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International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

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brar_w
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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 30 Nov 2014 10:25

Auto collision avoidance system for fighters - testing

[youtube]VGK91GZ_f4k#t=119[/youtube]

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Re: F-35 - News and Discussion

Postby member_24684 » 01 Dec 2014 09:18

14 Additional F 35 A For Israeli Air Force : total 50 Now

The original plan was to purchase 50 jets for two squadrons, each including 24 F-35 fighter jets and two additional planes for experimental use by the Air Force.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 01 Dec 2014 09:20

The Cabinet has overruled the IDF and cut back on ordering a few of these..I suspect after Obama's term ends they would be quietly reinstated.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 02 Dec 2014 00:36

GeorgeWelch wrote:
brar_w wrote:Almost all of that investment (that has been accounted for through the current projected spending) is for the Growler through primarily the Next Generation Jammer.


The SH will form the bulk of the USN fleet for the next 20 years and thus will be kept up to date. That's all versions, not just the Growler (or Grizzly as it's called now)


There really isn't any room budget for them to add significant capability beyond what they can to make it into a better bomb truck given their current mission set. Add CFT's, before the NGJ is a good start. The things like actually incorporating a proper IRST (instead of having to mount it on a centerline tank which gets swapped out if an International customer wants to use that fancy Internal pod that Boeing says will work wonders) would most likely not find a lot of budget success, because the centerline tank based solution is adequate for the USN's needs while most likely inadequate any nation looking at the F-18SH from a brand new fresh_integration perspective.

With an added clout now being enjoyed by Works, the UCLASS may actually turn out to be something that is more in line with what the J-UCAS and NUCAS programs actually started out to achieve. Result would be a greater commitment from a budgetary pov from the USN. Same goes in development and acquisition of the F-3C. A lot of the budget for development and procurement would be sucked in by the UCLASS and the F-35C. Then you have weapon developments where the USN has a lead (Blk III 9X for example), so what you see as fancy enhancements flying around in the international super hornet will most likely have to find their way (integration) through a foreign customer. Unless there is a severe reduction in the uSN's commitment to the F-35C, there is no real space for a lot of money to significantly (from an export customer's point of view) enhance the Super Hornet.

All this isn't going to matter much given that it is unlike that any additional export customer would be added to the SH before the line comes to a close or begins to wind down.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 02 Dec 2014 02:21

brar_w wrote:There really isn't any room budget for them to add significant capability


the budget is hard to predict 1 year out, much less 20 years out

right now they're in 'sequester', once that goes away they'll find ways to make it happen

brar_w wrote:A lot of the budget for development and procurement would be sucked in by the UCLASS and the F-35C.


And a lot will be sucked in by the SH. It's simply too critical to ignore.

brar_w wrote:Unless there is a severe reduction in the uSN's commitment to the F-35C, there is no real space for a lot of money to significantly (from an export customer's point of view) enhance the Super Hornet.


This is just false.

brar_w wrote:All this isn't going to matter much given that it is unlike that any additional export customer would be added to the SH before the line comes to a close or begins to wind down.


Irrelevant. The USN will fund upgrades for the EXISTING fleet, which is what matters from India's perspective looking forward. What good are upgrades that can only fit in new-build models?

If India were to get a quick delivery of SHs, they would be most interested in future upgrades to their current planes, just like the USN.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 02 Dec 2014 02:36

the budget is hard to predict 1 year out, much less 20 years out


Yet you are doing it confidently by claiming that the USN would be the most upgraded of the lot.

right now they're in 'sequester', once that goes away they'll find ways to make it happen


Yeah, once the sequester lifts, they'll find money to fund the more comprehensive programs that they actually need to fund, such as the ramp up of the F-35C acquisition, and the increased capability that the UCLASS needs according to its advocates. Of course, they also need money to fund weapons and finally push through the OASuW post LRASM. There a lot of things that will take priority over upgrading the Super Hornets. They are fairly competent as it is, and much of what the USN would look to incorporate into the aircraft would be things like CFT's, which while providing a lot of capability to its need really isn't something that is going to tip the favors for the SH as an export prospect.

And a lot will be sucked in by the SH. It's simply too critical to ignore


When the money comes from a common pool, the acquisition of newer systems to replace those that are outgoing will always take budgetary priority. The Legacy Hornets will be going out at a fixed pace as determined by the USN, the F-35C's would require to be brought in at a similar pace. Same goes with the UCLASS, there is a capability that the USN wants by 2020, and there is a capability people like Works want over and above. Both these are going to suck a lot of cash, and the latter may be a multi-year effort way beyond the original program that the navy has/had in mind.

This is just false


Then show "the money". Where is it going to come from. What sort of surge would be required, and what sort of allocations would be made between upgrade and procurement. Also when I speak of upgrade money, i speak from a point of view of significant upgrades to the fleet, not logical additions such as adding CFT's. Like I said, they may be very sensible form a USN's perspective, but hardly a deal clincher given the competition in the MRCA or for most export customers looking at this.

Irrelevant. The USN will fund upgrades for the EXISTING fleet, which is what matters from India's perspective looking forward. What good are upgrades that can only fit in new-build models?


There is not going to be an SH for india to procure in the first place, was my point. Secondly, what the USN funds is going to be something that they trade off with a host of other things. They arent going to start ripping apart the cockpit and adding the international_advanced cockpit. Heck they couldn't even get an elegant IRST integration into the frame and are forced to lug it around a centerline tank, forcing any export customer for the notional Advanced Super Hornet to either choose the tank or the weapons bay or spend extra cash to have the IRST integrated into either the External weapons bay or the airframe itself pretty much like what the UAE paid to do for their F-16 block 60's.

What good are upgrades that can only fit in new-build models?


Because there are things that are NICE TO HAVE, vs those that are MUST HAVE. A brand new cockpit, or radically redesigning an AESA radar isn't a NEED TO HAVE but a NICE TO HAVE capability . They decided not to bother with a lot of RACR upgrades for the legacy hornets. It would have been a NICE to have thing. A lot of the stuff proposed by Boeing for the advanced hornet is actually there proposals, some of the stuff was funded for a possible USN follow on or upgrade. The Super Hornet would do well to stick to its incremental upgrade path (avionics and radar) and add things like CFT's that make a lot of sense given the amount of tanks it has to carry for most missions these days. Don't expect much else unless you are prepared to be surprised. Again a lot can change given how the USN deals with the F-35C acquisition and how the FA-XX AOA turns out next year, but no one can confidently claim as of this moment that the SH has any better upgrade prospects then a Rafale or a typhoon given that the folks in europe (typhoon folks in particular) have finally decided to wake up are spending money to get a lot of capability in.

The market has spoken on the Advanced Super Hornet (or whatever Boeing is calling it these days), they aren't going to be very successful. When it comes to upgrades, every dollar spent on adding capability would have to compete with fleet modernization and basically keeping the fleet where it is and if you follow the political class, you'd realize that they are more inclined to spend money on acquisition (more jobs) then upgrades. So yes, the SH has quite a capable system as it is, but is the Rhino of the 2020+ timeframe going to add the whizzbang touch screen advanced cockpit, or move over to a Gallium Nitride version of the Apg-79 radar because Raytheon said that they will begin to offer all RF products from now on using GaN..NO. It would be lucky to get basic stuff in such as CFT's, perhaps a better blended IRST21 integration into the airframe and its routine Avionics upgrades that have been charted since inception. There is nothing radical about all that and it is on expected lines. Rafales and the Typhoons would be getting that as well, SPECTRA upgrade to GaN is funded and slated for 2018 , typhoon gets the AESA funded finally, and the rafale already has an AESA. Beyond this the rafale already has the MICA-IR while the bulk III 9X is still in development for the Super Hornet. I see parity being achieved in a couple of years in terms of technology..even though the Euro canards were late in the game.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 02 Dec 2014 03:44

brar_w wrote:
the budget is hard to predict 1 year out, much less 20 years out


Yet you are doing it confidently by claiming that the USN would be the most upgraded of the lot.


Because it doesn't matter what the budget is. Keeping the SH current is a critical need for the USN and so they will.

There are a lot of things in the navy budget that will get sacrificed before the SH.

brar_w wrote:
And a lot will be sucked in by the SH. It's simply too critical to ignore


When the money comes from a common pool, the acquisition of newer systems to replace those that are outgoing will always take budgetary priority.


Incorrect, when the budget is tight, making the most effective use of your resources takes priority. And that means extending current assets like the SH.


brar_w wrote: The Legacy Hornets will be going out at a fixed pace as determined by the USN, the F-35C's would require to be brought in at a similar pace.


Considering that they're trying to cut a carrier or two, not really.


brar_w wrote:Same goes with the UCLASS, there is a capability that the USN wants by 2020


The USN WANTS lots of things, but they NEED the SH to remain competitive.

brar_w wrote:
This is just false


Then show "the money".


Upgrading the SHs is more cost-effective than new F-35Cs or a costly UCLASS program. The USN has been very lukewarm in its support of the F-35C. If push comes to shove, it will be deferred.

brar_w wrote:Also when I speak of upgrade money, i speak from a point of view of significant upgrades to the fleet, not logical additions such as adding CFT's. Like I said, they may be very sensible form a USN's perspective, but hardly a deal clincher given the competition in the MRCA or for most export customers looking at this.


You need to back up and separate the two threads.
1. SH features available 'now' to be a 'deal clincher'
2. Whether the SH has more of a future than its competitors.

Yes there will be no new 'super' features, it is what it is. You either find it acceptable in its current state or not.

The future isn't about new 'super' features, it's about keeping it current. New radar, better EW capability, new munitions integration, improved engine efficiency. Items that aren't super exciting, but are necessary to keep it relevant.

I have no concern whatsoever about the USN keeping the SH relevant for decades to come, and that is where I say it has more future than it's competitors. They could barely upgrade the radar, and then only in the hope of export sales. Once those hopes die, so will any further investment.

And you will end up with something like the Mirage upgrade debacle where you had to fund the upgrades on your own.


brar_w wrote:There is not going to be an SH for india to procure in the first place, was my point.


How much longer do think this Rafale deal will drag on? Either they will sign and it's a moot point or they won't and Boeing will likely ensures the line stays open if they get any sort of positive feedback.


brar_w wrote:There is nothing radical about all that and it is on expected lines. Rafales and the Typhoons would be getting that as well, SPECTRA upgrade to GaN is funded and slated for 2018 , typhoon gets the AESA funded finally, and the rafale already has an AESA. Beyond this the rafale already has the MICA-IR while the bulk III 9X is still in development for the Super Hornet. I see parity being achieved in a couple of years in terms of technology..even though the Euro canards were late in the game.


You are extremely optimistic about the eurocanards and extremely pessimistic about the SH. History has repeatedly shown the EF consortium absolutely REFUSING to pay for ANY upgrades whatsoever and doing their darndest to wiggle out of mandatory buys. Counting on them to pay for continued modernization efforts going forward would be foolhardy.

You say their (extremely) late upgrades are evidence of them achieving technical parity. I say the very fact that it has taken them so long to get these critical, no-brainer upgrades done is a stunning indictment of their will to do what is needed. I will also point out that tech is not fixed. Even if they achieve parity now (which they won't), where will they be 20 years from now? Will they continue to push forward? History is very clear, no they will not.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 02 Dec 2014 05:56

Because it doesn't matter what the budget is. Keeping the SH current is a critical need for the USN and so they will


Current for what threat exactly? It is already an overkill for much of the missions that it does now, and will be cutting edge in terms of its EW options, Radar options and the MMI going into the 2020's. What they really need is a boost in range, so that they can get rid of carrying some of the tanks and leave space for other stuff. What they also need the CFT"s is for is to eliminate the tanks on the growler with the NGJ so that they can get a better FOV for 360 degree performance.

There are a lot of things in the navy budget that will get sacrificed before the SH


The SH itself is on the last legs of its acquisition, and the USN is only ordering the Electronic Attack versions. The acquisition cycles for the SH would seize shortly and the larger acquisition cycle for the Charlie F-35 would begin, followed by the UCLASS acquisition cycle as the thing is supposed to be in LRIP by 2018 or so (if no delays). For modernization that is going to e radically different form what most expect it to get, there needs to be huge volume of cash for such an effort. Pentagon is not the best at doing that, Case in Point - F-22 raptor increment modernization.

You need to back up and separate the two threads.
1. SH features available 'now' to be a 'deal clincher'
2. Whether the SH has more of a future than its competitors


Every competitor on the list currently can deliver an AESA radar, and would have front line AESA radars in service by 2018 or 2019 deliveries. I expect the typhoon to get the new AESA by then as well, the Gripen NG would be delivered around 2019 or 2020 and the Rafale already has an AESA flying in combat coded jets. Furthermore, every competitor barring the typhoon (of which I know little about pertaining to EW) has an upgrade planned and funded for the EW package. Whether that is Gallium Nitride elements in the Spectra, or gallium nitride elements in the Gripen's EW package. So they were late getting there, but the MRCA delays have given them enough time to catch up with technologies. The Super Hornet on the other hand has a primary operator that is more likely to go in for things such as CFT's and other similar enhancements then to radically modernize the aircraft with a brand new cockpit (the one Boeing is marketing) or a radically different radar (such as switching to GaN or something similar).

Yes there will be no new 'super' features, it is what it is. You either find it acceptable in its current state or not


So where is that tactical advantage inherent to the SH in 2020 compared to a Rafale or a typhoon? The only advantage seems to be in cost of the weapons package.

I have no concern whatsoever about the USN keeping the SH relevant for decades to come, and that is where I say it has more future than it's competitors.


RELEVENT for whom? Will the SH begin to super cruise in an air to air configuration? NO. Explain what relevent means? Would they keep the threat libraries updated over the years? YES. So would the others. Would they add more modes to the radar? YES, Most others would as well. Would they add CFT's in a few years? PROBABLY. Could the Rafale? Most Likely.

They could barely upgrade the radar, and then only in the hope of export sales. Once those hopes die, so will any further investment


The AESA is already flying on the Rafale, and the typhoon group have invested on it now. So yes, as usual they were behind on money and timelines, but a 2018 delivery of first squadron changes that. They have caught up. Meanwhile, the SH is going to diminish in priority compared to other acquisitions and enhancements, just like the F-18 classic hornet has diminished in priority vis-a-vis adding an AESA, or other avionics enhancements (IRST 21 and other features) compared to the Super Hornet or development and acquisition dollars going to the F-35C.

And you will end up with something like the Mirage upgrade debacle where you had to fund the upgrades on your own


Depends how far into the future you want to look at. Barring no surprises from the AOA for the FA-XX, the SH would due to it being a naval strike fighter begin to be replaced in the early 2030's. The Most likely option that would be affordable would be a modified F-35C but one cannot rule a clean sheet. The Europeans however, do not have any money or an inclination at the moment to fund a clean sheet fighter with IOC's around that timeframe, so they would have no option but to stick to their MLU plans which, at least for the rafale look fairly good. As the Rhino ages, it being a naval fighter the SLEP would involve a lot less technology insertion ( when they decide, lets upgrade while we're at it) because the return would be shorter given the abuses that a naval aircraft has to go through.

How much longer do think this Rafale deal will drag on? Either they will sign and it's a moot point or they won't and Boeing will likely ensures the line stays open if they get any sort of positive feedback


This assumes that the Rafale would either drag on or gets cancelled, that Eurofighter which was the other "finalist" would be completely ignored and a "positive signal" communicated to Boeing based on which they would hold on for a while longer while the MOD's acquisition process does what it has to do. Very very unlikely in my opinion but then again, anything is possible.

You are extremely optimistic about the eurocanards and extremely pessimistic about the SH.


I am not pessimistic about the SH at all. I know what it is most likely going to get and whatever that is, will be dependent on the cost. The USN is extremely pragmatic about its strike fighters, they would continue to develop capability that they need. So yes, I can bet my A$$ that unless they reevaluate the F-35C, F-18 mix, they would not look at some of the things Boeing is throwing at them. Things such as a "5th generation cockpit", overhauling the -79 in line with raytheon's ambitions to now only compete with GaN technology for AESA projects or actually integrating the freaking IRST into the airframe instead of carrying it on a centerline pod. The USN does not need to do this because even with these things the SH is more then sufficient for their strike needs. They will invest in weapons such as Block III 9x, LRASM etc, the changes I have mentioned above (with the degree of success depending upon the budget at the time) and continue to integrate their data links through NIFCCA to create the sort of net-centric warfare they aim to practice. Other then that, their dollars would continue to concentrate on acquiring the F-35C, and the UCLASS. Having 2 acquisition programs run simultaneously while leaving room for half a developmental program in the UCLASS (overlap) and finding the cash to run yet another expensive NG development program is going to be at the top of their priority list. They would be lucky to fund all this before having to resort to cuts even to these 3-4 things.

History has repeatedly shown the EF consortium absolutely REFUSING to pay for ANY upgrades whatsoever and doing their darndest to wiggle out of mandatory buys. Counting on them to pay for continued modernization efforts going forward would be foolhardy


Doesn't matter when you only need to compare it to the uSN. The SH would seize to be their top end fighter around the mid 2020's (not in quantity but priority - since the representative version of the F-35C by then would preform almost all mission sets other then refueling and perhaps anti ship using the Increment for the LRASM program)..and the acquisition priorities would be split between the UCLASS and the F-35C. The path to the incremental upgrade is relatively modest one for the F-18E/F, and unless anything drastic happens they would not change it and would in fact do well to get it in time and on budget.

The europeans are slow, but have now caught up (by MRCA timelines) but they have absolutely no other option then to upgrade the typhoon. Even with he TOT the IAF, HAL etc can do a lot of that on our own (or so would be hoped). At least you are getting a fighter in the typhoon that is a more optimal multi-role figure then a rhino that by 2020 would only be superior to the typhoon of 2020 in the sense that it can land on a carrier while the phoon cannot.

BTW 20 years from now, the FA-XX would be out, either platform would be OUT OF PRODUCTION and the F-35C would be the lower end of the USN's fleet. The Super Hornet would have begun its phasing out of service.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 03 Dec 2014 00:50

USAF roadmap for 6th generation with a primary focus on WEAPONS for current and future platforms.

http://www.ndiagulfcoast.com/events/arc ... AS2014.pdf

Some highlights:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Its also one of the first official USAF publications that I have seen with a Northrop Grumman proposed Next Generation fighter rendering. Most generic publications usually list Boeings 6th gen proposal to the USN RFI. Another interesting thing is that the H2K is getting out as a complementary weapon to the AMRAAM and the future WVR missile. A lot of hue and cry was made on how a dedicated H2K could replace the AMRAAM, while it was pretty clear even earlier that it would be a complementary weapon that would provide a boost in terms of saturation and could deal with a lot of the cruise missile and Unmanned threats in addition to the conventional fighter threats.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 03 Dec 2014 15:56


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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 05 Dec 2014 13:00

Wasn't aware of the Cuda missile being developed by the US..something to keep an eye out for. It basically aims to increase the missile load while the payload remains similar. How they'll manage that is what is going to be very interesting.

Pentagon worries that Russia can now outshoot US stealth jets

..
Like boxers, every missile has a reach, a range, a limit to how far it can hit. In the not-too-distant future, the AMRAAM might also be out-ranged by new weapons that are being developed around the world. Particularly, Russia is known to be developing an extremely long-range weapon called the K-100 that has far better reach than anything currently in existence.

“While we are stealthy, we will have a hard time targeting Russian Su-35s and our missiles will have a hard time killing them.”The problem is not a new one. Historically, the Pentagon has always prioritized the development of new fighters over the development new weapons—it’s a uniquely American blind spot. During the 1970s, the then brand new F-15A Eagle carried the same antiquated armament as the Vietnam-era F-4 Phantom II. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the F-15 received a weapon in the form of the AMRAAM that could take full advantage of its abilities. The same applies to short-range weapons—it wasn’t until the early 2000s with the introduction of the AIM-9X that the U.S. had a dogfighting weapon that could match or better the Russian R-73 Archer missile.

The Air Force officials all said that some of the American missiles would get through during a fight—there is no question of that—but it would take a lot more weapons than anyone ever expected. The problem is that fighter aircraft don’t carry that many missiles.

The Raptor carries six AMRAAMs and two shorter range AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles inside its weapons bays. At the moment, the F-35 carries only four AMRAAM missiles inside its weapons bays, but that might be expanded to six in the future. Older fighters like the Boeing F-15 Eagle carry no more than eight missiles—while the F-16 usually carries no more than six weapons.

That means that if a fighter has to fire—for instance—three missiles to kill a single enemy fighter, the Pentagon is facing a serious problem.

“Getting a first shot is one thing,” said a former Air Force fighter pilot with extensive experience with Russian weapons. “Needing another shot when you have expended your load is another when your force structure is limited in terms of the number of platforms available for a given operation.”

There are some potential solutions, but all of them mean spending more money to develop new missiles. former Air Force intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula said it’s “critical” that the U.S. and its allies move “air-to-air weapons into a future where they can effectively deal with adversary electronic attack.”

One relatively simple fix would be to develop a missile that picks out its targets using radars with a completely different frequency band. Current fighter radars and missiles operate on what is called the X-band, but they don’t necessarily have to. “Getting out of X band is on option,” said one senior Air Force official.

The Pentagon could also develop a new missile that combines multiple types of sensors such as infrared and radar into the same weapon—which has been attempted without much success in the past.

Right now, the Defense Department—led by the Navy—is working to increase the range of the AIM-9X version of the Sidewinder by 60 percent to give the Pentagon’s fighter fleet some sort of counter to the jamming problem. But even with the extended reach, the modified Sidewinder won’t have anywhere close to the range of an AMRAAM.

The other option is to stuff fighters like the F-22 and F-35 with more missiles that are smaller. Lockheed Martin, for example, is developing a small long-range air-to-air missile called the “Cuda” that could double or triple the number of weapons carried by either U.S. stealth fighter. “Look to a new generation of U.S. air-to-air missiles, like Cuda, to neutralize any potential numerical advantage,” one senior industry official said.

The industry official said that despite the small size, new weapons like the Cuda can offer extremely impressive range because it doesn’t have an explosive warhead—it just runs into the target and destroys it with sheer kinetic energy.


But the senior Air Force official expressed deep skepticism that such a weapon could be both small and far-reaching. “I doubt you can solve range and the need for a large magazine with the same missile,” he said.

This official added that future weapons would be far better at countering enemy jamming—so much so that future fighters will not need to have the sheer speed and maneuverability of an aircraft like the Raptor. “I think top end speed, super cruise, and acceleration will all decline in importance as weapons advance in range and speed,” he said.


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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Kartik » 05 Dec 2014 13:15

NATO faces an AWACS fleet shrinkage

Aviationweek article

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 05 Dec 2014 17:43

Wasn't aware of the Cuda missile being developed by the US..something to keep an eye out for. It basically aims to increase the missile load while the payload remains similar. How they'll manage that is what is going to be very interesting.


The CUDA is a part of what the Pentagon and particularly the USAF has referred to as the Small capabilities missile. Remember taking out the warhead and replacing it with something similar to a PAC-3 MSE for example really cuts down on weight which means range is compromised as much as one would expect given the size. They are aiming for a Medium range engagement weapon with this and a saturation concept especially against a lot of targets that in the future would present a Very low RCS.

See this brilliant analysis on the missile given what little is known. Lockheed martin has sort of complained that they cannot share a lot of information because of the pentagon's restrictions which would suggest that the missile concept was partly developed using DOD funds.

http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/201 ... le-or.html

Another interesting point is that, not many in mainstream media has covered the DARPA Triple Target Terminator. The program which aimed at an Aim-120D class weapon, but with a Variable ducted, throttleable, solid fueled ramjet motor developed by Aerojet and fueled by their AerGen fuel system - successfully tested two clean sheet missile designs developed by Raytheon and Boeing. The entire test program was geared towards shooting down a UAV, a fighter target and a cruise missile target. Secret projects has DARPA statements showing that they have successfully concluded the program and handed over the information to the USAF for further development.

To add to this, Last year at the F-35 Panel with USN, and USMC pilots in Sandiego, pointed questions about the AMRAAM replacement and the future BVR weapon were shunned away under the sort of general " this is not the place where we can talk about these things" stuff...

Add to all this General Mike Hostage, head of ACC telling Amy Butler that we would not want to talk about ongoing developments in Air to Air missile because we want to keep them quit etc ...

Now coming to the Dave Majumdar Article citing none other than the now maligned David Deptula (otherwise a very good strategist). One must remember before reading that David was until recently a part of an organization that advocates increased spending in fighters in particular almost all the time. It is a gung ho policy house for increased air combat investment across the board.

Broadly speaking the problem is to keep the RF portion of the AMRAAM relevant against evolving threats with regards to jamming. That is precisely what the program is and has been doing with the Aim-120C7 and the D, and will continue to do so further. The Delta AMRAAM goes active this year while the Russian are yet to field any sizable force of R-77's in frontline service according to most accounts. Furthermore, the Aim-9X Block III is destined to become a weapon around the Aim-120A/B class. Its range is most likely meant to augment the greater IR footprint of the F-35 more than anything else. Like I mentioned above the T-3 program has tested a Meteor like propulsion system but with an overall ambition of targeting more things then just fighters (includes ground radars). Is such a weapon required given that it is likely to cost 15-20 billion to replace the entire US inventory stock? Should a more incremental Aim-120D --> Aim-120E approach be preferred and things like the CUDA be developed to provide greater flexibility to the pilot (A 2 x Aim-120D plus 8 x CUDA load sounds a lot better for an F-35).

Do not expect to see a lot of clarity in the active missile programs in the US as they have tended to become less open and transparent about the future plans. But given the sort of information uncovered from DARPA's financial statements, lockheed coming out with he CUDA and then it winding up on an official USAF publication and given that BVR combat is probably the most important edge to preserve, don't think that the USAF is currently doing nothing about it.

Another fallacy from Majumdar is a lack of EW investments. While this was true immediately flowing the cold war it is not true since. Even DFRM is being handled by Mercury, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, BaE and some of the other smaller contractors. For a more detailed post on Electronic warfare see these two posts of mine here

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6203&start=1800#p1758307

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6203&start=1800#p1758733

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Dec 2014 18:23

Wasn't aware of the Cuda missile being developed by the US..something to keep an eye out for. It basically aims to increase the missile load while the payload remains similar. How they'll manage that is what is going to be very interesting.


Since "stealth" planes had very limited internal space to carry missiles, there was a natural effort to miniaturize such missiles without compromising on their other aspects. One should see the results from a number of nations that have purchased the JSF.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 05 Dec 2014 19:07

Eventually the F-35 would be able to carry 6 Aim-120's internally. The plan would also be to make the Blk III Winder ejectable since thats the only way you can really make use of the increased range they are seeking (with that range the missile would be launched based on EODAS or EOTS and not on visual cueing)..Lockheed has played it really really smart by tying the CUDA to the SDB loadouts since it is the best use of space. H2K missiles for A2A and the concept of CUDA in general was something that was present in USAF literature even before LMA came out and released the CUDA so its a concept they have been studying for some time

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Dec 2014 01:11

Kartik wrote:Wasn't aware of the Cuda missile being developed by the US..something to keep an eye out for. It basically aims to increase the missile load while the payload remains similar. How they'll manage that is what is going to be very interesting.



Folks at the Viper community did some more digging and uncovered the following information about USAF's weapons roadmaps for such a missile. Furthermore, Lockheed has not only proposed multiple variants of the CUDA, but also a more conventional length AMRAAM class (size, weight etc) weapon in the Supersonic Testbed Risk Reduction studies. Late 2012, early 2013 the USAF and USN asked the Head of Darpa (Arati Prabhakar) to launch and lead an AIR DOMINANCE INITIATIVE, headed by her and represented by 5 PM's from DARPA, USAF and USN. The program sought to fund and develop technologies that would ensure air dominance into the future. Apparently both the CUDA and the STRR are lockheed's proposals for funding under such program. When she spoke first on the ADI, Arati Prabhakar said that funding for such activities would begin to show up in 2014-2015 so its quite likely that money is moved to some of these systems.

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Zooming in deeper to the A2A weapon portion you will find that one such concept for such a weapon (like CUDA) has been to launch it from an AEW/AWACS aircraft for defending itself presumably from long range anti AWACS killer missiles. It makes a lot of sense especially given the size of this weapon and the overall ability to target. You can mount an X band radar for targeting if so required.

Image
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CHAMP has already been tested.

Image

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby arun » 26 Apr 2015 09:34

Janes in a three week old article describes the Klimov RD-93 turbofan as “Russian-designed but Chinese-built” :-o .

When did Russia do a technology transfer and licence build deal vis a vis the RD-93 with the Peoples Republic of China :?:

From Janes here:

Bulgaria to be offered JF-17 fighter by Pakistan

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby kmkraoind » 21 May 2015 12:28

Boeing discussing international A-10 Warthog sales

Dozens of A-10s are currently in near-flyaway storage at the air force’s boneyard facility in Arizona, and could be brought back into the operational fleet at any time.

Cejas says he has no exact customers in mind, but Boeing has "begun early discusssions."

“It’s something we would be interested in, but again, it depends where the air force goes with retirements," he says.


If they are available at 5-10 million a piece, better for IAF to acquire 3-4 squadrons.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby kmkraoind » 22 May 2015 08:41

France Boosts Arms Spending, Eyes C-130 Buy

Of that €1.5 billion, an estimated €330 million has been set aside for a planned acquisition of four Lockheed Martin Hercules C-130 transport planes, of which two would be armed with the Griffin missile and two would be equipped for inflight refueling of helicopters, the officials said.
.......
The French Air Force and special forces are keen to acquire the US aircraft, needed to plug a gap left by the late delivery of the Airbus A400M transport.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 22 May 2015 15:27

a prime customer for the A10 and the dated AGM65 mavericks would be the Iraqi AF. lord knows there are enough targets!

would be a far more practical useful purchase than F-16 which they are already due to get.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 May 2015 15:54

A-10 is not just an aircraft, its a CAS mission and a cultural change from operating any other type either fast jet or a helo. That means a long learning curve when it comes to learning how to best utilize it, learn tactics, develop teamwork with the JTAC's, and then deploy it. Even the USAF had to go through a learning curve. In gulf war they sent out the A-10 into harm's way to hunt down SCUD's, they were shot down pretty bad and had to be recalled to do less dangerous work. They get shot at a lot so as pilots you have to be trained properly.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 23 May 2015 12:36

well it cannot be any worse than cessna planes rigged with hellfires, talking over radio to people on the ground to id ISIS targets!!
with the A-10 the Iraqi AF gains
- pilot survivability vs gunship helis or worse the cessnas
- intimidation - a ISIS convoy at the receiving end of the GAU8 will surely crap in their black pyjamas.
- way more payload than anything else they have

the Iraqi AF _is_ a ground attack force because thats the threat they face, they are already in that mode. it wont take much money to salvage some 20 A10s off the boneyard and train some veteran iraqi pilots and SF unit controllers how to use it effectively.

nobody else around the world has a need for the A10 right now except maybe Assad, Kenya and Nigeria

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 May 2015 17:25

They can definitely put it to use, but what I was saying is that to deploy something like an A-10 to its potential its going to take them a long time to train and be competent at it. Its not something that you can do for the short term.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 23 May 2015 17:46

Singha wrote:a prime customer for the A10 and the dated AGM65 mavericks would be the Iraqi AF. lord knows there are enough targets!

would be a far more practical useful purchase than F-16 which they are already due to get.


errrr......

Did you miss the statement from a US General?

Iraq is a too high a risk area for the A-10 (yeah, go figure). And, then what the ISIS did to the Jordanian pilot has them very reluctant to send pilots that low (per a news report from Iraq).

ISIS has changed a lot of old thinking. In many ways.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 28 May 2015 02:21


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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby srai » 28 May 2015 12:13

kmkraoind wrote:France Boosts Arms Spending, Eyes C-130 Buy

Of that €1.5 billion, an estimated €330 million has been set aside for a planned acquisition of four Lockheed Martin Hercules C-130 transport planes, of which two would be armed with the Griffin missile and two would be equipped for inflight refueling of helicopters, the officials said.
.......
The French Air Force and special forces are keen to acquire the US aircraft, needed to plug a gap left by the late delivery of the Airbus A400M transport.


Raytheon's Griffin missile


AGM-175A Griffin A (SOPGM)

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby M Joshi » 29 May 2015 18:34

Image

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 30 May 2015 04:53

Isis is not going away. Not with the west trying to beat Assad and most of Syria in ruins.

Iraqi AF could train on a10 for 2 years and still have same targets as today.

Isis is just a visible tumor...the cancer is all over middle east Africa and afpak

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 12 Jun 2015 20:39

Not military, but interesting:

t’s a manoeuvre you might not think is possible. The crew of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, one of the newest planes in the airliner giant’s fleet, has been filmed practising for a demonstration at this year’s Paris Air Show. The plane takes off – just as normal – and then suddenly climbs almost vertically, as you can see here:




http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2015061 ... -take-offs

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 12 Jun 2015 21:18

saar all such planes can do it at light fuel and no payload.
here is A380 doing it in paris
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJxnwF-MPi0

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby NRao » 12 Jun 2015 21:19

true, saw a C-17 do it too.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 12 Jun 2015 21:21

and a C17 doing it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0nYeUhe2ww

but while a fighter using afterburner can climb in that mode to whatever alt before leveling off, these big boys need to level off fairly quickly or i think they will stall and crash

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby member_20067 » 12 Jun 2015 21:28

Vertical climb...is possible when you have hardly any fuel and no fittings inside the aircraft---

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2015 23:58

Shiv, This one is for you to share with your friends in B'Lore....

James Salter: Forgotten hero


James Salter died last week aged 90. He wrote the famous book on Air warfare in North Korea :The Hunters.....
They made a distorted movie with same name.

Eight years ago, the writer James Salter received a telephone call out of the blue from an admirer: an American general who had loved his novel The Hunters so much he had ordered copies of it for all his group commanders. The general asked Salter, a former US air force pilot, if he would be interested in going up in an F-16, a fighter 10 times more powerful than the F-86 he'd flown in Korea (The Hunters is based on Salter's experiences in the Korean war, during which he logged more than 100 missions). Salter, whose manner can be diffident, thought for a moment. It was 44 years since he had last sat in a cockpit. Then again, why wouldn't he want to go up? "I suppose so," he finally said. A date was agreed. He would visit Fort Worth, Texas before the month was out.

"So, I flew down there," he says. "And... well, he was a very young guy. He almost didn't look authentic to me. But he was extremely nice." A pause. "No, not nice. That sounds terrible. Like he's a gardener, or something. I mean: a decent man. And he had it all fixed up. He had a flying suit for me with my name on it, and boots and a jacket. It was all terribly touching." Another pause, during which he gives me a look as if to convince himself I'm really interested in all of this – after which, reassured, he is suddenly all nonchalance. To listen to him, his voice so light, his tone so unshowy, flying a jet might be as easy as playing ping pong, or bowling.




"First of all, he took me into operations for a briefing. Things are a little different [in an F-16]. I had to learn how to bale out, and I had to fly on the computer to see if I went cross-eyed, or whatever. So, I made a landing or two, I flew around a little. Then I went into the ready room, where there were a number of pilots waiting, and the general said: 'This is Jim Salter, he wrote The Hunters, and he flew in Korea with "Boots" Blesse [a famous ace who now lies in Arlington National Cemetery], and they all gathered around because they knew Boots Blesse's name, and we talked like the old days, and I could almost imagine that I was one of them.

"It was a lieutenant colonel who took me up. Of course, I had done the same thing myself when I was their age." He drops his voice comically for a moment, and gives a little sigh: "Taken old people around. I could see he was looking at me... my age. I mean, I didn't look 40. I was 79 years old. 'I'll take off,' he said. 'Don't touch anything.' I told him: 'OK, cool.' So, we got in, we took off, we flew around. We were at 5,000 feet. 'You want to fly it a little?' he asked. 'Sure,' I said, and so I did. 'You want to do some rolls?' he asked, and so I did. 'You want to try a loop?' he asked. 'Sure,' I said. We climbed to 10,000 feet. You pick up 425 knots for a loop, and you pull it in four Gs and... that's it. So, I pulled it up, and as I did, I heard the lieutenant say: 'Awesome! Awesome!'" Salter smiles.

And was it awesome for him, too? "No, it wasn't terribly awesome," he says, softly. "But I was pleased to be able to hit the ball. Flying is that kind of thing. You feel... it's a good thing, a physical thing, like hitting a ball. What's so good about hitting a ball? I can't explain it. Do it, and you'll see."


Awesome, awesome. Salter is wary of words like these, however gratifying in the moment. He loves to be praised, but he needs such approval to be unconnected to his age. He doesn't want to be good for 87; he wants only to be good. If this is true of what he can still do in a cockpit given half the chance, it is triply the case of his writing. In the US, his first novel for 34 years has just been published, and while he is boyishly delighted by some of the reviews – "not coda but overture", said the New York Times, acclaiming All That Is as "strikingly original" – he has detected a certain, slightly patronising tone elsewhere: "It's wondrous! they say. It's incredible! This old ****** can hardly stand, and here he is writing a novel." The New Yorker, for instance, chose to call its long and rather snitty profile of him "The Last Book", which was kind of bald. "I suppose it's a fair bet that this might be the last book. But, you know..." His hands flutter meaningfully in the air.

Does he feel his age? Surely not. His back is straight. His eyes are not milky, but extraordinarily blue, like the Mediterranean on a hot day. Above all, he is so interested. At the risk of appearing as bad as the rest of them, I tell him that he doesn't look 87 to me. "It depends on what time of day it is," he says. "In the morning, sitting here for breakfast, in the sun... this is the season when you feel a little bit yourself. I feel OK. You don't have to put on a brave front or something. You have lost your ability to concentrate for a long time, and some of these damn words are slipping away from you. It's like a little slit in your pocket. But you're not incapable of writing."

On this point, at least, it would be hard to disagree. It might have taken him years to write – he settled on its main character about a decade ago, he thinks – but All That Is, which tells the story of a navy veteran and literary publisher, Philip Bowman, over a period of some 40 years, has a grandeur that is all its own. Its handling of time, its elliptical wisdom, and its occasional chest-tightening cruelties are masterful; every paragraph is quietly, carefully good. On the page, moreover, anyone can be young. It is an inordinately vigorous novel. So much feeling. So much sex. Those who pick it up knowing nothing of James Salter will perhaps picture its author to be a young man – a fellow with dark hair, say, and a leather jacket. Salter smiles at this. "Well, he had those things once," he says with a forlorn dip of his head.

Who is James Salter? It may be that you have never heard of him. Salter is not famous the way Philip Roth and John Updike are famous, nor half so prolific; his reputation rests on just two collections of short stories, five (now six) novels and a memoir, Burning the Days. But he is, nevertheless, the kind of American writer who is sometimes called great: a stylist, a purist, a guy who really socks it to you, however elegantly. His books, which are about valour and women and the sadness that doggedly inhabits the everyday, are strangely timeless – they skirt politics, and even brand names, as if such things are a little dirty – and yet they seem also to belong to another age; something in them brings to mind Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, even Graham Greene, beside whose papers Salter's own notebooks lie at the Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas.

"It is an article of faith among readers of fiction that James Salter writes American sentences better than anyone writing today," says Richard Ford in his introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Light Years, the 1975 novel that is surely Salter's masterpiece. Is this true? I can't say. But Light Years, in which a golden marriage first curdles and then dissolves, is certainly an extraordinary book: as ravishing as Gatsby, as plangent as Revolutionary Road, as nimble as Rabbit, Run. The word is – though I don't, alas, get to try one – that Salter mixes a good martini, and this is precisely what Light Years brings to mind. You can feel it going down, burning your throat. All That Is, which stands as a kind of companion piece to it (being about one man's relationships, rather than one marriage), is a gentler, more hopeful affair. But they are hewn from the same stone: the fretfulness that stalks us even in the moments when we should be most content.

Salter lives in Aspen, Colorado and Bridgehampton, Long Island, a double life that sounds glamorous and wealthy, but really isn't. Writing is not remotely glamorous. For him, it's hard-won, and involves "a lot of self-hatred, a lot of despair, a lot of hope, and a lot of just absolute effort". As for his houses, they long predate the skiing movie stars and the Wall Street moguls, and are in any case rather modest. Luckily, he is not one for envy, at least not when it comes to material things. "I was talking to my son the other day about yachts and money," he says. "We were discussing some stupendously rich man, with a crew of 10 for his boat. My son was telling me how much it cost just to fill its tank. Well, I couldn't possibly write a line on a boat like that. I'm not equipped to live in such a way. My requirements seem to be much smaller." The New Yorker accused him of nostalgia for a way of life now passed (an accusation based on the fact he once asked guests coming to a New Year's Eve dinner to wear black tie). But this is not the case at all. How could it be? "I'm not nostalgic for it because I have it," he says, waving an arm at the books on the shelf, the pictures on the wall (I meet him in Bridgehampton). His view of American culture? "It's got louder, but it's probably not any worse."

Salter has long felt overlooked, neglected, doubtful of his reputation and whether it would ever amount to anything. With the publication of All That Is, however, he is enjoying a moment: good reviews, the attention of the New Yorker, which for many years refused to publish his short stories, a packed-to-the-rafters reading with Richard Ford at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan ("about 500 people," he says, eyes wide). In London, where his book comes out later this month, his publisher is throwing a smart party for him. The British edition of his novel comes garlanded with praise from John Banville and Julian Barnes. A lot of writers claim not to read their reviews, but Salter isn't one of them. "If you walked into a bar on the day of publication and you heard people whispering about your book, you'd be interested, wouldn't you?" he says. "After all, they may like it. That happens occasionally." These past few weeks, then, have been purest oxygen for him.

"The power of the novel in the nation's culture had weakened," thinks Philip Bowman towards the end of All That Is. "It had happened gradually. It was something everyone recognised and ignored. All went on exactly as before, that was the beauty of it. The glory had faded, but fresh faces kept appearing, wanting to be part of it, to be in publishing, which had retained a suggestion of elegance like a pair of beautiful bone-shined shoes owned by a bankrupt man." Is this how Salter sees it, too? "Well, I thought it up to yesterday," he says. "But then I started reading a long piece on the internet, and I thought: perhaps that's rather a stuffy idea. On the internet, everyone is writing. There is a great flowering of writing. So perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe I didn't think it through carefully enough. But you can apply it to Bowman's sort of publishing. Going in to Knopf [Salter's swank US publisher] today is not like going into a publisher 50 years ago. That world is changing."

The British are, he thinks, wrong to be so fixated with the idea of the Great American Novel. It's only a matter of timing, or luck, or coincidence. "America just happened to have some big writers," he says. "I'm not ranking them… [a mischievous smile], but big, colourful and fulfilling. A bunch of them just came along. Your tradition remains. England has a literature unsurpassed. It's just that the centre shifts from time to time. It's not permanent. It's nothing to do with national decline, or national importance. You're just lucky as a country if you have a number of them at a time." In any case, who's to say what is great, and what is not? Only time is the judge. "Cheever is in relative eclipse at the moment, but that might not last. You're lucky if a book stays in print for 30 or 40 years. Writers want a guarantee they'll be read in the future, and we would love to give them that, but we can't."

Still, greatness was an early preoccupation of his. The idea of it was what got him started in the first place: "I always knew writing a novel was a great thing." Salter was born James Horowitz in New Jersey, in 1925, an only child. The household wasn't bookish. His father, George, was in real estate; his mother, Mildred, was from Washington DC, and had once been beautiful and lively ("the dreariness came later"). When he was two, the family moved to New York; he went to high school in the Bronx, where he was two years behind Jack Kerouac. He wrote "terrible poetry" and played football. The plan was that he would go to Stanford, at least in his own mind. But his father, who had attended West Point, the military academy – he graduated first in his class – had other ideas. Subtle pressure was applied. "I knew what my father, more than anything else, wanted me to do. Seventeen, vain, and spoiled by poems, I prepared to enter a remote West Point. I would succeed there, it was hoped, as he had."

He writes of his unpreparedness for this education compellingly in Burning the Days – the shocking drama of it, and his own (to me) remarkable stoicism: "It was the hard school, the forge. To enter you passed, that first day, into an inferno. Demands, many of them incomprehensible, rained down. Always at rigid attention, hair freshly cropped, chin withdrawn and trembling, barked at by unseen voices, we stood or ran like insects from one place to another." It was a place of clanging bells, and shouting, and endless drills: "The feeling of being on a hopeless journey, an exile that would last for years." And you were never alone: "Above all, it was this that marked the life." A hard thing, for a writer.

At first, he was reluctant, even incompetent. But in his second year, things improved; either the system had broken him, or he had embraced its ethos – even he can't say which. He passed an eye test, and joined the army air corps, where he learned to fly. He was good at flying, though there was one early disaster. At sunset on VE Day, he took off on a solo navigation flight; he and the 15 other students participating in the exercise had deliberately been misinformed about the wind. As night fell, he realised he was lost. Soon, his fuel was low. There was nothing for it but to crash-land in what he took for a park. Once his landing lights were on, however, he saw he had made a mistake. "Something went by on the left. Trees, in the middle of the park. I had barely missed them. No landing here." A moment later, more trees. The sound of their leaves on his wing was swiftly followed by the disappearance of said wing. "The plane careened up. It stood poised for an endless moment, one landing light flooding a house into which an instant later it crashed." Luckily, the family inside had rushed outside on hearing his plane (they had taken its appearance as a military salute, for they were welcoming home a son who had been a PoW in Germany). No one was hurt. But Salter made something of an impression on the inhabitants of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Years later, he received an unsigned card with a postmark from the town. We are still praying for you here, it said.

After the war, he was deployed to Manila and Honolulu, where he flew transport planes and fell in love with the wife of another officer, his best friend. Then, in 1951, he was promoted to fighter jets. Soon after, he volunteered for Korea. Glory days, "the realm long sought". Impossible to choose, from among the crystalline descriptions in Burning the Days, a line to quote. Every sentence is fantastic. But if I had to pick one, it would be from the section in which Salter gives an account of his battle with an enemy MiG, his only kill: "He abruptly rolls over and I follow, as if we are leaping from a wall." What an image, the fantasies of little boys folded inside something so very grave, so very grown-up! In Burning the Days, Salter writes that he felt he was born to fly fighters. But perhaps what he really means is that alone among his colleagues only he would eventually be able to put all this sensation – the sheer unfathomable rush of it – into words.

On tour, he kept a notebook. Later, while he was posted in Germany, he turned these notes into The Hunters. He wrote in secret. "Well, perhaps that's too strong. Secret makes it sound shameful, or treacherous. I would say that I wrote privately. That would be more accurate. Because books and writers were not esteemed." Nor did he use his own name: it was at this point that James Salter was born. When the novel was accepted for publication in 1956, he told only his wife ("a horse country Virginian" with whom he went on to have four children), and when it was serialised in a magazine, he was all innocence. "Let me read it when you finish," he told a pilot who'd pointed it out to him. Salter insists that he hadn't yet decided he was going to be a writer (by this point, he was in line to become a squadron commander); he simply wanted to write this particular book.

"I wanted to be greatly admired [as the author of The Hunters], but unknown." Still, internally, a shift was under way. "The compulsion to fly was going to wane. I knew that. The promise of the compulsion to write was signalling to me. I didn't make my decision until the book was published. Then, I saw that it was possible. I recall the time very clearly. I had confidence, but I was also completely at sea." Only when the film rights were sold – the movie starred Robert Mitchum and Robert Wagner – did he finally resign his commission, a severing he has described as "worse than divorce, emotionally".

Salter and his wife settled along the Hudson in New York (which is where Light Years would be set). He wrote another air force novel (The Arm of Flesh, later republished as Cassada), but then there came something of hiatus; it was 1967 before he published his next significant book, A Sport and a Pastime, and Light Years did not arrive until 1975. There were distractions. He and a TV writer, Lane Slate, a man he'd met while out selling swimming pools (a sideline), made a short film together about football, Team, Team, Team, which somewhat miraculously won a top prize at the 1962 Venice film festival – and soon, he was writing scripts. These, in turn, led to an introduction to Robert Redford, for whom he would eventually write the screenplay for Downhill Racer, a film about the World Cup Alpine ski circuit.

His last film script was Solo Faces, about rock climbing, a sport he took up himself with some alacrity by way of research. But Redford turned it down, and Salter eventually turned it into a novel – the last one he wrote before All That Is (it came out in 1979). "I wasted time writing films," he says now. "I don't look back on those years as lost, but it wasn't what I should have been doing. I would like to have written more [novels], yes. Most writers can write three times as many books as I have, and still live a life."

The next years were a struggle. A Sport and a Pastime, a book based on a love affair Salter had in France in the early 60s, could not find a publisher, perhaps because there was so much sex in it. Eventually, George Plimpton, the editor of the Paris Review, published it under the journal's own imprint, but it sold fewer than 3,000 copies. Light Years sold about 8,000 copies, and received mixed reviews – even now, people either love it or hate it, though you have to wonder about those who fall into the latter camp – which made its author despondent; he had such high hopes. In 1980, five years after Salter and his wife divorced (the marriage seems to have been a painful mistake right from the start), he found his daughter, Allan, dead in the shower of a cabin next to his house in Aspen; she had been electrocuted.

"I have never been able to write the story," he says in Burning the Days. "I reach a certain point and cannot go on. The death of kings can be recited, but not of one's own child." Along the way, other horrors. In 1967, he had watched the television, aghast, as the news broke of a fire on Apollo 1. Grissom and White, two of the astronauts who were killed, had flown with Salter in Korea. "Something lodged in my chest, a feeling I could not swallow... The capsule had become a reliquary, a furnace. They had inhaled fire, their lungs had turned to ash."

The 80s, though, also marked a turning point. In Aspen, Salter met a writer 20 years his junior, Kay Eldredge. She was smitten, and turned up at his door, claiming to have left her bracelet at his house. "A pretty basic idea," he says. "But rather cunning." And romantic! "Yes, romantic." Did it work? "Yes, I asked for her number." They had a son together, in 1985, and married a few years later. "A long marriage: very sympathetic, very grand. I don't know what more you can ask for." She is the dedicatee of All That Is.

In 1989, his short story collection, Dusk and Other Stories, won the PEN/Faulkner award; meanwhile, both A Sport and a Pastime and Light Years were republished. His reputation as "a writer's writer" (whatever that means) began to build. There was a glow at the end of the tunnel, after all. Earlier this year, he was awarded a Windham Campbell prize by Yale University worth $150,000. Will he stop writing now, as Philip Roth claims to have done? No. "But I will never again write a book in which there's a single sexual act. They're expecting it now!" Actually, he can't be sure he will write more. "You have your brains, but it's energy and desire that make you write a book." The thought of the last two abandoning him hangs in the air, unspoken.

After we finish talking, Salter takes me for lunch at a nearby restaurant, a place once frequented by Truman Capote, whose photograph hangs over the bar. "We're just friends," he says to the waitress with a smile. When he orders an egg white omelette, and I express my amazement that such a thing could exist, he warns me to not make him sound like "one of those health nuts" in my piece. "This is what old people eat," he says, with a low laugh (as it happens, I won't do this; I have the food book he wrote with Eldredge, Life is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days; Salter is something of a bon viveur, on the quiet).

Afterwards, I have a choice. I can have an ice cream, or he can give me a short tour. I choose the tour, which is how I come to see the house – pigeon grey with a fairytale turret – where Nora Ephron lived when she was married to Carl Bernstein. Salter is fun to be with, dashing and droll, and you leave his company with a certain reluctance. At the bus stop for Manhattan, I wave at his car wildly as he moves off. But he doesn't see me. His eyes are on the road. He looks determined: as stoical – you might say as heroic – as ever.




In The Hunters he truly brings out the nature of early jet fighter combat using WWII circa design jets armed with machine guns vs cannon.

Multatuli
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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Multatuli » 01 Jul 2015 10:46

EA-6B Prowler makes its final flight for Navy

After 45 years of service, the Navy EA-6B Prowler has made its final flight.

The aircraft was retired last week with a three-day commemoration at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., June 25-27.

The farewell ceremony, attended by more than 1,000 people, featured retired Capt. Fred Wilmot, a former test pilot for the Navy EA-6B Prowler who delivered the first Prowler to Whidbey Island in January 1971. He then flew as a passenger in the last Prowler to fly at Whidbey Island.

"The fact that the Prowler stuck around for 45 years is testimony to how well it was designed and built and the thousands of men and women who have maintained and operated it," Wilmot said.

The EA-6B Prowler was the Navy and Marine Corps's primary electronic warfare aircraft, performing electronic surveillance and jamming enemy radar and communications.

The aircraft made its first flight May 25, 1968, went operational in July 1971 and made its first deployment, to Southeast Asia, in 1972, according to the Navy. It has seen action in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, supported NATO operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia and enforced no-fly zones around Iraq.

With the Prowler’s retirement, the Electronic Attack Squadron at Whidbey Island will transition to the EA-18G Growler aircraft, Navy officials said, a variant of the F/A-18F Super Hornet Block II.

http://www.stripes.com/news/navy/ea-6b- ... y-1.355664

member_27581
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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby member_27581 » 02 Jul 2015 11:23

with troubles of MiG over and above those of russian economy can't ADA/HAL hire some good brains from there, this might help us in supporting our domestic programs e.g. LCA/AMCA/UAV/UCAVs and possibly maintenance of existing mig 29 fleet

SOURCE: RUSSIA & INDIA REPORT



The famous design bureau is betting on its extensive experience, brand awareness, and the fact that, according to Sergey Korotkov, “the global market for this jet fighter is quite large”. MiG has decided to follow the same path that its main Russian competitor Sukhoi followed in the 1990s. This path involves reorientation to global markets and attracting foreign financing for building new aircraft. The difference is that Sukhoi took to this path during booming development, inherited from the Soviet era, while MiG perforce took this path at a stage when it has no defence contracts.

Sukhoi starts and wins

Since 2000, the State began to give priority to aircraft built by the Sukhoi Experimental Design Bureau (EDB). The organization had managed better and proved more effective to survive through the difficult period because of foreign orders.

That was when the fifth generation aircraft project was taken away from the MiG EDB, and priority given to Sukhoi’s S-37 project. This happened despite the fact that the MiG 1.42 made its first flight (first prototype of the MiG 1.44 fifth-generation fighter, or multifunctional frontline fighter (MFF)) in 1999. Notwithstanding the near completion of the MiG light combat aircraft, the government chose to prioritise funding to the Sukhoi project.

Even when it became clear that Sukhoi’s C-37 would remain an experimental model, the MiG was ignored, and the government gave preference to developing the PAK FA, work on which started only in 2002. It flew for the first time as late as 2010.

Work on the MiG 1.44 started in the early 1980s. By the time the Soviet Union collapsed, the preliminary designs and the model of the aircraft were ready, making it ideally positioned to be developed as the fifth generation fighter jet. In the 1990s, despite the absence of funding, the MiG team carried this project forward and built the first flying model. But the government continued to ignore the results of this work.

In search of investments

In 2006, MiG became part of the newly established United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which further reduced the independence and prospects for promotion of the experimental design bureau’s projects.

Ovanes Mikoyan, son of the famous creator of the Soviet MiGs, an eminent aircraft designer himself and adviser to the director of the Mikoyan EDB engineering centre, said the fifth generation LCA by the Mikoyan EDB was simply “crushed”. According to him, in the current Russian aviation industry system “the one who has more money and influence survives”. According to Mikoyan, a veteran of Soviet and Russian aviation, MiG and Sukhoi had always worked on different types of fighters (MiG- light aircraft, Sukhoi – heavy planes), but the competition began only when their “financial interests began to collide”. Simply stated, the MiG lost in the struggle for government money.

Currently the RAC MiG has virtually no orders. The latest major contracts for supply of MiG-29K fighters for the Russian and Indian navies are being completed.

MiG lost the tender for the supply of light fighter jets to India to the French Rafale.

The UAV design projects proposed by MiG did not receive government funding.

As a result, the company’s management is now forced to look for opportunities to replenish its orders portfolio, including search for a partner/customer to create a fifth-generation fighter.

This will not be easy without a finished product on hand, so the company must now build at least a flying prototype or a technology demonstrator. However, the UAC has clearly stated that the creation of a light fifth generation fighter is not a priority for the company. Even the PAK FA project has turned into a heavy financial burden for the government, and the number of units it plans to purchase is being constantly reduced.

That is why Korotkov started talking about the need to replace the MiG-29s, “of which there are many all over the world”.

But whether a Russian light fifth generation combat aircraft will ever make it to the external market remains uncertain.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Nick_S » 02 Jul 2015 13:45

Pretty pic Tu-160: http://russianplanes.net/images/to168000/167000.jpg

Funny pic of ka-52 - https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/6423/21 ... 9af7e_orig

Since LCA doesnt have IRST, we could consider getting/developing something like this:

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/legionpod
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/d ... n-01-h.jpg

Weighs less than 250 kg, so should be compatible with LCA pod pylon.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Lisa » 03 Jul 2015 13:09

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/test-p ... db9d11a875

Test Pilot Admits the F-35 Can’t Dogfight

New stealth fighter is dead meat in an air battle

Singha
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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Singha » 03 Jul 2015 13:40

i think the environments where Tejas will be doing air-defence missions, it can expect cover from ground based radar or AWACS and might not need the IRST. the intruding enemy fighters will either be radars off to preserve EM quietness(in which case a GCI/awacs controlled Tejas can get into position quietly) or be blasting away at full power on their radar and so Tejas having an irst wont matter it will be spotted.

maybe in future in long range sniping engagements with VLO platforms, IRST will find its true worth...as focus shifts to passive means to detect, track and kill fast moving VLO and ELO targets.

I would love to see a subsonic indian ELO drone flying at 70,000ft endurance 16 hrs packed with 8-12 astra missiles and a huge IRST YAL1 type sensor looking down at the heat trails of unfriendly birds flying some 30,000ft below and quietly unleashing stealthy AAMs from out of the sun.

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Re: International Military Aviation - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 03 Jul 2015 14:12

The latest revelations about the JSF's incapacity to indulge in close air combat,known for years by analysts,beggars the Q,that Rand came out with again some years ago,about the vulnerability of the US's stealth fighters (F-22s) to superior numbers of Chinese Flankers.With a single JSF costing anywhere from $10-150M ,and a single LCA costing about $25-30M,one would be able to acquire at least 4-5 LCAs for the price of just one JSF.Which team would carry more missiles,both BVR and WVR,which would have the better combat availability factor and which is more likely to emerge as victor? Even if you multiply the number of JSFs involved,they would face equally larger opposite numbers.

This is why the "quality of quantity" remains so important even today,when newer stealth birds are on the upswing.In the sub-continent context even more so. The past wars between India and Pak saw the IAF at a disadvantage qualitatively, but our larger numbers and superior flying skills trumped the PAF. It is why the LCA programme,where we will have the cheapest light combat aircraft available ,needs to be pursued relentlessly to succeed,on a war footing.


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