Saudi F-15 shot down over Yemen - Page 24 - ED Forums
 


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Old 02-13-2018, 11:50 AM   #231
Mfezi
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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..."
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:14 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
Or maybe training missile, i doubt they can read Russian, or the explosive compound deteriorating to the point of no longer being explosive.
Training missiles don't tend to fire at all.

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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
I think you have convinced me a little here, not 100%, but more like 50/50.
As far as the car having gas and stuff, the car also didn't have an afterburner, which complicates the comparison even more.

But what i was trying to point out is the blinding effect it had, which would be somewhat independent of blast size i would think (I could be 100% wrong here).

Here is a video of a stinger through night vision (skip to 1:22):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr3Z98YT2cU
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.

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.



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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
The flashes are huge and the camera isn't even zoomed in that much.

(Again, i am not saying its a MANPADS, just using it as an example)
How long was the MANPADS motor burning in that video?



Well, i'd say we can only be about 90% sure due to lack of official info.


And the F-15 possibly could have been low as i have pointed out earlier (still not sure if the f-15 in the video is saudi though):[/QUOTE]
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.

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Old 02-13-2018, 12:18 PM   #233
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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.
I posted pictures back on page 7. The continuous rod warhead cuts in a line, tending to cause a failure along that line, whereas fragmentation warheads spray schrapnel everywhere. With a rod warhead the bit breaks off along with the schrapnel, unless very sturdy, like a ship tower.

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The cut-off stabiliser is also consistent with an R-73 expanding rod warhead. This shows damage done by an expanding rod warhead during a naval mishap (RIM-7 I think).



Blast fragmentation warhead of SA-16.



F-15SA damage.

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.

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Old 02-13-2018, 12:54 PM   #234
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I searched the thread but did not find a result, did anybody translate what's being said and written in this video?
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:12 PM   #235
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I posted pictures back on page 7. The continuous rod warhead cuts in a line, tending to cause a failure along that line, whereas fragmentation warheads spray schrapnel everywhere. With a rod warhead the bit breaks off along with the schrapnel, unless very sturdy, like a ship tower.



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.
and heres a picture from another angle showing the additional shrapnel damage caused by said missile (an AIM-7 btw) :
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:21 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!

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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!

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Training missiles don't tend to fire at all.
Uhhh, I'm talking about training missiles like what ZEEOH6 mentioned.

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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.

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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.

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

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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?

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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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Old 02-13-2018, 11:22 PM   #237
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and heres a picture from another angle showing the additional shrapnel damage caused by said missile (an AIM-7 btw) :
Doesn't look like the same picture, I can't match any part of that with the former picture. But don't forget there were likely things around the missile when it exploded, so you might be looking at secondary shrapnel. But note that the extraneous shrapnel damage is inside the rod, not outside, so that would put it in the part that broke off.

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Old 02-13-2018, 11:46 PM   #238
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Uhhh, I'm talking about training missiles like what ZEEOH6 mentioned.
Inert missiles tend to be used for testing more commonly. Training rounds are generally captive, except for various A2G munitions which may be inert to preserve mock targets for longer.

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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
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.
Not really, the green video is clearly suffering from glare because it's using lower grade optics like the kind found in goggles, this magnifies any light source. Sure IR makes hot things a bit bigger but the idea the flash was caused just by kinetic friction is preposterous. The plane and missile are both generating friction throughout flight, yet the massive flash only occurs on impact, it's also very sudden and short in duration, not like that associated with a rocket motor combusting. The afterburner is also burning copious amounts of fuel per second to produce that heat. A kinetic only impact would have been entirely absorbed by the AB's heat signature.

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Not sure what your trying to say here, didn't see any IR video of hits in there.
No but you can see the appreciable difference between kinetic strikes and live warheads and we've already seen a live hellfire in your earlier video on FLIR imagery of similar quality. Now if you image the inert strikes on FLIR, seriously, where does the 20m wide flash come from? There just isn't one. This video also shows live strikes in FLIR, again you're looking at something approximating 20m (would it be roughly the same with no warhead?). I'm sure you can image an inert strike on FLIR and you know it doesn't produce a large flash >20m in diamater but if you can provide evidence to the contrary, I'm happy to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmYqq3qehDE

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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
I don't know, doesn't matter, that wasn't the point.

And you know this, how?



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.
Well it kind of is all part of the point. The arguments to justify the possibilty of MANPADS have become beyond absurd at this point. They rely on the following being true.

1. The aircraft flying ridiculously low and close to the launcher at a slant range of <2km such that the motor was still burning. Not a tactic any sane air force would use.

2. Every part of the missile immediately exploding on impact except the warhead, which had a dual failure of the proximity fuse and the contact fuse and failed to go off when the rocket motor exploded. So the missile had enough fuel left to cause this explosion the range was so short.

OR

3. The use of some kind of inert training round stored some place in Yemen that Yemenis couldn't ID as a training round.

4. The missile exploded with no warhead on impact, and produced no shrapnel as it came apart, yet had a flash duration similar to a warhead explosion.

Sorry but the complexity and absurdity of the case for MANPADS is now beyond a joke. It's just not a MANPADS. The more sensible explanation is that a larger missile was used, quite possibly from an aerial vehicle like a MiG, against an F-15 flying at a sane altitude (thus explaining the rocket motor still burning), the missile exploded near a flare with a rod warhead that cut off the stab but the plane survived due to it not being a direct hit. I know which argument requires less special conditions.

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Old 02-14-2018, 12:05 AM   #239
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Inert missiles tend to be used for testing more commonly. Training rounds are generally captive, except for various A2G munitions which may be inert to preserve mock targets for longer.
I'm sorry, i don't know what captive means.

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Not really, the green video is clearly suffering from glare because it's using lower grade optics like the kind found in googles, this magnifies any light source. Sure IR makes hot things a bit bigger but the idea the flash was caused just by kinetic friction is preposterous. The plane and missile are both generating friction throughout flight, yet the massive flash only occurs on impact. The afterburner is also burning copious amounts of fuel per second to produce that heat.
Exactly, you don't see any glare on the afterburner? And how hot is flight friction compared to impact friction? comparing those is, as you say "preposterous".

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No but you can see the appreciable difference between kinetic strikes and live warheads and we've already seen a live hellfire in your earlier video in IR.
yeah, in a normal camera, show me an inert hit in FLIR.

Quote:
Well it kind of is all part of the point. The arguments to justify the possible of MANPADS have become beyond absurd at this point. They rely on the following being true.
And your knowledge of the circumstances around the incident are beyond deity. (sorry, couldn't resist)

Quote:
1. The aircraft flying ridiculously low and close to the launcher at a slant range of <2km such that the motor was still burning. Not a tactic any sane air force would use.
Pull out the Saudi air force operating handbook and show us they absolutely never fly low.

Quote:
2. Every part of the missile immediately exploding on impact except the warhead, which had a dual failure of the proximity fuse and the contact fuse and failed to go off when the rocket motor exploded. So the missile had enough fuel left to cause this explosion the range was so short.
Not exploding, breaking up.

Quote:
3. The use of some kind of inert training round stored some place in Yemen that Yemenis couldn't ID as a training round.
You know where they got it?????

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Sorry but the complexity and absurdity of the case for MANPADS is now beyond a joke.

Again, i am NOT making the case for MANPADS, just saying you can't out rule it.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:42 AM   #240
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I'm sorry, i don't know what captive means.
It means it has all the sensors of a live weapon but doesn't fire, it is captive in the launcher or on the launch rail, like a CATM-120.


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Exactly, you don't see any glare on the afterburner? And how hot is flight friction compared to impact friction? comparing those is, as you say "preposterous".
Flight friction is very hot, especially at Mach 2. In your green video everything remotely hot appears as a perfect sphere of light with no definition because it is highly over-exposed. In the original shoot-down video, you can clearly see the shape of the glow and its trail and the F-15 is clearly distinguishable. In your green video, these would all just be balls of light.



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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
yeah, in a normal camera, show me an inert hit in FLIR.
Right back at you, you show me one that produces a 20+m wide flash on imagery of the same quality (not over-exposed). It's not my assertion that it does, it is therefore up to you to prove the positive for a missile of similar size and speed, not for me to prove a negative. On the inert Brimstone video there is nothing even in the way of flame or fire to cause such a flash and a Brimstone weighs 5x what an Igla weighs.


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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
And your knowledge of the circumstances around the incident are beyond deity. (sorry, couldn't resist)
My explanation doesn't rely on silly things being true. It doesn't require the aircraft to be ridiculously low. It doesn't require a dud missile or an inert training round. It doesn't require militants having IR missiles that are immune to the flare package on an F-15SA.



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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
Pull out the Saudi air force operating handbook and show us they absolutely never fly low.
They're probably not as dumb as you think. They did get 2 kills during Desert Storm.


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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
Not exploding, breaking up.
And producing a huge flash similar in size to hellfire strikes in FLIR, a missile with a similar sized warhead as an R-73.


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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
You know where they got it?????
Well there are several possibilities, or impossibilities since we're now being absurd. Either the missile was in storage in Yemen, in which case one would have thought the instructions and labelling would be in Yemeni since that is the norm when supply weapons to a foreign nation. I can directly attest to that. Or Iran supplied Houthis with inert rounds for a bit of a laugh hoping that they would break them open on the 1st of April.

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Originally Posted by kolga View Post
Again, i am NOT making the case for MANPADS, just saying you can't out rule it.
I can and have. The plane was in afterburner for 10s, it's done more than 2km, which is the burn range of a Igla/Stinger. The missile approaches at an angle, so has travelled further, even if it flew straight. Hence it can't be a MANPADS.
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