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Russia is scrapping two of its four battlecruisers


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#1
funkervogt

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Yesterday, Russia announced they are going to scrap two of their four Kirov-class battlecruisers due to a lack of money. It's another setback for Russia's military, and their decline is certain to continue in the future, while China surges ahead. 

 

The USSR built the Kirov-class battlecruisers late in the Cold War to hunt down and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers and their accompanying ships. The battlecruisers are in many ways the most powerful surface ships afloat, since they are nuclear-powered, are very large (827 ft long vs. 567 ft long for the U.S. Ticonderoga cruisers), and carry large numbers of long-range missiles. 

 

During the 1990s, Russia ran out of money to keep the battlecruisers sailing, so it permanently docked three of them. As late as 2014, the Russian government was claiming that it would fix up those three and return them to service. Yesterday, it finally gave up the lie and announced that two of the docked ships would be scrapped. 

 

Russia has no credible plans to build new surface warships that are as powerful as the Kirov-class. Most of the Russian Navy's ships are decaying relics built during the Cold War, and in recent years, they've only been able to build small or medium-sized new ships. China already has or is close to surpassing Russia in terms of shipbuilding technology and warship quality. 

 

https://nationalinte...heres-why-53827

https://en.wikipedia...#Battlecruisers



#2
funkervogt

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Meanwhile, China built four Type 055 advanced missile destroyers in 13 months, and is now building four more. The Type 055 is just a notch below the U.S. Navy's current cruisers and destroyers. 

 

https://www.scmp.com...oyer-will-guard


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#3
Sciencerocks

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Russia is yesterdays news pretty much as a military power. All they really have is a aging nuclear arsenal and if they didn't have that they'd be compared with Iran. 



#4
funkervogt

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Yes, nuclear weapons are the only thing keeping Russia a world power. Without that, I think there would be a real chance of China annexing the Russian Far East. 



#5
Maximus

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That's not entirely true, even without its nuclear arsenal, Russia still has a very capable military. Its airforce has some of the most advanced fighter jets in the world, including a huge fleet of Sukhoi Su-27 (809 total!) and its improved derivative, the Su-35. Not to mention that Russia is about to become one of only 3 countries operating endogenously developed 5th generation fighter jets (Su-57). That's not even going into its massive inventory of tanks, which although mostly dates from Soviet times, still boasts staggering numbers (25,000+ of just the T-72). They're also working on the T-14, which although not slated to replace the current fleet of T-72's, will still give Russia the privilege of being among a few countries to operate their own 3rd generation tanks. Oh yeah, and there's also the huge number of SAM systems, rocket artillery, etc. 

 

I think that while it's pretty clear China will leave Russia in the dust when it comes to military, Russia will still remain a major military power, certainly a few levels above a country like Iran. China could certainly seize the Far East if it wanted to, but the cost would be huge, even without nuclear weapons.


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#6
Erowind

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Russia in the case of war also has immense natural resource reserves and once industrialized and mobilized would be one hell of a logistical powerhouse. The Russians have an immense advantage in any defensive land war due to the sheer size and terrain of Russia itself. 


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Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.


#7
funkervogt

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That's not entirely true, even without its nuclear arsenal, Russia still has a very capable military. Its airforce has some of the most advanced fighter jets in the world, including a huge fleet of Sukhoi Su-27 (809 total!) and its improved derivative, the Su-35. Not to mention that Russia is about to become one of only 3 countries operating endogenously developed 5th generation fighter jets (Su-57). That's not even going into its massive inventory of tanks, which although mostly dates from Soviet times, still boasts staggering numbers (25,000+ of just the T-72). They're also working on the T-14, which although not slated to replace the current fleet of T-72's, will still give Russia the privilege of being among a few countries to operate their own 3rd generation tanks. Oh yeah, and there's also the huge number of SAM systems, rocket artillery, etc. 

 

I think that while it's pretty clear China will leave Russia in the dust when it comes to military, Russia will still remain a major military power, certainly a few levels above a country like Iran. China could certainly seize the Far East if it wanted to, but the cost would be huge, even without nuclear weapons.

On paper, Russia's military has large numbers of tanks, warplanes, artillery, and other pieces of military hardware. However, at any given time, most of it can't be put in the field because it is in a state of disrepair. Out of that minority of weapons that could be put into action, a significant fraction would quickly break down thanks to poor maintenance and/or manufacturing defects. An embarrassingly high percentage of its missiles and artillery shells would be duds. Russia's economy is so weak that it would have major problems keeping its forces supplied with fuel, ammo, and spare parts to sustain a prolonged war against a peer. 

 

To be clear, if all the world's nuclear weapons vanished tomorrow and it were magically impossible to build new ones, I don't think China would immediately invade Russia. However, I could easily see it happening in as little as 10 years. 

 

Most of Russia's population is west of the Ural mountains, and the road and rail links between there are the Russian Far East are sparse. An adversary could cut off the Far East in a matter of hours by bombing a few bridges. China has a major population center around Beijing, which is much closer to the Russian Far East than Moscow is. Once China seized Vladivostok--which is only 20 miles from the Chinese border--the campaign would be halfway finished since it would deprive Russia of its principal Pacific naval base and sole warm water port on that ocean. 

 

 

 

Russia in the case of war also has immense natural resource reserves and once industrialized and mobilized would be one hell of a logistical powerhouse. The Russians have an immense advantage in any defensive land war due to the sheer size and terrain of Russia itself. 

China also has immense natural resources, is already industrialized, and in fact has a much larger economy than Russia. China has an immense advantage in an offensive land war in the Russian Far East due to the its nearly 10:1 population advantage and to a geographical proximity advantage. 

 

The Russo-Japanese War is an important precedent for an East Asian adversary defeating Russia in the Pacific theater. Logistical problems, unpreparedness, and a lack of money were important factors behind Russia's defeat. 



#8
Alislaws

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Its reasonable that there would be some build up and escalation in tensions between the two in advance of the war. So both sides would have time to prepare and that could change things in favour of Russia, if they prepared well but the 10:1 population advantage is probably insurmountable In the long term. 

 

Russia's land area advantage would likely matter much less in the modern era where aircraft are such a huge part of things. but Russia would have time to fortify the Urals or something which might stop china in the no-nuke scenario. 

 

Also I think a lot of the above replies were less disputing the China>Russia point you were making and more aimed at disputing the Russia=Iran statement from SR.

 

Having the 3rd most powerful military in the world is hardy anything to be ashamed of even If it means Russia is firmly behind China and the USA.



#9
funkervogt

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Its reasonable that there would be some build up and escalation in tensions between the two in advance of the war. So both sides would have time to prepare and that could change things in favour of Russia, if they prepared well but the 10:1 population advantage is probably insurmountable In the long term. 

I doubt Russia would be better at preparing than China. 

 

 

 

Russia's land area advantage would likely matter much less in the modern era where aircraft are such a huge part of things. but Russia would have time to fortify the Urals or something which might stop china in the no-nuke scenario. 

I never suggested a war where China would try to take over all of Russia--I specifically envisioned China trying to annex the Russian Far East. Look at this map and imagine China taking over everything east of Lake Baikal and the Lena River. Russia would be deprived of access to the Pacific, China would gain access to the Arctic, and the boundary I've described would be highly defensible thanks to natural terrain features. 

 

https://en.wikipedia...sian_rivers.png

 

 

 

Also I think a lot of the above replies were less disputing the China>Russia point you were making and more aimed at disputing the Russia=Iran statement from SR.

OK. I also don't think that Iran's military is nearly as strong as Russia's. 


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#10
PhoenixRu

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On paper, Russia's military has large numbers of tanks, warplanes, artillery, and other pieces of military hardware. However, at any given time, most of it can't be put in the field because it is in a state of disrepair. Out of that minority of weapons that could be put into action, a significant fraction would quickly break down thanks to poor maintenance and/or manufacturing defects. An embarrassingly high percentage of its missiles and artillery shells would be duds. Russia's economy is so weak that it would have major problems keeping its forces supplied with fuel, ammo, and spare parts to sustain a prolonged war against a peer. 

 

This is just a silly caricature. Perhaps, I must not even argue. Let enemies believe their own propagandist myths. And the more they believe, the more painful will be their clash with reality, when the time comes. 

 

As for those two ships: yes, this is sad, but they were too old and their upgrade to modern standards would be, perhaps, even more expensive than to build the modern analogues from scratch. Don't worry, the new ones are constantly being built...

 

Chinese invasion? This is HIGHLY unlikely. The goal of any war and the main criteria of victory is such: the postwar situation must be better (for invader) than prewar one. Other words, gain must outweigh pain. In case of China vs Russia, this is just impossible to reach.

 

Other hand, Western invasion is quite likely and the observed behavior (deeds, not words) of Western bloc indicate to their serious preparations. Unlike Chinese, Westerners are hope that Russia is already unable to inflict pain: rusty tanks, dysfunctional missiles and all that (see the post i quoted)... yeah, just like Iran, but bigger.

 

One thing, hovewer, is true:

 

Russia's economy is so weak that it would have major problems keeping its forces supplied with fuel, ammo, and spare parts to sustain a prolonged war against a peer. 

 

That's why nuclear retaliation will quickly become likely, if not the only option. Of course, Russia have to be very careful with that. As i already wrote somewhere, attacking London or New York will be suicide. Being Putin, I'd demonstratively nuked only the Eastern European slave states (minor NATO members) and sent ultimatum to their masters: "Did you see what just happened with Bucharest and Warsaw? Now you know what's on the stake... and now let's just calm down and discuss our disagreements... anyway, we have nothing to lose, how about you?"



#11
Alislaws

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Pretty much all discussions of attacking Russia (by china, or Europe or anyone really) have to start with "Assuming all or Russia's nukes disappeared, or some sort of impenetrable nuclear defence was created"

 

Because in any war that Russia was actively losing, and where the motherland was being invaded, nuclear options would be used. Especially if the war was straight up invasion. (Russia probably wouldn't escalate to nukes in a proxy war in Afghanistan or Syria or something, i'd guess, but against any full on invasion of Russia their use would be totally justified). 

 

It wouldn't make sense to invade the USA, France, China, UK etc. for the same reason 

 

(If some sort of magic impenetrable anti nuke shield was created, worst case Russia could just get people to walk small nukes into enemy countries. If for some reason they don't have time to do this they could just give nukes to the enemies of whoever is invading them. So if the USA conquers Russia in like a few days somehow, they'd be all smug till it turned out loads of terrorist organisations who hate the USA now have nuclear bombs.)

 

Nukes are a pretty great deterrent to war is what I'm saying. 


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#12
Yuli Ban

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This thread also assumes Iran doesn't have a formidable military. 


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#13
Alislaws

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Well It assumes the Iranian military is not the third most powerful in the world which is where it is generally agreed that Russia sits, (assuming the main point of the thread is correct and China is currently ahead of Russia, most rankings still put Russia in #2 slot).

 

https://www.globalfi...ies-listing.asp (This website ranks everyone and if you click a country you can go through and see why they score what they score, for anyone who, like me, doesn't know a lot of the details)

 

Iran is 14th in this ranking.

 

I think in a Russia vs Iran war, we could expect Russia to win*

 

(*the conventional war, then you'd get the asymmetrical warfare bit which would likely end with Russia giving up, if what you have said in the past about terrain etc. in Iran is true, or maybe genocide if they weren't prepared to give up and couldn't manage to win hearts and minds etc.)



#14
PhoenixRu

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Pretty much all discussions of attacking Russia (by china, or Europe or anyone really) have to start with "Assuming all or Russia's nukes disappeared, or some sort of impenetrable nuclear defence was created"

 

Not at all. In general, invasion becomes possible when invader is sure (or seriously hope) that these nukes will not be used. Not "they're technically unable" but "they will not dare". NATO has every reason to think this way.



#15
Maximus

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https://www.globalfi...ies-listing.asp (This website ranks everyone and if you click a country you can go through and see why they score what they score, for anyone who, like me, doesn't know a lot of the details)

 

Interesting website, but it associates military power with quantity, with absolutely no mention of quality. I like how it includes resources, geography, etc. but they could really take it to the next level by looking at the technological differences in terms of military equipment. For example, I mentioned the US, China, and Russia are the only* 3 countries which developed and are currently operating 5th generation fighter jets (with Russia lagging far behind in this area as they will only start deploying 5th gen jets this year). Sure, these aircraft aren't invincible weapons of mass destruction sent from the gods, but they do give you a number of operational capabilities that are simply not available to militaries without them (i.e. stealth, electronic warfare, etc.). A war between Iran and Russia, or Iran and the US would be very asymmetrical indeed, and I'm not talking about hybrid warfare. Of course, fighter jets won't win the war on their own, but they're part of a larger equation in which technology undoubtedly plays a huge role. I mean, just remember what the US did to the Iraqi army during the Gulf War. I'm not saying 2019 Iran is like pre-Gulf War Iraq, but this is an example of how numbers don't tell the whole story. On paper, Iraq had a strong military force; in the real world, it got absolutely decimated. It would be a much closer in a war with Iran, but the fact is that the technological gap is still there.  

 

So yeah, that report would be much more interesting if it would also take technological differences into account.

 

* There are other countries like Turkey and Japan which have developed or are developing 5th generation jets, but these are either far from entering service (Turkey) or just experimental aircraft (Japan). Also, I'm not counting exports to allied countries (i.e. Japan and Britain buying F-35s).



#16
PhoenixRu

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So yeah, that report would be much more interesting if it would also take technological differences into account.

 

Yes, would be much more interesting. From what i read on our military forums, the significant part of western stuff are terribly outdated and simply dysfunctional. For example, the "legendary" US tanks, artillery and air-defence systems are mostly outdated crap, they can win only in hollywood movies or against knowingly weaker enemy (like Iraq).

 

You may call me "brainwashed" and so on. Maybe, but no more than typical westerner believing and repeating the standard set of "our quality against their quantity... rusty missiles... human waves... no-no, only due to the harsh winter..."

 

PS I've recently read a book about Northern war (1700-1721) between Russia and Sweden. According to his letters, His Majesty Swedish King fell victim to these very stereotypes. He sincerely believed that 30 thousand men will be enough to defeat the "numberless hordes" of Muscovites. He was laughing at very idea that those Muscovites may have some strategy. What's worse, he learned nothing from his defeat: "after so many victories, the evil fate destroyed my army"... a typical westerner.



#17
Yuli Ban

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Well It assumes the Iranian military is not the third most powerful in the world which is where it is generally agreed that Russia sits, (assuming the main point of the thread is correct and China is currently ahead of Russia, most rankings still put Russia in #2 slot).

 

https://www.globalfi...ies-listing.asp (This website ranks everyone and if you click a country you can go through and see why they score what they score, for anyone who, like me, doesn't know a lot of the details)

 

Iran is 14th in this ranking.

 

I think in a Russia vs Iran war, we could expect Russia to win*

 

(*the conventional war, then you'd get the asymmetrical warfare bit which would likely end with Russia giving up, if what you have said in the past about terrain etc. in Iran is true, or maybe genocide if they weren't prepared to give up and couldn't manage to win hearts and minds etc.)

Again, you'd expect this, but it definitely wouldn't be easy:

https://www.futureti...vasion-of-iran/


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#18
Maximus

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So yeah, that report would be much more interesting if it would also take technological differences into account.

 

Yes, would be much more interesting. From what i read on our military forums, the significant part of western stuff are terribly outdated and simply dysfunctional. For example, the "legendary" US tanks, artillery and air-defence systems are mostly outdated crap, they can win only in hollywood movies or against knowingly weaker enemy (like Iraq).

 

PS I've recently read a book about Northern war (1700-1721) between Russia and Sweden. According to his letters, His Majesty Swedish King fell victim to these very stereotypes. He sincerely believed that 30 thousand men will be enough to defeat the "numberless hordes" of Muscovites. He was laughing at very idea that those Muscovites may have some strategy. What's worse, he learned nothing from his defeat: "after so many victories, the evil fate destroyed my army"... a typical westerner.

 

Well, I'm not sure about most Western equipment being outdated--unless we're talking about the Germans--but I'll agree to disagree here. In any case, that still proves my point; even outdated US technology was able to annihilate Iraq's army, which was actually quite massive. We're not talking about the US, or NATO versus Russia here; the point is that the US, or Russia, or China aren't "marginally" more powerful militarily than countries such as Iran--they're massively more powerful. A better representation would be a bar graph of the individual scores, with the bars declining significantly in height after the US, China, and Russia. 

 

I don't know much about the Northern War, but I'm guessing the technological gap between Swedes and Russians wasn't that significant. War back then consisted of two sides lining up to face each other on a flat field, and firing their muskets at each other. Each time a side fired, the front row of the other side would get decimated, and vice-versa. Firstly, the muskets they used were largely identical. A Swedish musket may have been marginally better than a Russian musket (not saying this is true, just using this as an example), but it was still a crappy, primitive wooden gun. It's not like a Swedish musket gave a Swedish soldier the ability to sneak undetected to the Russian commander's tent and assassinate him. In many cases, such as at close range, muskets were actually worse than swords, as the muskets took so long to reload. At this primitive level of technology we're talking about here, a marginal advantage in quality is almost meaningless when faced with much greater numbers with slightly worse equipment.

 

However, as technology has progressed, so too have the consequences of a gap in technology. For a brutally simplified example; country A has stealth fighters equipped with GPS guided bombs (which also requires a GPS network), while country B has normal jet fighters with laser guided bombs. If they go to war, not only can country A sneak past country B's radars and destroy energy, communication, industrial, and transport infrastructure, but it can also destroy country B's fighters before they even leave their hangars. Country B just doesn't have access to this strategy because of its lack of stealth technology. If they tried it, country A would have plenty of warning to get their jets up and running in order to set up a defense. 

 

Obviously country A doesn't rely on the stealth bombing campaign to completely knock B out, but the damage caused will be great enough to give A a huge advantage going forward. Actual victory depends on how country A can take advantage of this first strike ability.



#19
PhoenixRu

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I don't know much about the Northern War, but I'm guessing the technological gap between Swedes and Russians wasn't that significant. War back then consisted of two sides lining up to face each other on a flat field, and firing their muskets at each other...

 

The key things were:

 

1) Discipline and organization. This wasn't so easy to train former peasants to stay in line and shoot synchronously. In this regard, Swedish army was the best in Europe and far ahead of Russia. Actually, they could win the whole war, but Swedish king, after his first victories over Russia, distracted to "stronger" enemies like Poland and Silesia. He thought that "Muscovites" will stay the same...

 

2) Strategy. Swedish king, till the very end of war, did not see the Russian strategy: avoid battles, do not defend cities, attack supplies and small garrisons... for him (judging by his letters), this all seemed the random and unsuccessful attacks of cowardly Asian hordes. And this way he was advancing "from victory to victory" till the bitter end (under Poltava in 1709).

 

For a brutally simplified example; country A has stealth fighters equipped with GPS guided bombs (which also requires a GPS network), while country B has normal jet fighters with laser guided bombs. If they go to war, not only can country A sneak past country B's radars and destroy energy, communication, industrial, and transport infrastructure, but it can also destroy country B's fighters before they even leave their hangars. Country B just doesn't have access to this strategy because of its lack of stealth technology. If they tried it, country A would have plenty of warning to get their jets up and running in order to set up a defense. 

 

Well, this example is not "brutally simplified". I'm not a big expert in aviation but, again, from what I read stealth fighters aren't such a great advantage as you think:

 

1) They're terribly expensive. This mean you can not use them as usual front aviation, but only for precise strikes here and there. To do that, you must be sure they will stay invisible, but...

 

2) Actually, they're not invisible, Russian air-defence perfectly sees them (or, to be exact, their traces). And as soon as they were noticed, they becoming the few-billion-worth targets.

 

In short, this may be a decisive advantage in some "peacekeeping mission" against some small country, but doesn't make much sense in large scale war of equals.



#20
Maximus

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The key things were:

 

For a brutally simplified example; country A has stealth fighters equipped with GPS guided bombs (which also requires a GPS network), while country B has normal jet fighters with laser guided bombs. If they go to war, not only can country A sneak past country B's radars and destroy energy, communication, industrial, and transport infrastructure, but it can also destroy country B's fighters before they even leave their hangars. Country B just doesn't have access to this strategy because of its lack of stealth technology. If they tried it, country A would have plenty of warning to get their jets up and running in order to set up a defense. 

 

Well, this example is not "brutally simplified". I'm not a big expert in aviation but, again, from what I read stealth fighters aren't such a great advantage as you think:

 

1) They're terribly expensive. This mean you can not use them as usual front aviation, but only for precise strikes here and there. To do that, you must be sure they will stay invisible, but...

 

2) Actually, they're not invisible, Russian air-defence perfectly sees them (or, to be exact, their traces). And as soon as they were noticed, they becoming the few-billion-worth targets.

 

In short, this may be a decisive advantage in some "peacekeeping mission" against some small country, but doesn't make much sense in large scale war of equals.

 

1) This may have been true for the first stealth bombers, but not today. Today they are expensive, but not terribly expensive. Look at the F-35; it's a multi-role stealth fighter family, and the whole point of building it was to have a stealth fighter produced in massive numbers for the US military (the US plans to source 2443 F35s eventually). With these numbers, you can enjoy the advantages of stealth technology without worrying about the price of losing one here and there. Let's also not forget that stealth fighters aren't flying bricks either, they're deadly fighter jets in their own right. The F-22 is considered to be one of, if not the deadliest fighter in the world. Speaking of which, the US also planned to acquire 750 F-22s before the short-sighted decision (Obama's fault here) to cancel production because for some incomprehensible reason, the Americans believed there was no chance China and Russia would discover stealth technology this century. With the F35, it's clear that stealth fighters will form the backbone of the US air-force, so they surely will not be limited to precision strikes only. China also has the economic might build an airforce around stealth, but it's production of the J-20 is going very slowly (only 20 produced so far). Russia is clearly lagging behind in this area with only 10 prototypes built, so in Russia's case, yes, the airforce would be very hesitant to deploy the Su-57 for fear of losing it. 

 

2) Yes and no. Stealth fighters are designed to be avoid detection in higher frequency bands. However, low frequency radars, like the OTH radar systems you talk about, have  always had no trouble detecting that a stealth jet is flying around (somewhere). These radars can't pinpoint the exact location of the jet, however. Of course, this isn't nothing; once you know the jets are there, you can send your own up to chase it, or try to shoot it down. But there are two reasons why stealth still might give you an advantage; time and logistics. Depending on the range of your OTH radar, from the time you detect the jet, to the time your own jets are up in the air, the stealth jet may have already dropped its payload. Maybe it even drops its payload on the OTH radar, which given the logistics of most OTH radars, would be very easy. Russia's system is designed to be mobile, but this sacrifices range. The really long-range radars such as those Iran has built are huge installations that consume a lot of power and can't be moved around. Perfect targets for a cruise missile bombing campaign, or perhaps even electronic warfare. Stealth isn't invincible, but neither are radars. 

 

But this brings me to the main point; who has access to such radars? Only China, Russia, the US, France, the UK, Iran, and Australia. Again this isn't really about the US vs. Russia, but more so about the US or Russia vs. a smaller military power. So yes, my simplified example is obviously false if you factor in OTH radars (that's why I said it was simplified). But the message behind the example is still true; if country B doesn't have OTH radars then the technological gap will leave it vulnerable to a stealth first-strike. The importance of technology is still there. Just look at the military and war news on here; there's a reason why countries pour billions into R&D--more than ever, technological progress is what militaries rely on to remain relevant. To tie this back to stealth, quantum radars may be on the horizon, which would make stealth obsolete. Now, the country with the quantum radar would have a massive advantage over the country without it. Same goes for ABM technology. It just seems to me that the report is incomplete without considering how advanced each military is.






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