'Tactical Skills' (DACM) are _moronic measurements of male LOMD factoring_.
Largely because the WVR arena is ruled by first sight and second by defensive measures and we quite frankly have none that are all that effective.
Also, given the disparity in asset value is such that one canot take on 10 MiG-21 with 1 F/A-22 or even F-15C and 'come out the winner' by killing 6
of them before dying.
And you _will_ die. Because the this is OK Corral idiocy with guided bullets.
You pop flares and the staring IR seeker will see right through them even as every eye within a cube of some 50,000 volumetric miles will turn and
look at you. You pop chaff and you will outfly your own signature bloom within microseconds and the missile will /again/ shift back to you. You drag
a decoy and you are a lighthouse of RF which may also be maneuver restricted, particularly if using certain techniques generation on a dumb dart.
The only systems which work, reliably, against staring seekers are those which put a laser right into the optics. That means holding a 10" spot of
energy on a 3" diameter seeker aperture after having first detected the approach with a spider-eye network of Missile Approach Warning Sensors.
It can be done, has been done with the WANDA and TADIRCM programs on targets up to 2nm out. Using interactive CLIRCM techniques (which 'steer'
rather than dazzle guidance response) this distance will increase to 6nm or more in a few years. What's more, it /helps stealth/ because you CANNOT
yank and bank while maintaining full tracking stability on such a dynamic target. So that you are not ruining planform alignment with massive control
deflections and 'flat plated' airframe area.
The problem is that the installaion is not light, it does have 'moving parts' which complicates LO design for a given hemispheric coverage.
Yet the critical problem is that it _works too damn well_. Because the VERY FIRST target that will be vulnerable is not some tiny little 'hole
within a dot' of an approaching missile. It is the SIX TO TEN FOOT CANOPY with the pilot's eyeballs fixed under a ghostgrey helmet underneath.
Don't believe me? Then ask the Germans why the 'NATOization' of their MiG-29's began with the deliberate disconnection of the laser ranger on
Such is a particularly critical problem for the U.S. because our AIM-9X is a 20km SFPA seeker looking out of a 10km (Mk.36 motor) airframe. While our
jets are largely crippled by carriage modes which prevent the integration of 400lb BVRAAM (F-16) and even 350lb AMRAAM-C7/D (F-18) outboard on the
There is simply no way that we can beat 1980's aerodynamics with 1970's limitered AOA FLCS but more importantly, with _everyone_ HOBS plus HMD
equipped, it simply doesn't matter should we try (and we could, easily, integrate PBBN or AVEN technology on an F100-PW-232 or F110-GE-132 engined
Blk.60 F-16 and have F/A-22 _superior_ performance. Let alone Canard Clone or Super Flanking beating nose-hose.).
The reason we don't make the attempt is of course the 'need' to deliberately obsolesce the older jets in favor of the worthless JSF. Yet it is
also because a mouse will always dance around the elephant's toes, on a 50G:12G basis of terminal agility. And hence the airframe will ALWAYS LOSE
if the missile has the impulse to get there with reasonable energy remaining.
And every 'threat' weapon out there, does so better than ours. Be it ASRAAM, MICA or the Pythons. Or even the feeble old R-73. Note, the order I
put those in as well. We can no longer contain technical proliferation as the world sells death freely in a Vae Victis Vickers export arms market
_exactly_ like that which led to the escalation (and hence desire to use) of 'dreadnaught, artillery and machine gun' capabilities prior to WWI.
Of course, this is only half of the story. For WHY ON EARTH would /anyone/ want to fly a man inside an airframe when his presence takes away not only
100% of the max rated capability of single axis aeroengineering (25G before the engine casings go out of round). But also 50% 'the other way' in
terms of 'there is no neggee'??
That is effectively what an optimized A2A fighter _drone_ would give you. And because it is cheap and inanimate, you can not only remove such
foolishness as a separate empennage (which exists only to provide FLCS effector redundancy as a protection to pilot overcontrol and battle damage, yet
is a massive signature multiplier). You can also /add back/ the Directed IRCM lasers because it will have ten (EODAS type miniMAWS+SIRST) eyes and
who cares if you poke a couple out? What's more, because the removal of the circa 10,000lbs of 'nose heavy' (control runs and cabling, ejection
seat, hogs nose radar) fuselage structure will bring about a _revolution_ in such decisions as residual fuel for a given engine thrust class, you may
well see thrust to weight ratios starting at 2:1 and going towards 5:1.
At which point, you can compete with missiles directly, in either axis of longitudinal maneuver. The ability to pull say 15G in one axis and 9 in
another makes it possible to investigate the so-called 'super man envelope' of post stall tactical maneuvering as demonstrated by the Su-35 and the
X-31. But to do so at USEFUL airspeeds in the 400-500 knot category instead of the pathetic 170-220 we see today. At these starting speeds, 'a
sharp yank' will cause the wing to stall BEFORE the airframe speed bleeds off and thus allow you to enhance even HOBS level missile shots by
eliminating weathercock. Even as they make IFFC level gunshots a real menace.
How much would such a 'specialist A2A' system cost?
Probably about 1-2 million dollars for what I call a Turbo-SAM. A missile which can be launched /before/ detection, go out to a given point and
loiter for half an hour or so. And then be recovered by parachute like an unexpended target drone (indeed, the early generations will probably look
like them even as they are able to employ either a small gun or taran style tactics).
Of course, for the USAF, the desire to recover and reuse the platform without an extensive period of 'packing' (refurbishment for another catapult
launch) would probably require a more conventional, CTOL, styled platform. But it would still be able to keep the cost in the region of an F-5E type
price tag (say 10-20million) simply /because/ the mission set could be so restricted as to not require all the gadgets that will undoubtedly begin to
multirole clutter the JSF as soon as it is in production. Indeed, with the profusion of netcentric and cooperative engagement capabilities coming
online, you can remove such costly items as radar from the drone altogether and simply rely on the 270km capabiltiies of the APG-77 in a Raptor to
_cue_ (2-way datalink AIM-120C7/D) any 'BVR' shot which the drone dumb-pylon carries.
Where Air Superiority is 70% flown (sucks up gas and pilots for nothing because the enemy chooses not to play), 20% maneuvered (see me standing here?
Run away!) and 10% fought (alright, if you /insist on dying/) the more you have of a cheap asset, the less you worry about things like Directed Energy
Weapons (post 2015) hiding like random snakes in the grass because you can send in the robots without exposing your high value assets.
And the more /coverage/ you have for a given cost of both acquisition and training (every robot is potentially an Eric Hartmann, with simply an OFP
tape change to improve competencies). Which can in turn be pumped back into the heavier, more sophisticated (looks for small targets buried in
clutter) ground strike options.
For all the above reasons, the notion of human aerial combat is really just so much testosterone wafting in the breeze for _nothing_. Because a
missile is like a handgrenade. And a manned jet maneuvers like a goldfish in a bowl (really, WATCH an airshow video and see how little relative
motion /across the sky/ even the most socalled agile jet makes). You pull the pin on the handgrenade and toss it into the bowl and all the
maneuverability in the world is not going to save the fish.
But you make the airframe /perform/ like a missile, and the stupidity of spending 60-117 million dollars for manned fighter capability which 'you
will never use because you are all such good friends' is clearly rendered into the absolute nationalist pride-rubbish it is.
Never fight a warrior like he has honor. Any man who kills what he will not eat and destroys what he doesn't want to own is utterly without value.
Thus you should never be in a position where you have to 'respect' your enemy.
Butcher them like rabid animals using the cheapest, most cost efficient method possible to keep yourself contemptuous of engagement with their threat.
That way you can get back to real living. And your enemy can sit in their paranoid delusions, too fearful of dying at the hands of a silicon chip
too much to wanna jump you. Until old age removes his stupidity from the world.
Where the most basic numeric formula of attrition warfare is a function of shots available divided by shots required for a particular platform kill
times the cost in time and money to get it to the point of engagement where said kill is achievable; _for the least used_ mission set which requires
_the most spatial coverage_ and _the most training_, going robotic for A2A is the only way forward past the largely 'magnified' but still grossly
outdated Dicte Boelke by which man participates in Air Warfare like it was some kind of sport.
It may very be so, for a fighter pilot. But 9/11 clearly proves such knightly warfare jousting techniques cannot protect the citizens who have to pay
for neverending season tickets like it once did. And an excess of 'cost at capability' is draining the world economy unfairly for the pride of
place that is an unuseful as much as unused capability set.
F-22 and Terminator