Let’s break down in depth exactly what happened on the night of the Patriot attack and catch up on the known facts and speculations. Here’s what is known so far: Russia was said to have conducted a layered, multi-vectored attack which came from various sides including north, east, and south, which included both Geran drones as screening cover, Kalibr missiles, Kh-101s, and finally the Kinzhals. The attack also likely included other cheaper types of drones as decoys to saturate the air defense, and in fact Kiev does attest to that, as in their official ‘shoot down’ graphic they include several drones they comically ID’d as Orlan ‘Supercum’ which was later changed to ‘Supercam’.
Simplicius, this is the best of the best. Simply your Flag Ship article.
US/NATO forces like to prepare the battlefield with months of air campaigns SEADs before even letting a soldier touch the ground like in 1991 Iraq. Defensive systems such as the Patriot/S-300s etc must operate at 100% efficiency and effectiveness otherwise it is a failure as opposed to offensive systems. You mentioned that perhaps the Patriots were possibly 10-20% effective. I will venture out to say even if the system was say 85% effective that is still a failure for a defensive system for a 2 missile shoot per target. Oversaturation of an 85% effective system will render its mission kill and incapacitation. Sorry if I repeat a lot of similar statements. This war is a 'MAD' war in that Missiles, Artillery and Drones are the dominating factors and the Russians are FORCING the battle to the ground theater as opposed to the Air Theater
One final word. I always hate to use absolute words with the Russian MOD and Russian bloggers use such as 'impossible' Nothing in science and engineering is impossible. The Titanic was thought to be unsinkable. While the Khinzal is difficult to intercept, it is not inherently impossible. The US was studying hit to kill technologies in the 1960s and I would venture they have had a lot of good relative success. Therefore I urge people not to use such terms. Thanks
Interesting that SEAD goes last, sort of Wild Weasel in reverse.
I remember reading years ago about how Israel took out all the Syrian air defense network in Lebanon in 1982. They sent UAVs up. The Syrian radars spotted the UAVs and then Israel bombed the radars. Once the radars were out, the rest of the system was effectively dead.
"... First, let’s break down how such an attack happens. Most logically, the cheaper decoy drones are sent in first to see if they can bait out any of the air defense into opening up on them. ..."
Possible that Russia did something very similar with a twist.
1. Orlan's and Geran's are inexpensive, so Ykraine has a dilemma: track or let the UAV go to its final target
2. The radars have trouble because those UAVs are slow, but they can pick them up
So Russia could fly the Geran, Ukraine can turn on the Patriot targeting radar as normal, and the coordinates are now locked for a Kinzhal kill.
Now Ukraine sees something moving at hypersonic speed on the radar and is forced to discharge the Patriot missile batteries to avoid having massive cook offs as the Kinzhal hits its target.
If my country had any sense, they would fire the nitwits at the CIA and NSA and hire you. I was Infantry, so not a rocket scientist by any means. I actually understand hypersonics now. Excellent work sir!
Fantastic detailled sitrep, probably the best to date?
You know more than all NATO generals Simplicius. Top job will multi share it.
Evidence US Plans WWIII v Russia, China and ??
Mr. Simplicius has some competition. 😂
Another wonderful piece but not three launchers Simplicious, 5. MOD, whom I trust said: "According to verified information, as a result of a strike by the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system in the city of Kiev a multifunctional radar station, as well as five launchers of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system manufactured by the United States were hit and completely destroyed on May 16, 2023," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
I'm sure they can see it clear as day since satellites can read gravestones nowadays. Pentagon is in CYA mode big time. There's trillions of dollars on the line here. They were hesitant to send this overpriced junk there for this very reason. So deny deny deny. You'll never see F35s in this theater for same reason. Too much money on the line to have USA's MIC bubble popped.
After those leaked papers said Ukraine's AD were in terrible shape, suddenly all this massive propaganda about how Ukraine is shooting down every single missile and drone, including the hypersonic ones. And all while Zalensky is flying around NATO countries collecting money and weapons? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and not just the billions of money and weapons they supposedly donate to Ukraine.
Excellent reporting and analysis. Demonstrates deep expertise. Kudos.
Its clear to me that Russia is now demonstrating escalation dominance and a final warning to NATO, and providing them with enough real life evidence to cease and desist in their war efforts. Russia is delivering a master beat down of Ukraine now and starting to flex its military superiority. A man among boys as they say.
We have forecasted that Russian Aerospace would be used agrresively once the front line AD was degraged, and here we are. Russia is grinding and pulverizing the enemy and appears dead serious to put them out of business sooner than expected. We'll se what today's attacks bring, but DD says 1 radar and 5 Patriot launchers were destroyed on the 16th. That is a battery.
NATO is shitting in their pants and being humilated in front of the world. They didn't get the hints before, so now they have been made to look like the stupid fools they are.
Short of massive direct NATO escalation ( low probability), this conflict is heading to a late summer end, if not sooner. How long can NATO stand to be humiliated as a second tier power?
Another meticulously laid out piece of work. You’re putting on a clinic here making understanding this information possible for everyone. I look forward to your updates.
This is most excellent...
I don’t know what to say you’ve really outdone yourself.
Now, you got so much jam packed in here I’m gonna need to return and study back through it
The latest Russian missile barrage on Kiev proves three things. First, the Ukrainians operate the Patriots more and more badly! They could also be drunk. Or have they just now replaced NATO operators! Not that it makes a huge difference in the final operating result. Except for the cost of interceptor missiles.
Secondly, Zelensky probably doesn't know where to spend his nights safer than Zaluzhny and Syrsky! Or has anyone seen a real photo of one in public in the last month? There is talk of the public resurgence of Zaluzhny last week but the last picture I saw of Zaluzhny is over a month old and he was on his knees: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fq4bXgeWwAACqhn?format=jpg&name=medium
And thirdly, Kiev's propaganda is more and more delusional! And no longer bothers to reconcile his delusions with the spokesman of the Air Defense! They began by reporting that they had shot down all the Russian missiles as usual! And the only visual evidence they released was the bullfight with Bairaktar last week in Kiev! Conclusion: very likely not to shoot down any. Except some civilian building in the path of the interceptors. As usual.
P.S. I would say that what Russia did not advance towards hypersonic technology because it needed faster missiles but missiles that the enemy cannot defend. Which of course is also associated with speed but the great advantage of Russian hypersonic missiles today is the fact that they are indefensible and not so much the speed per se! All missiles travel at insane speeds. Hypersonic defense that Russia is thought to already have! And like any weapon the day the enemy manages to stop a hypersonic missile, the weapon loses its competitive edge. Which is why weapons never stop evolving! To gain an advantage over the enemy on the battlefield!
I'm no rocket scientist, but the idea that the Khinzal can release a payload that can be used for all sorts of purposes, simply wow.
But looking at it's release, it would be somewhat circular or snowflake shaped. Therefore, could logic dictate that your Anti Missile defense ignore the circular noise and concentrate on the center of that noise?
couple of points:
most "powerful" radars no matter synthetic aperture, phased array, electronically steered etc need to be line of sight and are effected by curvature of earth. patriot and other ground based radar (the very expensive one for thaad), aegis, the new lockheed big face radar etc! there are more restrictions to go into, but they are mission and geometry based. operationally fixed is a vulnerability..... likely cannot be eliminated.
then there are the advantages of initiative of the attacker over defense!! radar operations have changed very little since ww ii, it is physics anyway! initiative is on the side of blanking radar, blank the sensors and the defensive kill chain does not start..... all defenses (point, enroute, ground based midcourse, ...) are geographically constrained!
if the peoples republic of china goes after republic of china on formosa what are the first assets to be eliminated?
side thought: russia my know more about how patriot 'works' than that the usa after years of test shows at white sands!
I won't say that I grasp ALL of the technical concepts, but this really was fascinating reading and I certainly learned quite a lot. The US/NATO have always made the mistake of underestimating their potential adversaries and their abilities. This should be an "oof" moment for the west but it probably won't be, they will remain stuck in their own self-aggrandizing feedback loop. You can't actually wish yourself into superiority in anything, especially weapons of war! The Russians will inevitably make your wonder weapons go BOOM.
Simplicius, been lurking and reading your posts for a while now. I enjoy the factual no non-sense analysis.
Thoughts on the Kiev Mayor's video of the fragments of the alleged interception of a Kinzhal? Ukraine initially denied the interception, then claimed it was true as a US official also made the claim.
The missile component that the Kiev Mayor showed is indeed similar to a reported accident in Stavropol where a Kinzhal fell off an aircraft. However, in my opinion the two warheads, while similar, have differences in the length of the tip of the nose section as well as what I presume to be the 2 mounting locations. In the Kiev Mayor picture, the mounting area appears indented, whereas in the Stavropol warhead the mountings appear to extend outward from the warhead body.
I think it is possible that most modern/late cold war Russian/Soviet missile warheads are of a similar design (why change a warhead design that works at a given size) which explains the similarity between the "Kinzhal interception proof" and the fallen Kinzhal's warhead. I have heard that Iskander and even the older Soviet Tochka-U has a similar warhead. I cannot find any information on the internal warhead shape of various Russian missiles, but it is possible that even Kalibr cruise missiles share a similar warhead.
Ukraine has access to older soviet missile systems and warheads. I do not believe they actually shot down a Kinzhal, given what you have said in this post. I think that the shown warhead is either a Tochka-U warhead dressed up to be a "Kinzhal" (less likely given the char on the object that leads me to believe it was indeed shot down) or a shootdown of a Kalibr missile that may share a similar warhead. In the background of the video/pictures of the Kiev Mayor's debris gallery I can see what appears to me to be parts of a Tochka-U and fragments that are reminiscent of a Kalibr albeit much smaller than the actual cruise missile.