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moo
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AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:39 am

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?
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:27 am

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.
 
mechatnew
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RE: AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:37 am

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.
 
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moo
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RE: AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:10 pm

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?
 
spudh
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RE: AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:24 pm

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  
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:41 pm

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.
 
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moo
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RE: AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:17 pm

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  
 
TGIF
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RE: AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:00 pm

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
 
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moo
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RE: AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:05 pm

Quoting TGIF (Reply 7):

Brilliant, thanks  
 
trex8
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RE: AIM-120 & AIM-7 - Mixed Loads?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:45 pm

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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