Cannon Armed Bomber Escort Query

Started by Cobra, March 06, 2011, 09:14:23 PM

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Cobra

Hey Guys, What If someone Built a modern version of a Bomber Escort Similar to what was used in WW2? the Question just came to me & i thought i'd ask. the guns i'm thinking of for the escort range from 20mm Defa Cannons to 40mm Bofors,Etc.  what say you? thanks for looking.Dan

Maverick

Dan, I think the concept would be as flawed as it was in WW2, only moreso.  The bombers they escort would be considerably faster than the escort once they've delivered their loads (assuming conventional and not nuclear weapons), leaving the escort to be overwhelmed by enemy air defences.

Also, given that operational AAMs came along fairly promptly after WW2 (if you discount the German X-4), I'd suggest that the standoff ability of such weapons would outweigh the capabilites of a gun system. 

In addition, upgrades in the calibre beyond 30mm would start to really have serious affects on the turret's tracking and engagement, to say nothing of structural issues.

Just my 2 cents.

Regards,

Mav

pyro-manic

Perhaps a better option would be to simply mix up the armament of the standard bombers? Fit some with long-ranged weapons (20mm?) to take long-range shots at attackers, and leave others with the shorter-ranged .50s that can put out denser fire at short range. Don't bother with the extra armour and turrets, as Mav says they just slow the gunships down. You might be able to fit twin 20mm in place of a quad-.50 installation, or a single instead of a twin-.50.

For more modern bombers, a better option would be to carry anti-radar missiles and jammers.
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Weaver

I think that in the traditional sense of a multi-turret "long-range heavy fighter" it's a dead duck, for the reasons explained. In a looser sense, you could maybe see something like a B-1 full of AAMs, ARMs and jammers running interference for another one that's sneaking along in electronic silence at low level with the HE/nukes. The problem would be that it would be a very expensive piece of kit, as expensive as the bombers in fact, so for every one you bought from your bomber budget, that'd be one less bomb load on target. There's also the question of effectiveness: a lot of ECM works best when it's on the actual aircraft under attack, not an accompanying one.
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Maverick

Pyro, the idea of fitting 20mms instead of 50cal has merit.  The Soviets did it with their copy of the B-29 - the Tu-4, replacing the 50cals with 23mm weapons.  I think, however, that this option would be an extended WW2 scenario or Korean War era thing only.  The introduction of AAMs really put the brakes on effective gun armament on bombers.

Regards,

Mav

deathjester

Two options occur to me:

1. (Relatively) Low cost option
   All bombers equipped with parasite UCAV's to act as escort, controlled via an AEGIS style system onboard the        
   bombers.

2.  High cost option
   Armed manned/or un-manned spaceplane that takes out surface threats in advance of airstrike(s) with
   PGM's/laser weapon

Obviously, the bomber could also be orbital too, but may still need escorting....
   

Maverick

The 'Low Cost' option (which is relative in truth) sounds a bit like a mix of the FICON concept along with the Quail countermeasures missile.

A spaceplane might revive the ASAT concept, after all 'new' concepts are usually met with countermeasures fairly promptly.  Perhaps the Shuttle might find a new lease of life  :rolleyes:

Regards,

Mav


Old Wombat

The modern combat scene is better served by "Wild Weasel" style interdiction along several possible bombing routes, including the one to be taken, ahead of a bombing mission.

Most SAM's & AAM's come at the target from astern, so a radar targeted Vulcan or mini-gun tail turret (short-range) & stern mounted counter-AAM/SAM missiles (long/mid-range) would work better than escorts.

Combine those 2 & add another "Wild Weasel" strike in conjunction with the raid plus fighter strikes against airfields as enemy fighters are returning to base empty & you've got yourself a result.

Sounds expensive (& it is) but cost-benefit-wise it's a much better result.
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Weaver

Assuming that those Wild Weasels and fighters have the range to reach the target, of course.
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '

Old Wombat

True; or if there is a means to (relatively) safely refuel them during the mission.

So, re-introducing Buccaneers might be in order for the Weasel role, then. ;D
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est