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This S-400 vs F-35 obsession is overplayed. Make no mistake, both the updated S-300 and S-400 systems are absolutely lethal when employed with a comprehensive AD network. Same as previous 2K12 systems etc. But there is a bit of over marketing going on posing these as Aerial denial systems.

Time and time again, we’ve seen air defense networks dismantled by a concerted air campaign. Why? Because in every case, the network was not backed up by an effective counter-air fighter force. Once an air campaign begins to dismantle air-surveillance, C&C facilities, the hunters become the hunted. Sure, they can inflict a level of attrition on the attackers (Six day war comes to mind), but cannot deny control of the air.

Since the 1991 Gulf War, we’ve seen revisionist history try to downplay the Iraqi air defense sustem that was in place as 2nd rate. In truth, it was sophisticated for the time, with a blend of western and Soviet radars and weapons in a French designed Command control network. It wasn’t dismantled because it was crap, it was a concerted defense suppression effort and total failure of Iraqi Air Force to present a threat to those efforts. Make no mistake, had Saddam used his airforce effectively in the first days of the conflict, collation losses would have been much higher.... but outcome would have been the same.

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@RALL

IF S-400 detect F-35 that is only one step, how will old Syrian SAMs down it? Their newest SAM is BUK but it lack powerful radar, also how many BUK they have? But if S-400 isn't problem why Israel doesn't want Syria to get S-300? It look like waste of money if F-35 can't be detected even with S-400.

Hi, krivakapa.

I think it its because Israel have big numbers of F-15 and F-16 combat fighters, and a S-300 and S-400 are a real dangerous. F-35 can avoid this thread, but for legacy fighters is very much difficult since they could be detected from hundred of kilometers.


@RALL:

Have to agree Krivakapa that we have (again) a discrepancy among claimed capabilities of the equipment and behaviour of a stealth plane operator with the issue of the S-300. My interpretation is this is nowhere as a lopsided case as to allow a F-35 to operate over Syria with impunity with the S-300 deployed in at least minimum numbers. Sadly for Syrian AD, their current resources (with few exceptions) are terribly outdated and scarce

Regarding the data in your post, you say you take a conservative RCS value based in the one from F-22 but used the same value... this does not match right?

Nevertheless, that value is tactically not relevant from what we know (not to say that these values are considered simply ridiculous by Russian sources, not going to push that argument since there is a clear discrepancy with what most in the West accept as valid). Any time the plane's course is not 0º to the radar, operates aerodynamic surfaces etc it will change heavily. Add to this that several radars will be illuminating it at any time and VLO becomes real world technology with limitations and not some kind of panacea.

I take this number because general Hostage few time ago told...

The F-35’s cross section is much smaller than the F-22’s, but that does not mean, Hostage concedes, that the F-35 is necessarily superior to the F-22 when we go to war

https://breakingdefense.com/2014/06/gen-mike-hostage-on-the-f-35-no-growlers-needed-when-war-starts/3/

So, i take same F-22 RCS, and it is conservative number because Hostage told really RCS is less than F-22.

Real World is different of course, but you know LMFS, if you put on your radar, my RWR will discover you, and i can choose what to do before you know where i stay.

Red Flag exercises are the closest to a real fight and...

“I flew a mission the other day where our four-ship formation of F-35As destroyed five surface-to-air threats in a 15-minute period without being targeted once,” said Maj. James Schmidt, a former A-10 pilot. “It’s pretty cool to come back from a mission where we flew right over threats knowing they could never see us.”

https://www.f35.com/news/detail/f-35a-records-20-to-1-kill-ratio-at-red-flag-exercise

Everybody want a stealth fighter, everybody will not have will be outside.

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@Spud

Besides, if an F-35 wanted to kill the main radar of an S-400, it would drop loads of LO standoff munitions backed up by a heavy, coordinated EM attack that would all kick off well outside the S-400's detection range that you stated (eg 30-60km).

You need to locate radar first which is problematic with LPI mode it have and high mobility, even non mobile PESA radars without LPI mode are problematic, during 1999 bombing of FRY, NATO found only one of our four AN/TPS-70 radars. And we used them a lot, we relocate them lot faster than what is norm (one hour with six man) but not as fast as you can relocate mobile radar.

@RALL

If F-35 is untouchable from S-300/400 it would kill them without problems as some here are writing so no danger to F-15/16. So why bitching about S-300 if Israel have F-35?

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@Inst:
fact remains, we don't know at what distance the S-400 may detect the F-35 and in what conditions. USAF was uneasy about the F-22s operating in the same air space than S-400s, way farther than 60 km from them. Russians stated on the other hand, that data from Syria confirms their RCS estimations and their belief VLO will not work against their IADs. In any case Russia is not going to get involved in Syrian-Israeli disputes.

@SpudmanWP:
have you considered, how to make stand-off jamming against a 400 km range SAM? That needs to be a hell of a jammer indeed...

@FBW:
what we have seen IMO time after time is the use of overwhelming, most modern western force against 3rd world / nearly defenceless countries with obsolete SAMs, poor training and even worse morale. Mind you, Irak didn't even bother using their supposedly mighty military to stop the force build-up that that was later used to strike them. They were defeated even before starting the war, probably hoping that punishment wouldn't last long if they didn't resist. In Serbia the unbalance was even more exaggerated and ended with exactly the opposite results to what you state. That is, determined, well trained SAM crews with a fraction of resources and technology of the attackers can inflict attrition upon them with little own casualties and material loss.

Not that I disagree that a robust IAD needs to count also with interceptors and other means of the air force by the way...

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That's my point, if the Russians wanted to knock out a F-35, they'd camouflage it so that the US and the Israelis wouldn't know it's there. Then, once the F-35 is visually detected in the target range, the S-300 turns on its radars while the F-35 is in targeting range, and the entire story looks awfully like the F-117 shootdown in Serbia. Then the F-35's wreckage gets seized by the Syrians, and the RAM coating ends up in the hands of the Russians, and perhaps later on, the Chinese.

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At LFMS: Even an F-4 using Pulse Doppler can detect and track an F-35, provided that the F-35 is close enough, although that may occur at the range where the F-4 might want to use guns, or the F-35 might just AIM-9X the F-4 out of the sky.

The importance of stealth is not that it makes planes completely invisible or invulnerable, but that it significantly reduces the detection and targeting range of enemy weapons.

Part of the entire stealth thing is that it's touted by the Americans as their killer app. It's not different than the US having a nuclear monopoly between 1945 and 1949, the Americans have nukes, no one else does, so when the Americans threaten you, you should cower. In practice, neither nukes nor stealth weapons are invulnerable (nukes make you look bad or trigger nuclear reprisal, stealth aircraft can be evaded with camouflage or shot down with major disparities in care between the two sides), but the psychological factor is still there and the Americans want to play it up.

Now, while it's possible some American politicians and diplomats believe in the myth, the actual military planners know that there are ranges where stealth simply doesn't work. For instance, to give a trivial case, you can destroy an F-22 while it's parked on a tarmac, you can raid an F-35 forward base, and provided you can take the base fast enough, you can either destroy it or capture it. More practically, if you're flying at extremely close distances to an S-300 battery, you are going to get detected and shot down.

====

It's simply a matter of math. -40 dBsm / .0001 m^2 RCS reduces radar ranges by .0001^.25 by deflecting the energy generated. A bistatic radar can reduce the amount needed, and low-band radars can exploit flaws in low-band stealth to reduce RCS, but more or less you can simply work off the -40 dBsm = 90% reduction in detection and tracking range. There is the matter of flicker (RCS varying immensely over small changes of angle), which the radar systems need to be proofed against, but a F-35 running too close to an S-300 it's either ignoring, or doesn't know it's there, is defeatable.

Now, what you are saying is that the Russian IADS can deny airspace to the F-35 at far longer ranges than what I'm suggesting, and this is something I do not agree with.

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@RALL:
ok thanks, RCS value understood. Shaping in the F-35 seems worse, probably its technology is better.

Regarding the RWR... this is interesting because that was exactly the same argument many times used to refute the capability of a F-22 to attack undetected. The magic force involved then was named LPI and was apparently unassailable. Now the perspective has changed and so has done the argumentation. But I ultimately agree, and in fact radars in war time are not going to act like they were lighthouses for enemy attacks. The very concept of last generation Russian SAMs is to be very mobile and scattered, precisely because physics gives a big advantage to RWR.

As to Red Flag... no I don't believe they are the closest to real war and much less the publicised data neutral. Why on Earth would this huge PR opportunity not be used by Western MIC? Involved servicemen have all my respect but that does not necessarily mean the approach and results are representative of those of a real conflict against an opponent like i.e. Russia. The particularity of war is precisely that nothing goes to plan... because the other side has a mortal interest in surprising you.

Stealth is a matter of prestige to a great extent, as you say everybody wants one... but still 4G remain the workhorse of even USAF

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@LMFS

have you considered, how to make stand-off jamming against a 400 km range SAM? That needs to be a hell of a jammer indeed...

It's only 400km vs non VLO assets. A VLO assets will be able to get within 100-200km which is well within the range of jammers like MALD-J and LO CMs like JSM.

@Krivakapa

You need to locate radar first which is problematic with LPI mode it have and high mobility,

Large, lowband radars are not LPI (they don't claim to be) and not very mobile (take at least 15 minutes or so to setup/redeploy). This is not the 1990's anymore and one of the hallmarks of the F-35 is it's ESM suite combined with it's ability to single-ship geolocate emitting targets. On top of that you can add multi-ship ESM.

@Inst

if the Russians wanted to knock out a F-35, they'd camouflage it so that the US and the Israelis wouldn't know it's there.

No amount of camo will hide a radar truck from a SAR map. Will popup SHORAD be a problem, yes, but the F-35 is already being fitted with weapons (like SDB2/JAGM/Spear3) to react to popup threats. You are making a big mistake if you are counting on relying on SHORAD as your primary defense.

@RALL
The quote from Hostage does not mention RCS, that is the author's words. The direct quote from Hostage says":

“The F-35 is geared to go out and take down the surface targets,” says Hostage, leaning forward. “The F-35 doesn’t have the altitude, doesn’t have the speed [of the F-22], but it can beat the F-22 in stealth.” But stealth — the ability to elude or greatly complicate an enemy’s ability to find and destroy an aircraft using a combination of design, tactics and technology — is not a magic pill, Hostage reminds us.
Note that he says stealth (not RCS) and further qualifies it with a list of features.
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@inst

"It's simply a matter of math. -40 dBsm / .0001 m^2 RCS reduces radar ranges by .0001^.25 by deflecting the energy generated. A bistatic radar can reduce the amount needed, and low-band radars can exploit flaws in low-band stealth to reduce RCS, but more or less you can simply work off the -40 dBsm = 90% reduction in detection and tracking range. There is the matter of flicker (RCS varying immensely over small changes of angle), which the radar systems need to be proofed against, but a F-35 running too close to an S-300 it's either ignoring, or doesn't know it's there, is defeatable."

Some of us don't even bother taking any of Lockheed RCS claims that seriously. Some gave values of .005 and .0001m2 and now they all believe the F-35 is now 500 times smaller than the F-22. I do not even care anymore if I hear .000001m2 for their 6th gen(even though they stated that stealth has to be sacrificed). No one is entirely that convinced yet. One of china's mobile radars can both detect and track a target of .01m2 more than 300kms away and now their researchers are saying its theoretically possible for them to hit an eye of a needle with another needle from 1000kms away http://www.deagel.com/news/China-Developing-New-Air-Defense-System_n000017911.aspx Either way are those range values you gave earlier for the 1990s variants or the nebo-m?

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@LMFS

It's only 400km vs non VLO assets. A VLO assets will be able to get within 100-200km which is well within the range of jammers like MALD-J and LO CMs like JSM.


That 400km is 20 year old figure for export variant. Russia has tremendous confidence in it's engineer to continuously improve the system faster than anyone else that's why don't fear exporting it to every one .
Profile picture for user FBW

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what we have seen IMO time after time is the use of overwhelming, most modern western force against 3rd world / nearly defenceless countries with obsolete SAMs, poor training and even worse morale. Mind you, Irak didn't even bother using their supposedly mighty military to stop the force build-up that that was later used to strike them. They were defeated even before starting the war, probably hoping that punishment wouldn't last long if they didn't resist.

This is a perfect example of the internet revisionist history I was referring to. The Iraq air defense network was modeled on structure of Frontal PVO, with an added French C3 network. Several of the zones had a higher density of SAM than in any of the soviet theaters. Sure they lacked the more modern S-300 system then available, but added Roland and a large array of radar directed AAA which were an extreme threat to low flying aircraft. Training? Probably not great. But that’s not why the system was completely dismantled in a matter of days. The weakness of any AD network is coordinating large surveillance radars (which are have limited mobility even today in the face of cruise missile strikes) and C3. Once the heads start to be cut off, the stinging tail is vulnerable. It is in the interests of SAM exporters to downplay the vulnerability of these networks, but in reality, without C3 and early warning, all SAM systems can do is cause attrition, not aerial denial. As good as the S-400 system is, once 91N6E radars are targeted/ neutralized, the system is compromised. That does not require strike aircaft to enter the missile envelope, emissions can be triangulated and cruise missiles interspersed with decoys such as MALD can swarm close in defenses.
Simply put manufacturers make bold claims about AD systems effectiveness, the operational history of these weapons tells a different story. Yes, they are a very real threat, one that can exact losses on attackers, but cannot stop a concerted air campaign.

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@JSR
Russia's "confidence" in anything related to technological advancement, especially as it relates to keeping ahead of the west is patently laughable.

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"That does not require strike aircaft to enter the missile envelope, emissions can be triangulated and cruise missiles interspersed with decoys such as MALD can swarm close in defenses.
Simply put manufacturers make bold claims about AD systems effectiveness, the operational history of these weapons tells a different story. Yes, they are a very real threat, one that can exact losses on attackers, but cannot stop a concerted air campaign. "

I would personally like to know how some modern weapons in a SEAD operation would work against modern SAM systems that look like they were made to counter them.
https://www.quora.com/How-does-Russias-integrated-air-defense-network-work
A decoy that can highly imitate an aircraft or a cruise missile is just referred to as a high fidelity decoy. Now rather if modern passive sensors like Moskva-1 can pick up high fidelity decoys based on transmission is another issue no one here would know. Kolchuga can pick up EMI off an aircraft engines but because of background noise it cant pick up EMI but can pick up frequency. INS with 3 sensors cant be jammed because of operating frequencies like acceloremeter, magnetometer, gyroscope but turning off GPS would mean the accuracy would be 40 to 120 meters off its target and SAM batteries are mobile as well. No one knows how effective a modern passive sensor is compared to ones made in the 1980s this is what was said, "In 2002 the U.S. State Department accused Ukraine of selling Kolchuga to Iraq, based on recordings of the then Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma supposedly made by Mykola Mel'nychenko. This was followed by political steps from United Kingdom and the United States. No material confirmation has been found in Iraq. See Cassette Scandal for further information. " They were worried about passive sensors being sold from the 1980s to Iraq, the moskva-1 or avtobaza-m might be way better at identifying high fidelity decoys based on their transmissions.

The quora answer shows the russians do not like to be caught with their pants down when it comes to emerging threats. Such as CHAMP they have created Alabuga with a 3.5km EMP impulse to destroy electronics, to destroy this missile at a far enough range in low altitude from touching their equipment Buk-m3 seems to be the answer with mach 8 missiles and destroying low altitude targets at 18-20km before tracking them at low altitudes from 36km that is if the CHAMP has already been identified by passive sensors or a satellite system giving the image to control station. Rather if their unlimited range nuclear cruise missile along with plasma shield Zircon or other projects are a success it shows that they view their own missiles more of a threat than whatever is made in the US. Even critics will have a hard time denying that. Their defenses are more than likely made for taking out their own missiles if they can or cannot depends than whatever missile project the US has made.

Some people I know have persistently argued how a decoy can imitate aircraft and other missiles. Yes the US purchased an export version of VERA(though not Czechs best VERA system) they have more than likely studied passive sensors to fool decoys. But newer passive sensors like the Moskva can or cannot sniff out a high fidelity decoy since no one knows.

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@JSR
Russia's "confidence" in anything related to technological advancement, especially as it relates to keeping ahead of the west is patently laughable.

Unless your making comparisiin with Soviets who's lack of use of computers and cnc manchines things longer to implement plus slow recovery from ww. Russian now using ship to ship transfer of grain exports . combined rail and road bridge construction . Every thing complex are implemented faster.
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@JSR
Sorry, but the Russians simply cannot outspend the West in the areas of R&D to claim technical superiority.

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have you considered, how to make stand-off jamming against a 400 km range SAM? That needs to be a hell of a jammer indeed...

How low is radar cross section
https://forum.keypublishing.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=261061&d=1528944467

One of china's mobile radars can both detect and track a target of .01m2 more than 300kms away and now their researchers are saying its theoretically possible for them to hit an eye of a needle with another needle from 1000kms away http://www.deagel.com/news/China-Dev...000017911.aspx

You wrote the same thing in Chinese thread and but were corrected by Blitzo, why repeat the same thing here? do you think no one will notice?.

The cutting-edge missile's control systems need to be extremely efficient and accurate, said Wang Mengyi, deputy head of the Second Academy's General Design Department and former leader of the laboratory.

"Metaphorically put, the mission of these control systems is to guide a needle to fly 1,000 kilometers to pierce the eye of another needle," he said. "For researchers from Zhang Yiqun Laboratory, their mission is to turn this seemingly impossible task into reality."

Wang said control systems are mainly tasked with working out a missile's best trajectory and making sure it can hit its target.

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@Inst:
I am not making any statement regarding how far a S-400 or S-300 can pick-up the F-35. I am only saying we don't really know and have no practical way of knowing it.

@FBW:
you can call me revisionist, I don't take that Irak's AD was better than Soviet one or even close to it, nor was it put to work as it should, nor should it be a match for ta joint attack of the Western block, please let us be real. If you want to test real IADs dimensioned against NATO capabilities you have to take on Russia, period

Of course it is in the interests of SAM manufacturers to make claims about their capabilities, exactly the same as the West has interests in downplaying them.

The tactics you claim work very well as far as the enemy has very limited or no support assets, no modern multilayered, multiband radars, no ECM, no AWACS, no interceptors, no PCL, not OTH, no long range SAMs, no satellites, no training and no motivation to hit back hard. All new radars are linked an highly mobile. Modern SHORAD are not extremely altitude limited like in Serbia bombing. There are highly effective means against saturating attacks with PGM. Etc. etc. It is not easy to eliminate those AD assets unless your numbers are overwhelming, as recent experience shows.

@SpudmanWP:
squandering budget in impossibly negligent ways to the point that you cannot account for 21 trillion dollars is really out Russia's MoD capabilities. To neuter ABM initiative, carrier groups and essentially every destabilising military threat from US is not. Things are cheaper in Russia and they have not been (yet) spoiled by delusions of "full-spectrum dominance" or by the need to shape their military to profit on colonial wars so they get to defend they country for peanuts compared to US military budget, get over it. Alas, main responsible for this is the US for over-stretching themselves.

You know, the Western perspective is always "we have the most money so we have the best technology", as if this was a symmetric struggle for world domination (apart from pathological ego reassurance). OK, fine with it, obviously this advantage is true in many technological areas, especially those related to consumer markets. For Russia, nowadays, the struggle is about defending the country and its sovereignty. Does this technology allow you to force Russia into submission? Obviously not, so enjoy it if you will but it is a hollow title.

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Some of us don't even bother taking any of Lockheed RCS claims that seriously. Some gave values of .005 and .0001m2 and now they all believe the F-35 is now 500 times smaller than the F-22. I do not even care anymore if I hear .000001m2 for their 6th gen(even though they stated that stealth has to be sacrificed). No one is entirely that convinced yet

Or only you, anechoic chamber measurement shows that F-117 metal model have RCS of -18 dBsm between 0.4-2Ghz. Now go up in frequency and add RAM.
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@spudman

"Russia's "confidence" in anything related to technological advancement, especially as it relates to keeping ahead of the west is patently laughable. "

"Sorry, but the Russians simply cannot outspend the West in the areas of R&D to claim technical superiority. "

I see why you were defending F-16.net when I was bashing it from these statements alone. Is the US planning on making mach 20 flight vehicles? unlimited range cruise missiles? plasma shield cruise missiles? robotic tanks? 100 megaton AI torpedoes? 100km AESA radars on tanks? needs Israel for tank APS, needs Japan and Britain for an air to air missile, buying passive sensors from czech rep, having an operational air defense to soon track and engage multiple ICBM targets 2 years from now, Claiming invisibility impossible back in 2015 while a coming russian army expo will more than likely display an invisible helmet? Radio optical radars? I got a huger list than this but even as a bias guy myself even I have my limits.

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/who-we-are/global-diversity-inclusion.html You know what this basically says? Ahh most of our team in lockheed were all white people, instead of going for the best candidates we need diversity instead of constantly getting the highest qualified candidates which mostly happen to be white we need to have this race that race. I sort of see this as a problem or a plague but I would rather have military tech companies always go for the best candidates than choosing people based off race for the sake of diversity. If the best candidate is Black than choose him, if the best candidate is Indian choose him or her instead of not choosing the best candidates for the sake of having diversity.

@mig-31bm is that off of lockheed and if it is should my trust be that easy to give like the sudden RCS change on both 5th gen aircrafts?

@moonlight in case you have not noticed my statement it said "theoretically possible".

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in case you have not noticed my statement it said"theoretically possible".

In case you have not noticed, in their statement, the Chinese said "metaphorically" instead of "literally". They were using a metaphor, talking figuratively, for example: when they say "Usain bolt is lightning fast" that only mean he can run very fast, not "therotically he can run at 220,000,000 miles per hour"

Is the US planning on making mach 20 flight vehicles? unlimited range cruise missiles? plasma shield cruise missiles? robotic tanks? 100 megaton AI torpedoes? 100km AESA radars on tanks?

Let me guess, plasma shield cruise missiles and 100 km AESA on tank are product of your imagination?