«Wild petting» (English Wild Weasels) — is a special unit within the U.S. Air Force, which are aimed at keeping the fight against the enemy air defense system, its liquidation radar. The first time these units have appeared during the Vietnam War, in the forthcoming without them did not break any large military operation with the role of the U.S. Air Force. This is not unusual, because destroying or causing «silent» enemy ground radars can provide for themselves air superiority and non-hazardous missions.
Specifically, the military conflict in Vietnam was the first armed conflict in which aircraft had to deal with layered air defense built on the SAM. Naturally, the presence of a significant number of Vietnamese anti-aircraft missiles Russian production has become a nasty surprise for the Yankees and led them to find a way out of this situation. Midst of countermeasures were likely transition to flying low and ultra low altitudes (but at these altitudes is very intense antiaircraft artillery operated), as large-scale application of interference. For jamming uses special aircraft started to break through enemy air defenses.
The program creation aircraft defense got the breakthrough in the U.S. designation of Wild Weasel — «Wild Weasel.» With the passage of time as well, and were called by aircraft that have been modified under this applets. In step Wild Weasel I, which started already in 1965, the Yankees used made 10 years earlier fighter F-100 Super Sabre — first supersonic aircraft the U.S. Air Force. Coupe version fighter F-100F was the basis for the «Wild petting.» Plane could not find the enemy’s radar by means of special detectors, then the officer-pilot operator pointed the direction to the target, then that detects the position of SAM is in the visual mode, and stormed the goal. With all of this fighter F-100F had enough highest speed flight in order to accompany the reference to modern aircraft at the time the F-4 Phantom II and F-105 Thunderchief, because in step Wild Weasel II used a model built on the basis of already fighter F -105.
Special EF-105F aircraft began to appear in parts in 1966, soon changed their more advanced F-105G. With all this serial production fighter F-105 ended even earlier, in 1964, because the number of fighters that could alter in the «murderers defense» enemy declined, including losses due to large aircraft in Vietnam. As a result of the steps 4 and 5 of the applets have been implemented on the basis of the F-4 Phantom II — in versions of EF-4C Wild Weasel IV and F-4G Wild Weasel V.
During the Vietnam War division «wild weasel» acted with 2 methods: comped on a mission by U.S. aircraft strike groups and engaged in a «free hunting». In the case of performing tasks accompanied by drums groups, these planes were in the first zone of the Vietnamese air defense and remained there during the application of the main blow, doing all the oppression of the enemy SAM identified positions. These aircraft were leaving the area just after leaving his strike aircraft. Specifically so appeared the slogan «Wild petting», «first come, last to leave» (the English First In, Last Out). During the «free hunt», «wild weasel» acted ligaments «hunter-killer». For example, at a certain distance from a single F-105F aircraft followed by a group of 3-4 aircraft F-105D or F-4. From time to time used a group of 2 «hunters» and 2 «killers». Airplane leader found SAM position and stormed them, noting its other aircraft, then all drum machines are their liquidation.
With each new generation «Wild petting» equipped with more sophisticated weapons and equipment, including guided missiles, which are induced by radiation radar systems and electronic warfare (EW). After the war in Vietnam «Wild petting» served in Western Europe, also in the Far East — in those places where, if necessary, the U.S. would have to deal with the Russian air defense system.
In the 1990s were scrapped last «wild weasel». In the United States decided to use for this purpose modernized multi-role fighters F-16C. Such means of suppressing enemy air defenses became a fighter F-16CJ Wild Weasel. The plane is a modified F-16C Block 50 and carries the designation Block 50D/52D. This fighter will be applied at the task of breaking through enemy air defenses and oppression, which is replacing the old but reliable cars F-4G Wild Weasel. F-16CJ fighter has the ability to use one hundred percent capacity in the AGM-88 HARM, and guidance systems AN/ASQ-213 HARM (HTS) for the destruction and oppression of enemy air defenses. These U.S. Air Force planes used for the oppression of the Yugoslav air defense in 1999.
Faced with such a problem, the U.S. Navy did not renounce from specialized machines. Oppression for air defense system used here: first EF-10D Skyknight, then EA-6A and EA-6B Prowler. Currently, the South American fleet relies on special planes — to replace outdated already EA-6B came new EA-18G Growler, which were made on the basis of the coupe version F/A-18F Super Hornet.
Right up to 2008 Russian Air Force did not encounter the enemy, who would be resettled air defenses more severe than small-caliber antiaircraft artillery and MANPADS. Because the five-day war with Georgia in August 2008 has demonstrated the weakness of Russian Air Force has also shown that such collisions are fraught for the RF losses. In this connection task on enemy air defense suppression became one of the priority projects.
At the current time for solutions to this problem, if necessary, must use a standard attack aircraft — now it is the Su-24 and Su-34, that are equipped with anti-radar missiles. But the ability of these aircraft, apparently, were considered missing. In addition, the role of the Russian «Wild petting» can be applied supersonic reconnaissance bomber MiG-25 RB. But these aircraft already owned a very honorable age, and in the coming 10-15 years will be charged one hundred percent of the Air Force.
At the same time, the choice as a platform for Russian «Wild petting» Su-25 is a kind of surprise (to appear in the Air Force in 2014). Due to its characteristics and destination, the aircraft can only accompany the group from the same storm troopers. In order to act in combat formations multirole fighters and bombers, Su-25 lacked the range or speed of flight. At the same time for the stormtroopers who operate above the battlefield, this machine can become severe help. To solve other problems may be worthwhile to reflect on the development of special aircraft, the Su-30 or at least the development of such a set of equipment (container implementation), which, together with the necessary weapons could be reincarnated as a «wild weasel» at least some standard fighter from the Russian Air Force.