Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
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17-12-2014, 03:36 PM
Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
Don´t know if this is the right place to put it, if not then move it to the right place.

On to the topic.

When ever i see reports from modern wars that the west has participated in i always hear of bombing runs and ground combat.

What i don´t hear about is combat in the air, where jet fighters tries to shoot each other out of the sky, in similar fashion to WW1 and 2.


Why is that?
Is it because the people we fight in the middle east simply doesn´t have the capabilities to lunch fighters that can handle a modern day jet fighter.

Or is it more that technology and strategy, has outpaced the need for such forms of war and that a missile strike or bombing run combined with a ground assault is more effective?
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17-12-2014, 03:38 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
It is far more because most modern wars have been asymmetric, i.e incredibly well developed nations vs poorly equipped insurgents, a battle between to jet fighters would have to happen in a war between major powers, and most the candidates for this have too many nuclear missiles for such a war to be a possibility...

perhaps...

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17-12-2014, 08:51 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
Agree with tear151's comments.

Currently, most fighting is either between small groups of armed militants/militias or 'Asymmetric as in between established countries and their infrastructure against said militants/militias.

Fielding any type of aircraft requires actually quite a large logistic, supply and skill base.

Heck, just designing such a machine requires a hefty skill base.

Another factor is that weapons which can damage and potentially take down an aircraft have become much more wide spread, diverse, cheaper, portable etc.

As an example, there have been instances of jet freighters being successfully hit by simple, shoulder carried RPG-7 type weapons (Admittedly, it's a large target.. on a fixed flight path, starting from known and 'relatively' easily accessible take off and landing areas) however, I think the point is successfully illustrated.

So.... to make an aircraft, even with the most basic of qualities is going to take more skills than those of scratch building a car/buggy. Get the balance wrong on a car and it'll handle poorly. Get the balance wrong on an aircraft? It'll do something bad on take off and probably kill the pilot and destroy the machine.

Building, from scratch, a machine that can not only fly but carry some sort of useful ordnance AND survive the sort of ordinance that can readily and easily (And cheaply) thrown back at it? Yeah, there's seems to be a reason a lot of people are insisting the American's keep machines like the A-10 flying and air-worthy. (Though, in some senses the A-10 is over specialized in some ways for it current mission profile. Perhaps a 'New' model would be a good idea. Though the powers that bee seem to simply want to scrap it and have a completely different machine take its place.. wired)

Sorry for the rambling, long winded posting. Blush

Basically, making flying machine hard. Making gun easy. Making combat flying machine harder still, making bigger gun easy.

Hope that kind of helps.

Much cheers to all.
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17-12-2014, 09:08 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
(17-12-2014 03:36 PM)Erikjust Wrote:  Don´t know if this is the right place to put it, if not then move it to the right place.

On to the topic.

When ever i see reports from modern wars that the west has participated in i always hear of bombing runs and ground combat.

What i don´t hear about is combat in the air, where jet fighters tries to shoot each other out of the sky, in similar fashion to WW1 and 2.


Why is that?
Is it because the people we fight in the middle east simply doesn´t have the capabilities to lunch fighters that can handle a modern day jet fighter.

Or is it more that technology and strategy, has outpaced the need for such forms of war and that a missile strike or bombing run combined with a ground assault is more effective?

One word..."drones". Air superiority is still high on the list. Which is why a small, virtually undetectable, unmanned, relatively cheap remotely controlled drone is better.

The second mouse gets the cheese.
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17-12-2014, 09:37 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
(17-12-2014 09:08 PM)The Drake Wrote:  One word..."drones". Air superiority is still high on the list. Which is why a small, virtually undetectable, unmanned, relatively cheap remotely controlled drone is better.

Though this is still an example of 'Asymmetric' aspect of war fare.

That multiple sides might field such drones? This simply indicates that the manufacturing base is essentially 'disassociated' from the conflict zones. Multiple sides can buy such items from other suppliers/sides and field them with only minimal skill in operating and not in the costly developing, building etc. They still have to be fixed and maintained, but this skill too can be 'bought' and imported, currently.

Then, since we are in effect, still in the early days of such devises. We have yet to see the counter measures with which they will be dealt with. (Other than if you can see a small drone you have a chance of putting a caliber round through it. Since they are not fast and they are not armored)

Eventually will we see man portable EMP type weapons? Possibly. Since a reasonably directed pulse of such energy is going to hurt cheap drones.

Hardening a drone against such increases size, weight hence cost, manufacturing hence more skills needed to make etc. So... like air craft (Manned) the spiral begins to climb upwards again.

Again, sorry for the rambling. Blush

Much cheers to all.
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17-12-2014, 10:01 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
(17-12-2014 09:37 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  
(17-12-2014 09:08 PM)The Drake Wrote:  One word..."drones". Air superiority is still high on the list. Which is why a small, virtually undetectable, unmanned, relatively cheap remotely controlled drone is better.

Though this is still an example of 'Asymmetric' aspect of war fare.

That multiple sides might field such drones? This simply indicates that the manufacturing base is essentially 'disassociated' from the conflict zones. Multiple sides can buy such items from other suppliers/sides and field them with only minimal skill in operating and not in the costly developing, building etc. They still have to be fixed and maintained, but this skill too can be 'bought' and imported, currently.

Then, since we are in effect, still in the early days of such devises. We have yet to see the counter measures with which they will be dealt with. (Other than if you can see a small drone you have a chance of putting a caliber round through it. Since they are not fast and they are not armored)

Eventually will we see man portable EMP type weapons? Possibly. Since a reasonably directed pulse of such energy is going to hurt cheap drones.

Hardening a drone against such increases size, weight hence cost, manufacturing hence more skills needed to make etc. So... like air craft (Manned) the spiral begins to climb upwards again.

Again, sorry for the rambling. Blush

Much cheers to all.

"That multiple sides might field such drones"...But at the moment, they don't. But I do see your point. So we adapt. What that entails IHNFI. I would be perfectly happy if someone developed a weapon that shut down all weapons.

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17-12-2014, 10:15 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
(17-12-2014 10:01 PM)The Drake Wrote:  "That multiple sides might field such drones"...But at the moment, they don't. But I do see your point. So we adapt. What that entails IHNFI. I would be perfectly happy if someone developed a weapon that shut down all weapons.

I'm sure there's been a book about something like that. One of Clarke's last sci-fi stories?

Drones have 'Up-links'. Remove/destabilize this aspect and the machine reverts to being autonomous, with the limitations of what it's programming can handle.

I'm sure I've read of countries fielding equipment to fry large, military drones communication's systems. Leaving the machine to try and find its own way home and hence leaving it now more vulnerable to being attacked with rather standard AA missiles since said machine is not really capable any more of avoiding such. It's the human operator.pilot supplying most of the smarts to the larger drones (Heck it's the human operator supplying ALL of the smarts to the smaller drones Tongue)

So, cut that link and you've a very expensive toy stumbling around.

Which digresses from "Why aren't groups flying planes with guns on them" question.

To which I think my initial comment stands.

Making planes hard. Making guns simple. Making combat planes harder still. Making bigger guns is still simple.

Much cheers to all.
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18-12-2014, 12:23 AM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
Quote:Why is that?

Because we don't fight people with the capacity to fight back in that manner.

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18-12-2014, 04:36 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
Back in the early '60s, many "experts" declared dogfighting to be obsolete due to radar guided and heat seeking missiles... By the time of Vietnam, the US Air Force's primary front line fighters such as the F4 Phantom were not equipped with guns, and were far from maneuverable... The result was that the USAF suffered a high loss rate to the Vietnamese pilots, equipped with agile MiGs.

Eventually the Phantoms were supplied with a gun pod. But it was never a very good dogfighter. It was an excellent interceptor though.

When the new generation of fighter aircraft were developed (the teen series), maneuverability was considered to be exceptionally important. Fighter aircraft can only carry a limited number of air to air missiles. And there are ways of evading them.

With two opposing flights of fighter aircraft meeting head on, they are going to merge in a very short amount of time... At short range, missiles are too dangerous to use, and so pilots resort to doing it the old fashioned way, with their wits, guns and flying skills.

There have been several air-to-air fighter engagements since Vietnam. Sporadic encounters with Libyan fighters, the Falklands war and the Gulf War for example.

Manned ground attack aircraft will probably be rendered obsolete by drone technology in the near future, but I can't see fighter aircraft being replaced any time soon.

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18-12-2014, 04:44 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
(18-12-2014 04:36 PM)Sam Wrote:  Back in the early '60s, many "experts" declared dogfighting to be obsolete due to radar guided and heat seeking missiles... By the time of Vietnam, the US Air Force's primary front line fighters such as the F4 Phantom were not equipped with guns, and were far from maneuverable... The result was that the USAF suffered a high loss rate to the Vietnamese pilots, equipped with agile MiGs.

Eventually the Phantoms were supplied with a gun pod. But it was never a very good dogfighter. It was an excellent interceptor though.

When the new generation of fighter aircraft were developed (the teen series), maneuverability was considered to be exceptionally important. Fighter aircraft can only carry a limited number of air to air missiles. And there are ways of evading them.

With two opposing flights of fighter aircraft meeting head on, they are going to merge in a very short amount of time... At short range, missiles are too dangerous to use, and so pilots resort to doing it the old fashioned way, with their wits, guns and flying skills.

There have been several air-to-air fighter engagements since Vietnam. Sporadic encounters with Libyan fighters, the Falklands war and the Gulf War for example.

Manned ground attack aircraft will probably be rendered obsolete by drone technology in the near future, but I can't see fighter aircraft being replaced any time soon.

Modern air-to-air missiles can be fired before the enemy is even in sight,

Quote:The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM (pronounced "am-ram"), is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-and-fit factors as the previous generation of semiactive guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget missile with active guidance.
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