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#4527287 - 06/25/20 01:21 AM When does a fighter use top speed?  
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Someone asked me this yesterday and the only answers I had was interception or exercises...

I'm talking modern to moderate here - jets that actually fly today...

But I'll have no objection if topics of older planes and top speeds sprout up in the thread lol!

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#4527374 - 06/25/20 03:12 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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Well the F-16s from our local airbase were going supersonic today, most annoying while trying to make business phone calls when all you can hear are the jets overhead and the B-Bang of some one in a hurry


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#4527375 - 06/25/20 03:13 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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To outrun a SAM or a AA missile?

#4527381 - 06/25/20 03:32 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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When they gotta gtf outta dodge!

Last edited by Mr_Blastman; 06/25/20 03:33 PM.
#4527383 - 06/25/20 03:43 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy
To outrun a SAM or a AA missile?

This is not possible in real-life, the speed of a SAM is between mach 3 and 6, and their targeting logic has been extremely good since the 1960's.

#4527397 - 06/25/20 04:45 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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You can't "outrun" a SAM on the level, but you can drag them out with altitude. Darned gravity really sucks for solid fuel motors... Frankly, though, there's better ways to dodge a SAM than playing that game.

AA missiles, on the other hand, can be defeated with a combination of notching, speed, and a climbing, opposing spiral. Once their engines run out of fuel, it becomes a game of bleeding off their energy by forcing them into high AoA swings.

#4527416 - 06/25/20 05:55 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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We had the king visiting the airbase, that might be why they were a bit over eager biggrin


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#4527418 - 06/25/20 05:59 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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#4527419 - 06/25/20 05:59 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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Originally Posted by Mr_Blastman
You can't "outrun" a SAM on the level, but you can drag them out with altitude. Darned gravity really sucks for solid fuel motors... Frankly, though, there's better ways to dodge a SAM than playing that game.

AA missiles, on the other hand, can be defeated with a combination of notching, speed, and a climbing, opposing spiral. Once their engines run out of fuel, it becomes a game of bleeding off their energy by forcing them into high AoA swings.


Real-life isn't a videogame. A SAM never gets fired so far on the limit of its range that 'dragging them out with altitude' is relevant, and I can't recall a single case that a A-A missile has been evaded by skill since the Vietnam War.

Last edited by Vaderini; 06/25/20 06:00 PM.
#4527430 - 06/25/20 06:39 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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#4527433 - 06/25/20 06:43 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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Either that F-16 pilot had god-like skills or those Iraqi SAM battery operators were utterly incompetent. smile


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#4527440 - 06/25/20 07:23 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: PanzerMeyer]  
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Ah Youtube, the source of good information! biggrin

Originally Posted by PanzerMeyer
Either that F-16 pilot had god-like skills or those Iraqi SAM battery operators were utterly incompetent. smile

Or they fired in the wrong mode (easily done), fired outside of missile parameters, only had the targeting radar online (which was certainly the case around Baghdad) , had a technical malfunction (probable, since the Iraqi missiles were years overdue for their scheduled maintenance) had the wrong missiles in the launcher, had the missiles spooled up for too long or too short, etc, etc...

#4527447 - 06/25/20 07:45 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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I am not sure that there has been enough combat to really know how often a fighter could avoid a SAM or A-A missile in actual combat conditions. I think that the few exchanges we've seen in the past few decades have had mitigating circumstances, where things were small scale and/or one side had a significant advantage in capability over the other. Sure, if fired under optimum conditions, it's unlikely a fighter could avoid it, but in combat, especially large scale combat, combatants are not always going to wait for optimum conditions.

If an opponent fires a missile at an enemy aircraft under full combat conditions, I think it's possible that it could be at extreme range and the fighter could use its speed to drag the missile out until it runs out of fuel. The Su-22 in Syria spoofed an AIM-9X fired from a Super Hornet, so avoiding a modern missile is certainly possible.

As a more direct answer to the original question, a fighter might extend in max speed to avoid getting into, or staying within, the parameters of an enemy aircraft's weapons to begin with so a missile is never fired.


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#4527451 - 06/25/20 07:49 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Vaderini]  
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Originally Posted by Vaderini
Originally Posted by Mr_Blastman
You can't "outrun" a SAM on the level, but you can drag them out with altitude. Darned gravity really sucks for solid fuel motors... Frankly, though, there's better ways to dodge a SAM than playing that game.

AA missiles, on the other hand, can be defeated with a combination of notching, speed, and a climbing, opposing spiral. Once their engines run out of fuel, it becomes a game of bleeding off their energy by forcing them into high AoA swings.


Real-life isn't a videogame. A SAM never gets fired so far on the limit of its range that 'dragging them out with altitude' is relevant, and I can't recall a single case that a A-A missile has been evaded by skill since the Vietnam War.


Videogame or not, the logic and science still applies.

p = m*v
a = Δv/Δt

They just don't go away, those pesky physics. Missiles don't have as much fuel or capability for sustained thrust as a jet.

Or are you suggesting a real life pilot would stare at his chirping RWR and decide that...


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Last edited by Mr_Blastman; 06/25/20 07:50 PM.
#4527486 - 06/26/20 12:24 AM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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How much fuel is in a SAM or AA missile? Their target uses top speed to fly away from the missile hitting it, the missile will run out of fuel and gravity takes over.

Something like this, but I think those missiles should had ran out of fuel and also for them to turn at a whim to follow the F-18 wherever it went, I don't know it that is possible.


#4527499 - 06/26/20 01:16 AM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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Yeah, there's a lot about those missiles that is wrong:

https://youtu.be/51uw3drjpFc


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#4527520 - 06/26/20 03:08 AM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Vaderini]  
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Originally Posted by Vaderini

Real-life isn't a videogame. A SAM never gets fired so far on the limit of its range that 'dragging them out with altitude' is relevant


From the Vietnam War on, SAMs, especially the second generation Soviet SAMs (SA-2/3/6/8) have routinely been defeated by maneuver, countermeasures, or a both. For example, North Vietnam fired 240+ SA-2s in Linbacker II, and only downed 17 aircraft for their trouble. While onboard countermeasures and SEAD sorties had a major part in that, there were kinetic defeats of the SA-2s as well. Similar results have where achieved in other engagements between western air forces and Soviet-types SAMS throughout the 70s-90s.

Originally Posted by Vaderini
Or they fired in the wrong mode (easily done), fired outside of missile parameters, only had the targeting radar online (which was certainly the case around Baghdad), had a technical malfunction (probable, since the Iraqi missiles were years overdue for their scheduled maintenance) had the wrong missiles in the launcher, had the missiles spooled up for too long or too short, etc, etc...


Or they were firing SA-2s/S-75s, which historically had only marginal success against fighter-type aircraft when the pilot had some sort of warning and was able to maneuver.

As an an side, I know the Iraqis resorted to firing SAMs ballistic on occasion during the Gulf War, especially after we massacred their front line air defense systems early on, but I do not think that was the case in this instance (the pilot was getting RWR indications of an SA-2, and, from the HUD video, they seemed to be guiding much closer than a ballistic shot would likely have allowed).


Last edited by Nimits; 06/26/20 03:29 AM.
#4527522 - 06/26/20 03:51 AM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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Do we know they *actually* expended 240+ SAMS?

The guidance radar can be set to firecontrol mode and looks identical to a launch without necessarily expending a round. The missile itself, being command guided is purely passive and unless a warhead goes off, the presence of a missile is not necessarily confirmed even if an aircraft 'defeats' the launch by manoeuvre.

'Ballistic' launches might be IR/visual mode tracking with only LOS information for the command guidance, so lower range and less stable guidance than with a full FCS.

#4527533 - 06/26/20 05:48 AM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Lieste]  
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Originally Posted by Lieste
Do we know they *actually* expended 240+ SAMS?



Yes. As of 2001, North Vietnam admits to firing 239 missiles (primarily at the B-52s) during the battle. Given that they should have had on hand 300-400 missiles in the Hanoi area at the start of Linebacker II, and as it was quite obvious at the end of the battle that North Vietnam either had or was about to be run out of missiles, it seems they actually would have expended more than that. Marshall Michel (from which the preceding is cited) speculates that perhaps the North Vietnamese were not counting malfunctioning missiles in their number expended.

The Osprey book on the SA-2 suggest 266 missiles were fired during Linebacker II (though I am unsure of its source).

All in all, I think 240+ is a reasonable estimate.

#4527633 - 06/26/20 11:45 PM Re: When does a fighter use top speed? [Re: Zamzow]  
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