Viv S wrote:
No missile is launched physically, but the entire flight path of the missile is simulated from 'launch' to 'impact' and monitored by ground controllers(Nellis has possibly the most sophisticated Air Combat Tracking System in the world). The target aircraft can still break and attempt to get out of the missile envelope. And if the launch aircraft breaks lock or otherwise disengages, no kill is awarded.
If no missile is launched - nobody gets a missile launch warning. How stupid is that? The target aircraft is obviously a sitting duck. Otherwise 5 aircraft may pick up the missile launch and scream a warning over the network.
How would an aircraft detect a missile launch from the F-22 under real world conditions? It may eventually pick up the missile on radar or its exhaust/plume on IR sensors but at launch range? Very very unlikely.
With regard to the Red Flag RoE, if I understood it correctly, target aircraft are
warned of the incoming 'simulated' missiles(via the ground based tracking system). Ranges at which they are warned could vary I guess, depending on the trajectory vis-a-vis the target aircraft.
And under operational conditions even the best missiles have a hit probability of 50% or less. So are 50% or more of "kills" randomly allowed to "live" to simulate reality? Or is more than one missile launched? Naturally if a Raptor launches 2 missiles - that halves the number of kills it can have. No details of that in any reports. The game could well be loaded in favor of the Raptor. And we know damn well that if the performance was less than desired nobody is going to talk about it. Or they might say exactly the opposite as was done after COPE India.
Which missiles are we talking about when we say 50% hit probability? Aim-120C7? Aim-120D MICA? Or '99 Kosovo War Aim-120Bs? I've heard estimates for the C7 and D variants stated as high as 90%.
In the exercise, the missiles were rated with the same kill probabilities for both sides, so one could argue that the single Raptor 'kill' may not have occurred as well. The Raptor's theoretical kill ratio in any case will remain the same unless its opponents are equipped with a considerably superior weapon.
In addition, the Raptor's stealth allows it to retain the initiative. The Raptor pilot will be trying to get into an optimum firing position (perhaps into the missile's NEZ) while his adversary is still unaware of any danger.
This is not to say the Raptor is a bad aircraft. But the conclusions being reached from the little available information and non data like "European pilot felt bad but was good natured", "American pilot felt good about locking" etc are hardly enough to reach the sorts of hyperbolic conclusions I see being reached in fanboy media and transmitted on here.
There's enough information on the net to conclude that the F-22 is exceedingly hard to detect or track, while being itself being able to detect and track adversaries exceedingly well.
The Red Flag-like exercises that the F-22 are deployed in, are precisely to identify the 'novel' or 'unconventional' tactics that may be employed against it in actual combat. And all news that's been released so far suggests that until the F-35/PAK-FA/J-xx become fully operational, it will dominate the skies.
The thing with a 144-0 record is that if you halved it or even quartered it (i.e. disallowed three out of every four Raptor 'kills'), to compensate for extraneous circumstances, it would still be an extremely lopsided figure.