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appropiate technology for poorer nations

This is a discussion on appropiate technology for poorer nations within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; yes i have are u questioning me? i have nothing to hide its not as if i am saying anything ...


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Old August 26th, 2012   #16
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yes i have are u questioning me? i have nothing to hide its not as if i am saying anything i shouldnt be, all the things i have said is all available on the net. i would NEVER say anything which would be breach of contract.

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Are you sure you worked in intelligence? You're mentioning it a great deal for someone who has...
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Old August 26th, 2012   #17
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yes i have are u questioning me? i have nothing to hide its not as if i am saying anything i shouldnt be, all the things i have said is all available on the net. i would NEVER say anything which would be breach of contract.
I am indeed questioning you. I hope you've got something more than your word to show for it, too.
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Old August 26th, 2012   #18
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so would u buy eurofighter for example to tackle guerillas on the ground????? i think not, why i was in int we had an american int major who said that even though russian/soviet era aircraft are not as good as theres said they are still a considerable threat and are still a usefull fighter today, and said that some can even take off from rough landing strips, and amazingly said some frogfoot in iraq where using all kinds of fuel from parafin to vegetable oil mix, he said that if russian aircraft are maintain which isnt as expensive as there aircraft and pilots have good training and are armed with decent munitions they can be a real threat and combat multiplier, he even said that alot of people right soviet/russian aircraft off as useless which in some cases could be right in terms if they were fighting eurofighters etc, but but an african nation vs. another african nation it normally boils down to mainatance of aircraft and pilot training, and something interesting he did say was that an upgraded mig -29 was a serious threat to some american aircraft and one in particular he said the usa air force would not deply if it were up against it but refuse to comment which aircraft. another point is there is no point an armed force having eurofighter for example if they cant afford to maintain it or provide enough training for pilots its becomes useless its far better having some maintained soviet/russian aircraft which pilots have had training on than no airforce at all. at the end of the day an african nation couldnt afford western aircraft to buy or maintain it, nor would a western nation sell it to them, and russian/soviet kit is within there budget and maintance budget, and they can get the parts easily, and they can find countries willing to sell them to them, and the main point is that they are fit for purpose, a purpose that they need it for, try and think within the box i.e constraints, budgets, needs, purpose to fully answer the question of the original post.
I would suggest you reread my previous posts in this thread. I would not buy ANY fighters to tackle guerillas on the ground.

Maybe get 1 or 2 Hind helicopters, but concentrate on cargo and medivac transports. For recon using a civilian aircraft, like the Beechcraft King Air, with a ground surveillance sensor package is a good choice. Depending on the situation you might modify another as an ELINT bird. Dump any remaining money into training and communications equipment for the ground forces. They are the one that are going to find the enemy and do all the fighting until there are some that you can trust to direct an airstrike from the ground. Then, and only then, start thinking about some gunship conversion for cargo haulers. NO FIGHTERS.

As for the rest, or as best as I can make out your rambles:
  • As I have said previously, you can run jets on almost anything, but not for long. That is why nobody does it unless they have no alternative. The fact that they had to use those fuels for their aircraft in Iraq is not a tribute to Russian design, but a condemnation of Iraqi logistics. Paraffin is what they call gasoline in the UK/Commonwealth, and is not too bad. But the vegetable oil mix, unless the vegetable content was low or very carefully compounded, would have quickly fouled the fuel injectors. And NO the Soviets/Russians do not have some secret design that prevents that from happening. If it existed someone would have made a killing in the alternative fuels business by now.
  • If … if … if …
    IF Russian aircraft are well maintained, and IF the crews have good training (which adds a lot of maintenance costs and wear on the airframe), and IF they are armed with decent ammunition (which means that they are equipped with the gadgets needed to use it and find the targets – more costs and more maintenance). But that is a lot of ifs.
    When you don’t add all the costs on one side of the equation, of course the numbers don’t make sense.
    • Why do you keep insisting that low capability soviet era export designs has the capabilities as modern western fighters but does not have to pay the cost to maintain the systems that would give them those capabilities?
    • Training does not come free. Much of the increased maintenance cost of western aircraft is the result of that training. You need to adjust the Russian maintenance costs to a per hour airtime basis, not per annum they sit on the ground.
  • Do the Russians have some decent aircraft -- definitely.
    • Are they as good on-on-one as their western counterparts – some, depending on how tightly you define missions, capabilities, and counterpart. But western aircraft tend to be more generalist in design while Russian designs are more specialized. Define it narrowly favors the Russian designs, define it widely and you start needing 2 Russian planes to supply all the capabilities.
    • Is the average crew training comparable – No. With engines and airframes that last only 1/3 or less of their western counterparts it is not affordable.
    • Are the 20 year and 30 year operating costs for comparable use higher or lower – maybe, but user experience is beginning to favor the west.
As a final note, the Russians are not losing many sales in Africa to the US/NATO, what they are losing them to are even cheaper Chinese knockoffs of Russian designs. The Chinese designs are to the Russian designs the way the Russian designs are to the western designs …
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Old August 27th, 2012   #19
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yes i have are u questioning me? i have nothing to hide its not as if i am saying anything i shouldnt be, all the things i have said is all available on the net. i would NEVER say anything which would be breach of contract.
He has every right to question you when your online behaviour and the use of terminology is questionable.

In the first instance, people who work in this space do not tell people on a public forum what their craft is

In the second, those in here who have actually worked in those shops can quickly work out whether people have or have not by the style and calibre of posts - and thats not due to anyone saying that they have a background in the INT shops

Thirdly, people who work in INT shops use common terminology - basic terms are universal across nations

If you have a background it will become clear in the calibre of your posts - not because you make a claim.

Perhaps I'm wrong.to judge early, but you've made a hash of Pt 3 a few times and that raises a doubt.

I'm happy to be convinced otherwise, but all the claims about prior background mean
squat. It will come out in the quality of your posts - and buzzwords also won't cut it.
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Old August 27th, 2012   #20
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your right u shouldnt judge people, and i think its pretty bad to say that someone hasnt been in the forces and did a certain role when clearly u dont know, in terms of wording i like to keep things basic and to a point where everyone reading can understand, and i am sorry if you found my words to be basic, i have never on this forum questioned peoples source of information or experiences, i was sharing an experience on here and i am sure people would question my experience if i hadnt first mentioned that i got it from being in the army, and i dont profess to know everything because i dont, and can only comment on what i actually know from experience and what ive been taught. if you feel my comments or input isnt good or worth while i will be happy to refrain from posting. i ask you have you been in the forces?

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He has every right to question you when your online behaviour and the use of terminology is questionable.

In the first instance, people who work in this space do not tell people on a public forum what their craft is

In the second, those in here who have actually worked in those shops can quickly work out whether people have or have not by the style and calibre of posts - and thats not due to anyone saying that they have a background in the INT shops

Thirdly, people who work in INT shops use common terminology - basic terms are universal across nations

If you have a background it will become clear in the calibre of your posts - not because you make a claim.

Perhaps I'm wrong.to judge early, but you've made a hash of Pt 3 a few times and that raises a doubt.

I'm happy to be convinced otherwise, but all the claims about prior background mean
squat. It will come out in the quality of your posts - and buzzwords also won't cut it.
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Old August 27th, 2012   #21
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Paraffin is what they call gasoline in the UK/Commonwealth, and is not too bad.
AFAIK, gasoline is what USians call the stuff that most cars (automobiles) run on. We call that petrol. Paraffin is different: I think you may call it kerosene in the USA. It's used here in camping stoves & the like. It was once common for domestic heating, but that was many years ago.
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Old August 27th, 2012   #22
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Paraffin is indeed what the yanks call kerosene.
I can still remember the old, tall, free standing, brass/brown coloured paraffin heaters we had when I was a very young child. Even then it was just for emergency back up, as we already had central heating.

I remember the old Paraffin adds as well.

Pink Paraffin and good ole... "Boom Boom Boom Boom Esso Blue!"
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Old August 27th, 2012   #23
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I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't intended as a ego enhancement rather than for any military application. The $124 million per unit price tag seems very excessive. Consider that two demilitarized SU-27's can be found on the net right now for $5 million each and India is building SU-30MKI's for about $34million a pop.

Uganda justified the need for these high-performance jets because regional neighbors like Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Sudan operate MiG-29s. However, looking at the condition of Uganda's other air force buys, I expect these jets will also become hanger queens in the very near future.


Interesting article:
April 26, 2012: Ugandan Su-30 fighter pilots are leaving the air force. Two of the eight recently trained Su-30 pilots have already resigned and the other six are threatening to do the same. Ugandan Air Force fighter pilots are paid $500 a month, while foreign pilots brought in to do the same work receive $8,000 a month. The government promised its Ugandan Su-30 pilots a raise last year but the money never came through.

Oil was discovered in Uganda five years ago, so now there is something to defend and a way to pay for it. Su-30s cost several million dollars a year to maintain. The Su-30 can carry more than eight tons of bombs and hit targets over 1,500 kilometers away.
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Old August 28th, 2012   #24
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A few things, I know I am repeating myself here.

Uganda buying Su30s / Su27s does not seem smart to me. Yes as deterrance they are good assets, trouble is that they have limited utility on the battlefield when the most likely enemy is likely to be small bands of infantry. Armies in africa tend to have more infantry and less equipment, mainly because wages are so cheap. With tens of millions of people earning 1 dollar a day (or less) paying a soldier 5 dollars a day becomes better value for money that spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a 155mm artillery gun or a tank.

Uganda does not share a land border with Ethiopia, though they are within air range.

Most of Ugandas neighbours are very poor countries (very very poor), eg Tanzania, DR Congo, South Sudan.

Thus in my opinion Uganda would be better off first focusing on air assets that can actually make a difference on the battlefield, and once they have that sorted out, then concentrate on a strategic deterrence. Appropiate aircraft would be recoinaisance aircraft, helicopters, STOL transports, piston engined strike aircraft. Planes that can be maintained, and would be ready to be used when the time comes.

My guess is that of the Su30s they have, only 1 or 2 would be available at any one time. Not much use against a force like the LRA, a few hundred infantry that caused massive economic, social, and personal cost.

Most wars in Africa, and there have been a lot of them, have generally been land forces fighting eachother, with airforces not making a huge difference. Eg MPLA (name from memory) vs UNITA, Mozambique vs Renamo (name from memory), Rhodesian whites vs insurgents. DR Congo war. etc etc

As a hypothetical, the Iran-Iraq war where 1 million people died. If say Iran had built ten thousand piston engined light strike aircraft with machine guns and rockets, they could probably have made quite a differnece on teh battlefield. Sure they might have lost 2000 pilots in the sky, but that is not a lot when you compare 700,000 or so dead on the ground.

sorry for the rant,,, will move on soon
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Old August 28th, 2012   #25
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As a hypothetical, the Iran-Iraq war where 1 million people died. If say Iran had built ten thousand piston engined light strike aircraft with machine guns and rockets, they could probably have made quite a differnece on teh battlefield. Sure they might have lost 2000 pilots in the sky, but that is not a lot when you compare 700,000 or so dead on the ground.
10,000 aircraft on the battlefield at the same time? Yes, that would have quite an effect. That is more aircraft than the Allies ever managed to have active on any day in WWII.

Not sure how you arrived at 10,000 piston engine light strike aircraft, could it be by assuming they are 1/20th the cost of jet aircraft? And you completely ignore the logistical requirements for expanding the number of pilots 20 fold, and maintenance and the rest about 10 fold. And the facilities. Call it a 5,000,000 man air force (The Iranian air force is currently about 500 aircraft and 500,000 men), Iran just does not have the manpower, that is 3x their entire regular forces. Not very realistic.

Those aircraft are helpless against modern AAM’s, and lack the speed and operating altitude to engage jet fighters that are not dumb enough to try and dog-fight them. Let’s say 200 Iraqi fighters (both sides had more than that) x 4 missiles/fighter x 40% success rate, call it 320 losses per day, so in 30 days all 10,000 are gone. And that does not include the effects of radar guided AAA, which would be extremely effective against these machines. The heavy SAMs we can probably discount, a few hundred kills and they will be out of missiles.
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Old August 28th, 2012   #26
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Yeah ok mate... so it is all cool for Uganda, a dirt poor nation to spend 750 mill on Su30s, yet not have anything that could make a difference in actual conflicts they have been in. (LRA. intervention in DR Congo,,, war with Tanzania... )

10,000 was possibly a bit high, but if your saying light aircraft are not worth it, then are you aware that jets can shoot down helicopters too. Given that logic they should not have had put the Cobra attack helis in the air. Plus the good F-14s they had could have shot down any jets that got down close enough to shoot IIraqi interceptors. Much better to do nothing, have 700,000 dead on the battlefield, because if you put some planes up there, some of them might have got shot down,... way better

A single piston engined aircraft with a few MGs and a couple of rockets is not a very high tech piece of kit, the technology is 100 years old
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Old August 29th, 2012   #27
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10,000 was possibly a bit high, but if your saying light aircraft are not worth it, then are you aware that jets can shoot down helicopters too. Given that logic they should not have had put the Cobra attack helis in the air. Plus the good F-14s they had could have shot down any jets that got down close enough to shoot IIraqi interceptors. Much better to do nothing, have 700,000 dead on the battlefield, because if you put some planes up there, some of them might have got shot down,... way better

A single piston engined aircraft with a few MGs and a couple of rockets is not a very high tech piece of kit, the technology is 100 years old
You meant 10,000 single piston engine aircraft in addition to what they already had to supply CAP for them? I thought you meant instead of the air force they had. Please be a little clearer next time.
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Old August 29th, 2012   #28
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Yeah ok mate... so it is all cool for Uganda, a dirt poor nation to spend 750 mill on Su30s, yet not have anything that could make a difference in actual conflicts they have been in. (LRA. intervention in DR Congo,,, war with Tanzania... )
That assumes that Uganda's economy, foreign policy and defense needs will remained static for the next 50 years. They won't.

Events in the region can change quickly; but gaining fast jet capacity overnight can't be done. The Su-30s serve as a counter to any regional rivals who might acquire fighters as well. Plus, they give Uganda something big, splashy and unique to contribute to AU peacekeeping operations.

In buying Su-30s, Uganda is buying jet fighters. But it's also buying valuable training time and institutional knowledge that will leave it better prepared to operate other types of jet aircraft in the future.

Admittedly, it wouldn't have been my decision either. Jet trainers/light attacks might have been a more practical choice. Nevertheless, the Ugandan decision to buy fighters has some sense to it.

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10,000 was possibly a bit high, but if your saying light aircraft are not worth it, then are you aware that jets can shoot down helicopters too. Given that logic they should not have had put the Cobra attack helis in the air. Plus the good F-14s they had could have shot down any jets that got down close enough to shoot IIraqi interceptors. Much better to do nothing, have 700,000 dead on the battlefield, because if you put some planes up there, some of them might have got shot down,... way better
Iran's F-14s are aged and barely (if at all) airworthy thanks to spares shortages.

Light aircraft are worth it; but they aren't the Swiss army knife you seems to think they are.

Helicopters, light aircraft and fast movers are NOT comparable. Sure, their missions (e.g. CAS) may overlap occasionally; but their performance, roles and tactical employment all differ widely.

As other posters have said, they can't be substituted for each other.

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A single piston engined aircraft with a few MGs and a couple of rockets is not a very high tech piece of kit, the technology is 100 years old
At first glance, no. But you're oversimplifying things a bit here.

1) There's still plenty of technology and sophistication involved in a turboprop CAS/COIN platform. Dumb bombs and MGs create risk for collateral damage. Not some you want in COIN operations or low-intensity transborder conflicts.

To overcome this, you want guided weapons, sensors, avionics, etc. plus cooperating C4ISR assets and the air. We aren't talking a rehash of the Red Baron here. All this adds cost, personnel and basing needs.

Small fixed-wing air is lower cost and lower-tech, but it is far from no-cost or completely low-tech
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Old January 10th, 2013   #29
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From all the above discussion one sentence which I can determine is really valuable that is "Another little anecdote, I read that when Zanzibar became independant (became part of Tanzania) it spent a lot of money building the worlds largest outdoor swimming pool, in a swamp. It promptly sank as it was heavy and made of concrete. "

This is really inspiring.
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Old January 10th, 2013   #30
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I forgot about this thread, was only 5 months ago but gee it feels like so much longer now (not sure why that is)

I wish I could recall the book about Zanzibar swimming pool and give a reference (it may have been a John Perkins book)

When the Europeans left africa , they often did so in a hurry. There were not the experts, professionals, trained officials etc left to run the country properly. Quite often the big man got into power and the country is run at his whim (generally a he), and was not very accountable. Think Tanzania was linked to the USSR in the cold war and as a result they tended to follow some of their economic policies which were pretty daft.

With bad decisions countries often got into debt and civil strife (sometimes war)

Over time africans have slowly been getting out of the whole they started with.

Examples when the Portuguese left Mozambique they were pi**** off to lose their colony and poured concrete down the elevator shafts. South africa deemed Mozambique a potential threat (they were worried about hundres of millions of blacks heading south), so they deliberately fermented civil wars in their neighbouring countries. The theory was that if they were fighting eachother they would be less of a threat to South Africa. Now ethically this is probably not very nice, from a realpolitik point of view it was quite effective. (I am not condoning what they did,,, am just saying that it did work)

Sometimes (not always though) the superpowers gave bad advice. Often the world bank was supporting big flashy projects paid for with debt (international airports, large dams, steel works etc) that were not really suitable. Over time the World Bank has got better at what it does and has learnt from its mistakes in the past.

The russians had awful economic ideas, though sometimes the US did bad things too. They would deliberatly fly their 'experts' in to a newly independent country, advise them that the way to development was flashy large projects (highways, oil refineries etc), that they could not really afford. The country would follow the advice, and end up in debt. Now the US is the creditor to the poorer nation and has huge bargaining influence over that nation which was now in a very poor position. They could use this influence to promote their cold war aims against the russians.

Not particularly ethical, but quite effective. This strategy is explained in detail in John Perkin's book.

I liked reading this thread again, because in about 20 or 30 posts it provides a huge amount on information. Here in australia we hear a lot about the US, not much about africa, even though there are many more africans than americans. Why is this, maybe because americans are rich, americans make a lot of TV and news programs, americans speak english and often come from a european background (i mean they are white)

so much to learn,, so little time
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