reuters, NASAMS air defense system have 100% success rate in Ukraine- Pentagon chief, 16. Nov. 2022, available at www.reuters.com/world/europe/...
- Timecodes -
00:00 - Russia's War in Ukraine
00:46 - 20sec intermission (Channel members)
01:06 - The War One Year On
01:41 - Phase 1: February 22
05:41 - Phase 2: March-April 22
09:32 - Phase 3: May-August 22
12:14 - Phase 4: September-December 22
15:14 - Phase 5: January-February 23
16:25 - The War and 'Fast Media'
- Audio -
Music and Sfx from Epidemic Sound
Comments • 781
It's been really weird seeing how quickly the modern air war has gone from thoughts of Flankers/MiGs/Frogfoots prewar to the TB2/munition/kamikaze drones. Strange that the only things that mostly stayed constant were the cruise missile strikes.
I would add GBAD before cruise missiles (that are not really that much a constant imo but that's another discussion), if there is one main 'kit' based lesson is that AD needs a stronger focus in the West (esp. Europe)
@Military Aviation History i would also add that the event of cheap loitering munitions/suicide drones has brought canon based air defense back into relevancy
@Military Aviation History editing slip at 11:45 - Something cut out between 11:48 and 11:49
I'm astonished that at the beginning of this war and at the peak of Russian Air Sorties they were only flying about 150 sorties a day. That seems very small in comparison to what the US would've done on a basic level. That says a lot!!
@Conor Murphy @Military Aviation History yes there is a break in continuity. The sentence is not completed.
A couple of takeaways for me; one is well known: air space control is really important, and the conflict has shown why NATO rightly puts a strong emphasis on the neutralisation and suppression of air defenses.
Secondly; the use of various types of drones for kamikaze attacks, scouting and artillery spotting are likely to be a permanent aspect of conventional conflicts.
And thirdly: gun-based anti-air systems like Gepard previously believed to be obsolete are likely to have a renaissance because of the 2nd point because they seem to be the most efficient and cost-effective counters, with perhaps the Tunguska becoming the norm, ie combination short-range missiles and large caliber autocannons
Yeah, turns out not having stealth bombers to get rid of anti-air missiles early on makes aircraft barely capable of penetrating enemy borders.
Nothing beats a radar-aimed, old school AA gun for drone defence in a cost effective manner. Perhaps they are going to be supplemented in this use by handy emerging technologies like weaponized lasers in this specific role if the unit costs for this kind of equipment can be lowered to reasonably realistic levels. Cost efficient SHORAD is likely going to be an increasing priority for force protection in the future.
The thought of VADS and PIVADS coming back into service makes me excited. :)
It's also imperative to realize the US C-RAM is going to follow us to any bases utilized in conflict just to fend off the done business. Major cities would be protected by similar systems and mobile SHORAD and SPAAG when the enemy is targeting cities vs military targets.
Not just conventional conflicts. especially assymetrical conflicts will set on the surprise factor of such drones for any initial attacks, before any direct anti drone warfare can be put into place by the regular armed forces. What works on abandoned tanks has no more problems with any unarmored vehicles or positions... and as many of these bomb dropping drones are improvised from relatively inexpensive commercial models with mortar rounds or handgrenade style explosives... it's nearly impossible to prevent them being procured in secret.
@Ugly German Truths That’s a good point, hadn’t thought of that but yeah asymmetrical warfare will probably evolve from here as well.
I think one of the main takeaways from the air war in Ukraine is that SEAD/DEAD is one of, if not THE, most important mission sets a modern air force has to prepared for. From our western perspective, we view this topic through the lens of Desert Storm and the intervention in Serbia, where we significantly overmatched our opponents both qualitatively and quantitatively. In a near-peer environment, NATO air dominance will not come as easily and we have to be prepared for it. This also means that we have to invest heavily into GBAD to improve resilience of air defense as a whole, in case we face scenarios in which the airspace is heavily contested. I fear that we currently rely too heavily on the assumption that potential opponents will simply be smashed on the ground or outfought in air.
I mean at this stage the only real near peer would be China right?
It sure isn't Russia, they should be embarrassed at their horrible showing. A completely unprofessional military.
Which is why the US Army has invested heavily in Land Based VLS systems to use the Navy's Standard Missile systems like SM-2 and SM-6 and is looking at ways to improve the mobility of Patriot and THAAD.
Didn't NATO run dangerously low on PGMs during Yugo campaign and Serbs giving up by luck only because believing NATO having much more?
@Daniel Kol 100 percent wrong
I feel like one major lesson from this war is "Don't skimp on pilot hours/maintenance/gear and have an overkill approach to air power". I feel like decisive air power early on really can't be understated. I dunno though, this is me making a super-simple/general take and I could very well be wrong.
Marine Aviation C2 Officer here. I wholeheartedly agree. If the Russians had surged maintenance crews and other support so they could fly hundreds of sorties daily for the first 30 days, I think they would have been far more successful at hunting the mobile GBADs. Those GBADs kept them from aggressively destroying Ukrainian *artillery* as the war moved into the summer, and they have just had a snowball effect ever since. Neither side can really break a stalemate because they can't mass combat power in the face of artillery. So airpower needs to destroy the artillery....which they can't do, because both sides are underperforming at SEAD and SCAR (Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance). I also agree with other comments that high-altitude aircraft with precision ordnance are key. If I can accurately target your C2, logistics, and arty from 30,000ft, once I've killed your big SAMs your MANPADS are much less relevant.
A most informative and concise summary of the air war thus far. And just 17 minutes too, a record for a German.
Strange seeing such a mix of technology and tactics in this war. Nothing ever turns out the way we expect.
I remember seeing you comment everywhere
The first casualty of any battle is the battle plan.
I found his analysis and the video in general very underwhelming, in my view he/it did not answer the question in the title "First Year of War: What We Learn from Ukraine" sufficiently nor comprehensibly/satisfactorily. You praised him very much for his analysis in this video, do you feel like he did a good job answering the question? If yes, what did you take away from his answer? I would have liked him to make an effort to really answer the question in the title and to present the information in a way that makes it really comprehensible and clear as to what he/we learned so far, at least that is my humble view, without meaning any harm or bad intentions.
@Kenny This video was more of a summary of what he and others at say RUSI have seen and discovered over the year. As far as I am concerned, he answered the question quite well.
@Cannonfodder43 I understand and respect your view. May I ask you what you took away as to the answer of what we learned? I don't mean to trap you or to get into an online conflict/debate. I honestly did not get the answer, but I am really curious to know, and as you did get it, I would appreciate it, if you could educate me on this matter.
Great Summary. Social Media shows us 100% of the UAV attacks that succeed, and 0% that fail (slightly exaggerated), this is something to keep in mind when pundit claim that UAVs are the future of warfare.
Dunno why but when you said 0% of the ones that failed it reminded me of the one drone that dropped a grenade and the Russian soldier just tossed it away. (Also as technology advances more and more these UAV will only get better or people will just strap grenade to Amazon drones which is more effective than I would’ve guessed)
Something I was watching recently is that US sent 1000 switchblade drones to Ukraine but exactly zero videos of them being used have officially been released. Ukraine is clearly very selective of the videos they release and their information warfare is quite wise. For instance we see almost no footage from Zaporizhzhia, except maybe Vuhledar. That isn't an accident and seeing where videos aren't coming from is an indication where future offensives are likely to take place, at least to my armchair general mind.
Ukraine recently admitted they released the TB2 strike footage at a reduced pace so that it would keep boosting moral beyond the first 2 weeks which is all they could us it for offensive missions, compared with only assessing artillery damage, and some target spotting since then - Edit:should have watched full video first where this was mentioned
@pinkyfull Regarding lacking footage;
Contrary to somewhat popular belief, armed forces in civilized countries don't really like to display all of the carnage and destruction that happens when drone strikes are successful. Sure they do want to show they are being successful, but they don't want you to see the entire grim picture, especially up close and personal.
There was a failed drop video that showed the UA drone's grenade get shot because the Russian soldier's bullets were falling short, thus the grenade crossed through the stream of bullets.
Thanks for a short and informative analysis!
What I find most telling, is that complex operations are hard to do, and requires the right equipment, the right logistics, the right command and control, the right intelligence, and the right training and preparation.
Furthermore, that the efficiency of your forces falls dramatically if complex operations are out of reach.
Secondly, the increasing role of drones and various unmanned systems. It appears to me that the prospects for air campaign are increasing, while the necessary roles to be filled by manned platforms is decreasing, telling me that unmanned systems may be more important than manned systems in the not so distant future, even if manned systems still have an important role to play.
Wow, really glad you did this video, I am much more aware of the situation now than I was before. 1) Actual air Superiority is now a dream, manpads are small light and effective and are a constant danger. 2) For these medium wars conventional airfields continue to be effective. It appears at this level that VSTOL is not yet required. 3) It is possible to intercept and destroy drones but the ammunition requirement is quite high, if widespread protection is desired an increase in the interceptor base by a factor of 10 seems likely. This is an unusual conflict in that normal civilian life more or less is going on. Something like London in the blitz or Berlin in late 44.
Personally, the one surprising thing that both sides seem to be doing a fair amount of is those indirect rocket attacks (from SU25, Mi-8, Mi-24, etc.). There has been just a few drone shots of their impact area and while the accuracy isn't that bad, the dispersion is quite strong and the payload per rocket isn't that big (even for the S13), so their actual effect on target must certainly be quite low. I would have assumed the tactics to not be worth the precious flying hours. Initially I thought it made sense at least on the UKR side, just to show everybody that they still had an airforce but now I'm just puzzled really.
Great analysis! Straight forward and about as accurate as can be attained so far. Well done.
Greetings from India. During Kargil war in 1999, we found out that unlike old wars where it was necessary to provide close air support to ground forces, it's better if airforce operates almost quasi-independently, destroying strategic targets and such like logistics hubs. PGMs were a massive multiplier , specially when enemy had decentralised air defence ala MANPADS cause those PGMs help in doing strike missions outside their envelope . The Pakistanis fired 100+ stingers at us but managed to hit only 3 planes, of which 2 were destroyed. It seems VKS has very little place for re-evaluating their tactics and have proper contingency plans compared to Western or Indian Airforce. You should read "Airpower at 18000" by Carnaegie institute to properly understand more what I am talking about. We used a MiG- Mirage combo back then, where an LGB would be dropped, and using GPS+ stopwatch combo, dumb payloads would also be dropped on the same target at once.
I think that India-Pakistani wars are greatly underrated when it comes to experience.
Your mix bag of aircraft and their operations is something world should pay more attention to.
That said, I hope both nations will keep their heads cool.
@Maciek K. Cichoń Thank you, man. Yes, I don’t want anymore wars between India and Pakistan, or anywhere to be most. But being an Indian, I do believe Indian wars are very overlooked in West. What Russia tried to do in Ukraine, we actually did in 1971, invading then East Pakistan, and liberating it in 13 days with very little casualties, using mainly Soviet and British weapons. How many countries have pulled off such a blitzkrieg in post WW2? Very few, like US in 91 or Israel in 67. But people atleast know of those. Our wars get forgotten by all.
@Dragonstorm Dipro The Indo-Pak conflicts are definitely understudied
It could be said that many western air forces and alliances are large enough and capable enough to do both of these at once realistically (if not establish total air supremacy) - as was done in wars as old as WW2
You definitely do not want an air force to be operating entirely autonomously if you can help it. Combined arms warfare includes air assets, and if they are used in cooperation with other assets, you will achieve the best results.
You want your Air Force to be operating on a strategic level as well, just not only on a strategic level. But doing both at once requires highly skilled personnel and is difficult in the best of times. Most militaries, possibly including India’s, don’t really have the numbers or talent base to do this super effectively. The US leads in this regard due to their basically unlimited resources.
The biggest takeaways for me are the new role and importance UAVs play. Not the TB2 so much but more so the irregular, often commercial drone assets. These play a role in: reconnaissance, harassing the enemy forces, and information war. It is difficult to assess their true importance, but they seem to have a pretty big impact on information gathering and morale. One wonders what the future of these small menaces will be...
My second takeaway is my surprise that the air forces of Ukraine actually seem to have managed to bring Russia to a stalemate. Very few people saw that coming before the war.
Thanks for providing the facts. It’s clear both sides puff up or deflate certain statistics which is expected but makes accurate analysis difficult. It would be nice to see things come to an end soon but it’s unlikely to happen. Interesting to see how both sides change and adapt their tactics.
This has shown the value of aircraft operating at high altitude with large powerful radars and long range missiles to push strikes to extreme ranges. Both air and ground assets have been targeted this way. This seems to validate large high firepower aircraft over smaller point defense dog fighters in modern air combat. The radar size and this relationship with effective range seems to be a crucial factor.
Going forward, mobile small wheeled vehicles capable of air defense will probably be needed to provide some protection against small UAVs and missiles. Something like a JLTV with an M61 20mm rotary cannon, a variety of optical and radar sensors, and a computer controlled automatic engagement mode. Adding some Stinger missiles would be good too if space and weight permits.
Basically, the b52 is gonna be flying for another 100 damn years.
True, MIG 31s in the war are being used both as fighters and as bombers, despite being interceptors. Huge altitude, huge speed in combination with long range missile. Soon they probably going to be used for dropping new Russian gliding bombs. And it is all after those aircraft are not even in production anymore... few left.
@Stu Bur ohh you mean VADS and PIVADS but with an auto tracking mode?
I remember 10 years ago when the aircraft community was shitting all over the F-35 - "in a firefight the F-16 eats its lunch", when it is clear now that by and large firefights are a thing of the past
I think it's important to acknowledge the dramatic effects of both ship-based surface to surface missiles and shore-based anti-ship missiles. The destruction of Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet put a stop to plans for an amphibious attack near Odesa.
It was never on the card any way. Too few troops to make a real difference.
Very nice breakdown of the air war
Shows a very unbiased perspective for both sides, telling the good and bad. Also shows the truth in some myths we’ve been hearing from mainstream media. Thank you for a great video
Small detail, but around the implementation of weapons like AGM 88, it saw the return of the TB2 briefly in a combat role, guiding strikes against naval assets and in the front. Russian positions turning off some of their radars to avoid targetting.
Thank you for the work you put into the channel. Your audience appreciates you.
Sidebar : thoroughly enjoy your diagnostic approach man, so much initial info last year with few waiting for the dust to settle a little bit before taking to tweets. Really appreciate a bit of study and objectivity 👍
I find the visuals pair well with the context your offering - it's my paint-by-numbers brain asking this, but would there be a chance of giving the negative or disadvantage icons a red wash or outline ?
It's likely my brain seeking to do the least work possible, as usual, but I figured there's no harm in asking.
It's good content and comparable videos are either all talk and defense contractor product trailers or tend to lose me in a sea of info I can't hope to read into that deeply before the video shifts focus. There's a lot to be said for simplicity, and the presence of a genuine, forthcoming presenter 👍🍻🇨🇦
This is a great breakdown of the air war. Thanks Chris for this information.
Danke, this clears up many aspects of the aviation side of things. Very interesting and helpful in understanding what's taking place.
From what information did you conclude the change in Russian proficiency of creating (small) strike packages? Is there a source from which we can learn more about the composition and (rough) tactics and strategies they utilise?
All sources are in the description, as always...but I get where you're coming from, so here's a tip:
I know; it's a pain that they're not in a 1-minute TikTok format, but you could try perusing them with your browser's search tool. It's usually a magnifying-glass-looking button near the Settings, and you write keywords in it in the same way you're already doing on a daily basis (each time you have to type "BBC" on your naughty wesite's search bar). That should take you straight to what you are looking for, without the hassle of having to actually read.
Hope that helps.
Thanks. I did not know these details about drone history. This area of the the war seems to be evolving fast. I didn’t know so many were shot down. You wonder what anti-drone defenses have been developed. Can radar even pick them up?
My takeaway: (1) Old fashioned war aims lead to modernized old fashioned war with drones, artillery, tanks, bombings, trench fights. (2) Russian Airforce seems to be much weaker, than anticipated or air defence of Ukraine is much better, than previously thought. (3) -Modernized artillery regained most of its importance and fighting distance matters a lot (4) Drones makes it difficult to hide the preparations for new actions, (5) The flow of information, fast information processing, fast provision of information to the troops and the ability to use this information in time are crucial for success. These data will be analyzed later. (6) Even Ukraine war is a modern war, big numbers of soldiers, artillery rounds fired result in a hard and bloody achieved success for Russian troops (7) The easiest way for Russia to win that conflict is to cut the political support from western allies and Russia tries hard at the propaganda front.
(2) Ukrainian air defense is quite strong and Russian aren't good in suppression of air defense.
(3) Yeah, and most estimates concerning needed amount of artillery shells stored should have extra zero added. ;) (yes, both sides are desperately looking for exotic third parties that have some extra large caliber shells and would like a suitcase of cash)
(7) Most likely the only path for Russia to victory was going full mobilisation before war / in first days of war. To win through propaganda front they would have to knock down both US and Poland. Which is highly unlikely as Americans were not even relying on Russian energy sources, while Polish see themselves as next on Russian list. Getting a friendly gov in a one or two EU countries would make slight difference in number of weapons shipped.
Hitomi Nice nonsensical propaganda piece with a bunch of outlandish anti-NATO spasms, desperately hammered out multiple times throughout the comment.
Old fashioned war situations too, I would say: the rugged russian forces are so in the brink that they can only rely on domino-bets centered around capturing/grinding minuscule portions of territories, far away in Eastern Ukraine.
2. Russian Next Gen FIghters - You mean the SU-57? The US is building more F-35's per month than the Russians have built in a year. 6th Gen, a US 6th gen prototype has already flown and they've ordered the timeline to be sped up, the Russian 6th gen from what I find is still a dream.
3. Artillery and terrain, The US via SAAB/Boeing have a solution for that.
4. Ukrainians are still using attack drones, they are doing so in cooperation with Ukrainian ECM units.
7-China, China's economy is about 17% of the world's economy but it depends on exports to the country that has 25% of the world's economy.
Wonderful analytics - condense, with attention to details and providing support to most points.
Good summary- thanks! Seems like "Air war over Ukraine = stalemate" is a win for Ukraine. We have yet to see what air power in combined arms offensive means on todays battlefield.
Given what I've been able to see my armchair analysis is that achieving air superiority relies heavily on SEAD/DEAD being effective. If it's not, then modern(ish) SAMs will shoot your entire air force out of the sky.
accurate sumary. Either eliminate enemy anti air defenses, or invest in technology that makes them expensive paperweights (Like stealth) to just... ignore said defenses.
@Destroyer_V0 We are yet to see if stealth is as great asset as it is claimed to be. Would be a monumental embarrasment to USAF if modern AD could drop their stealth planes left right and center.
@Chabbrik True enough. There is one thing I can accurately say about stealth aircraft though.
Even if they are not as effective as NATO hopes. Reducing the time given to your opponent, to see you, lock on, and shoot you, is hopefully enough. Especially with the claimed range of certain russian and chinees anti air weapons, if stealth equipped aircraft are able to not be detected until they is within their own weapons range of whatever is threatening them? it will be enough.
@Chabbrik The USAF have been operating stealth airframes for a number of decades and have seen great success in ODS and OIF.
@Gridlock Against laughable air defenses. But those stealth airframes have not been tested against near/peer adversary.
Perhaps closest to real test were Israeli incursions against Iran, but even then Iranian defenses are pretty old and ineffective Soviet systems.
An excellent presentation, thanks for the effort!
Low level flight is much harder on airframes no? That could explain maintenance challenges.
Also one of the most frustrating things is the utter lack of anything regarding the Phoenix Ghost drones. The US continues to include them in large numbers in aid packages, so they must be doing something but you'd think even if Ukraine kept it quiet, that Russia would have been bound to get their hands on something regarding it but we've heard nothing from them either. A total information black hole!
For my own thoughts, I was surprised from the beginning that Russia was not attempting to overwhelm Ukrainian AD by pushing large numbers of planes forward and how little their SEAD efforts really did in providing them access to targets overall. Also, it is almost impossible to know what the operational plan actually was for the Russians, from an American perspective it appears that air power was never really considered as a primary contributor. Is this due to innate Russian weaknesses, overestimation of strengths, or fear of AD capabilities? One can only wonder.
Going forward, the keys to mitigating the drone/UAV threat will likely be found and Ukraine will get it first. Hundreds of big brains at DARPA are likely already finalizing those mitigations/systems. It may also be likely that if Russia's inability to win a decisive outcome on the ground continues, they may turn to airpower and "eat" the losses. Assuming, of course, the losses have already crippled real capabilities.
Just to mention why the invaders didn't achieve air superiority in Ukraine: 250 S-300 launchers, 100+ Osa, 100+ Strela-10M, 70+ Buk-M1 and all verities of anti-air guns like self-propelled Shilka(300+) or Tunguska(70+) + MANPADS(Soviet like Igla and then Western).
It is a doctrine difference. The US/NATO doctrine is to establish air superiority, and use that to pound the enemy into the ground and then six feet below it. The Soviet doctrine is the reverse of that... to deny air superiority, counter the enemy air force as much as possible, enough so that you can still fly support sorties and such, but mostly leave it to the ground forces. Russia's strategy hasn't really changed from that. Hence why the US has a heavy focus on SEAD/DEAD, while Russia has a heavy focus on SAMs, including very long range ones. What Russia did in the early days of the war was pretty much what they were supposed to do, according to their doctrine. Just the ground war didn't play out according to plan. And, of course, it wasn't like Desert Storm either, where the air force had weeks before hand to shape the battle field. And they were also going after a former WARSAW Pact state, one with that same doctrine, so that probably didn't help either.
Which isn't to say there aren't other factors, like budget issues limiting maintenance and pilot training, failing to adapt quickly to the changing conditions, and potentially not even being able to do so adequately. But, well, that's the type of analysis that'll have to wait until people can actually dive into the records.
Russian army is an artillery army, not air force army, like US military.
The solution to drones already exists - the "Iron Dome" and "Iron Beam" systems from Israel.
@Will S Maybe. the Israeli systems are used against short range ballistic missiles not drones. While they may be a good base to work not sure they are the best or only answer.
Great video. This conflict is very intereting in so many ways. Reminder that this is the first big war in Europe since 1945. The Cold War fears of nuclear exchange are back. And it's arguably a proxy war between Russia and the West at this point. The capabilties of the Russian military have gone from opaque and overestimated, to mostly transparent and brings back jokes about Russia, like with the USSR, "Stalinium" and the perception that Russia is a super-power juggernaut on par with the USA. We can now see how good Russia actually is in a near-peer conflict because it can't seem to win over a supposed inferior nation. Westerners have been reveling in the problems of Russia, it's corruption leading to crappy equipment or just things straight up missing from their inventory. The reliance of Russia on western tech to make their own weapons also brought into the question the idea that Russia can sustain a war long term. Their stock of guided munitions and missiles is running dangerously low because they can't buy the chips necessary to make new ones. They have had to buy second grade weapons from the few remaining allies they have like Iran and North Korea. The Information War needs an entire video series on its own. So much to say but basically Russia can't control the narrative of its own invincibility anymore. Especially with mutiny, riots and desertion inside their ranks that we have seen occurring, showing that Russia is losing its grasp on controling the information to their own citizens and soldiers. My opinion is that as long as Ukraine doesn't collapse and lose to Russia, the REAL winner seems to me to be neither Russia or Ukraine but NATO. NATO gets political ammunition and real justification for its existence. NATO gets to fight Russia without actually having to fight Russia on the battlefield. NATO gets to indirectly eliminate high ranking russian officers and generals by sharing intel with Ukraine and its special forces doing the dirty work. NATO also gets to test weapons, strategy, tactics, technology, communications and vehicles against their russian equivalent without sustaining actual losses, just the equipment sent to Ukraine. New countries are lining up to join NATO while everybody else is condemning Russia for their actions and they are losing political influence and allies rapidly. Europe is trying to rid itself from Russian energy, increasing reliance on the US instead, which would reduce russian energy income and have to instead sell their energy cheaper to China. The support of NATO to Ukraine in this war also sends a very strong message to China that wants to do the same with Taiwan at some point in the near future. Germany has reversed cutting spending on military, Japan is expanding its military.
Oh and one last thing : The equipment sent to Ukraine is "Lend Lease" like during WW2. Meaning Ukraine is not getting military equipment "for free". It's a lease, they are gonna have to pay it back eventually and for decades to come. For reference, the UK finished paying it's loans from WW2 (from the US) in 2006, that's 61 years later.
So, am I incorrect that the biggest winner in this (as of right now) is NATO? If you disagree in any way, go on comment and explain to me why I would be wrong.
Again great vid, and fascinating topic. I hope you'll make another one of these in a year's time if the conflict is still going by then.
Europe is still buying an awful lot of Russian oil and gas (just mixed 51/49 to make it "majority non-Russian", as well as getting most of its diesel from Russian oil that's refined elsewhere (eg India, West Africa). It's a complete myth that Europe's reliance on Russian hydrocarbons has decreased as much as they claim
@teenybopper777 saddest thing is the US has a lot of natural oil, we haven’t really even tapped it yet. I would think it’d be great to export to Europe, make jobs and a crap ton of money. Course it’s not that simple but it seems like a massive missed opportunity for the US.
@mfavinger fv The US is exporting heaps of LNG to Europe at a massive markup and even blew up the Nordstream pipelines to ensure that continues, but there's no large surplus of either oil or refined products to export in the same way, even though US-EU oil imports have risen
@mfavinger fv and while LNG imports have been great for the US, it's destroyed German industry
@teenybopper777 valid point didn’t think of that!
Three keys to a successful air assault operation are surprise, air superiority (at least locally) and support. Air assault operations can deliver elite infantry rapidly to a weak point or a strategically important target and, if the enemy is disorganized, these troops and their supporting gunships can quickly overwhelm and capture the point. However, while air assault troops are generally elite, they are also very light meaning that they need to be rapidly relieved by heavier mechanized/armored forces. In addition, if the enemy is prepared and/or has aircraft/air defenses, then the air assault is almost certainly doomed to fail as helicopters are relatively easy prey for enemy fighters, MANPADs and ground-based small arms fire. By launching their air assault on 24 February, the day of the invasion, Russia didn't really give their air force any time to soften the Ukrainian defenses. This was an incredibly poorly conceived operation as it would have launched without giving Russian intel the chance to conduct an accurate BDA, as well as giving no time to gauge Ukrainian resistance against the supporting ground forces that were attacking from Belarus. In other words, the Russians tossed the air assault troops onto helicopters and said 'good luck, everything will be just fine....'
Therefore, I don't think the Russian air force can really be blamed for the Russian humiliation in the Battle of Kyiv. The Russian military barely gave their air force enough time to attack their initial targets, let alone conduct an accurate BDA, develop additional targeting and conduct follow-on strikes. Notably, in 1993 the US-led Coalition conducted an air campaign for WEEKS before crossing the berm with ground forces into Kuwait. This time frame allowed the Coalition to gain air superiority (arguably air supremacy) and steadily degrade Iraqi air defenses and defensive positions over time. By the time Coalition troops crossed the berm, Iraqi forces were already nervous at best, terrified at worst of roaming Coalition strike aircraft. Command and control, communications and air defense sites had been heavily damaged or destroyed. The Iraqi air force was worn down by attrition and either destroyed on the ground or pounced on and destroyed in the air. The Russians gave their air force not time to conduct a similar operation and their ground forces paid the price.
Why didn't Russia do this? Part of it has to do with doctrine. The Russian military has generally viewed their air force more like artillery than an arm capable of winning a war. From the training manuals and debriefings of Russian defectors, there's strong evidence that Russian pilots may lack the training to utilize their own initiative in the way that US pilots do (especially in the USMC). The other factor that keeps cropping up is the lack of precision-guided ground attack munitions. Russia doesn't seem to have started the war with a huge stockpile of these weapons, which would have been necessary to conduct a US-style air campaign to weaken Ukrainian defenses. These two factors probably combined to make Russian commanders bank primarily on ground operations with the Russian air force playing a supporting role. In all, there was likely also political pressure from the Kremlin to bring the campaign to a quick close before the West could rally in military and economic support for Ukraine. These factors led to a hasty, rushed campaign. Overall, the Russian air force is hard to judge because they were never given a chance to succeed.
Should’ve talked more about the Saky airbase attack. I remember it was a game-changer and everyone wanted to know what happened and how it happened.
We can say that an attack or the introduction of a new weapon system makes a big difference without calling them “game changers”.
@MarcosElMalo2 Considering that in one afternoon 10 Russian aircraft were destroyed or damaged, thousands of Russians living in Crimea fled in fear, and forced Russia to strengthen its aerial defenses in the aftermath, and showed that Ukraine was able to touch targets deep in Crimea.
Engels too. They all had similar effects to breaching the Black Sea Fleet’s defenses: rendering them nearly useless.
I have noticed a sharp separation of viewers that quickly realize they are watching a simulation, and because of the quality of those simulations having reached an astonishing level in such a short time, PLUS the sheer talent of those who produce these videos in terms of believability often are motivated by mere ego-feeding rather than some abstract political passions, have been the source of much confusion and misinformation. Besides succumbing to a certain amount of it myself, I see many comments alluding to just how many viewers just can’t seem to process the fidelity now available to the skilled gamer, nor are they able to handle the concept of something they see as life-and-death, and of profound importance, being used as a pretext for the entertainment of some clueless kid who can’t even tell you the name of the vice-president of their country. This is at least 2nd order confusion and misinformation.
A bit off topic, but My grandfather fought For Finland in both winter- And continuation war. Only thing he Said about The Finnish Air forces was that they were never there when they were needed. I wonder how different The situation is nowadays from infantrymans perspective
The Finnish Air Forces were already doing quite the impossible, after all, and with a rugged vehicles park.
There's always more infantrymen in need than airframes or pilots.
This is excellent... Though I don't know why I am surprised, since this channel is consistently very high quality....
Keep it coming! (And (1, of course)
It's nice seeing that my personal theory that drones werent as effective as they were being portrayed in social media be proven right by a reputable source.
There were actually people writing about how the TB2 was stealthy in the early days of the war....a prop plane stealthy...
Excellent summary! Thank you!
i highly recommend the channel of "operator starsky" he covered many aspects on the hostomel air assault in his past content. he's the press officer of the local national guard brigade, so maybe even someone to reach out for if any questions.
not so sure if this is a good idea cause Ukraine is also delivering a lot of propaganda. You can not expect the real truth during a war.
He also has a mission which is far beyond shooting, but preparing the ground to get supplies from the allies which therefore needs examples how those weapons had been used. But it is also a signal for more , cause more is better during war.
@TYPE xxi - WOLF yes, but its a personal perspective.
woudn't you want to interview erich hartmann or hj marseille if you had the chance to?
if you ignore everything because of a bias, history books would be pretty empty.
its up to historians to make conclusions and set this into a neutral perspective. wich has never really been done before the internet age, giving a wider access to information in general. that is why topics are investigated even centuries after they happen, still finding aspects not seen or evaluated before.
a bias does not mean that information is entirely false. today we have a better chance to approve or dismiss information even though there is almost too much of it.
@TYPE xxi - WOLF everyone is biased. it’s the viewers responsibility to account for that, not the creator’s.
I remember watching his first FAQ near Kyiv in front of a wall with thundering explosions in the background. That was chilling.
He's a funny guy and of course biased. No one stays objectice while ones homeland is beeing attacked. What a BS. Oh, and i rather have ukrainian agitprop than the stupid orcish too...
@Jörg Sobota quite reasonable and honest among warbloggers. his bias is on spot and can be clearly identified where it occurs.
i am into media myself, knowing a bit how this kind of job works. if you have to deal with international press everyday and would spread cheap propaganda, you will be dismissed rather sooner than later. saw this with NGO officials a few times when they started to spread pure doctrines instead of answering questions.
observing this mil blogger thing, and channels close to military and historical topics since a while now. even before the war. would not recommend a clown doing this just to cheer up moral without providing real information that can be back checked. many of them out there.
but some people dismiss anything as propaganda unless it fits into their own belief.
and there is a difference in talking to people about the general situation or their own experiences. he told his story about hostomel battle and how they had to retreat in his last stream. wich funny enough started a few minutes after this first comment.
btw if i was employed by a bigger media outlet or having a large YT community you would see me filming/photographing in hostomel these days. for the AN-225 alone and not at last to make own conclusions.
Watching your video covering the air war in Ukraine and HistoryLegends channel of the ground campaign is providing a much more accurate report on the actual events; moreso than the mainstream media - who, here in the UK, seem only to be interested in cheerleading for one side while its military experts over exaggerate Ukrainian victories and vastly over estimate Russian losses.
Dude History Legends is a clown who uses RT as his source. He's been wrong about everyone of his claims and is resulting to clickbait
Excellent summary Chris, thanks.
"Flying around 500 feet"
So technically even within the range of Pavel the random civilian firing his Makarov at a Flanker.
Drones are here to stay and you better have economical counters. And airspace control is actually super difficult against a near equal peer military.
Excellent and thoughtful presentation...many thanks
Great concise analysis thanks
While Shaheed drones have been highly visible in media and has been used to cause strategic disruption (and well, terror warfare) the Lancet-3 is probably the most successful use of Loitering munitions. While the Lancet was introduced during the summer the adaptation to use it successfully starts in November, and since then it's probably one of the main threats to key Ukrainian assets such as SPGs, radars and short/medium range AA assets.
Shaheed isn't really a loitering munition though, it's more of a small, very cheap cruise missile
Lancet is pretty good stuff given how cheap it is to manufacture.
Nicely summarized. I would suggest placing the video referral cards at the end of the videos so as to not interrupt the flow of the current video.
Great use of iconography, really easy to follow.
Glad you liked it!
Could you be more specific about the misconceptions you mentioned at the end of the video? What conclusions did you draw prematurely?
We all hope there will be historians in the future to write about what we going through now...
This was a very good summary of the air war in Ukraine.
I just wonder how Ukraine was capable of protecting its aircraft on the ground, since the SU-27 and mig 29 were definitely strategic targets of Russian rockets and cruise missiles. Furthermore, I am surprised that Russia was not capable of suppressing the Ukraine ground based air defence using HARM missiles. Does the Russian airforce lack this capability?
Last but not least, UAVs appear to have changed warfare on the ground considerably, since the attacker has little chances of surprising the defender given the constant surveillance of the battle field by drones. The concentration of troops in preparation of a large scale attack can be detrimental, since it is likely to be discovered by the drones. These troop concentrations are an ideal target for the artillery.
This appears to be one major reason for the war of attrition similar to the first world war. Thus, the development of very precise artillery in conjunction with very good reconnaissance using drones has shifted the advantage to the defender. The lack of effective combined arms warfare in the Russian army must also be seen as a contributing factor to the successes of the defence.
Harm is quite ineffective with certain countermeasures- such as the radar being away from the defence system. Harm change AA strategy in a big way and can interfere with operations to allow strikes through, but its costly.
@Warren Cash And when that radar his hit - the SAMs are blind. Keep hitting the air search radars and the SAMs are useless.
@Warren Cash If you destroy the radar, then the defence sysstem is blind.
Well we now know that the Ukrainian military did take the US warnings of an invasion seriously and moved around a lot of their assets. Thus when Russia launched its bombardment it ended up hitting nothing. Also, Russian air force pilots on average have way less flight hours than US pilots and are not really trained for SEAD missions.
True, Pilots make the difference. Good pilot training is more important than the latest equipment.
Hello,would you please recomend a book or file about jet engines?Especially the ones like the p80 or the de haviland vampire.
perfect ! well done.
Having been in air defense myself, hopefully the Ukrainian ADA crews arw employing limited and controlled sweeps to offset ARM lockons.
Should add a note about the percentage of russian strikes apparently dedicated to killing or attacking cities in a general way instead of actual military targets. Either they lacked dynamic military intel to assign military targets and were just hitting missile launched quotas or??? In reality it was more likely a terror campaign against civilians. Thus hardening the population against them further and wasting strike weight/opportunity that could have furthered pursuit of actual military objectives
I wanna imagine being someone seeing this video in 80 years the way we look at war analysis films from 80 years ago today
The development of means of unmanned warfare has been foreseeable for a long time and will not only have a significant impact on air combat, but also on armored vehicles. It is only a matter of time before drones are developed specifically for combating main battle tanks, and these then have to be made significantly smaller and more mobile as targets in order to still have a realistic survivability in the battlefield in the aftermath. --- But this development was foreseeable years ago. The size of equipment of warfare have been steadily decreasing for decades with the same effectiveness and are usually significantly cheaper and more flexible than their classic counterparts. Air and ground drones (or highly mobile modern tankettes) are just a logical step in the development of modern ordnance for a small price tag per piece when produced in masses. The wars had become too expensive along with all the fancy developments on the equipment side already. Smaller gear, just as powerful but harder to detect and engage, will sooner or later be the new trend already for sheer cost reasons. The conflict in Ukraine just accelerates the development that is going to take place in the future anyways.
Very well done, sir
I think the VKS simply failed to meet our NATO/US expectations of air war. Its not doing a really bad job by USSR/Russian standards, but it seems like Russia would have much worse trouble in a war with a western military than we previously thought, because its airforce simply can't keep up with the pace, in which we (the west) would do air combat. And much less if its about a conflict that lasts longer than a few weeks. Which is all one reason more, beyond the logistics/economic perspective, to give Ukraine western jets, but much more, Ukraine would also need western experience and know-how in operations. Because one day, Russia might figure it out by itself and it would be better, that Ukraine learns it first.
We have yet to see a full out non-nuclear war between CSTO and NATO.
I think you are confusing ruSSian Federation and USSR.
The latter had a GDP and a military budget comparable to US at the time.
ruSSian Federation economy is instead smaller than Spain, with a military budget 20 times smaller than US
@Alex - Unity well, you are seeing a war between them and a minor country like Ukraine, mostly armed with Soviet-era weapons.
Just few Javelins and Himars were able to humiliate the ruSSian army.
Just imagine if Ukrainians had F35, Abrams, etc. (right now they don't have any yet, and they are still reliying on T-72, BMP and Mig-29)
@Alex - Unity We should be lucky if it never happens. But still, for comparison: In the first two weeks of gulf war, when the air force was still ramping up its operations, the CENTAF alone did over 7000 sorties, reaching 400-600 sorties per day by then. Russia is at 1/10th of that number at most. And that includes flights done over the baltic to pretend some presence. It simply operates at a very low pace.
Hitomi Remind me, who was the first to loose in Afghanistan?
Time seemed to be completely ineffective for the K series, only Mi survives, this is due to the fact that infantry with MANPADS must determine their own or someone else’s and only then shoot, while seeing the K series it is destroyed by heavy fire from the entire MANPADS, heavy machine guns, anti-tank systems. That is, there are heat traps and they work, but for example, a magical Russian IR searchlight with an automatic system for fixing MANPADS launches does not work, which practice shows.
K series cannot be confused with Mi, moreover, working in the K series group unmasks the Mi series and signs their sentence.
PS You can only learn one thing here if you see Gopnik, you need to beat him, and not be afraid of the mythical escalation.
Hello from the Philippines, really excellent video thank you. I have a question: for how long can Western powers keep sending weapon systems, ammunition to Ukraine before their OWN stocks start to run low? Just to the north of us is Taiwan....a tinderbox in the waiting. Is China waiting till USA's massive (but finite) stocks of Javelins, HIMARS, artillery shells etc. run low before looking to Taiwan? Its a very worry I have, is it a valid worry?
The US will not compromise their own security for Ukraine. It is mostly sending older equipment to Ukraine, and they have the capacity to manufacture huge amounts of the newer systems like the HIMARS. Artillery shells are a bit of an issue as the West doesn't use artillery nearly as much as Ukraine does. Artillery shell production is now being expanded in Europe and the US. They are also produced by allies like South Korea, which has a massive production capability for artillery systems and shells due to the threat posed by North Korea.
@The Other OhlourdesPadua "an economy that can spare money paying for all that"
You mean trillions in debt?
This war has brought to us that the grisly reality of attrition warfare is still a thing. Technology alone will not deter a foe which simply does the math and conclude that he can win because he has way more equipment and manpower than you
@Jintsuu Best it was hardly attrition, more like shooting turkeys...
For the past 6 months they have been ineffectually throwing equipment and manpower at Bakhmut, attrition warfare has been a complete failure so far
That is because neither side has the ability to conduct large scale combined arms operations. The Russians had the equipment - but they didn't have the training and skills. The Ukrainians have the skills - but need the training and equipment. We should have started pulling M1A1s and Bradley's out of storage, refurbishing them, and then train the Ukrainians how to use them. Then form Armored and Infantry battalion task forces and send them to the NTC at Fort Irwin to train combined arms warfare against an opponent that has all the advantages. (When US soldiers were saying after the Gulf War that their training was harder than real combat - this was courtesy the NTC.)
Yeah, I think that AA might just be too good for anything except 5th Gen aircraft. It's just far too dangerous for high value assets, now.
11:52 cut error. Thank for making these videos!
Very much appreciate the return to objectivity
No, the war started in 2014, it escalated 24th February 2022.
With even more russian interferences, sucker punches and preparations pre-2014 and pre-Crimea occupation.
a war needs a declaration, otherwise it is called a conflict usually.
Here's your +1 for being a pedant when he's focusing on a topic that only started in February.
@Dusk if it was Russian interference, why did Yanukovych keep getting elected by such large margins?
That was a good caveat at the end. Needed.
Since most static targets were mapped and attacked, shouldn’t western countries focus more on an airforce and airplanes that are more mobile and capable of off-airfield operations? Are the planes in the current inventory (like F-16, Eurofighter, F-35,…) even capabele of this? Maybe countries like Sweden made a better choice to develop Grippen and survive a modern war where airfields would be the first targets that get destroyed?
F-35B STOVL is intended for this role, though they are few in numbers.
As usual, migration to new platforms and doctrines is likely to happen during a real conflict.
@PapaOscarNovember I think F-35B has too many limitations when you consider fuel capacity, payload,… it may even burn a hole in a normal road when doing STOVL 😉. Maybe F-35C would be a better choice since it’s designed for carrier operations and even it’s predecessor F-18 has also been used for off-field operations by several countries.
I'm no professional, but he did say the airfields weren't completely destroyed and given the Ukrainian airforce is still flying I don't think it's an issue. Coupled with modern construction techniques to speed repair or replacement and I can't see it working.
Aircraft carriers are a thing. Also, nato has a large aerial tanker fleet. That means you can base aircraft much further away from the Frontline.
Gripen seems to be the choice.
good analysisthis sums up one year of war
The main takeaway, in my opinion, is supremacy of ground air defense over air offense, at least as far as traditional airplanes. If you do not posses stealth technology, you are a glorified booster stage for missiles. If you do posses stealth, you are so ridiculously expensive it might be more rational to buy a tens or hundreds of cheaper drones instead.
With the NATO doctrine, the air forces operate as long range and flexible air defenses. Soviet doctrine was more focused on ground air defenses. Ukraine being a former Soviet nation never had a chance to swap away from that doctrine and must rely on their ground based air defenses. Russia is a bit more flexible because they have somewhat updated their air fleet. I am interested in seeing how effective the Western ground based air defenses hold up as the soviet systems run out of ammunition. They were never the focus of NATO development. Will they be just as effective as the soviet systems? Will they be too expensive to keep supplied? Seems like we will find out in time.
Thousands of cheaper drones do not add up to the capability to penetrate contested airspace. Stealth is a qualitative feature, it can't be mimicked by quantity. You might be able to achieve greater effects in terms of gross payload, but wars are not won by putting your air force's payload on a scale, they're won by striking objectives, and no quantity of drones will allow them to act outside of their capabilities.
GBAD in the Soviet Military was always a priority, as they knew they probably couldn't invest in the kinds of airforce that western militaries could. What we are seeing her eis what happens when you don't have an entire military built around the idea that before you even sniff in a major conflict you will do several months of SEAD/DEAD missions to suppress those defenses. In a world where there is little suppression, from either side, air can't be brought to bear and that is why artillery takes precedence. Effectively, the modern high tempo war that we are accustomed to in the West, can easily revert to slow infantry and tank slogs through trench covered terrain when you lose one of the legs of combined arms warfare - Aircraft. However, you can still do combined arms sans aircraft, problem is that you are likely to suffer heavy equipment and manpower losses doing so.
It is not known if stealth really works against a near peer opponent. What if it really doesn't?
@Chabbrik It does, just probably not how you think it does. Stealth planes can and will be detected with strong enough radars, however the range that you detect that there is something there is greatly reduced and then being able to lock is even shorter ranged. For example: An S-400 system would probably detect a F-22 Raptor 60 miles away and lock it around 50 miles away, but it would have detected a F-15 200 miles away. The difference is massive in a tactical scale. Another way to look at is that a F-22 would detect a Su-35 from about 150 miles away but the Su-35 wouldn't detect the F-22 until it is within 30 miles.
I don't remember the theoretical ranges for the F-35 since it isn't as stealthy, but the point is that stealth technology can apply pressure on the side without it without that side knowing there is a threat or where it is if they did know. Imagine how scary it is if you know there is another fighter jet in the engagement zone but not knowing where it is and suddenly getting radar lock alerts.
I would like a whole breakdown from you
So given how lots of people started harping on how tanks are supposedly obsolete due to this war, how come people aren't claiming the helicopter is obsolete?
Depends, I'd say that Kiowa warrior would do quite well in this situation as the mast mounted targeting package allows it to take cover behind the treeline and still guide the missile.
"how come people aren't claiming the helicopter is obsolete?" Maybe there is so limited in enthusiasm in using helicopters / most fighters in their intended role, that people even don't see many photos of them getting downed? :D
Though here I also wonder whether anyone is satisfied with their value for money and is asking for much more helicopters next time...
With tanks there is at least strong argument, that there is not much alternative.
did you hit your head and wake up thinking it's still July 2022?
a Well balanced report and mostly accurate. Thank you.
RGD-5 is getting a new lease of life.
We learned we won't be home by Christmas.
ДЯКУЮ! Гість- глибоко "копає". Клас!
АЛЕ я підтримую Ваші висновки, Анатолій!
5:40 The battle for Gostomel airport arguably saved not just Kyiv but the entire Ukraine.
It was indeed all-around impactful
it was a pivoting point for sure.
The other "turning point" was wrecking the Russian Marine Infantry attack and flooding their avenue of approach to Kiyv.
Arguably. More than likely it wasn't fundamental in either. Even if Kiev felt, it's dubious Ukrainians would be willing to surrender to Russian demands. And that's assuming city would fall, which is extremely unlikely given how civilians were willing to resist actively, all while army units could turn streets into kill zones. Battle of Hostomel didn't save Kiev, plan was doomed from the get go since it was overoptimistic.
@ReichLife Arguably. But we've seen the fate of Mariupol.
The takeaway is that the VKS was never able to establish Air Superiority and what little mid range missions over Ukraine has been shoved back to just front lines. CAS is no longer a viable Air Mission (contested air space) unless you have Precision Weapons. The incredible aspect is Ukraine fought the VKS to an aerial draw (or worse) and that is a fantastic outcome for them. Aerial missions over Russia were never feasible long term and keeping it a draw or contested over Ukraine is outstanding. Unmanned Aerial Munitions is really a separate aspect and is Unmanned Recon.
You touch on the topic about ”Western” help to Ukraine, but not much on similar support to Russia from Iran for example.
It would be nice with some kind of additional analysis of what impact this ”external” support have meant for the war and what would have been the situation without it..
He touched upon the Shahed-drone import - said that about a half or more of those were shut down. It was the only case of any help, provided to Russia. Whereas the "West" gave a wide number of various weapons to the Ukrainians, which had great impact (air defense)
I didn't hear you mentioning the later tactics by the Russians using old Mig31's to intercept low flying Ukranian aircraft from within the Russian territory.
That would make the Russians look competent and would not fit the often peddled narrative of the bumbling Russian bear.
@nixonhoover2 this analysis is fairly objective and we can see the overall chain of actions and results.
A bear is a bear, however you prefer to portray it.
Nobody seems to learn from the past, we're doomed to repeat ourselves
The Ukrainian Air Force is one of the biggest surprises of the war imo. I‘d never thought that they‘d be able to challenge the VKS over a prolonged period of time yet here we are one year later and they‘re still very much alive and active. May god bless them and the other defenders of Ukraine.
- You know what? Ukraine Air Forces where fighting with ruzky scum a decades ago in African sky, being a "peacekeepers" from different sides and conflicts. That's still classified...
Chris I consider you a trusted friend please take care of you!
Wow Guy, thanks so much, hope all is well with you!
Thanks Christoph, very good take
So, there was footage during the first couple days of a Ukrainian and a Russian jets chase, was that ever confirmed to be real?
I'm wondering how effective F-16's and similar aircraft would be in Ukraine. An article in RUSI argued that advanced western aircraft wouldn't be worth the investment. It seems to me that the introduction of a significant amount of western armor and air defenses offers a more realistic chance of turning the tide in Ukraine's favor.
Modern F-16s are far better than MiG-29s - they have much longer sensor range and much longer weapons range. Turn and burn dogfights are quite rare these days, almost everything is BVR and often off boresight.
@David Fuller I agree and would very much like to see modern fighters go to Ukraine. From what I read air defense suppression and the complete package will take a great deal of time. Leopards and Bradleys would have a much greater near term effect.
@David Fuller indeed, but F-16s also requires longer runways compared with MiG-29s. Also, Russian air force operates MiG-31s and Su-35s with R-37M missiles that greatly outperforms the AMRAAMs. As you said, it will be interesting to see.
The F-16s wouldn't stand a chance - I think it's obvious that if F-16s could provide air overmatch then Ukraine would get them. Nothing sensitive about sending F-16s to Ukraine, unlike F-22 & 35s would be. The main reason no one high up on the professional side of the fence is eager to send F-16s to Ukraine is the bad PR from inevitable huge losses. It's not just the fact that S-300/400/500 systems are extremely effective at area denial - it's the fact Russia has a true integrated air defense with EW assets, AWACS, and the most intimidating interceptors currently on the planet. The Mig-31 with Zaslon + R37M package is no fun to be up against, especially if the best you have is AIM-120D.
Serious military analysts are not toughting F-16s as a solution - Ukraine needs a complete combined arms package to beat Russia and for F-16s to be effective. They probably will get NATO AWACS/GlobalHawk support - but they still need long range tactical missiles, airborne cruise missiles, EW air assets etc. to get the job done. US airforce is effective, not because it has F-22 or 35 on their own, but because for each fighter package it has 10X the number of support assets backing them up. They fully integrated live intel from sattelite to low level drone assets. They have multiple air EW assets. The have mobile field support, airborne logistics, airborne refueling and airborne command centers. Even with all of that - US still needed specialized stealth and long range bomber assets + naval cruise missiles to take on Iraq's outdated S-75 air defense (which actually was strongest before Desert Storm - it was pretty gone the second time around. Russia's AD is many orders of magnitude harder to crack so it could even be questioned if a full NATO(US) air force could succesfully mount an effective air war campaign against it. Ukraine getting F-16s on their own is effectively peeing in the wind - it's not gonna do anything to turn the tide.
The F-16 will bring effective SEAD/DEAD capabilities to the Ukrainians. It also brings the ANRAMM (sp?) missile for a long-range air to air capability. Be especially nasty if we sent a few F-35s as well. The F-35 can gets closer to the front lines to spot targets and the F-16s take long range shots - then run away.
I suspect the new undies for the Bundeswehr arrived in time for Valentine's Day, and like so much else, have already been forwarded to Kyiv? So, well done for how Germany has been standing up. I was watching a video yesterday with hundreds of units of NATO armour rolling off in the lovely port of Klaipeda. I never get tired of seeing that, as my kith and kin in Lithuania no longer have any tanks to roll up in? Perun has shown us the exhaustive list of military goods your country has already sent in a time of great need by most of our allies. My main take-away? Time for us in the US and NATO to get serious (like Estonia sending all of its artillery) and help Ukraine win this: send Ukraine another 800 or 1000 M2 ODS Bradleys (we have 2800 in storage, and another 700 brand new M2A4s just ordered), 142 Stryker MGS (retired to Ukraine), another 150 Abrams tanks, more Paladins, 100 tons (we have 446,000 units) of our unused cluster munitions, longer range precision munitions, ALCMs (say Rapid Dragon?) and 250 F-16 Vipers to carry them. When we send our 260 remaining A-10's, our AF will give silent but grateful thanks. Time for us all to win. Why else have we been saving this 40 year old kit?
So Ukraine stopped using the TB2? I haven’t heard about it recently
Yes they stopped because they have none left
@Daniel Kol I guess, more precisely, a few left for future important missions.
my takeaway is that we need more Javelins
-Artillery in all forms
-Ground based Air Defense in all forms, especially Manpads
-Light and Motorized Infantry
-Tanks and IFVs
it is not “Hosmotel”, it is Gostomel 😂
My main takeaway Chris is that Ukraine is still fighting and Russian forces seem to be desperately trying to adapt to what their enemy is doing rather than imposing their intent upon them.
We shall see but I fear this needless horror show will continue for far too long.
The Russians have lost - even if they achieve their aims of eastern Ukrainian usurpation.
I refer you to the latest presentation by Perun.
A medium nation still convinced it’s an empire.
As a Brit I get it …
As a fellow Briton the situation really does remind me of an us & Ireland situation, years of colonial control, resistance, & the similarities between the potato famine & the Holodimor.
Question, why are you IGNORING, that some wussian jets crash after take off, their cruise missils malfunctioned at a very high rate almost hitting the launchers. Also, you overlooked the wussian ship that got sunk by Ukraine. The moskvar or some asinine name.