F-35 to intercept the Tu-160 or SR-71

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

rowbeartoe

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 34
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2016, 06:30

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 06:25

Hi Everyone.

I had a similar topic brought up when talking about the F-15X as an interceptor but recent news (likely fake) said that a Mach 2 capable Russian bomber outran the Mach 1.6 F-35.

https://fighterjetsworld.com/latest-new ... ets/19117/

Based on what I learned on the other posts this doesn't seem likely but made me think about another scenario. I read once that Russia was able to deter the SR-71 with the Mig 25/31.

If we only had F-35's could they intercept Tu-160's or an SR-71?

Thank you
Offline

charlielima223

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1079
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2014, 19:26

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 07:09

I cant seem to open up the link provided. Though if the original source is from a Russian news outlet, I woud take it with a healthy sprinkling with salt given the fact that the vast majority of media and news outlets in Russia are state own and ran. Also it wouldn't surprise me if that little click baity article or story was inspire by this little CG film...
Offline
User avatar

rowbeartoe

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 34
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2016, 06:30

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 07:15

https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.blog ... utrun.html


I think this link will have it. But I agree- I think it's very unlikely. Still, it brings up the intercept question. Can F-35's intercept the Tu-160 or for fun, can they intercept an SR-71. My guess is, they can. With those advanced radars, how they can share info with other F-35s, I don't see why they couldn't ambush the SR-71 or Tu-160. But that's just my guess.
Offline

hornetfinn

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2883
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2013, 08:31
  • Location: Finland

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 07:56

I'd say that F-35 has pretty good chance in ambushing Tu-160 or even SR-71. Stealth is one thing that would make it very difficult for those target aircraft to know when they are being intercepted. With previous gen fighters, those aircraft would know well before when they are being intercepted. Same thing with most advanced networking capability which allows all kinds of new tactics to be employed by the F-35s.

Sure those bombers could outrun F-35 in a straight line once they got to full speed. It would take them a fairly long time before they got there and they would have extremely limited maneuverability. So they might be able to run away from F-35 or most other aircraft if they got to near their max speed. They would not need much headstart in that case to make it impossible for even F-22 to intercept them as those bombers could easily run fighter aircraft out of fuel.
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5885
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 10:35

hornetfinn wrote:I'd say that F-35 has pretty good chance in ambushing Tu-160 or even SR-71. Stealth is one thing that would make it very difficult for those target aircraft to know when they are being intercepted. With previous gen fighters, those aircraft would know well before when they are being intercepted. Same thing with most advanced networking capability which allows all kinds of new tactics to be employed by the F-35s.

Sure those bombers could outrun F-35 in a straight line once they got to full speed. It would take them a fairly long time before they got there and they would have extremely limited maneuverability. So they might be able to run away from F-35 or most other aircraft if they got to near their max speed. They would not need much headstart in that case to make it impossible for even F-22 to intercept them as those bombers could easily run fighter aircraft out of fuel.



First Look, First Shot, and First Kill! :twisted:
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2253
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 13:34

Corsair1963 wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:I'd say that F-35 has pretty good chance in ambushing Tu-160 or even SR-71. Stealth is one thing that would make it very difficult for those target aircraft to know when they are being intercepted. With previous gen fighters, those aircraft would know well before when they are being intercepted. Same thing with most advanced networking capability which allows all kinds of new tactics to be employed by the F-35s.

Sure those bombers could outrun F-35 in a straight line once they got to full speed. It would take them a fairly long time before they got there and they would have extremely limited maneuverability. So they might be able to run away from F-35 or most other aircraft if they got to near their max speed. They would not need much headstart in that case to make it impossible for even F-22 to intercept them as those bombers could easily run fighter aircraft out of fuel.



First Look, First Shot, and First Kill! :twisted:


And even if for some very unlikely reason the Tu-160 (or hypothetical SR-71) is able to detect an incoming/intercepting F-35 in a timely manner so that it can turn 180º back and be able to run away then:
- Interception successful, isn't it? :wink:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
Offline
User avatar

steve2267

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2243
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2016, 17:36

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 14:46

This question implies that the F-35 is worthless because it cannot intercept a Mach 2 Russian bomber.

Let me pose an equally meaningful question:

Can the F-35 fly into orbit? That is, is it SSTO-capable? :drool:

The Sled evaded / outran Mach 3+ missiles, and was itself a Mach 3+ aircraft. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and state that a Mach 2+ aircraft can evade / outrun a Mach 1.6 aircraft. So what?

A more relevant question would be: can a competent air defense network detect a Mach 2 intruder and employ multiple Mach 1.6 interceptors from proper emplacements such that the interceptors can get to a firing solution launch point for their Mach 4+ missiles?

I think the answer depends on if the Mach 2 intruder is going to
  1. overfly defended territory (i.e. directly penetrate as if to drop gravity bombs or take pictures)
  2. skirt defended territory
  3. proceed to a launch point to deploy some sort of cruise missile

Another variable into this equation is how far away can the Mach 2 intruder be detected and tracked? If the Mach 2 intruder is below the radar horizon and sprinting in to drop a Mach 2+ or 3+ cruise missile, and detection is "late", then good luck. That's a tough problem. But I highly doubt a Mach 2+ / 3+ cruise missile will be on the deck. The Q will be extremely high, as will the heating rates. It will probably be coming in at 40,000ish feet, if not much higher. A Mach 2 intruder dashing to drop a nap-of-earth, high-subsonic cruise missile at or below the radar horizon would seem to be more of a nightmare scenario. In such scenarios, a Mach 2.5+ interceptor might help, but by how much? I'm guessing the few seconds saved do not merit the billions of $ required to develop such an aircraft. (Or purchase the F-15EX... which won't exceed Mach 1.6 in any tactical scenario anyway...)

What a silly, pointless mind game.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
Online
User avatar

Gums

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2299
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2003, 17:26

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 16:24

Salute!

We went thru this before, and Steve and the Finn have answered the question.

The days of doing a stern conversion with lottsa overtake are long gone. Reason some folks wanted the 2M + was to get to the fight or intercept point as soon as possible. Even with a hundred knots or more of overtake in a stern chase you are burning gobs of gas and it takes you 6 minutes at 10 knots of overtake to gain a mile, so do some math. Back when we trained to intercept Bears and Bisons our profile was to roll out 4 miles in trail at 50 knots of overtake or more. Those old missiles need time to warm up and lockon and...... , except the Genie that was basically a large bullet and our onboard system did all the calculations for we carbon lifeforms to follow the steering and hold the trigger down.

Therefore, we "liked" beam shots and "loved" face shots. Hmmmmm.... Sparrow, as crude as it was, liked both. One of Ritchie's kills is on film and was a beautiful beam shot. With all-aspect heaters nowadays ( since the early 80's), the face shots are preferable, especially if you are slower than the target, right? We successfully intercepted mach 3 Bomarcs back in the 60's using good head-on lineups and snapping up from 40k or so to hit the 70,000 ft Bomarc. We could hit the slow things like the U-2 and WB-57 up there using a sterm attack due to our speed versus theirs.

The problem for the defense is the short time that you detect the enemy before it kills you or the high value friendly target you are defending. And if the approaching enemy is fairly low observable, you are toast.

Gums sends...
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
Offline

vilters

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1116
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2009, 00:16

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 16:34

Over 4.500 missiles have been shot at the SR-71 and none was ever hit.
And as Gums writes : Do you really want to spend your fuel chasing the impossible chase? :doh:
Offline

notkent

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 05 Apr 2019, 18:06

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 18:31

Wonder if the missiles were actually fired with the expectations of an successful shot down or to make the SR-71 alter its flight path in some way.

The SR-71 would have a harder time today with overflights of some of the more modern SAMs
Offline

milosh

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 874
  • Joined: 27 Feb 2008, 23:40
  • Location: Serbia, Belgrade

Unread post03 Dec 2019, 20:17

Only thing which F-35 could try to intercept is that new Chinese supersonic drone. SR-71 isn't flying and it is american, Tu-160 is armed with very long range cruise missiles so it doesn't need to came nowhere near target, in fact "close" range weapon Tu-160 is carring is AS-16 which is Mach 5 missile with 300km range (probable even more because info is for 1980s variant).
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5885
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post04 Dec 2019, 05:49

milosh wrote:Only thing which F-35 could try to intercept is that new Chinese supersonic drone. SR-71 isn't flying and it is american, Tu-160 is armed with very long range cruise missiles so it doesn't need to came nowhere near target, in fact "close" range weapon Tu-160 is carring is AS-16 which is Mach 5 missile with 300km range (probable even more because info is for 1980s variant).



The F-35 has exceptional range and can be refueled in mid-air. Also, the F-35 can see the Tu-160 at great distance. While, the reverse can't be said of the Tu-160.

In short many scenarios in which the F-35 could easily intercept the Tu-160 or any other bomber for that matter. :wink:
Offline

lbk000

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 273
  • Joined: 04 May 2017, 16:19

Unread post04 Dec 2019, 06:24

If you were a bomber crew how would you feel knowing there may or may not be any number of fighters you can't see between you and your launch point?
Offline
User avatar

rowbeartoe

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 34
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2016, 06:30

Unread post04 Dec 2019, 06:44

Am I wrong to conclude that the F-35 could ambush any non-stealth aircraft, even the mighty SR-71 which could cruise at Mach 3+. Obviously it would just mean you would need to have the F-35's in the area so that they could hunt. I didn't realize until reading from some of the responses, that the real "threat" seems to be more of the faster guided missiles rather than gravity bombs. It's going to get interesting when the world sadly catches up with stealth aircraft and missiles. Until then, I'm feeling safe from our training and F-35's even without help from the F-22, or 4th gen aircraft. That's at least what I'm understanding from everyone.
Offline

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5885
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post04 Dec 2019, 08:30

rowbeartoe wrote:Am I wrong to conclude that the F-35 could ambush any non-stealth aircraft, even the mighty SR-71 which could cruise at Mach 3+. Obviously it would just mean you would need to have the F-35's in the area so that they could hunt. I didn't realize until reading from some of the responses, that the real "threat" seems to be more of the faster guided missiles rather than gravity bombs. It's going to get interesting when the world sadly catches up with stealth aircraft and missiles. Until then, I'm feeling safe from our training and F-35's even without help from the F-22, or 4th gen aircraft. That's at least what I'm understanding from everyone.



Don't see that happening anytime soon. As future 6th Generation Fighters all have a high level of stealth in their designs... :wink:
Next

Return to General F-35 Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 22 guests