US Military Officials Surprised By Russian Game Changer

caspian sea strike

Hitler though Russia would be easy to defeat during WWII, the underestimation of the challenge Russia posed inevitably fell on the German high command then to Hitlers doorstep.

Hitler: “Russia is like a shabby house,  you kick on the door and the whole thing collapses.”

Obama: “Russia is a Regional Power, Is No Threat”

Hitler famously said this quote above before the Russian’s repealed the Nazi from Moscow and chased the Nazi’s all the way back to Berlin liberating all of Eastern Europe on the way.

Today we hear of Russia’s old rusted military, old and decrepit just left overs from the USSR, but it that true?

Few US naval strategists would count Russia’s Caspian Sea ships as significant or one that could cause any significant damage. The Russian vessels are small missile-armed or patrol craft, nearly all well under 1,000 tons. The forces have been viewed purely as local craft to the US.

But that changed on Oct. 7, when four Russian warships in the Caspian Sea launched a reported 26 Kalibr SS-N-30A cruise missiles at targets in Syria, nearly 1,000 nautical miles away. While most analysts dismissed the military effects of the missile strikes, the fact that such small, inexpensive and relatively simple craft can affect ground operations that far away is significant.

“ This launch from the Caspian Sea was more than just hitting targets in Syria,” said a US official. “They have assets in Syria that could have handled this, the message was clear its was really about messaging to the world and us that Russia has this capability, and they can use it.”

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The Kalibr missile used in the strikes is an improved version of the Granat land-attack cruise missile, similar to the US Navy’s Tomahawk, that travels at subsonic speeds.  The Russian Kalibr long-range version has only recently reached operational status. A submarine-launched version is in service, along with a ship-launched version equipping larger ships.  Until this week it was not clear that smaller ships, including the Project 21631 Buyan-M corvettes that also took part in the Oct. 7 attacks, could operate such a weapon.

“This was not a missile seen as being normally carried by the corvettes, which had [shorter-range] Klub missiles as opposed to the land-attack version,” said Bryan Clark, a naval analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington. The Kalibr, he said, “changes it from being a sea-control ship to one with distributed lethality. The US has been aspiring to do something like that, but the Russians have shown they already have it.

“The US Navy and other navies, blue water navies, really have to pay more attention to what is going on. These smaller ships are less than 1,000 tons. It is very dangerous to be dismissive, especially in smaller straits where they can do a lot of damage”

The flight path from the Caspian Sea crossed Iranian and Iraqi airspace en route to Syria, said the Russian Defense Ministry, adding that pre-strike approval was granted by both countries. On Oct. 8 reports emerged that four of the 26 missiles landed prematurely in Iran, first the US said they hit a small village the Pentagon then later retracted saying the Russian’s hit a field of cows, nether claim were back up by any proof.

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The Russians are adopting distributed lethality faster than the US,”  noted Clark.

The arguments made for distributed lethality are to put firepower on a bunch of smaller ships, have them disperse, in turn increase targeting problems for the enemy, and you may be able to generate the same kind of firepower if you concentrate the platforms.

“With the Russians, these 900-ton corvettes are harder to find than a [4,000-ton US] littoral combat ship. You can buy them in larger numbers, and they also carry land-attack weapons,” unlike LCS. “It would seem to give you a much more effective land-attack lethality than what the US Navy is pursuing.”

The US Navy is working on a more heavily armed version of the LCS, dubbed the LCS frigate, but those ships are not likely to have a Kalibr-like weapon.

“We have a new class of ships that we’re not equipping with anything that’s like this missile,” bemoaned Clark. “The Navy should feel embarrassed that they let this happen.”



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  1. Russia has carried out the essential Naval thinking and principles that I have had no success in pushing to India’s World War Two indoctrinated Navy and their slum gang indoctrinated Politician-Bureaucrat masters.

    Russia has done what any Navy that experienced PNS Ghazi at Vizag, the Japanese at Pearl Harbour, Nelson at Trafalgar, the sinking of the Bismark, or the works of Admiral Angre might have done. Moving towards a guerrilla if not commando Navy that can cluster, swarm, disperse, reduce cost and risks and multiply force. The application of Putin’s “Special Forces” thinking to Naval doctrine? Navies exist to command space with force presence measured by time to arrive on combat and the field of control they establish thereby. “Showing the Flag” and “Fleet Reviews” are as absurd as an officer waving a sabre to lead a cavalry (tank) charge would be in today’s battle field.

    That Russia has been working out at the Gymnasium since Clinton cast international law,the Helsinki Agreements and the Reagan Gorby deals into the void is obvious. But more significantly, Russia had permission from both Iran and Iraq for Russian missile over flights. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Western Media to win the war against terror (and Russia) for the US-Islam axis which may have to be delegated, like Viernam, Somalia and Afghanistan to Hollywood.

  2. The Russians also battle with a depleted economy. Yet, they approach military development soberly, seeking the most bang for their roubles. Their equipment has been classified as adequate, to hear the U.S. military appraisal of Russia’s military hardware could almost cause one to forget that, though their basic infantry weapon is an AK assault weapon, a weapon criticized for its almost primitive manufacture of stamped steel and a wooden stock which could pass for “unfinished,” my experience vs. that weapon was that it can kill enemies very dead. I saw that for myself, then learned that our highest army officers thought that too. (Well after the fact!)
    While our weapons were finely machined and finished, the AK’s would fire with mud in them, hardly ever cleaned, they were just plain serviceable. That is common with all Russian military equipment. I saw their MIG fighter plane close-up, it too, was primitive next to our F-86, which was our prime fighter plane at that time.Yet, the Mig-15 could perform excellently within its performance envelope.
    Russia may also have had its naval problems, especially their nuke subs, but they’re afloat, steaming, and maintained to fighting proficiency. Their artillery is good, their air defense technology is good too, if Russia is “the devil,” I must give it its due.
    While the top brass of the U.S. military is being purged by Obama for disagreeing with his sophomoric policies, the Russians don’t waste precious military time with social engineering, we, the USA does! The latest revelation for U.S. armed forces is the introduction of new uniforms designed as “unisex.” The Russians are probably doubled-up in laughter at the Obama-driven, US military’s frivolous wasting of U.S. tax-payers dollars for the silliest of ideas while its military arms are being reduced to 1938 weakness.

  3. Economy is the fundament of all superior art. Compare and contrast the design and development of the SAAB Grippen or the Mitsubishi with the US F-35.

  4. The Grippen was developed and built under Socialist economical circumstances. The economies of Sweden as opposed to USA are very different. Sweden’s aircraft company (SAAB) stands alone in that country. It has no Swedish competitor. The F-35 design and development was pitted against two other U.S. fighter-bomber aircraft developments, the R & D for all were paid for by corporate aircraft builders and not via government funds. Once the plane has become strictly A.F. property, funding comes via Dept. of Defense. Development for F-35 still proceeds, it must be designed/perfected for aircraft carrier use, and VTOL for Marine Corps use. There are still “bugs” to be resolved in the various designs of the plane. Sweden thus far, has kept the Grippen exclusively in Scandinavia. Sweden has no need for aircraft carrier qualification, VTOL would be of interest to Sweden, even moreso than conventional adaption to aircraft runways. The emphasis for Sweden is defensive, Sweden generally builds to its own specific defensive-neutrality military needs.
    I have seen the Mitsubishi type, I have no knowledge of what other nations besides Japan, await orders to be filled by Mitsubishi.
    For sure, it won’t be China or USA.
    But, the market for F-35 is plentiful if and when it will be released to a waiting market for export. I’d prefer, as an American, that the F-35 would not become distributed throughout the world. The USA should be keeping military hardware built to protect THIS country out of other hands.
    I see you suggest comparing F-35 to the other marques, please feel free to do that. I am not so qualified in aeronautical engineering that I could launch meticulous comparisons. Really, what would be the necessity of a “contrast” here of those a/c on a thread like this, even if I was qualified to contribute same? If we can’t get it from “Jane’s Aircraft” reports, then it still would not be available. You could give “Jane’s” a try if you like.
    Concerning the Russian equipment I mentioned, they were my comments based upon my personal experiences as a soldier from 1950-1954.

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