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.