Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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marauder2048

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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 08:57

boogieman wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:Handover at >= 10 nautical miles from the target?...
Typical AAMs are going to be 3-5 nautical miles.

Do you have a source on that one? 7-10nm is the terminal handover range I have generally heard passed around for AMRAAM et al. This wrt "typical" 4th gen fighter sized targets and corresponding RCS values etc.


This Raytheon study for DARPA looked at a 6-inch ESA at X-band and Ka-band.
They don't clearly indicate the RCS of the cruise missile target but it's based on
the C-802 and described as "moderately small." Typical terminal handover is 2 - 3 nautical miles.
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boogieman

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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 12:11

Interesting study. Makes sense for a low cost, (relatively) low velocity counter-CM solution but for an AAM? Not so sure. 3nm or less sounds prohibitively short for a weapon that would need to be capable of handling intercepts at closing velocities north of Mach 4. Napkin math gives that weapon 4 seconds or less to complete its handover, make the needed course adjustments and successfully intercept... and that's using the upper bound of 3nm... :shock:

I am fairly sure this subject has been picked to pieces by my fellow DCS fanatics over the years, as ED are pretty pro-active about finding good OSINT on such matters. I might see if anyone over there has found anything more directly relevant.
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milosh

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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 16:45

boogieman wrote:Interesting study. Makes sense for a low cost, (relatively) low velocity counter-CM solution but for an AAM? Not so sure. 3nm or less sounds prohibitively short for a weapon that would need to be capable of handling intercepts at closing velocities north of Mach 4. Napkin math gives that weapon 4 seconds or less to complete its handover, make the needed course adjustments and successfully intercept... and that's using the upper bound of 3nm... :shock:

I am fairly sure this subject has been picked to pieces by my fellow DCS fanatics over the years, as ED are pretty pro-active about finding good OSINT on such matters. I might see if anyone over there has found anything more directly relevant.


New Agat small aesa seeker is similar conception:
https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1 ... 81/photo/1
https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1 ... 84/photo/2
https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1 ... 84/photo/3
https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1 ... 84/photo/4

have 3km lock-on range against 0.003m2 against fighter targets its range is similar to bigger MESA seekers.

Contract is sign and it is planed for R-77M missile. Diameter is 100mm so I expect they can do seeker and warhead mono block so they will free lot of space for engine, some sources mentioned dual pluse engine which would be very logical because R-77 have problem at longer ranges becuase of lower speed which impact grid fins.
Last edited by milosh on 27 Aug 2020, 16:46, edited 1 time in total.
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marauder2048

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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 16:46

boogieman wrote:Interesting study. Makes sense for a low cost, (relatively) low velocity counter-CM solution but for an AAM? Not so sure. 3nm or less sounds prohibitively short for a weapon that would need to be capable of handling intercepts at closing velocities north of Mach 4. Napkin math gives that weapon 4 seconds or less to complete its handover, make the needed course adjustments and successfully intercept... and that's using the upper bound of 3nm... :shock:

I am fairly sure this subject has been picked to pieces by my fellow DCS fanatics over the years, as ED are pretty pro-active about finding good OSINT on such matters. I might see if anyone over there has found anything more directly relevant.


The seeker here has a CPI of 5 milliseconds attached to an ESA that needs to scan an uncertainty volume that's not large
(cross range uncertainty: 1800 ft). 2 seconds of acquisition and 2 seconds of homing is not atypical for AAMs.
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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 17:02

milosh wrote:
boogieman wrote:Interesting study. Makes sense for a low cost, (relatively) low velocity counter-CM solution but for an AAM? Not so sure. 3nm or less sounds prohibitively short for a weapon that would need to be capable of handling intercepts at closing velocities north of Mach 4. Napkin math gives that weapon 4 seconds or less to complete its handover, make the needed course adjustments and successfully intercept... and that's using the upper bound of 3nm... :shock:

I am fairly sure this subject has been picked to pieces by my fellow DCS fanatics over the years, as ED are pretty pro-active about finding good OSINT on such matters. I might see if anyone over there has found anything more directly relevant.


New Agat small aesa seeker is similar conception:
https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1 ... 81/photo/1
https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1 ... 84/photo/2
https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1 ... 84/photo/3
https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1 ... 84/photo/4

have 3km lock-on range against 0.003m2 against fighter targets its range is similar to bigger MESA seekers.

Contract is sign and it is planed for R-77M missile. Diameter is 100mm so I expect they can do seeker and warhead mono block so they will free lot of space for engine, some sources mentioned dual pluse engine which would be very logical because R-77 have problem at longer ranges becuase of lower speed which impact grid fins.


So Tony is claiming 5 km against a 0.1 m^2 target which is close to say Harpoon or
probably the "moderately low radar cross section" of the C-802.
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boogieman

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Unread post27 Aug 2020, 22:17

Right, but I was talking about 4th gen aircraft, not low RCS ones. He also claims a detection range of over 12km (>6.5nm) against targets of this type, which would put it right in the 5-10nm region I described.

R77.png

I refer to 4th gen aircraft because that is where the ARH vs SARH AAM conversation is most relevant and where the "launch and leave" advantage I attributed to ARH weapons is likely to exist. I say this because nobody is really designing SARH BVR AAMs going forward - the emphasis is obviously shifting to the compact ARH AESA/two-way DL/GPS & maybe-even-IIR-backup combo (looking at you JATM).
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Unread post28 Aug 2020, 00:40

boogieman wrote:Right, but I was talking about 4th gen aircraft, not low RCS ones. He also claims a detection range of over 12km (~6.5nm) against targets of this type, which would put it right in the 5-10nm region I described.

R77.png

I refer to 4th gen aircraft because that is where the ARH vs SARH AAM conversation is most relevant and where the "launch and leave" advantage I attributed to ARH weapons is likely to exist. I say this because nobody is really designing SARH BVR AAMs going forward - the emphasis is obviously shifting to the compact ARH AESA/two-way DL/GPS & maybe-even-IIR-backup combo (looking at you JATM).


Where did you describe a 5 - 10 nautical mile region? You said "rule of thumb ~10 nm." Then it was 7 - 10 nm.
And fourth gen would include HAVE GLASS F-16s, Super Hornets, Eurocanards etc.

Those are much lower RCS than the MiG-29 reference in the tweet.

Launch-and-leave is pure inertial-active. That's really only useful for comparatively short range reaction shots.
That is a clear advantage for the active seeker which I don't dispute.
It's also not the preferred mode for just about any active missile.
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Unread post28 Aug 2020, 01:01

Ah yes mea-culpa - posting on the run at work is not ideal :doh:. To be fair, I was off by 0.5nm (or less), while 6.5nm+ is still better than your upper bound of 5... :wink: :P

I was not referring to signature reduced/4th+ gen targets, as launch and leave functionality would obviously degrade alongside reductions in target RCS. Against Milosh's original Su-30MKM, though, the launch and leave advantage of an ARH AMRAAM over the SARH R27R/ER is probably there - especially if that Flanker has a larger RCS than 5m^2.
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marauder2048

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Unread post28 Aug 2020, 02:14

boogieman wrote:Ah yes mea-culpa :doh: posting on the run at work is not ideal. To be fair, I was off by 0.5nm (or less), while 6.5nm+ is still better than your upper bound of 5 ... :wink: :P

That said, I was not referring to heavily signature reduced/4th+ gen targets, as launch and leave functionality would obviously degrade alongside reductions in target RCS. Against a more "typical" 4th (not 4.5) gen like the aforementioned Su-30, the launch and leave advantage of an ARH AMRAAM over the SARH R27R/ER is probably there.

I have heard it claimed that AIM120 starts its HPRF search from as far as 13nm but I am not wedded to the figure - hard data is scarce on the weapon's seeker performance. I suspect much of it is classified anyway.


I'd forgive you but you also said the Su-35 upthread!

I think I understand where the 10 nautical mile reference comes from.
That's likely to be the minimum detection range (SNR of 10 dB) for the AIM-120 against the target
drones like the QF-106.

Handover tends to be some fraction of the the 10 dB detection range.
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boogieman

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Unread post28 Aug 2020, 03:12

Fair enough, disregard for Su-35 then (I was using it as an example of an aircraft the "launch and leave advantage" would not apply as well to after all). Right back at you for citing 3-5nm and then 2-3nm in the DARPA/Raytheon study btw :wink: :P
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Unread post28 Aug 2020, 03:40

In the mid-1980s the conceptual advantage of active homing was verbally described in open sources as providing an unmanageable popup of a fast active seeker too close for the pilot to absorb and react against effectively. A 7nm to 10 nm terminal homing radius sounds like a lot of brain cycles and reaction time which a target should not be permitted, in order to gain maximum advantage and PoK from the ARH seeker.

IIRC, a 10nm homing radius (expectation) of the seeker, is just an extended presumption being made of WVR use of AIM-120, within boresight mode, for a pitbull mode launch, thus no time to lock up a target before launch, i.e. when out-numbered, and immediately pre-merge when you still know that the missile can only acquire an opposing jet.

Otherwise the active radius would be much smaller for a locked target.

Launch and leave advantage will exist, but not against an agile alerted BVR fighter, perhaps against a logistics aircraft from 30 years ago, or a drone now, but if you are not threatened, why would you leave early and increase the risk of missing?

EDIT: Additionally, it is possible for a locked AIM-120 to use triangulation of a flight of three networked wingman passive RWRs, to provide a rough location fix on any radar-active air target, to guide an AIM-120 to activation point or distance, even as you leave after launch. So fire and leave does exist as a passive networked mid-course update guidance option. Significant vertical changes by target would probably trash that though (just as it would or could with a radar lock to activation).
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Unread post28 Aug 2020, 04:05

Yep, for the record when I said "launch and leave" I didn't mean literally shoot the thing and turn around on the spot. I was under the impression that this implicitly means shoot, support the AMRAAM as required (mid-course update) until it goes active, then turn cold/perform whatever defensive maneuvers are desired after that (4th gen thinking?).

Given enough handover distance (eg. Agat claimed 13.5nm against a 5m^2 target for the R77-scaled 9B-1103M over 20 years ago)...

https://www.flightglobal.com/agat-and-p ... 92.article

...you can obviously turn away/break LOS from your weapon and target earlier than would be the case with a self-supported SARH AIM-7 or R-27R/ER shot. I concur that this does not characterise how AAMs might be used against RCS reduced targets, since the homing basket is likely to be that much smaller. That said, a whole range of new guidance features have obviously appeared to help deal with this, but SARH does not seem to feature prominently among them, while ARH is ubiquitous.
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Unread post28 Aug 2020, 06:36

boogieman wrote:Yes. For the record when I say "launch and leave" I don't mean literally shoot the thing and turn around on the spot. I was under the impression that this implicitly meant shoot, support the AMRAAM as required (mid-course update) until it goes active, then turn cold/perform whatever defensive maneuvers are desired after that (4th gen thinking?).


Launch and leave for an active missile means inertial-active: fly to a point in space then go active.
No in-flight target updates, no inflight alignments.

boogieman wrote:Given enough handover distance, you can obviously turn away/break LOS from your weapon and target earlier than would be the case with a self-supported SARH AIM-7 or R-27R/ER shot. I concur that this does not characterise how AAMs might be used against RCS reduced targets, since the homing basket is likely to be that much smaller. That said, a whole range of new guidance features have obviously appeared to help deal with this, but SARH does not seem to feature prominently among them.


Active missiles were just easier to integrate and more flexible; you don't need multiple beamformers + phased
arrays to employ them against multiple targets simultaneously. They are better WVR and require less reaction time.
Due to better range gating, they're typically better at looking down into clutter.

So I'm in total agreement that SARH lost the battle but a big chunk of that was also the fact that the
USAF bit the bullet and bought thousands of AMRAAMs very early on so the cost improvement curves
were nice enough to permit wide adoption.

Some of the future active seekers look to be going to higher-gains through MMW seekers while
relying on IIR for the volume search.
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Unread post28 Aug 2020, 09:56

Ah, it seems I was unwittingly misusing the phrase "launch and leave" then.
marauder2048 wrote:Some of the future active seekers look to be going to higher-gains through MMW seekers while
relying on IIR for the volume search.

This approach does make sense in the context of (V)LO targets. I think I have mentioned before that a new brevity code may be needed for such a weapon. The line that distinguishes a Fox-2 from a Fox-3 seems poised to blur (if not disappear outright) here. Given that Fox-4 is sometimes attributed to gun employment, perhaps Fox-5 would be appropriate :twisted:
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Unread post16 Sep 2020, 23:03

The Plan For Making Aging USMC F/A-18 Hornets Deadlier Than Ever For A Final Decade Of Service

Major upgrades and a smart fleet management plan will give the Marines the most potent Hornets ever during the twilight of the type's service.

By Jamie HunterSeptember 16, 2020

The U.S. Marine Corps is moving towards a streamlined fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35B and C-model Lightning IIs for all of its tactical aircraft (TACAIR) needs post-2030. While USMC leadership juggles the exact planning over the number of the stealthy fighters it will need to meet future requirements, both the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II and F/A-18A-D Hornet fleets will continue to provide Close Air Support (CAS) for Marines on the ground and air cover above the battlefield. Under current plans, the Harrier II will bow out in Fiscal Year 2028, followed by the Hornet in 2030.

The aging Marine Corps Hornet fleet is composed of a range of 1980s-era F/A-18A-D models, all of which have undergone various upgrades. Now, in order to bridge the decade-long gap between now and the type's retirement, a select batch of approximately 84 Hornets has been earmarked to make it through to the planned “sundown” despite their advanced years via a series of upgrades, the likes of which the Hornet has never seen..................

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... 7YuuQuOS5Q
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