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MiG-29 Radar picture on MFD


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Hello!

 

I am aware that the MiG-29 does not feature or at least does not show datalink information on the MFD.

 

But I am wondering if it would still be able to show the top down view of the targets of its own radar? Just like a Suchoi without AWACS still shows the targets detected by the onboard radar?

 

With the HUD alone the situational awarenes is very limited. The pilot only sees the position of the radar contact, but not heading,speed or altitute. By changing PRF he could somewhat "filter" the targets for hot or cold, but that is all.

 

I understand that in the concept of the MiG-29 the situational awarenes of the pilot is not really needed since he will be guided by GCI.

But is there any evidence that such a top down view is really missing? Or was the decision in DCS more like "It does not have datalink so we remove the whole radar picture on MFD"?

 

Wiki article for MiG-29C (or S) says that the radar can track up to 10 targets. What would that be required for, if not to somewhere display this information? (When it can only engage two targets at once anyway)


Edited by BlackPixxel
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BlackPixxel,

 

well the ergonomics of the older Mig-29 certainly leave a lot to be desired, as well as the difficulty to achieve situational awareness.

However depending on radar mode it actually gives you enemy alt, speed and

heading (visualized by arrow,not digital) in TWS / TWS2 mode.take a look into the manual for details.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Snappy

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But is there any evidence that such a top down view is really missing? Or was the decision in DCS more like "It does not have datalink so we remove the whole radar picture on MFD"?

 

More like 'the real aircraft doesn't do this'. Ask if there's any evidence that such a thing exists, it's a more appropriate question (the answer is no).

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In real life, MiG-29s (Soviet era ones anyway) were short range tactical fighters. They were directed to a target by ground controllers and kept on a short lease. They did not have particularly powerful radar or very good SA because they didn't need it.

 

The closest you'll get to that is a human GCI. The next best will be to set your F10 map to display friendlies and their sensors (adlibing a GCI effectively) and in such a way get a crude 'big picture' where you vector to a general area and engage.

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In real life, MiG-29s (Soviet era ones anyway) were short range tactical fighters. They were directed to a target by ground controllers and kept on a short lease. They did not have particularly powerful radar or very good SA because they didn't need it.

 

The closest you'll get to that is a human GCI. The next best will be to set your F10 map to display friendlies and their sensors (adlibing a GCI effectively) and in such a way get a crude 'big picture' where you vector to a general area and engage.

 

Yes, that seems to have been the soviet tactical doctrine.

With the ground controller directing the Interceptions , the lack of onboard radar sophistication is a somewhat understandable ( though in my opinion still not sensible) design decision.

 

However, regarding decreased SA and the rather limited RWR it really makes me wonder, what their thinking/expectations were in regard to how an actual engagement / intercept with a multiple enemy aircraft group would work out.

 

If you‘re intercepting a pure group of bombers, ok , follow GCI, lock them up once in range and fire away.

 

But in reality , intercepting a group with fighter escorts (which probably carrying medium/long range missiles), such an intercept attempt, even with GC assistance would quickly get very dynamic and confusing and their limited hardware in regard to SA/RWR provision would probably have a very negative effect on their ability to identify and differenciate threats and establish positional awareness.

 

Maybe they were pure optimists.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Snappy


Edited by Snappy
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Soviet doctrine was still largely focused on bearing people down with sheer numbers, and yes their doctrine was extremely rigid in the air and on the ground

 

For examples of blatant stupidity aided by this extremely top oriented structure, look to the Afghan War where Frogfoots would overfly troops under fire because they weren't ''in their assigned sector'' or the general CF in Ukraine when western troops started trying to train them in modern warfare.

 

The western concepts of 'local initiative' were completely alien. You did what you were told, nothing more, nothing less. An analogy used by, I believe it was Robert Hierl (whatever his name was, a west German pilot that cross trained with his eastern counterparts), you could ask three western pilots a question about tactics and get four answers, you could ask three Soviet pilots the same question and you would get only one answer.

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The rudimentary cockpit and very rigid doctrine makes sense in the context of the fact that these aircraft were meant to be cheap to build and operated en masse. Local initiative only works if you invest a huge amount in very advanced training, otherwise letting troops do what they want is a recipe for disaster. If you want to train pilots fast, then you also need to give them as little clutter as possible and just get GCI to direct them based on bare bones information. As for the complexity of escorts etc, the doctrine was to do fast hit and run attacks. Sure sometimes it will degenerate to dogfights, but then the plane is plenty agile if it comes down to WVR. Perhaps the Soviets were very confident in their ability to get through enemy escort screens by running their fighters fast and silent via GCI, or they believed fighter vs. fighter combat would only be close range due to the low capability of medium range missiles at the time. It's clear the aircraft is designed as an interceptor and a dogfighter, not a solo air superiority platform.

 

 

To be honest, I actually quite like the minimalism of the information displayed in the Russian aircraft, and find western radar displays and HUDs overly cluttered and hard to read.

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Soviet doctrine was still largely focused on bearing people down with sheer numbers, and yes their doctrine was extremely rigid in the air and on the ground

 

For examples of blatant stupidity aided by this extremely top oriented structure, look to the Afghan War where Frogfoots would overfly troops under fire because they weren't ''in their assigned sector'' or the general CF in Ukraine when western troops started trying to train them in modern warfare.

 

The western concepts of 'local initiative' were completely alien. You did what you were told, nothing more, nothing less. An analogy used by, I believe it was Robert Hierl (whatever his name was, a west German pilot that cross trained with his eastern counterparts), you could ask three western pilots a question about tactics and get four answers, you could ask three Soviet pilots the same question and you would get only one answer.

 

Very cool read, thank you!

Fire only at close range, and only when your opponent is properly in your sights.

 

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Yeah, the R-73 was their secret weapon. It's interesting to me, the Soviet/Russian reputation for 'crap gear' and 'outdated equipment' is really unwarranted (largely earned due to inept 3rd parties misusing inferior equipment). There were several distinct categories where they actually got ahead, and generally were/are on terms of parity technology wise. They just had/have very different priorities and methods.

 

I think Soviet tactics were clearly inferior, based on a 'conscript' mentality, especially in 1v1 scenarios, whether in the air or whatever. One guy I saw commented once, different subject same vein, in order for a technological advantage to be war winning in itself, it has to be so overwhelming as to absolutely dominate (M-16s vs swords for example). Think of Vietnam, where many guns only MiGs gave much more modern aircraft a run for their money.

 

The Soviets and modern Russians are technologically on par with their respective opponents to the extent necessary to avoid that 'overwhelming crush'. It's economics where they fall so far behind. Say a T-14 Armata is superior to an Abrams, unless it's got death rays and energy shields, it won't matter if you are outnumbered 10-1.

 

Anyway, we digress.

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Yeah, the R-73 was their secret weapon. It's interesting to me, the Soviet/Russian reputation for 'crap gear' and 'outdated equipment' is really unwarranted (largely earned due to inept 3rd parties misusing inferior equipment). There were several distinct categories where they actually got ahead, and generally were/are on terms of parity technology wise. They just had/have very different priorities and methods.

 

It's not that unwarranted. E.g. the Su-27 was supposed to have had a much better radar with electronical scanning in the vertical axis, but they failed to develop it at the time so it got an enlarged MiG-29 radar as a stopgap measure. And if they were satisfied with what they ended up with, they wouldn't have invested a lot of money into developing the noticeably better equipped variants as the MiG-29M and Su-27M were.

 

The thing is that the Su-27 and MiG-29 were never produced in such overwhelming numbers (compare the numbers of 29s made vs the number of 23s) that the old story about cheaper airplanes built in large numbers to overwhelm the technologically superior airplanes would hold water here. And IMHO it's not only because the USSR collapsed, but they were also much more expensive as they were designed to be more than simple point defense interceptors (e.g. the 29 was designed to be very maneuverable which is not something required for simply a GCI-controlled point defense interceptor).

 

In Vietnam, the problem was that the US pilots were not properly trained and the early missiles had very limited engagement envelopes (among other issues) that the pilots were not trained to use properly. Once those tactics were improved, the slow guns-only equipped fighters quickly became helpless and the only problem were the GCI guided 21s which would sneak in low from behind the large USAF attack formations and blaze through while firing off its missiles at the closest target and then quickly run away. The US side could actually track them as they cracked their IFF transponders, but didn't make the most of that in practice (besides the few Combat Tree equipped Phantoms that allowed them to shoot-down the MiGs from BVR) as it was a top secret thing so in most cases, the aircrews were more often than not left uninformed that they will be attacked, less the Soviets figure out their tech is compromised.


Edited by Dudikoff

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It's not that unwarranted. E.g. the Su-27 was supposed to have had a much better radar with electronical scanning in the vertical axis, but they failed to develop it at the time so it got an enlarged MiG-29 radar as a stopgap measure.

 

 

I don't know where the electronic steering comes from - the initial design specs called for a flat plate slotted array MSA. So let's start with failing to get to that level when 'everyone else' was there already.

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@dudikoff

You just blatantly disregarded two obvious points.

 

#1 regarding production numbers.... duh, of course they were produced in comparatively limited numbers. You're talking aircraft that began entering service as the USSR was in a downward spiral, immediately prior to complete disintegration. Everything happening in the 80s was hampered by the coming collapse, and virtually all activity ceased through the 90s.

 

#2 EVERY aircraft undergoes design revamps and updates. ''If it was satisfactory why would they build updated versions?'' Ummm.... because they weren't totally fricking stupid? Why do we have six main branches of 'Hornet' and countless ''blocks''? Why are there a dozen variations of Harrier? If the USS Missouri was satisfactory in WWII why bother building anything else?

 

Again, on 'production numbers', literally ALL Soviet strategy revolved around superior numbers, from the armored Zerg rush through the Fulda Gap, to the Air Force's own expectation of losing 2 planes for every 1 American they shot down, to the million upon million man conscript army. The only exception to this rule was their strategic missile forces, which relied on overwhelmingly large multi-megaton warhead 'city killers'.

 

''Zerg rush'' was literally their whole strategy across the board from 1940 all the way to 1991. The only reason it's different now is they don't have the economic power to rely on such a wasteful approach, so for practically the first time in the history of their military (including Csarist Imperial Russia) they're actually putting a little bit of priority on training, survivability, and *gasp* morale. It's cheaper and more effective to train one soldier, equip him properly, and pay him a living wage, than it is to have 10 zerglings 9 of whom are probably going to die.

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#1 regarding production numbers.... duh, of course they were produced in comparatively limited numbers. You're talking aircraft that began entering service as the USSR was in a downward spiral, immediately prior to complete disintegration. Everything happening in the 80s was hampered by the coming collapse, and virtually all activity ceased through the 90s.

 

I mentioned this myself as part of the reason, so I'm certainly not ignoring it as a factor.

 

What you're ignoring is the increased requirements put in front of the MiG-29 design (compared to it's predecessors) which made it more expensive compared to its MiG-23 predecessor (which was already much more expensive than the earlier MiG-21). And you can't maintain the production numbers, if the price and complexity jump by that much.

 

Again, if they were asking only for a simple GCI point defense interceptor, why bother replacing the MiG-23 design? They could have just hung the improved missiles and radar on it. It's not like the MiG-29 is much more capable in that role; except for better radar performance due to the bigger nose, it even has a noticeably shorter range.

 

Case in point, there was a stop-gap variant of the MiG-29 called MiG-29A (9.11A) which had MiG-23 avionics and weapons. It was deemed as capable as the full-blown MiG-29 (9.11 back then) to satisfy the original requirements, but then a new requirements directive in 1976 required the new fighters to match or even surpass F-15 and F-16 weapon and radar capabilities, so the weaker variant was canceled.

 

So, it was required from the MiG-29 to match or overcome not only the capabilities of the F-16, but F-15 as well in BVR combat during an interception (hence the new R-27R which was designed to surpass the AIM-7F capabilities).

 

#2 EVERY aircraft undergoes design revamps and updates. ''If it was satisfactory why would they build updated versions?'' Ummm.... because they weren't totally fricking stupid? Why do we have six main branches of 'Hornet' and countless ''blocks''? Why are there a dozen variations of Harrier? If the USS Missouri was satisfactory in WWII why bother building anything else?

 

But, they are not a Western country and they are going for superior numbers, not maintaining the technological edge. Why do they suddenly need even newer (and much better) radars, RWR systems, active radar missiles, more fuel, etc. in the MiG-29M if the MiG-29 which just entered service a few years ago matches the GCI interceptor requirements and will be fielded in the ratio of what? Three 29s against every F-16?

 

Again, on 'production numbers', literally ALL Soviet strategy revolved around superior numbers, from the armored Zerg rush through the Fulda Gap, to the Air Force's own expectation of losing 2 planes for every 1 American they shot down, to the million upon million man conscript army. The only exception to this rule was their strategic missile forces, which relied on overwhelmingly large multi-megaton warhead 'city killers'.

 

That's just your viewpoint, which disregards the continued increased sophistication present in their requirements and designs to match Western capabilities in everything from subs, aircraft, ships and even tanks which considerably reduced the production numbers which thus do not support your theory.

 

And, 'Zerg rush' strategy, really?


Edited by Dudikoff

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I don't know where the electronic steering comes from - the initial design specs called for a flat plate slotted array MSA. So let's start with failing to get to that level when 'everyone else' was there already.

 

I remember reading about how the original radar design for the N001 (not by the PFI requirements) was much more complex (and had a more powerful computer), but it wasn't ready at the time so they scaled up the MiG-29 radar and reused its Ts100 computer.

 

This quote is what I can find now (it was even discussed on these forums before, but not sure if it was disproved) :

 

Development was difficult. Originally intended to significantly outperform the AN/APG-63 of the F-15, with a 200km detection range, in reality this goal proved impossible for NIIP to achieve. It was intended to use an all new design antenna, featuring electronic scanning in elevation and mechanical scanning in azimuth. This would give excellent multitarget engagement capability, and use of the MiG-31's R-33 was envisaged. This design proved overly ambitious, and was simply unachievable for a mass production radar given the state of the Soviet electronics industry in the early eighties. In May 1982, it was decided that the NIIP designed digital computer and antenna were simply not up to scratch, nor likely to become so in the near future.

 

Phazotron's N019 had already reverted back to an improved version of the Sapfir-23ML's twist-cassegrain antenna to replace its problematic flat-plate antenna. It was decided therefore to use major components from the N019 radar, including a scaled-up copy of its twist-cassegrain antenna and the TS100 processor. By March 1983, the redesign was complete, though the resulting radar was nowhere near as good was intended. Instead of 200km, detection range barely reached 140km even against a large bomber.

 

I guess the MiG-29 radar was also supposed to have been fitted with a similar antenna tech originally (designed under the Soyuz program apparently). The newer radar antenna tech was finally in acceptable state by the time of the MiG-29M program, I presume.


Edited by Dudikoff

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It's not that unwarranted.

 

The MiG-31 was among the first aircraft with a phased array radar, and one of two aircraft in the world capable of independently firing long-range air-to-air missiles as of 2013.

 

The MiG-31 was the world's first operational fighter with a passive electronically scanned array radar (PESA), the Zaslon S-800. Its maximum range against fighter-sized targets is approximately 200 km, and it can track up to 10 targets and simultaneously attack four of them with its Vympel R-33 missiles. The radar is matched with an infra-red search and track (IRST) system in a retractable under nose fairing.

 

The US still uses Russian (USSR) rocket motors to launch its satellites into space, having never been able to develop an equivalent of their own.

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Hello,

 

Technically the MiG-29 HUD did display datalink data in a HUD mode we are missing, the manual has a clear difference between "instrumental" guidance and "voice" guidance. The data is for the single target ONLY as far as I can tell. Here is the picture of it:

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=204327&stc=1&d=1549970731

 

The main difference is:

10 - Data linked Speed

1 - Data linked the Altitude of the target

8 - ID mark

4 - Guidance circle from the control

- Clear range arrow

 

This display is for the non-locked target. The biggest thing that I am not sure how it works is the 8, ID mark it is only present in instrument guidance HUD mode (to be clear it is not the IFF mark) and I am not sure if the radar needs to pick up the target or it is always present there as a point where to expect the target, and I feel that makes a lot of difference, again I don't know.

 

What ED could add is that when you put TDC over the target and the target is picked up by an EWR to get the clear Altitude and Range information without locking. The speed and the steering circle are vague in the manual since I think they are assigned by the controller.

DL.JPG.d22aca1cd8422e1f6eb16493ddc77b57.JPG


Edited by FoxAlfa

-------

 

All the people keep asking for capabilities to be modelled.... I want the limitations to be modelled.... limitations make for realistic simulation.

 

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What ED could add is that when you put TDC over the target and the target is picked up by an EWR to get the clear Altitude and Range information without locking. The speed and the steering circle are vague in the manual since I think they are assigned by the controller.

 

 

That would be a very nice addition! Gives more teeth to the MiG-29. ED, I hope you are listening and hope you implement it. I doubt it would be a lot of work? Would it?

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Hello,

 

Technically the MiG-29 HUD did display datalink data in a HUD mode we are missing, the manual has a clear difference between "instrumental" guidance and "voice" guidance. The data is for the single target ONLY as far as I can tell. Here is the picture of it:

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=204327&stc=1&d=1549970731

 

The main difference is:

10 - Data linked Speed

1 - Data linked the Altitude of the target

8 - ID mark

4 - Guidance circle from the control

- Clear range arrow

 

This display is for the non-locked target. The biggest thing that I am not sure how it works is the 8, ID mark it is only present in instrument guidance HUD mode (to be clear it is not the IFF mark) and I am not sure if the radar needs to pick up the target or it is always present there as a point where to expect the target, and I feel that makes a lot of difference, again I don't know.

 

What ED could add is that when you put TDC over the target and the target is picked up by an EWR to get the clear Altitude and Range information without locking. The speed and the steering circle are vague in the manual since I think they are assigned by the controller.

 

I seriously doubt this system was ever very useful. certainly limited in range between A/C and GCI and information updates for anything at low alt.

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The US still uses Russian (USSR) rocket motors to launch its satellites into space, having never been able to develop an equivalent of their own.

 

Wait, what?

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DISCLAIMER: My posts are still absolutely useless. Just finding excuses not to learn the F-14 (HB's Swansong?).

 

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Wait, what?

 

I guess he is referring the NPO Energomash RD-180 used in Atlas Rockets, but its getting a bit off-topic.

-------

 

All the people keep asking for capabilities to be modelled.... I want the limitations to be modelled.... limitations make for realistic simulation.

 

Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in the mud, after a bit you realize the pig likes it.

 

Long time ago in galaxy far far away:

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I seriously doubt this system was ever very useful. certainly limited in range between A/C and GCI and information updates for anything at low alt.

 

 

This is a very, very useful system..what makes you think this is not useful?

 

 

The way I see it, not giving away your position to the enemy is a HUGE advantage in air combat!

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