F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2016, 22:25
by spazsinbad
F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test
01 Aug 2016 JPO

"The F-35 Lightning II advanced its combat capability by launching an air-to-air missile and directly hitting a drone over a military test range off the California coast on July 28.

U.S. Air Force test pilot, Maj. Raven LeClair, employed an AIM-9X missile from an F-35A's external wing [station] against an aerial drone target in restricted military sea test range airspace. Test data and observers confirmed the F-35 identified and targeted the drone with its mission systems sensors, passed the target ‘track’ information to the missile, enabled the pilot to verify targeting information using the high off-boresight capability of the helmet mounted display (HMD) and launched the AIM-9X from the aircraft to engage the target drone. After launch, the missile successfully acquired the target and followed an intercept flight profile before destroying the drone, achieving the first F-35 Air-to-Air kill or “Boola Boola,” which is the traditional radio call made when a pilot shoots down a drone. Immediately prior to launching the AIM-9X, LeClair employed an internally carried AIM-120C missile against another target drone. This target was beyond visual range and the AIM-120C was given a successful self-destruct signal right before target impact.

The AIM-9X is a short-range heat-seeking missile with an off-boresight capability for accuracy and features thrust-vectoring controls for increased turn capability. The F-35 can carry two AIM-9X missiles on its wings. During previous test shots a self-destruct signal had been sent to the missile prior to it hitting the target.

“It's been said you don't really have a fighter until you can actually hit a target and we crossed that threshold with the first air-to-air weapon delivery of an AIM-9X. This successful test demonstrates the combat capability the F-35 will bring to the U.S. Military and our allies,” said LeClair. “This test represents the culmination of many years of careful planning by combined government and contractor teams. We want to ensure operators will receive the combat capability they need to execute their mission and return home safely – we cannot compromise or falter in delivering this capability.”

The missile test is part of a weapons delivery accuracy surge being conducted by the F-35 Joint Program Office Test Teams at Edwards Air Force Base, Point Mugu Sea Test Range, White Sands Missile Range and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The focus of the increased weapons testing is to advance 3F software testing, which will provide full warfighting capabilities to the F-35. Other ordnance being released during surge testing include: Small Diameter Bombs, Joint Direct Attack Munitions and AIM-120s."

PHOTO: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... __main.jpg

Source: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/f-35-co ... -kill-test

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 04:04
by nutshell
Quick question: won't the F35 able to carry 9X internally?

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 04:40
by Dragon029
As discussed in several other threads, nope; the AIM-9X can only be launched off a rail as it cannot self-ignite its motor after being ejected (like the AMRAAM). Firing a rocket inside the F-35's weapon bay is suicidal and there's currently no trapeze launcher designed or suited for use from the F-35's door hardpoint.

So unless they develop a suitable trapeze launcher, or Raytheon adds a timed / remote activation motor igniter, the AIM-9X cannot be carried internally. As such, only the AMRAAM, Meteor and ASRAAM are planned for internal carriage (with the Meteor not being integrated until Block 4 and the ASRAAM being external only until Block 4). If SACM / MSDM progress fast enough, the AIM-9X nor any future variants might potentially never see internal carriage.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 06:22
by charlielima223
It is my understanding that the AIM-9X for the F-35 is to be part of its block 3F capability. I know they are currently testing block 3F software and capability and that it is set for 2018-19 time frame. Does this mean they are ahead of schedule?

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 06:40
by Dragon029
charlielima223 wrote:It is my understanding that the AIM-9X for the F-35 is to be part of its block 3F capability. I know they are currently testing block 3F software and capability and that it is set for 2018-19 time frame. Does this mean they are ahead of schedule?


External carriage of the AIM-9X is part of Block 3F, which is to be finalised and released late next year (around November). In 2018 IOT&E will take place (and finish after a few months) but it has no impact on when squadrons receive Block 3F.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 09:25
by bojack_horseman
the AIM-120C was given a successful self-destruct signal right before target impact.


My impression from this line was that they knew the target would be hit, but they aborted if only to save the cost of 1 target drone?

Am I right in this impression?

However, DOD Buzz give this line: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2016/08/01/air-f ... kill-test/
LeClair fired an AIM-120C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, carried internally, to take out another drone. This was a miss, however, as the drone target was out of visual range


This doesn't make sense?
Isn't the AMRAAM supposed to be a BVR anyway?!?!

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 09:42
by zero-one
bojack_horseman wrote:
LeClair fired an AIM-120C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, carried internally, to take out another drone. This was a miss, however, as the drone target was out of visual range


This doesn't make sense?
Isn't the AMRAAM supposed to be a BVR anyway?!?!


Whats so surprising about this? we all know that hitting a target BVR has a lower chance of success than WVR.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 09:57
by bojack_horseman
zero-one wrote:Whats so surprising about this?.


The surprising part is probably that a BVR missile doesn't work if it goes BVR....

Remarkable considering the target was a relatively slow moving target drone.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 10:00
by spazsinbad
What is difficult to understand: "...successful self-destruct signal right before target impact...."
Aviation reporter ignorance knows no bounds - & in the age of the internet where most 'facts' can be checked. Of course they have no time to 'check' and a good story which is incorrect is much better than a boring factual story eh.

Hope Hodge Seck is a seriously ignorant reporter. Only recently she claimed an F-35B taking off from the hangar deck would burn a hole in it - or words to that effect. DoDbuzz is a crap source I reckon. Do you get a buzz from bullshit? They do. Here is the erroneous ignorant claim: viewtopic.php?f=57&t=51344&p=348530&hilit=Hope+Hodge+Seck#p348530
"...In March, the America wrapped up a ten-month period of maintenance that included deck-strengthening measures needed to accommodate regular F-35 take-offs, which can scorch and melt a conventional hangar deck over time...." [take offs/hangar deck? WTF]

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 10:16
by bojack_horseman
spazsinbad wrote:What is difficult to understand: "...successful self-destruct signal right before target impact...."
Aviation reporter ignorance knows no bounds - & in the age of the internet where most 'facts' can be checked. Of course they have no time to 'check' and a good story which is incorrect is much better than a boring factual story eh.



That's what I assumed.....

My concern probably belongs in the 'Basement dweller' thread.

Anyway, congratulations to the F-35 for this milestone.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 10:34
by Corsair1963
spazsinbad wrote:What is difficult to understand: "...successful self-destruct signal right before target impact...."
Aviation reporter ignorance knows no bounds - & in the age of the internet where most 'facts' can be checked. Of course they have no time to 'check' and a good story which is incorrect is much better than a boring factual story eh.

Hope Hodge Seck is a seriously ignorant reporter. Only recently she claimed an F-35B taking off from the hangar deck would burn a hole in it - or words to that effect. DoDbuzz is a crap source I reckon. Do you get a buzz from bullshit? They do. Here is the erroneous ignorant claim: viewtopic.php?f=57&t=51344&p=348530&hilit=Hope+Hodge+Seck#p348530
"...In March, the America wrapped up a ten-month period of maintenance that included deck-strengthening measures needed to accommodate regular F-35 take-offs, which can scorch and melt a conventional hangar deck over time...." [take offs/hangar deck? WTF]


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Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 11:09
by zero-one
bojack_horseman wrote:
zero-one wrote:Whats so surprising about this?.


The surprising part is probably that a BVR missile doesn't work if it goes BVR....

Remarkable considering the target was a relatively slow moving target drone.


Looks like we have some conflicting jornalism here.
However its puzzeling how they let the sidewinder hit but let the AMRAAM self destruct.

Maybe the truth was somewhere in between

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 11:11
by spazsinbad
F-35A takes down target drone
02 Aug 2016 Leigh Giangreco

"...The aircraft also carried an internal Raytheon AIM-120C AMRAAM missile, which the pilot employed on a separate target drone before launching the AIM-9X. The drone was beyond visual range and the AIM-120C was directed as planned to self-destruct before impact...."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ne-428085/

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 11:13
by spazsinbad
zero-one wrote:
bojack_horseman wrote:
zero-one wrote:Whats so surprising about this?.


The surprising part is probably that a BVR missile doesn't work if it goes BVR....

Remarkable considering the target was a relatively slow moving target drone.


Looks like we have some conflicting jornalism here.
However its puzzeling how they let the sidewinder hit but let the AMRAAM self destruct.

Maybe the truth was somewhere in between

No conflict. Misunderstandings perhaps or wilful ignorance and misinterpretation of a press release. But who cares - this is the age of internet misinformation. You can believe whatever you want - I for one do not care in the slightest. Just facts.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 11:53
by vanshilar
zero-one wrote:Looks like we have some conflicting jornalism here.
However its puzzeling how they let the sidewinder hit but let the AMRAAM self destruct.

Maybe the truth was somewhere in between


Speculation here. The purpose of the test is to gather data to verify that the missiles will perform as expected in operational use. It's possible that the AMRAAM, with its longer range, gives sufficient data throughout the flight that the testers can be confident of its NEZ performance without needing to sacrifice an expensive drone, while the Sidewinder, due to its short range, does need to have its entire flight be tested, including exploding on a target.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 12:04
by spazsinbad
Given the task to rewrite the JPO press release - the first post 1st page - the 'HOPE' failed miserably for whatever reason.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 12:05
by XanderCrews
zero-one wrote:
Whats so surprising about this? we all know that hitting a target BVR has a lower chance of success than WVR.


Wut?

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 12:54
by zero-one
XanderCrews wrote:
zero-one wrote:
Whats so surprising about this? we all know that hitting a target BVR has a lower chance of success than WVR.


Wut?


I know, you're gona tell me that the age of dogfights is dead and we are now in the BVR age
and that future air combat will be fought with long range AAMs while pulling 2Gs. I get that.

and yeah, that may be true. All I was saying is that no matter how you slice it, hitting a target WVR will
always be easier and thus have a better chance of hitting than firing at a target BVR.

thats all. Im not saying that BVR systems won't work, all Im saying is that its harder for it to work.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 14:10
by hornetfinn
vanshilar wrote:
zero-one wrote:Looks like we have some conflicting jornalism here.
However its puzzeling how they let the sidewinder hit but let the AMRAAM self destruct.

Maybe the truth was somewhere in between


Speculation here. The purpose of the test is to gather data to verify that the missiles will perform as expected in operational use. It's possible that the AMRAAM, with its longer range, gives sufficient data throughout the flight that the testers can be confident of its NEZ performance without needing to sacrifice an expensive drone, while the Sidewinder, due to its short range, does need to have its entire flight be tested, including exploding on a target.


Besides, AMRAAM has been live fired so many times (total something like close to 4,000 times and AIM-120C variants have been test fired a lot) that this event would not give much new information.Besides they would know exactly if the AMRAAM would hit or not if they self destructed it some tenths of a second before impact. Since the Another thing is that the drone used for AMRAAM target might've been quite a bit more expensive (like QF-16) than what was used for AIM-9X test as it was used in BVR setting.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 14:22
by hornetfinn
zero-one wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
zero-one wrote:
Whats so surprising about this? we all know that hitting a target BVR has a lower chance of success than WVR.


Wut?


I know, you're gona tell me that the age of dogfights is dead and we are now in the BVR age
and that future air combat will be fought with long range AAMs while pulling 2Gs. I get that.

and yeah, that may be true. All I was saying is that no matter how you slice it, hitting a target WVR will
always be easier and thus have a better chance of hitting than firing at a target BVR.

thats all. Im not saying that BVR systems won't work, all Im saying is that its harder for it to work.


I don't think that hitting a target within WVR is necessarily easier at all. Vietnam war era experience with SARH AIM-7 compared to fire-and-forget IR AIM-9 (which guides itself to target after launch) is not a necessarily a good indicator at all. Now we are comparing fire-and-forget missiles against one another, both with datalinks and stuff like that. BVR might actually be easier and have higher pK in real life since the shots usually lack such large off-boresight and high maneuverability requirements to successfully engage targets. I also bet that there is also usually much more time to set up for BVR shot especially in 5th gen jet. In WVR the advantages of 5th gen jets diminish a lot and 4th gen enemy with modern HOBS missiles could mean problems quickly.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 16:03
by XanderCrews
zero-one wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:
zero-one wrote:
Whats so surprising about this? we all know that hitting a target BVR has a lower chance of success than WVR.


Wut?


I know, you're gona tell me that the age of dogfights is dead and we are now in the BVR age
and that future air combat will be fought with long range AAMs while pulling 2Gs. I get that.

and yeah, that may be true. All I was saying is that no matter how you slice it, hitting a target WVR will
always be easier and thus have a better chance of hitting than firing at a target BVR.

thats all. Im not saying that BVR systems won't work, all Im saying is that its harder for it to work.


No I'm going to tell you that statistically the last 25 years have seen a majority of BVR kills. I'm also going to utterly disagree with the idea that manuevering WVR is "easier" in the first place. How is it easier to wrench the aircraft all over the sky in a dogfight rather than doing a BVR intercept consisting of mainly button pushing and smaller control inputs?

You are trying to convince me it's "easier" to grapple with a guy for 5 minutes than just shooting him at 200 yards?

Kosovo had I think zero WVR kills.

I'd like to see your stats because I don't think it's a given.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 16:32
by zero-one
hornetfinn wrote:
I don't think that hitting a target within WVR is necessarily easier at all. Vietnam war era experience with SARH AIM-7 compared to fire-and-forget IR AIM-9 (which guides itself to target after launch) is not a necessarily a good indicator at all. Now we are comparing fire-and-forget missiles against one another, both with datalinks and stuff like that. BVR might actually be easier and have higher pK in real life since the shots usually lack such large off-boresight and high maneuverability requirements to successfully engage targets. I also bet that there is also usually much more time to set up for BVR shot especially in 5th gen jet. In WVR the advantages of 5th gen jets diminish a lot and 4th gen enemy with modern HOBS missiles could mean problems quickly.



I understand what you're trying to say, but it has always been harder to set up a long range shot than a
short range one. a lot of factors come in to play, the enemy has more time to evade, you need more energy,
there are more ways to spoof BVR missiles.

I also understand that we have come a long way from the days of Vietnam and that BVR technology today is a world away from what it used to. But I don't think we have come to the point yet where the AMRAAM can match, let alone exceed the reliability of the sidewinder.

The F-14 was probably the best American 4th gen for BVR in the 90s, maybe better than the Eagle due to the APG-71, AAX-1 and Aim-54 Phoenix combos. but even with such advancements the Aim-54 never had a successful kill,(it had a mission kill though) but with simple Sidewinders, all targets were downed.

To me this is what makes American fighters great, they are usually designed for BVR with WVR requirements usually being secondary, but event that secondary requirement surpasses the WVR capabilities of most fighters.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 16:39
by zero-one
XanderCrews wrote:
No I'm going to tell you that statistically the last 25 years have seen a majority of BVR kills. I'm also going to utterly disagree with the idea that manuevering WVR is "easier" in the first place. How is it easier to wrench the aircraft all over the sky in a dogfight rather than doing a BVR intercept consisting of mainly button pushing and smaller control inputs?

You are trying to convince me it's "easier" to grapple with a guy for 5 minutes than just shooting him at 200 yards?

Kosovo had I think zero WVR kills.

I'd like to see your stats because I don't think it's a given.


I didn't say that WVR was easier than BVR, all I said was, it's easier to hit something WVR.

Lets take the kill statistics of the Sidewinder against the AMRAAM or Aim-54 or Aim-7.

I'm not questioning the relevance or the upward trend of BVR, it's there, and I agree with you that it will dominate future
air battles.

But won't you agree that it was harder for the AMRAAM to hit the test drone than it was for the sidewinder?
which is why a mis wasn't all that surprising at all.

Dog fighting is hard, BVR is easy, but once shots have been fired, the guy at the end of the sidewinder's sensor cone is as good as dead. on the other hand the guy at the end of the AMRAAM's radar, still has options left.

oh and by the way
http://www.f-16.net/f-16-news-article1010.html

At the time, U.N. officials said the Serb jets struck an arms plant run by Bosnia's Muslim-led government.

Capt. Robert Wright, flying F-16C #89-2137, got three kills; one with an AIM-120 and two using the AIM-9. Capt. Scott O'Grady fired an AIM-9 at a fourth J-21 but it missed. Two more F-16s arrived and S. Allen, flying F-16C #89-2009 got one using a AIM-9.


So unless the Aim-9M is capable of BVR I think there were at least 3 WVR kills
Also If I remember correctly some of the AMRAAM kills were WVR as well.

http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F ... ofile/3150
I also remember a reporter asking Lt. Col North why he did not use the cheaper missile, his come back was great; he stated if you were in a fight and had a knife and a gun, which one would you use.


Judging by his response, it looks like the sidewinder was also an option in that engagement. but even if it wasn't it looks like that even against the lowly Serbs, WVR was still used

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 17:30
by basher54321
zero-one wrote: but even with such advancements the Aim-54 never had a successful kill,(it had a mission kill though)


See Iran v Iraq war 1980 - 1988.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 17:55
by smsgtmac
Looks like we have some conflicting jornalism here.
However its puzzeling how they let the sidewinder hit but let the AMRAAM self destruct.
Maybe the truth was somewhere in between.


No. We have a credentialed but uneducated journalist making sh…tuff up about a press release.

No It’s not. It’s not puzzling at all if one knows anything about A2A missiles, the relative operational and functional differences between the missiles, missile testing or even the history of target drone operations.

No. There is no middle ground. The missile was either self-destructed or it was not. The original source of the story said it was.

There is no cause to invoke pet fears, theories or straws for grasping. No basis to infuse doubt or read into a story what one might want to be there. There is no hook upon which to hang any Strawman. The story is the F-35 and weapons appear to be operating as advertised and designed. The end.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 19:10
by SpudmanWP
bojack_horseman wrote:
the AIM-120C was given a successful self-destruct signal right before target impact.


My impression from this line was that they knew the target would be hit, but they aborted if only to save the cost of 1 target drone?

Am I right in this impression?


One is a direct quote of the original press release and the other is a reporter's "interpretation" of that same press release.

Care to guess which one is which? 8)

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 19:23
by les_paul59
the writer from DOD Buzz is obviously ignorant to how the usaf tests missiles but that's besides the point.

I think you can make a case that there is not a better equipped aircraft for a wvr engagement than an f-35 with the helmet, das, and 2 aim 9x sidewinders.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 19:26
by zero-one
basher54321 wrote:
zero-one wrote: but even with such advancements the Aim-54 never had a successful kill,(it had a mission kill though)


See Iran v Iraq war 1980 - 1988.

I knew some one would notice that thats why I said "American"

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 19:31
by SpudmanWP
Just to give some context and reasoning behind the self destruct signal, here is an exerpt from the F-35's very first live AAM shot.

Test data and observers confirmed the F-35 identified and targeted the drone with its mission systems sensors, passed the target "track" information to the missile, and launched the AIM-120 from the aircraft to engage the target drone. After launch, the missile successfully acquired the target and followed an intercept flight profile. Moments before the missile was about to destroy the target, a self-destruct signal was sent to the AIM-120 in order to preserve the aerial drone for use in future tests.


https://www.f35.com/news/detail/f-35a-l ... -120-amraa

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 20:13
by zero-one
smsgtmac wrote:No. We have a credentialed but uneducated journalist making sh…tuff up about a press release.


Easy there, not trying to pick a fight with you sgtMac, but why are we so intent on dismissing one of the claims? Is because it was proven false and multiple sources confirmed that it was indeed a hit for both weapons. Or is it simply because one of the claims were inconvenient and we don't want to believe it so lets just say its not true.

The post was by Military.com, which is known to be a very reliable source and is hardly an anti-F35 site. In fact I don't think they have ever posted anything to discredit the program.

If anything, both statements confirm that the Aim-120 did not hit, one said that it was destroyed before it could hit and the other siad it totally missed.

smsgtmac wrote:No It’s not. It’s not puzzling at all if one knows anything about A2A missiles, the relative operational and functional differences between the missiles, missile testing or even the history of target drone operations.


Well we civilians don't know, far as I know some test launches don't have live explosive warheads to minimize the damage on the drone, so it could be used further. But maybe the AMRAAMs sheer size will cause too much damage which is why they decided to destroy it knowing that it may result in a successful hit anyway. Is that even close to how things are done?



smsgtmac wrote:There is no cause to invoke pet fears, theories or straws for grasping. No basis to infuse doubt or read into a story what one might want to be there. There is no hook upon which to hang any Strawman. The story is the F-35 and weapons appear to be operating as advertised and designed. The end.


I didn't understand this one, what fear? i have always said that the F-35's combination of impressive Kinematics, DAS, VLO (which works even in WVR) and HMD will make it dominant in any type of fight BVR or WVR. There is no fear in entering the merge if you are an In an F-35.

Yes it is not prefered and its like giving the enemy a chance, but if it does happen,
there is nothing for the F-35 pilot to fear, the level of superiority the F-35 gives post merge is still overwhelming compared to anything short of a Raptor.

So saying that the AMRAAM didn't hit isn't much news at all, its like telling a Delta force comando that his Rifle didn't work, that doesn't make him ineffective all of a sudden, his side arm makes him deadlier than most regular infantry men, and if he has to, the knife would suffice.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 20:27
by wrightwing
zero-one wrote:

I understand what you're trying to say, but it has always been harder to set up a long range shot than a
short range one. a lot of factors come in to play, the enemy has more time to evade, you need more energy,
there are more ways to spoof BVR missiles.

I also understand that we have come a long way from the days of Vietnam and that BVR technology today is a world away from what it used to. But I don't think we have come to the point yet where the AMRAAM can match, let alone exceed the reliability of the sidewinder.

The F-14 was probably the best American 4th gen for BVR in the 90s, maybe better than the Eagle due to the APG-71, AAX-1 and Aim-54 Phoenix combos. but even with such advancements the Aim-54 never had a successful kill,(it had a mission kill though) but with simple Sidewinders, all targets were downed.

To me this is what makes American fighters great, they are usually designed for BVR with WVR requirements usually being secondary, but event that secondary requirement surpasses the WVR capabilities of most fighters.


The big difference between the F-14 and F-35, is that bad guys knew the F-14 was there, and shooting at them. With the F-35, they'll know they're under attack, when the AMRAAM goes active.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 20:47
by SpudmanWP
Given that Ms Seck cited the original press release as her source, it's obvious that she deliberately altered the language about the AMRAAM portion to try and shine a bad light on the F-35.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 20:50
by spazsinbad
Over on previous page 'zero-one' insisted: "...which is why a mis wasn't all that surprising at all....". Unbelievable.

This is the post: viewtopic.php?f=54&t=52169&p=349730&hilit=surprising#p349730

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 20:55
by zero-one
spazsinbad wrote:Over on previous page 'zero-one' insisted: "...which is why a mis wasn't all that surprising at all....". Unbelievable.


Sorry I forgot to read the part where the Aim-120 has a 100% Pk...unbelievable

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 20:58
by bigjku
zero-one wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Over on previous page 'zero-one' insisted: "...which is why a mis wasn't all that surprising at all....". Unbelievable.


Sorry I forgot to read the part where the Aim-120 has a 100% Pk...unbelievable


No one is saying that. What they are saying is that based on the information provided what the journalist says appears to be basically dishonest. Do you disagree?

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 21:31
by basher54321
zero-one wrote:
See Iran v Iraq war 1980 - 1988.
I knew some one would notice that thats why I said "American"


I wasn't certain you were aware - the ones Iran used were also American designed and built.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2016, 22:01
by wrightwing
Bottom line, there was no miss. Just let it go.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 03 Aug 2016, 06:21
by zero-one
basher54321 wrote:
zero-one wrote:
See Iran v Iraq war 1980 - 1988.
I knew some one would notice that thats why I said "American"


I wasn't certain you were aware - the ones Iran used were also American designed and built.


But did you know that they didn't have APG-71 and AAX-1 like I mentioned?

I hate going against u guys here, but I'm not sure what all the fuss was about.

I wasn't insisting that the AMRAAM missed.

All I said is that if it did, that shouldn't come as a shock, with a combat Pk below 60% (albeit according to Carlo Kopp) it's a world away from the Aim-7's 11%, (some of those hits were WVR as well) it still has a good chance of missing, shooting something at BVR is hard, if it was easy, then BVR missiles would be cheap and everyone would have it.

If we will simply dismiss bad news as false without further evidence, then that makes us no different from the Flanker fan boys. Everthing negative about the Flanker is "obviously" false if you go to their pages.

But sure, since the original post did confirm that AMRAAM was suposed to be a hit, then I guess thats the more accurate report. I'll let it go.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 03 Aug 2016, 08:40
by hornetfinn
zero-one wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Over on previous page 'zero-one' insisted: "...which is why a mis wasn't all that surprising at all....". Unbelievable.


Sorry I forgot to read the part where the Aim-120 has a 100% Pk...unbelievable


Then again, AIM-9 or no other missile has pK of 100%, that's practically impossible. According to many sources AIM-9, AIM-7 and AIM-120 have had fairly comparable kill probabilities during same time periods in actual combat against similar targets. In some cases AIM-9 has had very high pK like in Falklands, but then again there are reports and information that in other cases that has been significantly lower like this:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_armament_article1.html

Operation Desert Storm saw 86 Sidewinder missiles fired by US Navy, USAF and USMC aircraft - resulting in 13 confirmed kills (and not 12 as reported in other publications - the misquoted kill being the Fishbed kill by LCDR Fox who intended to fire a Sparrow missile but fired a Sidewinder instead. Upon noticing the absence of a smoketrail, he realized he had fired an AIM-9 and immediately launched a Sparrow. The AIM-9 got there first however):


If that is true, then AIM-9 had pK of only 15 percent in ODS.

On the other hand there is this document from pretty authoritative source: http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/do ... 27-066.pdf

It states in page 115-116 that AIM-9M had pK of about 54 percent and AIM-7 had pK of 34 percent. Maybe the rest of AIM-9 missiles used were older AIM-9s like AIM-9J and AIM-9P with much inferior pK to AIM-9M. However, AIM-9M pK seems to be very close to AIM-120 pK against similar targets. I'm sure AIM-9X has superior pK to AIM-9M against similar targets, but then again AIM-120C-7 and D likely have superior pK to A and B variants used in most engagements.

One problem for combat missile kill statistics is that it's much more difficult to confirm kills in BVR engagements than WVR engagements for obvious reasons. Another thing is that BVR missiles sometimes contribute for the kill (force enemy aircraft to maneuver and thus lose energy and situational awareness) but the actual kill is made in WVR with IR seeking missile. Then BVR missile pK goes down and WVR missile up even though both were needed for the kill.

To me, it seems that fire-and-forget missiles like AMRAAM and AIM-9 have best pK regardless of BVR or WVR. SARH homing is more difficult to work as it alerts enemy about incoming attack and is more prone to effects of evasive maneuvers, ECM, radar clutter and other such things. Still, AIM-7M models had pretty decent pK historically speaking.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 03 Aug 2016, 09:06
by hornetfinn
zero-one wrote:I hate going against u guys here, but I'm not sure what all the fuss was about.

I wasn't insisting that the AMRAAM missed.

All I said is that if it did, that shouldn't come as a shock, with a combat Pk below 60% (albeit according to Carlo Kopp) it's a world away from the Aim-7's 11%, (some of those hits were WVR as well) it still has a good chance of missing, shooting something at BVR is hard, if it was easy, then BVR missiles would be cheap and everyone would have it.

If we will simply dismiss bad news as false without further evidence, then that makes us no different from the Flanker fan boys. Everthing negative about the Flanker is "obviously" false if you go to their pages.

But sure, since the original post did confirm that AMRAAM was suposed to be a hit, then I guess thats the more accurate report. I'll let it go.


We dismiss that "bad news" because all the official sources (like JPO and USAF) and reports say AMRAAM was self destructed. Another thing is the reason stated for the miss. BVR missile which doesn't work beyond visual range? That sound rather strange don't you think?

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 03 Aug 2016, 09:27
by zero-one
Thanks Hornetfin, points appreciated

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 03 Aug 2016, 14:14
by XanderCrews
zero-one wrote:Thanks Hornetfin, points appreciated



Stats like Hornetfinn provided were basically what I was asking for. I simply am not ready to go all along with the logic that "Everyone knows" without seeing the facts especially with the bold statement you made.

Let me see the numbers, (and no, not Kopps) then I will decide what I "know" and It has nothing to do with the F-35, and again Missiles in this case WVR vs BVR.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2016, 13:00
by mixelflick
les_paul59 wrote:the writer from DOD Buzz is obviously ignorant to how the usaf tests missiles but that's besides the point.

I think you can make a case that there is not a better equipped aircraft for a wvr engagement than an f-35 with the helmet, das, and 2 aim 9x sidewinders.


This... excellent point.

But it brings up another conundrum: Do the two 9x's negate its stealth advantage? I'd imagine only Lockheed/the Air Force knows, but I sure hope the answer is no. Or at least, I hope they're working on it?

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2016, 13:31
by zero-one
les_paul59 wrote:the writer from DOD Buzz is obviously ignorant to how the usaf tests missiles but that's besides the point.

I think you can make a case that there is not a better equipped aircraft for a wvr engagement than an f-35 with the helmet, das, and 2 aim 9x sidewinders.


Except maybe a Raptor with a Helmet and 9X

mixelflick wrote:This... excellent point.

But it brings up another conundrum: Do the two 9x's negate its stealth advantage? I'd imagine only Lockheed/the Air Force knows, but I sure hope the answer is no. Or at least, I hope they're working on it?


I would think that adding wingtip 9Xs would increase the RCS of the F-35 but not necessarily to barn door levels just like that. It will still be harder to spot than anything out there with external weapons.

I'd say it might even be harder to spot than a clean Typhoon or Superhornet but thats just my guess

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2016, 13:42
by hornetfinn
mixelflick wrote:
les_paul59 wrote:the writer from DOD Buzz is obviously ignorant to how the usaf tests missiles but that's besides the point.

I think you can make a case that there is not a better equipped aircraft for a wvr engagement than an f-35 with the helmet, das, and 2 aim 9x sidewinders.


This... excellent point.

But it brings up another conundrum: Do the two 9x's negate its stealth advantage? I'd imagine only Lockheed/the Air Force knows, but I sure hope the answer is no. Or at least, I hope they're working on it?


That question has been discussed here: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27356&hilit=brazil

I don't think two AIM-9Xs or ARAAMS are going to negate its stealth advantage, although they most likely increase RCS to some degree. I think it will still be VLO aircraft but that's impossible to prove either way and I'm sure nobody is telling us any figures anytime soon...

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2016, 18:27
by blindpilot
hornetfinn wrote:
mixelflick wrote:
les_paul59 wrote:... not a better equipped aircraft for a wvr engagement than an f-35 with the helmet, das, and 2 aim 9x sidewinders.


... Do the two 9x's negate its stealth advantage? I'd imagine only Lockheed/the Air Force knows, ...


... I'm sure nobody is telling us any figures anytime soon...


We'll likely never have a clue, until we notice every sortie starts going out with 2 9X's (or not) even for penetration into heavily denied areas. That would be the clue ...

BP

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2016, 18:44
by durahawk
blindpilot wrote:We'll likely never have a clue, until we notice every sortie starts going out with 2 9X's (or not) even for penetration into heavily denied areas. That would be the clue ...

BP


Even if it has a low impact on radar signature, I'm just not sure it's an operational risk worth taking when you have 2+ AMRAAMS already in the internal bay and can fly completely slick in a denied environment. It's for this reason I regard this AIM-9X integration with the F-35 as nice to have in it's bag of tricks, but not particularly operationally useful. By the time the F-35's are going to be strapping on external pylons, I don't envision there being a whole lot of Air to Air threats being left save maybe a stray helicopter that wasn't positioned at a major airfield. I may very well eat my own words on this, but I think the chances of an F-35 actually employing a 9X in combat will be very, very low.

The 9x is no doubt a formidable close range weapon, but why get close if you don't have to? BVR shots will always be preferable and fit much more naturally into the F-35's CONOPs.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2016, 10:22
by jessmo111
Excuse me, but Im going to add the beaten to death ad nauseam pic here.
it would be really nice to have 4XAMRAAM and 2X AIM9-X in the bay. The side winder supports a lock on after launch mode.
The missile can even be fire from a submarine. There is no reason why you couldn't get a variant of the missile to either launch from a trapeze or ignite after ejection.


TEWKSBURY, Mass., Feb. 6, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- A Raytheon-led team
successfully launched an AIM-9X from a stationary, vertical platform last
November. The missile successfully locked on after launch and hit its target
in a test of its potential launch from a submarine. The test was conducted for
the Naval Sea Systems Command at the U.S. Army's McGregor Test Range in New
Mexico Nov. 19, 2005.
A successful test firing matures the technology that will provide the Navy
with a new capability when the Joint Battlespace is near the coast at a
fraction of the cost of developing a new weapon system. The new system is an
existing launch capability married to a proven weapon fired from a submarine
at periscope depth.


http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 13777.html

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2016, 10:27
by hornetfinn
I think it really depends on a situation and mission. For F-35 going to bomb some ground target in heavily defended areas will likely not carry any external weapons at all as they most likely will not need more than those two AMRAAMs and preserving minimum signature is most important. For F-35 doing Counter-air missions, like Fighter Sweep or Fighter Escort and especially Defensive Counter-air (DCA), might well carry 4-6 internal AMRAAMs or Meteors and 2 external AIM-9X or ASRAAM missiles. There the increased signature is not that much of a problem as it will most likely still have very low signature and having two more weapons might be handy.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2016, 11:33
by popcorn
It should be noted that the jet will know its rcs with different external combat loads. Barracuda will detect the types and strengh of any radars in the vicinity. The pilot will make informed decisions based on the threat situatuon displayed on his PCD.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2016, 14:46
by zero-one
durahawk wrote:
The 9x is no doubt a formidable close range weapon, but why get close if you don't have to? BVR shots will always be preferable and fit much more naturally into the F-35's CONOPs.


Preferable, but lets face it preferable isn't always what happens.
Now I know I might get a lot of flack for this, but I'm just bassing this on the limited info that I know.

In the Guld of Sidra incident in 1981, E-2C hawkeyes detectected, tracked and identified the bandits from well beyond anyone's visual range.
They were declared hostile after multiple warnings were ignored.

But only after they fired an Atol missile were the F-14's cleared to fire back.

The incident happened again in 1989 with 2 Mig-23s, they were detected and identified well beyond 50 nautical miles
away but the kill was only acheived within 1.5km.

Lastly with the 1st AMRAAM kill over Iraq, watching the actual HUD video now posted on youtube, the Mig-25 went into the no fly zone but was detected well before he entered it.
just before the shot the F-16 pilot said "VID on the boggey" which to me sounds like he visually identified it.

So I think, unless its an all out war, where ROEs are relaxed, maximum tollerance is usually practiced
and the actual shot usually takes place well inside the WVR environment.

In these instances the shooters had enough SA of where the target is, what it was and if they were hostile or friendly.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2016, 19:55
by les_paul59
Comparing the situational awareness of an f-35 at 3f configuration and beyond with the situational awareness an f-14 had in the 80's is not a very informed comparison.

The F-35's sensors can verify a target being hostile in so many more ways than an f-14 could have at the time.

And unlike the f-14 scenario you just shared, the enemy will most likely not have a clue that the f-35 is even in the area, let alone be able to target the f-35.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2016, 21:31
by XanderCrews
zero-one wrote:
durahawk wrote:
The 9x is no doubt a formidable close range weapon, but why get close if you don't have to? BVR shots will always be preferable and fit much more naturally into the F-35's CONOPs.


Preferable, but lets face it preferable isn't always what happens.
Now I know I might get a lot of flack for this, but I'm just bassing this on the limited info that I know.

In the Guld of Sidra incident in 1981, E-2C hawkeyes detectected, tracked and identified the bandits from well beyond anyone's visual range.
They were declared hostile after multiple warnings were ignored.

But only after they fired an Atol missile were the F-14's cleared to fire back.

The incident happened again in 1989 with 2 Mig-23s, they were detected and identified well beyond 50 nautical miles
away but the kill was only acheived within 1.5km.

Lastly with the 1st AMRAAM kill over Iraq, watching the actual HUD video now posted on youtube, the Mig-25 went into the no fly zone but was detected well before he entered it.
just before the shot the F-16 pilot said "VID on the boggey" which to me sounds like he visually identified it.

So I think, unless its an all out war, where ROEs are relaxed, maximum tollerance is usually practiced
and the actual shot usually takes place well inside the WVR environment.

In these instances the shooters had enough SA of where the target is, what it was and if they were hostile or friendly.


In these cases external carry is irrelevant anyway so what's the point? You need to be 100 percent stealth until the bad guy can see you anyway?

This scenarios have never made since to me. If the job is WVR ident. Then it really doesn't matter how the missiles are carried.

So we are straining to find a scenario in which the F-35 must remain stealthy, and yet reveal itself to the enemy before it shoots? How are we escorting these Libyans without them seeing us when the whole point of an intercept and escort is to show you are there especially visually?


I'm just struggling to see the issue here. If I am missing something let me know. But the libyans are actually a really poor example from what I can tell.

You can't have it both ways. You can't say "it's not all out war, yet we have to be full LO as if it was and still WVR ID the target since it's peace, when in that case the target is also able to see you WVR and thus F-35 is exposed anyway

It's war and everything is tucked in, or its peace and you can hang external and WVR. Which is basically unnecessary but whatever

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2016, 21:57
by SpudmanWP
In today's world, does an IRST qualify as VID?

I guess it all depends on the ROE.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 06 Aug 2016, 02:59
by smsgtmac
Aghhh. This "visual ID" thing is a non-issue. The requirement is for POSITIVE ID. Once upon a time the only way to positive ID an enemy was to visually ID them. This has not been true since late SEA and with the introduction of Combat Tree. The last US Mig shoot down by the last Ace was BVR with positive ID via the system and early AWACs coordination. If there is ever a Visual ID requirement again it will be a political directive over and above required military diligence. In that case we can get better politicians very easily to solve such a political problem. How long would such a rule stand once knowledge of it spread? What politician in uniform or out could stand for extending such protections to the enemy by putting our own at greater risk than necessary?

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 06 Aug 2016, 03:08
by XanderCrews
smsgtmac wrote:Aghhh. This "visual ID" thing is a non-issue. The requirement is for POSITIVE ID. Once upon a time the only way to positive ID an enemy was to visually ID them. This has not been true since late SEA and with the introduction of Combat Tree. The last US Mig shoot down by the last Ace was BVR with positive ID via the system and early AWACs coordination. If there is ever a Visual ID requirement again it will be a political directive over and above required military diligence. In that case we can get better politicians very easily to solve such a political problem. How long would such a rule stand once knowledge of it spread? What politician in uniform or out could stand for extending such protections to the enemy by putting our own at greater risk than necessary?


This.

If you need WVR it's conditions short of full conflict. IF its short of full conflict you can throw the external weapons on.

I think libya was actually a case of deliberately showing the flag. We wanted them to know we were there.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 06 Aug 2016, 04:15
by popcorn
The Armed Services are voting with their budgets on this issue. The spending on more powerful sensors, networked sensor fusion, launch-on-remote complemented by third-party targeting, etc. validate the doctrine to engage foes at distance. Technology and innovative thinking has shifted the paradigm but let others draw the wrong lessons from past conflicts.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 06 Aug 2016, 05:59
by zero-one
XanderCrews wrote:I'm just struggling to see the issue here. If I am missing something let me know. But the libyans are actually a really poor example from what I can tell.

You can't have it both ways. You can't say "it's not all out war, yet we have to be full LO as if it was and still WVR ID the target since it's peace, when in that case the target is also able to see you WVR and thus F-35 is exposed anyway

It's war and everything is tucked in, or its peace and you can hang external and WVR. Which is basically unnecessary but whatever


Well, what I was trying to say was, you can't always shoot at something BVR even if you are 100% sure they are hostile.

I just took the F-14 examples as they seem to validate the point. The Tomcats knew way beforehand what they were up against but they still got into the merge.

There was no need for that, the Su-22s and Mig-23s were both detected, identified and classified as hostile long before they reached vissual range. But for some reason the Tomcats were either restricted to fire or made a concious effort to reach the merge for some reason.

Come to think about it, a 5th gen did the exact same thing with the F-4s over Iran. I expect the F-35 to do the same in an interdiction mission.

This was all a response to the question that "is carrying a 9x externally necessary when it increases your RCS".

My answer is yes, because you can't always choose the range at which to shoot at, even if you detect them far away enough and classify them and determine them as hostile, sometimes you need to show "the flag" just like what the Raptor did.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 06 Aug 2016, 18:15
by basher54321
zero-one wrote:
There was no need for that, the Su-22s and Mig-23s were both detected, identified and classified as hostile long before they reached vissual range. But for some reason the Tomcats were either restricted to fire or made a concious effort to reach the merge for some reason.



Best info I have on this - in 1981 the F-14A pilots were not allowed to fire unless fired upon according to the ROE at that time - and even seem to have been unsure and in discussion after the Su-22 fired at them (head on with a rear aspect missile).

In 1989 the ROE was apparently relaxed because they were aware Libya now had MiGs with all aspect Radar Guided missiles - so the F-14As ( Neither had AIM-54) fired on the MiG-23MFs at about 10 miles with 2 x AIM-7 that both missed and the fight got in close.

In 1981 there was a period where US aircraft intercepted Libyan Fighters at close range on a regular basis - they were not at war and it was only the Su-22 event that got out of hand it appears (some others nearly strayed)



If true the story of the F-22 v Iranian F-4 is demonstration (to me) of how much things have changed from the 80s and how easy it was for the F-22 to not only get in close but be in total control at all times in an intercept against a 3rd Gen fighter with GCI system. In the same situation an F-35 could just sit off the guy in AIM-120D range if he has that level of control. This wont always be the case but by then it could also be carrying next gen missiles I guess.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2016, 15:18
by Dragon029
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 11224.html

The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) successfully test-fired three AIM-9X® Block I missiles from an F-35A aircraft at airborne targets, resulting in direct hits.


More in the link.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 30 Jun 2018, 14:18
by doge
AIM-9X to curve. :shock:
https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4523036/ ... -eglin-afb
F-35AIM-9X-1.jpg

F-35AIM-9X-2.jpg

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FL, UNITED STATES
06.12.2018
Photo by Master Sgt. Michael Jackson
40th Flight Test Squadron
F-35A Lightning II test aircraft assigned to the 31st Test Evaluation Squadron from Edwards Air Force Base, California, released AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9X missiles at QF-16 targets during a live-fire test over an Air Force range in the Gulf of Mexico on June 12, 2018. The Joint Operational Test Team conducted the missions as part of Block 3F Initial Operational Test and Evaluation.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 30 Jun 2018, 14:46
by sferrin
There's a video out there of a Scandanavian F-16 firing both an AIM-9L and AIM-9X at targets. The difference is night and day. Unfortunately I can't find it. :oops: (Thought for sure I'd downloaded it.)

Ahh here we go:



I think most of us are familiar with what an AIM-9L/M looks like coming off the rail. Check out the AIM-9X there at 0:40. :shock:

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 30 Jun 2018, 14:48
by spazsinbad

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 30 Jun 2018, 19:24
by sferrin
Yep. There a scenario where they simulated shooting down an enemy escort:

1:03


also

0:05

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2018, 14:06
by mixelflick
I think AIM-9x integration is a big deal. A very big deal. Here's why...

If the F-35 has one limitation, it's that she doesn't carry many missiles (at least in a VLO configuration). Currently limited to 4 AMRAAM's. The situation will improve dramatically with the ability to carry 6, but correct me if I'm wrong - that's a long ways off.

Carrying two additional heaters will be important for 2 reasons. First, it gives the pilot 2 more options in the event AMRAAM PK is less than 100%. Second, the stated range of the 9x is "near BVR". If it really has long legs, that's two more opportunities to kill an enemy at a distance.

Part of the problem with first look, first shot, first kill is that it's heavily predicated on the AMRAAM having a very high PK. The enemy knows this, so the easiest way to defeat an F-22 or 35 is to defeat the AMRAAM. Do that, and you have a fighting chance. So if they come up with a way to spoof the AMRAAM, it may very well wind up being "first look, first shot(s).... out of missiles".

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2018, 22:03
by steve2267
mixelflick wrote:Part of the problem with first look, first shot, first kill is that it's heavily predicated on the AMRAAM having a very high PK. The enemy knows this, so the easiest way to defeat an F-22 or 35 is to defeat the AMRAAM. Do that, and you have a fighting chance. So if they come up with a way to spoof the AMRAAM, it may very well wind up being "first look, first shot(s).... out of missiles".


Yes... but...

If the enema figures out how to spoof the AMRAAM... does it matter whether you are carrying four or eight or twelve? Such an enema development will hurt the conventional, fourth gen aircraft (F-16, F/A-18 etc) far worse than the F-22 and F-35. When the pilot can position his F-35, sight unseen, from an optimum launch position at an optimum range... the enema has far less chance of successful spoofing due to 1) lack of response time, and 2) AMRAAM launched from best possible launch position. Not only that, but the F-35 pilot may be positioning himself such that the enema, if he survives, escapes right into... the lap of his wingman or other Lightnings of the same fourship.

Also... another thread hereabouts recounted a conversation with an F-35 pilot who, seemingly with a wink and a nod, acknowledged that one tactic may be to use VLO for optimal positioning and then to gun the target with the 25mm. Sounds like bouncing the enema from out of the sun a hundred years ago... 'cept the sun is wherever you say it is...

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2018, 17:19
by element1loop
mixelflick wrote: ... so the easiest way to defeat an F-22 or 35 is to defeat the AMRAAM. Do that, and you have a fighting chance.


An AMRAAM would only need the target's vector data to launch, and nav out to it. It will not need any radar track to get that vector for the fly-out phase. Nor will it need to activate early to volume search to find a target.

So if launched from MDF constrained ideal aspect, and radius, there should be no warning of the tracking, or of the attack. The F-35 remains hidden through out.

A narrow beam-like datalinking should almost allow a passive slammer to either impact on a target, or proximity.

Passive terminal tracking, and discrete datalink updateing, only as and if the passively-observed vector changes significantly, may almost allow a surprise passive Slammer killing 'mode' of engagement (especially with the updated EODAS systems).

On top of that, add very late active-seaker activation, which if auto-jammed, switch to home-on-jam. If still not enough use old-school F-35 radar(s) to light up the targets and force-feed the datalinks to LOAL missiles just seconds away.

I suspect the slammer will get the kill, if not intercepted or destroyed itself by a kinetic response system. But in that case the X-BkII would be defeatable too.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2018, 17:24
by krorvik
mixelflick wrote:I think AIM-9x integration is a big deal.


Very much agreed. However:

the easiest way to defeat an F-22 or 35 is to defeat the AMRAAM.


Not sure about that. You'll still need to find the shooter. A good shot should not reveal that.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2018, 15:15
by mixelflick
I understand all of your points, thank you for clarifying...

In looking at Russian doctrine, it seems better balanced where a salvo of radar guided, infra-red and in some cases electro-optical (not sure as to if these are in service yet) shots are made. Even if its only radar and infra-red, 2 missiles being guided to the target using 2 different seeker heads seems more logical than 2 radar guided versions. I understand that's theory, and in the real world it may not have been used yet?

In studying the African wars in which SU-27's downed Mig-29's, it appears radar guided shots only were made BVR, but all missed. Only until they made it close and used the Archer did the Mig-29's fall. If I mis-interpreted these results then by all means, correct me.

I dunno. I feel the AMRAAM is a great weapon, but it's not going to have a 100% KP. And when you're carrying only 2, that means at best you'll only be killing one enemy jet. Now if what you're saying is true, the AMRAAM PK might rise from let's say, 50% to 75% (I assume nothing is 100%). That still means only 1 missile hits in most cases. I suppose you could call in other AMRAAM's (or SM-6) from other platforms, but non US operators may not have that luxury. Think Israeli F-35's on a mission to destroy the Iranian nuclear reactors. What would they do in that event? Load up 4 additional F-35's with 4 AMRAAM each?

While we're on that topic, it'll be telling to see what the Israeli's carry on their F-35's. The AMRAAM no doubt, but I know they're big on the Python too - and I wouldn't put it past them to rig it such that it could be carried internally...

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2018, 17:14
by krorvik
A little clarification, a PK of 50% does NOT mean that for every two missile fired, one misses. You might miss on both, or down two bogeys. Or you may kill 20, and then miss 20 times. Statistics are fun.

And, we actually need new PK numbers for C7's and later fired from F-22s and F-35s to be able to say anything for the actual PK for the missile in the F-35. Yeah, good luck coming up with that...

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2018, 17:27
by element1loop
If not confident of the internal missile numbers being sufficient to assure air battle wins, buy another sqn of 24 x F-35, as needed.

While also investing $ in block upgrade to 6 internal slammers.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2018, 17:57
by marsavian
Think Israeli F-35's on a mission to destroy the Iranian nuclear reactors. What would they do in that event? Load up 4 additional F-35's with 4 AMRAAM each?


Strike F-35s are not going to use their AMRAAMs unless fired upon. They will try to sneak in and out and use their AMRAAMs in a rearguard retreating action if they have to. They also have the cannon as a last self-defence resort. The targets will need to be hit and destroyed past any defending IADs, air superiority kitted out F-35s will be a luxury Israel can't afford on a mission with their limited numbers, only the USAF can afford that with stealthy F-22s flying top cover. Unstealthy F-15Is couldnt do it as they would give the mission away. As it happens the standard stealthy strike F-35 with two aamrams, cannon and EW is good enough to look after itself and especially as a networked hunting pack.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2018, 18:26
by SpudmanWP
unless fired upon

I would change that to say "unless they need to clear a path in or out of the target area.

The ROE is not going to limit them to only returning fire. For instance, if they have a pair of SUs on an intercept bearing and they cannot change course (for whatever reason), they will shoot long before the SU sees them (in a hot-war situation).

On the Israeli CAP issue, sure they will fly them. One of the best things about the F-35 is its ability to make 4th gen much better & more survivable. I see them escorting F-15Is on raids where they are flying forward clearing popup threats, identifying targets, clearing any air cover, and hiding the F-15Is from detection (via jamming). It will all depend on the threat level.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2018, 02:20
by element1loop
For a small force the bulk of dedicated BVR, even with 4 slammers and 2 heaters, would be see-first, flank-first, shoot-first (two weapons), kill-first, tank or RTB first.

There's then the (remote) possibility (after tankng) of coming back in for another kill (two weapons again) then heaters to guard another tanking or else RTB phase.

So, if we already had 6 slammers internally, would these be used? Very rarely in practice, I think. So do you need six slammers internally? Nice, but it's not essential. What would be better to acheive clear air superiority/dominence is another 24 x F-35 strike sqn, each with 2 slammers and 2 heaters per, then go smoke an air base or two.

Further the earlier comment, if a passive-mode AIM-120 kill is viable, through F-35 system of systems leverage, and a single missile was launched on a passively derived target vector using LPI datalinked high-loft nav from an MDF determined ideal aspect and radius launch, even if that one missile fails to track, or to hit, or to fuse, would the BVR target(s) even know it was tracked or attacked already? That a track failed, or that a missile missed, or sensor/fusing failed to kill, etc.?

Most of the time the target won't know this, or else will be unsure if it's a false indication. In which case, why fire two missiles at each target at all? That was essential with the 3rd and 4th gens, but only because they were SEEN, and thus in merging geometry early and fast (i.e. not just to overcome pk/prob issues).

But if still unseen and undetected, and thus not merging, but instead you are using performance and sensors to maintain a minimum tactical VLO BVR radius---why fire two quasi-passive mode AIM-120 missiles at any BVR fighter-sized target?

Where's the imperitive to do so any more?

If the one missile missed they probably wouldn't notice the attack occurred, but even if they do notice a near miss---so what? They still don't know where you are. Nor how many you are, but must assume at least two F-35 jets with a likely minimum of 3 further unseen missiles, and as many as 11 further unseen missiles available.

Crap trowser much?

Seems to me that using just a single higher-PK passive targeted and nav-ed AIM-120 per target makes much more tactical sense here than using the traditional two slammers per target that 4th-gen fighting requires. The old BVR rules-of-thumb no longer apply here, so I'm not sure the historical BVR missile sensor-combo (non-fiction) examples apply to F-35 BVR methods and tactics.

I expect they've simmed this out and determined the weight gain of an initial 6 internal slammer design wasn't needed (for now), nor a SACM missile, et al., as F-35s would be able to kill efficiently, and egress, using just two, four or six BVR missile loads, and far more efficiently than any teen fighter uses these same missiles.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 25 Jul 2018, 08:48
by nathan77
mixelflick wrote:In looking at Russian doctrine, it seems better balanced where a salvo of radar guided, infra-red and in some cases electro-optical (not sure as to if these are in service yet) shots are made. Even if its only radar and infra-red, 2 missiles being guided to the target using 2 different seeker heads seems more logical than 2 radar guided versions. I understand that's theory, and in the real world it may not have been used yet


In my understanding of Russian doctrine, while they certainly mix seeker types, they don't necessarily need to, to increase PK. What they do is stagger the missile launches. If the target deploys counter-measures against the first and takes evasive action, this leaves them in a more vulnerable energy state. This gives them less ability to escape the second missiles blast radius.

Unless the enemy is aware of the F-35 (unlikely), I don't see the need for a similar approach. The F-35 is able to release its missiles deeper in their NEZ (giving it more energy in the terminal phase to achieve a kill). The target may not even be aware a missile is heading its way until the missile goes pitbull (typically only giving them a couple of seconds to react). And that's presuming that the F-35 hasn't jammed the RWR... in which case it's game over.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2018, 04:57
by element1loop
Yes to that, though I think the 'big deal' aspect here is not that it's 9X, but that it's 9X BKII.

Having the pylons and missiles on the outer wings will degrade RCS somewhat. The extra standoff of BkII serves to mitigate that and thus supports valid VLO tactics with 4 BVR missiles, rather than two.

To make best use of the 9X BkII as BVR weapon you need to maintain the higher-altitude profile. Higher altitude improves fuel efficiency and range, increases endurance and loiter, improves sensor and comms footprints, keeps you further from ground sensors, reduces noise footprint. Thus maintains VLO better and negates performance envelope of most SHORADs, degrades energy and PK of MRADS (most high-end SAMs should already have been de-commed or strongly suppressed).

So via indirect implications, having the BVR-ready 9X BKII on the wing encourages superior SOP, superior VLO tactics which improves survivability, and increases system-of-systems impacts, while negating most of the IADS response opportunities, providing best opportunities for DAS seeing and ID-ing threat popups, earlier and more distant, allowing better responses.

You could do it with 2 slammers, but having the response options and self-escorting of another two BVR weapons helps free-up limited resources early on in the fight.

The update of EODAS makes 9X BkII on wing that much more desirable, and useful-to-have. Many years ago I had reservations about fitting pylons and 9X on the wing, it seemed an unnecessary compromise as it was only 'useful-to-have' in the early stage of the conflict when preservation of VLO was the most critical resource. Pylons clashed with that. But with the 9X BkII plus updated EODAS this becomes a useful-to-have and force-multiplier during the early phase of conflict.

Compelling, at this point, imo.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2018, 13:47
by mixelflick
Feel strongly the 9x is important to have. If nothing else, it gives the F-35 one more way to kill, while complicating the enemy's kill chain.

I also think carry 2 outboard won't compromise the RCS very much. I have no inside knowledge about that, but have to believe those canted pylons aren't there by accident, and there's a reason you only see 9x's on them...

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2019, 11:05
by doge
F-35B launches AIM-9X towards LUU-2 flares. 8)
Does AIM-9X hit such a very small target!? :shock: Wow :applause:
https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-marin ... ssile.html
U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B completes simulated defensive combat air patrol with AIM-9X missile
Aug 21, 2019 in Aviation, Maritime Security, News, Photo
The U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) stealth aircraft successfully completed simulated defensive combat air patrol with live AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range missiles produced by Raytheon, according to 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The Marine Corps conducted a series of air-to-air missile drills during the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group rotation in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as ready-response force for any type of contingency, while simultaneously providing a flexible and lethal crisis response force ready to perform a wide range of military operations.

During this drill was conducted simulated defensive combat air patrol of the world’s first supersonic STOVL stealth aircraft with AIM-9X missile while conducting blue-water flight operations.

The rehearsal was in conjunction with the hot reload of ordnance including GBU-12 Paveway II Laser-Guided Bombs and GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 25-mm ammunition with a GAU-22 cannon.

The air-to-air missile drill validated weapons assembly and loading procedures on the flight deck of the ship and showcased the F-35B’s flexibility to offensively engage airborne targets. The missile targeted and successfully engaged LUU-2 flares dispensed out of an MV-22B Osprey during flight operations, according to Maj. Jeffrey Davis, F-35B detachment officer-in-charge with VMM-265 (REIN).

“The 31st MEU regularly conducts F-35B Combat Air Patrol rehearsals and is fully prepared to maintain aerial dominance against any threat,” said Col. Robert Brodie, 31st MEU commanding officer. “Our successful live-fire employment of the AIM-9X further exemplifies our preparedness to ‘fight and win’ against any adversary in any arena.”

The AIM-9X is the newest member in the family of AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range missiles produced by Raytheon. It is an infrared air-to-air missile primarily developed for the US Air Force and the US Navy. The AIM-9X is currently in service with more than 40 countries worldwide.

The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile is the first short-range, air-to-air missile to be used on the F-35.

A Marine with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), pushes flares out of an MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft during an F-35B Lightning II AIM-9X Sidewinder missile defensive combat air patrol rehearsal, Pacific Ocean, August 7, 2019. Photo by Lance Cpl. Cameron Parks

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2019, 13:49
by mixelflick
Do the Russians or Chinese have an equivalent to the 9x Block II?

I often hear them bragging about 400+ KM range hypersonic BVR wonder weapons, but very little (comparatively speaking) of their WVR weapons. They (Russians) held a commanding lead with the Archer way back when. Would seem ridiculous for them to relinquish their lead, especially given their stated desire to make it to the merge...?

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2019, 14:28
by hornetfinn
mixelflick wrote:Do the Russians or Chinese have an equivalent to the 9x Block II?

I often hear them bragging about 400+ KM range hypersonic BVR wonder weapons, but very little (comparatively speaking) of their WVR weapons. They (Russians) held a commanding lead with the Archer way back when. Would seem ridiculous for them to relinquish their lead, especially given their stated desire to make it to the merge...?


Russians don't have anything comparable. R-73/74/RVV-MD still uses non-imaging infrared seeker like AIM-9L. Of course R-73 derivatives have much better seeker deflection angle (HOBS capability) than AIM-9L. But they still don't have imaging infrared seekers which are more sensitive (longer detection/tracking range) and more immune to countermeasures. They also don't have data link for those missiles which means no real LOAL capability. Sure especially RVV-MD is still a dangerous missile, but I'd say that AIM-9X Block II is clearly superior to it.

Chinese have PL-10 which is said to use imaging infrared seeker. However the other performance parameters are not that impressive:

Image

Especially the quoted range is rather short. It also doesn't have LOAL capability as it doesn't seem to have a data link.

I'd say AIM-9X Block II, ASRAAM, IRIS-T, MICA-IR and Python-5 are all more capable missiles than these Russian and Chinese missiles. Not to say that they aren't dangerous in close-in fight.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2019, 14:41
by gc
Any software tweaks needed to get the 9X to go after flares? After all thats what they are supposed to avoid or they will chase whatever the pilot locks onto.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2019, 16:35
by mikemag
gc wrote:Any software tweaks needed to get the 9X to go after flares? After all thats what they are supposed to avoid or they will chase whatever the pilot locks onto.


I had the same thought. Why test a missile’s targeting ability by having it target the thing you want it to ignore? I’m sure they have their reasons. Cheaper than a drone I guess.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2019, 18:58
by botsing
gc wrote:Any software tweaks needed to get the 9X to go after flares? After all thats what they are supposed to avoid or they will chase whatever the pilot locks onto.

You would think the 9X locks onto an image, if that image is an airplane it will avoid everything that is not looking like that airplane.

If you however lock onto a flare it will simply go after the image of a flare.

(just speculating here)

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2019, 20:09
by marauder2048
AFAIK, parachute flares aren't employed as countermeasures and in the absence of a blob
that looks like an aircraft, AIM-9X will select something else that's moving and warm.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 29 Aug 2019, 04:50
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:AFAIK, parachute flares aren't employed as countermeasures and in the absence of a blob
that looks like an aircraft, AIM-9X will select something else that's moving and warm.


If I remember correctly, in Darwin several years back a practice IR missile accidentally came off a Hornet and attempted to impale the engine block of a Toyota Landcruiser.

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 29 Aug 2019, 05:16
by marauder2048
element1loop wrote:If I remember correctly, in Darwin several years back a practice IR missile accidentally came off a Hornet and attempted to impale the engine block of a Toyota Landcruiser.


Wonder if that was the inspiration to add the surface attack capability to AIM-9X?!

Re: F-35 Completes First Live Air-to-Air Kill Test [AIM-9X]

Unread postPosted: 29 Aug 2019, 05:49
by element1loop
marauder2048 wrote:
element1loop wrote:If I remember correctly, in Darwin several years back a practice IR missile accidentally came off a Hornet and attempted to impale the engine block of a Toyota Landcruiser.


Wonder if that was the inspiration to add the surface attack capability to AIM-9X?!


Sure got me thinking along those lines, showed the vehicle on TV, made a nice mess of the front end. :)