In the 1950s and 1960s, when the F-4 Phantom came out with its ability to use Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles like the AIM-7 Sparrow, the United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Navy (USN) declared that dogfighting was obsolete, that from thereon, air-to-air combat was going to be limited to whichever side had the better system. That was why both branches stopped training Air Combat Maneuver (ACM) training to their pilots then.
Then the Vietnam War came along and problems with the use of BVR missiles started coming out. First, there was the engagement problem wherein you need to be able to identify your opponent before shooting it down. If you can’t ID it, then you can’t shoot it down, so the F-4s had to fly in close to ID the aircraft. Second came the reliability issues wherein the Sparrows weren’t being maintained very well, and it also turned out that their electronics were a bit too sensitive for field use so they ended up having high failure rates after launch.
Then came issues like maneuverability (i.e., the early Sparrows couldn’t maneuver to follow the evading fighters), ground effect (i.e. low flying aircraft were harder to track), etc. which made the Sparrows even more unreliable in combat.
Continue reading Air Combat Maneuver In The Missile Age
After the unbelievably huge success of Desert Storm, the whole world was regaled by stories of how the US military rose up from the ashes of its defeat in Vietnam, & became the overwhelming, almost god-like force it was in Iraq.
Vietnam was such a traumatic experience for the US military, that succeeding generations of US military personnel vowed to win the next war, & to never again put itself into such a situation, or to at least win the next guerilla war.
Fast forward to 2006: The Democrats have won the House Majority, elected there by the American people on the basis of their platform to pull troops out of Iraq.
Continue reading Iraq: America Loses Another War
The GMA Administration, or the country in general, has been making significant strides in the war against terror, particularly against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), where a number of their leaders have recently fallen under the gun.
As a result of these successes, though, a main issue has come up: Most of these leaders had significant reward money on their heads. A recent ASG leader that was recently confirmed to have been killed by the AFP, for example, had a $5M reward price for information leading to his capture, or death. That’s almost 250 Million in Philippine Peso, a VERY large sum of money in the country.
So, the question is, who gets the money, or what to do with it?
Continue reading Who Gets The ASG Reward Money?
With the PhAF (Philippine Air Force) set to buy at least 6 Attack Helicopters soon, here are just some of my thoughts:
* Aside from the price, maybe we should also look at the overall package each manufacturer will be bidding. Items like:
– TRAINING (Pilots & Maintainance personnel)
– SPARE PARTS
* I was thinking that perhaps we can ask the bidders to also include TECHNICAL DRAWINGS for the parts, but w/ only 6 aircrafts to buy, am not sure if the manufacturers will aree to that.
Continue reading PhAF Purchase Considerations
While reading some of the posted items about the our Peacock-class Corvette’s radar and gun range, I just came across the problem of detection by Radar because the “Horizon Distance”.
A typical Radar system is limited in terms of detecting objects close to the surface of the earth because of the curvature of the Earth. It is ideal for detecting aircrafts flying at altitude, but for ships, or very low flying aircrafts, its detection range would be limited by the height of the object being observed, and the height of the Radar Transmitter/Receiver (T/R).
A typical formula for Horizon Distance I found in the web (click here) is HD = SQRT(H)*112.88 where:
HD = Horizon Distance in km.
H = Height of the Observer
112.88 = Formula Constant
Continue reading Radar Detection and The Horizon Distance