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

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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doge

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Unread post30 Jun 2018, 14:18

AIM-9X to curve. :shock:
https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4523036/ ... -eglin-afb
F-35AIM-9X-1.jpg

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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.
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sferrin

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Unread post30 Jun 2018, 14:46

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:
Last edited by sferrin on 30 Jun 2018, 19:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post30 Jun 2018, 14:48

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sferrin

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Unread post30 Jun 2018, 19:24

Yep. There a scenario where they simulated shooting down an enemy escort:

1:03


also

0:05
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Unread post21 Jul 2018, 14:06

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".
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Unread post21 Jul 2018, 22:03

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...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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Unread post22 Jul 2018, 17:19

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.
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Unread post22 Jul 2018, 17:24

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.
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Unread post23 Jul 2018, 15:15

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...
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Unread post23 Jul 2018, 17:14

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...
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Unread post23 Jul 2018, 17:27

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.
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Unread post23 Jul 2018, 17:57

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.
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Unread post23 Jul 2018, 18:26

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.
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Unread post24 Jul 2018, 02:20

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.
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Unread post25 Jul 2018, 08:48

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.
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