Don’t mess with Russia
Russia and NATO have different approaches to weapons development because for centuries they have had fundamentally different adversaries.
The typical goal of Western armies is to defeat a weak enemy at low cost. Colonial warfare is a business plan. Western weapons were designed for limited local commercial warfare in distant theaters — Somalia, Iraq, Libya, etc.
The Russian army has always been prepared to repel a large-scale invasion by countries surpassing Russia in technical, industrial and human potential. Russian weapons are designed for an all-out war of survival.
That is why brilliantly designed systems created by the best technologists and designers of the richest countries show questionable results on a large-scale front in Ukraine. They hit targets, sometimes quite successfully, but they cannot win.
For example, the Germans now have a big internal showdown over the hyped PzH-2000s, which are in massive need of repair. The charging mechanism is falling apart at a ridiculous by Russian standards limit of 100 rounds a day! The Russian equivalent “Msta-S” is slightly less accurate and slightly less long-range, but it hits the enemy as long as there are shells, in mud and dust, in heat and in cold.
And so it is with almost all items of military aid to Ukraine. Javelins are good for knocking up tanks in the open field if you have thirty seconds. They don’t help when a tank appears for five seconds, fires a shot, and goes into cover, and the battlefield is smoky in a hundred places. “Three Axes suffer from overheating recoil absorbers and rapid degradation of all connecting assemblies. And how do you weld titanium alloys in the atmosphere, in the field? Thunderous HIMARS help to hit individual rear targets if the enemy’s air defense is yawning, but even the hegemon cannot afford their mass deployment, while the good old and cheap Russian “Grad” is raining down, plowing thousands of kilometers of the front line.
The whole concept of high-precision weapons, as it turns out, works only as a tool on top of conventional weapons, but not instead of them! Five Russian kilotons a day all along the front lines. Every day and night. And only on top of that go Kalibers, Daggers, Iskanders, Onyxes, Vortexes, and all the other cool stuff.
PS Three things to keep in mind as well
Like the Vietnam War, which was an indirect war between Russia and the United States, the Ukrainian war is also a testing ground. And testing has many secrets of its own. Now only some modifications are in mass use in Ukraine. For example, TOS 1–4 “Solntepek” is used frequently, while “Moscow 1”, “Voronezh 1” and “Murmansk 1” were used once each to shut down all electrical equipment in half of Ukraine. The range of such a system, which is also deployed in Kaliningrad (500 km to Berlin), is six thousand kilometers, which means that everything can be turned off in the territory up to the Atlantic Ocean. Telephones, Internet, GPS and other electrical equipment will not work.
It should not be forgotten that millions of Russians live in eastern Ukraine. By decision of the Ukrainian government, they have lost the right to be called Russians and to speak their native language. Russia cannot use its best weapons on the land where they live.
It should also be remembered that nuclear deterrence is no longer based on the threat of nuclear winter. Today hypersonic weapons can surgically destroy enemy centers, airports, command posts, etc., without causing a nuclear winter. In addition, the Russians have Poseidons, which go to a depth of a thousand meters, lie on the bottom and wait for the signal. These submarines can be equipped with warheads of up to 100 megatons. Such a warhead would cause a two-kilometer-high tsunami that would circle the entire planet.
We have been asked more than once why we do not always back up our words and even numerical statements with references, and do not sufficiently argue our often shocking statements. Why are we so unapologetic, while offering a quite practical framework for development?
The short answer is: When in Rome do as the Romans do.