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Thread: MiG-21 - still unpleasant surprise at Cope India exercise

  1. #1 MiG-21 - still unpleasant surprise at Cope India exercise 
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    Draft copy of the exercise Cope India report says:
    While the superb performances of IAF Sukhoi-30s were somewhat anticipated, the performance of MiG-21Bison came as a major “unpleasant surprise” to the USAF officials. It also validates the claim of the Russian officials that they are capable of successfully converting “second generation” late-model MiG-21bis fighters to “fourth generation combat platforms”. Inherently the significant positive attributes enjoyed by MiG-21s were their dog fighting ability in WVR (Within Visual Range) combat. Even the earlier models had a low corner velocity of 556 kilometers per hour and at Mach 0.5 had an instantaneous turn rate of 11.1 degrees per second. The MiG-21Bison with more powerful R-25 engines not only considerably bettered this performance but it may also be credited with “jackrabbit” acceleration, a very critical attribute in WVR combat.
    Something in-line to:
    http://www.amazon.com/Fighter-Performance-Practice-Unexploited-maneuverability/dp/8660210174/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356439329&sr=1-1

    Among many fourth generations attributes added to the IAF MiG-21Bison design, the incorporation of HMS (Helmet Mounted Sight) and high-off-boresight R-73RDM2 NBVR/WVR (Near Beyond Visual Range/Within Visual Range) AAMs (Air-to-Air Missiles) have turned it into a “Great Equalizer” in the WVR combat scenario. Conceptually a small number of MiG-21Bisons maintaining “radar silence” can be guided towards their aerial target by a couple of Sukhoi-30s by secure data links in accordance with MFFC (Mixed Fighter Force Concept). Upon entering into an WVR combat envelope the MiG-21Bisons armed with HMS and deadly NBVR/WVR missiles had the capability of destroying even fifth-generation fighters alike F/A-22 Raptor as assessed by high-profile Fighter Analyst Ben Lambeth of RAND Corporation. According to Lambeth “in visual combat everybody dies at the same rate.” F/A-22 also has to slow down if forced into a WVR combat scenario and loses the advantage of its super-cruise attributes. The situation further complicates if the IAF Sukhoi-30s have acquired the capability of providing target illumination for RVV-AE (AA-12 Adder) BVR missiles being launched from IAF MiG-21Bisons at extended ranges.


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    Weren't the Raptors designed with stealth in mind as their primary advantage over fighter planes, designed to be far harder to track on radar and as such have strike advantage before other combat planes can find them? The reason I am asking is I'm trying access whether any dog fighting ability of an updated MIG 21 airframe would really prove a threat to the new generation of American planes. Also planes like the Typhoon were intentionally designed to be artificially unstable so as to make for a far harder target to destroy, could an old but updated airframe really prove such a threat to such modern aircraft?


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