- The MRM and SRM you quote are both one way machines, if they miss on the first pass, they're out of the game, no energy or control authority to
make one complete 180 deg turn (obviously a bit after initial launch) never mind several.
Don't believe you.
Primarily because form drag and lift at drag are the driving issues and the missile has next to none in one and highly 'open=optimizable' variables
in the other (no wing or fuselage mating requirements on wingspan or chord etc.).
Which is why a 100lb MALI went for something like 11 minutes at Mach 1 with a nominally 120lbst TJ-50M engine. Or 114nm.
L@D is also why a Tornado out climbs the Lightning, out accelerates the Phantom and OUT TURNS the Hawk. Yet is not a 'fighter' itself.
And if an F-16 type aircraft is fresh off the tanker, it ain't gonna be no ballerina either.
While IF (BIG IF!) the pilot or MAWS can see this no-plume, 6" threat coming, who's to say that the weapon itself will be alone?
If it's not WHERE IS S/HE GONNA GO?
- The tomahawk is strictly subsonic, and does not have the manouvering capabilities to tie down a fighter.
But the Hounddog isn't. Nor is the AQM-37. Nor is the KH-31. OPEN YOUR MIND!
Indeed, the SIMPLEST solution is a lope-to-sprint optimization whereby small clusters of SRM blip motors are coaxialized around the main exhaust
Because just a touch will get you back up above the Mach and /once there/ your optimization as a robotic platform brings you back all kinds of
An F-15 is good for about 4.8G @ Mach 1.3. An F-4 is good for about 3.5.
A 'dogfighter' drone might easily be expected to exceed 12.
The question then becoming how does this compare with a SUBSONIC target like an F-16 which _cannot be_ above X altitude at Y payload weight,
subsonically, without being crippled for /any/ turn performance as 'more than an airliner' (1-2G).
And whose L@D is further compromised by the nature of the stores it also MUST carry as parasitic mechanisms.
- Even if the missile had supersonic "in cruise" propulsion levels, energy bleed through missile manouvering would quickly bring this down to
subsonics, low subsonics at that.
Bahh. Says who?
You have 1/10th (maybe) the drag of a maned platform at a _SIMILAR_ T/Wr. Your arguments are weak as an old woman's.
The problem is not so much the sensors as the propulsion and aerodynamics/control. Is it not generally agreed that a missile has to be 3 times faster
and quicker turning to nail a manouvering fighter?
As I recall, I once said it has to have 5 times the effective G capability as a rate:radius leverage to pull lead and make the collision vector.
But MISS-iles have to make the kill in the first pass too. One roll of the dice. One chance.
A _hunting_ missile is going to be like that damn alarm clock in the Macdonalds 'Late For Breakfast' commerical.
Following you like a cop chases ferraris until you are a mission kill (dump ordnance to sustain Mach while chopping throttle)
Or a real one. As the missile gains back E faster than you do. And every break you make, its can PULL OFF (go from lead to lag or change up out of
plane) to keep coming at you and coming at you.
Then (10-30 seconds later, depending on how widely spread the skirmish line is) its fellow pack members arrive and it's HO DADDY! Which way do I
turn as I sit, hip deep in gators coming from every damn direction there is.
Worse, if they catch you AT the tanker. What do you do about the .9 limited jet which cannot maneuver at all? Fit every HVA with an ATL?
It may come down to exactly that.
This is for a conventional missile where the target has reduced reaction time, not a mach 1.5 missile that will be big enough to see on radar and
13" tall with a 3ft wingspan.
I _dare you_ to take a piece of paper and a yardstick, duct tape the two together, SPRAY PAINT THEM BOTH BLAZE ORANGE, jam them into the ground.
And start walking backwards.
Then tell me when you can no longer see them. Is it a mile? 500yds? 200?
(AvLeak Article) In 1991, the USAF/USN got their jollies off drop-lofting ADM-141A TALDS out into a known ADIZ and letting the Iraqi GCI 'run
exercises' as they watched. Only to have the Iraqi pilots report not seeing these little 10ft _grey painted_ wonders as they criss crossed, back and
forth, over their position. Oh, the GCI /radars/ could see them (augmentation tuned to band). But not the fighter systems. And certainly not the
'eagle eyed killers' driving them.
The conventional missile can afford to bleed the vast majority of its energy in terminal manouvering as the target can only perform 'local'
manouvering and the missile doesn't have to make a 2nd/3rd/4th/5th/whatever pass.
And the BGM-109 can fly more than 700nm with a 1,000lb warhead while weighing around 3,000lbs. How much of that are you gonna lose when you lose the
A2G mission role? How much are you gonna shave when it's a 1hr loft instead of a 2.5 or more?
OPEN YOUR MIND!
And recall that the 'new MALD' (the one the AF is carefully controlling the development of, lest it present an unprecedented 'multimission'
recce/intercept/suppression/jammer/decoy system option to manned airframes) being worked on by Raytheon will weight 250lbs.
While the OLD one (100lbs) would fly 250nm.
SCALE IS IMPORTANT. But within a given scaling factor, you can double the size:weight and still be within the same drag and 'similar' thrust
curves, particularly at the target end.
For example, for a MRM travelling at around Mach 4, the target may have warning of the missile 15 miles away, that gives him around 20 seconds
warning. If he accelerates to Mach 1.5 (average) that gives a manouvering 'zone' of 5 and a half miles (approx).
Ignoring the limits of MAWS on detection of 'cold plumes' (turbines with possible additives) or burned out missiles with little more than gas
generator support of their electrics, how does the fighter itself achieve this miracle mile acceleration from .85 to 1.5 in less than 20 seconds?
Guido, that's 18 knots per second. My research (_McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle_ by James Perry Stevenson indicates that a company test pilot took a
factory bird up to 40,000ft with an average temperature of -66`C and accelerated from .9 Mach to 2.0 Mach in 58 seconds. That's the 621 knots at
roughly 10.71 knots per second if my math is right.
How about we add some gas, some bombs and some general knock-about ear and dirt to an F-16 with a bit more than half the installed thrust?
'Back in the day', it took upwards of two minutes and 70 MILES for an F-4 to get up to full huff.
But if the missile is travelling at around Mach 1.5... and the target has the same 15 mile warning, he now has 55 seconds to react, again at an
average of Mach 1.5 the manouvering zone is 15 miles or so.
Not to mention the possibility of a newer/next generation aircraft perhaps having the possibilty to evade the missile on speed alone using only
military power. Heck, the pilot could even stuff a SRM down the throat of this kind of AAM and have time to get clear.
You have to see it coming. You have to have 'someplace to go' and you have to get to speed.
While I agree that a shootdown scenario is possible, it quickly becomes prohibitive, not only for cost but for time. And I don't think a sustained
EM fight with a weapon that has less than half the drag and the same T/Wr as the fighter does _clean_ is going to have any problem whatsoever chasing
down said jet when it is heavily loaded.
And if you have 'the equivalent of 2 Flankers' worth of replacement missiles, _even at 5 million each_. At two miles spacing, that's 20+ drones in
the air covering a line of airspace 40 miles across.
And collapsing in on the F-16 class fighter (with all of 4 missiles onboard) in at least 'me and each turbo-SAM next to me and each turbo-SAM
outboard-next from him.' i.e. FIVE ROUNDS vs. a jet that only has 4 missiles. And which itself can likely not match the clustered attack mode
(helmet sight or targeting pod designation interval) on more than the center-FOV targets. Say 1-2 missiles. As they ALL dogpile on,
In my opinion, you are underestimating the complexity of packing in a propulsion system with sufficient fuel and power to obtain the required range,
speed and manouvering capabilities.
And, IMO, you are making arguments without checking publically acknowledged performance capabilites.
OPEN YOUR MIND.
And stop letting the greatest 'protection money' racket on the face of the planet, do the same to your wallet. At least not without THINKING about
how /simple/ these systems would be to generate in HUGE numbers. By a next-to-nobody manufacturing power.