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Arming AEW Planes with LRAAMs/MRAAMs

Tempest II

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Longer range and more reliable missiles are coming along, and sooner or later, BVR will be the norm. High off-bore missiles also becoming standard, there will be less need for high-G turns to point your nose and shoot. AEW planes are a hive of long range, high power sensor and guidance systems. They are large enough to carry a dozen MRAAMS and sacrifice say a tonne of fuel. They can see fighters at say 4 times the distance the fighter can see them.

Question: How practical or what stops air forces putting missiles on these plane? For self-protection and reducing the number of fighter escorts they need? They can also take opportunity shots at enemy planes flying nearby. … … if situational awareness rules, then surely AEW platforms will have the upper hand.
JUST A THOUGHT!
 

Comet

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It is a good though. I have been thinking on the same terms. Instead of issuing a warning and waiting for the interceptors to take off from ground and intercept the incoming enemy aircraft, the AEW can fire the missile itself saving time and effort.
 

killerx

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i totaly agree AWAS should be fitted with long range BVR lots of them no fighter will dare come near them
 

untitled

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The British did arm their Nimrod Maritime Patrol aircraft with AIM-9G Sidewinders during the Falkland war

 

araz

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What range do you want to fire the missiles at? AWACs are expensive commoditiess and by bringing them closer to your enemy, you are risking them against the enemy AAMs. Remember ,you will not be the only one with these long range missilies.
Araz
 

Tempest II

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What range do you want to fire the missiles at? AWACs are expensive commoditiess and by bringing them closer to your enemy, you are risking them against the enemy AAMs. Remember ,you will not be the only one with these long range missilies.
Araz
Army recce and engineering units go around armed with rifles and heavy machine guns for self-protection. This is the same thinking I am trying to apply to AWACs. They will avoid fights but if/when they are cornered, I would rather they be able to fire back and help their escorts. They have the sensors already and apparently can even guide missiles launched by other planes.
 

Najam Khan

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Longer range and more reliable missiles are coming along, and sooner or later, BVR will be the norm. High off-bore missiles also becoming standard, there will be less need for high-G turns to point your nose and shoot. AEW planes are a hive of long range, high power sensor and guidance systems. They are large enough to carry a dozen MRAAMS and sacrifice say a tonne of fuel. They can see fighters at say 4 times the distance the fighter can see them.

Question: How practical or what stops air forces putting missiles on these plane? For self-protection and reducing the number of fighter escorts they need? They can also take opportunity shots at enemy planes flying nearby. … … if situational awareness rules, then surely AEW platforms will have the upper hand.
JUST A THOUGHT!
The future of air-warfare will rely on un-manned systems, Eurohawk, Heron UAS are some examples. The dedicated AEW/EW aircraft have their plus points on Multirole electronic aircraft and unmanned systems. High endurance, better sensors, good jamming capability, Low Probability of Intercept (LPI), greater telecom communication and interception capability are some examples.

Such AEW/Electronic attack aircraft operate from medium/stand-off ranges and in most of the cases they are participating with a bunch of combat aircraft. Arming such aircraft would be possible IF it is operating without continuous support of combat aircraft. But significant design changes (both in avionics and airframe) would be needed for carrying A-A/A-G missiles.

Risking a 2 or 3-times expensive plane (as compare to a fighter aircraft) in air combat will not be possible. These aircraft have no-agility, limited number of chaffs/flares...in-short without continuous support from fighter aircraft they are sitting ducks. It would be an AF's worst nightmare if her AEW/EW aircraft is trapped in a situation created by their poor war-planning.
 

The_magnificent

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I was also thinking the same. Like if an Awacs is equipped with Dozons of LRAAM, usually AWACS have radar range around 400 km , which none of fighter jet have at present. can carry bigger missiles.

can carry better Radar cancellation and electronic warfare suite.

Also i think it can carry an active protection system like thing to hard kill and soft kill incoming missile. like on tanks.

longer range for missions.

can stay airborne for longer time.

complete air superiority.

For dog fights they can be escorted by a whole squadron of maneuverable fighter jets like Mki , F16s. for BVR they will be more thn capable to take any fighter.
 

nangyale

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The way I see it the problem boils down to space/weight. Why not put more EW packages on an AEW plane. What's the point in making it jack of all rather than master of EW which it is supposed to be.
In some extreme situations an argument can be made for putting some missiles. But in most scenarios its a lot more logical for fighters to provide the escort. If missile guidance and making good use of an AEW's long radar range is required, then missiles can be guided by an AEW once fired by a fighter. But arming an AEW with heavy BVRs sounds illogical to me
 

MastanKhan

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Hi,
A couple of aim 9's won't hurt----it is just for that moment where an enemy plane after releasing its bvr's has been able to sneak in closer for a wvr shot----.
 

The_magnificent

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The way I see it the problem boils down to space/weight. Why not put more EW packages on an AEW plane. What's the point in making it jack of all rather than master of EW which it is supposed to be.
In some extreme situations an argument can be made for putting some missiles. But in most scenarios its a lot more logical for fighters to provide the escort. If missile guidance and making good use of an AEW's long radar range is required, then missiles can be guided by an AEW once fired by a fighter. But arming an AEW with heavy BVRs sounds illogical to me
thread openor is talking about Long range BVR missiles. Like k-100 with range over 250 km. Not every fighter jet can carry such. Even Mki can carry only one.

AEW can carry like a dozen of it
 

niaz

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Don’t think any air force has armed AWACS. Understand USAF fly specialized ‘HACAP’ or high asset combat air patrol specifically to protect AWACS and JSTAR aircrafts in hostile environment.

It could be that AWACS, being a large and cumbersome aircraft cannot perform self-protection tasks adequately and it may also hinder her normal duties of airborne early warning.
 

SQ8

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Don’t think any air force has armed AWACS. Understand USAF fly specialized ‘HACAP’ or high asset combat air patrol specifically to protect AWACS and JSTAR aircrafts in hostile environment.

It could be that AWACS, being a large and cumbersome aircraft cannot perform self-protection tasks adequately and it may also hinder her normal duties of airborne early warning.
The E-3B was supposed be equipped with two Aim-9's for self defence..but never carried them.
The only High value assets that flew armed were RAF Nimrods.

The only thing the comes close to the task proposed by the OP.. is the conceptual B-1R.

With the ability to carry 34 Aim-120's and act as a standoff long range interceptor.
 

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