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    Is Russia safe from F-22 and Β-2?

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:17 am

    The mighty collective NATO air forces are now a pale shadow of what they were in 1989.

    This is just silly.

    In 1989 NATO was 16 nations against the Whole Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact.

    Now NATO includes most of the Warsaw Pact and parts of the former Soviet Union.

    NATO might have reduced spending a little, though the Americans certainly only increased it, but the Russians went through about 3 economic collapses.

    Vrs Russia their F22s/F35s lose meaning after nuke attack on the base. Vrs rest of the world or rather non-allied world, USAF can win hands down.

    Did the USAF win in Somalia? How about Vietnam? Kosovo perhaps?

    I think you overestimate the capability of air power.

    However, Russia has 3 years of time before BMDs start to show up near its western borders and sea coasts. These have to be cancelled out otherwise Russian nuclear deterrent will be 'mostly' meaningless i.e. second strike capability vastly neutralized.

    There is no evidence at all that the US ABM system has any capability against the Russian strategic nuclear deterrent.

    Its ability to deal with decoys is zero because it deals with objects in space, so a balloon will move exactly the same as a warhead covered with a balloon and will have the same radar and thermal signature...

    Wonder Russia should start to put missiles in Cuba, even covertly as these days cruise missiles are merely the size of a shipping container. No need to have missile crisis all over again, unless US can penetrate Cuban intelligence to find them out.

    Russia is bound by an agreement signed after the Cuban missile crisis not to base nuclear weapons in Cuba, but the Kh-101 armed with a conventional warhead with a range of 5,000km could be based there in large numbers perfectly legally...
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    Post  victor7 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:01 am



    http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4642
    I think you overestimate the capability of air power.

    http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4642

    The link above is going to give much boost to winning wars from airpower alone. Especially items #6, 7 and 8. Once air superiority is in place, rest is a matter of good surveillance, it seems.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:59 am

    Call me Mr Cynical but Air Power has been promising to make war clean for decades and it simply has not delivered.

    Don't you get it yet?

    For every expensive capability there is a cheap countermeasure....

    For instance... expensive Abrams tank... cheap 500kg IED.

    Sneaky technology might be able to see through walls to see if there are people inside, but it wont tell them who those people are.

    I mean lets face it, they can't even tell an attempt to shoot them down from a wedding celebration at the moment.
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    Post  victor7 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:08 am

    For instance... expensive Abrams tank... cheap 500kg IED.

    I think DARPA is very hard at work to find and blow up the IEDs from a distance of a mile or so. Experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan has taught US, that IEDs are more lethal than anyother arsenal in the guerrilla inventory.

    Given the tech around the corner from the above stratrisk link. It might end up being a very boring world where Big Brother is watching every damn thing. We might end up taking orders from the Robots pretty soon.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:17 am

    I think DARPA is very hard at work to find and blow up the IEDs from a distance of a mile or so.

    Well they are expert at blowing them up when they hit them, blowing them up from 1.6km is a nice dream that is yet to be realised... a bit like Star Wars really.

    Experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan has taught US, that IEDs are more lethal than anyother arsenal in the guerrilla inventory.

    Except this experience wouldn't apply to somewhere like Iran where they make their own ATGMs and MANPADS and have numbers on their side.

    IEDs are dangerous... the west should know because most of the Talebans training came from the west via training of the Muj in the 1980s. The cannon fodder of the 1980s are the commanders of the 2010s.

    Given the tech around the corner from the above stratrisk link. It might end up being a very boring world where Big Brother is watching every damn thing. We might end up taking orders from the Robots pretty soon.

    And how far away will anarchist technology be... portable EMP guns that disable electronics, shielding equipment and countermeasures.

    Robots are a long way from taking over, until you have a robot that can mine raw materials and manage the process from raw metal ore to finished robot components then they will need humans.
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    Post  victor7 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:22 pm

    And how far away will anarchist technology be... portable EMP guns that disable electronics, shielding equipment and countermeasures.

    Have Gun Will Travel...........
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    Post  Mindstorm on Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:06 pm


    And how far away will anarchist technology be... portable EMP guns that disable electronics, shielding equipment and countermeasures.


    Far away, but...behind us Very Happy Very Happy


    http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070511/65348455.html


    It seem that our victor7 love anything ,even only remotely, linked to "exotic" technology.

    Those type of systems or capabilities ,except in rares instances, never represent the bulk of military capabilities and strength of a nation (rather sometime it is no more than what is commonly called vaporware).

    Moreover for some strange reason (likely the typical "deep" message present in western media ) it is convinced that those type of technologies are mastered or characteristic of western nations.
    GarryB image what would happen if it would discover that the same experimental road that USA attempt today with the ...now discontinued...ABL, was already fully explored and widely surpassed by Soviets more than 25 years ago Very Happy ,or that the technology behind those exotic, "cool", future-like aircraft in force with USAF (such as B-2 F-117 or F-22) was developed in URSS and literally imported in USA .

    It could become a true hero at F-16.net ,instead..... Rolling Eyes
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    Post  victor7 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:46 pm

    future-like aircraft in force with USAF (such as B-2 F-117 or F-22) was developed in URSS and literally imported in USA

    first find a way to DTK a B2 and F22 at 400km range.......until then.........


    no country for old men
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:29 pm

    I am sure a lot of Russians are working on technology to detect F-22s and B-2s at very long ranges... just like a lot of Americans are working on ABM missiles that can begin to be effective against TOPOLs let alone TOPOL-Ms and Yars...
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    Post  victor7 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:13 am

    Nothing new but worth a read.........


    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/115543547/F22-analysis

    The article also mentions that new Russian AESA radars can detect stealth at 180 NM which is roughly 333 km. Hence the figure of 400km is getting near. cheers
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    Post  Mindstorm on Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:15 pm


    victor7 wrote:
    future-like aircraft in force with USAF (such as B-2 F-117 or F-22) was developed in URSS and literally imported in USA

    first find a way to DTK a B2 and F22 at 400km range.......until then.........


    no country for old men


    Detection of a F-22 at ONLY 400 km ? Razz Razz Razz

    Any modern, advanced OTH radar could detect an aircraft with a RCS -in X band- some order of magnitude smaller than an F-22 at literally several THOUSANDS of kilometers of distance, from its same take off Laughing Laughing Laughing

    If you ,instead, talk of tracking a similar target, a modern VHF radars ,some of which (like the new generation of Russian ones fully mobile ,with a multispectral AESA radars ) are not only capable to track similar aerodynamic "VLO" ....at least in X band....targets at virtually maximum range - like a legacy aircraft in theirs same class- but also to provide a very, very robust missile in-flight guidance for SAM against them.

    If you want a picture of the REAL capabilities of "stealth" fighter/strike aircraft like F-22/F-35 (in opposition to the comical metropolitan legends and low level disinformation data circulating freely in public media) is sufficient to ear the voices of the American critics of those type of platforms , who obviously don't have any reason and don't feel themselves committed to "cover" with false data and Hollywwod-like claims ,moreover totally irreconcilable with Physical reality, those type of aircraft ; two of those voice are Winslow T. Wheeler and Pierre M. Sprey , those are some of theirs assertion on the subject :


    "Far from an ability to fly anywhere “unseen,” stealth limits the ability of some radars to detect the F-35 at some angles to lesser distances. In the presence of some radar types, some of them quite old designs, stealth aircraft can be detected (“seen”) routinely. At angles other than nose-on or around the “waterline,” stealth aircraft can have a significantly larger radar return than the hummingbird and insect sized returns that are typically described.
    The above assumes the stealth characteristic performs as designed, but that is usually not the case. My work at the U.S. Government Accountability Office on stealth systems made it clear to me that not a single U.S. stealth aircraft had lived up to its original detectability promises, and the F-35 looks to be no exception."



    ("F-35 Testimony to Canada's House of Commons")

    http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=4636&StartRow=1&ListRows=10&appendURL=&Orderby=D.DateLastUpdated&ProgramID=37&from_page=index.cfm



    "The Air Force, Lockheed, and their congressional boosters tout the F-22 as the silver bullet of air combat. The F-22's so-called stealth may hurt more than it helps. In truth, against short wavelength radars, the F-22 is hard to detect only over a very narrow band of viewing angles. Worse, there are thousands of existing long range, long wavelength radars that can detect the F-22 from several hundred miles away at all angles."


    ("Stop the F-22 Now")

    http://www.cdi.org/program/document.cfm?DocumentID=4527



    Russia on its side ,since several years by now, don't even consider aerodynamic targets -VLO or not with theirs ECM and corollary assets- as a noteworthy strategic menace anymore ; all attention today is put ,instead, in the neutralization of the real high priority menaces of modern era conflicts :

    1) ballistic missiles (by far the most devastating and difficult to defend against)
    2)large scale saturation stand-off cruise missile attacks .
    3) future hypersonic and low orbital strategic menaces



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    Post  medo on Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:54 pm

    Is Russia safe from F-22 and Β-2? - Page 7 0110


    Is Russia safe from F-22 and Β-2? - Page 7 0210

    Russian army Kolchuga-M passive detecting system, which could detect and triangulate any airborne emitter on 600+ km distance, so IF F-22 or F-35 don't want to be detected by it, they have to fly in total silence, what means they will also know nothing, what is happening in the air and on the ground. They could only rely on pilot's eyes.
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    Post  victor7 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:32 pm

    Have heard a lot about Kolchuga able to detect birds at a distance. The main question is will it also be able to track and furthermore guide a missile on the target to kill it. DTK is the only objective, mere detection will not help too much.

    Btw, the link above on F22 analysis said that a BVR missile has only 7% chance of hitting its target. Is that true? That is awfully low percentage for expensive missiles.
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:42 pm

    Have heard a lot about Kolchuga able to detect birds at a distance. The main question is will it also be able to track and furthermore guide a missile on the target to kill it. DTK is the only objective, mere detection will not help too much.

    Once it is detected then it can be killed.

    The IAD will calculate its position and look for AD assets in that area to deal with the threat.

    Systems like TOR and Pantsir-S1 and even BUK could engage in optical mode.

    Btw, the link above on F22 analysis said that a BVR missile has only 7% chance of hitting its target. Is that true? That is awfully low percentage for expensive missiles.

    I rather suspect they meant radar homing missiles. An IIR would have a much better chance.... besides there are not going to be more than about 188 F-22s ever and at probably $250 million a pop you can afford to fire a few missiles at it...
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    Post  Austin on Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:03 am

    Airforces Monthly ( April 2012 )


    Is the F-33 still unaffordable ?

    http://www.mediafire.com/?biuclcama86a89a
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:54 am

    Btw, the link above on F22 analysis said that a BVR missile has only 7% chance of hitting its target. Is that true? That is awfully low percentage for expensive missiles.

    Actually... 7% is a very high number for the F-22 and I am surprised...

    The chance of an AMRAAM hitting a target taking no evasive manoeuvres, not using countermeasures and in a launch situation where the target is within the normal kill envelope of the missile is 50%, so even just adding manouvers that should halve to 25% for most aircraft that simply change direction and/or speed after the AMRAAM has been launched.

    I would expect a modern fighter manouvering hard should reduce that to 20%,and with a modern capable ESM/ECM system I would expect a range of 5-9% kill probability.
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    Post  Mindstorm on Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:48 pm

    Austin wrote:Airforces Monthly ( April 2012 )


    Is the F-33 still unaffordable ?

    http://www.mediafire.com/?biuclcama86a89a



    Thanks for the link Austin Very Happy
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    Post  Austin on Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:46 pm

    Mindstorm wrote:
    Austin wrote:Airforces Monthly ( April 2012 )


    Is the F-33 still unaffordable ?

    http://www.mediafire.com/?biuclcama86a89a



    Thanks for the link Austin Very Happy

    Any time Mindstorm Smile

    Hope you have read this as well

    Air Forces Monthly March 2012 issue ( via AndyB/BRF )

    Ka-52 AM Co-axial Alligator


    http://www.mediafire.com/?ntn8wauf2u9t5z1
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    Mindstorm

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    Post  Mindstorm on Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:36 pm

    Austin wrote:
    Mindstorm wrote:
    Austin wrote:Airforces Monthly ( April 2012 )


    Is the F-33 still unaffordable ?

    http://www.mediafire.com/?biuclcama86a89a



    Thanks for the link Austin Very Happy

    Any time Mindstorm Smile

    Hope you have read this as well

    Air Forces Monthly March 2012 issue ( via AndyB/BRF )

    Ka-52 AM Co-axial Alligator


    http://www.mediafire.com/?ntn8wauf2u9t5z1



    Very thanks x2 Austin Very Happy

    I had anticipated ,almost an year ago, the introduction of the very advanced Vitebsk multioperation defensive suit (the domestic version of President-S DAS) in serial production KA-52s which is stimed the most advanced helicopter among the future three types.

    What i find instead "wrong" and ,in somne way, even irrational is to continue to postpone continually Vitebsk's validation tests and adaptation for Mi-28N/NE, even more if we consider that just the lack of a dedicated DAS for this platform limit enormously its export potential -and Mi-28NE is the attack helicopter more often offered in International tenders by Rosoboronexport-
    No foreign customer will ever buy an attack helicopter only on the basis of its very high resilience to enemy fire and a promise of future integrations of very advanced weapon suit (like Hermes-A ATGM ) when a good fraction of its avionic and defensive suit is still not implemented or still remeain frozen in the test/validation phase.


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    Post  TR1 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:10 pm

    medo wrote:Is Russia safe from F-22 and Β-2? - Page 7 0110


    Is Russia safe from F-22 and Β-2? - Page 7 0210

    Russian army Kolchuga-M passive detecting system, which could detect and triangulate any airborne emitter on 600+ km distance, so IF F-22 or F-35 don't want to be detected by it, they have to fly in total silence, what means they will also know nothing, what is happening in the air and on the ground. They could only rely on pilot's eyes.


    Any more info on Rssian Kalchuga-M?
    There is some stuff on the Ukranian Kalchuga, but the Russian unit is almost nowehere to be found.
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:35 pm

    In many ways the Mi-28N is a half finished aircraft, the problem I think is the attempt to go from the Mi-24 Hind concept of a daylight fair weather only helo using largely unguided rockets and bombs and ATGMs and cannon or HMG straight to something that is competitive with the Apache model D.

    Operating in the dark and in all weather is not just about NVG and cabin lighting.

    Personally I think they are different enough to warrant operating both types, certainly the Kamov would be best in hot and high conditions and indeed on naval platforms.
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    Post  victor7 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:57 pm

    Any more info on Rssian Kalchuga-M?
    There is some stuff on the Ukranian Kalchuga, but the Russian unit is almost nowehere to be found.

    The Russian version of Kolchuga is called Vera and I think capability vise it is nearly as good if not better. Nebo radars have capacity to detect stealth under jamming environment at around 60km/nm or whatever. These radars are already with S400 batteries in operation. One way to defend would be, i speculate, is to place Nebo radar in layers from western border to the point of interest. Thus even in putting 20 radars roughly 1200KM area is covered. As soon as first radar detects or is bombed, the rest of the systems go on the firing mode.

    Regarding BVR missiles having 5% hit rate, then if Su-35 can find an efficient way to avoid and waste them up, then F22 will have to do the dogfight something which it is not very good at. Its best chances should be to run away in that scenario. However at 4-8 BVR missiles, the probabilities again build up in its favor.

    Russian doctrine has always been Dogfights while Western focus has been on situational awareness i.e. use look first and shoot farther. Mig 29 is an excellent dogfighter and F16/F15s hold disadvantage in a close encounter when Fulcum is in the hands of a good driver. However, most or nearly all Mig29 encounters vrs F15/F16 have been a) Migs was badly outnumbered b) were flying against AWACS type support c) pilots on Fulcrums that needed repairs and crucial items not functioning d) badly performing pilots.

    Wikipedia reports that in 1999, 2 Indian Fulcrums had a BVR lock on the Pakistani F-16s but chose not to release as orders were not granted given the fact Pak F16s were on their side of the border. That would have been the first Fulcrum kill of the F16. Mig23 has however killed F16 in 1980s Afghanistan, event attributed to various factors which are not in clearity.
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    Post  victor7 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:08 pm

    DO NOT HAVE TO AGREE BUT WORTH A READ:



    MiG-29 Fulcrum Versus F-16 Viper

    The baseline MiG-29 for this comparison will be the MiG-29A (except for 200 kg more fuel and an internal jammer, the MiG-29C was not an improvement over the MiG-29A), as this was the most widely deployed version of the aircraft. The baseline F-16 will be the F-16C Block 40. Although there is a more advanced and powerful version of the F-16C, the Block 40 was produced and fielded during the height of Fulcrum production.

    A combat loaded MiG-29A tips the scales at approximately 38, 500 pounds. This figure includes a full load of internal fuel, two AA-10A Alamo missiles, four AA-11 Archer missiles, 150 rounds of 30mm ammunition and a full centerline 1,500 liter external fuel tank. With 18,600 pounds of thrust per engine, this gives the Fulcrum a takeoff thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.97:1. A similarly loaded air-to-air configured F-16 Block 40 would carry four AIM-120 AMRAAM active radar-guided missiles, two AIM-9M IR-guided missiles, 510 rounds of 20mm ammunition and a 300 gallon external centerline fuel tank. In this configuration, the F-16 weighs 31,640 pounds. With 29,000 pounds of thrust, the F-16 has a takeoff thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.92:1. The reader should be cautioned that these thrust-to-weight ratios are based on uninstalled thrust. Once an engine is installed in the aircraft, it produces less thrust than it does on a test stand due to the air intake allowing in less air than the engine has available on the test stand.
    The actual installed thrust-to-weight ratios vary based on the source. On average, they are in the 1:1 regime or better for both aircraft. The centerline fuel tanks can be jettisoned and probably would be if the situation dictated with an associated decrease in drag and weight and an increase in performance.

    Speed

    Both aircraft display good performance throughout their flight regimes in the comparison configuration. The MiG-29 enjoys a speed advantage at high altitude with a flight manual limit of Mach 2.3. The F-16’s high altitude limit is
    Mach 2.05 but this is more of a limit of inlet design. The MiG-29 has variable geometry inlets to control the shock wave that forms in the inlet and prevent supersonic flow from reaching the engine. The F-16 employs a simple fixed-geometry inlet with a sharp upper lip that extends out beyond the lower portion of the inlet. A shock wave forms on this lip and prevents the flow in the intake from going supersonic. The objective is to keep the air going into the engine subsonic unlike a certain ‘subject matter expert’ on this website who thinks that the air should be accelerated to even higher speeds than the aircraft is traveling. Supersonic air in the compressor section? That’s bad.

    Both aircraft have the same indicated airspeed limit at lower altitudes of
    810 knots. This would require the centerline tanks to be jettisoned. The placard limits for the tanks are 600 knots or Mach 1.6 (Mach 1.5 for the MiG-29) whichever less is. It was the researcher’s experience that the MiG-29 would probably not reach this limit unless a dive was initiated. The F-16 Block 40 will easily reach 800 knots on the deck. In fact, power must be reduced to avoid exceeding placard limits. The limit is not thrust, as the F-16 has been test flown on the plus side of 900 knots. The limit for the F-16 is the canopy. Heating due to air friction at such speeds will cause the polycarbonate canopy to get soft and ultimately fail.

    Turning Capability

    The MiG-29 and F-16 are both considered 9 G aircraft. Until the centerline tank is empty, the Fulcrum is limited to four Gs and the Viper to seven Gs. The
    MiG-29 is also limited to seven Gs above Mach 0.85 while the F-16, once the centerline tank is empty (or jettisoned) can go to nine Gs regardless of airspeed or Mach number. The MiG-29’s seven G limit is due to loads on the vertical stabilizers. MAPO has advertised that the Fulcrum could be stressed to 12 Gs and still not hurt the airframe. This statement is probably wishful and boastful. The German Luftwaffe, which flew its MiG-29s probably more aggressively than any other operator, experienced cracks in the structure at the base of the vertical tails. The F-16 can actually exceed nine Gs without overstressing the airframe. Depending on configuration, momentary overshoots to as much as 10.3 Gs will not cause any concern with aircraft maintainers.

    Handling

    Of the four fighters I have flown, the MiG-29 has by far the worst handling qualities. The hydro-mechanical flight control system uses an artificial feel system of springs and pulleys to simulate control force changes with varying airspeeds and altitudes. There is a stability augmentation system that makes the aircraft easier to fly but also makes the aircraft more sluggish to flight control inputs. It is my opinion that the jet is more responsive with the augmentation system disengaged. Unfortunately, this was allowed for demonstration purposes only as this also disengages the angle-of-attack (AoA) limiter. Stick forces are relatively light but the stick requires a lot of movement to get the desired response. This only adds to sluggish feeling of the aircraft. The entire time you are flying, the stick will move randomly about one-half inch on its own with a corresponding movement of the flight control surface. Flying the Fulcrum requires constant attention. If the pilot takes his hand off the throttles, the throttles probably won't stay in the position in which they were left. They'll probably slide back into the 'idle' position.

    The Fulcrum is relatively easy to fly during most phases of flight such as takeoff, climb, cruise and landing. However, due to flight control limitations, the pilot must work hard to get the jet to respond the way he wants. This is especially evident in aggressive maneuvering, flying formation or during attempts to employ the gun. Aerial gunnery requires very precise handling in order to be successful. The MiG-29’s handling qualities in no way limit the ability of the pilot to perform his mission, but they do dramatically increase his workload. The F-16’s quadruple-redundant digital flight control system, on the other hand, is extremely responsive, precise and smooth throughout the flight regime.

    There is no auto-trim system in the MiG-29 as in the F-16. Trimming the aircraft is practically an unattainable state of grace in the Fulcrum. The trim of the aircraft is very sensitive to changes in airspeed and power and requires constant attention. Changes to aircraft configuration such as raising and lowering the landing gear and flaps cause significant changes in pitch trim that the pilot must be prepared for. As a result, the MiG-29 requires constant attention to fly. The F-16 auto-trims to one G or for whatever G the pilot has manually trimmed the aircraft for.

    The MiG-29 flight control system also has an AoA limiter that limits the allowable AoA to 26°. As the aircraft reaches the limit, pistons at the base of the stick push the stick forward and reduce the AoA about 5°. The pilot has to fight the flight controls to hold the jet at 26°. The limiter can be overridden, however, with about 17 kg more back pressure on the stick. While not entirely unsafe and at times tactically useful, care must be taken not to attempt to roll the aircraft with ailerons when above 26° AoA. In this case it is best to control roll with the rudders due to adverse yaw caused by the ailerons at high AoA. The F-16 is electronically limited to 26° AoA. While the pilot cannot manually override this limit it is possible to overshoot under certain conditions and risk departure from controlled flight. This is a disadvantage to the F-16 but is a safety margin due its lack of longitudinal stability. Both aircraft have a lift limit of approximately
    35° AoA.

    Combat Scenario

    The ultimate comparison of two fighter aircraft comes down to a combat duel between them. After the Berlin Wall came down the reunified Germany inherited 24 MiG-29s from the Nationale Volksarmee of East Germany. The lessons of capitalism were not lost on MAPO-MiG (the Fulcrum’s manufacturer) who saw this as an opportunity to compare the Fulcrum directly with western types during NATO training exercises. MAPO was quick to boast how the MiG-29 had bested F-15s and F-16s in mock aerial combat. They claimed a combination of the MiG’s superior sensors, weapons and low radar cross section allowed the Fulcrum to beat western aircraft. However, much of the early exploitation was done more to ascertain the MiG-29’s capabilities versus attempting to determine what the outcome of actual combat would be. The western press was also quick to pick up on the theme. In 1991, Benjamin Lambeth cited an article in Jane’s Defence Weekly which stated that the German MiG-29s had beaten F-16s with simulated BVR range shots of more than 60 km. How was this possible when the MiG-29 cannot launch an AA-10A Alamo from outside about 25 km? Was this a case of the fish getting bigger with every telling of the story? The actual BVR capability of the MiG-29 was my biggest disappointment. Was it further exposure to the German Fulcrums in realistic training that showed the jet for what it truly is? It seems that MAPO’s free advertising backfired in the end as further orders were limited to the 18 airplanes sold to Malaysia.

    If F-16Cs and MiG-29s face off in aerial combat, both would detect each other on the radar at comparable range. Armed with the AIM-120 AMRAAM, the F-16s would have the first shot opportunity at more than twice the range as the Fulcrums. A single F-16 would be able to discriminately target individual and multiple Fulcrums. The MiG-29’s radar will not allow this. If there is more than one F-16 in a formation, a Fulcrum pilot would not know exactly which F-16 the radar had locked and he can engage only one F-16 at a time. A Viper pilot can launch AMRAAMS against multiple MiG-29s on the first pass and support his missiles via data link until the missiles go active. He can break the radar lock and leave or continue to the visual arena and employ short range infrared guided missiles or the gun. The Fulcrum pilot must wait until about 13 nautical miles (24 kilometers) before he can shoot his BVR missile. The Alamo is a semi-active missile that must be supported by the launching aircraft until impact. This brings the Fulcrum pilot closer to the AMRAAM. In fact, just as the the Fulcrum pilot gets in range to fire an Alamo, the AMRAAM is seconds away from impacting his aircraft. The advantage goes to the F-16.

    What if both pilots are committed to engage visually? The F-16 should have the initial advantage as he knows the Fulcrum’s exact altitude and has the target designator box in the head-up display (HUD) to aid in visual acquisition. The Fulcrum’s engines smoke heavily and are a good aid to gaining sight of the adversary. Another advantage is the F-16’s large bubble canopy with 360° field-of-view. The Fulcrum pilot’s HUD doesn’t help much in gaining sight of the F-16. The F-16 is small and has a smokeless engine. The MiG-29 pilot sets low in his cockpit and visibility between the 4 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions is virtually nonexistent.

    Charts that compare actual maneuvering performance of the two aircraft are classified. It was the researcher’s experience that the aircraft have comparable initial turning performance. However, the MiG-29 suffers from a higher energy bleed rate than the F-16. This is due to high induced drag on the airframe during high-G maneuvering. F-16 pilots that have flown against the Fulcrum have made similar observations that the F-16 can sustain a high-G turn longer. This results in a turn rate advantage that translates into a positional advantage for the F-16.

    The F-16 is also much easier to fly and is more responsive at slow speed.
    The Fulcrum’s maximum roll rate is 160° per second. At slow speed this decreases to around 20° per second. Coupled with the large amount of stick movement required, the Fulcrum is extremely sluggish at slow speed. Maneuvering to defeat a close-range gun shot is extremely difficult if the airplane won’t move. For comparison, the F-16’s slow speed roll rate is a little more than 80° per second.

    A lot has been written and theorized about the so-called “Cobra Maneuver” that impresses people at airshows. MAPO claimed that no western fighter dare do this same maneuver in public. They also claimed that the Cobra could be used to break the radar lock of an enemy fighter (due to the slow airspeed, there is no Doppler signal for the radar to track) or point the nose of the aircraft to employ weapons. Western fighter pilots were content to let the Russians brag and hope for the opportunity to see a MiG-29 give up all its airspeed. The fact that this maneuver is prohibited in the flight manual only validates the fact that this maneuver was a stunt. Lambeth was the first American to get a flight in the Fulcrum. Even his pilot conceded that the Cobra required a specially prepared aircraft and was prohibited in operational MiG-29 units

    Another maneuver performed by the Fulcrum during its introduction to the West is the so-called “Tail Slide”. The nose of the jet is brought to 90° pitch and the airspeed is allowed to decay. Eventually, the Fulcrum begins to “slide” back, tail-first, until the nose drops and the jet begins to fly normally again. The Soviets boasted this maneuver demonstrated how robust the engines were as this would cause western engines to flameout. The first maneuver demonstrated to me during my F-15 training was the Tail Slide. The engines did not flameout. :-)

    The MiG-29 is not without strong points. The pilot can override the angle of attack limiter. This is especially useful in vertical maneuvering or in last ditch attempts to bring weapons to bear or defeat enemy shots. The HMS and AA-11 Archer make the Fulcrum a deadly foe in the visual arena. The AA-11 is far superior to the American AIM-9M. By merely turning his head, the MiG pilot can bring an Archer to bear. The one limitation, however, is that the Fulcrum pilot has no cue as to where the Archer seeker head is actually looking. This makes it impossible to determine if the missile is tracking the target, a flare, or some other hot spot in the background. (Note: the AIM-9X which is already fielded on the F-15C, and to be fielded on the F-16 in 2007, is far superior to the AA-11)

    Fulcrum pilots have enjoyed their most success with the HMS/Archer combination in one versus one training missions. In this sterile environment, where both aircraft start within visual range of each other, the MiG-29 has a great advantage. Not because it is more maneuverable than the F-16. That is most certainly not the case regardless of the claims of the Fulcrum’s manufacturer and numerous other misinformed propaganda sources. The weapon/sensor integration with the HMS and Archer makes close-in missile employment extremely easy for the Fulcrum’s pilot. My only one versus one fight against a MiG-29 (in something other than another MiG-29) was flown in an F-16 Block 52. This was done against a German MiG-29 at Nellis AFB, Nevada. The F-16 outturned and out-powered the Fulcrum in every situation.

    The Fulcrum’s gun system is fairly accurate as long as the target does not attempt to defeat the shot. If the target maneuvers, the gunsight requires large corrections to get back to solution. Coupled with the jet’s imprecise handling, this makes close-in maneuvering difficult. This is very important when using the gun. Although the Fulcrum has a 30 mm cannon, the muzzle velocity is no more than the 20 mm rounds coming out of the F-16’s gun. The MiG’s effective gun range is actually less than that of the F-16 as the 20 mm rounds are more aerodynamic and maintain their velocity longer.

    If the fight lasts very long, the MiG pilot is at a decided disadvantage and must either kill his foe or find a timely opportunity to leave the fight without placing himself on the defensive. The Fulcrum A holds only 300 pounds more internal fuel than the F-16 and its two engines go through it quickly. There are no fuel flow gauges in the cockpit. Using the clock and the fuel gauge, in full afterburner the MiG-29 uses fuel 3.5 to 4 times faster than the Viper. My shortest MiG-29 sortie was 16 minutes from brake release to touchdown.

    It should not be forgotten that fights between fighters do not occur in a vacuum. One-versus-one comparisons are one thing, but start to include other fighters into the fray and situational awareness (SA) plays an even bigger role. The lack of SA-building tools for MiG-29 pilots will become an even bigger factor if they have more aircraft to keep track of. Poor radar and HUD displays, poor cockpit ergonomics and poor handling qualities added to the Fulcrum pilot’s workload and degraded his overall SA. It was my experience during one-versus-one scenarios emphasizing dogfighting skills, the results came down to pilot skill.

    In multi-ship scenarios, such as a typical four versus four training mission, the advantage clearly went to the side with the highest SA. Against F-15s and F-16s in multi-ship fights, the MiG-29s were always outclassed. It was nearly impossible to use the great potential of the HMS/Archer combination when all the Eagles and Vipers couldn’t be accounted for and the Fulcrums were on the defensive. The MiG-29’s design was a result of the Soviet view on tactical aviation and the level of technology available to their aircraft industry. The pilot was not meant to have a lot of SA. The center of fighter execution was the ground controller. The pilot’s job was to do as instructed and not to make independent decisions. Even the data link system in the MiG-29 was not meant to enhance the pilot’s SA. He was merely linked steering, altitude and heading cues to follow from the controller. If the MiG-29 pilot is cut off from his controller, his autonomous capabilities are extremely limited. Western fighter pilots are given the tools they need to make independent tactical decisions. The mission commander is a pilot on the scene. All other assets are there to assist and not to direct. If the F-16 pilot loses contact with support assets such as the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, he has all the tools to complete the mission autonomously.

    The combat record of the MiG-29 speaks for itself. American F-15s and F-
    16s (a Dutch F-16 shot down a MiG-29 during Operation Allied Force) have downed MiG-29s every time there has been encounters between the types. The only known MiG-29 “victories” occurred during Operation Desert Storm when an Iraqi MiG-29 shot down his own wingman on the first night of the war and a Cuban MiG-29 brought down 2 “mighty” Cessnas. Are there more victories for the Fulcrum? Not against F-15s or F-16s.

    Designed and built to counter the fourth generation American fighters, The MiG-29 Fulcrum was a concept that was technologically and doctrinally hindered from the beginning. Feared in the west prior to the demise of the Soviet Union, it was merely an incremental improvement to the earlier Soviet fighters it replaced. Its lack of a market when put in direct competition to western designs should attest to its shortcomings. The German pilots who flew the aircraft said that the MiG-29 looked good at an airshow but they wouldn’t have wanted to take one to combat. Advanced versions such as the SMT and MiG-33? Certainly better but has anyone bought one?

    Lt. Col. Johann Köck, commander of the German MiG-29 squadron from
    September 1995 to September 1997, was outspoken in his evaluation of the Fulcrum. “It has no range, its navigation system is unreliable and the radar breaks often and does not lend it self to autonomous operations”, he said. He added that the best mission for NATO MiG-29s would be as a dedicated adversary aircraft for other NATO fighters and not as part of NATO’s frontline fighter force.
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    victor7

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    Post  victor7 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:18 pm

    One thing I would agree above is the concept of ground controller calling shots to the Migs in the air. This is nonsense, going back to Soviet thinking that every single decision has to come from Kremlim.

    Also heard that Mig29s Pilots had to be Octopus i.e. work harder in cockpit i.e. throwing both hands in 360 degrees to run the show but F16s majority of items were automated making life easier for the Pilot to focus on Situational Awareness. Fly by Wire concept came little late to Soviet/Russian mindset.

    However, in last 20 years, Russian Aviation has done some decent catching up and old school Soviet thinking has been much replaced.
    TR1
    TR1

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    Post  TR1 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:04 pm

    victor7 wrote:
    Any more info on Rssian Kalchuga-M?
    There is some stuff on the Ukranian Kalchuga, but the Russian unit is almost nowehere to be found.



    Russian doctrine has always been Dogfights while Western focus has been on situational awareness i.e. use look first and shoot farther. Mig 29 is an excellent dogfighter and F16/F15s hold disadvantage in a close encounter when Fulcum is in the hands of a good driver.

    What is interesting, is the most numerous "new" Western fighter to emerge at the end of the Cold War, the F-16, was completely outmatched in BVR by MiG-29, by Su-27, hell by MiG-23. Why? It had no BVR capability at all, until post Cold War AMRAAM integration. The only F-16s with any sort of BVR, where the Air National Guard units (F-16ADF) converted to use Sparrow, starting in Feb 1989.

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