History UsefulNotes / WildWeasel

24th Mar '16 1:10:35 PM SSJMagus
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Then, somebody got a great idea for an anti-radiation missile (ARM): instead of the ''aircraft'' chasing down the radar site and having to find it, why not fit sensors into a missile that would seek out the strongest source of radar signals and home in on it? And thus, the [[AirLaunchedWeapons AGM-45 Shrike]] was born. The whole idea was that you could close in on the radar and launch your Shrike missiles without having to pinpoint its location; after the Shrike hits the radar, the Weasel and its wingmen follow up with rockets and bombs to make the site is well and truly dead. In practice, the Shrike was a bit of a letdown: its warhead was too small to do anything more than damaging the radar antenna (which was easily replaceable), its range was quite short (15 miles versus 30 miles for an SA-2), and each individual missile could only home in on one kind of radar per mission. Its biggest problem was that it only could attack an actively broadcasting radar: North Vietnamese SAM crews learned to turn off their radars when a Shrike was on the way, causing it to lose guidance, and turn it back on after the missile had gone wild. Nevertheless, the Shrike was useful enough and cheap enough that it became the primary tool of the Wild Weasel flights.

The Shrike was quickly followed up by the Navy-built AGM-78 Standard. These were bigger, faster, and--most importantly--had a function that allowed them to "remember" the location of a SAM site, so that they had a chance to hit even after the radar had shut down, albeit with reduced accuracy. However, they were much more expensive than the Shrike and much heavier--a given aircraft couldn't carry as many Standards as Shrikes. The AGM-78 was mainly used as a supplement to the AGM-45 in Vietnam.

to:

Then, somebody got a great idea for an anti-radiation missile (ARM): instead of the ''aircraft'' chasing down the radar site and having to find it, why not fit sensors into a missile that would seek out the strongest source of radar signals and home in on it? And thus, the [[AirLaunchedWeapons AGM-45 Shrike]] was born.born, produced by simply taking an AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missile and giving it the ARM seeker head. The whole idea was that you could close in on the radar and launch your Shrike missiles without having to pinpoint its location; after the Shrike hits the radar, the Weasel and its wingmen follow up with rockets and bombs to make the site is well and truly dead. In practice, the Shrike was a bit of a letdown: its warhead was too small to do anything more than damaging the radar antenna (which was easily replaceable), its range was quite short (15 miles versus 30 miles for an SA-2), and each individual missile could only home in on one kind of radar per mission. Its biggest problem was that it only could attack an actively broadcasting radar: North Vietnamese SAM crews learned to turn off their radars when a Shrike was on the way, causing it to lose guidance, and turn it back on after the missile had gone wild. Nevertheless, the Shrike was useful enough and cheap enough that it became the primary tool of the Wild Weasel flights.

The Shrike was quickly followed up by the Navy-built AGM-78 Standard.Standard ARM, a modification of their "Standard" family of sufrace-to-air missiles. These were bigger, faster, and--most importantly--had a function that allowed them to "remember" the location of a SAM site, so that they had a chance to hit even after the radar had shut down, albeit with reduced accuracy. However, they were much more expensive than the Shrike and much heavier--a given aircraft couldn't carry as many Standards as Shrikes. The AGM-78 was mainly used as a supplement to the AGM-45 in Vietnam.



For the US, the F-4G Wild Weasel-dedicated variant and the AGM-88 HARM, the successor to both the Shrike and the Standard, came into service, where they proved very deadly against Soviet-made [=SAMs=] in Libya and Iraq. As a measure of ''just'' how far the Wild Weasel mission has come since its birth, note that Baghdad's air defense system [[UsefulNotes/GulfWar in 1991]] was estimated to be ''triple'' the thickness of Hanoi's. [[TechnologyMarchesOn It was comprehensively smashed in a matter of weeks, thanks in no small part to new weapon systems like cruise missiles and the F-117 stealth fighter.]] The USAF is one of comparatively few services to maintain a dedicated Wild Weasel platform, the F-16CJ; most other air forces have taken the US Navy approach of fitting EW pods and antiradar missiles to multirole aircraft for the SEAD role.

to:

For the US, the F-4G Wild Weasel-dedicated variant and the AGM-88 HARM, HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile), the successor to both the Shrike and the Standard, came into service, where they proved very deadly against Soviet-made [=SAMs=] in Libya and Iraq. As a measure of ''just'' how far the Wild Weasel mission has come since its birth, note that Baghdad's air defense system [[UsefulNotes/GulfWar in 1991]] was estimated to be ''triple'' the thickness of Hanoi's. [[TechnologyMarchesOn It was comprehensively smashed in a matter of weeks, thanks in no small part to new weapon systems like cruise missiles and the F-117 stealth fighter.]] The USAF is one of comparatively few services to maintain a dedicated Wild Weasel platform, the F-16CJ; most other air forces have taken the US Navy approach of fitting EW pods and antiradar missiles to multirole aircraft for the SEAD role.
7th Aug '14 1:21:22 AM adbrown
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'''Wild Weasels''' are the aircraft crews who try to [[AirstrikeImpossible sniff out and kill enemy anti-aircraft defenses]] ahead of other air missions, as well as the pop-culture name for that mission. They show up in some flight sims and a few pieces of war literature, but not quite enough to be their own trope; nevertheless, while stories of fighters-versus-[=SAMs=] aren't ''quite'' as glamorous as hot fighter-on-fighter action (and thus gets way less exposure in popular culture), they're still a very important component of aerial warfare, not to mention an eternal part of the Vietnam War for pilots. In short, they handle {{Escort Mission}}s where the main threat is a MacrossMissileMassacre from surface-to-air missiles instead of enemy aircraft.

to:

'''Wild Weasels''' are the aircraft crews who try to [[AirstrikeImpossible sniff out and kill enemy anti-aircraft defenses]] ahead of other air missions, as well as the pop-culture name for that mission. [[note]]The name comes from the way weasels hunt, bouncing and "dancing" around their prey to confuse it, before making a kill. Also known as a "weasel war dance."[[/note]] They show up in some flight sims and a few pieces of war literature, but not quite enough to be their own trope; nevertheless, while stories of fighters-versus-[=SAMs=] aren't ''quite'' as glamorous as hot fighter-on-fighter action (and thus gets way less exposure in popular culture), they're still a very important component of aerial warfare, not to mention an eternal part of the Vietnam War for pilots. In short, they handle {{Escort Mission}}s where the main threat is a MacrossMissileMassacre from surface-to-air missiles instead of enemy aircraft.
3rd May '14 2:21:54 PM Kadorhal
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'''{{Wild Weasel}}s''' are the aircraft crews who try to [[AirstrikeImpossible sniff out and kill enemy anti-aircraft defenses]] ahead of other air missions, as well as the pop-culture name for that mission. They show up in some flight sims and a few pieces of war literature, but not quite enough to be their own trope; nevertheless, while stories of fighters-versus-[=SAMs=] aren't ''quite'' as glamorous as hot fighter-on-fighter action (and thus gets way less exposure in popular culture), they're still a very important component of aerial warfare, not to mention an eternal part of the Vietnam War for pilots. In short, they handle {{Escort Mission}}s where the main threat is a MacrossMissileMassacre from surface-to-air missiles instead of enemy aircraft.

to:

'''{{Wild Weasel}}s''' '''Wild Weasels''' are the aircraft crews who try to [[AirstrikeImpossible sniff out and kill enemy anti-aircraft defenses]] ahead of other air missions, as well as the pop-culture name for that mission. They show up in some flight sims and a few pieces of war literature, but not quite enough to be their own trope; nevertheless, while stories of fighters-versus-[=SAMs=] aren't ''quite'' as glamorous as hot fighter-on-fighter action (and thus gets way less exposure in popular culture), they're still a very important component of aerial warfare, not to mention an eternal part of the Vietnam War for pilots. In short, they handle {{Escort Mission}}s where the main threat is a MacrossMissileMassacre from surface-to-air missiles instead of enemy aircraft.
29th Apr '14 4:16:19 AM LongLiveHumour
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The whole purpose of surface-to-air missiles and guns is to deny the airspace immediately above and around the launcher to enemy forces. These are covered under ModernBattlefieldWeapons, but for the most part they fulfill the same role: to make life hell for bomber and fighter-bomber crews. As the YanksWithTanks learned during the VietnamWar, trying to bomb targets without first suppressing air defenses can lead to truly horrific loss ratios. The vast majority of US aircraft lost over 'Nam were to ground fire and strategic SAM batteries, in particular the feared [[ReportingNames SA-2 Guideline]], the most widely-deployed long-range SAM. Antiaircraft gunfire and most infrared-guided missiles like the SA-7 and the Redeye could be avoided by flying high enough (4,000 feet to avoid the worst of the small arms for a fast-moving fighter, and 20,000 feet was usually plenty to dodge the heavy AA guns), but that puts you right in the center of the engagement envelope for SA-2s--and, as a certain Francis Gary Powers learned, you can't outclimb a missile. Unless the SAM commander was especially careless, there was no way to stay out of their engagement envelope while attacking the high-value target they were guarding. What was worse, the strategic [=SAMs=] were often located far behind the front line, meaning that the [[TacticalRockPaperScissors traditional RTS counter]]--namely, a ground assault--could not be used. ([[NoTrueScotsman Besides,]] [[TheAce no self-respecting pilot]] [[InterserviceRivalry would allow himself to owe those smelly ground-pounders down in the mud any favors.]]) So the only way to reach those pesky SAM Sites was, you guessed it, aircraft. You know, [[OhCrap the very aircraft that the [=SAMs=] were designed to counter]].

to:

The whole purpose of surface-to-air missiles and guns is to deny the airspace immediately above and around the launcher to enemy forces. These are covered under ModernBattlefieldWeapons, but for the most part they fulfill the same role: to make life hell for bomber and fighter-bomber crews. As the YanksWithTanks UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks learned during the VietnamWar, UsefulNotes/VietnamWar, trying to bomb targets without first suppressing air defenses can lead to truly horrific loss ratios. The vast majority of US aircraft lost over 'Nam were to ground fire and strategic SAM batteries, in particular the feared [[ReportingNames SA-2 Guideline]], the most widely-deployed long-range SAM. Antiaircraft gunfire and most infrared-guided missiles like the SA-7 and the Redeye could be avoided by flying high enough (4,000 feet to avoid the worst of the small arms for a fast-moving fighter, and 20,000 feet was usually plenty to dodge the heavy AA guns), but that puts you right in the center of the engagement envelope for SA-2s--and, as a certain Francis Gary Powers learned, you can't outclimb a missile. Unless the SAM commander was especially careless, there was no way to stay out of their engagement envelope while attacking the high-value target they were guarding. What was worse, the strategic [=SAMs=] were often located far behind the front line, meaning that the [[TacticalRockPaperScissors traditional RTS counter]]--namely, a ground assault--could not be used. ([[NoTrueScotsman Besides,]] [[TheAce no self-respecting pilot]] [[InterserviceRivalry would allow himself to owe those smelly ground-pounders down in the mud any favors.]]) So the only way to reach those pesky SAM Sites was, you guessed it, aircraft. You know, [[OhCrap the very aircraft that the [=SAMs=] were designed to counter]].



For the US, the F-4G Wild Weasel-dedicated variant and the AGM-88 HARM, the successor to both the Shrike and the Standard, came into service, where they proved very deadly against Soviet-made [=SAMs=] in Libya and Iraq. As a measure of ''just'' how far the Wild Weasel mission has come since its birth, note that Baghdad's air defense system [[GulfWar in 1991]] was estimated to be ''triple'' the thickness of Hanoi's. [[TechnologyMarchesOn It was comprehensively smashed in a matter of weeks, thanks in no small part to new weapon systems like cruise missiles and the F-117 stealth fighter.]] The USAF is one of comparatively few services to maintain a dedicated Wild Weasel platform, the F-16CJ; most other air forces have taken the US Navy approach of fitting EW pods and antiradar missiles to multirole aircraft for the SEAD role.

to:

For the US, the F-4G Wild Weasel-dedicated variant and the AGM-88 HARM, the successor to both the Shrike and the Standard, came into service, where they proved very deadly against Soviet-made [=SAMs=] in Libya and Iraq. As a measure of ''just'' how far the Wild Weasel mission has come since its birth, note that Baghdad's air defense system [[GulfWar [[UsefulNotes/GulfWar in 1991]] was estimated to be ''triple'' the thickness of Hanoi's. [[TechnologyMarchesOn It was comprehensively smashed in a matter of weeks, thanks in no small part to new weapon systems like cruise missiles and the F-117 stealth fighter.]] The USAF is one of comparatively few services to maintain a dedicated Wild Weasel platform, the F-16CJ; most other air forces have taken the US Navy approach of fitting EW pods and antiradar missiles to multirole aircraft for the SEAD role.
26th Sep '13 8:28:16 PM Doryna
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So, in 1965, the US Air Force authorised a special unit of aircraft and aircrew to tackle this mission. Flying two-seater F-100F fighter-bombers, they marked the first time in the history of aerial warfare where aircraft had to seek out and neutralize the threat of surface-to-air missiles like the [[ReportingNames SA-2 Guideline]]. The F-100 proved unsuitable and was replaced successively by the F-105G Thunderchief and the F-4E Phantom, two of the most iconic Vietnam-era aircraft (the Navy used A-4 Skyhawks and A-6B Intruders to cover their own strikes). At the start, the aircraft had to perform two missions: "Iron Hand" to suppress enemy radar sites (by launching Shrike missiles and forcing them to stay off the air) and "Wild Weasel" to seek out and kill the missile batteries themselves. As time went by, both terms were [[PopCulturalOsmosis merged under the Wild Weasel name]]; technically, the ''mission'' is called "SEAD", for "'''S'''uppression of '''E'''nemy '''A'''ir '''D'''efenses", while the ''planes'' are called "Wild Weasels", after the very aggressive predator that would chase its prey into its den if it had to[[hottip:*: They were originally going to call the whole thing "Project Ferret", but [[OlderThanTheyThink that name was already taken by a World War II project for countering air defenses, in this case bombers carrying ECM and Chaff]]. The first Weasel "kill" came in December 1965, as recounted [[http://edefense.blogspot.com/2005/11/in-their-own-words-8-eleven-stories.html in the pilot's own words]].

to:

So, in 1965, the US Air Force authorised a special unit of aircraft and aircrew to tackle this mission. Flying two-seater F-100F fighter-bombers, they marked the first time in the history of aerial warfare where aircraft had to seek out and neutralize the threat of surface-to-air missiles like the [[ReportingNames SA-2 Guideline]]. The F-100 proved unsuitable and was replaced successively by the F-105G Thunderchief and the F-4E Phantom, two of the most iconic Vietnam-era aircraft (the Navy used A-4 Skyhawks and A-6B Intruders to cover their own strikes). At the start, the aircraft had to perform two missions: "Iron Hand" to suppress enemy radar sites (by launching Shrike missiles and forcing them to stay off the air) and "Wild Weasel" to seek out and kill the missile batteries themselves. As time went by, both terms were [[PopCulturalOsmosis merged under the Wild Weasel name]]; technically, the ''mission'' is called "SEAD", for "'''S'''uppression of '''E'''nemy '''A'''ir '''D'''efenses", while the ''planes'' are called "Wild Weasels", after the very aggressive predator that would chase its prey into its den if it had to[[hottip:*: They to[[note]]They were originally going to call the whole thing "Project Ferret", but [[OlderThanTheyThink that name was already taken by a World War II project for countering air defenses, in this case bombers carrying ECM and Chaff]]. The first Weasel "kill" came in December 1965, as recounted [[http://edefense.blogspot.com/2005/11/in-their-own-words-8-eleven-stories.html in the pilot's own words]].
words[[/note]].
15th Sep '13 4:39:14 AM demonfiren
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!!Exploiting the Terrain: GeoEffects [[InSpace IN THE AIR!]]

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!!Exploiting the Terrain: GeoEffects [[InSpace [[RecycledInSpace IN THE AIR!]]
27th Dec '12 6:04:14 AM Nohbody
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<<|MilitaryAndWarfareTropes|>>
<<|UsefulNotes|>>

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\n<<|MilitaryAndWarfareTropes|>>\n<<|UsefulNotes|>>----
4th Oct '12 4:58:24 AM AFP
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So, in 1965, the US Air Force authorised a special unit of aircraft and aircrew to tackle this mission. Flying two-seater F-100F fighter-bombers, they marked the first time in the history of aerial warfare where aircraft had to seek out and neutralize the threat of surface-to-air missiles like the [[ReportingNames SA-2 Guideline]]. The F-100 proved unsuitable and was replaced successively by the F-105G Thunderchief and the F-4E Phantom, two of the most iconic Vietnam-era aircraft (the Navy used A-4 Skyhawks and A-6B Intruders to cover their own strikes). At the start, the aircraft had to perform two missions: "Iron Hand" to suppress enemy radar sites (by launching Shrike missiles and forcing them to stay off the air) and "Wild Weasel" to seek out and kill the missile batteries themselves. As time went by, both terms were [[PopCulturalOsmosis merged under the Wild Weasel name]]; technically, the ''mission'' is called "SEAD", for "'''S'''uppression of '''E'''nemy '''A'''ir '''D'''efenses", while the ''planes'' are called "Wild Weasels", after the very aggressive predator that would chase its prey into its den if it had to. The first Weasel "kill" came in December 1965, as recounted [[http://edefense.blogspot.com/2005/11/in-their-own-words-8-eleven-stories.html in the pilot's own words]].

to:

So, in 1965, the US Air Force authorised a special unit of aircraft and aircrew to tackle this mission. Flying two-seater F-100F fighter-bombers, they marked the first time in the history of aerial warfare where aircraft had to seek out and neutralize the threat of surface-to-air missiles like the [[ReportingNames SA-2 Guideline]]. The F-100 proved unsuitable and was replaced successively by the F-105G Thunderchief and the F-4E Phantom, two of the most iconic Vietnam-era aircraft (the Navy used A-4 Skyhawks and A-6B Intruders to cover their own strikes). At the start, the aircraft had to perform two missions: "Iron Hand" to suppress enemy radar sites (by launching Shrike missiles and forcing them to stay off the air) and "Wild Weasel" to seek out and kill the missile batteries themselves. As time went by, both terms were [[PopCulturalOsmosis merged under the Wild Weasel name]]; technically, the ''mission'' is called "SEAD", for "'''S'''uppression of '''E'''nemy '''A'''ir '''D'''efenses", while the ''planes'' are called "Wild Weasels", after the very aggressive predator that would chase its prey into its den if it had to.to[[hottip:*: They were originally going to call the whole thing "Project Ferret", but [[OlderThanTheyThink that name was already taken by a World War II project for countering air defenses, in this case bombers carrying ECM and Chaff]]. The first Weasel "kill" came in December 1965, as recounted [[http://edefense.blogspot.com/2005/11/in-their-own-words-8-eleven-stories.html in the pilot's own words]].
7th Apr '12 2:58:35 PM slvstrChung
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The whole purpose of surface-to-air missiles and guns is to deny the airspace immediately above and around the launcher to enemy forces. These are covered under ModernBattlefieldWeapons, but for the most part they fulfill the same role: to make life hell for bomber and fighter-bomber crews. As the US learned over Vietnam in the 1960s, trying to bomb targets without suppressing air defenses first can lead to truly horrific loss ratios. The vast majority of US aircraft lost in the VietnamWar was due to ground fire and strategic SAM batteries, in particular the feared [[ReportingNames SA-2 Guideline]], the most widely-deployed long-range SAM. Antiaircraft gunfire and most infrared-guided missiles like the SA-7 and the Redeye could be avoided by flying high enough (4,000 feet to avoid the worst of the small arms for a fast-moving figher, and 20,000 feet was usually plenty to dodge the heavy AA guns), but that puts you right in the center of the engagement envelope for SA-2s--and as a certain Francis Gary Powers learned, you can't outclimb a missile. Unless the SAM commander was especially careless, there was no way to stay out of their engagement envelope while attacking the high-value target they were guarding. What was worse, the strategic [=SAMs=] were often located far behind the front line, meaning that the [[TacticalRockPaperScissors traditional RTS counter]]--namely, a ground assault--could not be used. ([[NoTrueScotsman Besides,]] [[TheAce no self-respecting pilot]] [[InterserviceRivalry would allow himself to owe those smelly ground-pounders down in the mud any favors.]]) So the only way to reach those pesky SAM Sites was, you guessed it, aircraft. You know, [[OhCrap the very aircraft that the [=SAMs=] were designed to counter]].

to:

The whole purpose of surface-to-air missiles and guns is to deny the airspace immediately above and around the launcher to enemy forces. These are covered under ModernBattlefieldWeapons, but for the most part they fulfill the same role: to make life hell for bomber and fighter-bomber crews. As the US YanksWithTanks learned over Vietnam in during the 1960s, VietnamWar, trying to bomb targets without first suppressing air defenses first can lead to truly horrific loss ratios. The vast majority of US aircraft lost in the VietnamWar was due over 'Nam were to ground fire and strategic SAM batteries, in particular the feared [[ReportingNames SA-2 Guideline]], the most widely-deployed long-range SAM. Antiaircraft gunfire and most infrared-guided missiles like the SA-7 and the Redeye could be avoided by flying high enough (4,000 feet to avoid the worst of the small arms for a fast-moving figher, fighter, and 20,000 feet was usually plenty to dodge the heavy AA guns), but that puts you right in the center of the engagement envelope for SA-2s--and SA-2s--and, as a certain Francis Gary Powers learned, you can't outclimb a missile. Unless the SAM commander was especially careless, there was no way to stay out of their engagement envelope while attacking the high-value target they were guarding. What was worse, the strategic [=SAMs=] were often located far behind the front line, meaning that the [[TacticalRockPaperScissors traditional RTS counter]]--namely, a ground assault--could not be used. ([[NoTrueScotsman Besides,]] [[TheAce no self-respecting pilot]] [[InterserviceRivalry would allow himself to owe those smelly ground-pounders down in the mud any favors.]]) So the only way to reach those pesky SAM Sites was, you guessed it, aircraft. You know, [[OhCrap the very aircraft that the [=SAMs=] were designed to counter]].
3rd Oct '11 12:06:31 PM FordPrefect
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As with most things in modern combat, the advantages are all with the attackers. Even assuming that you have no knowledge of a SAM sites location and have no ability to kill it from safe range wild weasel missions are not as dangerous as they once were. Stealth technology allows planes to get into position with decreased risk, and improved on board computers allows for faster tracking and combined with smarter missiles, the ability to strike at targets even when radars are off.

to:

As with most things in modern combat, the advantages are all with the attackers. Even assuming that you have no knowledge of a SAM sites site's location and have no ability to kill it from safe range range, wild weasel missions are not as dangerous as they once were. Stealth technology allows planes to get into position with decreased risk, and improved on board on-board computers allows for faster tracking and combined (combined with smarter missiles, missiles) the ability to strike at targets even when radars are off.
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