Можно подбросить инфу со стороны: это из Home - www.acig.org
Most of the BVR-engagements were very short in duration: one side would slam the other and the story was over.
Sometimes, however, there was a considerable amount of maneuvering, foremost deceptive maneuvering, and quite some ECM-games.
In several cases the Iraqis used the the so-called "beam" maneuver, combined with heavy jamming, in an effort to spoil firing-solutions for IRIAF F-14
s (more about the "Beamer" can be found here:
), especially while trying to converge several of their fighters on IRIAF Tomcats from different directions. The tactics was sound, but proved of little value, because the Iraqi fighters could not match the Tomcat in maneuverability and firepower - even when outnumbering them 14:1. Only one F-14 is confirmed to have been shot down in such an air battle, and even this fell only while trying to return home after being damaged by four or five R.550s (and after downing two Mirages).
Which BVR missiles were really effective (AIM-54A, Super 530F/D, AIM-7E?) and which ones were not (R-530E, R-23?)?
The AIM-54A proved the most effective, hands-down. The main reason was connected with the availability of sophisticated RWRs to Iraqis: in 80% of the cases the Phoenix scored a kill the Iraqis had no clue that there are any F-14s nearby, not to talk about them coming under an attack.
The Super 530F-1 proved highly maneuvreable (one of Farzad's and mine future books will bring a still from a gun-camera video confirming this beyond any doubt!), and was highly regarded for its wide snap-up envelope (as well as a pretty good snap-down capability), but its overall success left much to desire, mainly because the IRaqis tended to fire it from the maximum range. An additional problem with the weapon was that (most of) Iranian pilots were excellently briefed on its full and true capabilities, so that they knew how to remain outside its no-escape zone.
The AIM-7E in general continued to function roughly with the same "success" like over Vietnam: the Iranians were taking great care about every single round they hang on their fighters, but still too many malfunctioned, or proved sensitive to heavy jamming, or were simply used to scare the Iraqis away. Nevertheless, the PK from the Vietnam War was at least doubled, and especially the F-14 crews proved successfull with the weapon.
The R-40, used by Iraqi MiG-25s proved to have a better range than anticipated in most Western publications, but also unable to score a hit from anything but a stern attack.
The R-23s and R-24s were a failure: both weapons could not properly keep a lock-on even against a non-maneuvering target, not to talk about their inability to hit anything that flew bellow the level from which they were fired. Although between 40 and 100 were fired, the most optimistic reports credit them with four killls scored during the whole war.
...and what ranges would they normally launch at?
This depended from case to case and from weapon to weapon. In general, Phoenix were fired as soon as the AWG-9 of engaging F-14s established a tracking file/fire solution, so that the engagement ranges varried with the tactical situatioin and the behavior of the target, but were usually between 7 and 150kms.
The AIM-7E was almost always fired from a range of 12km - in head-on engagements. I know only about very few rear-aspect engagements in which the weapon was used.
The R-23s and R-24s were seldom fired from ranges of more than 9-10kms: only if used against targets operating at high levels were engagement ranges of out to 20km possible. No kills are known to have been scored from such distances, however. The R-40s, on the contrary, are known to have been fired from ranges of out to 70 to 80kms (no kills were scored from such distances, however). The usual engagement ranges for Super 530Fs and Super 530Ds remain unlcear, however.
I have read the Iraqis would fire at max range and run if fired on, I don’t know how true that is.
Most of the Iraqi pilots were convinced that the radar-guided weapons (and bear in mind they only had SARHs, no ARHs at hand) were extremely superior weapons, almost "ultimate air-to-air weapons", and would claim a kill solely on the basis of the fact that they managed to establish a lock-on and then fired. Due to the basic tactics and doctrine according to which they were employed, they were usually opening fire from something like 10-20km, which was roughly the max engagement envelope of the weapons they had.
With other words, yes, they were usually firing from the max range.
Re. Iraqis turning away if being fired at: that was not only the case with them. No pilot can ignore a missile being fired at his aircraft, and the Iranians were often enough forced to do the same. The difference was, however, that the Iranians - foremost due to the superior sensors their aircraft carried, and thus a much better SA - were the side that was opening the fire as first in something like 80-90% of all the BVR-engagements.
Насколько все достоверно?