F-22S SCRAMBLED over Alaska!

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arian

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Unread post22 Apr 2017, 06:02

The current radar sites covering Alsaka: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Warning_System Mostly AN/FPS-117

Keep in mind that the main USAF base in Alaska is about 1,200km from the border with Russia. That would put it well out of range of the conventional-armed versions of Kh-55.

Not sure if traditional (ie cold war stock) Kh-55s are capable of conventional strike, but their accuracy is probably too low for that, hence the conventional versions.

It's unknown how many missiles the Russians have in service, but it's unlikely those relics from the cold war would still be serviceable (if for no other reason than the main source of parts was in Ukraine). But it's doubtful you'd be talking about "thousands" of cruise missiles.

PS: In comparison, US produced ~2,200 Tomahawks in the last 9 years alone, and about 1,100 JASSM-ERs since 2014. So total long-range conventional cruise missiles in US arsenal must be several thousands. Minimum sustained production of Tomahawks is about 196 a year to keep the production line open. It's highly unlikely Russia has been able to produce even "hundreds" of conventional cruise missiles since their development, given the anemic procurement of all other types of air-launched weapons.
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PhillyGuy

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Unread post22 Apr 2017, 08:04

arian wrote:The current radar sites covering Alsaka: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Warning_System Mostly AN/FPS-117


That's all well and good but most of those systems are designed for either ballistic missile detection or aircraft flying at altitude. For cruise missile coverage you need an elevated sensor looking down, ie. AWACS or something like a JLENS (which would be perfect for Alaska/Arctic, especially if you can couple/link it with numerous strategically placed and remote/stand alone VLS type containers/structures housing SM-6 missiles). Otherwise I am afraid that unless we have advanced warning, or a small fleet of E-3s (as one won't do much since Alaska/Arctic range is massive) constantly airborne and on patrol, we don't have a good means of detecting, tracking and or shooting down air/land/sea launch Russian cruise missiles in that theater. All three options are available to the Russians since their territory is so close Alaska.

They have recently demonstrated all three means of launching very long range and relatively precise conventional or nuclear cruise missiles (see below). Ground launches have been conducted in secret since it violates the INF treaty in Europe. But per the US intelligence community, it is confirmed the Russian have deployed such GLCMs in the European theater. It would just be a matter of secretly transporting them East for use against North America. And per STRATCOM boss Gen. Hyten, we do not have the means in place right now to deal with such a threat, should it involve large numbers launched. I believe a lot of people in the West have a hard time accepting that others can do to us exactly what we can do to them, perhaps more so. Never underestimate the enemy or think everything is safe because it seems that way.

arian wrote:Keep in mind that the main USAF base in Alaska is about 1,200km from the border with Russia. That would put it well out of range of the conventional-armed versions of Kh-55.


The KH-55 is old news. The KH-101, a newer variant that is a longer ranged, more stealthy and more precise conventionally armed cruise missile. It was officially deployed in Syria back in 2015 and launched from Tu-160 bombers, which can carry 12. Depending on flight profiles (as low as 100 feet), range varies from 1,500-3,000 miles, with an estimated CEP of 10-02 meters. It was precise enough for the Russians to use in Syria with its precarious front lines and shifting positions, let alone against large and fixed US bases out in the wilderness. And for good measure, there is a nuclear version as well designated KH-102. It has enough range that a Russian bomber can launch it from the middle of Siberia and it could still reach as far as Anchorage, never mind anything closer.

arian wrote:Not sure if traditional (ie cold war stock) Kh-55s are capable of conventional strike, but their accuracy is probably too low for that, hence the conventional versions.


Uhh the Russians launched SS-N-27 cruise missiles from the Caspian sea, over Iran, through Iraq and into Syria to hit at ISIS/rebel targets. A navigational distance of over 1,000 miles and precise enough to high individual neighborhoods/areas of Aleppo and Raqqa. Not bad, and they have had decades to model and practice strikes against US strategic assets in the Arctic. And again, you cannot put it past the Russian to use tactical nuclear warheads, they train for this and it is officially part of their military doctrine signed by Putin. They are to be potentially and legitimately used against a conventional foe that is so vastly superior, it poses a dire threat to Russia to warrant this escalation. Ambiguous and unrealistic perhaps, but something to consider and ponder because you never know how an enemy will react or what they think is rational.

arian wrote:It's unknown how many missiles the Russians have in service, but it's unlikely those relics from the cold war would still be serviceable (if for no other reason than the main source of parts was in Ukraine). But it's doubtful you'd be talking about "thousands" of cruise missiles.


They don't need thousands to strategically destroy our few long range warning sites pictured above, creating a huge gap in our national defense radar coverage which could be exploited by submarine/ground launched ballistic missiles against the CONUS for example, in a hypothetical first strike scenario. The confusion and vulnerability such a sudden loss of radar coverage could cause to our strategic forces and national command authority is enormous. We would be left with space based systems only and no way to verify or track post boost, assuming the space early warning element is not electronically or physically compromised as well. Yes I am being grim and pessimistic, but it is better to highlight one's flaws and be unhappy with them until they are sufficiently addressed, regardless of what the enemy is doing or not doing, then to sit on your laurels and assume things will always remain the same.
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arian

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Unread post22 Apr 2017, 23:23

PhillyGuy wrote:That's all well and good but most of those systems are designed for either ballistic missile detection or aircraft flying at altitude. For cruise missile coverage you need an elevated sensor looking down


It's far from ideal, and it's also far from the only assets available. But those radars are mounted on towers or high on terrain features:

Image

And there are E-3s stationed in Alaska. You don't need to defend all of Alaska. You just need to defend the base at Anchorage. There's nothing else in Alaska anyway. The Russians aren't going to bomb the Eskimo villages.

They have recently demonstrated all three means of launching very long range and relatively precise conventional or nuclear cruise missiles (see below). Ground launches have been conducted in secret since it violates the INF treaty in Europe. But per the US intelligence community, it is confirmed the Russian have deployed such GLCMs in the European theater. It would just be a matter of secretly transporting them East for use against North America. And per STRATCOM boss Gen. Hyten, we do not have the means in place right now to deal with such a threat, should it involve large numbers launched. I believe a lot of people in the West have a hard time accepting that others can do to us exactly what we can do to them, perhaps more so. Never underestimate the enemy or think everything is safe because it seems that way.


1) How many such missiles do the Russians have? A handful

2) What is their range? Not enough to reach targets in Alaska from Siberia

3) How do you get them to those parts of Siberia? There's no road out there. And sending large numbers of ground-launched missiles to such an area would be anything but covert.

All too hypothetical.

The KH-55 is old news. The KH-101, a newer variant that is a longer ranged, more stealthy and more precise conventionally armed cruise missile.


How many do they have? A handful. Numbers matter here.

PhillyGuy wrote:Uhh the Russians launched SS-N-27 cruise missiles from the Caspian sea, over Iran, through Iraq and into Syria to hit at ISIS/rebel targets. A navigational distance of over 1,000 miles and precise enough to high individual neighborhoods/areas of Aleppo and Raqqa.


How many do they have? A handful.

PhillyGuy wrote:They don't need thousands to strategically destroy our few long range warning sites pictured above, creating a huge gap in our national defense radar coverage which could be exploited by submarine/ground launched ballistic missiles against the CONUS for example, in a hypothetical first strike scenario. The confusion and vulnerability such a sudden loss of radar coverage could cause to our strategic forces and national command authority is enormous.


Those are not radars tasked with ballistic missile defense. Those are AN/FPS-117s. Just early warning radars for aircraft.

Are we prepared to defend against "massed" cruise missile attacks in a remote part of Alaska? No.

Is the threat real? No. No it's not. It's the furthest from real, in my opinion. If you're talking conventional cruise missiles. If that's how Russia starts a "first strike", it would be really pointless.
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Unread post22 Apr 2017, 23:30

I believe a lot of people in the West have a hard time accepting that others can do to us exactly what we can do to them, perhaps more so.


I get that, but realistically, it's not even close. Numbers of launching assets and number of missiles in this case matters. If the entire arsenal of Russia of such missiles is how much the US produces annually, even assuming they are technically comparable systems...then no they can't do to us what we can do to them.

If we're talking conventional munitions, those who win are those who can sustain a prolonged campaign and can continuously pound the enemy. Nobody can do that other than the US at the moment or the foreseeable future. It's not even close. This isn't just an opinion of mine: these are just the numbers. The Russian military has been acquiring these modern systems at such anemic and tiny numbers as to be pretty irrelevant in a real near-peer conventional war.

That is not to say that you don't have a point that we can't defend the empty wildernesses of Alaska. But so what?
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Unread post07 May 2017, 23:38

"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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Unread post12 May 2017, 13:27

popcorn wrote:Mr.Raptor meetsMr. Flanker-E.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/99 ... first-time


Well, you know it had to happen sooner or later. I wonder why the Flankers were flying without weapons? Even a nominal 4 AAM loadout would suffice. As for the F-22's, I rather doubt they were stealthed up so to speak. Interestingly though, this is one instance in which the SU-35 and F-22 could get into it. Extremely unlikely, but you have to admit - the ROE's won't always dictate a BVR fight.

As for what transpires then, your sig line holds the answer. The Flanker will die a quick death, likely I'd think to an AIM-9x. Thank God they finally got that on the bird...
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Unread post12 May 2017, 17:41

mixelflick wrote:I wonder why the Flankers were flying without weapons? Even a nominal 4 AAM loadout would suffice.

because the Russian AAMs have a LOT of drag. 2 R-73s and 2 R-77s make as much drag as on a Su as 8 AMRAAMs make on an Eagle. I have serious doubts about the ability of the Su-35 to fly long range with a payload.
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Unread post13 May 2017, 22:04

mixelflick wrote:
popcorn wrote:Mr.Raptor meetsMr. Flanker-E.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/99 ... first-time


Well, you know it had to happen sooner or later. I wonder why the Flankers were flying without weapons? Even a nominal 4 AAM loadout would suffice. As for the F-22's, I rather doubt they were stealthed up so to speak. Interestingly though, this is one instance in which the SU-35 and F-22 could get into it. Extremely unlikely, but you have to admit - the ROE's won't always dictate a BVR fight.

As for what transpires then, your sig line holds the answer. The Flanker will die a quick death, likely I'd think to an AIM-9x. Thank God they finally got that on the bird...

It is still a little up in the air how that goes- since you will have two platforms with excesses fo AOA available, and the Flankers can still turn off the Alpha Limiter switch in a One circle fight

Of course, with short range missiles it's a bit different from guns..
We still haven't heard anything about that Malaysian Exercise between Raptors and Flankers to guess how a one circle fight between the two most supermanueverable planes in the air at the moment would go, unfortunately.....

The Flanker -E's can always test their IRST's out against the F-22 however, rather than try to figure out anything from a likely not-stealthed Raptor - that's the downsize of the two meeting, accurate ideas of how far away they can detect it
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Unread post14 May 2017, 05:51

phantasm wrote:It is still a little up in the air how that goes- since you will have two platforms with excesses fo AOA available, and the Flankers can still turn off the Alpha Limiter switch in a One circle fight


-9x doesn't care about a Flanker's AOA envelope...

Also, the much greater SA in a Raptor (or, for that matter, a Lightning) is going to allow it to get in an advantageous position more often than not if things go WVR.
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