Can an outnumbered air force be dangerous?

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snypa777

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Unread post30 Dec 2014, 22:15

rpg83 wrote:How do you see the position of an outnumbered air force in air-to-air combat? If the enemy has 150 fighters, does having 20 fighters do you any good?

Let's assume there is no technological advantage on either side (i.e. both forces operate the same fighter jet). Support assets are the same level too. There is no major difference in skill levels either. As you might have already guessed, the larger force is the aggressor. The smaller air force is only defending their homeland so I guess they may have a little home advantage, and I don't mean the psychological one.

Can the smaller air force produce losses to the larger air force with a reasonable kill-ratio? If not, how many fighters would the outnumbered party need to have a kill-ratio closer to 1?


Superior tactics can level the playing field but only for a while. Intelligence coups can level the playing field for a while but eventually, the loser will be the guy who run out of ordnance, fuel, airfields and pilots first.

In phase one, the smaller force could have some spectacular successes but in a war of attrition they are going to lose.

Wartime ordnance stocks are important, its been reported that during the 1970`s, the British RAF would have run out of iron Bombs within a couple of weeks in an all out conventional war with the Warsaw Pact and ran out of every other weapon within a month because stocks were held too low.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post31 Dec 2014, 14:02

There are some ways for smaller air force (or military force in general) to combat numerically superior enemy. Technology, training, tactics, home-field advantage (knowing the terrain and environment) and having strong friends (like other countries or strong Air Defense forces) can all help a lot. Of course there is a point where none of these can help. An air force of 10 F-22s will likely lose to a force having 10,000 MiG-15s. Not one F-22 would likely be lost in air combat, but F-22s would very likely run out of ordnance before killing all the MiGs. Of course if the potential enemy has only MiG-15s, much cheaper and much more numerous fighters could be used and still have overwhelming technological advantage.

Modern air forces seem to have about 10-25 A/A missiles for each of their fighter aircraft. A lot depends on what modern missile kill probability is against modern fighters and their countermeasures. If we assume that the kill probability is for example 25 percent, then the smaller force could theoretically destroy about 3-6 times larger air force. Of course smaller air force would take losses also, but winning also doesn't require killing all enemy aircraft. Smaller air force could also inflict a lot of damage it they have superior A/G capabilities. I think it's possible for air force to be victorious against few times larger air force (with superior training, tactics or other such advantages), but things would get very tough if the enemy is more powerful than that. Of course even a significantly smaller air force can be effective in preventing enemy achieving their goals even though they can not really win.

Ordnance stocks are definitely important, but there is a limit how many weapons can be realistically bought for fighter aircraft. For example buying 10,000 A/A missiles for 10 fighter aircraft would give very nice stocks, but combat power would likely be much higher with buying 2000 A/A missiles and 80 fighter aircraft with the same money as those 10 fighters would likely never get a chance to use more than few hundred missiles anyway.
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sergei

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Unread post01 Jan 2015, 09:23

April 12, 1951 Black Thursday +black Tuesday On October 30 1951


21 " Superfortress " accompanied by nearly 200 different types of fighters were attacked by forty-four MiG-15
as a result of the battle the Soviet pilots shot down twelve -29 and 4 f- 84

Americans managed to knock down only one MiG-15

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_K ... st_of_aces
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Angels225

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Unread post01 Jan 2015, 15:17

If I may expand on the question.

The smaller force:
40 4++ gen and 120 3rd gen along with force-multipliers(AEW/Tanker) platforms. All platforms networked in C4I system
Average flying hours around 220 a year.

The Larger force:

120 4++ gen and 300 3rd Gen along with force-multipliers(AEW/Tanker) platforms. All platforms networked with national C4I.
Average flying hours around 240 a year

The only difference is that the smaller force has a higher relative number of pilots per aircraft.. so it has a pilot to airframe ratio of 3 to 1 compared to the larger forces 1.5 to 1 and so may be able to generate a higher number of sorties.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post01 Jan 2015, 20:44

sergei wrote:21 " Superfortress " accompanied by nearly 200 different types of fighters were attacked by forty-four MiG-15
as a result of the battle the Soviet pilots shot down twelve -29 and 4 f- 84

Americans managed to knock down only one MiG-15



You do realize that you just made the case for the F-35, right?

That being a smaller number of technologically superior fighters can win over a greater number of inferior fighters.
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sergei

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Unread post01 Jan 2015, 21:01

SpudmanWP wrote:
sergei wrote:21 " Superfortress " accompanied by nearly 200 different types of fighters were attacked by forty-four MiG-15
as a result of the battle the Soviet pilots shot down twelve -29 and 4 f- 84

Americans managed to knock down only one MiG-15



You do realize that you just made the case for the F-35, right?

That being a smaller number of technologically superior fighters can win over a greater number of inferior fighters.




remind you of the results of the war: North Korea + China + USSR lost
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Unread post01 Jan 2015, 23:55

sergei wrote:remind you of the results of the war: North Korea + China + USSR lost


Exactly, AFTER the US started using better fighters with better tactics than the Soviets had.

You again are making the point for the F-35. :roll:
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sergei

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Unread post02 Jan 2015, 00:47

SpudmanWP wrote:
sergei wrote:remind you of the results of the war: North Korea + China + USSR lost


Exactly, AFTER the US started using better fighters with better tactics than the Soviets had.

You again are making the point for the F-35. :roll:

:doh:
your knowledge of the Korean War shocks me
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Unread post02 Jan 2015, 04:30

Your thinking that the war ended in a "loss" shocks me....
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count_to_10

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Unread post03 Jan 2015, 15:32

sergei wrote:April 12, 1951 Black Thursday +black Tuesday On October 30 1951


21 " Superfortress " accompanied by nearly 200 different types of fighters were attacked by forty-four MiG-15
as a result of the battle the Soviet pilots shot down twelve -29 and 4 f- 84

Americans managed to knock down only one MiG-15

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_K ... st_of_aces

Your link doesn't support that claim at all. Do you have a link that describes the battle? I figure a complete slaughter like that would be easy to find, but I haven't had any luck googling for it.
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sergei

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Unread post04 Jan 2015, 06:48

count_to_10 wrote:
sergei wrote:April 12, 1951 Black Thursday +black Tuesday On October 30 1951


21 " Superfortress " accompanied by nearly 200 different types of fighters were attacked by forty-four MiG-15
as a result of the battle the Soviet pilots shot down twelve -29 and 4 f- 84

Americans managed to knock down only one MiG-15

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_K ... st_of_aces

Your link doesn't support that claim at all. Do you have a link that describes the battle? I figure a complete slaughter like that would be easy to find, but I haven't had any luck googling for it.


Sorry this is not my statement is a historical fact , there was no massacre, it was an example of how a technological and a training unit capable of inflicting considerable damage (against bomber)despite the significant advantage of the enemy in numbers usa lost 50% of bombers and fighters 2%

50 % although it seems a large number but this number is less than the number Mig15 4 time.
My link doesn't support that claim and not anticipated that there will be, it must be demonstrated a significant number of skilled pilots from all sides of the conflict.
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phantomzzz

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Unread post05 Jan 2015, 15:57

You made a claim and attached a link that doesn't support it.
When asked, you said it is a fact.
How can it be a fact without any support, not even from an unreasonable USSR source?
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Unread post05 Jan 2015, 17:09

Funny thing is that entire world admires Finnish military for what it’s done in World War II, but Russians still go on with an argument: “but we have won”. Sure, when you throw enough millions of bodies at the enemy, he will run out of ammo eventually. The same goes for Korean War - entire world acknowledges the Sabres made a mincemeat out of Soviet-built planes, but the Russians still maintain it was the opposite, quoting their own “sources”, the same ones that claim that in 1939 USSR did not invade eastern Poland, but only moved in to make sure Hitler doesn’t capture it or that 50,000 Polish officers taken prisoner by the Red Army during that invasion have somehow been murdered by the Germans. Soviet-Finnish war was a glorious victory, Operation Mars in 1942/43 was just a diversion, Red Army was welcomed by the “liberated” countries etc. As Goebbels said: “a lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth”. Soviet historians knew that rule very well and because they have always been true to that spirit and extremely economical with the truth, no Russian source will ever be reliable.
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sergei

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Unread post05 Jan 2015, 19:32

phantomzzz wrote:You made a claim and attached a link that doesn't support it.
When asked, you said it is a fact.
How can it be a fact without any support, not even from an unreasonable USSR source?



Try googling Black Tuesday or Thursday 1951
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sergei

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Unread post05 Jan 2015, 21:51

shrimpman wrote:Funny thing is that entire world admires Finnish military for what it’s done in World War II, but Russians still go on with an argument: “but we have won”. Sure, when you throw enough millions of bodies at the enemy, he will run out of ammo eventually. The same goes for Korean War - entire world acknowledges the Sabres made a mincemeat out of Soviet-built planes, but the Russians still maintain it was the opposite, quoting their own “sources”, the same ones that claim that in 1939 USSR did not invade eastern Poland, but only moved in to make sure Hitler doesn’t capture it or that 50,000 Polish officers taken prisoner by the Red Army during that invasion have somehow been murdered by the Germans. Soviet-Finnish war was a glorious victory, Operation Mars in 1942/43 was just a diversion, Red Army was welcomed by the “liberated” countries etc. As Goebbels said: “a lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth”. Soviet historians knew that rule very well and because they have always been true to that spirit and extremely economical with the truth, no Russian source will ever be reliable.

Kurt von Tippelskirch
In order to confine the German forces in every sector of the front and prevent the large reinforcement to the critical sectors, and in order to strengthen their (Soviet) position in the places which were suitable for future offensives in the following winter, the Russians renewed their offensives in the central sector. Their main efforts focused on Rzhev and Velikye Luky. Therefore, our three panzer divisions and several infantry divisions - which were planned to be used in the southern sectors - had to be kept here to close gaps in the front and to retake lost territories. This was the only method for us to stop the enemy breakthrough.
Military historian David M. Glantz believes (did hi have fact support his view? or“a lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth”) it that Operation Mars was the main Soviet offensive
British historian Antony Beevor disagrees with Glantz, citing that Zhukov spent less time planning Mars than Uranus, and that the artillery shell allocation was much smaller for Mars than for Uranus.
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