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Russian Air force VS US Air Force

This is a discussion on Russian Air force VS US Air Force within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Lets compare the big boys as they stand today! USAF = Latest tech, well trained pilots and experience coupled with ...


View Poll Results: Who wins and WHY?
US Air Force [ plz explain why you think so] 11 78.57%
Russian Air Force [plz explain why you think so] 3 21.43%
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Old February 1st, 2004   #1
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Russian Air force VS US Air Force



Lets compare the big boys as they stand today!

USAF = Latest tech, well trained pilots and experience coupled with stealth, latest BVR tech, etc. make them the best or are they?

Russian AF = impressive bombers with matching fighter fleet able to take on bulk of USAF's f16s, f15s and f18s.

whos better? And WHY?
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Old February 1st, 2004   #2
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

I don't normally like responding to these type of questions as they can degenerate into tribal conflicts very quickly.

I'll make it dot point as its easier.

US already has an integrated space command. GW2 was the first time in the history of known warfare that weapons systems were controlled and managed from space. IF you can't kill the satellite, you can't kill part of the C4i system.

If you can't kill critical elements of the C4i system then you are blind - and then dead

The russians acknowledge that their most long ranging and effective bomber (backfire) is probably only 10% operational. There will be no future development of an intercontinental bomber from the russians as space is the next frontier

A vice president of Sukhoi recently referred to the SU-34 as a graceful dinosaur that has already had its day, that the future of sukhoi lies in UAV/UCAV's rather than manned aircraft - and yet the industry is geared only towards manned aircraft.

There are quality control issues, logistic issues, economy issues, the fact that the US can still run its economy even if on a war footing and run a concurrent major theatre conflict. - No other nation has the capacity, equipment and logistics to do that at this point in time.

When you factor in C4i, a demonstrated capacity to deliver a combined arms solution, a capacity to change doctrine and deliver battlefield and theatre wins within 3 years of developing that doctrine (and do it savagely enough to force doctrine change within 5 years of every other modern military power that is "willed" to improve) then that is unheard of in modern times.

It really is an unfair and inapprop comparison as the US is a hyperpower - again acknowledged by the russians and france as such. Comparisons are better between China and Russia who are both superpowers and have had similar doctrines, philosophies etc... even so, I would hate to draw a comparison between those 2 as well.

these threads can become dangerously close to getting tribal and patriotic at the expense of using existing evidence and logic.
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Old February 1st, 2004   #3
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gf just replying to top portion of your reply.

i dont mean to open this thread for those who want to beat their drums with useless crap and biased comment exchange between russian lovers and US lovers. purpose is to learn about two air forces and do some comparison as far as their abilities and capabilities are concerned.

now leme read rest of ur reply! :P
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Old February 1st, 2004   #4
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

I for one hate the word "theatre" as it is very misleading. So I wont use it.

Overall, today the U.S. Airforce is far superior, while the Russian airforce is not only smaller, but also in bad condition.

But I disagree that the U.S. can have a full out war and maintain the economy. Iraq does not count... there was no real resistance... it was an incredibly weak and small target. If the U.S. went to war with Russia or any major power, I seriously doubt they can keep their economy normal.
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Old February 1st, 2004   #5
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by Londo Molari
I for one hate the word "theatre" as it is very misleading. So I wont use it.

Overall, today the U.S. Airforce is far superior, while the Russian airforce is not only smaller, but also in bad condition.

But I disagree that the U.S. can have a full out war and maintain the economy. Iraq does not count... there was no real resistance... it was an incredibly weak and small target. If the U.S. went to war with Russia or any major power, I seriously doubt they can keep their economy normal.
Agree with you to some extent, which is one of the reasons why it can be hard to encapsulate a complete answer without hogging the forum. THis is the stuff where I have been stuck in a conference for 3 days with access to others etc.. to try and come up with a meaningful synopsis. There is a fine line sometimes in trying to provide a meaningful response and overpowering it with lots of useful (but to others, incidental) "junk".

I was using "theatre" in a military sense, it as a region of conflict where multiple concurrent battles are occurring.
True re Iraq, but I am also looking at the issue that Iraq was not an all out conflict, the tone, tempo, industrial motivation and committment of the government, the public and the private sector changes dramatically when a country goes into an outright conflict mode. To me the last demonstration of american committment to war was in WW2.

I don't think the US has been tested effectively yet, but going on the sheer power of its capacity to project its will both economically and militarily then I think it has demonstrated a capability that cannot be matched universally.

All of these things are judged in the end by a combination of factors, including political will and intent. I think on ratio the US has a far higher score rate than other countries.

Using numbers only (which can be dangerous without an injection of caution and clear caveats).

12 Full Carrier Battle Groups with attendant air wings
6 Full Expeditionary Battle Groups with attendant air squadrons
The largest navy in the world
a strategic reserve that after "run up" (3-6 months mobility) is the second largest fleet in the world
A military merchant fleet that rivals the largest commercial fleet in the world
The largest military fleet in the world
A reserve military merchant fleet that is the second largest military fleet in the world
A capacity to second the merchant fleet into a 3rd merchant fleet capacity
A battle tested and finessed logistics element that is flexible and open to change (and as an example was prepared to bring in experts from Wal Mart to modify and change practices to become more effective)

I do believe that of all the economies, the US is the best able to assume a form of normalcy compared to others. I wouldn't expect it not to change tempo, but I do consider it able to regear without significant internal ructions and conflict.
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Old February 1st, 2004   #6
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

It wouldn't be as one sided as Iraq, but the Russian Air Force is not comparable in any form to the US Air Force. I have heard reports of serious maintenance issues with the bulk of the Russian air force, extremely limited training for it's pilots (the basic minimum to keep their flying competencies) and serious overall logistics problems. Bearing these in mind it's hard to see that the Russian AF would last long in a shooting war with the USAF.
 
Old February 1st, 2004   #7
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

The thing is, the title asks:

Quote:
Russian Air force VS US Air Force
Which does not include the U.S. Navy, or its aircraft,
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Old February 1st, 2004   #8
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So, naval aircraft are known as flying vessels and not part of the "air force" ? ol
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Old February 1st, 2004   #9
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

Quote:
Originally Posted by Londo Molari
The thing is, the title asks:

Quote:
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.

USAF only:
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.
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Old February 2nd, 2004   #10
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

The Russians single biggest problem is centralized control which puts them at a serious strategic disadvantage. The next problem they face is operational readiness. They have some very good pilots, and some very good aircraft, but they are too far and too few to counter the US. I would say without question that the US could gain air superiority over Russian air space, while the Russians wouldn't have a chance to do the same over the US. Also, US Strategic bombing is well beyond the level and scope achievable by the Russians, particularly since the only real threat US bombers face comes from and extensive SAM network however SAM's are excluded from this scenario.
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Old February 3rd, 2004   #11
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

That's right Gf, we should put some caveats on this. 1. Where is this battle occurring over continental USA, over Russia or have both forces deployed somewhere they can slug it out. 2. Is it restricted to conventional weapons only. 3. Do you mean US airpower v Russian airpower or simply Russian AF vs USAF? 4. Does Ground based air defence systems operated by USAF and Russian Air power become involved? Do USAF surveillance assets including Satellites take part? I think these X vs Y scenario's should be clarified a bit better.
 
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I bet if the russian airforce was in better condition with a vibrant economy, they could give the americans a tough time. but as alwayz the good guyz r the poor ones. But russia has the skill and technology to build a world class airforce and fight a world class airforce if it only had a better budget.
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Old February 3rd, 2004   #13
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

There are no good guys. Only lots of different bad guys. Welcome to the real world.
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Old February 4th, 2004   #14
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Re: Russian Air force VS US Air Force

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Originally Posted by Londo Molari
There are no good guys. Only lots of different bad guys. Welcome to the real world.
well in tht case morpheus id like 2 add tht when comparing the russians with the americans id prefer the russians 2 be rated as the good guyz and i say tht with all moderation.
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Old February 5th, 2004   #15
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From my personal view, the russian will use their aircraft not to pitted against the comparable US fighters or field units, but they are likely to bore in on the high value assets like AWACS, ground radar and com station while ignoring the opposing fighters and AD. They'll take severe losses.
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