Friday, November 18, 2005

What kind of airbase defense?

There is now discussion in Poland, what kind of air defense system is to be deployed to protect major airbases, declared to NATO: Minsk Mazowiecki, Lask, Powidz and Poznan-Krzesiny. One of the ideas is to move the S-125SC Neva (modernized version of Soviet SA-3 Goa) to those bases, ot provide some level of defense against aircraft and UAVs. Such a move do not fix the problem of defending the airbases against TBMs. Actually Poland do not operate any system with anti-TBM capabilities and the Polish territory is fully exposed on such attack. However the possibility of TBM attack against the mentioned airbases is also limited. Even when Belarus would place her Tochka-M launcher at the bridge to the north of Brest (normally used by alcohol and cigarette smugglers), the closest point to Minsk, the missile would not reach it, thought by slight margin. However Russia could theoretically use her Iskander system to attack Minsk, Lask or Powidz from Kaliningrad pocket, but the system is not yet deployed in significant number and will not be deployed in Kaliningrad area for rather long time, if ever.
So the main concern is to engage aircraft, cruise missiles (including air launched stand off missiles) and UAVs. When new systems are considered, the biggest chance have SL-AMRAAM (surfaced launched AMRAAM), recently offered by USA and Norway, in the form of surplus Norway NASAMS systems for reasonable price (recently modernized; with container launched AMRAAMs, Raytheon AN/TPQ-36A radars and Fire Distribution Centers). No details can be discussed since no decision was yet taken and even the tender not yet launched. Eventual procurement of NASAMS would be the other example of gradual replacing of ex-Soviet air defense systems by western technology in the new NATO member states.

3 Comments:

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Eric Blair said...

I'm guessing that TBM means "theatre ballistic missle"?

I find this interesting that Poland even thinks this is some sort a possible threat.

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Michael Puttre said...

T = 'theater,' although I've heard 'tactical' in some contexts. It is interesting to note that Poland is now on NATO's eastern frontier. Belarus, is unstable and is well supplied with tactical ballistic missiles, some of which are fairly advanced, such as the Tochka (SS-21 Scarab). Belarus has two missile brigades equipped with Tochka, 48 systems in all. Belarus also has over 100 tactical aircraft.

Plus, Poland is "out there," and would be an inviting target in any NATO conflict with a Middle Eastern power.

Michal Fiszer lives next door to this threat, so he's in a better position to respond than I am...

 
At 6:17 AM, Blogger Michal A. Fiszer said...

Actually I meant "tactical", since due to the INF Treaty any Europe country cannot possess "theatre" or medium range missiles. But Middle East - can. Defense against Middle East launched ballistic missiles is for Poland totally unafordable and beyond of any Poland's capabilities. I just hope that Skierniewice where I live is not a lucrative target...

 

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