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Wonder-weapons, or not?

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posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 03:46 AM
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Your statement is more correct if applied to Soviet thinking.


Or American for that matter, the US went for light fast tanks that could be produced in large quantities (Sherman), or lighter, faster tank destroyers (M10 & M18) that could "shoot and scoot".

The Soviets at least fielded heavy tanks during WW2 (KV-1, JS-2), the US never even bothered... (only 20 M26 Pershings ever saw ETO combat). Patton insisted that US armor use superior mobility, not superior firepower or protection, to win the day. In the end he appears to have been right, the heaviest tanks the Germans could field were still little more than conveniently large, slow targets for allied aircraft.

Really, I get so annoyed at the myth of invincible NAZI supermen and their wonder weapons, the German leadership was deeply deluded, and they got their behinds thoroughly kicked all the way back to the rubble pile that had once been Berlin. Sure a Tiger could deal out hell to a bunch of Shermans, which meant exactly squat when a cheap piece of air-delivered ordnance could turn one into a very expensive pile of high-tech charred scrap in seconds.

[edit on 12/5/05 by xmotex]




posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 12:15 PM
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Originally posted by rogue1
The German tanks in WWII were far heavier than comparable allied tanks


Actually they were in fact lighter if one compares the M4 to the PzKpfw IV wich are both medium tanks.


and weren't nearly as manouverable as Soviet tanks.


Mostly true thought i would argue relevance as i would have never claimed otherwise..



As the war progressed German tanks became less manouverable and far heavier with due to the thicker armour.


The built heavier tanks yes and the allies for strategic reasons decided to stick with their basic tank design. They could have certainly built tanks with the same armor and guns had they decided to do so. Even as German tanks grew bigger they did not become less manouverable as one can see when one compares their off-road speeds.

The armor thickness did increase but the German doctrine required a certain road/off-road speeds and they stuck to them in all their tanks designs.


If anything the opposite of your statement is true.
Your statement is more correct if applied to Soviet thinking.


If the opposite was true i would not have made the claims i did as i check my facts before posting or disagreeing with anyone. I have much to say about Soviet thinking but that is another topic alltogether.

Stellar



posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by StellarX

Originally posted by rogue1
The German tanks in WWII were far heavier than comparable allied tanks


Actually they were in fact lighter if one compares the M4 to the PzKpfw IV wich are both medium tanks.


Well the Panther was classed as a medium tank and it weighed around 45 tons, far heavier than the Sherman.

The Pershing was classed as a heavy tank by the US, but had the same weight as the Panther. The Tiger of course weighed 55 tons.



posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by rogue1
Well the Panther was classed as a medium tank and it weighed around 45 tons, far heavier than the Sherman.


Well the standards of introduction is different and at the time the Panther was arriving on the battlefield it was a medium tank...... The allies could have field a similar medium tank at that stage had they wanted to but they chose to stick with their current medium tank. So if you compared a early war American medium tank design with a late war German medium tank design then there is obviously a disparity in performance All i am trying to show is that it was strategic decisions ( and tactical for that matter) not German "wonder tanks" that caused the allies so much trouble.


The Pershing was classed as a heavy tank by the US, but had the same weight as the Panther. The Tiger of course weighed 55 tons.


I'll take your word for it.


Stellar



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by StellarX
Well the standards of introduction is different and at the time the Panther was arriving on the battlefield it was a medium tank...... The allies could have field a similar medium tank at that stage had they wanted to but they chose to stick with their current medium tank.


The only comparable tank was the M26 Pershing which came out a few weeks before the war ended. They couldn't bring out a tank earlier than that, they had alot of problems designing one.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by rogue1
The only comparable tank was the M26 Pershing which came out a few weeks before the war ended.


On the American side this was in fact so but Sherman's were not supposed to be engaging Panthers head on anyways. It was the job of tank destroyers and they had guns to do the job....


They couldn't bring out a tank earlier than that, they had alot of problems designing one.


I am sure they could have brough out a medium tank like the Panther if they had decided on making on sooner.... It really imo comes down to strategic choices not technological issues.... Non of this has much to do with your original claims thought....

Stellar



posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 11:58 AM
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As an ex-mud skipper who used to call in 'sky to mud', the air war, such as it is, is all about Air Superiority.

As far as I can remember in GW1, the Apaches went in first, to take out border installations and paved the way for conventional airstrikes.

If memoury serves me right, as this was going on, cruise missiles were destroying command and control centres, airfield installations and SAM sites, this was carried out under the cover of darkness.

This is called establishing Air Superiority.

During the day, the RAF Tornados were killing aircraft and runways. This stage of the war, was designed to establish Air Supremacy.

While this was going on, the SAS, SBS and US Recon units were hunting down the Scud E's. They were supported by A10 Thunderbolt IIs - a job they were not designed to do!

The A10 is a superb ground attack a/c, probably the best in the world. But it suffers from two or three major drawbacks:

1. They are not Gucci enough for the Airdaile commanders who want high tech, high priced weaponry - JSFand Stealth to name but two;

2. They are not (usually) equipped with the latest technology and finally

3. Those who fly them, love 'em - surely the final nail in their coffin.

I can remember reading a couple of after action reports where A10 pilots said the only way they could scan for tgts and get a lock on them, was with the tiny tv cameras in the Hellfire's nose.

Should the USAF ever get it's collective fingers out of it's bums, they would recognise that in the A10 - cheap and cheerful though it is, they have, coupled with the Longbows, a superb first strike capability.

IMHO, the US cannot fight a major world power, China or whoever, whatever the technology at it's disposal. The US is already experiencing major concerns over mounting fatalities, ammunition and other ordnance expenditure in the conflicts ongoing in Afghanistan, Iraq, and with talk of going into Syria and/or Iran, the last thing the US needs, is another war on the other side of the world.

As it is, the US, IMO, is in no fit state to fight another war. I do not think the average US Citizen could, would or should stand for it - at least I hope not.



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 05:47 AM
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Stellar X,

>>
Ever since World War II proved the stunning capabilities of radar, military planners have come to depend on it more and more in modern combat. At present, the U.S. builds weapons and trains personnel in preparation for the radar war of the future, relying almost exclusively on the combat advantages of radar-guided missiles, radar-avoiding stealth technology, air- and land-based early warning radar, low-level terrain-following radar, and target acquisition radar.
>>

Stick with one argument about one system and stop trying to tar and feather the lot with different operational and technical considerations that do not apply universally.

>>
At the heart of radar's performance is an uncanny ability to find and hit targets at distances beyond enemy killing range, primarily beyond visual range (BVR).
>>

Not true. The principle advantage of radar is it's ability to function in all weathers while sanitizing volumes of air or landspace for the EMPTINESS which does not contain a valid target set. Optics cannot yet come /close/ to the ability to do this, even though they are potentially cheaper to use in select applications which might create a network system.

It should also be noted that 'Beyond Killing Range' is /not/ the same as BVR. Because many nations are developing Medium Range Missile or Long Range Missile technology which can be resoundingly defeated by stealth. But which poses a significant threat to both tanking and standoff surveillance platforms by which those stealth assets are targeted.

It should also be noted that 'BVR' is itself deceptive because a 20ft tall emitter will indeed suffer clutter and broken LOS (Line Of Sight) conditions at about 12nm while a stealth treated AShM (Anti Shipping Missile) /counts/ on being able to approach a target to a last second popup and sweep which allows it to engage from a distance for which hardkill reaction systems are stressed to the point of non-reactivity. At visual distance.

>>
At the same time, radar can be used to provide early warning of an enemy's intentions while radar-jamming and stealth techniques can help to avoid detection by enemy radar. It is almost as if radar has become a kind of Rosetta Stone for the practice of modern warfare.
>>

The only reality of life which matters is persistent kill. If you sit on X and can only shoot at a target which is detected at Y, you have instantly localized your sphere of influence to the distance at which a target can render YOU a target. By association with your emissions. Or by simply outreaching or numerically saturating your WEZ or Weapons Engagement Zone. OTOH, if you make a weapons system that can FLY OUT to a given point. _Sit There_ as a kind of minefield. And then either RTB to a parachute and airbag recovery. Or sweep forward in a networked skirmish line, it doesn't matter where the initial (sensor) cue that causes it to attack comes from. Only that you are no longer defending a POINT of dirt with a ring radius surrounding it. But a VOLUME of airspace thru which an enemy must travel.
Obviously this is an AAW (Air to Air Warfare) postulant but there are multiple variations of theme for land and sea warfare whereby taking away the predictable 'associability' of a weapons system with a targeting network redefines the entire scenario of engagement to the level for which a threat may engage /after/ a given area is swept clean. _Irrespective_ of what we 'know about' emitter locations.

>>
Unfortunately, radar has not only turned out to be less than invincible, it has recently become a liability. Fueling what is now a raging debate are the last few shooting engagements in the Middle East: The USS Stark could not defend itself against two Exocet sea-skimming missiles
>>

The U.S.S. Stark was commanded by a moron who did not read the obvious signs of a popup to program a weapon which was only fired from 8-10nm out and which went active late because of a very tight 'gate' of target predictor location. Hence he did not light off the Mk.15 CIWS. He did not activate SRBOC. He did not unmask his aft engagement radar. Given that the same aircraft had been making repeated strikes 'just across the way' against a known Iranian VLCC traffic lane. And given that we had reasonable 'stand back or we'll shoot' exclusion zones around each ship, you cannot blame the sensor for the CMIC's (Chief Moron In Charge) stupidity.

>>
USS Vincennes Aegis cruiser fired BVR at what its crew thought was an attacking fighter and downed an Iranian airliner;
>>

Depending on model, the SM-2 Standard is good for between 15 and 70 miles. They were operating in a 'blue haze' environment for which the sky looked clear but mid level pollutants interfered with optics (which admittedly the Vincennes did not have). The Captain was operating outside his designated ops zone in Iranian territorial waters as part of a deliberate effort to incite Iranian attacks from local oil platforms. His 'hot pursuit' of Iranian PCIs that had 'flashed' (likely nothing more than sun off glass) an SH-60 helicopter sent to keep an eye on them was thus itself illegal, even though it meant his CIC crew was effectively fighting an SUW action when the AAW contact came up. He further conferred with several other flotilla ships who confirmed that the Airliner in question was IN THE AIRWAY AND BROADCASTING THE CORRECT IFF (according to /their/ 'radar').
And even his own system told him he had a tracking gate over a target back at Bandar Abbas (IIRR) that was a known dual-use civillian and military field. And it was THIS tracking gate which sent the potential IFF signal. i.e. Another gunho iguana who should never have been where he was. Letting loose of the leash on his doberman's without paying _proper_ attention to the what both his own systems and his fellow LINK-11 vessels were all telling him.

>>
and two F-14s fired twice at intruding Libyan fighters, missing them BVR with radar-guided Sparrows and shooting them down within visual range with a Sparrow and a heat-seeking Sidewinder.
>>

Depending on which engagement you are talking about, the Su-22 were within visual range in a more or less neutral intercept condition when _they fired first_. An AA-8 Aphid which has about a 2-3nm maximum flyout. And which was seen to be leaving the pylon of the fighter in question.

The Libyans were using ground attack fighters with poor physical and almost non-existent radar performance. They were using a shi**y missile that is ideally never fired from the Front Quarter. And they maneuvered their airframes like sheered sheep in a blizzard. 'Radar' perse had nothing to do with their deaths. Only their total incompetence and our ROE dictated the outcome.

In the second instance, we had decided to declare the Libyans potentially hostile from the outset which meant, by doctrine, that we were allowed to maneuver for position which is to say turn out laterally so that, as they swept by, we could convert on their sterns. Everybody waves, everybody takes pictures. And we all go home proud to be fighter pilots. Unfortunately, the MiG-23's were being vectored by GCI (Ground Control Intercept) and so for every turn away we executed to gain spacing, they turned 'back into us for the third time'. While continually closing the range.

At which point, we had a _very_ clear idea of who they were because the AWG-9 _radar_ was pointing an AXX-1 TCS (Television Camera Set) at them and we could see OPTICAL silouhettes. i.e. Radar VOLUME scan cues televisually magnified (10X what man can achieve which means 20-25nm for a fighter) target ID.

Unfortunately, here too a killer monkey got all hot and bothered and, from the backseat, popped an AIM-7M which promptly proceeded to miss because THE PILOT (the guy who is nominally in charge of firing all missiles) was not expecting the shot and did not have the dot centered in the ASE or Allowable Steering Error circular reticle which supported good tracking. Indeed, the very geometry (my plane, his plane) was ALL wrong. And again, you had a 20-25nm weapons system opening fire at about 10nm which meant that once the GIB decided to make it lethal, we HAD TO finish things with heat weapons.

>>
The DOD has been trying since 1977 to ive birth to the advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) as a replacement for the AIM-7 Sparrow and the AIM-9 Sidewinder. Almost 13 years later, the technical challenges of creating the AMRAAM are still to be met. One of those responsible for developing the missile in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Charles E. Myers, says "the drive to create it was a reflection of the frustrations in the radar weapons community."
>>

Oh please. The U.S. Weapons Development Community tried to:

1. Get a 20nm capability in a missile that weighed about 2/3rds as much and had a 1" narrower diameter than the existing 510lb, 8"X12ft Sparrow.
2. They further added a primitive datalink, tail controls and some classified stuff to the missile seeker which meant the development of a first hybrid then MMIC (Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits, systems which can handle raw signal feeds from the radar TWT (travelling wave tube) and receiver/channelizer without an analogue bridge to protect the 'digital' electronics.

And they FAILED MISERABLY. Why? Because the weapon which was supposed to IOC in 1984, then in 1986. Then in 1988. On F-16's which otherwise would have been vulnerable to RADAR face shots by Flogger and Foxbat (let alone Fulcrum and Flanker) could pretend to be multishot missileers. With an APG-68 radar that was utterly incapable of supporting long range IFF interrogation. HDTWS (High Data Rate Track While Scan) across a large enough volume to see and sort multiple contacts. And which had no datalink to enable multiple flight elements to coordinate their actions.

The result? We would have gone to war (and lost) with F-15's that could easily have integrated this capability in a Sparrow class missile (the 508lbs is a veritable anchor on the LGPOS or little grey piece of ***t) in the required timeframe for an 80's NATO war.

But were themselves instead restricted to SARH tactics that required careful speedup-slowdown-turnaway-remerge-with-traffic control of angles and offsets in what amounts to setpiece tactics in the most dynamic of all combat types. The Eagles also lost out on an optical tracking set similar to the TCS. And JTIDS II terminals with which to coordinate their activities (passively) with AWACS.

All because the F-16 and AIM-9 were NOT capable of winning a high intensity fight. And being so incredibly cheap that we would only buy/upgrade a jet which we had first whored the world over, we chose to wrong technology investment path to invest in with AMRAAM.

How ironic when the reality of life is that AIMVAL-ACEVAL was 'all about' proving the superiority of the Super Teen fighters over the lowly F-5E/MiG-21 class.

>>
The dogfight was consigned to the scrapheap of history when radar-guided missiles appeared in the '50s. Guns disappeared from from fighter planes, and missiles were hung in their place to defend U.S. borders and naval vessels from air attack. Sorting friend from foe was never considered worrisome, even at the higher closing speeds of jet aircraft and greater firing range of the airborne missile. Then came Vietnam and what one-time combat pilot Myers calls "military-political gymnastics" instead of a real air war.
>>

Some of those 'gymnastics' including:

1. Restriction from fighting the good fight.
Pssst. When the odds are like 800:100, _it doesn't matter_ what your ACMT/DACM (Air Combat Maneuver Training/Dissimilar Air Combat Maneuvering) competencies are. As long as you have decent targeting; you go in, you SMASH their airpower _on the ground_ and then you wipe the floor with their infrastructure.
2. The USAF instituted, service wide, an RHIP formation system called 'Fluid Four' whereby one man (the flight lead) shot, and his wingman and his second element lead and /his/ wingman, stood there and watched. From >
Suddenly, a minor enemy arose who put up a limited air challenge with inferior MiGs. The U.S. fielded its front-line fighters, in particular the F-4 Phantom II, which had been designed for fleet defense rather than violent close-combat aerial maneuvering. Back came the dogfight, but since pilots had little dogfight training and worried about killing their buddies, the Americans did not do well, especially with radar-guided Sparrows and especially beyond visual range.
>>

Yeah Right. First off, you incredible putz. We fought that airwar THREE DIFFERENT TIMES. First in 1966. Then in 1967-68. Then (after a 3 year intermission so that the bad guys coud go back to clobber college and bone up on tactics yet again) in a running fight throughout the summer and through Christmas of 1972. Each time our airwarriors were effectively starting from scratch over unfamiliar terrain a long ways from friendly forces. Each time (the cadre` survivors of) their combat veterans were working all the home-team advantages of known turf and tactics.

Yet despite all this, do you want to know what the total combined (USAF, USN, USMC) losses were for U.S. fighters to enemy air action?

1965: 4
1966: 12.
1967: 27.
1968: 12.
1969: 0.
1970: 1.
1971: 1.
1972: 22.

For a grand total of 79.

Do you want to know how many VPAF jets went down? Including 1965-66 which was the 'heart of the envelope' for bad missile variants, early jets, no integrated IFF/vectoring, no podded EW, no decently dissimilarly trained U.S. pilots?

1965: 12.
1966: 28.
1967: 77.
1968: 18.
1969: 0
1970: 1
1971: 0
1972: 79

Guess which side I want to fly on.

In a conflict where (Operation Bolo) a single engagement that destroyed 7 aircraft meant /halving/ the Vientamese Peoples Air Force inventory of their best jet: the MiG-21PF Fishbed. Viet losses like the above can only be possible if you let the enemy rebuild his airpower. From the ground up.

Where did I get this data? Well, the USAF kills comes from here-

www.csd.uwo.ca...

The U.S. losses come from a book entitled _OKB MiG_ by a Russian author named Piotr Butowski.

I have later discovered it is supported by this web page-

home.sprynet.com...

>>
Even though Vietnam drove home the lesson that pilots and aircraft must learn to dogfight within visual range, the air services asked for improved radar missiles. The AMRAAM emerged, supported by advocates inside and outside the DOD.
>>

Gee, do you think it could be because the USAF BVR system /works/ when it is properly supported by airborne warning and control and a decent set of ROE compared to the USN approach which is based on machine-gun-in-shopping-cart, high AOA at fully merged low speeds?

>>
To score a kill during a swirling dogfight, a pilot would have to launch missiles one after the other at multiple targets, a dubious tactic quickly called "launch-and-leave." "What no one wanted to say," says Myers, "is that they already had a missile that did this -- the cheap, accurate heat-seeking Sidewinder."
>>

Crap. Launch And Leave (Fire And Forget) is a definition applied to the seeker of a weapon which does not require continuous single target tracking by the parent fighter to 'see' a reflection from the illuminated target to home on. While nominally this is a good idea, it makes no reference to the DISTANCE at which the seeker can acquire said target. NOR does it acknowledge the flyout time and residual terminal energy of the MOTOR which which brings the two together.

In this the Sidewinder is better described by the term 'LOBL' (Low Ball or /cheap/) as a Lock On Before Launch weapon. While AMRAAM, though it can be fired as a LOBL method, is more often shot as a _LOAL_ or Lock On AFTER Launch system. In which the weapon is not seen coming because it is fired like a torpedo with a delayed action activation of it's seeker group. No noise means no F-Pole turnaway and extension or dive into draggy lowaltitude air.

Either way, the 120 is better than the AIM-9M and roughly equal to the AIM-9X. Because while the 9Mike will lockup a target at 6-8 miles reliably (if the air is clear and cold) the AMRAAM will lock up at 10-12. And while 9Mike is lucky to hit a target 2 miles away from astern and 4-5 miles in the face. AMRAAM will flyout to as much as 10nm from a launch point of 14-17 in which it _did not see_ the enemy at firing.

i.e., whether by cloud cover or tactical reasons for required stealth (the longest known AMRAAM shot was from 21nm out as an F-16 pilot 'timed' the racetrack of a fighter patrol orbit to have target meet threat, inbound) the AMRAAM can see it's threat sooner. And chase it down with more reliable speed-as-evasion-countermeasure terminal energy when it gets there.

And it always will since 2/3rds of it's 360lb weight is motor. While roughly half of the 196lb AIM-9M is.

MOST importantly, the AIM-120 has a one-way (parent to target) radar sideband datalink and is getting a two-way digital-independent version soon. This means that you can shoot it at ONE specific target, update the target's position inflight. And, with the C7, get the missile to tell you where /it/ is, inbetween. This means that there is no tendency to 'Pit Bull' (shake a mad dog in a sack and it will jump the first person it sees when you let it loose) AND that your Launch And Leave option doesn't mean abandoning a missile before it has achieved optimal (close intercept) distance necessary to get a kill without yelling out it's presence by early activation of the active seeker.

Comparitively, heat weapons are used in what is known as the 'look shoot look' mode. Which rapidly tends to degrade to 'look break look'. As they are so lethal and the globe of airspace they can exploit so large (90` off the seeker boresight, 360` around the target) that there is no way to be sure of defeating them on a Pyrhhic victory basis of getting the first kill. But not the last shot.

This is why most fighter pilots who are honest about the PHYSICS of what they and their platform can do, at speed (the USAF enters fights at 500 knots. The USN at often less than 350), will tell you that a dogfight is, at best a 50:50 Russian Roulette revolver gambit with 3 rounds in the spinning cylinder and two trigger pulls, yours and his, with the gun to your head. An action born of desparation which completely devalidates the nominal superiorities of Western Technology.

>>
At $ 500,000 a missile, the AMRAAM solution has a cost 10 times higher than a Sidewinder. It is so expensive that the services have been forced to stop buying the Sidewinder because they can no longer afford both radar-guided and heat-seeking missiles.
>>

No. The reason we abandoned Sidewinder development is because the Heat Weapon is /worthless/ as an extended range system when mounted on a 200lb, 'lightweight', missile chassis. And you cannot mount it on a long range motor unless you are willing to pay to have a secondary RF ability for looking through clouds or against terrain clutter. And that would mean million dollar missiles.

Furthermore, entering a 4-6nm WVR (Within Visual Range) arena where said 'dogfight weapons' can actually have a chance of chasing an enemy down means taking THREAT first-shot fires for at least 4-5nm with weapons like the R-27T, the MICA-IR, the ASRAAM and the Python-4/5 which are ALL kinematically superior to even our latest AIM-9X. Because they have a 6.5" to 9 inch motor diameter vs. the 5.2 of the AIM-9. And they weight 200-250lb to 400lbs instead of the 9X's 185. Thus, even with an imaging seeker that finally lets the AIM-9X challenge the AIM-120C for absolute tracking range, you are left with a 20km acquistion, 10km flyout, 'damn the torpedoes!' time delay lag in your so called Launch And Leave tactics.

Particularly where you are flying a hulking aluminum overcast like the F-15 or F/A-22 as your principle 'Air Dominance' fighter; you cannot afford even a single banked turn to break away from that fight. And so you are left praying that a radar-silent approach using MIDS/IDM type datalinks will keep you safe from detection until you can get an assassin kill.

And that is just pure bogus dimwittery in a jet which runs anywhere from 50 to 183 million per copy vs. the 30 million it takes to grind out another Dorito Fighter (crunch all you like, we'll make more!) like the MiG-29.

The REALITY of modern aircombat is that the seeker itself is not as important as the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit, the strapdown gyro of the missile autopilot) and the tether type.

Because if you can fly the weapon out to X distance. While /guiding it/ from Y. You can can fire from 20miles out on a target. And kill it with a detached support jet 20-40-60nm further back yet.

With today's weapons in which the missile tethers (datalinks) are pretty primitive, the baseline is the 'Chainsaw'. Whereby two elements of two aircraft create an offensive split of geometry change (hilo as a 'pinch' or widearound as a 'heart' [shaped] attack). SOLELY to take at least one pair outside the incredibly limited scan field of enemy radars operating in a 40-60` wide by 2-4 bar deep (where a bar is a subtend of arc that is anywhere from 1.5' to 2.5` degrees):

20..............Aircraft.Centerline..............20
1
2
3
4

Which, is an incredibly soda-straw limited field of view when set against the great wide sky but all that the radar data processor can handle in terms of sorting contacts within a reasonable (mechanical array) timeframe to keep everybody tracked.

Once separated, one or the other element will slingshot forward while receiving datalink radar data from the hung-back pair. Fire their missiles. And retreat to rejoin.

Just like the teeth of a chainsaw.

Under these conditions, even pilots of the LGPOS whose radar is nothing if not pathetic, prefer X3 AIM-120C and X1 AIM-9. Or X4 AIM-120C (night). To _any other_ kind of weapons mix. Because it is easier to fling a longspear and take two steps back to redevelop a 'picture' of the results. And then do it again to clean up any survivors. Than it is to close to knife-range where your mechanical countermeasures (flares etc.) may not work. And you are taking on the entire formation rather than the dregs of disorganized, leaderless, survivors of a 'bolt from blue' attack.

>>
In the AMRAAM project office, Air Force Col. James Burton had been handed the job of collecting hard information on the effectiveness of missiles in air-to-air combat. Burton studied all 407 known missile kills made in the air since 1958 (except for the 1967 Middle East war and Pakistan's 1971 clash with India), focusing hard on the 2,014 missile firings made during the Vietnam War and the 1973 and 1982 Middle East skirmishes.

Burton fast became one of the most unpopular men in the Pentagon. He titled the briefing he gave on his findings "Letting Combat Results Shape the Next Air-to-Air Missile." His findings? Of more than 260 Arab aircraft knocked down by Israel in 1973, only five fell to Sparrows in 12 firings.
>>

Gee, lessee.

1. The Israelis only have two platforms: the Phantom and the Eagle which can fire Sparrows. They didn't have the F-4 during 1967 (Mirage only) and they didn't have the Eagle during 1973. What does that tell us about the reliability of the initial dataset to give garbage out data from an absent input?
2. During ALL their wars prior to the 1982 Bekaa, the Israeli's have operated in a fighter bomber role, either because they really needed to pump out the sorties and French jets aren't worth crap for hauling pig iron. Or because they were fighting without benefit of decent IADS in which the first you saw of an enemy was when he flew across your nose.
3. At the time of the 1973 war, they would have been using AIM-7E1 or 2 which is a pathetic version of the Sparrow with _SARH not ARH_ homing. At the time of the 1982 war, they would have been using AIM-7F which is, if anything, a step back. Having a better motor but an even worse seeker.
4. During both their 'SARH Spoken Here!' battles, the IDFAF were faced with a tactics driving S2A (Surface To Air) threat and relatively primitive air to ground ordnance which would have prevented the use of medium altitude tactics. i.e. The fighters don't gain anything flying up because they either don't have look down radars or are blocked by the Shouf mountains from seeing the Syrian Air Force response. The bombers are attacking at low level because they can't hit squat from high. And the enemy interceptors are going to be where the bombers are regardless. WHY TAKE AN SA-6 TO THE FACE WHEN YOU HAVE NO JAMMING AND NO RADAR WARNING FOR A WEAPONS SYSTEM WHICH HAS TO TARGETS TO SHOOT?
5. The Israeli's are good. But only in perspective of the Arabs being complete morons. Outnumbered 10:1, surrounded with ZERO depth of field to trade in any kind of maneuver campaign, if the Ragheads got their shiite in one sock and fought like they had a COMMUNAL purpose rather an a coup psychology going, the Mediterranean would flow red with Jewish blood and Cairo, Riyadh, Amman and Damascus would all be self lighting parking lots.

What a dinkus.

>>
Of the 632 Sparrows fired in all the wars Burton studied, only 73 destroyed the airplane they were fired at, for a kill rating of 11%. The ancient Sidewinder did almost three times better: of some 1,000 Sidewinder firings, 308 kills resulted in a kill rating of 30%.
>>

The only REAL war in which to measure the effects of BVR tactics is and always will be Vietnam. Because it is the only one in which the campaign was protracted enough for technology development to have more of a dominant effect than sheer logistical:attrition scaled 'replacement theory'.

And because it was the only one where the enemy proved willing to fight a hopeless battle on the basis of making a stink that the U.S. News Media and Communism Whores like Jane Fonda would translate to victory. Though the numbers were never decisive in any engagement, the continuous threat of said attack drove much of the large scale planning around which we flew the Air Superiority mission 70% of the time. Maneuvered it against an airborne threat 20% of the time. And killed with it 7-10% of the time. Those kinds of numbers themselves generate 'statistical margin' in the number and types of encounter mode by which every American is a target and the environment is rich with them.

For all of this, it was only in 1972 where 'everything came together' (Nixon was willing to extinguish the North Vietnamese from history if it would give him diplomatic grounds to end our commitment).

And in this stage of the fight (one year, the most intense of the entire war from Easter to Christmas), 281 AIM-7E2 Sparrows were fired for 34 kills for an SSPK (Single Shot Probability Of Kill) of around 12 percent.

Comparitively, 95 USAF AIM-9s (both B, E and J) were fired for a total of 9 kills or a 13 percent success rate.

A statistical differential which is not even worth comparing. EXCEPT for what it indicates as a certain truth in the secondary figures:

1. Where targets were unhittable with AIM-9s, AIM-7s were used. Where AIM-7s were used in greater numbers, their _total kill rate_ remained the same. Whether because the pilots did not trust their Sparrows and so fired in salvo. Or because the AIM-7's were the only weapons available for that particular shot geometry. DOES NOT MATTER.

2. The USN fired 50 AIM-9D/G for 23 kills or an SSPK of roughly 46 percent. But the USN /only shot down/ 24 aircraft. Half that of the USAF which encountered their enemy in a variety of very challenging environments (more challenging threat airframe, deep inland with little or no gas margin, at night supporting F-111 and B-52, or while slowed down escorting bombers while laden with pods and smart weapons that reduced the number of Sparrows carried [EW and targeting pods used the same fuselage wells] and flat out DENIED the Sidewinder option).

And lastly, even this is deceptive because, again, USAF ego driven Majors and Colonels reserved MiGCAP (Sweep) flights /ahead of/ the strike packages as a personal hunting ground RHIP mission set like some mighty bwana'd hunter in which only the lead ship shot while the other three cheered. And there were only 2-3 flights of four active in total as the principle effectors for the majority of the shootdowns.

What this means is that if you don't have a very good weapon. You will be overrun or outrun on sheer threat numbers.

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In Southeast Asia, Sparrow had such a poor reputation that pilots routinely ripple-fired their Sparrows, firing off two or more in a row rather than taking a chance on a single shot. Even though few fighters came to Vietnam equipped with guns, they had a better kill rating than Sparrow-equipped fighters. Burton found that guns actually made about one-third of all the kills counted in Vietnam.
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First off, the first USAF jet ace to come out of the conflict made ALL FIVE of his kills with the AIM-7E2. In 13 firings. For an SSPK statistic rate of nearly 40%.

Because he knew what he was doing, had a good WSO running the radar and that radar weapons _system_ worked. Once we knew what was wrong with the Combat Quick Lock.

The F-105 was the only _bomber_ equipped with an internal gun. It's use as a gun platform came about because the AIM-9B Sidewinder it usually carried one of was too poor perfoming to be useful on it's own and took too long to activate from within the principle bombing mode that the pilot was usually heads-buried concentrating on when a MiG flew in front of his windscreen. Which was the only way an F-105 could hit anything because it had a turning rate and radius the size of a small city. Indeed, of the TWO HUNDRED EIGHTY TWO F-105 losses, SIXTY TWO (vs. 32 Thud kills + 1 'combined' AIM-9+Gun victory) were at the hands of enemy interceptors, i.e. a 2:1 LER (Loss Exchange Ratio) /in favor of the Vietnamese/.

Which collectively only proves only that if you close with a target to bomb, you will get shot at by everyone who knows where you are going to be. And the only reason the F-105 had to be in range of those fighters AND ground fire without escort. Was because the F-4 'all missile' systems (at the time) did not have the EW pods to even try to get close.

i.e. The data is skewed by the number of options available and is actually in _direct contravention_ to what the 'true fighters' (later F-4C/D with optional centerline gunpod or F-4E with inbuilt cannon) would would achieve. Because of the 117 or so kills that the F-4 community (all services) scored. ONLY 14 were gun kills. Roughly 11 percent.

Indeed, the best 'pure air combat' airframe we had in the war (Highest number of kills per engagement) was the F-8 Crusader and while known as the 'Last Of The Gunfighters', thanks to it's quartet of 20mm cannon, only 3 of it's 20 odd kills were by the gun. And it lost 4 jets doing so on nothing more than the sheer opportunism by which an enemy at close range can and will turn the tables (or soak your Situational Awarness while his wingman does so) in levelling the statistical odds.

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To the horror of those he briefed, Burton told them he found only four BVR kills in all the wars he covered. What is more, each of the four (two by Israel, two by F-4s in Vietnam) was carefully staged outside the confusion of combat to prove BVR's combat worthiness. One Southeast Asia kill was listed as a MiG-21 when it was really an F-4 mistakenly identified and shot down using Combat Tree, the BVR identification equipment of the era that was supposed to sort friend from foe. According to Burton, the only reason Israel went after its two BVR kills was strong pressure from the U.S. to establish BVR doctrine.
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The fact of the matter is actually the exact opposite. The _very first_ official missile kills of the war were by an F-4B pair in 1965 which achieved a double kill from a starting range of 14-17miles out, low over the clutter, using the earliest APQ-100 radar and AIM-7D (liquid propellant!) missiles. OTOH, if you 'stage things' so that your shot comes off the rail at 4-6nm instead of 8-12, you will inevitably have a high percentage of "Haha! Now I have you!" messy fights in which the missile is avoided or fails due to rapidly compressing geometry and no time for a second shot.

And baddabing. You are back to the Red Baron days of clawing for each other's six over multiple minutes of air combat maneuver while planform showing anyone within 50 miles your location in space as a visual target TEN TIMES that of a head-on silouhette. And worried as hell that your gas will run out before you're enemy's nerve because he has a shorter trip home than you do.

The certainty of BVR warfare is that we have never exercised it to full-stretch in a WARPAC vs. NATO type conflict for which total engagement numbers are in the low thousands and the enemy can come across the border at the 'full weight' of 100 F-15's out of Bitburg and CNA with as many as 800 jets in a single raid.

In /that/ kind of warstate, you will create freefire separated engagement zones between SAMs and Fighters (split by ceiling as much as range) and start nocking and loosing arrows at 20-25 miles out. And if a few allied interdictors which _should_ be either grounded or within safe passage lanes across the FLOT get whacked. _So Be It_.

Because the consequences of losing a REAL airwar are like unto Desert Saber with an armored avalanche pouring over Hitler's Highway network and broaching the nuclear floor within 18-24hrs of conflict start.

For any and all 'secondary theater' wars, the reality is that you will destroy or paralyze their air defenses with a combination of numbers and sneak attack (Cruise etc.) weapons which effectively catch them when they are down in a combat turn, desperately trying to reload and refuel when 'the next raid' arrives overtop their airbase and they are rolled back and then crushed, in place. On the ground.

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In summarizing how the 407 missile kills were made, Burton came up with some unsettling conclusions:

* Most targets were unaware and were fired on from the rear.
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With LPI/Sniff modes and some deceptive EW tricks, they still are not. The two MiG-29's that Boomer and Bear took out over the Boz died after a BVR shot at around 8-10nm which continued to close to about 6nm, at which point both F-15 drivers got tally on the Fulcrum pair urgently trying to notch the AMRAAMs as their seekers lit off, less than a mile from the kill.

It was too little, too late, and the MiG's never fired back which, at that point, they were within parameters to do with R-73.

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* An insignificant number of targets were aware and maneuvered hard to avoid the attack.
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No MAWS (Missile Approach Warning) and a biolimited Maneuver capacity to about 11Gs vs. a weapon with a digital autopilot:seeker overlap of optimized terminal strategies to bring weapon collision vector over the canopy regardless. Big Surprise. Old missiles were good for about 17-25G. Gen-3 took this to about 40-45. Modern systems can handle more than 70. On a 5:1 basis of maneuver exceedance (missile velocity impairs it's turning radius) that STILL means you are about 5-7G's short of the required evasive energy necessary to hop out of the pickle barrel spatial proximity that the weapons proximity fuze is about to handgrenade your a$$ in. Expendables and Smart Jamming can sometimes add a few G but especially terminal, it's more often a case of the weapon seeker missing cleanly. Or not being bothered by your flash and dazzle at all.

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* Many rear shots were fired from above the target, making them more difficult shots to hit.
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Which makes no sense whatsoever since the vast majority of Sparrow shots were taken before LDSD was even available while the guidane bias of the typical heatseeker will ALWAYS treat the topside of the target as the 'hotside' for lead rate purposes.

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* There were almost no head-on BVR shots because of the high closing speeds of the aircraft involved.
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ROE and pilot egos being what they are... We have long since solved the fuzing gate circuitry problems requried for FQ radar weapons useage. Heat weapons are more about angle off on the initial shot vs. motor reserves and dive thru planing but are still pretty much 'invincible when in envelope'. And besides, who says nose-to-nose like some knights at joust is a good idea? Assassins win honorable wars.

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Even though BVR shots were almost nonexistent in the wars Burton studied, he reached one unsettling conclusion: "The most dominant aspect of missile air combat to date has been the requirement to positively identify the target." And the only sure way to do that has been by eye.
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This I agree with to the extent that both JEM and 2D ISAR techniques have taken /way/ too long to get into the field while optronics have largely been ignored. Something particularly irksome when you look at the Swedes who openly state that their IR-OTIS (IRST) testbed is achieving upwards of 120% of radar optimal detection thresholds (admittedly vs. an unstated RCS threshold) vs. their PS-05. However; the reality remains that, for the longest time, we have been radar shooters because the operating environment where we /could/ be forced to fight is so hostile as to make even EO systems questionably capable in their performance through weather and what not. Now that our radar NCTR is getting better and we have the ability to 'two eyes on target' track a threat from launch through to Fox for sureties on 'track history' if not Mode&Code, the fact remains that the ability of the radar weapons system is now more dominant in it's _achievement_ than it ever was in the past promises.

Furthermore, as I hinted at earlier, the reality of air combat is that WHERE YOU ARE PRESENT, PREDICTABLY, YOU WILL BE FOUND, COOPERATIVELY. Via networked IADS operating on a multitude of bandwidths and spectra. The key is to 'no be dare' to be attacked. And increasingly this means taking the stealth concept and multiplying it with the standoff precision guided munition and indeed /multiple/ (small) PGMs so that you only need breach the outer layer of the enemy defensive shell.
And can thus avoid most of the 'vectoring' threat collation-of-sensor-data process altogether. Fewer jets in the air also means fewer secondary encounters on sheer random odds+numbers basis and thus less need _for the enemy_ to buy his defensive intercept force in numbers to match.

Fewer numbers all round reduces the variability of unknowns in a largely static (plateau'd) equation and this too helps 'contain things'.

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When validation tests were under way in the late '70s, on the air combat missiles and doctrines of the next generation, the cry went up that the results would be useless since most of the flying was done under clear air visual conditions and BVR shooting was so limited. Myers suggested giving AMRAAM's proposed operational BVR parameters and air-to-air anti-radiation missiles (ARMs) to Red Force. This would give everybody some rules and results worth measuring, but the idea was struck down by the AMRAAM office. Clearly, the new rules might have pointed up radar's inherent weakness: A simple, inexpensive missile like ARM can home in on radar and kill in an instant.
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The F-5E force at AIMVAL was operating with 'Concept C' missiles that were effectively bore-only AIM-9Ls as 'best that the Russians could do in a decade's time'. In point of truth the Tiger II's APQ-159 radar couldn't handle even emulating some of the more complex, cued, seeker modes being tested. And the R-73M2/K-74 series represented as big an advance over the AIM-9L as it did over the AIM-9B.

The difference then being whether you have the 400nm of instrumented range space to set up a /real/ 'Wall of Eagles' type engagement scenario rather than having the jets roll in from neutral=lineabreast starting position and playing first-second circle games with Energy Maneuver (speed plus planing altitude=rate) tactics that are themselves worthless in a world of 'Superman' post stall maneuvering at AOA's beyond 60` with missiles that have 40-60` worth of HOBS to stop-drop-fling that handgrenade across the circle or even over the shoulder at you.

i.e. There is NO SAFE PLACE TO BE IN A DOGFIGHT ANYMORE. Because an enemy may kill you not realizing he has zeroed his airspeed for your wingman. And you're still just as dead.

Which is where you once more have to ask how realistic a setup you can run over the Flag ranges at Nellis or China Lakes missile complex. You need something more like the PMTR to do it the right way (50nm acceleration, 100nm breakaway/rejoin) and we just didn't have the Deci styled ACMI/TACTS/OBEWS type options to do that, back then.

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In 1984, Burton managed to have the idea tested in McDonnell Douglas' differential maneuvering simulators. The results were devastating. Over and over, ARM-equipped fighters shot down AMRAAM aircraft and missiles. The results were turned over to the AMRAAM office, which invalidated them and threw out the exercise. In airborne tests in Nevada, Red Force aircraft using simple radar homing and warning devices could see Blue Force AMRAAM radars coming on 10 mi. away. The warnings allowed Red Force to turn away and beat the missile. When the AMRAAM radar was reset to come on 5 mi. from the target aircraft, the change negated the longed-for BVR scenario.
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Late model AIM-120C already has a secondary receiver channel capacity to 'look thru' the principle lobe for things like cruise missile radar altimeters. I wouldn't be surprised if some kind of sophisticated HOJ (Home On Jam) or full up AA-ARM mode is also possible. But the fact remains that if the combination of detection threshold, missile impulse and parent boosting can be synergized correctly, you can usually 'work the problem' in ways that are rather obvious when thought about.

1. Sometime around the AIM-120C4, they completely repackaged the Guidance and Control Section. This left them with nearly a foot of empty void space inside the missile tube. In the AIM-120C5, they filled /part/ of this space with a longer motor. That still left them 7" which was spacered out. With the (USAF) AIM-120C6, this space is supposedly taken up by an enhanced linear-blast warhead which acts something like a shaped charge to get very high closure rate surety kills off of the F/A-22 supercruise boosted launch. With the AIM-120C7 further guidance improvements were made to the autopilot, most likely as a result of a digital FOG strapdown gyro and perhaps GPS assist. 'Somewhere around Phase III' of the preplanned improvement program, the AIM-120C8 or D as it's sometimes called was supposed to pick up the other 7" of void space as motor fill (ala Raytheon's failed 'ERAAM' candidate to arm Eurofighter) so that non-supercruising platforms could enjoy the same 20nm NEZ, 40nm extended FQ capability that the Raptor does. And sometime after that, a completely new missile communication suite was supposed to bring the ability to let individual aircraft share secure digital missile keys rather than having discrete (analogue) channel blocks which were more or less pretuned between missile:shooter systems.
These kinds of improvements are always being shuffled around for order and timeline (left or right) and often the 'official' (Civillian) released nomenclature is miles and years behind what has been batch produced under a different labeling system. But all the basics are in place to make the AMRAAM easily twice as long ranging as it is today. If only by virtualization of datalinks to accept guidance updates from a much wider set of distributed tracking vs. shooter platform separations.

2. The F/A-22 can slingbomb a GBU-39 some 60-80nm from a midrange supercruise at 40-50K feet. And that's an unpowered glide bomb. It can track large targets from over 325 miles away. Imagine what happens when you gently loft the weapon parabola up to say 60-70K feet. And then turn away to gently oblique your way out of direct closure while slowing down 2-3 Mach points to increase the relative differential on F-Pole flyout times. In theory, you should be able to 'honor his shot before he takes it'. As your wingman provides guidance updates from 20miles further back. And the missile, which averages Mach 3-3.5 during Midcourse (by way of comparison the AIM-54 only does about Mach 2.7) should PLUNGE upwards of 20,000ft to regain terminal energy after literally /overflying/ especially a runaway (NEZ challenging) target. To intercept as the enemy flies back into the seeker box. All because the missile and /whatever/ system (it could be an RQ-4 or an E-10) is providing the guidance solution are 'sharing numbers' on both weapon and target positions.

3. I have read reports which quantify the F/A-22's RF VLO as being as good as 'flash across the canopy bow before acquisition' vs. threat emulators in the APG-63V1/2 category that are the best we have. I personally tend to discount this as being deliberate misinformation but would willingly accept a 10-15nm threshold for radar detection vs. one of the later Zhuk or Bars equivalent radars. Maybe a little more for the CAPTOR/AMSAR or RBE. What remains largely an unknown to me is the levels of capability inherent to 'topcoat' which appears to have a largely IR inteneded spectral scattering/refraction mode inherent to a candy-finish metallic paint buried in clear carrier. i.e. Together with certain flight control modifications to attitude on the airframe, it changes the specular index at which the F/A-22's IR signature reradiates what it cannot (possibly) absorb through fuel sink thermal controls. _In Theory_ I think this could reduce even optical detection indexes (and what the hell else could be above FL40 doing Mach 1+?) to around 20-25nm subsonic. And perhaps 30-35 supersonic. Which dovetails in nicely with predictions for EuroFIRST/PIRATE and OSF of about 60km frontal detection range.

IF it all comes together (and it damn well better for the cost) this capability translates into an ability to fire from the edges of a /very long/ periphery of detection/engagement zone. So that a Raptor pilot who wishes to attack a Rafale or Eurofighter baseline threat capability can preposition himself WELL OUTSIDE the predictor zone of baselane coverage. And as the threat air comes up. Hit them from a lateral offset orbit (completely beyond frontal sector aperture coverage) before exiting the fight while another section or even a longendurance E-jet guides the weapon home. If it is true, it will be a first in the way it allows our forces to literally 'ambush forward' _without_ commiting to direct WVR fight. While illuminating from distances beyond which even an AA-ARM can make distance before it either runs out of gas. Or (assuming ramjet propulsion on the Meteor) the parent aircraft dies and the midcoursing Raptor shuts down and moves out of the seeker cube where presumably a backup I2R or ARH based seeker must expect to find it.

>>

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In addition, the missile's fabled multiple-target tracking and killing capability turned out to be no more effective than single-target shooting, either in simulations or live aerial firings. "The simple launch-and-leave ARM casts a pall over the whole issue since it homes in perfectly on an illuminating radar," says Defense Dept. analyst Thomas Amlie. "This means you can't use AMRAAM, AIM-7, Phoenix, or any other radar-guided missile in combat."
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Range vs. Time on flyout sir. Nobody says that the LPI radar will be heard. Because it may well not be /on/. At least in the jet which is shooting a weapon 30-50 miles closer to the target than the one which is providing guidance.

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Meanwhile, the USSR has a well-developed series of ARMs, including the AA-10 Alamo for air-to-air combat. They have also converted the AS-4 Kitchen and AS-6 Kingfish, both with 2,200-lb warheads, into ARMs. Notes Amlie: "They never throw anything away. Flying at Mach 3+, these are a tremendous threat to the U.S. fleet, which is virtually bathed in radar. Now our prime weapons systems, such as Aegis, STARS, E-3A, Patriot, and Hawk, are in serious jeopardy."
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I think the AA-ARM models were actually based on the AS-9 Kyle (off of Tu-26) and AS-11 Kilter (off of MiG-25BM). The R-27P never eventuated. And the other two are 40ft long AShM derivatives of MiG-21 technology base whose principle advantage over any carrier group is the certainty that the USSR was already /in/ the theaters they intended to fight for. And so could easily afford to trade nukes-at-sea their entire surface fleet. Which is something at 2,200lb warheads on a 10-20,000lb missile could readily enable you to do. _IF_ you have 100,000lb bomber force (Tu-16/22/22M/95) to carry them with.

OTOH, we have been able to hit such threats, including the 70K high diver models, since about 1984. So it's not like it's an unknown so much as a very dated approach to killing large airpower basing modes that are themselves antiquated beyond all practical use.

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Targeting the enemy has never proved difficult for the Soviets, especially with American fighters. "All fighter radars in the U.S. transmit on the same frequency, right around 10,000 MHz, to get all-weather capability," Amlie says. "That is very convenient, a missile designer's dream. The Soviets have no need for IFF transponder identification since their radar frequencies are higher or lower, so ARM use is almost risk free, even in a mixed air-to-air fight." As soon as U.S. pilots turn on their radars, the opposition gets some valuable information as well -- how many fighters are out there, their nationality, their direction, whether they are locked on to fire, and type of fighter -- based on their radar pulse signature.
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Not all weather capability. Range and Range Discrimination within a sufficiently wide bandwidth to do serious signal processing. Including AJAM and guarded signal stuff.

You have one sheep bleating that won't shut up until you yell at it and it's a nuissance. You have have a herd of 1,000 sheep doing so and it's a hopelessly-hoarse situation for an offensive EW system to counter a target which is displacing it's mean azimuth/elevation at 400-500 knots, uses it's emitter only occasionally, and has multiple channel steps to switch about, in-band to fool you into attacking X while it runs along merrily at Y. Now through in complex signal modulation and pulse train actions which work through multiple interleaved /sideband/ (half channel steps, quarter channel steps, whatever) using digital pulse ID/encryption algorithms that vary with each squadron's if not jet's radar data and signal processors. At which point the cacophonous baaaaaahing doesn't merge into a sourceless whitenoise little greater than the background ether.

Again, everybody seems to assume in this paper that both the mode physics and tactical employment methodology of radar is based on continuous usage. It is not. And has not been in /ages/. "He who lights up is the first to get smoked" having been common wisdom since the late 1970s at least.

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The pilot firing the ARM still has problems, such as obtaining distance from the target, the need for his own radar to paint the target and give its range, the possibility of the ARM homing in on multiple enemy and friendly radars in the air, ground, and sea, and the very strong possibility of homing in on decoys. Regardless, the mere presence of ARMs in the air can lead to everyone turning off their radars, which puts the real combat arena squarely back into the visual, maneuvering, close-up fight that, AMRAAM supporters say, is not likely to happen because of the "reality" of BVR combat.
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Baaah. The only thing dictating the ambivalence of AMRAAM BVR employment is the pathetic energy of the micro-fighter launch platform and the too-small missile volume that resulted from constraining the weapon to fight it. You take missile warfare out to 40nm or beyond (BVRAAM has been quoted at over 200km in some articles) and by the time you get /any/ weapon out to the target, neither it's tactically modified route (to expand the seeker cube volume for secondary homing lockon) nor your own single-ping ranging will mean much vs. a supercruising LO threat.

And the later capabilities are set by _conventional_ threat MEZ/WEZ constraints on super-SAM like the S-300 and S-400. Just as with dogfighting, so long as you hold the highest frontier of overhead/standoff battlefield mapping, why even -enter- the envelope of such systems just to prove that they cannot touch you with ARM or TVM (EOCG, whatever) 'backup modes'.

These are systems which cost several /hundred/ million to buy in battalion weight numbers. And they are still so few as to be more target than threat. If you can attack from the 50+nm standoff zone dictated by your LO threshold. Fighter weapons platforms you simply outweight or outwait. By sortie numbers and conventional rollback theory.

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In 1969, the DOD tried to test an air-to-air ARM developed from the Sparrow airframe under the project name Brazo. At modest cost, three test firings destroyed three target drones. Amlie says the program "was cancelled when it could be interpreted as eliminating large radar fighters such as the F-14 and F-15, since the tests proved you could not use a radar fighter in combat when up against ARMs. The only countermeasure was to turn the radars off, so everything was swept under a rug." Now, department rumblings suggest that development of an air-to-air ARM is again under consideration.
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As I recall, Brazo and Seekbat and all the other 'wonder toys' in fact came about when the MiG-25 was being touted (falsely, knowingly) as the bogeyman threat to beat _with the F-4_. And then only as a recce platform which could be expected to run SAR mapping runs along very predictable routes.

However; I don't recall ever reading or seeing anything about the Brazo in particular (AIM-97 was /huge/ being little more than a Standard ARM with optical seeker adjunct) that emphasized it's use in a mixed tactical environment. Indeed, as I recall it (Brazo) was little more than Shrike 'reintegrated' with the AIM-7 concept using similar fixed seeker index and target processor architecture which would have made it little more than a flung rock against all but the most permissive of target sets. And god knows what it would do in a 'dogfight' saturated environment with F-16's huffing and puffing to carry it's weight along with the 4 AIM-9's this man seems to think are 'all that is necessary'. At best Brazo was a stepping stone to a potential dual-mode 'SRARM' (another never-was paper chase) that could be integrated with AIM-9 rail architecture as a kind of productionized, multiservice, SideARM. For 99.999% of the time when the air threat was elsewhere. And you had to worry about that Shilka or Gaskin that suddenly popped up as you were in the chute 3 seconds from release.

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The host of U.S. radar-based weapons are all vulnerable to ARMs. The E-3A AWACS has a superb radar antenna that can detect hundreds of targets simultaneously -- and can itself be seen at extremely long distances. An AS-4 or -6 could be launched 300-400 mi. away and home in on it with ease. The same is true for the 40 Aegis cruisers and destroyers destined for fleet service with the Navy. With hundreds of Soviet ARMs ready for firing from submarines, surface ships, aircraft, and land, a U.S. carrier battle group, heavily dependent on radar, might be in serious trouble, especially if the missiles were sea-skimmers.

At best, Navy countermeasures are limited against so simple a weapon. Sea-skimmers pop up over the radar horizon a bare 14 mi. away, and when radar does detect the missile, the radar reflections bounce off the waves, making it difficult to determine altitude, thus throwing off tracking. A third Soviet line of attack comes from their radar jammers, among the world's most powerful.
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We've done this one. See above.

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Pilots of B-1 and B-2 bombers penetrating Soviet airspace most likely will use terrain-following radar to stay low and avoid detection. Using inexpensive radar finders, like the fuzzbusters motorists use to avoid police speed traps, on hiss surrounded by flat terrain, the Soviets should have no trouble seeing the bombers coming. And Soviet radar homing and warning equipment can pick up VHF transmissions or over-the-horizon radar from distant approaching aircraft. In fact, the whole issue of stealth technology could become moot, if one considers that a radar antenna runs along the entire length of a B-2 wing's leading edge. Once in visual range, stealth is irrelevant. It is more than probable that an F-117 or a B-2 can be found, identified, and shot down using basic common sense. The F-117 has to make such wide turns that its survival in a visual air-to-air fight is precarious.
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The B-1 and B-2 will most certainly /not/ be penetrating at low level in anything other than SIOP conditions. Indeed, the Batwing has multiple overlapping oblique LPI ISAR, Startracker and INS/GPS modes to compliment it's _high altitude_ (all radar reflective features are 'high hot' sided away from ground radar) so that it doesn't need to make /any/ direct to flight path emission. The B-1 is admittedly more of a pig in a poke platform but like the batwing it is certain to vacuum up support assets for MILES around.

The Antenna in question is the APQ-181 and is actually located in large stopsign shaped arrays on the forward belly just outside the cockpit enclosure. This radar operates in the Ku band which is something like 18-20GHz and is specifically designed for _short range_ mapping at high definition but low power (High signal loss through atmosphere). The only other antenna in the wings of the Batarang are related to comms and LO and they are all imbedded striplines unlikely to be targetable.

Gee, you mean the F-117 is compromised by a lack of agility in the close in fight? THEN WHY THE HECK ARM IT WITH SIDEWINDERS AND AA-ARM!?!? Not /least/ because the jet has only two weapons stations for carrying _air to mud_ ordnance to bein with and every weapon which it carries 'just in case' is another exposure to target defences the next night to bag what was missed the



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 11:41 AM
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I dont understand... Why did the address that post to me and not the author of the article? Do you understand that i did not type those statements and that i do not agree with them all?

What is wrong with you man


Stellar


M6D

posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by rogue1

Originally posted by StellarX
Well the standards of introduction is different and at the time the Panther was arriving on the battlefield it was a medium tank...... The allies could have field a similar medium tank at that stage had they wanted to but they chose to stick with their current medium tank.


The only comparable tank was the M26 Pershing which came out a few weeks before the war ended. They couldn't bring out a tank earlier than that, they had alot of problems designing one.


Sorry man, but this is infact incorrect, america could of had M26's on the beaches on D-day, however, it was patton himslf who helped veto the design proposal, yes, thats right, there was a commision, and patton himself veto'd the M26, he did not want to see it, he even told of a sherman commander for adding sandbags to his tank to try and stop his crew getting killed.
The design you see DID exist, there was no problem, hell, even the turret on the sherman jumbo i believe was taken from the M26 (you'll have to double check this one) but the main point here is, that the US did indeed have the design for the M26, just decided not to use it, by gross underestimation of the enemy.



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 12:31 PM
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It wasn't gross underestimation of the enemy, it was a conscious choice by Patton. Patton's strategy with armor was, despite his image, not to directly engage enemy armor. He felt that US armor should work with infantry to bypass enemy armor concentrations and use superior mobility to go for the enemy's rear, disrupting their supply lines and leaving their armor to literally run out of gas. It worked very well, when his commanders actually listened. When they tried to go toe-to-toe with the Panzers, it was usually disastrous. But they were never supposed to in the first place.


M6D

posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 01:26 PM
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Fair enough :p but i have little to say on patton, exept i believe his ideas are wrong :p the existance of the abrams and its reccord i feel is enough said :p



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 10:58 PM
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Xmotex,

>>
It wasn't gross underestimation of the enemy, it was a conscious choice by Patton.
>>

His guts, our blood...

>>
Patton's strategy with armor was, despite his image, not to directly engage enemy armor.
>>

There is a saying that it takes a thief to catch one. And of course this is _flat out wrong_ when it comes to warfare because you WANT to have a system which assymetrically if not alinearly engages the enemy _without_ having a toe to toe (line of sight or weapons-envelope compatible) slugging match.

i.e. you use artillery or airpower to kill armor, not least because the /tank/ was itself never designed to engage like vehicles but rather as an infantry support and breakout weapon to defeat machine guns and fixed obstacles like the trench system.

>>
He felt that US armor should work with infantry to bypass enemy armor concentrations and use superior mobility to go for the enemy's rear, disrupting their supply lines and leaving their armor to literally run out of gas. It worked very well, when his commanders actually listened. When they tried to go toe-to-toe with the Panzers, it was usually disastrous. But they were never supposed to in the first place.
>>

The problem with this argument as well as the DDay one (It would not have been Patton's word but Bradley's or even Ike's on such a major doctrinal decision, Patton being still in the doghouse running the PdC deception effort after slapping that soldier) is that mobility and the desire for a maneuver warfare 'blitz' styled campaign MUST acknowledge operating enviroment and mission requirements first and foremost.

As such (and this is just the beginning of a long laundry list of screwups)

1. The Brits should /never/ have been given the best route for armor as they had proven, right from their one and only 'success' at El Alamein ( In which they were thrown _72 hours_ off schedule despite having a 10:1 superiority in supporting artillery and a 5:1 edge in tanks), that they lacked the gusto to prosecute a fast paced breakout action. Which is of course why they camped and made tea outside Caen and let the 21st Panzer roll into a city which was _undefended_, blocking the road for a good 2 months so that our glorious allies could not turn behind the enemy rear and help us out of the Bocage.

2. Even as direct fire (assault gun) infantry support weapons, the tanks first have to REACH BLOODY SHORE to be workable and the Sherman DD was a guarantee'd loser as we had long since proven from exercises in England. If Patton was 'all that' he would have been down on the beaches, watching the exercises and SEEING the problems involved, have made the inevitable conclusion that we needed to triple our inshore NGS and CAS force allocations so that the very first units to come ashore could rapidly secure a fully sterilized beachhead or at least huddle in premade foxholes while keeping Jerry occupied while real LST followons sacrificed themselves to beach and disembark the breakout force.
Patton wasn't there. Patton wanted to invade PdC. Patton did everything he could to disuade Ike based on his own infantile need to push forward his own plan. Patton as much as admitted that he was pure showboat and what he hated about Monty (other than the fact that he was 'in' while Patton was 'out' of the game) was his refusal to admit a similar degree of ego.

3. Patton should have taken one look at the Bocage country and stuck the Brits with it or resigned. Because it was their kind of 'elite infantry' battle in which sitting still and gradually attriting the enemy would allow you to flow into his positions after a suitable period of imbibing tea. Tanks cannot support infantry when they are faced by anti tank _guns_ (which made up a surprising amount of the german AT effort as a function of cost and success on the Eastern front) and LAW which could both engage it on longshots down the approaches and crossfire it from mere yards away.

Both options that the hedgerows dictated. Rhino'd hedgechoppers helped but only to a small degree.

CONCLUSION:
Patton was an aggressive diletante, not a professional. He got lucky several times but ultimately he drove his men to accomplish the impossible /because/ he put them in situations where only that would save them. And this cost them dearly for all that they loved his 'attitude'.

You need only look at his shenanigans in Eastern France with far-flung screening units being deliberately run until they were OUT OF GAS and, knowing that he was about to lose that fuel as the 'Allied' war effort required us to feed the failure that was Monty, he refused to pull back, consolidate and laager up his exposed spearheads.

Or his further idiocy in attempting to 'liberate' a son-in-laws POW camp in Germany which failed so badly that an entire brigade had to be sent 30 miles to rescue the rescuers.

_No General_ is more than a lucky bastard turning logistics and circumstance to his advantage while putting the spurs into lady luck's belly to grab all he can. On the offense.

The quality of the leader shows up when he is fighting a defensive retreat or holding action and is himself exposed to the obvious of predictable disposition and terrain disadvantagement.

Despite El Guettar (Terry Allen's show, no matter what Hollywood would have you believe), Patton never was put in that situation and so Patton never KNEW beyond reasonable doubt that there are equal advantages to be had from the defensive battle.

Namely that if you control the channelizing terrain, you can force mobile units to expose themselves in ways that are unbypassable for want of field craft or speed of advance.

It is when a Sherman force meets and ambush-in-depth of PAK-40 and Panzerschreck, BOTH of which were incredibly cheap and easy to use in comparison with a tank. BOTH of which could defeat the Sherman from any angle at any distance within their ballistic envelope.

Then you begin to see the fallacy of believing in mobility as an excuse for non-emphasis of protection and firepower.

Because a 75mm AT gun _can_ be engaged by a Sherman, without question of armor penetration once it is seen. But the gun will get the first shot and in a prepared ambush lane, there may well be ten or more of them.

CONCLUSION:
The Russians designed a tank with at least as good an automotive reliability, mobility and firepower as the M4 Sherman. And easily TWICE the effective armor protection. And they did so before the war even began. That 'medium tank' was the T-34 and it stands out as perhaps the best _MBT_ (Infantry, Medium or Heavy) of the entire conflict.

There was no excuse for the Sherman's design deficiencies beyond sheer profiteerism on the part of the MIC refusing to manufacture anything better, in smaller numbers (regardless of 'railway tunnels' lies) that could hold it's own until the networked battlefield effect of American Combined Arms could put artillery and air on the threat.

THAT is what won the damn war for us. The Germans laughed at our armor and infantry tactics (if not weapons) but they feared terribly our ability to mass fires from divisional level on down at the touch of a squad radioman.

And again, if Patton was half the general he claimed to be, the assymetry of capabilities (Artillery doesn't need to make huge advanced to cover deep penetrations so 'maneuver' can occur and _be secure_ in much shorter, contiguous, hops) would have told him that M3 armored scout cars and half tracks if not jeeps could do as well as tanks in small taskforce or team level composites designed solely to winkle out and target enemy fixed positions and rear area logistics with the same kind of mobility and half the commited force /vulnerability/ as a tank-heavy force could achieve. It would have also instantly solved his massive Red Ball fuel problems and kept him in the game no matter how much gas we had to pass to the incompetent Brits.

And that's the real problem. Because Patton was merely the best of a bad lot of sorry ass wannabes. Any one of the principal German field commanders with experience on the Eastern Front was a better leader, better able to cobble together and exploit composite force element as kampfgruppes who were /trained/ to work together in frictionless building block segments. The only thing they didn't have was the logistics to prove the difference between 'Blut und Ehrt' and victory is good basic infantry weapons and great supporting arms.


KPl.



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 04:13 AM
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Type of post that makes being here worth my while

Still trying to figure out what inspired the direction of the earlier post thought edit but since it's such a brilliant and informative post just flame or shout at me as much as you like.


Stellar

[edit on 10-12-2005 by StellarX]



posted on Dec, 10 2005 @ 10:19 AM
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I'd kind of like to address a few things that I have sen posted in this thread.

1. BVR Missile attacks: In any kind of future air batttle BVR attacks are going to be non-existant. The reason for this is what happened to the USS Vinccennes and that Iranian airliner. Attacking fighters are going to have to close to visual range and positivly identify their targets before firing. Since you are that close why not use an IR missile?

2. In my opinion the only thing that stealth is going to be good for is in attacking enemy air defences like radar and missile installations. Stealth aircraft are expensive and hard to maintain so why risk them? A perfect example of this would be Gulf War I. After the first few days the largest threat to Allied aircraft was the surface to air systems. The parts of the Iraqi Air Force that hadn't been destroyed were in Iran by that time. An aircraft like the F-22 is only needed until air superiority has been established, after that it is a liability. Cheaper, less complex aircraft can perform air support missions once superiority has been established.

3. I would concentrate on developing a good long range air to air missile that uses an enemy's radar emissions for guidence. Someone starts painting you with their search radar shoot one of those down their throat. Worst case they have to turn their radar off, which lets you get into range. This missile would also help with those pesky AWACS aircraft as well.

4. Last but not least. The USS Stark had a failure with its main radar long before the Iraqis fired their Exocets at it. It's captain wasn't an idiot, if he was that ship would have sank with a great loss of life. What screwed the Stark up was the Navy's competitive system for promotions. The captain of the Stark should have let the fleet commander know that his radar was out of order. This would have resulted in the Stark being moved in the formation to a position where another ship could have covered it with it's radar until repairs had been made. Problem is that this would have been noticed by the Stark's captain's superiors and might have hurt his chances for promotion.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 01:04 AM
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This is totally insane, cool thread mate!



posted on Jan, 16 2006 @ 05:10 PM
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Here is another one for you CH!

www.g2mil.com...

I am almost done reading but i am rather sure the last bit will be as informative as the rest.

If you feel the need to insult the author, or me for some obscure reason, that is just fine! Even your opinion seems worth any abuse i can think up.


Stellar



posted on Mar, 29 2006 @ 12:39 PM
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Well my last post did not draw ANY attention ( at least on this thread) and i can't help but wonder why. Since i found another interesting article in my search of material on ABM/SAM's it's about time i post it.

Kosovo and the Continuing SEAD Challenge.

It has a great of pertinent information like explaining that side reflections from the F-117 might raise it's RCS by a factor of 100! Great read for anyone interested in modern air defense and SEAD tactics.

Stellar



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