Above is a first-hand account by ‘Top-Gun’ graduates US Navy ace Lt. Randy Cunningham (and backseater (RIO) Lt. Willie Driscoll) who defeated North Vietnamese ace "Colonel Tomb" in the now legendary vertical rolling scissors Energy Engagement of 10-May 1972 over Vietnam.
Drendel, Lou. ... and Kill MIGs: Air to Air Combat from Vietnam to the Gulf War. N.p.: Squadron Signal Publ., 1997. Print.
[Below] In this 1985 depiction by legendary aviation artist Lou Drendel, Cunningham has just chopped his throttles and deployed speed brakes.
the deck - is today - still a matter of conjecture. However, Cunningham’s aircraft would not survive the events of 10-May, as it is hit by an SA-2 (SAM) moments after the demise of the MiG. Cunningham wrestles his flaming F-4J out over the sea. The navy airmen both eject to avoid becoming POWs.
Some overwhelming conclusions of the engagement of 10-May 1972:
First: Cunningham simply had to hit speed brakes and chop his throttles (to end the Boyd EM engagement) as his F-4J was (now listen up F-22 community) out-zooming the MiG in the vertical – and keep from "running-out-of-luck” in front of the MiG.
Second: when (if) opponents fight to an energy-maneuver stalemate - the pilot who attempts withdrawal first - in a manner that does not (or cannot) avoid his opponents weapons envelope - is immediately shot down.
Third: indeed, all else being roughly equal, the aircraft with greater combat-persistence maintains the inherent advantage - even under 'Boyd E-M theory' application.
Fourth: the 'Boyd E-M combat maneuvering theory' works very well – until it doesn’t.
Whether the American or Western fighter pilot community will acknowledge this fact - is unknown.
During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the huge swirling jet battles of Arab MiGs, Israeli F-4 Phantoms, and Mirage, after starting at supersonic speeds, quickly became very low altitude turning fights at near stall speeds.
Once both adversaries understand the energy fight (Boyd E-M 'theory'), aggressive maneuvers bleed airspeed(s).
Here is proof. [Below] Watch the airspeed drop from ~ 500 knots down to ~ 200 knots (see the left hand HUD display) under actual combat conditions. The F-16 begins to approach stall speeds below 150 knots.
What the USAF wants to do now is (of the listed, some we have previously written extensively about) - is to upgrade our new $62-$77 billion dollar F-22 fleet by:
- Developing a workable helmet-sighting system for its two (2) internal AIM-9 stations.
- Develop IRST-thermal targeting system (YF-22 had IR-sensors in each wing root, deleted on the production F-22A).
- Develop replacement for AIM-120 with an anti-radiation class weapon, using wide-band electromagnetic homing and a new LPI-scheme mid-course update.
- Develop robust battle-networking, currently F-22A pilots must talk on their radios.
- Have radar target-designation provided by other friendly assets (upgraded F-15s) – with Raptor flying in front of the Eagles as the shooter (presumably to assist in concealing F-22s position).
Surely F-15s-F-35s armed with a MBDA-Meteor/Hughes FMRAAM propulsion class weapon is a more workable solution – than sending F-22 aircrew with short/medium range (missile) rounds, head-on into Flankers.
With no F-22A used in Libya - while other sophisticated primary American strategic assets were employed - the evidence is growing of systemic issues with the F-22 Stealth fighter - as a concept. The F-22 has not been decisive in Syria either, as it has only been used to bomb Daesh insurgents and hasn't scared off the Russians. Not a very convincing use for the world's most expensive "air dominance" aircraft. We shall see if a no-fly-zone will be attempted after the 2016 American elections.
The absolute essential (essential) need for total unimpeded electromagnetic sensor mechanics (performance) in a high-endurance platform is all too evident: these systems are called AWACS, AEW and ISR aircraft. When one introduces stealth design requirements into this capability – own sensor performance must suffer?
In our view - the USAF has confounded what fighter pilots require with what stealth requires.
Nevertheless, the F-22 community insists that the Raptor will prevail against any known or future opponent, by exploiting the “element of surprise” (never mind claims of being immune to global air defense systems). However, these assertions are based on several assumptions:
- Advantageous Rules of Engagement / Air Tasking Order(s).
- 100% certain (Identification Friend-or-Foe) IFF.
- Long-range BVR (beyond visual range) capability with own/friendly radio-spectrum support.
- Initial Nighttime operations.
- Sufficient combat persistence and air-tanker support.
- Superiority in the Boyd ‘energy’ fight.
- Absence of own/friendly mid-course update transmission detection by an adversary.
- Absence of well-known defensive (BVR) maneuvers by an adversary.
A change to any one of these - can severely hamper or even neutralize a real or perceived technological advantage.
Once both adversaries understand the energy fight (the Boyd E-M 'theory'), aggressive maneuvers bleed airspeed(s). You must design aircraft to out-fly an opponent even at very (very) low airspeeds.
You have to do it.
You have to do it.
[Below] So...your problem is this. Note not only the axis of rotation - but the point of rotation, at playback points 1:02 and 1:16:
[Above] This aircraft exceeds the Boyd energy-fight capability of our current F-15, F-16, F/A-18 fleets, (it has taken 27 time-to-climb records away from the F-15 Eagle) and appears closely matched to the F-22. The aircraft combines these attributes with simply unprecedented low-speed agility, helmet-sighting, at 1/3 to 1/5th the cost of a Raptor. F-22A currently has no helmet-sighting system.
[Above] Sukhoi Su-35S at MAKS 2015 [Below] in 2011. The Sukhoi displays excellent energy maneuvering and agility (never mind an aircraft of this size) that is simply beyond belief - and has no Western equal. Some industry insiders believe the F-22A can not exceed Flanker in maneuvering flight-performance. Inherent advantages of a non-stealth design:
Helmet-sighting has added a new and unwelcome (and deadly) dimension to the traditional energy-fight, an issue the USAF was forced to acknowledge in 2004-05-06, then attempted to sidestep in 2008.
To get an idea of the nature of Helmet-Sighting (first fielded in quantity on MiG-29) and how it fundamentally changes traditional Boyd EM application calculus – please see video below:
The F-22 has yet to be pitted against authentic modern threat models, and the result is Raptor aircrews will pay a terrible price.
Here is the appraisal from the Center for Defence Information.
#f22. #USAF #Raptor
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