Military equipment during a continuous Cold War

Still probably not as it runs into the same problem that we had during the later Cold War; How does the other guy "tell" what kind of warhead that oncoming "possibly strategic" platform have on it? The easiest, simplest and safest way to counter it is to launch YOUR strategic assets before it get here...
This is true of ballistic missiles, but not as much for cruise missiles. A large number of Tomahawks and ALCMs have been fired in various military actions, despite those also being (at least in principle) strategic platforms. The fact that they are rather slow, not terribly long-ranged, and are much less obvious than ballistic missiles probably helps.
 
Does anyone have the old 'Cold War Continued' fan database for Harpoon! Aka CWC2006. It has some interesting platforms.
 
This is true of ballistic missiles, but not as much for cruise missiles. A large number of Tomahawks and ALCMs have been fired in various military actions, despite those also being (at least in principle) strategic platforms. The fact that they are rather slow, not terribly long-ranged, and are much less obvious than ballistic missiles probably helps.
A lot of those have been launched after the Cold War ended. The Soviets got highly upset about the proliferation of Tomahawks into Europe, to the point where the GLCM systems were withdrawn from service as part of one of the arms control treaties. I don't know what the Kremlin was thinking, but I can guess: they're less obvious when launched and very hard to intercept without expensive radars and aircraft, therefore perfect for a 'bolt from the blue' attack on prepositioned equipment and C3 nodes.
During times of heightened tension, if anything that could be an incoming cruise missile is detected (light aircraft, flock of geese, weather balloon, whatever) they'll be put in the same launch-or-lose dilemma.
 
Not really as to do what was being pitched (protect the US population from nuclear attack) you have to have an over 99% intercept rate which wasn't going to happen in any likely war scenario. Most of the more effective programs were also the most expensive and the lower cost (for a given value of 'lower' of course :) ) were not as effective so would require many more systems to reach an acceptable level. It would have been horribly expensive either way.

And the 'counters' to the system were 'easy' and 'cheap' enough to drop your intercept percentage into the low 70% which then requires a more extensive system and the cost soon becomes prohibitive even for the US.

Now something to keep in mind is the military had a different plan for SDI which didn't require such a high "general" intercept rate and that was to use SDI to protect the missile fields, bomber and sub bases and let the rest of the warheads through. You might guess that this would not have set well with the public or the politicians and you'd be very correct. But it was a vastly more 'doable' way to go about it since it would ensure that no "first strike" took out our ability to retaliate.

Of course the MAIN issue was that the most 'effective' (and obvious :) ) counter is to launch before the system is in place while your weapons are still effective and before you rack up too much costs in countering the system and that's why a lot of the experts called SDI "destabilizing" because it was. Deployment of anything over the allowed "limited" systems means that the opposition (the Soviets in this case) HAVE to counter and given they were already in economic trouble doing so would be a no-win scenario which very clearly puts all the other "no-win, but maybe survive" scenarios on the table.



Considering it was a replacement for using IRBM launched nuclear anti-satellite weapons we'd had standing by since the late 50s it was generally a success but not really seen as something that would be viable during an actual war where we'd fall back on "nuking" everyone's (including our) orbital assets anyway. Really the parallel Navy program to upgrade the Standard was a more viable means of deployment.

Randy

The complete protection vs protecting the deterrent argument is an old one, the British wrestled with it in the late 50s as did the US in the Safeguard ABM era. I think protecting the deterrent is a reasonable starting point if it can be justified as cost effective.
 
The complete protection vs protecting the deterrent argument is an old one, the British wrestled with it in the late 50s as did the US in the Safeguard ABM era. I think protecting the deterrent is a reasonable starting point if it can be justified as cost effective.

Oh it for sure is a reasonable argument... Now ask the public (and pundits) to be reasonable :)

Randy
 
Oh it for sure is a reasonable argument... Now ask the public (and pundits) to be reasonable :)

Randy

No need, we know exactly what happened to RAF Fighter Command and the US ABM system. But in the words of Meatloaf, 2 out of 3 aint bad, so maybe SDI is the one that gets up.
 
This is true of ballistic missiles, but not as much for cruise missiles. A large number of Tomahawks and ALCMs have been fired in various military actions, despite those also being (at least in principle) strategic platforms. The fact that they are rather slow, not terribly long-ranged, and are much less obvious than ballistic missiles probably helps.
Bush Sr removed all nuclear cruise missiles from all US ships and subs and made it official policy that the US would not place them at sea anymore. This was due to the Russian fear that every US SSN could be a mini SSBN.
“In 1991, President George H.W. Bush ordered all nuclear-armed Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, a kind of SLCM-N, removed from U.S. submarines and placed in storage. In 2010, the Obama administration declared the missiles a redundant capability and retired them.”
 
Did the Soviets expect their fighter pilots to even play Red Baron ?
Wasn’t their main role secondary to SAMs the exact opposite of what NATO expected of their pilots ?

The same low flying hours applies to Mig27, Su17, Su25 and Su24 attack and strike aircraft, but regardless of what the Soviets wanted their fighters to do they won't be able to do it if the pilots are poorly trained. That said, Soviet aircraft availability was about 55% during the Cold War, compared to 80%+ for NATO aircraft, so maybe the Soviets couldn't fly more often because their aircraft weren't available.
 
The same low flying hours applies to Mig27, Su17, Su25 and Su24 attack and strike aircraft, but regardless of what the Soviets wanted their fighters to do they won't be able to do it if the pilots are poorly trained. That said, Soviet aircraft availability was about 55% during the Cold War, compared to 80%+ for NATO aircraft, so maybe the Soviets couldn't fly more often because their aircraft weren't available.
I didn't know that their availability rates were so low, that's dreadful.
 
I didn't know that their availability rates were so low, that's dreadful.

India is noteworthy because they cant get their MGs up to 75% availability rates.

The sortie numbers in the 1973 Arab Israeli war are startling, off the top of my head ~400 Israeli planes flew ~11,000 sorties and ~900 Arab planes flew ~9,000 sorties in 19 days. Or in other words Arab planes flew every 2nd day on average wheras an Israeli plane flew 1.4 times a day or 3 times in 2 days.
 
With the growth of satellite technology, does anyone think that star wars might have been attempted again?
Afaik, satelite tech per se wasn't the main problem, it was a combination of needing to generate massive power to create a long range laser and targeting it. And if they wanted to fire into missiles still in the climb phase, the laser would have to punch through the atmosphere, which we warp & dissipate the laser.
 
Afaik, satelite tech per se wasn't the main problem, it was a combination of needing to generate massive power to create a long range laser and targeting it. And if they wanted to fire into missiles still in the climb phase, the laser would have to punch through the atmosphere, which we warp & dissipate the laser.
And you really DO want to hit missiles while they're in the boost phase. Firstly because that gives you the maximum time to intercept them in. Secondly, and more importantly, that's before the warheads have been deployed from their bus. It's much easier to intercept 10 warheads by destroying the missile carrying them than by waiting until they've been released and going for them individually.
 
And you really DO want to hit missiles while they're in the boost phase. Firstly because that gives you the maximum time to intercept them in. Secondly, and more importantly, that's before the warheads have been deployed from their bus. It's much easier to intercept 10 warheads by destroying the missile carrying them than by waiting until they've been released and going for them individually.
Yep. It's one of the main problems in deciding something like this: have your laser firing cleanly in a vacuum but face 10x the number of targets, or have it face far fewer targets but dealing with the atmosphere...
 
The same low flying hours applies to Mig27, Su17, Su25 and Su24 attack and strike aircraft, but regardless of what the Soviets wanted their fighters to do they won't be able to do it if the pilots are poorly trained. That said, Soviet aircraft availability was about 55% during the Cold War, compared to 80%+ for NATO aircraft, so maybe the Soviets couldn't fly more often because their aircraft weren't available.
Soviet/Warsaw Pact changed their training methods after the Vietnam War. They went from primarily GCI to more a "free-ranging" mix, somewhat similar to NATO/USAF. This was reflected in their aircraft MiG-21s/MiG-23/Su-11 versus Su-27s and MiG-29s. The latter aircraft had more weapons and were longer ranged, compared to the earlier ones.

What the Soviets particularly feared were "decapitation" attacks which would remove the higher command elements and would prevent them from reacting to an attack. Which is why they developed an ABM system and such were their genuine arguments against IRBMs and SDI.
 
The Su-27 was really an interesting aircraft due to it's huge fuel tanks, massive missile loadout and incredible radar system along with the IRST system. In a cold war turned hot in the mid 90's the SU-27 would have been a formidable adversary. The Mig 29 is different in my view, mainly in that it's performance although good was lacking in comparison to the F/a-18 or F-16, It could turn with either and the helmut mounted sight was formidable but it's BVR performance was lacking in comparison and it's load carrying capacity was again lacking. It also lacked the ability to do serious a2g missions.
 
With the growth of satellite technology, does anyone think that star wars might have been attempted again?
SDI is basically flawed. It relies on destroying ICBMs in their boost phase. As a consequence weapons must fire downwards from orbit to the USSR ground and so the weapons are less effective. Because of their less effective nature, they don't work. The ICBMs can overwhelm the defences through being more diversely based or by making it more dense (they both in their own way, make it more expensive to orbit sufficient resources to detect or destroy the ICBMs) and also by their sheer numbers. Then you have the problem of decoys which can fool defences.
 
Two issues I've just remembered: helmet mounted sights & the AA-11 missile. The Mig-29 had them, and when NATO saw & evaluated them (after the colapse of the wall and the german reunion) there was general shock. With a continued Cold War, their secrecy would remain intact, at least for a while longer.
 
It also lacked the ability to do serious a2g missions.
Which was gonna be fixed with the better multirole capability of Su-27M and Mig-29M, which would also have better radars and R-77 to improve BVR. And the USSR really wanted to introduce PESA radars on Su-27.
 
IIUC the purpose of the huge su27 missile loadout was so it could fire barrages of missiles each with different homing types: IR, SARH, Anti radar, home on jam. That way no amount of countermeasures would be effective.
 
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