Soviet Military Equipment Which Impressed You! and Why?

Abraham Gubler

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Pioneer said:
- The AK-630 30mm automatic close-in weapon system It was the world's first CIWS, accepted into operational service in 1972.
In comparison, the West took another eight years before operationally fielding its equivalent Phalanx 20mm CIWS.
On top of this, I've been just as impressed in the volume that the Soviet's were willing to deploy the AK-630's in terms of units per-ship (up to eight x units on the Kirov and Kiev class). Compare this to an average of four x Phalanx 20mm CIWS at most on an American aircraft carrier!

The AK-630 system was not en par with a western CIWS. It’s a very impressive gun inside the Dalek looking mount but the system was way behind the western CIWS in concept. Firstly they fired standard HEI shells rather than the APDS ammunition of a proper CIWS. The difference is significant because the use of APDS ammunition was specific to shooting down missiles because they could cut through the solid propellant rocket motor of the missile causing the rocket to explode and disintegrate. Whereas a HE shell would mess up the front end of the missile but like a Kamikaze it would keep on coming under its own momentum until it hit your ship. Also by using offboard fire control the AK-630 system could not match the precise accuracy of CIWS like Phalanx and Goalkeeper while firing from a ship.

These two reasons is why the Soviet’s had to fit large batteries of AK-630 guns to their ships. Less accuracy, less lethality against missiles. So they made up for it with much larger scales of fire. Which cost a lot in weight and space.
 

sferrin

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Pioneer said:
This bad boy was so far out of the West's scope, that they often attributed it too the MiG-25 'Foxbat'

Huh? The West had no need for such a drone, we had the Blackbird. B) If we'd really needed something like this we could have kept working on the D-21, which was faster, higher flying, and longer ranged than the Tu-123.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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"Out of the scope" meaning not known to the West. Many Tu-123 flights were wrongly attributed to MiG-25Rs, apparently, leading to false assumptions of the latter's capabilities.
 

sferrin

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
"Out of the scope" meaning not known to the West. Many Tu-123 flights were wrongly attributed to MiG-25Rs, apparently, leading to false assumptions of the latter's capabilities.

Yeah, I knew about that (I think it even mentions it in "Mig Pilot"). Just didn't know what he was trying to say.
 

Rickshaw

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sferrin said:
Pioneer said:
This bad boy was so far out of the West's scope, that they often attributed it too the MiG-25 'Foxbat'

Huh? The West had no need for such a drone, we had the Blackbird. B) If we'd really needed something like this we could have kept working on the D-21, which was faster, higher flying, and longer ranged than the Tu-123.

So, you're saying that the West used a plane which couldn't overfly the enemy's territory because of the threat of SAMs shooting it down and it had a drone which kept crashing and killing the crew of the plane which was supposed to carry it? ::)
 

sferrin

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Kadija_Man said:
sferrin said:
Pioneer said:
This bad boy was so far out of the West's scope, that they often attributed it too the MiG-25 'Foxbat'

Huh? The West had no need for such a drone, we had the Blackbird. B) If we'd really needed something like this we could have kept working on the D-21, which was faster, higher flying, and longer ranged than the Tu-123.

So, you're saying that the West used a plane which couldn't overfly the enemy's territory because of the threat of SAMs shooting it down and it had a drone which kept crashing and killing the crew of the plane which was supposed to carry it? ::)

Are you under the impression that they regularly overflew NATO territory with the Tu-123? That's just precious. As for "had a drone which kept crashing and killing the crew of the plane which was supposed to carry it?" please tell us how many B-52 crews were killed by the D-21. Also "kept killing" implies more than one so please provide a list of Blackbird crews lost to the D-21 as well.
 

covert_shores

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HOKUM used to impress me. Something of a menace with a weapons fit and ejector seat to match it's looks. Like several other types the fact thef do little was known about it added to the appeal. Between this and FROGFOOT plus T-80s and Dolly Partons I had the image of an unstoppable wall of steel and bullets rolling mercilessly across the German countryside.
 

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sferrin said:
Kadija_Man said:
sferrin said:
Pioneer said:
This bad boy was so far out of the West's scope, that they often attributed it too the MiG-25 'Foxbat'

Huh? The West had no need for such a drone, we had the Blackbird. B) If we'd really needed something like this we could have kept working on the D-21, which was faster, higher flying, and longer ranged than the Tu-123.

So, you're saying that the West used a plane which couldn't overfly the enemy's territory because of the threat of SAMs shooting it down and it had a drone which kept crashing and killing the crew of the plane which was supposed to carry it? ::)

Are you under the impression that they regularly overflew NATO territory with the Tu-123? That's just precious. As for "had a drone which kept crashing and killing the crew of the plane which was supposed to carry it?" please tell us how many B-52 crews were killed by the D-21. Also "kept killing" implies more than one so please provide a list of Blackbird crews lost to the D-21 as well.

B-52 was second choice for the D-21 and IIRC most B-52 flights failed.

The D-21 was initially designed to be launched from the back of its M-21 carrier aircraft, a variant of the Lockheed A-12 aircraft.
[...]
Following a fatal accident when launched from an M-21, the D-21 was modified to be launched from a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. Only four operational D-21 flights were made over the People's Republic of China before the program was canceled in 1971.
[...]
Operational history

Four operational missions with the D-21B took place under the codename of Senior Bowl. These were conducted over the People's Republic of China from 9 November 1969 to 20 March 1971 to spy on the Lop Nor nuclear test site. The USAF's 4200th Support Squadron, based at Beale Air Force Base, California, flew the missions, usually from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.[19]

The Chinese never spotted the D-21B, but it failed to turn around and continued straight on, crashing somewhere in the Soviet Union.[20] Another test flight was conducted on 20 February 1970 in a successful attempt to correct any problems. The second operational mission, however, was not until 16 December 1970. The D-21B made it all the way to Lop Nor and back to the recovery point, but the hatch had a partial parachute failure and was lost at sea.[17]

During the third operational mission, on 4 March 1971, the D-21B flew to Lop Nor and returned, jettisoning the hatch. It deployed its parachute, but the midair recovery failed. The destroyer that tried to retrieve the hatch from the water ran it down and it sank. The fourth, and last, flight of the D-21B was on 20 March 1971. It was lost over China on the final segment of the route.[21] Wreckage of this lost D-21B was found by local authority in Yunnan province, China. In 2010, after being dumped in the junkyard of China Aviation Museum for years, the wreckage was finally officially moved to the exhibition area.[22]

On 23 July 1971, the D-21B program was canceled, due to the poor success rate, the introduction of a new generation of photo reconnaissance satellites, and President Richard Nixon's rapprochement with China.[23] A total of 38 D-21 and D-21B drones were built with 21 expended in launches. The remaining 17 were initially stored at Norton Air Force Base, California, then moved to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base "boneyard" near Tucson, Arizona,[24] in 1976 and 1977. With the base open to the public, the D-21 drones were quickly spotted and photographed. The Air Force called them GTD-21Bs with the GT standing for Ground Training.[25]

The fate of the D-21 that had disappeared on the first operational flight was finally revealed in February 1986 when an official from the CIA returned a panel to Ben Rich that he had been given by a Soviet KGB agent. The drone had self-destructed over Siberia and the Soviets had recovered the wreckage.[26] The Tupolev design bureau reverse-engineered the wreck and came up with plans for a Soviet copy, named the Voron (Raven), but it was never built.[27]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_D-21]

I'd hardly call the D-21 much of a success and I doubt the US ever relied on it.

The SR-71 stopped overflying enemy territory in the 1970s because of the fear of SAM interception. Again, hardly something to be relied upon...
 

sferrin

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Hot Breath said:
B-52 was second choice for the D-21 and IIRC most B-52 flights failed.

How many crews died? Oh right, none.

Hot Breath said:
Following a fatal accident when launched from an M-21, the D-21 was modified to be launched from a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.

Yes, yes, everybody on this board, with the exception of you, knows the history of the D-21. You seem to have listed only one fatal accident. Where are all the rest you implied?


Hot Breath said:
I'd hardly call the D-21 much of a success and I doubt the US ever relied on it.

I'm guessing reading isn't your strong suit, nor is English your first language. Your inability to follow a simple conversation is almost painful to watch.

Hot Breath said:
The SR-71 stopped overflying enemy territory in the 1970s because of the fear of SAM interception.

And? Is this suppose to be some kind of point?

Hot Breath said:
Again, hardly something to be relied upon...

That would explain why it was retired due to cost, not capability. It also explains why Schwarzkopf asked how difficult it would be to put back into service during Desert Storm, and why it was put back into service in the early 90s. Because it couldn't be relied upon. ::)
 

Arjen

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From Yefim Gordon's "Soviet/Russian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" (Midland, 2005):
- 52 aircraft built between 1964 and 1972
- in service with reconnaissance units in Madona (now Latvia) and Khmel'nitskiy (now Ukraine) from 1964 until 1979
The system proved its viability on numerous occasions during practice launches at training grounds.
No operational missions, apparently. Phased out in the early 80s because MiG-25RB and later variants could perform the same mission, 'had the advantage of being reusable' and 'could carry an offensive warload'. The MiG-25RB was produced from 1970 till 1972, so not available as a replacement earlier.

Wiki says the Tu-123 test flights were completed in December 1963, on active duty from May 23, 1964.

Dates from "Lockheed's SR-71 'Blackbird' Family - A-12, F-12, M-21, D-21, SR-71" by James Goodall and Jay Miller, Aerofax (Ian Allan), 2002:
- A-12's first operational mission was on May 31, 1967
- SR-71's first operational mission was on March 3, 1968
- D-21's first launch was from the M-21 on March 6, 1966; first operational mission on November 9, 1969

Blackbird and its kin may have had better specs, but the Tu-123 was there first. An impressive bird.
 

Pioneer

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covert_shores said:
HOKUM used to impress me. Something of a menace with a weapons fit and ejector seat to match it's looks. Like several other types the fact thef do little was known about it added to the appeal. Between this and FROGFOOT plus T-80s and Dolly Partons I had the image of an unstoppable wall of steel and bullets rolling mercilessly across the German countryside.

I hear you my friend and thanks for your input!

The 'Hokum' was a radical departure in both design and role (air-to-air combat with NATO gunships)
It would have been interesting to have seen what numbers would have been pressed into operational service had the USSR not collapsed!
I too was and remain impressed by the Su-25 'Frogfoot' - its ruggedness, simplicity and firepower!

Regards
Pioneer
 

sferrin

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Pioneer said:
covert_shores said:
HOKUM used to impress me. Something of a menace with a weapons fit and ejector seat to match it's looks. Like several other types the fact thef do little was known about it added to the appeal. Between this and FROGFOOT plus T-80s and Dolly Partons I had the image of an unstoppable wall of steel and bullets rolling mercilessly across the German countryside.

I hear you my friend and thanks for your input!

The 'Hokum' was a radical departure in both design and role (air-to-air combat with NATO gunships)
Regards
Pioneer

Weird thing is in the US they tested helicopters with AAMs back in the 80s, found out they were very effective, but then didn't really do a whole lot about. The Cobras can carry AIM-9s, and some Apaches Stingers but that's about it. They tested AIM-9s on CH-53s even.
 

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sferrin said:
Pioneer said:
covert_shores said:
HOKUM used to impress me. Something of a menace with a weapons fit and ejector seat to match it's looks. Like several other types the fact thef do little was known about it added to the appeal. Between this and FROGFOOT plus T-80s and Dolly Partons I had the image of an unstoppable wall of steel and bullets rolling mercilessly across the German countryside.

I hear you my friend and thanks for your input!

The 'Hokum' was a radical departure in both design and role (air-to-air combat with NATO gunships)
Regards
Pioneer

Weird thing is in the US they tested helicopters with AAMs back in the 80s, found out they were very effective, but then didn't really do a whole lot about. The Cobras can carry AIM-9s, and some Apaches Stingers but that's about it. They tested AIM-9s on CH-53s even.

Yes you are correct sferrin, but in the case of the US Army and USMC, I think the fitting of Sidewinder & Stinger was more to do with self defence, as opposed to the 'Hokum' being used in a more offensive air-to-air combat role.
P.S. very interesting regarding CH-53 being fitted with Sidewinder's! Ill have to see if I can find some pics of that!\ ;)
Thanks mate

Regards
Pioneer
 

Rafael

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A brief search only reported this, regarding Sidewinder
 

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sferrin

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Pioneer said:
P.S. very interesting regarding CH-53 being fitted with Sidewinder's! Ill have to see if I can find some pics of that!\ ;)
Thanks mate

Regards
Pioneer

A coworker of mine was friends with the pilot and crew chief of the aircraft that did those tests. As he recalls they launched two missiles.
 

jsport

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Is this real?
 

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Archibald

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Tsybin RSR
M50 / 52 / 56 series
TKS manned ship
Burya cruise missile
N1F payloads
- L3M / DLB
- 4M / 5M Mars probes - rover and sample return
- MKBS space station

...and the 80's impressive (if not URSS bankrupting) achievements: Energiya, An-124 & 225, MiG-31, Typhoon submarine, Ullyanovsk carrier, Yak-41, Tu-160 Blackjack...
 

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The Hind impressed me in Red Dawn when it took a missile hit and survived. :) I loved the Mig23 because it was so blatantly Russian looking and will probably be the worlds smallest swing fighter in history.
 

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speaking of strictly Soviet era and not Russian era..

Mi-24: this was a very unique looking aircraft and it represented how I, and many people viewed Soviet weapons. brutish, ugly, but mean. Also I found its concept to be very useful..a heavily armed assault copter that could protect the troops it carried. I wonder why not more designs keep utilizing this.

MiG-25: another big, brutish, a bit ugly, but powerful aircraft that fit the stereotype of Soviet weapons. it just had so much raw strength that it looked scary. One of the few soviet aircraft that also managed to down a US 4th gen aircraft

ZSU-23: guns, big guns, and a lot of them! they also did very well for its time

Kiev class: again, big, brutish, big missiles up front. too bad about its fixed wing aircraft though.

T-64: unlike the theme of big and brutish. this was a small and sleek tank and really advanced for its time. I was more impressed by it than the T-72 and even T-80

Tu-54: a really common mainstay of Soviet airliners, and I've always been a fan of trijets

Il-62: a boring looking aircraft.. but a very underrated one. for a jet of its time it had a pretty good safety record. but its overshadowed by the safety record issues of other Soviet jets

Typhoon: man this submarine is still pretty impressive today.

Il-76: a big cargo jet with guns in the rear! I also always liked its half glass nose. I liked its look more than the boring Antonov designs

Flanker: the Fulcrum and Flanker were the first two jets that didn't scream 'soviet' to me and looked like a very western designed aircraft, particularly American designs. Back in the old days, everyone was curious about the Fulcrum. I found it a bit boring. but was interested in its bigger twin the Flanker for some reason. I just felt the proportion was right, and it was just a sleek and beautiful aircraft on par with the F-14.

Yak-28: I think this might be the last of the podded engine fighters. it reminded me of a supersonic Me-262. one of my favorite early design jets
 

Pioneer

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Back in my conscription days (almoust ten years ago!) I had the luxury to operate both western and soviet made artillery pieces as our "main group weapon".
The soviet version, D30 122mm Howitzer was a architypical of soviet grude and rough piece of metal which made us conscripts loose will to live many, many times in the cold finnish winter. But one thing it never did was break down or mailfunction. It worked no matter how much hate we poured on it, no matter how cold, wet or muddy it was.

Where as the western equalent, 155K98, a finnish made 155mm gun-howitser with APU did had all these fancy computerized FCS, hydraulics with APU behind them (so the 14ton gun took its fireposition simply by pressing the buttons) and so on. But it was prone to failures. Even slightest grains of sand between the breech and it was jam, the gyrocompass based firecontrol kept going berserk time to time and not to mention of those wierd "you all need to be 30m away from the gun each time you fire it and before you can go to load the next round, a group of specialist will inspect the system" type of incidences.
For me, in the end if I would have to go to war and my life is depended on the weapons we use, I'd choose the D30 hands down. To have something that works in all situation is IMO in the end more important than having something that can do marvelous things if it works.

PS: I think there's isen't enough praize over Kalashnikoviks, back in the army days I once had my rifle (Finnish version called Rk62) lying in the mud during field training and everytime we had to go and shoot with it, it worked like it used. Back in the garrison when I had time to clean it, I found complete pinecone inside it...
Thank you for your personal experience and reflection gollevainen it's greatly appreciated.

Regards
Pioneer
 

Pioneer

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"Out of the scope" meaning not known to the West. Many Tu-123 flights were wrongly attributed to MiG-25Rs, apparently, leading to false assumptions of the latter's capabilities.
Yes, I've read that - especially in therm of the Middle East...

Regards
Pioneer
 

stealthflanker

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The SA-6's 3M9 missile.

The first operational solid ducted rocket/ramjet missile in the world. It has so much potentials which remain untapped, mainly because Vympel stop making SAM's while Novator have no interest toward Ramjet despite developed the SA-4's missile. The 3M9 missile doesnt have a real "fuel control" and having almost no moving parts. Making it simple and reliable. The ramjet giving it persistence and maneuverability, AFAIk it is capable of taking down 8G maneuvering target.

The SA-6 itself was at least in my view a groundbreaking as Soviet tried to incorporate many lessons and technologies. Solid propellant, Monopulse semi-active seeker, mobility and jamming resistance.
 

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I was quite impressed by this Soviet multi-tool axe. View: http://imgur.com/a/PFHnR

It was demonstrated to us at the KGB Museum in Prague last week. You have an Axe, Chisel, Hammer, Saw and Baton plus I think the hole in the axe is also for barbed wire bending. The museum guide/owner didn't explain it that well but his collection is incredible!

The simplicity of the PPS submachine gun also impresses me. Using stamped steel and machine processes to reduce the amount of steel needed and the time needed for production makes good sense when in a war with limited resources.

Hammer, barbed wire scissors, mouthpiece, match-iron, flint-iron, torch and spear. Soviet bayonet knife.
View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PaRuJu3WdcQ

+ experimental Shilin 1945 knife:
 

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Pioneer said:
I appreciate your point and comment my dear Abraham Gubler, but it with the simplicity and speed in which the Soviet 'PMP' system gives any engineering unit to deploy such a pontoon/bridging system that surpasses the basic design. Even the Cumberland Pontoon was not able to span a water way 227m, with a carrying capacity of 60-ton in 50 minutes!

Well they didn't have trucks and tanks back in the American Civil War. The PMP is functionally identical to the Cumberland Pontoon. It is just made 100 years later. So it is not an example of Soviet innovation.

Pioneer said:
The other thing I see as being important is that the Soviet's persisted in making their PMP's out of steel, as opposed to the American obsession of making theirs out of aluminium! Give me steel anytime

Well aluminium doesn’t corrode in water. A pontoon bridge spends a lot of time going in and out of water when it is being used then sitting in storage for a long times in between. Ideal circumstance for promoting rust without extensive labour after use. With a bridge made of aluminium alloy you don’t have to worry about this.

I disagree.
Steel rusts while aluminum oxidizes. Either way, the metal slowly crumbles. They both crumble much faster when exposed to salt water. Magnesium might be lighter than either steel or aluminum, but it corrodes even faster when exposed to salt water.

Master Corporal (retired) R. Warner, CD, BA, etc. former Sea King helicopter wrench-bender
 

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I would say the P-700 granit and the platforms that deployed it like the Kirov and the 949A were very much ahead of their times. The P-700 was a supersonic sea skimming missile that was to be launched in a swarm with one missile to take a lead role and use its radar to home on its target and guide the other missiles. These things could also be guided by satellite and had absolutely massive warheads (they were armed with 500kt thermonuclear warheads during the cold war iirc) . Can't believe they were conceived back in the 70s! Seems like the soviets invented drone swarms before everyone else.
 

sferrin

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I would say the P-700 granit and the platforms that deployed it like the Kirov and the 949A were very much ahead of their times. The P-700 was a supersonic sea skimming missile that was to be launched in a swarm with one missile to take a lead role and use its radar to home on its target and guide the other missiles. These things could also be guided by satellite and had absolutely massive warheads (they were armed with 500kt thermonuclear warheads during the cold war iirc) . Can't believe they were conceived back in the 70s! Seems like the soviets invented drone swarms before everyone else.
That's why I roll my eyes at the "carrier killer" hysteria around antiship ballistic missiles. I'd rather face a few of those than an Oscar II with 24 Shipwrecks or a regiment of Backfire-Cs loaded with Kh-32s.
 

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"It was designed to give the weapon easy training of 360 degrees."
- Abraham Gubler

"My own guess is that the only usefull use of the tri-leg/360 train is in direct fire mode or anti-tank role."
- gollevainen

"I always assumed this was a result of experiences in WWII, where normal artillery pieces had to engage panzers. A sort of emergency anti tank secondary role."
- Firefly 2

Gent's I think you are all correct in your analogy regarding direct-fire & anti-tank when it comes to the D30.
I've read that while indirect fire was the primary role, all Soviet artillery must be capable of direct fire anti-tank, just as all Soviet artillery is designed and deployed with HEAT rounds, as a consequence of WWII combat experience (as Firefly 2 alludes).

Regards
Pioneer
 

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The Soviets surely build impressive antiship missiles: massive and ultra-fast. Kormoran, Penguin, Exocet, Sea Eagle ? meh. Subsonic firecrackers, in comparison.

And the Kirovs were impressive ships. I also like the Yak-41 (despite its utterly silly NATO codename: FREESTYLE, WTH ?)
 

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