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24 April 2014


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Probably because friends in Tel Aviv sold them the codes.


Discussions of the same radio report also say that "all 27" crew members "resigned" in port in Romania because they were afraid to put their lives in danger. If so, we can pretty much rule it out as strictly factual.

I don't have much experience in military stuff, but I know a bit about Internet propaganda. The "reports" are the sort of poorly written, half-baked stuff with unnamed sources you often find circulating around. I could be wrong, but it reads that way to me.

One question for the experts may be able to settle it. The report quotes a Pavel Zolotarev. He is a real person--a former Russian major general--who would presumably know about this stuff. He supposedly said:

"The demonstration was original enough. A bomber without any weapons, but having onboard equipment for jamming enemy radar, worked against a destroyer equipped with "Aegis", the most modern system of air and missile defence (sic). But this system of mobile location, in this case the ship, has a significant drawback. That is, the target tracking capabilities. They work well when there is a number of these ships which can coordinate with each other somehow. In this case there was just one destroyer."

True or false? I thought the idea was that the Aegis could coordinate fire with multiple ships but did not require multiple ships for tracking.


Information management maybe?


Well at least it wasn't an IDFAF plane doing the flyby.

The Twisted Genius

I'm inclined to think this is blog generated rumor rather than deliberate propaganda. However, if there is some truth in this rumor, it would be a major bombshell. I wouldn't think Putin would show such a jamming capability unless he found it absolutely necessary to signal to the US that we should think twice before initiating any more provocative actions. In other words, don't start a shooting war. If Aegis could be jammed, we would definitely rethink putting any of our truly valuable ships into the Black Sea or the Baltic. Also, if true we will never get any confirmation from Russia or the US.


With Obama's logic, he's probably thinking there is only one way to find out.

Peter C

Why would the Ruskies show their trump hand on a dry run? If true, being able to defeat the Aegis is a game changer for both sides and many Allied to the U.S.

Charles Dekle

Agreed. This would be a major coup for the Russians and an indication of a major glitch in the at sea network.


More bad fiction has been written about electronic warfare than most subjects one could name. This story isn't even good bad fiction.

On the other hand, and purely anecdotal, I was told recently by a guy who might know in a third-handed way that the USS Cook was ordered not to emit from the air defense radar suite for fear of showing "hostile intent."

I'm not sure which is more disconcerting, a jammable AEGIS or a command authority confused about the right of self defense.

I'm pretty sure neither of these stories is true.

scott s.


I suppose anything can be jammed if you put enough power against it. For Aegis, there is something called Cooperative Engagement Capability. The idea of CEC is to pass fire-control quality tracking data between ships. Previously there had been tactics developed such as "Silent SAM" designed to use off-board search/track systems for cueing (if not guidance) with limited success.

All: In the Soviet era where overflight was common, as well as mixing it up with various surface units (combatant types as well as surveillance types), we had a comprehensive list of actions that were allowed / prohibited as part of "hostile intent" determination. Also maneuvering rules with signals designed to avoid collision.

Robert Kenneth Chatel

Dear Col. Lang and others more knowledgeable than I (most all of you I gather),
I have been following the events in the Ukraine and the surrounding countries as best I can from my perch in Greece on the Internet. I believe that there have been many comments on other sites such as Moon of Alabama: http://www.moonofalabama.org/

and http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.uk/

This piece seems to me to shed a fair bit of light on the issue posted by Sale's piece earlier on the of the Aegis system as well as many others: http://johnhelmer.net/?p=10595&print=1

If anyone can add background to the accuracy of this or the veracity of the site, I would welcome it.

Farmer Don

Well there might be something in this report, as this ship has decided to get out of harms way according to Zerohedge.



scott s.

In this age we are using satlelite based gps to enhance navigation. What makes DOD think any of those satelites won't be knocked out of action on day 1 of a shooting war? What's the reserve of replacements on the ground that can get launced, how and in what time frame?


Two weeks of sailing in circles for a show the flag operation seems like more than enough time to prove whatever point needed to be proved.

Charles I

Thanks, the johnhelmer.net article was very informative and well cited, the kind of thing that will never make the light of msm day.

Those that did not bother thinking it was just technical Aegis stuff should go and read the whole account of U.S. deployments and Putins continuous commenting on it as each chess piece was moved.

David Habakkuk


This may be disinformation, but it is quite clearly not simply a ‘blog generated rumour’.

Have a look at the biography of Major General Zolotarev, from the website of ‘Global Zero’, with which he is apparently associated (it may be of some interest that he is in some way involved with a website run by those still foolishly dreaming of putting the nuclear genie back in the bottle):

‘Retired Maj. Gen. Pavel Zolotarev is the deputy director of the Institute for U.S. and Canada Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences and a professor at the Academy of Military Sciences. He previously served as head of the Information and Analysis Center of the Russian Ministry of Defense and deputy chief of staff of the Defense Council of Russia.’

(See http://www.globalzero.org/zh-hans/our-movement/leaders/maj-gen-ret-pavel-zolotarev )

The 'Institute for U.S. and Canada Studies' is an extremely prestigious, and also intellectually serious, organisation: certainly not a stronghold of mindless 'hardliners'. Accordingly, it is unsurprising that Zolotarev has collaborated with experts from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard on ‘The US-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism.’

Of particular interest, it may be, is an interesting paper published last September by the Center under the title ‘Transcending Mutual Deterrence in the U.S.-Russian Relationship,' of which he was a co-author. I have not had time to read it yet.

(See http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/experts/2387/pavel_s_zolotarev.html )

From the reports I have seen, it is not clear whether the – very dubious sounding – claim about 27 sailors on the ‘Donald Cook’ submitting their resignations was or was not made by Zolotarev. My guess would be that this is a crude ‘edit in’.

Certainly, if the Russians had acquired the capability to jam Aegis – and make U.S. warships sitting ducks for Russian missiles – it would be remarkable for them to broadcast the fact. And the only possible explanation would seem indeed to be, if I can paraphrase your argument, that Putin and Shoigu are at their wits end, desperately searching for ways to indicate to blockheads like Kerry and Obama their recklessness may have real consequences, and could indeed precipitate an escalation to nuclear conflict.

In the light of who Zolotarev is, while I think that his claims may be disinformation, I would be hesitant to be confident of the fact. Moreover, if he is disseminating disinformation, the choice of a figure of his seniority, who has been so intimately involved in attempts to collaborate with Americans, would in itself be puzzling and revealing. For one thing, I do not think that Zolotarev would be completely happy about the prospect of seeing his relations with his American collaborators ruined by involvement in a disinformation operation.

It would then seem to be that there were two obvious possible interpretations of what has been going on, which are by no means mutually exclusive. It could still be that what is at issue is an attempt to make American policymakers realise that this situation is seriously dangerous: could even just possibly lead to the end of the world.

And when one is dealing with figures as stupid as Kerry, or Obama, or indeed Anne-Marie Slaughter, one can see that it could end up seeming that only disinformation would be adequate to make them see the obvious.

It could also be that Putin is falling back on a traditional Soviet and Russian pattern of exaggerating capabilities, as a means of ‘deterrence.’

As I have said, the interpretations are not mutually exclusive.

Charles Dekle

TTG and all,
This is how the at sea network began back in 98. Hopefully they have improved and are unhackable:


The Twisted Genius

David Habakkuk,

Pavel Zolotarev does have impressive credentials. I don't know if he was first to release this info or if he is responding to the many reports in the Russian military blogosphere, which is very robust. However, given the early exit of the Donald Cook from the Black Sea, there may be something to the idea that Aegis was, at least, affected by the Khibiny. We have become dependent on "full spectrum dominance" in our military thinking. If our dominance was shown to be anything less than full, our confidence will be shaken.

Norbert M Salamon

We all recall the Russian help in grounding the US's drone in Iran, whereupon the President had the audacity to ask for its return. If the drone is so easily high jacked, it is reasonable to believe that Russia or China have or shared the electronic info after numerous hacking of DoD and MIC-s.



The drone vulnerability was know for years and not corrected, however you are leaving out the other factor - just what information did defector Edward Snowdan take with him to Moscow. I'm sure they managed to seduce out of him what they need to know. No water-boarding required.

David Habakkuk


I have not been able to check the history of how this report was disseminated, and would be very interested if anyone can cast light on the matter.

For what it is worth, however, my hunch would be that it was authorised, and probably initiated, at the highest level, and that Major General Zolotarev was chosen as the vehicle of its dissemination, quite precisely because he was likely to have credibility with informed Americans, while not being a senior figure in the Russian military.

This reading, if correct, would somewhat increase the chances that the report is not disinformation – in which case, as you suggest, for the Russians to show their hand in this way would indicate that they see the way the situation is developing in Ukraine as holding out possibilities for catastrophe.

A further point is this. Traditionally, Russian military thinkers were highly sceptical of much Western style theorising about ‘deterrence.’ In substantial measure, this was because they believed that this theorising did not take adequate account of the possibilities of accidental or inadvertent initiation of nuclear war, and also were not inclined to be optimistic about the possibilities of controlling escalation.

However, from 1993 on circumstances have pushed them towards embracing the conceptions of ‘deterrence’ about which earlier they had been sceptical. Figures like the former Deputy Chief of the Soviet General Staff, Makhmut Akhmetovich Gareev, had more or less to be dragged kicking and screaming into accepting strategies of ‘first use’.

(For a discussion of his reservations, see http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/agency/rusrma.htm )

Given the weakness of Russian conventional power, however, even the skeptics have had to embrace strategies of ‘deterrence’. Accordingly, they will have had to confront all the problems of how to balance the imperative of making threats ‘credible’ with that of minimising the risks of out of control escalation.

If, as seems to me quite likely, the Russians have been looking for a possible ‘demonstration shot’, in case nothing else serves to ‘deter’ the West, the most obvious place to look would be at sea.

It seems increasingly clear that John Kerry is either convinced that he can make the Russians ‘blink’, or has simply boxed himself into a corner out of which he does not see a way out. If as a result a conflict in Ukraine does escalate out of control, and things go against them, the Russians would have a lot to lose if they gave the impression that their nuclear threats were simply bluff.

It appears that the Russian Chief of General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, has talked to General Dempsey about concerns relating to the increase in the U.S. air and land presence in the Baltics and Poland, and also NATO warships in the Black Sea. In relation to contingency planning for the use of tactical nuclear weapons, it is the last which would seem the most obvious target.

(For General Gerasimov’s conversation with General Dempsey, see http://rt.com/news/155020-russia-army-nato-buildup/ )

It seems that the notion that Putin and his military leaders are itching to invade Eastern Ukraine, probably as a prelude to sending tanks into Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius, and then going on to invade Warsaw, has become something of an article of faith in circles among sections of Western elites – despite the complete absence of evidence to support it. The possibilities of mutual misinterpretation, in this situation, would appear non-trivial.


Smart reply, David.

Charles I

Without any technical background its my understanding that jamming, frequencies aside, is largely a matter of brute strength power and bandwidth - how much energy can be emitted and focused or dispersed to counter the target.

The Russians are famous for going simple, big, heavy and brutish in their approach to much technology from gigantic rockets to 50 MT hydrogen tests. Maybe a la Captain Kirk they have determined the best way to divert all power to the forward phasers and fire.

Just an abstract thought - as I said, heavy on the "without . . .understanding"


So, how do you attack an air-defense Goliath riding on the sea?
By a torpedo from a sub.


Which is why half our submarine force used to be attack boats like the ones I served on. With less than 300 ships in commission we'll be hard press to keep the sea lanes open. But why attack the military, that would only escalate the response. Now if someone disabled the nav system on some billionaire's G6, or whatever it is they fly, and it happened to disappear like that Malaysian airliner, perhaps the warmongering class would realize they are in the cross-hairs too and might think twice before starting another shooting war.

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