Military Bulletin 09/2015 – Ukraine’s laser-guided artillery projectile.

Regardless of the fight along the border with Russia, the Ukrainian Defence Industry is still targeting overseas customers with a range of defence products. One of those is the Kvitnyk-E.



The Kvitnyk-E, laser guided projectile  (LGP) alongside a standard, smaller, (grey) 152mm round.


The Kvitnyk-E has been developed by the Progress Scientific Industrial Complex and has been specifically been designed to be fired from the 152mm towed and self-propelled artillery systems, the 2S3 and 2S19.



The LGP is not a replacement for the conventional 152mm high-explosive round, which is predominantly used for suppressive fire. The laser seeker is mounted in the nose with a fragmenation-type warhead along with 8kg of high-explosive.

Although the LGP was accepted into service with the Ukrainian Army in 2012, full scale production has not yet started.



The Kvitnyk-E would primarily be used for high value targets, such as command posts, bridges, artillery rocket systems, tanks and IFVs. Once the LGP has been launched, four fins will unfold at the rear of the projectile and four control surfaces will unfold at the front.



The maximum range is expected to be in the region of 20,000 metres.

But, Ukrainian industry isn’t stopping just there. An LGP that can be fired from the more widely used Western artillery systems, such as the M109, a 155mm calibre weapon, is being marketed. Although this weapon does offer greater accuracy and target selectivity, careful coordination would be required between the weapons platform and the forward observer and designator. The FO would have to have line-of-sight of the target.

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black

Military Bulletin 08/2015 – NATO’s Baltic Sea exercise.

Unsurprisingly, Russian warships and aircraft have been following, and approaching, the multinational warships participating in the annual exercise in the Baltic Sea. This is an extremely large NATO exercise, consisting of 49 ships from 17 NATO, and partner countries. The ‘Baltic Operations’ (‘BALTOPS’) 2015 left Gdynia, Poland, on June the 8th.





The Russian interest started with a ship shadowing the fleet as it left port, followed by a flypast by two SU-24, making two passes above the formation of ships.

The SU-24, NATO reporting name Fencer, with shoulder-mounted variable geometry wing, is an all-weather attack aircraft. It has a maximum speed of 1,315kph and a combat radius of around 650km. It is armed with an onboard 23mm cannon and has 8 hardpoints for radio-command and laser guided missiles. It can also carry the Kh-31A anti-ship missile.

As well as the flypasts, two Russian Corvettes came up on the flank of the BALTOPS fleet. NATO command were far from concerned and actually welcomed the Russian interest. Senior commanders felt it was a good thing that the Russians knew they were there. The senior command was quoted as saying it was a good thing that NATO was broadcasting a message of unity and solidarity and a commitment to ensure the safety and security of the Baltic Sea.



Russian Advanced Corvette, Stoikiy (Steadfast).

The Russian SU-24s later made more than a dozen passes of an Arleigh Burke-class, the USS Ross (DDG-71).



Arleigh Burke-class, the USS Ross (DDG-71).

“USS Ross (DDG-71) (2)” by U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Sandberg. – Source. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –

Around 60 aircraft will also participate.  A combined landing force of 700 Swedish, Finnish, US, and UK amphibious troops will embark from four amphibious ships off the coast of Sweden to conduct a joint landing operation off the Polish Baltic coast.

The Bear continues to growl…..

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black

Military Bulletin 07/2015 – Russian nuclear missile drills.

At the beginning of June, Russia initiated a number of large-scale drills for its Strategic Missile Forces. Fifty regimental and ‘special tactical’ exercises, some lasting more than a month, involving rapid deployment and break-out to field positions will continue, unannounced, throughout the year. This will involve 30 missile regiments along with their associated mobile missile systems.

At least a third of the exercises will be surprise drills, and they will involve combat training with security and defence units. Additional ‘special tactical’ exercises, twenty in total, will also be conducted involving biological warfare defence training. It is thought that ten types of biological weapons and toxic agents will be simulated, including anthrax, plague and Ebola.

imageTopol-M TEL (Transporter, Erector & Launcher), Russian Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. NATO reporting name SS-27 ‘Sickle B’. Speed Mach 22 (26,000+kph), range of 11,000 kilometres, carrying a 800 kiloton warhead.

Below is the SS-27 Mod2, a Russian (Multiple Independently targeted Reentry Vehicle) MIRV-equipped thermonuclear weapon intercontinental ballistic missile. It is believed that it can carry up to 10 MIRVs. At least 4 MIRVs, each carrying 100-300 kiloton warheads. It has a speed of Mach 20 (24,500 kph) and a range of 11,000 kilometres.



The RS-24 Yars, NATO reporting name of SS-27 MOD

“PC-24 «Ярс»” by Соколрус – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

This is all part of Moscow extensively testing its ‘triad’ nuclear arsenal, submarine launched ballistic missiles, silo-based intercontinental missiles and its long-range strategic bombers. General Sergei Karakaev, commander roof the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, has been quoted as saying ‘the exercises will guarantee the highest degree of combat readiness and break-out capabilities, and of fighting in different environmental conditions, including an NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) environment.

The Bear continues to growl…..

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black

Military Bulletin 06/2015 – Soviet Submarine Fleet

There is a lot of talk about the demise of the Russian Submarine Fleet, but one still exists and is still very powerful. Split into Strategic and Tactical, the Russians currently have:

Strategic SSBN

3 x Kalmar (Delta III), each carrying 16 R-29-R Volna (SS-N-18 stingray) strategic Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM)

6 x Delfin (Delta IV), each carrying 16 R-29RMU Sineva (SS-N-23 Skiff) strategic SLBM (One has just returned from repairs)

1 x Akula (Typhoon) in reserve for training with the capacity for 20 Bulava (SS-N-X-32) SLBM. (trials/testing)

2 x Borey with capacity for 16 Bulava (SS-N-X-32) SLBM (missiles not yet operational). One additional vessel expected 2014/2015.



K-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy, Borey-Class, at sea trials

“K-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy at sea trials” by Schekinov Alexey Victorovich – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 



8 x Antyey (Oscar II) (of which three are in reserve or repair). each has 2 x 12-cell launcher with 3M45 Granit (SS-N-19 Shipwreck) Submarine Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM) Anti-ship missiles (AShM). 2 single 650mm Torpedo Tubes (TT) each with T-65 HWT. 4 single 553mm TT.

1 x Yasen (Graney) with one Octoupule Vertical Launch System (VLS) with 3M55 Onyx AShM; 3M14 Kalibr (SS-N-30) SLCM; 8 single 533mm TT.


Russia also has 17 Nuclear attack submarines, SSN, consisting of the following types:

2 x Schuka-B (Akula II)

8 x Schuka-B (Akula I)

2 x Kondor (Sierra II)

1 x Barracuda (Sierra I)

4 x Schuka-B (Victor III)


The Russian navy has 21 x SSK submarines. 2 x Varshavyanka (Kilo) are under construction along with 2 x Lada (AIP fitted)

The submarines are spread across four major fleets; Northern Fleet, Pacific Fleet, Baltic Fleet and Black Sea Fleet. There is also a Caspian Sea Flotilla.



Pleiades satellite imagery of Russian Submarines – Petropavlovsk, Russia

Copyright: CNES 2013, Distribution Airbus DS


The Russian Navy, according to the State Armaments Programme to 2020, will focus on nuclear-submarine construction in the medium term.There are two key projects; the building of 8 x Borey with capacity for 16 Bulava (SS-N-X-32) SLBM and 7  x Yasen Class multipurpose nuclear powered attack submarines  equipped with cruise missiles.  It is believed that these plans will not be achieved on schedule, based on the difficulties already experienced in building 50 or more major warships. The main armament doesn’t appear to be ready for the Borey-class of submarine, with the failure of the Bulava test launch in September 2014.

The Russian navy is also working on two other special projects, manned by officers only. Project 210 Losharik and Project 09851 khabarovsk. These ‘special purpose’ nuclear submarines are being constructed for use in special operations of an undisclosed nature.

The Bear is still growling…..

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black