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F-4 vs Su-15

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2019, 14:28
by zero-one
I always thought that if the Vietnam War escalated in the Early 70s then American F-4s would face Russian Mig-21s and 23s. but doing a little digging, I found that the Flogger was not fielded in mass numbers in the 70s.

correct me if I'm wrong but the mainstay of Soviet air defense was made up of Su-15s. So how would the Flaggon deal with the highly trained Phantom air crews coming from the Vietnam theater?

Here was an interesting take from a Su-15 pilot
https://hushkit.net/2019/04/26/intervie ... -the-ussr/

In wartime the Su-15 would have intercepted B-52s, which raises the question of whether the B-52s would be accompanied by a number of escort fighters, which would drawn us into a missile air battle. While F-4s and Su-15s had the same manoeuvring characteristics and armament the F-15 would have proved a far more challenging battle opponent. The F-15 was more manoeuvrable than our aircraft, and its electronic equipment was much more modern....


He was implying that F-4 was closely matched with the Su-15
more at the jump.

Re: F-4 vs Su-15

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2019, 14:58
by f-16adf
That's a good article, many thanks for posting it.


I believe it depends on which Phantoms the Su-15 pilots would theoretically meet. Su-15 guys were all PVO. If they met Navy TOPGUN trained F-4J Phantom crews (with their PD AWG-10 radar, which was generally considered the best until the Tomcat's AWG-9 came on the scene) they probably would lose big time. And even against the older F-4B. Navy trained TOPGUN pilots (F-4,F-8) were probably the best in the world (except for the IDF/AF). Against USAF pilots, don't know.



The Su-15 fire control radar was all vacuum tube. Similar to the early F-4B/C radar. Pulse only also. I don't know the size of its dish, but the Phantom's (except APQ-120 were all 32 inch). I am also willing to bet the AIM-7E/E2 and AIM-9G/H were still better than anything the Russians had at that time. The Flagon, like the earlier Phantoms, didn't have an internal gun.

Re: F-4 vs Su-15

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2019, 16:28
by basher54321
Good to read some thoughts on the Su-15 - interesting Jet.

Re: F-4 vs Su-15

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2020, 04:11
by nastle
The F-4C vs Su-15TM that is an interesting comparison

I think Su-15TM is only effective against bomb laden fighter/strike planes , if nothing else it could force them to jettison their ordnance and achieve a mission kill

It would be more apt to compare it to F-104A/BAE lightning /F-106

Re: F-4 vs Su-15

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2020, 12:59
by madrat
Su-15 maybe isn't able to make head on shots, but anytime they could steer behind a fast jet you're talking big trouble. Su-15 over Vietnam means half the airframes as one Su-15 had two MiG-21 class engines. The missile choice available to Sukhoi is a drawback against maneuvering targets, but it is still a huge threat to B-52, A-6, F-111, and F-105. That is nothing to sneeze at.

Re: F-4 vs Su-15

Unread postPosted: 15 Apr 2020, 13:49
by hornetfinn
zero-one wrote:I always thought that if the Vietnam War escalated in the Early 70s then American F-4s would face Russian Mig-21s and 23s. but doing a little digging, I found that the Flogger was not fielded in mass numbers in the 70s.

correct me if I'm wrong but the mainstay of Soviet air defense was made up of Su-15s. So how would the Flaggon deal with the highly trained Phantom air crews coming from the Vietnam theater?


I think during early 1970s the Soviet Union would just send their MiG-21s and maybe a small batch of Su-15s to counter B-52s. They really didn't have much choice then as they didn't yet have MiG-23s or MiG-25Ps. If the war dragged on, they might've wanted to test those too in some limited form. But I think MiG-21 would've been by far the most numerous jet in 1970s. I think MiG-21bis would've been a handful for F-4s within its limitations (very short range especially).

Re: F-4 vs Su-15

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2020, 13:18
by nastle
madrat wrote:. The missile choice available to Sukhoi is a drawback against maneuvering targets, but it is still a huge threat to B-52, A-6, F-111, and F-105. That is nothing to sneeze at.


if 2nd 3rd gen fighters [ f4, f104, delta mirages] are loaded with bombs and rockets then they are not much maneuvering targets either, don't you think ?

Flagons range was decent so it could probably stay in the fight long enough to get some decent guidance from GCI to steer them behind strike packages and then just follow the "one pass haul a$$" tactic

interestingly they had gunpods and R60s in the 80s although not designed for this it does give them capability of a second pass if need arose