Were Russian and Western aerospace ever equals?

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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milosh

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Unread post31 Dec 2022, 18:38

charlielima223 wrote:
milosh wrote:One thing which is forgotten is altitude.

At mig31 operational celling aim54 have clear advantage over aim120d because of much more effective control surfaces.


I didn't mean MiG-31 advantage I meant AIM-54 advantage over AIM-120D. You fire each against target which fly very fast and very high, lets say at >20km which isn't problem for MiG-31, missile with big control surfaces will be in noticeable advantage over missile with small control surfaces at such heights.

Of course if MiG-31 crew is foolish enough to not use altitude protection they do have then you will have things happened to Iraq's MiG-25 when cocky pilot would think he can take on small F-16 because he knew he can evade AIM-7 fired by F-15 and F-16 don't have them. But F-16 had AIM-120.
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ricnunes

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Unread post31 Dec 2022, 19:40

milosh wrote:I didn't mean MiG-31 advantage I meant AIM-54 advantage over AIM-120D.


IMO, there's no reason why the AIM-54 would have any advantage at high altitudes compared to the AIM-120D since both missiles have similar range.
It seems to me that while at high altitudes the air is thinner both missiles still travel at very high speeds which means bigger air friction and so the bigger AIM-54 would suffer from bigger air friction which translates into bigger drag even at higher altitudes compared to the AIM-120D.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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milosh

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Unread post31 Dec 2022, 20:04

ricnunes wrote:
milosh wrote:I didn't mean MiG-31 advantage I meant AIM-54 advantage over AIM-120D.


IMO, there's no reason why the AIM-54 would have any advantage at high altitudes compared to the AIM-120D since both missiles have similar range.
It seems to me that while at high altitudes the air is thinner both missiles still travel at very high speeds which means bigger air friction and so the bigger AIM-54 would suffer from bigger air friction which translates into bigger drag even at higher altitudes compared to the AIM-120D.


Not range but agility of missile that high. AMRAAM have smaller fins then AIM-54 and AIM-120D have smaller fins then older AMRAAM.

So if MiG-31 fly high and fast, only real thing which could deal with it was AIM-54. I even think AIM-54 was successful tested against target which simulate MiG-25/31 when operate as Soviets would operate them. Not like Iraqis which were force to go in dogfight.
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ricnunes

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Unread post31 Dec 2022, 20:40

milosh wrote:Not range but agility of missile that high. AMRAAM have smaller fins then AIM-54 and AIM-120D have smaller fins then older AMRAAM.


Agility as well. Why would an AMRAAM have smaller agility than the AIM-54 at high altitudes due to having smaller fins?? Smaller fins means less friction and thus drag. Besides larger fins shouldn't mean much at very high altitudes because again the air is very thin up there.
Moreover the AMRAAM doesn't follow targets - it leads targets. And a Mig-31 is not an agile aircraft to start with and even less so at high altitudes due again to thin air. So good luck trying to outmaneuver an AMRAAM at high altitudes with a Mig-31 (or even any other aircraft for that matter)!
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post03 Jan 2023, 13:19

ricnunes wrote:
milosh wrote:Not range but agility of missile that high. AMRAAM have smaller fins then AIM-54 and AIM-120D have smaller fins then older AMRAAM.


Agility as well. Why would an AMRAAM have smaller agility than the AIM-54 at high altitudes due to having smaller fins?? Smaller fins means less friction and thus drag. Besides larger fins shouldn't mean much at very high altitudes because again the air is very thin up there.
Moreover the AMRAAM doesn't follow targets - it leads targets. And a Mig-31 is not an agile aircraft to start with and even less so at high altitudes due again to thin air. So good luck trying to outmaneuver an AMRAAM at high altitudes with a Mig-31 (or even any other aircraft for that matter)!


AIM-54 has L/D ratio of about 10 and AIM-120 has about 20. So it has equal or more leverage even from smaller fins. Especially so since the missile is much lighter and less draggy, requiring much less force to make it turn. Of course the guidance system is also far more advanced, having far more optimized flight path. AIM-54 using semi-active mid-course guidance can't optimize the flight path nearly as well as AIM-120.
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laos

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Unread post09 Jan 2023, 12:35

The only time in history where Russian aviation was comparable to the U.S. was during World War I, when Russian designer Igor Sikorsky constructed aircraft such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_Ilya_Muromets.
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mixelflick

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Unread post09 Jan 2023, 16:15

I think it's fair to say they were close during the late 80's, considering widespread use of the Mig-29/archer and first deliveries of the SU-27. That's IMO, a close as they got.

The collapse of 1991/2 set them back a decade (at least), and is directly responsible for the pickle they're in today. The advent of stealth really widened the fighter gap, it really was a bridge too far. This Ukraine war will probably be even worse, as I just can't see where the $ is going to come from (never mind the expertise in manufacturing). So while they're still capable of fielding some interesting/impressive weapons (Mig-31/SU-35/R-37M) combos, they are asymmetric advantages (at best).

In fact, you could argue it really isn't all that impressive given its vs. 80's Ukrainian Mig-29 and SU-27 models. If the adversaries were Typhoon, Rafale or Gripen (nevermind F-22/35), I doubt we'd be talking about any Russian success. In fact given the latest AESA's/Meteor/AIM-120D's, I think it'd be a slaughter...
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viperzerof-2

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Unread post14 Jan 2023, 13:43

I wonder how the Mig-31 would fair against the Mirage 2000 RDI and those monster Super 530D missiles.
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ricnunes

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Unread post14 Jan 2023, 15:47

mixelflick wrote:I think it's fair to say they were close during the late 80's, considering widespread use of the Mig-29/archer and first deliveries of the SU-27. That's IMO, a close as they got.


Here I have to disagree. While yes, the Mig-29 and Su-27 were rather close in terms of kinematic performance to the best western fighter aircraft of the time and had the HMS/R-73 combo they were vastly behind in terms of technology namely radars, cockpit/man-machine interface, Fly-By-Wire (FBW), BVR missiles (for example the AIM-7M is superior to the R-27 and R-23 missiles used at the time), etc...

In order to compare both blocks (NATO/Soviet) aerospace we must compare it as a whole and not only the kinematics part.
And since images are worth thousands of words:

F-16A cockpit:
Image

F/A-18A cockpit:
Image

Su-27 cockpit:
Image

Mig-29 cockpit:
Image
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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milosh

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Unread post14 Jan 2023, 22:09

ricnunes wrote:
milosh wrote:Not range but agility of missile that high. AMRAAM have smaller fins then AIM-54 and AIM-120D have smaller fins then older AMRAAM.


Agility as well. Why would an AMRAAM have smaller agility than the AIM-54 at high altitudes due to having smaller fins?? Smaller fins means less friction and thus drag. Besides larger fins shouldn't mean much at very high altitudes because again the air is very thin up there.
Moreover the AMRAAM doesn't follow targets - it leads targets. And a Mig-31 is not an agile aircraft to start with and even less so at high altitudes due again to thin air. So good luck trying to outmaneuver an AMRAAM at high altitudes with a Mig-31 (or even any other aircraft for that matter)!


SR-71 wasn't agile at all but couldn't be down because at altitudes that thing or MiG-31 operate missile controls are very ineffective so even if you have just 2G capability you can easy evade missile thanks to altitude and speed.

So MiG-31 will do same thing but with much higher G limit.

AIM-54 was tested against something which could be consider MiG-31 like target (high altitude, high speed) and it was able to hit it, don't know did target do evading maneuvers, because it could be test against Kh-22/32 like target and those don't turn. For AIM-120D I didn't find nothing similar was done.

If we talk about electronics why just focus on cockpits of 1980s? What about digital datalink in F-15 or F-16 in 1980s? Can you please point out capabilities of those to compared them with this:
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/thread ... nks.33542/

This was what you will have in Su-27, MiG-31 but also MiG-23 and MiG-29 (though less capable, one way datalink I think), don't know about MiG-25.

Btw reason why Soviets had less modern cockpit was familiarity, they even make similar instruments compared to MiG-15 for example.

You do have MiG-29M program which did had glass cockpit back then but MiG had problems to justify it to air force because it cost similar as Su-27 (not just because of F-18 like cockpit but because of quite costly alloys it used).

MiG try to sell it in 1990s, here is cockpit layout:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_M ... iG-29M.jpg

LCDs instead CRTs but layout is same.

MiG-31M would have glass RIO cockpit:
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viperzerof-2

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Unread post14 Jan 2023, 23:02

There is a 30 page USAF intelligence briefing on the Mig-29m I’m trying to get. I hope it has some interesting stuff. Supposedly it was quite the improvement.
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wil59

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Unread post15 Jan 2023, 11:38

viperzerof-2 wrote:I wonder how the Mig-31 would fair against the Mirage 2000 RDI and those monster Super 530D missiles.

////. The Super 530 D has a maximum interception altitude of 24,400 m. Its climbing capacity is 12,200 m and can intercept a target at a minimum altitude of 60 m. The maximum speed of the missile is close to Mach 5 and its range is 40 km. The mig 31 has a maximum ceiling of 26400 meters (excluding weapons?) I wouldn't just be a good match.
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mixelflick

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Unread post17 Jan 2023, 18:33

ricnunes wrote:
mixelflick wrote:I think it's fair to say they were close during the late 80's, considering widespread use of the Mig-29/archer and first deliveries of the SU-27. That's IMO, a close as they got.


Here I have to disagree. While yes, the Mig-29 and Su-27 were rather close in terms of kinematic performance to the best western fighter aircraft of the time and had the HMS/R-73 combo they were vastly behind in terms of technology namely radars, cockpit/man-machine interface, Fly-By-Wire (FBW), BVR missiles (for example the AIM-7M is superior to the R-27 and R-23 missiles used at the time), etc...

In order to compare both blocks (NATO/Soviet) aerospace we must compare it as a whole and not only the kinematics part.
And since images are worth thousands of words:

F-16A cockpit:
Image

F/A-18A cockpit:
Image

Su-27 cockpit:
Image

Mig-29 cockpit:
Image


You make some excellent points, as usual...

I considered these, but to be honest I didn't have enough confidence in the AIM-7's of the day for it to be a clear cut BVR western advantage. (The WVR fight would have been much closer to parity IMO, for reasons I put forth earlier). So that's assumption #1 on my part: A much better man/machine interface, better radars etc. would have bought western fighters the first look, first shot (but not necessarily first kill) advantage. Why? The AIM-7 was the weak link in that chain, yes even the older models flying in the early 90's. For one vs. one stuff, sure. For the envisioned NATO/Warsaw pact showdown in the air... I don't think so.

Too many aircraft (friendly's and bandits), too much jamming and too tempting to under-estimate the enemy IMO. Were my assumptions correct?

Thankfully, we'll never know...
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ricnunes

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Unread post17 Jan 2023, 19:51

mixelflick wrote:I considered these, but to be honest I didn't have enough confidence in the AIM-7's of the day for it to be a clear cut BVR western advantage. (The WVR fight would have been much closer to parity IMO, for reasons I put forth earlier). So that's assumption #1 on my part: A much better man/machine interface, better radars etc. would have bought western fighters the first look, first shot (but not necessarily first kill) advantage. Why? The AIM-7 was the weak link in that chain, yes even the older models flying in the early 90's. For one vs. one stuff, sure. For the envisioned NATO/Warsaw pact showdown in the air... I don't think so.


In the 1980's NATO already operated the AIM-7F and AIM-7M which were actually very good BVR missiles (specially the AIM-7M) and much better than anything the Soviets had at the time (R-23, R-27 and R-40) and by the way, much better than previous/older AIM-7 variants.

BTW, Operation Desert Storm proved it.


mixelflick wrote:Too many aircraft (friendly's and bandits), too much jamming and too tempting to under-estimate the enemy IMO. Were my assumptions correct?

Thankfully, we'll never know...


Jamming would certainly play a big part/role in such conflict, that's actually a very good point.
But jamming isn't 100% effective not even close and specially so when targets are closer which allows own radars to burn thru all the jamming noise and detect and lock targets. This means that in a heavy jamming environment detecting and specially "locking" targets would happen closer and here the superior western aircraft man-machine interface would make a HUGE diference (would allow western pilots to detect and acquire enemy aircraft much faster than otherwise).
Last edited by ricnunes on 17 Jan 2023, 20:17, edited 1 time in total.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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ricnunes

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Unread post17 Jan 2023, 20:13

milosh wrote:SR-71 wasn't agile at all but couldn't be down because at altitudes that thing or MiG-31 operate missile controls are very ineffective so even if you have just 2G capability you can easy evade missile thanks to altitude and speed.

So MiG-31 will do same thing but with much higher G limit.

AIM-54 was tested against something which could be consider MiG-31 like target (high altitude, high speed) and it was able to hit it, don't know did target do evading maneuvers, because it could be test against Kh-22/32 like target and those don't turn. For AIM-120D I didn't find nothing similar was done.


Just because you didn't find an AIM-120D test against such a type or target doesn't mean it's not capable of it. Actually I think that both me and hornetfinn clearly explained you why the AIM-54 won't have any advantage over the AIM-120D when engaging very fast and high altitude target.
There's no need to repeat myself, is there?


milosh wrote:If we talk about electronics why just focus on cockpits of 1980s? What about digital datalink in F-15 or F-16 in 1980s? Can you please point out capabilities of those to compared them with this:
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/thread ... nks.33542/

This was what you will have in Su-27, MiG-31 but also MiG-23 and MiG-29 (though less capable, one way datalink I think), don't know about MiG-25.


The Mig-29 didn't have data-link and neither the Mig-23! Only the Su-27 and Mig-31 had them. But we can basically rule out the Mig-31 since these would be kept flying over Soviet Union defending the airspace from incoming aircraft such as strategical bombers.
These leaves the Su-27 as the only Soviet aircraft with datalink that could potentially fly over Central Europe. The Su-27 datalink while existing was crude and a bit technologically backward even at that time.
The F/A-18 had datalink which was far more advanced than the Su-27 could ever dream of.
The F-14 also had datalink. So, even if you still want to include Mig-31s on the Soviet side then we must include F-14s on the NATO side.
The F-15C and F-16 didn't have datalink at the time if I'm not mistaken but they were fully integrated with a NATO AWACS network (although by voice information only) which the Soviets/Warsaw Pact could only dream of.


milosh wrote:Btw reason why Soviets had less modern cockpit was familiarity, they even make similar instruments compared to MiG-15 for example.


LOL, that's comical at best! :doh:
So and according to your logic the US Air Force and US Navy should never had put modern "glass cockpit" on their F-15, F-16, F/A-18 because it made less familiar compared to the F-4 Phantom, F-105, etc... which pilots operated earlier on?

Or moving to modern times, the F-35 should have MFDs instead of a touch screen and Helmet display because it also "breaks" pilot familiarity?

Nope, the reason why Soviets had less modern cockpit was because they were massively behind in terms of electronics and computer technology specially miniaturized tech of this nature, which are requirements for being able to develop and implement "glass cockpit" on combat aircraft. This is not an opinion - it's a FACT!

And the Russians only managed to implement "glass cockpit" on combat aircraft such as Su-30, Su-35, Mig-29M, Mig-31M, etc... after the end of the Cold War and because the French gave them the tech to do it so in the 1990's and therefore out of the scope for this discussion (Cold War era).
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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