Military Review

"Wild caress" - a special unit of the US Air Force

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Wild Weasels (English Wild Weasels) are special units within the US Air Force that are focused on fighting the enemy’s air defense system, destroying its radar. For the first time, these units appeared during the Vietnam War, and in the future no major military operation involving the United States Air Force could do without them. There is nothing strange in this, because by destroying or forcing the enemy’s ground-based radars to "shut up", you can ensure air supremacy and safe flights.


It was the military conflict in Vietnam that became the first armed conflict in which aviation I had to deal with a layered air defense built on the air defense system. Naturally, the presence of a significant number of Soviet-made anti-aircraft missile systems in Vietnam was an unpleasant surprise for the Americans and made them seek a way out of this situation. Among the possible countermeasures were the transition to flying at low and very low altitudes (but anti-aircraft artillery was very active at these altitudes), as well as the widespread use of interference. For jamming, special aircraft were used to break through enemy air defense.

The program to create air defense breakthrough aircraft in the United States received the designation Wild Weasel - "Wild Weasel." Over time, the airplanes themselves, which were modified as part of this program, also became known. At the stage of Wild Weasel I, which was launched already in 1965, the Americans used the F-10 Super Saber, the first supersonic aircraft of the American Air Force created on the 100 years earlier. The two-seat version of the F-100F fighter was the basis for the Wild Caress. The plane could detect the enemy’s radar using special radiation detectors, after which the officer-operator indicated the direction to the pilot, then he detected the position of the air defense missile system already in visual mode, and attacked the target. At the same time, the F-100F fighter did not have a high enough flight speed to accompany the F-4 Phantom II and F-105 Thunderchief airplanes that were modern at the time, so at the Wild Weasel II stage, a model was used that was built on the basis of the F- 105.

"Wild caress" - a special unit of the US Air Force
F-105G

Special aircraft EF-105F began to appear in parts already in 1966 year, soon they were replaced by more advanced F-105G. At the same time, the serial production of the F-105 fighters was completed even earlier, in the 1964 year, so the number of fighters that could be modified in the enemy's “air-defense killers” was reduced, including due to high aviation losses in Vietnam. As a result of this, the 4 and 5 stages of this program have already been implemented on the basis of the F-4 Phantom II fighter - in the EF-4C Wild Weasel IV and F-4G Wild Weasel V versions.

During the Vietnam War, the Wild Weasel divisions acted in 2 ways: they were accompanied by attack groups of American aircraft and were engaged in “free hunting”. In the case of accomplishing the task of escorting the strike groups, these planes were the first to enter the Vietnamese air defense zone and remained there during the main attack, engaging in the suppression of all identified enemy air defense missile systems. These aircraft left the area only after the impact aircraft had left it. This is how the Wild Weasel motto appeared: “First to come, last to leave” (English First In, Last Out). During the "free hunt" "wild caress" acted ligaments "hunter-killer." For example, at some distance from a single F-105F, a group of X-NUMX-3 F-4D or F-105 aircraft followed. Sometimes a group of 4 'hunters' and 2 'killers' were used. The leader aircraft found the position of the air defense missile system and attacked them, marking it for the rest of the aircraft, after which all the strike vehicles concluded their destruction.

With each new generation, the Wild Weasels were equipped with more and more sophisticated weapons and equipment, including guided missiles that are being emitted by radar, as well as electronic warfare systems (EW). After the end of the Vietnam War, “Wild caress” served in Western Europe, as well as in the Far East - in those places where, if necessary, the United States would have to deal with the Soviet air defense system.

F-16CJ

In 1990, the last “Wild caress” was written off. In the United States decided to use for these purposes the upgraded multi-purpose fighter F-16C. Such a means of suppressing enemy air defenses became the F-16CJ Wild Weasel fighter. The aircraft is a modification of the F-16C Block 50 and is designated Block 50D / 52D. This fighter will be used in solving the problems of the enemy's air defense breakthrough and suppression, successfully replacing the old but reliable F-4G Wild Weasel vehicles. The F-16CJ fighter has the ability to fully utilize the capabilities of the AGM-88 HARM UR, as well as the AN / ASQ-213 HARM (HTS) guidance system to destroy and suppress the enemy’s air defense system. These US Air Force aircraft used to suppress the Yugoslav air defense in 1999 year.

Faced with the same problem, the US Navy did not abandon specialized machines. To suppress the air defense system, they used here: first the EF-10D Skyknight, then the EA-6A and the EA-6B Prowler. Currently, the American fleet is betting on specialized airplanes - the EA-6B has been replaced by the new EA-18G Growler, which were created on the basis of the two-seater version of the F / A-18F Super Hornet.

Russian way

Up to 2008, the Russian Air Force did not encounter an enemy that was equipped with air defense systems more serious than small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery and MANPADS. Therefore, the five-day war with Georgia in August 2008 of the year clearly demonstrated the weakness of the Russian Air Force, and also showed that such clashes are fraught with losses for Russia. In this regard, the task of suppressing enemy air defenses has become one of the priority projects.


Currently, to solve this problem, if necessary, standard attack aircraft should be used - today it is Su-24 and Su-34, which are equipped with anti-radar missiles. But the capabilities of these aircraft, apparently, were considered insufficient. In addition, the supersonic reconnaissance bomber MiG-25 RB can be used as a domestic Wildlife wearer. But these planes already have a very respectable age, and in the coming 10-15 years they will be completely removed from the Air Force.

At the same time, the choice of Su-25 attack aircraft as a platform for the Russian “Wild caress” is somewhat surprising (they should appear in the Air Force already in 2014 year). Due to its characteristics and purpose, this aircraft can accompany only groups of the same attack aircraft. In order to act in combat orders of multi-purpose fighters and front-line bombers, the Su-25 lacks either range or flight speed. Along with this, for attack aircraft that operate over the battlefield, this machine can be a serious help. To solve other tasks, it might be worth thinking about developing a special aircraft based on the Su-30 or at least developing such a set of equipment (in a container version), which, together with the necessary armament, could turn any standard fighter out of the composition of the Russian Air Force.

Information sources:
—Http: //rus.ruvr.ru/radio_broadcast/88116651/106408305
—Http: //omop.su/article/47/49116.html
—Http: //www.airwar.ru/enc/fighter/f16cj.html
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  1. 0255
    0255 25 October 2013 09: 21
    +7
    How many total Americans thought up in Vietnam - but still left with shame.
    1. Fitter65
      Fitter65 25 October 2013 14: 58
      10
      They are from Vietnam, and we are from everywhere, and from Vietnam too.
      1. Su-9
        Su-9 26 October 2013 00: 49
        +1
        the Americans left Vietnam because they had nothing to do there - just like we were from Afghanistan (militarily, we controlled the situation in Afghanistan from start to finish).
        Do not pinch in any direction here.
        And in the article, this passage was a little surprised: "Until 2008, the Russian Air Force did not encounter an enemy equipped with air defense systems more serious than small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery and MANPADS."
        If we "extrapolate" the experience of the USSR Air Force to the Russian Air Force, then they even collided - from Egypt to Vietnam. And the weapons were (are), and the means of detection were. What is one product D-7 with a Blizzard worth?
        Of course Blizzard needs a new one now.
  2. Wedmak
    Wedmak 25 October 2013 09: 23
    +7
    In my opinion, for us, Su-30 is the first candidate for the role of an aircraft against air defense.
    1. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg 25 October 2013 13: 31
      -4
      Quote: Wedmak
      In my opinion, for us, Su-30 is the first candidate for the role of an aircraft against air defense.


      The moral here is different. Our military doctrine is defense, does not imply aggressive actions, and the suppression of air defense is an unconditional part of aggression. Whose air defense do we need to suppress? Well, not Georgian in fact ...
      1. Tourist Breakfast
        Tourist Breakfast 25 October 2013 13: 53
        +9
        The moral here is different. Our military doctrine is defense, does not imply aggressive actions, and the suppression of air defense is an unconditional part of aggression. Whose air defense do we need to suppress? Well, not Georgian in fact ...


        It is a mistake to consider air defense as purely defensive weapons. There is a mobile military air defense, the task of which includes including covering the advancing armored and mechanized formations. Are the Russian air forces ready to fight China’s military air defense?
        1. 0255
          0255 25 October 2013 16: 31
          0
          Are the Russian air forces ready to fight China’s military air defense?

          But how prepared are the Chinese copies of the S-300 for war against the Russian Air Force?
          1. Tourist Breakfast
            Tourist Breakfast 25 October 2013 21: 25
            +3
            But how prepared are the Chinese copies of the S-300 for war against the Russian Air Force?

            I suppose this enemy is more serious than the Georgian "Buks" and "Os".
            1. cdrt
              cdrt 26 October 2013 00: 58
              0
              Quote: Tourist Breakfast
              But how prepared are the Chinese copies of the S-300 for war against the Russian Air Force?

              I suppose this enemy is more serious than the Georgian "Buks" and "Os".


              Well, by the way, it’s not a fact that is more serious than Bukov, competently linked with Chain Mail. Both this and that are the last fashion of the times of the USSR (Chinese copies of the S-300 of the same time).
      2. cdrt
        cdrt 26 October 2013 00: 55
        -2
        Quote: Geisenberg
        Quote: Wedmak
        In my opinion, for us, Su-30 is the first candidate for the role of an aircraft against air defense.


        The moral here is different. Our military doctrine is defense, does not imply aggressive actions, and the suppression of air defense is an unconditional part of aggression. Whose air defense do we need to suppress? Well, not Georgian in fact ...


        So you had to suppress the Georgian.
        The nearest possible serious wars without WMD are Ukraine, Japan ... to break through air defense both there and there.
        And in fact, what kind of defensive doctrine was discussed in the USSR, with the creation of front-line OMG (read for what kind of actions they were created), with the doctrine of brightly offensive.
    2. Nayhas
      Nayhas 25 October 2013 14: 12
      +1
      Quote: Wedmak
      In my opinion, for us, Su-30 is the first candidate for the role of an aircraft against air defense.

      so there’s nothing to choose from.
      1. cdrt
        cdrt 26 October 2013 00: 59
        0
        Quote: Nayhas
        Quote: Wedmak
        In my opinion, for us, Su-30 is the first candidate for the role of an aircraft against air defense.

        so there’s nothing to choose from.


        Why not the Mig-29M?
        And easier and more maneuverable?
        The most experienced Americans in breaking through air defense eventually came to light / medium aircraft, rather than heavy ones.
        Yes, and I like the Mig-29 laughing just
    3. SkyMaXX
      SkyMaXX 26 October 2013 00: 00
      +1
      Not bad for this purpose would fit and the Su-34.
    4. Andrey Yuryevich
      Andrey Yuryevich 26 October 2013 03: 57
      +1
      I think "drones" should do this kind of work, that's where you need to rest.
  3. Rinat 1
    Rinat 1 25 October 2013 10: 09
    +5
    Su 30 is a good car, if only they would be adopted in sufficient quantities, and not individually
  4. DmitryK
    DmitryK 25 October 2013 11: 31
    +1
    I do not quite agree. Su-30 is primarily a maneuverable aerial combat fighter and using its potential as a carrier platform is not entirely rational. Convert the MIG-31 glider.
    1. Nayhas
      Nayhas 25 October 2013 14: 14
      +2
      Quote: DmitryK
      Su-30 is primarily a maneuverable aerial combat fighter and using its potential as a carrier platform is not entirely rational. Convert the MIG-31 glider.

      Well hello ... MiG-31 HEAVY Fighter, not every airfield can take off and its cost is high. Su-30 is the most suitable option, only if our equipment can fit in ...
    2. cdrt
      cdrt 26 October 2013 01: 01
      +1
      Quote: DmitryK
      I do not quite agree. Su-30 is primarily a maneuverable aerial combat fighter and using its potential as a carrier platform is not entirely rational. Convert the MIG-31 glider.


      Wild Weasel seems to act at low altitudes.
      Do you want to re-make 40t high-altitude supersonic interceptors in them?
      It seems like a dream of reason ...
  5. Hikar
    Hikar 25 October 2013 12: 02
    +4
    SU-34 in my opinion the most suitable candidate for * wild caress * in Russian
    1. 0255
      0255 25 October 2013 13: 55
      +1
      Quote: Hnikar
      SU-34 in my opinion the most suitable candidate for * wild caress * in Russian

      According to Russian news, the Su-34 successfully suppressed Georgian air defense in Ossetia in 2008.
    2. Nayhas
      Nayhas 25 October 2013 14: 15
      -3
      Quote: Hnikar
      SU-34 in my opinion the most suitable candidate for * wild caress * in Russian

      It is absolutely not maneuverable, very heavy, and does not exceed the Su-30 in terms of load
      1. PLO
        PLO 25 October 2013 15: 54
        +2
        He is absolutely not maneuverable, very heavy, and the load does not exceed the Su-30

        Ha. one more your authoritative opinion lol
        you as usual burn napalm
    3. PLO
      PLO 25 October 2013 16: 00
      0
      SU-34 in my opinion the most suitable candidate for * wild caress * in Russian

      Nevertheless, I agree that the Su-34 is not the best candidate for this role.
      Su-30SM is better than Su-34 (lighter and more maneuverable) and better than Su-35S (crew of 2 people)

      although there was information about the development of suspension containers Sych and Tarantula for the Su-34, they will certainly be universal for all aircraft
  6. kafa
    kafa 25 October 2013 12: 43
    +1
    drying is difficult although it is long-range but the moment does not exist ?!
  7. Nayhas
    Nayhas 25 October 2013 14: 16
    +2
    No matter how wild it sounds, but a country with strong air defense does not have the means to break through ...
  8. Axel
    Axel 25 October 2013 15: 36
    +3
    To open the air defense, we need an airplane on which the Kolchuga complex is installed, and to destroy air defense using cruise missiles, in the 21st century we will have enough pilots to destroy.
  9. PLO
    PLO 25 October 2013 16: 02
    +1
    on the topic, what kind of heresy did the author write in the last paragraph? what other specialized Su-25s for opening an air defense? what did the author smoke?
    1. Shturmovik
      Shturmovik 25 October 2013 21: 44
      +1
      you don't know much))) yes, there will be air-radar missiles on the su-25cm
    2. cdrt
      cdrt 26 October 2013 01: 03
      0
      Quote: olp
      on the topic, what kind of heresy did the author write in the last paragraph? what other specialized Su-25s for opening an air defense? what did the author smoke?


      It was not the author who invented this heresy, but either the Russian Defense Ministry or the journalists who wrote about it. Recently, this news was
      1. PLO
        PLO 26 October 2013 01: 10
        0
        It was not the author who invented this heresy, but either the Russian Defense Ministry or the journalists who wrote about it. Recently, this news was

        and the source is not news? if so then I won’t be surprised negative
  10. Mercenary
    Mercenary 25 October 2013 16: 53
    +1
    The last thought is very sensible. thanks to the author! otherwise they’re used to just havoc, and something smart is not enough to offer concrete.
  11. Ivanovich47
    Ivanovich47 25 October 2013 17: 31
    +4
    An enemy air defense system suppression aircraft must have on board compact reconnaissance equipment, a powerful navigation system (spaceborne NS, ground-based long-range navigation systems, autonomous NS). Of course, the tactical and technical characteristics of an airborne escort should be close to the characteristics of attack aircraft. The experience of the Americans needs to be studied, this will not hurt.
  12. Urri
    Urri 25 October 2013 20: 19
    +3
    In Georgia, at 8.8.8, the only lethal at that time Su-34 became the wildest affection in the world. Demolished all Georgian radar / RPN to tuna
    1. DmitryK
      DmitryK 26 October 2013 09: 47
      0
      Where does this information come from?
  13. Stasi
    Stasi 25 October 2013 21: 00
    +2
    In Vietnam, the Americans did their best to destroy our air defense. All kinds of jamming were used to suppress the work of radars, as well as anti-radar Shrike missiles. Our anti-aircraft gunners were able to oppose all this with their techniques. When using interference, we used equipment for canceling out interference and switching to another frequency. With the threat of detection of the radar, the method of detection and guidance to the target using an optical sight was used. The false launch method was also used: they pinpoint our targets with the help of an optical sight, turn on the radar. The planes are starting to react. The radar turns off and quickly leaves the place of deployment, and the planes bombed an empty space, flying on the return course to a salvo of missiles. As for the problems of our army, revealed in the August war with Georgia, in particular, overcoming air defense, there was a serious need for retraining and training of flight personnel. Basically, our aviation was focused on fighting the air enemy and paid little attention to fighting anti-aircraft systems. Our anti-aircraft gunners who served in Vietnam write with bitterness in their memoirs that their unique combat experience was never properly appreciated and introduced into the combat training of air defense and aviation troops. The experience of the last war of the eighth year showed the need to create a fundamentally new aircraft capable of conducting electronic warfare against modern anti-aircraft systems. Stormtroopers stuffed with equipment are not suitable for this purpose. It would be interesting to know whether the ground-based electronic warfare systems available in our army were used to suppress the Georgian air defense and how they showed themselves.
  14. scientist
    scientist 25 October 2013 23: 53
    +3
    The main quality for an aircraft during a breakthrough of an air defense system is the availability of navigation systems for flying at very low altitudes (OPMV). Self-disclosure options for interference can only be considered if the jammers are towed on cables. But usually such a breakthrough is made under the guise of reconnaissance aircraft and jammers from a range beyond the reach of air defense systems, and the breakthrough group itself flies in radio silence mode.
    In modern conditions, we can make an unambiguous conclusion that if the aircraft have normal means of jamming, not a single air defense system can stand even a couple of hours. The only way out is a combined actively passive reconnaissance system with centralized control of the actions of mobile air defense systems of air defense systems and electronic warfare by the ambush method. It is clear that such tactics significantly reduce the security guarantees of defended objects, but so far this is the only option to at least somehow preserve air defense systems in the first hours of hitting groups of "wild caress" type and minimize losses
    An asymmetric answer may be the development of a Kazakhstani scientist at the Academy of East Kazakhstan region, Tver V. Kobzarev A method for detecting and determining the location of air objects. RF patent for invention No. 2240576 was registered on November 20.11.04, 2472176 and by Russian scientists of KB Svyaz OJSC Parkhomenko NG, Onishchenko VS, Shevchenko V.N. Method of passive detection of airborne objects. RF patent No. 24.06.2011, registered on XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX.
    However, Lockheed-Martin, which produced the experimental model of the receiving station for the new Silent Sentry system, and Thales RS, which carried out similar work as part of the Dark State program and created a similar one, are leading the US in these studies. Passive radar "Homeland Alerter 100".
    In contrast to the outdated principles of active and passive location, these types of radars can, in principle, use any radiation sources to detect and accurately determine the coordinates of air and space objects.
    However, while research in this area is of little interest to industry, since the cost of classical radars is several times higher than promising passive correlation-based radars.
    1. cdrt
      cdrt 26 October 2013 01: 07
      +1
      Quote: scientist
      The main quality for an aircraft during a breakthrough of an air defense system is the availability of navigation systems for flying at very low altitudes (OPMV). Self-disclosure options for interference can only be considered if the jammers are towed on cables. But usually such a breakthrough is made under the guise of reconnaissance aircraft and jammers from a range beyond the reach of air defense systems, and the breakthrough group itself flies in radio silence mode.
      In modern conditions, we can make an unambiguous conclusion that if the aircraft have normal means of jamming, not a single air defense system can stand even a couple of hours. The only way out is a combined actively passive reconnaissance system with centralized control of the actions of mobile air defense systems of air defense systems and electronic warfare by the ambush method. It is clear that such tactics significantly reduce the security guarantees of defended objects, but so far this is the only option to at least somehow preserve air defense systems in the first hours of hitting groups of "wild caress" type and minimize losses
      An asymmetric answer may be the development of a Kazakhstani scientist at the Academy of East Kazakhstan region, Tver V. Kobzarev A method for detecting and determining the location of air objects. RF patent for invention No. 2240576 was registered on November 20.11.04, 2472176 and by Russian scientists of KB Svyaz OJSC Parkhomenko NG, Onishchenko VS, Shevchenko V.N. Method of passive detection of airborne objects. RF patent No. 24.06.2011, registered on XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX.
      However, Lockheed-Martin, which produced the experimental model of the receiving station for the new Silent Sentry system, and Thales RS, which carried out similar work as part of the Dark State program and created a similar one, are leading the US in these studies. Passive radar "Homeland Alerter 100".
      In contrast to the outdated principles of active and passive location, these types of radars can, in principle, use any radiation sources to detect and accurately determine the coordinates of air and space objects.
      However, while research in this area is of little interest to industry, since the cost of classical radars is several times higher than promising passive correlation-based radars.


      So like Mail, ours (the name is too lazy to look for) for a similar purpose: radio technical reconnaissance aircraft, a range of hundreds of kilometers, accuracy - sufficient to transmit air defense systems. Totally passive
  15. scientist
    scientist 26 October 2013 01: 42
    +3
    Quote: cdrt
    So like Mail, ours (the name is too lazy to look for) for a similar purpose: radio technical intelligence LA

    The Ukrainian RTS Kolchuga, as well as the Czech Vera, the Russian Valeria and Orion work like ordinary radio intelligence tools and only detect radiation sources. If airplanes or rockets fly in radio silence mode, then for them they are simply invisible. Therefore, such RTS are used as aids in the air defense system.
    The peculiarity of the new developments that I wrote about is that they allow you to guaranteedly detect any targets by the reflected signal whether they radiate or not. Moreover, the greater the interference intensity, the better they work.
  16. Vikmay16
    Vikmay16 27 October 2013 01: 26
    0
    NATO against air defense has been grinding away for a long time! Their tactic is to bomb from the air or throw Tomahawks! They are very careful about losses! The new air defense system requires finance! Everything depends on money!