By spring of 2023, Russia’s tactical aerospace force, the VKS, seemed to have improved on its initially disappointing performance in the war over Ukraine. After suffering heavy losses early in the conflict, VKS pilots were more successfully avoiding the engagement range of Ukraine’s surface-to-air missile batteries. They were doing so by confining their strikes to frontline targets or to border cities, firing from stand-off distance using arcing rockets or new glide bombs. Such tactics aren’t especially effective, but they are hard to counter.
The Russian Air Force lost a Su-34 Bomber, Su-35S fighter, and two Mi-8 helicopters today (one was a Mi-8MTPR-1 with a Rychag-AV) over Klintsy, Bryansk Oblast.https://t.co/oJuKhCBL7ahttps://t.co/rOnKarN115https://t.co/Uj0vcCIxxihttps://t.co/6iqkQRwNJkhttps://t.co/TQACvukEMY pic.twitter.com/Ts901HH5hI
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) May 13, 2023
The routine was dramatically disrupted on May 13, though, when two advanced Russian jet fighters and two helicopters on their way back from a bombing mission were destroyed in rapid succession. Even more shockingly, they were taken out over Russian airspace, in Bryansk oblast. This is not a place they expected to come under attack.
All of the losses were recorded on camera by stunned civilians. Reportedly none of the nine crew onboard these aircraft survived.
Losses of Value for the Russians
Russia’s losses on Saturday included a two-seat Su-34 Fullback fighter-bomber and a Su-35S Flanker-E multi-role fighter. These are two of the most modern aircraft types in VKS service, with powerful sensors, precision-guided weapons capability, and self-defense warning and jamming systems.
The Su-34 was seen falling rock-like to the ground near Istrovka and Starodub, 8 to 10 miles north of the Ukrainian border. The recording of the Su-35 shows it was already in flames before impact.
Two Russian Mil Mi-8 helicopters, a Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber and a Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet were shot down in Bryansk Oblast of Russia today, according to updated information.
The dark day of the Russian aviation indeed. https://t.co/WODSPtSj7N pic.twitter.com/4705ziY1Sw
— Status-6 (@Archer83Able) May 13, 2023
Twenty miles farther, both to the northeast and the northwest, two Mi-8 Hip multi-role helicopters came to their own fiery ends. A recording shows that one of the Mi-8s was struck head-on by a missile. It crashed into the outskirts of the city of Klintsy, injuring a civilian and damaging five houses.
At least one of the Mi-8s was among the 20 Mi-8MTPR-1 electronic warfare helicopters built with Rychag-AV jammers. This system can supposedly suppress up to eight air defense radars within a 93-mile radius to protect nearby combat aircraft.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat denied the losses were inflicted by Ukraine’s military. The spokesman also claimed a third helicopter was lost and asserted Russia’s own air defenses had accidentally downed the aircraft.
Friendly fire isn’t implausible, given Russian jumpiness following raids by Ukrainian drones, but four friendly downings in a row would be quite a streak.
Given that Russia appears to have started to comb Bryansk oblast for infiltrators equipped with anti-air missiles, it seems possible that Ukraine managed to ambush the Russian aircraft using means it is choosing not to clarify.
Air Defense Ambush
Ground-based air defenses are often mistakenly thought of as static threat bubbles that encroaching aircraft must either circumnavigate, attack, or stealthily penetrate.
In reality, good air defense commanders continually redeploy mobile radars and launchers to dodge attacks and surprise attackers. When the attacking side’s mission planners begin complacently reusing the same timing and navigational routes, the defender might change their routines to spring an ambush.
This famously happened during NATO’s 1999 war in Kosovo. A Serbian air defense commander figured out the rough routines of F-117 stealth fighter operations and managed to shoot one down using an old S-125 system by deploying a targeting radar directly below its anticipated flight path.
But how did Ukraine shoot down aircraft over Russia? Bryansk oblast is right on the border, and the downed aircraft fell between 10 and 31 miles of Ukraine’s neighboring Chernihiv region.
Consider that Ukraine’s old but powerful S-300P air defense batteries have an engagement range of 56 miles. These batteries could have made the shot if positioned close enough. Further, Ukraine’s newly received Patriot PAC-2 air defense missiles have an engagement range of 93-100 miles, making crossborder shots more viable. Kyiv has received one battery each from the U.S. and Germany, with a few more expected, including one from the Netherlands.
That said, commanders are leery of pushing their most powerful air defenses close to enemy forces, multiplying risks of being detected and destroyed. Active air defense radars are indiscrete to an opponent’s sensors, and they are prone to being targeted. This happened when a Russian Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile apparently targeted the radar emissions of a Patriot battery. The incoming Kinzhal, however, was downed by the battery.
Good air defense tactics often involve keeping some fire control radars off to prevent anti-radar missile attacks. Once enemy aircraft wander into the battery’s no-escape zone, the radar might be abruptly turned on to achieve surprise.
Ukraine could have quietly detached a few launchers and radars from a Patriot or S-300 battery and moved them closer to the Russian border with their systems powered down, leaving them invisible on the electromagnetic spectrum. Once long-distance area search radars — which can see far but aren’t precise enough for targeting — detected the Russian aircraft on the move, they could inform air defense crews where to cue the more focused arcs of their targeting radars.
At the optimal moment, the forward-deployed crew would activate the fire control radar, use the cue to rapidly acquire the Russian aircraft, and launch a missile at them within 30 to 60 seconds. The Russian pilots would have limited time to detect and react to the sudden threat. A Patriot battery could quickly shut off its own radar after firing, since PAC-2 missiles have built-in shorter-range radar seekers to guide themselves to the target.
An alternative ploy, which the Russians appear convinced of, involves Ukrainian special forces infiltrated into Bryansk and equipped with man-portable air defense missiles. Examples of these weapons include U.S.-supplied Stingers, British Starstreak, Polish Piorun, and Soviet-origin Igla-M missiles. As these are infrared, not radar-guided missiles (save for the laser-guided Starstreak), their launch would be harder to detect.
The operators and their handlers would first have to establish a clear picture of routine air operations and determine suitable sites to ambush low-flying aircraft returning to base. The separate teams could then stage multiple short-range ambushes in succession.
But choosing ambush sites would be very tricky due to the short-range (2-4 miles) and maximum altitude of portable missiles. The mission would be difficult to coordinate. Infiltrated operatives would also be at substantial risk so far into Russian soil.
An Air-to-Air Angle?
A third possibility is that Ukrainian fighters pulled off a surprise attack. But Ukrainian accounts insist that their pilots struggle to evade detection by Russia’s longer-range radars. Flying very low to mask against terrain helps delay detection, but not for long, considering rotating patrols by MiG-31 interceptors, Su-35 fighters, and A-50 airborne early warning planes with powerful downward-looking radars.
Perhaps an aerial ambush could exploit a gap in Russian radar coverage that results from terrain or the timing between patrols. Ukrainians might also possess new technical means to degrade or confuse Russian radars and attack the aircraft from a long distance.
Mena Adel, who writes on aviation exercises for Scramble magazine, suggested possible tactics:
“This requires the development of a deadly ambush plan, benefiting from prior reconnaissance, intelligence and co-ordinations to target the Russian planes, and the presence of a good distraction using electronic warfare means to open a corridor or gap used by the Ukrainian planes to infiltrate through at ultra-low altitude—which is something that Ukrainian pilots are currently specialists in, especially the northern fighter brigade in this region, including launching their missiles in a radius of 40-55 kilometers (25-34 miles).”
Adel pointed out that the Su-27 jets in Ukraine’s 39th Fighter Brigade can employ the R-27T and ET medium-range infrared-guided missiles, with a maximum range 31 or 56 miles. These are preferred over the radar-guided R-27R model because they’re fire-and-forget weapons, and they don’t set off a fighter’s Radar Warning Receiver.
“Relying only on the Missile Approach Warning System to detect the missile’s final approach, the pilots will have only a few seconds to overcome their surprise and act properly, which could explain why they did not escape in this case,” Adel noted.
But launching an IR-guided missile from afar with the fighter’s radar off — or switched on only very briefly — and having the missile reach close enough to the targeted aircraft so that its infrared seeker locks on, would require impressive target cueing, and strong coordination with external assistance. Adel, however, wrote to me that in the 2018 Clear Skies exercise, American pilots reported their Ukrainian counterparts found unexpected ways to employ aging Soviet-era fighters against modernized F-15Cs.
Alternately, Ukraine could have somehow adapted its Soviet fighters to launch AIM-120 long-range missiles already in use by ground-based NASAMS launchers. However, jerry-rigging fire control of these sophisticated missiles would be highly challenging.
It remains to be seen whether this incident was a one-off, or whether Ukrainian forces have the means and intent to attempt additional cross-border aerial ambushes.
Russia’s military will be compelled to take measures protecting against further attacks, even if this reduces offensive output. Steps could include shifting aircraft to bases more distant from the border; ensuring flight paths are routinely switched up to avoid predictable routines; improving security around airbases; and deploying additional electronic warfare assets, defensive counter-air patrols, and sensors along the border. The VKS will also surely sustain efforts to hunt down Ukraine’s new Western air defenses, destruction of which would make for a propaganda victory if provable.
Kyiv, meanwhile, must decide on how it balances defensive and offensive roles for those same systems. A Patriot battery deployed closer to the frontline could inflict losses on expensive Russian warplanes that were relatively safe before, thus disrupting Russian use of air power during Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
But such aggressive use would mean accepting greater risk of losing these highly valuable systems. It would also reduce coverage of the capital area and other major cities like Zaporizhzhia that are constantly under Russian drone and missile attacks.
There are no easy choices, but Saturday’s ambush suggests Kyiv has readied further tactical and technological ploys that it might seek to use during its impending counteroffensive.
That, or Russians air defenses really did shoot down four of their own aircraft.
Sébastien Roblin has written on the technical, historical and political aspects of international security and conflict for publications including 19FortyFive, Popular Mechanics, The National Interest, MSNBC, Forbes.com, Inside Unmanned Systems and War is Boring. He holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and served with the Peace Corps in China. You can follow his articles on Twitter.
May 15, 2023 at 5:31 pm
My money is on friendly fire from Russians themselves.
A combination of absurd propaganda about Ukraine invading Russia combined with legit sabotage operations and drone strikes of fuels depots and other targets in Russia has the Russians paranoid with itchy trigger fingers.
While it is of course possible it is the Ukrainians, FAR more plausible its Russian on Russian action.
May 15, 2023 at 7:14 pm
This should be the impetus for someone to get rid of putin forcibly and free russian armed forces from all constraints.
Once that’s done, forget the 2024 games and CONCENTRATE on fully ending the fascists-imposed proxy war.
To end the proxy war, all russia needs to do is employ a bevy of tactical nukes against the neo-nazis.
Would NATO retaliate. No. The west ain’t ready to lose paris on the eve of the olympics.
Neither is biden prepared to lose northern ireland or londonderry.
This is the best chance to end the proxy war. The window to do so is only here briefly.
The west enjoys and loves war and hankers greatly for blood and gore. So give it now to the warmongers in washington, berlin, oslo and others.
Do it now. And see collapse of globalism and global markets.
May 15, 2023 at 8:37 pm
Yes, the “storm shadow” is a game changer.
Sorry… but go ask the British… they might just be able to help you out.
Hard to argue with the targets… color of military objects or targets… so far.
Better not have permanent barracks in big buildings.
Or any standing still… big military targets within range.
Let’s face it… Russia has been hitting “behind the lines” targets for months… heck, from the beginning of the war.
Can the Russians counter a “Game changer?”
Rumors are the Ukrainians have received 400… I don’t know… but, so far, they are effective.
Some analysts are dismissing this development.
They are wrong to do so.
That’s where the Rubber Meets the Road.
We wait & see… what happens.
May 15, 2023 at 9:25 pm
The Storm Shadow missile is launched from the air.
Problem, Ukraine is in short supply of airplanes and every time a Storm Shadow attack plane appears on the radar… well… it better be the hottest blip on the planet for the Russians… well… possibly two blips.
Yes, the plane & the missile.
BUT… Russia has the best layered air defense on the planet… or so I’m told.
Well, time to show it!
Sofronie the Monk
May 15, 2023 at 11:00 pm
@403Forbidden: But would Russia be ready to lose Moscow? And maybe a few other cities?
Russian propagandists try to sow fear around as if their country is the only one with nuclear weapons, forgetting that even the two European nuclear powers have enough nukes to make a few dozen million Russian crispies. And I wonder what would the French do if Paris would be attacked… Hmm…
May 15, 2023 at 11:09 pm
God bless people in the world.
This attack on Russia Airforce shows that the Democratic Party and the Ukraine People’s Party want to make the socialism war in Ukraine to be the Ukraine version of the Vietnam socialism warfare. The Democratic Party lies to the people again, saying that the United States want to liberate Vietnam. In fact, the Democratic Party and the Communist Party are cooperating the socialism warfare, while the Republican Party ignore the cooperation between the Democratic Party and the Communist Party, allowing the Democratic Party and the Communist Party to continue promoting atheism to people in the world.
God bless America.
May 16, 2023 at 5:58 am
In the course of the denazification of Ukarina, US-made Patriot air defense was destroyed in the vicinity of Kyiv tonight
May 16, 2023 at 8:47 am
Ukraine doesn’t possess the ability to hit 5 aircraft in a matter of minutes. Guess that leaves friendly fire…
May 16, 2023 at 10:02 am
Downed Daggers is another lie from Ukraine. Even the Air Defense Department of Ukraine recognized this.
Ukraine does not even mention in the information that it lost the calculation of the Patriot air defense system, along with ammunition and operators, the complex was manned by American personnel.
How many more US citizens will come home in zinc boxes from a war that doesn’t exist?
May 16, 2023 at 10:13 am
That’s a lotta Russian propaganda you got one one small sentence.
FAR more reliable reporting shows that not only did all Patriot batteries survive…in fact ALL Russian missiles were destroyed.
Including the Khinzal pseudo hypersonic – but actually just a ballistic missile strapped to a plane – that Russia claimed could never be shot down.
With so much bravado, of course Russia has to pretend that Patriot has been destroyed.
If I was a betting man I would say there is about a %1 chance that turns out to be accurate. And that may turn out to be a bit too generous to Russian propaganda.
As I have seen the hit list from last night, the following was shot down by Ukraine:
6 Kinzhal aeroballistic missiles
9 Kalibr cruise missiles
3 S300 in land attack mode
6 Shahed-136/131 strike UAVs;
3 Orlan, SuperCam UAVs.
According to Forbes, one Kalibr missile costs approximately $6.5mn, so their total value amounts to $58.5 million.
One X47 Kinzal costs at least $10mn, so the total cost of the 6 launches is $60million.
Iranian Shahed-136/131 strike UAVs, according to information from open sources, range in price from $20,000 to $50,000 per unit. On average, 6 such UAVs cost $280,000.
The Russian UAV “Orlan-10” costs $100,000 according to the estimate of the General Staff. There is no publicly available information regarding the price of the SuperCam UAV, so let’s assume it is close to the price of the “Orlan-10” UAV. Therefore, 3 drones cost $300,000.
Thus, the total cost of the missiles and UAVs launched at Ukraine on the night of May 16th amounts to $119 Million.
For precisely Zero return on investment.
And just a couple of nights ago Russia attacked the hometown of the Ukrainians competing in the Eurovision song contest for no reason other than Putin’s Russia is a terrorist state.
Ukraine will likely not be able to always hit %100 of Russia’s terrorist missile campaign… but they are likely to continue to be at %85 or above with all the new and better systems coming in from the 50+ allied countries supporting Ukraine.
The real question is how much longer can Russia sustain their military campaign that is beginning to crumble at every level?
Sofronie the Monk
May 16, 2023 at 10:23 am
@Critic: yes, just like all those hundreds of HIMARS launchers were destroyed, right? On the other hand, losing SIX of the “unstoppable” Kinzhals in a single evening, most likely shot down by the said “destroyed” Patriot system is kinda embarrassing, don’t you think?
How was it? Ah, yes: “one hypersonic, unstoppable Kinzhal on Pentagon and it’s all over for the US”.
May 16, 2023 at 10:43 am
Credit where it’s due, it’s nice to see a comment from you with that level of realism relative to Russia’s predicament with what Storm Shadow brings to Ukraine.
Russia is in real trouble in Ukraine. A bit of panic is starting to set in, and deep strikes like those in Luhansk City by Storm Shadow will have more of an effect on localized fighting in places like Bakhmut soon enough.
In the Bakhmut area, Some reports have it that Ukrainian troops are already moving southwards along the canal towards western Klishchiivka, and that these open fields have been abandoned by Russian forces.
Further south near Kurdyumivka the last Russian bridgehead west of the Siversky-Donets Canal has been eliminated.
IF Ukraine is confirmed to soon take Klishchiivka and Kurdemivka… and the advance on the north side of Bakhmut reaches Soledar… the Russians are in very bad shape in this area and are in danger of further rapid collapse.
I assume A lot of fighting left before we get to that point, but the Russians have sometimes surprised us with rapid collapses before.
I expect that an increase in deep strikes by Ukraine behind the Russian lines to disrupt logistics and command elements will continue, and the Ukrainians will take advantage of opportunities to liberate more of their land as they come.
May 16, 2023 at 11:45 am
@Critic: Russian military was heard to say, “Darn those fake plywood targets!”
May 16, 2023 at 1:10 pm
there is such an expression – “they never lie like in bed, on fishing and in war”
Ukraine has raised the meaning of this proverb to the absolute.
Most importantly, Ukraine cannot stop lying about its successes, otherwise the curators will stop allocating funding for this war. And the curators, even if they know about the lies of Ukraine, should turn a blind eye, otherwise they will have to explain to the Senate Committee where 150 billion were spent when the state is on the verge of default.
But the problem is that the lies are getting so monstrous that they will come out just in time for the election. And this is against the backdrop of corruption scandals.
Ukraine claims to shoot down all missiles and drones, but almost every day there are explosions in warehouses and deployment sites.
For example, air defenses and radars near Odessa were recently destroyed, ammunition depots in Zaporozhye were destroyed, two completed C300 batteries with ammunition were destroyed, depleted uranium shells supplied by Great Britain were destroyed.
And the list can go on for a very long time.
But Ukraine continues to lie, and it seems to me that there will be no counteroffensive, and every day the probability is less and less. Because a significant part of ammunition and weapons is destroyed in storage.
But on the other hand, Ukraine claims that it has managed to shoot down advanced Russian missiles.
In my opinion, this lie is needed only to overload the information space.
May 16, 2023 at 1:42 pm
1st of all Ukraine has been openly talking about its difficulties to gain more aid.
2nd, its success is perfectly detectable by the great many Russian retreats/defeats. Otherwise they would have taken Kyiv in 3days. and still be there. and in Sumy, and in Kherson, etc.
You also claim…
“otherwise they will have to explain to the Senate Committee where 150 billion were spent when the state is on the verge of default.”
1st, most of our support for Ukraine was spent on big ticket items decades ago on things like Hummer, Abrams, MaxxPro, etc…
Current spending on Ukraine is a fraction of that.
And it is actually the best money the Us military has spent in decades…to defeat the Russian military without a single US soldier dying.
May 16, 2023 at 2:43 pm
403 Forbidden…please send me the link to your Stand-up comedy channel.
May 16, 2023 at 2:45 pm
Critic..dont you and 403 ever get tired of losing? I hope you both wear high boots to avoid stepping in your own BS?
May 16, 2023 at 4:35 pm
Announce the list of defeats and retreats of the Russians?
of the retreats there was only a tactical maneuver in the Kherson region when the Russians retreated beyond the Dnieper and left the Kiev region and Ukraine occupied these territories without a fight, but suddenly since then Ukraine has only lost control of a significant part of the occupied territories after the previous offensive. And there is no progress in Ukraine.
1) That’s the nuance – apparently, the goal of taking Kyiv in three days was not set and was not announced anywhere in official sources – for 3 days various media freaks were voiced and picked up by the media.
In my opinion, the war in Ukraine is nothing more than boobs to distract attention – while everyone is following the events in Ukraine, Russia has nationalized the economy
2) Well, electricity is taken from the outlet.
And at what expense will you reimburse the weapons supplied to Ukraine? – Petagon already claims a shortage of conventional weapons – judging by the video from Kiev, Ukraine used 30 Patriot missiles to repel one raid – I remind you that this is a monthly supply for all US armed forces, Ukraine spent this amount on just one attack. Patriot in Kiev destroed (СNN)
Now the question is – if weapons worth $150 billion were delivered to Ukraine at prices in 1990-2000, how much would it cost to replenish these stocks of weapons at prices in 2023-2025, let me remind you that the dollar is now under the pressure of colossal inflation.
The United States is one step away from default.
Now the question is – will Ukraine be able to win in such a discord?
The phrase “Not a single American soldier will die” is ridiculous.
Thousands of American soldiers and even more US citizens who went to this war as mercenaries died in Ukraine. Biden, in violation of the constitution, uses American military personnel without congressional authorization in military operations.
The Russians are hitting communication centers manned by American military personnel, they are hitting weapons systems manned again by American personnel, American special forces are engaged in battles with the Russians.
If you are not in the know, various departments of the US armed forces lost more soldiers during the year of the war in Ukraine than in 20 years of Iraq and Afghanistan in total.
And the families of the victims were ordered to sign non-disclosure agreements, or the insurance will be denied.
May 16, 2023 at 4:42 pm
btw, to put a finer point on you not correctly calculating the cost of defending Ukraine…you can take a closer look at the cost of the PAC 4 Patriot missiles.
As we have been doing most of this conflict, it is highly likely that Ukraine is getting older versions of Patriot so we can empty out our closet of our old supplies to make way for the new.
Ukraine is likely getting PAC2 or PAC3. Technically more expensive, but that money was spent long ago, And the new PAC 4 version of the Patriot Missile is a lot less expensive than the older versions. With a lot more capability.
In August 2013, Raytheon and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems began to seek funding for 4th gen Patriot intercepting system, called the Patriot Advanced Affordable Capability-4 (PAAC-4). The system integrates the Stunner interceptor from the jointly funded David’s Sling program with Patriot PAC-3 radars, launchers, and engagement control stations. The 2stage, multimode seeking Stunner would replaces single stage, radar-guided PAC 3 missiles produced by Lockheed Martin.
Stunner based PAAC 4 has improved operational performance at %20-%50 less than of the $2-$5 million unit cost of the Lockheed built PAC 3 missile family depending on variant.
Each Stunner costs $1 Million. Which is expected to go down with higher volume buys.
Stunner achieves a speed of Mach 7.5.
SkyCeptor, a derivative of Stunner that works with the PAC 3 system, is being sold to other countries as well.
Electromecanica Ploiesti of Romania will launch a three-year investment program this year to build SkyCeptor missiles with Raytheon. The first missiles are expected in 2026.
Finland has also decided to buy the David’s Sling missile defense system from Israel, which also uses Stunner. Expect the cost per unit to go down as more countries join.
May 16, 2023 at 8:48 pm
LoL, clearly you have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to US weapons, or the US defense budget.
Our Defense Budget is roughly $800 Billion.
For items bought decades ago, you are talking about $10+ Trillion spent over that time.
Which makes $150 Billion total a small fraction.
If you think quotes like this below make you smart, Spoiler alert: they dont.
“if weapons worth $150 billion were delivered to Ukraine at prices in 1990-2000, how much would it cost to replenish these stocks of weapons at prices in 2023-2025,”
We have well over 5000 Abrams tanks.
Ukraine is getting 31. We could give them 500 and it wouldnt make a difference to our defense capabilities.
We have close to 5000 Bradley’s.
Ukraine got 114.
These are being replaced soon anyway.
We dont even use Hummers, MaxxPros, or other MRAPS anymore [we gave Ukraine hundreds of each] because they have all been replaced by the JLTV.
Ukraine is getting no JLTVs.
We either already have or dont need to replace what we have given Ukraine of the big ticket items.
It’s all about the ammo.
And even that is often being replaced. This article mentions GMLRS for HIMARS, which is also being replaced by completely new types of ammo in the form of PrSM, and GMLRS-ER.
The GLSDB is a combination of two systems that we have in abundance that also had no other further use for the US military.
And for all the 155mm shells we have given Ukraine, we would never fight the way they are. We dont actually need many 155mm shells.
But just in case, South Korea just sent us 500,000 to backfill what we have given Ukraine.
And when we run low on the old stock of PAC 2&3 missiles for Patriot, we buy more PAC4, co-developed with Israel… which are cheaper and have better performance than previous versions.
Speaking of Israel, The Israelis have been making mincemeat of all things made in Russia for decades… and the US has had a great 2way exchange of info and weapons with them for decades.
As I have told several other Putinista trolls on this site, The war in Ukraine has awakened the industrial might of the US and our allies.
It may take us a bit to get back to full speed again. But the process has started.
And in the meantime we have a network of allies helping out that are much better at making munitions than your network of allies.
And since you seem to care so much about our economy, I will go with the combined $35+ Trillion GDP of the US & EU over Russia’s barely $1 Trillion.
I am cautiously optimistic the advancement of technology will both help reduce energy costs in the west and eliminate Russia’s economic benefit from oil and gas in the not too distant future.
Bottom line: Russia is in very bad shape. And for all of the actual problems we have here in the west, I would much rather take the cards we have to play than Russia’s.
And it’s Not. Even. Close.
May 17, 2023 at 1:18 am
The United States knows how to find allies. Who will pay for the banquet?
Romania is a poor country living on subsidies – the main exports are sunflower oil, gypsies and prostitutes.
Finland is on the verge of an economic collapse – after the Second World War, for the observance of neutrality, Finns got the opportunity to trade with the USSR, and after its collapse with Russia. But after Finland joined NATO, trade and transit through Finland were stopped, and suddenly the Finnish economy was unprofitable.
In addition to loading the port infrastructure and multibillion-dollar duties, Finland had access to cheap timber, oil products and metals. Now there are no duties fees, no resources. You can find alternative resource suppliers, at what cost will this raw material be.
Now the question is – who will pay for the banquet?
And, there is still Poland – Poland also ordered weapons with money that it does not have. Although Poland received an influx of cheap workers at the expense of refugees from Ukraine, the Polish economy is stagnating due to the loss of markets and cheap raw materials.
So the face value of the weapon does not matter, what matters is whether NATO countries are able to buy it. And the presence of a refinancing rate of 5% hints that there will be no cheap loans. And giving away old weapons systems without being able to replace them with new ones is not the smartest decision. By the way, in the same Russia, everything is moving towards the fact that all enterprises of the defense complex will be withdrawn from private property in order to be able to control the expenditure of funds and suppress corruption schemes and fraud in the defense sector. Somewhere the United States cried with a defense budget of 858 billion
from Russia with love
May 17, 2023 at 5:11 am
at this time (05/17/2023) the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue to retreat … oh, sorry 🙂 , counterattack, in Artemovsk, they lost the last large fortified area “Nest” and retain control over 1.2 sq. km. cities. the advance of Ukrainian troops on the flanks of the city amounted to 600m-2km in a week and has now stopped due to the heavy losses of the Nazis from Azov and foreign mercenaries. it is reported that their losses amounted to a battalion. the Ukrainian army also has problems in the Artemovsk area due to the work of Russian artillery and aviation. there is no way to rotate or withdraw badly battered units sent to attack.
about “Storm Shadow” Ukraine’s actions look predictable. Since Ukraine cannot hit military targets covered by air defense, Storm Shadow missiles were used to terrorize the civilian population and attacked Lugansk. two attacks were successful, hitting vacant buildings. subsequent “Storm Shadow” launches were intercepted. launching aircraft also shoot down. very economical … “Storm Shadow” for several million + a plane for several million lost to get into an empty college building and create at least some kind of informational noise. Mein Kampf Zelensky.
very little is written in the USA about the destruction of a warehouse with British shells with depleted uranium in the Khmelnytsky region. there is now a new Chernobyl. The radioactive release has already reached Poland, and in Lublin, Poland, an increase in the radiation background and a sharp increase in the content of bismuth in the atmosphere by 6-7 times are recorded. Bismuth is a decay product of depleted uranium.
@Sofronie the Monk @Gary Jacobs
there is even video confirmation about 6 downed “Daggers”! Vitali Klitschko, mayor of Kyiv, showed all 6. 🙂
“Patriot” is a true patriot of the air defense concept! after “Patriot” failed to intercept the Russian missile with all its ammunition, this air defense heroically destroyed the Russian missile with its body! 🙂 full dedication! 🙂
and, Gary Jacobs, are you writing about a rocket with a speed of Mach 7.5 (project. no rocket yet)? the “Dagger”, which has been in service and mass production for several years, has a speed of Mach 10. an attempt to jump into a detached car? 🙂
Sofronie the Monk
May 17, 2023 at 8:27 am
@Cheburator: of course all the Russian retreats are highly calculated strategic maneuvers. Everything went according to Putin’s genius plan from the very start, from the defeat at Hostromel to the sinking of the Moskva to the embarrassing run from Kharkov and to losing 5 aircraft in a single day. Now the question would be why would Grofaz prolong this war and allow thousands of Russians to die since with his obvious genius and overwhelming Russian technical superiority he could end it in a couple of weeks?
May 17, 2023 at 9:26 am
I come here to read Gary Jacobs’s facts and analysis burst Putin’s brown-nosers’ bubbles of wet dreams. 🙂
May 17, 2023 at 11:36 am
Sofronie the Monk
But did these local victories greatly change the situation at the front? They have more informational value for Ukraine, but not strategic. Ukraine continues to lose ground, and despite the supply of weapons, it is unable to go on the offensive, and if it is capable, then only a half-cocked.
And the money is running out.
May 17, 2023 at 6:37 pm
LoL, Finland’s GDP has grown by %3 in 2021, and %2 in 2022.
And their GDP is close to $300 Billion with a Population of 5.5 Million. A very well regarded ratio.
While this year their economy has contracted a bit, it’s nothing the Finns cant overcome.
This may be an alien concept to you, but actual market economies go through contractions at times, and creative destruction takes place.
Companies that are not run efficiently fold, and other companies buy up their assets which makes them stronger.
Finns do not have the same type of structural problems Russia has with its graft and institutional kleptocracy that is run like a mafia state.
Russia is also heavily reliant on fossil fuel sales to other countries. The fossil fuel era is almost over. And Now that they have been cut off from selling to the EU, they have to sell at a massive discount vs. price of Brent Crude to India, China, etc.
Not to mention Russia’s reliance on sales of military equipment. Much of which is not only being used up in Ukraine, it’s proving to be not very good. As such, they have lost Billion$ of sales to India, among many other countries.
Though to be fair, Israel has been proving how terrible Russian equipment is for decades.
As well, Russia has about a $1 Trillion economy with a population of 143 Million. That’s a terrible ratio. Especially compared to Finland.
And Russia just announced a contraction of their economy by about %2.
If I was a betting man, I would take an educated guess and say reality is much worse.
Back to David’s Sling, the Finns are going to spend a max of $500 Million in 2 phases of purchase. Their GDP is $300 Billion. $500 Mil is a small fraction, and it wont take much convincing for the government to explain to their people why they need more missile defense. Russia is the best marketing tool western weapons have ever had.
As for sales of US equipment to other countries. 1st of all, our equipment actually works well.
And regardless of how small of a purchase Finland’s might be in the grand scheme of things, once a few sales start rolling in, more follow…especially when an early adopter is a country that shares such a massive border with an imperialist tyranny like Russia… clearly it is a massive vote of confidence for Finland to spend what precious resources it has on the David’s Sling system.
Furthermore, the announcement of Finland purchasing David’s Sling comes just weeks after Finland joined Denmark, Norway and Sweden to create a unified Nordic Air Defense Alliance.
The pooling of the resources of their air forces – which include upwards of 300 combat aircraft – was also formed with an eye toward Russia.
That’s in addition to Finland joining NATO. The Nordic states are clearly joining together as a group to make sure they can react rapidly, and then come to NATO as a secondary step as needed.
Without a doubt, David’s Sling being deployed along Russia’s border is a major step up in air defense capability and surveillance.
Above all else, it shows just how serious Finland is when it comes to countering the potential threat to their east.
They should be serious, Russia various imperialist iterations have invaded them before.
Btw, years ago Finland also purchased 70 JASSM stealth cruise missiles from the US. And considering how badly the Russians handled Storm Shadow in Luhansk City recently…I’d say Russia should think twice before they try and take on JASSM.
In fact, Russia’s entire Ukraine debacle should make them rethink their imperialist tendencies.
May 18, 2023 at 1:02 pm
well, for starters, after the break with Russia, Finland lost entire industries, worth tens of billions of dollars, and then the service sector will develop like a house of cards in the ratio of 1 lost dollar in the production sector is equal to 4-5 five dollars lost in the service sector, well, the loss transit.
those. 300 billion of the Finnish economy shrink to 50-60 billion i.e. Finland in terms of population income will become poorer than Mexico in terms of per capita income. Guess who will pay for the expensive toys of the Finns.
As for the Israeli missile defense systems, as soon as Israel hinted at the possibility of supplying weapons to Ukraine, all alarm systems and radars fell in Israel for 24 hours, so deploying such weapons systems through the fence from Russian electronic warfare systems is a very dubious decision.
They smiled about carbon energy – China, the countries of the south, India and others are in no hurry to abandon carbon and nuclear energy. Green energy in its current implementation is just an expensive toy, unable to meet domestic needs, not to mention industrial production, but soy hipsters think that electricity is taken from the outlet.
Regarding the Shadow – given that several dozen missiles were shot down, the effectiveness is doubtful. And JASSM is more marketing than any combat value.
May 18, 2023 at 4:34 pm
1st of all, the Patriot system in Ukraine was so barely damaged that it has already been repaired and is back to fully operational.
2nd, Your regurgitation of Russian propaganda makes me laugh. Especially when it comes to Israel.
Hackers believed to be linked to Russia and Iran made *unsuccessful* attempts to sabotage Israeli rocket alert applications during a bout of violence with Gazan terrorists in may, according to Telegram messages they put out.
Most of its Telegram messages were in Russian or English and linked the group to Russian hacker gang Killnet, which has launched DDoS attacks in European countries that back Ukraine.
The bid to shut down the life saving early warning network by the so called Anonymous Sudan group and an Iranian hacking collective known as Asa Musa — managed only to take some ancillary websites offline temporarily, without affecting the official mechanism that alerts Israelis to incoming missile attacks via siren and phone notification.
However, it did underline a growing threat for Israel from what appeared to be cooperation between hackers and Palestinian attackers, with Tehran’s fingerprints evident on both keyboards and rocket launchers…and with Russian guidance.
“There will be rockets and cyberattacks at the same time,” one person claiming to be a hacker linked to Iran told the owner of rocket warning app Cumta, which was targeted in the May 2 hack.
Gedera residents received faulty rocket alert warnings on their phones, leading the military to recommend users reinstall their alert apps, the Kan broadcaster in Israel reported.
The initial hacking attempts came on May 2, as Palestinian Islamic Jihad led fighters launched dozens of missiles at towns near Gaza surrounding the death of a senior terrorist who had been on a hunger strike in an Israeli prison.
“We have downed all alert systems in Israel, iron dome isn’t getting full alerts,” the group said on its official Telegram channel, referring to Israel’s vaunted anti missile system.
It also took credit for Iron Dome failing to down a number of the rockets. While most of the rockets landed in open areas, meaning they would not have triggered an interception attempt, a number of them impacted populated areas of Sderot, including one projectile that hit a work site, injuring a foreign national there.
“All 22 missiles hit their targets without any interceptions immediately after our attack. This is unprecedented,” the group claimed.
The problems with this claim is that not only did the rockets *not* all hit their targets….all one has to do is look at a map to notice how close Sderot is to Gaza. It is nearly impossible for Iron Dome to activate fast enough to intercept all rockets fired at Sderot. Only once Iron Beam is fully operational, the Laser system designed to work even faster than Iron Dome, will it be possible to increase the interception rate in Sderot.
The IDF did say Iron Dome had suffered a technical malfunction, which was quickly resolved. Despite Anonymous Sudan’s claims, Iron Dome’s ability to track and intercept projectiles is incredibly unlikely to be linked in any meaningful way to the state run early warning system, nor any 3rd party application created by a private developer.
And as shown in the most recent round of fighting between Israel and PIJ just a few days ago, clearly Iron Dome is functioning well.
Since the incident you claim brought down radars and alerts your terrorist buddies have fired 1500+ rockets at Israel. 1 Jewish Israeli died.
As well, shrapnel from a Palestinian rocket that landed in Israel killed a 35year old Palestinian labourer from Gaza, and severely wounded another.
As for your claims about Finland’s supposed economic doom. Those are so absurd I wont even bother commenting on them.
May 18, 2023 at 4:52 pm
I changed my mind on Finland, and in less than 5 minutes found several reports corroborating just how absurd your predictions are.
It basically boils down to this: economic growth in Finland is expected to remain weak through the first half of 2023.
Real GDP growth is projected to gradually pick up later in the year to reach 0.2% in 2023, before increasing to 1.4% in 2024.
Inflation is set to decelerate from 7.2% in 2022 to 4.8% in 2023 before falling close to 2% in 2024.
The general government deficit is forecast to widen in 2023 to some 2.6% of GDP and remain at a similar level in 2024.
Not exactly doom and gloom. Quite the opposite really.
As well, The US and other countries have been stepping in with LNG supplies for the EU to replace Russian gas. There was not any of the shortages Russia was hoping for. Next winter will likely be more of the same.
Furthermore several breakthroughs in Green Hydrogen have come along to advance the timetable for when it will be a viable alternative to NatGas for baseload power to energy grids.
And Germany’s LNG conversion plants that they are building are designed to be future proof so they can work with LNG now and be easily converted to handle hydrogen later.
Bottom line: most of what you posted doesnt hold up to the slightest bit of basic research.
May 19, 2023 at 10:33 am
1) A gentlemans is supposed to take his word for it, a gentleman never lies (C)
Ukraine and the СNN have been caught in lies dozens of times, Ukraine claims to shoot down all the missiles, but every day military depots are blown up deep behind the front line. Somehow the reality does not match the words.
now the situation with the Patriots – at the beginning the systems were not affected, then – the systems were destroyed, now – the systems were destroyed but a little bit.
2) something Israel is not in a hurry to supply modern weapons to Ukraine, despite the pressure of the United States.
Finland – you can talk about the prospects of the economy on the basis of reports and graphs, or you can look at the structure of the Finnish economy.
– Metallurgy and mechanical engineering are profitable only on Russian raw materials (metal and energy)
– Woodworking and cellulose industry (Finland accounted for 20% of the world production of cellulose) – this is Russian forest and energy
– Food industry – fertilizers and energy , cereals.
Consequently, as soon as access to raw materials and energy is lost, the Finnish economy will immediately be blown away, because if Finland starts buying at world prices, its goods will become economically unattractive.
As for LNG, the United States no longer has enough LNG production capacity, and the financial crisis and the environmental policy declared by the neocons do not encourage the creation of new capacities. So Finland can buy LNG on the stock exchange, but what will be the price, and how will it affect the utility bills of the Finns, and the cost of goods.
So the industrial enterprises of Finland will begin to close, and the service sector will follow.
So what kind of economic growth can be in such conditions?
And what are you going to get hydrogen green hydrogen from? Or do you think the electricity is taken from the outlet?
To get the amount of hydrogen needed to replace natural gas, you need a hundred times more power green energy than the US or Europe currently has, at whose expense will the banquet be?
So this whole story with a green transition is nothing more than green lyrics that have no economic justification.
May 19, 2023 at 12:58 pm
FYI: Gas prices are plummeting to pre war levels after a mild winter, and a massive influx of US and allied LNG left utilities with ample stockpiles.
The price for natural gas in the EU (Amsterdam) reached another low point. Today for the first time in almost 2 years it went under 30 EUR/MWh, currently at 29.8 EUR/MWh.
What an epic disaster for Moscow.
Weak Chinese demand is also weighing on prices
Japan just bought its cheapest LNG shipment in at least two years, as the global energy crisis eases. Asia is usually the highest price in the world for any gas.
Back to Finland, NatGas currently accounts for just 5% of total energy consumption in Finland,.
Until May 2022, nearly all of that gas came from Russia, and had been used mainly by Finnish industrial and other companies with only an estimated 4,000 households relying on gas heating.
As Moscow has cut off electricity exports to Finland — also in May 2022— and the Finnish state controlled oil company Neste has replaced imports of Russian crude oil with other sources, Finland’s energy ties with Russia are now all but gone.
Under a deal with the American provider of floating LNG terminals, Gasgrid Finland has leased the Exemplar for a period of ten years for an estimated total cost of 460 million euros ($490 million).
The Finnish company tweeted a photo in Dec 2022 and said that the Exemplar ‘anchors safely’ at the Port of Inkoo.
On the raw materials, Finland has found ways to replace what they used to get from Russia in certain industries.
Companies have used different strategies to tackle the tight fiber supply, including using more domestic pulpwood, substituting softwood fiber for hardwood fiber, and importing more wood fiber from non Russian sources.
In the 3Q/22, imports were mainly up from Sweden and the Baltic States, but there were also a few shipments of logs and wood chips from Brazil, South Africa, and Uruguay.
As for metals and fertilizer, it is true that Russia has a strong position in those industries. However, as Russia’s economic prospects dwindle…cutting off sales to other countries becomes a double edged sword.
Russia is also suffering economic decline. With it’s fossil fuels being sold at a massive discount, the Billion$ in military sales lost from India, and the cost of the Ukraine war itself…Russia does not have much left to rely on.
And in the meantime, other countries are realizing just how unreliable Russia is at every level. And once again the US stands to be able to step into the void.
Michigan Potash [MPSC] stands to replace Russian potash fertilizer imports, and American farmers can replace Russian fertilizer imports with long term domestic supply.
It looks like a few other companies are stepping up as well, and quite soon the US may be a net exporter of fertilizer.
MPSC is developing a facility to harvest American potash and food grade salt near Evart, Michigan – home to one of the highest quality natural potash and salt deposits in the world.
At full buildout, MPSC’s project stands ready to respond one-to-one for those Russian imports of potash that are lost in the most critical time of need, with domestic production from Michigan.
I could go on for days like this, but for now I digress.
May 19, 2023 at 2:48 pm
The problem is that Finland does not have the capacity to replace cheap Russian electricity, and even if LNG is used for generation, electricity prices will rise exponentially – which will affect the cost of utilities.
It is the same with fertilizers and raw materials – other suppliers will be able to replace Russia, but how much will the price of industrial products manufactured in Finland change.
So I would not cling to the absolute stock indicators, but I would look at what impact the new cost of raw materials will have on the cost of the final product.
Well, Finlandia will make cellulose from Uruguayan wood chips, and on American LNG.
What’s next – who will need Finnish cellulose, if you can buy three times cheaper in Brazil, China or India.
Respectively, Finland will have to close production due to reduced demand. And it is not a fact that Canada or the USA will get market shares to Finnish , in Canada or the USA where the cost of pulp production is quite high.
The same is true in other industries.
So it turns out that not a rich, economically self-sufficient country enters NATO, but a poor dependent who will beg for billions in subsidies like the Baltic tigers (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). So the US has got another parasite instead of an ally.
You have noticed that the United States is following the path of the USSR before the collapse, I would not be surprised if the United States tries to introduce some kind of planned economy model, and even try to force other countries to buy manufactured goods from specific manufacturers. But if we remember the USSR, we remember where this road led them.
In what city do you think the agreement on the dissolution of the United States and the formation of independent states of North America will be signed? Problems in the economy precede the collapse of empire.
May 19, 2023 at 5:25 pm
LoL, so much BS in your posts its hard to know where to begin.
1st of all, Finland doesnt just rely on LNG. Balticconnector is a bi-directional natural gas pipeline between Inga, Finland and Paldiski, Estonia. It connects Estonian and Finnish gas grids.
It is also helped by the recent launch of the Baltic Pipe. That was inaugurated at an opening ceremony in Goleniów, Poland. A key route to carry gas from Norway through Denmark to Poland and neighbouring countries.
The Baltic Pipe will make it possible to import up to 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually from Norway to Poland and to transport 3 bcm of gas from Poland to Denmark. The start of gas transmission was 1 October 2022.
The project, supported by the Trans-European Networks for Energy, enhances the diversification of gas supply in Central-Eastern Europe and the Baltic States by opening a new import route from the North Sea to the EU.
The energy network connections in the SU areas has made it possible to be flexible when they need to compensate for one country or another that is more vulnerable to unexpected supply shocks.
The Europeans learned this lesson the hard way when Russia began using energy as blackmail in the dead of winter during the early 2000s.
Furthermore, Nokia and the companies associated with it are now the jewels in the crown of Finnish industry. Nevertheless, even this network of companies has been constantly changing. Relatively simple operations such as the manufacture of mobile phone cases and chargers have already been transferred abroad. Finland is instead left to focus on product development and on making the more demanding handsets and many of the components for them.
The management and R&D units of Nokia and its ‘satellites’ also remain firmly based in Finland. There are several 5g testing sites, and even a cutting edge 6g location. That makes Finland a prime breeding ground for a tech echo system, and it has very much become just that.
At the same time as technology and services have blossomed in Finland, globalization has played its part in the decline of various industries that used to be important to them. Especially in the paper milling and metallurgy industries.
This process began long before the war in Ukraine, and has made all of your bluster about the decline of industries in Finland that used to be quite crucial to their economy…far less relevant.
The electrical engineering industry’s roots in Finland go back to the late 19th century, when Gottfried Strömberg built his first generators and electric motors. The company he founded is now an integral and profitable part of the Asea Brown Boveri Group. Other Finnish companies – such as Instru, Vaisala and Neles (now part of Metso) – have succeeded in areas such as industrial automation and medical and meteorological technology.
Electrical engineering also covers lift and crane production, where Kone Plc and its offspring KCI Konecranes are global leaders. Kone was founded in 1910 as a section of Strömberg, and under the ownership and management of the Herlin family it has grown into one of the three biggest lift producers in the world. Just how is admittedly something of a mystery, as Finland itself does not even have any skyscrapers. Crucial to Kone’s success has been its emphasis on advanced technology [e.g. the first lifts to have no motor room] and its rock solid ownership base.
Even in the Finland’s wood processing to produce a wide range of products from planks to pulp and paper, advanced technology plays an increasingly significant role. Today, the highly paid and trained employees at paper mills tend to sit at computers in a control room, and it is only when some mechanical fault occurs – such as when the hurtling paper web breaks – that technicians rush down to the shop floor and engage ‘hands on’ with the huge machines.
In today’s pulp mills in Finland, both raw materials and power are used so efficiently that the raw wood fibre is fully utilized in a ‘closed circuit’, and even the waste liquor is burned to produce electricity.
In fact, a pulp mill is a kind of power plant, because it generates more electricity than it consumes.
As I said before, I could go on for days like this…but for now I digress.
May 20, 2023 at 7:36 am
Norway is reducing gas production, so Poland got excited with the construction of the Baltic Pipe – there is a pipe, but no gas.
In Finland, electricity is more widely used than gas, but the problem is that in Russia, Finland bought electricity 10 times cheaper than in the EU.
I do not deny the technological development of Finland, but if Russian raw materials are abandoned, the issue of selling products will become an issue. Finland, due to access to cheap resources, could compete with China in pricing, and if there is no low price, then there will be no economic attractiveness of Finnish products.
This is where we come to the conclusion that the EU and the US will be forced to move to a planned economy, and directive demand the purchase of certain goods. And given that the EU and the US are 10% of the population and the influence of the US is declining, and outside of this economic zone, directives will be useless, and goods will not be competitive.
That is, in fact, the EU and the US are on the verge of stagnation and economic crisis.
History goes in a spiral and now the US and the EU are exactly repeating the steps of the USSR before the collapse. An economic downturn, uncontrolled spending, one hot war, and another one could start in the Pacific.
The best option for the United States is to act like a lizard – throw off the tail for which they are holding, we will grow back later. But no, the United States continues to stand its ground with fanatical persistence, which can lead to the death of the state – and not from an external threat, but from accumulated internal problems.
Do you know that a person is hundreds of times more likely to die from cancer than from a bullet?
May 20, 2023 at 11:25 am
LoL. The western world has awakened to the perils of doing business with China.
One of the few things I agree with Biden on besides Ukraine is cutting China off from the most advanced microchips, and limiting their participation in 5g networks. It hasnt always been perfect, but when it works, it works well, and fast.
We have literally knee capped entire companies in China quite swiftly. Witness the decline of Huawei, among others. A major competitor to Nokia was chopped down to size.
And there is basically nothing China can do about it at this point. The supply chain for advanced tech is diversen and largely in US aligned countries.
While it is true that a lot of the most advanced chips are made by TSMC in Taiwan. They use US tech to do it. The software and designs are all American, Israel, European, Japanese, or S. Korean. And the EUV machines that TSMC uses for their advanced chips are made by one company only: the Dutch company ASML…which also uses US tech.
Even if China takes Tawan, they wouldnt be able to exploit those machines as they require expert maintenance from ASML, and software from the US.
Biden has done a good job of getting Japan and the Dutch to agree on restrictions to China, and several more Chinese companies have folded.
Once South Korea comes on board, it’s locked in. China is currently restricted to the 14nm scale. Most advanced chips are down to 2-3nm.
Bottom line on China: just because they do a few things cheap, doesnt mean they are replacing western high tech industries any time soon.
On gas/energy…Finland has basically replaced everything it used to get from Russia. And my earlier reference to the price of gas on the market in Amsterdam has nothing to do with buying stocks of a company, it’s the market for buying gas deliveries for use. And it is cheaper now than before the war.
Furthermore, your notion that US LNG exports and/or production is cratering is pure nonsense. According to the US Energy Information Administration [EIA]:
“we forecast that US LNG exports will average 12.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2023, a 14% (1.5 Bcf/d) increase compared with last year. We expect LNG exports to increase by an additional 5% (0.7 Bcf/d) next year.”
And another report on April 27, 2023 “exports to increase 152% between 2022 and 2050. We expect natural gas production to rise to 42.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) by 2050”
And that’s besides the fact that your there are more sources coming online in many places. Not least of which is in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea with Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Egypt working together to send gas to Egypts LNG facility for export around the world.
There is an LNG regasification facility being built off the northern Greek port of Alexandroupolis which will help create a new gas route for Europe and further cut any need to ever use Russian gas again.
That combined with the 3 Seas Initiative connecting south eastern and north eastern Europe, which will include pipes to transport gas, and the further diversification of energy supplies is coming soon.
Then you have the 1 gigawatt Green Hydrogen facility Israeli company H2Pro is building in Morocco. It will not only take Morocco off the NatGas market, it will lead to a lot more green hydrogen projects, and the rapid conversion of many of those LNG facilities to be able to offload hydrogen instead.
As I said before, the era of fossil fuels in general, and the need for any other form of energy form of energy from Russia is rapidly coming to an end.
As I also said before, I can go on for days like this, but for now I digress.
May 20, 2023 at 4:36 pm
You know what is the problem with all advanced technologies.
In fact, the only thing that protects their uniqueness is a thin condom called intellectual property.
And by its actions, the US is forcing China to formally waive any patent rights, as Russia did. And suddenly it turns out that a ten, and nine will be in Russia and China produced a litografics euipment.
China respects intellectual rights as long as it has access to advanced technologies, and what will happen to the tech giants of the US, Japan and Europe if China turns the dick up in intellectual rights.
China has agreed to abide by the rules as long as they do not infringe on its interests, but if China says – I do not play your games.
In addition, do not forget that China remains the main exporter of rare earth elements.
As for energy, these reports are too optimistic.
May 21, 2023 at 11:01 am
LoL… China has never respected the IP of any company. WTF are you talking about?
Between the straight up industrial espionage stealing other people’s info, designs, etc… and them forcing some companies to sign deals agreeing to hand over IP in order to have any access to China’s market…China has been the least respectful of other people’s IP of any country I can think of.
And many companies are waking up to that reality. Apple has already begun to move a massive amount of it’s supply chain out of China to India, Vietnam, and others.
As for the Lithographs, China will remain at least a decade behind the west for quite some time. It is now illegal for ASML to sell advanced EUV machines to China. And now that the west has become more protective of the process for the most advanced chips, there is a strong possibility that gap expands.
As for China and Russia on raw and rare earth materials… Here again the west is waking up to the fact that both of those countries are unreliable to the global supply chain. And alternatives are being found. For Russia in aluminum and titanium especially.
Polymer Composites as an aluminum alternative
are gaining market share as they share many of the positive qualities of aluminum and other traditional materials. Many industries are using composites to improve the design process and end products.
One of the key reasons for using polymer composites as an aluminum alternative is their high strength/weight ratio. Polymer composites are lighter while also being stronger and stiffer, leading auto engineers to use composites to lighten vehicle weights while improving crash safety. Because polymer composites are made of multilayer laminates, absorbing more energy than steel or aluminum.
Composites are not conductive, unlike aluminum which is a hazard in high voltage areas. Composites are not vulnerable to impact, whereas aluminum is a low strength metal that is prone to denting, breaking, or deforming.
And although aluminum has a low material cost and is easy to install, its lack of durability means it will have to be repaired and replaced more frequently.
This makes polymer composites more cost effective long term.
On titanium, the biggest issue is that it is used quite often in airplane parts, and those parts have to be certified when that are made from a new supplier. “The issue simply is getting the parts qualified,” Raytheon Chairman and CEO Greg Hayes said on a 2022 earnings call.
“You’ve got to go through a first article. You’ve got to go through the metallurgical analysis. You’ve got to make sure that the composition of material is exactly the same as what it was. And then you’ve got to get the parts certified. So that’s the part that takes time. It’s not actually identifying the suppliers. We’ve done that.”
Here again Russia has overplayed its hand and is now being slowly but surely squeezed out of the market.
China is having a similar experience with Lithium and other materials it seeks to control.
Tesla has signed off take agreements with Piedmont Lithium [PLL] for a supply coming from US mines, and is also permitting its own lithium refining capacity in Texas.
General Motors [GM] is investing in Lithium Americas [LAC] capacity to ensure its supply of lithium.
Furthermore, the Salton Sea area of California has one of the largest Lithium deposits on planet earth. But it is a sensitive area for a number of reasons and efficiently extracting the lithium without polluting the area has been a major stumbling block to getting the whole project up and running.
But after years of hard work it’s now operational, and quickly ramping up production.
Controlled Thermal Resources [CTR] has reported that they have achieved the highly efficient and real time recovery of lithium from the company’s Salton Sea geothermal brine resource.
This facility will deliver 49.9 MWe of geothermal power and 25,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide by 2024.
At full buildout the project has a projected resource capacity to produce 1,100MW of baseload renewable power and over 300,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent products per year.
The large scale use of domestic lithium in the US undercuts the value of fossil fuels from Russia and the mideast and China’s control of Lithium deposits along with weakening their companies’ positions in the EV battery market
Several other developments have emerged to make fast charging of batteries a large scale reality in the near future. That accelerates the adoptions of EVs.
As I continue to tell you, the era of fossil fuels is coming to an end.
As well, the dynamism of the US not having a planned economy translates to continuing R&D in a variety of industries, and means that while some of those projects fail, many are there ready to succeed when the window of opportunity presents itself.
One of the great lessons the US is learning from its close relations with Israel’s tech echo system is to completely eliminate the stigma of a company failing or going bankrupt. As long as there was no fraud, and the science involved in the failed companies’ business gets seeded into other companies that live on. Creative destruction has always been a feature of US capitalism, but the process is evolving into one even more efficient and productive than ever before.
Those are elements that Russia’s kleptocratic mafia state and China’s attempt at authoritarian capitalism are light years away from.
As usual, I can go on for days like this, but for now I digress.
May 21, 2023 at 1:42 pm
China is forced to respect intellectual property, what about scanners and lithographic equipment – why should they buy it, China has the entire technological base and the industry allows you to make this equipment on its own, and the neocons are forcing China to do this
Polymers are certainly a promising direction, but in the foreseeable future they will not be able to replace metallurgy. The benefits do not outweigh the economic feasibility.
Geothermal energy in California – the plan is reliable as a Swiss watch – remember the movie with Kurt Russell – “Escape from L.A”?
Uncontrolled withdrawal of groundwater has already made the region tectonically unstable, you can add geothermal energy there.
Regarding the production of lithium – success in the development of such an industry in the most densely populated region of the country, in the state with the strongest green lobby. The production of lithium from mineral deposits is associated with toxic pollution of the environment. This is not imaginary carbon pollution, this is the release of a huge amount of toxic waste into the environment, even if all basic conditions are not met. Because of this, lithium, in general, is being sought to be imported from third world countries. And lithium itself is generally considered a poison.