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.