Skip to comments.Bad News for U.S. Warplane Pilots: Russiaís New Dogfighting Missile Canít Miss
Posted on 12/04/2013 10:10:07 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Moscows new active-array missile could be the most accurate ever
By combining two existing technologies, Russian engineers have devised what could be the worlds deadliest air-to-air missile. And the U.S. military doesnt have anything like it or adequate defenses.
Designers at the Detal bureau, part of the state-owned Tactical Missile Munitions Corporation, added an active electronically-scanned array radara so-called AESAto the nose of a long-range R-77 missile to produce the K-77M model. Thanks to its new guidance sensors, the K-77M is way more accurate than other missiles.
How accurate? Flying 40 miles or more, the K-77M should be able to maintain lock on even the most agile maneuvering target, according to one scientist and defense specialist in the Pacific region whose countrys laws prohibit him from speaking on the record about weaponry. In light of the scientists expertise, War is Boring agreed not to publish his name.
With enough funding, the K-77M could enter service as early as 2015, in time to be fitted to the first combat-ready versions of Russias new stealth fighter, the powerful T-50. The combination of T-50 and K-77M could match or even best Americas own F-22 stealth fighter, which is fast and hard to detect but lacks an advanced air-to-air missile.
And the T-50 with its new munition is sure to vastly outclass the U.S. F-35, a smaller, less capable stealth fighter meant to comprise the bulk of the American warplane fleet in coming decades.
Smarter missile Traditional air-to-air missiles include a small mechanical radar antenna in the nose. These mechanical radar missiles have a major weakness that occurs in the final seconds before the munition reaches its target.
The angular motionand specifically the angle rate of antenna movement as the missile closes on the targetcan be so high that the seeker cannot keep up and the target slips out of the antenna beam, causing missile lock to be broken, the scientist explains.
In other words, if a pilot turns quickly in any direction right before a missile hits his plane, he stands a good chance of slipping outside the field of view of the missiles radar, causing it to fly harmlessly away. The inability of most munitions to cope with violent maneuvers helps explain why radar-guided air-to-air missiles typically have very low hit rates.
But the K-77M could change all that. Gone is the mechanical array. In its place, Detals engineers have added what Russia Today describes as a large numberpossibly hundredsof individual digital arrays, each pointing its own radar beam essentially at the speed of light.
Each cell receives only a part of the signal, RT reports, but once digitally processed, the information from all cells is summarized into a full picture, enabling the K-77M missile to immediately respond to sharp turns of the target, making interception practically inevitable.
Thats not hyperbole, according to the scientist. Because an AESA or phased array is steered electronically, the antenna beam can be adjusted in direction several thousand times per second and is not limited in angle rate, thus allowing an AESA-equipped missile to maintain lock.
Considering the huge advantage an active-array missile has over older munitions, its perhaps surprising that Russia is the only country developing one. Amid budget reductions, the U.S. and Europe have essentially stopped investing in new seekers for air-to-air missiles. Almost all of Americas aerospace capital is being poured into fixing problems with the F-35 as well as developing a new stealth bomber.
But Russia typically exports its missile technology to Chinaand the K-77M should be no exception. We should not be surprised to see the AESA seeker sold to China for use in Chinese-built PL-12 [missile] in 2015 or 2016, the scientist warns.
To survive a dogfight with a foe armed with K-77Ms, an American plane needs to be stealthier or employ better radar jamming, the scientist advises. Considering the F-35's many design compromises, U.S. stealth technology probably reached its pinnacle with the F-22, which ended its production run two years ago.
And as for jamming
the Pentagon for years has struggled to develop new electronic countermeasures, with the Air Force in particular having all but abandoned electronic warfare in favor of spending more money on stealth.
They tell their pilots this to get them to make that first sortie.
Then, if none come back, they tell them a different lie.
Soviet Union lost 14.5 million men in the first phase of Great Patriotic War. That took a lot of lies to get men to walk into German fire. They would literally stop german infantry units by depleting them of ammunition by giving them targets to shoot. German units wouldn’t advance when they had no ammunition.
how good my AIM....
Fine, Stands off about 100 miles....and carry six per plane...
AFAIK Iraqis shot down F-18 with an earlier type of that same missile in 1991.
>>>Soviet Union lost 14.5 million men in the first phase of Great Patriotic War. That took a lot of lies to get men to walk into German fire. They would literally stop german infantry units by depleting them of ammunition by giving them targets to shoot. German units wouldnt advance when they had no ammunition.<<<
It is a version of former Nazy Generals. Soviets has another version and both are lies.
Actual kill ratio between Germans and Soviets is about 1:1,5-2, not 1 to 10 as some Nazis claim. Also a huge portion of Soviet military deaths are POWs starved and tortured to death by the Nazy. Soviets simply weren’t so cruel to match the other counterpart.
Remember, both the Russians and the Red Chinese produce weapons in “mass quantities” (hat tip to the Coneheads). If you put enough planes with enough missiles on them in the air and fire, nothing we have is going to survive, no matter how stealthy they are.
The old “Swarm Tactic” works. Just ask our men who were attacked by Japanese kamikaze planes. It only took one to sink a destroyer or aircraft carrier, and they did.
Today’s explosive warheads are many times more powerful so a massed array of them fired at a target/zone are going to hit it just by sheer numbers and weapons mix.
Don’t forget. The Israeli Air Force in 1973 almost ran out of planes even though it was beginning to win on the ground. It was only the US replacement supply line that saved the day (despite Kissinger’s reported attempts to interfere with it).
The use of AESAs is not so much technologically important in the missile vs. say, a standard corporate-fed array with element phase shifters, but economically and to an extent with respect to large scale manufacturing, it is a big advancement, especially at the frequencies we'd be talking for and A/A missile
This is looking a lot like 1980. The difference is that in 1980, America voted to be put back to work and to be respected in the world again. In 2012, America voted for free abortions, free birth control, free government (tax payer) paid benefits, and gay marriage.
Not bad at all. I dont know how it can be more agile than AMRAAM. An antiradar chaff, laser or even gun/missile system could defeat it. The AMRAM uses INS and radar and could be modified like the french Micah to have a passive IR seeker.
the whore of Babylon will be hated and decapitated... Hillary?
The check is in the mail.
I love you.
You'll feel a slight discomfort.
“[...] the U.S. and Europe have essentially stopped investing in new seekers for air-to-air missiles.”
That is not quite true for Europe:
You have to view the movie of the seeker head moving. The fast moves are hard to see. Try slow motion right at the end of the movie.
MBDA Meteor (BVRAAM)
This will NEVER be forgotten. EVER.
Eh.....it’s much more complicated than that.
First an unmanned missile can outmaneuver a piloted aircraft, at least in terms of absolute capability.
The biggest problem is in the control loop. Make that faster and a missile can maneuver faster. That’s a bigger innovation than the sensor, in my opinion, but one can argue.
The other problem is getting your platform in the right spot at the right time to fire a missile - which requires ground support systems, integrated air defense systems. We would not send a single aircraft against a fully integrated air defense system. So even if you had a “missile that can’t miss” it doesn’t mean a thing in and of itself.
Another problem is getting into position to fire without being fired upon first.
So this would seem like typical Russian hyperbole.
You have it in one.
There is nothing in this chicken little article that even remotly looks like a silver bullet.
AESA is useful for three things: Lower maintenance of RF systems, multiple waveforming (ex. x-band, s-band, etc.), and beamforming. That’s it. It can’t magically “detect” anything it’s systems are not designed to detect.