11.06.2024 Author: Seth Ferris

America’s Fortress Ukraine Does Not Have a Roof: Definitely NO Flying Maginot Line

America’s Fortress Ukraine Does Not Have a Roof: Definitely NO Flying Maginot Line

It has finally come to the attention of Ukraine’s western masters that, to paraphrase a quote from WW2 about Hitler’s Atlantic wall, “NATO only made one big mistake when building their Fortress Ukraine, they forgot to put a roof on it”

Ukraine started the war with a capable air force, consisting of 50 MiG-29 medium fighters, 30 Su-25 Ground Attack fighters, 24 Su-27 interceptors, and 24 Su-24 strike aircraft. Ukraine also inherited in the wake of the collapse of the USSR the second most powerful integrated air defense system in the world after Russia.

Let us take a look at the main aircraft types used by Ukraine, and their capabilities.

The MiG-29 is a single seat, twin engine air superiority fighter with a top speed of Mach 2.25, and, like its counterpart, the F-16, is designed as a superlative “dog fighter” for close in turning engagements.

The Su-25 is a single seat ground attack/close air support aircraft, commonly used by former eastern bloc air forces, and a contemporary of the USAF’s A-10, noted for its impressive combat payload, and its ability to absorb punishing ground fire, it is the main aircraft seen over the front lines, flown by both sides in the conflict.

The Su-27 is a single seat twin engine long-range interceptor and air superiority fighter, with a much more powerful radar and considerably greater range than the MiG-29, and significantly heavier armament.

It is the Soviet equivalent of the USAF F-15C, and used by both sides in the conflict, though the Ukrainian Air Force Flankers are hobbled somewhat by only having access to the Semi-Active Radar Homing (SARH) R-27, which requires the firing aircraft to keep a radar lock on the target until impact, while the Russian Air Force uses the far more powerful R-77, an Active Radar Homing (ARH) missile, that is a fire and forget weapons system.

The Su-24 is a twin seat, twin engine, swing wing strike aircraft, designed to penetrate enemy controlled airspace at tree top height using its terrain following radar and powerful navigation systems to strike heavily defended rear area targets.

In itself a highly capable weapons system, the equivalent of the F-111 used by the USAF until 1998, the Ukrainian variant has been upgraded to carry the Anglo-French Storm Shadow/SCALP missile system, and has been the main sword of the Ukrainians in their attacks on the Russian region of Crimea. Used by both sides, the Su-24 has proven highly survivable and effective to date.

To this, let us add the big hitters of the Russian Air Force:

The Su-34, is a development of the Su-27, and the main strike fighter of the Russian Air Force, capable of using a very wide range of air to ground ordnance, particularly the now dreaded glide bomb units attached to the FAB-250, FAB-500, and FAB-1500, the Su-34 has been instrumental in the battles of Bakhmut, Avdieevka, and now Chasov Yar and the other numerous battles now raging along the front line from Kharkhov Oblast to the Black Sea area of Kherson.

The Su-35 is a development of the Su-27 optimized for air superiority with its vector thrust engines, a vastly superior phased array radar (Irbis-E) which the Russian claim is capable of detecting low-observable aircraft such as the F-35, as well as carrying the R-77 and R-37M missiles, the Su-35 is capable of both close in dogfighting and hitting targets out to a range of 400km.

The Mig-31 is a two seat all weather interceptor based on the MiG-25, which can also be used to carry the dreaded Kinzhal hypersonic missile for ground strikes in the specially modified MiG-31K. The interceptor version is equipped with the deadly R-37M, capable of attacking targets at 400km range, from a height of 60,000 feet while the target can be as low as 50 feet above the ground.

One factor all these aircraft have that sets them apart from their western counterparts, is the ability to operate from rough or damaged airfields, on surfaces that would, at best, render aircraft like the F-16, F-15, or F-35 unserviceable.

Over the course of the war, the Russian Air Force has destroyed the vast majority of the UAF MiG-29s and Su-27s, including almost the entirety of the NATO stock of MiG-29s and Su-25s that were passed to Ukraine. This is the reason for the Ukrainian desperation to receive the F-16A MLU from a coalition of NATO countries.

On the other hand, despite fanciful claims buy the Ukrainians, the USAF has admitted that Russian losses have, in fact, been very low, with losses at around 10% of the aircraft engaged.

“We do not see significant losses in the air domain, especially their long-range and strategic aviation fleets,” Army Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, the head of U.S. European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Such low losses, despite the massive integrated air defense system the Ukrainians inherited from the USSR, speaks clearly about the real reason for the multiple waves of drone and cruise missile strikes on Ukrainian power and transport infrastructure in 2023 and 2024. It would have been possible for Russia to launch the “500-pound Gorilla” style attack and eliminate the entire Ukrainian energy infrastructure in a day or two.

Each subsequent wave of drone attacks has allowed the Russians to pinpoint radar sites, launchers, and even command and control centers, while forcing the Ukrainians to expend the last of their missiles that neither they nor their western backers can afford to replace, and do not have the manufacturing capacity to replace either on a just in time basis.

Again, the Ukrainians have been massively over claiming their successes in shooting down Russian missiles, but it has now reached the point where even the blinkered western media has noticed something is wrong!

It is also unlikely that the much vaunted F-16 will make any impact, given the fact that only 12 pilots are being trained in the US in 2024, and 10 more in Europe, this is definitely a sign of too little too late, unless, of course, the NATO allies decide to allow “volunteers” from their own air forces to fly in Ukraine. Even then, the F-16A MLU will have to contend with the full strength of the Russian Air Force and Army Air Defences, which will be little better than flying into a stone wall.

Now the west is scrambling to “put a roof over western Ukraine” with German lawmakers proposing to “defend the airspace of western Ukraine” from the territory of Poland and Romania. In usual demented German fashion, these geniuses believe that such action would not “involve NATO in the conflict”

“Defending the airspace over Ukraine from Poland and Romania should not be ruled out in the long term,” said Anton Hofreiter from the co-ruling Green Party.

“This would relieve the burden on the Ukrainian air defense and allow it to protect the front,” Kiesewetter said, comparing it to when the U.S. and other Western countries protected Israel’s airspace without becoming a party to the conflict.

In this, they are being egged on by the now dictator, unelected president, of Ukraine, Zelensky.

“Why can’t we shoot them down? Is it defense? Yes. Is it an attack on Russia? No,” he said. “Are you shooting down Russian planes and killing Russian pilots? No. So what’s the issue with involving NATO countries in the war? There is no such issue.”

“Shoot down what’s in the sky over Ukraine,” he added. “And give us the weapons to use against Russian forces on the borders.”

Needless to say, the Russians have a very different opinion, with the Russian Presidential Spokesman Peskov saying:

“We have repeatedly said that direct intervention on the ground in this conflict by the military of NATO countries potentially carries enormous danger, so we consider this an extremely challenging provocation, nothing less, and, of course, we are watching this very carefully.”

Given the situation on the battlefield, it is obvious that the western criminal clique that passes for “The Rules-Based Order” is like a gambling addict that has just bet the house, hoping for a miracle. Instead, they are likely to drag the world into a global conflict, one that could quickly go nuclear as they desperately attempt to put a roof on a collapsing fortress Ukraine.


Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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