Após o “post” sobre os comentários de um comandante de esquadrão de MiG-29, seguem agora os comentários de um piloto de F-16 sobre o MiG-29. Na época os pilotos de F-16 deste esquadrão estavam combatendo nos Balcãs. Deve-se lembrar que estes MiG-29 são da primeira versão e ainda existem muitos deles, inclusive no Perú e em Cuba.
Foi mantida a versão original em inglês, para não sofrer alterações em eventuais traduções.
“Two things jump out at you right away when you fly the MiG-29. The first one is the antiquated avionics, they are totally not user friendly. You have to make a lot of switch changes and so on that we just don’t even have to think about in the F-16.”
By comparison with western jets, the MiG- 29 cockpit was, I thought, somewhat thrown together. There didn’t seem to be much human engineering put into it. To be fair, though, the Russians do have much greater standardisation between the cockpits of all their fast jets. It’s actually remarkable how similar they’ve made the cockpits of the Su-27, the MiG-29, the Su-25, and even the older jets. Maybe the human factor in MiG-29 cockpit design was to make it as close as possible to the MiG-21 and MiG-23 cockpit.
But they do not have a HOTAS (Hands on Throttle and Stick) philosophy in the same way that we do in the F-16. In the F-16 I can select missiles and fire the gun and drop bombs all with my fingers on the stick and throttle. In the MiG-29 just launching a missile requires so many switch changes where they have to take their hand off the throttle, change the switches, look down inside the cockpit, and then look back up. Whereas in my F-16 I can switch radar modes, launch missiles and never have to take my hands off the controls or look down inside the cockpit. I can look outside the whole time and that’s a great advantage. It’s pretty difficult to focus up close and then refocus your eyes out to ten miles.
Radar e combate BVR
If the MiG-29 pilot is trying to lock us up with his radar, he’s not looking outside, he’s looking at the radar scope. He may be looking at the radar picture in the HUD, but he’s still not going to be able to see us outside beyond 10 miles. So we like to do a rope-a-dope kind of thing, whereby I get to about 50 nautical miles and get a radar lock on this guy (there’s no reason for me to look into the radar scope anymore) and now I’m looking out there, at where I know he’ll appear. My eyes are focused at about 10 miles and I’m just waiting to see a wing flash or smoke or something and then it’s ‘OK, I can see him, I can break radar lock’. Now I can flow to an engagement on this guy, where he doesn’t get any situational awareness of where I’m coming from. If he’s got a RHAWS scope, (a radar warning scope), he’ll get the clock position of where I’m coming into the fight but if I can see him, I can break lock, there’s no need for me to lock him up on the radar anymore.
Passando de BVR para Dog fight:
And if he doesn’t get me with an ‘Alamo’ before the merge, his life gets very difficult. Once I get inside about 10 nautical miles, he can’t shoot me with a radar missile, so he’ going to have to shoot me with a heat seeking missile. But now in the cockpit the MiG-29 pilot’s got to throw the switch from radar to helmet sight, he’s got to activate the IRSTS and arm up the ‘Archers’. So while he’s doing all that, if I blow past him before he can take a shot on me, he’s got to go back into the cockpit, go back to radar mode to select his radar missiles and deactivate the ‘Archers’ and meanwhile I’m going by at high Mach, trying to get away.
If he can’t get me with an ‘Archer’ as I blow past him, he has to go back to the ‘Alamo’. But his ability to actually do that is very very difficult in terms of his radar. He’ll have lost lock on me as I pass, and if he breaks lock, his radar display, and scan automatically jump back out to the 70 nautical mile range
settings. He can’t change that, till he gets an actual radar lock on me. So as I blow past him and he turns round to try to lock me up, he’s going to have to have GCI tell him where to lock, because he’s not going to be able to see me at that short range with his radar at what setting. By the time he can lock me up, I’m already outside his weapons parameters so the chances of him shooting a missile at
me are slim. I talked to the western-trained MiG-29 pilots, who admitted that ‘yeah, our chances of locking you guys up as you flew past us in a merge were slim-to-none because of the way the system is set up’. So you can see that he’s hampered quite a bit just by the systems that he has.
Confronto de filosofia
Here in the western world we give the pilot a lot of autonomy and so consequently we have built systems in the aeroplane that give him more situational awareness. In the eastern block the guy who had ultimate control was the ground controller. When they first started using MiG-29s in the integrated Luftwaffe, they were still actually using the ground control people. That’s what the East German pilots were used to (although the MiG-29 pilots had more capacity for autonomous decision making than those flying earlier Russian-built airplanes). Too a large degree they’re still quite dependant on that, even with western-trained pilots. Just because the onboard systems were not designed in the Western way they don’t have the situational awareness that they would like to have in the cockpit. They don’t have the level of on board automatic threat prioritisation that a western guy can take for granted”.
Em breve nova opiniões sobre o MiG-29.