F-35 BVR vs Dogfighting

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talkitron

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Unread post13 Sep 2017, 23:45

ricnunes wrote:After all those Chinese PL-12 missiles are based on the AA-12 (R-77) missile and we all know that these Russian missiles just cannot compare to the AMRAAM (even the earlier variants of the AMRAAM).


Shooting down American enablers like tankers, AEW and more exotic electronic warfare aircraft (in addition to bombers and fighters) is a top priority of theirs in a Pacific war. One can speculate that the J-20 in part is designed to do this. Capable and long range AAMs would help here. So I would expect the PL-12s to get better and better.

China has a large and growing economy and eventually will spend tons more on military R&D than Russia. China also likely has a more extensive and effective industrial espionage program in the US and Western European countries. This is all speculative but I would expect Chinese weapons development on all fronts to begin to outpace Russian developments and rival US developments. We can already see the overtake of Russians with the J-20 getting more positive reviews by experts than the Su-57. Another example is the surface Navy where China is building aircraft carriers with catapults and cruisers that displace 15,000 tons, while Russia is not. Russia seems obsessed with fighting a land war against NATO, which is much cheaper than an air and sea war in the Pacific!

This is not to denigrate the ability of Russian aircraft like Mig 31s to shoot down tankers, AEW, EW aircraft, bombers and non-stealth airplanes. I am sure the updated Mig 31s can have a good go at this with the newer Russian BVR AAMs.
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 06:57

zero-one wrote:Not trying to be Sarcastic or rhetorical but why are the most recent Air-air kills all done Within visual Range.

The F-15 shooting a drones over Syria, the Turkish F-16 that shot down a Russian Su-22, the F/A-18E that shot another Su-22. Its not as if these advanced air assets had any trouble detecting, tracking or identifying these cold war relics did they?

Raptors nearly shot down Iranian F-4s and syrian Su-22s WVR as well.


When you see an Su-24 with a hand-held Garmin GPS bootstrapped to the dash on a lump of old timber stud (which unit was designed for bushwalkers so that they don't get lost, or in this case, cross a border or airspace boundary and get shot down), I suspect their SA is not all that good and a part of the overall answer to that question.

Against a more on-the-game aircraft with integrated avionics and crew (and with at least a TSO-ed Garmin Aero handheld!) I doubt we're going to see much long-range BVR from Russia.

Personally, I see BVR air combat is over-estimated as a realistic threat (much like the much over-rated S300 threat ... easy to find and kill currently), or at least a limited possibility for most regions.

The proviso being, that the less prepared and equipped for it you are the more and more likely for the natives to get restless, and BVR shows up again.

The 5th-gens have set off a new deterrence phase and made BVR unattractive for a Su/MiG force. But this has more or less been the case since Bekaa Valley and other incidents in the following decade (including ODS, AESA and AMRAAM fielding).

The Bekaa Valley War - June 2002 By Rebecca Grant

"... From the command center, Ivry had the E-2C air picture plus F-15s capable of sorting out engagements at shorter range. IAF pilots relied frequently on VHF radio, hoping to preserve their tactical communications and links to the command post.

Ivry's tactic was to vector four-ship formations of Israeli fighters into the engagement zone, one at a time. Each air battle lasted one to two minutes. Ivry did not want to let any more than one four-ship into the battle area. "Never mind if I'm not going to catch all the MiGs" he said; he wanted "to be on the safe side that I'm not going to intercept one of ours."

For the Syrians, the battle was hopeless, tactically and psychologically. Selective airborne communications jamming frazzled the airwaves for the Syrian MiG-21s and MiG-23s and cut them off from ground control.

Ivry described their lack of confidence as the Syrian fighter pilots launched and came up into the fight without any idea of the interception route they would run. When they did try something, the interceptions attempted by the MiG pilots were "not very efficient," in Ivry's opinion.

"So, we catch them slowly, one by one," he remembered.

Listening in the command post, Ivry heard the Israeli fighters shooting down "sometimes two or three out of four" of the Syrians. "And the more they came, the lack of confidence on their side was increased." Psychologically, as Ivry said of the Syrian pilots' state of mind, "you're losing and losing." He went on, "Once you start to lose, you think, 'Well, I'm going to be a target, and I'm going to go over there because I've been summoned?'"

The Israeli pilots kept the advantage. "I can only tell you that, within half an hour, we shot down about 26 MiGs," Ivry said. After two hours Ivry called off the SAM attacks. The tally grew so that by noon on Friday, when a cease-fire took effect, IAF pilots had shot down 82 airplanes without losing any in air combat. ..."

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... bekaa.aspx


Such events solidly showed the relative potential of teen fighters and their support systems in comparison to old Warsaw Pact platforms. I remember in about 1981 hearing a NATO commander say they were expecting a quality v quantity exchange kill ratio of about 3:1. Clearly it proved to be a lot higher than that as the decade's tech evolved into the 1990s and BVR capability greatly expanded.

Bottom line is 20 years without much cash-flow followed ODS, and they've clearly not recovered when their SA and Nav capability is still such a shambles. Current oil price collapse is great for limiting their SA tech and yieldable BVR capabilities.As Dragon pointed out the Russians would be back to VHF-guided GCI against a 5th gen (in any sort of imaginary dooooomed tail-chase).

So of course the Chinese are doing better, they economically boomed almost the whole intervening 27 years, since ODS. Naturally they'll have the more viable BVR capability, still to come. Not to mention the Garmin factories, as well (no joke, the Garmin unit in that Su24 was made in China).

Re J-20, I've been looking on this jet more as a maritime strike aircraft (replacement for H-6 cruise missile attack capability) that can potentially survive over water and deliver a payload of ALCMs and ASMs, hence it's size and bay size. J20 air to air capability is more questionable given propulsion limits and the size and weight of the design. Obviously they're not hung up about sustained turn and T:W as the F-35's critics are (same people who fawn over the J20).
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 18:39

zero-one wrote:Not trying to be Sarcastic or rhetorical but why are the most recent Air-air kills all done Within visual Range.

The F-15 shooting a drones over Syria, the Turkish F-16 that shot down a Russian Su-22, the F/A-18E that shot another Su-22. Its not as if these advanced air assets had any trouble detecting, tracking or identifying these cold war relics did they?

Raptors nearly shot down Iranian F-4s and syrian Su-22s WVR as well.


I'm just trying to be sarcastic and rhetorical, but why didn't any of the most recent WVR kills involve BFM turn-and-burn "dogfighting"? IMO, WVR will always be prevalent, but "dogfighting" is on the way out.
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 19:21

talkitron wrote:
ricnunes wrote:After all those Chinese PL-12 missiles are based on the AA-12 (R-77) missile and we all know that these Russian missiles just cannot compare to the AMRAAM (even the earlier variants of the AMRAAM).


Shooting down American enablers like tankers, AEW and more exotic electronic warfare aircraft (in addition to bombers and fighters) is a top priority of theirs in a Pacific war. One can speculate that the J-20 in part is designed to do this. Capable and long range AAMs would help here. So I would expect the PL-12s to get better and better.

China has a large and growing economy and eventually will spend tons more on military R&D than Russia. China also likely has a more extensive and effective industrial espionage program in the US and Western European countries. This is all speculative but I would expect Chinese weapons development on all fronts to begin to outpace Russian developments and rival US developments. We can already see the overtake of Russians with the J-20 getting more positive reviews by experts than the Su-57. Another example is the surface Navy where China is building aircraft carriers with catapults and cruisers that displace 15,000 tons, while Russia is not. Russia seems obsessed with fighting a land war against NATO, which is much cheaper than an air and sea war in the Pacific!

This is not to denigrate the ability of Russian aircraft like Mig 31s to shoot down tankers, AEW, EW aircraft, bombers and non-stealth airplanes. I am sure the updated Mig 31s can have a good go at this with the newer Russian BVR AAMs.


While I agree with you about "China could or eventually will surpassing Russia in military technology" I certainly do not agree or believe that China could or eventually will surpass the USA in the foreseeable future or in any future if China maintains its current stance towards its own society and the rest of the world.
Resuming, in order for China to surpass the USA in military (or civilian) technology something must radically change in the "China of tomorrow", something which I simply can't see it happen (again unless something radical changes in China or even in the rest of the world).
For example, I remember when I was a teenager in the late 1980's that everyone said that Japan would surpass the USA, bla bla bla... but now decades later we can all agree such prediction couldn't be more far from the truth.

You see, below are some extremely important parameters which makes the USA the world's leading nation in technology (and not only) which I believe no other nation have - some might have one of another of the parameters below but none except the USA have them all:
1- Money ("Tons of it"). Of course with "money" I not only talking about "currency" or "digital data in bank accounts", I'm also talking about Natural Resources ("Tons of it").
2- An open minded society willing to accept people from all over the world, namely the "top brains". And this independently of the people's race/ethnicity, religion, etc...
3- A society where free speech and with that ideas that "flow free" and can be shared freely (resuming no censorship/repression) are allowed -> Without this you simple cannot have major breakthroughs in science! And please don't come with Nazi Germany since all the great scientific breakthroughs that supposedly happened during Nazi Germany before and during WWII were actually started during the Weimar Republic.

From those top 3 requirements that in my opinion a nation must have in order to be the world's lead superpower in technology, China only fulfills parameters number 1- while being completely closed to parameters 2- and 3-
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 22:14

castlebravo wrote:
zero-one wrote:Not trying to be Sarcastic or rhetorical but why are the most recent Air-air kills all done Within visual Range.

The F-15 shooting a drones over Syria, the Turkish F-16 that shot down a Russian Su-22, the F/A-18E that shot another Su-22. Its not as if these advanced air assets had any trouble detecting, tracking or identifying these cold war relics did they?

Raptors nearly shot down Iranian F-4s and syrian Su-22s WVR as well.


I'm just trying to be sarcastic and rhetorical, but why didn't any of the most recent WVR kills involve BFM turn-and-burn "dogfighting"? IMO, WVR will always be prevalent, but "dogfighting" is on the way out.

The intensity of the conflicts matters, as does the politics of ambiguous sides in a five or six way war. You would see more BVR in the case of all out war.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 14:02

castlebravo wrote:I'm just trying to be sarcastic and rhetorical, but why didn't any of the most recent WVR kills involve BFM turn-and-burn "dogfighting"? IMO, WVR will always be prevalent, but "dogfighting" is on the way out.


Well we also need to consider the targets of these recent engagements. Su-22s, Su-24s, Drones, potentially F-4s, these are planes are meat on the table for a textbook BVR kill, the fact that they even reached WVR is what tells me that WVR is alive and well in our 5th gen, network centric battlefield .

But even when they got to the merge, these attack pilots most likely had very little ACM training if any and the planes they built weren't really built to duke it out with F-15s, F-16s and F/A-18s let alone the Raptor.

That engagement between the Shornet and Su-22 MAYhave turned out to be a classic turn and burn engagement if it was an air to air configured fighter flown by a competent ACM savy pilot. Now bear in mind that I emphasize the word may as I am simply trying to imply that these factors would have simply raised that possibility and not ensure it.

Are turn and burn engagements dead? I'm not so sure,
-the USAF and USN still train extensively for classic dogfights,
-later blocks of the F-35 are more maneuverable (block 3f is cleared for 9Gs and block 4 may have an engine upgrade).
-The Advanced Super hornet has thrust enhancements coupled with internal weapons pods and CFTs that will allow greater kinematic performance
-The Russian PAKFA and Indian HAL FGFA puts a premium on maneuverability
-The Japanese ATD-X has 3D TVC,
-Saw early sketches of the Turkish domestic 5th gen also has some maneuver enhancing components.
-The US navy wants the F/A-XX to have far superior kinematic performance than any existing aircraft
(https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... nc-384291/)

So I don't know, maybe a future with VLO planes equiped with advanced IR countermeasures make BVR or one shot one kill scenarios more difficult.
Last edited by zero-one on 15 Sep 2017, 15:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 14:12

"Turn and burn" SUSTAINED dogfights have to have a number of tea leaves lined up to actually happen.

Not the least of which is at a minimum is two very well trained and stress controlled pilots who have the competency to continue to maneuver and counter maneuver to keep up the fight while no external factors (fuel, SAMs, additional help, etc) interfere.

We don't have even many models of encounters the last 40 years to really look at
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 14:20

Regarding the recent F-18 downing the Su-22: I recall seeing a press conference on video (or television), or reading a press release that stated the lengths the USN went to avoid shooting down the Su-22. If memory serves, the SHornet crews attempted all manner of visual communication, and even went so far as to fly in front of the Fitter -- both slowing down and weaving -- in an attempt to get the pilot to break off.

I imagine the SHornet driver was either inventing new cuss words for higher ups for ordering (requiring) him to fly in front of an enema aircraft, or had a pair of iron ones, or both.

If this is the lengths to which the ROE went to try to de-conflict that aerial encounter, then BVR was way, way out the window.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 15:09

'StevieWonder' I'm glad you BRANG THAT UP because 'speak of de devil & his chains rattle' straight from 'mouth of horse'.

VIDEO from TAILHOOK 2017:
https://livestream.com/wab/tailhook2017 ... /162478715 :devil: 4 USN pilots involved in the Su-22 downshoot speak. :devil:
Attachments
4pilotsShootSu-22tailhook2017.jpg
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 15:29

XanderCrews wrote:"Turn and burn" SUSTAINED dogfights have to have a number of tea leaves lined up to actually happen.


I would say the same for textbook BVR engagements. the reason why the gulf Sidra incidents, some of the AMRAAM kills, the recent Su-22 and Su-24 kills were all done WVR was because the BVR tea leaves didn't line up for those scenarios.

External factors such as rocket motor failure, ROEs, ECM, clearance to fire, fuel, SAMs can also be a factor
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 16:46

I'm trying to record the tailhook video to then upload it (perhaps edited) to youtube - meanwhile the DRIVEl :devil: has this:
Here's The Definitive Account Of The Syrian Su-22 Shoot Down From The Pilots Themselves
14 Sep 2017 Tyler Rogoway

"...Below is a summary and some of the takeaways based on the combined accounts of not just Lt. Cmdr. Michael "Mob" Tremel who shot down the Syrian Fitter, but also of his wingman from VFA-87 "Golden Warriors" and two pilots who flew a section of F/A-18Cs belonging to VFA-37 "Bulls" who were in the air alongside them during the mission....

...The group of four strike fighters entered the close air support stack (CAS stack) overhead the JTAC and waited for any requests for strikes when a Russian Su-27 showed up and began loitering high overhead.

Mob, who was having issues with his targeting pod, was assigned to keep tabs on the circling Russian fighter while the other pilots continued with their CAS mission. He turned the Super Hornet's master mode to air-to-air and began tracking the Su-27 and searching the skies around the area for other aircraft.

Then another radar track appeared—a fast moving aircraft coming from the south directly towards him. Although Mob figured it was probably a Syrian aircraft, he moved to intercept the target and eventually made a visual identification on what turned out to be a Syrian Air Force Su-22 Fitter swing-wing attack jet—the same type of aircraft used to deliver the gas attack that led to the Tomahawk missile strike a few months earlier.

Mob made it clear during the presentation that if the Syrian jet just turned away that would have been great as they had plenty to do in support of ground forces, but that didn't end up being the case.

After identifying the Su-22, Mob got on the radio with an airborne command and control post, an E-3 Sentry, and had them broadcast warnings repeatedly over guard frequency to the Syrian jet. Those radio calls did not result in a change of course by the Syrian pilot. Then Mob "thumped" the Su-22 three times—flying close over the jet's canopy and popping flares out in front of it before breaking off—to warn him away. That didn't work either.

By then the Su-22 was in striking distance of friendly forces and it began to dive, releasing its weapons in the process, before making a climb out after the attack. Based on the rules of engagement that were briefed to the naval aviators, Mob locked the Su-22 up from behind with an AIM-9X Sidewinder and fired.

The missile zipped off the Hornet's wing rail trailing smoke but quickly disappeared. It wasn't clear why the missile failed to track the Su-22 or where it had gone. Mob quickly selected an AIM-120 AMRAAM and fired once again. He noted how long it took for the missile to fire off the Super Hornet's "cheek" station located along the outer edges of its air intakes.

Regardless, the missile tracked the Fitter flying just a short distance away and exploded on its backside, pitching it violently to the right and downward. The pilot was clearly seen ejecting from the doomed swing-wing attack jet.

The ejection seat passed very close down the right sight of Mob's canopy. He noted how live-fire training helped him during the engagement because he knew what to expect and quickly rolled away from the explosion instead of flying through it...." [LOTS OF DETAILS at the JUMP]

Source: http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/14 ... themselves
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 18:33

Seven minute excerpt of the Su-22 shootdown from TAILHOOK 2017 48 minute video above.

A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 18:43

So its finally set in stone. The dud missile was a 9X.
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 21:03

A couple of things I noted to highlight for those who don't play the vid or catch.
1. The Russian Flanker was, as they had become accustomed to expecting, "very professional," and behaved as they had experienced throughout the Med cruise.
2. After the engagement and through the egress, the flanker continued in that professionalism.
3. It was noted, that they tracked the flanker and observed in a "Trust but verify," fashion.

I take that to mean that the joint forces had ROE and Ops during this time, such that they had procedures and assets to monitor the very professional behavior of the Russian aircraft. Those assets and procedures were unspecified. However, this Navy flight was a CAS flight and would not have those type responsibilities even in switching to A2A mode for the SU-22. I assume they were not immediately concerned with the flanker in a high cover position. It remains unknown why that comfort level continued. I take that to mean it was, "Not my job," but from the beginning (when "Mob" switched to A2A and thus saw the SU-22) they did still monitor it.

Secondly It sounds as though that the A2A switch was made simply because Mob's A2G sensor malfunctioned, and he figured, "WTH, why not do something valuable?" and then he saw the incoming Syrian SU-22. It is implied but not stated that they had been on similar CAS stacks and the Russian flanker was a common presence, and they had not always switched one bird to A2A mode. I wonder how this would have played out without this seemingly whimsical change. There was some back and forth in the questions with an AWACS (E2) type that was a bit uncomfortable. There is probably a lot of cleanup around the edges, in the many post-op evaluations of the incident.

But it was informative on the training and professionalism of these Navy pilots, and the multi-role flexibility of the SH/Hornets.

FWIW,
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 21:58

I did find it odd that the Flanker on high cover did not respond to the F/A-18 shooting down the Su-22 at all. Maybe I need a refresher on the "axis" and "allies" web that is the Syrian conflict.
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