Hello all, I am about to talk about a subject that is very interesting to me. That is air defense weapon systems. Most people here are interested in
aircraft (I used to be) but I have gained a lot of interest over the past few years in SAM systems.
The topic I am about to present shows how good training and motivation can win a war against a more technologically advanced enemy. This is going to
be applicable to future wars. If Iran or NK want to survie a modern attack against the F-22 and JSTARS, AWACS, combined with AGM-88 HARM missiles and
Tomahawks, they had better listen up.
It is not about how good your enemies technology is, it is how good you use the stuff you are given. A lot of stuff you will hear from me can be
googled for verification, I may miss some sources, but I assure you my facts are accurate. I will not use hypothetical weapon systems, only systems in
production. Nor will any discussion of hypothetical systems be discussed. Those are topics for other threads.
Lets look at the contenders in a modern air war campaign against ground targets.
PGM's (Precision guided munitions) eg:GBU-24, JDAM,JDAM-ER
Tomahawk Cruise missile
Support Craft: AWACS, JSTARs
The way I see the war is that don't try to fight the F-22 because it is superior in every way shape or form than any other production aircraft out
there. It is taxi for its weapons system. It is merely a weapon delivery system, and focus should be to defeat the weapons it delivers and to namely
harass the F-22. It may not be shot down, but harassing it can cause deviation from flight plans etc. If the F-22 is unable to suppress SAM fire, it
will only remain an F22 vs SAM fight and ground troops may be unable to move in or at least it will be a lot more difficult for them as their air
support will be diminished.
I will provide a story about one of the best air defense commanders I have heard about: former colonel of the Yugoslav Army Zoltán Dani. He was able
to down a F16, F117 and damage another F117 using a SAM system from 1963, namely the SA-3 Goa. I repeat that ancient 1960's technology with
motivation and training can defeat a superpower.
Former Lt Colonel Zoltan Dani:
He used hard training and getting to know his crews very well. He commanded an SA-3 battery and 200 men in his unit. He set up a system of ground
rules that his battery strictly adhered to. He studied his enemy (NATO) and his most formidable foe the F117 and AGM-88 HARM. He set up spies near the
Italian airbase (aviano I believe), all of this information was unclassified, but he did his research.
These were the basic rules he set up:
1) The battery must move constantly. The commander moved 100,000 KM through the course of the war.
2) Radars were only to be on for a maximum of 20 seconds after which the battery must move
3) Decoys were placed. These decoys were radars from Iraqi mig-21 planes
4) Two missile launch against a target to ensure a higher kill probability.
5) Tuning his radars to better acquire stealth targets.
6) Setting up spies near the enemy air bases and at various points to watch for aircraft.
It is amazing that a set of basic rules and rigorous training can do. The genius commander Dani never lost a SINGLE
radar to the AGM-88 Harm.
Another advantage Commander Dani had was that the terrain was mountainous and that the AWACs could not look at oblique angles on hillsides.
US and NATO aircraft fired at least 743 HARMs against radars supporting these enemy SAMs
NATO spokesmen conceded that they could confirm the destruction of only three of Serbia’s approximately 25 known mobile SA-6 batteries
persistent AAA and MANPADS threat- to require NATO fighters to operate above a 15,000-foot floor throughout most of the air effort. Although allied
pilots could effectively counter the older SA-7 with flares if they saw it in time, the SA-9/13, SA-14, SA-16, and SA-18 presented a more formidable
The constant SAM threat meant that the air craft had to operate at higher altitudes, which meant less support for ground troops. Keep in mind this is
Now back to our scenario. So we have an AWACs and JSTAR providing intel and an F-22 sortie ready to fly in and take out an enemy SAM system. Sounds
pretty easy because it is the F22 but we can make it more interesting. The F-22 squadron can unleash a whole lot of HARMs toward the enemy SAM. This
is where the Tor-m2E and Pantsir S-1 comes in. Theses systems are designed to shoot down HARM's, PGM's and Tomahawks instead of fighting the F-22,
they leave the middle man out of the equation.
If we are to follow Commander Dani's rules the SAM systems can be mobile and defend the unit against tomahawks and HARMs. This battery of Tor and
Pantsir can defend the S400 system which is there to harass the f-22. This integrated system may not be able to shoot down a f-22 but can certainly
defend against the attacks that an f-22 is providing. If you neutralize the F22 threat the battle is reduced in complexity. The only way an enemy can
fight the F22 is to fight its weapons being delivered using Commander Dani's tactics. This is the only way to win against the F22. If other countries
are to learn about surviving a modern attack somewhat successfully they had better listen to Commander Dani. I can see this failure in Libya's air
defense system right now. They did not prepare for defense against the tomahawks. Appropriate setup of point defense weapons can defeat the tomahawk
with some success, so you are able to save yourself. Some people never learn.