Originally Posted by Londo Molari
The thing is, the title asks:
Russian Air force VS US Air Force
Which does not include the U.S. Navy, or its aircraft,
You can say that, but then you end up with the reality of combined arms and how modern warfare has been structured and implemented since 1999.
Thats why these questions are particularly obtuse and unwittingly geared towards generating unrealistic responses with unrealistic assumptions. (no offence intended to ullu)
Would you like to leave out C4i and the space command elements as well?
Shall we leave out the fact that the issue that USN buddy tankers would/could hook up with long range USAF strike aircraft to extend their range and recovery cycles?
Shall we accept that in this magical scenario that the USAF will ban their aircraft from carting USN, USMC. and US army rotor assets and UAV's inside of their C5's, C117's, C130's, Spartans for inclusion in theatre. (All US combat participants in a theatre become the responsibility of the USAF ATC pit "bull", so nominally they are rebadged as USAF controlled assets)
It also means that you restrict some capacity of the Russian airforce to respond as the Russian army commander has absolute control of all assets (its been like that since Gorshkov was a boy and has never been changed since then, so I assume that we are using current Russian battle control philosophies?)
But, lets use the closed receptor model: and we'll also allow the USAF theatre commander the same launch rights as a USN boomer driver. ie the capacity to launch nukes without reference back to the USG in a time of outright war. (we might as well be a little realistic even if we are going to take some realtime functionality away).
This is an intercontinental war, so unless you want to restrict strikes to being launched from the mainland of both countries then this means that long range strikers will be the vogue.
All air assets are nominally controlled by the USAF Flight ops commander (as in both Iraq wars). Anything that is a combat element or contributes to the air battle actually comes under the mantle of the local theatre commander. - This also includes satellites btw.
That means that in addition to the USAF, absolute control of USN, and US Army rotor elements is done in Theatre
In your numerical sums you can now in add in all of the USN carrier and shore based wing elements and all of the USMC wing elements
So at a qualitative level you now have the heaviest strike air force in the world now supplemented by the 2nd largest strike element in the world. Not sure where the USMC sits in the numbers game - but in absolute terms its irrelevant.
Now if you want to try and restrict the USAF capacity to respond like a 21st century military then you better offer up some other restrictions to the table
This has been wargamed before under some interesting combinations, so I am curious as to what you would set as the operational caveats considering the nature and prosecution of warfare in contemporary terms.
Give me the absolute restrictions for both sides and I'll give you the declass solutions I have seen.
In a tactical sense this has actually become quite interesting. Usually I see game plans where only the US is hamstrung, I rarely see wargames where the other side is tagged with restrictive operational caveats, so seeing a wargame where Russia has its "realworld " operational considerations added into the mix will be a breath of fresh air.
Most readers/players/operators are so biased that I usually don't bother, so it will be good to finally be able to take another approach. Getting people prepared to look at warfighting in its absolute most brutal and vicious model is a bit different from the usual armchair scenarios I see where the weighting favour is rather apparent. It's good to see that we can look at this in a brutal and frank manner with limiters on both sides. (I get so frustrated with the "pro-x", "anti-y" forums which lack the kind of maturity which this forum seeks to foster).
It would also pay to define alliances are in place and what airspace restrictions are in place. The inability for the USAF to control USN tomahawk strikes from surface vessels and subs will change the opening style and speed of tempo.
Ullu's thread, so I guess he defines the limitations.