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WHAT MAKES A GOOD BVR FIGHTER JET

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Agnostic_Indian

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This is my first attempt to write down my understanding (obviously from forum debates and other reads) of important systems, technologies and features, counter measures and their advantages and disadvantages in a BVR combat. For advanced readers this won’t be interesting/ provide nothing new(but you can help with corrections and more inputs ), but I hope newbies will like it.
* RADAR- It is the primary sensor of the fighter. There are different kinds of radars. PESA is older generation passive electronically scanned array radar fitted in most of the 4th gen fighters, there are some hybrid versions of PESA which stands between traditional PESA and modern AESA radars (Active electronically scanned) these radars are hard to jam because jammers *operate by determining the operating frequency of the radar and then sending a signal on it to confuse the receiver .This technique works as long as the radar system cannot easily change its operating frequency. Most radars using modern electronics are(including PESA though limited frequencies)capable of changing their operating frequency with every pulse. An AESA has the additional capability of spreading its frequencies across a wide band even in a single pulse, to lowering the emission power,frequency-modulated continuous-wave signal,using of only the minimum power required for the task,Using of *pulse compression etc .LPI(low probability of intercept ) is the name for variety of such techniques which degrade the performance of modern RWR( Radar Warning Receiver ) and counter measures. * AESAS can also be switched to a receive-only mode, and use these powerful jamming signals(of enemy ) instead to track its source. *
As a general rule we say bigger radar with more t/r module and more power will help you detect and track the enemy before he can. That will allow you the first shot at the best ranges missile is capable of ensuring a high PK. but you have to be clever in deciding when and where to switch it on and off other wise you will giveaway your stealth/position , or you will attract a anti radiation missile homing locking on to your radar emition.
* IRST(Infrared Search and Track)- modern IRST with infrared imaging capacity is very much capable to substitute the use of radar to identify threats and engage them. Though it provides lesser data, has lesser range than modern radars it provides the important ability to engage targets passively. *
There are countering technology against radars and IRST .Those are stealth and ECM.So it is important to have stealth to reduce your RCS against enemy radar signals. * STEALTH or VLO is general shaping and RAM coating to reduce range which a fighter is detectable to a enemy radar. 5 gen fighters use shaping , internal weapon bays , RAM etc to achieve VLO while internal weapon bays are absent in 4.5gen fighters , stealth shaping also is limited so are not as stealthy as 5th gen fighters . * Stealth shaping has to compromise on Aerodynamics but gains are much greater than losses. A good stealth fighter will be a good mix stealth and aerodynamic shaping. Traditionally stealth aircrafts are optimized against X band radars, Researches are on progress to use L band AESA radars to detect and track stealth aircraft.As of now L band is useful in long range detection rather than tracking and missile guidance because of lack of accuracy..but things might get change soon.
* INFRA RED STEALTH- it is achieved by special coatings and shaping of exhaust nozzles. however seducing heat signature below certain degree is difficult and seeker tech is more likely to develop faster and easier than t heat signature reduction tech . * ECM(Electronic Counter Measures )- ECM used against any kind of guidance systems such as fighter jet's radar, missiles seekers ,IRST, laser range finder etc. Though it is defensive system it can be used defensively also.
* RADAR ECM RWR-It is used for identifying, avoiding,evading or engaging threats. *it also gives suggestions on best options to evade a thread if avoidance has failed. modern RWR's are catching up with the advanced Aesa radar technology. * JAMMING AND DECEPTION-It is done by *emitting interfering signals to confuse or producing blanket noise .Unlike PESA radar, AESA radar is hard to jam or decept.Spread spectrum technology can be used to jam multiple frequencies of AESA but with less power availability (because power is divided across numerous frequencies*)and less efficiency in jamming. Bigger platforms have the power and space to support bigger Jammer,jamming power reduces as the distance between you Jammer and enemy radar decreases,generally bigger radar will burn through(over power) your jamming quicker than the smaller one. once you reach the burn through range you should switch off the Jammer other wise you will be inviting HOJ(Home on jamming ) missiles. A dedicated jamming platforms like growler will be always better than limited size on board Jammer. * SENSOR FUSION & AUTOMATION-Better sensor fusion will allow pilot to concentrate more on mission rather than lessor important tasks. modern Sensers combined with high power computers care capable of flight control, combining data from. different sensors , screening them and eliminating false alarms, threat warning and prioritising, automatic counter measures and maneuvering , suggesting best weapons to use, *etc

to be continued..

BVR MISSILES -Bvr Missiles are the weakest link in a Bvr combat due to it's comparatively lesser range when compared to the supporting radar's range , lesser Pk at maximum range, lesser maneuverability compared to WVR missiles, vulnerability to ECM etc . If you don't have bigger range missile then having a bigger radar advantage is not much of a game changer. But things are changing now with high G capable missiles *and new *"Ramjet propulsion " with duel pulse propalant and thrust vector control. What it dose is- it lasts longer, provides greater speed at start and then provides controlled but sustained speed towards the end game and there by reducing the G force it needs to pull when handling a maneuvering target. High off bore sight- Is the ability of the missile to engage a threat at wider angles without pointing the nose towards a threat.This in combination with helmet mounted cueing system allows a pilot to simply look at the target and fire the missile. Guidance System There are many kinds of guidance systems for missiles- active homing, semi active homing and passive homing , infra red homing, optical sensors etc active homing are the latest missiles which are fire and forget, advantage is that *as soon as it is fired you can escape from there or engage another threat. disadvantage is it has slightly lesser range compared to semi active missiles.
Semi active homing- it has longer range because it carries lesser electronics so it can afford bigger amount of fuel. Like all radar guided missiles *this also can be jammed but if it has a HOJ capability it can be dangerous. Disadvantage is that the it needs mid course update so launching aircraft needs to stay in the fighting area which can be dangerous. * Passive Homing
Infrared Guided missiles-modern infrared seekers has infrared imaging capacity ,it cannot only detect engine exhaust but also the heat generated in the Air frame because of friction. Modern IR missiles are tough to counter by flares, and decoys. coupled with HMS( helmet mounted sight ) + IRST+ IR guide missiles *one can hunt stealth aircrafts passively..if the attacking platform got very less structural RCS then it can be a dangerous combo. Draw back is it is prone to climate changes, it's head on range is less because seeker can't trace *small heat signatures from *from longer ranges , at tail chase seeker can track the enemy engine exhaust from long ranges(because you are positioned right behind it ) but here the ranges is limited by the fact that enemy is running away from you and missile get out of fuel quickly though it has greater speed. so you need to get closer to fire. Countering technologys are - infra red missile approach warners and laser warning receivers.
Anti radiation missiles- They are passive and and they target enemy radar radiation or jamming originals.
 

Agnostic_Indian

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OTHER MAJOR FACTORS * Acceleration,speed *and altitude - A good twr provides good acceleration which helps you to gain speed quickly to evade a missile or to get quick momentum to reach desired speed to fire a missile.higher the speed more the kinetic energy missile carries. fighters capable of higher altitude flight( delta, cropped delta or diamond shaped wing with low wing loading ) can utilise the natural velocity and thinner air at high altitudes to boost your missile's speed.f22 with it's high altitude super cruise gains about 30%boost in missile performance in terms of speed and range. * Bigger fighters can Carry more number of missiles, more fuel there for more range,more powerful radar and electronics etc. * Generally twin engine fighters are better than single engine one's because they give more power to fly and also for radar and electronic systems, *and even if one engine fails other one can help you safely return. super cruise ability helps to save a lot of fuel. * Thrust vector nozzles will give you more agility, turn rate ,better nose pointing *authority,better climb rate etc . one of the draw back of TVC is drag and energy loss. modern computer controlled Fly By Wire systems has minimized this draw back. * More use of composites in structure makes the fighter lighter and it improves TWR. * These *features will guide us to make a educated guess to know which fighter stands where. But there are things which are not comparable because of lack of data,comparing systems are not battle proven etc. for example quality of RAM coating, quality of ECM, etc. if no data is available to support either then one can consider legacy and *experience of particular system manufacturer, money spend on developing the systems/ fighters in comparisons etc because of two reasons. 1. we can expect a advanced, experienced manufacture to come up with a better system than a new player. 2. You get what you paid/ spend for.Chances are very less that cheaper fighter/ or it's systems will out class a costly fighter unless there is big cost over runs,major design flaw, big difference in labour cost/ production numbers etc which we are aware of. * * BVR ENGAGEMENTS AND TACTICS * Bvr engagements does not often happens one vs one so it is very difficult to analyse because of the complexity. Apart from different fighter formations with different numbers, tactics, and maneuvers ,it also includes various platforms such as awac,dedicated Jammers, sams, etc. * A bvr battle win is depends on the pilots skills to make use of available technology at right place, right time, considering the mission, strength and weakness of enemy. To achieve that he needs to have better training, knowledge of his own strength and weakness as well as the enemy's also. As always said by experts He wins by forcing the opponent to fight under his rule not by letting opponent to decide the rules of engagement. * Reference -post cold war air to air evolution by Dr.Carlo kopp. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-to-air_missile en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_probability_of_intercept_radar Eurofighter Technology and Performance : Defences The Boresight: Airborne Infrared and Supersonic Stealth
 

Last Hope

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Thread not required.

Look into existing threads by ANTIBODY which cover this topic, in smaller units with much details.
 

Manticore

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engines used in different fighters , radar ranges of different fighters, thrust to wt ratio of different fighters , rcs of different fighters , rcs reduction concepts , fighter designs , air to air tactics, air to air missiles command the air -- etc all these threads already exist -- you can search for them & post in them to your heart's content
 
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