The Best Dogfighter with just Guns/Cannons?

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by fulcrum, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. fulcrum

    fulcrum Regular Member

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    Which Fighter is the best dogfighter with just Guns/Cannons?

    Why such a question? Because.. This is the question which has be answered if a plane can be considered as a top-notch well designed Fighter, rather than just a cheap BVR platform, or a fighter-bomber.

    F-35 seems to be a 5th Gen plane, but seems to have less T/W ratio. So it being an energy fighter is ruled out. Also having a stealth Airframe and going by the general design of American aircrafts, being a turn fighter is also ruled out. When Raptor, the beast of T/W ratio, Thrust vectoring and speed was dropped in favor of F-35, these were the reasons which were pointed too to continue the F-22 procurement. But since you wont find any taliban at 50k doing mach 1.5, naturally F-35 was given preference.

    I was stunned to learn that Su-30 had poor Dogfighting capabilities when compared to the Fulcrums, because of it's weight and G limitations. Only when it reached close to bingo fuel that it even began to match the nimble Mig-29s. This when compared with twin seat F-15k, which is a true energy fighter.

    This is my list of Dogfighters with guns(from good to worse)-
    1# Eurofighter
    2# F-22
    3# F-15k
    4# Mig-29A(can't sustain the fight long though)
    5# Rafale
    6# F-15c
    7# Mig-29k
    8# Su-27
    9# F-16c
    10# F-16a

    I don't think Su-30 will make it to top 10. Same goes for F-35.

    Factors taken into account for the Dogfight ranking- T/W ratio, G limit, Corner velocity and AoA.

    Conditions for above ranking are full fuel, full afterburner, no missiles, no altitude advantage just prior to engagement, similar pilot skill etc etc.
     
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  3. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Good work... my feelings exactly... But somehow I felt the Su-30MKI should also have been somewhere on that list... not on top though, but certainly somewhere on that list... it has Thrust vectoring for Goodness' sake, it ought to be more agile than many other of the fighters in that list...

    In the meantime, let's buy a few hundred Eurofighters :D:D:D:D:D
     
  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    I agreed with you fulcrum , Eurofighter remains top most dog fighter amongst the world in my opinion too and F-15 is also a very capable and top of the line.

    Regards
     
  5. fulcrum

    fulcrum Regular Member

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    Thanks Monk, A.V, Pintu.


    My thoughts exactly. But it does have a few major disadvantages like Range and is very prone to sanctions since a lot of nations are involved. This can be avoided if we go for Rafale, but have to sacrifice on Raw performance.

    Almost forgot the most importance plane, F-18. I have to admit, F-18E/F has got to be the worst 4 gen fighter if you take out the avionics. I suspect even worse than J-10. Clearly Su-30MKi beats F-18 in every department but Aesa.

    I'm somehow beginning to suspect Thrust vectoring is practically useless in a cannon dogfight. It's just logic, I mean if you lose speed you're dead meat, simple as that. Remember that American briefing during Red flag which got leaked out.. he was talking out of his ass on a majority of things in that video, but one thing he was spot on was on Drag during Thrust vectoring. TV creates MASSIVE DRAG on an Airframe like the Su-30!!! Extremely massive! It can be useful if you quickly want to point your nose/HMD at an opponent and fill his ass with R-73s, but after you do that you're as good as dead if he somehow escapes those multiple R-73s. You'll lose altitude and energy and drop like brick.
     
  6. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Thrust vectoring is underrated... everybody would like to have it, but not many have perfected it... so the ones who don't have it start rubbishing it... I'm not saying that the Americans don't have Thrust Vectoring, they do have it but only that it is massively underrated as a weapon...

    Agreed that it creates drag, but we have to remember that the kids who were sent to Red Flag were all kids, and the Fornoff fellow even admitted to this and said that in the hands of experienced pilots the Su-30 was better than the F-16, F-15 etc. Of course, much behind the F-22, but that's a different story altogether...

    Also, the Thrust to Weight ratio of the Su30MKI is about 1.07/1.08 which is not bad... sure its not as good as a Euofighter which has 1.15+ but its definitely enough for it to accelerate at 90 degrees, so I suspect its also good enough for it to minimise the effects of drag at full throttle...
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I dont know if we will ever get to dog fighting with cannons in this age of BVRs and therefore most fighters are designed that way. MKI will not qualify as it is an air dominance fighter not a dog fighter.
     
  8. fulcrum

    fulcrum Regular Member

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    Maybe you're right, maybe it is underrated. But given my experiences during Su-30 performances in Aero India 09, and Russian engineers when asked about the advantages of thrust vectoring, they mentioned only fooling pulse doppler radars as its purpose in Battle(i was like WTF??), I'm beginning to suspect it is overrated.

    Also Su-30 Mki has an G rating of only 7.5G(I think) when compared to most fighters of 9+. So if you thrust vector when going at medium or high speeds, you're going to literally break your Flanker. And dogfights always begins with high velocities and reduces to medium velocities. Lower stall velocity Dogfight isn't the norm in Dogfights, whether with or without missiles.

    And 1.07 is for just 4 AA missiles and ??fuel. If you take out the missiles and fuel her up to the brim then the thrust to weight reduces to 0.93. Compare this Eurofighter which has around 1.14 with full fuel. Also EF is a small and nimble plane, which means lesser drag. Ofcourse like I said, EF doesn't carry much fuel and thus has lower range.

    Yup.. Air dominance but not designed for dogfighting(although it can dogfight to an extent). While F-22, EF-2000 are dogfighters and Airdominance fighters.
    There is always the chance of a cannon dogfight, that's why there are internal cannons even on 5th Gen stealth F-22.
    ----

    Here's something I found-
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Wonder where our own Tejas will stand?
     
  10. fulcrum

    fulcrum Regular Member

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    ^Nice question. Our Airforce was already screaming about Tejas being underpowered. So my guess is Around .9
     
  11. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    The age of dog-fighters is over. I assume this discussion is only for academic purposes. :wink:
     
  12. fulcrum

    fulcrum Regular Member

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    Yup, the dogfighting age is over. But it doesn't mean there won't be any cannon dogfights in this current age. If there isn't going to be any then they wouldn't go through the trouble of designing top notch dogfighters like Eurofighter and the Raptor with internal cannons.
    And given the fact that western BVRs are advanced than Russian BVRs(we use Russian BVRs), but ironically it's the west which is still developing dogfighters is something we should seriously think about.
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    No history has always proven that dog fights cannot be considered gone. The US learnt it in Vietnam. But yes its chances are very low. I dont know if the F-22s would want to get into a dog fight with anyone since it would like to use its stealth and kill the enemy even before the enemy realises its around.
     
  14. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Dogfighting gone?...I thought TACDE was established for improving ACM skills. Cannons are the most reliable weapons on the flight platform. The missiles can fail can be jammed, fooled by counter measures. Nothing comes like putting the lead into the other guy's plane. Well dogfighting differs from one platform to another. The major considerations of dogfighting machines are made in AoA, TWR, Acceleration, Turn radius, turning time, and the Pilot skill along with his energy management capablity. Every aircraft has its advantages and disadvantages. It is upto the pilot skills on how he uses these advantages against his opponents. The pilot must know the limitations of his aircraft vis-a-vis his enemies to obtain the results. Bolcke's rule never talks about the aircraft capability, he talks only about how to use the strengths of ones own aircraft and how to change the strength of the attacking force's aircraft against itself. The same is written in No Guts No Glory.
    The days of dogfights is not over. It has entered a new age that is all. If you see all the battles and the greatest aces they would have always used an inferior aircraft when compared to the opponent and emerged victorious.
     
  15. fulcrum

    fulcrum Regular Member

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    Here are the thrust to weight ratios of different fighters. Normally people calculate thrust to weight under different conditions(50% fuel, 100% fuel, 50% fuel + Nominal loads etc etc). This is an incorrect way to compare T/W ratios of Aircrafts because different Aircrafts carry varying amounts of fuel, & the weight of the missiles also vary. So here is an accurate precise T/W ratio with a constant fuel weight. It can't get any more precise than this.


    See next page for T/W ratios

    Su-30MKI's & MKK's empty weight was taken as 18.4 tonnes. The published 18.4t could be the empty weight of Su-30MKK. MKI's empty weight is confidential and no open source data exists. MKI is a bit heavier than MKK due to canards, weight of new engines, weight of new radars, new avionics etc. So it's safe to assume that T/W ratio is a bit lower than what is given in the above data.
    J-10's empty weight is confidential, so an estimate was taken. The actual empty weight could be a lot more than the estimate. So the actual T/W ratio could be lower than what is given above.
    Rafale's Empty weight was taken as 9.5 tonnes. If the 2 seater(9.7 tonnes) and the carrier version(10.5 tonnes) was taken into account then T/W ratio reduces.
    LCA can carry only 3 tonnes of fuel. So take the rest of the weight as missile weight.
    JF-17 can carry only 2.3 tonnes of fuel. So take the rest of the weight as missile weight.
     
  16. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Thank you fulcrum but I still think the Su Series have more TWR when compared to the American fighters.
     
  17. fulcrum

    fulcrum Regular Member

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    No, you can calculate it yourself. Like I said, this is the most unbiased T/W yet. F-15k's empty weight is only 14.3 tonnes while that of MKI is(or greater than) 18.4 tonnes. This empty weight difference is the reason why eventhough they both have similar engine thrust, F-15 wins.
    F-22 engine is in a different league. Its engine produces 35,000 lbf while that of MKI's & F-15's engine is only around 29,900. The most powerful fighter jet engine as of now is the F-35 engine which produces 40,000 lbf. But since it only has one engine, it's T/W ratio is not that high.
    Forgot about F-35...


    See next page for T/W ratios
     
  18. John

    John Guest

    can you calculate the Sh's T/W ratio
     
  19. fulcrum

    fulcrum Regular Member

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    Empty weight of Shornet is 30600. It uses F414 engine which produces a max thrust of 22000 per engine. So it's T/W ratio comes to 1.148 under a fuel weight of 3.505 tonnes.
     
  20. advaita

    advaita Regular Member

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    Existence of missiles (BVR or othewise) implies that there is more then just the pilot that is doing the fighting. Pilot in this scenario becomes for want of a better analogy the leader of the fighting package.

    We should be equiping our fighting packages with such weapons that enhance there ability not restrict the ability of whole package to just that of the Pilots/planes singular skill of handling g-forces.

    This however does not imply that cannon shooting is entirely dispensable. It can be the proverbial twig that supports the drowning person. With these packages being as costly as they are, cannon fight may be compromised upon but only to some extent.

    though my knowledge on the matter is limited still request you guys to indulge me.
    I like this thread. Great job.
     
  21. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Spitfire :p

    In the 4.5-5 gen, I think the Mig-29OVT should take it.
     

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