posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 12:01 PM
The Mirage will always have but one big 'bat turn' in it. But it will have slightly better fuel specifics and external tanking along with a
massively superior view out the cockpit and fair LCOSS performance. The key for it is to keep the fight low and as fast as possible.
OTOH, the MiG is one of those beasts of many many humps, literally. Early jets right on up through the PF and I think early MF had serious fuel,
center of gravity and of course controls problems which effectively made them fight a lot slower, lower, shorter, than might have otherwise been best
for a dogfight resolution (5 minutes/3 circles at max A/B and all that nonsense).
This derives from the fact that (other than Soviet backwardness in aero design) they were never intended to BE fighters but rather as the next step in
bomber intercept which means that they have one good PDI snapup in them and could then retire quickly over a friendly IADS to a nearby base.
It should also be noted that excepting the very earliest F, the MiG's all round view has always been abysmal and the Spin Scan (duuuuh RP-21 anyway)
is a mess for lockon and tracking in typical 'dogfight' through-the-roof conditions with only about 10` of elevation and 30 or so of az. Again, a
legacy of the Soviet _intercept_ system, this relegates the Fishbed to more or less a GCI steered flying missile launcher.
At high altitude, where the Q factor wasn't quite as bad and the MiG's planform and engine gave it some edges over systems like the 104 and pure
deltas, it was a very hard platform to beat. If it had the gas to play. Lower down, it was all about acceleration into and out of a corner speed
that was rarely above 300 knots unless. Of course the Mirage's ATAR sucked goat errrr, milk so bad that it quicily bled to and through this range
but the French jet was a little bit better harmonized and actually has a decent view in all but dead astern (never saw data for the early Cyrano sets
so I don't know about this aspect of things...).
Later on, the odds changed as the late MF and Bis (now Bison and Lancer) upgrades meant a near 1:1 T/Wr and much improved Jay Bird and Missile
Systems, along with a gun+centerline as standard. With Archer or Adder and an Elta or Fiar radar system, the MiG-21 is probably just about the best
throwaway missileer you can have these days, ironically, provided you _don't_ slow down to hassle things out.
The Mirage got some augments as well but with the role-switch inhernt to the V (and the debacle over the Nesher) it was more or less too little too
late as the Mirage F-1 got all the improvements to the BVR capabilities while things like the IIING FBW and canard system were really too much icing
for the cake with the line shutting down in favor of the 2000. Hybrid systems like the Pantera and Cheetah show where things might have gone but also
highlight limited internal volume and a lot of weight gain without a power up like the Kfir-2000 and it's J79 brought to the table (obviously, this
is a gut buster of a heavy engine as well but the ATAR is _that bad_, even in the 9K50).
In either case, the best way to kill a Fishbed is on the ground after it's had it's quarter hour fling. And the best way to kill a Mirage is to
sucker it into a layered SAM Trap/Flak Lane type bryar patch where it eats trashfire and guideds until the pilots run out of moves, altitude and
1967 and the Attrition War basically proved this.
Since smart wars are never won by the element lead but the wingman, it's more or less nocks neeks on airframes as neither jet has enough of a margin
to kill both and neither jet (in the periods they directly faced each other) had the missile systems to leverage as a pure missile fighter.
Two of the greatest and most versatile warplanes ever developed. IMO these craft a pretty much equal who would win in a dogfight would depend on the
pilot and simple luck as much as the aircraft itself. But I am partial to the Mirage myself its continued development into the Mirage 2000.
I wouldn't say so. They did a lot of things of course but none terribly well about the only role exception being recce where both had some
capability. IMO, they were rather more the 109 and Spitfires of their era with a lot of performance compared to anything else and a decent mix of
handling traits betrayed at some very basic levels by the need to design a stable airframe in a configuration which a pilot could handle in the days
before fly by wire and relaxed static stability.
They were -sexy jets- that combined the best of Robert Shaws opposed angles/energy and missiles/guns air combat precepts in a way that highlighted the
pilot's skill as an envelope optimizer rather than a button pressing monkey. But here too, wars are not won between pilots. They are won by the
people they kill on the ground and the people who shoot up to compromise their 'purist' notions of combat as a game of skill rather than