International Aerospace Discussion

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Austin
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 13 Oct 2013 20:56

Next Gen MiG ( Air International/Pitor Butowski ) ( via Drsomnath999 )

Mig-35 1
Mig-35 2

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 14 Oct 2013 11:17

Raytheon demonstrates new seeker technology for Tomahawk Block IV missile
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) completed a successful field test of an advanced Electronic Support Measure (ESM) seeker installed in a Block IV Tomahawk missile as part of the company's new product improvement program.

The ESM seeker incorporates a state-of-the-art processor and antenna to locate and track moving and fixed emitting targets. The seeker's capability was validated in a realistic high-density environment after seven months of testing in anechoic chambers.

"This new moving target capability would enhance Tomahawk's already exceptional land attack mode capability by allowing it to engage moving targets on land," said Roy Donelson, Tomahawk program director for Raytheon Missile Systems. "We believe this evolution would align with DOD's vision of increasing capability while maintaining development costs."

Raytheon continues to work with the U.S. Navy to evaluate Tomahawk's technical and operational capabilities, while using cost-efficient manufacturing processes. A major enhancement introduced with the Tomahawk Block IV missile includes a two-way satellite data-link that enables a strike controller to redirect the missile in-flight to preprogrammed alternate targets or more critical targets.

"Raytheon is providing the U.S. Navy with a missile that can evolve its capability," Donelson continued. "Tomahawk is an open architecture 'truck' capable of integrating payloads and sensors that have high technology readiness levels."

The new multi-mode seeker technology would allow the Navy's Surface Action Group to fire Tomahawks from sanctuary and defeat mobile threats at long range.

About Tomahawk Block IV

With a range of approximately 1,000 statute miles, the Tomahawk Block IV missile is a surface- and submarine-launched precision strike stand-off weapon. Tomahawk is designed for long-range precision strike missions against high-value and heavily defended targets. More than 2,000 Tomahawks have been employed in combat. Tomahawk is integrated on all major U.S. surface combatants, as well as U.S. and U.K. sub-surface platforms, including the Los Angeles, Virginia, Ohio, Astute and Trafalgar-class submarines.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby TSJones » 14 Oct 2013 12:48

...and to think that the first sub launched thawk missile was a complete failure. The news media was called to watch and film it by a proud US Navy. It flubbed in front of god and everybody. Nowadays it's a mean motor scooter. :) So it will be with short, stubby, aircraft.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 14 Oct 2013 23:15


Kartik
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 17 Oct 2013 11:30

the 18 Su-30Ks that the IAF returned to Russia and were overhauled have now found a customer- Angola.

Angola inks $1 billion arms deal with Russia

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby TSJones » 19 Oct 2013 11:40

500 lb laser guided bomb destroys itty bitty moving boat:

http://breakingdefense.com/2013/09/19/b ... e=outbrain

nice photos.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 19 Oct 2013 12:05

Quite Nice , Any idea which aircraft lased the LGB on the small target was it the B-1 its self or external one ?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby TSJones » 19 Oct 2013 20:32

Austin wrote:Quite Nice , Any idea which aircraft lased the LGB on the small target was it the B-1 its self or external one ?


Reportedly it was the B-1. I had read several years ago the Air Force had the ability to reprogram their bombs on the fly but now I guess that have added motion tracker kits to them also.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 21 Oct 2013 05:44



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 03:31

The proper thread for Canada and Rafale is this thread.

With that in mind:

Oct 20, 2013 :: It’s Time For An Open Competition For the CF-18 Fighter Replacement, Says Dassault Vice President…And Here’s Why

Yves Robins, a senior vice-president at France’s Dassault Aviation wrote:It is my pleasure to be here on behalf of RAFALE International – and all assembled here for the AIAC Summit – to thank you, Minister Finley, for being with us today and informing us of your government’s priorities, particularly in the area of procurement.
Now, many of you may wonder


They actually have an "International" ............................... but no International sale?

But here is his complete speech:

Why is someone from a consortium of French companies standing before you at this moment – thanking a Canadian Minister of the Crown, in front of an audience largely comprising Canadian aerospace and defence companies?
Well, the answer is quite simple.
The companies that make up RAFALE International – Dassault Aviation, Thales, and Snecma of the Safran Group – are the very type of companies that your government hopes Canadian companies can do business with. Dassault alone has developed more than 100 prototypes and delivered more than 8,000 jets worldwide including the legendary Mirage fighter jet.
Since 2003, our companies have purchased $4.3 billion in goods and services from Canada’s aerospace and defence companies. For instance, many Falcon business jets around the world, are powered by Pratt and Whitney Canada engines and landing on Heroux-Devtek landing gear.
Dassault Systemes, Thales Canada, Safran Morpho, Sagem, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, which are part of our group of companies, have invested many millions of dollars in growing and expanding business in Canada. Today we employ more than 2,600 Canadians in high-skilled jobs.
This small snapshot illustrates the important nature of the global aerospace and defence sectors, the give-and-take that makes it possible for Canada, France, the United States and countries around the world to continue to grow an integrated business model.
In our submission to the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat, we have taken to heart the recommendations of the Emerson Aerospace and Space Review, and the Jenkins Report on defence procurement. In doing so, we have placed a very strong emphasis on the economic benefits we will offer to Canada, if there is a competition.
It is why we offer Canada not just a guaranteed 100 % return on your investment, but much, much more. We also offer the transfer of all intellectual property and technology in the RAFALE to Canada – with no restrictions. We want you to be able to handle 100% of the In-Service Support in Canada, from front line to depot-level work. We also go beyond the RAFALE to training, research and development opportunities, UAV and space technology and tomorrow’s greener aviation systems.
So now the bottom line is:
How can Canada – and all of you in the room today – take advantage of what we offer, to grow your business and your presence on the world stage?
For that, Madame Minister, we hope the options analysis being conducted by your Department, leads to a full competition.
A competition where the best solution for Canada wins.
Thank you/merci beaucoup.”


Riff raff ...................... we have done this, done that ................ sold this and that.......................... But, no Rafale is sold anywhere.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 03:38

Oct 21, 2013 :: Rafale Fighters Need Exports More Than Ever As France Downsizes Future Fleet

As France is working on its 2014-19 defense budget law, the need to finalize an export order becomes ever more acute. To meet the French government’s baseline financial scenario, 7 out of 11 planes delivered in 2016 would already have to go abroad, which means a firm order has to be locked in by mid-2014 as jets for foreign customers would have their own configuration. France’s DGA procurement agency pays for Rafales in 3 installments. If exports don’t pan out in time, they may have to face difficult cash management trade-offs. Source : Les Echos, Rafale : le plan B de Dassault et de la DGA external link [in French] | LPM 2014-19: MINDEF external link, Legifrance external link [both in French].

October 17/13: India. Deputy chief of air staff Air Marshal S. Sukumar said during a conference that the contract with Dassault will be finalized before the end of the government’s current fiscal year, which ends on March 31st, 2014. Sukumar is a former flying instructor with 4,000+ flight hours who took his current job in December last year. Dassault was really hoping to get this done in 2013, but the sudden death of chief negotiator Arun Kumar Bal on October 2 must not have helped an already slow process. Source: Reuters, India to finalize Rafale deal this fiscal year external link.

October 2013: Canada. Yves Robins, a senior vice-president for corporate communications at Dassault Aviation, pitched Diane Finley, Canada’s Minister of Public Works and Government Services, during an Aerospace Summit luncheon. Robins urged Canada to run a full competition to replace its CF-18s and played the industrial cooperation card by reminding the minister that Dassault buys engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada for its Falcon business jets, and promising full technology and intellectual property transfer.

Mr. Robins is familiar with the fact Canada so far selected the JSF without a competition, as this came up when he met with the National Defence Committee in Parliament 3 years ago. At the time Robins insisted on the Rafale’s open design which would let it host Canada’s US-made weapons, though he refrained to say how much that would add to the price tag. Montreal Gazette: Aviation execs seek wide open competition for Canada’s fighter jet contract external link | National Defence Committee on Nov. 4th, 2010 external link.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 04:01

Realist:

Oct 22, 1023 :: French taunter (and tempter).

But the Rafale isn't perfect. I've written a about a few of the Rafale's issues before. It use of French sourced engines, missiles, and avionics might not be palatable to an RCAF used to American sourced weaponry. There have been some criticisms toward its cockpit, as well as its lack of helmet mounted cueing system. The good news is, under Dassault's deal, Canada has the freedom to modify the Rafale as it sees fit. That includes modifying it to use the current stockpile of Sidewinder and AMRAAM missiles used by the CF-18. It also opens the possibility of Canadian modifications being marketed to other Rafale users (although this is a pretty small club at the present).

When it comes down to it, I still believe that the Rafale is a long-shot for Canada. The French government simply doesn't have the same political pull in Canada as the Americans (F-35 and F-18E/F) or the British, Germans, Spanish, and Italians (Eurofighter Typhoon).


and the customary .......

The Rafale hasn't exactly been successful on the export market so far, with only India making a serious offer.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 27 Oct 2013 04:55



Meanwhile,

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes ... -launchers

"Under it, initially 65,000 rifles will be bought directly from the selected foreign vendor, for an estimated Rs 4,850 crore, to equip the 120 infantry battalions deployed on the western and eastern fronts."

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 07:38

July, 2013 :: UAE Air Force locked in Eurofighter talks

"What is being discussed is the most advanced Typhoon when compared to the existing fleet or any orders that have been made," he said. "An extremely capable and very advanced fighter jet has been asked of us by the Air Force."

Alan Sparkes, the director of cooperative programmes at MBDA, the missile systems maker for the Eurofighter, said the UAE's requirements included the most advanced weapons in the world placed together in one aircraft.

"These capabilities include a beyond visual range air-to-air missile with high accuracy," Mr Sparkes said.

Although the demands put forward by the UAE are challenging, Mr Gilchrist said he was confident they could be delivered.

"The UAE Air Force's capability requirements are highly ambitious but deliverable because of the strength of the European partnership and its expertise," he said.


This year the Eurofighter lost out to Rafale over a US$10 billion (Dh36.7bn) contract in India for 126 jet fighters.

Mr Gilchrist said that despite the Rafale being given the L1 rating by the Indian ministry of defence, which means they would be first to present and offer a contract, his company was closely watching the negotiations between Dassault and the Indian government.

"If the L1, Rafale, is not able to fulfil the negotiation demands, then Eurofighter would be given the chance," he said.

"We are still optimistic in India. This is by no way a done deal for our French friends. We are ready to re-enter discussions."

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Oct 2013 07:42

Aug, 2013 :: Bahrain in talks over possible Eurofighter jet deal, says BAE

Earlier on Wednesday Bahrain’s national news agency reported that Bahrain’s King Hamad al-Khalifa, who is currently in the UK, had told British Prime Minister David Cameron that the Gulf state was interested in buying Eurofighter jets to “create a cohesive defense system between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)” nations.

The GCC is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

This could be good news for the Eurofighter consortium’s attempts to secure a deal for the jet with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was expected to finalize a $10 billion agreement for France’s Dassault Rafale fighter last year before talks faltered, giving the group hope of stealing the deal.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 30 Oct 2013 22:18


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 31 Oct 2013 17:53

A very nice presentation (the video):

Why everyone may have a personal air vehicle

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 31 Oct 2013 21:28


GeorgeWelch
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 01 Nov 2013 06:40


member_20292
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_20292 » 01 Nov 2013 09:26

http://breakingdefense.com/2013/10/navy ... r-hornets/

Navy: We Never Said We Were Buying More Super Hornets

:)

whats the name for the US equivalent of a Chinese 50 center, I wonder ....

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 01 Nov 2013 09:40

mahadevbhu wrote:http://breakingdefense.com/2013/10/navy-were-not-buying-more-super-hornets/

Navy: We Never Said We Were Buying More Super Hornets


“a potential option for any prospective requirements that may emerge in fiscal 2015, USN or FMS,”


Who might be interested in 36 SH through FMS?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_20292 » 01 Nov 2013 10:56

I wonder how, and with what kind of a straight face, George, you can continue to tout an airplane optimized for carrier ops to a force which is going to be fighting over the Himalayas.

This is your job, right? Or part of your job description...to promote the F 18 in India?

May I have an honest answer?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 01 Nov 2013 11:38

mahadevbhu wrote:I wonder how, and with what kind of a straight face, George, you can continue to tout an airplane optimized for carrier ops to a force which is going to be fighting over the Himalayas.


It's capable of fighting over the Himalayas so I don't see the problem.

mahadevbhu wrote:This is your job, right? Or part of your job description...to promote the F 18 in India?

May I have an honest answer?


Were the people who pushed for Rafale paid for it?

Were the people who said EF beats all mere shills?

Were the people who said MiG made the most sense only doing so because someone lined their bank accounts?

If you disagree with my arguments you should try attacking them on their merits instead of resorting to personal attacks.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_20292 » 01 Nov 2013 12:18

GeorgeWelch wrote:
mahadevbhu wrote:I wonder how, and with what kind of a straight face, George, you can continue to tout an airplane optimized for carrier ops to a force which is going to be fighting over the Himalayas.


It's capable of fighting over the Himalayas so I don't see the problem.

mahadevbhu wrote:This is your job, right? Or part of your job description...to promote the F 18 in India?

May I have an honest answer?


Were the people who pushed for Rafale paid for it?

Were the people who said EF beats all mere shills?

Were the people who said MiG made the most sense only doing so because someone lined their bank accounts?

If you disagree with my arguments you should try attacking them on their merits instead of resorting to personal attacks.


Most posters post balanced opinions and over time, given multiple interactions, you realize that they are usually not having an agenda.

Your posts usually have a single point agenda, and are usually on the same topic : criticism of the rest of the contenders in the MMRCA, promotion of the F 18 .

Thus, in light of your evasive answers, you may have a financial interest in the MMRCA competition.

Not that this is against forum rules, no. But I do hope moderators and readers alike would be aware of such motives and would be on the look out for persistent behaviour that abuses the BRF platform for direct or indirect commercial gain.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 01 Nov 2013 12:55

mahadevbhu wrote:Most posters post balanced opinions and over time


How are my opinions not balanced? I've never said 'SH rulez! Everyone else droolz!', I've never denied that the other planes are capable. I've merely offered the opinion that I think the SH offers the best fit for India's current needs.

Before you continue to accuse me of being 'unbalanced', perhaps you could be more specific.


mahadevbhu wrote:given multiple interactions, you realize that they are usually not having an agenda.


Everyone has an agenda.

mahadevbhu wrote:Your posts usually have a single point agenda, and are usually on the same topic : criticism of the rest of the contenders in the MMRCA, promotion of the F 18 .


A quick perusal of my posting history reveals you are wrong.

mahadevbhu wrote:Thus, in light of your evasive answers, you may have a financial interest in the MMRCA competition.


:rotfl:

I SO wish I got paid for this, but unfortunately, no I don't.

mahadevbhu wrote:But I do hope moderators and readers alike would be aware of such motives and would be on the look out for persistent behaviour that abuses the BRF platform for direct or indirect commercial gain.


I see, so when someone disagrees with you it's 'abuse of the BRF platform' :roll:

The point stands, your continued ad hominem attacks merely show that I'm being effective :)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_23694 » 01 Nov 2013 18:47

If any county really want to rule the aerospace in 2030 then just have the below two and enjoy

1. something like the X 37

2. A very detailed information on SR 72 provided in the below links
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 31.xml&p=1

http://www.aviationweek.com/Portals/awe ... gines.html

I don;t know why but i suspect that US has already something up and running

Any update on the current status of any such program in India (Scramjet and RLV ). I thought RLV-TD was supposed to fly in 2013

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 01 Nov 2013 20:52

^^ Looks very promising and revolutionary , logical successor to SR-71

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 01 Nov 2013 21:48


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_27808 » 03 Nov 2013 04:26

Interesting discussion on Iran's 'rejuvenation' of their vintage F14 apparently in-house and without any foreign assistance. I am not sure on the foreign assistance part as there is so little reliable intelligence on the goings on in Iran that one cannot say with any certainty.

http://theboresight.blogspot.com.au/200 ... mcats.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 03 Nov 2013 22:07

First pictures of Kh-32 released seen on Tu-22M3 , Range is 600-1000 km , Speed Mach 3.3-4 , Max Altitude 40 km

Kh-32

High Res Pics : http://russianplanes.net/id121764
http://russianplanes.net/id114329

Image
Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 04 Nov 2013 21:06

AW&ST Details info on US Hypersonic and LRS-B Bomber Program , also some details on China-Russian Heavy Chopper program

http://in.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416284053

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby negi » 04 Nov 2013 23:36

This thesis provides a nice insight into the Ru missile program specially the Topol M, Yars, Bulava and an alleged new ICBM Avangard.

Modernization of Russia's
Strategic Nuclear Arsenal


Looks like even Ru missile forces suffer from acute babudom but in the end they fail to come close to our babus. :)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Karan M » 05 Nov 2013 06:56

Tiwari wrote:Interesting discussion on Iran's 'rejuvenation' of their vintage F14 apparently in-house and without any foreign assistance. I am not sure on the foreign assistance part as there is so little reliable intelligence on the goings on in Iran that one cannot say with any certainty.

http://theboresight.blogspot.com.au/200 ... mcats.html


These aircraft are so old that their operation in high intensity ops is doubtful at best. That requires a ready supply of spares, a common standard for all aircraft (as versus handrepaired wonders) and also modern functional systems across the board (not limited/reliability improvements to already obsolete systems). The Iranians should have worked towards getting themselves a force of around 80 odd Flankers, that would have made a huge difference to their capability, even the older Flankers like MKKs. They could then have used those to complement the limited numbers of Tomcats and really posed a challenge. However, US sanctions on Iran are extensive, and its possible that Russia would not assist. Apparently even MiG-29 upgrades were stuck because of that. In which case, Iran should try for the J-10 from China. Depending on these old F-14s is an exercise in futility.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 05 Nov 2013 12:24

Boeing, Lockheed Martin Form New Bomber Team

Image

Corporate maneuvering may be throwing a wrinkle into plans for the next big U.S. Air Force combat aircraft program, the Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B), as Boeing and Lockheed Martin formed a powerful team to win the $100 billion-plus program. Left as a wallflower, Northrop Grumman has pointedly not confirmed its intention to compete, indicating unhappiness with the Pentagon's approach. But with most aspects of the program classified, companies are generally silent about their plans.

The LRS-B program is aimed at delivering 80-100 very stealthy long-range bombers to the Air Force, with an initial operational capability in 2024-26, and with a unit procurement cost ceiling of $550 million, not including engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) and upgrades. The Air Force was given the go-ahead for LRS-B in early 2011, with easier operational requirements than NGB, particularly related to endurance and a cost ceiling endorsed by senior Pentagon leadership.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Nov 2013 23:42

Exclusive: Skunk Works Reveals SR-71 Successor Plan

A vehicle penetrating at high altitude and Mach 6, a speed viewed by Lockheed Martin as the “sweet spot” for practical air-breathing hypersonics, is expected to survive where even stealthy, advanced subsonic or supersonic aircraft and unmanned vehicles might not. Moreover, an armed ISR platform would also have the ability to strike targets before they could hide.

Although there has been evidence to suggest that work on various classified successors to the SR-71, or some of its roles, has been attempted, none of the tantalizing signs have materialized into anything substantial. Outside of the black world, this has always been relatively easy to explain. Though few question the compelling military imperative for high speed ISR capability, the astronomical development costs have made the notion a virtual nonstarter.

But now Lockheed Martin believes it has the answer. “The Skunk Works has been working with Aerojet Rocketdyne for the past seven years to develop a method to integrate an off-the-shelf turbine with a scramjet to power the aircraft from standstill to Mach 6 plus,” says Brad Leland, portfolio manager for air-breathing hypersonic technologies. “Our approach builds on HTV-3X, but this extends a lot beyond that and addresses the one key technical issue that remained on that program: the high-speed turbine engine,” he adds, referring to the U.S. Air Force/Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) reusable hypersonic demonstrator canceled in 2008.


A very long article.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 08 Nov 2013 09:41

Selex developing the BriteCloud decoy for the Gripen-E..

Selex unveils BriteCloud decoy for Gripen

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Karan M » 08 Nov 2013 09:55

Kartik wrote:Selex developing the BriteCloud decoy for the Gripen-E..

Selex unveils BriteCloud decoy for Gripen


The same concept is on the PAK FA

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 12 Nov 2013 13:44

RAPTOR REBORN
As the US Air Force tests F-22 updates promising greater combat capabikities and improved safety for the stealthy fifth-generation fighter, its main regret is that the fleet is not larger
By: Dave Majumdar

The US Air Force and Lockheed Martin are testing a host of upgrades for the service’s F-22 Raptor fleet at Edwards AFB, California, that promise to keep the stealthy fifth-generation fighter at the top of its game into the 2030s. The upgrades not only improve the Raptor’s safety with the addition of an automatic ground collision avoidance system (auto-GCAS) but also increase its already fearsome combat capabilities by adding new weapons and electronic warfare abilities.

Though acquisition of the F-22 was terminated after only 187 production aircraft and eight test articles were built, it is imperative that the service keeps this “pathetically small” fleet as modern as possible to counter emerging threats around the globe, says the commander of the USAF’s Air Combat Command (ACC) Gen Mike Hostage.

“It will be the pre-eminent airplane in the world into the 2030s, until we come out with whatever the next platform or capability is,” says Hostage, who flew the Raptor during a period in 2012 when the jet had problems with its life support system. “We have to keep it on its path; we have a good modernisation plan.”

The USAF only has a total F-22 inventory of 186 aircraft remaining after four airframe losses. The inventory includes 123 combat-coded, 27 training, 16 test, and 20 attrition reserve Raptors. Small as the fleet is, it will be critical to the air superiority mission since the Lockheed F-35 can only handle that tasking with the backing of the F-22, Hostage says.

The latest upgrade on the Raptor modernisation path is Increment 3.2A, which is being tested at the 411th Flight Test Squadron (411th FLTS) at Edwards AFB, says Lt Col John Getgood, chief of F-22 test and weapons requirements at ACC. Operational test pilots have also started flying the new software-only upgrade at Nellis AFB, Nevada, to familiarise themselves with its capabilities.

Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 6 pilots are expected to conduct a formal operational test and evaluation of the Inc 3.2A capability in the “summer” of 2014. “Probably Christmas time of 2014 is when we expect to have the testing report complete and then make a decision on fielding and loading,” Getgood says. Fleet release of the Inc 3.2A software is scheduled for the end of 2014.

The main features added to the F-22 with Inc 3.2A are additional electronic protection measures and new combat identification techniques, but the exact nature of those capabilities is classified. “We have several of those that are going through testing – can’t give too many details on that,” Getgood says.

Another major improvement included in Inc 3.2A will enable the Raptor to fuse data coming through its receive-only Link-16 datalink with information generated by its own on-board sensors. “Currently the aircraft right now displays Link-16/ JTIDS [joint tactical information distribution system] information to the pilot, but it doesn’t use that in its overall sensor fusion solution,” Getgood says.

That means that while the Raptor will display a system track, based on data gathered by its own-ship sensors including its F-22-only intra flight datalink (IFDL), it also shows the Link-16 track information for the same given entity leading to multiple tracks for the same target of interest on the same display. “Because sensor fusion does not ‘read’ Link-16 tracks for own-ship solutions, the Raptor will display two tracks – one is own-ship derived from sensor fusion, the other is the Link-16 track – for the same given target,” Getgood says. “The pilot can declutter the scope should he chose to view only own-ship tracks to reduce pilot workload.”

The Inc 3.2A upgrade fixes that by seamlessly correlating all of the data coming in via the Link-16 with the F-22’s other sensors and datalinks. “What Increment 3.2A does is that it allows sensor fusion to bring information from those tracks into the solution – it provides just one track now with that data supply,” Getgood says. “It’s progressing very nicely and that was a major undertaking.”

Another effort that is under way is the Update 5 software modernisation, which will be fielded around October 2015. The update will add an auto-GCAS capability, initial Raytheon AIM-9X capability and an IFDL gateway.

Perhaps the most important of these additions in terms of aircraft safety is auto-GCAS. Test pilots at the 411th FLTS at Edwards AFB are testing the system and should be finished before the end of the year. “They’ve got that on the aircraft, they’re testing it. They’re about two-thirds of the way through the initial stages,” Getgood says. “They’re just testing the auto-GCAS portion, it’s not the entire Update 5.”

Auto-GCAS was originally going to be installed in the F-22 with the future Increment 3.2B upgrade package. But because a full digital terrain evelvation data (DTED) map-based solution similar to the one that will be installed in the Lockheed F-16 proved to be expensive, the USAF had to seek cheaper alternatives. Industry sources say that while a DTED-based system is technically feasible, it would take up a lot of computer memory that could be used to implement other functions that are considered to be higher priority.

The F-22 alternative proved to be a “line in the sky” system where the pilot manually selects a recovery altitude. But while the pilot has the option to select a floor altitude, as a default, the aircraft will automatically set 1,000ft (305m) above the runway as a recovery altitude and the system is automatically armed as the jet passes this height.

With the system armed, the recovery fly-up is automatic with a 150° per second roll to wings level and a 5g pull up. The jet continuously calculates a minimum altitude for a safe recovery based on those parameters and will initiate a recovery if the pilot does not respond to audio cues when he or she is within 4s of penetrating the floor altitude.

Because the auto-GCAS is such a critical safety item – the lives lost during both fatal Raptor accidents could possibly have been saved had the system been installed in those aircraft – the software will be added to every F-22 in the USAF inventory.

Because the first 34 aircraft, most of which are used for training at the 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall AFB, Florida, were built to an earlier avionics standard, those jets will receive a special version of the software. “Update 5 will come out in two flavours,” Getgood says. “They’ll cover all F-22 aircraft; in fact that one will come out first [by about five months] because the Tyndall aircraft don’t necessarily get all the capabilities because there are some hardware enablers” those aircraft lack. As such, jets at the base will receive auto-GCAS capability in the late spring or early summer of 2015.

Another modification in Update 5 is the IFDL Gateway that allows the F-22 to use to standardised message sets to transmit data to other platforms via a communications node that will translate information from the Raptor’s proprietary IFDL datalink to other formats. “It puts out message traffic information in a standard communication that can be understood by any user,” Getgood says. “You can have any kind of a gateway, any kind of a system that wants to take the software language and decode it, then they can do whatever they need to in order to incorporate those IFDL messages as they see fit.”

Update 5 also includes the initial integration of the AIM-9X high off-boresight dogfighting missile on to the F-22. Full AIM-9X integration requires a new enhanced stores management system (ESMS) to be added to the frontline Block 30 and 35 Raptors, but that hardware modification will not be available until 2018 with Inc 3.2B.

In an effort to get the missile to operational units quickly, the USAF is essentially jury-rigging the AIM-9X on to the F-22. The current aircraft stores management system will recognise the missile as an AIM-9X, but the USAF could not change the missile launch engagement zone displays on the jet given in the time available given the forthcoming ESMS installation. “A pilot can shoot that as a 9X, however, the aircraft systems, as far as the pilot vehicle interface and things like that display targeting information, will be as if it were a 9M,” Getgood says.

Pilots will have the flight envelope to launch the AIM-9X at higher angles-of-attack as well as the ability to cue the missile to its expanded field of view compared to the AIM-9M. What they will lack are the in-cockpit displays, which reflect the increased range and manoeuvrability of the new weapon. That means that operational testers will have to develop “rules of thumb” for when frontline pilots should decide to launch the missile. Getgood says that an initial capability to launch the Raytheon AIM-120D AMRAAM was incorporated earlier in Update 4 using similar methods.

Increment 3.2B, which began development on 26 June 2013, is a hardware and software upgrade that will fully incorporate the AIM-120D, AIM-9X Block I and II, further electronic protection measures, and it will add a much improved ground-radar geo-location capability to the Raptor. There will also be improvements to the F-22’s IFDL. “We’re going to look at our IFDL waveform and see if there is a better way to manage that traffic so we can basically get better bandwidth,” Getgood says.

From the pilot perspective, the full integration of the air-to-air missiles will mean that the F-22 will provide accurate representations of the weapons’ capabilities in the cockpit. Additionally, the geo-location capability is a huge advance, Getgood says. “We’re going to have a major improvement to our existing geo-location that we got in Increment 3.1,” he says, referring to an earlier upgrade that also added synthetic aperture radar mapping, electronic attack and small diameter bomb capability to the jet in 2012.

Increment 3.2B is a much more complicated upgrade than the previous efforts. The F-22 programme will have to add a new ESMS, which increases the aircraft’s ability to communicate with newer weapons. The change will provide common split-bus architecture for the Block 30 and 35 aircraft to support those increased communication requirements, Getgood says.

Inc 3.2B should be released to the operational F-22 fleet in the autumn of 2018. Getgood says it will take about two and half years to retrofit the entire Raptor fleet with the new systems. However, the first 34 aircraft built will not be brought up to the Inc 3.2B standard and will remain as Increment 2 aircraft indefinitely.

Even after the completion of Inc 3.2B, the USAF will not be able to rest on its laurels. The Raptor will have to be brought up to compliance on the latest Federal Aviation Administration and ICAO air traffic management standards by around 2020. By necessity, there will be some hardware modifications to the jet’s antennas and apertures. There is also an effort under way to alter the F-22’s underlying computer architecture to make the Raptor easier to upgrade. Getgood says the USAF is examining its options on how to execute those mandatory upgrades of the Raptor’s systems. “We don’t necessarily know the full budget impacts and things of that nature,” he says. “That’s very much in flux.”

The one unfulfilled requirement is the Raptor’s lack of a helmet mounted cueing system (HMCS). USAF requirements state that a HMCS should be available for future growth and integration into the F-22 avionics suite, Getgood says, and the service is working towards finding a solution. “Our previous efforts with the JHMCS [joint helmet-mounted cueing system] solution experienced integration challenges,” Getgood says. “But just as in other weapons systems we continue to work with our System Program Office, constantly weighing possible capabilities against budget and requirements in an effort to achieve an optimum solution.”

But even without a HMCS, the Raptor will remain the USAF’s best air superiority machine. “The F-22 is the most amazing airplane I’ve ever flown in 37 years,” Hostage says. “God, I wish we had 750 of them.”

Singha
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 12 Nov 2013 13:54

raptor definitely has the smoothest silkiest form n fit of the whole bunch. looks next-gen from the nose to tail with no compromises like round exhaust. quite an achievement for an a/c that IOCed in mid 90s.


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