Tuesday, October 27, 2015

King of the Skies: None of NATO’s Members Could Match Russia in the Sky - Brookings Institution

The Russian Air Force in Syria left many Western military experts surprised, as they didn’t expect that Russia had the capacity to carry out military operations with such efficiency, the Washington-based Brookings Institution said.

 In the past, many experts called the Russian military weak, especially when it came to air and naval forces. But the Russian airstrikes in Syria have proved them wrong.

The assessments of the Russian military were inaccurate, as often Western analysts seek to discredit Russia’s military capabilities. However, with its effective campaign in Syria, Moscow has once again proved these experts wrong, the Brookings Institution said.

The New York Times even pointed out that the Russian Air Force conducts as many airstrikes in a typical day as the US-led coalition did in a month.

“Almost none of our NATO allies could match what Russia has done so far in the skies,” the Brookings Institution said in their article.

The Su-34 Strike Fighter

By firing missiles at ISIL-targets in Syria from ships docked in the Caspian Sea, the Russian military showed an unprecedented ability to launch long-range cruise missiles from corvettes and frigates.

“Using small-sized, inexpensive, technologically simple, and easily-produced ships, the Russian navy is displaying a unique capability and is highlighting the results of its naval modernization efforts, much of which are unknown,” the Brookings Institution report said.

The launch of cruise missiles isn’t that big of a deal by itself, but it’s the combination of this type of guided rocket and small-size armed corvette warships that fired them makes military experts stand in awe. The fact that surprised many US experts was that Russia armed its Buyan-M class ships, which displace only 950 tons, with firepower comparable to the much larger US Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class missile cruisers.

On September 30, Russia launched a multinational aerial campaign aimed at assisting Damascus-led forces in their fight against terrorist groups, which are trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad. The operation was authorized by legitimate Syrian authorities.


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