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Indo-Pak Aerial Warfare: Discuss the Viability of Subsonic Air Launched Munitions in the Presence of C-RAM Area Defence

RAMPAGE

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Until fairly recently, the capability of C-RAM, or counter rocket, artillery, and mortar, was largely relegated to gun/canon based close-in weapon systems such as the Phalanx and similar platforms. These systems have been designed primarily as a defence against subsonic cruise missiles, which have a significant probability of being detected by RF/IR sensor onboard navy vessels. However, the Israeli Iron-Dome C-RAM system, with its impressive performance over the last few years, has proven that a missile-based C-RAM can effectively counter some portion of threats belonging to the RAM spectrum. Although the system has been proven against very crude rocket technology, it does seem to have the potential to evolve into an effective defence against more sophisticated air-launched munitions as more advanced sensors and missiles are added to the system.

In case of a full-scale war between the two countries, the Pakistan Air Force is very likely to launch attacks against Indian Airforce air bases along the border. Since there is some chance that the Indian Airforce will acquire the Iron-Dome or a similar Israeli system and deploy it at its forward air bases, the PAF may find itself facing such a point-defence system during air raids on these bases. In such a scenario, will our air munitions including Ra'ad, Hijara, H-2 SOW, and guided bombs become redundant or lose their potency? The purpose of this thread is to discuss if such a missile-based C-RAM can become a significant threat to PAF's ground attack capability, especially against very high-value targets including IAF air bases, and to discuss potential strategies to neutralise this threat should it surface. Please discuss.
 

Darth Vader

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Until fairly recently, the capability of C-RAM, or counter rocket, artillery, and mortar, was largely relegated to gun/canon based close-in weapon systems such as the Phalanx and similar platforms. These systems have been designed primarily as a defence against subsonic cruise missiles, which have a significant probability of being detected by RF/IR sensor onboard navy vessels. However, the Israeli Iron-Dome C-RAM system, with its impressive performance over the last few years, has proven that a missile-based C-RAM can effectively counter some portion of threats belonging to the RAM spectrum. Although the system has been proven against very crude rocket technology, it does seem to have the potential to evolve into an effective defence against more sophisticated air-launched munitions as more advanced sensors and missiles are added to the system.

In case of a full-scale war between the two countries, the Pakistan Air Force is very likely to launch attacks against Indian Airforce air bases along the border. Since there is some chance that the Indian Airforce will acquire the Iron-Dome or a similar Israeli system and deploy it at its forward air bases, the PAF may find itself facing such a point-defence system during air raids on these bases. In such a scenario, will our air munitions including Ra'ad, Hijara, H-2 SOW, and guided bombs become redundant or lose their potency? The purpose of this thread is to discuss if such a missile-based C-RAM can become a significant threat to PAF's ground attack capability, especially against very high-value targets including IAF air bases, and to discuss potential strategies to neutralise this threat should it surface. Please discuss.
Well majority of Iron Dome tests were against unguided world wars 2 design rockets.
Yes it had betwee 70 to 80 hit rate but how will they coup against large assult of modern systems hasnt really been tested yet.
2nd the First piece is radar which detects anything coming its way how will coup to electronic warfare that hasn't been fully tested yet either.
3 It will take long time for indian to fully develop a operational home built system as they have been developing for last few years and still not seeing it becoming operational soon.
4 Against Drones it will have High hit ratio compared to really fast maneuvering systems which can be guide or unguided.
TBH depending on terrain specially in Mountains Babar will have huge advantage as ( CLOUDS will hide it ) 🤣
 

maverick1977

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crude rockets are used in swarm attack to overwhelm the system. i suspect Iron dome will work well against regular guided missiles or cruise missiles. Pakistans Ababeel is the best missile against it with MIRV tech
 

Philip the Arab

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Iron Dome type systems will be come more common place in the future I think, hell even UAE is developing a version using South African engineers.

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I do think that C-RAM will affect the performance of subsonic missiles, but they are still viable for now if used in swarms combined with SEAD/DEAD and EW.
 

shanlung

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No worries.

Thanks to the wonderful leadership of Modi (WANG SUI WANG WANG SUI TO MODI AND MAY HE BE ETERNAL PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA) , India will be a walking dead in the weeks and months to come.

India be more worried about getting oxygen to breath and wood to cremate those that cannot get oxygen.
Even for those that survived covid19 Indian double or treble mutation, they will remain basket cases and fully reliant on others.

Dont worry about Indian and their boastfulness and iron dome or steel dome.

INDIA THE SICK MAN OF ASIA AND ABOUT TO BE THE WALKING DEAD MAN OF ASIA
WANG SUI WANG WANG SUI TO MODI AND MAY HE BE ETERNAL PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
 

Bilal.

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This will warrant, if not already due to multilayered high performance IAD being deployed across the border, development of strategies and tools beyond simple(r) air-attacks and saturation attacks. Doubling down on EW, development of decoys preferably with onboard spoofing/jamming (akin to MALD), land attack development of the Navy’s under development supersonic cruise missile and to start looking into development of cheap swarming loitering munitions.

The last point is all about economics, if we can develop something that’s cheap enough to expend and expensive for the adversary to take out by a missile C-RAM then we got an answer.
 

m52k85

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Until fairly recently, the capability of C-RAM, or counter rocket, artillery, and mortar, was largely relegated to gun/canon based close-in weapon systems such as the Phalanx and similar platforms. These systems have been designed primarily as a defence against subsonic cruise missiles, which have a significant probability of being detected by RF/IR sensor onboard navy vessels. However, the Israeli Iron-Dome C-RAM system, with its impressive performance over the last few years, has proven that a missile-based C-RAM can effectively counter some portion of threats belonging to the RAM spectrum. Although the system has been proven against very crude rocket technology, it does seem to have the potential to evolve into an effective defence against more sophisticated air-launched munitions as more advanced sensors and missiles are added to the system.

In case of a full-scale war between the two countries, the Pakistan Air Force is very likely to launch attacks against Indian Airforce air bases along the border. Since there is some chance that the Indian Airforce will acquire the Iron-Dome or a similar Israeli system and deploy it at its forward air bases, the PAF may find itself facing such a point-defence system during air raids on these bases. In such a scenario, will our air munitions including Ra'ad, Hijara, H-2 SOW, and guided bombs become redundant or lose their potency? The purpose of this thread is to discuss if such a missile-based C-RAM can become a significant threat to PAF's ground attack capability, especially against very high-value targets including IAF air bases, and to discuss potential strategies to neutralise this threat should it surface. Please discuss.
Thanks for bringing this up, I have been thinking the same thing over the past few days.

It seems the Iron Dome is optimized for ballistic trajectories (both guided and un-guided). Given that it is a fixed system I dont think it poses a threat to Hijaras or anyother anti armour cluster munition that PAF will use because those will be used against moving targets.

H-2 and Takbir SOW (glide bombs) will follow a semi-ballistic trajectory post launch, so im not sure if Iron Dome will have the capacity to plot an intercept, I understand currently Iron Dome has radars deployed closer to Gaza that start tracking rockets on launch.

Ra'ad doesnt have any element of ballistic so we need not worry.

However as you have pointed CIWS based on rapid fire cannons are still a threat to some of the above.

All in all, I see a dramatic shift in warfare, for the attacking airforce it will be a matter of choosing the right munition (including drone) and for the defending ground target it will be a matter of layering up. If the future, the layering comes to a level where all spectrums of 'munitions' have been covered, then the PAF's job will relegate to establishing air supremacy while the burden of taking targets on the ground will go to the ground forces. What can a next-gen stealth penetrating aircraft do if it can reach the target but only for its bomb or AGM to get intercepted by a point defence system? Expect to see PAF adopt stealth missiles before they move to a stealth platform.
 

arjunk

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Step 1: Massive artillery barrage to overwhelm any defence system
Step 2 (optional): Anti radiation missiles to take out any radars
 

Jungibaaz

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The videos of iron dome do show an impressive display, but the rockets being used as you pointed out are slow, poor quality, basic ballistic trajectory rockets. I might be wrong, but I think I read somewhere that only rockets iron dome actually has trouble intercepting are the ones that are faulty and that don't follow an easily predictable ballistic path?

Now imagine a modern standoff weapon that is somewhat stealthy, can alternate flight path and altitude to optimise approach, can fly low to minimize response time, and even might have some terminal maneuverability or throttleable propulsion to increase survivability. Good luck stopping that with Iron dome, especially if it comes with the plethora of other attacks any military besides Hamas might muster. Therefore, I think a systems likes Pantsir and RIM-116 SeaRAM are already more sophisticated and offer point defence along the lines of that which you are theorising OP.

So how could we combat systems like this? The easiest way is by saturation attacks, IDFAF did it vs Pantsir in Syria, and Hamas are attempting it with their crude rocket barrages. The other way is to have sophisticated and survivable munitions as I mentioned, as well as targeting the systems themselves via those munitions and via anti-radiation missiles. I think the tools we could use to defeat a layered and well managed IADS complete with short-range point defence are already there or being developed. The question is how do we effectively employ them? And also, it seems to me that if point defence systems like this even merely degrade our ability to target key installations, they will have done their job. So counters need to be very robust. With the escalation dynamics we have between us and India, if PAF strikes fail to take out some key targets of critical importance, these systems will have done their job effectively for the enemy.

Possible answers will include munitions that are harder to detect, stealthier or low flying, to minimize response time. Cruise missiles will have this ability, plus terrain masking and midcourse guidance correction to allow for optimal approach to the target. These munitions should have some degree of maneuverability, even up to terminal phase, to reduce the effectiveness of FCR and any missiles launched against it. And then the employment of tactics such as saturation attacks, use of decoys, SOWs/ARMs used to degrade air defence network as well as these systems themselves, drones and loitering munitions could be employed too. Plenty of countries are already developing solutions along the lines of the latter. I wonder if the Chinese have something that's like a hybrid between their short range suicide drone swarms, and IAI Harop?
 

CodeforFood

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Well majority of Iron Dome tests were against unguided world wars 2 design rockets.
Yes it had betwee 70 to 80 hit rate but how will they coup against large assult of modern systems hasnt really been tested yet.
2nd the First piece is radar which detects anything coming its way how will coup to electronic warfare that hasn't been fully tested yet either.
3 It will take long time for indian to fully develop a operational home built system as they have been developing for last few years and still not seeing it becoming operational soon.
4 Against Drones it will have High hit ratio compared to really fast maneuvering systems which can be guide or unguided.
TBH depending on terrain specially in Mountains Babar will have huge advantage as ( CLOUDS will hide it ) 🤣
Actually Iron dome might work better for more modern interconnected systems, since it may be able to predict better. Some times old designs are not factored into what is being designed as usually current capabilities takes more weight.
 

TsAr

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Every system has its limitations and weaknesses. Israel against Hammas/Hezbullah is a totally different ball game and cannot be compared to Pak-Indo situation. Today network centricity is the key.
 

Akh1112

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Until fairly recently, the capability of C-RAM, or counter rocket, artillery, and mortar, was largely relegated to gun/canon based close-in weapon systems such as the Phalanx and similar platforms. These systems have been designed primarily as a defence against subsonic cruise missiles, which have a significant probability of being detected by RF/IR sensor onboard navy vessels. However, the Israeli Iron-Dome C-RAM system, with its impressive performance over the last few years, has proven that a missile-based C-RAM can effectively counter some portion of threats belonging to the RAM spectrum. Although the system has been proven against very crude rocket technology, it does seem to have the potential to evolve into an effective defence against more sophisticated air-launched munitions as more advanced sensors and missiles are added to the system.

In case of a full-scale war between the two countries, the Pakistan Air Force is very likely to launch attacks against Indian Airforce air bases along the border. Since there is some chance that the Indian Airforce will acquire the Iron-Dome or a similar Israeli system and deploy it at its forward air bases, the PAF may find itself facing such a point-defence system during air raids on these bases. In such a scenario, will our air munitions including Ra'ad, Hijara, H-2 SOW, and guided bombs become redundant or lose their potency? The purpose of this thread is to discuss if such a missile-based C-RAM can become a significant threat to PAF's ground attack capability, especially against very high-value targets including IAF air bases, and to discuss potential strategies to neutralise this threat should it surface. Please discuss.
Remember, alot of IDs success has come from the fact that its threat is slow, simple rockets following a predictable trajectory, this is something that isnt the case for certain PGMs or other munitions that can have their course altered during flight.
 

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