If you think about it, a drunken-man martials arts bout isn't too different from certain dances which are of the swaying nature
(aren't crisp and rigid).
It's the crispness which makes coordinated maneuvering predictable. Skids, lurches, sudden-snaps of movement, temporary increases in speed and
frequent alterations of direction and height in short bunts and lunges are what complicates any 'unseen conversion' into a 4D nightmare. Similarly,
offensive maneuver is seldom about more than 60`-70` changes in nose point because you don't want to give away speeds as intent _and it's not
necessary_ (hasn't been since 1978) with ALASCA and now HOBS weapons.
Opening up the 'how good is the cobra,kulbit etc.' issue again here:
(Hope everybody jumps in like always!!
Such tactics are perfectly acceptable if you come through the merge:
By numbers and nose point.
Without a massive fuel and 'multirole' stores commitment to another mission. An 'Israeli' 400-600 shot, MAWS cued, EXCM load also helps.
Yet modernday realworld A2A is a mission which is flown 70% (as wasted sorties) maneuvered 20% (as head'em off at the pass denying opportunistic
exploitation by a threat which is 'merely probing' the package defenses in hopes of creating an opening by drawing you out or crashing the party by
catching you napping) and engaged 10% (weapons come off the airframe). Now it can vary between DCA/OCA and tactical and strategic missions with ROE
and all the rest. But it's generally not as important a mission as is often claimed for it and it is that operational assumption which leads to
mistaken beliefs, not that the few can go it alone but that the many can be sent on other missions which compromise their A2A performance for the
assumption of 'self escorting' which is where threats happen close-aboard with limited flown-profile advantagement to keep things properly
In any case, when it DOES happen, it tends to be low numbered (jet speeds and missile fear) and engaged in by low hours competencies opponents who
have neither the direct wartime nor indirect (which box am I checking today?) training experience to be competent.
Show them a flashy move and you may well carry the day. As has happened several times with AV coded F-16C.40s showing up the nominally 'much more
agile' MiG-29s out of Germany with slow-over-the-top vertical maneuvers that the Fulcrum drivers _cannot match_ because they don't have the power or
the FLCS 'carefreeness' to be successful, even as the dynamic AOA margins on the F-16 open up at certain combinations of airspeed and pitch rate to
make them significantly more dangerous than a 27.5` hard limiter would suggest.
But that's 1v.1 or at most 'few' in which _exercise rules_ equates to 'ignoring the AMRAAM' to a forced merge WITHOUT the natural reactions of
"Oh my god, my flight lead just blew up, time to let discretion rule the day!" that characterize most novice threat reactions to bolts from the blue
slamming into their formations.
In recent airwars where only the few and the deadly even flay their egos enough to GET UP let alone to the merge, (see both ODS and OAF with only
penny packets worth of threat air as QRA, not even an organized CAP) deconfliction and the use of smaller allied packages all contribute to the notion
that the fight is won at or before the merge as AMRAAM crosses NEZ.
THAT is the way you keep the fight from lasting and _stacking_ THAT capability is how you keep the enemy jumping between bullets rather than
concentrating on visual rules beating your airframe.
Superman has no meaning when the threat is firing BVR. The speed ranges are utterly incompatible for defeating both missiles and airframes.
Close-in ACM may be becoming irrelevant with the introduction of stealth et all but if one were to look at ACM in isolation from that point of view,
then it is obvious that close-in ACM will change.. has changed because of the relatively less popular(as compared to stealth) revolution of
acute/hyper manuevrability in the last couple of decades.
My problem with the hypermaneuverability is that it's tied to high value platforms that _do not need_ to risk themselves playing the WVR game.
Detached support is the norm for OCA ops today and OCA is the one place you can expect to find threat fighters (DCA is or should be Western-dominated
by the ARH SAM and ADSAM directored fires...) and the driving condition of detached support (wingman separations of 5-15nm as a constant-flown
offensive split geometry, section trailed separations of 20-40nm and flight sweep separations of 50-100nm) tactics is that he who illuminates is NOT
he who shoots. And he who shoots, even if at relatively close ranges to the threat, DOES NOT commit to a merged plot scenario whereby he loses the
ability of his offboard source to declutter and conflict as a function of presorted target lists. And to clean up threats which he misses as they
Change all of this around. Put a THEL type laser into the mix. And now it _no longer pays_ to be flying a 133 million dollar platform into a fight
where you can be engaged _optically_ from 20-30nm away.
Now you want that A2A UCAV that looks perhaps like one of these-
A UCAV which costs all of 5-10 million dollars, and is itself nearly optical-invisible for want of frontal surface area and low cruise thrust
requirements to achieve viable supersonic flight at anything over 20nm.
Now, if you want to throw -that kind of platform- around the sky at crazy angles to the flight vector, you be my guest. It is more missile than plane
anyway so there is no reason for it not to maneuver like it looks (albeit with likely entirely different control effectors).
Now whether doing a 'mongoose' or a 'Pugachev Cobra' or in live ACM is ridiculous or not is yet to seen.
I would be the first to admit that manned superman stuff _works_ if you can get the other guy to commit, close in, and fight in a fashion which
conserves both airframe energy and pilot endurance. i.e. Slowing to subwarp speeds and waiting for the perfect hose-now-shoot opportunity with ONE
threat. I like to think that the tactics methods are more refined and the nose point performance more sustained (X-31 EFM) than any transient
performance stunting like the Russian stuff represents.
But it does work. If the other guy will play.
The problem being that once you're there, you can't leave until one of you is _dead_ and unless you /get there/ with numeric and geometry advantage,
the chances of one or both of you (there is no reason to assume that 'there is only one superman' fighter per side) getting hosed by pyrhhic HOBS is
_substantial_. More than the value of the airframe can sustain.
And if the Outside Shooter simply never commits inside 4-5nm, then whatever you do to wrap yourself around the other guy's velocity vector like two
horny kids in a coat closet is just going to put you in hurtsville from the threat which hawks the fight.
NOW the question becomes 'how much do you want to become the bait goat for the sniper'? Superman crap looking a lot less appealing now eh?
I agree,in close-in ACM 'speed is the key' but IMO its a little more than that.
The key is NOT speed IMO; its 'judicious energy management'..