US military equipment in Ukraine: political symbolism and goal setting

Military assistance to NATO countries, especially the United States, in the war for the independence of Ukraine is of great importance for successful resistance to Russian aggression. But does the nature of this help the real situation, and how is this aid effective?

It is better to consider specific examples. Let’s start with the military equipment. The most significant supply of armaments is the provision of Ukraine of radar artillery reconnaissance, intended for search and detection of enemy artillery, which the radar detects the trajectories of the shells.

This program is for the combat capability of the Ukrainian army invaluable — because its the same radar from Ukraine. Soviet equipment has long gone down, and the production of radars artrazvedki type “Zoo” NPK “Iskra” in Zaporozhye is recovering very slowly, and the date of the beginning of serial production is still unknown.

American radars, thus performing the bulk of the work on the detection of artillery positions of Russian troops in the Donbass. Delivered several dozen systems. Basically it is a lightweight mobile systems short-range type AN/TPQ-48 and AN/TPQ-49, with a detection range of up to 10 kilometers, and at least 6 mobile missiles, medium-range, type AN/TPQ-36 with a detection range of up to 24 kilometers. 36th station — modern weapons, allowing to track Russian long-range artillery of calibre of 152 mm deep combat formations of the enemy.

However, there is a problem: the supply of radars, the U.S. military has restricted the functions of this equipment. Radars provide precise targeting coordinates, but do not have the function to adjust their own counter-battery fire. That is, to calculate trajectories of their own missiles, which fly to defeat the enemy’s batteries, and clarify how exactly affected the calculated target. Despite repeated requests of the Ukrainian side, still, the American side does not provide access codes to change these settings. This greatly reduces the combat efficiency of Ukrainian artillery during the counter-battery fire.

Russian commanders leading the hunt for a us radar in the front, with the radiation repeatedly and systematically opened fire. However, due to the compactness and mobility the loss of the radar compared to the scope of application is small. Fighting lost causes, only one 36th, the radar also lost a few 48’s and 49 stations. Contrary to popular rumors, surrounded in Debaltsevo the enemy failed to capture the American radars had been captured only the set of spare parts for radar, standing on the arms of the 128th brigade.

In the summer of 2016 in Ukraine supplied 72 systems unmanned reconnaissance the middle of the action-type RQ-11 “Raven”. The composition of each complex of 4 small drone with a range of up to 10 kilometers.

Drones of the type “the Raven” are currently one of the main means near reconnaissance of the U.S. army in a part company-battalion. But there is one important “but”.

“The Raven”, produced for export to Ukraine under the contract from September 2015-the first year, are equipped with analog communication. While the armed forces of the United States, starting in 2009, are equipped with the “Raven” with only digital communication channel. Digital communication provides a much greater volume of data transmission over a communication channel that provides higher image clarity, high altitude, and most importantly, more protection from electronic warfare systems of the Russian army in the Donbass.

A number of volunteer design Bureau in Ukraine has already mastered the production of much more sophisticated models of drones, and is equipped with a digital communication channel, of course, more effective than the analog channel is “Raven”.

The importance of the delivery of modern military radio type Harris — domestic analogues of such equipment does not exist. The high cost of stations and consumables to them limit the amount of deliveries and application capabilities. American shortwave radio stations are important for the APU as a command post station at the level of brigade and battalion, well proven. Harris — modern error-correcting communication, to hack the encryption system which can suppress the EW Russians can not do. But shack “Harris”, are also supplied in appreciable quantity, wide distribution is not received. The reason is the lack of repeaters. VHF “Harris” and all the benefits, it is a wonderful station. However, without relay their coverage is limited to 3-4 kilometers. The cost of the station — about 20 thousand dollars. So instead of these expensive stations, the loss of which will have a long time to respond, even those units that have given them, prefer to use the normal civil “Motorola” purchased MO, and other civil station from volunteers for the front repeaters.

Another program delivery weapons delivery vehicles 130 Humvee. Some of them is a modification with ballistic body armor. This is the only army SUVs, officially delivered in service with the Ukrainian army, the majority requirements for such vehicles is still closed by the purchase of Ukrainian volunteers.

However, the delivery has been made without spare parts and tires. As a result, the percentage of serviceable machines in parts very low. The purchase of spare parts and tires by the Ministry of defence can close only a small fraction of what is needed, and auto repair has become a problem of volunteers, arranged the purchase of spare parts abroad, in private.

What do these facts say? The scale of assistance are great, they are hugely important, but approaches to aid planning of the supply does not meet modern circumstances. If the randomness was initially to explain the terms of 2014 year time limit, now the front is stable, the third year work of a group of military advisors, created a permanent large multinational, the Commission Ukraine-NATO conducted lots of official meetings. Discussed many approaches and uttered thousands of words.

There are serious problems with the formulation of exact queries from the Ukrainian side. But it is equally clear that the strategy of cooperation with NATO is also far from optimal. How to explain this?

In fact, the current level of military contacts says the lack of clear and understandable strategy on the part of the US and NATO.

Western diplomacy expresses the need to end the conflict and to reduce the escalation of hostilities. But his military Western policy did not explain how to achieve these political goals. A dashed political doctrine — but doctrine of military non-existent. And yet, the war is subordinated to its logic, and the desire to end the war does not imply the cessation of hostilities. And even the opposite — it is the technical superiority of Russian troops in a number of weapons allows the Kremlin to disrupt Minsk process and block the implementation of agreements.

NATO and the United States has not formulated the goal of providing military assistance to Ukraine.

What is the purpose? What I want to achieve U.S. and NATO in the war?

To prevent large-scale invasion of Ukraine? To end the war? To improve the efficiency of the Ukrainian army for strategic deterrence of the Russian Federation? To improve the efficiency of the Ukrainian army to conduct local operations in the Donbass? To integrate the Ukrainian army in NATO?

The supply of arms became the subject of discretion, not related and not aimed at the development of institutions of defense and security in Ukraine. Military aid is planned based on the controversial political decisions that brought the situation to the point of absurdity.

The radar had been promised by the US state Department in July 2014. Then artillery radars were designed to record the fact that the use of Russian artillery from Russian territory to Ukraine. The war became a war of mechanized units. And radar was, according to the plan of Washington, to expose Russia’s participation, to become, in essence, a monitoring tool, not a combat tool for the defeat of the Russian army. It is from here born the absurd restriction that does not allow to integrirovanii radars in Ukraine’s volunteer management system with artillery fire. Functional limitation was, according to the plan of the Obama administration, show that the US does not want an escalation of war that this measure is not aimed at causing losses of the Russian army, and for fixing violations.

In August 2014, after the start of large-scale invasion of regular Russian army, this restriction has lost its meaning. The Ukrainian army has not been recorded for the intervention of Russia, and took the captured Russian soldiers and military equipment of the armed forces. It was necessary not to exploit, and to help Ukraine repel the attack. But the decision of the Ukrainian war problems of the American officials do not demonstrate flexibility. So far in the supply of radars used a long outdated approach.

Moreover, this approach is simply amazing in its bureaucratic idiocy. Radar remains a radar, and the US supplies by far speak about deliveries of modern weapons to the Ukrainians. Radars give the coordinates of the Russian batteries with high accuracy. And in the presence of simple control systems, fire Ukrainians poured and poured in response to these coordinates the shells. Yeah, not so fast and just poured as I could, but falling is still there, still destroyed the equipment and personnel of the enemy. So what’s the point of limiting the functionality of the radar? Why not give the algorithms access control system for integration with a fire control system?

Obviously, this decision interfered with people who have no competence in military matters, and the decision has inertia, which is impossible to break through in Washington, even years later.

However, it is worth noting that NATO military officials in Ukraine also made no effort to change the situation, and don’t seem to have the authority and motivation to support and lobbying in Washington for any specific directions of military assistance in accordance with the actual situation and needs.

In the same example of the absurd is making over 9 million dollars. the drones with long-obsolete system, and the supply of VHF radios without repeaters.

Military representatives to NATO, as can be seen, also perform in Ukraine is very limited in its functionality of the task. Generals busy some sort of abstract establishment of military cooperation that do not have clear objectives.

Truly effective assistance must assume support of specific structural units of the APU, the gain of which will ensure sustainable and long-term development of new competencies and new modern systems of defence of Ukraine. Ukraine has changed, and for three years created new structures, there was experienced people who have acquired not only experience but also the technical knowledge to combat the use of new types of armed struggle.

For example, all members of NATO, all the us generals have repeatedly called for a new unit APU, which deals with the application of innovative weapons — “Aero investigation”. In this case, NATO can not complain about the lack of a systematic proposals of the Ukrainian side in matters of communication, reconnaissance, integration of management systems. Here they received a very specific and clear requests, they showed the military results achieved by the Ukrainian specialists, using our own developments and accumulated competences. However, systemic work and support those born of war of the Ukrainian army there. Military assistance American is not tied to specific units, but only situational political action. Still no flexible and meaningful interaction between the military structures of NATO and Ukrainians. Still no feedback and will make decisions according to the situation. But targeted military assistance, in particular military technology, would allow the Ukrainian military to ensure in the shortest possible time parity in the war with the Russian army, to test American weapons in actual combat against Russia, to identify the vulnerable points of Russian equipment and army in General. Only the high losses at the front and high combat effectiveness, the APU will force Putin to stop the war and get out of Ukraine. Without military force diplomacy in relations with Russia are ineffective.

Alas, America was not yet such a lobbyist military assistance to Ukraine, as was Charlie Wilson for the Afghan rebels, and this is the reason why American efforts to change the political situation at the front counter Russian intervention is ineffective, the reason why Putin is confident of being able with impunity to continue the war.