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What is the greatest threat to Continued US air dominance?

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  • What is the greatest threat to Continued US air dominance?

    In another conversation someone brought up the dependence of US ground forces on our domination of the skies. If an adversary were able to counter our air dominance, our ground forces would find themselves with out a major source of firepower, surveillance, and other critical assets.

    So the obvious question becomes, what exactly is the greatest threat to US air power in the next decade or so?

    Opinions?

    BTW - This one is multiple choice so feel free.
    48
    Advanced Chinese or Russian aircraft
    18.75%
    9
    Advanced SAMs
    27.08%
    13
    A disruptive technology (lasers, rail-guns, EMP weapons, etc.)
    18.75%
    9
    Other - Please explain
    35.42%
    17

    The poll is expired.

    Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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  • #2
    I'm no expert on the issue, but some say that the Su-33 could outdo the F-18, and the Su-35/7 could outdo the F-22 and F-35, at least in dogfights. But supposedly the F-15 could outdo an Su-27. I'm not sure about other aircraft in both camps, like the F-16 or MiG-29, though. Same for the Chinese. I'm trying to find a video about some simulation of Sukhois vs American planes, in which the Sukhois won a glorious victory. It made me wonder just how objective the simulation was though.

    I bet that our planes, certainly the newer ones, have better long range targeting capability and/or sensory capability-possibly better quality weapons. But when it comes to a dogfight, I fear that the F-22 and F-35 might be more like the early F-4s, where we jumped on/created the bandwagon of "oh we have A-to-A missiles now! Guns are a thing of the past! We don't need them anymore!". In the case of the 22 and 35, more like having so much advanced electronic stuff that if/when they were to get into a closer encounter, they wouldn't be able to perform as well.

    BUT this is probably more speculation than fact
    "A foolish man thinks he knows everything if placed in unexpected difficulty; but he knows not what to answer, if to the test he is put."

    --Hávamál

    Comment


    • #3
      Given that no Western air force has gone up against a modern SAM system for 40 years I think that would have to be the greatest test.
      By modern I mean a system comparable to that of the West,ie,Russia or perhaps China.
      The best example I can come up with is the Israeli victory in the Bekaa Valley in 1982 during which the IAF destroyed all of the much vaunted Soviet supplied SA-6 SAMs plus numerous SA-2s and 3s and 82 Syrian aircraft for NO LOSS!
      This was fought between Western offensive and Eastern defensive systems and the Sovs were appalled at the apparent ease with which the IAF had dismantled their closely co-ordinated and seemingly impenetrable client states SAM umbrella.
      A great deal of the approbation for the IAF success can be laid firmly at the door of IAF commander David Ivry,he introduced the World to the fully integrated real-time theatre intelligence doctrine by using RPVs very efficiently and in being constant comms with pilots actually in the fight.
      I very much doubt that the West have such a skilled commander,a commander able to overcome difficulties as they happen without interminable staff and media meetings.
      Time moves on however and I'm sure the defects inherent in 80s tech SAM target acquisition have been addressed.
      Aircraft by their very nature are observeable and a countries advances in that field are often touted by that country as evidence of their technical prowess. Therefore it's relatively simple to keep abreast of a potential enemies airborne potential.
      SAM systems are generally little discussed at prestigious airshows.
      If one considers how the West ,including me, assumed our AFVs and particularly tanks were virtually indestructible only to be dismayed to see them disabled and destroyed by something as simple as a roadside bomb( A device that has been used successfully for centuries). one may get an idea of what I'm aiming at.
      I think the West is experiencing a period of extreme over-confidence regarding its airpower vis-a-vis ground defences.

      Comment


      • #4
        The greatest threat to US military dominance not just air power is the growing size of US debt. The US can't really afford the size of it's military now and the longer politicians leave making substantial cuts, the more painful military budget cuts will be in the future with an every increasing debt. To have a dominating military you need an economy to support it, and not larger increasing interest payments.
        • 'If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.' Sun Tzu

        Definition of government, "an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself" by Ibn Khaldun

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tealo View Post
          The greatest threat to US military dominance not just air power is the growing size of US debt. The US can't really afford the size of it's military now and the longer politicians leave making substantial cuts, the more painful military budget cuts will be in the future with an every increasing debt. To have a dominating military you need an economy to support it, and not larger increasing interest payments.
          You've beaten me to it. When one looks at the history of "Empires" and great powers, the problems come from overstretch and financial problems....

          In the 1930's this country was considered the world's major power. Inside 30years we were cancelling major military projects because of financial problems and the perception we were no longer in a position to carry out these kind of projects. This kind of thing is being muted as we speak. The F22 has not been built in the numbers originally muted and the F35 has financial overstrectch that is making many people in the States wince and it might not even deliver its promises. I think this is the problem not whether China makes some stealth plane or not....
          Last edited by copenhagen; 10 Oct 12, 03:32.

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          • #6
            Advanced SAMs(especially the short/medium ranged mobile SAMs) would be my first choice, and advanced fighters targeting the force multipliers... the AWACS and aerial refuelling tankers.
            "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
            Ernest Hemingway.

            "We're all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorised and flattened by trivialities."
            Bukowski

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Super Six 4 View Post
              I'm no expert on the issue, but some say that the Su-33 could outdo the F-18, and the Su-35/7 could outdo the F-22 and F-35, at least in dogfights. But supposedly the F-15 could outdo an Su-27. I'm not sure about other aircraft in both camps, like the F-16 or MiG-29, though. Same for the Chinese.
              Andrew, planes don't defeat planes. Pilots defeat pilots. If an enemy aircraft has an edge in one area, you develop tactics that negate that advantage. Like the tactics developed to handle the Zero in the Pacific and the MiGs in Vietnam.

              And I chose "other" for the same reasons specified by Tealo and Cope.
              ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

              BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

              BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

              Comment


              • #8
                Money
                As lord and master of your grill, you will welcome any opportunity to display your grilling prowess.
                Mario Batali, 2006

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gixxer86g View Post
                  Andrew, planes don't defeat planes. Pilots defeat pilots. If an enemy aircraft has an edge in one area, you develop tactics that negate that advantage. Like the tactics developed to handle the Zero in the Pacific and the MiGs in Vietnam.

                  And I chose "other" for the same reasons specified by Tealo and Cope.

                  Sure!! pilots are a main component of the equation but the Law of Physics and what aircraft are capable of also enters the game....

                  IE.... At a Paris airshow I once watched an F16 attempt to the a "Cobra" maneuver after a similar display by a SU27.....end result one stalled engine, one ejection and one pile of aluminum at the end of the runway...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Went for advanced SAM's. I don't believe the Russians or the Chinese have superior pilots (not that I'd know), or superior aircraft.
                    However advanced SAM (Russian mainly) systems have proved to be a very serious threat to Western aircraft and pilots.
                    I am G.I. Jew

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bow View Post
                      Sure!! pilots are a main component of the equation but the Law of Physics and what aircraft are capable of also enters the game....

                      IE.... At a Paris airshow I once watched an F16 attempt to the a "Cobra" maneuver after a similar display by a SU27.....end result one stalled engine, one ejection and one pile of aluminum at the end of the runway...
                      You miss my point. A P40 couldn't turn with a Zero. But by utilizing proper tactics that emphasize the P40's strong points, it becomes a deadly fighter.
                      ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

                      BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

                      BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Congress.


                        I thought that'd be witty, and maybe it could have been from someone who knows more about these things.
                        ------
                        'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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                        • #13
                          Its cheaper to produce AA weapon so maybe some smaller countries invested money in that for protection.

                          So my vote goes for SAM.

                          US army is slowly going down while Russians never were really superior(because of economy)... so maybe China too? I really dont know...
                          "Give me 100 000 croatian soldiers and I will conqure all world" - Napoleon Bonaparte

                          Soldiers are coming and leaving while war will never end.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Selous View Post
                            Congress.


                            I thought that'd be witty, and maybe it could have been from someone who knows more about these things.
                            That was my answer as well.
                            The First Amendment applies to SMS, Emails, Blogs, online news, the Fourth applies to your cell phone, computer, and your car, but the Second only applies to muskets?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tealo View Post
                              The greatest threat to US military dominance not just air power is the growing size of US debt. The US can't really afford the size of it's military now and the longer politicians leave making substantial cuts, the more painful military budget cuts will be in the future with an every increasing debt. To have a dominating military you need an economy to support it, and not larger increasing interest payments.
                              Indeed, Progressive Democrats are the greatest threat under Obama who thinks that if we place nice, then the enemy will be friends.

                              WW2 was the result of such appeasement by Chamberlain. WW3 will be the results of Obama's appeasement.
                              “Breaking News,”

                              “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

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