AIM 120, AV-8B Plus on 11.3

How exactly did the AV-8B Plus balance, given that it is the carrier of the 4th AIM-120, and the 2nd AIM-9M, at the moment, it constantly hits 11.3, which practically guarantees 6 stable kills per battle, I would suggest dividing the BR or increasing the BR of this aircraft


Because it isn’t a good enough airframe to be above 12.3 it is a subsonic aircraft, and the weapons are what bring it up to 12.3 in air. Even the F-4F ICE is 12.7 because of the airframe ecen though it has Aim-120s. It does well in downtiers because of the weapons and gets downtiered as much as any other 12.3 because of 11.3s popularity. All the Harriers are like that at any BR because of the subsonic nature of the airframe.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, planes with ARHs shouldn’t get matched with planes that don’t have access to them

Do you feel the same about all aspect IR missiles, SARH missiles with PD/PDV radars, IR missiles against flareless platforms, and Pheonixes?


12.3 is probably not low enough. Sea Harrier FA2 I reckon will almost certainly end up at 12.0 before long. AV-8B+ will have to wait and see

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Kinda. In an alternate universe where gaijin would actively work against BR compression that issue wouldn’t exist to begin with, but as it stands for those cases BR reevaluations would be the better way.

All aspect missiles vs rear aspect is fine
PD vs non-PD is mostly balanced by how bad early PD radars perform ingame
IR missiles vs flareless planes is fine at the lower BRs were the “top” missiles are at an AIM-9E level, planes like the T-2, F-1, J35A/D, Nesher, etc obviously are in a tough spot

Phoenixes tho, now that multipath is down to 60m these things can be actual menaces. 10.7-11.0 has loads of planes with extremely bad or even without RWRs, some even without countermeasures and almost no plane at that BR range has missiles that get even close to the Phoenix in terms of range, making the old Phoenix spam tactic way more effective than it should be.

The reason why I think planes without ARHs shouldn’t meet planes with them is kind of similar. Most ARHs have way higher ranges than SARHs and, well, planes armed with just IR missiles are even more limited in their range. The interaction between a BVR slinger and a plane that is limited to SARH/IR missiles is entirely one-sided until the WVR plane gets into range and there is no guarantee that the WVR plane ever gets into that range, since the BVR slinger can just RTB.

TL;DR: ARH plane vs non-ARH plane= ARH plane gets to sling missiles from a safe distance, non-ARH plane has can’t engage in combat until in WVR, ARH plane technically never has to engage in combat with non-ARH plane while non-ARH plane has to play defensively either way

So what would you do about the AV-8B+ in this situation? It doesn’t have SARH and it only carries 9M/Ls othen than that, so if you up it’s BR then it will face monstrously better airframes for air superiority and if you remove the Aim-120s and move it down then it will be even more defenseless against SARH missles and ARH missiles and depend on close in fighting which most of the 12.0s (F-16s, Mig-29s, ect) will be able to eat it up as well.

There always is something that is the worst of its kind.

Ideally ARH and non-ARH planes would have seperate matchmaking, in which case the AV-8B+ and Sea Harrier FA.2 would basically be the reserve tier of ARH matchmaking.

The Harriers can fight against other ARH platforms just fine, however it would be fine at a lower BR with just AIM-9Ms/Ls too, just like the GR.7

It’s fine for a subsonic airframe with IR missiles to fight supersonic SARH airframes with PD radars with only IR missiles that outrange them and force them to play defensively, but it isn’t fine for the same subsonic airframe with ARH to fight supersonic airframes with SARH missles with PD radars because the subsonic will outrange them and force them on the defensive? Sound logic and not at all flawed.

Cool, then we can seperate all aspect IRs from flareless airframes (Su-25s, A-10s, ect from F-105s, F-4Cs, ect), seperate flareless airframes from airframes with IR seekers (Jet Bombers and early fighters from SAAB-105s and F9F-8s), and airframes with PDV and SARH from platforms that have normal radar sets and horrible SARH (11.3s and sub 11.0s) that way you can pick exactly what you’re willing to face and it’ll be fair for each airframe/tech era. But that probably won’t fly because people only want to avoid ARH now that their invincibility veil has been taken away. This argument of splitting weapons/eras is just as dumb as historical matchmaking, especially since to be applied evenly to all weapon types/eras would destroy the matchmaking and game as a whole.

Welcome to near-modern jet warfare where BVR ARH missiles are the ideal weapon for engagement instead of a furball of IRCCM IR seekers like it was previously. 11.3s are meant to suffer in an uptier, just like 10.3s in an 11.3 lobby. It will be fine just like every other BR bracket that has ever existed.

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The lower end planes are not meant to suffer in an uptier. That’s a sympton of BR compression getting out of hand.

Early jets face late props because they have fair trade-offs

Flareless jets facing early IR missiles is fine, because even the worst handling jets can easily outmaneuvre the missiles. The more unusual missiles like the AA-20 and Firestreak are way more dangerous than AIM-9B/Es, R-3Ss, Shafrirs, etc.

The all-aspect IR missiles at 10.0/10.3 situation shouldn’t even exist and the obvious solution would be to limit the troublemakers (A-6, A-10, AMX, Buccaneer S2B, Sea Harrier FRS.1, Su-25, to rear-aspect missiles (AIM-9G and R-60 (not M/MK) respectively)

11.0-12.0 is the point at which the BR compression is at its worst with most of the lower end planes getting outmatched in every aspect by the 12.0s. There is no gradual progression anymore, single BR steps (0.3/4) have way bigger differences than they do at lower tiers, but at least the gameplay stays the mostly same from 11.0 to 12.0 (F-14s and their Phoenixes being an acceptable exception most of the time)

Up to that point this isn’t about splitting eras, it’s about decompressing BRs and keeping tech progression as smooth as possible.

However with ARHs meeting non-ARH planes it’s not a “boohoo my WW2 heavy gets killed by HEAT” case, those vehicles still fight eachother with the same kind of weapons at the same kind of ranges, there is nothing stopping the WW2 heavies from killing the HEAT slingers. Similarly flareless planes and non-PD planes still get to engage in interactive combat with missile carrying planes and PD planes respectively.

The interaction between ARH planes and non-ARH planes is entirely one-sided. The ARH plane just targets the non-ARH plane with their missile and launches it, after that the only thing left to do for the ARH plane is to keep flying in the general direction of the non-ARH plane. Meanwhile the non-ARH plane has to actively defend against ARHs launched by planes that are completely untouchable for them.

What’s the point of even leaving the airfield if your opponent alone gets to decide if they let you engage in combat or not? You could spend the whole match just flying defensively only to end up having to kill AI targets or kamikaze the airfield because either all the ARH planes decided they would prefer to just RTB after expending their BVRAAMs or the whole enemy team just got killed by the ARH planes on your own team before you got a chance to engage in combat.

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