Military Planes and Fighters

By pjain      Published Sept. 11, 2020, 10:58 p.m. in blog Geo-Politics   

BVR Jet Fights : Key Lessons and Takeaways

Generations in jet planes

The term generation first appeared in the 1990s to make sense of the leap-frogging improvements in performance to jet fighter aircraft brought about through major advances in aircraft design, avionics, and weapon systems and proposes that a generational shift in jet fighter aircraft occurs when a technological innovation cannot be incorporated into an existing aircraft through upgrades and retrofits.

1G Piston-Engined Fighters, Subsonic Jets - 1945 to 1955

  • 1G early - High subsonic (1943–50): "little aerodynamic difference from the last generation of propeller-driven fighters. First- and second-generation turbojets; wood, fabric, and all-metal construction; optical gunsights; straight wing and straight tail. Mechanical control systems. Primitive ejection seats. Similar in capability to piston-engined fighter, thrust limited early jet engines, subsonic, rare radars, conventional armament (guns, bombs, rockets) :

  • 1G later - JETS PROPULSION - Transonic (1947–55): "Second-generation turbojets; radar gunsights; swept wings; generally have adjustable horizontal stabilizers. Early hydromechanical flight control systems. Include F-80, Me 262 Jet propulsion is the propulsion of an object in one direction, produced by ejecting a jet of fluid in the opposite direction. By Newton's third law, the moving body is propelled in the opposite direction to the jet. Reaction engines operating on the principle of jet propulsion include the jet engine used for aircraft propulsion, the pump-jet used for marine propulsion, and the rocket engine and plasma thruster used for spacecraft propulsion.

  • Chinese 1G 1950s to 1960s: J-5, J-6

2G 1955 to 1960 - Supersonic in level flight, Radar, first air-to-air missiles

Early supersonic (1953–60) Mach 1.3.

  1. Swept wings. A swept wing is a wing that angles either backward or occasionally forward from its root rather than in a straight sideways direction.

  2. All-moving tails

  3. Radar gunsights

  4. Introduction of air-to-air missile armament. Generally adaptable for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

  5. Third-generation turbojet engines.

  6. Early stability augmentation technology.

F-86, MiG-15, F-102, MiG-19, MiG-21, Gloster Javelin, Dassault Mirage III, Saab Draken

  • Chinese 2G 1970s to 1980s: J-7, J-8

3G Multi-purpose fighter-bombers 1960 to 1970

Supersonic (limited purpose) (1955–70): Supersonic aerodynamics, especially area ruling; fourth-generation turbojets; radar for search and fire control. Overreliance on air-to-air missiles based on unrealistic expectations. Mach 2.0. F-104, early model MiG-21, English Electric Lightning, early model Mirage III.

Include F-8, Su-15, Su-17/20/22, British Aerospace Harrier, Super Etendard, J-8II, Yak-38 * Chinese 3G. 1990s to 2000s: J-10, J-11

4G Maneuverability over speed 1970 to 1990

  • Early 4G - Supersonic (multirole) (1958–80)

    • Refined supersonic aerodynamic design, including canards and variable geometry wings
    • Fourth- and fifth-generation engines
    • FbW Stability augmentation
    • Mach 1.4-2.5.
  • Missiles and Armaments => look-down/shoot-down missiles

    • Beyond-visual-range missiles, Mixed-gun air-to-air missile (AAM) armament
    • wide range of air-to-surface missiles, bombs, and rockets, including precision-guided munitions.
    • Mix of cannon and missile armament, coupled with diverse air-to-ground weaponry.
  • Sensors, Radar, Targeting, Avionics, sensor fusion

    • pulse radar => Pulse-doppler radar
    • terrain-following radar for low-level high-speed flight
    • radar search and fire control; infrared sensors
    • heads up displays (HUD)
    • laser ranging and targeting
    • Radar (multiple target track-while-scan, look-down/shoot-down)
    • Sensor, and electronic flight control technology to generate highly maneuverable
  • F-105, F-106, F-4, F-5, F-111, - F-14, F-15, F-16,

  • late-model Mirage III, Mirage V, Mirage 2000, Mirage F1
  • MiG-23, MiG-27, SEPECAT Jaguar, Kfir.
  • F/A-18 Boeing
  • Panavia Tornado
  • AV-8B,
  • late-model MiG-21, MiG-29, MiG-31
  • Su-24, Su-27, Su-33, Yak-141,
  • Viggen
  • Mitsubishi F-2,
  • AIDC Ching-Kuo, Chengdu J-10
  • Chinese 4G. 2010+s: J-20 2016

4.5G Advanced avionics, limited Stealth 1990 to 2000

  • Later 4G with higher maneuverability

    • Supersonic multirole, high efficiency (1974–present[1990]) Combined the characteristics of the fifth-generation fighters with advances in propulsion
    • Highly agile aircraft that can be swing-roled for air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. Fifth- or sixth-generation gas-turbine engines;
    • engine thrust-to-weight ratios in excess of one
    • Ability to attain supersonic speeds without afterburning
    • Sustained high-G flight
    • Controllability below 70 knots at angles of attack exceeding 70 degrees.
    • High degree of energy efficiency.
    • Mach 1.8-2.5.
    • supercruise limited
  • Limited Stealth but less than 5G

    • reduced radar signature
  • Advanced sensors

    • Active electronically scanned arrays
    • continued reduced signatures or “active” (waveform canceling) stealth technology
  • Eurofighter Typhoon

  • F/A-18E/F
  • Su-30, Su-34, Su-35
  • Mig-35
  • Saab Gripen
  • Dassault Rafale
  • proposed F-15SE

5G Integrated avionics, high stealth 2000-

  • AdvancedAgility

    • some or full supercruise
  • High Stealth

    • All-aspect stealth with internal weapons bays
    • Extreme agility
  • Advanced Sensors, Radar

    • full-sensor fusion
    • integrated avionics

Mainly F-22, F-35

6G Advanced Experimental Aircraft

Extreme stealth, morphing capability, smart skins, highly networked, extremely sensitive sensors, optionally manned, directed energy weapons.

Early detection Radars to spot BVR targets even 50 km away!

The T-50 also has its own L-Band radars in the wings which theoretically would be effective in determining the general position of stealth fighters. However, their range is fairly limited and they are not precise enough to lock on weapons. Unlike the IRST, they have the disadvantage of making the T-50 highly observable on radar when activated.

The F-22 and the PAK-FA both have Active Electronically Scanned Array radars which are stealthier, are more resistant to jamming, and boast higher fidelity. The F-22 and PAK FA will be able to detect each other as they close within fifty kilometers—though which one first is a subject of debate.

PAK-FA is promised N036 Byelka AESA radar once it completes its development.

Long Range Missiles kill against 4G, ineffective against 5G Stealth

In U.S. Air Force exercises pitting F22 Raptors against F-15s and F-16s, long-range missiles (from F22s) ravage standard issue Fourth Generation fighters (F-16s) at distances at which they have little to no ability to detect and shoot back at 5G stealth fighters.

But when two 5G stealth fighters clash, the maximum applicable range will be much shorter as stealth supposedly is designed to render missiles ineffective against them with RCS of millimeters.

But all this is meaningless in integrated datalinked AWACs, and S-400 battle theatres where the effective radar area is now hundreds of km. Now the batteries of different range supersonic and hypersonic missiles can bear down on otherwise stealthy planes. This has resulted in F-35s being effectively grounded in Syria.

Modern jet fighters boast fifth-generation avionics and networking technology as a CORE part of latest 5G fighters. Intriguingly, networking with a sufficiently powerful low-band AESA radar, such as that on an E-2D AWACs plane, might allow radar-guided missiles to target stealth fighters! Outdated datalinks in older jets like F-22, F16s and F-15s don't have this capability.

VR Fights

High Energy/Long range targets vs Burn-it-all in Dogfight supermaneuvers

The most extreme maneuvers also cost a lot of a plane’s energy—and U.S. doctrine has always favored remaining in a high-energy state, and the F-22 appears like it bleeds energy more slowly than its Russian counterpart PAK-FA.

Similarly Indian Air force avoids using the Sukoi jets which have a very heavy oil consumption, limiting range in the far reaches of the Himalayas.

Beyond Visual Range (BVR) - Stealth Matters

Aircraft RCS
F-22 .0001 meters.
PAK-FA 0.1 meters…from the front, max of 1 m 3D vector nozzles shine!

Higher RCS profile of PAK-FAs may not be a tremendous limitation if the PAK-FA fights defensive engagements in which its opponents are at the edge of their radar net.

Visual Range (VR) Dogfights with Missiles to dominate

Having multiple A2A missiles is a modest edge, as future aerial clashes are likely to involve a lot of missiles flying back and forth, and likely more than one will be launched to ensure a kill. By the time PAK FAs are in operational units, it and F22 Raptor will have roughly equivalent short-range missile capabilities.

Heat profiles and IR detection and IR missiles

The T-50 boasts a modern Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) system with a maximum fifty-kilometer detection range. But the IRST does not offer the means to target other aircraft, it merely gives an idea of their general position.

The F-22 has a reduced heat signature, the bottom line is that in WVR combat, stealth fighters are still vulnerable to infrared guided missiles. Both F22 and PAK-FA can carry now two.

The F-22 currently has no IR system, though it is slated to receive one by 2020. However, the F-22’s engines nozzles are designed to reduce heat signature, diminishing detection range, while the PAK-FA’s engines are indiscreet. So, it’s less than obvious who will detect who first, given that the PAK FA may be radar observable within that range.

Russian aircraft had the advantage of superior short-range R-73 heat-seeking missiles that could be targeted via helmet-mounted sights: the pilot just had to look at an enemy plane to shoot at it. Importantly, the plane did not even have to be pointed at the target.

United States finally deployed its own equivalent of the R-73, the AIM-9X, in 2004, and F-22s are finally planned to have the capability to use AIM-9Xs by 2017. Helmet-mounted sights should come in 2020.

Optimizing plane in War Theaters with Datalinked C4

4G++ customizing - Low Cost Planes, Nearly 5G power in Local Theatres

Goal is to Integrate into "client" air forces - to get a tactical edge over "standard"

It had already become a common practice to create custom variants of fourth-generation jet fighters such as the Su-30, F-15 and F-16 for export clients, made to order with local avionics, weapons and upgrades that suit a particular air force’s doctrine and strategic priorities.

For example, Israel operates heavily upgraded F-15I Ra’am (“Thunder”) and two-seater F-16I Sufa fighters.

In 1981 it rigged its then-new F-15A Eagle air superiority fighters to drop bombs, and used these first-ever strike Eagles to destroy the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor.

$2 T cost of 4G, 5G planes, decades long Cycles

Plane Makers "BAN" Mods

Lockheed-Martin has mostly refused to allow major country-specific modifications to the F-35, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars foreign F-35 operators contributed to the aircraft’s development. There is, of course, an efficiency-based rationale, given the additional costs and delays of creating country-specific variants, and the fact that Lockheed is struggling to both produce F-35s fast and cheaply enough and build enough spare parts for the hundreds already in service.

Israel carves out EXCEPTION due to US Military-Industrial-Energy-Zionist Lobbying complex

It is no wonder Israel managed to carve out an exception with its political pull.

Though not an investor in the F-35’s development, Tel Aviv was nonetheless quick to sign on to the program with an initial order of fifty.

Local maintenance - saves tons of money, keeps rapid turnaround in wars

Israel was able to negotiate a depot-level maintenance will occur in a facility operated by Israeli Aeronautics Industries rather than at a Lockheed facility abroad - with its dedicated control of fast turnaround spare parts and under-the hood manuals.

Local production of Parts as part of contract

Israel negotiated a favorable deal in which billions of dollars worth of F-35 wings and sophisticated helmet sets would be manufactured in Israel, paid for with U.S. military aid.

F-117 Nighthawk Stealth used in 1991 Desert Storm

The use of Fly-by-Wire and advanced digital control systems allows design of non-traditional aerodynamic surfaces, that can greatly boost stealth profiles. An early example of stealth planes enabled by this was the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth.

Older Planes and Resources

3G fighters


3G fighters were developed in 1960s and 1970s.

2G fighters

1G fighters



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