BVR Combat

Discuss air warfare, doctrine, air forces, historic campaigns, etc.

How likely are we to see BVR missiles used at true BVR range?

100% - We wouldn't have them otherwise.
18
40%
50% - We might, but we'll probably need a visual ID before we fire on a target.
25
56%
0% - The enemy will be too afraid of us and will stay on the ground.
2
4%
 
Total votes : 45

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danhutmacher

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Unread post13 Feb 2005, 00:18

That's my point exactly. We can spend the money on BVR missiles but if the people operating the equipment don't trust it or get confused because they were poorly trained then we will wind up shooting down some of our own aircraft. It all comes down to the people.
Unfouchanitly in that strike that I mentioned in my earlier post an F-18 was lost during that strike. Just about everybody thinks that it was shot down by that Mig.
It's because of incidents like that and because of technical problems that I belive that BVR combat is a pipe dream.
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TC

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Unread post13 Feb 2005, 19:39

It's not really a pipe dream, because it's not impossible. We've proven again and again that it can and has worked. "The Blackhawk Incident" was a laundry list of failures, which pretty much any case of something going that drastically wrong typically is. The training was top notch, but in the case of the weapons controller, he had been reprimanded previously for falling asleep. Somehow, he was allowed to slip through the cracks. I have a theory on that which I won't share here.

The Army, as I said before did not enter the day's new IFF code, which raised a red flag with the F-15s which eventually downed the choppers. Actually, they made a quick pass near the choppers, and with the wrong IFF code, the removeable wings and external ordinance, everyone was in agreement that the choppers were Mi-24 Hinds. So, there you go. A visual didn't help matters either.

As far as Scott Speicher goes, some say the Foxbat got him. Some say a SAM got him, as there were several launches in the area. That's another theory which I will refrain from discussing here. I just hope we can find him someday.

As to your first comment, I can't think of any fighter pilot who "doesn't trust" his equipment. If they didn't trust it, they wouldn't be flying. Bottom line, BVR combat has pluses and minuses, but we are discussing incidents that are now 14 years old. Technology and training has improved. We also haven't seen much air to air combat since that point, so when we finally do, I have no doubt we will have learned from our experiences. That is what makes us better each time.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
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swanee

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Unread post16 Feb 2005, 03:26

swanee wrote:
TC wrote:If I could jump in on this and clear a few misconceptions up here...

First off, as to the advantage of the gun. Sure, every little thing you can have to your advantage could be helpful, but one must remember the last U.S. guns kill of an enemy aircraft was made by now retired USAF BGen (I believe 1LT at the time) Gary Rubus (an old acquaintance) back in 1972, flying an F-4E, against a MiG-21. It's been all missiles since then.


Sorry, but my bullsh*t meter just spiked here. :) Gen Rubus had the last a2a guns kill against a fixed wing aircraft, but 2 A-10s from Davis Monthan (I believe, those I could also be bullsh*tting and it be a different unit :wink: ) had 2 a2a guns kills on 2 Iraqi helicopters, as their aim 9s missed the target...

The Wing King from the A-10 Unit Called up the Wing King from the 1st Fw and bragged about having more kills in an A-10 than his f-15s at the time!

Life is too short for ugly sailboats, fat women and bad beer!


corrections: It was the New Orleans unit, not the Davis Monthan. And their Aim-9s never left their wings, they couldn't get a lock on the helos with them... It's true about the phone call part though!!!
Life is too short for ugly sailboats, fat women and bad beer!
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Gums

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Unread post16 Feb 2005, 04:29

Salute all!

really neat thread here.

1) Yep, was the NOLA outfit that got the helo with the 30mm cannon. The guy's class from USAFA paid for it to be moved from here at Eglin to USAFA a few years back. I love to see that plane, as it has the helo symbol below the canopy versus the usual star for a kill. Heh heh.

2) I also remember an Israeli video of a helo shootdown. one of our students sent the thing back to us. Was Bekka Valley. He tried to gun the sucker, but the Syrian dude would drop down just in time. After about three tries, next frame is AIM-9L symbolgy, good tone, then BAM!!!

3) BVR combat was limited in 'nam due to ROE. Bolo proved how good the Sparrow was when employed as it was designed. Nevertheless, only Ritchie got his kills with the Sparrow. Cunningham used 'winders. I talked with a Mig-killer last night and he used a 'winder. He shot a Sparrow, unguided, just to get the Mig-21 to move. Then he smoked the sucker with an AIM-9E. I am a classmate of Ritchie, and he will tell you how he did it. He shot, looked, then shot again. Sometimes he shot twice, then looked. He also knew his missile really well, and positioned his jet's nose and relaxed on the gee when firing to improve the Pk. Know what? It worked.

4) Non-cooperative radar stuff has been around since 1984 or so. I can't tell you the details, but I would trust it. I am sure NCTR is a whole lot better 20 years later. The IFF Mode 4 is common knowledge, and the Eagles have had it since the late 70's - 30 years ago, my friends. Ask the Blackhawk survivors about Mode 4.

The Blackhawk fiasco was just that - a fiasco. Poor AWACS, poor comm about who was flying where, etc. Also, look at one of the Blackhawks with the external tanks and the refueling probe and the thing resembles a Hind-D unless you get out in front. So I cut the Eagle troops some slack.

The really bad part was the helos weren't checking six and didn't have the correct IFF code set. They were fat, dumb and happy until they got smoked. I hate to be callous, but they screwed up worse than the Eagle drivers or the AWACS folks.

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

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Unread post16 Feb 2005, 04:50

It's because of errors like those in the Blackhawk incident that I feel that BVR combat is a pipe dream.
As for pilots not trusting thier equipment I meant thier IFF gear. :oops:
Part of me hopes to be proven wrong about BVR but history has a way of repeating itself.
During gulf war 2 the patriots shot down a british tornado, a navy F-18 and almost got an air force F-16. It also had the habit of locking up friendly aircraft and declareing them to be cruise missiles.
Those incidents are less than two years old.
Lets hope that the US Military keeps running up against poor oponets and that we never face a war like the Israelis did in the first days of the YOM KIPPUR war in '73.
Take care and check six 8)
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parrothead

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Unread post16 Feb 2005, 08:30

danhutmacher,

Fratricide is an unfortunate part of war from all times in history. Basically, stuff happens. Basically what Gums is saying is that it's the pilot's responsibility to make sure he has the correct IFF code plugged in. If he doesn't and he gets nailed by a friendly SAM or BVR missile, why would we think of it any different than an infantry troop who gives the incorrect pass code at a perimeter? That pilot hosed it and didn't follow orders, as entering the proper IFF code is an order the way I understand it. I'll start looking at the equipment if we ever have incidents in which we kill friendlies who have the correct codes set.
No plane on Sunday, maybe be one come Monday...
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Gums

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Unread post17 Feb 2005, 04:24

Salute!

I shall guarantee you that a BVR battle is not only possible, but is likely in the future.

Actually, some of the initial kills in Desert Storm were face shots, as we knew where WE were and we knew where THEY were.

We have better and better AWACS and other assets to paint the 'big picture'. The Slammer is awesome, and will be a big player.

Friendly fire is a big problem if folks don't know how to operate their equipment and practice. From my personal experience, the only bad friendly fire incidents involved folks that screwed up - both dropping stuff and asking for stuff to be dropped.. The jarheads mistook east for west (Koh Tang Island in 75). The GIB forgot to put in the offset on a LORAN drop at DaNang (1972) and bombed the TACAN navaid (heh heh). Then, sadly, we lost a few folks in the 'stan when they apparently transmitted their own coordinates versus the actual tgt coordinates for a JDAM drop - very sad.

I can tell you that my greatest fear was dropping on the good guys during a hectic close air support mission. I did everything within my power to ensure that I hit the bad guys, even if it meant not dropping as close to the good guys as they requested.

later,
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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LinkF16SimDude

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Unread post17 Feb 2005, 05:35

Gums wrote:The GIB forgot to put in the offset on a LORAN drop at DaNang (1972) and bombed the TACAN navaid (heh heh).

:doh:
Gums wrote:Then, sadly, we lost a few folks in the 'stan when they apparently transmitted their own coordinates versus the actual tgt coordinates for a JDAM drop..


The skinny I heard on that one was that the ground troop had to replace his GPS receiver battery under fire and when it powered back up it initialized with his pos and not the last pos of the bad guy. With all the shootin' and flyin' lead, he forgot that it did that so he thought he was sending the target coordinate when he actually sent his own.

The Fog of War :cry:
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danhutmacher

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Unread post17 Feb 2005, 06:42

Friendly fire is an unforchant thing in war but the examples I listed ALL had the correct IFF codes in the systems. It was the Patriot missile system that ***ked up. But whats to say that it won't happen in a future war. If it does then the pilots will lose confidence in the system and they wont shoot BVR. Then your back to the old fashioned visual range fight.
Given the mess that the patriot had makes me doubt wether it will ever work.
I personally belive that BVR combat won't work for a varity of reasons.
As for the incident in 'Stan the story that linkf16simdude wrote is the one I heard also.
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danhutmacher

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Unread post17 Feb 2005, 06:44

Friendly fire is an unforchant thing in war but the examples I listed ALL had the correct IFF codes in the systems. It was the Patriot missile system that ***ked up. But whats to say that it won't happen in a future war. If it does then the pilots will lose confidence in the system and they wont shoot BVR. Then your back to the old fashioned visual range fight.
Given the mess that the patriot had makes me doubt wether it will ever work.
I personally belive that BVR combat won't work for a varity of reasons.
As for the incident in 'Stan the story that linkf16simdude wrote is the one I heard also.
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TC

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Unread post17 Feb 2005, 06:56

I don't really think I have to add this one, as it is fairly obvious, but combat is a very bad time to a) figure out at the last minute that you screwed up, or b) go on without even realizing that you screwed up.

Basically, if you don't have your $hit wired tight...If you aren't paying strict attention...If you don't have all your i's dotted and t's crossed, then I hate to be so cold-hearted, but you will get your just desserts.

You really do fight like you train. BVR combat is no dream, no perception, no fallacy, and no rumor. I has happened, it can happen, and it will happen again. Especially now that we have such sophisticated tracking equipment. I can't and won't go into how that works here, but suffice it to say we know what moves they make, and where they will be coming from. We'll get them, and we'll get them from a long way off, and unseen more than likely.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
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Gus

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Unread post17 Feb 2005, 07:52

Personally, I think we'll be able to shoot BVR...just not at the ranges we'd like.

My concern is that the people we may be fighting won't be so concerned with who they shoot at. i.e. not as restrictive as us.

Gus
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danhutmacher

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Unread post21 Feb 2005, 04:59

I hope your right TC but the history of warfare is full of theroies that seemed to work in peace time only to be shredded in the opening days of the war.

Personally I don't think more than twenty percent of all kills will be made BVR. But that depends on the equipment amd skill of the opposing air force.
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TC

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Unread post21 Feb 2005, 09:24

I just hope the motto of the former Iraqi AF holds true with other nations we may have to face in the future:

"Gear Up, Flaps Up, BLOWN UP!"

'Nuff said on this thread I think.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
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LWF

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Unread post15 Jun 2005, 18:37

IFF is an unreliable system. Even though it's never been jammed, it sends out false signals, doesn't send the right ones, and an enemy could spoof it, making you think your enemy is your friend, or jam it making you think your friend is an enemy, and when you figure this out, you can't use BVR missiles anymore. And IFF can tell someone exactly where you are. Pilots don't even like using IFF because they know it's unreliable. The longest range that aerial combat can be conducted at is around optimal sidewinder range.
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
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