USA's "Project Cancelled"

Yep.

Frankly I think the US militaries post WW2 policies regarding ground based air defense is inherently flawed. Especially now with the threat of Drone Swarms being a real thing.

If you're base has twenty stingers that can be launched and you've got a hundred drones coming at you then you're in serious trouble.
Heh... I just did some research on a parcel (I do title searches for law firms) that used to be a Naval Ordnance Depot... before that, it was owned by US Rubber, which had a contract for making 40mm Bofors ammo.... I'd imagine a few quad 40's could take out a good many of those oncoming drones...
 
Missiles combined with guns are the way to go.

The Davy Crockett made sense within the context of that point in the cold war. It was insane in the sense that the crew might die of cancer but frankly if an exchange happened at that point a US serviceman in West Germany probably wasn't going to live long enough to worry about cancer. Meanwhile they were absurdly mobile compared to the other nukes of the era and they could be effectively dispersed to the point that no matter the number of Soviet air attack or Spetsnaz raids could get them all. Meanwhile with them a single platoon's worth of men could wipe out an entire Soviet brigade or even division.

They were crazy but within the context of MAD they actually made a crazy sort of sense.
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For an idea of scale for a 20 ton bomb like Davy Crockett in Central Park
 
IIRC in 1973 the trajectory of the SA6 SAM was such that the best manouvre for Israeli aircraft to avoid it bought them right into the engagement envelope of the ZSU23.

In the Falklands the very effective Sea Wolf had a nasty habit of resetting itself when faced with very close flying threats, although as time went on the crews sorted thus out. On the other hand the shitty Sea Cat and Bofors worked all the time.

The moral of the story is that the US should have sorted out both the Sgt York and US Roland in the 80s, and deployed them as a team.
 
Yeah when the IAF encoutered the SA-6 they didn't have any way of jamming its radar so they dropped down to low altitude where the missiles couldn't engage, this in turn brought them into the waiting arms of ZSU-23/4's.
 
Yeah when the IAF encoutered the SA-6 they didn't have any way of jamming its radar so they dropped down to low altitude where the missiles couldn't engage, this in turn brought them into the waiting arms of ZSU-23/4's.

I think, don't quote me on this, the SA6 came off the rails in a flat-ish trajectory until it picked up speed then went into a steep climb. Pilots had to wait until it started the climb before manoeuvring head-on into it in a steep dive, which was like Christmas for the ZSU23s.

I don't know the specifics but the VADS and Chaparral had to work as a team as well, they weren't much chop by themselves. I assume the Sgt York and US Roland would have been used the same way.
 
The US' lack of anti-aircraft seems to have been the correct decision, since anti-aircraft is generally ineffective, airpower was better at the role, and with AWACS nothing would get past US air cover anyway. So that seems to have been worth cancelling, as bsmart stated.
"nothing would get past US air cover" famous last words. Nothing is perfect; all it takes is one fighter getting past this. The US has been fortunate to face only crap opponents since 1991. As for "inefective", it depends on tactics and tech diference. Not for nothing do air forces invest so much on defensive ECM.
 
"nothing would get past US air cover" famous last words. Nothing is perfect; all it takes is one fighter getting past this. The US has been fortunate to face only crap opponents since 1991.
Not really, in pretty much any situation it is impossible for an enemy to stop US airpower, including by getting fighters past defenses to strike US airbases. With 24/7 AWACS coverage and interceptors on alert there was no way to fly under the radar and all aircraft would be detected and destroyed by USAF or USN fighters.

As for "inefective", it depends on tactics and tech diference. Not for nothing do air forces invest so much on defensive ECM.
There are inherent limitations to anti-aircraft weapons that prevent them from ever being effective against US air power. No matter what a country develops for air defense it will be mostly in the wrong place, and whatever is in the right place will be jammed and destroyed by anti-radiation missiles while SHORAD is useless as fighters never fly low enough for them to engage once precision guided weapons are used.
 
As far as I can see, those articles are refering to missile bateries. I was refering to mobile airdefence that acompanies the foward units, which is what Sgt York was supposed to do, and what Gepard, Tracked Rapier, Starstreak SP, Sidam, Tunguska, Type 95, Type 87, Shilka, etc... also do.
 
As far as I can see, those articles are refering to missile bateries. I was refering to mobile airdefence that acompanies the foward units, which is what Sgt York was supposed to do, and what Gepard, Tracked Rapier, Starstreak SP, Sidam, Tunguska, Type 95, Type 87, Shilka, etc... also do.
Those comments refer to any air defense system (the second one SHORAD only), mobile or not. All of those are useless against aircraft with precision weapons beyond their maximum engagement altitude, much less against aircraft that will simply jam their radar and use anti-radiation missiles to kill them.
 
Those comments refer to any air defense system (the second one SHORAD only), mobile or not. All of those are useless against aircraft with precision weapons beyond their maximum engagement altitude, much less against aircraft that will simply jam their radar and use anti-radiation missiles to kill them.

First, this is a reality of the current age, not when most of these systems were designed & built, and certainly not when the York program left the US without mobile air defence. 2nd, severall are being upgraded to deal with cruise missiles and guided weapons. And 3rd, radar is not the only sensor modern systems carry.
 
First, this is a reality of the current age, not when most of these systems were designed & built, and certainly not when the York program left the US without mobile air defence. 2nd, severall are being upgraded to deal with cruise missiles and guided weapons. And 3rd, radar is not the only sensor modern systems carry.

Yeah I'd be very wary of making such grandiose and all encompassing claims as "No Nations air defenses defenses can stand up". The US hasn't really faced a nation with a even halfway decent ground based air defense (or a nation with a half decent air force) since 1991 at the latest. And even then Iraq's air defense network and fighter/interceptor force wasn't actually all that great. Air defense tech has advanced signifigantly since then as well.

Honestly the last time the US faced outright (or sort of outright) a nation with a half decent airforce and extensive and generally very modern in many ways air defenses was against North Vietnam (Thanks to all of the stuff and training they got from the Soviets and to a lesser extent the Warsaw Pact and even lesser extent China).

There are today a number of nations with some very extensive air defense networks and large number of fighters and interceptors and the tech is always advancing. Nations like to varying extents Iran, Egypt, India, China, and Russia. Such nations also tend to possess very large numbers of ground or air deployable conventional cruise and ballistic missiles with doctrines that tend to involve wide scale deployment of said systems in order to attack key infrastructure that the USAF/USN would need to launch air defenses (Pipelines, bridges, rail depots, sea ports, airports/bases, ammo dumps, fuel depots, barracks, repair facilities, and the like) with a intention of degrading capabilities and delaying attack.

I'm not saying the US wouldn't put up a very good fight (and against most of the aforementioned nations eventually win in a conventional air war). But not every other nation is completely helpless.
 
(I could go on regarding the distressing state of the USAF, the sad diminishment of the USMC, and the scandalous state of the U.S. Army, but is is off the current topic).
Do you have any articles/explanation on this? I very much believe it, but I'm pretty curious.
 
The US' lack of anti-aircraft seems to have been the correct decision, since anti-aircraft is generally ineffective, airpower was better at the role, and with AWACS nothing would get past US air cover anyway. So that seems to have been worth cancelling, as bsmart stated.
I never said nothing would get by. Something will always get by. But will enough get by in enough places that it is worth the investment in the system (equipment, manpower and training) or is it better to invest in beefing up the systems that you already have. The U.S. felt that air based systems were more flexible, had a better chance of being in the right place at the right time, and could be made use of for other missions once the air threat had been controlled or defeated. The U.S> was willing to invest in a test program but did not see enough promise to continue development into production. I don't know of any systems that have been fielded in the west after the initial infatuation that produced the Gepard and the Sgt York. Soit appears that everyone came around to the American thinking on the subject.
 
Not really, in pretty much any situation it is impossible for an enemy to stop US airpower, including by getting fighters past defenses to strike US airbases. With 24/7 AWACS coverage and interceptors on alert there was no way to fly under the radar and all aircraft would be detected and destroyed by USAF or USN fighters.


There are inherent limitations to anti-aircraft weapons that prevent them from ever being effective against US air power. No matter what a country develops for air defense it will be mostly in the wrong place, and whatever is in the right place will be jammed and destroyed by anti-radiation missiles while SHORAD is useless as fighters never fly low enough for them to engage once precision guided weapons are used.

Attacks on AWACS, Tankers and other force multipliers can be done over and under conventional fighting. Salvos of ballistic missiles against AWACS/Tanker bases should get a couple of hits through the TABM screen and destroy these valuable and limited aircraft and push them further away from the action which makes them less effective. Sabotage and terror attacks on these rear bases can also have a significant impact on the operation of these aircraft and the array of support they offer, making cozy assumptions about radar cover and tanker orbits obsolete. Indeed China militarising these tiny islands is specifically to deny the airspace to AWACS and tanker aircraft.

Then there's the unconventional conventional stuff like fast high altitude attacks specifically against AWACS, S400 SAM, Special Forces raids and even attacks by a battalion of Paas who then fight a gun battle on the hardstand.

It doesn't take much to reduce or render significantly less effective the force multipliers used with such stunning success since Vietnam. Then the opportunity arises for an enemy to get his attack planes and helicopters in amongst your forward troops.
 

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Do you have any articles/explanation on this? I very much believe it, but I'm pretty curious.
Air Force is easy. Outside of its F-22 squadrons *which was orignally supposed to be a 750, then 648, then 382 airframe buy, instead it capped out at 195 (including 8 "pre-production" aircraft), the newest Air Superiority fighter in the inventory (F-15C) was designed while Nixon was in office, and no, the F-35 is NOT an air superiority fighter. The Air Force was supposed to purchase 168 B-2 Spirits, the got 21. Instead the Air Force continues to operate a bomber designed BEFORE the Korean War that has, in a couple cases, THIRD GENERATION aircrew (Grandfather, father, son/daughter) flying the same damned aircraft.

The Marines are in the process of eliminating its ENTIRE armored capacity. If the U.S. even has to kick in a door, the heaviest armored vehicle will be either the AAV-7 (2with a 40mm automatic grenade launcher) or the LAV-25 (with a 25mm chain gun), neither of which are not as well protected as the Bradley IFV, (which this thread spent a couple pages tearing to pieces).

Army continues to operate the M1A2. Still a very good vehicle, but the "best tank in the world"? The simple fact that it is a question shows that the track is way past its "sell by date".

The U.S. military has been coasting on the same tech deceloped to kick the snot out of the Soviet Army if it tried the Fulda Gap and pushed through while Reagan was president. That is a DISGRACE. U.S. has to engage a near-peer rather than a souped up militia anytime soon the losses we will take will be vastly higher than should be the case.

To use the oft repeated line - The most expensive (ship/fighter/tank) is the 2nd best one.
 
First, this is a reality of the current age, not when most of these systems were designed & built, and certainly not when the York program left the US without mobile air defence. 2nd, severall are being upgraded to deal with cruise missiles and guided weapons. And 3rd, radar is not the only sensor modern systems carry.
No, even in the Cold War the best Soviet air defense would fail against a competent air force and would fail in its role. Those methods will still destroy air defenses even if they have sensors other than radar or upgrades to deal with cruise missiles or guided weapons.
To be fair the US Army is investing in air defenses now that the age of drone warfare mandates it
That still has the same problems as it does against regular air threats; there's nothing they can do that air cover can't do better (including against drones). They'll probably be abandoned once their ineffectiveness is realized and once an anti-drone drone can be built to make them obsolete.
 
That still has the same problems as it does against regular air threats; there's nothing they can do that air cover can't do better (including against drones). They'll probably be abandoned once their ineffectiveness is realized and once an anti-drone drone can be built to make them obsolete.
The other thing the army wants all its air defense program to do is kill incoming ordnance in particular mortar rounds. You're never going to make a drone that's cheap enough to do that effectively as compared to some autocanon rounds
 
I never said nothing would get by. Something will always get by. But will enough get by in enough places that it is worth the investment in the system (equipment, manpower and training) or is it better to invest in beefing up the systems that you already have. The U.S. felt that air based systems were more flexible, had a better chance of being in the right place at the right time, and could be made use of for other missions once the air threat had been controlled or defeated. The U.S> was willing to invest in a test program but did not see enough promise to continue development into production. I don't know of any systems that have been fielded in the west after the initial infatuation that produced the Gepard and the Sgt York. Soit appears that everyone came around to the American thinking on the subject.
I am not sure if you are only referring to gun systems or mobile battle field air defense systems in general. but Canada did field the ADATS system at the end of the cold war.. My understanding it was deployed within Canada on a handful of occasions to back stop their manned fighter aircraft (and presumably what the USAF could have provided vis a vis NORAD.)
 
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