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Thread: Dog Fight

  1. #1
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    Dog Fight

    With all these news regarding modern fighters I wonder if such tactical method as "dog fight", meaning close combat one to one or two to two at distances of physical visibility still exist, trained and practiced?

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    Yes, it is practiced and always will be, but far more important for A2A combat is radar search and sort discipline, good comm, and good intel (AWACS or other) on inbound threats.

    With all the shootdowns in GW1, not a single one could be considered a mature turning fight. The closest was Rico Rodriguez' MiG-29 kill when he ran it into the desert floor. Everything else was high-speed hit and run.

    You turn ONLY when all else fails. Turning fights in Vietnam resulted from lack of decent missiles primarily, lack of a good AI radar, and finally lack of what would be considered modern airborne control like AWACS.

    The decision to turn is not taken lightly. Where there are one or two known bandits, there are usually many more unknowns lurking a few miles away, and the flashing planforms and fireballs from a turning fight will catch their eye and they will put the fight on their 11 or 1 o'clock and pick you off while you are busy with the others and low on energy.

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    Re: Dog Fight

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Fan View Post
    With all these news regarding modern fighters I wonder if such tactical method as "dog fight", meaning close combat one to one or two to two at distances of physical visibility still exist, trained and practiced?
    I agree with Chogy, that to some degree, turn and burn fights will continue. The dogfight, I don't feel will not be nearly as frequent as in the past. Air forces with high tech fighters try to avoid the turn and burn dogfight. Low tech fighters enter a dogfight with high tech fighters and the high tech fighter can loose situational awareness. In that situation another (previously unseen) fighter can enter the fight with higher speed/energy and ruin the day for the high tech fighter.
    The USAF found out in the early 1970s during AIMVAL/ACEVAL test and evaluations, that BVR was the best way to establish lop-sided kill ratios like the F-15s and F-16s have. Also to avoid the 'furball', that is one place high tech fighters die almost at the same rate low tech fighters do. This produces "air parity", not a good situation for the air force with high tech fighters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chogy View Post
    Yes, it is practiced and always will be

    With all the shootdowns in GW1, not a single one could be considered a mature turning fight. The closest was Rico Rodriguez' MiG-29 kill when he ran it into the desert floor.
    You turn ONLY when all else fails. Turning fights in Vietnam resulted from lack of decent missiles primarily, lack of a good AI radar, and finally lack of what would be considered modern airborne control like AWACS.
    Capt. Larry Pitts had a turn and burn type of fight on 01/19/91 against two MiG-25's. Capt. Pitts said he pulled "12G's" doing a Split-S that put him on the MiG-25's "six" of the one MiG he engaged. Capt. Pitts fired one Sidewinder and two Sparrows to kill one MiG-25, all the time maneuvering. On 03/24/99 Col. Michael "Dozer" Showers also did a maneuvering fight against a MiG-29, over Kosovo. Col. Showers fired one Sparrow and two AMRAAM missiles to kill the MiG-29.

    Missiles will continue to improve but, so will missile counter measures!

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    Senior Contributor blidgepump's Avatar
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    Improved missles and AWACs

    Quote Originally Posted by avon1944 View Post
    I agree with Chogy, that to some degree, turn and burn fights will continue. The dogfight, I don't feel will not be nearly as frequent as in the past. Air forces with high tech fighters try to avoid the turn and burn dogfight. Low tech fighters enter a dogfight with high tech fighters and the high tech fighter can loose situational awareness. In that situation another (previously unseen) fighter can enter the fight with higher speed/energy and ruin the day for the high tech fighter.
    The USAF found out in the early 1970s during AIMVAL/ACEVAL test and evaluations, that BVR was the best way to establish lop-sided kill ratios like the F-15s and F-16s have. Also to avoid the 'furball', that is one place high tech fighters die almost at the same rate low tech fighters do. This produces "air parity", not a good situation for the air force with high tech fighters.


    Capt. Larry Pitts had a turn and burn type of fight on 01/19/91 against two MiG-25's. Capt. Pitts said he pulled "12G's" doing a Split-S that put him on the MiG-25's "six" of the one MiG he engaged. Capt. Pitts fired one Sidewinder and two Sparrows to kill one MiG-25, all the time maneuvering. On 03/24/99 Col. Michael "Dozer" Showers also did a maneuvering fight against a MiG-29, over Kosovo. Col. Showers fired one Sparrow and two AMRAAM missiles to kill the MiG-29.

    Missiles will continue to improve but, so will missile counter measures!
    With the newest radar, high tech CAS, and smart generation missiles, it is $$$ foolish to expose a multi million dollar bird to a hairball when one can acquire multiple targets/ shootdown from a great distance and live to fire missiles the next day. The one you never see is the greatest danger. Dogfights are excellent training for knowing the flight envelope, but to pick that option is to acknowledge that all else has failed and you can not leave the that part of the sky becuase something else has gone very wrong.

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    Question

    If, and I know this is a upper case "IF" airframes like the PAK FA and whater teh future J-XX is achieve low observable characteristics comparable to teh F22 (even if only from the frontal aspect), is the probability of the WVR turning fight potentially becoming more likely?

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    "Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations".- Motto of the Gun Crew who have just done something incredibly stupid!!!!

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    Re: Dog Fight

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtyEngineer View Post
    If, and I know this is a upper case "IF" airframes like the PAK FA and whater teh future J-XX is achieve low observable characteristics comparable to teh F22 (even if only from the frontal aspect), is the probability of the WVR turning fight potentially becoming more likely?
    If the two new superfighters are both supercruising and detect each other at twenty-five miles or less, coming directly at each other it will become a quick draw contest! The fighter with the best "manned machine interface" will most likely win.

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    Im actually curious if the PAK FA's IRST system would go some way towards negating the F-22's stealth ability.

    If thats the case then i can see things very quickly becoming a furball. Just because the PAKFA cant pick up the F22 on radar doesnt mean it cant see it at a decent enough range to be able to take action againts the slammers.

    I could be wrong, if anyone knows better let me know.
    The best part of repentance is the sin

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    Not likely. It's not likely the IRST system works as well as advertised, plus the F-22 was designed to be LO in the IR spectrum as well. Until he turns around, in which case it's too late.

    Even if he sees the Raptor and maneuvers and manages to defeat the inbound AMRAAM, he still hasn't defeated the threat...which is still pointing at him, still capable of launching at him, while he's bleeding off energy and range and out of position to return fire (if he could even get a radar or IR lock). It's a bad situation to be in.

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    Backed into a corner....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    Not likely. It's not likely the IRST system works as well as advertised, plus the F-22 was designed to be LO in the IR spectrum as well. Until he turns around, in which case it's too late.

    Even if he sees the Raptor and maneuvers and manages to defeat the inbound AMRAAM, he still hasn't defeated the threat...which is still pointing at him, still capable of launching at him, while he's bleeding off energy and range and out of position to return fire (if he could even get a radar or IR lock). It's a bad situation to be in.
    I think we agree... restated

    Dogfights are excellent training for knowing the flight envelope, but to pick that option is to acknowledge that all else has failed and you can not leave that part of the sky because something else has gone very very wrong. So you must NOW fight & fly your way out.. to fly another day

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    An IRST has a head-on detection range of maybe 20nm against a fighter in afterburner, shorter otherwise.

    As for dogfighting not being necessary, that isn't true ... there exist mission profiles where close combat may in fact be required.

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    Straight forward thinking then ... and today!

    Quote Originally Posted by GGTharos View Post
    An IRST has a head-on detection range of maybe 20nm against a fighter in afterburner, shorter otherwise.

    As for dogfighting not being necessary, that isn't true ... there exist mission profiles where close combat may in fact be required.
    The mission of the Fighter Pilot, to paraphrase von Richthofen, is to find the enemy and shoot him down; everything else is rubbish....

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    I think "Dog-fights" have become a rare breed. In the Falklands war, there was only ONE instance in combat which was "almost" a Dog-fight, but one opponent extended and got out of there.

    Were there any in Kosovo?
    "Liberty is a thing beyond all price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by avon1944 View Post
    I agree with Chogy, that to some degree, turn and burn fights will continue. The dogfight, I don't feel will not be nearly as frequent as in the past. Air forces with high tech fighters try to avoid the turn and burn dogfight. Low tech fighters enter a dogfight with high tech fighters and the high tech fighter can loose situational awareness. In that situation another (previously unseen) fighter can enter the fight with higher speed/energy and ruin the day for the high tech fighter.
    The USAF found out in the early 1970s during AIMVAL/ACEVAL test and evaluations, that BVR was the best way to establish lop-sided kill ratios like the F-15s and F-16s have. Also to avoid the 'furball', that is one place high tech fighters die almost at the same rate low tech fighters do. This produces "air parity", not a good situation for the air force with high tech fighters.


    Capt. Larry Pitts had a turn and burn type of fight on 01/19/91 against two MiG-25's. Capt. Pitts said he pulled "12G's" doing a Split-S that put him on the MiG-25's "six" of the one MiG he engaged. Capt. Pitts fired one Sidewinder and two Sparrows to kill one MiG-25, all the time maneuvering. On 03/24/99 Col. Michael "Dozer" Showers also did a maneuvering fight against a MiG-29, over Kosovo. Col. Showers fired one Sparrow and two AMRAAM missiles to kill the MiG-29.

    Missiles will continue to improve but, so will missile counter measures!
    Plus there's the issue of very restrictive ROEs even in wartime.
    F/A-18E/F Super Hornet: The Honda Accord of fighters.

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    Re: Dog Fight

    As I stated earlier;
    Quote Originally Posted by avon1944 View Post
    On 03/24/99 Col. Michael "Dozer" Showers also did a maneuvering fight against a MiG-29, over Kosovo. Col. Showers fired one Sparrow and two AMRAAM missiles to kill the MiG-29.
    I will check the book "Debrief: A Complete History of U.s. Aerial Engagements - 1981 to the Present" by Craig Brown, to see if there were anymore than just what Dozer encountered and spoke about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    Not likely. It's not likely the IRST system works as well as advertised, plus the F-22 was designed to be LO in the IR spectrum as well.
    In the air exercise earlier this year in the UAE, the French Rafales were able to detect and identify an opponent at a ranges up to twenty-three miles. Unfortunately against an opponent like the F-22A, that detection range places the Rafale deep into the AMRAAM or Adder range!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
    I think "Dog-fights" have become a rare breed.
    I think what we saw in the 1991 PGW#1 or what we saw over Kosovo will be the closest we will see for awhile.
    Ref;
    You Tube Dogfight
    "Dogfights - Night Fighters" 5th of 5 (Col. Mike Showers' kill of 03/24/99) Animation from Dogfights on the History Channel
    YouTube - Dogfights - Night Fighters 5/5
    Red Flag discusses the kill in more depth without the animation.
    YouTube - Red Flag, 5 of 5

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    Quote Originally Posted by avon1944 View Post
    ........The fighter with the best "manned machine interface" will most likely win.
    In a dogfight the pilot who knows his enemies aircraft capabilities, performance, and weakness wins, not the machine....plus shooting missles doesn't garantee a hit especially when the other pilot knows what he is doing. Firing a missle can give you away as well
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