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Old 02-13-2018, 10:21 PM   #236
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Originally Posted by ZEEOH6 View Post
You are right, the contractor may be wrong about whether or not the warhead detonated. But looking at the damage, there is very little radial damage I would think would be associated with a continous tod warhead (I’ve never seen what that damage would look like). He did say there was no shrapnel of any sort (We have jets with shrapnel damage, not from munitions but from engines shelling out and throwing shrapnel through the fuselage, so I know what that looks like).

When we did drone shoots, the missiles did not contain a wathead, just a tocket motor.

I’ve been a part way more bombs dropped compared to missiles shot (hundreds of thousands of pounds compared to like 8 missile shots). Duds are really not that uncommon. I know it’s not the same comparison though.
Interesting, Thank you!

Originally Posted by Mfezi View Post
I've been following this thread with interest. I've worked in flight test most of my adult life and over the years have been present during more than a few missile tests (mostly air-to-air, but also a few ground-launched missiles). So I went through some of my videos to remind myself again what different types of impacts/detonations looked like. Each one is usually unique in some way or another, so I couldn't find a video identical to what we saw in the original video of this thread. However, I did find a few direct impacts against target drones where the missile had an inert warhead and where the burn had been fully completed prior to impact, which at least gives some reference for what a pure kinetic impact look like on infra-red. Unfortunately, I can't post these videos on YouTube for obvious reasons. They do look very similar to the original video: The kinetic impact between the missile and target drone usually generates more than enough heat for a pretty spectacular flash on infra-red - not unlike what we saw in this video. Following the flash, we also see most of the hot fragments continue in the direction of original missile travel rather than the wider radial spread that you normally see following an actual warhead detonation (I say normally, because there are of course different types of warheads).

In this video, the F-15 is almost completely white from the start of the video and the afterburner and flares both cause a lot of saturation on the video, which tells me the FLIR is at a very sensitive setting - more sensitive than what we would normally use for testing. With that type of sensitivity, a pure kinetic impact should generate more than enough heat to result in the type of flash we see in the video and screen grab. Furthermore, in this video we see that the motor was also still burning at impact, so at least some of the flash may be caused by the (presumably) last little bit of fuel flashing off, causing an even brighter and slightly more prolonged flash.

Combined with the lack of damage to other parts of the aircraft, I have to say my personal opinion at this point is that what we see is a direct impact with no warhead detonation. According to this video, if it was indeed an actual warhead detonation, it happened extremely close to the target aircraft. Even a tiny warhead at that type of proximity would normally cause a lot of damage, especially in the form of fragment holes on the surrounding fuselage and vertical tails. So, without further information I feel it is unlikely that what we are looking at is a warhead detonation. Not impossible - as I said every impact I have seen has been slightly different - but based on the video and the damage shown in the pictures, it looks to me like a pure kinetic impact combined, possibly, with a little bit of combustion of whatever amount of fuel was still left in the missile. I wouldn't speculate on why it may not have detonated - there can be a whole myriad of reasons.

Besides my opinion on the detonation or lack thereof, I do not think we have nearly enough information to make a final conclusion about the type of missile or exactly under which circumstances it was launched. Emu seems very sure about all the evidence he has posted here and that this evidence is enough to draw very specific conclusions from, but I have worked on enough military accident and incident investigations to be extremely cautious of any evidence that includes something in the line of "a well trained pilot would never..."
Very intriguing, thank you for chiming in!

Originally Posted by Emu View Post
Training missiles don't tend to fire at all.
Uhhh, I'm talking about training missiles like what ZEEOH6 mentioned.

NVG is not the same as FLIR and I think it depends on sensitivity, the target was burning well after being hit in that video, indicating burning fuel. The explosion in the original video is more than 20m in diameter and the aura around it is twice as large again and if the F-15 had actually been hit directly and itsfuel exploded, it would be much bigger.
I know, but they are both IR so there should be similarities, and the FLASH was about 20m in diameter, not the explosion, is the afterburner as big as the video when seen in normal camera? No.

If that were the case (independent of warhead size) then the 30mm HE round in your Apache video would create a similar effect, containing ~50g of filling and travelling at 800+ m/s. I've also seen inert Brimstone tests on IR and they do not produce a flash that size. You can see the clear difference in this video, the two are not confusable.
Not sure what your trying to say here, didn't see any IR video of hits in there.

How long was the MANPADS motor burning in that video?
I don't know, doesn't matter, that wasn't the point.

It could have been low (unlikley in itself) but it would have been travelling fairly fast and given the approach aspect, the missile motor would not have been burning if it was a MANPADS.
And you know this, how?

Originally Posted by Emu View Post
In testing, it's common to use no warhead, in training the missile is usually either captive, if using live bait or live if using dead bait.
Not sure what this means.

I know i said i was 50/50 on detonation now, but due to new posts i am back to more like 90% no detonation.
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