The Russian Air Force and foreign press


Sometimes it is interesting to see that other people think about you. Current reform and modernization of the Russian army has attracted the attention of foreign countries, and there are many reasons. As a consequence, there is a large number of different views of the positive and negative nature. Let’s see what they think about upgrading our air forces overseas, as they are now called, colleagues.

 Opinions on this matter a great multitude, which, frankly, is not surprising. Some criticize others praise, and others — are accused of war-manners, and a fourth held neutrality. In general, this "situation" is observed and foreign views on the whole of the Russian defense industry and the armed forces. It should be noted that very few laudatory assessments — for a number of reasons foreign experts and journalists are more like composing odes to their armed forces, rather than foreign ones. However, the Russian army from time to time gets restrained praise. For example, in the book of abstracts Can Russia Reform: Economic, Political and Military Perspectives («Can the Russian reform: economic, political and military perspectives") authored by employees of the college US Army War College and other institutions contained a number of interesting statements. By analyzing information on the reform of the Russian armed forces, a professor at New York University, M. Galeotti came to the conclusion that Moscow’s military leaders have finally made some important decisions. These include the policy of phasing out inefficient conscription system, changing the structure of the troops, as well as urgent retooling. According to Galeotti, a Russian Defense Ministry is currently doing the same than in the late 90’s doing the Pentagon. Praise by comparison with his army. Do not say anything, the original course. To sum up, the results Galeotti period of ten years, during which significantly increase the potential of the Russian armed forces.

At the same time, discreet and quite logical reasoning on the subject is often drowned in a mass of noisy "sensationalism." For example, in the spring of this year, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the resumption of purchases of air defense systems S-300V. This news comes a lot of different events, disputes, etc., but in the end it was over a firm intention to continue the acquisition. However, overseas, and in the national media immediately flew monotonous "analyzes" that have little to do with reality. Unfortunately, after a few months can not find a particular author of "brilliant" idea. The essence of the latter was to ensure that the new S-400, allegedly failed to comply with the requirements of the military. Therefore, the army resumed its purchase of the old systems. Perhaps such profound statements speak only about the level of competence of the author. C-300B and C-400 have a different purpose and, as a consequence, the purchase of one complex to replace the other, by definition, impossible. However, a few weeks after the message is still controversy regarding the "unfit" S-400.

In respect of the Russian aircraft from time to time there are also bold, but at the same time stupid statements. For example, journalists Italian newspaper La Repubblica applied in relation to the fighter T-50 an interesting definition of "cheap copy of the F-22" and the Sukhoi Su-34, according to several British and American experts, a representative of the class known outdated technology. Of course, you can understand these foreign nationals — advertising "Raptor" and the views of the military leadership on the war in the air do the trick. Only now these views may differ, but the airplane is important, not the external resemblance to anything but a set of characteristics.

 It is noteworthy that the foreign reaction to the PAK FA project to some extent, a consequence of the ongoing domestic aircraft manufacturers ‘PR’. Advertise domestic airplane is somewhat similar to what the last twenty years has been Lockheed Martin. Like it or not, but military equipment is in need of promotion, no plans to sell it: even if it is only for myself, it will enhance the prestige of talking up the armed forces, as well as have an impact on the strategy of a potential enemy. For example, we can take all of the same F-22. In the coming years, the U.S. is not going to sell the aircraft to foreign countries. However, praise about him began to walk almost from the start of development. It should be recognized that the aircraft really quite good, although it has some drawbacks. Yet the rise of the prestige of the armed forces through the "promotion" of such a project is contradictory. A similar situation has developed with the "younger brother» F-22 — F-35. The aircraft also promises to be good, too, has a number of shortcomings, and just received the most flattering epithets masses. On the other hand, boasting features F-35 looks logical: this is the fighter to go for export. Russian engineers with Indian colleagues are now working on the project FGFA, during which created an alternative modification of the fighter T-50. It is assumed that the first fighter FGFA will be built for India and then go out to the international market. Therefore, we can even say that the Russian aircraft not advertise its fifth-generation aircraft. As shown, the roll out such campaigns is never too early.

The characteristic effect of transparency is that the disposal of foreign journalists and analysts are truthful data on quantitative and sometimes qualitative re. He reads out the number of purchased technology often receive positive evaluation. However, the sound of praise, with some reservations, often with features like "if possible." Often there and condemning statements which, if desired, can be considered as recognition of the power of the domestic BBC. Obviously, the harsh condemnation and accusations of militarism, imperial ambitions, etc. not always based on a desire to maintain peace in the world. Sometimes it is a manifestation of the reluctance to see the competition. Hence, the different specific publications that "with figures in hand" to the reader if you do not try to prove the failure of future upgrading, then, at least, its pace is too small. Since last fall, the French journalists portal attempted to show the failure of the Russian State Program rearmament by reference to the statistics for previous years. Of course, such a comparison is not valid, because in the 2011 appropriation for the purchase of new aircraft and helicopters were significantly higher than in any year before.

And yet, in each subsequent publication of even the most ardent critics of the Russian armed forces in general and the Air Force and forced to recognize particular achievements. As a result, there were articles of the "strategic" nature, in which the authors are trying to figure out the possible consequences of updates armed forces of Russia. Among these publications, in our opinion, the most interesting is a recent article from the Polish edition of Polska. As if marking the anniversary of the victory in the battle of Warsaw during the Polish-Soviet War, the journalist A. Kozinsky tried to imagine what would happen if Russia and Poland have now come into military conflict. According to the Polish journalist, the strategy of the Russian army will be exactly the same as it was during the Great Patriotic War — "throwing in the battle of the big number of soldiers, which the enemy would not be able to stop." This conclusion applies Kozinsky proof: the newest technology in the armed forces of Russia — the submarine "Antey", which will be simply
useless in the war with Poland. It is worth noting that the pan Kozinsky still does not call for shapkozakidalstvu. It recognizes power relations of Polish and Russian armies can not draw far-reaching conclusions about the results of such a conflict.

Another Polish journalist, V. Maykovsky of Polityka Globalna, examining the characteristics of international fighters patrolling the Baltic states, makes it less bold conclusions. According to him, the regular flights of Russian aircraft over neutral waters of the Baltic Sea does not lead to a direct conflict, although in the long term can lead to increased tension in the region. On the other hand, the Lithuanian Defense Minister R. Jukneviciene argues that flying Russian aircraft pilots and their support of the NATO countries have already come into common practice, and in most cases does not have any unpleasant consequences. By far the most serious incident involving the Russian aircraft flight over the Baltic Sea, is the collapse of the Su-27, which took place in September 2005. The aircraft was lost due to a technical failure, and all the subsequent problems in a rather strung statements Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.

Looking at the different views of the publications of foreign press, you come to the conclusion that journalists and military experts and military leaders of foreign countries do understand that the current reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces is successful. A number of things allow them to question the full implementation of all the plans, but the price increases strength and defense, they recognize. Of course, there are some "renegades" who are trying to bind the May liner disaster SSJ-100 to the prospects of fighter T-50, developed by the same company, or put all the plans some hype. But sometimes such criticism before becoming evil and sometimes toothless, that there is only one conclusion: the fear (maybe) prevent us from seeing the real state of affairs and makes no recourse to the best methods of agitation and propaganda. At the same time, the amount of such "critical" is not so large. Most of the major media, especially the military-industrial profile, prefers a serious approach to business. For example, in the Journal of Air International has repeatedly referred to the T-50 is not known as a copy of the American fighter, and the root of the problems and possible failure of the State program rearmament see the features of the Defense Ministry and the relationship of manufacturers.

Indirect evidence of improvement in the situation in the Russian military aviation can be words from the article of Professor M. Galeotti. He believes that the main problem of the Russian army is a specific approach on the part of some defense companies. The bureaucratic machine has its own interests, which may sometimes be at odds with the financial plans of the military. In addition, corruption is doing well, which also makes life easier. However, the "shake-up" companies through the purchase of foreign military equipment concerned only ship builders, manufacturers of armored vehicles and enterprises involved in the construction of unmanned aerial vehicles. Aircraft industry has so far avoided such "hints", except for the helicopter sector.

Working abroad and wrote a lot of military experts, journalists and analysts. As a consequence, the number of views on a particular issue simply colossal. In such conditions created a favorable environment for advocacy: You can dial a number of articles exclusively with crabbing and give her a dominant opinion, and you can do the opposite. Therefore, the foreign press is worth studying for general awareness and understanding of current trends. As for the far-reaching conclusions, they can only be made on the basis of analysis of numerous publications and not the fact that they will be very different from the fabrications of domestic analysts.

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