The Russian lack of Precision Guided Munitions

Yokel

LE
Over the last couple of weeks there has been no evidence of any attempt ty Russian forces to use precision weapons to avoid things like schools, hospitals, and residential areas. Likewise the years of Russian air strikes in places such as Syria have seen the used of dumb bombs with no great effort put into avoiding civilian casualties.

Why is this:

Not caring about civilian casualties and damage? Moscow does seem to have a very Hobbesian view of the world.

A preference for quantity over quality? If you drop enough bombs some should hit the right target.

Cost? The guidance systems cost money.

Technical problems? Does Russia have issues with developing and producing Electro Optical technology?

I am starting this in response to a comment by @Rodney2q on the Ukraine thread. Perhaps @Archimedes et al are able to share something about Soviet/Russian doctrine - surely in planning for fighting NATO they would have had lots of precision targets such as bridges or runways?
 
It could be that they just do not care its well known that Russia does not give a rat’s backside about Civilian Casualties or are they saving them for the last big push.
 
Fear factor, works two ways
hardens resolve for those defending

while eroding morale in those unable to anticipate where the next impact will be

Plus it also really does give on the job trying to those inflicting damage/carnage/mayhem
 
Russians had an lgb nicked off US pattern in 1975. However they don't seem to have developed it to the extent that it becomes the weapon of choice. I presume that they still like the idea of quantity over quality. I await an added education.
 

QRK2

LE
Over the last couple of weeks there has been no evidence of any attempt ty Russian forces to use precision weapons to avoid things like schools, hospitals, and residential areas. Likewise the years of Russian air strikes in places such as Syria have seen the used of dumb bombs with no great effort put into avoiding civilian casualties.

Why is this:

Not caring about civilian casualties and damage? Moscow does seem to have a very Hobbesian view of the world.

A preference for quantity over quality? If you drop enough bombs some should hit the right target.

Cost? The guidance systems cost money.

Technical problems? Does Russia have issues with developing and producing Electro Optical technology?

I am starting this in response to a comment by @Rodney2q on the Ukraine thread. Perhaps @Archimedes et al are able to share something about Soviet/Russian doctrine - surely in planning for fighting NATO they would have had lots of precision targets such as bridges or runways?

All your suggestions are likely to play a part. But there are additional issues, it depends what form of guidance to employ. It's quite possible that GNSS signals are being jammed. To use laser terminal guidance you need a designator and it would appear that the RuAF has by no means achieved the conditions whereby an aircraft would want to spend any more time than necessary over a target area. Attempts at insertion of SF teams which might have been an alternative appear to have been an abject failure.

There is also the issue of the sources on which you are basing your question. The Ukrainians and MSM are hardly likely to be issuing congratulatory despatches on the precision of Russian strikes, were they to be occurring.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Putin gives no fucks about civ cas and the West and UN is going to do nothing, as everyone is shit scared of WW3.
 
Putin gives no fucks about civ cas and the West and UN is going to do nothing, as everyone is shit scared of WW3.

100% this.
Communist infected countries throughout history have suffered the most casualties, the most deprivation, the unhealthiest lifestyle .

It is a plague upon he planet - far worse than Covid.
 
Putin doesn't care about civilian casualties, he doesn't even care about casualties on his own side. People are disposable as far as he is concerned. Turning schools, hospitals et al to rubble will please him. It is punishment for the Ukrainian people for daring to defy him.
 
They developed plenty of weapon types that should be able to do this. Think of the Soviet surface-to-air systems that gave Gary Powers a horrible fright and, together with their air-to-air systems, forced the USAF and USN to completely change how they did air warfare over North Vietnam. The USSR also fielded anti-ship guided missiles as far back as smashing an Israeli warship in 1956, and their ATGWs gave the Israelis a lot of pain in 1973. Everyone saw the newer ATGWs in use in Lebanon and Syria, often very effectively.

BUT. I looked up a very detailed electronics industry database today to check my impression that they don't really make microprocessors or microcontrollers. Answer - they make fewer semiconductors of any kind than Austria. There's production for some funny niche things on very old process node sizes (65nm is cutting edge there, most is micron plus), and the scale is tiny. They have some interesting designs but they are made by TSMC on 28nm and even if the Taiwanese would take their money they'd be at the back of a massive queue including the whole world's automotive industry.

I imagine the radiofrequency or optoelectronic analogue components are very special and there's a Soviet legacy sector that does that, but if you want production in volume you need a wider semi industry, and the problem might not be the magic laser eye but the rest of the system behind it that drives the control surfaces or whatever.

It's possible they've either been unwilling to spend the money importing the silicon, unwilling to give away what it was going into, waiting for promised indigenous or allied sources to stand up, or maybe the major (US, ROK, ROC, EU) suppliers have been rationing how much capacity they're willing to give them?
 
Here's a history of the cold war in a sentence: "One side invented the microprocessor, in 1971."

[OK this is a bit gnomic but the missiles and radars of Vietnam and the Yom Kippur war were built with discrete transistors if not really good valves. Soviet firms like Phazotron knew that stuff really well. Intel launched the 4004 microprocessor in 1971, although in fact Garrett AiResearch's subcontractor Four Phase Systems did it a few months earlier in the F-14's avionics but that was classified until 1998. Any road, that was the wave of the future.]
 
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All your suggestions are likely to play a part. But there are additional issues, it depends what form of guidance to employ. It's quite possible that GNSS signals are being jammed. To use laser terminal guidance you need a designator and it would appear that the RuAF has by no means achieved the conditions whereby an aircraft would want to spend any more time than necessary over a target area. Attempts at insertion of SF teams which might have been an alternative appear to have been an abject failure.

There is also the issue of the sources on which you are basing your question. The Ukrainians and MSM are hardly likely to be issuing congratulatory despatches on the precision of Russian strikes, were they to be occurring.
I've also read that the Russians are using a lot of older planes in Ukraine and Syria for air strikes, and these don't have the upgrades required to use their more advanced weapons.
 
TWIST: Iran doesn't make chips either, but it has got very good at building PGMs out of whatever electronics you can get. This is their strategy of giving their allies the instruction book and the source code so they can manufacture missiles themselves.
 
Over the last couple of weeks there has been no evidence of any attempt ty Russian forces to use precision weapons to avoid things like schools, hospitals, and residential areas. Likewise the years of Russian air strikes in places such as Syria have seen the used of dumb bombs with no great effort put into avoiding civilian casualties.

Why is this:

Not caring about civilian casualties and damage? Moscow does seem to have a very Hobbesian view of the world.

A preference for quantity over quality? If you drop enough bombs some should hit the right target.

Cost? The guidance systems cost money.

Technical problems? Does Russia have issues with developing and producing Electro Optical technology?

I am starting this in response to a comment by @Rodney2q on the Ukraine thread. Perhaps @Archimedes et al are able to share something about Soviet/Russian doctrine - surely in planning for fighting NATO they would have had lots of precision targets such as bridges or runways?
It's only indirectly about doctrine, IMHO

All of the factors you list are in play, primarily the Hobbesian view, not just of civilian casualties, but of casualties of any kind, including own troops: the last coupla weeks have been hugely instructive as to how little Putain's Mo' Russia cares about the competence, the nourishment and the welfare (let alone survival) of the serf class who make up the conscript army (let alone the impact on their disposable-yet-incessantly-loyal families).

So there's a habit of putting faith in mass actions (no precision required, nor remorse) and you build your weapons systems to accomodate that, because (a) It's cheap, cheerful and throwaway like your troops, and (b) Can't do better in any case.

These Orcs are not Uruk'hai

These Orcs are more nasty li'l fu'kers like Shagrat (now read LOTR (again?) ^~ )​
 

Slime

LE
One reason will be military doctrine.
Western air forces are very good at CAS or hitting mobile targets, so smart munitions are pretty much a must.
There is also the fact that with the removal of cluster bombs a better solution than just lots of dumb bombs or unguided rockets was needed.

Russians are pretty much only any good at hitting static targets, so dumb bombs will do for them.
For Russia (imho) their tactics rely more on saturation than precision, so with their lack of cash and contested airspace over Ukraine they are quite hampered.

It will be interesting to find out whether Glonass is being spoofed at the moment, and especially so as one of the posters on ARRSE claimed Glonass is impossible to jam :)
 

Yokel

LE
They developed plenty of weapon types that should be able to do this. Think of the Soviet surface-to-air systems that gave Gary Powers a horrible fright and, together with their air-to-air systems, forced the USAF and USN to completely change how they did air warfare over North Vietnam. The USSR also fielded anti-ship guided missiles as far back as smashing an Israeli warship in 1956, and their ATGWs gave the Israelis a lot of pain in 1973. Everyone saw the newer ATGWs in use in Lebanon and Syria, often very effectively.

BUT. I looked up a very detailed electronics industry database today to check my impression that they don't really make microprocessors or microcontrollers. Answer - they make fewer semiconductors of any kind than Austria. There's production for some funny niche things on very old process node sizes (65nm is cutting edge there, most is micron plus), and the scale is tiny. They have some interesting designs but they are made by TSMC on 28nm and even if the Taiwanese would take their money they'd be at the back of a massive queue including the whole world's automotive industry.

I imagine the radiofrequency or optoelectronic analogue components are very special and there's a Soviet legacy sector that does that, but if you want production in volume you need a wider semi industry, and the problem might not be the magic laser eye but the rest of the system behind it that drives the control surfaces or whatever.

It's possible they've either been unwilling to spend the money importing the silicon, unwilling to give away what it was going into, waiting for promised indigenous or allied sources to stand up, or maybe the major (US, ROK, ROC, EU) suppliers have been rationing how much capacity they're willing to give them?

Surely there is a demand for electronics in civilian products? Many of these things are duel use even if they are not military standard. Lasers and optoelectronic sensors have industrial applications.

I've also read that the Russians are using a lot of older planes in Ukraine and Syria for air strikes, and these don't have the upgrades required to use their more advanced weapons.

The first guided bombs were used in the Second World War. The Americans used them in Vietnam, and we used them in the Falklands. Just how old are the Russian jets?
 
They developed plenty of weapon types that should be able to do this. Think of the Soviet surface-to-air systems that gave Gary Powers a horrible fright and, together with their air-to-air systems, forced the USAF and USN to completely change how they did air warfare over North Vietnam. The USSR also fielded anti-ship guided missiles as far back as smashing an Israeli warship in 1956, and their ATGWs gave the Israelis a lot of pain in 1973. Everyone saw the newer ATGWs in use in Lebanon and Syria, often very effectively.

BUT. I looked up a very detailed electronics industry database today to check my impression that they don't really make microprocessors or microcontrollers. Answer - they make fewer semiconductors of any kind than Austria. There's production for some funny niche things on very old process node sizes (65nm is cutting edge there, most is micron plus), and the scale is tiny. They have some interesting designs but they are made by TSMC on 28nm and even if the Taiwanese would take their money they'd be at the back of a massive queue including the whole world's automotive industry.

I imagine the radiofrequency or optoelectronic analogue components are very special and there's a Soviet legacy sector that does that, but if you want production in volume you need a wider semi industry, and the problem might not be the magic laser eye but the rest of the system behind it that drives the control surfaces or whatever.

It's possible they've either been unwilling to spend the money importing the silicon, unwilling to give away what it was going into, waiting for promised indigenous or allied sources to stand up, or maybe the major (US, ROK, ROC, EU) suppliers have been rationing how much capacity they're willing to give them?
As I understand it the Russians have the manufacturing capacity to build most of the more basic microprocessors and microcontrollers and other critical components used in military equipment. The stuff for the civilian market however is all imported.

Older Russian CPUs are based on a purely domestic design, but newer ones are licensed derivatives of SPARC, MIPS, ARM, or RISC-V.
 
Surely there is a demand for electronics in civilian products? Many of these things are duel use even if they are not military standard. Lasers and optoelectronic sensors have industrial applications.

Yes - but why would you buy some sporky thing when the best is available and damned cheap?

 
Surely there is a demand for electronics in civilian products? Many of these things are duel use even if they are not military standard. Lasers and optoelectronic sensors have industrial applications.
Like most other countries, the Russians import most of their consumer electronics from China.

The first guided bombs were used in the Second World War. The Americans used them in Vietnam, and we used them in the Falklands. Just how old are the Russian jets?
Is every jet in the RAF capable of using every weapon in the RAF inventory? I don't think so. Stuff has to be integrated, that costs money, and in the case of older planes it often makes more sense from a cost basis to just use up the remaining life in older planes with a more limited capability than to spend money on upgrading old kit.
 
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