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Old 28th Dec 2012, 01:43   #1 (permalink)
 
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Beyond Visual Range fighter missile engagement

A question:

Have there been many (any) recent (last 10-15 yrs) beyond Visual range missile shots ?

What prompted the question was the recent thread about the surprising success of MIG 21's when operating air to air within visual range.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 06:22   #2 (permalink)
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Coalition Air-to-Air Victories in Desert Storm
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 07:38   #3 (permalink)
 
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Using ORACs link 18 of 45 kills were BVR so roughly 1/3. As a layman, in a conflict with overwhelming air superiority in favour of the coalition I find it surprising that such a small proportion were BVR.

Was 1991 the last conflict were the RoE enabled BVR engagements in a practical sense?
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 08:06   #4 (permalink)
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Didn't it lead to the Yanks shooting down 2 of their own Black Hawks over Iraq in 1994?

Last edited by green granite; 28th Dec 2012 at 08:07.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 08:23   #5 (permalink)
 
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GG

If it's that's the incident I'm thinking of then I think at some point there was also an attempt at a visual ID but the Blackhawks were miss identified as Hinds before being engaged.

Last edited by wiggy; 28th Dec 2012 at 08:27.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 09:17   #6 (permalink)
 
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There were 5x AIM-120 AMRAAM shots during Op ALLIED FORCE against MiG29 (1x Dutch F16 and 4x US F15) from 24-26 Mar 99 and then a further MiG 29 kill by a US F15 in May 99.

There were also BVR engagements on Op SOUTHERN WATCH over Iraq - some kinematically defeated by target manoeuvre at range. Indeed, but for around 5-10 miles I might have got a shot away against an Iraqi MiG23 from a Tornado F3 in 99 but as we locked him and made the Late Arm live the Iraqi quite wisely did a 180 degree turn and fled back over the No Fly Zone boundary. There were several Coalition BVR 'engagements' like this during that time - you don't have to shoot them down to provide an effective sweep for the bomber package.

IIRC F15s and F14s fired on Iraqi MiGs in early 99 and all were defeated by manoeuvre. Then in Sep 99 an F14 fired against a MiG23 that was also defeated by manoeuvre. Then in Dec 02 a USAF MQ-1 traded shots with an Iraqi MiG25 - both outside 'visual range' (although the Predator used an EO/IR sensor that is superior to the human eye) - sadly the MQ-1 Predator's Stinger missile guided to the MiG25's contrail and the MiG25's missile was a hit and killed the MQ-1.

Since Iraq, we have not fought anything against a credible air threat and so BVR engagement opportunities are somewhat limited. The Taliban haven't saved up for a MiG 29 yet!

Libya could have provided an opportunity and hotspots like Iran or Syria could in the future.

LJ

Last edited by Leon Jabachjabicz; 28th Dec 2012 at 09:31.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 22:43   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitbag View Post
Using ORACs link 18 of 45 kills were BVR so roughly 1/3. As a layman, in a conflict with overwhelming air superiority in favour of the coalition I find it surprising that such a small proportion were BVR.

Was 1991 the last conflict were the RoE enabled BVR engagements in a practical sense?
In several of the engagements you will find that the Iraqis would execute a turn away from the F-15C when they locked on to the target. This would result into a tail chase many times. Because of the dynamics of a tail chase, the distances at missile launch will many times be within “visual range”. Note how many of the “visual range” are listed as AIM-7 missiles. That is because of the longer range of the AIM-7 vs. the AIM-9 in a tail chase. Now that the F-15Cs are being up graded with APG-63(V)2 radars with ESA antennas and AIM-120, there is no longer a need to “lock onto the target” which will greatly reduce the various radar warning receivers ability to warn the target pilot.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 23:22   #8 (permalink)
 
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Nations have invested a lot of effort and cash in developing BVR weapons; the current generation (some in development) have capabiities way beyond visual range. Tactics used in training are (and have been for a long time) heavily focussed on employing the first, long range, high energy kill. However, when it comes to ops the ROE do not always support the use of that capability.

The technical capability massively exceeds the political courage to employ our hardware and our training fully. Not helped when EID methods fall short (Tornado/Patriot engagement). That is why we MUST still maintain close range weapons and the skills to employ them.

Why else do folks try to keep getting rid of the gun in fighters only to find it a necessity? "When was the last time we shot down an aircraft with a gun" Heard it asked too often. Bring on BVRAAM and then deny the guys the ability to employ it.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 23:37   #9 (permalink)
 
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On the flip side, when was the last time anyone fired a warning shot with a missile?
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 00:51   #10 (permalink)
 
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I'd be interested to know how many of the IIAFs Phoenix kills were BVR.

Probably quite hard to find that sort of stuff out tho..
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 09:20   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff
when was the last time anyone fired a warning shot with a missile?
Probably not a great plan; especially with active or IR missiles, which would just love to find something to hit.
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 09:26   #12 (permalink)
 
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The biggest problem with BVR used to be target ID. You don't want to shoot friendlies. The first days of Desert Storm there were hundreds of friendlies flying around and only a couple of bandits. Shooting without a proper ID would almost certainly result in friendly fire.

I have been out of the "pointy end" for over 15 years but with all the fancy new toys on jets these days target ID should be much easier now.

The incident with the Blackhawks was caused by the helos not squawking the correct codes. They were ID'd by AWACS as bad guys and the F-15's were cleared to fire BVR. Because it was a low risk bogey, the eagle guys decided to VID just in case, but they mis- ID'd them. Lots of tragedy that day.

Mig 21's great dogfighters? From an energy maneuverability point of view not really. From a real world point of view they are awesome, especially if equipped with modern Helmet mounted sights and high off boresight missiles. Mig 21's are tiny tiny little airplanes. When they point their nose at you they disappear. It is hard to fight somebody you cannot see. By contrast the big Sukhou's, F-15's, etc, are huge. They should never dogfight as they will be the first to die because EVERYBODY sees them visually from a long way off.

When you fly towards a big furball of airplanes, you start seeing big fighters at 10-15 miles. As you get to 7-8 miles you can start seeing F-18 sized fighters. 5-6 miles F-16's come into view. If you are lucky you might see a Mig21 wing flash at 3-4 miles, but if they point their nose at you they dissappear even at 2 miles. If you are lucky you will re-aquire them before they end up at your 6 oclock.
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 09:39   #13 (permalink)
 
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BTW I never flew against Mig 21's, but a lot of F-5's which are slightly larger and easier to see. They were flown by very well trained Aggressor pilots. Their technique when approaching the merge was to "hit the dissappear switch" which simply means they pointed at you. I have seen Mig 21's up close and am amazed how tiny they are. Mig 15's and 17's as well.
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 10:37   #14 (permalink)
 
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"you start seeing big fighters at 10-15 miles. As you get to 7-8 miles you can start seeing F-18 sized fighters. 5-6 miles F-16's come into view. If you are lucky you might see a Mig21 wing flash at 3-4 miles,"

---and they say size doesnt matter.It just takes someone to find a good way to neutralise the effectiveness of radar....for everyone....and all that expensive stealth BVR stuff becomes redundant.

"Their technique when approaching the merge was to "hit the dissappear switch"

--love it just love it !!
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 14:41   #15 (permalink)
 
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A top plane, those 3rd gen planes are so over-rated and have nothing on the mig-21
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 15:20   #16 (permalink)
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Courtney Mil, check your PMs.

JSFfan, you really do nothing on the subject do you? Wiser to not prefer an opinion you might be called on.
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 15:26   #17 (permalink)
 
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A 'plane'.


An 'aircraft'.

Just a small point and one which can often provide a fairly reliable indicator, when misued, of those to be generally ignored, lest they quote some Wikipedia at you.

Last edited by The Helpful Stacker; 29th Dec 2012 at 15:30.
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 15:28   #18 (permalink)
 
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Orac, checked as briefed. Spot on.

JSFfan, read the earlier comments. As I said before, it isn't all a BVR war, mate. And that, of course, begs the question about the value of all your stealth if you can't win the fight BVR and end up in the visual arena. Now how great is the g-limited, less-agile, highly-visible VSTOL compromise jet?
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 16:07   #19 (permalink)
 
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@ORAC We had them in our part of the world for a while

@stacker, thanks for the pics
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Old 29th Dec 2012, 16:11   #20 (permalink)
 
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Courtney wrote:

Quote:
Now how great is the g-limited, less-agile, highly-visible VSTOL compromise jet?
Courtney - don't worry, JSFfan's Magic Pixie Dust will soon have Dave-B VIFFing and carrying 808+...

S41
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