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Conventional air-to-air missiles see targets as dots - a fact which makes it hard for the missile to tell between true or false targets .The Python 5's head seeker literally sees a clear image of the target and background, giving it an incredible advantage over other missiles by authenticating the target, thus reducing the chance of being mislead by counter measures. Using this technology allows the luxury of locking on a target after the launch. The transition to this unique technology required a development by RAFAEL, which exists in only several countries in the world. Using an electro-optical head seeker also makes it easier to locate and lock on low-heat signature aircrafts such as UAVs, helicopters or even cruise missiles. These aircrafts can fly very close to the ground and can be very hard to detect using regular head seekers. The Python 5 with the electro-optical head can easily accomplish that, by creating a sharp target image and locking on it. In order to achieve perfect performance and tracking ability, the engineers at RAFAEL tested the Python 5 against all advanced counter measures. Usually this is a tough challenge, as the missile would have to handle counter measures in the future. But that was not an impossible challenge to RAFAEL, which also develops the future counter measures. The unique head-seeker also extends the lethality of the missile by aiming it to the target's most vulnerable areas. Most heat seeking missiles tend to home on the hottest spot of the aircraft which is normally the rear exhaust system. In modern combat history, some aircrafts that were hit by a missile in that area, managed to survive the flight until the landing. The Python 5, which acquires a sharp image of the target can home on the most critical areas of the aircraft, such as the cockpit or the central area, and significantly improve the chances for a shot down.
Originally posted by Pyros
I have also heard somewhere that the F-22 may use special composites in its exhaust system that emit a lower heat signature, in a non-standard range, making it harder to hit with anything but the latest IR seekers.
In an ideal world I agree, but much of the time the F-22s will be over enemy territory. Re IR missile ranges. The Russians have long since deployed longer ranged IR missiles, from the Acrid, Apex and of course Alamo. The R-27T Alamo is particularly relevant because it is still widely deployed, not least by China. It has a 32km launch range.
Originally posted by urmomma158
no kilcoo its ceramic titanium and it's good at cooling the nozzles giving you significanly reduced signatures. The best IR missiles dont have range that radar guided ones do. The amraam will shoot he Ac out of the sky well before coming into range and it will turn away at mach1.7 supercruise to make sure the enemy doesnt catch up at all. they will run out of fuel chasing it . And amraams will knock them out well before coming into range with Ir. Weather also affects IR.
Originally posted by urmomma158
The F/A 22 cruises at 50,000 feet and anyways who says the ranges on the heat seeking missiles will be the same they'll obviously be shortended especially with the Raptor fighting at BVR.