International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Apr 2020 02:17

Northrop Grumman to start AARGM-ER production for US Navy


The US Navy (USN) intends to award a sole source contract to Northrop Grumman to start production of the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER).

The quantity of the forthcoming order was not disclosed, but would be part of low rate initial production lot one, says the service in a notice posted online on 31 March.AARGM-ER is an air-launched weapon intended to destroy enemy air defence systems, such as radar-guided surface-to-air missile batteries. It is an extended range version of the service’s current AARGM weapon. Its exact reach is not disclosed, but it is considered a standoff weapon, meaning it should be able to out-range an adversary’s air defence missiles.

The new missile is to be carried by the USN’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter and EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. It is eventually to be qualified for the internal weapons carriage on the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II.

The missile uses the same sensors, electronics and warheads as its predecessor, the AARGM. However, differences include a larger rocket engine and tail upgrades to extend its range and improve its manoeuvrability. The missile also has its mid-body wings removed and replaced with a short strake along its length.

Northrop Grumman started AARGM-ER engineering and manufacturing work 12 months ago.

In January 2020, the US Air Force said it was interested in modifying AARGM-ER into its own Stand-in Attack Weapon. That missile would be fitted into the service’s F-35A and would also be aimed at enemy air defences.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Apr 2020 18:14

maitya wrote:A contrarian viewpoint:
Most modern CCMs (AIM-9X, R-74, Python-5 etc) employ TVC to achieve near-instantaneous 50+ G manoeuvrability - this is vital in an era of HMS and high-off-boresight engagement capability - but this adds to the weight of the overall missile.
ASRAAM of course is an exception - it chose to remain light, by foregoing TVC and is fine with achieving it's 50+G manoeuvrability, a few seconds post launch, using solely it's control surfaces.

This instantaneous achievement of manoeuvrability, is quite critical, for high off-boresight close-in engagements - plus such engagements are, many a times using IRST/LR (and not necessarily the high-off-boresight-challenged-radars - so no additional target info available post-launch etc) which renders the radar-seeker part of the missile a dead-weight (where is the time to establish a range-gate, then track and lock target etc, at such ranges - say 30-40Km).


So until the so-called MRAAMs adds TVC (and thus gain further weight), the SRAAMs will have their relevance, IMVHO.
Also the need to shoehorn a IIR FPA along-with a active-radar seeker (like in MICA series) adds complexity, dimensions and weight (and thus also somewhat sacrifices instantaneous manoeuvrability) - thus the relevance of dedicated SRAAMs will remain.


The CCM's are able to do this -

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because there is a requirement for it. (The TVC equipped missiles will get you more instantaneous abilities close to after launch given the motor is burning and speeds are still relatively slow. They'll do better here than most non TVC equipped missiles of their generation).

Likewise, next generation of Medium ranged missiles that will also have a responsibility of replacing these (on top of their performance at extended range) would have to comply with similar requirements. The USAF is expected to ask for additional requirements on end-game agility that needs to be better than current missiles as well. There are ways to do that on clean sheet designs.

Raytheon in its design has added thrust vectoring and larger control surfaces compared to the AMRAAM. This along with half the size of the AMRAAM (lighter and larger proportion of propellant to overall system weight), advances in energetics and propulsion and other technologies will allow it to achieve both those requirements. Lockheed Martin has chosen to keep the aerodynamics relatively clean but have added ACM's to their missile for both initial and end-game agility that will on par or superior to anything we've seen so far. They've also seem to have gone in for a HLG propulsion concepts and other novel SRM technologies that the USAF has matured or funded in the past.

The USAF doesn't seem to want to just slap an IIR seeker on an AIM-120D. That won't allow it to replace the AIM-9 given the 9X's agility. What they want is to develop a missile half the length of the AMRAAM that is as or more agile than its most agile missile and yet still can get out and hit targets at "AMRAAM" ranges allowing it to replace its two missiles (AMRAAM and AIM-9) with two future missiles (AIM-260 and AIM-X).

From my notes (multiple sources)

Raytheon*:

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Peregrine “combines the range and the autonomy of the AMRAAM with the maneuverability characteristics of the AIM-9X” with extreme maneuverability as it approaches its target.

The Peregrine will have a multi-mode, autonomous seeker that includes infrared imaging. It uses a “new, high-performance propulsion system" to boost speed, Noyes said. He would only characterize the missile’s range as “from visual range to within medium range”..

"The Peregrine is half the length of the AMRAAM. The missile gains its manoeuvrability through thrust vectoring technology that is similar to what is used on the AIM-9X, says Noyes. Noyes also notes the missile is autonomous and has a tri-mode seeker, but declines to say what other sensors the weapon is equipped with".


Lockheed*:

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As can be seen, Lockheed's missile is of very similar size to the Peregrine and both will allow a 2 for one replacement in the same space currently occupied by the AIM-120. Lockheed's missile design uses ACM's which the company has had more than 2 decades of experience with. It could also be carrying TVC but this has not been revealed yet. If prior applications of this are any indication it should handily out maneuver (both initially and end game) anything that the USAF has ever fielded in the past. The range comes from the fact that these missiles are smaller, lighter, have a higher relative propellant mass, utilize more advanced propulsion technologies and carry a LE warhead.

As far as seekers and guidance, Lockheed is probably going to leverage whatever it is doing on the AIM-260. While Raytheon has years of operational experience with dual RF/IIR missiles, Lockheed recently acquired a very small company that specializes in advanced disparate platform (like aircraft and missile) collaborative EW and triangulation and this might have very interesting applications on missiles and missile-platform interaction (think missile carrying a traditional RF seeker and additional ESM gear). Maybe that gets applied to both those missiles..maybe not. But regardless, higher single shot PK is a requirement that they would have to demonstrate against some pretty tough Electronic Attack pod laden QF-16's that the USAF will test it out on.

An indication of what the USAF is looking for (though very general due to the sensitive nature of this).

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The "Rear Hemisphere" kill capability is an important requirement that shows up every time the USAF talks about these missiles. This isn't surprising given the F-35's EODAS and the fact that the F-22 will receive similar upgrades and future systems will carry similar or better sensors as well.

* These are likely highly scrubbed designs and probably don't capture the exact details of the missiles being proposed. Lockheed has already tested its missile on the ground and was funded for Air to Air demonstrations by the USAF last year. Expect those to be wrapped up by 2021-2022. Raytheon, has yet to be put on contract but it is quite likely that whatever their design ends up looking like will also be tested in the 2021-2024 time-frame. The idea would be to select down to one and field these systems in the second half of the 2020's.


maitya wrote:Also the need to shoehorn a IIR FPA along-with a active-radar seeker (like in MICA series) adds complexity, dimensions and weight (and thus also somewhat sacrifices instantaneous manoeuvrability) - thus the relevance of dedicated SRAAMs will remain.


The dual and multi-mode seekers won't be used like the traditional set up. They will be used for improved discrimination to the primary sensor. Look at the way Raytheon applied IIR to the standard. Imagining it as a large footprint sensor is not indicative of how it will be used. Same thing when the primary sensor is IIR. You can put a small MMW antennas there for end-game discrimination and as a counter counter measure.

The problem of CM's effecting PK isn't going to be solved by just putting two similar performance sensors in there. They'll just use two types of countermeasures to counter that. What you need is an ability to discriminate between target and countermeasures (like when a towed or expendable decoy is involved) or overcome self-defense measures. Combined RF and IIR sensor solutions are also challenging, particularly when missile is traveling at higher speeds (different scanning abilities of those choices). So you will have to have one sensor as your primary sensor and other that aids it in discrimination. You have to build a hierarchy in there. Without it this concept won't work technically. Doing that on a 5", 6" or 7" missile is not currently technologically limiting. Also RF/IIR is not the only game in town. Multi-Band ESA's have shown promise and the USAF has flight tested a couple as they've advanced that capability through the maturity levels.
Last edited by brar_w on 03 Apr 2020 01:27, edited 6 times in total.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Apr 2020 03:42

Lockheed Martin gets contract to build Bulgarian F-16 Block 70's :

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Ft. Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $512,004,418 firm-fixed-price contract for F-16 Block 70 production for the Republic of Bulgaria. This contract value includes $4,185,516 of pre-priced options. This contract provides for the production of eight F-16 Block 70 aircraft. Work will be completed in Ft. Worth, Texas; and Greenville, South Carolina, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2027. This contract award is 100% funded via foreign military sales (FMS) to the Republic of Bulgaria and is the result of a Bulgarian country-conducted competition. FMS funds in the amount of $507,818,902 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8615-20-C-6051).

LINK

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Apr 2020 21:50

Big change in the global Aerospace and Defense Industry.

Right now RTX has a larger market cap. than Boeing..

Raytheon Technologies Corp. begins trading on NYSE


WASHINGTON — Less than a year after announcing plans to combine into a $121 billion company, Raytheon and United Technologies are officially no more – replaced by the combined entity Raytheon Technologies Corp., which kicked off trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Listed under the ticker RTX, Raytheon Technologies began selling at $51 a share. With more than 866 million shares outstanding and a market cap of $74.5 billion, that price is bound to shift in coming days, weeks and months. To put it in perspective, Raytheon closed Thursday at $122.43 a share, and UTC closed at $91.37.

With the merger, UTC shareholders owned 57 percent of Raytheon Technologies and UTC will control eight of the 15 board seats. Tom Kennedy will serve as executive chairman, Greg Hayes as CEO, and Toby O’Brien as chief financial officer.

Planned divestitures will be completed post merger, though United Technologies did complete the spinoff of HVAC, refrigeration, fire and security solutions company Carrier Global Corp., as well as elevator and escalator manufacturer Otis Worldwide Corp. Both are now trading on the S&P 500.

Amid the stock market fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Raytheon saw a bigger drop than most pure-play companies, likely due to the increased exposure to commercial that will come with its United Technologies merger. That could be short-lived, however, sais Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners, in an interview with Defense News.

“Raytheon has been the worst performing stock [during the crisis] because they got tied into commercial aerospace through the merger," he said. “But going forward that may be the most interesting [stock] of all because there will be a degree of balance.”


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby kit » 04 Apr 2020 01:20

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopters/ah-64e-explores-maritime-attack-role-in-arabian-gulf/137688.article

The Apaches, in coordination with our surface ships, allow us to hold an adversary at high risk at extended ranges. Combined with other joint fires, these aircraft significantly increase the precision lethality of our joint maritime forces.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 04 Apr 2020 01:45

A nice compare and contrast to the F-16/18 production processes that date back decades


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby arvin » 04 Apr 2020 09:30

brar_w wrote:A nice compare and contrast to the F-16/18 production processes that date back decades



Wow. Very innovative to use Liquid nitrogen cooling for drill bits instead of lubricating oil.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 04 Apr 2020 23:13

Saudi Advanced Eagle (F-15SA) pictures from Ahmed Hader -

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Prasad » 05 Apr 2020 00:17

2 LDPs?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 05 Apr 2020 00:22

There’s a LWIR IRST, Sniper ATP (both A2A and A2G modes) and a LANTIRN navigation pod. The USAF-ANG's F-15EX's will carry a next gen. IRST sensor with organic computing (Legion pod), along with the Sniper and AN/ASQ-236 Ku-band AESA (SAR) pod when kitted for strike.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Philip » 05 Apr 2020 06:36

Has anyone access to the recent AWST articleon whether the F-35A programme will survive?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 05 Apr 2020 06:38

Philip wrote:Has anyone access to the recent AWST articleon whether the F-35A programme will survive?


Yeah I read it. It says that the F-35 program is going to be shut down. Orders have dried up as no one is buying it. The final nail in the coffin was how well the Kalibr did in Syria and the fact that MiG-29's are being sold by the hundreds for $15 million a pop. :lol:

On a more serious note, scroll through this thread, you'll find it posted in its entirety

Meanwhile (from 2 days ago)

LM awarded nearly USD5 billion in F-35 contracts, Belgium formally bought into programme


The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Lockheed Martin nearly USD5 billion in contracts related to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), including one that formally introduces Belgium into the multinational programme.

The three contracts announced on 31 March were valued at USD4.7 billion, USD202.8 million, and USD22.9 million, bringing the total value of the work awarded by the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) contracting authority to USD4.96 billion.

The largest of the awards is a modification that covers the procurement of 78 F-35s, comprising 48 F-35A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) aircraft for the US Air Force (USAF), 14 F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps (USMC), 16 F-35C carrier variant (CV) aircraft for the US Navy (USN). Work will be performed primarily in Fort Worth, Texas, and is set to complete by March 2023.

The second USD202.8 million award announced on 31 March is for the continuation of F-35 development work at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California, Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, Fort Worth in Texas, and Orlando in Florida. "This contract action also provides unique sea trials on aircraft carriers for non-DoD participants," the notification said. Work is expected to be complete by September.

Finally, a USD22.9 million award was made to formally bring Belgium into the programme. "This is part of the government of Belgium's USD5.1 billion agreement with the US government for the procurement of the F-35 air system," the notification said, adding that work is expected to be complete by September 2023. Belgium is the latest JSF customer, with 34 F-35As to be delivered between 2023 and 2030.


This is the free version. IF you are a Jane's subscriber there are other important nuggets in there regarding the future.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 06 Apr 2020 19:32

I've been re-reading given all the extra at home time these days. Here's an interesting timeline of the YF-23 (1 & 2) flight testing (all in 1990).
In total, the YF-23A flew 65 flight hours over 50 sorties at a rate of roughly 3 sorties a week. Out of this 16 sorties (22 hours) was with the YF-120 engine while the remaining was with the P&W YF-119 engine. Maximum altitude was 50K feet, max supercruise demonstrated was Mach 1.6, the YF-120 equipped Mach 2.0+ mission was scrapped because the program had enough data to attribute that to Northrop without a demonstration. Similarly, Northrop did not demonstrate 60 degrees sustained AoA but provided data to the program in support of their claim that they could. They demonstrated 25 degree sustained AoA.

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And the same timeline for the YF-22A

As the chart demonstrates, Lockheed just had way more experience in developing prototypes with higher maturity and reliability. They flew more, more often and not only completed their requirement but added additional demVal demonstrations to it (like weapons launch). They ended up taking 2 fewer weeks to do all that compared to Northrop. They completed the program with both AIM-9 and AIM-120 launch demonstrations, and super cruise of Mach 1.58 and 60 degree sustained AoA.

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Here's the picture of the URR AESA Radar prototype which was flight tested as a proof-of-concept for the eventual AN/APG-77 baseline radar. It flew between 1986 and 1988 IIRC.

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Hard to imagine this was nearly 30 years ago.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Apr 2020 22:57

Red Hawk jet passes CDR for ground-based training elements


Boeing and the US Air Force (USAF) have successfully concluded the critical design review (CDR) for the ground-based elements of the T-7A Red Hawk jet trainer, it was disclosed on 6 April.

The T-7A Ground Based Training Systems (GBTS) CDR was a five-day conclusion to 18 months of development work on the systems, and its completion paves the way for manufacturing to begin on the ground-based elements of the USAF's aircrew training system, Boeing told Jane's .

"The review analysed the T-7A's ability to conduct live, virtual and constructive training exercises, through dynamic motion-enabled trainer cockpits; high-resolution projection systems; digital debrief stations and simulated avionics as well as egress training that will better prepare pilots for escaping an aircraft during an emergency," Boeing said.

As the manufacturer noted, the CDR was held virtually between the Air Force System Program Office (SPO) out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB) in Ohio, and the Boeing T-7A Red Hawk programme office in St Louis, Missouri. The Air Force Air Education Training Command (AETC) at Edwards AFB in California, Headquarters Air Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Defense Contracting Management Agency also participated.

Developed in partnership with Saab, the Red Hawk was selected under the T-X Advanced Pilot Training Program (ATP) to replace the USAF's Northrop T-38 Talon that has been in service since the 1960s.

With two Production Representative Jets (PRJs) currently flying out of St Louis, more than 160 developmental test flights have been accrued to date. In addition to the pair of PRJs, the current engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the contract covers the five further aircraft and seven simulators. Previously, Boeing's partner, Saab, declined to say when the first EMD aircraft will fly, noting that "this is very sensitive information for the USAF".


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 09 Apr 2020 03:29

Boeing’s Loyal Wingman Program Achieves ‘Weight on Wheels’ Milestone


Boeing [NYSE: BA] Australia recently achieved two more milestones on the Royal Australian Air Force’s Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program: weight on wheels and aircraft power on.

The development milestones for the unmanned aircraft come just weeks after completion of the first fuselage, allowing for rapid progress on systems installation and functional and integration testing from the aircraft’s own landing gear.

“We’re continuing at pace toward our goal of flying later this year, so that we can show our customer and the world what unmanned capability like this can do,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, program director of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. “The strong contributions from our industry team are powering our progress.”


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Apr 2020 01:43

Stratolaunch Unveils Updated Hypersonic Design Details

Reborn Stratolaunch—the Mojave, California-based developer of the giant carrier aircraft originally designed for air-launching medium-class rockets—has released new details of the revised hypersonic flying testbed designs it aims to develop as a key element of its plan to turn the unique vehicle into a platform for supporting high-speed testing.

Having first emerged in late 2018 under the leadership of Stratolaunch founder the late Paul Allen, the repurposing strategy toward hypersonic test continues as the central pillar of the company’s business plan under its new owner, Cerberus Capital, which acquired the project in 2019. The launch aircraft, which made its first, and so far only, flight in April 2019 is being prepared for the resumption of flight tests later this fall. Stratolaunch believes the 500,000-lb. lifting capacity of the carrier aircraft makes it ideally suited to support the growing needs of the U.S. defense industry for reliable access to Mach 5-plus test conditions. Although other development payloads such as air-launched hypersonic weapons could conceivably be dropped from the Stratolaunch, the company’s main focus is the provision of dedicated test vehicles that could support a wide range of high-speed research and technology experiments.

The initial flying testbed, Talon-A, is a fully reusable, autonomous, liquid rocket-powered vehicle targeted at flight speeds up to Mach 6. Derived directly from the Hyper-A concept unveiled two years ago, the sharply swept delta-wing aircraft shares the same 28-ft. length and 11.3-ft. wingspan but is now configured with a single vertical tailfin in place of the wingtip-mounted canted fins on the original design. Launch weight similarly remains at around 6,000 lb., and as before, the vehicle will be capable of recovering for an autonomous horizontal landing as well as taking off horizontally under its own power.

Updated renditions indicate up to three Talon-A vehicles could be carried aloft beneath the Stratolaunch carrier aircraft, using a version of the pylon-adapter configuration originally developed for launching smaller rockets. These include the Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL, which was intended to prove the platform’s initial air launch capability. Stratolaunch says missions with single-aircraft drops are due to start in 2023 and adds that follow-on near-simultaneous, multiple-launch capability “may support specific operational scenarios.”

Stratolaunch will also offer another vehicle, the Talon-Z. Like the original Hyper-Z, this will be a basic, scaled-up version of the Talon-A. Although no details of the updated vehicle have been provided, a new rendition also indicates a single fuselage-mounted vertical fin in place of the Hyper-Z’s wingtip-mounted fins. Under Stratolaunch’s original plan, the follow-on derivative was to be significantly larger, with an overall length of 80 ft. and a 36-ft. wingspan.

The more capable Z version is expected to target test conditions up to Mach 10 and, with an all-up weight of 65,000 lb., will offer longer-duration flights that could potentially see the vehicle boost to 500,000 ft. altitude and cover ranges up to about 800 nm. Stratolaunch is not discussing a timeline for the second vehicle, but under its original plan, estimated tests of the follow-on derivative could come within five years of the A model. Under the latest schedule, this could mean Talon-Z will make its test debut by around 2028.

The two vehicles will be able to carry both internal and external payloads, the latter including bolt-on propulsion or flow-path experiments as well as finlike structures for boundary-layer transition and other investigations. The company’s new Talon-A graphic shows a variety of internal and external locations for experiments, including self-contained volumes in the nose and midfuselage with standardized interfaces for power for smaller tests. Additional experimentation zones will be sited on the wing leading edge as well as the belly area, where inlets and flow-path tests will take place.

Initial design of the Talon appears to be relatively well-advanced based on preliminary work already conducted by the Paul Allen-owned company. A 3.5-ft.-long model of the original concept was tested in 2018 in the 4 X 4-ft. subsonic wind tunnel at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, which provided initial data on characteristics for approach and landing. It is unknown whether a series of follow-on high-speed tests scheduled to take place at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s trisonic facility in late 2018 and early 2019 were conducted as planned.

Stratolaunch is also officially resurrecting the longer-term Black Ice spaceplane project, which will build on the Talon design to offer an air-launched space-shuttle-like capability to orbit. The concept, which also emerged in 2018, would be a “fully reusable spaceplane that enables advanced on-orbit capabilities and cargo return,” the company says.

In terms of powering the Talon and follow-on vehicles, Stratolaunch “is working with engine providers to procure the rocket engine,” the company says. “We will disclose our engine provider when we have more news to share.” Longer term, the company also appears to be holding the door open to resurrecting the development of the PGA liquid rocket engine to power the new vehicle family.

In January 2019, Stratolaunch announced it was abandoning development of a proposed space launch vehicle that would also have been powered by the PGA engine. At the time, preliminary development of the engine was progressing at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Commenting on the possibility of restarting the PGA program, Stratolaunch says only that “long-term development plans will be disclosed at a later date.”



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Multiple Talon-As (inset) could be carried by Stratolaunch, pictured with future concepts Talon-Z (left) and Black Ice (right). Credit: Stratolaunch Concepts

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Apr 2020 23:04

Gyan wrote:As per NASA studies on F-16XL, FBW Delta wing has 40% more range (compared to F-16, inspite of being big and (allegedly) draggy).

Refer:-

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/file ... flight.pdf...


Even though USAF rejected F-16XL because they did not want to give up sustained turn rate (among other reasons, like they may have wanted twin engines) but Note:- they did not use F-16 but had to go in for much bigger aircraft ie F-15 with almost 3x the engine power of F-16 (relative to the weight of aircraft)




The F-16XL was a POC for a very different platform with very different requirements, and not purely a better F-16. It also had an interesting and winding road to the eventual competition with the Eagle family. A more apples to apples comparison would have to be more with Lockheed's F-16 U design (which leveraged GD's work on the ATF) which almost secured a customer in the UAE and was about 20-25% heavier compared to the baseline F-16C.

Having spoken to a few F-15E drivers over the years, one of the reasons they cite as to why the F-15E was chosen was the fact that the USAF had, at the time, a number of very heavy weapons, in development, that it intended for this platform to carry. Also, there were industrial base concerns along with other performance related metrics. Certainly the F-16 XL would have knocked the socks out of the F-15E if evaluated on a purely cost-capability spectrum (i.e. at what cost do each platform deliver 80-90% of the requirements). But that would have entailed trading a bit of range and payload for affordability and also taking a LOT more upfront risk given how far the F-16XL deviated from the F-16 relative to the F-15E to its parent design.. I somehow seriously doubt that the sustained turn rate (compared to the F-16) would have made a heck of a lot of difference in the evaluation given how strike oriented this decision was. Maturity of the proposal, future considerations including range/payload performance with undisclosed weapons, and industrial base concerns were probably higher up.

F-16 U

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GD ATF proposal. It didn't make the cut. [One of the reasons GD eventually failed and was rolled into Lockheed's fighter division was the fact that they had virtually no experience or even insight into what LO/VLO related activity was taking place. Lockheed and Northrop had huge advantage there and it showed over and over again for a decade plus of R&D and operational aircraft programs].

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Interestingly, Post Lockheed's acquisition of General Dynamics fighter jet business, the delta surfaced again, though for a brief moment, in Lockheed's pitch to NASA/USAF to study a tailless F-22 derived strike aircraft with no movable control surfaces and where Multi-Axis thrust vectoring providing all the maneuverability.

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Had the F-22 program not been shut down, a delta winged FB-22 would have likely replaced F-15E's by now.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 12 Apr 2020 22:21




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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 14 Apr 2020 00:58

USAF release pictures of current F-35A flight ops over Syria. Interestingly, even over a conflict zone they have the Luneburg lens installed.

Special Ops Joint Task Force-OIR (Iraq/Syria)
@SOJTFOIR
A USAF F-35A Lightning II fighter jet flies near the #ATG in Syria, April 10, 2020. Coalition and partner forces continue to strike at extremist organizations in Syria despite COVID-19, reflecting the world-wide unity to see an enduring defeat delivered against Daesh LINK


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby somdev » 14 Apr 2020 01:26

After a gap of 10 years without any maritime capability (with Nimrod gone) RAF has declared IOC for the first Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1

https://www.janes.com/article/95340/uk-declares-ioc-for-poseidon-mma

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Last edited by somdev on 14 Apr 2020 03:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 14 Apr 2020 02:31

Between the E-7, and the P-8 they have a pretty serious fully networked and interoperable ISR and AEW capability. If they add the AGS to a subset of their P-8 fleet, then they'll have pretty much covered the entire spectrum of the AEW, GMTI, and ASW mission with just one platform family and a fairly small number of total aircraft which can be kept at high readiness. There is really no need to keep the Sentinels at this point. The Loyal Wingman partnership with Boeing and Australia is probably aimed at creating a force multiplier ISR/EW system for these.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 14 Apr 2020 03:04

What's that huge pod under the P-8's fuselage? AGS? Got more info on what it does?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 14 Apr 2020 03:05

Boeing Australia advances Loyal Wingman development

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Boeing Australia's first Loyal Wingman unmanned aircraft prototype has stood on its own wheels and powered up its electrical system for the first time, the company announced on 8 April.

The latest development milestones follow the assembly of the first aircraft's fuselage structure in February and will lead to further systems installation and functional and integration testing from the aircraft's own landing gear.

The unmanned aircraft is one of three prototypes that are being developed as a part of the Loyal Wingman-Advanced Development Programme - also known as the Boeing Airpower Teaming System (ATS) - in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

"The weight on wheels milestone is when the main fuselage sits on its wheels for the first time," Dr Shane Arnott, programme director of the Boeing ATS, told Jane's in an emailed statement. "Power [has also been] turned on through the vehicle electrical distribution system which supports start of factory acceptance testing.

"The milestones allow for rapid progress on systems installation and functional and integration testing from the aircraft's own landing gear," he added.

"Following factory acceptance of the aircraft, it will go into taxi testing in advance of first flight, which will take place in 2020 in Australia - beyond that, we're not offering specific dates or the locations of the flight," Dr Arnott explained. "However, we know an aircraft of this type must be designed for rapid production and testing, and we've done just that."

The first prototype will also provide key lessons towards production of the ATS, which Boeing Australia is developing for the global defence market. It is envisioned that prospective operators will be able to tailor ATS sensors and systems to meet their specific requirements.

Jane's earlier reported that more than 20 companies are supporting Boeing Australia in this effort, with design, development, and manufacturing of the prototypes being carried out across three undisclosed Australian states, although Boeing declined to name specific locations.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 14 Apr 2020 03:17

Kartik wrote:What's that huge pod under the P-8's fuselage? AGS? Got more info on what it does?


The picture shows a USN P-8 with the AN/APS-149 AESA radar which was developed for the P-3 but has been upgraded and brought into the P-8 fold. It is a SAR/GMTI sensor for littoral and land based use and is removable so that sensors can be rotated on deployments. The P-8 Air to Ground Sensor (AGS) was/is a Boeing proposal to incorporate the AN/APS-149 variant that is even more optimized for the land based SAR/GMTI mission. In fact two variants have been proposed by Boeing over the years. One just as is - P8+APS-149 and one with Raytheon's Archimedes radar which is an X band GaN AESA radar specificly designed for the, now cancelled, JSTARS replacement and heavily based on the APS-149. While the JSTAR was cancelled the radar programs (though the USAF selected Northrop's dual band (X/Ku) GaN AESA) live under the RadarONE effort. Both the Archimedes and Northrop's Vanguard were matured by the USAF and both flew over a dozen flights during their evaluation. In fact both are on offer for the US Army's JSTAR like aircraft capability..

The AAS is a bit controversial on the P-3 and P-8 communities as many of the ASW purists think that having a sizable inventory of these pods really incentivizes them to be tasked for littoral or land based SAR/GMTI missions, taking away from their main ASW role and diluting training for it given that you only have finite number aircraft or simulator time and most crews would want to train to hunt subs given how vital that mission is.

But for a user like the UK which has a limited number of platforms, buying just a few sensors (for the existing P-8''s) could allow them to divest from one platform like the Sentinel (and all the OPEX and sustainment/upgrade costs associated with maintaining it) and have no significant loss in overall capability (and they may perhaps grow their capability given that the APS-149 and P-8 can process data organically while the other platform pipes it out).

Boeing P-8A Begins Advanced Airborne Sensor Testing


The AN/APS-149's parent sensor is the LSR first introduced in the mid-late 2000's. They've upgraded a few components to make use the other capabilities on the P-8 (like more processing etc).

Flight International published an article in August 2007 in which it announced new details of the US Navy’s Littoral Surveillance Radar
System (LSRS), which appeared by name only in a handful of official documents, but was never detailed.

LSRS is described in Flight magazine as a product of an industry team including Boeing, Raytheon, and L-3 Communications, with
Boeing serving as the systems integrator. Raytheon supplies the previously undisclosed APS-149 sensor and L-3 Communications is
providing maintenance and systems support. In 2007 the team had delivered seven LSRS units to the US Navy. The supplemental war
budget for 2008 included funding for five additional LSRS radars which should be fielded in 18 to 24 months, with subsequent systems
coming online every few months after that.

In January 2009 more details became available, thanks to an article about the MMA on the navlog.org website:
”A US Navy radar developed in secrecy for tracking targets at sea, has been playing an important role on land because of its ability to
track objects smaller than trucks or cars. One knowledgeable official says the radar is one of the “groundbreaking” insurgent-hunting
technologies referred to, though not by name, in Bob Woodward’s latest book, “The War Within”. Since the publication in August 2007,
the official designation of the Littoral Surveillance Radar System (LSRS) pod has become known as AN/APS-149.


The LSRS, was “born black” and was developed as a “deeply, deeply classified system”, according to a knowledgeable official who was
not authorized to speak for the program. LSRS operates from P-3C Orions and can be used to track targets on land or sea and to provide
images of those targets to intelligence analysts and commanders.

The core secret of LSRS is its fidelity. Other airborne radars, including the Army-Air Force Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar
System (E-8 J-STARS) aircraft, can track cars and trucks through clouds and at night. Because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the
Pentagon pushed the US defence industry to develop radars capable of detecting and tracking people.


LSRS is conceptually similar to J-STARS. It is a wide-aperture active electronically-scanned array (AESA) surveillance radar. AESA
radars are solid-state, without moving parts, and include thousands of transmitter/receivers that track a high number of targets at one time.
It is the kind of radar that can track and target land and maritime targets, both stationary and moving. Besides the AESA radar, LSRS
also includes data storage, display, and control hardware. The system has been used in demonstrations to cue a Boeing AGM-84K
SLAM-ER to strike a simulated launcher for an Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missile on June 1st, 2006. On September 13th, 2006 Boeing’s
SLAM-ER weapon system scored a direct hit against a moving, remotely-controlled land target during a recent flight test at the Naval
Air Warfare Center, China Lake, Ca. For this test, a Littoral Surveillance Radar System-equipped aircraft (probably an Orion) sent
real-time targeting data to an F/A-18 Hornet, which relayed the data to the SLAM-ER after the weapon’s launch. The SLAM-ER acquired
and impacted a simulated SA-10 missile launcher in a desert environment.


Officially the US Navy began funding work on LSRS in the mid-1990s, inspired by the success of the J-STARS aircraft in the 1991
Persian Gulf War. Mind you, Orions with similar pods were already seen in 1978! As its name implies, LSRS was originally designed
for monitoring vessels on near-shore littoral waters, but the military pressed it into service in Iraq in 2005. The Navy did not start flying
LSRS radars over the water until 2007. Before the Navy started publicly acknowledging details of LSRS, the LSRS “Advanced Sensor
Technology Team” won a Department of Defence award for “innovative acquisition management techniques.” on October 4, 2006.
To operate the LSRS system the P-3C BMUP version of the Orion was selected. Twenty-five US Navy Orions have been modified to
BMUP standard, but only 16 P-3C BMUP’s can operate the LSRS. Altogether, these sixteen Orions had accumulated more than 2800
hours in flight as of February 2007, according to a released government document.

LINK


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 14 Apr 2020 19:57

Boeing’s F-15 Qatar Advanced Jet Completes Successful First Flight


The F-15QA brings to its operators next-generation technologies such as fly-by-wire flight controls, digital cockpit; modernized sensors, radar, and electronic warfare capabilities; and the world's fastest mission computer. Increases in reliability, sustainability and maintainability allow defense operators to affordably remain ahead of current and evolving threats.

Through investments in the F-15QA platform and partnership with the U.S. Air Force, Boeing is now preparing to build a domestic variant of the advanced fighter, the F-15EX. F-15EX became a program of record for the Air Force when the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020 was signed on Dec. 30, 2019. In January, the Air Force issued public notifications of its intent to award sole-source a contract to Boeing for eight jets. Future plans call for as many as 144 aircraft.


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F-15QA differs from the F-15SA in that it has the new digital cockpit and the USAF developed ADCP mission computer. The USAF's F-15 EX will differ from the F-15QA in that it will have the AN/APG-82 radar, the EPAWSS EW suite instead of the DEWS, and the USAF specific CID and crypto enhancements. P&W is protesting the sole source engine award (plan) to GE so the USAF may be forced to compete engines which could make the EX different from both the SA and QA and other advanced Strike Eagle variants.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 15 Apr 2020 04:00

Nice! Should probably be cross-posted in the MRCA thread as well, given this is likely the same build standard that will be offered by Boeing to India. BTW, I recall from an article in Boeing Frontiers magazine a long long time ago, that the F-15 was one of the most man-power intensive fighters to build of all the fighters built. Can't recall the numbers quoted, but it was good to see that Boeing is addressing that issue with the new F-15 models.

Some more details from FG

First F-15QA fighter flown for Qatar

Boeing has conducted a 90min first flight with Qatar’s lead F-15QA fighter, describing the model as “the most advanced version” of the twin-engined type ever manufactured.

The Qatar Emiri Air Force will receive 36 F-15QAs from next year under a $6.2 billion contract awarded in 2017. Boeing also is to provide training for aircrew and maintenance personnel under a separate deal signed last year.

Conducted from Lambert International airport in St. Louis, Missouri, the debut sortie included a vertical “Viking” take-off and handling manoeuvres including 9g turns.


“Checks of systems such as avionics and radar were also successful”, Boeing says, noting that the fighter “performed as planned”.

“This successful first flight is an important milestone that brings our squadrons one step closer to flying this incredible aircraft over the skies of Qatar,” says Colonel Ahmed Al Mansoori, commander of the Gulf nation’s F-15 Wing.

Pointing to the Qatari model’s claimed “best-in-class range and payload”, Boeing F-15 programme manager Prat Kumar says: “The advanced F-15QA not only offers game changing capabilities, but is also built using advanced processes which make the jet more efficient to manufacture.”

Boeing says this process has supported its development of an F-15EX variant being offered to the US Air Force.
The service could acquire up to 144 of the type as replacements for aged C/D-model fighters, with an initial procurement expected to be for eight examples.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 15 Apr 2020 05:13

Kartik wrote:Nice! Should probably be cross-posted in the MRCA thread as well, given this is likely the same build standard that will be offered by Boeing to India. BTW, I recall from an article in Boeing Frontiers magazine a long long time ago, that the F-15 was one of the most man-power intensive fighters to build of all the fighters built. Can't recall the numbers quoted, but it was good to see that Boeing is addressing that issue with the new F-15 models.

Some more details from FG
....


Back during the LRS-B program Boeing took the lead over Lockheed which surprised many given the former's relatively minor experience with VLO platforms and the latter's 3 decade long experience with operational stealth platforms. Besides classified and non-classified VLO investment made by Boeing, one of the reasons was that Boeing Defense had validated its advanced digital design and other manufacturing processes (code named "Black Diamond") under various AFRL run efforts and was ahead of the curve on the LRS-B (turns out that there was strong indication that Northrop did that too) as Lockheed was just getting started with its AFRL sponsored advanced design and mfg. demonstrations (Lockheed is still working on some of the final stages of those).

While they lost, much of the design and mfg advances made and validated during the LRS-B (there were acknowledged component level manufacturing involved on that program - and who knows full prototypes could have flown as well) lived on under other efforts and programs.

They were used to design and build the T-X, MQ-25 and bringing these digital modeling and design tools to the F-15EX is a stated program goal for Boeing (this could have been applied gradually between the F-15 SA and QA as well). The same with advanced manufacturing. Specifically on the F-15E (QA and EX) production, Boeing claims that it has reduced manpower required for the wings by about 70%. The digitization also enables very rapid upgrades (relative to their legacy process) for both designing changes and how they are introduced into the production process. So while they lost the LRS-B, some of what they developed is helping them immensely on other defense programs including these public ones and others that are ongoing but not yet recognized.

Here's a video of the first flight.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 16 Apr 2020 02:36

Moving this here from the AMCA Thread :

nachiket wrote:Would that be because some of those requirements were not found to be particularly essential or important? Considering that the USAF will operate 1700+ F-35's and only 180 F-22's


Yeah partly that. The F-35 was designed with cost as an independent variable and with a goal to produce a design that at rate production cost less than 1/2 the amount the F-22 was expected to cost at its rate production. 2 of the three US operators wanted a single engine figther (USAF for logistical footprint commonality with F-16 and USMC/UK for STOVL). The design closely matches that though the USN was able to persuade the Pentagon to add additional capability (which made the aircraft larger and more capable) which added some cost to the F-35 design but the ovreall cost ratio (2:1) stands mostly true. The USAF F-22A fleet is just an insurance policy that a wing's worth of deployable aircraft provides them. It was all they could justify given the SU collapse and the type of warfare needs of Iraq. I expect the USAF will be quick to the retire the F-22's as soon as the NGAD is ready. I don't see them holding on to such a small fleet like they did with the F-15C's.

The program, and each OEM proposing designs, were expected to very heavily analyze (and validate) what drives unit cost and then develop a trade space that allowed effective combinations of attributes to be traded away to bring the cost to the levels that allowed fielding a large fleet. Everything from dB/RCS reduction, speed (reheat and dry), rate performance, and range/payload were looked at. Boeing and Lockheed optimized their proposals differently but the JSF requirements traded a significant portion of the F-22 envelope for affordability. For example, the F-35A's top speed at full AB is less than the raptor's supercruise speed at 40K ft altitude. Same for sustained and instantanous rate performance. It is much below what the F-22 does. In fact the requirements for manuverability for the program landed somewhere in between the F-16 and F-18 while the F-22A/ATF requirements were unlike anything the USAF had operated before.

The F-35 is a step ahead of the F-22 in avionics, mission systems/sensors and its use of technology and fusion.It does not compromise there. In fact there is technology flow that has happened (and continues to happen) form the F-35 program back to the F-22 program. Same with range/payload (f-35 has better subsonic radius compared to F-22) and for RCS. In fact a much smaller supersonic footprint meant that advances in wideband RAM were incorporated (FiberMat) which would have been problematic had the program had ATF like speed requirements. But it trades performance at the extremes of the envelope because those were/are huge cost drivers. This true for speed/altitude and also for performance.

nachiket wrote:I'll keep it simple, what mission can the F-22 perform because of its TVC that the F-35 cannot?


Equating mission (or even mission effectiveness) to one particular design attribute is not really that great of a way to analyze things IMHO. It fits into the overall design and TVC is an important factor why the F-22A exceeds its performance (in areas) especially while executing its OCA mission at some of the operating altitudes it operates in. Same for its sustained high AOA performance.

nachiket wrote:And for most of the F-35 customers outside the US, that will be their "tip-of-the-spear" so to speak, the most advanced aircraft in their inventory for the next few decades at least, considering that none of them have access to the F-22.


Yes and most customers also used the F-16 when the F-15 was available. It would be more than adequate particularly due to its other attributes. But there are many missions where the F-22A is going to be miles more effective than the F-35A. Of course this doesn't mean the F-35 won't do those or in fact do them well..but it will have to be used differently. I remember reading an analysis where about 30-40% more F-35A's will be needed to cover a given area patrolled by the F-22's. That's fine and an adequate number of F-35A's will do that mission well but there are collective design trades made which make it inferior to the F-22A in the missions the F-22A does really well. That everyone knew going in.

nachiket wrote:AMCA will be expected to perform a similar role for the IAF and needs to be procured in numbers. It is not supposed to be an F-22 like silver bullet.


TVC by itself isn't a very significant cost driver. My point was that TVC has a lot of value in modern and future aircraft designs. While the focus in the past has been on post-stall maneuverability aided by it, other benefits will continue to make the technology attractive especially as RCS and low observability requirements get more and more complex. In fact, I would consider it even more valuable for future designs than it has been as a tool available to current designs during their development stage. In fact had NASA/USAF sanctioned the X-44, Lockheed would have demonstrated a very significant leap in RCS reduction (it had no moveable aerodynamic surfaces) for a heavy strike fighter. It is pretty safe to assume that more advanced designs (to the late 90's/ early 2000's X44) are being developed or flown right now and TVC will be a very attractive way for them to achieve what are likely to be the strictest RCS measures ever put on a strike fighter. It's as relevant (if not more) a tool for future designs as it was for current or older ones.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby somdev » 16 Apr 2020 20:48

Su 57 crash

Russia’s first production stealth fighter slammed into an unpopulated area and exploded—just a few days before it was due to be formerly delivered into Russian military service

Image

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... hed-112906

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2020 00:27

Signs of desperation (with the lockdown) that I clicked a NI link and true to form they hired someone with a background in conflict resolution to comment on the current and future state of the SU-57. I guess TIME doesn't lease out Trevithick anymore.

Here's my 2 cents - The crash, while highly publicized, is likely not the most pressing worry.

Fighter recapitalization is a once in 2-3 decade event and as such it is a pretty big hill to climb. While 99% of the focus is on the platform it is, in reality, an enterprise wide event. So you need to have multiple elements, some of which are A) a mature platform, B ) a sizable cohort of trained pilots and maintainers, C) A working relationship that transitions the program from the test team to the operator community and establishes a feedback process whereby operational feedback informs iterative improvements, D) introduce the platform to your tactics development and eventually into your advanced training schools E) Ensure that the entprise is deployable and sustainable in accordance with your O plans. Only once all, or most, of these things happen can you claim that you have crossed the hump and the major obstacles in fighter aircraft recapitalization. These data vary by platform, service, operator and doctrine but usually you want to cross most if not all of these by the time you have 15-20% of the planned fleet bedded down.

Point A is quite important and also referenced in the podcast on the F-35 where the pilot commented that around 2013-2014 the team was just playing catch up mission-system and fusion stability. It wasn't till 2015 (just a few months from IOC) that they finally turned the corner on stability and began incorporating planned improvements and those being suggested by the ITF. It took a couple of years still after that for the F-35 to develop a more robust operator led feedback loop that guided and prioritized improvements and capability. That happened around 2017 when Hill AFB and the first F-35A wing had built up a critical mass of aircraft and had a couple of large force exercises under their belt. As of this month, there are 1,000 worldwide operational and test pilots on the F-35. It was a long road to get there.

So if the Russian Air Force plans to replace 300-400 Flankers with the SU-57 (and eventually most if not all) then you can expect that ENTERPRISE wide maturity can be expected around the time they field 50-60 aircraft which will allow them to rotate these to operational squadrons, test schools, and to have a process whereby the team is done fielding a baseline and is listening to what's coming back from operational crews, in terms of feedback, and incorporating that into their plans. Programmatic and budgetary delays, independent of this one event, and other fiscal realities means that this threshold capability (60 or so aircraft) is unlikely to be built up before 2026-2027 time-frame (assuming no further delays). Maybe a little beyond that. Could this be accelerated? Yes, with larger budgets and faster acquisition, and training they could build up an inventory and train crews faster. Export orders could also accelerate the process. However, based on information shared by Russian officials the plans are now to field about 70-80 aircraft by 2028 which just means that the entire production and operationalization program has shifted to the right in a SIGNIFICANT way. Given that, the crash is a relative minor deviation in that IMHO.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Mollick.R » 17 Apr 2020 00:36

This Man Owns The World's Most Advanced Private Air Force After Buying 46 F/A-18 Hornets

BY TYLER ROGOWAY APRIL 9, 2020

For the last 30 years, Don Kirlin has been flying for the airlines, working on real estate deals, setting up the world's biggest skydiving meets, and building a private air force the likes of which even he has a hard time believing is possible. Just last month, The War Zone was among the first to report that his company would be purchasing multiple squadrons worth of surplus Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornets to be used in the contractor adversary air support role here in the United States. In that role, they would primarily fly against U.S. military fighter pilots, replicating aerial threats from potential enemy nations. So basically, they are bad guys for hire, but strictly for training and development work.
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but we talked at length with the entrepreneur owner of Air USA, located in Quincy, Illinois, about his company's past and what is turning into a remarkable, if not downright historic, future.
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.Don Kirlin imported his first foreign military jet, and L-39 Albatross, in 1994, at a time when doing so was an extremely complex and convoluted affair full of pitfalls and unknowns. Since then, he has repeated the process dozens of times over and was the first owner of a private MiG-29 Fulcrum in the United States, among a long list of other exotic flying firsts. He now holds eight licenses with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), allowing him to own military machine guns and cannons, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition to fire through them.

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In the early 2000s, he joined forces with the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), which was blazing a trail with their contracts with the Navy to supply fast jet targets and electronic warfare pod toting adversaries that mimic everything from enemy cruise missiles to fighters for Navy and Marine fighter aircraft and Navy surface combatants to train against.
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During those early years, Air USA worked as a subcontractor for ATAC, flying the vast majority of the contracted subsonic adversary support flight hours. So, Kirlin and his company's experience in what is now an exploding adversary support marketplace dates back to its very genesis.
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Enter the most spectacular private aircraft purchase of all time—Air USA's acquisition of all of the Royal Australian Air Force's remaining F/A-18A/B Hornets. Canada had bought 25 prior to this deal going through. The jets Air USA is slated to receive, 46 in total, of which 36 are flying today,.
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the purchase does include all of the RAAF's F/A-18 spare parts inventory and test equipment, valued at over a billion dollars alone, according to Kirlin. Those parts will be incredibly valuable as Air USA is planning on putting every single airframe it receives back into service—not just the 36 aircraft that are flyable today, but the other 10 that are not, as well. .
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.The RAAF spent a lot of money keeping its legacy Hornet fleet relevant until replacements arrived. One of the most important capabilities the jets come with is the bolt-on Elta EL-L/8222 (license-built in the U.S. under the L3Harris Advanced Capability Pod name) electronic warfare pod.

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All of Air USA's secondhand Hornets feature the AN/APG-73 radar—the same one that is found on the F/A-18C/D and early F/A-18E/F Super Hornets—that differs from the less capable AN/APG-65 radar the A/B Hornet was originally equipped with. The AN/APG-73 remains a very capable radar set and is largely superior to anything else on the adversary market at this time.
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The jets also come with their Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-28 LITENING advanced targeting pods, which are hugely capable in the air-to-ground targeting and non-traditional reconnaissance realm, as well as for positively identifying aircraft visually at long ranges. You can read all about this function and its value in this past piece of ours. In addition, the Hornets come with 68 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS), .
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Overall, Kirlin informs us that that the Aussie Hornets are being imported in exactly the same configuration as they are flying operationally today the RAAF. Nothing is being removed, even the jet's Link 16 data-link system and its internal M61 20mm Vulcan cannon are staying put.


Red full article here

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/32869/this-man-owns-the-worlds-most-advanced-private-air-force-after-buying-46-f-a-18-hornets


Bl00dy Hell :shock: :shock: :shock:

This man has a private Air Force more powerful then at least other 190 -200 nation of earth. !!!!!!! :shock:

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2020 01:04

It is an adversary aircraft training business. Adversary Air (not to be confused with Aggressors) is a fast evolving business ripe for consolidation into larger OEM's. In fact it is highly surprising that a major like say Raytheon hasn't scooped up a few of these companies already. The title makes it sounds like he is renting out mercenaries like Eric Prince etc. :)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Jay » 17 Apr 2020 01:39

brar_w wrote:


This is an impressively short take off run. From 'Brake Release' to 'Rotate' was 8 seconds.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2020 08:19

F-35A's are getting ready to bed down at Alaska. This will be the 2nd Active F-35A Air Wing in the USAF. The first aircraft has already been delivered and a few will be heading to Alaska in a couple of weeks -

Sprawling Alaska Complex Becomes Newest Home For F-35A


Tucked deep within Alaska’s rugged interior, next to a town named “North Pole,” Eielson AFB may seem an unlikely station for 54 Lockheed Martin F-35As. But the commander of the 354th Fighter Wing asserts the location is more central than it looks.

Indeed, the logic of Euclidean geometry places Eielson within a daylong flight, assisted by aerial refueling, of the biggest hot spots for the Indo-Pacific Command and European Command. On a great circle route, the Alaskan base is closer to Taiwan than Oahu by more than 300 nm. To reach Estonia across the Arctic Circle, Eileson’s future F-35As would have roughly the same ferry flight as Air National Guard F-35As flying from Burlington, Vermont, the next-closest U.S. F-35 base.

“A lot of people think Alaska is kind of stuck in the corner of the map. But as an airman lives, we’re actually in the middle of everything,” says Col. Benjamin Bishop, the 354th Wing’s commander.Another advantage of Eielson’s location is its neighbors. Although a remote location, the base is less than 230 nm north of a Lockheed Martin F-22 squadron stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and adjacent to the home of the F-16-equipped 18th Aggressor Sqdn. and, not least, the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, which is the largest U.S. instrumented training range for air combat. The U.S. Air Force declared the F-35A operational in 2016, but service officials are still learning how to optimize the aircraft’s capabilities, especially in joint operations with F-22s.

“I see the F-35 really maturing in the skies of Alaska,” Bishop says.

That maturation process is about to get started. In early April, Lockheed transferred ownership to the Air Force of the first F-35A bound for the newly reactivated 356th Fighter Sqdn. at Eielson. Despite administrative disruptions caused by the response to the novel coronavirus and resulting COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop still expects to complete the first F-35A delivery to Eielson on schedule in April. The 356th should receive ownership of its first three F-35As by the end of April.

The 356th was reactivated seven months ago with only two employees—the squadron commander and the deputy. Since then, the squadron has added eight trained pilots and a full complement of trainers and maintainers, Bishop says. About 1,200 active duty personnel will be added to the base when the 356th and a still-unnamed second squadron are at full strength, doubling the size of the Alaskan base’s current workforce.

The Air Force has been preparing for Eielson’s dramatic growth since the F-35A basing announcement in 2016. The $500 million expansion project is made more challenging by the base’s location, which is 1.42 deg. of latitude, or about 85 nm, further north of Norway’s Orland Main Air Station, another F-35A base.

Norway qualified a drag parachute to slow the F-35A on icy arctic runways in winter. The Polish Air Force adopted the same modification with its announced F-35A selection in January, but the U.S. Air Force decided the added weight of the drag parachute is unnecessary. The Air Force decision is helped by the fact that Eielson boasts the world’s second-longest runway, at 14,507 ft., which the base’s busy snowplows work to keep clear through the long Alaskan winter, Bishop says. The F-35A is rated to land and take off from surfaces with a Runway Condition Rating (RCR) of 7, only two steps up from a completely iced-over RCR-5 surface.

“We have a whole team of airmen that are really focused on that [snow-removal] mission alone, and it’s not just the runways. It’s the taxiways, too,” Bishop says.

The Air Force also had to make other adjustments to the F-35A’s standard survival gear. The 18th Aggressor Sqdn., for example, includes a sleeping bag rated for -40F in the survival seat pack of the F-16, designed to keep pilots warm overnight after an ejection until they can be reached by a rescue team. But the same sleeping bag does not fit inside the F-35A seat pack, so the base’s support staff has stuffed the pack instead with supplemental heating equipment.

For maintainers, the Arctic weather presents another challenge. The Army Corps of Engineers is constructing a 16-bay shelter for the F-35A on Eielson’s permafrost terrain, the first of several such structures to support the aircraft during the Alaskan winter.

The shelter “is not really for the aircraft,” Bishop says. “It is more for the maintainers. When it’s -40F, it’s really difficult to work outside for an extended period.”



brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2020 08:46

Jay wrote:This is an impressively short take off run. From 'Brake Release' to 'Rotate' was 8 seconds.


This is quite common in the Eagle/Strike-Eagle community. The F-22 air-show routine does a version as well before they modified it a bit..



F-22 -

https://youtu.be/TJD1xZZCNAA?t=22

Manish_P
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 17 Apr 2020 20:18

Take off in 1-2-3 seconds :D

< Please take it purely in the spirit of fun in these dreary times >


brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2020 21:54

The "Israel specific capabilities" test F-35I Adir has flown (Via AirForces Monthly). Though mainly to develop IDF specific CNI suite changes, expect this test article to add a host of external store configurations adding both new weapons and EFT's.

Dedicated Israeli trials F-35A makes first flight


LOCKHEED MARTIN has flown a one-off F-35A specifically built as a trials aircraft for the Israeli Air Force (IAF). Serial 924 (c/n AS-15, FMS 15-5232), which is a sub-variant of the Israeli F-35I Adir, made its maiden flight from Fort Worth, Texas, on March 4.

Israel has ordered 50 F-35Is, but unlike the remaining aircraft, this one is not intended for operational service and will remain in use as a dedicated test machine. It will be operated by the IAF’s Flight Test Centre, also known as MANAT (its acronym in Hebrew) and previously designated as 601 Squadron, at Tel Nof Air Base. The unit undertakes aircraft and weapons trials, avionics integration and airframe modification and testing."


Image

Kartik
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 18 Apr 2020 05:50

Tejas performed a 'Viking' take-off at Bahrain Air Show as well as the LIMA air show. Didn't know what that maneuver was called till now.



Manish_P
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 18 Apr 2020 18:08

How is a 'Viking' take-off different from a 'Zoom Climb', 'Unrestricted Take-off' which a whole lot of other jet fighter types- right from the English Electric Lightning to the MiGs to the Rafale/Typhoons do?


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