|Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 81):|
And that means what???? You interpret the tactics as "brilliant". I don't. They saw a pattern that military planners didn't bother changing, which I call anything but brilliant and took advantage of it. I think you're trying to imply that the technology of the F-117 was defeated by the lolly Serbs. I'm saying that is false.
With all due respect, how exactly would you define the shooting down of an aircraft if it's not defeating its technology. The F117's primary defence technology is designed to defeat radar guided missiles. It was brought down by a radar guided missile.
This F117 wasn't brought down with a flak barrage where you had thousands of pieces of shrapnel for the aircraft to run into with enough 'dumb luck'. It was brought down with a missile aimed at it. This is two pieces of machinery travelling 500mph+ meeting at the same place and time in 3 dimensional space. Even if it was one missile of a ripple fire it's still quite a piece of work to bring it down.
The success rate for AIM7 missiles fired in Vietnam was of the order of less than 10% (its a good bit less but I don't have the actual figure to hand). The pilots got themselves into firing solutions but they still missed over 90% of the time. Do you define that the successful hits were lucky shots? Were the US aces just the result of dumb luck, I think not.
On this particular intercept, the missile battery operators maneuvered themselves into a firing position based on a predicted flight path, calculated a firing solution based on data from available sensors (mark 1 human ear), Fired a missile using mid course guidance (i.e. ballistically using a calulated intercept point) and then switched on their radar within the correct parameters to provide final homing signal to a successful shootdown but outside the parameters of a retaliatory strike. All done, on the fly, in the field without the computing power of a cray supercomputer to hand.
I fail to see what part of that firing solution is dumb luck.
IMHO this was a masterclass in tactical thinking and maximising available resources.
You should not allow pride or patriotism to cloud your judgement and be unable to see the significance of what happened. It very much reminds me of the Swedish intercepts of the SR
-71 Blackbird but at least the Blackbird operators had the tactical nous to recognise the skill involved in a successful intercept and duly awarded the Viggen crews the recognition for any successful intercept. And more importantly the SR
-71 crews learned from the intercepts and refined their tactics accordingly.
If you are unable to recognize the capabilities of your adversary then you will not be able to formulate tactics to counter them (simple in this case). The same 'dumb luck' that has brought down 'great' military leaders in the past will continue to befall any leader who makes this mistake.
[Edited 2011-03-30 07:49:45]