TAB-V = Theater Air Base Vulnerability
A mid-60s period study which 'suddenly' discovered that sitting in the middle of a nuclear warzone with a 12-15,000ft runway and satellites overhead
was not such a good idea both for aircraft sheltering and all the support functions housed on said field.
The TAB-V HAS was among the protective improvements implemented (which is why it is rounded like an arch instead of square like a barn) as a
Pardon my ignorance but this 'ex-victor' installation is a security design concept? Or another hangar formation?
Victor Alert aircraft were those kept on permanent cocked-and-locked (PAL on bomb) nuclear launch status on a restricted hardstand with it's own
shelters and fuel behind a separate fenced enclosure within the existing base complex. It was more to secure the weapons igloos from all but a select
group of weaponeers and pilots (I'm not sure but that even basic maintenance didn't actually go on outside the shelter area with aircraft rotated in
and out) as a guard against sabotage than anything related to direct physical security.
If you were inside the fence (which was under camera and always run on a 2-man privelege watched over by nuke-trained SPs when an armed aircraft was
in-situ) you either belonged or were in a HUGE amount of trouble.
On a separate note, correct me if I'm wrong but the USAF has never really concentrated much on designing a/c(and thus the involved flight
tactics)that serve as N capable fighter-bombers. Its always been more of a cruise/ballistic and pure bomber approach aye?
Wellllll. No. Not really. While a wide range of aircraft undertook the nuclear mission, the best were always specialist types and included the
B-57, 105 and 111. It should also be noted that a lot of the theater nuclear mission was in fact a SAC one, especially early on, with the B-47.
On second thoughts the B-61 has been configured for almost every major USAF fighter as well :F-104,A-4,A-6,A-7,F-15 variants and F 18 variants..
Question though: Was it ever configured for the F 14 Tomcat and is it presumably configured for the F-22 and F-35(internal bays)?
Maybe a problem of it being too large for internal stores and thus a stealth compromise for the F-22 & F-35 ?
Does it fit ok into the bay of the F117?
To my knowledge, the Tomcat was never nuclear roled, simply because the early specialist racks were never procured and the later BRU-32 came online
only after the nuclear-air mission had largely left the Navy. The F-14 was such a maintenance hag to keep flying in the FADF mission set that there
frankly wasn't much interest in 'other missions'. Part of what killed it no doubt.
Depending on variant, the B-61 is about 11.2 to 11.75ft long with a 22.5" wingspan. Comparitively, the GBU-32 is about 10ft long with a 19.6"
wingspan (though, at 715-800lbs, the B61 is nearly 500lbs lighter in all variants).
Clearance from the F-22 is going to be iffy IMO, while on the F-35 and F-117 fit and release should be fine such that it's going to be more about the
AMAC or 'Aircraft Monitoring And Control' equipment which is more or less a strippable databus system specifically designed for compatibility with
one of the 5, 6 or 12 digit coded arming sequencers known as 'CAT B/D/F PAL' or Permissive Action Link. This particular interface is crucial to the
powerup and arming of the weapons and while my knowledge is dated (they may be using something closer to the 1760 now) without it in place, the
weapons simply _will not_ be droppable as anything more than inert. Everything with PAL compliance either onboard or 'possible' has to be declared
and that gets you into trouble with a whole bunch of treaties even now that Stealth is out of the black.
As with so many other things dumb and dumberer in the USAF nuclear mission, I have never figured out why the graduation from penetrating tacair to
strategic standoff (CM) weapons platform role allocation has been demarcated by the stupidity of using ballistic ordnance on the former and very high
DAYs on the latter.
If you need a nuclear penetrator 'outside of war' conditions (i.e. against a rogue state) it had jolly well better contribute to the problem by
being shot down getting to the target area and the SRAM was the best nuke we ever had for ensuring that with _superb_ inertial accuracies, even in the
analog gyro days of the AGM-69.
With the AGM-131B SRAM-T we would have had a followon weapons system that made almost any aircraft tasked with nuclear delivery more survivable by
standoff than a stealth is by reduced RCS with ballistic laydowns.
Add this the WX plus flashover worries of an IRADS-as-ARBS delivery approach in Korean winter weather and there is simply no excuse for employing a
radarless Nighthawk as a nuclear laydown platform, IMO. Ballistic is as ballistic is and without the standoff of the F-22, you can't even ensure
random approach options to a given delivery basket (as dictated by target terrain, nearby civillian centers, ingress defenses etc.).