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New Generation Dogfighting Missiles

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posted on Dec, 30 2005 @ 02:06 PM
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Take a look at some of the latest dogfighting / WVR missiles today :

Israeli Python 5 (my personal favorite)


German/European IRIS-T


South African Denel Darter-A


British/European ASRAAM


Russian R-73 E/M(new) series


American AIM-9X
external image

French/European MICA-IR



I can only pity today's pilot
. In WVR airplanes might stand a chance.

[edit on 30-12-2005 by Stealth Spy]




posted on Dec, 30 2005 @ 05:46 PM
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SS,

Nice photos.

Some comments: The P5 is basically the P4 with a slightly modified motor impulse curve, a new strapdown IMU and, according to some, the datalink from the the Derby.

As such, it remains a highly primitive design, only slightly better than the R-73 in terms of having multiple aerocontrols which only add to it's 1G drag index while 'trying to immitate' a true BVR weapon system.

IRIS-T is a unique weapon in that it was a deliberate attempt to improve on Sidewinder without using /any/ of the system components as AIM-9X eventually slaughtered itself doing. I think they shot themselves in the foot going with the initial linear-bar scanning array but as a small scale improvement to the AIM-9S it is probably one of the more successful missile programs in existence because it has secure orders for three modern airframes /in place/ (SAAB just confirmed for the Gripen, the Germans run it off the Flubber and the Bahraini's are using it on their F-16E's I believe).

Darter-A I frankly don't know enough about one way or the other, it's obviously a straight up ASRAAM clone which is surprising because that is exactly the configuration I would have expected for Darter-R/Derby as a function of max-clean aeros taking a fast but small weapon to the outer pole limits as efficiently as possible.

The obvious question to ask of course is whether or not it has a datalink since the combination of a no-maddog shot control and the relatively clear skies of the Cape could make even an optical homer a quite capable BVR system.

ASRAAM lost a lot of it's appeal to me when BAe knuckled to U.S. demands for launcher compatibility with existing LAU-7 rail designs and thus the missile lost the ability to be brought into battle on TER rails. Dogfights tend to soak a LOT of halfway-there dynamic shots and particularly given IFDL's and the natural tendency to point-and-click at the first missile plume, it makes sense to get ALL targets engaged, simultaneously.

That said the ASRAAM also points out two unique factors which have gone a long ways to change the way we perceive missiles. The first is a motor:dome combination which supposedly makes this missile the fastest SRM in the world with 'Mach 4 class' performance (probably 3.6-3.8 but still very, very good). The other is the realization that even with a shared detector array, 'not all missiles are equal' can apply to a system which has not quite lost all it's black-body hotspot self-dazzling. Though the RAAF seem happy and there are rumors of MOD complaint to avoid default on contract while they arranged better finances, this should remind us that the imaging array is itself a fairly young technology and we don't necessarily know /all/ the shenanigans that are going on from backplane to guidance processor.

One other thing which deserves mention is the fact that the ASRAAM, though not possessed of a datalink (publically) has true LOAL capabilities with a sophisticated 'volume track' ability to score targets based on predictive vector math. This nominally takes a 60` HOBS (High Off Boresight Seeker) capability up to 180` 'effective' /if/ the large motor impulse doesn't just wildly drive the missile out of envelope.

It should be noted that right-off-the-nose is still a powerful option for even SRMs however as a few Tornado F.3's seriously embarrassed the mighty USAF F-15/AMRAAM comvination by running 'wide out' (offensive split) passive datalink + ISRM heatshot tactics against an AWACS that didn't quite retrograde fast enough. This 4-5 years before Cope India.

As to the Archer as granddaddy of all 'expanded envelope' threat missiles, this system is /highly/ overrated. True, the original missiles had a 40-45` HOBS capability (at a time when the AIM-9L was about 27.5`) but the combination of IRST bore cue and helmet tracking are both dependent on dated electronics equivalent to the 1972 VTAS system wherein 'if the radar sucks, so does your handoff' (not to mention sill lines on the Flanker and Fulcrum and the terrible electromechanical 'flashing LED' latency of the systems themselves).

Taken together with again, a primitive aero control+hefty TVC, even in later M1/M2 missiles where the boresight finally went up to about 65-70` the missiles effective engagement range is a /lot/ less than the 25 and then 40km it is given. Archer can be beat using proper anchor and elbow tactics with good expendables.

However; I /believe/ that there is actually a newer design under development called the 'K-30' or 'D-30'. Drawings vary with at least one configuration showing another ASRAAM clone and others indicating some nod to a MICA type design.

For myself, if you are going to waste money on 'gas declination vane' technology (boxkite tails) you might as well continue the Russian tradition of a heatshot companion to the R-77. Throw in some pif-paf type controls to replace the paddle based TVC and you might just have an 'SRM' more akin to the AA-10B shown in the background. With enought warhead and speed to work crossing shots and long stern conversions rather than trying to play seeker-chicken keeping your pipes cold and your nose forward.

Which segueways us right on into the worthless piece of shiite that is the AIM-9X.

Roundly known as the 20km seeker atop a 10km motor as a function of readding all the canards, electronics conduits and other drek that Box Office removed while retaining the existing 5.25", Mk.36, motor in a world of 6.5-6.7" big dawgs, this weapon is nothing if not triumph of the lowball.

Further, I have my doubts as to the missile's effectiveness of /either/ of the principal airframes it will 'eventually' get to.

First off, X-Ray is /viciously/ unstable, right off the rail, such that it is literally scarey (for the shooter) to see what I presume are sanitized publicity videos. If an opposed vector F-4 about 70` off and 2 miles out causes the weapon to exhibit such epileptic 'shivers' from a 1G F-15 launch, imagine what will happen when it's a loaded turn and the missile is coming over-shoulder to cut across the angle.

Take this another step further and look at an F-22 firing out an acoustically and Q firehydranted sidebay onto targets as much as 20,000ft below from a high end supercruise. The pilot rolls to acquire with JHMCS, and then the targets reverse under to denied the shot and so he either has to handoff to the other side bay (with no LOS maintenance on an AIRST or cheek array, the cockpit floor blocking his view with the helmet and the weapon enclosed) as he rolls back to prevent a condition wherein the weapon's need to cut back /against/ a Mach 1++ velocity vector before snapping down literally has it flying backwards.

On that damn tiny a$$ motor impulse curve.

/Ugly/ doesn't begin to describe the kinematics of that kind of engagement and it is made worse by the fact that (in direct contravention of early ATF-22 program descriptions) the sidebays cannot take anything bigger. Which means if you are doing something /useful/ with the main bays (A2G) you now have all of two AMRAAM @ 30nm pole out. And two AIM-9X at perhaps 10nm pole out with a heckuva long do-nothing-aggressive inbetween period.

Only ASRAAM and Meteor have greater RMax diversity and at least those numbers are are because the former is actually an LRM.

Of course it doesn't get any better on the slug-bug or super-slowmobile of BGPOS that we call the F/A-18E/F. Because now you have a plane which cannot pitch up, recover from pitch, change roll index relative to loaded energy state or /recover/ energy once a maneuver excursion has been made. Heck it slows down in level flight if you let it.

Largely because it's as close to an A-12 as you can get with a 'modification only' design that pretends to have a 'fighter pilot' still aboard.

In this, the problem isn't excessive smash or high AOA change relative to missile weathercock and altitude band diversity with most targets. Because, just like it's predecessor, the Super Horror doesn't even /want/ to fight much above 15,000ft. And the MSI is actually pretty.

OTOH, the problem is similar to that of the F-22 in one way: The F/A-18E doesn't carry MRM on the outboard stations well and it is conflicted (with the ASQ-228) on the fuselage shoulders. Which means, particularly if you are making up range with wing tanks, that you will have all of ONE BVR shot per airframe.

And you can just about guarantee that that shot will be nose:nose as a fully loaded Ho-net doesn't have the energy to convert on it's own shadow, let alone play wide-around games like an F-14 or 15.

CONCLUSION:
The 'state of sub-parity' is just evilly bad news 'all round' IMO and yet it ultimately is less indicative of what is wrong with our own SRM development roadmap than the undertones of a world that secretly acknowledges that putting a 30-60 million dollar fighter through the wringer of max-pilot-error-possible WVR combat is FOOLISH when BVR weapons operating on 100-120 seconds worth of flyout (the longest AMRAAM shot was 21 miles off a Dutch F-16 which timed a Serb jet coming around the farside of a CAP orbit and too three minutes IIRR) can do so much more to keep him/her from making an idiot of themselves.

Argumentatively, it can be said that we have become so enamored of the gun that we forget the 'Clint Eastwood Defense' of having a better boilerplate worth of defensive armor. That armor being almost certainly a microminiaturized WANDA or VIPER DIRCM turret which can use CLIRCM techniques to steer weapons from over 2nm out. Or simply flash-burn the detectors as they get closer.

Of course a laser can also be sparkled across a 10ft canopy from 30km away...

In any case, THIS-

www.airwar.ru...
www.designation-systems.net...

Is the 'future of dogfighting'. Because it hunts. I can literally launch a pack of them like wolves and they will fly upwards of 230nm downrange using linked seeker coverage to defeat all manner of RF and Optical LO. And once they find something, by definition of DACM as a subsonic art, they will be able to 'formate' in a fashion that allows for multiple passes rather than 1-shot 'hit or miss' expenditure.

Such that I can fly one up alongside the canopy and explode a handgrenade sized warhead right in the worthless gutsacks ear.

10 of these things might cost 5 million bucks. And if it takes all ten to keep hamstringing a single fighter from a look-break-look escape, it will STILL be literally 'worth every penny' in terms of munition stockpile economics to buy 40 to kill four such 60 million dollar 4th Gen pieces of crap over the homes of the defenseless.

Such being the stupidity of man that everyone 'oohs!' and 'aaaahs!' over these anachronistic platforms on airshow flightlines like they were (conceptually almost 100 years old) the latest Ferrari. Never realizing what a horrendous waste of their taxpayer money they are cheering on.

When you have to kill, do so with utter contempt of your enemy's existence. Overwhelmingly and with as little effort as possible. DO NOT 'duel him' like he deserved a fair fight. Not if you want to win. Not if you want to live. Not if your nation means more than your pride of place.

/That/ is effectively what all the uber-missiles on duncecap manned airframes really represent. And the U.S. is no better than anyone else in this balls-before-brains sportwar egotism.


KPl.



posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 08:16 AM
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Interesting topic.

Not sure I see things the same way around the Python 5 and its “primitive” aerodynamic design. TVC is a compromise just like any other configurationally consideration –the Rafael viewpoint being that TVC bleeds thrust so diminishing range.

You also commented that Rafael are trying to “imitate” BVR missiles. This is actually a wider trend as many manufacturers are trying to do the same - blur the distinction between WVR and BVR missiles –a notable exception being the US and Chinese. The ASRAAM, MICA-IR and IRIS-T are also quoted as having range in excess of 20km. If the Python 5 really has a 20km+ range (any reason to doubt that within the correct context???) then it doesn’t matter how RAFEAL achieve it –and there can be no serious doubt that it isn’t a highly agile design. If it has the datalink (it certainly has LOAL capability) then that is a true step forward for a WVR missile and cements its claim to blurring the lines between WVR and BVR combat.

”Darter-A I frankly don't know enough about one way or the other, it's obviously a straight up ASRAAM”
Going by Denel/Kentron images, it is not a clone of ASRAAM. True it has rear mounted fins and (apparently) TVC, but it also has longitudinal stakes along most of its body length. The A-Darter is also shorter and/or wider than the ASRAAM.

Having said that, I agree with you on much of what you’ve said and detected cross-reference points with other credible sources. Whilst some may over-rate the Archer in terms of the details, it is all the same an extremely credible threat and undeniably years ahead if the US in terms of operational WVR missiles. You make some interesting points.

One observation that I have is that US doctrine appears to be at odds with most other sophisticated countries. Whilst Israel, Europe and Russia are trying to blur the distinctions between WVR and BVR combat, the US is content with two pigeon-holed systems: AIM-9X and AMRAAM. With the advent of the European Meteor long-range missile, the whole US doctrine appears precariously balanced on the notion that because the F-22 is stealthy, it will be able to get close enough to use AMRAAM (30km…) yet stay away from WVR (now in the region of 20km) where the IR missiles offer a real anti-stealth threat… and all whilst traveling supersonic… very much a one-dimensional strategy. The ideal would be to have a three-tier missile operation with Meteor plus MRAAM-R and SRAAM-IR back-up.

Of note, China and India’s indigenous programs (SD-10+PL-8 and Astra + a foreign SRAAM-IR respectively) appear to be aiming at the older ‘pigeon-holed’ paradigm –in playing catch-up they haven’t taken the logical shortcuts.



posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 10:02 PM
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Great posts... you two sure know your missiles...I know this was brought up in another thread but i want to get your input CH on the AIM-54 Phoenix Missile...I know its really old but I always thought it was the US's best missile platform.. when they retired it along with the only airframe that carried it, i thought it was quite stupid. What are your thoughts?

Also.. according to all the sites ive seen the adm160 is a decoy missile and doesnt do any of the things you say it does.. can you provide some reference please?

en.wikipedia.org...
designation-systems.net...

did you mean something else?

[edit on 31-12-2005 by RealisticPatriot]

[edit on 31-12-2005 by RealisticPatriot]



posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 12:58 PM
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Great posts... you two sure know your missiles...I know this was brought up in another thread but i want to get your input CH on the AIM-54 Phoenix Missile...I know its really old but I always thought it was the US's best missile platform.. when they retired it along with the only airframe that carried it, i thought it was quite stupid. What are your thoughts?



I think I can help you with that. By the time the AIM-54 was retired is was 30 years old. Replacement parts for this million dollar missile were scarce and in the end only the F-14 could carry the large missile. What would be the point if keeping the AIM-54 around in the F-14 was going to be retired? There is no point because a replacement for the AIM-54 is already in development. A longer range version of the AIM-120 will be coming out in a few years and it will take over the long range duties of the AIM-54.



posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 02:04 PM
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Ive been hearing that a replacement LRM has been in the works for a while now but havent seen anything solid. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks for your response.



posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 02:51 PM
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the current project is the AMRAAM P3I, an upgraded AIM-120. Range estimated between 25-45 nm. Advances in other fields of weaponry (Air-to-air laser weaponry) will probably delay, or replace, development of longer range air-to-air missiles.

Still doesn't match the 100 nm of the AIM-54. Nothing air launched can do that. AIM-54s will be used through the 21st century, till they are gone. It is unique for Naval Fleet Defense. The US Navy is the only outfit that needs it.

It's original purpose was to intercept Bear bombers at a stand-off range that would preclude the launch of anti-ship cruise missiles, against the fleet. Using the F-14 and it's long range targeting capability.

Current public projects at China Lake

Check out the Nulka, anti-cruise missile radiation decoy. Interesting device.



posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by ZPE StarPilot
the current project is the AMRAAM P3I, an upgraded AIM-120. Range estimated between 25-45 nm. Advances in other fields of weaponry (Air-to-air laser weaponry) will probably delay, or replace, development of longer range air-to-air missiles.

Still doesn't match the 100 nm of the AIM-54. Nothing air launched can do that. AIM-54s will be used through the 21st century, till they are gone. It is unique for Naval Fleet Defense. The US Navy is the only outfit that needs it.

It's original purpose was to intercept Bear bombers at a stand-off range that would preclude the launch of anti-ship cruise missiles, against the fleet. Using the F-14 and it's long range targeting capability.

Current public projects at China Lake

Check out the Nulka, anti-cruise missile radiation decoy. Interesting device.


First, the actual numbers are classified so all numbers you see are guesses. Second, you must also consider the AIM-120D/C8.



posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 05:04 PM
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Didn't the AIM-54 get retired with the F-14? I've never heard of any othe rplane carrying it operationally.



posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 06:34 PM
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The AIM-54 is, in the modern context, nowhere near as effective as it is generally claimed by its many fans. People look at its maximum range and go “wow!”. But it was designed to hit slow moving non-maneuvering targets (Bombers) and is altogether less capable against smaller, faster or more agile targets. It is, in many respects obsolete hence the USN scrapping it.

Iran still uses it although numbers are open to question.

The closest missile is the Russian AA-9 Amos and its probable replacement (AA-13 if I recall right). Extended range versions of the AA-10 Alamo also have similar long ranges (India, Russia mainly).

The European Meteor missile will outdo the Phoenix in every respect, particularly lethality (IMO).

Correct me if I’m wrong, but plans to manufacture a long ranged variant of the AMRAAM have been shelved.



posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 06:52 PM
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More info on the AA-x-13 (Vympel R-37) missile.

It was designed to replace the AMOS and was fitted to some Mig 31 development aircraft but its production status seems to be in limbo –probably funding problems. There is speak of it being fitted to the Su-35+ aircraft now being ordered by Russia in lieu of the T-50 production (yet to even fly).

The R-37 is quoted as having a 280km range (175 miles –way further than Phoenix)




posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 01:56 PM
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Brazil to co-develop the Darter - A with South Africa



I am told this link contains the relavent information >> www.basemilitar.com.br...

However its in a language that i cannot comprehend. I suggest you use babelfish.altavista.com... for translation to English if you suffer from the same problem as me.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by planeman
More info on the AA-x-13 (Vympel R-37) missile.

It was designed to replace the AMOS and was fitted to some Mig 31 development aircraft but its production status seems to be in limbo –probably funding problems. There is speak of it being fitted to the Su-35+ aircraft now being ordered by Russia in lieu of the T-50 production (yet to even fly).

The R-37 is quoted as having a 280km range (175 miles –way further than Phoenix)


Russia and India are said to be co-developing a 400km+ ranged R-172 Super BVRAAM. The project is surouded in secracy and it recieves vague mentions at airshows and in articles by analysts.

Here is one reference to it :


link
Novator remained tight-lipped about its long gestating K-172 400km range air-to-air missile, other than to note it was displayed prominently on a show-floor model of a Sukhoi Su-30 fighter-bomber. It has been reported previously that this program, which has suffered from lack of funding during the 1990s, had recently been revived. Reports link the program revival to India. Novator had designed this missile specifically to combat U.S. long-range surveillance and intelligence aircraft, such as the E-2 and E-3 AWACS systems.




and another article reads,



Subject to critical decisions, in the long run the Meteor and Astra BVRAAM may complement the Russian ultra-long-range (400-km+) R-172 BVRAAM and R-73RDM2 or possibly Israeli Python 4/5 Near Beyond Visual Range/Within Visual Range (NBVR/WVR) AAMs in the IAFs formidable and fearsome AAM inventory.

link



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 03:13 PM
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Interesting missile, thanks for bringing it to the thread. Looks like it has a booster (the rear section) and is solid fuel rocket powered. also resembles the S-300/400 SAM so may be related. Such a missile system would be viable anti-AWACs system.



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 03:53 PM
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Interesting source on missiles: www.ausairpower.net...

Firstly, re the R-172 mentioned above:

Novator R-172 The R-172,previouslydesignated the KS-172, is adeparture from the establishedfocus of Novator, designers ofthe S-300V (SA-12) system'slong range SAMs. Like the R-37,the R-172 was developed as an'AWACS killer'. The missile employs an active radar seeker and inertial midcourseguidance.Two configurations are known, with and without a booster pack.With the boosterthe missile is claimed to achieve a range of 215 NMI, without 160 NMI. Cited seekerperformance is similar to the R-37.While the R-172 is less mature than the R-37, India hasrecently negotiated an arrangement to fund final development and licence produce theweapon, not unlike the extant deal to licence the Yakhont as the BrahMos


Also, they say that the Python 5 has "The basic Python 4 uses a scanning infrared seeker, the subsequentPython 5 replaces this detector scheme with a two-colour FPA detector, similar to the AIM-developed QWIPFPA, a generation beyond the single colour InSb FPAs in the ASRAAM and AIM-9X."

Also, re the long range missiles, lets not forget consistant rumours that the Zvezda Kh-31 (AS-17 Krypton) can be adapted for "AWACS killer" role, either using an anti-radiation seeker or an active seeker.

According to this source, a Russian R-37 (AA-13 Arrow) missile hit a target at 162nm - a record making it the longest ranged AAM yet. Stated maximum range for the AA-13 is 215nm -way further than the Phoenix.

[edit on 1-2-2006 by planeman]



posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 04:26 PM
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The mention of the Phoenix reminded me of a late eighties project that I stumbled accross a few weeks ago the Aim-155 which I thought might interest, basicly it was to be the successor of the Aim-54 with a 270km range and mach 4 performance but in smaller package the project was scrapped in the early Nineties though. This link claims it would have out performed the Ammraam it certainly sounded life an interesting project any way.

[edit on 1-2-2006 by buckaroo]



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 01:02 AM
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Originally posted by ch1466


In any case, THIS-

www.airwar.ru...
www.designation-systems.net...

Is the 'future of dogfighting'. Because it hunts. I can literally launch a pack of them like wolves and they will fly upwards of 230nm downrange using linked seeker coverage to defeat all manner of RF and Optical LO. And once they find something, by definition of DACM as a subsonic art, they will be able to 'formate' in a fashion that allows for multiple passes rather than 1-shot 'hit or miss' expenditure.

Such that I can fly one up alongside the canopy and explode a handgrenade sized warhead right in the worthless gutsacks ear.

10 of these things might cost 5 million bucks. And if it takes all ten to keep hamstringing a single fighter from a look-break-look escape, it will STILL be literally 'worth every penny' in terms of munition stockpile economics to buy 40 to kill four such 60 million dollar 4th Gen pieces of crap over the homes of the defenseless.


Well made point. This is certainly heading towards the next wave by killing off the currently dominant paradigm of over-priced toys like manned fighter air-craft and helicopters and certainly highlights your next point well.


Such being the stupidity of man that everyone 'oohs!' and 'aaaahs!' over these anachronistic platforms on airshow flightlines like they were (conceptually almost 100 years old) the latest Ferrari. Never realizing what a horrendous waste of their taxpayer money they are cheering on.

When you have to kill, do so with utter contempt of your enemy's existence. Overwhelmingly and with as little effort as possible. DO NOT 'duel him' like he deserved a fair fight. Not if you want to win. Not if you want to live. Not if your nation means more than your pride of place.

/That/ is effectively what all the uber-missiles on duncecap manned airframes really represent. And the U.S. is no better than anyone else in this balls-before-brains sportwar egotism.


There are, of course, a number of companies that are working on the true next wave of unmanned aircraft. Dont be surprised if you see horrible little dictators and tyrants employ these more than we do at first.

I know of atleast one company that is going beyond just stealthy unmanned reconnasance and fighter aircraft which seem to be the vogue. Fancy aircraft are nice but theyre strategic value is inversely proportional to their unit price. Most UAV/UCAV projects are building on a very rough and early conception of these, almost as add-ons to existing military infrastructure. The key is to reform the military around the new technology. This is the real next wave. I wish I could tell you a little more about this. It's quite exciting.



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 03:05 AM
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Originally posted by Stealth Spy
Russia and India are said to be co-developing a 400km+ ranged R-172 Super BVRAAM. The project is surouded in secracy and it recieves vague mentions at airshows and in articles by analysts.


Theres something about using the R-27T passive radar with a R-77 ram jet missile. its called the R-77M-PD because the radar on the R-27T could track longer but was limited by the missiles inability to go any longer. So ram jet was the only way which could extend the range

The R-172 is being marketed as a AWACS killer and is like the russian version of the Aim-54 albeit with much longer range. used for slow moving high value targets



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 12:00 PM
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did you mean something else?


Maybe he was talking about the ADM-16 MALI, below is an excerpt from your source.


The MALI (Maniature Air-Launched Interceptor) was an armed derivative of MALD, for possible use against cruise missiles. MALI had a sharper nose profile, increased wing swep, and a more powerful (0.53 kN (120 lb) thrust) TJ-50M engine for short supersonic performance. An IIR (Imaging Infrared) seeker was used for terminal homing on the target, and mid-course guidance was via a command link to air surveillance platforms like the E-3 AWACS. The MALI has undergone a test and development program, which ended in December 2002, when the first supersonic flight was made.

designation-systems.net...



posted on Feb, 2 2006 @ 12:59 PM
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Yeah... interesting... just wondering about that AIM-9X... is it really a "dog-fight missile"...??



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