unless the procedures have changed a lot the interceptor is usually vectored onto the target using awacs or ground based fighter cops (norad or ukadge) using data link and voice com being last option the a/c radar probably turned on during last part of intercept as to prevent detection by ecm (electro counter measures) guy on target a/c
The awacs has alook down capability and the ground based radar is supposededly able to detect a small object a low level at great distances over the horizon . the early interceptors (f101 104 F4) were easy to spot because of heavy smoke from engines was visable at a great distance .
it has been known for 2 engine interceptors to shut one engine down and go full on other cutting smoke to a minimum
The Lightnings normally took off in twos. Ever heard of a doomsday scramble? Every single plane scrambled, went up, fired off missiles, came home, re-armed, re-fueled and back up again. The whole squadron could be up in about 20 minutes.
And the Red Top was designed for low-level nimble aircraft. It was perfectly capable at detecting low-level, and intercepting low-level targets.
Adler, if a Lightning caught and over-took a Concorde at 57,000 feet and Mach 2.2 while on stern intercept...it's going faster than Mach 2.2, don't yah think!?
Yeah you got me there. Duh stupid me. I still believe that a Tomcat can fly faster than a Lighting and besides again a Pheonix can hit a target before a Lightning can. So my vote still goes for the Tomcat.
The F-15 also could outfly a Lightning.
Dont take me wrong I think the Lightning is a wonderful aircraft and one of the best intercepters ever built.
Both the F-14 and F-15 failed to intercept the Concorde in the same circumstances as the Lightning. The official record for the Lightning was Mach 2.3, but that's the same record that said 60,000 feet.
The Lightning would rise to it's opponent and catch it before the other aircraft, it was so simple ...it was almost Russian! But ...at least it was built properly.
The interception against the Concorde was a stern intercept, they were chasing it as it was flying away. The Concorde was at 57,000 feet and flying Mach 2.2 - the Lightning caught it, and over-took it!
You obviously don't know how quickly a plane as fast as a Lightning can make up for deficiency in it's missiles range (which was 7 miles). The Lightning was up before the F-14, it was faster accelerating than the F-14 and was ultimately quicker than the Lightning. And it could fly higher than the F-14! Current standing at 88,000 feet for the Lightning.
i think the reason they state ceilings in the fl500 area is because after that point they are req'd to wear a better flight suit for the higher altitudes same as sr71 and u 2 guys wear. Was the lightning stationed for any length of time in germany or mostly Uk if in the uk almost all interceptions would be over water i hope
If all safety regulations were forgotten and the F-14 launched it's Phoenix missiles from ground level, then they wouldn't have a one hundred mile range. To achieve it's maximum distance (72-135 NM, depending on source) the Phoenix must be fired at a height of around 40,000 feet so it can travel in an arc across it's optimum altitude.
So, for the F-14 to be used properly from a ground strip it has to warm up, set-up it's systems, take-off, climb to 40,000 feet then fire it's missiles. It cannot just rise and fire in an instant. And at $500,000 a piece, the Phoenix would make for one expensive war!
Plus the fact, the Phoenix won't hit everytime, no missile does. You seem to think the AIM-54 achieves a 100% hit. If the Phoenix missile was the ultimate air-to-air missile, why develop others during it's creation and operational usage?
By the way, it only achieves it's distance if the enemy is head-on. On a stern intercept, firing at low altitude, the Phoenix is pretty useless. However, generally it was a remarkable weapon ...but very expensive, and not perfect. The F-14 still had to work to get into position to target it's opponents and release the Phoenix.
Time to altitude for the F-14 was much slower than that of the Lightning.
And Lightnings were stationed in Germany too, yes. I believe there were four squadrons in Germany but I can only remember that 92 Sqdn. was there.
Who said anything about firing a Pheonix from ground level? Now you are just making up excuses. The F-14 was far more advanced and better than the Lighthing. The F-14's capabilities were better. They were 2 different classes of interceptors and the F-14 would do better.