Could East Bloc a/c fire Western weaponry and vice versa?
July 17 2012 at 7:37 PM
(Login MKarnowka) HyperScale Forums from IP address 220.127.116.11
I seem to recall that the Israelis managed to use Soviet missiles they captured from Egypt early on., but other than that, would it have been possible for an East Bloc aircraft to utilize NATO ordinance (missiles/bombs) and vice versa. Software issues would certainly have played a part in the ease of things. Just wondering. Regards, MK
Many Russian and former Warsaw pact country weapons systems
July 17 2012, 7:43 PM
now are sold with standard Western MIL SPEC electronic busses and interfaces that allow the fitting of almost any equipment the customer would want. The manufacturers realize that they must make their weapons attractive to as many potential customers as possible.
It actually takes a lot of integration (as you guessed) work to use Western weaponry on Eastern Block aircraft, mostly on the software front. Aside from the obvious mechanical issues (lugs, pylons etc.); note that even being able to successfully drop "dumb" bombs requires the entry of weapon parameters(weight,aerodynamic properties etc.) in the weapons computer so correct aiming data can be calculated. There is even more work involved for LGBs and other "smart" weapons.
The installation of relatively basic A-A missiles (such as Sidewinders on Mig-19s and AA-8 Aphids on Hawks) is usually presented as an example; but keep in mind that most basic Sidewinders (and quite possibly the AA-8) only rely on a basic audio interface with the pilot (to play a certain tone when the seeker is turned on, and another tone upon lock-on) and an electrical connection to fire the missile. That kind of integration could probably be very easiy done. It would be something entirely different to integrate a missile like the AA-12 on an F-16, or the AIM-9L on a Mig-29 so that the radar could point the seeker head to a specific target, or helmet-mounted sights could work, etc.
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