As part of large-scale exercises, codenamed Operation Chimichanga, the Pentagon showed the world a new war. Perhaps in the future this will become one of the standard methods of warfare. In any case, the prerequisites are obvious.
4 April The Pentagon conducted large-scale exercises, combining computer simulation and the participation of real aircraft from Fort Yukon (Alaska). In the exercise, codenamed Operation Chimichanga, for the first time, a new concept of super-long strikes was tested using fifth-generation F-22 fighters and B-1B supersonic bombers.
The Chimichanga scenario resembles the Eldorado Canyon of 1986, when a group of American planes from around 150 made an ultra-long flight and struck at military sites and Gaddafi’s residence. Today, more advanced military equipment, including stealth planes, powerful precision weapon, and the experience of this operation is reworked and improved in Chimichanga. It can be said that such attacks will become the main way of “punishing” and destroying the infrastructure of small countries, as well as a completely new method of achieving military superiority in the war with large states that have a powerful army and a long territory.
Operation Chimichanga. Scenario
The task of the Chimichanga exercise was to deliver an unexpected, overwhelming blow in order to destroy or substantially weaken enemy air defenses, destroy critical infrastructure, launchers of strategic / operational-tactical missiles, ships at the stands, etc. As conceived by the US military, the strike will be so powerful and unexpected that the enemy simply will not have time to provide significant resistance. The Americans themselves experienced something similar during the attack of the naval base in Pearl Harbor.
It is planned to achieve surprise with the help of unobtrusive F-22 fighters. The strike itself will be carried out from remote airfields. For example, from Fort Yukon to Moscow in a straight line fly about 6400 km. At first glance, this is very far away, however, exercises with flights to 3500-4000 km for fighter pilots are common, and for the intercontinental bomber B-1B - even more so. In the Libyan war 2011, B-1Bs took off from an air base in South Dakota and attacked Libya, flying a distance of about 9000 km. The B-2 stealth bombers did the same "trick". In the operation of Chimichanga B-2 did not participate, but if you have to deal with a nuclear power, such as Russia or China, these bombers will necessarily be used primarily to destroy mobile and mine launchers of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
B-1B bomber combat load options
The first sign of the start of Chimichanga operations for the enemy will be ... bombings in air defense positions. The surprise attack will be made by F-22 Raptor stealth fighters. Depending on the situation, they will reach the targets at extremely small (less than 100 m) or at high (up to 15000 m) altitudes. Targets will be detected in advance using satellite intelligence, as well as detected by passive F-22 sensors. F-22 fighters can carry two heavy 450-kg high-precision JDAM GBU-32 bombs or eight 130-kg SDB bombs. Airplanes with heavy bombs will destroy large fortified objects: army command posts, power stations, and runways of military air bases. Aircraft armed with SDB, will aim at the radar and launchers of anti-aircraft missile systems. Due to the low profile of the F-22 and the long-range SDB (about 110 km), according to the American military, it is possible to destroy even C-300-type complexes, not to mention Buk-ah and Tor-ah, without much risk. The SDB bomb has a penetrating type 93-kg warhead capable of penetrating a meter-thick reinforced concrete slab, as well as hitting any armored vehicles. It should be noted that the thickness of the concrete containment protecting the reactors is at most 1-1,5 m in most nuclear power plants.
After the F-22 fighters drop bombs and disable all dangerous anti-aircraft weapons, the air superiority phase will begin. The second wave of the airstrike, consisting of the F-22 and F-16 fighters (in the future they will be replaced by the F-35), must destroy all enemy fighters, which will still be able to rise from damaged airfields. In parallel, the F-16 fighters will promptly destroy "awakened" or surviving air defense weapons. To protect against anti-aircraft missiles and interceptors, it is planned to use MALD missiles imitating the fighter’s radar signature, as well as towed lures like ALE-50, which “deceive” the rocket’s radar detonator, causing them to explode at a safe distance from the aircraft. F-22 and F-16 isolate the battlefield from the air forces of the enemy and their allies, opening the way for the third wave - B-1B bombers.
B-1B heavy bombers are the main striking force of Operation Chimichanga, which should cause serious damage to the army and the economy of the enemy. Due to the high flight speed and precision weapons, the combat operation of the B-1B will be completed very quickly. Flying over the targets, the bombers will send out very powerful 900-kg bomb GBU-31, and each aircraft can carry such bombs 24. GBU-31 can be equipped with a unique warhead BLU-119 / B, which breaks through multi-meter concrete floors and burns everything inside. Due to the long-term and high-temperature impact, this munition is extremely effective against weapons storage facilities (including chemical and biological), underground command posts, industrial infrastructure facilities, multi-storey buildings, etc.
B-2 bomber combat load options
F-16 and B-1B will use the AGM-158 JASSM high-precision cruise stealth missiles with a flight range of 400 km (for the JASSM ER900 km option) to hit the “complex” targets. Thanks to this weapon, the B-1B bomber can hit up to 12 remote targets protected by powerful air defenses. It should be noted that the JASSM rocket was specially designed to overcome the frontiers of Soviet anti-aircraft missile systems of the C-300, Thor, Buk type, which are armed with Russia, China and many other countries. The missile is equipped with a powerful 450-kg high-explosive or 108-kg penetrating warhead capable of penetrating several meters of concrete and, for example, hitting a ballistic missile launcher located in a reinforced concrete shelter.
Thus, using JASSM missiles, a B-1B bomber flying over Moscow can fire at targets down to Nizhny Novgorod and Smolensk. If you use a more long-range version of JASSM ER, then the B-1B will be able to "reach" to Samara and Minsk.
After the devastation of the bomb bay, the bombers will head for the airfields. The duration of the Chimichanga operation was not named - it depends on how far the aircraft will have to travel over enemy territory. For example, an air raid during Operation Eldorado Canyon lasted less than 20 minutes. The attack was so unexpected and overwhelming that Gaddafi’s troops could not provide almost any resistance - the Americans lost only one plane out of a hundred. Libyan interceptors could not take off at all, which once again confirms the need for continuous airspace patrol aviation Air defense.
Options are available
Chimichanga has accumulated a great deal of experience in air operations since World War II. Most states will not be able to withstand the F-50, 22-20 F-30 and about 16 B-60B fighters flying 1. Even states with relatively powerful armies, such as Russia and China, are not currently ready to repel such a blow. The specifics of planning such operations minimizes the risk of information leakage: approaching the attack area can occur from several directions, and the pilot will find out about the task already on the runway or even in the air.
Radar 55 х6-1 Sky-UE
Consider the hypothetical scenario of the Chimichanga operation. The political aspects of a retaliatory nuclear strike will not be taken into account, as well as the possibility of neutralizing Russia's nuclear potential with cruise missiles, nuclear bombs and hypersonic weapons of the global AHW strike.
Towed lures like the ALE-50 are capable of "fooling" primitive radar fuses of anti-aircraft missiles.
As we have already found out, it is necessary to fly from the US to Moscow around 7000 km. B-1B and B-2 bombers can cover this distance without refueling in less than 10 hours. So, during the April 4 exercises, they flew an 10 hour flight (about 9000 km) and struck at a conventional enemy. F-22 fighters can fly around 3000 km at full refueling, i.e. they will need two refueling on approach. However, fighters can take off from a territory, such as Britain, as was the case during Operation Eldorado Canyon or from another European country. This will reduce the fighter range of flight by half. Bombers can enter from the North Pole (B-2 this year have just been certified for such flights), and the F-22 and F-16 fighters can fly over the territory of the Baltic states, bypassing Sweden. In this area, which is monitored by numerous radars, the F-22 is likely to drop to extremely low altitudes. Flight UK - Russia will take more than 2 hours from supersonic fighters. From the territory of Poland, the fighters will get to Moscow in 1 with a little more than an hour, from the territory of Georgia - in 1,5 hours, in Finland - in 1 hours. From the moment of overcoming the state border of the Russian Federation to the time of the passage of the F-22 over Moscow it will take only half an hour. How effectively can Russian air defense systems work? The most powerful F-22 missile warning system radars will not be noticed, as they are designed to detect the attack of ballistic missiles. There remain air defense radar stations, for example, 55IH6-1 "Sky-UE", which began to arm Moscow air defense units in 2009 year. This radar can detect a fighter with an effective dispersion area (EPR) of 2,5 sq. M: at an altitude of 3000 m, from a distance of 170 km; at the height of 500 m - from a distance of 70 km. But the fact is that the EPR, i.e. F-22 “visibility” is at least X times lower. Thus, these fighters can fly to Moscow, gradually decreasing and remaining invisible.
Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that one of the tasks of the F-22 is the destruction of long-range anti-aircraft missile systems. However, the tactics of destruction of air defense fighter F-22 secret, because it is associated with secret indicators of EPR. At the same time, according to Lockheed Martin specialists, F-22 can safely approach the C-300 complex at a distance of xNUMX km. As we remember, the range of SDB bombs is about 24 km, so F-110 can unexpectedly enter Moscow airspace, making a “jump” from supersmall heights to big ones, and “scatter” bombs in the direction of the radar and air defense systems. Bombing can also be carried out from medium altitudes of the 22-1000 m. In this case, the F-2000 pilot can quickly “press to the ground” in the event of an anti-aircraft missile launch.
The firing range of the ZRK ZRS C-300PMU 2 is 200 km, the promising 40H6 missile of the C-400 complex is 450 km, but this is the maximum range. According to American military experts, in real combat use conditions, shooting at a high-tech aircraft from a distance of more than 70-100 km will be ineffective. But even if we assume that the F-22 will be detected by Russian air defense systems, the stealth has a powerful potential argument in the form of a promising cruise missile like SMACM with a firing range of 460 and weighing 113 kg. The F-22 can take 4 SMACM into the internal bays. On approaching the target, the SMACM can remotely exchange data with the carrier aircraft, which makes it possible to hit the means of the air defense missile system, which began to "run away" from positions. Such weapons are a serious threat to any air defense systems.
In the future, shock drone X-47B will participate in ultra-long air raids
After the suppression of air defense and the bombing of air bases in the Moscow area, the F-22 fighter jets will remain superior to the air for a maximum of 15-20 minutes, while the bombers will destroy the selected targets and depart in the direction of the border.
The Chimichanga operation is not a hypothetical scenario. So, at the beginning of April in Karelia, the Russian army conducted the “Ladoga-2012” exercise, during which a reflex of a massive air raid was worked out. During the exercise, more than 110 sorties were made and more than 200 "planes" were shot down, which were simulated by lighting bombs. About 50 aircraft participated in these exercises, with 30 arriving from air bases located in the Kaliningrad, Kursk, Murmansk and Tver regions. In the operation, Chimichanga involved the same high-tech fighter last generation, and in the future, and shock stealth drones like the X-47B and Predator C Avenger. At the same time, on the attacking side, there is the surprise factor, which means that it will most likely fail to tighten the forces on their way. Therefore, the only way to protect against operations like Chimichanga is the continuous duty of interceptors at the borders of the state and in the most important industrial areas of the country, as well as high-tech surveillance tools. Unfortunately, most states cannot afford such “luxury” and are virtually defenseless against an ultra-long strike by the US Air Force.