Monday, January 22, 2018

You Go to War with the Ammo You Have

Russia smashed up the location that built the drone swarm that attacked a Russian air base in Syria.*

It is interesting that Russia made the effort to move an artillery piece to fire a Krasnopol guided round that special forces painted with a laser designator:

Russian use of Krasnopol for retaliation was odd. It would have been easier to use Russian aircraft (or UAVs) armed with laser designators and laser guided missiles for this attack. The Americans and their allies do this all the time, usually employing Hellfire missiles. China sells clones of the American UAVs and missiles (and builds the Krasnopol shell under license).

The sad reality is that Russia has apparently run out of smart bombs and missiles. Lately their air attacks have only used unguided (“dumb”) bombs and rockets. But they still had Krasnopol shells, which they have been using in Syria since 2016.

Russia just doesn't have the depth of logistics to fight even a small war with the best weapons.**

Which is nice given I've figured our problems in sustaining a war pale in comparison to potential foes.

*And note that rebels were more effective with old-fashioned simple 82mm mortars.

**Unless Russia has a war-reserve stock that they won't dip into for Syria operations. But don't recall Strategypage mentioning that.

UPDATE: In timely Strateypage news, the mortar was a fancy version of a simple weapon:

Russian weapons experts quickly concluded that the weapon used was probably a Russian 2B9 Vasilek (Cornflower) automatic 82mm gun-mortar. The evidence was the shell fragments from 3.24 (7.2 pound) 82mm shells and the fact that the shells were fired quickly. The 2B9 can use a four round clip that fires four 82mm shells in about two seconds.

The mortar is wheeled so must be towed or carried by a vehicle; and is not something that can be broken down and carried.