The AIM-9L

I don’t know who at Gijin needs to hear this but the AIM-9L is a heatseeking Infrared homing missile…this means that you need to be behind or to the side of a fighter to get a lock on them with it

SO when an A10 going head on at me locks me and fires an AIM-9L and kills me that’s unrealistic unless your going to be making all AIM’s be able to lock and down someone in a head on engagement in the next patch this needs to be fixed

Aim-9Ls are an “All-aspect” IR Missile. They are able to lock onto targets in any aspect, including in head-ons.

In your own source:

The CNS has a significantly higher sensitivity and the ability to capture targets not only from the rear but also from the front hemisphere.


except the missile would have nothing to lock on to it being an Infrared homing missile in all

The airframe heats up quite a bit aswell

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I’m sure it does but not enough for an infrared homing missile to lock onto

The missile is sensitive enough to detect that, and lock onto targets.

It is an all aspect air to air missile, and it is able to lock targets from any angle.


aircraft generate a lot of heat, from their engine, exhaust, friction. Its enough for these missiles to be able to lock on in any aspect. Of course, some targets are easier than others. And War Thunder doesnt do the best job at modeling certain IR signatures. but Aim-9Ls are definetly able to hit targets headon.

The Royal Navy used them to great effect doing exactly that in the Sea Harrier during the Falklands


(You want from about 14:30)


in real life no its not this is the same missile that was used on the Phantom 2’s during the Vietnam conflict and there’s a very good reason why they were only used in rear aspect and that’s setting aside their unreliability

Those werent Aim-9Ls though. Aim-9Ls entered service in 1977. Vietnam war ended in 1975


This is straight from the US airforce’s website.

“The AIM-9L added a more powerful solid-propellant rocket motor as well as tracking maneuvering ability. An improved active optical fuse increased the missile’s lethality and resistance to electronic countermeasures. A conical scan seeker increased seeker sensitivity and improved tracking stability. The L model was the first Sidewinder with the ability to attack from all angles, including head-on. Production and delivery of the AIM-9L began in 1976.”

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Additionally, it’s known that some earlier IR missiles had limited all-aspect capability.

The British Red Top and the American AIM-9D are both known to have front aspect capabilities years before the 9L


Airframe heating is plenty enough for an IR missile to lock onto if it is sensitive enough.

Indeed this has been known since the 1950’s, but it took a few years to get technology to do it reliably.

The British were working on an all-aspect IR missile called Blue Vixen in the mid 1950’s, and eventually Red Top had a real life head-on capability against Soviet supersonic bombers from the early 1960’s, but that isn’t represented in the game version because it was quite marginal.

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I’m not at all sorry to tell you that you have no clue all-aspect missiles work. Earlier AIM-9s were just rear-aspect missiles. Beginning with the AIM-9L which entered service in 1977, the AIM-9 had a seaker head sensitive enough to detect the friction between the airframe of the target and the air around it. That friction is not as detectable as the engine which is why the rear-aspect lock range for the AIM-9L is greater than the side-aspect and front-aspect lock ranges.

This entire thread, but especially this comment, is the definition of r/confidentlyincorrect.



Front aspect lock range

Subsonic target front aspect

Should be quite effective and is massively underperforming in game.


Your own source disagrees with you…

Have you seen the IR signature of a jet flying around mach speed? The missile seeker is absolutely sentitive enough to see this:
If you think an IR seeker can’t lock onto that from the front. You are very, very mistaken. That is an F-35, the missiles can see you.


I spent ages trying to find a picture like that and gave up :D

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It isn’t the first time I’ve had to look for them.


Yeah I wouldn’t say that represents “massively underperforming” in the game - those examples are at 36-45,000 ft where heat plumes stand out a lot more, and air resistance is massively less than the low altitudes we play WT at.

I did see an official engagement map for Red Top when I was looking this up late last year, but do you think I can find it now??!! 🙄

There is a second bug post too:

And this might be the post you are looking for: