Chinese AAM


Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
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If this was meant to an extreme range, fire and forget, air to air missile intended to attack large non-maneuverable targets like AWACS, Would one not expect it would have some aerodynamic lifting surfaces to help extend its range?
in addition to what totoro said, the 2013 study did also mention demands for long range missile would be to hit maneuvring targets, and to enhance the missile's maneuvrability it would have reaction jet thrusters.

I doubt this thing would have anywhere near the maneuvrability of a 5th generation SRAAM, but given the downwards terminal phase and the kinetic energy it provides, combined with reaction jet thrusters, I can see this being used against far more than only AEW&C or tankers. In the diagram in the study they even explicitly include a b-2 and an f-22 on the other side of the missile's receiving end.
 

AlyxMS

Junior Member
Registered Member
If this was meant to an extreme range, fire and forget, air to air missile intended to attack large non-maneuverable targets like AWACS, Would one not expect it would have some aerodynamic lifting surfaces to help extend its range?
If the missile is "semi-ballistic" as people suggests, it will spend most of its flight time in altitudes where atmosphere is very thin(20000m+?), wings would provide very little lift with added drag and weight.
But the lack of lifting surfaces would make it very hard for the missile to maneuver once it returns to mid-low altitude, I wonder if it is enough to lock on a "maneuvering AWACS".
Although judging from the graph of that research paper, it will fly outside of the detection cone of the AWACS, maybe the AWACS won't be alerted in time to maneuver.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
If the missile is "semi-ballistic" as people suggests, it will spend most of its flight time in altitudes where atmosphere is very thin(20000m+?), wings would provide very little lift with added drag and weight.
But the lack of lifting surfaces would make it very hard for the missile to maneuver once it returns to mid-low altitude, I wonder if it is enough to lock on a "maneuvering AWACS".
Although judging from the graph of that research paper, it will fly outside of the detection cone of the AWACS, maybe the AWACS won't be alerted in time to maneuver.
Control surfaces are not the only way to maneuver a missile, most SAMs and SRAAMs all use TVC to aid agility.

The S300, HQ9 and many other top end SAMs all have minimal control surfaces, but no one doubts their ability to engage agile fighter targets.

The reason most BVRAAMs still rely heavily on control surfaces is because they can only achieve their highest range figures by turning into gliders (so TVC would obviously not work as there is no thrust to vector).

Going by the size of this beasty AAM, and the ballistic engagement route, I would say the odds are good the biggest limit to its effective engagement range is going to be targeting, rather than range. As such, for the range figures hinted, it should still be under powered flight. That will make the missile significantly more dangerous to whatever it is shooting at.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
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Control surfaces are not the only way to maneuver a missile, most SAMs and SRAAMs all use TVC to aid agility.

The S300, HQ9 and many other top end SAMs all have minimal control surfaces, but no one doubts their ability to engage agile fighter targets.

The reason most BVRAAMs still rely heavily on control surfaces is because they can only achieve their highest range figures by turning into gliders (so TVC would obviously not work as there is no thrust to vector).

Going by the size of this beasty AAM, and the ballistic engagement route, I would say the odds are good the biggest limit to its effective engagement range is going to be targeting, rather than range. As such, for the range figures hinted, it should still be under powered flight. That will make the missile significantly more dangerous to whatever it is shooting at.
Also, I feel the need to mention again that the 2013 study (which I translated a few pages back) explicitly mentions the use of reaction jets on the missile to increase manoeuvrability against highly manoeuvrable targets.

The USAFs aborted JDRADM had a similar (but smaller) configuration to the PL-XX and it too was to field reaction jet systems for increasing end game manoeuvrability.


So this missile is definitely large, but it shouldn't be considered "only" an anti AEWC missile but rather a general super long range AAM. The 2013 study even has an F-22 on the receiving end of it in the kill chain graphic, which should put little doubt in people's minds as to what this thing is meant to be capable of intercepting.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
If the missile is "semi-ballistic" as people suggests, it will spend most of its flight time in altitudes where atmosphere is very thin(20000m+?), wings would provide very little lift with added drag and weight.
But the lack of lifting surfaces would make it very hard for the missile to maneuver once it returns to mid-low altitude, I wonder if it is enough to lock on a "maneuvering AWACS".
Although judging from the graph of that research paper, it will fly outside of the detection cone of the AWACS, maybe the AWACS won't be alerted in time to maneuver.
It is meant to have reaction jet system.

Read the 2013 study which I attached/posted it a few pages back, reply #244 in this thread.
I translated the key parts from it as well.

So it isn't just meant to be able to hit an AEWC but also able to hit a stealthy, highly manoeuvrable target like a stealth fighter as well.
 

Hendrik_2000

Brigadier
From skywatcher blog VLRAAM. I guess this mean the end of third offset or whatever the name is. Just excerpt click the link for the rest of article. Now we know why there are so many variant of J11B,J16,J11D,J15. And why they are priority when it come to WS10 allocation J10 can wait
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China is testing a new long-range, air-to-air missile that could thwart U.S. plans for air warfare
The hypersonic missile reaches can take down aircraft from 200 miles.

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November 22, 2016
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lt.cjdby.net

PL-XX

The J-16 carries two VLRAAM for a test firing.

In November 2016, a Chinese J-16 strike fighter test-fired a gigantic hypersonic missile, successfully destroying the target drone at a very long range.

Looking at takeoff photos, we estimate the missile is about 28 percent of the length of the J-16, which measures 22 meters (about 72 feet). The puts the missile at about 19 feet, and roughly 13 inches in diameter. The missile appears to have four tailfins. Reports are that the size would put into the category of a very long range air to air missile (VLRAAM) with ranges exceeding 300 km (roughly 186 miles), likely max out between 250 and 310 miles. (As a point of comparison, the smaller 13.8-foot, 15-inch-diameter Russian R-37 missile has a 249-mile range).

This is a big deal: this missile would easily outrange any American (or other NATO) air-to-air missile. Additionally, the VLRAAM's powerful rocket engine will push it to Mach 6 speeds, which will increase the no escape zone (NEZ), that is the area where a target cannot outrun the missile, against even supersonic targets like stealth fighters.

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lt.cjdby.net

VLRAAM

The VLRAAM is one of the world's largest air to air missiles. Its other advanced features include an AESA radar, a infrared/electro-optical seeker (under the yellow-orange cover on the forward section above the nosecone), and satellite navigation midcourse correction.

The new, larger missile's added value is not just in range. Another key feature: its large active electronically scanned (AESA) radar, which is used in the terminal phase of flight to lock onto the target. The AESA radar's large size—about 300-400% larger than that of most long range air-to-air missiles—and digital adaptability makes it highly effective against distant and stealthy targets, and resilient against electronic countermeasures like jamming and spoofing.

The VLRAAM's backup sensor is a infrared/electro-optical seeker that can identify and hone in on high-value targets like aerial tankers and airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) radar aircraft. The VLRAAM also uses lateral thrusters built into the rear for improving its terminal phase maneuverability when engaging agile targets like fighters.

 
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Deino

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But just a question ... This report said the missile was actually fired. Do we have proof for that. IMO it was only a captive test.
 

Equation

Banned Idiot
Here is some more news on it.

China successfully fires radical 300+ mile range hypersonic missile that would put key parts of US air operations at risk

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The missile is about 28 percent of the length of the J-16, which measures 22 meters (about 72 feet). The puts the missile at about 19 feet, and roughly 13 inches in diameter. The missile appears to have four tailfins. Reports are that the size would put into the category of a very long range air to air missile (VLRAAM) with ranges exceeding 300 km (roughly 186 miles), likely max out between 250 and 310 miles. (As a point of comparison, the smaller 13.8-foot, 15-inch-diameter Russian R-37 missile has a 249-mile range).


This missile would easily outrange any American (or other NATO) air-to-air missile.

The VLRAAM's powerful rocket engine will push it to Mach 6 speeds, which will increase the no escape zone (NEZ), that is the area where a target cannot outrun the missile, against even supersonic targets like stealth fighters.

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The VLRAAM is one of the world's largest air to air missiles. Its other advanced features include an AESA radar, a infrared/electro-optical seeker (under the yellow-orange cover on the forward section above the nosecone), and satellite navigation midcourse correction.

Large radar able to detect stealth targets

The new, larger missile's added value is not just in range. It has a large active electronically scanned (AESA) radar, which is used in the terminal phase of flight to lock onto the target. The AESA radar's large size—about 300-400% larger than that of most long range air-to-air missiles—and digital adaptability makes it highly effective against distant and stealthy targets, and resilient against electronic countermeasures like jamming and spoofing.

Another researched VLRAAM function is datalinking; the papers called for the VLRAAM to be embedded within a highly integrated combat networks. It is envisioned as just part of a larger wave of networked solutions aggregated through multiple Chinese systems. For example, a J-20 stealth fighter wouldn't mount the missile (the VLRAAM is too large to fit in the J-20's weapons bay), but could use its low observable features to fly relatively close in order to detect enemy assets like AEW and C aircraft (which are vital to gather battlespace data for manned and unmanned assets, but subsonic in speed and less able to evade missiles). Then before breaking off contact, the J-20 would signal a J-16 400 km (249 miles) away (outside the range of most air to air missiles) providing it the data needed to launch the VLRAAM at the target. This would offer China a longer range version of present U.S. tactics that involve using the fifth generation F-22 as a sensor for 4th generation fighters as the "shooters."



Putting US refueling and electronic warfare planes at risks messes with all US Air operation strategies

The gains in range and speed of the VLRAAM pose another significant risk to the concepts of the U.S. military's "Third Offset." U.S. operations are highly dependent on assets like aerial tankers, dedicated electronic warfare aircraft, and AEW&C. For example, without aerial tankers, the relatively short range of the F-35s would become even more of a liability in long range operations in the South China Seas and Taiwan Straits. Similarly, without AEW&C aircraft, F-22s would have to use onboard radars more, raising their risk of detection. Even for stealthy tanker platforms like the planned MQ-25 Stingray drone and proposed KC-Z tanker will be vulnerable to VLRAAMs if detected by emerging dedicated anti-stealth systems such as the Divine Eagle drone and Yuanmeng airship
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Bltizo

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Here is some more news on it.


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nextbig future is not a very good source just for the record.


It's good to occasionally post other articles just to see what they're saying but some of the claims they're making are beyond what we know to be true and too many are just opinions as well.

That is also true in some cases for Eastern Arsenal blog posts (sorry Skywatcher).
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
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But just a question ... This report said the missile was actually fired. Do we have proof for that. IMO it was only a captive test.
I think the only strongest indication we have of it is the "poem" suggesting that a new type weapon had successfully made its first "kill"... and then barely a few days later pictures of this new PL-XX were released... so people put two and two together.
 

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