International Aerospace Discussion

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brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Dec 2017 18:35

Lisa wrote:^ I have gone through the said report and cannot find a reference to $200 million. Pillip can you help me?

https://www.parliament.uk/business/comm ... hed-17-19/


There may have been some reports out there that simply took the GBP 9.1 Billion and divided it by 48 to get to a 200 Million GBP number but that is looking at the whole program including the initial nearly 2 Billion investment to become the highest level partner on the program (with an extremely favorable industrial arrangement for UK defense industry), procurement of aircraft, spend on supporting the said aircraft till 2020, and supporting operations in the US while also funding upgrades to take the jet to block 4 standard.

One can google up all sorts of reports including ones that constantly run away with 50 year cost estimates that have wild swings because of the nature of the assumptions involved and they almost always never focus on what the 50 year cost to buy and sustain a fleet of 2500 fighter aircraft should be in the first place. Of course certain type of media will run away with it as this allows them to label programs and systems and pursue their agendas. In the end it always helps to actually go to the source (which you did) and see what, in this case, the MOD has allocated to the program and how that is split up in terms the various spending categories.
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Lisa » 23 Dec 2017 19:01

Exactly my point. There is no mention of the $200 million figure being quoted.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Dec 2017 20:03

Singha wrote:thats a very unique & strange way of TDing a fighter!


They aren't TD'ing a fighter since the program was not supposed to end up with a fighter at the other end. This was a program to support their S&T and R&D base in anticipation of a decision to go ahead and pursue a fighter which was not expected till later this decade at the earliest. They choose to pursue certain capabilities that would be required to be de-risked along the way obviously factoring in their overall investment. Waiting for a full commitment from the government toward a new aircraft program would have created a large gap and would not have allowed them to meet their S&T goals. Plenty of similar advanced prototyping efforts have been done by others in the past using X-plane demonstrators to develop a better understanding or capabilities in certain identified areas that had potential future applications. In fact, the USAF's AFRL and DARPA are doing one right now to support the 6th generation fighter effort.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Zynda » 23 Dec 2017 20:05

X-posting...

First SSJ100 with composite winglets (Sukhoi refers to them as Sabrelets!). Apparently will result in an increase of 3% fuel burn along with improved high & hot take-off & landing performance.

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 24 Dec 2017 12:21

F-35 Gets Bad Report Card from UK Legislators
After a short inquiry into the UK’s acquisition of Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters, a watchdog body of the British Parliament has issued a detailed and critical report. The House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) said it was disappointed by the responses it obtained in written and oral testimony from Lockheed Martin and UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials. The HCDC report was published just days before the 14th F-35B for the UK was delivered to MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, where the first operational British squadron is working up.

The HCDC’s inquiry was prompted by serious program failings and cost escalations that were alleged by The Times daily national newspaper last July. The newspaper repeated the F-35 shortcomings that have been reported in public U.S. documents such as Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports. But it also quoted British defense sources, some anonymously, on UK-specific issues, notably an alleged failure to provide adequate and secure communications from the F-35 to its host British QEII-class aircraft carriers, and to the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Royal Air Force’s front-line fighter aircraft.

The HCDC said that overall, its concerns “were not alleviated” by Lockheed Martin and the MoD. The committee said that “the MoD’s failure to provide adequate cost estimates for its procurement of the F-35…is wholly unsatisfactory.” It said that “the broadband capacity on the QEII carriers will need to be beyond the reported limit of 8 megabits, and, in all likelihood, in excess of the 32 megabits currently available on the USS America, if the potential benefits of the F-35 to the UK’s future carrier strike capabilities are to be realized.” It recommended that the MoD ensure that an airborne gateway translation node is funded, so that the F-35 can pass information from its secure but discrete Multifunctional Advanced DataLink (MADL) to the Typhoons, and to the carriers.

However, the committee’s report did concede that “the assurances about the rigorous level of cyber-testing of the F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) software are welcome, as is the assurance that the UK will have complete and unfettered use of the software for the sovereign operation of our F-35 fleet.” But, it added, “we ask for greater clarity from Lockheed Martin on the level of protection in place for the technical data gathered by ALIS in relation to the UK’s F-35 fleet, including whether this data falls within the U.S. Government’s 'unlimited rights license'."

The UK will receive another three F-35Bs at Beaufort next year, and one more—its 18th in total—in early 2019. Some of these jets will fly to the UK next summer so that No. 617 Squadron can begin flying trials on the QEII in the third quarter, and achieve initial operating capability (IOC) in the land-based role by December 2018. The IOC for carrier-based operations is due by December 2020. The UK keeps three test and evaluation F-35Bs at Edwards AFB, where they will remain.

To date, the UK has bought only 18 F-35Bs. However, in January 2017 the MoD made budgetary provision for another 30 jets for delivery from 2020 to 2025. The provision was for £3 billion including initial support, which works out at nearly $134 million per aircraft at today’s exchange rate. The first 18 aircraft for the UK appear to have cost more than £150 million ($200 million) each. In its testimony to the HCDC, the MoD maintained its assertion that the UK will eventually buy 138 F-35s. Most independent observers regard this as highly unlikely. Next month, the MoD is due to reveal another round of personnel and equipment cuts, just 26 months after a Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) set a budget that was supposed to last five years.

Beyond 2025, the UK could save on both acquisition and operating costs by buying conventional takeoff-and-landing (CTOL) F-35A versions instead. This has long been the desire of the Royal Air Force, because of the greater range and weapons load of the F-35A compared with the F-35B. Lockheed Martin has promised to reduce the unit recurring flyaway cost (URFC) of the F-35A to about $80 million in current dollars.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 25 Dec 2017 10:54

Elon Musk tweets photos of SpaceX's gargantuan new rocket

SpaceX's monstrous new rocket has officially arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of its debut test launch.

............................................................

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 25 Dec 2017 19:11

Lisa, the fig/ report was from a UK national daily, I think the Independent a few days ago.I did not save the report.
An earlier "Times" report, quoted by the Telegraph dated 17/7/2017 , said that its investigation found hundreds of millions in " hidden costs" required to rectify defects which would make each JSF cost "150M GBP".That is the equiv. of approx. $ 200M.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 25 Dec 2017 20:18

Did you bother to read the official UK MOD submission or just went by what was written up by the news media?

" hidden costs" required to rectify defects which would make each JSF cost "150M GBP"


Do you happen to know how many F-35Bs the UK currently operates, and how many of the 48 it is buying in the first phase of its acquisition are post LRIP-10 lots??

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 26 Dec 2017 11:37

Wait for it! Boeing's new "Batmobile"? Changing the future of air power is what Boeeing is saying.Can't wait for the unveiling.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/ ... -aircraft/
Boeing to unveil mystery plane that will 'change the future of air power'
The mystery plane is designed by Phantom Works, Boeing’s advanced design division, according a post on Twitter CREDIT: BOEING DEFENSE/TWITTER
Soo Kim, travel writer

19 DECEMBER 2017 • 12:52PM

Boeing, one of the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturers, is poised to unveil a “robust” new plane that will be “changing the future of air power”, the company claims.

The secret aircraft has a ‘Batmobile’ style, according to a teaser video posted on Twitter of the plane by Phantom Works, Boeing’s advanced design division, which has focussed on several highly classified projects.!

See the reveal 12/19! #PhantomWorks

9:30 PM - Dec 14, 2017

Boeing remains tight-lipped about exactly when and where the plane will be unveiled on Tuesday, claiming “everything will be revealed later” when

But the mystery aircraft is suspected to be a new space plane, following in the footsteps of Boeing’s X-37B plane, first built for the Pentagon (the US Department of Defense) primarily for classified missions for the testing of various aviation technologies including "avionics, flight systems, guidance and navigation, thermal protection, insulation, propulsion, and re-entry systems", according to the US Air Force.

Earlier this year, Boeing was also selected by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the XS-1 space plane that would be “the first of an entirely new class of hypersonic aircraft” that would provide “short-notice, low-cost access to space”, DARPA stated.

Others believe the secret plane could be a new electric aircraft with a hairdryer-type engine allowing it to take-off and land vertically.

A rendering of the XS-1 space plane CREDIT: DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY (DARPA)
The speculation follows Boeing’s recent acquisition of the Aurora Flight Sciences, which last year won a contract to build the XV-24A LightningStrike VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) plane for the DARPA design competition. Aurora has reportedly been developing electric-powered aircraft for long-haul flights for both commerical and military purposes.

A rendering of the XV-24A LightningStrike VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) plane
Some say Boeing's secret aircraft could be a version of the XV-24A LightningStrike VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) plane CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
The XV-24A aircraft will be the first in history to demonstrate a series of unique features including the distribution of "hybrid-electric propulsion ducted fans" and an “innovative synchronous electric-drive system”. This new VTOL plane would reportedly increase the aircraft’s hover efficiency to 70 per cent, from 60 per cent and allow it to carry a load of at least 40 per cent of its projected gross weight of 10,000-12,000 pounds.

But the structure of this ducted fan technology doesn’t match the silhouette of the mystery aircraft revealed by Boeing, as noted by The Drive.

A rendering of Boeing’s Phantom Swift

The new plane could also be a version of the Phantom Swift, Boeing’s own VTOL aircraft which was originally submitted as a proposal for the competition that Aurora won.

It has been a big week for Boeing, with the last ever 747 to fly on an American airline touching down in Detroit tomorrow morning, marking the end of an era for an aircraft that brought air travel to the masses.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 26 Dec 2017 11:42

Brar,I remember accurately what the article/report said.It was almost as exact as the 7/'17 report I mentioned,easy to ck.It said that in the light of the extra costs perhaps less than the 140 or so aircraft ordered may eventually arrive.

Below is one report.Official UK govt. report published on 12.12/2017.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/comm ... hed-17-19/
Report publication: Unclear for take-off? F-35 Procurement

19 December 2017
The procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is designed and built by a consortium led by Lockheed Martin, is the most expensive international defence procurement programme in history.

Read the report conclusions and recommendations
Read the full report: Unclear for take-off? F-35 Procurement
Lack of transparency risks undermining public confidence in F-35 programme
An unacceptable lack of transparency regarding costs, and a poor initial response from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Lockheed Martin to reports in The Times, risk undermining public confidence in the F-35 programme, according to the Defence Committee in its report 'Unclear for take-off? F-35 Procurement'.

F-35 project must be subjected to the closest possible scrutiny
Chairman of the Defence Committee, Dr Julian Lewis MP, says


There has been an unacceptable lack of transparency from the MoD and Lockheed Martin which risks undermining public confidence in the programme.
F-35 is a major investment for the UK and we want it to succeed for the good of this country’s security. However, it is precisely because this project is so important that it must be subjected to the closest possible scrutiny.

Failure to provide adequate cost estimates is wholly unsatisfactory
Despite repeated requests, the MoD failed to provide the Committee with the full cost of each aircraft, once spares, upgrades and retrofits are included, or its estimates of the total cost of the programme beyond 2026/7. The Committee’s report views this failure to provide adequate cost estimates, either on a per aircraft or programme-wide basis, as wholly unsatisfactory. The Committee warns that this risks undermining public confidence in the programme and calls on the MoD to publish the “rough orders of magnitude” it claims to possess for the total costs of the F-35 programme beyond 2026/7.

The report has also highlighted that the broadband capacity on the Queen Elizabeth carriers will need to be beyond the reported limit of 8 megabits, and, in all likelihood, in excess of the 32 megabits currently available even on the USS America, if the potential benefits of the F-35 to the UK’s future carrier strike capabilities are to be realised. :idea:

The MoD’s acknowledgement of the potential value of using the Multifunctional Advanced Data Link (MADL) for secure communications between the F-35 and the UK’s existing aircraft is welcome. Without such a link and translation node, the UK will be underusing one of the key capabilities of the F-35. The Committee recommends that the MoD make provision for the procurement of a gateway translation node for MADL-based F-35 to Typhoon communication in the next Equipment Plan.

Committee will continue paying close attention to F-35 programme
The Committee’s report acknowledges the assurances that it has received from Lockheed Martin and the MoD that the issues identified in The Times’s investigation and the reports of the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) have been, or are in the process of being, rectified. However, the Committee will continue to pay close attention to this programme to ensure that the promises made by Lockheed Martin and the MoD are delivered.

Updates on programme needed
As such, the Committee’s report recommends that the MoD provide them with six-monthly updates on the programme, detailing the progress made in addressing the issues they raise in this report. These updates should also include details on the ongoing cost of the programme, including on sustainment, spares and logistics, software upgrades and the ‘flyaway’ (airframe) costs.

The Committee’s inquiry was launched following a series of articles published in the Times in July 2017 on the F-35 programme. These reported a number of serious allegations, including claims that the F-35 "is way over budget, unreliable, full of software glitches and potentially unsafe".


From the actual report,costs XCopt:
4 Hidden costs?
73. The Times also claimed that the F-35 would entail “substantial” hidden costs to the
taxpayer, “spares, software upgrades and retrofits are understood not have been covered
in sums quoted by the US government and Lockheed Martin, the primary contractor”.

74. For example, while Lockheed Martin recently said that the price of the plane had
fallen below £77 million per unit, The Times claimed that “the real price [including the
upgrades and retrofits mentioned above] of an “average” F-35 delivered this year is going
to be much higher—between £130 million and £155 million each”.68 According to The
Times, these figures have been “buried in US defense contracts and have not been included
in the published figures”.69

75. In its briefing, the MoD rejected the claim that there were hidden costs in the
programme, said that they did not “recognise” the figures provided in the article and
argued that the programme “remains within its cost approval” as detailed within the 2016
Equipment Plan.
76. When asked how The Times had arrived at their figure of around £130–155 million
per F-35B fighter produced this year, once modifications and retrofits have been taken into
account, Alexi Mostrous explained their methodology:
We analysed lot 9—the aircraft delivered this year—because we could not
compare the lot 10 contracts, which had not been released yet.
We started off by looking at the fly-away costs, which are public, but the
US Government also releases a whole series of details about the individual
contracts given to companies like Lockheed to build the particular planes.
These contracts will often specify that they are for lot 9 aircraft: “£140
million in March 2014, granted to Lockheed to provide long-term parts for
lot 9 aircraft.” Given that we also know how many and which variants of
aircraft are being built in lot 9, you can make a broad estimate of the total
cost by adding up all the contracts—the retrofits, the helmets, the spares,
everything that has lot 9 within the description—and dividing by the total
number of aircraft. That gives an average F-35 aircraft cost. Given that we
also know that the F-35B and F-35C command a roughly 30% premium on
the F-35A, we can then factor that in to determine the average cost of a B
variant.70
77. Mr Mostrous stressed that this was, by its very nature, an estimate. It was an attempt
to say “we already know that the fly-away costs do not represent the full costs of the aircraft,
because Lockheed Martin and the US Government accept that they do not include retrofit
costs”, and therefore to “determine the rough overall cost” of those extras.71
68 Alexi Mostrous (17 July 2017), Upgrades and extras push up flyaway costs, The Times, https://www.thetimes.
co.uk/article/upgrades-and-extras-push-up-flyaway-costs-t2jhslw6d
69 Alexi Mostrous and Deborah Haynes (17 July 2017), Britain spends billions on flawed F-35s, The Times, https://
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/brita ... -qrtj95kvh
70 Q16
71 Q16
Unclear for take-off? F-35 Procurement 21
78. Asked about the MoD’s claim that the project remained on budget, he replied that
it was, and “has always been”, very unclear what the MoD actually means by “on budget
[ … ] at no point have they said, “we are spending x on this aircraft and y on retrofitting
it.”72 At the heart of this question of costs is a fundamental problem, according to Alexi
Mostrous–that of transparency: “we just don’t know [about the costs and the potential
overrun]”.73
79. When he was asked about The Times’s estimates of the cost of an average F-35
produced this year, once retrofits and upgrades are included, Mr Bronk said £130–155
million was “probably a fair figure in terms of what you would end up parting with, to get
a representative squadron, per aircraft of F-35s produced this year,

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 26 Dec 2017 20:50

Philip wrote:Brar,I remember accurately what the article/report said.It was almost as exact as the 7/'17 report I mentioned,easy to ck.It said that in the light of the extra costs perhaps less than the 140 or so aircraft ordered may eventually arrive.



The committee looked at three aspects of the "Cost". One was procurement of the aircraft i.e. URF. The second was the cost of retrofits and modifications (not all retrofits are mods..some are upgrades as the UK aircraft transition from blk. 3F to blk. 4.1-4.4 under the constant-modernization effort) and the final element was Sustainment of the fleet. Much of what you have in BOLD comes from news outlets, and non program officials and the MOD and OEM have rebutted much of that. To that end, evidence submitted by the MOD and the OEM provides a firm URF number on the aircraft procured till date. They do not go into URF for future aircraft since those are either being negotiated (so no way to tell what the negotiated price will be) or will be negotiated in the future. Below is a graphic with the URF of the aircraft so far procured by the UK (posted on the previous page).

Only 14 of the 48 aircraft that the UK will buy in this phase were procured in the pre Lot-10 phase of production. When you go into LRIP-11 and LRIP-12 you are basicaly looking at post SDD phase completion so you won't have to wait for aircraft to be delivered before making mods...those changes will be handled during production itself as the OEMs are incentivized to do this since they have to carry 50% of the cost.

Image

Even if you add a 10% margin for ECOs to LRIP-10 UK F-35B URF, you get $135 Million. This is in Low-Rate production, and the bulk of the UK fleet will be procured in Full-Rate production when the URF target is $105 Million with $0 anticipated for ECOs.

On the second part, i.e. modifications since the committee summoned Lockheed (and not other OEMs), Lockheed was able to provide data on retrofit estimates as they relate to their contract (everything except the engine). Discounting any engine mods, the lockheed estimate was 3% of URF as an average of the aircraft procured till date (this would be on a curve with earlier aircraft costing more and later lots costing less). This was the reason I had asked, whether you knew how many F-35Bs the UK had procured pre LOT-10 and how many in this phase (48 aircraft). Post Lot-10 aircraft won't require much if any modifications.

The third element was sustainement and here the numbers get tricky because long term (from purchase to EOL) O&S cost depends upon so many factors that estimating a 4-5 decade cost this far into an acquisition program (with less than 12 out of 100+ aircraft delivered) will come with such a wide margin of error that it is practically useless. The US itself has seen huge double digit swings from year to year on its estimates and this with a fleet that is in the triple digits already.

Quoting directly from the report on sustainement and other costs :

With regard to sustainment, Lockheed Martin told the Committee that these break down into three categories:

i)“Infrastructure such as logistics facilities, training environments, and maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities”. Lockheed Martin is contracted with the MoD to supply a package of facilities at RAF Marham, “including the construction and fit out of a logistics operations centre, integrated training centre and maintenance and final finishes building”. According to Lockheed Martin, the value of these contracts with the MoD totals £142 million;

ii)“A global pool of spare parts that are unique to F-35, support equipment to operate the aircraft, equipment to train pilots and maintainers, and Information Technology systems that enable aircraft operation and sustainment.” Customers deal directly with the JPO for these items, the cost of which is based on a cost-sharing formula that pools resources at the JPO level and then a negotiation between the JPO and Lockheed Martin and other providers, e.g. Pratt and Whitney for the propulsion system; and

iii)“Other generic costs outside the scope of the Programme, such as personnel and fuel costs”.

Lockheed Martin also informed the Committee that following the completion of the SDD phase, the partner nations in the programme “are committed to developing enhancements to in-service aircraft through ‘Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2/D2)”. According to Lockheed Martin, they expect the UK to “pay approximately 4.5% of the total cost to develop and integrate new capabilities into the F-35”.86


No one has a magic wand that they can wave and produce an O&S estimate for a fleet of 100+ aircraft, with no firm long term investment having been committed to in order to develop a baseline capability to sustain that. You can do it for the first phase and the UKMOD has done till 2026 iirc but you really need to work out the other elements i.e. buy more aircraft, outline an acquisition strategy for the remaining 90 aircraft, decide what configuration they would be and sign a long term agreement with industry that will help you sustain them over their life-cycle. Sitting on an order of 12-14 aircraft and asking for cost projections for a fleet of 138 when those plans aren't firm is rather absurd from UK politicians. A fleet of 48 aircraft will be sustained in a very different manner than a fleet of 138. Same applies to how they mix with USMC and leverage each other's resources.

A lot of the upfront costs that made you become a Level-1 partner on the program (with some very lucrative industrial and economic benefits), and the cost to modify the first few aircraft won't be repeated in subsequent purchases. Similarly, in the C2D2 phase they will be buying continuous upgrades to hardware and software for existing 3F aircraft but won't be buying for future aircraft that come with block-4 at baseline. They have to determine if they will participate in a potential block-5 and for this they need to know what that potential block-5 will look like. All those things are far out into the future and have not been firmed up so it is not going to be possible to deliver concrete evidence based cost estimates. Block-4 itself will be presented to the US DOD authorities early next year and only once the plan is approved will they begin working on it.

Image

^ Do note that as a consequence of that $2 Billion in investment for the R&D phase of the JSF, the UK industry gets roughly 15% by value of every JSF produced.

“The amount of revenue the U.K. will generate from the program in its totality will create multiples of return on that [initial $2 billion] investment,” says Declan Holland, commercial director of BAE Systems’ British F-35 business. “Ultimately, the U.K. will take in about £1 billion [$1.3 billion] of business each year on this program.”

The U.K. government and various industrial partners often say “more than 100” British companies are delivering components onto the jet, with “more than 500” companies involved in the wider U.K. supply chain. Sensitivities around sourcing specialty elements, and the nested contractual relationships between supply tiers, mean no company—not even prime contractor Lockheed Martin—holds a complete list of every business involved.

The U.K. as a whole may produce 15% of every JSF, but 10% is made by just one company. BAE Systems is the sole source for the aft fuselage and vertical and horizontal tails, manufactured at its plant in Samlesbury, England.

“The program has enabled us to invest heavily in manufacturing capability,” says Holland. “What we have on site is custom-built and leading-edge.”

In an atrium overlooking the Samlesbury shop floor, operations manager Jim Fazackerley contemplates a chart showing the looming rate ramp-up. It looks like a profile of a Tour de France mountain stage, with the red dot marking today’s date at the bottom of the steepest incline. The last time Samlesbury saw comparable military aircraft production rates was during World War II.



LINK
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 26 Dec 2017 21:37

South Korea Studies 20 More F-35As, 6 F-35Bs
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Dec 26, 2017
Bradley Perrett


SYDNEY, SEOUL—The South Korean defense ministry is looking at ordering 20 more Lockheed MartinF-35A Lightning aircraft and six units of the F-35B vertical-landing version for operation at sea, national news agency Yonhap reports.
The possible acquisition is under consideration and requires more research, Yonhap says, citing anonymous military sources.

The additional F-35A order has long been required by the Republic of Korea Air Force, but buying F-35Bs seems never to have gone as far as ministerial assessment. It has been revealed just a day after a similar idea appeared in Japanese media.

South Korea is committed to acquiring 40 F-35As under a program called F-X Phase 3 that originally was supposed to cover 60 aircraft. The air force has never given up its ambition for acquiring the extra 20.

The navy has long wanted aircraft that can land vertically and take off at short distances. Such an aircraft could conceivably operate from its first assault ship, Dokdo, or a near sister that is under construction. Six F-35Bs would probably be intended for only that second ship, which could be modified to accept them.

It is difficult to see how shipborne fighters would be a cost-effective way of facing South Korea’s biggest threat, North Korea. But programs that add to national prestige relative to Japan are common in South Korea. A day before Yonhap’s report, Japanese media said Tokyo might equip its helicopter carriers with F-35Bs to help protect southwestern islands, some of which are claimed by China.

South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo is a former chief of the navy. He may favor its more ambitious equipment proposals—especially if Japan is buying something similar.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2017 01:59


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 27 Dec 2017 03:08

The Jet Engine with a Digital Twin

Jet engines are some of the most complex technologies on the planet. They’re so difficult to make, in fact, the companies that build aircraft don’t make their own engines.

They outsource the job to just a few businesses worldwide — mostly US-based General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, and UK-based Rolls-Royce Holdings. Inside their R&D labs, jet engine engineers are working to take the age-old science that makes a jet engine work and build designs that are more lightweight, more fuel efficient, and longer lasting.

Anthony Dean, head of combustion systems General Electric’s Global Research Center, in Niskayuna, New York, gave us a rundown of how the company is re-imagining a technology that hasn’t had an upgrade in the basic science it’s based on for the last 50 years. And that includes keeping records of a "digital twin" of each jet engine GE makes, so that they can keep tabs on its performance on the ground — while it's in the air.

How a jet engine works

Jet engines — the oblong objects that hang off of a plane’s wing and provide it with power and propulsion — only need three basic elements to work: air, fuel, and a spark. Of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Especially when modern developments (like environmental regulations and sound ordinances) require each engine to be as small as possible, as quiet as possible, and as fuel efficient as possible.

It’s easy to build a huge loud engine. But building it to the specifics of modern requirements is where the challenge comes in.

The basic design for every jet engine goes like this: There are four modules in a row. In the first module a fan generates a stream of air, which is split in two. One stream moves into a second module. A second stream bypasses the interior of the engine and shoots out the back where it helps push the engine forward.

In the second module an air compressor takes air in and puts it under high pressure, which shrinks the volume of the air and allows the engine to be smaller (because compressed air takes up less space). The third module is where combustion takes place. A jet of fuel combines with compressed air and ignites with a spark to create heat (essentially lighting a match in a tornado), which greatly expands the compressed air.

The heated air, which has now expanded by a factor of 3, is then forced out into the fourth module, which contains a turbine. The fast moving air spins the turbine, which is connected by a shaft to the fan in the first module, thus completing a circuit that makes the engine power itself. The fast moving, expanded air that has spun the turbine shoots out of the back of the engine also helping to propel it forward.

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Preserving parts at 3,000 degrees F

One of the most difficult pieces of jet engine design is figuring out how to keep all the parts functioning, despite the fact that they’re being exposed to extreme high temperatures.

Many of the rotating blades throughout the engine, for example, that spin to keep the air moving, can be exposed to burning gas at temperatures as high as 3,000 degrees F. It’s especially challenging because most metals melt at around 2,000 to 2,500 degrees.

“I have a gas stream that’s something like 500 degrees hotter than the melting point of the metal,” says Dean. That’s like trying to keep ice frozen in 500 degree temperatures, he says.

One solution that his team employs is to coat each of the parts with a specially-designed ceramic that can withstand much higher temperatures than metal. But, says Dean, ceramics are brittle. So if you have a coffee cup that can withstand high temperatures, “The coffee cup won’t melt but if I drop it, it breaks,” he says. And the parts inside a jet engine aren’t just exposed to high temperatures — they’re also under extreme strain and stress as they move at high speeds. So GE materials scientists developed Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC), with a structure similar to fibreglass, that are just as strong as metal but lighter and better able to stand up to high temperatures.

To give the turbine blades even more ability to withstand high temperatures and last as long as possible, the engineers also re-imagined their design. They’re not simply flat, smooth blades. Instead, they are covered in a series of tiny holes. When the engine starts up, air is forced through each of the holes and creates a blanket that covers blade. The air pocket around the turbine blades is cooler than the air inside the engine, which protects them from extreme hot temperatures and gives them a much longer lifespan.

“It’s something that everybody in the business does now,” Dean says. “That’s one of the things that makes each company different in terms of their secret sauce. How do you get a good engine? You do a good job on the cooling and materials.”

Sensors, sensors, and more sensors. <<<<<<<<<<<<

But even though each of these moving parts is carefully protected from the heat and motion they must endure, that doesn’t mean they will last forever.

So GE recently introduced a new method to monitor their engines once they are in use and attempt to predict how and when they will need repair. The first part of the new system is to create what they call a “digital twin” of every engine they build. During the design and manufacturing phase of the engine, engineers compile thousands of data points specific to each engine, which they use to build a digital model. This allows them to know exactly how hot that engine should be in each of its modules, what the pressure should be, and how fast the airflow should be moving.

In other words, each of the company's jet engines has a digital twin that lets the team back at the research center monitor its condition over time.

As the engine is built, it is equipped with about 100 sensors that measure its essential parts. For example, “The pressure and temperature at the exit of the compressor is a key indicator of the health of the compressor,” says Dean. They also keep an eye on the exhaust temperature, the speed at which the turbines are spinning, and how far the fuel valve opens.

Because his team also acts at the mechanics for each of the engines they build, they can then compare the data gathered by the sensors to the engine’s digital twin (which can be put through the same paces that the engine experiences as it takes off, flies through different types of weather, and undergoes regular wear and tear). If the two data sets don’t match up, then the engine needs servicing because something undesirable is going on.

That overall understanding of how each different engine lives out its life helps them tweak and change future engine designs.

One of the most useful parts of the digital twin is that it measures a huge number of factors that the engine faces throughout its lifetime -- some flights have more people on them then others (that will put more strain on the engine), some cities (like Abu Dhabi) have a lot of sand in their air, and some pilots push their engines harder than others. “With the twin...I can learn that the pilot is a cowboy and pushes the engine. The fuel burn we see will be different with different pilot. The digital twin remembers every one of those events. You can start to separate the fleet. Each engine has a different life experience,” he says. And that overall understanding of how each different engine lives out its life helps them tweak and change future engine designs. “It’s like personalized medicine. You can start to classify and see what works best for an engine that has a similar life. We’re beginning to use this to inform how we build new engines.”

Looking to the future

Jet engine design will face changes in the future. Right now, the company is beginning to 3D print some of the parts that go into its engine (they’ve recently acquired two 3D printing companies to assist with this). They’re also moving into research and development of hybrid electric engines, which will make jet engines smaller and more efficient. But there’s a limit to how efficient an engine can get when its basic design remains unchanged. So one way that the company is looking at improving the engine is by investing in research that completely rethinks how a jet engine works.

One new potential science, which several companies and research institutions are currently studying, is called the Rotating Detonation Engine. Essentially, this works by creating a series of small detonations and using the supersonic wave that a detonation generates to keep combustion going continuously. Theoretically, if the system works, it would require significantly less fuel to get the engine moving and keep it moving. And even with less fuel the engine would also theoretically produce significantly more energy. “The trick of the engine is containing [the detonation], making it stable, and having it operate at conditions you want,” says Dean. “Will it operate well, will it be durable, can it have low emissions, and what fuel can I burn with such an engine? We’re in the middle of the science phase.”

According to Dean it will be another two to three years before they can answer all of those questions and decide if this complete re-imagining of engine design can become an actual, working product. Until then, jet engine engineers will continue pushing their designs to be more and more efficient. “People talk about rocket science and how hard rockets are,” he says. “We’re running at similar conditions in temperature and pressure that the first Saturn V rocket burned for 3 minutes. We now have to have engines that [do that] for thousands of hours. We have to do rocket science plus.”

In other words, it’s not as hard as rocket science. He says it’s “as hard as jet engine design.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 27 Dec 2017 13:49

Brar,one appreciates the huge data you've given supporting a lower cost estimate,but the UK Parliamentrary committee on Defence isn't satisfied with Lockheed's "cloudy" costs and silence on many Qs. They've also done their homework and arrived at their conclusions, It's their report not mine.Lockheed ,if it is certain about its cost/unit,should give a guaranteed "package" price,including whatever support the RN has specified, for every aircraft that the RN buys. It can't be like the Mad Mag. spoof on car sales,the price tag fixed to the rear view mirror is just that,the rest of the far costs extra!

SoKo and Japan have to acquire JSFs (whatever the cost) to truly leverage their clumsily disguised STOVL light carriers masquerading as amphibs! It was clear from the beginning that these vessels would one day operate STOVL aircraft,with the JSF the most likely.It is a decision that should have come much earlier (perhaps waiting for the F-35B to evolve) as the fleets of both SoKo and Japan,though quite healthy and balanced overall,are simply dwarfed in the CV stakes by China's two,plus at least two more,65K t behemoths,which would carry naval Flankers and in the future,China's stealth birds too. It is on the cards with China's massive mil. buildup that one day both SoKo and Japan will build their own true blue carriers.China can howl and scream about WW2,etc,but no one would bother. It's huge sub fleet is the greater worry.

Looking at the RN's 2 QE CVs,quite impressive,perhaps if the Japanese and Koreans come aboard,a basic std. 65K t CV design that could draw upon the QE experience/concept,for India as well could dramatically bring down costs. Each could decide whether they wanted only STOVL aircraft ,like the RN, or cat-launched ones too,as the design is flexible.Japan would certainly want a naval variant of its new stealth bird.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2017 15:53

Philip wrote:Brar,one appreciates the huge data you've given supporting a lower cost estimate,but the UK Parliamentrary committee on Defence isn't satisfied with Lockheed's "cloudy" costs and silence on many Qs


Actually, the stuff you have highlighted came from outside folks and a news report. Meanwhile, the UK committee wants better long term cost estimating on the program which, as I have explained, will be challenging to do because the UK has not fully firmed up the quantity, the lots they will be buying their aircraft, the sustainment strategy etc. Lockheed was only asked to supply modification estimate, which they did as roughly 3% per aircraft (3% of URF) not including any minor engine modifications that may have to occur on the first few aircraft. The rest of the data comes from the UK MOD which actually paid for the aircraft it bought. This is vetted/audited data which the Parliament has accepted.

Look, neither Lockheed, nor the US or UK governments will be able to provide the UK Parliament with a firm long term estimate when things such as the ones listed below are not clearly defined -

- How many total aircraft will be procured?
- How many aircraft will be procured per lot?
- How many aircraft will be procured in block 4, vs block 3F, and how many aircraft will be procured in block 5 and/or beyond?
- What does block 5 look like? Will it have UK specific changes like block 4 does (Meteor, SPEAR III etc)?
- Will the UK participate in the partner spares pool, or will it develop an independent sustainment strategy for its 138 aircraft?

The program is in Low-Rate-Production, and the Multi-Year Buy is currently being negotiated. The program at the moment, negotiates each and every batch that it procures. Hence the UK Parliament cannot be given firm data on even the procurement cost of the aircraft currently in negotiations or the 30 odd aircraft that are part of future lots. What they have been given is a target for Lot-14 price which is roughly $105 Million URF. Until they enter the MYP phase which should happen in the next year or two, this is the way each and every nation is going to be buying aircraft i.e. on a lot by lot basis based on a price negotiated by the JPO on behalf of each and every partner nation and FMS customer.

Lockheed ,if it is certain about its cost/unit,should give a guaranteed "package" price,including whatever support the RN has specified, for every aircraft that the RN buys.


Each and every aircraft that has been sold via the JPO since LRIP-5 (Lot-5) has been purchased by the JPO under a Fixed Price Contract i.e. Lockheed has to guarantee delivery at the contract that has been negotiated by it and the JPO for that lot. There have been times when the JPO has unilaterally imposed a cost on Lockheed using contracting technicalities but Lockheed has had to accept that and move on. There is a "Guarantee" that comes with this i.e. Lockheed and Pratt and Whitney have to deliver the aircraft at the negotiated price or eat into any overruns that may occur.

Lockheed absolutely does also provide any support or spares the UK MOD asks for as per the contracts they have signed with them, just like any other customer. This is not the problem here (if you read the report). The problem comes from the difficulty in estimating the cost of future purchases and sustainment needs not the current ones. The UK MOD has provided all the cost data the Parliamentary committee needs up to 2026 but the committee wants for out years and overall purchase of 138. Lockheed cannot do anything here and honestly, neither can the UK MOD since their acquisition or sustainment strategy for the remaining 90 aircraft is still not decided.

If the UK were to go to Lockheed (directly or via the JPO) and asks to procure 90 aircraft, all of them in Block -4 with UK specific changes, provides the JPO a schedule of when it wants delivery and then lays out the exact sustainment strategy it wants to follow then they will be given a far more accurate estimate knowing that there may still be some variability because the cost to produce the F-35B is on a curve and is constantly coming down as can be seen on what the UK had to spend on each aircraft it has purchased till date. This will continue till Lot-14 when the production peaks.

Nations that have asked for this and supplied details on acquisition and sustainment strategy have been given this information by the JPO via the US Government. Recently, Denmark's MOD has come up with a pretty solid estimate for its potential purchase (linked below).

The Danish defense ministry has begun the process of purchasing its F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Government publications published on Nov. 16 reveal the defense ministry has requested 16.374 billion Danish Krones ($2.62 billion) to buy the 27 F-35As, engines, four simulators and a pool purchase of spares, support equipment, modification work and upgrades up to 2026. The Danish purchase will take place in phases, with a contract and order for 10 aircraft expected to be signed in 2018 LINK


^ As you can see, firm plans lead to firm estimates. In the case of the UK, they have similar estimates for their first 48 aircraft since they have a defined schedule, performance (how many come with block 3F and are upgraded to block 4 and how many come as block 4 at baseline) and sustainment needs. On the flip side when they buy additional 90 aircraft, not only will there be great variability in terms of when they want these aircraft (which block?) but also what impact will the new sustainment strategy to support 138 aircraft have on the overall Life Cycle Cost.

But rolling up the cost of the UK's aircraft, it's modifications, its upgrades, its sustainment and even its program partnership costs on a per unit basis is fine but in now way indicative of the aircraft cost since what they are buying is a lot more.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 27 Dec 2017 16:16

Thanks for the details.It is still a mystery as to why the UK is so tenderly buying the aircraft,in small batches,like limited edition whisky expressions !
It has built two identical CVs,and has no option other than the F-35B,as there are no cats,has retired asininely all its 70+ Harriers,and thus has abso no alternative to the JSF! Surely it is evident that ordering -or at least options for the "full house" of aircraft for both carriers is essential to keep the price down? Can they effectively operate two carriers with say half the complement of aircraft? Why then such a large CV in the first place? Switching from cats to a ski-jump also cost them good money,and costing more with the more expensive "B". If the bird is found too expensive,then building the Cvs in the first place was mightily over-ambitious for a "declining power",as some like to describe (Little) Britain..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2017 16:26

Philip wrote:Thanks for the details.It is still a mystery as to why the UK is so tenderly buying the aircraft,in small batches,like limited edition whisky expressions !


They have firm plans for the Phase-1 purchase of 48 aircraft using the delivery schedule posted above (there are post Lot-14 plans as well). However, the plan for the remaining 90 are still not firmed up which is fine since they have quite a while to go until they have to decide. This however, does impact long term cost as no one knows exactly when they will be purchased, how fast they will be purchased (delivery rates), what capability they will come with (all block 4, or some block 4 and some block 4+) etc. Same with sustainment. Clearly if you build up a fleet of 138 aircraft your sustainment strategy will be different from that chosen for a fleet of 48. Scale will allow you to invest in organic capability, whereas a smaller fleet will mean sharing resources with other operators in the region.

Even the Parliament committee expressed some dissatisfaction in not knowing overall costs beyond 2026 which cannot be estimated without first having a firm strategy in place for acquisition and sustainment. Being a partner nation allows the UK to buy in small batches and decide on a year by year basis on how many aircraft it will procure. FMS customers on the other hand usually have to present much firmer plans upfront. However, having this flexibility also makes estimating the cost difficult since no one really knows what the sustainment and acquisition timelines will look like in the future. It is the same with US DOD estimates performed by the independent CAPE (Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation). In fact CAPE estimate of the 55 years Life-Cycle O&S cost have swung so much over the last 5-10 years (see the latest gem from them below) that the only real affect they have had is to provide fuel to the Sputnik's and Brigantti's of the world to push out anti-US defense system coverage using these estimates as a source. In the end, until you have a firm grip of what and how much you will be buying, and how you will be using it there is no real way to do reliable cost forecasting.

F-35 concurrency cost drops by 24 percent over 11 months


Surely it is evident that ordering -or at least options for the "full house" of aircraft for both carriers is essential to keep the price down?


I think they have pretty much decided that they will be operating 2 carriers at partial strength and will only field capability in the short-medium term to surge on one carrier. This way they can operate two carriers with 48 aircraft. My guess is that if the Typhoon lobby allows, they will procure perhaps another 12-18 (beyond 48) F-35Bs, and transfer remaining aircraft to F-35A which is a more capable land based aircraft that has longer legs and a higher payload and comes in even in at 20-25% lower cost. I don't think they'll eventually buy 138 aircraft. A mix of 60 F-35Bs and 40-48 F-35As probably looks more realistic.

Long term, I expect them to sign a partnership/MOU with the USMC to permanently operate one of the carriers in a joint manner with combined UK and US aircraft. In fact, the very first QE deployment in a couple of years time will feature joint UK and US aircraft and air-crews.

Switching from cats to a ski-jump also cost them good money,and costing more with the more expensive "B".


It hasn't. The B is cheaper than the C and operating STOVL saves them money on training as they don't have to do as many CQs. Also, they did not switch from CATS to Ski Jump. They thought about switching from Ski Jump to CATS but did not pursue this further. The inherent design was for Ski Jump and it would have cost them a fair bit of money to switch the designs for CAT capability. As I said, the argument was capabilities based and not cost based, since form a cost perspective the Ski Jump option was cheaper on account of no ship design changes, a lower aircraft cost and long term training costs.
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 27 Dec 2017 16:43

I thought that the cat version is cheaper than the STOVL version.If not for the frigid historic Anglo-French relationship,they could've combined their reqs. with France (there was some talk a long time ago about handing over one CV to the French) and had the Rafale-M aboard s an option,along with the JSF.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2017 16:52

No the CAT version is more expensive on account of the smallest production volume. The Rafale-M is an excellent aircraft but the UK would struggle to get it any cheaper than the $105 Million price the F-35B is targeting for Full Rate Production. Even if they miss that target and are say at $110 Million URF at Lot-14, that will still be a very competitive price compared to the going rate for the Rafale (around $90-100 Million fly-away). The UK is a JSF partner and has huge industrial benefits that come with that. If they were to partially walk out and split their purchase this would have jeopardize any future offers to also partner on similarly lucrative programs from their industrial base perspective. With layoffs happening in their defense sector, a sustained $1.2 Billion revenue per year for a couple of decades translates to quite a few jobs and industrial benefits that needn't be carried via domestic programs. Remember, they get 15% in revenue out of each and every JSF produced including those purchased by the US services. At a peak production of around 160 aircraft a year, that is a lot of money flowing into their defense industrial base at a time when their own defense budget top-lines are threatened. As their industrial leaders have claimed in the past there is also a qualitative benefit of producing components for a 5th generation state of the art fighter vs getting an offset to produce more components for an airliner. Moreover, the US-UK partnership has seen Rolls-Royce receive US Government funding for its Variable Cycle technology via the VAATE Phased (ADVENT) efforts. A comparable program in Europe has yet to take off while RR has finished the demonstrations and designs it was contracted for by the USAF no doubt putting it at a competitive advantage for future UK or Joint UK-US/UK-EU propulsion needs.

Additionally, since this is a 4-5 decade program for them, they will be buying upgrades whose development will be shared by a very large operator base with a couple of thousand of aircraft in service. Remember, 100% of the mission systems and software is common among all F-35 variants and there is a significant overlap in weapons as well. The USMC's purchase of the F-35 alone is greater than the entire global purchase (or sale prospects) of the Rafale (both variants) and this isn't even close. Since the major cost of upgrades comes form sub-systems, software development and new weapons integration having the USMC and USDON as a support organization will help much more than the French who operate a very small fleet of Rafale's. Scale matters a lot when you have to develop upgrades..The USN for example operates more Growler than the French Air Force and Navy does the Rafale (both variants). Similarly, the USAF also has a larger F-22 fleet than that. Moreover buying a Eurofigther competitor also would not have looked good for the UK since they were and are leading a few campaigns on behalf of the consortium. The more sub-system and software reliant future military wares become the more benefits one can squeeze out from having a very large installed base that can help amortize the cost to develop constant upgrades and improvements while collecting huge volume of data that can help inform future strategies on sustainment and modernization. The Rafale does none of that for the UK.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2017 21:36

Boeing awarded USD6.17 billion for 36 F-15QA fighters for Qatar Gareth Jenning , Jane's Defence Weekly


Boeing has been awarded USD6.17 billion to manufacture and deliver 36 F-15QA Advanced Eagle combat aircraft to Qatar.

Under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract, announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 22 December, all the aircraft will be delivered to the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) by 30 December 2022.

The contract follows an agreement that was signed by Qatar and the United States in June for the latest variant of the Boeing-made. Although that agreement was also reported to be for 36 aircraft, the value was given by the Qatari government as USD12 billion. This suggests that either a follow-on procurement for another 36 fighters might be possible, or that the initial agreement also covers an as-yet-unannounced major weapons purchase to accompany the Advanced Eagles.

While Qatar certainly does not require another 36 F-15QAs on top of the 36 now contracted (it also has to be questioned as to whether the small Gulf nation has the manpower to field such an enlarged combat aviation force), such a development cannot be entirely discounted given the country’s procurement history of late.

Qatar’s recent fighter procurement announcements have been quite remarkable in terms of their scope and ambition. The QEAF has over recent months signed for 36 Dassault Rafales from France and 24 Eurofighter Typhoons from the United Kingdom. These 60 aircraft coupled with the 36 Advanced Eagles are set to replace just 12 ageing Dassault Mirage 2000s.

The Advanced Eagle is the latest variant of the Boeing-made fighter that has also been ordered by Saudi Arabia as the F-15SA. This variant improves on previous models in that it features two additional underwing weapons stations (increasing the number from nine to 11); the option of a large area display cockpit (Qatar will be the first customer to take up this option); fly-by-wire controls; the Raytheon AN/APG-82(V)1 or AN/APG-63(V)3 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; General Electric GE F-110-129 engines; digital Joint Helmet–Mounted Cueing Systems in both cockpits; and a digital electronic warfare system among other enhancements.

In a typical escort configuration, the Advanced Eagle can carry 16 AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs); four AIM-9X Sidewinder short-range missiles; and two High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs). For precision strike it can carry 16 Small-Diameter Bombs (SDBs); four AMRAAMs; one 2,000 lb Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM); two HARMs; and two drop tanks. For the anti-shipping role it can carry two Harpoon missiles; four Miniature Air-Launched Decoys (MALDs); two Sidewinders; and two HARMs.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Karan M » 27 Dec 2017 23:08

Sensor fusion apart, I wouldn't be surprised if the venerable Eagle can handily surpass the euro-teens in most departments of payload and range plus raw sensor performance (that huge AESA radar must have some phenomenal range).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 Dec 2017 23:27

If Qatar gets the new mission computers that the USAF is putting on its own Strike Eagles and some Cs then it will also be ahead of the two Euro-Canards when it comes to computing power. In fact, as things stand the current mission computers flying on the test F-15s are faster than those currently on the F-35As until the F-35A gets its Tech-Refresh-3 hardware in a couple of years time. Lacking is the GaN AESA based EPAWSS that the USAF is keeping for itself for now (perhaps South Korea will be the first customer). DEWS is still using GaAs transmitters but is overall the highest performing EW/EA suite currently flying on any Eagle or Strike Eagle.

The Rafale and the Typhoon will benefit from much more software work that has been done to support those programs as far as fusion is concerned as a lot of what the USAF is working on for its own Strike Eagle fleet won't come online till early to mid next decade and is therefore unlikely to be available for export customers. Also on the radar side, the software enabled communication and multi-role capability (plus EA capability as Raytheon demonstrated on its radars many years ago) is happening on the AN/APG-82 variant which is going on the Strike Eagle Fleet. The - 63AESA is mostly air-air as far as USAF funded work is concerned with nearly all of the A2G work funded by foreign customers so there is no accurate way of finding out what the multi-role use differences are on the two sets.

But will these aircraft matter? It will literally take decades for Qatar to actually learn to operate as a professional air-force at this scale to make full and effective use of the capability they are acquiring. Perhaps these OEMs need to explore the market of rolling in pilot supply with long term PBL agreements..I bet there are Strike Eagle, Rafale and Typhoon drivers that are going to be tempted to seek early retirement and become instructors earning multiples of their military pay.

http://www.boeing.com/features/2016/08/ ... 08-16.page

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 28 Dec 2017 13:10

quite a compact rocket to put 83 tons into LEO
Image
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 28 Dec 2017 15:56

If they go in the second half of the year they should be able to send out 3F aircraft with full combat capability and weapon clearances.

U.S. Marine Corps Planning F-35B Deployment to CENTCOM Area Of Responsibility To Get “First Taste Of Combat” In 2018


The F-35B, the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Lightning II 5th generation aircraft is expected to deploy to the Pacific and Central Command theaters in 2018, the Marine Corps Times reported.

According to Jeff Schogol, the F-35B, that can operate from amphibious assault ships, “is expected to deploy with two Marine expeditionary units to the Pacific and Central Command theaters in the spring and summer. […] The first deployment will be with the 31st MEU aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp and the second will be with the 13th MEU aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex, said spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns.”

The first deployment to the U.S. Central Command AOR (area of responsibility) – that includes Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen and Afghanistan – has long been anticipated. In 2016, Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, head of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, told reporters that the service was planning to deploy the F-35B to the CENTCOM area of operations aboard the USS Essex (six more F-35Bs were to deploy to the Pacific aboard the USS Wasp).

The 2018 deployment follows the relocation of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121), an F-35B squadron with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, from MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Yuma, Arizona, on Jan. 9, 2017. Since then, the F-35B have started operating in the region, taking part in local drills as well as some routine “shows of force” near the Korean Peninsula: for instance, on Aug. 30, four U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II joined two USAF B-1B Lancers from Guam onf a 10-hour mission that brought the “package” over waters near Kyushu, Japan, then across the Korean Peninsula. Interestingly, during that mission, the F-35Bs flew with the radar reflectors used to make LO (Low Observable) aircraft clearly visible on radars and also dropped their 1,000-lb GBU-32 JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) on Pilsung firing range. On a subsequent mission on Sept. 18, the aircraft took part in a “sequenced bilateral show of force” over the Korean peninsula carrying “live” AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles in the internal weapons bays.

Moreover, during the opening stages of an air war, the F-35Bs would be able to act as real-time data coordinators able to correlate and disseminate information gathered from their on board sensors to other assets contributing to achieve the “Information Superiority” required to geo-locate the threats and target them effectively.

Considered that Marine aviation officials have said that up to half of the current F/A-18 Hornets are not ready for combat, the deployment to the CENTCOM AOR a key step in the long-term plan to replace the legacy F/A-18 Hornet, EA-6B Prowler, and AV-8B Harrier fleets with a total of 353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs by 2032.

In October 2016, a contingent of 12 F-35Bs took part in Developmental Test III aboard USS America followed by the Lightning Carrier “Proof of Concept” demonstration on the carrier on Nov. 19, 2016. During the POC, the aircraft proved it can operate at-sea, employing a wide array of weapons loadouts with the newest software variant and some of the most experienced F-35B pilots said that “the platform is performing exceptionally.” The eventual participation in a real operation such as Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) over Syria and Iraq, albeit rather symbolic, will also be the first opportunity to assess the capabilities of the platform in real combat. As for the Israeli F-35s, the airspace over the Middle East (or Central Asia) could be a test bed for validating the tactical procedures to be used by the new aircraft in the CAS (Close Air Support) mission with added Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) and Command & Control (C2) capability.

If committed to support OIR, the F-35B will probably operate in a “first day of war” configuration carrying weapons internally to maintain low radar cross-section and observability from sensors playing both the “combat battlefield coordinators” role, collecting, managing and distributing intelligence data, and the “kinetic attack platform” role, dropping their ordnance on the targets and passing targeting data to older 4th Gen. aircraft via Link-16. More or less what done by the USMC F-35Bs during Red Flag 17-3 earlier in 2017; but next year it will be for the real thing.




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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby andy B » 28 Dec 2017 23:31

Brar Warrior firstly thanks for your ongoing contribution to discussions across multiple threads much appreciated!

I have a small query if I may....with the ongoing blk 2 ESSM testing and due induction do you see the Amraam being modded with the larger ESSM motor (was it six inch cant remember) to give it longer range....is there any possibility of this? thanks!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 28 Dec 2017 23:44

andy B wrote:Brar Warrior firstly thanks for your ongoing contribution to discussions across multiple threads much appreciated!

I have a small query if I may....with the ongoing blk 2 ESSM testing and due induction do you see the Amraam being modded with the larger ESSM motor (was it six inch cant remember) to give it longer range....is there any possibility of this? thanks!


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. Raytheon developed it as an Internal product for the Polish Narew, Hawk replacement, and future NASAMS-NG market since the GaN Sentinel (A4) will also be utilized by Norway allowing for longer ranged engagements compared to the A3 or below variants.

Performance claims from Raytheon are to the tune of a 50% increase in engagement range and 70% increase in altitude compared to SLAMRAAM.

There are many reasons why the AMRAAM-ER makes more sense for many potential users over the ESSM-Blk II. One right of the bat is that of a compatible data-link since most SLAMRAAM utilizing radars will only require a C2 software upgrde to allow for AMRAAM-ER use. Second is going to be the cost..the ESSM Blk. 2 seeker concept is to leverage both active and illumination (SARH) depending upon the type of threat..This influences the cost of the seeker and if someone wants this capability then it would require greater modifications to enable it on NASAMS or a comparable system. With SLAMRAAM most want a fire and forget missile allowing them to, for a relatively low cost (compared to comparable western SAM systems), engage quite a few targets.

The ESSM-Blk. 2 could end up as a Land based SAM if the Marines decide build an air-defense system around G/ATOR which they have hinted in the past, but which for now is only going to be a sensor and C2 source that can hand off targets to interceptors launched from ships once ashore.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Dec 2017 01:38

Singha wrote:quite a compact rocket to put 83 tons into LEO


It's up now. Targeting a mid January launch (Payload is the Tesla Roadster) and they will attempt to bring all three rockets back.

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Dec 2017 16:21

From the LCA Thread:

Trikaal wrote:
brar_w wrote:
Should have linked to Picard's blog, would have saved a lot of time. Any idea on what the qualifications of the author are that allow him to speak authoritatively on the topic?

Mentioning stuff that is quite obvious isn't really going to turn a lot of heads. Sure BVR NEZ's are influenced by a whole host of factors and different engagement scenarios result in differences in how these long range missiles are employed. A 20 mile shot is still beyond visual range under most circumstances and most operators will live with that since on most engagements it is the situational awareness and the battle space picture is likely to influence the outcome to a great extent - hence the push towards EW platforms, integration and NCW concepts. If you can launch first with a long range missile, you have already begun dictating the engagement regardless of what that outcome is vis-a-vis the first shot.

So if I have the ability to launch something at XX km to get my opponent to immediately get into a defensive mindset does this provide me with a tactical advantage or not? Let us say that at 40 km, a MRAAM shot has a 50/50 chance of intercept..does the opponent still have to take defensive/evasive action, deploy countermeasures etc? How does this effect the launch aircraft/pilot? Which aircraft under this scenario can present itself in a more favorable position as they close in to either engage with advantage or disengage?

What Piccard, who developed his skills on youtube, fails to mention is that BVR combat is not just about the BVR weapon and its kinematics which is a constantly evolving field since things get better all the time as capability and technology advances. BVR combat is about net-centric capability and having situational awareness via airborne or ground based early-warning capability that can help position you at an advantage vis-a-vis your adversary. It is a set of capabilities that, when collectively employed, allow you to engage from much longer ranges than you would if you were solely relying on organic capability. It is that collective capability that gets you the advantage and is the reason why Air-Forces around the world, including the IAF are so heavily investing in BVR capability (Missiles and radars), Net Centric Warfare (data links and interoperability) and Early Warning Platforms (AWACS and Ground based long range radars). NEZ of your weapon is the easiest problem to solve..build larger missiles, more efficient rocket motors etc..a lot of countries can do that..The much harder part is to bring all these elements together while also denying the opponent the ability to do the same to your forces (why do you think nearly 100% of currently planned fighter aircraft are heavily employing signature supression?)).

No it does not completely negate WVR or close in fighting but what it does is position you at an advantage if you choose to engage in that regime.


You are quite correct about the benefits of situational awareness and the increasingly net centric warfare is becoming globally. I agree with most of what you said. My post was in reply to a poster who wrote that with BVR and WVR, fight will never come down to a gun battle which is wrong imo. BVR isn't and won't be for quite sometime a sure kill but the advantages are undeniable and will continue to increase as more and more research is done in this field. Already with things like throttle control and dual pulse motor, its efficiency has been increased a lot.


There are many elements that influence missile kinematics, outside of the physical SRM profile of the weapon itself. Over the years, many missile makers have adopted staging, dual pulse motors, VFDRs et c etc (or even large diameter missiles) but there are other things at play here as well. As electronics shrink in size and SWaP requirements you can add more fuel to increase range. The AMRAAM did that as it transitioned from the C5 to the C7. Furthermore, if you make the missiles more accurate and reduce data-link latency and increase the quality of data sharing you get them to their target much more efficiently allowing you better end game kinematics. Optimized profiles do that hence you see some of the leading BVRAAMs add 2-way data links and even GPS to augment guidance to optimize this further. Another way is to optimize the warhead by exploring H2K concepts with a LE warhead..This allows you to pack a lot more fuel from a volume perspective and also reduces the overall weight of the weapon allowing for extended ranges without changes in overall profile.

Additionally, as your own sensors improve you reduce errors that inadvertently creep in at long range engagements and this directly translates to a better kinematic state as the missile does not have to correct as much as it would have had to in the past. Like I said, BVR engagement ranges have never really been technologically limited by missile kinematics. You had the Aim-54s/R33 and staged multi-spectral AAAM concepts that you could have built years and years ago. The problem has been with the entire system i.e. making sure your kill chain is assured, secure, accurate and your CONEMP in place for long range engagements. This has what has limited engagement ranges till now, and with the advent of AESA radars, better data-link communications and combined ESM/IR passive tracking options you now are seeing the demand for improved kinematics from the missiles itself because the other elements which were in the past the limiting factor are no longer so now. Similarly, signature suppression has allowed those that possess it to use it to their advantage i.e. get into more favorable position to maximize missile performance through the relative freedom to maneuver that Low Observability offers them.

If you see some of the signals coming from F-22 and F-35 pilots these point to a different track than the signals that came form F-15 and F-16 pilots. These folks don't want longer ranged AMRAAMs, they just want the ability to carry more than the 6-8 missiles currently possible on the F-22 and F-35..they're thinking 8, 10 or even 12 or more missiles by developing more accurate, optimized missiles and super packing. This isn't coming form thin air but from a experience in large force exercises where they are showing with a lot of freedom to manuever and and with the SO they are able to develop on their opponent they can get a lot closer and take shots with higher PK simply due to the capabilities of their aircraft and sub-systems (independent of the missile).

Piccard's analysis is deeply flawed. These aren't youtube comments where he can continue with his rants. BVR like any other combat is kill chain dependent and rather kill chain limited. You can't even use it effectively until you build up that kill chain and his overemphasis on missile kinematics completely misses the bigger picture while assuming most operators who do this for a living around the world are idiots who don't know what they are investing in. For most technologically advanced nations, longer and longer ranged BVR engagements are about developing this kill chain and improving each element. Out of these things, the missile kinematics is the easiest to address and most definitely not the limiting factor.

Regardless, as I mentioned earlier, how you employ your kill chain at range influences your outcomes even in Within Visual Range Combat. There is tremendous advantage to be gained from being the first to control the engagement especially as you approach WVR where margins are very slim and human factor even more important. He seems to think that missile evasion is easy and does not appreciate the price the aircraft, mission and the pilot have to pay. If one wants evidence there is a youtube video of an F-16 pilot trying to evade a few SAMs launched towards his aircraft..All this takes a huge toll on your aircraft performance, fuel state, countermeasures and even the physical ability of the pilot. All the while, the opponent who can dictate the engagement is positioning himself in an advantageous position for either eventuality. There is a reason why post Gulf-War there has been a rush for incorporating Net-Centric Warfare, and focusing on advanced airborne networking and communications. The number of AWACS operators around the world have exponentially increased and Active AAMs have proliferated, as have advanced phased array radars. This is not a coincidence this new "connected" state allows for huge leaps in the ability to execute offensive and defensive counter air operations.
Last edited by brar_w on 29 Dec 2017 19:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 29 Dec 2017 18:16

WOW! Just see where engines are heading..
http://aviationweek.com/propulsion/aero ... es-1729711

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 29 Dec 2017 18:19

Printed Engine
http://aviationweek.com/propulsion/aero ... es-1729711
Image

General Electric’s Advanced Turboprop—in which additive manufacturing replaces 855 conventionally made parts with just 12 3D-printed components— was on track to run for the first time at the end of 2017 in Prague. The 1,240-shp engine will power Cessna’s new Denali turboprop single when it flies in 2018.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 29 Dec 2017 18:21

Open Rotor on Test

Safran’s counter-rotating open rotor (CROR) demonstrator engine, developed under Europe’s Clean Sky research program, began ground runs on a new outdoor test stand at Istres, France. With 22 composite blades on two 13-ft.-dia. rotors, the engine has generated about 22,000 lb. of thrust in the tests, which were scheduled to be completed in December 2017.
Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 29 Dec 2017 18:22

Reusable Hypersonics

DARPA in October awarded Aerojet Rocketdyne a contract to demonstrate a turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine that could power a reusable high-speed aircraft from takeoff to beyond Mach 5. The Advanced Full Range Engine program differs from previous hypersonic TBCC development efforts in that it combines an off-the-shelf turbine engine with a dual-mode ramjet/scramjet.
Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 29 Dec 2017 18:23

Image
GE’s Big One

In late November, General Electric’s GE9X engine for the Boeing 777X was mounted on the company’s 747-400 flying testbed in Victorville, California, in preparation for test flights beginning around the end of the year. The 115,000-lb.-thrust engine has a 134-in.-dia. fan encased in a 174-in.-wide nacelle, making it dimensionally the largest jet engine yet developed.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 29 Dec 2017 18:24

Image
Core Advance

Rolls-Royce’s Advance3 core demonstrator, the heart of the company’s future engine families, begun initial runs at Derby, England, in November. The all-new core breaks with the architecture used for the last 50 years in the RB211 and Trent engines and is planned to be used in both the Advance direct-drive turbofan and UltraFan large geared turbofan planned for the 2020s.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby chola » 29 Dec 2017 20:20

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.

Image

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.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Trikaal » 29 Dec 2017 21:19

brar_w wrote:From the LCA Thread:



You are quite correct about the benefits of situational awareness and the increasingly net centric warfare is becoming globally. I agree with most of what you said. My post was in reply to a poster who wrote that with BVR and WVR, fight will never come down to a gun battle which is wrong imo. BVR isn't and won't be for quite sometime a sure kill but the advantages are undeniable and will continue to increase as more and more research is done in this field. Already with things like throttle control and dual pulse motor, its efficiency has been increased a lot.


There are many elements that influence missile kinematics, outside of the physical SRM profile of the weapon itself. Over the years, many missile makers have adopted staging, dual pulse motors, VFDRs et c etc (or even large diameter missiles) but there are other things at play here as well. As electronics shrink in size and SWaP requirements you can add more fuel to increase range. The AMRAAM did that as it transitioned from the C5 to the C7. Furthermore, if you make the missiles more accurate and reduce data-link latency and increase the quality of data sharing you get them to their target much more efficiently allowing you better end game kinematics. Optimized profiles do that hence you see some of the leading BVRAAMs add 2-way data links and even GPS to augment guidance to optimize this further. Another way is to optimize the warhead by exploring H2K concepts with a LE warhead..This allows you to pack a lot more fuel from a volume perspective and also reduces the overall weight of the weapon allowing for extended ranges without changes in overall profile.

Additionally, as your own sensors improve you reduce errors that inadvertently creep in at long range engagements and this directly translates to a better kinematic state as the missile does not have to correct as much as it would have had to in the past. Like I said, BVR engagement ranges have never really been technologically limited by missile kinematics. You had the Aim-54s/R33 and staged multi-spectral AAAM concepts that you could have built years and years ago. The problem has been with the entire system i.e. making sure your kill chain is assured, secure, accurate and your CONEMP in place for long range engagements. This has what has limited engagement ranges till now, and with the advent of AESA radars, better data-link communications and combined ESM/IR passive tracking options you now are seeing the demand for improved kinematics from the missiles itself because the other elements which were in the past the limiting factor are no longer so now. Similarly, signature suppression has allowed those that possess it to use it to their advantage i.e. get into more favorable position to maximize missile performance through the relative freedom to maneuver that Low Observability offers them.

If you see some of the signals coming from F-22 and F-35 pilots these point to a different track than the signals that came form F-15 and F-16 pilots. These folks don't want longer ranged AMRAAMs, they just want the ability to carry more than the 6-8 missiles currently possible on the F-22 and F-35..they're thinking 8, 10 or even 12 or more missiles by developing more accurate, optimized missiles and super packing. This isn't coming form thin air but from a experience in large force exercises where they are showing with a lot of freedom to manuever and and with the SO they are able to develop on their opponent they can get a lot closer and take shots with higher PK simply due to the capabilities of their aircraft and sub-systems (independent of the missile).

Piccard's analysis is deeply flawed. These aren't youtube comments where he can continue with his rants. BVR like any other combat is kill chain dependent and rather kill chain limited. You can't even use it effectively until you build up that kill chain and his overemphasis on missile kinematics completely misses the bigger picture while assuming most operators who do this for a living around the world are idiots who don't know what they are investing in. For most technologically advanced nations, longer and longer ranged BVR engagements are about developing this kill chain and improving each element. Out of these things, the missile kinematics is the easiest to address and most definitely not the limiting factor.

Regardless, as I mentioned earlier, how you employ your kill chain at range influences your outcomes even in Within Visual Range Combat. There is tremendous advantage to be gained from being the first to control the engagement especially as you approach WVR where margins are very slim and human factor even more important. He seems to think that missile evasion is easy and does not appreciate the price the aircraft, mission and the pilot have to pay. If one wants evidence there is a youtube video of an F-16 pilot trying to evade a few SAMs launched towards his aircraft..All this takes a huge toll on your aircraft performance, fuel state, countermeasures and even the physical ability of the pilot. All the while, the opponent who can dictate the engagement is positioning himself in an advantageous position for either eventuality. There is a reason why post Gulf-War there has been a rush for incorporating Net-Centric Warfare, and focusing on advanced airborne networking and communications. The number of AWACS operators around the world have exponentially increased and Active AAMs have proliferated, as have advanced phased array radars. This is not a coincidence this new "connected" state allows for huge leaps in the ability to execute offensive and defensive counter air operations.[/quote]

brar_w sir, thank you for your answer. I learnt a lot of things from your answer. If you don't mind answering, I would like to ask a couple of related question:
1.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.
2. 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.

Once again, thank you fir taking out the time and energy to help me.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Dec 2017 21:44

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 -

Image

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:

Image

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 30 Dec 2017 05:54

https://youtu.be/d05Sx2sI4AM

https://theaviationist.com/?p=48781
This remarkable video of a Northup Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber undergoing wing flutter testing on June 14, 1995 is fascinating for a number of reasons.

All aircraft wings have a remarkable capacity for flex. But one of the most significant changes in aircraft engineering in the last three decades has been the addition of composite materials, especially carbon fibers, into aircraft structural design. In many cases these composite materials have replaced metal alloys in structural components on advanced aircraft.

The B-2 Spirit is approximately 80% composite, mostly carbon fiber. Some of the structural framework internal to the B-2, especially where the wing blends into the fuselage and the largest fuel tanks are located, is titanium and aluminum. While part of the reason for this is structural, another reason is that composites, being made up of a number of different elements, can have radar absorbent materials included in their manufacture or “lay-up” during the process of combining materials into a composite.

There are many reasons composite materials, or materials made up of a combination of advanced materials including metals, polymers (plastics) and carbon atoms at the most elemental level, have become so common in aviation engineering.

Two of the chief reasons are illustrated in this video.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 30 Dec 2017 06:12

This was a part of a larger B-2 test pilot lecture session at the Western museum of flight in Torrance California captured in video by the senior couple from the PeninsulaSrsVideos channel who do a great job of capturing all important lectures at the Museum.I had posted it at the time here. Full presentation is linked below (David's blog should have linked it to them instead of posting a random viral GIF account) with the flutter portion (from which the GIF is captured) beginning around the 17:00 minute mark.



The timing is interesting because NASA just put the Mutt back in the air recently which is specificly designed to study flutter:



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