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MigBuster

Interview with Robert Hierl on the Mig-29 Fulcrum

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 Robert Hierl [Typhoon Test pilot] on his time with the West German Airforce on the F-4F Phantom and on the Mig-29 Fulcrum programs

 

 

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Looks like both sides based their IRCM on testing against their own flares only.............time to push the flare effectiveness values back up  :lol:

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His manner of speaking is very pleasant. His accent is very mild and his vocabulary and grammar are beyond typical native English speakers. He clearly enjoyed the F-4 despite its age and inferiority.

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As for having ineffective countermeasures due to designing them to decoy your own guidance systems, this has been a problem for a long time. From the loss of Gary Power's U-2 to the SA-2 to the present, countermeasures have sometimes not only been ineffective, but acted like beacons. I can say from personal experience that this extends down to submarines, sonar, and torpedoes. The cure to the problem is to acquire functional examples of the enemies weapons complete with manuals. Thanks to India natively speaking English, we have some great manuals on Soviet hardware properly translated to English.

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Ineffective counter-countermeasures is what i meant - sounds like R-73 filtered out Soviet flares but loved to go after NATO ones

 

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5 hours ago, MigBuster said:

Ineffective counter-countermeasures is what i meant - sounds like R-73 filtered out Soviet flares but loved to go after NATO ones

 

The soviets gave out the figure, that the hit chance of a R-73 during enemy flares use was around 60%. But only if the flare was already in the sky, when the missiles was launched. When the decoy was started when the missile was already on the way, the hit chance was around 80%.

 

Not all what Robert Hierl said, was really true. The number of flight hours of east german pilots was between 90 and 120 hours. That was less compared with west german standards. But if you count the number of missions which were flown, then the difference was not as big.

What he not mentioned was that the LSK still was in a operational finding phase, how to operate the MiG-29. The soviets sold only the plane, but not the new developed flight and combat doctrine.

And he said, that there was a east german pilot who learned english very fast, although the never had english lessons before. This is rubbish. English we learned in the school. And my own experience was, that after 4 years of learning english in the east german school, i was well prepared to live in south England for a longer time in 1991.

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20 minutes ago, Gepard said:

The soviets gave out the figure, that the hit chance of a R-73 during enemy flares use was around 60%. But only if the flare was already in the sky, when the missiles was launched. When the decoy was started when the missile was already on the way, the hit chance was around 80%.

 

Clearly he has assumed things over the years maybe.

What is certain is that there are and have been a lot of different flare types over the years as well as the different ways they can be employed so I wouldn't put much into a random 60% figure without knowing what they tested and what they actually had access to. 60% against the flare types they could test perhaps but that would never be valid across the board.

Also not going to dismiss anyone who actually took part in the exploitation (would assume Project GRACE) until the detail is declassified. (If ever)

In the 80s/ 90s the IRCCM was still very primitive.........If we were to go by the performance of the AIM-9M in 1991 (and although the low altitude could have affected it), the performance vs the flare types involved could be as low as 10%-20% against a MiG-25 in full afterburner - however the reality is there is nothing to say the R-73 would be any better in that situation.

 

 

 

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I have never heared, that a MiG-25 was able to carry flares.

The efficency of the seeker head of the R-73 was as good, that the Luftwaffe decided to cancel the participation of ASRAAM program and instead to let develope the completly new IRIS-T missile. It was said in the Luftwaffe, that the R-73 was one generation ahead compared with the american IR missiles of that time.

Maybe the technology of Stinger seeker heads which was captured in Afghanistan helped the soviets to make their missiles better.

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The R-73 had a bit more range, thrust vectoring and a wider field of view this of course doesn't verify the IRCCM outside of what Heirl stated - some of the versions used Cross Array types.

IRIS-T like ASRAAM and AIM-9X has a Imaging type seeker.........nothing like the R-73 or AIM-9M of that period.

Imaging (IIR) seekers are a quantum leap over those older types regarding IRCCM because they can actually see the aircraft shape in most circumstances and have the computing power.

Iraqi MiG-25s had and used Flares...........the Iraqi pilots interviewed have not tried to deny this.

 

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MiG-25 and flares:

Iraqi (and other exported, e.g. Libyan, Syrian) MiG-25PDS (and only this type, not the PD) have flare dispensers mounted in place of the wing fences.

System name is KDS-155, iirc. Two 15-shot magazines per wing, in tandem. The 50-mm cartridges are visible in this photo (on wiki)

5adf97ee5bb47_PDSKDS-155.jpg.49249cb0b72c733ee17ac6a97abda798.jpg

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