Alert fighters

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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FDiron

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Unread post12 May 2006, 11:36

I work at the airport in Louisville, KY. Tonight I was asked by security to attempt to get a knife through security and into the air park. A coworker and I began discussing the situation, and what type of defense measures are in place to stop a rogue plane.

I was under the impression that only a few cities had fighters on alert status. Is it public knowledge which cities have fighters at the ready?

Also, from the experience of 9-11, it seems its more difficult to intercept large airliners with fighters than once thought. Airliners can fly at high subsonic speeds, and an intercepting fighter has to get very close before it can fire a missle (30 miles or less).

So if anyone could shed some light on the strategy to deal with rogue/hijacked planes, I would sure appreciate it.
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snypa777

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Unread post12 May 2006, 11:54

I don`t know about the US, but here in the UK the measures/tactics/strategy taken against rogue airliners is classified for obvious reasons.
Why give the bad guys the take on how to get around defence measures.
If he doesn`t know them, keep him guessing...he may screw up enough to get stopped.

Just a thought. 8)
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Guysmiley

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Unread post12 May 2006, 14:46

Food for thought: Jet fighters are FAST when the fuel budget isn't an issue. 9/11 the problem was no one had imagined a concerted attack using hijacked jet liners as weapons. (Well Clancy did, but that wasn't a hijacking, and it was fiction...)

Everyone assumed that the first plane was an accident of some kind, and there was only 30 minutes or so from the second tower to the Pentagon. That turned out to not be enough time for the system to react. There WERE armed fighters on full AB heading to intercept United 93, and I personally have no doubt if it came to that we would have brought it down.

These days you can bet that an airliner veering off course and not responding to comms will get a hell of a reaction immediately. The problem is terrorists fight dirty. If they attack again it won't be using the same methods.
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RoAF

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Unread post12 May 2006, 14:56

There WERE armed fighters on full AB heading to intercept United 93, and I personally have no doubt if it came to that we would have brought it down.

Fact is that the GCI (or whatever you call it in the US) vectored them towards the EAST immediately after take-off, and only called them back when they were near the shore...by the time they reached the predicted point of interception, United 93 was already down.
Thank God there were some resolute individuals on board that plane (and I don't mean the hijackers)
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boff180

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Unread post12 May 2006, 15:47

snypa777 wrote:I don`t know about the US, but here in the UK the measures/tactics/strategy taken against rogue airliners is classified for obvious reasons.
Why give the bad guys the take on how to get around defence measures.
If he doesn`t know them, keep him guessing...he may screw up enough to get stopped.

Just a thought. 8)


Not quite that classified :)

4x Tornado F3 on 'Q' at RAF Coningsby (2 on 10 minute standby at any one time).
4x Tornado F3 on 'Q' at RAF Leuchers

:)

Andy
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snypa777

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Unread post12 May 2006, 17:53

Cheers Andy. The fact that we have F-3s on QRA should be public knowledge. It acts as a deterrent. What I really meant concerned the ROE`s and strategy which are classified. Also any countermeasures on the ground if they exist, around sensitive areas.

One thing that I do know is that it is a cabinet level decision to bring an airliner down...... :shock:
"I may not agree with what you say....but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
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Raptor_One

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Unread post12 May 2006, 18:43

Guysmiley wrote:Food for thought: Jet fighters are FAST when the fuel budget isn't an issue. 9/11 the problem was no one had imagined a concerted attack using hijacked jet liners as weapons. (Well Clancy did, but that wasn't a hijacking, and it was fiction...)


Not just Clancy, but Dale Brown in his 1994 Storming Heaven. I don't know when the Clancy book was written, and haven't read any of his books. But I know Dale Brown's books are fact-based fiction, even when it comes to really high-tech stuff. He does his research. Perhaps if more people at the Pentagon had imaginations, they would have imagined somthing along the lines of what Dale Brown and Clancy did. It boggles the mind.
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cutlassracer

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Unread post12 May 2006, 20:19

Storming Heaven was one of the first things I thought of on 9/11. Brown is a great writer.
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avon1944

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Unread post11 Jun 2006, 00:20

I don't know about the east coast but, on the west coast we have alert fighters at Yosemite International Airport, Cal, Portland, Ore and, Whibly, Washington. Now, the real question is which air bases can supplement these bases on a hour or two basis. The last I heard that there are twenty-six bases that can respond with fighters ready for combat within three hours.
I do not know about Alaska, if Elmendorf AFB is the only interceptor base or not. I have never read anything about Hawaii and its air defense capability.

At the time of 09/11/01 there were only fourteen interceptors to defend CONUS and another seven in Alaska.

The reason the alert status was so low was that during the year 2000, there are 425 "unknowns" - pilots who didn't file or diverted from flight plans or used the wrong frequency. Fighters are scrambled in response 129 times in cases where problems are not immediately resolved.

In 2004 I came across this information. Several governements have ennacted laws that enable local commanders to kill an airliner that fits certain profiles. US carrier commanders have had this power for a while.

To my knowledge the first airliner shot down was a KLM aircraft shot down by a Mosquito in 1943. I know there have been over two dozen airliners shot by interceptors.

In the investigation I came across some interesting information;
INDIA
http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1462946/posts
The Indian Government has approve the policy by the Cabinet Committee on Security that the Indian AF can shoot down any airliner that could be used as a missile by highjackers.

CANADA
The Canada Government recognizes that the USAF would be able to kill a ballistic missile but requires NORAD to consult the Canadian Government first before taking any actions! -AW&ST

RUSSIA
http://209.157.64.200/focus/keyword?k=shootdown
President Vladimir Putin signed a measure into law Monday that allows the Russian military to shoot down hijacked planes.

UNITED STATES
US Navy Gets Permission To Shoot Down Airliners
US Navy battle groups have recieved authorization to shoot down any airliner that is possible being used as a missile by hijackers to destroy a US Navy ship.

GERMANY
Germany Says No
http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/1579103/posts
President Horst Koehler signed the air safety bill last year, but he encouraged a review by the Federal Constitutional Court amid heated debate over whether the state has a right to kill citizens even to save the lives of others. A complaint was filed by a group of lawyers and a flight captain.
In its ruling, the court found the bill "incompatible with the fundamental right to life and with the guarantee of human dignity" for innocent passengers on an aircraft. (The bill was over turned)
To me this is an example legal theory in conflict with reality or common sense.

Adrian
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swanee

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Unread post11 Jun 2006, 03:28

FDiron wrote:I work at the airport in Louisville, KY. Tonight I was asked by security to attempt to get a knife through security and into the air park. A coworker and I began discussing the situation, and what type of defense measures are in place to stop a rogue plane.

I was under the impression that only a few cities had fighters on alert status. Is it public knowledge which cities have fighters at the ready?

Also, from the experience of 9-11, it seems its more difficult to intercept large airliners with fighters than once thought. Airliners can fly at high subsonic speeds, and an intercepting fighter has to get very close before it can fire a missle (30 miles or less).

So if anyone could shed some light on the strategy to deal with rogue/hijacked planes, I would sure appreciate it.


The problem with alert fighters is that they have to be stationed at regular bases. The Fargo guys are here at Langley. Most ANG units share runways with civilian airports and do not keep live missiles and such on site. I know that the 174th in Syracuse, NY keeps their missile coffins at Fort Drum, about a 2 hour drive to the north. However, that did not stop the guys from Syr to try and intercept flight 93 with only dummy rounds in the gun on 9-11.

I am certain that each part of the country, or at least those deemed important by the DoD and the DHS, are covered by alert fighters. But like it was stated earlier, terrorists fight dirty. They right hooked us, so we are guarding the right. The next punch they are looking for is the left jab, because we might not be looking for it coming from there.
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avon1944

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Unread post11 Jun 2006, 17:45

FDiron wrote wrote:the experience of 9-11, it seems its more difficult to intercept large airliners with fighters than once thought. Airliners can fly at high subsonic speeds

It appears this is not the first time this was experienced. When the PVO vectored its fighters to KAL-007, the first intercept was missed. It was the second pair that shot down the airliner. I remember thinking, gosh if the PVO has this much difficulty with an airliner what would they do with B-52's!
It now appears what happens in peacetime with no threat and what happens when there is a conflict are different things entirely.

When the DoD was testifying before the House of Reps. the commander of NORAD stated that when able a carrier off the coast of the USA also can serve as an interceptor base, the ANG bases can stand down for a day or so. The general was trying to explain to the congressmen how so few bases can adequately protect the USA, within current budget considerations.

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Person

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Unread post14 Jun 2006, 16:40

swanee wrote:I know that the 174th in Syracuse, NY keeps their missile coffins at Fort Drum, about a 2 hour drive to the north.


How public is this knowledge? Just wondering if people really need to know on an international public forum that the 174th's live weapons are a two hour drive away?

...maybe I'm just being paranoid.
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Roscoe

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Unread post14 Jun 2006, 17:04

RoAF wrote:
There WERE armed fighters on full AB heading to intercept United 93, and I personally have no doubt if it came to that we would have brought it down.

Fact is that the GCI (or whatever you call it in the US) vectored them towards the EAST immediately after take-off, and only called them back when they were near the shore...by the time they reached the predicted point of interception, United 93 was already down.
Thank God there were some resolute individuals on board that plane (and I don't mean the hijackers)


Actually, I don't believe that is true. Just this week I was fortunate to catch a briefing from a Marine that was serving in the White House that day and was in the Ops center with the big wigs when everything was going down. The Eagles that scrambled out of Otis ANGB were sent on a proper intercept at high speed (supersonic). They had orders to shoot it down. Five minutes later flight 93 crashed. For about 5 minutes it was asusmed it had been shot down. It was then discovered that the Eagles watched it go in without firing a shot. Of course, we later found out why. Key point is...weapons were hot and release was authorized.
Roscoe

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pafpilot

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Unread post14 Jun 2006, 19:03

Hello everyone!
Remember when two german airliners crashed in mid-air. Those days i happened to discuss the matter with a former Air Defence Controller at PAF.He told me that back in the 80's they had several airliners which voilated the flight plan and started to move towards sensitive areas.When i asked him who these airliners were , he told me that most of the pilots of the airliners were Russians and when contacted by the ground radar they didnt even used to respond.The orders were simple :
1) If the area is TOO sensitive then launch a SAM .(most of the sensitive installations have SAM cover available but if sams werent available then obviously launch aircrafts to intercept and if necessary destroy the airliner)
2) If the aircraft is heading towards some less sensitive area then scramble alert fighters.
He also told me that they several times launched fighters to intercept airliners who wouldnt respond and forced them to land.
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RoAF

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Unread post14 Jun 2006, 19:49

pafpilot wrote:
He told me that back in the 80's they had several airliners which voilated the flight plan and started to move towards sensitive areas.When i asked him who these airliners were , he told me that most of the pilots of the airliners were Russians and when contacted by the ground radar they didnt even used to respond.

It was standard procedure for Aeroflot (Soviet national civil airline) planes to "get lost" and "involuntarily" overfly sensitive installations in the west, including US. Their radios would also start to "malfunction" at the same time. The planes that drifted away from the flightpath had a small square transparent surface under the forward fuselage...need I say more?
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