Forcing the Merge

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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Angels225

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Unread post04 May 2013, 00:52

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?
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pafpilot

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Unread post04 May 2013, 07:36

perfect "pakistan-india" scenario that you described here.........
A MiG at you SIX, is better than no MiG at all!!
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Unread post04 May 2013, 17:37

This is tactics, a bit sensitive no ?
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southernphantom

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Unread post04 May 2013, 20:31

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.
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deadseal

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Unread post05 May 2013, 18:01

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
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Angels225

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Unread post06 May 2013, 14:30

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.
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Unread post06 May 2013, 16:34

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.
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neurotech

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Unread post06 May 2013, 20:37

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.
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Unread post09 May 2013, 06:31

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?
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Angels225

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Unread post16 May 2013, 13:41

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)?
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Unread post18 May 2013, 18:49

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.
Last edited by icemaverick on 18 May 2013, 20:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post18 May 2013, 19:09

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.
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Unread post18 Jul 2017, 12:11

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.
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Unread post25 Jul 2017, 15:52

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.
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Unread post25 Jul 2017, 19:58

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!
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