Why do AIM-9Ls act like they have IRCCM?

What about its seeker head makes it ignore flares?

British testing showed the AIM-9L would practically ignore all flares against afterburning targets and is actually underperforming in flare resistance currently in-game.


Any update? @Gunjob


Nothing yet



As far as how it works in game, the AIM-9L has reduced sensitivity to flares, and increased sensitivity to engines, particularly afterburning ones.

Flares work against other missiles because the missiles seeker is more sensitive to flares than engines, so if the seeker head can see both an engine and a flare, it will go for the flare.

AIM-9Ls, on the other hand, aren’t as likely to prefer a flare over an afterburning engine, and will often ignore flares and continue to track the afterburning target. This is particularly true in rear aspect shots, and for hot engines, like F-14s, and less true for smaller, cooler engines like the F-5s.

Accordingly, the best way to flare an AIM-9L rear aspect is to cut afterburner, pop several flares, and pull. This will consisently spoof it, in my experience.


I hope this is a joke.


9L is very sensitive to flares now. If Apex predator R60M is a 0 in flare resistance and current Magic 2/R73 is a 10, i’d say the AIM-9L went from a 9 to a 3 since apex

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I disagree.

Well it certainly is funny when I have my afterburner off and I am using flare priority counter measures but I’m still getting missiles up my ass from something that apparently doesn’t have IRCCM.

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got a video?

Got milk?

Because it can track better from the rear, as all all-aspect missiles do, as you have a greater heat signature from the rear than the front. Flares will be ignored sometimes, but not always.

My experience is that 9Ls need a bit of a buff. Though how I want them to buff them is to increase the temp of targets on reheat. Which would in fact buff all IR missiles


in game the table makes it less likely to go for flares as previously sidewinders. So that should explain it (there are just less sensitive to flares). Remember, flares aren’t a binary thing. Angle and engine heat etc are also hugely impactful

There’s a load of information here unstated.

And that might be?

The TLDR answer to my initial question has been AIM-9Ls are coded to ignore flares and be hungry for my engine. This isn’t something I was aware of and will adjust both my usage of the missile and my defensive maneuvering against the missile accordingly.

Very simple explanation. 9Ls are very sensitive to flares. However, if your afterburner is on it will ignore the flares.

Well, in game; maybe, real life, no. The AIM-9L can frontwardly track an enemy from 3.5 km’s, and 11 km’s rear track. Why, you may ask? Well because the vent of the engine is backwards, creating more of a signature to pick up, therefore blowing right past your flares, and getting rammed into your plane.

Just to add my source, this video and channel is a great source for missile information for War Thunder.

Something I had forgotten until rewatching that video to check my memory, was that the AIM-9L has a greater FOV than previous Sidewinders, and thus is more susceptible to multi-drop flares. I’ve updated my original comment to reflect this.