AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder

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Description

The AIM-9B Sidewinder missile (scale is approximate)


The AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder is an infrared homing air-to-air missile, introduced in Update 1.99 "Starfighters." Found only on the German F-104G and F-4F Early, it currently exists as an exact copy of the AIM-9B Sidewinder in performance and usage.

Vehicles equipped with this weapon

General info

With similar performances to the AIM-9B, the FGW.2 should be treated the same way. The missile's performance is generally sub-par in comparison to other missiles found around 9.0 to 10.7, thanks to the FGW.2 basing having stats of a missile designed in 1954-6. With only 10G's of overload and a tracking rate of 11°/s, it performs terribly in high-G dogfights. The 4 seconds of warm-up time also limits its effectiveness, so don't expect to be throwing these around.

The AIM-9B FGW.2 is known also as the AIM-9F, an upgrade to the AIM-9B that resembled an upgraded AIM-9E. Little is known on the specifics of the F variant, other than the sensor window being changed to green, upgraded tech to solid state electronics instead of vacuum tubes, and a new cooling system.

Effective damage

For being relatively bad to other missiles, the FGW.2 does not disappoint in the damage department. Like every other AAM, if this missile connects, it will one-shot or at least deal critical damage to any aircraft. Obviously, it can't be used against ground targets, unless you count parked and active aircraft.

Comparison with analogues

Its performance is identical to the AIM-9B and R-3 missiles, but is massively outperformed by mid-tier missiles like the AIM-9D, E, R-60, and R550. Its lack of a moveable seeker-head, higher G-pulling, range, and sensitivity make it subpar if not for having four missiles on a platform that is capable of traveling at Mach 2.

Usage in battles

This missile's best usage comes in three situations, low energy, roll-rate spamming and compressed enemies:

  • Enemies at low energy can't dodge this missile, as their planes won't be able to manoeuvre above 10Gs.
  • Enemies that constantly roll in order to dodge your guns will find the missile to be much more accurate, as their aileron rolls put them in a situation where they can't run.
  • Enemies that have high compression speeds will find your missiles hard to dodge as well. The French Vautour bombers, high speed MiG-15's and Yak-38/38M, and F11F-1's won't be able to outturn the missile's seeker at high speeds, and will be forced to either bleed enough speed to manoeuvre or get hit by the warhead. It has a top speed of around Mach 1.7, so the planes that can outrun this missile with low manoeuvrability are other F-104's.

Forcing enemies to bleed speed is more of this missile's job, but speed isn't a big deal for the F-104, so it's kind of redundant.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Effective against low-energy targets
  • Decent at longer ranges in a straight line
  • Effective against aircraft with low manoeuvrability
  • Effective against aircraft in their high-speed compression ranges
  • Only available on a platform that benefits from its more passive role

Cons:

  • Small seeker area
  • Short range relative to other AAMs
  • Poor manoeuvrability limits its capability in top-rank dogfights

History

Development

The missile’s history starts at the Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) at China Lake in 1947.[1] Under William B. McLean, the missile conception sprang from mating lead-sulfide proximity fuzes that were sensitive to infrared radiation with a guidance system to home onto the infrared source.[2] Initially his own private project, McLean eventually received approval by Admiral William S. Parsons for development.[1]These missiles were first test fired in 1951, with the first air-to-air hit was made on 11 September 1953 on a drone.[3] This experimental missile would be designated as the XAAM-N-7. The missile would also earn the name "Sidewinder" by the development team, named after the desert rattlesnake that senses its prey’s heat and moves in a winding motion.[1][2]

Initially a US Navy project, the US Air Force was urged into participating by Howard Wilcox, the next project lead after McLean was promoted to upper management at NOTS in 1954.[1] This culminated in a shoot-off in June 1955 between the Navy’s Sidewinder against the Air Force’s GAR-2 Falcon missile. The Sidewinder’s performance in this event resulted in the US Air Force putting their support in the Sidewinder.[3] By May 1956, the missile was officially adopted as the AAM-N-7 for the US Navy and the GAR-8 for the US Air Force.[3][4] These designation would remain until 27 June 1963, when the Sidewinder’s designations were standardised across all armed services as the AIM-9.[5]

AIM-9B FGW.2

The AIM-9B (pre-1963 Navy designation AAM-N-7 Sidewinder IA) was the initial production version of the Sidewinder.[3] More than 80,000 units of the AIM-9B Sidewinder would be produced.[4]

The Sidewinder was also acquired by NATO forces for their air forces. The AIM-9B licensed production was distributed to West Germany, who would produce 15,000 units.[4] Like the US Navy and US Air Force, the manufacturer sought to improve the AIM-9B design. These improvements modernized the components with solid-state technology, added a carbon dioxide cooling for the seeker, developed a new nose dome and implemented better optical filtering.[6] The culminations of these improvements developed into the AIM-9B FGW.2, which is also known as the AIM-9F in US nomenclature.[3] These missiles would see service in 1969, with conversions being done on European AIM-9B with the FGW.2 upgrade.[4][3]

Media

See also

External links

References
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Goebel 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hollway
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Parsch 2008
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Gervasi 1984, p.256
  5. Parsch 2020
  6. Kopp 2014
Bibliography
  • Gervasi, Tom. America's War Machine: the Pursuit of Global Dominance: Arsenal of Democracy III. Grove Press, Inc., 1984.
  • Goebel, Greg. "The Falcon & Sidewinder Air-To-Air Missiles." Air Vectors, 01 Apr. 2019, Website.
  • Hollway, Don. "The AIM-9 Sidewinder: Fox Two!" HistoryNet, Website.
  • Kopp, Carlo. "The Sidewinder Story: The Evolution of the AIM-9 Missile." Air Power Australia, 27 Jan 2014, Website.
  • Parsch, Andreas. "AIM-9." Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Designation-Systems.Net, 09 July 2008, Website.
  • Parsch, Andreas. "Current Designations of U.S. Unmanned Military Aerospace Vehicles." U.S. Military Aviation Designation Systems, Designation-Systems.Net, 30 March 2020, Website.


Missiles
USA 
AAM  AIM-7D Sparrow · AIM-7E Sparrow
  AIM-9B Sidewinder · AIM-9D Sidewinder · AIM-9E Sidewinder · AIM-9G Sidewinder · AIM-9J Sidewinder · AIM-9L Sidewinder · AIM-9P Sidewinder
  AIM-92 Stinger
AGM  AGM-12B Bullpup · AGM-12C Bullpup · AGM-22 · AGM-65A · AGM-114B Hellfire · AGM-114K Hellfire II · BGM-71D TOW-2
ATGM  BGM-71 TOW · BGM-71A TOW · BGM-71B TOW · BGM-71C I-TOW
SAM  MIM146
Germany 
AAM  AIM-9B FGW.2 Sidewinder
AGM  HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3 · PARS 3 LR
ATGM  HOT-K3S
SAM  Roland
USSR 
AAM  9M39 Igla · R-3R · R-3S · R-13M · R-60 · R-60M
AGM  9K127 Vikhr · 9M17M Falanga · 9M17P Falanga-PV · 9M120 Ataka · 9M120M Ataka
  Kh-23M · Kh-25 · Kh-29L · Kh-66
ATGM  3M7 · 9M14 · 9M113 Konkurs · 9M114 Shturm · 9M123 · 9M133
SAM  9M311 · 9M311-1M
Britain 
AAM  Fireflash · Firestreak · Red Top · SRAAM
ATGM  BAe Swingfire · MILAN · MILAN 2 · ZT3
SAM  Starstreak
Japan 
ATGM  Type 64 MAT · Type 79
SAM  Type 91
China 
AAM  PL-2
ATGM  HJ-73 · HJ-73E
Italy 
SAM  Mistral SATCP
France 
AAM  AA-20 Nord · Matra R530 · Matra R530E · Matra R550 Magic 1 · Mistral · Shafrir
AGM  9M14-2 Malyutka-2 · AS-20 Nord · AS-30 Nord · HOT-1 · HOT-2 TOW · HOT-3
ATGM  HOT · SS.11
SAM  Roland
Sweden 
AAM  RB24 · RB24J
AGM  Rb05A
ATGM  Rbs 55 · Rbs 56
SAM  Rbs 70
  AAM = Air-to-Air Missile   AGM = Air-to-Ground Missile   ATGM = Anti-Tank Guided Missile (Ground mounts)   SAM = Surface-to-Air Missile