Gripens penetrating Petersburg

This is instalment two of the HX FRP scenarios. It is a deep strike/OCA/interdiction mission into Neva and Tver. You can read the basic info from the link before. Also, SAAB’s bid had two SAAB’s “mini awacs” type of planes. The Global Eye (you can read more wikipedia HERE) is indeed a gamechanger for Finnish Airforce that has relied on command centers in deep rock and ground based radars. Also SAAB brings into the table the AREXIS-jamming pod. In truth jamming pods are not really anything new, (And can be taken aboard in any HX candidates in all probability)

The Global Eye will indeed be a big factor in defensive and offensive counter air, but in this kind of deep strike/interdiction the value is less, but not insignificant.

GlobalEye 1 Hugin, will take off with fighter escort (two fourships) prior to the raid for AWACS/EW capabilities. Protection elements fly behind and before Hugin out 100km and 50 km east at 15km height.

  • AWACS/EW patrol (Staying in Finland, approximately 150km from border @ 7km) From KAUHAVA AFB
    • HUGIN GlobalEye AWACS/EW
    • CAP N 4xGripen E with 2x 450 Gal droptanks, 6x METEOR, 2x IRIS-T,
    • CAP S 4xGripen E with 2x 450 Gal droptanks, 6x METEOR, 2x IRIS-T,
Hugin and protection

Strike packages will be as follows:

  • Strike package west St. Petersburg (From Kymi about 200km out, low-low-low, Gripen E )
    • Strike lead: 2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-121, AREXIS (tunnel)
    • NO 2:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109 ( N ring way west bridge)
    • NO 3:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109, AREXIS (N ring way east Bridge)
    • NO 4:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109  (Highway bridge)
  • Strike package middle St Petersburg
    • Strike lead 2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109, AREXIS (Blagoveshchenskiy)
    • NO 2:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109 (Dvortsovyy)
    • NO 3:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109, AREXIS (Trotskiy)
    • NO 4:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109 (Litenyy and Tulskaja)
  • Strike Package south St Petersburg
    • Strike lead 2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109, AREXIS (Litenyy)
    • NO 2:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109, (Aleksandra Nevskogo)
    • NO 3:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR , Litening G III, 2X JDAM BLU-109 2xJDAM BLU-117, AREXIS (Railway bridge)
    • NO 4:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR, 4X JDAM BLU-117 (Railway bridge)
  • Strike package Neva
    • Strike lead 2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109, AREXIS (Narodnaja)
    • NO 2:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 4X JDAM BLU-109 (KAD)
    • NO 3:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 2X JDAM BLU-109, 2x JDAM BLU-117, AREXIS (KAD and Kuzminka RW)
    • NO 4:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR , Litening G III , 4X Paveway BLU-109 (M-18)
  • Strike package Svir (Onttola,  med-low-med 350km out Gripen E )
    • Strike lead 2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR , Litening G III, 2X JDAM BLU-109 2X Paveway BLU-109 (M-18 and Railway bridge)
    • NO 2:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR , 4X JDAM BLU-109, AREXIS
    • NO 3:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 2X JDAM BLU-111
    • NO 4:  2x IRIS-T, 4x METEOR 2X JDAM BLU-109, AREXIS
  • Combat air patrol north 1 (Rovaniemi hi-hi-hi) (Gripen E)
    • CAP lead 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 2, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 3, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 4, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
  • Combat air patrol east 1 (Kuopio, hi-hi-hi)
    • CAP lead 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 2, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 3, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 4, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
  • Combat air patrol east 2 (Kuopio, hi-hi-hi)
    • CAP lead 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 2, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 3, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 4, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
  • Combat air patrol south 1 (Vantaa, hi-hi-hi)
    • CAP lead 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 2, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 3, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
    • NO 4, 2xIRIS-T, 8xMETEOR, 2×290 Gal tank
Flights to Karelia as part of deep strike.
  • Wild Weasel South lo-lo-lo from Vantaa (Gripen F+E)
    • Wild Weasel lead 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS-EAJP, 290 gal tank
    • NO 2 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS, 290 gal tank
    • NO 3 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS-EAJP, 290 gal tank
    • NO 4 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, RecceLite, 290 gal tank
  • Wild Weasel North (lo-lo-lo) from Kajaani
    • Wild Weasel lead 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS-EAJP, 290 gal tank
    • NO 2 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS, 290 gal tank
    • NO 3 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS-EAJP, 290 gal tank
    • NO 4 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, RecceLite, 290 gal tank
  • Wild Weasel Middle 1 (lo-lo-lo) from Kuopio
    • Wild Weasel lead 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS-EAJP, 290 gal tank
    • NO 2 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS, 290 gal tank
    • NO 3 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS-EAJP, 290 gal tank
    • NO 4 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, RecceLite, 290 gal tank
  • Wild Weasel Middle 2 (lo-lo-lo) from Kuopio
    • Wild Weasel lead 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS-EAJP, 290 gal tank
    • NO 2 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS-hi, 290 gal tank
    • NO 3 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, AREXIS-EAJP, 290 gal tank
    • NO 4 2xIRIS-T, 4xMETEOR, 8xSPEAR EW, RecceLite, 290 gal tank

Notes. I do not know if SPEAR EW will be part of HX offering, but it would seem as a logical choise because MBDA is the European weapon provider. I’m not privy to any information about the HX program, but relatively light SPEAR 3 EW would fill the bill for SEAD/DEAD weapon for Gripen as well. In so far as the four position launch rails can be integrated to space available.

Conclusion: Global Eye gives FAF opportunity of going about the OCA and CAP taskings with less four ships. The Finns can keep up with the developing situation with enemy fighter movements and plan and execute countermoves much better than with land based radar support. This is the force multiplier in action here. On the other hand, compared to capabilities of dedicated SEAD/DEAD platform of F/A-18 G Growler more emphasis is needed on SEAD mission. Platform in itself, preferably Gripen F with AREXIS pods and kinetic weapons (in this example SPEAR 3 EW), is at least “good enough” but it is not a dedicated platform. One part of this formula is plain ole physics: AREXIS-pod and, its newest installment Electronic Attack Jammer Pod, with approx 5 kW of sending power, is not as powerful as current AN/ALQ-99 pods with 7,5 kW of sending power. This is more evident in extreme ranges, but is never the less a factor in SEAD missions. Also IMHO the backseater is really needed to efficiently pursue a SEAD mission. SAAB has come around in this from 2016 onward. EAJP brings Gripen E ability to jam long wavelength search radars in S-300/400 family. In essence EAJP pod is collection of sizable AESA elements (and most likely diagnostics) that are then married to Gripen E’s self protection or EW system. It can also be bolted to Global Eye platform. but still I expect the Gripen E/F to be a bit weaker in SEAD/DEAD regimen as dedicated F/A-18 Growler. And I do not know by a long stretch HOW much difference there is, but hey, I’m doing best guesstimate work I can.

As strike ranges in this scenario are quite limited (<450km) Gripen E has plenty of combat radius to do strikes in Svir river area. (Even though the loads are pretty much at max 4x BLU 109 is around 4000kg, with 4X METEOR about 800 kg, and two IRIS-T for about 200kg, so approx 5000 kg out of 6000 kg). If strikes were to be done further afield, the bomb carrying hard points (heavy/wet) would be needed for drop tanks, which would cut into the bomb carrying capability of the flights. Here it is not a factor.

In CAP capability Gripen gets up good load of METEORS and IRIS-T with two drop tanks, so Gripen is very much capable of going into offence. that coupled with GlobalEye is a formidable combination for DCA and OCA missions. As four missiles are good enough for self defence, but six or more is deemed enough for offensive operations, Gripen can fill the bill for offensive operations just fine, with endurance to stay in CAP for goodly times.

Again this kind of strike might not be too feasible, because it would tie up most of the available air assets of FAF. (60 out of 64) But as basis of scenario it will do very well. In the end after the initial rush, bomb droppers would have to do douple time as missile shooters as well to allow the CAP elements to return from the indian country.

About epamuodikkaitaajatuksia

Viisikymppinen jannu, joka on huolissaan siitä miten maanpuolustus ja turvallisuus makaa Lapissa, Suomessa ja Euroopassa. Harrastuksina Amerikkalainen jalkapallo ja SRA ammunta, Defendo ja Krav Maga. A guy about 45, who has a "thang" for military current issues, defense and shooting. Not to forget American football.
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