Military Review

The National Interest: Using this trick, Russia and China will be able to defeat the US Air Force

The American edition of The National Interest shows great interest in promising developments in the field of weapons and equipment created in Russia and China. This interest regularly leads to the appearance of curious materials, the authors of which try to analyze the available information, predict the future of the newest models and determine their influence on the situation. In some cases, such articles conclude with frightening conclusions.

The November 8 edition published an article by Dave Majumdar with the screaming title “Using this trick, Russia and China will be able to defeat the US Air Force.” The theme of the publication from the headings The Buzz and Security are the newest air-to-air missiles developed by the Russian and Chinese industry. As is clear from the title of the article, this weapon may be cause for concern of the American command.

The article begins with a rather bold thesis. D. Majumdar believes that the latest Russian and Chinese air-to-air missiles pose a serious threat to the US air force. They threaten critical elements of the Air Force, such as long-range radar detection and control aircraft, various reconnaissance vehicles, refueling aircraft, EW equipment carriers, etc.

Air-to-air missiles are often underestimated, giving priority to land-based or ship-based systems. However, in a system like anti-access / area denial (A2 / AD), such a weapon can have significant potential. aviation long-range missiles can "cut the tendons" of the US Air Force in both the European and Asian-Pacific theater of operations.

In fact, the Russian MiG-31 or Su-57 / T-50 aircraft, as well as the Chinese Chengdu J-20, are capable of attacking American AWACS, JTARS, Boeing KC-135 or Pegasus vehicles. In the case of fighting over the Pacific Ocean - due to the small number and remoteness of airfields - refueling aircraft become a crucial element of the air force. Such weaknesses in the US Air Force could be used by Beijing.

At the moment, the author recalls, three promising long-range air-to-air missile projects are of interest. These are Russian missiles R-37M RVV-BD and KS-172 (aka K-100), developed by Vympel and NPO Novator, respectively, as well as the Chinese product PL-15.

According to reports, the P-37M rocket is currently being brought to a state of initial operational readiness and should be used together with MiG-31BM interceptors. In the future, the carriers of this weapon will be other Russian aircraft. The rocket is integrated into the armament complex of the Su-35С fighter and the newest T-50 / PAK FA. The missile, designated NATO AA-13 Arrow, allegedly coped with the interception of a conventional target at a range of 160 nautical miles (296 km).

Information on the current status of the P-37M project D. Majumdar received from the Chief Editor of the Russian edition of the Moscow Defense Brief Mikhail Barabanov. He noted that the actual modification of the RVV-BD missile is being mass-produced since 2014, and is already being delivered to the troops, where the development of a new weapon takes place.

The author recalls history family of missiles P-37. The first product of this line was developed during the USSR and was intended to attack critical air targets. With the help of such weapons it was planned to shoot down early warning aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, air command posts, etc. The rocket was planned to be used with interceptors of the MiG-31 type, which could reach the range up to 2,35 miles (390 km) at a speed of the order of M = 720 and ensure the launch of the missiles. MiG-31 or subtle PAK FA with supersonic cruising flight speed are the ideal performers of such tasks. The speed and altitude of the flight to the launch line alone seriously impede the fight against them.

Researcher of the organization CNA Corporation, specializing in the Russian direction, Mike Kofmen recalls that the P-37 was developed to destroy the aircraft involved in the intelligence system. At the same time, such weapons were not intended solely for MiG-31 interceptors. In recent years, to supplement and replace the P-37, a new rocket has been developed under the designation KS-172 or K-100.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, work on the development of P-37 rockets continued, although it slowed down seriously. The financing problems that occurred in the nineties led to the fact that the P-37 rocket was initially abandoned. Work on this project stopped in 1997 year in favor of the new rocket R-37М / РВВ-БД.

Due to the lack of official information, D. Majumdar suggests that the R-37M rocket will most likely be equipped with a combined control system. She will receive inertial guidance with the possibility of adjusting the course carrier, as well as an active radar head to detect and destroy targets. During a hypothetical conflict, the MiG-31BM aircraft will be able to carry out a high-speed spurt to the launch line and carry out missile firing. The aircraft will have to search for targets using the on-board radar Zaslon-M, which is also intended to be illuminated before the active homing missile is activated.

In addition to the homing head, a new type of missile can get protection systems from the enemy’s electronic warfare. A similar principle has already been implemented by American designers in the project of the guided AIM-120D AMRAAM aviation missile. Such equipment will allow the P-37M to protect against EW aircraft like the EA-18G Growler.

The Soviet command was well aware that one of the main advantages of the air forces of the United States and NATO are communications and control systems. The likely adversary had the opportunity to coordinate his actions using early warning and control aircraft, air command posts, etc. Given this, the USSR was studying the possibility of destroying AWACS aircraft and other priority objectives. In particular, the possibility of creating air-to-air missiles with a passive radar seeker was considered. As M. Barabanov points out, this concept was popular in the past, but was later found to be unpromising.

The RVV-BD rocket is a terrible weapon, and Moscow, meanwhile, is developing a new model of this class. NPO Novator is developing a KS-172 rocket, also known as K-100. It is assumed that the product P-37M will be able to destroy targets at distances up to 200 nautical miles (370 km), and the radius of the KS-172 will be a quarter more (250 miles or 463 km). M. Kofmen believes that the bar in 200 miles is too high for a RVV-BD rocket. At the same time, he believes that the KS-172 / K-100 product is indeed capable of showing similar characteristics.

However, it is not yet completely clear when the creation of this rocket will be completed and when serial products will go to the troops. There is some reason to believe that the draft COP-172 will be protracted, which is not destined to reach the desired final. M. Kofmen reminds that the organization-developer of the K-100 rocket was trying to find an investor in India. The expert believes that the project proposes a really good rocket, but he doubts that it is possible to successfully complete the work.

Doubts of an American specialist are shared by his Russian colleague. M. Barabanov, quoted by D. Majumdar, suggests that the project KS-172, most likely, was closed. He also doubts that work on this topic is still ongoing and believes that the customer and the industry have already abandoned such a rocket.

At present, China is also developing advanced long-range air-to-air missiles. It is known about the development of a project called PL-15. According to known data, such a rocket can be equipped with a ramjet jet engine and fly to a distance of 120 nautical miles (220 km). This rocket has already managed to scare the high-ranking commanders of the United States Air Force. Thus, the head of the combat command of the air force, General Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle called the promising Chinese missile one of the main prerequisites for the need to create another modification of his own product AIM-120 AMRAAM.

Last year, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, General Carlisle raised a number of serious questions in the context of the new Chinese rocket: what can be done with the current threat and how to counter it? Later in an interview with Flightglobal, the general outlined the “opposition” to the PL-15 rocket as an extraordinary priority task. Due to the high range of this missile, American troops should be able to fight it.

Dave Majumdar denotes the essence of the situation. Chinese J-20 aircraft with PL-15 long-range missiles will be able to attack American AWACS aircraft and air tankers, which are key elements of the grouping of troops in the battle over the Pacific Ocean. The RAND organization’s 2008 documents contain a calculation showing the importance of tanker aircraft. Taking off from the air base on about. Guam and performing combat missions on Fr. Taiwan, F-22 fighters need active support from tankers. Every hour, three or four tankers should take off from Guam, which will allow 2,6 million gallons (about 9,8 million liters) of front-line aviation to deliver fuel. Apparently, Beijing took note of this information.

The author of The National Interest believes that the characteristics of the Chengdu J-20 fighter are far from ideal, and it has limited capabilities. At the same time, such a machine can have full compatibility with large and heavy long-range missiles located in the internal cargo compartments. The reduced effective scattering area, supersonic flight speed and ammunition of PL-15 missiles give the fighter significant combat potential. In such a configuration, it can indeed be a danger to US aircraft involved in intelligence and control systems.

The already mentioned RAND report cited the possible consequences of the use of long-range air-to-air missiles in hypothetical battles over the Pacific Ocean. During the simulation of an air battle, the Chinese versions of the Soviet / Russian Su-27 fighter, armed with long-range missiles, successfully destroyed a tanker aircraft, air command center, reconnaissance aircraft and a patrol car.

The United States Air Force took into account the specifics of the deployment of its bases, and also developed reliable logistic schemes. All this helps reduce the risks associated with China's A2 / AD capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region. However, it seems that the Pentagon has not developed a plan for the protection of its air "objects" in the face of aircraft of various purposes, which solve key tasks.

The only visible response to such threats at the moment, as D. Majumdar believes, is to divert important sides beyond the effective range of ranges of Chinese weapons. However, a direct consequence of this will be a reduction in the range of its own tactical aviation. As a result, the US Air Force will lose the possibility of striking deep into the territories of the likely enemy.

Dave Majumdar concludes his article with not the most positive and optimistic conclusions. Taking into account the available information, he assumes that the current situation is associated with serious problems for the United States. The creation and deployment of new Russian and Chinese air-to-air missiles, distinguished by their long range, including their placement on fifth-generation fighters, can create serious problems for the Pentagon. Such challenges will remain relevant over the next few years.

The article “Russia and China
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  1. Same lech
    Same lech 16 November 2017 06: 24
    As a specialist, Majumar is suitable only for PR ... read his articles ... but in general
    spread Majumar more panic and fear for American society ... the United States has grown fat with impunity ... it's time to go down from heaven to earth.
    1. Vita vko
      Vita vko 16 November 2017 09: 10
      Quote: The same LYOKHA
      Azgirelo USA something from impunity ... it's time to go down from heaven to earth

      Such articles are not intended for a wide range of Americans who are absolutely not worried about what is happening in the world.
      Here is an example of a major American phobia

      Corruption and healthcare are their main problems. Even the likelihood of a nuclear conflict with North Korea is in the penultimate place.
      Similar articles are ordered by US military corporations to justify the allocation of additional funds for military research.
      1. chidoryan
        chidoryan 16 November 2017 10: 49
        But what about the myth that evil mattresses sleep and see how to destroy the Russian girl?
        1. Evdokim
          Evdokim 16 November 2017 15: 16
          Quote: chidoryan
          But what about the myth that evil mattresses sleep and see how to destroy the Russian girl?

          Imagine McCain’s full pants with fear from Russia, but he’s the main thing,
          and he has such hatred towards us right up to destruction. And there are such bulk. They do not fight, but to a psychiatrist, at worst a psychologist. smile
        2. Abel
          Abel 17 November 2017 22: 11
          This is not a myth. Only destruction can be done in different ways: financially destroyed, help liberals come to power, poison Ukraine. There are options
    2. Abel
      Abel 17 November 2017 22: 09
      Lech! And how else can you get extra financing?
  2. andrewkor
    andrewkor 16 November 2017 06: 42
    But what kind of air-to-air missiles are there? The very existence of Russia on this planet is already the main threat to America, which has been repeatedly confirmed by their various ratings!
  3. shinobi
    shinobi 16 November 2017 07: 53
    Well, from the scribbler of Majmur the analyst is the same, but he feeds from the hands of the Pentagon. So the capabilities of the US Air Force in particular and the army in general are not as good as stated, is not news for a long time.
  4. Cherry Nine
    Cherry Nine 16 November 2017 08: 33
    Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle called the promising Chinese missile one of the main prerequisites for the need to create another modification of its own product AIM-120 AMRAAM

    The only possible benefit from “analysts,” like Mr. Majumdar, is that Mr. Carlisle and his colleagues will start asking the Congress “how it happened that with 10 Russian military budgets or 2–3 Chinese military budgets, you are you telling us about another red wunderwaffe? " Unfortunately, it does not seem to be the case.
    1. venik
      venik 16 November 2017 09: 59
      Quote: Cherry Nine
      The only possible benefit from “analysts,” like Mr. Majumdar, is that Mr. Carlisle and his colleagues will start asking the Congress “how it happened that with 10 Russian military budgets or 2–3 Chinese military budgets, you are you telling us about another red wunderwaffe? "

      And yet - these "opuses" should prepare congressmen for "knocking out" even greater funds for "military needs" !!!
      Once a very long time ago in the 60s, a “screech” arose in the states that the USSR created a fleet of 300 (three hundred !!) strategic long-range bomber bombers ..... deployment of a huge number of "additional" "Stratofortres" B-52. When the program was completed - the Pentagon - apologized: they say the "mistake" came out - the number of Russian "strategists" turned out to be "accidentally" overestimated by almost 10 times !! Well, what to do, do not cut them (in the sense of B-52) ?!
  5. Old26
    Old26 16 November 2017 09: 26
    Well, who is Dave Majumdar we have heard. And what is this new miracle - an expert and his Russian colleague. M. Drum? I have never seen anything like this before. I know Khramchikhin, Felgenhau too. I met a dozen more ANALYTICS - and this is the first time
    1. opus
      opus 16 November 2017 10: 13
      Quote: Old26
      And what is this new miracle - an expert and his Russian colleague. M. Drum? I haven’t met anything like this before.

      Barabanov Mikhail Sergeevich

      graduated from Moscow State University of Culture; worked in Moscow municipal structures.
      He is an expert in naval history and weapons;

      Moscow Defense Brief Magazine
      Chief Editor: crying
      Barabanov Mikhail Sergeevich

      Russian edition in English dedicated to the study of military-technical cooperation and the military-industrial complex. Distributed by subscription among Russian and foreign research organizations, specialized specialists, embassies and consulates of foreign countries in the Russian Federation, foreign companies military industrial complex.

      And then we are surprised
  6. BMP-2
    BMP-2 16 November 2017 11: 58
    After reading the article of Majumdar, the conclusion suggests itself: "Fly Aeroflot!" laughing
  7. Anchonsha
    Anchonsha 16 November 2017 13: 00
    Majumar is right in that the US tankers are very attracting attention to themselves, which means that their absence will be the end for the American Air Force in hauls along with aircraft carriers.
  8. The comment was deleted.
  9. Dzafdet
    Dzafdet 16 November 2017 16: 47
    UR "air-to-air" ultra-long range KC-172 (RVV-L) is a two-stage missile capable of developing hypersonic speed. The first stage is overclocking, after fuel is discharged. After resetting the first stage, the main engine is switched on. The launch weight of the rocket is about 750 kg.
    The missile is equipped with a combined homing system. On the marching section guidance is carried out by inertial SN. An active radar seeker is used at the homing site. The estimated range of the rocket is about 400 km. The height of the intercepted target is from 3 meters to 30 kilometers.
    The missile can be effectively used against high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, AWACS and REP aircraft, flying command posts and strategic bombers. For maximum range applications, external target designation may be required.
    Despite the rather interesting characteristics of the missile, Novator OKB OJSC, by the tender commission of the RF Ministry of Defense, was denied admission to the closed tender “Creating a long-range air-to-air guided missile.” The Russian Air Force never adopted the KS-172 , and they took a competitor rocket K-37M (RVV-BD) produced by Vympel.


    Control system .. combined guidance system (ANN) with radio correction on the marching section and a radar homing head on the final flight section
    Aerodynamic controls
    Firing range, km 300-400
    Speed ​​of the target, km / h 4000
    The average speed of a rocket, m / s 1400
    The height of the defeat of the target, m 3000-30000
    Target overload, units 12
    High-explosive fragmentation warhead
    Number of steps 2
    Missile length, mm:
    - full 7400
    - without starting stage 5800 - 6000
    Max. case diameter, mm 400
    Max. start stage diameter, mm 510
    Starting weight, kg 700 - 750
    Type of propulsion engine RDTT
    Type of starting engine RDTT 3L10
    - length, mm 1400

    Apparently they weren’t crazy, that’s MO and the project was cut off .. drinks
  10. Sinbad
    Sinbad 16 November 2017 17: 04
    There is an excellent solution to the problem for the Pentagon. Do not go where no one called you and no one will touch you.
  11. Prahlad
    Prahlad 16 November 2017 17: 52
    China is not our friend!
    1. Siberia 9444
      Siberia 9444 16 November 2017 18: 12
      Not when he was not and never will be drinks
  12. Eflintuk
    Eflintuk 16 November 2017 18: 13
    Do we have airborne radars for detecting the enemy at such ranges? Bullshit is all ... But anyway - pride caresses! Another article for intimidation of dough distributors.
  13. NEKH
    NEKH 16 November 2017 18: 47
    "As a result, the U.S. Air Force will lose the ability to strike deep into the territory of a potential enemy. Dave Majumdar concludes his article with not the most positive and optimistic conclusions. Given the available information, he suggests that the current situation is associated with serious problems for the United States."

    World has gone mad!!! Ofiget, the author talks about the "problems" of the country, which lost the opportunity to attack with impunity .....
  14. Coconut
    Coconut 16 November 2017 20: 05
    Using a trick ... we are yours forever .. the Chinese will cut us the Far East ..
  15. Oleg Petrov
    Oleg Petrov 16 November 2017 20: 34
    War, weapons, military budgets .....- with this money it’s better to build a road from Cape Horn to London with branches to Delhi, Beijing and other capitals of the world through the Bering Strait - it would really become a road of life that would unite all countries, instead of spending money on self-liquidation! "
  16. Santor
    Santor 17 November 2017 01: 24
    Quote: chidoryan
    But what about the myth that evil mattresses sleep and see how to destroy the Russian girl?

    Mattresses may yes, but ordinary Americans ... Many in the backwoods have no idea what Russia is and where it is, because they are not interested. Taxes, weather and everything .... 4 arithmetic is enough for them ... I'm not joking ... 5 km away from the highway and such fun places begin. Maybe it’s better ... At least ... When my friend and I went to the village to buy something and eat hot, the hostess, hearing our Russian, asked who I am and where from .. From Russia ... Hmm, it's in Europe somewhere? yes .. Well, well, bon appetit .. It cooks perfectly by the way :))
  17. The comment was deleted.