During the last few days the Russian Air Force flew two Tu-160s, an Ilyushin Il-62 passenger jet and an Antonov An-124 military cargo plane to South Africa. According to the Russian Defence Ministry “The air group’s visit aims to deepen military cooperation with South Africa’s Air Force and is part of friendly relations between the two countries that are built on strategic partnership and understanding.”
The Tu-160 is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber able to carry standoff weapons of the nuclear kind. By any account it is the largest and heaviest Mach 2+ supersonic military aircraft ever built. The airframe, modernised recently, is seen as a message by Moscow. You only have to note the hysterics in the US mainstream media when two landed in Venezuela recently. They went nuts and almost wet their pants in fear (frankly, it does not take much to get them in such a state). Curiously, they are quiet about the South African visit, probably due to ignorance and latent racism. The visit was not by chance, it was a message which must be taken good note of. It was obviously arranged at a high, the very highest, diplomatic levels as the Tupolev bombers were escorted in by SAAF Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets (which I rate above the F-18 Super Hornet - see Code Name Blue Tang why).
For South Africans of my age, the very idea of the Russian Air Force landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria is ominous. We were and are mostly West/NATO orientated in training, equipment and outlook/upbringing. Yet, as I warned in many books it would be foolish to think that South Africa is still West orientated. Not at all, see what we say in Code Name Swan 53 on Nelson Mandela’s foreign policies. The country is now firmly in the Chinese/Russian camp. It is anti-West no matter what noises are made. In fact, since I wrote the first GMJ book, Code Name VFO565, published in December 2014, I repeated the same warning, that South Africa is not what it once was and that you better take note from a strategic perspective since the country is crucial in controlling the Cape of Good Hope sea route between Europe and the East. Why else do you think it is included in BRICS? Why do you think the Chinese created a massive air base at Marange in Zimbabwe just to our north (see Code Name Mel’s Choice where it is revealed) or why did the Chinese invest so much money in Walfish Bay (Namibia, see Code Name Ghost). Simply because of where the country is and what it can do if a shooting war breaks out. I also said that the US is surrounded by BRICS and that BRICS will take over soon. The above is noted down in my books (see Intelligence Briefing for a summary) and thus I will only quote very briefly:
BRICS, the new threat that no one yet woke up to - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa form the BRICS Nations and it is interesting when you look at them together, as you should. The 2018 Global Firepower report showed the five most powerful militaries as follows: 1 United States, 2 Russia, 3 China, 4 India, 5 France. For interest sake, the UK came in at number 6, not much of a factor these days (this has not changed). The first-place allocation to the United States is wrong in my eyes, I explain in American Military Might – Debunked, why I say so and we don’t have the space here to repeat the 681 plus pages setting out my reasoning. However, you will note three BRICS Nations in the top five, Russia, China and India. Brazil is 14th and South Africa 33rd. Yet, South Africa is still rated above Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands and has better military technology than NATO countries. Turkey, by the way, is begging to join BRICS, if she does, a major NATO country, it is game over for NATO, BRICS will have access to all NATO’s remaining secrets. Brought to you by American arrogance and lack of diplomacy. There are disquieting patterns which most don’t realise but the Western leaders know – they have been briefed many times by people like me. Not one of these countries mentioned above are overly sympathetic to the American “War on Terror.” Three of them, Russia, India and China are nuclear armed with Russia and China pointing thousands of nuclear missiles directly at the West as they did during the Cold War. It is said that between Russia and China, they now have much more advanced MIRV (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle) systems than the West. They are causing intelligence analysts sleepless nights because BRICS are investing in offensive weapons, aircraft carriers, and more nuclear attack submarines.
Four of the BRICS nations, Brazil, Russia, India and China operate aircraft carriers and large carriers at that, not baby flattops although India had a few, two ex-Royal Navy and one ex-Soviet Union with two new home-grown carriers being built. The last two will fly the Russian Mikoyan MiG-29K and then upgrade to heavier airframes since they are planning to add an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) – if that happens, they may get the French Rafale M. Note, no US or UK based equipment and that is not by chance, that clearly shows intent, they will not be dictated to by anyone. Brazil, whose economy surpassed the UK’s in 2012, bought the old French fleet carrier Foch and the BRICS countries are increasing their carrier capabilities all the time. Slowly yes, not yet at US levels yet, but it is coming. Why is that? Combined with upgrading Kirov class battle cruisers being readied for deployment? The answer is easy to figure out when you understand carrier warfare in history. Carrier Groups exist to take the fight to the enemy (to Japan and Italy in the Second World War, later years Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf in what followed 9/11). In this case, from the view of the BRICS Nations, the new enemy is almost certainly the USA, open for attack, attack or at the very least they want such an option available, to cut the sea-lanes. Your very survival depends on keeping the sea-lanes open. You fail with that aspect, and your troops have no weapons to fight further with, no reinforcements to stop the numerically superior enemy and the trapped troops are either dead or must surrender. Let me give you another shocking fact, one, yes one, fighter jet was available to protect the entire US east coast with 9/11, shockingly, and not even armed. Nothing has changed. No USAF general got fired for such negligence, not one. I spoke with Spetsnaz officers grinning in delight when the subject of landing on the US coast at will, is mentioned. From a Muslim terrorist viewpoint, well, they are already there, the sleeper cells are established. We saw that with the San Bernardino attack and mark my words, we will see more such attacks in the future.
In history, aircraft carriers are offensive weapons in nature, not defensive. They attack and keep sea lanes open or close them, a blockade if you wish. They don't defend their own country close to its own shores. Not once in naval warfare did that happen with carriers, the fights are far away from home. If defence close to your own shores is needed, then any land-based aircraft can do so and do so better than any carrier plane can do (see now why the Chinese are building numerous islands in the South China Sea, one by one, it is called terrain deniability). Land bases cannot be sunk and there are many more available if one is destroyed and they will not be easily destroyed as some believe. It is not easy to keep a land-based air base out of order. There are such things as missile defensive systems of which Russia, with its S-400 and S-500 systems, is now the world leader. You back that up with what destroyed the USAF in North Vietnam, automatic anti-aircraft guns, and you have a serious problem to destroy such places. You will fight to get close and do something about it and standoff weapons can be destroyed in the air, it is figured into the air defence systems. Do you know some analysts in my circles call this the modern Cuban Crisis which Mr Obama did not quite get; it will now take a full-scale war (not going to happen) to get the Chinese out. What is also interesting is that a Chinese officer contacted me and pointed out the similarities between those islands and the famous Star Wars Program of the eighties – he used the word “shield” and I got what he meant, they are moving the front lines away from their country, making themselves safe, and at the same time creating the ability to react or strike far away. This is worrisome or should be. The Russian and Chinese carriers are very worrying to the Western intelligence analysts and they should be. Carriers only purpose in life is to attack first or to close sea-lanes and no other logical reason and they are expanding their capabilities all the time. Why? You think about this. All the patterns are clear and indicative to what I am writing in my books which is not to say it will happen but they are setting themselves up in case it happens.
Ironically, I trust the Russians far more than the rogue state known as the US these days. Except that the US troops will run for home after a few casualties and commit war crimes on a scale not even Nazi Germany was capable of (read VOICES – War Crimes USA) nothing is sure about them. What I do know is that they don’t have the weapons, will power or guts to take on any country able to defend itself. Perhaps the Russian visit is a good thing for South Africa, time will tell… yet it leaves a bitter taste to me.