Author Topic: Anti-Radiation Missiles  (Read 972 times)

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Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Anti-Radiation Missiles
« on: May 05, 2017, 07:25:56 pm »
It seemed the USAF during the Cold War had focused quite a lot on the following...
  • Nuking cities with bombers, cruise and ballistic missiles
  • Nuking air-fields that protected the cities by low altitude bombing (toss-bombing)
  • Nuking marshalling yards that happened to be within the radius (and possibly range) of the USAF/USN's fighter-bombers, and the USN's attack planes by low altitude bombing (mostly toss-bombing)
...though one could go on and on about the lack of concern for air-superiority, and little thought for conventional war presenting numerous problems: From what it would seem the ability to suppress defense sites was managed by the following...
  • Low altitude nuclear strike: Sites would be taken out by lobbing nuclear warheads onto them.  This was limited by the radius of action, which for the F-105 was around 200-400nm
  • Bomber's on-board ECM: Makes lock-on harder, can either cause the loss of a lock, or cause the missile to miss by a sufficient margin.  Works up until burn-through range.
  • Specialized ECM aircraft: Enhances defense suppression that the bombers would be able to muster on their own.  Is limited insofar as enough power could be put on target
... they did propose an anti-radiation missile in the form of a drone with an anti-radiation seeker called the GAM-67 Crossbow.  It's limitations seemed to be it's subsonic speed, and while there was a replacement planned, it was cancelled.  I am curious why they didn't just kluge the guidance system from the GAM-67 onto an extant missile while they looked for something better?  I should point out the AGM-45 was basically the seeker head of an ASM-N-8 mated to an AAM-N-6/AIM-7C: It might not have been perfect, but it did the job well enough for most purposes.

As for the ASM-N-8: It would have made a good system for the USAF.  It was supersonic, it could be fitted with a nuclear or conventional warhead, it could probably have been carried under some aircraft's hardpoints, and used effectively to subdue air-defenses.
That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.

Offline rickshaw

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 07:51:22 pm »
Robyn/Kendra, you're assuming that bureaucracies and in particular, military bureaucracies are always sensible.  The USN and the USAF in the 1950s and 1960s rarely spoke the same language, let alone had the same objectives.  Both felt they were the defenders of the nation, both had very different means of achieving that.  The USAF believer bigger, higher, faster was the answer to everything and then destroy the fUSSR.  The USN believe they needed to destroy the Soviet Navy first and then the fUSSR.    SAMs and radars just complicated that.  The USN thought primarily tactically, the USAF primarily strategically in how they designed their weapon systems.   So the USN designed anti-radiation missiles, the USAF didn't.
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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2017, 02:49:14 am »
In a nuclear war context there's little reason to bother with ARMs and worrying about whether they're going to get through or be defeated by anti-ARM tactics employed by the SAM site. When you're cleared to chuck a small nuke in their general direction, it doesn't matter a damn what the SAM site transmits or doesn't because your nuke is just flying towards a set of map coordinates and it doesn't matter if it misses by 1000 ft 'cos: nuke.
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Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2017, 09:50:48 pm »
rickshaw

Quote
Robyn/Kendra, you're assuming that bureaucracies and in particular, military bureaucracies are always sensible.
True enough, SAC was living proof of that :blink:.  Regardless, the idea of being able to blow away air-defense sites deep inside enemy territory is a shrewd move, right?
Quote
The USAF believer bigger, higher, faster was the answer to everything
It isn't, but there are some advantage: I think the B-58 had a pretty decent shot of getting through provided the enemy didn't employ a nuclear tipped SA-2 or the SA-5.  The B-70 was impressive, but would have largely relied on defensive missiles (it had them) to make it through with a nuclear-tipped SAM environment.

As for SAM's complicating things, that's pretty obvious for either service: They both developed them.  The USN might have had it's head screwed on better though.


Weaver

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In a nuclear war context there's little reason to bother with ARMs and worrying about whether they're going to get through or be defeated by anti-ARM tactics employed by the SAM site. When you're cleared to chuck a small nuke in their general direction, it doesn't matter a damn what the SAM site transmits or doesn't because your nuke is just flying towards a set of map coordinates and it doesn't matter if it misses by 1000 ft 'cos: nuke.
The limit goes down to several things

1. The radius of action of the nuclear-strike planes: This seemed to be around 200-400 nm
2. The distance to the targets the bombers will be tasked to strike: These were all over the USSR, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea, with the aircraft operating out of CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, the UK, and Diego Garcia if I recall right
3. Destruction of Missile Sites: Conventional war, would entail at least one plane to shoot an ARM at them and blow up the radar, with other aircraft to bomb the site; Nuclear war would entail just lobbing a bomb at the target from down-low or ARM.

That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2017, 05:08:18 am »
They also operated out of Japan for targets in China and Eastern USSR.

For tactical strike aircraft like the F-105 (Which would be a TAC asset, not a SAC one, remember), in a 1960s WWIII context, the principle defence against fixed SAM sites was low altitude, high speed and smart routing. There's no way an SA-2 could take on a Thud going low and fast: it wasn't until the 1970s that properly effective low-altitude SAMs proliferated, and even then, their effective range was limited by terrain, radar range and missile range. It takes a lot more SA-8s to protect x-square miles of border than it does SA-2s, even if the former can engage down to lower altititudes. Also, most of the low-altitude SAMs were developed primarily for mobile defence of the Red Army, and wouldn't neccessarily be found around strategic sites.

Regarding SAM sites deep in the USSR beyond the range of F-105s that might take them out for the bombers, that's what SRAMs were for.
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Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 08:44:09 pm »
They also operated out of Japan for targets in China and Eastern USSR.
Oh, okay
Quote
For tactical strike aircraft like the F-105 (Which would be a TAC asset, not a SAC one, remember), in a 1960s WWIII context, the principle defence against fixed SAM sites was low altitude, high speed and smart routing.
Yes
Quote
Regarding SAM sites deep in the USSR beyond the range of F-105s that might take them out for the bombers, that's what SRAMs were for.
Yes, but they weren't online until the early 1970's...
That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.

Offline James W.

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 09:22:26 pm »
They also operated out of Japan for targets in China and Eastern USSR.

For tactical strike aircraft like the F-105...in a 1960s WWIII context... the principle defence against fixed SAM sites was low altitude, high speed and smart routing. There's no way an SA-2 could take on a Thud going low and fast...


"No way" ? Don't be too sure about that.. since SA-2's accounted for at least a couple of USN RA5C Vigilantes on low recce - over Nam..
..& the Vigilante was a fair bit faster than the Thud.. www.bobjellison.com/RA5C_Vigilante.htm

I don't know if the late `50s USAF/SAC had plans to use the F-108 to escort  B-70s, or if the Bomarc cruise SAM was trialed on anti-SAM interceptions..

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2017, 03:53:58 am »
They also operated out of Japan for targets in China and Eastern USSR.

For tactical strike aircraft like the F-105...in a 1960s WWIII context... the principle defence against fixed SAM sites was low altitude, high speed and smart routing. There's no way an SA-2 could take on a Thud going low and fast...


"No way" ? Don't be too sure about that.. since SA-2's accounted for at least a couple of USN RA5C Vigilantes on low recce - over Nam..
..& the Vigilante was a fair bit faster than the Thud.. www.bobjellison.com/RA5C_Vigilante.htm

I don't know if the late `50s USAF/SAC had plans to use the F-108 to escort  B-70s, or if the Bomarc cruise SAM was trialed on anti-SAM interceptions..

Interesting site - cheers!

However according to another page on there, the average RA-5C mission was flown at 8000ft, which is about ten times higher than the kind of 'low' I was talking about... ;) http://www.bobjellison.com/RA5C_Vigilante3.htm

I can find various claimed figures for the minimum effective altitude of the S-75 Dvina (early SA-2) used in Vietnam, but the lowest is 1,600ft and I suspect the truth in operational conditions was at least twice that.
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Offline scooter

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 04:24:08 am »
rickshaw

Quote
Robyn/Kendra, you're assuming that bureaucracies and in particular, military bureaucracies are always sensible.
True enough, SAC was living proof of that :blink:.  Regardless, the idea of being able to blow away air-defense sites deep inside enemy territory is a shrewd move, right?
Quote
The USAF believer bigger, higher, faster was the answer to everything
It isn't, but there are some advantage: I think the B-58 had a pretty decent shot of getting through provided the enemy didn't employ a nuclear tipped SA-2 or the SA-5.  The B-70 was impressive, but would have largely relied on defensive missiles (it had them) to make it through with a nuclear-tipped SAM environment.

As for SAM's complicating things, that's pretty obvious for either service: They both developed them.  The USN might have had it's head screwed on better though.


Weaver

Quote
In a nuclear war context there's little reason to bother with ARMs and worrying about whether they're going to get through or be defeated by anti-ARM tactics employed by the SAM site. When you're cleared to chuck a small nuke in their general direction, it doesn't matter a damn what the SAM site transmits or doesn't because your nuke is just flying towards a set of map coordinates and it doesn't matter if it misses by 1000 ft 'cos: nuke.
The limit goes down to several things

1. The radius of action of the nuclear-strike planes: This seemed to be around 200-400 nm
2. The distance to the targets the bombers will be tasked to strike: These were all over the USSR, Eastern Europe, China, and North Korea, with the aircraft operating out of CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, the UK, and Diego Garcia if I recall right
3. Destruction of Missile Sites: Conventional war, would entail at least one plane to shoot an ARM at them and blow up the radar, with other aircraft to bomb the site; Nuclear war would entail just lobbing a bomb at the target from down-low or ARM.

My two cents.  Primary targets have always been Command and Control facilities.  So, assume that the main and regional air defense headquarters of the Soviet Union are targeted by either ICBM barrage or B-58s sprinting in at Mach 2.  Once those are down, coordination goes to hell, and the BUFFs, Stratojets, Vulcans, and tac-air assets can have a relatively SAM free time.

A good example of this is in the opening hours of Desert Storm, after 117s took out the Iraqi Air Defense HQ.
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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2017, 09:19:16 pm »

My two cents.  Primary targets have always been Command and Control facilities.  So, assume that the main and regional air defense headquarters of the Soviet Union are targeted by either ICBM barrage or B-58s sprinting in at Mach 2.  Once those are down, coordination goes to hell, and the BUFFs, Stratojets, Vulcans, and tac-air assets can have a relatively SAM free time.

A good example of this is in the opening hours of Desert Storm, after 117s took out the Iraqi Air Defense HQ.

In the event of a full scale war though, wouldn't the last instruction from PVO Strany HQ be something like "if we go off the air, go to local control, and good luck comr..."? Granted the lack of co-ordination would still be a problem, but SAM batteries in Vietnam wern't centrally controlled and still managed to take a toll.
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Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2017, 10:01:46 pm »
James W.

Quote
the Vigilante was a fair bit faster than the Thud.. www.bobjellison.com/RA5C_Vigilante.htm
I actually didn't know it could go quite that fast...
Quote
I don't know if the late `50s USAF/SAC had plans to use the F-108 to escort B-70s
It wasn't taken very seriously actually
Quote
if the Bomarc cruise SAM was trialed on anti-SAM interceptions.
I never heard of that idea...


Weaver

Quote
I can find various claimed figures for the minimum effective altitude of the S-75 Dvina (early SA-2) used in Vietnam, but the lowest is 1,600ft and I suspect the truth in operational conditions was at least twice that.
They eventually found that 3500 feet was optimal.  It had to do with the altitude at which the guns became sufficiently less effective while the missiles were not too effective yet.
Quote
In the event of a full scale war though, wouldn't the last instruction from PVO Strany HQ be something like "if we go off the air, go to local control, and good luck comr..."?
LOL
Quote
Granted the lack of co-ordination would still be a problem, but SAM batteries in Vietnam wern't centrally controlled and still managed to take a toll.
At the penalty of sounding silly: They were centralized in Russia?


scooter

Quote
Primary targets have always been Command and Control facilities.  So, assume that the main and regional air defense headquarters of the Soviet Union are targeted by either ICBM barrage or B-58s sprinting in at Mach 2.
I'm not sure what targets the B-58's were assigned for to be honest.  I just assumed that they would hit industrial targets and population centers as the air power guys seemed to often gravitate to those.
Quote
Once those are down, coordination goes to hell, and the BUFFs, Stratojets, Vulcans, and tac-air assets can have a relatively SAM free time.
Which is a smart move...
That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.

Offline scooter

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 02:48:39 am »
LOL
Quote
Granted the lack of co-ordination would still be a problem, but SAM batteries in Vietnam wern't centrally controlled and still managed to take a toll.
At the penalty of sounding silly: They were centralized in Russia?

What in the fUSSR wasn't centralized.  Remember when Mathias Rust flew a Cessna to Red Square?  The head of the Soviet Air Defense command was fired for that.

Quote from: KJ_Lesnick
scooter

Quote
Primary targets have always been Command and Control facilities.  So, assume that the main and regional air defense headquarters of the Soviet Union are targeted by either ICBM barrage or B-58s sprinting in at Mach 2.
I'm not sure what targets the B-58's were assigned for to be honest.  I just assumed that they would hit industrial targets and population centers as the air power guys seemed to often gravitate to those.

There's a reason why SIOP is classified Top Secret.  However, industrial targets and population centers would have been more for follow-on aircraft, than the initial attack
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Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2017, 08:45:57 pm »
scooter

Quote
What in the fUSSR wasn't centralized.
True enough, but in the 1950's and 1960's era, there was less automation than our SAGE if I recall.
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Remember when Mathias Rust flew a Cessna to Red Square?  The head of the Soviet Air Defense command was fired for that.
That was awesome.
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There's a reason why SIOP is classified Top Secret.
I didn't think SIOP plans from 1955-1965 still were (I remember a huge commotion that came out when some plans listed "population" as targets) 

Regardless, our ballistic missiles in this period of time may very well have had some accuracy issues
  • Their CEP figures were very high and made some useful only for counter-value targeting even with low megaton yields
  • The Titan II had a yield of 9 megatons which might have been an exception, though am uncertain of CEP
  • Some Polaris variants had multiple re-entry vehicles: They lacked multiple targetability, and as a result fell in a zone around a specified target point.  With each warhead in the 600 megaton class, and three of them landing in a relatively small ring, the damage was felt to be useful in destroying hardened targets
  • The Minuteman II evidently had enough accuracy to hit hardened targets, though earlier variants were countervalue only
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However, industrial targets and population centers would have been more for follow-on aircraft, than the initial attack
Makes enough sense: I was still under the impression that there were worries of the B-58 being able to make it in at high altitudes (hence the desire to come in low).  Whether we knew about the fact that they had the SA-2E in 1964, we might very well have known that they tested a nuclear-tipped warhead (weather reconnaissance) as early as 1958, and knew of an early ABM (no nuclear warhead, it used blast-frag warheads to destroy warheads coming on down) as the SA-5 Griffon (which was cancelled as inadequately effective and replaced with the ABM-1), which was first used in 1961 (this missile has no relation to the SA-5 Gammon).

They had interestingly fitted the B-58 with the ability to carry a type of ALBM and ASAT weapon during the testing period, and the pod configuration would make the aircraft useful for versatility in terms of ordinance.
That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.

Offline KJ_Lesnick

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Re: Anti-Radiation Missiles
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2017, 07:27:11 pm »
scooter

1. With command & control facilities being top priority, how much would SAM's be degraded in function without the centralized command structure?
2. Rephrasing what I wrote earlier: Wouldn't ARM's prove a great force multiplier, greatly improving the odds of bombers getting through?
That being said, I'd like to remind everybody in a manner reminiscent of the SNL bit on Julian Assange, that no matter how I die: It was murder (even if there was a suicide note or a video of me peacefully dying in my sleep); should I be framed for a criminal offense or disappear, you know to blame.