Cold War Champs

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Sgt. Pappy, Dec 4, 2010.

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Which Cold War Fighter would win (1989)?

  1. Su-27

    3 vote(s)
    21.4%
  2. MiG-29

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  3. MiG-31

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. MiG-23

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. F-15

    8 vote(s)
    57.1%
  6. F-16

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. F/A-18

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  8. F-14

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    #1 Sgt. Pappy, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
    I often read of modern fighter x vs. modern fighter y, and have even started some of those threads myself.

    What I've noticed is that it often boils down to who's got the best BVR capability.

    Well, let's rewind the clock, to the final years of the Cold War. The AIM-120 was only introduced near the end of the period, and is widely believed to have made American fighters the best in the world. But what about before the AMRAAM? What would fights over Europe turn out in 1989 with the best fighters pitted against each other? BVR combat of course was there, but not to the degree of fire-and-forget which we have now. These are the last variants of the best fighters I can think of in 1989 on both sides (at this time, they only were equipped with SARH and IR missiles, as the AIM-120 didn't enter service until 1991 and the R-77 until 1994):

    U.S.S.R.
    • Su-27S
    • MiG-29S
    • MiG-31BS
    • MiG-23MLD

    U.S.A.
    • F-15C MSIP I
    • F-16C Block 30
    • F/A-18C
    • F-14B

    So who do you think would win an air-to-air battle - the powerful Red Soviet Union, or the Land of the Free; the United States?

    I'm personally torn between the Su-27 and the F-16. The two planes at this time had some of the best performance available, and in a WVR fight, they're both very maneuverable; maintaining a high enough thrust-weight ratio to maneuver hard and regain energy. The F-15 of course is close for me too, but in a WVR missile fight, I doubt the F-15 can do much with its raw speed/climb rate.
     
  2. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Would not the F-15E be in that list also. I may be mistaken but I thought it hit front line service in 1988 but I may be wrong.
     
  3. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    You are indeed correct, sir. The F-16C Blk 40 was also in service by this time.

    However, those two aircraft were meant for air-to-ground combat, and so were not included in the pole.
     
  4. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. I think think the F-15 proved itself during this period as the best air superiority fighter in the world, with AIM-7s and AIM-9s.
     
  5. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Hm, something still tells me if it were the 80's, I'm sure I'd find difficulty if I were fighting a Flanker with its better maneuverability and off-bore sight firing capability.

    I'm not sure if superior speed and climb rates could really help you in the world of IR missiles.
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Voted for F-14, the A D versions were by 1989 deployed.
     
  7. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    I am not sure that the MiG-29 would not be able to own anything. Even still today, MiGs have demonstrated improved ability to glide out the way of missiles and turn ultra tightly. I think even in a world of heat-seeking missiles, with a good enough pilot it would be hard for the heat-seeking missile to lock onto one of the newer MiGs considering how well they turn...
     
  8. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    There's no doubt the MiG would be a tough plane. But dodging missiles with turning isn't really likely. If anything, the Fulcrum could get a shot first though, at least WVR.
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    F15. Not a huge fan of any of them, but the numbers are on it's side. IIRC, nobody has ever knock one down in ACM. Add in a honking big (and useful) radar and it's pretty much unbeatable.
     
  10. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Has to be the F15 for me with a nod to the F14. My only real problem with the F14 is its size, its big fella to throw around and the Phoenix was not ideal for a dogfight. The F15 has been until recently untouchable by anything and a lot of its combat success has been in visual range combat.
    Given the second string, I would go for the Mig 29 over the F16. When the wall fell I can remember the shock when people realised that the Mig 29 could fire its missiles from the helmet mounted sight greatly increasing its flexibility in combat.
     
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