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However, when it is facing the enemy it is Upside-Down. Therefore, the aircraft can not safely fire the missile, and in some variants the system will fully refuse to fire the missile. Thus, the maneuver won't work.
The Su-27 (and above) have a two-fold system with their IR short-rangers (such as the R-73).
Why do you think this is so? I've never come across a missile that can't be fired when inverted.
The R-73 doesn't have the off-boresight capability of a host of newer IR guided missiles.
I've seen a couple videos in which the pilot has had a clear tone but no missile launched until they were more or less right-side up, not inverted or even sideways. The blinking "X"'s across the lead circle was a bit of a clue as well. Also, a/c like the F-22 probably shouldn't launch while inverted due to the internal bays in which missiles are kept, particularly if the pilot is looking up at the enemy while inverted (which translates as the enemy having a lower altitude).
Tornado link that discusses inverted firing of Sky Flash
A years worth of training missions are compiled into this tape including action from: Cope Thunder, Alaska; Operation Nomad, RAF Waddington; Exercise Brilliant Foil, RAF Coningsby; Exercise Linked Seas, Spain and 5 Sqn's air-to-air and air-to-ground strafing mission. Plus missile firings including inverted Sky Flash launches.
In this situation it's irrelevant how other missiles stack up. The fact is that the missile is capable of these things and can pose a threat while in this position. Comparing it would be like comparing to how an F-22 would fare in such a situation compared to the Flanker. Yeah, we can do it, but it's got basically nothing to do with the issue at hand. I only compared the use of off-boresight capabilities rather than the half-kulbit maneuver described.
Originally posted by Willard856
Plus, and I'll say it again, airshow jets do not make tactical jets. Period.
No, but tactical jets make the airshow jets.
(Aircraft) such as these have the sole purpose of impressing those who don't understand that they are being performed by airshow only jets, which have specific fuel states, no operational weapons, no FCR, all so the CofG is far enough aft that the aircraft can do its spectacular couple of seconds of rotating wonder.
The Russian AMRAAM equivalent is the R-77 (AA-12 Adder), although only small numbers of this missile were produced after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Vimpel is planning to develop a much improved version, the K-77M, by 2010. A more powerful motor should increase its range by a factor of 2 to 3.5 and the improved radar will reduce vulnerability to jamming. The most visible change is the use of normal control surfaces instead of lattice fins, which reduces resistance.
Russia is also active in the ultra-long-range area. Thus, the upgraded MiG-31BM will probably be armed with the K-37M (AA-13 Arrow), which during tests in the 1990s succeeded in shooting down targets at a distance of 240km. The K-100 under development at the Novator design bureau from Yekaterinenburg, which Sukhoi has selected as the preferred armament for the Su-35 and the future fifth generation of Russian fighters, should have a range as great as 300km. Several test firings have already been carried out.
Yeah, you won't find too many pilots saying "My jet sucks, my Rmax is half yours, it turns like ocean liner, I can't see over the canopy bow, and my RWR is stuffed...).