NATO has started bombing Russia's Voronezh-DM Ballistic Missile Warning radars

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NATO has started bombing Russia's Voronezh-DM Ballistic Missile Warning radars

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Strike On Russian Strategic Early Warning Radar Site Is A Big Deal
Joseph Trevithick
Fri, May 24, 2024 at 8:08 PM GMT+1·5 min read

https://www.yahoo.com/news/strike-russi ... 43708.html

Satellite imagery confirms a Russian strategic early warning radar site in the southwestern end of the country was substantially damaged in a reported Ukrainian drone attack earlier this week. This looks to be a first-of-its-kind attack on a site linked to Russia's general strategic defense. As such, it points to a new and worrisome dimension to the conflict, especially when it comes to the potential use of nuclear weapons.

A satellite image taken on May 23 that The War Zone obtained from Planet Labs of the Armavir Radar Station in Russia's southwestern Krasnodar Krai shows significant debris around one of the site's two Voronezh-DM radar buildings. These are ultra-high-frequency (UHF) over-the-horizon (OTH) radars that are part of Russia's nuclear ballistic missile early warning system.
A satellite image of the taken on May 23. Significant damage to the southwest-facing Voronezh-DM early warning radar at the site and associated debris are clearly visible. <em>PHOTO © 2024 PLANET LABS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION</em>
A satellite image of the taken on May 23. Significant damage to the southwest-facing Voronezh-DM early warning radar at the site and associated debris are clearly visible. PHOTO © 2024 PLANET LABS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION

What can be seen in the satellite image aligns with pictures taken from ground level that emerged on social media earlier today, which show severe damage to both structures housing the Voronezh-DMs at Armavir. There is also clear evidence of multiple hits on the radar buildings. It is worth noting that radar arrays are generally very sensitive and fragile systems, and even relatively limited damage can result in a "mission kill," rendering them inoperable for an extended period of time.
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The date the Planet Labs image was taken also aligns with initial reports that the attacks on Armavir occurred sometime between May 22 and May 23.

At the time of writing, Ukrainian authorities do not appear to have publicly claimed responsibility for the attack on Armavir. There also do not look to be any official statements from the Russian government. Ukrainian forces have targeted multiple locations within Krasnodar Krai, which lies just across the Sea of Azov, in the past using kamikaze drones.

There has been some speculation that Ukrainian forces may have targeted Armavir over concerns about the site's ability to help provide advance warning about its strikes involving U.S.-supplied Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) short-range ballistic missiles.
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Since receiving a new tranche of ATACMS in secret earlier this year, the Ukrainian armed forces have been using those weapons to good effect against Russian air bases, air defense nodes, and other targets. The latest batch of ATACMS are also longer-range versions than had previously been delivered to Ukraine's military, which have allowed them to hold more targets at risk.

However, experts and observers have pointed out that the Voronezh-DMs at Armavir are fixed in their fields of view, with the primary focus being areas to the southwest. As an example, in 2013, Russian authorities said that the site had detected what appeared to be a ballistic missile launch into the Mediterranean from Libya.

The northern edge of the coverage area of the two radars reportedly does cover the Crimean Peninsula, but there are questions about what the Voronezh-DM, as an OTH, can 'see' that close and that obliquely, especially if the targets in question are lower on the horizon. These radars are primarily designed to detect ballistic missile launches from much further away.
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Regardless of Armavir's direct relevance to the conflict in Ukraine or the exact intended goals of the attack on the site, it has much broader ramifications. The two Voronezh-DMs at the facility are a key part of Russia's larger strategic early warning network and their loss, even temporarily, could only degrade the country's ability to detect incoming nuclear threats. There are also concerns about how this could impact the ability of Russia's overall strategic warning network to evaluate potential threats and eliminate false positives due to possible loss of overlapping coverage in certain areas.
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Beyond that, it has been pointed out that the attack on Armavir could meet the conditions the Russian government laid out publicly in 2020 for actions that could trigger a nuclear retaliatory strike. Russia's early warning network is part of the country's broader nuclear deterrent posture.

"The conditions specifying the possibility of nuclear weapons use by the Russian Federation" include any "attack by [an] adversary against critical governmental or military sites of the Russian Federation, disruption of which would undermine nuclear forces response actions," according to the Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence the Kremlin put out two years ago.

All of this follows the start of tactical nuclear drills by Russian forces in the country's Southern Military District, which borders Ukraine, on Tuesday. The Russian Ministry of Defense had first announced the drills were coming earlier this month and said they were "in response to provocative statements and threats by certain Western officials against the Russian Federation." This appeared to be a reference to French President Emmanuel Macron saying that he would not rule out sending troops to Ukraine in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ov2o08yvXxY

The tactical nuclear drills had already reignited discussions about the potential thresholds for Russia's potential use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, something The War Zone has explored in detail previously.

This is also just the latest Ukrainian attack on Russian territory to point to vulnerabilities in the country's air defense network, even around highly-prized strategic assets.

It very much remains to be seen how exactly Russia will respond to the attack on Armavir, which could potentially involve new nuclear signaling to authorities in Ukraine, as well as the foreign benefactors. Whether this attack is a sign of the start of a broader campaign on the part of Ukrainian forces to target strategic military sites with limited direct involvement in the ongoing conflict and significant importance to Russia's early warning and nuclear deterrent postures is also unclear.

Whatever the case, the Armavir will have significant ramifications and could be an indication that spillover from the war inside Ukraine is taking on a newly concerning form.

Contact the author: joe@twz.com
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Re: NATO has started bombing Russia's Voronezh-DM Ballistic Missile Warning radars

Post by TonyGosling »

Map Shows Ukraine's Record-Breaking Hits on Russian Nuclear Warning Sites

Ukraine May Have Just Crossed Putin's Nuclear Red Line

Published May 28, 2024 at 6:53 AM EDT Updated May 28, 2024 at 7:02 AM EDT By David Brennan Diplomatic Correspondent

https://www.newsweek.com/map-ukraine-re ... ar-1905221

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/ma ... r-BB1nbBRb

Russia's nuclear ballistic missile early warning radar network has emerged as a key target of long-range Ukrainian strikes, with three facilities having now been attacked by Kyiv's drones in the past two months.

Two such strikes occurred in the past week. First, a drone hit a "Voronezh-DM" radar at the Armavir Radar Station in the southern Krasnodar region on May 22. The site is home to two Voronezh-DM radars with a range of around 6,000 kilometers (3,730 miles).

The attack appeared to have damaged a building housing one of the radars, RFE/RL's Russian Service reported. The site is more than 300 miles from the closest territory currently under Kyiv's control.

The Armavir attack was quickly followed by a more ambitious strike. On May 26, a Ukrainian drone traveled some 930 miles from Kyiv-controlled territory to target a Voronezh-M radar near the city of Orsk, in the Orenburg region close to the border with Kazakhstan.

The extent of any damage at the site in Orsk is as yet unclear. But the attack may represent the longest-range Ukrainian drone strike to date, the list of targets steadily growing as Kyiv prioritizes Russia's long-range radar and oil-producing facilities.

The Kyiv Independent cited an anonymous military intelligence source as saying the drone used in Sunday's attack flew 1,118 miles; further than the 930 miles claimed in a recent strike on an oil processing plant in Russia's Bashkiria region.

Reuters cited an unnamed Ukrainian intelligence source who confirmed the dual drone strikes. Asked why Russia's long-range radars were being targeted, the source replied: "They monitor the actions of the Ukrainian security and defense forces in the south of Ukraine."

Newsweek has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry by email to request comment.

Ukraine began its nascent campaign against Russia's early warning radar network in April, with successive drone strikes on the 590th separate radio engineering center of military unit 84680 in the city of Kovylkino, in the Mordovia Republic around 360 miles from the Ukrainian border.

The site is home to a 29B6 "Container" over-the-horizon radar, which forms part of Russia's reconnaissance and early-warning network for aerospace attacks, including those by ballistic missiles. Voronezh-M radar sites like those targeted in Armavir and Orsk are also used for this purpose.

Russia has at least five other radar sites hosting Voronezh-M systems. Two are located in the west of the country, at the Lekhtusi Radar Station close to St. Petersburg and at the Pionersky Radar Station in the Kaliningrad exclave.

Three are spread across Siberia, at the Mishelevka Radar Station near the city of Irkutsk, at a site close to the city of Yeniseysk in Krasnoyarsk Krai region, and near the Altai Krai region's city of Barnaul.

Additional Voronezh-M radar stations are planned for construction close to the city of Sevastopol in occupied Crimea, near the Arctic Circle city of Olenogorsk in Murmansk region, and near the city of Vorkuta in the northern Komi Republic, also in the Arctic region.
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Re: NATO has started bombing Russia's Voronezh-DM Ballistic Missile Warning radars

Post by TonyGosling »

Malinen: Start To Prepare For The Unthinkable
Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jun 04, 2024 - 04:25 AM

Authored by Tuomas Malinen via GnSEconomics.com,

DEPRCON WARNING
Nuclear Threat (Free)

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/ ... nthinkable

These are the lines none of us would have ever wanted to write, but we have to. The current situation in and around the war in Ukraine has opened a path, which could lead to a nuclear confrontation.

Ukraine has struck another early-warning (over-the-horizon) radar, this time in Orenburg region, near Orsk, some 1500 km from Ukraine. This radar did not even look at the direction of Ukraine, which makes the strike an act of madness, or something sinister.

These strikes to the Russian early-warning system can serve only two aims:

Ukrainian leadership is desperately trying to fully commit NATO to the war in Ukraine, or

Strikes are a preparation for nuclear strikes to Russia by the U.S.

Needless to say that the latter is extremely speculative. However, it is one of the two motives that can be established for the strikes. Alas, we have to acknowledge its existence. We have gone through the former in our previous warning.

What is more is that, according to Kremlin, the U.S., the U.K. and France would have deployed ground-based intermediate and short-range missile system to Ukraine. These systems were previously banned by the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty from which President Trump withdraw the U.S. in February 2019, citing Russian non-compliance and missiles developed by China.

These missile systems can be used to strike deep into Russia. The risk is that, if Ukraine would continue to target the early-warning system of Russia, at some point Kremlin would simply be forced to act, because it would seriously undermine their nuclear deterrence.

Nuclear deterrence operates on three dimensions: time, distance and altitude, in addition to the actual arsenal of nuclear weapons. Time and distance are crucial for the response (retaliation, effectively) and altitude where missiles fly, is crucial for anti-missile and other defense systems to operate. Over-the-horizon radars are crucial for all three dimensions, as early warnings give authorities time, distance and altitude to react and enact defensive measures. If they are taken out, or their ability to detect an approaching intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) seriously hindered, modern nuclear deterrence simply fails. This is the reason, why Kremlin would be forced to react if the early-warning system of Russia would become compromised by a foreign party (Ukraine/NATO). This applies also to the U.S. and all other nuclear powers. Everybody would eventually be forced to react under such a threat.

There are naturally other options than just a nuclear strike for Kremlin, but they all would need to be major, which would enflame the conflict further. If Kremlin would choose to enact a nuclear strike, it would probably use a tactical nuke, which is smaller than a strategical nuke (e.g., an ICBM), and hit a military target, like an airbase.

This is why we (with an extremely heavy heart) issue a warning of a possible nuclear strike in Europe. This warning is effective for the time being.

We don’t present any estimated likelihood for it, at this point at least, as it would be macabre. However we note that, while the likelihood is probably not very high at the moment, if strikes to Russian early-warning system continue, it will grow rapidly.

While still unlikely, we urge you to start to prepare for the unthinkable.
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