Sino-Russian led Dessert Storm

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nastle

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Unread post12 Jun 2020, 21:31

madrat wrote: I think the Russians would have ran low on logistical support in any protracted conflict.

Just look at a map and you'll realize just how impossible the logistics fo Russia was in this scenario. China unlikely to participate because they had it much worse.

i would go a step further and say that this was a nonstarter to begin with , how many aircraft can Kremlin realistically deploy there ?
even to concentrate supplies for more than one weeks worth of hostilities would have strained the soviet air transport aviation and they could not reply on SLOC either.
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milosh

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Unread post13 Jun 2020, 16:52

mixelflick wrote:It's also questionable how successful Russian cruise missiles would have been. I suspect you'd see a lot of the same teething problems. What's not in question, is that Russia had no stealth fighters/bombers etc. to hit targets in downtown Baghdad, as US F-117's did. That famously included Iraqi Air Force headquarters, a target that would have remained intact - at least early on. And Saddam's jets that retreated to their French built hardened shelters? They might have survived to play havoc with Russian efforts to close the deal, and end the conflict later on.


Baghdad would be in range of those beasts fired from KSA or Syria:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awPettw89vM


madrat wrote:Just look at a map and you'll realize just how impossible the logistics fo Russia was in this scenario. China unlikely to participate because they had it much worse.


:?

For black sea to red sea you have less then 2000 km same to Syrian Mediterranean that is nothing for transport capabilities of 1980s super powers.

China is not so relevant, I would use WarPact instead Russia&China, at least most powerful members of WarPact in same manner as US lead coalition had UK and France as part.

WarPact could launch two front war against Saddam. He would need to fortified its boarder with Syria lot stronger then in 1990/91 because from boarder to Baghdad you have 350km.

That mean lot less troops in Kuwait.
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nastle

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Unread post13 Jun 2020, 17:26

milosh wrote:
mixelflick wrote:It's also questionable how successful Russian cruise missiles would have been. I suspect you'd see a lot of the same teething problems. What's not in question, is that Russia had no stealth fighters/bombers etc. to hit targets in downtown Baghdad, as US F-117's did. That famously included Iraqi Air Force headquarters, a target that would have remained intact - at least early on. And Saddam's jets that retreated to their French built hardened shelters? They might have survived to play havoc with Russian efforts to close the deal, and end the conflict later on.


Baghdad would be in range of those beasts fired from KSA or Syria:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awPettw89vM


madrat wrote:Just look at a map and you'll realize just how impossible the logistics fo Russia was in this scenario. China unlikely to participate because they had it much worse.


:?

For black sea to red sea you have less then 2000 km same to Syrian Mediterranean that is nothing for transport capabilities of 1980s super powers.

China is not so relevant, I would use WarPact instead Russia&China, at least most powerful members of WarPact in same manner as US lead coalition had UK and France as part.

WarPact could launch two front war against Saddam. He would need to fortified its boarder with Syria lot stronger then in 1990/91 because from boarder to Baghdad you have 350km.

That mean lot less troops in Kuwait.

SS-23 were dismantled as part of INF treaty so exactly zero by 1991 although they did have conventional warheads unlike SS-20

but USSR was a regional power [with the pretensions of a superpower] not a real global superpower like USA
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milosh

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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 08:54

nastle wrote:but USSR was a regional power [with the pretensions of a superpower] not a real global superpower like USA


USSR did had logistic capability of global super power.

For example VVS in 1990 had 45 An-124, 55 An-22 and 310 IL-76.

I really didn't check how many big cargo planes USAF had in 1990 but really doubt they had much more.

Distance is also quite important, airlift from USSR to Syria or KSA is piece of cake compared to airlift from US to KSA.

Also you have soviet merchant marine which in 1980s was massive.

So I really don't see why USSR coalition wouldn't be able to deploy massive force and supply it.

About SS-23, INF could be problem but WarPact members did retain them and for my scenario I am using WarPact coalition, at least strongest members because PRC was quite weak back then so only way to have something similar to US coalition is to use WarPact members in coalition.

Around 120 SS-23 were transfered to WarPact members in 1990, there were more SS-23 in WarPact but those were soviet ones and it was problematic because Soviet ones had capability to carry nukes even though they were transfered with convetional warheads.

So with WP SS-23, USSR lead coalition could Iraq's AF hq without any problems and other important buildings.
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weasel1962

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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 10:33

A snapshot of the Soviet Union transport fleet per military balance 1990 might help.
Soviet transport 1990.jpg


For the benefit of our younger forumers. The Soviet air force was divided into 2 (VVS & PVO). Under the VVS, there are 3 branches (DA, FA and VTA). VTA = Voyennaya Transportnaya Aviatsiya (military transport aviation).

USAF had about 119 C-5s, 265 C141Bs and 566 C-130s in ~34 sqns.
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milosh

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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 11:31

weasel1962 wrote:A snapshot of the Soviet Union transport fleet per military balance 1990 might help.
Soviet transport 1990.jpg


For the benefit of our younger forumers. The Soviet air force was divided into 2 (VVS & PVO). Under the VVS, there are 3 branches (DA, FA and VTA). VTA = Voyennaya Transportnaya Aviatsiya (military transport aviation).

USAF had about 119 C-5s, 265 C141Bs and 566 C-130s in ~34 sqns.


Thanks for numbers.

So as I predicted max lift capacity is quite close, USAF have couple thousand tons more capability if we don't count Aeroflot.

But in case of VTA it was more like regional airlift while for USAF it was global airlift, very different thing.
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madrat

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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 17:20

Some of us remember how (un)reliable the Soviet airlift truly was. They may fly in a dozen and leave with six or seven, because they didn't have a logistics chain to fix crap that broke. They parked hulks just about everywhere they went. You couldn't call them hangar queens because they never saw one.
Last edited by madrat on 14 Jun 2020, 20:55, edited 1 time in total.
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milosh

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Unread post14 Jun 2020, 18:13

madrat wrote:Some of us remember how (in)reliable the Soviet airlift truly was. They may fly in a dozen and leave with six or seven, because they didn't have a logistics chain to fix crap that broke. They parked hulks just about everywhere they went. You couldn't call them hangar queens because they never saw one.


I really doubt that can be applied to later Soviet cargo planes which were backbone of VTA in 1990, but even if that is true still we are talking about regional airlift so it would be lot easier to send crews and parts if something broke.
Also VTA cargo fleet was quite new in 1990 and their planes would need to fly lot less to reach middle East.

So I really doubt we can talk about VTA having problems with aircraft breakdowns compared to USAF.

Also merchant fleet would be used by Soviets because it isn't huge distance, so they can transport lot of hardware by ships in reasonable time.

So no, logistic problems would be nothing for alternative WarPact coaltion.
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weasel1962

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Unread post15 Jun 2020, 11:39

Aeroflot used to be one of the deadliest airlines until they replaced their fleet with airbuses and boeings :oops: .
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milosh

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Unread post15 Jun 2020, 15:48

Starlifter and Starlifterski (IL-76) have similar number of crashes but there is lot more IL-76 and many aren't maintain as good as C-141 was, so I really don't see how soviet cargo planes (at least later models) are consider unsafe and non reliable?

VTA would be able to air lift similar amount of tons but faster, and also there would be massive sealift because Soviet merchant navy in 1980s was massive:
https://www.csmonitor.com/1983/0824/082450.html

Btw most 4/5 of soviet merchant ships were quite new and fast (over 14 knots):
https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... ot-sov.htm

So I don't get from were came idea how Soviets wouldn't be able to transport and supply its troops in ME???
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pmi

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Unread post15 Jun 2020, 15:54

milosh wrote:So as I predicted max lift capacity is quite close, USAF have couple thousand tons more capability if we don't count Aeroflot.


If you are going to count Aeroflot, you should probably count the CRAF (Civilian Reserve Airfleet) that was activated for Desert Storm. Almost 2/3 of all troops deployments & little over 1/4 of the cargo airlifted was done by commercial aircraft.
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milosh

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Unread post15 Jun 2020, 18:58

pmi wrote:
milosh wrote:So as I predicted max lift capacity is quite close, USAF have couple thousand tons more capability if we don't count Aeroflot.


If you are going to count Aeroflot, you should probably count the CRAF (Civilian Reserve Airfleet) that was activated for Desert Storm. Almost 2/3 of all troops deployments & little over 1/4 of the cargo airlifted was done by commercial aircraft.


I was focused on heavier equipment like tanks and ifv/apc/spg/mlrs/sam which need big military cargo planes, Aeroflot had IL-76 but I don't know how many they had in 1990.

Troops would be transported by Aeroflot.
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Unread post16 Jun 2020, 03:14

I think the Russian's experience in Chechnya in 1994-1996 is very instructive in this hypothetical scenario. In this war, Russia struggled mightily against a much inferior opponent than the Iraqi military. The Chechen rebels were a ragtag group and they could hardly be considered a world beating military force. They didn't have an Air Force, they didn't have tanks. Most of their soldiers weren't professionals. Yet they forced Russia to withdraw and inflected at least 5,732 casualties. Some estimate the Russian death toll much higher.

The Soviet Union only ended in December, 1991. This war started in December, 1994. The Gulf War ended in January, 1991. So this occurred less than three years after the end of the Soviet Union. Yes, Russia was in a very bad political and economic state at that time. Yes, the Russian military had deteriorated significantly. But they were still facing a far inferior opponent to the Iraqi military both qualitatively and quantitatively. Furthermore, the Chechen war was on their own territory. They weren't deploying a large expeditionary force. By the early 1990s, the Chinese were still using mostly Soviet weapons and/or indigenous copies of them. Aside from providing additional numbers to the Soviets, it's doubtful that they would have provided a massive improvement in capability.

Taking all this into consideration, it is likely that a Sino-Russian coalition would have had a much harder fight on their hands. They would have suffered much heavier losses and probably also inflicted much heavier collateral damage (as was the case in Chechnya). Eventually, through superior numbers they probably could have overwhelmed the Iraqis. Assuming the Iraqis had F-15s or F-16s, they would have likely scored at least a few kills. Certainly their SAMs would have downed numerous Russian aircraft. The Russians could only carpet bomb targets in Chechnya so it's highly unlikely they could conduct such a well-target and precise dismantling of the Iraqi command and control apparatus like the US did.
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weasel1962

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Unread post16 Jun 2020, 03:55

Chechnya is a counter-insurgency operation, similar to US efforts post Iraqi freedom (to which US also suffered several thousand casualties). The parallel would be the Soviet experience in Afghanistan (excepting that Chechyna's still part of Russia).

Chechyna isn't the same as desert storm.
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nastle

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Unread post16 Jun 2020, 12:09

milosh wrote:
nastle wrote:but USSR was a regional power [with the pretensions of a superpower] not a real global superpower like USA


USSR did had logistic capability of global super power.

For example VVS in 1990 had 45 An-124, 55 An-22 and 310 IL-76.

I really didn't check how many big cargo planes USAF had in 1990 but really doubt they had much more.

Distance is also quite important, airlift from USSR to Syria or KSA is piece of cake compared to airlift from US to KSA.

Also you have soviet merchant marine which in 1980s was massive.

So I really don't see why USSR coalition wouldn't be able to deploy massive force and supply it.

About SS-23, INF could be problem but WarPact members did retain them and for my scenario I am using WarPact coalition, at least strongest members because PRC was quite weak back then so only way to have something similar to US coalition is to use WarPact members in coalition.

Around 120 SS-23 were transfered to WarPact members in 1990, there were more SS-23 in WarPact but those were soviet ones and it was problematic because Soviet ones had capability to carry nukes even though they were transfered with convetional warheads.

So with WP SS-23, USSR lead coalition could Iraq's AF hq without any problems and other important buildings.


Soviets would be uable to escort any of their transport aircraft with fighters [ as they had no IFR]
if iraqis can send a squadorn of mirage F1 on a log range intercept mission it would be tunisia all over again

120 SS-23 were sent to DDR/bulgaria but using them in full light of the USA/NATO is highly unadvisable IMHO can lead to far bigger problems

one solution could be to use the Kh-55 of the Tu-16/tu-22 of the strategic aviation, they are very long range missiles can reach bagdad if launched from bombers deep inside syria /KSA and supersonic and very large warhead

true soviet marine fleet is massive but scattered ,and a prisoner of geography.And not backed by a true blue water navy [USSR had blue water ships but essentially a green water navy].The soviets would struggle to get past the turkish straits w/o NATO help and /or enter the persian gulf
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