How would you build your Air Force in 1960?

Discussion in 'Post-War' started by Lucky13, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Being that Sweden had the fourth (I think) largest Air Force in the late '50's and early '60's, with about 1,000 modern aircraft, I thought that I'd try this...
    If you had a country, in which you were Big Cheese of the Air Force, you have the same kind of borders, to other countries and to the sea, how would you build up your Air Force, you get 1,000 to use....they need to be in active frontline service by 01/01/60!
     
  2. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    I would build my airforce around the English Electric Lightning.
    It was well known for its ability to climb rapidly and was well thought of by its pilots.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Capable but low endurance. I would prefer something that can remain in the air longer.

    American aircraft tend to be expensive but capable. I would procure the USN F4 Phantom if we can afford it. Otherwise I would consider the French Mirage III.
     
  4. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    #4 ShVAK, Aug 18, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
    Well, since you mentioned Sweden and this is a small to medium-sized country with presumably good Western relations in our hypo, the perfect multirole fighter in my mind would've been the Saab 35 Draken, first flight 1955, first deliveries 1959.

    From Wiki:

    Yeah, sounds perfect to me. Incorporate some of the Danish Draken mods (AGM-12 Bullpup missiles, advanced ECM, increased internal and external fuel stores) down the road and you have a very versatile plane with moderate STOL capability and good performance that is way better built than export MiG's, comparable with the Mirage III and better and cheaper in the fighter role than that overweight F-4 pig. I would have wanted about 130-150 Drakens, from there it gets a bit tougher.

    For maritime roles (if applicable) I would've wanted about 20 P2V Neptune, maybe some S-2 Trackers as well.

    For tactical medium to long range airlift, about 200 transports--30 C-130's, along with an assortment of smaller twin-engine types, C-1 Traders etc.

    About 50-100 UH-1's for infantry. Bigger helis like the Mi-8 (not NATO, but too good to ignore) are only a short ways down the road so I'd hold out for those.

    For CAS, recon, ECM etc. about 100 AD-1's and for dedicated strike/anti-shipping aircraft about 50-75 A-4's.

    20 E-1 Tracers for AWACS.

    A mixed fleet of trainers--T-28's, T-37's, T-33's etc. A few SK 35's (Draken trainers).

    Don't need any strategic bombers or tankers--leave that crap to SAC and NATO. This is strictly home defense.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    What about air to surface? The F-4 carried a huge payload. So that overweight and over priced F-4 can double as a bomber in addition to being one of the best 1960s era fighter aircraft.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    #6 DerAdlerIstGelandet, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
    You might as well hold out a few more years then, and wait for the CH-53 and the CH-47. Hell the CH-47 came out around the same time as the Mi-8 anyhow. Both much better aircraft, than the Hip, at least in my opinion and my experience...

    But for Air Assault you will want to stick with the UH-1s anyhow.

    Don't take me wrong, the Hip is not a bad aircraft. Used all over the world.
     
  7. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    #7 ShVAK, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
    With the right modifications Drakens are sufficient in the strike role, and A-4's are no slouches either.

    I don't know, never liked the Phantom as a multirole aircraft. Sure it's fine for intercepting bombers and it's passable as a strike aircraft but it's a miserable dogfighter that has to rely on boom-and-zoom tactics to hold its own against MiG-21's. We succeeded with it over Vietnam based on the strength of our pilots and superiority in numbers, not because the F-4 was great as a fighter.

    Plus it's not a cheap plane to maintain or operate, no '60s frontline fighter jet truly was but the Draken (like a lot of other Saab designs) has much going for it if you're waging a defensive war and have to make do with limited resources and manpower, and its service history shows it could be adapted to other roles with at least some level of success. You can make a good dogfighter drop bombs, but you can't make a big, heavy interceptor and bomb truck a good dogfighter, at least not with the level of tech available in 1960.
     
  8. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    True, I thought of those two and the S-61 (which would've also been available around the same time). Those would be on the table as well.

    I just like the Mi-8 because of its excellent versatility and relatively low price versus the NATO alternatives. There's a reason why the Hip is still in production, it's one of those evergreen machines like the C-130 that will always be useful.
     
  9. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Yje Saab 35 is much like the EE Lightning its great if your protecting your back yard it has no range
     
  10. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    Early Drakens were pretty range-limited but the later J 35F models had about 2,000 miles with drop tanks. Which is plenty.

    Anyway it doesn't matter too much, since I was assuming this was a home defense force anyway.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily true. The best dogfighters tend to be light in weight. Too lightly constructed for carrying several tons of ordnance plus several more tons of fuel in drop tanks.

    Modern day guided weapons change the equation. If accuracy is over 50% then you don't need to carry as many. But during 1960 you will be dropping iron bombs and most of them will miss the target.
     
  12. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Of the aircraft mentioned so far, only the Draken can meet the timeline of 01,01, 1960.
    The F-4 just became operational in early 1960 with the USN, and i'd doubt they'd be willing to share their latest technology with anyone at that point, in the real world, it was 1968 before any F-4s were exported.
    Same with the Mirage III, not operational till 61 even in France, they were more willing to export, but even so it was several years.
    Even the UH-1 was just becoming operational in the US Army in 1960.

    I know the country is not Sweden, but like Sweden. Most countries are not going to export their latest technology.
    If you has serious defense needs, and Sweden did, you need to develope your own defense industries.. Which is maybe why Sweden did.
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Not so sure about that.

    France sold the Mirage III and other military hardware to anyone with cash in hand. IMO it only makes sense to build your own if you can do it cheaper then foreign made weapons of equal quality.
     
  14. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #14 tyrodtom, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
    France was selling no Mirage III's in 1960, they weren't even operational in the Armee de L'Air till July 61. Though South Africa and Israel put in orders for them in late 60. First Israel aircraft delivered in April 1962.
    Complex weapon systems bought from other countries can come with conditions, Like the Mirage III's sold to Israel. Though those conditions didn't exist when they were purchased.
    Any country that wants true independance has to develope it's own weapons, it might be cheaper to import, but imports can be stopped at any time.
    Saving a dollar is way down on the priority list when you're talking national survival.
     
  15. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The original scenario is these aircraft have to be on the scene and in sevice by 01,01, 1960.
    So they would have had to be ordered several years previous, neither the F-4, or Mirage III, Huey, would meet that deadline.
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Not only that, but relying on an external source for your military hardware means that you are reliant on that supplier being your friend even in times of international distress, shifting alliances etc...

    If your diplomacy fails with the vendor nation, then you run the risk of literally being up a creek without a paddle...
     
  17. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately that precludes the EE Lightning too, not that you'd have a hope of getting one so soon anyway. The reason why the Lightning wasn't widely exported is because its AIRPASS radar/gun sight combo and Firestreak missiles were considered too advanced for export. Saudi and Kuwait were the only export customers of the type.

    Other than having a short range, apparently it was a pig to work on too. Being a point defence interceptor, short range wasn't so much of an issue over the UK airspace once in-flight refuelling came in on later models, but even still, the F.6 had a useful endurance of about an hour. Nothing could beat it in time to climb at that time though.

    Fighter, F-100 Super Sabre, bomber/photo recon, English Electric Canberra. fighter bomber, Hawker Hunter, close support, A-1 Skyraider. Assault/general purpose helo has to be the UH-1 (in service date 1958 ). C-130 transports.
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Nope, not true.

    First Flight - XH-40 (as the prototype was called): 20 October 1956
    Ordered into Production - HU-1A Iroquois: March 1960
     
  19. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The main U.S. transport helo in service through 31Dec59 was the UH-19...
     
  20. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Snap - I was looking at pre-production examples: six YH-40s were ordered and were in service by August 1958, followed by nine pre-production HU-1As in 1959...

    Damn, can't use the Huey then. Ordered it though.
     
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