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The-thing-next-door
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    US Air-to-Air Missiles

    kvs
    kvs


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    Post  kvs Thu Jul 11, 2024 2:54 pm

    The US still has a gap in its capability due to a lack of a Mig-31 type craft. It can't deploy a Kinzhal type weapon if it ever develops one.
    There are constraints that cannot be worked around with existing systems.

    lancelot and Mir like this post

    Gomig-21
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    Post  Gomig-21 Thu Jul 11, 2024 3:18 pm

    kvs wrote:The US still has a gap in its capability due to a lack of a Mig-31 type craft.   It can't deploy a Kinzhal type weapon if it ever develops one.
    There are constraints that cannot be worked around with existing systems.  

    Funny you mentioned this; I made one of my brilliant suggestion ( lol1 ) on an Iranian subforum that since Kazhakstan has a few stored MiG-31s and supposedly is offering them for sale (not sure how many but who cares, even just 2) that Iran should jump on that. Considering the IRIAF's "restraints" to put it mildly, it could acquire a few of those, develop one of its potent ballistic missiles into an air-launched weapon and it would have that additional, strategic threat similar to (obviously not as potent) as the VKS' MiG-31/Kinzhal combination. That would give its potential 2 major enemies even more pause on attacking it. You just reminded me of how valuable my military consultation services are, thank you, sir. cheers

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    GarryB
    GarryB


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    Post  GarryB Fri Jul 12, 2024 12:34 am

    A MiG-31 type aircraft is important for a missile like Kinzhal or even R-33 or R-37 because they are solid rocket motor weapons... the higher and faster you can launch them the faster and further they go.

    With a scramjet powered missile high flight speed for launch is not so critical, though obviously a higher altitude launch is still a very good thing.

    A scramjet can efficiently use its thrust level and fuel burn rate to efficiently accelerate to high speed and higher altitude without wasting energy.

    Very simply an Iskander launched from the ground uses maximum thrust at lift off because it needs to overcome gravity and a thick atmosphere, but that thick atmosphere also limits the top speed the missile can fly at so it will try to climb as fast as it can because the faster it can get higher up into the air the faster it can go.

    A civilian airliner flying at 10km altitude can fly 800-850km/h without using full thrust settings. When taking off there is no way it could fly that fast at low altitude because the air is thicker and it would need more thrust to push through the air.

    A sidewinder missile is a mach 2.5 missile when launched at altitude, but at very low altitude it does not reach such speeds and its effective flight range is much much shorter. (it is the same for all air to air missiles of course that are rocket powered.)

    The point is that at sea level an Iskander or Kinzhal will only fly at maybe mach 3 or mach 4, but if it climbs and reaches altitude it can be moving at mach 6 to mach 7 in the case of the Iskander and 8-9 with the Kinzhal. That extra speed and the fact that it is already in the air and moving means the Kinzhal can reach three times further than an Iskander because it can use that extra energy to climb even higher where the air is thinner and it flys more efficiently... and when it approaches the target it can recover the energy used to gain height by diving on the target and accelerating under the force of gravity.

    What I am trying to say is that for rocket powered missiles the only in service option for the Americans would be their B-52s, though their B-1Bs could be modified to be a sort of a Backfire like platform... but they keep talking about retiring it too.

    Their B-52s launched their X-15s and a few other systems... being subsonic is not an issue... just stick a huge solid propellant rocket stage on the weapon you are using and you can get 18km altitude launches and mach 2.5 flight speeds that way.

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