The F-14D has tracked F-117's (which have quite a bit of dedicated IR stealth modification) with it's AAS-42. 'Within Phoenix Envelope' (say
F-15's as long ago as 1977 were forced to engage in 'sprint to coast' (greatly exceeding 500 knots and then throttling back to hit the merge at
optimum energy AND 'maximum cool' factored initial turn performance) fighting against adversary F-5E's in AIMVAL/ACEVAL. The latter having had a
habit of using their AIM-9Ls (even as 'Concept C', fixed boresight) to track them coming in for their preferred vertical-conversion perch fighters
and nailing them as high-hot targets.
It was from this that _the Lima_ was first revealed to be capable of 'tracking glint from the airframe' as well as plume. With the nominal
suggestion being that the missile could use the former to adjust relative aspect and airframe deflection calculation of angular moment against the
latter in adjusting it's proportional lead intercept.
Myself, I believe that most people continue to buy into the utter BS of 'must VID to kill, must close to guide, must fire at half the missiles true
kinematic range' argument.
Such having simply NEVER been true except as falsely illustrated by the 'Vietnam Scenario' and LBJ dictated ROE/targeting.
Indeed, the basis of all ACMT is, IMO, far more likely to revolve back towards (1960s and onwards) _intercept_ training in that you steer the dot, max
the Q, max the Pole and fire-fire-thru. He who get's the first kill _lives to leave_ the fight.
The only real change being that we no longer have analog SARH channel stacking to worry about so that one aircraft can guide another's shots into
autonomy from 10-20-50nm to the rear or sides of the optimized intercept vector.
With NCTR and netcentric historicalism shooter-eyeball is thus reversed. And the first man to light up is NOT the first man to get smoked. Because
the victim sees the illuminator as a search light on the horizon. While he KNOWS that, long before he can close to chuck a spear at cyclops, he is
being painted for a ninja-kill at anything from knife to sword to longbow (time of flight as a functional variable of missile terminal energy)
Fighter Tactics: _60-80km, next to no G on the airframe_
[edit on 28-4-2006 by ch1466]