The bit about obout optical satellite assets...
If it's a satellite like a modernday Teal Ruby, I fully expect the use of hyperspectral imaging to allow for tracking of the threats not only from
lift-off (or tanker tracks as equally predictable locations) but from wakes.
Is a range tracking camera. It can be either fixed or mobile and while enormous it is /nothing/ compared to the size of longrange EWR systems.
And with that kind of capability, they can track tiny missiles moving hypersonically as much as a 100-150,000ft up. Compared to that target, subsonic
jets will be pathetically simple.
Weren't they(USAF) trying out LO grade paints on the stealth a/c (F-117s I think) for day usage?
That would hamper EO tracking a bit.
Optical LO, like any other signature reduction technique is not the art of 'no see'em' but rather /no see'em too good/.
Indeed, O-LO as isoluminance panels (the only working system we have at the moment) only works if the target is both simple enough (no edge breaks for
inlets, tails and external stores etc.) and SMALL ENOUGH to blend as a DISTANT target against a DISTANT (thus uniform) background. i.e. A small UCAV
with a monobody shape. Which is fine if you have a camera looking up through 15-20,000ft of gook (pollutants, water vapor, sand and dust; basically
obscurrants of all kinds) since a single drop of water can 'hide' a distant-dot target by diffracting or absorbing the incident light.
But at coaltitude and above, the background starts to vary quite a bit (horizon terminator, surface terrain features, clouds etc. etc.) for both
intensity and definition of features and so matching the intensity as a color-temp (via MMW mapped radiometrics) gets to be a lot harder.
And then there's the affordability issue of modern imagers. If you take a system like the ADADS-
Which is essentially a manportable IRST-on-a-stick. And sling it beneath a balloon or aerostat with it's own 'stealth' (as RFLO) features, life
gets doubly complicated because for the same cost as 20 AA-12 you can buy 20 mini AWACS and the threat air team has to come get ALL of them lest they
be seen coming not just once but over and over and over again. Completely defeating the purpose of deceptive routing and target feint raid
While, as emitter sources, these sentry blimps need only last LONG ENOUGH to send one burst signal as raid warning (20 bandits, heading XX, altitude
YY, speed ZZ, I'm in sector 14), from an altitude of 50-70K feet in a total-envelope size of say 40X10X20ft (up high in the black where they may be
optically invisible themselves).
Because once the tallyho is given, even if you zap them like Hindenburgs, nothing can be done to save the package from subsequent engagement by
_flight after flight_ of turbine driven 'SAM' which, prelofted and themselves RF-tiny, sweep forward on the premise of FINDING the threat in the
spaces inbetween 'active coverage'.
A MALD can fly 250nm in 20 minutes. Or 10 minutes at Mach 1.2-1.4. This in a munition which is less than 8ft long and only weighs 100lbs. A flight
vehicle whose basic technology goes back to target drones of the immediate postwar (1957 Firebee etc.) era.
Thus 'point defense' (where any surface based system is limited by both the local horizon and the power of it's radar system in finding a given RCS
target to specifically proximal radius around it's geographic location point) becomes _volume defense_ whereby the threat raid must destroy
everything it encounters, just to keep progressing to the target. And each time if fails to do so before another 'here they are!' signal is sent,
MORE come along to attack.
Prosecute the fight on a 'by the numbers' basis of massed defense.
Such being where the other characteristic of the turbo-SAM comes into play given that it can make a second pass. And a third. And a fourth.
Buy yourself 1,000 S-300 missiles. Divide them up among 30 battery clusters of 3 radar and 12 TEL vehicles each. Assume that each battery thus has
48 missiles immediately available to engage with AND that they move once every 2hrs or so to keep from being fixed and blown in place.
If an inbound offensive raid force of 70-90 aircraft only flies by 10 such sites as a function of 'random surprise' and each site gets off 24
missiles before either being hardkill suppressed or watching the raid package 'vanish into the distance' of jamming as much as real range:signature
effect, MAYBE you get 72X.5 (SSPK overall) or 36 kills. While this is pretty horrific by our standards of acceptable casualties, it is still
essentially nothing compared to either the size of an in-theater massed force (which, even today, is going to be on the order of 700-800 airframes).
Nor of your total 1,000 round shotcount. Indeed, three days of losing 10 sites per day means losing your entire capability to prosecute a defensive
airwar. Three days of losing 36 planes per day means losing 108 planes or less than 14% of your total warfighter force. After which, you can pound
the bejeezus out of the hapless threat, as much as you like.
OTOH, if you purchase 500 TurboSAM with the same 'first pass' PK of .5 and THREE PASSES TOTAL. And you launch 200 of them under FDOW conditions
against _volume_ cued (on approach) targets. You will wipe the skies clean. Both because you mass more of your total inventory of shots to the
active engagement (far from the other, unengaged, conventional SAM batteries). And because each round gets effectively 3 bites at the apple and EACH
BITE has a .5 SSPK as the target speed is bled down by evasion. Which implies that, particularly against a stealth raider force where there are
relatively few assets actually penetrating, the enemy is going to run out of self-defense missiles before he can kill all your interceptors. And
probably be taken out from behind, even if he tries to run.
All because you are not _stupid_ enough to fix your engagement zone to your target acquisition arc. Nor are you MORONIC enough to base that
surveillance/TA system on an active-emission system spec when you can buy 4-5 times as many passive EO and acoustic alternatives and _never let your
enemy know_ that you're there seeing them until you burst-transmit their location.
Which is akin to a lone wolf's howl bringing the whole pack loping up your backtrail.
It works. It's simple. And it will render utterly obsolete both conventional air attack and the defenses against it for the first nation which has
the balls to say "No. We will not play the game". A game of evolutionarily progressive warfare solely to make a game of wasting billions upon
billions of dollar/yuan/euro equivalent funds to give employment to a corrupt military aristocracy. Something that we here in the U.S. at least, RAN
AWAY FROM two hundred years ago, so that we could stop being victimized by an unfair class system.