Article Archive: Current 1999 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
 Latest
 News
 
 Most
 Read
 
 Most
 Commented
 Hot
 Topics
Air Defense: Russia Takes A Beating Over Georgia
   Next Article → PROCUREMENT: The Czech Connection In Georgia

August 14, 2008: While Georgian ground forces have been pushed around by the recent Russian invasion, Georgian air defenses have been noticeably more effective. The Russians have admitted to losing four aircraft (three Su-25 ground attack bombers and a Tu-22 bomber flying a reconnaissance mission.) Most, or all, appear to have been brought down by the SA-11 BukM1 surface-to-air missile systems (obtained from Ukraine).

The SA-11 is the successor to the SA-6, which did so much damage to the Israeli Air Force during the 1973 war. The SA-11 launchers are self-propelled and carry four 1,500 pound missiles. The missiles have a 30 kilometer range, and can hit aircraft at up to 72,000 feet. The missiles move at about 2,900 kilometers an hour. The battery radar, which is also self-propelled, can detect aircraft at up to 85 kilometers away. The system can be set up and ready to fire in five minutes. The missile has a 150 pound warhead, that is triggered by a radar proximity fuze.

The Georgians also have some Tor-M1 systems, also obtained from Ukraine. Also known to NATO as the SA-15 Gauntlet, it has a maximum range of 12 kilometers. It is only effective up to 6,000 meters altitude. The system was designed as a successor to the SA-N-8 Gecko. Each launcher carries eight missiles, and it is claimed to be capable of engaging two targets simultaneously. The system was designed to be a tactical battlefield air-defense system, designed to take out close-air-support planes like the A-10 or tactical fighter-bombers like the F-4, F-16, and F-18.

Georgia claims to have downed ten Russian aircraft as of August 11th, and the true air losses won't be known until photos appear of all the aircraft wreckage. It is interesting that Russia was unable to come up with effective countermeasures against missile systems they had designed. The Russians knew of Ukrainian arms exports to Georgia, and the presence of the SA-11s and SA-15s. This is another mystery that will only be explained over time.

 

Next Article → PROCUREMENT: The Czech Connection In Georgia
  

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
Pages: 1 2
Yimmy       8/14/2008 9:11:38 AM
I do not believe we (the West) have come across these systems in our recent wars in Iraq, the Balkans and Afghanistan.
 
I would suggest the Russian ECM is not as capable as our own, however as these are their own missile systems which they are unable to guard against - I wonder how well our ECM will fair against them?


 
Quote    Reply

00_Chem_AJB       8/14/2008 9:19:15 AM
May be the Russians made an error of judgment regarding the deployment of the missiles, thinking they would be deployed closer to the pipeline or away from the action so they weren't targeted for destruction, also there is no current source as to how many missiles were fired. We do know the Russians hit a major radar station most likely as a responce to this threat.
 
Quote    Reply

justbill       8/14/2008 10:05:33 AM
"It is interesting that Russia was unable to come up with effective countermeasures against missile systems they had designed. The Russians knew of Ukrainian arms exports to Georgia, and the presence of the SA-11s and SA-15s. This is another mystery that will only be explained over time."
 
Not so much interesting as expected. There's a good chance this is typical smart Russian tactics. IMO the Russians haven't tried to use ECM to any great degree because of the liklihood that U.S. and perhaps Israeli technicians would snoop on the emissions. I'm pretty sure we still have a great number of electronic listening posts in the region and wouldn't be surprised if comparable USAF/USN airborne assets aren't flying around the area. Why would the Russians reveal their electronic capabilities when it's a forgone conclusion the Georgians will be defeated? The loss of a few Su-25's and a recce Backfire aren't worth it.
 
Quote    Reply

WarNerd       8/14/2008 10:07:57 AM
It could also just be good tactics and extensive use of camouflage and decoys if the Su-25's were on a 'wild weasels' mission.

Give the enemy too many false targets to be able to attack them all and tempt him into coming in close to scope them out visually, then go active and launch at the last moment.  Similar tactics were used against the NATO air campaign in Yugoslavia.
 
The real question is have any of the air defenses survived, or was this just a last gesture of defiance?
 
Quote    Reply

Ispose    Something else   8/14/2008 10:11:42 AM
Maybe the Russians are just sloppy...How much training have their pilots gotten lately and how much focusing on ECM?. It could be that the pilots just aren't trained up to western standards in ECM...until recently the Russian Air Force had a hard enough time just getting their pilots enough air time to maintain flying proficiency.
Poor or Lack of enough training combined with overconfidence will cause casualties. Just a thought.
 
Quote    Reply

Mil-Tech Bard    The Simple Explanation   8/14/2008 10:20:07 AM
The four aircraft the Russians have admitted to losing so far are three Su-25 Frogfoot and a Tu-22 Backfire bomber.

The simplest explanation is that the Su-25's lacked precision guided ordinance  -- al the videos of Su-25 attacks shows them using unguided rocks -- and entered into the range of Georgian shoulder fired missiles that hit them from behind and below. Their pilots never saw the incoming missile that took them down.

The Tu-22 was lost over Tblisi to an SA-11 that was not jammed because of the Georgian Su-25 strike that took out the 58th Army's commander on the 2nd day of the invasion.

The Russians could not protect their own armored columns with SA-11's if they were busy jamming Georgian SA-11s.

The Tu-22 went on a recce mission during that time and got killed by an unsupressed Georgian SA-11 as a result.
 
Quote    Reply

Yimmy       8/14/2008 10:23:21 AM



The Russians could not protect their own armored columns with SA-11's if they were busy jamming Georgian SA-11s.

I don't know if that's how SAM's work - but it's an interesting thought which did not occur to me.
 
 
Quote    Reply

justbill       8/14/2008 1:01:39 PM

The simplest explanation is that the Su-25's lacked precision guided ordinance  -- al the videos of Su-25 attacks shows them using unguided rocks -- and entered into the range of Georgian shoulder fired missiles that hit them from behind and below. Their pilots never saw the incoming missile that took them down.

Good old-fashioned AAA is a distinct possibility as well. The video I've seen of those -25's shows they were flying very, very low.

The Tu-22 was lost over Tblisi to an SA-11 that was not jammed because of the Georgian Su-25 strike that took out the 58th Army's commander on the 2nd day of the invasion.

The Russians could not protect their own armored columns with SA-11's if they were busy jamming Georgian SA-11s.

The Tu-22 went on a recce mission during that time and got killed by an unsupressed Georgian SA-11 as a result.


 
Quote    Reply

jak267       8/14/2008 2:23:20 PM
The results have nothing to do with the effectiveness of Russian ECM and little with the effectiveness of the missiles. The Russians went into Georgia with no forethought whatsoever. I doubt those pilots had any briefing or warning at all about the missiles fired at them.
 
 

 
Quote    Reply

Whispering_Death       8/14/2008 4:53:26 PM

The Tu-22 was lost over Tblisi to an SA-11 that was not jammed because of the Georgian Su-25 strike that took out the 58th Army's commander on the 2nd day of the invasion.



The Russians could not protect their own armored columns with SA-11's if they were busy jamming Georgian SA-11s.



The Tu-22 went on a recce mission during that time and got killed by an unsupressed Georgian SA-11 as a result.

I did not know that the 58th Army's commander was killed by a Georgian Su-25.  Link to source please?
 
Quote    Reply
1 2