shiv wrote:The other question I have is how on earth can a laser detect anything? I mean that for laser to detect anything it has to fall on it first and a pinpoint beam is hardly likely to accidentally fall on an aircraft 25 kn away, or even 6 km away. The aircraft should have been detected by other means and then the laser pointed at it. Is that correct or am I way waaay off?
shiv, as you have guessed the laser ranger has to be cued by some other detection system (typically the IROST). Depending on the IROST's angular discrimination the laser ranger could use a single pulse to range the target or a series of pulses in a pattern until the laser impacts the target and a solid return is received.
LADAR or LIDAR are lasers systems that "search" for their own target and not just range it, i.e. operate in a manner just like a radar. They are typically very short ranged compared to radars, and find specialist use in some missile seekers which desire extremely specific aimpoints. We might get some Ladars if we ever purchase the MH-60S knighthawks for MCM.
What this means is that if the "friendly" detector can detect that vastly degraded signal. it should be easy for the hostile aircraft to have a detector to be tripped by the laser which will be far more intense when it hits the hostile aircraft.
You are correct again. Your comment prompts another question - does airframe shaping which helps in reflecting incident radar energy away from the radiator also impact laser location methods? It should in theory but does it do so in practice?
It is a command and control issue over air assets and each side has different priorities.
aharam, indeed. Specifically, its a matter of air control and deconfliction, viz how to ensure that air tasking orders are generated by the IA but IAF remains in general control of air-operations.
The first hurdle is service parochialism. The IAF will never dedicate funds in sufficient quantity to satisfy the IA CAS/battlefield utility/casevac/recon/overwatch needs, prompting the IA to raise its own units to satisfy these needs. Nor will the IAF allow the IA to field significant number of fixed wing and rotary assets, which will be seen by the IAF as dilution of its core mission. While I empathize with the IAF, the aviation brigade accords the IA such a major jump in capability that for better or for worse the Aviation Bde's will come, however much they are resisted.
The second is a real technical problem. It is currently not easy for the army to execute air missions near or past the FEBA without a significant risk of blue-on-blue interdiction by the air force. This is a real problem and I can certainly see the IAF reticent about a large number of IA frontal aviation assets operating back and forth over the frontlines. (How would the IA feel is IAF deployed small mobile mechanized formations, which darted to and fro across the FEBA without its oversight or jurisdiction?)
The army will increasingly bypass this IAF resistance by fielding larger and larger number of UAV and UCAV that fly under the IAF's prohibitory radar, which leads anyway to the second technical problem. A solution will need to be found and it will be as applicable for UAVs as it will for rotarcraft and STOL fixed wing assets. And the solution is almost within reach, with the new digitized and centralized AFNet which feeds data to the new IAF's new integrated C4I systems. This system already allows for input from the navy. Why could not the IA also plug in the air control squadrons of the Aviation Bde into this net to allow for IAF oversight over the IA aviation element? IA could generate sorties as it needs within pre-agreed zones across the FEBA , while the IAF will be fully in the loop about IA air activities?
I don't see a technically insurmountable problem, only institutional ones. Some defense minister/defense secretary needs to crack some skulls and make this happen.