Very cool this datalink capability of the Gripen. I especialy liked the part where one Gripen fires the Amraam and scoots away while the other guides it from far, far away.
A basic use of the datalink is "silent attack." An adversary may be aware that he is being tracked by a fighter radar that is outside missile range. He may not be aware that another, closer fighter is receiving that tracking data and is preparing for a missile launch without using its own radar. After launch, the shooter can break and escape, while the other fighter continues to pass tracking data to the missile. In tests, Gripen pilots have learned that this makes it possible to delay using the AMRAAM's active seeker until it is too late for the target to respond.
Just some questions:
Does this mean that the shooter doesn't have to turn on his radar at all during the entire scenario while the backend radar (which is providing the tracking info) has to maintain track throughout the entire engagment?
How will this differ from say a passive attack by an IIR?
I'm assuming of course, that in either case (IIR or ARH), the shooter is limited by the fact that he has to get close enough to fire a shot, which means that opponents radar could detect him. Also, the moment the target realizes that he is being "tracked" by enemy FCR, he'll do his best to break lock, in which case the snipe (if radar guided) will be ruined.
This actually brings me to a technical question:
Are ARH missiles truly "fire and forget"? Wouldn't the a/c that is tracking the target have to keep checking/emitting via radar (at least sporadically) to ensure that the missile is on course? IOW, the shooter can't just fire his missile after "lock on" and then turn tail and run can he? Is that another reason that huge scan angles are so important. Lets say an a/c gets lock on, fires the ARH missile, stops emitting, turns ~90degs, emits again to maintain lock all the while keeping the missile on course via datalink until the missile seeker goes active.
In the case of SARH missiles of course, they have to keep emitting continously
to maintain lock/track until the time the missile locks on.
Is this the main difference between SARH and ARH? Do I have this right?