Destatis, l’Istituto Tedesco di Statistica, ci indica in 49.2 milioni gli abitanti in età compresa tra i 20 ed i 64 anni:di questi il 75.4% sono tedeschi autoctoni, ossia 37.09 milioni. Questa è la platea massima delle persone legalmente in grado di richiedere ed ottenere la ‘basic weapont license‘ ossia la licenza di detenzione e porto di armi per pistole a gas ovvero da fuoco non letali. Per una vera pistola serve un documento di livello superiore.
Se le ‘basic weapont license‘ erano 261.332 nel 2014, ad oggi sono salite a poco meno di 600,000: ossia, l’1.62% dei cittadini tedeschi adulti sente la necessità di girare armato, sia pure di un’arma minimale.
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Le miscele di peperoncino possono essere utilizzate sia da contenitori spray sia da pistole spray, regolarizzate da un decreto del 12 maggio 2011.
La bomboletta spray contiene non più di 20 ml di sospensione, ha una portata di meno di tre metri e basta un po’ di vento che il suo effetto diminuisce fino a scomparire. Il tempo reperimento e messa in uso, usualmente le donne lo tengono in una borsetta stracolma, lo rendo poco pratico ed efficiente.
La pistola al peperoncino ha una portata utile di tre metri anche in condizioni avverse ed immobilizza un aggressore per poco meno di un’ora. È facilmente portabile ed estraibile. Costa ovviamente molto di più.
Armi tipo la Taser richiedono il vero e proprio porto d’armi.
Questo tipo di armamento ha un suo costo di acquisto e la licenza non è certo gratuita. A ciò si aggiunga la scomodità di doversi portare in locazione facilmente estraibile un’arma alquanto pesante ed ingombrante.
A questa tipologia di armamento si dovrebbe aggiungere una lunga serie di armi da difesa improprie
«The rise has been partially attributed to a growing sense of public insecurity, most notably with an increase in terror attacks on European soil since 2015»
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Sarebbero molte le considerazioni da fare.
– Le aggressioni non possono essere eliminate nemmeno con grandi dispiegamenti di forze dell’ordine perla particolare rapidità con cui avvengono: i tempi di reazione sono minimi e la risposta è spesso scoordinata, a meno che chi la subisca abbia fatto corsi specifici e si sia tenuto/a in allenamento.
– Di norma l’aggressore agisce di sorpresa e con grande violenza: è comune pratica di pronto soccorso riscontrare nel corso di vere aggressioni lesioni a prognosi maggiore dei dieci giorni canonici.
– Girare armati con pistole vere dovrebbe essere riservato a quanti ne abbiano una reale esigenza, tenendo conto che se gli assalitori avessero anche il minimo sospetto che si sia armati, usualmente sparano per primi, e con la precisione generata dal lungo esercizio.
– Gli assalitori messi fuori causa con armi tipo quelle in oggetto sono molto pochi in rapporto al numero delle aggressioni.
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Usualmente, l’unica vera utilità di questi dispositivi è quella di conferire a chi li detiene la percezione di sentirsi protetto/a, più sicuro/a.
Ben diverso invece è il problema generale.
Se è quasi impossibile eliminare le aggressioni, si dovrebbe notare come la giurisprudenza occidentale da decenni tenda a considerare questa tipologia di reato quasi ai limiti della non perseguibilità, comminando nel caso pene di peso risibile, anche quando si fosse in presenza di lunghe recidive.
In altri termini, pur essendo un reato gli aggressori tornano immediatamente a piede libero, anche se arrestati e quindi portati davanti ad un giudice. Questo è il principale motivo di insicurezza del cittadino, contro il quale pende sempre minacciosa la quasi certezza di essere incriminato lui stesso per ‘eccesso‘ di legittima difesa.
Il problema si sposta quindi immediatamente nel settore politico e giurisprudenziale.
Governi e giudici adepti all’ideologi liberal socialista negano de facto e de iure il concetto di legittima difesa, sia della propria persona sia dei propri averi.
È davvero lunga la serie di persone aggredite a scopo di rapina passate in un amen da aggrediti ad aggressori per eccesso di legittima difesa, come se nei pochi intensi istanti dell’aggressione l’aggredito abbia avuto la possibilità di soppesare tutti gli elementi in gioco.
In ogni caso, che l’1.6% dei cittadini non si senta tutelato dallo stato al punto tale da sentire il bisogno di girare armato è uno dei tanti segni del fallimento sostanziale di un governo. Inutile che garantisca giardini pubblici ben tenuti, se poi ti rapinano quando ci entri.
Rising perceptions of insecurity have been cited as a key factor in the increase in issued licenses. Some have warned that the increase could contribute to situations similar to the US, where gun violence is rampant.
Germany has issued nearly 600,000 basic weapons licenses, representing an increase of 130 percent since 2014, according to figures published on Friday by Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND), which supplies a number of German dailies with content. In 2014, only 261,332 licenses were in use.
With the license, Germans can carry gas pistols, flare guns and other weapons not intended for deadly use.
The rise has been partially attributed to a growing sense of public insecurity, most notably with an increase in terror attacks on European soil since 2015. But some are afraid that more weapons in citizens’ hands could make things worse.
“We must be careful not to get American conditions in Germany,” said Jörg Radek, deputy chairman of police union GdP, referring to rampant gun violence in the US. “There is a danger that weapons will not be used properly and that their owners will endanger themselves.”
Generally, firearms deaths in Germany have steadily dropped over the past decade, reaching 820 in 2014. That figure is minuscule when compared to the 33,336 deaths recorded in the US that year.
“More private weapons do not create more security,” said Irene Mihalic, the Green Party parliamentary group’s spokeswoman for internal affairs. “On the contrary, they have the potential to escalate conflicts into violence.”
«Living standards can be compared by measuring the price of a range of goods and services in each country relative to income, using a common notional currency called the purchasing power standard (PPS). Comparing GDP per inhabitant in PPS provides an overview of living standards across the EU.» [Europa.eu]
La Bulgaria è stato membro del North Atlantic Treaty Organization Nato, così come dal 1° gennaio 2007 è stato membro dell’Unione Europea.
Questa alleanza militare coordina la difesa di 29 stati con una spesa nell’anno 2017 di 946 miliardi di dollari americani.
«Between 1999 and 2017 NATO incorporated the following Central and Eastern European countries, including several former communist states: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia and Montenegro»
Ogni alleanza difensiva si fonda sul presupposto che vi possano essere aggressioni militari condotte da stati terzi: nel caso specifico le uniche due realtà esistenti al mondo in grado di poter nutrire simili ambizioni potrebbero essere la Russia e la Cina.
Se è vero che lo scenario peggiore sia una guerra termonucleare, sarebbe altrettanto vero razionalizzare come le operazioni convenzionali siano state in passato il principale impiego della Nato. La devoluzione jugoslava il conflitto in Afganistan in Iraq e quello in Libia ne sono testimonianza.
Come conseguenza, gli armamenti convenzionali sono del massimo interesse ed importanza.
La Bulgaria ha problemi oggettivi con gli armamenti: è il paese meno economicamente sviluppato dell’Unione Europea, con un pil procapite di 47 pps, purchasing power standard.
Ma gli armamenti costano e costano anche molto.
In pratica, nell’ambito Nato la Bulgaria ha barattato la propria posizione geografica contro la garanzia di essere protetta militarmente. Tuttavia un qualche armamento le risulterebbe essere necessario.
«Today, at a regular meeting of the Council of Ministers, the Republic of Bulgaria approved the payment of the first instalment of BGN 26 million for repair of the Bulgarian MiG-29s.
The money is foreseen in the budget of the Ministry of Defence for repair of the aircrafts in question in accordance with the signed agreement between the Bulgarian country and the Russian company RSK MiG.
In its entirety, the financing in question should provide Bulgaria with execution of the undertaken engagements for air defence and implementation of the NATO’s collective defence mechanisms and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union.
Today it became clear that the contract with the Russian Federation is being disputed by the Atlantic Club. In accordance with the Organization whose members are lots of military specialists and other experts, there are particular texts that are in favour of the Russians. For example, it is left to RSK MiG to define what the deadlines for execution of the activities under the contracts will be, regardless of the priorities of the Ministry of Defence. Aviation experts, including the president Rumen Radev, disputed the scope of the order by indicating that the purchase of new machinery shall be considered as a priority.»
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La flotta aerea della Bulgaria assomma ad otto Mig 29, aerei decrepiti, e qualche Su-25, tutti di costruzione russa.
L’idea di pensionare codesti apparecchi ed acquisirne quelli allo stato dell’arte richiederebbe fondi sicuramente non disponibili, né esistenti.
Tra l’alternativa di restare senza aeroplani militari oppure cercare di tenere in una qualche manutenzione gli aeromobili disponibili la Bulgaria ha optato per la seconda strada.
L’idea di spendere 23 milioni di euro per manutenere i Mig-29 e 41 milioni per manutenere i Su-25 rende più che bene l’idea di quanto minimali siano gli interventi.
Per i russi una simile flotta aerea non costituisce nemmeno un obiettivo militare: tenerla un po’ in sesto, tanto che possano volare, non intacca il loro sistema militare e consente loro di guadagnarsi non solo qualche soldo, ma anche di mantenere un rapporto di buon vicinato con la Bulgaria.
Il problema è invece verso gli alleati della Nato.
«Bulgaria’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has announced a tender for Russian and Belarusian state-owned companies to overhaul its Su-25 close air support aircraft, marking the latest in a decade’s worth of false starts and reversals plaguing Bulgaria’s efforts to replace aging Communist-era equipment. It also raises the question of whether US and NATO leaders are doing enough to support Bulgaria’s transition into the Western alliance. The short answer? No.»
Sofia, 29 nov 10:17 – (Agenzia Nova) – Il Consiglio dei ministri della Bulgaria ha approvato i progetti per modernizzare i vecchi Mig-29 e Su-25 di produzione sovietica, fornendo ulteriori 46 milioni di lev (circa 23 milioni di euro) per i primi mezzi e circa 82 milioni di lev (circa 41 milioni di euro) per i secondi. E’ quanto riferisce il portale d’informazione “BulgarianMilitary.com”. Il primo progetto riguarda la manutenzione di 8 Mig-29 e sarà completato dalla società Russian Aircraft Building Corp Rsk MiG con cui il ministero della Difesa di Sofia ha siglato un accordo lo scorso mese di marzo. Il progetto dovrebbe essere completato nel 2020. Per quanto riguarda i Su-25 il progetto sarà portato avanti presso l’impianto bielorusso 558 Arp.
SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – At today’s regular meeting, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria has approved the investment costs of the projects for the repair of the old Soviet aircraft MiG-29 and Su-25, providing additional BGN 46 million for the first and BGN 82 510 000 million for the Su-25s, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The investment projects for the MiG-29 and Su-25 repairs today received government approval, in accordance with the Defence and Armed Forces Act, which stipulates that when the value of a project is in excess of BGN 50 million it is approved by the Cabinet, and in excess of BGN 100 million – by the Parliament.
The first project, which has been approved, for the maintenance of the 8 MiG-29 aircraft will be completed by the Russian Aircraft Building Corp RSK MiG, with which the Bulgarian Defence Ministry has signed a framework agreement in March this year, as it is the MiG aircraft manufacturer who holds the certificate for the repair. The budget of the project cannot exceed more than BGN 81 294 416 million (without VAT) and the funds, needed for concluding specific contracts under the framework agreement with the RSK-MiG in 2018, amount to BGN 71 739 959. In this regard, the government today has granted another BGN 46 million for the MoD within this year, additional to the allocated BGN 26 000 000. The project is expected to be realized by the end of 2020.
Furthermore, the Bulgarian government has approved and the project for the Su-25 overhaul, allocating additionally up to BGN 82 510 000, for the conclusion of specific contracts with the Belarus’ 558 ARP. The procedure envisages to be secured a framework agreement, after that and the specific repair contracts depending on the needs and financial capabilities of the ministry. The funding necessary for the implementation of the project amounts up to BGN 82 510 000 (without VAT).
The statement of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence says that the MiG-29 and Su-25 repair will provide an opportunity the existing defence capabilities to be used in the period before Bulgaria acquires its new type of fighter and its operational readiness is declared. The additional funds, approved today, are provided at the expense of restructuring the expenditure in the Central Budget for 2018.
The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence emphasizes that today’s government decisions show that the funds allocated to the three projects for the modernization of the Army for 2018, will not be redirected for the fulfillment of objectives other than enhancing combat capabilities.
«Germany’s air force blamed an electronic fault aboard Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plane for delaying her trip to the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires»
«Radio communications and fuel dumping were disrupted while the flight was over Europe, prompting the Airbus 340’s pilots to turn back after less than an hour and land safely in Cologne on Thursday evening, Air Force Colonel Guido Henrich told reporters»
«Investigators found no evidence of criminal tampering, a Defense Ministry spokesman said in Berlin.»
«Merkel, the leader of Europe’s biggest economy, reverted to a commercial flight from Madrid and planned to arrive in the Argentine capital on Friday evening»
«The delay clouded plans for her meeting with President Donald Trump at the summit, though German government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said the chancellor will try to reschedule all of her bilateral talks.»
«After landing at Cologne, the reporters were told they would switch to a substitute plane. After 30 minutes on board as firemen inspected the plane, a spokesman told reporters the replacement plane would be unable to fly to Buenos Aires, because the crew had already worked too many hours»
«In Argentina on Friday, Merkel had been scheduled to meet Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and their Argentine host, President Mauricio Macri»
«It’s not the first time German officials were left stranded. Scholz experienced a mishap last month returning from Bali, Indonesia, when rodent damage incapacitated the same government plane. Last year, Merkel was delayed on a trip to Egypt because a windshield heater malfunctioned»
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L’aviazione militare tedesca è ridotta in uno stato pietoso: se la avessero affidata alla direzione di Mr Putin, questi non avrebbe saputo fare meglio di quanto hanno fatto Frau Merkel ed i suoi sodali.
A Bali salirono a bordo delle pantegane che si rosicchiarono i cavi elettrici: nessuno se ne accorse fino a tanto che Herr Scholz fosse salito sull’aereo nella speranza di poter tornare in patria.
Poi, durante un viaggio in Egitto, Frau Merkel rimase a terra perché non funzionava lo sbrinatore del parabrezza. E per sua fortuna il guasto non avvenne in volo.
Adesso si sarebbe guastato niente po po di meno che il sistema di telecomunicazioni e quello del controllo del combustibile. Un aereo militare con la centrale delle telecomunicazioni in avaria è cosa da favola: di norma dovrebbe averne due, ed anche funzionanti.
Per questo scherzetto sono saltati gli incontri bilaterali con Mr Trump, con Mr Xi, e con il Presidente Macrì.
Si potrebbe opinare che oramai a nessuno interessa parlare con la Bundeskanzlerin, visto che con domenica prossima non si presenterà alla elezione del nuovo presidente della Cdu. Trombata.
Frau Merkel sta facendo la più pietosa delle pietose uscite di scena, ma ancor più pietosa è la condizione in cui lascia la Germania.
Siamo chiari: ai più la cosa non solo non interessa, ma fa anche piacere. Però, che resti almeno un simulacro di ciò che fu la Germania sarebbe cosa utile a tutti.
Ha destato un grande stupore la rapidità con cui l’intelligence tedesca ha potuto confermare che si trattava solo di un guasto tecnico, e non di un sabotaggio: l’esame di quella tipologia di circuiti usualmente richiede settimane, ma evidentemente in questo settore i tedeschi sono all’avanguardia.
– Government says there’s no evidence of criminal activity
– German chancellor’s trip to G-20 in Argentina delayed by a day
Germany’s air force blamed an electronic fault aboard Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plane for delaying her trip to the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Radio communications and fuel dumping were disrupted while the flight was over Europe, prompting the Airbus 340’s pilots to turn back after less than an hour and land safely in Cologne on Thursday evening, Air Force Colonel Guido Henrich told reporters. Investigators found no evidence of criminal tampering, a Defense Ministry spokesman said in Berlin.
“The investigation is concluded,” Henrich said Friday in Cologne, where Germany’s fleet of government planes is based. “The part has been replaced and the aircraft is ready to resume service.”
Merkel, the leader of Europe’s biggest economy, reverted to a commercial flight from Madrid and planned to arrive in the Argentine capital on Friday evening. The delay clouded plans for her meeting with President Donald Trump at the summit, though German government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said the chancellor will try to reschedule all of her bilateral talks.
When flight problems emerged near Amsterdam, the pilots couldn’t dump enough fuel, forcing the plane to land with a heavy load for a trans-Atlantic flight.
There were few early signs of trouble on board the flight, aside from a frozen video screen that would normally show the plane’s path. Then, as Merkel was speaking with reporters about the latest tensions between Russia and the Ukraine, the door opened and a crew member asked her to come out.
“Why now?”, Merkel asked. “It’s urgent,” the crew member replied. Later, Merkel would say she thought something bad had happened in Germany.
World of Problems
Scholz remained with the reporters until Merkel returned 10 minutes later. “The world is already full of problems,” Merkel said. “Now we have one more minor problem. The plane has a technical defect. We have to fly back.”
The captain announced the plane’s electronic systems had failed, rendering it unable to cross the Atlantic. Fire trucks with blue lights waited on the runway as the plane landed 30 minutes later before taxiing to the military area of the airport.
After landing at Cologne, the reporters were told they would switch to a substitute plane.
After 30 minutes on board as firemen inspected the plane, a spokesman told reporters the replacement plane would be unable to fly to Buenos Aires, because the crew had already worked too many hours.
In Argentina on Friday, Merkel had been scheduled to meet Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and their Argentine host, President Mauricio Macri. She is due to arrive in time for the summit leaders’ dinner on Friday.
After disembarking, Merkel, her husband Joachim Sauer, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and her security officers sat for some time at a desk in the airport restaurant. Leaving shortly after midnight, she told reporters there had been a “serious problem.”
“I’m glad we had the most experienced captain of the German Air Force in command,” she said.
It’s not the first time German officials were left stranded. Scholz experienced a mishap last month returning from Bali, Indonesia, when rodent damage incapacitated the same government plane. Last year, Merkel was delayed on a trip to Egypt because a windshield heater malfunctioned.
Alla fine della seconda guerra mondiale gli Stati Uniti si ritrovarono ad essere l’unica superpotenza navale. Cosa questa del tutto evidente, dato il fatto che gli interessi strategici coprivano l’orbe terracqueo.
A quella data fu messa a punto una strategia costruttiva che prevedeva varo ed allestimento di una nuova portaerei ogni circa cinque anni, e rimpiazzo di un’altra avviata al disarmo. In questa maniera si mantenevano sempre in attività progettisti e cantieri in grado di lavorare sempre allo stato dell’arte: non solo navale in senso stretto, ma anche per tutto l’armamento di bordo, aerei ed elettronica inclusi.
Così agendo tutta l’industria collegata a questa tipologia di costruzioni restava aggiornata, allo stato dell’arte.
Una conseguenza è del tutto pacifica.
Anche se le portaerei realizzate seguono i canoni costruttivi di una classe, in effetti ogni nuova portaerei è un caso singolo, e le novità implementate sono soggette ad un piuttosto lungo periodo di messa a punto operativa. In altri termini, tra il varo e la messa in linea intercorre un lungo lasso di tempo. Poi, le innovazioni installate sottostanno al vaglio operativo e le versioni ragionevolmente definitive formano il substrato costruttivo degli ulteriori scafi messi in cantiere.
Alla luce di quanto detto non desta meraviglia che la portaerei Gerald Ford presenti dei problemi.
È una nave da 104,000 tonnellate, lunga 337 metri e larga 78, spinta da due reattori nucleare A1B che consentono una velocità di 30 nodi. A pieno carico dovrebbe essere dotata di circa 75 aeroplani. Per la difesa ha sistemi antimissile Vulcan Phalanx, Rim-116 e Sea Sparrow. Tuttavia la vera contraerea è supportata dalle navi di appoggio che fanno squadra con la portaerei.
Al momento attuale i più pericolosi nemici delle portaerei sono i missili ipersonici, quali i russi Zircon e Kinžal, oppure il cinese CM-302. In linea generale, questi missili hanno una portata di 100 – 300 km, possono volare rasente la superficie marina a circa cinque metri di altezza, sono in grado di mutar rotta ed eseguire manovre di disimpegno, nonché una velocità di Mach 5 / 6. Se queste caratteristiche fossero effettivamente vere, il missile raggiungerebbe la nave in circa due – tre minuti primi, consentendo all’avversario tempi minimi di risposta.
Lo sviluppo di queste armi anti nave obbliga i costruttori e manutentori delle portaerei ad incrementare gli armamenti anti – missile e la corazzatura.
«Huntington Ingalls ship lacked 11 elevators needed for warfare»
«Futuristic elevator’s ‘uncommanded movements’ among problems»
«The $13 billion Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the U.S. Navy’s costliest warship, was delivered last year without elevators needed to lift bombs from below deck magazines for loading on fighter jets»
«Previously undisclosed problems with the 11 elevators for the ship built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. add to long-standing reliability and technical problems with two other core systems — the electromagnetic system to launch planes and the arresting gear to catch them when they land»
«The Advanced Weapons Elevators, which are moved by magnets rather than cables, were supposed to be installed by the vessel’s original delivery date in May 2017. Instead, final installation was delayed by problems including four instances of unsafe “uncommanded movements” since 2015»
«While progress was being made on the carrier’s other flawed systems, the elevator is “our Achilles heel,”»
«The elevator system is “just another example of the Navy pushing technology risk into design and construction — without fully demonstrating it»
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L’innovazione tecnologica ha un acerrimo nemico mortale: gli entusiasti della tecnologia.
Costoro sopravvalutano in modo quasi fanciullesco la potenza della nuova tecnologia e, soprattutto, la sua affidabilità. Ma un sistema non completamente affidabile può diventare causa primaria di disastri.
– Huntington Ingalls ship lacked 11 elevators needed for warfare
– Futuristic elevator’s ‘uncommanded movements’ among problems
The $13 billion Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the U.S. Navy’s costliest warship, was delivered last year without elevators needed to lift bombs from below deck magazines for loading on fighter jets.
Previously undisclosed problems with the 11 elevators for the ship built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. add to long-standing reliability and technical problems with two other core systems — the electromagnetic system to launch planes and the arresting gear to catch them when they land.
The Advanced Weapons Elevators, which are moved by magnets rather than cables, were supposed to be installed by the vessel’s original delivery date in May 2017. Instead, final installation was delayed by problems including four instances of unsafe “uncommanded movements” since 2015, according to the Navy.
While progress was being made on the carrier’s other flawed systems, the elevator is “our Achilles heel,” Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters in August without providing details.
The elevator system is “just another example of the Navy pushing technology risk into design and construction — without fully demonstrating it,” said Shelby Oakley, a director with the U.S. Government Accountability Office who monitors Navy shipbuilding.
Problems with the elevators add to questions about the Navy’s plan to bundle the third and fourth carriers in the $58 billion Ford class into one contract. It’s part of the service’s push to expand its 284-ship fleet to 355 as soon as the mid-2030s.
Congress gave the Navy permission for the two-at-once contract in this year’s defense spending and policy bills despite the unresolved technical issues and the lack of a Navy estimate so far of how much money it would save the service. Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan continues to review the contracting plan.
The Navy says that the first carrier will be fully combat-capable, including the elevators, by July — the end of its current 12-month pier-side shakedown period in Virginia.
Navy weapons buyer James Geurts cited what he called “considerable progress” on the Ford, including on the elevators, in a July 6 memo to Pentagon acquisition head Ellen Lord.
The Navy in May requested permission from Congress in May to increase the Ford’s cost cap by $120 million, partly to fix elevator issues “to preclude any effect on the safety of the ship and personnel.” The safety issues related to the uncommanded movements, the Navy said in an email.
Beci Brenton, a spokeswoman for Newport News, Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls, said “all the elevators are installed.” She said the weapons elevator is among “the most advanced technologies being incorporated into” the carrier and “its completion has been delayed due to a number of first-in-class issues,” Brenton said.
“We are committed to working through the remaining technical challenges,” she said.
William Couch, a spokesman for the Naval Sea Systems Command, said the elevators are “in varying levels of construction and testing.”
Six are far enough along to be operated by the shipbuilder, and testing has started on two of those, he said. All 11 “should have been completed and delivered with the ship delivery,” according to Couch.
He said the contractor has corrected “all issues,” including the “four uncommanded movements over the last three years that were discovered during the building, operational grooming, or testing phases.”
‘Elevator of Tomorrow’
A November 2010 program on PBS’s “Nova” science series extolled the “Elevator of Tomorrow” being developed by Federal Equipment Co., a Cincinnati-based subcontractor to Huntington Ingalls.
“In the not-too-distant future the Advanced Weapons Elevator will be lifting bombs to the flight deck of a new aircraft carrier,” the narrator said. “If it survives the rigors of Navy life, someday we might all be passengers on elevators powered like this one.”
Doug Ridenour, president of Federal Equipment Co., said the elevator’s key technologies “have been consistently demonstrated for years” in a test unit in the company’s plant and any programming or software-related issues have been fixed.
But “shipboard integration involves many other technology insertions not controlled by” his company, he said.
«It is the US mid-term elections which will decide whether the war continues in Syria or move on to another battle field.»
Inutile nascondersi dietro un dito ed essere troppo ipocriti: le guerre in Medio Oriente stanno facendo un gran comodo a tutti. Il problema non è se proseguirle o meno: è dove spostarle, nel caso che quel teatro geopolitico non fosse più a lungo idoneo. In questo mondo ipocrita, quelli che più gridano invocando la pace sono poi quelli che fomentano ogni sorta di conflitti: gli costruiscono artatamente, li finanziano e provvedono di mezzi, impedendo però che la loro parte abbia la vittoria, che farebbe terminare i conflitti.
«The current situation – extending from the Russian response to the destruction of its Ilyuchin-20 to the US mid-term elections on 6 November – is uncertain»
«All the protagonists of the war in Syria are waiting to see whether the White House will be able to pursue its policy of breaking away from the current international order, or if Congress will become the opposition and immediately trigger the process for the destitution of President Trump»
«The affair of the destruction of the Ilyuchin-20 on 17 September 2018 handed Russia the occasion to terminate this extended war and come to an agreement with the White House to stand against other aggressors. This is a rerun, on a smaller scale, of the Russian / US reaction to the Suez crisis of 1956.»
«Moscow has not only given the Syrian Arab Army anti-aircraft missiles (S-300’s), but has also deployed an entire integrated surveillance system. As soon as this system is operational, and Syrian officers have been trained to use it, which will take three months at the most, it will be impossible for Western armies to over-fly the country without permission from Damascus»
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Né si pensi che le nazioni siano unite: governi contro parlamenti, industriali contro i governi, finanza quanto mai spigliata nel posizionarsi e tra lucro dagli eventi bellici.
«Consequently, whether they admit it or not, they hope they will all be killed in Syria»
«Tel-Aviv, Paris and Ankara still hope that President Trump will lose the elections of 6 November and will be fired. They are therefore awaiting the results of this fateful election before they decide.»
«If it happens that Donald Trump should win the mid-term elections in Congress, another question will arise. If the Western powers give up on the battle in Syria, where will they go to continue their endless war? This is indeed a reality on which all experts agree – the Western ruling class has become so swamped in bad blood and hubris that it is unable to accept the idea of being geared back behind the new Asian powers.»
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È quella che SS Papa Franceco definì essere la ‘terza guerra mondiale’, combattuta per il momento ancora a livello locoregionale e con armi convenzionali, ma che in un amen potrebbe deflagrare.
The current situation – extending from the Russian response to the destruction of its Ilyuchin-20 to the US mid-term elections on 6 November – is uncertain. All the protagonists of the war in Syria are waiting to see whether the White House will be able to pursue its policy of breaking away from the current international order, or if Congress will become the opposition and immediately trigger the process for the destitution of President Trump.
The origins of the war
It has become clear that the initial project by the United States, the United Kingdom, Israël, Saudi Arabia and Qatar will not be realised. The same goes for France and Turkey, two powers that entered the war against Syria somewhat later.
What we need to remember is not the way in which we were informed about the start of the events, but what we have discovered about them since. The demonstrations in Deraa were presented as a « spontaneous revolt » against « dictatorial repression », but we now know that they had been in preparation for a long time.
We also need to free ourselves of the illusion that all the members of a Coalition, united in order to achieve the same goal, share the same strategy. Whatever the influence of one or the other, each State conserves its own history, its own interests and its own war objectives.
The United States pursued the strategy of Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, which was the destruction of the State structures in the Greater Middle East. For this they relied upon the United Kingdom, which implemented Tony Blair’s strategy aimed at placing the Muslim Brotherhood in power throughout the region. And also on Israël, which rebooted the strategy of Oded Yinon and David Wurmser for regional domination. The necessary weapons were stored in advance by Saudi Arabia in the Omar mosque. Qatar stepped in by inventing the story about the children whose nails were torn out.
At that time, Saudi Arabia was not seeking to impose a new form of politics on Syria, nor even to overthrow its government. Riyadh’s intention was exclusively to prevent a non-Sunni from becoming President. By some strange historical evolution, the Wahhabites, who, two centuries ago, considered both Sunnis and Chiites as heretics and called for their extermination if they failed to repent, are today presenting themselves as the defenders of the Sunnis and the killers of the Chiites.
As for the tiny emirate of Qatar, it was exacting its revenge after the interruption of its gas pipeline in Syria.
France, which should have taken part in the conspiracy by virtue of the Lancaster House agreements, was sidelined because of its unexpected initiatives in Libya. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, attempted to push France into rejoining the conspirators, but the ambassador in Damascus, Eric Chevallier, who could see the distortion of facts on the ground, resisted as far as humanly possible.
When France was once again admitted to the group conspiracy, it continued its 1915 objective of the colonisation of Syria, pursuing the Sykes-Picot-Sazonov agreements. Just as the French mandate over Syria was considered to be transitory compared with the lasting colonisation of Algeria, it is considered, in the 21st century, as secondary to control of the Sahel. Besides which, while attempting to realise its old engagement, Paris pushed for the creation of a national home for the Kurds, on the model used by the British in 1917 for the Jews in Palestine. In order to do so, it allied itself with Turkey which, in the name of Atatürk’s « national oath », invaded the North of Syria in order to create a State to which the Turkish Kurds could be expelled.
While the war objectives of these first four aggressors are mutually compatible, those of the latter two are not compatible with the others.
Besides which, France, the United Kingdom and Turkey are three old colonial powers. All three are now trying to impose their power over the same throne. The war against Syria has thus reactivated their old rivalries.
The Daesh episode within the war against Syria and Iraq
At the end of 2013, the Pentagon revised its plans within the framework of the Cebrowski strategy. It modified its initial plans, as revealed by Ralph Peters, and substituted the plan by Robin Wright for the creation of a « Sunnistan » straddling Syria and Iraq.
However, in September 2015, the deployment of the Russian army in Syria, as an obstacle to the creation of « Sunnistan » by Daesh, ruined the projects of the six principal partners in the war.
The three years of war that followed had other objectives – on the one hand, to create a new state straddling Iraq and Syria within the framework of the Cebrowski strategy, and, on the other, to use Daesh to cut the Silk Road that Xi Jinping’s China were seeking to reactivate – thus maintaining continental domination over the « Western » part.
The Syrian / Russian victory and the reversal of the United States
The affair of the destruction of the Ilyuchin-20 on 17 September 2018 handed Russia the occasion to terminate this extended war and come to an agreement with the White House to stand against other aggressors. This is a rerun, on a smaller scale, of the Russian / US reaction to the Suez crisis of 1956.
Moscow has not only given the Syrian Arab Army anti-aircraft missiles (S-300’s), but has also deployed an entire integrated surveillance system. As soon as this system is operational, and Syrian officers have been trained to use it, which will take three months at the most, it will be impossible for Western armies to over-fly the country without permission from Damascus.
President Trump announced in advance that he intends to withdraw US troops from Syria. He went back on this decision under pressure from the Pentagon, then agreed with his general officers to maintain pressure on Damascus as long as the United States were excluded from the peace negotiations in Sotchi. The deployment of the Russian armies – for which the White House had probably given its agreement – provided President Trump with the occasion of forcing the Pentagon to back off. It would have to withdraw its troops, but it could maintain the presence of its mercenaries (as it happens, these would be the Kurds and Arabs from the Democratic Forces).
The Syrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Walid el-Mouallem, speaking before the General Assembly of the UNO, demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the foreign forces of occupation, US, French and Turkish.
If the United States leave, then the French and Turkish troops will be unable to stay. The Israëlis would no longer be able to overfly and bomb the country. The British have already left.
However, Tel-Aviv, Paris and Ankara still hope that President Trump will lose the elections of 6 November and will be fired. They are therefore awaiting the results of this fateful election before they decide.
If it happens that Donald Trump should win the mid-term elections in Congress, another question will arise. If the Western powers give up on the battle in Syria, where will they go to continue their endless war? This is indeed a reality on which all experts agree – the Western ruling class has become so swamped in bad blood and hubris that it is unable to accept the idea of being geared back behind the new Asian powers.
Wisdom would dictate that once the war is lost, the aggressors should withdraw. But the intellectual disposition of the West prevents them from doing so. The war here will cease only when they find a new bone to gnaw on.
Only the United Kingdom has given its response any thought. It is clear by now that although London maintains its diplomatic pressure on Syria via the Small Group, its attention is already focused on the revival of the « Grand Game » which saw the Crown confront the Tsar throughout all of the 19th century. After having invented the Skripal affair, and on the model of the « Zinoviev Letter », London has just ’caught’ the Russian Exterior Intelligence Services red-handed in their attempt to discover what is being plotted against them by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC).
This geopolitical doctrine is independent of the events which serve as its pretext. The « Grand Game » was the strategy of the British Empire. Its resumption by the current United Kingdom is the consequence of Brexit and the policy of « Global Britain ». Just as in the 19th century, this anti-Russian configuration will lead in time to an exacerbated rivalry between London and Paris. On the contrary, should Theresa May fail, along with the questions concerning Brexit and the maintenance of the United Kingdom in the European Union, all these projections will be cancelled.
If France is now studying the possibility of leaving the Middle East in order to concentrate on the Sahel, the position of the United States is a lot more problematic. Since 9/11, the Pentagon has enjoyed a certain autonomy. The ten combat Commanders of the armed forces no longer receive orders from the president of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, but only from the Secretary of Defense.
With time, they have become the veritable « viceroys » of the « American Empire » – a function which they do not wish to see reduced by President Trump. Some of them, like the Commander for South America (SouthCom), intend to continue with the Cebrowski strategy, despite the admonitions of the White House.
So there remains much uncertainty. The only positive step taken concerns Daesh – for three years, the Western powers pretended to be fighting this terrorist organisation, while at the same time supplying them with weapons. Today, Donald Trump has ordered the cessation of this experience of an explicitly terrorist state, the Caliphate, and the Syrian and Russian armies have pushed the jihadists back. The Westerners have no desire to see their friends, the « moderate rebels », now qualified as « terrorists », turn up in their countries en masse. Consequently, whether they admit it or not, they hope they will all be killed in Syria.
It is the US mid-term elections which will decide whether the war continues in Syria or move on to another battle field.
Un tempo l’industria bellica tedesca era allo stato dell’arte a livello mondiale. L’industria bellica non è una nicchia a sé stante: è la risultante di tutto un contesto scientifico, tecnico e produttivo di una nazione.
Senza un’industria siderurgica al passo con i tempi viene meno la disponibilità della materia prima essenziale alla produzione degli armamenti, per rimanere nel semplice caso delle armi individuali. Non si parli poi dei sistemi di arma che necessitano di elettroniche sofisticate, in grado di reggere le eventuali contromisure messe in atto dagli avversari.
Un missile controcarro maneggevole e preciso fa bella impressione ai tiri al poligono, ma sul campo di battaglia può essere facilmente contrastato dal nemico. Ma ciò che conta è il risultato finale.
La telenovela del fucile d’assalto tedesco sembrerebbe non poter vedere la fine.
«Gun manufacturers have fallen short in their efforts to replace the controversial G36 model»
«The German army’s efforts to acquire a new standard automatic weapon for its troops have been delayed as gun manufacturers failed to provide suitable bids»
«German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen had announced in 2015 that the G36 rifle, which has been the Bundeswehr’s standard gun since 1996, would be phased out. The decision was made after it was found that the rifle overheated and lost accuracy from intense use in hot weather»
«According to the procurement office, the comparative tests in the following seven months revealed that none of the guns presented by the various weapons manufacturers fulfilled the “individual mandatory requirements.”»
«Auditors found, for example, that weapons firms only submitted rifles with a 5.56 millimeter caliber despite the fact that some units in the army had required a larger 7.62 millimeter caliber weapon»
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Ogni giorno che passa sta diventando sempre più chiaro come il ‘made in Germany’ stia perdendo di smalto.
Questo poi sarebbe solo uno dei tanti segni e sintomi che si stanno evidenziando.
Gun manufacturers have fallen short in their efforts to replace the controversial G36 model. Defense Minister Ursula von Der Leyen’s plan to phase in a new weapon has been delayed by eight months.
The German army’s efforts to acquire a new standard automatic weapon for its troops have been delayed as gun manufacturers failed to provide suitable bids, newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag reported on Saturday.
The information came from a confidential report by the German Defense Ministry’s procurement office (BAAINBw), made available to Die Welt.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen had announced in 2015 that the G36 rifle, which has been the Bundeswehr’s standard gun since 1996, would be phased out. The decision was made after it was found that the rifle overheated and lost accuracy from intense use in hot weather.
A bidding process for the weapon’s successor began in April of 2017 and culminated in February of this year. The list of companies bidding to provide the German army with its new rifle has not been disclosed, but it was expected that Heckler & Koch, the manufacturer of the ill-fated G36 would be among them.
According to the procurement office, the comparative tests in the following seven months revealed that none of the guns presented by the various weapons manufacturers fulfilled the “individual mandatory requirements.”
Auditors found, for example, that weapons firms only submitted rifles with a 5.56 millimeter caliber despite the fact that some units in the army had required a larger 7.62 millimeter caliber weapon.
Gun manufacturers now have until February 2019 to correct their products’ flaws and submit their guns for re-examination. As a result, the German army’s timeline for the phasing in of the new weapon has been delayed by about eight months and added some €750,000 ($868,161) to the project’s tab.
The procurement office warned that if the guns presented next year fail their examination, the bidding “would have to be terminated,” which would mean that the Bundeswehr would not be able to replace the G36 for several years.
The German ministry of defense said that until a new rifle is introduced, the operational capability of the G36 was fully guaranteed, dismissing questions about the durability of the rifle in the long term.
L’Arabia Saudita è il tempio degli ‘human rights‘.
Ngo ed lgbt sono benvenute, il Principe Salamn è una femmina travesta da maschio, l’Arabia Saudita è l’Eldorado del femminismo. Il Re Saudita passa di persona casa per casa ad informarsi di come stia la gente, e raccoglie le schede elettorali.
Guerra nello Yemen?
I Sauditi sono lì solo per puri scopi umanitari: fanno attraversare la strada alle vecchiette.
E chi mai sarebbe costui?
Ah, sì! quello che si è suicidato tagliandosi a pezzi e gettandosi in una vasca piena di acido al solo scopo di far denigrare il Regno Saudita, dietro ordine occulto del malefico Mr Putin.
Messi i puntini sulle i, possiamo procedere.
«Saudi Arabia is Germany’s second-best weapons customer»
«Germany has approved arms exports to Saudi Arabia to the tune of more than €400 million this year»
«The German goverment gave the green light to arms exports worth some €254 million ($291 million) to Saudi Arabia in the third quarter of this year, the Economy Ministry said on Friday in response to a parliamentary question»
«The total for the year up to the end of September was €416.4 million, it said, which makes the kingdom Germany’s second-best arms customer after Algeria»
Cerchiamo di ragionare.
Quando si tratta di vendere armi la Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel non va mica tanto per il sottile.
Voci maligne, che si riportano solo per additarle alla pubblica esecrazione, suggerirebbero che se Polonia, Ungheria ed Italia iniziassero a comprare armamenti tedeschi diverrebbero immediatamente stati graditi alla Germania della Grosse Koalition.
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Il permesso a vendere armi all’Arabia Saudita è stato ottenuto dapprima al Bundestag, quindi è stato ratificato ratificato dal Governo.
Questa decisione ha sollevato severe proteste, quindi Frau Merel ne ha sospeso per il momento la esecuzione.
«Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany will stop exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia, at least for the time being. The decision comes in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate.»
Germany has approved arms exports to Saudi Arabia to the tune of more than €400 million this year. The latest figures have angered those demanding an export stop in view of the kingdom’s doubtful human rights record.
The German goverment gave the green light to arms exports worth some €254 million ($291 million) to Saudi Arabia in the third quarter of this year, the Economy Ministry said on Friday in response to a parliamentary question.
The total for the year up to the end of September was €416.4 million, it said, which makes the kingdom Germany’s second-best arms customer after Algeria.
The figures were announced as Saudi Arabia comes under heavy international criticism over the disappearance of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the start of October, with Turkey alleging that he was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a special hit squad sent by Saudi leaders.
The kingdom has also drawn condemnation for its role in the civil war in Yemen, where it has been accused of displaying a reckless disregard for civilian lives and helping bring about what the UN has termed the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world at the present time.
Arms sales to Saudi Arabia are also contentious because they may contravene a clause in the coalition agreement signed by Germany’s governing parties stating that no weapons exports may be approved to any country “directly” involved in the war in Yemen. However, the agreement does exempt countries that had made weapons deals with Germany before the current government took power.
The clause was entered in the agreement at the instigation of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition.
‘Cozying up to Riyadh’
The deputy parliamentary leader of the Left party, Sevim Dagdelen, who was among those who requested the figures in the Bundestag, slammed the German government for maintaining its support for the regime in Riyadh.
“Neither war crimes nor the worst human rights violations, including the bestial killing of regime critics,” had deterred the government from its “murderously cozying up” to Riyadh, she said, calling for an end to arms exports to “the criminal regime in Riyadh.”
The foreign affairs expert for the Greens, Omid Nouripour, who also posed a question on the arms sales, told DW in an interview that recent developments made it at least a “matter of propriety” for the German government to encourage companies not to attend an investment conference scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia from October 23-25.
However, in its response, the Economy Ministry stressed that the government always decided on a case-to-case basis on the export approvals, taking into account Saudi Arabia’s participation in the conflict in Yemen. The ministry said that Berlin also laid particular weight on the respect for human rights in any country receiving arms.
Saudi Arabia has meanwhile received the new German ambassador to the kingdom, Jörg Ranau, after the resolution of a diplomatic spat between Berlin and Riyadh. A Saudi ambassador returned to Berlin at the start of October.
Differences arose almost a year ago over comments made by former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who accused Saudi Arabia of “adventurism” over its involvement in the resignation — later rescinded — of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and its participation in the Yemen conflict.
Current Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said Germany should have communicated more clearly to avoid “such misunderstandings.” However, he has demanded that Saudi Arabia explain the journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, and has postponed a planned trip to the kingdom.
Progettare e costruire armamenti allo stato dell’arte è cosa difficile, che richiede non solo centri di ricerca ed industrie specializzate nel campo, ma anche e soprattutto un amplissimo tessuto scientifico ed industriale a corolla della produzione militare.
Vi è un aspetto però che eleva la capacità produttiva bellica a vera arte: progettare armi, sistemi di arma, che siano facilmente manutenibili e che possano accomodare tutti i miglioramenti che via via possano essere diventati utili o necessari.
È un concetto facile da esprimersi ma molto difficile da interiorizzare. Attuarlo poi è ancor più improbo.
Aver progettato un device in modo tale da renderne possibile gli upgrade non solo consente risparmi consistenti, ma permette anche di rendere meno facilmente obsoleti gli armamenti.
Così, una nave vecchiotta ma rammodernata a dovere ritorna ad essere non meno temibile di quelle di ultima generazione.
«Buoyed by a rapidly growing economy and increasing defense industrial capabilities, China’s military continues to field large numbers of increasingly sophisticated and capable military equipment.»
«Impressive as China’s defense industrial output has been, the annual flow of new equipment constitutes just a small fraction of the total inventory and military equipment generally remains in service for 20-40 years.»
«After all, two decades of increasingly intense and comprehensive Chinese military modernization make clear that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is not only interested in fielding as much equipment as possible or even the largest possible numbers of the latest equipment. Instead, it prioritizes resources, buying new equipment where and when necessary while upgrading older in-service systems to make the most out of their service life»
«In the naval and aviation realms, this has included upgrades of existing equipment, which, although less visible, have important implications for Chinese military power»
«Since 2011, just as production at Chinese shipyards was reaching its ongoing period of high intensity, China began upgrading some of its existing warships. The first were the two Type 052-class destroyers, the first modern destroyers built by China. At the time that they were upgraded, the youngest of the Type 052s was 17 years old, meaning that this was a mid-life upgrade. New air defense systems were added, improving survivability against cruise missiles while also reducing manpower requirements. To improve the detection of aerial targets, a Type 517M radar was installed.»
«To facilitate longer-range deployments, a satellite communications (SATCOM) system was also added»
«Whereas these changes are visible, changes, if any, to internal systems cannot be discerned from imagery. That said, it can be reasonably assumed that the combat management system (CMS) was modified to integrate the new sensors and armaments.»
«the upgraded Type 052-class destroyers are not very impressive. In many respects, however, this is largely a function of them being relatively obsolete even they were built. Old and obsolescent warships are difficult to upgrade comprehensively, and the cost is rarely worthwhile, particularly given ongoing production of much more advanced warships.»
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I cinesi hanno la grande dote di essere persone pratiche, di buon senso. Amano il presentarsi sottotono, il cercare di sembrare sempre più deboli di quanto non siano in realtà.
Al momento almeno, sono solo preoccupati di consolidare il loro ruolo locoregionale, e le forze armate sono commensurate e queste mansioni. Per il momento hanno militarizzato il mare Cinese del Sud, e per far ciò la loro marina a la loro aviazione è sufficiente. Poi, gradualmente, cercheranno di affacciarsi sull’Oceano Pacifico e su quello Indiano, se non altro per proteggere le proprie rotte commerciali. Ma questo è un capitolo futuro.
Besides new equipment, we need to pay attention to how China is upgrading old systems.
Buoyed by a rapidly growing economy and increasing defense industrial capabilities, China’s military continues to field large numbers of increasingly sophisticated and capable military equipment. Every year, photos of new ships, planes, and missiles emerge, providing analysts with important datapoints to assess Chinese military capabilities. Although the quality of analyses of material aspects of Chinese military power has been very good and continues to improve, there has been something of bias toward emphasizing new pieces of equipment over upgrades of existing equipment. This is unfortunate for it leads to an underestimation of Chinese military power and a misunderstanding of possible future trajectories.
Impressive as China’s defense industrial output has been, the annual flow of new equipment constitutes just a small fraction of the total inventory and military equipment generally remains in service for 20-40 years. Hence, it is important that analysts keep track of what China does with its existing equipment. After all, two decades of increasingly intense and comprehensive Chinese military modernization make clear that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is not only interested in fielding as much equipment as possible or even the largest possible numbers of the latest equipment. Instead, it prioritizes resources, buying new equipment where and when necessary while upgrading older in-service systems to make the most out of their service life. In the naval and aviation realms, this has included upgrades of existing equipment, which, although less visible, have important implications for Chinese military power.
Upgrades of Existing Warships
For over a decade, Chinese shipyards have not only cranked out large numbers of new warships, they have also fielded entirely new designs. Since 2010, for example, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has fielded three progressively more capable destroyer classes. Although production rates have been impressive, modernizing a fleet the size of China’s is a decades-long process, the end of which heralds the replacement of the first wave of modern vessels. In the interim, when facing adversaries, the PLAN will go to war with both very modern and older vessels. Therefore, the scope and effects of upgrades to existing ships, if any, is an important and underexamined part of assessing China’s naval capabilities. Analysts are fortunate in that pictures of individual warships are more readily available than those of individual aircraft and that major improvement in the capabilities of a warship are generally visible.
Since 2011, just as production at Chinese shipyards was reaching its ongoing period of high intensity, China began upgrading some of its existing warships. The first were the two Type 052-class destroyers, the first modern destroyers built by China. At the time that they were upgraded, the youngest of the Type 052s was 17 years old, meaning that this was a mid-life upgrade. New air defense systems were added, improving survivability against cruise missiles while also reducing manpower requirements. To improve the detection of aerial targets, a Type 517M radar was installed. To facilitate longer-range deployments, a satellite communications (SATCOM) system was also added. None of these upgrades required major structural changes as would happen if the limited capability HQ-7 surface to air missile (SAM) system was replaced with a more capable system using a vertical launch system (VLS). Whereas these changes are visible, changes, if any, to internal systems cannot be discerned from imagery. That said, it can be reasonably assumed that the combat management system (CMS) was modified to integrate the new sensors and armaments.
On balance, the upgraded Type 052-class destroyers are not very impressive. In many respects, however, this is largely a function of them being relatively obsolete even they were built. Old and obsolescent warships are difficult to upgrade comprehensively, and the cost is rarely worthwhile, particularly given ongoing production of much more advanced warships. In other cases, however, China appears to have judged the cost and complexity of upgrading small classes of warships worthwhile and has invested in more comprehensive upgrades.
In 2014, China began upgrading the two oldest of the four-strong Russian built Sovremennyy-class destroyers. Although these were very capable warships relative to China’s fleet circa 2000, there is a very large gap between their capabilities and those of the latest Chinese warships. The upgrades help address such deficiencies for the second half of their service lives. Compared to the changes made to the Type 052-class, the upgrades to the Sovremenny have been far more impactful. The 48 Russian VLS cells for the Russian Shtil SAM have reportedly been replaced with 32 Chinese VLS cells. Although fewer in number, the PLAN’s logistical requirements are eased by not longer having to support this aging foreign system. Moreover, the new VLS can launch both Chinese HQ-16 SAMs as well as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missile. Other major changes include the installation of a new air search radar and the reported replacement of the supersonic Russian Moskit anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) with the analogous Chinese YJ-12. Overall, open source imagery analysis indicates that there are over a dozen identifiable changes to the armaments and sensors carried by the two upgraded Sovremennyy-class destroyers.
In 2015, China began upgrading the single Type 051B destroyer, underscoring the PLAN’s desire to not let even a single hull go to waste. After 16 years of service, the ship’s limited air defense capability received a dramatic improvement. The HQ-7 SAM system, with a dozen or so kilometers range, was been replaced with the HQ-16 SAM with a range of around 50 kilometers. More importantly, whereas the ship previously only carried 16 HQ-7 SAMs (eight ready to fire), it is now equipped with 32 VLS cells (all ready to fire) equipped with longer-ranged HQ-16 SAMs. To guide these missiles and improve aerial coverage, a more advanced Type 382 radar was installed. Other changes were made to the helicopter hangar, air defense guns, and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. All things considered, these upgrades have made the Type 051B destroyer a much more capable warship, one warranting consideration in military assessments for the next 10 or so years that it is expected to remain in service.
Upgrading Existing Aircraft
Every year, China adds dozens of new combat aircraft as well as large numbers of supporting platforms, such as airborne early warning aircraft (AEW). Over the past decade or so, the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) and the PLAN have fielded 11 KJ-200 AEW aircraft. Although a decent complement to the five larger and more capable KJ-2000 AEW aircraft that China fielded in the same period, the KJ-200’s design did not allow for 360-degree radar coverage, a major limitation. At the same time, observers of the Chinese military had evidence by 2013 that a new AEW aircraft was under development. More or less based on the same airframe as the KJ-200, the new KJ-500 used a different radar design which, amongst other things, allowed for 360-degree coverage.
Although this new platform heralded a coming improvement in Chinese AEW capabilities, it did not change the limited capabilities of the 11 existing KJ-200 aircraft, which had decades of service ahead of them. In 2016, observers caught their first glimpse of an upgraded KJ-200 airframe, reportedly designated the KJ-200A. The most obvious change was the addition of rather large new forward-looking radar to improve radar coverage. Whether changes were made to the internal components is unclear but not unlikely given China’s rapid advances in defense electronics. In late 2017, evidence emerged of a further upgrade for the KJ-200 fleet, one adding a SATCOM system and passive electronic sensors to complement the radar picture. Overall, then, although the number of KJ-200 aircraft remains fixed at 11 and even though they have been complemented by growing numbers of the newer KJ-500 aircraft, upgrades to the KJ-200 result in the continued improvement of China’s AEW without gaining the attention that new designs and new airframes do.
Chinese combat aircraft have also become progressively more capable, with existing aircraft receiving upgrades and subsequent batches of production also improved. In some cases, such as the J-10 fighter jet, changes are very visible. Observers comparing a picture of the first variant of the J-10 and a J-10B can identify a different radome, air intake design, and the addition of an infrared search & track (IRIST) sensor, for example. These, however, are differences between new-build aircraft and many of these changes, such as the different air intake design, cannot be backfitted to existing airframes.
Other developments, however, can be backfitted and analysts have photographic evidence that PLAAF and PLANAF aircraft receive upgrades, showing that these services do not commit all their resources to new construction. Combat aircraft have been upgraded with new radio antennae and the integration of new, more capable munitions. Some aircraft, such as J-11A fighter jets, have received missile approach warning system (MAWS) years after entering service. Others, such as the J-11B, have received electronic countermeasures (ECM) pods. Although not likely to elicit headlines in the manner of new aircraft designs or even new munitions, these small developments herald important advances in capabilities. In these cases, the result is that Chinese fighter aircraft have better defenses against adversary missiles and radar.
Although the underlying technologies can be integrated across all Chinese aircraft, these are platform specific upgrades. In contrast, munitions can be integrated onto a wide range of aircraft, as the case of the new PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile indicates. Other important Chinese munitions, such as the supersonic YJ-12 anti-ship cruise missile, have been integrated onto older aircraft, including the PLANAF’s H-6G bomber. ECM pods have also been integrated onto multiple designs, including several variants of the H-6 bomber family and the JH-7 fighter-bomber. Without such relatively unglamorous equipment, Chinese strike aircraft are likely to struggle against adversary air defenses. With these and their new munitions and supported by other PLAAF and PLANAF capabilities, however, they are increasingly capable of successfully completing their missions.
What to Look Out for in the Naval Realm
It remains to be seen how many in-service warships and aircraft will receive major upgrades and mid-life modernizations. It is possible, perhaps even likely, that China will start midlife upgrades for its two Type 052B-class destroyers in the next few years and the two Type 051C-class and the two newer Sovremennyy-class destroyers a few years later. If extant upgrade projects are a good indicator, then it is likely that these ships will have their Russian VLS systems replaced with multirole Chinese VLS systems. Sensors and communications are also likely to be upgraded, bringing them in line with the rest of the fleet.
Other things to look for are upgrade programs to backfit design alterations to ships well in advance of their midlife upgrade. For example, by the time construction of the class wraps up in 2019, just under half of the 30 strong Type 054A-class frigate fleet will be equipped with variable depth sonars (VDS). Although it is not essential for all large PLAN warships to be equipped with such a potent ASW sensor, the PLAN may want more VDS-equipped ships and may upgrade some of these recently commissioned frigates. Similarly, as advanced ASCMs, particularly those capable of hypersonic speeds, proliferate in the region, the PLAN may have to make heavy investment into upgrading radars, electronic countermeasures, and air defenses of even relatively new vessels. Today, China has just six destroyers needing upgrade in the next few years. In a decade, however, it may have to upgrade some two dozen currently very new destroyers to keep up with qualitative advances in the ASCM threat.
The secrecy veiling China’s submarine fleet and the contained nature of a submarine’s equipment make it difficult to discern if Chinese submarines are being upgraded and what the effects of these upgrades are. Although unconfirmed, stills from a recent Chinese news broadcast may indicate that China has lengthened one of its Russian-built Kilo-class submarines, presumably to install an air independent propulsion (AIP) system. Such an effort would not be without parallel, as Sweden demonstrated with the insertion of a hull section containing AIP onto its Västergötland-classsubmarines. Assuming that China has undertaken such an effort, then it may equip its 11 other Kilo-class and 13 Song-class submarines with AIP, complementing its 17 or so AIP-equipped Yuan-class submarines. This would give the PLAN over 40 AIP submarines even without major new construction and, more importantly, greatly improve the capabilities of its submarine force. Similarly, it remains to be seen if the munitions used by the PLAN submarine fleet are standardized and whether highly capable munitions, such as the new YJ-18 supersonic ASCM, are integrated onto all existing submarines.
What to Look Out for in the Aviation Realm
As production of fourth-generation fighter aircraft such as the J-10 and J-11 family eventually draws down and as the number of fourth and fifth-generation fighter aircraft in service approaches the PLA’s force structure requirements, counting the number of aircraft produced and tabulating the inventory will become increasingly limited in terms of analytic utility. Instead, analysts will have to pay greater attention to what the PLA does with its fielded hardware and assess the implications of upgrades. In some cases, these upgrades will be visible and can be identified through careful imagery analysis. For example, it is not enough to know that China has apparently developed and fielded a very capable air-to-air missile, such as the PL-15. The important questions are how many missiles are produced and how many aircraft are capable of fielding them. Unfortunately, the PLA’s secrecy renders impossible the answering of the first question. The second question, however, can be answered by observing and tracking which aircraft types fly with a given munition.
Similarly, although the radars mounted on Chinese fighter jets are becoming increasingly capable, China currently fields hundreds of competitive fourth generation aircraft with older, less capable radar designs. It remains to be seen whether China will mount the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars found on its latest J-10 and J-11 fighter jet variants on older variants of these aircraft. Similarly, with so many variants of each of these aircraft in service, the logistical burden of sustaining such a diverse fleet will grow until a standardization upgrade of avionics and electronics takes place, a process similar to the Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP) which the U.S. Air Force undertook to standardize its disparate F-16 fighter jet inventory. In other cases, however, the development of capabilities in fielded forces will be less visible. To understand advances in defense electronics, including those installed on upgraded airframes, analysts will have to examine Chinese technical journals and follow the activities of China’s electronics industry.
More Than Meets the Eye
The Chinese military has made dramatic improvements in its military capabilities. Many of these developments are both visible and measurable. Analysts know, for example, that the PLAN has commissioned dozens of new warships in the past few years. Similarly, they can discern that these warships are increasingly capable, featuring more advanced munitions and sensors. But improvements in Chinese military capabilities do not only come from the continued production and fielding of new hardware. Older systems – even those fielded over a decade ago – constitute the bulk of the inventory and are likely to remain in service for decades to come. Even with high rates of production, the annual flow of new equipment is just a small fraction of the total inventory that can be used in conflict at any given time.
Rather than devoting all of its resources into new production, the Chinese military is making greater investment into upgrades of its existing hardware. In the naval and aerial realms, this has considerably improved Chinese capabilities without getting the attention that newly built hardware receives upon entering service. With upgrades to the same existing platforms, China’s military is more capable than it was just a few years ago. As China’s force structure stabilizes and as the inventory of modern equipment matures, identifying and assessing upgrades of existing equipment will become ever more important to understanding Chinese military capabilities. Analysts would do well to pay more attention to these less visible aspects of Chinese military modernization.
«They will stand little chance of evading attacks by the new missile system.»
«It is critical to note when assessing its capabilities that the S-400 was designed largely in response to the United States’ development of advanced stealth aircraft, with the cash-strapped Russia forced to cancel Soviet era programs to develop stealth fighters of its own and instead rely on asymmetric surface-to-air batteries to ensure its continued ability to threaten the new American aircraft»
«Entering service just months after the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, the lethal new American jet held the S-400 to extremely high standards. This implies that the missile platform is well within its limits to target non-stealthy older aircraft such as the F-15. Taiwanese jets today, considerably lighter, slower, lower flying than the F-15 and operating with high radar and heat signatures by the standards of modern combat jets, have an extremely poor level of survivability against the S-400 even at extreme ranges.»
«Taiwan’s fleet of unspecialized light multirole aircraft — six wings comprised of Mirage 2000 jets and F-5E Freedom Fighters (one wings each) as well as F-16A Fighting Falcons and indigenous F-CK Ching Kuo jets (two each) — lack even basic stealth technologies and use designs dating back to the 1970s or earlier. They will stand little chance of evading attacks by the new missile system.»
«Other than fighters, support aircraft such as the E-2 Hawkeye, while potentially highly effective force multipliers when operating at safe distances, will be extremely vulnerable as soon as they leave the ground, due to their poor maneuverability and bulky airframes . With the S-400’s missiles incoming at speeds of Mach 8.2, in the case of the 48N6E2, and Mach 14 in the case of the 48N6E3 and 40N6, the missiles can be launched from command posts on the Chinese mainland and will reach their targets over Taiwan in a matter of seconds.»
«While Chinese air defense capabilities were negligible until the early 1990s, the acquisition of advanced Russian technologies, including several variants of the S-300, was key to building up an advanced network capable of protecting the country’s airspace from a potential air or missile attacks — shifting the balance of forces in the air strongly in Beijing’s favor»
«The S-400 today is set to complement existing air defense platforms such as the HQ-16 and HQ-17, while fielding a number of game-changing capabilities, including new surface-to-air missiles and anti-stealth technologies»
«Even without the support of other air defense and aerial assets, the S-400 alone poses a major threat not only to hostile aircraft operating within Chinese airspace, but also, due to its extreme range, to aircraft to well beyond Chinese shores.»
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“Si vis pacem, para bellum”.
Trenta anni or sono la Cina era politicamente, economicamente e militarmente un paese trascurabile.
Poi venne Deng Xiao Ping che mise in soffitta le ideologie ed instaurò un sano pragmatismo empirico.
Adesso è diventata una grande potenza e le sue forze armate iniziano a diventare davvero temibili.
L’acquisizione dei sistemi S-400 rende il suo spazio aereo ben difficilmente penetrabile, se non al costo di perdite intollerabili. Nessuna intenzione di sopravvalutare la potenza di fuoco degli S-400: solo che gli equilibri di forze hanno spostato significativamente le proprie frontiere.
Taiwan’s fighter jets will stand little chance of evading attacks by the new missile system.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) recent acquisition of Russian-made S-400 missile systems has considerably augmented what has already long been one of the world’s most formidable air defense networks, with wide-ranging implications for the balance of power in East Asia.
While Chinese air defense capabilities were negligible until the early 1990s, the acquisition of advanced Russian technologies, including several variants of the S-300, was key to building up an advanced network capable of protecting the country’s airspace from a potential air or missile attacks — shifting the balance of forces in the air strongly in Beijing’s favor. The S-400 today is set to complement existing air defense platforms such as the HQ-16 and HQ-17, while fielding a number of game-changing capabilities, including new surface-to-air missiles and anti-stealth technologies. Even without the support of other air defense and aerial assets, the S-400 alone poses a major threat not only to hostile aircraft operating within Chinese airspace, but also, due to its extreme range, to aircraft to well beyond Chinese shores.
While China’s acquisition of the S-400 is set to have considerable implications for a number of potential conflict zones, including the country’s ongoing disputes with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and with India over the border region, it is in the Taiwan Strait where the weapon’s deployment may well have the greatest impact. The S-400 is able to engage a phenomenal 80 aircraft simultaneously, equivalent to approximately one-third of Taiwan’s fighting fleet, allocating two missiles per target. In addition, the missile system’s 48N6E2, 48N6DM/48N6E3, and 40N6 missiles retain ranges of 200 km, 250 km and 400 km respectively, all giving extensive coverage over Taiwanese airspace. Thus the PLA’s acquisition of the S-400 allows it to enforce an effective no fly zone over the territories under Taipei’s control in the event of cross-strait war.
It is critical to note when assessing its capabilities that the S-400 was designed largely in response to the United States’ development of advanced stealth aircraft, with the cash-strapped Russia forced to cancel Soviet era programs to develop stealth fighters of its own and instead rely on asymmetric surface-to-air batteries to ensure its continued ability to threaten the new American aircraft. Entering service just months after the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, the lethal new American jet held the S-400 to extremely high standards. This implies that the missile platform is well within its limits to target non-stealthy older aircraft such as the F-15. Taiwanese jets today, considerably lighter, slower, lower flying than the F-15 and operating with high radar and heat signatures by the standards of modern combat jets, have an extremely poor level of survivability against the S-400 even at extreme ranges.
Taiwan’s fleet of unspecialized light multirole aircraft — six wings comprised of Mirage 2000 jets and F-5E Freedom Fighters (one wings each) as well as F-16A Fighting Falcons and indigenous F-CK Ching Kuo jets (two each) — lack even basic stealth technologies and use designs dating back to the 1970s or earlier. They will stand little chance of evading attacks by the new missile system.
Other than fighters, support aircraft such as the E-2 Hawkeye, while potentially highly effective force multipliers when operating at safe distances, will be extremely vulnerable as soon as they leave the ground, due to their poor maneuverability and bulky airframes . With the S-400’s missiles incoming at speeds of Mach 8.2, in the case of the 48N6E2, and Mach 14 in the case of the 48N6E3 and 40N6, the missiles can be launched from command posts on the Chinese mainland and will reach their targets over Taiwan in a matter of seconds.
While Taiwan’s air fleet already faced a considerable challenge operating against China’s existing air defense batteries such as the HQ-9B and elite air superiority fighters such as the J-11B and Su-35, the emergence of the S-400 not only eliminates an offensive or retaliatory strike role for Taiwan’s air fleet but it also seriously hinders its ability to undertake even very basic defensive operations. As Taiwan continues to invest heavily in costly but seemingly inconsequential modernizations for its aging fighters, from new cruise missiles to stronger radars, the armed forces would do well to consider the threat the S-400 poses to the continued viability of their fleet.
Possible counters to the new weapons system could include heavy investments in electronic warfare and potentially the acquisition of stealth fighters which, at least at extreme ranges, should retain a degree of survivability against the S-400. With the situation for Taiwan’s air force looking increasingly bleak, the military may well move to concentrate more heavily on acquiring and modernizing its own ground based surface-to-air missile systems as an asymmetric response – an effective means of denying the PLA Air Force access to its airspace even if its own fighter fleet remains grounded.
L’8 settembre 1380 i russi guidati dal Granduca di Vladimir, Dmitrij Ivanovič di Mosca, sconfissero l’armata dell’Orda d’Oro con gli alleati lituani. Fu l’inizio di una lunga guerra di liberazione che terminò con la battaglia sull’Ugra, un secolo dopo.
Nessuna sorpresa quindi che quando la Prussia Orientale passò nel 1945 da tedesca a russa con il nome di Circondariato Federale Nordoccidentale, Oblast di Kaliningrad, nella ridenominazione dei paesi e delle cittadine una avesse assunto il glorioso nome di Kulikovo.
L’Oblast di Kaliningrad è altamente strategico. È l’estrema punta occidentale della Russia ed i suoi porti non ghiacciano durante l’inverno: sono infatti sede della Flotta del Baltico. Con l’acuirsi dei dissensi tra occidentali e russi, quell’area strategica è stata riarmata.
Una cosa è certa. Se in passato gli occidentali trovarono una buona ragione per andare a morire per Danzica, oggi i russi ne hanno altrettanta per andare a morire per Kaliningrad.
«The anti-aircraft systems, which have a range of 400 km, will then be deployed to secure the air space along Russia’s north-western border»
«Lanciabile da una piattaforma mobile, l’Iskander viaggia a mach 6.2 – è ipersonico -: in tre o quattro minuti primi arriva da Kaliningrad a Berlino. Quasi nemmeno il tempo di poter dare l’allarme. …. Può portare testate convenzionali ma anche una bomba termonucleare da 50 kTon»
«During flight it can maneuver at different altitudes and trajectories and can turn at up to 20 to 30 G to evade anti-ballistic missiles»
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Chiariti questi elementi di base, entriamo nel merito.
La Federation of American Scientists (FAS) ha rilasciato un documento che suggerirebbe quanto segue.
«Russia may have significantly upgraded its nuclear bunker in Kaliningrad»
«The photos reportedly showed that Russia may have modernized the nuclear weapons storage bunker which is located in a sensitive enclave of Russian territory which is between Poland and the Baltics.»
«one of three underground bunkers at the location was excavated and deepened before it appeared to have been covered over in recent months, “presumably to return (to) operational status soon.”»
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Il problema è drammaticamente semplice.
Usualmente le superpotenze atomiche schierano i loro arsenali nucleari molto addentro i loro territori: chiaro indizio di quanto essi costituiscano elemento deterrente, di difesa.
Ma i missili balistici intercontinentali sono abbastanza facilmente rilevabili dai radar avversi e, soprattutto, con un margine di tempo sufficiente per mettere in atto tutte le opportune contromisure. I sistemi anti – missile da ambo le parti sono riferiti in grado di abbattere un buon numero di testate in arrivo.
L’introduzione di missili a corto raggio ma ipersonici ha cambiato le esigenze dello scacchiere.
Lanciabili da mezzi mobili, i missili ipersonici arriverebbero sul bersaglio in tempi così ristretti da rendere impossibile l’attivazione dei sistemi anti – missile. Non solo. Ma gli attuali sistemi radar e missili – antimissile non sarebbero in grado di intercettarli.
Sapere che l’Oblast di Kaliningrad rigurgita di questi missili e che a Kulikovo sono stati costruiti grandiosi depositi per armamenti nucleari non concorrerebbe a lasciar fare soni tranquilli.
During the past two years, the Russian military has carried out a major renovation of what appears to be an active nuclear weapons storage site in the Kaliningrad region, about 50 kilometers from the Polish border.
A Digital Globe satellite image purchased via Getty Images, and several other satellite images viewable on TerraServer, show one of three underground bunkers near Kulikovo being excavated in 2016, apparently renovated, and getting covered up again in 2018 presumably to return operational status soon.
The latest upgrade obviously raises questions about what the operational status of the site is. Does it now, has it in the past, or will it in the future store nuclear warheads for Russian dual-capable non-strategic weapon systems deployed in the region? If so, does this signal a new development in Russian nuclear weapons strategy in Kaliningrad, or is it a routine upgrade of an aging facility for an existing capability? The satellite images do not provide conclusive answers to these questions. The Russian government has on numerous occasions stated that all its non-strategic nuclear warheads are kept in “central” storage, a formulation normally thought to imply larger storage sites further inside Russia. So the Kulikovo site could potentially function as a forward storage site that would be supplied with warheads from central storage sites in a crisis.
The features of the site suggest it could potentially serve Russian Air Force or Navy dual-capable forces. But it could also be a joint site, potentially servicing nuclear warheads for both Air Force, Navy, Army, air-defense, and costal defense forces in the region. It is to my knowledge the only nuclear weapons storage site in the Kaliningrad region. Despite media headlines, the presence of nuclear-capable forces in that area is not new; Russia deployed dual-capable forces in Kaliningrad during the Cold War and has continued to do so after. But nearly all of those weapon systems have recently been, or are in the process of being modernized. The Kulikovo site site is located:
– About 8 kilometers (5 miles) miles from the Chkalovsk air base (54.7661°, 20.3985°), which has been undergoing major renovation since 2012 and hosts potentially dual-capable strike aircraft.
– About 27 kilometers (16 miles) from the coastal-defense site near Donskoye (54.9423°, 19.9722°), which recently switched from the SSC-1B Sepal to the P-800 Bastion coastal-defense system. The Bastion system uses the SS-N-26 (3M-55, Yakhont) missile, that U.S. Intelligence estimates is “nuclear possible.”
– About 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the Baltic Sea Fleet base at Baltiysk (54.6400°, 19.9175°), which includes nuclear-capable submarines, destroyers, frigates, and corvettes.
– About 96 kilometers (60 miles) from the 152nd Detachment Missile Brigade at Chernyakovsk (54.6380°, 21.8266°), which has recently been upgraded from the SS-21 SRBM to the SS-26 (Islander) SRBM. Unlike other SS-26 bases, however, Chernyakovsk has not (yet) been added a new missile storage facility.
– Near half a dozen S-300 and S-400 air-defense units deployed in the region. The 2018 NPR states that Russian’s air-defense forces are dual-capable. These sites are located 20 kilometers (13 miles) to 98 kilometers (60 miles) from the storage site.
So there are many potential clients for the Kulikovo nuclear weapons storage site. Similar upgrades have been made to other Russian nuclear weapons storage sites over the base decade, including for the Navy’s nuclear submarine base on the Kamchatka peninsula. There are also ongoing upgrades to other weapons storage sites in the Kaliningrad region, but they do not appear to be nuclear.
The issue of Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons has recently achieved new attention because of the Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, which accused Russia of increasing the number and types of its non-strategic nuclear weapons. The Review stated Russia has “up to 2,000” non-strategic nuclear weapons, indirectly confirming FAS’ estimate.
NATO has for several years urged Russia to move its nuclear weapons further back from NATO borders. With Russia’s modernization of its conventional forces, there should be even less, not more, justification for upgrading nuclear facilities in Kaliningrad.