Karan M wrote:
How can a VLS missile with its radar be LOBL until & unless its radar is already cued to the target (which requires a LoS to the target). By their very nature these missiles will be LOAL, irrespective of who & what provides the initial guidance - onboard or offboard, till the seeker can acquire the target.
No, you're wrong. Your understanding of LOBL is based on air launched ATGM, whose seekers are cued to targets by EO sight, and then launched.
However, LOBL capabilities are significantly considerable than that, and does not require LoS. The target bearing and approach coordinates can be fed into the missile before the missile leaves the VLS. Missiles like Barak-8 can be LOBL if target is designated while still within the launcher.
So, for a target approaching a fighter from the rear, a CCAAM can be cued by HMCS with target bearing before launch, and the missile on launch flips around 180 degrees to the coordinates fed into it before launch.
I checked for examples and found the following AWST article & reporter confirming what I've just explained http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de
IAF and IA Spyder system Derby and Python missiles too stay inside cannisters without any LoS to target while data is fed into them during LOBL.
No, I am not wrong but you certainly are since you have mixed up LOAL and LOBL.
My understanding of "LOBL" is not just based on air launched ATGMs but AAMs and pretty much every missile that needs the sensor to lock onto the target before launch, which is what LOBL is.
Your explanation does not cover the very thing that LOBL is. "Lock on before launch" - which means the seeker is slewed to the target - any which way - and then acquires the target for a lock on!
Your citation of a missile with all aspect capability is also mistaken! The missile does a LOAL after it is launched and aligns itself to its likely target position based on whatever feeds it the info including the HMCS:http://www.f-16.net/news_article2044.html
The Python 5 is quite revolutionary. New technologies implemented in the Python 5 give it maneuvering and launching skills unimaginable just few years ago. Instead of talking about certain "killing hemisphere" we are talking about an ability to shoot any target at any angle, including backwards launch. This ability is possible by applying LOAL (lock on after launch) technology. As opposed to LOBL (lock on before launch), that is used in all short range air-to-air missiles (excluding the Python 5 of course) in LOAL mode the pilot can launch a missile without being locked on the target, by getting the aircraft's estimated location from an array of sensors deployed on the launching aircraft.
So this was LOAL, and you mixed it up with LOBL!
Your explanation of this (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... 0c13dc0bbd
) is again not correct, because 1. These missiles are not VLS (note I specifically referred to VLS) and 2 In the picture as is obvious, the missiles can be slewed to the target and the pod covers are dropped for the seekers to acquire the target (LOBL) and hence target it! Clearly, this will only be done for targets which are relatively very near the missile and within its sensor coverage.
As matter of fact this is backed up by what your own link states: "If the target is within acquisition range the missile is launched in LOBL mode, and in the LOAL mode if the target is beyond seeker acquisition range."
Net: LOBL - Sensor locks on before launch! Sensor needs to have clear LOS to the target!
In the case of a VLS missile, there is one more factor.
The missile is vertically placed in its silo, so how can it acquire the target even if the cover is dropped UNTIL and UNLESS, the target is directly above the missile.
That's very unlikely to happen and so, its not LOBL in almost all of its operation but LOAL, where the missile is launched, cued towards the target (from any & whichever sensor data is fed to it) and then gets to the stage/distance where the sensor can acquire the target.
Hope this clarifies!
Here are some more examples....
Derby also has a programmable advanced electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) capability. Ben-Hanan said Derby can be operated in two modes. One is a lock-on after launch mode for long-range engagements in which the missile employs inertial guidance immediately after launch until the seeker is activated and homes in on the target. In the lock-on before launch for short-range engagements, Derby's seeker can be slaved to the aircraft's radar or the pilot's helmet mounted cueing system. The seeker is activated before launch and guides the missile all the way to the target.
Source: All over the place on Google
Or its SAAF variant, the V4R
It is capable of two modes: lock on before or after launch. In the lock-on before launch for short-range engagements, the seeker can be slaved to the aircraft's radar or the pilot's helmet mounted cueing system. The seeker is activated before launch and guides the missile all the way to the target .In lock-on after launch mode, for long-range engagements, the missile employs inertial guidance immediately after launch until the seeker is activated and homes in on the target. http://www.saairforce.co.za/the-airforc ... 4-r-darter
Spike weighs just five pounds, but it’s a formidable weapon. The guidance system is highly original; in one mode it uses an electro-optical seeker, basically a video camera. Lock on before launch and it follows the target — even something agile like a motorbike. In another mode for night operation, the seeker can be set to home in on a laser spot, turning Spike into a laser-guided missile.
For successful attacks against ground targets, the Federal Republic of Germany intends to procure TV-guided missiles of the type AN/AGM-65B MAVERICK. This missile is guided by a TV-seeker head with scene magnification. The weapon delivery is based on LOCK-ON-BEFORE-LAUNCH. The time between target recognition and launch is very tight, so that the weapon aiming procedure has to be as efficient as possible. This paper describes investigations to provide basic test data to assess different methods of target acquisition and missile seeker aiming and lock-on. In addition, the pilot workload with different controls and displays is assessed and methods of reduction derived. Different weapon information and Weapon-Video-Display-Systems and their advantages and disadvantages were investigated. The accuracy and speed of weapon aiming should be especially evaluated. Criteria for choice of display system are: pilot's workload, reaction time to lock-on, and possibilities of multiple target combat in the first attack.
Source:The Lock-on-Before-Launch Weapon Delivery and Display/Control Consideration
Even the F-22 had planned a trapeze launcher for LOBL
F-22 Raptor: Bill Sweetman, explaining the trapeze launcher originally planned for the Sidewinder, Page 50
The sidebays will each hold one sidewinder, carried on the AIM-9 Trapeze launcher....the trapeze launcher will extend automatically as the F-22 nears the point of achieving launch parameters on the target, allowing the infrared seeker to lock on before launch