If russia can barely maintain around 10 An-124s and 16 Tu-160s then how can USA easily operate a 50 C-5s, 20 B-2s plus a few hundred C-17s.
Interesting line of thought: (wronged) number of An-124s and Tu-160s against combined number C-5 ,C-17 and B2......totally arbitrary
for not say completely out of line.For first, accurate numbers :
(From Military Balance 2012)
Russian Airlift aircraft show :Heavy transport aircraft
-12 An-124 Condor
-21 An-22 Cock
-118 Il-76MD/MF Candid
At those you must add, obviously, the contract with Aviastar for the repairing and upgrading of 22 AN-124 to AN-124-150M and the large scale acquisition of Il-476 and AN-70 foreseen in SAP 2020. B-2 ,clearly, is NOT the counterpart of TU-160
; in facts the unique real role that strategic bombers would have
, in the very unlucky event of a full scale conflict between very powerful opponents not involving ICBM (in this instance relevance of any branch of Air Forces of both side would be next to ZERO
and the only elements at count would be efficiency of ICBM and strategic IADs elements) , would be to take-off ,reach in the lesser time possible useful point of delivery for strategic range cruise missiles -with conventional or nuclear warheads ,at second of the typology of conflict- aimed at the most critical enemy assets
(C-4 nodes, main airfields, main radar stations, satellite's data relay) land ,reload and repeat the sequence with the shortest cycle possible
Even a monkey would be capable to realize that Speed
of the delivering bomber and capability to deliver the cruise missiles with the greater range
(and obviously the quality of enemy IADs) are the factors by far most important in producing the shortest cruise missile delivering cycle
generating ,at its own time, the most quick possible progressive degradation of enemy military capabilities.
B-2 is a low subsonic bomber totally incapable to employ any kind of long range cruise missiles
(the Unique American bomber with that critical strategic capability is only B-52 with AGM-86 !!!
), moreover NORAD lack even the shadow of a mediocre IAD and also any kind of very high speed interceptor optimized to track ,destroy and greatly dilute the density of incoming cruise missiles waves.Russian Federation ,also today operate the greater fleet at world of high supersonic bombers capable to deliver long range stategic cruise missiles
: 16 Tu-160 and 172 Tu-22M/M3/MR, all capable to employ Kh-55SM and the new Kh-101
Anyone is capable to realize how the difference in capability between those aircraft
(plus the Tu-95 fleet...) and cruise missiles
against the USAF B-52H and AGM-86 in generating very short cycles of cruise missiles delivery to destroy opponent's Airfields, Command and Control bases ,main Radar stations etc...is simply CRUSHING !!
An element even more important is the presence, on the Russian Federation's side, of a fleet of interceptors highly specialized for the task (detection and destruction of very high number of high performance cruise missiles) like Mig-31s, and the ,by far, most extensive and efficient IAD at world
On western media that picture is avoided like death
, but it is exactly how things stand behind PR-mist.