“Stability 2008” the exercise that (if you believe Russian sources) signals Russia’s return to preeminence as a global military power, continues.  Over the past weekend we witnessed a number of Russian ICBM and SLBM tests in conjunction with “Stability 2008.”  Some of the video reporting for these launches is provided below (h/t Russian Navy Blog):

CV Operations and SLBM launch observed by Pres. Medvedev:

Note the flight-deck tempo and “clean wing” launches of the Frogfoot and Flanker…and do a little comparison and contrast.  That said, the real object of the exercise was a launch of the SS-N-23 Sineva (earlier launch video here at the 0:06 sec point).  Probably worth noting that while the solid-fueled Bulava is still having developmental problems, the SS-N-23, has experienced a greater degree of success as it is based on the SS-N-18 and uses storable liquid fuels.  Solid fuels, of course, are more stable and amenable to longer-term storage and handling, especially in a mobile scenario (be it land- or sea-based), hence the desire to develop a solid-fueled SLBM.  With an advertised range of 6500km and Russian sources over the weekend noting a range in excess of 11,500km, we think there is a certain Potemkin-esque air to these claims…

Strategic Aviation ops:

Pretty standard “B-roll” material, but you have to admire and respect all those counter-rotating props in the tail-end footage. Almost enough to make a Hornet pilot wince, eh?


  1. Russia can never be taken seriously as a naval power until they do something about those outrageous caps for senior officers. They look like upholstered garbage-can lids.

  2. claudio

    the Russian newscasts till throw me for a loop, almost 27 years later. All I can remember from “eastern block” tvs is the standard dour sourpuss commentator telling the viewers how well the 5 year plan was going. Perfect analogy of the Russian comedians description of communist tv. 2 channels, 1 with propaganda, second one with a KGB officer telling you to switch to the other channel.

    My four year old cannot comprehend that I didn’t watch the same shows she does, or that my wife did as a kid, and what a black and white tv is and that I didn’t see a color TV till I was 12 after I arrived in the states. Guess this can be called progress.


  3. Steeljawscribe

    Our kids were the same way – I too didn’t see our first color tv while growing up until I was about 11 or 12. But then, most of the TV programs were still b&w anyway. Summertime was time for a big box of paperbacks to work through when we weren’t out exploring the area (solo) on our bike…
    As for the 2 channels, some (*cough*Skippy-san*cough*) would assert they merely moved from Soviet tv to AFRTS….
    – SJS

  4. claudio

    Although I grew up in a different time and a different place, I wouldn’t trust my daughter to do the stuff I did. At 10, we’d take the bus by ourselves downtown bucharest and catch a movie and sweets with the “bribe” from Grandma for attending church. As long as we were back by nightfall, she didn’t care where we were as long as we washed before going to sleep.

    In Jax we had a little girl kidnapped from her driveway several years ago. Actually Ponte Vedra. crazy world we’re living in, no matter how “advanced”

    Although we lived in a very nice neighborhood, I wouldn’t let my kid play in the driveway by herself. Thus, moved. bought 3 and a half acres in a horse neighborhood, fenced it in, gated it, multiple cameras (IR) and lots of other fun stuff, and she can play to her hearts content, barefoot, around the pond, digging holes, whatever, the same stuff I did as a kid, at least a little of it.

    Trees to explore, teaching her tracks for deer, fox, rabbit, etc birds everywhere. Not quite the same experience, but as much as I can provide.

  5. Byron

    Biggest thing I noticed (besides the obvious) is the prominence of the Red Star. Think I’ll do the smart thing and take these guys seriously. They might be taking small steps towards getting back to where they were, and I know they’re not much of a threat now. Ten years from now? As much of their GDP as is reported being sunk into the Navy? Yeah, definetely something to keep a close eye on.

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