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Bltizo

Lieutenant General
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As I said in BVR engagement, there are 4 variables that matter. Missile range is not determined by advertisement but limited by the other three variables. In other words, you can't target what you can't track. The other three variables such a relative RCS, sensor range and ECM are limiters to the effective range of the PL-15. On those score, I believe the F-16V has the advantage and I will walk them through to argue that the F-16V has an overall qualitative advantage.

First up is RCS. The F-16V has a RCS of 0.5 - 1m2 depending on sources. In comparison, the J-11 (derived from SU-27) has anywhere between 15-25 m2 RCS. The J-16 while better with composites and coating is probably at 5 m2. I can be convinced by data. The J-10B/C, I have no idea but unlikely to have better RCS than the F-16V. So with similar radar capability, a F-16V can detect at a greater distance of +49 % against a 5 m2 target than the 5 m2 target can against the F-16V.

Secondly, the APG-83 is a 4th/5th generation AESA radar depending on how it is defined. It inherited the features from the APG-77/APG-81. What features are handed down is unknown but I will speculate on some of them. The APG-81 is known to use highly advanced TRs which determine the duty cycle and power output. This will give the APG-83 an antenna gain advantage The DSP is the filter which gives the APG-83 a receiving gain advantage. The FGPA will give the APG-83 a processing gain advantage. The combined gain will likely give the APG-83 a tracking range advantage against Chinese AESA and clearly against non AESA radars. This is adding onto the RCS relative gain.

Thirdly, RCS advantage automatically gives a jamming advantage.

View attachment 52680

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As shown in above chart, if the RCS of an aircraft is reduced to 0.75 (75%) of its original value, then (1) the jammer power required to achieve the same effectiveness would be 0.75 (75%) of the original value (or -1.25 dB). Likewise, (2) If Jammer power is held constant, then burn-through range is 0.87 (87%) of its original value (-1.25 dB), and (3) the detection range of the radar for the smaller RCS target (jamming not considered) is 0.93 (93%) of its original value (-1.25 dB). Jamming is basically a J/S equation.
The F-16V's AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS is an integrated EW system with DRFM capability. The AN/ALQ-211 has a cooperative engagement capability with the AN/ALE-50 towed decoy system which automatically works out which system will engage based on the nature of the threat. I don't believe Chinese ECM systems have decoy deployment capabilities.
. .
In summary, the PL-15 range capability will likely than not be a non event because likely BVR engagements will be in the 100 KM zone due to sensor capability and ECM in play. Given the F-16V advantages outlined above, it will more than likely have the first detect and first shot advantage whether against J-11, J-16 or J-10B/C.
In any modern air battle (including BVR) between contemporary air forces it is about how the system of systems play out. Fighter vs fighter comparisons at the individual plane or even flight formation level are useful for thought experiments but not likely too relevant for complex air campaigns.

Not only are we looking at sortie generation rate (number of air bases or secondary air strips and ability of those facilities to generate sorties in light of opfor offensive counter air), but also the force multipliers each side can get up into the air including AEW&C, standoff jammers and tactical jammers. Those factors obviously apply for not only BVR engagements but all A2A engagements overall.
 

Brumby

Major
In any modern air battle (including BVR) between contemporary air forces it is about how the system of systems play out. Fighter vs fighter comparisons at the individual plane or even flight formation level are useful for thought experiments but not likely too relevant for complex air campaigns.

Not only are we looking at sortie generation rate (number of air bases or secondary air strips and ability of those facilities to generate sorties in light of opfor offensive counter air), but also the force multipliers each side can get up into the air including AEW&C, standoff jammers and tactical jammers. Those factors obviously apply for not only BVR engagements but all A2A engagements overall.
Sure. I understand. The F-16V does bring a significant capability improvement to the Taiwanese Air Force and sure is no walkover.
 

siegecrossbow

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
First up is RCS. The F-16V has a RCS of 0.5 - 1m2 depending on sources. In comparison, the J-11 (derived from SU-27) has anywhere between 15-25 m2 RCS. The J-16 while better with composites and coating is probably at 5 m2. I can be convinced by data. The J-10B/C, I have no idea but unlikely to have better RCS than the F-16V. So with similar radar capability, a F-16V can detect at a greater distance of +49 % against a 5 m2 target than the 5 m2 target can against the F-16V.

Secondly, the APG-83 is a 4th/5th generation AESA radar depending on how it is defined. It inherited the features from the APG-77/APG-81. What features are handed down is unknown but I will speculate on some of them. The APG-81 is known to use highly advanced TRs which determine the duty cycle and power output. This will give the APG-83 a power gain advantage The DSP is the filter which gives the APG-83 a sensitivity gain advantage. The FGPA will give the APG-83 a processing gain advantage. The combined gain will likely give the APG-83 a tracking range advantage against Chinese AESA and clearly against non AESA radars. This is adding onto the RCS relative gain.
I'm pretty sure that the 0.1 - 0.5 figure refers to a clean configuration with no external load. Once you add missiles the figure is going to balloon significantly. There is a reason that stealthy platforms require internal bays.
 
As I said in BVR engagement, there are 4 variables that matter. Missile range is not determined by advertisement but limited by the other three variables. In other words, you can't target what you can't track. The other three variables such a relative RCS, sensor range and ECM are limiters to the effective range of the PL-15. On those score, I believe the F-16V has the advantage and I will walk them through to argue that the F-16V has an overall qualitative advantage.

First up is RCS. The F-16V has a RCS of 0.5 - 1m2 depending on sources. In comparison, the J-11 (derived from SU-27) has anywhere between 15-25 m2 RCS. The J-16 while better with composites and coating is probably at 5 m2. I can be convinced by data. The J-10B/C, I have no idea but unlikely to have better RCS than the F-16V. So with similar radar capability, a F-16V can detect at a greater distance of +49 % against a 5 m2 target than the 5 m2 target can against the F-16V.
Provide sources for all of your RCS estimates. 15-25m2 estimate sounds like they don't know what it is. You don't know what J-10B/C RCS is but you say it is unlikely to be better than F-16V even though they are similar size and role fighters? I don't think so; that assumption doesn't fly, especially given that J-16 materials can reduce RCS by 3 to 5 fold according to you. Detection range is not dependent on RCS alone. Larger jets have larger, more powerful radar capacity. Let's see below.

Secondly, the APG-83 is a 4th/5th generation AESA radar depending on how it is defined. It inherited the features from the APG-77/APG-81. What features are handed down is unknown but I will speculate on some of them. The APG-81 is known to use highly advanced TRs which determine the duty cycle and power output. This will give the APG-83 a power gain advantage The DSP is the filter which gives the APG-83 a sensitivity gain advantage. The FGPA will give the APG-83 a processing gain advantage. The combined gain will likely give the APG-83 a tracking range advantage against Chinese AESA and clearly against non AESA radars. This is adding onto the RCS relative gain.
After the bold part, it became completely worthless. If you want to compare radar performance, you must bring in the knowns of the American radar and compare them to the knowns of the Chinese radar. Your entire argument could be summed up as, "I don't know what the American radar is capable of nor do I understand the Chinese radar, but let's imagine that the F-16V AESA is way better than its Chinese counterparts because I can rat off a list of ambiguous claims about it." Sorry, no dice on that one either.
Thirdly, RCS advantage automatically gives a jamming advantage.
As shown in above chart, if the RCS of an aircraft is reduced to 0.75 (75%) of its original value, then (1) the jammer power required to achieve the same effectiveness would be 0.75 (75%) of the original value (or -1.25 dB). Likewise, (2) If Jammer power is held constant, then burn-through range is 0.87 (87%) of its original value (-1.25 dB), and (3) the detection range of the radar for the smaller RCS target (jamming not considered) is 0.93 (93%) of its original value (-1.25 dB). Jamming is basically a J/S equation.
The F-16V's AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS is an integrated EW system with DRFM capability. The AN/ALQ-211 has a cooperative engagement capability with the AN/ALE-50 towed decoy system which automatically works out which system will engage based on the nature of the threat. I don't believe Chinese ECM systems have decoy deployment capabilities.
Irrelevant since no RCS or radar advantage was shown. What you don't "believe" is not good enough.
In summary, the PL-15 range capability will likely than not be a non event because likely BVR engagements will be in the 100 KM zone due to sensor capability and ECM in play. Given the F-16V advantages outlined above, it will more than likely have the first detect and first shot advantage whether against J-11, J-16 or J-10B/C.
In summary, everything you said is based on assumption, imagination, and lack of evidence or known factors.
 
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Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
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The PRC wouldn’t be happy if the US sold Taiwan a potato gun. It’s boiler plate.
Yes, it's a matter of principle and consistency really.

They day that the PRC does not lodge a protest to the US selling Taiwan any sort of weapon would be the day that other nations might think there will be no consequences to them if they wanted to sell Taiwan weapons as well.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Sure. I understand. The F-16V does bring a significant capability improvement to the Taiwanese Air Force and sure is no walkover.
I don't think that is disputed; for example manqiangrexue said that it would indeed be an upgrade (AIM-120D specifically, but in this context it's obviously about the F-16V package overall as well):

That would be an upgrade for the ROC, of course (although not an upgrade over coming to their senses), but it would first require F-16s to actually get into the air instead of having all their runways bombed. It's not easy to transport them to highways either... especially with all the ground around them in rubble.
But the point about F-16s being able to get into the air is also one of the major factors I described in my previous post and which you also say that you understand.


F-16Vs are very much more capable than the best fighters the ROCAF had prior to receiving them, which I think everyone would agree.
But the difference in net capability that F-16Vs may bring in event of a potential actual Taiwan contingency... well that is where the point about being able to "get into the air" is one of the important factors.
 

Brumby

Major
PL-21 is the name we've used for the ramjet missile that we haven't seen any movement on.
PL-X is the LRAAM we've seen carried by J-16, a while back.

The original study looking into an LRAAM that has been speculated to be linked with PL-X mentioned the missile would be equipped with attitude thrusters for maneuverability. And the concept diagram linked with it showed a number of aircraft on the "receiving end" -- one of which was an F-22.
So I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility that PL-X was designed to be able to take down maneuvring targets under certain circumstances. If we had any good pictures of PL-X to confirm side thrusters that would certainly be useful.

The notion of LRAAM whether it is PL-X or PL-21 in my view is subject to reality check as to its utility or effectiveness.

First up you have to be able to track an aerial platform at 300 kms away. If it is against an AWAC or tanker you are talking about penetrative air because such assets will not be operating in contested zone. In order to detect a target at 300 kms, your emission is likely to be detected and likewise be targeted. There are only three possible launch modes against such a distance target; (1) command inertial (launch with aim point and updated with mid course correction); (2)inertial active (fire and forget); and home on jam. (1) is unlikely because maintaining radar lock is difficult when you are probably fighting for your own survival. (2) has a likely Pk of zero. (3) is highly susceptible to decoys especially against the newer generation like Britecloud,

Above all you will have to assume that you can actually penetrate the CAP line especially carrying external stores.
 
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Brumby

Major
.. well that is where the point about being able to "get into the air" is one of the important factors.
You would then be looking at a preemptive strike. The issue for PRC then is not about whether Taiwan can get its birds in the but its PR viz-a-viz the world not just as an aggressor but the moral ground of a preemptive strike against a weaker nation.
 

Brumby

Major
I'm pretty sure that the 0.1 - 0.5 figure refers to a clean configuration with no external load. Once you add missiles the figure is going to balloon significantly. There is a reason that stealthy platforms require internal bays.
Sure but the same issue will apply to the Chinese birds.
 

Brumby

Major
Provide sources for all of your RCS estimates. 15-25m2 estimate sounds like they don't know what it is. You don't know what J-10B/C RCS is but you say it is unlikely to be better than F-16V even though they are similar size and role fighters? I don't think so; that assumption doesn't fly, especially given that J-16 materials can reduce RCS by 3 to 5 fold according to you. Detection range is not dependent on RCS alone. Larger jets have larger, more powerful radar capacity. Let's see below.


After the bold part, it became completely worthless. If you want to compare radar performance, you must bring in the knowns of the American radar and compare them to the knowns of the Chinese radar. Your entire argument could be summed up as, "I don't know what the American radar is capable of nor do I understand the Chinese radar, but let's imagine that the F-16V AESA is way better than its Chinese counterparts because I can rat off a list of ambiguous claims about it." Sorry, no dice on that one either.

Irrelevant since no RCS or radar advantage was shown. What you don't "believe" is not good enough.
In summary, everything you said is based on assumption, imagination, and lack of evidence or known factors.
Sure and your whole argument is premised on a PL-15 that works.
 

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