sudeepj wrote:brar_w wrote:I believe that the Barak-8 has intercepted a virtual supersonic target system modeled after the performance of a Russian threat.
How can capital assets, not to mention hundreds of lives, be sent in harms way on the basis of a mere virtual test? It has to be tested against an actual maneuvering missile before its declared to be capable of intercepting moskit/yakhont type threats.
Because synthetic testing and M&S are important parts of any system design and testing and is extensively employed by each and every systems developer and operator the world over. You can never simulate 100% of each and every potential threat type so must test for some, and develop and validate models that help you gain confidence in the ability of your system against the threats you cannot affordably simulate. Besides the USN, not many operators (if any) operate a known SSST program with terminal maneuvering and dive/attack mode requirements at speeds approaching or exceeding Mach 3. Some model that performance while others loan out these SSST's and do limited testing in order to further enhance their models. How do you know a radar is difficult to jam, or LPI against a given threat type? Do you have to test it out against each and every threat ESM system or Jammer before you put it out into service?
Yes, there are benefits to actually running hard testing and maintaining a program to constantly develop targets that mimic certain characteristics of threat systems but there are always limits both technical and financial. But there are other ways to develop an understanding on the abilities and limitations of these systems. Unless you have a very significant threat and have a very large number of missiles that you test over a fixed period of time (USN put out roughly 4 dozen GQM-163A shots in about a decade of it being declared operational), dedicated target programs that cover the entire spectrum of your potential threat would be so expensive so as to actually eat into the capability of the system you are designing (finite resources so development funding will have to give way for test and evaluation). There is a good reason why the path taken by Israel is different from that taken by the USN which has always obsessed about anti-ship missiles and has traditionally maintained at least one SST program along with multiple subsonic targets. There is also a cultural and bureaucratic difference in these approaches. In the US, the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation cannot certify a system as being Operationally Suitable or Effective against a specific threat based solely on simulation - one reason why there exist so many targets and QF-4/16s programs. While this may not be needed for every threat type but when it comes to the missile, systems are often required to be subjected to supersonic missile threats, or TBM threats depending on threat profiles (SRBM, MRBM, IRBM, ICBMs etc) hence a need to test systems against specific threat types.