AIM-120 AMRAAM projects

sferrin

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I hadn't realized it was your design shown above. Nice one.!
The top one is Boeing's. The other one is mine, just noodling. It'd posted it several times over the years so my first reaction when I saw Boeing's was "WTF?". Could be just coincidence though. Just coincidentally got the 2-stage, same look, same colors, etc.
 

aonestudio

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Saudis Cleared To Buy Hundreds More AMRAAM Missiles They've Been Using To Shoot Down Drones.

The AMRAAM is not designed to shoot down small targets like the Qasef-1, a long-range suicide drone derived from the Iranian Ababil-2, as well as the improved Qasef-2K, that are widely used by the Houthis.

However, the limited thermal signature of these drones means an infrared-guided missile such as an AIM-9 Sidewinder is considered a less reliable means of scoring a kill compared to a radar-guided weapon like the AIM-120. Speaking to The War Zone, a former U.S. Air Force F-15 pilot who preferred to remain anonymous explained that while an AMRAAM is not the only option in this type of engagement “it may be best, depending on the target size and engine type.”

Another former USAF Eagle driver, also speaking on condition of anonymity, added: “By not putting out enough of an infrared signature, you might not get a tone before going inside the minimum range, rendering the AIM-9 useless. Apparently, the drones have enough of a radar signature to enable a target lock before hitting the AMRAAM’s minimum range, which would explain the Saudi pilots’ choice of missile.”


AMRAAM seems like overkill for small drones. :rolleyes:
 

sferrin

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Saudis Cleared To Buy Hundreds More AMRAAM Missiles They've Been Using To Shoot Down Drones.

The AMRAAM is not designed to shoot down small targets like the Qasef-1, a long-range suicide drone derived from the Iranian Ababil-2, as well as the improved Qasef-2K, that are widely used by the Houthis.

However, the limited thermal signature of these drones means an infrared-guided missile such as an AIM-9 Sidewinder is considered a less reliable means of scoring a kill compared to a radar-guided weapon like the AIM-120. Speaking to The War Zone, a former U.S. Air Force F-15 pilot who preferred to remain anonymous explained that while an AMRAAM is not the only option in this type of engagement “it may be best, depending on the target size and engine type.”

Another former USAF Eagle driver, also speaking on condition of anonymity, added: “By not putting out enough of an infrared signature, you might not get a tone before going inside the minimum range, rendering the AIM-9 useless. Apparently, the drones have enough of a radar signature to enable a target lock before hitting the AMRAAM’s minimum range, which would explain the Saudi pilots’ choice of missile.”


AMRAAM seems like overkill for small drones. :rolleyes:
Whatever happened to the mini AAM the US was working on? (Smaller than CUDA.)
 

isayyo2

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AMRAAM seems like overkill for small drones
Unfortunately there seems to be no alternative, there isn’t enough of an IR output for AIM-9s and a gun kill on something that small is exceedingly difficult. Either revamp the “Firefly” IFFC for automated gun kills or have an electro-optical/laser seeker for the AIM-9 to be slaved to a targeting pod.
 

bring_it_on

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Or use more weapons like the APKWS.

 

TomS

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AMRAAM seems like overkill for small drones
Unfortunately there seems to be no alternative, there isn’t enough of an IR output for AIM-9s and a gun kill on something that small is exceedingly difficult. Either revamp the “Firefly” IFFC for automated gun kills or have an electro-optical/laser seeker for the AIM-9 to be slaved to a targeting pod.

Given modern tech, it would be easy to put a radar seeker into a Sidewinder, a la AIM-9C but actually workable.

There might also be a future role for the Miniature Self-Defense Missile, who h just started real development recently.
 

timmymagic

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AMRAAM seems like overkill for small drones
Unfortunately there seems to be no alternative, there isn’t enough of an IR output for AIM-9s and a gun kill on something that small is exceedingly difficult. Either revamp the “Firefly” IFFC for automated gun kills or have an electro-optical/laser seeker for the AIM-9 to be slaved to a targeting pod.

A modern IR homer with Imaging Infrared will definitely have more than enough IR output from a ICE powered drone to get a lock, 9B's were locking onto smouldering cigarettes from 50 yards away in the mid-50's, anything from 9L onwards could get a lock with ease. For a missile with IIR like 9X or Asraam its even easier. This is particularly so for the Iranian drones that the Houthis are using that have the engine exposed right at the rear of the airframe. The heat that will be giving out is easily enough.

A potential reason for using AMRAAM is they don't want to get down low, closer, to the target, the Houthi's have shown plenty of skill at adapting AAM's for ground launch, along side shorter ranged MANPADS.
 

isayyo2

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For a missile with IIR like 9X or Asraam its even easier.
While I don’t disagree, the article specifically states RSAF pilots having difficulties with their heaters locking onto something so small; they’ve been using -9Xs and ASRAAMs for over a decade now.
 

NMaude

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Given modern tech, it would be easy to put a radar seeker into a Sidewinder, a la AIM-9C but actually workable.
That's what I was thinking too, I remember back in the 1990s reading an article in Flight International where Raytheon (Or was it Hughes?) had created and successfully bench-tested an active radar seeker that was only 4" in diameter.
 

TomS

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Given modern tech, it would be easy to put a radar seeker into a Sidewinder, a la AIM-9C but actually workable.
That's what I was thinking too, I remember back in the 1990s reading an article in Flight International where Raytheon (Or was it Hughes?) had created and successfully bench-tested an active radar seeker that was only 4" in diameter.

I was thinking of MHTK, which is less than 70mm in diameter with a surface-launched range of 3 km.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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A modern IR homer with Imaging Infrared will definitely have more than enough IR output from a ICE powered drone to get a lock, 9B's were locking onto smouldering cigarettes from 50 yards away in the mid-50's, anything from 9L onwards could get a lock with ease. For a missile with IIR like 9X or Asraam its even easier. This is particularly so for the Iranian drones that the Houthis are using that have the engine exposed right at the rear of the airframe. The heat that will be giving out is easily enough.

Disagree, particularly on the " anything from 9L onwards could get a lock with ease". As a non-imaging seeker, you really don't want it locking onto slightly warm objects. In Saudi Arabia, everything is pretty warm near the ground.

AIM-9X seeker is an imaging MWIR seeker optimised to detect and shoot down threat aircraft, not tiny drones like these. Some factors to consider:

It is possible that the low temperature of a 25HP internal combustion engine isn't sufficient to easily distinguish from e.g. warm sand, birds, etc. It may also only be detectable at usable ranges from specific angles e.g. the rear.

Air absorbs specific IR frequencies better that others, so seekers are often optimized to specific "bands" of temperatures giving good transmissivity.

Filters on seekers try to filter out non-target signals.

Sure, you can get a lock on an Mi-24 at a reasonable distance, but that has 2 x 2200 HP engines, not 1 x 25HP, and turboshafts are hotter than pistons.

I see no reason to doubt the pilots here.


A potential reason for using AMRAAM is they don't want to get down low, closer, to the target, the Houthi's have shown plenty of skill at adapting AAM's for ground launch, along side shorter ranged MANPADS.

Maybe, but the video posted here shows a close range AIM-120 shot.
 

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