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Question Fighter defense vs S-300 SAM?

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  • Question Fighter defense vs S-300 SAM?

    I was reading about modern SAM systems like the Russian S-300 etc. They seem to be pretty capable systems. (especially when integrated with other AAA) The missiles fired by the S-300 are quite large. So I was wondering: would it be possible for a modern non-stealth fighter like a Rafale to use its air-to-air missiles to shoot down an incoming SAM missile if its RWR or MAWS warned the pilot? Or do A-A missiles only work against fighter jets?

    It would be nice if A2A missiles could also be used for active defense against SAM missiles (not SAM sites).

  • #2
    Not an area where there is much to go on. A WW2 Spitfire is credited with opening fire on a rising V2 but that's about as close as it comes
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #3
      I'd doubt it. First, most SAMs from launch to target / end of flight are under a minute. For example, an SA 6 would have a flight time to maximum range of about 30 seconds.
      The aircraft trying to hit such a missile would have to either get a radar or IR lock on it to fire a missile with any chance of hitting it. An ARM wouldn't work as most SAMs aren't active homing systems.
      So, an aircraft might have 10 to 15 seconds at most to engage such a target and that assumes it is coming at the aircraft from the frontal arc. A beam or tail approach would make engagement impossible.

      With the S-300 (this is round numbers, not exact ones but sufficient for this exercise) you have a range of about 100 miles and a flight speed of about 4400 mph. That gives a flight time of 75 seconds, give or take a few seconds to maximum range.
      So, realistically a fighter might have the same 30 seconds or less to engage the missile before it hit and much the same problems. In fact, against an S-300 engagement would be much harder due to its higher speed of flight.

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      • #4
        It would be far easier for modern non-stealth fighter to fire a surface skimming cruise missile at the completely immobile S-300 complex and call it a day.
        It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

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        • #5
          From what I have read, Israeli forces have developed electronic counter measures and decoys to counter it... after joint exercises with Greece and their S-300PMU-1. They acknowledge it poses problems but they don't see it as a game changer.
          "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
          Ernest Hemingway.

          "The more I learn about people, The more I love my dog".
          Mark Twain.

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          • #6
            It is claimed by the manufacturer that the IRIS-T can target a enemy Air to Air missile.
            you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

            CPO Mzinyati

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MarkV View Post
              Not an area where there is much to go on. A WW2 Spitfire is credited with opening fire on a rising V2 but that's about as close as it comes
              If I recall correctly the Spit pilot said he had time for a quick burst only that he didn't have time to fully zero. He was quite impressed with how quickly it accellerated away.

              Modern anti-missile systems are streets ahead of the old eyeball and squeeze the button way of doing things, but then again so are the missiles they are up against.

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              • #8
                So infrared A2A missiles can target SAM missiles, it is just a question of having enough time to react, get a lock and fire?

                Combining high offbore infrared missiles with a helmet-mounted display might work fast enough to do it. 30 seconds might be enough?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by F2000 View Post
                  So infrared A2A missiles can target SAM missiles, it is just a question of having enough time to react, get a lock and fire?

                  Combining high offbore infrared missiles with a helmet-mounted display might work fast enough to do it. 30 seconds might be enough?
                  It's more like 10 to 15, possibly less. First, for most of the missile's flight it's going to be very hard to visually detect due to range and it being hidden by below the aircraft as it rises. Unless there is a large smoke trail it will be very difficult to see at all. Haze or clouds would make that even harder.

                  So, the aircraft would have to rely on radar detection of the missile. It couldn't rely on the tracking signals from the launch site that only indicate the plane is being targeted. With many newer SAMs the tracking radar is some variant of track while scan technology that makes it unclear if a plane is being targeted. The fire control radar only illuminates the target in the terminal phase of flight. Other systems use a more ballistic trajectory for better efficiency with the SAM dropping on the target from above rather than rising to meet it directly.

                  So, you have a very, very small window of opportunity to spot and engage a SAM, seconds at most. Then there is the problem of speed. If the missile is closing at 4,000 mph + it may simply be going too fast to even engage. There are limits to how fast the target is moving with regard to the hardware and software guiding the missile.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    It's more like 10 to 15, possibly less. First, for most of the missile's flight it's going to be very hard to visually detect due to range and it being hidden by below the aircraft as it rises. Unless there is a large smoke trail it will be very difficult to see at all. Haze or clouds would make that even harder.

                    So, the aircraft would have to rely on radar detection of the missile. It couldn't rely on the tracking signals from the launch site that only indicate the plane is being targeted. With many newer SAMs the tracking radar is some variant of track while scan technology that makes it unclear if a plane is being targeted. The fire control radar only illuminates the target in the terminal phase of flight. Other systems use a more ballistic trajectory for better efficiency with the SAM dropping on the target from above rather than rising to meet it directly.

                    So, you have a very, very small window of opportunity to spot and engage a SAM, seconds at most. Then there is the problem of speed. If the missile is closing at 4,000 mph + it may simply be going too fast to even engage. There are limits to how fast the target is moving with regard to the hardware and software guiding the missile.
                    Possibly the answer isn't a counter missile but something relatively unsophisticated like a gun that fires clouds of steel pellets - hitting even only one such pellet at 4,000 mph plus is going to mess a SAM up
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                    • #11
                      Problem is you still need to see the missile in time.
                      you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

                      CPO Mzinyati

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think El Al has the right idea. Maybe a laser pod should be a standard for all planes going into harms way...

                        http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/israel...ry?id=24684650
                        Credo quia absurdum.


                        Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
                          I think El Al has the right idea. Maybe a laser pod should be a standard for all planes going into harms way...

                          http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/israel...ry?id=24684650
                          I believe you will find the system El Al has installed is only effective against short range manpad IR missiles.



                          The Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system is an evolutionary acquisition program that provides significantly improved defensive systems capability for DoD aircraft to counter the infrared (IR) man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) missile threat. The current LAIRCM system configuration [AN/AAQ-24V] consists of an ultra-violet missile warning sensor (MWS), a laser transmitter assembly, control interface unit (CIU) and processors to detect, track, jam and counter incoming IR missiles. The number of sensors and turrets per aircraft is determined by the size and signature of the aircraft. The system is fully automatic following system power-up.
                          LINK
                          Last edited by PitchRate; 08 Mar 16, 16:32.

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                          • #14
                            Sure but its a step in the right direction IMO. I expect to see military grade lasers to be in use to fry the seeker head in the near future.
                            Credo quia absurdum.


                            Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                              It's more like 10 to 15, possibly less. First, for most of the missile's flight it's going to be very hard to visually detect due to range and it being hidden by below the aircraft as it rises. Unless there is a large smoke trail it will be very difficult to see at all. Haze or clouds would make that even harder.

                              So, the aircraft would have to rely on radar detection of the missile. It couldn't rely on the tracking signals from the launch site that only indicate the plane is being targeted. With many newer SAMs the tracking radar is some variant of track while scan technology that makes it unclear if a plane is being targeted. The fire control radar only illuminates the target in the terminal phase of flight. Other systems use a more ballistic trajectory for better efficiency with the SAM dropping on the target from above rather than rising to meet it directly.

                              So, you have a very, very small window of opportunity to spot and engage a SAM, seconds at most. Then there is the problem of speed. If the missile is closing at 4,000 mph + it may simply be going too fast to even engage. There are limits to how fast the target is moving with regard to the hardware and software guiding the missile.
                              Thanks for your answer.

                              I have read that the infrared MICA missiles of the Rafale are integrated with the other sensors of the aircraft, providing continiously additional info.

                              I wonder if it would be possible to program the IR MICA missiles in such a way that they can launch autonomously against incoming SAM missiles as soon as the seeker detects it without the need for the pilot to approve?

                              It seems like you said that it is all about having enough time to react vs fast flying missiles. I am not sure but I think that normal countermeasures like flares and chaff are launched autonomously?

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