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MiG-23 versus western fighters Do you agree with Yefim Gordon?

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  • aerospacetech
    Rank 5 Registered User

    #41
    Martin, I think you are underestimating the F-4E Phantom generally, and remember that Navy F-4J used a true pulse doppler radar (AWG-10/10A), which in the 10A incarnation was a reliable, digital system with lookdown and a range around 60nm for a 5 sq m RCS target.

    I'll try to post a detailed post later...
    Available now: my book Hawker P.1103 and P.1121: Camm's Last Fighter Projects from Blue Envoy Press

    Comment

    • Pit
      Pit
      Arrogant SOB

      #42
      Some interesting details I found from ex-US Phantom flyers:

      One source gives 153kW as PPeak for the APQ-100, 0.4-2.0 uS pulses, PRF
      1060, 500 or 330, 3 x 3 deg. beam (F-4C). From the same source, the APG-59 is
      credited with 1 kw, but that's Pavg, with a 44% duty cycle. Avg.
      detection range on a 5m.^2 target is 60nm. I don't know if that's for a
      50%, 90% or other % probability of detection (F-4J).
      It did work better over water, but apparently it worked somewhat over land, although not as well. The PD mode did increase acquisition and lock-on ranges considerably, head-on. And, once real shoot-down missiles became available, the capability was apparently much appreciated. The Brits were quite happy with Skyflash. I think we've got an ex-navy F-4 jock or two on the newsgroup, so hopefully they'll comment.
      About AWG-10/APG-59 of F-4J Phantom-II

      Guy Alcala from rec.aviation.militar

      Martinez, I think you can try to found the specific F-4E's APQ-120 operations manual thorugh a FOIA enquiry (contacting the USAF), and the same could be said about the APG-59 of the F-4J, sadly is very probable that you have to paid something for that, so ntil now, this is the better I could hel you.

      As Aerospacetech said, AWG-9 was a problematic set, it had 60nm range in LOOK UP (no LD!) against a 5m2 RCS target (don't know detection probability) as quoted by N. Friedman and other sources. Navy Crews of the Vietnam war reported that the set was "not so hot" after some carrier landings, and we could say the same about Sapfir-23D-Sh (MiG-23M), as being quoted in one long three part article in Russian Journal "Mir Aviatsii" about the history of the 33rd IAP in the 16VA, they commented (the pilot) that Sapfir-23D-Sh was sometimes so tempramental that the official quoted range of 40km against a MiG-21 could go down to just 5km due to difficult tunning, from machine to machine (!). This should be corrected after or in other examples, but don't know by sure, I like pilots quotes because they show you the "truth above what the theory must be", sometimes from my little experience, it could be very good, or even better than what the manual said (MiG-29's N-019), and I think other times it could be the contrary...just logical...

      I would not understimate US IRST technology, while also could not overstimate it, Aerospacetech could tell you some interesting things about the F-8 Crusader's IRST, he also have good technical information about it.

      We should remind also that F-4E have generally a better EW systems, AN/ALR-47 (digital RWR with CRT, years ahead of anything in the USSR and Europe back then) and different ECM pods (did any other MiG-23ML/MLD than those Iraq's one using Remora, or 23-19 experimental using Gardeniya ever used one?) that could be very useful. Combat and pilot experience have said as a general concensus that Sirena-3M (SPO-10) isn't that very good (is close to junk accord an ex-MiG-21 pilot I get contact, not knowing exact version) and such equipments are important, don't you think?...MiG-23MLD with Beryoza is good, but Beryoza appeared in the 80s!...

      Don't forget also TISEO, more than 600 were produced for F-4E, while not being a day/night system (is a tellescopic TV system) and not being that all hot for searching targets (wide FOV is not better than Mk1 eyeball), in narrow field FOV and cued by pilot using GCI/radar it could get ID of contacts very far away, as far as Tp-23/26 could do, but irrespective of target's hemisphery. Aero could give you some figures, but some known ones are:

      Quoted identification ranges are F-111 at 40 nm, C-130 at 35 nm, and F-5 (mean) at 9.9 nm
      Not that bad

      I think both aircrafts have pro and cons, I mentioned my thoughts in the past message...

      Regards

      Comment

      • seahawk
        F-4 Phanatic

        #43
        You are not comparing apples to apples.

        MiG-23 ML and MLD should not e compared to Vietnam era F-4s. The APQ-120 itslef has gone through some Changes that increased the normal tracking range considerably. Against fighter sized targets 35+nm were the norm, only when used in look-down mode the range dropped considerably, but that was no different on other fighters of that area and surely no different on the Safire-23.

        Furthermore the AIM-7 went through a constant evolution, when comapred to the AA-7 R-23 version it was comparable in the AIM-7E2 at best. R-24 was better though.

        R-60 was outranged by the AIM-9L as well, while the R-13 was no real challenge for any contemporary AIM-9L.

        Then the F-4 had the better RWR gear and it had combat tree, which coul interogate the IFF of MiG fighters.

        Finally by the 1980ies the F-4 engines were no longer smokey.
        Member of ACIG

        an unnamed Luftwaffe officer:"Typhoon is a warm weather plane. If you want to be operational at -20C you have to deploy the F-4F."

        Comment

        • Pit
          Pit
          Arrogant SOB

          #44
          Then the F-4 had the better RWR gear and it had combat tree, which coul interogate the IFF of MiG fighters.
          Not the Parol-2D equipped ones (MiG-23MLD). I agree with the RWR thingie, but anyway, the ALR-47 didn't shows detailed fighter's radar information (it says "fighter", not "F-15/MiG-23" or so, like ALR-69, and others do), this at least could be do with Beryoza (MiG-23MLD).

          R-60 was outranged by the AIM-9L as well, while the R-13 was no real challenge for any contemporary AIM-9L.
          R-60MK (if you want to compare apples to apples) was more maneuverable and have a minimum shorther range than AIM-9L. Seeker is a little better in AIM-9L (better in overall in AIM-9M), but both could offer ALASCA performance (more limited in the R-60MK, ok), anyway having 6 missiles in a Flogger (thanks to dual launchers for R-60MK) is a cool thing...

          I agree with you in that AIM-7E2 and R-23R are comparable. MiG-23M could have a little flexibility advantage thanks to R-23T. TISEO and Tp-23/Tp-23-1 could be assesed as similar giving the aircraft some nice capabilities. If there is clear day (that means light) and you have a radar contact (or GCI help, again TISEO is NOT good to do independent searchs), you can boresight TISEO and try to get a visual Id of the target. In a MiG-23vsF-4 using TISEO for possitive target detection would be as difficult as hell. MiG-23 offers very little frontal aspect, and isn't so smoky as MiG-29, so visual ID should be TRULLY difficult. But if you're lucky and you get it, you can boresight the CW Illuminator and made a Sparrow fire sequence without turning the APQ-120 at all. Just boresight the CWI, turn it on, and send a missile...that would give MiG guy a hard time due minimum launch time...

          With a MiG-23's Tp-23/Tp-23M you could do some nice tricks as well. Tp-23 is working irrespective of day and night because of IRST nature, but off course would not be as hot in a clouded environment (neither TISEO), nor against the ground (neither TISEO, unless you have trully nice RIO that can pick up target in such a hell situation), it would works better in a rear-hemisphery situation and for good performance as with TISEO, you would need GCI to "give you a hint" of where the target is. You get a quick IR strobe, and then try a shot with your R-23T in uncaged mode, due to the nature of the attack, the bandit would never get a hint of what happened. You could also use it to support radar in heavy ECM environment. Both sets are not that useful in ACM. I think both could be very good used if operated in their own terms.

          I have offered all types of pilots quotes for the APQ-120 range, if you could support your opinon/afirmation that APQ-120 was modified with a quote/source, I would be very grateful, please indicate us, range against a x RCS in what environment (Look up/Look down), tracking range, and anything you could try to give us to support this "fact". I will be very pleased.

          Not all the F-4E again had Combat Tree, and you need possitive "where the target is" information (that means azimut and elevation settings) to use it, and would only works in the gimbals of the radar. You would most expect a MiG-23 coming from a stern-conversion, and no, Combat Tree can't see backwards. Against Parol-2D is useless again.

          Again main thing in BVR comparation is that APQ-120/AIM-7E2/AIM-7F combo can't do LD/SD works, while Sapfir-23/MLA/MLA-2 and R-23R/R-24R could do it and did it in combat (Afghanistan against low flying Iranian choppers in 1988 when 2 MiG-23MLD splashed them with R-24R)...

          A question Skyhawk, what missiles did the Bunder Luftwaffe used with F-4F in the 80s?, I have heard they still used AIM-9B (!)...did LW F-4F had any type of IFF interrogator?

          Regards

          Comment

          • PhantomII
            Phantoms Phorever

            #45
            AIM-9B was the missile in use on Luftwaffe Phantoms until the mid 1980's I believe and then the AIM-9L (as well as ALQ-119, AGM-65 and other such improvements) came along.

            Of course, the AIM-120 and APG-65 were integrated in 1994 or 1995 I believe (1992 was when testing of AIM-120 equipped F-4F's began).
            Fox-4!

            Comment

            • Peter G
              Rank 5 Registered User

              #46
              West Germany used the AIM-9B FGW.1, which is sometimes called AIM-9F. F-4F entered service in 1974.

              Between 1980 and late 1983 they were fitted with pevision for AIM-9L (although the missiles weren't delivered till the mid 1980s.

              Comment

              • martinez
                Rank 5 Registered User

                #47
                Originally posted by Pit
                and we could say the same about Sapfir-23D-Sh (MiG-23M), as being quoted in one long three part article in Russian Journal "Mir Aviatsii" about the history of the 33rd IAP in the 16VA, they commented (the pilot) that Sapfir-23D-Sh was sometimes so tempramental that the official quoted range of 40km against a MiG-21 could go down to just 5km due to difficult tunning, from machine to machine (!).
                It makes me smile pointing at this article right now. Appearantly, you take it very seriously as a source of reliable information then you should be aware of few facts how things worked in those "good" old days. Dozens of similar articles published in aviation magazines have been written by former politruks, people with let say no technical education, but access to classified documents/photos from the military archives. I hope it is not necessary to explain what a politruk "political agitator" was doing in the military. After fall of communism they found a way how to earn money, they began to write their own memories from those old days. Not to mention those people became editors of various air magazines very quickly. Let me please comment the article.
                The biggest shortcoming of russian radar technology at that time was not the overweight, nor the technological imperfection, but the fact that it was treated, cleaned and serviced by a pure spirit and guess what the ground personal was doing with it. The common habit was to drink it with a slice of lemon in the glass, but at first you had to filter it through the bread. You got a drink that taste better than "vodka" they used to say or the service day being a holiday, not a workday as it should be.
                Mig-23M in 35.IAP
                You could simply trace down those drunkards by checking the radar reliability on each machine and guess again what Russians are famous for?
                If you read his(authors) comments about the sapfir-323 radar again you will agree. That fool does not know what he is talking about. Anyway, I hardly consider the article as a reliable one, it contains many weird things I cant understand. What do you think about taking off with wings folded back to 72 deg? Woooow I thought, Im sure that this is technically impossible when I read the Mig-23MF pilot instruction manual.....etc.
                Most of seniors from the airforce I know like to remember those "good" old days. I would like to recommend you the movie HIGH BLUE WALL or "Vysoka Modra zed", its a Czech movie from the fifties talking those days.
                Ive never heard Flogger pilots complaining about reliability of Sapfir-23 radars in the CzechoslovakAF. Of course the performance of a radar fitted with hundreds of vacuum tubes was somehow affected by their lifetime. The true is that radar performance varied, but not in that range as mentioned in russian article. That was not only ridiculous but sad at the same time, because that is how rumors are spread over.

                Originally posted by Pit
                and different ECM pods (did any other MiG-23ML/MLD than those Iraq's one using Remora, or 23-19 experimental using Gardeniya ever used one?) that could be very useful. Combat and pilot experience have said as a general concensus that Sirena-3M (SPO-10) isn't that very good (is close to junk accord an ex-MiG-21 pilot I get contact, not knowing exact version) and such equipments are important, don't you think?...MiG-23MLD with Beryoza
                is good, but Beryoza appeared in the 80s!...
                The Sirena-3M was a simple device giving the pilot very basic situational awareness (bearing to threat emitter, irradiation mode, relative range to the emitter- signalized via LED on the panel and beeps). I agree that Russians underestimated this area, but anything is happening due to a reasons. I think they believed the GCI should provide the situational awareness, so more complex RWR mounted on the aircraft will be useless. Particularly this military doctrine influenced many soviet fighters making them GCI dependent and not sufficiently protected when flying over enemy territory. What about the SPS-141 being installed on the Mig-23BN, was it worth according to your sources?

                Originally posted by Pit
                I like pilots quotes because they show you the "truth above what the theory must be", sometimes from my little experience, it could be very good, or even better than what the manual said (MiG-29's N-019), and I think other times it could be the contrary...just logical...
                Hmm, what makes you think the figures inside the radar maintenance manuals are pure theory? I appreciated those pilot quotes as well, they mentioned the range of the first contact between 20-30nm against Mig-21 sized target. That`s enough to make a picture about the APQ-120 radar range, isn`t it?
                <Find a job you like doing, and you'll never have to work a day in your life>

                Comment

                • martinez
                  Rank 5 Registered User

                  #48
                  Originally posted by seahawk
                  You are not comparing apples to apples.

                  MiG-23 ML and MLD should not e compared to Vietnam era F-4s....
                  Read it again, we are comparing it against Mig-23M or MF.
                  <Find a job you like doing, and you'll never have to work a day in your life>

                  Comment

                  • flex297
                    Senior Member

                    #49
                    Originally posted by Pit
                    Flex, actually /a lot/ of F-4 had an IRST before MiG-23M's Tp-23 ever appeared.

                    F-101 Voodoo, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-104 Starfighter, F-106 Delta Dart, F-8 Crusader and early F-4B/C Phantom, all used IRST.

                    F-4C used the IR Hughes S-71N (AN/AAR-4), it was replaced by aerials of a new RHWS in overhaul and in the rest of the Phantoms.
                    Well, the thing might have simply not worked according to expectations. I cannot imagine removing a valuable IRST from any aircraft, no matter what year it is..
                    Last edited by flex297; 31st October 2005, 08:46.

                    Comment

                    • crossiathh
                      Rank 5 Registered User

                      #50
                      Originally posted by martinez
                      Landing the Flogger has been considered as tricky. Pilot had to maintain proper AOA and speed before touching the runway. With a little surplus of speed or higher AOA, the high-lift landing configuration caused the aircraft to bounce back into the air.
                      This is another point of the discussion about the MiG-23.
                      While this is also supported by an older article of the ukrainian "Aviation & Time" this strongly depence on different point of views and has clearly to be seen in relation to the MiG-21 in different aspects.
                      The landing speed of the MiG-23 was quite lower compared to the MiG-21. If converted MiG-21 pilots keep their behaviour (most important higher speed) with their MiG-23 they will expirience and had expirienced this "jumping". This was supported by the probably higher AoA at touch down of the early MiG-23 Variants (MiG-23S/M/MF/BN) with their different landing gear configuration.

                      Nonetheless, the landing behaviour of the MiG-23 is described as excellent compared to the MiG-21 by former LSK/LV pilots.

                      Comment

                      • seahawk
                        F-4 Phanatic

                        #51
                        Originally posted by Pit
                        A question Skyhawk, what missiles did the Bunder Luftwaffe used with F-4F in the 80s?, I have heard they still used AIM-9B (!)...did LW F-4F had any type of IFF interrogator?

                        Regards
                        AIM-9Bs is correct. But that was more because of political reasons, then technical reasons.
                        Member of ACIG

                        an unnamed Luftwaffe officer:"Typhoon is a warm weather plane. If you want to be operational at -20C you have to deploy the F-4F."

                        Comment

                        • Airsande_plus
                          Rank 5 Registered User

                          #52
                          Originally posted by crossiathh
                          This is another point of the discussion about the MiG-23.
                          While this is also supported by an older article of the ukrainian "Aviation & Time" this strongly depence on different point of views and has clearly to be seen in relation to the MiG-21 in different aspects.
                          The landing speed of the MiG-23 was quite lower compared to the MiG-21. If converted MiG-21 pilots keep their behaviour (most important higher speed) with their MiG-23 they will expirience and had expirienced this "jumping". This was supported by the probably higher AoA at touch down of the early MiG-23 Variants (MiG-23S/M/MF/BN) with their different landing gear configuration.

                          Nonetheless, the landing behaviour of the MiG-23 is described as excellent compared to the MiG-21 by former LSK/LV pilots.
                          In fact, landings described in Aviation & Time magazine reffered to the MiG-23S version, which had ample stability problems during landing approach.

                          The later MiG-23 have been commonly described as much easire for landing than the MiG-21, and comparable with the MiG-29 (MiG-23 drivers converted to the MiG-29 say the MiG-29s approach speeds and behavour is almost the same).

                          Comment

                          • aced_inc
                            Senior Member

                            #53
                            The Kfir was mainly designed for the Ground Attack role. I dont see any reason to compare it with the likes of F-15's F-16's and Mig-23's

                            Comment

                            • MiG-23MLD
                              Senior Member

                              #54
                              Today i found the MiG-23ML max turn rate of 16.7 deg/sec and its max sustained turn rate of 14.1 in the MiG-23 manual i am so glad but i wonder why Yefim Gordon did not mention it?
                              Last edited by MiG-23MLD; 30th August 2006, 13:02.

                              Comment

                              • bring_it_on
                                2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

                                #55
                                Nice going flogger , do you have the entire manual with you or just some info?? Please upload the entire thing if possible!!
                                Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                Comment

                                • Sens
                                  Rank 5 Registered User

                                  #56
                                  Originally posted by flex297
                                  Well, the thing might have simply not worked according to expectations. I cannot imagine removing a valuable IRST from any aircraft, no matter what year it is..
                                  Think harder and you will find several reasons related to mission and 'battlefield'.
                                  F.e, IRST has become a vital tool for AFs to overcome the hazards of ECM at first.

                                  Comment

                                  • Sens
                                    Rank 5 Registered User

                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by MiG-23MLD
                                    Today i found the MiG-23ML max turn rate of 16.7 deg/sec and its max sustained turn rate of 14.1 in the MiG-23 manual i am so glad but i wonder why Yefim Gordon did not mention it?
                                    Related to what speed and height? That inst. turn rate is worse compared to the Kfir C2, when the sust. turn rate is better.

                                    Comment

                                    • over G
                                      Muttley!Dooo sooomething!

                                      #58
                                      To me it looks that these are double-sided, objective conclusions... I am not surprised by Flogger's acceleration rate, what really surprises me is that its turn rate above 5000m is better than F-16A.. I did not expect that at all..
                                      well to me that isnt a big surprise, but i think that is more a match

                                      -small, post, little time, u wont see me here at least in 2 weeks more, lol-
                                      "It won't let me put a weapons system on it, even when I can see it visually through the canopy. annoys the hell out of me."

                                      -Best joke ever

                                      Comment

                                      • ELP
                                        ELP
                                        Rank 5 Registered User

                                        #59
                                        Great. Too bad the Flogger visability outside of the cockpit is bad. Re an F-4, If it is the 80's, I would take the extra set of eyes of the backseater and AIM-9L. As for the R-60, better than nothing but you will have to be in gun range in the chase. The garbage BVR avionics ( poor man machine interface... hey! nice clock! ) of the MiG-29A, show what is wrong with the MiG-23. Again here, you have to be a switch flipper in the F-4, but at least you have a backseater to share the workload. Sparrow not being anything great means BVR to BVR shortfalls on both are even up. ( bad ).

                                        IRST availability for the MiG-23s in the 80s varied also. Can't speak for anyone else, but the source stuff I saw, showed more (up close and personal) ... photos where the Soviet PVO MiG-23s were more likely to have IRST.

                                        Depending on the era, the 80's deployment of smokeless F-4 engines varied. Engine shops were always busy. Sometimes jets went up with one smoker, and one smokeless. Trivia: At idle on the ramp, an F-4 with one smoker in it and one smokeless has weird harmonics going back and forth as each engine sounds slightly different. Seen this more than a few times.

                                        Comment

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