A Bit Of MIlitary Porn.

As it turned out, per reputable TASS (in Russian), ground version of 3M22 Zircon should begin arriving to the first line units by the end of this year. These are Navy’s ground forces also known as BRAV (Raketno-Artilleriiskie Voiska, Ground Missile-Artillery Troops). Judging by the admirable efficiency of the ground-based Bastion with its 700 kilometers range P-800 Oniks supersonic missiles which saw action in both Syria and current SMO against land targets, arrival of M=9, 1,500+ kilometer range of Zircon in Crimea basically closes the whole Black Sea completely for any surface force and “controls” targets well into the NATO territory. 

Bastions become even more relevant once Danish (they say it is two trucks with 4 containers on them) U/A/RGM-84 Harpoons (if, of course) make it actually to any kind of deployable status in 404. Considering the fact that from the launch site by Bastion somewhere around Yevpatoria it is about 250 kilometers to Odessa, it is easy to calculate that with the average speed in excess of M=2.5 it takes a salvo of P-800s about 250/830 meters per second (or 0.83 km per second)= about 300 seconds, or roughly 5 minutes to reach the target once launched. That leaves, again, of those Harpoons ever make it, which I doubt, too little time to receive targeting (obviously from NATO’s assets tracking Black Sea Fleet ships in the area) and develop firing solution. Russia, as I am on record, has her very impressive ISR capabilities, and they, actually, are growing day by day. So, that’s simplest of arithmetic. 

But even political level big honchos begin to have doubts:

 

The US and its allies have communicated to Ukraine the danger of escalation should the weapons provided by the West be used to attack targets inside Russia, according to an exclusive report by Reuters quoting anonymous officials on Thursday. However, Washington has not explicitly banned Kiev from doing so. The highly sensitive, behind-the-scenes discussions have “sought to reach a shared understanding of the risk of escalation,” according to the agency’s sources. “We have concerns about escalation and yet still do not want to put geographic limits or tie their hands too much with the stuff we’re giving them,” said one of the three US officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. Only two officials were quoted by name, and it wasn’t clear what their relation to these discussions might be. Douglas Lute, a retired US Army lieutenant-general and Washington’s former ambassador to NATO, said that if Ukrainian troops struck deep inside Russia, “it would spark a divisive debate inside the alliance. And, of course, the alliance doesn’t want that. And neither does Ukraine.”

Well, this verbal acrobatics is merely a convoluted way to say that Russia not MAY, but WILL escalate, and NATO will begin to lose its own assets. Recall Putin commenting on a HMS Defender hoax? He clearly stated, next time we will sink any ship sent to our waters and UK will do nothing about it. Nobody wants that, but, hey, a la guerre comme a la guerre, simple as that. Any NATO P-8 or any other aircraft over the Black Sea are easy targets for both Black Sea Fleet aviation or S-400s or S-300V4. In the end, Russia is ready for a really big war if shit hits the fan in the West big time, she was for the last 4 years at least. It is now or never, and it is entirely up to the West (a euphemism for the US) to decide how it will handle its own political, economic and military cauldron it finds itself in now.   

Meanwhile, Chinese border city of Heihe, across Amur river from the Russian city of Blagoveshensk, sends these messages to it neighbors in Russia. 

 

The message is: Russia, we are with you. Once the authenticity of this is confirmed (TV Zvezda reported on that, BTW), this is a very nice neighborly gesture from Chinese in the city of Heihe. There are polls in China which testify to the fact that large majority of Chinese are really rooting for Russia against the combined West and that support means a lot. For everything else there is a MasterCard…(c) Or, rather, Mir Card which buys you almost anything in Russia, who is awash in cash, resources and technologies which really matter. I am beginning to ponder, will Turkey make a dash into the emerging Eurasian economic and military union? Hm, fascinating… Hungary?