S-400 and F-35

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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boogieman

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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 10:05

usnimitz wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:
boogieman wrote:Definitely they are very dangerous. Patriot missile accidentally shooting down F/A-18 and Tornado in 2003 and killing the crew members shows just how deadly these modern missile systems are. They are far more deadly than older SAM systems like SA-2 and SA-3 and even those have shot down modern 4th gen fighters like F-15 and F-16.


Thanks for the help. I knew Fighter jets are mosquitoes for S-400. :wink:


Don't be silly. The relationship between SAM systems and tactical aircraft is a constant game of rock-paper-scissors. S300/400/500 are no different in this regard.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 10:15

Even the most advanced Air Defense Networks over the years. Have always been "breached"....
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botsing

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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 11:57

usnimitz wrote:Thanks for the help. I knew Fighter jets are mosquitoes for S-400. :wink:

Thanks for the help. I knew you were a troll. :wink:
"Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know"
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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 13:01

Corsair1963 wrote:Even the most advanced Air Defense Networks over the years. Have always been "breached"....


If air supremacy is achieved, then it's usually just a matter of time and hard work to breach the IADS. Having both viable and effective fighter and support aircraft and ground based air defences working together makes things much more difficult. I'd say the best such total system currently in existence is in the US Navy. Combined and networked force of Super Hornet, Growler, E-2D, SM-2/3/6, ESSM and RAM missiles (and a lot of them) working under NIFC-CA and having extremely capable shipborne radars and other sensors. Add F-35B/C to the mix and it gets much better still. Also not forgetting the new AN/TPS-80 radars and EW systems the ships. Breaching that would be very difficult for anybody IMO.
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boogieman

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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 13:15

hornetfinn wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Even the most advanced Air Defense Networks over the years. Have always been "breached"....


If air supremacy is achieved, then it's usually just a matter of time and hard work to breach the IADS. Having both viable and effective fighter and support aircraft and ground based air defences working together makes things much more difficult. I'd say the best such total system currently in existence is in the US Navy. Combined and networked force of Super Hornet, Growler, E-2D, SM-2/3/6, ESSM and RAM missiles (and a lot of them) working under NIFC-CA and having extremely capable shipborne radars and other sensors. Add F-35B/C to the mix and it gets much better still. Also not forgetting the new AN/TPS-80 radars and EW systems the ships. Breaching that would be very difficult for anybody IMO.


Agree 100% To their credit though I would expect the Russian IADS in Russia and the Chinese IADS in China to be way up there too. We can get bogged down in the minutia of which systems are better than one another but the sheer density of IADS coverage that exists in parts of both those countries is pretty crazy.
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ricnunes

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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 13:48

hornetfinn wrote:That's true and we have to remember that max range applies to basically non-maneuverable targets flying straight and level towards the S-400 system. Engaging maneuverable targets cuts down the range a lot in every single SAM system. For example SAMP/T has max range of 120 km against large non-maneuverable aircraft like tankers and cargo aircraft. However against fighters the range is said to be about 30-50 km depending on situation. S-400 will also have shorter range against maneuverable fighter aircraft than the max range.



Note that regarding the 400km I was mainly replying to the OP (usnimitz) since he said 400 miles instead of 400km (which is the actual top range) or resuming his figure put the range of the S-400's longest range missile at a higher range than reality.
But of course that you're totally right when saying that the 40N6E missile's range of 400km is only useful against non-maneuvering straight-flying targets. However this prompts me to the following question:
- Since the 40N6E is active-radar guided wouldn't this give the S-400 system/missile a better chance to surprise an enemy aircraft like a fighter aircraft and thus catching the fighter aircraft in a non-maneuvering straight-flying flight path (since there's a chance that the targeted aircraft would only learn about the incoming missile in the very late stages of the missile's flight/path when the missile's active radar starts emitting)?


hornetfinn wrote:Besides, most S-400 systems will have only couple of those huge 40N6E missiles and most of the missiles have range below 250 km.

Of course S-400 is really dangerous system for any fighter jet flying inside their reach. VLO fighters with great SA will be quite safe but others have to use long range weapons, a lot of support and/or very dangerous low level flight paths. All these make things more difficult and slow down the air campaign. F-35 really changes things as it will be very difficult for S-400 to detect, track and engage successfully before being targeted itself.


Yes, that's also true indeed. But notice that long range weapons that could theoretically allow a 4th gen fighter aircraft to shoot against S-400 systems - basically we're talking about cruise missiles - aren't suitable to engage such targets (by the time they reach and/or if the S-400 moves away they will miss) and are way too expensive to be used against such targets.


hornetfinn wrote:If air supremacy is achieved, then it's usually just a matter of time and hard work to breach the IADS. Having both viable and effective fighter and support aircraft and ground based air defences working together makes things much more difficult. I'd say the best such total system currently in existence is in the US Navy.


I fully agree.
Whoever get's the air superiority will end up winning the war (at least the aerial part of it but most likely the entire conventional war as well).

May I also add that there's another thing that makes the US Navy IADS system so deadly:
- These systems, even the heaviest and most powerful ones are entirely based on moving platforms (ships) even when shooting long range SAM missiles while their land based longer-ranged counterparts must be static when searching, tracking and shooting.
Last edited by ricnunes on 17 Dec 2019, 13:54, edited 1 time in total.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 13:51

Why wouldn't modern MAWS or EOTS pick up a missile coming from 400km away? It has to be awfully warm by then.
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ricnunes

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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 13:58

SpudmanWP wrote:A proper ingress would involve attacking (ESM and kinetic) each radar threat as it becomes a threat. This is why sending an entire package necessary to attack a deep target (ie the S-400 itself) requires multiple waves tasked with clearing a pathway to the target.

This is the reason and main advantage of a 5th gen force like the F-35. Using it's shared sensor network it can accurately map out the threats long before they become a threat. Once it knows where the threats are, a 5th gen force can wind it's way past the initial threat layers in order to attack targets deeper in enemy territory.



Yes, true indeed.
Such tactics can indeed improve the chances of 4th gen fighter aircraft against these modern Air Defense Systems such as the S-400 but may I point out (and adding to what you said above) that these tactics won't probably save the 4th gen fighter aircraft fleet from some considerable loses, this as opposed to 5th gen fighter aircraft like the F-35.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 17:51

ricnunes wrote:

- Since the 40N6E is active-radar guided wouldn't this give the S-400 system/missile a better chance to surprise an enemy aircraft like a fighter aircraft and thus catching the fighter aircraft in a non-maneuvering straight-flying flight path (since there's a chance that the targeted aircraft would only learn about the incoming missile in the very late stages of the missile's flight/path when the missile's active radar starts emitting)?


The S-400 guidance radar would be a tip off to a fighter, long before the missile went active.



Yes, that's also true indeed. But notice that long range weapons that could theoretically allow a 4th gen fighter aircraft to shoot against S-400 systems - basically we're talking about cruise missiles - aren't suitable to engage such targets (by the time they reach and/or if the S-400 moves away they will miss) and are way too expensive to be used against such targets.


There are non-cruise missile options currently available (i.e. JSOW, AARGM), and new weapons that will be available soon (i.e. AARGM-ER, JSM, JSOW-ER, as well as AGM-183, HAWC, etc...), that would allow 4th generation jets to engage S-400s from relative safety. As for weapons being way too expensive to target S-400s, I doubt that would be a consideration. There would be few priorities that are higher, than taking out S-400 sites. I suspect JASSM variants would also be widely used, as hunter aircraft/platforms located targets, for killer aircraft carrying long range weapons.
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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 18:30

ricnunes wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:Yes, that's also true indeed. But notice that long range weapons that could theoretically allow a 4th gen fighter aircraft to shoot against S-400 systems - basically we're talking about cruise missiles - aren't suitable to engage such targets (by the time they reach and/or if the S-400 moves away they will miss) and are way too expensive to be used against such targets.


SAM systems are very expensive and definitely worth the cost of a few cruise missiles. Just firing the missiles may make the system shut down.

"The S-400 guidance radar would be a tip off to a fighter, long before the missile went active. "

Today's systems can fake guidance and even spoof sending track updates even when no missile is in the air.
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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 20:06

wrightwing wrote:The S-400 guidance radar would be a tip off to a fighter, long before the missile went active.


LPI + TVM + ARH. In most cases fighter will know missile is closing by MAWS not RWR. RWR would only detect it when missile go active, MAWS would detect it from longer range.
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ricnunes

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Unread post17 Dec 2019, 21:45

wrightwing wrote:The S-400 guidance radar would be a tip off to a fighter, long before the missile went active.


Well no, because the S-400 radar would be emitting in the exact same way as doing a (simple) search and therefore there would be no way (or would be extremely hard) for a counter-radar surveillance system such as a RWR to detect an incoming missile active-guided missile, this before it gets active.
It would be like an aircraft that was shot at with an AMRAAM to know that the AMRAAM is incoming before it becomes active, this based on radar/radio waves (RWR) alone which again and also, it's not possible.

The only way for an aircraft to detect an incoming active-guided missile before it gets active would be like madrat and milosh mentioned by using a MAWS (and even the effectiveness of most MAWS in such situations would be questionable).


wrightwing wrote:There are non-cruise missile options currently available (i.e. JSOW, AARGM), and new weapons that will be available soon (i.e. AARGM-ER, JSM, JSOW-ER, as well as AGM-183, HAWC, etc...), that would allow 4th generation jets to engage S-400s from relative safety.


I beg to differ.
The AARGM and JSOW have a reported maximum range of 60+ nauticals miles and 70 nautical miles respectively which puts 4th gen fighter aircraft equipped with these weapons well within the range of S-400 systems and their wide array of missiles.
Weapons such as the AARGM-ER or JSOW-ER could indeed improve things but 4th gen aircraft with these improved/extended-ranged weapons would probably still be dangerously close or still within range of S-400 systems, specially when armed with longer ranged missiles. As such I disagree that 4th gen fighter aircraft with such weapons would be "safe" from modern Air Defense Systems such as the S-400, although granted such aircraft with such weapons would indeed be able to destroy some/many of these systems (but not without considerable loses).

Moreover, due to the fact that 4th gen fighter aircraft are detectable from very long ranges by a wide array of radar systems, it would be much easier to devise "ambush" tactics against 4th gen fighter aircraft using systems like the S-400 such as for example:
- Having S-400 systems scattered and hidden around while having EW and other radars to pick up and track the incoming 4th gen fighter aircraft and the S-400 would only "light up" and engage when the 4th gen fighter aircraft would be well within range.
Such tactic above would be very hard to use against 5th gen stealth aircraft since the enemy cannot detect and thus track these aircraft at long ranges and thus limiting if not completely defeat such tactic.

Lets' face it - there's a reason why 5th gen stealth fighter aircraft like the F-35 are and will be the future. One of the reasons is that the survivability of 4th gen fighter aircraft against the newest Air Defense System is questionable at best (this, even with better weapons).


wrightwing wrote:As for weapons being way too expensive to target S-400s, I doubt that would be a consideration. There would be few priorities that are higher, than taking out S-400 sites. I suspect JASSM variants would also be widely used, as hunter aircraft/platforms located targets, for killer aircraft carrying long range weapons.


notkent wrote:SAM systems are very expensive and definitely worth the cost of a few cruise missiles. Just firing the missiles may make the system shut down.


The problem is not only the price/cost of such weapons "per se".
Another problem is like I previous mentioned, that such long range cruise missiles have a very low chance to be able to get, hit and destroy such Air Defense Systems, specially against a smart enemy that keeps them "on the move". So you not only have a very expensive weapon (employed against an expensive system, granted) but this one with a quite low probability of hitting/killing the enemy air-defense systems.

Another problem is that very expensive weapons such as cruise missiles are usually available in rather low and/or very limited numbers and as such there could only be enough of such weapons to be used against the most strategical (and thus more important) target such as Factories, HQ/Command&Control Centers, Airbases, certain bridges, etc... and not much of those weapons could be left for going after Air-Defense Systems such as the S-400 (and quite ineffectively so).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post18 Dec 2019, 10:26

ricnunes wrote:
wrightwing wrote:The S-400 guidance radar would be a tip off to a fighter, long before the missile went active.


Well no, because the S-400 radar would be emitting in the exact same way as doing a (simple) search and therefore there would be no way (or would be extremely hard) for a counter-radar surveillance system such as a RWR to detect an incoming missile active-guided missile, this before it gets active.
It would be like an aircraft that was shot at with an AMRAAM to know that the AMRAAM is incoming before it becomes active, this based on radar/radio waves (RWR) alone which again and also, it's not possible.

The only way for an aircraft to detect an incoming active-guided missile before it gets active would be like madrat and milosh mentioned by using a MAWS (and even the effectiveness of most MAWS in such situations would be questionable).


I totally agree. I'd say that with S-400 or Patriot system the threat aircraft would likely know the direction and possibly approximate area where the SAM radar is. It would depend on missile guidance method if the emissions change during the engagement with spesific search and illumination modes. With SARH/TVM guidance the target aircraft would see change in emissions and would likely know when under attack. But the problem is that happens only during terminal phase of the engagement. Pretty much all modern long range SAMs have mid-course updates using data links and INS/GPS guidance in the missile to not tip off the targets before terminal phase. With ARH guidance it's basically the same problem. The guidance radar is using the same kind of emissions to search and track targets and only warning is when the ARH head of the missile activates.

MAWS that use UV would be nearly useless against such a long range missile. They have so short range and rely on missile being very hot (rocket motor still burning). Radar MAWS (like in EF Typhoon) likely would detect the missile at some point, but those have rather short range (small radars with wide FoV/FoR and high frequencies used). IR MAWS like in Dassault Rafale, F-22 and F-35 would likely be able to detect and track the launch and missile flight.

Having VLO stealth and great SA and EW capabilties makes 5th gen aircraft so much survivable against such a threat and much more capable of achieving their mission objectives. Besides modern day missiles are very deadly even if detected and tracked by the pilot. They have so much better maneuverability, speed and accuracy than older missiles that avoiding them is far more difficult. While EW systems help even 4th gen fighters, having VLO signature is going to help immensely.
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Unread post18 Dec 2019, 11:10

hornetfinn wrote:
ricnunes wrote:
wrightwing wrote:The S-400 guidance radar would be a tip off to a fighter, long before the missile went active.


Well no, because the S-400 radar would be emitting in the exact same way as doing a (simple) search and therefore there would be no way (or would be extremely hard) for a counter-radar surveillance system such as a RWR to detect an incoming missile active-guided missile, this before it gets active.
It would be like an aircraft that was shot at with an AMRAAM to know that the AMRAAM is incoming before it becomes active, this based on radar/radio waves (RWR) alone which again and also, it's not possible.

The only way for an aircraft to detect an incoming active-guided missile before it gets active would be like madrat and milosh mentioned by using a MAWS (and even the effectiveness of most MAWS in such situations would be questionable).


I totally agree. I'd say that with S-400 or Patriot system the threat aircraft would likely know the direction and possibly approximate area where the SAM radar is. It would depend on missile guidance method if the emissions change during the engagement with spesific search and illumination modes. With SARH/TVM guidance the target aircraft would see change in emissions and would likely know when under attack. But the problem is that happens only during terminal phase of the engagement. Pretty much all modern long range SAMs have mid-course updates using data links and INS/GPS guidance in the missile to not tip off the targets before terminal phase. With ARH guidance it's basically the same problem. The guidance radar is using the same kind of emissions to search and track targets and only warning is when the ARH head of the missile activates.

MAWS that use UV would be nearly useless against such a long range missile. They have so short range and rely on missile being very hot (rocket motor still burning). Radar MAWS (like in EF Typhoon) likely would detect the missile at some point, but those have rather short range (small radars with wide FoV/FoR and high frequencies used). IR MAWS like in Dassault Rafale, F-22 and F-35 would likely be able to detect and track the launch and missile flight.

Having VLO stealth and great SA and EW capabilties makes 5th gen aircraft so much survivable against such a threat and much more capable of achieving their mission objectives. Besides modern day missiles are very deadly even if detected and tracked by the pilot. They have so much better maneuverability, speed and accuracy than older missiles that avoiding them is far more difficult. While EW systems help even 4th gen fighters, having VLO signature is going to help immensely.


Exactly. We also have to remember that taking out a modern theatre level GBAD asset like S400 is a system of systems event. It would involve a host of platforms ranging from dedicated ISR and EW aircraft to tankers, airborne decoys, UAS, the tactical aircraft themselves and their weapons. You might even see strategic air involved in some cases.

I think this is crucial to remember because in a Day 1 peer level scenario the S400 would be embedded in its own system of systems which would include red air, ISR, EW and SHORAD assets. A tough nut to crack to be sure, but I dare say not an impossible one.
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Unread post18 Dec 2019, 14:41

ricnunes wrote:
wrightwing wrote:The S-400 guidance radar would be a tip off to a fighter, long before the missile went active.


Well no, because the S-400 radar would be emitting in the exact same way as doing a (simple) search and therefore there would be no way (or would be extremely hard) for a counter-radar surveillance system such as a RWR to detect an incoming missile active-guided missile, this before it gets active.
It would be like an aircraft that was shot at with an AMRAAM to know that the AMRAAM is incoming before it becomes active, this based on radar/radio waves (RWR) alone which again and also, it's not possible.

The waveforms used for Search are different than those used for tracking and providing guidance to a missile. A simple search will not give the resolution required for calculating an intercept. Also searches are not performed as often as pulses are sent to a target under track.

notkent wrote:SAM systems are very expensive and definitely worth the cost of a few cruise missiles. Just firing the missiles may make the system shut down.


The problem is not only the price/cost of such weapons "per se".
Another problem is like I previous mentioned, that such long range cruise missiles have a very low chance to be able to get, hit and destroy such Air Defense Systems, specially against a smart enemy that keeps them "on the move". So you not only have a very expensive weapon (employed against an expensive system, granted) but this one with a quite low probability of hitting/killing the enemy air-defense systems.

The US has thousands of cruise missiles and has shown a willingness to fire as many are needed. Once the SAM systems are degraded then the more numerous guided weapons can be used. A SAM is useless when it is moving and making it shut down and move is a mission kill and leaves your airbases and other high value target undefended.
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