From: Washington D.C.
I'm just embarking on the Shamal 1991 mission where you have to take out an Iraqi chemical site and two air bases. I kind of understand the concept of SEAD but not enough when it comes to specifics of what to try and kill first.
If the IADS is well constructed there shouldn't be any holes. Everything worth defending ought to be covered by an overlapping series of WEZs of various ranges capable of mutually defending one another. You never do SEAD for its own sake. SEAD is done in support of some other mission that is supposed to hit something you REALLY care about. Given the fundamental task of striking some other target you actually care about, the name of the game with SEAD is to make that strike possible.
In order for the SEAD mission to be successful, you need to interrupt the enemy kill chain against your strikers. To do that you might use a variety destructive or non-destructive methods in complimentary ways. You might not need to kill everything (or even anything). By interrupting the kill chain, you make a hole big enough to get your strike mission in and out. Anything more than that is wasted effort and unneeded risk.
Wondering if anyone knows of reading material to teach me how to do SEAD the proper way?
There's some good books out there on the history of SEAD. My favorite is called Iron Hand: Smashing the Enemy's Air Defenses by Thornborough. It'll go through the history of the weasel mission, as well as SEAD alternatives (e.g. the Israelis used artillery to defeat SAMs).
My ideas on this are all a bit confused, example, are you supposed to take out the EW radars with HARMs first, or target the SAMs straight away (if you know where they are) and leave yourself visible to the EW radars - which could still serve to notify nearby airbases and have them scramble aircraft?
It depends on everything from the properties of your strikers, the frequencies of the radars in question and the SAMs defending your target. SEAD is done in support of some other follow on strike(s?). If you don't need to tangle with SAMs, then don't. Just go for the ones you need to kill to get your strikers to the target. It also depends on the enemy's tactics. EW radars might be a good way to interrupt the kill chain IF the SAMs are not emitting their acquisition radars at all. If they can't see with the EW radars then nothing will stimulate them to emit their tracking radars (which they need to fire). If they are emitting their acquisition radars, then just killing the EW radars won't work.
In the Shamal 1991 mission, if I was to kill the EW radars with HARMs then that would allow my strike aircraft to fly much further into the Iraqi airspace without being seen then take out the SAMs. But how can I guarantee a strike on the EW radars when they are protected by SAMs that can shoot down my HARMs in the first place? But if I tried to take out the SAMs first they would be ready and waiting for me since the EW radars would have given them plenty of warning. It's all a bit chicken and egg.
That's the intent. If I found that both were emitting, then taking out the EW radars wouldn't really do me any good because the SAM acquisition radars would still be there, which suggests the best thing to do is go straight for the SAMs. Striking the EW radars won't interrupt the kill chain. Instead, I'd focus on using a combination of electronic warfare, drones (as decoys?), HARM and other weapons to strike the SAMs.