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Awacs With Long-range AAMs  
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6491 posts, RR: 3
Posted (10 years 2 months 17 hours ago) and read 5933 times:

So what would be the downside in packing several long-range (100-200mi) radar-guided AAMs on an AWACS, and integrating it with the radar package? This wouldn't be for air-to-air or self-defense. It would make the AWACS the ultimate long-range interceptor. Of course, you'd still want fighter escorts.


When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2953 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 5832 times:

The main problem is that you would then have to operate the AWACS within a few hundred miles of enemy threats, and seriously expose the radar platform to the risk of being shot down. It'd be a much better idea to give controllers aboard the E-10 (much more room on there for more people than on the E-3) control over air-to-air capable drones and let a swarm of them do the dirty work.


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 5699 times:

First off...

Most of the time the Rules Of Engagement require a visual ID. So you'd need to have a fighter (or other platform) close enough to the bad guy to get a visual. And if you got somebody that close you may as well have him do the shooting too. You can datalink the radar picture to the fighter, allowing
him to remain stealthy from an RF standpoint.

Secondly...
Were I an AWACS crewmember I'd rather spend my lift capability on extra gas or other force multiplier instead of the dead weight of some missiles.

Third...
AWACS are rare (only 33). Fighters are relatively plentiful. Why risk an AWACS?

SATL382G


User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 5693 times:

In a word.... NO.

Not enough computer capacity, or weight available on the E-3.

Though the E-3 does technically have one hardpoint under each wing (not used).

The E-3 does not have dedicated fighter escorts now, but of course we are controlling all of the assets and our long range look is our best defence.

The YAL-1 Airborne Laser will be a different story, and will have Air Battle Managers on board.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined


User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 5688 times:

Looks like SAT posted right as I did, another note for him, techincally we only have 32 US E-3s now (Boeing owns one other) We lost one Sept 22, 95 in Alaska due to bird intake.

Much ROE for the US is actually not visual anymore; we want BVR or beyond visual range for engagements, that is part of the benefit of the E-3 picture and Datalinking. And you are exactly right about the Datalink, JTIDS is the wave of the future!

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, A Houston Tradition since 1975


User currently offlineBENNETT123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7705 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 13 hours ago) and read 5667 times:


My take on this is let the E3 do it's job, and let the F15's do theirs.


User currently offlineSATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 5408 times:

Capt-AWACS,

I was thinking 34 was the original AWACS buy. Were you in the AWACS community at the time of the accident in Alaska? Was a sad day, but
good things came of it. I see (& hear) bird cannons everywhere now...

SATL382G


User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 5411 times:

SAT you are correct the original US buy was 34, but one was in effect leased back to Boeing as the test bird for all E-3s. So we had 33 operational ones, then after the Yukla crash we are left with 32. 28 of which are at Tinker AFB, OK and 2 a piece at Elmendorf and Kadena.

The only other loss was a NATO bird shortly after Yukla. No one died on that crash but it overan a runway in Greece after a bird strike. Even though they had passed their decision speed, they aborted anyway, overan the runway the plan broke in half going into a lake. NATO originally had 18, and now has 17.

Saudi has 5, France has 4, and the Brits have 7 (named after the Dwarfs LOL).
Japan has 4 E-767s which has the same An/APY-2 as the E-3Cs we have (10 total C models) So 68 total E-3s were made ,with 2 lost + 4 E-767s

I was still an ROTC cadet in 1995, and did get on active duty until the end of 1999.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Folk Dancers like $2 bills


User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3477 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 8 hours ago) and read 5400 times:

Much ROE for the US is actually not visual anymore; we want BVR or beyond visual range for engagements...

F-14 Tomcat w/AIM-54 Phoenix was only 3 decades before its time.  Pissed



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5319 times:

True most of the kills in Gulf war one came from Sparrow shots.

But I am also convinced that the Phoenix would have had many of the same problems that the Falcon missile had in Nam. Neither of which where designed for shots in a rolling combat situation, rather they where designed for shots on bombers.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2953 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5304 times:

The Iranians used the Phoenix to great effect in the Iran-Iraq war. There were at least two instances where a long range shot was taken on an unsuspecting close formation of fighters, destroying up to 4 at a time. Used with AWACS or Hawkeyes, the Phoenix could have been a sort of long range sniper rifle, picking off aircraft long beforethey realized they were engaged.


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5297 times:

The newer Sukoi Flanker version can be armed with Novator KS-172 AAM, range about 400km..



User currently offlineCheshire From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 112 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5225 times:

Some years ago there was a proposal to fit some P-3s in Japanese service with the F-14's AWG-9 weapons system and load it out with mulitple AIM-54 rounds. With the 100 mile range of the Phoenix, it would have acted as a long range stand off interceptor. Interesting idea that never got off the drawing board. Maybe the problem was the AIM-54- is it true it never worked as advertised?

User currently offlineLorM From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 409 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5211 times:

Okay let's clear the Phoenix missile myth once and for all  Laugh out loud. Missile effectiveness depends many factors. Target range, target aspect angle, launching aircraft speed and altitude, target aircraft speed and altitude, and target's maneuverability. Don't forget ECM, and countermeasures like chaff and flares.

Since target aircraft rarely cooperate, Missile range is a very complex topic. Knowing that a missile has a 100 mile range doesn't do you much good. Accuracy depends on many factors, but you could conclude, that the closer you are to a target the better the chances are to hit, being that the missile has more energy to expend to intercept its target. Launching from higher airspeed and altitudes significantly increases the missile's effective range.

For example, a two ship group of incoming Su-34 long range attack aircraft are detected by a E-2 Hawkeye, which vectors a two ship CAP of F-14s to intercept. Let's assume that the Su-34 employed ECM all have been burnt through, and I'm that using an Su-34, representing a medium sized but still quite manouverable aircraft.

They are intercepted and the engagement aspect becomes head to head. Both sides are supersonic, teetering around mach 1.5 still in BVR. Once on station the RIOs began tracking the approaching aircraft in TWS mode. All two attack aircraft are at an altitude of 40,000 feet, with the Cats at relatively the same. At around 100 miles out 1 Phoenix is launched at each aircraft.

At this range the Phoenix would follow a ballistic path to intercept these aircraft. The Phoenixes climb to 100,000 feet during its peak altitude. Lead SU-34 intent on launching its weapons on their target doesn't try to evade the Phoenix, and at a total of around 70 miles of flight time due to closure speed, destroys the lead Su-34.

The second ship wingman SU-34 on the other hand, as soon as the Phoenix active seeker is detected, attempts to evade, pulls a high G 180 turn and drops chaff. The Phoenix having spent nearly all of its usable energy and all of its motor burn, is evaded.

Second surviving Su-34 turns back around and this time decides to out maneuver the F-14s. While not intended as a dogfight missile, the Phoenix missile has a great capacity against maneuvering targets more than any other AAM. At around 10 miles now, just barely out of BVR, the Su-34 pulls into a vertical dive attempting to break lock. One more Phoenix is launched. The Su-34 begins to pull out dive at 6Gs again attempting to evade. Still with high energy the Phoenix has a huge advantage and with nearly all of its airspeed, matches the 6Gs and with its very large 132lb blast-fragmentation warhead defeats the SU-34. The Phoenix is capable of pulling 16Gs and still defeating it's target. Comparatively, the R-73 / AA-11 Archer (Russia's equivalent to the AIM-9 Sidewider and argueably more deadly with its off-boresight capability), is capable of a maximum 12Gs.

You can conclude that inside, the 100+ mile "range", the Phoenix is a very deadly weapon. The missile has a very long burning solid-fueled motor when compared with other AAMs, meaning at fairly close range the Phoenix will have all or most of its maximum airspeed and available energy to expend on intercepting its target. The Phoenix does have a large minimum range however compared to the smaller AAMs like the AIM-9. Air combat, especially in dog fight, to effective and to be best employed is a careful balance of energy and airspeed disposal/conservation.

Okay now you're wondering is this factually correct? I bought a book, in D.C., around 1992, that many aircraft modellers and hobbists may recognize, "F-14A&B Tomcat in Detail and Scale" published back in 1982 by Tab Books, and Airlife Publishing Ltd. I just recently found it again and thought I'd share some examples of the Phoenix's effectiveness.I'm not sure if they are still published anymore, but the "Detail and Scale" series of publications were the first to focus its attention on the many physical details of aircraft, such as cockpit interiors, radar and avionics, armament, landing gear, wheel wells, and ejection seats. They were also known for their high technical accuracy, and its author Bert Kinzey being known for his reputation as knowledgeable in all aspects of military airpower who eventually landed a position in the Department of the Army as a "subject matter expert". I used this book to reference two similar live tests, of the AIM-54 program substituting the drone for the SU-34. Each test information, in the book is courtesy of Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon), the contractor for the AIM-54 Phoenix. The books production was assisted by Grumman, Hughes, and also the U.S. Navy. Needless to say a classic, with many techincal drawings, cockpit photos and layout diagrams, walk around photos, and topped of by a pilot's (Lt. Larry Muczynski) account of his downing of one of the 2 Su-22s during the Libiyan campaign (using AIM-9s).

The first Su-34 downing example that I used was being the long range capability development test against a supersonic strategic bomber, simulated by a BQM-34E with a blinking noise jammer. Second being a QF-86 drone violently maneuvering in the vertical plane. I picked these tests to reference, something that we might see today if the AIM-54C was ever used by the US Navy in actual combat. Okay true, now these were only tests but clearly demonstrate the AIM-54s capability which still stands to be matched.

The AIM-54 has been steadily but surely been upgraded to today's modern standards, most notably the AIM-54C and AIM-54C+. In the AIM-54C the warhead was upgraded from an MK82 to a WDU-29/B warhead which offers a 20-25 percent increase in effectiveness. Another upgrade was an all new digital WGU-11/B guidance and WCU-7/B control sections. One very important feature of the AIM-54C is its vastly improved ECCM capability, and DSU-28/B target detection device improves fusing accuracy in high-clutter environments and for small and low-altitude targets. The + version was sealed which eliminated the need for the F-14 to provide temperature compensation liquid during captive flight.

You can conclude anyway you want to about the AIM-54, as it's never been used by the U.S. in actual combat and it's effectiveness has yet to be seen. One thing is for sure though, I would not want to be on the opposite side of an engagement with an F-14  Smile. They will be missed when retired, by their crews and the public.



Brick Windows
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3477 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5175 times:

...to fit some P-3s in Japanese service with the F-14's AWG-9 weapons system and load it out with mulitple AIM-54 rounds...Interesting idea that never got off the drawing board. Maybe the problem was the AIM-54- is it true it never worked as advertised?

Problem is not the missile, but its launch would flame out the T56 engines....yep, the idea has been tested multiple times.

At this range the Phoenix would follow a ballistic path to intercept these aircraft. The Phoenixes climb to 100,000 feet during its peak altitude.

Not a ballistic path, but rather a very high altitude cruise until terminal dive on target.

Lead SU-34 intent on launching its weapons on their target doesn't try to evade the Phoenix, and at a total of around 70 miles of flight time due to closure speed, destroys the lead Su-34.

If the F14 crew followed proper tactics, the targets would not know an AIM54 was even launched until it (the missile) went active during the terminal phase (last few seconds of missile flight time). At that point the targets might figure out what direction the missile is coming from, but not its angle. Vast majority of defensive manouvering is left/right which is a relatively small angle change for the high diving Phoenix = high P.K.

The AIM-54 has been steadily but surely been upgraded to today's modern standards, most notably the AIM-54C and AIM-54C+.

First model AIM54 remained in front line service up until Iran's "leadership change" after which the C model was quickly introduced fleet-wide [US knew USSR had disassembled an Iranian F14/AIM54 3 months after the coup]. Prior to that there was no economic/performance incentive to upgrade the F14/AIM54 team as USA still operated under VID requirements. The C model was a huge upgrade to both AUG9 and AIM54 making USSR knowledge obsolete in a couple of months [time to full deployment].

But I am also convinced that the Phoenix would have had many of the same problems that the Falcon missile had in Nam. Neither of which where designed for shots in a rolling combat situation,

Correct; however, the AIM54 design incorporated changes to improve this area and flight testing indicated it was significantly better than originally planned in close-range ops. In close [<30nm] the AIM54 is powered throughout its flight, has good (definitely not great) manouverability and descent P.K. [not anywhere near a missile designed for close combat]. USN tactics were to have it available and use it primarily to force opponents to deal with it so F14's could gain the advantage not expecting it to actually kill a target... though in testing it occasionally did.  Wink/being sarcastic Remember, up until late 1980's USN aircraft were required to VID targets which drove the F14 TVS introduction... why have BVR capability and not use it.... purely political reasons.  Angry




*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineKEESJE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5168 times:

During the cold war the tactic e.g. of a 4 aircraft F16 formation encountering a 4 aircraft su22 formation was to engage and destroy if possible.

The plan for e.g. a 4 aircraft F16 formation encountering a 4 aircraft mig29 formation was to break-off and avoid a confrontation.

Purely based on statistics. Only get into a fight if the risk is acceptable.

Two F14s encountering 2 Su34s would be an plan B situation IMO.








User currently offlineLorm From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 409 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5165 times:

With a huge 135lb warhead and a large radius proximity fuse, for the AIM-54C, matching G to G of a maneuvering target is less of an issue. These suckers are a half a million dollar suicidal smart Mk82s! Smile







[Edited 2004-09-09 19:30:03]


Brick Windows
User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 12 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4870 times:

Much ROE for the US is actually not visual anymore; we want BVR or beyond visual range for engagements...

F-14 Tomcat w/AIM-54 Phoenix was only 3 decades before its time. Pissed
------

The above posters know more about the Phoenix than I do. However, I can tell you it was designed primarily to attack Soviet Bombers and the long range anti-ship missiles they would launch at US carrier battle groups. In this mission, it probably would have done very well. It is easier to confirm that a bomber is hostile over the open sea, than it is to confirm that a possible fighter target is hostile over a place like Vietnam or Libya. There is also no possibility that an incoming anti-ship missile is friendly.

We have had the missiles for beyond-visual-range combat for a long time. The enabling technology for beyond visual range combat is not missiles, but the ability to reliably identify targets as hostile at long range. This is only a recently developed capability - and we still don't know if it would really work well in a fight against a truly capable enemy. Yes, the Libyans and Iraqis had some hot fighters but they did not have the training, doctrine, and support necessary to make them effective and that is what matters. We haven't really had anything like a serious air-to-air threat since the Vietnam war.

IN SHORT.... it is true that true beyond visual range combat has been made possible only by 90's technology, and because of this the Phoenix was not really usable for many missions at very long range. However the fleet defense mission it was designed for was a special case and had the US fleet ever faced that kind of attack, the Phoenix may have done well. Only recently have long-range missiles like the Phoenix become useful against other threats.


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