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RAF Strategic Bomber

The question wasn't "Is this bomber any good?" It was "Do we still need bombers when missiles have rendered them obsolete?"

My response was about the lobbying point in your post, the general feeling I get from the USAF enthusiasts I know is it’s still relevant and the upgrade is a sensible investment, unlike the A-10 and the F-15x or whatever which lobbying is keeping relevant.

My own thoughts, if the Bear is still being used by the Russians and Chinese are developing similar, there must be relevance in the age of missiles.
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
The question wasn't "Is this bomber any good?" It was "Do we still need bombers when missiles have rendered them obsolete?"

My response was about the lobbying point in your post, the general feeling I get from the USAF enthusiasts I know is it’s still relevant and the upgrade is a sensible investment, unlike the A-10 and the F-15x or whatever which lobbying is keeping relevant.

My own thoughts, if the Bear is still being used by the Russians and Chinese are developing similar, there must be relevance in the age of missiles.
The advntage of a strategic bomber is the variation of weapon load outs, from potentially dumb iron bombs to nuclear ALCMs plus ASW missiles depth charges and mines. A missile is but one club in a very big big of clubs.
 
Such as the exotically named Strike Force Dispersal "Foxtrot" - a "small" airfield with a 10,000' runway. We also dispersed to SFD "Lima" who's runway was just a tad bit shorter.

One particular small airport featured a lot in various dispersal plans such that if all the aircraft for which it was the designated dispersal had all turned up together, there would have been no room to fart let alone park an aircraft. I won't name it because it might still be a valid dispersal airfield.

EtA: Some names missing off that Wiki link.
more that odds on a solar panel farm now
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Up-thread there is the point made the the Tornado crews could loft in or drop dumb bombs with considerable accuracy. Yes, they really could.

There needs to be made a point here about carpet-bombing in addition to that about missiles, for those unfamiliar.

Large bomber raids in WWII weren't just about flattening grid squares for the sake of it. Taking out a large railway or industrial complex, for instance, needed lots of aircraft and high tonnages in order to guarantee that the target would be hit and destroyed. Even then, there were numerous cases where crews had to go back night after night after night because they were unsuccessful.

Carpet bombing was a solution to the limitations of the technology of the day.

I've made the point on another thread that the payload of an F-16 is about that of a B-17. One aircraft, one crew member - which could make six trips across the Channel to Germany and back in the time a B-17 could make one. The F-16 is more survivable not just because it's quicker, smaller and well-armed but also because the accuracy of its weapons systems means it would be very likely to make a success of the mission in a first pass.

And that's with dumb bombs, not PGMs. PGMs bring a whole different level of accuracy.

The dynamics are different now. Much different. But see also the A-10 thread, and comments from other ARRSErs where F-16s/their crews were marked down by US Army observers during testing. Why? They didn't overfly the targets they destroyed. The mission was completed successfully but the prejudices and assumptions of the observers weren't satisfied.

How would you conduct Operation CHASTISE (the Dambuster raids) these days? Certainly not by having lots of large aircraft skimming in over the water at night. Storm Shadow, anyone, or something similar? Or even hacking into the control system from afar...
B-1 or B-52 have good form as loitering assets, however - loitering assets with huge weapons loads and pinpoint accuracy. But - see various JDAM videos on YouTube as examples - it's one bomb, one target because that's all it needs to get the job done.

I'm just pointing out there there's more than one way to skin various different cats.
 
Up-thread there is the point made the the Tornado crews could loft in or drop dumb bombs with considerable accuracy. Yes, they really could.

There needs to be made a point here about carpet-bombing in addition to that about missiles, for those unfamiliar.

Large bomber raids in WWII weren't just about flattening grid squares for the sake of it. Taking out a large railway or industrial complex, for instance, needed lots of aircraft and high tonnages in order to guarantee that the target would be hit and destroyed. Even then, there were numerous cases where crews had to go back night after night after night because they were unsuccessful.

Carpet bombing was a solution to the limitations of the technology of the day.

I've made the point on another thread that the payload of an F-16 is about that of a B-17. One aircraft, one crew member - which could make six trips across the Channel to Germany and back in the time a B-17 could make one. The F-16 is more survivable not just because it's quicker, smaller and well-armed but also because the accuracy of its weapons systems means it would be very likely to make a success of the mission in a first pass.

And that's with dumb bombs, not PGMs. PGMs bring a whole different level of accuracy.

The dynamics are different now. Much different. But see also the A-10 thread, and comments from other ARRSErs where F-16s/their crews were marked down by US Army observers during testing. Why? They didn't overfly the targets they destroyed. The mission was completed successfully but the prejudices and assumptions of the observers weren't satisfied.

How would you conduct Operation CHASTISE (the Dambuster raids) these days? Certainly not by having lots of large aircraft skimming in over the water at night. Storm Shadow, anyone, or something similar? Or even hacking into the control system from afar...
B-1 or B-52 have good form as loitering assets, however - loitering assets with huge weapons loads and pinpoint accuracy. But - see various JDAM videos on YouTube as examples - it's one bomb, one target because that's all it needs to get the job done.

I'm just pointing out there there's more than one way to skin various different cats.

Using eyeball bombing, you needed to drop @ 1,000 bombs on a target to be sure of a hit on a specific building the size of a football field in WWII.
 

Mattb

LE
Using eyeball bombing, you needed to drop @ 1,000 bombs on a target to be sure of a hit on a specific building the size of a football field in WWII.
Exactly - two Typhoons could do the same sort of specific damage as a 100-bomber raid of WWII.
 

TamH70

MIA
Up-thread there is the point made the the Tornado crews could loft in or drop dumb bombs with considerable accuracy. Yes, they really could.

There needs to be made a point here about carpet-bombing in addition to that about missiles, for those unfamiliar.

Large bomber raids in WWII weren't just about flattening grid squares for the sake of it. Taking out a large railway or industrial complex, for instance, needed lots of aircraft and high tonnages in order to guarantee that the target would be hit and destroyed. Even then, there were numerous cases where crews had to go back night after night after night because they were unsuccessful.

Carpet bombing was a solution to the limitations of the technology of the day.

I've made the point on another thread that the payload of an F-16 is about that of a B-17. One aircraft, one crew member - which could make six trips across the Channel to Germany and back in the time a B-17 could make one. The F-16 is more survivable not just because it's quicker, smaller and well-armed but also because the accuracy of its weapons systems means it would be very likely to make a success of the mission in a first pass.

And that's with dumb bombs, not PGMs. PGMs bring a whole different level of accuracy.

The dynamics are different now. Much different. But see also the A-10 thread, and comments from other ARRSErs where F-16s/their crews were marked down by US Army observers during testing. Why? They didn't overfly the targets they destroyed. The mission was completed successfully but the prejudices and assumptions of the observers weren't satisfied.

How would you conduct Operation CHASTISE (the Dambuster raids) these days? Certainly not by having lots of large aircraft skimming in over the water at night. Storm Shadow, anyone, or something similar? Or even hacking into the control system from afar...
B-1 or B-52 have good form as loitering assets, however - loitering assets with huge weapons loads and pinpoint accuracy. But - see various JDAM videos on YouTube as examples - it's one bomb, one target because that's all it needs to get the job done.

I'm just pointing out there there's more than one way to skin various different cats.

Well, on the Operation CHASTISE thingy, in today's environment, if you did that, you'd end up in the dock at the Hague for doing the war crimiest of all war crimes. Can't remember exactly which convention, but there was one hastily amended post-war to make that kind of attack illegal.
 
Exactly - two Typhoons could do the same sort of specific damage as a 100-bomber raid of WWII.

Bombing accuracy was often so poor, it was estimated the destruction to Flak units around the target often exceeded the destruction to the intended target on many early raids on German industrial targets.

RAF got much better though. By mid 1944, heavy bombers could reliably get their bombs within 100yds of an aimpoint - the downside of course was if the target indicator was off, so were pretty much all the bombs!
 
Certainly, when the Americans entered the war in Europe, it wasn't uncommon for BDAs (RAF & USAAF) to note that bombs were several miles off target which is why their assessment radius was increased from 3 miles to 5 miles. They also discovered that whilst their bomb sites were highly accurate in testing in the cloudless skies of Nevada they were somewhat less so during harsher weather conditions and whislt being shot at.
 
Certainly, when the Americans entered the war in Europe, it wasn't uncommon for BDAs (RAF & USAAF) to note that bombs were several miles off target which is why their assessment radius was increased from 3 miles to 5 miles. They also discovered that whilst their bomb sites were highly accurate in testing in the cloudless skies of Nevada they were somewhat less so during harsher weather conditions and whislt being shot at.

it certainly came as a huge shock to the USAAF to find the weather over Europe only allowed visual bombing @ 1 day in 5, and was often socked in for a month or more.

AA65EE53-9484-44C9-BB66-CA9A9C23F4F0.jpeg
 
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aardvark64

War Hero
I think he is suggesting they make Storm Shadow Nuclear?

No Typhoons carry nukes.
'Les sanger qui mangent beaucoup de fromages et qui se rendent' have ASMPA - nuclear capable cruise missile - so it's not beyond the bounds of possibility to do something like that

The political will isn't there though. Why would they make a second, shorter-range variant for the UK and thus give us their warhead technology?

We should be more than capable of modifying Storm Shadow ourselves, if that's what we want. But we wouldn't do so a) because of cost, b) because of the Lancaster House agreement, c) NATO umbrella, and d) 'cos the Matelots would have a hissy fit about the RAF being given assets with ostensibly the same capability as their submarines. At what point does the Army start agitating for a return to low-yield artillery fired devices?
 
So this theoretical nuclear armed RAF Storm Shadow?

what’s the target set that needs a 300mile cruise missile that a Trident SLBM can’t deal with?
 
So this theoretical nuclear armed RAF Storm Shadow?

what’s the target set that needs a 300mile cruise missile that a Trident SLBM can’t deal with?

Don’t forget also, if we are launching conventional Storm Shadow, how would they know we hadn’t sneaked a nuke one in?

Isn’t the idea we are not too sneaky in case it inadvertently triggers a nuclear war?
 
Just wondering why there appears to be no requirement for the RAF to operate a large bomber with global reach, a modern Vulcan but with stealth, able to perform ‘Black Buck’ type operations and those the US performs with B2 (and B21 in the future).

Clearly there would be a high cost to doing so and the nuclear deterrent is deliver via SSBNs but surely having the ability to strike anywhere in the world rapidly is a notable gap in our capability that would perhaps have diplomatic value and offer a strong conventional deterrent as well as being much easier to quickly deploy than a Tomahawk armed SSN or an aircraft carrier full of F35s.
Here’s an interesting musing by th8nk tanks and planners .....about our prisoner descendants purchasing the B-21


The thoughts stem from the retirement of the F-1-11 and that the Super Hornet / Growler is good but kinda lacking the long range Strike...

Also without delving int9 what is and what not, iVe Heard- and read that with rumours that the B-21 prototype flightless vehicle is being tested around the ‚Box‘ with distinctive Brit or American accents Heard- over the frequency by either in chase a/c or even the demand thing itself.

cheers
 
Here’s an interesting musing by th8nk tanks and planners .....about our prisoner descendants purchasing the B-21


The thoughts stem from the retirement of the F-1-11 and that the Super Hornet / Growler is good but kinda lacking the long range Strike...

Also without delving int9 what is and what not, iVe Heard- and read that with rumours that the B-21 prototype flightless vehicle is being tested around the ‚Box‘ with distinctive Brit or American accents Heard- over the frequency by either in chase a/c or even the demand thing itself.

cheers
Rumors the prototypes visited our shores are abound in some circles.

Pity MM isnt here, he would probably know if there are any RAF pilots on exchange but wouldn’t the testing still be in house with NG?
 

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