View Full Version : RAAF Mirage IIIO (F) v F-14 Tomcat
28th Feb 2011, 07:17
reading Stewart Wilson's METEOR, SABRE AND MIRAGE IN AUSTRALIAN SERVICE and on p 175 he writes:
"One memorable occasion in the 1970's probably still brings a smile to the lips of former Mirage Pilots. The 'enemy' was US Navy Grumman F-14 Tomcats - supposedly the best dogfighter in the world - and the result was a massacre by the RAAF's Mirages with positive proof provided by their camera guns."
is there someone out there who is familiar with this and if it's not classified, how about some more info???
10th Mar 2011, 02:48
I wonder how they would have faired if the F-14 had the intended F401 on it...
10th Mar 2011, 05:30
At some point every 'plane in the world has taken on the F-14 or F-15 and won. It's a bit like every navy that has an aircraft carrier has had an argument with another countries ship that it later transpires to amazingly be a lighthouse.
10th Mar 2011, 08:47
cruise in and sit back in my Fox-14 at 30nm and splash one Mirage 111O [F] with a Phoenix...
10th Mar 2011, 23:19
Beat an F-14 with a Hawk, once, with much GCI help. Then he saw me. It's like fighting a house-very big indeed!
10th Mar 2011, 23:37
The USN didn't deploy the F14 until 1974-75. Their first operational use was top cover for the evacuation of Saigon. The first visit of a carrier to Australia with them would have been the Enterprise late in 1976.
The carrier had been involved in exercises off the Queensland coast (Operation Kangaroo (?)) which was notable for an RAN Onslow class submarine managing to "sink" the Enterprise 4 times before being forced to reveal her secret and allowing the Americans to develop a defence. I believe the exercise was also where a F111-C of the RAAF managed a successful attack.
It may have been during that exercise where the dissimilar air combat manoeuvres took place between the Mirage 111 and the F14. The only gun camera footage from a Mirage that I can recall was taken when the RAAF took on the USAF Aggressor squadron who were in F-5s'.
From what I have read I don't think the F14 was that great at turning and burning, especially at altitude. Its systems were based on long-range interception of incoming aircraft as its role was to defend the carrier against an attack. The Mirage at altitude was capable of turning with the best of them. There are numerous stories of the British Vulcan giving F15s' heaps at altitude where the delta wing comes into its own. Down low I suspect the F14 would have it over the Mirage but I stand to be corrected by someone who has been there and done that.
11th Mar 2011, 03:37
From what I have read I don't think the F14 was that great at turning and burning, especially at altitude.
Subsonic, it was generally outclassed by the F-15 at high altitudes, though when supersonic at high altitudes, the F-14 was one of the most maneuverable aircraft. With the wings swept all the way back, it had a very low trim-drag, the lift produced by the pancake under those conditions were substantial as well, and the gloves despite being thick were kept behind the shockwave so they did reasonably well.
At low to moderate altitude while subsonic, the F-14 did quite well too. With it's wings all the way out you had a nice high aspect ratio which is naturally suited to low speeds, additionally the pancake, and the thick gloves worked very well at high-angles of attack. It could turn inside an F-15 at low speed, and it had a higher maximum angle of attack (The F-14 could probably do a cobra :eek:)
Its systems were based on long-range interception of incoming aircraft as its role was to defend the carrier against an attack.
True, but the F-14 was more than capable of dogfighting. So long as you were above about 20,000 feet, the F-14 could walk all over an F-4E assuming the pilot skills were equal. At lower altitudes, the F-4E tended to enjoy an advantage due to it's heavier wing-loading in the thicker air at low altitudes.
11th Mar 2011, 05:48
Delta wings like the Mirage are designed to go fast not turn...
11th Mar 2011, 08:18
Delta wings like the Mirage are designed to go fast not turn...
Well, most are designed to go fast (The A-4's an exception), but they do happen to be good for sustained turning performance provided you have a big enough wing and you manage the airspeed well.
The MiG-21, the F-102A, and F-106A (which all possess similar maneuverability) all have reasonable wing-loading figures (takeoff-weight, around 60-65 on a MiG-21 depending on variant; around 45 for the F-102A, and a little under 50 on a F-106A), and if the MiG-21 is any indication, they certainly have quite a potential for awesome sustained turning performance.
From what I remember, it could sustain in excess of 6G at Mach 0.8 @<hidden> 15,000 feet (about 415 knots indicated), though airspeed loss would be significant if it dropped below a certain amount (I think it was around 335 to 340 at 15,000 feet).
11th Mar 2011, 11:17
The Mig-21 is indeed a winner but it's delta get a bit of help from a pair of horizontal stabs which the Mirage doesn't have. The Mir 200 has leading edge devices to assist while the poor old Mir 111 series have nothing. They fitted some little fixed canards on some to assist the turn performance. The Kfir had then too. On a recent trip to the Holy Land I was talking to a Kfir driver [also Mirage] who said that in a turning fight the Kfir was no better than the earlier models. They did respect the Mig-21
11th Mar 2011, 12:05
Delta wings can't turn ???
I've seen gun camera of a French Mirage 2000 guns tracking an F-16 at over 9G's. :eek: Happened on TLP in the early '90's. The F-16 pilot couldn't believe it either 'till he saw the video.
11th Mar 2011, 16:32
Ed Rasimus recounts his dealings with Mirage IIIs when flying F-4s.
Re: Best Fighter For It's Time - Military Aircraft - Aviation Forums (http://www.airtalk.org/image-vp196925.html)
Valencia. I was tasked as a "faker" or A/A target--F-4C fully loaded
with three tanks off a KC-135 in the Med east of Gibraltar. Profile
was A/B at the coast of Spain above FL 400. Supersonic run all the way
to Madrid. With three tanks, got just above the mach at the coast. As
the C/L tank went dry, hit 1.3 M. By the time the outboard went dry I
was at 1.5 and finally just over mach 1.6 at FL 460 as I approached
Picked up a Mirage intercepting me by his contrail. He did a
magnificent conversion into firing parameters just as I hit Madrid
TACAN. I eased out of A/B and zoomed into this attack, passing through
FL 630 as I slowed below the mach, then spiraled down through 20,000
with the Mirage firmly (and quite comfortably camped in firing
position). The guy was good and the airplane was great.
We also used to get intercepted by Mirage IIIs of the Spanish AF while
deploying to Turkey from Spain. Flight of four on the wing of a
tanker, the Mirage would join up, then do a level 360 back to the wing
at FL 310--apparently without effort. I would hate to have fought one
At low alt, maybe there would be a chance, but in those days before
"look down/shoot down" Doppler radar, it would have been very
challenging. I've got great respect for the Mirage.
11th Mar 2011, 18:48
There are numerous stories of the British Vulcan giving F15s' heaps at altitude where the delta wing comes into its own.
Such stories would be utter bull$hit! Although we could perhaps tie up a single F-4 or Lightning at altitude (particularly the F-4), the F-15 was in a different league and could easily have had a Vulcan for breakfast.
When I later flew the F-4, I realised that our so-called 'tactics' in the Vulcan would have been completely useless against most semi-active AAMs....
24th Apr 2011, 15:06
I was after a book on RAAF FAC operations and found this on another forum-
Ahhhh, those were the days.
My first experience against a Vulcan in an exercise was in an Avon powered F-86 fitted with only a gunsight-ranging radar and two ancient Sidewinder missiles (AIM-9B). We had to be in the target's six-o'clock, and pointing at the target, for a successful shot. In other words, sneak up on him undetected if you could. The Vulcan was at about 48,000 feet. I was on a 90-degree beam intercept at about 40,000 feet and I could see him conning from about 20 miles or more. Just as I was about to start climbing at about ten miles, remember, not much zoom potential in an F-86 at that altitude, he started his turn towards me. I tried to tangle with him but could not get anywhere near to his six-o'clock position and eventually fell out of the sky to run away about 25 miles to gather some speed and try again. Same result.
My next attempt at getting a Vulcan was in a Mirage III which was fitted with radar and a Matra R530 and two steam-driven sidewinders (same as fitted to the Sabre - we must have had plenty). As Ken mentioned, the bloke in the Vulcan controlling the ECM could do all sorts of fancy things to my radar screen and I have to admit that I didn't have a bloody clue what was going on. Instead of one blip there were about ten blips moving all over the place. I solved that one by turning all emitters off and visually firing an ancient Sidewinder at him on the second intercept. On the first intercept he just played with my like in the F-86 experience. There was no way I could turn with him. In short, two fighters coordinating together were needed to get a kill. I would not count on too much success with the radar missile against a jamming Vulcan as we had no experience against such targets.
Ken, we kept the Matra R530 until the Mirage was replaced with the F-18 Hornet, starting in 1985. The Sidewinders were replaced with Matra Magic infra-red heat-seeking missiles in about 1983 - only three years before the Mirages were retired. They were very capable heat seeking missiles. Close range and reasonably high angle-off.
The max altitude of the Mirage was 75,000 feet. We could fly at 48,000 feet without any suit protection. Up to 55,000 feet with a pressure waist coat, and up to 80,000 with a high altitude suit. The RAAF did not have the rocket motor so 75,000 feet was the limit - where idle RPM equalled max RPM. The RAAF only bought a few full pressure suits, and I believe Col Ackland was wearing one when he had a bit of a hypoxia problem and ended up descending very very very fast. I think the suits belonged to the Institute of Aviation Medicine.