Since Eurofighter Typhoons defeated F-22s at Red Flag Alaska in June 2012, discussion has produced many claims. I will address some of them here:
1) WVR combat is only small spectrum of air combat.
Yes, and no – it mainly depends on numbers, and who you are shooting at. As enemy numbers, as well as quality of each pilot and aircraft, increase relative to BVR-oriented force, effectiveness of BVR missiles drops – while qualitatively and quantitatively superior air force might achieve per-missile probability of kill as high as 50% for BVR missiles (against non-maneuvering enemies with no jammers), BVR missiles have never achieved more than 10% per-missile Pk against force that has been comparable in all stated factors – and it must be kept in mind that BVR-oriented aircraft are always more complex (and thus both more expensive, and flying less often) than WVR-oriented ones.
In short, BVR combat is excellent when facing enemies you don’t need it against, but doesn’t work when needed most.
2) German Typhoons had helmet-mounted sights and this allowed them to dominate more maneuverable F-22
Incorrect. Exercise was held in June 2012, and only from July on did German Typhoons start getting HMD. As such, Typhoons at Red Flag had to point their nose at the F-22s to get a lock.
That can easily be confirmed by comparing helmets of Typhoon pilots at exercise:
with HMD one:
which can be seen to be less round.
3) Typhoon’s IRST can detect F-22 from 50 kilometers
While that claim might not be incorrect – and indeed most likely isn’t – it has no relation to exercise itself, as Luftwaffe Typhoons had no IRST.
(Photo is of Typhoon from exercise, same one which “bagged” three F-22 “kills”).
4) Typhoons were slicked-off
While Typhoons did not carry any missiles or tanks in exercise, Typhoon does have a number of hard points that are permanently attacked to an airframe. In any case, heaviest – BVR – missiles would be ejected, and even some WVR missiles expended, well before Typhoons got in the merge. Neither F-22 or Typhoon had missiles.
Grune’s exact words are:
“We pulled off all the tanks to get most Alpha on it (Typhoon), and it is an animal with no tanks”.
5) F-22s were performance-limited
One of claims I have found was that F-22’s maneuver envelope has been limited due to oxygen problems. However, performance limitations to F-22 have only been enforced some time after the exercise, and pilots also had their oxygen vests, which have only been removed a week after exercise itself.
6) F-22s BVR capabilities were “overwhelming”
That claim, while not incorrect, was not about Typhoon vs F-22 exercise, but was a comment on earlier exercises where F-22s and Typhoons worked together against agressor F-16s simulating threat aircraft – most likely Cold War era Su-27 and MiG-29, as USAF has no reliable data on newest Russian types. As such, effectiveness of simulated BVR missiles in such exercises is far overstated even beyond unrealistic Pk assigned (Pk in question is around 90%, as Typhoons in that exercise got 16 kills from 18 simulated missile shots).
7) Typhoon was unable to get within 20 miles of F-22 without being targeted
That claim is result of Grumbercht’s quote that has been taken out of context:
“If I get everything right BVR, I’m not going to get closer than 20 miles.”
That quote seems to be referring to the Red Flag exercises, and not earlier Typhoon/F-22 WVR dogfight, and should probably be interpreted as “I’m not going to have to get closer than 20 miles”.
EDIT 7. 4. 2013.
This is excerpt from Jane Defense Weekly, found on Internet:
TYPHOON ‘HOLDS ITS OWN’ AGAINST RAPTOR
Immediately before Red Flag JG74 took part in Exercise ‘Distant Frontier’, which included eight one-on-one basic flying manoeuvre (BFM) sorties against US Air Force F-22A Raptor air superiority fighters. The aim was to help pilots of both types gain a fuller understanding of the capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of each other’s aircraft in order to allow them to operate together more effectively during Red Flag (where both types were assigned to the ‘Blue’ force) and during any subsequent ‘real world’ coalition operations.
During the process the pilots of JG74 gained a real boost to their confidence, said Col Grüne. “There were two mornings where we flew against them 1v1. We pulled off all the tanks to get the most alpha [angle of attack]; the Eurofighter really is an animal with no tanks.
“We expected to perform less with the Eurofighter but we didn’t … they were as impressed by us as we were impressed by them.”
Col Pfeiffer went into a little more detail. “In the dogfight the Eurofighter is at least as capable as the F-22, with some advantages in some aspects,” he said. “This is without the helmet. The Raptor’s unique capabilities are overwhelming, but as soon as you get to the merge, which is [admittedly] only a very small spectrum of air combat, the Typhoon doesn’t necessarily have to fear the F-22 in all aspects. We gain energy better than the F-22 when we are slow, for example.”
Red Flag demonstrated that the Typhoon had other advantages – being able to stay on station longer than the F-22, for example – but could not compete with the Raptor’s dominance in the beyond-visual-range (BVR) arena.
Both sides were coy about the relative kill:loss ratio gained during the Typhoon/F-22 BFM sorties, but Col Grüne was upbeat. “The only thing I can say is that I agreed to put out some whisky if they came back with some good performances … and I paid for quite a lot of whisky,” he said.
80 thoughts on “Cleaning up Red Flag Alaska F-22 vs Typhoon debate”
I really appreciate this comment on the quite whidely spread article concerning the Red Flag exercise, when Eurofighter Typhoons faced F22 Raptors. It caused a wild discussion on the Eurofighter´s WVR performence aswell as its BVR performence. Now, since fighter aircraft do often trigger a certain amount of national identification, there occurs the problem, that the Eurofighter virtually doesn´t “look” like an aircraft, which is able to effectively combat stealth-fighter. It doesn´t have the superficial characteristica of a stealth aircraft. So, of course, most aeronautic-enthusiasts tend to believe, stealth fighter are the future generation of fighter to come. Taken this as a fact (hypothetically), the Typhoon then was an outdated design.
But there is a statement, which confuses me: “If I get everything right BVR, I’m not going to get closer than 20 miles.”
Many persons make the conclusion, that this is a clue, that the F22 was “untouchable” within this radius.
But when the Eurofighter succeeds to approach such a BVR-optimated fighter to this far extend (and the F22 also fields a very capable radar), that meens quite an achievemant for the former, doens´t it? I also read several estimations on the impact of average airborne radar systems on certain stealth fighter, that point out, modern radars would be able to detect them at reduced distances of circa 20-30km…
Wouldn´t that mean, the “non-stealthy” EF Typhoon somehow manages to have a similar impact on modern radar systems like stealth technology?
As you have seen, I have adressed Grumbercht’s claim. It is not about F-22s performance versus Typhoon, but rather about Typhoon’s performance versus US 4th generation aircraft. 20 miles is 32 kilometers, whereas BVR combat is usually taken to happen at ranges of 33 kilometers or greater. What he is saying is that, if he shoots enemy down at BVR, he won’t have to get to the merge (quite obvious).
F-22s minimum, as in frontal, RCS is between 0,0001 and 0,0014 m2. CAPTOR radar has reported range of 185 km against 1m2 target, so Typhoon should be able to detect F-22 from 18 to 35 kilometers. However, as far as I am aware, that figure is quite old, so range will actually be greater.
Radar stealth is not that big advantage in an actual war, especially for fighter aircraft, since first thing fighter pilot will do when faced with opponent capable of detecting his radar and using it for targeting him – or even just to get a bearing – is to shut the radar down. In such circumstances, passive sensors become important, and F-22 has no IRST whereas Typhoon has the PIRATE. Thing is that United States haven’t faced an opponent of similar numerical and technological capability for a long time, so they have gotten complacent in regards with what BVR combat can and cannot achieve.
So someone might come to the conclusion, that the EF´s EW suits make it “stealthy” when faceing the so called “teen”-generation?
I guess this was also very impressive (at least to me) then, due to the big financial difference between fighter jets like the Typhoon and an F22 or F35.
To your estimation regarding the Captor´s range/performence: I am collecting information on this plane (the EF) now for maybe more or less 2 years, so, admittedly, maybe I am a bit biased on this topic 😀 . But there were two statements, which I read several times now, but which I could not proove since I didn´t find the original sources.
The first one is, that EADS once revealed, the Captor radar (whether -C or -D?) has a target detection range, which is double that of a Tornado F3 (said to be around the 130km mark).
The second is a supposedly “leaked” information about the exercise High Rider 10 in 2005 or 2006 at the air base China Lake. This information says, the british Typhoons were able to get a radar lock on the F22 at 80km (!)…
Well, there have been also some comments that stated, the F22 were carrying fuel tanks. And it is certainly unknown, from which direction this “shot” was executed, but who knows…
Typhoon’s EW suite won’t make it “stealthy” as it has no radar cancellation feature. However, it will have similar effect as stealth on targeting: to elaborate, opponent will know that Typhoon is out there, it may be able to even determine relatively accurately where Typhoon is, but it will not be able to attack Typhoon until it gets to the range where its radar can burn through jamming. And required range for that is well inside PIRATE’s detection range.
I do know about China Lake exercise. It is fun thing to know that in both occasions (China Lake and RFA) Typhoons were attributed with HOBS, which they didn’t have in at least later exercise (if you can find sources for former exercise, or at least images of helmets Typhoon pilots used on it, I’d be grateful). I guess someone doesn’t like the fact that Typhoon is more agile than the F-22, despite it being easily confirmable by anyone knowing actual value of “magic” TVC, which, in reality, has a rather limited application.
Yeah, the EF´s “problem is, that it doesn´t look as spectacular as an F22 or SU 35 on air shows, but its aerodynamic is optimised for the speed regime of aprox. Mach 1.6:
Die Stabilität ändert sich mit zunehmender Geschwindigkeit jedoch bis mindestens Mach 1,6 nicht. Des Weiteren ist Mach 1,6 die maximale Manövergeschwindigkeit, nach der das Flugzeug ausgelegt wurde, was auf eine höhere Geschwindigkeit schließen lässt.
Translation: “The stability doesn´t change with increased speed until at least Mach 1.6. Further on, Mach 1.6 is the maximum maneuvering speed, the aircraft was designed for, which may give a hint on a higher speed.”
And for the HMD at High Rider 10 this image:
And this fact: Nörvenich, 09.07.2012.
Neben den Hardwareänderungen zum SRP 4.3 bei Tranche 1 Eurofightern erfolgt in Nörvenich parallel die Einrüstung der technischen Komponenten der Helmet Equipment Assembly auf Seiten des Luftfahrzeugs. Dabei ist das Jagdbombergeschwader 31 „B“ neben CASSIDIAN verantwortlich für die HEA-Ersteinrüstungen aller Eurofighter-Verbände der Luftwaffe.
Translation: Simultaneousely to the Hardwarechanges to SRP 4.3 on Tranch 1 Eurofighter, there takes place the integration of the technical components of the Helmet Equipment Assembly on the side of the airplane. The JaBoG 31 “B”, together with CASSIDIAN, is responsible for the HEA´s primary integration for all Eurofighter units of the (german) Air Force.
The HMD (called “Striker”) came supposedly in action the first time with the RAF at this event:
December 5, 2011
During Bersana Lima 11, the British Typhoons, that had their baptism of fire in the air-to-surface role during the Air War in Libya, faced Malaysian Mig 29s, Australian F-18s (C and F) and Singaporean F16s using for the first time during an operational deployment, their electric hat (HMSS/HEA – Helmet Mounted Simbology System/Helmet Equipment Assembly the Typhoon JHMCS equivalent) and “easily came out on top in all engagements.”
Actually, Typhoon is optimised for transsonic and supersonic combat, which means Mach 0,8 and above. Transsonic regime (Mach 0,8 – 1,2) is where most air combat happens nowadays.
And thanks for HMD info.
Well, the estimations are calculated by some students of mathematics or so…
↑ Bei der Berechnung wird davon ausgegangen, dass der Widerstandsbeiwert konstant über der Machzahl bleibt. Wie im Bild rechts zu sehen sinkt er real, so dass die errechneten Werte konservativ sind. Zuerst wird der Druckverlust im Einlauf über ein Polynom zweiten Grades interpoliert. Wie im Artikel Aerodynamik des Eurofighter Typhoon/Lufteinlass dargelegt, liegt der Totaldruckverlust des Einlaufes bei etwa 0,96 für Mach 1,5 und 0,87 für Mach 2,25. Damit kann über die quadratische Gleichung
Aufgestellt und nach und aufgelöst werden. Der Druckverlust über Mach kann damit im Geschwindigkeitsbereich von Mach 1,5 bis 2,25 mit hinreichender Genauigkeit über die Formel
beschrieben werden. Nun muss der Anstieg des Luftwiderstandes berücksichtigt werden. Da von einem konstanten Widerstandsbeiwert ausgegangen wird, hängt der Luftwiderstand nur quadratisch von der Fluggeschwindigkeit ab. Unter der als bekannt und konstant angenommenen Fluggeschwindigkeit von Mach 1,5 mit 60 kN Standschub pro Triebwerk und Mach 2,35 mit 90 kN ergibt sich damit bei einem Druckverlust von 0,96 im Einlauf bzw 0,87 das Gleichungssystem
In diesem Fall wurde der Druckverlust von Mach 2,25 für Mach 2,35 eingesetzt, was später eine Abweichung im Ergebnis zur Folge hat, für die Geschwindigkeitsschätzung aber ausreichend ist. Aufgelöst ergeben sich dann und . Der Anstieg des Luftwiderstandes über der Fluggeschwindigkeit, abhängig vom Schub, kann mit derselben Formel berechnet werden, wenn die obige Formel für den Druckverlust eingesetzt wird. Konkret
Eingesetzt ergibt sich die Gleichung
In diese Gleichung kann nun der gewünschte Standschub eines Triebwerkes eingesetzt werden, und die Gleichung numerisch im Schießverfahren gelöst werden. Dadurch ergibt sich:
Bei 60 kN Schub Mach 1,5
Bei 69 kN Schub Mach 1,8
Bei 72 kN Schub Mach 1,89
Bei 75,5 kN Schub Mach 1,99
Bei 90 kN Schub Mach 2,31
Bei 95 kN Schub Mach 2,4
Bei 103 kN Schub Mach 2,8
Wie bereits oben erwähnt, ergibt sich durch den Druckverlust von Mach 2,25 bei Mach 2,35 eine Fehlerabweichung von Mach 0,04 bei 90 kN Schub. Die Geschwindigkeit bei 95 kN pro Triebwerk wird deshalb höher bei etwa Mach 2,44 liegen. Da 103 kN Schub und Mach 2,8 weit außerhalb des Interpolationsbereiches liegen ist der Wert unglaubwürdig, Mach 2,6 erscheinen realistischer. Der EAP-Demonstrator besaß eine Schubkraft von 75,5 kN pro Triebwerk, und hatte eine vergleichbare Aerodynamik und Einlaufgeometrie. Die offizielle Höchstgeschwindigkeit von Mach 2 deckt sich gut mit den errechneten Werten, inklusive Fehlerabweichung. Das Entwicklungsflugzeug DA2 erreichte mit den RB199 Mk.104E Triebwerken mit mutmaßlich gleicher Schubkraft am 23. Dezember 1997 ebenfalls Mach 2.
I am sorry, I cannot translate it, because it´s very complicated…
But you can watch at the calculations here (Register->Anhang):
Thing is, Mach 1,6 speed regime can be level flight or maneuvering… it is entirely possible for aircraft to be optimised for level flight at one speed and turning at completely another.
Hmmm, as far as I understand it, the aerodynamical design (maneuvering) of the aircraft is optimised for this speed regime, so I guess the fighter is then able to fly at such a sustained speed of Mach 1.6… To me, it would not sound credible, that an aircraft was designed for maneuvering at Mach 1,6 , when it cannot fly so fast for a time margin that matters…
No. Wing sweep is chosen by the maximum speed aircraft is expected to fly at for longer time. But general design is not.
Maybe, but I fear that we don´t undertand each other properly: Those calculations don´t address to the wing sweep, but to the aerodynamical design concerning the maneuverability. Thats at least what they claim in this articel. This also contains weight, thrust, air resistence, etc. .
Typhoon is designed for supersonic BVR and transsonic WVR combat.
I am not totally sure, wether this statement is an indicator of maneuverability or just the possible resistence against G-loads, but I guess, it might interest you:
Wendigkeit – Wie wendig ist ein Eurofighter Typhoon? Kann man bei Überschallgeschwindigkeiten noch rechtzeitig vor der Staatsgrenze umdrehen ?
Der Eurofighter Typhoon ist was die Wendigkeit betrifft eine Klasse für sich.
Im Unterschallbereich ist das Flugzeug instabil in der Längsbewegung und fliegt bei hohen Unterschall-Geschwindigkeiten Kurvendiameter von wenigen hundert Metern.
Im Überschallbereich ist das Flugzeug instabil in der Seitenbewegung – bei Mach 1,5 kann ein Kurvendiameter von 6 km ohne Geschwindigkeitsverlust geflogen werden.
Agility – as an Eurofighter Typhoon is agile? Can one turn with supersonic speeds still in time before the state border?
The Eurofighter Typhoon is which the agility concerns a class for itself. In the subsonic region the airplane is unstable in the longitudinal movement and flies with high subsonic speeds curve dia. meters of few hundred meters. In the supersonic range the airplane is unstable in the lateral movement – with Mach 1.5 a curve diameter can be flown by 6 km without losing speed.
Curve diameter in this case is turn diameter, so yes it is an indicator of maneuverability. Aircraft which can turn tighter at certain speed is more agile…
here are three links which might probably interest you aswell:
Concerning “active radar cancellation”, I found an interesting text on the official austrian air force website:
Der “Typhoon” verfügt über einen hochentwickelten Selektiv-Störsender, der einen Bereich von 360 Grad abdeckt, seine Signale aber nur in Richtung der zu störenden Radarquelle sendet. Das reduziert die eigene Entdeckbarkeit. Der Nachteil der ECM-Systeme besteht nämlich darin, dass auch Störsignale peilbar sind. Viele ältere Störsender sendeten Störsignale in alle Richtungen aus und konnten somit eine große Anzahl von Radargeräten stören.
Mit der selektiven Störung kann zwar meist nur eine begrenzte Zahl von Radargeräten gestört werden, dafür reduziert sich die Wahrscheinlichkeit, selbst entdeckt zu werden. Außerdem ist die Selektivstörung gegen einzelne Radarsysteme meist effizienter (höhere Feldstärke des Störsignals aufgrund der Richtwirkung). Das ECM des “Typhoon” aktiviert sich automatisch und stört die Radarsysteme, die die jeweils größte Bedrohung für das Flugzeug darstellen.
The “Typhoon” does also incorporate a highly developed selective-jammer, which covers a 360 degree sector around the fighter, but which just sends signals to the certain radar source. This reduces the aircraft´s probability to be discovered. The disadvantage of ECM systems is, that even jamming signals are discoverable. Many older jammers send signals to all directions and can therefore jam many radars. On on hand can selective jamming can just fool a small number of radars, but on the other hand, the probabilty to be discovered reduces through this technic. Apart from that, selective jamming is mostly more efficent against individual radar systems (higher field power of the jamming signal due to the directional effect). Typhoon´s activates itself automatically and jamms those radars, which are suspected to be the most dangerous threat for the aircraft.
Byond this, the Typhoon´s “usual”, all-dirctional ECM system is also mentioned beforehand.
Is this a system which could be considered “active radar cancellation”?
There are various types of jamming systems in existence, and active cancellation is only one of these. Second is simply flooding spectrum with noise: opponent will know you’re out there, and even rough location, but will be unable to establish a lock (mostly a 360-by-360-degree system). Then there is range gate, with radar signal being imitated and duplicated to skew with radar’s range-finding systems. It is also possible to use AESA radar to send jamming signals, and jam several radars directly, though dedicated jammers can do it too.
Active cancellation itself is directed at reducing aircraft’s effective RCS, but as far as I know, only SPECTRA has that capability. From your article, it seems that Typhoon uses both second and last approaches, but not the active cancellation.
*it should be “analyzed and duplicated”.
Yes, I also heard that SPECTRA is suspected to use active radar cancellation, and there is no other fighter known to have this capability, too. I am also suprised, that I just found these two German-speaking websites, I tried to find some in English, but I did not succeed.
I think this “skew and duplicate” -matter is going to be executed by the towed radar decoy (isn´t it?). The point is, that noise jamming and the towed radar decoy are already mentioned in other parts of the text (which I didn´t showed here)… So I guess the authors of the text mean another, special jamming method, which is apart from noise jamming and the TRD. In addition to that, they explicitly say, that the probability to be discovered (entdeckt) by enemy radars is reduced due to that (I guess otherwise they´d said the probaility to be aimed (gezielt) or tracked (erfasst) would be reduced…). So I think this might be a hint, that something like active radar cancellation or at least a system with a similar outcome is used in the Typhoon.
(That the texts are all german is really a pity, because I am not as sure about this topic, as you are, but everything which is written there must be translated for you… So maybe there is really interesting information for you, but I am unable to translate it properly.)
“I think this “skew and duplicate” -matter is going to be executed by the towed radar decoy”
I don’t think towed decoy is necessary for that.
“In addition to that, they explicitly say, that the probability to be discovered (entdeckt) by enemy radars is reduced due to that”
Yes, that does sound like active cancellation. All other methods reduce ability of radar to lock on to aircraft, or track it accurately, but don’t hide the aircraft.
PS: Sorry for my cruel writing, I´m tired^^
Concerning active radar cancellation on the Rafale: Did you sometime read an official source citing that SPECTRA features ARC? I guess it is pretty sure, Dassault (or was it Sagem?) had a success in this technology, but I am suprised, that they didn´t make their advanced capabilities official (concerning possible future sales etc.).
Do you have an idea?
I don’t remember anything official, but I do remember it being mentioned that Rafale literally disappeared from Lybian radars.
Oh, er, yes… Nice achievement! Do you know which radar system the Lybians fielded? I think it should not be a real challenge for a modern, rcs reduced fighter to disappear from an old-fashioned 1950´s radar, but as far as I know, some countries have owned S-300 and so on… And those systems are quite dangerous to all modern fighters.
Unfortunately, no, but I doubt it was top-of-the-line system.
I checked it, and one article says that “Lybian air defenses were second best in the Africa”. Other articles mention S-75, S-125 and S-200.
Hmmm, so I think SPECTRA´s capabilities will stay difficult to estimate, since those missles I googled and their radars seem to be originated in the 1960´s… It is hard make a conclusion.
BTW: Here is a link about the “Skybuzzer-TRD” (yepee, in English^^):
Concerning a passive radar like the example Cassidian is currently testing: Do think it might be possible to integrate such a device into a fighter of Typhoon´s seize, or are there technological or space-related problems expectable?
Passive radar tested by Cassidian is different thing alltogether:
It cannot be integrated into any fighter; however, any AESA radar can act as radar warner, and it is possible to network several fighters to act as receivers for radar signal transmitted from one of fighters.
Hmmm… But why is that so? Does an “only receiving” passive radar require too much space or too high power? The “Cassidian-guys” explicitly mentioned, that their radar system is small enough to fit into a standard commercial van (with the control screens and so on inside)…
Or is it simply too hard to be estamited since this radar technology is very new?
Passive radar is basically several receivers and no emitters. This means lot of false positives, which means that mapping of local emissions should be carried out. Admittedly, it might be that this was worked around in the mean time…
Well, I think the future might tell us in the end. And to make too wild suggestions isn´t very reliable, so… I hope that Cassidian and EADS will succeed with the integration of such a radar, since I guess that would seriousy boost a fighter´s efficency.
From what I have seen, Cassidian’s system is ground-based.
Yes, but since IRST can be negatively influenced by weather, I ask myself whether a passive radar might be an alternative (but of course only, if it works).
IRST can be negatively influenced by weather, yes, but less than visual detection – and it also happens to the opponent. Of course, if opponent uses his own radar, you won’t need IRST to know where he is.
Well, that´s true. As you have stated several times before, stealth has its limits. I think it´s somehow funny, that in times of BVR missles (despite low pk) and advanced radars, the newest and mostly advanced fighters will have to dogfight against each other again…
BTW: Today, I read in the news, that the USA face serious budgetary cuts now ( approx. 42 billions or 8% of the defence budget). Probably there are hard times for the F-35 programme to come…
Fighters always had to dogfight unless one side had massive superiority in every way imaginable…
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Pilots know that their jets have varying fuel heavy and fuel light performance profiles in terms of Ps retention at given starting airspeeds, G and alpha. Since the F-22 gets ‘thrustier’ the faster it goes, it stands to reason that there is a great deal of ram recovery and density altitude variance in the performance of the jet as well.
The F119 likely outperforms the EJ200 by a considerable degree over 40,000ft (above the conline) as well as over 500 knots which is anything but where you would want to start an elbow-to-elbow corner fight.
Indeed, the Raptor’s principle problem at the moment is exactly that of the F-15 which it is replacing: not enough development funds to upgrade the weapons systems properly to exploit the full performance potential of the airframe so that it -doesn’t have to- enter the visual merge conditioned fight.
In this, it is worth noting that the AIM-9M9 actually is equal or slightly superior to the AIM-9X above 40K because it has more lift off the large controls and drag is not as much of an issue. While things like airframe masking (from the inlet flanks) and lack of cheek arrays or proper IRST mean that the use of helmets+HOBS weaponry is not quite as important.
What is essential to acknowledge however is that a 40-60km effective AIM-120C or even a 60-80km effective 120D is nothing compared to a 100km++ capable Meteor or NCADE. Since you ideally want to be able to shoot, look through the terminals and then resort and shoot again on whoever survives the initial salvo. And AIM-120 simply doesn’t have the sustained impulse as speed to assure this without a merge conditioned fight (though things like Shooter:Illuminator with guidance from an in-trail aircraft can help).
Where the AIM-9M9 flatly doesn’t have the energy or boresight to come down 2 miles before it starts chasing targets across a circle, the F-22 has to ramp it’s vector down to match the needs of the weapons system and coming off perch it is too high and too fast to be competitive with lightly loaded low wing loading jets some .5 Mach and 10,000+ feet underneath.
This is not a new condition. It has been known since 1976 and the AIMVAL/ACEVAL fights where F-15s faced similar issues when fighting ALASCA equipped F-5Es. Yet it remains a truth that the Eagle was a very lightweight airframe compared to the Raptor and thus for the Raptor to get it’s best performance in terms of pole boosting for the BVR phase, it cannot afford to abandon the high-fast envelope, even if it had a WVR capable weapons system advantage akin to that of the Rafale/Eurofighter helmet/IRST/HOBS options. It does not. WVR, the F-22 is inferior to the F-15 with JHMCS and AIM-9X.
it doesent really matters if the F119 genereates more thrust what matters is the thrust to weight ratio and at that they are almost the same, being the Typhoon a lot lighter its understandable that it will outperform the Raptor at anything but top speed.The EJ200 could be stronger but the european mentality is that reliablity is more important than performance in an all out war situation there is simply no time to maintain the jets, the JAS-39 Gripen’s are even more ruged and simple to maximize that effect, aside from that recent developements made it possible to increase thrust and fuel economy on theEJ200 maintaining the same reliability, it will probbably also get a TVN nozzle,wich will make the Thypoon one of the best if not the best dogfighter fielded.
Nope. Individual thrust of the engine does matter because things like inlet design and ramp recovery along with pressure ratio and bypass as a function of total engine cycle stochiometrics (thermodynamic ‘work’ in the energized fluid) will dictate how much thrust the engine retains as it leaves it’s sealevel test stand rated maximum and that in turn will dictate how much thrust to weight the overall jet has at any given fight level.
The F119 loves to go fast, and it’s suck-and-squeeze just keeps ramping up and up due to internal design features that the EJ200 doesn’t have. The penalty for which is a -very- hot core which sucks gas 50% more than the F100 does at IRT.
There are other major modifiers as well, if you have seen the YouTube video of the F-22 doing it’s airshow routine ‘as seen by a thermal imager’, you will notice that the jet is actually fairly cool except around certain key vents and along the hot-side center aft fuselage.
Until it shifts to burner.
And then it’s a veritable star dragging a comet trail of exhaust plume.
Which is why I used the F-15 vs. F-5E analog from ACEVAL/AIMVAL. The Eagle is a better turning jet than the Tiger II but it also carries a -lot- of mass inertia which it has to overcome with severe control effector displacements which in turn leads to assymetric lift and dutch roll messiness in the turn. F-15As in AIMVAL tried overcome this by literally sprinting into the fight at 600+ knots to get maximum shot pole advantage once they identified their targets. The F-5Es using SS-1C (AIM-9L boresight only FQ imitating AA-8 Aphid) saw them coming from 10nm out due to their much higher plume and skin friction signatures and blasted them as they played fools rushing in at 6nm+ while safely small-silhouette Lizard Scheme invisible until about 2-3nm against the clutter themselves.
The F-15s had to throttle back and ramp down to engage the F-5s, using a sprint-drift system which lowered their fight entry to about 470-520 knots. And at that point, while they still had an absolute rated turn advantage of almost 1G (7G/16.5dps vs. 5G and about 14dps) over the F-5Es, they lacked the /agility/ (rapid, controlled, nose pointing) to win against a numerically superior force. Which is where you see videos of one F-5E merrily leading an Eagle around ‘by the nose’ of superior roll rate while another Tiger saddles up behind Rodan as the AIM-9L only has about a 27.5 degree seeker cone and can’t settle into lock in a dynamic rolling scissors or chandelle type fight.
Nope. Because it’s not thrust to weight. It’s useable thrust (military only, where the F-22 has more than the Typhoon does in full reheat) minus drag for a given wing loading. The Typhoon looses big right out of the gate here because it’s only got about 550 square feet of wing area. Versus the 840 square feet of the F-22 where lift is also a factor in Ps on the EM graph.
What dooms the Typhoon however is the fact that it is going to be dragged up and weighted down with external gas to feed those F100 class engines. Internal fuel on the Eurofighter is only about 11-12,000lbs as I recall which is bound to put them in the same position as the F-15 and F/A-18 in terms of being short on fuel fraction to if they come into the fight with a plan for getting home (as wingtanks if not a full triplet under the belly too).
The F-22’s total smash advantage now becomes overwhelming as: IRT thrust trust + huge wing area + clean aeros + superior altitude performance from a much higher compression ratio engine + TVC to trim out any given maneuver and keep the stabs in reserve for pure pitch point at lane change.
Nope. Because you aren’t fighting the Raptor (Flanker, Pak-FA, J-20, Gripen, Rafale etc. etc.). You are fighting the weapon it fires and in this, NO JET NOW EXTANT has the PsubS ability to defeat a heart of envelope HOBS shot from across a 1-2nm turning circle at altitude. Which means that it’s foolish to try and win a 1 or 2 circle fight if you can instead either:
Use oblique shot cues with a much better trans-merge weapon like AMRAAM (60
cone, 120IMU+datalink cue) and keep your nose pointed AWAY from the anchor.
Refuse the fight altogether. SRMs do very poorly as altitude increases above about 45,000ft. They simply lack the motor impulse as Mach point to make up for the loss of wing/body lift as aeros density goes down.
The F-22 can employ either option because it is quite comfortable (engine cycle again) at 60K. The Typhoon is not. Not even clean.
OTOH, if you want a good ‘dogfighter’ I suggest you begin by removing the pilot. The ten thousand pounds in airframe weight savings this provides for will be accompanied by a relaxation of the onset rate and max G numbers so that you can do PSTM ‘superman’ stuff at actually useful airspeeds of 400-500knots. Departing the jet acceleratively to point the seeker and prevent weather cocking before snapping it back into flight vector alignment would be a massive improvement over todays ‘turn until you can’t then pitch point into the stall to ensure you don’t die alone’ approach.
Such an airframe would have to have a minium 2-2.5:1 thrust to weight ratio to beat SRMs in the heart of the envelope but it would also open up the potential for using lasers as more than DIRCMs on enemy cockpits and apertures at rates of engagement vastly faster than any ‘high agility’ platform could match (better to turn the turret than the airframe…).
As is, one can only say that getting into a dogfight with modern SFPA HOBS weapons indifferent to most mechanical countermeasures is one of inferior decision making because you are not only outclassed by the enemy weapon in terms of across-circle performance but simply by /trying/ to make a fight of it, you are flat plating your airframe to any and every outside shooter who cares to take a swing while you are belly-on masked from seeing them. Your signature goes up. Their signature goes down, and it becomes a real struggle not to giggle as you hand Steve Canyon’s widow her flag and tell her that her husband died for his country and not because of Buck Fever.
just one question
did you read the article?
BVR engagements wont always work against a state of the art opponent with a 50+% chance you will get in a dogfight and then you will have to fight against both the jet and the missile or gun.
if you think thats valid what you write about the engines than how comes that the Typhoon can outclimb the Raptor at any altitude it has at least 40% better climbrate and thats a fact.
the MBDA Meteor has a longer range compared to the Amraam AIM 120D.your own statemnt wich is correct.
The Typhoon has almost twice the combat radius of the F-22.
Fully loaded the Typhoon is 13 tons lighter than a fully loaded F-22 and that difference wont be neutralized by the wing size or the thrust.
The F22 also has less hardpoints because of internal bays 8 vs 13, conventional stealth is overhyped BVR combat is too overhyped, the US. lost in vietnam 2000+ fixed wing aircrafts while the north vietnamese lost 300 migs, of course the majority not in air to air combat but still, losing a whole air force in a 20 year span is nothing to be proud of.
If you cant get a radar lock you wont be able to shoot so until the jammers arent burned out you could easely get into a god ol’ gun fight, the Typhoon also has IRST, I dont care how good the raptor is on paper it will be pawned, there are only 3 jets that could beat the Typhoon the Mig-35 the new Sukhois upgraded Su-27 and 35, and the Rafale the rafale only because its tricky active cancellation stuff, even with older captor radar the Typhoon could get a lock on the raptor from 80km so much for stealth, meanwhile the Russians have probably fielded their plasma stealth.
You are probably a lot more pro when it comes to details I will admit that, but you are also a bit lost in them, I see what I see and thats the Typhoon regulary beats the raptor and can outclimb it, at airshows it performes just as tight or tighter turns at higher speeds, and can sustain vertical climb longer, Im not a brainsurgeon.but I bet my money on the Typhoon and the Sukhois.
And low maintanance does count if it wouldnt than the Jas-39 would not be in existence.
I dont mean that as an offence but you are the guy who always praises the AR\M-16\M-4 meanwhile its outperformed by every assault rifle on the planet, thats why Delta switched to the HK-416 and the Marines trying to field the M-27 wich is a modded HK-416 but side issue be happy with the raptor and the Jam-16 its the best always was always will,
Yes, did you?
BVR in fact works more often than WVR. It is it’s very success which is scary when it is not properly fence-check controlled. Read Clashes. Read the Red Baron reports on which they are based.
Dogfights expend more vastly missiles per hit than BVR does -because- they are expended under fleeting opportunistic and panic-get-them-off-me! dynamic conditions and, until recently, most SRMs did not have the envelope projection or even reliable seeker boresight overlay to make this highly kinetic and randomly changing condition viable without the expenditure of enormous amounts of shots per kill.
OTOH, from the first Vietnam F-4 kill (4Bs, over Laos, using early AIM-7D from about 11nm to shoot targets low over the clutter) thru to the modern era, Sparrow was a preferred weapons option -because- it had all the capabilities the AIM-9 did not.
Including full ALASCA envelope prediction, a motor powerful enough to run down opening targets or cut across the circle on evading FQ threats, the ability to fire under G and adequate system displays to provide targeting surety in a -visual- fight environment fraught with multi target fratricidal chance.
Indeed, we lost 5 aircraft to longrange fratricide in SEA before ROE requirements for VID confirmation destroyed the FSL weapons system superiority of Sparrow in favor of the non-functional ‘boresight’ mode. Only to then turn around and lose over 100 more aircraft to MiGs who were, shockingly, trying to kill us on purpose.
Yet, despite the penny wise:pound stupid foolishness of a 20:1 trade in LER, with working QRC-249 and Combat Tree IFF spoofers, the USAF switched -back- to BVR shots and promptly grounded the NVAF who were terrified of being shot down without ever seeing who dunnit.
Having said this, BVR is all the more certain to be ‘successful’ without a commited WVR phase if the threat (including the Eurofighter) has no reliable way to force the engagement because a VLO supercruise aircraft has total control over the commitment transition as intercept geometry.
Indeed, so long as you discuss full signature airframes like the Eurocanards, you are basically admitting that -whether WVR DACM happens- is entirely dependent upon their surviving a BVR phase that they cannot even fire back in.
F-22 pilots don’t like to commit to the WVR fight because they are an aluminum cumulus airframe, just like the F-15 that came before them, while, unlike the Eagle/Sparrow, with the AIM-120C7 and D, they have the lagged or offset ranged option to guide other’s weapons using shooter:illuminator variations of chainsaw without nose-on co-equivalency of pole position as closure through the merge.
Sigh. What’s the fuel state and starting Mach point? As I have said twice now, fighers have different behaviors and best-employment doctrinal requirements based on fuel heavy vs. fuel light energy states as wing and thrust loading and the expectation of having to egress with whatever you have left, after the fight.
Remember, Cunningham and Driscoll got their ride shot out from under them on the basis of fighting an unnecessary combat which left them alone and skosh gas existing the combat area.
That said, a Eurofighter at 30,000ft and Mach .9 is not going to outclimb a Raptor at 50,000ft and Mach 1.78, even though the latter is within 15,000ft of ceiling. And given a full fuel load of two or three tanks plus six AAMs, the Typhoon cannot itself match starting Mach as altitude without use of afterburner which is a sprint-only tool for it.
Whereas the F-22 is already at a cruise point from which A/B is about -sustaining- energy rather than adding to it, because of Q limits.
This is why things like ramp recovery, density height and airspeed are so important when measuring the where-as-how-fast of Ps and EM graphs because the F119 -loves to go fast-. It has a huge pressure ratio reserve and gains thrust where most turbofans are losing it due to thermal limits and stage rise losses.
Even before the airframe starts to turn gooey.
Why use something as a crutch that is not in dispute? Especially when the reality is that if both sides equipped the Meteor, the F-22 would be even more untouchable (Pole based NEZ extension out to 100nm or more) whereas the Eurofighter, with it’s conventional signature, is not able to see nor prevent itself from -being seen- as engaged at will, regardless.
The Typhoon does not have a 1,400nm combat radius.
Which is another pertinent area of superiority in the F-22 that is often overlooked. When you are able to supercruise, it is nothing to fly a step up (Rutowski) profile that burns you lighter and faster for equal throttle settings so that you end up doing the last 300nm of a 550-600nm radii before fence in, well above 40K and Mach 1.3.
Which means that you don’t end up dragging behind a tanker for a couple hours, fatiguing the pilot, each way, just to hit another tanker at the fence and go into the combat area fuel heavy solely because you /must/ carry draggy EFT to compensate for both your signature and thrust deficits.
An F-22 can fly by-leg segments out to the fence where it taps the tanker once, comes into the area fuel heavy and then -throttles up- to increase Mach number which it can sustain because it is -clean-. All while not having to worry where as how it’s going to burn light while retaining a tanks-on combat reserve because there are half a dozen S2A system actively shooting all around it.
It is using full IRT at that point and is no longer a Mach 1.3 but a Mach 1.7 airframe so even if someone does get a fleeting look, it’s a less than 30% chance they can do anythign about it before the Raptor is out of the WEZ.
Something the Typhoon cannot energy state achieve at full burner because it’s RCS detection threshold is orders of magnitude higher.
Once the mission is done, the F-22 hits the tanker once more and is home in an hour whereas the Eurofighter has to throttle waaaaay back after it drops it’s tanks and may still need another topoff mid-transit because it is shy on gas as a ‘radius’ airframe. Three tankers vs. just one is a major deficit in sortie performance.
All because the Eurofighter doesn’t have the high altitude military power ingress option. It either stands off and flings ALARM or Storm Shadow (killing it’s wing fuel) or it dumps all that gas the first time it has to defeat a medium or heavy SAM because it doesn’t have the Ps as structurals (Q = G) to handle it otherwise.
If it comes down to 15-20,000ft where it has enough lift under the wings to actually make the S2A evasions workable as a subsonic evader it is also going to take more total shots in the combat area and this will make a veritable pig at trough of it’s SFC.
All of which energy deficiency compared to the supercruise Raptor profile brings into doubt whether it will even survive to get back out -to- the tanker.
Bluntly, -even though- the Raptor is operating in much more rarefied air, it’s massive structural as energy advantage in high supersonic vs. the Typhoons transonic speed regime means it (the F-22) can split ess from under a rising S2A or A2A threat at 50K altitude more successfully than the Eurofighter can, 30,000ft below it.
No. Here are the numbers:
Weight, Empty: 25,000lbs.
Weight, Fuel: 11,000lbs (internal).
Weight, A2A Ordnance/Expendibles: 2,500lbs.
Weight, Fuel + Tanks: 6,300lbs (external).
Weight, Total Mission: 44,800lbs
Thrust, Military: 2X 13,000lbst
Thrust, A/B: 2X 20,000lbst
Wing Area: 553square feet
Wing Loading: 81lbs/sqft
Coming off the tanker, fuel heavy because it doesn’t have the internal fuel fraction to be otherwise and cannot afford to be skosh avker when the S2A threat requires repeated uses of burner, we are talking about a 44,800lbs mission weight /without 1400lbs of SEAD ordnance/.
That gives you a SEALEVEL STATIC Thrust to Weight Ratio of: .5:1 in military and .89:1 in full burner. Again, this will never improve because as you cross the fence into defended territory you HAVE TO HAVE sufficient external fuel to account for massive use of afterburner because you are double deficient in both internal fuel fraction and WEZ threshold RCS.
In this, bluntly, it’s not Meteor vs. AMRAAM or Adder or MICA or PL-12 that determines your maneuver state. It’s Meteor vs. 48NE6 or 40N6 (S-300/400). And the Meteor as it’s parent, loses.
Weight, Empty: 43,500lbs empty.
Weight, Fuel, 18,900lbs (internal).
Weight, A2A Ordnance/Expendibles: 2,700lbs.
Weight, Fuel + Tanks: 00000 (NO EXTERNAL FUEL, defeats purpose of LO)
NO NEED FOR SEAD
Weight, Total Mission: 65,100lbs
Thrust, Military: 2X 29,000lbst (75% of AB thrust, that’s how hot the core runs)
Thrust, A/B: 2X39,000lbst
Wing Area: 840 square feet.
Wing Loading: 77lbs/sqft
Coming off the tanker, fuel heavy, the F-22 will be running at about 65,100lbs which leads to a thrust to weight ratio of .89:1 in military and 1.19:1 in A/B.
This is real world because it acknowledges the tactical deficits of being a conventional signature airframe in a 200km capable IADS vs. a VLO one. But there is one other thing to remember. And that is density losses in compression vs. Mach increases in temperature in the turbopath.
The EJ200 loses about 50% of it’s sealevel static thrust by 40,000ft. Depending on Mach point, the F119 loses about 20. Indeed the F119 has about twice the thrust of the F100-PW-200 (rough prior-gen EJ200 equivalent) engine at Mach 1.4 and 40,000ft (topend Typhoon SSC territory), simply because you don’t have to tell the FADEC to back off on combustor fuel flow as temperature settings to keep from blowing up the engine.
The 119 likes to run hot. And it loves to run fast.
And the Eurofighter simply cannot keep pace in the regime where realworld ACM happens.
It’s not even close.
What’s telling is that, even using doctrinal concepts from the F-15 era, the Typhoon is beaten by the F-22 which uses 5th Gen understandings of how ACM really works and so no longer emphasizes the same performance parameters.
How many of those jets were downed by fighters ‘with their bombs on’ vs. how many that were lost to S2A fires ‘simply being over the wrong place’?
What you have to realize is that we fought three air wars over Vietnam. Only in the last one did we take off the kid gloves and fight the way we should have from the start. And in the space of a single month (May, 1972) we ended the VPAF as a threat for the rest of the war, including the most intense periods of the Christmas Campaign.
Again, the Typhoon is nothing more than an F-15 on steroids and as such has to acknowledge it’s true master in the war for Air Dominance: the SA-2x class of long range SAM. Even with Meteor, it cannot operate safely in a threat arena dominated by this system and -vs. all other threats- it is at least compromised if not crippled by it’s poor internal fuel fraction and it’s need to carry EFT as a massive drag penalty tradeoff for coming into the fight with sufficient burner time to avoid the SAMs at medium level because, just like the F-15C in ODS, it cannot beat them on-high (reference: Strike Eagle by Smallwood) because it has very poor energy retention as thrust trust in the mid-high threshold regime of modern aircombat.
This is not the tone or the substance by which this article or many others with real world (as actual experience in training against the Raptor) fighter pilot commentaries state and emphasize the ‘shot from the blue’ nature of the F-22s BVR stalking prowess.
You may accuse them of being liars but not me.
If you fight the way the enemy fights best, you give them an opening to achieve victory, no matter how good you are in comparison.
I have already noted that the F-22’s WVR performance is compromised by such issues as the limited utility of the AIM-9X in the Raptors design fighting environment and the restrictions placed on HOBS using the side bay weapons. I have also stated that the F-22 entering into a potentially dangerous disadvantagement when it has to leave the high fast environment to accept WVR as traditionally defined.
I will even go so far as to say that, vs. other non-LO threats with today’s weapons, a Meteor equipped Eurofighter has near peer capability compared to the F-22/AIM-120D because it uses sustained impulse from the ramjet to equalize the balance shift inherent to the long-motor AMRAAM and the VLO+LPI+Shooter:Illuminator capabilities which the F-22 provides organically.
That said, the Eurofighter would be at equal risk to any other jet with equivalent ability to employ the BVRAAM or similar weapon. While the F-22 would not be.
Air combat capability is not measured using airshow metrics of ‘looks to me like’ singular performance variables outside the environmental realm where modern air warfare takes place.
Nor is modern air warfare about how you like to fight best after thirty years of watching F-15s do the same thing.
Gen-5 is not just about hardware. It is about the conceptual ability to envision what came after Gen-4 on a doctrine-meets-capability level of innovation in tactics through design, engineering and manufacture of an airframe that is completely oriented around their use.
Perhaps maintenance counted in Vietnam where we did it poorly and still managed to generate ten times the sortie rates as the VPAF. But in a modern context, whether High Intensity or Expeditionary, the reality is that one side or the other is quickly broken to the point where continued commitment of assets to the fight comes at ever diminishing returns in LER, simply based on the number of shots that can be put into the air from one side. Vs. the number of minutes it takes to combat turn an airframe vs. a constant pressure of bombers-over-base and loser’s drooping sortie generation.
With this as a given, provided your forces can hold together for a surge of 3 missions per day for a pair of days, the lethality of the ordnance is such that air supremacy if not outright dominance will either be achieved or the air war itself lost.
This is particularly true for aircraft which are not ‘forced multirole’ types like the Typhoon. Forced because they MUST carry extensive external fuel and, if they are wise, SEAD ordnance to protect themselves, even when acting as ‘pure’ fighter sweep platforms.
LO is a deadly advantage if you have it. It is as much as slaughtered suicide if you don’t.
As for the Gripen, the Swedes labor under a myth that dispersal to roadbasing = invisibility from OCA removal of the their airpower from under their own feet.
It doesn’t. However; the need for lowered maintenance (and the equally false belief that airwards will be won by persistence of operational sustainment as maintainability and reliability) under these conditions does translate to decent O&M numbers in other ‘primitive basing’ conditions likely to be encountered with some export countries.
I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. While I am quite cognizant of the limitations of the M16 family and the 5.56 rounds that they have variously used over time, I do not remember ever discussing this issue with you. Nor do I see the relevance of it to a discussion about the nature of ACM and the relative merits of two different platform’s EM performances in realworld Air Combat scenarios. Not airshows.
If you wish to discuss assault rifles, please contact me in a forum topic where this is an appropriate subject for discussion.
I only brought up assault rifles and the AR family becuase I saw hundreds of people defending it the way you defend the raptors superiority its all on paper but doesnt backed by real life, I respect you because you took the time to write such a lengthy answer so thank you, but you twist a bit here and there until its tailored and fits, the things I wrote are facts just one thing you mention that a fully loaded Typhoon with 100% fuel will have thrust to weight ratio under 1 in fact thats not true it will have around 1.07-1.1, on airshows both the raptors and thypoons are slicked down so if it performs there better than there is a good chance it will perform loaded better too.
the typhoon has a combat radius of 1400km on hi-lo-hi vs around 800-1000km at the raptor.
the raptor cannot stalk it can be seen by modern radars even captor radars. not to mention IRST sensors AESA especially when using L band capebility that some AESA have,.the fact is that the raptor doesnt have the capebility on a state of the art opponent to get a radar lock in time,the AMRAAM is inferior too compared to EU and Russian weaponery.
BVR and stealth simply doesnt work on modern opponents camel riders and serbs with 60’s tech outnumbered by a combined NATO airforce about 1 to 15 are not the examples you should rely on, mark my words I dont want that to happen but when in the future God forbid it comes to a serious war with non nuke weapons you will wake up in cold sweet and realize that things arent going always as on paper, just like Vietnam showed it, who doesent know history or willing to learn it are doomed to repeat it, sorry to say that, and I dont want that to happen, I hope it wont ever.
By the way the Typhoon is a bit more than a beefed up F-15 it can easily outmanuevere it can even handle the raptor I know you dont believe that but it will.
Also lets not forget that the Typhoon has state of the art electronics meanwhile the raptors have some chinese chips in critical positions that are not radiation protected, I wouldnt want to test them out in certain situations, but hey its just a myth nevermind.
I always thought the Sweds are dumb I mean what a joke they are with a 50year old success on jetfighter taking on Migs on a daily basis in the cold war but you wont read stories like that in Janes.
the JAS-39 NG is a jet nobody wants to meet in the air, even if it only has one powerplant its superlight, but I dont want to get into it, you are like a lawyer you will counter very politely everything I say, even when its not backed in real life or often even with white papers.
the north Vietnamese migs were not lost because “wodonit” but because they were outnumbered by a factor of about 1:8 they simply run out of weapons or were bombed on the airfields that wont happen with an opponent of similar capebilities.
still the statistics show(not us air force stats) that the migs shot down about the same amount of us jets maybe little more as vica versa, I know you will counter that my stats are false,and the US. ones are correct, well I simply disagree with that, I took the russian ones +looked at the invetory losses and compared them, they tell the truth unlike the US air force.
hey but vietnam was a WIN actually it was BI-WINNING dah, maybe you should repeat it, oh wait you did, whoopsy.
“it cannot beat them on-high (reference: Strike Eagle by Smallwood) because it has very poor energy retention as thrust trust in the mid-high threshold regime of modern aircombat.”
this is again not true, the Typhoon especially at high altitude accelerates better than anything else it was designed to do so
5th gen avionics on the raptor is in fact inferior compared to the typhoons especially the new AESA versions.
the raptor uses outdated electronics from the 80’s, no helmet mounted holographic sights, the raptors always have to face towards the enemy, sensor fusion is also about a gen older compared to the typhoon.
you can tell yourself all day long that the F22 will outclimb and outaccelerate the Thyphoon because its not true, not even on paper.
the typhoon would and should never fly above places protected by S300 or S400 it was designed as a last line of defence to defeat incoming russian jets and not to penetrate heavily armed enemy territory, the rapotrs would be blown of the sky just as fast by the way, russians learned their lesson and they learned it good.
Thanx for the conversation, have a nice day.
“on the Eurofighter the Weight, Total Mission: 44,800lbs”
its only about 39.000lbs with 100% fuel and 6 missiles or with 13 missiles and no droptanks it will get its thrust to weight ratio well well above 1 it can also drop its droptanks(suprising) unlike the raptor wich could only empty its internal tanks inflight I dont think thats a good idea, and afteburner isnt something evil its used more often than you think, Phantoms in Vietnam used it almost all the time because on military thrust the engine was a smoker wich could be seen already at the horizon.
like I said fuel consumption on the Typhoon is better it has a longer combat radius longer ferry range, and if it gets in fight it will probably do so over Europe so the drop tanks are not esentially are only needed to spare internal fuel when on full afterburner the Typhoon will reach its service ceiling in 60sec on afterburner thats pretty efficient I would say.
just to be clear.
Weight is even less with 50% internal fuel which is the traditional metric for improving the apparent (not real world, gen-4, not gen-5) PERCEIVED performance of the aircraft. The problem with this, as I had hoped you would pick up on from my prior post, is simple:
If you are attacked from BVR ambush, you don’t always get to choose whether or if you get a chance to clean up the jet.
If you drop all tanks, you are fighting light but that lightness is ALL that you have. Not just to finish the fight but also to get back over the fence to friendly territory.
Phantoms dropped tanks in Vietnam, including the very expensive, very hazardous to the parent, centerline, because they were seriously G-limited with them onboard and couldn’t choose to drop them, later, once they were over 500 knots.
The press to 550 was standard procedure to complicate the GCI intercept geometry and provide maximum energy for initial missile evasions while removing perhaps 30-40% of the VPAFs MiG-17/19/21 maneuvering options as particularly the Fresco’s manual controls hardened up to the point of uselessness.
The counter to dropping tanks was of course to make feints which forced early drop of tanks which left the jets shy on gas. Schlepping about with one engine at flight idle and the other on burner was a median compromise that let the F-4s keep up with the F-105s (or in fact lead them, if they were part of a MigCAP sweep force) into the target area. But this was nothing more than a kludge of adhoc solutioning and it did not change the fact that the J79 afterburner/idle mix still burns a lot more gas than two J79s in military.
Today, we have a lot fewer of the cheap, rolled-aluminum sheet tanks which are airspeed limited in their safe release envelope and so we keep tanks aboard because it would be just too bad to suffer a fuel kill one hundred miles short of a tanker.
No. Originally the Typhoon was indeed designed for CentAF air supremacy mission under fighting conditions where it either tanked over the Netherlands coming and going from England or recovered to airbases an hour ahead of the T-72s eating up Germany. During this period, it had a list combat radius of 300nm, reflective of the 9,500lb fuel load which was an essential tradeoff in getting F-15 performance out of an F/A-18 size class airframe.
As the Cold War collapsed in upon it’s very lack of willing participancy and people began to question the need for a pure air dominance machine (utterly ignoring the effects of a large wing and big fan engines on high level SFC as payload:radius), Eurofighter GMBH quickly found a way to stuff another 1,500lbs of gas into the jet (junk the gun) and started with the various EFT/CFT efforts to provide something that was competitive with the F-16ES models then being offered with a 550nm reach.
Of course, the Typhoon is never going to be competitive with a single engine jet in either acquisition or COO as CPFH so this was a fallacy of the first order. But it leaves people like you who are ignorant of how the numbers game is played (viz a viz the historical baselines which were more honest) to believe things which are not true because they are reflective of conditions which REQUIRE maximum fuel and a very, ahem, ‘structured’ profile to achieve.
The F-22’s performance is also structured. But it is so in a way which is realistic because it doesn’t require a host of support platforms to compete with tanker fuel and it’s Mach-Eats-Miles transit cruise is so fast that that it actually is more efficient than the subsonic cruisers in terms of lb/nm/nm/hour flighttime. Add to this the combat area considerations of a very high Mach and very LO signature reducing effective IADS engagement numbers to nothing and it becomes clear why the large internal fuel load in a LO enabled platform beats the F-15 model which the Eurofighter uses as EFT-in-the-target-area tactical stupidity.
EFT were always a part of the operational profiles of the Eurofighter, it was simply a matter of whether they were hauled as empty in a NATO war or full as an an expeditionary platform. With EFT dropped at the edge of hostile IADS, the Eurofighter is still a 300nm total distance (in and out as penetration depth) airframe. But what cripples it is the fact that it will take SAM shot after SAM shot until it has expended it’s burner time on the wrong side of the fence and cannot even limp home at low altitude.
Finally, with so many SAMs and fighters now adopting IR secondary mode detection/homing because of Stealth, it is highly unwise to rely on the use of burner to ameliorate thrust loading issues.
Climbrates of 40-50,000fpm have been advertised since the F-15. Yet the Streak Eagle effort of 1975 achieved only the following:
12,000 meters 59.38 sec January 16, 1975 Maj W. R. Macfarlane
15,000 meters 77.02 sec January 16, 1975 Maj D. W. Peterson
Admittedly from a standing start but also with tuned engines, minimal fuel and a completely stripped down airframe. I guarantee you that that F-15 had a much higher thrust to weight ratio than the Eurofighter does on a combat mission with the three tanks and six missiles that nominally determine it’s fate as a high speed target drone for SAMs.
Oh, you’re clear enough, it’s just that your mind is filled with brochure figures and dare I say it, nationalistic pride which do not permit you to start to comprehend the subtleties that define how real world ACM works. The U.S., which has been at the coalface getting dirty with this kind of experience for the past 50 years has the knowledge base to start to define what can be achieved and what -must be- to define a survivable AAW doctrine.
And at least a part of the reason we are so far ahead of you is that we are used to coming a lot farther to the fight whereupon we have to defeat enemy point defense interceptors with their nominally huge advantage in kinematic performance as lower weight.
We have long since learned that you cannot achieve useful LER by going ’round and ’round in a circle fight with a threat which has ten outside shooter buddies and friendly territory to eject over.
Try thinking about the Eurofighter in those terms and you will quickly see that it’s nominal superiorities reduce to just one: The Meteor LRAAM. And even that is not assured because it is being bought by team-SAAB and team-Dassault and -will be- emulated as a single point advantage which is all to easily compromised by copying.
click on the name of picard578 at the start of the article and scroll down.
“Usefulness of BVR combat
Posted by picard578 on April 27, 2013”
now read,for my part Im done,every info is on the table there is nothing more to be said, thanks.
as it was pointed out, there only occured BFMs and no BVR engagements between the Raptor and the Typhoon. So no one ever stated, that the F22 was totally unbeatable (or as you say, untouchable) in BVR, except maybe some Raptor fanboys. The comment of the german fighter pilot refers to the Raptor´s efficency against the simulated opponents (F18, F16 etc.). In this regime of air combat, the Typhoon scored a quite well result aswell. What happens, when a Typhoon has to fight a Raptor in close combat, was already mentioned: It doesn´t have to fear it in every case. What would happen, when they are pithced against each other in BVR, can be estimated from those facts, which were dicussed here (in this blog) several times. You can accept this or you can refuse to do so. But in the end, that won´t change anything on the facts.
PS: Concerning the aircombat, nobody sais, the Raptor is completely helpless. But in terms of tactical matters, it is just inferior to many other fighters, and it´s stealth characteristics (like its coating and the LPI radar) are useful against fighter of the previous generation, but not against those of the same generation (like Rafale, EF, Saab 39 etc.) and current SAM systems. And one thing ist quite sure on the other hand: Away from all advantages and disadvantages of its design, the F22 is definitively the most overhyped aircraft of our days.
One for one, F-22 is not a bad fighter but it is not best fighter in the world either. But problems start in strategic picture: F-22s stealth requirements induce a massive maintenance penalty. All three Eurocanards have maintenance downtime of 10 hours; F-22 has downtime of 45 hours.
The F-22 is the best mix of next-gen Air Dominance traits in the business. At the altitudes which modern phased arrays and IMU/ARH weapons make possible, it has the specific excess power to stay Energy Maneuver dominant to the extent that the Typhoon cannot even come close to matching because it’s own engines are running out of thrust as thermal margin.
Slow speed above 20K is a death wish because it takes so long to reaccelerate without burner and you are totally vulnerable to any and all outside shooter threats who will simply refuse to join you as they sniper-shot from a distance.
The F119s love to run hot and fast. They have huge thermal margins in the core which means that the jet can stay supersonic and use the IFDL to hand targets as missile guidance requirements between leader:leader section elements to manage their missile loads in a way that the Typhoon cannot because it can’t see the targets and because of it’s mechanical array, this applies as much to non-LO as LO threats.
If you can’t hold the ener-G as sustained supersonic maneuver to control your nose point, on or off, in or out of the fight. And thus you cannot keep everyone in-volume on your radar, you are doomed for -trying- to fight the close in match.
Because in a real war, the man who guides is not the man who shoots and the man who shoots skates away while the man who guides stays RCS threshold invisible, outside the cone of both IRST and radar.
As a function of this 45MMH:FH is fine. Because if you can come 1,000nm in supersonic-by-legs distance, your basing mode is likely safe from attack and for the key 3-5 sorties of the war, you’re gonna be runnin’ everyone else into the ground anyway because they are transiting at 400-500 knots and you are doing almost double that. This translates into time as sortie durations which means that the F-22 force can do 2-3 sorties per day, while the subsonic elements are lucky to do 1.5.
As repeated deployments to Kadena and Elmendorf have shown, the jet is actually quite good at holding a high level of operational tempo for a short period, and when it goes down for needed maintenance, it should be with most of the threat IADS already suppressed. Because that is what the F-22 does as an enabler element for everyone else.
At which point, it won’t matter who has the M&R numbers because now your ‘fighters’ are now reduced to bomb-trucking which is where Persistence in the combat area (low cruise drag, minimal high-end performance penalties in structure as weight as wingloading) and CPFH matters more. And here, the UCAV sweeps everyone with numbers in the 5,000 dollars per flight hour range. Double the Reaper numbers to be sure but in an airframe stressed to land on a carrier, fly in bad weather and rapidly transit from patrol zone to patrol zone while carrying much more total ordnance over a similar 10-20hr endurance basis of coverage. Likely with superior all-round signature controls to boot (flying wings have narrow bow-ties).
Something to think about when you realize that half the failures of NATO airpower to quickly resolve the Libya artie/armor problem quickly derive from the highly transient nature of tacair presence on a relatively short radius from Sigonella. Vs. the highly fleeting engagement F2T2EA window as Ghaddafi’s forces pounded rebel positions for 15 minutes and then ran for cover. And then did it again an hour or two later.
Typhoon doesn’t have anyone to compete with here. In the 90% of the war which is post-rollback. The Raptors have already gone home because they accomplished their mission in the opening hours of the DEAD fight.
“The F-22 is the best mix of next-gen Air Dominance traits in the business. ”
Best is the enemy of good. And F-22 is BVR-oriented fighter, close-in it is good but nothing special.
” At the altitudes which modern phased arrays and IMU/ARH weapons make possible, it has the specific excess power to stay Energy Maneuver dominant to the extent that the Typhoon cannot even come close to matching because it’s own engines are running out of thrust as thermal margin.”
Yet due to fixed intakes and stealth compromises, it can’t fully exploit it.
“Slow speed above 20K is a death wish because it takes so long to reaccelerate without burner and you are totally vulnerable to any and all outside shooter threats who will simply refuse to join you as they sniper-shot from a distance.”
Sniper shoot… with what? Nuclear missiles?
“Typhoon cannot because it can’t see the targets and because of it’s mechanical array, this applies as much to non-LO as LO threats.”
Typhoon’s mechanical radar is better than many AESA radars in quite few aspects, and if it engages LO threat (or any threat, if pilot is smart), IRST will be primary sensor… which F-22 doesn’t have.
“Because in a real war, the man who guides is not the man who shoots and the man who shoots skates away while the man who guides stays RCS threshold invisible, outside the cone of both IRST and radar.”
And man who guides does it how? By using telepathy? If you don’t have IRST, you need radar for that, which means that you’re dead.
“Because if you can come 1,000nm in supersonic-by-legs distance, your basing mode is likely safe from attack”
And F-22 has lower combat radius than Rafale or Typhoon due to stealth and low fuel fraction.
“This translates into time as sortie durations which means that the F-22 force can do 2-3 sorties per day, while the subsonic elements are lucky to do 1.5.”
Only subsonic element that matters are CAS aircraft, and F-22s CAS abilities are nonexistent.
“As repeated deployments to Kadena and Elmendorf have shown, the jet is actually quite good at holding a high level of operational tempo for a short period, and when it goes down for needed maintenance, it should be with most of the threat IADS already suppressed.”
USAF didn’t manage to destroy enemy air defenses in Bosnia, and that despite operating F-117.
“And here, the UCAV sweeps everyone with numbers in the 5,000 dollars per flight hour range.”
Gripen costs 4.700 USD per flight hour, NG will cost 5.000 USD per flight hour.
“Something to think about when you realize that half the failures of NATO airpower to quickly resolve the Libya artie/armor problem quickly derive from the highly transient nature of tacair presence on a relatively short radius from Sigonella. Vs. the highly fleeting engagement F2T2EA window as Ghaddafi’s forces pounded rebel positions for 15 minutes and then ran for cover. And then did it again an hour or two later.”
Basically, lack of A-10s.
“Typhoon doesn’t have anyone to compete with here. In the 90% of the war which is post-rollback. The Raptors have already gone home because they accomplished their mission in the opening hours of the DEAD fight.”
Except against competent opponent, they won’t.
1. And how would you take out the entire road network of Sweden? A couple of nuclear bombs?
Everything is mobile, loaded on trucks, fuel depots dispersed over the entire country.
Roads designed to allow the use of light planes like the Gripen and disallow heavy Russian planes.
Modern radar systems are mobile, networked and time controlled. Several radars are moving constantly, one goes active for a short time while the others move to new position. You will have to be very close to be able to take them out, but if you are close your IR-signature will give you away. Stealth aircraft has a higher IR-signature than non stealth fighters.
(Note: The enemies IR detection range isn’t worse than yours and the enemy might not have a engine running if he is on the ground.)
The biggest maintenance problem with stealth is the special coating used, birdsh** on the plane takes away the stealth. The coating need to be inspected regularly and “repainted”. (As I read some time ago from some British aviationist discussing JSF.)
Maintenance is important, as is the price. You will have a fixed budget for the fighter you buy, an expensive fighter equals few fighters, a cheaper fighter means more fighters. Few fighters that require a lot of maintenance will soon become obsolete since high sortie rate under a short time will put them in the hangar, more fighters with low maintenance requirement allows more freedom.
Lower maintenance and more frames gives the user the option to stay over a target for longer time, to keep planes in the air without having to consider scenarios when all frames are in for service.
As IRST gets better the special coating used on stealth planes might become their Achilles heal, yes they can remove the coating but their surface is still bigger than on “normal” planes and hence creating more drag. More drag means higher surface temperature = Easier to detect with IRST.
Small planes like the Gripen will suddenly be on par or better with much more expensive fighters.
By the way: Since even the E-3 AWACS uses radar, this can be jammed. Of course, one can argue now, that the very strong radar of the E-3 will still have a higher range than a fighter´s radar.But if we consider, that a jammed radar has maybe 30% ( or even less) of its original range, that would mean, that the E-3´s had to penetrate contested airspace. To make it short: That won´t happen, because it would mean, they are in the effective range of BVR missles (and an E-3 is indeed more in danger of being shot down than a fighter, since it´s not an agile target). In EF Typhoon´s case, the primary weapon for that case was the Meteor AAM (with a range, dependant on the source, of 100km to 250km).
Russians have missiles designed specifically to take out AWACS.
It’s a been a great reading all the way 🙂 thnx
It is a fact that eurofighter typhoon is more maneuverable than the f22 , i had one question which was irritating me .
Are the German pilots who operated in this red flag were aces?
I don’t think there are any aces in Luftwaffe. Ace is, by definition, a pilot with 5 or more air-to-air kills, and German pilots didn’t really have much opportunity to become aces since the Korean war. That being said, both F-22 and Typhoon pilots are likely to be better than average in their respective air forces.
I think that it should be made known, is the the Euro Fighter is like a tailored suit. It is tailored to each air force’s specs. Each European country has their specialties, Germany specialises in Electronic Warfare, France in Reconnaissance and the UK in Combat Systems. With that said, Luftwaffe Typhoons are not as capable as Royal Air Force Typhoons. This was also the case for the older Panavia Tornadoes. If you compare all of the Combat Systems of Europe, the UK always uses the most capable systems.
“If you compare all of the Combat Systems of Europe, the UK always uses the most capable systems.”
Well, except for France maybe.
Love the F22, and love the Typhoon. The two working side-by-side represents total superiority in the air.
Is Colonel Grune German or American? I doubt an American last name would have the two dots above the U.
This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks!
That a clean, slick Typhoon is evenly matched with the F-22 in close-in dogfighting is not surprising.
It wasn’t any cleaner than usual.
excellent points altogether, you just won a logo new reader.
What would you suggest about your post that you
just made some days ago? Any certain?
If you’re referring to the cost post, price figures for the F-35 variants, F-18E and G and Rafale variants are definetly correct, while other values are most probably so.
Is dogfight really relevant for the F22 who is supposed to be a stealth 5th gen fighter ? I thought that a plane that would deal with a F22 would not even know that their is an F22 in the region, he would simply be shot down without knowing where it came from. ??
Dogfight is always relevant, especially for the F-22 as it has no visual/IR sensors. Electronic identification is not reliable, IFF can be hacked or off, and NCTR is only some 30% reliable. AWACS is vulnerable to being shot down, and in any case data links can be jammed. No AWACS means no (semi-)reliable electronic ID, which means either visual sensors – which have ID range of some 40 km (PIRATE, OSF IR channel) to 55 km (OSF TV channel) – or good old Mk.I eyeball.
And against opponent with a proper EW/ECM suite, what you described won’t work anyway, even ignoring ID problems. Radar is an active sensor, so it will be detected by a competent RWR, which automatically negates F-22s stealth and gives away its position, preventing surprise. It can also be jammed, significantly reducing engagement range and making F-22 vulnerable to comparably short-range attacks.
Even if F-22s own radar is not detected or jammed, AMRAAM is an active-radar missile whose radar will get detected and jammed during the endgame. Which again results in a miss and rough position of the launch platform (F-22) being revealed as either RWR, MAWS or both will have detected the missile and noted the direction it came from. And remember that BVR missiles are not one-shot-one-kill weapons (nothing is), in fact at long ranges that would be necessary for the F-22 to stay hidden, it is unlikely that any missiles will hit (unless F-22 gets equipped with Meteor, and even then most would still miss).
F22’s are much superior to typhoons in a beyond visual range setting. A f22 would be able to shoot down a typhoon before the typhoon even knew that the f22 was there. In dogfight, f22’s thrust vectoring system evens the playing field bewtween the two.
“A f22 would be able to shoot down a typhoon before the typhoon even knew that the f22 was there.”
No, it would not. F-22 has no IRST, and radar BVR missiles are too unreliable anyway. You’d have to have two or three F-22s emptying their standard BVRAAM payload to shoot down a single target.
“In dogfight, f22’s thrust vectoring system evens the playing field bewtween the two.”
All it does is fix certain F-22s aerodynamic shortcomings as well as improve supercruise performance. But TVC alone is not enough, Typhoon still has advantage due to (slightly) lower wing loading and smaller size and weight.
Even after after a very detailed (where sensitivity allows) article about the 2 very different weapon systems, it amazes me that there are still armchair experts out there throwing ill informed statements around as if they are being paid to do so. You did read the article, right?
Stealth in and of itself requires certain limitations on the airframe and the capabilities of such. As such it is not entirely surprising that a gen 4.5 aircraft could surpass the capability of a gen 5 stealth aircraft after the merge. One thing that helps a stealthy aircraft is that it is difficult to lock up on radar even at closer ranges that would be a definite lock on for a non-stealthy aircraft. Stealth applies not only to radar but to IR as well. Design aspects limit the ability of weapon systems to lock on to IR as well. Depending on the 22’s configuration relative to the opposing AC the IR signature is reduced as well.
Both aircraft are very capable in their own right. Both are multirole aircraft as the f22 has proven recently. I think that perhaps the f22 and the Eurofighter will be the last of their kind. Future fighters will be drones as they can build more capability into a drone than a manned fighter. Airframe can endure more G without worry of a manned pilot, no environmental requirements – air, cockpit, ejection systems, etc. I think that we are so close to having fully self-contained drones that within 10-20 years will be the standard for fighter aircraft. Perhaps we are closer to the “Rise of the Machines” than we realize, lol.
“Stealth in and of itself requires certain limitations on the airframe and the capabilities of such. As such it is not entirely surprising that a gen 4.5 aircraft could surpass the capability of a gen 5 stealth aircraft after the merge. One thing that helps a stealthy aircraft is that it is difficult to lock up on radar even at closer ranges that would be a definite lock on for a non-stealthy aircraft. Stealth applies not only to radar but to IR as well. Design aspects limit the ability of weapon systems to lock on to IR as well. Depending on the 22’s configuration relative to the opposing AC the IR signature is reduced as well. ”
That is true… to an extent. IR signature is indeed reduced, relative to an aircraft of the same size, configuration and engine power. However, radar stealth requirements (internal bays, faceting, flat nozzles) result in aircraft requiring larger dimensions, higher weight and higher engine power for the same payload, and even more so if you want to have the same kinematic performance as a non-stealth aircraft. End result is higher visual and IR signature, meaning that radar VLO aircraft may well have higher IR signature than limited-LO aircraft of conventional configuration and similar overall capability.
“Both aircraft are very capable in their own right. Both are multirole aircraft as the f22 has proven recently.”
“Proven” is kinda optimistic. I mean, there was never any doubt that the F-22 will be able to drop bombs, eventually. What there was doubt about is wether it is cost effective… and in low-intensity conflicts, where A-10 can do as it pleases and F-15E, F-16 can also be used against fixed targets (the only type of targets F-22 can attack), the answer is decidedly negative. In high-intensity conflicts, UCAVs might well be more stealthy against high-value fixed targets, as well as more expendable.
“I think that perhaps the f22 and the Eurofighter will be the last of their kind. Future fighters will be drones as they can build more capability into a drone than a manned fighter. Airframe can endure more G without worry of a manned pilot, no environmental requirements – air, cockpit, ejection systems, etc.”
I am not so sure. Air combat and close air support both require good situational awareness, quick response and ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Drones will take over some missions soon – SEAD/DEAD, they are already used for recon, and other similar missions – but it will be some time before they are able to undertake more complex ones.
Ability to endure Gs is hardly the only measure of capability. Besides, there are many significant structural limits – engine and wings being most significant. So it is unlikely UCAVs will go much beyond 12 g, which is still within human pilot’s limit (Rafale C has only soft stick limit at 9 g, it can go up to 11 g if pilot wants it to).
“I think that we are so close to having fully self-contained drones that within 10-20 years will be the standard for fighter aircraft. Perhaps we are closer to the “Rise of the Machines” than we realize, lol.”
We’ll see. UAVs have been around as long as fixed-wing aircraft, and UCAVs have only appeared relatively recently. I’d guess that it will take at least few more decades before viable air superiority UCAVs appear, even if modern UCAVs are fully capable of strikes against fixed ground targets (as new designs should be).