I have to say, ch1466 that that post was very hard to follow. While I do disagree with the fact that no target is defensible by SAMs any longer
because the missiles do
travel a whole lot faster than bombs, and once you've exploded something in an enemy nation all defense stations will
immediately be on high alert.
I never said that SAM systems were inadequate to secure a national IADS. Though my definition of what a SAM is may vary a bit from the norm.
However; the methods you use to employ them all basically come down to a 'point' (to horizon line or RCS detection threshold) defense defined by the
location of the radar/s supporting a given battery. This applying even to the S-300 (SA-10 Grumble). The S-400 (SA-21) is effectively the beginning
of the next step forward because it theoretically obviates the need for ANY uplink or terminal guidance via RFCG or SARH as characterized earlier
missiles. Instead an I-ARH homing system can fly the round to a cubed volume where longer wavelength or 'blinking' secondary sites (look back or
across) CEC-pinpoint the radar target from a vulnerable aspect.
Furthermore, you don't generally want to 'bomb' (ballisticate) anything which can shoot back.
Isn't this the main idea of performing any SEAD operation (even if that isn't what JDAMs are made specifically to do)? Now while I can understand
the use of AGMs against short range SAMs, but if its a really long-range site (apologies for lack of examples, I am somewhat rusty on modern SAM
sites) wouldn't the use of a TV-guider be useful and classified as a ballistication?
Six of one.
In Vietnam, with primitive ARMs, the only way to be _100%_ sure of a site kill was to put 'iron on the antenna'. i.e. Followup the Weasel with
it's ELS programmed ARM shot using fast fighters to come in and attack the smoke plume with rockets and CBU and guns while the radar was down
(dummyloaded to let a Shrike 'go right on by' or occasionally direct impacted by a STARM in memory mode).
Indeed, especially later on in the conflict, we fired HUGE numbers of 'prebrief' ARM at the last known-recce EOB location of a suspect site just to
make sure it was off-air 'rolled back' while the Gorilla packages went on by.
The reason for all of this basically comes down to one thing:
If you lose 1-2 jets to a Gen 1 or 2 SAM system, /provided/ you rapidly destroy or at least hole the overall IADS with attacks on the sites, you will
still come out ahead in terms of overall loss rates vs. achievement of air supremacy and subsequent destruction of warfighting infrastructure. The
ONLY reason this didn't work in Vietnam was because we created 'safe zones' where SAMs (at least those still under construction) couldn't be
attacked. And once we got them all anyway, we then spent four years letting the Viets rebuild their systems.
Today the scenarios are different:
1. No Losses Allowed.
Particularly if you don't declare war and don't threaten to occupy them 'anyway', getting pilots back after a one sided airwar can be somewhat
problematic. You need only look at what happened to some of the ODS crews to figure out how 'popular' they are among the persecuted.
2. Gen-3/4 S2A Missiles Will BEAT Most Aircraft.
Even after extended midcourses. So that the options available come down to towed decoys and superb SOJAM plus a lot of luck. No more the
rollercoaster-UP! to defeat a lead playing SA-2 fresh off the booster.
3. Medium/High Altitude Profiles Extend Engagement Ranges.
So that beating the trashfire threat can often get you obliterated by MULTIPLE 100km weapons. We've actually faced this problem before in a
situation called '7-11'. Whereby turning to put angles on one threat saddles up another.
4. One Battery FC Radar Can Guide Multiple Rounds.
Even in SARH/TVM modes. This means that if they put 12 missiles in the air and tag two per target, you are looking at 6 targets engaged, rather than
one. Again, where this includes I-ARH capabilities, that number can go up even as the number of illuminating radars can go netcentric.
5. One of the primary targets for the longer range systems will NOT be the fighters but the support missions. Since these (tankers, ISR, BMC2, EA)
are what makes _targeting_ of the bombs in particular at all possible (even with today's Emitter Location Systems, it's hard to get a to-the-meter
location of a radar without a secondary mapping radar or EO handoff.
6. Prebrief shots don't mean as much because all systems are mounted on fully offroad mobile trucks that need only set down lift jacks to stabilize
and level the vehicle while all datalinks are 'wireless' or quick-cabled.
With all these new modifiers; the best you can hope for with even an 8-shot GBU-39, is to put enough decoys and low-rent spotter drones over enemy
airspace as to trick the enemy into illuminating and then use the SDBs to clean their clocks on a rinse-repeat basis of not caring how many drones
OTOH, it will always be up to the enemy to decide whether they are going to be suckered by the old bait and switch with a decoy effort. And if you
are truly protecting an on-the-fly raid package to _force_ them to come up and illuminate, a bomb will not make the flyout in time to save an F-16 or
possibly even an F-35 from that first critical engagement. Even as the lack of hi-rez SAR modes on the APG-77 means that the Raptor is still entirely
dependent on somebody else to 'take the picture' which translates to precision GPS coordinates.
That said, almost all modern missiles (including, in all likelihood, AMRAAM C7/D) are themselves potentially powered-IAM as much as Anti-Radiation
capable systems. Which means that, IF you can keep your ISR targeting platform alive, you can likely send a powered shot downrange to make the M3
kill. If you put a separate seeker on a dedicated missile (QBolt), you can even use the autopilot to set 'restrictors' as a grazing angle/search
footprint. Which means that, even without fully range-known 3D slantranging (via ELS techniques on a long-baseline RC-135 or E-8C patch map), you can
let the weapon do the final sight-to-kill on the battery radar while expressly avoiding things like ARM pit and decoy emitter protective schemes. Of
course the much higher speed on terminal approach at least 'complicates' the goalkeeper needle:needle defense.
DEAD then comes down to hoping that the enormous costs of modern S2A systems will keep them from having too many replacement or interleaved (secondary
site) backups as to break the 'radar down, missiles useless' myth of yesterday's Weasel doctrine.
The difference is that of being able to use your bombs on different targets while carrying mixed-missile (or mission) loads of AAARM to
suppress-as-you-go. Rather than holding up the show with a 'GSTF' action designed expressly to get X-number of confirmed site kills while the
legacy/secondary (AEF) force 'flows in' to get ready to do the majority of the infrastructure and warfighter elimination attacks.
I _do not_ like using the Raptor as a lobbed-horseshoe 'default Weasel'. Either in support of secondary packages or particularly to secure other
high value assets like the B-2 and F-117. That takes away from it's own operational freedoms and puts it at significant risk of being cross-roled
without enough overall mission-specific ordnance or positioning to do it's job.
Either let it BE the interdiction system of choice, avoiding threats it doesn't need to roll back. Or give it the weapons and sensorization to do
the DEAD mission correctly. If we're careful, a 60-80nm (supersonic sling bombed) GBU-39 can more or less outrange ANY practical defense with a
limited batter count of high capability SAM. But it won't adequately fast-suppress an active site threatening OTHER aircraft. Or even the Raptor
itself if it is forced to fly companion-close (and predictable).