Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 00:52
by Angels225
Ive searched using the google tool for a topic or post that answers this and Ive not found anything.
So if there has been something like this answered I apologize.


My question is not specific to the F-16 but came on the heels of hearing about cope India.
1.Is there a way a non-BVR equipped day fighter can force a merge..specifically in a case where say the adversaries are very close with minutes of flight time(say cold war west and east germany but in today's timeline).?

2. Even if both sides are equipped with BVR, how much would radar ranges and/or weapons load capacity matter if both sides have AEW coverage and datalinks(F-16/15 vs Mig-29/Su-27) in determining the outcome of most aerial engagements?

Considering that your adversary and you both are within 10-20 minutes(at burner) or so of flight time from each other's bases.. will having a huge radar that sees all that far and 12 A2A weapons really matter when there really is a possibility that you will be merging within minutes anyway?

For eg, what is the chance that any strike mission from either side even gets through if they are forced to jettison or abort?

RE: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 07:36
by pafpilot
perfect "pakistan-india" scenario that you described here.........

RE: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 17:37
by Coriolan
This is tactics, a bit sensitive no ?

Re: RE: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2013, 20:31
by southernphantom
Coriolan wrote:This is tactics, a bit sensitive no ?


No. This sort of information is publicly-available. Information pertaining to new electronic equipment tends to be sensitive, but employment of generic hardware isn't sensitive at all.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 05 May 2013, 18:01
by deadseal
Angels225 wrote:Ive searched using the google tool for a topic or post that answers this and Ive not found anything.
So if there has been something like this answered I apologize.


My question is not specific to the F-16 but came on the heels of hearing about cope India.
1.Is there a way a non-BVR equipped day fighter can force a merge..specifically in a case where say the adversaries are very close with minutes of flight time(say cold war west and east germany but in today's timeline).?

2. Even if both sides are equipped with BVR, how much would radar ranges and/or weapons load capacity matter if both sides have AEW coverage and datalinks(F-16/15 vs Mig-29/Su-27) in determining the outcome of most aerial engagements?

Considering that your adversary and you both are within 10-20 minutes(at burner) or so of flight time from each other's bases.. will having a huge radar that sees all that far and 12 A2A weapons really matter when there really is a possibility that you will be merging within minutes anyway?

For eg, what is the chance that any strike mission from either side even gets through if they are forced to jettison or abort?


1. it depends

2. Alot. AEW is not weapons quality

3. Yes (reference above)

4.if they Jett or abort...they're not getting through so you just answered your own question.

As to how? That is tactics and i doubt you'd find those in use by any country online

RE: Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 06 May 2013, 14:30
by Angels225
Deadseal

2. My question is not to the quality of weapons wrt to AEW.. but rather employment.
3.Not following that.
4. I should rephrase, what is the chance of something actually getting through in such a scenario.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 06 May 2013, 16:34
by Lightndattic
Angels225 wrote:1.Is there a way a non-BVR equipped day fighter can force a merge..specifically in a case where say the adversaries are very close with minutes of flight time(say cold war west and east germany but in today's timeline).?


You answered your own question by referencing Cope India. A fighter with an inherently small RCS coupled with a modern, powerful jammer would do the trick. This is what the Mig-21 BISON did to the F-15's.


2. Even if both sides are equipped with BVR, how much would radar ranges and/or weapons load capacity matter if both sides have AEW coverage and datalinks(F-16/15 vs Mig-29/Su-27) in determining the outcome of most aerial engagements?


First shot capability would be the deciding factor. Once the first side fires, the other side can either go totally defensive and hope to get clear for a follow-on shot or press on towards their own launching points and potentially eat the incoming missiles. The main point of the 5th gen fighter is to increase the distance we can fire while reducing the distance we can be fired upon.

RE: Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 06 May 2013, 20:37
by neurotech
I think questions like this distract from point that combat capability isn't about one particular fighter aircraft's capability. The bigger issue is what type of support do those jets have. Tankers, AEW, Datalink capability between the AEW and the fighters is also a major factor.

In exercises involving the F-22, one of the big issues is that the F-22 runs out of AIM-120s and then is forced WVR, or even forced to close for a gun kill. The US hasn't faced a major challenge to air superiority since Vietnam. In the Gulf War, Iraqi MiG-25s and F-1s were a considerable threat, and lesser threat from MiG-21s and other jets. At the start of war, there were literally 500+ 3rd gen and 4th gen fighters and attack/strike aircraft with secondary A/A capability. Any one of them could represent a threat to even a F-22 if significantly outnumbered.

Of course, the F-22 pilot would be able to detect the MiG-21s from far enough away to control the engagement, or even disengage until more allied jets arrive.

RE: Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2013, 06:31
by geogen
Angels -

With respect to your question about the ability for a strike capability to penetrate an adversary; that's what the requirement for 'stand-off' munitions are largely for.

In that case, one need not to look farther than the most recent strike against strategic targets (munitions sites and research) which included employment of said munitions rather than a penetrating platform dropping dumb bombs.

As far as capable 'merge' performance goes... perhaps have a self-protective ECM suite and have a sufficient self-protective IR-counter too. Speed, maneuverability, climb and acceleration would obviously be a crucial spec, as would the ability to have superior Very HOBS dogfight missiles with good head-on performance. A good IRST to help offset the likely high environment of ECM jamming and decoys might be advantageous too?

RE: Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2013, 13:41
by Angels225
Thanks for the input geo.

Using stand-off weapons makes sense since it keeps the strike formation relatively safe. Pafpilots refernce to the Indo-Pak theater does bring up some questions. Not sure to what level they employ stand-off weapons but within that theater I am guessing that most of the strike force will get through.

Light,

You mentioned 5th gen systems.. but what of say a fighter like the F-16 going against a Flanker-S. However, considering that they are both close by will the massive radar on the sukhoi really give it any advantage if the viper has AEW support(just as the flanker might)?

Re: RE: Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 18 May 2013, 18:49
by icemaverick
Angels225 wrote:Thanks for the input geo.

Using stand-off weapons makes sense since it keeps the strike formation relatively safe. Pafpilots refernce to the Indo-Pak theater does bring up some questions. Not sure to what level they employ stand-off weapons but within that theater I am guessing that most of the strike force will get through.

Light,

You mentioned 5th gen systems.. but what of say a fighter like the F-16 going against a Flanker-S. However, considering that they are both close by will the massive radar on the sukhoi really give it any advantage if the viper has AEW support(just as the flanker might)?


If they both have AWACS, the Sukhoi's large radar may make a difference. It is unknown as to wether an AWACS aircraft's radar can guide missiles. I'm going to speculate that AMRAAMs on an F-16 can be guided to their targets by the AWACS' radar via data-link. If that's the case, the Sukhoi's larger radar would make no difference and it would be a race to see who could get their missiles off first.

If, however, both aircraft have to acquire the target with their own radars in order to obtain a firing solution, the Sukhois could get the first shot since they would presumably acquire the F-16s first (assuming both jets have pretty large RCS). Of course the quality of the AWACS also comes into play. I know that India has Phalcon, which is a very sophisticated system. I'm not sure what systems the Pakistanis and Chinese use and how they compare.

RE: Re: RE: Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 18 May 2013, 19:09
by icemaverick
You answered your own question by referencing Cope India. A fighter with an inherently small RCS coupled with a modern, powerful jammer would do the trick. This is what the Mig-21 BISON did to the F-15's.


If I'm not mistaken, weren't the F-15s in that engagement prevented from using BVR missiles? The Eagles were also flying outnumbered. I'd have to imagine that this significantly altered the tactics and that it would be considerably harder for the MiG-21s to get through in more realistic scenarios.....even if the F-15s were using legacy pulse-doppler radars and not AESAs. It's much easier to force the merge if you have numbers on your side and your opponent can't fire on you from afar.

I don't think a pilot would want to force a merge in any realistic scenario. An old school merge is always a bit of crapshoot; would you rather snipe someone from far away or face them in a close quarters knife fight? Even non-stealthy aircraft would want to destroy their enemy from BVR. The only scenario in which you want to force the merge is if your BVR capability is lacking; if that's the case you've probably already lost the war against any decently equipped foe.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 12:11
by klearhos
Angels225 wrote:1.Is there a way a non-BVR equipped day fighter can force a merge..specifically in a case where say the adversaries are very close with minutes of flight time(say cold war west and east germany but in today's timeline).?



This has been proven in actual battle. Check out the engagement fought by US F-15Cs vs Iraqi MiG-25s on Jan. 19, 1991. The Iraqis avoided the BVR envelope (the Americans were unable to get a shot off) and closed to within visual range. At this point they messed up. They got separated and were killed one after the other.

This is still possible today, for despite the tech evolution, radar basics are still the same. By employing skillful "aspect and power management" the pilot can avoid being locked up and suddenly pop up at your 3 or 9 o'clock 3-4 miles away. Or he may avoid enemy NCTR and create some ambiguity with respect to his identity that will cause his enemy to refrain from taking a BVR shot. This is why we still have short range missiles and require our fighters to be agile.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2017, 15:52
by mixelflick
klearhos wrote:
Angels225 wrote:1.Is there a way a non-BVR equipped day fighter can force a merge..specifically in a case where say the adversaries are very close with minutes of flight time(say cold war west and east germany but in today's timeline).?



This has been proven in actual battle. Check out the engagement fought by US F-15Cs vs Iraqi MiG-25s on Jan. 19, 1991. The Iraqis avoided the BVR envelope (the Americans were unable to get a shot off) and closed to within visual range. At this point they messed up. They got separated and were killed one after the other.

This is still possible today, for despite the tech evolution, radar basics are still the same. By employing skillful "aspect and power management" the pilot can avoid being locked up and suddenly pop up at your 3 or 9 o'clock 3-4 miles away. Or he may avoid enemy NCTR and create some ambiguity with respect to his identity that will cause his enemy to refrain from taking a BVR shot. This is why we still have short range missiles and require our fighters to be agile.


I agree 100%. Unfortunately, this brings up the issue of such a heavy weight being place on stealth (in the F-35) and presumably compromises made in the WVR arena. Now I'm NOT saying it's not a good dogfighter (I think Paris laid that to rest), only that the Russians still seem to place a HUGE emphasis on WVR capabilities. Us, not so much..

Every time we thought the dogfight was a thing of the past, it wasn't. Every time. The sooner they can get a low observable 9x under her wings, the better.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2017, 19:58
by basher54321
There are likely ways to force the merge that involve more than a 2% chance of success outside of some mass melee (plenty of examples here over the years) and true that technology is not perfect - but if your tactics depend on some piece of tech randomly failing today at a precise moment in time then you perhaps need a new career!

Is 1991 even in todays timeline with that old tech? - try that same scenario against an F-35 today - even if you could get round the radar you could still be being tracked by optical and 360 degree IR sensors and still blasted out of the sky regardless - things moved on!

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 01:35
by gc
Forcing a merge is certainly possible in the days before the introduction of 5th gen fighters. I am sure one of the primary mission for F-22/F-35 during counter-air missions is to eliminate the possibility of a merge but staying away and above the messy fight and keeping a god's eye view of the evolving air situation, using multiple advanced sensors to perform long range target ID even in degraded conditions, ensuring all bogeys are targeted and if need be step in to kill leakers before they can merge with friendly fighters. 4th gen US fighters are also now equipped with AESA radars that can keep higher fidelity track of far larger numbers of targets from much greater ranges employing ECM or reduced RCS. And most importantly, a huge emphasis is now place on training fighters to deal with overwhelming enemy numbers in air to air combat, with aggressor units trying their best in employing creative tactics to slip thought the BVR net.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 15:16
by klearhos
@ gc

Yep, that's what the industrial complex will have you believe.

Recall that the AIM-9M's strong point was supposed to have been its resistance to IRCM and the AIM-9X was being advertised as a wpn invulnerable (as opposed to resistant) to IRCM. In practice pilots found they had to use radar missiles in lieu of AIM9X/Ms because the AIM9X/Ms were being decoyed away.

When combat is joined the first casualty is the advertising campaign.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 19:10
by botsing
klearhos wrote:When combat is joined the first casualty is the advertising campaign.

That reminds me a lot about Russian advertising...

klearhos wrote:In practice pilots found they had to use radar missiles in lieu of AIM9X/Ms because the AIM9X/Ms were being decoyed away.

Do you have any source for this claim, especially about the AIM-9X?

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 21:01
by klearhos
It is generally accepted that WVR commences when the range has closed down to within 10 miles.

Now, if a 4th or 5th gen a/c can fire an AMRAAM or a P77 at, say, 30nm on a target approaching head on at 30,000'' then if the target simply reverses to present a tail-on aspect, firing range is now down to well below 10 nm. Similarly if the same aircraft engages a high aspect (head on) target at low alt (say 3-5000''), then again the AMRAAM or P77 cannot be fired at more than 10 nm. You see where this is getting, don't you?

The target has a say on engagement range. The target can decrease your firing range by changing aspect, speed and height. Plus the target can degrade your sensors by aspect and power management. And, yes, he can force you into WVR before you can get a shot off.

It is the tactics you'll come up with, not your technological advantage, that will decide the outcome.

Since 1991, a lot has changed BUT THINGS HAVE REMAINED THE SAME. We had -9Ms back then we have -9Xs now, with a technologically advanced seeker and superb maneuverability. The -9M was being decoyed away in 1991, the -9X was decoyed away the other day. SO, though weapons have been improved, THE TACTICAL SITUATION IS THE SAME.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 21:36
by botsing
Soooo... will you care to answer this one or will you just be another one way street visiting this forum?

botsing wrote:
klearhos wrote:In practice pilots found they had to use radar missiles in lieu of AIM9X/Ms because the AIM9X/Ms were being decoyed away.

Do you have any source for this claim, especially about the AIM-9X?

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2017, 00:58
by gc
If anything the recent F/A-18E vs Su-22 engagement showed us that redundancies exists and air to air combat training is of extreme importance. There can be so many reasons why the AIM-9 shot failed but another option was available and the pilot was able to execute that option.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2017, 12:49
by basher54321
klearhos wrote:It is generally accepted..........


Can you provide a link to where Ratheon advertise AIM-9X being immune to all IRCM?

It's one thing to dismiss advertising - entirely another to then blindly form your opinions on poor sources of information.

The reason you were asked for a source was because:

1. Every source presented thus far has been of no credible substance and does not back up your assumption.
2. There is a lot more to it than you demonstrably realize.

One tip for you - unless this is a language barrier issue - putting your thoughts on here in capital letters does not make them any less mis-informed I'm afraid. You took an example from 1991 - maybe that is a good starting point for you.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2017, 15:14
by botsing
gc wrote:If anything the recent F/A-18E vs Su-22 engagement showed us that redundancies exists and air to air combat training is of extreme importance. There can be so many reasons why the AIM-9 shot failed but another option was available and the pilot was able to execute that option.

As far as I know we do not even know if an AIM-9 was used in that engagement (all reports about an AIM-9 being used in that engagement seem to point back to one single source that was repeated forever). Hence the reason I am asking klearhos for sources.

klearhos wrote:@ botsing

As a dutch person that's what you should be studying, esp in the middle of July.

<span class="skimlinks-unlinked">http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/UNIBAM.Vol.I.pdf</span>

When you finish this there is a volume 2.

Right... Thank you for obfuscating this discussion with clueless remarks, I guess...

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2017, 21:33
by klearhos
Angels225 wrote: but what of say a fighter like the F-16 going against a Flanker-S. However, considering that they are both close by will the massive radar on the sukhoi really give it any advantage if the viper has AEW support(just as the flanker might)?


You are raising an important subject with far reaching implications. In short, if there is a secure (jam proof) link to an AEW, that is sufficient for our F-16 to NULIFY ANY RADAR OR MISSILE RANGE ADVANTAGE THE ENEMY MAY HAVE.

We can identify two adverse scenarios
1)the enemy has a radar range advantage, but a similar missile range. What does he earn from this? If he can see us before we do, then he can reform his flight in such a way that will put him in an advantageous position by the time we start picking him up, eg start a PINCER or CHAMPAGNE. Clearly the link will extend our situational awareness (SA) so that we will be able to react to the enemy moves.
2)the enemy has a missile range advantage as well. As I described in other posts, we can maneuver the F-16 to decrease his missile range to manageable proportions. However, these maneuvers will normally place the enemy a/c beyond our radar gimbals, ie we lose SA. If the AEW is kind enough as to share its picture with us, we will be able to keep track of the enemy while we maneuver, observe his reactions, carefully timing our counter attack (pitch-back). Therefore the link greatly assists us to defeat an enemy with superior missile armament.

Of course some fighters have been fitted with PESA/AESA radar, which is far superior to legacy sets. They are far from invincible though. For example they still use the same techniques (doppler filtering) to detect targets in clutter. So, if you know how to get into the clutter and how to defeat doppler then you can avoid those fighters' intial attack, while outflanking them on both sides to cath them in a PINCE; and kill them.

Others, esp the Russians point to their IRST sensors. Keyboard warriors have attributed IRST with mythical powers. Bear in mind that 52% of this planet is covered in cloud at any one moment. CLOUD RENDERS IRST IRRELEVANT. Russia is covered by a cloudy sky more often than not, but then again, it's their money, they can spend it wherever they want.

Further IRST cannot track subsonic, non-afterburning, high aspect targets at any meaningful range (not beyond WVR), while, at long range vs low aspect targets, it can be easily confused by certain IRCM.

All this combines to suggest that the other side have yet to produce an effective answer to the F-16, despite all their claims. The F-16's attack is not so much different than the head on attack profile described by Boyd himself in “Aerial Attack”. It is only changed somewhat to account for tech evolution.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 28 Jul 2017, 03:41
by gc
Assuming both the Flanker-S and Viper are radio-silent and are relying on datalink and off-board sensor support till just prior to missile launch, I would believe the viper will hold an advantage as it has a much smaller RCS. With the Have Glass 5 upgrade being introduced, the Viper will be detected at much reduced distances by AEWs compared to the huge Flanker-S signature. This will enable to viper to manoeuvre to a better position and make the first shot.

An Eagle driver described the range at which the APG-63(v)3 and AIM-120D combination can engage a target as 'eye-watering'. I believe the F-16's SABR and AIM-120D combination will allow the same.

Re: Forcing the Merge

Unread postPosted: 28 Jul 2017, 12:26
by klearhos
@qc

Well, not all users can afford the SABR and not all will be cleared to receive the -120D.

"Taking the first shot" doesn't mean anything, especially if the enemy simply sidesteps around your missile. You need to elaborate and specify the point in the envelope where shot will be taken.