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Ukraine Turmoil : News, Commentary and Analysis

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Marqueur, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    US spends about 1000 billion, Russia Federation, not Russia, and India spend about 50 billion
     
  2. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    A Russian scientist is paid 10 time less than a US one and produce 10 time more scientific results (he doesn't have to manage money for his lab).
    So 50 billion X 100 = 5000 (five time the US results)
     
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  3. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Sure they do and now back to the real world.


    Business Week
    By Jason Bush
    On the face of it, Russia's economic performance over recent years has been impressive. But today, amid plummeting gross domestic product and sharp falls in industrial production, there's a new awareness that Russia's economy is also beset by deep-seated problems. Despite almost two decades of market reforms, the country's labor productivity, a key indicator of overall economic efficiency, remains one of the lowest among industrialized nations. Several studies have been published recently underscoring the scale of the problem.
    According to one of the studies, by Strategy Partners, a Moscow management consultancy, Russia's average labor productivity is just 17% of the U.S. level. The amount varies by sector, from a low of 6% in machine building to a high of 22% in the natural resource industries. But the room for improvement is colossal everywhere. "If, in Russia, a mere 10% of workers had the same level of productivity as in the U.S., Russia's GDP would increase by one and a half times," notes Alexander Idrisov, managing partner of Strategy Partners.
    Similar conclusions have been reached by the U.S. consultancy
    McKinsey, which has also just published a report examining Russian productivity. McKinsey, which focused on six sectors, concluded that Russian productivity was around 26% of the U.S. level. That's an improvement on 10 years ago, when McKinsey estimated Russian productivity at 18% that of the U.S. But widespread inefficiencies remain. For example, it takes three times as many workers to produce a ton of steel in Russia as it does in the U.S.
    Russia's productivity looks bad even in comparison with other emerging markets. In 2007, the World Bank estimated that revenues per worker in Russia were only around $7,000 per head per year. That's around 20% lower than in India, and 40% lower than in China. The figure is especially troubling when you consider that Russia's labor costs are about double the level in either India or China.
     
  4. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Entire Russian Federation spends 50 billion on ITT USA spends 1000 billion plus.
     
  5. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Part of the Ukraine Invasion fall out.

    Poland Selects Missile Shield Finalists
    Jul 03, 2014 19:38 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
    June 30/14: Finalists. Poland’s MON announces the Wisla program’s finalists: Raytheon’s ‘PATRIOT with options’ offer, and EuroSAM’s SAMP/T Mamba system that uses the Aster-30.
    Poland won’t become part of the MEADS program, nor will it buy Israel’s David’s Sling. The 2-stage technical dialogue led Poland to conclude that they required an operational system that is deployed by NATO countries. Once those requirements were set, MEADS and David’s Sling failed to qualify. Sources: Poland MON, “Kolejny etap realizacji programu Wisla zakonczony”.
    Keep reading for the whole story with recent events put in context
    [​IMG]
    In the wake of events in Georgia and Crimea, Poland has emerged as NATO’s key eastern bastion. The Tarcza Polski (Shield of Poland) aims to give it an advanced air defense system to match.
    Poland’s military rise has been slow, but steady. Smart economic policies have created growth, and a willingness to finance national defense is slowly improving their equipment. Combat deployments abroad to Iraq and Afghanistan have both sharpened training, and highlighted areas that still need fixing. Missile proliferation in the Middle East, American fecklessness, and a rearming Russia have all led Poland to the conclusion that they can no longer depend on old Soviet-era air defense equipment. They need their own advanced national air defense system, which can benefit from allied contributions without being dependent on them.
     
  6. ГЛОНАСС

    ГЛОНАСС BANNED BANNED

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    Most of that US IT spendings are from private companies for civil products like Smartphone APPs.
     
  7. Bismarck

    Bismarck BANNED BANNED

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    Sunday, June 8, 2014
    New Russian anti-aircraft missile system 9K333 "Willow" has been tested on Ukrainian military cargo aircraft


    [​IMG]
    AN-26 aircraft shot down by terrorists on June 6 near the city of Slavyansk was most probably hit by the new Russian portable anti-aircraft missile system 9K333 "Willow". This was reported by the "Information resistance" group coordinator Dmitry Tymchuk in "Facebook". Plane was hit at an altitude of 4.5 kilometers. Ukrainian specialists currently explore some found rocket fragments. This portable air defense missile system was declared operational only in the end of May 2014. Early June first samples were delivered only to the 98th Airborn Division stationed in the Ivanovskaya oblast, and don't yet export to other countries.
    Poltavabloggen: New Russian anti-aircraft missile system 9K333 "Willow" has been tested on Ukrainian military cargo aircraft
     
  8. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Not bad for a country with so low productivity.
     
  9. SidKhadak

    SidKhadak REGISTERED

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    MH17 Chameleon: Operation Rapid Trident II | Great Game India

    The announcement of U.S. BREEZE and RAPID TRIDENT II military maneuvers came on May 21, 2014 by Vice President Joe Biden’s office. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is a newly-named director of the Ukrainian natural gas and oil company Burisma Holdings, Ltd., owned by Ihor Kolomoisky, the Ukrainian-Israeli mafia oligarch, who is known as the «Chameleon». Kolomoisky has raised his own mercenary army, complete with the BUK missiles allegedly used in the shootdown of MH-17. Kolomoisky, the Governor of Dnipropetrovsk oblast in eastern Ukraine, has threatened terrorist attacks against Russian-speaking officials in eastern Ukraine, including assassinations.


    MH17 Chameleon: Operation Rapid Trident II | Great Game India
     
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  10. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    US Calls on All Nations to Reject Regional Elections in DPR, LPR: State Department | World | RIA Novosti

    Washington calls on all countries not to recognize the November 2 regional elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told journalists on Friday.
    “The United States will not recognize the results [of the elections],” Psaki said. “We call on all nations to similarly reject the illegal effort and instead support the legal December 7 local elections.”

    The residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine will vote for regional leaders and legislative bodies on Sunday. The United States, the European Union and the United Nations have many times spoken out against these elections.

    “We have grave concerns that separatists plan to go ahead with illegitimate and illegal elections in areas of eastern Ukraine,” Psaki said, adding that the elections would "violate the latter and spirit" of the September 5 Minsk ceasefire agreement.

    “Any moves to try to legitimize the results will undermine the Minsk agreement,” she said.

    The self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk were established, following the February coup in Kiev, when the LPR and the DPR refused to recognize legitimacy of the new government. Based on the results of the referendums, held in May, where a vast majority of voters supported independence, the two republics declared their sovereignty in a move that triggered a violent confrontation between LPR and DPR militia and Kiev-led forces.

    On September 5, the trilateral contact group on Ukraine that included representatives Russia, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Ukraine have signed a protocol on ceasefire in volatile areas in eastern Ukraine. Besides, Kiev adopted a law, granting special statuses to parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

    The law stipulates that local elections are to take place in these regions on December 7. However, the self-proclaimed republics want full independence for the whole territory within the borders of the respective administrative entities in Ukraine and have set the date for their own elections for regional leaders and legislative bodies for November 2.
     
  11. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Ukraine, struck by a civil war, has been disintegrating gradually, notes James Carden, who spent several days in the Donbas region. Eastern Ukrainian residents do not trust Kiev and are preparing to withstand a new offensive by the government, while peace in the region is hanging in the balance.

    Ukraine is falling apart at the seams with its eastern residents demonstrating little appetite for a way back into the Ukrainian fold, remarks James Carden, adding that the ceasefire in the region is hanging in the balance.
    James Carden, a Washington-based expert and former advisor to the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the State Department (2011-2012), spent several days in the Donbas region and found out noncombatants and independence fighters in Donetsk had a little interest in a rapprochement with Kiev.

    "Ukraine is dead. It was killed on May 2 in Odessa," one senior officer told the expert in reference to the hideous Odessa massacre carried out by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists on May 2, 2014.

    James Carden pointed out that many residents denounced Kiev's moniker for its military campaign in eastern Ukraine – "the Anti-Terrorist Operation" – as an attempt to dehumanize the population of the region, literally equating it to ISIL terrorists.

    Donetsk civilians and militia do not trust the Kiev regime and expect the Ukrainian leadership to breach the terms of the Minsk agreement in the immediate future. An independence supporters' commander said that Kiev would most likely launch a new major offensive "within a week," adding that eastern Ukraine was ready for a continuous fighting, the expert noted.

    At the same time, James Carden stressed that "the idea that Kiev will emerge victorious anytime soon after the twin military defeats it suffered at Debaltseve and at the Donetsk airport—with or without American lethal aid—borders on the preposterous."

    Ironically, the Washington establishment still believes, that a supply of lethal weaponry to Kiev will swing the balance in Ukraine's army favor, according to the expert. The American policy makers deem that a supply of javelin anti-tank missiles will increase "the number of Russian fatalities," forcing Moscow "to back down."
    However, "this is nothing more than a fantasy dressed up as a strategy," James Carden underscored. Furthermore, he cited the Chief of Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces, General Viktor Muzhenko, who admitted in January, 2015, that the Ukrainian military forces were not fighting with Russia's regular army.

    The expert pointed out that the indigenous military forces of eastern Ukraine will not "melt away," stressing that Ukraine is suffering from a "civil war between two groups with diametrically opposed visions for the future of their country."

    What has been happening in Ukraine since the beginning of 2014 is the gradual disintegration of the state, Mr. Carden underscored, adding that the prospect of putting the country together again is bleak.

    The civil war in Ukraine poses a serious threat to global security, the expert warned. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, the US and European policy makers should take further steps to broker a permanent ceasefire deal in Ukraine, he added.


    Read more: US Strategy to Arm Kiev a 'Fantasy' Doomed to Failure – James Carden / Sputnik International
     
  12. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Title should read RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE DESTROYED RUSSIA

    It took 80 years to bring down the USSR, Russia should not take so long.
     
  13. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    In Ukraine, some Russians take up arms against Putin By Maria ANTONOVA Odessa, Ukraine (AFP) March 22, 2015

    [​IMG]
    Russia says ending huge military drills that rattled WestMoscow (AFP) March 21, 2015 - Russia said it was ending military drills Saturday that saw over 80,000 troops mobilised from the Pacific to the Black Sea in a show of force amid tensions with the West.
    A senior military official said that the nationwide exercises -- that included sending nuclear bombers to Crimea and ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad in the heart of Europe -- would end on Saturday afternoon.
    President Vladimir Putin gave the order for them to start on Monday.
    "Troops have been given the order to return to their permanent bases," Lieutenant general Andrei Kartapolov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
    The massive military exercises -- some of the biggest by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union -- have givem leaders across Eastern Europe the jitters.
    Moscow and the West are locked in a bitter showdown over the crisis in Ukraine that has pushed relations to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.
    Kiev and its allies accuse the Kremlin of pouring arms and troops across its border to spearhead a bloody pro-Russian rebellion, allegations that Moscow denies.
    NATO members including the United States and Germany have beefed up exercises with the alliance's eastern nations, such as Poland and Lithuania, in a bid to reassure allies anxious over a bullish Russia.
    Bulgaria gives green light to NATO command centreSofia (AFP) March 20, 2015 - Bulgaria cleared the way Friday for a new NATO command centre in the former Warsaw Pact country to shore up the eastern flank of the alliance against Russian "aggression".
    The centre is one of six being set up over the next year by the alliance alongside the creation of a rapid reaction force of 5,000 troops in response to Russia's alleged actions in Ukraine.
    The former communist country had banned its military from working under international command on its own soil, but parliament passed an amendment Friday lifting the obstacle.
    Half of the 40 staff at the new centre in the capital Sofia will be Bulgarian.
    Adrian Bradshaw, deputy NATO supreme commander in Europe, said Tuesday that the centre will coordinate "the forces of different countries taking part in military exercises in Bulgaria... It is not a combat unit, it is a staff headquarters."
    To avoid unduly provoking Moscow, ground troops for the new force with be stationed further to the west, but will be able to be deployed quickly in former Eastern Bloc countries who are now members of the alliance.
    A new NATO communications centre at Gorna Malina, 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of Sofia, will open before the end of the year, Defence Minister Nikolay Nentchev said.
    A NATO naval information exchange centre being built in Bulgaria's Black Sea port Varna will open next year, the country's military said.
    Bulgaria jointed NATO in 2004. The five other new command centres are to be in Poland, Romania and the Baltic countries.

    When Andrei Krasilnikov hugged his wife good-bye last week and climbed onto a bus to take him back to the frontline in eastern Ukraine, his motive was typical of those fighting for Kiev -- to defend his family and future from what he perceives as Russian aggression.
    What sets him apart from his brothers-in-arms is his Russian citizenship.
    Krasilnikov, 48, is one of several Russians fighting as a volunteer against the pro-Moscow insurgency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Like many Ukrainians he views the conflict as "a war by Russia against Ukraine" rather than a home-grown uprising.
    "The thing is, we are not fighting against Russians but against (President Vladimir) Putin's army," he said. "Not everyone in Russia supports Putin and his regime... a regime that is militarised, a police regime that can do whatever it wants with its own people."
    Though he has lived in Ukraine's southern Russian-speaking city of Odessa for a decade and has a Ukrainian wife and son, the Moscow-born Krasilnikov still holds a Russian passport.
    His friends in the pro-Kiev Aydar battalion view that "completely normally," he said, recounting taking heavy artillery fire with them in the Lugansk region in February, shortly before the latest ceasefire came into effect.
    "They shook my hand and said that I was a true Russian who understands everything."
    Back in the land of his birth, however, he had to break off ties with friends who started calling him a "fascist" after he took part in protests last year that ousted the Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych.
    "They got it in their heads that Ukraine has a fascist regime and a junta," Krasilnikov said, using the terms employed by Russian state media to describe the country's new pro-Western government.
    - Fear of deportation -
    Despite risking his life for Ukraine, the irony for Krasilnikov and other Russians opposing Putin here is that they still face suspicion from Kiev even though going back home may mean time in a Russian jail.
    Krasilnikov has had an application to renew his residency permit rejected by suspicious authorities and he says one reason for staying at the frontline is that immigration officials won't go looking for him there.
    "I cannot go outside Ukraine to Russia because I am more than sure that I will get arrested there," he said in an interview in Odessa a few hours before heading to the front.
    The sense of limbo was echoed by other Russians interviewed by AFP.
    Despite opposing Putin, they said that they are often likely to be stonewalled by authorities in Ukraine, especially low-level officials who are often pro-Moscow.
    Pyotr Lyubchenkov, an opposition activist from Russia's Krasnodar, had his request for political asylum last year denied in Odessa.
    The file that the immigration services had on him "even used descriptions from pro-Kremlin websites," he told AFP.
    Lyubchenkov, a 40-year-old psychologist, opposed the annexation of Crimea last year and is wanted in Russia after trying to organise an opposition rally. He is the subject of a probe that has already seen two people arrested. "I hope I don't get deported," he said.
    "It was a simple idea, coming here," Lyubchenkov said, describing how he had expected his support for Kiev's pro-Western ideas would meet a sympathetic ear.
    He joined up with pro-Western protestors in Odessa and helps the local group opposing separatist activity in the Russian-speaking city. These days he is even putting together free Ukrainian language lessons in a local library.
    But despite his expectations, "the reality turned out very different," he lamented: even Russians who support Ukraine's cause -- in battle or not -- are sidelined by its rank and file bureaucracy.
    - 'I fight for my land' -
    One of the few exceptions is Ilya Bogdanov, a far-right Russian nationalist who has been fighting in pro-Kiev battalions since last summer.
    "I am fighting against Putin's regime, for a free, white Ukraine that is pro-European," he said by phone from the village of Pisky near the Donetsk airport -- one area which continues to take fire despite the month-old truce.
    The fighter in the extreme Ukrainian nationalist Right Sector group chronicles the conflict on his Facebook page and regularly gets into arguments with Russians fighting on the opposite side on social media.
    "It's a lot of Russians, practically only Russians" fighting on the separatist side, he said, having made a complete break from his past in Russia's far-eastern city of Vladivostok, including his pro-Putin mother.
    A month ago, he received Ukrainian citizenship -- after a lengthy process that was resolved only through the personal intervention of Ukraine's top leadership. "It was extremely difficult, at every level they tried to block it," he said.
    "I am citizen of Ukraine now, I fight for my land," he says with a laugh. "Everything I have is right here."
     
  14. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Reality Intervenes To Save The A-10
    by James Dunnigan
    March 8, 2015

    In early 2015 the U.S. Air Force decided to return its A-10C ground attack aircraft to Europe. In early February twelve A-10s and 300 personnel set up shop in Germany for training and that will lead to the A-10s moving on to East Europe. This is apparently in response to over a year of Russian aggression against Ukraine. This A-10 deployment comes despite renewed U.S. Air Force efforts to retire the much loved (by their pilots and the ground troops who depend on it) A-10C.
    As in the past, reality intervened. Thus in late 2014 a dozen A-10Cs from a reserve unit were quietly sent to the Middle East to join in the air operations against ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in Iraq and Syria. Many older ISIL members (who fought in Iraq before the A-10s were withdrawn) are not happy with this news while the soldiers and militiamen fighting ISIL are much encouraged.
    The air force did not publicize these A-10 developments because in early 2014 the U.S. Air Force had insisted it had to retire all of its A-10 ground support aircraft in order to deal with a shrinking budget and this time the A-10 was really going to be gone. The air force had a point because their budget is shrinking and Cold War era aircraft, especially the F-16, need replacing and the replacement is the very expensive F-35. But the agitation that accompanies talk of retiring the A-10 is not about a popular (with their pilots and the ground troops the A-10 supports) aircraft but the fact that the air force never gave much priority to ground support. To compound this the air force refuses to admit it does not care much about ground support. It’s not just the eventual (if only from age) demise of the A-10, but the continued air force reluctance to provide adequate ground support.
    This air force attitude towards ground support was already a source of friction between the army and air force even before since the Cold War ended in 1991. There were always a lot of politicians who did do not agree with the air force generals and that halted several early efforts to get rid of the A-10s. There is little doubt that the A-10s will again make themselves useful in the Middle East. That will slow down but not stop air force efforts to eliminate this popular (except among senior air force commanders) warplane.
    A-10s were designed during the Cold War for combat against Russian ground forces in Europe. That war never happened and the last American A-10 attack aircraft left Europe in mid-2013. After that some politicians believed the A-10 might be needed back in Europe to help confront an increasingly aggressive Russia. Meanwhile the A-10 proved to be a formidable combat aircraft in post-Cold War conflicts, first in the 1991 liberation of Kuwait and later in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the last decade the most requested ground support aircraft in Afghanistan has been the A-10. There was similar A-10 affection in Iraq. Troops from all nations quickly came to appreciate the unique abilities of this 1970s era aircraft that the U.S. Air Force is constantly trying to get rid of. In 2011 the air force did announce that it was retiring 102 A-10s, leaving 243 in service. At the same time the air force accelerated the upgrading of the remaining A-10s to the A-10C standard.
    This C model is also called the PE (for precision engagement) model. These refurbished A-10Cs were supposed to remain in service until 2028, meaning most A-10Cs could serve over 40 years and log as many as 16,000 flight hours each. The upgrade effort has been underway since 2007. The upgrades include new electronics as well as structural and engine refurbishment. The A-10C provides the pilot with the same targeting and fire control gadgets the latest fighters have. The new A-10C cockpit has all the spiffy color displays and easy to use controls. Because it is a single-seat aircraft that flies close to the ground (something that requires a lot more concentration), all the automation in the cockpit allows the pilot to do a lot more, with less stress, exertion, and danger.
    The basic A-10 is a 1960s design, so the new additions are quite spectacular in comparison. New commo gear has also been added, allowing A-10 pilots to share pix and vids with troops on the ground. The A-10 pilot also has access to the Blue Force Tracker system, so that the nearest friendly ground forces show up on the HUD (Head Up Display) when coming in low to use the 30mm cannon. The A-10 can now use smart bombs, making it a do-it-all aircraft for ground support.
    A-10s are worked hard in Afghanistan. For example, an A-10 squadron has a dozen aircraft and 18 pilots. Pilots often average about a hundred hours a month in the air while in Afghanistan. That's about twenty sorties, as each sortie averages about five hours. The aircraft ranged all over southern Afghanistan, waiting for troops below to call for some air support. The A-10, nicknamed "Warthog" or just "hog", could always fly low and slow and was designed, and armored, to survive a lot of ground fire. The troops trust the A-10 more than the F-16 or any other aircraft used for ground support.
    The A-10 is a 23 ton, twin engine, single seat aircraft whose primary weapon is a multi-barrel 30mm cannon originally designed to fire armored piercing shells through the thinner top armor of Russian (or any other) tanks. These days the 1,174 30mm rounds are mostly high explosive. The 30mm cannon fires 363 gram (12.7 ounce) rounds at the rate of about 65 a second. The cannon usually fires in one or two second bursts. In addition, the A-10 can carry seven tons of bombs and missiles. These days the A-10 goes out with smart bombs (GPS and laser guided) and Maverick missiles. It can also carry a targeting pod, enabling the pilot to use high magnification day/night cameras to scour the area for enemy activity. Cruising speed is 560 kilometers an hour and the A-10 can slow down to about 230 kilometers an hour. In Afghanistan two drop tanks are usually carried, to give the aircraft more fuel and maximum time over the battlefield.
    If there is another major war in someplace like Korea, Eastern Europe or Iran, the A-10s would once more be one of the most popular warplane with the ground troops. For that reason some in Congress also want the air force to put those A-10s that are retired in storage, in the event of an emergency. That’s called Type 1000 storage and would cost over $50,000 a year per A-10 for the first five years and about $12,000 a year after that. It costs $43,000 to put an aircraft into storage and a thousand dollars a year to maintain it. Every four years the stored aircraft is taken out of storage, checked over to make everything is OK and then put back in storage. This coasts over $40,000 (depending on what might have to be replaced or fixed). It takes one to four months to take an aircraft out of Type 1000 storage and return it to operational status. Once out of storage you also need about two pilots per A-10 to actually use it in combat. The longer the A-10s are in storage the harder it is to find pilots with any A-10 experience. That means it takes longer to put existing combat pilots (assuming there are many to spare) through transition (to flying the A-10) training.
    Putting A-10s in Type 1000 storage is a lot cheaper (by over a million dollars a year) than keeping them in service but it is an option that even many air force leaders believe is prudent and affordable. It appears that some A-10s may end up in Type 1000 storage anyway, even with a few of them back in combat.
     
  15. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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