Have Bombers become obsolete in Modern warfare?

Discussion in 'Military Aviation' started by A.V., May 4, 2009.

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Have bombers become obsolete in modern warfare?

  1. Bombers are still needed

    79 vote(s)
    66.4%
  2. Dedicated bombers not needed

    34 vote(s)
    28.6%
  3. Can't say

    6 vote(s)
    5.0%
  1. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    If Pakistanis establish their foothold again in afghan through taliban, after a frustrated american withdrawl. We would be required to provide air power for northern alliance ground operations from tajikistan base, in a terrain such as afghan u can't find vital, strategic targets to use mig-27, jaguar, su-30 or even any eventual mmrca winner. So bombers will play a vital role in such a theatre.
    Long range bombers capable of helping potential allies like vietnam, if its sea fight takes a terrain dimension. Even chinese submarines that could stalk those shores can be repulsed using there machines.
    Indian navy has leased tu-22 m bombers for maritime reconasance if they find it to be worth the buck who knows they may quietly initiate the next generation bomber program with russia.
     
  2. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Tajikistan base has not fighters stationed nor is the AF having any plans of doing so right now.
    Any bombing mission then will have to over fly pakistan or iran.
     
  3. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    come on. I explicitly mentioned in my post on the previous page than 'in future afghanistan'. Cool it dude.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Oh I am cool mate. But any future op has to be on sound logic and logistics. While we think its cool to have the mean machines to blow the hell out of the enemy, the pros think of logistics. How to get the monstor there in the first place. Second get it back in one peice.
     
  5. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    the same way through which v planned to station mig-29 there before russian opposition made us shelve them. Could be through iranian and afghan air space, since as american power recedes indo-iranian ties will make a v recovery this should be lot less complicated, else through russia or cis there are too many ways. V have to be innovative enough to see them.
     
  6. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Firstly the IN does not (in public knowledge) operate any backfires, secondly the backfire is wholly inadequate as a maritime reconnaissance platform , it is purely designed as a maritime/light strategic strike aircraft(the soviets experimented with an ELINT version which was unsuccessful).
     
  7. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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    its no secret now is it, its available to every third rate civilian who can use a mouse and read english. Indian navy must be preparing itself to use such aircraft against submarine threats, so as this concept evolves it would span around to include our areas of interests and protective obligations to become a joint air-naval strategic bomber.
     
  8. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    give me links, the IN has AFAIK never admitted to operating the Tu-22.
     
  9. bsn4u1985

    bsn4u1985 Regular Member

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    by the way...IN does n't publicly operate aircraft is tu-22m that is not a recnnaissance platform that is a supersonic, swing-wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by the Soviet Union.it is still active with russian air force.but quitely inferior to tu-16.but still it can give india an option of strategic bomber.something is better than nothing...........
     
  10. icecoolben

    icecoolben Regular Member

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  11. blade

    blade Regular Member

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    In the present day warafare the role of a dedicated bomber has significantly changed due to the following factors
    1. Rapid advancement of air defence systems. A considerably large number of AD systems have already achieved anti missile ( both cruise & ballastic missiles) capabilities & hence pose an outrageous challange even to the most agile fighters let aloner comparatively sluggish bombers. Even the celing for an effective encounter has vastly
    enhanced.
    2. A non stealthy decicated bomber can be utilized as a softner of hard tgts only after a massive air raid has effectively neutralized the enemy SAM's
    3. The rapidly growing BVR technology also has an extream advarse effect on dedicated bombers in initial strick role of WW II type. Too much of over reliance on escort fleet makes it more of a burden to the owner.
    4. The only true solution against this reduce status of bombers seem to be a very very
    high degree of stealth which is again one of the most difficult and expesive thing to achive.
    5. In this cash trapped world wealth management is playing a great role like never before. It seems to be far less riskier to operate a number of advanced multirole fighters than making fying sorties with a billion $ worth stealth bomber.

    Due to the above reasons the dedicated bombers are turning more into a tactical equipement which can be used under strict conditions than a strategic asset.
     
  12. Emperor

    Emperor Regular Member

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    My 2 paisa for the Thread starter,

    First of all,the tread itself looks like a phrase rather than a perfect sentence.Which I meant is that you need to be more elaborative.Since this is a casual reply,dont take anything serious.
    "With the advent of multiple role fighter aircrafts and advanced missile system has the fighter-bombers become unnecessary in present day warfare?"
    Agreed to some extent that you came up with an alternative to bombers,which are multi-role fighters.

    But again before I simply jump into conclusion ,I would like to put few scenarios and comparisons which may be worthwhile.

    Firstly,Bombers are rich mans toys.One can call any modified fixed wing aircraft for bombing purpose as a bomber.We can convert all the Indian Airlines planes removing the seats for extra storage space and having a open-up in the bottom part of the fuselage for either carrying a rotary launcher or man-dropped dumb bombs.This might serve the purpose of bombing ,but against a tiny enemy who had never seen any AD in his whole life.Hence the need came for a dedicated bomber with built in launchers/bomb drop mechanisms.Since the capability of AD went up,rich mans came up with stealth one to deceive the AD.Since the whole thread is in context of India,we have to consider the strengths and weaknesses of our enemies.

    We have two main adversaries surrounding us on east,west and north.And one of them posses a formidable/contemporary(imported or copied) AD system while the other posses a gen older system.Hence the bomber that we(india) choose should be capable of both kinds of threats.Since x>y we go with a bomber that can deal with X threat.
    Now the real question arises.Do we really need a bomber to bomb China/Pakistan?
    My personal advice would be Yea.
    Reasons?
    Though we posses or getting more Multi-role aircrafts, both their range and weapon carrying capability is limited.At present an MKI can take of from the far east with 8K full bomb load and can only go as far as 3500km deep into chinese airspace with no option to come back unless we can send an refueler along with it. Means keeping both the fighter-bomber and refueler at risk.
    But again,no ***** just sends a bomber or multi-role aircraft right into the enemy airspace for bombing.
    Before the bombing practise one has to sanitize the enemy airspace and clean up all the AD`s(which is SEAD).
    given the case with china---which needs a kick asss strategy by the marshals to take care of the AD`s.Since china is a huge territory and majority of its AD`s are based on the coastal regions while the western,north-west and south-west were less densely populated with AD`s. Getting air superiority over this air space can be considered an easy job.But the real game starts when one has to venture into the near coastal region.
    I for one can term the region as the most defended one on this planet,since all the chinese assets were laid over there and 80% of population also rests there.

    Assuming its a pure conventional war and no nuclear exchanges taking place:
    The bomber take of from Indian soil and starts sanitizing the ground forces after the fighters sanitizing the airspace and suppressing AD`s. You can do the same ground sanitization using ground forces.For that we need to put more boots on the ground in the initial run and is a time consuming process.While using bombers is rapid and quick victory(even though its costly ,but worth the money.since losses are quietly minimal after SEAD) Again repeat the same process ,but with heavy numbers.Since China holds a significant number of S-300`s we need bombers and fighters with conventional ALCM`s for long range strike.there will be a no point of return atleast 500km from the central china.Hence you need to strike from outside where bombers with huge weapon carrying capability comes into play.Salvos has to be fired,where multi-role fighters can fulfil the job.All this strategy is considering that we are the ones causing the aggression and invading them with superior quality,but with inferior quantity.
    And for pakistan, usage of bombers is over kill.
    apart from the capability based advantage of having bombers, there is a spin-off too. i.e a demoralizing the enemy.mentally incapacitating the enemy by making him fear that we had bombers.This makes the enemy scrable for yet another strategy to counter bomber force. Militarily,the more different varieties of offensive/defensive equipment you posses, the more the enemy has to think countering them. Keep your offensive options diversified,yet keep them under control by limiting the logistics nightmares.

    And for a nuclear exchange scenario,bombers increases your range of options in delivering the nukes,which ofcourse has to follow more or less the same strategy.Since one may be having a min of 3k range cruise missile for being air launched,the threat to bombers decreases drastically and they can be used right at the starting of war.(in Indo-China scenario)

    the cons?
    Highly expensive,
    Need more maintenance.

    But in the end the pros simply over weight the cons.And the opinion will tilt towards "YEAH We NEED Bombers."

    And another major advantage of bombers is inter-continental reach which ordinary multi-role fighters cant.
    And a tid-bit is that no one can finish a war without losses ,unless he is waging the war against some primitive weapons holding nation.Even you develop an ultra stealth bomber, you may have to take a shot.But loosing a bomber is not a loss in the war.

    Note:the whole thing above is considering that India still maintains the quality edge over china.If one just considers the quantity edge instead, then having a 1000 bombers wont bring victory.
     
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Just a far fetched Idea since we are acquiring the C-17'S transport planes which will give us more or less global reach, can the plane be altered or used in a bomber role, i know people will bring up the legality and end user agreement blah blah blah but apart from that theoretically why or why not?? Especially since it evolved from a B-17?


    http://www.air-attack.com/news/article/890/USAF-Proposes-a-CB-17.html


    USAF Proposes a C/B-17

    The U.S. Air Force is now thinking about turning its C-17 transport into a bomber. In the last few years, the JDAM (satellite guided smart bomb) has made aerial bombing far more effective. Because of the satellite guidance (GPS), aircraft can drop the bomb from any altitude, and still get the same accuracy.
    Thus bombers can stay high, out of range of ground fire. That got people, inside and outside the air force, thinking about using transports, like the C-17, as bombers. Transports are equipped to drop heavy equipment, mounted on pallets, by parachute. It would be a simple matter to have smart bombs, on small pallets, shoved out the rear of C-17s (or C-130s, Etc.) This proposal upset the air force generals, most of whom are combat pilots. So the idea never went far, until now
     
  14. Emperor

    Emperor Regular Member

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    Lethal,
    Theoretically and practically at most of the time,we can convert any aircraft (narrow or wide bodied)into a bomber.
    But again? what kind of bomber is one looking into?
    A small modification to the fuselage can convert a typical passenger/cargo aircraft into a bomber.But if you are looking at under wing and under fuselage pylons for weapons? then it will definitely gives a hard time in strengthening the aircraft.
    But a rotary launcher or a bomb dropping bay is a best option available.
    But the only disadvantage is the oversized fuselage and wings which are obviously needed for a slim cargo.Most of the space in the bay goes un occupied considering the cargo(weapon) density

    For a dooms day need,I will say yeah for the idea.But for use in the long run? No way.

    But ,
    Since we are designing and producing MTA along with russia, we can add a clause on the paper for the later conversion and use.And I will agree with having a weapon bay doors(will be closed tight when transporting and will be given easy access when used in a bomber role) along with replaceable rotary launchers.
    When we are using MTA in the transporter role, we will close the weapon bay access and remove the rotary launchers.While using in the bomber role ,we will add them up. :D
    A most conservative approach for a budget oriented nation? :D
     
  15. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Agree with you absolutely , about T-22s effectiveness and can be proved cost effective flattening a whole city , but as phani pointed out previously you have to sanitise the enemy airspace by neutralising all possible Air Defence units and cleaning up the enemy combat aircrafts i.e. achieving complete Air Superiority , else there may remain the chances of downing a bomber , even by a SAM battery as happened with USAF F-117 if all the probability becomes ok, and subsequent loss of valuable pilots as we have no base of supply line like US. We can not afford loss of even single one. Therefore Surface to surface missiles with low CEP , may be one of the safe and viable option.

    Regards
     
  16. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    all three talk about proposals no confirmations of any planes in India yet.
     
  17. bsn4u1985

    bsn4u1985 Regular Member

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    With the advent of precision-guided munitions, you may feel that strategic bombing has once again become a viable military strategy. Exactly how precise precision munitions are is still open to question. However, others predict that 21st century warfare will more often be asymmetrical, and therefore viable strategic bombing options may not exist.

    A further question is raised when some see the blurring of strategic and tactical targets and missions, particularly when tactical aircraft are frequently used to carry out strikes on targets with significant strategic importance as a result of technological advances in aircraft design and munition guidance and penetration. For example, tactical strike aircraft such as F-16s were frequently used to destroy command and communications bunkers during Operation Iraqi Freedom while large "strategic" bombers such as the B-1 and B-52 were frequently used to provide sustained close air support at high altitude during Operation Enduring Freedom.

    this tactical bombing can be useful when there is possibilty of conventional war between india and china.also for the longer range battlefield this will be necessary.this is the ultimate sign of air superiority.
     
  18. proud_hindustani

    proud_hindustani Regular Member

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    I think it would be complete foolishness to purchase billion dollars bombers. I agree on posters' statement regarding current missiles which are now advanced and make accurate target with the help of GPS. One MIRV missile can destroy a multiple targets. India has the ability to develop MIRV missiles and one day, our MIRV missiles will be in operational mode and it will cause Pakistan and China a great concern. Why do we need bombers. No matter how stealthy the bomber is but it doesn't give 100% guarantee of stealthiness. We can have multiple missiles at the cost of one Bomber plus there is no involvement of human life.
     
  19. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    missile are more efefctive ..bombers are only used hwne enemy air defense is totally neutralised
     
  20. rajkoumar

    rajkoumar Regular Member

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    why not A10 tactical bombers to support army in it's mission.
     

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