空战的趋势:空中优势的未来含义

译者说明

这是CSBA(美国战略和预算评估中心)于2015年发表的一篇报告,地址为http://csbaonline.org/uploads/documents/Air-to-Air-Report-.pdf
文中“fighter”指中文的“歼击机”,本文一律译作“战斗机”。
译文中出现的“攻击机”指空战中的进攻者,而非“强击机”的别名(即ground-attack aircraft‘对地攻击机’的略称)。
处于方便起见(文中有大量略数,精确转换会造成小数太长,舍入会造成误差),译者保留了原文中的“海里”(请牢记1海里=1.852公里),但将其他单位转换成了公制单位。对于其中的略数,则在转换后的公制单位中进行了舍入(如,将2500英尺换算为750米,而非762米)。请注意这会造成误差,准确数据请参考英文原文。
中文的“机枪”和“机炮”以口径区分(20mm以上为机炮,以下为机枪)。但出于方便,本文把第一次世界大战中的译作为机枪,之后的译作机炮。

简介

美军列装了世界上最大,最复杂的作战机队,它依赖这些飞机执行一系列作战任务,包括侦察、打击、防空。许多海陆行动想要成功,必须免于敌方的空袭。自二战以来,美军依赖空战技术优势来获取制空权,国家对此投入巨大。美国自二战以来从未面对实力相近的空中对手,并在发动机、气动、武器、特别是传感器和其他电子系统方面取得重大进展。很难评估这些进步将如何改变未来的空战。然而,我们可以通过调查武器和传感器的改变,研究世界各地冲突中运用的作战概念,去平谷过去五十年间空战的首要发展趋势。为此,CSBA构建了关于超过1450场空战的数据库,这些战斗地点涵盖南亚、欧洲、中东等,时间从1965年至今。对这些数据的分析可被用于未来的战机设计和作战概念。海军和空军正在研究它们对于未来战机的需求,所以本报告恰逢其时。
The U.S. military fields the largest and most sophisticated fleet of combat aircraft in the world.It relies on these aircraft to accomplish and enable a number of important combat missions including reconnaissance, strike, and air defense. Many missions
conducted by maritime and land forces require security from enemy air attack as a precondition for success. Since World War II, U.S. forces have relied on superior capabilities in air-to-air combat to secure air superiority, and the nation has invested heavily
in this area. The United States has not faced aerial opposition from a comparable power since World War II, yet there have been significant advances in aircraft propulsion, aerodynamics, weapons, and especially aircraft sensors and other electronic systems.
It is difficult to assess just how these advances might shape the nature of future air-to-air combat. It is possible, however, to assess overarching trends in aerial combat over the past fifty years by examining changes in the types of weapons, sensors,and
resulting operational concepts employed in conflicts around the world. To this end, CSBA developed a database of over 1,450 air-to-air victories claimed in various conflicts in Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere from 1965 to the present
day. This was then analyzed to identify and assess trends in air-to-air combat that can highlight aspects of aerial combat, aircraft systems, and attributes that seem to be growing in importance, and those that seem to be declining in importance. This information
can then be used to inform future combat aircraft designs and concepts of operation. This is particularly timely as both the Air Force and Navy are in the process of developing requirements for future air combat aircraft.

本报告包含以下章节:
This report is organized into the following chapters:

  • 空战的起源
  • 导弹时代空战的趋势
  • 战斗机性能需求的演化
  • 对未来空战的另一种展望
  • 总结
  • The Genesis of Air Combat
  • Analysis of “Missile-Era” Air Combat Trends
  • The Evolving Importance of Traditional Fighter Aircraft Attributes
  • An Alternate Vision of Future Aerial Combat
  • Summary and Conclusion

空战的起源

一战期间,空中侦察是各国空中力量的首要也是最主要任务。从战争开始,空中侦察报告就对作战行动有着决定性影响。例如,在1914年8月22日,战争爆发三周内,空中侦察报告显示英国远征部队有被德国第一军在蒙斯战役中包围并歼灭的危险。因此英军指挥官约翰·弗伦奇下令撤退,从而保存了英军实力。随后在第一次马恩河会战和九月份的“向大海进军”中,英军才得以对阻挡德军推进起到关键作用。空中侦察报告对第一次马恩河战役法军的胜利,以及德军在1914年坦能堡战役中对俄军的胜利也起到了重要作用。
Aerial reconnaissance was the first, and remained the most important, mission of the combatant air forces during World War I. From the beginning of the war, aerial reconnaissance reports had a crucial impact on the flow of events. For example, on August
22, 1914, less than three weeks into the war, aerial reconnaissance reports revealed the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was in danger of encirclement and annihilation by elements of the German First Army during the Battle of Mons. BEF commander Gen. John
French ordered a retreat, saving the BEF to play an important role in halting the German advance at the First Battle of the Marne and the subsequent “Race to the Sea” in September. Aerial reconnaissance reports also played a significant role in the French
victory in the First Battle of the Marne and in the German defeat of the Russian army at Tannenburg early in World War I.
从北海绵延至阿尔卑斯山,连续的堑壕防线使双方的骑兵无法执行传统的侦察任务,因此陆军指挥官对空中侦察的需求大大提升。这极大刺激了(空中)侦察技术的发展,以及用飞机投掷改装炮弹,攻击己方火炮射程外的敌军部队和火炮阵地。在1915年中,侦察机(机组)能够在空中拍照,让双方得以实时了解对方堑壕的位置,侦察机和炮兵间也发展出了愈发复杂的协同作战技术。
The establishment of a continuous line of field fortifications from the North Sea to the Alps on the Western Front in late 1914 made it impossible for cavalry on either side to perform their traditional reconnaissance tasks and greatly increased the reliance
of ground commanders on aerial reconnaissance. This stimulated rapid advances in reconnaissance techniques and the use of aircraft dropping modified artillery shells to attack enemy troops and gun positions beyond the effective reach of artillery. By mid-1915,
reconnaissance aircraft crews were operating cameras that allowed both sides to produce up-to-date maps of opposing trench systems and were developing increasingly sophisticated techniques for cooperation with artillery.
对所有交战国而言,这些活动的价值是不言而喻的,而阻止或扰乱敌方空中侦察的价值同样不言而喻。最初的做法是让飞行员和观察员把各种手枪、步枪,甚至霰弹枪带上天空。这种最早的“空战”尝试显示命中一架飞机极端困难,而且只有极小一部分命中会造成关键损伤。这在随后导致机枪被装上飞机。最早的机枪可以活动,由后座机枪手操纵。由于射角受限、瞄准困难(特别是对侧面瞄准)、难以保持射击位置,飞机很难击落敌方侦察机。后来,高机动性,装备同步机枪(避免子弹击中螺旋桨)的轻型单座战斗机成为了解决方案。这允许飞行员用战斗机的指向进行瞄准。实际上,这种新的“驱逐机”(战斗机)的主要意图是,把武器带到某个特定空域,并用它们击落或驱逐敌人侦察机。
The value of these activities was obvious to all sides, as was the importance of stopping, or at least disrupting, enemy aerial reconnaissance activities. Efforts along these lines first took the form of pilots and observers carrying aloft various pistols,
rifles, and even shotguns. Early experiences with air-to-air combat revealed that hitting an aircraft was extremely difficult and that only a small percentage of hits resulted in critical damage. Over time, this led to the adoption of machine gun armament.
Early-on machine guns were usually mounted flexibly and wielded by the observer in two-seat reconnaissance aircraft. The restricted fields of fire, problems in aiming (especially to the sides), and difficulty of gaining and maintaining a firing position contributed
to continued lack of success in countering enemy reconnaissance aircraft. A solution eventually emerged in the form of a light, agile, single-seat aircraft armed with a machine gun(s) mechanically linked to the engine to synchronize gunfire with propeller
rotation. This allowed pilots to aim their weapon by aiming the aircraft. In effect,the purpose of the new “pursuit” (fighter) aircraft was to carry their weapons to a particular part of the sky so that they could be employed effectively to shoot down or chase
away enemy reconnaissance aircraft.
当然,说比做简单。一战期间的标准机枪弹能有效地穿透当时飞机的木质结构,但往往仅仅是洞穿,留下几个小孔,无法造成致命损伤,除非直接命中飞行员、油箱、发动机这样的地方。此外,在过远距离上开火会被敌机飞行员警觉,并立即进行规避机动,如果敌机是双座机,还可能引来还击火力。这极大降低了击落敌机的概率,同时增加了我机被击落的概率。一战期间,驱逐机飞行员常用的战术是,在侦察机组忙于精确导航、照相或者炮火观测时,从后下方的“盲区”接近它。驱逐机飞行员在对未警觉的敌机开火之前通常会接近到50米之内,有经验的飞行员甚至会接近到15米。为什么一定要“奇袭”呢?原因是机动空战,即“空中格斗”本身的特性。警觉、不断机动的被攻击者能对攻击者造成一系列问题。攻击机必须保证他和目标机在同一平面,在射程内,并有着合适的提前量(见图2)。通过转向攻击机,目标机就能迫使攻击机进行机动,以保持射击位置,从而让攻击变得复杂。判断恰当的提前量需要对射程和接近率的精确估计。在追击疯狂机动的目标机时,这些因素都需要纳入考虑。精确瞄准需要飞行员在整个接战期间保持高度注意。
Of course, this remained easier said than done. Standard machine gun bullets of World War I had great ability to penetrate wooden aircraft structures of the time but generally passed through leaving small, clean holes that did not cause fatal damage unless
they hit specific, critical items in the target aircraft including the crew, fuel tanks, and engine. Moreover, opening fire at too great a range alerted the enemy to the danger of attack, resulting in immediate evasive action and possible return fire from
two-seat aircraft. This greatly decreased the probability of scoring an air-to-air “kill” while simultaneously increasing the risk of being shot down.The preferred tactic of World War I fighter pilots was to approach a reconnaissance aircraft from the “blind
spot” below and behind while the crew was fully occupied with precise navigation,photography, or artillery spotting tasks. Experienced pursuit pilots often closed to 15 m, but always to 50 m or less, before opening fire on their unsuspecting victims. Why did
they put so much effort into surprising their victims? The answer lies in the nature of maneuvering air combat, or what is often referred to as a “dogfight.” An alert and maneuvering victim poses a series of problems for an attacking pilot. First, by turning
into the attacker, the target aircraft,or defender, complicates the attacker’s problem by forcing him to maneuver his aircraft to ensure he is in the same plane as the defender, is within range, and has the appropriate lead angle for a shot (see Figure 2).
Judging the correct lead angle requires accurate estimation of
range and rate of closure. All of these factors have to be considered while tracking a frantically maneuvering defender. Successfully solving the aiming problem requires full concentration for the duration of the engagement.
图2. 空中格斗。攻击机必须保证“平面内,射程内,提前量”,以用机枪开火。
这导致了空中格斗中,攻击者面临的第二大,也是最严重的难题。当攻击者专注于射击时,他无法扫描周围的天空,来发现任何其他敌人。攻击机飞行员的脑海中只剩下自己和目标机的相对位置和方向,而对其他事情的关注都减退了。空中格斗持续的时间越长,攻击机反而被目标机的友机袭击的可能性就越大。
This leads to the second and most serious problem attackers face in maneuvering air combat. With his attention fully consumed with solving the aerial gunnery problem, an attacker is unable to scan the surrounding sky for any previously unnoticed friends
of the defender. Sustained focused attention on the target aircraft causes the attacking pilot’s mental picture of the relative position and direction of his aircraft and all others in the area to rapidly deteriorate.The longer a maneuvering fight lasts, the
greater the probability the attacker will be attacked in turn by one of the defender’s unseen friends.
双方的王牌飞行员很快发展出了一套空战的战术守则,例如奥斯华·波尔克(德国的王牌飞行员)的“波尔克格言”,它是对爱德华·曼诺克的战术原则的实践:“应当出其意料地攻击处于劣势的敌人,最好用优势兵力……战斗必须持续到敌人承认其不利地位,例如被击落或逃跑。”
Successful pilots on both sides rapidly developed sets of tactical rules for air combat, such as Oswald Boelcke’s “Dicta Boelcke,” that sought to implement Edward Mannock’s main tactical principle: The enemy must be surprised and attacked at a disadvantage,
if possible with superior numbers so the initiative was with the patrol…. The combat must continue until the enemy has admitted his inferiority, by being shot down or running away.
曼诺克、波尔克,和其他一战驱逐机飞行员所寻求的“优势”包括:
The advantages sought by Mannock, Boelcke, and other World War I fighter pilots include:
  • 更高的高度,它可以在攻击时转换成速度优势,或用来避免和低空的大量敌人作战。
  • “从太阳中飞来”,避免或延迟被发现。
  • 从目标机盲区(双座机的后下方)接近。
  • 在近距离开火,以在目标机被突袭震惊时最大化命中。
  • Greater altitude, which can be converted into speed to attack or used to avoid combat with more numerous opponents at lower altitude.
  • Approaching from “up sun” to delay or deny detection
  • Approaching from known “blind spots” of a defender (e.g., behind and below a two-seat aircraft)
  • Opening fire at short range to maximize hits while the defender is still suffering from surprise.
直到越战,突然性都是战斗机战术的关键。在二战期间,欧洲战场上的德国王牌埃里希·哈特曼(352击落)和格尔德•巴克霍恩(302击落)强调所谓“伏击战术”,与此同时,在半个地球之外的南太平洋上,美国王牌理查德·邦格(40击落)和汤米·麦圭尔(38击落)常用与之相同的“高速俯冲-垂直爬升”(B&Z)战术。这些战术拥有曼诺克和波尔克守则的大部分元素,包括强调从有利位置(通常是上方)攻击未警觉目标,在除非极端必要的条件下避免缠斗。在战后的采访中,巴克霍恩称,缠斗是一种高风险,低收益的活动,并估计,他80%~90%的战果都是未警觉目标。战后,哈特曼发表了他的“观察-决定-攻击-脱离”战术,即,先发现敌人,获取战术优势,在近距开火以最大化杀伤和突然性,然后脱离,评估攻击效果。图3展示了这些战术。
Surprise remained a key element of fighter tactics through the Vietnam War. During World War II, the great German aces Erich Hartmann (352 kills) and Gerd Barkhorn (302 kills) stressed what they referred to as “ambush tactics” in the skies over Europe
at the same time American aces Richard Bong (40 kills) and Tommy McGuire (38 kills) perfected virtually identical “Boom and Zoom” tactics half a world away in the South Pacific. These tactical approaches shared most elements of Mannock’s and Boelcke’s rules
including an emphasis on attacking unsuspecting targets from a position of advantage, usually from above, and avoiding maneuvering combat unless absolutely necessary. In postwar interviews, Barkhorn characterized maneuvering combat as a high-risk, low-payoff
activity and estimated that between 80 and 90 percent of his victories were against unsuspecting targets. After the war, Hartmann stressed that his careful “See—Decide—Attack—Break” approach called for detecting the enemy first, achieving a tactical advantage,
attacking from close range to maximize damage and surprise, and escaping to assess the attack. Figure 3 illustrates these tactics.
图3. “高速俯冲-垂直爬升”,或“伏击”战术。蓝色飞机是进攻方。
突然性是一方在态势感知中拥有巨大优势的结果。对“态势感知”有若干定义,其中一个被广泛接受的定义将态势感知总结为“保持对重要事件和环境的关注”。因此,空战可以被视作在态势感知上的战斗。机组成员通过感官、训练、和经验去解读环境中的信息、飞行仪表,以及和友军的交流来获取、维持态势感知。
Surprise usually results from one opponent having an immense advantage in SA. There are a number of definitions of SA, but one widely accepted definition summarizes SA as, “keeping track of the prioritized significant events and conditions in one’s environment.”
Therefore,aerial combat can be viewed as a competition, or battle, for superior SA. Aircrew obtain and maintain SA through the use of their own senses, training, and experience to interpret inputs from the surrounding physical environment, aircraft displays,
and communications from friendly offboard sources.
美国空军在1970年代对越战期间的112场空战进行了分析,结果表明,80%被击落的机组成员未察觉迫近的攻击。态势感知优势的战术结果:突然性,对于空战如此重要,以至于它出现在了现代美国空军的“空战祷文”:“先敌发现,先敌开火,先敌击落”中。无论飞机、传感器、通讯、武器在一个世纪间发生了多大变化,空战的核心目标仍然不变:运用态势感知优势,“摸”进射击阵位,摧毁敌机,在其他敌机发现前脱离。
More modern detailed analysis of 112 air combat engagements during the Vietnam War conducted by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) in the 1970s concluded that 80 percent of aircrew shot down were unaware of the impending attack. Surprise, the tactical outcome of
superior SA,is so important to success in air combat that it is assumed in the modern USAF air combat mantra of “First Look, First Shot, First Kill.” Despite vast changes in aircraft, sensor, communication,and weapon capabilities over the past century, the
fundamental goal of air combat has remained constant: leverage superior SA to sneak into firing position, destroy the opposing aircraft, and depart before other enemy aircraft can react.

传感器和通讯作为态势感知基础的重要性

早期的王牌飞行员认为,保持敏锐监视,频繁切换注意力以消除盲区(根据曼诺克原则,间隔不应超过30秒),转向朝向进攻的敌机而非尝试俯冲脱离,是根本的防御战术。他们同样强调团队作战的重要性,并且迅速发展出一系列通讯技术,例如视觉信号、手势、摇摆机翼、摆方向舵等,用以指挥编队。传感器(肉眼)、武器(发射步枪弹的机枪)、相当原始的通讯手段,这些不仅决定了早期的空战战术,还刺激飞行员对他们的飞机性能提出需求,例如:
Early aces agreed that keeping a sharp lookout (sensing), frequently altering course to clear their own blind spots (never less than every 30 seconds, according to Mannock’s rules), and turning to meet an enemy attack rather than attempting to dive away
were essential defensive techniques. They also stressed the importance of teamwork and quickly developed communication techniques using visual signals, hand gestures, wing wags, rudder kicks, etc., to direct their formations. The combination of sensors (the
human eye), weapons (rifle caliber machine guns), and rather rudimentary communications dictated not only the tactics of early air combat, but also stimulated pilots to demand certain key attributes from their aircraft such as:
  • 高速,以追上敌人或者逃跑
  • 高升限,以最大化高度优势
  • 高爬升率,以拦截敌机,并在垂直机动上胜过敌机
  • 更高滚转率和转弯性能,以在缠斗中迅速获取(或阻止敌机获取)射击位置
  • 强火力,以抓住极短的射击窗口
  • 大航程,以“把战火烧到敌国”
  • High speed to overtake or escape from an enemy
  • High service ceiling to maximize altitude advantage
  • High rate of climb to facilitate interception and/or outmaneuver an enemy in the vertical plane
  • Superior roll rate and turning ability to rapidly achieve firing position (or deny it) in a maneuvering fight
  • Heavy firepower to make the most of fleeting engagement opportunities
  • Sufficient range to “take the fight to the enemy.”
这一系列性能要求直到现在都提醒着战斗机设计师。不幸的是,从飞行器设计上看,许多性能之间相互矛盾,因此需要作出权衡。例如,强火力需要飞机携带更多或更大的武器。这些武器增加了重量,因此降低了飞机的爬升率、速度和机动性,并且降低了升限。尽管这些缺点可以通过安装更大的发动机克服,但更大的发动机也更重,进一步降低了飞机的机动性;更大的发动机在相同里程下会消耗更多燃料,因此降低了航程。设计飞机需要进行无数次迭代,以在给定技术、时间和金钱的条件下达到各项性能的最佳平衡。在飞机设计中,各项战术指标间的交互、制造工艺和空战的特点同样重要。
This list of desired attributes continues to inform fighter design requirements to the present day. Unfortunately, many of these attributes are contradictory from an aircraft design perspective and require compromise. For example, increasing firepower
generally requires aircraft designs that can carry more or larger weapons. These weapons add weight, which can reduce an aircraft’s rate of climb, speed, and maneuverability and lower its maximum operational altitude (or ceiling). Although these drawbacks
could be addressed by adding a larger engine to restore speed and climb performance, a larger engine will also add weight, further degrading the aircraft’s maneuverability and likely burn more fuel per mile, reducing its range. This illustrates how the art
of aircraft design involves numerous iterations to arrive at the best mix of attributes given the technology, time, and money available. It also underscores the interactive relationship between tactical demands, technological possibilities, and the nature
of aerial combat.

导弹时代空战的趋势

第一种空空导弹是二战间德国设计的。由于盟军轰炸的规模在1943年增加了,德国空军明白,拦截轰炸机将需要前所未有的火力。最初他们增加了机炮的数量和口径,空对空火箭弹随后迅速出现。就对目标投射相同重量的爆炸物而言,火箭弹比机炮轻得多,且对载机后坐力极小。然而,火箭弹并不精确,且由于体积巨大,战斗机一次只能携带几枚。显然的解决方案是研制制导火箭,它能够精确地向目标投送大量爆炸物,一次即可摧毁一架轰炸机。在战争末期,德国工程师成功研制并测试了线导“鲁尔斯塔尔”X-4空空导弹,但它并未列装。在战后,美国、英国和苏联都基于战时德国的研究启动了空空导弹计划。在1950年代中期,这三个国家都列装了第一代导弹。图4展示了一枚X-4空空导弹(注意木质腹鳍)。
The first air-to-air missiles were designed during World War II by the Germans. As the scale of the Allied bomber offensive increased in 1943, it was clear to the German Luftwaffe that prospects of successful bomber interception required ever-increasing
firepower. Initially the number and caliber of guns were increased, but this was quickly followed by the introduction of air-to-air rockets. Compared to guns that could deliver the same weight of explosive on target,rockets were much lighter and placed little
recoil stress on the aircraft. However, they were inaccurate, and only a few could be carried at one time due to their bulk. The obvious solution was to develop a guided rocket to accurately carry a relatively large amount of explosive to destroy a bomber
with a single shot. Late in the war, German engineers designed and tested the wire-guided Ruhrstahl X-4 air-to-air missile (AAM), but it did not reach service. Following the war, the United States, Great Britain, and Soviet Union all initiated AAM programs
leveraging wartime German research. By the mid-1950s, all three countries had first-generation missiles in service. Figure 4 shows an example of the Ruhrstahl X-4 AAM (note the wooden fins).
图4. 德国“鲁尔斯塔尔”X-4线导空空导弹

导弹时代的黎明

空空导弹的首次实战运用是1958年,台湾空军的F-86“佩刀”对解放军空军的米格-17发射了AIM-9B“响尾蛇”导弹。然而,对空空导弹的首次持续使用直到1965年才发生,即美国空军和海军对北越发动的“滚雷行动”。不幸的是,早期的导弹并未达到1950年代末期对它们的期望。这些导弹的设计目标是大型,不机动的敌机,例如高空飞行的核轰炸机。美国空军和海军飞行员发现,面对北越的小体积、高机动性、低空飞行的米格-17战斗机时,这些早期导弹经常失的。导引头、电子设备、可靠性问题造成导弹的命中率远低于战前测试。在1956到1968年的“滚雷行动”中,AIM-7“麻雀”导弹只成功击落了8%的目标,而AIM-9“响尾蛇”导弹也只有15%,与此相比,战前测试的结果分别是71%和65%.尽管有这些问题,空空导弹能提供面对机炮的优势,并且贡献了越战期间美军的大多数战果。
The first use of guided missiles in air combat occurred in September 1958 when Taiwanese F-86 Sabers used AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles in a few engagements against People’s Republic of China (PRC) MiG-17s. The first sustained use of AAMs, however, did not
occur until 1965 when the U.S. Air Force and Navy began the prolonged Rolling Thunder air campaign against North Vietnam. Unfortunately, early missiles did not live up to the expectations set for them during the late 1950s. The missiles were designed for use
against large, non-maneuverable targets, such as nuclear-armed bombers, flying at high altitude. Their limitations were first revealed when U.S. Air Force and Navy aircrew discovered that these early missiles,when used against small, rapidly maneuvering North
Vietnamese MiG-17 fighters at relatively low altitude, often missed. Seeker, avionics, and missile reliability problems resulted in much lower success rates compared to successes achieved in pre-conflict testing. From 1965 through 1968, during Operation Rolling
Thunder, AIM-7 Sparrow missiles succeeded in downing their targets only 8 percent of the time and AIM-9 Sidewinders only 15 percent of the time. Pre-conflict testing indicated expected success rates of 71 and 65 percent respectively. Despite these problems,
AAMs offered advantages over guns and accounted for the vast majority of U.S. air-to-air victories throughout the war.
在讨论早期导弹时代的空战战果之前,有必要注意,当时大部分战斗机都没有空对空雷达,即使有,目视搜索仍然极端重要。
Before proceeding to a discussion of early missile-era aerial victories, it is important to note that many fighters during the early missile era did not have air-to-air radar, and even for those that did, visual search and detection remained extremely
important.
在一架飞机周围,可以有效发现接近敌机的区域大概延伸至1.5-2.5海里。在高可见度,理想光照,无云层的情况下,如果飞行员把目光聚焦,可以从10海里甚至更远之外发现一架现代战斗机。有些时候飞机会被在更远距离发现,尤其是在搜索区域已被限定在几度之内的情况下。如果搜索区域不限,观察者就几乎不可能在理论最远距离上发现敌机。
The region surrounding an aircraft where a pilot can reliably expect to detect approaching enemy aircraft extends to about 1.5 to 2.5 nm. Under conditions of good visibility, favorable lighting, minimal clutter, etc., it is possible to see modern fighter-size
aircraft at ranges of 10nm or more if they fall within the highly focused central vision. Aircraft are sometimes seen at these longer ranges, especially if the observer is cued and able to limit the search area to a few degrees, but uncued observers are extremely
unlikely to detect enemy aircraft at anything approaching maximum theoretical range.
图5. 目视搜索的极限,注意单位是海里
系统性地搜索一片天空需要飞行员把视线聚焦在一个遥远的物体,比如地平线上,来保证焦距正确。图5(左)中的阴影区代表了飞行员的视线聚焦于某点时,能够发现敌机的“视锥”区域。在极远距离上,视锥只有2°,因此敌机A只能被聚焦点3发现。聚焦点3无法发现敌机B,即使它比敌机A离飞行员更近,因为它在飞行员的中心视觉区之外。不过,虽然敌机C和敌机B对飞行员的方位角相同,聚焦点3可以发现敌机C,因为它足够近,能被不太敏感的周边视觉区感知。这解释了即便飞行员经过视觉搜索训练,并且编队中每名成员被分配了不同的搜索扇面,在2至3海里外用肉眼发现敌机的概率依然很低。例如,如果一名飞行员负责搜索一个90°宽,20°高的范围(这是个相对较小的区域),他在理论上能够看到7海里外的目标,但对于给定的聚焦点,这个目标落在他2°的中心视觉区内的概率只有1/450(0.002).这个概率在3海里处仅仅增加到1/110(0.009),而即使在2海里处,也只有1/5.
图5(右)展示了飞行员用每分钟20次不同聚焦点的方式搜寻每个90°扇面时,发现从不同方向接近的敌机的累积概率。直到敌机进入1.9~2.8海里范围内,发现敌机的累积概率才提高到50%.出于方便,之后我们将用2海里半径的圆形表示目视搜索能大概率发现敌机。
Systematically searching an area of sky requires the observer to focus on a distant object such as the horizon to ensure proper focus. The shaded area in the illustration on the left of Figure 5 represents the visual “lobe” thus formed where an opposing
aircraft could physically be detected by the human eye in one “fixation.” At extreme ranges, the lobe is only about 2 degrees wide, so aircraft A would only become visible on the third fixation, or deliberate shifting of the visual lobe. During fixation 3,
aircraft B would not be detected, even though it is closer to the observer than aircraft A, because it lies outside the observer’s central vision. Aircraft C would be detected on fixation 3, even though it is at the same angle to the observer as aircraft B,
because it is close enough to be detected by the less sensitive peripheral vision.This explains why even when aircrew use disciplined search patterns and fly in formations where members are assigned different search sectors, the likelihood of detecting enemy
aircraft beyond about 2 to 3 nm is low. For example, a pilot searching a relatively small sector 90 degrees wide by 20 degrees high might be physically able to see a target at 7 nm range, but the probability it would fall within his 2 degree central vision
on any given fixation is just 1/450 (0.002). This per-fixation probability increases to only about 1/110 (0.009) at 3 nm and is still only about 1/5 at 2 nm. The illustration on the right of Figure 5 shows the cumulative probability a pilot searching each
90-degree sector with 20 fixations per minute would detect an aircraft approaching from various directions by range. The cumulative probability of detecting the approaching aircraft remains below 0.50 until it is between 1.9 and 2.8 nm. For simplicity, the
series of figures that follow will use a circular 2 nm area to illustrate the region where visual search is likely to detect an approaching enemy aircraft.
图6. 后半球攻击的红外导弹相对于机炮的优势
图6展示了导弹时代早期空战的一些重要特点。首先是未警觉敌机的目视搜索极限,用以飞机为圆心的虚线圆圈表示。每架飞机后面有一个黑色虚线标出的窄扇形区域,它表示飞行员的视线被自己的飞机遮挡,难以目视扫描的区域。这一区域随飞机型号而变化。这是战斗机以编队飞行的主要原因之一:消除对方的视觉盲区。然而,先前对于目视搜索的讨论显示,即使编队中的飞行员经过目视搜索训练,囿于肉眼的物理极限,编队仍然难以在2.5海里外发现攻击机。
Figure 6 illustrates several important aspects of air combat at the dawn of the missile era.The first is the effective uncued visual search limit, which is shown as a dashed circle centered on each aircraft. Note the dashed lines forming a wedge-shaped
area directly behind the aircraft indicates an area difficult for pilots to visually scan. The extent of this blind spot varies with aircraft type. This reality is one of the main reasons that fighter aircraft fly in formations,which permit them to clear each
other’s blind spots and warn of impending attacks. As the preceding discussion of visual search showed, however, even in formations where aircrew execute disciplined visual search plans, the physical limitations of human vision still make it unlikely any aircraft
in the formation will see an attacker that is still more than about 2.5 nm away.
图中的浅蓝色扇形代表攻击机能够发射典型第一代红外制导导弹的区域。这一区域大概30°宽,从导弹的最小射程(典型为约750米)到最大射程(高空约2.3海里,低空小于1海里)。早期的红外导引头通常未经冷却,能够探测发动机扇叶或尾喷口的炙热金属发出的红外辐射。这让它们只能用于尾追攻击。
The light blue wedge represents the area where the attacking aircraft could employ a typical first-generation IR homing missile. This area is about 30 degrees wide and extends from the missile’s minimum range, typically about 2,500 feet, to its maximum
range of about 2.3nm at high altitudes to less than 1 nm at low altitudes. Early IR missile seekers were generally uncooled and tuned to detect IR radiation emitted by the hot metal of jet engine turbine blades and tailpipes. This limited them to “tail-only”
attacks.
防御机(红圈)后方较小的深蓝色扇形代表攻击机机炮的最大有效射程。在导弹空战出现前的五十年间,由于计算机瞄具的发展,以及射程更长,杀伤力更大的机关炮取代了机枪,战斗机上机炮的有效射程增加了十倍,从45米增加至450米。
The small, dark blue wedge behind the defending aircraft at the center of the red circle represents the attacking aircraft’s maximum effective gun range. In the fifty years between the advent of air combat and the beginning of AAM combat, effective gun
range increased by a factor of ten from 150 feet to about 1,500 feet thanks to the development of computing gunsights and the universal adoption of longer-range, harder-hitting automatic cannon in place of machine guns.
雷达制导导弹在1950年代也得到发展。它相对红外制导导弹有一些优势,包括全向攻击能力,全天候能力,更长的射程。战术飞机在快节奏的空战中运用这些优势比预想中的困难许多,因为飞机需要在发射导弹之前先识别敌我。1960年代的敌我识别器不太可靠,这导致美国海空军的一些飞行员不愿发射超视距武器。交战规则要求飞行员在接战前进行目视识别,这进一步加剧了飞行员对超视距武器的抗拒。这些因素综合起来,导致美军在越战期间只有两次超视距战果。不过,美军F-4的超视距作战能力极大限制了北越飞行员的战术,降低了他们的作战效能。
Radar homing missiles had also been developed during the 1950s. They had several advantages over IR missiles, including the ability to engage aircraft from any aspect (front, sides, or rear), in bad weather, and at longer range. Exploiting these advantages
in fast-moving combat between tactical aircraft proved much more difficult than anticipated due to the need to positively identify the target as an enemy aircraft before launching a missile. The unreliability of 1960s Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment
resulted in extreme reluctance on the part of U.S. Air Force and Navy aircrews to actually employ their BVR weapons. This tendency was reinforced at some times and places by rules of engagement (ROE) requiring visual identification of the target aircraft.
These factors resulted in only two confirmed BVR kills in Vietnam.The fact, however, that U.S. F-4 crews had the capability to engage targets BVR had a significant influence on North Vietnamese pilot tactics and reduced their effectiveness.

导弹时代的空战战果数据库

CSBA编制了一个包含从1965年到2013年所有已确认空战战果的数据库。这一数据库的主要来源是Air Combat Information Group(ACIG)(似乎是一个专业论坛——译者注)。这些空战战果同官方数据源,例如统计美军在越战期间空战胜负的“红男爵计划”。CSBA的数据集包括1467个已确认战果的固定翼飞机空战信息。除了日期和国籍之外,所有数据库条目还包括被击落飞机型号和攻击者所用武器(例如,AIM-9,AA-2‘环礁’,机炮)。许多战果中,飞行员的名字和单位已知。对于一些战果,ACIG用被击落方的官方认定损失,和被击落飞行员的名字/飞机编号进行了交叉验证。数据库包括美国、越南、印度、巴基斯坦、以色列、埃及、约旦、叙利亚、伊拉克、伊朗、英国、阿根廷、委内瑞拉、厄瓜多尔飞行员的已确认战果。
CSBA compiled a database of all confirmed aerial victories from 1965 through 2013. The primary source for the database is regional and national databases maintained by the Air Combat Information Group (ACIG). Where possible, the ACIG air combat victories
were crosschecked with official sources such as Project Red Baron accounts of U.S. victories and losses in Vietnam. The database contains information on 1,467 confirmed victories over fixed-wing combat aircraft. In addition to the date and nationality of the
victor, all database entries include information on the type of aircraft claimed shot down and the type of weapon used(e.g., AIM-9, AA-2 Atoll, gun). In many cases the name of the victorious pilot and his unit are available. In some cases, ACIG has been able
to cross-reference claims with officially admitted losses and provide the victim aircraft pilot’s name and/or aircraft tail number. The database contains victory claims for pilots from the United States, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Israel,Egypt, Jordon, Syria,
Iraq, Iran, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Venezuela, and Ecuador in achieving confirmed air-to-air victories.
尽管击落数据可能被伪造,对于以上大多数国家而言,ACIG数据和官方数据/独立历史记载相符。战后分析表明,飞行员容易夸大自己的战果。例如,英国战斗机飞行员宣称在1940年五月的法国空战中摧毁了499架德国飞机。而战后对德国文献的研究表明,英法空军加起来只让德军损失了299架飞机。另一个例子是1950.12-1951.7间美国F-86和苏联米格-15飞行员的宣称战果。苏联解体后流出的官方文献表明,美军飞行员宣称击落45架米格-15,但实际上只有19架。同样,苏军飞行员宣称击落37架F-86,实际为14架。也就是说,美军夸大战果的平均比例是2.37,苏联则是2.64.双方都相信自己痛击了对方,而实际交换比是1:1.36,美军略占优势。虽然CSBA数据库中,过去五十年间的1400个战果很可能只有一半是真的,但这不影响本报告的重点:空战的发展趋势。即便真实的战果数比宣称的要少,这些战斗中使用的武器仍然应该能够反映空战的特点。
While all of this data could be fabricated, the ACIG data is consistent with official sources and/or independent historical accounts for most of the nations listed. Post conflict analysis of victory claims and actual losses shows that aircrew tend to overstate
actual damage done to the enemy in aerial combat. For instance, British fighter pilots claimed to have destroyed 499 German aircraft during the Battle of France in May 1940. Postwar examination of German Luftwaffe documents revealed a total of just 299 aircraft
lost to enemy action, both British and French, during May 1940. Another example is the claims by American F-86 and Russian MiG-15 pilots between December 1950 and July 1951. The release of official Russian MiG-15 losses after the fall of the Soviet Union allows
a comparison of claims and losses for both sides during this period. It reveals that U.S. F-86 pilots claimed forty-five victories against nineteen actual Russian MiG losses in combat. Likewise, Russian pilots claimed thirty-seven victories against fourteen
actual F-86 losses in air combat. This works out to the Americans over-claiming by a factor of 2.37 and the Russians by a factor of 2.64. Both sides sincerely believed they were soundly trouncing their opponents when in reality the exchange ratio was 1:1.36,
with the Americans slightly in the lead. While the actual number of aerial victories is likely less than half the 1,400+ credited to fighter pilots over the past fifty years, the focus of this report is on trends in aerial combat. The trends in the type and
mix of weapons employed should still reflect the changing nature of air-to-air combat, even if the actual number of downed aircraft is significantly smaller than claimed.
把数据按时间划分后,我们得以进一步追踪五十年来空战特点的剧烈变化。图7是本章诸多类似图表中的第一个。它显示了战果中运用的不同武器。左图显示了每种武器的比例,右图显示了每种武器取得的战果数量。武器的种类包括机炮、后半球攻击导弹(例如早期的AIM-9),全向攻击导弹(例如越战期间的AIM-7D/E),超视距导弹,例如“沙漠风暴”行动中的AIM-7M、AIM-54“不死鸟”、AIM-120。“其他”分类包括诸如摧毁地面飞机、和抛掉的副油箱撞击等非正常手段。
Segregating the data into time slices, it is possible to further trace the dramatic changes in the dynamics of air combat over the past five decades. Figure 7 is the first of a series of similar figures throughout the remainder of this chapter. It shows
a pair of charts summarizing the mix of weapons used in achieving confirmed aerial victories. The chart on the left shows the fraction of kills credited to each weapon type, and the chart on the right illustrates the total number of kills by weapon employed.
Weapon types include guns, rear-aspect AAMs such as the early AIM-9 Sidewinder described above, all-aspect AAMs such as the AIM-7D/E employed by U.S. aircrew in Vietnam, and BVR AAMs such as the AIM-7M employed in Operation Desert Storm and the AIM-54 Phoenix
and AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The “other” category includes kills resulting from a variety of factors including opposing aircraft flying into the ground during combat (sometimes called a “ground kill”), aircraft downed by collision
with jettisoned drop tanks, and assorted other unusual means.
图7.宣称空战战果,1965-1969
1965-1969年的数据显示,机炮在1960年代仍有统治地位。在这一时期,美军的大部分战果都来自导弹(122个战果中的78个)。大多数北越的战果来自机炮(73个中的40个)。另一场主要空战是中东的“六日战争”。在六日战争中,机炮仍然是主要武器。直到1967年冲突之前,以色列空军都没有大量列装导弹,因此其66个宣称战果中的62个都是用机炮。大多数阿拉伯国家的战果同样来自机炮。在随后持续到60年代末的小规模空战中,以色列空军宣称又取得了92个战果。其中,12个归功于第一代红外制导导弹,80个归功于机炮。1965年印巴战争中,印度的所有战果和巴基斯坦的大多数战果都来自机炮。这一情况即将改变。
The 1965–1969 data indicates the continued dominance of the gun in late 1960s aerial combat. The majority of U.S. kills during this period were made with missiles (78 of 122 kills). Most North Vietnamese victory claims during this period were credited
to guns (40 of 73 kills).The other major scene of air combat during this period was the Six-Day War in the Middle East. Here, the gun was still the main weapon. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) did not have AAMs in widespread squadron service during the 1967 conflict
and scored sixty-two of its sixty-six claimed victories with guns. Most Arab victory claims are also attributed to guns. In the aerial sparring that continued through the end of the decade, the IAF claimed an additional ninety-two victories. Twelve were credited
to first-generation IR-guided missiles and eighty to guns. All Indian and most Pakistani victory claims during the 1965 war were also attributed to guns. This was about to change.
图8展示了变化的脚步。在五百个宣称战果中,过去五十年间最激烈的空战出现在1970年代。机炮仍然重要,但新型的红外/雷达制导导弹开始展现出存在感。
Figure 8 illustrates the pace of change. With over five hundred claimed aerial kills, the 1970s saw the most intensive air combat of the past fifty years. Guns were still important, but improved versions of IR and radar-guided missiles began to make their
presence felt.
图8. 宣称空战战果,1965-1979
美军在1970年代仅有的空战是在越南。在1968年11月“滚雷行动”停止后,美军并未对北越进行空中打击,直到1972年4月北越陆军进攻南越。在1972年末,后卫I和后卫II行动中,美军宣称了68个空对空战果。其中8个是机炮(包括B-52的尾炮),57个是导弹。同时,在中东,以色列空军和叙利亚、埃及空军展开了“埃以消耗战”。从1970年1月开始,到1973年10月“赎罪日战争”爆发前,以色列空军宣称了112个战果。其中的40个是机炮,65个是导弹。阿拉伯国家的13个宣称战果全部是导弹。巨大的改变在赎罪日战争期间发生:在以色列空军的164个宣称战果中,49个是导弹,只有83个是机炮。到1970年代末,以色列空军又宣称了16个战果,其中11个是导弹,只有3个是机炮。
The only significant aerial combat U.S. forces participated in during the 1970s was the continuing conflict in Vietnam. After the end of Operation Rolling Thunder in November 1968,U.S. air operations over North Vietnam did not resume until after the North
Vietnamese Army(NVA) invaded South Vietnam in April 1972. During Operations Linebacker I and II in late 1972, U.S. aircrew were credited with sixty-eight air-to-air victories. Eight kills were achieved with guns, including victories by two B-52 tail gunners,
whereas fifty-seven enemy aircraft were shot down by U.S. missiles. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the IAF was engaged in an ongoing series of air engagements with Syrian and Egyptian air forces known as the “War of Attrition.” Between January 1970 and the
beginning of the Yom Kippur War in October 1973,the IAF claimed 112 victories. Forty of these were credited to missiles and sixty-five to guns.The thirteen Arab victory claims were all credited to missiles. The big shift came during the Yom Kippur War when
the IAF scored seventy-nine of its 164 claimed victories with missiles and only eighty-three with guns. By the close of the decade, the IAF claimed an additional sixteen kills—eleven credited to missiles and only three to guns.

导弹大行其道

在越战期间,美军飞行员最失望的方面之一是,他们无法有效运用先进飞机的理论优势。这种失望的来源要追溯到1950年代飞机和武器设计师做出的一些关键假设。正如之前提到的那样,越战中美军飞机携带的导弹被设计用于拦截高空的苏联轰炸机,保卫美国城市或舰队。设计师假定,美军战斗机在大多数时候会朝向轰炸机的大致方位爬升,直到用机载雷达截获目标。他们还假设,友机和敌机的态势足够清晰,让战斗机得以向10海里或更远的目标发射雷达制导导弹。这种肉眼无法发现目标,更无法识别目标的战斗叫做超视距空战。
One of the more frustrating aspects of aerial combat for U.S. aircrew in Vietnam was their inability to effectively employ several theoretical advantages of their sophisticated aircraft.These frustrations can be traced to key assumptions made by weapon
and aircraft designers in the late 1950s. As previously mentioned, the missiles U.S. aircraft carried in Vietnam were designed under the assumption they would be used to defend U.S. cities or naval task forces from attack by Soviet bombers flying at high altitude.
Designers assumed that in most cases U.S. fighters would be vectored toward incoming enemy bombers until the fighters could acquire them with their own on board radars. They further assumed the position of other friendly aircraft and the incoming bombers would
be sufficiently well understood to permit the fighters to shoot their radar-guided missiles at targets located at ranges of 10 nm or more. Engagements of this type, which are well beyond the range where humans can visually detect,let alone identify, an approaching
aircraft, are referred to as BVR engagements.
在当时,越战美军、以色列、阿拉伯、巴基斯坦空军等许多飞行员遇到的难题是,他们的目标极少有从高空接近,沿已知航线飞行,不进行机动的轰炸机。与此相反,他们的目标通常是中低高度灵活的战术飞机。这让地面和海基雷达难以导引远程导弹,因为空战常常发生在它们的探测距离外,或者高度过低。由于敌机和友机往往缠在一起,飞行员在靠近到足以目视识别的距离之前根本无法有效区分敌我。
The challenge for U.S. pilots in Vietnam as well as Israeli, Arab, Indian, Pakistani, and other pilots engaged in contemporary air combat operations was that their targets were rarely nonmaneuverable bombers at high altitude approaching on expected routes.
Instead, their targets were usually agile tactical aircraft operating at medium to low altitude. This made it hard for ground- and sea-based radar sites to support long-range missile targeting, because combat engagements often occurred beyond their effective
range or at altitudes below their radar horizon. Intermingling of friendly and enemy aircraft made it almost impossible for aircrew to reliably distinguish friend from foe until they were close enough to visually identify a potentially hostile aircraft.
电子敌我识别器最早在二战中发明,并在1960年中配备给了所有的作战飞机。“识别是敌还是友”有点领任务接。当这一装置接收到我方雷达的编码信号时,它会自动回复一个编码信号,以让友军识别。敌机当然不会回复这个编码信号,但设备故障、战斗中损伤、没装好密钥的友机也不会回复。换言之,回复信号的一定是友机,但不回复的可能是敌机也可能是设备坏掉的友机。1960年代电子设备的高故障率使得它不能被作为发射超视距导弹的依据。尤其是在越战中,每一天可能只会有几架北越的米格战斗机升空,但天上有几百架美军飞机。在这种情况下,没有返回识别信号的飞机很可能也是友机。为了避免误伤,美军飞行员倾向于对目标机进行目视识别,而这就意味着美军飞机在雷达和导弹射程上的优势用处不大。
Aircraft electronic IFF equipment was first introduced early in World War II and was carried on virtually all combat aircraft by the mid-1960s. “Identification, friend or foe” is a bit of a misnomer. When this equipment receives a coded signal from friendly
radar, it automatically replies with a coded signal of its own to positively identify the aircraft as friendly. Enemy aircraft will not give the proper coded reply, but neither will a friendly aircraft with malfunctioning equipment, battle damage, or an improperly
inserted IFF code key. In other words, IFF systems can identify friendly aircraft with properly functioning IFF equipment, but the remaining radar returns could either be enemy aircraft or friendly aircraft with malfunctioning equipment. The high failure rate
of 1960s-era electronics made IFF generally inadequate as a means of enabling BVR missile shots. This was especially true for U.S. aircrew operating over North Vietnam, where on any given day only a few North Vietnamese MiGs might be airborne among hundreds
of U.S. aircraft. Under these conditions, odds were high that an aircraft without a friendly IFF reply was not an enemy aircraft. In order to avoid incidents of fratricide, U.S. aircrew preferred to positively establish the identity of any aircraft they attacked,
and for all practical purposes, this meant closing to within visual range of their targets where their superior radar and missile ranges were of little value.
到了1960年代末期,美军采取了一些手段解决超视距识别问题。第一种手段是,通过对从以军在1967年六日战争间击落的米格飞机上拆下的苏制SRO-2应答器进行秘密研究,在1968年,美国空军启动了一项叫做“Combat Tree”的项目,试图为美军战斗机装备一种SRO-2的“应答机”。在1971年,这套系统研制、测试成功,并被装在了一些美国空军的F-4D上。这一系统的官方代号是AN/APX-81,它在被动模式下能够接收并处理米格战斗机和他们的地面站雷达的通讯,在主动模式下能够触发米格战斗机的应答。装备了这一系统的F-4能够远在60海里外识别敌机,这比F-4本身的雷达探测(还不是识别)距离远三倍。
By the late 1960s, U.S. forces were taking steps to solve the BVR IFF problem. The first was enabled by covert exploitation of Soviet SRO-2 IFF transponder equipment recovered by the Israelis from MiGs shot down during the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1968 the
USAF started a program known as Combat Tree to build and incorporate a suitable SRO-02 interrogator into U.S.fighters. By 1971 a suitable system had been designed, tested, and fitted to a number of USAF F-4D aircraft. Known officially as the AN/APX-81, the
system could be used in a passive mode where it received and processed IFF replies sent from MiGs in response to their own Ground Controlled Intercept (GCI) radar interrogations, or it could be used in active mode to trigger the MiGs response. A Combat Tree-equipped
F-4 could positively identify enemy aircraft at up to 60 nm, three times farther than the F-4 could detect, but not identify, them with its radar alone.
图9. F-14D机鼻和F-4D机翼上的AN/ASX-1 TISEO(目标识别光电传感器)系统
装备“Combat Tree”和TISEO的F-4飞行员能在更远距离上发现和识别敌机,因此得以在比越战中更远的距离上发射超视距武器。美国空军把越战中的大量教训用在了新的专业战斗机F-15(和多任务的F-4相反)上。F-15的诸多创新之一是非合作目标识别。它能够把雷达回波数据和敌我战机的数据库进行对比,并自动判断目标类型。
F-4E crews equipped with Combat Tree and TISEO were much more likely to detect and identify enemy aircraft at long range where they could effectively employ their BVR weapons than were U.S. pilots through most of the Vietnam War. The USAF also incorporated
a host of lessons from aerial combat over Vietnam into the requirements for their new dedicated, as opposed to the multi role F-4, air-to-air fighter: the F-15. One of the many innovations the F-15 introduced was Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR).
NCTR compares prominent features from radar returns (e.g., engine compressor or turbine blades—if visible) with data on friendly and enemy aircraft features and automatically categorizes target returns.
这些新型传感器和武器在1970和1980年代列装。基于越战的经验,美军研发了AIM-7F. 这种新型空空导弹有着双推力火箭发动机,为它提供了越战期间AIM-7E两倍的有效射程。它还采用了比AIM-7D/E上的真空管更为可靠的固态电子器件。在1980年代,随后研发的导弹,例如AIM-7M引入了更多改进,包括可编程数字计算机,单脉冲雷达导引头(提高了抗干扰能力和对低空目标的探测能力)、改进的战斗部、自动驾驶仪(通过优化弹道的方式增加了导弹射程)。
These new sensors were paired with new weapons fielded in the 1970s and 1980s. Based on Vietnam combat experience, the U.S. military developed the AIM-7F. This new AAM had a dual-thrust rocket motor that offered more than double the effective range of
the AIM-7Es used in Vietnam and used solid state electronics that were much more reliable than the vacuum tubes used in the AIM-7D/E. During the 1980s, follow-on missiles such as the AIM-7M introduced further improvements, including a programmable digital
computer, a monopulse radar seeker for better jam-resistance and improved performance against targets at low altitude, an improved warhead, and an autopilot that increased the missile’s range by allowing it to fly optimized trajectories.
美国海军在下一代战斗机的超视距能力上走的更远。他们在F-14“雄猫”上同时安装了“Combat Tree”和AN/ASX-1系统,而且还安装了无比强大的AN/AWG-9雷达/火控系统,以及AIM-54“不死鸟”导弹。重达450千克的“不死鸟”是AIM-7重量的两倍,它能够攻击远在100海里外的目标——三倍于AIM-7F/M的最大射程,五倍于越战中的AIM-7D/E.
The U.S. Navy went even further to improve BVR performance with its next-generation fighter. Not only did they include both the AN/ASX-1 and Combat Tree capability in the F-14 Tomcat, they also incorporated an exceptionally powerful and capable AN/AWG-9
radar/fire control system and the AIM-54 Phoenix missile. The 1,000-pound Phoenix was twice the weight of the AIM-7 and was capable of engaging targets at ranges over 100 nm—about three times the maximum range of the AIM-7F/M and more than five times the maximum
range of AIM-7D/Es used in Vietnam.
不过,美国海空军并没有把所有鸡蛋放在一个篮子里。他们启动了一项联合计划,以改进AIM-9“响尾蛇”导弹,从而提升近距格斗能力,这一改型就是AIM-9L.它采用了全新的导引头设计,由氩气冷却,灵敏度足以锁定温度较高的机翼前缘或者其他部件,而不限于发动机。这赋予了AIM-9L全向攻击能力。因此AIM-9L的灵活性超出了之前的所有版本。飞行员不再需要把飞机飞到目标机后方的窄扇形范围内;只要飞机指向目标,并且位于射程内(射程对于90千克重的‘响尾蛇’导弹仍显得短了),就可以发射导弹。AIM-9L的其他改进包括更强的机动性和更好的保险。所有这些改进让AIM-9成为了1980年代最好的空中格斗武器之一。
The U.S. Navy and USAF did not put all of their air combat eggs into the BVR basket. They worked to improve short-range combat capability by launching a combined effort to improve the performance of the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile known as the AIM-9L. The
AIM-9L featured a completely new seeker design cooled by argon gas that was sensitive enough to lock onto the warm leading edges and other external parts of an aircraft rather than just hot engine parts. This gave the AIM-9L the ability to attack a target
aircraft from any direction—front,sides, top, bottom, or rear. This “all-aspect” capability made the AIM-9L much more flexible than earlier AIM-9 versions. Pilots no longer had to maneuver their aircraft into a relatively small “launch cone” behind a target
aircraft. Instead, if they could point their aircraft at the target and if they were within range (still relatively short for the ~200-pound Sidewinder),they could launch a missile. Other improvements incorporated in the AIM-9L were increased maneuverability
and improved fuzing. Combined, these attributes made the AIM-9L one of the most successful air combat weapons of the 1980s.
图10. 1980年代晚期的空战传感器和武器。(译者注:注意红色飞机周围圆圈上的文字“假想敌导弹射程限制~23海里”,根据维基百科,这是苏制R-27R的同高度对头攻击射程42.5km.图中的APG-63雷达装备在F-15A/B/C/D上。)
图10显示1980年代晚期广泛运用的传感器和武器极大扩展了进攻方的射击区域。
Figure 10 illustrates how sensor and weapon technologies in widespread service by the late 1980s had greatly expanded the potential engagement zone available to attacking aircraft.
图11. 宣称空战战果,1965-1989
如图11所示,在1980年代,传感器和武器的进步大大改变了空战形态。
As illustrated by Figure 11, improvements in fighter sensor and weapon capabilities had a dramatic effect on the nature of air combat during the 1980s.
首先值得注意的是1980年代仍有不少空战。最广为人知的例子是以色列和叙利亚在黎巴嫩的持续冲突,和马岛战争。不过,大部分宣称战果来自漫长的,几乎贯穿整个1980年代的两伊战争。关于这场战争的数据来源较少,但已有的数据显示,伊朗空军成功地让它在1970年代得到的美制F-4,F-5和F-14维持服役。它们的飞行员(全部在美国受训)宣称了超过200个战果,包括F-14用AIM-54“不死鸟”取得的62个战果。1980年代第二个值得注意的特点是机炮地位的显著下降。在1970年代,有超过200个宣称战果由机炮取得,但在1980年代,这个数字减少到了26(下降了87%).与此同时,全向攻击导弹(包括AIM-9L)和真正超视距导弹(例如AIM-54和AIM-7的改进型号)的战果数极大提升。
The first thing to note is that aerial combat was still quite common during the 1980s. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Syria over Lebanon and the Falkland Islands War are widely known examples. The bulk of claimed victories, however, stem from
the long and bitter Iran-Iraq War that raged for most of the decade. There are relatively few good sources on the aerial dimension of this conflict, but those that exist indicate that the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) succeeded in maintaining
a significant number of the F-4, F-5, and F-14 fighters it received from the United States during the 1970s in working order. Their crews, all trained in the United States, were credited with over two hundred aerial victories including sixty-two kills by F-14
crews using AIM-54 Phoenix missiles. The second noteworthy aspect of 1980s aerial combat is the massive decline in gun use. During the 1970s over two hundred aerial victories were credited to guns, but during the 1980s the total declined to just twenty-six(an
87 percent decline). This was accompanied by a similarly large increase in the proportion of victories credited to all aspect missiles (including the AIM-9L) and true BVR missiles such as the AIM-54 and improved versions of the AIM-7.

1990年代的空战和网络战的兴起

在冷战结束时,北约和华约国家的空军都装备了配有脉冲多普勒雷达的制空战斗机。即使敌机在低空的地面回波中飞行,这种雷达也能在40海里或更远处发现它们。这种能力通常被称为“下视下射”,相对于1960和1970年代战斗机的火控雷达,这是一项重大改进。下视下射能力还极大提升了超视距作战的效能,因为能躲过之前战斗机雷达的低空突防战术不再奏效。
By the end of the Cold War, both NATO and Warsaw Pact air forces were equipped with air superiority fighters with pulse Doppler radar systems able to detect and target enemy aircraft at 40 nm or more, even when the target aircraft were flying in ground
clutter at low altitude. This capability, often referred to as “look down/shoot down,” was a significant improvement over fighter fire control radars fielded in the 1960s and 1970s and greatly expanded the potential utility of BVR engagements by eliminating
the “low-altitude sanctuary” presented by earlier fighter radars.
图12展示了1990年代相比于1960年代,战斗机传感器和武器射程的大幅提升。
Figure 12 shows the vast increase in aerial sensor and weapon ranges available to fighter pilots of the 1990s compared to those of the 1960s.
图12. 1990年代的空战传感器和武器。(译者注:AWG-9和AIM-54是F-14装备的。)
图13显示了新技术激发的空战武器变化。它还表明在冷战结束后,空战发生的频率大幅降低。在过去的二十三年间(译者注:本报告的发表时间在2015年),CSBA仅收集到了59个宣称战果。最后两个战果是2001年9月14日以色列空军的F-15C取得的,击落了(两架——译者注)以色列空军的米格-29。对过去二十年间空战频率的降低有多种解释,包括:双方都有现代空军的冲突数量减少、组建和维持现代空军的金钱消耗和技术困难提升、非对称战术(例如在美军拥有压倒性空战优势的环境下,依赖巡航和弹道导弹,而非有人战机进行远程打击)。这些都不在本报告的研究范围之内。
Figure 13 shows the continued changes in fighter weapon use spurred by these technological improvements. It also shows a dramatic decline in the frequency of aerial combat following the end of the Cold War. Over the past twenty-three years, the database
holds just fifty-nine aerial victory claims. The last two claimed kills occurred on September 14, 2001, and were credited to IAF F-15Cs; the victims were Syrian Air Force MiG-29s. There are multiple explanations put forward for the steep decline in the incidence
of aerial combat engagements over the past two decades, including a lack of military conflicts between nations with modern air forces, the difficulty and expense of building and maintaining an air superiority capability centered on manned aircraft, and asymmetric
responses, such as relying on cruise and ballistic missiles instead of manned aircraft for long-range strike missions in the face of a perceived overwhelming U.S. advantage in aerial combat capability. These are, however, beyond the scope of this report.
图13. 宣称空战战果,1965-2002
尽管和1960-1980年代相比,空战的频率大幅降低,但1990年来宣称战果的数量仍足以支持本章前半部分这样的量化分析。图13(左)的表格展示了后冷战时代空战武器的变化趋势。第一件值得注意的事情是机炮的战果几乎消失。CSBA的数据库包含了两例机炮战果:第一例是1992年11月委内瑞拉政变中,一架F-16击落了(本国的)一架AT-27“巨嘴鸟”武装教练机(译者注:1992年2月查韦斯发动第一次政变未遂,11月在狱中发动了第二次政变,同样失败)。把整张表格放在一起,可以发现机炮直到1970年代还在空战中有重要作用,而从1980年代开始,其地位就迅速被导弹蚕食。实际上,从1973年末的赎罪日战争后,机炮在空战中的运用就几乎消失。在此之后的498个宣称战果中,440个(88%)都由导弹达成,而机炮只有30个.最后一次机炮对喷气机的战果是1988年5月,一架伊朗F-4E用20毫米机炮击落了一架伊拉克Su-22M.
While the frequency of aerial combat has declined greatly compared to the 1960s—1980s, the number of aerial victory claims registered since 1990 is sufficiently large to permit simple quantitative analysis of the kind presented throughout this chapter.
The left-hand panel of Figure 13 reveals a continued shift in the mix of weapons employed in aerial combat during the post–Cold War era. The first thing to note is the virtual absence of victories credited to guns. The database includes two gun victories;
the last was a Venezuelan AT-27 Tucano armed trainer shot down by a Venezuelan F-16 during a coup attempt in November 1992. Taking a longer perspective, the data shows the continued utility of guns in aerial combat through the 1970s and their rapid eclipse
by missiles beginning in the 1980s. In fact, the use of guns in aerial combat virtually ended after the Yom Kippur War in late 1973. Out of 498 victory claims since that time, 440 (88 percent) have been credited to AAMs and only thirty to guns. The last gun
kill of one jet combat aircraft by another occurred in May of 1988 when an Iranian F-4E downed an Iraqi Su-22M with 20 mm cannon fire.
另外值得注意的一点是,后半球攻击红外制导导弹的战果也几乎消失,而全向攻击导弹(例如AIM-9L/M)的战果比例也下降了。在过去二十年间, 大多数空战战果都是超视距作战取得的,其中绝大多数胜利者都拥有传感器和武器射程优势,并通常拥有更多的“友军信息源”,例如地面雷达或者预警机。这一点极为重要,它显示了态势感知能力受电子传感器和电子对抗效能的极大影响,也受到传感器、指挥链和作战飞机之间信息化网络的影响。
Also of note is the near-disappearance of the rear-aspect-only IR missile victories and the reduction in proportion of victories achieved by all-aspect missiles such as the AIM-9L/M.Over the past two decades, the majority of aerial victories have been
the result of BVR engagements where the victor almost always possessed advantages in sensor and weapon range and usually superior support from “offboard information sources” such as GCI radar operators or their airborne counterparts in Airborne Warning and
Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft. This is significant, as it suggests the competition for SA is heavily influenced by the relative capabilities of the opponents’ electronic sensors, electronic countermeasures (ECM), and network links between sensor, command
and control (C2), and combat aircraft nodes.
下一节中分析了1991年第一次海湾战争中联军飞行员宣称战果的细节,意在展现联军飞行员成功的态势感知在很大程度上源于实战训练、传感器、武器和信息化方面的改善。
The next section examines the details of aerial victories achieved by coalition pilots during the First Gulf War in 1991 with the goal of illustrating the dramatic influence of more realistic training combined with sensor, weapon, and offboard support
(or network) improvements on coalition pilot SA and combat success.

第一次海湾战争中的空战

第一次海湾战争创造了冷战结束后,单次行动中宣称战果数的记录。在战争头一晚,联军飞行员击毁了33架伊拉克固定翼飞机,而自身只有一架F/A-18被伊拉克米格-25发射的超视距导弹击落。作为对比,美军对北越空军的交换比只有约2:1.此外,1991年伊军和联军的装备差距比二十年前北越对美军的要小,而且许多伊拉克飞行员在结束不久的两伊战争中拥有实战经验。当然,和越战相比,通过诸如“红旗军演”、“Top Gun”(美国海军战斗机武器学校)、美国空军战斗机武器学校、“入侵者”计划(译者注:专业的‘假想敌’中队)这样的创新训练项目,美军飞行员也大大提高了空战技能。不过,正如先前所说,近距离缠斗在“沙漠风暴”行动中十分罕见,大多数战斗都以在视距外发射武器开始。如果我们只考虑“沙漠风暴”行动头三天的空战,当时伊军战斗机仍在尝试像二十年前的北越那样进行防御,那么联军的交换比就下降到了“区区”11:1.
The First Gulf War produced the largest number of aerial victory claims in a single operation since the end of the Cold War. Coalition aircrew destroyed thirty-three Iraqi fixed-wing aircraft during the war in exchange for the loss of a single F/A-18 to
a BVR missile launched by an Iraqi MiG-25 on the opening night of the war. In contrast, U.S. aircrew achieved a kill ratio of only about 2:1 against the North Vietnamese Air Force. Moreover, the Iraqi Air Force in 1991 was probably better equipped relative
to U.S. forces than the North Vietnamese had been twenty years before, and many Iraqi pilots had combat experience from the recently concluded Iran-Iraq War. It is true that U.S. aircrew had much improved air combat skills derived from training innovations
such as Red Flag, Top Gun, and the USAF Fighter Weapons School and Aggressor programs. As previously mentioned, however, short-range maneuvering combat was rare during Desert Storm, and most engagements began with weapons fired before sighting enemy aircraft.
If we limit ourselves to examining only instances of aerial combat that took place during the first three days of Desert Storm while Iraqi aircraft were still attempting defensive operations similar to those flown by the North Vietnamese two decades before,
then the coalition victory margin declines to “just” 11:1.

联军战果的细节

为何伊拉克和北越飞行员间的差距如此显著?John Deur在战后对联军人员进行了一系列访谈,包括“沙漠风暴”行动期间的战果,和战争结束后几周的三个战果,访谈内容被详细记录。这些访谈揭示了许多有价值的信息,被总结在表1中。
Why was there such a disparity in combat success between Iraqi and North Vietnamese pilots? Details of successful aerial engagements by allied aircrew during Operation Desert Storm, plus three that occurred several weeks after hostilities ended, were documented
in detail by John Deur in a series of detailed interviews with all allied participants conducted post-conflict. A review of these structured interviews reveals a wealth of details regarding the engagements summarized in Table 1.
表1. 第一次海湾战争空战战果总结
值得注意的是,一半的超视距交战出现在战争头三天,当时伊拉克空军仍试图进行巡逻,并未像战争后期那样逃往伊朗。令人震惊的是,从数据上看联军发生误伤的概率很高,但这从未发生。例如,在空中战役的第一天,联军向伊拉克境内出动了超过1300个架次,而伊拉克空军只出动了100个架次。四天以后,联军出动近800个架次,而伊拉克空军只出动了25个架次。这种敌我飞机数量的巨大差距显示出为什么不能仅凭借敌我识别信息进行超视距交战。例如,如果我们假定在一次出击中,联军的敌我识别器有95%的概率正常工作,那么我们可以预计,战争第一天将有75次敌我识别器故障,而战争第四天有40次。这个数字甚至接近了伊拉克战斗机的出击次数。因此,一架不回应敌我识别信号的飞机有一半的概率是友机。类似的数量差距是越战中美军飞行员不愿进行超视距交战,从而超视距战果很少的主要原因之一。
It is noteworthy that half of the BVR engagements occurred during the first three days of the conflict while the Iraqi Air Force was still attempting to maintain defensive patrols and before Iraqi fighter aircraft began to escape to Iran. What is striking
about this is that the sheer numbers suggest the probability of coalition fratricide was quite high, yet none occurred. For example, on the first day of the air campaign, coalition aircraft flew more than 1,300 combat missions into Iraqi airspace, whereas
the Iraqi Air Force flew just over one hundred fighter sorties. Four days later, the coalition flew almost eight hundred combat sorties over Iraq,whereas the Iraqi Air Force flew just twenty-five combat sorties. This disparity in the relative number of friendly
and enemy aircraft operating over Iraq shows why simply relying on friendly IFF for target identification in BVR engagements is unadvisable. For example, if we assume coalition IFF systems have a 95 percent chance of functioning properly throughout a combat
mission, then we could have expected about seventy-five IFF failures on the first day of Desert Storm and about forty on day four. These numbers are close to the number of Iraqi fighter sorties flown on those days. So, odds are about even that a target that
fails to respond correctly to an IFF query is a friendly aircraft. This same numerical disparity in friendly and enemy aircraft existed over North Vietnam and was one of the primary reasons for the reluctance of U.S. aircrew to initiate BVR attacks and the
rarity of BVR kills in that conflict.
在1991年,美军有拥有更强的信心:即便许多不回应敌我识别信号的飞机都是友机,自己也能在在超视距上正确识别敌机。一些因素使之成为可能。1980年代末期,美国空军和海军吸取了在越南的导弹时代空战经验,并且对中东和其他地区的冲突进行了密切关注。他们还用里根时代的大量军费,广泛换装了飞机、传感器和在导弹空战观念指导下设计出的武器。此外,海空军还启动了全要素实战训练计划(空军的‘入侵者’中队和‘红旗’军演,海军的Top Gun)。最后,海空军都在预警机平台上进行了大量投资。其中最先进的平台是美国空军的E-3“望楼”,它被设计为既有雷达,也能作为指挥控制平台,以弥补任务类似的EC-121在越战期间暴露出的机组工作量、传感器、通讯等问题。
By 1991 U.S. forces had much greater confidence in their ability to correctly identify enemy aircraft at BVR range, even in an environment where most aircraft, and many aircraft without proper IFF responses, were likely friendly. There were several factors
that made this possible. By the late 1980s, the USAF and Navy had assimilated the lessons of missile-era aerial combat learned firsthand in Vietnam and through close monitoring of conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. They had also used significant defense
spending increases during the “Reagan Build-Up” to largely reequip their forces with aircraft, sensors, and weapons designed with missile combat in mind. Additionally, both services had instituted training programs geared toward providing realistic training
in all aspects of air warfare (e.g., aggressor squadrons and Red Flag exercises in the USAF and Top Gun in the Navy). Finally, both services invested insignificantly improved AWACS platforms. The most sophisticated and capable of these new AWACS was the E-3
Sentry, which was specifically designed as both a sensor and C2 platform to remedy crew workload, sensor, and communications problems the USAF experienced using EC-121 aircraft in a similar role throughout the Vietnam War.
在第一次海湾战争中,E-3多次证明了自己的价值。先进传感器和更高的飞行高度让它们能够远在225海里外探测到低空飞行的敌机,对高空飞行的敌机探测距离更远。图14展示了E-3预警机如何用沙特境内的三条航线和土耳其境内的一条航线覆盖伊拉克的大约45个机场,从伊军作战飞机滑跑的那一刻开始就探测到它们。E-3机组可以发现并跟踪伊拉克境内任何位置以1500米高度飞行的任何飞机。
During the First Gulf War, the E-3s proved their worth many times over. Their improved sensors and higher operating altitude allowed them to detect enemy aircraft that were flying at low altitudes at about 225 nm. Aircraft operating at higher altitudes
could be detected even further away. Figure 14 shows how this allowed E-3 aircraft operating continuously at three orbit locations inside Saudi Arabia and a fourth in Turkey to detect Iraqi combat aircraft during their takeoff rolls at about three-quarters
of Iraq’s airbases. E-3 crews could detect and track aircraft operating at or above 5,000 feet virtually anywhere inside Iraq.
图14. 1991年E-3“望楼”预警机对伊拉克空域的覆盖
发现伊军飞机起飞后,E-3机组就能立即将它们标定为敌人。E-3拥有全套通讯设备和庞大的机组,包括13~19名空中武器管制员和其他专业人员,因此E-3可以立即向联军飞机报告这些信息,并通过超高频无线电同时对多名联军飞行员提供一对一情报支援。联军的交战规则允许飞行员仅凭借E-3机组的敌我标定就去攻击任何飞机。但如果目标未被预警机确认为敌军,那就需要两个独立来源同时确认为敌机才能交战,除非是同时具备非合作目标识别设备和AN/APX-76应答机(译者注:见前文,欺骗SRO-2)的F-15C,可以自行决定交战。这种交战规则大大增强了联军飞行员的战术自由度和信心。
Watching Iraqi aircraft takeoff allowed E-3 crews to immediately identify them as hostile,while the E-3’s comprehensive communications suite and large mission crews, between thirteen and nineteen air weapon controllers and other specialists, allowed them
to communicate this information and provide dedicated support to multiple coalition fighter crews simultaneously via ultra-high frequency (UHF) voice radio links. Coalition ROE allowed combat pilots to engage any aircraft declared hostile by an E-3 crew without
the need for further identification. But if the target was not declared hostile by an AWACS, then two independent sources were required, and only the F-15Cs with both NCTR and the AN/APX-76 IFF interrogator could meet the ROE on their own. This greatly increased
the tactical freedom of action and confidence of coalition pilots.
正如之前提到的,E-3的另一重要贡献是远在联军飞行员用自己的雷达发现敌机前,就告诉他们敌机的位置。一般而言,E-3能在伊拉克飞机距联军战斗机还有70海里时就对其进行探测、识别和定位,而联军飞行员用自己雷达的探测距离是42海里。这相当于把联军战斗机的传感器探测距离提升了65%,赋予联军飞行员更多的时间和空间来抢占位置,获取战术优势。这是友军传感器和战斗机之间首次在战斗中进行成功链接。机载传感器、指挥链、通讯链路组成的网络极大增强了联军飞行员的态势感知能力,从而赋予他们极大的突然性。未来的美军歼击机飞行员将受到语音和数据链支援,因此得以更加迅速地建立态势感知,消除不确定性,加快决策-交战的速度。
Another important E-3 contribution, as outlined above, was providing coalition pilots with significant advanced knowledge of enemy aircraft position and heading long before the pilots’own radars could detect their opponents. Typically, E-3 crews detected,
identified, and vectored coalition pilots toward Iraqi aircraft while they were about 70 nm away from the friendly fighters, whereas coalition pilots detected enemy aircraft at about 42 nm with their own radars. This effectively increased coalition fighter
sensor range by about 65 percent and allowed coalition pilots significant extra time and space to position their formations to achieve a tactical advantage. This was the first consistently successful linking of offboard airborne sensors to fighter aircraft
in combat. This network of airborne sensors, C2, weapons, and communications links greatly increased coalition fighter crew SA and gave them a commanding advantage in achieving surprise. Future U.S. fighter crews will be supported by both voice and data links
that will allow them to build SA more rapidly, help eliminate uncertainty, and increase decision and engagement speeds.
在E-3无法识别目标时,F-15和F-18飞行员还能运用其脉冲多普勒数字雷达的非合作目标识别能力。脉冲多普勒雷达十分擅长测量和分类运动的物体,比如飞机发动机里旋转的压气机/涡轮叶片。已知的战术飞机引擎有着不同的涡轮和压气机叶片特征,通过和雷达回波进行比对,就可以确认目标飞机的型号。
On those occasions where E-3 crews could not provide positive target identification, F-15 and F-18 aircrew could use NCTR features built into their digital pulse Doppler radars. Pulse Doppler radars are extremely adept at measuring and categorizing motion
like those of rotating aircraft engine compressors or turbine blades. Known combat aircraft engine types have unique turbine and compressor blade characteristics that can be compared to radar measurements to determine the type of aircraft being tracked.
联军空中胜利的另一个要素是极大增加的武器效能和可靠性。不可靠的导弹是越战中美军飞行员遇到的最大挫折之一,但这在“沙漠风暴”行动中不复存在。联军飞行员的所有导弹战果都是改进型号的红外制导AIM-9“响尾蛇”和雷达制导的AIM-7“麻雀”。就像前面提到的,它们大大改善了射程、下射能力和机动性,除此之外,这些武器比越战中的早期型号可靠得多。可靠性改善的原因之一是电子元件从1950年代的真空管换成了固态元件。固态元件还提升了导引头的性能和抗干扰能力。
Another significant factor in coalition air combat success was greatly increased weapon capabilities and reliability. Unreliable missiles had been one of the biggest frustrations of U.S.aircrew in Vietnam, but this was not the case in Desert Storm. Coalition
fighters achieved every missile victory with evolved versions of the IR-guided AIM-9 Sidewinder and radar guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. In addition to much improved range and increased capabilities against low-altitude and maneuvering targets as mentioned
above, these weapons were much more reliable than earlier versions used in Vietnam. One reason for this was the replacement of 1950s-era vacuum tube electronic components with solid-state electronics. The new electronics also brought increased seeker performance
and resistance to radar and IR countermeasures.
表2. 美军导弹在越南和第一次海湾战争中的表现。三个大类是滚雷行动、后卫行动、第一次海湾战争(空军),每一类中的三列是总发射数、命中数、命中率。
表2显示了1991年美军空空导弹的杀伤力和可靠性相对于1973年的显著进步。在1991年,美国空军AIM-7“麻雀”的可靠性相对滚雷行动提升了6倍,相对1972年后卫I和II行动中“改进”的AIM-7提升了5倍。AIM-9“响尾蛇”的可靠性比其越战后期的“祖先”提升了4倍。总的来看,美国空军在第一次海湾战争中发射的空空导弹杀伤概率比越战提高了三倍。
Table 2 illustrates the significant increase in the lethality and reliability of U.S. AAMs between 1973 and 1991. AIM-7 Sparrows fired by USAF aircrew were over six times more reliable in 1991 than they had been during Rolling Thunder in 1965–1968 and
about five times more reliable than the “improved” AIM-7s used during Linebacker I and II in 1972 and 1973.Sidewinder reliability also improved by nearly a factor of four relative to its late Vietnam ancestors. Overall, AAMs launched by USAF crews in the First
Gulf War were about three times more likely to achieve a kill than missiles launched during the Vietnam War.

近距格斗的前途

第2章(本章)讨论了近距红外格斗弹在1970和1980年代的显著改进,这种改进之后持续了二十年。现在最先进的红外制导导弹能够被头盔瞄准具指定目标,在发射后立即转向敌机。许多现代格斗弹拥有推力矢量控制赋予的极高机动性,并且采用红外焦平面成像技术的导引头能够识别目标机的图像,而非简单地追踪热源。这些致命的导弹能向任意方向,甚至是载机后方发射。越来越多的现代作战飞机装备了导弹预警系统,在它们的帮助下,被攻击的飞行员很可能拥有足够时间锁定攻击者,并回击一枚导弹。一旦双方都发射了“发射后不管”导弹,那么这场近距格斗的结局将很有可能是双方都被击落,从而交换比接近于1:1。这告诉我们,技术的发展将使得任何强敌都会尽量避免陷入近距格斗,而是寻求超视距优势,在远距离上消灭敌人。
Chapter 2 discussed the significant advances in short-range IR missile capabilities during the 1970s and 1980s. These advances have continued over the past two decades. The most modern IR missiles are capable of being cued by Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems
(HMCS) and turned toward the designated target and locked on after launch. Many also feature thrust vector control, which bestows extreme maneuverability, and imaging focal plane array IR seekers that recognize and home in on target aircraft images rather
than simple heat sources. These missiles allow pilots to launch highly lethal IR missiles at any opponent they can see, even if that opponent is behind them. With an increasing number of modern combat aircraft equipped with missile-approach warning systems,
it is likely that a pilot under attack will have sufficient time to target an attacker and launch a missile in return. Once both aircraft have “launch and leave” missiles in the air, prospects are good that the short-range engagement will result in“mutual
kills,” with short-range combat kill ratios near 1:1. This suggests we may have reached a point in the development of short-range air combat technologies where serious, capable adversaries will attempt to avoid it and instead seek advantage in superior BVR
capabilities.

战斗机性能需求的演化

第2章前半部分中,我们把空战定义为态势感知能力的战斗。态势感知能力更强的一方常常能轻松赢得战斗。北越和伊拉克空军面对美军战果的极大差异告诉我们,在1991年,美军的信息化网络给予了美国飞行员压倒性的态势感知优势。这和对1970年代晚期到1980年代早期,大量空战演习数据的分析结果相符。这些演习,包括“空战评估”、“导弹截击评估”、“先进中程空空导弹作战评估”等。它们的结果表明,飞行员的态势感知能力是决定战斗胜负的最主要因素。深入研究发现,这些演习结果告诉我们,态势感知能力来自于表3中的诸多技术能力。
Early in Chapter 2 aerial combat was described as a dynamic competition for SA. The side with superior SA usually wins and overwhelming victories suggest a lopsided outcome in the SA competition. The disparity in North Vietnamese and Iraqi Air Force aerial
combat success against U.S. forces strongly suggests that by 1991 the United States had succeeded in creating an airborne battle network capable of bestowing on its well-trained aircrew an overwhelming advantage in SA. This is consistent with statistical analysis
of results from extensive air-to-air combat testing conducted in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These tests, known as Air Combat Evaluation (ACEVAL), Air Intercept Missile Evaluation (AIMVAL), and the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) operational
evaluation (OUE), consistently found that aircrew SA was the most important factor in determining combat outcomes. Digging a bit deeper into the SA competition, the tests results suggested superior SA was a function of the technological enablers listed in
Table 3.
表3. 态势感知能力的本质和技术要求
这些研究还表明,飞机的速度、机动性、航程、留空时间等性能依然对战斗结果有重要影响。本章考察了过去一百年间,两项战斗机基本性能:速度和机动性之间的纠葛,研究了它们对飞机设计的影响,对未来战争中态势感知能力的潜在影响。
These studies also found that aircraft speed, maneuverability, range, and persistence were also important factors in combat outcomes. This chapter examines emerging tensions between two aircraft attributes most associated with fighter aircraft over the
past one hundred years—speed and maneuverability—from the perspective of the constraints they impose on aircraft design and their potential impact on information acquisition and information denial in future aerial combat.

速度的优势

本报告已经考察了速度对于达成战术突然性的作用,高速度在前导弹时代是被用于“伏击”或者“高速俯冲——垂直爬升”这样的战术。在当时,由于目视搜索距离和机炮的射程都很短,飞行员通常可以运用速度优势阻止敌人获取射击窗口,或者轻松逃脱。
This report has already examined the value of speed in achieving surprise and facilitating“ambush” or “boom and zoom” style tactics during the gun and early missile eras. While detection ranges were short and effectual weapon employment parameters restrictive,
the pilot of a faster aircraft could often use his speed advantage to deny an adversary the ability to achieve an effective firing position or even to escape destruction.
然而在过去五十年间,速度的优势严重下降了。在早期空战中,高速度的重要作用之一就是让进攻者迅速通过目标机目视搜索范围和机炮射程之间的距离。速度越快,目标机发现进攻者并予以反击的可能性就越低。在二战期间,战斗机飞行员大概能在1.5海里外目视发现飞来的敌机。二战期间典型的活塞式战斗机大概有440km/h的巡航速度,700km/h的最高速度,200米的机炮射程。因此,一架从后方接近未警觉敌人的战斗机能以260km/h的相对速度在35秒之内跨越敌人的目视搜索范围,进入机炮射程。如果攻击机是一架Me-262喷气式战斗机,那它跨越这个距离的时间就将减少40%,只有21秒。这让留给目标机发现敌机的时间大大降低,从而增加了战术突然性。
Over the past fifty years, however, the advantage of speed in these traditional fighter engagements has declined significantly. For example, one of the major reasons speed was important in achieving surprise was that it allowed attacking aircraft to rapidly
transit the distance between where a “victim” could detect the impending attack and effective weapon range. The less time spent in this region, the lower the probability a prospective victim would be able to detect and counter an attack. Visual detection range
for a World War II fighter approaching another fighter head-on (i.e., coming in to attack) was about 1.5 nm. Typical piston-engine fighter aircraft of World War II cruised at approximately 240 knots, had top speeds of approximately 380 knots, and had an effective
weapons range of about 200 m. A fighter attacking an unsuspecting victim from behind could expect to cross the distance between likely detection range and weapon range at a relative speed of 140 knots in about 35 seconds. If our hypothetical attacking aircraft
was a Me-262 jet fighter, its pilot could expect to transit the detection to open-fire range in just 21 seconds, giving the victim pilot (or his wing man) 40 percent less time to detect the impending attack with a corresponding increase in the probability
of a surprise attack.
现代空战很少在目视距离内发生,并几乎用不到机炮。雷达这样的电子传感器取代了肉眼,导弹取代了机关炮。在1960年代中期,导弹首次证明自己的能力时,最好的战斗机雷达大致能在前方110°的探测锥内,发现15海里外的目标。导弹理论上可以在一半的距离(7.5海里)上发射。到了1991年,战斗机雷达能探测到40海里或更远外的目标,即便目标在低空飞行。此外,E-3能够不断扫描天空,为友军战斗机飞行员提供其自身雷达探测范围之外的信息。图15展示了相对于1960年代中期,1990年代早期雷达技术的进步。
Modern aerial combat seldom takes place in the visual arena, and guns are almost never employed against other combat aircraft. Instead, electronic sensors, typically radars, and guided missiles are the principal means used to detect and attack airborne
targets. At the time AAMs first began to make an impact on aerial combat in the mid-1960s, the best fighter radars could typically detect targets at about 15 nm in a limited area approximating a 110-degree cone in front of the intercepting aircraft. In theory,
weapons could be launched from about half this distance. By 1991, fighter radars were much more capable and could detect targets at 40 nm or more, even at low altitudes. Furthermore, the introduction of advanced long-range airborne radars on E-3 aircraft allowed
their crews to provide friendly fighter crews with a form of electronic “overwatch” by constantly scanning areas the fighters’ own radars could not scan due to sensor field of regard or range limitations. Figure 15 illustrates the increase in the “organic”and
aerial network sensor footprints between the mid-1960s and early 1990s.
图15. 雷达的探测范围从1960年代中期到1990年代早期的增长。在1960年代中期这个范围大概是800平方公里,在1990年代早期,战斗机火控雷达的探测范围约为5700平方公里,预警机对低空和高空目标的探测距离约为225和275海里,探测范围面积约为55万平方公里。
海军少校马克·福克斯在第一次海湾战争首日的经历可以佐证,高速度的重要性降低了。福克斯是一个海军攻击编队的成员,他驾驶着一架F/A-18C,攻击伊拉克西部的一个机场。在附近伊拉克机场上空巡逻的两架米格-21向福克斯的攻击编队飞来,除了他之外,编队中还包含三架F/A-18,它们携带了900千克级的Mk-84自由落体炸弹,用来攻击机场。一架E-2C“鹰眼”预警机在米格战斗机距离15海里的时候通知了福克斯编队。米格战斗机以超音速飞来,双方编队的相对速度超过2200km/h。在福克斯受到警告的时候,米格战斗机距离他们的F/A-18只有45秒时间。在20秒内,福克斯和编队中的另一架F/A-18就对米格战斗机发射了导弹,并将其摧毁。
The decreased utility of speed for attacking aircraft under these circumstances is illustrated by the experiences of Navy Lt. Cdr. Mark Fox on the first day of the First Gulf War. Fox was flying an F/A-18C as part of a Navy strike package attacking an
airfield in western Iraq. A pair of MiG-21 aircraft patrolling over an adjacent Iraqi airbase were vectored toward Fox and three other F/A-18s tasked with dropping 2,000-pound Mk-84 gravity bombs on the airfield. Fox and his companions were alerted by an E-2C
Hawkeye AWACS crew while the MiGs were still 15 nm away. The MiGs were approaching head-on at supersonic speed, giving the two opposing formations a combined closing speed of 1,200 knots. At this speed, the MiGs and F/A-18s were only 45 seconds apart when
Fox received his warning call. Within 20 seconds, Fox and one of his companions had each engaged and destroyed a MiG.
尽管福克斯的预警时间比正常战争中的一般情况短得多,但他仍有时间做出反应。尽管敌机从前方超音速接近,预警机仍然给了他比二战中的战斗机飞行员(被后方敌机攻击时)更多的反应时间。如果米格战斗机从后方飞来,它们就将在四分钟后才能追上福克斯。更重要的是,这场战斗说明了,从二战结束到冷战结束的时间内,武器和传感器的性能提升远远多于飞机自身的性能提升。在过去二十年间,随着有源相控阵雷达、红外搜索与跟踪系统的发展,以及无需语音通话的电子数据链的广泛运用,机载传感器的性能得到了进一步提升。这将让未来的飞行员拥有更强大的态势感知能力和反应时间。可以发现,在过去五十年间,像战斗机最高速度这样的指标只有小幅提升,但传感器和信息化能力的增长巨大。
Although the AWACS warning time/distance advantage Fox enjoyed on the first day of the First Gulf War was less than typically achieved in that conflict, it was large enough to give him a decisive edge. Even though his opponents were flying at supersonic
speeds and closing from the front, the AWACS warning gave his flight more time to react than a World War II fighter pilot could typically have expected in the case of an attack from the rear. Had the MiGs been behind Fox instead, it would have taken them almost
four minutes to catch him. More importantly, this incident illustrates how sensor and weapon performance had advanced even faster than fighter aircraft performance over the period between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War. Over the past two
decades, airborne sensor performance has continued to improve with the introduction of active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars,advanced Infra-Red Search and Track Systems (IRSTS), and the widespread adoption of electronic datalinks that eliminate
the need for slow and easily misunderstood voice communications between aerial platforms. These developments are likely to provide even better SA and longer threat warning and set-up times in the future because sensor and network capabilities tend to advance
much more quickly than raw platform performance measures like fighter top speed, which has improved little over the past fifty years.
速度仍能让现代战斗机产生一项优势:更高的导弹初速度。如果其他条件相同,从以2000km/h飞行的战斗机上射出的导弹,将比从以1000km/h飞行的战斗机上射出的导弹快得多。更快的战斗机速度能提高导弹射程,这是F-22超音速巡航能力(不开加力以超音速飞行)带来的最重要优势之一。速度优势还有利于在攻击后迅速脱离,但由于传感器和武器的射程仍在提升,同时战斗机的最高速度几乎保持不变,这一优势很可能消失。如果敌机装备了定向能武器,速度再快的飞机也不能轻松脱离战场。
A continuing advantage that speed provides to modern fighters is giving a range “boost” to their missile weapons. All else equal, a missile launched from an aircraft traveling at 1,000 knots will travel much farther than the same missile launched from
an aircraft traveling at 500 knots. This missile range extension is one of the most important benefits F-22s derive from their ability to cruise at supersonic speed without the use of fuel-gulping afterburners, known as supercruise. Superior speed is also
useful in disengaging from combat after a successful attack. This advantage, however, is likely to diminish as weapon and sensor ranges continue to grow while aircraft top speed remains relatively fixed. Against an adversary armed with directed-energy (DE)
weapons, it would likely be of little value in improving the prospects of successful disengagement.

速度的代价

如果超音速飞行没有代价,自然应该让未来的作战飞机拥有这种能力。但不幸的是,对超音速的需求限制了飞机在许多方面的性能,并大大增加了飞机的采购和维护价格。在航程和载荷相同的情况下,超音速飞机比亚音速飞机机体更大,更复杂,需要更多的油料。在气动外形上,超音速和亚音速的需求也不同。例如,高展弦比机翼有利于亚音速飞行,而修长的机身和短后掠翼有利于超音速飞行。在航程和载荷相同的条件下,超音速飞机通常需要比亚音速飞机更大的推重比。在一定的发动机水平(发动机自身推重比一定——译者注)下,超音速飞机就需要配备更大的发动机。更大的发动机需要更多的燃油,而油箱的体积增加了结构重量,更重的结构又需要更大的发动机。在最后,这种超音速飞机会比亚音速飞机大得多,也贵得多。
If adding the ability to fly at supersonic speeds imposed little additional cost, there would be no need to question whether to retain it as an attribute of future combat aircraft. Supersonic speed requirements, however, impose significant constraints
on aircraft performance characteristics and can significantly increase aircraft procurement and operating costs. In particular, supersonic aircraft are larger, more complex, and less fuel-efficient compared to subsonic aircraft with the same range-payload
capabilities. The aerodynamic requirements of efficient supersonic flight and efficient subsonic flight conflict in several areas. For example, subsonic aerodynamic efficiency generally increases for aircraft with long, narrow (high aspect ratio) wings. Supersonic
flight tends to be more efficient for aircraft with long, narrow bodies and short swept wings. Supersonic aircraft generally require higher thrust-to-weight ratios than subsonic aircraft with comparable range and payload characteristics. For any given level
of engine technology, this requires larger engines with higher fuel consumption. This, in turn, requires additional fuel, which requires additional volume, which results in additional structural weight, which requires yet more powerful engines to maintain
performance. Eventually this cycle subsides, but not until the final aircraft design is much larger and more expensive than a subsonic alternative.
最后,超音速飞行也会造成一些战术劣势。各国在过去二十年间逐步装备了红外搜索与跟踪系统,到现在几乎所有新生产出的作战飞机都配备这一系统。红外搜索与跟踪系统最早在二战期间被研发,1950年代晚期的美军战斗机,例如F-106,F-101B,早期版本的F-4就装备了早期的红外搜索与跟踪系统。在1970到1980年代,西方战斗机设计师反倒认为无需装备它们,因为西方的雷达和电子战技术远超苏联。在1980年代早期,苏联的米格-29和苏-27战斗机都装备了红外搜索与跟踪系统。欧洲的“台风”和“阵风”战斗机也都装备了这种系统。俄罗斯正在持续改进他们的红外搜索与跟踪系统,而中国也在最新的作战飞机中装备了它们。如今,美国海军计划在F/A-18E/F机体中线上的副油箱前端安装红外搜索与跟踪系统,而不必改装机身。图16展示了装在副油箱前端的红外搜索与跟踪探头。
Finally, there are some emerging tactical costs of supersonic flight. Over the past two decades, IRSTS have proliferated to the point where most current production combat aircraft have this capability. IRSTS were first developed during World War II, and
early versions were fitted to U.S. fighters designed in the late 1950s including the F-106, F-101B, and early versions of the F-4. They fell out of favor with Western fighter designers as unnecessary during the 1970s and 1980s when the West enjoyed a commanding
lead over the Soviet Union in fighter radar and electronic warfare technology. The Soviets incorporated them into both the MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters, which entered service in the early 1980s. The Europeans have incorporated them into the Eurofighter Typhoon
and Rafale. The Russians continue to refine their IRSTS, and the Chinese have integrated them into their latest combat aircraft as well. Today, the Navy is developing an IRSTS built into the front of F/A-18E/F center line fuel tanks, allowing it to befitted
to existing aircraft. Figure 16 shows the IRSTS sensor protruding from the nose of the centerline fuel tank.
图16. 测试中的F/A-18E/F长波红外搜索与跟踪系统。注意副油箱前端的探头。
红外搜索与跟踪系统的重新流行有若干原因。第一条是,它对基于数字射频储存器(译者注:高保真度地储存和复制雷达信号,经移频、时延等调制,产生逼真的欺骗信号)的干扰技术完全免疫,而这种干扰技术能急剧恶化被干扰雷达的性能。第二条是,它能探测和跟踪低雷达信号的隐身飞机。
There are several reasons for the renewed interest in IRSTS. One is their immunity to Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) jamming techniques that can badly degrade radar performance. Another is their ability to detect and track “stealth” aircraft with
reduced radio frequency (RF) signatures.
红外搜索与跟踪系统的探测距离由一系列因素决定,包括大气衰减、探头灵敏度、光圈尺寸、目标大小、目标温度和环境温度之差的平方。图17展示了机翼前缘温度随速度的增长情况 。在正常情况下,1.1~2.4万米高空的环境温度约为-57°C。以0.8马赫飞行的飞机,由于空气摩擦,其机翼前缘会被加热到-29°C。当飞机速度增加时,蒙皮温度快速上升。例如,一架以1.8马赫飞行的战斗机,机翼前缘的温度将高达83°C.由于温度提高了100°C,飞机被红外传感器探测到的概率也大大提高。
IRSTS detection range is determined by a number of factors, including atmospheric attenuation,seeker sensitivity, sensor aperture size, target size, and the square of the difference in target temperature and the temperature of the surrounding environment.
The blue line in Figure 17 shows how aircraft leading-edge temperature increases with aircraft speed. Ambient temperature between 37,000 and 80,000 feet of altitude on a standard day is -70° F. The leading edges of an aircraft flying at Mach 0.8 are heated
by friction to -21° F. As aircraft speed increases, skin temperatures rise rapidly. For example, a fighter aircraft traveling at Mach 1.8 would have leading edge temperatures of 182° F. Increasing leading-edge temperatures by 200 degrees increases the probability
of being detected by IR sensors.
图17. 在1.1~2.4万米高度,机翼前缘温度和敌机预警时间相对马赫数的关联。蓝线是机翼前缘/进气道激波锥的速度,红线是装备红外搜索与跟踪系统的敌机的预警时间。注意温度的单位是华氏度,黑线-70°F=-56.7°C,最顶端340°F=171.1°C.
超音速飞行的飞机会产生激波,这种激波是被加热的高压气体。图18展示了“马赫锥”相对飞机的尺寸。
Aircraft flying at supersonic speeds also produce shock waves of highly compressed, and therefore heated, air. Figure 18 shows how large these “Mach cones” are relative to the aircraft creating them.
图18. 一架美国空军的F-22和它的马赫锥
马赫锥相当于提高了目标体积,同时温度随着速度上升,这导致了图17中红线代表敌机预警时间在1马赫附近的“跳变”。当目标机从0.8马赫加速到1马赫时,周围的马赫锥温度约为-13°C,机翼前缘也随之升温到-13°C。对红外传感器而言,由于马赫锥的存在,飞机正面的横截面积增加了十倍。计算表明这让飞机被探测到的距离至少增加了一倍。配备红外传感器的敌机的预警时间只增加了70%,因为1马赫的飞机比0.8马赫的飞机快25%.强烈的红外信号大幅增加了超音速飞机能被探测到的距离。表4显示了0.8~2.2马赫目标机的被探测距离和区域面积。
The combination of a sudden increase in target area with the formation of the Mach cone and increase in temperature accounts for the “jump” in warning time shown on the red line in Figure 17. As a target aircraft accelerates from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1, a
Mach cone forms around the aircraft with a temperature of about 8° F. This rapidly heats the aircraft’s leading edges to the same temperature while increasing the frontal target area presented to the sensor about ten times. IR range equation calculations show
this more than doubles the range the aircraft can be detected. Warning time for the aircraft with the IR sensor is increased by only about 70 percent, because the aircraft at Mach 1 can cross the doubled detection range about 25 percent faster than an aircraft
at Mach 0.8. Increased IR detection range has the additional disadvantage of dramatically increasing the size of the area a supersonic aircraft can be detected. Table 4 gives results of IR detection calculations for target aircraft speeds between Mach 0.8
and Mach 2.2.
表4. 探测距离、探测区域面积、预警时间关于马赫数的关系。
超音速还会带来最后一个坏处。即使飞机有超音速巡航能力,超音速飞行也需要多得多的燃油。一般而言,战斗机的军用推力(译者注:不开加力的最大推力)耗油是巡航推力的三到四倍。超音速巡航不需要开加力,但也需要把油门开到接近军用推力。如果一架飞机以0.8马赫巡航时有800海里作战半径,那么它在以1.8马赫巡航时将只有600海里作战半径。如果飞行员用了超音速巡航,他就需要在机场或者空中加油机附近一定区域内行动。
It is important to consider a final drawback associated with supersonic flight. Supersonic flight is much less fuel efficient than subsonic flight, even for aircraft with supercruise capability. In general, fighter aircraft burn about three to four times
as much fuel in military power than at cruise power settings. Supercruise does not require the use of fuel-gulping afterburners, but it does require power settings at or near military power. An aircraft with an 800 nm combat radius while cruising at Mach 0.8
would have only a 600 nm combat radius cruising in military power at Mach 1.8. This requires supercruise-capable aircraft crews to operate within range of an airbase or air refueling tanker if they believe they might need to use their supercruise capability.

机动性的优势

自战斗机出现以来,机动性和速度,谁才是战斗机的最重要性能,人们一直争论不休。在机炮和早期导弹的时代,进攻方依靠机动性获取和维持射击位置,防御方依靠机动性阻止敌机获取射击位置,或者甩掉导弹。至少在1990年代早期,大多数空战训练都关注目视范围内的格斗,在这种格斗中,双方试图获取优势位置,摆脱对方的进攻,把对方拖入自己擅长的战斗模式。“缠斗”的图景和战斗机紧紧联系在一起,二者密不可分。
Maneuverability has competed with speed as the most prized attribute of fighter aircraft since their creation. During the fighter gun and early missile era, maneuverability was important offensively to gain and maintain firing position against an alerted
and maneuvering opponent and defensively in denying an attacker firing position or (later) outmaneuvering early AAMs. Most air combat training, at least through the early 1990s, focused on maneuvering fights within visual range where opponents sought to place
themselves in a position of advantage, escape an attacker, or move a fight into a mode where their aircraft had an advantage over their opponents. Indeed, the image of swirling air combat is so tightly linked with fighter aircraft that it is difficult to think
of one without the other.
然而,对第一次海湾战争中空战的详细考察表明,早在二十年前,传感器、武器和信息化方面的进步就已大大降低了空中格斗的地位,也降低了战斗机机动性的重要性。诸如苏制AA-11和美制AIM-9X这种配备推力矢量控制,能借助头盔瞄准具(在发射后)锁定目标的高机动性格斗导弹进一步降低了战斗机凭借机动性占据射击位置的需求,即便这是一场视距内战斗。
An examination of First Gulf War aerial engagements, however, suggests that, even twenty years ago, advances in sensors, weapons, and networks had greatly decreased the prevalence of maneuvering air combat and with it the value of fighter maneuverability.
The proliferation of highly agile “dogfight” missiles, such as the Russian AA-11 and the AIM-9X with thrust vector control and the ability to lock on to targets after launch, along with HMCS, has further reduced the need for maneuvering into firing position
even in relatively rare visual range encounters.

机动性的代价

和速度一样,机动性也不是无偿的。对机动性能的要求也会约束其他方面的性能,迫使设计师在重量和花费等方面做出权衡。例如,机动性需要相对较小的展弦比和更高的推重比,以增加急转弯性能和在高G下保持能量水平的能力(译者注:这里请参照能量机动空战理论)。小展弦比降低了气动效率,此外和先前提到的一样,高推重比最终会导致油耗上升,巡航性能下降。高机动性还要求更坚固的机身结构,这也会增加重量。能持续做9G转弯的飞机,结构强度必须是持续做3G转弯飞机的三倍。在材料技术相同的情况下,如果两架飞机航程和载荷相同,承受9G机动的机身结构将比承受3G机动的机身结构重得多。飞机的成本(译者注:应该主要指运营成本)和空重关系密切,因此增加机动性就增加了成本。
Just as with speed, there would be no need to reduce the maneuverability of combat aircraft designs if it could be incorporated for “free.” Just as with speed, however, adding features necessary for high maneuverability to a combat aircraft imposes constraints
that force aircraft designers to make trade-offs in other areas of performance and add weight and cost to the aircraft. For example, maneuverability is enhanced by a relatively low wing aspect ratio and a high thrust-to-weight ratio to allow for tight turns
and sustain energy at high G-loads. Low wing aspect ratio tends to reduce aerodynamic efficiency, and, as previously mentioned, high thrust-to-weight ratios result in inefficient engine cruise performance. High maneuverability also requires strong aircraft
structures, and these add significant weight. The load-bearing structure of an aircraft with a design goal of maintaining 9-G turns must be three times as strong as one designed to sustain only 3-Gs. For any given level of aircraft structure technology, this
will make the 9-G structure significantly heavier than the 3-G structure if both aircraft are to have the same range and payload. Since aircraft cost is closely correlated with empty weight, adding maneuverability contributes directly to aircraft cost.
另一个问题是,高机动性能需要巨大的垂直尾翼,以保证高迎角下的舵效。巨大的垂直尾翼显著增加了侧面的雷达截面积,不利于隐身。因此,尽管机动性在过去的年代里对飞机的作战效率和生存率极为重要,但在未来空战中它在未来的收益能否超过代价,仍然是未知数。
Another potential drawback to high-maneuverability designs is that they require significant vertical tail area to facilitate high-angle-of-attack maneuvering. This was not much of an issue before the advent of stealth technology. However, large vertical
tail surfaces add significantly to the side radar cross-section of aircraft. So, while increased maneuverability certainly contributed to the combat effectiveness and survivability of fighter designs in the past, it is much less clear that its future value
will outweigh its costs.

对未来空战的另一种展望

如果之前章节里的分析和讨论正确,那么或许未来的空战形态和战机设计理念将会发生根本改变,这种改变可能正在发生。本章描述了一种构想中的未来空战概念,它充分运用了传感器、武器和信息化优势。这一概念强调诸如特征信号控制(译者注:低可探测性)和载荷这样的性能,截然不同于传统的战斗机设计。本章包含大量插图,说明这一概念如何被实现。
If the analysis and arguments presented in the preceding chapters are valid, it is possible that a fundamental change in the nature of aerial combat with equally fundamental implications for the relevancy of specific attributes of air combat aircraft design
are already underway. This chapter describes a future air combat concept designed to fully leverage trends that benefit superior sensors, weapons, and networks. This concept emphasizes aircraft attributes such as signature control and payload that differ from
those of traditional fighter designs. The majority of the chapter presents a series of illustrations showing how such a concept might be implemented.

最大化最有用性能

空战的目的仍然是击落敌机,并脱离敌人可能的反击范围,或者始终保持在反击范围之外。注意到传感器、武器和信息化能力对空战胜利的重要性相对速度和机动性这样的传统性能正在提高——那么,未来的战斗机应当最大化哪些性能?
The goal of aerial combat is still to achieve a victory, then get or remain outside the effective reach of a potential counterattack. Given the increased importance of sensor, weapon, and network capabilities to success in aerial combat relative to speed
and maneuverability, what attributes should a future combat aircraft possess to maximize these factors?
在二十世纪的绝大部分时间,主要的空对空传感器是飞行员的眼睛。在大多数情况下,战斗机飞行员能在远处发现轰炸机这样的大型飞机,但轰炸机的飞行员在近得多的距离上才能发现来袭的战斗机。在机炮和早期导弹的时代,大型飞机无法有效地用前向武器对付更小、更灵活的敌机,它们更多地依赖旋转炮塔,而旋转炮塔的精准度和杀伤力都不如固定在战斗机上的前向机炮。拦截轰炸机的战斗机还享有地面观察员和雷达组成的早期预警网络这一优势,它们能和控制中心联络,然后控制中心把轰炸机的方位报告给战斗机飞行员。相反,深入敌境的战斗机享受不到任何类似的支援。
For most of the twentieth century, the primary air-to-air sensor was the human eye. In most cases, large combat aircraft such as bombers could be seen by enemy interceptors long before the bomber crews could see the fighters. During the gun and early missile
era, large combat aircraft could not employ forward-firing weapons effectively against smaller and more agile aircraft, and instead they were forced to rely on rotating gun turrets that lacked the accuracy and hitting power of rigidly mounted forward-firing
weapons carried by fighters. Defending fighters also enjoyed the advantage of using early-warning networks of ground observers and radars linked to control centers that could direct them to the vicinity of the bombers, whereas bombers operating deep in enemy
territory lacked any comparable capability.
如果未来的空战几乎只剩下超视距导弹甚至定向能武器的对射,那么态势感知能力就将取决于远程传感器获取和处理数据,并立即将它们通过数据链共享给友军的能力。这让态势感知能力的要素和1970年代末期到1980年代早期不再相同。新的要素列于表5中。
If the future air combat environment consists almost exclusively of BVR missile duels or,eventually, directed-energy weapons engagements, achieving a decisive SA advantage will increasingly depend on the relative ability of the opposing sides to acquire and
process long-range sensor data and rapidly integrate it with offboard information provided via data networks. This suggests future SA “building blocks” may differ from those defined in the late 1970s and early 1980s as outlined in Table 5.
译者注:表5只有两行,包括“信息获取”的要素和“阻止敌人获取信息”的要素。下面是文字版。

信息获取:

  • 多种探测手段的远程传感器。它们需要更大的光圈(孔径)和更强的冷却能力,还需要能够探测所有方向,而不仅仅是飞机前方的目标。
  • 红外搜索与跟踪系统很可能愈发流行,因为它们是被动式探测,并对基于数字射频储存器的干扰完全免疫。雷达在测距、非合作目标识别、(空空)导弹中段制导等方面仍然有重要作用。
  • 信息化数据共享愈发重要,这也提出了对网络健壮性的需求。
  • 综合处理多种信息(主动和被动探测、本机和友军单位)决定了能否及早探测和识别敌机。

阻止敌人获取信息:

  • 在全方向,全频段尽量低的雷达信号特征。这能降低敌人战斗机、预警机和陆基雷达的效能。
  • 低红外特征,以最小化被敌人红外搜索与跟踪系统探测到的频率。这和超音速飞行存在矛盾。
  • 先进电子战系统和红外反制系统。红外反制系统很可能是某种激光器。最初可能仅仅是欺骗敌方导引头和传感器,如果激光功率得到提升,甚至有可能直接摧毁其元件。

在未来,携带大量远程空空武器和多种传感器的能力将对获得空战胜利起决定性作用。比传统战斗机尺寸更大的飞机将更为有利,因为它有更大的空间和发电功率携带传感器、冷却设备和大型远程武器。既然对速度和高机动性的需求下降,就有可能设计没有大片垂尾,具备全向全频域低可探测性的作战飞机。电子传感器、雷达/红外信号特征、电子战和红外反制措施、健壮的直射传输(译者注:原文为LOS,经查询,似为无线电名词Line Of Sight,指中间无遮挡的点对点直线传输)数据网络在获取态势感知优势上的重要性得到提高,而高速度和机动性的战术效能可能降低,这意味着,大型作战飞机的战斗效能可能首次同传统上注重速度和机动性的战斗机并驾齐驱,甚至超过它们。下一节包含大量插图,描述有合适装备的大型飞机如何成为高效能空战网络的核心节点。

The ability to carry a deep magazine of long-range air-to-air weapons with multiple seeker options will almost certainly be vital to success in future air combat. Many of these attributes are much easier to integrate into large aircraft that have greater
space and payload available for sensors, cooling, electrical power, and large, long-range weapons compared to small aircraft the size of traditional fighters. The prospect that supersonic speed and high maneuverability have much reduced tactical utility suggests
it could be possible to build effective combat aircraft with no large vertical tails to facilitate B2/A2 radar low observability. The increased importance of electronic sensors, signature reduction, RF and IR countermeasures and robust LOS networks in building
dominant SA, and the potential reduced tactical utility of high speed and maneuverability could mean that, for the first time, the aerial combat lethality of large combat aircraft may be competitive or even superior to more traditional fighter aircraft designs
emphasizing speed and maneuverability. The next section presents a series of illustrations depicting how an appropriately equipped large aircraft could form the centerpiece of a survivable, highly effective aerial combat network.

图19. 未来空战,第一阶段. 蓝方为美军编队,其中大型飞机携带24枚超远程空空导弹,每一架小型机携带6枚AIM-120导弹。红方为假想敌编队,以1.8马赫巡航。

未来展望

这一节包括若干张图片,它们描述了在未来,美军飞机网络化编队和一群有超音速巡航能力的敌军飞机之间的遭遇战。如图19所示,美军的网络化编队包含几架长程无人空中作战平台(UCAS,下简称为‘无人机’),这种飞机被设计为主要用作传感器平台,携带的武器较少,另有一架轰炸机尺寸的隐身飞机上的人类机组负责指挥它们,这架大型飞机配备了全套传感器。它们之间通过健壮的直射传输数据链通信,并有能力综合运用自身和友军传来的信息。战术上,这一概念显然违背了过去和现在的空战实践,但出于本报告前半部分所指出的发展趋势,这值得进一步调查。

This section consists of several illustrations of an imaginary future aerial encounter between a network of U.S. aircraft and a group of stealthy enemy fighters that have supercruise capability. The U.S. network consists of several long-range Unmanned Combat
Air Systems (UCAS) optimized to perform as sensor platforms with modest aerial weapon payloads that are coordinated by a human crew on board a stealthy bomber-size aircraft with a robust sensor suite. They are linked by robust LoS datalinks and have the ability
to fuse information from offboard sources and their own sensor outputs, as illustrated by Figure 19. Tactically this concept is a marked departure from past and current practice in aerial combat, but seems worthy of further investigation as it extends the
trends identified earlier in this report into the future.

正如之前提到的那样,雷达仍然十分重要。我们假定假想敌装备了俄罗斯PAK-FA(译者注:即通常所说的T-50)这样的战斗机,它具备极低的雷达特征和超音速巡航能力。在未来空战中,即使战斗机的前半球雷达特征比一些公开消息报道中的美军飞机(-30~-40分贝/平方米)大,它们也能有效降低对手的雷达效能。例如,如果假想敌的战斗机有着-20分贝/平方米的雷达横截面积,它也能让美军雷达的有效探测范围比对“阵风”这种典型四代战斗机时降低70%。

As mentioned earlier, radar will remain important, but in this instance, we assume our adversaries are equipped with fighters such as the Russian PAK-FA with greatly reduced radar signature and supercruise capability. Forward hemisphere radar signatures
of future fighter threats need not be as small as those attributed to U.S. aircraft in unclassified sources (-30 to -40 dB square meter range) to greatly reduce the range and therefore the utility of radar in future air combat. For example, adversary fighters
with radar cross sections of -20 dB (sm) would reduce the effective range of U.S. radars by about 70 percent relative to a modern “fourth-generation”fighter such as the French Rafale.

图20. 未来空战,第二阶段。

在这个例子中,我们认为所有飞机都装备了性能和“台风”战斗机上的PIRATE系统性能相近的红外搜索与跟踪系统。图20展示了双方三种飞机的红外可探测性。带阴影的圆圈代表每一架飞机能被敌人探测到的范围。右边大型的亚音速有人机携带24枚700公斤级空空导弹,其射程大约170海里。

In this example, all aircraft are assumed to be equipped with an IRSTS that has capabilities similar to the PIRATE sensor currently installed on the Eurofighter Typhoon. Figure 20 shows the relative IR detectability of the three types of aircraft involved
in an air-to-air engagement. The shaded circles represent the region where each aircraft can be detected by its opponents. The subsonic manned aircraft is armed with twenty-four 1,500-pound class AAMs with a range of approximately 170 nm.

图21. 未来空战,第三阶段。美军的无人机探测到了敌方战斗机,并通过数据链告知友机。人类机组开始分配目标。

图21展示了具有信息网络中的无人机和有人机协作取得火控跟踪数据,并给各个目标分配打击武器。通过综合数据链传来的信息,美军飞机获知了敌机的位置、航向、高度、速度,并用雷达进行短暂的火控扫描(波束高度聚焦),生成精确的火控信息。由于雷达开机时间短,被敌机拦截/欺骗的概率很低。

Figure 21 illustrates how networked UCAS and manned aircraft work together to achieve weapon-quality tracks on opposing fighters and assign weapons to targets. Fusing sensor data from multiple widely spaced sources allows onboard systems to rapidly appraise
the location,heading, altitude, and speed of supercruising target aircraft or conduct short, highly focused searches with low-probability of intercept/detection radars to generate sufficiently accurate targeting data.

图22. 未来空战,第四阶段。美军无人机转向以延迟交汇时间,但仍在持续跟踪敌机。美军有人机从超过160海里的极远距离上向每个目标发射两枚导弹。

在图22中,美军无人机转向,以降低接近率,留出充裕的时间在有人机发射的超远程空空导弹抵达目标后,进行第二轮超视距补射。敌我识别需要综合各种手段,尤其是在雷达效能降低的情况下。美军的“蓝军跟踪系统”(译者注:基于GPS实时更新友军位置)和其他先进敌我识别系统,包括新的加密Mode 5,将能有效识别出大部分友机。

In Figure 22, the UCAS turn to reduce the closure rate and allow time for the very long-range BVR missiles fired by the manned aircraft to reach opposing fighters with time and space left for follow-up BVR engagements if necessary. Positive identification
of opposing aircraft will require a combination of measures, but the reduced utility of radar in this regard will likely require a different mix of ID sources. Blue Force Tracker combined with advanced IFF systems, including a completely new encrypted Mode
5, will positively identify most friendly aircraft.

环境信息同样重要。根据下面将要进行的讨论,敌机将大多出现在敌方控制区深处,并远超美军友机的作战半径。在一些情况下,敌机一升空即可被监控,就像“沙漠风暴”行动中E-3做的那样。在其他情况中,可能需要更多的手段。例如,任何在友军战斗机航程外超音速巡航的飞机都可以被认定为敌机。现代的信息化网络还具有实时数据更新能力,这在未来或许可以进一步自动化,通过自动评估是否有一架友军飞机的任务需要它出现在哪个位置来判断敌友。在可预期的未来,假想敌战斗机的数量很可能多于在敌方空域内作战的美军飞机。这让越战期间和此后的“数量问题”转移到了敌人身上。如果天上的大多数飞机是敌机,那么一架敌我识别器和“蓝军跟踪系统”都未响应的飞机就很可能是敌人。

Contextual information will also be important. As discussed below, U.S. aircraft facing significant enemy fighter opposition will often be deep inside enemy-controlled territory and well beyond the effective combat radius of friendly fighters. In some cases
they may be able to detect opposing fighters taking off from their bases as E-3s did in Desert Storm. In other cases they may need to rely on other measures. For example, any aircraft cruising supersonically and beyond friendly fighter range can safely be
assumed to be an enemy fighter. Modern information networks should also allow each friendly aircraft’s assigned mission be kept “up to date.” This will enable further automatic contextual sorting by assessing whether any friendly aircraft has an assigned mission
that would require it to be where an unknown contact is. Finally, U.S. aircraft operating deep in enemy airspace will likely be outnumbered by defending fighters. This turns the “numbers problem” experienced by U.S. fighter pilots during and following Vietnam
on its head. If most aircraft aloft are enemy aircraft, odds are high that any aircraft without a friendly IFF and no Blue Force Tracker file is an enemy.

图23. 未来空战,第五阶段。美军有人机也转向以延迟交汇时间。有人机发射的超远程导弹到达,击落了8架敌机中的6架(假定杀伤概率为0.5)

图23显示了对8架敌机分别发射两枚导弹,所有导弹的杀伤率为0.5时的平均结果。对于这场战斗,在假想敌编队探测到任何美军飞机之前,就有6架飞机被击落。

Figure 23 shows the average result of engaging eight enemy aircraft with two missiles each,where the missiles each have a probability of kill (Pk) of 0.5. For this engagement, a Pk of 0.5 would result in six of eight enemy aircraft killed before the opposing
fighter formation is able to detect any friendly aircraft.

图24. 未来空战,第六阶段。存活的敌机可能逃跑,如果没有,美军有人机组向无人机分配目标,无人机向每个目标发射2枚AIM-120级别的导弹,而无人机自身不被发现。

图24展示了交战的结局。如果假想敌在付出75%伤亡后仍继续接近美军飞机,它们就会受到美军有人机的超远程空空导弹,或无人机射程稍短的AIM-120级别导弹的攻击,而无人机仍然未被探测到。在这幅图中,我们假定美军有人机组选择向剩余的每个目标发射两枚AIM-120级别的导弹。如果它的杀伤率也是0.5,那么剩余的两架敌机都很可能被击落。在这场交战中,八架敌机都被击落,而美军飞机均未被探测到,同时还携带有20枚AIM-120级别导弹和8枚超远程空空导弹。

Figure 24 shows the conclusion of the engagement. If the opposing fighters continue to close on the friendly formation after taking 75 percent losses, they could be engaged by additional very long-range missiles launched by the U.S. manned aircraft or by
AMRAAM-class shorter range weapons carried by the still-undetected UCAS. In this illustration, we assume the human crew elects to engage the remaining fighters with two AMRAAM-class weapons each. Again assuming a missile Pk of 0.5, both remaining fighters
would likely be shot down. At the conclusion of this example engagement, eight enemy aircraft have been shot down, while friendly aircraft are undetected and have twenty AMRAMM-class weapons and eight very long-range BVR weapons.

这些无人“前哨”是未来空战网络的组成部分,它们可以被视为现有预警机探测(但不是指挥)能力的代用品,因为它们成为了有人机组在自身传感器探测范围外的“眼睛”。在未来战争中,美军的侦察和作战飞机需要在没有己方非隐身战机的环境下打击敌方战斗机。美军现在有大量这种商用客机改装的平台,例如E-3“望楼”、E-8“联合星”、KC-135、KC-46A这样的预警机、指挥机、空中加油机。这些庞大的非隐身飞机需要离假想敌控制区域至少200海里远,以躲避像SA-21“咆哮”(译者注:即S-400,北约代号为‘咆哮’,俄军代号为‘凯旋’)这样先进地对空导弹的打击。

The unmanned “picket” aircraft were included to showcase the possibilities of future aerial battle networks and can be thought of as something of a substitute for the sensor (but not C2) capability currently resident in AWACS aircraft, as they extend the
“eyes” of the human crew beyond the range of their organic sensors. This will be an important factor in future conflicts that will require U.S. ISR and strike aircraft to operate effectively against enemy fighter aircraft in threat environments that will preclude
the presence of non-stealthy assets such as E-3 Sentry and other high-value asset (HVA) sensors, C2, and air refueling tanker platforms based on modified commercial transport aircraft (e.g., E-8 JSTARS,RC-135, KC-46A). These large, non-stealthy aircraft will
need to remain at least 200 nm from enemy territory to avoid engagements by advanced surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems such as the SA-21 Growler.

图25展示了对美军高价值目标的第二类威胁。直到假想敌的战斗机威胁消除前,美军的加油机等高价值目标的航线都有可能在假想敌控制区域500-750海里外被其战斗机威胁。假想敌有可能对高价值目标发动集中打击,这让保护它们需要的战斗机数量大大提升。考虑到这种打击成功或迫使高价值目标撤退的概率,让高价值目标在假想敌战斗机的威胁范围内执行任务并不现实。尤其是对加油机的打击,能显著降低美军战斗机的航程。

Figure 25 illustrates a second class of threats to U.S. HVAs. Until the enemy fighter threat is substantially reduced, refueling operations and HVA orbits could be threatened by enemy fighter sweeps 500–750 nm from enemy territory. The ability of opposing
forces to concentrate their anti-HVA attacks in time and space makes protecting HVAs costly in terms of the number of friendly fighters required, and the possibility such an attack might succeed, at least to the point of forcing HVAs to “retrograde,” makes
persistent HVA operations within the effective reach of opposing fighters unattractive. This is particularly true in cases where the disruption of air refueling operations could greatly decrease the effective range of U.S. fighters.

图25. 美军高价值目标在西太平洋面临的战斗机威胁。美军加油机需要离大陆500-750海里,以躲避远程空空导弹打击。注意画面中央的深蓝色群岛是马里亚纳群岛,左边有“Anderson AFB”字样,意为关岛安德森空军基地。横跨太平洋的红色细线为东风-21(北约代号CSS-5)反舰弹道导弹的现有射程890海里(1650千米),美军航母战斗群(CSG)保持在这一范围外。围绕台湾岛的红线字样是“战斗机扫荡”,即在某一空域内搜索和歼灭敌方空中目标的行动。R-37和R-100(一般称为K-100)为俄罗斯设计的远程空空导弹。海岸线附近的字样是“战斗空中巡逻”。PL-12即霹雳-12,为中国研制的中距空空导弹,外贸型称闪电-10(SD-10)。

这告诉我们,在未来,美军作战飞机需要在深入高竞争空域数百海里作战,而能提供支援的己方高价值目标远在1000海里之外。没有预警机像“沙漠风暴”行动中那样卓有成效的支援,未来的美军作战飞机可能需要通过为自己提供大范围的侦察监视情报,通过健壮的直射传输通讯链路,在传感器、武器、数据链等方面组成“分布式系统”。换言之,正如陆军在二十世纪早期学到的那样,武器射程和通讯手段的进步过去那种把部队集中起来以增强火力(译者注:线列步兵)的方式不再必要也不再明智。同样,二十一世纪早期的空军或许也会发现,传感器、武器、信息化技术的进步让空军不必把飞机“集中”起来,以互相支援。

This suggests that in the future, U.S. combat aircraft needing to operate hundreds of miles inside contested airspace may be at least 1,000 nm or more from friendly HVA support. Without offboard support from AWACS aircraft that proved so helpful to Coalition
aircrew in Desert Storm, future U.S. combat aircraft may need to provide wide-area surveillance for themselves by operating as a large “distributed weapon system” with sensors, weapons, and C2 linked by robust line-of-sight communication links. In other words,
just as ground forces in the early twentieth century learned that advances in weapon ranges and communications made it both unnecessary and unwise to concentrate their troops in order to concentrate fire,air forces in the early twenty-first century may find
advances in sensor, weapon, and network technology make it unnecessary to “concentrate” their aircraft to achieve mutual support.

这种在己方加油机1000海里外作战的需求更加刺激了让未来的长程侦察打击平台装备空对空武器。美军制空战斗机的作战效能在过去七十年间惊人地提升了。新的发动机、结构和气动设计被运用,提升了它们的速度、升限和机动性。航电和传感器的进步大幅提升了战斗机搜索和歼灭敌机的能力,也提升了它们从对空打击无缝切换到对地打击的多任务能力。但增加作战效能也带来了代价。首要的一点便是人尽皆知的价格上涨。紧随其后的一点则是飞机空重持续上涨的势头,正如图26所示。

The requirement to operate against targets and forces 1,000 nm or more beyond friendly tanker support provides additional stimulus for integrating air-to-air combat capability into future long-range ISR and strike systems. U.S. air superiority fighters have
grown tremendously in capability over the past seventy years. As new propulsion, structural, and aerodynamic concepts were integrated into designs, their speed, ceiling, and maneuverability increased. Advances in avionics and sensors have vastly improved their
ability to search for and destroy enemy aircraft as well as to seamlessly transition from air-to-air to air-to-ground missions. This increased capability, however, has come at some expense. The first is the well-known increase in aircraft unit cost. Closely
related is an almost unbroken trend toward ever-higher aircraft empty weight, as illustrated by the columns in Figure 26.

图26. 美军空优战斗机空重和作战半径随时间的变化。蓝色柱为空重,红线为作战半径。空重的单位(左侧)是磅,航程的单位(右侧)是海里。黑线是B-17G的空重36135磅(16391千克)。

洛克希德-马丁公司的F-22A“猛禽”,美军的头号空优战斗机,空重达16959千克。它比两个前辈(F-4E’鬼怪II’和F-15C’鹰’)重35%,比二战期间的“重型轰炸机”B-17G都重20%。它的空重是美军在二战早期用于制空作战的P-40E的7倍。

The Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor, the premier air superiority fighter in U.S. service, weighs 43,340 pounds when empty. This is over 35 percent greater than its two immediate predecessors, the F-15C Eagle and F-4E Phantom II, more than 20 percent greater
than a B-17G “heavy bomber” of World War II, and almost seven times the empty weight of the P-40E fighter used by the United States for air superiority missions when it entered World War II.

我们的意思并不是让美军在未来装备体型更小,性能更差的战斗机,而是想说明战斗机“传统”性能的提升伴随着稳步增长的空重和开支。虽然自1960年代中期以来,空中加油技术显著降低了制空战斗机的运营费用,但在未来,美军可能会面对具有强大战斗机部队的敌人,而空中加油的安全空域距离假想敌领土领空的范围将远超现代战斗机的作战半径。

The point here is not that the U.S. military needs smaller, less capable fighters in the future, but that adding capabilities traditionally considered as “necessary” for success in aerial combat has steadily increased the empty weight and cost of fighter
aircraft. A final“cost” has been a dramatic decrease in the unrefueled combat radius of U.S. air superiority fighters. The availability of aerial refueling capabilities has allowed U.S. air campaign planners to minimize the operational impact of this cost
since the mid-1960s. As discussed above, however, should U.S. forces be called on to confront an adversary with a capable and competent fighter force in the future, the distance between locations safe for aerial refueling operations and enemy territory may
significantly exceed the combat radius of modern U.S. fighters.

这已经够糟糕了,因为美军战斗机将无法对假想敌的地面目标进行精确打击。但还不止于此:目前美军轰炸机缺乏空对空打击能力,在过去二十年间,敌人防空能力有限时,这不成问题,但远在战斗机作战半径之外面对有强大战斗机部队的假想敌时,轰炸机的作战将受到极大限制。换言之,如果制空战斗机无法持续为轰炸机护航,对抗强大的假想敌战斗机,那么轰炸机的作战效能将大大降低。这一问题在西太平洋尤其严重,因为美军在那里缺乏机场,而假想敌的反介入/区域拒止能力对美军仅有的机场和航母构成严重威胁,这就对从远处战区基地起飞的轰炸机提出了迫切需求。虽然美军可能永远不会在西太平洋打一场战争,但在其他地方,日益增长的反介入/区域拒止威胁也要求美军能在现有和计划中所有战斗机的无空中加油作战半径之外战斗。
While this situation is bad enough, as it limits the ability of modern U.S. fighters to perform precision attacks against enemy ground targets, it carries an additional operational penalty. Currently, U.S. bombers lack the ability to carry and employ air-to-air
weapons. This has not been a significant hindrance to U.S. air campaigns waged over the past two decades against opponents with limited air defense resources. Nevertheless, they would face significant operational limitations if called upon to attack targets
guarded by a capable, competent enemy fighter fleet that lay beyond the effective combat radius of modern fighter aircraft. In other words, there is a severe deficiency in the ability of U.S. air superiority fighters to accompany bombers deep into enemy territory
to enable sustainable bomber operations in the face of a significant fighter threat. This deficiency is likely to be most acute in the Western Pacific, where the paucity of land bases combined with the serious and growing anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) threat
to both airbases and aircraft carriers makes the ability of U.S. bombers to operate from distant theater bases extremely valuable. Even if, however, the United States never actually faces a conflict in the Western Pacific region, it is likely to face the same
dynamic of growing A2/AD threats and the increased need for effective operations well beyond the effective unrefueled combat radius of existing and planned fighters.

图27. 二战后美军战斗机和轰炸机作战半径的差别。红线为战斗机,绿线为轰炸机,单位海里。蓝色部分为“传统任务”,黄色部分为“核任务优先”,紫色部分为“核常兼备”。

这种问题是如何产生的呢?正如图27所示,二战晚期战斗机和轰炸机的作战半径相当匹配。这并非偶然,而是因为早期深入德国本土的无护航轰炸损失惨重,无法持续。美军的反应则是装备为护航任务特别改进的P-51和P-47,它们不仅增加了内油容量,还能在副油箱内携带大量燃油。但这些方法无法用于现代的隐身战斗机。现代战斗机的内部空进已被航电、传感器、弹舱和油箱填满,无法进一步利用。而尽管副油箱能增加战斗机航程,它们却同时也显著增大了雷达横截面积,因此必须在进入敌军防空范围之前被抛掉。像俄罗斯S-400(SA-21)这样的现代防空系统射程可达到200海里,显然隐身战机必须在其作战包线外抛掉副油箱。如果战斗机能在400海里外进行空中加油,而必须在200海里外抛掉副油箱,那副油箱只能把它的作战半径增加100海里。

How did this state of affairs arise? As Figure 27 shows, the combat radius of late World War II fighters and bombers were well matched. This was no accident, as initial attempts to operate bombers on deep penetration missions into Germany without adequate
fighter protection proved unsustainable due to enemy fighters imposing heavy losses. The U.S. response was to field modified versions of the P-51 and P-47 that were specifically tailored to the bomber escort mission. In addition to carrying sizable quantities
of fuel in external tanks to extend range, the P-51D and P-47N both had significantly increased internal fuel capacity compared to their earlier variants. Neither of these approaches seems attractive for modern stealthy fighters. The internal spaces of contemporary
fighters are already fully utilized for avionics, sensors, internal weapons, and fuel. Adding external fuel tanks could increase fighter range, but because they would significantly increase radar cross sections, they would need to be jettisoned before entering
the effective range of enemy air defenses. Modern ground-based air defense systems such as the Russian S-400 (SA-21) can engage targets at up to 200 nm. A stealthy fighter carrying external tanks would probably need to discard them before entering the engagement
envelope of such a threat. If the fighter refueled from a tanker operating 400 nm from enemy territory and discarded its external tanks 200 nm from enemy territory, then using external fuel tanks would extend its combat radius by just 100 nm.

在冷战期间,轰炸机的主要设计目的是跨洲际投送核弹。这种任务当然无法得到战斗机护航,并且护航也并非必须,因为敌人的大部分防空系统早在轰炸机到达目标上空之前就将被核导弹摧毁。由于无需为轰炸机护航,战斗机沿着另一条路径发展,即在欧洲和苏军的常规空中/地面部队作战,执行航程相对较短的任务。图28展示了美军在太平洋的潜在作战范围和冷战期间欧洲前线的巨大差别。

During the Cold War era, bombers were designed primarily for delivering nuclear weapons against targets at intercontinental ranges. This mission precluded fighter escort, and it would probably not be necessary, as many of the enemy air defense systems and
bases would be destroyed by nuclear-tipped missiles long before the bombers arrived to attack their targets. With no requirement to escort bombers, fighters evolved along a path focused on dealing with conventional threats posed by Soviet air and ground forces
facing NATO with range and payload attributes optimized for the relatively short ranges along the “Central Front” in Europe. Figure 28 illustrates the vast difference in size between the potential operating area U.S.power projection forces confront in the
Western Pacific and the geography of NATO’s Cold War-era Central Front.

图28. 冷战期间欧洲前线和西太平洋的对比

在后冷战时代,出于常规轰炸机任务,特别是在反介入/区域拒止环境下保持武力投射的需求,为轰炸机护航的要求或许会再次出现。但现有的战斗机航程远远不足以在强大的敌军战斗机面前执行轰炸机护航任务。如果我们决定设计一架现代的护航战斗机,将会如何?

With the reemergence of conventional bomber missions in the post–Cold War era, and especially with the need to retain power projection options in the face of growing A2/AD threats, the need to provide bombers protection from enemy fighters may have returned.
Existing fighter designs, however, do not even come close to the combat radius required to effectively enable bomber operations in the face of significant enemy fighter forces. What would it take to build a modern escort fighter?

根据布列盖航程公式(Breguet Range Equation,译者注:http://web.mit.edu/16.unified/www/FALL/thermodynamics/notes/node98.html),设计师可能的选择包括提高发动机效率、增强结构强度从而增加内油量、改善气动效率,或三者的任意组合。如果我们从F-22的公开性能数据出发设计这种“护航战斗机”,把无空中加油时1200海里作战航程作为护航任务的最低标准,那将会得到一些有趣的结论。

Based on the Breguet Range Equation, the alternatives available to modern combat aircraft designers for increasing fighter range are improved engine fuel efficiency, improved structural efficiency to allow for increased internal fuel volume, improved aerodynamic
efficiency, or some combination of the three. If we postulate a “bare minimum” unrefueled combat radius of 1,200 nm for our future escort fighter and use unclassified performance data for the F-22 as a point of departure for our new design, we get some interesting
first-order results.

  • 如果仅用提高发动机燃油效率的方法把F-22的无空中加油作战航程提高到1200海里,发动机的燃油效率需要比现在的F-119发动机提高约62%。从J-33发动机被装上美军第一种量产战斗机F-80,到最新的F-15和F-15安装的F-110发动机这超过65年间,美军战斗机的发动机效率提高了39%。由此推断,发动机效率跨越式提升的前景渺茫。
  • 不可能通过提升燃油/空重比来把F-22的作战半径提高到1200海里。由于发动机和气动效率难以进步,我们需要降低F-22的空重,使之能额外容纳21228千克燃油。而现在F-22的空重只有19657千克,所以在最大起飞重量不变的条件下,这种方法从理论上就不可能。
  • 增加气动效率的方法需要把升阻比至少提高一倍。这在理论上可能,但将会彻底改变飞机的外形——几乎把一架超音速隐身战斗机变成一架商用客机!
  • Increasing estimated F-22 unrefueled combat radius to 1,200 nm through improved engine efficiency alone would require engines about 62 percent more efficient than the F-119s currently installed. In the sixty-five-plus years since the J-33 was installed
    in the F-80, America’s first production jet fighter, to the F-110 engines of the latest F-15s and F-16s, U.S. fighter engine efficiency improved 39 percent. This makes near-term prospects for a leap in fighter engine efficiency of the magnitude required appear
    rather dim.
  •  Increasing F-22 combat radius to 1,200 nm by increasing the fuel/empty weight fraction through improved structural efficiency alone is impossible. With no improvement in engine or aerodynamic efficiency, we would need to find some way to reduce F-22 empty
    weight enough to accommodate an additional 46,800 pounds of fuel. Since the aircraft only weighs 43,340 pounds empty, this is clearly not possible without increasing maximum takeoff weight.
  • Increasing range through increased aerodynamic efficiency alone would require more than doubling the lift over drag (L/D) ratio of the aircraft. This could be done but would require a fundamentally different aircraft shape—one that is more like a commercial
    jet transport than a stealthy supersonic fighter.

显然,我们必须联合运用三种手段。对布列盖公式的分析表明,把一架空重和F-22相同的飞机的作战航程提升到1200海里,需要将三个主要变量(发动机、气动、结构)都提高33%。这种进步需要数十年,这表明和现代战斗机差不多大小的飞机绝无可能执行哪怕是最低标准的护航任务。如果出于安全起见,美军的加油机必须停留在假想敌国境线750海里之外,那么具备1200海里作战半径的制空战斗机将最多能深入假想敌境内450海里。有庞大战略纵深的潜在敌国(例如中国、伊朗、俄罗斯等)可以利用这一限制,把重要设施放在美军作战飞机的打击半径之外。最后,正如图27中展示的轰炸机无空中加油作战半径那样,即使把F-22的无加油作战半径提高到现有的三倍,它也无法在轰炸机的最大航程上提供全程护航。

Clearly, a mix of all three approaches would be required to significantly extend the range of a modern fighter aircraft. Initial Breguet Range equation analysis indicates improving all three main components of aircraft efficiency (propulsion, aerodynamic,
and structural) by about 33 percent would be required to allow an aircraft with the same empty weight as an F-22 to achieve a combat radius of 1,200 nm. Efficiency gains of this magnitude generally require several decades or more to achieve, suggesting that
no aircraft even close to the size and weight of current fighter aircraft will be able to perform even “bare minimum” escort missions. If U.S. tankers must remain 750 nm from adversary territory for safety, then an air superiority aircraft with a 1,200 nm
combat radius could penetrate 450 nm into enemy territory at most. A number of potential adversaries with significant strategic depth (China,Iran, Russia, etc.) could leverage this limitation to place important forces and facilities beyond the reach of U.S.
strike aircraft by locating them more than 450 nm from their borders. Furthermore, any requirement to arrive before the strike aircraft and remain in thearea until they are safely clear would reduce the effective range of the escorts. Finally, as the unrefueled
bomber combat radii in Figure 27 show, even tripling the unrefueled combat radius of the F-22 would still not allow it to enable bomber operations at the full extent of their combat radii.

由于在未来数十年间,可能都无法设计出一种有效、廉价的护航战斗机,考虑给未来的长航程侦察/打击飞机装备空对空武器便成为明智之选。正如前面讨论过的那样,具备先进武器和传感器的大型飞机相比传统战斗机具备诸多潜在优势,那么或许可以预期,在未来,有自卫能力的轰炸机将既能执行侦察/打击任务,也能在空战中获得胜利。

With extremely limited prospects for designing an effective and affordable escort fighter over the next several decades, it seems prudent to seriously examine the possibilities of adding air-to-air combat functionality to future long-range ISR/strike aircraft
as an alternative. The potential that large aircraft with the appropriate attributes incorporated in their designs could be effective in aerial combat against traditional fighter designs as discussed above opens the prospect that “self-defending” bombers could
fulfill both future ISR/strike missions and some aerial combat requirements as well.

总结

自一战以来,空战的目标就是击落敌人,而自身不被敌人发现和攻击。这通常是飞行员具有态势感知优势的结果。最初,战斗机飞行员需要接近到50米或更近的距离上开火,要么不被敌人发现,要么敌人发现了也没有时间作出反应。两次世界大战中的王牌飞行员都强调了态势感知优势的重要性,它能够达成战术突然性,同时免于进行高风险,低收益的缠斗。二战中许多王牌飞行员,包括格尔德•巴克霍恩,都估计他们80%~90%的战果都是在未被敌机发现的情况下达成的。美军对越战期间空战数据的分析也证明了这一点。这就是现代久经考验的“先敌发现,先敌开火,先敌击落”原则。

Since World War I, the goal of aerial combat has been to shoot down enemy aircraft without being detected and engaged. This accomplishment is usually the result of a pilot having superior SA relative to an opponent. Initially, this required attacking fighter
pilots to close to very short range, often 50 m or less, either without being seen by their potential victims or being seen too late to avoid being shot down. Aces in both World Wars stressed the importance of superior SA and of surprising the enemy as well
as achieving decisive results without being dragged into “low-payoff/high-risk” maneuvering fights. Many of the great aces of World War II, including Gerd Barkhorn, estimated that 80–90 percent of their victims did not realize they were under attack until
after being hit. These estimates were validated by extensive USAF analysis of aerial combat during the Vietnam War. The modern embodiment of these time-honored principles is “First Look, First Shot, First Kill.”

在1960年代中期,导弹让飞行员无需接近到目视距离,并机动到机炮条件苛刻的发射阵位上,就能够击落敌人。美军飞行员很快发现,设计目标为不机动的高空轰炸机的导弹在面对低空飞行的高机动战斗机时,表现不如人意。这部分来自于没有可靠的超视距敌我识别技术,以及早期导弹真空管元件的不可靠性。尽管有这些限制,美军在越南75%的战果都归功于导弹。

By the mid-1960s, AAMs opened the possibility of achieving aerial victories without the need to close within visual range of a potential victim or the necessity of maneuvering into tight gun parameters. U.S. pilots quickly found that missiles designed to
attack nonmaneuvering bombers at high altitude were much less effective than anticipated against maneuvering fighters at low altitude. These missile performance limitations were compounded by the lack of trustworthy means of positively identifying enemy aircraft
BVR and the unreliability of early missile vacuum tube electronics. Despite these limitations, about 75 percent of U.S. aerial victories in Vietnam were achieved with missiles.

美国空军和海军采用了各自的手段,试图让导弹能够射击高机动性目标,提高导弹可靠性,以及或许是最重要的,研究远程敌我识别技术,以充分利用传感器和武器射程的提升。这些努力在“沙漠风暴”行动中初见成效,联军在战争中的大部分战果都是超视距的,而自身没有一例误伤。这种卓越表现的关键原因之一是预警机跟踪敌我双方战机,为美军飞行员提供敌我识别信息的成果。

Accordingly, the USAF and Navy set about addressing the challenges of employing missiles against maneuvering targets, improving missile reliability, and, perhaps most importantly, developing robust means of identifying enemy aircraft at long range to fully
leverage the ongoing improvements in sensor and weapon range. These efforts bore fruit during Operation Desert Storm, where a large fraction of coalition aerial victories were achieved BVR without a single incidence of fratricide. One of the key enablers of
this performance was the advent of AWACS aircraft able to track both friendly and enemy aircraft as well as assist U.S. pilots inidentifying their targets and positioning themselves for BVR kills.

在过去二十年间,尽管空战数量不多,但仍然证明了态势感知优势的重要性。而态势感知的基础是获取信息和阻止敌人获取信息,因此和传感器、信号特征和信息化密切相关。它们的发展极大增加了超视距战斗的比例,同时很可能降低了传统战斗机性能,例如速度和机动性的地位。同时,正如表6所示,其他性能的地位显著上升了。

Aerial combat over the past two decades, though relatively rare, continues to demonstrate the importance of superior SA. The building blocks, however, of superior SA, information acquisition and information denial, seem to be increasingly associated with
sensors, signature reduction,and networks. Looking forward, these changes have greatly increased the proportion of BVR engagements and likely reduced the utility of traditional fighter aircraft attributes, such as speed and maneuverability, in aerial combat.
At the same time, they seem to have increased the importance of other attributes, shown in Table 6.

表6. 愈发重要的作战飞机性能

如果以上分析正确,未来的制空平台或许会和远程侦察/打击平台殊途同归,至少具备低可探测性的大型飞机能被有效用于空战。进一步地,第六代“战斗机”很可能和未来的“轰炸机”有着相近的平台——可能是轰炸机机体的一个修改版本,甚至就是轰炸机本身,只不过设备和挂载不同。那么,通过把空军和海军的远程侦察/打击飞机和战斗机项目结合起来,美国或许能节省高达数百亿美元的一次性成本。

If the analysis presented above is correct, it is possible that the desirable attributes of future air-to-air platforms may be converging with those of long-range ISR/strike platforms, or that at least large aircraft with good low observable (LO) characteristics
may be able to give a good account of themselves in aerial combat. If this is true, then a sixth-generation “fighter” may have a platform that is similar to a future “bomber” and may even be a modified version of a bomber airframe or the same aircraft with
its payload optimized for the air-to-air mission. If this is correct, then the United States may be in position to save tens of billions of dollars in nonrecurring development costs by combining USAF and Navy future fighter development programs with each service’s
long-range ISR/strike programs.

最后需要注意的是,本文的讨论基于特定的假设,以及对以往趋势的分析。未来的天空有可能仍然属于高速、敏捷的战斗机。在“对未来空战的另一种展望”一章中的设想极大依赖直射传输数据链,它能让分散在广阔空域中的飞机进行高效的信息交换,共同达成态势感知优势。如果这种数据链在战场中被降级或无法使用,我们提出的设想就难以实现。如果这才是未来,或许有人将争论,美军是否还继续需要隐身战斗机。海军和空军现有的计划都将保证它们能在未来的十五或二十年间接收数百架隐身战斗机。它们将持续服役数十年,这或许会或多或少地阻碍某些让对本文中的假设得以实现的技术进步。现在美国海空军没有制造相对较大的隐身无尾亚音速飞机,因此在未来数十年间,美国空军部队仍将主要由战斗机尺寸的飞机构成。当然,空战形态的改变是一个漫长的过程,而本文只是其中的第一步。这在反过来,又增加了本文成为现实的难度。

Finally, it is important to acknowledge that all of the foregoing discussion is based on certain assumptions plus analysis of past trends, and the future of aerial combat might continue to belong to fast, agile aircraft. The alternative vision of future
aerial combat presented in Chapter 5 relies heavily on robust LoS data links to enable widely distributed aircraft to efficiently share information and act in concert to achieve superior SA and combat effectiveness.Should the links be degraded or denied, the
concept put forward here would be difficult or impossible to implement. If this is the case, one could argue that the United States would be wise to continue to acquire stealthy fighters in any event. Current program of record plans ensure that both the USAF
and Navy will acquire hundreds of stealthy fighters over the next fifteen to twenty years. These will remain in service for several decades more and constitute an automatic hedge against unforeseen technical developments that would render BVR combat less pervasive
or the failure of other assumptions underlying this analysis. There are currently no relatively large, stealthy, tailless, subsonic aircraft in production for either service, so combat aircraft force structures will continue to be dominated by fighter-class
aircraft for decades to come. Indeed, the serious investigation of the implications of this analysis would seem to be only the first step in a series that could lead to a true discontinuity in aerial combat,which could come to represent an important hedge
against the possibility that the analysis presented in this paper is correct.

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