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kitplane01
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Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:06 am

Weird but interesting question: What was the best beyond-visual-range fighter in the world on Sep 1, 1970?

Cost of the aircraft counts, so if I can get two Viggen for the price of an F-4 that matters.
The missile counts. So if the Viggen or F-4 carry a better missile, that matters.

F-4
Viggen
Mig-23
Mig-25
Mirage F-1
Anything else ...
 
Ozair
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:47 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Weird but interesting question: What was the best beyond-visual-range fighter in the world on Sep 1, 1970?

Cost of the aircraft counts, so if I can get two Viggen for the price of an F-4 that matters.
The missile counts. So if the Viggen or F-4 carry a better missile, that matters.

F-4
Viggen
Mig-23
Mig-25
Mirage F-1
Anything else ...

On BVR capability probably Mig-25 for me with the F-4 a close second as a superb all rounder.

Viggen didn't enter service till 1971, Mig-23 didn't have a BVR missile until the R-23 in 74 and Mirage F-1 didn't have a BVR missile until the Super 530F in the late 70s. Not a lot of options for true BVR in 1970.
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:41 am

Viggen did not have a BVR until the later JA-37, in the late 1970's, in 1971 the AJ-37 was mainly an attack aircraft.
Mig-23 barely in service in 1971, unsure if the initial versions were had lookdown/shootdown.
Mig-25? No lookdown/shootdown (rare in 1970), If the target wasn't a high level bomber it could not be intercepted/shot down).
Mirage F1 was not in service yet.
Which leaves F-4 but more more specifically the F-4J/K/M versions, with the AWG-10/11 radar, the most capable with lookdown/shootdown. A heavy missile load, four of them typically BVR.

I keep mentioning lookdown ability as by 1970 it was a well established mode of attack from the kind of targets expected to be encountered.
 
ElpinDAB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:29 am

How would the F-106 have fared in 1970? Apparently it could fly higher and faster than the Phantom, which, among it's short-comings for the Vietnam conflict, was one reason why the USAF kept the units stationed with the US. That, and it provided first-line interceptor capabilities on the home-lines. Apparently it was the premier interceptor, and while being designed in the late 1950's, it was capable of over Mach 2, had great range, and was supposedly even capable of "supercruise", cruising over Mach 1 without afterburners. It kept its missiles in a bay vs on pylons, which helped aerodynamics.

Not sure how its radar or missiles would have fared against the latest 1970 competition though...perhaps if it were upgraded, if it was?


Okay, edit here for a quote:
"In late 1961, the Air Force conducted Project High Speed, pitting the F-106A against the U.S. Navy’s McDonnell F-4 Phantom II. While the F-106A bested the F-4 in visual dogfighting, the Phantom’s APQ-72 radar proved more reliable, with longer detection and lock-on ranges."

https://www.historynet.com/convair-f-10 ... ceptor.htm
Last edited by ElpinDAB on Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
steman
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:42 am

ElpinDAB wrote:
How would the F-106 have fared in 1970? Apparently it could fly higher and faster than the Phantom, which, among it's short-comings for the Vietnam conflict, was one reason why the USAF kept the units stationed with the US. Apparently it was the premier interceptor, and while being designed in the late 1950's, it was capable of over Mach 2, had great range, and was supposedly even capable of "supercruise", cruising over Mach 1 without afterburners. It kept its missiles in a bay vs on pylons, which helped aerodynamics.

Not sure how its radar or missiles would have fared against the latest 1970 competition though...perhaps if it were upgraded, if it was?


The F-106 served as primary defense fighter of the continental US until the F-15A entered service and even for a while after it. It (the F-106) had outstanding performance as you said, but it had mediocre weapons, the Falcon missiles.

As an outsider to this list I would propose the Lockheed/Aeritalia F-104S, the all weather interceptor version of the Starfighter, developed for the Italian Air Force. It first flew in 1966 and entered service in 1969.
It could be armed with two AIM-7E Sparrow missiles and two AIM-9 and had excellent climb speed and it was overall very fast, so a very good interceptor indeed. Clearly not on par with the F-4 which had a heavier missile load and probably a better/more powerful radar, but, as pure interceptor, it was in the 70s absolutely capable.
In the mid 80s it received an update which introduced, among other things, the much superior Italian AAM Aspide, keeping the Starfighter as a valid air defense platform till the mid 90s....but then it became pathetic how the Italian Air Force had to keep it in service way past its time because of lack of funds and the delays of the Eurofighter. The last F-104S have been retired in 2004, after another update and not one but two interim fighter acquisition. For some months in 2004 the Italian Air Force had 4 different air defense fighters in service: F-104S/ASA-M, Tornado ADV, F-16A ADF and Eurofighter.
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:47 am

The F-106's performance was not in doubt, however it was tied to Falcon AAM's, rather more limited than AIM-7's, again no lookdown/shootdown though not perhaps a major factor, as by 1970 the bomber threat to the US/Canada was marginal compared to ICBM's/SSBN's.
Hence lack of major upgrades to the F-106.
 
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747classic
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:49 am

A few years later (1974) : F-14 / AIM-54 Phoenix combination.

Still lethal in Iranian Air Force service today, see : https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... dversaries
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
ElpinDAB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:03 am

747classic wrote:
A few years later : F-14 / AIM-54 Phoenix combination.

Still lethal in Iranian Air Force service today, see : https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... dversaries


I had to exercise alot of self-restraint to not post that lethal combo! I almost get the picture that the OP was actively evading the F-14 based upon the date given. Since we are talking 1970, it raises a good question of military strength and how nations really do evade invasions...

Edit for "747classic": https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... ooked-like
Tomcats should have lived longer. It was a great aircraft.

So are we down to the Viggen vs Phantom vs Mig25 now? Were there no better options then for BVR in 1970?
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:22 am

In service in 1970? To me that leads back to the F-4J/K/M, given that the F-14 only made it's first flight that year.
Which as Ozair pointed out, the F-4 was also an all round highly capable aircraft.
Everything else was either in the future or was designed to intercept high altitude bombers, heavily controlled from the ground, with SAGE in the US and no doubt a roughly comparable system in the USSR.
 
tomcat
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:49 pm

I was thinking about the one of a kind English Electric Lightning but it didn't really have BVR capabilities by 1970. At that time, the longest range missile it could carry was the Red Top missile. This was an infrared homing missile with a range of 7.5 miles.

Please don't mention the Tomcat ;-).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Electric_Lightning

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Top_(missile)
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:14 am

Not really much in BVR capability in 1970, anyway technology and ROE pretty prevented a BVR engagement.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:26 am

Ozair wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Weird but interesting question: What was the best beyond-visual-range fighter in the world on Sep 1, 1970?

Cost of the aircraft counts, so if I can get two Viggen for the price of an F-4 that matters.
The missile counts. So if the Viggen or F-4 carry a better missile, that matters.

F-4
Viggen
Mig-23
Mig-25
Mirage F-1
Anything else ...

On BVR capability probably Mig-25 for me with the F-4 a close second as a superb all rounder.

Viggen didn't enter service till 1971, Mig-23 didn't have a BVR missile until the R-23 in 74 and Mirage F-1 didn't have a BVR missile until the Super 530F in the late 70s. Not a lot of options for true BVR in 1970.


I assume there as at least one working prototype of a Viggen in Sept 1970?????
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:28 am

ElpinDAB wrote:
747classic wrote:
A few years later : F-14 / AIM-54 Phoenix combination.

Still lethal in Iranian Air Force service today, see : https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... dversaries


I had to exercise alot of self-restraint to not post that lethal combo! I almost get the picture that the OP was actively evading the F-14 based upon the date given. Since we are talking 1970, it raises a good question of military strength and how nations really do evade invasions...

Edit for "747classic": https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... ooked-like
Tomcats should have lived longer. It was a great aircraft.

So are we down to the Viggen vs Phantom vs Mig25 now? Were there no better options then for BVR in 1970?



The difference in BVR ability between 1970 and (maybe) 1978 was huge.

No Tomcats!
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:30 am

GDB wrote:
Viggen did not have a BVR until the later JA-37, in the late 1970's, in 1971 the AJ-37 was mainly an attack aircraft.
Mig-23 barely in service in 1971, unsure if the initial versions were had lookdown/shootdown.
Mig-25? No lookdown/shootdown (rare in 1970), If the target wasn't a high level bomber it could not be intercepted/shot down).
Mirage F1 was not in service yet.
Which leaves F-4 but more more specifically the F-4J/K/M versions, with the AWG-10/11 radar, the most capable with lookdown/shootdown. A heavy missile load, four of them typically BVR.

I keep mentioning lookdown ability as by 1970 it was a well established mode of attack from the kind of targets expected to be encountered.


Educate me. How good was an AGW-10 and associated missile?
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:04 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Weird but interesting question: What was the best beyond-visual-range fighter in the world on Sep 1, 1970?

Cost of the aircraft counts, so if I can get two Viggen for the price of an F-4 that matters.
The missile counts. So if the Viggen or F-4 carry a better missile, that matters.

F-4
Viggen
Mig-23
Mig-25
Mirage F-1
Anything else ...

On BVR capability probably Mig-25 for me with the F-4 a close second as a superb all rounder.

Viggen didn't enter service till 1971, Mig-23 didn't have a BVR missile until the R-23 in 74 and Mirage F-1 didn't have a BVR missile until the Super 530F in the late 70s. Not a lot of options for true BVR in 1970.


I assume there as at least one working prototype of a Viggen in Sept 1970?????


Probably was, no prototype of the actual JA-37 until later in the 1970's though, which had BAe Skyflash, an optimized radar, any Viggen in 1970 was the initial attack model, no doubt with AAM's for self defence, just not an interceptor but the AJ-37 strike/attack model.

Educate me. How good was an AGW-10 and associated missile?

Put it this way, it was said that until the F-15's were deployed into USAFE in the late 70's, the AWG-11/12's (upgraded AWG-10's but still essentially the same radar), of the RAF F-4M's also in RAF Germany, were the most effective in NATO in Europe.

The issues that F-4's had in SE Asia with the radar/AAM's were early on the usual sophistication equipment of that generation newly deployed in a hostile environment and Rules of Engagement.
Things would improve on both counts there.
 
744SPX
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:38 pm

Technically, you could argue for the YF-12A and AIM-47A, as the AIM-47/ASG-18 combo was thoroughly tested with a 90% hit rate (higher than the Phoenix). Sure, the F-12B was cancelled along with the AIM-47, but one could argue that in a pinch, the 3 YF-12A's could be pressed into emergency service. The ASG-18 had look down/shoot down and the AIM-47 was vastly superior to any missile in existence at the time...
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 08, 2020 2:36 am

744SPX wrote:
Technically, you could argue for the YF-12A and AIM-47A, as the AIM-47/ASG-18 combo was thoroughly tested with a 90% hit rate (higher than the Phoenix). Sure, the F-12B was cancelled along with the AIM-47, but one could argue that in a pinch, the 3 YF-12A's could be pressed into emergency service. The ASG-18 had look down/shoot down and the AIM-47 was vastly superior to any missile in existence at the time...


That might be the answer.

Wikipedia tells the story of a missile hit launched at Mach 3.2 and 74,000 feet down to a target at 500 feet.

Suppose you buy 92 of these, and want the pilots to practice. Where does one practice Mach 3 combat without angering every single person in Nevada?
 
Newark727
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:19 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Suppose you buy 92 of these, and want the pilots to practice. Where does one practice Mach 3 combat without angering every single person in Nevada?


Do it over the ocean instead?
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:24 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Suppose you buy 92 of these, and want the pilots to practice. Where does one practice Mach 3 combat without angering every single person in Nevada?


Most SR-71 Mach 3 training sorties were overland, over mostly non-populated areas. Ignoring the obvious overwater options, there are plenty of overland routes the F-12 could’ve used.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:41 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Suppose you buy 92 of these, and want the pilots to practice. Where does one practice Mach 3 combat without angering every single person in Nevada?


Most SR-71 Mach 3 training sorties were overland, over mostly non-populated areas. Ignoring the obvious overwater options, there are plenty of overland routes the F-12 could’ve used.


And, an amazing sight on ABQ Center Radar!
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 08, 2020 3:54 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Suppose you buy 92 of these, and want the pilots to practice. Where does one practice Mach 3 combat without angering every single person in Nevada?


Most SR-71 Mach 3 training sorties were overland, over mostly non-populated areas. Ignoring the obvious overwater options, there are plenty of overland routes the F-12 could’ve used.


I dunno.

One might plan a "mach loop" up high, but air-air combat requires an area, not just a route. And the turn radius of a Mach 3 plane is 80 miles. And the plane might turn either way ...
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:22 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
I dunno.

One might plan a "mach loop" up high, but air-air combat requires an area, not just a route. And the turn radius of a Mach 3 plane is 80 miles. And the plane might turn either way ...


That’s a good point, and I would definitely agree for pretty much every other fighter/interceptor out there, but the Blackbird family required more choreography than most other aircraft and probably wouldn’t utilize airspace in the same manner because they’re going 33 miles a minute and they wouldn’t utilize the vertical in the same way.

By this I mean there wouldn’t be the ever-changing vertical aspect. From everything I’ve read about the Blackbirds, nothing was done fast. Descents, for instance, were prepared for minutes in advance, because once the pilot pulled the engines out of afterburner the jet was descending and that’s that. The descent profile was rigorous and strictly adhered to, without the ability to climb back up or really vary their descent; once you pulled to idle, your subsonic geographic point (where on the map the jet goes <M1.0)was pretty much locked in. Turns were similarly choreographed because of that large turn radius you mentioned, but not only do you have to worry about radius, you also have to think of timing and position/bearing to your tanker or airfield, so lots of moving parts all going at vastly different speeds. All compounded by the Blackbird’s voracious fuel appetite and the relatively low fuel capacity (F-12 was ~ 65K vs the SR-71’s 80K).

Lastlu, if the SR-71 is a guide the vast majority of the crew’s time is spent ensuring the health of the aircraft; I.e. spikes programming properly, on altitude profile, on the fuel curve, etc. with the mission somewhat secondary. This is the opposite of most aircraft where you’re devoting most of your brain cells to the mission. Therefore, I would surmise the vast majority of F-12 intercept training would occur in the sim, rather than in the aircraft.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:44 pm

Regardless of how great the various planned super interceptors might have been, from CF-105 or YF-12, the targets for them also never happened. After SS-6/Sputnik, the Soviet leadership started losing interest in manned bombers in general, let alone unproven Mach 2 or even 3 designs capable of reaching North America.
So they retained a residual capability with existing designs, mainly the TU-95.
In turn the West retained a residual interceptor capability with existing types too.

Which brings us back to what was the actual best BVR capable fighter in 1970, by which I would add 'in service'.
One of the first aviation books I had as a kid was one of those Salamandar series, A4, well illustrated, written by respected aviation writers. 'A History Of Military Aviation', which went up to the 1973 Arab/Israeli war.
I think it was the late Bill Gunston who wrote of the F-4, 'every country that can afford it, has brought it'.
45 years after reading them, in the time they were written, they seem more true than ever.

In all versions it was the best BVR type as well as highly versatile, with the best radar performance in the F-4J/K/M versions.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:35 pm

Pitching into the vertical in the SR would have been something spectacular, if you survived. They never did it, but I wonder how high a 45* nose up it would go before the engines died, the flight controls ran out of authority.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:04 am

I have vague recollection of reading an account of an SR-71 that nearly went vertical whilst departing an airshow on the east coast. I don't remember the circumstances and my google-fu is apparently weak, but it nearly got away from the pilot. Then, there's always the one that pitched-up on the boom and hit their tanker near El Paso. Everyone survived, but you can't buff out that sorta damage; the SR-71 was lost, but the KC-135 limped back to Beale with heavy damage to the tail and worse damage to the boomer's underwear.

GDB wrote:
In all versions it was the best BVR type as well as highly versatile, with the best radar performance in the F-4J/K/M versions.


Not to mention a real looker. I can't think of a British F-4 paint scheme that didn't look attractive.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
744SPX
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:02 am

I remember reading somewhere that the estimated zoom climb ceiling for the SR-71 was 126,000 ft according to Kelly Johnson/Ben Rich...

The F-108 would probably have made for a better mach 3 interceptor in terms of scramble time, acceleration time to intercept speed and would have had much better maneuverability (the F-108's G-limits were 5.33 positive and 3.0 negative, roughly twice the Blackbirds and wing loading was also significantly lower)
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:26 pm

The Rapier would definitely have been an amazing interceptor. It also would have been amazingly expensive and difficult to purchase and maintain. Having to use heated JP-6 for its engines would have been difficult, and having no other planes to share infrastructure with (The XB-70 was canceled, which was also to use the same fuel) would have made the whole exercise extremely cost prohibitive on the back end. However, in comparison to the YF-12, it would have been FAR more realistic to actually be fielded and supported in large numbers as it was still roughly an order of magnitude less exotic (at least, as planned) to operate.
 
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keesje
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:41 pm

The innovative Mig-25 was defending the huge Siberia norther borders in 1970, together with equally massive Tu-28 iand large numbers of Su-15 interceptors.

Image
https://www.militaryfactory.com/aircraf ... raft_id=64
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:20 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
Not to mention a real looker. I can't think of a British F-4 paint scheme that didn't look attractive.

Aw, c'mon - there's not much to recommend the original Royal Navy birds, all Navy blue with a huge aim-your-guns-at-this-target roundel. :duck:

And when they broke off an engagement, everyone in the next three ZIP codes could read off which bird it was.

Although on second inspection, the black outline to the pale underside does kinda look cool.
(i.e. wing leading edge, engine intakes, and even the 'burners contribute to the effect)

Then there was the dull grey of the later years, which is just.... dull.
(and an unfortunate foretaste of what was to come, for practically every aircraft in every air force :roll: )


Still, if you like that sorta thing, good luck to you. :D
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:31 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
I have vague recollection of reading an account of an SR-71 that nearly went vertical whilst departing an airshow on the east coast. I don't remember the circumstances and my google-fu is apparently weak, but it nearly got away from the pilot. Then, there's always the one that pitched-up on the boom and hit their tanker near El Paso. Everyone survived, but you can't buff out that sorta damage; the SR-71 was lost, but the KC-135 limped back to Beale with heavy damage to the tail and worse damage to the boomer's underwear.

GDB wrote:
In all versions it was the best BVR type as well as highly versatile, with the best radar performance in the F-4J/K/M versions.


Not to mention a real looker. I can't think of a British F-4 paint scheme that didn't look attractive.


I was thinking more in terms of a head-on, close aboard merge with a Foxbat at M3.0 and going in the vertical to get behind the Foxbat at 80,000’
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:08 pm

How does an F-4 compare against a Mig-25 in a pure BVR fight? (Both configured as 1970 aircraft)
 
744SPX
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:42 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
How does an F-4 compare against a Mig-25 in a pure BVR fight? (Both configured as 1970 aircraft)


I think the F-4 would be seriously outclassed. The Mig-25 could cruise at mach 2.35 with 4 R40's and hit mach 2.83 clean, its radar was more powerful, the R40 had a longer range than the Sparrow, and the Mig-25 could also cruise at much higher altitudes and get there quicker.
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:55 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
Not to mention a real looker. I can't think of a British F-4 paint scheme that didn't look attractive.

Aw, c'mon - there's not much to recommend the original Royal Navy birds, all Navy blue with a huge aim-your-guns-at-this-target roundel. :duck:

And when they broke off an engagement, everyone in the next three ZIP codes could read off which bird it was.

Although on second inspection, the black outline to the pale underside does kinda look cool.
(i.e. wing leading edge, engine intakes, and even the 'burners contribute to the effect)

Then there was the dull grey of the later years, which is just.... dull.
(and an unfortunate foretaste of what was to come, for practically every aircraft in every air force :roll: )


Still, if you like that sorta thing, good luck to you. :D


In the space of a few days the RN's Sea Harriers went from a similar colour scheme from those F-4K's to toned down, on board their respective ships in 1982. Well before reaching the combat zone.
Given the legacy of the original RAF aircraft in the strike/attack role, once they were all in the air defence role it was a matter of time before they went from camo to gray, in that respect the RAF were somewhat ahead of most AF's.
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:04 am

744SPX wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
How does an F-4 compare against a Mig-25 in a pure BVR fight? (Both configured as 1970 aircraft)


I think the F-4 would be seriously outclassed. The Mig-25 could cruise at mach 2.35 with 4 R40's and hit mach 2.83 clean, its radar was more powerful, the R40 had a longer range than the Sparrow, and the Mig-25 could also cruise at much higher altitudes and get there quicker.


Could it even do those speeds with 4 large AAM's? If the F-4 or any other target was not in front, around the same altitude and the F-4 did no ACM, it would be in trouble. But the F-4 or other fighters were not the large high altitude bombers the Mig-25 was designed to kill.
It is true that Iranian and Israeli F-4's could not intercept Soviet manned recon Mig-25's as they flashed across their respective airspaces at high speed/altitude but these were being the recon versions, stripped down with no external stores.

It was not until 1976 when that Mig-25 defected to Japan that the west was shocked, at how primitive it was.
That is primitive compared to the scare stories about it when the prototypes broke records and it spurred the development of the F-15.
 
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keesje
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:54 am

GDB wrote:
744SPX wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
How does an F-4 compare against a Mig-25 in a pure BVR fight? (Both configured as 1970 aircraft)


I think the F-4 would be seriously outclassed. The Mig-25 could cruise at mach 2.35 with 4 R40's and hit mach 2.83 clean, its radar was more powerful, the R40 had a longer range than the Sparrow, and the Mig-25 could also cruise at much higher altitudes and get there quicker.


Could it even do those speeds with 4 large AAM's? If the F-4 or any other target was not in front, around the same altitude and the F-4 did no ACM, it would be in trouble. But the F-4 or other fighters were not the large high altitude bombers the Mig-25 was designed to kill.
It is true that Iranian and Israeli F-4's could not intercept Soviet manned recon Mig-25's as they flashed across their respective airspaces at high speed/altitude but these were being the recon versions, stripped down with no external stores.

It was not until 1976 when that Mig-25 defected to Japan that the west was shocked, at how primitive it was.
That is primitive compared to the scare stories about it when the prototypes broke records and it spurred the development of the F-15.


Being raised in the seventies and eighties, cold war, I learned everything russian was either inferior, stolen or at least overrated. This was confirmed in books, magazines, movies, documentaries in typical we/good/superior/defenders and they inferior/enemies/aggressors style.

Looking back being part of it, we made sure everybody automatically knew what to do when things went ugly. We ok they bad, follow orders, kill them. We were defending ourselves and our values all over the world, liberating, helping out, being the good guys. Challenging, even asking automatically put you on lefties / commie side, so better sail along. I think it worked well in terms of alignment, even group thinking.

Back to the BVR Fighters, I remember that early 90's we actually got MIG's/ Su's + crews and their tactics. We tried them against our own gear / strategies. Eye-openers, changed rules of engagement, new tactics and rapid aircraft upgrades came out of them. E.g. our reliance on AWACS, avoid MIG29s, sidewinder-X
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:34 pm

keesje wrote:
GDB wrote:
744SPX wrote:

Being raised in the seventies and eighties, cold war, I learned everything russian was either inferior, stolen or at least overrated. This was confirmed in books, magazines, movies, documentaries in typical we/good/superior/defenders and they inferior/enemies/aggressors style.

Looking back being part of it, we made sure everybody automatically knew what to do when things went ugly. We ok they bad, follow orders, kill them. We were defending ourselves and our values all over the world, liberating, helping out, being the good guys. Challenging, even asking automatically put you on lefties / commie side, so better sail along. I think it worked well in terms of alignment, even group thinking.

Back to the BVR Fighters, I remember that early 90's we actually got MIG's/ Su's + crews and their tactics. We tried them against our own gear / strategies. Eye-openers, changed rules of engagement, new tactics and rapid aircraft upgrades came out of them. E.g. our reliance on AWACS, avoid MIG29s, sidewinder-X



Could it even do those speeds with 4 large AAM's? If the F-4 or any other target was not in front, around the same altitude and the F-4 did no ACM, it would be in trouble. But the F-4 or other fighters were not the large high altitude bombers the Mig-25 was designed to kill.
It is true that Iranian and Israeli F-4's could not intercept Soviet manned recon Mig-25's as they flashed across their respective airspaces at high speed/altitude but these were being the recon versions, stripped down with no external stores.

It was not until 1976 when that Mig-25 defected to Japan that the west was shocked, at how primitive it was.
That is primitive compared to the scare stories about it when the prototypes broke records and it spurred the development of the F-15.


There is an equal history of overrating them, with the bomber and then missile gaps that weren't.

Against the targets the Mig-25 was designed to go up against, the B-58 was out of service by 1970, the B-70 never entered service though fears that a more hawkish US administration might revive it in the 1960's kept the development going, the U-2 was already shown to be no longer capable of penetrating Soviet airspace because of the SA-2.
The SR-71 would have been tricky for a Mig-25, not that the US was going to do USSR overflights with it, due to systems like the SA-5 rather than any manned interceptor.
After the Gary Powers incident they were not going to anyway.
Plus spy satellites were now a factor.

The Mig-25 was an impressive aircraft no doubt, as a useful military aircraft it was best in the recon role.

By the early 90's it was all over for the USSR anyway, they had forged ahead with a mind to close the quantity vs quality gap, very well in some areas. But it bankrupted them.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:48 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
... Cruel besmirchment of British F-4s...


Some prefer blondes, some prefer brunettes. Huge roundel and reg numbers Stevie Wonder could see notwithstanding, I still think they're gorgeous. Of course, I would argue that tops undoubtedly belongs to Vandy 1. Followed by a tossup between the British jets, the Sundowners, and the Blues.







GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I was thinking more in terms of a head-on, close aboard merge with a Foxbat at M3.0 and going in the vertical to get behind the Foxbat at 80,000’


Probably take awhile to get behind: the SR-71's g limit whilst flying above M2.6 is ~ 1.5G. Probably get a better rate flying a C-5. :lol:

https://www.sr-71.org/blackbird/manual/5/5-8.php
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
744SPX
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:27 pm

I suggest reading Yefim Gordon's book on the Mig-25 (Red Star series).
It may have been primitive, but as a mass-produced interceptor it had no equal. It was continuously improved, particularly after the defection incident. If they had proceeded with the improved R15BF2-300 engines instead of going with the Mig-31, they would have had an honest mach 3.3 interceptor. As it was, a Mig-25 equipped with those engines set the all-time zoom-climb altitude record of 123,520 ft and demonstrated both 80,000 ft cruise with full missile loadout and 1200 nm range cruising at mach 2.35 without external tanks. ...and that was in the early '70's
 
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keesje
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:09 pm

[quote="GDB"s]
The SR-71 would have been tricky for a Mig-25, not that the US was going to do USSR overflights with it, due to systems like the SA-5 rather than any manned interceptor.
After the Gary Powers incident they were not going to anyway.
Plus spy satellites were now a factor. [/quote]

:blush:

Yes, otherwise it would be us violation international treaties. And that was Not happening.

We needed the Mach 3 stealth SR-71 to escape russian aggressors above international waters.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... blackbird/

:sarcastic:

These days we are (mostly) free to call a spade a spade.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:37 pm

It must've been dreadful, growing up in oppressive Western Europe during the latter years of the Cold War. What, with the hordes of cowboy Americans eager to charge into the Fulda gap to reeducate your peaceful Soviet/Warsaw Pact neighbors, it's a pity the hammer and sickle no longer flies for freedom and frites dripping with mayo.
"I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and, by gum, it put them on the map!"
 
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keesje
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:41 am

LyleLanley wrote:
It must've been dreadful, growing up in oppressive Western Europe during the latter years of the Cold War. What, with the hordes of cowboy Americans eager to charge into the Fulda gap to reeducate your peaceful Soviet/Warsaw Pact neighbors, it's a pity the hammer and sickle no longer flies for freedom and frites dripping with mayo.


We still see a lot of us-them thinking, mostly from my generation and older, raised in the cold war. I think similar to what is now weakening the US internally, we are right/good the other wrong/bad, even if it's my neigbor & his kids. Facts are always the first victims, because of higher values and believes, overruling truth. You're either with or against us. But credibility is lost outside our own bubbles.

keesje wrote:
Challenging, even asking automatically put you on lefties / commie side, so better sail along. I think it worked well in terms of alignment, even group thinking.


I belive the British Phantoms with the bigger Speys performed worse than the origin J79 powered ones. They were so big aerodynamics were screwed, they used more fuel, had less range, payload and were slower.. but there was no way back.

Image
https://nl.pinterest.com/pin/482729653779749274/
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:27 pm

keesje wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
It must've been dreadful, growing up in oppressive Western Europe during the latter years of the Cold War. What, with the hordes of cowboy Americans eager to charge into the Fulda gap to reeducate your peaceful Soviet/Warsaw Pact neighbors, it's a pity the hammer and sickle no longer flies for freedom and frites dripping with mayo.


We still see a lot of us-them thinking, mostly from my generation and older, raised in the cold war. I think similar to what is now weakening the US internally, we are right/good the other wrong/bad, even if it's my neigbor & his kids. Facts are always the first victims, because of higher values and believes, overruling truth. You're either with or against us. But credibility is lost outside our own bubbles.

keesje wrote:
Challenging, even asking automatically put you on lefties / commie side, so better sail along. I think it worked well in terms of alignment, even group thinking.


I belive the British Phantoms with the bigger Speys performed worse than the origin J79 powered ones. They were so big aerodynamics were screwed, they used more fuel, had less range, payload and were slower.. but there was no way back.

Image
https://nl.pinterest.com/pin/482729653779749274/


Though it's true that the Spey/F-4 combination did not give the benefits promised at the outset, indeed you identify some of the minus points, they were better with sfc at lower altitudes (given that the initial mission for most of the RAF F-4Ms was strike/attack and that was a part of the RN F-4's roles too, that was a plus point).
The aerodynamics was not 'screwed', they did take longer to develop with the different engine (though not by today's timescales), acceleration suffered too so did max Mach number at altitude.

However, it was better in the loitering AD role that would be the RAF F-4's role from the mid 70's to retirement, there was also one significant advantage that the Spey powered F-4 had, the engines were smoke free, something that in both ACM and against ground targets was important, or as a caption in Flight in 1983 of a F-4F at an airshow put it 'smoking can damage your stealth'.

Though I get it that the UK cannot be forgiven the keesie cardinal sin of a European AF buying US, even in this case one with over 40% UK content.
 
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keesje
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:51 pm

GDB wrote:
keesje wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
It must've been dreadful, growing up in oppressive Western Europe during the latter years of the Cold War. What, with the hordes of cowboy Americans eager to charge into the Fulda gap to reeducate your peaceful Soviet/Warsaw Pact neighbors, it's a pity the hammer and sickle no longer flies for freedom and frites dripping with mayo.


We still see a lot of us-them thinking, mostly from my generation and older, raised in the cold war. I think similar to what is now weakening the US internally, we are right/good the other wrong/bad, even if it's my neigbor & his kids. Facts are always the first victims, because of higher values and believes, overruling truth. You're either with or against us. But credibility is lost outside our own bubbles.

keesje wrote:
Challenging, even asking automatically put you on lefties / commie side, so better sail along. I think it worked well in terms of alignment, even group thinking.


I belive the British Phantoms with the bigger Speys performed worse than the origin J79 powered ones. They were so big aerodynamics were screwed, they used more fuel, had less range, payload and were slower.. but there was no way back.

Image
https://nl.pinterest.com/pin/482729653779749274/


Though it's true that the Spey/F-4 combination did not give the benefits promised at the outset, indeed you identify some of the minus points, they were better with sfc at lower altitudes (given that the initial mission for most of the RAF F-4Ms was strike/attack and that was a part of the RN F-4's roles too, that was a plus point).
The aerodynamics was not 'screwed', they did take longer to develop with the different engine (though not by today's timescales), acceleration suffered too so did max Mach number at altitude.

However, it was better in the loitering AD role that would be the RAF F-4's role from the mid 70's to retirement, there was also one significant advantage that the Spey powered F-4 had, the engines were smoke free, something that in both ACM and against ground targets was important, or as a caption in Flight in 1983 of a F-4F at an airshow put it 'smoking can damage your stealth'.

Though I get it that the UK cannot be forgiven the keesie cardinal sin of a European AF buying US, even in this case one with over 40% UK content.


I remember the J79 on F4 and F104 where smoky indeed, F104 approaching was a dot in a cloud :biggrin: and the howling was unmistakably.
Here's a twin engined Starfighter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75qnxMd1YSY
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:13 pm

Ugh, what a convenient way of needing to quickly replace a fighter jet... and Pilot!
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:52 am

Thanks for all that have helped ...

But I'm confused. In what way is the F-4 better than the Mig-25 in a pure BVR role?

I understand the Mig-25 was not built as it would have in the West, and that it cannot achieve it's top speed while carrying an external load, but it's still faster, higher, and has a more powerful radar transmitter and a larger radar antenna than the F-4.

So why is the F-4 better in a pure BVR role?
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:51 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Thanks for all that have helped ...

But I'm confused. In what way is the F-4 better than the Mig-25 in a pure BVR role?

I understand the Mig-25 was not built as it would have in the West, and that it cannot achieve it's top speed while carrying an external load, but it's still faster, higher, and has a more powerful radar transmitter and a larger radar antenna than the F-4.

So why is the F-4 better in a pure BVR role?


The F-4J/K/M had lookdown capable radar, Mig-25 did not, F-4's of all types could carry 8 AAM's, typically 4 medium range Sparrows, 4 IR short range AIM-9's, (the AIM-9's could be swapped out for 2 further AIM-7's though that was unusual), Mig-25 carried just 4. Soviet practice for AAM's back then usually meant if 4 were carried, 2 would be radar guided, 2 IR, using versions of the same missile. Against a target usually one SARH and one IR version would be fired, so operational practice meant that Mig-25 could engage 2 targets per sortie at most.

The AAM's on the Mig-25 might have looked large and imposing, that does not mean they had greater abilities including range, though ranges on the AIM-7 has varied with version and development.

Plus by 1970 AIM-7's and 9's had combat experience, early problems therefore were ironed out and improved versions on the way.
The two crew of the F-4 could much better manage the aircraft, the Mig-25 had the single pilot in a cramped cockpit.
Soviet practice had an interceptor under very heavy ground control, as did interceptors designed in the 1950's on both sides but more extensively in the USSR. We saw this later in the Korean airliner shootdowns in 1978 and more notoriously in 1983. Neither involved the Mig-25, just the system it operated under.

While the F-4 like most designs of the era deleted the gun, at least on the F-4 a podded one could be fitted and it was integral to the F-4E, the version for the USAF from that combat experience. In the interceptor role maybe less useful though in a time of tension how do you fire warning shots at say an aircraft to warn it away from your airspace if no gun can be fitted? Like the Mig-25.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:47 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Ugh, what a convenient way of needing to quickly replace a fighter jet... and Pilot!


Within cross wind limits the ZELL take off was the safest part of an F104G flight.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:30 am

GDB wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Thanks for all that have helped ...

But I'm confused. In what way is the F-4 better than the Mig-25 in a pure BVR role?

I understand the Mig-25 was not built as it would have in the West, and that it cannot achieve it's top speed while carrying an external load, but it's still faster, higher, and has a more powerful radar transmitter and a larger radar antenna than the F-4.

So why is the F-4 better in a pure BVR role?


The F-4J/K/M had lookdown capable radar, Mig-25 did not, F-4's of all types could carry 8 AAM's, typically 4 medium range Sparrows, 4 IR short range AIM-9's, (the AIM-9's could be swapped out for 2 further AIM-7's though that was unusual), Mig-25 carried just 4. Soviet practice for AAM's back then usually meant if 4 were carried, 2 would be radar guided, 2 IR, using versions of the same missile. Against a target usually one SARH and one IR version would be fired, so operational practice meant that Mig-25 could engage 2 targets per sortie at most.

The AAM's on the Mig-25 might have looked large and imposing, that does not mean they had greater abilities including range, though ranges on the AIM-7 has varied with version and development.

Plus by 1970 AIM-7's and 9's had combat experience, early problems therefore were ironed out and improved versions on the way.
The two crew of the F-4 could much better manage the aircraft, the Mig-25 had the single pilot in a cramped cockpit.
Soviet practice had an interceptor under very heavy ground control, as did interceptors designed in the 1950's on both sides but more extensively in the USSR. We saw this later in the Korean airliner shootdowns in 1978 and more notoriously in 1983. Neither involved the Mig-25, just the system it operated under.

While the F-4 like most designs of the era deleted the gun, at least on the F-4 a podded one could be fitted and it was integral to the F-4E, the version for the USAF from that combat experience. In the interceptor role maybe less useful though in a time of tension how do you fire warning shots at say an aircraft to warn it away from your airspace if no gun can be fitted? Like the Mig-25.


That helps. Especially the lack of a look-down radar. At the Mig-25's altitude .. most things are look-down. :-)

More seriously ... An F-4 and a Mig-25 are 60 miles away from each other at their most appropriate height and speed, know approximately where the other one is, and are ready to fight. You're betting on the F-4?
 
744SPX
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:37 am

At 60 miles I'd take the Mig-25 without question. The Sparrow at that time was not particularly reliable or accurate against fighter size targets and had a very short range, around 25 miles. Its performance in Vietnam was poor. Remember an Iraqi Mig-25 shot down a US F-18C during the first gulf war with the same missiles it would have used in 1970.

No way is the F-4 better than the Mig-25 in a pure BVR role.
 
GDB
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Re: Best BVR Fighter in 1970

Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:12 am

kitplane01 wrote:
GDB wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Thanks for all that have helped ...

But I'm confused. In what way is the F-4 better than the Mig-25 in a pure BVR role?

I understand the Mig-25 was not built as it would have in the West, and that it cannot achieve it's top speed while carrying an external load, but it's still faster, higher, and has a more powerful radar transmitter and a larger radar antenna than the F-4.

So why is the F-4 better in a pure BVR role?


The F-4J/K/M had lookdown capable radar, Mig-25 did not, F-4's of all types could carry 8 AAM's, typically 4 medium range Sparrows, 4 IR short range AIM-9's, (the AIM-9's could be swapped out for 2 further AIM-7's though that was unusual), Mig-25 carried just 4. Soviet practice for AAM's back then usually meant if 4 were carried, 2 would be radar guided, 2 IR, using versions of the same missile. Against a target usually one SARH and one IR version would be fired, so operational practice meant that Mig-25 could engage 2 targets per sortie at most.

The AAM's on the Mig-25 might have looked large and imposing, that does not mean they had greater abilities including range, though ranges on the AIM-7 has varied with version and development.

Plus by 1970 AIM-7's and 9's had combat experience, early problems therefore were ironed out and improved versions on the way.
The two crew of the F-4 could much better manage the aircraft, the Mig-25 had the single pilot in a cramped cockpit.
Soviet practice had an interceptor under very heavy ground control, as did interceptors designed in the 1950's on both sides but more extensively in the USSR. We saw this later in the Korean airliner shootdowns in 1978 and more notoriously in 1983. Neither involved the Mig-25, just the system it operated under.

While the F-4 like most designs of the era deleted the gun, at least on the F-4 a podded one could be fitted and it was integral to the F-4E, the version for the USAF from that combat experience. In the interceptor role maybe less useful though in a time of tension how do you fire warning shots at say an aircraft to warn it away from your airspace if no gun can be fitted? Like the Mig-25.


That helps. Especially the lack of a look-down radar. At the Mig-25's altitude .. most things are look-down. :-)

More seriously ... An F-4 and a Mig-25 are 60 miles away from each other at their most appropriate height and speed, know approximately where the other one is, and are ready to fight. You're betting on the F-4?


Yes because it's not about pure numbers, performance numbers I might add that might not be true for a Mig-25 in the interceptor role, fully armed and fuelled. In 1970 NATO already on average had more flying hours for their pilots than the Warsaw Pact, some was operational doctrine such as that very heavy ground control.
The Mig-25 had better stand off and if it did not kill it's target, use it's great speed to get away, since if the F-4 got closer it's much heavier AAM load and likely gun, podded or on a F-4E, much greater agility, would tell, at least compared to the Mig.

Who in 1963/4 thought that the bigger, more advanced fighters of the US could get a nasty surprise and losses from mere Mig-17's?
The pure numbers in performance of all the in front line US types were on their side. But the flight crews had not trained much on ACM in recent years, when they did it was usually with similar types in their own unit.
For intercepting a bomber at high level in ground controlled intercepts, the Mig-25 was likely highly effective, as long as the bomber WAS at high level, certainly by the mid 60's, before the Mig-25 entered service, RAF V-Bombers then later on USAF B-52's, adopted low level tactics.

The ideal target for a Mig-25 was the B-58, here the Mig's performance would have been ideal, 1970 just happened to be the year the B-58 left service. What replaced it? FB-111's and SRAM missiles.
So at least as an interceptor it was built for killing an aircraft that never entered service, or tactics no longer employed by existing types.

Whereas the F-4 could do BVR intercepts and a whole lot more besides, like the Mig-25 it could have distinct recce versions or carry (as did the F-4M's) a recce pod.

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