July 23, 2014

The Ukraine Is In An Unenviable Position

Su-25 Frogfoot
The UAF had 36 of these jets.

Designed for close air support, the Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot" was first deployed by the Soviet  Union
in 1978. It is still used by the Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and North Korean Air Forces. During the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraqi Air Force deployed the Su-25 only once. Both jets were shot down.

At least three of these aircraft have been downed by pro-Russian separatists. 

The Ukraine military was armed by the Russians and trained by the Russians. It's tough fighting a war when your enemy knows your tactics, your equipment, your comms and has heavily penetrated your ranks. This is what Ukraine is facing in its struggle with Russian backed separatists.

It's like trying to fight with your right hand while your left hand is punching you in the face.

The Ukrainian government has been requesting military assistance from the US for months. Finally, aid was authorized but restricted to non-lethal equipment in order to appease Putin - and it was slow in coming (I suspect that Obama would only send a few bottles of Listerine, tubes of  KY jelly and condoms). Then last month (June) Obama upped the ante:
After initially denying Ukrainian military requests for key nonlethal aid, the White House on Wednesday approved urgently needed equipment for troops battling pro-Russian insurgents.

The new military assistance includes body armor, night vision goggles, and communications equipment requested by the Ukrainians, but initially rejected by the Obama administration as part of its efforts to avoid upsetting Moscow.

“The United States is working to bolster Ukraine’s ability to secure its borders and preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty in the face of Russian occupation of Crimea and a concerted effort by Russian-backed separatists to destabilize eastern Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement announcing the aid.
Now after the downing of Flight MH17, more missile action from the Russkies as reported by USA Today:
Russian-backed separatists shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets Wednesday in the eastern regions of the country, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.

The ministry said on its Facebook page that the jets were among four Russian-built fighters that were returning to base after providing air support for Ukrainian troops near the border.

The pilots of both jets ejected from the aircraft, the ministry said. Their condition was not immediately reported.

Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky said the Sukhoi-25 fighters were downed in an area called Savur Mogila in the Shaktersky region near the Russian border.
Su-24 Fencer 
The UAF had 36 of these aircraft. One has been been reported lost to the conflict.

Wow. If the Su-24 isn't a twin of the USAF F-111 Aardvark. Judge for yourself.
Both aircraft have variable-sweep wings. The F-111 entered service in 1967, the Su-24 in 1971.


The site is only a few miles from where a Malaysia Airlines jetliner crashed last week after apparently being shot down by a surface-to-air missile with 298 people aboard.

The latest shootdowns are the first reported downing of a plane over eastern Ukraine since the Malaysia Airlines incident.
Now Ukraine is requesting radar jamming equipment from the US.
According to a former senior U.S. defense official who has worked closely with Ukraine’s military and a former head of state who has consulted with the government there, Kiev last month requested the radar jamming and detection equipment necessary to evade and counter the anti-aircraft systems Moscow was providing the country’s separatists.

Those anti-aircraft systems were almost certainly used to shoot down MH17, the Malaysian air passenger jet shot out of the sky last Thursday. U.S. officials have pointed the finger at Russia for providing that equipment, though no final assessment has been made of culpability for the incident.

Philip Karber, a former strategy adviser to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, has conducted detailed assessments of the country’s military since the crisis began this year. Karber returned from the Ukrainian front earlier this month. He told The Daily Beast, “I was told in June by the Ukrainians that one of their top five priorities that they had conveyed to the United States and NATO that month was to get help in electronic warfare,” which gives a military the ability to detect, spoof and jam the radars of enemy anti-aircraft missile batteries.
The Ukraine Air Force inherited hundreds of Russian aircraft when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Many, mostly strategic bombers, were sold back to Russia. Unable to provide the funding to maintain these planes, many are now useless and were mothballed or scrapped.

Ukraine military resources as listed by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Defense Analysis blog, dated March 2014:

SU-27 Flanker

Mig-29 Fulcrum

1 comment:

Kid said...

SU25 Frogfoot looks a lot like the A10 Warthog....

So Russia invented the A10? ;-)