B-61/B-83 survivability?

stew3

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With the latest "double didget" SAMS the Russians are producing, what is the viability of the tactical and strategic "gravity" bombs?

Doesn't a stand off missile, preferable a stealthy or hypersonic, seem more survivable in delivery, not to mention the aircraft delivering it? (stealthy or not)

The US seems intent on keeping these weapons around for a while with programs to modernize them. European based B-61s with NATO seem likely to come up against such Russian equipment as the S-300/400/500,so isn't it unlikely they will ever make it to their likely defended targets?

The dependence on such weapons as gravity nukes seem to require overconfidence in the Stealth aspect of newer aircraft to get them to their targets. A technology the Russians seem to advertise they can overcome with their latest SAMs.
 

stew3

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sealordlawrence said:
Yeah because the S-300 that has been around for 20+ years and has been examined by the west, and has had its capabilities exercised against is invincible.

Very true. We have had a while to adapt, however it just seems logical to avoid the whole situation by a standoff of some sort. Having to fly directly over the target with such defenses seems like an avoidable risk. You wouldn't even need stealth to deliver it with a stand off method, and it just seem illogical for our highest yield weapon, B-83, to have the most vulnerable delivery methods. Even the old SRAM seems like it would be more survivable and deliverable and survivable for the delivery aircraft. Hypersonics seem like an attractive solution, however the IR signature would make it perhaps more visible. Certainly a stealth design would be better than a bomb. And doesn't a B-2 become visible on radar when the bomb bay doors open, or is that just a myth propagated by the many novels out there on the subject of Stealth bombers?

Even the Russians still have a SRAM version (The US retired the SRAM), AS-16 Kickback, that arms their Backfires and Blackjack. The AS-16 even out performed the SRAM in range and speed. Fired from low level, as the SRAM, but from beyond the radar horizon, it goes to 40,000 meters (130,000 feet) then dives at Mach 5. Hey, I admit it, I am just a rookie on the subject, but this appears to just outclass the gravity bombs hands down.
 

stew3

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SRAM was coated with rubber for some stealth, and heat dissipation. I would assume that any modern cruise design would have stealth characteristics.
 

stew3

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So back to the topic, how much longer can we expect to fly over a target worth nuking, and drop a non-stealthy 30 year old bomb design, probably on a high value target and well defended? No matter how good stealth is the defending technology will progress against stealth eventually, and there is no requirement not to have a stand off capability as well which would increase survivability of the delivery aircraft and improve the chances of penetrating defenses.
 

quellish

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stew3 said:
And doesn't a B-2 become visible on radar when the bomb bay doors open, or is that just a myth propagated by the many novels out there on the subject of Stealth bombers?

It becomes *more* visible. The doors open and close quickly in combat, minimizing exposure.
 

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Gravity bombs on aircraft are recallable up to the point of release from the platform. Hypersonic cruise missiles with 700 mile range carrying nuclear warheads or ICBMs aren't.

So each time you see a television or movie about how the heroes manage to stop a nuclear missile launch by blowing up the missile by sending the abort codes...LAUGH.

It seems more likely that our nuclear bombers will penetrate behind a hail of conventionally armed cruise missiles which can be used for something other than WWIII, like trying to kill Gadhaffi.

I also would not be surprised if we are working on JDAM style kits for our gravity bombs, to enable them to do long range, high accuracy standoff glides as well.
 

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