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Red tsunami

New Member
Registered Member
PL-15 is a more capable PL-12 essentially. It's not a long range missile. Meteor is sort of the halfway between modern mid ranges and the old long range AWACS/bomber killer missiles of the Cold War era. PL-15 at most has maybe 10? 20km?
Excuse me, do you mean that the combat range of PL15 is only 20km? Or I misunderstood what you mean.
 

ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
Excuse me, do you mean that the combat range of PL15 is only 20km? Or I misunderstood what you mean.

Sorry I meant 10km or 20km on the latest PL-12 in effective range. They are basically the same length with the PL-15 slightly wider and accommodating more fuel and various electronics. If factors are more or less equal, I can't see how PL-15 has 50km to 100km more range than PL-12 unless it is using a very different engine and fuel but if that were the case, the PL-12 modern variants would also be upgraded to that since it is all energy related anyway and makes no sense to not upgrade unless it is a matter of cost and complexity which I very much doubt since we're talking rocket motors with almost certainly the same complexity. The slight difference in fuel tank size would probably only amount to 20km or so tops in difference. The PL-12 of today is not the same as the PL-12 of 2000s.
 

siegecrossbow

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Sorry I meant 10km or 20km on the latest PL-12 in effective range. They are basically the same length with the PL-15 slightly wider and accommodating more fuel and various electronics. If factors are more or less equal, I can't see how PL-15 has 50km to 100km more range than PL-12 unless it is using a very different engine and fuel but if that were the case, the PL-12 modern variants would also be upgraded to that since it is all energy related anyway and makes no sense to not upgrade unless it is a matter of cost and complexity which I very much doubt since we're talking rocket motors with almost certainly the same complexity. The slight difference in fuel tank size would probably only amount to 20km or so tops in difference. The PL-12 of today is not the same as the PL-12 of 2000s.

Not to get off topic, but PL-15 uses a dual-pulse rocket engine. The NEZ is probably a lot longer than that of the PL-12.

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ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
Not to get off topic, but PL-15 uses a dual-pulse rocket engine. The NEZ is probably a lot longer than that of the PL-12.

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The way I see it, dual pulse doesn't improve a missile's range vs if that same missile didn't. It costs a bit more room and weight and is mostly meant to improve its speed towards the outer edges of its range.

The overall energy stored I think might even be superior on a missile without dual pulse. I'm assuming there would only be added complexity and more weight towards having dual pulse. The compromise is less overall energy but better energy management especially for BVR. Since BVR pretty much means the missile will have to pull some turns, climb and fall on repeat, a missile without a second push would not be able to afford to bleed off so much energy on turns and climbs as a missile that enjoys a second push would. I would imagine that PL-15 has a tiny bit more fuel to compensate, hence its overall larger volume (probably 10% more just by eye). The rest would be for better seekers and electronics since diameter is greater anyway.

Overall I'd say the PL-15 is obviously a better missile than the PL-12 even if we don't consider the electronics side. The energy management is superior and it is definitely worth it (otherwise it wouldn't be the more high end AAM in PLAAF). It's probably not going to be nearly doubling the range of PL-12. That would entail complete leaps in technology in many areas.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
Shame there is no additional information on the missile failed how long after takeoff. Brahmos uses duel-engine system: rocket to boost the missile to a high velocity, after which the ramjet kicks into gear. My opinion is that the ramjet probably failed to start or sputtered after starting.

How many brahmos missiles has India actually test fired? I can't imagine they have test fired too many of them because the most critical parts of the missile, the ramjet and radar seeker, are sourced from Russia. Also, why hasn't Russia acquired this missile despite investing heavily in its development? They did well over a decade to acquire the Su-30SM, which incorporates technologies developed for the MKI variant. Are they doing something similar for the Brahmos missile or did they purely use the Indians as lab rats?

Well, to be fair, why would Russia buy Brahmos when it’s just a modernised and range-nerfed export variant of their existing P800 Oniks?

But the Russians are not buying more P800s because it’s basically legacy dead-end tech for its primary intended function of anti shipping.

It’s fast, but not remotely as fast as hypersonic wave gliders; and it achieves its speed with legacy brute force methods, resulting in a huge lumbering missile with correspondingly huge signature. All of that means while it’s KP is going to be higher than traditional subsonics, you would still expect modern fleet air defences to be able to successfully intercept them with pretty high intercept rates. But being so huge, even the Flanker can only carry one, making saturation attacks prohibitive in terms of number launch platforms needed.

It’s was an outstanding missile for its day, and still good for what it is, but distinctly showing its age in the 2020s.
 

ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
So apparently Akash NG has gotten rid of ramjets. Reminds me of the FGFA fiasco ... "oh it's the best and will D.O.M.I.N.A.T.E asia and when it comes out, the PLAAF will not even show a shadow" ... to "not stealthy enough and we have standards which is why we rejected it".

"Ramjets are awesome and high tech and rare so Akash, good" ... :rolleyes: Was clear to all that ramjets on a SAM is a 1960s idea and something good until maybe 1980s at a stretch. These guys didn't understand it then and thought it was a badge of superiority. Now they've used that space and weight for more fuel.

The Kub missile which the Akash is reverse engineered from, is barely something the Soviets thought was good enough for the Cold War era. The Akash and the old KS-1 (or whatever it is called) are such antiquated designs for the modern era. At least the KS-1 was totally overhauled and redeveloped into the HQ-22. More than tripling the range into well beyond 100km.

Wonder why the Indians continue making Akash. Even a total redevelopment on KS-1 to HQ-22 levels, would make Akash a generation behind on short range SAMs. The size of Akash should allow it to be redeveloped into a medium ranged SAM anyway once modern fuel and rocket engines are used. It should be HQ-16 class even if it isn't HQ-22 or S-350 (mid range missiles) intermediates. It is sort of like constantly boosting and upgrading a Mig-21 in 2021, for it to occupy the frontline of your nation's short range layer AD.
 

siegecrossbow

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
The way I see it, dual pulse doesn't improve a missile's range vs if that same missile didn't. It costs a bit more room and weight and is mostly meant to improve its speed towards the outer edges of its range.

The overall energy stored I think might even be superior on a missile without dual pulse. I'm assuming there would only be added complexity and more weight towards having dual pulse. The compromise is less overall energy but better energy management especially for BVR. Since BVR pretty much means the missile will have to pull some turns, climb and fall on repeat, a missile without a second push would not be able to afford to bleed off so much energy on turns and climbs as a missile that enjoys a second push would. I would imagine that PL-15 has a tiny bit more fuel to compensate, hence its overall larger volume (probably 10% more just by eye). The rest would be for better seekers and electronics since diameter is greater anyway.

Overall I'd say the PL-15 is obviously a better missile than the PL-12 even if we don't consider the electronics side. The energy management is superior and it is definitely worth it (otherwise it wouldn't be the more high end AAM in PLAAF). It's probably not going to be nearly doubling the range of PL-12. That would entail complete leaps in technology in many areas.

I don’t think it would either. But I think that claims of 200KM is feasible against non-maneuvering targets like tankers/awacs. Recently USAF has claimed that AIM-120D has achieved the longest known air to air kill by a missile. Since the previous record holder was the AIM-54 at 100 miles (160 kilometers), the new record must have exceeded that by a solid margin and there is no reason that the PL-15, which is dimensionally larger than the AIM-120 series, couldn’t do the same.

Anyway we have gone way off topic with this.
 

Sardaukar20

Junior Member
Registered Member
It isn't much of a big deal in terms of actual weapon performance/competence. However, news of failure carries more weight with Brahmos since it is a weapon of major national prestige in India. Think of it as the Indian equivalent of J-20/J-10 crashing or DF-17 hypersonic missile failing to launch.
Since Indian media claims that the Brahmos missile is a weapon that China should fear. I wonder how many, if any are being tested in the high altitude areas? I have not seen or found any confirmation about this. At least the PLARF have tested DF missiles in Tibet for a couple of years already. Should this not be important for India if the Brahmos is indeed their strike weapon of choice against China?

I'm betting, that no Brahmos was ever tested at high altitude terrain. Not even India's jingoistic media have confirmed anything like this. So far, all Brahmos tests that I know of have been at sea, on the coast, or at low land.
 

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