Sino-Russian led Dessert Storm

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zero-one

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Unread post29 May 2020, 13:57

The teen series fighters and other NATO made systems received notoriety in large part due to Operation Desert Storm. Seemingly steam rolling through the World's 4th largest army in days.

I'd like to propose a mental exercise where in we could speculate if the Russian made systems of the time could achieve similar results.

Lets say Saudi Arabia went to Russia and China and along with Kuwait gave them a blank check. so money isn't an issue.

Scenario 1:
Replace all NATO elements with Russian and Chinese elements of the time (some Su-27s, some Mig-29s, plenty of Su-15s, Mig-25s and Mig-23s)

Scenario 2:
Replace Iraqi elements with their NATO counterparts as well.
Mig-29 = F-16A
SA-6 = Patriot PAC1
etc.

The purpose of this exercise it to hypothesize weather NATO's success was largely attributed to the overwhelming number and support or were they really far ahead of the competition.
Could a much smaller force of NATO jets give a better fight against overwhelming Soviet forces.
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mikemag

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Unread post29 May 2020, 18:26

Interesting mental exercise. What do we do about the F-117?
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botsing

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Unread post29 May 2020, 21:47

Equipment was only one part that made NATO such a succes during desert storm.

These were in my opinion the ingredients that made for the shocking success of NATO during desert storm:
1. Doctrine: NATO doctrine allowed for non-conventional approaches like effects-based operations.
2. Personnel: NATO troops were extremely well trained with a high moral.
3. State of the art equipment.
4. Excellent logistics.

In your scenario you only take into account point 3, just changing the equipment to the Russian equivalents would probably mean a few more losses but no big overal change in the outcome.
"Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know"
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marauder2048

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Unread post30 May 2020, 06:22

"Dessert Storm": the Sino-Russian aerial offensive just *creams* the Iraqis.
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zero-one

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Unread post01 Jun 2020, 10:36

botsing wrote:These were in my opinion the ingredients that made for the shocking success of NATO during desert storm:
1. Doctrine: NATO doctrine allowed for non-conventional approaches like effects-based operations.
2. Personnel: NATO troops were extremely well trained with a high moral.
3. State of the art equipment.
4. Excellent logistics.


I understand that, this is exactly the kinds of replies I was hoping for. Kindly expound. But if I may add,
1. Soviet Doctrines are the way they are because they believe it is what will work if executed properly. So in their eyes, their centralized doctrines allow their forces to act as one unit and not be bogged down by the clashing of heads which can happen in western doctrinal practices. It is not as flexible, but it is more unified.

2. Generally, NATO forces are exceptionally well trained, but coming out of the cold war, there were still some very highly trained former Soviet forces and with money not being an issue, more deactivated units can be be retrained.

3. Soviet's also had some State of the art equipment, the F-117 has no comparison, but perhaps the Su-27 may have had more success than the F-15 as it was more advanced than 1991 (non-AESA/AMRAAM) F-15s.

4. China and Russia are much closer to Iraq and with their relationship with Iran, they may be able to offset the logistical chain to Iraq.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post01 Jun 2020, 10:59

I think Russians and Chinese would have done the whole thing very differently. IMO, they would likely have opened up with barrages of tactical ballistic missiles and cruise missiles fired by different Tupolevs. Then followed by low flying Su-24s, MiG-27s and Su-17s to soften Iraqi Air Force and Republican Guard units. They would likely have followed with ground troops next and not done similar extended air campaign as the Coalition did.

I bet they would've got the job done, but with significantly higher losses. They didn't have F-117, similar targeting capability or SEAD/DEAD assets. So they would've used more conventional approach to fighting. Also their ground troops didn't have similar night fighting capabilities, although otherwise they were clearly superior to Iraqi equipment. Especially so when it came to tanks and artillery. They would've used a lot more MLRS and tube artillery instead of aircraft.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post01 Jun 2020, 11:19

I also think that Russians would've been responsible for most of the fighting as Chinese didn't have nearly similar equipment then. Especially their aircraft were dated and mostly short ranged. The same could be said about their tanks and artillery for the most part. Things would be different now, but early 1990s they were using rather obsolete and low performance equipment.
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madrat

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Unread post01 Jun 2020, 12:19

If you recall Chechnya and how Russia used overwhelming firepower, complete with a high dud rate, it makes debris from US cluster bombs look docile in comparison.
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milosh

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Unread post01 Jun 2020, 20:24

Soviets would have battlefield intelligence capability, MiG-25RB and Tupolev drones. It would be noticeable advantage compared to what Americans used:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/ ... 621d60649/
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madrat

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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 03:06

Who are you kidding? In 1991 we altered orbits of existing satellites in the sky to have anywhere from 6 to ten satellites pass over every six hours, many with a modest 1 meter resolution. Some are still classified, but they were not worse.
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weasel1962

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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 04:01

Many potential matrices to consider.

Number of combat aircraft deployed:
GW: 1875 (under 33% of total USAF inventory)
China: >1800 but serviceability is not clear but % of inventory will be above 75% to meet this,
Russia: >1800 but serviceability is known to be low

Number of stealth aircraft
GW: 42 F117
China: >40 J-20 & stealthy UCAV
Russia: none

Sorties:
GW: 65000+ over 43 days
China: large scale simultaneous deployment has not be demonstrated. Questionable whether sortie rates can be sustained against well armed defences due to attrition. Otherwise in theory possible.
Russia: Serviceability constraints

Munitions:
GW: 152,295 unguided,57,241 unguided cluster,9,271 LGB. 5255 mavericks, 133 walleye, 297 TLAM
China: China does not have B-52 equivalent (which accounted for 71,000 munitions dropped). LGBs are confirmed, GPS not observed in exercises. AGMs widely deployed. PGM/TLAM incl ground launched capability expected to be greater than GW. However not demonstrated large scale strike coordination yet.
More importantly, it does not have the logistics resources (planes, prepositioned ammo ships) to deploy munitions outside of China nor tankers to sustain the long ranged sorties required in GW.
Russia: Has substantial strategic strike bombers able to match/exceed B-52 payloads. Have demonstrated limited scoped strikes in several recent campaigns e.g. Georgia, Syria. Same restriction on tanker capabilities as China.
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zero-one

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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 10:33

weasel1962 wrote:Many potential matrices to consider.


They will certainly conduct ODS much more differently. I expect Artillery, armor and SAMs to play a much more prominent role. The SA-20 may actually be the star of the show, with Su-27s and Mig-25s playing a more supportive role killing A-A targets deep inside Iraq.
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madrat

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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 12:28

zero-one wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Many potential matrices to consider.


They will certainly conduct ODS much more differently. I expect Artillery, armor and SAMs to play a much more prominent role. The SA-20 may actually be the star of the show, with Su-27s and Mig-25s playing a more supportive role killing A-A targets deep inside Iraq.


Don't forget mass firings of ATGWs. Chechnya taught us they will use them on literally any resistance.
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milosh

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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 15:36

madrat wrote:Who are you kidding? In 1991 we altered orbits of existing satellites in the sky to have anywhere from 6 to ten satellites pass over every six hours, many with a modest 1 meter resolution. Some are still classified, but they were not worse.


Are you serious? You compare satellite recon against battlefield aircraft and drone recon which Soviet commanders had at their disposal all the time?

Fascinating.

In fact I even post link to text where you can read Schwarzkopf asked to SR-71 be its disposal then he learned it is retired.

Also satelitte recon don't work in night in 1991, while you have MiG-25RB which carried special flare bombs so it can be useful even during night.
Last edited by milosh on 02 Jun 2020, 18:41, edited 1 time in total.
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zero-one

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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 17:10

milosh wrote:Are you serious? You compare satellite recon against battlefield aircraft and drone recon which Soviet commanders had at their disposal all the time?


Are you saying that the Russians could have had better intelligence via Recon than NATO, You may have a point, even today, satellites have not fully replaced airborne recon assets like the RQ-4
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