Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Delilah, SEAD, and A2AD

Defense Industry Daily highlighted an engrossing IAF article on the history of the Delilah cruise/loitering missile. Delilah appears to be one of the first loitering missile, circling the sky looking for surface-to-air missiles. [The BAE ALARM is the other loitering anti-radiation missile, tho its capability and flexibility are more limited.]

The oral history reminds of the heady years of the SEAD development (1960s-1980), when millions of dollars and thousands of men went into defeating Integrated-Air-Defense Systems. It also serves as a reminder that defensive bubbles can be cracked, given time and money. And saturation attacks can be managed, using defense in depth [AEGIS and Naval Aviation]. Neither offense nor defense can reign for long.

The whole Chinese effort into Anti-Access/Area Denial is similarly an effort to erect a defensive bubble, just like the Russian submarine Bastions and US Navy's AEGIS umbrellas. [The only irony is that China is setting up a bubble by piercing USAF and US Navy's bubbles.]

And the American Air-Sea Battle is similarly another effort to crack the shore battery bubbles. In the post-Cold War era, we are seeing a resurging interest in missile Coastal Artillery among the 2nd tier powers.

The contest between the spear and the shield goes on.

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