Dogfight Rankings

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ARCNA442
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Dogfight Rankings

Post by ARCNA442 »

I wanted to see how CMANO ranked the foremost modern fighters in air to air combat, and I thought others might find the results interesting.

Methodology:
I set up two airbases 500nm apart, with a 100x130nm AAW Patrol mission centered between them. Each base had 8 fighters armed with their best A2A loadout assigned to the mission and ordered to all takeoff at once. There were no manual inputs and all doctrine settings were left untouched. Each fighter combination was run 10 times, and the total kills were divided by the total losses to calculate the final ranking. Because of the huge difference between 5 Gen and 4.5 Gen fighters, I did not have them face each other but created separate rankings

4.5 Gen Rankings (armament):
Rafale B - 1.39 (F3R standard, 4x Meteor, 2x MICA EM, 2x MICA IR)
F/A-18E - 1.27 (Terminator pod, 6x AIM-120D, 2x AIM-9X)
Typhoon - 1.14 (CAPTOR, 6x Meteor, 2x IRIS-T)
F-15C - 0.97 (APG-63(V)3, Talon Hate pod, 6x AIM-120D, 2x AIM-9X)
J-11D - 0.97 (6x PL-15, 2x PL-10)
Su-35S - 0.48 (10x R-77-1, 2x R-73M)

Comments:
The Rafale and Super Hornet won primarily because their superior survivability - the Rafale had great maneuverability while the Super Hornet had a peerless decoy/DECM suite. The Rafale would probably have done even better if it had a 6x Meteor loadout. The Typhoon was just as good defensively, but was badly handicapped by its older radar. The F-15 and J-11 were simply less survivable. Although the J-11 had the best missiles, its radar meant it couldn't actually use the extra range. The Su-35 came last entirely because its missiles had 15nm less range than the others' weapons. If it had the R-77M instead, it would almost certainly have beaten the F-15 and J-11, and possibly the Typhoon.

5 Gen Rankings (armament):
J-20 - 1.41 (6x PL-15, 2x PL-10)
F-22 - 1.27 (6x AIM-120D, 2x AIM-9X)
Su-57 - 1.03 (4x R-77M, 2x R-74M2)
F-35A - 0.47 (4x AIM-120D)

Comments:
This one was really unexpected. Levels of stealth proved fairly unimportant since all the planes were stealthy enough that most detections were by EO/IR. The J-20 won because it had a sophisticated EO/IR suite, 8 missiles, and excellent maneuverability. The F-22 was handicapped because it didn't have EO/IR sensors and sometimes had to wait for a visual ID before firing. The Su-57 only had 6 missiles. The F-35 was the least maneuverable (4.5 vs 5.5 for the others) and had only 4 missiles - it often got the first shot but then ran out of weapons and was slaughtered while trying to escape. I reran the test using the "2025" F-35 with 6x AIM-120 and 5 maneuverability, and got the much higher (but still last place) score of 0.83.

I did pit the best 4.5 Gen against the 5 Gen fighters just to see the difference, and the Rafale got the dismal score of 0.31.
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Gunner98
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by Gunner98 »

Very interesting.

Does not factor in supporting assets (ECM, AEW, 4.5Gen supporting from a distance etc) which would probably become un-testable due to the number of variables. But interesting results for stand alone platforms.

Thanks.
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Filitch
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by Filitch »

The Rafale and Super Hornet won primarily because their superior survivability - the Rafale had great maneuverability
Regardless of real-life Su-35S is equipped with 3D thrust-vector control engines, its CMANO incarnation has no property "supermanouverability" in the game database. Probably, result of Sukhoi could be better with this property, considering it was forced to defending because smaller missile launch range.

In any case - thanks for your research. Do you have details outcomes of one-to-one fights?
ARCNA442
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by ARCNA442 »

ORIGINAL: Filitch

Regardless of real-life Su-35S is equipped with 3D thrust-vector control engines, its CMANO incarnation has no property "supermanouverability" in the game database. Probably, result of Sukhoi could be better with this property, considering it was forced to defending because smaller missile launch range.

In any case - thanks for your research. Do you have details outcomes of one-to-one fights?

CMANO seems to have modeled thrust-vectoring by giving the Su-35 and Su-30MKI a 4.9 manueverability rating instead of the 4.5 rating of the Su-27 and Su-30MK. However, that seems to fall short when other thrust-vectoring fighters like the F-22 and Su-57 have a 5.5 rating and non-thrust-vectoring planes like the Typhoon and Rafale have a 5 rating. I would really like to see an explanation for how the ratings are chosen and what exact effect they have.

I didn't test 1v1 fights since it seemed both less realistic and likely more RNG-driven.
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Filitch
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by Filitch »

ORIGINAL: ARCNA442
I didn't test 1v1 fights since it seemed both less realistic and likely more RNG-driven.

I didn't express exactly. You describe your research as set of air-to-air combats 8x8 fighters of one types from one side. I mean results of this combats. For example Su-35s vs E/F-18 as 80 : 72.
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by ARCNA442 »

ORIGINAL: Filitch

I didn't express exactly. You describe your research as set of air-to-air combats 8x8 fighters of one types from one side. I mean results of this combats. For example Su-35s vs E/F-18 as 80 : 72.

Sure. I've attached an excel file with the more detailed results.

Rows are kills while columns are losses.
Attachments
DogfightR..ngs.xlsx.zip
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Filitch
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by Filitch »

Thanks!
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SeaQueen
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by SeaQueen »

I'm not sure how you arrived at the "best" air-to-air loadout. I wouldn't carry a Talon Hate pod unless I was playing missile truck tactics in combination with F-22s. It's very heavy. I'd rather go without if it's only F-15Cs. I suspect you might see a swing in the exchange ratio if you lightened them up. Sort of as an extension of that, I also expect you'd also see really different results by playing different tactics. I'm not sure you can really get a fair ranking of "bestness" independent of how each aircraft is intended to be used. You mentioned the PL-15 having unrealized potential. Perhaps some kind of external cuing is necessary with that loadout, and without it I might prefer something else? Chinese and Russian fighters tend to be attached to a network of GCI radar sites. Western fighters are less reliant on GCI and more reliant on AWACS aircraft to provide situational awareness. I'm always uncomfortable with these kinds of attempts at context-free rankings of "bestness."
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Filitch
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by Filitch »

Another explanation - extemporary increasing range of seekers of AIM-120D and Meteor. In DB v.470 it have range as 5 nm, but now - 15 and 10 nm. I could't found any open (unclassified) proves for this data. In opposition to information of R-77-1 seeker. http://nevskii-bastion.ru/9b-1103m-200/ Almaz-Antey promoution leaflet declares range of 20 km for lock-on target having RCS in 5 sq.m.
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by Sharana »

Interesting, but I saw that J-20 has 8 missiles while it's supposed to have 6 like the Su-57. I guess the DB isn't updated yet.

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ARCNA442
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by ARCNA442 »

I ran two more tests, this time to examine the effects of pilot skill and WRA settings. Both were 8v8 fights with F-15C's on both sides, repeated 10 times just like the previous tests.

In the first, I set Side 1 to "Ace" and Side 2 to "Novice". Side 1 won with 80 kills to 67 kills, or a 1.19 KDR.

This result was interesting primarily because of how small the difference was. Of the 10 fights, 2 were 8-8 mutual destruction and the Novices won 1 fight by 1 kill. I suspect that in an actual scenario it would be nearly impossible to see the effect of pilot skill. However, this may change when using planes with less sophisticated weapons and likely warrants further testing.

In the second, I set Side 1 to fire 1 AMRAAM per salvo, while Side 2 kept the standard WRA's. Side 2 won with 77 kills to 75 kills or a 1.03 KDR.

While it is unsurprising that the side firing more missiles per salvo won, again the relatively small difference was unexpected. Of the 10 iterations, 4 were 8-8 mutual destruction, 4 were won by Side 2 by 1-2 kills and 2 were won by Side 1 with 1-2 kills. Although further testing with different aircraft types is needed, based on these results I would suggest considering a 1 missile WRA as it substantially increases magazine depth for very little loss of effectiveness.
c3k
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by c3k »

With missile tech, modern radars, etc., perhaps ace/novice split is not considered as important as in days past when eyesight and energy management/maneuvering to advantage were the keys to winning the fight?

(Vietnam and the USAF Red Flag program proves the lie to that, but still wondering.)

I would've expected a far greater split in performance between ace and novice. Far greater.

Thanks for running these.
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Dysta
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by Dysta »

ORIGINAL: ARCNA442

CMANO seems to have modeled thrust-vectoring by giving the Su-35 and Su-30MKI a 4.9 manueverability rating instead of the 4.5 rating of the Su-27 and Su-30MK. However, that seems to fall short when other thrust-vectoring fighters like the F-22 and Su-57 have a 5.5 rating and non-thrust-vectoring planes like the Typhoon and Rafale have a 5 rating. I would really like to see an explanation for how the ratings are chosen and what exact effect they have.

I didn't test 1v1 fights since it seemed both less realistic and likely more RNG-driven.
Typhoon has TVC, but Rafael don’t. Not sure why they have the same rating, still.

Also you can see the aircraft database doesn’t have top or bottom signatures, as well as no yaw (horizontal deviation) or tilt (bank or upside down) in game to tell the actual flight state of the plane. There is no Loop or Split-S to portray supermaneuvering capability during the dogfight. High/Low-G Yo-Yo is possible in game but I have yet to see AI performing it. Not sure about Pedal Turn (falling leaf) maneuvering though.

The missile exchange is very RNG if there is no interruptions or errors. Accompany with OECM and AEW are very important.
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by ARCNA442 »

ORIGINAL: Dysta

Typhoon has TVC, but Rafael don’t. Not sure why they have the same rating, still.

As far as I can tell, the Typhoon's thrust-vectoring never made it past the prototype stage - it's sort of the theme with that plane.
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by Tailhook »

Thrust vectoring isn’t as big of a game changer as you’d think, especially BVR. It *might* help you dodge the first shot, but a high alpha energy exchange is going to leave you very low on energy. Sure you can try and regain it fairly quickly, but if the missiles are staggered to arrive with a close but not simultaneous interval, you’re out of options. WVR it might help you pull to a shot, but in the age of high off bore sight, all aspect missiles, that’s not very important either.
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by Rebel Yell »

ORIGINAL: c3k

I would've expected a far greater split in performance between ace and novice. Far greater.
ORIGINAL: Tailhook

Thrust vectoring isn’t as big of a game changer as you’d think, especially BVR.

+1 and +1

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ARCNA442
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RE: Dogfight Rankings

Post by ARCNA442 »

I've tested my theory that pilot skill would become more important when less sophisticated weapons were used, and the results appear to support it.

Using the same methodology (8v8, 10 iterations, Side 1 set to Ace, Side 2 set to Novice) with F-16A's armed with 6x AIM-9L, Side 1 had a 1.48 KDR. The Aces won 8 of the 10 battles with an average of 8 kills and 4.6 losses, tied 1 battle 7-7, and lost 1 battle 6-8.

Going back further, I repeated the test using the F-8H armed with 4x AIM-9H (a rear-aspect only missile), and Side 1 achieved a 2.85 KDR. The Aces won 9 of the 10 battles with an average of 7.8 kills and 2.2 losses, and lost 1 battle 4-6. However, my test scenario somewhat broke down here since the F-8H lacked a search radar, allowing Side 2 to get several ambush kills though luck.

Repeating the scenario with GCI radars added (1x ARSR-4 each, midway between the base and the mission area), Side 1 scored an incredible 6.07 KDR, winning all 10 fights with an average of 7.9 kills and 1.3 losses (the 1 plane they failed to shoot down was because they had to RTB after running out of fuel in a prolonged turning fight). Further, 4 of Side 2's 13 kills came from a single engagement, and they never managed more than 2 kills in the other 9.
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