Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 02, 2017

Yemen - Saudis Throw The Towel - Saleh is Baaack - Russia Wins

The war on Yemen has finally taken a turn towards an end. Former President Saleh is back in his leading position. They Saudis accepted their defeat. The Houthis will be thrown out of the capital Sanaa and return to their northern areas. Yemen is devastated and will need to rebuild. Everyone who participated in this war has lost. The only winner is Russia.

A recap:

During the "Arab spring" (U.S.) induced Yemeni revolution President Saleh was kicked out after ruling the country for 34 years. In 2012 the former Vice-President Hadi was "elected" as the new president on a one choice ballot. With U.S. support the system prevailed.


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As I noted at that time:

The U.S. missed the chance to use the movement against Saleh for some real transition in Yemen. This will come back to bite.

Hadi was a Saudi puppet unable to rule the country. He tried to form a unity government under the National Dialogue Conference sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council. But two major constituencies were left out of the effort: the northern Yemeni Houthis of Zaidi belief, who for years had fought against Saudi-Wahhabi indoctrination in Yemen, and the followers of the ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis and Saleh had fought each other for over a decade. Now they had a common enemy and united their efforts.

In 2015 the Houthi and Yemeni army troops loyal to Saleh took over the capital Sanaa. Hadi resigned (twice), fled to Aden in the south and later onto Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis were afraid to lose influence over their dirt poor but self-confident neighbor. They falsely alleged that the Houthis were supported by their perceived arch-enemy Iran. They declared war on the country and tried to invade it. The U.S. and the UK supported and still support the Saudi war with intelligence, refueling flights for Saudi bombers and massive weapon supplies.

The Saudis sent their troops to invade the country, their neighboring United Arab Emirates sent its forces and additional mercenaries were hired from Sudan, south America and where ever they could be found. All to no avail. While the Saudis dropped more than 100 bombs per day onto Yemen their forces were defeated every time they tried to enter the mountainous heartland. The Houthi counterattacked within Saudi Arabia. They had no shoes but huge balls. Hundreds of Saudi border posts and military checkpoints were destroyed by them.

The Saudis tried to starve the Houthis of weapons, food and other supplies. They blockaded the country and bombed weapon depots, factories and all infrastructure. They completely destroyed Houthi cities in the north and tried to assassinate the leaders of the rebellion. Tens of thousands of Yemenis died in the often indiscriminate attacks. But the Houthi held out. For decades Yemen had been filled up with weapons. During his decades long rule former president Saleh had stashed ten-thousands of tons of ammunition and equipment. Additional supplies were captured or bought from the Saudi mercenaries.

The former Yemeni army units loyal to Saleh, as well as Saleh himself, stayed in the background. Their most visible contribution to the war was the launch of short range ballistic missiles (SRBM) against Saudi cities and military positions. These weapons had been bought earlier and were modified to have extended reach (see the excursion below).

The Saudi were stuck in a stalemate that cost them over $800 million per month. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State were flourishing in the south which the Saudis and their allies nominally controlled. Saudi proxies were infighting with troops from the UAE. Missiles were falling down on Saudi cities. While only few missiles hit their targets each of them demonstrated the impotence of the Saudi rulers.

The Saudis finally send out peace feelers to former president Saleh. The Russians, who had kept their embassy in Sanaa open throughout the war, acted as the middleman. In mid October the first results of the diplomatic efforts became visible:

A Russian medical team flew into Sanaa on Oct. 11 with the approval of the Saudis, who control Yemeni airspace. The Russian surgeons then performed a life-saving procedure on the 75-year-old Saleh. Some reports say the surgery took place at the Russian Embassy in the capital. Saleh's exact health issue is unclear, but it apparently is a result of the severe burns and other injuries he suffered during an assassination attempt in 2011.
...
Most likely the Saudis are hoping to break the rebel alliance between Saleh and the Houthis, which has been fraying this year.
...
Both King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have their prestige heavily invested in this war. They rushed into it precipitously 2½ years ago.
...
Salman was in Moscow earlier this month for an unprecedented state visit to Russia. ... It is reasonable to assume that the king and Putin discussed the Yemeni imbroglio. Russia has been openly critical of the UN's approach to the conflict, which Moscow rightly says is too friendly to the Saudi argument and insufficiently even-handed.

While Saleh was sick, the Houthis became uppity. They arrested and killed Saleh followers in Sanaa, occupied bases of his troops and raided homes of his officers. They may have gotten wind of the ongoing negotiations between Saleh and the Saudis. Over the last months their behavior towards their compatriots in Sanaa became unendurable.

Meanwhile negotiations between Saleh and the Saudis were ongoing in the backrooms and on the battle field. On November 4 the Yemeni troops launched a missile against the airport of the Saudi capital Riyadh. U.S. provided missile defense systems destroyed the missile before it hit, but the public damage was done. A serious hit on the airport would likely close it for civilian traffic. The economic and political consequences for the Saudi tyrants would be huge.

The Saudis responded with a total blockade of Yemen. Neither food nor medicine was allowed to pass. This led to a famine, hundreds of death per day and finally to a public outcry from the otherwise slavish UN. Not even the hundreds of millions the Saudis spend to manipulate the global media could prevent the backlash.

Another missile was fired on Thursday to increase the pressure. It targeting the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait. The Saudis finally folded. They agreed to Saleh's conditions.

We do not yet know what these conditions are but Saleh publicly announced that a deal had been made and immediately went to work. His first target were the no-longer-allied Houthi:

ADEN (Reuters) - Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he was ready for a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on his country.

The call came as his supporters battled Houthi fighters for a fourth day in the capital Sanaa while both sides traded blame for a widening rift between allies that could affect the course of the civil war.
...
"I call upon the brothers in neighboring states and the alliance to stop their aggression, lift the siege, open the airports and allow food aid and the saving of the wounded and we will turn a new page by virtue of our neighborliness," Saleh said in a televised speech.

The Saudis likewise publicly announced their agreement:

The Arab coalition has made a statement on Saturday amidst the ongoing fierce clashes in Sanaa.
...
The coalition also said that it recognizes the noble members of the the Yemeni General People’s Congress (GPC), the GPC’s leadership and the Yemeni people who were forced to remain under Houthi-Iranian control. Also, the coalition recognizes that these noble individuals have endured numerous murder threats, torture, bombings and seizure of public and private property.

The Yemeni General People’s Congress (GPC) is Saleh's party. He is still the GPC chairperson. Saleh is now again the Saudi accepted ruler of Yemen. The "legitimate" president Hadi will be buried in Riyadh.

Saleh called on all his followers to oust the Houthi from their positions. His nephew and potential successor Colonel Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh will lead a new military council and run that side of the business. Houthi posters in Sanaa have been teared down. There is some fierce fighting ongoing in the city. Sanaa is Saleh territory. His troops are prepared and he is very likely to win the fight.

It is now left to Saleh and his family and followers to clean up the utter mess the U.S. induced "revolution" and the Saudi war on Yemen have caused. The Saudis will have to pay billions in reparations. Saleh's family will plunder a huge share of these. Despite the money Saleh is, like always, no ones puppet but the snake that bites everyone who stands in his way. That is how and why he could rule for so long.

The Houthis, who bravely fought against the Saudis, became too sure of themselves and too obnoxious towards their own people to be able to rule. They will be ousted from Sanaa and pushed back into their devastated northern homelands.

Everyone in Yemen lost in this war. Many, many have died for no good reason. It will take decades to rebuild all that was destroyed. The Saudis and the U.S. behind them have lost face and standing throughout the Arab world. They tried to fuck Yemen but Yemen fucked them.

The only real winners of the war are the Russians. They again demonstrated that they are able to create peace where the U.S. only creates war and chaos.

---

Excursion:

The Saudis have alleged all along that the Houthi are an Iranian proxy force. That is not true. The Houthis are not Shia and not follower of Iranian state doctrines. They don't take orders. The military support they receive from Iran is minimal. The Saudis especially allege that the missiles fired under the Houthi label by the former Yemen troops under Saleh's command are of Iranian origin. But that is unlikely. Yemen has been under Saudi blockade for more than two years and ballistic  missiles can not be smuggled under a coat. Yesterday Reuters released a short piece in supports of the Saudi allegations. But a closer reading shows that these are false.

In mid November a confidential report by a UN panel found no evidence that the missiles launched against the Saudis are of QIAM-1 type from Iran:

The supporting evidence provided in these [Saudi] briefings is far below that required to attribute this attack to a Qiam-1 SRBM,” wrote the panel. “The Saudi-Arabia led coalition has not yet though attributed the attempted attack against KKIA” — King Khalid International Airport, in the Saudi capital Riyadh — “to any particular type of SRBM.”

The Panel has seen no evidence to support claims of SRBM having been transferred to the Houthi-Saleh alliance from external sources in violation of paragraph 14 of resolution 2216,” the brief went on.

Like the specialists of IHS Janes (see below) the UN panel assessed that the missiles were modifications of a type that Yemen had earlier bought from North Korea:

The Yemeni military, the panel added, retained existing stockpiles of SCUD-B and Hwasong-6 missiles that were not completely destroyed by earlier Saudi airstrikes. The panel cite a Houthi spokesperson who said missiles that had been damaged were subsequently repaired and modified. “The panel has not discounted though that Yemen based foreign missile specialists may be providing advice,” the brief cautioned. The panel raised the possibility that missiles may have been altered to extend their range to reach targets farther into Saudi Arabia.

Now Reuters is trying to revive the Saudi claim by reporting on a new assessment with a very deceiving headline. Exclusive: Yemen rebel missiles fired at Saudi Arabia appear Iranian - U.N.:

Remnants of four ballistic missiles fired into Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi rebels this year appear to have been designed and manufactured by Riyadh’s regional rival Iran, a confidential report by United Nations sanctions monitors said, bolstering a push by the United States to punish the Tehran government.

The Reuters claim in its opening paragraph is not what the panel really said. Deeper into the report:

The independent panel of U.N. monitors, in a Nov. 24 report to the Security Council seen by Reuters on Thursday, said it “as yet has no evidence as to the identity of the broker or supplier” of the missiles
...
Design characteristics and dimensions of the components inspected by the panel are consistent with those reported for the Iranian designed and manufactured Qiam-1 missile,” the monitors wrote.

I agree that the "design characteristics" and "dimensions of components" are consistent with the QIAM-1. The explanation for that is trivial. The Iranian QIAM-1 is:

a licensed copy of the North Korean Hwasong-6.

The Hwasong-6:

is a North Korean tactical ballistic missile. It is derived from the Hwasong-5, itself a derivative of the Soviet R-17 Elbrus. It carries the NATO reporting name Scud.

According to an IHS Janes report (pdf) the missiles the Saleh government of Yemen had bought from North Korea were of the Hwasong-5 and probably Hwasong-6 type:

Prior to the outbreak of the current conflict, Yemen was known to have acquired R-17 Elbrus (SS -1C 'Scud B') ... ballistic missile systems from the Soviet Union
...
Spanish naval vessels intercepted a ship carrying 15 Scud-type ballistic missiles to Yemen in December [2002]. That ship was later allowed to complete the delivery. The missiles found on board were 'Scud Bs' (a reference to North Korea's Hwasong-5 copy of the R-17), according to a June 2003 US diplomatic cable. ,,, [I]t is possible that it was one of several shipments that also included longer-range variants such as the Hwasong-6, which is also known as the 'Scud-C', and has a range of 500-550 km.

The Yemen army has over 30 years of experience with Scud-type missiles and knows how to modify these. They revealed "new Yemeni made" Burkan missiles before they fired on Riyadh. Janes notes:

The stated dimensions of the Burkan-1 suggest that it is a standard Scud that has been lengthened with additional sections welded into its fuselage and fuel tanks so that it can carry the additional propellant needed to extend its range. Iraq carried out similar modifications to produce Al Hussein missiles capable of reaching Tehran during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.
...
The Burkan-2 appears to use a new type of warhead section that is locally fabricated. Both Iran and North Korea have displayed Scud derivatives with shuttlecock-shaped warheads, but none of these match the Yemeni version. The range of the Burkan missiles also appears to have been extended by a reduction in the weight of their warheads.

The Yemenis use locally modified Haewsong-5 and 6 missiles bought from North Korea. Iran builds a licensed copy of the Haewsong-6 under the name QIAM-1. These QIAM missiles will naturally have similar "design characteristics" and "dimensions of components" as the North Korean missiles the Yemenis use.

Reuters is pointing its readers into the false direction when it claims that the Yemeni missiles "appear Iranian". In reality both, the Yemeni Burkan as well as the Iranian QIAM, are variants of the same North Korean Haewsong-5 and 6 which are themselves copies of the Soviet R-17/Scud-B/Scud-C types. All of these were build from the same specification sheet and engineering drawings. That their dimensions and parts look alike, as the UN panel says, follows from that but proves absolutely nothing.

Posted by b on December 2, 2017 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

Comments
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The Saudis and their backers wanted out, a quick fix to their quagmire by bringing in Saleh from the cold, but the Houthis pulled them ALL back in. But how long can they keep on fighting (and to what end)?

Posted by: never mind | Dec 4, 2017 8:24:31 AM | 101

@101 Fighting seems to be a passion with Houthis. I'd say they'll keep going til their last breath.

Posted by: dh | Dec 4, 2017 8:37:25 AM | 102

RT -- "Yemen ex-President Saleh killed by Houthis following his realignment with Saudis"
https://www.rt.com/news/411854-yemens-ex-president-saleh-killed/

Posted by: x | Dec 4, 2017 8:46:07 AM | 103

Looks like Saleh has bit the dust...

https://www.rt.com/news/411854-yemens-ex-president-saleh-killed/

Some in his party are denying this...but the Houthis took over the TV station in Sanaa...blew up Saleh's house...and have taken pretty much all the Saleh Loyalist forces positions...

It seems he only had a small group of loyalists...good riddance to bad rubbish...

I think B coughed up a furball on this one...there was never any sign that Russia was backing Saleh against the Houthis...

On the Kushner front...it looks like the walls are starting to cave on this scumbag...

Newsweek today reports...

'...Jared Kushner failed to disclose his role as a co-director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation from 2006 to 2015, a time when the group funded an Israeli settlement considered to be illegal under international law, on financial records he filed with the Office of Government Ethics earlier this year...'

http://www.newsweek.com/jared-kushner-disclosure-form-west-bank-settlements-israel-white-house-729290

We recall that under the Geneva Convention an occupying power is prohibited from building settlements on occupied territory...

And...the UN Security Council... whose decisions are binding on all UN member states...has condemned the Israeli Squatter policy...most recently last December when Obama abstained and let the vote carry...

Scumbag Kushner is also now under pressure due to the effort to lobby Russia on behalf of Israel to veto the said UNSC vote...which happened during the Trump transition period and has been revelead with the Flynn takedown...

Now the media has also noticed that Kushner still has not received permanent security clearance to work in the shite house...seems he lied about a lot of stuff and has revised his paperwork three times...

http://www.newsweek.com/jared-kushner-security-clearance-white-house-access-ivanka-donald-trump-723993

Posted by: FB | Dec 4, 2017 8:58:36 AM | 104

re 104

I think B coughed up a furball on this one...there was never any sign that Russia was backing Saleh against the Houthis...
I'm pretty sure this was an attempt by MbS in Riyadh to get Saleh to defect, and thus weaken the regime in San'a at a blow. And it went wrong. Not as successful as Abbadi's coup with the Talebani Kurds over Kirkuk, but inspired by it, I would say. Is the loss of his supporters going to damage the Houthis? He didn't seem to have a lot left at the end, 1000 round his house.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 4, 2017 11:12:16 AM | 105

The only think I can say I am sure about regarding Yemen, is what Elsi's posts show. Yemen is a beautiful, ancient civilized land, peopled by a variety of different ethnicities, at least some of whom are far more civilized than most of the West.

As regards my posts regarding propaganda, and specifically propaganda aimed at the sort of thinkers who visit Moon Of Alabama, let me review my recollections of MSM "news" about Yemen.

1. The bin Laden family are originally from Yemen.
2. The USS Cole was attacked, killing US Navy Sailors while in harbor in Yemen, an attack claimed by the bin Laden-led al Qaeda, and part of the kick off of the "Clash of Civilizations" marketed as the Global War OF Terror.
3. President Obama's first drone attack was in Yemen. Was it a wedding party or simply a quiet village? I don't recall, but I do remember it coming out that it was "a mistake."
4. One of.... if not the first of President Trump's war "news" stories was the invasion of Yemen by US Special Forces, which resulted in more deaths of US military personnel and led to Trump "waving the bloody shirt" at his first State of the Union Address - including the heinous exploitation of that poor war widow whose expression I am still haunted by as the cameras focused on her while "both sides of the aisle" gave her a standing ovation. And BTW: little acknowledged was that the Navy Seal attack was a total failure; that many civilians were killed, including an 8 year old girl who was a US citizen, and the claimed target was never even engaged.

5. After 2 years of largely ignoring the brutal US/Great Britain sponsored Saudi assaults on Yemen, suddenly a week or so ago, MSM coverage of the "Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen" became headline "news." In the blink of an eye, "the man on the street" had strong feelings about Yemen, both in the US and in Great Britain and France.

And now, even more quickly, Saleh reappears out of obscurity, publicizing a "political solution" and is murdered in the street by rebels, ala Qaddafi. Problem. Reaction.

What is the planned solution?

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 4, 2017 4:25:36 PM | 106

106

There is none. "The West" has no recognized government left in Yemen. If Saudi/UAE and Hadi had to recruit Saleh, they are left with sand in their hands. Any western embassy/NGO in Sanaa now needs an agreement with Houthis.

For what the country means have a look on the map. And read the list of military bases in Dschibouti just opposite the Bab el Mandab.

I don't see how politicians could get their publics to invade, do you?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 4, 2017 4:52:41 PM | 107

@107. Ah, so you subscribe to the Grand Incompetence Theory of US foreign policy?

I don't. From my perspective, the AAZ Empire often misjudges reactions to their actions, but I can't see how anyone paying attention could deny that the Empire does indeed plan their activities in advance.... and often many years or decades in advance.

In the case of Yemen, the Empire may not achieve their planned "Solution," but as FDR said, "nothing in politics happens by accident."

And yes, Yemen's strategic value is largely its geographical location, forming along with Djibouti the narrow Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, which squeezes all shipping traffic to and from the Suez Canal into a 20-mile wide pincher.

That's why, when the Houthi rebels captured a Yemeni military base that included missiles able to sink ships transiting the Straits, the base was obliterated within hours. Funny how quickly that could be done considering how "inept" the US "Coalition" has been in targeting the miles-long parades of ISIL Toyotas, tanks and armored personnel carriers lumbering across empty deserts.

And again, no I do not believe such failures were "incompetence."

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 4, 2017 5:12:16 PM | 108

Exactly Right Daniel @108...

The 'incompetence' excuse is wearing a little thin after 25 straight years of same being proferred with a straight face...

'our failure to stop "genocide" in Bosnia...'

...and again in Kosovo...

'...our "bad intel" on Saddam's WMD...'

'...our failure to bring democracy to Libya...'

'...our failure to see ISIS coming as a result of above failure re Iraq...'

It's all just been the good-intentioned old college try...no...?

Of course it always turns out to be the fault of the victim somehow...

What a farce...amazing that some people still go for this baloney...

Posted by: FB | Dec 4, 2017 5:36:09 PM | 109

FB 75

Your post had me thinking about friction heat and trying to find some solid information. there would be a known heat for mach 5 but cannot find any info. years ago I was following development of a private development for hypersonic aircraft. They had problems at mach 7 melting the composite at the scram jet intake where airspeed was higher than mach 7
Soviets used stainless steel construction for the mig 25. Made me wonder if a temp stainless would be suitable for mach five. I can buy grades that hold full strength until 1000 C which is orange heat.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 4, 2017 7:58:22 PM | 110

'...Your post had me thinking about friction heat and trying to find some solid information.

...There would be a known heat for mach 5 but cannot find any info...'

Peter, the subject of aerodynamic heating at hypersonic speeds is a huge subject...

'...Aerodynamic heating can become so severe at hypersonic speeds that it is the dominant design consideration for hypersonic vehicles...

...the nose and wing leading edges of hypersonic vehicles must be blunt rather than sharp,
or else the vehicle will be destroyed by aerodynamic heating...

...In the history of flight, the most unfortunate example of such destruction occurred on February 1, 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas during entry into the earth’s atmosphere...

...Several of the thermal protection tiles near the leading edge of the left wing had been damaged by debris during launch. This allowed hot gases to penetrate the surface and destroy the internal wing structure...'

...Anderson, Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, p869...

There are two important parameters when it comes to aerodynamic heating...

One is the speed of the vehicle...and the other is the air density, which is a function of altitude...

The air gets thinner as we go higher due to the 'weight' of the air which compresses it and makes it most dense at the surface...ie sea level...

At 40,000 ft where a passenger jet will fly the air density is only 1/4 of that at SL...hence there are fewer molecules for the surface of the craft to collide with and cause heating...

So at Mach 5 at 40,000 ft...the total temperature is going to be 1,300 kelvin [1,027 C]...

At SL it's going to be 1,728 K [1,456 C]

that figure at SL is getting to the limit of the most advanced materials like carbon-carbon...

However...this 'total' temperature is what the temperature is of the air...and only when it is slowed down from that flight speed to zero speed...

This is called the stagnation temperature in thermodynamics...and this will occur only at the tip of the nose and the wing leading edge...

Then there is the issue of heat transfer...

The heat in that air does not automatically mean it is instantly transferred to the vehicle...there is a heat transfer process that occurs...

...and this is primarily through convection...which is the transfer of heat by means of a flowing fluid [air is technically a fluid that is in the liquid phase]...

...and at very high temps heat is additionally transferred from that heated air to the vehicle by means of radiation...

Heat transfer can never be 100 percent efficient...so even those surfaces of the vehicle that are exposed to the highest air temps will not reach those temps...

A lot of factors come into play here in terms of the materials etc...

Another incredibly important factor is the shockwave that happens at supersonic speed...

The air temperature behind this shockwave will be a lot lower than the total temperature...

This is why Anderson points out that the edges exposed to the stagnation temperature must be shaped bluntly...this is because the edge shape determines the shape of the shockwave...a blunt edge will make a kind of umbrella-shaped shockwave that gives the most thermal protection...

A sharp nose would give a shockwave that is folded back along both sides of that sharp point...offering very little space between the wave and the vehicle body...and hence little protection...

It is a fortunate fact of physics that shockwaves offer this protection otherwise space flight would be impossible...

In my previous post about orbital velocity I mentioned a minimum orbital speed of about 7.7 km/s...this is about M25...[at high altitudes where the atmospheric temp is lower...and mach number decreases with temperature]...

So a spacecraft coming in from even LEO at M25 is going to hit serious air resistance at maybe 80,000 ft altitude...here the air density is only 4 percent that at SL...but still a lot less than the very thin air at say 200,000 ft [60 km]

But even so the stagnation temp at M25 is going to be over 27,000 C...no material known to man could possibly withstand this temperature...

In any case stagnation temp is a quite simple thermodynamic calculation...on the basis of Mach number and something called the ratio of specific heats for air [k]...which happens to be 1.4 [at SL conditions, although this decreases slightly at higher temps...]

So Stagnation T = {1+[(1.4-1)x M^2/2]} x T

The atmospheric temp T at this altitude is 216.7 K [we must use units of absolute temperature to make these calcs...]

So our total temp [aka stagnation temp] works out to...

{1+[(1.4-1)x 25^2/2]} x 216.7

= [1 +(0.4 x 625 / 2)] x 216.7

= (1 + 125) x 216.7 = 27,304 K

You can use this online calculator to find these results...

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/design/scripts/atmosphere/

This calculator will give slightly more accurate result because the value of k [ratio of specific heats for air] varies slightly and goes to 1.41 at our conditions...

But again...kepp in mind the important point that the air temp behind the shockwave...even at M5 is going to be a lot less than the total temp [aka stagnation temp]...

Now don't ask me to show you how to find the air temp behind the shockwave...or the heat transfer rate to the vehicle body...because it will take a very long and mathematical essay here...

Posted by: FB | Dec 4, 2017 9:55:47 PM | 111

sorry typo there about air being a fluid in the liquid phase...

Air is a fluid in the gaseous phase...

Also the stagnation tempos occur at the nose and leading edges because some part of the airflow actually comes to a full stop here...a very small part...its thickness being measure in molecules...

Of course there is a heat gradient there...at the stagnation point temp is highest...while the next microlayer of airflow is going a bit faster...etc...

so temperature is cooler the farther away from the stagnation point we go...in terms of the thickness of the airflow over the body...

Posted by: FB | Dec 4, 2017 10:09:02 PM | 112

Just another note here about that figure of 27,000 C for total temp at M25 and 80,000 ft...

The temperature of the sun's surface is only between about 4,200 and 5,500 C...

So these temps are quite incredible and it is hard to even imagine any kind of solid material that could withstand that...it would be purely in the realm of total science fiction...

Tungsten has the highest melting point of any metallic solid at 3660 kelvin [3387 C]...

Posted by: FB | Dec 4, 2017 10:20:40 PM | 113

FB, I appreciate your reply. Have some understanding of mach speed/density altitude and so forth, also melting points of metals and refractory materials.
Thanks for the link to the calculator.

Back to the scud and the possibility or not of an indigenous winged missile of some type.
Max speed of mach 5 for the scud would be at the point the rocket motor burns out. This would be at an altitude where the speed of sound is relatively low. From that point it would be slowing, first as it climbs to apogee and then more on descent from atmospheric resistance.
Just looking at pics of the scud, it has pointed nose and relatively sharp leading edges on the tail fins. Possibly some ceramic at the nose tip, but nothing on the leading edge of the tail fins. Tungsten seems too heavy for aerospace - high temp stainless steel construction?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 4, 2017 11:40:38 PM | 114

Hey y'all. The NY Times is now saying the missile fired by the Houthis almost assuredly evaded the US Patriot antimissile battery and the warhead exploded inside the Riyadh airport grounds.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/04/world/middleeast/saudi-missile-defense.html

The US and Israel have a LONG history of exaggerating the effectiveness of their antimissile defenses, but it's interesting that the NY Times chose to admit this one. Maybe it's just because Trump bragged about it. Gotta keep the narrative alive.

They're also reporting that the missile appears to be a "Burqan-2, a variant of the Scud missile used throughout the Middle East." But they're still blaming Iran.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 5, 2017 12:55:48 AM | 115

Considering that Saleh is dead and the Houthis now control Sana'a, this article hasn't aged well. lol

Posted by: Sam | Dec 5, 2017 1:11:27 AM | 116

FB, I had forgotten titanium alloys. Possibly some in the scud? Although lighter than high temp stainless, I am not sure how the heat/strength of titanium alloys compares to stainless. Soviet union had world leading tech in titanium, though they built the mig 25 from stainless, though it was built for the purpose of taking down the SR-71 blackbird that was built with titanium.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 5, 2017 1:55:26 AM | 117

Peter...Ok so specifically about the Scud...

Its burnout velocity is said to be M5...speed of sound at say 80,000 ft [24.4 km] is ~300 m/s...[at SL it's 340 m/s so the difference is not great about 10 percent...

Anyway M5 speed up here will give us a speed of ~1,500 m/s...1.5 km/s...the wiki entry says 1.7 km/s but that is using the sonic velocity at SL of 340 m/s...so obviously that is wrong...

A missile on a ballistic trajectory will have about the same reentry speed as its burnout speed...

This is because the ballistic trajectory is an arc shape...when the rocket burns out and separates, usually as the missile leaves the atmosphere at about 100 km height...the warhead continues to climb due to its momentum...

however its rate of speed decreases due to the force of gravity until the apogee as you pointed out...

But once past the apogee and on its way down...it starts accelerating again due to the force of gravity and regains the speed it lost on its way up...

In physical terms...the kinetic energy [speed energy] it traded on its way up for potential energy [height energy]...is exactly reversed on the way down...since both arc segments of the trajectory on either side of the apogee are symmetrical...

...so the energy exchange [kinetic to potential and vice versa on the way down] is symmetrical also...

as it enters the atmosphere at 100 km height the air is so thin that heating is not really a factor...but by the time it reaches 80,000 ft heating is a big factor...

We had already calculated the air total temp [stagnation temp] to be about 1,050 C at this point...

Stainless [depedning on grade] has a melting temp of ~1,400 C...although we don't want to come near the melting point obviously...

A nickel-based alloy like Inconel will have a similar melting point but will be more stable up to a higher temp...ie with respect to creep, strength etc...

However I think stainless would be perfectly adequate for the Scud...

We recall that the heat transfer from the air to the body is never 100 percent efficient so the outside temp of that stainless nose cone will not reach even 1,000 C...

The nosecone is pointy as you mentioned because the important thing is to have a high ballistic coefficient...which means a low drag coefficient...

The two are inversely related...

We see this from the math for ballistic coefficient [BC]...

BC = mass / Cd / cross section area

So for any given body mass, the BC will increase with a lower Cd [drag coefficient] and a lower cross-section area...

The shockwave created by that pointed forebody will be in the form of a 'v"...as in <---

there will still be some thermal protection from the shockwave...although not as much as from a gently rounded body as we see on a spacecraft capsule...

The design objectives of those two are different...the sapecraft is coming in at much higher speed ~M25...and it needs to use aerodynamic braking to slow down...

Slowing down is not desirable for the ballistic warhead...more speed makes it harder to shoot down...

Even an ICBM warhead has a sharp pointy forebody...

The current Trident 2 has a minimum energy trajectory [ie maximum range] burnout velocity of 6.3 km/s...which is M21...

The Mk-5 W88 thermonuclear warhead weighs 180 kg and is cone shaped...

Again this is for reasons of low drag...ie high ballistic coefficient...

This is crucial for accuracy...a blunt body like that of a space capsule or the shuttle will have high drag which not only slows it down...but also makes it susceptible to cross-wind drift...

The winds in the upper atmosphere can be over 200 mph...so a body that is moving fast with less drag will cut through that and be less affected by those winds which could blow it considerably off target...

this is not an issue for spacecraft since they don't need pinpoint accuracy coming down...and a controllable airplane-like craft like the Shuttle or Buran can maneuver to where they want to land...

The shockwave of the pointy forebody does not give as much thermal protection as noted...but this is mitigated by a couple of factors...

First...due to its high speed even through the thick parts of the atmosphere...the warhead does not spend much time at those high temps...heat transfer takes time...just as putting a pot on a hot stove does not heat it up instantly...

For the Mk5 only about 6 to 10 percent of the total heat generated is transferred to the body...

This is still a considerable amount of heat...and temps are very high...in fact higher than any material can withstand...

So the technique is to use ablation...

This means that the outer layer of skin is designed to simply burn off...while protecting the inner layer of the body...

there are a number of advanced ablative materials used in spacecraft...

But even low tech materials like wood and cork...and ordinary phenolic resins have been used...

Again...this type of shield is for a blunt forebody like a space capsule which might typically have an arc angle of about 70 degrees...so the shockwave will look like this...(---

The shockwave approximates the angle of the forebody...

the Mk5 warhead cone has a half angle of 8.5 degrees...so its shockwave will be as above...<---

the disadvantage of ablative materials on a warhead is that the burning off of material does affect the aerodynamics...so accuracy is reduced...

this is addressed by inducing a spin on the warhead about its axis...which also has the benefit of a gyroscopic effect to stabilize it...

However...if the spin is disturbed in some way it becomes a wobble and can really mess things up...

But anyway...that's for a M20 vehicle...the M5 Scud is much simpler...and like I said stainless would do just fine...titanium is not suitable as it has a much lower heat resistance...but certainly high enough for supersonic aircraft that aren't going to go to M5...also it is expensive...

I should note also that those tail fins on the scud are part of the rocket engine which is jettisoned after burnout...so they don't come into play...

The guidance is on the way up only...and those fins do not move...vectoring is achieved through the use of graphite vanes in the flow path of the engine nozzle exhaust...

Posted by: FB | Dec 5, 2017 10:54:16 AM | 118

It looks like I made an error in my assumption that the Scud warhead separates from its engine as soon as it exits the atmosphere...

Today we have a detailed report in the NYT that the Scud launched at Riyadh intl airport by the Houthis last month actually hit the airport and the warhead exploded quite near the terminal...contrary to US claims that the Patriot missile defense shot it down...

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/04/world/middleeast/saudi-missile-defense.html?smid=tw-share

The analysis performed by a competent team of missile experts shows that the warhead only separated from the engine quite near the target...about 12 miles...

'...The missile, in order to survive the stresses of a roughly 600 mile flight, was almost certainly designed to separate into two pieces once near its target.

...The tube, which propels the missile for most of its trajectory, falls away. The warhead, smaller and harder to hit, continues toward the target...'

The important point here is that a total of five Patriot missiles were fired at the scud and they all missed...

Laura Grego...a competent missile expert with a doctorate in Physics from Caltech...said...

"You shoot five times at this missile and they all miss? That's shocking,” she said. “That's shocking because this system is supposed to work.”

Oh well...back to the drawing board for the failing US MIC...

In any case...the idea of the warhead separating near the target does make sense...

Unlike an intermediate or longer range ballistic missile...the Scud is a single-stage rocket...which means it does not have the power to achieve the kind of burnout velocity needed for a purely ballistic trajectory where the warhead separates soon after leaving the atmosphere...

So it is apparently in powered flight right until the terminal stage...that would explain why welding extra length to the fuselage for fuel capacity would increase the range...

Apparently this particular Scud derivative flew for 600 miles...nearly 1,000 km...

Posted by: FB | Dec 5, 2017 2:10:26 PM | 119

@ FB and Peter AU 1 about aerodynamics of MIC shit

Thanks for the discussion from a know nothing and especially in light of the truth coming out about the Scud the could.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 5, 2017 7:11:29 PM | 120

I should have added that it is not just a story of the Scud that could but also of the Patriots that couldn't.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 5, 2017 7:21:55 PM | 121

@ psycho...

do you have an actual technical critique of some sort about anything I have presented here...?

If so then by all means articulate such...

Otherwise keep your dumb yap shut about things which you know nothing...

Posted by: FB | Dec 5, 2017 7:59:31 PM | 122

@ FB who wrote: Otherwise keep your dumb yap shut about things which you know nothing...

LOL! A bit of projection there I suspect.

A bit sensitive there aren't we? The only thing that I can think of that might have set you off was a friendly upgrade to a comment you made a few days ago where I disagreed with some finance contextualization you made.

namaste

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 5, 2017 10:40:19 PM | 123

@ psychopath...

You're an obvious clown...no projection needed...

You came in here calling me a know-nothing...because I posted here some very sound technical matters with respect to physics, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics...

...all of which are completely beyond your small brain to grasp...and of which you don't know the first thing...

I do not need to play games with clowns...honest commenters here have thanked me for 'learning something' from my helpful explanations relating to physics...such as my post on orbital mechanics...

You...ototh...are a simpleton who lacks any technical knowledge whatsoever...and is too insecure to admit it...

Yet you have the cheek to walk in here full of bombast and make some stupid noises...

I challenged you very clearly...

If you have some technical critique to make then do so...otherwise do not insert your stupid mouth into things about which you know nothing...

PS: I don't recall any comment where you 'disagreed' anything I said...

...nor do I even remember anything you may have said about anything...since I do not pay attention to useless noise...

Finance is not my area and I do not talk about things which I do not have expertise...unlike yourself...who thinks he can talk technical matters when he is technically illiterate...

Posted by: FB | Dec 5, 2017 10:56:53 PM | 124

@ FB who seemingly misunderstood my earlier statement
"
Thanks for the discussion from a know nothing and especially in light of the truth coming out about the Scud the could.
"

That was a self deprecating compliment which you seemed to have missed....I should have wrote "that" instead of "the" at the end but how did you mis interpret what I wrote?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 5, 2017 11:51:50 PM | 125

"Thanks for the discussion from a know nothing"

I think the source of the confusion is that this could be read as either "thanks from me, a know nothing" or "thanks for the discussion from you, a know nothing."

Posted by: Timothy | Dec 5, 2017 11:59:49 PM | 126

@ Timothy with his interpretation of my comment....


So here we have a commenter that goes to the trouble of explaining in technical how they might have modified a Scud to do what it did and then turns around and ASSUMES I am calling him a know nothing....seems a bit of a stretch but you may be correct.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 6, 2017 12:14:11 AM | 127

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