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Advantage of AWACS

This is a discussion on Advantage of AWACS within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; When Ronald Reagan approved the sale of 4 AWACS to Saudi Arabia, Israel acted like they gave the Saudis nukes. ...


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Old May 7th, 2007   #1
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Advantage of AWACS

When Ronald Reagan approved the sale of 4 AWACS to Saudi Arabia, Israel acted like they gave the Saudis nukes. whats dose an AWACS really do and whats the main advantage? it is seems like its HIGHLY sought after.
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Old May 7th, 2007   #2
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The Advantage Of AWACs

Forgive me if this is teaching you to suck eggs, but

AWACS stands for Airborne Warning And Control System, this is a aircraft that carries a large radar system capable of seeing many miles further than a ground based radar (Ground Radar stations suffer the fact that the earth is curved therefore it is difficult to track low level targets until they are much closer) with the advantage it is possible to get more advanced warning of a developing air raid, this means your fighters can stay on the ground until an attack developes as opposed to flying wasteful CAPs.

If we take take country A and country B Country needs 12 F15s to defend its airspace at all times, where as country B has a AWACs platform, because the AWACs can more effectively use the F15s available then it may only require 6 F15s from country B to acheive the same, this is what is meant by the term "force multiplier", other aircraft such as J-STARS, RC-135 Rivet Joint and Air to Air Tankers are also force multipliers I believe the saudi KE_3's are more so as they are also fitted as tanker aircraft, I also know that US/NATO sentries have radar modes optimised for the detection of ships , however I am unsure whether the RSAF ones had these modes.

The other part of the AWACs anacroyn is C for control, AWACs aircraft usually carry fighter controllers who are able to direct freindly forces to where they are most effective and warn them about impending threats. As an example say you had a flight of four Tornado F3s and an incoming flight of Mig-29s, to avoid alerting the Mig-29s to the F3s prescence, a fighter controller on a AWACs platform could eiither by voice or by datalink manouver the F3s into a position advantageous to the F3s, so hopefully the first warning the Migs have is when the F3s illuminate the Migs for a missile shot.

The examples I have given you are for a defensive air battle however they are equally true in a offensive capacity , where the AWACs controllers direct strike aircraft around ground and air threats as well as directing escort fighters to intercept defending fighters trying to interfere with the strike package.

AWACs aircraft include the E3 sentry E2 Hawkeye, A-50 mainstay ,IAI phalcon, Sabb 2000 Erieye and the EMB-145 SA used by the greek airforce.

Hope this helps
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Old May 7th, 2007   #3
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I also should have mentioned that AWACs platforms are not merely restricted to fixed wing types several helicopters have been used for AWACs duites including the brittish Seaking AEW.7 and the Russian Kamov Ka-32.

The problem is helicopters suffer from much shorter endurance and a lower operating altitude (This can limit the radar range) and have more limited space for fighter controllers and sensor equipment. However on the plus side they can operate form extremmely small ships and are cheaper to buy.
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Old May 8th, 2007   #4
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AWAC's against an aircraft such as the F-22 would be useless.

The AWAC's usually travel behind the fighter remainign safe. Even though its further behind its detection is usually further away than the fighters in front of it. Lets say that the enemy has its fighters located 50 miles in front of the AWAC.

The F-22's lower radar cross section would allow even the most powerful enemy AWAC to detect it only at relatively close range. Lets say the powerful AWAC detected the F-22 at 50 miles away this is roughly the range where the enemy fighters would be located. The enemy AWAC would have given no warning to its fighters. So no advantage would have been given to the enemy fighters and the F-22 would then down the enemy aircraft and then shot down the AWAC.

This is what the F-22's did at red flag every time, absolute dominance.

The only sulution would be to put the AWAC's closer to the enemy fighters. This would allow the enemy fighters to possibly get a missile lock on the F-22's using datalinked info from the AWAC. Thats if the fighters even have a datalink... However the F-22's would then simply target the AWAC first up. They have done simulations of using passive and active techniques and they all failed. In a nut shell the F-22's ACTIVE radar will be able to detect a first. It doesn't matter if its active or passive. Against an AWAC the AMRAAM could be fired at the very outter edge of its range limit. This is well outside the detection range of any radar or IRST system against the F-22.

The F-35 will be able to do this to a certain extent, though not as easily due to its slower speed, less stealth and shorter ranged missiles.
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Old May 8th, 2007   #5
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A little bit of a correction here

It's a common mistake, but AWACS refers to a specific US military project... The correct term for the aircraft/radar system used in the above role is either AEW or AEW&C, standing for Airborne Early Warning (& Control).

As mentioned the capability is a force multiplier. By having a large & powerful (compared to fighter aircraft radars) radar system airborne, the system can detect airborne objects at greater ranges than a ground-based system due to a longer radar horizon. By fitting appropriate comm systems and datalinks, targets detected by an AEW can be relayed other assets, either identifying where forces need to be deployed or allowing target outside of where forces are able to do so on there own. The advantage given by knowing where forces need to be deployed can be invaluable.

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Old May 8th, 2007   #6
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AWAC's against an aircraft such as the F-22 would be useless.

The AWAC's usually travel behind the fighter remainign safe. Even though its further behind its detection is usually further away than the fighters in front of it. Lets say that the enemy has its fighters located 50 miles in front of the AWAC.

The F-22's lower radar cross section would allow even the most powerful enemy AWAC to detect it only at relatively close range. Lets say the powerful AWAC detected the F-22 at 50 miles away this is roughly the range where the enemy fighters would be located. The enemy AWAC would have given no warning to its fighters. So no advantage would have been given to the enemy fighters and the F-22 would then down the enemy aircraft and then shot down the AWAC.

This is what the F-22's did at red flag every time, absolute dominance.

The only sulution would be to put the AWAC's closer to the enemy fighters. This would allow the enemy fighters to possibly get a missile lock on the F-22's using datalinked info from the AWAC. Thats if the fighters even have a datalink... However the F-22's would then simply target the AWAC first up. They have done simulations of using passive and active techniques and they all failed. In a nut shell the F-22's ACTIVE radar will be able to detect a first. It doesn't matter if its active or passive. Against an AWAC the AMRAAM could be fired at the very outter edge of its range limit. This is well outside the detection range of any radar or IRST system against the F-22.

The F-35 will be able to do this to a certain extent, though not as easily due to its slower speed, less stealth and shorter ranged missiles.
Its not really good to put simulated combat examples to prove your point. they are usually made to train the pilots not with sole purpose of shooting the other plane down. they are also sometimes used as publicity stunt so these aren't good examples but real combat examples are more accurate and the enemy is ,of course, actively trying to shoot you down.
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Old May 8th, 2007   #7
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When Ronald Reagan approved the sale of 4 AWACS to Saudi Arabia, Israel acted like they gave the Saudis nukes. whats dose an AWACS really do and whats the main advantage? it is seems like its HIGHLY sought after.
Its important to remember the history of Arab/Israeli conflicts and the fact that Arab air force systems were often traded, given to, used by, other Arab nations during conflicts with Israel. At the time of this sale Israel had ever reason to believe that in event of war against an Arab nation the Saudi AWACs would be used against her even if Saudi Arabia was directly involved in the war. Now I'm going from memory but in '73 Libya gave Egypt a bunch of fighter planes, so you get the picture.

Also Saddam's nuclear program was already a huge concern to Israel. If I remember the timeline right the Saudi request was made after the Israeli overflight of its territory during the attack on Saddams Osirak nuclear reactor and the go ahead of this sale was seen as a de facto siding with the Saudis and reprimand to Israel. The presence of Saudi AWACs would make it much more difficult for Israeli fighter bombers to fly thru Saudi airspace undetected.

There were other air defense components included in this sale tho I forget exactly what. I remember this sale. It caused quite a row both here and in Israel.
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Old May 8th, 2007   #8
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Its important to remember the history of Arab/Israeli conflicts and the fact that Arab air force systems were often traded, given to, used by, other Arab nations during conflicts with Israel. At the time of this sale Israel had ever reason to believe that in event of war against an Arab nation the Saudi AWACs would be used against her even if Saudi Arabia was directly involved in the war. Now I'm going from memory but in '73 Libya gave Egypt a bunch of fighter planes, so you get the picture.

Also Saddam's nuclear program was already a huge concern to Israel. If I remember the timeline right the Saudi request was made after the Israeli overflight of its territory during the attack on Saddams Osirak nuclear reactor and the go ahead of this sale was seen as a de facto siding with the Saudis and reprimand to Israel. The presence of Saudi AWACs would make it much more difficult for Israeli fighter bombers to fly thru Saudi airspace undetected.

There were other air defense components included in this sale tho I forget exactly what. I remember this sale. It caused quite a row both here and in Israel.
why dose Israel have to have the tech and quantity advantage over every other nation in the ME even though Egypt and Saudi have economies twice as large as Israel's. Most Arab countries want these weapons so they won't be bullied or bombed back to the dark ages like what Israel did to Lebanon in 2006. And spending 10% of your GDP on defense seems a little too high for any country don't you think?
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Old May 8th, 2007   #9
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Its important to remember the history of Arab/Israeli conflicts and the fact that Arab air force systems were often traded, given to, used by, other Arab nations during conflicts with Israel. At the time of this sale Israel had ever reason to believe that in event of war against an Arab nation the Saudi AWACs would be used against her even if Saudi Arabia was directly involved in the war. Now I'm going from memory but in '73 Libya gave Egypt a bunch of fighter planes, so you get the picture.

Also Saddam's nuclear program was already a huge concern to Israel. If I remember the timeline right the Saudi request was made after the Israeli overflight of its territory during the attack on Saddams Osirak nuclear reactor and the go ahead of this sale was seen as a de facto siding with the Saudis and reprimand to Israel. The presence of Saudi AWACs would make it much more difficult for Israeli fighter bombers to fly thru Saudi airspace undetected.

There were other air defense components included in this sale tho I forget exactly what. I remember this sale. It caused quite a row both here and in Israel.
Your are right Rich at that time it was a HOT Topic in US but we have to see the scenario in wider range. In fact US always wanted to give Israel authority and power to destroy any ME country when ever she want to do so. For Example Recent war against Lebanon to destroy its economy.

Now the point is why Israel wants to fly over the SA undetected?? Well we can guess that don’t we, but aint going to happen buddy it will risk the Israel’s own existence, that’s the problem: Israel whom we can call an illegal child of US in ME got to have more firepower than any other country.

You see Rich in UN the country used veto power the most is USA and we all know when it comes to even condemning Israel its un-acceptable for US there are whole lot of other issues as well why Israel is being protected and given the right to kill and occupy but it would further take this thread into HOT waters. Although I am willing to do so.

Now scenario is changing Typhoon deal with EU and recently Civilian Nuclear Technology was offered to SA by Russia is a part of larger game as many of ME countries are diversifying their dependence because of American un-conditional support for Israel.

Ohh AWACs well its in SA Inventory now ……….

Cheers

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Old May 8th, 2007   #10
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Your are right Rich at that time it was a HOT Topic in US but we have to see the scenario in wider range. In fact US always wanted to give Israel authority and power to destroy any ME country when ever she want to do so. For Example Recent war against Lebanon to destroy its economy.

Now the point is why Israel wants to fly over the SA undetected?? Well we can guess that don’t we, but aint going to happen buddy it will risk the Israel’s own existence, that’s the problem: Israel whom we can call an illegal child of US in ME got to have more firepower than any other country.

You see Rich in UN the country used veto power the most is USA and we all know when it comes to even condemning Israel its un-acceptable for US there are whole lot of other issues as well why Israel is being protected and given the right to kill and occupy but it would further take this thread into HOT waters. Although I am willing to do so.

Now scenario is changing Typhoon deal with EU and recently Civilian Nuclear Technology was offered to SA by Russia is a part of larger game as many of ME countries are diversifying their dependence because of American un-conditional support for Israel.

Ohh AWACs well its in SA Inventory now ……….

Cheers

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If you want to argue these topics, please do so in calm and respectful manner and SUPPORT your opinions with something approaching evidence...

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yeah calm down there uaf we weren't trying to get political i was just asking why Israel spends so much on defense even though its one of the smaller economies in the middle east.

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Old May 8th, 2007   #11
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israel has always been surounded by its natural religious enemies from the Start. The UN created Israel in the middle east and the Arab nations were from day one hostile to this, since then we have seen many wars and Israel will always be living in fear of attack.
The reason they need AEW&C is to protect its borders from an aerial attack and to cover in case a war does erupt. The advantages of the AEW&C do help Israel more then most countries with the capability.
They can provide aerial targeting and prioritise incoming enemy aircraft while allocating combat fighters to intercept, and still be co-ordinating bombers to their targets, its very much an aerial Stratergy center for the Air Force.

Israel spends so much because of its small size. When it was attacked during the 6 day war it managed to defeat an all out attack from the Arab league without having the advantage of more personel to fight, they relied more on their superior weapons and aircraft then on men and did the impossible by stopping an entire army in the desert and then in the Yom Kipper War they pushed the attackers back and established more land which is still disputed
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Old May 8th, 2007   #12
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israel has always been surounded by its natural religious enemies from the Start. The UN created Israel in the middle east and the Arab nations were from day one hostile to this, since then we have seen many wars and Israel will always be living in fear of attack.
The reason they need AEW&C is to protect its borders from an aerial attack and to cover in case a war does erupt. The advantages of the AEW&C do help Israel more then most countries with the capability.
They can provide aerial targeting and prioritise incoming enemy aircraft while allocating combat fighters to intercept, and still be co-ordinating bombers to their targets, its very much an aerial Stratergy center for the Air Force.

Israel spends so much because of its small size. When it was attacked during the 6 day war it managed to defeat an all out attack from the Arab league without having the advantage of more personel to fight, they relied more on their superior weapons and aircraft then on men and did the impossible by stopping an entire army in the desert and then in the Yom Kipper War they pushed the attackers back and established more land which is still disputed
agian please stop posting political comments this is about awacs i was just asking why was israel was so scared of saudi arabia having an awacs. is it really that effective? that was the question i wasnt trying to offend israel in anyway and i wasnt trying to discuss anything political i just wanted to know what the advantage of an AWACS is thats all.
thnx anyway.
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Old May 8th, 2007   #13
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...When it was attacked during the 6 day war it managed to defeat an all out attack from the Arab league without having the advantage of more personel to fight, they relied more on their superior weapons and aircraft then on men and did the impossible by stopping an entire army in the desert and then in the Yom Kipper War they pushed the attackers back and established more land which is still disputed
I think you need to refresh your memory with some history books.

In the 6 Day War of 1967, Israel attacked, on all three fronts. The Arab armies were unprepared, as the political bluster which had led Israel to fear an imminent Arab attack hadn't been accompanied by serious preparations for action. The Egyptians were taken completely by surprise. Most of their air force was destroyed on the ground, & their army was just starting to hear about it when the Israeli ground offensive began, 30 minutes later.

The territory which is disputed was seized in 1967, not the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israel withdrew from the land seized in October 1973 within a few months, for various reasons including a perceived lack of defensibility.
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Old May 8th, 2007   #14
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So as we talk about the many AWACS systems in WORLD .. which one is on the top of the list .. May be E3 Senatry i think and which one is its competitor.. and Where SAAB Erieye stands in this list ??
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Old May 8th, 2007   #15
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So as we talk about the many AWACS systems in WORLD .. which one is on the top of the list .. May be E3 Senatry i think and which one is its competitor.. and Where SAAB Erieye stands in this list ??
For AEW systems... There are a few around. IMV they should really be categorized by which radar/array they make use of. As for which is "best" that's getting too much into a size-measuring contest. The most recent radar system for the AEW role I'm aware of is Northrup Grumman's L-band MESA which is still in testing.

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