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Su-27: How to beat F-14 in BVR?


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Guest ThomasDWeiss

Fly low,

don't approach head-on,

turn off your radar

if you have an wingman, tell him to trail close

when you are near 15nm range pop up

fire an AAM as soon as you can,

tell you wingman to engage your target

 

it will make the F-14 to start to maneuver to avoid the AAM

 

Close in and finish him off.

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Re: Su-27: How to beat F-14 in BVR?

 

Su-27: How to beat F-14 in BVR?

 

With extreme difficulty :P

 

 

The "fly low and avoid" idea is one might work in Lomac, but it's quite risky.

 

The Phoenix outranges every missile you have, and has an active radar seeker . . . . so the only real answer is to evade incoming missiles until you get to the point where you can fire your own. You need to be very aware of the tactical picture to do that . . . .

 

 

The Phoenix is very big, and very fast . . . . which means that it's actually pretty easy to dodge. You can use the same tactic that Ironhand demonstrates for the AMRAAM to dodge it - except you begin the maneuvre slightly sooner to account for the additional speed of the missile.

 

The orthagonal roll works well while the Tomcat is well outside your missile range - once you get closer, it's actually possible to dodge the AMRAAM and Phoenix while keeping the radar within gimbal limits. Not easy, but possible. Pull up and roll as you would with an orthagonal roll, but don't actually complete the roll - keep it within the 110 degree roll limit and gimbal lits of the radar.

 

 

However you do it, it isn't going to be easy :wink:

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don't bother. I think the Aim54 is all hype and is over modelled in the game. The su27 should be able to outmanuever it easily at least 40km out

 

Questions like this need to be asked quite often:

 

What information, not counting internet bravado and assumptive guessing, do you base that on?

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I really don't understand why is US Navy retiring the F-14 when it seems to me (at least in LOMAC) it's virtually unbeatable in BVR and can kill the best russian made/european fighters before they even realize what's happening? :?

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The Ironhand anti-Amraam tactic (I guess that’s what it’s called now) should work 100% of the time - I can’t remember the last time I was downed by a 54. Keep the F-14 locked, fly low and fast, perform high-G turn into AIM-54 when it’s close (see your RWR). AIM-7s can however be a slight problem if you are fighting two F-14s alone.

 

IMO, for a more interesting and difficult fight, try going up against two spread-out MiG-31s – definitely fun. Would be even better if the MiG-31s radar was modeled properly…

 

don't bother. I think the Aim54 is all hype and is over modelled in the game. The su27 should be able to outmanuever it easily at least 40km out

 

Heheh, if you think Lockon’s AIM-54 is overmodelled, you haven’t played Falcon 4. :wink:

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I really don't understand why is US Navy retiring the F-14 when it seems to me (at least in LOMAC) it's virtually unbeatable in BVR and can kill the best russian made/european fighters before they even realize what's happening? :?

 

Money and politics. Shrug.

 

 

The Tomcat is an extraordinarily capable aircraft - the latest versions, smartened up and equipped for JDAM/LGB are absolute monsters. Had it been upgraded for AMRAAM as well (entirely possible, was tested for it), then it would have been both a very good fighter and excellent strike aircraft. It can STILL haul more weapons, more efficiently, with less tanking, than any of the Hornet variants.

 

 

However . . . . . it is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to maintain. Partly because it's an old airframe, partly because of the swing-wing, partly because they stopped making parts for it a while back . . . . . see the "politics" side of it.

 

The politics concerning the Hornet, Super Hornet, and JSF are just sickening. While I see the value of modern systems, AESA radar, integrated avionics, new cockpit systems, and so forth . . . . building a new aircraft with inferior performance to fit it to just reeks.

 

One story runs that Cheney cancelled the F14D project because of a personal argument.

 

 

 

It is possible to argue that the Super Hornet does the job the USN needs it for - it drops bombs, and they don't need to intercept bombers right now. However, the USAF has successfully argued for an aircraft which can do far more than they require right now . . . . why don't the USN follow the same tactic?

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You hit the nail on the head. The F-14 is an old airframe and netal fatigue is cause to retire these fine aircraft. No new 14's are being built.

 

The USN requested an AMRAAM range increase together with the retirement of the 14 ... the Hornet has had its fuel problems taken care of for the most part, apparently, and with the new engines it's quite the contender - though nothing right now matches the 14-54 combination in the US air services.

 

The next gen aircraft will be more powerful, heavier, and even more expensive...

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I really don't understand why is US Navy retiring the F-14 when it seems to me (at least in LOMAC) it's virtually unbeatable in BVR and can kill the best russian made/european fighters before they even realize what's happening?

 

The capability of the AIM-54 / AWG-9 combo against fighter aircraft has always been in serious question, even by people in the USN, (some have even said they believe that the "successful" AIM-54 tests vs. drones were staged) and the abandonment of the AIM-54 (as well as replacement programs for it) several years before the F-14s end their service lends some credibility to the claim that it wasn't all it was made out to be.

 

Anyway, the F-14 is being replaced by the F/A-18E/F for a variety of reasons. The F/A-18E possesses far more modern avionics, superior radar, more hardpoints, LO characteristics, and is far, far cheaper to operate. It is a little-known fact that while the F-14 was capable of carrying six AIM-54s, it almost never did in regular service due to very high risk when landing with a full AIM-54 load. Hence, it normally flew with either two or no AIM-54s throughout its service with the USN. Now, with this in mind, which of the two is more capable of fleet defense in the modern day? A Tomcat equipped with 2xAIM-54 and a handful of AIM-7s and AIM-9s, or an F/A-18E with superior AESA radar equipped with either 8xAIM-120 (regular loadout for patrols) or 12xAIM-120 (max loadout if all pylons and twin-rail launchers are utilized)? Keep in mind that potential targets are not Tu-22's anymore but something like a JH-7. I think it's also safe to say that the APG-79 / AIM-120 combo has a far greater chance of detecting and intercepting high speed, sea-skimming anti-ship missiles. In the strike role its main weakness is range, but IMO this is made up by superior avionics, more hardpoints, and LO design. In the end, you have a superior package (for the required mission) over the F-14, no matter what the Tomcat fanboys say. :P

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Actually ... first, an AIM-54C can intercept a supersonic anti-ship missile even in its final pop-up phase and destroy it ... the Tomcat's radar IS old but has no doubt been going through upgrades.

The Iranians used the F-14+Phoenix missile combo successfuly against enemy fighters.

The F-14 WILL fly with 6 Phoenix missiles -if- it expects to use them, but you're right, they don't fly with a full load normally.

A missile that can be launched against a fighter from 60nm away and hit is nothing to sneeze at.

 

Point is, the F-14 and AIM-54C combo are old, like you said - the missiles alone are probably suffering from storage fatigue, the F-14 airframes probably can't fly much longer (better to retire'em before yous tart losing pilots).

 

THe F/A-18 is a fine replacement against anything that doesn't carry high speed-long ranged anti-ship missiles ... and don't doubt that China is working on them, either. It's more likely that in the future we might see something liek a BVRAAM, but the 'Phoenix replacement' projects have been cancelled numerous times, so ... it'll be a while.

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Actually ... first, an AIM-54C can intercept a supersonic anti-ship missile even in its final pop-up phase and destroy it ... the Tomcat's radar IS old but has no doubt been going through upgrades.

 

I have serious doubts… Even modern RIM-7s and Phalanx have had difficulties in downing super-sonic ASMs in controlled tests. I'm not saying it can't, I'm saying it's just not likely to happen with any reasonable certainty. And I'm saying that the AIM-120, AESA-equipped F/A-18E stands a far better chance of pulling this off --- it'll detect the missile earlier and engage with the far more maneuverable and more modern AIM-120.

 

The Iranians used the F-14+Phoenix missile combo successfuly against enemy fighters.

 

There's a lot of controversy surrounding what really happened with the Iranian F-14's and their effectiveness in the Iran-Iraq war. Suffice it to say, none of those alleged kills have ever been proven. That's not to say they didn't happen – they could have, it's just that it's not really a good argument to use in favor of the AIM-54 / F-14 because it could very well be BS and has never been fully verified by any serious (and neutral) intelligence service.

 

The F-14 WILL fly with 6 Phoenix missiles -if- it expects to use them, but you're right, they don't fly with a full load normally.

 

Yes, but are you really going to have time to re-arm and launch any significant number of F-14's before it's too late?

 

A missile that can be launched against a fighter from 60nm away and hit is nothing to sneeze at.

 

No doubt. It'll force the target to take evasive action, and this is nice, but the problem is

1 - whether or not it will hit is uncertain at best – for example he may Doppler notch you (and at those ranges he safely can) and there goes your AIM-54…

2 - you've got only one more left (in the average 2xAIM-54 scenario here)

3 – you're stuck with AIM-7s if he gets any closer (he probably has longer ranged SARH or ARH missiles)

4 – theoretically, in very simple terms of price tag per aircraft and missile … you're probably outnumbered, badly.

 

The fact that we haven't seen any real long range AAMs equipped on anything but the F-14 and MiG-31 just shows that these weapons do not appear to be worth their cost, weight, and drag penalties… The AIM-54's possible successors have all been cancelled. The R-33 and R-37 seem to have had no export success for the Russians. The USAF rejected the AIM-54 for the F-15... It seems that there are just too many defensive measures a fighter at those ranges can do to avoid an AIM-54 / R-33 vs. the cost and reliability of such missiles to make them of any real use against anything but bombers or AWACs, or as an airspace-denial weapon. Note that I'm saying that the evidence points to this (and not that I necessarily believe that these missiles are ineffective myself, personally, I'm rather neutral on the matter).

 

THe F/A-18 is a fine replacement against anything that doesn't carry high speed-long ranged anti-ship missiles ... and don't doubt that China is working on them, either.

 

China already has them (FL-7). And where I disagree with you again, is on the effectiveness of the F-14 compared to the F/A-18E vs. antiship missiles and fighters.

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Actually ... first, an AIM-54C can intercept a supersonic anti-ship missile even in its final pop-up phase and destroy it ... the Tomcat's radar IS old but has no doubt been going through upgrades.

 

I have serious doubts… Even modern RIM-7s and Phalanx have had difficulties in downing super-sonic ASMs in controlled tests. I'm not saying it can't, I'm saying it's just not likely to happen with any reasonable certainty. And I'm saying that the AIM-120, AESA-equipped F/A-18E stands a far better chance of pulling this off --- it'll detect the missile earlier and engage with the far more maneuverable and more modern AIM-120.

 

I don't know - it's been said that the AWG-9 is stilla pretty fighteningly powerful radar, and again, the -54 is not something you want to mess with - that thing could probably fuze 20m away from the target and still shred it.

 

The Iranians used the F-14+Phoenix missile combo successfuly against enemy fighters.

 

There's a lot of controversy surrounding what really happened with the Iranian F-14's and their effectiveness in the Iran-Iraq war. Suffice it to say, none of those alleged kills have ever been proven. That's not to say they didn't happen – they could have, it's just that it's not really a good argument to use in favor of the AIM-54 / F-14 because it could very well be BS and has never been fully verified by any serious (and neutral) intelligence service.

 

Okay, fair enough, but I've heard some interesting stories.

 

The F-14 WILL fly with 6 Phoenix missiles -if- it expects to use them, but you're right, they don't fly with a full load normally.

 

Yes, but are you really going to have time to re-arm and launch any significant number of F-14's before it's too late?

 

This is a procedure issue. Here's where your ready fives comme into play, and you could have four of'em up pretty fast...8 in very short time. Given the F-14's own radars and the E2's, I'd claim that you're reasonably covered.

 

A missile that can be launched against a fighter from 60nm away and hit is nothing to sneeze at.

 

No doubt. It'll force the target to take evasive action, and this is nice, but the problem is

1 - whether or not it will hit is uncertain at best – for example he may Doppler notch you (and at those ranges he safely can) and there goes your AIM-54…

2 - you've got only one more left (in the average 2xAIM-54 scenario here)

3 – you're stuck with AIM-7s if he gets any closer (he probably has longer ranged SARH or ARH missiles)

4 – theoretically, in very simple terms of price tag per aircraft and missile … you're probably outnumbered, badly.

 

1. This isn't a particularely huge issue ... the AWG-9 uses TWS. If he notches, you can reacquire and probably recapture the missile as well as soon as he comes out. If he doesn't, your WSO will be looking for him...that's one whole guy concentrating on NOTHING but finding your target. I'd claim the target won't realize what's coming at him until the Phoenix goes active, IF then, given that it jsut may dive very steeply - but this is debeatable of course.

2. See above - backup is on the way.

3. At this point you've either stuck around too long or you're picking on scraps.

4. Actually, even if only every third 54 hit, you'd be coming out ahead, since you've just downed aircraft or missiles tbefore your fleet even needs to start worrying about'em. Technically speaking, the missiles is all you shoudl care about - the aircraft can be dealt with by the fleet defenses.

 

The fact that we haven't seen any real long range AAMs equipped on anything but the F-14 and MiG-31 just shows that these weapons do not appear to be worth their cost, weight, and drag penalties… The AIM-54's possible successors have all been cancelled. The R-33 and R-37 seem to have had no export success for the Russians. The USAF rejected the AIM-54 for the F-15... It seems that there are just too many defensive measures a fighter at those ranges can do to avoid an AIM-54 / R-33 vs. the cost and reliability of such missiles to make them of any real use against anything but bombers or AWACs, or as an airspace-denial weapon. Note that I'm saying that the evidence points to this (and not that I necessarily believe that these missiles are ineffective myself, personally, I'm rather neutral on the matter).

 

I'd claim that we're looking at a cost-environment issue here. What's the use of a long range AAM when the fight isn't long ranged? Technically speaking, the USN at this time isn't facing anything Phoeni-worthy and wont' be doing so for a while. A lot of long range missiles are used exactly as you say, and I think there are some good resons for this, such as the necessity to guide your missiles, thus giving away your position, the ability of the enemy to begin some simple but adequate defensive maneuvers once they receive your radar on RAW, etc. It seems pretty easy to bleed a missile's energy, so you want the straightest shot possible - today, the likelyhood of a straight shot at long ranges is probably inversely proportional to those ranges. Everyone knows about TWS and that weapons may be coming their way, so why not zig and zag a little, right?

 

THe F/A-18 is a fine replacement against anything that doesn't carry high speed-long ranged anti-ship missiles ... and don't doubt that China is working on them, either.

 

China already has them (FL-7). And where I disagree with you again, is on the effectiveness of the F-14 compared to the F/A-18E vs. antiship missiles and fighters.

 

I don't know ... I can still see the AIM-54 outperforming the AMRAAM here ... the electronics might be slightly dated, but the ability to fuze at greater ranges should technically easily make up for this. Of course..speculation, since there's no data. :/

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I don't know - it's been said that the AWG-9 is stilla pretty fighteningly powerful radar, and again, the -54 is not something you want to mess with - that thing could probably fuze 20m away from the target and still shred it.

 

20m is great but for stationary / slow moving targets. A fighter jet or missile will be moving at several hundred meters per second, and in that situation maneuverability is far more important than a few more meters worth of blast radius.

 

This is a procedure issue. Here's where your ready fives comme into play, and you could have four of'em up pretty fast...8 in very short time. Given the F-14's own radars and the E2's, I'd claim that you're reasonably covered.

 

This really all depends on how early the bandits are detected.

 

1. This isn't a particularely huge issue ... the AWG-9 uses TWS. If he notches, you can reacquire and probably recapture the missile as well as soon as he comes out.

 

Notching was just one method as I said, but in this case it is still fairly useful. Remember at the ranges (60 NM) we are looking at reacquiring will probably be useless if you don't catch him again with a few seconds (provided he isn't notching very early on). And by the time you do, he will likely be in range to fire at you anyway. Beyond this you have to remember that even if the 54 acquires the target will be warned and will take a last-second very-high G maneuver… Serbian pilots were able to avoid AIM-120s on occasion doing this (and this was w/o RWR), so I feel there is a very good chance of successful evasion vs. an AIM-54, especially at low-level by a fighter with far more modern (and functioning) equipment.

 

If he doesn't, your WSO will be looking for him...that's one whole guy concentrating on NOTHING but finding your target. I'd claim the target won't realize what's coming at him until the Phoenix goes active, IF then, given that it jsut may dive very steeply - but this is debeatable of course.

 

His ability to detect TWS, fighter-missile datalinks, and so on will depend completely on his RWR gear so again, we can work up a large number of scenarios depending on the target's equipment. I'll note though that if your WSO is focused on one target then you've got a problem since your other targets could be slipping by…

 

2. See above - backup is on the way.

 

Why isn't the backup taking care of the other guy coming at the carrier? I'm assuming we're not talking about Carrier + F-14's vs. one bandit but Carrier + F-14's vs. an entire attack group. Or one F-14 vs. one reasonably modern fighter.

 

3. At this point you've either stuck around too long or you're picking on scraps.

 

Well this is assuming your AIM-54 hit and you weren't fired back at... I'm skeptical on both points.

 

4. Actually, even if only every third 54 hit, you'd be coming out ahead, since you've just downed aircraft or missiles tbefore your fleet even needs to start worrying about'em. Technically speaking, the missiles is all you shoudl care about - the aircraft can be dealt with by the fleet defenses.

 

Remember the F-14s engaging the bandits will be equipped with two AIM-54s at best.

And anyway, this is getting somewhat off-topic… I'm not going to debate a theoretical attack on a carrier group here (especially when the composition and armament of the attacking force has not been decided.) What I'm saying is:

- Defending vs. a missile / fighter attack will be much easier with a platform that is equipped with 8 to 12 AIM-120s than one with 6 (at very best) AIM-54s (and 2 or 0 in most cases).

- I'll take a lesser ranged missile (AIM-120) if that missile has vastly superior maneuverability as well as superior electronics and onboard radar, and especially if I get far more of them.

- I'll also take the earlier detection (as well as incredible sweep time) w/ the APG-79 as that will allow for more time to get into optimal launch position.

- Due to maintenance, reliability, and cost, there will likely be considerably more F/A-18E's available than there would be F-14's.

 

I'd claim that we're looking at a cost-environment issue here. What's the use of a long range AAM when the fight isn't long ranged? Technically speaking, the USN at this time isn't facing anything Phoeni-worthy and wont' be doing so for a while.

 

While they're not facing one single powerful opponent (USSR), there are now far more nations that are rapidly gaining the capability to seriously threaten a US carrier group – but not with bombers but antiship missiles --- hence the switch to the AIM-120 over the AIM-54. China for example already possesses fighter bombers with supersonic anti-ship missiles. Once they equip air-launched versions of the Moskit they will be an even greater threat. India will soon have the Russian / Indian designed Brahmos + Su-30 combination. The Brahmos is a ~Mach 3, stealth, self-guiding, auto-maneuvering ASM (and can allegedly be mounted with multiple warheads as well)… you're going to need AESA + AIM-120s to have any chance at all to take one out (and even that's slim).

In fact I'd say the threat to USN warships now is greater than ever. Detecting and destroying a Tu-22 is a much easier task than finding and taking out a Brahmos... and you've got about 300 seconds from launch to do it. Who's to say Iran won't acquire a couple of Brahmos' and strap them onto their Su-24's?

 

I don't know ... I can still see the AIM-54 outperforming the AMRAAM here ... the electronics might be slightly dated, but the ability to fuze at greater ranges should technically easily make up for this. Of course..speculation, since there's no data. :/

 

Like I've said, a slightly larger blast radius of a few meters is going to mean far less than greater maneuverability (and missile logic and onboard radar) vs. an evasive target moving at many hundreds of meters per second.

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Off topic, but I'll bite...simply because some 'facts' are wrong.

 

Interception of supersonic cruise/anti-ship missile's isn't as hard as you're making it out to be. For the most part, cruise missile's go straight. Missile inertial nav would just need to take a greater lead intercept profile, and fuze just needs to trigger a bit earlier is about the only difference between subsonic and supersonic cruise missile engagement. And the AIM-54C is a FAR more suitable anti-missile weapon than the smaller AIM-120B/C in service, for the following reasons:

 

1. Manueverability and agility are not needed, so the AMRAAM's advantage is meaningless

2. Speed is important to tag missiles, especially before they pop up, and the Mach 5 AIM-54 is far superior to the AIM-120.

3. Missile's don't drop chaff or jam; again, AIM-120's advantage meaningless

4. Much bigger warhead, so even if it misses, the resulting blast may knock missile off course

5. Bigger active radar

 

And some of your 'facts' on the F/A-18 vs. F-14 debate are wrong:

 

Performance

While the F/A-18E/F is without doubt cheaper to operate, it is *much* slower than the F-14, and speed is an important element in the fleet air defense role. The Super Bug also has *much* shorter legs, thus the cost advantage gained before is more or less offset by the fact that more F/A-18E/Fs will be needed to perform CAP/tanker duties than the F-14. An F/A-18E with 8 AIM-120Cs is not going to go anywhere very fast nor very far. It's not a practical loadout for fleet defense.

 

You do know that the F-14 can carry 4 or 5 AIM-54Cs, right? It doesn't have to be 2 or 6 ;)

 

Avionics

Furthermore, the AN/APG-71 on the F-14D is one of the most powerful and modern fighter radars ever developed; it is without a doubt more suited to BVR AA combat than even the AN/APG-73. Functions like NCTR and TWS would be able to be undertaken at much longer ranges than the APG-73, and the Phoenix is far more suitable in engaging the long-range bomber threat, as the Tomcat would still be able to stand off from their fighter escorts. The F/A-18 will have to close to within AIM-120 range to engage, putting them at risk to a R-77/R-27 equipped Su-27. Sure, it's more survivable and all, but I'd rather be in an F-14D pickling off Phoenixes a minute outside Alamo range than in a Super Hornet setting up a Slammer shot as Alamos are raining down on me. Once the bomber threat is wiped out, the Tomcat can then just retreat to Aegis range and fight the enemy fighters there if need be. The point of fleet defense is to destroy the bombers and their missiles, not their fighter escorts.

 

Aegis will *easily* handle the rest, but you'll never know it by playing Lock On

 

F-14Ds all have JTIDS, like the F/A-18E/F, so that advantage in SA is also gone. It will get the same picture of the battlefield as the F/A-18E/F would.

 

Bottom line, fleet air defense is not about engaging enemy fighters; the point is to kill the bombers before they get their missiles off, or failing that, to destroy as many of those missiles as possible to lighten the work load off of Aegis. Fine, in an engagement against Su-27s, the F/A-18E is more suitable, but the primary target here isn't a Su-27 - it's a Tu-22M3 and its Kh-22 missile, escorted by a Su-27. And for that, the F-14D is without doubt superior.

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Interception of supersonic cruise/anti-ship missile's isn't as hard as you're making it out to be.

 

Interception of subsonic anti-ship missiles has proven to be a serious problem in the past. The Sheffield and Stark incidents are good examples of this. Interception of modern, sea-skimming, supersonic, 200+km ranged ASMs is a monumental task.

 

For the most part, cruise missile's go straight.

 

Modern ASMs (at least the Russian ones) perform evasive maneuvers… so no, they don't go straight.

 

Missile inertial nav would just need to take a greater lead intercept profile, and fuze just needs to trigger a bit earlier is about the only difference between subsonic and supersonic cruise missile engagement.

 

Much easier said than done. If this was true then the NMD would be fully operational and have a 100% success rate against test targets.

 

And the AIM-54C is a FAR more suitable anti-missile weapon than the smaller AIM-120B/C in service, for the following reasons:

 

Keep in mind that we are discussing capabilities against both fighters and missiles here…

 

1. Manueverability and agility are not needed, so the AMRAAM's advantage is meaningless

 

Against a maneuvering missile they are needed. Against fighters it is certainly needed. Today, you want to get the fighter before he launches that killer ASM.

 

2. Speed is important to tag missiles, especially before they pop up, and the Mach 5 AIM-54 is far superior to the AIM-120.

 

The AIM-54 is not going to be doing Mach 5 at sea level.

 

3. Missile's don't drop chaff or jam; again, AIM-120's advantage meaningless

 

I never stated these things as advantages for the AIM-120 vs. missiles. Although against fighters these are advantages.

 

4. Much bigger warhead, so even if it misses, the resulting blast may knock missile off course

 

Like I've said, a bigger warhead is not particularly relevant at supersonic speeds, as compared to superior maneuverability. An added 5 or 10 m to your blast radius means almost nothing against a small target that's moving at 600+ meters per second if you even slightly "miss." You're far better off having a more maneuverable missile than hoping for a fragmentation kill against such a target.

 

5. Bigger active radar

 

But much older… and I've never seen anything to suggest that it is superior to that of the AIM-120C.

 

While the F/A-18E/F is without doubt cheaper to operate, it is *much* slower than the F-14, and speed is an important element in the fleet air defense role.

 

I haven't seen anything to suggest that it is significantly slower in any way. Max speeds with AAMs are described as around M1.6 -> M1.8. And it apparently has a superior T/W ratio. And superior maneuverability, particularly at high AoA.

 

An F/A-18E with 8 AIM-120Cs is not going to go anywhere very fast nor very far. It's not a practical loadout for fleet defense.

 

Last I heard standard air superiority / fleet defense loadout was either 6x or 8xAIM-120C + triple fuel tanks. Seems to be fast enough and ranged enough for the USN. And I still haven't seen anything to suggest that it's any slower with this loadout than the F-14.

 

You do know that the F-14 can carry 4 or 5 AIM-54Cs, right? It doesn't have to be 2 or 6

 

No. It either carries none, two, or six if it’s willing to waste a few million dollars dumping them before landing. These are the documented, standard loadouts that were used by the USN.

 

Furthermore, the AN/APG-71 on the F-14D is one of the most powerful and modern fighter radars ever developed; it is without a doubt more suited to BVR AA combat than even the AN/APG-73. Functions like NCTR and TWS would be able to be undertaken at much longer ranges than the APG-73,

 

Uhhh… I think you've missed the fact that we are talking about the APG-79-equipped F/A-18E…

 

and the Phoenix is far more suitable in engaging the long-range bomber threat, as the Tomcat would still be able to stand off from their fighter escorts.

 

As I've already said, the longer-range bomber threat is no longer the primary concern.

 

The F/A-18 will have to close to within AIM-120 range to engage, putting them at risk to a R-77/R-27 equipped Su-27.

 

And the F-14 isn't going to get into R-77/R-27ER/R-33/R-37 range also? What does the pilot expect to do, Maddog his AIM-54's and hope for the best?

 

Sure, it's more survivable and all, but I'd rather be in an F-14D pickling off Phoenixes a minute outside Alamo range than in a Super Hornet setting up a Slammer shot as Alamos are raining down on me.

 

And after all those Su-27's avoid your AIM-54s, you're going to run back to the carrier, or whatever is left of it.

 

Once the bomber threat is wiped out, the Tomcat can then just retreat to Aegis range and fight the enemy fighters there if need be. The point of fleet defense is to destroy the bombers and their missiles, not their fighter escorts.

 

There are no "bombers" anymore. Most larger fighters can carry supersonic ASMs. You're not going to have time to "retreat to AEGIS range" because those fighters would have already launched their 200-300 km ranged ASMs at that point. This is not 1970.

 

Aegis will *easily* handle the rest, but you'll never know it by playing Lock On

 

Doubtful. AEGIS sure didn't help the Stark vs. dated Exocets. Against something like Brahmos? You had better be praying.

 

F-14Ds all have JTIDS, like the F/A-18E/F, so that advantage in SA is also gone. It will get the same picture of the battlefield as the F/A-18E/F would.

 

Huh? Where did I say that the F-14 doesn't have a datalink?

 

Bottom line, fleet air defense is not about engaging enemy fighters

 

Today, it absolutely is.

 

Fine, in an engagement against Su-27s, the F/A-18E is more suitable,

 

Which is exactly how a modern day engagement would look.

 

but the primary target here isn't a Su-27 - it's a Tu-22M3 and its Kh-22 missile, escorted by a Su-27. And for that, the F-14D is without doubt superior.

 

For that, I would agree with you – a quarter of a century ago. Too bad for the F-14 that the escort has now suddenly also become a primary target. A far more dangerous primary target.

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I haven't seen anything to suggest that it is significantly slower in any way. Max speeds with AAMs are described as around M1.6 -> M1.8. And it apparently has a superior T/W ratio. And superior maneuverability' date=' particularly at high AoA.

 

Rysi, the poor perforance of the F-18E is legendary! Even slower and less acceleration than the 18Cs ... itself not a stela performer.

 

And surely the larger blast radius of the 54 IS important in bringing down supersonic SSMs in that it increases you miss distance and still get a kill?

 

James

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There's a lot of controversy surrounding what really happened with the Iranian F-14's and their effectiveness in the Iran-Iraq war. Suffice it to say, none of those alleged kills have ever been proven. That's not to say they didn't happen – they could have, it's just that it's not really a good argument to use in favor of the AIM-54 / F-14 because it could very well be BS and has never been fully verified by any serious (and neutral) intelligence service.

 

http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_210.shtml

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Rysi, you're starting to make some claims I don't agree with here.

Bursting the missile has ALWAYS been a good choice for the destruction of an incoming vehicle. The fuze IS important. That a hit-to-kill missile is better, simply because it -will- hit is not in doubt, but the point is that a missile passign within lethal range IS adequate. That the other target is travelling fast doesn't matter - fuzes are set up to ensure timely detonation against a target of just about any velocity.

 

The Stark was a Falklands war thing, right? In that case if you're talking modern weapons, this incident has no place here - it involved poor use of equipment which wasn't completely up to par anyway.

 

As for 'maneuvering SSMs' .. you aware of what maneuvers they make, if any? Or is it just a terminal homing phase thing where they'll do a pop-up or some other interesting thing to make themselves a little tougher to hit? 'Cause that's the only 'maneuvering' i've ever heard any missile doing.

 

And no, those Su-27's aren't all going to be able to avoid the Phoenix, which is -likely- to be coming down on top of them from a hundred and sixty THOUSAND feet. In a dive like that, you're not going to be killing its speed very well, let alone detecting it.

As for RWRs detecting datalinks - that's nice, but how do they have a clue as to whom the datalink is for? They don't ... and if we're talking group on group, there are -so- many signals that the RWR s ae gonan go nuts trying to figure out what's going on.

 

Lastly, the Phoenix -does- outrange the R-77 and R-27 ... if the enemy deployed MiG-31's then it's an entirely different ball game, sure.

 

As for BRAHMOS, you're talking about this http://www.brahmos.com/home.html right?

 

Doesn't look muhch different than what's already out there ... 'low radar signature' also doesn't mean 'stealth'. There's a pretty big difference - the US already had one of those in the works, but it was cancelled. Wonder why?

 

But I'll give you this: With LO, F/A-18's might get closer to the target than F-14's to take their shots - much closer. That would certainly work in their favor.

 

By the way, I've yet to see any reports of MiGs dodging AMRAAMs over Kososvo...I'm sure it's true, but where the heck are they? :P

 

And yes, the enemy fighter/bomber group WILL be detected quite early...that's what all the early warning measures are for on a carrier group, you know.

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I used to play flight sims like you, but then I took a slammer to the knee - Yoda

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By the way, I've yet to see any reports of MiGs dodging AMRAAMs over Kososvo...I'm sure it's true, but where the heck are they? :P
I did read somewhere that the Migs fell to volleys of AMRAAMs ... that seems to suggest a few were fire and hence some missed or were dodged ...

 

James

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NO, I don't know ... that's why I'm asking for the reports.

 

I'm really curious about it ... for the AIM-7 there have been Pk figures of about .35 quoted for example, and we know that they missed a lot in GF, plus there's the famous F-14's v MiG-23's audio tape where the AIM-7's miss and the migs are splashed with sidewinders. But there's nothing so far on AIM-120's except 'x plane killed by AIM-120' with one of the more famous incidents being 'splash two' because it was the only incident (so far) where a double kill was performed by a single jet (simultaneous double kill, that is ... ie. tws launch on two targets)

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

Reminder: SAM = Speed Bump :D

I used to play flight sims like you, but then I took a slammer to the knee - Yoda

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Interception of subsonic anti-ship missiles has proven to be a serious problem in the past. The Sheffield and Stark incidents are good examples of this. Interception of modern, sea-skimming, supersonic, 200+km ranged ASMs is a monumental task

 

Sheffield? Stark? None of them were Aegis - they were only equipped with the short range Sea Dart SAMs. Moreover, I think only one of them were sunk by missiles - the other iron bombs. This point is wrong.

 

Modern ASMs (at least the Russian ones) perform evasive maneuvers… so no, they don't go straight.

 

I've yet to see a cruise missile break into a 5 g evasive manuever...because they DON'T. They may follow waypoints, but for the most part, they go straight.

 

Much easier said than done. If this was true then the NMD would be fully operational and have a 100% success rate against test targets.

 

Again, your point is moot. NMD currently is for SPACE defense. Nice try.

 

The AIM-54 is not going to be doing Mach 5 at sea level.

 

And the AIM-120 is not going to go Mach 4 at sea level either. Your point?

 

Like I've said, a bigger warhead is not particularly relevant at supersonic speeds, as compared to superior maneuverability. An added 5 or 10 m to your blast radius means almost nothing against a small target that's moving at 600+ meters per second if you even slightly "miss." You're far better off having a more maneuverable missile than hoping for a fragmentation kill against such a target.

 

How is it not relevent at supersonic speeds? If anything, the increased momentum in the missiles would just make a warhead more effective at either destroying it, or knocking it off its flight path.

 

No. It either carries none, two, or six if it’s willing to waste a few million dollars dumping them before landing. These are the documented, standard loadouts that were used by the USN.

 

Standard CAP loadout for the F-14 is 4 AIM-54Cs, 2 AIM-7s and 2 AIM-9s.

 

And the F-14 isn't going to get into R-77/R-27ER/R-33/R-37 range also? What does the pilot expect to do, Maddog his AIM-54's and hope for the best?

 

You seem to forget that the AIM-54 has almost triple the range of the AMRAAM.

 

There are no "bombers" anymore. Most larger fighters can carry supersonic ASMs. You're not going to have time to "retreat to AEGIS range" because those fighters would have already launched their 200-300 km ranged ASMs at that point. This is not 1970.

 

You are underestimating AEGIS. A lot.

 

Doubtful. AEGIS sure didn't help the Stark vs. dated Exocets. Against something like Brahmos? You had better be praying.

 

You are again underestimating Aegis. None of those ships were Aegis. Get your facts straight.

 

Today, it absolutely is.

 

What are a few Flankers going to do to an CVBG? Aegis (and the F-14) were designed to engage and destroy a dedicated anti-carrier force composed of 50-70 Tu-22M3 bombers with 3 Kh-22Ms each, escorted by a similar force of enemy fighters. Take away the bombers, and add a single anti-ship cruise missile (that's MUCH smaller than a Kh-22/15) to the fighters, and you do not expect the F-14 and the Aegis to handle it? That's just nonsense.

 

And Aegis have come a long way since the 70s. Expect anything its radars can see to die. Quickly.

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Sheffield? Stark? None of them were Aegis - they were only equipped with the short range Sea Dart SAM. Moreover, only one of them were sunk by missiles - the other iron bombs. This point is wrong.

 

Actually Sheffield and Stark were both hit by Am-39 Exocets ... the one that hit the Shef didn't explode but the KE and unspent rocket fuel combined with a poor design were enough to burn out ... she sank days later. Stark was saved by herculian efforts in damage control.

 

You maybe confusing Shef with Coventry ... who was sunk by bombs a few days later.

 

Also, the SeaDart is a medium range ramjet power missile ... and the Stark was carrying an SM-1 ... baby brother of the SM-2s on an Aegis ship.

 

James

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AIM-120 Combat Record (SSK stands for Single Shot kill):

 

1. A MiG-25 and a MiG-29 kill by USAF F-16C/Ds and a blue-on-blue

2. Blackhawk kill by F-15Cs in 1992 over Iraq.

#1 and 2 combined = 3*SSK

 

 

3. A JRV Jastreb or Galeb kill by USAF F-16Cs over Bosnia. SSK

 

Operation Desert Fox:

4. 3*AIM-120s fired at Iraqi MiG-25 Foxbats. 3*AIM-120 = 0 kills

 

Operation Allied Force:

 

5. Kill on Serb MiG-29 by Col Rodriguez in an F-15C. SSK

6. Kill on Serb MIG-29 by F-15C. 3*AIM-120 = 1 kill

7. Kill on Serb MiG-29 by Dutch F-16A MLU SSK

 

8. One AIM-120 fired at Serb MiG; missed or damaged. 1 AIM-120 = 0 kills

9. Two Serb MiG-29s downed simultaneously by an F-15C. 2*SSK

First such double kill in history of AA combat

 

10. A MiG-29 downed by USAF F-16CJ. 2 AIM-120 = 1 kill

 

I haven't got that much information regarding to shot parameters, as much of it was classified, but reportedly, all kills in #1-3 were WVR, #4 was some real BVR joustling (in excess of 20 nm) and the Foxbats turned tail and ran, #6 the first AIM-120 shot was at 26 nm and the last (which destroyed the MiG) at 6 miles, #7 was at 11 nm (confirmed), #8 was at 18-20 nm and #9 both shots were from 16 nm.

 

Actually Sheffield and Stark were both hit by Am-39 Exocets ... the one that hit the Shef didn't explode but the KE and unspent rocket fuel combined with a poor design were enough to burn out ... she sank days later. Stark was saved by herculian efforts in damage control.

 

You maybe confusing Shef with Coventry ... who was sunk by bombs a few days later.

 

Also, the SeaDart is a medium range ramjet power missile ... and the Stark was carrying an SM-1 ... baby brother of the SM-2s on an Aegis ship.

 

Point is that neither ships were Aegis ;)

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