The 9M and the lack of MAWS for IR threats

“99% of deaths are to a threat you aren’t alerted to in spite of planes IRL having capcity to alert you to it, and a threat you cannot see even if the event the missile takes a path you would be able to see if it were with smoke”

9Ms in sim were a crutch upon initially creating this thread, and 9Ms are still a joke to use responding to it now. Arguing anything otherwise is just an indicator you’ve grown fond to abusing them and don’t want people to receive entirely realistic methods of defending against them, or at least providing awareness of a threat that should be displayed by the myriad of platforms that carry MAWS.

This is actually a hilarious reply cuz i play the SMT quite a bit more in sim than I do the F-16C. Im more often than not on the receiving end of 9M’s, so saying ive grown fond of abusing them is hilarious.

I dont have an issue with the addition of MAWS, im just pointing out the fact that if you’re significantly struggling with 9M’s, its a skill issue, pure and simple. I’m not even a particularly fantastic sim pilot and I can admit that.


To put this as politely as I can; you are either dishonest, or play against the inept.

9Ms provide no launch indicators, planes that carry them do not engage in a remotely sporting way, as such 90% of the time you are unaware of their launch. The missiles are not hard to evade, provided you’re aware of their launch. Which is the whole fucking issue.

There is no skill issue in getting hit by a missile with no launch indicators, when it is played by the absolute scum of the earth.

Its a videogame about vehicle combat… “sporting way” are you insane? I do my absolute utmost to leverage any advantage I might have against my opponents, and I expect them to do the same.

I dont need a launch indicator to know that if theres an aircraft pointing at me and that im playing against America/sweden/britain/japan/isreal, there is a 9/10 chance a 9M is on its way and I should probably act accordingly.

Of course if I had no idea the launched at me, id die. Thatd happen with any missile, the enemy pilot is doing his job if i dont know theyre even there.

As a sidenote, looking at your top tier sim stats, no wonder you think the 9M is overpowered. You’re borderline brand new. Put some work into your situational awareness instead of throwing a tantrum in a corner and saying a missile (that many other players deal with just fine) is “OP” and that theres nothing you can do about it without MAWS.

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The comment on sporting is to highlight that 9Ms are not used in the way you describe. If you don’t see an aircraft pointed at you, then MAWS generally accounts for that, and would make 9Ms significantly more balanced in a video game, as you’ve described this combat being. This does not occur with other missiles, as there are a number of tells for a missile launch, and thus are easier to account for. Either this escaped your assessment, or you’re a dishonest interlocutor.

As for my stats, I have lost an account and have not played toptier in a good long while, on account of the catering Gaijin has to American weapon systems whilst never bothering to implement the actual solutions to the problems they introduce until they hit the American tree. As stated, the missile is not exceptionally tedious to defeat (which I never claimed it was, and your arguments generally fall upon my claiming it is hard to beat), the identification of a launch is the tedious segment. Which generally will occur outside of your capacity to engage with it, with the exception of aircraft equipped with MAWS. On planes that specifically should have access to MAWS.

It really isn’t hard to grasp this. I am unsure why you’re struggling, unless you’re fed posting.

The “tells” for any IR missile launch in WT sim currently are “do you see the missile”. Obviously, low smoke missiles are much harder to tell, but if you were able to see a missile with smoke, you should have been able to spot an enemy aircraft as well, and if theyre launching at you from an angle you are likely to see the missile launch, theyre doing a bad job of maximizing their pK%.

You’re clearly just coming to the forums to complain about an issue instead of working on how to actually play around the advantages of certain weapon systems. I have no respect for that.

You also play poorly with planes that have 9M’s such as the F-16C and gripen, so clearly the 9M isnt the issue, its very much you, and until you grow up and own up to that, you’re going to continue to struggle. MAWS or no MAWS.

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Right, dishonest interlocutor it is.

Let’s write this out simple for you:

  • Smokeless missile has no smoke, even if it takes a path that you would identify, you will not see it.
  • Not-smokeless missiles have smoke (shocking), if it takes a path you would be able to see, be it through maneuvers or otherwise, you can take action.
  • MAWS exists to benefit pilot situational awareness in the face of more modern weapon systems.
  • You argue this is a game (One of the few correct positions you’ve held), and if it is a game, then balancing needs to be accounted for and can quite easily by bringing in the historical equipment of several aircraft, being MAWS.
  • Ground pounding tends to take attention away from scanning the sky every other second to look for a threat. Which is further compounded by the existence of smokeless missiles, and lacking MAWS.

I dislike the 16C, as I do most American platforms. I don’t claim to be good with it. I do not particularly care for air to air in Gripen in Sim, and have only taken into Sim once or twice on account of it lacking remotely effective longer range options, and lacking options for ground attack. I would also highlight I never claimed to be excellent in air to air. My claim was the missiles are not hard to defeat, and they aren’t, provided a launch indicator. I play ground attack, primarily, but have defended myself when the need arises.

Regardless of my personal position on those 2 aircraft, I would note your stats generally indicate some dishonesty above regarding your use of 9Ms. My position on the topic only really matters when people are honest in engaging, otherwise they’ll say whatever they fancy and double down on it because heaven forbid someone else have remotely sound logic that may make the game slightly harder for those using systems that have notable advantages.

The thing is, basically every situation where a 9M will hit you, it would have hit you whether it has a smoke trail or not. The most reliable way to defeat it is the same way you defeat every IRCCM missile by preflaring. In order to do that you have to be watching an enemy aircraft and focusing on when they are coming into envelope for a missile shot. Just having MAWS go off and spamming flares isn’t going to defeat it anyway.

Yes, MAWS needs to be added to the aircraft that have it and are missing it in game. No, the 9M does not need a smoke trail until then.

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9Ms can be defeated post launch reliably enough. Assuming you do nothing, then sure, any situation you do nothing the 9M will hit you. Any situation you do nothing against a 9B, the 9B will hit you. Any situation you do nothing against the shafrir, the shafrir will hit you. The argument throwing flares out won’t defeat the missile doesn’t account for the fact it gives you a warning, and you can either slave CMs to it or not.

Be it smoke trail, or something else, something needs to be done to account for smokeless platforms.

Right, but the situation in which you don’t see the launching aircraft is either

A.) you are dogfighting with someone else, so likely a side aspect shit for the 9M, you’re not defeating it.

B.) you are flying straight not paying attention or diving for a bombing run, rear aspect which could be defeated, but is no different than a 9L in that case except for needing to be more aware of your surroundings.

It really just comes down to people not having enough SA. All the smokeless motor does is remove the last second flaring that seeing a giant smoke plume results in.

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Crazy to me how hard a certain part of the community coped when the 9M was added alongside the R-73.

To be fair, I will take a smokeless motor over a HOBS missile any day, largely because peoples SA in this game is horrendous.

9Ms are substantially easier to flare if you pay attention, and that is a skill in itself, staying aware of your surroundings and not dumping speed are key elements to doing well in top tier.



I think both sides are right tbh.

Are 9m’s are broken op with no counterplay as some people like to say? No - just as others claiming the same anything with archers, all IRCCM stuff u gotta preflare or your chances are slim even if you do see the launch.

Are they easy to flare? Yes and no - if you actually have to break the missiles lock on you (not preflaring), yeah it can be pretty easy with certain methods if you know one is coming - but this is a deliberate thing that has to be done, and that requires knowledge of the launch so its not practical to be constantly assuming that its happening at all times as you will be out of both flares, energy and SA in no time.

Is the smokeless motor extremely powerful? yeah its pretty damn good - very much helps that enemies effectively always must be defending and using resources or they will eat one, even in head ons.

Personally, i think seeker suspension style IRCCM is overall more useful over most of the launches you do in a match, since u requires people to actually do a deliberate action to decoy it - and that way it cant be accidentally preflared at anywhere near the same rate as other missiles over most ranges. That in tandem with smokeless motor is pretty damn potent and i think overall makes 9m/AAM3 the best short range IR currently - which is fine, we dont need strict parity imo so long as other nations have some option with a close enough effectiveness which is the case rn.

I think what probs should be done is adding some vapour trails to it - that way it would be a realistic solution that keeps it smokeless, but also allows a very slight que if your paying close attention.

I’m not an amazing sim player by any stretch of the imagination, but by only playing Redfor in Sim I can say that if you don’t preflare in the WEZ then you’re gonna get fucked no matter what, MAW won’t save you.

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Yeah im not gonna pretend im some sim god, im relatively new to sim as well, but pre-flaring the WEZ when in a BR where all aspect IR missiles exists is pretty much as basic as it gets…

I mean, the R-73 hits this in a different way. Its extreme maneuverability and hyper short range means you’re never quite safe from a launch until you’re outside its launch cone, and its gimbal limits are massive, which means it remains a threat even in a dogfight. For the most part, the 9M is a threat pre-merge, the R-73 is at its most threatening moments before the merge and during the merge itself. Pre-merge REDFOR planes rely on the absolutely busted R-27ER, and to a lesser extent, ET, but MP significantly mitigates their advantage vs good players. I’d argue there’s only a narrow band range where the AIM-9M provides BLUFOR the weapons advantage in air to air combat in-game.

I think its a bit of a toss up tbh. Seeker suspension + push ahead IRCCM is extremely reliable for both the attacker AND the defender. It will always ignore flares if flared wrong, and will always be decoyed if flared right, making it most effective in 2 scenarios:

  1. Against opponents lacking in knowledge
  2. Against aircrafts in an energy state or situation preventing them from properly defending

I’d argue the “accidental” flare situation is a fringe case. People don’t typically “accidentally” flare, its a waste of a very important yet finite resource. If a 9M was launched at you from an angle at which you were unaware of an opponent being, its likely an R-73 would’ve had the same effect, and no flaring would have occurred. There’s also the fringe case of a wingman notifying you of an R-73 launch in which the low smoke motor missiles would be more effective, but id argue that’s also arguably fringe.

This isn’t to discount the 9M/AAM-3’s effectiveness. Both are incredibly capable missiles, but as with the R-73, their specific effectiveness can be mitigated by effective positioning/tactics. I wouldnt say there’s any “best” IR missile at top tier currently, each missile tends to fit their respective airframes and accentuates their pros while mitigating their cons.

The 9M is fantastic pre-merge and for ambushes, leveraging the sensor/SA advantages the BLUFOR jets tend to have.

The R-73 has fantastic off-boresight capabilities and minimum range, allowing REDFOR jets to leverage their high AOA in a dogfight and try to end things before BLUFOR jets draw out the dogfight and win in a rate fight (as the BLUFOR jets tend to favor 2C over 1C vs REDFOR jets).

I don’t think either missile would be as effective as they are if they switched quite frankly.

They aren’t entirely smokeless, but they’re pretty close. it tends to be easier to see the smoke trail with dark backgrounds and decent light for the contrast. Gaijin could slightly increase the visibility, but I wouldn’t be against them staying as is either.

While it is true as some pointed here that there is much to be done regarding individual player skill and learning curve, it’s also true that WT requires of the average player much better situational awareness than a single person can realistically achieve, especially when we include the cognitive load induced by having to monitor certain parameters (fuel, flare count, and abundance of micro-management options).

The average player will perform, individually, much better, i.e. make fewer common mistakes, if matches are simply reduced in size to, say, a more manageable 10v10.


This is honestly like a get gud situation as much as I hate to be that person.

I have people avoiding my 9Ms with literally a single flare. A SINGLE flare.

Everyone complains about how great they are but the IRCCM isn’t as potent as anyone makes it out to be.

Wanna complain about something? Complain about the R-27.

Only americans have the smokeless (vv low smoke) 9M, the other low smoke motors arent modelled or are intentionally given more smoke (eg roland) for ‘balance’ bs

uhm… no.

  • Japs have reduced smoke AAM-3’s (arguably better than 9M, pulls more, better seeker gimbal, better track rate)
  • UK/Sweden/Italy have AIM-9M/RB74(M) on their Gripens
  • Isreal has AIM-9M on Barak II

The only nations that DONT have reduced smoke are Germany, France, Russia, and China, there are more nations with low smoke motor missiles on top jets than without, and all nations without have either R-73’s (GER/RU/CN) or Magic II (FR)

The Americans also have a missile that should have low smoke but doesn’t (AIM-54C) despite being very well bug reported, and approved for over 1y.

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Yeah but 9M and apparently AAM-3 are the only missiles with low or no smoke modeled.
Others are in game eg phoenix.
But low smoke isn’t modeled.
Roland smoke trails are obnoxious and shouldn’t be like that smh.

Sure, but thats largely irrelevant to air battles, and also technically effects the americans, who also have the roland as an AA system…

The ADATS is ALSO missing low smoke btw.

Edit: ADATS, Roland, and VT1/Crotale NG missiles missing reduced smoke motors?