47

To add some data to Matthew's answer: Anti aircraft missiles come in basically 4 types (some others have been tried but aren't in common use). Active radar homing Passive radar homing Infrared homing Laser guided Active radar homing has a radar in the missile sending out signals. Those signals can be detected and classified by the target aircraft. Passive ...


46

An IR sensor detects objects that are at a higher (or lower but that's not how missiles work) temperature than the surrounding environment, most of the helicopter won't be that much hotter or cooler than the air around it, so wouldn't distinguish it much unless you get very close. Jet engine exhaust is much hotter than the surrounding environment, so it ...


32

Non-holographic radar systems such as those used in fighter aircraft and active guided missiles only point in one direction at a time. Normally, when the radar is in search mode, a mechanism inside the radar makes the beam move from side to side (possibly up and down as well), so it has a wider field of view and can pinpoint the direction of any aircraft it ...


26

A general search radar, because it has to search a much larger portion of the area around the plane, can only scan so many times a second. When that radar finds a target, and the pilot commands the system to lock onto the target, it enables a different radar system, that searches a much smaller portion of the area around the plane where the target is known ...


25

If you are referring to the Sidewinder missile, the first iteration AIM-9X did not have a requirement to be launched from internal stores, known as captive carry, but in testing it demonstrated that it could lock on after launch. This was deemed interesting enough that Raytheon got a contract for the Block II variant, which among other things adds a datalink ...


19

Actually most aircraft don't actively know when a missile is being fired at them. I have worked on helicopters and fighters that deploy counter measures. The first is an IR jammer which we call a disco ball. It is made up of mirrors at different angles that resemble a disco ball. It radiates an IR signal at different angles to confuse the missiles. The ...


17

To add to GdD's fine answer: The environment provides plenty of different heat sources for the missile to see. To get a target lock, the "signature" of the heatsource has to be of quite a specific kind. Anything simply hotter than the surroundings will not be sufficient. The specifics of the way a missile lock is aquired and maintained is of course ...


14

In short, the onboard Radar Warning System computer analyzes the data and determines whether the missile has locked onto the aircraft. In general, aerial warfare is very complex and it is very difficult to explain in the real situations. Basically, the radars use different modes while engaging aircraft (from other aircraft or ground based SAM batteries): ...


13

Your assumption is correct - it is indeed about infrared (wavelength between 750 nm and 10,000 nm) and ultraviolet (wavelength between 100 nm and 400 nm) radiation. The sensor detected two specific wavelengths, one from each range. Every body has an electromagnetic radiation which is consistent with its temperature. This radiation has an intensity ...


12

Before continuing, much of the how's and why's of IRCM are going to be either speculation, or classified. Nations will not freely discuss their actual methods of defeating opposing nation's IR capabilities. Therefore, actual answers will be difficult to give. However, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia regarding a specific missile warning system that may ...


11

Lock tones are normally used for (surface/air)-to-air infrared homing missiles. Air-to-surface missiles don't "growl". The tone is used to indicate missile readiness and quality of lock, not the type. Phantom pilots in Vietnam used to cycle between all available Sidewinders to check which seeker had the best tone then put the worst one to be last in the ...


10

The subject of a radar lock-on may become aware of the fact that it is being actively targeted by virtue of the electro-magnetic emissions of the tracking system, notably the illuminator. This condition will present a heightened threat to the target, as it indicates that a missile may be about to be fired at it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


10

Radar Warning Receiver systems (RWRs) used by military aircraft are omnidirectional. However, they do not warn of incoming missiles (unless that missile is at least semi-actively radar-guided, like an AMRAAM). What they warn of are various patterns of radar activity, including a radar lock (which is a constant, high-intensity scanning of the aircraft's ...


7

The infrared missiles are usually detected using a Missile Approach Warning Sensor (MAWS). The Missile Approach Warning Systems are passive detectors, usually detecting either the infrared or ultraviolet rays emitted by the incoming missiles. The infrared based systems detect the infrared waves emitted by the missile. The ultraviolet based systems detect ...


7

Missiles use advanced algorithms to predict the best path to intercept the target. The seeker-head in the missile will be looking at the target (either IR, reflected radar energy, or using it's own radar depending on the missile type) and attempt to guide itself to the predicted intercept point, in order to have the shortest possible distance to cover. It ...


5

I think I have answered my own question from a little bit of research. Warfare systems such as Laser and Radar are detectable because they are active emissions (i.e. They have to make their own emission, wait for it to reflect back, then lock onto it). Visual and Infrared are not easily detectable because they are passive. The IR Launcher or TV-Guided ...


4

This topic is very broad, and there is copious material available on it. Therefore, this answer will be generalized. IR targeting is very useful against jet engine aircraft, because there is a clearly defined thermal contrast in the thermal output of the engines. At close range it is low cost and low complexity compared to a passive radar targeting system. ...


3

Do you have a need to know? Fortunately, there is a simpler answer to your question: the original AMRAAM does not communicate with the host aircraft. Only the host aircraft communicates data to the missile. This data is transmitted in the form of fixed-format messages, repeated multiple times with redundancy. Security would fall outside the scope here, ...


3

Before we talk about lock-on, let's consider the WWII battle between the RAF's u-boat hunting radars and the Metox radar detector on the German submarines. The RAF introduced their first sub-hunting radar in 1940. This initially consisted of two antennas that had a wide broadcast pattern, about 30 degrees on either side of the antenna centerline. They put ...


2

You're correct that IR/UV means Infra red/Ultra Violet. In general, the aircraft (or its exhaust) does not have any appreciable UV emission. MANPADS such as Stinger using a IR detector can be confused by launching flares that have the same (or similar) IR signature. The reason the UV sensor was added was that that it can be used to discriminate the target ...


2

What is the ultraviolet signature, if any, of aircraft and jet engines? The exhaust plume of the jet engine that has radiation which flickers within the Ultraviolet Range and the ultraviolet light radiation that exists as a result of a pressure wave on the tip or leading edge of the aircraft that is moving fast enough to create a sonic pressure wave. ...


2

Here is a color IR image of what I believe to be another F6F, on the tarmac shortly after landing: As you can see, the engine cowling is very noticeable, as are the tires (from touchdown and braking). Here's a similar image of an F/A-18 performing a runup test prior to takeoff. This jet is longer and larger than the F6F (though if you've ever stood under a ...


1

There are a number of laser-guided ground-to-air systems, and a number of those have been adapted to air-to-air and air-to-ground as well. The key is the speed of the missile, not so much the guidance system itself. An example is Starstreak. Lasers are well focused, but not perfectly, and are easy enough to defocus to any required degree. For this role, ...


1

Ground targets do have countermeasures against laser guided munitions in the way of smoke screens, for example on the Shtora-1 or Arena Active Protection Systems. These disperse an aerosol that reflects the light frequency of the known enemy laser designators. This works against laser homing missiles like the AGM-114 Hellfire (except the Lima, which is ...


1

This incident is documented at p. 62 in: https://www.airforcemag.com/PDF/MagazineArchive/Documents/2016/January%202016/0116packageq.pdf it is even linked to in the Youtube video, however, these video description fields are not usually that useful, so I overlooked it initially. Sorry about that. He opted for maneuverability by dropping his fuel tanks, but ...


1

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is the missile's speed. From the List of Gulf War military equipment, Iraq had different SAM missiles. All SAMs share a single characteristic, they are designed to be faster than the plane being shot at. The F-16 has a maximum speed of 795 to 1,147 knots (the higher, the faster). The modest SA-6 "Gainful" is ...


1

In re Question #1: No he could not as the jet was probably in full burner at the time of the maneuvers and he needed Max AB plus exchanging potential energy for kinetic energy in a dive to make the jet maneuver at its fullest potential. In re Question #2: I can’t see any chaff or flares in the video but it’s very likely he did so as that would be a ...


1

The missile works by predicting where the airplane will be. If you maneuver, it has to re-adjust, wasting energy. When the missile has lost enough energy, it'll eventually fail to re-adjust. Now you can try to beat the missile by being far away and fast or you can try to make the missile lose a lot of his energy by doing turns, at low speed. (You can ...


1

No. IR threat warning systems detect the energy from the missile.


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