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    Security of Russian air bases

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    ZoA

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    Security of Russian air bases

    Post  ZoA on Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:41 am

    I want to discuss security of Russia air bases from attack. Frankly in think it is terrible and that most of Russian's air assets are in danger of being destroyed on ground in early phase of serious conflict either by long distance missile attack or by commandos and saboteur attack. Main and most obvious problem seems to me utter absence of adequate shelters for aircraft. Not only are there no hardened aircraft shelters present, there are not even basic pile of dirt revetments protecting that extremely expensive equipment. Instead those high value aircraft are orderly lined up and densely packed as if someone wants to make their destruction as easily achieved as possible. Just look all that equipment exposed at Russian airbases without any even most basic protection:

    https://www.google.hr/maps/@55.6135386,36.6464037,1564m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
    https://www.google.hr/maps/@51.4772763,46.2105206,2448m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
    https://www.google.hr/maps/@52.6393853,39.4599075,2310m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

    A single cruise missile with cluster bomb warhead penetrating Russians air defences can destroy dozens of planes the way they are parked now, single saboteur with high powered rifle and incendiary ammunition can destroy large number of planes, single 2 man commando team with 60 mm mortar without even entering the base can destroy or damage shitload of planes. Not to mentioned those planes are exposed to elements, sommer heat, snow, rain, hailstorms, and are perfectly visible to satellites or any randomly passing spays that can identify  types and number of equipment deployed, as well units they belong to.

    Frankly situation that can be observed on those military airports is criminal negligence. It is  complete lunacy to leave some 15 to 150 million $ worth of individual equipment exposed in such a way when it could de sheltered by cheap, probably less then a 1M$, concrete shelter.  

    I my opinion, and it pains me to say it,  I think Russian aerospace forces should emulate what Turks did with their military airbases. Pretty much every Turkish F-16 has its own shelter, and they are dispersed over large area as to make their simultaneous destruction by attack or infiltration as hard as possible. Here are some to Turk airbases and shelters they use:

    https://www.google.hr/maps/@40.093434,32.5704971,1459m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
    https://www.google.hr/maps/@38.2788229,27.1650682,1491m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
    https://www.google.hr/maps/@37.000029,35.4100437,2152m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

    Also I think Russian navy should look in to improving protection of their ports, biding more submarine pens an the like. Those would provide some protection form air attack, much protection form saboteurs, and hide submarines form areal reconnaissance so that enemy does not know if they are at sea or in port.

    MechanizedOne

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    Re: Security of Russian air bases

    Post  MechanizedOne on Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:35 am

    True, the planes look quite exposed at the Russian airbases.

    People could say that they have not taken any measures because they are not expecting to be drawn into a conflict any time soon, but I agree with you that they need better protective measures regardless because it is better to "have something and not need it than need something and not have it".

    The destruction of the planes while they are in that state might not even require a war with NATO. I don't know how realistic of a scenario it is within core Russian territory but imagine if some well-funded and well-equipped (by guess who...) terrorist (or even some secret US operative) came along and decided to target russian airbases and military equipment...
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    miketheterrible

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    Re: Security of Russian air bases

    Post  miketheterrible on Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:55 am

    a lot of you guys watch too many movies.

    Most cruise missiles would be able to easily destroy shelters anyway. Although, I do agree that having shelters is needed for other purposes, but in most cases, those shelters wouldn't protect any of the aircraft to begin with during a war.

    MechanizedOne

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    Re: Security of Russian air bases

    Post  MechanizedOne on Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:03 am

    miketheterrible wrote:
    Most cruise missiles would be able to easily destroy shelters anyway.  Although, I do agree that having shelters is needed for other purposes, but in most cases, those shelters wouldn't protect any of the aircraft to begin with during a war.

    NATO knows that a war with Russia at the present time would go nuclear so I personally don't think that we will see any cruise missiles targeting those airbases any time soon...

    Covert sabotage is another matter entirely however. Like I said above I am not sure how realistic of a scenario such a sabotage operation would be (probably not very, as you imply), but regardless, if the shelters are reasonably cheap compared to the cost of the planes then putting some up to protect against even remote possibilities still seems worth it.
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    miketheterrible

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    Re: Security of Russian air bases

    Post  miketheterrible on Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:11 am

    MechanizedOne wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:
    Most cruise missiles would be able to easily destroy shelters anyway.  Although, I do agree that having shelters is needed for other purposes, but in most cases, those shelters wouldn't protect any of the aircraft to begin with during a war.

    NATO knows that a war with Russia at the present time would go nuclear so I personally don't think that we will see any cruise missiles targeting those airbases any time soon...

    Covert sabotage is another matter entirely however. Like I said above I am not sure how realistic of a scenario such a sabotage operation would be (probably not very, as you imply), but regardless, if the shelters are reasonably cheap compared to the cost of the planes then putting some up to protect against even remote possibilities still seems worth it.

    Covert Sabotage at an airforce base with round the clock patrols, cameras and sensors?

    You are aware it isn't easy to just break into a base like that without being noticed, right?  They are rather outside living areas so it would be rather easy to spot someone approaching, day or night.

    And also dead in middle of Russia too right?

    Please guys, stop playing Call of Duty.

    MechanizedOne

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    Re: Security of Russian air bases

    Post  MechanizedOne on Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:32 am

    miketheterrible wrote:

    Covert Sabotage at an airforce base with round the clock patrols, cameras and sensors?

    You are aware it isn't easy to just break into a base like that without being noticed, right?  They are rather outside living areas so it would be rather easy to spot someone approaching, day or night.

    And also dead in middle of Russia too right?

    Please guys, stop playing Call of Duty.

    Personally I haven't played any Call of Duty for about 10 years but anyway...

    I will try and reiterate my point:

    I am fully aware of how remote of a possibility covert sabotage like this is, which is the entire reason I prefaced the statement in my first post with "I don't know how realistic of a scenario this is...". In case you are not a native English speaker (and I am not trying to bash I literally do not know) when someone says something like that before they make a statement it means "I don't think that this is a realistic scenario".

    My point is that if the shelters are as cheap as ZoA claims relative to the cost of what they are protecting then it is still worth it to put them up to protect even against extremely remote possibilities such as sabotage, or even something like unusually bad weather, lightning striking, or anything else really remotely possible but still possible regardless.

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    miketheterrible

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    Re: Security of Russian air bases

    Post  miketheterrible on Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:51 am

    MechanizedOne wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:

    Covert Sabotage at an airforce base with round the clock patrols, cameras and sensors?

    You are aware it isn't easy to just break into a base like that without being noticed, right?  They are rather outside living areas so it would be rather easy to spot someone approaching, day or night.

    And also dead in middle of Russia too right?

    Please guys, stop playing Call of Duty.

    Personally I haven't played any Call of Duty for about 10 years but anyway...

    I will try and reiterate my point:

    I am fully aware of how remote of a possibility covert sabotage like this is, which is the entire reason I prefaced the statement in my first post with "I don't know how realistic of a scenario this is...". In case you are not a native English speaker (and I am not trying to bash I literally do not know) when someone says something like that before they make a statement it means "I don't think that this is a realistic scenario".

    My point is that if the shelters are as cheap as ZoA claims relative to the cost of what they are protecting then it is still worth it to put them up to protect even against extremely remote possibilities such as sabotage, or even something like unusually bad weather, lightning striking, or anything else really remotely possible but still possible regardless.


    I look at Shelters for only one reason for their existence these days - to help preserve the aircraft and protect it from the outside elements. Shelters aren't cheap, and they can also take resources too if you need to properly heat or treat them. Now mind you, there are new shelters which are created for Yak-130 aircrafts, but they are not the typical hard shelter you would think. I promote the shelter idea only on the basis that its to preserve the aircraft and possibly reduce wear and tear on it.

    Sabotage on an airbase is a different case. I have visited airbases in what would be classified as 3rd world countries (only 2 of them I been to) and in both cases, I was quite ways away from the base taking some photos of the surrounding area to say "hey mom and dad, looks where I am" and it was not long, on both occasions that I was almost apprehended. They essentially told me to delete the photos of the base itself or anything considered sensitive. I did just that. Point I am getting at is that I was in a rather corrupt country with lack of proper set of laws, yet the military was still on point in preventing any potential concept of sabotage or leaking of sensitive information. I gave them props for that, plus I didn't want to get my ass blasted in a 3rd world prison either.

    Russia may look lax compared to a lot of places, and it rather is. I mean, lack of shelters, and what not. I figure that the reason why is that after the cold war, majority of the shelters in place were built for older jets that were rather small, and the big jets didn't get them. I guess they were just given daily maintenance and they would fly, land and what not. The shelters worked back in the day when if you wanted to drop something to damage the shelters, you had to fly almost overhead and drop it. Now days, that isn't the case anymore. As well, Russian military only recently started to get the proper funding it needed to modernize itself. Will they get the budget to do it? Maybe, maybe in the next couple of years because majority of the money allocated for the infrastructure side of things, are being developed for other purposes.

    When a base is frontline though, much like the Russian airbase in Syria, I would agree with you guys in the building of shelters. Simply because as proven before on the attack on the base, it wouldn't be hard for enemies to sneak in artillery of some kind that has enough range to strike at the base. Apparently there were damages to aircraft (although, no real followup on the claimed destroyed aircraft, so it was rather heavily questions about the effectiveness of the attack). But if the shelters were in place, at least it would guarantee that no aircraft would have been damaged since they built shelters in the past that were reinforced concrete. I mean, Syria has a lot of shelters for their aircrafts.

    But when it comes to Russia, its different in the country itself. A lot of their airforce bases aren't within artillery range from borders of potential enemy states. They are a ways away from the borders. Close enough that they can guard the borders from long range missile attacks and what not, but far enough that what would be the threat for them would only be some short range BM's (depending which airbase and where the enemys base is located) or cruise missiles. In both cases, shelters wouldn't be of any use and those shelters, unless built in a mountain, would be destroyed and the aircraft, personnel and equipment all along with it. In this case, the bases are now heavily armed with Pantsir systems and other SHORADS designed to protect the base from incoming missiles/rockets and what have you. They also have automated systems for sensors and what not to of course prevent the idea of sabotage. I mean, there is ALWAYS the case of a potential sabotage, but even with shelters in this regard, they will still be able to cause damage.

    So if the bases are closer to the enemy front, then yeah, I agree - shelters are a must have and I am rather surprised they didn't do that yet at khmeimim airforce base in Syria.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Security of Russian air bases

    Post  GarryB on Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:25 am

    How do you know those planes are real planes and not inflatable decoys?

    Russia is developing ground based robots armed with machine guns and missiles/rockets to deal with ground targets... together with the air defence systems at each of those air ports... not to mention the aircraft themselves which in most cases would be the ideal weapon against a cruise missile attack... I think Russia has other things to worry about.

    MechanizedOne

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    Re: Security of Russian air bases

    Post  MechanizedOne on Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:05 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:

    I look at Shelters for only one reason for their existence these days - to help preserve the aircraft and protect it from the outside elements.  Shelters aren't cheap, and they can also take resources too if you need to properly heat or treat them.

    When a base is frontline though, much like the Russian airbase in Syria, I would agree with you guys in the building of shelters.  Simply because as proven before on the attack on the base, it wouldn't be hard for enemies to sneak in artillery of some kind that has enough range to strike at the base.  Apparently there were damages to aircraft (although, no real followup on the claimed destroyed aircraft, so it was rather heavily questions about the effectiveness of the attack).  But if the shelters were in place, at least it would guarantee that no aircraft would have been damaged since they built shelters in the past that were reinforced concrete.  I mean, Syria has a lot of shelters for their aircrafts.

    But when it comes to Russia, its different in the country itself.  A lot of their airforce bases aren't within artillery range from borders of potential enemy states.  They are a ways away from the borders.  Close enough that they can guard the borders from long range missile attacks and what not, but far enough that what would be the threat for them would only be some short range BM's (depending which airbase and where the enemys base is located) or cruise missiles.  In both cases, shelters wouldn't be of any use and those shelters, unless built in a mountain, would be destroyed and the aircraft, personnel and equipment all along with it.  In this case, the bases are now heavily armed with Pantsir systems and other SHORADS designed to protect the base from incoming missiles/rockets and what have you.  They also have automated systems for sensors and what not to of course prevent the idea of sabotage.  I mean, there is ALWAYS the case of a potential sabotage, but even with shelters in this regard, they will still be able to cause damage.

    So if the bases are closer to the enemy front, then yeah, I agree - shelters are a must have and I am rather surprised they didn't do that yet at khmeimim airforce base in Syria.  

    You do bring up some good points here that I hadn't considered. I guess that my idea was (judging by the way that ZoA was talking about it) that the shelters were dirt cheap and easy to deploy and maintain, so I was thinking that it was a bit of a no-brainer. Knowing now that the shelters etc are more difficult to deploy and maintain I no longer believe that they would be necessary for an airbase in the middle of Russia with additional rocket defenses etc.

    But yes like you I do still think that frontline bases need them because, as you say, it is a lot easier for the enemy to sneak artillery etc into range without them being detected.

    I guess I fell into the trap of thinking that I somehow knew better what to do than the guys whose job that it is to run the base (I mean I should have thought that if the shelters were so easy to put up etc then why haven't they done that already?).


    Last edited by MechanizedOne on Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adapting to new quoting rules (no longer quoting whole post if not necessary))
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    miketheterrible

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    Re: Security of Russian air bases

    Post  miketheterrible on Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:35 pm

    Don't worry dude, we all do it. We assume we know better. And about 7 years ago, that would actually be true, cause of gross incompetence and neglect due to finances. Things are different now. We won't see shelters anytime soon though cause of other priorities need to be fulfilled first before something as small as this.

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