747400sp
Topic Author
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Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:23 am

I was woundering do long range heavy bombers like the B-52, B-1 and B-2 have an F-15' F-16 or F-22a excort to protect them. Even though the B-1 and B-2 can truns well they still are heavy and meant to release there bombs and fly out of the area, but they are not dog fighter. I just thought the USAF have a long range heavy bomber strike group like air carrier does due to there limited air to air combat ability.
 
usnseallt82
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:28 am

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
Even though the B-1 and B-2 can truns well they still are heavy and meant to release there bombs and fly out of the area, but they are not dog fighter.

In the last decade, the AAA threat has been minimal. There hasn't been much need for an escort and these bombers are usually high enough not to warrant one. You will more than likely have fighters in the air in the surrounding areas, but not usually in an escort.

Now, there has been significant SAM threats in both Gulf Wars where fighters and stealths would go in beforehand to take out the enemy radar sites. Outside of this, the bombers today have enough countermeasures on them to protect themselves from any threat.

The days of the escorted carpet-bombers have been over for quite some time.
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joness0154
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Wed Dec 21, 2005 6:23 am

I don't think the threat is from AAA as much as it would be from enemy fighters.

Im sure on missions into territory with a viable enemy airforce they'd have escorts....
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usnseallt82
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:16 am

Quoting Joness0154 (Reply 2):
I don't think the threat is from AAA as much as it would be from enemy fighters.

Think about what you wrote real hard............

(hint: AAA includes enemy fighters, unless they're locking on from the ground)
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dl021
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:43 am

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 1):
In the last decade, the AAA threat has been minimal.

Don't tell that to the F-117 guy who hit that Serb flak trap....
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vanguard737
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Wed Dec 21, 2005 9:00 am

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 3):
Think about what you wrote real hard............

(hint: AAA includes enemy fighters, unless they're locking on from the ground)

No, it does not. AAA is an acronym for Anti-Aircraft Artillery. Last time I checked, a fighter jet does not count as artillery.
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Stratofortress
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Wed Dec 21, 2005 9:10 am

Not any longer.

In general, NATO/US controls the skies by the time big boys are sent in, and if they dont, then B-2 is likely to go in... Can't shoot what you can't see.
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jwenting
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:22 pm

Quoting Joness0154 (Reply 2):
Im sure on missions into territory with a viable enemy airforce they'd have escorts....

That was never the intent.
The bombers were designed to fly into Soviet airspace, arguably the best defended since Vietnam, without fighter escort, and they'd just hope enough would get through to do their thing.
For that they were equipped with SRAM to take out SAM sites and airfields, hopefully before those airfields could scramble fighters to intercept the bombers.
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usnseallt82
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:55 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 4):
Don't tell that to the F-117 guy who hit that Serb flak trap....

Right.....which is why I said it has been minimal, not non-existent. Still, the Serbs put up far less rounds in the skies than any other conflict. After the first Gulf war, the air threat has been significantly reduced.
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skysurfer
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:21 am

Has everyone forgotten that the B-1B likes to get low and quick? Anyone remember the B1A 'lawndarts' slamming into the ground because the fuel transfer was manual? The B1B definately shouldn't need an escort due to it's speed, semi - stealth and its ability to get down on the deck and stay there. If anything, all it MIGHT need is fighter support 'up top' to identify any missile sites or any portable 'radars' that go active.

Cheers
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474218
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:30 am

The McDonnell F-88, and Lockheed F-90 of the early 1950's were designed as penetration fighters. They could penetrate enemy airspace with the bombers. Both were cancelled as it was determine that bomber fighter escorts were not required. Also cancelled about the same time were the parasite fighters. Modified Republic F-84's and the McDonnell F-85, that would provide fighter protection after being launched (and retrieved) from specially modified B-36's.
 
dl021
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RE: Do Long Range Heavy Bombers Have An Fighter Excort

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:28 am

THe short of it is that unless we have airbases for fighters close enough to send them on escort duty our bombers will go in unescorted.

Now, the real question is where would we send bombers where they could actually need escorts?

Off the top of my head a list of potential targets for strategic bombers that have capable fighter defenses include North Korea, Iran, PRC, and perhaps Syria. In all of these cases we could send fighters from close in bases to escort the bombers coming from farther afield.
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