Trent Telenko Profile picture
May 9 41 tweets 13 min read
This is going to be a long thread🧵 on Ukraine's unique 21st century fighting style based on Uber style C3I software, why Western intelligence is plug ignorant of it due to CROWDSTRIKE cybersecurity firm, & the implications of SpaceX's Starlink satcom for the future...

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...of warfare & politics. This is going to be a wild thread, so buckle up.

First we need to talk about Ukraine's "GIS Art for Artillery" software package written by Yaroslav Sherstyuk.

web.archive.org/web/2020110811…
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Sherstyuk's software package is reminiscent Uber or Lyft's taxi software in that assigns targets to the nearest gun, mortar, rocket launcher, Aerosvidzka drone or SF team.

This is nothing like the US Military's Tactical Fire Direction System (TACFIRE)
sciencedirect.com/science/articl…
3/ 'GIS Art for Artillery' app...'GIS Art for Artillery' app...'GIS Art for Artillery' app...TACFIRE Infographic
...or Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS).

The 2009 AFATDS transitioned from a Sun Microsystems SPARC computer running the Linux kernel to a version based on laptop computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system.

4/ ImageAFTADS windows laptop computer
GIS Art for Artillery, or "GIS Art" for short, isn't the 1950's "Star" style Mainframe-terminal (TACFIRE) or Mainframe-Minicomputer-terminal (AFTADS) ported over to laptops.

It is a true distributed software environment that reduced request for fire to trigger pull from
5/ 'GIS Art for Artillery' app...'GIS Art for Artillery' app...'GIS Art for Artillery' app...'GIS Art for Artillery' app...
...20 minutes to 30 seconds.

By comparison, the US Army did that call to trigger pull in 5 minutes in WW2, 15 minutes in Vietnam and one hour currently.

No, that isn't a typo.

6/
The increased US Army time 'from call to trigger pull' has to do trying to prevent friendly fire plus the inclusion of JAG officers in Division artillery fire control centers doing rules of engagement/collateral damage vetting of calls for fire.

7/ Image
In 2006, when US Army Special Forces task force hunting high value targets was given direct access to an MLRS battery with GMLRS rockets - without a JAG officer poisoned chain of command - got it back down to Vietnam 15-minute levels in Iraq, thanks to the Blue Force Tracker.
8/ Blue Force Tracker terminal...Infantry Blue Force Tracker...Blue Force Tracker infographic
This didn't last long with the Obama Administration thanks to Taliban high value targets using their own kids as human shields followed by cellphone photos of dead kids.

Then everything went back to the JAG officer game & the Special Forces started buying loitering drones.

9/ Switchblade 300 Lointerin M...
Returning to the "GIS Arta" app, (GIS meaning geospatial) it has evolved into a multi-profile command and control system that can process data from drones, smartphones, rangefinders and commercial satellite images.

This has a lot of implications.



10/
The biggest being that with a good SATCOM link Ukrainian high command could nominate targets in the the "GIS Arta" app to the nearest fire support, drone or convoy hunter killer teams throughout the entire Ukrainian battle space without tipping local units

11/
...to intelligence sources & methods.

Western Intelligence is either ignorant or discounts the "GIS Arta" app because of a CROWDSTRIKE cybersecurity firm December 22, 2016 article claiming the Russians hacked "GIS Arta."
12/
docs.voanews.eu/en-US/2017/03/…
And that the "Fancy Bear" group used the same hacking method to to get into the DNC.

The problem is that hacking of the "GIS Arta" app CROWDSTRIKE claimed never happened.

The VOA did a takedown here:
voanews.com/a/crowdstrike-…
13/ Image
I knew that CrowdStrike co-founder Dimiti Alperovitc was lying at the time because of a summer 2015 OSINT investigation I did of the strange Ukrainian artillery concentrations hitting DNR forces in Donbas.

14/
The Ukrainian Army seemed to be using older Soviet-era ground surveillance radars to guide its deep artillery strikes.

Russian video's sent by the Donbas War list-admin showed a UA artillery strike missing a Russian convoy in a classic centroid error of an older radar
15/ 1RL-239 ARK-1 "Rys&quo...1RL-239 ARK-1 "Rys&quo...
...that has two targets close together at extreme range and sees them as a single target.

The video showed a large convoy on the right and UA artillery strikes to the left of them.

[Note: The infographic shows chaff pulling a 'radar centroid' off of a jet]

16/ Image
The video then pans a little and shows a second road further left with a convoy of vehicles on it.

Both roads seemed to be approaching a fork out of camera view.

17/
I asked the list-admin about it & specifically if a ARK-1 RICE BAG radar could pull that off.

I was told 'No, the most likely Ukrainian sensor directing the artillery fire was a Su-24MR FENCER E M-101 Shtik side looking aerial radar (SLAR)'

18/ Image
The radar centroid error I described was spot-on for 1985 Soviet era kit.

The Su-24MR FENCER E had long range air to ground data links, but directing artillery with it implied some distinctly non-Soviet era command and control doctrine.

There was also the fact the barrage
19/
...looked wrong. And by looked wrong I mean it was all landing in one spot with explosions indicating shells from radically different azimuths.

It was kinda, sorta, a time on target (TOT) from lots of individual guns.
20/
Usually Russian doctrine artillery batteries fire a "battery solution" and the barrage lands in the pattern of the ground formation of the firing guns.

A TOT from several Russian gun batteries would cover a significant area.

So the Ukrainians were doing something else.

21/ Image
I systematically searched through Donbas artillery videos of UA artillery strikes & photos of UA artillery positions (single guns).

The thing that stood out was the timing of the barrages, the tightness of the barrages and the variability of the shell bursts.
22/
UA artillery were not firing as batteries. They were firing as individual guns and launchers, then displacing immediately.

Multiple individual guns & mortars of different calibers were shooting dispersed across a large area at the same target in the TOT manner.

23/
Given the following:

1. A radar or laser range finder equipped forward observer with a GPS unit,

2. A gun with a digital radio, digital artillery fire control computer and a GPS unit, and

3. A digital internet data link radio communications tying them together.
24/
It then becomes relatively easy to program a multi-gun, multi-ammunition caliber time on target from whatever guns are in range. You can even call down multiple TOT barrages in a short amount of time using different guns for each barrage-strike on the same target.

25/
That meant Russian counter-battery radars were not seeing battery shoots.

They were seeing lots of individual guns across the front, with multiple trajectories, shooting less than three shells, at the same or different targets, across a whole front.

26/
That was why the Russians were not killing a lot of UA towed artillery with counter-battery in the Summer of 2015 onward.

Russian counter-battery radars were not seeing "worthwhile" battery sized targets for MLRS shoots.

27/
It also made Russian airpower much less effective in the counterbattery role when it showed up.

What cost Ukraine it's towed 122mm guns wasn't destruction by counter battery. It was abandonment when the Debaltsevo pocket fell.

radiosvoboda.org/a/27555492.html

28/
The Ukrainians had multiple dug in positions per 122mm towed gun. They didn't have the resources to do the same with their truck prime movers.

They could camouflage them, but not get them into cover.

The sheer weight of fragmentation damage over time disabled them

29/
...beyond the local ability to repair the day the Debaltsevo pull out came.

The Ukrainian Army chose to save its troops over its heavy weapons and disabled heavy weapons as best they could at short notice.

30/
A lot of DNR & LNR 122mm guns firing at Ukrainians today came from the fall of the Debaltsevo pocket.

The other thing that informed me CROWDSTRIKE was lying happened in the first couple of days post-invasion.

31/
Russia opened the war with a "Zero-day exploit"aimed like a dagger at GIS Art for Artillery app.

Russia took down all of Ukraine's SATCOM terminals and quite a few in Europe besides.

32/
This is where @elonmusk SpaceX Starlink constellation comes in.

Ukraine turned to @elonmusk to replace it's pre-war SATCOM links for 'GIS Art for Artillery' with Starlink.

To date, not only have those SATCOM been replaced, SpaceX has impressed

33/
cnet.com/science/space/…
...the DoD and Western three letter intelligence agencies generally.

SpaceX has handily defeated the strongest cyber & jamming attacks the Russian Federation can assemble.

34/
In addition, one of the lesser known features of SpaceX's Starlink internet service, point to point email service for Starlink users encrypted and not using any ground infrastructure whatsoever, has aided Ukrainian military units behind Russian lines to communicate

35/
...with minimal electronic signature for Russian direction finding to exploit.

Effectively Starlink gave Ukraine the military space telecommunications bandwidth of the United States with zero investment in satellite infrastructure before the war.

36/
Ukraine's 'GIS Art for Artillery' app combined with Starlink actually gives the Ukrainian military measurably better than US Military standard artillery command and control.

The Ukraine War is the first Starlink War & the side with Starlink is beating the side without.
37/
There are a lot of implications in that thought.

Now comes the kicker. When the lasercom equipped SpaceX Gen 1.5 & 2.0 satellites come on-line.
38/
The ability to move huge amounts of bandwidth with zero ground based infrastructure will utterly subvert the ability of national governments & corporations to block or surveil Starlink communications.

39/
The only way the US Government will be able to monitor Starlink communications is with @elonmusk active cooperation.

The power shift involved in that fact is...profound...and something for another thread

40/
Meanwhile, a whole lot of very powerful people are going to have to rethink their place in the world as the Starlink juggernaut remakes the world by helping Ukraine win "The 1st Starlink War."

41/End

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More from @TrentTelenko

May 16
It looks like @PhillipsPOBrien just saved me a really long thread measuring my predictions versus on the ground reality regards Russian trucks.

Let's do a different logistical-history thread🧵instead.

1/
ALEX VERSHININ Nov 2021 article on Russian truck logistics has proven to be the 'Logistical Bible' of this latest Russian invasion of Ukraine.

2/
Ukraine has prioritized killing Russian trucks because the way to beat the Russian Army strategically & operationally is by killing its truck fleet.

Over 1,500 of the ~4,000 trucks Russia had at the start of the war are destroyed with the
3/
Read 23 tweets
May 15
@RandomAcademic @sjellmann If you have not read Lester W. Grau & Charles K. Bartle's "The Russian Reconnaissance Fire Complex Comes of Age." Now is the time to go look it up with an internet search.

UAV artillery spotting tactics are universal, and the Ukrainians are better at it than the Russians.
1/ Image
@RandomAcademic @sjellmann This is mainly because the existential threat of Russian invasion focused the Ukrainian military on "good enough today" is better than "perfect next year."

That means Ukrainian artillery spotting drones cost between 1/10th and 1/100th what a similar drone costs
2/
@RandomAcademic @sjellmann ...in other militaries.

As a result, Ukrainians are much more willing to risk losing any individual drone, for any reason, than other militaries.

Distributed processing networks and the willingness to take risk is what makes Ukraine's artillery so effective.

3/
Read 5 tweets
May 14
This thread🧵 will be my Ukraine War overview.

Russia is losing 2/3 of a battalion combat group of equipment a day and we are into day 79.

That's over 52.6 full battalion equipment sets out of the 120 initially sent into Ukraine & ~180 over all in the Russian Ground Forces

1/
IOW, 43% of the total committed Russian mechanized combat vehicle fleet and likely the best 29% of the total Russian combat vehicle fleet have been destroyed or captured.

Percentage casualty rate wise, this is the institutional equivalent of the III Armored Corps in Ft Hood
2/
... Texas catching a high yield tac-nuke for the US Army.

Per the Oryx visual compilations, Ukraine is losing one vehicle destroyed or captured for every 3.5 Russian vehicles.

If the current Ukrainian casualty rates match the 2014-2015 fighting.

3/
Read 30 tweets
May 13
This video tells you a lot, and not just about the vulnerability of a fully loaded T-80.🧵

Look at the road damage where the T-80 exploded and where it's turret landed.

That is going to require significant pavement replacing and repairing section where the turret landed.
1/
This Ukrainian road is raised above the countryside because the soil under the road had to be engineered/graded in several layers of rock, gravel & sand to support that road weight & not to melt into the countryside during a mud season.

2/
The destruction of over 4000 vehicles of all types primarily on Ukrainian roads makes each kilometer or mile of road travel effectively much longer because of the need to slow down and drive gingerly near such wrecks.

3/
Read 6 tweets
May 12
If you are not watching developments in Sri Lanka. Start now.

This is what "food insecurity" really means.

This is why Russia's invasion of Ukraine has world wide effects, because losing Ukraine's grain exports prices food too high for poor folks less developed nations.
1/
The world's food & fuel supplies are all interconnected.

Losing Ukraine's grain exports, and much of Russian energy exports, utterly rapes the food security of the Global South.

Natural resources China & the West rely upon for their industries from the Global South

2/
...will be impacted by food riots/unrest in the Global South.

In our global "Just-In-Time" economy, there is simply no redundancy in the world supply chains to buffer advanced economies from these events.

3/
Read 4 tweets
May 12
This map was direct messaged to me and was taken from a forum. It is a heat map of Russian SIM cards roaming Ukrainian cellphone networks. Logistics Thread🧵

This is symbolic of several things.

1. Why you have to take away cellphones from your troops before battle.
1/ Image
2. What Ukraine knows about Russian troops movements.

3. The collapse of the good order and discipline of the Russian Army, because every single Russian soldier knows a cellphone collected by the Army is a cellphone stolen.

Especially when you stole it from Ukrainians 1st.
2/
It is that last fact which lead me to post this thread.

There is no possible Russian Army countermeasure because their army's discipline is gone.

This is the price Russia pays for bad logistics.
3/
Read 4 tweets

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