Difference of tracking between top tier IR missiles


First and foremost, I want to state that I am by no means an ace pilot, but I understand enough about the game to be able to notice some drastic disparities between the top tier IR missile tracking capabilities.

The powerhouses for any air-to-air missile in the game, indisputably, are the AIM9L (American, British, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Sweden [RB-74], and Israeli), the Python-3 (solely Israeli), the PL-8 (solely Chinese) and the R-27 (German/Russian). Now, a majority of the missiles just listed are IR tracking missiles. This is one, because of their numerous airframes that they are accessible to (AIM-9L available as early as 10.0, 4 on the A-10A Late at 10.3) and because of their innate ability to completely ignore flares.

The amount of times that I have flared consistently in a turn, maneuvered, and had my afterburner off (yes, fully off, not halfterburner) or even throttle down to 70% or so and had an AIM-9L, Python-3, or PL-8 track me through flares, maneuvers (even after the motor has run out) and onto my non-afterburning engine is hilarious.

However, Russian/German R-60M, the ‘answer’ to the AIM-9L, is nothing short of embarrassing. While I haven’t done thorough testing, it has the shortest burn time of any top tier all aspect IR missile, bleeds the most amount of speed in a turn, is the least flare resistant, and has the highest non-lethal probability I’ve tested (granted, it was between the AIM-9L and the R-60M, so it is incomplete data)

Now, I understand that the dynamic between top tier American aircraft (F-16, F-14, Netz) and Russia (MiG-29, Yak-141), the two main nations flown in Air RB are that Americans have better IR missiles while Russians have better radar missiles. But at least between the AIM-7 Sparrow and R-27 Alamo, it’s a roughly fair fight with the R-27ER being substantially better in most aspects. The AIM-9L, Python-3, and PL-8 outperform the R-60M to an extent that doesn’t even border on balanced, as radar missiles are easily countered by flying at low altitude or notching whereas IR missiles (specifically AIM-9Ls, Python-3s, and PL-8s) have to pre-flared, continuously flared, and have to have the devil in your corner in order to somehow survive. Whereas the R-60M only needs one or two puffs of flares, and it goes brain dead.

Long story short: balance the tracking of the AIM-9L, Python-3, and PL-8 to fit that of the R-60M, or at least make the disparity between tracking less apparent.

Maybe it’s a skill issue, maybe it’s a tracking issue, or maybe it’s just a game issue that no one speaks about.

Another sidenote is that while the R-27ER Alamo is better than the AIM-7 Sparrow in most aspects, the highest quantity of R-27s in general available on an aircraft thus far is 4 with the Yak-141, with capabilities to hold 2 R-27ERs and 2 R-27R/Ts or 4 R-27R/Ts. That’s a 12.0 aircraft with access to 4 Radar missiles, with no other hardpoints available for other ordinance.

However, the F-4J and F-4S, 11.3 aircraft with helmet mounted displays and Pulse Doppler Velocity, are capable of holding up to 6 AIM-7F Sparrows. A Naval F-4 in a downtier can kill half a team without ever touching the trigger. And there are two more aircraft in that line (F-14A Early and F-14B) which are capable of the same loadout.

I feel as though only 2 12.0 aircraft capable of holding 2 R-27ER Alamos versus 2 11.3, 1 11.7, and 1 12.0 aircraft capable of holding 6 AIM-7F Sparrows isn’t very fair, but hey, what do I know?

It would be helpful to know what kind of flaring you are using. You can also check a missile’s flare sensitivity by looking at the center circle when you warm it up. Smaller circle= harder to flare. Yes, the r60s are very easy to flare. As for aim9l, I generally dont have too much of an issue flaring them as long as I dont wait until the last second. I use re-enforced flares with the double fire setting to put out 8 flares on planes with a large amount of flares. I find that the large flares on many russian jets also work decently well on the same period setting but with the standard flare.

I generally run flares reinforced, as chaff doesn’t have much use against Pulse Doppler. I do anywhere from 2 to 4 bursts (8-16 flares) with afterburner off to get the AIM-9L/Python-3/PL-8 to even jink towards the flares, but I generally have to finger fuck my countermeasures key to get them to sometimes miss.

ive found spamming flares makes it worse and what plane do you fly most that this happens in

I am going to assume that you are also turning while doing so. I agree that chaff is near useless. In fact, even when using the F4E, the enemy will chaff and even though my radar lock changes to the chaff, the missile will still follow their plane 9 times out of 10.

That too. It creates a trail of flares for the missile to follow.

I don’t flare spam whilst in a turn; I generally do a flare burst every half second or so, though it can adjust from situation to situation.

As for aircraft I find this happens most often: Su-25, MiG-23M, MiG-23ML, MiG-23MLA, MiG-23MLD, MiG-29, Yak-141, F-16A, F-16A ADF, F-14A Early, F-14B; in other words, a majority of the top aircraft I have.

which in reality doesnt make sense but thats warthunder for you lol

I do not know exactly how you deal with them but here is my suggestion.
Wait until it is about 1.5-2km out, afterburner off, flare dump, and hard turn.
If that fails, flare dump and do a large barrel roll with maybe one more flare dump.

The PL-8 is very sensitive against flares. If you keep getting hit by it when flaring then i think youre doing something wrong unfortunately

its one of the more resistant missiles so i wouldn’t call it very sensitive