The tornado shootdown has been identified via geo-location and via debris analysis. I believe it may have been confirmed as well by KSA. You are right, airpower has done reasonably well in this conflict from a survivability perspective (though KSA pilots don't get marks when it comes to TTPs and CONOPS). In actual conflict against a capable opponent you need a combination of stealth, EW, SEAD/DEAD, and ground fires to help neutralize air-defenses or just overwhelming numbers where things just don't matter.
nam wrote:SAM are going to create havoc in future conflict, specially standoff types. Unless you have Khan style wide range ECM capability, there will heavy losses.
Air/Missile Defenses serve to keep you in a war long enough to win it by other means. They aren't going to win a war for you by themselves and to expect them to be the be all end all of conventional deterrence is asking for trouble. Ultimately, a well resourced and determined adversary will find a way to break kill chains and penetrate and pin you down through stealth, stand-off, etc etc etc. If you don't have an Air-Force you won't go far with just Air-Defense systems.
And of course there is the interoperability, networking and SA limitations, and TTP considerations..like the last time the Iranians themselves used a SAM they ended up bringing down an airliner...and the fact that the Syrians targeted an Il-20 in 2018
with a S-200, and almost brought down another airliner
just a few days ago. The way in which the IDF is able to operate with impunity and not only attack targets deep inside their adversaries borders, but repeatedly target the same targets over and over again (like Damascus airport) is a good example of a well crafted and executed utilization of air-power that essentially bypasses air-defenses (doesn't bother with SEAD) and accomplishes objectives despite of them being there. It also essentially means that whatever AD's they do have are essentially useless in creating a conventional deterrent. The USAF Air Chief describes this as a "Swiss-Cheese" approach where you identify holes (not just coverage gaps, but holes in their kill-chain) and exploit them and get out without any intention of establishing long term air superiority over a region.