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    Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

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    nastle77
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    Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  nastle77 on Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:50 pm

    The Mig-31 in  soviet times carried the earlier models of the R-33 ( i.e before 1990)

    1-How effective was it against cruise missiles ? was it ever tested against them ?

    2-Can it be used against anti-ship missiles like Harpoon ?

    3-Can 4 of them be launched against separate targets at the same time ?

    4-Was it tested against fighter sized targets ?

    If anybody has details of the tests that would be great
    Thanks

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  nastle77 on Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:58 pm

    ^ thanks cucumber Khan


    In fact it is the poor performance of missiles at low altitudes that led to the Soviet and Russian practise of fitting IR seekers to BVR missiles on their fighters.
    From a high altitude high speed launch an R-27E model AAM can hit a target that is 80kms away at the time of launch. At low altitude that figure is more like 20kms... which sounds bad till you realise that for a Sidewinder class missile can barely reach a quarter of that at low altitude.
    Of course the other reason was that BVR IR guided weapons complimented radar homing weapons of all types. A closing target can be fired upon from long range with a radar homing missile but a receding target is hard to get a lock on and so lock on range for a radar homing missile is much shorter. For an IR guided weapon a receding target is showing its engine exhausts and it is the ideal lock on angle for an IR missile... the only problem is that small IR guided missiles lack the legs to chase down a target heading away from you so BVR IR missiles are ideal.

    Didn't the soviets also have the IR options for the AA-7 Apex and AA-7 acrid as well ?

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Berkut on Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:52 pm

    nastle77 wrote:The Mig-31 in  soviet times carried the earlier models of the R-33 ( i.e before 1990)

    1-How effective was it against cruise missiles ? was it ever tested against them ?

    2-Can it be used against anti-ship missiles like Harpoon ?

    3-Can 4 of them be launched against separate targets at the same time ?

    4-Was it tested against fighter sized targets ?

    If anybody has details of the tests that would be great
    Thanks

    What do you mean by "earlier" models of R-33? The R-33 is used today is basically the same that was used in the 80's. In fact i am not sure if new R-33's has been produced since early 90's, maybe not counting R-33S... So your questions apply to today too.

    1 - Yes. In fact they test use it for that purpose about yearly for the last few years. They last did it in may.

    2 - No. (<-original answer but i misread the question, so my new answer is "I don't know, but possible")

    3 - I can't remember for sure with vanilla MiG-31's, but yes, i believe this could be done even with them. With BM's, certainly.

    4 - Yes.


    Last edited by Berkut on Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:27 am; edited 1 time in total

    nastle77
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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  nastle77 on Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:11 am

    Berkut wrote:
    nastle77 wrote:The Mig-31 in  soviet times carried the earlier models of the R-33 ( i.e before 1990)

    1-How effective was it against cruise missiles ? was it ever tested against them ?

    2-Can it be used against anti-ship missiles like Harpoon ?

    3-Can 4 of them be launched against separate targets at the same time ?

    4-Was it tested against fighter sized targets ?

    If anybody has details of the tests that would be great
    Thanks

    What do you mean by "earlier" models of R-33? The R-33 is used today is basically the same that was used in the 80's. In fact i am not sure if new R-33's has been produced since early 90's, maybe not counting R-33S... So your questions apply to today too.

    1 - Yes. In fact they test use it for that purpose about yearly for the last few years. They last did it in may.

    2 - No.

    3 - I can't remember for sure with vanilla MiG-31's, but yes, i believe this could be done even with them. With BM's, certainly.

    4 - Yes.
    thanks
    is there a way to get some articles on those tests ?

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:35 am

    Pretty much all in service Soviet AAMs... AA-2, AA-3, AA-6, AA-7, and AA-10 has IR and SARH versions... later models even had a passive radar homing to lock onto the nose radar of aircraft guiding SARH missiles.

    The AA-8, AA-9, and AA-11 did not have both options... AA-8 and AA-11 were IR only and the AA-9 was SARH only.

    AA-12 and AA-13 also seem to be only ARH (The inservice ones seen so far anyway).


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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:36 pm

    1-How effective was it against cruise missiles ? was it ever tested against them ?

    It would have been rather effective against cruise missiles... they pretty much fly straight and level most of the time and do not defend themselves.

    Performance against an enemy bomber would be less impressive.

    2-Can it be used against anti-ship missiles like Harpoon ?

    It would not matter what sort of missile it was I presume... a Harpoon cruising to its target area would be very similar to a strategic nuclear cruise missile...

    3-Can 4 of them be launched against separate targets at the same time ?

    Yes, and over a much more widely separated area than the F-14/Phoenix could manage due to the electronically scanned PESA radar.

    4-Was it tested against fighter sized targets ?

    Its primary role was against cruise missiles and large aircraft like bombers or AWACS aircraft. It would not be ideal against a fighter aircraft.

    If anybody has details of the tests that would be great

    I seem to remember a test where a MiG-31 was flying at 6,000m and engaged a target 20km away that was flying at 20m altitude int he late 1980s.

    Nowdays I suspect they will be transfering to R-37M missiles which can engage 8g targets so would be much better able to engage enemy fighter aircraft as well as missiles and bombers/AWACs/JSTARS/tanker aricraft.


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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Giulio on Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:38 am

    nastle77 wrote:The Mig-31 in  soviet times carried the earlier models of the R-33 ( i.e before 1990)

    1-How effective was it against cruise missiles ? was it ever tested against them ?

    Thanks

    Against subsonic "conventional" cruise missile you can use also infrared missiles, as already written a cruise missile does not defend itself, except with the low flight with terrain following. The problem are above all enemy bombers, their stealthiness and their ecm and eccm. The ecm could make invisible a bomber almost as much as the stealth. But above all if you hit the enemy bombers at a distance greater than the range of their missiles, you don't need to chase enemy cruise missiles. E.g. if a cruise missile has a range of 500 miles, you must hit the bombers before they arriving whitin 500 miles from their target. I think that an r-33 missile for an enemy cruise missile is a waste. If you hit a bomber you can hit up to 20 cruise missiles at once. On the sea I think it is different because the cruise missiles like the as-4 are high supersonic.

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:22 pm

    I think that an r-33 missile for an enemy cruise missile is a waste. If you hit a bomber you can hit up to 20 cruise missiles at once. On the sea I think it is different because the cruise missiles like the as-4 are high supersonic.

    Waste is the wrong word... firing an R-33 missile at an enemy cruise missile will stop that nuclear warhead from destroying a city or base... it would be well worth the effort.

    It would not be an efficient way to deal with a large scale attack, but it would be worth it if it came down to it... remember the US does not have any supersonic bombers coming over the north pole, so the MiGs might have the chance to fly out and intercept and then return to a nearby base and attack again...

    On the sea I think it is different because the cruise missiles like the as-4 are high supersonic.

    Ex Soviet anti ship missiles would be a difficult target because of their speed, but most western anti ship missiles are subsonic.


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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  nastle77 on Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:00 am

    GarryB wrote:Pretty much all in service Soviet AAMs... AA-2, AA-3, AA-6, AA-7, and AA-10 has IR and SARH versions... later models even had a passive radar homing to lock onto the nose radar of aircraft guiding SARH missiles.

    The AA-8, AA-9, and AA-11 did not have both options... AA-8 and AA-11 were IR only and the AA-9 was SARH only.

    AA-12 and AA-13 also seem to be only ARH (The inservice ones seen so far anyway).

    How effective was the R-60 AA-8 as an IR weapon ? DId it have an all aspect capability ?

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  nastle77 on Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:35 am

    GarryB wrote:
    1-How effective was it against cruise missiles ? was it ever tested against them ?

    It would have been rather effective against cruise missiles... they pretty much fly straight and level most of the time and do not defend themselves.

    Performance against an enemy bomber would be less impressive.

    2-Can it be used against anti-ship missiles like Harpoon ?

    It would not matter what sort of missile it was I presume... a Harpoon cruising to its target area would be very similar to a strategic nuclear cruise missile...

    3-Can 4 of them be launched against separate targets at the same time ?

    Yes, and over a much more widely separated area than the F-14/Phoenix could manage due to the electronically scanned PESA radar.

    4-Was it tested against fighter sized targets ?

    Its primary role was against cruise missiles and large aircraft like bombers or AWACS aircraft. It would not be ideal against a fighter aircraft.

    If anybody has details of the tests that would be great

    I seem to remember a test where a MiG-31 was flying at 6,000m and engaged a target 20km away that was flying at 20m altitude int he late 1980s.

    Nowdays I suspect they will be transfering to R-37M missiles which can engage 8g targets so would be much better able to engage enemy fighter aircraft as well as missiles and bombers/AWACs/JSTARS/tanker aricraft.

    Thank you !
    If a fighter sized target is laden with weapons and cannot maneuver then I guess it might be easier, and if it jettison its weapons to take evasive action then I guess it serves the purpose ?

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    Soviet AA missiles

    Post  GarryB on Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:06 am

    Like all missiles it evolved over time and its performance improved.

    It is my understanding that the R-60M had all aspect homing, earlier versions did not.

    It was a good missile but not in the same class as the much larger Sidewinder which had twice the weight...

    It was carried by a wide range of aircraft as a self defence dogfight missile and in that role it was certainly a very good missile.

    the larger heavier R-73 was a vastly more capable system with its high off boresight seeker and link to its helmet mounted cueing system.

    Very simply the difference in combat would be that the pilot with R-60M would turn his entire aircraft towards the target and place the target in the centre of his HUD like a gun... and press a button to get a lock. Once lock was acquired the missile was launched and the aircraft was then free to manouver again. While trying to get a lock you would need to manouver the aircraft to follow the target and keep it within about 20 degrees of the nose.

    In comparison the R-73 can be locked by radar or IRST or helmet sight... the missile is powered up and the blinking crosshair in the monocle in front of the pilots eye is simply placed on the target by the pilot looking at the enemy aircraft.... the missiles seeker will turn to the target and when it gets a lock the reticle crosshair will stop flashing and the pilot can fire the missile and then carry on doing what they were doing...

    The R-60 remained in service on some aircraft like the Su-24 and Su-25 as a self defence weapon because of its small size and light weight, while aircraft like the very early MiG-29s that carried the r-60 had them replaced by the R-73 when production was large scale enough to provide enough for all the in service units.

    Eventually the R-73 has replaced the R-60 in most applications because it is rather more capable.


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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:31 am

    Called a mission kill, where the enemy aircraft is not shot down but has to dump its load to survive and can't continue the mission.

    Also unaware targets are vulnerable too.


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    MiG-23/ R-60 tactics

    Post  nastle77 on Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:20 pm

    I have read that the main Mig-23 tactics against other fighters was mainly "hit and run" and to avoid prolonged dogfights
    But then I see the Mig-23P, ML, MLA and MLD had the R-60 which was a ultraclose range weapon designed to counter maneuverable fighters ,from a practical standpoint when was the Mig-23 expected to use this weapon ? WHat is the benefit of having 4 of these weapons with a very short range ?
    since it was outranged by the sidewinder the Wests most common AAM
    Wouldn't it be better to equip the Mig-23 with 4 x R-24 missiles as they would give them longer spear to deal with the sidewinder armed opponents esp when the IR version of this version was essentially a fire and forget weapon

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  George1 on Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:44 pm

    nastle77 wrote:I have read that the main Mig-23 tactics against other fighters was mainly "hit and run" and to avoid prolonged dogfights
    But then I see the Mig-23P, ML, MLA  and MLD had the R-60 which was a ultraclose range weapon designed to counter maneuverable fighters ,from a practical standpoint when was the Mig-23 expected to use this weapon ? WHat is the benefit of having 4 of these weapons with a very short range ?
    since it was outranged by the sidewinder the Wests most common AAM
    Wouldn't it be better to equip the Mig-23 with 4 x R-24 missiles as they would give them longer spear to deal with the sidewinder armed opponents esp when the IR version of this version was essentially a fire and forget weapon

    RS-24 in MiG-23 were used from Syrian Air Force against Israel's F-16s during 1982 Lebanon War, but claims on its success varies.
    Many R-23 kills are also reported in the war between Iran and Iraq from Iraqi MiG-23s vs F-14, F-4 and F-5Es


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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Cucumber Khan on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:19 pm

    George1 wrote:
    nastle77 wrote:I have read that the main Mig-23 tactics against other fighters was mainly "hit and run" and to avoid prolonged dogfights
    But then I see the Mig-23P, ML, MLA  and MLD had the R-60 which was a ultraclose range weapon designed to counter maneuverable fighters ,from a practical standpoint when was the Mig-23 expected to use this weapon ? WHat is the benefit of having 4 of these weapons with a very short range ?
    since it was outranged by the sidewinder the Wests most common AAM
    Wouldn't it be better to equip the Mig-23 with 4 x R-24 missiles as they would give them longer spear to deal with the sidewinder armed opponents esp when the IR version of this version was essentially a fire and forget weapon

    RS-24 in MiG-23 were used from Syrian Air Force against Israel's F-16s during 1982 Lebanon War, but claims on its success varies.
    Many R-23 kills are also reported in the war between Iran and Iraq from Iraqi MiG-23s vs F-14, F-4 and F-5Es

    Syria in 1982 had no R-24, only R-23 for their MiG-23MFs. Don't think any R-23 kills in 1982 have been verified. Iraq used both the R-23 and R-24 (and scored kills with both, but mostly with the R-24). Interestingly enough, the first F-14 kill by a MiG-23ML (in 1984) was scored with an R-60.

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Giulio on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:20 am

    I think the only way to shoot down an F-14 with a Mig-23 is the R-60: to play with a Tomcat on the long range distance it may not be a very good idea ....

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  George1 on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:30 am

    Giulio wrote:I think the only way to shoot down an F-14 with a Mig-23 is the R-60: to play with a Tomcat on the long range distance it may not be a very good idea ....

    F-14 had more powerful radar, i think MiG-23 would have been shot down before it could be in firing range for its R-60


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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Giulio on Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:35 am

    Exactly.
    But if you can get close to, the powerful radar is useless.

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Giulio on Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:25 pm

    nastle77 wrote:I have read that the main Mig-23 tactics against other fighters was mainly "hit and run" and to avoid prolonged dogfights
    But then I see the Mig-23P, ML, MLA  and MLD had the R-60 which was a ultraclose range weapon designed to counter maneuverable fighters ,from a practical standpoint when was the Mig-23 expected to use this weapon ? WHat is the benefit of having 4 of these weapons with a very short range ?
    since it was outranged by the sidewinder the Wests most common AAM
    Wouldn't it be better to equip the Mig-23 with 4 x R-24 missiles as they would give them longer spear to deal with the sidewinder armed opponents esp when the IR version of this version was essentially a fire and forget weapon

    AFAIK, in the missile range you have to put the corrections the missile makes to hit a target, so the effective hit of the missile with the target could be long before the "official" missile range. Above all if the target is an incoming target. So the missile range can also be halved, because the trajectory is a curve and not a straight line.
    At the extreme limit of its maximum range, a missile has no chances to correct its trajectory, if the target try to evade.
    The radar-guided missiles were more accurate than early infrared missiles, because the trajectory of the radar-guided missiles was a collision trajectory, where a computer calculates a point in front of the target.
    On the contrary, a IR missile needs above all to get itself behind the target, so its trajectory will be a chase trajectory. This is not good, because the missile needs to chase the target (and in this way the missile burns its propellant and has a limited range) and, if the target evades with a narrow turn, the missile needs to turn even tighter than its target (more G force), because the missile only can to chase.
    Some more sophisticated IR missiles can receive from the computer the target's data up to an instant before the launch. In this way, also the IR missile could get a collision trajectory, in this way the IR missile could be even more dangerous than a radar-missile, because an IR missile is ecm-resistant. These IR missiles do not need to get behind the target and they can be fired in many corners and not only behind the target.
    I don't know if the R-60 could get a collision trajectory.

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  nastle77 on Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:23 am

    GarryB wrote:It was probably available in 1982, but such weapons were not purchased in enormous numbers... the Soviet Airforce neglected purchasing expensive guided weapons.

    They had a variety of guided air to ground weapon types but their numbers in service were small and while a wide range of aircraft could carry the AS-13, it was the expensive ground attack aircraft only that carried it... ie Su-24M.

    I would not expect them to have enormous numbers of the system but the air units that would have deployed it would have been Fencer units.
    understandable so for example the R73 AA11 archer was not available in enormous numbers in the late 80s yet enough to equip atleast every mig29 with 2 rounds and maybe su27 with a couple

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:28 pm

    Archer is a very capable missile for two main reasons... it has a good seeker, and it has thrust vectoring control which allows it to perform hard turns off the pylon if needed.

    It should be remembered that the IR guided models of R-27 have the same model IR seekers as the R-73 and because of the larger missile body have a wider off boresight capability of 55 degrees instead of the R-73s 45 degrees.

    It was not available in enormous numbers in the mid 80s when it entered service, but light AAMs are like MANPADS or cruise missiles... they are relatively cheap to mass produce... by the late 1980s they would have plenty, though not for export customers...

    They would easily have had enough to deal with most western aircraft in NATO by the end of the 1980s... remember at the time NATO relied on Sidewinders and WVR combat because they thought they had the edge in fighter pilot training... R-73 and Helmet mounted sights would have obliterated NATO forces and they would have had to rely on BVR capability... and ironically their main fighter... the F-16 didn't have AMRAAM then so it would be useless. F-15s would have been at a serious disadvantage against R-27 armed MiG-29s let alone Su-27s...


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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  nastle77 on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:02 am

    GarryB wrote:Archer is a very capable missile for two main reasons... it has a good seeker, and it has thrust vectoring control which allows it to perform hard turns off the pylon if needed.

    It should be remembered that the IR guided models of R-27 have the same model IR seekers as the R-73 and because of the larger missile body have a wider off boresight capability of 55 degrees instead of the R-73s 45 degrees.

    It was not available in enormous numbers in the mid 80s when it entered service, but light AAMs are like MANPADS or cruise missiles... they are relatively cheap to mass produce... by the late 1980s they would have plenty, though not for export customers...

    They would easily have had enough to deal with most western aircraft in NATO by the end of the 1980s... remember at the time NATO relied on Sidewinders and WVR combat because they thought they had the edge in fighter pilot training... R-73 and Helmet mounted sights would have obliterated NATO forces and they would have had to rely on BVR capability... and ironically their main fighter... the F-16 didn't have AMRAAM then so it would be useless. F-15s would have been at a serious disadvantage against R-27 armed MiG-29s let alone Su-27s...

    Thanks ! What was the reason that the F-16 was not given any BVR weapons other than the ADF variant that served with USAF.I mean esp since even the Mig-23MF/ML had BVR weapons
    I know its off-topic I apologize

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  Svyatoslavich on Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:49 am

    nastle77 wrote:
    Thanks ! What was the reason that the F-16 was not given any BVR weapons other than the ADF variant that served with USAF.I mean esp since even the Mig-23MF/ML had BVR weapons
    I know its off-topic I apologize
    It was thought a waste of money to integrate AIM-7 into the F-16 when AMRAAM was being developed. Also, F-16 was originally designed as a sort of "hi-tech" MiG-21: fast, agile, focused only on air combat, mainly WVR.

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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  eridan on Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:37 am

    GarryB wrote:Archer is a very capable missile for two main reasons... it has a good seeker, and it has thrust vectoring control which allows it to perform hard turns off the pylon if needed.

    It should be remembered that the IR guided models of R-27 have the same model IR seekers as the R-73 and because of the larger missile body have a wider off boresight capability of 55 degrees instead of the R-73s 45 degrees.

    It was not available in enormous numbers in the mid 80s when it entered service, but light AAMs are like MANPADS or cruise missiles... they are relatively cheap to mass produce... by the late 1980s they would have plenty, though not for export customers...

    They would easily have had enough to deal with most western aircraft in NATO by the end of the 1980s... remember at the time NATO relied on Sidewinders and WVR combat because they thought they had the edge in fighter pilot training... R-73 and Helmet mounted sights would have obliterated NATO forces and they would have had to rely on BVR capability... and ironically their main fighter... the F-16 didn't have AMRAAM then so it would be useless. F-15s would have been at a serious disadvantage against R-27 armed MiG-29s let alone Su-27s...

    Archer of today has a quite outdated seeker, even in its M variant. Archer of mid 80s had an average seeker for the time, sensitivity wise and decoy discrimination wise. It was really first generation of all aspect seekers for soviets then. Of course, its off boresight acquisition envelope was best there it at the time. Using AIM9 production rate during the 80s for comparison, archer might have been available in decent numbers, at least a few thousand if not almost ten thousand by end of Cold war. But then again, aim9 was carried by majority of NATO planes. Archer on the other hand was enabled for carriage by less than 2000 WP planes (15%). So in that regard maybe "a few thousand" is a more realistic figure.

    So that's some 2000 WP fighters using archer vs some 6000 NATO fighters using aim9L/M at the end of Cold war.

    HMS was a great addition, but to use it one really needs to be a few km away. Situational awareness, radars and BVR combat would have taken its toll on archer wielding planes before they'd get to such short distances. Even if kill ratio would favor HMS+archer combo in 1 on 1 situations, in reality it'd really be 12 vs 12 before combat, 10 vs 8 after BVR phase and then there's numerical superiority to compensate for lack of HMS and maneuverability.

    Actually, given the numbers of maneuverable planes armed with modern missiles, it'd probably be even worse for WP. They had those 2000 fighters, while NATO had some 3700 maneuverable planes (f16, f15, f18, m2000. Did not count f14 here) with modern missiles. But in many v many fights - maneuverability means less than 1 v 1. Even Mig21 or F4 could have been very useful there IF they had fairly modern systems. But most of mig21 and mig23 did not. While most of F4 did.

    f15s would have been at serious disadvantage against mig-29??? How so? f15 had better radar than mig29, had better bvr missiles and carried twice as many such missiles. It had almost double the flying range, so more tactical options during the battle.

    F16 was initially seen by USAF as a stop gap measure, a cheap wvr fighter only. During the development, USAF planned to buy less than 1000. It was only later on that USAF changed its mind and ordered hundreds more. From mid 80s onwards US realized Soviet union was going to implode so they stopped the f15 production and ordered more of the cheaper f16. Also amraam development got protracted so most f16 didnt get bvr ability until after the cold war, even though its apg68 radar came with amraam support since 1984.

    And r-27t did not initially have the same seeker as initial r-73. They had an older seeker and were upgraded to r-73m class seeker well after the cold war, once r73m tech was ready for production.

    GarryB
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    Re: Soviet Air-to-Air missiles

    Post  GarryB on Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:43 pm

    Thanks ! What was the reason that the F-16 was not given any BVR weapons other than the ADF variant that served with USAF.I mean esp since even the Mig-23MF/ML had BVR weapons
    I know its off-topic I apologize

    The F-16 design was a kneejerk reaction to US experience in Vietnam with big heavy F-4s entering combat against small agile gun armed MiG-21/-19/17/15 etc.

    The F-16 was designed from the basis of the MiG-21 with a margin of superiority... so 30% better this and 30% better that... etc.

    It was supposed to be a sophisticated but cheap multirole fighter that was being developed against aircraft like the big heavy expensive single role F-15C fighter.

    At one point it was expected the F-16 would be cannon armed and have only wing tip Sidewinders as armament as a cheap light simple fighter.

    Eventually they saw sense and it became a more capable multirole fighter bomber with a multi mode radar.

    In USAF use it would always operate with the F-15 and BVR missiles had a fairly poor record anyway.

    The F-16 was born to be a cheap light dogfighter to take control of the air back from small agile MiGs.

    The MiG-23 was a bomber interceptor that used larger missiles to bring down heavier aircraft...

    It was thought a waste of money to integrate AIM-7 into the F-16 when AMRAAM was being developed. Also, F-16 was originally designed as a sort of "hi-tech" MiG-21: fast, agile, focused only on air combat, mainly WVR.

    AMRAAM was not seriously pursued until after Desert Storm and the access they got after the end of the cold war to MiG-29s and R-73s and they realised how much shit they would be in if war had started. Until then BVR missiles were just paid lip service in NATO but after that it was the focus because the no escape zone of the Archer meant even if the western aircraft got a shot off it was probably already dead and in terms of numbers NATO could not afford to trade plane for plane.

    Archer of today has a quite outdated seeker, even in its M variant.

    Archer is not the best available but is still easily able to bring down enemy aircraft in large numbers... against most targets it is more than enough.

    Archer of mid 80s had an average seeker for the time, sensitivity wise and decoy discrimination wise. It was really first generation of all aspect seekers for soviets then. Of course, its off boresight acquisition envelope was best there it at the time. Using AIM9 production rate during the 80s for comparison, archer might have been available in decent numbers, at least a few thousand if not almost ten thousand by end of Cold war. But then again, aim9 was carried by majority of NATO planes. Archer on the other hand was enabled for carriage by less than 2000 WP planes (15%). So in that regard maybe "a few thousand" is a more realistic figure.

    Where is this opinion coming from? The best western missile of the period was the Lima and Mike model Sidewinders and the Archer had a seeker every bit as good and those missiles, so I don't know what you mean by average.

    they didn't need millions of missiles... NATO didn't have thousands of aircraft they could afford to lose.

    During tests in Germany after the cold war no western plane could get near a MiG-29 so would be in an even worse position with Flankers... if the cold war had continued into the 1990s previous generation fighters would have received upgrades to get R-73, but NATO would have still believed it had the training and the best weapons for the job...

    So that's some 2000 WP fighters using archer vs some 6000 NATO fighters using aim9L/M at the end of Cold war.

    2000 fighters that 6000 fighters couldn't get near without being shot down is a massacre waiting to happen.

    Without air cover NATO forces are much less formidable.

    HMS was a great addition, but to use it one really needs to be a few km away. Situational awareness, radars and BVR combat would have taken its toll on archer wielding planes before they'd get to such short distances. Even if kill ratio would favor HMS+archer combo in 1 on 1 situations, in reality it'd really be 12 vs 12 before combat, 10 vs 8 after BVR phase and then there's numerical superiority to compensate for lack of HMS and maneuverability.

    Hahahaha... you do realise that R-27 is every bit as good as Sparrow and that the E models the Flankers carried outranged the Sparrow by quite a margin.

    Most importantly the Soviets had the passive radar model of the R-27 in service in the 1980s... so those F-15s marking targets for their Sparrows to fly towards and hit would be easy targets for passive radar homing R-27s... they wouldn't even know what hit them... they would just keep getting hit by R-27s without warning while guiding their shorter range slower Sparrows. So in reality any F-15 that tries to engage Soviet aircraft at BVR will likely be shot down... and once inside WVR the rest would likely be shot down... it would be a massacre...

    And r-27t did not initially have the same seeker as initial r-73. They had an older seeker and were upgraded to r-73m class seeker well after the cold war, once r73m tech was ready for production.

    No, they initially had the 36T seeker in the R-27T, but the extended E model has the same seeker as the R-73... the MK-80. Neither are IIR, but are good enough to end the flight of any NATO aircraft of the time.


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