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1 ckkatz  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 7:22:04am

The military implications are quite 'interesting'. Missiles like the Scud are used when it is too difficult or dangerous to send in aircraft.

This implies that there are certain areas that are being denied to Syrian air-power. There have been a number of videos on youtube showing the downing of Syrian helicopters and jets.

And that in turn implies that the Syrian rebels are beginning to have effective anti-aircraft capability. Most likely man-portable air defense ('manpads') missiles, either looted from Syrian or Libyan military facilities.

Which also may mean that these missiles are becoming more widely available throughout the Middle and Near East, and Africa. The US has reportedly spent many millions of dollars to remove them from the black market.

2 Stoatly  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 8:01:59am

re: #1 ckkatz

And that in turn implies that the Syrian rebels are beginning to have effective anti-aircraft capability. Most likely man-portable air defense ('manpads') missiles, either looted from Syrian or Libyan military facilities.

Likely at least some triple A
Link

Rebels also claimed to have seized a number of mobile anti-aircraft guns at two air defence bases outside Damascus which they recently overran, as well as at Marj al-Sultan.

3 Destro  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 8:33:54am

re: #1 ckkatz

The military implications are quite 'interesting'. Missiles like the Scud are used when it is too difficult or dangerous to send in aircraft.

This implies that there are certain areas that are being denied to Syrian air-power. There have been a number of videos on youtube showing the downing of Syrian helicopters and jets.

And that in turn implies that the Syrian rebels are beginning to have effective anti-aircraft capability. Most likely man-portable air defense ('manpads') missiles, either looted from Syrian or Libyan military facilities.

Which also may mean that these missiles are becoming more widely available throughout the Middle and Near East, and Africa. The US has reportedly spent many millions of dollars to remove them from the black market.

What you wrote makes little sense. Cheaper mortars could do the job a lot more cheaply than scuds and just as safely.

If this report is true (we could be lied to) then this just proves the Syrian military is incompetent and that the Ba'athists promoted people in the army based on connections rather than military prowess.

4 Destro  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 8:38:04am

re: #2 Stoatly

Likely at least some triple A
Link

Why would the Syrians use Scuds when a mortar can do the job? Is it distance from target? But I am pretty sure there are long range mortars that can do the job also and more cheaply.

5 ThomasLite  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 9:14:17am

re: #4 Destro

Why would the Syrians use Scuds when a mortar can do the job? Is it distance from target? But I am pretty sure there are long range mortars that can do the job also and more cheaply.

I believe those "short range" SCUDs are "short" in range - for a ballistic missile. AFAIK the max range of the most "short-range" SCUD was ~300 Km with a CEP

6 ThomasLite  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 9:47:08am

...oookay, how that ended up a partial post I'll never know. part II: (apologies...)
...of 100 M or so - now I'm no military expert by any means but I believe mortars/howitzers/other non self-propelled ammunitions armaments have a maximum range of

7 ThomasLite  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 9:47:58am

...okay never mind seems 100char or so is all the system will let me do today. *sniff*.

8 ckkatz  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 2:43:28pm

re: #3 Destro

What you wrote makes little sense.

I will agree that it probably makes little sense to you. I will not generalize beyond that.

Cheaper mortars could do the job a lot more cheaply than scuds and just as safely.

Actually, that is untrue.

First, in order to fire mortars and non-missle artillery you need to deploy within a much closer range. In the case of mortars, very much closer. This means that you are risking the crews and equipment. And it is clear that the Syrian Army's ability to move and deploy has been greatly degraded. Plus you will have to provide infantry to protect the crews. And the Syrian Army apparently is facing a shortage of organized and disciplined forces.

Second, the warhead size of the Scud (depending upon the version) is much closer to that of air deliverable munitions than it is to Syrian artillery. The most common Syrian artillery piece is the probably the M46 130mm towed howitzer. Its projectle (shell) weighs on the order of 35kg. The payload of a Scud is between 500 and 1000 kg.

Third, artillery is far more effective when fired using observers. While you can fire artillery by map, that method is generally less effective against mobile and dug in forces. To observe, you have to get somebody within sight of the target. And keep him alive while he is doing his job.

If this report is true (we could be lied to) then this just proves the Syrian military is incompetent and that the Ba'athists promoted people in the army based on connections rather than military prowess.

No comment.

9 ckkatz  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 3:00:10pm

re: #2 Stoatly

Likely at least some triple A
Link

You are very correct.

My guess, and its purely a guess, would that much of that will be used for direct support, rather than Air Defense (AD). I am guessing this first three reasons.

First, the militias that captured it are likely infantry organizations rather than integrated arms units. (That is they attack folks on the ground rather than try to be a complete military organization.) Fast firing anti-aircraft guns can really tear up a building or outpost and save attackers lives. Repair and supply will be the responsibility of the guys that use them rather than specially trained and organized groups.

Plus air defense requires somebody to sit with the weapon and wait for a target. That may not come.

Second, most of the militia units do not seem interested in taking responsibility for areas that are not in the combat zone. And thus do not seem interested in the civilians and infrastructure in rear areas.

Third, a good air defence requires integrated radar and other target acquisition equipment as well as communications, and command and control. All of which requires a lot of organization and training. I am not convinced that the rebels have the required amounts of either.

Again, these are all guesses on my part.

10 Destro  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 8:44:29pm

re: #8 ckkatz

The Soviet M1938 mortar has a range of about 6,000 meters or 3.5 miles for example. If the Assad Army Syrians are having problems defending positions 3 miles away from rebel targets then their war is lost if that is the case.

11 ckkatz  Thu, Dec 13, 2012 11:48:11pm

re: #10 Destro

The Soviet M1938 mortar has a range of about 6,000 meters or 3.5 miles for example. If the Assad Army Syrians are having problems defending positions 3 miles away from rebel targets then their war is lost if that is the case.

I see two parts to the comment.

First, on mortars.

The 82mm mortar (for the soviets, 81mm for everybody else) is generally deployed at company (100 soldiers) or battalion (500 soldiers). 120mm mortars are generally deployed at battalion or regimental level. Mortars are generally designed to shoot at nearby things: over the next hill, an enemy outpost, a machine gun position, nearby attackers, etc. The projectile on the 82mm mortar is about 3kg, that of the m1938 120mm about 16kg.

Second, on the military situation in Syria.

Syria is well into the process of dis-integration. Syrian Kurdistan was abandoned by the regime some time ago. Large parts of Syria are no-go areas for the regime, and in other areas the regime must enter with a large force and expect to fight its way in and out.

To put it another way... There are armed gangs consisting of hundreds or thousands of men wandering the countryside, and the regime cannot stop them. On top of that, the losing side and anyone caught by the opposing side is likely to be tortured and murdered.

Imagine what that would require, and mean, where you live. In the United States we haven't seen such a thing since the American Civil War (ACW). And, while there were some atrocities during the ACW, the leadership on both sides generally tried to prevent them.


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