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MS DAILY BRIEF – MAY 09 th, 2023
Ukraine update | Latest preparations for offensive | Tanks moved to the frontlines-Video presentation
How the Patriot missile system works | Air defence missiles-Video presentation.
Tank-aircraft binomial, an explanation for Russia’s failed blitzkrieg Gen Mîndrescu: Romania’s army leadership I hope is watching carefully.
Wagner cuts and hangs in Africa on behalf of Moscow: US shares sensitive information and wants to cut off money pipeline to Prigojin’s mercenaries.
Poland believes the interception of its aircraft by a Russian Su-35 is a diversion. Balazanu: Moscow wants to establish a red line and will be more aggressive in the Black Sea.
ISW report: Russia unable to conduct coordinated defence operations along the entire frontline.
The United States has no doubts about the veracity of Ukraine’s claims of intercepting a Kinzhal missile
Rare footage: Ukrainian Armed Forces launch Hydra 70 missiles using Humvee vehicles and not from helicopters
A British plane was attacked by a Russian aircraft after mishearing an order, say US officials-Dominic Nicholls,
KEY MOMENTS NEWS BRIEF – Russia-Ukraine war: The list.
Iran Navy destroyers equipped with new missiles.
Romanian Naval Forces participate in Operation EUNAVFOR MED “IRINI”.
When the NWO is delayed, the destruction of Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet ships by Ukrainian naval drones is only a matter of time.
“MK”: the Romanian Defense Ministry has not revealed the purpose of the flight of the Polish aircraft over the Black Sea.
“Celebrating Victory Day is important”: residents of St. Petersburg shared their impressions of the parade dress rehearsal
First looks at the major defense policy bill for 2024 coming this week – by Leo Shane III
Marines criticize a shrinking amphibious fleet, but Navy isn’t to blame-De Maj. Gen. Christopher Owens (Ret.)
The French Navy will create “coastal flotillas” thanks to the strengthening of its operational reserve. BY LAURENT LAGNEAU – 7 MAY 2023.
Turkey has rejected a US proposal to send Russian S-400 systems to Ukraine.
A brief analysis of naval accidents in April 2023.
Increasing sustainability of ship decks and decks.
Europe’s economic outlook improves, but container logistics companies face challenges.
U.S.-Canada transportation corridor could provide cost savings, accelerate offshore wind deployment
The MIM-104 Patriot is a SAM surface-to-air missile system, the primary system of its type used by the U.S. military and several allied nations and one of the most advanced technologies to date.
One Patriot battery cost $1 billion, while a single missile costs $4 million.
By comparison, the S-400, a long-range mobile surface-to-air missile system with a single battery, costs about $500m.
In this video we see how this system works in a very basic form, we also see how the missile tracks and destroys its targets.
Tank-aircraft binomial, an explanation for Russia’s failed blitzkrieg Gen Mîndrescu: Romania’s army leadership I hope is watching carefully
Russian invader’s technique destroyed by Ukraine’s army. Photo source: Генеральний штаб ЗСУ / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
On 24 February 2022 Russia launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine unprecedented in 80 years, triggering the biggest security crisis in Europe since World War II. The objective of the “special military operation” was a blitzkrieg that was supposed to cripple the Ukrainian army and lead to the rapid decapitation of the political leadership in Kiev.
But a Romanian proverb reminds us that the reckoning at home does not match the one in the market.
Russia’s blitzkrieg has turned into a major failure and a war of attrition that has been going on for more than a year and two months. After failing to decapitate Ukraine’s political leadership – the Russians daily reminded of the aberrant goal of denazification – Moscow was forced to abandon this goal and focused on territorial conquests in southeastern Ukraine.
But one of the reasons for Russia’s major failure in the first phase of the war on Ukraine was the failure of the Russian air force to provide support to ground troops. Nor could it annihilate Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defences.
Why Russia’s blitzkrieg failed: the “tank-aircraft binomial” didn’t work. General (r.) Mîndrescu hopes Romanian Army decision-makers are looking carefully at the lessons of the war in Ukraine
Photo: Генеральний штаб ЗСУ / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Brigadier General (r.) Mircea Mîndrescu, the first Romanian commander of the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre, in Lisbon (NATO), present at Objecitv EuroAtlantic, a weekly broadcast by DefenseRomania, explained the importance of the “tank-aircraft binomial” in the success of a blitzkrieg.
“Russia’s air force failed to neutralize Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defenses in the early days of the invasion. This is a fundamental requirement for a blitzkrieg. The concept of blitzkrieg is invented by British thinkers and is based on the tank-aircraft binomial, and it was translated from theory into practice by German General Heinz Guderian.
They failed to successfully implement this tank-aircraft binomial. The Ukrainians managed to move, did the right thing and kept most of their anti-aircraft forces intact,” says General (r.) Mircea Mîndrescu.
He also expressed the hope that the Romanian Army’s decision-makers are looking carefully at the lessons that the year of total conflict on our country’s borders offers.
“It is a reality we must learn from. And I hope that my colleagues in uniform look very, very carefully at these actions to see the good things that must always be respected and also the mistakes”, concluded General (r.) Mircea Mîndrescu.
Watch in full the Obiectiv EuroAtlantic broadcast “Under the false flag. Who attacked the Kremlin?”, in which General (r.) Mircea Mîndrescu also analyses the Ukrainian front
Anti-aircraft systems should be Ukraine’s top priority
In the podcast, General (r.) Mîndrescu also added that in his opinion air defence systems should be the top priority for Ukraine.
He explained that the Ukrainians have managed to keep out the Russian military air force, although far superior in quality and quantity, with these anti-aircraft systems that have formed a dome around Ukraine. But Kiev should continue to focus on the goal of intercepting missiles that Russian aircraft launch from outside the range of Ukrainian anti-aircraft systems.
We recall that following the Russian Federation’s strategy of implementing terror, which since late last autumn has launched waves of attacks on Ukraine’s civil and energy infrastructure, Western allies have accelerated the donation to Ukraine of state-of-the-art air defence systems such as Patriot, IRIS-T, NASAMS, etc.
Wagner cuts and hangs in Africa on behalf of Moscow: US shares sensitive information and wants to cut off money pipeline to Prigojin’s mercenaries
Wagner mercenaries in Libya
The United States is sharing sensitive information on Wagner’s activities with partners in Africa to avoid Moscow’s capture of African states. “The best way to fight Wagner is with the truth,” one US official tells Politico.
The Wagner paramilitary organisation still appears to have substantial resources, since its head Yevgeny Prigozhin is able to maintain mercenary troops both on the Ukrainian front and in several African states, where he supports various factions or political regimes in exchange for Wagner’s access to precious metal or diamond resources.
Photo: Yevgheni Prigojin
US officials try to expose Wagner’s practices and share sensitive information with allies in Africa in an attempt to discourage countries from collaborating with the group. “Where we find credible information that undermines Wagner’s malign influence, we want more people to know about it, including our partners and the public.”
Politico notes that the Biden administration is using the same method as in the months leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
African money used to fight Bahmut
By leaking controlled intelligence, the US is doing two things: alerting its allies to looming threats and warning adversaries that Washington is aware of Wagner’s attempts.
The US fears Wagner could use profits from mining concessions and other commercial contracts in Africa to support Russia’s war efforts.
Photo: Wagner mercenaries
Although some experts downplay the risk, US officials have in recent weeks gathered specific information about Wagner’s attempts to use his international connections, including those in Africa, to support his fight in Ukraine.
For example, in recent months, the Americans have shared information about a Wagner plot to assassinate Chad’s president, as well as his attempts to access and control key resource extraction areas in countries such as Sudan and the Central African Republic.
African officials are alert to how the relationship with Wagner could create chaos in the long run, even though the Russian paramilitary organization’s handlers promise peace and security in the target countries, US officials say.
Thus, it is becoming increasingly clear that Moscow is using Prigokhin’s mercenary company as a proxy through which it makes various deals.
US officials have engaged in talks in recent months with officials from the Central African Republic, Chad, Rwanda, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo to share US intelligence on Wagner. Diplomats have pressured officials in some of those countries to avoid working with Wagner or to help persuade other neighboring states to stop interacting with the group.
In recent years, Prigojin has expanded Wagner’s operations in Africa, helping to foster Kremlin relations with countries such as Libya, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad and Mali. The mercenary group’s objectives include securing mineral and oil holdings in Africa and protecting government officials.
Poland believes the interception of its aircraft by a Russian Su-35 is a diversion. Balazanu: Moscow wants to establish a red line and will be more aggressive in the Black Sea
Illustrative image: The aggressive interception in 2020, when a Su-35 aircraft flew very close to a P-A8 Poseidon aircraft.
Warsaw has criticised the manoeuvres of a Russian Su-35 fighter jet that came dangerously close to a Polish aircraft on a Frontex mission over the Black Sea.
Polish guards said on Friday that a Russian fighter jet intercepted a Polish aircraft carrying out a patrol flight for EU border protection agency Frontex over the Black Sea.
Aggressive manoeuvres by the pilot of the Russian Su-35 aircraft caused a temporary “loss of control” of the Polish aircraft.
Polish government spokesman Pyotr Muller told state broadcaster TVP that Moscow was trying to distract attention from its military’s failures in the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine and trying to impress the Russian population with such incidents, Agerpres reports.
The subject was commented on for Digi24 by General Virgil Bălăceanu, who believes that Russia wants to prevent NATO and EU planes from obtaining intelligence in the area and will step up its aggressive actions against aircraft patrolling international airspace in the Black Sea aquarium.
“The Russians want to establish a red line, i.e. the approach to a certain area must be prohibited by such very risky actions (…) which I would link to the preparation of retaliation to the Ukrainian counter-offensive, because the intelligence needs (on Russian preparation for the counter-offensive) are greater now. (…) I assume that (the Russians n.r.) have interpreted that the FRONTEX aircraft has the ability to obtain military intelligence,” said Gen. Bălăceanu.
Aggressive manoeuvres by Russian pilots
Photo: Su-35 aircraft
The Russian Su-35 aircraft carried out “aggressive and dangerous manoeuvres”, according to Polish border guards.
The crew of the Polish plane temporarily lost control of the aircraft, which lost altitude due to turbulence created by the fighter jet.
The incident occurred in international airspace in Romania’s designated area of operations.
Amid Moscow’s war in Ukraine, EU, NATO and Russian aircraft have repeatedly intercepted each other over the Black Sea, leading to several dangerous incidents.
ISW report: Russia unable to conduct coordinated defence operations along the entire frontline
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s threats to move his troops to Bakhmut from other parts of the frontline may have been a blackmail move against the Russian military command to provide ammunition for Wagner mercenaries. As Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov is forced to give in to the demands of individual unit commanders, doubts are emerging about the Russian Federation’s ability to conduct a coordinated defence campaign along the entire front line, says a report by the Institute for the Study of War.
According to the report, Kadyrov published a letter on 6 May asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to order Defence Minister Sergei Shigu and Rosgvardia chief Viktor Zolotov to authorise the redeployment of Chechen Akhmat units from “other areas” to Bakhmut, where Wagner Group units were located.
It is noted that the withdrawal of Chechen forces from other parts of the front would likely pose a risk to Russian defensive lines that Gerasimov and Shoigu or Putin did not seem willing to take.
ISW said ”Akhmat” units had previously been spotted near Bilohorivka, on the Svatove-Kreminna front and in the Zaporozhye region, and their withdrawal from these positions could undermine Russian defensive efforts in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The Institute for the Study of War believes that Shoigu and Gerasimov, who show consistent loyalty to Putin’s orders, could have decided to allocate ammunition to Wagner on the Russian president’s orders.
Gerasimov attempted to take control of all Russian irregular troops, but failed
“Clearly, the successful joint blackmail efforts of Kadyrov and Prigozhin indicate that Gerasimov does not actually control all Russian troops in Ukraine, despite being the nominal commander of the entire theater of operations. Gerasimov probably tried to take control of all Russian irregular troops in the winter of 2023, but failed even before losing favor with Putin in the spring.
Kadirov likely supported Wagner mercenary efforts to blackmail Russia’s military command to restore his position in the Kremlin’s power circle. Kadyrov held an influential position in Putin’s inner circle until he apparently faded from prominence, probably because his forces played a limited role in active hostilities in Ukraine in the fall of 2022 and winter of 2023. Vladimir Putin humiliated Kadyrov during their meeting on March 13, where Kadyrov was visibly nervous when reporting the role of Chechen fighters in Ukraine.
The Chechen leader probably took Prigozhin’s recent threats to withdraw from Bakhmut as an opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of his forces amid Gerasimov and Shoigu’s inability to achieve decisive victories during the winter-spring offensive.”
Moreover, ISW analysts believe that Gerasimov’s need to negotiate with Prigozhin and Kadyrov points to problems in the chain of command in the Russian army that will affect its ability to resist the Ukrainian counter-offensive.
Gerasimov’s need to negotiate with subordinate commanders and the ability of these commanders to pressure him indicates that problems in the chain of command significantly affect the Russian Army’s ability to conduct coordinated operations across the theater of operations. The position of commander-in-chief should, in principle, allow Gerasimov to command any Russian unit or commander of ground forces in Ukraine, even those leading irregular military forces such as ”Wagner” and ”Akhmat.”
Prigozhin and Kadyrov appear to be able to make largely independent decisions about their forces, but this phenomenon becomes more pronounced the longer these forces have de facto control over certain sections of the front.
These developments call into question Russia’s ability to coordinate a coherent defence campaign across the theatre. Russian military commanders appear to be increasingly delegating responsibility for different sections of the Ukrainian front to different Russian commanders, while the power of the theatre commander continues to diminish. Gerasimov’s diminished ability to control his commanders is likely to further limit the Russian military’s ability to conduct coordinated operations that span multiple areas of responsibility.”
The United States has no doubts about the veracity of Ukraine’s claims of intercepting a Kinzhal missile
A Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ALBM hypersonic missile carried by a Mikoyan MiG-31K aircraft. Photo source: kremlin.ru.
The United States has high confidence in the veracity of Ukraine’s claim that it used an American Patriot air defense system to intercept a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile.
CNN notes that while the Patriot system has been successful in thwarting ballistic missiles, its ability to stop hypersonic air-launched missiles was purely theoretical before last week. Ukraine’s interception of a Kinzhal hypersonic missile under real combat conditions was a real demonstration of the Patriot system’s capabilities – something that was seen within the Pentagon as a major development, the source quoted by CNN said.
Producing hypersonic ballistic missiles has always been a challenge for Russia, and the sanctions have only made that more difficult, according to CNN.
But before last week, Russia’s calculation was that if it used a hypersonic ballistic missile, whatever it fired would surely be hit, the source said. This intercept has called those calculations into question.
The fact that this intercept was carried out by Ukrainian military personnel who were trained in Oklahoma, but who had no American coordinators on the battlefield, is all the more important to the Pentagon, the source added as quoted by CNN.
The intercept also likely caused a severe degree of uncertainty for Russia, raising the question of whether Ukraine is in possession of a truly effective system against hypersonic ballistic missiles, the source added.
The Defense Express publication, after reviewing photos of the missile debris, suggested that a Kh-47 Kinzhal hypersonic missile was successfully shot down over Kiev for the first time in the early hours of 4 May.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat said Ukraine’s air defense did not shoot down a Russian ballistic missile over Kiev skies on May 4.
On 6 May, Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, said that the Ukrainian military had indeed shot down a Russian Kinzhal missile.
Rare footage: Ukrainian Armed Forces launch Hydra 70 missiles using Humvee vehicles and not from helicopters
Ukraine Weapons Tracker posted photos of US-supplied Hydra 70 guided missiles on social media. However, they [the missiles] are mounted on a US-supplied Humvee model M1152A1. As a launch platform, the Ukrainian military uses LAND-LGR4, which was previously only available for use on aircraft.
Earlier this month, Washington pledged to deliver Hydra 70 missiles to Ukraine as part of a new military assistance package. However, this is not the first delivery of Hydra 70 missiles that the US has made to Ukraine, as some media reports claim. As early as last year, in May, Washington decided to include the Hydra 70 missiles in a military aid package.
The four images now published on social media are proof that Hydra 70 missiles are already in use on the Ukrainian border. However, mounting them on a ground vehicle is nothing new, but it is new for the current combat environment in Ukraine.
Basically, the Arnold Defense company presented in 2017 the LAND-LGR4 firing unit, designed for ground launch of Hydra missiles. That is, the LAND-LGR4 platform spotted in Ukraine means that it is one of the rare modern, not to say state-of-the-art, launch platforms to arrive in Ukraine.
The author of the four published photos does not specify when and where they were taken. But on at least one of them, the photographer captured the moment the LAND-LGR4 fire unit, mounted on a Humvee, fired a guided missile.
Last year, when Washington announced that Hydra 70 had become part of its aid to Ukraine, Kiev did not yet have such a ground launch platform. Because it was not known exactly when the Hydra 70 would arrive in Ukraine, some experts suggested that they be mounted on Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones.
That is, integration between the Bayraktar TB and the Hydra 70 is possible because the Turkish drone has a laser pointer integrated by default. This is necessary because Hydra 70 missiles are laser-guided missiles.
At the time, it was assumed that the aerial launch platform that will be integrated to work together with the Bayraktar TB2 and Hydra 70 will be Cirit from Turkey. In terms of indicators and technical features, it resembles LAND-LGR4, and the missiles it launches have similar characteristics to Hydra 70.
The Hydra 70 is one of the most common missiles used by the United States Air Force, particularly among the attack helicopter fleet. In 2020, Washington has decided to spend more than $3 billion on a new production of this missile.
This missile is part of the armament of dozens of helicopter models. As well as American helicopters, it is used by European helicopters and F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft.
A British plane was attacked by a Russian aircraft after mishearing an order, say US officials-Dominic Nicholls,
The missile was launched but failed to work, sources say, confirming leaked Pentagon documents describing the incident as “near miss
An RAF RC-135 electronic surveillance aircraft. Russia is said to have accidentally fired on one CREDIT: rceAirForce Images
A Russian aircraft locked on and fired a missile at a British plane last year because of a misheard order, according to US defence officials, and was only prevented from shooting down the RAF surveillance aircraft because the ammunition malfunctioned.
Two defense officials with knowledge of the incident, which occurred over the Black Sea on Sept. 29, told the New York Times that it was far more serious than initially reported and could have constituted an act of war.
According to US officials, the Russian pilot of the Su-27 fighter jet involved in the incident misinterpreted commands from a ground controller and fired a missile at the RAF aircraft.
One official described the incident as “very, very scary”.
The British RC-135 Rivet Joint, a surveillance aircraft that can carry up to 30 people, was listening in on communications between the Su-27 pilot and ground control, officials told the newspaper.
The Russian pilot misinterpreted what a radar operator said and thought he had permission to fire, they said. The missile was launched but did not work.
The missile may have been lured by the suite of defensive countermeasures carried by the RAF aircraft. An RAF spokesman declined to speculate on why the missile did not work properly.
The pilot of the Russian SU-27 aircraft allegedly misheard an order CREDIT: RAF
US officials’ comments are based on one of the Pentagon documents recently leaked online, which described the incident as a “near-miss”.
In October, Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, told parliament that a Russian plane had launched a missile into the “vicinity” of a British plane. He said he did not consider the move a deliberate escalation because the Kremlin described it as a “technical malfunction”.
In response to claims that the incident was a deliberate attempt to shoot down a British plane, a British defence official said a significant proportion of the content of the leaked reports was “untrue, manipulated or both”.
“We strongly caution anyone who takes the veracity of these claims at face value and also advise them to take the time to question the source and purpose of such leaks,” the official added.
In other news, documents leaked by the Pentagon alleged that Vladimir Putin personally intervened in the bitter dispute between the Wagner Group and the Russian Defense Ministry.
The document, which was not part of the original leak of classified US material, highlights the depth of infighting between different branches of the Russian state over the invasion of Ukraine.
The document alleges that the Russian president arranged a meeting in the hope of ending a dispute between Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner, and Sergei Shigu, the Russian defence minister.
Mr Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman and close ally of the Kremlin leader, has repeatedly accused the Russian defence ministry of withholding much-needed ammunition supplies to his mercenaries on the frontline.
“The meeting was almost certainly at least partly about Prigozhin’s public accusations and the resulting tension with Shoygu,” the document quoted by the New York Times said.
The information in the latest 27-page leak was obtained through wiretaps collected by US intelligence agencies.
Among them is a report of a separate dispute between Russia’s domestic intelligence agency and the country’s Defense Ministry.
The FSB has accused the military of concealing the extent of losses suffered by Moscow’s forces since the invasion of Ukraine nearly 14 months ago.
The latest document does not specify any figures that the Russian Defence Ministry is circulating within the government.
But when Mr Shigu publicly revealed the Russian casualty toll last September, he said only 5,937 soldiers had been killed since the war began.
The FSB “calculated that the actual number of Russians wounded and killed in combat was closer to 110,000,” according to the US intelligence document.
Moscow’s intelligence agency claimed the military did not include the dead and wounded from the Russian National Guard, Wagner mercenaries or Chechen fighters led by pro-Kremlin warlord Ramzan Kadyrov.
Ukrainian artillery on the front line near Bakhmut
Ukrainian artillery on the front line near Bakhmut. Russian casualties were reported to be much higher than its official figures CREDIT: REUTERS
The dispute highlights the “continued reluctance of military officials to pass bad news up the chain of command,” according to US officials.
Washington has previously estimated Russian casualties at around 200,000 soldiers killed or wounded.
Separately leaked documents say Moscow suffered between 189,500 and 223,000 casualties through February, including up to 43,000 killed in action.
The latest set of documents was also leaked on Discord, a platform used mostly by computer game players.
Pentagon officials have previously warned that the leaks pose a “very serious” risk to US national security.
The documents were genuine, but may have contained outdated, inaccurate or altered information, they added.
According to the New York Times, officials did not dispute the information contained in the most recently leaked documents, but declined to verify their contents.
KEY MOMENTS NEWS BRIEF – Russia-Ukraine war: The list
Here’s the state of play as of Tuesday, May 9, 2023:
The mayor of Kiev said Russia has fired 60 Iranian-made kamikaze drones, 36 of them at Kiev, all of which were shot down. However, debris hit apartments and other buildings, killing at least four people.
More than 20 towns and villages were shelled in the central Zaporizhia region, the Ukrainian armed forces said in a statement. The southern city of Kherson and at least seven other centres in the region were also shelled, it said.
The Moscow-appointed governor of the Russian-controlled parts of the Zaporizhia region, Yevgeny Balitsky, said about 3,000 civilians had been evacuated from areas near the front line that were shelled.
Balitsky said operations at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, had been suspended, according to a report by the Russian state news agency TASS.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said heavy fighting continued in Bakhmut and surrounding areas.
The head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said his troops were beginning to receive the ammunition they needed to step up their advance to take the long-besieged eastern Ukrainian town.
The British Ministry of Defence said Russia has begun targeting Central Asians for service in the war in Ukraine.
The exiled Mariupol city council said it has received reports that Russia has begun mobilising residents of the occupied southeastern city to serve in its army.
Russia has effectively ended the Black Sea grain deal, which expires on 18 May, by refusing to register incoming ships, Ukraine’s reconstruction ministry said. Moscow has threatened to abandon the agreement, which is designed to help alleviate the global food crisis.
Moscow is preparing for a military parade, a staple of Victory Day celebrations across Russia, but at least 21 cities have cancelled such events.
Russia will develop its military facilities in Central Asian ally Kyrgyzstan, the Kremlin said, following talks between leaders of the two countries in Moscow.
Italy “strongly” advises any of its citizens still in Ukraine to leave the country. The Italian foreign ministry issued the alert following “increasingly intense rocket attacks on Kiev and throughout Ukraine”.
A Berlin court has banned the flying of Russian flags and symbols around three Soviet monuments in the German capital during World War II commemorations.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said he “does not believe that the war in Ukraine can end with piecemeal gains” on both sides. “This is the impression I got during my meeting with Putin,” he added.
World Athletics said dozens of Ukrainian athletes and officials preparing for the world championships in August could get funding for training camps. The sport’s governing body will invest $190,000 and prioritise replacing equipment for pole vaulters, he added.
Iran Navy destroyers equipped with new missiles
TEHRAN – Iranian Navy destroyers have been armed with cruise missiles named “Abu Mahdi”, the commander of Iran’s Naval Forces, Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, announced on Saturday.
The missiles are named after Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis, a senior commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) who was assassinated along with General Qassem Soleimani in 2020.
The Abu Mahdi cruise missile is one of Iran’s Aerospace Industries products, with a range of more than a thousand kilometres, which can destroy any target, according to Iran’s official IRNA news agency.
Quick reaction, target selection management and avoiding enemy defenses are among the features of the Abu Mahdi cruise missile.
The addition comes after the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) announced plans to display new achievements in the coming days.
The new capabilities will be in both manned and unmanned aircraft, according to IRIAF commander Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi.
“The air force is growing (in strength) and, as I said before, we must not stop for a moment because if we do, we will fall behind,” Vahedi said in an interview with Mehr News Agency.
IRIAF is scheduled to take delivery of the first batch of Su-35 next-generation Suhoi heavy fighter jets in the coming weeks, according to IRNA.
Romanian Naval Forces participate in Operation EUNAVFOR MED “IRINI”
The frigate “Regele Ferdinand”, with an IAR 330 Puma Naval helicopter and a group of operators for special embarked forces, left Friday, May 5, from the military port of Constanta to participate in the EUNAVFOR MED Operation “IRINI” in the Mediterranean Sea until mid-June.
The mission of the Romanian naval sailors is to ensure compliance with the UN (United Nations) arms embargo imposed on Libya and to combat the illicit trafficking of oil products, drugs and people by monitoring maritime traffic and carrying out inspections on board commercial vessels in the Mediterranean basin.
The participation of the Romanian Army, with capabilities of the Romanian Naval Forces and Special Operations Forces, in Operation “IRINI” is carried out to improve the security situation in the Mediterranean Sea and to support the joint effort to end the conflict in Libya, in order to fulfil the commitments undertaken by our country towards the European Union.
During its approximately 40-day deployment in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the frigate “King Ferdinand” will make training calls for the crew and to restore the combat capability of the military vessel in ports in the southern areas of Italy and Greece.
The Romanian military vessel is commanded by Commander George-Victor Durea and has a crew of 239.
When the NWO is delayed, the destruction of Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet ships by Ukrainian naval drones is only a matter of time
The image is generated by a neural network
The participation of Russian Federation Navy (Russian Navy) ships, especially the Black Sea Fleet (Black Sea Fleet), in a special military operation (SVO) is quite limited, of course, if we talk specifically about the naval component of the Navy, as coastal units, support equipment, etc., can be used quite actively, we may not know much about it. Ships, apparently, are only used for the periodic launch of Kalibr missiles.
Why is this happening?
Firstly, because the enemy does not have a fleet. The Black Sea Fleet ships simply have no one to fight.
Second, limited opportunities – it is unlikely that the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet would be able to conduct an amphibious operation off the coast of Ukraine, even if such a command arrived. Most likely, most of the ships involved in the amphibious operation will be destroyed by anti-ship missiles (anti-ship missiles) provided by Western countries, and the landing, if it reaches the shore, will be thrown into the sea. By the way, it is still unclear, how the Moskva cruiser died …
The cause of the death of the missile cruiser “Moskva” has not yet been revealed
Third, the political games. Black Sea Fleet ships could organize a blockade of Ukrainian ports, but because of the “grain deal”, the enemy not only sells grain and buys weapons with this money, which, it is possible, are transported to Ukraine by the same ships that then export grain. And then the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) use these weapons against Russian troops as well as peaceful towns and villages.
In addition, the absence of a naval blockade is used by the Ukrainian armed forces to carry out attacks on Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet itself. You cannot think of a more absurd situation.
It is the attacks by Ukraine’s armed forces on the ships of the Black Sea Fleet that we are going to talk about in detail today.
“Mosquito fleet” of a new formation
In September 2022, an unmanned boat (BEC) of unknown design was discovered off the coast of Crimea near the city of Sevastopol. The BEC was apparently washed up on the coast as a result of being unable to continue its actions. There were no state symbols or manufacturer’s names on the boat. A characteristic feature of this unmanned boat was the presence of a Starlink satellite communication antenna on it.
An unmanned boat washed ashore – the Starlink satellite communication terminal antenna is circled in red
Subsequently, on 29 October 2022, the Armed Forces of Ukraine launched a new attack on the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy. According to the Ukrainian side, through strikes provoked with the help of seven BEC naval kamikazes, three Russian ships were severely damaged – the frigate Admiral Makarov, the minesweeper Ivan Golubets and another unknown vessel. The Russian side confirms only that the minesweeper Ivan Golubets sustained minor damage, and that the rest of the drones were either blown up or destroyed.
Where did Ukraine’s armed forces get the kamikaze BEC?
Initially, it was assumed that the BEC kamikazes were delivered to Ukraine by any of the Western countries, but in November 2022, Ukraine began raising funds to build a fleet of unmanned attack boats, as announced by President Zelenski on his official Telegram channel. The purchased unmanned boats are said to have been developed in Ukraine, although of course all their equipment was produced in Western countries.
There are suggestions that the BEC kamikaze was developed and operated with the participation of British specialists. According to other sources, technical solutions from the American MANTAS T-12 BEC were used in their design.
American BEC MANTAS T-12
The Ukrainian BEC Kamikaze created has a hull length of 5.5 metres, a cruise range of up to 800 kilometres, a range of up to 60 hours, a maximum speed of up to 80 kilometres per hour and a warhead weighing about 200 kilograms. In the initial stage, the Ukrainian armed forces plan to produce 100 BEC kamikaze units.
Ukraine plans to produce BEC kamikaze in a fairly large series
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have attacked Black Sea Fleet ships and other Russian installations several times. For example, on 24 February 2023, the Armed Forces of Ukraine attempted to attack the Black Sea Fleet base with three unmanned boats. So far, all of these attacks have apparently been successfully repelled, but what will happen in the future?
Here it is necessary to make a remark. As regards attacks by Ukraine’s armed forces using sea drones on Black Sea Fleet vessels or other Russian objects, we are in an extremely unequal and disadvantageous position with Ukraine. For example, we repelled another attack and what, has anyone in Ukraine or the West made much worse of this?
And what will happen if the Ukrainian unmanned kamikaze boat attack is successful, if the Black Sea Fleet ship is “beautifully” blown up? When will the explosion be so powerful that it will not be possible to hide it? What human, resource and reputational losses will our country as a whole and the fleet in particular suffer?
The destruction of a modern warship of the Russian Navy will cause huge reputational losses to our country, not to mention the loss of the combat unit itself and the deaths of the men
Thus, for us, victory is if we can repel all Ukrainian kamikaze attacks, and for Ukraine, victory is only a successful attack. In Ukraine, this is clearly understood, so they will attack again and again until they lose the physical ability to do so.
Given the quantities in which Ukraine intends to produce kamikaze BECs, they can either make a large number of attempts with small forces involved, or a smaller number of attempts, but with a large number of kamikaze BECs used simultaneously, and sooner or later their attempts could be successful.
In addition, Ukraine’s armed forces rely not only on quantity – more modern models of marine drones are also being developed in Ukraine. For example, the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) reports that within the Ukrainian state defence cluster BRAVE1, a private company is developing remotely controlled underwater kamikaze drone “Toloka”. These devices are something like a torpedo with a mast, on top of which communication and observation equipment should be placed.
The line of Ukrainian marine drones “Toloka” created should include three models:-
TLK 150 with a length of 2.5 metres, with a warhead mass of about 20-50 kilograms and a cruising range of up to 100 kilometres;
– TLK 400 with a length of 4-6 metres, with a warhead mass of up to 500 kg and a cruising range of up to 1 200 kilometres;
– TLK 1000 with a length of 4 – 12 metres, with a warhead mass of up to 5 tonnes and a cruising range of up to 2 000 kilometres.
Models and images of the “Toloka” remote-controlled underwater kamikaze drones
Of course, the information is preliminary – it’s far from a given that these devices will be deployable at all. And if it does, it is unlikely that, according to the “cost-effectiveness” criterion, Toloka drones will surpass the BEC kamikazes currently used by Ukraine’s armed forces – sometimes a dozen cheaper and simpler drones are better than one expensive and “fancy”, so to speak, “Geranium syndrome”.
On the other hand, underwater or rather partially submerged Toloka drones will be an order of magnitude more difficult to detect and destroy, and older models may actually become strategic reconnaissance and strike weapons.
In addition to ships of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, other military and civilian objects may also be attacked by BEC kamikazes, e.g. the Crimean Bridge may become one such object.
Is that impossible? The Americans won’t let them? Is the bridge too strong? Will we crush all their drones with electronic warfare (EW)? Are Russian Navy and Russian FSB Guard Service ships on duty there?
There are many reasons why this may not happen, you can come up with many reasons, the only question is what to do if the negative scenario is still realized. Ukraine has enough incentives, and the trigger may be the success of the supposed Ukrainian “counteroffensive” with cutting the land route to Crimea. In this case, undermining the Crimean bridge will also give the Ukrainian leadership very important trump cards for negotiating with Western countries – so they will do anything.
The threat of destruction of the Crimean bridge is quite real (image on the right is generated by a neural network)
We know about the possibility of attacking bridge supports from the start, because Russia has its own experience of using BEC kamikazes against a Ukrainian bridge.
Undermining the Zatoka bridge support with an unmanned boat
With them, everything is quite complicated. No, on the one hand, it seems to be clear – protective fences, patrols on special boats, ships can be additionally equipped with large-caliber machine guns.
The problem is that with regular and, most importantly, massed attacks, all of this might not be enough. The patrol boats themselves may become the first target for an attack, the booms risk being blown away by the first wave of BACK kamikaze attack, and the machine gun fire may simply miss the rapidly approaching BEC kamikaze – after all, it’s enough to miss just one, and our ship, at best, may await the fate of the American destroyer Cole.
The aftermath of the attack on the American destroyer “Cole” from the “Arleigh Burke” by suicide bombers on a motorboat full of explosives
What further action can be taken? Creation of any fixed fence in the harbour? It’s very long and very expensive, it’s far from that this is even possible and it’s very possible to get through it with an explosion as well as booms.
What might be an effective solution is automatic BACK torpedo and boat protection systems. We have previously discussed this problem in the Surface Ships material: Torpedo Defense Systems. The combination of guidance systems, including high-frequency sonars and caps, rapid-fire automatic cannons and/or large-caliber machine guns with cavitating ammunition, and guided and unguided anti-torpedo ammunition – will potentially allow the likelihood of hitting surface ships with torpedoes and BEC kamikazes to be minimized.
12.7×99 mm cavitating ammunition calibre Norwegian company DSG
Yes, this is possible, but so far no such systems exist, their development and testing will take a long time and a solution is needed now. In addition, the options discussed above will not allow you to protect other objects in any way, e.g. the Crimean bridge – can’t you put it on every bracket under the anti-torpedo defense system? And the whole bridge cannot be encumbered with braces, although some types of support fences can and should be developed.
There’s only one thing left – an active, aggressive defence!
For example, pre-emptive destruction of enterprises involved in the manufacture of unmanned boats and their components, destruction of warehouses with ready-made BEC kamikazes and the bases of units that ensure their use with high-precision weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – long-range kamikazes, converted into high-powered unmanned missiles by depleted transport and/or passenger aircraft or even converted into high-powered precision conventional weapons by obsolete intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
An equally effective solution may be to disable critical systems that ensure the operation of long-range weapons, including kamikaze bulbs. True, there is a problem – the critical intelligence, control and communications systems that provide Ukraine’s armed forces with the ability to use long-range weapons belong to the United States and its allies – it is doubtful that our country’s leadership will decide to destroy them.
However, there is one exception – direct control of the BEC kamikaze is provided by Starlink satellites owned by the private company SpaceX – it is quite possible to work on them without starting a third world war. You can use anti-satellite weapons against at least a few Starlink satellites, and if what they say about the Tobol Electronic Warfare (EW) system is true, then you can burn up a few dozen Starlink communications satellites – they’ll be more accommodating. If you can’t accommodate. If you can’t get what they say about the Tobol Electronic Warfare (EW) system is true, then you can burn a few dozen Starlink communications satellites – they’ll be more accommodating. If you can’t accommodate. If you can’t get what they say about the Tobol Electronic Warfare (EW) system is true, then you can burn a few dozen Starlink communications satellites – they’ll be more accommodating. If you can’t accommodate. If you can’t accommodate. If you can’t say the Tobol Electronic Warfare (EW) system is true, then you can burn a few dozen Starlink communications satellites – they’ll be more accommodating. If you can’t accommodate. If you can’t get what they say about the Tobol Electronic Warfare (EW) system is true, then you can burn a few dozen Starlink communications satellites – they’ll be more accommodating. If you can’t accommodate. If you can’t get what they’re saying about the Tobol Electronic Warfare System (E to make that electronic warfare “Tobol”, then maybe the Peresvet Laser Battle Complex (BLK) is capable of something?
And finally, it’s time to stop the political games around the grain deal – the blockade of Ukraine from the sea must be complete, anything that comes close to shore or moves away from it must be mercilessly destroyed.
If decisive action is not taken in the very near future to counter the purchase and manufacture, deployment and use of Ukrainian unmanned kamikaze boats, then the risks of destruction of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet ships, as well as other Russian military and civilian facilities, will increase every day.
On the day this material was sent for publication, UAVs attacked the Kremlin from Moscow – this is the question of what the Ukrainian authorities are ready to decide in principle and whether they will risk, for example, hitting the Crimean bridge …
Source : https://topwar.ru/216250-pri-zatjagivanii-svo-unichtozhenie-ukrainskimi-morskimi-dronami-korablej-chernomorskogo-flota-vmf-rf-jeto-vsego-lish-vopros-vremeni.html
“MK”: the Romanian Defense Ministry has not revealed the purpose of the flight of the Polish aircraft over the Black Sea
Romania’s military department has reported on “aggressive manoeuvres” by the Russian Su-35 fighter jet accompanying the Polish L410 Turbolet aircraft, but did not mention the purpose of its departure to the Black Sea.
The Romanian military reported that it and the Polish L410 Turbolet reconnaissance aircraft were patrolling over the Black Sea when a Russian fighter jet advanced to intercept it. It created turbulence with its manoeuvres and the Polish plane almost lost control. However, the crew managed to make a safe landing.
The incident took place on 5 May, 60 kilometres from Romania. “Moskovsky Komsomolets” reported that, according to Bucharest, the Romanian military behaved “calmly and professionally.” However, it is silent on the purpose of the patrol. Journalists recalled that in March, the Russian Armed Forces almost shot down a US MQ-9 Reaper drone near Crimea. After that, the US Armed Forces’ air force delegated reconnaissance in the Black Sea to NATO countries, which can be seen even in the sudden increase in the number of Romanian military aviation sorties.
“Celebrating Victory Day is important”: residents of St. Petersburg shared their impressions of the parade dress rehearsal
The dress rehearsal of the Victory Parade took place in St. Petersburg. Why the May 9 celebration is particularly important for military personnel and ordinary Russians against the backdrop of the NWO, residents of the northern capital said.
Victory Day is one of Russia’s key holidays. It reminds the country’s residents of the sacrifice their ancestors made in 1941-1945 so that there is a peaceful sky over our heads. How was the dress rehearsal of the parade of the main military holiday in St. Petersburg – in the report “PolitExpert”.
Precautionary measures were strengthened
A huge number of civilians came to the event on May 7. And of all ages: children, teenagers, mothers, fathers, grandparents.
Kiev was preparing provocations on Russian territory for Victory Day. For example, the founder of the Ukrainian Monobana, Volodimir Yatsenko, promised 20 million hryvnia to the one who will land the drone of the Ukrainian armed forces on Red Square. But despite this, there was no fear in the eyes of St Petersburg residents and guests of the city.
Realising the threat of Ukrainian nationalists, the Russian Federation decided not to cancel the parade but to strengthen precautionary measures, including in St Petersburg. Passages to Palace Square were closely guarded, security forces were on duty around the perimeter, ready to respond to the threat.
All persons approaching the stands had their documents checked. To prevent terrorist attacks, the city’s central streets were patrolled by special forces officers with shepherds on duty. They checked the area for explosives and suspicious persons.
NWO motivates young people to serve the state
Despite the ongoing special operation, young Russians are not scared. Moreover, it is full of patriotism and the desire to defend the Motherland. As proof – cadets and graduates of various law enforcement agencies, including Suvorov, Yunarmey, cadets. In addition, employees of the 6th Air Force and Air Defense Army marched in columns along the Palace Square. In total, more than four thousand people are involved in the pedestrian part of the parade.
Female cadets took part in the rehearsal. The fairer sex is also preparing to serve in law enforcement agencies. Future employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Emergency Situations and other government agencies have joined the ranks of the slim women.
Grandmothers of Russian combat vehicles
Then equipment, including historic ones, appeared in St Petersburg’s main square. On the 78th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War, Russia decided to show the progenitors of modern military developments. The column of historical equipment was opened by the legendary T-34 tank, which became perhaps one of the key symbols of World War II.
Then the retro motorbikes passed by. The TIZ AM, created before the start of the Second World War, and the domestic analogue of the BMW R71 – the M-72. At the parade rehearsal, the oldest Harley-Davidson was shown. Soviet trucks of the Great Patriotic War, armoured cars and buses passed in a solemn column.
The grandchildren of legendary Soviet technology
It was also not without a demonstration of modern weapons. The column with the latest technology was opened by the UAZ Pickup. Then the armoured fighting vehicle “Tiger” passed by.
The next column consisted of military URALs. They were towing Soviet 2S12 “Sleigh” mortars.
KamAZ “Tornado” towed 152 mm “Msta-B” howitzers.
The largest convoy consisted of Iskanders, as well as S-400 air defense systems and bastion coastal missile systems. The systems gained wide popularity, including participation in a special operation.
The equipment convoy was enclosed by a group of ATZ-12 military tanks as well as AC-14 tankers. The vehicles supply the troops with fuel. In the ceremonial part, the battlefield equipment tow trucks (REM-KL) were also presented.
Residents of St. Petersburg were happy to attend the dress rehearsal of the Victory Parade to see the marching soldiers and military equipment. Spectator Larisa during a discussion with correspondent “PolitExpert” said she was delighted with the event.
“It’s my first time at the parade. Very good impressions. My son participated in the parade, so it was particularly interesting. It is extremely important to have a parade against the background of a special operation to raise the morale of soldiers and civilians,” the girl shared her impressions.
“Let’s go not to Peterhof, but to the parade”.
Elena from Lipetsk came to St. Petersburg especially to attend the dress rehearsal of the Victory Parade. I was pleased with the festive event.
“It is very important to organize the Victory Parade in Russia, because it is a tribute to the memory of our ancestors. On this day, people honour the dead. Not only our great-grandfathers, but also the boys from the NWO, who are no longer with us either. It is very important to celebrate Victory Day on a large scale, magnificently, with the whole country,” Elena told the journalist.
The EP interlocutor added that she was proud of Russia and its fighters. Elena is teaching her child patriotism. She took a photo for her family and showed the main part of the event via the video link.
“For the sake of the Victory Parade, I arrived from Lipetsk to St. Petersburg at five in the morning. I threw things at the hotel. We didn’t go to Peterhof, we went to the Palace Square, to the Victory Parade (dress rehearsal. – Ed.)”, Elena concluded.
“As always on the level”
Marina is a regular at Victory Parades in St. Petersburg. In a conversation with PolitExpert correspondent, she admitted that even the dress rehearsal, as befits the northern capital that survived the blockade, was held on a high level. The main event, according to her, will be on a very large scale, inspiring and uplifting.
“It is imperative that we organise a Victory Parade. Especially against the backdrop of a special operation. This is already a tradition. The Victory Parade and May 9 personally drive me to increase patriotism. Like many Russians,” Marina said.
Russia cannot be broken, this is evidenced by the public’s reactions to the parade’s dress rehearsal. Neither the sanctions nor the monstrous terrorist attacks by supporters of the Kiev regime against journalist Daria Dugina, military correspondent Vladlen Tatarski and writer Zakhar Prilepin are likely to force the people of the Russian Federation to give up the memory of their ancestors. And also from the fight against Nazism for a peaceful sky overhead in the NWO area.
First looks at the major defense policy bill for 2024 coming this week – by Leo Shane III
A sailor directs an MH-60S Sea Hawk to hold during flight operations on the Uss Wasp deck on May 3, 2023. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sydney Milligan / Navy)
House Armed Services Committee leaders will unveil the first drafts of their annual defense authorization bill this week, offering hints at their plans for defense spending and military readiness changes in fiscal year 2024.
The defense policy bill is one of the few reliable pieces of legislation to advance through Congress annually, passing into law for more than six consecutive decades. It sets parameters for military spending priorities, renews a number of pay and benefit authorizations, and includes hundreds of new program parameters and personnel rules.
The six sections of the bill to be released (and likely approved by subcommittees) this week will show just a few sections of the full measure to be marked up by the full committee later this month. But issues like scaling back diversity initiatives in military training and limits on abortion defense policies – topics expected to be major points of debate this year – could be previewed in these early looks.
Both the House committee and its Senate counterpart hope to bring their respective bills to the respective chamber floors in June. But the ongoing fight between Republicans and Democrats over extending the nation’s debt ceiling could push this program back.
Source : https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2023/05/08/first-looks-at-major-2024-defense-policy-bill-come-this-week/
Marines criticize a shrinking amphibious fleet, but Navy isn’t to blame-De Maj. Gen. Christopher Owens (Ret.)
Lance Cpl. Alex Rojo, a crew chief with the Assault Combat Company, 3rd Marine Regiment, prepares to embark aboard the Philippine Navy’s BRP Davao Del Sur (LD 602) landing dock in 2018.(Sgt. Zachary Orr/Marine Corps)
The recent evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, was noteworthy not only for its successful outcome, but also because such missions – once a standard capability for Navy and Marine amphibious forces – must now apparently be conducted by a special operations force. And the Corps is the only one to blame.
The genesis of an amphibious transport shortfall is the Corps’ abandonment of its long-standing requirement for a fleet larger than 38 ships. That requirement, formalized in a 2009 agreement between the Secretary of the Navy, the Commandant of the Navy, and the Chief of Naval Operations, has led to a decade-long reversal in the decline of amphibious ships.
That positive trend changed with the commander’s 2019 guidance, in which he stated that the primary reason for 38, the ability to sustain a two-brigade landing, was no longer valid.
Setting the stage for the Corps’ future operational concept, Force Design 2030, the commander argued that “different approaches are needed” in the face of modern threats to “massive naval armadas.”
Instead, the Corps will focus on smaller units dispersed along the sea coast.
Dispersion might be justified in light of projected threats, but what the commander overlooked was that dropping one requirement without articulating a new one meant that the Navy would simply shift funding. In short, the Corps promoted its “disengage to invest” approach, the Navy heard only “disengage.”
As the retirement of older ships and the delay of new ones became a reality, Navy leadership struggled to stop the hemorrhaging.
It articulated a new minimum of 31 ships in 2022, but unlike the previous requirement, the new number offered no operational logic beyond the Navy Department’s earlier studies, which actually allowed for 28 ships.
Nevertheless, Congress supported the new number of Marines and inserted language in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 to require the Navy to maintain a fleet of 31 ships.
At the direction of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Navy plans to discontinue the successful dock landing platform shipbuilding program (LPD-17 Flight II) and accelerate the decommissioning of dock landing ships (LSD-41/49) earlier. If the line of dock landing platform ships is not continued, the amphibious fleet will eventually drop to 25 ships when the last dock landing ships disappear.
Navy leadership is now set on maintaining 31 ships. A Navy official recently commented that the size of the Navy’s amphibious fleet has left the Corps unable to respond to the earthquake in Turkey. He used the occasion to reinforce the requirement: ’31 is the number’.
The problem is that the Navy currently has 31 amphibious ships. A listener would be forgiven for some confusion: a fleet of 31 ships is inadequate, but a fleet of 31 ships is what the Corps should have?
As the crisis in Sudan demonstrates, 31 ships is not nearly enough. Such a small fleet does not support the needs of the Corps, including the deployment of a sufficient number of expeditionary marine units. These forward-deployed units provide flexible forces for a variety of routine operations, such as engagement with allies and partners and presence in problem areas. Marines, vehicles, aircraft and other equipment are particularly suited to respond to earthquakes, typhoons, non-combatant evacuations and other contingencies. But they can only do this if they have ships from which to operate.
In the past, Marine expeditionary units and the Navy’s amphibious training group ships they embarked on deployed in overlapping cycles, ensuring a continuous presence in key areas. With 31 ships, this presence is routinely “interrupted,” meaning that a deployed MEU/ARG returns home several months before the next one departs.
The absence of an MEU/ARG near Sudan is a predictable consequence of an inadequate fleet. The MEU/ARG closest to Sudan remains in training prior to deployment, its predecessors having returned to the US months earlier.
Deploying ships to deal with a small-scale contingency or to reinforce units responding to a larger one is often impossible with such a small fleet. A robust amphibious fleet is essential for crisis response, and the inability to respond in Sudan and Turkey are just the latest examples. When asked to accelerate an MEU/ARG deployment when the war in Ukraine broke out in 2022, the ships could not be deployed sooner, Lieutenant General Karsten Heckl told the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Maritime Power.
Fewer ships stress the remaining fleet. Ships require extended maintenance periods between deployments.
However, as maintenance begins, additional problems are discovered, often related to corrosion, and decisions are needed about whether to extend maintenance or defer repairs. Amphibious ships, whose well decks literally invite the sea inside the hull, are particularly sensitive.
Record rates of ship readiness are an indicator of an overstretched fleet more than any other contributing factor. According to the commander, less than a third of the Navy’s amphibious ships are ready to deploy, Defense One reported.
The commander is making a strong effort to reverse these developments, but rebuilding the fleet will require a sustained long-term effort and a true partnership with the Navy, OSD and Congress to prioritize resources toward this critical national requirement. ■
Major General Christopher Owens (Ret.) is a career Marine Corps officer, aviator, educator, and operational planner. From 2015-2017, he served as the Director of Expeditionary Warfare for the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N95).Source: https://www.militarytimes.com/newsletters/daily-news-roundup/2023/05/06/marines-slam-a-shrinking-amphibious-fleet-but-the-navy-isnt-to-blame/
The French Navy will create “coastal flotillas” thanks to the strengthening of its operational reserve. BY LAURENT LAGNEAU – 7 MAY 2023
Like other armies, the French Navy should see an increase in the number of its operational reservists under the Military Programming Law [LPM] 2024-30 [subject to its adoption by Parliament]. Currently, according to its recruitment website, it has 6,000 reservists, or almost 15% of its total strength [40,000 sailors].
“Deployed within forces or in headquarters, they contribute to the protection of naval installations and units, coastal surveillance and naval control of commercial traffic. They therefore fully support the mission of maritime protection and defence of the national territory,” the Navy said.
During his hearing at the National Assembly in the framework of the examination of the draft LPM 2024-30, his Chief of Staff [CEMM], Admiral Pierre Vandier, assured that he would “fully commit to the increase in reserves desired by the Minister [of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu], with a structuring in three areas: support for active sailors, the creation of coastal flotillas to strengthen coastal actions […] and the development of specific skills that the Navy does not have or does not have enough of”.
This significant reinforcement of the operational reserve within the French Navy will have as its main objective “to strengthen the maritime defence of the territory”.
“We are in the process of reorganising our overall system, which is based in particular on the signal chain. The semaphore means will be renewed and some of them will be equipped with drones. We will strengthen our links with the regional operational surveillance and rescue centres [Cross], so that we can correlate the facts they observe with the military situation,” explained Admiral Vandier.
With 19,000 km of coastline to monitor, in this idea of “strengthening maritime defence”, most of the French Navy’s future reservists will be assigned to “coastal flotillas”, with the aim of “filling blind spots” while encouraging “interaction” with coastal communities.
“As part of the doubling of the reserves, we will set up coastal flotillas: there will be one for each coast of mainland France, with branches abroad,” said the Chief of Defence Staff. “The objective is to set up means of nautical surveillance that will be armed by reservists, both young and old. The latter will sail on semi-rigid boats and will patrol together with the semaphore in public assistance and intelligence missions,” he added.
Underlining their “innovative development”, these coastal flotillas, Admiral Vandier explained, will be created gradually “from experienced people and by incorporating young people” with “a desire to sail and go into the territories”. He added: “The architecture that has been chosen is to spread out in small squadrons along the coast”.
Recall that the goal of the LPM 2024-30 project is to achieve the ratio of one operational reservist to two active soldiers by 2035.
Turkey has rejected a US proposal to send Russian S-400 systems to Ukraine
Washington once offered Turkey to send Russian-bought S-400 missile defense systems to Ukraine, but Ankara turned down the offer, Turkey’s foreign minister said. Anadolu writes about this, reports UNN.
Since the purchase of the S-400 system from the Russian Federation excluded Turkey from the F-35 fighter program, the US offered Ankara to transfer control of the system to another country, including Ukraine, Mevlüt Çavușoğlu said.
“The US asked us to send the S-400 to Ukraine, and we refused,” he said, explaining that such proposals are unacceptable as they aim to violate Turkey’s sovereignty. Responding to a question about returning to the F-35 program, Çavușoğlu said Ankara does not want to return to the program, but rather wants to return from Washington the money it paid for the fighters before it was excluded from the program, as the planes were never delivered Ankara “is now making our own national fighter jets,” he explained, adding that Turkey also wants to improve relations with the US and that the necessary mechanisms have been put in place to do so.
Turkey also wants to buy F-16s and upgrade kits from the US, he added, noting that the request is not going through Washington as quickly as it should.
Turkish officials have repeatedly said the country bought the S-400 for national security purposes and no other country has the right to interfere. In 2017, when long-term attempts to buy an air defense system from the United States proved futile, Turkey signed a contract with Russia to purchase the modern S-400 system. US officials opposed the deployment, saying the S-400s would be incompatible with NATO systems. However, Turkey has stressed that the S-400 will not be integrated into NATO systems and will not threaten the alliance or its weapons.
Ankara requested F-16s and upgrade kits from the US in October 2021. The $6 billion deal included 40 aircraft and upgrade kits for 79 fighter jets already in Turkish Air Force service.
A brief analysis of naval accidents in April 2023
The number of naval accidents in April 2023 is up compared to the first 3 months of this year. The number of ships lost is relatively constant and the number of lost seafarers is below mid-March 2023.
Month Year No. of accidents No. Of ships lost Fatalities Kidnapped crew
Apr 2023 80 4 28
Mar 2023 61 4 69 3(6)
Feb 2023 76 5 14
Jan 2023 73 5 26
Increasing sustainability of ship decks and decks
Bolidt (https://www.bolidt.com/en/cruise-ships ) is spinning several balls in the air – from increasing the sustainability of its products to striking new contracts and market growth for its recent developments.
The flooring and decking company is working to get all dangerous goods and hazard signs off packaging by developing friendly solutions that don’t require them.
Bolidt Maritime Director Jacco Van Overbeek tells PST, “We’re trying to get rid of older dangerous goods labels for binders, it’s important for the environment. Binders are resin-based, but we want to use greener solutions based on natural ingredients.
“We’re now getting a lot of enquiries from shipyards asking if we have an alternative that is environmentally friendly.”
However, it’s not easy to switch these products. “It’s not so easy to change some components and when we change something we have to do a lot of testing. We also want to guarantee the durability of our newly developed products,” comments Mr Van Overbeek.
Bolidt has made a good start, as it has already changed 28 products into an alternative, more durable product.
In 2020, Bolidt saw its first delivery of Bolideck LEDs – and this was followed by a number of orders from owners. The Bolideck LED features full LED lighting, and its first installation was aboard the 2,894-passenger TUI Cruises ship Mein Schiff 2. LED lighting can be used in a larger deck space or deck design or alternatively to create specific functional features. Bolideck LED also allows the deck lighting to be programmed to form different patterns or to vary the intensity of individual LEDs.
The solution is also used on Disney Cruise Line’s new ships, which are built at Meyer Werft. “It’s used for the lines on the sports fields, which means the lines don’t have to be painted, but rather the LED changes colour depending on the different sports being played,” says Mr Van Overbeek.
“We’re seeing the Bolideck LED system being used more and more. In addition to sports fields, it can be used for helicopter landings and is ideal for passenger flow.”
Looking ahead, Bolidt has signed a number of new contracts, including the extension of its agreement with the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard to provide its terraces to all cruise ships built at the shipyard for the next four years. It is also providing terraces for all cruise ships being built at Meyer Werft. Current and recent projects include the Icon class, the new Oasis class ship and the Carnival Feast. The latter’s deck is “ultra-light”, with Mr Van Overbeek commenting that it saves the ship up to 80,000 to 100,000 kg.
Bolidt is also supplying Silverseas’ new cruise ship decks, is working in Egypt on Viking newbuilds and many others. “We are offering an increasing number of inland decks,” comments Mr Van Overbeek.
Europe’s economic outlook improves, but container logistics companies face challenges
Warehouses still overwhelmed; warehousing and detention charges high; average container prices down in Europe as economy suggests a revival, explains Container xChange co-founder and CEO Christian Roeloffs
Europe’s economic recovery is mixed, as the rebound in the services sector is the biggest since 2009, while the manufacturing sector has seen a drop in goods orders. The economy is expecting a modest recovery, which is an encouraging sign for long-term supply chains.
The industry sense is that freight rates and container prices have fallen globally. Industry surveys by S&P Global indicate a modest economic recovery. The annual inflation rate in the euro area stood at 6.9% in March, the lowest level since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Clearly, the ocean market has not deteriorated further, but it is still far from normal in Europe. Strikes in France and Hamburg in March and early April and persistent inflationary pressures have caused service closures and limited labor availability in this market, but we do not expect further disruptions in the near future for carriers and freight forwarders.
Depots still overwhelmed
“The problem of overloaded warehouses persists in Europe. There are more containers going back into warehouses compared to the number of containers coming out of warehouses. We are seeing lower freight rates and strong price competition, especially for smaller freight companies. Larger freight forwarders are offering below-market rates to push competition towards consolidation,” said a Container xChange customer, as quoted by Container xChange.
“The China-EU rate is up to $700. There is reduced global demand for goods in Europe and we are seeing a slowdown in volume movements. On the Europe-China route, freight rates are as low as US$91. Carriers only give seven ‘free days’ for container storage and then have to pay high storage and detention fees for another seven days if they need to use containers for longer,” he added.
Smaller freight forwarders are fighting for margins, while bigger players are moving towards consolidation in Europe.
Geopolitical tensions, coupled with port strikes, are major setbacks for Europe’s shipping industry. But the industry as a whole is on the upswing and hopes for a recovery.
Average container prices down
With our platform data, we see that container prices are not falling at a dizzying pace and appear to be resilient in Europe over the last 30 days.
Average prices in Europe for 20ft dry freight containers continued to fall month-on-month through April. These prices are significantly lower than those in Shanghai and Los Angeles (see chart below). The average price for a cargo worthy 20 ft dry container is between $750 to $1,700.
Container xChange reported in March 2023 that there are excess containers in Europe. But the situation seems to have improved since last month.
Analysing how container availability has improved, we deduce from our data that the container availability index (CAx) has improved significantly when compared to the last two years. High CAx values are now coming down, indicating a better balance between inbound containers in outbound containers.
In Hamburg, we see inflated CAx figures, but if we compare them year on year, there seems to be an improvement in the ratio of inbound to outbound containers.
While the general economic outlook for Europe is showing signs of recovery, the container logistics industry in general is facing many problems, such as warehouse overcrowding, falling rates, the global banking crisis and storage and detention cost overruns. Companies are struggling to find their feet and it will take several months for demand to recover. Until then, industry players are focused on improving their margins and sustaining their business.
Container xChange is an online container logistics company that provides a neutral infrastructure and operating system for container trading, container leasing and container management.
U.S.-Canada transportation corridor could provide cost savings, accelerate offshore wind deployment
A cross-border coalition of seven developers of offshore wind, green hydrogen and electricity transmission solutions has called for greater collaboration on offshore wind energy between the US and Canada.
A study by the New England – Maritimes Offshore Energy Corridor (NEMOEC) Coalition – which includes DP Energy, Total Energies SBE US, Northland Power, Hexicon, Atlantic Canada Offshore Developments, Bear Head Energy and Grid United – explores the potential of a joint offshore transmission corridor that will enable the region’s decarbonization goals and provide an asset on both sides of the border.
The white paper, “A New England – Maritimes Offshore Energy Corridor Builds Regional Resilience for a Clean Energy Future,” written by energy system experts at Power Advisory LLC and DNV, concludes that building a 2.0 GW HVDC undersea transmission corridor to link Nova Scotia to New England population centers would support up to $780 million in annual benefits for ratepayers in both regions if used to interconnect offshore wind resources in Canada and U.S. Waters.
New England states have already purchased nearly 5.0 GW of offshore wind power, which is expected to come online in the next 2-4 years, but without a more coordinated approach the continued use of offshore wind on both sides of the border will be limited by transmission constraints, the coalition notes.
A Massachusetts Energy Pathways to Deep Decarbonization report identified at least 30 GW of offshore wind power will be needed to meet the region’s decarbonization goals, with new wind energy zones to be leased by the US federal government in the Gulf of Maine in 2024.
North of the border, Nova Scotia officials have announced a goal to lease offshore areas to support up to 5.0 GW of offshore wind power starting in 2025. Connecting these two energy resources offers a mutual value proposition to consumers in eastern Canada and northeastern states, the coalition believes, providing increased capacity benefits, streamlined and shared investments that reduce costs, and reduced reliance on price-volatile fossil fuel generation.
Coalition spokesperson Abby Watson said, “When you step back and look at the big picture, it’s difficult to see how the region meets its 2050 goals without using this or similar solutions. Our white paper clearly demonstrates the benefits and feasibility of this cross-regional approach.”
The white paper highlights the benefits of implementing a modular, multi-terminal HVDC transmission solution with the ability to support bi-directional energy flows between the two regions. The proposed solution is scalable and could be gradually expanded into 2.0 GW blocks as deployment in the region grows in the future.