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Old 01-15-2018, 07:25 AM   #21
WildBillKelsoe
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Smallwoods book begs to differ. In Gulf I the A-10s and others were up against an entire Soviet armada. SA-2,3 all the way to SA-15,16,19... Your assumption that loiter time is connected to clearing out SAMs is wrong. Wild Weasels exist for that job. Its A-10s pilot standard to fly as low as 100 feet and navigate with markups on maps through rivers, valleys, forest clearings and even roads. They simply fly this way because its the only way to defeat a rich, high threat environment.

I'm an armchair general so dont take me seriously. I parrot what I read in books.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:24 AM   #22
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There have already been a couple of good comments about the threat environment the A-10 was expected to operate in in the 1970s and 80s.

There have been a couple of comments that SEAD would have neutralize the air defense for the A-10. At least with regards to the Central European scenario, I think that is an idea that should be abandoned. First because of the sheer number of threat systems (*). Second because NATO SEAD capability in Europe during the Cold War were a lot smaller than is generally expected. The only HARM shooting aircraft in Europe were a mix of 72 F-4G and F-16C (without HTS) of the 52nd Tactical Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem. In addition there were two USAF F-4G squadrons in the USA for worldwide reinforcement, some of which might come to Germany. The F-4G were a very scarce and precious resource. I think it is reasonable to assume that they would have been used to support high-priority missions, such as to open breaches to the enemy's rear for F-111 and Tornados, that were to strike nuclear delivery systems, HQs, bridges or airbases. Destroying the Vistula bridges in Poland for example would prevent dozens of Soviet second echelon divisions to reach the front. In this light I can not imagine that the few F-4G would have been wasted to suppress the myriads of battlefield SAMs at the FLOT in order to support A-10s to kill individual tanks. The A-10 were on their own.

The SEAD success of Desert Storm cannot be compared to Central Europe by the way. Not only were Iraqi air defenses not comparable to what was found in East Germany, the coalition SEAD capability was also considerably better by the participation of the US Navy. The Navy shot the majority of HARM: 4 carriers supplied about 160 HARM shooting aircraft (F/A-18, A-6E, A-7E, EA-6B). A reinforcement which would not have been available in Central Europe.



(*)
Number of deployed Firing Batteries/Battalions in East Germany (East German Air Defence, East German Army Air Defence and Group of Soviet Forces in Germany):

SA-2: 34
SA-3: 31
SA-4: 36
SA-5: 6
SA-6: 78
SA-8: 75 (4 independent firing units each, so 300)
SA-10: 2
SA-11: 20
SA-12: 12

These forces do not include units of the Polish Army, Czechoslovak Army, Hungarian Army and Soviet 2nd strategic echelon committed to operations in Germany.

Last edited by MBot; 01-15-2018 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:58 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRaza View Post
Why do missions have such unrealistic air defenses?

A-10s will never go up against SA-6/11/15s. The plane was designed to perform and thrives in a low-threat environment. The most an A-10 will ever encounter is an SA-9, 13, MANPADs, and AAA. I'd personally like to see more of a push towards a bit more realistic missions, loadouts (no 6 mavericks ), etc.

Any thoughts?
You can always add 2 ship flight consisting of F-16s,F-18s.They can do their thing than you can do yours.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:47 PM   #24
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Going along with Mbot's comment, consider the following

Even in Desert Storm, where the Coalition had overwhelming technological superiority and specops forces causing havoc behind enemy lines... Iraqi ADS shot down I believe around 80 aircraft? Their defenses were outdated, and flawed, but they still had 3x the air defenses around Baghdad that the Vietnamese had around Hanoi.

In Vietnam, where the two combatants were closer to a technological parity, the Western air forces suffered roughly 4,000 losses across all types. Some aircraft models lived and died there, with almost the entire inventory being lost.


In conclusion, if a scenario is realistic, you will be taking casualties. To get a look at the sheer destructive capability of modern weaponry, examine more closely the 2008 war in Georgia and even the fighting in Ukraine. These are both examples of limited conflicts, where the combatants aren't really going at each other full tilt, in the Georgian case it only lasted a few days.


Now, while looking at those casualty numbers, how some individual battles turned out, imagine 'What would it be like if these guys WEREN'T holding back?'
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