Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thie Lack of Precision Munitions Is The Big Weakness For Russia If It Should Launch Air Operations In Syria

Russian air force Su-35. Sukhoi photo

David Axe, War Is Boring: The Big Thing the Russian Air Force Still Can’t Do

Moscow lags in precision munitions

After two decades of neglect, the Russian air force is enjoying a petrodollar-funded renaissance. In 2010, the air force and naval aviation bought just 19 new fixed-wing airplanes. The number of new planes swelled to 24 in 2011, 35 in 2012, 51 a year later and a whopping 101 in 2014. This year the Kremlin expects to acquire 91 new fixed-wing aircraft.

But for all this modernization, there’s one big thing the Russian air force still can’t do. Nearly 30 years after the United States and its closest allies ushered in an era of precision guided munitions, wherein almost every combat plane packs laser-, radar-, infrared- or GPS-guided bombs and missiles, Russia still lags behind in the development, acquisition and employment of such “smart” air-to-ground munitions — especially long-range ones.

WNU editor: In regards to precision munitions .... the Russian air force is at least a decade behind. In event that Russia decides to intervene directly in Syria .... I do see the possibility that these aircraft will be used over Syria, but it will be artillery that Russian forces will prefer to use when it comes to targeting ISIS or rebel positions.

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