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AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?  
User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3829 posts, RR: 5
Posted (2 years 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3437 times:

A lot of spec sheets for USAF aircraft mention a possible mixed load of AIM-120s and AIM-7s, but is there any reason why such a load would have been selected other than cost and availability (while the AIM-120 was coming into service for example)?

Does carrying both have an advantage?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12060 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3373 times:

The AIM-7 is basicly a short range AAM, while the AIM-120 is long range, as was the AIM-9 AAM it replaced. Guns are used in shorter ranges, like when you get into a knife fight in a phone booth.

User currently offlinemechatnew From United States of America, joined May 2005, 100 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

During thr 1990s and a little later the USAF/ANG F-16 flew with mixed AIM-7,AIM-9 and AIM-120 load outs. As one pilot told me there was a shortage on the new AIM-120, and a lot of AIM-7 at the time. Also some threats did not warrent a AIM-120. I belive that all AIM-7 have retired from USAF/ANG service, but the USN/USMC still has some.

User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3829 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3346 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):

The AIM-7 is basicly a short range AAM, while the AIM-120 is long range, as was the AIM-9 AAM it replaced.

I think you have those mixed up - the AIM-7 is the Sparrow, which the AIM-120 AMRAAM replaced, while the AIM-9 is the Sidewinder.

I'm specifically asking about mixed loads of AIM-7s and AIM-120s - comparable missiles, separated by generational qualities, but is there a valid reason beside cost and availability to carry a mixed load of both?


User currently offlinespudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 300 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3338 times:

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
is there a valid reason beside cost and availability to carry a mixed load of both?

Can't think of a single reason outside of cost and availability. Its fire&forget capability alone will ensure that. I don't believe that any version of the AIM-7 can out range or out-turn an AIM-120. The AIM-120 is lighter so is better that way too.

The only thing the AIM-7 may have over the AIM-120 is warhead size, it probably packs a bigger punch but that is down to having more 'miss' in its missile whereas you would expect the 120 to behave more as a 'hit'ile. The AIM-7 was originally developed to take down bombers whereas the AIM-120 was designed with fighter type targets in mind from the start.

So maybe if you want to shoot down transport type airframes the AIM-7 might be worth taking instead of an AIM-120  


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12060 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3332 times:

Quoting mechatnew (Reply 2):
I belive that all AIM-7 have retired from USAF/ANG service, but the USN/USMC still has some.

Me bad, I mixed up the AIM-7 and AIM-9. The -9 is the Sidewinder and it is the short range AAM. The USAF has retired all of their AIM-7s. Some of them will be converted into the RIM-7 for Naval ship protection.


User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3829 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3311 times:

Quoting spudh (Reply 4):

Thanks, I think that the cost and availability reasons might be the only real ones then, especially as the AIM-7 was removed from operational service regardless of the extra potential it might have against large targets  


User currently offlineTGIF From Sweden, joined Apr 2008, 276 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3290 times:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/USAF_F-15E_Strike_Eagle_Iraq_1999.jpg/750px-USAF_F-15E_Strike_Eagle_Iraq_1999.jpg

Looking at this image, it looks like that load out is both possible and used operationally (when AIM-7 still was operational).
Here's another one: http://www.arcair.com/awa01/301-400/.../images_Bernie_McKenna/F-15_05.jpg


User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3829 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3287 times:

Quoting TGIF (Reply 7):

Brilliant, thanks  


User currently offlinetrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4493 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3206 times:
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I doubt any frontline US unit even stocks Aim7s today. Except for maybe live fire training.

Allied nations may still do so but except for F4 operators and the Taiwanese I doubt anyone actually regularly flies both on wings on frontline units operationally (and they do so as they have huge aim7stocks and only @300+ aim120s with 146 F16s to distribute those between and apparently all the radar cones are cracking on their aim120s anyway). If you have aim120s you just go with those. Many aim120 capable planes never had aim7 capability- essentially most F16s except block 20 and 15ADF, and most aim7 older planes which were made aim 120 capable use those for frontline use only- F15s, F18s.


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