Here’s a question that we have been wondering about; is there any country that is capable of surviving a US air strike against it? We gave it a proper thought, and the end result is what follows. In simplest words, if US decided to commit to an air strike then there is no country/ city in the world that is capable of defending itself against it.
Let’s jump into the details and see why that is the case. In essence, an air strike can be stopped in two ways; one being to destroy the aircraft being used for the airstrike before the attack commences, and the second approach is to take out the ordnance before it makes contact with the target. For both of these methods to be successful, you need to be able to detect, acquire and intercept your target and destroy it successfully. For this, you will require an air defense network (AND) that is capable of doing these tasks. If we talk about the long-range ordnances we need big theater air defense along with anti-ballistic missile radar and SAM launchers such as S-300 and Patriot systems. For the medium-ranged ordnances we have somewhat more mobile SAMs such as Kub and Buk systems with the short range point defense SAMs such as Avenger or Osa.
Now let’s look into how these air defenses can be tackled; the long range SAM sites are permanently fixed or usually way too heavy to move them around quick enough. So, thanks to the intelligence, these sites are usually known. An array of cruise missile strikes fired from outside the detection radius can take out most of these sites.
Let’s focus on the localized air defenses which are comprised of mid and short range systems which are quite accurate and deadly. The best strategy is to take them out with something they can’t shoot back at. We won’t go into details but there are a few options that can be considered; first of them being the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) that is capable of gliding into a target from a distance of 70 miles. Apart from that, there is the option of making use of Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) that can be fired off from upwards of 200 and with the extended range version from upwards of about 600 miles. The only deciding factor would be the cost.
Now that we are done talking about missiles and stuff, let’s look into aircrafts that are capable of penetrating the defenses. We have F-22 capable of delivering JDAM from more than 25 miles while traveling at supersonic speeds. This means that F-22 can travel at speeds of more than Mach 1.5 at a height of 50,000 feet from the ground and will hardly be detected before firing the payload away. We can also use the B-2 Spirit if we are not concerned about the cost and all of the airstrike.
In a nutshell; no, you can’t defend against the US if they decide to bring down the rain on you. Here’s to hoping that it doesn’t come to that though.