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From: (Stephen M. Ryan)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: B-1B's Potential
Date: 25 Jan 1996 02:57:42 GMT
Distribution: world

Harold Hutchison ( wrote:
: 	B-52s nowadays are limited to standoff crusie missile strikes. 
: Anything else, and you'd better consider that plane a goner if ONE
: thing goes wrong.

This comment more properly applies to the B-1B, not the B-52.  The B-52
flew hundreds of sorties in Desert Storm (44% of bombs dropped by US
forces were from the 70 deployed B-52Gs) in high-threat areas.  Our ECM
works, for one thing, which is why the B-52 was not relegated to stand-off
strikes, and secondly, the plane is tough enough to sustain damage and
return to base.  For example, during the 2nd night of the war, during a
low-level strike, one BUFF had the tail gun turret shot completely off the
airplane, yet the plane returned safely to Jeddah.  MANY things can go
wrong, but the BUFF can complete the job.  Unless you are a truly stealthy
airplane like the B-2 or F-117, ECM and tactics are all you have left once
you're in radar range.  The B-52 still has the best and most comprehensive
ECM suite of any US combat plane, and you should not discount it so
quickly. Despite the comments from the Bone fans here, the ECM has not
been fixed: the standard of what was "acceptable" was changed because the
Air Force knows they will never get the money to fix it, or even patch it
with B-52 systems. 

Speed at low altitude is only good when they don't know you're coming.  
Ask a Tornado driver--they were slaughtered when the Iraqis figured out 
where they were going.  A Bone is a bigger target, so I have no doubts 
about what would happen if B-1s were used in a Desert Storm type scenario 
with sustained combat ops.  The first one gets across the target, and the 
rest are toast.  The B-1 would probably do fine in the lone-penetrator 
nuclear strike scenario it was built for, but it needs something more to 
conduct multi-ship conventional ops.

Steve Ryan

From: (Stephen M. Ryan)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: B-1B's potential
Date: 2 Mar 1996 15:51:48 GMT

Maury Markowitz ( wrote:
: In article <4h7a74$>,
: (Stephen M. Ryan) wrote:

: > "ENTIRELY" is inaccurate--B-52s in DS struck (and destroyed :^)) strategic
: > targets on several occasions.  POL facilities, SCUD factories, baby-milk
: > facto---er, I mean, biological/chem warfare facilities, and other similar
: > large-area strategic targets.

:   Sorry, you'll have to back this up.  I know of no operations into the
: "heart" of Iraq by B-52's.  The "baby-milk factory" didn't seem to be hit
: by B-52's when I saw the news, and I'm sorry, but the Iraqi's don't have
: any SCUD factories.

Not anymore, anyway.  How do you think they built the Al-Hussein mod?
I am assuming, of course, that what we were told we were striking was 
what we were striking--I think it's safe to do so.

:   Unless you can back this up, I don't think I'm ready to believe this
: claim.  I have never seen claims the B-52 was employed in this fashion in
: DS before.

What do you want? I didn't snap any pictures while I was there.  Maybe 
half of our sorties were Republican Guard-type sorties, the rest were 
strategic-type fixed targets as I described above.  I'm sure someone out 
there can back me up on this.  Think about it--if you have a munitions 
plant spread out over 10 acres, what is the best way to destroy it? 
100 fighters or a 9 B-52s?

The first 4-5 days, the BUFFS from Diego Garcia flew in low-level and 
struck airfields, bridges, etc.  The first shots of the war were the 
B-52s from Barksdale firing their CALCMs at Iraq's power plants.  Seems 
pretty strategic to me.

It was a major goal to destroy Iraq's weapon-production facilities of all 
types--these are not little targets, and were suited for B-52s.  On the 
sorties near Bagdahd, the F-4Gs were right there with us for SAM 
suppression, and of course, we had our own considerable ECM ability.
Steve Ryan

From: (Stephen M. Ryan)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: B-1B's potential
Date: 4 Mar 1996 15:36:39 GMT

Maury Markowitz ( wrote:
: In article <4hdcu4$>,
: (Stephen M. Ryan) wrote:

: > The Al-Hussein version of the SCUD was built by Iraq.

:   The Al-Hussein was not built in Iraq, but modified versions of the
: SCUD-B.  Why do you think they kept breaking in half?

I think we may be using different terms--I believe the Iraqis were the
ones doing the modification of the SCUD-B, which requires someplace to do

:> Yes, I was.  In fact, all of the foregoing comes from from personal 
:> experience, which is why I don't have a book source to cite from for 
:> you. 

:   Should have said that in the first place!

Sorry, I thought using my personal pronouns was sufficient.  I was also
was under the impression you knew because we have exchanged e-mail on the
subject of Iraqi AAA before. I will be more precise next time, and won't 
assume so much. :^)

: > I sorry this goes against your notions of what aB-52 is good for or 
: > capable of. 

:   Actually, if you think about it, it rather helps my argument.  If you
: read back about a week you'll find me stating that the B-1's penetration
: abilities, whether they existed or not, may not be required.  I used
: examples of F-15E, Tornado and F-11 carrying out missions in areas that
: people were saying only the B-1 or B-2 could go into.  My point (diluted
: though it was) was that a lot of reasons for the continued upgrading of
: the B-1 didn't make as much sense when you considered this

:   I never imagined they'd use the B-52 for the same thing!  If the buff
: can fly deep into the heart of Iraq even before the air defences were
: completely shot away, why do we need more expensive planes to fill the
: same roll? 

It depends on the air defenses, and it would not have been practical but
for the B-52's self-protection capability.  The Iraqi air defenses were no
longer integrated after the first week, so it was a question of avoiding
individual SAM sites (which kept moving, also).  The biggest threat (given
the B-52's capability against most of Iraq's SAM and AAA radars) was the
potential for interception by fighters.  We had F-15 escort for that, and
on one occasion, F-14 escort.  F-4Gs usually came along or were in the
same area, because they were anxious to kill more SAMs, and a B-52 is
irresistable bait. 

After the air defenses were no longer integrated, flying high altitude was
more practical, because everyone with some kind of gun couldn't hit you as
you flew by, like they could at 300 feet. It also meant daytime sorties,
making B-52 sorties available around the clock. 

: > As for the CALCM sorties firing the first shots--that was not 
: > declassified until over a year after the fact.  The CALCMs were still 
: > secret and the US was worried about possible START conflicts (because 
: > they are indistinguishable in appearance from the nuclear version).  The 
: > B-52s from Barksdale

:   Ohhh, I have heard of these missions, but I was under the impression
: that initial radar defence suppression was already well underway at the
: time.  I believe this was the only mission of the type carried out,
: correct?

Yes--they did strike power plants before or simultaneously with the other 
raids.  I believe 7 B-52s launched a total of 49 missiles.  

: > If you depend on r.a.m. or books about the Gulf War for your info, you 
: > are not going to find much on the B-52--the fighters are much more 
: > exciting to the press and public, apparently.  And the USAF prefers to 
: > emphasize the contributions of the newer weapons.

:   Perhaps, but perhaps it was also because these weapons and planes give
: better film for CNN?

You're right about the film, but there are political sensitivities as
well.  It is difficult to get permission from our allies to operate B-52s
out of their countries because of the "nuclear" image of the B-52.  In
fact, we were told to keep quiet about Diego Garcia (which had to be one
of the worst kept secrets of the war) even months afterward.  This is
strange, given the B-52s also flew out of RAF Fairford. The Saudis would
not let B-52s on their soil until the war started, and 7 BUFFs from Diego
Garcia recovered into Jeddah the first night.  The B-52 aircrews had been
there for a couple of weeks, but had to wait to get airplanes until the
war was on.  And personally, I think the Air Force may be sensitive to
their reliance on the old B-52 while the new B-1 stayed home--hard to
explain to the laymen that pay the taxes.

Steve Ryan

From: (Stephen M. Ryan)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: B-1B's potential
Date: 8 Mar 1996 02:42:20 GMT

Ken Koller ( wrote:

: This is the same sort of mission that the B-52 performed in DS, massive 
: carpet bombing, especially with cluster bombs on RG troops. The B-1 is 
: well suited for this type of role, carrying hundreds of CBUs in to a 
: target area and letting loose. Basically a high speed dumptruck.

I hate to keep saying this, but I can't help it.  "Carpet bombing" is
inaccurate and definitely not what B-52s did in DS.  We bombed _targets_,
not a selected grid area, as was the case in Ranch Hand or Arc Light
missions in SEA.  Some of the bomb trains the B-52D laid down were seven
miles long! Those could be called carpet bombing because there was usually
no specific target.  In DS, the bomb train was about 3000 feet.  We had
something to aim at in DS, whether it be troops (tanks and such in the
desert show up nicely on radar), buildings, etc.  Only the press, in their
ignorance, referred to it as carpet bombing. 

OK, now I feel better.

Steve Ryan

From: (Stephen M. Ryan)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Prowlers
Date: 13 Jun 1996 11:55:13 GMT wrote:

: In Article<4pl5rr$>, <> 
: write:
: > I can tell you that when we were doing interoperability stuff and ECM
: > testing at Edwards AFB, we had severe restrictions on when/how long we
: > could use the jamming stuff on the B-52.  Used to hear stories from the
: > "crew dogs" about how every once in a while they'd fire up the ECM
: > stuff and play hell with the local TV stations during late night
: > missions!!

We "fired up the ECM stuff" on every flight right after the flaps came up. 
Called it an "electronic calibration and interference check."  Of course,
there was a big list of restricted frequencies to avoid with noise
jamming--anyone who intentionally "played hell" with the local TV freqs
would have been easily identified ("who was on the flight schedule last
night?") and the unit Stan/Eval would have dutifully delivered the
unfortunate EWO an AF Form 8 with a big "U" (for Unsat) on it.  Not good 
for advancement.

: I talked to some of the EWOs who flew in Desert Storm.  They told me that they
: received clearance to use their big jammers once during the conflict.  
: Apparently, they blanked out so much of the EM spectrum that no one could get
: a hold of them to tell them to stop.  After that, they weren't allowed to play
: with the really neat toys.

The only jammers we didn't use were the comm jammers.  It would be stupid 
to jam comm when you and everyone else needs to talk to AWACs and the 
rest of the strike package.  Our need for coordination was greater than 
the need to keep the Iraqis from talking (besides, there were other 
specialized a/c better suited to the delicate task of selective comm 

Steve Ryan

From: (Stephen M. Ryan)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: DS, B-52s & ALCM (Was: Air War in the Falklands)
Date: 18 Jun 1996 11:58:40 GMT

funkraum ( wrote:

: I recall some BBC journalists speculating on the B-52 siteing in the
: UK: The mentioned that the other airfields were chokka with all kinds
: of other aircraft and none had anything like the spare capacity to
: house the 'fleet-train' that supports B-52 ops.

: Admittedly all the B-52s would need was some fuel and a windshield
: wash before heading for home, but there seems to be a strong
: possibility that ground crews were overstretched.

There was plenty of room at Jeddah.  Half of the 17 B-52s launched from
Diego Garcia recovered at Jeddah the first night, where more B-52 aircrews
and maintenance troops were waiting to begin constant combat ops.  More
B-52s arrived in the comming days.  Whatever the reason was for the
Barksdale BUFFs not recovering there, it was not a lack of space or ground
crews.  I suspect it is because the AGM-86C was classified, and they
wanted to take any malfunctioning birds back home.  The CALCM remained
classified until 1992, so there is something to this. 

Steve Ryan

From: (Stephen M. Ryan)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: High Altitude Deliveries (Was: Beating Durandel and JP233)
Date: 13 Jun 1996 12:17:13 GMT

Woody ( wrote:
: >>           Not a problem if you are a B-52 rippling off 40 or 50 
: >> weapons.

: Just a nit-pick, but B-52's drop a LOT more than 40 or 50 Mk-82's more 
: like 120.  (I'm sure some BUFF guy will put out the exact number later.)

A B-52G/H can carry 45 MK82 or M117 if equipped with HSABs (Heavy Stores
Adapter Beams); 51 Mk82 or M117 if equipped with conventional wing racks. 
In either case, 27 weapons can be carried internally.  I believe you were
thinking of the B-52D with the Big Belly mod--it could carry 108 MK82,
IIRC.  None of those left in the inventory since about 1983 or so. 

Steve Ryan

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