International Aerospace Discussion

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brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Sep 2015 13:56

Weren't there some plans being explored in 2012-13 to develop the A-10s into Unmanned versions with full controls in the hands of the ground unit


Could have been, but there is really no money to support specialized kit. At the end of the gulf war the USAF was 150+ fighter squadrons..its a third of that now today. When you are a smaller force (for practical reasons and for the fact that the cold war is over) you have to manage with what you have and best optimize your platforms. CAS was never done by fast jets in the 50's, and 60's (and even in the 70's for the USAF) yet since the 90's, as Modern IR pods proliferated every multi-role fast jet aircraft in the world automatically became a decent CAS platform. Similarly, the strategic bombers of the 80's and 90's could only do large bombs yet in the post 9-11 world the B-1 has been upgraded to be one of the most prolific CAS performers for the USAF where it utilizes its long Time-On-Station and cruise speed to drop munitions as and when called in to do so. The A-10's strengths were its armor that allowed it to go down and survive a barrage of AAA..however MANPADS and SHORADS don't allow that freedom against even a moderately armed opponent..Similarly its gun is not as affective against modern armor. This leaves a very small subset of CAS where it really performs well in and the USAF is willing to keep it for as long as it can to perform that mission. However the twist came when the budget sequester limited the number of new recruits the USAF could enlist on the maintainer side of things. Since they couldn't add new folks they had to free up maintainers by retiring older aircraft types to get these maintainers trained for the F-35A Full Operational Capability in the early 2020's...thats when the entire A-10 and F-35 debate erupted.

Last year the Air Combat Command (that makes all fighter decisions in the USAF) tried out a Textron Scorpion in one of there large force exercises and was reasonably happy with it. It costs around $25 Million, is fully net enabled with an open architecture and its business jet heritage (including parts and engines) means its operating cost is less than $2500 (compared to the A-10's $15,000) an hour with a very high promised (through a PBL contract) mission availability. It also has a sensor bay and they demonstrated open architecture integration of a THALES AESA maritime radar in a matter of a few weeks. All in all if you want to hang in there (it has a straight wing for range and loiter) and drop small PGM's and do it for cheap its the way to go. I'm fairly certain that they'll acquire it or something based out of it if the entire A-10 debate doesn't end on its own.



PROS - Cheap to buy, Cheap to fly, High Availability, and since R&D cost is covered by the developers you go straight to buying it as opposed to developing something from scratch

CONS - Only good for Permissive environments, Can't go low like the A-10 because its not designed to take AAA hits, and a new type and the costs associated with its introduction

All in all, it really makes sense to develop this into something that can do the sort of ISIS, Taliban missions for cheap. In fact the USAF won't have to do so, it may be done by some of the Gulf nations that have requested post-weapon clearance demos for the aircraft.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Sep 2015 06:43

Started work at a new client. The boss, an ex LMer, was all raves about the simulator for the F-35. Apparently he tested the B version and was extremely impressed with the ease of use even for a first timer.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Sep 2015 06:47

Tests show F-35s can share data with older aircraft

Two weeks of joint testing of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet at a California air base by the Royal Netherlands Air Force showed that the new stealthy jets are able to share a significant amount of data with older warplanes, the pilot in charge of Dutch F-35 testing told Reuters.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Sep 2015 21:02

shiv wrote:
Austin wrote:Interesting pod cast from Bill Sweetman who returned from MAKS and describes some stuff on jamming system and asymmetric warfare

http://aviationweek.com/defense/podcast ... advantages

Transcript is out here http://aviationweek.com/defense/russian ... -munitions

Thanks for that great link. Bill Sweetman pretty much points out the very mistake that I see on BRF - that is when a new weapon is displayed in the west or sold to an adversary - the reaction is "We must have that too, or else". Sweetman says that the Russians simply don't do that. They go their own route to neutralize the advantage that the new system displayed by the west has created. Sweetman uses a term that I am going to start using - he says that there is a western tendency to assume that the other party will "mirror image" the west albeit with a less effective system, or that everyone will only mirror image what the west leads in doing. That is totally wrong. There are advances coming in areas that people will not even imagine as long as their minds cannot step out of "mirror imaging"

Sweetman also has some comments about T-50 and F-22 which should be heard by anyone who is interested :mrgreen:


Sweetman is totally wrong if he thinks that the tendency is in the West to EXPECT a MIRROR response. In fact he couldn't be any farther away from the truth if that is indeed his analysis. Why would anyone be dumb enough to expect a response to develop offensive capability to counter offensive capability if that is the only form of counter to predict? The Russian strategy in the cold war was extensively studied, and debated and never was it ever perceived to be a mirror of what the US was doing. In fact both the strategies were designed to inflict an asymmetric response in areas where conventional response was cost-prohibitive, technically not possible or politically not acceptable. Heavier investment in IAD's is a logical path for Russia to take to try to balance out some of the stealth advantage held by the US. Similarly, stealth came in as a counter to the heavy IAD investment the Soviets had made where there sensor-complex was many many times that of NATO's.

Mirror imaging has happened on some instances and not happened on other instances on both sides. This is classic Cold-War talk and any academic paper that talks about cold-war doctrine would cover that much better than the podcast. Asymmetric capability is developed when one does not want to play a tit-for tat game for whatever reasons, be it economic, be it technological or other (public opinion for example). Numerous instances can be cited to show how for example assmytrical capability can be developed to counter a capability that one can't or doesn't want to match tit for tat. As mentioned, stealth was one such capability, but before that it was tactical nukes..The cold war started and the US was quick to develop a very strong edge in strategic weapons and tactical nukes, to which the Soviet Union countered faster than most expected them to..Then tactical nukes were born and soon treaties were put in place to check the growth. However the problem still stood that the Warsaw pact forces hugely out numbered the NATO forces both in infantry but also armor and other weaponry. Instead of doing a tit-for-tat military build up to match the conventional forces asymmetric capabilities were developed such as PGM's and Stealth that could replace the effects of tactical nukes. The objective was to A) Negate the huge Soviet build up of ISR/Radar-Sensor complex and to B ) Duplicate the effects of tactical nuke deployment (vis-a-vis large Soviet Formations threatening Eastern European flank of NATO) without investing in that capability which was more expensive and not politically very popular. PGM's if delivered by survivable means could within the sortie constraints deliver a similar HARD-STOP effect on an advancing force as tactical nukes of the past and this was also documented in many of the Soviet analysis at the time.

So asymmetric capability is not something that is unheard of or something revolutionary that someone has just thought off now, it was used by both he Soviet Union, and the West throughout the cold war as a means to gain significant advantage. In fact, if you look at the Chinese access (or rather anti-access) strategy they have both mirrored the Soviet doctrine, but also drifted away from it when it makes sense. The current Chinese strategy is in fact a hybrid anti-access strategy of Russia combined with the force-projection (at least for the first island chain) strategy of the west. There are quite a few things in the C2C and large force deployments that are a sharp contrast from the Soviet or the Russian way of waging large force conflict. Another hybrid action on their part is to develop a Soviet Style coastal defense capability against anti-ship and anti-maritime access while when it comes to carriers they are looking more like the west in terms of using it to project force well beyond their shore. Their Nodal UAV/UCAV development programs are also largely offensive and their IAD strategy is to force huge salvos to be wasted in earlier stages of war and then winning the war of attrition. The response that the Chinese are trying to induce is for their opponents to try to match this strategy by a large force build up of ships, subs and most importantly missiles (Both Anti Ship, A2G and most importantly SM3 and SM6 procurement) but I doubt that the Japanese or the US Navy will play that game for long. They would rather respond asymmetrically in an attempt to flip the cost equation on its head. This is the strategic game that is played when Nations look to develop future capability anticipating the opponents next move. Yet other capability is mirrored because it makes sense..As stealth has proliferated everyone has adopted it to to suite its needs and mission requirements so everyone in a sense mirrored early adopters yet there are other capabilities that are not mirrored for some very obvious reasons.

Another mirror imaging happening is in AEW and AWACS for air control. The Russians and Chinese are developing and have developed and even possibly deployed weapons that can threaten, challenge or even deny these aircraft. What is the logical response? More protection? More number of very expensive AWACS to account for attrition and loss? One has to decide if one wants to play this game or not. If the probability of an AWACS surviving falls from say 80% to 50% one has to make a call as to increase the force by 30 or so percent or not. What if it falls to 30%? Does one still go down hat road or look to develop a capability that completely frees up the force from the constraints of such a single point of failure? That is asymmetric advantage and capability. Stealth was one such capability, it ensured survivability (better chanced of surviving and not invisibility or invincibility). A bomber sortie loss rate at the cold war (around the late 80's to mid 90's) was less than 50% chance of survival. The B-2 was to in the Soviet / Cold War context bring that up to 80%. But stealth has done a lot more than just increase survivability, it has forced the opponents to choose a different RF spectrum to develop and fight in (The UHF and VHF band) a side of the spectrum that is costly to develop, master and has some very inherent disadvantages that make it beneficial to a nation from a force-projection perspective. One can also read up on Soviet doctrine and how it over the cold-war changed the equation by both creating surprises of its own, and by reversing NATO and US held advantages by out-doing NATO in a mirrored approach.

The Game in the EMS between the SU and US/NATO, and indeed the Russians and SU is ongoing and hasn't really stopped so the revelations by Sweetman are nothing surprising or new for that matter. Its cyclical and technology brings about new stuff all the time. Where he completely looses the plot is in his half hearted explanation of why the US Army does not have something akin to a 100KW Truck based jammer. The simple answer is that its a force projection army that is unlikely to fight from a fixed location to defend or hold a land mass. Similarly how does he expect the US Army to set up a fixed multi-spectral EMS system on the ground? Do it where and why? In stead the US has developed this picket capability in the air through deployable assets in its fighters. The ground based complex is noting more than an ESM track being triangulated through multi station pairing as has been done in modern Air to Air combat systems for over decade now. Again, a fixed defense army can do that. An expeditionary army cannot do it as well. The Electronic warfare and the EMS practiced by the Joint Forces is expeditionary, distributed and effects based delivered through means that actually make sense to the role in which they are likely to be called upon (unless Canada or Mexico decides to invade over the borders). Forward Deploying a THAAD battery is tough enough, imagine if you had to move a Giant trucked vehicle and all the support that comes with it all around the world and then be able to have the flexibility (or MANEUVER WARFARE) to move it around at a moment's notice to avoid loosing everything when a few Chinese SRBM's are launched at a forward deployed location. The US unlike Russia has to worry about having fixed land bases and floating carriers within SRBM, and IRBM range of the Chinese and in populated areas and the concept is too basically practice distributed lethality so as to eliminate single points of failure. Having a giant truck mounted system that itself needs protection through batteries of SAM's etc will be a pain in the rear end to move around the chess board and is itself quite prone to cruise missile strike when someone packages a simple HOJ seeker on a cruise missile. For Russia such a capability is cost-affective as it is deployed on their own territory not halfway across the globe for others not so much. They will invest in directed energy in the Microwave CHAMP but then say that its too big and wait nearly 8 years for the technology to be scaled into a size where it can be deployed by fighters instead of strategic assets because those are required for other more important things. Same thing with large radar installations. The Soviets have gone in for multii-band radars linked into a particular system because they are not worried about the logistical footprint. The US Chose a very large X-Band AESA for THAAD when they could have (or should have) done a smaller UHF radar and a smaller X band radar if they had no mobility constraints. Again the IADS strategy is different because the demands are different.

There is plenty of excellent material out in the public that talks about capability and counter capability throughout the Cold War and analysis the contrast in doctrine and one can develop a great sense of appreciation as to why certain things are done in a way they are done. One can't however make a blanket statement that the best way to develop something is doing it in a way that is polar opposite to the the way US, Russia or China are doing it because its fashionable to be assymtrical. There are instances where you do build similar capability because it makes sense. An assymtrical response to large scale modern fighters would be SAM's..yet nations still invest in modern fighters that are increasingly getting more and more costly every generation. Similarly stealth is being brought to the forefront by the Russians (Figthers, UAV's, UCAV's and even Bombers), Chinese (same), India (AMCA, PAKFA, AURA), South Korea (K-FX and some UAV's), Japan (A-X), Turkey and other nations (Including European nations such as France, Britain, Sweden and Italy) because the tactical advantages gained form it is clear, and significant. Yet all these nations have to balance their stealth with their technology, their economics and other mission needs.

If you want to become more familiar with the last large scale (during the cold war) asymmetric strategy that resulted in the technology for the West read this document from the 1980's talking about work that began in labs a decade before - (I'll post some passages..). It talks about an asymmetric response to numerical superiority. So no mirror response of large force postures but investments in other areas that acted as an asymmetric counters to a clear superiority for the Warsaw Pact forces -

All advanced technology development--civilian or military--is a long-term process, an investment in the future. The criterion is not whether that technology pays a dividend today. Let me elaborate on this point, using low observable technology as an example.
Since World War II, aircraft designers have experimented with ideas for low observable (stealth) aircraft that would defeat radars by making the aircraft practically invisible to them. While stealth aircraft have been pursued for decades, there have been significant technical problems through the years in designing an aircraft that would be zufficiently invisible under a variety of conditions. Nonetheless, enormous strides have been made in low observable tech- nology. In the mid-1970s, we effectively applied such technology to the first generation of cruise missiles that then began their development and now are being deployed.
By 1977, it became clear that this technology could be made considerably more effective and could be applied to many types of vehicles. We concluded that it was possible to build aircraft so difficult to detect that they could not be successfully engaged by any existing air defense systems. Recognizing the great significance of this technology, we made roughly a ten-fold increase in our invest-
ment in it, and we initiated a number of very high priority programs to exploit it in military systems. Stealth technology may w2ll be the most significant military development of this decade.

Another set of high technology applications that holds great promise is the application of large-scale integrated circuitry to precision-guided munitions. These will have increased importance in anti-tank and close support functions on
the battlefield. They will also affect air-to-air combat, airfield interdiction, and the survivability of surface ships. We are pursuing both the fundamental technology that underlies these capabilities, as well as specific weapons applica- tions.
Technology can be a force multiplier, a resource that can be used to help offset numerical advantages of an adversary. Superior technology is one very effective way to balance military capabilities other than by matching an adversary tank-for-tank or soldier-for-soldier. Other tools that combine with technology to this end include doctrine, tactics, and training. Even with the most sophisticated weapon systems, however, we cannot allow the numerical disparities between us and the Soviets to widen further. Thus, we continue to plan our forces on the basis of a "high-low" mix of high performance, high technology systems with less compli-
cated, less expensive systems.




http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a096066.pdf

Also of relevance to the topic -

https://books.google.com/books?id=QD8KJ ... &q&f=false

Mark Twain reportedly quipped that history does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes. For students of Cold War history, discussions of a “new offset strategy” certainly have a meter or cadence that resonates with a period of American defense strategy and military innovation that, until now, has been largely ignored. The history of American defense policy during the Cold War is often told by chronologically outlining the waxing and waning of defining ideas or concepts: containment, atoms for peace, open skies, massive retaliation, AirLand Battle, flexible response, détente, entente, various “doctrines” (e.g., Nixon, Carter, Reagan) and so on. Frequently, the idea or concept represents a complex strategy or policy that retains historic significance because of its influence on subordinate defense planning and force structure decisions. In a period replete with acronyms and nicknames, the relatively straightforward “offset strategy” concept has gone relatively unnoticed.

In his book, Lifting the Fog of War, Admiral Bill Owens (retired), former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, identifies the architects of the Cold War offset strategy as Harold Brown, Andrew Marshall, and William Perry. For Owens, the capabilities labeled “revolutionary” in the early 1990s were derived from operational approaches and systems “engineered and acquired in the late 1970s through the late 1980s” that made victory in the 1991 Gulf War “inevitable and our historically small loss of life probable.” Writing on the future of military affairs and national strategy in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, former Secretary of Defense Perry argued that the offset strategy, which “sought to use technology as an equalizer or ‘force multiplier,’” was in fact “pursued consistently by five administrations during the 1970s and 1980s.” Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter added that after the offset strategy’s precepts were “dramatically demonstrated during Operation Desert Storm,” they became “key to Washington’s way of waging war.”

The programs and capabilities that originated in the offset strategy, many of which were not fielded until the late 1980s and early 1990s, revolutionized conventional warfare, assured American dominance in large-scale ground combat, and eventually drove potential adversaries to “design around” American conventional superiority by employing asymmetric advantages. The offset strategy evolved concurrently with doctrine – which came to favor rapid, decisive operations to quickly defeat adversaries – but also largely ignored urban operations and counterinsurgency missions.

The offset strategy led to major improvements in stealth, precision strike, battlefield information and communications systems, intelligence systems, positioning and navigation capabilities, and training. Innovation in each of these areas was focused on a single strategic objective: offsetting the Warsaw Pact’s conventional superiority in Europe, and lowering NATO’s reliance on nuclear weapons to deter – or in time of war defend against – a Soviet attack.


http://isnblog.ethz.ch/international-re ... -relevance

To sum up, what you mention in your posts, or what Sweetman talks about is well recognized and I doubt anyone here is trying to suggest a "mirror approach" to anything, but sometimes you cannot completely remove yourself from a mirrored approach because there has been a breakthrough somewhere that has the potential of fundamentally changing the way war is waged. Everyone rushed towards the Jet Engine, and everyone is rushing towards Precision guided munitions because of the lethality they can deliver not because its the latest fad.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Multatuli » 07 Sep 2015 02:09

Russia's Lethal Yak-130 Fighter: The Tiny Terror NATO Should Fear

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-bu ... ould-13782

NRao
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 07 Sep 2015 02:44

Sweetman is totally wrong


In addition he is incomplete. I am sure he is aware of things in the public domain, yet opts to fain ignorance. But, it is what it is. Incomplete analysis/information. Seems like this has become the preferred means of disseminating info.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_28108 » 07 Sep 2015 06:41

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/dPRg3xDUS1F3BG37NFWD0O/Nasas-new-spacecraft-may-hitchhike-across-galaxy.html

Nasa scientists have designed the concept of a spacecraft that would hitch rides on comets and asteroids by spearing them with tethers.

Comet Hitchhiker is a concept for orbiting and landing on comets and asteroids using the kinetic energy—the energy of motion—of these small bodies. “Hitchhiking a celestial body is not as simple as sticking out your thumb, because it flies at an astronomical speed and it won’t stop to pick you up. Instead of a thumb, our idea is to use a harpoon and a tether,” said Masahiro Ono, the principal investigator based at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.

A reusable tether system would replace the need for propellant for entering orbit and landing, so running out would not be an issue, according to the concept design. While closely flying by the target, the spacecraft would first cast an extendable tether toward the asteroid or comet and attach itself using a harpoon attached to the tether.

Next, the spacecraft would reel out the tether while applying a brake that harvests energy while the spacecraft accelerates. Once the spacecraft matches its velocity to the comet or asteroid it is ready to land by simply reeling in the tether and descending gently. When it’s time to move on to another celestial target, the spacecraft would use the harvested energy to quickly retrieve the tether, which accelerates the spacecraft away from the body.

“This kind of hitchhiking could be used for multiple targets in the main asteroid belt or the Kuiper Belt, even five to 10 in a single mission,” Ono said. Ono and colleagues have been studying whether a harpoon could tolerate an impact of this magnitude, and whether a tether could be created strong enough to support this kind of manoeuvre.

Researchers have come up with what they call the Space Hitchhike Equation, which relates the specific strength of the tether, the mass ratio between the spacecraft and the tether, and the change in velocity needed to accomplish the manoeuvre.

In missions that use conventional propellant, spacecraft use a lot of fuel just to accelerate enough to get into orbit. “In Comet Hitchhiker, accelerating and decelerating do not require propellant because the spacecraft is harvesting kinetic energy from the target,” Ono said.

For any spacecraft landing on a comet or asteroid, being able to slow down enough to arrive safely is critical. Comet Hitchhiker requires a tether made from a material that can withstand the enormous tension and heat generated by a rapid decrease in speed for getting into orbit and landing. Ono and colleagues calculated that a velocity change of about 1.5km per second is possible with some materials that already exist: Zylon and Kevlar.

Researchers also estimated that the tether would need to be about 100 to 1,000km for the hitchhiking manoeuvre to work. It would also need to be extendable, and capable of absorbing jerks on it, while avoiding being damaged or cut by small meteorites.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_24684 » 08 Sep 2015 09:19

Russian Ground Based Jammers

Russia Displays Innovative Asymmetric Counter Stealth Systems at MAKS-2015

Russian EW systems displayed at MAKS 2015 suggest that Russia has adopted a low cost, asymmetric approach to counter the threat posed by the soon to be deployed F-35 fighters, which features low observability (LO) and sensor fusion.

A low observable (LO) fighter can escape detection only if it keeps its radar switched off, or under emission control (EMCON). To penetrate contested airspace and attack targets, the LO fighter relies on an AWACS positioned in the rear, which streams the air and ground situation over a directional and encrypted data link. The LO fighter uses its sensor fusion capability to fuse the information obtained from the AWACS sensors with the information obtained through its own passive (ESM, EO) sensors to track and engage adversary targets.

An F-35 strike force under AWACS cover would be able to detect and engage non stealthy Russian fighters - MiG-35, Su-30, Su-35 - well before the Russian fighters detected the presence of the strike force. The F-35s would detect the Russian fighter radar emissions from as far away as 300-nm. Non emitting Russian fighters would be picked up by the F-35 strike force support AWACS from 150-nm.

Even if the Russian fighters were also supported with AWACS, the F-35s LO would delay detection till around 90-nm.

The challenge to Russia from US LO fighters is formidable, but it's noteworthy that LO is fundamentally an ECM technique. LO fighters deflect radar emissions away from the transmitter, instead of bouncing them back to the transmitter.

If LO is ECM then common wisdom hold that every ECM has a ECCM!

The Russians have chosen to negate US advantage, not by building analogs, but by reverting to fundamentals.

A stealthy F-35 strike force threatens ground targets so why oppose it from the air? Putting powerful jammers and passive locators on the ground in the proximity of high value targets that the adversary fears and wants to target would be a logical. Ground based systems have practically no size and weight constraints, as long as mobility is ensured.



What the Russians appear to be doing is:

Fielding powerful ground based jammers to degrade AWACS sensors, data links, RF missile sensors.
Fielding ground based passive emission locating systems that constrain enemy use of radar.
Developing UAVs featuring UHF, L, S radars to unmask LO fighter aircraft
Fielding more sensitive Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS) on their fighters.



The following are some of the new weapon systems displayed at MAKS 2015 that are focused on mitigating the threat posed by the advent of F-35s in large number along Russian borders.

Krasukha EW System

The Krasukha is a mobile, ground-based broadband multi-functional jamming station and spoofing system developed by KRET. The system analyzes the type of signal and responds by jamming it with a powerful, smart interfering emission, preventing adversary radar sensors from detecting targets and guiding weapons to them.

There are two variants of the system: Krasukha-2 and Krasukha-4, the latter being a higher power longer range system.

Krasukha is effective against the entire spectrum of RF dependent weapon systems. It can jam radars (ground, low orbit satellite, AWACS, Fighter, UAV, Missile), data links and satellite links. Krasukha RF suppression makes PGM guidance impossible.

The system can vary jamming intensity to extremes and is capable of damaging electronics through brute force pumping of RF energy into enemy system. Krasukha can also be subtle; for example, it can generate false targets to spoof missile RF sensors.

Jamming range for AWACS is claimed to be 300-km for the Krasukha-2 system, and 400-km for the Krasukha-4 system.

Krasukha systems were developed to protect high value targets on the move, such as the Russian tactical missile Iskander (SS-26), while on the move.


LO UAV to Detect LO Fighters

Russia's UAC is reportedly developing a LO UAV designed to detect stealth aircraft using X-band and UHF radars. The project is an analog of China’s “Divine Eagle” project.

The Russian UAV would detect LO aircraft such as as Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35 and Northrop Grumman B-2.

KRET is developing a deeply-integrated electronic warfare system that would create a protective electromagnetic sphere around the UAV to counter air-to-air missiles and cloak it from radars.

Avtovaza-M

The Avtovaza-M is a Emitter Location System (ELS) that can passively detect and track adversary aircraft facilitating engagement by AD missiles. The system comprises five vehicles spread over tens of kilometer, interconnected over low-power, low-probability-of-intercept communication link using antennas mounted on tall masts.

Avtobaza-M uses time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) processing to locate targets with a precision that is about 2% of detection range, and operates from 200 MHz to 18 GHz and has a range of up to 150-km.

In its basic configuration, Avtovaza-M includes four autonomous SOP (Stantsiya obnaruzheniya i pelengovaniya) detection and direction finding stations and one SOI (Stantsiya obrabotki informatsii) information processing station (ESM), mounted on Kamaz-63501 four-axle military trucks.

TDOA systems can locate targets with three stations, but the Avtovaza system uses up to five, to provide redundancy and resolve ambiguities.

The system can detect, analyze and track IFF, TACAN, pulse and continuous onboard radar emissions, and determine radar types for air and sea surface targets, and then disseminate all of this data up the air defense chain.

The whole system can be set up or made ready to redeploy in 45 minutes, with just 3 to 5 minutes to bring it into combat readiness.

The Avtobaz system is believed to have been used by Iran to bring down an American RQ-170.

The usefulness of an ELS system is often underrated because it cannot detect or track a non emitting aircraft - for example, an adversary fighter with its radar, IFF and JTIDS/Link-16 switched off. The point overlooked is that with its radar or data link offline, the adversary fighter wouldn't be able to engage targets!

Moscow-1
The Moscow-1, the successor to the Avtobaza-M ELS, can detect targets at a distance of 400 km, as against Avtovaza's maximum range of 150 km.

Moscow-1 system is operated by a crew of 4 and consists of three trucks including an ESM vehicle (IL265E) and an airborne radar jammer (IL2663). The station is able to provide 360-degree visibility and can be deployed in 45 minutes.

You can see more pictures of the Krasukha system at this AW&ST link.

Analysis
If the above logic behind powerful ground based EW systems is sound, why has the US not developed such weapon systems.

Bill Sweetman in his audio-interview (link below) attributes it to the expeditionary nature of US forces. US ground troops are loathe to carry around anything larger than a Humvee sized vehicle, says Sweetman.

A KRET official confirms as much in a more recent interview, excerpted below from a Google translation.

Apparently this is explained by the history of US involvement in military conflicts. They are known in their territory do not fight, and are mainly involved in any global or local military conflicts far from their borders. Therefore, the terrestrial EW they never paid as much attention as we do. Perhaps this is also dictated by the current military doctrine there. We have a different doctrine, is defensive in nature, so the means of electronic intelligence and management of land-based we have developed very well. We can say - as anywhere in the world.


From Thakur

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 08 Sep 2015 18:53

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 89978.html
Hitler secretly made the weapons of the future during the Second World War

This week marked the 76th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland and the beginning of the Second World War
Alice Harrold

Monday 07 September 2015

Hitler's Nazi engineers made technological developments which were innovative and far ahead of their time, manufacturing weapons such as sonic cannons, x-ray guns and land cruisers.

The magazine Weapons of WWII has exhibited some of Hitler's secret Nazi weapons in its Autumn 2015 issue.

Fritz X air-to-ship wireless guided gliding bomb used by the Nazis led to the invention of the smart bomb used today Fritz X air-to-ship wireless guided gliding bomb used by the Nazis led to the invention of the smart bomb used today The Fritz X, one of Hitler’s most secret bombs, is widely considered to be the grandfather of today's smart bomb.

The glide bomb was radio guided and carried over 700lbs of explosives. It was capable of hitting strongly protected targets such as battleships and heavy cruisers.

It could penetrate 28in of armour and could be deployed from 20,000ft, meaning it could be out of reach for antiaircraft equipment at the time.

Horten Ho 229 bomber, pictured at The Smithsonian, was one of Hitler's most deadly weapons Horten Ho 229 bomber, pictured at The Smithsonian, was one of Hitler's most deadly weapons The "flying wing" bomber was designed to carry 2,000lbs of armaments while flying at 49,000ft above ground level and travelling at speeds north of 600mph.

First flown in 1944, the Horten Ho 229 was the world's premiere stealth aircraft, equipped with twin turbojet engines, two cannons, and R4M rockets.

The Nazis allocated half a million Reich Marks to manufacturing the plane which has inspired modern stealth aircrafts such as the Northrop Gruman B-2 bomber.

The Goliath tracked mine, known as "Doodlebugs" or beetle tanks to the Allies, was controlled with a joystick and powered by electric motors or gas burners.

The miniature tanks could carry between 133 and 220lbs of high explosives and were used to navigate minefields and attack heavy vehicles and fortifications. This Nazi innovation paved the way for today's radio-controlled weapons.

The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, a rocket-powered jet with speeds of up to 700mph, was the fastest jet in the War by a difference of over 250mph.

The plane's immense speed was so far ahead of its competitors, in fact, that it was fast enough to avoid Allied gunners but it was too fast to hit Allied aircraft.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Sep 2015 03:09

Courtesy Secret Projects

YF-23 DEM/VAL Presentation by Test Pilots Paul Metz and Jim Sandberg
YF-23 DEM/VAL program presentation by YF-23 Test Pilots Paul Metz and Jim Sandberg commemorates the 25th anniversary of the first flight.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 10 Sep 2015 16:38

First Italian Built F-35 flew a few days ago..

Last edited by brar_w on 10 Sep 2015 17:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 10 Sep 2015 17:12

Sorry unable to resize it, but a very good example of the 'see through' capability of the F-35:

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 10 Sep 2015 17:34

Scorpion Jet Returns

Some data points:

Milestones of the Recently Completed Scorpion Summer Tour:

Self deployed to 8 Countries – Canada, UK, France, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Greenland, Iceland
45 total sorties flown – 100% mission availability
26 ferry
11 customer demos
6 tactical missions flown
2 photo missions
12,384 nm flown (not including "local" sorties)
81.3 flight hours (block time)
7 weeks on tour
No unscheduled maintenance required
Video highlights from United Kingdom demonstrations flights

Scorpion Test Program Status Update

The Scorpion testing program has flown more than 483 hours since first flight in December 2013, with an availability rating of 98 percent. From the outset of the program, Scorpion has achieved an aggressive target of operating below $3,000 per flight hour. That target has been met consistently, with average costs coming in closer to $2,000 per hour for the majority of Scorpion’s test flights.


16 companies are expected to participate, showcasing more than 35 products capable of supporting Scorpion’s diverse mission set.

BAE Systems
Boeing
Cobham
FLIR Systems
ForceX
General Dynamics
L-3 Wescam
Lockheed Martin
MDBA
Moog
Northrup Grumman
Selex
Textron Systems Geospatial Solutions
Thales Defense
TRU Simulation + Training
UTC Aerospace Systems

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 10 Sep 2015 17:59

A VERY interesting article in its own right, but even more so considering it is from Israel.

Could Israeli F-35s turn the tables on Iranian S-300 missiles?

Over the long years of its development, the F-35 fighter jet has been pummeled from every angle. What haven’t we heard: It’s overweight and underpowered; it’s a single engine when it should be a twin; its engine may suffer from a serious design and structural problem; its wings are too short, its stealth capacity too tenuous, its cost too prohibitive.

But as Russia seeks to increase its influence in the region, shopping around its cutting edge air-defense weaponry — notably including the S-300 missile-defense system, which President Vladimir Putin has promised to deliver to Iran in the wake of the nuclear framework agreement reached earlier this month — the Israeli Air Force is flying to the F-35’s defense. In a recent interview with The Times of Israel, conducted prior to the Russian announcement, the IAF’s point man for the acquisition and integration of the F-35, who has been immersed in the project since 2005, robustly backed the purchase and put it into historical perspective, noting that every leap forward has faced a near wall of opposition at the onset.

In Israel, much of the criticism has revolved around the cost of the US-made jet and the erosion of indigenous know-how. Former defense minister Moshe Arens, an aeronautical engineer by training and one of the program’s most vocal castigators, told The Times of Israel in October that while the F-35 might be “nice to have,” he didn’t see any need for it considering the country’s budgetary constraints. He noted that the military was still operating Vietnam War-era armored personnel carriers — to fatal effect this past summer in Gaza’s Shejaiya neighborhood this past summer — and said Israel would do better upgrading its existing F-15 and F-16 planes and investing the surplus funds in the ground forces.

Moreover, Arens has argued in a series of op-eds in the Haaretz daily, Israel’s 1987 decision to abort the Lavi fighter plane project was a misjudgment of historic proportions that has led to the atrophy of what was once one of the best fighter aircraft design departments in the world. Israel’s tactical missiles, unmanned aircraft, tanks, radars, satellites and missile interceptors are among the world’s best, he wrote; its commitment to the F-35 was born of defeatism and should be re-examined.

It is, however, too late for that now. The central question today – and one that will loom large as Israel assembles a new government and authorizes the army’s five-year spending plan, which has been kicked down the road for two years running and hinders the IDF’s ability to plan into the future — is quantity.

Israel’s Defense Ministry in 2003 sent a Letter of Request to Congress asking for authorization to purchase “up to” 75 planes. In 2010, it signed a deal with the US-based Lockheed-Martin aeronautical company for 19 F-35As, with the first few aircraft set to arrive in late 2016. The total cost of that deal was $2.75 billion, a spokesman for Lockheed-Martin said, out of which $475 million was for non-recurrent costs for the integration of Israeli systems. The cost per aircraft was roughly $120 million.

The full plan, as drafted by the Israeli Air Force and approved by the Defense Ministry, was for two squadrons of 25 planes each, for roughly six billion dollars, all of which would be paid for by US aid to Israel, which amounts to three billion dollars a year and must be spent largely in the United States.

Nonetheless, in Israel, where the Defense Ministry budget is a constant bone of contention – at roughly $15 billion a year it receives more than any other ministry but a far smaller share of the GDP [6.5 percent] than in generations past – the question of necessity, after decades of Israeli air supremacy in the Middle East, has come to the fore.

In February, the Ministerial Committee on Defense Procurement nixed the Defense Ministry’s request for the full 50 airplanes. “The government doesn’t have to be a rubber stamp for the defense establishment,” Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said after the committee approved only 14 new planes, for $110 million each, bringing the total to 33.

The Israel Aerospace Industries reached a parallel deal with Lockheed-Martin to produce up to 800 pairs of wings for the F-35 fuselage, to be sold to LM at upwards of two billion dollars over the next decade, alongside a similar commitment for the Israeli company Elbit to manufacture the next generation of the F-35 pilot helmet. Notwithstanding this added benefit to Israel, Steinitz and others have maintained that the aircraft has “weaknesses” and “problems,” and that it might be better to invest in other sorts of firepower and “not put all of our eggs in the basket of the air force.”
An F-35A designated for the Royal Australian Air Force landing at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona on December 18, 2014 (photo credit: AP Photo/ US Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Staci Miller)

Lt. Col. B, the IAF point man for the F-35, has heard all of this and more. In a box of an office, speaking over a rattling air conditioning system, he unwaveringly laid out his historical case for the F-35, asserting to The Times of Israel that Israel’s qualitative advantage in the air is on the wane and that prudence requires that the IAF know when the time is over for improvements and upgrades and the need for a technological leap forward, or “a new generation,” has come.

He started with the Meteor. It was made in Britain in the mid-forties. Unlike the IAF’s beloved Messerschmitts and Spitfires – both of which were flown during Israel’s War of Independence – the Meteor had bombed targets but not seen aerial combat in World War II. Its aerodynamics were problematic and its cannon and bomb-carrying capacity were equal but not superior to those of its predecessors. However, it was equipped with a jet engine, Lt. Col. B said, and that speed, representing the second generation of the IAF’s fighter planes, put it on par with its enemies’ far larger air forces. On September 1, 1955, Cpt. Aaron Yoeli downed a pair of Egyptian planes over the western Negev, marking the first jet kill in the Middle East.
The British-made Meteor, the IAF's first jet plane (photo credit: Israeli Air Force)

In 1968, Israel bought the US-made Phantom, which was faster than the Mirage and could carry nearly six times its payload. “Our concept is that we will never win with quantity,” Lt. Col. B said. “We’ll win by being first.” The Phantom, he said, was “the first bomber that could escort itself deep into enemy territory.”

After the Yom Kippur War, he continued, the entire IAF was opposed to the F-15. It hadn’t flown anywhere; it was new; it was expensive. Moreover, the Phantom, the third generation of the IAF’s fighter planes, had performed well in combat. “The question,” he said, “is where to place the seam between the present and the future” – in other words, when does it no longer pay to continue to upgrade the existing platform.

In December 1976 five of the first 20 F-15s in the world arrived in Israel. Four years later, in July 1980, some of the first F-16s were escorted to the country. Those purchases, and the West’s outright victory in the Cold War, bought a generation of unblemished aerial superiority for Israel.

In practice, that has not waned. Israel has reportedly sent planes to attack the plutogenic nuclear reactor in eastern Syria in September 2007 and, among many other cross-border operations, has hit targets over 1,000 miles away in North Sudan. Not once did enemy planes rise up to challenge the invading Israeli aircraft. The planes may not have been so much as seen on enemy radar. But now, after six upgrades to the F-15, Lt. Col. B said, the ability to do “what we want” across the Middle East is “in the process of erosion.”

Egypt and Saudi Arabia have top-notch, Western-supplied air forces, he said. The former has a peace treaty with Israel. The latter has interests that have aligned – against Iran and radical Sunni Islam – with the Jewish state. And yet, when buying a new fleet of aircraft – Israel’s doctrine calls for roughly 100 new fighter planes every decade – the country has to look far into the future, into the unknown. Both those countries could fall into Islamist hands. Moreover, Iran and Syria, enemy states, have received advanced Russian air-defense systems and will likely get offensive ones too, perhaps including the Sukhoi Su-50ES fighter plane, which, if military import sanctions are removed, is slated for Iran in 2022.

In other words the need to “leap forward” to a fifth-generation fighter plane is demonstrable, Lt. Col. B said.

Others dispute the unequivocal nature of that statement.

“Take the army we had in 1985 – the F-15 and F-16 A and B; the Merkava Mark I and II, and all the rest – and ask yourself whether the IDF,” using those weapons, “could defend Israel today against its enemies,” Yiftah Shapir, the head of the INSS think tank’s Middle East Military Balance project, said.

His answer is an unhesitating yes. Not every technological leap is one Israel is forced to take, he said.

Calling the F-35 “insanely expensive,” Shapir, a former IAF officer himself, said that “if we didn’t have a very rich uncle in the United States” – the three billion dollars of annual aid – “we wouldn’t be buying it.”

Aerodynamically, he argued, the F-35, on account of its weight-to-thrust ratio and other factors, is already outperformed by the F-16I, Israel’s current most advanced operational fighter plane. The French Rafale, based on its specs and its performance against the F-22, also would fare well against the fifth-generation fighter, he said.

Asked whether a stealth fighter with a highly advanced radar, which will see its targets before it is seen, obviates some of the tools necessary for a dogfight, he said it is an ongoing argument in the field of strategic air studies but noted that if a pilot misses with his first missile and the planes draw within visual range “then it’s the same sort of aerial battle as in WWII.”

Lt. Col. B, though, said the F-35 was equal, not less, than the F-16I in the air and argued that the first model of the F-35 should be compared to the F-16’s first model and not the plane that has been steadily improved for the past 35 years.

He rejected all talk of waiting out this round of development and then buying the first unmanned fighter jet aircraft, saying it would require the same speed, same carrying capacity, and same survivability, and therefore simply cost more, while stripping the air force of its flesh-and-blood component at the tip.

Instead, while noting that Israeli test pilots have found “no major concerns” while flying the F-35, he focused on optimization. In an ideal world, he said, one plane is tasked with taking out one target. But the target, if worth anything, is guarded. This requires additional systems: satellites and spy planes to get good visuals of the target, radars to pick up other aircraft and surface-to-air missiles, signals and visuals to acquire and “incriminate” the target, and a sophisticated command-and-control apparatus to distribute the targets. In the F-35, he said, “that entire system is in the hands of the pilot.”

This is pivotal, he said, because when operating on enemy soil people often “think the problem is fuel. But it isn’t.” The challenge, “when operating in depth, away from the anchor, is a lack of intelligence.”

Russia’s recent pledge to provide Iran with one of the models of the S-300 air-defense system fleshes out some of the purported advantages of the new aircraft. Aside from the potency and maneuverability of the S-300’s missiles, and the precision of the radar and ability of the system to track and target multiple aircraft, it is also mobile. Within minutes it can change location and re-deploy. The F-16 of today, Lt. Col. B said, would need to be armed with intelligence about the location of the system in order to avoid it, flying along the stitch in radar coverage. Otherwise, it would be alerted only once the radar had locked in on it — perhaps too late — or rely on Israel’s formidable electronic warfare capacities, jamming the radar, or its intelligence planes, which could locate the systems’ radars. In the F-35, he said, all of this information is spread out before the pilot, “and the hunter becomes the hunted.”

Calling the pilot’s situational awareness “improved to the point of being absolute,” he said “I see the world. I see where he is and how he is deployed,” including surface-to-air missiles. “All of it is now with me. I can attack. I can destroy you on the way to the target.”

This is not to say that today’s IAF planes lack the ability to unlock the S-300. Quite likely, the IAF has trained against the system in Greece and has created a combat doctrine capable of defeating it. The F-35 though, he said, “is similar to the iPhone,” in that the planners were able to take the capacity once housed on separate aircraft – stealth, intelligence gathering, advanced radars, planning, control, and electronic warfare – and “pack it all into a single fighter plane.”

Shapir conceded that the aircraft has “fantastic” capabilities and even said it might yet prove a useful tool against the S-300, but asserted that the only reason it is a truly necessary tool for Israel – which fights most of its battles near home but needs to maintain the capability of projecting its air power to places as distant as Tehran — is because Israel’s planes are aging and the United States “made the F-35 the only game in town.”

“There’s no other way,” he said, “because there’s nothing else out there.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 12 Sep 2015 08:08

GeorgeWelch wrote:I wouldn't call 50% cheaper 'marginally'.

Fortunately for us, it won't be 50% cheaper. [RAAF:- SH: A$150 mil, F-35A: A$190 mil (both figures at 2015 prices - excl. A$1.4bn in base upgrades not relevant to India)]

New orders don't matter. If you order SH or Rafale or whatever now, who cares if there's a new version 10 years from now?

What matters is upgrades to your existing fleet. And in that regard, the USN SH fleet is far larger and far better funded than either the Rafale or LCA, ensuring upgrades will be more timely and more affordable.

'Who cares?' Err.. people with a history of appending options for follow-on orders, to the contract. Like.. India for example.

Viv S wrote:And what new capability does the LCA deliver? Or additional MKI?

The 'new capability' it delivers is numbers, numbers that have been severely declining.

(Even ignoring the fact that it delivers a tremendous range of new weaponry and different EW/ECM capabilities. There is something to be said for avoiding a monoculture.)

What new capability does the Tejas deliver? How about basic air defence, CAS, interdiction, interception at a unit cost of just $25 mil each. Exactly what you'd want from a MiG-21 replacement.

What does the Su-30MKI deliver? Ans: a low unit cost, domestic production (supports domestic jobs + retention of forex), local support chain, logistical commonality & freedom of customization.

Finally, the F-35, which for an extra $20-25 mil over the SH, delivers a better radar, better EW suite, better MMI, better MAWS, just... better everything including better upgrade prospects, better interoperability with PacRim states and a wider selection of weaponry. All in a genuine VLO airframe, capable of deep strike/loiter. And prevents the formation of a monoculture.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 12 Sep 2015 08:33

GeorgeWelch wrote:http://breakingdefense.com/2015/03/ew-fighter-trends-could-save-boeing-growlerhornet-line/


Pentagon Asks Congress to Reverse Decision to Add 12 Super Hornets for Navy

Even the USN would only like more Growlers not Super Hornets. Despite the fact that its forced to buy the F-35C instead of the far cheaper F-35A.

Meanwhile every country that had the option of the Super Hornet such as Israel, Norway, Netherlands and especially (SH-operating) Australia, has rejected it in favour of more F-35s.

One other point I'd like to make on this is that it does deliver a tremendous new capability to the IAF: US logistical support. You suddenly need 1000 more missiles or your 3-year spare depot is now looking like a 3-week spare depot? No one else can push the quantity of needed supplies through like the US.

The F-35 will have a far larger and more robust support system compared to the SH.

Same goes for the production capacity. If tensions with China escalate in 2022, the IAF can request delivery of an F-35A squadron on an emergency basis and the JPO could divert deliveries to make that happen. Boeing, in contrast, would apologetically inform them that the SH line was closed down a few years ago.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Sep 2015 09:15

Unless the sequester lifts in the next 2-3 years the USN would need to procure additional Super Hornets. The need is a self-inflicted goal where future readiness has been cannibalized for modernization of the surface, under-sea and even tactical aviation fleet. The depot SLEP's for the F/A-18 hornet have taken far longer than planned partly due to the complexity of the platforms (2-3 wars and they have been run to the ground) and partly due to manning shortage. That has reflected in MA rates. Furthermore, Super Hornet utilization has been higher than that modeled at the time the acquisition numbers were determined. As a result there is a convergence of these factors in a near perfect storm that would mean there would be far more Super Hornets waiting to hit the depots in the mid 2020's than the likely capacity at the time leaving a strike fighter shortfall. The USN has two options, either increase investments to reduce that choke by making investments in the depots or buy more super hornets to have adequate squadrons in the 2025-2032 time period when a bulk of the Super Hornets are to go in for major overhauls. Any increase in depot level investment would have to be justified through sustainment therefore the easiest option is to simply buy more Super Hornets and have them hard wired for later Growler conversions (like the RAAF). They do not need more super hornets from a squadron strength perspective, but do from a squadron availability perspective. The problem will manifest itself again in the late 2030's when the large super hornet fleet would be a pain in the A$$ to replace. Hopefully the F-35 would still be in production around that time to allow them to acquire a cheaper alternative to a 6th generation fighter.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 12 Sep 2015 09:36

brar_w wrote:Unless the sequester lifts in the next 2-3 years the USN would need to procure additional Super Hornets.

Within the next 2-3 years the SH production line will most likely be rolled up.

The USN has two options, either increase investments to reduce that choke by making investments in the depots or buy more super hornets to have adequate squadrons in the 2025-2032 time period when a bulk of the Super Hornets are to go in for major overhauls.

Option 3: Order more F-35Cs in the 2020-2025 period.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Sep 2015 09:42

Within the next 2-3 years the SH production line will most likely be rolled up


I am not sure about that. Lets see..Boeing has an incredible lobby

Option 3: Order more F-35Cs in the 2020-2025 period


Funding is going to be a major issue and that is a political decision so the USN may not want to go down that path. At the moment They would do well to squeeze in the existing 2020-2025 F-35C procurement plans and a lot would be based on how well the program executes ramp rates but also how costly the ship building account gets particularly the Ohio Class Replacement submarine which is the USN's equivalent of the LRS-B (only difference being that the LRS-B is being developed out of the USAF's budget but the Navy doesn't have enough money to design and build the sub from its own budget so must either reach into other accounts such as tactical aviation, or seek a seperate corpus of fund and have the president funded (which Obama has not done so far)

EDIT:

Also note that the rate of utilization of the Super Hornet fleet is alarming. This is primarily due to it offering much better MA rates than the older Hornets, and also because it has significantly better networking capabilities. This in a way justifies the USN's decisions to go really affordable and CHEAP with the F-18E/F program because they haven't really used up all that time against a capable opponent. A significantly better aircraft would have still performed only as good as this given the threat. The alarming bit of statistic is that the first Block II F-18E/F reaches its 6000 hour airframe life next year. This particular aircraft and the ones that accompany it are obviously outliers but that just goes to show how much the USN is flying these aircraft. The SLAP would design a SLEP that should comfortably take the Super Hornet to 10,000-12,000 hours airframe life (if not higher for some aircraft) but the rate of utilization is alarming none the less (plus SLEP costs money and requires an analysis and planning on how to account for it to be complete so the first few F-18E/F's would probably need annual waivers as the USN awaits an established SLEP program). The safest way out would be to simply buy a couple (perhaps 3) squadrons of F-18E/F's and later convert them to Growlers instead of buying more Growlers now for a need later when the NGJ goes online. I would use these aircraft for around 10 - 12 years and then convert them after upgrading them to Advanced growler. Either way don't expect the F-18E/F line to shut down for another 3-4 years at least.
Last edited by brar_w on 13 Sep 2015 04:55, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 12 Sep 2015 10:36

Viv S wrote:Fortunately for us, it won't be 50% cheaper. [RAAF:- SH: A$150 mil, F-35A: A$190 mil (both figures at 2015 prices - excl. A$1.4bn in base upgrades not relevant to India)]


Those numbers are comparing different things. Base cost of the SH is $50 million. Base cost of the F-35A is still over $130 million.

Viv S wrote:'Who cares?' Err.. people with a history of appending options for follow-on orders, to the contract. Like.. India for example.


If you want to use future upgrades as a measuring stick, the Rafale fails badly. France wasn't going to fund AESA at all until they realized they had to in order to win any export sales at all. The French air force was perfectly content with the previous solution and didn't want to spend any money on it. If you're hoping to piggyback off French upgrades, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Viv S wrote:What new capability does the Tejas deliver? How about basic air defence, CAS, interdiction, interception at a unit cost of just $25 mil each. Exactly what you'd want from a MiG-21 replacement.


It's doubtful that the LCA alone can provide the numbers required.

Viv S wrote:What does the Su-30MKI deliver? Ans: a low unit cost, domestic production (supports domestic jobs + retention of forex), local support chain, logistical commonality & freedom of customization.


You already have those, the benefit of additional MKI is marginal in terms of what you mentioned. Not to mention that the MKI is unaffordable in the numbers required.

Viv S wrote:Finally, the F-35, which for an extra $20-25 mil over the SH, delivers a better radar, better EW suite, better MMI, better MAWS, just... better everything including better upgrade prospects, better interoperability with PacRim states and a wider selection of weaponry. All in a genuine VLO airframe, capable of deep strike/loiter. And prevents the formation of a monoculture.


The F-35 will never be just $25 million more than the SH. At some point in the future, it might be 'only' $50 million more. But for now it is substantially more.

If you want to argue the benefit of the F-35 over the Rafale, I would completely agree. They are very similar in price and the F-35 offers far more capability and if you were just going to get a small subfleet, the F-35 makes sense as it provides something the Rafale will never have, namely stealth.

But the F-35 has the same problem as the Rafale for filling the large numbers required by the IAF: It's unaffordable.
Last edited by GeorgeWelch on 12 Sep 2015 10:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 12 Sep 2015 10:41



That's the Secretary of Defense (ie the Obama administration), not the Navy. The Navy's request hasn't changed, and the Navy has lots of friends in Congress (as does Boeing).

Viv S wrote:Meanwhile every country that had the option of the Super Hornet such as Israel, Norway, Netherlands and especially (SH-operating) Australia, has rejected it in favour of more F-35s.


They are in very different situations. Those countries are looking to buy their 'fighter of the future' and they have smaller fleet needs than the IAF. But when Australia was looking for a gap-filler, they bought the SH because it makes sense in that role as something that is capable yet affordable and can still be useful in the future. Similarly the IAF isn't looking for their 'aircraft of the future', they already have that coming in the form of the PAK-FA and MCA. Instead they are looking (or should be looking) for a capable, affordable gap-filler. In other words, the SH.
Last edited by GeorgeWelch on 12 Sep 2015 10:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Sep 2015 10:48

Base cost of the SH is $50 million.


Base cost is useless for follow on orders. It is calculated by the total capital expenditure divided by the number of units. At the moment the USN is not paying $50 Million for each Super Hornet (the last ones they bought). The 2013 F-18E/F order adjusted up to 2015 (inflation) cost around $61 Million without most of the systems standard on an F-35. The Adv./Int. Hornet would have cost around 20% more so north of $70 Million. The target for the F-35A by the end of the decade is between $80 and $85 Million and it has met or exceeded all targets since the baseline. Even if we assume $90 for the F-35A the difference is less than $20 Million and even smaller still if you want to add stuff like an IRST, a dedicated Sniper XR that are standard on an F-35. This obviously assumes that the Super Hornet in 2018 costs the same to produce despite of a smaller production volume.

Base cost of the F-35A is still over $130 million.


Not in LRIP 8 it aint.

Finally, the F-35A version comes in at $108 million (with engine) for LRIP 8. That is $4 million lower than lot 7. prices.

France wasn't going to fund AESA at all until they realized they had to in order to win any export sales at all. The French air force was perfectly content with the previous solution and didn't want to spend any money on it. If you're hoping to piggyback off French upgrades, you're going to be sorely disappointed


France wanted an AESA that did not rely on American T/R modules..The secured X-Band T/R models from Europe and now have operational AESA radars. The Spectra upgrades are being tested as we speak. What other areas would you like to see an upgrade too? Given the primary and in fact the only aerial strategic platform with France is the Rafale it would be constantly upgraded in EW until they get a stealth UCAV in the 2030's beyond which you would not need a very high end penetrating capability out of your Rafale anyhow (or shouldn't given PAKFA, AURA and AMCA)...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 12 Sep 2015 11:06

brar_w wrote:
Base cost of the SH is $50 million.


Base cost is useless for follow on orders. It is calculated by the total capital expenditure divided by the number of units. At the moment the USN is not paying $50 Million for each Super Hornet (the last ones they bought). The 2013 F-18E/F order adjusted up to 2015 (inflation) cost around $61 Million without most of the systems standard on an F-35.


http://australianaviation.com.au/2010/0 ... -contract/

The US Navy has awarded a US$5.297bn (A$5.5bn) contract to Boeing for the delivery of 66 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and 58 EA-18G Growlers under a Multi Year Procurement (MYP) from FY2012 to 2015.


5,297,000,000 / (66+58) = $42.7 million per plane, and that includes the more expensive Grizzly variants.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Sep 2015 11:26

5,297,000,000 / (66+58) = $42.7 million per plane, and that includes the more expensive Grizzly variants.


Does not include either the radar or the engines among other things.

From the second paragraph of your link -

Separate contracts are expected to be announced for the supply of F414 engines from GE, and radars and other sensors from Raytheon.


The Select Acquisition Report puts the 2013 contract (the very last one) for 26 aircraft @ $1.538 Billion [TY $] or $59 Million. Adjusted for inflation it comes to $61 Million in 2015 dollars. Add a margin for EPE engine enhancements, CFT, higher block software, weapons pod a flush mounted IRST (boeing had that on their brochure a few months ago) and a Litening 4 to begin with and you are looking at $70 Million or higher. The 2 pods alone would cost upwards of $3 Million

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 12 Sep 2015 11:57

GeorgeWelch wrote:Those numbers are comparing different things. Base cost of the SH is $50 million. Base cost of the F-35A is still over $130 million.

It's doubtful that the LCA alone can provide the numbers required.

You already have those, the benefit of additional MKI is marginal in terms of what you mentioned. Not to mention that the MKI is unaffordable in the numbers required.

- The unit recurring flyaway cost of the F-35A (as Brar said) is $108 mil currently and falling.
- The Tejas is the only affordable means to making up the numbers, though it will need to be supplemented with heavier fighters like the Su-30MKI (and F-35).
- The Su-30MKI is far more affordable than the SH, given that its fixed costs have already been invested. The import content too is now minimal.

If you want to use future upgrades as a measuring stick, the Rafale fails badly. France wasn't going to fund AESA at all until they realized they had to in order to win any export sales at all. The French air force was perfectly content with the previous solution and didn't want to spend any money on it. If you're hoping to piggyback off French upgrades, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

The F-35 will never be just $25 million more than the SH. At some point in the future, it might be 'only' $50 million more. But for now it is substantially more.

^ I believe this is called a 'straw-man'. At no point did I say anything about the Rafale being an ideal purchase for India.

You haven't been keeping up with the news if you think the F-35 is 'unaffordable'. The gap with the SH is currently less than $50 million and within three years will have shrunk to less than $20 million, as the F-35 production rate rises (from 40/yr to 150/yr+) and as the SH's production rate shrinks (from 36/yr to.. 0/yr).

GeorgeWelch wrote:That's the Secretary of Defense (ie the Obama administration), not the Navy. The Navy's request hasn't changed, and the Navy has lots of friends in Congress (as does Boeing).

So you say. Meanwhile only Kuwait seems willing to buy the SH today, and in light of its pending EF order, even that is very doubtful.

They are in very different situations. Those countries are looking to buy their 'fighter of the future' and they have smaller fleet needs than the IAF. But when Australia was looking for a gap-filler, they bought the SH because it makes sense in that role as something that is capable yet affordable and can still be useful in the future. Similarly the IAF isn't looking for their 'aircraft of the future', they already have that coming in the form of the PAK-FA and MCA. Instead they are looking (or should be looking) for a capable, affordable gap-filler. In other words, the SH.

India already has a 'fighter-of-the-present' in the Su-30MKI. There's little point in duplicating that capability.

The PAK FA is 10 years away and the AMCA at least 15 years away. India's threat scenario is lot more serious than that facing Australia or South Korea. And every argument that has enabled the F-35 to grind the SH down (along with most other 4.5 gen fighters) in every market, also applies to India.

Every role that the SH performs can also be performed by the Su-30MKI (including stand-off jamming) with varying levels of efficiency. However, the SH will get its ass shot down if it attempts missions that the F-35 specializes in.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 17 Sep 2015 18:19

With the death of the Turkey td thanks to "Thanksgiving",pun intended,here goes:

https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/
Sep 17th report.
Pentagon Office Critical of Marines F-35 Tests in Leaked Memo
A leaked memo external link has uncovered serious concerns over the Marine Corps’ operational testing of F-35B aircraft aboard USS Wasp external link (LHD-1) in May, undermining the aircraft’s Initial Operating Capability in July. The memo, penned by the director of the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Office, cites a poor availability rate, a lack of realistic operational challenges and an absence of key mission systems. The first has been noted before, with this new memo as critical of how the tests were designed and supported as the aircraft themselves, including the discovery that the Wasp required software upgrades to communicate effectively with the F-35Bs.


http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairf ... 50917.aspx
News from Riussia:
Warplanes: Russia Gets The Good Stuff Just In Time
September 17, 2015: The Russian Air Force recently ordered another eight Su-30SM fighter-bombers. Meanwhile the manufacturer is to complete delivery of the initial order (sixty aircraft) by next year. The government says it will order another 20 to 25 of these aircraft by 2018. The first Su-30SM flew a few months before deliveries began in late 2012. Before the first Su-30SM order Russia had only 11 Su-30s in service, far fewer than China and India. All Russia could afford until 2013 was the older Su-27.

The Su-30SM is a Russian Air Force version of the Su-30MKI that has long been exported (to India, Algeria, and Malaysia). It is a two-seat jet fighter-bomber similar to the American F-15E. Since the early 1990s Russian defense manufacturers have survived on exports. The Russian military halted most equipment purchases after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. That collapse was largely due to financial and economic mismanagement by the communist government. The Soviet Union was, literally, bankrupt and it took most of the 1990s to sort it all out.

After 2000 the Russian military gradually resumed buying. Initially, the armed forces could not afford the best stuff (like the Su-30MKI). But gradually changed, and now the Russian military is catching up. The Su-30SM is the first Su-30 model for the Russian Air Force that uses thrust vectoring (the ability of the engine to direct its exhaust a bit and enhance maneuverability).

The Su-30MKI, even though equipped with Western electronics, costs less than $50 million each, about half of what an equivalent F-15 costs. The Russian version will have Russian electronics and other Russian made gear but otherwise be nearly identical to the Su-30MKI. The Su-30MKI/SM each weight about 38 tons and each can carry more than eight tons of bombs and hit targets over 1,500 kilometers away. The Su-30SM is able to use a large range of missiles and smart bombs.

Given the economic sanctions (because Russian aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere) and the low price of oil (the major Russian export) the government has a lot less (more than 20 percent less) money to spend. Despite that the government has said it will not cut military spending but that is more of an aspiration than a certainty. But at least the Russian Air Force will have sixty Su-30SMs, giving it the third largest Su-30 fleet (after China and India) in the world. There are about 600 Su-30s in service. Russia hopes to have over 150 by the end of the decade, at which point about 800 will be in service.


Same DID link.MI-17s and civilian Sukhoi Superjets paid for in rubber!
Thais Go Russian, Buy Mi-17 Helicopters – Now to Pay with Rubber
Sep 16, 2015

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 17 Sep 2015 18:55

With the death of the Turkey td thanks to "Thanksgiving",pun intended,here goes:

https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/
Sep 17th report.
Pentagon Office Critical of Marines F-35 Tests in Leaked Memo


Death as in its been cancelled. I must have missed that bit of news flash.

What you are witnessing in the above report is a bureaucratic clash between the side that develops and operates a product and the very large institutional side that tests them. Reading the through the report the DOT&E wants the sort of test that has never ever been conducted by the Marines or anyone else. The director wants the entire logistical train to be put on a ship with trained sailors, maintainers and pilots and test it for 30 or more days. The Marines wont be able to afford this level of testing if they waited till 2020. I'm guessing that Dr. Gillmore's team took objection to the fact that the Marines called it OT-1 and some may confuse this with IOT&E. When you operational testing and evaluation you use crews that have deployed the aircraft, have worked on it in an operational setting on a ship. You move all the stuff onto the ship and go out into the sea and test readiness. This was not what OT-1 set out to do. OT-1 was the first time an operational squadron, with operational pilots, operational maintainers went out for the first time on a ship to get to learn their aircraft and how it deploys as a concept. That effort by definition is not IOTE or OTE but an interim step to help the Marines better write tactics, develop procedures and protocols and train and educate their workforce on this particular weapons system. If you look closely at the timelines you will realize that the USMC does not embark out on a ship in the Pacific till 2018, a full 3 years after OT-1. In that timeframe they'll do an OT-2 that would add another layer of complexity on top of what was accomplished in OT-1 and perhaps they'll even do an OT-3 if budget permits. The actual OTE like test will occur at that 2018 deployment when fully trained crews, pilots and ship will go out in an operational setting and conduct actual operational deployments. Its tough to operate a STOVL aircraft from an L class ship. Its also tough to do it in an EVALUATION setting (which this was not hence the title OT-1 instead of IOT&E used by the DOTE) when you have maintainers and pilots deployed on an L-Class ship that have never ever before done this sort of thing with this sort of jet. Prior to OT-1 there were 2 development test deployments where contract support, and development test pilots were used. The testing procedure as things stand is DT-1 followed by DT-2, then OT-1 and OT-2 with a possible OT-3 if required and if budgets allow. The DOT&E can either use the cumulative data to base its Evaluation on or sanction a formal OT&E. The best way to do this would be to use the 2018 deployment as an OT&E but knowing the large (and getting larger) bureaucracy that has gathered up at the DOT&E it seems they'd want something of their own even though it costs an arm and a leg. In the past the harge bureaucracy has succeeded in multi-million dollar OT&E programs for weapons system that were sent to combat without a formal IOT&E and IOC and had proven themselves there. The drone fleet is one example. After years of providing combat support and ISR in Afghanistan the DOTE wanted to test htem in an operational setting and was successful with a couple of programs!!

POGO that reported this in a distorted way are known to take DOTE things out of context and there is a good reasons that they are the proffered outlets to leak such information given their single item objective of canceling all weapons programs and reducing national defense spending (even though they do not say this the connection of the organizers promoters to extreme left wing think tanks, and organization is public knowledge). The Marines came out and basically said NO to the DOTE in that they will not spend extra money to further test the aircraft in the next 6-12 months but develop evaluation data through a series (and a mix ) of Operational test deployments, squadron data and actual physical deployments to Japan in 2017. So far the Office of Secretary of Defense has sided with the operators rather than the DOTE which is also under his control. Remember OT&E does not test the aircraft or the hardware to see if it has met the requirements that happens in the development test phase, OT&E is reliant on the operational deployment and includes the concept of operations in addition the reediness in terms of how comfortable the service is in deploying a particular hardware in an operational context. There will be no secrets in hiding if the OT&E does not happen as the DOT&E may wish but according to the operators wishes. The operator wants a much gradual operational evaluation and wants to mix it with dedicated operational testing sessions and physical front line deployments. The operator is doing so because he needs aircraft FAST and wants to blend deployment with concept development and testing.

This has happened in the past many times. I'll give you one example - During the F-22s OT&E the DOT&E required that the logistical footprint requirement of the F-22 be demonstrated again because according to them the USAF had not satisfactorily conducted the tests according to the whims and fancies of the director general at the time. The USAF that had a capped budget on the program basically showed them a middle finger. Similarly POGO took on the USAF and claimed that all sorts of rules were changed (when the process is that of negotiation with the ultimate arbitrator being the OSD). Many documents were published by Winslow Wheeler and his circus. By then POGO had lost interest (The F-22 program being terminated at 188) and shifted their attention to the F-35 (something they used as a means to mount pressure on the F-22 before the latters cancellation). Fast forward to 2014, and 2015 the "Rapid Raptor" concept started by the Pacific Command and used by the Tyndall squadrons of F-22's now deploys more raptors than originally planned with the required single C17 load. Of course POGO isn't going carry that story and not going to issue a public apology that they were wrong. They count on short memories and simply move on to their next TARGET. Luckily for the USAF, USMC and USN the Long Range Bomber is going to be next on their radar, perhaps giving some breathing room to these services to modernize outside of the circus. But perhaps a younger person at the helm lets POGO attack two programs at the same time.

The Marine Corps Commandants has a job and that is to provide the MAGTF with stocked aircraft. The DOT&E has a job as well and it seems that it is to just add on test programs with every progressive program and project. With 20% of the USMC fleet forward deployed at any given time, and pulling something like 70-80 hours a month of usage per aircraft (On those old F/A-18's and Harriers no less) the commandant has to plan to get a set amount of new fighters to account for the ones going out because they are quite literally being run to the ground. The other objective is to test the aircraft fully and to everyone's satisfaction at a reasonable cost and over a reasonable time and that is being done in unison with the learning curve of tactics and deployments rather than do all that separately and spend Millions to put an aircraft on an L-class ship and give the keys to the DOTE for a full month if not more. They are doing it throughout the entire process and as the program matures the MA rates are going up as well. 3 of the last 6 months had a fleet MA rate of 60% or higher. When more and more jets get concurrency changes incorporated then the cumulative MA rates will rise. I don't think anyone cares what the MA rates are for pre-concurrency jets that are still running 1B or 2A software. Everyone is going to be interested at the MA rates for the one operational squadron that received all concurrency changes (post the OT-1 deployments) and for the USAF squadron at Hill Air Force Base that has also received the concurrency changes and latest software. Around 2018 the number of jets with majority of the concurrency changes incorporated would begin to dominate the global fleet and that would be reflected in the fleet wide MA rates.

If anyone wants to read a technically well put and informed article on the left leaning anti-defense reformer crowd read this

http://www.fredoneverything.net/ReformersLast.shtml

^ The Pier Sprey story is fascinating. He has been going around some peculiar media outlets claiming all sorts of non-sense. From F-16's will continue to dominate flankers to actually lying about claiming that he designed the F-16 and A-10. POGO and similar organizations have a very very strong affinity for such people. In fact they have a recycling thing going on where they come in, work under POGO, go out and branch out on their own and then feed stuff to POGO. Its a nice little racket with the reformers continuously referencing back to each other.

Another tactics that some have used successfully is to go out to the OEM's find out whats in the pipeline and then come back and criticize the status quo as it being inadequate. They'll go out to Lockheed ask about what they are working on for the follow-on-development such as a new targeting pod upgrade and then come back and begin to criticize the current systems. So Lockheed wants a new EOTS sensor by 2019 that's good because so does Rafael, so does Thales and Northrop Grumman but Bill would write multiple articles criticizing the current pod (but not criticize the current older generation pods that are also going to be replaced). You can never win this argument because someone somewhere is always designing something better for use 5, 10 or 15 years into the future, that's why you have a block 4, block 5 and even a notional block 6 for the mid 2030's.


As far as MA (Mission availability) rates. The F-22A started at around 50% when it IOC'd, and went up from there. The current MA rate for the F-22A is 70% with no issues arising when surge rates of 100% are required even for weeks at a time (current Middle east deployments have shown that). MA rates are a function of investment in the logistical and supply train. At the moment pre-concurrency F-35's require more parts and ALIS is not mature enough to handle 100% of the logistical work which means they are going easy on part orders to avoid over procurement. Same thing happened with the F-22. Once they collected a large amount of data they were able to order, produce and stock the right amounts of parts to ensure higher MA rates without breaking the bank. I can get F35 MA rates to 100% if someone gives me unlimited access to logistics however the gradual approach (as shown by the F-22) takes place because you don't want to significantly increase your allocated M&S budgets while also bringing up MA rates. The SDD phase concludes in October 17 2017 with the delivery of the Block 3F. I'd give them 12-18 months after that to sort all issues with ALIS, and M&A stuff before I begin hold them accountable for sub-65% MA rates. An MA rate between 70-80% is going to be desirable for a medium stealth fighter and given that the F-22, a generationally older and more maintenance intensive stealth platform is achieving 70% there should be no reason to doubt that the F-35 would get to 80% by the time the enterprise is mature. One must always keep in mind that the F-35 program is in LRIP (Low Rate production), has 2 full years of System Design and Development ahead of it and has around 28% of the testing and certification effort ahead of it. Most of that 28% is getting block 3i (which flies on combat aircraft in the next couple of days or weeks) and 3F software and clearing the 3F weapons carriage and envelope. Majority of mission system and airframe test is complete, in fact that number is probably in the high 80's with the remaining tests happening in late 2016 for the edge of the envelope that software 3F opens up. From a maturity stand point, the program will be mature i.e. a fully functional SDD block 3F software and a mature production line producing in the high double digits or even triple digits by late 2018 or early 2019. By 2016 you will have 3-4 squadrons declaring IOC (Current Marines squadron that declared IOC earlier this year, a follow on Marine squadron, and dependent on when the USAF declares IOC (Aug 1, 2016 is the tentative hold date) up to 2 squadrons). The bulk of the active duty squadrons go active in the 2017+ program and that is when the first operational squadron with the IDF goes active as well (IOC may happen earlier with a couple of jets delivered in 2016).

For a source on the USMC data (70-80 hours a month for the forward deployed aircraft) see the flag panel with Dog Davis below

http://livestream.com/wab/tailhook2015/videos/98951655
Last edited by brar_w on 17 Sep 2015 19:56, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby deejay » 17 Sep 2015 19:20

More discussions on JSF:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/17/air-force-admits-our-new-stealth-fighter-can-t-fight.html

Air Force Admits: Our New Stealth Fighter Can’t Fight
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is supposed to replace almost 90 percent of America’s tactical aviation fleet. Too bad it ‘wasn’t optimized for dogfighting,’ according to the Air Force.
The U.S. Air Force has finally admitted that its new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter isn’t maneuverable enough to beat older jets in a dogfight. But despite its earlier promises that the pricey, radar-evading warplane would excel in close combat, now the flying branch insists that the stealthy F-35 doesn’t even need to dogfight.

At a conference in Maryland on Sept. 15, Gen. Herbert Carlisle, head of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command, described the F-35 as not maneuverable as some of its predecessors.

“That’s not what the airplane was designed to do,” Carlisle added, according to National Defense magazine. “It’s a multi-role airplane that has an incredibly comprehensive, powerful, integrated avionics and sensor suite.”

Col. Edward Sholtis, an Air Combat Command spokesman, said the F-35 would be able to compensate for its relative sluggishness. “The F-35 wasn’t optimized for dogfighting maneuvers, but that isn’t remotely close to saying it doesn’t bring its own advantages to the air superiority mission.”
...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 17 Sep 2015 20:09

Same author/blogger and chronic F-35 basher. Unfortunately this time he can't fool everyone by not sharing the actual source of the information for a few weeks so that others can poke holes in his conclusions. Gen. Carlile's statement is a matter of public record (linked below) and he said nothing that would warrant a conclusion drawn in the title. He said that except in WVR the F-35 would do exceedingly well against any 4th generation aircraft (referring to the comparison with the F-16). This is true for the F-22 even which despite of its excellent sustained turn, and high AOA capability (TV or no TV) will do really well to get a 60:40 kill ratios over a large enough data set when pitted against a JHMCS/9X/Phyton5 combo.

What Carlile said that the F-35 looses its advantage in a dogfight against 4th generation fighter. This is a given. The F-22 despite of its significantly better performance does so as well hence the kills scored against it by the Typhoon, Rafale, F-18E/F, and even the T-38 trainer. Dogfighting is a tough business but in a dogfight, stealth, internal weapons or sensor fusion aren't going to be of much use. The F-35 is optimized for BVR but more importantly it is optimized for networked operations in a way that even the F-22 isn't ( a source of much complication given the CNI suite it carries). In a dogfight it would rely upon its F-16 and F-18 like (some ways similar to the Viper other ways to the Hornet) performance but mostly on its HOBS missiles and the DAS/HMD combo since it does not add to the F-16 or F-18 like capability in that department. They could add capability in follow on designs but would need to make changes such as changing weapons carriage requirements, range and payload requirements and may even need to adjust up the $80 Million fly-away cost target. EM part of the performance will come with the newer engines that are expected to offer up to 25-30% better SFC while also adding 10% thrust but if the goal is to significantly improve upon some of the performance metrics compared to the F-16 and F-18 then it would come at a cost and quantity procured compromises. But I doubt it would happen. There is currently a major shift in moving to get a program going to follow on the AMRAAM and Aim-9 programs and we know that the last time they formed the requirements they wanted a BVR missile that could also pull hard G's and be an affective short range HOBS performer (The Aim-120D adds some of those capabilities tested earlier but not all of the stuff that companies have been working on). The F-16 proved to be a credible Air to Air platform for so many years despite its tiny radar and no IR targeting because it enjoyed a huge advantage because of the AMRAAM and particularly the AMRAAM-C procurement numbers. The F-35 will get a lot of its WVR capability advantage through the deployment of the HMD and DAS duo and pairing that up with a WVR weapon of the future if not a Directed Energy Weapon. If you can put a 20 nautical mile ring around a fighter and get high quality, continuous IR threat data all the time, sorted, processed and managed for you autonomously you can very easily negate any performance advantage an adversary may have on you especially if you can maneuver in to get a less HOBS shot (hence the 9G requirement)..When other platforms get similar systems of similar qualities even they will begin designing next generation weapons to make full use (something current weapons do not exploit fully) and this would affectively require some other form of performance outside of raw-maneuverability to cause significant tilts in WVR loss ratios.

In air to air the F-35 is in role and mission to what the F-16C is i.e. an affordable multi-role strike fighter and not an air superiority fighter. Where it departs from the F-16 design philosophy is that it is not a light weight small fighter..they begin with a medium configuration taking hard operational realities into considerations (when was the last F-16 sortie where it wasn't loaded to the hilt or where it did not carry extra fuel or have massive tanker support) and with the F-35 they did not cheap out on sensor performance (such as opting for an 800-1000 TR module AESA like the F-16's but instead going for a larger 1500+ T/R module AESA) or the sheer number of sensors (F-16 has a small radar, no IRST, no DAS and no integrated targeting pod). Where it also departs from an F-16 is that it is not a pure energy fighter, at least not with the current engine. The T2W ratio is different from an F-16A which was essentially a rocket ship mounted on an airframe with the ability to launch just the Aim-9 sidewinder and fire its cannon. In a way the F-35A is a mixture of the F-16C, F-18E and F-15E...ie. a single engine medium fighter with better energy performance than the F-18E but not as well as the F-16C, better acceleration than the F-15E or similar acceleration to a moderately loaded F-16C, inferior sustained turn performance to the F-16C but superior instantaneous turn performance to all three etc. A different sort of trade and different level of optimization reflecting the sort of mission needs of the future as opposed to those of te 1970's the F-16 was designed around. You can take the basic design and add capability on follow on variants (like the Super Hornet concept) but you have to play around with trade space. Want more supercruise? You can get that through a mix of design and propulsion changes but something else would be required trade off such as perhaps the range, or the capacity to carry larger than 1000 lb bomb. Want better sustained turn performance and you can get that as well with similar trades. They can do away with a 7-9G requirement and make the aircraft more stealthy and allow it to carry significantly more payload (such was the design for the FB-22 for example) but if they want to get ALL of this in they have to physically make the aircraft larger, get the thrust up to 50-60,000 pounds (2 engine pushing into F-22 class) and design a twin engine larger aircraft that then trades off Cost to own and operate and ultimately impacts the numbers procured. That aircraft would be much better than the current F-35A but won't be affordable enough to replace thousands of F-16's and FA-18's that are literally falling out of the sky with the amount of hours these airframes are being subjected too due to the last 15 years+ of constant combat deployments. The two most significant design drivers for the F-35 that either the USAF or the USN would never compromise on are the 600-700 nautical mile combat radius requirement (that will get a 20-30% boost with new engine technology in the coming decades) and the ability to carry the 2000lb bomb (to which the USAF was a reluctant participant). All future changes would revolve around capabilities outside of these areas such as adding higher thrust engines, more electronic warfare as the stealth advantage begins to fade over time, new BVR and WVR weapons, addition of directed energy options etc etc etc. Outside of DEW's nothing on that list will significantly impact weight or performance unlike the F-16 that due to its light weight, and small fighter design continued to grow and grow as more capability was added to it. To that end the USAF does not get a significantly different performer to what they use now (F-16C Block 50)..sure the F-16 can be stripped down and preform much better but they don't fight in that configuration especially with access issues moving up the sorties to the 6-8 hours standard due to dispersed basing and the physical bases being farther away then was the case in the 1990's. The F-22's are putting in something like 8-10 hour sorties as standard at the moment in the Middle East and there is no way you will send a moderately loaded F-16 to do those missions unless you build an extensive fleet of tankers and buy more fighters to protect it.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 21 Sep 2015 13:40


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 21 Sep 2015 13:42


brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 21 Sep 2015 14:48



P&W, GE submit proposals for next-gen fighter engine development

Pratt & Whitney and General Electric’s proposals for the next phase of the US Air Force’s sixth-generation fighter engine development effort are due tomorrow, with the two sides anticipating sole-source contract awards in June or July of 2016.
The Adaptive Engine Transition Programme (AETP) is the next step in the development of a highly efficient and adaptive military engine for combat jets and the five-year effort could be worth as much as $950 million to each team.

The Air Force Research Laboratory has been working with GE and P&W on an adaptive, three-stream engines since 2008 with the ultimate goal of introducing a new engine in the 45,000lb thrust class with 25% to 30% better fuel efficiency. The new sponsor is USAF’s Propulsion Directorate.

P&W's director of advanced programs and technology Jimmy Kenyon says the air force originally anticipated a competition for one “winner takes all” $900 million contract for AETP, but through industry engagement has decided to carry two teams forward instead.

Kenyon says an approximately one-year schedule adjustment has also eliminated much of the overlap between the current Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) effort, which started in 2012 to bring two designs up to a preliminary design review.

The air force now expects to assemble two competing designs for engine testing before transitioning to a competition in the early 2020s for development of a sixth-generation “F-X” and “F-XX” fighter engine.
“There was a lot of concurrency between what they were doing in AETP and what we were still trying to finish in AETD, the current programme, and that posed a lot of risk,” says Kenyon. “It was going to be a fixed-price contract with a lot risk in it – a $900 million winner-takes-all.

“They’ve since taken a step back, because one of the things the air force is hot on is maintaining a competitive industrial base.”

P&W has been pursuing AETP as a critical bridge between the end of F135 development in 2016 for Lockheed Martin's F-35 and the competition for a sixth-generation aircraft.

The company says its current work on AETD will result in product improvements for the F135, which Kenyon says represent a 5% to 7% fuel savings. This next programme is mostly about positioning for the next big development opportunity, but some components could roll into an F135 mid-live overhaul.

“Now you’re thinking five years into the future and where you need to be [in preparation for the sixth-generation fighter engine competition]. How to get to the end of the five years and be in the best position possible?” he says.

“We have a very successful design and we are projecting to meet all of the performance requirements. We have a lot of experience with the fifth-generation fighters and fifth-generation integration, and we can bring all of that experience to bear.”



By 2020 the Special operations Command will test a solid state laser on an AC-130 (unlike the limited older chemical laser that shot down targets on the ground from a C-130, an SSL is going to be higher power and lower weight with 5000 pounds allotted to it). Soon after that demonstration, an F-15E will also begin some sort of testing with a double digit KW pod mounted laser. The goal is to get to 100+ KW directed energy weapon for sixth generation fighters so the engines are most likely the most critical aspect of these fighters and the third stream will go a long way in controlling the IR signature.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby hnair » 21 Sep 2015 15:30

brar_w, regarding variable-cycle. Any more open source material on the cycles being talked about here? That video makes us believe a few vanes that throttle the airflow between hi and lo bypass is what this is all about. Even if it is CG, I am sure that beautiful flame color change means something far more cooler, than a drip of dosa batter on a LPG burner has happened. Much appreciated if you have any stuff on this

(I had followed the GE ATF engine program's twin approach keenly, during the early 90s. But once they went with the risk free second route, I lost track)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 21 Sep 2015 15:48

Hnair saab, this time around the design drivers are fuel economy for greater range and cooling requirements to drive directed energy systems and the overall growth in avionics that is likely to happen as a result of a leap from 5th to 6th. As far as what these proposals are, I asked a GE person about the difference between a third stream engine and the variable cycle engine in the YF120 and those developed for the SR71 and he said that they were poles apart. The best information or repository for such information is the secret projects thread on and it has a lot of good stuff collected over the years reported on this -

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... 536.0.html

GE did have a very aggressive offering in the F120 but with that aggression came a lot of risk and if i recall correctly an overwhelming majority of the engine issues during the prototype trials were with the F120 engine and I think learning lessons from the previous generation of fighter development the acquisition community may have been weary of absorbing a lot of risk in propulsion.

I'll see what I can find but by far the best source in the media is Graham Warwick of Aviation Week. He is the last of the old-school pen and paper technology reporters that sits down with designers and jots a 1000 word summary of the work they are doing :)

http://aviationweek.com/author/gwarwick

Another interesting choice her is the thrust class. AFRL and the USAF were not particular about any thrust class for the AETD engines (that will eventually roll into the AETP that is referenced above). Both GE and P&W chose a 45,000 class engine that will fit the F-35. If I were to guess, i would guess that GE went first hoping to spin an AETP into a second engine for the F-35 around the middle or end of next decade and P&W were forced to follow. Another theory is that Long Range Strike Bomber could be made a smaller than the B-2 (its not a SAC designed cold war bomber) and run on a twin F135 setup as opposed to 4 x F414 and then these engines could end up being an upgrade for it after its FOC is declared. The analysis of alternative for the Sixth Generation fighter would conclude around 2019 and it is only then would a thrust and engine requirement emerge for its engines so that program will take off from where AETP leaves off in 2021. These efforts (ADVENT started it, AETD kept it going and AETP brings the technology development phase to a conclusion) are aimed at bringing adaptive engines to a Technology Readiness level of 6 before the end of the decade. Post B-2 it is tough to launch a project that includes anything below TRL-6 for cost and risk reasons so the only way to get these engines on a next generation fighter is to mature them through these efforts before they begin writing hard RFP's and KPP's for future combat aircraft.

I went through the SPF thread and this bit was rather recent -

President Barack Obama’s inclusion of a funding allocation for a four-year Adaptive Engine Transition Programme (AETP) in his Fiscal 2016 annual budget request to the US Congress has focused attention on the research efforts that both GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney are conducting for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on variable-cycle turbofan engines for next-generation fighters.
Should Congress approve President Obama’s request, the four-year Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) research projects on which the two US- based manufacturers have been working since 2012 (and which are due to end with demonstrations of their designs before the end of 2016) would undergo a quick transition into a full development effort. Other than vetoing outright President
Obama’s AETP budget request, it’s possible that Congress might choose only one of the two AETD designs under development to move towards volume production. That would depend on the Pentagon’s view on which of the two manufacturers’ designs holds most promise in terms of performance, reliability and cost.

Congress could also choose to allow development of both AETD designs to proceed through the engineering, manufacturing and development phases of the AETP into full production. This would happen if Congress felt sales competition between the two manufacturers represented the best way to keep overall engine- purchasing costs down and offer flexibility in propulsion choices for future US fighters.
A potential AETP development effort for either P&W’s or GE’s AETD designs, or both, would be aimed particularly at developing and creating the conditions for volume production of adaptive-cycle engines. These would be designed specifically to power the sixth-generation aircraft beyond the F-35 meeting, respectively, the US Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) and the US Navy’s FA-XX project requirements.

Decision Time Nears

Jimmy Kenyon, Pratt & Whitney’s Director of Advanced Programmes and Technologies told AIR International: “Unlike any other time in history, when F135 SDD [system development and demonstration] ends at the end of 2016, there will be no [new] US fighter engine in development.” He said “the increased urgency of [the] NGAD [requirement] creates an opportunity” for Congress to act swiftly to ensure the US leads future fighter-engine design by approving the transition of today’s AETD projects into AETP efforts, leading to full production of sixth-generation adaptive- cycle engines. Kenyon declared that AETD/AETP is “integral” to that future-fighter engine effort: “If you take and mature it, it is timed pretty well for when NGAD [development] would start in earnest. The other part of it is that [the adaptive-cycle engine] is a fundamental new technology and is a game-changer.
I can inform and be informed by those requirements, so I can develop the right technology for the right application for the right time.”
He added: “It is sort of linked to the Aerospace Innovation Initiative”. This was announced by US Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall on January 28. It is a funding strategy designed to protect the US industrial base from losing its global lead in military aerospace design and technology as a result of sequestration cuts. The initiative, which would initially be led by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency but would also involve the air force and navy, would concentrate on developing prototypes for the next generation of US fighter aircraft – manned, unmanned or both.

Beyond the F-35

Within this supporting funding structure, any manufacturers selected to develop adaptive-cycle designs into one or more production-capable engines would be “taking technology and being influenced by those next-generation-of-aircraft needs”, said Kenyon. At present, P&W and GE Aviation “can only really use the F-35 as an example” of a current-production, advanced fighter to inform their future fighter-engine designs. This is why, in the absence of an airframe- specific requirement from the AFRL other than that the manufacturers’ AETD designs should provide 10% higher maximum thrust than the F135 but be 25% more fuel-efficient, both companies chose to base their AETD designs on the existing F-35 installation. The F-35’s existing F135 powerplant is the world’s most powerful fighter engine, but its installation within the F-35 is a particularly complex tight squeeze due to the designed- by-committee constraints and requirements the F-35 airframe has had to satisfy. Any adaptive-cycle engine that can fit into exactly the same dimensions as the F135 (or the F136, GE’s alternative F-35 engine, which Congress killed off despite that engine’s promise) will require exquisite skill in its design, major technological advances to provide its performance improvements, and superb engineering to pack its complexity into the F-35 airframe.

Contrastingly, “having an aircraft optimised [for a future engine developed in parallel with the airframe] would be sort of a holy grail,” remarked Mark Buongiorno, Pratt & Whitney’s Vice President of the F135 Engine Program: there wouldn’t be anything like as many adaptive-cycle engine design constraints for a new airframe as there would be for one designed for the F-35.

The Need for
Adaptive-Cycle Engines

But why are the USAF and US Navy so excited about adaptive-cycle engines? They see these propulsion systems as the only way technologically can develop turbofan engines that can meet the thrust, cooling, fuel-efficiency and electrical power- generation requirements – one megawatt or more, for directed-energy weapons and electronic countermeasure needs – that
the sixth generation of USAF and US Navy fighters will demand. Military operators would use the 25% fuel- efficiency improvement and 10% additional thrust (compared with the F135) the AFRL is demanding from the manufacturers’ AETD designs in various different ways.

Although much of a typical mission consists of target-area ingress and egress in cruise configuration, in the target area itself the pilot may require high power from the aircraft. Here, the 10% thrust improvement would help ensure rapid acceleration and improved manoeuvring capability. In a sixth-generation aircraft the 25% fuel-efficiency improvement would probably translate into a 30%-35% increase in range over today’s fighters – a performance enhancement that could transform an air force’s basing and force-allocation decisions. Meanwhile, for flight- and combat-training missions, pilots could upload far less fuel and still spend the same amount of time in the air.

Providing the Benefits

Instead of relying on the two streams of air – core air and bypass air – that current- generation military and civil turbofans use, tomorrow’s fighter engines will also use a third stream of air passing outside the engine core and the main bypass duct to perform a variety of functions. To perform these functions, the third air stream will be capable of being modulated. This modulation will be controlled by variable-geometry features within the fan section and the extra, annular duct through which the third stream will flow. The additional functions and variable-geometry features will flexibly modify the way the engine’s fan section operates, creating what effectively will be a variety of different turbofan engine designs in one package. The third stream will provide a way to offer a smooth transition from a low-pressure-fan, high-bypass turbofan at one end of the fuel- efficiency/power curve to a high-pressure- fan, low-bypass turbofan at the other. At the high-pressure-fan end of the curve, the adaptive-cycle engine will act like a pure turbojet – pushing almost all the air entering the engine inlet through into the core, to be combusted and exhausted, providing high power for take-off and acceleration.

At the low-pressure-fan end of the curve, the third stream will turn the adaptive-cycle engine into a high-bypass turbofan offering high fuel efficiency. This will provide the future fighter with increased range and longer loiter time and will reduce its overall fuel burn.

Transitions through intermediate stages of fan pressure and bypass ratio will offer a range of operating states, any one of which will be automatically selected during a given phase of flight or manoeuvre to provide the engine with an optimal ratio of core air to bypass air. During supercruise, the duct carrying the third stream would be able to swallow and feed through the adaptive-cycle engine much or all of the inlet air that the core and bypass streams of today’s two-stream fighter turbofans can’t accept. In supercruise today this air gets pushed back out of the engine inlet, essentially being dumped overboard. This dumping creates a phenomenon known as spillage drag, which complicates and hampers a fighter’s ability to supercruise easily and fuel-efficiently.

The third, adaptive stream of air will also increase greatly the extent of cooling the engine can offer the airframe, to make sure the aircraft’s performance isn’t constrained in any area of its flight envelope by the airframe retaining too much heat. When this article was written in mid- April, the F-35 was known still to have an airframe heat-retention issue that prevented it from operating at sustained high subsonic speeds (within 20% of Mach 1) at low altitudes. While potentially solvable, this isn’t a problem that F-35 pilots or operators of future NGAD fighters would want to have during a mission.
Additionally, the third stream will provide a way to increase the electrical power requirement available from the engine when such an increase is needed.
Kenyon also noted that, “it would be very good for the efficiency of the engine if you could manage adaptively the very high transient temperatures behind the augmentor”. Yet another benefit is that the third stream will cool the hottest parts of the two-dimensional, non-axisymmetrical exhaust nozzles that future US fighters will use to mask their exhaust heat to improve their stealth qualities and missile-defence capabilities.

P&W’s AETD Project

At the time of writing, Pratt & Whitney was about to enter a two-to-three week preliminary design review (PDR) of its design with AFRL engineers and scientists, a passing grade from which was necessary for the company to be able to proceed with its planned additional AETD developments and demonstrations. (GE Aviation completed its PDR in the first half of March, the AFRL approving of GE’s AETD design work to date and allowing the manufacturer to proceed to its planned series of rig tests and demonstrations.) While P&W doesn’t intend to perform a compressor rig test of its AETD design, the company did have a “very successful first test of a three-stream, full-scale design in late 2013”, according to Kenyon, primarily to verify P&W’s tooling and design capabilities for the subsequent AETD research effort.
Assuming a successful completion of its PDR process, P&W will then manufacture hardware for the two big AETD tests it plans to conduct before the programme ends in the latter half of 2016. First will be a test of a full-scale “very high-efficiency core” that P&W has designed specifically for the AETD project. P&W’s testing will culminate next year with a demonstration of a full-scale, three-stream fan module “in a real-engine environment”, according to Kenyon.

P&W has ensured this demonstration will be authentic by purchasing internally one of its own F135 engines. The company will fit its three-stage, full-scale AETD fan on to the front of the core of this engine, which will retain the augmentor and exhaust nozzle. (GE’s AETD strategy is different: it is conducting a rig test of a full-scale compressor but plans to test only a sub- scale version of its AETD fan design, before doing a full core test.)

Potential Future
Developments

Although the AETD project seeks flexible variation of the fan pressure and bypass ratio of a turbofan fighter engine in order to alter its fuel efficiency, thrust, cooling and electrical power-generation capabilities, Kenyon sees no reason why future fighter engines shouldn’t be made adaptive in other ways as well. “There are ways of looking at taking the core and making it adaptive, as well as the fan,” he said. “It’s really pretty neat, when you look at it in that context. It’s all about air management, and where do I want to put that air in the [compression-combustion- exhaust] cycle.

“Beyond AETD, can [adaptive design] change? Yes, if there’s more funding. AETD opened up the [adaptive] world...[there could also be] an adaptive core, somewhere in five-ish years. If I know I have a propulsion system that needs to do a lot of stuff of a transient nature, that’s a big deal. Adaptive capability] changes the performance of the core in a number of different ways.” Here Kenyon is talking about the US Navy’s Variable Cycle Advanced Technology (VCAT) programme, in which P&W has been engaged as an industry partner since 2012. This nine-phase programme, still in an early stage of development, aims to create a suite of technologies which, Kenyon said, would be different from but in many ways complementary to the adaptive-fan technologies developed for AETD. Few details are available about VCAT, but it is concentrating on developing adaptive-cycle features for a future fighter-engine core. Asked if marrying VCAT technologies with those from the AETD programme would produce fuel-burn and thrust-increase benefits beyond those produced by an adaptive-fan engine alone, Kenyon said an engine design incorporating AETD and VCAT adaptive features would offer “substantially greater” benefits.

A Two-Pronged Approach

Kenyon and Buongiorno are sure the adaptive- cycle approach is the right one for the next generation of US fighter aircraft potentially entering production in the latter half of the 2020s or beyond. But they are by no means as sure it is necessary to re-engine the F-35 with a fully adaptive-cycle engine by the mid-2020s – a step for which some military strategists have argued, given the F-35’s known heat-retention problem and likely future increases in operators’ power-generation requirements. As the manufacturer of the F135, P&W has a vested interest in ensuring that its engine continues to be the sole-choice powerplant for the F-35 throughout the aircraft’s production life. Nevertheless, Kenyon and Buongiorno said many of the benefits an adaptive-cycle engine could provide for the F-35 could instead be provided by a lower-risk, two-stage F135 development strategy that P&W is calling its F135 Block Upgrade Plan.

Under this new strategy, which the company revealed on April 2, P&W would create a development plan for the F135 – much as it did for its enormously successful F100 engine, which has been in service for 40 years this year but will remain in production at least until late 2016. Today’s F100s are vastly different from early F100s in terms of their time-on-wing durability, their operational reliability and the maximum thrust they offer; P&W thinks F135 development will proceed similarly.Kenyon believes there are many parallels between the F100 and the F135 programmes: just like the F100, thousands of F135s will be built and it will see service for decades with a wide variety of air arms throughout the world. Now the end of the F135 SDD initial-capability phase is in sight, it behoves P&W to address a long-term development plan for the F135.


https://www.scribd.com/doc/269303020/AIR-US-NG

EDIT- Apparently the TRL-6 stage for these engines would have been reached last year. The AETP would most likely go through the entire gamut of ground testing so one is looking at a TRL-7 at the very least by 2020.

http://news.usni.org/2014/06/23/next-ge ... er-designs

If you look at historical development in the ATF (JSF only carries on from the ATF so its really not relevant to much in terms of new technology development) the breakthrough technologies were stealth, sensor fusion and high thrust to weight engines. Stealth came from the very large investment in computing and materials as a result of the ATB program where the top two design teams (Lockheed and Northrop) were racing to develop capability in the Flying wing B-2 and Lockheed's Senior Peg. This was apparent from the designs submitted. McD and General Dynamics the incumbents having produced the F-15 and F-16 were not even in the top 3 (The way Lockheed read it it was them, then Northrop and then Boeing) until the teams were formed absorbing their design teams with those of the designs down-selected for advanced development. Sensor fusion and computing came from all over the place but was primarily pushed through by the ATF program so it was along with the engines the technology that had to be driven under the advanced fighter programs.

Now taking that as a template, and looking out - The next advancement in broadband multi-spectral stealth will likely appear in the form of the Long Range strike bomber, and the person that makes requirement decisions for advanced fighters (ACC Commander) has basically spelled out Multi-Spectral Stealth for 6th generation fighters as recently as last week.

Air Combat Command Commander wrote:So the beyond that is electronic warfare. What happens if we can figure out a way that we can go across a spectrum from say, 20 megahertz to 40 gigahertz with electronic warfare? Something that nobody else can do. How about if we can figure out a
way that when a radar hits something we suck up all that energy so there’s no reflection? That changes the idea of stealth pretty significantly.What does that six generation airplane look like? How does it do multi-spectral stealth? So we’re working on it. We’re working on electronic warfare realm. We’re working on improving stealth and doing multi-spectral stealth, and we’re working on it with how we employ and the tactics, techniques, and procedures. But again, I would say that anybody that says stealth is obsolete that’s a
naïve approach. There’s so much more to it than that, and it’s so much part of what we’re able to do in how we conduct the fight today.





That stealth portion will most likely come from the LRS-B. That leaves avionics and here there will be 2 breakthrough technologies. One will be extremely large bandwidth electronic attack i.e. a very large RF spectrum coverage from integrated Cyber EW solutions, the likes of which are not possible at the moment (Most EA/EW is limited to the seeker and FCR bands and is limited by the power availability in current systems which is not significant to drive large broadband jammers). The second is to reach a pound/kilowatt target for Directed Energy weapons that allows them to package these systems (100+KW is the target) internally and have enough power and cooling to sustain a few minutes of bursts in a defensive and offensive employment. All this is dependent on these engines that is why there is very heavy investment in these engines from the start way before they decide what the specs are likely to be for an early to mid 2030's capability fighter. Unlike the last ATF effort many avionics components have been de-risked, developed and tested to a degree without going through the tactical fighter directorate or its funding. For example unlike the GaA AESA maturation and industrial base programs that were under the ATF umbrella (or whatever predated the ATF) the GaN technology industrial base is coming from Naval radars, Naval Jammers and Air to Ground radars. Similarly conformal arrays specially high G spread arrays were tested under the semi-classified sensor-craft projects and are most likely operational in some form under the RQ_180 program. The F-35 meanwhile has advanced the needle in sensor fusion and the follow on development will address concerns of large scale hardware and software reusability and common software and hardware architectures (all major players are under the FATE consortium). Unlike the ATF, a lot of the technology base is created by other programs and investment portfolio. All except the ENGINES which are the enablers.

Image

They have been moving very fast as soon as they basically put an end to the COIL requirements and moved to fiber and solid state lasers because COIL made no sense from a weight and packaging perspective (and magazine depth). Apparently they are at an enough advanced stage where companies are willing to integrate a moderate size High Energy Laser on a platform having conducted 100% of research internally and want only money to pay for integration and flight demonstration.

Image

So apparently NO Next Generation Engines means NO next generation technology on advanced platforms. There can't get these concepts into an airframe using 5th generation F119 or F135 based engines so breakthrough capability in propulsion is a pre-requisite and the plan is to reach that level by the end of the 4-5 year AETP program that will run a full bench test of one but most likely two adaptive engines.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby hnair » 22 Sep 2015 08:07

Thanks brar_w, very informative. So the third-stream approach is a new approach to the earlier one, as the GE gent rightly pointed out. Does the west europeans have any equivalent programs?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 22 Sep 2015 08:38

brar_w wrote:

Nice video that sums up all the things we desperately want to achieve
  • Reliable, efficient core that is lightweight, strong and can withstand higher temperatures
  • Low bypass for high thrust
  • High bypass for fuel efficiency
  • Air cooling for stealth and efficiency

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Vayutuvan » 22 Sep 2015 09:50

I have a question or three for aerospace gurus. What is this X-31 thing? What is a belly mounted sting and why it is required? Anybody conversant with Surface Flow Visualization?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 24 Sep 2015 08:42

Egypt set to receive Ka-52 attack helicopters
Egypt is to receive about 50 Kamov Ka-52 'Hokum-B' attack helicopters before the end of the decade, a company report has disclosed.

The report by the Research and Production Corporation Precision Instrumentation Systems (JSC SPC CPR) company, which is developing the helicopter's new ECO-52 electro-optic (EO) sensor turret system, reveals that 50 of the turrets are to be delivered to Egypt between 2016 and 2019.

While each Ka-52 helicopter is to be equipped with one ECO-52 turret in place of the incumbent GOES-451 sensor, the report posted online on 25 August does not say if the stated 50 is the exact number of helicopters to be equipped or if (as is likely) it includes spare turrets.

No further details were released.

Operated by the Russian Air Force and set to enter service with the Russian Navy, the co-axial Ka-52 (Ka-52K in naval service) is largely based on the single-seat Ka-50 'Hokum' (named Black Shark/Werewolf by Kamov). With both the Ka-50 and Ka-52 sharing an 85% common airframe, the principal differences are a redesigned frontal fuselage on the Ka-52 to accommodate two crew side by side and a flattened nose for additional avionics (hence the helicopter's company moniker of 'Alligator').

Designed to engage and destroy armoured and non-armoured ground targets, as well as low-speed aerial targets, the Ka-50/52 can also be used as an armed reconnaissance platform. The helicopters is fitted with four underwing hardpoints for carrying a wide range of weaponry, including 80/120 mm air-to-surface rockets, 9A4172 Vikhr-M (AT-12) laser-guided air-to-surface missiles, Igla or R-73 (AA-11 'Archer') air-to-air missiles, Kh-25MP (AS-12 'Kegler') anti-radiation missiles, FAB-500 bombs, and/or dispenser weapons. It is also equipped with a single-barrel 30 mm 2A42 gun mounted on the starboard side of the fuselage, with up to 240 armour-piercing or high-explosive fragmentation rounds.

Specifications listed in IHS Jane's All the World's Aircraft: In Service give the Ka-52 a maximum take-off weight of 11,900 kg, a service ceiling of 18,040 ft (12,800 ft in the hover), a top-speed of 189 kt (350 km/h; 217 mph), and range of 248 n miles (459 km; 285 miles).


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