Why no Airliner Missile Launchers?

No, it was not what I meant, as you correctly identified it became an obsolescent meant of transportation for nuclear weapons, the ICBM were superior in every points. I meant as a way to transport cruise missile close to target.


I meant non nuclear tactical strike, e.g. against a country installations either as a "tit for tat" type of retaliation (if the country, be exemple, strike one of your ship) or as part of a wider conventional war, to avoid known AA or ABM concentrations.


I meant a greater versatility in the targeting, if the target is either too far from the sea to target it with a tomahawk missile, too far from ground based CM launchers or if it would take too much time deploy one on theater, as a plane-based ALCM launcher would be able to reach its firing position in a few hours.
Now obviously their are problems and limitations (that you mentioned like the risk of being shot down before reaching firing position) but it is the case

It is what Trident is supposed to do. Why would Russian systems not be similar?

It is what Trident is supposed to do. Why would Russian systems not be similar?
My understanding is that the Soviets generally were a generation behind the us in terms of missile technology therefore their slbms of the 80s would not have the same accuracy as trident, which was cutting edge stuff in then, infact the first patrol of Trident was in 1990 when the cold War was in its final death throws. This is why bluecat mentions them being used for soft nuclear targets rather than the precision hardened facilities like missile icbm silos.

I also don't think you would have enough warheads in the soviet slbm fleet to stand a reasonable chance of blunting a us response, iirc there were around 900 silos in the us, that means you need close to 2000 warheads, my rough maths says there were 20 ssbns in the soviet navy in the late 1980s, so if they follow a us deployment model that's 7 or 8 boats on patrol, x that by 160 warheads only gives you at most 1400 warheads , that only gives u in a best case for the Soviets the ability to hit 700 of the 900 us missile silos , ànd thats with 100 percent accuracy for the slbms, no fraticide and no nato trailing sub sinking the slbms pre launch. That would still leave 200ish silos untouched , plus the bomber bases c3m sites and naval bases untouched and leaves the Soviets without a highly survivable.second strike capability as the slbms are shot. It does leave them with a pile of icbms to be sure.l but those icbms are vulnerable to the remaining us weapons.
 
Well, they fitted the Comet with Sidewinders... :)
Touché my friend they did, and there were some very keen nimrod crews in the Falklands war relishing getting up close and personal with argentine boeing 707s alas it came to nought for them.
 
And Martels and Harpoons.

And Martels and Harpoons.
Indeed they have in the case of Harpoon, I nieve martel was only carried by buccaneer maritime attack aircraft not nimrod. It was trialed but I think there were issues with it being carried for long periods of time under the wing. I know that was certainly the case when the raf trialled the carriage on a Victor tanker just before operation black buck and that's why the raf used the shrike instead.

The p8 is also going to gain a harpoon capability going forward, but it is a limited number I believe at the minute 4 is the maximum. Against modern warships this isn't enough to guarantee killing a major surface combatant, that said that's why usn doctrine is distributed lethality that means the p8 would hopefully be firing harpoons in coordination with other platforms ships,firing sm6 SAM'S in the surface to surface role, tomahawk with the new multimode targeting seekers from ships or subs, or usmc or army shore based missile batteries, supported by perhaps a EA-18 growler to carryout electronic attack as the missiles head to the target ship.
 
Indeed they have in the case of Harpoon, I nieve martel was only carried by buccaneer maritime attack aircraft not nimrod. It was trialed but I think there were issues with it being carried for long periods of time under the wing. I know that was certainly the case when the raf trialled the carriage on a Victor tanker just before operation black buck and that's why the raf used the shrike instead.

It's amazing how little details like this matter. I used to think that these technologies were plug and play, but no, a Martel flying out in the cold for almost 10 hours won't work.

Bringing this back to airliner missile trucks, fighters need their performance to do their job, we've known this si ce the Bf110 got it's arse kicked in the Battle of Britain. A subsonic 747 loaded with Phoenix AAMs isn't going to get the the same range out of them than the supersonic Tomcat. These details matter, and they're what kills bright ideas.
 
Thanks for the that goblin, a few posters have beaten me to the punch, suffice to say my understanding was the depressed trajectory shots I understood to be a concern for the soft bomber base type target given the inaccuracy of soviet weapons comparable to us ones in the 1980s. I also was under the impression the Soviets newest generation of slbms were longer ranged which allowed the ssbn fleet to remain at longer range from the us in bastions in the white sea and sea of oshksht for example , doesn't this exclude a depressed trajectory shot?
Again, you're not looking at this from the perspective of an Air Force planner from the 1970s or 1980s who has to think through what the Soviets will do over the next 10-20 years or more. What do they know about Soviet capabilities and strategies? Only what they're getting from the intelligence services and what they can extrapolate from their own capabilities and strategies (and remember that the U.S. often assumed that the Soviets had similar underlying assumptions to themselves). And what did they know? The Soviets were upgrading their SLBMs and building new boats, at the same time the U.S. was upgrading their ICBMs and building new boats partially to allow high-precision strikes on depressed trajectories.

Thus, given this and given the underlying assumptions that they were working with, it was reasonable to assume that the Soviets might be doing the same thing as the United States, and this would make launch-on-warning infeasible in the near future, as well as undermining a number of other possible approaches (for example, "reverse inclination basing," which depended on the idea that the Soviets would be attacking silos only with ICBMs launched from Soviet territory). You can see this if you read actual Air Force studies of Peacekeeper/MX basing concepts, which frequently mention Soviet SLBMs as a threat with flight times that indicate that they were assuming depressed trajectories (they estimate that there would be "5-10 minutes" of warning for an SLBM strike). Clearly, this was a concern that preoccupied them historically.

I understood the midgetman was a way to create a land asked survivable second strike threat to the Soviets like and as you said rail and road garrisons as well as airdropping I believe from a c141 was successfully achieved. But my understanding is rail garrisons were expensive and there was concerns about there being a limited number of "oval circuts" the trains could occupy if theynwere to be kept out of us cities. I know they were getting around to building midgetman tels when the cw ended so I take your point in regard to that.
It was actually airdropping from a C-5, although the capability was mostly just demonstrated and then dropped. It's true that rail garrison was expensive, but they were nevertheless working on it, and it ended up being terminated mostly because of a lack of political support (this was the issue with all ICBM basing concepts) and, of course, the fall of the Soviet Union, not high costs per se.

IIRC Peacekeeper had a number of basing considerations as well and they ended up sticking them in silos on the grounds of cost and survivability in the end.
Yes. My posts have been basically rehashing the eternal Peacekeeper basing debate. It's true that they did end up deploying them in silos, but this had nothing to do with arguments about survivability. Instead, they did so because they felt that they needed to deploy something and there was simply no other alternative due to lack of political support for any other basing mode. No one seriously thought that Minuteman III silos offered a significant degree of survivability against a Soviet nuclear attack by the 1980s.
 
Something that comes up from time to time the suggestion that a modified airliner be fitted out with missiles, either big AAMs like the Phoenix or air launched Sea Dart or cruise missiles and used as a long endurance mobile missile battery.

On the face of it this appears to have merit it but has never been done in practice, why is that?
One option may be to equip bombers with. SARH missiles as defensive option

I would be stunned if it were monk, its a 1960s weapon like the fiddler itself, and probably similar in capability to the aim4 falcon missiles in the US. Reasonable for knocking down bombers but not great against maneuvering fighter type targets. But I stand to be corrected:)
me too I thought the same. but yefim Gordon in his book on Russian air launched weapon states the same
I still think it was for bombers but probably attacking them along different vectors hence the “ agility”
 
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Touché my friend they did, and there were some very keen nimrod crews in the Falklands war relishing getting up close and personal with argentine boeing 707s alas it came to nought for them.

Would've loved to have seen that happen . . . the first airliner v airliner dogfight!

They would've been talking and writing about this for eon's!
 
Just as dead as a B-52 or Tu-95

Just as dead as a B-52 or Tu-95
Except that statement was aimed at the original post which proposed airliner type aircraft used in an air to air role and is perhaps why the idea or bombers loaded with amraams or phoenix missiles have been confined to the pages of a Dale brown novel.

Another poster mentioned the b747 alcm carrier from the 70s and it sparked some very welcome discussion 😀

Regards

Butch
 
Would've loved to have seen that happen . . . the first airliner v airliner dogfight!

They would've been talking and writing about this for eon's!
Lol when I read that I had visions of the looking glass chasing down the neacap in by dawns early light

but seriously , it might not have been much of a fight , the argentine 707s didn't have any counter other than to dive and run away, if the nimrod approaches from the rear the 707 crew wouldn't even know they are there. I don't believe the argentine 707s had any rwr , I think they only had a weather radar used in a surface search mode .

Regards

Butch
 
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Prolly far more economical to mount SAMs on civilian ships; you could have Patriot or S-300 launchers on the deck of a ship.
 
Again, you're not looking at this from the perspective of an Air Force planner from the 1970s or 1980s who has to think through what the Soviets will do over the next 10-20 years or more. What do they know about Soviet capabilities and strategies? Only what they're getting from the intelligence services and what they can extrapolate from their own capabilities and strategies (and remember that the U.S. often assumed that the Soviets had similar underlying assumptions to themselves). And what did they know? The Soviets were upgrading their SLBMs and building new boats, at the same time the U.S. was upgrading their ICBMs and building new boats partially to allow high-precision strikes on depressed trajectories.

Thus, given this and given the underlying assumptions that they were working with, it was reasonable to assume that the Soviets might be doing the same thing as the United States, and this would make launch-on-warning infeasible in the near future, as well as undermining a number of other possible approaches (for example, "reverse inclination basing," which depended on the idea that the Soviets would be attacking silos only with ICBMs launched from Soviet territory). You can see this if you read actual Air Force studies of Peacekeeper/MX basing concepts, which frequently mention Soviet SLBMs as a threat with flight times that indicate that they were assuming depressed trajectories (they estimate that there would be "5-10 minutes" of warning for an SLBM strike). Clearly, this was a concern that preoccupied them historically.


It was actually airdropping from a C-5, although the capability was mostly just demonstrated and then dropped. It's true that rail garrison was expensive, but they were nevertheless working on it, and it ended up being terminated mostly because of a lack of political support (this was the issue with all ICBM basing concepts) and, of course, the fall of the Soviet Union, not high costs per se.


Yes. My posts have been basically rehashing the eternal Peacekeeper basing debate. It's true that they did end up deploying them in silos, but this had nothing to do with arguments about survivability. Instead, they did so because they felt that they needed to deploy something and there was simply no other alternative due to lack of political support for any other basing mode. No one seriously thought that Minuteman III silos offered a significant degree of survivability against a Soviet nuclear attack by the 1980s.
Workable, thanks your post is very enlightening and I admit am looking at things in hind sight.

Regards

Butch
 
It's amazing how little details like this matter. I used to think that these technologies were plug and play, but no, a Martel flying out in the cold for almost 10 hours won't work.

Bringing this back to airliner missile trucks, fighters need their performance to do their job, we've known this si ce the Bf110 got it's arse kicked in the Battle of Britain. A subsonic 747 loaded with Phoenix AAMs isn't going to get the the same range out of them than the supersonic Tomcat. These details matter, and they're what kills bright ideas.
Yeah its always the little details that mess things up lol if you think that detail was bad , there was a crucial coupling for the Vulcans IFR probe found in a crew room being used as an ashtray ! If you haven't already your should read Vulcan 607 by Rowland White for some anecdote's about how many issues the RAF had getting the Vulcan over Stanley and back, if that interests you. I found this incase your interested in the Martel/Victor mating.

And thats a fair point I hadn't considered, the energy imparted on the missile by the carrier can make a considerable difference to the engagement geometry of the missile.

Regards

Butch
 

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Yeah its always the little details that mess things up lol if you think that detail was bad , there was a crucial coupling for the Vulcans IFR probe found in a crew room being used as an ashtray ! If you haven't already your should read Vulcan 607 by Rowland White for some anecdote's about how many issues the RAF had getting the Vulcan over Stanley and back, if that interests you. I found this incase your interested in the Martel/Victor mating.

And thats a fair point I hadn't considered, the energy imparted on the missile by the carrier can make a considerable difference to the engagement geometry of the missile.

Regards

Butch

Yes, I was surprised to learn that the British tried to mount the Martel to a Victor on a HDU pylon as well as a Vulcan on the Skybolt pylon. IIUC the test firing was from a Vulcan as the Victors were too valuable for the AAR tanker role. That in itself is informative, because people love the rule of cool but when push comes to shove the military will focus on the un-glamorous things like tankers and transports.
 
One big issue is that from what I understand even as a stand off cruise missile launcher you'd have to redesign and reinforce the airliners to a signifigant degree. Civilian Commercial Airliners are just not built as tough as military aircraft as a rule. The cost of redesign and reinforcing the airframe is also often probably more expensive then just designing and building a new aircraft.
 
Lol when I read that I had visions of the looking glass chasing down the neacap in by dawns early light

👍 Good spot.

Only watched it again just before Christmas. James Earl Jones as 'Alice' steals the show.

Watched the movie numerous times, if you've got the time I suggest you read the novel (Trinity's Child) of which the movie is based. Very dark but somewhat better as the war kicks off for different reasons.

I think the author (William Prochnau) had a bad case of nightmares similar to what Dan O'Herlihy's character had in 'Fail Safe' to write a book like that.
 
Forgive me for being totally off topic but civilian airliners could be use as a stealthy way to lay mines in your enemies waterways ? Obviously this ploy will best work right before the start of hostilities
 
Forgive me for being totally off topic but civilian airliners could be use as a stealthy way to lay mines in your enemies waterways ? Obviously this ploy will best work right before the start of hostilities

As a ruse? Yes I suppose that could work once, but IIUC the USN mined Hiaphong harbour in 1972 with carrier based attack aircraft because it's a risky operation to fly into enemy controlled airspace which is what inshore shipping lanes are.
 
As a ruse? Yes I suppose that could work once, but IIUC the USN mined Hiaphong harbour in 1972 with carrier based attack aircraft because it's a risky operation to fly into enemy controlled airspace which is what inshore shipping lanes are.
NV at that time had one of the most advanced air defence network too, but if its lets say smaller and militarily less strong countries its a possibility
 
I would be stunned if it were monk, its a 1960s weapon like the fiddler itself, and probably similar in capability to the aim4 falcon missiles in the US. Reasonable for knocking down bombers but not great against maneuvering fighter type targets. But I stand to be corrected:)
According to preliminary calculations, the probability of hitting a target when firing two missiles should have been 76-77%. A feature of the complex was that in an air battle, the carrier aircraft did not perform a maneuver to reach the target flight altitude, as was done in most other aircraft interception systems. The long range of the K-80 missiles and the possibility of hitting objects flying with a significant excess allowed the carrier aircraft to fly at much lower altitudes. Thanks to this, it was possible to transfer a significant part of the maneuver from the interceptor to the missiles and rely on the aircraft for an operational overload of 2.0-2.5d, and the rocket for an overload of 15d.

In this regard, a vertical maneuver ("slide" with an angle of up to 20 ') was performed on the aircraft during the interception, which made it possible to reduce the angle of deflection of the Smerch radar antenna up to 70'. Long range of detection and tracking of radar targets, as well as a significant missile launch range, made it possible to carry out an attack from any angle.​

I hope I'm reading it right but you and other more knowledgeable members can comment on this maybe

thanks
 
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