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ACEVAL/AIMVAL single missions/campaign


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Anyone interested in creating a mission or even a mini-campaign based on the ACEVAL/AIMVAL Joint Test & Evalution from the 1970s? ACEVAL/AIMVAL is a big reason why we have the AIM-120 AMRAAM today, among other outcomes.

 

We have everything we need to create such missions - F-14A Tomcats and F-15 Eagles, along with the F-5E Tiger II as the aggressor fighters. ACEVAL/AIMVAL also took place at Nellis AFB. Basically, the scenarios played out like this - F-14s were armed with Sparrows and guns, while the F-5s had the all-aspect AIM-9Ls. Positive VID was required before engaging. This was before the F-14 was equipped with TCS (known in development as the TVSU), so the aircrews had to see the bogey with their naked eye.

 

Here's a great Grumman Aerospace Corp. documentary on the tests:

 

ACEVAL - AIMVAL

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13 hours ago, CheckGear said:

Anyone interested in creating a mission or even a mini-campaign based on the ACEVAL/AIMVAL Joint Test & Evalution from the 1970s? ACEVAL/AIMVAL is a big reason why we have the AIM-120 AMRAAM today, among other outcomes.

 

We have everything we need to create such missions - F-14A Tomcats and F-15 Eagles, along with the F-5E Tiger II as the aggressor fighters. ACEVAL/AIMVAL also took place at Nellis AFB. Basically, the scenarios played out like this - F-14s were armed with Sparrows and guns, while the F-5s had the all-aspect AIM-9Ls. Positive VID was required before engaging. This was before the F-14 was equipped with TCS (known in development as the TVSU), so the aircrews had to see the bogey with their naked eye.

 

Here's a great Grumman Aerospace Corp. documentary on the tests:

 

ACEVAL - AIMVAL

Quick note - the F-14s and F-15s were "equipped" (TACTS range) with all-aspect short-range missiles as well as Sparrow and gun, and the Tomcats actually had the TVSU during the trials.  They were not installed into the fleet until a few years after the end of the trials, but that is where they were actually tested.  The F-15 crews used Weaver rifle scopes.  It was also broken into different portions - ACEVAL was the air combat evaluation, AIMVAL was the missile evaluation looking at a variety of proposed short range missiles and engagement parameters.

 

EDIT:

Both the F-14 and F-15 were also equipped with VTAS - the Visual Target Acquisition System, a basic HMS (think roughly what wound up in the MiG-29 several years later) which allowed for off-boresight shots with simulated AIM-9s, AGILEs, etc.  So, if you were to make a mission like this, you'd use TCS-equipped F-14As with AIM-7Fs and AIM-9Ls (none of the other proposed missiles ever left the experimental phase and are not available in DCS, and Phoenix was not allowed), and F-5Es with AIM-9Ls.  No matter what, you're going to have to compromise a bit: we don't have an F-15A, the F-14As used were in an experimental configuration, and VTAS isn't an option in DCS for either aircraft; for the Tomcat, the un-released Block 135 Early and IRIAF Block 95 are the closest representatives to the Block 90s used by VX-4, but given the TVSU/TCS's use for long-range VID, you'd most likely go with the -135 Early when it becomes available.


Edited by Quid
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On 1/11/2021 at 8:33 PM, Quid said:

Quick note - the F-14s and F-15s were "equipped" (TACTS range) with all-aspect short-range missiles as well as Sparrow and gun, and the Tomcats actually had the TVSU during the trials.  They were not installed into the fleet until a few years after the end of the trials, but that is where they were actually tested.  The F-15 crews used Weaver rifle scopes.  It was also broken into different portions - ACEVAL was the air combat evaluation, AIMVAL was the missile evaluation looking at a variety of proposed short range missiles and engagement parameters.

 

EDIT:

Both the F-14 and F-15 were also equipped with VTAS - the Visual Target Acquisition System, a basic HMS (think roughly what wound up in the MiG-29 several years later) which allowed for off-boresight shots with simulated AIM-9s, AGILEs, etc.  So, if you were to make a mission like this, you'd use TCS-equipped F-14As with AIM-7Fs and AIM-9Ls (none of the other proposed missiles ever left the experimental phase and are not available in DCS, and Phoenix was not allowed), and F-5Es with AIM-9Ls.  No matter what, you're going to have to compromise a bit: we don't have an F-15A, the F-14As used were in an experimental configuration, and VTAS isn't an option in DCS for either aircraft; for the Tomcat, the un-released Block 135 Early and IRIAF Block 95 are the closest representatives to the Block 90s used by VX-4, but given the TVSU/TCS's use for long-range VID, you'd most likely go with the -135 Early when it becomes available.

 


This is really good info! What's your source?

And thanks!

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2 hours ago, CheckGear said:


This is really good info! What's your source?

And thanks!

A lot of it was discussed at Tomcat-Sunset well over a decade ago.  "Hoser" Satrapa and "Turk" Pentecost (both flew as a section during ACEVAL/AIMVAL) would discuss all sorts of elements about the F-14, air combat, etc., and portions of the tests, what equipment they had, etc. were brought up.  That said, I'm not sure how much of that is archived or still around - I haven't been on the site in a long time.  Some of it is captured in the book "Hoser Here...Shoot!" by the Tomcat-Sunset staff.  Still, there are some other open-source books that are more accessible:

 

Chapter 13 of TOMCAT! The Grumman F-14 Story by "Gator" Gillcrist covers ACEVAL/AIMVAL exclusively and discusses some of the missile proposals (such as AGILE and the AIM-9L), VTAS and how effective it was (over 90% of radar locks occurred with VTAS, something Hoser reiterated years ago), the overall results, other technologies tested (e.g., TVSU/TCS, which is then discussed further in depth in Chapter 14 to include its use in ACEVAL/AIMVAL, acquisition of the system, its funding cut and funding restoral in 1981 and subsequent installation).  Some of the other details are in Grumman F-14 Tomcat, Shipborne Superfighter, edited by Jon Lake, Wings of Fury by Robert Wilcox, and some of the REDFOR side is discussed in Roger Ball! The Odyssey of John Monroe "Hawk" Smith by Donald Auten.  Photographic data as to when the TVSU was in place is found in Tomcat Alley by David F. Brown, who photographed most of the ACEVAL/AIMVAL Tomcats between early 1976 and late 1977 - all have TVSUs and VTAS boxes installed.  "Turk" Pentecost used to have a site with pictures from VF-1 and VX-4, but it's long since been taken down; the VX-4 birds all have TVSU and VTAS boxes in his pictures as well.


Edited by Quid
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