F35 - Money well spent.

I posted this to Op Granby the other week. I think you'll find it interesting re JP233:

 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
That was because the Iraqi airfields were so damned big. They could operate from taxiways when the runways were out of action - H4 (or was it H3?) was/is larger than Heathrow; from memory H’row would need a fourth runway to match it. JP233 was designed to take out smaller airfields in Europe, so the need for multiple re-attacks on the larger Iraqi air stations was problematic.

The need for JP233 went when the IqAF started flying only for the pupose of fleeing to Iran. With aircraft in the HAS and not dispersed, the F-111 and TGR with laser guided weapons could start HAS plinking, and did so, as did the Buccs when they started carrying a Paveway or two and self-designating.
Was not the real estate an issue in terms of the sheer size of facility to fly over, thus extending exposure?
 
Adam is a top bloke, although my liver and some brain cells regard him with suspicion after a number of ICSC(A) Staff Rides from his time as an SO2...
I can imagine! Good storyteller.
 
once they stopped the insanity of JP233 it did just fine.
JP did its job - they closed down air ops. The single a/c lost on JP ops (100+) had dropped its weapons successfully and flew into the ground in a turn iirc.

Most losses were iron bombs, lofting, apart from one which they think was 960 fuze fault.
 

ThunderBox

On ROPS
On ROPs
JP did its job - they closed down air ops. The single a/c lost on JP ops (100+) had dropped its weapons successfully and flew into the ground in a turn iirc.

Most losses were iron bombs, lofting, apart from one which they think was 960 fuze fault.
Was the ‘insanity’ because in hindsight we didn’t need to deploy a capability we had armed and trained for which was probably not insane in CW ops?

I know it was @PhotEx who said it was insane, but that was its mission right, why was it insane?
 

Yokel

LE
What weapon would the F-35 (or can we call it a Lightning?) use against a FIAC?



During Operation Praying Mantis, US Navy aircraft used cluster bombs against Iranian Boghammers.
 
It may not even have been shot down; there’s a belief that they were manoeuvring to avoid a threat as they came off target and flew into the ground. Of the other five UK losses, three were low level with 1,000lb bombs aboard; one was at medium altitude when its bombs detonated as they left the aircraft and the final loss was at medium altitude on a PGM sortie. The Italian Tornado that was lost had just carried out a singleton attack (the rest of the formation had been forced to abort) on an ammo dump when it was hit by a ZSU-23-4.



It was the only way of delivering JP233, and despite a lot of work suggesting the RAF was the only service doing this attack profile, the USAF & USN did so as well. This was how a B-52 was struck by a HARM...

Much of the controversy was generated by DLB claiming that senior RAF officers sought to mandate continuance of Ops at low level after the move of most - but again not all - coalition forces to medium altitude. He was sort of right about interference from the UK, but the currently available evidence suggests that Bill Wratten (not a shrinking violet, and probably only denied the title of ‘most disliked officer in the RAF’ by the Scottish Air Marshal) invited those seeking to intervene to get stuffed with their tactical ideas and to instead send out Buccaneers with Pave Spike to allow the TGR to be effective at medium altitude.

The TGRs did go in low level longer than was perhaps desirable, but much of the controversy was reignited/overblown by the likes of Page and Ward. The Jag force went in at ML from the off.
I did hear a rumour of someone in the UK suggesting JP could be used on non airfield targets and getting a very forceful rejection.

Jag actually got CBU-87 to allow it drop from ML as BL-755 was low level all the way - the also got CRV 7, which kind of negates ML as did the large number of 30mm rounds used strafing.

Didn't go outside Kuwait mind.
 
It may not even have been shot down; there’s a belief that they were manoeuvring to avoid a threat as they came off target and flew into the ground.
On a course we were being taught by a Tornado backseater and were swapping war stories. He was on Granby and was told that in order to evade a particular missile all he would have to do would be to pull a 3G turn and it would lose lock.

he said that he replied “if we pull a 3G turn we’ll fall out of the sky!” (Caveated that he was carrying IIRC 2000lbs of iron at the time, but we have all been victims of physics at some time).
 
Was the ‘insanity’ because in hindsight we didn’t need to deploy a capability we had armed and trained for which was probably not insane in CW ops?

I know it was @PhotEx who said it was insane, but that was its mission right, why was it insane?

Chuck Horner, as JFACC, wanted to shut down (actually disrupt - shut them down, then revisit when signs airfield reopened) Iraqi airfields; he specifically asked for Tornado and JP233 as it was NATO's specialist anti-runway capability. F-111Es had Durandal, but the crews didn't think much of the mission profile.

It was the 'obvious' answer to that bit of the offensive counter-air puzzle, although it was recognised when weaponeering that the size and scale of the Iraqi bases would make them much more challenging targets (the construction of the runways on sand meant that the weapons effects were different as well).

It's only with the benefit of hindsight that the JP233 looks like a curious choice - because the target set was a bit different, the enemy then behaved in an unexpected manner and better effects could be achieved by targeting the HAS with PGM.
 
What weapon would the F-35 (or can we call it a Lightning?) use against a FIAC?



During Operation Praying Mantis, US Navy aircraft used cluster bombs against Iranian Boghammers.
Brimstone, or if qualified for it Hellfire.

Either would ruin the day of a corvette sized target so a FIAC would be in a world of pain.

ETA: If in an environment where such a threat exists then the obvious solution is to have a Wildcat ready to launch with (can’t remember the name of them) the latest missiles for it. Or if on board an Apache would be devastating against them.
 

Yokel

LE
The obvious solutions against a FIAC swarm is to engage it at max range (Spear 3 perhaps - is Brimstone integrated onto the Lightning?), then Wildcat with Martlet, the other weapons.

I was wondering about Spear 3. Or a smaller bombs available?
 
Was not the real estate an issue in terms of the sheer size of facility to fly over, thus extending exposure?
ME airfields are huge, HAS dispersal exits and taxiways were targeted.
 
Was the ‘insanity’ because in hindsight we didn’t need to deploy a capability we had armed and trained for which was probably not insane in CW ops?

I know it was @PhotEx who said it was insane, but that was its mission right, why was it insane?
It wasn't insane, they lost possibly one a/c on JP ops to enemy action. Flying low level is inherently dangerous but if you don't own the battlespace it's where you operate. Still train for it.

Military low flying: RAF operational low flying training timetable
 
Jag actually got CBU-87 to allow it drop from ML as BL-755 was low level all the way - the also got CRV 7, which kind of negates ML as did the large number of 30mm rounds used strafing

CRV7 (and the 30mm) saw most use on SUCAP sorties, with a fair amount of the total expended going on a one-way, permanent exchange tour with the Iraqi navy.

CBU-87 was - partly - a replacement for the CRV7; it was recommended for procurement by the Jag force commander just before kick-off, but the UOR wasn't handled with the greatest of bureaucratic smoothness, and the Americans wondered whether we actually wanted them. CRV7 had software problems at the start, making the 25mm ADEN on the Harrier look accurate - the CBU-87 replaced them when the Jags were on SUCAP sorties; the CRV7's new software came in on 23 February and there's at least one MISREP in the public domain regarding an attack on IqN ships where the Jag flight was carrying a mix of CBU-87 and CRV7.
 

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