May 14, 2019

LOGISTICS: The U.S. Air Force Fears for Its F-15s and F-35s vs. Russia’s S-400. But…

Russian air defenses can’t fire and reload missiles quickly enough to stop a NATO air and missile offensive. “The fact that it is possible to knock down no more than one target of a single SAM, apparently, does not need to be explained to anyone,” says Khramchikhin. “This is basic arithmetic. The combat algorithms for the S-300P and S-400 imply the use of two missiles for the same target in automatic combat mode; you can only switch to the option ‘one missile – one target’ manually. That is, if the regiment has 64 ready-to-launch missiles, then it can knock down a maximum of 64 targets, or actually 32. After which the regiment is ‘reset.’ The standard for reloading one launcher for an ‘excellent’ [inspection] rating is 53 minutes. That is, it will take at least an hour to restore the regiment’s combat readiness, which is a bit much in the context of a modern war.”

But Khramchikhin doesn’t believe even an hour’s reload time is realistic. “The regiment will not be restored in an hour or in two,” because the anti-aircraft batteries don’t have enough spare missiles or the machines to reload the launchers, he explains. “All this should be brought from the bases of storage and preparation of missiles. Accordingly, we are talking about many hours, if not days. What makes the regiment, in fact, ‘one-time’ (if we are talking about a war with a serious opponent).”

Russian air defense reminds me a bit of the old Soviet navy, whose job was to try to sink an American aircraft carrier or two shortly before ceasing to exist.

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