Next I want to talk about air fields. They are incredibly large and incredibly spread out, the amount of munitions it takes to destroy an airfield is
extremely large and even then they can be repaired. For example, when the US attacked Shayrat Airbase in 2017 with 59 Tomahawk missiles, the airfield
was able to resume operations just hours later. Yes, some equipment was spared because they were warned. But, it is easier to fix a runway than it is
to build a new missile.
Destroying the equipment such as aircraft at an airbase is possible, but this is reliant on actually knowing where the equipment is and being able to
destroy it before it has moved. Hypersonics help here, but is still dependent on the entire kill-chain. Yes, a TEL is harder to find and destroy than
equipment at an air base.
A tactical aircraft can reload and be flying its next mission considerably faster than reloading most kinds of cruise missiles. A tactical aircraft
also carries a very large payload relative to a single cruise missile. A tactical aircraft can also do its targeting in real time.
Taking the Iskander as an example, about 150 are operational with two missiles each, each missile with 1000 lb to 1500 lb explosives. Even if you
assume they all are in range of targets and all are operational at the same time, how many airbases do you think they could destroy? Using Shayrat
Airbase as an example, I would estimate maybe 5, and the runways could be repaired.
I am most concerned about the ability of cruise missiles to target key C2 infrastructure. A lower concern is other infrastructure or aircraft when
they're on the ground and disrupting flight operations for a short period if time.
So the point is, using multi-million dollar (conventional) cruise missiles to destroy pavement is extremely stupid, unless the purpose is to simply
disrupt operations for a few hours. The notion that NATO will wake up one day with its runways destroyed and aircraft intact is fantasy.
NATO should build distributed infrastructure and a kill-web (if it isn't doing so already).
NATO should work on attacking or disrupting the kill-chain for cruise missile attacks (if it isn't doing so already).
NATO should ensure it can repair runways (should already be able to).
One of the largest problems NATO has is readiness not lack of fancy toys. NATO should strengthen their position in the Baltics so they are less
dependent on kicking the Russians out after the fact and for deterrence.
edit on 6/10/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason
edit on 6/10/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)