Saturday, February 5, 2022

Another Reason That I Suspect This Ukraine Crisis is Putin Tail Wagging the Dog

 2/3/22 The War Zone:

Western sanctions imposed on Russia are resulting in delays to the country’s next-generation airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, the A-100 Premier, according to reports in an influential Russian military publication. The A-100, which is intended to provide a significant advantage over the 1980s-era A-50 Mainstay now operated by the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS), is now not expected to be available until 2024, while there are growing concerns that its predecessor is lacking capabilities that would be critical in modern high-end battles. The Premier program was launched in 2006 and the A-100 was previously expected to be fielded by late 2020.

A recent article in the military and defense newspaper Voyenno-Promyshlenny Kuryer outlines the delayed timeline for the A-100, citing an unnamed source within the Russian Ministry of Defense. The reason given for the holdup is the delays in the delivery of electronic components for the aircraft, including microchips, as a result of sanctions, some of which have been imposed on Russia in recent years by the European Union, the United States, and individual nations.

Without adequate AWACS, any real fight in the Ukraine would be an ignominious defeat for the Russians.

Other parts of the article remind us of becoming dependent on foreign suppliers and an encouraging reminder that the U.S. military/industrial complex may not be the only sick patient:

“Electronics, like much aside, have come under Western sanctions, which have hurt the Premier project,” the article states. At the same time, Russian efforts to produce replacements for foreign-made microchips used in the A-100 “have encountered problems.”

The Voyenno-Promyshlenny Kuryer describes what it calls a “strategic mistake” in the early development of the A-100 before sanctions were imposed on Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Further punitive measures were introduced after the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom in 2018, and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Since the A-100 program originates in the period before these sanctions, economic security factors did not play into the sourcing of at least some of the foreign components. While not specified in the report, it would seem the ultimate responsibility for this decision would lie with the Russian Ministry of Defense.

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