If all this is so ridiculously simple as you keep repeating - why is no SAM missile like it?
There you go again, trying to lay your definition of 'whut it iz' on my system concept so as to make it seem like I have to fit your mold. To which
I can only laugh and say "Unh Unh Uhhhhhh!".
There is principally no difference between a SAM and an Interceptor in 'launch mode'. BOTH being profoundly SURFACE TO AIR defined systems. What
differentiates them is the kill mechanization and specifically guidance modes. In that a SAM puts the guidance system on the ground to maintain
cheapness and provide some standoff at the cost of absolute range (from the site) at which the engagement can be realistically made. While a
'fighter' sacrifices the capabilities of the actual kill mechanism to be able to forward-loft as a two-stage interceptor. Especially in the era of
VLO, the SAM is thus always going to be a 'point' defense system. While the effectiveness of the fighter is defined by the size and vulnerability
of the bus system more than the effectiveness of the weapons it carries. This can further be defined as the likelihood of whether the fighter will
survive long enough to REACH it's separation point. When it has to go through the missiles-escorting-the-escorts-escorting-the-bombers. As a three
layer composite hand on it's furious-midget forehead.
Throw in the coward factor of ill-trained pilots wondering why _their_ 1-2 planes should be risked against 70-100 or more highly trained enemy. And
the tendency is to see these wunderjetten fixed to the tarmac as surely as the S-300 guarding the airbase.
Again: _It matters less how you launch than how long you live to provide guidance once you do_. So the only solution is to make the fighter bus
function into the missile and the SAM netted guidance function into the bus. Leaving you with a hybrid of both.
That said, in addition to the HiMAT and the MALD/MALI, I can think of several systems which are /aerodynamically/ similar to this notion, the E.381
Julia, the Bachem 349 Natter and the Entzian conversion of the Me-163. You know, back when the Nazi's had nothing to lose and would try anything
that worked? Back when we were not so stodgy as to think that the world turned around an existing set of answers regardless of whether the questions
After all they are designed for the exact same purpose - deny airspace to enemy aircraft or destroy them if they enter - do the airforce veto the army
from having SAMs?
The Air Force exists because it can go places /in other guys airspace/ while the Army is fixing coffee back in the CAOC.
If you cross an R&M line, you generate a conflict of interest whereby the Army can no longer count on an Air Force to defend it (because in theory
these things could destroy even own-turf defensive air superiority). And the AF is out of a job because they are 'no better than the Army'. Do you
_honestly_ think that the USAF is going to let that happen? Do you HONESTLY think that we were better off letting the cities be naked to attack
rather than play 'missile command' with atomic headed Nike H and Bomarc to FORCE the enemy to come into our airspace with slower-cycled bombers,
'under the radar'?
The AF is the dominant service because it is:
A. The sexiest.
B. The only one which can be used to play-at-war rather than win them, over somebody else' turf.
Yet the definition of 'what is a fighter' is complicated, not as a function of multirole identiy but as a consequence to crutching up the
innumerable shortcomings of the babies onboard. The notion that fighters are in fact /bombers/ 99.999% of the time is achieved as a function of
"Ainhh, might as well..." Rather than _cost:risk:capability_ optimization.
The 'Fallout Missioning' of which is why people see fighters as a do-all rather than an utterly compromised system worth _F-All_.
All because manned air superiority is seen as the king of all missions rather than the one you should look to fight-least. No (manned) air
superiority=no (manned) bombers the rest of the time.
And that would make a whole lot of little Sky Knights worth more or less nothin' now wouldn't it?
I'm not going to continue repeating the reasons why such an interceptor has not been built as you are continuing to ignore it and mix and match
examples without thought of the effects.
Why? When I answer every one of your empty posits with a real world example of where the technology is sourceable to and you cannot even be bothered
to further your disagreement 'in principle' as a continued defense of YOUR position!
This makes it clear that you yourself have no confidence in it beyond the initial declaration. And so are wriggling off your own baited hook.
What do you mean by qualified? Qualified to be making the assertions on performance impacts etc? Yes, I would say I'm quite reasonably qualified.
Riiiiight. Which is why you keep mentioning problems that don't exist or for which existing innovate-and-overcome counter examples GOING BACK TO THE
FIFTIES are an extant counterproof.
This netcentric information you are on about - are you saying it now needs no on-board sensors? If so, and it gets its data entirely from off board,
where is the data coming from? [I believe you told me this before but I cannot remember] Was it satellites or something.
The existing IADS or a provisional one (depending on the sophistication of the country) sends a raid warning alert to fielded truck-catapult systems
sitting on presurveyed hardstands with landline or microwave fast routing. It's not cheap. But it is the equivalent of a single SAM battery vs. an
entire national Air Defense coverage system. The U.S. services cannot win even an airwar, from the peripheries. And if they try and penetrate to
depth, they are dead.
Because these catapult trucks fire the drone which subsequently climb up at a leisurely rate of say 15,000fpm while the jets are still 'on there way
over from Aviano'.
The drones then fly whatever marshal stack orbit you wish until released or immediately assume battle formation and advance to contact as the threat
comes over the fence or across a given (target defense threshold) response line.
Also, would you intend to have patrols of these missiles up 24/7? If it has to fly 100 miles before engagement the fighters will be able to launch
their own stand off munitions and turn back.
How? Would you now equip every jet with a Storm Shadow or JASSM? Or would you prefer to be more realistic and stick with a 30-40nm GBU-39? How
about a 12-15nm JDAM? Your inability to realistically do more than grab-bag a 'suitable countermeasure' from the sack _without consideration for
targeting or munition stocks_ brings your professional competency to be judging system fitness in principle or execution once more into question
In any case, look at Afghanistan-
A country at least 500nm across it's latitudinal axis and a good 700nm from top to bottom. With another 200nm over Pakistan to the sea. This being
a backwards little moronic nation, with the 'sole advantage' of _operational depth_ to let even the simplest of observer corps styled relays outrun
a 7-10nm/min strike force so that the drones can be launched on warning as much as in constant relays.
Where 'the fence' is defined less by a national border than the absolute pursuit performance of the worst threat, once you are over the fence, you
had better not go nuts with deceptive raid ground track maneuver. Because you WILL NOT have a tanker to keep you safe.
Mind you, with 1,250lbs or less of fuel, there is no reason to assume that even a standing CAP with 2-5 mission pararecovered recycle would not be
/vastly/ more efficient than an Su-27 equivalent sucking down 12-19Klbs of gas every time it turns.
How do you intend to deny airspace over a 300 + mile front? All of a sudden you need a skirmish line of 30 or so at a distance of 10 miles - and what
if the enemy flight has 4 aircraft? Or 2 flights totalling to 8.
Well now, the depends on exactly how far and how force fraction commited I intend to take the intercept, now doesn't it?
If I only intend to provide an 'untouchable' (invisible) CAP orbit in the likely lanes between a target group and an ingress direction, I can run
them out 40nm in mixed bearing lane+altitude block coverage, sit there, and wait for a secure TACAMO like release order based on 'local' observation
from radars or acoustics or ground optics and even human surveillance. This go-to-it command can, in 20 digits or less of burst-synch, command
numbers and formation and attack plan like a football playbook sequence-
As the drones exit the wagon wheel.
If I intend to find the threat on the other side of a fence as it comes off a tanker, I may need a longer range radar or a separate warning cue (small
boat or radio traffic monitoring or 'plane spotter enthusiast' for instance).
It should also be noted that the type of sensor will dictate a lot of the formation geometries.
If it's truly a 'seeker' like system with limited elevation and traverse for a given IFOV, then you may need to stack in depth as well as laterally
to get a 'wall of MALI' type effect.
If you have a fully gimbaled IRST with one or more heads ala MiG-29 or OSF, you can probably scan a wider total field of regard and so thin out the
total drone numbers as to enable pass-by handoff and targeting, even within the drone formation itself.
If you are facing a combat spread of section pairs, in a staggered line abreast between element leads:
By the time the threat raid tally's FL 1 (as a hot-plume 20km stood off from it's ground track) as the loosely defined (by modem connectivity to the
outside world as opposed to intraflight only) flight lead, the others may well be ready to roll in behind it. Whether it sprints to get away from.
Or turns to engage, the eyeball drone.
Also, how do you replace the strike element that an aircraft brings - you effectively are proposing a new SAM (I've just been too stupid not to see
that earlier), not a replacement for a striking aircraft.
Amazing isn't it? Nobody actively targets the U.S. with military airpower. We are always the ones who go in to 'free with HE!' spread the
That said, the real answer will always be that the platform which does ONE job, is worth more than the platform it replaces which _does not_. At
orders of magnitude greater individual system and support cost.
Because, if you then insist on maintaining the strike mission as an option, you can then allocate funds to do that mission with appropriate
By 2015, we will be ass deep in alligators named DEWS.
If we wish to maintain penetrating air as a viable option, we will flat out NEED to have the ability to do the kinds of missioning that includes
random exchanges of million dollar assets based on nothing more than flying into a given cube of airspace through which beam-director optics are
Either way, whether you are doing OCA against a defending force composed of drones little more valuable than missiles themselves.
Doing DCA against an impinging threat of unmanned assets that 'feel neither pain nor fear'.
Or looking at minimizing passage-threat attrition losses against ZTOF systems which cannot be 'argued with' using conventional CM and
It behooves you to rebalance both sides of the fighter:strike equation via recoverable bombers with minimized 'up front' beyond their expensive
sensor packages. And terminally penetrating, possibly throwaway, 'escorts' (frei jagd), which can be risked in some considerable numbers against a
threat force composed of mixed hunting and DEWS systems themselves.
[edit on 25-4-2006 by ch1466]