Russia’s air force and precision guided weapons make a military that is geopolitical useful and effective

The United States military had problems in the Vietnam war but introduced precision guided weapons in the first Gulf war.

Russia’s air force cannot match the United States in terms of the number of 5th generation planes. This primarily matters in terms of a WW3 or pre-WW3 showdown.

However, Russia’s nuclear weapons and conventional capability are sufficient to prevent bullying from Washington when the US has not indicated 100% commitment. The situations where the US is fully committed is defending North America and Western Europe.

However Russia has established its military capability to the US first Gulf war level. This is geopolitically important because other than all out war between either NATO and Russia or Russia and China, Russia can use its military power to bully any other military with near certainty of being able achieve objectives.

The USSR did not have this capability when they fought in Afghanistan.

The Russian Air Force is receiving highly-capable new aircraft like the Su-30SM, Su-35S and Su-34, it is not receiving huge numbers of those new aircraft at once. The Russians are taking delivery of tens of these new aircraft over a number of years to replace the hundreds of Soviet-era jets that are currently in service. the Russian Air Force is receiving new aircraft with good radars (most of the new jets have a PESA but active electronically scanned array (AESA) are in the pipeline onboard the MiG-35, for example) and excellent electronic warfare suites, the Russian Air Force still lacks good electro-optical/infrared targeting pods comparable to the U.S. Air Force’s Sniper or U.S. Navy ATFLIR pod. Moreover, precision guided weapons comparable to the Joint Direct Attack Munition are still comparatively rare in the Russian arsenal as the Syrian experience has demonstrated. But the Russians are aware of these deficiencies and are working on correcting the problem. Indeed, new targeting pods are nearing production.

Russia will license-produce the Thales Damocles reconnaissance and target designation pod for its air force strike aircraft, following successful tests of the system with Malaysia’s Sukhoi Su-30MKM multirole fighter. Comparative trials involving Damocles and the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant (UOMZ)-produced Sapsan and Solux targeting pods went in favor of the French design

SOURCES – Wikipedia, National Interest