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Comparison of the dynamics of the R-24, R-27 and AIM-7 missiles


Stona_WT
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Initially, the ‘distant hand’ for the MiG-29 in War Thunder were the R-27 missiles with heat and radar seekers. The missile features slightly better maneuverability than other medium range missiles in the game, though in the stock version its launch range is crucially lower than AIM-7F’s, which is the ‘distant hand’ of the American F-14 and F-16, and even slightly lower than R-24 fire range due to the lower thrust. Considering that the second component of the MiG-29’s air-to-air guided weapon, the R-60M, is inferior to the AIM-9L in terms of its combat characteristics, we decided to equip the Fulcrum with and advanced missile of the R-27 family, the R-27ER with a radar seeker, which has a slightly higher power-to-weight ratio than the AIM-7F, but, given the shorter operating time of the on-board equipment, has identical fire range with the AIM-7F.

 

Missile

AIM-7F

R-24R

R-27R

R-27ER

ΣΔV, m/sec

950

735

720

1190

Weight, kg

231

244

253

350

Power-to-weight ratio, kg*p/kg

84

63

62

94

Guidance time, sec

75

45

60

60

Front aspect launch range (Vl=Vt=1M), km

43

33

35

44

Front aspect launch range (Vl=Vt=2M, N+10 km), km 

94

48

74

85

Maximal transversal acceleration, G

25

25

30

30

Сomparison chart of the parameters of R-24R, R-27R, R-27ER and AIM7F missiles

 

As you can see, the specific power-to-weight ratio of the R-27 is lower than the R-24’s. Unfortunately, we have no data about the reason for this, but we can assume that it is due to a heavier modular design.

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As for the R-27ER missile, it is important to note that, due to the better power-to-weight ratio among medium-range missiles, it outperforms the AIM-7F in acceleration dynamics, which improves its efficiency at medium distances. But at high altitude and at high launch speeds, the AIM-7F can outperform the R-27ER due to its longer guidance time.

The MiG-29’s available thrust

After the MiG-29 was added to War Thunder, we received many questions, why the static thrust of the aircraft in the game is lower than that declared by the manufacturer. There are many reasons for this, let us list the main ones.

 

Static thrust in full afterburner mode and no afterburner max speed are 8,300 kgf and 5,040 kgf. This thrust is given by the manufacturer for conditions of 0 m and 0 km/h, without taking into account the loss of thrust in the air intake ducts, power supply of onboard equipment and other factors that rise when the engine is mounted in the aircraft.

 

According to the main source about the aircraft (“Аэродинамика самолёта МиГ-29”) ", the static thrust of the installed engine in the full afterburner mode (see “ПОЛНЫЙ ФОРСАЖ”) is about 8,000 kgf, and in the maximum speed mode (see “МАКСИМАЛ”) about 4,900 kgf, which are 300 kgf and 100 kgf, respectively, lower than declared. The graphs below do not reflect the influence of the MiG-29 inlet devices, which are represented by the blow-in door of the critical section of the air intake duct at the inlet, as well as the upper air intakes. In the take-off mode, the blow-in doors completely block the axial inlet of the air intake to prevent solid objects from entering it and damaging the engine, and all air supply to the engine goes through small slots in the lower part of the door, as well as through the upper inlet. The engine in this mode operates with a lack of air and is not able to gain the thrust indicated in graphs 3.16 and 3.17.

 

At lower speeds the listed performance can not be achieved either. Due to the uneven mixing of flows from the upper and axial inlets, the air flow at the air intake is unstable, which results in the engine not having sufficient air supply. This phenomenon is described in the same source.

 

Furthermore, the engine is controlled and adjusted by a number of automatic systems, which may also cut thrust and engine speed.

 

As a result, the listed factors reduce the available thrust, affecting it most at lower speeds. The graph of the available thrust displays the full afterburner and full speed modes. Since our flight model operates the available thrust, this static available thrust is presented in the engine performance in the game.

 

The estimated available thrust also coincides with the estimates indirectly calculated from the graphs of the available longitudinal acceleration Nx (Fig. 5.3, 5.4), which, in fact, display the aircraft's thrust-to-weight ratio minus the required thrust. The amount of available thrust is also confirmed by the graphs of maximum speeds, graphs of rate of climb, graphs of turn rates, as well as the take-off rate from the moment the brakes are released and the available acceleration at the start (paragraph 8.3.2 of the source). At the moment, the aircraft in the game shows all these characteristics quite close to the declared ones or even slightly exceeds them.

 

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27 minutes ago, Stona said:

nitially, the ‘distant hand’ for the MiG-29 in War Thunder were the R-27 missiles with heat and radar seekers. The missile features slightly better maneuverability than other medium range missiles in the game, though in the stock version its launch range is crucially lower than AIM-7F’s, which is the ‘distant hand’ of the American F-14 and F-16, and even slightly lower than R-24 fire range due to the lower thrust. Considering that the second component of the MiG-29’s air-to-air guided weapon, the R-60M, is inferior to the AIM-9L in terms of its combat characteristics, we decided to equip the Fulcrum with and advanced missile of the R-27 family, the R-27ER with a radar seeker, which has a slightly higher power-to-weight ratio than the AIM-7F, but, given the shorter operating time of the on-board equipment, has identical fire range with the AIM-7F.


Well, it's too bad that currently the AIM-7F's thrusts are unrealistically overperforming according to the specification sheet. The AIM-7F is also outperforming the launch ranges stated in the primary source of its specifications sheet. @MiG_23M had just made a good recent post regarding that. 

 

Image

 

@k_stepanovich Will there be a response to this? 

 

Edited by DirectSupport
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Brother in christ, I don't want the r27er on the mig 29. If I want to play radar missiles I'll play a nato country. I'd much rather have the r73 on the mig 29.

 

Please consider removing r27E and giving r73 instead. The asymmetrical gameplay of a radar missile fighter vs a dogfighter is much more interesting. Instead you managed to make the dogfighter a superior radar missile fighter... SMH

Edited by zzoega
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1 hour ago, DirectSupport said:


Well, it's too bad that currently the AIM-7F's thrusts are unrealistically overperforming according to the specification sheet. The AIM-7F is also outperforming the launch ranges stated in the primary source of its specifications sheet. @MiG_23M had just made a good recent post regarding that. 

 

Image

 

@k_stepanovich Will there be a response to this? 

 

 

If something is believed to be over / under performing in some way and evidence that meets the criteria has been gathered, then a report should be made for the Devs to review. 

 

Discussion topics are not the way to go about reporting an issue if you believe it is one.

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I would argue that Mig29 was underperforming not because of the lack of good radar guided missiles (like R27ER), but the lack of a good radar.

 

Even though R27R's delta V is only 720m/s, it achieves that in 6s, while AIM7F requires 16.5s for it to reach 950m/s of delta V.

R-27R clearly wins out in close range fight when time to target is less than 10s, due to better acceleration and manuverability, which is the case for the majority of semi active radar missile launch, which happens under 10km.

 

The ACM mode on the Mig29 just refuse to lock the intended target most of the time, unlike NATO aircraft with reliable ACM

There was no need for R-27ER if the ACM mode on Mig29 can reliably track the intended target, it would be just as effective as other top tier aircraft.

 

In War Thunder players tend not to launch missiles at those extreme ranges due to

1. the ability to notch radar at any target versus radar positon.

2. missiles self explode after losing lock for 3s,(AIM7F/M specificly)

3. no chaff resistance against cold target. Just fly away without manuvering, one drop of chaff and then SARH missiles just goes straight up to the sky

4. Multipath causes the radar/missile to go into the ground when the target's radar altitude is under 100m, allowing players to dodge missile simply flying low without manuvering

 

While it is true that missiles who uses HPRF guidance performs the best when the target has high closure rate, their performance against cold target is too poor in game.

This means that any target who does not want to get missiled can simply turn 180 degree and missiles will lose track unless the range is exceedingly close, making the current long range missile useless.

 

To address each of the issue

1. add signal to noise ratio, when the target is at high altitude with little to no main lobe clutter, remove the ability to notch the radar without the deployment of chaff. Notching the radar also means showing aircraft's side towards the radar, which will significantly increase the Radar Cross Section, depending on the aircraft, the S/N ratio can improve 15-30dB, making the target stand out even in the notch. Players should be require to use both notch and chaff to defeat the radar/missiles.

2. make missile go ballistic and have the ability to re-acquire a target within seeker search cone. Alternatively, you can add flood mode in radar who has them to maintain a signal input for the missile, 

so the missile does not immediately get trashed when notched

3. Greatly improve chaff resistance against cold target. The target has to manuver to reduce closure rate while dropping chaff to defeat the missile, instead of simplyly running away in a straight line and drop 1 chaff to defeat it.

4. adjust Multipath altitude for each individual missiles, Monopulse missiles should have significantly lower multipath altitude, British sources states that skyflash can operate against target flying as low as 33m (100ft), AIM-7M H-build should have similar capabilities as well as AIM54A, R-24/27s

 

 

Due to these issues, Players most commonly deploy SARH at extremely close range (usually under 9km) to ensure that the target cannot notch the missile and increase the probability of kill. The range discussion in the post is most useless because the big map's seldom appearance and the ability to easily defeat missiles at range. If you attempt to use the full range of the missiles, players are just going to get punished because their missiles get trashed, when in reality, whoever find the target and launch the missiles within parameters first should be at an advantage. 

 

It is true that the closer the range, Pk of the missile increase, but in war thunder, the game mechanics allows 100% defeat of the SARH missiles if launched at range,

making it essentially 1 and 0, when the missiles/radar systems should be more potent and less likely to be defeated via simply turning 360 degree. 

 

These problems make any players who is remotely aware imprervious to radar homing missiles, (They see missile launch/RWR, turn 180 degree to cold to trash the missile and see it self explode, turn 180 again to recommit within 9km, not a single drop of chaff required), when in reality, the game should reward strategic plays, as well as rewarding players who attempts to extract further range from the missiles

 

If ACM mode on Mig29 is improved alongside with these issues, player will be more effectively in deployment of their SARH missile at range instead of launching them under close proximity when it is impossible to defeat the missile 

 

 

 

Edited by InterFleet
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That's cool. 

When will the flight models for the F-16 and MiG-29 be improved/finished? Neither are fun to use at the moment. F-16 should be an amazing dogfighter but currently turns like a brick with even a moderate amount of speed, a restriction not applied to any other aircraft as far as I know.

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46 minutes ago, Smin1080p said:

 

If something is believed to be over / under performing in some way and evidence that meets the criteria has been gathered, then a report should be made for the Devs to review. 

 

Discussion topics are not the way to go about reporting an issue if you believe it is one.

It was, way back and the response was that it wasn't a bug.

https://community.gaijin.net/issues/p/warthunder/i/RfdZe2n1F4OA

Edited by tripod2008
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3 hours ago, InterFleet said:

I would argue that Mig29 was underperforming not because of the lack of good radar guided missiles (like R27ER), but the lack of a good radar.

 

Even though R27R's delta V is only 720m/s, it achieves that in 6s, while AIM7F requires 16.5s for it to reach 950m/s of delta V.

R-27R clearly wins out in close range fight when time to target is less than 10s, due to better acceleration and manuverability, which is the case for the majority of semi active radar missile launch, which happens under 10km.

 

The ACM mode on the Mig29 just refuse to lock the intended target most of the time, unlike NATO aircraft with reliable ACM

There was no need for R-27ER if the ACM mode on Mig29 can reliably track the intended target, it would be just as effective as other top tier aircraft.

 

In War Thunder players tend not to launch missiles at those extreme ranges due to

1. the ability to notch radar at any target versus radar positon.

2. missiles self explode after losing lock for 3s,(AIM7F/M specificly)

3. no chaff resistance against cold target. Just fly away without manuvering, one drop of chaff and then SARH missiles just goes straight up to the sky

4. Multipath causes the radar/missile to go into the ground when the target's radar altitude is under 100m, allowing players to dodge missile simply flying low without manuvering

 

The Mig-29 is not underperforming in any way, missiles are beyond broken right now. An AIM7F can go AWOL while maintaining a solid lock and rather decide to turn 180° away from the target to teamkill while the Mig-29s missiles will hit and kill you even when notching, chaffing and successfully breaking radar lock. The "solid" lock on the F-16 is meaningless if your missile refuses to even fly in the general direction of said lock. Better/solid locking is in no way an advantage if your missile is powered by Skynet to do whatever it wants.

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3 hours ago, InterFleet said:

The ACM mode on the Mig29 just refuse to lock the intended target most of the time, unlike NATO aircraft with reliable ACM

I'm not saying it works correctly, but I've seen this argument thrown around a lot.

Most of the time, when I ask people if they use other mode besides ACM, they tell me no

 

MiG-29 radar isn't bad when you use SRC PD and select your targets from that screen, without having to use ACM

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I don't know if it's an xbox-exclusive issue or not but most of the time bringing radar missiles is useless because the aircraft radar modes refuse to acquire locks on anything. 

 

ACM doesn't work 90% of the time.

PD doesn't work 90% of the time.

Hell, even TWS doesn't work. 

 

And before anyone calls skill issue, ACM shouldn't fail to pick up a lone aircraft cruising by itself, not chaffing or notching or anything - Yet in my experience ACM has failed 90% of the time.

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That is weird, normally i have no difficulty locking targets using the PD mode on any plane, what changes for me is the parellel angle on witch a notch is performed by the locked aircraft.
With that said, the AIM-7M for sure has the problem of going stray even when a perfect radar lock is obtained. 

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15 minutes ago, WParcival said:

That is weird, normally i have no difficulty locking targets using the PD mode on any plane, what changes for me is the parellel angle on witch a notch is performed by the locked aircraft.
With that said, the AIM-7M for sure has the problem of going stray even when a perfect radar lock is obtained. 

 

You got any clips of that? Wanna see what people mean by AIM-7M go haywire. Never had a problem with that myself

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Just wanna say "thanks!"

This kind of threads should be weekly at least, and not only focused on last aircraft of the game

This REALLY should become a regular thing into news we've got about the technicals details in game.

Can we expect to see :
an IR All-Aspect comparison?
a Flight performance side comparison of 11.7-10.7 aircrafts?
a radar comparison?
an IR Rear-aspect comparison?
- an explanation of some calculations? (G's / structural resistances / ...)
- "... many ideas comes in mind"

this really could be helpful, for both players in game, bug-reporters on forum and specialized website, aswell as making Gaijin a bit less cloudy about their game.
(currently many things done, are still under heavy fog)

Edited by Cpt_Bel_V
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45 minutes ago, Cpt_Bel_V said:

Just wanna say "thanks!"

This kind of threads should be weekly at least, and not only focused on last aircraft of the game

I love that communication straight from the dev team has been ever increasing. I've greatly enjoyed k_stepanovich's explanations about some of the inner workings of warthunder and directly answering technical questions from players. Many thanks to the community managers and developers for doing this! 

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1 hour ago, Grimtax said:

 

You got any clips of that? Wanna see what people mean by AIM-7M go haywire. Never had a problem with that myself

Just a few examples of some weirdness. The M is the exact same as the F in game currently, and I've observed the same behavior in the F-16 ADF as well. 

Also, I'm aware how bad I am with the cannon..

Edited by Anxiety_Gaming
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24 minutes ago, Anxiety_Gaming said:

Just a few examples of some weirdness. Also, I'm aware how bad I am with the cannon..

I watched both videos, and in both you're launching AIM-7F using TWS radar mode

TWS is tracking with less intensity to the locked target, because it have to track others as well, this can explain the behavior of AIM-7F.

Have you tried using any Search/PulseDoppler mode for AIM-7F? tracking only one target therefore not illuminating others. :)

also, since you're using TWS, any aircraft moves can confuse launched missiles - this would mostly affects Fox-2's, since the tracker is simply following a signal.
in the 2nd video, you did several quick moves and we could see that your missile is somehow following the moves --> maybe those moves are too quick for the radar servo's to follow,... :dntknw:


 

Edited by Cpt_Bel_V
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3 minutes ago, Cpt_Bel_V said:

I watched both videos, and in both you're launching AIM-7F using TWS radar mode

TWS is tracking with less intensity to the locked target, because it have to track others as well, this can explain the behavior of AIM-7F.

Have you tried using any Search/PulseDoppler mode for AIM-7F? tracking only one target therefore not illuminating others. :)

also, since you're using TWS, any aircraft moves can confuse launched missiles - this would mostly affects Fox-2's, since the tracker is simply following a signal.
in the 2nd video, you did several quick moves and we could see that your missile is somehow following the moves --> maybe those moves are too quick for the radar servo's to follow,... :dntknw:


 

 

He didn't use TWS mode in neither of the videos.

 

The intensity of TWS has nothing to do with the tracking of the AIM-7F. That missile tracks by a target being illuminated (CW) with the radar, which does not happen while in TWS (not in game, at least, and not IRL if I'm not mistaken). The target is illuminated when it is locked and the missile is fired. The only kind of "tracking" that TWS can provide in game, currently, is through mid-course corrections. This is not very accurate and the missile still has to either illuminate the target itself (ARH like AIM-54A) or have the host plane's radar illuminate it when in the terminal phase (close to the target).

 

Aircraft will not confuse the missile if it is launched in TWS, they can only confuse the radar, which then will provide faulty data to the missile (a bit of a nitpick, admittedly). This doesn't even apply here.

 

Also, FOX-2 are on their own once they leave the rail. The only way TWS would "confuse" the FOX-2, is if it slaved it to somewhere else before launch (another aircraft, for example).

 

The moves have absolutely nothing to do with the missile tracking. It was following the changes in the flight path of the target, albeit more aggressive than what I would expect from an AIM-7F.

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40 minutes ago, Anxiety_Gaming said:

Just a few examples of some weirdness. The M is the exact same as the F in game currently, and I've observed the same behavior in the F-16 ADF as well. 

Also, I'm aware how bad I am with the cannon..

 

In the first clip, the missile first is a bit confused with either the AI, some unspotted targets in-between you and the intended target, and/or the F-5's below (don't know how likely this is, but I had that happen to me when firing against a background of multiple aircraft). Then it goes for the F-5's, which are flying towards you and so have a bigger doppler return. This (IMO) should not happen, since the F-5's don't seem to be anywhere near the intended target, especially considering how devs recently narrowed down the gates (or angle half sense?) for a lot of missiles.

 

In the second clip, the missile may have been initially confused a bit with the F-14 (VeRityyy) or some other possibly unspotted targets, but it seems to follow the intended target just fine (maybe a bit fucky/aggressive for an AIM-7F)

 

 

I haven't really had any problems with the AIM-7F/M on the F-16 (haven't flown the F-14 much recently) like that. In fact, I found the tracking to much more capable than what I expected.

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Cool read but gameplay-wise it makes no difference. As mentionned by InterFleet nobody uses SARH missiles at long ranges right now because A) most maps dont allow for it and B) it is extremely easy to evade a missile at long range, but near impossible to notch a missile below 10km, so why bother.

 

And as it stands the Mig-29 is underperforming not because the missile is bad - it's very good - but because it cannot use it effectively in realistic scenarios. Any plane carrying AIM-7's is able to instantly lock the target they want below 10km because their radar works properly, and their missile will be well on its way before the Mig is even done struggling with the radar to pick up its target.

 

The Mig-29 is not effective at long range because SARH missiles are too easy to dodge this way. It is not effective at medium range because the radar is too bad and it takes too long to lock the correct target. And it is not effective at close range because flare-60M's have nothing to do at 11.7 besides as a stock modification. This is kinda sad for a dedicated air-superiority fighter.

 

If it's going to get the MLD treatment and only get its R-73 when 5th gen fighters are released in a year or two, at least lower its BR to 11.3 (where the F-14 is still sitting after half a year) and give it the Mig-23's ACM which actually works. But remember the R-27R's were never the issue, and if the radar ever gets fixed the R-27ER will become a problem.

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