Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 11 Jul 2020, 01:20
by charlielima223
Nice insightful video of a former Hornet pilot talking of his experience against the Malaysian Su-30MKM.


Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2020, 17:49
by mixelflick
I would be curious to know how often the SU-30 pilot lost sight of the F-18, and lost the fight because of it. For all of its merits, the Flanker is a HUGE fighter. That's one advantage F-16 and 18 pilots will always have against it, they're going to be a lot tougher to see.

Also interesting insofar as the SU-30 used its TV during one of these fights, something we're told isn't useful in the real world. Looked plenty useful here. To me, the whole thing is just too close for comfort. The aircraft are so evenly matched, it's fortunate we (usually) have the better pilots.

Hopefully the F-35 restores our historical overwhelming advantage, and we won't lose nearly as many men/machines..

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2020, 19:24
by madrat
Evenly matched in WVR against a plane from 30 years ago...

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2020, 02:55
by weasel1962
Geriatric F-15s: "Age is only skin deep."

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2020, 03:30
by Corsair1963
Let's not forget that USMC F/A-18C Hornets are getting a version of the APG-79 AESA Radar. So, the old girl still has some kick left in her...

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2020, 19:16
by sferrin
Corsair1963 wrote:Let's not forget that USMC F/A-18C Hornets are getting a version of the APG-79 AESA Radar. So, the old girl still has some kick left in her...


A shame they can't retrofit the goodies the Swiss and Finns have on their Hornets. (9G airframe IIRC.)

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2020, 23:06
by eagle3000
sferrin wrote:A shame they can't retrofit the goodies the Swiss and Finns have on their Hornets. (9G airframe IIRC.)


They are not 9g rated airframes. 7.5g like all the other Hornets.

The titanium bulkheads allow Swiss (and Finnish, and Kuwaiti too?) Hornets to reach their service life of 6000 hours despite harder flying - air to air only takes a toll.
It wouldn't help in other cases. Air to ground causes different stresses which the Swiss mods might not help to counter.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2020, 03:36
by Corsair1963
eagle3000 wrote:
sferrin wrote:A shame they can't retrofit the goodies the Swiss and Finns have on their Hornets. (9G airframe IIRC.)


They are not 9g rated airframes. 7.5g like all the other Hornets.

The titanium bulkheads allow Swiss (and Finnish, and Kuwaiti too?) Hornets to reach their service life of 6000 hours despite harder flying - air to air only takes a toll.
It wouldn't help in other cases. Air to ground causes different stresses which the Swiss mods might not help to counter.


The main factor on the 7.5 G limit on the Hornet (and later Super Hornet) was to extend the aircraft service life. (i.e. naval use) Both airframe are more than capable of handling more....

Hell, fighters exceed their "advertised" limits all of the time....

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 14 Jul 2020, 19:14
by milosh
madrat wrote:Evenly matched in WVR against a plane from 30 years ago...


And Su-30 is lot younger?!?

Of course not. It is dual seat Su-27.

What I find impressive is Su-30 with is huge weight and drag could hold its own and in fact from words of F-18 pilot it was second toughest opponent he fly against, behind F-22, F-22 have noticeable better T/W ratio and is less draggy.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 03:28
by weasel1962
About 10 years. The MKMs were delivered from 2007 (MKI baseline).The F-18Ds were from 1997 and are still equipped with the APG-73, although they added AIM-9X+JHMCS combo.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2020, 20:31
by milosh
weasel1962 wrote:About 10 years. The MKMs were delivered from 2007 (MKI baseline).The F-18Ds were from 1997 and are still equipped with the APG-73, although they added AIM-9X+JHMCS combo.


Irrelevant for what F-18 pilot is talking, WVR combat to be clear.

Also MKM is more less same thing as MKI and that is 1990s project so not big difference even in that.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2020, 21:22
by sprstdlyscottsmn
milosh wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:About 10 years. The MKMs were delivered from 2007 (MKI baseline).The F-18Ds were from 1997 and are still equipped with the APG-73, although they added AIM-9X+JHMCS combo.


Irrelevant for what F-18 pilot is talking, WVR combat to be clear.

Also MKM is more less same thing as MKI and that is 1990s project so not big difference even in that.


If you want to talk project, the F/A-18D is more or less the same thing as the F/A-18A which was a 1970s project

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2020, 01:11
by weasel1962
jhmcs and 9x combo is 70s tech and irrelevant to wvr? I don't think so.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2020, 05:03
by madrat
To him Soviet tech is Russian stronk!

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2020, 11:09
by milosh
weasel1962 wrote:jhmcs and 9x combo is 70s tech and irrelevant to wvr? I don't think so.


Pilot was talking about gunfight. Weapon wise and senors wise I expect latest F-18 be noticeable better but as flying machine Flankers are impressive, when F-18 pilot say huge Su-30 can go super slow as F-18 that says a lot about design of Flanker.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2020, 04:39
by rented
I am more impressed by the hornet, fighting a thrust vectoring flanker with two bags. The typical commentary would be that the flanker with TV would completely destroy a 2 bag non-TV hornet. You know, supermanueverability and all that.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 22 Jul 2020, 07:16
by boogieman
Same here. Flanker proponents have been saying for years that the legacy Hornet ought to be cannon fodder in BFM for a late model TVC equipped Su-30...

https://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Flanker.html

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 27 Jul 2020, 20:23
by nutshell
Bouncing him because Gonky, the pilot you see in action in the video, has also a very neat YT channel :

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFDIa ... l8WQ5e2IMQ

Same as his pal Mover (real name C.W. Lemoine):

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEodFw ... VPJZmuzAIg

Mover's YT is just so cool, especially the "Mover ruins movies" section, where he just added the part 2 of his "reaction to Top Gun (1986)". Commented by both Gonker and Mover. Hilarious and very insightful.
If you're an Eagle pilot,you might not like it too much tho.

Being done with the free advertisement of the channels, Gonky said the Malaysian hornets are upgraded with better engines, which helps his BFM performances.
He said that the Su30 is indeed a super tough and capable aircraft, altho he proceeds to casually win all of the engagement shown in the video. With the bags.


The best part of the video are the hearts of many Sukhoi fanboys shattering under the weight of reality: a place where it's not everything is just black&white and physics do exist.

p.s.: Gonky is a former US Navy pilot and is said to be a really, really good one.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 19 Aug 2020, 04:34
by rented
Late reply sorry - yes I agree those two channels are great. I have been meaning to try Movers' books. The Malaysian Hornets got the EPE engines which the US services partially got in the later C model blocks. Offsetting that, they're all D models which could be slightly heavier.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 19 Aug 2020, 06:48
by hornetfinn
milosh wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:jhmcs and 9x combo is 70s tech and irrelevant to wvr? I don't think so.


Pilot was talking about gunfight. Weapon wise and senors wise I expect latest F-18 be noticeable better but as flying machine Flankers are impressive, when F-18 pilot say huge Su-30 can go super slow as F-18 that says a lot about design of Flanker.


Yes, I have to agree. I'd say that F/A-18C/D and Su-30MKM have roughly equal radars with AN/APG-73 and Bars N011M. N011M is likely the more capable radar as it has somewhat longer detection/tracking range and can track somewhat more targets (15 vs 10). Being PESA definitely gives some advantages over MSA. However the RCS difference probably equals the detection/tracking capabilities when compared to each other. Most F/A-18s don't have IRST while all Flankers do, which might give Su-30MKM advantages in some situations but I doubt it's much of a game changer given the limited capabilties of that set. If F/A-18 has the AN/APG-79(V)4, then I'd say that the Hornet has quite significant advantages over Su-30.

Weapons wise F/A-18 is definitely better. For WVR fight, AIM-9X is very likely more capable (due to more capable seeker) than R-73/74 but both are still very deadly missiles. Both have HMS nowadays and both have very effective guns. I think for practical purposes their WVR weapons are about equal and mutual kills pretty likely. IMO,AIM-120 later models are more capable than R-77 or even RVV-SD but I think there is quite high chance of mutual kills in BVR fight also. I think BVR fight between the two would be very much "game of chicken" with good chance of being killed in any case (one, both or neither yielding during). A lot depends on the seeker vs countermeasures performance, pilot skills and just pure luck.

I agree that Flanker is a great airframe design and easily the best Soviet one (MiG-31 is another great one for the job). F/A-18 is also great design especially for a relatively small carrier aircraft. Avionics has been the weak link for many Flanker variants, but Su-30 variants got pretty good avionics.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2020, 20:06
by swiss
hornetfinn wrote:
Yes, I have to agree. I'd say that F/A-18C/D and Su-30MKM have roughly equal radars with AN/APG-73 and Bars N011M. N011M is likely the more capable radar as it has somewhat longer detection/tracking range and can track somewhat more targets (15 vs 10). Being PESA definitely gives some advantages over MSA. However the RCS difference probably equals the detection/tracking capabilities when compared to each other. Most F/A-18s don't have IRST while all Flankers do, which might give Su-30MKM advantages in some situations but I doubt it's much of a game changer given the limited capabilties of that set. If F/A-18 has the AN/APG-79(V)4, then I'd say that the Hornet has quite significant advantages over Su-30.

Weapons wise F/A-18 is definitely better. For WVR fight, AIM-9X is very likely more capable (due to more capable seeker) than R-73/74 but both are still very deadly missiles. Both have HMS nowadays and both have very effective guns. I think for practical purposes their WVR weapons are about equal and mutual kills pretty likely. IMO,AIM-120 later models are more capable than R-77 or even RVV-SD but I think there is quite high chance of mutual kills in BVR fight also. I think BVR fight between the two would be very much "game of chicken" with good chance of being killed in any case (one, both or neither yielding during). A lot depends on the seeker vs countermeasures performance, pilot skills and just pure luck.

I agree that Flanker is a great airframe design and easily the best Soviet one (MiG-31 is another great one for the job). F/A-18 is also great design especially for a relatively small carrier aircraft. Avionics has been the weak link for many Flanker variants, but Su-30 variants got pretty good avionics.


Thank you Hornetfinn, for your analysis. Would you say APG-73 and APG-68(V)9 are at the same level in range and capabilities?

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Aug 2020, 16:11
by mixelflick
The biggest difference IMO is persistence... the Flanker carries a LOT more gas. Which is probably why you see the Hornet carrying 2 bags here. I admit it is impressive that legacy Hornets did as well as they did, although in all probability the USN pilots flying them were the best of the bunch. By far the better trained of the two..

Interested to know how Super Hornets would have fared...

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2020, 13:38
by hornetfinn
swiss wrote:Thank you Hornetfinn, for your analysis. Would you say APG-73 and APG-68(V)9 are at the same level in range and capabilities?


Yes, I think they are pretty equal in capabilities with a lot depending on software which is impossible to compare without comprehensive testing. APG-73 was found to be pretty clearly the best system in Finnish testing in early 1990s compared to AN/APG-68(V)5, RDY (Mirage 2000-5) and PS-05/A (JAS Gripen). All have definitely been improved with new hardware and software since then though, so it's pretty difficult to know exactly how their latest iterations compare to each other. I'd rate all of them roughly equal.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2020, 16:43
by Tiger05
The Hornet sure has impressive manoeuvrability for a non-TVC aircraft. This Swiss Hornet display is well worth watching in full:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf5A13atLHQ&t=76s

Those high AoA maneuvers... :shock:

The Swiss Hornets are a special breed though since they are the only ones stressed for 9G and have no AoA limiters unlike other Hornets.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2020, 17:39
by mixelflick
Tiger05 wrote:The Hornet sure has impressive manoeuvrability for a non-TVC aircraft. This Swiss Hornet display is well worth watching in full:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf5A13atLHQ&t=76s

Those high AoA maneuvers... :shock:

The Swiss Hornets are a special breed though since they are the only ones stressed for 9G and have no AoA limiters unlike other Hornets.


That does make you wonder how "worth it" thrust vectoring is on a fighter. The Russians have gone to great lengths to incorporate and talk it up. But it adds both significant weight and cost.

It looks to me like a good FBW system, coupled with top shelf flight control software gets you to the same place. As seen with the F-18 here, and the F-35. Makes you wonder if the new F-15EX will be capable of the same!

Hmmmm... :mrgreen:

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2020, 20:25
by milosh
mixelflick wrote:That does make you wonder how "worth it" thrust vectoring is on a fighter. The Russians have gone to great lengths to incorporate and talk it up. But it adds both significant weight and cost.


But Sukhoi TVC doesn't add significant weight nor cost, it isn't complicated at all:
http://avia-simply.ru/wp-content/upload ... AL31FP.jpg

you have couple of pistons and ring and that is. It is similar to other 2D tvc but what make Sukhoi more effective is spaced engines and titled nozzle axis:
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-1 ... 0fa5d.webp

so they can mimic 3D tvc using 2D tvc without need for complex 3D tvc nozzle.

So if F-14 was still around something similar could be applied on it. Imagine F-14 with two F135 derivative engines and Saturn like TVC.

For Su-57 there is probable real 3D tvc nozzle at least from photos of two nozzles we saw.

First Russian real 3d tvc was MiG-29OVT, nozzle was done by Klimov (it make MiG-29 engines) and that was lot more complex nozzle then Saturn one used on Flankers.

MiG-29OVT demo with MiG pilot explaining thrust vectoring:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdVJPZAKAQE

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2020, 21:19
by eagle3000
Tiger05 wrote:The Swiss Hornets are a special breed though since they are the only ones stressed for 9G and have no AoA limiters unlike other Hornets.


They are not stressed for 9Gs. They have some reinforced structural components which allows them to reach a 6000 hour service life despite air-to-air only use. Plus they have received an updated flight control software derived from the Super Hornet's.
Finnish Hornets are built to the same standard afaik. Not sure about Malaysia.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2020, 13:02
by hornetfinn
eagle3000 wrote:
Tiger05 wrote:The Swiss Hornets are a special breed though since they are the only ones stressed for 9G and have no AoA limiters unlike other Hornets.


They are not stressed for 9Gs. They have some reinforced structural components which allows them to reach a 6000 hour service life despite air-to-air only use. Plus they have received an updated flight control software derived from the Super Hornet's.
Finnish Hornets are built to the same standard afaik. Not sure about Malaysia.


Finnish Hornets were originally meant to be able to fly 6000 hours but according to Finnish Air Force studies, they will be able to fly about 4500 hours and even that requires some structural modifications (already done AFAIK). Reason being that almost all flight hours are full training with a lot of hard maneuvering. In Finland the training areas are basically next to air bases meaning that transit times are usually only a couple of minutes. I think the same is true for Swiss Ar Force as well. Not sure if Finnish and Swiss Hornets differ or have differed in the past. It might be that Finnish Air Force adopted the same or similar structural modification to what Swiss Hornets had from the beginning.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2020, 13:25
by f-16adf
Canadian pilot Maj. Bob Wade, Abbotsford BC 1986, pretty impressive considering he is hauling a centerline fuel tank:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgO6rhyA2FA




Even if the Finnish or Swiss Hornets are stressed to 9G's that will probably only matter on the Instantaneous side of things. Meaning at combat altitudes of 15-25kft the Hornet may briefly touch 9G (vs 7.5/8) but not sustain it. At those altitudes, even the F-16 can't sustain 9G. However, it can decelerate from 9G while generally holding turn rate and shrinking its turn circle.


Thrust Vectoring is not a panacea. The Flanker is a huge target (like the F-15 and F-14, but even larger). They are called tennis courts for a reason.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2020, 20:16
by swiss
hornetfinn wrote:
swiss wrote:Thank you Hornetfinn, for your analysis. Would you say APG-73 and APG-68(V)9 are at the same level in range and capabilities?


Yes, I think they are pretty equal in capabilities with a lot depending on software which is impossible to compare without comprehensive testing. APG-73 was found to be pretty clearly the best system in Finnish testing in early 1990s compared to AN/APG-68(V)5, RDY (Mirage 2000-5) and PS-05/A (JAS Gripen). All have definitely been improved with new hardware and software since then though, so it's pretty difficult to know exactly how their latest iterations compare to each other. I'd rate all of them roughly equal.


So we can assume, that Hornet C/D, F-16 Bl. 50+ with AIM-120 c-5, and Mirage 2000 with RDY2 and Mica, SU-30 MKM with R-77 are in the same ballpark in air to air?

hornetfinn wrote: Reason being that almost all flight hours are full training with a lot of hard maneuvering. In Finland the training areas are basically next to air bases meaning that transit times are usually only a couple of minutes. I think the same is true for Swiss Ar Force as well.


You are right. Because of the small swiss territory, this is also true for the swiss hornets. According to the swiss air force.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2020, 20:43
by sprstdlyscottsmn
swiss wrote:So we can assume, that Hornet C/D, F-16 Bl. 50+ with AIM-120 c-5, and Mirage 2000 with RDY2 and Mica, SU-30 MKM with R-77 are in the same ballpark in air to air?


Nope. The Radars may be of comparable detection capability, but the missiles are far from comparable. The R-77 is closer in range to the AIM-120A. The C-5 has much greater range.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2020, 20:51
by swiss
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
swiss wrote:So we can assume, that Hornet C/D, F-16 Bl. 50+ with AIM-120 c-5, and Mirage 2000 with RDY2 and Mica, SU-30 MKM with R-77 are in the same ballpark in air to air?


Nope. The Radars may be of comparable detection capability, but the missiles are far from comparable. The R-77 is closer in range to the AIM-120A. The C-5 has much greater range.


I fully agree with you spurts. So lets say then R-77-1.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 25 Aug 2020, 21:35
by milosh
swiss wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
swiss wrote:So we can assume, that Hornet C/D, F-16 Bl. 50+ with AIM-120 c-5, and Mirage 2000 with RDY2 and Mica, SU-30 MKM with R-77 are in the same ballpark in air to air?


Nope. The Radars may be of comparable detection capability, but the missiles are far from comparable. The R-77 is closer in range to the AIM-120A. The C-5 has much greater range.


I fully agree with you spurts. So lets say then R-77-1.


Don't forget R-27ER it is SARH but Su-30MKM have PESA radar so penality of STT doesn't exist, I think N011M is capable for at least dual target tracking with R-27ER.

Indian AF is ordered 1000 R-27ER in 2019 for Su-30MKI after downing of MiG-21 Bison.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 01:01
by boogieman
SARH still suffers a penalty vs ARH due to the need to maintain a lock on the target for the entire missile flight time. This means you have to keep the target(s) within the gimbal/FOV limits of the radar right up until impact which prevents you from turning cold or immediately ducking behaind terrain after a missile shot goes pitbull. Su-35 is less affected by this due to the wide angular coverage of the Irbis-E, but it is no substitute for a high quality ARH capability (hence R77-1, R77M & R37).

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 01:55
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:SARH still suffers a penalty vs ARH due to the need to maintain a lock on the target for the entire missile flight time. This means you have to keep the target(s) within the gimbal/FOV limits of the radar right up until impact which prevents you from turning cold or immediately ducking behaind terrain after a missile shot goes pitbull. Su-35 is less affected by this due to the wide angular coverage of the Irbis-E, but it is no substitute for a high quality ARH capability (hence R77-1, R77M & R37).


I thought most of the Russian PESAs employed interrupted continuous wave illumination?

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 02:13
by boogieman
That is my understanding, but it still leaves them restrictively "tethered" to both the target and outbound missile in a way that is not the case for an active weapon. I suspect there is a reason that investment in SARH AAM development has dropped off precipitously in recent years/decades...

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 03:07
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:That is my understanding, but it still leaves them restrictively "tethered" to both the target and outbound missile in a way that is not the case for an active weapon. I suspect there is a reason that investment in SARH AAM development has dropped off precipitously in recent years/decades...


An active missile still needs pretty good handover and the SARH missile has a better Vbo
by virtue of not carrying the weight of Xmitter so I'm not totally convinced.

I think what discouraged further ICWI is that unless you have digital beamforming, the
sub-arraying required for simultaneous ICWI and other radar functions is costly since
analog beamforming requires physical replication.

And of course the fact that inertial-active (with in-flight alignment) provides for much better
reaction time.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 03:35
by boogieman
I guess it depends on what range the handover is generally occuring at relative to the overall distance the missile has to travel. If it is happening at or beyond the "rule of thumb" ~10nm mark then the ARH launching platform's advantage in BVR freedom of maneuver is likely to be more pronounced. If it's significantly less than that then the advantage degrades accordingly.

Suffice it to say that the pattern of modern BVR AAM development appears to be toward more sensor agnostic, network enabled weapons that can prosecute the target independently of the parent platform's sensors when needed, not SARH weapons that are generally tied to them (eg. old school R27ER). I'd submit to you that an ARH weapon (possibly with complementary SARH/IIR options) provides a better fit to this end than a strictly SARH based one. While yes, I am sure it is possible to use offboard sensors to complete the kill chain for a strictly SARH AAM launch, this does not seem to be a direction being heavily pursued in future AAM development.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 03:50
by element1loop
Which is all a bit meh now if you have EOTS and a laser ranger, plus a beam-forming directional LPI/LPD datalink, and a VLO launch platform 100 km away, which didn't get seen, even if a launch did get detected. If clouds intervene between launch aircraft and target there may be 3 other EOTS in a flight that can maintain EOTS LOS updates, and range the target via triangulation. So no need to even lase for target-quality vector with and active of passive terminal seeker.

Fire and forget, plus continuous precise passive tracking, so neither ARH, nor SARH. NPH + NAH, maybe? i.e. Network Passive Homing" or "Network Active Homing"?

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 03:59
by boogieman
element1loop wrote:Which is all a bit meh now if you have EOTS and a laser ranger, plus a beam-forming directional LPI/LPD datalink, and a VLO launch platform 100 km away, which didn't get seen, even if a launch did get detected. If clouds intervene between launch aircraft and target there may be 3 other EOTS in a flight that can maintain EOTS LOS updates, and range the target via triangulation. So no need to even lase for target-quality vector with and active of passive terminal seeker.

Fire and forget, plus continuous precise passive tracking, so neither ARH, nor SARH. NPH + NAH, maybe? i.e. Network Passive Homing" or "Network Active Homing"?

Indeed. I am not sure whether you would still need the missile seeker to take over in terminal phase here to ensure it connects (will defer to others on that one) but the less reliant you are on ownship RF emissions in general the better I would have thought. Strict SARH-only guidance (R27R/ER) strikes me as a method that is rapidly approaching obsolescence in modern AAMs (if it isn't there already) tbh.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 04:02
by element1loop
boogieman wrote:~10nm mark then the ARH launching platform's advantage in BVR freedom of maneuver is likely to be more pronounced.


This won't matter if the VLO aircraft is not located and a vector known, even if you know it's out there (and at least one other is tracking and sharing too). 10 nm is a bit of a meaningless distance now if you don't know the real missile or sensor performances. Plus passive "within visual range" radius for F-35 exceeds 100 km. The traditional ways of considering A2A have evaporated, and distinctions between WVR and BVR, and SARH verse ARH considerations, while 'no-escape zones' have expanded greatly.

Strict SARH-only guidance (R27R/ER) strikes me as a method that is rapidly approaching obsolescence in modern AAMs (if it isn't there already) tbh.


I think it is against an LM 5th gen (including SAMS attempting same).

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 12:06
by madrat
Passive sensors haven't become obsolete, they've simply changed roles. All active radar homing have a passive sensor but also contain an emitter. So SARH development never waned, it just gained independence. But the passive modes are utilized in some missiles for things like HOJ.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 14:11
by hornetfinn
milosh wrote:
swiss wrote:Don't forget R-27ER it is SARH but Su-30MKM have PESA radar so penality of STT doesn't exist, I think N011M is capable for at least dual target tracking with R-27ER.

Indian AF is ordered 1000 R-27ER in 2019 for Su-30MKI after downing of MiG-21 Bison.


According to Tactical Missile Corporation JSC the range of RVV-SD has slightly longer max range than R-27ER. R-27ER does seem to have about 20% longer range than original R-77. If public information is correct, then AIM-120C-5 and higher have quite significant range advantage (especially -120D version) over all those Russian missiles. Of course range performance is only one part of effectiveness and other qualities are also important. It doesn't seem like R-77 or R-27 have been updated much and I'd say that later AMRAAM models, Meteor and MICA all have advantages when it comes to seeker performance and guidance systems. Not to say that R-77 variants or even R-27 are not dangerous against most 4th gen fighters.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 19:26
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:I guess it depends on what range the handover is generally occuring at relative to the overall distance the missile has to travel. If it is happening at or beyond the "rule of thumb" ~10nm mark then the ARH launching platform's advantage in BVR freedom of maneuver is likely to be more pronounced. If it's significantly less than that then the advantage degrades accordingly.

Suffice it to say that the pattern of modern BVR AAM development appears to be toward more sensor agnostic, network enabled weapons that can prosecute the target independently of the parent platform's sensors when needed, not SARH weapons that are generally tied to them (eg. old school R27ER). I'd submit to you that an ARH weapon (possibly with complementary SARH/IIR options) provides a better fit to this end than a strictly SARH based one. While yes, I am sure it is possible to use offboard sensors to complete the kill chain for a strictly SARH AAM launch, this does not seem to be a direction being heavily pursued in future AAM development.



Handover at >= 10 nautical miles from the target? That's like SM-6 handover range.
Typical AAMs are going to be 3-5 nautical miles.

There's no argument that active seekers are inherently more flexible than semi-active radar
seekers no matter what you do with illuminators (GD's AAAM had a podded PESA with spherical coverage).

Are active missiles truly better in BVR? I'm not so sure. But on balance they do everything else better.

All of the active missiles out there are increasingly reliant on radar-based datalinks.
Same with most of the IIR missiles. If there are AAMs that can rely on other datalinks then I'd like to hear
about them.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2020, 23:51
by boogieman
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2020, 08:57
by marauder2048
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2020, 12:11
by boogieman
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2020, 16:45
by milosh
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2020, 16:46
by marauder2048
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2020, 17:02
by marauder2048
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 27 Aug 2020, 22:17
by boogieman
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).

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2020, 00:40
by marauder2048
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2020, 01:01
by boogieman
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2020, 02:14
by marauder2048
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2020, 03:12
by boogieman
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

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2020, 03:40
by element1loop
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).

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2020, 04:05
by boogieman
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2020, 06:36
by marauder2048
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.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 28 Aug 2020, 09:56
by boogieman
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:

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2020, 23:03
by Corsair1963
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

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2020, 09:22
by hornetfinn
It's interesting that the AN/APG-79(V)4 going into Classic Hornets has vertical array instead of tilted array as in Super Hornet version. Probably because of lack of space and also because it won't matter much for the RCS of the whole aircraft. I think it might actually have about the same number of T/R modules as SH version, which could give it very similar performance depending on cooling and power available. Anyway this is pretty important upgrade for keeping the Classic Hornets viable for the rest of their service life.

I wonder if there would've been interest for these upgrades with other user nations if they were available 5-10 years earlier? Probably not enough money for those around except maybe in Kuwait.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2020, 10:30
by Corsair1963
hornetfinn wrote:It's interesting that the AN/APG-79(V)4 going into Classic Hornets has vertical array instead of tilted array as in Super Hornet version. Probably because of lack of space and also because it won't matter much for the RCS of the whole aircraft. I think it might actually have about the same number of T/R modules as SH version, which could give it very similar performance depending on cooling and power available. Anyway this is pretty important upgrade for keeping the Classic Hornets viable for the rest of their service life.

I wonder if there would've been interest for these upgrades with other user nations if they were available 5-10 years earlier? Probably not enough money for those around except maybe in Kuwait.



Surprising the US will upgrade them. Considering they aren't going to be around long.... :?

Yet, I wouldn't be surprised if other Hornet Customer don't take advantage of the upgrade though...

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2020, 11:37
by hornetfinn
Corsair1963 wrote:Yet, I wouldn't be surprised if other Hornet Customer don't take advantage of the upgrade though...


Maybe this is the way to extend the service life of Canadian Hornets for another couple of decades and forget about replacing them... :roll: :P

Otherwise I think these upgrades come a bit too late for most current users and will not find any other takers.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2020, 11:46
by hornetfinn
Btw, here is interesting short video within Finnish F/A-18C intake.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1306540271715446784

The tweet itself is about recruiting NCO.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2020, 13:26
by boogieman
Some more southern hemisphere Hornet porn:



This time it's a Rafale guest starring in the gun cam (3:56) :wink:

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 18 Sep 2020, 12:19
by hornetfinn
boogieman wrote:Some more southern hemisphere Hornet porn:

This time it's a Rafale guest starring in the gun cam (3:56) :wink:


Thanks, awesome video! It seemed that Hornet was doing some pretty high alpha in that engagement... 8)

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 18 Sep 2020, 12:35
by boogieman
No worries. Yep, well I imagine if you're flying BFM in a legacy Hornet against the Rafale, then low speed/high alpha is probably where you'd want the fight to be. Easier said than done mind you - the Rafale must have been a tough customer indeed.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2020, 13:18
by mixelflick
Word here that the SU-30 and SU-35 may be "merged" into a common Super Flanker for future front line units. This is waving the white flag IMO, as they have no designs on producing a stealthy, 5th gen in any significant numbers. I mean, they don't even have any plans for it.

https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... after-2027

I realize we too are re-tooling with the F-15EX. But even counting upgraded/AESA equipped F-16's, this is a relative sliver of the entire force. And no, I don't buy the Mig-41 being 6th gen. I don't even think it'll make it to production. Even if it does, it'll be a Russia only/very specialized airframe built in small numbers..

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 22 Sep 2020, 02:25
by Corsair1963
mixelflick wrote:Word here that the SU-30 and SU-35 may be "merged" into a common Super Flanker for future front line units. This is waving the white flag IMO, as they have no designs on producing a stealthy, 5th gen in any significant numbers. I mean, they don't even have any plans for it.

https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... after-2027

I realize we too are re-tooling with the F-15EX. But even counting upgraded/AESA equipped F-16's, this is a relative sliver of the entire force. And no, I don't buy the Mig-41 being 6th gen. I don't even think it'll make it to production. Even if it does, it'll be a Russia only/very specialized airframe built in small numbers..



Which, is why the RuAF will quickly become a second rate Air Force Post 2030. (if not before) :?

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 22 Sep 2020, 15:55
by mixelflick
Corsair1963 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Word here that the SU-30 and SU-35 may be "merged" into a common Super Flanker for future front line units. This is waving the white flag IMO, as they have no designs on producing a stealthy, 5th gen in any significant numbers. I mean, they don't even have any plans for it.

https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... after-2027

I realize we too are re-tooling with the F-15EX. But even counting upgraded/AESA equipped F-16's, this is a relative sliver of the entire force. And no, I don't buy the Mig-41 being 6th gen. I don't even think it'll make it to production. Even if it does, it'll be a Russia only/very specialized airframe built in small numbers..



Which, is why the RuAF will quickly become a second rate Air Force Post 2030. (if not before) :?


I agree, but it's sad really. Think about the limited resources those engineers had to work with, the system they were constrained by and always being one step behind in avionics, engines etc.. Given all of that, I thought they did an outstanding job in building aircraft that could compete with the F-15, 16, 18 etc.. In fact, I think their airframes are every bit as good as ours.

The problem is.... everything else. Radar/sensors, weapons, engines, manufacturing tolerances etc. I would LOVE to see what someone from the Mikoyan or Sukhoi design bureau would come up with, were he to move to the US and work for Boeing/Lockheed. Now THAT would be something..

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 03:16
by Corsair1963
mixelflick wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Word here that the SU-30 and SU-35 may be "merged" into a common Super Flanker for future front line units. This is waving the white flag IMO, as they have no designs on producing a stealthy, 5th gen in any significant numbers. I mean, they don't even have any plans for it.

https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... after-2027

I realize we too are re-tooling with the F-15EX. But even counting upgraded/AESA equipped F-16's, this is a relative sliver of the entire force. And no, I don't buy the Mig-41 being 6th gen. I don't even think it'll make it to production. Even if it does, it'll be a Russia only/very specialized airframe built in small numbers..



Which, is why the RuAF will quickly become a second rate Air Force Post 2030. (if not before) :?


I agree, but it's sad really. Think about the limited resources those engineers had to work with, the system they were constrained by and always being one step behind in avionics, engines etc.. Given all of that, I thought they did an outstanding job in building aircraft that could compete with the F-15, 16, 18 etc.. In fact, I think their airframes are every bit as good as ours.

The problem is.... everything else. Radar/sensors, weapons, engines, manufacturing tolerances etc. I would LOVE to see what someone from the Mikoyan or Sukhoi design bureau would come up with, were he to move to the US and work for Boeing/Lockheed. Now THAT would be something..


Their biggest mistake was to develop the PAK-FA (Su-57) over the Mikoyan LMFS. Which, could have been produced in volume and likely exported in at least modest numbers. Russia wasn't ever going to be able to fund two Stealth Fighters in a Hi/Low Mix. So, why they would pursue a heavy fighter only is beyond me. Either from a domestic point of view or export.......
:?

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 03:46
by boogieman
My suspicion is that the problem was propulsion. They never had an F135 equivalent so I'd posit that this put them in a bind with a smaller fighter. In essence it was: acceptable payload, acceptable T/W, acceptable sig reduction - pick two. Same problem the J31 seems to have now.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 05:33
by Corsair1963
boogieman wrote:My suspicion is that the problem was propulsion. They never had an F135 equivalent so I'd posit that this put them in a bind with a smaller fighter. In essence it was: acceptable payload, acceptable T/W, acceptable sig reduction - pick two. Same problem the J31 seems to have now.



They could have easily built the Mikoyan LMFS with two modified RD-33/RD-93's. Which, likely would have included the VK-10M. That has a larger compressor. This would give the LMFS ~ 22000 - 24000 lbs of thrust per engine. (44,000 - 48,000 lbs max)

Yet, that's spilled milk and no turning back now.... :?


Of course this is why I keep coming back to the J-31. Which, could be Russia's savior. As they could build it under license and with considerable amount of Russian Components. (Engines, Avionics, and Weapons)

This would give Russia (Putin) considerable political cover. As it could be sold to the masses as a "joint fighter program" with high Russian Content.

While, many believe such a deal is pure fiction. I've yet to see anyone come up with another viable alternative either.... :wink:

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 07:01
by Corsair1963
Russian SU-35 accidentally shoots down SU-30SM!


On Tuesday, September 22, in the Tver region (Russia), a Su-30 aircraft crashed during a scheduled training flight. According to reports on military forums, he was accidentally shot down by another aircraft during training sparring in air combat.

The plane crash is reported by Interfax with reference to the press service of the Western Military District.

According to the information released to the public, the fighter crashed in a forest, and the aircraft crew managed to eject. There were no fires or destructions during the disaster; the pilots were evacuated to the home airfield.




While the reasons and circumstances are established by a special commission, the first details of this incident appeared.




According to a report on the Military Informant Telegram channel , on the Su-35S fighter, which was sparring with the crashed Su-30SM, the missiles were removed after combat duty, but the gun was not discharged due to an oversight. Instead of shooting, he unexpectedly fired a real volley from a cannon for everyone.




https://apostrophe.ua/news/world/ex-uss ... let/209935

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 08:30
by boogieman
^Well that's awkward. Is it even necessary to squeeze the trigger in BFM? I would have thought a stable gun track held on target ought to be sufficient. Someone is about to get raked over the coals methinks...
Corsair1963 wrote:They could have easily built the Mikoyan LMFS with two modified RD-33/RD-93's. Which, likely would have included the VK-10M. That has a larger compressor. This would give the LMFS ~ 22000 - 24000 lbs of thrust per engine. (44,000 - 48,000 lbs max)

Yet, that's spilled milk and no turning back now.... :?
:

How much of a weapon's bay/internal payload would that give you though? Two engines plus tight size constraints leaves me guessing the answer would be "not much". The J31 seems to be a flying embodiment of this from what I can tell.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 09:36
by Corsair1963
boogieman wrote:
How much of a weapon's bay/internal payload would that give you though? Two engines plus tight size constraints leaves me guessing the answer would be "not much". The J31 seems to be a flying embodiment of this from what I can tell.


Most sources I've seen show a similar weapons capacity to the F-35A. Either two BVR Missiles and two PGM's or six BVR Missiles.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 10:35
by boogieman
Last I checked it was 4 x AAMs max, which is fine and all. Quick google says ~4400lbs internally - 1300lbs less than the F35. How that affects air to surface payload options comparatively speaking I'm not sure. Suffice it to say that 2 x 2000lb class weapons plus 2 x AAMs is out. My bigger question is what else (other than AAMs) they can fit in there. I would have expected the J31's internal bays to be less voluminous than the F35's, with corresponding limitations on loadout options.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 10:40
by hornetfinn
mixelflick wrote:I agree, but it's sad really. Think about the limited resources those engineers had to work with, the system they were constrained by and always being one step behind in avionics, engines etc.. Given all of that, I thought they did an outstanding job in building aircraft that could compete with the F-15, 16, 18 etc.. In fact, I think their airframes are every bit as good as ours.

The problem is.... everything else. Radar/sensors, weapons, engines, manufacturing tolerances etc. I would LOVE to see what someone from the Mikoyan or Sukhoi design bureau would come up with, were he to move to the US and work for Boeing/Lockheed. Now THAT would be something..


I agree that their airframes were good or even very good in some cases. I think their engines were pretty good too, although they had shorter service life than Western engines. Saturn AL-31 was very good engine when it was introduced. It was powerful, reliable and had good fuel consumption figures and high stall margin. Klimov RD-33 was not bad engine either, although it was smoky in the original version. Otherwise it had much of the same qualities as AL-31.

They also had some good or very good weapons. R-73 was likely the best IR-seeking missile when it was introduced and was slaved to HMS. Sure the Soviets were not the first to do it, but on the forefront still. Another very innovative solution was MiG-31 and R-33 combo. A first fighter aircraft with PESA radar and able to engage multiple targets simultaneously using SARH guidance. They also had some impressive air-to-ground and anti-ship missiles, like Kh-22 and Kh-15.

I'm very impressed how innovative and often elegant solutions they came up with under the Communist regime in Soviet Union. They didn't have access to the kind of computing systems or manufacturing equipment that Western countries had but still managed to make impressive systems. Overall they were behind technologically and in capabilities though. The same tradition continues, but nowadays they have a lot smaller resources to draw from than during Soviet era. I think they should really become more democratic and get closer to USA and Europe in all areas and become a partner rather than opponent. I think that would be the best for both Russia and the rest of the world.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 13:07
by madrat
The nation is unsustainable without the harsh hand that runs it. It's not like the communists were true ideologs and didn't adapt to change with the times. You'd be hard pressed to find leadership in any former CCCP member state that did not have ties to the Soviet Party. And Putin has made it readily apparent to all former CCCP member states that there is a sense of ownership to their futures regardless of what names changed. This makes it really hard for Western countries to warm up to Russia as a partner. And there really isn't a shortage of talent or money in the former Soviet Bloc, there is just a refocus of resources that shifted economics towards their consumers. The military could certainly turn the economy back towards a war machine in a crisis. I wouldn't count them out as they have a great education system and a huge potential for improvement. If 16,000 hour airframes were important to them you'd see them.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 13:32
by zhangmdev
mixelflick wrote: I would LOVE to see what someone from the Mikoyan or Sukhoi design bureau would come up with, were he to move to the US and work for Boeing/Lockheed. Now THAT would be something..

Ufimtsev published the Physical Theory of Diffraction, which was discovered in the West. Not someone from those famous design bureaus works for the skunk works, but the point is the other side didn't lack good scientists or well-trained engineers. It's a pity such talent was wasted in such a system. Imagine a Soviet stealth bomber flying in the 1980s.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2020, 19:27
by milosh
Corsair1963 wrote:Of course this is why I keep coming back to the J-31. Which, could be Russia's savior. As they could build it under license and with considerable amount of Russian Components. (Engines, Avionics, and Weapons)


I really doubt that would save some money to Russia. I mean you save on airframe design which isn't something expensive today. Everything else cost lot more then that. Production line for stealthy airframe (not cheap at all), sensors expensive, VK-10M isn't build at all so you need to finance that too.

If Russians wanted smaller stealth they could design airframe without problems but they don't want smaller stealth. In fact they could do that with India for example ACMA, they didn't want. They could probable do that with Turkey now, they don't want.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Sep 2020, 01:27
by Corsair1963
milosh wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Of course this is why I keep coming back to the J-31. Which, could be Russia's savior. As they could build it under license and with considerable amount of Russian Components. (Engines, Avionics, and Weapons)


I really doubt that would save some money to Russia. I mean you save on airframe design which isn't something expensive today. Everything else cost lot more then that. Production line for stealthy airframe (not cheap at all), sensors expensive, VK-10M isn't build at all so you need to finance that too.

If Russians wanted smaller stealth they could design airframe without problems but they don't want smaller stealth. In fact they could do that with India for example ACMA, they didn't want. They could probable do that with Turkey now, they don't want.



The J-31 is already in development and near production. A clean sheet design for another new stealth fighter would be vastly more expensive and take another twenty years. Plus, a Russian / Indian / Turkey Stealth Fighter is "highly" unlikely....

Also, Russia already has versions of the RD-33/RD-93 that produce over 20,000 lbs in service. Which, would be adequate at least for now...

Lastly, Russia may not want a smaller / mid-sized Stealth Fighter. Yet, what she can afford and produce in adequate numbers is another matter! Russia was never going to be able to produce several hundred Su-57's. Even if the type 'had" proved to be successful....

Which, is why we keep coming back to the J-31 as the most logical alternative...."IMHO"

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Sep 2020, 05:56
by madrat
The production J-31 won't used RD-33/RD-93.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Sep 2020, 07:08
by Corsair1963
madrat wrote:The production J-31 won't used RD-33/RD-93.


If, the WS-13 works out the Chinese version of the J-31 won't use the RD-33/RD-93. Yet, I was talking about a "possible" Russian Version of the J-31. Which, would clearly have a high Russian Content. Hence the RD-33/RD-93....

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Sep 2020, 17:25
by mixelflick
Corsair1963 wrote:
milosh wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Of course this is why I keep coming back to the J-31. Which, could be Russia's savior. As they could build it under license and with considerable amount of Russian Components. (Engines, Avionics, and Weapons)


I really doubt that would save some money to Russia. I mean you save on airframe design which isn't something expensive today. Everything else cost lot more then that. Production line for stealthy airframe (not cheap at all), sensors expensive, VK-10M isn't build at all so you need to finance that too.

If Russians wanted smaller stealth they could design airframe without problems but they don't want smaller stealth. In fact they could do that with India for example ACMA, they didn't want. They could probable do that with Turkey now, they don't want.



The J-31 is already in development and near production. A clean sheet design for another new stealth fighter would be vastly more expensive and take another twenty years. Plus, a Russian / Indian / Turkey Stealth Fighter is "highly" unlikely....

Also, Russia already has versions of the RD-33/RD-93 that produce over 20,000 lbs in service. Which, would be adequate at least for now...

Lastly, Russia may not want a smaller / mid-sized Stealth Fighter. Yet, what she can afford and produce in adequate numbers is another matter! Russia was never going to be able to produce several hundred Su-57's. Even if the type 'had" proved to be successful....

Which, is why we keep coming back to the J-31 as the most logical alternative...."IMHO"


J-31 nearing production? Did I miss something??

The last I knew of the J-31 it sounded like the outer mold line was still in flux, and if anything China was downplaying its role (at least in Chinese service). OTOH, the Chinese are usually farther along than western intelligence estimates. Still, without enough engine its going to be very, very limited. If this thing really was hitting on all cylinders, I think we'd see all work on the J-15 Flying Shark grind to a halt, recognizing that the J-31 likely has the airframe with the most potential to be navalised...

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Sep 2020, 19:09
by energo
hornetfinn wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Klimov RD-33 was not bad engine either, although it was smoky in the original version.


As far as I remember the RD-33 was smokey because the soviets used high oil mix percentage in the fuel to increase maintenance intervals and extend the life of the engines.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 24 Sep 2020, 20:14
by zhangmdev
energo wrote:because the soviets used high oil mix percentage in the fuel to increase maintenance intervals and extend the life of the engines


Jet engine combustion chamber and turbine is cooled/protected by a thin layer of air redirected from the compressor. The combustion chamber has no moving parts, unlike pistons and cylinders of car engines, and consums no lubricating oil. Of course rotor bearing needs lubricating oil, but that should never touch the hot gas.

Old jet engines are very smoky. Check photos of B-52 and Boeing 707 taking off. Simply because there isn't enough air flow to burn all the fuel. Later engines have better combustion chamber designs, so the smoke is reduced.

Rocket engines are cooled, partially, by high fuel oxydizer mix ratio.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2020, 04:41
by weasel1962
Is the smoke in part caused by Russian fuels (TS-1?) which is partly caused by the lower operating temperatures? I know fuel blends then to lower exhaust smoke but clearly Russia (or Northern Canada) probably have to use fuels with a lower freezing point.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 17 Nov 2020, 01:46
by em745
Tiger05 wrote:The Hornet sure has impressive manoeuvrability for a non-TVC aircraft. This Swiss Hornet display is well worth watching in full:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf5A13atLHQ&t=76s

Those high AoA maneuvers... :shock:

The Swiss Hornets are a special breed though since they are the only ones stressed for 9G and have no AoA limiters unlike other Hornets.


More...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OkvVp4QolE

:shock:

Who knew!

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 21 Nov 2020, 15:29
by mixelflick
Not a Hornet fan, but there are times it'll surprise you. These (3) displays are good examples. Still, like so many others they're flying 100% clean. Much more impressive IMO was a SH display seen here with a 6,500lb air to air loadout. Here she is..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziRO0wW ... zazzmatazz

The block III should be fantastic, but of all the improvements the Navy decided to fund.... why (never) a more powerful engine? I get it extends engine life, but the Hornets lack of "grunt" has been an issue since the legacy. Once and for all, I wish they'd fix that.

Re: Legacy Hornet vs Su-30MKM

Unread postPosted: 23 Nov 2020, 04:04
by Corsair1963
mixelflick wrote:
J-31 nearing production? Did I miss something??

The last I knew of the J-31 it sounded like the outer mold line was still in flux, and if anything China was downplaying its role (at least in Chinese service). OTOH, the Chinese are usually farther along than western intelligence estimates. Still, without enough engine its going to be very, very limited. If this thing really was hitting on all cylinders, I think we'd see all work on the J-15 Flying Shark grind to a halt, recognizing that the J-31 likely has the airframe with the most potential to be navalised...


From everything I've heard or seen the J-31 is progressing right along. Plus, without it PLAAF and PLAN would be in a dire position.