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Hua Guofang

Russia: Boogyman or Boogie hands?

Boogyman or Boogie Hands  

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  1. 1. Boogyman or Boogie Hands

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    • Boogie Hands

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Discussion came up elsewhere over what kind of power Russia has in the world today.


Power is a difficult concept to define, but for the purposes here we can see it as influence over other nations and states in the form of the ability to ensure other nations consider Russia's interests (as determined by the Kremlin). Power  can be either hard (coercive power or the ability to inflict punishment, usually through military or economic means) or soft power (the power to attract by way of culture, such as sport, Hollywood, products (Nike, Coke, McDonalds, Levis) or ideology such as democracy, capitalism, socialism, etc).


But let's be honest, Russia has all the soft power of a sexually transmitted disease. So let's just keep it to hard power - the power to coerce peer competitors.


The most potent proven weapons are nuclear and out of all the states that possess them, Russia has the most in absolute terms but the US has more deployed:




Source: Federation of American Scientists: https://fas.org/issues/nuclear-weapons/status-world-nuclear-forces/



But just having nukes is not the whole deal. To be a true nuclear power a nation has to have a retaliatory strike capability. If one nuclear power wishes to destroy another nuclear power, the primary target is the enemy's nuclear arsenal in order to neutralise that threat. Therefore, having a launch platform that can remain undetectable so that any attack can be responded to in kind. This way any nuclear attack on another nuclear state will end in mutually assured destruction - a second strike capability is a deterrent to a first strike.


The best second strike capability is an SSBN and CASD - that's wankery for Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear - or a sub that can launch ballistic nuclear armed missiles, and, Continuous At Sea Deterrent - or the capability to always have a submarine on patrol in an ocean, where it is very difficult to detect. This is a second strike capability, an undetectable launch platform that can strike designated targets within minutes in response to the launch of weapons from an adversary state.


There is also the nuclear triad - the ability to launch nuclear weapons from ground (Intercontinental ballistic Missiles), air (gravity bombs or cruise missiles deployed from aircraft) or SSBN. However most nuclear powers stick to ICBMs and SSBN as the air leg of the triad is a little redundant.


There are also tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. Tactical - or theatre - weapons have shorter range and lower yield and normally designed to target battlefield formations. Strategic weapons, are designed to be deployed against an enemies nuclear arsenal and cities, which means longer ranges and higher yield.


There are also MIRVs - Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles. These are missiles that have multiple warheads that can be independently targeted (launch one missile, hit multiple targets). These are one of the methods to defeat missile defence systems, often there will be numerous decoys to saturate a system increasing the likelihood of the live warheads reaching their target.


Russia is believed to have roughly 1600 strategic warheads that are deployed on ballistic missiles and at heavy bomber bases for air deployment. Another 1070 are believed to be in storage. Russia is also believed to have around 1820 tactical warheads.

 ICBMs - 1165 warheads (MIRV'd) on 318 launchers

Submarine launched ballistic missiles - 720 warheads (MIRV'd)

Air - 786 warheads - 640 gravity bombs, 156 air launched cruise missiles



Russia has been undertaking a large weapons modernisation since the negotiation of START II (arms reduction treaty) in the late 1990s and that's what I'll hit next - it's late and I've got an early start tomorrow. After that. I'll hit conventional weapons, economic and industrial power, alliances and multilateral fora and geography.







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Just read... 


Not sure this is even a discussion. Any nuclear power has influence. You can't just step into a sovereign country that is a nuclear power the way you can with one that lacks the capability. As such, policy is dramatically affected. Likewise, even having the credible ambition to become a nuclear power seems to be enough or no doubt the USA would treat DPRK and Iran much differently than we have. That said, I don't trust a published report on the internet as being a reliable source of any countries capabilities. Seems naive to think anyone but the state has any real idea of where their capability stands and the knowledge itself is manipulated to further exert influence, which is how the USA bankrupted Russia for the first cold war.


Anyhow, seems kind of silly to have thousands of nuclear arms. Only so many times you can wipe out humanity, which would lead me to believe that the focus for the last few decades have been on imp[roving delivery methods, as well as engineering shields.


I would suspect that if we ever see one deployed it'll likely be in the form of a rogue group, likely backed by a state and implemented as a dirty bomb. Second to that, I see non ground based deployment in the form of EMP as possible as its a method to pull punches to a degree. In either case, I have no doubt Russia and the USA and likely many more have the ability to retaliate even if their homeland is reduced to a radiated glass wasteland. 



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There’s going to be more links at the end, I’m treating this as abitof a project to refresh my knowledge as well. This a bit like half of the fist chapter 

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1 hour ago, Dirty_habiT said:

I vote for Boogie Hands.  Why wasn't this a poll?

Damn it. I just tried to go in an add one but it doesn't seem to be an option. 

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Who cares? Most westerners are too fucking stupid to read. 

Russia can push whatever agenda they want, and so can anyone else

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1 hour ago, Decyferon said:

Who cares? Most westerners people are too fucking stupid to read. 

Russia can push whatever agenda they want, and so can anyone else


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On 12/13/2019 at 2:22 AM, misteraven said:

 That said, I don't trust a published report on the internet as being a reliable source of any countries capabilities. Seems naive to think anyone but the state has any real idea of where their capability stands and the knowledge itself is manipulated to further exert influence, which is how the USA bankrupted Russia for the first cold war.



These are state numbers, though. As part of the START negotiations there are verification regimes that involve inspections of each other's stockpiles and delivery systems. There's no point in making these kinds of deals if you have no idea that your counterpart is abiding by them.





Like the provisions of its predecessor, START II provisions would have been verified by on-site inspections, including observation of differences on heavy bombers converted to conventional roles, and missile and silo elimination or conversion. Silo conversions were also subject to inspection. START II provided for inspections in addition to those called for in START. START II provided for additional inspections to confirm the elimination of heavy ICBMs and their launch canisters, as well as additional inspections to confirm the conversions of heavy ICBM silo launchers. In addition, START II provided for exhibitions and inspections to observe the number of nuclear weapons for which heavy bombers were actually equipped and their relevant observable differences. These additional inspections were to be carried out according to the provisions of START unless otherwise specified in the Elimination and Conversion Protocol or in the Exhibitions and Inspections Protocol.



To provide a forum for discussion of implementation of START II, the Treaty established the Bilateral Implementation Commission (BIC). Through the BIC, the Parties could have resolved questions of compliance and agreed upon additional measures to improve the viability and effectiveness of the Treaty.



Here are the numbers that both states agree on that each other have, as of March 2019 (I haven't checked whether these match the numbers I have above, I assume that this is where all the reputable sources are getting their numbers from):




Category of Data

United States of America

Russian Federation

Deployed ICBMs, Deployed SLBMs, and Deployed Heavy Bombers



Warheads on Deployed ICBMs, on Deployed SLBMs, and Nuclear Warheads Counted for Deployed Heavy Bombers



Deployed and Non-deployed Launchers of ICBMs, Deployed and Non-deployed Launchers of SLBMs, and Deployed and Non-deployed Heavy Bombers



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Also, just to note, you want your opponent to know that you have nuclear weapons and that you've got a lot of them.


The over-riding reason states have nuclear weapons is as a deterrent - if you hit me with nukes, I'll hit you back with nukes. For countries like Pakistan, who face India, which has a conventional capacity that could overwhelm Pakistan on numbers alone, Islamabad refuses to have a no first use policy because retaliating to a conventional invasion with a nuclear strike is the only way it could possibly defend itself. 


So physically showing your opponent your weapons is what you do. If they don't know you have them they won't deter your enemy from hitting you and they become a waste of time. SSBNs aren't the only way of having a second strike capability, simply having more weapons than your enemy is another way, as is having easily concealed road mobile launchers that are disguised as normal trucks or hide in heavily wooded areas that satellites can't penetrate.


You make sure your enemy knows you have that second strike capability so they don't fuck with you.

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Russia has been motivated by a number of issues to modernise its nuclear forces but the main two are the pending renegotiation of START and the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, (essentially a treaty that said that nobody would develop missile defence systems, upseting strategic stability by creating a new advantage) forcing Russia to develop defence defeating technologies.


Russia is strong in sciences. Unlike China, during the Cold War when ideology was the most important thing that could be taught by educators, Russia retained science as an educational field (China didn't, it went full-ideology retard for a while). So it is able to develop world leading defence technologies, enabling real and valuable modernisation programs. However, Russia's petro-economy has taken serious hits and this has slowed down the rate of modernisation and likely also the scope of projects that it can undertake.



Here are a few of Russia's most recent programs, some now deployed and operational, some still in testing phase and some still on the drawing board:


The RS-24 Yars is essentially a modernised Topol missile, which began development in the mid 2000s. It is a solid fueled three stage rocket that has a range of 5500km and can carry anything between 4-10 warheads and penetration aids. The re-entry vehicles are also believed have manoeuvring capabilities. The updated design went into service in 2010 and continues development and testing.


The SS-N-32 Bulava is one of Russia’s key second strike capabilities. An SLBM, developed in the 1990s and in service as of the mid 2000s. It is launched from the Borey-class SSBN, which can carry 12-16 missiles each, which can carry up to 10 re-entry vehicles each.

Video of test launch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUdIUdouLv0&feature=youtu.be


The SS-X-30 Sarmat missile is under development and apparently nearing completion – a liquid fueled, silo based ICBM that can throw a greater weight to carry missile defence counter measures (likely a MIRV with more decoys and penetration mechanisms. Also possible to have warheads with greater terminal phase maneuverability) or to travel over the south pole to avoid missile defence systems altogether.


The Avangard, is a hypersonic boost-glide vehicle – essentially a hypersonic unmanned jet that sits atop an ICBM that can reach ridiculous speeds and manoeuvre erratically in terminal phase to stop missile defence systems from being able to predict a flight path and take it out. Russia is not the only country working on this kind of technology.


Russia “leaked” the development of the Status 6 Poseidon underwater drone in 2015. Believed to have a range of 10,000kn, at a max depth of 1000m and top speed of 100knots. The autonomous vehicle is designed to be launched from manned subs and carry a two megaton warhead.


SSC-X-9 Skyfall or Burevestnik nuclear powered cruise missile was announced by Putin and given it is nuclear powered it essentially had unlimited range. Being a cruise missile it has manoeuvrability that allows it to evade defences.



So that gives you some idea of Russia’s modernisation efforts and achievements regards their nuclear forces. Note that it's not actually the warheads or 'bombs' themselves that are being modernised but the delivery systems, which goes back to one of the reasons for modernisation, the US withdrawal from the ABM treaty and Russia's need to be able to defeat the missile defence systems and retain a second strike capability and deterrent to a US first strike. Russia remains an extremely effective force, determined to be able to defeat US missile defences and a retaliatory strike capability. They are also a world leader in innovation and design in terms of standard and new technologies.


Also, keep in mind that I’ve only addressed strategic nuclear capabilities, I haven’t touched on tactical or theatre weapons. There is constant development in this field and the US just pulled out of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty due to Russia’s alleged breach of that agreement with the development of a cruise missile with 2500km range. I’ve also only hit on the most modern of Russian strategic weapons, the bulk of Russia’s existing forces are weapons that began development in the 80s and 90s and are still deployed as capable MIRV’d ICBMs with defence defeating capabilities.



Russia’s nuclear forces modernisation:








Missile and delivery system modernisation programs:







Head of US Defence Intelligence Agency says that Russia actually is developing their warheads for higher yield and deeper penetration on hardened targets:





Large blast in northern Russia on 8 Aug, 2019 that resulted in detection of high level of radio active isotopes very likely to be a catastrophic failure in the testing of the SSC-X-9 Skyfall nuclear powered cruise missile:





START II - https://www.nti.org/learn/treaties-and-regimes/treaty-between-united-states-america-and-union-soviet-socialist-republics-strategic-offensive-reductions-start-ii/

Edited by Hua Guofang
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Posted (edited)

Starting off on conventional forces. I'll cover some of the main points in terms of ground air and sea.


First, ground with Russia's two main battle tanks, the T-90 and the newer T-14 Armata


T-90 and T-14 Armata tanks, Kurganets-25 infantry fighting vehicles and Boomerang armored personnel carriers are all expected to enter the force over the next eight years, though numbers of some items such as Armata tanks have seen projected numbers reduced from the thousands to the hundreds to to budgetary constraints.


Russia's T90 has been purchased by India, Algeria, Uganda, Greek Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Vietnam,


The T90 can fire mix of rounds and anti-tank guided missiles, which can engage targets out to 4km in under 12 seconds, can engage with explosive reactive armour and helicopters up to 5km range.


The T-90 is fitted with the Shtora-1 defensive aids suite, which is produced by Electronintorg of Russia. This system includes infrared jammer, a laser warning system with four laser warning receivers, a grenade discharging system which produces an aerosol screen and a computerised control system.


The T90 can ford p to 5m deep water with snorkel attachment.


The T90's infra-red counter measures can jam the signalling from incoming guided missiles, infra-red obscuring aerosol clouds can be deployed and a laser warning receiver warns when the vehicle is being tracked, locates the position of the tracking device and targets it. Fire control systems have integrated thermal imaging and laser range finders to allow accurate fire on the move even in low light.


T90 - https://www.militaryfactory.com/armor/detail.asp?armor_id=161










The T-14 Armata is the latest generation chassis that will create the foundation of a number of combat vehicles. the T14 tank is the first tank in the world to use an unmanned or automated turret. It began development in 2013, filed tested in 2014 and delivered to units in 2015. Production has been downgraded from the thousands to the hundreds due to the high unit cost of the tank, however, the greatest benefit is likely to be Russia’s step towards fully automated tanks.


The laser guided missile fired by the T-14 is believed to have a range of 12km and able to pierce armour twice that of a US Abrams tank. Russian engineers claim that the tank’s upgraded explosive reactive armour can protect against all NATO amour piercing rounds including the leading German produced armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot DM53 and DM63 rounds. The question is how it's turret (more so the delicate tech inside) will withstand the top down blast from a TOW 2B


The tank includes the Afghanit system, which can intercept and destroy incoming ground launched missiles and also has an anti-air gun that can destroy incoming slow-moving air-launched missiles. The T-14 uses a fire control system upgraded from the T-90, which has 360 degree awareness for both the system and humans and can fire accurately on target when moving in near dark conditions.


It's widely believed that the T-14 will be a match for the US Abrams and US anti-tank missiles.


T-14 Armata: https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/t-14-program.htm















From here I'll look at the S-300/400 anti-air defence system.


Edited by Hua Guofang

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Posted (edited)

Russia fields a layered integrated air defence system. For this review I’ll just be looking at two layers: the long-range S-400 Triumf and the in-close Pantsir S-2 system. You can read up on the rest yourself here: http://roe.ru/eng/catalog/air-defence-systems/




Russia developed the S-300 family of air defence systems to overcome the budget constraints that prevented it from fielding a large 4/5 gen force of combat aircraft, refuelers and airborne surveillance and battle command aircraft. Russia also noticed the outcome of America’s second offset strategy in terms of stealth technology and precision guided munitions (originally designed to destroy Soviet follow on forces during the Cold War) when the US intervened as part of NATO forces in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq in 1991.


S-3/400 is purchased by Saudi Arabia, China, Greece, Turkey, India, Egypt, Bulgaria, Venezuela, UAE, Syria


The S-400 Triumf, originally called the S-300-PMU-3, is a road-mobile system that can engage aircraft and missiles from as close as 40km out to 400km at an altitude of 30km with 4 different missiles. The US equivalent in the Patriot missile can only fire one missile variant to a range of 96km. The S-400 mid range missile (120km) travels at Mach 15 (over 18,000kph), can target missiles and aircraft flying as low as 5m from the ground and can withstand 20gs for tight turns to engage with evasive targets such as cruise missiles.


The system can track up to 36 targets at a time and is deployable from travel mode to fire in 5 mins. The 400km range missile is designed to target enabling and high-value aircraft such as AWACS, J-STARS and EA-6B. The shorter-range missiles are designed to target penetrative aircraft and missiles such as cruise and ballistic.


The S-400 has optional acquisition radars that operate in multiple frequencies enabling it to detect modern stealth (like that on F-22/35) which are designed to defeat the more common X-band radar.


The 91N6E radar system that can be attached to the S-400 system can track up to 300 targets at once, at a range of 600km from the size of a drone, to ballistic missile to fighter aircraft.


To purchase an S-400 unit costs approximately $500m, where as a Patriot Pac-2 system costs a billion. However, Purchasing Russian kit is just the kit. Purchasing American strategic kit like Patriots is a signal of US strategic interest/intent and sometime US operators. And you kill American soldiers anywhere in the world and there’s usually a high price for that.


















Pantsir S-1

Purchased by Syria, Serbia, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, UAE, Slovenia, Oman,


The Pantsir S-1 is a surface-to-air missile system and a 30mm anti-air gun that has a missile range of between 10-30km and can track up to 4 targets at a time and engage up to 12 targets a minute. The system is designed to be deployed against helicopters, fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, precision guided munitions, drone and ground targets in defence of Russian (or purchaser) ground installations. The Pantsir S-1 system is the in-close layer of Russia’s air defence systems.


The system is vehicular mounted and can be moved between wheeled, track or trailer with a specific arctic version under development. The system has a 0.7-0.95 probability of kill rating. The fire control system can detect out to 30km and track within 24km targets as small a 3cm square. The Pantsir S-1 can engage targets accurately whilst on the move and in low light making it capable of defending moving targets such as logistics convoys or high-value targets and personnel.









Russia fields a much more complex and capable integrated air defence system than the US, but that is because they have needed it more than the US has. Up until recently, on the US and its allies fielded 5th Gen aircraft with modern stealth capabilities and able to deploy precision guided munitions. The US did not face a similar threat. However, with these technologies now proliferating the US will have to add to its systems such as Aegis, Patriot, X-band radars, etc.



Edited by Hua Guofang

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Interesting, I'm wondering if this system has been tested in a real conflict yet. The 400 km range is a huge plus, but it makes me think the missile itself must be 4x larger/heavier to carry enough fuel for that range, possibly making it less maneuverable. It might perform on par with the patriot system for shooting down scud missiles for example, but not as good at taking out a highly maneuverable aircraft like a fighter jet.


2 hours ago, Hua Guofang said:

However, with these technologies now proliferating the US will have to add to its systems such as Aegis, Patriot, X-band radars, etc.

Agreed, China is famously deploying it's own stealth technology. How effective it is has yet to be seen, the threat still remains though.

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Part of the game is not letting anyone know what you're working on.  This is the purpose of secret and top secret programs.  We can't even begin to pretend to know what the USA has in terms of stealth and intercept technology.  Telling everyone about how awesome your new missile defense system is enabled the game of spy vs. spy and you know who always wins that game, it's the group that was able to study the enemy's weapons.


Go ahead Russia, lay all your cards out face up, we're fine with that.

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4 hours ago, abrasivesaint said:

Just saw a story about Russian Sputnik radio broadcasting on a Kansas City radio station now. Interesting. 

I love weird/mysterious broadcasts. Post up some details if you got em

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Russian Intelligence Is Snooping Around Undersea Internet Cables



GRU, Russia’s foreign intelligence service, has reportedly dispatched agents to inspect the undersea internet cables that connect Europe and North America.

These undersea fiber-optic cables are the crucial infrastructure between internet, phone, and other digital networks. And Russia’s presence near cables in Ireland — a crucial hub — has Irish police concerned that GRU agents could tap in and spy on other countries, according to The Sunday Times.

Even more drastically, it’s resuscitated concerns that Russia might launch an attack on the cables that cuts a target nation off from the rest of the world.

Cracking The Vault

Ireland is a major hub for tech companies, Business Insider reports. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Airbnb all have headquarters and store data in Dublin, making the country a juicy target for spies looking to extract valuable data.

And given that the Russian government fined Facebook and Twitter last week for refusing to store user data on Russian territory, it’s possible that the GRU is considering more direct action.

Soft Target

The Russian presence around Ireland’s undersea cables is particularly troubling because there may not be much Ireland can do about any interference.


“Ireland doesn’t have a counter-intelligence capability,” Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security, told The Sunday Times. “It’s a relatively soft target.”

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