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Low Slow Flyer Intercept Air Defense Problems


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In the days after 9/11 it became apparent we had problems dealing with low slow flyers.  Through the years there have been several suggestions on how to deal with the issue.  For a while it was even suggested the Light Attack fleet would offer a solution. 

Over the past few weeks there have been NUMEROUS TFR violations around the county and Live ATC has recorded many of the interactions.  I listened to a few the past few days and it appears we still have issues.  Without ATC we would have a very difficult time finding and in some cases maintaining contact. 

 

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Is it an issue that needs to be dealt with in the first place?  Is a lost 182 worthy of spending national defense treasures?  Even with malicious intent (which usually is not present in these TFR/airspace clowns), how much damage are they really going to cause?

A 172 crashed into a building in Tampa.  Killed the pilot and burned some fancy fake leather office chairs, but that was about it.  If Noble 12 had been in Tampa, would he have actually shot the 172 down before he crashed into the building?  I don't believe he would have, so then why bother launching even a AT-6?  Similarly with the GWB dude, is our kill chain going to actually make a cognizant choice, weighing the collateral damage of airplane parts raining on Manhattan, PID, and shoot him down before he crashes into something?  I don't think so and I think we're wasting a lot of time pretending we have "active air defense."

Edited by nunya
spelling iz hard
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19 minutes ago, nunya said:

Is it an issue that needs to be dealt with in the first place?  Is a lost 182 worthy of spending national defense treasures?  Even with malicious intent (which usually is not present in these TFR/airspace clowns), how much damage are they really going to cause?

A 172 crashed into a building in Tampa.  Killed the pilot and burned some fancy fake leather office chairs, but that was about it.  If Noble 12 had been in Tampa, would he have actually shot the 172 down before he crashed into the building?  I don't believe he would have, so then why bother launching even a AT-6?  Similarly with the GWB dude, is our kill chain going to actually make a cognizant choice, weighing the collateral damage of airplane parts raining on Manhattan, PID, and shoot him down before he crashes into something?  I don't think so and I think we're wasting a lot of time pretending we have "active air defense."

A 172 with 50 gallons of AVGAS might not be a problem but a Bonaza with 500 pounds of explosives in a TFR is most certainly a threat.  Whether it be the President hanging out at Camp David or a stadium full of people there is a real threat IMHO.

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So how do we know who’s a threat? I constantly see new stories of small planes being intercepted but that’s as far as it goes. Not that I think they should all get shout out of the sky…..

Edited by skybert
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10 hours ago, skybert said:

So how do we know who’s a threat? I constantly see new stories of small planes being intercepted but that’s as far as it goes. Not that I think they should all get shout out of the sky…..

Not an easy problem to solve, most of the people intercepted are stooging along VFR when they bust into a TFR because they didn't check the NOTAMs or do any preflight planning.

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5 hours ago, nunya said:

Similarly with the GWB dude, is our kill chain going to actually make a cognizant choice, weighing the collateral damage of airplane parts raining on Manhattan, PID, and shoot him down before he crashes into something?  I don't think so and I think we're wasting a lot of time pretending we have "active air defense."

If you have the opportunity I would read some of the CJCS CCIRs for them on SIPR. There have been some intercepts that are illuminating to say the least.

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Scorpion jet with stingers vice sidewinders
Your welcome America



Do we want security or not?
Do we want capabilities or not?
Not everything has to a gold plated 300 million dollar jet burning thru 40k an hour.


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Unless you have a bunch of them in the air at once, you’ll run into a problem with the intercept timeline. 
 

An AT-6 can’t go from one side of the TFR to the other fast enough. If you expand the TFR to give more time, you just make the problem worse. 
 

I suppose you could have 4 in the CAP at once all 90 out from each other, but now you’re somewhat defeating the purpose of cost benefits depending on what the replacement cost is. 

Edited by UPT-hopeful
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5 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Scorpion jet with stingers vice sidewinders
Your welcome America
 

 


Do we want security or not?
Do we want capabilities or not?
Not everything has to a gold plated 300 million dollar jet burning thru 40k an hour.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Then you're going to have the look-down and clutter issues against the faint IR signature of a single exhaust stack of a GA aircraft. A problem that can be worked but it will definitely decrease the Pk. Not that the 9X doesn't have those issues either (*cough FM33*).

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Then you're going to have the look-down and clutter issues against the faint IR signature of a single exhaust stack of a GA aircraft. A problem that can be worked but it will definitely decrease the Pk. Not that the 9X doesn't have those issues either (*cough FM33*).

Potentially but there are tech solutions that can probably mitigate or solve issues involving the slow low signature nature of the target
Raytheon has a radar that seems ideal for Scorpion:

https://www.raytheonintelligenceandspace.com/news/advisories/raytheon-intelligence-space-launches-new-compact-aesa-radar-any-platform?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=AIRDOM&utm_content=_AFA&utm_id=55388813175538883177140&linkId=132696991

Get a software feature to synch the radar and MX-20 sensor and now you got vis ID at 15+ NM easy
Out of range of the aforementioned Stinger but that level capability (sensors and speed) would give the ability to scan and secure a typical TFR in an affordable platform

Choir preaching but the sermon continues


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Honest question: is this enough of a threat/issue that it warrants not funding something that's applicable to the high end fight/peer fight?  Not saying that funding issues always need to be an either/or but I'd venture a guess that our defense budgets will be flat to slightly decreasing going forward. 

   For external VEO actors looking to execute the above scenario, is the vast increase in various intelligence collection and fusion (admittedly improvements in the second area is easily debatable) to ID/foil these types of attacks not enough of a defense?  Then we still have the current alert commitment for the worst case scenario (not a pointy nosed guy so I can't speak at all to prosecuting an intercept against C-172 with an F-15/16).     

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36 minutes ago, DirkDiggler said:

Honest question: is this enough of a threat/issue that it warrants not funding something that's applicable to the high end fight/peer fight?  Not saying that funding issues always need to be an either/or but I'd venture a guess that our defense budgets will be flat to slightly decreasing going forward. 

   For external VEO actors looking to execute the above scenario, is the vast increase in various intelligence collection and fusion (admittedly improvements in the second area is easily debatable) to ID/foil these types of attacks not enough of a defense?  Then we still have the current alert commitment for the worst case scenario (not a pointy nosed guy so I can't speak at all to prosecuting an intercept against C-172 with an F-15/16).     

The capability to defend sovereign airspace and the capability to protect national and foreign heads of state is central to upholding a state's claim to sovereignty. So yes, I would say it is enough of a threat/issue. The problem is what is the appropriate level of commitment. 

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2 minutes ago, FLEA said:

The capability to defend sovereign airspace and the capability to protect national and foreign heads of state is central to upholding a state's claim to sovereignty. So yes, I would say it is enough of a threat/issue. The problem is what is the appropriate level of commitment. 

I'd fall back to the question, is the current air defense commitment not/no longer adequate based on threat?  And check me on this but isn't the -15EX supposed to be re-capping the Guard/Reserve fighter units that operate the oldest 15/16s?  Understand that those are still swapping high end for high(er) end aircraft but MX rates should be much increased.

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2 hours ago, DirkDiggler said:

I'd fall back to the question, is the current air defense commitment not/no longer adequate based on threat?

A lot more to worry about than VBIED 172s…not saying it’s not a threat, but saying we’re fine with what we have to counter that threat. Discussing some new airplane to fly ACA is pissing into the wind. 

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