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Thread: Weapons from the West to Ukraine!

  1. #1 Weapons from the West to Ukraine! 
    Forum Ph.D. Double Helix's Avatar
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    BBC News has recently issued a brief on the use of Western weapons against Russian forces which have invaded Ukraine (1). The fog of war and conflicting accounts always make it difficult to accurately determine combat activities, and this war is certainly no different.

    The article gives a summary on some of the known actions by Ukrainian forces, but also delves into the munitions the West has sent to help beat back the Russian military, and their outrageous invasion of a sovereign state. Included in this report are some very specific weapon systems which are already having kinetic results on the battlefield (2,3,4) .

    One of the most dreaded of these is the Stinger missile, a "man-portable air-defense system" (MPADS). These have apparently be successfully used to down a number of Russian aircraft, and anti-armor weapons have also been successfully employed. While the number of significant attacks by these weapons on Russian forces is difficult to assess, it is reasonable to believe they are effective in many instances.

    Films and photos from various news agencies indicate significant losses of Russian aircraft, tanks and other vehicles. Ukraine is reported to be focusing much of this effort on fuel tankers, which are critical to moving armor, APCs, and supplies. As long as such weapons can still be supplied to effective combatants, this war could go on for a very long time.


    "Ukraine: Are arms shipments from the West making a difference?"

    1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-60655349


    "FIM-92 Stinger"

    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIM-92_Stinger


    "Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon"

    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_g...ti-tank_Weapon


    "FGM-148 Javelin"

    4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FGM-148_Javelin


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  3. #2  
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    NBC News has published an article on the effectiveness of the Javelin anti-tank weapon (1). It appears to be causing major problems for the Russia invasion.

    Along with other such portable weapons, supplied by many countries, these anti-tank projectiles are a horrible nightmare for the invaders. They are getting hammered by hunter-killer teams using these advanced weapons.

    There have been suggestions that the Russians have advanced "explosive reactive armor" to protect their mechanized forces against such weapons (2). This does not seem to be the case, or they simply are not effective, because they are getting wasted, big time.

    The Javelins and related munitions are giving the Russians just what they deserve.


    "U.S.-made Javelin missiles are ‘vital’ to Ukraine’s fight against Russia, experts say"

    1. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u...-say-rcna20878


    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_armour



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  4. #3  
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    It has been suggested that the supply of long range precision missile offensive systems to Ukraine will provide a major advantage for attacking Russian positions far from the front lines. Field guns currently being provided have a limited range. The U.S. is sending one of the most sophisticated of these missile systems - the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System - HIMARS *. The U.K. is also providing similar weapons.

    Various news reports independently confirm that the weapons are having significant dynamic impact on Russian military assets and personnel, possibly presenting a chance for parity in a war much longer than most initially expected. However, if such systems are capable of knocking out Russian command and control, as well as weapons and their depots, and are provided in sufficient quantities, it could also reverse the course of the war in favor of Ukraine.

    Even some Russian military strategists have expressed concerns over the accuracy and results such missile attacks are having on their ability to maintain offensive operations. We can only hope that it will discourage the Kremlin from ramping up the war, and more rapidly put an end to this horrible conflict.


    "M142 HIMARS"

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M142_HIMARS
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    A number of NATO countries have provided Ukraine with their standard 155 mm howitzer field guns and shells, which can typically strike targets up to 30 km (~20 miles). Most of these are standard projectiles, almost like shooting a bullet, but a very large one, and these are explosive. To be most effective, the firing team requires spotters (many now using drones) who can communicate the accuracy of the fire and adjust it to strike the targets with the least expenditure of shells, and collateral damage. This is not required with the more sophisticated versions of these weapons.

    The M982 Excalibur (and its variants) is a 155 mm projectile with extreme accuracy and a reported maximum range of about 55 km (~35 miles). It is one of the most advanced artillery shells ever constructed (1). When it leaves the barrel, small glide fins pop out fore and aft, and are used to provide extreme accuracy. This is accomplished by GPS guidance, allowing strikes within a few meters of the target's coordinates. Highly accurate projectiles also allow the guns to shoot-and-scoot faster than otherwise, limiting their detection and targeting by the enemy.

    It is not clear how many of these shells are being sent to Ukraine, but recent reports indicate that 1,000 "precision-guided artillery shells" are being sent in one of the latest shipments from the U.S., and Canada is reportedly sending some with their 155 mm howitzers. The accuracy of these weapons is quite remarkable, and are likely to be very effective against many different targets. For more on this remarkable projectile, see the wiki link (2).


    "Excalibur Precision 155 mm Projectiles"

    1. https://asc.army.mil/web/portfolio-i...ge-projectile/


    "M982 Excalibur"

    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M982_Excalibur
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  6. #5  
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    Probably the most overlooked aspect of military assistance from the West to Ukraine regards intelligence. This has involved reporting targeting by Russian munitions as to when and where they are expected to strike, and for reporting and targeting enemy positions - their locations and probable intentions. Most of this is derived from various satellite sources, signals and who-knows-how-many spies, etc.

    NBC News has an interesting article on this very topic*.

    While somewhat dated, it has some very interesting details about what this assistance is about, and how useful it really is.


    "U.S. intel helped Ukraine protect air defenses, shoot down Russian plane carrying hundreds of troops"

    * https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/nat...arry-rcna26015
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    Micro-drones are a unique component of warfare which will soon be deployed by Ukraine. Tiny flying reconnaissance drones are very small, just a few inches in size, and some weigh less than 20 grams.

    Norway and Great Britain are supplying Ukraine with “Black Hornet” micro-drones, capable of highly covert recon missions behind enemy lines*. These drones have day and night vision, and are extremely stealthy. The little machines, coordinated with battlefield weapons, could have a profound impact on Russia's ability to wage war in the future. While the timing on their deployment has not been revealed, it seems likely they will be harassing the enemy like never before. And the sooner, the better!


    "Ukrainian Army to Receive “Black Hornet” Military Micro-Drones"

    * https://thedebrief.org/ukrainian-arm...-micro-drones/
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  8. #7  
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    Seems to be kicking off now

    Let's hope those micro drones give the enemy top brass some cold sweats in the coming days.
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  9. #8  
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    Though not directly supplied to Ukraine, some new weapons being sent to NATO countries is in response to the conflict started by Russia, and is related to their comments about the use of various weapons to escalate the war in Ukraine*.

    In this regard, the U.S is accelerating deployment of its B61-12 gravity bombs, a thermonuclear weapon for use by F-15 and F-35 fighters deployed by NATO. The deployment to certain European locations is expected to begin in December and is months ahead of their original deployment, assumed to result from threats made by Putin as to the use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war.


    "U.S. speeds up plans to store upgraded nukes in Europe '"

    * https://www.politico.com/news/2022/1...urope-00063675
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  10. #9  
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    The U.S. is sending a battery of Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine (1,2). The MIM-104 Patriot is considered by some to be the gold standard in air defense systems, capable of knocking out many airborne threats at a range of 20-100 miles, depending on missiles used. These are in addition to other Western air defense systems already being used in Ukraine, or on their way.

    Presumably it will take some time before the Patriots become active, requiring considerable training for the teams which operate them. This learning curve is required for many of the more advanced weapon systems being supplied to Ukraine, most of which is taking place in NATO countries. However, it is likely that the training for some of these weapons has been on-going for some time, and is simply not being disclosed for obvious reasons.

    In any event, this represents a major increase in air defense for Ukraine, and will put substantial pressure on Russia to maintain it murderous air assault. After ten months of warfare, the efforts by the West to provide sophisticated weapons is only ramping up, and there seems little doubt that NATO and Ukraine are in this for as long as it takes to force the Russians to withdraw.


    "The U.S. will send a Patriot air defense system to Ukraine. How will it help?"

    1. https://www.npr.org/2022/12/21/11446...missile-system


    "MIM-104 Patriot"

    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIM-104_Patriot
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  11. #10  
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    Armored fighting vehicles are being sent to Ukraine to help bring an end of the invasion (1,2). France, Germany and the U.S. are preparing to send some heavy mechanized assault weapons, which many experts are insisting is the only way to oust the Russians.

    The U.S. may send its main battle tank, the M1 Abrams as well. With about 3,000 M1s in reserve storage, there is an abundance of these things, and their use in Ukraine would provide an edge. They are superior to the best the Russians can field. Likely to cause some serious trouble for the intruders.


    "Ukraine to get French combat vehicles in key move by West"

    1. https://apnews.com/article/zelenskyy...b3a60becf147e2



    "Biden will send Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine. And tanks could be next."

    2. https://www.politico.com/news/2023/0...tanks-00076549
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  12. #11  
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    The UK is sending 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine in the first supply of heavy armor from the West (1,2). This tank is a high tech system with vastly superior capability over anything the Russians can offer. Its 120 mm rifled gun provides very accurate targeting with various kinds of shells. Combined with Bradley's and other light armored vehicles, they present a formidable spearhead in what will surely become substantial offenses for the Ukrainians. Now we can hope that Germany will allow Poland and perhaps others to ship their Leopard II tanks to Ukraine, as they will likely need many of these to get the job done, and keep it done.


    "Britain to send 14 of its main battle tanks to Ukraine"

    1. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe...iy-2023-01-14/


    "Challenger 2"

    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenger_2
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  13. #12  
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    Russia is claiming that "red lines have been crossed" as Germany agrees to send its main battle tank (MBT), the Leopard 2, to Ukraine and allow other countries to do the same (1). This will likely result in hundreds of MBTs coming soon to the battlefront. What crossing such red lines means is open to debate. Presumably Russia will define that to the West at some point.

    What is not open to debate is that the Leopard 2 is one of the most advanced tanks in the world (2). And they will provide a much needed boost to Ukraine's defensive and offensive capabilities. Combined with other advanced, mechanized weapons coming from various NATO countries, the red lines could mean serious problems for Russia as it struggles to maintain its murderous invasion.


    "Russia fumes at West’s decision to send tanks to Ukraine, says red lines have been crossed"

    1. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/01/25/russ...o-ukraine.html


    "Leopard 2"

    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_2




    Addendum : The U.S. has also agreed to send the M1 Abrams MBT as well (3,4).


    "US, Germany sending battle tanks to aid Ukraine war effort"

    3. https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-german-tanks-435da2221bf452a8aae9d2e58d23acae?utm_source=homepa ge&utm_medium=TopNews&utm_campaign=position_01


    "M1 Abrams"

    4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Abrams
    Last edited by Double Helix; January 25th, 2023 at 01:25 PM.
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  14. #13  
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    The U.S. has decided to send longer-range defensive weapons in the latest shipment planned for Ukraine (1,2,3).

    The "Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb", a system made by Boeing and Saab, is a rocket-assisted GPS-guided glide bomb with a range roughly twice that of the HIMARS system, and capable of striking Russian positions, at any angle, in the occupied areas of Ukraine. Based on an apparent increase in Russia's offensive capacity, they could not come at a better time.


    "U.S. readies $2 billion-plus Ukraine aid package with longer-range weapons"

    1. https://www.reuters.com/world/us-readies-2-bln-plus-ukraine-aid-package-with-longer-range-weapons-sources-2023-01-31/


    "Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb"

    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground..._Diameter_Bomb


    "GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb"

    3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-39..._Diameter_Bomb
    Last edited by Double Helix; February 3rd, 2023 at 01:41 PM.
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