Besides, it doesn't matter if we haven't got as many airplanes, if they can't see us the first night and loose all thier own aircraft. Half of
which get bombed on the ground, while the other half fall into large holes where they were expecting their runway to be.
Myself, if I put forth the effort to kill an airbase, it's going to be their underground tank farms, HAS and HAS ramp 'driveway' interconnects.
Maybe their BOQ and Command Condos if they have such.
The question then comes down to whether I can do all this with X8 GBU-39 with approximately 1.6m of roof overpenetration. Or if I need to go to CM
and use submunitions and popup/dive attacks with BROACH type warheads.
I don't see value in using one airframe to drop two bombs (GBU-32 or 35) if that same airframe can carry EIGHT weapons which can hit exposed surface
targets with equal effect.
i.e. I don't want to play Colonel Warden's five rings 'inmost out' game. I want to kill the principal IADS elements in the field. And then be
able to /choose/ whatever battlespace operating doctrine I follow on with.
And 'paralysis' may not be not necessary or even possible with distributed cellular C2 and IADS networking. If so, why spend energy (hollowing
uninhabited buildings) to cut the spine when two amputated arms makes the opponent unable to fight back anyway?
The lack of options in _independently_ being able to target SDB for this mission is what really PO's me on the Raptor. It's NOT an 'Air Dominance
Fighter'. Or an 'Air Supremacy Fighter'. It's a COE asset whose ability to penetrate /should/ be concomittent with it's ability to hit
_whatever it bloody well wants_.
The tactics to be employed with the F-22 are probrably quite different from those of an F-15. Instead of brave knights battling it out in thier
aluminum mounts, The F-22 would probrably fall closer to special operations forces sneaking around making sure the enemy is completely unable to
fight. Destroying your enemies ability to fight back, or forcing them to use disproportionally larger forces to do so is force multiplication. 4-6
Raptors, properly used, can have a greater effect than 20 F-15s.
Agreed. My question then being the logistics of /how/. How many first night vs. how many pallet loads to support their mixed-mission capabilities.
And how many tankers to gas them on perhaps 3-5 rather than 1-2 missions, all under darkness.
Once you get that part down, along with any residual SOJAM and longrange DEAD (which could be done from a P-8 or similar BBJ conversion as much as an
aging EA-6B) to prick the balloon as they go in.
You can start to make REAL choices as to 'what happens in the morning'.
_In theory_, this is when I want the threat air to come up. Knowing they are half blind. But also knowing that they are facing (at least until 2012
or so) a conventional signature force itself capable of dropping as many as 20 GBU-39 per asset (F-15E) and never less than 8 (F-16/18). But which
may also have HDBT ordnance like the GBU-31 or 24.
Because it is in fact 'better' to KNOW that threat-X is dead as a function of a descending smoke trail. And at that point the Raptors can fulfill
their orignal mission spec as AAW assets until the Teeners obliterate the remaining threat air, 'as it sits'.
Which is where, IMO, the real supremacy of the S2A threat and how long it takes you to track down and nail a reasonable percentage of it defines what
the Raptor does. Because no matter how good it is alone or against threat air, it truly cannot protect a gaggle of (conventional signature) strike
aircraft from a Favorit or Triumf sudden-salvo.
And I don't think F-16CJ.50 will do much better.
Yet so long as those threats exist, unreduced, first-night, it may not be practical to use JSTARS and Rivet Joint or 'like' (U-2/RQ-4) assets if you
are truly facing a 160nm or better threat bubble.
WHERE then does the targeting come from? Predators? You gotta be kidding me.