Challenge : Contest air superiority from F-15C

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Khanzeer, May 17, 2019.

  1. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2019
    Year 1982

    political situation :
    Country A
    rich
    geographically fast , mostly flatlands semi arid terrain
    on the defensive
    small population
    wide distances between major strategic areas

    airforce
    42 F-15C ( AIM-9P/AIM-7E/F) backed up by 3 AWACS and tankers
    no strike aircraft
    small number of F-5E as secondary fighters ( 50)

    Country B
    rich but only 1/3 as much as A
    long land border with A
    same topography
    much larger population
    on the offensive
    goal is to deliver airstrikes against the vital strategic targets close to the border ( but still within reach of your aircraft)
    And to launch a limited ground invasion of A to intimidate and scare its population and seize territory as a bargaining chip

    airforce
    55 Mig-25 PD (R-40M)
    126 Mig-23 MF ( R-23/R-60)
    150 + Mig-21
    100 Su-17/Su-24/Mig-23BN

    pilot capability is the same for both sides
    f-15 has only been operational with country A for only a few months
    Country B army is 4 times the size of A and have a much bigger arsenal of SAMs

    You are the airforce commander of country B
    You realize you cannot with your force defeat the F-15 or challenge its total superority but what tactics can you adopt to

    1- help your attackers evade the F-15s
    2- Minimize the losses amongst your fighters
    3- Still be able to support a limited ground invasion and deliver some strikes at key strategic facilities

    thanks
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  2. tomo pauk Well-Known Member

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    Vast geography, not fast?

    Concentrate your forces, one airbase base per mission, close bases attacked 1st. Make sure your SAMs are located in a way that they can cover retreat of your aircraft.
    Fly MiG-21s and -23s 1st, down low, once the ground radars are lit shower them with anti-radiation missiles from Su-24s . Radar of MiG-23 will work 'upwards', toss R-23s against aircraft, have MiG-21s strafe radars, control towers etc. Use Su-17s/MiG-23BNs to bomb airbases and SAM sites, cover them with MiG-25s.
    Rinse and repeat with next airbase - make your 5-fold numerical superiority work for you.
     
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  3. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

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    Mar 30, 2019
    Yeah sorry typo

    F15 in 1982 are limited to firing SARH missiles
    I.e one target at a time mostly and radar has to paint the target until impact

    Can numerical superiority be used to exploit that ? If so how ?
     
  4. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    Buy lots of F5 Tiger IIs or even F20s configered to carry 6 or more x AIM 9 Sidewinders (other Jet fighters are available)

    The F20 can carry Sparrow!

    Invest in jamming systems and anti radiation missiles

    Have a pool of decently trained pilots trained to exploit the ECM heavy 'battle' to nullify the BVR advantage of the Eagle and to use closer range VR tactics that exploit the more manoverable Tigers.

    Be prepared to accept a negative loss ratio to acheive victory ie kill enough of the enemy F15s and that nation may wobble and through this achieve political aims of whatever war you are fighting.

    Also prepare to conduct non-conventional tactics such as commando raids on main airfields including use of mortars to disrupt enemy airforce.

    Make use of hardened aircraft dispersal utilising dummy aircraft and defended by SAM and AAA systems

    I based all this on a book I read regarding a USN/Marine pilot who following the 1973 dust up where he finds himself delivering US Aircraft to the Israili Airforce to replace their losses - several years alter he along with other Western pilots trains the Saudi airforce using those tactics in the late 70s allowing it to compete with the IAF - cannot recall the name of the book.
     
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  5. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    May 14, 2017
    "Quantity has a quality all it's own." If you concentrate your forces before the start of hostilities, you can overwhelm the defending fighters. IIRC, the -15C can carry up to 8 AAMs (four each of Sparrows and Sidewinders) plus the internal cannon. With 42 aircraft total, figure a max of 38 operational at any given time. Use them for top cover and to engage the enemy air strike close to the border (but out of SAM range). Don't concentrate them either. Use the Eagle's range to keep them dispersed. With it's long range, one group of Eagles can hit the strike while it's inbound, the other can hit it while it's outbound.

    With the 50 F-5s, they have a really short range and can only carry a max of 4 Sidewinders (Recently upgraded models are also AMRAAM capable). Keep them for for a second line of defense during the initial air attack. After that, use them as Fighter-Bombers. In an attack roll, they can carry 2x Sidewinders plus 7,000 pounds of stores including rocket pods, Maverick AGMs, Mk 80 series dumb bombs and Paveway laser guided bombs. Don't even try to penetrate the SAM belts of your enemy's airspace, use them to hit the ground formations. Assuming your enemy is using Soviet tactics, their plans won't be very flexible. Throwing a wrench in them early could pay massive dividends. Especially if you ignore the leading combat units and hit the support columns instead. Support units have fewer AA assets making them softer targets and prolonging your Air Force's life. Plus, a unit with no fuel, no food and no ammunition is as good as a dead unit.

    Eventually, you'll likely get overwhelmed by sheer numbers. So your only hope is to make the initial attack so costly that it buys you enough time to get favorable terms and to reequip.
     
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  6. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

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    ^thanks
    And from country B side with Soviet equipment what is your advice to them against the F15s
     
  7. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

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    Can any Soviet equipment of that time 1982 jam the radar of F15c?
     
  8. cpip "an outlier among outliers"

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    That is excellent advice for Country A, who possesses the Eagles and Tigers... the OP asked for what Country B's tactics should be, however.

    My advice for Country B? You're going to need to overwhelm A with numbers, because those Eagles can't be EVERYWHERE, even with AWACS guiding them. Every mission kill, mechanical failure, and maintenance problem that A's aircraft have is as good as shooting them down. Literally exhaust A's Eagle pilots. Accept you're going to take losses, and more than a few, but you have numeric superiority and your opposition has, without dedicated strike aircraft, less ways to put your airbases out of commission.

    So first day is going to be a surge. B's forces are going to think they've got a turkey shoot, and to an extent they're right: Eagles vs. Fishbeds and Floggers is literally the fight the F-15C was designed to fight and win. You can try use the Foxbats to threaten the AWACS and tankers, but if they're even a halfway decent air force they'll be defending both tight; but forcing them to engage the MiG-25s is going to pull Eagles from covering the battlefield, where those Su-17s should be mixing it up down in the mud, hopefully with whatever helicopter gunship support your ground forces have as well.

    Presuming you have mobile SAMs accompanying the ground forces, you should hopefully be able to keep some of the Tigers tied up there; neither the F-5 nor the F-15C can carry any ARMs, especially in 1982, so any SEAD is going to be dumb bombs and rockets, 1960-style, and hopefully your air defense net will further keep your planes safe once they get back under your SAM umbrella. Of course, there's going to be blue-on-blue incidents with your mobile SAMs accidentally firing on your CAS aircraft, but, again, that's going to have to fall into the "acceptable losses" category.

    Meanwhile, your Su-24s and MiG-23BNs are going to have to try and keep up attacks on the airbases along with any other interdiction into the battle area; losses are, again, going to be significant, but it's all you've got. Especially keep up regular attacks at night, to make them keep having to turn the Eagles around and around as much as possible.

    If you're lucky, those first few days should put Country A's more advanced air force on the back foot long enough to dig in and offer terms while they're trying to get Washington to rush fresh missiles and planes to them.
     
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  9. cpip "an outlier among outliers"

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    An-12 and Yak-28 carried various jamming pods during the period in question; Yak-28P wasn't exported, if memory serves.

    I'm afraid I can't say if an An-12's jammers were able to shut down an AN/APG-63, though.
     
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  10. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

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    I think the yak28PP was the SEAD plane , single P was the interceptor
     
  11. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input nevertheless
    Great advice
     
  12. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    Oops. Lol. Ok, in short: flood them. If it can fly, it flies. Country A has a significantly more advanced Air Force. You're only beating it by trading your planes for their missiles. Force the Eagles and Freedom Fighters to go Winchester and break off the fight. The minute they do, guess what? You've just gained Air Superiority over the Battle. Once that happens, punch your ground attack aircraft through to hammer Country A's ground forces and airbases. With luck, you can cause enough damage that your armored spearheads can tear through the defenses and get into the rear areas and the airbases can be damaged enough (runways cratered, fuel dumps blown, etc) that it delays Country A's turnaround. Giving your own air force more time in uncontested skies to hammer ground targets. Perhaps as much as 1-2 hours extra.
     
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  13. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Jam the Fuck out of them. Turn it into a series of close range fights. Try to limit the BVR engagements.
     
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  14. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    If you can, definitely. If not, use your MiG-21s as a missile sponge. By 82, they're beyond obsolete. But the Eagles can't ignore them either. If you've got over 150 Fishbeds, use em. Figure 120 or so are operational. Send 60 at each base. Let them draw the fire of the Eagles. They'll get slaughtered, but honestly, they aren't useful for anything else. Let the Fishbeds soak up the Sparrows and send your -23s and -25s in behind them. Then the Eagles will have to close to WVR to engage. All while dodging BVR missiles.
     
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  15. cpip "an outlier among outliers"

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    My only concern with deliberately sending them off as missile sponges is the possible wrecking of morale that may happen. If these guys were flying defense against the Eagles invading, I'd be less worried about throwing them at the Sparrows: every pilot must do their duty for the Mother/Father/Sister/Brotherland, fight them on the beaches, nevah surrendah.

    Sending them in as a swarm to get eaten by Eagles flying defense? Yeah, those pilots have to know that a lot of them aren't coming home, and there's going to be ... issues.
     
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  16. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    Yeah, that's obviously a concern. But there's ways you can mitigate it. Mix in a handful of -23s and -25s in the formation so they don't feel like they're being abandoned. Make sure they recieve extensive training on how to break missile lock on a Sparrow. The Fishbed is one of the most maneuverable fighters in the sky. It should be able to break lock realitively easily. And they're not defenseless. They have an excellent IR missile in the R-60 and, depending on how "generous" the Soviets were, they might have Radar Homing missiles as well. Hell, if their ground support is even halfway competent they would be able to field modify the -21s to fire SARH missiles using components and missiles intended for their -23s and -25s. They're not intentionally being sent to their deaths. It's just a sad consequence of their reality. Mobbing A's Air Force is the only way they can win. Sending in their force piece meal or trying to fight conventionally will just cost them the air war.
     
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  17. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

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    The R-3M had SARH version too "advanced atoll" I think the fishbed J onwards can carry it
     
  18. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

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    what tactics you think the M23MF and M25PD adopt to break AIM-7E/F radar locks ?
    not sure if in 1982 they had any chaff , did not have any onboard jammers
    but I think that is why soviets accompanied all regiment sized formations with specialized SEAD aircraft
     
  19. DougM Well-Known Member

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    With a ratio of about 400to less then 100 you are looking at 4 to 1. Or 5 to 1. If you just use the Eagles you are right at 10 to 1. Not sure you can do that and get away with it. So dump as many aircraft on them as you can and hope they don’t bring the F5s into the fight. Because if the are willing to trade F5s for your older aircraft you are screwed.
    Even the 23s will get slaughtered against the 15s. So really it is a dead heat in GOOD fighters and the Eagles are better then the Migs.
    So you send in a wall/wave of everything you have. The 23s are configured for AA the 21s are a mix. Two AAM and the rest ground attack. The other junk is in ground attack mode. Mix the it all up and send it in as an alpha strike, have the 25s form up behind it and they come in after the engagement starts (ideally as the 15s run out of AAM). The 25s go in fast and launch ever AAM the have then type turn and burn for home and the cover of the SAMs.
    Once all your sides AAM are fired everyone turns and follows the 25s

    Repeat as often as you can. The goal is to kill 15s by sheer numbers. Hard to duck 200 AAM fired at 40 eagles that is 5 to one or worse.

    If your kill ratio goes against you then call for a negotiation.
     
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  20. jsb Well-Known Member

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    Are we all missing the idea of using Suds to close the vital runways?
    Isn't many aircraft just how many bases are the using especially in peacetime, two 15C squadrons on two bases and one of AWACs/Tankers? If they can be closed in the first hour by a wave of missiles can we win the war?
    Say a few hundred R17s with anti-runway munitions?
     
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