Wall Street Journal: Russian Campaign in Syria Exposes Moscow’s Defense Gaps
Deployment of warships to assist Assad regime lays bare weaknesses in Russian military’s naval aviation and carrier operations.
A flotilla of Russian warships in the Mediterranean is providing a high-profile show of force in support of the Syrian regime. But the deployment has also thrown into sharp relief the limits of Moscow’s conventional military.
State television broadcasts to the domestic audience Top Gun-style footage of bombers taking off from Russia’s flagship aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov. Foreign observers get to see one of the country’s most important weapons exports, the MiG-29 fighter plane, in action.
But the quarter-century-old Kuznetsov lacks the kind of powerful catapult system that is featured on U.S. carriers, forcing Russian planes to carry lighter payloads and less fuel, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials.
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WNU Editor: You go to war with what you have, And while the Russian campaign in Syria may have "defense gaps" .... it appears to be still doing what Russian military planners have projected it to do.