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

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element1loop

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Unread post26 Jul 2018, 04:57

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.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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mixelflick

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Unread post26 Jul 2018, 13:47

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...
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doge

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Unread post26 Aug 2019, 11:05

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
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mixelflick

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Unread post28 Aug 2019, 13:49

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...?
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Unread post28 Aug 2019, 14:28

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.
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Unread post28 Aug 2019, 14:41

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.
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Unread post28 Aug 2019, 16:35

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.
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botsing

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Unread post28 Aug 2019, 18:58

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)
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Unread post28 Aug 2019, 20:09

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.
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element1loop

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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 04:50

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.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 05:16

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?!
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Unread post29 Aug 2019, 05:49

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. :)
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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