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Author Topic: missiles and migs

posted 10-05-1999 08:38 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Can anyone elaborate on why the AIM-54 Phoenix missile was put out of service? Forgive me if I'm missing any obvious reasons, I do not know extremely much about missiles.
Anyone heard of the Mikoyan 1-42 or MiG-42? Seems to be a great competitor to the F-22 if Russia can find the funding to put it in production... how does it compare to the F-22? Does anyone know where more information can be found on it?

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posted 10-05-1999 09:59 PM     Profile for KMHPaladin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The only reasons that I could think of for the AIM-54 being removed from service (BTW, where'd you hear it, just curious) is that it's a relatively old design, they're very expensive (and I'm sure maintenance costs a pretty penny, too), and they are only used on one aircraft (the F-14 Tomcat, itself old and apparently soon to be replaced.) I guess they figure the AMRAAM can do the trick. Perhaps a costly decision if our Tomcat pilots have to wait until 20 miles to launch on incoming bombers as opposed to 100, but that's a bureaucracy for ya . Sorry, I don't know much about the new MiG design, though from what I understand it's not too shabby. The only question is money, and I don't know how much the Russians have put towards it now. Sorry.
Good luck.

- "The duty of the fighter pilot is to patrol his
area of the sky, and shoot down any enemy
fighters in that area. Anything else is rubbish."
Baron Manfred von Richthofen, 1917
- [email protected]

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posted 10-05-1999 10:20 PM     Profile for FalconF1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The mig1.42 is NO competitor to the F22. We dont even know if the 1.42 has ever flown for crying out loud.

And yep the Pheonix is out but there are plans in the works for a long range Amraam.

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posted 10-05-1999 11:01 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I was reading about the reason why the Phoenix missile was not included in Fleet command. They (the developers) said it is because it has been put out of service
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posted 10-06-1999 12:24 AM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The Mig 1.42 looks to have a radar cross-section the size of China. Speaking of China, so far they are the only country that is planning on producing the plane. Russia does not have the funds to produce it for their own use.
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posted 10-06-1999 04:12 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I don't know where you get your information from mbaxster, but as far as i know China has no intention of producing this plane, and the radar cross section will actually be rather low for an aircraft of this class, even without the use of RAM. The Chinese have pplenty of new, purely indigenous projects to be getting on with themselves.


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posted 10-06-1999 11:41 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Has nobody had about that new next-gen missle that's supposed to being near production by Russia (suppossed to be better in nearly all respects than the equilvalent NATO models?)
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posted 10-06-1999 12:31 PM     Profile for tomcat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I never heard it was taken out of service either, but I guess it would make sence if it was.. 1 million for an A2A missile must be too pricey, plus, F-14s don't really have to shoot down Soviet Tu-95's, 22's, etc. anymore, which is why the AWG-9/AIM-54 was given to Tomcats. And yes, I suppose it could be because (sigh) they're leaving soon, even if not totally until 2010. Maybe they USN has enough too, though. There can't be much demand, like I said. Or could be the F-14B/D's changing roles, from being CAPping fleet defenders to a strike role.
Posts: 298 | From: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada JCN:strafe_rag | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
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posted 10-06-1999 01:17 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey Ho,

I'm gonna leave the 1.42 alone but this AIM-54 data is 'interesting' to me. If anyone has a LINK I'd sure like to read more.

I've seen photos of Tom's a recently as the last year with the AIM-54 mounted, albeit typically singly, outboard on the gloves.

That said there are some plus' and minus' to the Phoenix weapons system as a whole.

IIRC, the last AIM-54 was bought in 1987 and built in like 1989/90. The typical deal is to 'close out for xx years shelflife' a production line with a HUGE buy of spares that helps both maker and service get through to the final end of the weapon life.

That's what's kept a similarly dated missile, the Maverick, going anyway.

Unfortunately, if nothing else, the motor will start to decay and if it develops cracks the burn will go 'crooked' and it's 50:50 whether it will fly forward or blow /up/ when you kick it off the rail.

Other things to consider...

The AIM-54 is called the Buffalo because it is So Slow in the midcourse. About Mach 3, IIRC.

Against a 'determined' (stupid) FQ AS-4/6 or Tu-16/22m threat that's okay because terminal performance is actually quite good from a high loft but against a fighter there is some margin for running-from-under the weapon.

Which may be part of what allowed the Iraqis to press us so hard and 'get away with it' at the edge of the NFZ, just this last errr, spring.

OTOH, in Desert Storm, the F-14/AWG system was called 'the broom' because Iraqi CAPs would literally run away from -their own airbase- rather than stand and fight. As soon as their RWR's picked up the Tomcats lookin' hard in their direction they were skedaddling in another.

AIM-7P and even AIM-120 (if the Cat ever gets it) simply don't provide the same level of /ranged threat/ pol IMO and this is bad.

Why? Well, in an era of less-everything in the SEAD department and yet a constant 'zero loss' requirement against increasing numbers of SA-10 and up, /quality/ AD missile systems; the ability to 'shoot into' (or across) an active surfacethreat is real handy, even if all's you do is ground the GLI or keep an Air Force from running to Iran.

Hence the 'standoff and still kick your teeth in' AIM-54 option is still Very Nice To Have.

With the recent installation of the DFCS mod, we can hope that the ol' Turkey will be around awhile longer (though looking at the 111 AMP program as an example of braindeadedness, that's no guarantee).

One of my BIGGEST gripes with the Super Bug (besides raw uglies... is the likely lack of effective supersonics performance whilst still lugging effectively a -shorter range- missile than the Euros are getting (and will sell, with Typhoon if not Rafale).

At that point Tomcats with a variable geometry, bags of gas, and the 110 'kick' through the Mach, will again become of paramount /air to air/ importance.

And those aircraft had better have at least a decent 'turn signal' push-off capability to break up any enemy equipped with R-77PD or FMRAAM (or even AMRAAM/77/MICA) class BVR weapons.

At the moment, that capability is the Phoenix and only the Phoenix, plus some luck.

Kurt Plummer

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posted 10-06-1999 01:31 PM     Profile for Wizard     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The long-range AIM-120 is AMRAAM development phase 3, whereas phase 1 is AIM-120C (with folding wings) and phase 2 is a general improvements program.
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posted 10-06-1999 04:57 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
On the fleet command FAQ (, it said "Q: Why is there no Phoenix missile in the game?

A: The Phoenix missile is being phased out. It will eventually no longer be a standard loadout on the F-14 Tomcat."
Perhaps I misinterpreted that as being put out of service, if they don't mean the same thing...
btw in the patch for fleet command they added the phoenix missile

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posted 10-06-1999 07:59 PM     Profile for Rick.50cal     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
One reason for converting would be that the Phoenix cost so much in mid 80's, yet the PK was extreemly low, on the order of 10% or so. Also, I heard that at the time the missiles's wiring had to be completely reworked due to failures on the line.


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posted 10-06-1999 09:36 PM     Profile for JimG   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'm pretty certain that a Phoenix was fired at Iraqi aircraft earlier this year in southern Iraq (Feb?). This was one of those incidents where the Iraqis would fly into the no fly zone and then fly back when challenged by US planes. I was dissapointed that the Phoenix didn't get a kill...out of range? or just missed? Also I think some slammers were fired at the same jets by USN F/A-18s.
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posted 10-06-1999 11:20 PM     Profile for Cinders   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

You are correct...they did take an AIM-54 shot and were to the extreme on their launch params with not really any chance of scoring. The incident was covered in Av Week. It sounded more like a case of severe frustration on the part of the aircrews than any real hope of hitting the target (especially since it wasn't your typical Phoenix type target).
Also, if memory serves me correct, early 54's were around the $1 M mark, but the later C model was in the $500k range...improved and nice cost reduction!

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