Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Venezuela buying missiles

I see that Dictator-in-the-Castro-Mold, Hugo Chavez is buying some missiles.
January 31, 2007: Venezuela is buying three batteries of Russian Tor-M1 anti-aircraft missiles. These would be used to protect key Venezuelan assets from attack by, well, you never know.
Good luck with that.

I've never been an air-defense guy, but I know that we have the B2 and the F22, which pretty much negates Hugo's missiles. The Air Force used to have F4's flying Wild Weasel missions, which meant that the pilots flew the planes so that AA missiles could target them, then hammered the launch sites with missiles and bombs. I understand that the F4 has left the inventory, but I bet the wing wipers have someone flying that mission, and plans to deal with the Tor-M1. If we ever need to. Maybe Rivrdog could enlighten me.

Not that we are worried about Hugo. Personally, I'm not, but it's fun to watch how a tinpot dictator spends his country's money.

Tip of the hat to Wizbang.

1 comment:

Rivrdog said...

The Tor M1 is a Division-level battlefield AA system, with fairly solid attributes. It is a little more modern than the Roland, which you probably studied, and also superior to the Rapier.

It's weakness seems to be that at it's minimum reaction altitude of 10 meters, it has a very short range of 1500 meters, or less than a mile, against a ground-skimming enemy missile or fighter.

It would seem to me that it could be defeated by a gunship heli flying low and firing on it out near max range of 4,000 meters.

It is built to be autonomous, and so was our naval system, but in reality, these weapons are never set into that configuration, because you simply can't have any of your own assets in the air when it's in autonomous mode.

Any port security weapons system is vulnerable to a SEAL attack from the sea, it seems to me.

My guess is that Chavez will deploy this system around his Presidential Palace, not around the ports or oil facilities. The farther out in left field he gets, the more of a target he becomes not only to his own military, which is his biggest threat, but the other South American nations who see him as a threat, which is everybody but the socialist ones like Bolivia.

Good write-up of the Tor M1 here:

BTW, PawPaw, we got out of the Wild Weasel business because the ECM pods are so good at detecting threats that they eliminated the necessity of having human spooks. The mission can be performed by any FA-18 (or F-16) by adding one underwing pod and the appropriate radar-seeking missiles. The F-22 has all that ECM built-in. RPV's soon will also be able to take that mission on as well.