Someone seems not to be telling the whole story - while a Doppler radar will indeed lose an aircraft in the notch when it's aproaching speed is equal
to aproaching ground-speed, this is a look-down issue. You pay the price for look down capability withthe notch. However, this guy is 'pulling up
and going vertical', thus generating a look-up condition. Indeed, this can cause some trouble for a doppler radar, but radars are actually not
entirely dumb devices - especially the digital kind- and the lack of closure can be countered by altering the waveform perhaps, or other means. Helos
can be engaged using radar-guided fighter-weapons so don't doubt their effectiveness against a slow, high-flying fighter.
No speed is also EXACTLY the place you do NOT want to be in while there is a missile coming at you. I doesn't need to do -anything- to hit you ...
and it -will- track, wether people would like it to or not - again, it's most likely in a look-up or look-up-like condition. BVR is not the place to
be playing this unless you're trying to get devensive and escape. You're not going to trash an AMRAAM like this, but at certain ranges this -may-
have its merits. I'ts not a maneuver that you'd use alone.
Again, do this in close-in combat, and you're in trouble with even some of the oldest heat seekers since you're not generating LOS tracking-rate
problems and they become all-aspect weapons against you. And again, since your speed sucks, the missile isn't going to have any problems
It doesn't /matter/ that you can turn the plane end over end in the space on 200m. What matters is that this doesn't generate any significant
tracking problems for the missile that's coming at you because you've got zippo speed, so the LOS angle is changing within pretty comfy
Also remember that the missile doesn't have to hit you - that's what proximity fuzes are for.
You wouldn't use this maneuver for evasion, rather, for getting behind the other aircraft for a better shot (in a dogfight head to heat is still less
optimal then tail-on attacks), but you do -not- want to be at the speed needed to perform these maneuvers when you're ahving AIM-9X's shot at you.
And anyone who thinks the AIM-9X is a toy compared to -any- other missile needs to get a few clues. It's probably more short-ranged than the Python
or the 73, but have NO DOUBT about its lethality. It will strike from any angle it wants to, it will reject flares, and it will reject clutter, too.
It's a REALLY SCARY MISSILE. No, it's no godsend and it's not infallible, but I think people like to do the 'AIM-9X is a toy compares to Blah'
or vice versa, and fail to realise that these are actually pretty comparable systems.
In case of doubt, the same guys who made the Python helped with the AIM-9X
So what about guns only fights then?
Well, you use your supermaneuver, sure, but you better hit on the first snapshot you get because if you don't, you're slow AGAIN! And slow=dead in
A2A. It doesn't matter that you can pointt he nose around, what matters is that as soon as you try this your opponent (Assuming equal skill and
knowledge, since it's the maneuver you wish to compare) will bounce right up several thousand feet above you, then come down and nail you when
you're forced to point the nose back down to gain speed and then, you'll be a slow, fat target that will be hard to miss. you can try guns defense
while slow,a nd sure, the maneuverability will help but dude ... the other guy can kick his rudders and have rounds on you anyway, since you're not
translating very far across his LOS.
The moral of the story is: You DO NOT SLOW DOWN in A2A combat if you can help it. There are exceptions, but THAT is the rule, and so Sue is an
exception to it - nor is the F-22.
And about that F-117 being shot down. It had nothing to do with a MiG, it had everything to do with the planners being forced to assign it the same
route repeatedly - it was hit with a SAM that waiting for it to pass over that spot again.
The only things that MiG-29's have accomplished so far against the USAF is to get shot down - and yes, these are old models, and not really
comparable in avionics, but the fact is - they had no success. Period.
Also to address the 'what does the F-22 do if the AWACS go down?' ... it'll simply function using its own radar, partially sacrificing its stealth
(it'll be visible on RWR and possibly have a larger cross section as the antenna is ground to more reflective angles), but it still shoots first,
puts the enemy on the defensive FIRST, and gets aggressive FIRST, and that WINS A2A fights. This is a fact of A2A combat.
Nonwithstanding this, the F-22 and several upgraded F-15's (if not all) have a feature which allows them to tune the missile datalink so that their
missiles can receive MCU's from other aicraft. This means that an F-15 or F-22 could go radar silent and aproach the enemy within launch range while
directed by another fighter which is farther away. Using a TWS mode, the 'awacs' fighter cna then designate the desired targets, and the
'shooter' will jsut fire his missiles on command, never turning his radar on and never producing a warning for the enemy. The enemy only gets
warned of their impending doom when that missile goes active - and they've got not much more than 10-15 seconds to respond to this. No Cobra or
Super Cobra or Kulbit is going to save an aircraft here.
Modern A2A combat is -extremely- complicated and no one-trick pony will win the fight.
Just my 2c.
[edit on 1-2-2005 by Tharos]