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Subject: Question - IR guided MRAAM's
Aussiegunner    9/12/2003 12:19:24 AM
Does anybody know how the IR guided MRAAM's like the Falcon, the IR version of the Matra 530 and the various Soviet MRAAM's acquired BVR targets? Also, what was teh effective range of these missiles?
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macawman    RE:Question - IR guided MRAAM's   12/2/2003 5:10:12 PM
Just by definition MRAAM's would engage beyond human visional sight capability and that would depend on the size of the target. Long and medium range air to air missles are usually vectored toward a target by radar then other sensors like IR will close on the target. Medium air to air range today is about 80 miles based upon present typical fighter aircraft radar resolution of a 3 meter square target.
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gf0012-aust    RE:Question - IR guided MRAAM's   12/2/2003 5:14:57 PM
Just for confirmation, what is the literal distance definition for BVR? is it 12 km ?
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Aussiegunner    RE:Question - IR guided MRAAM's   12/2/2003 8:13:15 PM
So, are they vectored on using command line of sight? If so, an IR warhead isn't going to be effective at BVR on stealth targets. Which missiles used this arrangement? Also, has this changed with the infra-red trackers being increasingly used, especially on Russian fighters, nowdays?
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Aardwolf    RE:Question - IR guided MRAAM's   12/2/2003 8:43:56 PM
AIM-4 Falcon was never a MRAAM--maximum range was no more than about seven miles. AIM-26 never had IR capability, and AIM-47 had only terminal IR guidance--mid-flight guidance was semi-active radar (as I understand, single-channel only, unlike Phoenix). As far as IR MRAAMs go, except for a few of the newer dogfight missiles that are able to reach out to 15-20 miles instead of 5-10 as for previous generations, I really can't think of any. The Soviets did built a fair number of MRAAMs with IR guidance but they always had SARH and IR variants and were supposed to be fired in pairs, one of each.
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919    RE:Question - IR guided MRAAM's   12/4/2003 9:28:23 PM
IR is to easy to defeat at longer ranges. At shorter ranges they work because the response time of the target is to long to avoid the missile. But give the target some time and it can avoid or break lock on IR missiles. Most missile bodies are as light weight as possible, with the fuel actually forming a good part of the load bearing structure. So the vector change that can be performed as expressed in off-axis degrees gets smaller as the range from launch increases. In laymans terms, you can generate a miss by forcing the missile to take such a sharp angle of attack that it folds up. Modern Air Forces train to do this. Most modern fighters will pull about 25 to 30 degrees of angle per second. Missiles run somewhat less then that. It varies quite a bit from missile design to missile design. The RAM ( Rolling Airframe Missile) was designed especially to overcome this problem. I don't know if a RAM can turn inside a Fighter using vectored thrust, but then I suspect some poor pilot will find out one day. I'm gonna root for the pilot. Fook the robots. 919
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gandalf    RE:Question - IR guided MRAAM's   3/5/2004 11:58:36 PM
Traditionally, the missiles always had poor G performance due small control surfaces. The newer missiles with canards and thrust vectoring have flipped the equation, so that missiles were more maneuverable than pilots in planes were. The limiting factor was the IR seeker FOV. Enter the Russians with gimballed seeker heads and now you can shoot at targets 90 degrees off boresight. Add helmet aiming devices and anything in the forward hemisphere is in real trouble. As for IR guidance at medium ranges (15km - more or less 60km) as quoted by RR-77s, the limit will be the ability to resolve radiated IR energy at long distances, all affected by things like humidity and atmospheric distortion. Radar guidance works by pumping out energy and looking for the reflection - farther targets require (and therefore get) more energy shot at them. Since IR seekers are (thus far) passive, reductions in target IR signature emmissions will likely limit the ability of IR seekers firmly within the Short Range arena.
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