Tag Archives: russia

Kimber Sending Makos to Ukraine

Alabama-based Kimber is donating 9mm pistols and .308 Winchester-caliber rifles to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

The company announced on Wednesday it is inspired by the courage of the Ukrainian people in their struggle against an ongoing military invasion from neighboring Russia and is ready to help.

“The people of Ukraine are enduring tremendous hardships and are in need of support from around the world,” said Leslie Edelman, Kimber owner and CEO.

In terms of support, Edelman says Kimber is sending 200 R7 Mako 9mm subcompact pistols (my current EDC for the past several months), 10 Advanced Tactical rifles in .308 Win., and 10 bolt-action rifles in .308 Win. Each rifle will include two magazines and a replacement firing pin assembly while the Makos will ship with 800 extra 13-round magazines.

While shipping such pistols to a modern European combat zone seems curious at first, handguns are in common use as sidearms for officers, specialists, pilots, and heavy weapons operators.

Of note, the Mako is roughly comparable in size to the PM Makarov, long a standard pistol in Eastern European service, while offering a higher magazine capacity and a more effective cartridge.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

SUB2000s in Ukraine?

Florida-based firearms maker KelTec made the most of a sudden surplus of 9mm carbines and donated them to Ukraine. 

Adrian Kellgren, director of industrial production at KelTec– and son of the company’s legendary founder, George Kellgren– told local media the company was recently left with a $200,000 order for SUB2000 carbines. The original order, to a longtime vendor in the Black Sea Ukrainian port city of Odesa, was unpaid for, and the vendor was unable to be contacted.

The 400 9mm carbines had been ordered last year, but by the time the red tape cleared the client was unable to accept them and Ukraine is now fighting off a Russian invasion– with enemy troops closing in on Odesa. The solution hit on by Kellgren was to donate the guns to the Ukrainian government to aid in the resistance to the invasion. 

Introduced in 2001, the KelTec SUB2000 9mm pistol-caliber carbine is now in its second generation. Lightweight at just 4-pounds while still retaining a 16.1-inch barrel, it folds in half for easy storage and transport, able to be carried in a pack.

The SUB2000, while not a frontline weapon by any means, can for example fill a role with static defense/home guard-style units posted at local infrastructure to keep an eye out for sabotage, or in guarding POWs, of which there seems to be an increasing amount.

Scribbling from a Ukrainian Rough Rider

SOFREP has this really interesting take on what it was like as a foreign volunteer soldier of fortune in the Ukrainian Army during the late great hate there in recent years.


As a former professional soldier in my own country’s NATO army, I found myself embroiled in the conflict in Ukraine by my own choice in late July, 2014. While technically I was a “volunteer,” I viewed myself as a professional soldier serving in a foreign country’s armed forces. Far from trying to make this some kind of dramatic personal narrative, I will attempt to portray a picture of the Russian soldier from my own limited point of view—that of an opponent.

At this point, I’d like to sidetrack a bit so as to make some things more clear to the reader. The Ukrainian “volunteer battalions” should not be seen as militias or irregulars, but rather as a sort of “Rough Riders”-style unit, a unit formed by volunteers, yet armed and supplied by the Army and subjected to the regular command structure, having normal combat duties at the front line. The foreign volunteers themselves, again, should not be seen as the like of all these colorful characters that join the Marxist and Arab irregular militias in the Middle East, but rather like the Swedish volunteers during the Winter War, integrated normally within their unit and most of the time taking up a front-line role either in operations or training. The opposing forces can be divided easily in two parts: the bandits who initiated the rebellion and the Russian regulars who intervened later that same year.

The bandits, no matter what the pro-Western propaganda claims, were not mercenaries or Russian regulars posing as rebels. Many Russian nationals flocked to their banner from the onset of the rebellion out of pure patriotism. Of course there were exceptions, but these were just that—exceptions. That doesn’t mean that Russian military advisors or SOF units didn’t directly aid them in the beginning of the conflict. The military effectiveness of said bandit militias was horrendous.

More here

Inside the Estonian national militia

Tiny Estonia, who share a long and increasingly tense border with Russia, uses a force of volunteer unpaid citizens– equipped with their own military arms– to hold the line.

The Estonian Defense League, a militia independent from the government, is made up of over 15,000 members, making it several times larger than the 6,500-member official Estonian Defense Forces.

Stationed in every part of the country the League is ready at a moment’s notice to sally out and repel possible invasion from unnamed neighbors. It’s the largest military force in the region and members vow to put up more of a fight than they did when the Soviet Union took over the county in 1940 and remained for decades.

Earlier this summer Vice News spent some time in-depth with not only the minutemen of the League but also those on both sides of Estonian politics and the above video shows some interesting footage of their training and doctrine.

The firepower shown is impressive, showing some sweet shots of donated German HK G3s and MG3s, old-school Chevy K5s that likely came from the U.S., a sweet 1950s-era Bofors Pvpj 1110 90 mm recoilless rifle, a smoking hot M240/FN Mag, some IMI Galils, a sprinkling of 84mm Carl Gustavs and at least one BTR-80 armored personnel carrier.

It seems Estonia is very down with the concept of civilian use of military-style arms.

Sure, Estonia has no illusions about stopping an all-out Russian incursion, but they just have to slow it down enough to allow fellow NATO members to apply action or rush reinforcements to the region and they plan to do so by putting a rifle behind every blade of grass.

“If Russia knows that attacking Estonia is not a walk in the park, maybe Russia will think twice,” says a commander.

Speaking of which, check out a recent NATO exercise with the League as part of Operation Hurricane in the video below.

With so much firepower at the hands of your everyday civilian, its hard to sell the prospect of being a member of the League because you want to hunt ducks.

But then again, back here in the states we know that Washington didn’t cross the Delaware to get to a duck blind.

More in my column at Guns.com

Russian Warships to Get NATO Communications Equipment

BRUSSELS, April 25 (RIA Novosti)

Russian warships will be equipped with NATO navigation and communications systems to improve coordination in anti-piracy missions around the world, Chief of the Russian General Staff Nikolai Makarov said on Wednesday.

The issue has been discussed during a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels.

“We decided to install standard NATO navigation and communications systems on our warships,” Makarov said.

NATO warships have been patrolling the pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast since 2008, as part of Operation Ocean Shield. NATO has recently extended its mission in the Gulf of Aden and adjacent areas until 2014.

Russia joined the international anti-piracy mission in the region in 2008. Russian warships have successfully escorted more than 130 commercial vessels from various countries since then.

Task forces from the Russian Navy, usually led by Udaloy class destroyers, operate in the area on a rotating basis.

A task force from Russia’s Northern Fleet, led by the Udaloy class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov, will arrive in the Gulf of Aden in the beginning of May to join the anti-piracy mission.

Udaloy class destroyers,
Type: Anti Submarine Warfare Destroyer
Displacement: 6,200 tons standard, 7,900 tons full load
Length: 163 m
Beam: 19.3 m
Draught: 6.2 m
Propulsion: 2 shaft COGAG, 4 gas turbines, 120,000 hp
Speed: 35 kt
Range: 10500 nm at 14 kt
Complement: 300
Sensors and
processing systems: Radar:MR-760MA Fregat-MA/Top Plate 3-D air search radar and MR-320M Topaz-V/Strut Pair air/surface search radar
Sonar: Horse Tail LF VDS sonar and Horse Jaw bow mounted LF sonar
Fire Control: 2 MR-360 Podkat/Cross Sword SA-N-9 SAM control, 2 3P37/Hot Flash SA-N-11 SAM control, Garpun-BAL SSM targeting
Electronic warfare
and decoys: Bell Squat jammer
Bell Shroud intercept
Bell Crown intercept
2 x PK-2 decoy RL
10 x PK-10 decoy RL in later ships
Armament: Missiles:
• 8 (2 x 4) SS-N-14 Silex anti submarine missiles (2x4 SS-N-22 Sunburn ASCM in Udaloy II),
• 64 (8 x 8 vertical launchers) SA-N-9 Gauntlet surface to air missiles
• 2 x Kortik SAM (SA-N-11)
• 2 x 1 100mm/70cal DP guns( 2 x 1 AK-130 130mm guns on Udaloy II)
• 4 x 30mm AA guns (4 x6 AK-630 CIWS 30mm gattling guns in Udaloy II)
Torpedoes and thers:
• 2 x 4 553mm Torpedo tubes ( RPK-2 Viyuga/ SS-N-15)
• 2 xRBU-6000 anti submarine rocket launchers (2 x 10 RBU-Udav ASW RL in UdaloyII)
Aircraft carried: helicopter deck and hangar, 2 Ka-27 'Helix' series helicopters

Russian Military Buys Tetris for 36-million Rubles!

Military Site Investigated over ‘Tetris Scandal’

15:55 06/03/2012
MOSCOW, March 6 (RIA Novosti) –

A costly update for the Russian Defense Ministry website that endowed it with Tetris instead of state-of-the-art patriotic shooter games was likely a fraud, military prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The army shelled out 36 million rubles ($1.2 million) to have its online domain modernized, but the project was never completed, Military Prosecutor General’s Office said on its own website.

The project was overpriced to begin with, and military officials did not check whether the work done was worth the money when they footed the bill from the site maker in December, the report said.

Prosecutors identified no suspects, but said they have opened a case on charges of large-scale fraud, punishable with up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 1 million rubles.

The Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the website was actually enhanced during the revamp, with multimedia features added and technical specs boosted. But it avoided denying the allegations outright, saying only that it was collaborating with prosecutors on the matter.

The story first hit the media spotlight in January. Reports focused at the time on the simple flash games, including Tetris, Minesweeper and Battleship, that the site offered instead of modern war-themed computer games that Russian military officials have been demanding since 2010.

The four games on the ministry’s website cost around 320,000 rubles ($11,000) to produce each, while even $1 million sufficed to create a state-of-the-art massive multiplayer online game, Izvestia daily said at the time.

The publication did not provide any estimate for the total cost of the ministry’s updated website, which has been endorsed with a “test version” tag ever since the revamp.

A spokesman for the developer, IT company Systematic, said it has done everything that its contract with the Defense Ministry required. He said the only problem was that the company missed the deadline, which resulted in a fine of 2.8 million rubles for the firm.

Up to 20 percent of all military spending is lost to embezzlement, Military Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky said last year.

Russian Strategic Subs to Resume Routine World Patrols

Borey class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine Yuri Dolgoruky

Borey class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine Yuri Dolgoruky

© REUTERS/ Alexander Zemlianichenko

05:23 04/02/2012
ST. PETERSBURG, February 4 (RIA Novosti)


Russian strategic nuclear submarines will resume routine extended patrols in international waters around the world in June 2012, Russian Navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said.

“On June 1 or a bit later we will resume constant patrolling of the world’s oceans by strategic nuclear submarines,” Vysotsky said at a meeting with naval personnel on Friday.

The annual number of extended patrols performed by Russian strategic nuclear submarines and nuclear-powered attack submarines has dropped from more than 230 in 1984 to less than 10 today.

The Russian military believes, though, that the submarine fleet is still the backbone of the Russian Navy, and that it will continue to play an important deterrent role in the future.

The Russian Navy has 12 nuclear-powered strategic submarines in service, including five Delta-III class, six Delta-IV class and a Typhoon class vessels. Two Typhoon class submarines, the Arkhangelsk and the Severstal, remain in reserve at a naval base in Severodvinsk in north Russia

Russia has decided to suspend the planned disposal of strategic nuclear submarines currently in service with the Navy and plans to build eight new Borey class strategic submarines until 2020.

The first Borey class submarine, the Yury Dolgoruky, may join Russia’s Pacific Fleet as early as in June this year.

Sizzler – Russian Antiship Missle

The 3M54 SS-N-27 Klub antiship missile (known in the west by its NATO designation “Sizzler“) is potentially the most dangerous of its species around today. The missile owes its lineage to the old “Styx”, “Sunburn” and “Shipwreck” missiles that the Soviets used during the cold war. The west’s answer was the Harpoon and the famous Falklands era Exocet missiles.

The Sizzler can be launched from a standard torpedo tube of most modern submarines. Its danger comes in its incredibly fast and almost impossible to counter speed. In its terminal phase the 150 mile ranged missile separates its 440 pound warhead and travels up to 3000 km/per hour. In this phase it drops to as low as thirty feet above the surface and makes sharp evasive maneuvers to defeat the Cold War era Phalanx and Goalkeeper CIWS systems now protecting the fleets from this type of attack.

Russia is exporting these missiles to China and possibly to North Korea, Iran and Venezuela. The United States Navy as well as other NATO allies is implementing tests to come up with possible new defenses.

And the show goes on

The Soviet Doomsday Device In Detail

The Soviets and Americans had a theory known as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that meant neither side would be able to ‘win’ a nuclear war. In the 1980s when the Regan administration started basing Pershing missiles in Germany, launching untraceable Trident SSBNs and designing stealth bombers and cruise missiles while simultaneously working on Star Wars; it appeared that the West could actually win a nuclear exchange by hitting the Soviets first and hard enough to decapitate and blind it.

This scared the borscht out of the Soviets and they started to look for ways around this preemptive strike. The plan was called Perimeter and nicknamed “Mertvaya Ruka” or Dead Hand. It was a doomsday weapon that would automatically go into effect as a backup if the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces lost communication with the Kremlin.

Nicholas Thompson at Wired Magazine interviews a former Soviet Colonel about all of the details in this great article.

US and Russia Cancel War Games

Russian Prime Minister (former President) Vladimir Putin, himself a former Communist Party and KGB member, seems to be defrosting the Russian Bear that had been put in carbonite when the Cold War ended. With the recent incursion into a disputed portion of the former Russian vassal of Georgia, relations have cooled to the point of near 1980s levels. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, US President Jimmy Carter boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Then in 1984 the Soviets withheld their enhanced team from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Games in return for the 1983 US invasions of Grenada and actions in Lebanon.

This game seems to be dusted off and being replayed on a smaller but no less important level today. When Russia entered disputed Georgian territory without asking last week, the US announced that it would be unable to participate in the FRUKUS naval exercise in the Pacific. The FRUKUS exercises were started in 1988 specifically to foster closer relations between Russia and the West. Now Russia, in turn has pulled out of the NATO Open Spirit 2008 naval games in the Baltic and canceled the scheduled port visit of a US Perry Class frigate to the Russian Naval Base at Petropavlask.

« Older Entries