range of an air to air missile

Discussion in 'Modern' started by The Basket, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought....against a fleeing mach 2 jet against a slow mover.

    High altutude...low altitude....

    Seems to be so many variables that it must be hard to give an exact figure.

    Certainly happens that missiles run out of fuel before impact.

    Whether a missile is fired out of range or a jet can simply out run it is a head scratcher.
     
  2. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Say what?

    Put your beer down and step away from the computer. :lol:
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    I'll bite :)

    Manufacturer always gives range figures for a distance where the missile would still have some maneuvrability to hit a co-operating (slow, non-maneuvring) target. IIRC, figures were 55km for AIM-120A, and for AIM-9L some 17km. Max speed for 120A was declared Mach 4; Mach 2,5 for 9L.

    Now to the real world:
    If a reasonably fast enemy (Mach 1+) is approaching you head-on, you can launch 120A while he is some 70km away, hoping he remains on course, of course. If he is approaching on low level, you better wait till he is under 40km mark.
    For a Mach 2 fleeing target, 25km is a reasonable launch distance; even less if you aim against a low-flying 1960-70 racer (F-111, Su-24, Tornado).

    The AIM-109(L) similar missiles would have problems vs. a fast, fleeing target, since the speed difference is very small. Vs. an approaching target, it's the seeker that has to take advantage of a decent range.
     
  4. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    OK, as you know i'm not aviation but i seem to recall missiles that produce clouds of hardened metallic chaff if the aircraft flies into or through this cloud pieces can be sucked into the air intakes and rip the turbine apart not to mention damage to the airframe. similar to the fletchettes used in artillery shells
     
  5. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Lovely post tomo pauk. Thanks :)

    MM
    Proud Canadian
     
  6. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    The Sparrow used a continuous rod that expanded into the target, different versions also carried large BBs for a want of a better word. During most missile exercises and live fires the SPARROW would actually fly thru the target.

    My personal favorite is the AIR-2 GENIE with its nuke warhead to down Russian bombers. (Excuse me "Soviet")
     
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