S-400 and F-35

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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outlaw162

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Unread post08 Apr 2020, 18:12

(Ancient) History Lesson:

Contrary to some of the statements in that Combat Tree thread above, F-4 WSOs did not 'guide' AIM-7s among other things.

Radar targets could be locked on to by the WSO, or by the pilot auto-acq switch on the outboard throttle. The AIM-7 CW guidance illumination requirement was the same for either type of acquisition, the difference being the pilot boresight auto-acq system was limited to 10 miles, and was switched to by the WSO when requested by the pilot, often in cases where the WSO was having some difficulty, generally during maneuvering. No tilt and gain required if the pilot could see and boresight the target, front or rear aspect, inside 10 miles on the front with closure being problematical for tuning and settling times.

With respect to BVR shots, you could not lock on to an APX return. In the F-4D, you had to have the raw analog radar return, which involved azimuth, distance AND ELEVATION to lock on to a target. The displayed APX lines gave rough azimuth and distance, so at least one knew 'something' was out there to refine the radar antenna direction to, while trying to nail the elevation. Looking down, gain was particularly critical. Tilt and gain, tilt and gain, range gate, lock, wait, wait....shoot....hope.

It was a primitive beginning, just like the AIM-7E itself, but without those small steps, no slammer. Ritchie may have been a great dogfighter also, but his real strength was his absolute knowledge and mastery of how to employ his weapons successfully, even with their somewhat severe limitations.

F-35 and slammer, who could ask for more? :D
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f-16adf

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Unread post08 Apr 2020, 18:37

Outlaw,

Generally how far out could the F-4D APQ-109 radar see a fighter sized type target? I have a book that says the Solid State pulse F-4E radar (the APQ-120) with the smaller sized 28 inch dish was from about 25 miles and beyond. However, for a bomber sized target it was around 80nm or more (I think a 57th FIS F-4E WSO said it was approx. 80 or 90nm for a Soviet Bear).
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outlaw162

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Unread post08 Apr 2020, 19:40

I think it was advertised as 30ish, which was optimistic from what I saw. And not PD, so it was well advised to stay low. With the APX, advertised at 60ish to get initial range and azimuth bracketed, more time to massage tilt for elevation and gain while pointing in approximately the right direction, and the APX would show all targets....but once you switched back to scan you lost that additional SA and had to pick one and go for it....if you could find a raw return again at all.

Without AWACS, I recall being very happy with the rare 20 mile contacts (actually even with AWACS), but there was a bell curve of WSO ability....with some guys I'd just be happy to have a contact at any range, but I had 20/12 eyes also. I once picked up a lizard F-5E at 13 miles looking down, really. :shock:

Without TWS capability, from 20ish miles you could afford to break lock and sample the APX maybe once if you dared before you committed. In the canned training situation, you could generally expect to find at least two (or more) in mutual support, even running on one contact out of necessity. Not good real world thinking. As I said, it was primitive.

But it sure was fun. :D

edit: BTW the modern radar capabilities of 'sorting' and cross-targeting, etc. and all these type luxuries, were just not usually available to you. You played the cards you were dealt as it were.

edit #2: The F-35 drivers will never have to deal with the 'blind' and 'clueless' concept we were familiar with.
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Gums

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Unread post08 Apr 2020, 21:53

Salute!

Thanks for the great stuff, Outlaw. My feeling is that Ritchie's or Lodge's kills were due to better SA than finding and poking a bandit with the Tree gear. OTOH apparently Lodge had two HO shots/kills using it to verify ID, despite ROE a for most of the war. We had just gone back up north and needed some kills, plus we had much better GCI than in 1968.

The piece brings back good and bad for this old fart. They were both friends and classmates from the Zoo.

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Ritchie upper left, Gums center bottom
Steve, Gums and the two guys on far right got fighters outta UPT

Image
Gums and Steve at an airshow 25 or so years later

Bob lived down the hall in Vandenburg, so I knew him better. I went thru "pilot indoctrination training" with Steve in 1963, when I gave up summer leave for the chance to see what UPT was be like. We both got 12 rides outta the T-37 syllabus, but they wouldn't let us solo. It was obvious from the IP's talk that Steve had great hands. Ditto for Karl Richter, another classmate that I flew with in UPT the next year. No mystery that the three of us graduated very high from UPT and got front seat fighters ( the Double Ugly was just coming aboard, but UPT grads could only be "pilot systems operators" until late '67 or '68.) Bob Lodge was in the quickie Master's degree program, being brainy, so didn't go to UPT for almost a year after Steve and I. But he had good hands and got a Thud assignment.

Steve was a very good pilot, and knew the Sparrow and the Double Ugly better than most, even when he took long shots for tactical reasons. Bob Lodge was "brainy" and I think he may have been involved in in the genesis of Teaball along with Steve.

Lottsa opinions about Bob being shot down, and Steve was in the flight. Despite calls that he had a trailer, he either didn't hear or pressed on to get another kill. I could ask Steve at next reunion, but he will likely remain quiet.

The Locher rescue in the link was one of our case studies when I became a Sandy. We tries a similar rescue with the A-7 in December that year, but too close to Bullseye and we had to abandon the effort after two tries and a shot up Jolly that crash landed on a Lima Site in Laos. We then destroyed the thing ouselves to prevent the PL or Vee from getting the classified stuff.
Long link, but has many good pages about the folks we're talking about:

https://books.google.com/books?id=BxT6h ... ge&f=false

Gums sends...
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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jessmo112

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Unread post08 Apr 2020, 23:07

Gums you were a handsome devil.
We love the history, please keep it up.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post08 Apr 2020, 23:09

:devil: I always imagine GUMS looks like his avatar! :doh:
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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ricnunes

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Unread post09 Apr 2020, 13:20

spazsinbad wrote::devil: I always imagine GUMS looks like his avatar! :doh:


LoL, me too :mrgreen:

Anyway, great stories there Gums and Outlaw! Keep them coming :thumb:
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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