Accuracy, Reliability, And More

Over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds brings up a good point about maintenance and reliability. This applies to our systems as well as the systems of any other country.

I can’t get too far into efforts to ensure the reliability of our systems, but will note that you do have to test systems both as a whole and in parts. For example, solid rocket motors can develop cracks and fissures over time, especially if they are not properly stored. Just look back on the need to X-ray the remaining Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) solid motors after they were stored. The other type of testing is to actually fire the motors. I will say that you might enjoy checking out the Arnold Engineering Development Center AEDC site as it is (or was) the free world’s most comprehensive testing site.

Even with stringent quality control on manufacturing and thorough testing to determine lifespan and other issues, there are going to be failures large and small. It’s not just in movies that someone forgets to pull a pin or a weapon jams or fails to fire — it is real life. There’s some video out there of a mortar crew scrambling for safety after round “bloops” and basically falls out of the tube right in front of them.

While I won’t get into what Glenn was told about our systems, I would not be surprised at all on the figure given for the Russians, and given what we are learning about Russian maintenance, it could be optimistic. Like him, I have no desire to find out who is right. Keep in mind that their strategic launch system (Dead Hand) is dependent upon a system that will launch every time (and that we need to take out in boost phase if it does launch)…

I am also reminded that back too many years ago, when I first got into Soviet Watching, the Circular Error of Probability (CEP) for some of the Russian missiles were measured in miles, not feet or yards. CEP is a measure of the precision of the weapon, be it artillery or a missile. The more precise the weapon, the lower the CEP. Because they could not match (at the time) the precision of our missiles, they used huge warheads to try to make up for not being able to be sure of hitting the target directly. It was as our CEP improved that we could move into Multiple Independently targeted Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) making use of smaller warheads that were more effective.

Precision and reliability are one reason bombers are still a thing.

Legal Insurrection has a very good story up, which includes a link to a 2021 commentary by former Russian MP Nevzorov, who got right what almost every intelligence agency got wrong. I urge you to go read the entire article, but I am going to embed the video as it is positively scary on several levels.

Vladimir, Biden, and a host of others were unprepared for the amazing unity of the Ukrainian people this time around. Nevzorov wasn’t, he saw it last year. Two good reads on the unity and the intelligence failure are linked as food for thought.

As for Vladimir pulling back, don’t count on it. Redeploy and prepare to resume operations, I can believe. I can see him focusing on the Donbas for a bit, but you better believe that the “redeployments” for that are also designed to let him build up and try for Kyiv and the Southern Front again as soon as possible. If he truly were pulling back in a move to help bring about peace, I would expect to see different movements. He’s not about to give up now. Also, the admonition not to eat or drink anything at the peace talks is a very good idea.

As for Biden, his cheat sheet and double-down have gone well beyond being unhelpful. From them, it is clear that regime change is desired. Even if it is not, there is no one, anywhere, who doesn’t believe that it is at this point given the verbal spewings. Especially Vladimir. Rather than try to find or create an offramp or offramps, this administration has decided to blow any potential such structure off the map. The results of that are not going to be good.

By the way, if you are not reading Stephen Green’s work on what is going on, as well as his other writings, you are missing out. Vodka Pundit is a must read, and don’t just go with what he posts at Indy.

Some Previous Posts:

Vladimir And The Ukraine

Answers, Ramblings, And A Bit More On Vladimir And The Ukraine

Your Must Read For The Day On Russia

The Puzzles In Play, And The Missing Pieces

Quick Thoughts On Ukraine/Putin

The Thing Behind The Curtain

Missing Pieces And Surprise Pieces

Thursday Update

Not A Lot To Add


Monday Update

Burn Notice


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