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RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Future Air Superiority

 
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RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Futur... - 7/21/2015 10:34:09 AM   
thewood1

 

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I am curious what the evidence is that most kills will be BVR. Just curious because up to about 2000, the evidence has has been the opposite. They is a huge thread here from a year ago that highlighted that with documentation.

(in reply to Gneckes)
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RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Futur... - 7/21/2015 12:16:14 PM   
Gneckes

 

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The presentation by the CSBA that spawned this thread, at some point, outright stated that, while there had been relatively few air-to-air kills since 1991, the majority of those had been achieved with BVR missiles.

It isn't solid proof for the future obviously, but the trend is there and will most probably only intensify as more and more advanced AAMs are being developed/become available.

(in reply to thewood1)
Post #: 32
RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Futur... - 7/21/2015 1:18:21 PM   
thewood1

 

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I guess my skepticism comes from the same prediction being made in the early 60's and again in the early 80's. It seems like the same predictions that declare tanks and aircraft carriers obsolete every 10-15 years.

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Post #: 33
RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Futur... - 7/21/2015 2:34:40 PM   
Yokes

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gneckes

The presentation by the CSBA that spawned this thread, at some point, outright stated that, while there had been relatively few air-to-air kills since 1991, the majority of those had been achieved with BVR missiles.



Well, I would say the CSBA article stated that most of the kills where with BVR missiles, but it did not state the majority were BVR kills. In other words, they may have been BVR shots made in WVR conditions.

I would also echo what others have said in regards to using historical data (see Air Warfare in the Missile Age for more info): the vast majority of those kills were "clubbing baby seals" conditions. I.E.: the target had no AEW, no or very poor onboard radar, no ground control, no RWR , etc.

The simple fact is there hasn't been peer-peer BVR engagements of any real quantity, and trying to draw conclusions by extrapolating the current historical data has pitfalls.

Personally, I think the F-35 will be quite capable of "clubbing baby seals" from BVR, but I would be leery of relying upon it solely as an air superiority fighter. This is fine for the US, since we have Raptors to do the air superiority work. But if I was Canada, or Norway, or Australia, well...

Yokes

(in reply to Gneckes)
Post #: 34
RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Futur... - 7/21/2015 5:23:13 PM   
Brent119

 

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quote:


If problems in the database are that well known then it's likely that they corrected them when compiling the data.


Stillion did not correct for these errors in the database. The CSBA report credits the Iranians with "over two hundred aerial victories including sixty two kills by F-14 crews using AIM-54 Phoenix missiles."

(in reply to poaw)
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RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Futur... - 7/21/2015 5:43:30 PM   
Brent119

 

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Thanks for sharing Sunburn. An interesting topic.

This is a controversy that is far from settled. To briefly summarize, Stillion makes the following points:
  • Air-to-air combat has transitioned from gun-based to missile-based kills over the past half century.
  • During the 1991 Gulf War, only 38% of the visual range engagements required air combat maneuvering.
  • On the basis of this evidence, Stillion proposes that the U.S. Should invest in a new air superiority model, utilizing low observable bomber-derived platforms (a 6th generation "fighter") to direct a fleet of unmanned air vehicles to engage opponents from beyond visual range.

The counter argument to this viewpoint is provided in other articles (sorry that I can't post a link - but a search under "review of csba study on future air dominance" will find the review I'm referencing):
  • Stillion's report failed to differentiate between radar guided (BVR) missiles fired from beyond visual range, and those fired from within visual range.
  • USAF studies show that prior to the 1991 Gulf War, missiles fired from beyond visual range accounted for no more than four air-to-air kills, worldwide.
  • Even in the 1991 Gulf War, over half of all air-to-air kills occurred within visual range.
  • The presumed cost savings for unmanned aircraft do not exist - as evidenced by the Global Hawk program. Early UAVs have been cheaper only because they are comparing unmanned prop-driven airplanes to jet airplanes.

Any way you slice this, the controversy over what a 6th generation fighter should be is far from over.

(in reply to Brent119)
Post #: 36
RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Futur... - 7/21/2015 6:00:28 PM   
Yokes

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Brent119


Thanks for sharing Sunburn. An interesting topic.

This is a controversy that is far from settled. To briefly summarize, Stillion makes the following points:
  • Air-to-air combat has transitioned from gun-based to missile-based kills over the past half century.
  • During the 1991 Gulf War, only 38% of the visual range engagements required air combat maneuvering.
  • On the basis of this evidence, Stillion proposes that the U.S. Should invest in a new air superiority model, utilizing low observable bomber-derived platforms (a 6th generation "fighter") to direct a fleet of unmanned air vehicles to engage opponents from beyond visual range.

The counter argument to this viewpoint is provided in other articles (sorry that I can't post a link - but a search under "review of csba study on future air dominance" will find the review I'm referencing):
  • Stillion's report failed to differentiate between radar guided (BVR) missiles fired from beyond visual range, and those fired from within visual range.
  • USAF studies show that prior to the 1991 Gulf War, missiles fired from beyond visual range accounted for no more than four air-to-air kills, worldwide.
  • Even in the 1991 Gulf War, over half of all air-to-air kills occurred within visual range.
  • The presumed cost savings for unmanned aircraft do not exist - as evidenced by the Global Hawk program. Early UAVs have been cheaper only because they are comparing unmanned prop-driven airplanes to jet airplanes.

Any way you slice this, the controversy over what a 6th generation fighter should be is far from over.


You left off ...mic drop...

(in reply to Brent119)
Post #: 37
RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Futur... - 7/21/2015 9:13:30 PM   
ExNusquam

 

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quote:

On the basis of this evidence, Stillion proposes that the U.S. Should invest in a new air superiority model, utilizing low observable bomber-derived platforms (a 6th generation "fighter") to direct a fleet of unmanned air vehicles to engage opponents from beyond visual range.


Relevant AF Blues

(in reply to Brent119)
Post #: 38
RE: Trends in Air-to-Air Combat: Implications for Futur... - 7/23/2015 7:53:39 PM   
LoBlo

 

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It would be interesting to model his proposed operational concept in Command. There would be limitations to Command's ability to model it however. One is that Command has unlimited datalinks already so the LOS connectivity would be cheated. The second is there is always a human intervention in the loop so automated systems have a built in cheat already as well (unless a player has the self discipline not to intervene as its forces are overwhelmed.

lb

< Message edited by LoBlo -- 7/23/2015 8:56:18 PM >

(in reply to Dimitris)
Post #: 39
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