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Conventional airpower in europe 1985-1988

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  • Conventional airpower in europe 1985-1988

    I think in cold war scenarios of this era we spend too much time debating the merits of conventional aircraft esp fighters , how good they were in air to air combat etc

    it seems like that the liberal use of IRBM and cruise missiles on both sides made any advantage in conventional fighter superority almost redundant in the bigger picture

    The key factor for fighter aircraft would be
    1-if they can carry tactical nukes
    2-How well they can evade enemy fighters and survive

    we worry so much about the mig-29/su27 vs f-16/18/15 matchup but in reality any war before the IRBM treaty i.e before 1988 was almostly certainly use tactical nukes and in that case it is all about IRBM and tactical nukes wiping out most of the bases before the bulk of conventional airpower can be brought into play

    there would be no time for the fighters to play red baron

    so even if both sides stay away from strategic nuclear weapons the large availability of SSM will make having air superority in the conventional sense meaningless

    any thoughts ? suggestions ?

  • #2
    Wouldn't a high percentage of those tactical nukes have been gravity bombs?

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nastle View Post
      I think in cold war scenarios of this era we spend too much time debating the merits of conventional aircraft esp fighters , how good they were in air to air combat etc

      it seems like that the liberal use of IRBM and cruise missiles on both sides made any advantage in conventional fighter superority almost redundant in the bigger picture

      The key factor for fighter aircraft would be
      1-if they can carry tactical nukes
      2-How well they can evade enemy fighters and survive

      we worry so much about the mig-29/su27 vs f-16/18/15 matchup but in reality any war before the IRBM treaty i.e before 1988 was almostly certainly use tactical nukes and in that case it is all about IRBM and tactical nukes wiping out most of the bases before the bulk of conventional airpower can be brought into play

      there would be no time for the fighters to play red baron

      so even if both sides stay away from strategic nuclear weapons the large availability of SSM will make having air superority in the conventional sense meaningless

      any thoughts ? suggestions ?
      The thinking that fixed airbases are vulnerable to attack in the event of hostilities has not been entirely disregarded. Hence the development of the Harrier aircraft, for example, designed to operate independently in the field.

      Also ,Swedish doctrine has always maintained that its airforce could operate from sections of highway when called upon.
      "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
      Samuel Johnson.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
        Wouldn't a high percentage of those tactical nukes have been gravity bombs?

        Pruitt
        maybe yes but I'm just saying that the IRBMs were available in sufficent numbers then to take out most of the high priority targets

        were IRBM also vulnerable to 4th gen fighters

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post

          The thinking that fixed airbases are vulnerable to attack in the event of hostilities has not been entirely disregarded. Hence the development of the Harrier aircraft, for example, designed to operate independently in the field.

          Also ,Swedish doctrine has always maintained that its airforce could operate from sections of highway when called upon.
          didnt the soviets say their aircraft had rough field capability? not sure how true that was

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          • #6
            Supposedly the Soviets have jet engines that can suck in all kinds of trash and reduce it to dust. Thus the Frogfoot hangs its engines on the bottom of the airframe. It may have been a happy coincidence that The Harrier can also operate from regular airfields employing vertical flight and short take offs. It also can take off using a regular roll.

            Pruitt
            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by nastle View Post

              didnt the soviets say their aircraft had rough field capability? not sure how true that was
              Yes ,I believe so. Certainly the Mig-27 was rendered suitable for rough field operations.
              "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
              Samuel Johnson.

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              • #8
                I know that there was planning in place for the squadrons with 1 CAG to recover to an adjacent section of the autobahn and be serviced for a second strike should the runway at Baden-Soelingen be successfully interdicted. This was in the early-mid Seventies. How it was supposed to actually work under war conditions is anyone's guess, as there was a limited MSE establishment to actually do the required transfer of the stores, techs, ground support equipment, and fuel over the 10+/- km between the airbase and the new FOL. Nonetheless, this was "Plan B" at the time. Plan "A" was a recovery to Lahr, where stocks of weapons were already stored in the HAS and attendant facilities, which had been built when 1(Strike)Wing was relocated during the closure of RCAF Zweibruken.
                To our mutual benefit, none of this ever came to pass.
                I'm guessing that the same plan (probably a little better logistically supported?) was in place with regards to the CF-18's that replaced the 104's around 1983.
                48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                __________________________________________________ __________________

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                • #9
                  When the Harrier was being developed from the Kestrel design for the RAF the issue of logistic support for dispersed aircraft operating from non runwayed sites was considered and it was originally planned to develop a VSTOL transport aircraft in tandem with the Harrier specifically to provide such support. When I was at Rolls Royce preliminary studies were under way into what sort of power plants this would require. However the politicos of the day decided that the idea was too expensive and cancelled it.
                  Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                  Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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