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a serious question about the US air force

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posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 07:08 PM
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in Most topics US members and some none US members
go on about how the US airforce can decimate anything in the world
with superior Air capibilities.

now i have read alot of topics on the US air force and its ageing fleet and how they are falling apart f-16s grounded, and so on.

is the US air force still all that and powerfull enough to project its power like most members seem to gloat about it in topics?




posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 07:14 PM
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reply to post by bodrul
 


It seemed to decimate Iraq and Afghanistan just fine...however as both of those conflicts demonstrate, some wars just can't be won from the sky, although we did just that in Kosovo back in '99.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 08:08 PM
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kosovo was won under pressure to actually invade it. The air campaign was not effective due to serbian ingenuity.

but yeah USAF has problems with its F15's and F16's.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 09:32 PM
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Yes, our fighters and bombers are aging, but the key to winning against another air force are the weapons used. And the missiles, and jammers, and decoys are getting better. And with the F-22 coming online that's another rather potent weapon system.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 09:43 PM
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People always jump up and down and flail their arms everywhere screaming about the problems and age of US aircraft without putting in perspective that despite its problems it is among the youngest air forces in the world, remember that most countries are still operating third generation aircraft.

In air force to air force combat the USAF will still best any other current air force, but with the spread of high-tech Russian SAMS it is questionable as to how much success the USAF would have against a modern mechanized air defense without a ground invasion.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by coconut
It seemed to decimate Iraq and Afghanistan just fine...however as both of those conflicts demonstrate, some wars just can't be won from the sky, although we did just that in Kosovo back in '99.


No war is won strictly thru airpower alone. Whoever made that quote didn't have a clue what he was talking about.

And Bodrul, to answer your question; Yep, the USAF can still kick ass even with our aging equipment. Our pilots/crew are better trained then the other guys.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by BlackWidow23
 


The problem being though still BW is that the USAF flies there planes tons more then some of those third gen planes in other countries. Not all of them are like Canada who ride ours hard into the ground.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 10:29 PM
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The USAF is still the most powerfull airforce in the world. I do not think this is in any dispute.

The whole concept of network centric warfare is still really in its infancy and shows huge promise for future conflicts.

As far as facing a modern integrated air defence system, it remains to be seen. While I suspect it would not be the cakewalk it has been in recent conflicts, we have yet to see an all out USAF assult either incorporating SEAD, jamming, stealth, and the like.

For that matter, the fearsome Soviet air defence systems have never really been put to a full test either. There is a tendacy of some to give near mythological status to such systems that have never really been tested against an fully intergrated Air Force like the USAF



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 07:32 AM
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While it's true that the US Air Force's fleet of F-15's and F-16's, C-5's and tankers are ageing, they are still less aged than 90% of other countries air forces.
Arguably, India, China and Russia are the only potential enemies of the US in the world that could put up a decent fight against the USAF or US Navy.

However, what makes the USAF so formidable is not just the aircraft or even it's unprecidented accuracy of weaponry, it's the electronic attack capabilities that are still in their infancy.

During Kosovo the USAF used stealth and an attack on the Serbian national electrical grid to gain access to enemy airspace and we all are familiar with the NATO losses in that air campaign - including the loss of an F-117 Stealth fighter.
Lessons were learned, countermeasures have been developed and fielded, and their sophistication continues to advance.

How would the USAF fare today against modern air defense systems?

The answer comes looking no further than the September 2007 Israeli raid on a suspected Syrian nuclear weapon research site on the Euphrates River.

After an embarrassing 2003 Israeli strike against a Palestinian terrorist camp near Damascus, Syria reorganized their entire air defense network with TOR-M1 mobile point defense systems, utilizing the SA-15 Gauntlet missile. These systems gave Syria the most potent air defense capability in the Middle East.

The September 2007 raid by Israel on the suspected Syrian nuclear site was as stealthy as it gets and it was done with conventional 4 & 4.5 generation aircraft. The Syrian air defense NEVER knew the Israelis were there. It was such a spooky raid that the Syrians and AL Jazeera tried to spin it as if the USAF did it.

The US did in fact provide advice and monitored the raid - the Israeli aircraft even used USAF IFF codes to assist in the US's monitoring. This is interesting in that normally the IFF squawk is turned off in combat situations such as this.
Why did it not matter that the Israeli aircraft were transmitting IFF signals?

Electronic attack.


This electronic attack on Syria's air defense was conducted from 2 EA systems:
Network-centric collaborative targeting (NCCT), which finds targets
Senior Suter, a component of the highly classified Big Safari program

This raid was so effective it had the Iranians seriously concerned and expressing those concerns to Russian air defense companies.

Is the USAF still bad ass?

Yes. But not through brute force - it's called "finesse" - Electronic Attack.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 07:44 AM
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All great points but i guess my point is that the fleets are aging faster then expected because they are flying more then expected hence they wont last as long with out more money being poured in. The ability of the USAF as a top notch air force isn't the question. It much more along the lines of how serious of a oversight is it that these planes are not up to par for the lifetime that is now asked of them.

Do you see that as being a problem as I do or are people saying that tech will over come the short falls of over stressed airframes and should I hazard to say crews? The B-2 and B-1 crashes along with the high number of 15 and 16 accidents which I've been research point to a couple things. 1 That its unavoidable and accidents will happen but 2 these numbers and serious of the accidents seem unusually high.

I guess my thinking is that if I was in some sort of leadership role I'd be call more then a few meetings and talking to my pilots to see if they are hiding the fact of the stresses and fatigue because "they are big tough guys thats nothing is too hard for." In fact they are tough and probably some of the best but they are still human and is the weak link here then men or the planes.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 07:55 AM
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My guess is the reason losses seem high right now is due to three things: first, a higher sortie rate due to the global situation and training related to it. Second, a/c have much longer operational lives then planes in the fifties and sixties which were frequently replaced within 10 years or fewer of becoming operational. They are also subjected to more stresses than previous a/c. And we don't remember a few generations back when losses due to training and cockpit error were relatively more common place.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by intelgurl
 


The syrian TOR-1M systems were either not deployed to that area (in fact it has no air defence cover - see planemans thread about syrian sam capability) or the others which were recently delivered werent at IOC.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 09:06 AM
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reply to post by _Del_
 


So basically the same type of point I've been out lining right Del lol

Its not a fun situation but your new point about training even 30 years ago and the accidents rates then is something to chew on.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 

I would have to disagree with you totally and completely.
According to those I've spoken to as well as Aviation Week, there were 2 TOR-M1 systems in the vicinity of the suspected nuclear site. TOR is a very mobile system.

Planeman's thread was authored when? 2006? hmmm
The raid was when? September 2007...



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 10:30 AM
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Again a point we disagree on as i have sources which give the location of the TOR-1M systems as 500 miles further south; as for planemans thread - i am mistaken on the syrian one , but i know he made a post with regards to the location of the syrian sam systems in ragard to ths illegal attack.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 


No Intelgurl is correct; here is a good article about US efforts in the electronic attack arena. With the creation of the USAF's Cyberwarfare Command and the revamped interest in the topic the military is rapidly researching, developing and fielding, even changing doctrine to encompass this new medium of war in all areas and missions.

It discusses modern day Air Defense Systems and our ability to deal with them with EA.


China's integrated air defenses—based on cheap, sometimes stolen digital technology—are now considered potentially more threatening to the U.S. than Russia's. The wholesale use of commercial products has made Chinese networks flexible, easy to upgrade and tough to exploit.

That opinion, rapidly taking hold in the U.S. electronic warfare community, is part of the tsunami of air defense ana¬lysis following Israel's demonstration of its ability to shut down Syria's Russian-built air defenses long enough to conduct a bombing raid—and then allowed the radars to come back on in time to see the Israeli aircraft disappearing over the border (AW&ST Nov. 26, 2007, p. 28).

China's air defense expenditures are calculated by aerospace officials as only one-tenth of what's invested by the U.S. The Chinese systems are affordable, in part, because of the regular use of stolen U.S. technology—described as "Cisco in Chinese," by one specialist. The telecom companies that conduct and exploit the thefts are run by former People’s Liberation Army generals. The low cost allows rapid updating and proliferation of these defenses, which is one of the best ways to confound attack planners.

Link



The Syrian raid—which involved air-to-ground and network-to-network electronic invasion of a Russian-built IADS—is convincing some that custom-built, highly specialized and expensive air defenses with long development times are decreasing in deterrent value. In fact, they have become victims of their own uniqueness. Because they were hard to develop and field, they aren't often modified. That gives electronic warriors the time to conduct analysis and build countermeasures.

"Network warfare has been done for some time," says the intelligence official. "The difference now is that it's being integrated as part of an overall combined operation. The Israelis' raid on Syria wasn't just about shutting down the radars and blowing up the building. There were a lot of integrated operations that had to happen to make the raid successful. Cyberwarfare information operations was one component of what went on there."


I can imagine that the Russian's and everyone in the region and elsewhere who are dependant on similar systems are now rushing to figure out how to counter such and apparently awesome and utterly effective capability.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 11:48 AM
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i`ve read the aviation week article - i`ve also read the ones on DID , defencetech, military.com, defence-aviation and flightglobal as well - and for every article that says the TOR-1M is s**t and the entire system is junk , there is 1 saying it wasn`t nearby and wasn`t IOC , so printing reams of a link is pointless.

i will happily tear just 1 part of that article apart - then you judge the rest


China's integrated air defenses—based on cheap, sometimes stolen digital technology—are now considered potentially more threatening to the U.S. than Russia's.



Iraq`s air defence networking was supplied by china - the Huawei system - and if it was `so formidable` , well it didn`t stop anything did it.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 12:46 PM
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Um, intelgurl, I noticed your sig, and all, but I think you gave out semi-classified or at least very recently de-classified information? Don't get me wrong - I really enjoy your posts. I just don't want you to "disappear".

I heard a SEAL say something along the lines of your post - "We're not that great. It's just that everyone else sucks."



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
Again a point we disagree on as i have sources which give the location of the TOR-1M systems as 500 miles further south; as for planemans thread - i am mistaken on the syrian one , but i know he made a post with regards to the location of the syrian sam systems in ragard to ths illegal attack.

Ok, we will simply have to agree to disagree here.
But one thing more I have a problem with is calling this an "illegal attack".
By the book I concede that it is - but if this was a preemptive strike against a nuclear weapon research site as is rumored - then any nation in the vicinity would have been justified to shut it down, IMO.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by HatTrick
Um, intelgurl, I noticed your sig, and all, but I think you gave out semi-classified or at least very recently de-classified information? Don't get me wrong - I really enjoy your posts. I just don't want you to "disappear".

Recently declassified - I'm ok


[edit on 4-7-2008 by intelgurl]



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