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While the U.S. chased political correctness, Russia chased the edge in battle

McG

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This article draws warnings for the US Army.  It is focused on artillery with a little reference to electronic warfare.

However, its warnings are applicable to Canada in both general and specific contexts.  Like the US, we have allowed atrophy in our combat capabilities.  Infantry battalions have lost whole companies and capabilities while our four artillery regiments collectively hold enough guns (maybe) to send only one regiment into a contested fight.

If Canada really believes that Russia is a threat of any sort, then it may be time to start investing, and it may be time to start considering the operational impacts of "humanitarian" agreements that constrain our options in use of force while potential threats do not subscribe.
While the U.S. chased political correctness, Russia chased the edge on the battlefield
Robert H. Scales, Washington Post
National Post
08 Aug 2016

In November, while visiting the headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe, I received a briefing on the performance of the Russian army in Ukraine. In a perfunctory tone, the young intelligence briefer recited the details of the July 2014 Battle of Zelenopillya, in which a single Russian artillery “fire strike” almost destroyed two Ukrainian mechanized battalions in a few minutes.

I couldn’t help imagining a U.S. armoured battalion subjected to a similar fire strike. I realized then that Ukraine had become Russia’s means for showcasing what might happen if we ever fought a firepower-intensive battle against it. “You know, guys,” I mused in the moment, “this is the first time since the beginning of the Cold War that an American war-fighting function has been bested by a foreign military.”

This revelation was all the more disturbing because artillery firepower has been a centerpiece of U.S. land warfare for almost a century. At Normandy, the Germans had nothing good to say about the quality of U.S. armour and infantry. But they feared U.S. artillery. The Germans could not mass fire across unit boundaries. But an American invention, the coordinated-fire “time on target,” could bring hundreds of guns to bear on a single target, delivering thousands of rounds simultaneously. The effect on the Germans was devastating.

During the Gulf War, the Iraqis most feared what they called “steel rain.” The “rain” consisted of hundreds of thousands of flashlight-size bomblets stuffed into artillery shells and rocket warheads. U.S. counter-fire radar, mated to multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), smothered Saddam Hussein’s much-vaunted artillery in a massive series of day-long barrages. The Iraqi artillery never again posed a threat to our troops.

The Ukrainian experience serves as a deadly analogue for what might happen to U.S. artillery should we fight the Russians or a Russian surrogate. New Russian firepower systems now outrange ours by a third or more. They have improved on our steel rain technology by developing a new generation of bomblet munitions that are filled with thermobaric explosives. These munitions generate an intense blast wave of exploding gases that are far more lethal than conventional explosives. A single volley of Russian thermobaric steel rain delivered by a single heavy-rocket-launcher battalion will annihilate anything within an area of about 350 acres.

Tragically, all of America’s steel rain munitions — millions of shells and warheads — are gone, intentionally destroyed by the past two administrations in a sacrifice to the gods of political correctness. They agreed to give up all submunition weapons after other nations (which had no steel rain) signed a treaty banning such weapons because they produce too many duds that remain on the battlefield and pose risks to civilians. Russia, China and Israel believed they had real wars to fight and ignored the treaty. As a result, a Russian heavy-rocket-launcher battalion firing steel rain produces a lethal area at least five times greater than a U.S. MLRS battalion firing conventional high-explosive warheads.

The performance of Russian artillery in Ukraine strongly demonstrates that, over the past two decades, the Russians have gotten a technological jump on us. The United States’ strategic drones, the ones that plink terrorists from bases in Nevada, are more advanced than Russia’s. But Russian tactical drones, which spot for artillery, are far superior (and far more numerous) than ours. In 2014, when the Battle of Debaltseve began, the Ukrainians reported that as many as eight Russian tactical drones orbited over their heads at any one time.

Additionally, the electronic warfare technology demonstrated by the Russians in Ukraine is the best in the world, far better than ours. During the 240-day siege of the Donetsk airport, the Russians were able to jam GPS, radios and radar signals. Their electronic intercept capabilities were so good that the Ukrainians’ communications were crippled. Ukrainian commanders complained that a punishing barrage would follow any radio transmission within seconds.

Does this mean that the Russian army is superior to ours? No, not at all. If we fought the Russians today, we would win. Ours is a highly trained force of half a million soldiers. Two-thirds of Vladimir Putin’s 800,000 soldiers are one-year conscripts whose fighting skills are questionable. The Russian air force is also no match for ours. But the Ukrainian experience tells us that the cost in blood of any such contest would be high.

A tragic decline of a war-fighting arm that once was our Army’s most lethal should serve as a cautionary tale. This diminution of war-fighting capability in our European army comes at an inauspicious time: when Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump publicly questions the value of defending Europe and the Obama administration is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on big, high-tech systems optimized to fight at sea in Asia. Yet in today’s wars, more prosaic weapons such as small arms, mines and artillery are killing our soldiers. Add in the fact that we have forfeited what formerly was an overwhelming U.S. battlefield capability, and we can only imagine what deadly consequences may result from our good intentions.


Robert H. Scales is a retired Army major general, a former commandant of the U.S. Army War College and the author of the forthcoming book “Scales on War.”
http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/robert-h-scales-while-the-u-s-chased-political-correctness-russia-chased-the-edge-on-the-battlefield
 

GR66

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Is Canada (perversely) in a potentially positive place for re-invention into a true 5th Generation military?  There are calls for structural reorganization of our forces and reserves, many of our primary weapon systems are either in the early process of replacement or will be due for replacement in the not too distant future.

Many of the discussions on this website are about incremental ways to improve our capabilities but should we instead pause and take this opportunity to examine what a true 5th Generation military would look like.  The type of force that can face the challenges of facing a larger enemy in a highly contested EM environment is probably radically different than what we have now.

I won't hold my breath that the Defence Review will delivery anything other than another safe, comfortable, vanilla Defence policy, but unfortunately that will still leave us with a military with 2nd tier capabilities (no negative reflection on the members of the CF intended).  However when we're looking at replacement of virtually every major weapon system in our inventory now would certainly be the time for bold moves.  :2c:

...sorry for the derail.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I suspect the US would be more than happy to "lease/sell" us 2 batteries of Paladins and supporting vehicles.
 

PuckChaser

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It all boils down to dollars. With a $30B+ deficit, capital DND spending 'deferral', and sagging job numbers, money for an overhaul of the CAF is somewhere between none and hell freezing over.
 

MilEME09

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PuckChaser said:
It all boils down to dollars. With a $30B+ deficit, capital DND spending 'deferral', and sagging job numbers, money for an overhaul of the CAF is somewhere between none and hell freezing over.
The defense industry can create jobs, imagine if we said to GDLS we need mortor carriers, engineering, ADATS, and recovery assets, and more on a LAV 6 chassis, push the ship building ahead but using all avalible yards in the country to get ships in the water, and lets bring back thee CCV project, get the LS and HL replaced now. While the initial cost would be high, if we can build in canada, atleast partially it would create hundreds if not thoudands of manufacturing, high tech jobs, and maybe expand the CF.

Sent from my LG-D852 using Tapatalk

 

GR66

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I'm not suggesting that the CF transform into a 5th Generation military overnight, but the Defense Review SHOULD (in my opinion anyway) have that as the end goal.  We should take a good hard look at what that means with similar terms of reference as those are using to describe the revolution in air warfare that the F35 (potentially) represents.

Imagine a highly mobile, light Brigade Group with a large variety of stealthy ground recon vehicles, UAVs, manned aircraft and satellites giving it previously unparallelled situaltional awareness of a greatly extended battlespace.  The force could be equipped with long-range, precision, beyond line-of-site weapons which could disrupt and/or destroy enemy force concentrations or strong points without coming within range of their own weapons.  It could be protected by a fully mobile equivalent of an Iron Dome system and an integrated, multi-level air defence system.  A similar system of systems could be used at sea.

Of course all this isn't available right now, but you'd focus your purchases and restructuring on those things that move you toward that vision...while choosing to make due with those legacy systems that do not fill that requirement.
 

Journeyman

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GR66 said:
Imagine a highly mobile, light Brigade Group with a large variety of stealthy ground recon vehicles, UAVs, manned aircraft and satellites giving it previously unparallelled situaltional awareness of a greatly extended battlespace.  The force could be equipped with long-range, precision, beyond line-of-site weapons which could disrupt and/or destroy enemy force concentrations or strong points without coming within range of their own weapons.  It could be protected by a fully mobile equivalent of an Iron Dome system and an integrated, multi-level air defence system. 
.....and then the alarm clock goes off.  Damn dreams.  ;)
 

GR66

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Journeyman said:
.....and then the alarm clock goes off.  Damn dreams.  ;)

Quite possibly, but if we keep just putting our money into the identical basic force design with incrementally updated equipment when possible then we'll never have the opportunity to change.  Envision the goal then the many other organizational changes become much more justifiable.
 

PuckChaser

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GR66 said:
Quite possibly, but if we keep just putting our money into the identical basic force design with incrementally updated equipment when possible then we'll never have the opportunity to change.  Envision the goal then the many other organizational changes become much more justifiable.
We already incrementally update equipment and vehicles. 10-15 year projects deliver the best equipment 10 years late, every 30 or so years. You can't keep up with technology when your system doesn't allow fast enough replacements, and the time between those replacements is too long. It's the same reason we have no real, and will not have a real defense industry, because there's no predictable funding or regular replacement timelines.
 

Journeyman

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GR66 said:
Envision the goal .....
But, as has been mentioned by several folks, perhaps the sitting governments (of both parties) and people with an interest in defence and security issues have differing "goals."  One side may wish to spend as little as humanly possible -- with whatever spent being more focused on regional economics -- while the other side may wish to advance actual military capabilities.
 

daftandbarmy

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GR66 said:
I'm not suggesting that the CF transform into a 5th Generation military overnight, but the Defense Review SHOULD (in my opinion anyway) have that as the end goal.  We should take a good hard look at what that means with similar terms of reference as those are using to describe the revolution in air warfare that the F35 (potentially) represents.

Imagine a highly mobile, light Brigade Group with a large variety of stealthy ground recon vehicles, UAVs, manned aircraft and satellites giving it previously unparallelled situaltional awareness of a greatly extended battlespace.  The force could be equipped with long-range, precision, beyond line-of-site weapons which could disrupt and/or destroy enemy force concentrations or strong points without coming within range of their own weapons.  It could be protected by a fully mobile equivalent of an Iron Dome system and an integrated, multi-level air defence system.  A similar system of systems could be used at sea.

Of course all this isn't available right now, but you'd focus your purchases and restructuring on those things that move you toward that vision...while choosing to make due with those legacy systems that do not fill that requirement.

In a real war, the only thing that allows us to be 'highly mobile' is precise, overwhelming, flexible firepower. Mainly from artillery and other indirect assets, and also from the air.

There's a reason that the artillery has been the 'senior service' since the year dot. But don't tell any of my Airborne buddies I said so, OK? :)
 

Edward Campbell

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GR66 said:
I'm not suggesting that the CF transform into a 5th Generation military overnight, but the Defense Review SHOULD (in my opinion anyway) have that as the end goal.  We should take a good hard look at what that means with similar terms of reference as those are using to describe the revolution in air warfare that the F35 (potentially) represents.

Imagine a highly mobile, light Brigade Group with a large variety of stealthy ground recon vehicles, UAVs, manned aircraft and satellites giving it previously unparallelled situaltional awareness of a greatly extended battlespace.  The force could be equipped with long-range, precision, beyond line-of-site weapons which could disrupt and/or destroy enemy force concentrations or strong points without coming within range of their own weapons.  It could be protected by a fully mobile equivalent of an Iron Dome system and an integrated, multi-level air defence system.  A similar system of systems could be used at sea.

Of course all this isn't available right now, but you'd focus your purchases and restructuring on those things that move you toward that vision...while choosing to make due with those legacy systems that do not fill that requirement.

Wonderful ... now imagine that you might actually want to use it for more than a "one off" exercise somewhere, so you need five of them (at least three equipment "sets," anyway) and then you see the smiling face of Bill Morneau, the Finance Minister saying "No!"
 

George Wallace

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E.R. Campbell said:
Wonderful ... now imagine that you might actually want to use it for more than a "one off" exercise somewhere, so you need five of them (at least three equipment "sets," anyway) and then you see the smiling face of Bill Morneau, the Finance Minister saying "No!"

Imagine all that now, and then the technology FAILS or is NEUTRALIZED.  Back to the BASICS if anyone remembers how.
 

jmt18325

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Journeyman said:
But, as has been mentioned by several folks, perhaps the sitting governments (of both parties) and people with an interest in defence and security issues have differing "goals."  One side may wish to spend as little as humanly possible -- with whatever spent being more focused on regional economics -- while the other side may wish to advance actual military capabilities.

And it may be that none of that is true.  That's the thing with speculation.
 

jmt18325

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George Wallace said:
Imagine all that now, and then the technology FAILS or is NEUTRALIZED.  Back to the BASICS if anyone remembers how.

The other side is using technology as well. 

The United States could simply overwhelm with air power from jets and cruise missiles.  Russia doesn't have much of a defence that could counter it, other than ending the world.
 

MilEME09

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jmt18325 said:
The other side is using technology as well. 

The United States could simply overwhelm with air power from jets and cruise missiles.  Russia doesn't have much of a defence that could counter it, other than ending the world.

Are you forgetting that Russia has probably one of the the most, if not the most advanced air defense weapons on earth, not to mention the S-500 begins rolling out this fall which has a rumored range of 600km to intercept ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, and 400km for aircraft, engaging them at mach 5. Combined with some reports Russian radar can see advanced stealth aircraft like the F-35, I am afraid I don't buy that argument, it would take a lot of dead airmen to penetrate Russia's air defense network.
 

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MilEME09 said:
Are you forgetting that Russia has probably one of the the most, if not the most advanced air defense weapons on earth, not to mention the S-500 begins rolling out this fall which has a rumored range of 600km to intercept ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, and 400km for aircraft, engaging them at mach 5. Combined with some reports Russian radar can see advanced stealth aircraft like the F-35, I am afraid I don't buy that argument, it would take a lot of dead airmen to penetrate Russia's air defense network.

I will preface this by saying, I'm not an SME, this isn't my job, and if one of the real experts would like to show up, that'd be great.

With that out of the way, here's my amateur analysis:

[list type=decimal]
[*]The S-500: I'll wait and see. My gut feeling is that a missile big enough to go 600km is not going to be agile enough to intercept a maneuvering target. I think it's more an ABM/ASAT system, like THAAD or the HQ-19, with a secondary plane killing option. If anything, the big issue will be the danger it poses to AWACS, alongside stuff like the R-37 and K-100 (amateur prediction: C4ISTAR is going to become more peer-to-peer using MADL, MIDS-J, and the Talon HATE pod for legacy airframes. Replace the AWACS with target/targeting sharing.)
[*]Stealth: Stealth isn't some binary on:eek:ff thing. The stealthier I am, the harder I am to acquire, and the more effective my countermeasures will be.  So, sure, a bistatic radar with a span the width of Moscow will see the F-35, but it'll also see every other metal marble sized target. An Su-27 will see it, too, but it'll have to be right on top of the F-35 (which also means it's been in -120 range for minutes). Every time they hand off, from the big nuclear radar, to a tracking radar, to a fighter or SAM, and then to an active missile, a stealth aircraft gets proportionately harder to find. This additional acquisition range, ideally, gives me enough space to accomplish my mission. Even if it doesn't, the tiny radar return makes it much easier to dupe/seduce/jam any missile fired at me.
[*]IADS: Defeating an Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) with the planes it's designed to kill has always been an interesting challenge. However, even with the crazy Russian systems, we still have ways. For example, we can add a whole bunch of cheap drones (ADM-160 MALD) that mimic our aircraft (made easier by the F-35 and F-22's tiny radar signature). As the get locked up, they feed data on those emitters back over a data link, which can then be transmitted to systems and aircraft to kill the emitters. That's just one of the many options in the toolkit for slaying an IADS. Ideally, a combination of stealth, jamming, target saturation, air supremacy, decapitation strikes, anti-radiation missiles, cruise missiles, and bombs allow us to kill off their air defence without significant loss, opening the battlespace for our aircraft. Or, it doesn't work, and then we all die. Oh well, war is hell.
[/list]
 

MilEME09

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I like your #3 idea, using drones in wild weasel missions to spike AD systems is probably a great use of them, pilots are hard to replace, an airframe isnt, so spamming drones to overwhelm an AD system sounds like a great option. the S-500 is reported to be only able to track and engage 10 targets at a time, if you could throw 100 drones at an area, even if you had 2+ S-500 batteries present, that would still be several minutes to intercept the drones alone, by the time you can reload, the planes mixed in with HARM missiles have probably reduced your AD capacity significantly.
 

BurmaShave

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MilEME09 said:
I like your #3 idea, using drones in wild weasel missions to spike AD systems is probably a great use of them, pilots are hard to replace, an airframe isnt, so spamming drones to overwhelm an AD system sounds like a great option. the S-500 is reported to be only able to track and engage 10 targets at a time, if you could throw 100 drones at an area, even if you had 2+ S-500 batteries present, that would still be several minutes to intercept the drones alone, by the time you can reload, the planes mixed in with HARM missiles have probably reduced your AD capacity significantly.

Yeah, the US did just that on the first day of the Gulf War air campaign. Launched a hundred TALDs (predecessor to the MALD), and then blew up anything that spiked them.

While the Russians have newer stuff than the Iraqis had 25 years ago, so does the USA. They're just not so loud about it, cause they're not trying to sell stuff (unlike the Russians with the S-400/S-500. Also, "network centric warfare" doesn't make good clickbait like "5 Deadly New Russian Missiles. #3 Will Surprise You!" does).
 

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An interesting news article that shows some of Russia’s tactics.  For the Infantry it reinforces the requirement for us to have a Javelin type anti-armour weapon, especially as we move forward with light forces. Also with the level of EW being used a need to remain proficient in map and compass skills.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/russia-using-ukraine-battlefield-to-rehearse-for-war-with-west-32bgm7xmq

Russia using Ukraine battlefield to rehearse for war with West
Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor
1,329 words
10 August 2016
05:00
thetimes.co.uk
TIMEUK
English
© Times Newspapers Limited 2016

Russia is using the conflict in Ukraine to test new methods of waging war against the West, the British army
believes.

Russian forces are enhancing skills that combine tanks, artillery and other heavy weapons with a sophisticated
deployment of electronic warfare to jam enemy radio signals and render equipment such as drones redundant,
according to an internal army analysis.

President Putin’s understanding of propaganda has also been turned into a weapon to influence the will of
populations through social media, radio stations and mass text messaging without the need to fire a single shot.
The document, produced by the army’s warfare branch, sets out for the first time how Britain must be better
prepared to fight a future war where everything is a weapon, from lethal munitions and drones to Twitter and
Facebook posts.

The experience of pro-western Ukrainian forces battling undeclared Russian military units and pro-Russian
separatists in eastern Ukraine for the past two and a half years is used to drive home the complex and
multi-layered face of a new era of Russian warfare.

Ambiguity is key, with “little green men” dispatched behind enemy lines to conduct sabotage missions, attack
infrastructure, intimidate police and conduct political assassinations and kidnappings to create disorder, the
analysis said.

“Low-intensity conflict can rapidly escalate to high-intensity warfare,” according to the document, entitled, Insights
to ‘Training Smarter’ Against a Hybrid Adversary. Russia focuses a huge amount of energy on controlling
information in eastern Ukraine to manipulate public opinion with little challenge. “A strong narrative is maintained
across open source media and use of social media is carefully monitored,” the document said.

“Reports which do not comply with [Russia’s] domestic narrative are quickly removed . . . Coverage of [Russian
forces killed in action] has been controlled and removed from social media and often denied.”

Psychological and other variations of so-called influence operations are an integral part of all military action.
Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine move vehicles around multiple times the night before an attack on
Ukrainian government troops to hide the true size of their force. This is followed before dawn by a barrage of text
messages containing pro-Russia propaganda, dispatched 5 to 15 minutes before the offensive starts.
The texts are sent using a drone to every mobile phone in the targeted area, including those of Ukrainian soldiers.
Social media is also used to try to persuade communities and troops to support the separatists.

Simultaneously, electronic jamming devices, some concealed in civilian vehicles, are used to jam the radio and
other communications devices of the Ukrainian military units, making it hard for soldiers to relay messages. Any
Ukrainian drones in the air can be hijacked. Then the artillery fire starts.

The British assessment revealed that Russia has superior artillery and other anti-armour weapons to penetrate
tanks and lightly armoured vehicles.

Ukrainian forces have taken to riding on the outside of their trucks because the chances of surviving a rocket or
mortar strike are greater than from the inside. The British analysis said that 80 per cent of Ukrainian casualties
were from Russian artillery.

“Light infantry vehicles are disproportionately vulnerable to enemy direct and indirect fires,” the assessment said.
“Mechanised infantry needs MBT [main battle tank] equivalent protection and mobility for the high- intensity
battlefield.”

This observation calls into question the utility of a long-overdue £3.5 billion programme to build almost 600 lightly
armoured Scout fighting vehicles for the army. The tracked vehicles will only start to enter service next year.
A lack of investment in British anti-tank weapons would also be a challenge in a war against Russia. The analysis
said that the army’s Javelin anti-tank grenade weapon is the only missile capable of defeating Russia’s reactive
armour. “In the absence of Javelin, light infantry units are vulnerable to [being] overrun . . . by armour,” it said.

A defence source who has read the document said that the world faced a “paradigm shift” in the way that war is
waged. The shift is as fundamental as the moment when tanks replaced horses and the machinegun superseded
the single-shot rifle. “It is warfare where anything is a weapon,” he said.

This includes the use of misinformation to undermine democratic debate; cyberattacks; economic policies to exert
pressure; and the deployment of undeclared troops to create a trigger for more conventional military intervention
— as happened in Crimea.

“These Russian guys have a wartime mentality and our politicians have a peacetime mentality,” the source said.
“We have had a holiday from history for the past 70 years and we have a very steep learning curve.

Tactics and technology: how they have changed.

Artillery: Military and rocket barrages against Ukrainian positions in eastern
Ukraine last up to four hours. They begin with 20 to 30 minutes of small-calibre mortar fire, followed up by towed
and self-propelled artillery, and finished with munitions fired from multiple rocket launch systems that are typically
fired from inside Russia. The initial mortar fire is used to prompt targeted Ukrainian forces to disperse, with the heavy artillery fire used to
fix and destroy the displaced Ukrainian troops. The BM-30 Smerch multiple rocket launcher has a 56-mile range,
further than any British army artillery system. Russia is reported to have fielded limited thermobaric munitions.
These produce a pressure blast similar to that created by a nuclear explosion and will kill a soldier hiding in a trench.
Britain and the United States do not field such a weapon.

Drones: Russia and pro-Russia separatists deploy drones over eastern Ukraine in pairs, one
flying above the other. If Ukrainian troops shoot down the lower flying drone, the higher aircraft is able to identify
the location of the Ukrainians on the ground for Russian mortar and rocket fire to be called in. Crashed drones are
also able to broadcast their location upon landing, again drawing Russian indirect fire. Evidence from Ukrainian troops
suggests a 15-minute response time from when a Russian drone identifies a target and the artillery strike. Russia is
skilled at hijacking Ukrainian drones, diverting them off course or bringing them down. The analysis found that the British
army has no air defence capability to counter low-flying drones.

Influence and psychological operations: Russia-backed separatists move vehicles around multiple times
the night before an attack to hide the true size of their force. This psychological operation is followed before dawn
with a barrage of text messages containing propaganda, dispatched five to 15 minutes before the offensive starts.
The texts are sent using a drone to every mobile phone in the targeted area. Twitter and Facebook are also used to try to
persuade communities and troops to support the separatists. Entire Ukrainian units have received such messages,
designed to damage morale. Russia has sent threats via text message to the families of Ukrainian troops. Misinformation
about what is happening on the ground is fed to radio stations and websites.

Electronic warfare: Electronic warfare is used to hijack drones and force them to crash or
abort a mission. Electronic jamming devices - some concealed in civilian vehicles - are used to jam the radio and
other communications devices of the Ukrainian military units, making it hard for soldiers to relay messages. Any
Ukrainian drones in the air can be hijacked. Russia uses “GPS spoofing” to confuse Ukrainian troops on the ground.
British soldiers are told to practise map and compass-reading skills. Electronic warfare is a part of all Russian military operations.
A number of radioelectronic warfare stations have been sighted in eastern Ukraine.

Sniper: Russia has deployed acoustic devices across eastern Ukraine that are able to find the location of Ukrainian snipers by listening to the sound that
the weapon makes. The device enables pro-Russian separatists to attack sniper positions. Ukrainian forces have
begun to use silencers to counter this threat.
 
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