Surface to Air missile systems

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zero-one

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 09:08

Just a place to talk about the wonderful world of SAMs

First up, Whats the deal with the S-400
https://fightersweep.com/3414/how-scary ... am-system/
Tyson Wetzel, a graduate of and former instructor at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, has broken down the tactical and strategic implications for the Russian S-400 deployment in Syria. The bottom line? It’s a pretty scary prospect, considering the SA-21–from its current position around Hmeymim Air Base near Latakia, can cover all by the eastern-most points in Syria.


Its often referred to as the most advanced operational SAM system.
Russian fans say they are generations ahead of the US in SAM technology
Because Range right?

They keep comparing it to the Patriot? Why?
Compare it to it's direct American counterpart, the Aegis system. Aegis ashore if you're comparing land based systems.

But just like A-A missiles, Range isn't everything. We've had missiles that can reach 100+ Km ranges since the 70s but realistically engagements happen within the <50Km bubble. How does the S-400 compare against the Patriot, SPYDER, HQ-9, MEADS etc.

Your thoughts.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 10:04

Fully agree about range. Besides that there are things like target detection and tracking capabilities and qualities. How the whole system performs under heavy EW for example. Then there are things like missile maneuverability and seeker performance. Networking the system is also very important as nobody fights alone for long. Of course there are numerous things to consider and saying that S-400 or whatever is the most advanced system is likely impossible.

S-400 does have impressive range and impressive number of different types of missiles for different targets. Patriot is no slouch in that departmet though. I think Patriot will regain rather big advantage when the new GaN AESA radars become operational. They should provide very significant improvements in detection and tracking capabilities. Especially so against LO and VLO targets. Also EW resistance and LPD/LPI capabilities will likely be much better than before. Of course S-400 has large and powerful radar with likely pretty good qualities though.

Of course it's impossible to know the capabilties of each system from public information. I'm sure both are highly lethal systems if something gets inside their kill zone. I think S-400 has the range and altitude advantages but Patriot likely has advantages in detection and tracking performance especially after AESA upgrade.
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hythelday

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 10:19

Russians compare S-400 to Patriot because AEGIS Ashore is not mobile. Plus it's missile defense, but it's completely useless against RUSSIAN HYPERSONIC WEAPONS comrade, so there's no point to even talk about it.

MEADS uses PAC-3 MSE interceptor and S-400 family of missiles outranges both that and the SAMP/T (Aster-30). Besides any euro system is not under much scrutiny by RUSSIA STRONK types because they don't care about Europe, as they will "reach La Manche by the second week".

SPYDER isn't even in the same class as S-400 comrade.

HQ-9 is an obvious Chinese ripoff of glorious S-300, so it's obviously a worse performer.

Korean SAMs? Nobody even heard of those.
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zero-one

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 10:41

Does the S-400 have LPI capabilities? these large and powerful radars that are mostly static are very inviting targets for HARMs and even F-16CJ teams with JDAM-ERs not to mention the F-35.

Saw an interesting documentary about the Genesis of the Wild Weasel. The started out as modified F-100s before transitioning to the faster F-105s. But in such a short period both the Wild Weasels and SA-2 SAM operators developed complex tactics on how to "play chess" against each other.

Surely in the 50 years since then both SAMs and Wild Weasels have advanced so much more than simply turning radars on and off...
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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 10:41

duplicate
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hornetfinn

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 11:24

zero-one wrote:Does the S-400 have LPI capabilities? these large and powerful radars that are mostly static are very inviting targets for HARMs and even F-16CJ teams with JDAM-ERs not to mention the F-35.
.


It most definitely does have some LPI capabilities as do pretty much all current military radars. It does have frequency hopping, low sidelobe antenna, irregular scan patterns, coded pulses and high processing gain for example. However it's not certain that those capabilties are good enough to protect it from SEAD/DEAD efforts. Like you said, the thing is very powerful emitter. Same things are true for Patriot MPQ-53 radars. I'm sure the new GaN AESA for Patriot is vastly superior in LPD/LPI compared to S-400 radars or current MPQ-53.

I'm also certain that S-400 radars are vastly superior to what F-16CJ teams have engaged in real wars (SA-2, SA-3, SA-5, SA-8 etc). Of course they likely have had opportunities to train against such radars. I think a lot would depend on how good the S-400 operators are compared to F-16CJ teams. F-35 is a nightmare to any SAM operator due to being largely invisible and having huge advantages in SA.
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element1loop

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 11:39

hornetfinn wrote:
zero-one wrote:Does the S-400 have LPI capabilities? these large and powerful radars that are mostly static are very inviting targets for HARMs and even F-16CJ teams with JDAM-ERs not to mention the F-35.
.


It most definitely does have some LPI capabilities as do pretty much all current military radars.


Does that help though if it can be readily detected and mobility tracked and targeted from orbit?
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 11:49

hythelday wrote:Russians compare S-400 to Patriot because AEGIS Ashore is not mobile.


But Aegis on ships is mobile and can be used to influence most conflict zones around the world.

hythelday wrote:Plus it's missile defense, but it's completely useless against RUSSIAN HYPERSONIC WEAPONS comrade,

Why?
SM-3, Jamming, Are those all ineffective against the Zircon

hythelday wrote:
MEADS uses PAC-3 MSE interceptor and S-400 family of missiles outranges both that and the SAMP/T (Aster-30). Besides any euro system is not under much scrutiny by RUSSIA STRONK types because they don't care about Europe, as they will "reach La Manche by the second week".
SPYDER isn't even in the same class as S-400 comrade.


But like I said, range isn't everything, in war, most shots are taken within 50Km, How does the S-400 perform against the SPYDER in those circumstances

hythelday wrote:Korean SAMs? Nobody even heard of those.

Its being developed from the S-400 and Korea's electronic technology is nothing to sneeze at, it could be more advanced than Russia's in some aspects
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element1loop

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 11:53

The obvious point to make in general, is the declining effectiveness of SAMs over time at sustaining an effective air defense. If anything the ruthless SAM menace of the 1960s has turned into an intimidated SAM menace that's largely ineffective at preventing attacks, or of punishing them. Plus reports of F-35s at Red Flag escorting 4th gens through complex defended airspace with very challenging threat systems, and losing none of them in the process. It's enough to make one question their relevance.

And yet they clearly do work in the Israeli point-defense context most of the time, and the Saudis claim to have shot down about 175 drones and other assorted incoming weapons, to date. Again, most of the time they get a kill. So it seems mission planning, EA, maneuver tactics, survivability optimizations and a human represents the significant differences in rendering older but much upgraded SAM systems ineffective.
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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 12:22

I think SAMs definitely have their place as they provide some capabilities aircraft really can't (like ballistic missile defence and 24/7 protection against surprise attacks). But it requires also effective air force to do things that SAMs are not good at. It's a bit like having either main battle tanks or anti-tank missiles. Both have their place on the battlefield and having both usually gives better results than having only one of them. Of course that also requires good coordination between them. F-35 guiding SM-6 missile to target is good example. We might well see similar capabilties developed for future land based SAM systems.
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element1loop

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 12:52

hornetfinn wrote:We might well see similar capabilties developed for future land based SAM systems.


As I understand it that's the rationale of integrating F-35 fused data from new and improved IRSTs to an integrated missile defense application. As you pointed out, it's already meaningless to say one SAM type is the best, but when you add F-35 to a fully integrated missile defense, the latest 'n greatest Russian S400 capability is ... meh.
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element1loop

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 12:57

I'm more interested in if a combo of, "mission planning, EA, maneuver tactics, survivability optimizations and a human", will continue to be a significant difference in rendering an S400 SAM ineffective as well within the scope of its tactical options.

Tactical options of employment seem to be the S400's strongest hand here, i.e. how to fight humans in jets with an S400 and actually be effective.

I'm skeptical.
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zero-one

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 13:21

Well the purpose of the thread isn't really to asses the effectiveness of SAMs which is historically still the deadliest threat to coalition aircraft. Rather its to compare SAMs and talk about SAM systems in general.

https://medium.com/@GetterWetzel/russia ... .kkyimssrw
Tyson Wetzel wrote:Quite simply, the SA-21 is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world.....

only the F-22 Raptor has any ability to operate and survive inside the SA-21 MEZ.....

Operating inside an SA-21 MEZ is a nightmare that will keep many US and coalition aircrew up nights in the coming days, weeks, and months.


This guy is a graduate of the USAF Weapons School and he considers the S-400 a "nightmare"
On the other hand isn't operating the S-400 against E/A-18G, F-16CJ and F-35 teams a nightmare for those SAM operators as well?

I get the impression that 4th gens are helpless against the S-400? Are they? is the S-400 system invulnerable against Wild Weasel teams? How or Why?
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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 14:08

S-400 would definitely be a really dangerous system against 4th gen aircraft. F-35 and F-22 are likely able to survive even deep inside S-400 MEZ and would very likely kill it. Especially F-35 due to having ability to use all kinds of air to ground munitions and AARGM-ER. 4th gen aircraft would need a lot of support and would likely suffer some serious losses in the process.

I think F-35 is true nightmare for S-400 operators due to VLO stealth, situational awareness, EW capabilities and wide selection of weapons along with being so numerous.
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hythelday

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 14:31

zero-one wrote:
hythelday wrote:Russians compare S-400 to Patriot because AEGIS Ashore is not mobile.


But Aegis on ships is mobile and can be used to influence most conflict zones around the world.

hythelday wrote:Plus it's missile defense, but it's completely useless against RUSSIAN HYPERSONIC WEAPONS comrade,

Why?
SM-3, Jamming, Are those all ineffective against the Zircon

hythelday wrote:
MEADS uses PAC-3 MSE interceptor and S-400 family of missiles outranges both that and the SAMP/T (Aster-30). Besides any euro system is not under much scrutiny by RUSSIA STRONK types because they don't care about Europe, as they will "reach La Manche by the second week".
SPYDER isn't even in the same class as S-400 comrade.


But like I said, range isn't everything, in war, most shots are taken within 50Km, How does the S-400 perform against the SPYDER in those circumstances

hythelday wrote:Korean SAMs? Nobody even heard of those.

Its being developed from the S-400 and Korea's electronic technology is nothing to sneeze at, it could be more advanced than Russia's in some aspects


You started this thread with an opening line:

Russian fans say they are generations ahead of the US in SAM technology. Because Range right? They keep comparing it to the Patriot? Why?


I gave you the summary of why "Russian fans" (your own term) say that, so that you do not have to go through their boards, blogs and comments. The same sources also say that Su-35S is a Raptor-killer, Iraq only lost because US bribed the generals, Russian PESA radars outperform US AESA etc etc etc. I recently read someone post an opinion that "F-35 needs to have robust armor akin to Su-34 if it wants to operate inside IADS", an opinion which didn't immediately invoke laughter and ridicule but found a rather solid support base. The ones countering it were usually saying that no armor would save a plane... that has poor aerodynamic performance. I guess if you don't visit those places, you just don't get how different do they think about those matters.

And by the way, on a more serious note: Patriot IS the American counterpart to S-300 and 400, at least as close as US/Ru military can have comparable "counterparts". Russian counterpart to AEGIS would be "Fort" (naval S-300F) and "Poliment-Redut" (newer VLS with some commonality with S-400 missiles but different radar equipment set)
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