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    Security of Russian air bases

    ZoA
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    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.
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    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...
    miketheterrible
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    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.
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    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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    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.
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    MechanizedOne

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    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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    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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    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.
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    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))
    miketheterrible
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    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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    Post  George1 on Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:16 am

    Satellite images of the Chkalovsk airfield in the Kaliningrad region

    The usual Russian air base at the forefront of NATO - there are no active shelters, the main part of combat aircraft is tightly built with a wing to the wing in the open parking lot as on parade.

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    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/3597122.html
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    Post  miketheterrible on Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:12 am

    Stupid post.

    There is no need for hangars. Not within range of artillery and within range of devices that would destroy hardened shelters like hot knife through butter.  Waste of Money.
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    Post  Hole on Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:32 am

    Good early warning radar is the best defence. Very Happy
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    Post  Isos on Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:15 pm

    Hole wrote:Good early warning radar is the best defence. Very Happy

    ICBM in siberia even better Very Happy
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    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:28 pm

    The issue of parking aircraft too closely has less to do with nuclear war and more to do with safety.  As is the case with Khmeimim airbase in Syria we parked our aircraft too close and a rebel mortar attack caught fire to one aircraft that spread to several others.  They should at least be spread out enough that if one catches fire it will not spread.
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    Post  nero on Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:08 pm

    Some guy in a pickup truck managed to get into a US airbase if I remember correctly and nearly ran into an F-16/18.

    There is a reason for different alertness levels. NATO/US cannot mobilize all that quickly.
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    Post  Hole on Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:03 pm

    The aircraft on the first two pics seem to be out of order. Look at the helis parked beside/between them.

    The third pic is the flightline. These aircraft are ready to be manned and get into the air at a moments notice.
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    Post  Isos on Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:45 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:The issue of parking aircraft too closely has less to do with nuclear war and more to do with safety.  As is the case with Khmeimim airbase in Syria we parked our aircraft too close and a rebel mortar attack caught fire to one aircraft that spread to several others.  They should at least be spread out enough that if one catches fire it will not spread.

    That was not proved.

    Anyway many planes in russia are affected by also the weather. Like Mike said, shelters are very expensive but this is only true for reinforced ones.

    They could easily build some cheap hangar to at least protect them from snow and rain.
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    Post  Azi on Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:52 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:Stupid post.

    There is no need for hangars. Not within range of artillery and within range of devices that would destroy hardened shelters like hot knife through butter.  Waste of Money.
    Eeeem really?

    Only 1 clusterbomb can destroy or damage heavy all parked aircrafts together, with shelteres the enemy need the correct bombs to crack the nutshell! And compare 1 clusterbomb with x bunkerbuster for x shelters! It's more difficult and more expensive for the enemy! And by the way...the enemy never knows, if inside the shelter is a aircraft or simply nothing!

    Of course shelters are expensive, but they offer another kind of protection you might think. And of course they offer perfect protection against rain and snow Smile

    But the 3. picture, with parking aircrafts together in a line, looks really like a way for really really fast response. Jump in and start!
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    Post  miketheterrible on Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:06 pm

    Azi wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:Stupid post.

    There is no need for hangars. Not within range of artillery and within range of devices that would destroy hardened shelters like hot knife through butter.  Waste of Money.
    Eeeem really?

    Only 1 clusterbomb can destroy or damage heavy all parked aircrafts together, with shelteres the enemy need the correct bombs to crack the nutshell! And compare 1 clusterbomb with x bunkerbuster for x shelters! It's more difficult and more expensive for the enemy! And by the way...the enemy never knows, if inside the shelter is a aircraft or simply nothing!

    Of course shelters are expensive, but they offer another kind of protection you might think. And of course they offer perfect protection against rain and snow Smile

    But the 3. picture, with parking aircrafts together in a line, looks really like a way for really really fast response. Jump in and start!

    Do you even know the exact location of said base?  Are you aware of being able to scramble before an aircraft with a clusterbomb would be able to enter the airspace and cause havok?  you don't seem to understand this concept so I wouldn't bother posting until you do.

    It would be like complaining about not having shelters for aircraft in Moscow.  No artillery is within range.  Otherwise, would require air launched missiles or long range cruise missiles.  In either case, both would be detected from afar and the jets would be scrambled to the air.

    Only makes sense as a forward operating base were enemy could launch artillery strikes at it. In the case of Syria. What Vlad said is partially right. One aircraft actually did get damaged, possibly 2. It didn't spread as there was no evidence of such but at least 1 did for sure which then forced the MoD to place shelters now at the site. But bases like this are not within range, thus they are used as is. If enemy will attack they will have to use something long range which would be picked up and jets scrambled within minutes.


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    Post  Isos on Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:08 pm

    A civilian drone boosted by CIA experts can carry a grenade destroy one of the fighter which can explode then destroy the next one ...


    In kaliningrad they in range of SRBM too. Radars can pick them up but air defence may be not ready. It need only 3 or 4 minutes to reach the bases from Poland.


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    Post  miketheterrible on Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:10 pm

    Isos wrote:A civilian drone boosted by CIA experts can carry a grenade destroy one of the fighter which can explode then destroy the next one ...


    Yeah, if they managed to get that close.

    Try going close enough to a Russian airforce base and see what happens?  In the past it was possible but after the last 3 years, its nearly impossible now.

    I recall about 8 years ago people were making their way to the gates of Russian airforce bases and taking pictures. Now you can only get invitation and close enough. Also, bases are not like in NATO were they are built in a city surrounding, like in Germany for US airforce base (using population as a shield more or less). In that case, it would be easier to take off a drone to cause havok.
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    Post  Isos on Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:12 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:
    Isos wrote:A civilian drone boosted by CIA experts can carry a grenade destroy one of the fighter which can explode then destroy the next one ...


    Yeah, if they managed to get that close.

    Try going close enough to a Russian airforce base and see what happens?  In the past it was possible but after the last 3 years, its nearly impossible now.

    Have you tried ? Bases are tens even hundreds of km2. And drone can fly ling time with a bigger batterie. Very possible.
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    Post  miketheterrible on Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:15 pm

    Isos wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:
    Isos wrote:A civilian drone boosted by CIA experts can carry a grenade destroy one of the fighter which can explode then destroy the next one ...


    Yeah, if they managed to get that close.

    Try going close enough to a Russian airforce base and see what happens?  In the past it was possible but after the last 3 years, its nearly impossible now.

    Have you tried ? Bases are tens even hundreds of km2. And drone can fly ling time with a bigger batterie. Very possible.

    Yes I have actually (not Russia but more confined countries like India).  You will be surprised how quick they are to spot people close by.  And they (India) have towns near their airforce bases almost right up to the gates.

    As for having a drone reach that far, maybe.  But it will be spotted.  That is purpose of low altitude radar which exists at all airforce bases after the learnings of the Iraq war were they used helicopters to attack airforce bases of Iraq due to only having high altitude radar available.

    Hence why even at the Syrian airforce base a drone never managed to actually enter. It only managed to get close enough but not enough to launch anything before it being shot down. Last time they had a near success (terrorists) was with rockets.
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    Post  Isos on Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:58 pm

    Detecting means half of the work done. You still need to intercept it.

    Syria is a bad exemple. It is at war and the hmeimim air base is the only big one so you can be sure it has at least 10 or 20 layers of defences, plus it is in the area fully controled by Assad withpopulation watching also.

    A base in the middle of nowhere is harder to protect. If the guy comes and hides in the hoods he can easily launch its drones and get away on a motorcycle. In peace time it's even easier to launch a surprise attack.

    If you are a small/medium country with lesd than 10 big air bases where all your air force is, then 20 guys with 2 drones each armed with 3 or 4 grenades can decimate your air force.

    Actually it's not the big drones that are changing the war but the small civilians which are very easy to use and very nasty.

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