charleslp
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Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 3:52 am

According to various sources, I heard that the MiG 1.44 and the S-37 Berkut are superior to the F-22, or at least that is what their designers claim. I also heard that some Russian aircraft could pretty much outdo American aircraft in a dogfight. Is this actually true, or I'm I just being paranoid?
 
charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 3:54 am

BTW, I also heard that the MiG 1.44 was stealthier than the F-22!
 
PPGMD
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 4:04 am

Unlikely, but in the end in a war the US aircraft would win. Superior radar and fire control systems. Also better tactics using AWACs and combined arms.

Also consider that the US still hasn't released any worthwhile technical information on the F-22.
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charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 4:07 am

Oh. So there's more stuff about the F-22 that most Americans don't know about yet. And that also means that the Russians don't know everything about the F-22 Big grin
 
racko
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 4:26 am

"I also heard that some Russian aircraft could pretty much outdo American aircraft in a dogfight."

That's correct, but just in the dogfight. The German MiG-29 squadron in Laage has practiced against pretty much any NATO aircraft, including the USAF and the Swiss Air Force with F-18s, and has ourperformed them in the dogfight due to its high agility and the R-73 missile which is superior to the AIM-9M. This btw led to the decision to develop the IRIS-T missile. However, as PPGMD said, they have to come close to win. The radar and the AMRAAM of the modern western jets is better than the MiG's. They even lost against the F-4Fs of the Luftwaffe...
 
charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 5:52 am

Well, don't forget that success heavily relies on the skills of the pilot. Even if you had the best fighter jet in the world, it wouldn't be able to do anything without a good pilot.
 
charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 5:58 am

Also, I think that most American fighters were made to take out an enemy aircraft from a long distance and avoid a dogfight.
 
charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 6:01 am

BTW, does anyone even know if the MiG 1.44 or S-37 Berkut will spawn production aircraft?
 
LMP737
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 7:07 am

Charleslp:

If you look at pictures of the MIG 1.44 you will see panels that don't have a very good fit along with large protruding fasteners. Not exactly conducive to having a stealthy aircraft. Another thing about the MIG 1.44 or Sukhoi S-37. They are tests beds that may never see production while the F-22 will. So even if (and that's a big if) they are superior to the F-22 it's probably a moot point.

Racko:

If memory serves me correctly the Luftwaffe said of the MIG-29 "impossible to navigate and an inadequate fire control system." As you already know the product support for the MIG-29 left a lot to be desired. Hats off to the technicians of the Laage based MIG-29. Once the AIM-9X comes on line the MIG-29's off axix missile advantage will be negated.
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rwalsh1348
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:08 am

On the topic of Luftwaffe Mig-29s vs USAF aircraft, here's what the pilots on both sides have to say. The F-16 was giving the 29s a run for their $$ 8 years ago. I'm guessing they've improved more over time. Some pretty good commentary although the article is pretty old:

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/1995/articles/jul_95/july2a_95.html
 
LY744
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:37 am

Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
LY744
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:48 am

The MiG 1.44 is deffinetely not going to be produced, the S-37 is extremely likely to follow the same path (despite what they may want you to think, with the renaming and all).

LY744.
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racko
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:56 am

Here's a good article about the pro's and con's of the MiG-29, from Johann Koeck, commander of the Luftwaffe MiG-29 squadron.

""The radar is at least a generation behind the AN/APG-65, and is not line-repairable. If we have a radar problem, the aircraft goes back into the hangar. The radar has a poor display, giving poor situational awareness, and this is compounded by the cockpit ergonomics. The radar has reliability problems and lookdown/shootdown problems. There is poor discrimination between targets flying in formation, and we can’t lock onto the target in trail, only onto the lead. We have only the most limited autonomous operating capability."

""But when all that is said and done, the MiG-29 is a superb fighter for close-in combat, even compared with aircraft like the F-15, F-16 and F/A-18. This is due to the aircraft’s superb aerodynamics and helmet mounted sight. Inside ten nautical miles I’m hard to defeat, and with the IRST, helmet sight and ‘Archer’ I can’t be beaten. Period. Even against the latest Block 50 F-16s the MiG-29 is virtually invulnerable in the close-in scenario. On one occasion I remember the F-16s did score some kills eventually, but only after taking 18 ‘Archers’."

http://www.fabulousfulcrums.de is the Homepage of the JG73 MiG-29 squadron. Under press, you can find articles (unfortunately only in German) from a Swiss newspaper about MiG vs. F-18 dogfights, "Against the MiGs, our Hornets didn't have a sting". There are articles about the Agile Archer in the USA last year, however they don't mention results. But on a German TV show, "n-tv Take Off" they mentioned last year that the MiGs won the pure dogfights, but lost badly bvr against AMRAAM-equipped F-15/F-16s.

 
charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 9:18 am

Okay, so the MiG is pretty tough dogfighter. That doesn't mean that American aircraft are losers/wimps when it comes to dogfighting does it?
 
LMP737
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 9:20 am

Charleslp:

No, it would not.
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STT757
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:37 am

Dogfighting skills don't do anyone justice when the other aircraft has superior "over the horizon" kill capability.

AWACs, Superior radars, and Superior weapons systems give Western Aircraft the edge.

Yes the Soviets might have improved the dog fight capability, but Western tactics, training, weapons systems, radars, and AWACs are overwhelming.

To use a boxing analogy, the Russian migs are brawlers like Mike Tyson up close , but are very vulnerable to boxers with greater reach.

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jwenting
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 2:31 pm

Berkut is a technology demonstrator. Unless it's changed a lot since rollout it didn't look stealthy at all to me. Far too many sharp edges etc.
It IS quite agile, which might present a problem for the F-22 if it lets the Berkut in close.

MiG i.44 never went anywhere, though ideas from the model were used in the later MiG jettrainer (which also didn't survive AFAIK).
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L-188
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:00 pm

I think this shows a difference in thinking that starting in the 1970's.

The US kept developing systems that pushed the range that you could score a kill out farther, To the point that I don't believe there was a single non-amraam kill during the first Persian gulf war.

The soviets however believed that all combat would degrade down to a close-in turning dogfight and the Mig-29 clearly was designed with that philosophy in mind.
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RayChuang
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 10:27 pm

I think one HUGE advantage for USAF and US Navy pilots is the fact they have very realistic air combat schools like Top Gun and Red Flag to hone their skills. With that type of training, American fighter pilots can outfight a MiG-29 or Su-27/30 fighter.

It should be noted that once the US Navy started the Top Gun program in the late 1960's F-4 pilots flying from US Navy carriers by 1972 had an amazing 14 to 1 kill ratio--pretty good considering the F-4 was nowhere near as manueverable as the MiG-17's the North Vietnamese AF pilots favored in air combat.

By the way, the new Matra/BAe Meteor missile that is now in advanced development could probably be carried on the F-15C, F-16C, and F/A-18E in addition to the planned installation on the Eurofighter Typhoon; this gives the ability to engage targets probably as far as 80 miles away! I don't think the Russians have any missiles that are carried on the MiG-29 and Su-27/30 that can hit a target that far away.
 
PPGMD
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:11 pm

There were four non-Amraam kills during the Gulf War. The first was the 2 choppers downed by the A-10's main guns, which were the first two air to air kills of the war. The other two were at the end of the war, one was another chopper hovering that had a LGB / KLGB), USA - California">LGB dropped on it by an F-15E on strike mission. The final one was a trainer that was used to attack a settlement in Northern Iraq, he saw the American fighter jet behind him, said something to the effect of "Oh shit" and punched out. The fighter pilot was credited for the kill by the higher ups.

Credit: Most of it Every Man a Tiger by Tom Clancey and Chuck Horner.

[Edited 2003-04-18 16:15:40]
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LY744
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:20 pm

The were no AMRAAM kills during the Gulf War as the AIM-120 did not enter service until right after the war was over. The AIM-7 was still the workhorse back then. The Fulcrum and Flanker families of aircraft were designed to carry such missiles as the AA-10 and (later on) the AA-12, which roughly correspond to the AIM-7 and AIM-120 respectively.

LY744.
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L-188
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:22 pm

Wasn't aware of those but note that not one of those kills involved a fighter on fighter combat.

There are three engaged helicopters and one trainer with a pilot changing
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PPGMD
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Sat Apr 19, 2003 5:40 am

Mostly posted it as a joke. I find it find that some of the first air to air kills in the war and some of the last air to air kills in the war were done without using any air to air weapons.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
petertenthije
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 2:10 am

Are BVR missiles still usefull? For as far as I can see the the allies let the adversaries come in closer in order to make a positive identification. They no longer shoot at everything that may be bad in order to prevent friendly-fire.

If this is true, I might be wrong, then having medium range missiles will do. Manouverability (spelling?) would be nice as well.


Another advantage of the Russian planes is that they can operate from rough field. I do not believe that a F16 can take off from a mudfield. A mig-29 can when the field is reasonably level. Apparently maintenance is also easier because they were designed to be maintained by conscripts???
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charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 3:31 am

I guess when it comes to aircraft, most Russian fighters were made to take off from highways or even a spot where there is NO pavement at all, like in a dirt field or something. Besides, I'm sure that if the U.S. wanted to produce aircraft with excellent maneuverability, I'm sure it could. But as of right now, the U.S. is developing something that has stealth and speed with fairly good maneuverability, which is basically planned for roles such as fast deployment and such.
 
LY744
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 3:55 am

BTW, just wanted to point out that various modifications of the Fulcrum (and others) family that came out in the mid to late 90's (but have seen little if any orders as of yet) had significantly improved avionics and cockpit design. This includes a completely western style layout of instruments and multi functional displays, as well as true hands-on-throttle-and-stick, something that even early 4th generation American fighters don't have AFAIK. (They even got rid of the hideous green colour  Smile ) Thus, one of the biggest disadvantages of the MiG-29 (and other Russian aircraft) was eliminated.


LY744.
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charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:20 am

To my knowledge, the only American aircraft to have been exported in large numbers (400+ worldwide) is the F-16 Fighting Falcon and maybe the F-18 Hornet. Russia, on the other hand, has made many exports of its MiGs and Sukhois and has produced them in vast numbers; they also "reportedly" closed the gap between old and new technology and had even overtaken the West in some vital areas.

Consider this situation:

Russia has developed a new supercarrier (like the ones the U.S. Navy uses). It has also navalized many of its MiGs and Sukhois for this job. This new supercarrier can also support Russia's tankers and some of its supersonic bombers. Let's say that Russia's new leader is a person who wants revenge against the U.S. (mainly because of the Cold War) and decides to use the aircraft carrier against U.S. defenses at home. Now assuming that Russia has developed radar jamming technology on their aircraft, will American aircraft outnumbered, outgunned, and outsmarted by the Russian aircraft? Will our design of making our aircraft not as maneuverable as Russian aircraft cause loss of our own air superiority? Is our only hope our Patriot Ground to Air missles? Do we even have to call NATO and ask for help to regain air superiority if we lose it!?!?

All I can say is, thank goodness for the Boeing E-3 Sentry
 
charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:31 am

Ignore that photo isnert in the last post. I was trying to insert this:

 
Spacepope
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 6:41 am

Do we really have to get into the history of Soviet shipbuilding and discuss why this is not much of a threat? They were designed poorly, and were for a large part not serviceable out of port. Any small problem caused a return, and they usually did not venture more than a few hundred miles from their home bases. They most certainly would not be able to function far offshore for extended periods of time. Plus, Russia would have to find enough money to build a whole fleet, and that's not going to happen any time soon.

T.J.
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2912n
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 6:45 am

Interesting post...but that is where combined force options become important...

First you have to have the intel assets to let you know what is coming.

The Navy would be, depending on the state of the crisis at that point, either shadowing the opfor fleet or, if need be, actually attacking them. This would be accomplished through the use of attack subs and then surface and air assets.

A difficulty with the attack scenario is that they would have to be close to U.S. shores to launch an attack which gives our forces the ability to find the launch platform and sink it before the attack. One carrier would not provide the air superiority needed.

There is also the presence of the nuclear deterent force. An open attack on a US city by your fictional government would invite the possibility of a nuclear response.

 
charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 6:56 am

Okay, maybe my topic was a little far-fetched. It was more a "What if..." question anyway.
 
2912n
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 8:44 am

I find nothing wrong with a "what if" topic. Gets us amatuers thinking a little.  Smile

Perhaps the scenario cited above is too far fetched. But what about the idea of a terrorist group using a cargo vessel to bring in some sort of strike....Approach the coast, launch a scud type missile at a coastal city. Even if the warheads were conventional you would create havoc. How to defend agaisnt such a threat?

There are many scenarios to play out and think about.

Some of the problems in addressing such a threat is hwo to identify them and then assign a threat level and then how to deal with it. Do you just destroy a ship loitering off the coast and ask questions later? How do you deal with the incoming airliner? Do you shoot it down and take the lives of all aboard plus the people you will hit on the ground? Who will make the decision?
 
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STT757
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:52 am

Countries like Russia etc can build aircraft carriers, but they are almost worthless without the Battlegroup.

The US Aircraft Carrier battlegroups feature Aegis equiped Destroyers and Cruisers, as well as Los Angeles Class (and possibly Seawolf or Connecticut) Attack subs.

All of these systems are tied together that form a huge battle brigade, the aircraft are just part of the strike and force protection package.

The Aegis Destroyers and Cruisers are so advanced they are going to be intergrated with the Thearter Defense System to defend against short-medium range ballistic missisles, also with the Tomahawks they can strike deep into enemy territory with amazing precision.

The future will include un-manned aerial fighters that will be more manuverable than any manned fighter because of the G-force limitations of the human body, imagine UAV's capable of air to air combat being launched from Naval warships. They would be operated by "pilots" on board the ship who fly (and fight) while sitting in a "simulator", the aircraft would be able to perform manuevers un-thinkable with human pilots aboard.

The US is at the fore front of these technologies, using the Predator drones equiped with Helfire missiles to attack targets on the ground like in Afghanistan or against terrorists in Yemen is just the the begining.
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sovietjet
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Tue Apr 22, 2003 11:55 pm

Listen guys what the Soviet Union had in 1991 before it broke up was as good as any western plane if not better. However, after the breakup the financing for programs like the 1.42 and S-37 is a small fraction of what it was. If the Soviet Union still existed the 1.42 and S-37 would be in service by the hundreds and so would stuff like the Tu-204, Tu-334, Il-114 and so on. The Mig-29s would be modernized to the Mig-29M standard, Russia would have more than 5 Su-30s in service and the Su-35/37 with thrust vectoring nozzles would also be entering service. Also the A-50 AWACS and Tu-160 bombers would be in production. The R-77 missle and the newest radars(HO14) would be fitted on the fighters. I could go on but you all know that all I just mentioned comes with serious financing which the Soviet Union provided and which Russia cannot. It is pointless to compare what Russia has now to what the US does because the US is rapidly and steadily developing new technologies while the Mig and Sukhoi bureaus are struggling to survive. Of course the S-37 and 1.42 probably won't enter service because by the time they finish development at the current pace they will be old. What you guys really need to compare is the Soviet Union vs. the US in 1991 not Russia vs. the US in 2003. I'm not saying America is the best I love Russian aircraft more than American ones but I'm saying that this comparison is pointless. Also consider the fact that NATO still exists and Warsaw Pact is gone. Just look at what the air forces of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czech Repuplic and Bulgaria were and what they are now.
 
2912n
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 12:10 am

Ahhh, Soviet, I think you are wrong. There are quite a few Russian built a/c flying that could be potentially considered a threat today. If we all thought they were junk they would not be considered a threat today!  Smile

The threat that existed prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union has been pretty much beaten to death.

Few people that have any basic knowledge of Russian airplanes will discount their ability and threat, either in the past or current. More to the point is the different philosophies of the military forces...centralised command vs. the open command structure of western forces that has shown itself to be much more flexible than the old SOviet model.
 
petertenthije
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 12:36 am

How is the western system more flexible. Every shot has to be accounted for these days to prevent friendly fire. The same was the case at the time by the, now much critized, Soviet system.

The time of just shooting of a missile and hoping you did not shoot an ally or an airliner are over. Therefore it stands to doubt if BVR missiles with a range long enough to fly over smaller countries is necessary.
Attamottamotta!
 
2912n
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 12:59 am

The western system of command and control has always allowed more decision making throughout the chain of command. Certainly rules of engagement take away from this. But those are self imposed rules which can be discarded much more easily than a doctrine.

The Soviet system could work well if there was a good controller working with good pilots. But the system was vulnerable to loss of communications and perhaps more importantly, having a not so good controller working. (More the case in 3rd world nations that had adopted the system.)

Much of the argument depends on the type of conflict being fought. Are you in a limited war scenario where there is the realistic possibility of an airliner flying through the conflict? Or are you in the full scale NATO v. USSR conflict?

Tony
 
charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 1:44 am

Okay, so maybe some MiGs and Sukhois are much faster, maneuverable, and probably much cheaper than American aircraft. And maybe Russian aircraft can probably do the same things American aircraft can, if not at least better. Would it be just by pure luck if American aircraft won a dogfight between Russian aircraft, or would all the American aircraft be shot down and the MiGs/Sukhois won without getting much of a scratch?
 
2912n
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 2:00 am

Charles-

You are trying to make it too simple. As noted above there will be issues with command and control, levels of pilot training, the rules of engagement in force at the time.

The Iraq Air Force was equipped with some fine French and Russian built a/c at the start of Gulf War I. But becuase of an ineffective command structure, among other things, they were unable to put even a slight dent in the coalition air campaign.

You can have the best equipment in the world, but if you have poor training and leadership you are doomed. On the flip side even forces with not so great equipment but good leadership and training can prevail. (Witness the triumph of NVA troops over the South Vietnamese at the end of that war...)

As an aside...one of the things that bit the US in the butt at the begining of WWII was the discounting of the capabiliites of Japanese forces and equipment.
 
sovietjet
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 3:28 am

2912n -
I know that there are plenty of Russian aircraft flying right now that are a threat and that are great aircraft. I never said every russian plane flying now is a piece of junk might you take a look at my name after all it is "sovietjet". What I was trying to say was exactly the fact that the Soviet Union is a more potential country for discussion against the US and NATO and not Russia. Althought Russia still has hundreds of Mig-29s they are not the same level of threat they once were. Of course they are still a threat and the Mig-29 is an excellent airplane capable of many things. However what I was trying to say is that if the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact still existed they would have S-37s and 1.42s replacing the Su-27s and Mig-29s and then you could compare it to the F-22. I love russian aircraft and I think they are great but with cases like Iraq and Yugoslavia where Migs are shot down like paper airplanes because of poorly trained pilots, bad communications, and no effective battle plan and with AWACS prowling about. Everyone seems to mention how Iraq and Yugoslavia had Migs and didnt do anything and then they spit on Russian aircraft industry. Why doesn't anyone mention the war in Afghanistan where the Mig and Sukhoi did their job like they were supposed to? My point is this. The russian planes are as good as any american plane of the SAME class. And having stupid arguments like F-16 vs Mig-29 and F-15 vs Su-27 cant say anything because in the end if the pilot of the F-15 is a moron then the Su-27 would win and vice versa. So lets stop this argument because there is way too many factors in a USSR vs US war and we cant predict what would happen to say who is going to win. The only way to find out would be an actual war but the USSR is gone so....
 
PPGMD
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 4:31 am

The Russians have always been able to build and design excellent aircraft, but they have always lacked the technological refinment. Take a look at what the US had in 1991, Patriot (even with it's clock problem), F-117 (Russians still haven't come close yet), GPS, CIWS, E-8, and an effienct communication structure that complimented the American training structure.

Frankly in 1991 if the USSR and the USA went to war in Europe with equal armies, the US would have spanked them. It would have been even worse if it happened in a desert country, because the E-8 would have a better time seeing the targets.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
2912n
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 7:53 am

Soviet-

I think you got my messages crossed...more of my comments were directed to Charles.

The problem with discussing a USSR vs US/NATO conflict is that it is now ancient history. Certainly it can be discussed, but it has to be in a historical context. If the USSR still existed and had continued to develop a/c as you cite they would be formidable. But then you have to figure in what the US would have developed to counter those threats. The pace of development of new systems would have been faster and may well have gone in different directions.

Tony  Smile
 
charleslp
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 8:17 am

Fortunately, the USSR no longer exists. Although Russia still has formidable aircraft, it would be kind of silly  Nuts to think that they are a direct threat to America.

If ant threat is to come out of Russia, it would more than likely involve their ICBMs or their Bear bombers, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
 
sovietjet
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 1:25 pm

PPGMD -

The USSR was indeed a little behind the US technologically but not as to have caused the US to have "spanked" them. F-117? Gimme a break. That thing was solely designed for stealth capabilities and there's only 59(I believe) of them. GPS is a good tool but the USSR can do perfectly fine without it. And by the way they had a radar I believe that could detect the F-117. As a matter of fact, the Mig-31 can easily track F-117s. My uncle is Mig-23BN pilot. His plane doesn't have GPS but he always hits his targets bullseye. The level of training of USSR and Warsaw Pact pilots was very high and they were trained in things that the NATO pilots didn't even come close to. For example taking off and landing on grass fields and flying in ultra-low altitudes(40-50m) at night in poor weather conditions. GPS and CIWS are just "extras". I can say the USSR didn't have a good aircraft carrier fleet but they did have a formidable fleet of Yak-38s and Su-27Ks and Su-25Ks. Lets not forget the Ka-25, Ka-27, Ka-29 and Mi-14PL helicopters and Tu-142. You shouldn't underestimate what the USSR was like that by saying they were going to get spanked. E-8? There is a plane called a Il-76VKP that does the same job and there is many Il-76 based planes that are like the E-8 including an A-60 for laser research. E-3 AWACS? A-50 is the exact equivalent. If the USSR hadn't broken up the An-71 AWACS would've also been in production and there you go. Communications? I've been in many post Warsaw Pact airports and their communications are just fine and that's after the break up. I can guarantee you that the USSR had excellent communications.
 
EssentialPowr
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RE: Russian Aircraft Vs. American Aircraft

Wed Apr 23, 2003 2:14 pm

Sovietjet - you clearly make the point that the former Soviet Union was clearly in the "catchup and react" position throughout the cold war, as opposed to leading military aviation technology.

The analogies are the same as the T72 vs the M1/M1a1/M1a2...the T72 was a decent weapons platform, but when forced to fight against a platform like the M1 that had equal or better gun and armor performance, combined with MUCH better training and CCCI, the results were...what have been delivered. The former East German Mig 29s have been described by AW&ST as the best pure air to air force in the world circa 1999, but that's only a very small piece of the puzzle. The Russians have always claimed their products were better, but even at VASTLY lower prices, the market has never borne that out...otherwise other than third world countries like Germany would still be buying Mig29s. Poor engine reliability, no parts support, even worse electronic integration...A fighter or any other mil a/c is a platform, and its performance is a function of a multitude of factors. The Russians have only been good at a few of those factors at best...

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