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The Russian Military Merged Thread- Air Force

Most say the Cold War is over, but I'm not one of them.  It may have thawed out for a while politically, and some tactics have changed, but no matter how many cosmetic changes are made some things havent changed since 1991.   
The russiona bear has been dancing a fair bit lately.  Mr Putin has been consolidating and flexing his economic muscle.  Flexing some military muscle will allow his troops to "feel good" and let his neighbours sweat a little.....
Eg:  That little missle attack that russia did not fire into Georgia.
          Yeah I am starting to agree with what your saying also Geo makes a good point to about Putin flexing is muscle where he can .  But should be in for some interesting times ahead
The usual disclaimer:

Russia holds strategic air drills over Arctic
August 8, 2007
RIA Novosti 
Russia's strategic aviation started Wednesday an active phase of military exercises to fly over the North Pole and conduct test launches of cruise missiles, an Air Force spokesman said.

During the active phase, four Tu-160 Blackjack, 12 Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bombers, and 14 Tu-22 Backfire-C theater bombers will conduct simulated bombing raids, and more than ten cruise missile launches at the Pemboi range near Vorkuta [in Russia's Arctic], and fly over the North Pole, the Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans.

"On Wednesday, Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers conducted eight successful [test] launches of cruise missiles at designated targets in northern Russia," Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said, adding that the planes made over 40 sorties throughout the day.

The Russian aircraft were closely monitored by NATO fighters during the missions.

The spokesman said six long-range aviation regiments were involved in the exercise to practice interaction with fighter aircraft, air refueling, and overcoming enemy air defenses.

Units of the 37th Air Army of the Strategic Command will conduct a total of six tactical exercises in August as part of an annual training program, the Defense Ministry earlier said in a statement.

According to various sources, the Russian Air Force currently deploys 141 Tu-22M3 bombers, 40 Tu-95MS bombers, and 14 Tu-160 planes.

Edit to add:

Russian bomber jets resume Cold War sorties
By Dmitry Solovyov
Thursday, August 9, 2007; 11:45 AM
".............President Vladimir Putin has sought to make Russia more assertive in the world. Putin has boosted defense spending and sought to raise morale in the armed forces, which were starved of funding following the fall of the Soviet Union.

Androsov said the sortie by the two turboprop Tu-95MS bombers, from a base near Blagoveshchensk in the Far East, had lasted for 13 hours. The Tu-95, codenamed "Bear" by NATO, is Russia's Cold War icon and may stay in service until 2040.

"I think the result was good. We met our colleagues -- fighter jet pilots from (U.S.) aircraft carriers. We exchanged smiles and returned home," Androsov said.

Ivan Safranchuk, Moscow office director of the Washington-based World Security Institute, said he saw nothing extraordinary in Moscow sending its bombers around the globe.

"This practice as such never stopped, it was only scaled down because there was less cash available for that," he said.

"It doesn't cost much to flex your muscles ... You can burn fuel flying over your own land or you can do it flying somewhere like Guam, in which case political dividends will be higher."


The bombers give Russia the capability of launching a devastating nuclear strike even if the nuclear arsenals on its own territory are wiped out.

During the Cold War, they played elaborate airborne games of cat-and-mouse with Western air forces.

Lieutenant-General Igor Khvorov, air forces chief of staff, said the West would have to come to terms with Russia asserting its geopolitical presence. "But I don't see anything unusual, this is business as usual," he said.

The generals said under Putin long-range aviation was no longer in need of fuel, enjoyed better maintenance and much higher wages, a far cry from the 1990s when many pilots were practically grounded because there was no money to buy fuel.

The generals quipped that part of the funding boost was thanks to a five-hour sortie Putin once flew as part of a crew on a supersonic Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber, known as the "White Swan" in Russia and codenamed "Blackjack" by NATO.
The current state of Russia's economy, which is booming for the eighth year in a row, has allowed Russia to finance such flights, said Safranchuk from the World Security Institute.

"Maintenance and training are not the most expensive budget items of modern armies. Purchases of new weapons really are."

Never trust a Commie! Said that back on 9th of November, 1989...    ;D

3rd Herd said:
and 14 Tu-22M Backfire-C theater bombers

Correction in red....the Russians no longer fly the Tu-22 Blinder but only the Tu-22M Backfire.  Very big difference.
.........."In one crucial sense, the bear never went away. Although Russia’s navy has been rusting in dock for more than a decade, and though its army has shrunk in size and very nearly collapsed in morale after its setbacks in the Chechen wars, the nuclear-armed strategic rocket forces have retained much of their traditional power to awe and to deter. Russia remains the only country that could, in theory, destroy organized life in the United States."

"Yet a further signal of Russia’s bold new strategic posture was the announcement by navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Masorin of a massive rebuilding of the Russian fleet. Masorin, who also promised the return of a “permanent naval presence” in the Mediterranean Sea, said last month Russia was rebuilding an industrial base to build six new aircraft carriers over the next 20 years.

Russia can certainly afford it, so long as energy prices remain close to their current high levels. Dmitri Medvedev, who combines the jobs of being chairman of the Gazprom energy giant and also first deputy prime minister, told Germany’s Stern magazine last week that Gazprom “could become the world's most valuable company.”

"Gazprom has the largest natural gas reserves in the world. When I joined the board of directors (in 2000), the concern was worth about $8 billion, but today it is more than $250 billion,” Medvedev said.

At current U.S. prices, a fleet of six carriers, along with their aircraft and the training costs of pilots, would cost in the region of $150 billion, about the current level of Russia’s national infrastructure fund. But Russia is spending a great deal more than that..........."


Walker's World: The Russian bear is back

edit to add:

"During his recent trip to Severodvinsk, Russian First Deputy Premier Sergei Ivanov was shown plans for a new $500 million dock designed to build large-tonnage ships at the Zvyozdochka ship repair yard. Earlier, such large ships could only be built in Nikolayev, Ukraine. The dock, the Russian shipbuilding agency said, is needed to build gas carriers -- ships to transport Russian liquefied natural gas to Western partners.

The same dock could also build aircraft carriers. At any rate, the project is already on the drawing board. Adm. Vladimir Masorin said the craft would be a nuclear-powered ship not less than 100 meters long and would carry an air wing of 30 combat fighter jets and helicopters. But this is not going to be soon.

The outlook is best for submarines. Recently, two Project 667BDRM boats have been modernized, and two more submarines are being repaired and upgraded at Severodvinsk. A new sonar system is being installed to enable them to "see" and "hear" better. Other equipment includes new firefighting systems, nuclear reactor protection devices and the RSM-54 Sineva strategic missile system. Unlike its predecessor, the Skif, the Sineva carries 10 independently targetable re-entry vehicles instead of four. The new missile has a longer range and a modern control system.........."

This week:
"Russian bombers train over North Pole- 2007-08-14

The Russia Air Force yesterday started a five-day training mission in the North Atlantic. A total of 30 planes take part in the training, part of which will take place over the North Pole, NRK reports.

The participating planes are of bombers typed Tu-95, Tu-22 as well as the fuelling aircraft Il-78, NTB reports for Norwegian Broadcasting NRK.

The training comes less than a week after Russian bombers flew all the way towards the US island Guam in the Pacific Ocean and less than a month after the bombers went south through the Barents Sea down towards the UK, NTB reports."

"One Russian air force officer, who asked not to be identified, told agencies he expected US interceptors would once again make their presence felt during this week's exercises.

"It is a traditional practice for military pilots to see foreign pilots come up to meet them and say to hello," he said.

"The United States are aware of our exercise," he added. Russia's long-range bombers have been involved in a number of other exercises in recent months.

On July 20, Norway and Britain scrambled its fighter planes after Norway detected Russian bombers flying over the North sea between Norway and Britain.

About 20 Russian aircraft will take part in the polar exercises: TU-95s (Tupolevs) a long-range strategic bomber; TU-22s, the strategic supersonic bomber most used by Russia; and Il-78s (Ilyushins), a four-engine aerial refuelling aircraft."

Mental Note:  Add AEGIS systems to shopping list for next-gen Navy-operated Heavy Icebreakers.

Matthew.    :salute:
Cdn Blackshirt said:
Mental Note:  Add AEGIS systems to shopping list for next-gen Navy-operated Heavy Icebreakers.

Matthew.    :salute:

Norway is one set ahead of you/us.
BMD Watch: LM wins Norway Aegis contract
UPI Senior News Analyst
WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin announced Tuesday it has won a $23 million contract for follow-on technical and logistics support services for Norway’s Aegis weapon system-equipped F310-class frigates.

“Under the contract, Lockheed Martin will provide a full range of engineering, technical, logistics and configuration management support services to maintain and enhance the performance and operational effectiveness of the Aegis computer systems on all five F310-class ships,” the company said in a statement................http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Industry/Analysis/2007/08/14/bmd_watch_lm_wins_norway_aegis_contract/9440/

The Canadian take on the situation:

"The resumption of that practice in recent months is being taken as a sign that Russia is once more adopting a confrontational stance.

“They didn’t do it to practice alone,” said Colonel Andre Dupuis, a Canadian officer at Norad. “They’re making a point, doing it outside their normal training cycle.”

Full story:

Russia resumes Cold War bomber flights
By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow
Last Updated: 1:26am BST 16/08/2007

The Usual Disclaimer:
The Bear Claws Back
Posted 8/15/2007

Geopolitics: Vladimir Putin's Russia is on the prowl, forging strategic alliances and building its military on a scale not seen since the Cold War. Once again, there's a bear in the woods.

The U.S. Air Force has denied Moscow's boast that a Russian strategic bomber actually flew over or even got close to the U.S. military base on the Pacific island of Guam. But a Pentagon spokesman confirmed the sortie.

It seems that Russia's strategic bombers have returned to their Cold War practice of flying long-haul missions to areas patrolled by the U.S. and NATO. But judging from its furious military program, this was no mere exercise in nostalgia.

Last week, Major-General Pavel Androsov, commander of long-range aviation for the Russian Air Force, announced at a press conference that two turboprop TU95-Ms bombers from a base near Blagoveshchensk in the Far East made a 13-hour round-trip flight to the vicinity of Guam and "exchanged smiles" with U.S. pilots sent up to intercept it.

The TU-95 is considered by some to be a Cold War relic, but it can cover the globe in a reconnaissance role as well as launch cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. The day after the Guam sortie, the chief of staff of the Russia's air force announced that Soviet bombers based in southwest Russia had tested this capability. "We fired eight cruise missiles, and all hit bull's eye," said Lieutenant-General Igor Khvorov.

The resurgent Russia of Vladimir Putin, fueled by energy revenues, is doing much more, of course. Ariel Cohen, a Russia specialist at the Heritage Foundation, says: "Flush with cash, Russia today is constantly looking for avenues to boost its geopolitical muscle. That has translated into some very ambitious strategic programs."

Russian defense spending will increase by as much as 30% this year, following budget increases of 22% and 27% in 2005 and 2006. Cohen says that Russia is embarking on a five-year military modernization plan costing $189 billion. The program, announced by Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Feb. 6, "includes new nuclear submarines; aircraft carriers; a fleet of supersonic Tu-160 bombers; and development of a fifth generation fighter jet," Cohen said.

Russia plans to put to sea eight fleet ballistic missile submarines equipped with the Bulava-M missile, a variant of its land-mobile Topol-M (SS-27) ICBM. Russia has begun mass production of the Topol-M, after a successful spring test. The Bulava-M has a range of almost 5,000 miles and can carry 10 nuclear warheads. The Yuri Dolgorukii, the first sub to carry the Bulava, was launched in April.

In addition to the Bulava, Russia announced at the end of May the successful test of the RS-24, a new ICBM with multiple maneuverable warheads designed to get past our missile defenses.

Moscow is also building the Iskander-M (SS-26), a short-range tactical missile designed for the European theatre with a range of 300 kilometers. The range might be increased to 500 kilometers, above INF limits. Russia has declared it might suspend its compliance with INF if our plans to deploy anti-missile interceptors and radars in Poland and the Czech Republic go forward.

Russia also has made noises about re-establishing a permanent naval presence in the Mediterranean. "The Mediterranean is very important strategically," Russian Admiral Vladimir Masorin said during a recent tour of Russia's Black Sea base in the Ukrainian port of Secastopol. "I propose that, with the involvement if the Northern and Black fleets, the Russian navy should restore its permanent presence there."

Ivan Safronov, the journalist who died in a mysterious fall from a Moscow building earlier this year, reported that Moscow would refurbish facilities in the Syrian port of Tartus, where the Soviet Navy was based during the Cold War.

The reports of Russia's exit from the world stage were grossly exaggerated. With Putin in power, a czar is born.
3rd Herd said:
The day after the Guam sortie, the chief of staff of the Russia's air force announced that Soviet bombers based in southwest Russia had tested this capability.
Why would they say Soviet bombers instead of Russian?
During Cold War, "Soviet" bombers did this. Refering back to that era.
So are we moving back to a cold war era?  what are the thoughts on this.
JamieR said:
So are we moving back to a cold war era?  what are the thoughts on this.


A Perspective on Russia.

Bears Back In the Air

Communist symbol returns to Russian Army's flag 

"Tortured state" of the RUS Army "

Russia plans wide military reform

Use the search button and search "Putin" for two more pages of threads.
  So if we do end up in a new cold war wonder if that would mean even more recruiting for the armies of NATO  and perhaps larger defense budgets ?  Should be interesting times ahead
The Russian Explination:
The Usual Disclaimer

Russia is commissioning new air based missiles

One of the top priority directions of the development of Russia’s strategic aviation is commissioning the newest air based high precision long range cruise missiles. According to the Commander of the Russian Air Forces general-colonel Alexander Zelin strategic aircraft has always been and remain the main component of the Air Force, part of the strategic nuclear forces and the basic mean of defeating important objects in the territory of the potential enemy, the most universal and mobile type of nuclear deterrence in the multi-polar world. Skilful and timely use of the strategic aviation is viewed by the Russian commanders as one of the basic means of national security today and in the foreseeable future.

Today strategic aviation of the Russian Air Force is commissioning a new type of cruise missiles having longer range, extremely low altitude and the minimal reflecting surface, making them practically invisible for the radars. The press service of the Russian Air Force informed that the planes of the Russian strategic aviation during three days had exercises in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The pilots perfected the methods of interaction with the fighter aircraft, getting through the air defense of the opponent. Tu-95 and Tu-160 tested launching high precision bombs and cruise missiles in the test field Pemboi (near Vorkuta).

Nearly at the same time it was officially confirmed that the upgraded fighter-interceptor Mig-31 is got a new far range air-to-air missile. Official sources of the Russian Air Force insist that the upgraded Mig-31 can successfully suppress the most advanced means of air attack existing in the armed forces of the leading nations. Its modernized control system of arms allows using guided AA missiles at the range of up to 200 km. The new missile is said to outperform any foreign match.

This was one of the main reasons why earlier the Commander of the Air Force Zelin said that the 4th generation Mig-31 can sufficiently resist even the appearing 5th generation combat aircraft. Its combat efficiency is 1.4-4 times higher than of the basic model, depending on the parameter. The upgraded fighter can fight stealth cruise missiles, small sized UAVs and even perspective hypersonic aircraft. Serial upgrade of Mig-31 has been already started in Russia. It forms a good foundation for suggesting export proposals. One of the potential customers is Kazakhstan, having a big stock of Mig-31 fighters.

Yuri Seleznev