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Hustler? - 8/20/2016 3:55:05 AM   
cf_dallas


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A guy I work(ed) with retired today, and he worked on the B-58 program.

I'll let THAT sink in for a second.

The awesome picture at his retirement reception of a dozen or so B-58s on the Carswell AFB flight line made me wonder: are there any scenarios out there that feature the Hustler?

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 3:58:39 AM   
Coiler12

 

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Not yet. Randomizer talked about working on one, though.

I think a big problem is its specialized nuclear role, which makes it really hard to use in anything other than mega-WWIII scens.

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 4:30:11 AM   
cf_dallas


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Yeah, that'd be the tough part. And historically they never deployed much either. Brize Norton a handful of times, from what I read this afternoon, I didn't find much else.

Basing out of Incirlik and striking Soviet central Asia, as part of a total war situation, might have possibilities.

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 7:00:44 AM   
Randomizer

 

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In my opinion, reasonably simulating the B-58's nuclear mission is pretty difficult because the nuclear war plans had changed from the doctrine of Massive Retaliation against cities to one of Flexible Response employing a counterforce targeting profile. The problem is that the Soviets do not seem to have ever gotten that particular memo and for the most part remained wedded to the concept of massive countervalue attacks by missiles on the CONUS while blanketing Western Europe with IRBMs and air dropped weapons on European cities and military targets. American planners believed that nuclear war was controllable and could be escalated or de-escalated but it would seem that the Russians figured that once the nuclear threshold was crossed, massive retaliation by ICBM was the only option.

Figuring out how to fit either of the two Hustler combat wings into this situation has defied my efforts so far.

Another problem is the terrible reliability of the B-58 in service. A 1969 declassified SAC alert history states that the aircraft availability rate was far worse than the B-52 with only about one-third on the flight line at any one time of which only one-third of those could be expected to be on alert status. That's just between 7 and 8 aircraft per wing. With just two wings, the 43rd at Little Rock AFB (after leaving Carswell AFB in 1964) and the 305th at MacDill AFB, throwing just 14-16 aircraft against the Soviet Union does not seem like much fun to recreate. The B-58 wings were given EC-135 command and control aircraft in addition to their organic tankers and this suggests that they might have been used for special missions of some type but it would seem that not a lot of planning documents from that era have been declassified yet.

If the Soviet plan was to empty their silos in the face of US first use as appears to have been the case, there was really no scope for the small, unreliable Hustler force. That said I am still playing with the concept because I too want a CMANO scenario featuring the B-58.

-C

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 12:07:55 PM   
ultradave


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Great info. It's amazing what you learn in the forum here. Thanks.

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 12:53:07 PM   
kevinkin


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Thanks for the memories. Here is a blast from the past video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFPgur_cUmA

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 2:23:54 PM   
Coiler12

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer
That said I am still playing with the concept because I too want a CMANO scenario featuring the B-58.

-C


One of the concepts I was thinking of was of a nuclear strike against a non-Soviet target to avoid dealing with the above paradox (the political spillover is handwaved). While obviously ahistorical and still highly questionable, something like the Freedom Drop option for a strike on North Korea after the EC-121 shootdown. China is a technical possibility, but the B-58 was on its way out at the time China-only nuclear plans started being written.

There's another B-58 only issue. That issue (which you also mentioned) is why a small, finicky bomber force would be singled out for such an operation. Even a declassified anti-China report from the Hustler's heyday of 1963 has B-52s being mentioned as the bomber of choice.

One way out is to just handwave all the issues aside and make a note that the scen is ahistorical for the sake of gameplay. One precedent is the ahistorically and unrealistically large Soviet bomber force in Deter, Detect, Defend.

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 2:34:38 PM   
cf_dallas


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Cuba is within unrefuelled range of Carswell or Little Rock... I may play around with something, see if I can make it fun.

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 2:53:18 PM   
mikmykWS


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Maybe Wheelus AB in Libya or even Iran?

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 3:26:06 PM   
kevinkin


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I like the Cuba idea. If you need a preliminary test let me know.

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 5:04:01 PM   
Randomizer

 

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A PRC option looks promising and one that had not been considered. Have only skimmed the RAND study linked to above but have a theory that the B-52 might be the weapon of choice for the study due to a couple of reasons:

- Some were already based at Andersen AFB as part of OP REFLEX ACTION; and

- By this time they had deployed the AGM-28 Hound Dog in service to provide a standoff attack capability in the megaton range.

Trigger events might include Vietnam and or Taiwan but should probably feature PRC first use. Script some nasty PRC vs. USSR incident on the Ussuri River to keep Ivan out and the thing becomes both more reasonable and plausible. Using a B-58 force can be scripted to make sense as doing so preserves the existing Alert forces at full strength in case the Soviets have a change of heart. Realistically getting a Hustler force to Guam could probably have been done within 48-hours of the trigger crisis and the scenario could start then. Food for thought, thanks for the brainstorming.

Like the handwaving analogy for those distasteful reality checks. I had always used "Once out of the hole..." as a tip of the hat to those old serialized TV shows where as Episode 6 ends, Our Hero is in dire straits but when Episode 7 starts, the problems have been magically solved without an explanation other than something like "Once out of the hole, Our Hero saved the girl and made it back to..." ship/city/base or whatever. Somehow merely handwaving seems more a elegant solution. Point taken regarding Deter, Detect, Defend but its stated goal was always to create the air defence problem as it was perceived not how it really was and the designer notes state that such an attack was impossible for the Soviet Union to have executed.

-C

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RE: Hustler? - 8/20/2016 10:23:11 PM   
Patmanaut


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There's an interesting novel called "At the Klaxon's Call" by Phillip Rowe, who spent 5 years as a navigator aboard B-58s, which depicts how a real mission against the USSR could be. Most of the novel deals with fuel issues in detail. I've created an scenario 2 years ago but I couldn't finish it yet, because there is a mistake in the fuel consumption profile of the Hustler. The B-58 in the DB it guzzles more fuel at higher than at very low altitude.
I've wrote several times to the Dev guys about this issue, but they are solving more pressing problems. (No complaining, no sarcasm, I truly believe you guys are doing an awesome work and I'm very grateful.)
Those interested into the novel, please go here: https://www.amazon.com/At-Klaxons-Call-Actually-1960s-ebook/dp/B0079OX28C

Saludos.

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RE: Hustler? - 8/21/2016 12:17:11 AM   
cf_dallas


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First blush: I made two sides, USAF and Cuba. 2 ready B-58 at Carswell on the US side, and for Cuba I imported everything in the CWDB imports.

Activated one strike mission against one of the airfields in western Cuba.

Ummmm.

Wow.

9 MT is.... effective.

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RE: Hustler? - 8/21/2016 12:34:37 AM   
kevinkin


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Darn, prime real estate it was. Carry on.

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RE: Hustler? - 8/31/2016 6:20:59 PM   
Randomizer

 

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Found a Convair propaganda film from 1963 detailing low-level mission profile tests for the B-58 Hustler. The mission was conducted at between 500-1000' above ground level with a short stretch at 250' AGL to test insect impact (I kid you not). As this is a manufacturer film, it's probably OK to presume that only best results are shown. This was the third "successful" mission but no details are offered as to what happened during the others. The mission was a simulated bomb run from Carswell AFB, TX to Edwards AFB CA, a distance of just over 1000 nm but it is unclear whether this was the maximum test range. That said, since the intention was to showcase the Hustler in a low-altitude mission profile, running and documenting the test at less than maximum practical range seems rather silly.

The film is here:

B-58 Low Level Attack Capabilities

Here is a CMANO scenario recreating the flight. The mission is ready to launch but once airborne you need to use F2 to set the aircraft at 1000' AGL. It will fly out at cruise, climb for the attack (using only one of the 1 MT gravity bombs in the loadout) and successfully RTB to Carswell. The mission takes about 4-game hours, just a bit longer than what the real-life mission took.

Not too bad a validation of the Hustler capabilities model found in the simulation.

-C

The test scenario is here:



Attachment (1)

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RE: Hustler? - 9/1/2016 2:17:09 PM   
cf_dallas


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Great video, thanks for posting.

I've got a semi-plausible Cuba scenario cooking, but it's slow going. It's set in 1964, so it'll also feature quite a few of the B-58's Cold War contemporaries... F-100, F-104, F-8, RB-66...

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RE: Hustler? - 9/20/2016 4:06:43 AM   
cf_dallas


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Well that certainly took a while.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4150843

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