BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:15 A.M.) – The Russian and Syrian air forces continued to launch airstrikes over the southern countryside of Aleppo on Wednesday, targeting the jihadist rebels of Jaysh Al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) near the towns of Khan Touman and Khan Al-‘Assal.

Russian and Syrian fighter jets were relentless Wednesday, scoring direct hits on several Jaysh Al-Fateh targets and gathering points in southern Aleppo, a military source told Al-Masdar News.

The source also added that the Russian Air Force has conducted at least 30 airstrikes inside Aleppo these last 48 hours, doubling the total number of airstrikes they launched all last week in this province.


While these air forces attack Jaysh Al-Fateh from above, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah have reportedly started shelling the militants in Khan Al-‘Assal and Rashiddeen 4.

In the coming weeks, the Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard, alongside Hezbollah and Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary), will launch a large-scale offensive in the southern countryside of Aleppo, as they look to reach the Idlib Governorate border by Spring of this year.

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  1. Could be interesting to deliver some Krasnopol guided 152mm shells to SAA artillery teams. Even the old 1947 Soviet 152mm gun can shoot these so SAA could make many pinpoint strikes by just using small drones for reece purposes, thus limiting their need for air support.
    Actually, Krasnopol should be also considered to be racked under aircraft or drones wings in order to carry 20kg guided bombs in numbers (in the case of an aircraft) or arming drones that are usually not likely to be armed. A 20kg warhead is more than enough to take out a MBT, hey, a Hellfire warhead is only arounf 9-10kg. The 6kg warhead on some old S-8 or CRV7 rockets are enough to totally fuck up a T-72 tank, a TOW missile has only a 5kg warhead.
    Just think about it : an old Mig-23 has 3 tons payload, this would mean it being enough powerful to carry 150 of such shells at once, well surely less due to the weight of racks but, anyway, just a 80-100 onboard could already be extremely devastating and allow a 1000L auxiliary tank.
    It’s clear that dropping 250-1500kg bombs can be useful to fuck up totally a house to a building but most of potential targets are what? Tactical teams, combat/artillery/mortar posts, technicals, IFVs and some MBTs…
    It’s not without reasons that all those who really understand aerial tactics and strategies recommand the return of propeller planes for air support! You can have 10 propeller planes for the price of a jet and they’ll loiter for 8 hours with a hundred of small warheads while a single jet will do just a few passes, actually, Russian jets strike only an average of 3.7 targets per sortie and have an average 37 sorties per day. Having the same expenses in propeller aircraft would allow 10x more aircraft operating so 370 sorties a day and the small warheads could allow some 50 strikes per sortie (or up to 100 if not more) without problem… This would mean it wouldn’t be a problem to operate 18500 to 37000 strikes per day! In 48 hours, it’d make the number of strikes VKS did in Syria over +500 days for the same price spent at buying aircraft, probably about the half or third in fuel but maybe more spendings in ammos, thus, with such numbers of strikes, the pressure would be so huge that it’d simply render the terrorist operations mostly impossible, this is exactly the principle of a no drive/interdiction zone. Each prop being able to interdict a 7km radius area, it means 153km², thus, 65 planes can interdict 10,000km² for 8 hours… This would mean 195 sorties a day. With about 130 aircraft at work, you can achieve a 24/7 coverage, especially as an availability of 99% is not surprising on props, while, I can’t tell for VKS but Indian Su-30 show only 30% availability and their contracts with Dassault are to maintain at minima a 65% availability for M-2000 and Rafale…
    Syria size is what? 185k km²? Com’on, with boots cleansing on the ground, if you except cities that may be harder to retake, in 3 weeks, such a conflict would be finished instead of 6 years and it’s still not finished.
    And such a fleet could be built for the price of a dozen Su-35…

    • Krasnopol guided 152mm shell = ca. 40.000 € my calculation from internet data. So there is some advantage but maybe no so huge else Russia would not rely so much on dumb bombs and modern targeting gear on the planes. Turboprop planes have good loitering times – what about their resilience against ground to air missiles and guns? My guess as resilient as WW II dedicated ground attack planes (Ilyushin Il 2 Shturmovik, Henschel Hs 129 or similar) or a little better. IMHO that is not good enough today. AA defense today is electronic guided. At the end of WW II the Allies used fighters for ground attack – for some reason ot the other. .

      • “Krasnopol guided 152mm shell = ca. 40.000 € my calculation from internet data.”
        => Seems a bit hot price for me : an US made XM395 guided mortar shell is “only” 10k$, although not very trendy anywore, an AGM-65 Maverick is 17k$ (why using Hellfires @110k$ per missile???).
        One of the most interesting thing would be an Hydra70 rocket (ca.2300$) with a LOGIR guidance kit (5k$).
        I have no idea of the price of S-5, S-8 and S-13 rockets and same for the Ugroza laser guidance kit, thus, the LOGIR is fire’n’forget, the problem with laser guidance is that you have to shoot 1 by one and wait the hit to kick another target.
        @40k$ the Krasnopol, it’s not so interesting, thus, I’ve heard that it’s US equivalent in 155mm was 68k$… Well, for artillery purposes, better buy Caesar gun from the Frenchs : with unguided old school shells, you achieve metric precision @50km 😉

        “So there is some advantage but maybe no so huge else Russia would not rely so much on dumb bombs and modern targeting gear on the planes.”
        => Well, the SVP-24 shoots dumb bombs in a 23m radius, thus46m diameter. You still need smth powerful. If you can hit for sure with a Hydra70/CRV7 rocket for 7.3k per projectile, guided rockets are OK and you can carry a LOT.

        “what about their resilience against ground to air missiles and guns? My guess as resilient as WW II dedicated ground attack planes (Ilyushin Il 2 Shturmovik, Henschel Hs 129 or similar) or a little better. ”
        => In case of contested airspace with “serious” batteries, i.e. Buk, S-300, Patriot, THAAD etc, hey, you don’t send air-support first! This is SEAD job! (stealth) Cruise missiles, radiation guided missiles (AGM-88 HARM, etc), EMP warheads, etc etc etc… Would you send an A-10 or Su-25 until the serious defences aren’t fucked up? And BTW, as the Rafale is known to have flown just over a S-300 battery without even being noticed and some Russian aircraft with Khibiny have managed to totally disappear from Aegis frigates radars… Now, the main problem could be passive detection through FLIR and IR versions of Mica-VL etc… A radar system says “hello, I’m here”… Passive ones, not really… Thus, there are very efficient ECMs or anti-IR guided missiles systems nowadays…

        When it comes to what you’re likely to face as AA defences, no ManPADS or even the OSA shoot higher than 5km (actually, an Igla ceiling is more around 3500m : 5km is for Stinger), you’ll have a hard time finding AA-guns efficient that high : ZSU-57-2 has certainly the capacity to send shells as high as 8.8km but past 4.5km it’s inefficient. Most of jets used over Syria fly no less than 5km high.
        The Grob Strato 2C with 2 turboprops was able to fly 24km high : it’s even out of range of Pantsir and actually of most of the serious missiles! A Caproni biplane was able to reach 17km as far as 1938 and the solar-propelled Helios HP01 even reached 29,523m (!!!! well, OK, she wasn’t faster than 43.5km/h, LOL).
        So, as you see, it’s not a problem to reach a safety altitude with propellers!
        You don’t need to fly ultra low : EOTS can target from very far, track and zoom in all weather

        ” IMHO that is not good enough today”
        => For sure! Thus, I consider more smth like the OV-10 Bronco in a bit more powerful/bigger delivery. Twin engined with dual tail. Longer (folding) wings could be highly considered. OV-10D had already a 9159m ceiling. More than enough, don’t you think.
        Now, an interesting feature would be a belly turret, like the one on the YOV-10D :
        BUT I’d consider i.e 2 Nexter 30M791 in. It’s the Rafale’s gun : 2500 RPM of 30x150mm, 275gr per ammo. Well, maybe having longer barrels to have maximum range, eventually some saboted subcaliber i.e. 20 or 25mm to gain even more? It may be interesting to study. Thus, when you know that a GSh-6-30 Gatling is able to hit at 5km in maritime use and in A2G with a good ballistic computer, you might hit further, nonetheless, the velocity is more on par with the A-10 gun than the only 880m/s on the GSh, I’d say that with a longer barrel, it’d had potential and a revolver gun is also much lighter than a huge Gatling…
        2000 rounds would only weight 550kg and 825kg for a 3000…
        your 360° turret with a selection of multiple targets on the MFD seems to me likely to do absolutely devastating runs, even from 5km high.
        BTW, the baby can be made extremely solid : I know non metallic structures that can take 13-14G in an aircraft, BTW, the Rafale nose is made of kevlar. When it comes to anti-aircraft missiles, they don’t work by direct hit but by proximity fuse with shrapnels. Let’s calculate the number of layers necessary and the kinda structure I think about could surely avoid to break like carbon fibers in case of serious hits/piercing. An interesting point with layers of kevlar is that you can consider some conductive non metallic coating between layers very easily. Exhaust should be ejecting over the wings.
        Something that may be interesting would be look a little at pulse detonation engines (+/-principle of the V-1 engine) : Burt Rutan made a Long-EZ fly with a 4 cylinders GM engine working this way, thus, there are very serious noise issues, LOL.

        “AA defense today is electronic guided.”
        => Many thanks, I thought you needed Dune’s “spice” and a guild’s navigator or Gandalf the Grey to guide these 😀

        “At the end of WW II the Allies used fighters for ground attack – for some reason ot the other”
        => P-47 had 8x.50 M2 machine guns and 425 rounds per gun (total 3400) for 750-850 RPM. I let you imagine what a 6400RPM with .50 rounds did to ground targets and troops…

        Note that DEVGRU wanted to reboot the Bronco and even created the OV-10G+ while Boeing proposed to create an OV-10X
        Thus, the infamous Sen.McCain torpedoed the project considering an obscure 20M$ program to put last technologies in old Broncos and test them then do a 81 days live test agains ISIS in Iraq was dilapidating uselessly tax-payers money… Strangely, although he criticized the F-35 program, he never intended to stop this total folly which is a very promising to be an over-expensive turd @1.51 trillion $…
        Thus, US ended to order 100 A-29 Super Tucanos from Embraer.
        Fucking looks like a turbo-prop Mustang, no? Better had considered rebooting the Skyraider or even the Thunderbolt! maybe in double engined version and radial double propellers, Skyshark style?
        Nevertheless, a kinda Super-Bronco with an intermediary size between the OV-10 and the AJ-1 Savage with a let’s say +3t payload and a 750-850km/h max speed for a +8 hours loitering in eco speed would be the real shit! A-10 max speed is only 706km/h and ain’t carrier OK…

        • Probably both RU 40k and US 68k price tag are with some aiming system. I calculated mine from a Indian bid to buy system with AFAIR 4000 rounds. Yes. You can probably get cheaper off with dumb systems and better hit surveillance, drones or RADAR. Sorry. I did not think about the 5000 m ceiling for all but the most expensive rockets. No data about modern auto canon effective ceiling range when they have PC supported RADAR or LASER guidance. The probably needed 2+ cm systems are AFAIK expensive and difficult to get. At least for IS and ex-Qaeda. So You probably can make do over Syria with twin engine armored weed killing planes. Smile.