Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 16, 2023

Ukraine - Effective Mortar Range And A Map

A gallery on the current homepage of the New York Times includes this picture:


bigger

The picture's caption says:

Casiv Yar The 71st Separate Hunting Brigade of the Air Assault Forces firing a mortar at a Russian target.

Tyler Hicks / The New York Times

Here is bigger version of the picture, slightly lightened, for more details.


bigger

That is a puny U.S. made M224 60 mm Lightweight Company Mortar System (LWCMS). It has an effective firing range of 70 to 3,490 meter.

This is the current map, based on 'western' sources, of the front line around Chasiv Yar.


Source: LiveUAMap - bigger

The distances shown on the map between Chasiv Yar and the front line are 5.3 and 5.9 kilometer, i.e. bigger than the maximum effective range of that mortar.

For whatever reason something is wrong. It could be the caption of the picture or it could be the lines on the map.

Nothing serious - just wanted to mark this as part of MoA's continuous media education campaign. Not everything is what it seems to be.

Posted by b on March 16, 2023 at 9:17 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Reporters are garbage.

Posted by: Thomas Sharpe | Mar 16 2023 9:24 utc | 1

Good that you posted a link to identify that thingie because, from the pic, I was going to assume it was a makeshift do-it-yourself mortar made from scratches. So that thing was used against tribal goatherders, and the US still failed. They hope it's going to work against the way better-equipped Russian troops? If they had mortar carriers with serious range, that might be of some use, but that piece of scrap is just for photo-op and for making poor Ukrainian canon fodder hope they actually have a chance. Accuracy looks to be terrible, the only good part of it being that they can pack up and get out very fast, before counter-battery actually hits them.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 16 2023 9:34 utc | 2

Thanks for you efforts b.
Very interesting. How stupid the western media is. .

What do you say about the drone incident? Is Russia fed up? If yes, why do they deny their legitimate conduct? To confuse the people? Or because honesty is not appropriated in the western world at the moment?
The normally don’t play the stupid blame game.

The whole situation is so bloody sad…. Horrible times in Ukraine.
Let‘s hope the US empire of violence ends soon.
And let’s hope that men realise that war is not necessary in life.

May Vernunft and Love rule this world.

Posted by: HansJürgen | Mar 16 2023 9:42 utc | 3

A good caption for that picture would be: "Look what we've done..." - subtitle: What Ukraine looks right now with Zelensky's torched-earth-policy. I'm beginning to believe that Kiev's stubborn perseverance is not so much about defending anything (they know they can't) or recapturing anything (they know they can't), but merely outright destruction of anything they might lose to Russia. People, infrastructure, resources that could provide prosperity, they want to destroy it all and leave nothing but ashes. For that, they sacrifice their own people. Their worse nightmare is any area defecting or falling to Russia and having a decent life like folks in Crimea.

Posted by: Katharina | Mar 16 2023 9:45 utc | 4

About the drone again, sorry.

The russians didn’t shoot it down. I wonder why. Later i heard they want to burry it out of the see.

If true, i guess they want to check the technology of the bloody thing. Would make sense.

Posted by: Handjürgen | Mar 16 2023 9:46 utc | 5

Talk about taking a peashooter to a gun fight!

Posted by: Glasshopper | Mar 16 2023 9:49 utc | 6

> version of the picture, slightly lightened

The "doom" filters that the Press applies to their imagery has gotten ridiculous.

And of course no one can be expected to read a map.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 16 2023 9:50 utc | 7

Chasiv Yar is the next Ukrainian fortress after Bakhmut. The encirclement of Bakhmut goes in this direction. Reading the caption I understand Chasiv Yar as a battle zone, not a city. This is the New York Times, not a military history book. The imprecise information must not even have been a mistake on part of the writer.

Still, every report about this war has the possibility to be fantasy.

Posted by: Georg | Mar 16 2023 9:52 utc | 8

A video of a Russian Su-27 fighter dropping fuel on an American MQ-9 Reaper UAV in the sky over the Black Sea has been published.

https://t.me/intelslava/45891

Posted by: Apollyon | Mar 16 2023 10:06 utc | 9

@9

i had to laugh! Who doesn´t dream of pissing at your foe´s drones just for fun :-D

Posted by: Rudi Ruessel | Mar 16 2023 10:13 utc | 10

Posted by: Apollyon | Mar 16 2023 10:06 utc | 9

It's too funny, US spending 2x $400k missiles to shoot down a $50 balloon, and Russians spend $50 of fuel to dump and down a $50 million drone.
Maybe the US has run out of solar panels to drop on Russian drones.

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 16 2023 10:27 utc | 11

Stock photos and press release talking points.
That's MSM

Posted by: jpc | Mar 16 2023 10:30 utc | 12

Interesting. It is spring in the doomed country 404. The second season of slushy freezing solid at night mud has begun. Basically rendering he majority of AFR stolen SUV's and Toyota technical's completely useless in cross country warfare.

According various reports from the Eastern front. For every aimed artillery/mortar round fired at the neo-con trash removal allies. The return fire is in the order of twenty rounds incoming. For every precious bullet fired another five thousand rounds are returned. Clearly a faked training ground photo poopaganda shoot at a safer rear area far from the front line. Atypical of post 9/11 USSA standard fake news/fake patriotism(DJT style)/daily dose of stenchy poopaganda.

Ironically , we are witnessing the complete death of the credibility of all mainstream news in 2023. Vainly attempting to hide the inconvenient truth.

The life of one AFU artillery crew after firing three rounds is less than five minutes.

The current estimate of the AFU death toll after February 2022. Is estimated to be a minimum of 10,000 souls per month KIA.

In other news from country 404. The thieves of Kiev eyeing the billions of USSA air dollars worth of religious antiques/priceless books/other(precious metals inclusive). Along with extensive cash reserves(various foreign cash donations). Basically all religious institutions are prime targets for looting.

Since basically all government run museums in Country 404. Were looted in 1991-95 era. Whatever was on display was replaced by poorly made fakes. The museum back storage areas for items not on display. Were completely stripped to the bare floor boards.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Mar 16 2023 10:30 utc | 13

Aktualisiert am 15. März 2023, 21:37 Uhr
Quelle: ZEIT ONLINE

The crash of a U.S. surveillance drone over the Black Sea after an encounter with Russian fighter jets was probably not intentional, according to U.S. assessments. This was said by State Department spokesman Ned Price in Washington. Administration spokesman John Kirby at the same time urged Russia to exercise greater caution when flying in international airspace.

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin spoke by phone on the issue. The initiative came from the U.S. government, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. It did not initially provide further details.

According to its own statements, the government in Moscow wants to recover the aircraft. It blamed the U.S. for the incident. Presidential Office spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Russian state television, "Maybe those who are not entitled to it should not have flown there, then everything would have been clean."

The U.S. presidential office had earlier said the drone might not be recovered. The Black Sea was very deep at the crash site, Kirby said.

Ukraine, meanwhile, accused Russia of trying to draw other parties into the war.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Will Ukraine now put "Zeit Online" on its Russian propaganda death list?

Posted by: theresamarquesa | Mar 16 2023 10:41 utc | 14

A video of a Russian Su-27 fighter dropping fuel on an American MQ-9 Reaper UAV in the sky over the Black Sea has been published.
https://t.me/intelslava/45891
Posted by: Apollyon

What was the strategy behind the fuel dumping.. To choke the air intake and mixture of the engine?

Posted by: Rattus | Mar 16 2023 10:43 utc | 15

@Rattus
"What was the strategy behind the fuel dumping.. To choke the air intake and mixture of the engine?"
I have no idea. Maybe blinding some sensors? Or just "piss" on the drone for embarrassment? It seems, the jet touched the propeller of the drone in one flyby. You can see at the end of the video that one blade is bent.

Posted by: Apollyon | Mar 16 2023 10:49 utc | 16

Posted by: Rattus | Mar 16 2023 10:43 utc | 14

Bringing the drone down with minimal damage, so that its debris wouldn't be spread across a large area. We shall see how well they succeeded.

Some neat bit of flying Hollywood hero Maverick would be proud of, BTW.

Wouldn't it be interesting to see a "Russian", Iran-built drone with Chinese chips on it fly out from Nicaragua to the Gulf of Mexico and check out "the development of tropical storms" or the like in "international airspace"?

Posted by: CM of Berlin | Mar 16 2023 10:50 utc | 17

@9 That’s some good piloting.

Posted by: Fred777 | Mar 16 2023 10:56 utc | 18

So that was an M224 that was pointed at me.

Couple years back riding my bicycle past Fort Sheridan saw a training exercise where the reservists were playing with one of these. They were using dummy rounds of course. Mortar was pointed directly at the public passing by on Sheridan Road at a range of 70-100 meters.

There was no incident. But any dumb enough to point a mortar directly at civilians would also be dumb enough to mistakenly use a live round. How dumb is the military? Real dumb. Too dumb to accomplish anything but the primary goal: looting the public purse and helping our pals get richer.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 16 2023 10:59 utc | 19

Reuters, March 15, 202310:36
Difficult to recover downed drone in Black Sea- top U.S. general
By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart

.....U.S. surveillance drone .... probably broke apart and would be difficult to recover given the depth of the water in the area, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday.
"It probably sank to some significant depths, so any recovery operation from a technical standpoint would be very difficult," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told reporters.
He cautioned that it would take several days before the United States would know for certain the size of the debris field in waters as deep as 4,000 to 5,000 feet (1,219 to 1,524 meters), Milley said..........
Milley said it was clear that the intercept and harassment of the drone by Russian jets was intentional, but it was unclear whether the Russian pilots meant to slam their aircraft into the MQ-9 -- a move that could also put the Russian aircraft at risk.
"Was it intentional or not? Don't know yet," Milley said.
Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the incident was likely unintentional.
"I think the best assessment right now is that it probably was unintentional. It probably was the result of profound incompetence on the part of one of these Russian pilots," Price said.
Milley spoke with his Russian counterpart, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, in a rare phone call on Wednesday, the Pentagon said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, on Wednesday after the incident, but he declined to offer any details on his call at a news conference -- including whether he criticized the Russian intercept.
The restraint appeared to be an effort to preserve a rarely used U.S. communications channel with Moscow.

Posted by: theresamarquesa | Mar 16 2023 11:00 utc | 20

$50 of fuel
Posted by: unimperator | Mar 16 2023 10:27 utc | 11

---

Much more. Aviation fuel is f'n expensive.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 16 2023 11:02 utc | 21

Russia should make the next Top Gun sequel, featuring their own pilots.

Posted by: B. Wildered | Mar 16 2023 11:03 utc | 22

Posted by: CM of Berlin | Mar 16 2023 10:50 utc | 16

I read elsewhere that the drone was likely equipped with the 'Gorgon Stare' Wide Area Airborne Surveillance System.
The brief fly-past video footage from the Su-27 cockpit shows an external pod mounted on the port side of the drone, so this may be the prize that the Russians were after and downed the craft in order to capture the technology

Posted by: Rattus | Mar 16 2023 11:05 utc | 23

BTW, the way the US sees it:

00:00: [Start of video] A Russian Su-27 approaches to the rear of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9.
00:05: A Russian Su-27 begins to release fuel as it passes.
00:09 A Russian Su-27 passes over the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 while releasing fuel. As the Su-27 passes over the top of the MQ-9, it also disrupts the video transmission.
00:11: The propeller of the U.S. Air Force MQ-9 can be seen and remains undamaged.
00:22: A Russian Su-27 begins a second approach toward the MQ-9.
00:27: A Russian Su-27 begins to release fuel on the approach toward the
MQ-9. The Su-27 proceeds to pass even closer.
00:29: A Russian Su-27 collides with the MQ-9 and the MQ-9's camera feed is lost for approximately 60 seconds.
00:39: The MQ-9's camera feed has returned to working order. At this time the propeller can be seen again and one of the props can be seen damaged.
00:42: [End of video]

Video link

Not being a techi but reality minded person:

- Had the Su-27 collided with the drone, it sure wouldn't have continued flying (at a few 100 miles an hour) in as steady a way as the video shows.

- Had the Su-27 collided with the drone's propellers, it would also had damage the tips of the upper rudders and the wings of the plane, as these are much larger than the propellers, as can be seen here:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/MQ-9_Reaper_UAV_%28cropped%29.jpg

So by the looks of it, the fuel dropped on the drone was sufficient enough to damage the fast moving propellers, after all, as far as we know, these Sukhoi would probably fly with anything from crude oil and Vodka ...


Posted by: CM of Berlin | Mar 16 2023 11:06 utc | 24

Forgot to add this link to previous post:
Link to globalsecurity.org/gorgon-stare

Posted by: Rattus | Mar 16 2023 11:07 utc | 25

good piloting.
Posted by: Fred777 | Mar 16 2023 10:56 utc | 17

---

I've looked at the clip several times now, and what isn't apparent at the first viewing is that the MQ-9 is banking into a turn. The G-force of the turning and passing su-27 is causing the arc of the fuel plum.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 16 2023 11:07 utc | 26

Posted by: Rattus | Mar 16 2023 11:05 utc | 22

Depending on exactly where it dropped, the Black sea could be either 200m or 500m deep. One can see SW of Sevastopol it starts getting deep pretty quickly.

https://www.mdpi.com/inventions/inventions-07-00021/article_deploy/html/images/inventions-07-00021-g001.png

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 16 2023 11:10 utc | 27

The 60mm motars are usually not more than a few hundred meters behind rifle men. At that barrel elevation they couldn't be shooting too far. I doubt that round is going further than 500 meters.

Posted by: Travis | Mar 16 2023 11:15 utc | 28

Perhaps the red area indicating Russian held territory should be extended westward? That would be my take.

Posted by: Fred | Mar 16 2023 11:16 utc | 29

Posted by: Rattus | Mar 16 2023 10:43 utc | 14

I wonder where that video comes from ? A transmission hack by the RF ? Is anyone dumb enough in the US DoD to leak such an embarrassing evidence ?

Now, after watching that Patriots are obsolete junk against hypersonics missiles, that 80% of Javelins don't work, that HIMARS are too complex and too costly to be operated by the standard soldiers and that the US is afraid to send its Abrams tanks to the ukrainian theater, every potential military investor in the world can see that top notch US drones can be incapacitated with a fuel dump by a nearby plane.

It took only 12 months for Russia to show the world what an inflated hot air ballon the US army actually is. An aboslute old demented toothless bully. Biden couldn't have been more appropriate in such a time.

Posted by: Pierrot | Mar 16 2023 11:35 utc | 30

A video of a Russian Su-27 fighter dropping fuel on an American MQ-9 Reaper UAV in the sky over the Black Sea has been published.
https://t.me/intelslava/45891

Posted by: Apollyon | Mar 16 2023 10:06 utc | 9

Beautiful or as V V Putin is known to say "Отлично".

How was the video acquired?

Posted by: Ново З | Mar 16 2023 11:39 utc | 31

@Pierrot:
"I wonder where that video comes from ? A transmission hack by the RF ? Is anyone dumb enough in the US DoD to leak such an embarrassing evidence ?"

Yes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqsSYp-51Hs

Posted by: Apollyon | Mar 16 2023 11:44 utc | 32

Ново З | Mar 16 2023 11:39 utc | 30
How was the video acquired?

MEDIA ADVISORY: Camera footage release from U.S. Air Force MQ-9 interaction with Russian SU-27 in Black Sea
International airspace over the Black Sea on March 14, 2023. Russian Su-27s dumped fuel upon and struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters. (U.S. Air Force video)
(Editor's Note: This declassified video has been edited for length, however, the events are depicted in sequential order.)
Film Credits: U.S. European Command

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ7kuqnhf-0

Posted by: Melaleuca | Mar 16 2023 11:47 utc | 33

What that picture tells me, yet again is that the Ukie forces are getting the scrapings of the bottom of the NATO weapon's barrel (like M113s and Leopard Is, WW2 vintage artillery pieces).

'Puny' is a good way to describe it. Modern mortar systems tend to be 120mm, with a much longer range and hitting power. I assume this picture is showing us, is that they don't have any better mortars to send the schmucks.

Posted by: JulianJ | Mar 16 2023 11:54 utc | 34

Much more. Aviation fuel is f'n expensive.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 16 2023 11:02 utc | 20

Really? $5.55/gal expensive? And btw, “aviation fuel” is 100ll, used by piston driven aircraft. I’m willing to bet you meant Jet A, which is used in turbine propelled aircraft, I.e. su-27.
Over and out.

Posted by: Lt.gen_Breedluvv | Mar 16 2023 12:10 utc | 35

@ Lt.gen_Breedluvv | Mar 16 2023 12:10 utc | 33

My regional prices ==> https://www.luganoairport.ch/en/business-partners-2/flight-ground-operations/fuel-prices-2/

Posted by: too scents | Mar 16 2023 12:17 utc | 36

$40 million drone.

$15 propeller.


LoL

Posted by: Comandante | Mar 16 2023 12:18 utc | 37

Regarding the footage from the downed drone:

I'm curious about the fact that the damaged propeller blade seems to be bent in the direction of rotation. If the damage had been the result of blunt contact, it would have been bent opposite the direction of rotation. Unless whatever caused the damage also twisted the blade around in its mount.

Posted by: Intelligent Dasein | Mar 16 2023 12:18 utc | 38

For that, they sacrifice their own people.

Posted by: Katharina | Mar 16 2023 9:45 utc | 4

Their own people? Zelensky is a jew and I'm pretty certain that not a single jew has been sent to fight.

Posted by: Mike | Mar 16 2023 12:29 utc | 39

I'm curious about the fact that the damaged propeller blade seems to be bent in the direction of rotation. If the damage had been the result of blunt contact, it would have been bent opposite the direction of rotation. Unless whatever caused the damage also twisted the blade around in its mount.

Posted by: Intelligent Dasein | Mar 16 2023 12:18 utc | 36

I would guess that a combination of the rotational speed of the propeller, and the mass of fuel dumped at a high velocity, would behave like a solid mass on impact on the blades

Posted by: Rattus | Mar 16 2023 12:35 utc | 40

@too scents | Mar 16 2023 12:17 utc | 34
There is a nuance: The military is not an individual pilot on a civil airport (in high price Svizzera). Wholesale kerosene prices are around 3.07$ recently, or .68$ per litre. So the original 50$ assumption is not unrealistic at all.

Posted by: aquadraht | Mar 16 2023 12:37 utc | 41

Someone is getting a little pedantic today, must be the German in him... not exactly a slow news day either... no interesting stories on Credit Suisse or Drone crash footage analysis to share?

Here is a simple explanation. There are no other towns between Chasiv Yar and frontline. Maybe the author just referred to the nearest geographical landmark in the AO where the picture was taken. Seems pretty reasonable no matter what side of the story one wants to tell. What did MoA expect, exact GPS 8 digit grid coordinates to go with the picture??

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 16 2023 13:01 utc | 42

Someone is getting a little pedantic today, must be the German in him... not exactly a slow news day either... no interesting stories on Credit Suisse or Drone crash footage analysis to share?

Here is a simple explanation. There are no other towns between Chasiv Yar and frontline. Maybe the author just referred to the nearest geographical landmark in the AO where the picture was taken. Seems pretty reasonable no matter what side of the story one wants to tell. What did MoA expect, exact GPS 8 digit grid coordinates to go with the picture??

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 16 2023 13:01 utc | 43

News stories and captions for both sides generally give very, very broad locations of military assets, so I'm not sure why this would be surprising.

Posted by: Ian Kummer | Mar 16 2023 13:03 utc | 44

Et Tu | Mar 16 2023 13:01 utc | 40
>…”What did MoA expect, exact GPS 8 digit grid coordinates to go with the picture??”
Well, as the thread has already been diverted into a pointless discussion of the price of aviation fuel; yes.
Pedantry is perfected here.
I recall scrolling through a thread with 50+ posts obsessing about “is water wet” ….. annnd, they’re off
Let me just add a bit of fuel to the propeller (because I’m feeling mischievous)
C-c-c-Covid, c-c-c-climate c-c-c-change. The Fall of the Roman Empire.
Anything Tony myopic.
Have at it, thread derailers and saboteurs….

Posted by: Melaleuca | Mar 16 2023 13:13 utc | 45

"Several times before the collision, the [Russian] Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the [American] MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound, and unprofessional manner," U.S. European Command said in a statement on the incident, which it called "unsafe and unprofessional."

"Environmentally unsound"?? Give me a break. Since when has warfare ever been environmentally "sound"?

I think of medieval warfare where defenders of besieged castles dumped hot oil on the sieging armies and lit them on fire. That was environmentally sound? Was Agent Orange environmentally friendly? What about fallout from the nukes at Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How many years did it take to clean up the battlefield at Verdun where the German Army fired 75,000 rounds of phosgene gas at the French?

Warfare has been and will always be a human, economic, and environmental catastrophe, which are very good reasons to avoid war whenever possible.

Posted by: MajorMike | Mar 16 2023 13:24 utc | 46

So the original 50$ assumption is not unrealistic at all.
Posted by: aquadraht | Mar 16 2023 12:37 utc | 39

---

It is also a matter of scale. The Su-27 carries 9.4 tons of fuel, so if they dump 500kg that would be about 5%.

And fuel is expensive. It is one of the reasons I stopped flying.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 16 2023 13:31 utc | 47

@MajorMike:

They should abolish the army if they're that concerned about the environment.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18012022/military-carbon-emissions/

Posted by: Apollyon | Mar 16 2023 13:32 utc | 48

Congratulations to the NYT for unearthing photographic evidence of the much-vaunted Ukrainian spring counter-offensive...

Good luck retaking Crimea with that thing chaps; I’ve seen bigger fireworks at New Years Eve!

Posted by: West of England Andy | Mar 16 2023 13:33 utc | 49

"Ukraine is being plagued by mounting military problems which do not bode well for its fortunes on the battlefield, Russia’s deputy permanent representative to the UN said on Wednesday.

“The new conscripts are being used as cannon fodder after two-three days of training,” the senior diplomat claimed. In his view, the “regime” of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “has become hostage of its own policy and of its promises to Western countries that it is capable of winning militarily over Russia” if it is being supplied with weapons.

The Ukrainians are willing to show they are capable of a counter-offensive and do not want “any damage to their image,” which is why the situation around the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk, known as Bakhmut in Ukraine, “is really very bad” for the country, Polyanskiy said.

“There are a lot of [Ukrainian] troops that are on the brink of being encircled. Casualties are immense,” the diplomat continued, suggesting that Kiev is throwing in troops “just to support the prestige” of Zelensky and his promises to the West.

https://www.rt.com/russia/573066-military-developments-ukraine-russia/

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 16 2023 13:42 utc | 50

Apollyon | Mar 16 2023 13:32 utc | 46

They should abolish the army if they're that concerned about the environment.

DOD's woke recruiting and training policies have essentially abolished the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Space Force as effective fighting forces. Who needs them if you have the Ukrainians to do the dirty work, like shelling nuclear reactors; threatening to blow up dams and levies; using depleted uranium munitions; using cluster munitions; blowing up the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (ooops, sorry Ukraine, that was the Americans that did that).

Posted by: MajorMike | Mar 16 2023 13:58 utc | 51

It looked to me like the pilot's fuel dump was way too soon and missed the drone. One asserted reason for why it would work is that it would mess up the jet engine. They are quite delicate. Even a small piece of debris is apt to jerk them up.

I doubt they could have hit the propeller the way it was surrounded by tail fins. Perhaps both where hit? The framing on a larger aircraft is generally stronger than on smaller owing to scale. Perhaps the pilot would risk damage to a wingtip by impacting the thing somewhere. Also, if it where a well thought out operation, they would have a recovery ship in the area. If the thing stalled out and wasn't just diving, the speed as it hit the water wouldn't be that high.

Posted by: Jmaas | Mar 16 2023 14:22 utc | 52

And fuel is expensive. It is one of the reasons I stopped flying.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 16 2023 13:31 utc | 45

Russia is a gas station with nukes.

USA = Stock Market + Nukes

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Mar 16 2023 14:23 utc | 53

Live ua is surprisingly accurate, although they're commentary is of course biased entirely one way.

Ukraine specifically sent good formations to hold open the supply routes to bahkmut so I believe the lines


It's just sloppy reporting

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Mar 16 2023 14:24 utc | 54

@21. I'd watch that movie. It would be hilarious to have a top quality russian top gun movie enthralling global audiences.

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Mar 16 2023 14:37 utc | 55

Considering that Chasiv Yar is in Russia (ever since the referendum that made it so) and given the range of that toy, and given past behavior of Ukrainians, it’s more likely that they’re targeting residential neighborhoods in Chasiv Yar, unless they’re just posing for a fake photo and sending it directly to the fake news outlet NYT.

Posted by: Dalit | Mar 16 2023 14:55 utc | 56

Zoomed in on the picture.

The dude on the right has a quite a bit of wrinkles. Likely well above 40, 50s even. The physique affirms this guess.

Sure, I can hear the retorts from the NYTimes readers

1. Those aren't wrinkles, he's clenching his face too hard.
2. He's not fat, he's big boned, and also the uniform and gear makes him look fat.
3. There's nothing unusual about a fat
25 year old or a 45 year old in the army in the frontline.
4. Sure he may in his 40s and 50s manning the frontline, but that's only 0.1% of Ukraine army. The other 99.9% is a group of elite super soldiers taking out Russia with 1 to 1000 ratio.

But my money's on the fact that the Kyiv regime ran out military age men well before 2023, and now drafting everyone else.

To the last Ukraine, they fight!

Posted by: FieryButMostPeaceful | Mar 16 2023 15:00 utc | 57

M224 is intended to be attached to an infantry company as a short range, self-defense indirect fire platform. The idea is that it's used to take out direct threats to the company. The rifle brigade has a mortar company attached to it with big-boy 81mm mortars (for Americans, US doesn't field any heavy mortars like the Russians) that are fired in battery for actual fire mission style barrages. The little 60mm mortars are supposed to be used by a CPT in a company the same way he deploys his MGs and DMs.

Posted by: Phelps | Mar 16 2023 15:08 utc | 58

23 and others.

If you put too much fuel into a gas turbine it overspeeds. Frank Whittle's early engines blew up, I met a man who witnessed the windows blow out of a building where Whittle was testing. Fuel control is critical to prevent overspeeding and explosion or seizing.
I think the drone engine ingested jet fuel, overspeeded and seized. The centrifugal force failed one blade at its root and the seizure allowed the inertia of another blade to bend it in the direction of rotation.
The clever bit is that the Russians knew this and flew courageously to do it.

Cheers, Oldengineer

Posted by: Oldengineer | Mar 16 2023 15:19 utc | 59

Current jet fuel price in Russia at airports is 112usd per barrel. I’m sure the Russian government would be getting a better price. So a couple of barrels dumped would be a few hundred bucks. A downed drone with all its technology secrets on the sea not that far from a Russian navel base with all its recovery gear, priceless.

Posted by: Neal | Mar 16 2023 15:27 utc | 60

LoL we shoot bigger fireworks than that on July 4th

Posted by: Comandante | Mar 16 2023 15:34 utc | 61

A summation from Intel Slava Z

16/323

🇷🇺🇺🇦 Let's talk about the enemy. Now the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is trying to maintain the combat stability of defensive lines with the minimum possible reserves. This means that the Kiev regime gives the front line exactly as much as is necessary so that the enemy does not start to back away. All other forces are being concentrated in order to form an offensive grouping, which will be used during the spring-summer campaign. According to various realistic estimates, the Armed Forces of Ukraine form at least two almost full-blooded corps. Why almost? Because the regime has no problems with the number of personnel, there are problems with its quality and weapons. It is unlikely that the enemy will be able to equip the entire offensive grouping with standard equipment. Western supplies will not cover the needs by 100 percent, since the enemy has serious losses at the forefront. But here's what I noticed. Now at the front end, the staffing of enemy formations and subunits is rarely below 85-90 percent. And where there is not enough full-time armored vehicles, the enemy uses pickup trucks, civilian transport and evacuation vehicles, and makeshift fire weapons. I think the situation in the strike force will not be much better.

What allows the enemy to form reserves? Disregard for their own losses. And this is not a propaganda stamp. Insensitivity to losses allows the Kyiv regime to buy time and maintain stability on the defensive. Conscious decision of the regime, not situational. Although at the same time the enemy can afford to send entire formations to restore combat readiness, that is, effective rotation at the forefront continues. And this suggests that the stake of the Kyiv regime on constant mobilization justifies itself. A good phrase was used by one of the commanders of the musicians: "human unlimited". Very precise wording. And while maintaining rear logistics (the year of the war), this makes it possible to calmly deal with reserves.

In the end, what will we see in the coming months? We will see at least two counterattacks by fresh and relatively prepared forces, which, through their own defensive formations, will try to break through our fortifications and go as deep as possible deep into our territory, supporting the flanks. All modern Western weapons systems will be involved here: MLRS, aircraft, modern and not so modern tanks and reconnaissance equipment. I am sure that the enemy is holding a part of modern weapons precisely for organizing a counteroffensive.

The political goals of the Kyiv regime are already clear. Resounding success is needed. For the sake of this, the enemy will let his own infantry go to waste without any regret. Our failure in the Kharkov region gave the enemy confidence that they were quite capable of repeating this. It seems to me that the confidence of this enemy will lead to defeat, but there are many nuances. The main of which is our own stability in defense, the availability of ammunition, the organization of communications and the availability of reserves.

Posted by: Barofsky | Mar 16 2023 15:58 utc | 62

Dalit | Mar 16 2023 14:55 utc | 54 Shooting at Chasiv Yar?

Good point. IMO (bloody layman here), they shoot towards the rear. The wall is expected the be on the side of the enemy line. Or am I wrong ?

Posted by: OttoE | Mar 16 2023 16:05 utc | 63

Having actually fired with a light mortar I wouldn't underestimate it. The most surprising of its features to me was it's accuracy. And you can shoot directly over significant obstacles and hit. See the elevation.

Posted by: Catilina | Mar 16 2023 16:06 utc | 64

Regarding the footage from the downed drone:

I'm curious about the fact that the damaged propeller blade seems to be bent in the direction of rotation. If the damage had been the result of blunt contact, it would have been bent opposite the direction of rotation. Unless whatever caused the damage also twisted the blade around in its mount.

Posted by: Intelligent Dasein | Mar 16 2023 12:18 utc | 36

It may be possible that this is an artifact of the camera on the drone: the framerate of the camera recording that video and the rotational speed of the propeller align just right to make the camera record the propeller rotating in the opposite direction, by virtue of capturing frames in just the wrong moments. Similar to (racing) cars on videos with their wheels spinning, then stopping, and then apparently spinning the opposite way as their speed changes.

Posted by: pachinko | Mar 16 2023 16:18 utc | 65

Pepe Escobar reposted this at his Telegram:

Maria Zakharova to John Kirby: Call the Ukrainians; they will get it.

White House Security Council Communications Coordinator John Kirby on the U.S. prospects of getting MQ-9: "We haven't gotten it." and I'm not sure we can. It fell very, very deep into the Black Sea. So we're still trying to see if it's possible to make any effort to get it. Maybe not. " "We're studying the footage from around the wreck."

"John, ask the New York Times for the phone number of the private Ukrainian company that American propaganda says blew up the Nord Stream pipelines very, very deep in the Baltic Sea." They are, judging by your papers, deep-flying specialists. "They will get it," Maria Zakharova advised. [Emphasis Original]

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2023 16:27 utc | 66

On the alleged drone footage: I find it very odd and incompatible with pictures of the drone type that is has a rear facing camera. Inconsistencies with the video are m=noted on the next thread that haven't appeared here. IMO, how the drone was downed makes no difference because the important point is it was taken down. Its transponder was off and therefore deemed hostile and treated appropriately.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2023 16:34 utc | 67

The USA must take Russia down or it loses its world wide hegemony and valued status of the USD as the world's reserve currency.

The USA plans to take this conflict to the nuclear level if needed. And it looks like that is what will be needed because the USA is losing both the sanction war and the battle in Ukraine.

The Russians know this and have been planning for nuclear war all along. They have no choice but to do so.

Posted by: young | Mar 16 2023 16:49 utc | 68

The Battle of Bakhmut/Artemovsk time lapse, November 2022 through early March 2023. Note the Russian avalanche after the breakthrough at Soledar.

https://t.me/NewResistance/17111

Lots of people here have always said Russia is setting up an intentional meat grinder in Artemovsk to eliminate the AFU, I was always of the opinion that Russia is between a rock and hard place and doing the best it can to first and foremost solidify the Donbas any way it can, but looking at this time lapse video, assuming it is accurate, it is clear that the plan is less to take territory than to wipe out the AFU. Russia is using the RAF on the flanks to drive the main body of AFU towards Wagner, Wagner is the grinder, the no holds barred, no questions asked, seasoned and best capable machine. Artemovsk is definitely a trap for Ukraine. It's like boar hunting where hunters with dogs around the edges drive the boars towards those in one place who do the shooting.

I have a feeling the Pentagon, not the Biden neocons, told Kiev something along the lines of, we will not drive a firmly entrenched RAF out of the Donbas for you, we don't do meat grinders that's what suckers like you are for, if you hold till May we will come in in part and help but if the RAF takes the Donbas and entrenches you are going to have to negotiate.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Mar 16 2023 16:51 utc | 69

War business in Ukraine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc8S-U28MOg

Hope this leads to some expose.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 16 2023 16:53 utc | 70

young @ 68

The USA plans to take this conflict to the nuclear level if needed... The Russians know this and have been planning for nuclear war all along. They have no choice but to do so.

Nonsense, could end up that way, but you're still spouting nonsense. Bullies are chicken shits inside, they love themselves and want to live to bully another day. They are also scam artists and for a scam artist best scam of all is staying alive.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Mar 16 2023 16:57 utc | 71

Geolocation

I think I have geolocated the photo. It is not in Chasiv Yar itself, but on the along the O0506 road, halfway between Chasiv Yar and Bakhmut.

  • In the background there is what looks like a pawed road. If the mortar is firing east, then the road runs in a north-south direction.
  • On the left is a bus stop. The blue-colored shelter has its lid facing south, so it must be on some east-west main road.

Halfway between Chasiv Yar and Bakhmut is a cemetery, marked Новое кладбище on Google Maps. There are no other buildings anywhere nearby. On satellite images one can see that there are two pedestrian crossings and two bus stop shelters serving the cemetery.

The mortar is placed at N48.6073779 E37.9153247.


Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 16 2023 17:07 utc | 72

A little golden shower, Russian style.

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Mar 16 2023 17:08 utc | 73

[copy of an unz submit:]

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Atomics_MQ-9_Reaper :

The Reaper has a 950-shaft-horsepower (712 kW) turboprop engine

Max takeoff weight: 10,494 lb (4,760 kg)

Hmmm; if it has a glide-ratio of 10:1, say, it needs 4,760 kg / 10 = 476kg thrust, from that 712kW (950HP) engine. That’s a lot of power.

One may imagine just how tough that propeller would have to be - but the zusa video ‘showed’ that one blade [of 4] was bent like a pretzel, by a passing su-27, which then returned [60km or so] to base and landed, undamaged? Must be some magic going on here...

[Recall Newton; every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Sooo, what did that equal and opposite reaction do to the allegedly colliding su-27?]

Well might one go "hmmm."

Posted by: skrik | Mar 16 2023 17:14 utc | 74

I think that the New York Times should be cognizant of this mortar system:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/240_mm_mortar_M240

This would include the self propelled variant.

Maximum range is over 9km.

Posted by: Elmer Fudd | Mar 16 2023 17:15 utc | 75

Reporters are garbage.

Posted by: Thomas Sharpe | Mar 16 2023 9:24 utc | 1

That's an insult to garbage. Reporters are useless, but at least garbage can be converted into compost, something which has use.

Posted by: Monos | Mar 16 2023 17:15 utc | 76

Maybe the Russians are closer than we think! Presumably Chasiv Yar will be the next line of defence.

Posted by: Mike Price | Mar 16 2023 17:26 utc | 77

One box of ammo - they are sure going to put a lot of hurt on someone aren’t they /s

No wonder there are more cigarette butts in their home then spent ammo shells.

Posted by: drsmith | Mar 16 2023 17:47 utc | 78

@ Catilina | Mar 16 2023 16:06 utc | 64

Yup, well trained mortar team can be surprisingly accurate with a light mortar, can also briefly fire at a very rapid burst rate indeed(FFE), if required. Integral, under command, indirect fire support. Pros & cons.

Equipment signature recognition:

Actually probable a South African, Denel Land Systems, DM43 60mm. Similar performance. Max range ~4,000M. Key unique identifiers are barrel length, baseplate shape & mortar bipod configuration. Ukraine has a significant & diverse mix of light mortars from all around the world.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 16 2023 17:48 utc | 79

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Mar 16 2023 14:23 utc | 53

USA is a Panera with nukes, a marketing department and the world's largest prison population.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 16 2023 17:50 utc | 80

Some questions to those who are perhaps more expert in the field of military and military aviation:

1) Good points above, including noticing that the prop was bent in the direction of rotation. But I don't think that means the fuel dump could have caused it. Now I'm of the opinion that one of the Sukhoi's propelling nozzles probably just barely glanced the propeller of the American drone. That would be some fantastic piloting, if so. That's the one part of the plane that I could see being dense and strong enough to risk hitting something else made of metal or fiberglass. If so it means that the pilot precisely maneuvered the rear of his aircraft so as to brush the drone. Amazing if so. Thoughts?

2) Why wouldn't Russia use missiles or bullets to bring it down? Would that be them wanting to avoid escalation? How so, knowing that the Americans have the video anyway? Could it be that they are trying to save precious ammo, not for monetary purposes, but because they may be actually running low?

3) That's a very short clip from the US Euro Command. How does a camera lose signal for a whole minute? Did the plane cause such a shock as to cause a sub-system reboot??

All very fascinating anyway.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 16 2023 17:56 utc | 81

Posted by: Monos | Mar 16 2023 17:15 utc | 76

Im sure reporters could be converted to, but there may be a toxicity problem.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2023 17:59 utc | 82

It is not in Chasiv Yar itself

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 16 2023 17:07 utc | 72

Yet just a pair of commenters pointed the most obvious thing out, while the remainder doesn't seem to care at all.

Posted by: Vikichka | Mar 16 2023 18:02 utc | 83

Apollyon @ 32

For those who did not spend the click Apollyon's link goes to US European Command. Looks to be their official Twitter with all the pieces one would expect.

That video must have been above Top Secret. Release of the vid would need approval at a high level. How dumb? Amazingly dumb. There is no one left in US high command with two brain cells to rub together.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 16 2023 18:19 utc | 84

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 16 2023 17:07 utc | 72

Interesting, thanks for that. The mortar is turned so upright that it can't be aiming more than 2km at very max and most likely less. The Russians are then west of Khromova.

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 16 2023 18:38 utc | 85

@Bad Deal Motors On | Mar 16 2023 10:30 utc | 13

We, the public, are the mainstream. Just because the OMM (Oligarch Managed Media) targets their propaganda at us is no reason to grant them the unearned and undeserved appellation of "mainstream".

Posted by: Hermit | Mar 16 2023 18:54 utc | 86

LoL when asked about danger of Russia recovering the drone Gen Millie said:

"It probably broke up when it crashed to the sea... "


LoL

Posted by: Comandante | Mar 16 2023 18:54 utc | 87

Base plate isn't round and it does not appear to have the trigger fire mode that otherwise looks like a handle at the base of the tube. My guess is that this is very very old and probably poses more of a threat to the crew firing it than it does to whoever they are shooting at with it. I am an 0341 BTW.

Posted by: J | Mar 16 2023 19:08 utc | 88

2) Why wouldn't Russia use missiles or bullets to bring it down? Would that be them wanting to avoid escalation?

They want whatever surveillance tech the drone is carrying (possibly Gorgon Stare) as intact as possible, to recover and examine

Posted by: Rattus | Mar 16 2023 19:09 utc | 89

Here come the French tanks, I wonder if they come with a foot pump and six spare inner tubes? With all respect to Monty Python:

"You don't frighten us, Russian pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottom, sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called President Putin, you and all your silly Russian k-nnnnniggets. Thpppppt! Thppt! Thppt!

https://t.me/ZandVchannel/56391

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Mar 16 2023 19:09 utc | 90

The mortar crew was probably in need of a many more mines:
[right now from Slavyamgrad]
"It is reported from Artyomovsk that the road between Khromov and Chasovy Yar is currently under heavy artillery fire from the Wagner PMC.
According to the @Milchronicles, several platoons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on light vehicles, tried to break out of the encirclement near Chasov Yar, but were detected by drones and covered by fire from 152 mm Giacint-S guns.According to preliminary data, due to heavy shelling, a convoy of eight Ukrainian pickup trucks got stuck in the area of the cemetery and was forced to turn into the area of the neighboring village of Bogdanovka (Bogdanivka)"
.

Posted by: Kankel | Mar 16 2023 19:26 utc | 91

From a very reliable source "Oswaldo Mobray" from Cornerbrook.NFLD

I told them to use a 120 dollar balloon not a 120 million dollar drone.

Posted by: Angelo | Mar 16 2023 19:27 utc | 92

Man, do people love talking drone stuff, must be the up there with most posts ever on MoA. Can't wait for when it's drone vs drone warfare, then I can tune out.

But before I tune out, I have a question, why not a kevlar net with an auto release parachute that a plane could drop over a high value drone to capture it? Could even have an inflatable "life vest" if over water. Not saying easy-peasy, wind, turbulence, and all that, just saying worth developing. Better yet a hunter-capture drone that latches on to the target drone then releases a parachute. I'm off to the patent office.

Bet after the Black Sea drone event drones will soon have a big shrapnel explosion self destruct when a plane or other drone gets close. Hate to be the first pilot to find that out.

Posted by: LightYearsFromHome | Mar 16 2023 19:28 utc | 93

@Rattus | Mar 16 2023 10:43 utc | 15

It has a turboprop power system (no carburetor). If enough fuel gets into the intake you may cause a compressor surge or a flameout and if you get ridiculously lucky set the damn thing on fire. There is also a chance that the software or operator might overload the airframes attempting to manoeuvre out of the fuel shower. In the absence of a flaming ball of fire or airframes damage, the delay between the drone and its operator may make recognizing the problem and attempting a restart difficult or impossible.

The fact that the drone was in an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) allegedly without reporting, a flight plan and an operating altitude reporting transponder would be justification for interception and/or detainment up to and including destruction of the aircraft if the aircraft did not follow instructions (which we don't know, but can suspect, because the US released only an edited tape of the event)

Posted by: Hermit | Mar 16 2023 19:29 utc | 94

My surmise: The Reaper has a lot of plastic parts including the propeller (composite of epoxy and carbon fiber). The heat from the release of fuel + after-burner melted the propeller.

Posted by: House Wulf | Mar 16 2023 19:32 utc | 95

@ J | Mar 16 2023 19:08 utc | 89

See my @ Outraged | Mar 16 2023 17:48 utc | 80

Manufactured 2016 onwards. Cheers.

@ LightYearsFromHome | Mar 16 2023 19:09 utc | 91

Easily shredded, cannot fire on the move, hell 14.5mm Hvy MGs up & IFV auto-cannons will do the job, let alone anything else. Them wheels aren't much use in torn mud re raputista. Cannon may be 105mm, but only medium velocity rounds (Unique to Francais), ie modest penetration even for now obsolete 105mm Tank Main Gun.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 16 2023 19:34 utc | 96

@CM of Berlin | Mar 16 2023 10:50 utc | 17

It would have been smarter to have deployed electronic countermeasures to prevent manual control and the wiping of the system (if that was not attempted).

As it is, it seems likely that the drone received a suicide signal resulting in a terminal high velocity dive while wiping it's memories including it's software. If so, it is unlikely that there is much of value to recover.

Posted by: Hermit | Mar 16 2023 19:37 utc | 97

If they can't even scare up 81/82 mm mortars, which are beyond numerous, and are resorting to 60mm that were obsolescent at the end of WW2, they are in trouble. Next, they're going to be deploying anti-tank rifles...

Posted by: muttman | Mar 16 2023 19:48 utc | 98

JulianJ | Mar 16 2023 11:54 utc | 34

'Puny' is a good way to describe it. Modern mortar systems tend to be 120mm, with a much longer range and hitting power. I assume this picture is showing us, is that they don't have any better mortars to send the schmucks.

For light infantry companies, generally have a weapons platoon which includes some 60mm mortars. If you're not depending on rolling stock for transportation (e.g. you are air mobile or ground pounders) 60mm mortars are a good weapon because they are man-portable. It is unrealistic to expect a man to carry the baseplate for a 120mm or and 81mm mortar very far, not to mention the ammunition and tube. 60mm mortars aren't great for wide open fields of fire, such as what occurs throughout the Donbas, but they are excellent weapons in a built-up area that has been leveled to smithereens by larger ordinance. You can move them through the rubble fairly easily to provide indirect fire support to light infantry working the urban area.

Take a look at the location suggested by Petri Krohn | Mar 16 2023 17:07 utc | 72. On the Google Map shared in this post, there is a bombed out settlement next to the LAT/LONG provided in the post. That entire settlement is pock-marked with craters from exploded ordinance, which make for ideal mortar firing positions, with one caveat: a FDC somewhere has registered the coordinates and firing data to hit that same location with fire again. Looking at the NYT picture, it appears that the mortar crew pictured are using a crater for their firing position. If they're smart and want to stay alive, they will shoot and scoot, which is easier to do for dismounted Army 11-charlies or Marine Oh-three-forty-ones with 60mm equipment. The advantage of setting up firing positions in fresh craters is that these would be the warmest and driest habitats that you'll find anywhere on the battlefield in the Donbas.

I don't know when the photo in the NYT was taken, therefore I cannot ascertain how it relates to the FEBA at any given moment. In the Bahkmut area, the FEBA is fluid and a light infantry unit in the defense would defend against dismounted avenues of approach.

One more thing, whoever took this photo has a death-wish. Who knows how old the ammo is? I could be left-overs from Operation Just Cause in 1989, which makes the rounds pretty unreliable. To stand in front of a tube firing old ordinance is pretty stupid.

Posted by: MajorMike | Mar 16 2023 19:51 utc | 99

@Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 16 2023 17:56 utc | 82

The interceptors are equipped with deployable tail hooks... After issuing follow me commands, and perhaps some warning passes, the interceptor pilot or somebody talking to him may have been creative. Smart considering the differential in speed.

Posted by: Hermit | Mar 16 2023 19:51 utc | 100

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