IR seeking missile vs. piston engine?

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Piper106, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Piper106

    Piper106 Member

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    I was wondering if the sensors in shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles (like the US Stinger missile) is sensitive enough to pick up and home into the heat signiture from a high powered piston type aircraft engine?

    My guess is that the amount of heat coming from the exhaust of a R-2600 / R-2800 / ASh-82 / Centaurus might be too small and too difuse for the IR sensors of most modern missiles.

    Anyone has any definitive data on this subject??

    Piper106
     
  2. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Definitive? You want definitive data on the efficacy of a classified military system?

    How about a "yes" instead.
     
  3. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    I don't know about the Stinger, but I do know that the seeker head on an AIM-9M Sidewinder is sensitive enough to home in on the heat from skin friction on an aircraft, so I'm guessing it's sensitive enough to pick up the heat from the exhaust stacks, or maybe even a hot part of the cowling.
     
  4. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Stingers were more than effective against the Pucara in the Falklands and the SA7 hit a number of helicopters in the desert so I don't see any reason to doubt their effectiveness against piston engines.

    The very early missiles AIM 9B and Atoll were dissapointing in combat but I don't know if they would have been better or worse against a piston engine.
     
  5. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    The Pucara is turboprop-powered though, so I would have thought that the exhaust would be hotter than that from a piston-engined a/c. On the other hand, from what Stitch has said, a current-model missile shouldn't have a problem.
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Typical normal turbine EGT - between 400 and 650c.

    Big recip EGT (ie. R2800) between 400 and 690c
     
  7. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I stand corrected then 8) Thanks!
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The key is whether the size of the IR source (a recip exhaust stack or a turbine exhaust, and on the PT-6 for example its not that big) will entice the missile - I think it would with no problem in either case.
     
  9. Blaydon

    Blaydon Member

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    They tend to detect temperature differences so a 500 degree spot against a 10 degree background. Most modern IR missiles could pick up a car engine at a reasonable range and home on it.
     
  10. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    I used to have a friend who was an F-14 powerplant mechanic on the Connie, and he said the seeker head on the AIM-9M would actually track him as he walked in front of the a/c.
     
  11. Blaydon

    Blaydon Member

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    Certainly there is a roumour that an AIM 9 was fired on the ground and tracked and hit a vehicle on the other side of the airfield certainly whilst under test the Guidance section gets confused if someone walks past the front.
     
  12. Bill G.

    Bill G. Banned

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    I can't find the reference, but I remember in Vietnam, a heat seeking Sidewinder missile was once used to destroy a truck. The crew was surprised that they could get a lock. They figured the truck must have had a leaking exhaust valve.

    So I would have to say it is possible for a heat seeking missile to lock onto a piston engined airplane.

    Bill G.
     
  13. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Bofors (or was it FFV?) has made the Stryx PGM for 120mm mortar; it used the IR signature of a tank to home on to.

    IMO any decent IR guided missile could be locked to a warm object, eg. piston engined plane.
     
  14. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Read that one too. I think it may've Randy Cunningham who did it. Definitely an F4 anyway.
     
  15. Valo300

    Valo300 Banned

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    The latest all-aspect IIR AAM's don't need any engine heat at all to work, they track the IR image of the aircraft itself. Flares probably wouldn't work on them either.

    Haha man that's one expensive kill!
     
  16. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    What about terrorist-owned Iglas?
     
  17. Blaydon

    Blaydon Member

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    Seems to me the terrorists seem to get supplied with pretty up to date equipment but even older types will still home on an engine signature but may be more prone to decoys.
     
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