S-400 and F-35

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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outlaw162

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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 00:41

Bidet........
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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 01:10

Bid eh? Apparently loo paper is being sold on the black web for exorbitant or exsorbing prices. I live in a NONbid eh land.
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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 01:37

the brown web, an unscrupulous lot, hands down
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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 02:47

boogieman wrote:



Agreed, I was deliberately being overly generous to the S400 wrt F35 RCS to illustrate just how dramatic the effect of VLO is. I suppose S400 could also focus its radar energy into a smaller volume of airspace when cued by something like Nebo-M or Protivnik GE, but I don't know how dramatic the effect would be.

The main issue I can see is that the F35s weapons may very well have a greater frontal RCS than the F35 itself. This would make it necessary to swamp the S400 with munitions (GBU53 + MALD-J) to ensure the Grave Stone FCR and point defence systems (Pantsir/Tor) are destroyed. This would effectively neutralise the site and allow the other components to be picked off more easily.

This is where cooperative EW, along with SiAW/AARGM-ER, etc... come into play
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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 04:44

wrightwing wrote:
boogieman wrote:



Agreed, I was deliberately being overly generous to the S400 wrt F35 RCS to illustrate just how dramatic the effect of VLO is. I suppose S400 could also focus its radar energy into a smaller volume of airspace when cued by something like Nebo-M or Protivnik GE, but I don't know how dramatic the effect would be.

The main issue I can see is that the F35s weapons may very well have a greater frontal RCS than the F35 itself. This would make it necessary to swamp the S400 with munitions (GBU53 + MALD-J) to ensure the Grave Stone FCR and point defence systems (Pantsir/Tor) are destroyed. This would effectively neutralise the site and allow the other components to be picked off more easily.

This is where cooperative EW, along with SiAW/AARGM-ER, etc... come into play


Yep, although even those would be fair game for things like 40N6 (~SM6 analogue), 48N6 (~PAC2/SM2), 9M96 (~PAC3) and point defences. You'd really want to launch a lot all at once to saturate the site quickly.
Last edited by boogieman on 28 Mar 2020, 04:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 04:47

Back in my late teenage to twenty-something years they were pushing gel bottoms in the soles of shoes. Drop nape canisters full of that slick stuff. Why worry about a sticky bomb when you can make it so they cannot possibly stop on it? That stuff was nasty on any surface.
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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 08:16

boogieman wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
boogieman wrote:



Agreed, I was deliberately being overly generous to the S400 wrt F35 RCS to illustrate just how dramatic the effect of VLO is. I suppose S400 could also focus its radar energy into a smaller volume of airspace when cued by something like Nebo-M or Protivnik GE, but I don't know how dramatic the effect would be.

The main issue I can see is that the F35s weapons may very well have a greater frontal RCS than the F35 itself. This would make it necessary to swamp the S400 with munitions (GBU53 + MALD-J) to ensure the Grave Stone FCR and point defence systems (Pantsir/Tor) are destroyed. This would effectively neutralise the site and allow the other components to be picked off more easily.

This is where cooperative EW, along with SiAW/AARGM-ER, etc... come into play


Yep, although even those would be fair game for things like 40N6 (~SM6 analogue), 48N6 (~PAC2/SM2), 9M96 (~PAC3) and point defences. You'd really want to launch a lot all at once to saturate the site quickly.

Well with EW greatly reducing reaction time/situational awareness/ability to target incoming munitions, and ARM/hypersonics holding anyone at risk that decides to radiate, it's not quite as bleak as you're making it. Pantsyr has had a pretty poor record of defending itself, much less other targets.
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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 08:38

wrightwing wrote:Well with EW greatly reducing reaction time/situational awareness/ability to target incoming munitions, and ARM/hypersonics holding anyone at risk that decides to radiate, it's not quite as bleak as you're making it. Pantsyr has had a pretty poor record of defending itself, much less other targets.

Oh no, nothing bleak about it. Just trying to maintain a dispassionate understanding of the other side's capabilities.

At the end of the day S400 is likely to be a very capable LR SAM system that can be plugged into a variety of different modern, high powered AESA arrays using different RF wavelengths. On paper it should be a tough nut to crack, but not an insurmountable one for a 5th gen airforce.

Agreed re: Pantsir - it seems to have been quite a disappointment. Tor sounds like it may be performing well though. It always did strike me as the better design. From the Russians themselves:
In the spring of 2018, the Tor-M2U complexes were transferred to Syria . It is reported that in total from April to October 2018, the Tor-M2U complexes shot down 80 air targets, with an efficiency of 80%. In turn, the effectiveness of using the Pantsir-C1 air defense missile defense system for the same period was 19%.

https://vz.ru/news/2018/11/2/949009.html
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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 14:17

Pantsir-C1 is too little iron in the air too late for defense. Maybe as a system it works out, but not as a standalone unit.

There simply is no substitute for air superiority over your own people.
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Unread post28 Mar 2020, 15:08

boogieman wrote:The main issue I can see is that the F35s weapons may very well have a greater frontal RCS than the F35 itself. This would make it necessary to swamp the S400 with munitions (GBU53 + MALD-J) to ensure the Grave Stone FCR and point defence systems (Pantsir/Tor) are destroyed. This would effectively neutralise the site and allow the other components to be picked off more easily.


Well, Small Diameter Bombs (GBU-39 and GBU-53) are reported to have low RCS, probably even very low RCS so their RCS isn't probably that much higher compared to a F-35 (a degree higher than the F-35 sure but not by much, I would say) and like the name says they are small.
These two features (Low or Very Low RCS and very small size) means that these weapons (GBU-39 and GBU-53) are quite hard to be shot down by enemy defenses which means that it will be the S400 that needs to "swamp munitions/missiles" at incoming Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) in order to shot down a single of these incoming (small) bombs, this probably more than otherwise.

Moreover, if we consider that a single S-400 battery is usually composed by 4 launchers with each launcher carrying a total of 4 ready to fire missiles then we're talking about 16 ready to fire missiles per S-400 battery. Now compared to a single F-35 which can carry up to 8 Small Diameter Bombs (all internally) then and IMO it's easy to figure out that the advantage is fully on the "F-35/SDB combo" side.

And all of this, not to mention that the cost of a single S-400 is most likely much higher than the cost of a single GBU-53 for instance.

And also note that I'm not even mentioning cooperative EW, along with SiAW/AARGM-ER, etc... which is an extremely valid point.

boogieman wrote:Agreed re: Pantsir - it seems to have been quite a disappointment. Tor sounds like it may be performing well though. It always did strike me as the better design. From the Russians themselves:
In the spring of 2018, the Tor-M2U complexes were transferred to Syria . It is reported that in total from April to October 2018, the Tor-M2U complexes shot down 80 air targets, with an efficiency of 80%. In turn, the effectiveness of using the Pantsir-C1 air defense missile defense system for the same period was 19%.

https://vz.ru/news/2018/11/2/949009.html


Call me skeptical if you will/want but I take everything that the Russians say with a "huge pile or mountain of salt"!
I clearly remember the Russians praising the Pantsir as being extremely effective in destroying every type of incoming enemy munitions (bombs or missiles), this before they were deployed into Syria.
Now that the Israelis have shown and proved that the Pantsir is a 'crap' against incoming enemy bomb or missiles the Russians seem to be trying to "save face" by claiming that the Tor system is indeed extremely effective in destroying every type of incoming enemy munitions (just like they did with the Pantsir before Syria).

Note that I'm not saying that Tor isn't better than Pantsir (I also believe it is) but for sure I don't believe that Tor has an effectiveness of 80% while Pantsir is 19%. This sounds BS to me which BTW goes in line with many/most of the information that comes from the Russians.
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Unread post29 Mar 2020, 01:23

ricnunes wrote:Well, Small Diameter Bombs (GBU-39 and GBU-53) are reported to have low RCS, probably even very low RCS so their RCS isn't probably that much higher compared to a F-35 (a degree higher than the F-35 sure but not by much, I would say) and like the name says they are small...

..Call me skeptical if you will/want but I take everything that the Russians say with a "huge pile or mountain of salt"!
I clearly remember the Russians praising the Pantsir as being extremely effective in destroying every type of incoming enemy munitions (bombs or missiles), this before they were deployed into Syria.
Now that the Israelis have shown and proved that the Pantsir is a 'crap' against incoming enemy bomb or missiles the Russians seem to be trying to "save face" by claiming that the Tor system is indeed extremely effective in destroying every type of incoming enemy munitions (just like they did with the Pantsir before Syria).

Note that I'm not saying that Tor isn't better than Pantsir (I also believe it is) but for sure I don't believe that Tor has an effectiveness of 80% while Pantsir is 19%. This sounds BS to me which BTW goes in line with many/most of the information that comes from the Russians.

Looks like I am playing devil's advocate today, but that is fine - makes for a fun discussion :-) A few things to bear in mind:

- I suspect 4 x TELs is more like a minimum number for a typical S400 battery, which can support up to 12 of them. You also need to remember that 9M96 variants can be quad packed into regular S400 tubes (much like their American analogue, the PAC3) allowing for 16 of them per TEL. I don't think it would ever be safe to assume an S400 battery has only 16 ready to fire missiles...

- The effect of cooperative EW is certainly very relevant but also an intangible... it's nigh on impossible to know what effects it would have based on OSINT. On the other hand you'd also have to acknowledge that a big powerful AESA like Grave Stone may have EA capabilities of its own, along with those of any local Krasukha units.

- Yes SDB is an LO object in its own right, but as a subsonic glide weapon it is also rather slow and unmaneuverable. Once detected and locked the SDB would not make for an overly challenging target kinematically - it would be more a question of delaying detection and acquisition (via LO and EW) and maximising numbers to ensure enough of them get through. This is where AARGM-ER comes into play, because it could reduce available reaction time significantly, especially at closer ranges.

- I also take Russian info with a mountain of salt, but I found that particular article entertaining. There was a video from RT circulating a couple of weeks back that showed two Pantsir vehicles pitted against a single small prop driven UAV. After unloading an ungodly amount of 30mm at the thing they hit nothing but air. This ultimately led to one (presumably frustrated) gunner finally bringing it down with a 57E6. I can't find it any more - I guess the Kremlin's people may have pulled it from the net. Brownie points for anyone who can re-locate it.

- With that said, I do believe Tor and Pantsir can be datalinked to their "parent" S400 system in the point defence role, so I would expect their performance to be better here. S400 sensors would provide earlier warning of incoming munitions allowing Pantsir/Tor to focus their own radar energy into smaller volumes of airspace, resulting in earlier detection, acquisition and employment of interceptors.
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Unread post29 Mar 2020, 06:31

Dang it already being called a Russian troll, I thought the servers that host this website were located in the U.S. instead of N Korea because god forbid that people have different opinions, but atleast give me a chance to post topic related subjects on same topic related threads on this forum which I am still currently doing since this thread does say S-400 on it AFAIK.

1. What frequencies can the F-35 receive for RWRs? I have looked into the Next Gen Jammer which uses GaN on the EA-18 Growler and see VHF and UHF and the Russian's have presented GaN for 3 aircrafts and one land jammer but only said UHF. I could not find any information to have official confirmation that any airborne EW system using GaN will have lower frequencies than 1ghz. I am having a hard time trying to get information on the Spectra from France or Saabs new airborne GaN Jammer. looked at page 39 on this https://www.raytheon.com/sites/default/ ... erview.pdf. So do S-400 SAM operators use VHF and UHF frequencies before they decide to turn on fire control frequencies as a protocol to follow. Or they have to use low frequencies and high frequencies at the same time all the time?

2.I looked into the Nebo-M 480(0.0001 ÷ 1) ^.25 a .0001m2 target would be tracked from 48kms away which covers the VHF, L and S-band introduced around 2015 and from the looks of it I think very few members here are even aware this exists. And I have my doubts that there are any members here that knows the 103Zh6 Niobium-M even exists using UHF and X-band which was introduces around 2019 which I want to clarify is not the same as the 55Zh6M Nebo-M with a different name(sadly no information on those specs to bring up here). It is also even possible that air defense units can use ground radars like the one introduced in their 2019 army expo seeing a 5m2 target at 3000kms with a 64 meter antenna on S-band which has nowhere near the same performance or smaller size an/spy-6 radar but it seems it can turn 5th gen to 4th gen aircrafts if we were to do the same calculations for the nebo-m for the same .0001m2 target. But either gen aircraft can get the same job done launching JSM missiles without being in that radars range. Rather if users here want to go dismiss the info provided here(I have sources for those interested). Does anyone have information as to what heights an aircrafts flies along with distance information from a radar that is on the ground? I think it is important to know as to what amount of surface area is exposed at the front aspect or ventral body RCS of an aircraft to what radio waves are reflecting from most of the time.

3. Lets use Israel as an example. Do they have EW systems like the Krasukha-4, murmansk-bn, Divnomorye complex or the Tirada-2 which can help them obscure the locations of their F-35s or when their F-35s will perform a mission from OTH radars or satellites watching their air base? For example I see that the range of the new OTH container radar covers israel. And OTH radars can have 100 meter resolutions with doppler shifting. While they claim they can watch aircrafts leave their runways with them while getting updated information on their distance, altitudes, velocity, etc. I am assuming that OTH radars can be used for example to send a su-35 to say hi to an F-35 and that has happened a couple of times where su-35s and f-22s had encounters in Syria and Alaska. AFAIK what separates israel's F-35s from the U.S. is new software and wings, but if they are in a mission RCS should not be compromised, or it does not have to be compromised with luneburg lens but choosing a higher RCS which can raise risks?

4. I doubt anyone has this information, but it pertains more to the missile host radar performances of the s-400. I wonder what are people's thoughts here about the possibility of using a VHF or UHF target acquisition box on an aircraft, and what firecontrol frequency sucess is needed for a host radar on a missile to cover that box to successfully hit that aircraft. http://www.1728.org/angsize.htm. There have been target acquisition boxes presented like Nebo-SVU I am more curios about what size beam and distance RCS tracking performances those S-400 missile host radars must have to follow and hit those targets.

Can anyone give me some advice or thoughts on those 4 points. Because I am interested on the importance relating to them in trying to better understand the F-35s air to ground roles for stealth missions.
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Unread post29 Mar 2020, 15:47

boogieman wrote:Looks like I am playing devil's advocate today, but that is fine - makes for a fun discussion :-) A few things to bear in mind:


No problem. I also find fun an interesting such discussions.

boogieman wrote:- I suspect 4 x TELs is more like a minimum number for a typical S400 battery, which can support up to 12 of them. You also need to remember that 9M96 variants can be quad packed into regular S400 tubes (much like their American analogue, the PAC3) allowing for 16 of them per TEL. I don't think it would ever be safe to assume an S400 battery has only 16 ready to fire missiles...


Yes, you're correct that the 4 Launchers is the "usual minimum number" and yes, even according to wikipedia a S-400 battery can have a maximum number of 12 Launchers:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-400_missile_system

However if you noticed I compared a S-400 battery with 4 Launchers against a single F-35. So if you want to 'bring' a S-400 battery with 12 Launchers then I'll bring a flight of 4 x F-35s which is the usual F-35 formation. This would/could bring up the number of SDBs to a total of 32 SDBs.


boogieman wrote:- The effect of cooperative EW is certainly very relevant but also an intangible... it's nigh on impossible to know what effects it would have based on OSINT. On the other hand you'd also have to acknowledge that a big powerful AESA like Grave Stone may have EA capabilities of its own, along with those of any local Krasukha units.


Well, it is well known that the F-35 EW was able to hide a flight of F-16s from opposing radars. Since the F-35 EW system could "apparently and easily" hide a flight of F-16s from opposing radars then it's easy to imagine that its effectiveness in hiding a bunch of SDBs which are much smaller and have much lower RCS will be even more effective and easy. :wink:


boogieman wrote:- Yes SDB is an LO object in its own right, but as a subsonic glide weapon it is also rather slow and unmaneuverable. Once detected and locked the SDB would not make for an overly challenging target kinematically - it would be more a question of delaying detection and acquisition (via LO and EW) and maximising numbers to ensure enough of them get through. This is where AARGM-ER comes into play, because it could reduce available reaction time significantly, especially at closer ranges.


On the other hand the SDB's low RCS means that the S-400 radars will only detect SDBs when they are close to the battery and this detection range will be even more shortened due to the F-35 EW suite (as explained above) which means the S-400 reaction time against SDBs would be very short, if any.
Also due to being a very small and gliding weapon it means that its IR signature will be small which means that relying on IR sensors to detect incoming SDBs wouldn't be reliable/effective.
Moreover even if a SDB is detected on time to employ a missile against it, you have to acknowledge that the SDB is a very small target and hitting a very small target with a missile is definitely not an easy feat, even if the target is "rather slow and unmaneuverable" like you said. With this, I mean that you will never have a 100% PK against a SDB (doesn't matter which weapon you deploy against it).
Besides with a flight of 2-4 F-35's would can launch SDBs against a S-400 battery from different directions which will makes the task of intercepting incoming SDBs a much, much harder (if not impossible) for the S-400 battery.

All the above means:
1- A S-400 battery won't have enough time to engage all and above all be able to launch enough missiles to destroy all and every incoming SDBs.
2- And even if for some 'miracle' a S-400 battery could destroy all incoming SDBs, this would still be a win for the F-35/SDB combo because each S-400 missile is more expensive than each SDB and such "successful operation" by a S-400 battery would mean that its missiles would be depleted and thus totally vulnerable to any follow up attack.

Yes, weapons like the AARGM-ER/SiAW could technically reduce available reaction time significantly. However, don't forget that such weapons probably have a higher RCS and a much, much higher IR signature which means that they will likely be detected at longer ranges.
Resuming AARGM-ER/SiAW will reduce the enemy's available reaction time thru speed while the SDB does basically the same this by having lower signature and being harder to detect or more precisely being only detected by the enemy at closer ranges.
Note that I'm not saying that the AARGM-ER/SiAW couldn't be more effective than the SDB. I even agree that it probably is. However also note that the AARGM-ER/SiAW is also much more expensive weapon than the SDB.


boogieman wrote:- I also take Russian info with a mountain of salt, but I found that particular article entertaining. There was a video from RT circulating a couple of weeks back that showed two Pantsir vehicles pitted against a single small prop driven UAV. After unloading an ungodly amount of 30mm at the thing they hit nothing but air. This ultimately led to one (presumably frustrated) gunner finally bringing it down with a 57E6. I can't find it any more - I guess the Kremlin's people may have pulled it from the net. Brownie points for anyone who can re-locate it.

- With that said, I do believe Tor and Pantsir can be datalinked to their "parent" S400 system in the point defence role, so I would expect their performance to be better here. S400 sensors would provide earlier warning of incoming munitions allowing Pantsir/Tor to focus their own radar energy into smaller volumes of airspace, resulting in earlier detection, acquisition and employment of interceptors.


As you can see below, the Pantsir's missiles don't seem to be very effective against "slow and unmaneuverable" (but bigger in this case) incoming weapons (in this case a Delilah cruise missile it seems):
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Unread post29 Mar 2020, 23:17

ricnunes wrote:Yes, you're correct that the 4 Launchers is the "usual minimum number" and yes, even according to wikipedia a S-400 battery can have a maximum number of 12 Launchers:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-400_missile_system

However if you noticed I compared a S-400 battery with 4 Launchers against a single F-35. So if you want to 'bring' a S-400 battery with 12 Launchers then I'll bring a flight of 4 x F-35s which is the usual F-35 formation. This would/could bring up the number of SDBs to a total of 32 SDBs.

Yes, and this is where discussions like this can fall into a trap, because in the real world it is not a platform vs platform fight, but a system vs system fight. That said, 1 x S400 battery vs 1 x 4 ship of F35s sounds interesting.
ricnunes wrote:Well, it is well known that the F-35 EW was able to hide a flight of F-16s from opposing radars. Since the F-35 EW system could "apparently and easily" hide a flight of F-16s from opposing radars then it's easy to imagine that its effectiveness in hiding a bunch of SDBs which are much smaller and have much lower RCS will be even more effective and easy.

Hmm, I’m not sure how much we can read into this without knowing how the effect was achieved. For example if the F35 was providing escort jamming it may have needed to stay in close physical proximity to the F16s (obviously not possible with the SDBs). We also don’t know what kind of radar system the jamming was performed against – was it comparable to Grave Stone? Big Bird? Nebo-M? Hard to say.
ricnunes wrote:On the other hand the SDB's low RCS means that the S-400 radars will only detect SDBs when they are close to the battery and this detection range will be even more shortened due to the F-35 EW suite (as explained above) which means the S-400 reaction time against SDBs would be very short, if any.

I’m not so sure. It would certainly be shortened but it’s almost impossible to say by how much without knowing (for example) the RCS of SDB and the effectiveness of F35 EA against Grave Stone. The Grave Stone is a modern AESA in its own right, so it will have significant resistance to EW built in.
ricnunes wrote:Also due to being a very small and gliding weapon it means that its IR signature will be small which means that relying on IR sensors to detect incoming SDBs wouldn't be reliable/effective.
Moreover even if a SDB is detected on time to employ a missile against it, you have to acknowledge that the SDB is a very small target and hitting a very small target with a missile is definitely not an easy feat, even if the target is "rather slow and unmaneuverable" like you said. With this, I mean that you will never have a 100% PK against a SDB (doesn't matter which weapon you deploy against it).
Besides with a flight of 2-4 F-35's would can launch SDBs against a S-400 battery from different directions which will makes the task of intercepting incoming SDBs a much, much harder (if not impossible) for the S-400 battery.

I’m not confident that the SDB’s physical size alone would afford it much protection. Most S400 missiles have pretty big warheads. That said I agree that a multi-axis attack would be ideal. This is probably one of the big advantages of SDB over AARGM-ER – you can set them all to approach from different vectors and arrive simultaneously.
ricnunes wrote:As you can see below, the Pantsir's missiles don't seem to be very effective against "slow and unmaneuverable" (but bigger in this case) incoming weapons (in this case a Delilah cruise missile it seems):

The Russian claim is that the Pantsir repelled multiple waves of Delilah missiles before being hit while it reloaded, and that only one Pantsir was ever lost. I am obviously very skeptical of this claim. That said, an S400 site networked to multiple Pantsir/Tor systems still has a very large number of interceptors at its disposal, making the task of taking one down a very interesting challenge. Moreso if you add something like Krasukha which may have soft kill options up its sleeve. That said, if the S400 has an achilles heel, one of them would surely be that it takes an hour to reload one of its TELs(!) so if you can whittle down its missile stocks it will be very vulnerable after that.

My personal view is that you really need to use all the systems available to tackle the S400 and the systems that support it. ISR aircraft to sniff out and locate the site, Compass Call to provide standoff jamming, F22 to provide CAP/escort to strikers, F35 to perform SEAD/DEAD, possibly UAS to act as decoys and even long range MLRS (TACMS/PRSM) to help deplete the site’s available missile stocks etc etc.
Last edited by boogieman on 30 Mar 2020, 03:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post30 Mar 2020, 01:57

From a defensive perspectives, few will place area SAMs in isolation. There will be layers of SHORADs and possibly MRAD to handle saturation attacks, even possibly a last ditch CRAM.

Having said that, the main weakness of long ranged SAMs is the reliance on radar. Take out the single (and maybe back-up) radar, the site is ineffective, no matter how many launchers there are. In practice, its impossible to defend against a determined saturation attack. There will always be something that gets thru, and it only needs 1 PGM to hit.
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