Surface to Air missile systems

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zero-one

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Unread post06 Aug 2019, 15:07

hythelday wrote: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.

But I want to know your take on the matter?
Wouldn't you say that Aegis can defend against the Zircon hypersonic missile at the very least to some degree?


hythelday wrote: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".

I don't agree with that for the simple reason that I simply want to compare SAM system capabilities regardless of where they operate, Russia's most advanced SAM the S-400 should be compared to America's most advanced SAM the Aegis.

To be fair, I listen to some of the more intelligent comments of our Russian friends. Yes there are many laughable comments as you posted, but some are pretty well researched. The Ruskies aren't dumb, they have some pretty good technologies specially when you consider that their GDP is on Italy's level and their defense budget is 10% of what the US has.
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element1loop

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Unread post07 Aug 2019, 08:17

hornetfinn wrote:4th gen aircraft would need a lot of support and would likely suffer some serious losses in the process.


I'm not sure even that much is true HF. If you have an S400 complex emitter(s) geo-located by say an E7-A's ESM, plus Growler support's ESM, and the separate components of the S400 complex are also located from space (in near real-time) I can't see why even a single terrain-masked classic RAAF Hornet with 2 JASSM and a terminal IR seeker can't kill the core bits of an S400 without a loss.

Use 4 Hornets supported by 2 Growler and you'll probably kill the whole complex. The Growlers could then close in to kill the supporting Pantsirs if desired.

If anything moves after launch the JASSMs have two-way datalinking for re-targeting and BDA. So even S400's mobility can't easily waste a missile, as some part of the complex (if not the original target) is still likely to get hit any way.

It all depends if a 4th-gen force-structure was specifically developed to kill S300 and S400 SAMs. I can't see why USAF 4th gens would have a problem doing similar, or USN for that matter (with a lofted JSOW and Growler support ... and now LRASM).
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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hornetfinn

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Unread post07 Aug 2019, 11:04

I think that is likely true when engaging one lonely S-400 battery. However, S-300/400 and Patriot have both been designed to be used as battalions which consist of 4-6 batteries. A lonely battery is pretty vulnerable to many kinds of attacks as it only has 1 radar with limited FoV. Several batteries having overlapping FoVs and engagement zones is a lot harder to tackle. It could also has lower frequency radars like Nebo-SVU or AN/TPS-77 available for surveillance and early warning. There would likely also be low altitude coverage offered by Tor-M1, Pantsir-S1 or Avengers (in US service) or some other systems. All this would make it pretty tough nut to crack compared to earlier SAM systems.

I could be wrong, but I really doubt that long range geolocation (outside S-400 effective range) would be so precise and quick enough to allow reliable successful engagement using cruise missiles like JASSM. I also doubt that space based systems would be that effective due to having either predictable flight paths in LEO and seeing the target area only for a short time during every pass.

Of course none of that makes it mission impossible for 4th gen force. They just have to equip and plan accordingly but also be prepared to take some losses in the process, IMO. Of course now USA and many other countries have F-35s, which would help immensely in SEAD/DEAD effort.
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zero-one

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Unread post07 Aug 2019, 11:40

element1loop wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:4th gen aircraft would need a lot of support and would likely suffer some serious losses in the process.


I'm not sure even that much is true HF. If you have an S400 complex emitter(s) geo-located by say an E7-A's ESM, plus Growler support's ESM, and the separate components of the S400 complex are also located from space (in near real-time) I can't see why even a single terrain-masked classic RAAF Hornet with 2 JASSM and a terminal IR seeker can't kill the core bits of an S400 without a loss.


I agree with this, I'm doing more research on the S-400 and counter SAM systems like AGM-88E, E/A-18G and of course the
F-22/35. Heres what I gathered so far

-the 40N6E's ultra long 400 km range may only be against low flying targets by using a ballistic flight profile

-the system is designed to work "effectively" in a high EW saturated environment

-Most sources claim that the S-400 uses a PESA system, but I did find one that says it has an AESA system available
(https://rg.ru/2014/05/05/zrk-site.html) it also compares the Patriot system against the S-400 where naturally the Patriot ended up looking like a child's toy.

-The S-400 can engage targets as far as 400km and as low as 5 meters. But somehow I think this translates to, it can only engage targets as far as 400km when flying extremely low, like 5m (due to the ballistic flight profile)

-During firing at the Kapustin Yar firing range, the Triumph hit a target moving at a speed of 2800 meters per second
https://rg.ru/2014/05/05/zrk-site.html

-The radar, controlled by the Elbrus-90 computer, monitors enemy interference and is able to change operating frequencies between two adjacent pulses. There are other mechanisms to counter the electronic warfare of the enemy.
(https://svpressa.ru/post/article/120265/)

-The 92N6E radar has the ability to simultaneously track support up to 100 targets and accurately track up to 6 targets in all combat conditions. (http://svpressa.ru/post/article/120265/)


With this in mind, I can see why 4th gen wild weasels may have a hard time hunting down these systems.
I'd imagine a the F-16 CJ to be in a particularly dangerous scenario, needing the support of numerous MALD and MALD-J decoys and hopefully armed with the latest AGM-88G AARGM-ER. And even then they may still loose a bird or 2 before killing the S-400's components enough to render it useless.

For the E/A-18G on the other hand, I'm not sure if it will be easier, they may reduce the effective range of the S-400 via high powered jamming and get close enough to launch AGM-88Es. MALD would still be appreciated but MALD-J wouldn't be necessary I think.

The F-35 and to a lesser extent the F-22 can operate quite comfortably inside S-400 protected zones. Even according to Russian sources the Nebo-M's "anti-stealth" range is 150km, I'm guessing its just a detection range, not tracking or targeting, With the F-35 capable of carrting the AGM-88E, it can get far closer to the S-400's vital radars and shoot them even with JDAM-ERs
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element1loop

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Unread post07 Aug 2019, 15:49

hornetfinn wrote:Several batteries having overlapping FoVs and engagement zones is a lot harder to tackle. It could also has lower frequency radars like Nebo-SVU or AN/TPS-77 available for surveillance and early warning. There would likely also be low altitude coverage offered by Tor-M1, Pantsir-S1 or Avengers (in US service) or some other systems. All this would make it pretty tough nut to crack compared to earlier SAM systems.


Points taken, though we're back to the LOS horizon problem and the likely roughly equidistant (or at least non-clustered) positioning for maximum coverage also, i.e. it's not just overlapping that's tactically desirable. The EW can certainly cue inconvenient popups, but those SHORADS don't have much of a bubble either, plus even a HOBS AIM-9 or AIM-120 can be look and snap-launched at those to make them shut down and fighter AESAs have proliferated. And then there's the Growlers with HARM-E.

Maybe a JASSM-ER is preferable but expect JASSM can still get it done without loss using those options. Plus the guys who would actually do it will spend a lot more time nailing the tactics down and testing.

hornetfinn wrote:I could be wrong, but I really doubt that long range geolocation (outside S-400 effective range) would be so precise and quick enough to allow reliable successful engagement using cruise missiles like JASSM. I also doubt that space based systems would be that effective due to having either predictable flight paths in LEO and seeing the target area only for a short time during every pass.


The combo of the two can cross-check each other over a period of days or weeks prior and also geolocation currency for a useful attack window. It's a SAM that requires site preparation so where it moves to you probably already know about, and will likely detect new site-prep work. Given the IR seeker is designed to fix target location uncertainty I think it's reasonable to expect this will be sufficient to prosecute under the right lighting, WX and thermal condition.

hornetfinn wrote:Of course none of that makes it mission impossible for 4th gen force. They just have to equip and plan accordingly but also be prepared to take some losses in the process, IMO. Of course now USA and many other countries have F-35s, which would help immensely in SEAD/DEAD effort.


Yes a bit pointless considering purely 4th-gen verses, just wanted to emphasize these systems were already dubious before F-35A/B/C arrived.
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Unread post07 Aug 2019, 16:26

zero-one wrote:-The S-400 can engage targets as far as 400km and as low as 5 meters. But somehow I think this translates to, it can only engage targets as far as 400km when flying extremely low, like 5m (due to the ballistic flight profile)


Yeah, well, the 5 m is within LOS. And that disappears fast with radial distance rise, so why do they make such claims? it's relevant to the engagement radius of the obligatory SHORADS operating in support of the S400 perhaps. So maybe they include their performance in the complex's claimed spec, given they operate as one complex? It would not surprise me if that's what it refers to as once you get past the LOS or anywhere near the horizon line min 5m altitude becomes a meaningless claim.

As for the 400km range, I smirk for obvious maneuver reasons. Again, meaningless outside of LOS altitudes. Maybe it matters to keeping a HALE drone orbit further back.

zero-one wrote:-During firing at the Kapustin Yar firing range, the Triumph hit a target moving at a speed of 2800 meters per second
https://rg.ru/2014/05/05/zrk-site.html


5,400 kt, that's a bad-ass missile. And no doubt intercepting at mid-stratosphere altitude to get that much speed, so not too relevant to targeting a VLO jet within the mid to upper troposphere.

zero-one wrote:The F-35 and to a lesser extent the F-22 can operate quite comfortably inside S-400 protected zones. Even according to Russian sources the Nebo-M's "anti-stealth" range is 150km, I'm guessing its just a detection range, not tracking or targeting, With the F-35 capable of carrting the AGM-88E, it can get far closer to the S-400's vital radars and shoot them even with JDAM-ERs


Given Nebo-M is a VHF EW surveillance radar we can probably rule out targeting, but suspect the 150 km is a tracking range. Either way, it's going down in a few minutes so not much of a tracking radar either. :wink: Given its vulnerability and priority on the list I'd be surprised if it's not defended, so may need more than a JDAM-ER, but a fly-by with F-35 might clarify what's covering it.
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Unread post07 Aug 2019, 18:25

-The S-400 can engage targets as far as 400km and as low as 5 meters. But somehow I think this translates to, it can only engage targets as far as 400km when flying extremely low, like 5m (due to the ballistic flight profile)



What?

At 400 kms, and due to curvature of the earth, enemy need fligh at very high heigh for to be detected,maybe around 30-40.000 ft.

A very low flight, will be impossible to detect for any radar from 400 kms, because can not see it.
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Unread post12 Aug 2019, 13:44

falcon.16 wrote:
At 400 kms, and due to curvature of the earth, enemy need fligh at very high heigh for to be detected,maybe around 30-40.000 ft.


Yup, I think they're referring to the max range of the interceptor itself not the engagement range of the S-400 as a system.
It could be possible if they are receiving data link info from AEWACS or something.
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Unread post12 Aug 2019, 15:35

I think the ground based LPI radars works worse than the airborne.
My reasoning is that if they are on the ground they will be able to meet almost every requirements of randomness such as frequency, power, scanning direction,... but there is a repetitive pattern:

All these emissions come from the same specific point of the soil, and if the DRMF Jammers store that information sooner or later the computer will determine that this is a ground radar.
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Unread post12 Aug 2019, 17:11

zero-one wrote:
falcon.16 wrote:
At 400 kms, and due to curvature of the earth, enemy need fligh at very high heigh for to be detected,maybe around 30-40.000 ft.


Yup, I think they're referring to the max range of the interceptor itself not the engagement range of the S-400 as a system.
It could be possible if they are receiving data link info from AEWACS or something.

The S-400 has never demonstrated (or claimed) a capability of engaging targets below the radar horizon, in an NIF CA-esque capacity. It certainly isn't engaging low altitude targets more than a few miles away. The 400km range is for high altitude non-maneuvering targets.
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Unread post13 Aug 2019, 01:49

wrightwing wrote:
zero-one wrote:
falcon.16 wrote:
At 400 kms, and due to curvature of the earth, enemy need fligh at very high heigh for to be detected,maybe around 30-40.000 ft.


Yup, I think they're referring to the max range of the interceptor itself not the engagement range of the S-400 as a system.
It could be possible if they are receiving data link info from AEWACS or something.

The S-400 has never demonstrated (or claimed) a capability of engaging targets below the radar horizon, in an NIF CA-esque capacity. It certainly isn't engaging low altitude targets more than a few miles away. The 400km range is for high altitude non-maneuvering targets.


The S-400 40N6 missile has shot down a target at 200+ miles, OTH, with CEC from a forward targeting source.
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Unread post13 Aug 2019, 08:34

wrightwing wrote:The S-400 has never demonstrated (or claimed) a capability of engaging targets below the radar horizon, in an NIF CA-esque capacity. It certainly isn't engaging low altitude targets more than a few miles away. The 400km range is for high altitude non-maneuvering targets.


Its certainly perplexing.
Wikipedia says this about the 40N6E
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-400_missile_system
Range: 400 km
Effective against low-altitude targets at extremely long range (below the radio horizon)


Checking the source here is what it says:
http://s400.tass.ru/vzaimodeystviya-mas ... 1476018629
During the ascent, the rocket inclines toward the target using the gas-dynamic system. Ultrahigh (up to 400 km) 40N6E missiles are capable of destroying targets beyond the reach of guidance locators, for which they have unique homing heads.


So you're right, they never really say that the range of engaging low flying targets is up to 400km, but they did say that it is capable of reaching targets at ultra long range "beyond the reach of guidance locators". Does this translate to "over the horizon" someone help me out.


Heres the thing The published max range of the S-400's radar is 600km, so the 400km of max range of the interceptor should be well within the max range of the radar. So what do they mean by " beyond the reach of guidance locators"? OTH is my best guess. Certainly it will need some sort of data link from a forward source.
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Unread post13 Aug 2019, 09:04

Range is pretty much the only thing that most people point to when asked why the S-400 is the best. Ironic, cause once you ask them what fighter is the best they would always point to fighters with the best WVR stats, you know because Vietnam has "proven" that BVR is just a pipe dream.

I digress, Anyway, unlike aircraft where most engagements happened within 20 NMi (according to what I have read and heard anyway) I don't know what is the typical range for most SAM engagements. But I would guess they would be at around the same range if not shorter.

If so, then in the typical SAM scenario, the S-400 doesn't seem so attractive at all.
It uses a PESA system with questionable LPI capabilities if any. Both the Patriot and SPYDER system may prove more effective in that type of scenario
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Unread post13 Aug 2019, 09:46

zero-one wrote:If so, then in the typical SAM scenario, the S-400 doesn't seem so attractive at all.
It uses a PESA system with questionable LPI capabilities if any. Both the Patriot and SPYDER system may prove more effective in that type of scenario


Those S-400 radars definitely do have some LPI capabilities as do all even remotely modern military radars. However I agree that they might not matter that much against modern ESM/EW systems.

I think against modern fighters (and cruise missiles) smaller, lower cost/more numerous, geographically widely separated and more unpredictable systems are more dangerous. Systems like Spyder, IRIS-T SLM/SLS or NASAMS can be pretty nasty as they are all pretty capable systems with quick reaction times and more difficult to find and destroy. Of course they don't have similar range/altitude capability as larger systems. So they are kind of mine field type of systems which require enemy to come pretty close to be effective.
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Unread post13 Aug 2019, 11:25

zero-one wrote:Wouldn't you say that Aegis can defend against the Zircon hypersonic missile at the very least to some degree?


No the Aegis network is mostly built into the legacy Burke class destroyers which make up the most of the US fleet defense operation. Burke has a low to its hull, fairly old radar that struggles with skimming missiles with detection only in hundreds of meters.

Any supersonic missile (let alone hypersonic) will likely be able to overpower a Burke Destroyer net with just a few missiles. What makes it worse is that the US navy is only just been giving its Burke's active missiles like the ESSM, most of the standard designs are legacy missiles that are illumination based for termination and require baby sitting, of which only two-3 (3 on Tichondria cruisers) for each termination meaning a low number of controlled missiles.

A zircon would likely be able to fly through a US carrier strike group and destroy any projected target with ease. The only defence the US have would be to use an aircraft like the F-35 to control high end missiles like SM-6 (costly/heavy/small in number) to try and hit the Zircon through mass salvo from multiple Burkes.

The US should be less worried about hypersonic cruise missiles and more about their obsolescent Torpedo technology as most of the world has come along way. The old ADCAP has slower/shorter ranged than even Russian modern Torpedo weapons. For fans of the US stealth aircraft who thinks its invisible and can choose its engagements, its nothing compared to submarine warfare, you never want your adversary to be able to outshoot you with a Torpedo.

Especially when the US' relevance as a military relies on its carrier strike group strategy.
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