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Soviet tactics against AWACs in the 1980s

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  • nastle
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Feb 2005
    • 480

    Soviet tactics against AWACs in the 1980s

    Did the soviet airforces develop any tactics to attack AWACs in the 80s ?

    Did they have any SEAD aircraft designed specifically for attacking AWACs

    I think most soviet aircraft of that era did not carry jamming pods but did employ Tu-22 blinders, An-12, Yak-38 and other as specialized jamming aircraft.Could these aircraft jam the radars of opposing fighters and AWACs too ?
  • TooCool_12f
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Dec 2009
    • 3279

    #2
    they developed extra long range missiles, R-33 for the Mig-31 at first and then a derivative R-37, to end up with the KS-172 in the 1990's

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novator_KS-172

    Comment

    • djcross
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jan 2000
      • 5340

      #3
      The easiest way is to destroy them on the ground. There are only a few bases with logistics to maintain E-3s. Have sappers attack them in their parking spots or launch mortars/rockets from outside the base perimeter. Those tactics worked in Vietnam and again in Afghanistan.

      Comment

      • stealthflanker
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Sep 2015
        • 810

        #4
        I wonder, but given the Soviet already have MiG-31. The R-33 will be logical to be used against AEW for VVS. Tactics might involve supersonic dash in high altitude to increase missile range. The baseline R-33 have about 120 km range, high-altitude supersonic cruise will increase range by about 30% (156 km total) R-37 might already underway.

        Ground based jammers also deserve special mention, there is Pelena and a manportable ground based jammer, specifically developed to counter E-3. and long range SAM like S-200D (Dubna) With 400 Km range.

        Comment

        • paralay
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Aug 2005
          • 1320

          #5
          The R-27EP is a missile with a passive radar homing head 9B1032 and an increased launch range for hitting radio-emitting air targets, ensuring the defeat of airplanes putting up active interference. The launch range is 110 km.
          Attached Files

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          • nastle
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Feb 2005
            • 480

            #6
            thanks guys , can the Mig-25RB be used in that role with its big anti-radiation missiles ?

            Comment

            • stealthflanker
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Sep 2015
              • 810

              #7
              i'm curious if Kh-58 can be used in such manner.

              Comment

              • Sintra
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Aug 2007
                • 3757

                #8
                Several misconceptions here.
                Till 1990 the mig31 was a PVO asset only. The PVO mission was to fend off aerial attacks against the Soviet Union, for the Americans think of a (completely independent from the USAF) NORAD on steroids. By definition the PVO would have not faced NATO Awacs.
                The job to square off with NATO over Europe (and dealing with AWACS) was for the VVS, by late eighties, that meant huge numbers of mig23's, several hundred mig29's, a few units of mig25's and a handful of Su27 's(a great big chunk of the first batches of Flankers were delivered to the PVO).
                Of the several AAM's described by several posters in this topic only the R33 was available and only for the PVO.
                The only anti radiation missile available for tactical work by the Soviet forces was the KH31P, it had no ATA mode, is target were the massive numbers of Hawk, Patriots, Bloodhounds, etc, NATO units, it only entered in 1988, a few months before the Berlin wall came crashing down.
                There were no SEAD aircrafts or units dedicated for use against the Awac fleet.
                From what's publicly available, for the most of the Cold War, the Soviet plan to deal with NATO air forces over central Europe (and the Awac force) seemed to be a variation of what DJCross described above, but instead of using mortars they would go directly to tactical nukes, what remained (if anything) would be swarmed and dealt by superior numbers.

                Cheers

                sigpic

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                • nastle
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Feb 2005
                  • 480

                  #9

                  The job to square off with NATO over Europe (and dealing with AWACS) was for the VVS, by late eighties, that meant huge numbers of mig23's, several hundred mig29's, a few units of mig25's and a handful of Su27 's(a great big chunk of the first batches of Flankers were delivered to the PVO).
                  talking numbers I like it
                  per 1988 military balance
                  VVS has 450 mig-29 , 700 mig-23MF/ML no mig-25 and no su-27
                  PVO has 100 + mig-31 , 150 su-27 400 mig-25 A/E and 600 mig-23P
                  does that sound about right ?

                  Of the several AAM's described by several posters in this topic only the R33 was available and only for the PVO.
                  what about R-40 ? has decent range at high altitude

                  The only anti radiation missile available for tactical work by the Soviet forces was the KH31P, it had no ATA mode, is target were the massive numbers of Hawk, Patriots, Bloodhounds, etc, NATO units, it only entered in 1988, a few months before the Berlin wall came crashing down.
                  ARH was carried by Tu-22 and Tu-16 of strategic aviation not sure if it would work in A2A mode

                  From what's publicly available, for the most of the Cold War, the Soviet plan to deal with NATO air forces over central Europe (and the Awac force) seemed to be a variation of what DJCross described above, but instead of using mortars they would go directly to tactical nukes, what remained (if anything) would be swarmed and dealt by superior numbers.
                  Although quantitatively USSR was outnumbered by atleast 2 to 1 in OVERALL numbers by NATO in aircraft
                  They had the quantitative edge only in 3rd gen fighters by mid 80s , approx 1800 mig-23Mf/ML ( pvo + vvs)+ 400 Mig -25 vs 400 + F-16 ( early versions ) and 800 + F-4s of NATO
                  but then NATO has a 4 to 1 edge in 4th gen fighters
                  and NATO has hundreds of mirage 5/f-104/F-5 which are quite superior to limited numbers of Mig-21 available to VVS , even if we count the su-15 of pvo NATO still has the numeric advantage



                  Comment

                  • Sintra
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Aug 2007
                    • 3757

                    #10
                    "talking numbers I like it
                    per 1988 military balance
                    VVS has 450 mig-29 , 700 mig-23MF/ML no mig-25 and no su-27
                    PVO has 100 + mig-31 , 150 su-27 400 mig-25 A/E and 600 mig-23P
                    does that sound about right ?"

                    Two corrections:

                    A) The first VVS SU-27s were delivered in 1985 to the 831st GvIAP, Mirgorod, Ukraine
                    B) The VVS 787th Tactical Fighter Air Regiment, Finow, Germany was equiped with the MiG-25PD Foxbat-E interceptor

                    "what about R-40 ? has decent range at high altitude"

                    It was available for the Mig-25

                    "ARH was carried by Tu-22 and Tu-16 of strategic aviation not sure if it would work in A2A mode"

                    No it does not

                    "Although quantitatively USSR was outnumbered by atleast 2 to 1 in OVERALL numbers by NATO in aircraft
                    They had the quantitative edge only in 3rd gen fighters by mid 80s , approx 1800 mig-23Mf/ML ( pvo + vvs)+ 400 Mig -25 vs 400 + F-16 ( early versions ) and 800 + F-4s of NATO
                    but then NATO has a 4 to 1 edge in 4th gen fighters
                    and NATO has hundreds of mirage 5/f-104/F-5 which are quite superior to limited numbers of Mig-21 available to VVS , even if we count the su-15 of pvo NATO still has the numeric advantage"

                    Those numbers are not entirely correct, NATO was not facing the URSS, it was facing the Warsaw Pact and it was doing it in Europe. What was outside of Europe was pretty much academic (after the initial clash, every main NATO airbase in the Continent would have been wiped out with tactical nukes).
                    Here, a NATO official doc from 1984
                    http://insidethecoldwar.org/sites/de...ons%201984.pdf
                    Page 19, figure 4 is instructive
                    Last edited by Sintra; 10th January 2019, 12:29.
                    sigpic

                    Comment

                    • nastle
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Feb 2005
                      • 480

                      #11

                      A) The first VVS SU-27s were delivered in 1985 to the 831st GvIAP, Mirgorod, Ukraine
                      B) The VVS 787th Tactical Fighter Air Regiment, Finow, Germany was equiped with the MiG-25PD Foxbat-E interceptor
                      thanks a lot
                      where can I get more accurate figures about the number of mig-29/su-27/mig-31 with vvs and pvo in the 80s ?
                      any suggestions ?

                      Comment

                      • Levsha
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2006
                        • 2764

                        #12
                        (after the initial clash, every main NATO airbase in the Continent would have been wiped out with tactical nukes).
                        The same could be said for Warsaw Pact airfields as well, surely?

                        Comment

                        • TooCool_12f
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Dec 2009
                          • 3279

                          #13
                          except that most russian fighters had rough field capability.. if it went to escalate, chances are they'd be dispersed to avoid being destroyed on the ground.. just look at a small country like serbia, bombed for several months by NATO and who only had half a dozen Mig 29s at the begining of the war... and they lost pretty much none (if any) on the ground, not to speak about Mig 21s which also mostly survived the bombing campaign

                          Comment

                          • Levsha
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jan 2006
                            • 2764

                            #14
                            What do you mean by "rough field capability" landing a MiG-21 on a farmer's field? Good look to that. As it happen much of NATO air power could disperse too if they wanted too - I just don't think they were really bothered about it at the time - dispersal airfields can be nuked too, you know.

                            Comment

                            • Sintra
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Aug 2007
                              • 3757

                              #15
                              Nastle, i dont know if "Galcom" is still around but if you are interested in the Warsaw pact ORBAT in the Eighties, he would be the chap to contact

                              Look Here:
                              https://forum.keypublishing.com/foru...g-the-cold-war
                              http://www.easternorbat.com/
                              sigpic

                              Comment

                              • Sintra
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Aug 2007
                                • 3757

                                #16
                                Levsha

                                "The same could be said for Warsaw Pact airfields as well, surely?"

                                Yes, offcourse, but the Soviet high command believed that a) somehow it could fight a tatical nuclear battle in Europe without the thing escalating into a strategic Dooms Day and b) "the Soviet Union could prevail in a war because of the Wests greater vulnerability to nuclear devastation" (Gen. Dmitrii Volkogonov "dixit"). There is one caveat in my comment about the Soviets using nukes across the board, in the late eighties, per the widely known "Seven Days to the Rhine" plan, France and GBritain would be spared the nuclear onslaught.

                                An interesting read here (from 1964)
                                https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/108642...an_dossier.pdf
                                sigpic

                                Comment

                                • nastle
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Feb 2005
                                  • 480

                                  #17
                                  sintra thanks a lot that site is a goldmine
                                  I did find some OOB in yefim gordon's book on PVO and VVS

                                  Comment

                                  • nastle
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Feb 2005
                                    • 480

                                    #18
                                    reading the soviet plan for war in western europe you posted it seems like that the liberal use of IRBM and cruise missiles on both sides made any advantage in conventional fighter superority almost baseless
                                    we worry so much about the mig-29/su27 vs f-16/18/15 matchup but in reality any war before the IRBM treaty i.e before 1988 was almostly certainly use tactical nukes and in that case it is all about IRBM and tactical nukes
                                    there would be no time for the fighters to play red baron

                                    Comment

                                    • TooCool_12f
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Dec 2009
                                      • 3279

                                      #19
                                      What do you mean by "rough field capability" landing a MiG-21 on a farmer's field? Good look to that. As it happen much of NATO air power could disperse too if they wanted too - I just don't think they were really bothered about it at the time - dispersal airfields can be nuked too, you know.
                                      who speaks about dispersal fields? If serbs managed to put their migs in safety and loose some almost exclusively in the air (as they kept operating them, whenever possible despite something like 300 combat aircraft massed by NATO in the area), chances are russians would be able to do it as well, espacially when not being outnumbered nearly as bad... I seriously doubt that serbs have some kind of magic specific to their air force. Again, I'm not saying "look what serbs would do in such case".. I say "look at what they did"...

                                      Comment

                                      • ijozic
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • May 2014
                                        • 612

                                        #20
                                        reading the soviet plan for war in western europe you posted it seems like that the liberal use of IRBM and cruise missiles on both sides made any advantage in conventional fighter superority almost baseless
                                        we worry so much about the mig-29/su27 vs f-16/18/15 matchup but in reality any war before the IRBM treaty i.e before 1988 was almostly certainly use tactical nukes and in that case it is all about IRBM and tactical nukes
                                        there would be no time for the fighters to play red baron
                                        That plan was from 1964, apparently. If the Soviet side still planned on going with nukes exclusively throughout the '70s and '80s, they wouldn't have bothered developing and spending all that money on tactical aviation after that (e.g. MiG-23/27/29, Su-17/24/25/27, Mi-24/28, Ka-50).

                                        Comment

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