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How many fighters in total US and Russian inventory?

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  • #16
    OK, we have all read about the max range of the newest long range SAM the RUssians are making. The SA-10 and SA-20, are claimed to be able to hit somehting like 400 km out. The US had the Nike Herculese that could hit 90 miles, and the BOMARC
    http://www.hill.af.mil/museum/photos...ar/bomarcb.htm
    which could reach 440 miles with a nuclear warhead. The SA-5 could do much the same. So long range is not anything new if it were to be desirable to design into a missile. My question is this, and maybe Avon or some of those with SAM experience can shed some light; If the curvature of the earth is such that the "radar horizon" is 20 miles or so against a low flying aircraft, (with no geographical advantages to the attacker like hills or mountains, meaning a flat surface to the horizon for argument sake) then any long range figure is useful only against high flying targets at any sort of "long range". In the Falklands the Argentinians were able to fly under the radar horizon and attack well armed SAM missile ships of the British Navy,(no lightweight in technology), and attack them with GRAVITY BOMBS! So why would long range in a SAM be desirable, at considerable expense, when they can be circumnavigated by flying low, a relatively easy task, and approached and attacked from low level at relatively short stand off range from a non-stealthy aircraft?
    I guess what I am getting at is that the cost does not justify the returns,,,,, that is unless the latest Russian SAMS aren't just SAMS, but might in fact have ABM capability. The missiles themselves have quite a good performance base, not Sprint or Spartan performance, but still good, and all they would need is the nuclear warhead option, and a data link, microwave tower or satellite uplink, to a "battle management" system with an X-band capability. Interesting thought...

    PS, much of this question copied from my post on another forum, but they didn't give me much to work with.
    Last edited by Sandman; 17 Dec 05,, 22:01.

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