Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July I&A going out tomorrow

UPDATE:  the first set of e-mails just went out.  Expect to see the e-mail within the next day or two.

Here's the link to download the June issue, for everyone else:  CLICK

July's I&A will go out tomorrow afternoon once I finish tweaking the book review bit.  I'd have had it done today but I got sidetracked doing final grades for the semester and taking care of some edits to my next Jane's feature covering Russian strategic force developments.  The KML file will be really amusing this time, there are a ton of palcemarks for Libya.

All for now!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July I&A and other info

July's I&A is coming along and will be distributed on time by the end of the month.  Topics will be as follows:

-A book review

-Analysis of BDA from Libya in 2011

-The ROK's ADD Complexes

-An update to the Chinese radars in Syria business

Expect a KML file for this issue as well.

Moving forward, expect "normal" I&A issues to appear every month except October and December.  Those months are reserved for Russia and China respectively, and will serve as annual volumes focusing specifically on each state.  They'll include both the content in last year's issues, as well as Russia or China focused content from other I&A issues.  Everything will get updates.

Also, my next Jane's article will focus on the updating of Russian strategic forces, to include the ABM and BMEW networks, and should appear in the August issue of Intelligence Review.  Or maybe September.  It depends on what the cover date is versus when it goes to print.  I'll post the link here once it goes on the IHS website, as I did with the previous one.

Lastly, I'm thinking of offering some sort of professional-type consulting service.  More to follow on that early August, probably.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Going "Live"

UPDATE:  No word yet as to the time, so it may be pushed to early next week.  I assume that the BBC might be paying a lot of attention to that Andy Murray guy right about now...

Either tonight or tomorrow I'll be doing a live radio interview with the BBC on 5 Live.  You can listen in online at the link, it'll be sometime between 2000 and 2200 (that's 8PM - 10PM in US Eastern Time).  I should have a bit more info regarding the schedule later today, at which point I'll post an update.

The topic will be the Syrian air defense situation, including the Turkish RF-4E shootdown.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BBC on Syria; July I&A

Here's something from the BBC that you all might find interesting:  CLICK 

In other news, the topics for July's I&A are shaping up as follows:

-A look at BDA of Libyan SAM sites struck in 2011, with an eye to what this represents as far as current SEAD/DEAD tactics go (seems like this might be relevant in the near future)

-A look at the ROK's ADD complexes

-A follow-on to the I&A special report published over the weekend examining the coverage of Chinese-sourced EW assets located in Syria

Those are all well on their way to being done, and I'm still looking at a few other ideas.  One idea is to explain the problems with this article.

I'm also re-working the layout for the imagery template I use in I&A.  The big one, like the one I posted here for the captured Syrian Type 120 EW site.  I currently have two issues to resolve, and one idea to incorporate.  First, I need to shrink the upper border a bit, to give more space to the image.  And maybe add a surrounding border as well.  Secondly, I need to figure out how to save the finished images properly so that they don't screw up the color.  Look at any of the big images in I&A, including the maps.  Any time I use red (which is a lot), the red parts look ugly in the saved image.  Nice and bright on-screen during creation, not so much after the save.  This is an image issue, not an issue converting to PDF, as it does this to the saved image before I do anything else with it.  The idea I'll be including at some point is to generate a system of identifiers for each location I show.  This can then be cross-referenced with the SAM Site Overview placemarks. 

And now I have a nice six-day weekend for the holiday, to spend working on my next IHS Jane's feature and some of July's I&A.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Strong Get Stronger

Two recent events significantly increase the effectiveness of what is already the world's most capable air defense network.  Simply put, the strong are getting stronger.

On 28 June, Ria Novosti reported that the new missile for the S-400 passed state trials, and would soon be delivered to operational S-400 batteries.  Whether this is the rumored 40N6 or not is up for debate, as is the actual genesis of the 40N6, but the classification of the new weapon as "long range" seems to indicate that the S-400 will soon have it's full design range capability of 400 kilometers at its disposal.  The "long-range" classification also appears to eliminate a 9M96 variant from consideration, a weapon long associated with the S-400 complex.

While mention of the potential 40N6 deployment has appeared in various sources, an earlier announcement seems to have largely been ignored.  In January, reports stated that S-300PM batteries had completed upgrades to Favorit-S standard.  This increases the maximum engagement range of the system from 150 to 200 kilometers, by incorporating the newer 48N6D missile.  Although still short of the S-400's 250 kilometer range against most non-cooperative targets with the 48N6DM, the Favorit-S represents a solid increase in system effectiveness, blostered by the introduction of newer electronic components. 

As the new S-400 continues to enter service, modernized Favorit-S systems present three possibilities.  First, they can be used as gap-fillers, backing up S-400 batteries uploaded with the longer-range 40N6.  This represents a useful role, given that the 40N6 likely possesses a reduced capability at range to engage non-cooperative targets.  Additionally, modernized Favorit-S batteries displaced by the introduction of S-400 units can be redeployed around Russia as replacements for older S-300PT and S-300PS batteries.  Lastly, Favorit-S batteries, displaced by S-400 batteries and not required elsewhere in the nation, could potentially represent a viable export target for a nation lacking the resources to acquire the more expensive S-400 but requiring an air defense upgrade.  As such they could also be passed on to states such as Kazakhstan or Belarus as replacements for extant S-300PS and S-300PMU systems while awaiting delivery of S-400 batteries.

Regardless of the details, one thing is clear:  the Russian air defense network is becoming increasingly potent. 

Users of the SAM Site Overview file will see these changes reflected during the next update.  S-300PM range rings will be altered to reflect a 200 kilometer range, and separate 400 kilometer range rings will be added for the S-400 to denote it's two-missile selection.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I&A Special Report: Chinese Radars in Syria

Interested readers can download an I&A special report on Chinese radars in Syria here:  CLICK

There are, at present, three different Chinese radar types identified:  the Type 120, the JY-27 (WIDE MAT), and the JYL-1.  The last identification is the least conclusive but appears accurate based on imagery analysis and examination of various photographs of Chinese radar systems.