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International Aerospace Discussion

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 19 Aug 2017 07:09

F-35 Is Newest Thorn In North Korea’s Side

The U.S. Marine Corps prides itself on being the “tip of the spear,” but in East Asia, the “Green Knights” of Marine Fighter Attack Sqdn.-121 (VMFA-121) are more like the tip of the iceberg, as the first of dozens of war-ready Lockheed Martin F-35 squadrons being stationed in the region over the next decade.
By the early 2020s, North Korea will be confronted by more than 100 of the U.S.’s latest fifth-generation warplane, including 42 operated by Japan and 40 by South Korea, along with forward-deployments by the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy.

Without assistance from China or Russia, North Korea would stand no chance of defending against a wave of low-observable Joint Strike Fighters, which would be used to clear the air of opposing jets, hunt down rogue missiles, and protect advancing ground troops. The stealth jets would be virtually unopposed by Pyongyang’s outdated inventory of former Soviet and independently developed radars and surface-to-air missiles.

Security analysts with Rand Corporation say the introduction of these modern fighters highlights North Korea’s “significant conventional disadvantage.” This disadvantage is one key reason why the North Korean regime, led by Kim Jong-un, is so adamant about operationalizing nuclear weapons and ramping up the development of missiles as delivery vehicles.

North Korea reportedly possesses up to three nuclear enrichment facilities and potentially as many as 30-60 nuclear warheads. It appears to have three intercontinental ballistic missiles in concurrent development, including the two-stage Hwasong-14 type that was launched twice in July.

The regime views nuclear weapons as the ultimate hedge against invasion by Western forces. Any pre-emptive strike attempted by coalition forces could quickly escalate to nuclear war, with short-range missiles likely striking military bases and major cities in South Korea and Japan.

“They understand that they’ve got a significant conventional disadvantage with their armed forces, particularly in aviation,” says J.D. Williams, a senior defense policy researcher at Rand.

“If you look at the approaches North Korea has taken under the current leader and before, they’re looking at asymmetric ways of offsetting the fact that they’re falling farther and farther behind in their conventional capabilities.”

North Korea has invested heavily in nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and special operations forces at the expense of more complex aircraft and air defense weaponry. The Korean People’s Army Air Force still retains hundreds of early-model Chinese and Soviet fighters, as well as Vietnam-era SA-3s, SA-5s and more modern S-200 surface-to-air missiles. Its most modern SAM, the KN-06, was demonstrated earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea Air Force operates Northrop F-5s, Boeing F-15Ks, Lockheed F-16s and KAI FA-50s. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force operates Mitsubishi F-2s, F-15Js and has received its first few conventional-variant F-35As.

Williams says North Korea is well aware of its diminishing conventional power, and is looking for ways to inflict significant or potentially catastrophic damage against coalition forces if they attempt any military intervention. “The F-35 as a new warfighting system just adds to that trend. I don’t think we can call it a direct driver, just a continuation of a trend that’s been there for a while,” he says.

Bruce Bennett, a Rand expert on Northeast Asian military issues, says the growing disparity between the conventional forces of North Korea and its opponents is destabilizing. “North Korea can’t take those [F-35] aircraft on in the air. They can’t take them on with surface-to-air capabilities, so it pushes them to say, ‘We’ve got to take those aircraft on when they’re on the ground,’” he explains. “That drives them to think about the use of missiles and potentially nuclear weapons or other payloads against key airfields to try to neutralize that threat. Both sides have an incentive to go first.”

The Marine Corps confirms that the VMFA-121 remains operationally deployed to Iwakuni and those aircraft visited South Korea for the first time in March as part of Exercise Foal Eagle.

“Permanently basing the F-35B at MCAS Iwakuni and operating in Japan will significantly strengthen the III Marine Expeditionary Force’s ability to support the U.S.’ alliance obligations—by combining fifth-generation stealth, precision weapons, and multispectral sensors with the expeditionary responsiveness of a short-takeoff/vertical-landing fighter-attack platform,” the service says in a statement.

Air Force F-35As are also scheduled to arrive in the Pacific theater in the coming months. The service announced earlier this year that the 34th Fighter Sqdn. of Hill AFB, Utah, will deploy to the Pacific as a theater security packet. The squadron made its first overseas deployment to the UK in April, making several trips to the Baltic region for joint training.

The U.S. Defense Department plans to order 1,763 F-35As for the Air Force and 693 Stovl and carrier-based variants for the Marine Corps and Navy. The F-35A can be armed with guided B61-12 thermonuclear bombs.

Japan committed to the F-35 in December 2011 as a foreign military sale, and 38 of its 42 aircraft will be delivered from the domestic production facility in Nagoya starting this year.

Initial deliveries for South Korea start next year. The lead aircraft (AW-1) has entered the assembly line in Fort Worth. Deliveries will continue through 2021.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 19 Aug 2017 15:07


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 20 Aug 2017 03:02

TPS/80 GaA (first LRIP batch for DT/OT and training) and GaN ( LRIP-2 - FRP batches) AESA replacement for USMC AN/TPS-63, 73, MPQ-62 and TPQ-46 legacy radars. Software defined capability performing - Medium range Air Surveillance (complementing the TPS-59 and its replacement), Weapon location, air traffic control and eventually air defense as well (likely with the AMRAAM and ESSM Blk. II).


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby VishalJ » 20 Aug 2017 17:17

Don't know if this has been posted/discussed here before but, man what a critical & detailed video:


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 20 Aug 2017 18:16

There is an entire thread dedicated to this, and the points made in this particular video have been rebutted there. The Search feature should be able to get you there. This is from 2014, since then the aircraft has cleared its operational assessment from 2 of the three US services, and is one weapons test away from completing its SDD capability program before the final configuration is cleared for fleet release on 2 of the three variants.

Meanwhile, the Canadians under their new government, looking for a competitive acquisition chose to do nothing on the F-35 program other than to continue funding work share, and in the interest of competition engaged Boeing in order to acquire the Super Hornet in an noncompetitive sole source contract :rotfl:

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 20 Aug 2017 19:55

Iran successfully Tests Simorgh Satellite Carrier , Looks like ISRO ASLV Class of Launch Vehical


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby JayS » 20 Aug 2017 20:42

V J wrote:Don't know if this has been posted/discussed here before but, man what a critical & detailed video:



at 22:15 onwards in the video, the reporter mentions wikileak cables revealing how US put pressure on Norway to select F35 by blackmailing, threatening to stop critical US tech going in the Gripen in case Norway went for Gripen. Interesting...Wonder why Americans were so scared that they had to go to this level...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 20 Aug 2017 21:30

You need to look at the timelines concerned. At the time the F-35 had hit a major developmental roadblock (a looming Nunn McCurdy Breach) and faced significant developmental hurdles. It wasn't later that the program was restructured and the management overhauled. It was at its lowest point and there was serious risk of developmental partners bailing out unless there were diplomatic and industrial pressures and incentives thrown in, and US commitment to keep the program funded to completion demonstrated. This happened in the 2010-2015 time-frame as each of the developmental issues were overcome one by one and the aircraft declared IOC in 15 and 16 with the USMC and USAF. Developing 5th generation aircrafts is hard..and others interested to play in Norway were pretty much offering fly-away 4+ generation aircraft.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 24 Aug 2017 05:14





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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 28 Aug 2017 14:46

Purchase finalized for 17 more F-35 stealth fighter jets - Israel


According to the contract, the planes' delivery will be completed by December 2024.

"This is the third deal for F-35 purchases the Ministry of Defense has penned in the past decade alone," said Dubi Lavie, the head of the Israeli delegation to the US.

"With every series of jets coming off the production line, the American manufacturer has committed to bringing the price for an individual plane down," Lavie added. "We're happy to announce that on this particular deal, the American project manager has successfully negotiated with the manufacturing company to bring down the average per-plane price to below $100 million. This is a significant reduction compared to the planes Israel has brought thus far."In the first deal, Israel paid $125 million per plane for 19 F-35s in total. In the second deal, the price went down to $112 million per plane for 14 jets. Israel expects the price to drop below $90 million per plane when it approaches the US again for planes for a third flight squadron.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 29 Aug 2017 07:39

Image

On 27 February 1947, P-82B 44-65168, named Betty Jo and flown by Colonel Robert E. Thacker, made history when it flew nonstop from Hawaii to New York without refueling, a distance of 5,051 mi (8,129 km) in 14 hr 32 min. It averaged 347.5 miles per hour (559.2 km/h). This flight tested the P-82's range. The aircraft carried a full internal fuel tank of 576 US gallons (2,180 l; 480 imp gal), augmented by four 310 US gal (1,173 l; 258 imp gal) tanks for a total of 1,816 US gal (6,874 l; 1,512 imp gal). Also, Colonel Thacker forgot to drop three of his external tanks when their fuel was expended, landing with them in New York.[4]

To this day, it remains the longest nonstop flight ever made by a propeller-driven fighter, and the fastest such a distance has ever been covered in a piston-engined aircraft (the record for the longest unrefueled flight by a propeller-driven aircraft of any type is held by the Rutan Voyager). The aircraft chosen was an earlier "B" model powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 29 Aug 2017 15:37

Marten wrote:Six F-35A for approximate $880mn. Guessing that this will not include any capital costs related to training or additional spares or bases or BRD type expenses. vs. US estimates of 165mn overall per jet
The estimate for the overall average per-jet program acquisition cost in current dollars -- the most complete measure of a weapon’s cost -- increased to $164.6 million per jet from $154.3 million, according to the release.

Mods, sorry for the OT, but this was really interesting.




The US price reporting structure does not require the APUC or PAUC of a program to be developed separately and independently for each variant. Just to refresh, the Program Acquisition Cost or (PAUC) includes Research and development for the entire program (per unit), acquisition cost for the entire program (per unit), and Military Construction cost in support of the entire program (per unit). So take the fly-away cost, add initial spares, contractor support, initial training and other initial non recurring cost elements, add to it a unit development cost, and then spread the MILCON cost over the production quantity and you get a PAUC.

Now, the Tony Cappacio link speaks of one PAUC when the JSF has 3 variants. The reporting requirements as I mentioned earlier do not require a PAUC to be presented for each variant i.e. the US DOD is not required to present an annual audited estimate of the PAUC for the F-35A, F-35B, and F-35C separately as it all one acquisition and joint developmental program managed by one Joint Program office. As you may well know, the F-35B and F-35C are more costly to produce than the baseline F-35A so naturally, if those were being managed and acquired by a separate program you would see a difference in the reported PAUCs for the three variants.

They are however required to present independent fly-away and non recurring costs for both the USAF and DON (F-35B and F-35C) purchases which they do and which is naturally significantly lower than the PAUC because it does not include sunk cost (it measures only the cost to produce and buy i.e. the acquisition phase of the program).

Long story short, the CTOL variant is significantly cheaper than the other two and the APUC and PAUC estimate do not reflect this since they roll all costs into one estimate.

Here is a good breakdown of the cost definitions as reported by the US DOD, and Accounting Office -

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dnY9BMOLDBA/T ... itions.bmp

Bloomberg is referring to the PAUC which includes elements mentioned earlier.

Now coming to the Japanese budget. Why would they budget for PAUC in their annual defense procurement? The US does not do this and neither does any one else around the world. You pay RDT&E costs upfront..sometimes a decade in advance..develop the aircraft and then when it reaches the production phase, you buy it. You do not roll the developmental cost into unit cost and pay it at the time of purchasing the aircraft. It is rolled together only for accounting purposes but in reality it is paid upfront, usually in the first 10-15 years of a program's 50+ year life. Same with MILCON..You spend that money upfront to prepare your military bases to accommodate a new capability..

So in the case of Japan's budget, it includes the money they will spend to produce the F-35As on their FACO line. The cost to acquire the FCO line and become an FMS customer for the F-35, and the cost to buy weapons and other support for the aircraft program would have been either paid already separately or will be paid out in the future. It would most certainly not be spent or budgeted as an increment to the unit cost for annual batches. What they budget for is exactly the amount of money they need to produce and procure X number of F-35As of off the assembly line in Nagoya. Nothing more and nothing less. The cost of the assembly line has been paid already.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 30 Aug 2017 05:43


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 Aug 2017 07:45

Here Are The First Images Of The First Bell V-280 Valor Next-Generation Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Prototype


The V-280 Valor is Bell’s submission for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) phase, the technology demonstration precursor to Future Vertical Lift (FVL), a replacement for the service’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters.

The V-280 will have a crew of 4 (including two pilots) and be capable of transporting up to 14 troops. Its cruising speed will be 280 knots (hence the designation V-280) and its top speed will be 300 kts. It’s designed for a range of 2,100 nautical miles and an effective combat range of 500 to 800 nmi although the Army’s requirements for the demonstrator call for hot and high hover performance (at 6,000 feet and 95 F), and the ability to self-deploy 2,100 nautical miles at a speed of at least 230 knots.

Featuring a triple-redundant flight-by-wire Flight Control System and cutting edge avionics, the first prototype of the next generation helicopter is expected to perform its first flight in the next few months. On Aug. 30, what looks like a 100 percent complete aircraft, sporting the registration N280BH, was spotted at Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center (where the demonstrator aircraft began ground vibration testing with a 95 percent complete helicopter back in February 2017): the Valor is probably being prepared for engine tests ahead of its maiden flight (planned for Sept. 2017).

The T64-GE-419 engines and gearboxes in the nacelles are clearly visible in the interesting images in this post obtained from a short video filmed by our friend Steve Douglass. Interestingly, unlike the V-22’s engines, that rotate with the gearboxes, in the V-280, the gearbox is the only thing that rotates. According to Bell “The output shaft is connected to the drive system through a spiral bevel gearbox that transfers power to the fixed gearbox and proprotor gearbox, which rotates on two big spherical bearings driven by a conversion actuator mechanism.” The Valor’s tilting gearbox design vastly simplifies the Osprey’s complex hydro-mechanical clockwork required for the tiltrotor action.


Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 31 Aug 2017 08:09

are these tilt rotors less maintenance intensive and lesser opex than traditional blackhawk chinook types?
higher speed and incredible range is not really a issue except for SF teams. and they are in same payload range, actually the new CH53K king stallion has a much bigger payload and IOC 2018 and the marines are funding it, the same people allegedly which these tilt rotors will fly 1000km deep into Iran on d-day :roll:

what then is driving these programs ?

nobody else around the world seems to be investing in tilt rotors ... to me it seems a quixotic science project with no compelling real use case.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 Aug 2017 14:53

Besides things like open mission systems on the avionics side, the JMR-TD, and the FVL requirements are being driven by two primary things, speed and range across the blackhawk and Apache replacement lines. For the FVL they are looking close to 1.5-2x increase in cruise and top speed, and a roughly 2x increase in combat radius with the new helicopters. Many reasons but likely reflects some of the expeditionary demands given the Pacific focus and the tyranny of distance associated with that AOR.

Speed and radius are interrelated things from a requirements perspective. If you take the baseline blackhawk and double its combat radius but keep speed the same, you would not be flying as many sorties during high ops tempo needs - the aircraft will simply be spending 2x the time in ingress and egress. Double the speed at the double the range gets you the aircraft back around the same time so that you can turn it around and maintain a similar SGR allowing a like for like type replacement.

higher speed and incredible range is not really a issue except for SF teams.


These are not meant for just special forces teams but across the operational demand of the blackhawk and apache units.

the same people allegedly which these tilt rotors will fly 1000km deep into Iran on d-day


I don't know who these same people are but the requirements do not call for survivability in terms of penetrating an air defense setup unless of course escorted much like the current fleet they are ultimately designed to replace.

higher speed and incredible range is not really a issue except for SF teams.


The increased combat radius demands are done given an analysis of likely future need in this department. The US Army has been demanding higher speeds and ranges from their vertical lift portfolios and there are joint services needs to that end as well. The current crop of aircraft that were designed in the 60s and 70s and have reached the limits of their capabilities. For the future they see a need to have higher maneuver warfare requirements, less basing, less secure basing, and the need to move large amount of troops at great distances in an equal or short amount of time than is currently possible. Some of this is looking at the theater the primary requirements are being designed around (Pacific vs Europe as was the case in the 60s and 70s), and part of it is because the offensive capability of their main adversaries is advancing at a significant pace forcing them to look long and hard at higher levels of maneuverability in terms of how they deploy, and how rapidly and frequently they can move combat units and what distances they can travel while providing the ability to generate equal or better sortie rates.

nobody else around the world seems to be investing in tilt rotors ... to me it seems a quixotic science project with no compelling real use case.


I guess it comes down to requirements. There are only a finite number of ways to get a cruise speed in excess of 250 knots. (280 for this version) and a top speed closer to 300 knots along with other requirements such as the ability to land vertically, hover performance as demanded (6000 ft. at 95F HOGE) and the ability to execute the mission demands. Bell's and Sikorsky's designs represents two such approaches to those requirements. If and when other programs around the world demand similar performance we could potentially see other design approaches towards meeting this end goal. Bell naturally based theirs on a next generation tilt rotor setup having had the most amount of experience with tilt rotors compared to its peers. Sikorsky has gone a different route.

On the JMR-TD, Bell and Karem proposed a tilt-rotor based solution. Once the Technology demonstration phase is completed, technically Karem, AVX and others can still come back and bid for the eventual FVL contract (it is unlikely that they'll proceed though given the advantages enjoyed by the two companies funded demonstration work) so there may be yet more tilt rotor concept refinements. I expect both Sikorsky and Bell to advance and get work for the FVL eventually if for nothing else but industrial base reasons alone.

The video below has a detailed discussion on the program



As you can see from the screen grab below, Bell seems to have chased the speed and range requirements and will likely exceed thresholds significantly. Sikorsky will likely meet the speed requirements but won't be as fast as the V-280 but they will likely chase a lower LCC and higher agility.

Image

The aim of the current technology demonstrations is to inform the FVL program and cost to build and operate will be a large component of this. They will likely utilize the demonstration phase to further determine what they can and cannot afford in terms of performance. What this isn't is a TD program that will eventually lead to a configuration that is exactly the same. There will be different FVL requirements and the JMR-TD will inform those.

CH53K king stallion has a much bigger payload and IOC 2018


The CH-53K is a heavy lift helicopter and not a Blackhawk or Apache replacement. Its only direct army competitor is the Chinook which even in its most capable version can't lift as much. There is a FVL requirement for the Heavy and Ultra end of the spectrum but it is a small one and will likely be something explored in the 2030s as the CH-47s can probably get another upgrade with ITEP follow on. The main driving focus is to replace the Blackhawk and Apache lines which will be a multi decade effort given how many of these exist out there. The light and heavy requirements are much smaller in scope compared to these. Also keep in mind that this is a technology demonstration program and not a one aircraft fits all requirements. A heavy FVL may look a lot different from a light one in both technology and design. Sikorsky for example is looking at offering the S-97 Raider which is a company funded design as part of a future FVL-Light requirement (scout), while their Defiant will be more of a blackhawk/Apache sized craft.

Image
Last edited by brar_w on 01 Sep 2017 14:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 Aug 2017 23:32

Boeing being asked to ramp up JDAM tailkit production. From a recent RFP issued to them -

Boeing’s proposal shall use a quantity-based pricing curve for the JDAM Tail Kit based upon at
least three quantities for Lots 23-27 as follows:

a.The Minimum Tail Kit Quantity (for all variants) that would be ordered for each Production
Lot 23-27 is 10,500;

b.The Maximum Tail Kit Quantity (for all variants) that would be ordered for each Production
Lot 23-27 is 52,000. This maximum quantity is requested only to derive the pricing curve. At
this point, the USG does not intend to order over 45,000 and does not have the necessary
authority to order above 45,000 units; and

c.The Most Likely (Objective) Tail Kit Quantity (for all variants) that would be ordered for each
Production Lot 23-27 is 45,000.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 01 Sep 2017 00:08

Whatever happened to India joining FVL?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 01 Sep 2017 03:55

They are still at a technology demonstration portion so international participation will likely take time and will probably start with the Europeans wanting in a piece of the market. The US Army to its part wants to take this really slow allowing them to spread out their "big 5" recapitalization over the next 15-25 years rather than doing it all at once and having to compromise on specifications and requirements to make everything fit a budget top line. Aviation modernization to them is a late 2020s push if not later since they have an interim upgrade to their current fleets through efforts like the ITEP. Industry wants them to move faster and so do some influential policy makers. The real program doesn't really begin until JMR is completed closer to 2020. It is at that point that the US Army and the policymakers must decide how soon and how aggressively to introduce the technology into the FVL.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 01 Sep 2017 04:31


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 01 Sep 2017 08:05

NRao wrote:Whatever happened to India joining FVL?


Like Brazil, which is the country of the future and always will be, so also the FVL. There's value in tacking 'future' onto 'not now' items.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 01 Sep 2017 08:21



Interesting day dreams. " Here are several ways the F-22 could be countered."

There is an old saying (always used by economists in every conversation): ceteris paribus—all things being equal.

But all things are not equal. At least at any one point in time. None of these tactics will work simply because you're not fighting the Raptor but the US. Long before any 'cheap' swarm' can exhaust AMRAAM missile stocks etc, other fighters, bombers, cruise missiles and drones would have knocked down the door and kept countermeasures reactive.

So when the Chinese for example, talk of DF21 'carrier killers', I have to laugh. First you have to find the carriers (more difficult in the open ocean than one might think) and then you have to assume the US is going to let you get the first shot.

As the author admits, the T-50 /SU-57 is a more 'modest' version of the Raptor. But it is also a more modest version of the F-35.

Pipe dreams.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kakarat » 01 Sep 2017 13:15



I feel India should help Vietnam buy to these planes

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 01 Sep 2017 14:59

Cosmo_R wrote:


Interesting day dreams. " Here are several ways the F-22 could be countered."

There is an old saying (always used by economists in every conversation): ceteris paribus—all things being equal.

But all things are not equal. At least at any one point in time. None of these tactics will work simply because you're not fighting the Raptor but the US. Long before any 'cheap' swarm' can exhaust AMRAAM missile stocks etc, other fighters, bombers, cruise missiles and drones would have knocked down the door and kept countermeasures reactive.

So when the Chinese for example, talk of DF21 'carrier killers', I have to laugh. First you have to find the carriers (more difficult in the open ocean than one might think) and then you have to assume the US is going to let you get the first shot.

As the author admits, the T-50 /SU-57 is a more 'modest' version of the Raptor. But it is also a more modest version of the F-35.

Pipe dreams.


What sort of analyst does not want to go on record? :). Anyhow, asymmetric capability needs to be looked at on both sides and any X vs Y comparison is totally pointless since great power conflicts are always fought and won at the systems level. It isn't only about how the F-22 will respond to the swarm, but how the swarm will survive a combined USAF, USMC, USN and even US Army offensive and defensive Electronic Warfare, Cyber and Electronic Attack capability, and their own offensive swarms using low cost options. How will a J-20 respond to a half dozen F-35's being escorted by say a dozen "Loyal Wingmen" companions? The USAF can bring that capability right now with a transport launched swarm of decoys and decoy-jammers..

Regardless, some of these limitations are true..in the future utilizing high magazine concepts to shoot down large volleys of drones, cruise missiles, and even air-to-air missiles will be a requirement for 5th generation aircraft because they, compared to their previous gen. peers, can actually operate closer to the enemy and this allows them to use their own active and passive offensive/defensive sensors more effectively. Those dense magazine concepts/configurations are being looked at in order to get 10-12 missile capacity against this sort of "raid" threat. Again they won't do away with the requirements to field more longer range missiles but they will be complementary..much like high density magazine concepts introduced with the ERINT/PAC-3 are complementary to but not a replacement for long range weapons like the PAC-2, and SM6.

Cost and technical capability (yields) has reached a point where you can think about making A2A missiles better by introducing Ka band seekers, looking at an RF/IR set up, and allowing missile to missile communication along with other advanced data linking concepts. Some of these capabilities already exist elsewhere, SM2, RIM-116, Stunner/Skyceptor already field RF/IR combined seeker concepts, ground to air missiles field Ka band seekers, and Missile to Missile data-links are now actively being designed (USN contract to Raytheon for a Sea-Ram upgrade). This will allow them to go after the harder targets such as small UAVs, and missiles more effectively. Greater accuracy also allows for a smaller "lethality enhancer" warhead so you sort of find a middle of the road solution between traditional warhead sizes and a totally hit to kill system (PAC-3 does this compared to say the PAC-2 on one end, and the THAAD on the other).

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The Delta AMRAAM is a good weapon and a good upgrade over the previous variant. It too is due for a software update in a year or so and a major hardware bump in a few years that will replace its signal processors. The USAF and the USN will look at its Air weapons portfolio, relative to a threat and they are likely confident where things stand given that it is always a combination of quality and quantity and they have ramped up Aim-120D production significantly with 1000+ already in supply to front line squadrons. As far as the future, they not only need a new weapon but likely multiple new weapons to support different employment concepts and to counter different threats.

The Meteor is a good weapon but it only really addresses propulsion and kinematics through a non weapons-bay optimized configuration but besides that it really does not seek to significantly enhance networking or seeker concepts going forward. It is more of a response to the lack of the ability of the advanced Euro-canards to get close in due their lack of stealth. The USAF has looked at and even flight tested more weapons-bay optimized, efficient, long range motor concepts but again they need to head where the threat is heading. If the threat is looking to emulate the US and field complementary low cost, small drone swarms, decoys, decoy-jammers, and with the cruise missile threat against US troops proliferating do they really need to exercise that solution? The problem that I see coming up is that of a sensor-Fire_Control overload on account of these cheap swarms and other more complex and capable manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) concepts and none of the current A2A missiles around the world are optimized around that threat.

I see parallels here to ballistic missile warhead salvos leading SAMs towards a high end, high density point defense capability that was forced upon the US Army when they embarked on quadrupling the launcher load of the Patriot (from 4 to 16 missiles per launcher) with the ERINT, trading off range and altitude for magazine capacity while actually enhancing the maneuverability and other important performance parameters of the interceptor within that envelope.

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International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Peregrine » 01 Sep 2017 17:47

Sweden's Saab to tie up with Adani for fighter jet deal

NEW DELHI: Sweden's Saab is tying up with India's Adani Group to bid for defence deals in India, with a focus on its Gripen fighter jet aircraft, its chief executive Hakan Buskhe told reporters on Friday.

The partnership will compete with U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin in a two horse-race to win a potential order from India's military for single-engine jets that will be produced locally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make-in-India" initiative.

After the deal, Saab CEO said it will utilise research and development on Gripen in India for other markets and for other aviation and defence sectors and will build a full supply chain in India for Gripen.

Together with the Adani Group, Saab will bid to make about 100 single engine fighters, a contract worth nearly $15 billion, news agency AFP had reported on Thursday quoting a person familiar with the deal .

"This has been in the works for the last several months," the source had said.

The deal comes amid a push by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reduce India's reliance on expensive defence imports as it seeks to bolster its military in the face of China's growing clout in the region.

Modi government has raised the limit on foreign investment in the defence sector and encouraged tie-ups between foreign and local companies under the 'Make in India' campaign where the Indian partner will remain the majority stakeholder.

India currently imports at least 90 per cent of its defence equipment including parts for assembly.

Cheers Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 02 Sep 2017 00:38


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Sep 2017 23:19


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 06 Sep 2017 06:39

A few pics from the USAF Light Attack demonstration at Edwards AFB -

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Chinmay » 06 Sep 2017 11:24

Canadian defence procurement seems to be as bad as or worse than ours. The previous governments signed on for the F-35, so Canada was an level 3 industrial partner. The costs of the purchase were controversial, so the current government promised not to buy the F-35, choosing some other option instead. Then they went to Boeing for the SHornet, which made sense as it shared commonality with their F-18Cs. But Boeing and Canada are fighting it out in court over Bombardier, which rendered the SHornet purchase invalid.

Now the Canadians are begging the Aussies for their old F-18s, which are probably as old as the RCAF planes. Read it here

As a side note, the RCAF sure has a tiny airforce relative to the size of the country, though I know that it usually operates under the patronage of Khan..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 06 Sep 2017 12:30

Is that an inbuilt ladder in the aircraft ? Never realised it till now. Seems a bit of over-engineering, considering that the height of the aircraft is not that much (compared to other front line fighters). Simple slits in the side could have done just as well...

brar_w wrote:A few pics from the USAF Light Attack demonstration at Edwards AFB -

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 06 Sep 2017 14:06

With low weight materials you could probably design a boarding ladder to minimally impact your weight margins and Textron may well have done that. But since they designed the aircraft to no specified customer requirements, they could simply remove it, or modify it in the final iteration if there is a need to further optimize the space and weight (which I doubt). It is running on efficient 4000 lb thrust class engines from the business jet world and is about 25% or so heavier than a trainer jet like the Hawk so I think they are fine.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 07 Sep 2017 03:56

Chinmay wrote:Canadian defence procurement seems to be as bad as or worse than ours. ....
Now the Canadians are begging the Aussies for their old F-18s, which are probably as old as the RCAF planes. Read it here
....


Wait till they find out about the Qatari M2Ks :) But you're right very similar. And it stems from the same cluelessness about doctrine and strategy. Hence any road will get you there.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Sep 2017 16:23

DARPA flying missile rail concept -


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 08 Sep 2017 17:17

Bell V-280 ‘100%’ Complete, Nearing First Flight


“[Bell’s] making exceptional progress on the V-280 Valor program and has achieved 100% build completion on the prototype aircraft,” the company says. “The team is now preparing for initial ground run at the Amarillo assembly center.”..

Bell officials have been walking a fine line between trying to be bold and outspoken about their achievements under the V-280 program, but also realistic about the dangers of flying any new prototype aircraft and the potential for disaster if things go wrong.

The company’s 525 program was set back by about one year after one its orange prototype crashed in July 2016 due to rotor system vibration and frequency resonance. Two test pilots died.

More recently, Sikorsky’s first S-97 Raider prototype has been taken out of action after a hard landing at the company’s development center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Sikorsky is now assessing whether to complete assembly of the second prototype and continue expanding the flight envelope of the high-speed rotorcraft out to 220 kt.

Valor is Bell’s answer to the middle-weight category of the Army-led Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, which will replace the Bell H-1 Huey, Sikorsky H-60 Black Hawk and potentially the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter types in the 2030 timeframe. The 30,000 lb.-class, twin-engine V-280 tiltrotor has a design speed of 280 kt. and 500-800 nm combat range.

The company’s primary competitor for JMR-TD and FVL is the Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant, which is now entering final assembly at Sikorsky’s plant in West Palm Beach. Defiant is running about 6-9 months behind Valor, with first flight expected by mid-2018.

Achieving first flight this month will earn Bell significant bragging rights and will certainly leave a positive impression with potential Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force customers. The program also is being closely watched by potential foreign customers, including Australia, the Netherlands and the UK.



More pictures released by Bell -

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Last edited by brar_w on 08 Sep 2017 18:23, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Pratyush » 08 Sep 2017 17:31

Brar, what is you take on the Japanese attempts to place an AESA seeker of BVR AAM.

What are the potential advantages of doing some thing like that.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 08 Sep 2017 17:46

Pratyush wrote:Brar, what is you take on the Japanese attempts to place an AESA seeker of BVR AAM.

What are the potential advantages of doing some thing like that.


I think Japan may have a seeker already in service and they are trying to improve it and mount it on a Meteor. Don't know about its characteristics and performance however. Advantages are obviously the same as you would get in a radar, improved reliability, reduction in array weight through a gimbal-less setup, wide band gap materials can allow for significantly improved performance against jamming and the increased efficiency would allow higher frequencies to be part of the trade which are good not only for better accuracy and range but also for better survivability since they impose a cost on the countermeasures.

It will also potentially allow for better discrimination against multiple targets (think decoys). Overall, as you mount more and more arrays on a missile whether for targeting or communication you will need to improve efficiency given finite SWaP availability and this is a good way of doing it. Around the world there are a number of programs that are addressing some of the disadvantages which revolve around cost and managing power and thermal requirements. In the US there are a few quite advanced programs being led by the Army on AESA based Ka band seekers with flight demonstrations due in the next few months. These are being led by Northrop Grumman and Lockheed. What the big seeker teams are doing (Raytheon and Boeing) is not known in the public.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Pratyush » 08 Sep 2017 18:34

Thanks

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Sep 2017 04:06

Nice overview of the US Department of Navy, F-35 program update. Cool picture of an F-35C fully loaded with 4 external GBU-32's, Aim-9x and internal bay going supersonic -

https://livestream.com/wab/tailhook2017 ... /162471073
Last edited by brar_w on 12 Sep 2017 05:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Sep 2017 04:27

Strong possibility of a USAF Su-27 crash leading to the loss of life of a highly experienced test pilot -

Fatal Nevada Crash Involved Foreign Aircraft Type


LOS ANGELES—A Sept. 5 accident at the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) that killed a U.S. Air Force test pilot appears to have involved a foreign aircraft type operated by the service’s secretive Red Hat unit.

The fatal incident came to light when an Air Force spokesman at Nellis AFB announced that Lt. Col. Eric “Doc” Schultz died of injuries sustained in the crash of his aircraft on the range about 100 mi. northwest of the base. The spokesman said the aircraft was assigned to Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), but did not specify the type involved or the circumstances.


Given the approximate location provided by the Air Force, it appears the accident occurred midway between Groom Lake and Tonopah Test Range airfield, both of which are operated by Detachment 3, Air Force Test Center (AFTC). The site is responsible for test and evaluation of classified “black” aircraft as well as foreign types which are flown by the Red Hats for tactics assessment and dissimilar training against front line Air Force units.

Sources indicate Schultz was the Red Hats squadron commander at the time of his death. The Red Hats became an unnumbered unit within the Detachment 3, AFTC test wing after the 413th flight test squadron (formerly 6513th test squadron) was deactivated in 2004. Over recent years the unit has operated a variety of Russian-developed combat types, including the MiG-29 and several Sukhoi-developed models such as the Su-27P, one of which was recently observed flying in the vicinity.

Schultz was formerly involved in F-35 testing based at Edwards AFB, California. He was an exceptionally experienced pilot with more than 2,000 hr. flying numerous aircraft. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot’s School, Schultz had also served as director of operations and exchange officer at the Canadian Forces Flight Test Center. He also flew an F-15E fighter in more than 50 close air support combat missions in Afghanistan. In addition,

Schultz served in systems engineering for the Airborne Laser program.

Prior to his military career, Schultz was the senior scientist and business development manager at the Pratt & Whitney Seattle Aerosciences Center. He also flew as a rotary wing flight test engineer at the Naval Air Warfare Center.


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