Operational Performace Comparison: Viper, Beagle, and Stubby

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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madrat

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Unread post05 Sep 2019, 12:50

sprstdlyscottsmn-

Do your simulations allow for just one turn or do they allow a bit of sigma curve as long as the missile is within turn limits to correct back at a target? I would think simulations done by spreadsheet may be a bit focused on one two-dimensional plane. From all the footage I've watched of testing it seems missiles do a lot of spiraling, meaning your seeker is constantly plotting new intercept points in 3-dimensions as it homes in on the target.

It probably doesn't hurt that missile development validates motors and seekers separately, meaning a hit during a test is not 100% indicative of production units. Take the AIM-7 development. The seeker logic was validated by a target that emitted signals to eliminate an unrelated problem that might appear from the radar functions. Once they put everything together in combat the actual ability of the seeker to automatically track a target coupled to use with a radar didn't exactly validate testing.
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Unread post05 Sep 2019, 15:33

My simulation allows for 3 degree of motion through 3 dimensional space towards a target that itself can be moving in 3 degrees of motion. It allows for 5 minutes of flight in 0.1s increments. At each iteration of time 113 parameters are calculated relating to the atmospheric conditions for the missile and the target, the position and change in position for the missile and the target, the position of the target relative to the missile seeker head point of view, the position of the expected impact point relative to the missile seeker head point of view, which guidance algorithm to follow based on these factors, the aerodynamic forces acting on the missile, and finally what maneuvers the missile should take for the next 0.1s.
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 04:00

Interesting. So no boundaries that stop the simulation prior to completion?
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 04:58

Nope. There is nothing to stop. It runs 3,001 iterations every time. I simply have it tell me if, when, where, and how the missile reached the target and then I have 300,000+ data points to go through should I desire for more information.
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 10:24

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:I am considering the previously described scenario about a MiG trying to shoot down an AWACS with the massive R-37 while being defended by an AMRAAM equipped aircraft. If the AMRAAM equipped aircraft is an F-15, then the MiG can lock it up at the same time the F-15 fires it's AMRAAM. If the AMRAAM equipped aircraft is so much as a Super Hornet then it will be fired upon before finding the aircraft on radar.

From your simulation, which fighter can deal with Mig-31?
I assume F-15 is a non-starter as its RCS is too high and AMRAAM is shorter range than R-37.
F-16 unlikely to work, even though its RCS is lower , APG-80 detection range is still rather short, and AMRAAM is not long range enough
F-18E/F might or might not work, I give it a 50% chance, decent radar and low RCS but still limited by AMRAAM range.
Su-35 with R-37 might work 50% of the time? very powerful radar and long range missile, but the key weakness is high RCS
Rafale should work 70% of the time, weak radar but low RCS and it can use Meteor
Eurofighter should work 80% of the time, decent radar, low RCS and can carry Meteor
F-22 should work 90% of the time, very powerful radar, very low RCS, AMRAAM launched by F-22 will have good range
F-35 should work 90% of the time, powerful radar, very low RCS, it can be equipped with Meteor or JNAAM as well.
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 14:24

I'm finding it isn't so much about the range of the missile as the warning time. If part of the AIM-120 logic is to not go active until the final 5nm if it is receiving off-board guidance than even an F-15 can do it. If the Missile is programmed to go active at the maximum range it expects to detect the aircraft then nothing can do it and the MiG-31 will just turn away. This is what makes the Meteor such a potent weapon is that it can accelerate, thus reducing the reaction time.
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garrya

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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 15:55

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:I'm finding it isn't so much about the range of the missile as the warning time. If part of the AIM-120 logic is to not go active until the final 5nm if it is receiving off-board guidance than even an F-15 can do it. If the Missile is programmed to go active at the maximum range it expects to detect the aircraft then nothing can do it and the MiG-31 will just turn away. This is what makes the Meteor such a potent weapon is that it can accelerate, thus reducing the reaction time.

My reasoning is higher RCS will make F-15 vulnerable to Mig-31 attack as well
Let say F-15 in combat air patrol meet with MiG-31 in combat air patrol.
They are able to detect one another from significant distance and launch their missiles.
R-37 launched from MiG-31 will undeniably significantly faster than AIM-120D launched from F-15.
Therefore, R-37 will reach F-15 before AIM-120D can reach MIG-31.
If F-15 perform evasive maneuver then he can't guide his missile and AIM-120D will have to go active, if AIM-120 active too early then it will miss.
If F-15 doesn't evade R-37, it is destroyed.
In conclusion, whatever need to deal with Mig-31, their missile must reach Mig-31 before the opposite happen.
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 16:25

I see what your getting at. I was working under the basis or the R-37s being for AWACS, but I did also assume the MiG was carrying six of them so that would be enough to fling at an Eagle. Okay, let me run a Zaslon-M through my "systems" simulator to see at what range the F-15 could be locked up.
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 16:43

Okay so in a jamming free environment the Zaslon-M could track the F-15 (I assume an RCS of 26.9 for the AA loadout I use) at 147nm. However, the Zaslon-M still seems a technological generation behind the Irbis-E given that they have nearly identical detection figures and the Irbis is smaller. When I put this into the radar sim I see the EPAAWS being able to hold off the Zaslon-M until 14nm. Similar story for the F-16. It will be seen by the MiG before it sees the MiG in a jamming free environment but with jamming it reduces the range of tracking to quite a small number.

I have no idea what jamming capabilities the MiG has right now. These are reasons why I use the Su-35S as my adversary aircraft. It is more of a known, and capable, adversary when it comes to systems.
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 16:57

garrya wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:I'm finding it isn't so much about the range of the missile as the warning time. If part of the AIM-120 logic is to not go active until the final 5nm if it is receiving off-board guidance than even an F-15 can do it. If the Missile is programmed to go active at the maximum range it expects to detect the aircraft then nothing can do it and the MiG-31 will just turn away. This is what makes the Meteor such a potent weapon is that it can accelerate, thus reducing the reaction time.

My reasoning is higher RCS will make F-15 vulnerable to Mig-31 attack as well
Let say F-15 in combat air patrol meet with MiG-31 in combat air patrol.
They are able to detect one another from significant distance and launch their missiles.
R-37 launched from MiG-31 will undeniably significantly faster than AIM-120D launched from F-15.
Therefore, R-37 will reach F-15 before AIM-120D can reach MIG-31.
If F-15 perform evasive maneuver then he can't guide his missile and AIM-120D will have to go active, if AIM-120 active too early then it will miss.
If F-15 doesn't evade R-37, it is destroyed.
In conclusion, whatever need to deal with Mig-31, their missile must reach Mig-31 before the opposite happen.

The launching F-15 can immediately turn away, while another F-15(or other aircraft) can continue to provide the AIM-120 with guidance.
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 17:06

Or just turn 45 degrees and continue to provide guidance while changing the engagement scenario.
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 21:10

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Or just turn 45 degrees and continue to provide guidance while changing the engagement scenario.

That too, but if your 4 ship is stacked correctly, you can provide continuous guidance for a longer period, while retaining maximum separation.
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Unread post06 Sep 2019, 21:31

That is very true. While I often do "1v1" stuff to look for the weaknesses of each type, I do need to acknowledge when that weakness is mitigated operationally.
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Unread post07 Sep 2019, 00:07

garrya wrote:Can you read Russian? can you help us translate the chart?

No, I can't read Russian sorry, but I will see what I can do.
it worth mentioning that Japan is planning to integrate GaN AESA seeker on AAM-4 with ramjet body of Meteor for their F-35 fleet. Fixed AESA should have around 120 degrees field of regard, but much faster scan rate
Does it have a fixed antenna?


@Spurts: congratulations on the thread and latest, most instructive discussion. Many comments and questions come to mind, sorry in advance for the sheer amount of them:

> In general, I think these figures perfectly illustrate the relative weakness of AAMs against fast, high-flying maneouvering planes. Do these turn limitations apply to SAMs as well or are they capable of better turning performance in thin air / have superior kinematics helping in some way?
> Do you have numbers about what a F-22 / Su-57 type of fighter, flying (i.e) @1.8 M and 20 km could do against such AAMs, considering they are supposed to have much better maneuverability than a MiG-31 and TVC? Would such missiles be effective at all?
> Would other maneouvers like accelerating or climbing further help the MiG or would they be rather detrimental?
> It was not clear to me, your latest turning performance for the MiG-31 was coming from the MiG-25's manual or garrya's table?
> I have seen other sources mentioning the AMRAAM's RCS to be between 0.1 and 0.5 sqm. Nothing official though, but that would be detected at ca. 60 nm by the Irbis, if I am not wrong, so it is a relevant detail. You mentioned detection of the incoming missile by the Zaslon-M at around 44 km, that was for your lowest or highest RCS estimation?
> If a MiG-31 cued on an AWACS notices a blip in the direction of the fighters expected to be protecting it, would it not take evasive maneouvers? Wouldn't those 44 km be significant in that case? If they wait for certain detection (at a reduced distance of say 30 km), wouldn't it still be enough to evade the attack? I totally agree, reaction time seems the most critical parameter in the engagement.
> Regarding the data link: how does the guiding radar know where to point the beam, if they cannot detect the missile? I read claims that the side lobes would be used for guidance purposes in order to reduce possibility of detection, wouldn't that preclude the guiding beam from being so narrow?
> Agree too, that the MiG-31 is a really unique airframe. Russians have repeatedly stated that it is far from being exhausted, but it is very possible (there is little info about its real capabilities) that it has simply been updated just as much as needed to avoid outright obsolescence, probably by restarting very old update projects from late Soviet times and maybe including some further improvements here and there, there has been neither human resources nor money for more. But the operative life of the platform seems far from over, the production of the engine cores has been restarted recently, the radar on the newly modernized planes should be the Zaslon-AM, with old Argon-15 processors being replaced by Baget. I don't know what capabilities the new radar has, since the Zaslon-M itself is pretty old.
> Regarding the max target speed of the radar, I saw it is 6 M, but does it mean in every geometry (also head-on) or not? I don't know...
That is very true. While I often do "1v1" stuff to look for the weaknesses of each type, I do need to acknowledge when that weakness is mitigated operationally.

I support to keep doing 1 on 1. The reason is that doing differently would be very complex. For instance, if you consider the confrontation we are discussing close to Russian borders realistically, there is no way to ignore Voronezh, Container and other high-end radars that would essentially void the whole scenario (they are claimed to see a target of the size of a soccer ball at 8000 km) since they would greatly reduce the RCS disadvantage of the MiG and its unawareness about the presence of opposing fighters and incoming missiles. Also electronic warfare would need to be considered given there are systems like Krasukha designed to nastily jam AWACS and other airborne radars. IMO it would turn the thread into another one dealing with tiresome and inaccurate discussions about military power instead of fact-oriented compared aircraft performance as you are fortunately doing.
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Unread post07 Sep 2019, 06:19

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote: Similar story for the F-16. It will be seen by the MiG before it sees the MiG in a jamming free environment but with jamming it reduces the range of tracking to quite a small number

APG-80 can detect a fighter with RCS of 10 m2 from approximately 110 nm (203 km)
Zaslon-M can detect a fighter with RCS of 1 m2 from approximately 180 km
Image

Thus, even in a jamming free environment, F-16 enjoy about 23 km detection range. F-16 can cruise at Mach 0.85, Mig-31 can cruise at Mach 2.5, the total closure rate is 3.35 Mach. So F-16 has about 23 seconds of early warning over Mig-31. I don't know if that is enough for the pilot to accelerate to supersonic and give his AMRAAM a bit more range.
On the other hand, F-16 lower RCS give it a greater advantage in jamming environment. Furthermore, F-16 can carry the dedicated IRST21 pod which should be extremely effective against high and fast target such as Mig-31. IRST21 likely can detect Mig-31 on AB from 250-270 km, that can give pilot some more time to accelerate and climb
F-16-with-Legion-Pod.jpg

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https___api.thedrive.com_wp-content_uploads_2017_11_jajjd251.jpg
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