BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2004, 07:51
by parrothead
I know that this discussion is much older than this web site, but I have some concerns that I would like to discuss. I can't think of a better community to talk this over with as everyone here seems to be well informed and intelligent enough to give a well thought out opinion.

I agree that BVR combat would be an ideal scenario for fighter pilots. While it may be ideal, I can't think of many times in history when it has actually been employed in combat. Aircraft designed specifically around the strategy of long range missile engagements had problems in some encounters in Viet Nam. There were several times when a Phantom in a dogfight would have benefitted from a gun.

Thankfully, we seem to have learned our lesson and all of the fighter and attack jets around today that I can think of are equipped with a quality gun system as factory original equipment. US military pilots are well trained in the art of aerial combat.

That said, I've seen a lot on this site about how great long range missiles are today and how the future holds the promise of enemies being defeated before the US or allied pilots ever get close enough for a visual ID on the target. It reminds me of the mentality of the people who designed and built the F-4 without a gun. True, we have AWACS and other radars that can track most targets from the time they take off, but is the Chain of Command really willing to authorize the release of weapons without a 100% confirmation of the target? Do we trust the IFF systems that much? Just how likely are we to use BVR missiles at anything approaching their maximum range?

I don't want to get into sensitive areas of tactics, so I'm relying on the responsibility of the F-16.net community to keep the discussion "proper" in that respect. Thanks for your thoughts!!!

RE: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 12 Jan 2005, 11:06
by parrothead
I was searching through the archives and found this old topic of mine, still with zero replies after all this time. Thanks go to everyone who voted in the poll, but would anyone care to comment on their views? Thanks in advance!

RE: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 12 Jan 2005, 11:54
by danhutmacher
I think the pk of bvr missiles will depend on a lot of factors.the most important will be the training of the enemy pilots and then thier equipment.
After all during Vietnam we had the F4 phantom and at the start of the war it had a 3 to 1 exchange rate with the North vietnamese airforce. But by 1967 that rate had dropped in favor of the vietnamese.
And we all know how poorly trained the serbian and Iraqi air forces were.
I have heard rumors that during a recent excerise between the F-15 and the indian air force that the indians had cleaned the clocks of the F-15s. Unforchanitly tyhe air force has classifed the results so we won't know had if the rumors are true.

RE: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 12 Jan 2005, 19:49
by parrothead
danhutmacher, first off, welcome to the board and thanks for the reply!

I think you have your figures on the Phantom exchange rate wrong - I'm pretty sure the Fighter Weapons Schools developed by the US Navy and Air Force greatly improved the kill ratio of the US fighters over the North Vietnamese.

Yes, we know about those other air forces and I've heard alot about the USAF / IAF exercise, but we're still unaware of just what the Rules of Engagement were. I'm not saying that this is the case (I'm a mere civilian and not privy to the real info) but for example, the F-15 would be expected to do poorly if it was required to visually ID all targets while the opponents were allowed to fire from beyond visual range.

That's really my question - if we'll ever actually see BVR missiles used at ranges where a pilot simply cannot get a good visual ID? I don't believe the US allowed this in Vietnam and I'm pretty sure it's the reason the F-14 has a 10x magnification TV camera under the nose.

So will we ever see AMRAAMs used BVR? Without getting into any sensitive info, what situation would allow it? Would it ever happen in anything other than a WWIII scenario?

Thanks in advance!

RE: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2005, 13:59
by danhutmacher
those figures I quoted on the F-4 were for from 1965-1968. During 1972 the air forces exchange rate stayed the same but navies jumped to 12-1 thanks to top gun. Although all but one of the navies 24 kills came with the sidewinder and within visual range.
The maddening part about the excerise with the IAF is I don't know what the rules of engagement were ethier.
Still with a modern rwr detector they can detect the radar BEFORE the one using the radar can detect its target.
their were several times in vietnam that the rules were relaxed enough to allow BVR shots. If you want to read an excellent account of air combat over vietnam you should find a copy of Clashes by Marshall Michel.
I think a couple of the kills over Kosvo were with BVR shots with the Amraam.
As for the scenario I think the most likely will be when China Invades Taiwain.

RE: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2005, 18:59
by parrothead
Thanks for the reply! I'm much more familiar with Navy than Air Force when it comes to Vietnam. I'll have to do some more homework, and I might have to find that book :wink: .

As for the scenario I think the most likely will be when China Invades Taiwain.


The "when" makes me nervous! I just hope it never happens!

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2005, 19:27
by Pumpkin
parrothead, I believe the modern targeting pod is able to aid the pilot, to certain extent, in VID BVR air target. Together with the AIFF, I believe BVR missile can be employed to the full capability.

cheers,

Unread postPosted: 17 Jan 2005, 06:15
by parrothead
Good points, Pumpkin! Thanks for the reply! I hope we never have the need, but I think you're probably right.

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2005, 05:33
by TC
If I could jump in on this and clear a few misconceptions up here...

First off, as to the advantage of the gun. Sure, every little thing you can have to your advantage could be helpful, but one must remember the last U.S. guns kill of an enemy aircraft was made by now retired USAF BGen (I believe 1LT at the time) Gary Rubus (an old acquaintance) back in 1972, flying an F-4E, against a MiG-21. It's been all missiles since then.

Secondly, only the Navy's A-A kill ratio was improved in Vietnam, thanks to TOPGUN. The Navy, employing a tactic known as "Loose Deuce" were able to trap a MiG, and he had nowhere to go, but down in flames. The USAF suffered from not getting away from the "Fluid Four" formation, and maintained around a 3-1 ratio for the duration of the war. USAF Weapons School, and RED FLAG did not come about until after Vietnam. RED FLAG began in 1975.

As far as BVR missile fights go, I'm all for it. We have already successfully employed the AMRAAM in combat (first kill was F-16 v. MiG-29). IFF works well enough, and provided some d**khead in the AWACS doesn't fall asleep again (OOPS! Did I say that out loud?) we hopefully won't have another "Blackhawk Incident".

And one more note: The Iraqi and Serbian AFs were not poorly trained, they were merely unable to employ inferior equipment and tactics against American pilots who had been training for that very scenario since the end of Vietnam. We also learned much from the Israelis, and their experience against similar aircraft and tactics. Hope this enlightened, and dispelled some myths for everyone.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2005, 06:57
by parrothead
TC, thanks for the clarifications and the info :D ! I learn more here than just about anywhere else.

Unread postPosted: 18 Jan 2005, 20:36
by danhutmacher
I agree with TC withn respect to the gun. The last time a gun kill was scored was in vietnam.
As for the BVR fight I think that if it works great. But it won't work all of the time.
As for the serbian and Iragi air forces being well trained. This may be true but the tactics they used were wrong. If they had been trained the way American pilots were the air war would have been VERY different.

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2005, 01:52
by ram816
TC wrote:Secondly, only the Navy's A-A kill ratio was improved in Vietnam, thanks to TOPGUN. The Navy, employing a tactic known as "Loose Deuce" were able to trap a MiG, and he had nowhere to go, but down in flames. The USAF suffered from not getting away from the "Fluid Four" formation, and maintained around a 3-1 ratio for the duration of the war. USAF Weapons School, and RED FLAG did not come about until after Vietnam. RED FLAG began in 1975.
!


Actually I hear the Air Force's Overall Kill ratio, a dismal 2.25 to 1 went down after the air war hiatus to 1.88 to 1.
And "Fluid four" (a bit of a misnomer for its time) was actually a problem due to the Air force's rigidity when it came to running an engagement. Ususally the guy in the frontseat of the lead plane woud be the one who would take charge, which caused many problems. One story I've heard was of a Squadron C.O. whou led a flight of Phantoms up north. they tangles with some MiGs, the C.O. firing off three missiles with no hits. The Fourth plane in the formation actually managed to get behind one MiG and radioed in "Boss, I got one in my sights, should I fire?" the C.O. then replies, "I'm running low on fuel, boys, lets go home." So the four Phantoms fly back to base, giving up the chance to bag a MiG.

Another story is one from March of 1970. BrigGen Robin Olds went up on a dogfight with the TOPGUN instructors at NAS Miramar. He flew with RIO instructor Lt. J.C. Smith in the back and had Mel "Rattler" Holmes as their wingman.
Duting one of the 2v2 engagements, Olds followed his own tactics and went off trying to down both bad guys while Holmes tried to keep him from getting his @55 waxed. When they got on the ground, the only reaction Olds had was about Smith.
"In my plane, the Backseater only does what I tell him to."
Smith replied Frankly with "We, we don't do that here."
Needless to say, Olds was pissed.

TOPGUN tactics included that in an engagement, the first one to get Visual on the Bogey could take charge of the intercept, that included the RIOs... The Air Force's Backseaters were just Pilots who ran the Radar, and were expected to remain subordinate to their pilots in front.

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2005, 05:49
by danhutmacher
Hey ram816, You are right on all counts. During the vietnam war the air force displayed a mentallty with regards to tactics that is very hard to belive. If one wants to read a couple of books about this I would suggest getting a copy of Clashes by marshall michel and striving for air superiorty by craig hannah.

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2005, 07:49
by cru
USAF Weapons School, and RED FLAG did not come about until after Vietnam


Correct bout RED FLAG, but I think that FWS at Nellis (USAF) is older than Miramar FWS (actually this one has moved to Fallon now). Anyway, John Boyd was an instructor ther at the end of the Korean War (1953), so at leat by '53 the FWS at Nellis already existed


As far as BVR missile fights go, I'm all for it. We have already successfully employed the AMRAAM in combat (first kill was F-16 v. MiG-29).


I believed it was a F 16 vs. Mig 25 in Irak, after the Gulf War.

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2005, 09:39
by cru
During the vietnam war the air force displayed a mentallty with regards to tactics that is very hard to believe.


I think that is more of a legend.

What about operation Bolo? And in general, the oustanding performance of 8 th Wing?

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2005, 05:30
by danhutmacher
Hey CRU,

What I'm refering to is the fact that despite the feather duster test that were condutcted in 1965 the air force wouldn't change their tactics. The feather duster test showed that the air forces tactics wouldn't work. In spite of that and combat results the air force stubbornly stuck to its prewar tactics.

Operation bolo was a deception operation that worked.

The 8th fighter wing was the best air to air wing but it could have done a lot better if the air force had adjusted it's tactics.

BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 27 Jan 2005, 20:39
by Wildcat
In my opinion, advances in communications and global knowledge of the battlefield now make possible to use BVR missiles on BVR range. As long as you get a clear view of what happens, it is possible to use long-range missiles, even in a rather crowded airspace, as it was proved by F-16 shots at MIG-29s in Balkans.

On the other hand, if fighters have to rely solely on their own sensors (like on a remote and large land, like Afghanistan or Iran, where it would be hard to maintain a complete AWACS activity 24 hours per day), they might need to close to visual range to get a positive ID, if they do not have a long-range IR or EO system (like the Typhoon and the Rafale F2).

RE: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2005, 03:04
by PhthaloType
What about NCTR (non-cooperative target recognition)? Don't need to get close for visual ID if radar can do it for you. From what I've read it's not totally reliable as implemented in current fighters, but I'll bet the technology has come a long way in the F/A-22.

BVR combat

Unread postPosted: 28 Jan 2005, 11:57
by Wildcat
I did not mention NCTR because, as you wrote, it is not completely reliable, and I am not aware enough of progress being made about NCTR.
However, if anyone has information about NCTR (past, present or future), I am greatly interested. :D

RE: BVR combat

Unread postPosted: 30 Jan 2005, 01:32
by danhutmacher
I believe that NCTR relies on signal processing of a radar beam. Modern radars can take pictures of the ground that appear to look like high quailty pictures. Unless i'm wrong that same processing can make a high quality picture to aid the pilot in IDing the type of aircraft that it has a lock on. But in order to use this one would have to have a radar trained at the aircraft in question. Such use of a radar would alert everybody with a warning systems as to where you are. It would also take several radar sweeps to generate that picture. And if the enemy has a good ECM it can jam the radar that is trying to generate that picture thus putting us back to needing a visual check prior to launching any BVR missiles. In the end It will still require a well trained pilot to use the technology right. If anyone has more info I would like to know about it also. :D

RE: BVR combat

Unread postPosted: 30 Jan 2005, 07:11
by parrothead
danhutmacher, I don't understand the whole of the technology and I'm certain that the details are classified, but the newest radars are apparently much harder to detect due to the use of frequency hopping among other things. I agree, in the end it's up to the pilots and others to make the decision to fire.

RE: BVR combat

Unread postPosted: 30 Jan 2005, 17:32
by danhutmacher
Parrothead. How are you doing? I don't understand it all either. What I do know I have been able to piece toghter through bits and pieces that I have learned. Most of it is classified so I could very well be wrong in how it works. But I don't think so.

As for modern radars being harder to detect I think that if you can build the radars this way then you should be able to build a detector as well. The trick is to have the computer processing power to decode the radar signals.

So it will be tough but not impossible.

RE: BVR combat

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2005, 05:38
by parrothead
danhutmacher, I'm doin' alright, thanks for asking :) I agree that it might be possible, but very difficult. That would indeed take a lot of processing power!

RE: BVR combat

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2005, 14:01
by danhutmacher
Yeah it does. But like all IFF systems there will be ways to beat it.
When you come right down to it I don't think that the BVR missile will ever have a PK higher than twenty percent. So I don't think it's worth the money that is spent on it.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2005, 01:08
by swanee
TC wrote:If I could jump in on this and clear a few misconceptions up here...

First off, as to the advantage of the gun. Sure, every little thing you can have to your advantage could be helpful, but one must remember the last U.S. guns kill of an enemy aircraft was made by now retired USAF BGen (I believe 1LT at the time) Gary Rubus (an old acquaintance) back in 1972, flying an F-4E, against a MiG-21. It's been all missiles since then.


Sorry, but my bullsh*t meter just spiked here. :) Gen Rubus had the last a2a guns kill against a fixed wing aircraft, but 2 A-10s from Davis Monthan (I believe, those I could also be bullsh*tting and it be a different unit :wink: ) had 2 a2a guns kills on 2 Iraqi helicopters, as their aim 9s missed the target...

The Wing King from the A-10 Unit Called up the Wing King from the 1st Fw and bragged about having more kills in an A-10 than his f-15s at the time!

Life is too short for ugly sailboats, fat women and bad beer!

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2005, 00:55
by TC
OH WOW! A GAU-8/A took out a stationary helicopter, just rising off of the ground! WOO HOO! :shock: :P

I wonder how many pigeons and mallards they took out too... :roll:

Yeah, I knew about the A-10 air to air kills, but what we were trying to focus on is REAL air to air combat, which is fighter v. fighter. Just like chopper and trash hauler pukes aren't real pilots.

OOPS! Did I say that out loud? Just kidding. I'm only having a little fun at the expense of our friends who WISH they were fast mover pilots! :poke:

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2005, 02:53
by swanee
TC wrote:OH WOW! A GAU-8/A took out a stationary helicopter, just rising off of the ground! WOO HOO! :shock: :P

I wonder how many pigeons and mallards they took out too... :roll:

Yeah, I knew about the A-10 air to air kills, but what we were trying to focus on is REAL air to air combat, which is fighter v. fighter. Just like chopper and trash hauler pukes aren't real pilots.

OOPS! Did I say that out loud? Just kidding. I'm only having a little fun at the expense of our friends who WISH they were fast mover pilots! :poke:

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!


yeah i read ya man. wasn't a difficult kill, though I just think it's interesting that their missles missed(!). Just another log for the fire...

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2005, 04:18
by parrothead
I don't know about the situation involved with this kill, but it sounds like the Hawgs attacked from overhead. Could the failure of the Sidewinders to guide be attributed to heat from the ground throwing off thier lock?

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2005, 09:52
by danhutmacher
I don't remember any of the details of those kills. But what I do find intresting is that on the first morning of the gulf war in '91 A strike group from the USS Sartoga was inbound to its target when it was engaged by an Iragi Mig-25. The Awacs providing support to that strike NEVER detected the Mig even though several members of the strike saw its afterburner plume.

The Mig wasn't engaged by the strike because the ROE stated that any fighter must get clearence from the AWACS BEFORE it fires a shot.

I wonder what everyone thinks about this?

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2005, 00:48
by TC
ROE required the AWACS permission, because so many friendlies were over the area. It is ok to let an enemy a/c go, if it means lessening the possibility for a friendly kill. This unfortunately occured just a few weeks later, with the infamous "Blackhawk Incident." It occured due to several issues, including the Army using the wrong IFF code, and the $hithead controller in the AWACS monitoring that sector kept dozing off.

What really sucks is that the F-15 pilots were court-martialed for doing what they were supposed to do, and that @$$hole in the AWACS that should have been doing his job, received no punishment, and was allowed to "quietly leave the Air Force." What a crock of $hit!

The moral of my rant?...An AWACS only works as good as the idiot scope dope sitting at the computer terminal.

Any questions?

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2005, 00:18
by danhutmacher
That's my point exactly. We can spend the money on BVR missiles but if the people operating the equipment don't trust it or get confused because they were poorly trained then we will wind up shooting down some of our own aircraft. It all comes down to the people.
Unfouchanitly in that strike that I mentioned in my earlier post an F-18 was lost during that strike. Just about everybody thinks that it was shot down by that Mig.
It's because of incidents like that and because of technical problems that I belive that BVR combat is a pipe dream.

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2005, 19:39
by TC
It's not really a pipe dream, because it's not impossible. We've proven again and again that it can and has worked. "The Blackhawk Incident" was a laundry list of failures, which pretty much any case of something going that drastically wrong typically is. The training was top notch, but in the case of the weapons controller, he had been reprimanded previously for falling asleep. Somehow, he was allowed to slip through the cracks. I have a theory on that which I won't share here.

The Army, as I said before did not enter the day's new IFF code, which raised a red flag with the F-15s which eventually downed the choppers. Actually, they made a quick pass near the choppers, and with the wrong IFF code, the removeable wings and external ordinance, everyone was in agreement that the choppers were Mi-24 Hinds. So, there you go. A visual didn't help matters either.

As far as Scott Speicher goes, some say the Foxbat got him. Some say a SAM got him, as there were several launches in the area. That's another theory which I will refrain from discussing here. I just hope we can find him someday.

As to your first comment, I can't think of any fighter pilot who "doesn't trust" his equipment. If they didn't trust it, they wouldn't be flying. Bottom line, BVR combat has pluses and minuses, but we are discussing incidents that are now 14 years old. Technology and training has improved. We also haven't seen much air to air combat since that point, so when we finally do, I have no doubt we will have learned from our experiences. That is what makes us better each time.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2005, 03:26
by swanee
swanee wrote:
TC wrote:If I could jump in on this and clear a few misconceptions up here...

First off, as to the advantage of the gun. Sure, every little thing you can have to your advantage could be helpful, but one must remember the last U.S. guns kill of an enemy aircraft was made by now retired USAF BGen (I believe 1LT at the time) Gary Rubus (an old acquaintance) back in 1972, flying an F-4E, against a MiG-21. It's been all missiles since then.


Sorry, but my bullsh*t meter just spiked here. :) Gen Rubus had the last a2a guns kill against a fixed wing aircraft, but 2 A-10s from Davis Monthan (I believe, those I could also be bullsh*tting and it be a different unit :wink: ) had 2 a2a guns kills on 2 Iraqi helicopters, as their aim 9s missed the target...

The Wing King from the A-10 Unit Called up the Wing King from the 1st Fw and bragged about having more kills in an A-10 than his f-15s at the time!

Life is too short for ugly sailboats, fat women and bad beer!


corrections: It was the New Orleans unit, not the Davis Monthan. And their Aim-9s never left their wings, they couldn't get a lock on the helos with them... It's true about the phone call part though!!!

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2005, 04:29
by Gums
Salute all!

really neat thread here.

1) Yep, was the NOLA outfit that got the helo with the 30mm cannon. The guy's class from USAFA paid for it to be moved from here at Eglin to USAFA a few years back. I love to see that plane, as it has the helo symbol below the canopy versus the usual star for a kill. Heh heh.

2) I also remember an Israeli video of a helo shootdown. one of our students sent the thing back to us. Was Bekka Valley. He tried to gun the sucker, but the Syrian dude would drop down just in time. After about three tries, next frame is AIM-9L symbolgy, good tone, then BAM!!!

3) BVR combat was limited in 'nam due to ROE. Bolo proved how good the Sparrow was when employed as it was designed. Nevertheless, only Ritchie got his kills with the Sparrow. Cunningham used 'winders. I talked with a Mig-killer last night and he used a 'winder. He shot a Sparrow, unguided, just to get the Mig-21 to move. Then he smoked the sucker with an AIM-9E. I am a classmate of Ritchie, and he will tell you how he did it. He shot, looked, then shot again. Sometimes he shot twice, then looked. He also knew his missile really well, and positioned his jet's nose and relaxed on the gee when firing to improve the Pk. Know what? It worked.

4) Non-cooperative radar stuff has been around since 1984 or so. I can't tell you the details, but I would trust it. I am sure NCTR is a whole lot better 20 years later. The IFF Mode 4 is common knowledge, and the Eagles have had it since the late 70's - 30 years ago, my friends. Ask the Blackhawk survivors about Mode 4.

The Blackhawk fiasco was just that - a fiasco. Poor AWACS, poor comm about who was flying where, etc. Also, look at one of the Blackhawks with the external tanks and the refueling probe and the thing resembles a Hind-D unless you get out in front. So I cut the Eagle troops some slack.

The really bad part was the helos weren't checking six and didn't have the correct IFF code set. They were fat, dumb and happy until they got smoked. I hate to be callous, but they screwed up worse than the Eagle drivers or the AWACS folks.

gotta log,

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2005, 04:50
by danhutmacher
It's because of errors like those in the Blackhawk incident that I feel that BVR combat is a pipe dream.
As for pilots not trusting thier equipment I meant thier IFF gear. :oops:
Part of me hopes to be proven wrong about BVR but history has a way of repeating itself.
During gulf war 2 the patriots shot down a british tornado, a navy F-18 and almost got an air force F-16. It also had the habit of locking up friendly aircraft and declareing them to be cruise missiles.
Those incidents are less than two years old.
Lets hope that the US Military keeps running up against poor oponets and that we never face a war like the Israelis did in the first days of the YOM KIPPUR war in '73.
Take care and check six 8)

Unread postPosted: 16 Feb 2005, 08:30
by parrothead
danhutmacher,

Fratricide is an unfortunate part of war from all times in history. Basically, stuff happens. Basically what Gums is saying is that it's the pilot's responsibility to make sure he has the correct IFF code plugged in. If he doesn't and he gets nailed by a friendly SAM or BVR missile, why would we think of it any different than an infantry troop who gives the incorrect pass code at a perimeter? That pilot hosed it and didn't follow orders, as entering the proper IFF code is an order the way I understand it. I'll start looking at the equipment if we ever have incidents in which we kill friendlies who have the correct codes set.

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2005, 04:24
by Gums
Salute!

I shall guarantee you that a BVR battle is not only possible, but is likely in the future.

Actually, some of the initial kills in Desert Storm were face shots, as we knew where WE were and we knew where THEY were.

We have better and better AWACS and other assets to paint the 'big picture'. The Slammer is awesome, and will be a big player.

Friendly fire is a big problem if folks don't know how to operate their equipment and practice. From my personal experience, the only bad friendly fire incidents involved folks that screwed up - both dropping stuff and asking for stuff to be dropped.. The jarheads mistook east for west (Koh Tang Island in 75). The GIB forgot to put in the offset on a LORAN drop at DaNang (1972) and bombed the TACAN navaid (heh heh). Then, sadly, we lost a few folks in the 'stan when they apparently transmitted their own coordinates versus the actual tgt coordinates for a JDAM drop - very sad.

I can tell you that my greatest fear was dropping on the good guys during a hectic close air support mission. I did everything within my power to ensure that I hit the bad guys, even if it meant not dropping as close to the good guys as they requested.

later,

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2005, 05:35
by LinkF16SimDude
Gums wrote:The GIB forgot to put in the offset on a LORAN drop at DaNang (1972) and bombed the TACAN navaid (heh heh).

:doh:
Gums wrote:Then, sadly, we lost a few folks in the 'stan when they apparently transmitted their own coordinates versus the actual tgt coordinates for a JDAM drop..


The skinny I heard on that one was that the ground troop had to replace his GPS receiver battery under fire and when it powered back up it initialized with his pos and not the last pos of the bad guy. With all the shootin' and flyin' lead, he forgot that it did that so he thought he was sending the target coordinate when he actually sent his own.

The Fog of War :cry:

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2005, 06:42
by danhutmacher
Friendly fire is an unforchant thing in war but the examples I listed ALL had the correct IFF codes in the systems. It was the Patriot missile system that ***ked up. But whats to say that it won't happen in a future war. If it does then the pilots will lose confidence in the system and they wont shoot BVR. Then your back to the old fashioned visual range fight.
Given the mess that the patriot had makes me doubt wether it will ever work.
I personally belive that BVR combat won't work for a varity of reasons.
As for the incident in 'Stan the story that linkf16simdude wrote is the one I heard also.

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2005, 06:44
by danhutmacher
Friendly fire is an unforchant thing in war but the examples I listed ALL had the correct IFF codes in the systems. It was the Patriot missile system that ***ked up. But whats to say that it won't happen in a future war. If it does then the pilots will lose confidence in the system and they wont shoot BVR. Then your back to the old fashioned visual range fight.
Given the mess that the patriot had makes me doubt wether it will ever work.
I personally belive that BVR combat won't work for a varity of reasons.
As for the incident in 'Stan the story that linkf16simdude wrote is the one I heard also.

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2005, 06:56
by TC
I don't really think I have to add this one, as it is fairly obvious, but combat is a very bad time to a) figure out at the last minute that you screwed up, or b) go on without even realizing that you screwed up.

Basically, if you don't have your $hit wired tight...If you aren't paying strict attention...If you don't have all your i's dotted and t's crossed, then I hate to be so cold-hearted, but you will get your just desserts.

You really do fight like you train. BVR combat is no dream, no perception, no fallacy, and no rumor. I has happened, it can happen, and it will happen again. Especially now that we have such sophisticated tracking equipment. I can't and won't go into how that works here, but suffice it to say we know what moves they make, and where they will be coming from. We'll get them, and we'll get them from a long way off, and unseen more than likely.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2005, 07:52
by Gus
Personally, I think we'll be able to shoot BVR...just not at the ranges we'd like.

My concern is that the people we may be fighting won't be so concerned with who they shoot at. i.e. not as restrictive as us.

Gus

Unread postPosted: 21 Feb 2005, 04:59
by danhutmacher
I hope your right TC but the history of warfare is full of theroies that seemed to work in peace time only to be shredded in the opening days of the war.

Personally I don't think more than twenty percent of all kills will be made BVR. But that depends on the equipment amd skill of the opposing air force.

Unread postPosted: 21 Feb 2005, 09:24
by TC
I just hope the motto of the former Iraqi AF holds true with other nations we may have to face in the future:

"Gear Up, Flaps Up, BLOWN UP!"

'Nuff said on this thread I think.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2005, 18:37
by LWF
IFF is an unreliable system. Even though it's never been jammed, it sends out false signals, doesn't send the right ones, and an enemy could spoof it, making you think your enemy is your friend, or jam it making you think your friend is an enemy, and when you figure this out, you can't use BVR missiles anymore. And IFF can tell someone exactly where you are. Pilots don't even like using IFF because they know it's unreliable. The longest range that aerial combat can be conducted at is around optimal sidewinder range.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2005, 21:17
by VPRGUY
LWF wrote:IFF is an unreliable system. Even though it's never been jammed, it sends out false signals, doesn't send the right ones, and an enemy could spoof it, making you think your enemy is your friend, or jam it making you think your friend is an enemy, and when you figure this out, you can't use BVR missiles anymore. And IFF can tell someone exactly where you are. Pilots don't even like using IFF because they know it's unreliable. The longest range that aerial combat can be conducted at is around optimal sidewinder range.


If IFF is unreliable, how do we explain away the THOUSANDS of sorties that go off without a hitch? People seem to latch onto one or two (or in this case a half dozen) situations and think they are proof positive something doesn't work, while not realizing (like I said above) the several hundred (or thousand) times that it did work. Some of the incidents we're discussing in this thread go all the way back to 1991- fourteen years ago. How many combat sorties around the world have we (and our allies using almost the exact same equipment) made in those 14 years, and we're saying because of two blackhawks, a couple patriots, and one or two other incidents the systems are crap? Don't think so. It is terrible that we've lost troops to our own guys, and I for one don't ever want to see it happen. The only way for that to be the case is to ship them all home and put them to work at walmart, because mistakes will happen in war.

As for BVR, why do you say we won't engage past sidewinder range? What happens when we go to war against a nation with a decent air force; our F/A-22's/F-15/F-16/F-35's/F/A-18's go in, knowing full well (at least in the beginning) anyone on the radar screen is going to be a bad guy, and starts tagging them 30-100 miles out (up to the max weapons range, whatever it is). Right off the bat, BVR missles have put a dent in the bad guys air force (anyone who thinks they'll all be buried next time is a fool in my opinion). Then, as the war rolls on, whatever wasn't killed in the first waves and ground strikes may try to fight. In that case, an F/A-22 that detects an aircraft taking off from a bad guys airbase 50 miles out can probably safely assume it isn't an F-16 taking off, and can pop them.

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2005, 12:43
by danhutmacher
In gulf war two the patriots locked up a tornado,f-16,and an f18 thinking they were tactical ballistic missile. the f-18 and the tornado where acutally shot down by the patriot.

The patriot also routinely picked up FALSE missile tracks. During allied force one of the biggest complaints was that the AWACs operators were not trained to us standards and made mistakes. It's because of similar incidents at the begining of Vietnam that led to the Roe concerning sparrows.

The history of IFF continuously shows that the sytems are not fullproof and that they can be defeated. Things like NTCR can help by they are not full proof either.

In the end I think that BVR shots will be taken but that they won't hit anything more than about 10-20% of the time.

RE: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2006, 04:31
by avon1944
cru wrote:John Boyd was an instructor ther at the end of the Korean War (1953), so at leat by '53 the FWS at Nellis already existed

Yes, the USAF did have a fighter weapons school but, it did not teach dogfighting. It taught basically how to kill bombers or fighters at long range not fighters in a furball. The theory was missiles like the Sparrow would make dogfighting a part of history.

Teaching ACM as we know it, did not start until the Navy started Top Gun.

Adrian

Re: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2014, 21:09
by zero-one
Its been years since someone last posted here:

Just finished watching this documentary from Northrop



Near the end, the guy says something like
ROEs will at times restrict us from avheiving BVR kills which is why ACM is just as important now as it was in the 70s

Curious, with all the sensors Northrop is making like the APG-77/81, AN/AAQ-37, you would think that Northrop would say that ROEs would not be as restrictive as they were.

Are there still situations today where a VID is needed in order for permissions to be granted.

I for one have always believed that future air combat would be a combination of BVR and WVR engagements, as for the WVR part, I never thought VID would be the reason,

I always thought that increasing the Pk would be the primary reason for closing in to the enemy.

ACEVAL AIMVAL was particularly driven by the fear of all asspect IR missiles, but with advancements in IR reduction and IR countermeasures, is the threat from all asspect missiles the same as it was 30 years ago?

Re: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2014, 01:31
by basher54321
zero-one wrote:ACEVAL AIMVAL was particularly driven by the fear of all asspect IR missiles, but with advancements in IR reduction and IR countermeasures, is the threat from all asspect missiles the same as it was 30 years ago?



Who knows really - IR missiles have advanced as well - AIM-9X/AIM-132 etc all use Imaging IR Seekers for one thing.

Re: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2014, 04:10
by smsgtmac
zero-one wrote:Its been years since someone last posted here:

Just finished watching this documentary from Northrop



Near the end, the guy says something like
ROEs will at times restrict us from avheiving BVR kills which is why ACM is just as important now as it was in the 70s

Curious, with all the sensors Northrop is making like the APG-77/81, AN/AAQ-37, you would think that Northrop would say that ROEs would not be as restrictive as they were.

Are there still situations today where a VID is needed in order for permissions to be granted.

I for one have always believed that future air combat would be a combination of BVR and WVR engagements, as for the WVR part, I never thought VID would be the reason,

I always thought that increasing the Pk would be the primary reason for closing in to the enemy.

ACEVAL AIMVAL was particularly driven by the fear of all asspect IR missiles, but with advancements in IR reduction and IR countermeasures, is the threat from all asspect missiles the same as it was 30 years ago?


This topic is part and parcel with a Q&A series I just started over at my place, so this is stealing my own thunder a little bit talking about it here.
That video, content, applicability, etc, is F-14/Navy-centric, part of an F-14 Navy-Centric series, so it's missing a lot of other (USAF) perspective. When the guy laments that there were people who knew were the MiGs were but didn't pass the information, he was talking about the fact that the EC-121s (EB-66s too? I don't know) had systems on board that could detect and query the MiGs 'secure' IFF system. One of the reasons knowledge of this capability wasn't spread far and wide was the same problem the Allies faced when using their Enigma knowledge in WW2. It was felt that the utility would disappear if the North Vietnamese/Russians ever got wind of it. When eventually the system was made small enough to put in a pod, the Combat Tree system was deployed on AF aircraft. But the Navy never did use it as far as I know. When the AF's F-4s radars were suddenly and strikingly more effective, acquiring radar targets at twice the previous average range, the enemy caught on and changed tactics, only turning on their systems at the beginning of the attack, which in turn made the Combat Tree system less of a game changer, but still a big assist for the F-4 crews.
The idea that a visual ID (VID) was required was a short-hand way of thinking about it and as such is not exactly accurate. A positive ID (PID) was required. The problem was that through most of the war (all of it for the USN I believe-- I might be wrong) the only way to get a PID was to get a VID. The AF was allowed to use the Combat Tree systems to begin their attack BVR under certain conditions, like no friendlies within x miles of target.

AIMVAL/ACEVAL Pronounced AIM-VAL ACE-VAL (We never called it AIM-e-Val/ACE-e-Val on the AF side, at least that I ever heard during the project. :lol: ) was initially focused on short-range missile requirements. What they found out was that the new AIM-9L (Navy's was a little bit older with a larger launcher 'IR coolant source, probably a left over from their AIM-9D experience) was almost as good as the planned-on-paper ASRAAM, and that the need was greater for an AMRAAM-like missile with BVR capability. For a gratuitous AIM-9L missile crewchief 'there I was' story (far more boring than hand flying like the fighter pilots, but what the heck ) here's a couple of still shots taken during the filming a then-classified movie for a Pentagon dog-and-pony show on the AIM-9L FOT&E circa late 1977(?).
AIM9LFOTandE1.jpg
Circa 1977-8
AIM9LFOTandE2.jpg

The all-aspect missile is still the game changer it was, made no less effective due to countermeasures, even with a back and forth cycle of advancement between missiles and countermeasures. I'd call the advantage in 'adaptation' as clearly going to the weapons because the initiative always belongs to the weapons the countermeasures seek to defeat. This is especially true for the expendable CMs, as they must be more economical for the right cost-benefit balance, and are far more constrained as to the amount of real estate they are allowed to take up.

Re: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 12 Feb 2014, 16:22
by zero-one
Thank you smsgtmac

So in the future I'm guessing that EOTS will do much of the VIDing if a PID is needed, plus I believe fussion from multiple sensors can make a fairly good PID for aircraft without EOTS like the Raptor, am I right

In light of this, I expect ROEs in the future to be more relaxed and less requirements for VID needed.

I won't go as far as saying VID will no longer be required ever, though that is a possibility.

I think pilots may still find themselvs in a phonebooth due to other reasons which means DACT and ACM excercises are still critical.

By the way, what happens if we start flying with an allied nation flying Russian aircraft? For Example, in hypothetical scenario against China, what if Vietnam offers help and starts flying Sukhois to support Allied forces, this should be interesting. :mrgreen:

Re: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2014, 06:12
by Corsair1963
Let's not forget even at shorter ranges Stealth Fighters like the F-22 and F-35 will still have the advantage. As they will see there opponent first and will be able to put themselves in the best position to attack first!


Remember comments from F-15C Pilots fighting F-22A's.


We never even saw them (F-22's) until the flew over our heads! :shock:


FIRST LOOK, FIRST SHOT, FIRST KILL! :twisted:

Re: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2014, 13:39
by zero-one
Corsair1963 wrote:Let's not forget even at shorter ranges Stealth Fighters like the F-22 and F-35 will still have the advantage. As they will see there opponent first and will be able to put themselves in the best position to attack first!


Remember comments from F-15C Pilots fighting F-22A's.


We never even saw them (F-22's) until the flew over our heads! :shock:


FIRST LOOK, FIRST SHOT, FIRST KILL! :twisted:


Not only that, but their reduced Radar & IR signatures mean that their conuntermeasures will be that more effective against enemy sensors and missiles.

looking at the Aim-9X test video, the F-4 phantom looks like a pretty big flare at the begining of the test, which is probably why the actual flares seemed less attractive to the advanced sidewinder.

Against modern aircraft like the F-35/22, I expect them to be much less effective.

Re: BVR Combat

Unread postPosted: 13 Feb 2014, 18:10
by strykerxo
zero-one wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Let's not forget even at shorter ranges Stealth Fighters like the F-22 and F-35 will still have the advantage. As they will see there opponent first and will be able to put themselves in the best position to attack first!


Remember comments from F-15C Pilots fighting F-22A's.


We never even saw them (F-22's) until the flew over our heads! :shock:


FIRST LOOK, FIRST SHOT, FIRST KILL! :twisted:


Not only that, but their reduced Radar & IR signatures mean that their conuntermeasures will be that more effective against enemy sensors and missiles.

looking at the Aim-9X test video, the F-4 phantom looks like a pretty big flare at the begining of the test, which is probably why the actual flares seemed less attractive to the advanced sidewinder.

Against modern aircraft like the F-35/22, I expect them to be much less effective.


A pilot once said that WVR he could not get a lock on an F-22,