International Aerospace Discussion

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Trikaal
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Trikaal » 30 Dec 2017 08:42

brar_w wrote:
when a BVR maneuvers to hit an aircraft, say L turn or S turn, it bleeds a lot of energy. What is being done to improve on this? Even if we give it a larger motor, a missile will take time to recover the lost energy which will give the fleeing aircraft time to put up more distance and evade.


There has been quite a decent amount of published academic work on both optimum missile evasion tactics and missile guidance to maximize intercepts against a dynamic high performance target. Perhaps later I can provide a few references but keep in mind that very rarely will an aircraft launch just one missile towards a target and that too from its maximum kinematic range. Usually, it will involve a ripple fire with some margin depending upon how the pilot is positioned, trained and how well his/her system's categorize the threat. Missile PK much like anything else depends upon a whole host of factors including whether there is a SA advantage or not. For example, an AWACS guiding a fighter will allow it to position itself favorably in anticipation of missile launch..

What do you think about piccard's comments that a missile needs to face upto 400G force to surely hit a plane and current ones are good only upto 40 G.


You can game out various scenarios to make your analysis look good but in the real world there are hard realities of the mission of concern. Will the aircraft always be operating at its edge of envelope? Will both sides have equal if not near perfect SA all the way through the engagement? All but the most capable aircraft that have second or third generation MLD/MAWS would only be able to detect an AAAM once it goes active which will be when its just seconds away from completing the intercept. Even the first generation UV MAWS would struggle to pick up a coasting missile that does not have an active motor. As far as intercept dynamics vis-a-vis acceleration is concerned -

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Needless to say, there have been quite significant advances in missile end game agility that have not yet shown up on BVRAAMs for the most part. Post SU collapse definitely impacted how the technology race to field these systems progressed. The Meteor, and the Aim-120D are fairly conventional from that perspective. For example, the Pitch yaw ACMs have shown up in Lockheed's SACM proposal and on top of this there are even full AMRAAM sized missile proposal from them that also includes ACMs. The Russians too have been looking into added endgame agility and one would assume others are as well. The USAF itself in its future AAM technology development efforts was looking at much higher capability as far as agility is concerned both to tackle the edge of envelop performance and to make it better at WVR:

Thank you for your reply, sir. I will look forward to the references u mentioned.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 30 Dec 2017 09:12

Boeing unveils drone capable of landing on aircraft carrier, as Navy competition heats up

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Boeing's MQ-25 drone is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with refueling capabilities that would extend the combat range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters. Eric Shindelbower / Handout

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 30 Dec 2017 09:14

Royal Navy embarrassed after amateur flyer lands drone on new $4.9B flagship aircraft carrier

According to local media reports in Scotland, the drone user managed to fly it past armed patrol boats before landing on the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 30 Dec 2017 10:11

An old video



Those pods could now be built as stealthy and powered like the Taurus KEPD 350 or the JASSM-ER flying out closer to the engagement zone without being detected and then releasing the munitions. That would be a capability addition for non stealthy jets.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby chola » 30 Dec 2017 10:19

chola wrote:This one won’t be particularly advanced or interesting from a purely technical aspect. But the economic and geostrategic implications are major.

The prototype for the Chinese high bypass CJ-1000A was finished on the 25th. If successful (for the C919) it would break the Western monopoly on airliner engines in Cheen.

From PDF:
http://zbs.miit.gov.cn/n1146285/n1146352/n3054355/n3057585/n3057589/c5995890/content.html

Translated:
On December 25, 2017, the first large-scale passenger aircraft engine verification machine (CJ-1000AX) was assembled in Shanghai, marking the establishment of the first verification platform for the turbofan engine in China, which will be the follow-up research and development work Lay a solid foundation.

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CJ-1000AX by the China Aviation Industry Development Corporation is responsible for business development company, 1.95 meters in diameter, 3.29 meters long. Its complex structure, trial difficult, including fan / supercharger, core machine, low-pressure turbine and accessories drive box device, composed of nearly 35,000 components. China Aviation Industry and Commerce Group made the "main manufacturer - supplier" development model, the joint 24 units involved in trial production, has broken through the titanium alloy wide-chord hollow fan blades, large-capacity aluminum alloy fan casing, 3D Print the combustion chamber fuel nozzle and a number of trial key technologies, but also overcome the large-diameter, long axis type unit level assembly technology difficulties, the history of 18 months to complete the first machine prototype, assembly.


Followup to the chini engine with an english article from Flightglobal:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/china-completes-assembly-of-first-high-bypass-turbof-444526/

A Chinese manufacturer has completed an 18-month assembly process for the first CJ-1000AX demonstrator engine for the Comac C919 airliner, a government ministry says on 29 December.
...
China plans to build 24 more CJ-1000A prototype engines to support an airworthiness certification campaign, with entry into service targeted after 2021.

The news release reveals two new dimensions of the indigenous Chinese rival to the CFM International Leap-1C to power the C919.

The CJ-1000AX has a diameter of 1.95m (76.8in) and a length of 3.29m (10.7ft), the release says. That compares to the 1.98m diameter and 3.32m length of the Leap-1C. The shorter length of the CJ-1000AX is likely explained by a design that compared to the Leap-1C uses one fewer stage of rotating blades in the low pressure turbine.

In many other respects, the Chinese manufacturer – AECC Commercial Aircraft Engine (ACAE) – and CFM use a similar configuration, with a two-spool layout, featuring a one-stage fan, three-stage booster, 10-stage high-pressure compressor and two-stage high-pressure turbine. The CJ-1000AX uses six stages in the low pressure turbine, compared to seven in the Leap-1C.

But the engine designs also reveal sharp differences in the use of advanced technologies. ACAE has not selected a fan drive gear system for the CJ-1000A, but it does use Rolls-Royce-style hollow-titanium, wide-chord fan blades, according to the MIIT release. By contrast, CFM uses an equal number of 18 blades, but they are made of carbonfibre.

The MIIT release also discloses that ACAE is 3D printing the fuel nozzles for the CJ-1000AX’s single-annular combustor.

In 2012, a Texas-based consultancy named Lucintel published a turbofan market forecast showing plans by China to develop three versions of the CJ-1000. A roughly 25,000lb-thrust CJ-1000AX demonstrator would come first, followed by a 28,000lb-thrust “A” version for production and finally a roughly 27,000lb-thrust “B” model for extended range aircraft.


Hard to overstate the impact of this one. If the PRC is successful with this engine, it would change the global propulsion power structure overnight. Safran, GE, RR and P&W will lose their their monopoly in a big way simply because of the size of the chini market.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby dinesh_kimar » 30 Dec 2017 10:54

I'm sure CFM has given ToT for the engine, in exchange for C919 supply of abt 1000 engines. ToT in form of consultancy, testing, data bank access and yes-no type answers, but not actual core. Maybe a clause such as "135 Kn thrust with a MTBO of 2500 hr is CFM's responsibility, measured on flying test bed, etc."

No proof, of course, just a gut feeling.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby chola » 30 Dec 2017 11:24

dinesh_kimar wrote:I'm sure CFM has given ToT for the engine, in exchange for C919 supply of abt 1000 engines. ToT in form of consultancy, testing, data bank access and yes-no type answers, but not actual core. Maybe a clause such as "135 Kn thrust with a MTBO of 2500 hr is CFM's responsibility, measured on flying test bed, etc."

No proof, of course, just a gut feeling.


It wouldn’t just be CFM (GE/Safran) but also RR — the WS-9 for their JH-7 was the Spey — and P&W who’d been involved in chini helicopter engines (including those on the prototype Z-10s) as well as civvy engines. The PRC leverages its market well.

I’ll need to do a write up of chini engines to track how they got to this point. If the CJ-1000A is successful, it would be a far better measure of their industry than the WS-10, WS-20 or any of their mil engines since even just on the C-919 this engine must be certified by the FAA or EASA to land anywhere outside the PRC.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby andy B » 30 Dec 2017 16:36

brar_w wrote:
The AMRAAM-ER program already exists. It is basically the Aim-120 C7 front end, guidance, warhead and data-link mated to an ESSM motor...



Brar cheers for this. Interesting to know the C7 being mated to the Essm motor. I still do think that ESSM will find its way to being a land based Sam eventually. As you said its got a different seeker solution and requires other infrastructure around it however correct me if I am wrong it probably has the ability to deal with a broader spectrum of threats relative to the Amraam.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 30 Dec 2017 18:43

andy B wrote:
brar_w wrote:
The AMRAAM-ER program already exists. It is basically the Aim-120 C7 front end, guidance, warhead and data-link mated to an ESSM motor...



Brar cheers for this. Interesting to know the C7 being mated to the Essm motor. I still do think that ESSM will find its way to being a land based Sam eventually. As you said its got a different seeker solution and requires other infrastructure around it however correct me if I am wrong it probably has the ability to deal with a broader spectrum of threats relative to the Amraam.


The problem is that no one wants that capability. Most Hawk operators are switching to Patriot and want something simpler to replace the Hawk and NASAMS fits that bill. With a more powerful radar, they can exploit a longer ranged missile with a larger envelope hence the ER-AMRAAM. NASAMS customers themselves buy it for its low cost and it not requiring the crew sizes or logistics the Patriot units do. For practically anything else, the PAC-3 CRI is a better option and not that much more expensive than what the Block II ESM would end up costing with mods.

The US Army has a MML for its IFPC but the ESSM does not fit it. They are more interested in shrinking PAC-3 like H2K performance into a Tamir sized (max) dimensions and Lockheed is working on a couple of missiles that will likely be perfect for the MML. This just leaves the USMC that takes its weapons from ship to shore and actually has a radar and C2 that it can literally sling load or move with the V-22 or CH-53s. It may make sense of them to consider it along with the NASAMS launcher since their ships share the same missile but beyond that I don't think it makes a lot of sense for the other US services or users of these systems. The AMRAAM-ER works because it is a low cost solution that doesn't require any hardware mods to established C2 or radar systems and can work alongside existing AMRAAM inventories. One advantage ESSM Blk. 2 has is in its abilities to go after Short Range ballistic missiles which the AMRAAM-ER cannot but then the sensor system isn't really set up for that mission so most will end up deploying Patriot batteries if there is a TBM threat over an area anyways.

There are rumors floating around that there may emerge a mobile version of the AEGIS system (Built around the E ASR) in the coming years for land applications so the ESSM could be an option there.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 31 Dec 2017 03:47

2 Bangladesh AF Yak-130s crash in mid air collision, pilots survive

This makes it 3 crashed, out of 16 delivered.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby andy B » 31 Dec 2017 15:40

Brar many thanks for the details on Amraam ER. The ability to tackle TBM threat is exactly what I feel the ESSM brings in addition to being able to tackle AA threats. But as you said the sensor systems are not set up. I still think the mobile version of AEGIS will still have quite a large footprint so will be interesting how that proceeds. Cheers

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 Dec 2017 18:32

The ability to tackle TBM threat is exactly what I feel the ESSM brings in addition to being able to tackle AA threats.


There is no sensor or C2 currently set up for that. NASAMS, as it stands, is not capable of going after this threat. You could hypothetically scale up NASAMS for the role but then you will end up with a low footprint (compared to Patriot), TBM system that can also do AAW. But why would a European or NASAMS nation reinvent the wheel and invest so heavily when you have MEADS which is basically that? (a low footprint, more mobile Patriot alternative for smaller crew sizes and lower ops cost). MEADS in its Lite configuration already looks a lot like a NASAMS on steroids, with a roughly 3 times larger radar (10,000 X-Band T/R modules compared to the roughly 3500 destined fro the GaN Sentinel) and more interceptors per battery.

I still think the mobile version of AEGIS will still have quite a large footprint so will be interesting how that proceeds. Cheers


Large footprint may be fine, plus the E ASR* isn't that big but given Raytheon's GaN should easily be able to provide SPY-1 level performance. Plus Raytheon will be cranking the radar out for years and years into the future. Again, mobile may be the wrong nomenclature. Much like THAAD if they can make it relocatable then that is all good. It doesn't need to be rushing inland with the troops at all time since if it materializes it will field a more fixed or relocatable system need for the Joint Forces. As things stand doctrinally, the USAF opposes the Army doing Long range AAW so an AEGIS mobile will focus pretty much entirely on the TBM threat with perhaps some overlap in the AAW threat. Of course alternatives include the IBCS linked combined Patriot and THAAD but it will likely be more expensive (though more capable at least for the theater mission). A mobile land based AEGIS will allow the USN to move some of its ships away from the heavy ABM focus which they have been wanting to do for a long time but haven't because there is really no land based alternative for large area mid course capability.

The Navy likes ESSM because its their program, and because they modernize it using FMS funding so get a lot of bang for the buck. ESSM Blk 2 is designed to take out the lower end TBM threat but unlike PAC-3 it is not optimized for it. Like I said, with the added seeker cost the difference in unit price between a CRI and ESS Blk. 2 isn't going to be very significant (sure MSE will be more expensive and more capable but both CRI and MSE are produced on the same line) so unless you are the USN or USMC if you want an anti-TBM interceptor and launcher combination there is really no downside (in comparison) to consider the PAC-3 and either the Patriot launcher (16 missiles) or the MEADS launcher, modified for the PAC-3 CRI instead (8-10 missiles).

EASR is the 9 RMA variant of the AMDR, so the radar array will measure 6 by 6 ft so not even close to the largest relocatable or mobile radar the US has had over the years.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 03 Jan 2018 01:15

SpaceX leases Cape Canaveral location for capsules to take crews to space station


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MELBOURNE, Fla. — In a sign that astronaut launches from Florida are growing nearer, SpaceX recently leased an Air Force facility where it will prepare Dragon capsules to fly crews to the International Space Station.

The 45th Space Wing said work on the capsule called Crew Dragon or Dragon 2 would take place in Area 59, a former satellite processing facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

“This summer, they should be receiving their first Dragon 2 capsule, which will directly support NASA and the return of astronauts (launching into orbit) from U.S. soil,” said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, the Wing commander, at a recent transportation summit in Port Canaveral.

It’s unclear when SpaceX or Boeing will be ready to launch test flights of astronauts under NASA contracts.

The most recent public schedules show unmanned test flights of SpaceX’s Dragon in April and Boeing’s Starliner in August. Test flights with two-person crews would follow in August and November, respectively.

Those dates, however, are considered optimistic and likely to slip, maybe even to 2019.

Until then, NASA will continue to rely exclusively on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the space station, as it has since the space agency retired the shuttle program in July 2011.


A Global Positioning System satellite launched in early 2016 was the last spacecraft the Air Force readied for flight at Area 59.

“This GPS IIF-12 satellite represents the end of a legacy as it will be the last of the 61 GPS satellites processed here at (Cape Canaveral Air Force Station),” Monteith said then. “This culminates an incredible 27-year legacy at our Area 59 Satellite Processing Facility.”

The Air Force in 2014 announced plans to close the facility as a cost-saving measure and potentially make it available for commercial use.

Overall, Monteith said the Air Force has now leased or licensed more than 1 million square feet of facilities to the commercial sector through the Commercial Space Launch Act.

“Another way that we are breaking down barriers and removing impediments to the growth of the commercial industry,” he said. “At the end of the day, it also benefits the taxpayer.”

NASA also has transferred numerous former shuttle facilities to commercial tenants or government agencies such as the Air Force or Space Florida. They include the lease of historic launch pad 39A to SpaceX, where Falcon 9 rockets are slated to launch the crew-carrying Dragons on their way to the space station.

On Dec. 15, a Falcon 9 launched a cargo version of the Dragon to the space station for the 13th time under a NASA resupply contract.That Dragon is targeting a Jan. 13 return to Earth with a Pacific Ocean splashdown.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 03 Jan 2018 07:57

Mig-23 and Tu-160

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby ArjunPandit » 03 Jan 2018 09:49

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae3ju4rEGgQ[/youtube] This seems too good to be true. After this predator avenger seem like kite flying to me. Wonder what Russian millitary or US military has under their secret stable. I hope it is not some fanboi youtubshopping. That would be sad.
Philip any comments on this?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Jan 2018 17:54




NRao
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Jan 2018 02:29

How Laser Tech Is Moving Toward Combat Deployment
Jan 2, 2018


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Boost-Phase Missile Defense
Under its Low-Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) program, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) plans to install a multikilowatt laser on a high-altitude unmanned aircraft to validate the acquisition, tracking and engagement of a boost-phase ballistic missile using a high-energy laser. Two candidate MDA-funded 30-kW lasers will be offered for the demo: MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Fiber Combined Laser and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Diode-Pumped Alkali Laser.


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Combat Aircraft Self-Protection
Lockheed Martin is to provide a high-power laser to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for flight-testing on a fighter by 2021 under its Self-protect High-Energy Laser Demonstrator (Shield) program to defend aircraft from air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles. Building on previous 30- and 60-kW fiber lasers using special beam combining, Lockheed’s compact laser will be integrated with a Northrop Grumman beam-control system and installed in a Boeing-supplied pod.


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Special Operations
U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) plans to flight-test a low-kilowatt laser on
a Lockheed Martin AC-130J gunship in 2018, with the goal of fielding a high-energy
strike weapon by the end of the decade. A podded Raytheon high-energy laser was fired
from a Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter at a ground target in September 2017, in a
test supported by SOCOM.


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Ship Defense
Following deployment of the 30-kW Laser Weapon System prototype on a ship in the Persian Gulf in December 2014-September 2017, to counter UAVs and fast boats, the U.S. Navy chose Northrop Grumman to build the 150-kW Laser Weapon System Demonstrator for at-sea testing by 2018. Helios, a follow-on program to accelerate fielding of a 60-150-kW laser (with optical dazzler to blind UAV sensors) is to deliver test units in 2020 for land and sea trials. UK Dragonfire—a consortium including Qinetiq, Leonardo, GKN and BAE Systems—will demo the 50-kW laser in 2019.


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Force Protection
After tests at 10 kW, the U.S. Army will trial its High-Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck with a 60-kW Lockheed Martin fiber laser in 2018 and a 100-kW laser in 2022, to assess its potential for the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2–Intercept program to counter rockets, artillery, mortars and UAVs. A short-range air defense system based on the Stryker armored vehicle, the Mobile High-Energy Laser is to be tested at 50 kW in 2021, following trials at 5 and 10 kW in 2017. The Office of Naval Research plans Directed Energy On-the-Move firings by 2022 of a 30-kW Raytheon planar waveguide laser mounted on a Humvee for potential transition to the U.S. Marine Corps.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Jan 2018 02:54

F-35 Continues To Dominate Western Fighter Markets

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 took the international community by storm in 2017, with operational deployments to both the European and Pacific theaters, an aerobatic debut at the Paris Air Show and delivery of the first Norwegian version to Orland Air Base. The stealth fighter will continue to draw focus in 2018 as the U.S. Navy nears initial operational capability for its F-35C variant and several nations look to choose their next-generation combat aircraft.

Lockheed will continue to dominate the Western fighter market as the F-35 line at Fort Worth ramps up to full-rate production. By the end of 2017, 241 F-35s were in service worldwide, and international final assembly lines in Cameri, Italy, and Nagoya, Japan, had begun operations. Lockheed is predicted to produce 54% of the Western-built fighters—734 aircraft—in 2018-22, clearly beating runners-up Boeing, Eurofighter, Dassault, Saab and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), according to an Aviation Week analysis.

Although Lockheed did not secure any new customers for the F-35 in 2017, the fighter is widely expected to emerge victorious in several upcoming competitions. Belgium is expected to select a winner in 2018, and Austria, Finland, Switzerland and Poland are evaluating proposals. In November, the Danish defense ministry began purchasing its 27 planned F-35s, after selecting the type over the Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2016.

Germany also has begun to express interest in the F-35, with Lt. Gen. Karl Muellner, chief of staff of the German Air Force, announcing in November that the F-35 was the service’s preferred choice to replace its 85 Panavia Tornado fighters. They are the only non-U.S. operational platforms based in Germany cleared to carry the B61 nuclear weapon, starting in 2025. The F-35 is the only aircraft under consideration for which certification to carry the B61 is planned.

However, the announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel of a vision to develop a new fifth-generation-plus European fighter jet may complicate the F-35’s prospects in Germany. The new Franco-German fighter then would replace both the French Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon, and several other nations have expressed interest in joining such a program. Berlin and Paris are expected to deliver more details about a way forward in early 2018.

Meanwhile, Lockheed may have a new market for the F-35 before long: the Persian Gulf. The U.S. is now considering selling the stealth fighter to allies there such as the United Arab Emirates, if those nations agree to take steps to protect the network-centric fighter’s sensitive technology and vast data bank of critical information. Such a deal could be met with pushback from Israel, as it currently is the exclusive operator of the Joint Strike Fighter in the Middle East.

Canada continues to present a question mark for the F-35 program. Ottawa is still a bill-paying member of the international program, but the new liberal government rolled back a plan to procure 65 A-models in 2016, instead announcing it would seek 18 “interim” F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to bridge an airpower gap until a new fighter can be selected to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s RCAF 1980s-era CF-18s.

But prospects for that deal dimmed when Boeing filed an anti-dumping suit against Bombardier, saying the government was unfairly subsidizing the Canadian company’s C Series passenger jetliners. In December, reports emerged that Canada would scrap the Super Hornet deal in retaliation, instead opting to buy earlier-generation Hornets from Australia as a short-term solution.

Boeing stands to lose not just the 18 new Super Hornets that Ottawa planned to buy initially, but the chance to capture all 65 new fighters the RCAF needs to recapitalize its fighter force. For a relatively small air force like Canada’s, it makes little sense to operate two types of aircraft, virtually guaranteeing the first 18 Super Hornets would have been followed by 47 more, argues Richard Aboulafia, vice president for analysis with the Teal Group.

If Canada scraps the Super Hornet deal and pursues a competition for a next-generation fighter in the next five years, Lockheed’s F-35 almost inevitably will be victorious, analysts agree.

As the F-35 dominates the market in the West, Russia and China are continuing to make progress on their own fifth-generation fighter programs. Amid heightened tensions in the Pacific, as North Korea refuses to halt its effort to develop nuclear missiles, China’s Avic Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter formally entered service in 2017 with the country’s air force. The official role of the twin-engine J-20 is unknown, but it is most likely intended as a long-range fighter due to its substantial internal fuel volume.

Meanwhile, Russia’s stealthy, twin-engine Sukhoi Su-57, formerly known as the T-50, completed the first stage of joint evaluation trials in 2017 and received approval for a pre-production batch. Delivery of the new fighter, which is intended to replace the fourth-generation Sukohoi Su-27 Flanker family in the Russian inventory, is expected to start in 2019.

And in Ankara, BAE Systems engineers are working with Turkish Aerospace Industries colleagues to develop a twin-engine fifth-generation indigenous fighter. The government wants to see a prototype or demonstrator fly over Ankara in 2023, while operational versions would enter service in 2030. Key decisions to come include engine selections for the prototype and production aircraft. Turkey is looking for a platform free of International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which means it can be exported widely, and seeking additional partners to share in its significant cost.


Lockheed Martin’s F-35 made its aerobatic debut at the Paris Air Show in June, one of several international milestones for the new fighter in 2017. Credit: Mark Wagner/Aviation-images.com

As fifth-generation fighters begin to come online, there is still a robust global market for fourth-generation aircraft. On June 14, 2017, Qatar signed a $12 billion contract for 36 F-15QA Strike Eagles with options for a dozen more, and Boeing is expected to begin building the first aircraft before the end of 2018. The building of the Qatari Strike Eagles will extend Boeing’s F-15 production line past 2022. Meanwhile, Bahrain formally signed up for 16 new-build Lockheed Block 70 F-16s in November, in a deal valued at $2.3 billion. These aircraft will be the first of the type to be built on the company’s new assembly line in Greenville, South Carolina, following the end of F-16 production at Fort Worth in 2017.

Lockheed is hoping to attract additional international customers for the F-16V configuration. The largest single pending fighter order is from India, with New Delhi seeking as many as 120 locally produced single-engine aircraft to replace its aging MiG fleet. If New Delhi selects the F-16 over Saab’s Gripen, Lockheed would partner with Tata Advanced Systems, the defense arm of India’s Tata Group, to set up and operate an in-country facility where the new fighters would be assembled.

In the meantime, there is growing demand internationally for second-hand F-16s, particularly from Eastern European nations such as Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.

Boeing’s other fourth-generation fighter, the F/A-18, will continue as the backbone of the U.S. Navy fleet for decades, with the service’s fiscal 2018 budget blueprint including plans to invest almost $300 million through fiscal 2022 to upgrade the existing Super Hornets to Boeing’s proposed Block III configuration. Block III will include a new large-area cockpit display for improved user interface, a more powerful computer called the Distributed Targeting Processor Network, a bigger data pipe for passing information called Tactical Targeting Network Technology, conformal fuel tanks to extend range by 100-120 nm, a long-range infrared sensor and advanced signature enhancements.

Elsewhere in the world, international companies also are seeing demand for their legacy fighters. Eurofighter’s largest export customer, Saudi Arabia, has now taken delivery of its order for 72 aircraft, but the British government is pushing for an order for another 48. Kuwait has ordered 28 aircraft, already in production, and Qatar on Dec. 10 signed a deal with the UK government to purchase 24 of the type. The Qatari order should keep production running until 2024. The Typhoon is being offered in both the Belgian and Finnish competitions and probably will be featured in bidding to replace Switzerland’s F/A-18s and Northrop F-5 Tigers. The Typhoon’s future in Austria is less certain after Vienna launched a court case against Airbus and decided it wanted to be rid of the jets after 2020.

The Eurofighter partner nations—Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK—have signed up for the third Phased Enhancements program, which will see the MBDA Brimstone air-to-ground missile integrated onto the Typhoon. This will follow from contracts to integrate the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile and Meteor long-range air-to-air missile onto the Typhoon. The UK hopes to have these weapons on its Typhoons by late 2018 in time for the retirement of its Panavia Tornados during 2019 as part of its Project Centurion.

Flight development work on the Captor-E active, electronically scanned array radar continues apace in the UK, with an additional test aircraft from Germany due to join the trials in 2018. Kuwait will be the first customer for the Captor-E in the Radar 1+ configuration. The four Eurofighter nations likely will begin buying the radar in the early 2020s. Upcoming upgrades include the addition of an antiship missile, the MBDA Marte Mk. 2. A new wide-area cockpit display also is being mulled.

Dassault is looking to bolster its orderbook as well, buoyed by success in 2015 with orders from Egypt, Qatar and India. In early December, Qatar signed up to purchase 12 additional Rafales from France, adding to the 24 it already has on order. Meanwhile, Dassault has delivered aircraft to Egypt progressively and flown several for Qatar, although none have been delivered to Doha yet. Qatari aircrews and ground personnel are being trained in France. During 2017, the French government gave the green light for development of the F4 standard, which will give the aircraft improved network-centric warfare capability, sensors and sensor integration. The F3R standard, which is due in 2018, will add the ability to fire the Meteor and Thales Talios laser designator pod.

In Sweden, following the rollout of the first JAS 39E Gripen, coded 39-8, in Linkoping in May 2016, Saab began flight-testing the aircraft in June 2017, achieving supersonic speeds over the Baltic in November. The beginning of flight testing was delayed deliberately to further mature the aircraft’s federated software architecture and qualify it to a commercial standard known as DO-178C. Work is underway to build additional prototypes including the first aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force.

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Sweden is planning to buy 60 single-seat Gripens, while Brazil will purchase 36 aircraft including eight two-seaters. The twin-stick model will be developed in Brazil through Saab’s cooperation with Embraer. The aircraft also is being offered in Finland and Switzerland. First deliveries to the Swedish Air Force are expected in 2019, although the first front-line unit will not be formed until 2023. Deliveries are planned to continue until 2026. Sweden is considering funding an additional 10 aircraft.

Saab is continuing to offer the older JAS 39C/D that, with the enhancement provided by the MS20 upgrade, allows the aircraft to carry the Meteor missile. The Gripen C/D is currently in contention in Botswana, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovakia, and may be offered in Austria depending on whether Vienna keeps its Eurofighters. Saab also is offering a specialized aggressor version to meet the needs of commercial live-air training operators; this version was unveiled at the DSEI show in London in September 2017.

In the trainer/light-attack market, bids are in for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X competition, but the lucrative contract award for 350 aircraft to replace aging T-38s has been postponed until at least the summer of 2018. In an unexpected move, Northrop dropped out of the race in 2017, leaving three competitors: Lockheed and KAI are partnered on the latter’s T-50; Boeing is offering a clean-sheet design; and Italy’s Leonardo has proposed the T-100, a derivative of its M-346 fighter. Leonardo still contends its T-100 is the best solution even after its partner Raytheon dropped out earlier in 2017 and has declared the aircraft will be produced in Alabama if selected.

Meanwhile, Leonardo is widening its proposal for the M-346 with a new light-attack version called the M-346FA (Fighter Attack), which features additional weapons pylons including wingtip rails for air-to-air missiles. Leonardo envisages the installation of the Grifo-M346 multimode radar to add to its light-attack capabilities. Leonardo has begun delivering to its export customers including Israel, Poland and Singapore, while Italy is taking delivery of small batches.

And Leonardo’s M-345 has been developed to meet the Italian Air Force’s need for a high-efficiency trainer with the performance of a jet but with operating costs comparable to those of a high-performance turboprop. Developed from SIAI-Marchetti’s S.211 jet trainer, the M-345 has been fitted with a new avionics suite, a modified fuselage and Williams FJ44-4M-34 turbofan. A demonstrator aircraft took to the air in December 2016, and the first new-build standard prototype is scheduled to fly in 2018. At the Paris Air Show, Leonardo said the M-345 has been selected by two undisclosed air forces to meet their training needs.

After Northrop dropped plans to propose an updated version of BAE Systems’ Hawk trainer for a clean-sheet T-X design, BAE continues the hunt for orders. Having largely completed delivery of a batch of 22 aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force and eight to the Royal Air Force of Oman, the company is now building assembly kits that are being sent to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where local workers will assemble a second batch of 22 aircraft. So far, two kits have been sent to the kingdom, including one for the 1,000th Hawk. As part of Qatar’s expected order for Typhoons, the agreements include six Hawks. BAE also is pushing for sales of new-build Hawks to Kuwait to support training for its 28 Typhoons on order.

In addition, BAE is continuing development of the Advanced Hawk, which first flew on June 7, 2017. This version, for which BAE is partnered with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. of India, features a new advanced wing and advanced wide-area display cockpit. It has been developed for advanced training and light attack.

Elsewhere, Aero Vodochody is planning the first flight of its new-generation L-39NG jet trainer for November 2018. The company has completed flight trials of the L-39CW, featuring the new Williams International FJ-44 turbofan and avionics suite developed for the L-39NG that are to be retrofitted into old-model L-39s. The L-39CW should be ready for market in early 2018. The L-39NG will differ from the older model externally as it will not feature the aircraft’s distinctive wingtip tanks. Aero Vodochody is in final negotiations with Lom Praha, the Czech government-owned MRO organization—which also runs the Czech Air Force’s flight training center at Pardubice—to purchase L-39NGs to refresh the school’s fleet.

Aero Vodochody is in advanced negotiations with an undisclosed country for the aircraft, too. Signing of these two contracts would mean the company has sold out the first two years of L-39NG production Eight aircraft would be built in 2020 and 12 in 2021.

Finally, with Batch 2 model aircraft now in service with the Pakistan Air Force, the Chengdu Aircraft Corp./Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 Thunder is attracting export interest. Myanmar and Nigeria are confirmed customers. A long-awaited two-seat version made its first flight in 2017. Future production blocks are expected to include new avionics and more precision-guided weapons, mainly Chinese.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Jan 2018 16:04

NRao wrote:
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This was posted earlier likely as part of another article. if you work out OEMs by their role, and not just their status as a Prime, Northrop Grumman edges out Dassault in the $ amount based on its share of the JSF and F-18 programs where it is the leading tier-1 supplier for structure and electronics.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Jan 2018 16:20

6,000 SDB-Is for FMS customers..I think the net SDBs FMS sales till date (before this award) had been in the 3000-4000 range so this is a major increase -

The Boeing Co. Defense, Space and Security, St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a $193,638,503, contract modification (P00001) to a previously awarded contract (FA8672-16-D-0010) for Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) Increment 1 Lots 12-14 production. This modification provides for the purchase of an additional quantity of 6,000 SDB 1 all-up-rounds being produced under the basic contract. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity ceiling is increasing from $700,000,000 to $893,638,503. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 30, 2020. This contract involves foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Singapore. This modification is a result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2015 and 2016 missile procurement; and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $99,715,078 is being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA8672-16-D-0010). LINK

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Jan 2018 16:34

Why Does Boeing's MQ-25 Prototype Look So Stealthy?


A short teaser video posted by Boeing on Twitter showing the company-funded prototype of its offering for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray has raised questions about why its design for an unmanned carrier-based aerial refueling tanker should look so stealthy.

he answer may lie in the origins of the Navy’s long-gestated requirement for the so-called Carrier-Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS), but what is obvious is that Boeing’s design bears a resemblance to one of the key aircraft in the history of stealth - Northrop’s 1980s Tacit Blue demonstrator.

The first teaser image released in December immediately raised questions about where the inlet was located on Boeing’s MQ-25 design. Earlier artists’ impressions of its concept for a carrier-based unmanned aircraft had the inlet mounted above the fuselage, similar to General Atomics’ Avenger. But such an inlet was not apparent in that first, tantalizing head-on image.

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The inlet is no more apparent in the latest video. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be one! The only hint at its existence is a black line mid-way along the prototype’s upper fuselage stenciled with the words “Jet Inlet Danger.” This suggests Boeing’s MQ-25 has an inlet buried in its back and therefore completely flush - like that on the Tacit Blue.

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The Tacit Blue was built for DARPA and the U.S. Air Force in part to show that a stealth aircraft could be designed that had curved surfaces, and was not entirely composed of faceted panels like Lockheed’s Have Blue and F-117. The design techniques developed for Tacit Blue were applied by Northrop to the smoothly curved B-2 stealth bomber.

Tacit Blue’s top-mounted flush inlet may have been stealthy, but it was hard to start, the flight-test crew at one point parking a C-130 in front of the aircraft so that its propwash would help start the airflow into the buried engines. There was also some flow separation in the inlet duct.

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On Tacit Blue the engines exhausted from a slot nozzle located between V-tails - which also seems to be the case with Boeing’s MQ-25. The Tacit Blue’s wing and tails were unswept - as they appear to be on Boeing’s unmanned aerial refueler. Boeing’s design also has a chine running around the perimeter of the fuselage - a familiar characteristic of stealth designs.

By why? Stealth is not one the Navy’s requirements for CBARS. It was, once, a requirement for the CBARS’ predecessor, the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance Strike (UCLASS) system. But after a lengthy and contentious debate, UCLASS was downgraded to an unmanned tanker and the need for stealth removed.

Northrop Grumman - which built and flew the tailless, flying-wing X-47B under the predecessor to UCLASS, the Naval Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator program - dropped out of the running for CBARS after seeing the final request for proposals (RFP). The lack of a requirement for a stealthy platform that could be developed from the X-47B may have one of the reasons.

Boeing’s MQ-25 design may have acquired its stealth features when it was UCLASS, and retained its shape through the many study phases that led up to the final CBARS RFP. It may be a bet placed by Boeing that the Navy, once it gets the Stingray on its carrier decks, will want to evolve the aircraft from an unmanned tanker to a surveillance/strike asset than needs stealth.

Another sign of stealth influence in the design’s origins that is visible in the video is the arrestor hook, which is enclosed behind a door when retracted. But the prototype seen being rolled out by Boeing’s Phantom Works in St. Louis does not have sawtooth edges on its gear doors or access panels, the existence of which is another typical signifier of stealth requirements.

Other design features of note. Boeing’s MQ-25 prototype has three air-data sensors on the nose - indicating triplex digital fly-by-wing flight control - but they are probes and not the flush sensors used on Northrop’s stealth-shaped X-47B. There is also what appears to be a camera under the flat nose, presumably to provide the ground operator a view ahead during takeoff and landing.The main gear retracts forward into the fuselage inboard of the wing roots and the wing fold is just visible - a seam and bulge on the upper surface, over what is presumably the hinge and actuator, some way out from the wing root. There is also a pronounced vertical join that runs around the fuselage forward of the wing leading edge - the reason for which is far from clear.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Jan 2018 08:49

SpaceX’s latest advantage? Blowing up its own rocket, automatically

SpaceX is known for its reusable rockets, but one under-appreciated technology it has pioneered is letting them self-destruct.

Orbital rockets capable of lifting heavy satellites into space are enormous and dangerous. Flying one from a launch site like Cape Canaveral traditionally requires an Air Force range-safety officer in place, ready to transmit a signal to detonate the rocket safely in the sky if the launch threatens to go awry.

SpaceX, however, pursuing cheaper and more efficient launches, worked with the Air Force to turn over that duty to a GPS-equipped on-board computer, an “Automatic Flight Safety System” that debuted in 2017. Now, if the company’s Falcon 9 rocket goes outside prescribed bounds when launched from Cape Canaveral, it can activate its own self-destruct sequence.

No other US rocket has this capability yet, and it could open up new advantages for SpaceX: The US Air Force is considering launches to polar orbits from Cape Canaveral, but the flight path is only viable if the rockets don’t need to be tracked for range-safety reasons. That means SpaceX is the only company that could take advantage of the new corridor to space.

.......

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Jan 2018 08:54


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 06 Jan 2018 03:42

Japan eyes electronic-warfare jet, could jam missile bases


TOKYO -- Japan looks to deploy electronic-warfare aircraft that can neutralize enemy air defenses and command systems remotely, blurring the line between strict self-defense and offensive base-strike capability.

The country is exploring options including Boeing's EA-18G fighter jet -- nicknamed the "Growler" -- which emits large radio pulses to jam radar and communication systems. The EA-18G also carries missiles to knock out radar facilities.

The Defense Ministry intends to write the aircraft into its Mid-Term Defense Program when that plan is revised at the end of 2018, acquiring several jets between fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2023.

Electronic defenses have a range of several hundred kilometers, according to the Defense Ministry's acquisition and technology unit. If necessary, Japan could deploy the aircraft over international waters off the coast of North Korea to disable missile bases and radar facilities.

The jets also would enhance the country's so-called Anti-Access/Area Denial strategy, which aims to keep Chinese aircraft and military vessels from encroaching on Japan's surroundings. China is deploying its own electronic-warfare aircraft under the military's recently formed Strategic Support Force.

Japan is stocking up on other equipment that theoretically could be used in a strike on enemy facilities. The government will buy air-to-surface joint strike missiles from Norway in fiscal 2018, letting Japan attack targets around 500km away. The Defense Ministry also has begun researching domestic production of cruise missiles.

The ministry may overhaul Japan's Izumo-class helicopter carriers to function as aircraft carriers, altering the vessels' decks so that fighter jets can take off and land. Some also have proposed purchasing F-35B stealth fighters to work with the retrofitted ships. This cutting-edge aircraft can take off from shorter runways than others in its class.

Japan denies these acquisitions are intended to give the country offensive strike capability, holding to its policy of exclusive self-defense. The new equipment is "ultimately meant to defend Japan," a Defense Ministry official said.

The government maintains that it relies on the U.S. for the ability to strike enemy bases and that weaponry violating the defense-only policy would be "used only in the event of a catastrophic breakdown among our allies," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has said. But Japan's stock of such equipment could grow, unless clear guidelines are enacted that distinguish between defense and offense.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 06 Jan 2018 19:07

ks_sachin wrote:
loitering for me i something that is launched with no defined target and as and when something comes up.......
cruise missile for me is something that goes to a predetermined target - whether in a zig zag manner or straight or ever decreasing circles!!


Modern missiles can be programmed to fly to waypoints and based on what is known in advance you can configure them to adjust altitude and other flight characteristics as it navigates through these waypoints based on known presence of point defenses or other defensive systems. More advanced missiles that are just beginning to show up are smarter with the ability to adjust their flight path and characteristics autonomously, based on threats that may not be pre-fed into the flight path. Things like pop up air defenses can be detected via organic ESM and flight paths adjusted to avoid them or fly through them in the most survivable way. Threat libraries can be built up to further help the missile develop a better understanding of emitter types, help it characterize them and share that data back to the C2 if required.

ks_sachin wrote:Any example of a cruise missile that loiters?


BGM-109 added a basic loiter mode starting around 2003-2004. Block IV TLAM, in the late 2000s added a brand new Weapon Control System (TTWCS) developed by Lockheed that provided full loiter capability including re-targeting via the two-way UHF SATCOM. Cruise missiles need not be always launched from their maximum range. In fact, depending upon the target, and how defended the air-space is you may want to launch them from closer in so that they can fly the most survivable route to the target, which allows you to destroy all intended targets with the least number of missiles. Similarly, you may want to launch them form closer if you want to use some of the ISR and loiter features as well. Similarly, the AGM-158 (ER variant) is also capable of in flight re-targeting and some limited BDA capabilities via its two-way data-link. The AGM-158C takes this a step further by adding SATCOM and ESM seeker for autonomous waypoint navigation and more extensive re-targeting and BDA. In fact with the 158C the ESM seeker and apertures had to be capable enough to allow (in combination with INS) to allow full mid course navigation and threat identification and discrimination in the absence of GPS or any form of communication that may be denied at worst or contested at best.

http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_displ ... =1300&ct=2

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 06 Jan 2018 22:58

ks_sachin wrote:precisely - for me these are loitering assets - missiles less so!!


I go by what the intended purpose of the capability is as requested by their operators or developed by the designers. In examples that I have mentioned this is helpful particularly when you are attacking well defended targets with a lot of weapons where it may not be practical, or even possible to first assign a UAV orbit without either alerting the enemy or due to the time-critical nature of the target or for a general lack of availability for an appropriate ISR asset that can provide realtime picture. A dozen cruise missiles launched at an air-base can easily include 2-3 that can loiter above the target providing a good picture of BDA before themselves striking their intended targets. This also helps you further re-task them to go after more valued targets such as aircraft that may have survived instead of some other target that they may have been tasked with during mission planning.

It takes a lot of resources to do this at scale and it would simplify a lot of things if there was some organic capability inherent in the strike package itself. Now imagine launching dozens of these weapons on separate targets as first day of war decapitation strikes..Now imagine the resources required to generate stealthy ISR orbits over each target in order to get real time BDA and SA on it.

Anyhow, one such scenario is described below in the test conducted a while ago. There are obviously many other possible scenarios where a long range weapon can be tasked with loitering above a target, or doing BDA etc as a secondary mission..

SAN NICOLAS ISLAND, Calif., Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile successfully showed it can take a reconnaissance photo and follow orders to re-target in mid-flight during a test conducted by the U.S. Navy and Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN).

During the test, a missile launched from the guided missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) used its onboard camera to capture battle damage indication imagery and then transmitted the image to fleet headquarters via its two-way UHF SATCOM datalink. The missile then entered a loiter pattern to await further instructions.

Meanwhile, strike controllers at the U.S. Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain retargeted the missile to a new aim point on the Navy's range at San Nicolas Island, off the coast of southern California. The missile performed a vertical dive and struck the designated target.

"We have once again proven the flexibility and utility of the Tomahawk Block IV missile, which has an unprecedented record of reliability and combat success." said Dave Adams, Raytheon Tomahawk senior program director.

The test was designed to show that the missile's strike controllers, located at multiple fleet headquarters, can control and redirect multiple missiles simultaneously. To reduce testing costs, only one of the large salvo of missiles was a live launch. The rest were flown via computer simulation through various missions directed by forward deployed strike controllers. LINK

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 08 Jan 2018 02:11

US adds platform for stealth jets to Pacific

The US military boosted its stealth attack options in the Pacific on Saturday when the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp moved into the 7th Fleet area of operations.

The 40,00-ton, 844-foot-long Wasp is essentially a baby aircraft carrier. Built in 1980s, it has been upgraded to deploy new Marine Corps F-35B stealth fighter jets.

The fifth-generation fighter jets are seen as a major advantage for the United States in any contingencies involving North Korea as they are undetectable by Pyongyang's radars.

While the Marine Corps F-35s, which are based in Iwakuni, Japan, have been involved in recent shows of force on the Korean Peninsula, their ability to take off from the Wasp rather than an airfield brings a new dimension, said Carl Schuster, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Prithwiraj » 08 Jan 2018 19:52

A lot of buzz around the real purpose of Super Secretive Zuma Payload owned by US Government- which was successfully launched by Space X

https://www.space.com/38801-spacex-secr ... -know.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 08 Jan 2018 23:03

The F-35 Can Carry the Load

The F-35 is known for its stealthy characteristics. And when it comes to the extensive combat campaigns the U.S. and its allies face, the F-35 has an asymmetric advantage over 4th Generation aircraft.

The F-35 can enter the battlespace on day one of the campaign, clearing the threats in the air and on the ground, and providing critical intelligence to commanders back at base or at sea. But it’s not just day one that counts.

The F-35 can reconfigure to carry the right combination of weapons to return any day of the battle it’s needed — in stealth mode or full beast mode. It’s built for the long haul — whatever it’s hauling. From providing critical intelligence, to defeating threats with a powerful air-to-air and air-to-ground payload, the F-35 has the range and flexibility to win, again and again.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 08 Jan 2018 23:23

USAF INTEGRATES AGILEPOD ON SCORPION LIGHT ATTACK AIRCRAFT

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The AgilePod is an Air Force-trademarked, multi-intelligence reconfigurable pod that enables flight-line operators to customize sensor packages based on specific mission needs. The pod takes advantage of the AFRL Sensors Directorate Blue Guardian Open Adaptable Architecture construct and Sensor Open System Architectures. Open architectures enable rapid integration of sensor technologies through standardized software and hardware interfaces that enable the pod to seamlessly integrate on platforms that use the standard architectures. This increases the number of missions the pod can augment, expanding the scope of ISR mission possibilities.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 09 Jan 2018 03:53

^^^
positive development, plug and play it is!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby deejay » 09 Jan 2018 10:11

Is it the USAF which has integrated the Agile pod or Textron which has integrated the pod? AFAIK, USAF has not purchased the Scorpion yet.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 09 Jan 2018 14:49

deejay wrote:Is it the USAF which has integrated the Agile pod or Textron which has integrated the pod? AFAIK, USAF has not purchased the Scorpion yet.


Air Force Research Laboratory, Textron Demonstrate Plug and Play ISR

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.......

In late 2017, Air Force Research Laboratory officials met with Textron Aviation’s Defense Scorpion team and floated the idea of installing AgilePod—an Air Force-developed pod that can host a broad suite of sensors—onto the company’s light attack jet. Within a few weeks, a Scorpion sat on the flightline at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, with the pod attached.

“We showed the openness of the pod by taking an aircraft with a standard set of mechanical and electrical interfaces and attaching the pod,” said Andrew Soine, an electronics systems engineer in the AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, in a Wright-Patterson release.

.........

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Jan 2018 15:33

deejay wrote:Is it the USAF which has integrated the Agile pod or Textron which has integrated the pod? AFAIK, USAF has not purchased the Scorpion yet.


They have demonstrated integration as part of a capstone demonstration in support of a multiphase evaluation of what will likely be multiple platforms. The USAF has had a CRADA with Textron on the Scorpion and is very much interested to move to phase-2 of their light attack/ISR demonstrations which would place more emphasis on the ISR piece than CAS which phase-1 did. This was probably an opportunity for Textron to volunteer their aircraft to demonstrate how easy it is (or not) to integrate new ISR payloads and for the AFRL team to see how its Open Mission Systems approach to the sensor payload can help in reducing integration timelines on new aircraft. The Agile Pod is an AFRL in house product meant to vey quickly take things that may be maturing in their lab and place them on sensors and platforms out in the field. A demonstration on an aircraft not yet in the inventory and not specifically designed for for this product would be a good choice to see if they can meet their end objectives of making swappable payloads and moving stuff from S&T to operational use quicker minus large scale industrial production that generally takes place on large sensor acquisition programs (such as the Sniper ATP).
Last edited by brar_w on 09 Jan 2018 17:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Jan 2018 15:40

Via SpF, Hypervelocity Projectile testing form Mk45 guns..I wouldn't be surprised if testing on the M777 has also started or is close to being started -

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Jan 2018 18:37

ANALYSIS: JAPAN’S EA-18G ACQUISITION


Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review reported on 2 January that a requirement for a new airborne Electronic Warfare (EW) platform has been included in the country’s 2018 defence budget.

Press speculation has focused on the possible acquisition of Boeing EA-18G GROWLER EW aircraft, although no further details regarding the number of aircraft were provided. Nonetheless, the report did specify that Japan could acquire “several jets” between 2019 and 2023. A final governmental decision on their purchase could be made by the end of the year and, should the acquisition go ahead, these aircraft could equip the Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF).

The procurement of the EA-18G could herald a step change for Japanese air power. The country does not maintain a dedicated Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) platform capable of performing both the kinetic and Electronic Attack (EA) of hostile radars, and the collection of Electronic Intelligence (ELINT). The procurement of such a capability would place Japan in an exclusive club which comprises a handful of nations including Australia and the US, both of which are equipped with the EA-18G. A SEAD capability is traditionally associated with the Offensive Counter-Air (OCA) mission. According to current US Air Force doctrine, OCA is defined as the destruction, disruption or degradation, “of enemy air capabilities by engaging them as close to their source as possible, ideally before they are launched against friendly forces.”

While the adoption of such an OCA-focused platform is arguable unremarkable vis-à-vis the United States or the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), both of which have performed expeditionary air operations as part of multinational coalitions relatively frequently over the past two decades, it reflects a changed posture for the Japanese armed forces writ large. Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution outlawed the country’s use of war as a means of settling international disputes. Nevertheless, in July 2014 the Japanese government approved a reinterpretation of this clause which allows the country to perform offensive military action if one of her allies was threatened under the principle of collective self defence. The subtext of this reinterpretation is that Japan could in the future perform offensive operations to protect her neighbours and allies. Such operations could include the use of offensive air power, and thus operational endeavours, such as OCA.

Moreover, the EA-18G could offer the JASDF a potent suite of capabilities, particularly if the aircraft is delivered with the Raytheon AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer pod which is outfitting the US Navy’s (USN) and RAAF’s EA-18Gs. The AN/ALQ-249 will be deployed with the USN via a series of blocks offering ever-increasing levels of capability. Block-1, providing mid-band jamming, will debut from 2020/21 with Block-2 providing jamming for low-band frequencies being spun onto the AN/ALQ-249 from 2022, and Block-3, jamming undisclosed high-band frequencies following in 2024.

Reports add that an open architecture design philosophy will allow the AN/ALQ-249 to relatively easily integration of new software and hardware to detect and jam emerging Radio Frequency (RF) threats in the future as and when these are determined. The EA-18G’s communications jamming functions will be assumed by Raytheon’s AN/ALQ-227 system. This latter capability could ease enable future participation of the JASDF in coalition counter-insurgency operations where the jamming of insurgent communications, and their use of the radio segment of the electromagnetic spectrum for the activation of improvised explosive devices could be required.

Regarding the aircraft’s potential kinetic capabilities, the EA-18G acquisition could pave the way for the possible purchase of Orbital ATK’s AGM-88E High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) which can equip the aircraft. This air-to-ground weapon adds a number of improvements to the legacy Raytheon AGM-88C HARM variant including an improved RF homing seeker and the addition of a millimetric wave radar sensor.

The new RF homing seeker improves the field-of-view of the seeker used in the AGM-88C and sharpens its detection capabilities for hostile ground-based air surveillance radars. The millimetric wave radar sensor, meanwhile, provides high resolution imagery of the missile’s end game which will provide a useful analytical tool for post-sortie analysis of the accuracy of the attack. This weapon is being acquired by the USN and the Aeronautica Militaire (Italian Air Force). In addition to the AGM-88E, the aircraft could deploy Raytheon’s AGM-88F HARM which too confers a number of improvements on the legacy AGM-88 missile, including the so-called HARM Control Section Modification (HCSM) which adds a Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) to the missile to counter the so-called ‘switch off’ tactic by which radar operators deactivate their ground-based air surveillance radar in the hope of breaking an anti-radiation missile’s lock on its RF transmissions. The addition of the GPS/INS will allow the missile to be programmed with the radar’s geographical location rendering the switch off tactic void.

Moreover the GPS/INS allows the missile to be pre-programmed with zones of exclusion where the missile is not permitted to fly, reducing the possibility of the missile inadvertently hitting a civilian target and causing collateral damage. This latter issue is an important consideration: Media reports stated that during NATO's ALLIED FORCE air campaign over Serbia and Kosovo a rogue AGM-88B accidentally hit a suburb of the Bulgarian capital Sofia on 29 April 1990, destroying a house, hitting a car and causing damage to other houses.

The potential EA-18G acquisition will have two important impacts for future Japanese air operations: Firstly it provides an electronic attack capability to supplement the JASDF’s existing NAMC YS-11EA/EB EW and ELINT gathering aircraft. Secondly the EA-18G will provide a robust tactical EW capability to help protect and escort the JASDF’s forthcoming fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35A LIGHTNING II fighters which the force has an order, as well as providing an operational level EA capability to support coalition high-intensity and counter-insurgency air operations. Thus, the advent of the EA-18G in JASDF could represent a subtle, but nonetheless important, step change in the country’s air power posture.


ramana
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby ramana » 09 Jan 2018 20:29

Watch the news about SpaceX, Northrop Grumman Zuma satellite failure. Will learn a lot about satellite launch intricacies.

brar_w
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Posts: 6511
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Jan 2018 20:46

Expect some classification veil to get lifted as this goes through the various committees if initial reports are indeed correct.

nachiket
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby nachiket » 10 Jan 2018 06:29

Locked. Continue on the new thread here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7625


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