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International Aerospace Discussion

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Lisa
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Lisa » 17 Apr 2017 15:23

Its sooooo easy! Even the Iranians are doing it!

https://www.rt.com/news/384938-iran-ste ... e-driving/

Cosmo_R
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Cosmo_R » 17 Apr 2017 18:48

JayS wrote:^^ :rotfl: :rotfl:
Wasn't it enough that we were bankrolling Ruskis through our own weapons purchase that now we do that through BD..??


We owe Mother Russia. We're still crazy about them after all these years. We should have given the BDs the Mig29Ks

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2017 20:02


Zynda
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Zynda » 18 Apr 2017 13:19

Just saw Iranian Q-313 aircraft and it got me thinking. I am sure it is illegal for US (& probably EU) CAD & physics based numerical simulation software packages OEMs to sell to Iranian institutions. I wonder what Iranians use for developing complex engineering products like Aircrafts? There are similar CAD packages from Russia which Iran may use. Kompass 3D is one popular Russian CAD software. I could not find any numerical products from Russia (which is surprising given how good Russians are at mathematics). I am sure the Chinese recently have managed to reverse engineer/develop some packages as well, which may be used by Iranians. Of course, Iran can always use pirated versions of Western packages but I would think it would not be easy & practical to deploy pirated installations on a large scale usage essentially due to no tech support from OEM.

I believe for India & PRC, some US CAD/Numerical software packages are priced differently and may need special authorizations from GOTUS. In the long run, it would be prudent for us to develop our own products. This is one of the areas where our IT service companies can step in. Work with CSIR/DRDO/Academic institutions to nail the physics part and IT folks can work on developing GUI, HPC & software functions.

South Korea for example have their own numerical software called Midas NFX which is being deployed by Hyundai & other major S Korean engineering houses.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 18 Apr 2017 15:18

US Marines continue F-35B workup in Japan


MELBOURNE, Australia — The first Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter squadron to deploy overseas is continuing the type’s expeditionary workup, conducting training exercises to operate the aircraft in real-world scenarios while operating from austere locations.

In separate news releases, the U.S. Marine Corps announced that the Green Knights of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 have carried out hot reloads and aviation-delivered ground refueling, or ADGR, training with its F-35Bs at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, on April 6 and 11 respectively.

A hot reload is the process of loading ordnance onto an aircraft while the pilot remains in the cockpit with the engine running.

The ADGR exercise saw a Marine KC-130J Hercules tanker transfer fuel directly to the F-35B while both aircraft were on the ground. According to the Marines, this signified the first time the forward-deployed squadron loaded ordnance onto a running F-35B at Iwakuni in order to prepare for real-world scenarios, while the squadron’s first ADGR established flow rates of fuel in gallons per minute to determine how fast the process could be carried out.

The Marines added that successfully completing the ADGR is a landmark that increases the capabilities of the squadron, offering the ability to refuel by C-130 aircraft in austere locations when other resources are unavailable.

Video released by the service showed that during the hot reload, 1,000-pound inert GBU-32 satellite-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions were loaded onto the internal weapons bay of the F-35B, which can carry a maximum of two such weapons. The GBU-32 had only been loaded into the F-35B’s internal weapons bay for the first time two days before, during a similar hot reload performed by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One, or MAWTS-1, during the semiannual Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 2-17 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona.

The ability to hot reload the F-35B, opposed to shutting down the aircraft completely to load, can save wear and tear on the aircraft. In a combat situation, performing a hot load would save time and minimize any failure opportunities with the aircraft, according to Master Sgt. Jason Daniel, an ordnance chief with MAWTS-1. Maj. Adam Perlin, aircraft maintenance officer for VMFA-121 and the pilot on board the F-35B conducting the hot reload at Iwakuni, said that executing the training helped build a knowledge basis and proficiency for the ordnance Marines and the aircrew.

“Little steps like what we did today are moving the entire program along,” Perlin said. “Conducting this training for the first time here in Iwakuni and making sure we get these things right enhances our capabilities as well as the Marine Corps’ capabilities as a whole.”

VMFA-121 currently has 10 F-35Bs based at Iwakuni with the number due to rise to 16 and another six to arrive over the summer, bringing the squadron to full strength. The squadron is also due to go to sea with the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in the fall.

The amphibious assault ship Wasp is scheduled to become part of the U.S. 7th Fleet forward-deployed naval forces later this year when it moves from Norfolk, Virginia, to Sasebo, Japan. The ship will eventually replace the current forward-deployed amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, which is due to return to San Diego, California, for maintenance and upgrades in 2018.





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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 18 Apr 2017 16:18


brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 19 Apr 2017 15:50

USAF begins first F-35A operational deployment

The US Air Force (USAF) has begun its first operational overseas deployment of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), with a number of aircraft arriving in Europe on 15 April.

At least four aircraft from the 34th Fighter Squadron (388th Fighter Wing) and the Air Force Reserve's 466th Fighter Squadron (419th Fighter Wing) based at Hill Air Force Base (AFB) in Utah were photographed arriving at Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath in the UK. Jane's understands that a total of six F-35As arrived, with two more to follow.

After a short bedding-down period, they will begin a training and NATO reassurance mission that will see them operate throughout Europe over the course of several weeks. As noted by the USAF, the trans-Atlantic deployment is being supported by Boeing C-17 Globemaster III and Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy transport aircraft flying maintenance equipment and personnel.

This deployment to Europe has been long-touted by the USAF, with the former chief of Air Combat Command (ACC), General Herbert Carlisle, saying ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow in July 2016 that he had "no qualms" about sending the F-35A into operations as soon as initial operating capability (IOC) was declared.

"That is the whole purpose of IOC," Gen Carlisle said at the time, adding, "We have a capability plan that we are working on that would first see the F-35 deployed on a TSP [Theater Security Package] to either Europe or the Pacific. Will it be in the Middle East? Yes, absolutely. That isn't in our near-term plan, [but] I would send the F-35 into combat in a heartbeat if a commander asked for it."

That IOC milestone achieved in August 2016, with the aircraft fitted with the Block 3i software (initial full combat capability).

The F-35A is the latest USAF asset to be deployed to Europe since the breakdown in relations with Russia over the invasion and subsequent annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea. Other types deployed under Operation 'Atlantic Resolve' include the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, Boeing F-15 Eagle, Fairchild-Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II, Boeing B-52H Stratofortress, and Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit. Rotations will generally last six months, depending on mission and US.

The USAF has a requirement for 1,763 F-35As. Eglin AFB received its first jet in 2011, and is the Integrated Training Center and home of F-35A and F-35C pilot training and all three variant maintenance training. Edwards AFB received its first jet in 2011 and is the home of F-35A system, design, and development (SDD) and operational test and evaluation (OT&E). Nellis AFB received its first jet in 2014, and participates in OT&E as well as being home to F-35A Fighter Weapons School. Luke AFB received its first jet in 2014, and started pilot training in May 2015. It is the home of USAF and International F-35A pilot training. Hill AFB received its first jet in 2015, becoming the first USAF F-35 operational base.

The service will be happy to get this first operational deployment of the F-35A under way, given that the US Marine Corps (USMC) recently did the same for its F-35B variant aircraft. In January, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) arrived at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni in Japan.


brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 Apr 2017 16:16

METEOR INTEGRATION ON F-35 TAKES SIGNIFICANT STEP FORWARD

The United Kingdom (MOD) has today awarded MBDA a contract to pave the way for the integration of the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) on its new F-35 stealth fighters.

Today’s contract helps de-risk the integration effort and includes the mixture of test assets, productionisation and engineering work needed to support Meteor’s compatibility and use from F-35. This is excellent news for the UK’s F-35 Lightning II force, which is planned to be armed with the game-changing Meteor missile in the 2020s.

The test assets being contracted today encompass the usual suite of test missiles required for an aircraft integration programme. Contract scope also includes the role change kits for the UK’s common Meteor stockpile for both Typhoon and Lightning.

Today’s contract follows-on from the successful firing trials of MBDA’s Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) from the F-35 earlier this year. ASRAAM is being integrated onto the F-35 as part of the aircraft’s Block 3 SDD programme.

Also set for future integration onto the F-35 is MBDA’s SPEAR precision surface attack missile. Meteor and SPEAR are advanced weapons that complement the ‘5th gen’ F-35, bringing networked capability with stand-off – both weapons are key elements of the UK’s carrier strike capability in the future.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 23 Apr 2017 06:53

‘Eject, Dude’: Pilot Error Blamed For U-2 Trainer Crash

Designed to fly at the edge of space to gather photographic and signals intelligence, the Lockheed Skunk Works-built long-wing aircraft is one of the most difficult military jets to fly. It approaches landing strips at airspeeds within 10% of stall conditions and touchdown itself is achieved by stalling the aircraft at the right moment. Landings and takeoffs are assisted by another fully-qualified U-2S pilot following in a chase car.

NRao
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 23 Apr 2017 06:55

China Takes Wraps Off National Hypersonic Plan

For many years, any coherent view of China’s highly ambitious hypersonic research program, just like its mist-shrouded coastline, has been all but impossible to see from the outside world.

However, following the apparent decision to reveal more about its latest hypersonic research activities, the fog is lifting for the first time over at least some of China’s test and development efforts in high-speed flight.

What has come into view is a cohesive, nationwide hypersonic research and technology program that not only shows astonishing depth and breadth, but has also produced a bewildering number of major accomplishments in a relatively short period. The new picture emerged in early March at the 21st International Space Plane and Hypersonic Systems and Technology conference held here, where China’s top academic and government research units presented progress in unprecedented detail, on everything from hypersonic missions and vehicles to the latest on new test facilities and development of propulsion, power and control systems.

HIGH-SPEED PROGRESS
First international hypersonics conference in China reveals unexpected advances in high-speed flight
First images shown of Chinese scramjet flight test
National hypersonics project from 2007-16 laid foundations for current projects
Propulsion studies show emphasis on variety of air-breathing combined-cycle concepts
The event marked the first international hypersonic conference held in China, as well as the first meeting to be organized in the country by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, in association with the China Academy of Engineering. Aimed at providing a domestic forum for China to internationally showcase its growing prowess in hypersonics, the conference promoted the open exchange of academic research while attempting to skirt the more sensitive defense-related aspects.

The conference, which gave many Chinese researchers their first opportunity to display many years’ worth of research to a wider Western audience, underlined the nation’s impressive overall advances in all areas of high-speed flight research for defense, transport and space access. While progress in some specific defense areas—most notably the recent flight tests of the DF-ZF/WU-14 hypersonic glide vehicles—was not discussed, the progress indicated by the underlying research makes it readily apparent that China is making strides in hypersonic capability much faster than previously thought.

Image
China has revealed the first known images of an indigenous scramjet test that it says was successfully conducted at speeds up to Mach 7 and altitudes up to 30 km, in December 2015. Credit: National Natural Science Foundation of China

The scope of high-speed technology activity, added to evidence shown at the conference of large-scale government investment in comprehensive test facilities, appears to support recent assertions made in the U.S. that China is on track to quickly overtake America’s hard-won leadership in the field. The claim, made in 2016 by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and by think tanks such as the Arlington, Virginia-based Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, comes as both China and Russia conduct demonstration flights of air-breathing and boost-glide hypersonic weapon systems. Both nations are believed to be targeting 2020 for deployment of the first operational units (AW&ST Feb. 20-March 5, p. 20)

A major revelation early on at the conference was the first formal acknowledgement of a Chinese scramjet flight test in December 2015. It is highly likely, though not yet confirmed, that the milestone achievement is associated with the same program for which the Feng Ru Aviation Science & Technology Elite trophy (Feng Ru was a Chinese aviation pioneer) was presented in 2015 to Zhenguo Wang, a professor at the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in Changsha. The award, presented by the Chinese Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the 2nd China Aeronautical Science and Technology Conference, gave no details other than that it was for the successful development of a kerosene-fueled scramjet.

SEE ALSO
China Reveals Key Test Progress On Hypersonic Combined-Cycle Engine
Showing images at the March hypersonic conference of the scramjet being ground-launched on a rocket booster, Chinese Academy of Sciences professor Lihong Chen said: “We also developed a low cost near-space science and technology flight test platform. The first flight test was successfully carried out, and key issues of the scramjet were demonstrated at Mach 3.5-7 and at altitudes of 15-30 km [9-18 mi.].” Offering no further details, Chen says the flight test was targeted at fundamental research under a program that she likened to the Australian-U.S. Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) effort.

Hypersonics Research Plan

Many of the achievements outlined at the conference, including the scramjet test, have emerged from a multiyear national “near-space” research initiative supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. “The focus is on long-range hypersonic maneuverable aircraft flying at altitudes of 30-70 km,” says Chen. The 150 million yuan ($22 million) project, which ran in 2007-16, was targeted at three key areas: developing theory and methods to guide relevant hypersonic technology research and development; driving innovative breakthroughs for “leap-forward” technology developments; and, lastly, fostering a team of outstanding researchers to support the sustained development of technology for near-space vehicles in China.

Within these broad research groups, “funding was given to fostering early concepts and key and integrated projects,” says Chen. Topic areas included: aerodynamics, thermal environment, scramjet propulsion, coupling mechanisms and prediction methods for gas and turbulence effects, computational and numerical simulation, materials and structures, thermal protection and intelligent, autonomous control.

Image
Studies of a folding-wing hypersonic boost-glide vehicle designed for deployment from a launcher at Mach 5 and 30-km altitude show dramatic changes in the center of pressure on release. Credit: China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology

Over the life of the various projects, the road map covered three periods, she adds: “These were the ‘sowing’ period, where all areas were funded for the first four years. The second covered years five and six and included follow-on funding, particularly for programs with multidisciplinary optimization. The final phase, covering the seventh to ninth years, funded the integrated projects.”

Key accomplishments include development of a theory for hypersonic unsteady flow, as well as understanding of complex flow mechanisms and advances in numerical simulation. “We improved the understanding of coupled-physical effects and found new flow phenomena,” says Chen. “We also established optimal design methods for high-lift/drag-ratio hypersonic aircraft and methods to reduce heat flux and drag as well as developed technology for no-ablation, active cooling. A proposed active thermal protection system [TPS] without ablation was demonstrated in the JF12 shock tunnel.” The JF12 is a detonation-driven shock tunnel in the State Key Laboratory of High Temperature Gas Dynamics in Beijing’s Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Propulsion highlights outlined by Chen, in addition to the scramjet flight test, included the identification of blowout limits of supersonic combustion with hydrocarbon fuel—vital to knowing the operability range of a scramjet. Researchers also proposed a new design method for hypersonic inlets, including a concept based on a curved compression face.

Chen says accomplishments in lightweight and heat-resistant materials, including structural TPS, include the development of materials in which resistance to thermal shock was enhanced by ‘“bionic” (biologically inspired) design of a ceramic surface structure. The result “increased thermal resistance by nearly 10,000 times,” she adds. Researchers also developed advanced TPS deigns to provide more options for hypersonic vehicle design, using a variety of carbon foams, ceramic coverings and sandwich insulation, as well as combinations of corrugated sandwich materials and insulation.

Chinese developers have also perfected a manufacturing process for heat-resistant structures that combines fiber bundles made by an interpenetrating weaving method with a secondary layering process. The combined effect creates a 3D lattice composite structure “to solve the problem of low interfacial strength of panels and cores,” says Chen. “Based on this technology, a new aerospace industry standard has been established and applied to a new generation of rockets and reusable space vehicles.”


Tests of a magneto-hydrodynamic heat shield system showed performance could be boosted by seeding the flow with potassium particles. Credit: College of Aerospace Science and Engineering

Chen also highlighted flight control, and described development of a new design method for fine attitude controlthat “has been applied to a waverider hypersonic vehicle to ensure efficient operation of the scramjet engine,” she says. “Flight test results show the control system can ensure an angle of attack below 1.5 deg.” Chen also described development of an active control law using an adaptive structural filter designed to improve flutter boundary and suppress flutter. “We have also developed a ground flutter simulation system for the rudder, which has been applied to research of the aerodynamic elasticity of hypersonic vehicles,” she adds.

“There are also a lot of programs I cannot show here,” says Chen, who also declined to discuss the scramjet flight test in further detail. More hints about progress in this classified area came from Yancheng You, conference co-chair and a Xiamen University hypersonics specialist. Believed to be referencing NUDT’s scramjet pioneer Zhenguo Wang, You says: “From the very beginning we wanted to invite another keynote speaker, a [big name in hypersonics] from China. But it was a little bit difficult because the topic is sensitive.”

[img]http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/uploads/2017/04/07/HYPERCHINA_2_NationalUniversityOfDefenseTechnology.jpg[img][/img][/img]
Ground tests of a hydrogen-fueled continuous-rotating detonation ramjet at Mach 4.5 and simulated 18.5-km altitude indicated positive thrust was obtained. Credit: National University of Defense Technology

Compared to the most recent U.S.-hosted hypersonics and spaceplanes conference in Atlanta in 2014, when just 89 papers were presented, a record 347 were shown in Xiamen—of which 272 were from China. Hypersonics is “definitely a very hot topic here,” says You, who cites the explosive growth of academic papers on the topic as evidence.

Between 2002 and 2015, more than 33,300 papers were published in the Chinese language with “hypersonic/space planes” in the title, while 3,582 journal papers with the same keywords were published in Chinese over the same span. The trend is seen globally as well, says You. Of more than 1,660 academic papers published in English on hypersonics in 2011-15, some 627, or 38%, were from China. The U.S. accounted for 25%, with 422, with the remainder produced by nations including France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Russia and the UK.

Combined-Cycle Concepts

Highlighted presentations at Xiamen on missions and vehicles included an integrated design method for an adaptable hypersonic dual waverider with twin scramjets fed by two 3D inward-turning inlets. The paper, from researchers at Avic, indicated the sharply swept delta-winged design with bifurcated inlets would have “satisfactory” performance at different angles of attack across a speed range of Mach 4-6.

A second highlighted vehicles study, presented by Yuan Yu of the Beijing-based China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, evaluated a reconfigurable waverider that would unfold its wings following deployment from beneath the shroud of a launch vehicle. While the details of the application were not discussed, the study appears to be clearly aimed at increasing the potential size—and therefore capability—of hypersonic glide vehicles that could be boosted into the upper atmosphere by intermediate or large ballistic missiles.

The papers also reveal a major Chinese focus on advanced combined-cycle propulsion systems for two-stage orbital vehicles, including precooling hypersonic air-breathing engines as well as a variety of turbine-based combined-cycle (TBCC) and rocket-based combined-cycle engines. Researchers from the Beijing Institute of Aerospace Technology also provided one of the most startling revelations of the conference, of significant progress on a hybrid engine dubbed the turbo-aided rocket-augmented ramjet (TRRE) combined-cycle engine (see page 55).

Under testing and development for more than two years by the Beijing Power Machinery Research Institute, the TRRE is designed to operate from a standing start to Mach 6+ and from sea level to 33-km altitude. The propulsion system combines a turbine engine, rocket and ramjet with a common, adaptable inlet and exhaust and is in the first of three planned development phases. Developers plan to conduct the first tests of the prototype engine up to Mach 6 in a free-jet facility later this year. Initial flight tests of a TRRE subscale demonstrator are planned by 2025 and full-scale envelope expansion by 2030.


Experiments showed supersonic shockwaves could be controlled with an arc-driven plasma synthetic jet (PSJ) actuator. Credit: Air Force Engineering University

Another combined-cycle concept, the Xiamen Turbine Ejector-Ramjet Combined Cycle (XTER), is being studied by Xiamen University’s School of Aerospace Engineering as a research training project. The propulsion system is another variation on the TriJet combined cycle outlined by Aerojet Rocketdyne in 2011, and combines a turbine, rocket-ejector and supersonic ramjet in a compact tandem/over-under hybrid flowpath arrangement.

“We know there is a lot of work to be done, but the XTER engine could satisfy the thrust requirements of future hypersonic vehicles over a wide range of Mach numbers up to Mach 6. The propulsion components, including an inward-turning TBCC-inlet, scramjet combustor, ejector ramjet and expansion ramp nozzle have been preliminarily studied,” says Yin Zeyong, dean of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Xiamen University.

Thermal management system concepts unveiled at the event included a magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) heat shield system that uses a solenoid magnet in the nosecone to push the hypersonic bow shock away from the surface of the vehicle during reentry. The study, by researchers at the NUDT, found the shock standoff distance could be increased twentyfold by using MHD. It also found that shock control and thermal protection at lower Mach numbers could be significantly improved by seeding the inflow with particles of potassium to increase ionization.

Another thermal management system study that closely resembles the precooler work undertaken by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency in the air turbo ramjet engine expander cycle program, and by UK-based Reaction Engines for its synergistic air-breathing rocket engine system, is a compact heat exchanger under test by a team at Beihang University in Beijing. The system, which would be used to precool air for the turbine in a combined-cycle engine, consists of tightly bundled tubes through which an unspecified coolant is pumped. The system produced “excellent performance” in early tests, say the researchers, who plan additional evaluations.

Image
Latest hypersonic test assets now being commissioned in China include a Mach 6 quiet wind tunnel in Changsha, Hunan. Credit: National University of Defense Technology

Several papers focused on ramjet and scramjet developments, with a heavy emphasis on mixing, injection and ignition, all of which are important for combustion. Working with the State Key Laboratory of Laser Propulsion and Application in Beijing, researchers from NUDT looked into the fundamentals of scramjet combustion, and in particular investigated auto-ignition caused by an oblique shock in a flow field at Mach 2.5. Using an imaging technique called nanoparticle-based planar laser scattering, they discovered that auto-ignition performance can be extended by increasing fuel injection pressure and the temperature of the airflow. They also found a longer flame cavity aids combustion.

Another group from the same university has also studied the use of successive laser shots to ignite ethylene fuel in a scramjet combustor at Mach 2.52. They found that increasing the energy of the laser shortened ignition time and increased the size of the initial flame but that plasma ignition could fail altogether if the gap between laser pulses exceeded 50 microsec.

China’s early flight test success of a hydrocarbon-fueled (kerosene) scramjet in 2015 has prompted follow-on research into better combustion systems for dual-mode scramjets capable of operating over a broader speed range up to Mach 10. Researchers from Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xian tested a scramjet combustor made up of two flameholder cavities mounted in tandem. The direct-connect tests, which were conducted at Mach 2 and at a set inlet temperature, showed the flameholding capacity increased with higher inlet pressures and that combustion stability moved from the upstream to the downstream cavity as pressure decreased.

Propulsion Research

Recent advances in propulsion component research include studies of an over-under TBCC exhaust system incorporating a moveable ramp for adjusting throat area ratio. Developed by Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ (NUAA) Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Aerospace Power Systems, in collaboration with Avic’s Shenyang Aircraft Design and Research Institute, the new configuration is aimed at smoothing the transition from turbojet to ramjet. The device was tested on an experimental TBCC nozzle in NUAA’s blowdown wind tunnel and showed that while the two flowpaths interacted, the ramjet flow had a greater impact on the internal flow of the turbojet nozzle.

[img]http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/uploads/2017/04/07/HYPERCHINA_6_ChinaAcademyOfAerospaceAerodynamics.jpg[img][/img][/img]
The 170-m-long FD21 free-piston shock tunnel in Beijing, opening soon, is the largest test facility of its type in the world. Credit: China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics

In other hypersonic propulsion studies, NUDT’s detonation research group from Changsha revealed details of work underway since 2009 on a continuous rotating detonation ramjet engine (CRDRE). Operating on the same basic principle as the pulse-detonation engine, the CRDRE incorporates an annular combustor, into which propellants are fed axially to produce detonation waves that rotate circumferentially around the chamber.

Continuous rotating detonation is a form of pressure-gain propulsion that is gaining increasing interest for potential application in high-speed weapons and vehicles, largely because the air-breathing concept is highly efficient and mechanically simple and can be applied to either turbojets or ramjets. The NUDT team built and tested a 660-mm-long detonation wave ramjet in both direct-connect and free-jet conditions using both hydrogen and ethylene fuels. Positive thrust was measured with the hydrogen fuel-led version in free-jet tests representing Mach 4.5 and 18.5 km (see photos on page 52), and researchers say nozzle-area contraction ratio is a key factor for propulsive performance and altering combustor pressure.

In the power and control systems area, a team from the Xian-based Air Force Engineering University and the School of Electrical Engineering at Xian Jiaotong University, is evaluating the potential application of arc-driven plasma synthetic jets to control the angle and position of supersonic shockwaves. The study recommends further work to improve control intensity and stability, as well as possible use to reduce heat flux and flow separation.

Other areas of advancement include studies of stiffened carbon composite structures for space vehicles and research into silicon nitride/silica composites for potential use for spacecraft thermal protection. Several research facilities also unveiled results of flow and gas physics experiments in hypersonic fundamentals, and 45 papers were presented on advances in hypersonics studies using computational methods.

China’s hypersonics initiative is grounded in a vast—and still expanding—nationwide network of test and evaluation facilities, the most notable of which is the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ JF12 detonation-driven shock tunnel. With a 99-m-long (324-ft-long) detonation chamber and a nozzle exit diameter of 2.5 m, the JF12 is currently the largest shock tunnel in the world and capable of replicating flight conditions at altitudes of 25-50 km and speeds of Mach 5-9. Opened in 2012, the JF12 can put test specimens through hypersonic conditions for more than 100 millisec.

However, China is still adding to its suite of large-scale test sites, and engineers at the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics in Beijing are currently completing commissioning of a new large-scale free-piston shock tunnel that is designed to test from Mach 10-15. Built in 2016, the FD21 is 170 m long overall, eclipsing even the mighty JF12. The facility can be operated as a conventional shock tunnel, a high-enthalpy tunnel with a test time of 5 millisec. or a moderate-enthalpy tunnel with a 50-millisec. test time.

Other new additions to the suite of test facilities include a Mach 6 hypersonic quiet tunnel built in 2016 at NUDT. Configured with a nozzle exit diameter of 300 mm and producing an operating time of more than 15 sec., the tunnel is still undergoing commissioning but has already shown that interference from the sidewalls, or “noise,” is as low as 0.1% with pressures at or below 0.5 megapascals (MPa). Scramjet researchers based at the Hypervelocity Aerodynamics Institute at the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center in Mianyang have meanwhile developed a combustion-heated facility capable of simulating flight conditions of Mach 4-7 with run durations of up to 600 millisec.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Chinmay » 25 Apr 2017 19:31

GAO recommends postponing F-35 block 4

The F-35 program should wait until the all-up Block 3F software version is fully developed before asking industry to offer upgrades for future iterations, known as Block IV, and before significantly increasing the fighter’s production rate, the Government Accountability Office said Monday.

In its second congressionally mandated annual review of the F-35, the GAO predicted that 3F testing, which was supposed to wrap up in the fall, will take at least five months longer, and “could take an additional 12 months.”

That would postpone operational test and delay fielding of the Navy F-35C version. Such a delay would also put off achieving full-rate production for all variants, targeted for April 2019, the GAO said. The cost would be $539 million extra for a five-month delay and $1.7 billion more for a full year, according to the report.


How binding is the recommendation of the GAO on the Pentagon?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 25 Apr 2017 22:18

It is not binding. GAO can project and present best case and worst case scenarios only if their recommendations are taken as part of a broader assessment that involves the operator community and program office. The Congress looks at everything in totality and comes to a judgement which , along with the highest DOD authority (OSD) is the only thing that binds the program to a schedule. The GAO was off by a fairly decent margin when it came to both USMC 2B, and USAF 3I assessment since they wrongly predicted that both the USMC and USAF will miss their IOC windows (however their lower estimates were within the range of what was achieved). There are three important deadlines that they are projecting and commenting on. One is the 3F fleet delivery, the other is 3F development completion, and the third is the conclusion of IOTE. On the first they are projecting (at least they were a while ago) a Q1-Q2 2018 delivery while the services and JPO are projecting a period of 3F port starting October 2017 and extending to November/December of 2017 and early 18 for the Navy variant.

For the Second piece i.e. the formal conclusion of development activity they are projecting a mid 2018 time frame while the program office and the Pentagon's acquisition and technology office is projecting a Q1 to early Q2 time frame. DT conclusion depends on the former but IOTE delays are almost entirely due to getting the 2 dozen or so aircraft required to administer IOTE. The wide range between a potential IOTE delay stems from the previous DOTE's insistence that the IOTE won't be started until every aircraft for the event is delivered and the services and program office's opinion that the IOTE should commence as scheduled using those aircraft that are available for performing testing on those points that can be effectively tested without a full complement of aircraft. The current DOTE position is leaning more towards the JPO model of a hybrid IOTE start and a full IOTE end. Overall it is reasonable to build a 5-6 month IOTE complete delay and the USN being just at or a couple of months off of their anticipated IOC range. Post baseline the program stopped asking for a firm date for milestones and built a range covering threshold and Objective dates.

Technically, FRP requires completion of Milestone-C but there is a waiver process that has and can be used in case not doing so has an adverse financial impact. Also, Milestone-C does not influence EOQ so if there are significant projected cost savings through contract negotiations the JPO is not bound by regulations that stop it from proceeding with an EOQ while the international customers negotiate a block buy. If the JPO decides to buy using the block-buy model prior to IOTE completion (like the international partners are going to be doing) then it must seek a congressional waiver.

As a contrast to the GAO's version which now projects a 5 month delay with a "potential" 12 month delay, here is the JPO's best estimate as of March, 2017. Of course these are all just estimates and we don't really know when the GAO actually wrote the report (Generally these reports are written for a particular budget season in advance) but it will be interesting to track how much the actual port over is to each one of their estimates schedules. If I were to guess I'd guess a no more than 2 month delay compared to the JPO estimate because much like the "weapons surge" that was demonstrated last summer (which the DOTE and GAO said at the time could be done) they have significantly ramped up testing in the last few months.

From the JPO's submission to Congress 3/17 -

The Department of Defense (DoD) has directed the JPO to maintain the resources
necessary to continue flight testing to May 2018, if necessary, to ensure we will deliver the full
Block 3F capability. The biggest risks to the timely completion of SDD flight testing include
software stability, the discovery of new software deficiencies, the time it takes to correct
deficiencies, and the health of our DT test fleet.

The second important milestone leading to the completion of SDD is the delivery and
fielding of the full Block 3F capability including the full aircraft and weapons envelope. The
following table shows the program’s estimates of when these full capabilities will be delivered.

Image

As you can see from the table, the delivery of the full capability for all 3 variants falls
within the original 2011 Acquisition Program Baseline dates with the exception of the B-model
envelope between 1.3 and 1.6 Mach which is slightly delayed, due to having only one B-model
test aircraft (BF-3) properly instrumented for the testing needed to get to 1.6 Mach.





In addition to the process of digesting information from the various stakeholders (Services, JPO, DOTE, GAO, Contractor etc) that is the responsibility of the Congress, internally, the DOD also has a mechanism for their own budgeting process. They must budget for both cost and schedule increases if they after consulting with the same stakeholders also feel that there needs to be a margin built in to the system for both expected and unexpected delays over and above the range cited in the objective and threshold APB document. Here as the Congressional testimony records the Pentagon has budgeted for a 3-month delay after factoring in all the various sources of information - Less than the 5 months predicted by the GAO as its low-estimate. This was decided upon by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Prem » 27 Apr 2017 07:46


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Prem » 27 Apr 2017 07:50

https://www.f35.com/news/detail/lockhee ... ics-system
Lockheed Martin Delivers New Capabilities for F-35 Logistics System

ALIS is the F-35's fleet management system, reducing the cost of operations and maintenance while increasing aircraft availability. After successful flight testing, upgraded ALIS software – called version 2.0.2 – will be installed at all operational F-35 sites by the end of 2017. The upgrade has performed well in supporting F-35 operations at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, since March 22.ALIS 2.0.2 now integrates propulsion data, which allows users to manage the F-35 engine from inside ALIS, eliminating the need for multiple maintenance systems and field service representatives to assist with engine diagnostics, analysis and maintenance. ALIS 2.0.2 improves the tracking of life-limited parts and streamlines resource management for deployed operations."This upgrade will allow deploying units to predict 'what if' scenarios inside ALIS, removing most of the manual planning that is done today," said Reeves Valentine, vice president of F-35 Logistics. "ALIS 2.0.2 will allow users to forecast and make those decisions. Picking the best jets, support equipment, spare parts and personnel for the deployment and managing resources throughout their lifecycle – that type of data should ultimately translate to better aircraft availability."The updated software also includes a networking feature to more easily establish connections between deployed locations and home stations. This upgrade offers parent units more versatility in managing the logistics "tail" – the chain of supplies and spares – for a deployed squadron.As the IT backbone of the F-35, ALIS integrates preventative maintenance, flight scheduling and the mission planning system. Pilots plan and debrief missions, and maintenance professionals sustain the F-35 using ALIS.AThe U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force declared F-35 initial operating capability (IOC) in 2015 and 2016 respectively, and the U.S. Navy is set to declare IOC in 2018. ALIS is operating at more than 20 locations and has supported more than 90,000 F-35 flight hours.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 01 May 2017 18:24


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby abhik » 02 May 2017 00:31

^^^
Was just about to post this, the footage was just WOW! Do watch.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Neshant » 02 May 2017 09:01


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 02 May 2017 15:07

Let us watch and filter these sort of shoddy videos first. This is a topic that has been often discussed and the crappy text to speech video does absolutely no justice to it. We have an entire thread dedicated to this.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 May 2017 04:45

Long Lead Item contract for 240 F-35s issued. LRIP-12 Production Rate firmed @ 130 aircraft / block while Block 13 and 14 is likely to exceed that.

US (AF/MC/N) LRIP-13 and 14 orders will be issued in 2018 and 2019 as they can't yet negotiate a bulk purchase, something that international customers can do as per their now laws.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a not-to-exceed $1,377,002,000 advance acquisition contract for long-lead time materials, parts, components, and effort for 130 low-rate initial production Lot 12 F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants, and foreign military sales customers. In addition this contract provides long-lead time materials, parts, components, and effort for 110 Lot 13 and 14 F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the non-U.S. DoD participants and foreign military sales customers. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent); El Segundo, California (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (20 percent); Orlando, Florida (10 percent); Nashua, New Hampshire (5 percent); Nagoya, Japan (5 percent); and Baltimore, Maryland (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2018. Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement (Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps); non-U.S. DoD participant; and foreign military sales funds in the amount of $1,377,002,000 are being obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This order combines purchases for the Air Force ($315,500,000; 23 percent); Marine Corps ($128,925,000; 9 percent); Navy ($43,509,000; 3 percent); non-U.S. DoD participant ($524,446,000; 38 percent), and foreign military sales customers ($364,622,000; 27 percent). This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-17-C-0001).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby arun » 14 May 2017 20:15

X Posted from the International Military Discussion thread.

The ballistic missile launch was perfectly timed to upstage BARF ie: Belt And Road Forum being held in the Peoples Republic of China leading one to wonder if the missile launch was not a case of North Korea thumbing their noses at their Peoples Republic of China Patrons:

North Korea blights China's One Belt, One Road party with missile launch

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby arun » 15 May 2017 15:51

X Posted from the International Military Discussion thread.

North Korean News media on field guidance for launch of Gangnam Style “Korean Style” “Juche Weapon” Hwasong-12 by Kim Jong Un.

Pretty lofted trajectory. The IRBM hit an apogee of 2,111.5 km.

May. 15, Juche 106 (2017) Monday

Kim Jong Un Guides Test-Fire of New Rocket

A test-fire of new ground-to-ground medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 was successfully carried out on Sunday by scientists and technicians in the field of rocket research, who are bravely advancing toward a new goal to be proud of in the world, true to the far-sighted idea of Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, for building a nuclear power.

Kim Jong Un guided the test-fire on the spot.

Looking at Hwasong-12, he expressed his satisfaction over the possession of another "Juche weapon", a perfect weapon system congruous with the military strategic and tactical idea of the WPK and the demand of the present times.

The test-fire was conducted at the highest angle in consideration of the security of neighboring countries. The test-fire aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly-developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead.

According to the order of Kim Jong Un, the new rocket Hwasong-12 was launched at 04:58 on Sunday.

The rocket accurately hit the targeted open waters 787km away after flying to the maximum altitude of 2 111.5km along its planned flight orbit.

The test-fire proved to the full all the technical specifications of the rocket, which was newly designed in a Korean-style by defence scientists and technicians, like guidance and stabilization systems, structural system and pressurization, inspection and launching systems and reconfirmed the reliability of new rocket engine under the practical flight circumstances.

It also verified the homing feature of the warhead under the worst re-entry situation and accurate performance of detonation system.

Kim Jong Un hugged officials in the field of rocket research, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing. And he had a picture taken with officials, scientists and technicians who took part in the test-fire.

Highly appreciating again their devotion for manufacturing the Korean-style medium long-range strategic ballistic rocket, he gave a special thanks to them on behalf of himself.

He said with confidence that the successful test-fire of Hwasong-12, a demonstration of high-level defence science and technology of the DPRK, is of great and special significance for securing peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region and is the greatest victory of the Korean people.

He declared that the DPRK is a nuclear power worthy of the name whether someone recognizes it or not. He stressed the DPRK will keep strict control over those engaging themselves in nuclear blackmail with its nuclear deterrence which has been unimaginably and rapidly developed.

The U.S. massively brought nuclear strategic assets to the vicinity of the Korean peninsula to threaten and blackmail the DPRK, but the coward American-style fanfaronade militarily browbeating only weak countries and nations which have no nukes can never work on the DPRK and is highly ridiculous, he said, stressing that if the U.S. dares opt for a military provocation against the DPRK, we are ready to counter it.

The most perfect weapon systems in the world will never become the eternal exclusive property of the U.S., he said, expressing the belief that the day when the DPRK uses the similar retaliatory means will come. He continued that on this occasion, the U.S. had better see clearly whether the ballistic rockets of the DPRK pose actual threat to it or not.

If the U.S. awkwardly attempts to provoke the DPRK, it will not escape from the biggest disaster in the history, he said, strongly warning the U.S. not to disregard or misjudge the reality that its mainland and Pacific operation region are in the DPRK's sighting range for strike and that it has all powerful means for retaliatory strike.

He gave the scientists and technicians in the field of rocket research the order to continuously develop more precise and diversified nukes and nuclear striking means, not content with the successes, and make preparations for more tests till the U.S. and its vassal forces make a proper choice with reason.

Rodong Sinmun


The launch pictures, many of which feature the latest dynast of the Kimdom, Kim Fatty the Third, are available at the below link. The Launch Pictures themselves ava ilable on Picture 2,3,5,6.8,9 to 11 and 16 to 19. Pictures of the TEL from Pic 20 to 27.:

Hwasong 12 Launch Pictures

One of the launch pictures:

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby arun » 15 May 2017 16:20

X Posted from the International Military Discussion thread.

John Schiliing writing about North Korea’s Hwasong-12 Missile in 38 North.

Says the missile is capable of covering an Agni IV like 4,500 km. I guess that is possible given the North Koreans have stated in the Rodong Sinmun article posted by me perviously above, that the missile made a 2000km plus apogee.

North Korea’s Latest Missile Test: Advancing towards an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) While Avoiding US Military Action

Posted By John Schilling
On May 14, 2017 @ 11:58 am In Military Affairs | Comments Disabled

North Korea’s latest successful missile test represents a level of performance never before seen from a North Korean missile. The missile would have flown a distant of some 4500 kilometers if launched on a maximum trajectory. It appears to have not only demonstrated an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that might enable them to reliably strike the US base at Guam, but more importantly, may represent a substantial advance to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Given speculation over the past months about the possibility of military action by the Trump administration to prevent Pyongyang from acquiring such a weapons, the possible testing of ICBM subsystems in this low-key manner may be a North Korean hedge against the possibility of such action.

We are still awaiting more details on this test, and if the North Koreans follow their usual practice we can expect photographs soon. But unless Pyongyang is hiding something completely new, there’s only one real candidate for this missile. During last month’s parade, one genuinely new missile was revealed – one that looks very much like a small, two-stage version of their three-stage KN-08 ICBM prototype, on displayed on a mobile launcher previously used for the “Musudan” intermediate-range ballistic missile. We don’t have a name for this missile yet; the “KN-17” designation has been used for both this system and for a Scud-derived short-range ballistic missile with a maneuvering reentry vehicle displayed in the same parade. But whatever the name, it would be expected to have about the same performance as the missile just launched.

While the April 15 parade may be the first time this missile was seen, and yesterday’s test may be its first successful flight, there have been earlier indications that such a missile was under development. In January this year, intelligence sources reported that North Korea had deployed two prototype ICBMs at a test site, just under 15 meters long. All of North Korea’s ICBM prototypes and mock-ups are well over that size, which left us puzzled. But this new missile comes in at just under 15 meters, and while its performance doesn’t quite reach ICBM standards it clearly shares a common heritage with the KN-08 ICBM. Quite likely this was the missile that was reported in January.

It may have been tested on other occasions. Two failed missile tests from Kusong in October were presumed to be Musudans, but there was no solid evidence to confirm that – and the Musudan had recently been tested successfully, so it would be somewhat surprising for it to fail twice in a row. It wouldn’t be at all surprising for a new missile to fail twice, and if the missile were launched from a Musudan TEL, it might well be mistaken for a Musudan. Another failed test, on April 16, was initially ascribed to a new maneuvering reentry vehicle system, but may have been this missile instead – both were initially displayed in the parade the previous day, and a successful test of either one would neatly highlight the propaganda event.

While this missile appears to share a common heritage with the KN-08 ICBM [2], it isn’t simply a KN-08 with the third stage removed. The first two stages also appear to be reduced in scale. Unfortunately, we have little detail about the missile’s design. We do not, for example, know if it uses the same twin-engine propulsion system [3] as the first stage of the KN-08. But the more important question is, what is the new missile for?

One possibility is that it is meant to replace the Musudan IRBM which. represents an attempt to stretch a Cold War vintage Russian missile to reach the US base at Guam, some 3500 km from North Korean launch sites. But the Musudan has proven unreliable in testing, with only one success in at least six attempts, and its performance is marginal [4] for reaching Guam. The Musudan may have been the best North Korea could manage ten years ago, but that level of performance really calls for a two-stage missile. Now, it appears that they have one. But existing North Korean missiles are already capable of reaching targets anywhere in South Korea or Japan, and extending that reach to perhaps 4500 kilometers won’t greatly change the strategic balance – aside from Guam, there aren’t really any interesting targets in that range..

What would change the strategic balance is an ICBM capable of reaching the US mainland. This is not that missile but it might be a testbed, demonstrating technologies and systems to be used in future ICBMs like the KN-08 and KN-14. A full three-stage KN-08 would be very unlikely to work the first time it was tested, and the failure would be both expensive and very provocative. This missile would allow North Korea to conduct at least some of the testing necessary to develop an operational ICBM, without actually launching ICBMs, particularly if it includes the same rocket engines.

If North Korea has already conducted a successful test using the engines and other components of the first two stages of the KN-08, it may be closer to an operational ICBM than had been previously estimated. US cities will not be at risk tomorrow, or any time this year. since some tests have to be done with the full-scale system. With only one test of this reduced-scale system Pyongyang is probably some time from even beginning that process. But given this test and the possible North Korean path forward, a closer look will be needed to see how much progress has been made, and what technologies the North may have demonstrated, as will a reassessment of their ICBM program in that new light.


From here:

38 North

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 17 May 2017 01:08

Next MOKV interceptor development phase advances with three contractors ; Jane's Defence Weekly ; 16-May 2017


The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has now awarded work to all three contractors on a new stage of its technology risk reduction (TRR) effort for developing a more advanced missile defence kill vehicle design.

In 2015, MDA issued initial risk reduction contracts to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon to develop the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV), which is to be boosted into space and fly to intercept an incoming ballistic missile - the MOKV specifically is intended to better handle a single missile with decoys, and not to defend against multiple missiles.

It is meant to boost the intercept capability of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) homeland missile defence system, whose interceptors have had a troubled test record. Both variants of its Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) have suffered reliability problems - since 1999 it has scored nine intercepts in 17 attempts - spurring upgrade efforts such as MOKV as well as a related shorter-term Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) programme to address reliability.

On 12 May, Boeing was awarded a USD58.6 million contract "to improve performance and reduce risk for MOKV advanced communications, engagement management, and the discriminating seeker". That TRR project work will run through May 2020, the Pentagon said in a contract announcement.

Raytheon on 3 April was awarded a similar three-year USD59.6 million contract on the TRR to "improve performance and reduce risk for secure communications systems, high sensitivity multi-band sensor, survivable processor, KV [kill vehicle] divert and attitude control system, bus sensor and sensor pointing, and the engagement management", the Pentagon said at the time.

Moreover, on 9 March Lockheed Martin was awarded a USD53 million contract for the TRR "to improve performance and reduce risk for a gimbaled seeker assembly, integrated avionics assembly, component integration and testing, and an advanced seeker". The company was also that day awarded another 30-month USD50.3 million TRR deal for work on the "interceptor divert and attitude control systems".

The GMD system is designed to defend against a limited attack with relatively rudimentary missiles from a 'rogue' nuclear-armed state, such as North Korea.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 17 May 2017 01:23

Japanese Order For Aegis Ashore Increasingly Likely ;Aerospace Daily & Defense Report May 16, 2017

Japanese acquisition of at least two Lockheed Martin Aegis Ashore installations for ballistic-missile defense looks increasingly likely, as Tokyo prepares to decide on an order in the next few months.
A Japanese inspection team will travel this month to Hawaii, where the U.S. has built a developmental Aegis Ashore installation, to assess the system, the Asahi newspaper says.

Japan has for years considered adding longer-range ground-based weapons to supplement its Lockheed Martin PAC-3 air-and-missile defense batteries. The government is now suddenly taking action because of a recommendation of a committee of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on March 31.

The committee called for strengthened defense against ballistic missiles and, controversially, for a national capability to strike them before launch. By the first half of May the government was urgently considering acquisition of Aegis Ashore, judged as more cost-effective than the Lockheed Martin Thaad system, and had begun looking at acquiring Raytheon BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles for ship-to-surface strike. (Aerospace DAILY, May 3, May 10).

The government is now making the “final moves” to acquire Aegis Ashore, the Yomiuri newspaper says. The decision will be made in the northern hemisphere summer—meaning by the end of August, the Asahi says.

Yet Lockheed Martin and the Japanese military presumably will need several years to manufacture and install Aegis Ashore. The system is much the same as the Aegis installation in the destroyers of the U.S. and Japanese navies.

Meanwhile, the North Korean missile threat grows. Pyongyang tested a ballistic missile with a range estimated at more than 5,000 km (3,100 mi.) on May 14 (Aerospace DAILY, May 15). Aegis Ashore is designed to defeat such intermediate-range ballistic missiles and also those of medium and short range, which are slower and therefore easier to hit. PAC-3 is intended to deal with short-range ballistic missiles, which fly as far as 1,000 km.

The four Japanese Aegis destroyers of the Kongou class have been upgraded to defend against ballistic missiles with Raytheon RIM-161 SM-3 Block IA interceptors. Japan’s two other Aegis destroyers, of the Atago class, are to be similarly upgraded, but with the longer-ranging Block IIA version of the interceptor. It will presumably later go into the Kongous as well, since they are to be refurbished for extended service lives.

The prospective Japanese Aegis Ashore systems would also use the Block IIA interceptor, which Japan has helped to develop and partly manufacturers. It is due to go into U.S. service in 2018.

The effect of Japan acquiring Aegis Ashore would therefore be to strengthen an outer layer of ballistic-missile defense that will already be available to send to sea. Unlike a ship, a fixed ground system is by its nature always on station and is manned by few people, reducing the cost of continuous coverage and releasing ships for other duties. But the ground systems, including the vulnerable radar antennas, must somehow be kept safe from infiltrating enemy commandos.

Moreover, North Korea could try at the outset of a war to destroy fixed defense batteries with overwhelming volleys of ballistic missiles. If it succeeded, the Aegis Ashore installations would have only brief influence on the war, trading their existence in return for expenditure of some of Pyongyang’s ballistic arsenal.

In planning defenses against ballistic missiles, Japan also must consider China, which has so many weapons of that type that it now has a dedicated armed service for them, ranking alongside the Chinese Navy, Army and Air Force, called the rocket force.

Japan reportedly prefers Aegis Ashore over Thaad because the naval-derivative system has greater range and can therefore cover the country with just two or thee batteries; if Thaad were bought, six batteries would be needed. Thaad is designed to deal with medium-range ballistic missiles, with ranges of up to 3,000 km, a category of threat that North Korea is already moving beyond.

In combination with destroyers and PAC-3, Thaad could give Japan three layers of defense against short-range missiles and three against those of intermediate range. The proposed surface-strike capability is, in effect, another way to create an extra layer—a prelaunch layer.

According to Asahi, each Aegis Ashore installation is cheaper, at ¥70–80 billion ($620–700 million), compared with more than ¥100 billion for a Thaad battery.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby V J » 17 May 2017 22:35


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 May 2017 15:30

Future F-35 production numbers released



A new document released by the US Department of the Navy reveals further specifics of future Lockheed Martin F-35 multirole fighter aircraft production lots and confirms the timing of international deliveries.

The recent contract for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 10 was well publicised in February due to the vocal involvement of newly-inaugurated President Trump and came in at a total cost of nearly $9 billion for 90 aircraft.

Now, future contracts for the controversial F-35 programme are already on the books. Published on the FBO website by Naval Air Systems Command on 15 May, the new document outlines the recently awarded LRIP 12 contract, signed on 28 April at a cost of $1.38 billion.

The LRIP 12 to 14 Justification and Approval (J&A) notice reveals that LRIP 12 will number at least 147 airframes whilst further long lead items for LRIPs 13 and 14 account for an additional minimum of 156 and 154 airframes respectively.

In addition, the document lists the number of aircraft allocated to each customer per LRIP lot and, whilst almost half the total number are for US DoD customers (USAF, USN, and USMC), at least 77 aircraft from LRIP 12 are for foreign customers.

By far the largest customer for LRIPs 12, 13, and 14 outside of the US will be the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which is set to receive 45 aircraft across the three lots. The final 15 aircraft will be delivered under Lot 14 between January and December 2022.

The RAAF’s expedited acquisition of the F-35A will see it become the first entirely fifth generation air force by 2025, according to a recent speech by Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he stated that the RAAF will ‘have no legacy aircraft after 2025’ under current procurement plans.

The J&A document also shows significant numbers for the Turkish Air Force, acquiring 24 across the three lots; the Netherlands will also receive 24; whilst Norway will get 18; and Denmark will receive 14 in total.
Most notably, however, are the redacted portions of document which invite consideration on the likely destination of these aircraft.

Across lots 12 to 14 there are three redacted customers who will receive 24, 18, and 12 airframes respectively. It is likely that these aircraft are bound for South Korea, Japan, and Israel.

Finally, one customer is redacted entirely with no numbers or variants listed but countries such as Belgium or Canada are possibilities as they are both in various stages of planning future combat aircraft procurements but have not yet selected the F-35.


With pre-production and Long Lead awards for LRIP 11-14, this takes the total number of F-35's delivered, on order or pre-order to > 750.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 24 May 2017 04:15

In another thread there was a discussion on Strategic Bomber. A mention of building a transport, then morph into a bomber.

Two quick point:
* The latest USAF tanker (KC-46A) has been designed to fly in "medium threat" envs (has multiple implications), and
* Blended-Wing-Body (BWB) transports - as the following proposed solution, by Boeing, for the mid 30s or so

http://aviationweek.com/defense/military-blended-wing-body-variant-step-closer-reality

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 24 May 2017 04:21


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 24 May 2017 04:54

Evolve F/A-18E/F Rather Than Build New Fighter, Boeing Urges U.S. Navy

Boeing says low-radar-cross-section airframes are useful for the first day of war and flying into denied areas guarded by X-band radars. But the integrated air defense radars of potential adversaries such as Russia and China have moved into different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as C-band and S-band. Buying into a next-generation stealth aircraft development program under F/A-XX might not be the best answer to meet current and future threats, Boeing believes.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 24 May 2017 05:06


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 24 May 2017 06:19

useful information on the Erieye AEW&C in service with the Swedes. A similar system has been operational with the PAF, mounted on the Saab 2000, for quite some time and now they've contracted for another 3 Erieyes

Analysis- How "skibox" unit defends Swedish skies

....

Assigned under the service's F7 Wing at Såtenäs, but operated from Malmen air base, the unit uses the call-sign "Skibox", due to the shape of the Erieye radar array's distinctive fairing. Flown at 20,000ft, the sensor provides 150˚ coverage on each side, and is capable of tracking up to 1,000 airborne and 500 maritime tracks simultaneously.

Missions typically last for 4.5h, with the aircraft having an on-station speed of 170kt (315km/h) and a maximum endurance of 5.5h. Its crew complement comprises two pilots and a flight engineer, and, seated at identical consoles, a mission control officer, who serves as fighter director; combat control operator; and a system operator/radar specialist. Two observers can also be carried.

If being held on readiness with the crew onboard to support a quick reaction alert mission, the aircraft can be airborne within 15min. The radar can be switched on prior to or after take-off, and be fully functional within 2min.

Once airborne, the platform can relay information about hostile tracks to fighters, enabling them to operate without switching their own radars on.

"We can see pretty much everything," says mission control officer Lt Alexander Thörner. "If we know what we are looking for we will find it 99 times out of 100 – if it's airborne or on the surface. It's really hard to hide."

The air force cites a maximum detection range of more than 243nm (450km) against airborne targets, and up to 173nm for surface ships. Cruise missile-sized targets can be seen from 108nm, and the Erieye radar has a claimed unique capability to detect hovering helicopters. The aircraft's interrogation friend or foe system has a range of over 270nm, further boosting situational awareness.

The system is capable of performing around 20-25 different mission types, including supporting air interdiction duties and locating ground-based air-defence assets. Its main sensor also has some overland surveillance capability, and has been able to determine major roads and moving vehicles during testing.

In the words of Saab and the Swedish air force, the Erieye system is a "stealth-killer", due to its ability to detect threats which use low-observable technology.

Sweden's aircraft currently lack a maritime AIS fit for automatic vessel identification, but this has been used in testing and is expected as a future update.

"Some parts of the mission system are supposed to be changed by 2020 – we must have a quick decision, in order to continue work," says Maj Henric Svensson, squadron commander of the ASC 890 unit. While the Saab 340 airframes could go on until about 2030, their radars and software must be updated. "You need to take the decision now, as some subcontractors are going out of the [business] area," Svensson cautions.

Other missing elements which the squadron would like to address include the platform's lack of a self-protection system or satellite communications equipment.

Due to the small fleet size, the air force is not ruling out the possibility of changing to a different airframe, although no decisions have yet been made. The Erieye system has already been integrated with the larger and longer- and higher-flying Saab 2000. A higher-end system option would be Saab's new GlobalEye product, which is based on an adapted Bombardier Global 6000 business jet.

Svensson points to his current aircraft's lack of speed – its maximum performance is 250kt – as a limiting factor during operations. "When flying into a strong headwind you almost have the impression of going backwards," he quips. However, the type's low operating cost, which is quoted as being $2,500/h, is "around one-tenth the cost of a larger system", he notes.
...



and on the Global 6000 based GlobalEyeAEW

The company says its new-generation Erieye ER sensor ­– which employs gallium nitride technology and fits within the same roof-mounted array as its earlier standard – can detect smaller and faster targets, and has 70% more range. The active electronically scanned array is currently undergoing testing in Gothenburg.

From an operating altitude of 30,000ft, the GlobalEye will be able to see out to the horizon some 216nm (400km) away, and offer an 11h endurance. Its baseline configuration features five onboard operator stations.

Selected following an evaluation of almost 30 candidate aircraft types, the Global 6000 offers a lower cabin altitude and reduced noise for its crew.

"Whoever acquires this aircraft will get both a tactical and a strategic advantage," Härmä says. Saab's programme schedule is running "perfectly to plan," he adds, with the system meeting or exceeding requirements.

Saab's Swordfish maritime patrol aircraft offering – which is also now focused on the Global 6000 airframe and seeking a launch buyer – has 70% commonality with the GlobalEye, including using the same electro-optical/infrared sensor and Leonardo Seaspray 7500E maritime surveillance radar.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 24 May 2017 09:46

Zynda wrote:Just saw Iranian Q-313 aircraft and it got me thinking. I am sure it is illegal for US (& probably EU) CAD & physics based numerical simulation software packages OEMs to sell to Iranian institutions. I wonder what Iranians use for developing complex engineering products like Aircrafts? There are similar CAD packages from Russia which Iran may use. Kompass 3D is one popular Russian CAD software. I could not find any numerical products from Russia (which is surprising given how good Russians are at mathematics). I am sure the Chinese recently have managed to reverse engineer/develop some packages as well, which may be used by Iranians. Of course, Iran can always use pirated versions of Western packages but I would think it would not be easy & practical to deploy pirated installations on a large scale usage essentially due to no tech support from OEM.

I believe for India & PRC, some US CAD/Numerical software packages are priced differently and may need special authorizations from GOTUS. In the long run, it would be prudent for us to develop our own products. This is one of the areas where our IT service companies can step in. Work with CSIR/DRDO/Academic institutions to nail the physics part and IT folks can work on developing GUI, HPC & software functions.

South Korea for example have their own numerical software called Midas NFX which is being deployed by Hyundai & other major S Korean engineering houses.

Here's one
AUTOLAY

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 24 May 2017 21:12

NRao wrote:Evolve F/A-18E/F Rather Than Build New Fighter, Boeing Urges U.S. Navy

Boeing says low-radar-cross-section airframes are useful for the first day of war and flying into denied areas guarded by X-band radars. But the integrated air defense radars of potential adversaries such as Russia and China have moved into different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as C-band and S-band. Buying into a next-generation stealth aircraft development program under F/A-XX might not be the best answer to meet current and future threats, Boeing believes.


Not surprising since one has to go back decades (excluding MD) to find a successful Boeing design that actually won a fighter competition. Same with Low Observable configurations...the only thing consistent about the Phantom Works is their inability to win multi-vendor competitions when it comes to advanced projects in this space.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 24 May 2017 21:54

Easier said than done. But, I thought the next gen (F/A-XX) was meant to be comfortable in a multi spectral environment (the " integrated air defense radars" he mentions being a part of it). And I do not mean just "stealth".

Certainly the challenge is daunting. But how would an incremental approach be even an equal?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 25 May 2017 08:18


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 25 May 2017 15:00

NRao wrote:Easier said than done. But, I thought the next gen (F/A-XX) was meant to be comfortable in a multi spectral environment (the " integrated air defense radars" he mentions being a part of it). And I do not mean just "stealth".

Certainly the challenge is daunting. But how would an incremental approach be even an equal?


Boeing marketing has been slick with this. Of course they know that the Super Hornet sans a Growler cannot do anything they mention in their material. Multi-Spectral RF Low Observability is something very well understood and practiced by designers for many many years with various configurations. All you have to do is eliminate hot spots against larger wavelengths and/or produce thicker wideband RAM coating on those areas. This basically takes you to a different design merging your trades closer to a cranked kite or a flying wing hybrid. All three aero design teams have toyed with that. Wideband RAM has been in the works for a long time for various programs as the patents form last decade from Lockheed showed and is likely already baked in to the F-35 and future designs.

As far as active measures that is something you can put on any aircraft irrespective of your design goal. Low Observabie aircraft have an advantage here because the amount of jamming you need favors a low observable aircraft...You also do so by exploiting the inherent weakness of low frequency radars that will always exist due to physics and the nature of their work. The lower quality data emerging from a higher reliance on L, UHF or VHF radars can allow you to exploit that regime through decoying and companion LO crafts such as the Loyal Wingman concepts. This is how the strategy is likely to evolve to counter multi-band radar complexes that rely on a surveilance radar to cue a higher frequency radar. Here, concepts will emerge (and allready exist) to complicate the threat picture by feeding multiple targets of interest complete with RF emissions and signature replication. This then further complicates the discrimination challenge and counters the effect that lower frequency radars will have to dilute the threat area for higher frequency sensors to focus on. This obviously, combined with broadband RCS reduction and Electronic Warfare.

Additionally, there is still no good way to do end game work against a VLO configured aircraft with high end ECM abilities..Your seekers are still operating in the RF or IR domain, and minus the SM2s 3B/4A which combine RF and IIR, none are multi-spectral. This is another area which will be exploited i.e. how you do complete the kill chain..How does a 7 inch diameter missile with an X or KA bad seeker find a LO aircraft when the kill box provided to it by a lower frequency radar is larger than normal (on account of the abilities of these radars). Remember, RCS is not shrinking by 20%, or even 50%..it is shrinking by many orders of magnitude compared to non VLO configurations....Even large missile makers such as Raytheon have publicly acknowledged this dilemma vis-a-vis the need to create seekers that can maintain capability against LO and VLO targets..no one is there yet though and targeting is still largely based on networking to overcome the detection, tracking and ECM challenge (hence you see the push towards 2-way data links on AMRAAM and Meteor).

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They are not holding back. Just as the F-22 pre-program activity started when the F-15E and F-16Block 50/52 were in advanced stages, and just as the JSF program was started while the F-22 EMD program was going on, the Next Generation fighter program is now poised to get some serious investment just as the F-35 SDD phase wraps up in the next 6 months to a year. The Navy on the other hand judges itself on the number of ships..that is how you become an Admiral so don't expect them to put serious money towards cutting edge capability. They are likely to favor what can be called a 5.5 generation aircraft and not go for some of the technologies the USAF will be spending the next decade developing. Which then goes back to my claim vis-a-vis Boeing. They have consistently lost fighter competitions and their rapid prototyping shop has not shown the ability to rapidly respond to RFPs in a manner that can beat competition. Can this change? Of Course..A cursory analysis of what they have been working on, who they have been hiring and their past experiences shows that they very much want to be a dominant player in the next generation figther..but their bread and butter is producing previous generation designs - This is their primary revenue stream be it with the Super Hornet, Strike Eagle, or Apache hence you see them issue periodic cautions be it on Future Vertical Lift, or Next Gen. fighter programs. Why compete when you already have the market cornered.

See this..This does not include either of the engine programs which are seperate multi-billion dollar research, development, test and evaluation programs.

Air Force details five-year, $4.5 billion plan for Next-Generation Air Dominance
Last edited by brar_w on 25 May 2017 19:29, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 25 May 2017 15:56

Boeing wins DARPA XS-1 Phase 2/3 competition ; Jane's IHS May 2017



Boeing on 24 May beat Northrop Grumman and Masten Space Systems to complete advanced design work for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) programme.

Boeing said it will develop an autonomous, reusable spaceplane capable of carrying and deploying a small expendable upper stage to launch small (3,000 lb/1,361 kg) satellites into low earth orbit (LEO). Boeing and DARPA will jointly invest in the development. DARPA spokesman Jared Adams told Jane's that the agency is contributing USD146 million to the programme. Boeing spokeswoman Cheryl Sampson declined to say the amount of Boeing's investment.

Once the spaceplane, called Phantom Express, reaches the edge of space, it would deploy the second stage and return to earth. It would then land on a runway to be prepared for its next flight by applying operational and maintenance principles similar to modern aircraft.

DARPA said it formally selected Boeing to progress to phases 2 and 3 of the programme: fabrication and flight. Phase 2 includes design, construction, and testing of the technology demonstration vehicle through 2019. It calls for initially firing the vehicle's engine on the ground 10 times in 10 days to demonstrate propulsion readiness for flight tests.

Phase 3 objectives include 12 to 15 flight tests, currently scheduled for 2020. After multiple shakedown flights to reduce risk, the XS-1 would aim to fly 10 times over 10 consecutive days, at first, without payloads and at speeds as fast as Mach 5. Subsequent flights are planned to fly as fast as Mach 10 and deliver a demonstration payload between 900 lb (408.2 kg) and 3,000 lb (1,360.8 kg) into LEO.

Northrop Grumman and Masten Space Systems did not respond to requests for comment. Boeing and DARPA declined interview requests.

The XS-1 Phase 2/3 design also intends to increase efficiencies by integrating numerous state-of-the-art technologies, including some previously developed by DARPA, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the US Air Force (USAF). For example, the XS-1 technology demonstrator's propulsion system is an Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-22 engine, a version of the legacy Space Shuttle main engine.

Other XS-1 technologies include advanced, lightweight composite cryogenic propellant tanks to hold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants. They also include hybrid composite-metallic wings and control surfaces able to withstand the physical stresses of suborbital hypersonic flight and temperatures of more than 2,000°F (1,093.3°C).

Another goal of XS-1 is to encourage the broader commercial launch sector to adopt useful XS-1 approaches, processes, and technologies that facilitate launch-on-demand and rapid turnaround. DARPA intends to release selected data from its Phase 2/3 tests and will provide to all interested commercial entities the relevant specifications for potential payloads.

Charles Miller, president of NexGen Space LLC, told Jane's on 24 May a big takeaway from the announcement is that Boeing is now in the reusable launch business, along with Blue Origin and SpaceX. Boeing is a legacy space contractor with a wide portfolio including NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the CST-100 Starliner space capsule for NASA Commercial Crew.

Miller believes the XS-1 will have value to satellite companies as they will only need to lift 1.3 tonnes as opposed SpaceX's Falcon 9, which Miller said can lift 10 to 15 tonnes, and Blue Origin's New Glenn, which he said will be able to lift 40 tonnes. New Glenn is still in the design phase, but has already signed a few launch customers.

"The market needs both (XS-1 and heavier commercial launchers) and I think there is room for both," Miller said.

Miller said he was enthusiastic about Masten Space Systems participating in XS-1 as Masten is the "small guy" going up against industry heavyweights such as Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Masten, Miller said, has a lot of experience with vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL) technologies and rapid turnaround testing.



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DARPA Released Concept Video -


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 27 May 2017 16:17

Skyguardian Sets Endurance Record For General Atomics

LOS ANGELES—The prototype General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA ASI) type-certifiable Predator B variant, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, has completed a 48.2-hr. flight, establishing a new long-endurance flight record for the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) manufacturer.
The flight, which took place on May 16, was a critical part of GA-ASI’s test program for the 12,500-lb. UAS, which is targeted at 40 hr. endurance in its “clean wing” configuration for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The MQ-9B carried its maximum internal fuel load of 6,065 lb. for the flight, which began and ended at Laguna Airfield in Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona. The flight, which exceeded the previous longest mission achieved by a Predator XP in February 2015 by just over two hours, ended on May 18 with 280 lb. of fuel remaining.

Long-endurance capability is a key requirement for the MQ-9B, which GA-ASI is developing as a commercially certifiable UAS for safe and routine access to controlled, non-military airspace. The weaponized variant of the SkyGuardian is being acquired by the Royal Air Force under the UK’s Protector program, which is due to achieve initial operational capability in 2021. A maritime patrol variant, SeaGuardian, also is being developed.

The endurance record was achieved by the prototype SkyGuardian, YBC01, which made its first flight on Nov. 17, 2016. A second test aircraft, YBC02, is scheduled to join the program in the fourth quarter of this year along with a prototype certifiable ground control station, the critical design review for which is nearing completion.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Prem » 31 May 2017 02:00

https://www.rt.com/usa/390229-us-icbm-i ... or-launch/
US tests ICBM interceptor missile amid rising tensions with North Korea

A Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptor was fired from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Tuesday afternoon. The target vehicle, designed to resemble an ICBM, was fired from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The intercept should take place over the Pacific Ocean.Kwajalein is approximately 8,000 km (4,972 miles) from Los Angeles, California. The Pentagon classifies any missile with a range greater than 3,400 miles as an ICBM.Tuesday’s test was planned “years in advance” and is not a direct response to recent North Korean tests of ballistic missiles, a Pentagon official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Stars and Stripes last week.The test interceptor is equipped with an Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), which is supposed to destroy the target vehicle with a direct hit.“This will be the first test of an upgraded kill vehicle, and the first test against an ICBM-class target,” US Missile Defense Agency spokesman Chris Johnson said in a statement.Deployed in 2004 by the Bush administration, the GMD has never been used it combat. This is the first intercept test since 2014. There are currently 32 interceptor missiles in Fort Greely, Alaska and four at Vandenberg. Eight more are supposed to come on-line by the end of this year, AP reported.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 May 2017 04:01

Homeland Missile Defense System Successfully Intercepts ICBM Target

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense and U.S. Northern Command, today successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile target during a test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation's ballistic missile defense system.

This was the first live-fire test event against an ICBM-class target for GMD and the U.S. ballistic missile defense system.

During the test, an ICBM-class target was launched from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Multiple sensors provided target acquisition and tracking data to the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system. The Sea-Based X-band radar, positioned in the Pacific Ocean, also acquired and tracked the target. The GMD system received the target tracking data and developed a fire control solution to intercept the target.

A ground-based interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and its exo-atmospheric kill vehicle intercepted and destroyed the target in a direct collision.


"The intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is an incredible accomplishment for the GMD system and a critical milestone for
this program," said MDA Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring. "This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat. I am incredibly proud of the warfighters who executed this test and who operate this system every day."

Initial indications are that the test met its primary objective, but program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

The test, designated Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor (FTG)-15, will provide the data necessary to assess the performance of the GMD system and provide enhanced homeland defense capabilities.

The GMD element of the ballistic missile defense system provides combatant commanders the capability to engage and destroy intermediate and long-range ballistic missile threats to protect the U.S. The mission of the Missile Defense Agency is to develop and deploy a layered ballistic missile defense system to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies and friends from limited ballistic missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of flight.

Additional information about all elements of the ballistic missile defense system can be found at http://www.mda.mil.

Please direct all media related queries to Chris Johnson, MDA Director of Public Affairs, at 571-363-8491 or christopher.johnson@mda.mil.

Please note that imagery is still being processed. Once available -- likely late this evening -- it will be available at http://www.mda.mil.





ATK Supplied ICBM Target -

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