Russia has some impressive new weapons under development, but many of the projects have been struck by problems and delays. Here is an overview of how things are going with the most spectacular programs.
The British Air Vice-Marshal Simon Rochelle has some dramatic assumptions about the usability of NATO aircraft in future peer-level wars. But a new FOI report calls for more cool-headed estimates of Russia’s air defense weapons.
Lithuania has signed a contract to buy additional missiles for their new NASAMS air defense system. The system will be fully operational in 2021.
The primary military air base in Kaliningrad has reopened after a major refit and expansion. Now Russia can operate more and larger aircraft from Chkalovsk.
Russia seems genuinely tired of Israel’s behavior when it comes to deconfliction during air strikes. They have presented evidence that Israel uses the established deconfliction channels very little and too late. Surprisingly, they praise the Americans for being very professional about safety.
Russia has presented evidence that Ukraine owned the BUK missile that shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. But their credibility record is really poor when it comes to explanations about MH17. This tops a week with several stories that make the Russian government look silly.
Official statistics support the notion that Russia has used Syria as a military training ground. Impressive numbers of personnel and equipment have rotated through the theater of operations.
The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of four Blackhawk helicopters to Latvia for an estimated cost of $200 million. This does not mean that a deal is made, but if Latvia decides to buy Blackhawk, they will get a good and reliable helicopter.
For the Russian Aerospace Forces, the air campaign has been a valuable source of experience. They have tested equipment, organization, and doctrine. Rapid rotations have ensured that most personnel in the Russian military have gained personal war experience from the otherwise limited operation.
In this piece I summarize some of the findings that Anton Lavrov makes in a new CNA report about The Russian Air Campaign in Syria.
Estonia has signed a new contract for Mistral missiles with French manufacturer MBDA. This gives Estonia a more robust air defense. There are still many shortcomings in the Baltic air defense, but the new short-range missiles are an important step to building a more credible deterrent.