Relationships Between Thrust Vectoring/Reversing Fighter Effectiveness and Air-to-Air Missile Technology 901845
Air combat simulator studies consistently show large fighter effectiveness payoffs due to thrust vectoring and/or thrust reversing exhaust nozzles. However, the air-to-air missile related kill ratios achieved during these evaluations vary considerably as a function of maximum missile launch angle-of-attack (AOA).
This paper will review the ways thrust vectoring/reversing is used during air combat and then discuss some missile related multi-function nozzle survivability benefits. Typical air combat simulator fighter agility advantages and disadvantages attributable to vectoring/reversing nozzles will then be examined. These include relative antenna train (look) angles, capture times, and capture frequencies during close-in combat. The high AOA launch desirability will be defined along with the payoffs of attaining that capability. Nozzle max vector angles and utilization frequencies along with high AOA missile launch problems and potential solutions will also be addressed.
In addition, the relationship between pilot training and missile launch AOA will be shown as it relates to kill ratio trends.