Sunday, March 13, 2016
The Air to Air Missile Gap...the issue that the air power advocates refuse to acknowledge.
We've watched as the F-35 was touted as a superior dogfighter able to defeat everything into the sky, then after it became apparent that it can't hold up to even legacy F-16s, it was a sensor node that would play quarterback for not only the air component but that it would issue instructions to ground and naval forces.
And now we're back to it being an air superiority fighter that will clear the skies of enemy fighters before they even see it.
But how will it do that? No one is answering that basic question and just a glance at US vs. Russian/Chinese air to air missiles reveals a gap ... in their favor. Check this out...
The K-100. Speed? Mach 3.3. Range? At least 200 km, possibly 300–400 km (160–210 nmi).
The R-77 (K-77M). Speed? Believed to be Mach 4. Range? At least 200 km.
The R-37. Speed? Mach 6. Range? 150-398 km.
Those are just a few that I picked up on an open source Wiki search in the early morning hours. So what does the US have to compete with these? The AIM-120D.
Speed? Mach 4. Range? Greater than 160 km.
So what's my point? Threat missiles have a longer reach than our own. The only short term answer to this problem is in Europe. Not invented here needs to go the way of the Dodo and we need to buy the Meteor missile, not to leap ahead, but to remain in the game. It's speed? Over Mach 4. Range? 300+ km.
If we're going to fight in the Pacific or cross swords in Europe then we need to increase our reach!
Many of you will say that I'm biting on propaganda. Others will say that I'm being a drama queen. So be it. But remember this. US defense officials have been shouting that the Russians and Chinese need to be more open about their weapon systems. Now that they are, many don't like what they see.
Get out of your normalcy bias. The Dept of Defense focusing all resources on the F-35 has cost us dearly. This missile gap is just one example.