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Old 11-09-2016, 10:44 PM
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Default Russia's Aircraft Carrier Group Prepares Strike on Terrorists in Aleppo Province

Russia's Aircraft Carrier Group Prepares Strike on Terrorists in Aleppo Province

Sputnik News

18:19 08.11.2016(updated 21:52 08.11.2016)

A source within Russia's Ministry of Defense told that the Navy's aircraft carrier group is ready to launch a strike targeting Daesh terrorists in the province of Aleppo in the next 24 hours. The attack, which will likely engage Kalibr cruise missiles, will target militants outside of Aleppo, and not the residential areas.

The group, which includes Russia's 'Admiral Kuznetsov' aircraft carrier, 'Pyotr Veliky' nuclear power guided missile cruiser and two destroyers, has completed its transfer to the Mediterranean Sea and is getting ready to strike, the MoD source said.

"The group's main goal is to carry out missile strikes on terrorists outside of Aleppo that are attempting to get into the city", the source added.

He also said that Kalibr cruise missiles will be used in the strikes, but did not specify from which ships the missiles will be launched.

No Russian surface ship that is currently in the Med is capable of firing the Kalibr-NK missiles, but submarine-launched Kalibr-PL could be used in the strike. The surface-launched type of Kalibr missile could also be launched from the Caspian Sea.

​Right now final details of the strike are being worked out, the source told, including zeroing in on the terrorists' locations, finding out the details of their transport routes, base camps and storage and training facilities.

"The strikes will avoid the city of Aleppo to prevent civilian casualties, because terrorists continue to use city residents as human shields."

Russian and Syrian fighter jets have ceased all flights in a ten-kilometer radius around Aleppo on October 18, after which Daesh terrorists began advancing on Aleppo.

On October 28th, a group of militants attempted to breach the eastern part of the city, using tanks and infantry fighting vehicles for support.

Syria's Aleppo has been the scene of fierce battles between Syria's army and militants holding the city's eastern districts. Fighting has escalated in recent days since militants announced an offensive and fired missiles on government-held districts of western Aleppo.

Russia introduced an earlier humanitarian pause in October, to ensure the safe evacuation of civilians and unarmed militants from eastern Aleppo through designated corridors. That pause collapsed when Jabhat Fatah al Sham (also known as Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra) militants prevented civilians from fleeing Aleppo and attacked them, prompting an offensive by government forces.

© Sputnik
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:09 PM
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Business Insider

Why Russia sailed its navy thousands of miles to Syria when it brings 'nothing' to the battle

NOV 17, 2016, 2:31 AM

Videos showed cruise missiles launching vertically from destroyers, tipping sideways, and then rocketing towards Syria’s Aleppo as well as operations aboard Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov.

But according to experts, as flashy as this naval show of force may be, it adds nothing.

“It’s mostly for show,” Dmitry Gorenburg, senior research scientist at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian studies, told Business Insider.

According to Gorenburg, hauling an aircraft carrier, a nuclear-powered battle cruiser, two destroyers, a tanker, and the tug boat that accompanies the Kuznetsov in case of a breakdown, “didn’t add anything,” to Russia’s military capability in Syria “but it caught everyone’s attention.”

“There’s been an effort over the last few years to show that Russia has some of the same capabilities as the US,” said Gorenburg. “One prominent example was those cruise missile strikes from the Caspian Sea, to show that they have the standoff cruise missile capability.”

And the first-ever combat deployment of the Kuznetsov aircraft carrier represents another great attempt to mimic the US’s military power.

“They have one aircraft carrier, it’s not the most reliable,” said Gorenburg about the Kuznetsov, which had to be towed almost 3,000 miles back to Russia after breaking down in 2012.

Gorenburg pointed out that the Kuznetsov came bearing new aircraft: MiG 29Ks. But these naval variants, suited for the type of strike missions necessary in Syria, haven’t yet been put to combat use.

Additionally, one of the MiG 29Ks crashed on Monday when returning to the ship.

In part, Gorenburg says the naval deployment to Syria can be seen as a sales pitch, as Russia hopes to export cruise missiles and aircraft: “They have used the Syria conflict for showing off their arms for customers, but that’s more with regular [not naval] aircraft.”

The real purpose behind the deployment, however, is “more to demonstrate to NATO and the US that they have this capability, and it’s something else you have to keep in mind.”

Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman echoed Gorenburg’s statements to the Washington Examiner: “There’s not a kinetic effect that they bring that can’t already be brought with the forces that they have there.”

“From a pure military perspective, Russia already has significant capabilities inside Syria. They have nearly two dozen strike aircraft that are based there,” Davis said.

So Russia hasn’t added any new capabilities to the field, but risked dragging out its relic of an aircraft carrier. Experts agree that the naval deployment to Syria is a message from the Kremlin: We’ve arrived as a naval power, so look out.

Last edited by WABA; 11-16-2016 at 11:14 PM..
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:40 PM
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Strategy Page

Naval Air: Russia Pays The Iron Price

December 16, 2016: Russian naval officers recently learned. Or were reminded of, an expensive lesson. Off the coast of Syria Russia’s only aircraft carrier (the Admiral Kuznetzov) lost two aircraft because of problems with the arresting gear (the cable the landing aircraft connects with as it lands to end the landing sequence). Russia has had problems with arresting cables before. In 2005 a Su-33 was lost due to an arresting cable snapping. This occurred when on the Kuznetzov while it was operating in the Baltic. By 2016 it is believed money shortages led to Russia buying fewer cables and not replacing as frequently as their American counterparts. The money shortage also meant that Russian naval aviators got to spend a lot less time landing and taking off from their carrier. As was observed after the 2005 incident, the Russian aviator involved had spent a lot of years flying, but not much time operating off a carrier. It’s all about experience and the lessons learned.

American carrier sailors have long since learned to pay attention to the condition of these cables. The U.S. also has have far more experience with using carrier landing equipment. For example, in 2011 the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) had its 400,000th aircraft landing, after having been in service for 50 years. Only three other carriers have handled 400,000 landings. The first to do so was USS Lexington (CV 16), a World War II Essex class ship that served 48 years (1943-1991), but spent 30 years as a training carrier. Then came USS Independence (CV 62), which served 39 years (1959-98). Next came the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), which served 48 years (1961 to 2009). Thus American carriers much older than Kuznetzov rarely lose aircraft because of a bad arresting cable because the pilots and deck crews know what is needed to get it done without suffering a cable related aircraft loss.

Not only do Russian pilots and carrier deck crews get less practice, but they have a reputation for not maintaining their equipment as effectively as their Western counterparts. In addition the Russians don’t have the latest equipment. For example in 2007 the U.S. Navy began using the ARC (Advanced Recovery Control) system. ARC replaces the older, analog, system for operating the arresting cable (stretched across the deck) that stopped a landing aircraft by catching the tailhook found on carrier aircraft. ARC uses software and digital controls to monitor the landing, and put the arresting cable at the right position to stop landing jets. ARC is easier to use and maintain, and is more accurate. Thus it also reduces damage to aircraft and injuries to crews.

The recent aircraft losses on the Kuznetzov were not unexpected. In early November, for the third time since 2011 came south, via the English Channel on its way to the Mediterranean. Leaving northern Russia on October 15th the Kuznetzov task force arrived off Syria a month later. The carrier had seven escorts (three warships and four support vessels) and is carrying fifteen Su-33 and MiG-29K jet fighters plus at least ten Ka-52K, Ka-27 and Ka-31 helicopters. Foreign military pilots flying close by could not help but notice that there was a lot of rust on the deck of the carrier. This was not a good sign. The only other ship of the Kuznetzov class was purchased by the Chinese in 1998 and completely refurbished by 2012 to become the Chinese Liaoning. It is now in service and looks a lot better than the original that serves as flagship of the Russian Navy. The Kuznetzov has had some updates since the 1990s but a lot of this work is suspect. Back in 2012 a military procurement official was prosecuted for substituting cheaper, substandard parts for new ones meant for the Kuznetzov. The corrupt official used forged documents to get away with this but members of the crew noticed the substandard parts and reported it. The Kuznetsov has been sent back to the shipyard several times during the last decade to fix problems and update equipment. Much was wrong with the ship, due to poor design, sloppy workmanship, or corruption. It’s gotten so bad that lackadaisical sailors are threatened with being sent to serve on the Kuznetsov as a way of motivating them. These cruises south are mainly for publicity purposes.

Not surprisingly China is paying more attention to American carrier experience than what the Russians are going through.

Last edited by WABA; 12-16-2016 at 11:42 PM..
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