International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Jan 2020 22:22

brar_w wrote:
brar_w wrote:Some additional information on the 5th generation Aerial Target (LO design features (shape, materials and serpentine ducts), and internal EW/EA payloads) developed for Operational Testing of the F-35, Inc. 3.2B of F-22A, New Patriot Radar and Interceptor Missile programs..The final design iteration is expected to fly this summer and will be delivered to the testers in 2020..

Unique approach to designing - The DOT&E essentially hired a bunch of retired Skunk Works engineers and gave them access to government lab. infrastructure and let them come up with the design..Fabrication too is being done by a startup founded by a team...


Just revealed the final product. Via AviationWeek -

Designed and built by STS Inc., a new company staffed almost exclusively with retired Skunk Works engineers and alums.

Stealthy UAS Unveiled For USAF Target, Loyal Wingman Needs

Image


Additional details -

Sierra Technical unveils ‘faster’ and ‘more manoeuvrable’ stealth UAV

Sierra Technical Services recently completed several ground tests, including an engine test run, on its Fifth Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) aircraft.

The aircraft, which is powered by two General Electric J85 engines salvaged from retired Northrop T-38 Talon trainer jets, is intended to be used as a stealth target drone for the US Air Force (USAF) to shoot down.

“We ran both engines all the way to [military] power at the same time,” says Roger Hayes, president and co-owner of Sierra Technical. “We tested out our flight controls – elevons and rudders – and everything worked well.”

The unmanned air vehicle (UAV) should be ready for its first test flight during the first quarter of 2020, says Hayes.

However, because the 5GAT is inherently low-cost – estimated by Sierra Technical to be less than $10 million per production copy – and has a low-observable shape the company is also openly pitching it as an “attritable” Loyal Wingman stealth aircraft.

Attritable aircraft are a new concept in aerial warfare: UAVs so cheap that combat losses won’t break the bank. For example, the USAF’s Loyal Wingman programme is aimed at developing buddy attritable aircraft for its fleet of manned fighters, such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. It could be asked to take on dangerous tasks or might operate as a robotic scout.

Sierra Technical believes its 5GAT has abilities that would give it advantages over Kratos Defense’s XQ-58A Valkerie, a pioneering attritable UAV built in collaboration with the US Air Force Research Laboratory.

It will be able to fly faster than an XQ-58 Valkyrie. It will be able to be more manoeuvrable than an XQ-58 Valkyrie as well,” says Hayes. “We believe that it has a high potential of solving some of the Loyal Wingman requirements, once they’re defined [by the US Air Force].”

In particular, the 5GAT’s two J85 engines give it the ability to fly high-subsonic speeds.

“We’re going to limit it to high-subsonic,” says Hayes. “It would probably go supersonic without much trouble, but none of the structure was analysed or designed for supersonic [flight], nor were the inlet lips.”

The 5GAT was commissioned as a stealth target aircraft by the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), and supersonic flight was not part of its mission requirements, explains Hayes. It is designed to be a disposable stealth aircraft for mock air combat, and a sparring partner that helps combat pilots learn how to shoot down stealth aircraft, such as Russia’s Sukhoi Su-57 or China’s Chengdu J-20.

DOT&E paid for the aircraft to be designed, built and flown after the USAF and US Navy initially declined to build stealth targets of their own. However, the USAF last year released a request for information for its own Next-Generation Aerial Target, a stealth target programme which might replace the DOT&E’s effort.

In addition to being stealthy, Hayes says the aircraft can manoeuvre at +7.5g and -2g for short periods.

“However, it cannot sustain +7.5g or -2g. The aircraft will bleed off energy very quickly due to limitation of the thrust from these engines,” says Hayes. “We can make 7.5g turns, but not sustain them for very long – that is basically a typical operational scenario.”

The 5GAT can carry weapons on external pylons, though it doesn’t have provisions for an internal weapons bay, a capability that would require a substantial redesign.

“But, we can carry all kinds of electronics, artificial intelligence gear, [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] equipment,” says Hayes.

Hayes declines to make a detailed comparison of the XQ-58 and the 5GAT. That’s because Sierra Technical helped design the XQ-58A and he says it would be a conflict of interest to disclose that information.

Hayes notes that competing with a business partner on a separate product line happens frequently in the US defence industry. “You know, it’s strange bedfellows, but it’s common in the industry,” he says.

Because of the wide variety of Loyal Wingman applications, from air combat to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles, Hayes says he believes there is room for both aircraft.

“For the Loyal Wingman there are certain aspects that we believe that the 5GAT or a derivative of the 5GAT would be very suitable, even more suitable in some cases then the Valkyrie,” he says “And then, there are many cases where the Valkyrie would be more suitable than the 5GAT derivative.”


Image
Image

I expect the USAF to order around half a dozen or so for AIM-260's developmental testing. The DOT&E will also likely order 2-4 for the OT&E for the missile.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16509
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 19 Jan 2020 11:06

NATO Receives First Air Ground Surveillance Aircraft

Jan. 17, 2020 | By Brian W. Everstine
NATO on Jan. 17 received the first two of five Air Ground Surveillance system drones at NAS Sigonella, Italy.

The AGS system, a variant of the RQ-4 Global Hawk already in use by multiple nations, will be used by NATO to watch over Europe, along with operations in the Sahel region of Africa and the Middle East as tasked, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a ceremony.

“Today, NATO is filling an important intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability gap,” Stoltenberg said, according to a release.

A collection of 15 NATO allies, including the US, acquired the aircraft. About 600 personnel will fly and maintain it, largely from the main operating base at Sigonella along with small groups of personnel in Belgium and Germany, according to NATO.

“Alliance Ground Surveillance will be collectively owned and operated by all NATO allies and will be a vital capability for NATO operations and missions,” according to a release. “All allies will have access to data acquired by AGS, and will benefit from the intelligence derived from the surveillance and reconnaissance missions that AGS will undertake.”

The NATO variant, the RQ-4D, will include a multi-platform technology insertion program ground surveillance radar sensor, along with line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight, long-range, wide-band data links, according to a factsheet. The ground stations are mobile and transportable.

Acquisition of the aircraft dates back to a $1.7 billion contract awarded in May 2012 to prime contractor Northrop Grumman, along with other international companies that are contributing, such as Airbus Defense and Space, Leonardo, and Kongsberg.



Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 21 Jan 2020 05:45

US Navy flies F/A-18F Super Hornet with IRST Block II pod

Image

The US Navy (USN) for the first time in late 2019 flew an F/A-18F Super Hornet carrying an Infrared Search & Track (IRST) Block II pod under the centerline of its undercarriage.

The IRST Block II is in the risk reduction phase of development, says Boeing on 15 January. Flights at Boeing’s facilities in the St. Louis, Missouri area are to be used to collect data on how the hardware is performing.

The IRST pod is part of a larger upgrade package for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, called Block III conversion.

Infrared search and track sensors can be used to passively detect other aircraft, including stealth aircraft, by looking for a heat signature coming off a jet’s engines. Also, because the sensor is passive – not emitting any type of radiation – it makes it more difficult for an adversary to detect.

With adversaries of the USA building stealth aircraft that are difficult to detect with radar, such as China’s Chengdu J-20 or Russia’s Sukhoi Su-57, IRST pods are becoming increasingly important to US combat aircraft. When the IRST Block II pod is used by two aircraft at once, it can create a targeting solution for an air-to-air missile, Boeing has said.

“The IRST Block II gives the F/A-18 improved optics and processing power, significantly improving pilot situational awareness of the entire battle space,” says Jennifer Tebo, Boeing director of F/A-18 development.

The IRST Block II pod for the F/A-18 Super Hornet is built by Lockheed Martin.

The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block III upgrade programme also includes enhanced networking and communication capabilities, conformal fuel tanks that extend the aircraft’s range by about 120nm (222km), a cockpit with a 21in touchscreen display, and a more powerful mission computer.

Boeing expects the IRST Block II pod to be delivered to the USN in 2021. It should reach Initial Operational Capability soon after the service receives it, the company says.


IMO, not a great solution to have the IRST pod put into the drop tank. If the airplane isn't carrying the drop tank, then it has no IRST. And if the drop tank is jettisoned, the IRST goes as well.

Strange that for a fighter with a voluminous nose, Boeing didn't try to figure out a solution that involved an IRST integral to the airframe.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Jan 2020 05:54

Kartik wrote:

IMO, not a great solution to have the IRST pod put into the drop tank. If the airplane isn't carrying the drop tank, then it has no IRST. And if the drop tank is jettisoned, the IRST goes as well.

Strange that for a fighter with a voluminous nose, Boeing didn't try to figure out a solution that involved an IRST integral to the airframe.


A podded IRST is a great solution if you are buying fewer number of IRST sensors than you have aircraft (which the USN is). A podded IRST mounted on a fuel tank is a great solution if you need a center line fuel tank to meet mission combat radius needs during combat deployments. Since the F/A-18E/F was designed, the combat-radius and TOS needs of the USN have increased. Realistically, there is no way an F/A-18 E/F will take off on a combat sortie without a center line tank. That said, a podded solution is available to them, should they choose to go down that route. The USAF went down that road with its IRST pod which as a high power data-link, or room for other RF comms/data-link/ISR sensors in the rear half of the pod. Boeing/Lockheed has a solution for airfame integrated, pod mounted, or fuel tank mounted IRST on both the F/A-18E/F/G and the F-15C/E. The USN wants to do it this way because it is the cheapest option for them. With carrier's standing off, there is really not enough A2A threat (qualitatively, and quantitatively) out there to justify anything more expensive then this. The IRST is there more for the same reason the IRST was there on the F-14 i.e. hunting down larger strike aircraft equipped with a lot of jamming and coming in with a package to hunt a carrier strike group.

Image

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 21 Jan 2020 06:06

brar_w wrote:
Kartik wrote:

IMO, not a great solution to have the IRST pod put into the drop tank. If the airplane isn't carrying the drop tank, then it has no IRST. And if the drop tank is jettisoned, the IRST goes as well.

Strange that for a fighter with a voluminous nose, Boeing didn't try to figure out a solution that involved an IRST integral to the airframe.


A podded IRST is a great solution if you are buying fewer number of IRST sensors than you have aircraft (which the USN is). A podded IRST mounted on a fuel tank is a great solution if you need a center line fuel tank to meet mission combat radius needs during combat deployments. Since the F/A-18E/F was designed, the combat-radius and TOS needs of the USN have increased. Realistically, there is no way an F/A-18 E/F will take off on a combat sortie without a center line tank. That said, a podded solution is available to them, should they choose to go down that route. The USAF went down that road with its IRST pod which as a high power data-link, or room for other RF comms/data-link/ISR sensors in the rear half of the pod. Boeing/Lockheed has a solution for airfame integrated, pod mounted, or fuel tank mounted IRST on both the F/A-18E/F/G and the F-15C/E. The USN wants to do it this way because it is the cheapest option for them.


It is a poor solution compared to putting it on the airframe itself. Podded solution now almost mandates a centerline drop tank to be carried if the pilot is to have the IRST. Why can't a Super Hornet fly with wing drop tanks instead of a centerline drop tank? And what if the pod is to be jettisoned to allow the pilot to pull the full g load that the Super Hornet FCS will allow?

As per AW&ST

As the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35C assumes the penetrating, long-range strike mission, the F/A-18E/F is taking over the fleet defense role. As a result, the Navy is modifying the aircraft into the Block III configuration with an emphasis on improving air-to-air capabilities. In addition to signature improvements, a large-format cockpit display, conformal fuel tanks and better connectivity, the IRST Block II pod will provide sharper optics and faster processing.

The sensor improvements will provide “significant range improvements and advanced algorithms,” Boeing says.

Unlike a radar, the IRST detects and tracks aerial targets passively, so F/A-18E/F pilots can use the system without worrying about betraying their position. An IRST pod also tracks an aircraft by the heat emitted from the engine and produced from aerodynamic friction, so it can detect some targets that would otherwise be invisible to a millimeter-band fire control radar.

The Navy has awarded Boeing a contract to supply the first 22 Block II IRST pods, including six new systems and 16 Block 1-to-Block 2 conversions, Boeing says. The program of record for the IRST Block II includes 170 pods, allowing roughly one in four or five aircraft to carry the sensor. The Navy also plans to upgrade the F/A-18E/F with the Tactical Targeting Networking Technology datalink, allowing an aircraft carrying the IRST to share the imagery and tracking data with other aircraft in a formation.


170 pods, implying nearly 150 Super Hornets may end up using this solution. Such a large number doesn't warrant figuring out how to put the IRST on the airframe? It is supposedly one of the key capabilities of the Super Hornet Blk III. I don't think the IAF will be happy to have an IRST carried on a drop tank, which is a lousy solution compared to ALL the other MRCA candidates that have integral IRST housed within the airframe. It is not a flexible arrangement and will ensure that the centerline station cannot be used for anything else if IRST is to be carried.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Jan 2020 06:15

Kartik wrote:It is a poor solution compared to putting it on the airframe itself.


I don't they were going for good or bad..elegant or not elegant. They wanted it to be an effective solution and if you are going to have a centerline tank on 99% the missions you need an IRST for then carrying it on a tank, instead of yet another pod makes better sense. Similarly, integrating it into the air frame would require more down time (impacting readiness) on existing fleet upgrades, and more pods for new builds because you aren't going to be removing them and then swapping them when the next unit deploys.

Why can't a Super Hornet fly with wing drop tanks instead of a centerline drop tank?


Currently it flies with both (centerline and wing drop tanks) because it needs that extra fuel. When the CFT's come in, it will carry the CFT's and a centerline tank on most missions. Keep in mind that the F/A-18 is a medium ranged strike fighter. It is not an F-14. But when it needs to do the F-14's mission i.e. go long range and engage bombers etc it needs the extra fuel.

170 pods, implying nearly 150 Super Hornets may end up using this solution. Such a large number doesn't warrant figuring out how to put the IRST on the airframe?


150 is still around only 25-30% of the full fleet so they'll need to move things around.

Kartik wrote:I don't think the IAF will be happy to have an IRST carried on a drop tank, which is a lousy solution compared to ALL the other MRCA candidates that have integral IRST housed within the airframe.


As mentioned in the last post, the IRST (same Next Gen. IRST-21 LWIR sensor) on an F/A-18E/F can be either integrated into the airframe, carried on a pod, or mounted on a fuel-tank. A prospective customer is free to chose the application that best suits its needs and does not need to be wedded to the USN or even the USAF solution. The pod, the algorithms, the software interface and everything else is the same with the USN Block III. Of the numerous things Boeing and Lockheed have on offer for an advanced Super Hornet, the USN picked some..and not the others. IRST upgrade on the F/A-18 is a relatively small program. I don't think they want to spend the money required to do something more extensive with the F-35 coming in.

Image
Last edited by brar_w on 21 Jan 2020 06:19, edited 3 times in total.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 21 Jan 2020 06:15

From AW&ST

The Swiss have issued a second RFQ to the OEMs for the new fighter and SAM systems. The Swiss Air Force cannot maintain 24/7 patrol of its own air space currently and depends on neighbours for support. Not sure what the 24/7 availability of 4 fighters for 4 weeks means..do those 4 then get replaced by another set of 4 for the next 4 weeks and so on?

The Swiss government has issued a second request for quotations to the contenders for the country’s Air2030 requirement for new combat aircraft and ground-based air defense systems.

The request, announced by Bern on Jan. 10, calls for pricing on fleets of 36-40 aircraft, as well as packages for logistics and armaments. Officials at the Swiss defense materiel agency Armasuisse also are looking for proposals for cooperation between Switzerland and the supplier country, as well as proposed offset projects.

Switzerland wants to replace its fleets of Northrop F-5 Tigers and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornets with a single fleet of fighters. With the country preparing its armed forces to provide 24 hr. a day air policing readiness at the end of this year, the Swiss want a fleet that can conduct air patrols around the clock with “at least four aircraft for at least four weeks in order to preserve air sovereignty, prevent unauthorized use and violations of Swiss air space and thus contribute to keep Switzerland out of armed conflict.”

The second request, which is due to be delivered from the representative nations of the four fighter contenders by August, is based on the analysis of the first proposal and on findings from flight, simulator and ground tests as well as audits with armed forces operating the evaluated fighter aircraft, Armasuisse states. The proposals put forward should be the “most advantageous offer for Switzerland,” officials say.

Four western combat aircraft are still in the running for the Air2030 requirement, including the Eurofighter being proposed by Airbus in Germany. The Dassault Rafale is being pushed by France while the U.S. is offering both the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Lockheed Martin F-35. All four aircraft were trialed between April and June last year. Saab withdrew its JAS 39E/F Gripen after being advised by Swiss authorities that the aircraft could not carry out some of the evaluations expected of it.

As well as the fighters, a second request for proposals was also sent to France for the Eurosam SAMP/T and the U.S. Raytheon Patriot. Armasuisse want a system capable of protecting an area of around 15,000 square km. Officials also are keen to clarify the capabilities of both systems against ballistic missiles.

Information from trials and analysis of both the fighters and air defense systems will be used in an evaluation report that will provide a recommendation for the selection of both systems, although a final type selection will be made by the country’s federal council, a committee of senior ministers. That decision could come this year, with contracts signed after Parliamentary approvals in 2022 and deliveries in 2025-2030.


Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 21 Jan 2020 06:23

brar_w wrote:
As mentioned in the last post, the IRST (same Next Gen. IRST-21 LWIR sensor) on an F/A-18E/F can be either integrated into the airframe, carried on a pod, or mounted on a fuel-tank. A prospective customer is free to chose the application that best suits its needs and does not need to be wedded to the USN or even the USAF solution. The pod, the algorithms, the software interface and everything else is the same with the USN Block III.



It's obvious what the IAF choice will be, given that it wants the MWF to have an integral IRST. Plus, the IAF is not expeditionary and the Super Hornet's combat mission radius on internal fuel should allow it to cover many if not most missions without having to carry a centerline drop tank, especially if the CFT is standard fit and allows for 220 NM mission range increase as advertised by Boeing.

If the solution for an airframe integrated IRST is available on the F/A-18 E/F, has it been demonstrated?

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Jan 2020 06:26

Kartik wrote:If the solution for an airframe integrated IRST is available on the F/A-18 E/F, has it been demonstrated?

If the solution for an airframe integrated IRST is available on the F/A-18 E/F, has it been demonstrated?


I'm not sure if it has been demonstrated or not but I'm sure proper work to do it this way was done because it was presented as a "menu item" for the USN and others to choose from. It is a relative minor modification as there is room there in the design where Growler specific equipment is integrated so they just use that housing. Its a pretty straight forward thing. No one (even at Boeing probably) thinks the Super Hornet stands any chance with the IAF MMRCA 2.0 so I don't think this will be an issue at all :lol: Priority #1 for the USN (with the F/A-18 program) is to buy new aircraft and as many as they can because higher than planned utilization have made the classic hornet chew through its service life and has also impacted the early built F/A-18 E/F's. They need those 110 odd Block III and probably another 80 or so Block II Growlers just to keep readiness up in the 2025-2040 time-frame. This is also one of the main reasons that the EPE engine upgrades never materialized. USN would rather use that money to buy more tails. They will keep ordering Super Hornets until FA-XX reaches Milestone B as having two suppliers with hot production lines is something they want to keep as they begin that competition.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16509
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 21 Jan 2020 08:59

ELON MUSK REVEALS HOW HE'LL DEPOSIT ONE MILLION PEOPLE ON MARS BY 2050

Make no mistake about it, Elon Musk is in love with Mars. The visionary billionaire behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX has expounded endlessly about traveling to the Red Planet for years and colonizing its imposing landscape.

With a planned cargo mission to Mars still slated for sometime in 2022, and SpaceX's Starship and Superheavy hardware on track to fulfill Musk's notion of an Interplanetary Transportation System to allow humans to become a multi-planet species in the new decade, everything seems to be solidifying sooner than later. A new Starship prototype could launch before the end of March.

Now Musk has unveiled an even more ambitious goal on Twitter last Thursday, when he revealed lofty plans to construct a city of 1 million people on Mars by the year 2050. His wild idea is to build 1,000 of SpaceX's gleaming, 100-passenger reusable Starships over a 10-year period to deliver the necessary materials, equipment, food, water, and bodies to accomplish this seemingly impossible task.

Image

The endgame would be to launch an average of three of his 387-foot-tall Starships per day from the aerospace firm's South Texas facilities and make the long voyage to Mars available to any person. He's even suggesting that loans would be available for anyone who can't afford it.

And as Musk enthusiastically reminds everyone, there will no doubt be a multitude of jobs available for ways to pay off your expensive one-way ticket.

While Earth and Mars only align for a rendezvous every 25 months or so, Musk's proposal is to load the Mars fleet aloft into Earth orbit, then wave goodbye to the swarm of 1,000 ships as they embark for the Red Planet over a 30-day launch window each two-year period.

What do you think of Musk's momentous colonization plan to build a multi-trillion-dollar Martian metropolis, and would you relocate off-planet to start a new life on Mars?

Image

Indranil
Forum Moderator
Posts: 7984
Joined: 02 Apr 2010 01:21

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Indranil » 21 Jan 2020 11:09

brar_w wrote:
Image
Image

I expect the USAF to order around half a dozen or so for AIM-260's developmental testing. The DOT&E will also likely order 2-4 for the OT&E for the missile.

I absolutely love this design. I love it when people come with a practical good enough solution.

Manish_P
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2099
Joined: 25 Mar 2010 17:34

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 21 Jan 2020 13:19

+1

No self-appointed expert from the media making a statement like 'but our enemies are going to field 5th gen Aircrafts with thrust vectoring.. this one doesn't have that feature. Hence it is a failure.. blah blah' :P

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Jan 2020 18:52

I secretly wished that someone would have just licence produced Boeing's bird of prey configuration (unamnned) for the 5th gen aerial target program. It would have been an amazing solution though probably an overkill. This design is probably a great representation of some of the LO capabilities of the Su-57 and J-20 so probably a better threat representation. Manish, the 5GAT is only there to provide a RCS optimized target for sensor, and weapon testing with maneuverability a secondary concern though a 7+ G capability, even if for short duration, is more than plenty for combined testing. They already have a 9G+ capable, supersonic target in the QF-16 to stress the system with other performance.

Image

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Jan 2020 00:29

Bell Boeing CMV-22B Osprey Successfully Completes First Flight


Image

The first CMV-22B Osprey, built by Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, and Boeing (NYSE: BA), completed first flight operations at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center. The CMV-22B is the latest variant of the tiltrotor fleet, joining the MV-22 and CV-22 used by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Navy will use the CMV-22B to replace the C-2A Greyhound for transporting personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea. Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant specifically for carrier fleet operations by providing increased fuel capacity for the extended range requirement. The mission flexibility of the Osprey will increase operational capabilities and readiness, in addition to ferrying major components of the F-35 engine.

“The first flight of the Navy’s CMV-22B marks a significant milestone for the V-22 program and for Naval Aviation,” said Chris Gehler, Bell V-22 Vice President and Bell Boeing deputy program director. “The Osprey has always been a revolutionary aircraft, and we look forward to continuing to support the evolving needs of the Navy with advanced tiltrotor capabilities.”

Bell Boeing will deliver the first CMV-22B to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 in early 2020 for developmental test.

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10347
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Vayutuvan » 22 Jan 2020 02:59

3D Printing and Space Exploration: How NASA Will Use Additive Manufacturing

(I am highlighting a few parts I found to be interesting)

When you’re 200 miles from Earth, after all, you want to make sure that you have all of your necessary supplies, from bolts to cable mounts. NASA’s “better to be safe than sorry” approach, however, means that a vast majority of parts stored on ISS are never used.

While launch costs will decrease with a greater number of rocket manufacturers and an increased frequency of launches, sending a pound of cargo to low Earth orbit currently costs about $10,000, says Prater.
...
To date, in-space manufacturing demonstrations on ISS have included three initiatives:

The 3D Printing in Zero G Technology Demonstration Mission ...
The Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF) ...
Recycling in Space
The ReFabricator unit, from the Seattle, WA-based aerospace company Tethers Unlimited, was flown to ISS in 2019. ReFabricator is designed to print parts with ULTEM 9085, which can then be recycled back into feedstock for further printing. A reuse capability enables NASA to “close the manufacturing loop” on long-duration missions so that the feedstock for the printers does not have to be launched. “We want mission planners to look at everything, even what would be ‘trash’ materials, as potential feedstock for manufacturing,” Prater told Tech Briefs.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 22 Jan 2020 03:44

Report says Boeing Saab T-X Red Hawk would make an ideal light fighter

A new study for the US Air Force says the key to expanding its fleet of fighter aircraft could lay in developing the new Boeing/Saab T-X trainer as a low-cost, lightweight, fighter.

The study is one of two reports by the MITRE Corporation in answer to a Congress directive for an independent analysis of the USAF’s aim to increase in size in order to meet the demands of the National Defense Strategy.

The corporation’s senior principal systems engineer David Gerber says that less-demanding missions such as homeland defense should not soak up precious hours for advanced fourth- and fifth-generation fighters, saying that this kind of role could easily be assumed by a developed variant of the T-X.

The ‘Air Force We Need’ initiative suggests increasing USAF fighter squadrons from 55 today to 62 by the mid-2020s. In budget-constrained times, the T-X could offer dramatically lower up-front acquisition and through life support costs.

Speaking at June’s Paris Air Show, Boeing’s Thom Breckenridge, vice president of international sales, told reporters that the company expects a global market for some 2,600 advanced jet trainers in the era of its T-X. It knows it’s tapping into huge potential, but it needs to be realized if the company is to make serious money with the T-X.

T-X was broadly aimed at 351 new aircraft and associated training systems under a planned budget that was as much as $19-billion. Boeing’s winning bid was worth $9.2 billion! The initial number of aircraft is purely for Undergraduate Pilot Training within Air Education and Training Command (AETC) but there are several avenues that could offer additional business from the USAF.

Boeing is already looking at light attack and aggressor training opportunities for the aircraft and it says it has already identified locations for hardpoints under the wings. Coupling low cost and high performance makes the Boeing aircraft an exciting overall prospect for the USAF.

Maintaining a fleet of all fifth-generation fighters is going to impact overall mass due to the high cost of operating these advanced fighters. While multi-role capability ensures that high-end fighter aircraft are ubiquitous and versatile, clearly some more niche roles can be justified for other platforms, especially if it helps preserve fifth-generation fighter fleets through a clever low/high force mix by removing the need to fly more benign missions in permissive environments.

This is something a T-X aircraft modified with a small active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and short-range air-to-air missile could theoretically prove extremely effective at.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Jan 2020 04:09

USAF leadership is playing its cards right. The Congress wanted it to get a cheap light strike aircraft for COIN. USAF resisted saying that it would essentially be creating a force geared towards fighting the last war and not what lies ahead. John McCain, while he was alive, kept the idea floating and since his death they have masterfully kicked the bucket down a couple of years and then again a couple of years etc. etc. Now they'll use these reports and analysis to push it down further and will probably buy a skeleton fleet of a FA-7 and then readily convert them to red-air after a while. The T-X final RFP called for an industrial program and supply chain to be capable of delivering up to 60 aircraft a year. At that rate they'd meet all the training aircrfat needs in a little over 4 years post Milestone C (LRIP followed by FRP). They can then scale it down and buy a few squadrons of these for the red-air duties.

The RPA squadrons are the "light attack" force that MITRE and the Congress are looking for. It's the largest unmanned combat force on the planet that at its peak was mounting 24x7 orbits in an insane number of geographically seperated areas around the world while also training and testing back in the US. They've transitioned into an all MQ-9 fleet. Now they need to transition to a 50% MQ-9 and 50% Avenger fleet. Much better than buying jazzed up trainers geared towards light attack. In fact, if a manned light attack platfrom needs to be purchased, I'd much rather the USAF join the Army's FLRAA program.

Given the global demand for persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, the RPA force was overworked trying to keep up with what was as many as 65 daily combat air patrols a few years ago. A combat air patrol, or CAP, typically consists of four aircraft that rotate to provide persistent, "unblinking" eyes on a target. LINK


Image

Image

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16509
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 22 Jan 2020 08:44


brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Jan 2020 23:47

Saab begins T-X assembly


Saab has started assembly of the first aft-fuselage section of the T-7A Red Hawk for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the US Air Force's (USAF's) T-X trainer aircraft replacement programme.

The Swedish manufacturer said on 21 January that it had begun building the first section from just aft of the cockpit to the rear of the trainer aircraft that it has developed as a partner to the T-X prime contractor, Boeing.

"In little over a year since we signed the EMD contract, we are starting production of our part of the T-7A jet," Saab said in a statement.

With two production representative jets (PRJs) already built and flying, the EMD contract awarded in September 2018 was for five more aircraft for flight trials, plus one fuselage for static and one fuselage for fatigue testing.

Saab is now building these seven EMD aft-fuselage units at its plant in Linköping, Sweden, ahead of transfer to Boeing's St. Louis facility in Missouri for aircraft final assembly. As noted by Saab, the work currently being carried out in Linköping will be transferred to West Lafayette in Indiana, where sections for about 60 aircraft will be turned out per year.

Previously, Saab has declined to say when the first EMD aircraft will fly, noting that "this is very sensitive information for the USAF".

Besides Boeing and Saab, other industry suppliers so far disclosed comprise General Electric, Triumph Group, Collins Aerospace, L3 Technologies, and Elbit Systems.

The USAF has a programme-of-record of 351 Red Hawk aircraft to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon that has been in service since the 1960s. With the first aircraft set to be delivered to Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, in 2023, initial operational capability (IOC) is scheduled for 2024. All undergraduate pilot training bases will eventually transition from the T-38C to the T-7A, including those at Columbus AFB, Mississippi; Laughlin AFB and Sheppard AFB, Texas; and Vance AFB, Oklahoma.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 23 Jan 2020 01:52

Seems rather strange to me..how the heck will B'desh be able to afford any worthwhile numbers of Apaches? Even India can barely afford 2-3 dozen of the AH-64Es. Wonder who else competed with the AH-64E, but if the Mi-35M, Mi-28NE or Ka-32 were on offer they'd most likely be more affordable. Z-10 would also have been offered despite it being inferior to all the other types. Turkey might have tried with the T-129 too..

Apache down selected for Bangladesh attack helicopter requirement

Boeing has confirmed that its AH-64E Apache attack helicopter has been down-selected for a potential programme in Bangladesh.

Company officials confirmed the development - which points to growing defence ties between the South Asian country and the United States - in a media briefing on 21 January.

Boeing's Terry Jamison, senior manager for global sales and marketing for attack and cargo helicopter programmes, said the programme in Bangladesh is proceeding through a US Foreign Military Sale. He added that Bangladesh is looking to procure the AH-64E through a competitive-bidding process through which the Boeing platform had beaten competitors "on price".

He said, "[In Bangladesh] we have been down-selected not just based on capability, but we went head-to-head with some of our competitors and we were down-selected based on price."


Jamison added that Boeing had identified "a lot of opportunities" for other sales of the AH-64E across the Asia-Pacific. He said such opportunities were evident not just in developed markets but also in new and developing markets - such as Bangladesh.

Boeing officials indicated that cost efficiencies in the Apache programme were being achieved through economies of scale and the certainty of long-term modernisation. About 1,200 Apaches are in operation in global markets, said officials, and the platform has been identified by the US government to undergo modernisation through the late 2040s.

A total of 15 countries currently operate the platform, although Boeing expects that number to increase in the near future.

In the Asia-Pacific, Boeing is offering the AH-64E to Australia to meet its Project Land 4503 Armed Reconnaissance Capability (ARC) requirement for 29 aircraft. The programme is expected be worth more than USD3 billion. A Boeing spokesperson told Jane's that the company's proposal for Australia would provide "capability, cost, and schedule certainty" without the risks of additional development.

Vayutuvan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 10347
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 04:36

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Vayutuvan » 23 Jan 2020 02:28

Making Airplane Parts Without the Massive Infrastructure

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

A new method manufactures autoclave-formulated aerospace-grade advanced carbon fiber composites without utilizing applied pressure from an autoclave. Cross-sections of the composites show that a nanoporous film with morphology-controlled nanoscale capillaries provides the needed pressure at the interfaces in layered polymeric architectures. (Image courtesy of the researchers)
A modern airplane’s fuselage is made from multiple sheets of different composite materials that must be wheeled into warehouse-sized ovens where the layers fuse together to form a resilient, aerodynamic shell.

Engineers have developed a method to produce aerospace-grade composites without enormous ovens and pressure vessels. Instead of placing layers of material inside an oven to cure, the material is wrapped in an ultrathin film of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). When an electric current is applied to the film, the CNTs generated heat, causing the materials within to cure and fuse toge...


More description from MIT News

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 23 Jan 2020 04:01

brar_w wrote:USAF leadership is playing its cards right. The Congress wanted it to get a cheap light strike aircraft for COIN. USAF resisted saying that it would essentially be creating a force geared towards fighting the last war and not what lies ahead. John McCain, while he was alive, kept the idea floating and since his death they have masterfully kicked the bucket down a couple of years and then again a couple of years etc. etc. Now they'll use these reports and analysis to push it down further and will probably buy a skeleton fleet of a FA-7 and then readily convert them to red-air after a while. The T-X final RFP called for an industrial program and supply chain to be capable of delivering up to 60 aircraft a year. At that rate they'd meet all the training aircrfat needs in a little over 4 years post Milestone C (LRIP followed by FRP). They can then scale it down and buy a few squadrons of these for the red-air duties.



It seemed like the natural thing to do- to develop a light fighter out of the T-X concept. But I recall that the USAF and Boeing went to lengths to claim that there was no intention to do so. Even though it was somewhat obvious that the reason Boeing quoted such a low price for it's T-X offering was the possibility of recovering it through sustainment activities over the life span of the T-X and also the light fighter that could be developed from it to boost the production numbers.

The T-7A Red Hawk and a light fighter to be derived from it may end up being somewhat akin to the Northrop N-156T and N-156F concepts that went on to become the T-38 Talon and F-5 respectively. the N-156T was the one that was adopted first by the USAF, and entered service in huge numbers and the N-156F design that ended up becoming the F-5A was a company funded light fighter program primarily geared for export.

And it does make a lot of sense to develop a capable light fighter to take on ANG duties, which absolutely don't require F-22 or F-35s. Plus the Aggressor requirements of the USAF that also could make good use of it. Given the pedigree of it's parent companies Boeing and Saab, and the fact that the basic airframe, avionics and FCS is already proven with the T-7A, a light fighter could be developed within 3-4 years of program launch. If done quickly, it would eat into the FA-50s future market, which for now is the most popular light fighter in the export market. And it could possibly open up newer markets too, given that there is a capable and very affordable US option, like the F-5 was in it's days.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 23 Jan 2020 05:58

Kartik wrote:It seemed like the natural thing to do- to develop a light fighter out of the T-X concept. But I recall that the USAF and Boeing went to lengths to claim that there was no intention to do so.


The USAF was very clear that the T-X source selection did not involve any criteria other than performance on the Advanced Pilot training portion. It was a very detailed RFI and RFP, and in fact I have not seen a more detailed and specific RFP draft for a USAF program in my life, and I have been looking at solicitations for nearly a dozen years. Had they valued a combat application, and weighed the proposals accordingly then Lockheed had an easy win. It was the only option on the table that had an operational fighter and attack-fighter configuration fully interoperable with US networks. Boeing may have other intentions and it is free to take any level of financial risk in its bid process as long as it is in accordance with the law.

And it does make a lot of sense to develop a capable light fighter to take on ANG duties, which absolutely don't require F-22 or F-35s...


It does not make sense for the ANG. The USAF does not exactly organize along the lines of a Team-A and a Team-B or a bench force with the ANG. When the ANG deploys on order from the US DOD in accordance with a COCOM need it is not and should be different from any active air force squadron deployment both in terms of how it is equipped and how it is trained. As roles are delegated, the Guard either takes over certain missions fully or exclusively, or takes over a substantial (in some cases majority) portions. Besides these roles, there are certain other expeditionary requirements from the Guard squadrons which although not at the same cadence as those on the USAF squadrons, have the same roles and responsibilities when exercised. For example, nearly all of the Homeland Defense Mission is off-loaded to the ANG. This comes in two flavors. On one side the ANG is responsible for the Air to Air portion of the Cruise Missile Defense mission. This is the reason why the ANG's F-16's are first to get AESA radars. Similarly, the ANG now controls all but 2 F-15C's squadrons that are currently operational in the USAF. This is because they are the units that are going to be deploying their aircraft to scramble against the threat from Russian bombers and other attack aircraft armed with long range cruise missiles. This mission requires a platform with large sensors and medium-long range. This is the reason why the USAF is now getting 100+ F-15X for the ANG. For both those missions, a potential F-7A is going to be sub-optimal. On top of this, the ANG is expected to provide a few rapidly deployable expeditionary units that will flex and act as buffer allowing for other active units to rotate back to stateside and cycle through large force exercises, upgrades etc. etc. etc. For this they must maintain aircraft that are capable of executing this mission. Hence you will always see a small 5th gen footprint even within the ANG.

Plus the Aggressor requirements of the USAF that also could make good use of it.


USAF Aggressor demand is going to be minimal (sub 50). The demand for red-air is going to be more substantial (likely 200 or so). That is almost all going to be contracted (because it is cheaper because the contractors can aggregate demand and flex). So this is not for the USAF to fund or develop but for Boeing to do so on its own, at its own dime, in partnership with the various red-air companies out there.
As proposed (by Congress and other advocacy organizations), the light-attack-aircraft is nothing but a short range, light strike fighter that is going to operate mostly in benign environments of the Middle East. The USAF certainly does not need an aircraft exclusively for that mission. The Reaper, and the Avenger are more than capable of doing that and the path of upgrades and capability enhancements they can be put on (if the same resources are to be allocated that would go towards creating a skeleton force of say 80 light attack fighters) them will make them even more capable. An advanced jet fighter's operational cost (cost of operating it for XXXX hours over lifetime) equals roughly 2/3 of the total life-cycle-cost. With UCAV's, particularly the ones designed for non-near peer environments, only about a 1/3 of the LCC is cost of operations so sustaining the fleet and maintaining very high readiness is quite affordable as can be seen with the MCR data that the USAF itself puts out. You just get more bang for the buck (literally and figuratively).

But it is attractive for the politicians because they can go back and say they are so strong on National Defense that they've increased the size of the USAF by X # of squadrons etc. etc or even X number of fighter squadrons. The USAF leadership is clear that it needs 314 operational squadrons out of which 55 need to be fighter squadrons. This is up 7 squadrons from where they currently stand in terms of fighter strength. Politicians would love to meet that target by providing sub-optimal aircraft so that they can appear to have done something. USAF to its credit has done well to kick that can as far out into the future as it possibly can..but at some point it'll probably be forced to buy a skeleton force of some of these..hopefully that it can transfer out soon thereafter.

Kartik wrote: If done quickly, it would eat into the FA-50s future market, which for now is the most popular light fighter in the export market. And it could possibly open up newer markets too, given that there is a capable and very affordable US option, like the F-5 was in it's days.


That's for Boeing to decide but the risk they are taking with the program is substantial. They severely underbid and large portions of this contract are Fixed Price, with an FRP ramp rate out to 60 aircraft a year. Any potential slip ups with performance, not meeting specs, or production will likely translate to a few billion dollars in penalties. This with the next fighter war probably already happening in the classified world, and a couple of fairly significant programs on the horizon may not warrant such a rapid shift to create a new variant unless someone picks up the tab. A loss on the NGAD will essentially mean that they seize to be a fighter designer and possibly even manufacturer for the USAF (which would be crazy to think about since this is McDonnell Douglas we are speaking of). So there are probably bigger things that they need to worry about since they lost out on the LRS-B program which they thought they had a really good chance on based on prior classified work. Slight upside is that the US DOD probably wants to maintain 3 design and mfg companies when it comes to advanced fighters and bombers so Boeing is sort of secure. But you never know.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 24 Jan 2020 01:40

Thanks brarw. Excellent replies, as usual.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 24 Jan 2020 01:43

Another European nation opts for F-35s. Poland to sign FMS agreement for 32 F-35A fighters next week.

Poland to sign order for 32 F-35A fighters next week

The first F-35 fighter aircraft that Poland is planning to order would be “ready in 2024”, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said in an interview with Polish Radio. He also confirmed that the conclusion of the F-35 acquisition agreement is planned for next week.

The agreement would cover 32 aircraft and the negotiation process has practically been concluded. Błaszczak emphasized the fact that introduction of the F-35 would provide the Polish Air Force with air superiority, comparing its significance to introduction of the F-16 in the early 2000s. When asked about deliveries, he said that Poland should expect the first aircraft to be ready in 2024.

Błaszczak noted that F-35 also brings in reconnaissance and command capabilities as well. He added that acquisition of the type has been made possible thanks to the fact that Poland and the US remain on very good terms. He added that the F-35 procurement is particularly significant within the context of replacing the Polish Air Force’s MiG-29 fighters.

Poland requested acquisition of 32 F-35A multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) in May 2019, with consent issued by the Department of State and by the US Congress in the autumn that year. The maximum value of the deal has been set at the level of $6.5 billion. The final amount is probably going to be lower than that, and unofficial estimates mention approximately $4 billion. The primary FMS agreement does not cover the infrastructure or armament purchases, which would be subject to separate contracts.

As we reported in the past, the MoD decided to skip the offset in its F-35 acquisition. The Ministry says that the above is motivated by savings (amount exceeding 1 billion dollars).

The Polish MoD has also declared Poland’s willingness to join the “Loyal Wingman” UAV programme at the very early stage to secure the potential industrial benefits that this could bring. However, when it comes to the F-35 programme, it is planned that collaboration agreements would be signed according to the business-to-business formula, by and between Polish and US-based entrepreneurs, even though those contracts would have no direct ties to the fighter acquisition.

Lockheed Martin representatives said in Kielce last year, during the MSPO exhibition, that the first four Polish F-35 could be delivered as early as in 2024. However, these would not be sent to Poland, but remain at Luke AFB in Arizona for training.

During the Kielce event it was declared that the first F-35A squadron of the Polish Air Force would become operational by 2026, with the second one reaching the same status by 2030.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 24 Jan 2020 06:18

Early testing and validation demonstrations of the next gen. USAF Command and Control and combat cloud system happening right now (real wold demonstrations)..The plan is to create 28 distinct capabilities as part of the Advanced Battle Management System which will eventually replace AWACS and JSTARS capability currently provided. Some capabilities are more mature than others and those will be fielded earlier. In all, they plan on demonstrating unique capability every four or so month while allowing a decision to field the demonstrated capability if the commanders determine it is mature enough to pull in.

F-35 sensors help ground interceptors engage “air-breathing” targets


The Lockheed Martin F-35 has demonstrated has demonstrated a capability to downlink targeting data about multiple “air-breathing threats” to ground forces.

The work took place at White Sands Missile Range in December 2019, according to Lockheed Martin. A pair of US Air Force F-35s were integrated with the US Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS), with the fighters “providing an airborne sensor capability to successfully detect, track and intercept near simultaneous air-breathing threats.”The aircraft and IBCS were connected through the Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) in the proof of concept activity. It marked the first time F-35s were used as sensors during an IBCS live fire test against multiple targets.

“The F-35’s advanced sensors and connectivity enable it to gather, analyse and seamlessly share critical information with the joint fighting force to lead the multi-domain battlespace,” says Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the F-35 program.

“This test validated the F-35’s capability to serve as an airborne sensor and extend the range of critical Integrated Air and Missile Defense interceptors.”

The company did not state the size of the targets engaged, but such a capability would prove useful against low flying targets such as cruise missiles.

The work also demonstrated a way to engage low-flying threats that are over the horizon or terrain masked.

The test followed previous work conducted in mid-2019 during an Orange Flag Evaluation in Palmdale, California and Fort Bliss, Texas. This was the first time that live F-35 tracking data was sent to IBCS via an F-35 ground station and F-35-IBCS adaptation kit, which were developed by Lockheed Martin.

The ground station was subsequently moved to White Sands Missile Range.

NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16509
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 25 Jan 2020 06:46

"Soft biohybrid morphing wings with feathers underactuated by wrist and finger motion," by E. Chang; L. Matloff; A. Stowers; D. Lentink at Stanford University in Stanford, CA.




Image

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 25 Jan 2020 20:28


NRao
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16509
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Illini Nation

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 25 Jan 2020 21:38


brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 26 Jan 2020 01:25

nam wrote:We should get a sqd of F-35. If not for anything. just to block out Pak.

Paks are very sure, they will get F35. And they will. US is just waiting for us to induct Su-57 or AMCA.

Couple of more years F-35 will become the currency for every deal Pak makes with US. Like F-16.


This is absurd. The US estimates that by the mid 2030's, PLAF will field a 800 strong 5GFA force. Now, have a look at Pakistan. It owes more money to China than the IMF and is essentially a proxy state of it. Selling the F-35 to the PAF is essentially selling the F-35 to China. Days of cutting edge US defense equipment being sold to Pakistan are gone. It will be the best of Chinese kit for them, and perhaps some Russian and European stuff. The linchpin for 5th gen. fighter and warfare employing them in general is the waveforms, networks, data-links, and fusion algorithms and threat libraries as they relate to survivability features and offensive capability against other fighters and ground based air-defenses. Those are the crown jewels of a 5GFA especially when employed at scale.

The F-35 does not have an export variant. Part of the deal the US DOD struck with Congress when it embarked on a joint program (Joint US services and international partners) was a system wide export clearance during the design phase itself (as opposed to system/sub-system by system clearance). This implies that the US congress and government will be highly selective in terms of who is offered the aircraft. Prior generation aircraft like the F-16 didn't suffer from this much technological proliferation and integration and were much simpler machines from a technology export perspective. The very things that make the F-35 capable, also make it hard for the US to 'dumb down' those capabilities in return for a "vanilla variant". These are integrated capabilities that function as one.

Therefore, it is just the nature of the beast that you will see higher selectivity when it comes to exporting the F-35 until such time that the 6th gen. fighter doesn't get fielded in numbers (probably around mid 2030's). Notice that the very export pasand Trump administration has backed off from plans of exporting the F-35 to the Middile Eastern users, who have in the past funded some of the most capable (even more capable than USAF variants) 4th generation aircraft like the F-16E and F-15SA (See below).

US defense officials quash rumors of potential F-35 sales to the UAE

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 27 Jan 2020 01:26

Contractor Red-Air service providers are going to be increasingly buying older frames and giving them a new lease of life. I expect some of the early tranche Eurofighters to also end up with one of these companies..


A former Spanish Air Force Mirage F1, now owned and operated by Draken International, arrives at Nellis AFB.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 29 Jan 2020 02:00

Russia completes delivery of second S-400 regimental set to China

Russia has completed delivery of the second regimental set of the Almaz-Antei S-400E Triumf self-propelled surface-to-air missile (SAM) system to China, according to a 27 January report by the TASS news agency.

Quoting an unnamed military diplomatic source, TASS reported that the regimental set consisted of “two divisions of launch devices, radio-location stations, energy and service equipment, spare parts, and instruments”, adding that “the client [China] also received more than 120 advanced anti-aircraft guided missiles of two types”.


Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 29 Jan 2020 05:02

LM begins build of first F-35 for Denmark

Lockheed Martin has begun building the first F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for Denmark at its Fort Worth production facility in Texas.

The company announced on 27 January that the forward fuselage of aircraft L-001, the first of 27 F-35As destined for the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF), entered production the week prior. Completion of this aircraft is scheduled for late 2020.

Having selected the F-35A to replace its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons in 2016, Denmark decided in 2018 to hedge payments of USD3.7 billion so that the country’s department of defence could acquire the aircraft at a fixed price in its local currency, the Krone.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 29 Jan 2020 06:15

From AW&ST

$4.6 billion for 32 F-35As. And once Poland realised that it's requirements were most likely going to be met by the F-35A, they ditched the idea of a competition which would've dragged the entire thing on for years.

Can't imagine something like that happening in a country like India. Not even a govt. like the current NDA would be able to pull that off.


Poland’s government will sign a $4.6 billion contract for 32 Lockheed Martin F-35As on Jan. 31, Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak announced Jan. 27.


The expected order will replace the Polish air force’s fleet of Su-22 and MiG-29 fighters, completing the NATO country’s transition from former Soviet equipment. Poland also operates a fleet of F-16s.

The country originally planned a competitive tender, but the requirement subsequently coalesced on the stealthy F-35.


The U.S. government approved Poland’s request to import the aircraft last year, with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notifying Congress in September.

Once the contract is signed, Poland will become the 14th country to order the F-35, although only 12 countries are currently participating in the program since the U.S. banned Turkey in July.

An order for 32 aircraft would place Poland second-to-last in terms of fleet size, behind only Denmark’s program to acquire 27 F-35As.


brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 29 Jan 2020 06:25

Poland was a bit of a special case though. They have fairly young F-16's so if they considered 4+ gen. aircraft all of this would have basically collapsed because nothing would have been more affordable than the F-16V. No European fighter could operate their JASSM's for example. Once they decided to spend more and go for higher capability the F-35 was a logical choice. Only game in town..NATO compatible..and moreover already integrated into the ground Air Defenses with Fire-Control level connectivity with PATRIOT's IBCS next gen. C2 system. Poland is the first export customer for advanced PATRIOT that features the IBCS upgrades and GaN AESA radars. Again, no other fighter aircraft anyone else could have offered would have had fire-control connectivity with those air-defense systems. The best anyone else could have promised would have been the standard networked centric kits where each other can see each other's combined operating picture. F-35 and IBCS can kill each other's targets with full fire-control level composite tracking capability which will probably be extended to Ballistic Missile defense by the time they actually get their kit. This would make Poland only the second country to get this capability among all western AD and fighter system users.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 29 Jan 2020 17:43

This is an interesting acquisition program to follow - The USAF rejected the F-15EX proposal and the rejection was strong enough that it made both the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, and the Air Force Secretary to not only reject it during private budget discussions but later come out publicly to let everyone know that the service was not in favor of it. They were both overruled by the Pentagon senior leadership on the grounds of capacity enhancement and preserving the fighter production industrial base going into key Next Gen. fighter programs down a few years from now. 110 F-15EX essentially means that the USAF will have three major design teams that are also involved in serious fighter production for the USAF just as the competition for the next gen fighter heats up. Boeing with the F-15, Lockheed and Northrop with the F-35.

US Air Force Moves Forward with F-15EX Fighter Jet Buy


The U.S. Air Force is moving forward with plans to purchase a new F-15 Eagle fighter jet, initiating its first fourth-generation fighter program in more than 20 years.

In a presolicitation notice recently posted on the government's acquisition and awards website, beta.sam.gov, the service announced it will sole-source two contracts, one for the F-15EX and the other for its F110 engines.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center "intends to award a sole source indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract to The Boeing Company for a refresh to the F-15C/D fleet and augment the F-15E fleet," one solicitation reads. The Defense Department expects a response from Boeing by Feb. 7.

The center also intends to award another ID/IQ contract to General Electric Aviation "to provide F110 propulsion systems to meet the F-15EX weapons system requirement," according to the second notice, which has the same response due date.

The Air Force wants at least eight new F-15 "fourth-plus" variants in its inventory. Boeing has said the fighter will be equipped with better avionics and radars and could carry more than two dozen air-to-air missiles.

In December, Congress signed off on the plan, but with a caveat: The Air Force requested $1.05 billion for eight aircraft, but lawmakers are limiting the buy to just two at first, according to the fiscal 2020 defense appropriations bill.

"Of the funds provided in Aircraft Procurement/Air Force for the remaining six F-15EX aircraft, no more than $64,800,000 for long-lead materials may be obligated until the Secretary of the Air Force submits a report" regarding the program's strategy and future schedule, the bill stated.

The Air Force expects to keep a well-rounded mix of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft through the 2030s, including the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-15 Eagle/Strike Eagle, officials have said.

Then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters at the annual Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium last year that the service needed to boost its fighter inventory to stop the average age its aircraft inventory from increasing.

The service has estimated it needs to buy 72 new aircraft per year to replace those old planes; officials just didn't expect to do so with the F-15EX.

"Our budget proposal that we initially submitted did not include additional fourth-generation aircraft," Wilson said Feb. 28, 2019, adding that supplemental decisions must support the "overall presidential budget."

The Air Force has been on a quest to replace its aging F-15C models. Officials in 2017 voiced concerns about the aircraft's longevity.

"We are already having serious problems with that airframe, with metal fatigue within the longerons on the side of the aircraft," Wilson said during a forum last May.

Senior defense officials with the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office told reporters that they arrived at the Boeing-made F-15EX decision because the aircraft would help keep a "robust industrial base" and provide "a higher-capacity" combination alongside Lockheed Martin's F-35.

"One of the considerations was the diversity of the industrial base," a senior defense official said at the Pentagon on March 22, 2019.

"Maintaining a diverse industrial base is in the best interest of the Department of Defense. The more diversity, the more competition ... and the better prices we have," the official said
.

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 30 Jan 2020 04:34

Another very interesting contest ongoing is the HX contest in Finland. Till now the Eurofighter, Rafale have been evaluated and now the Saab Gripen E arrived at the Finnish air base. Biggest emphasis is on counter-air operations.

Finland's multi-role fighter challenge gets underway

By the end of 2021, the Finnish ministry of defense is due to have selected a new multi-role fighter to replace the F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft of the Suomen Ilmavoimat (Finnish air force) by 2030. As part of the selection process for the program, known as HX, the five contenders have been invited to Finland to take part in what has been dubbed the “HX Challenge,” a series of in-country evaluations.

On January 9, the Challenge began when two Eurofighter Typhoons landed at the Pirkkala airbase, near Tampere in southeastern Finland. A media day followed. The aircraft—a single-seat FGR.Mk 4 and two-seat T.Mk 3—came from the RAF’s No. 41 Squadron, which acts as the service's Typhoon test and evaluation unit. BAE Systems is the lead Eurofighter partner for the Finland campaign.

The Typhoon’s test period is due to end on January 17, after which the other contenders will undergo similar evaluations. The Dassault Rafale is scheduled for January 20-28, and the Saab Gripen for January 29 to February 6. The two U.S. contenders follow, with the Lockheed Martin F-35A assigned the period from February 7 to 17, and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from February 18 to 26.

Under the HX Challenge, the five types will be put through a series of trials centered around Pirkkala that will amount to seven test-flying days each. Air-to-air missions will be performed against Ilmavoimat Hornets and Hawks. The planning and execution of the HX Challenge is being handled by the Air Combat Center of the Satakunta Air Command. Army and navy agencies are also involved to assess the contenders' ability to support land and maritime operations. The specific requirements for HX call for the aircraft to be capable of conducting counter-air, counter-land, counter-sea, and long-range strike missions, as well as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition.

Basing the evaluation in Finland not only allows the defense ministry to design the tests to be fair to all bidders but also assesses each candidate’s performance and capabilities in the Finnish winter environment. While the aircraft themselves have all been proven for cold-weather operations, sustained activities in combinations of freezing temperatures, snow, rain and sleet inevitably have some adverse effects, and can also affect the performance of electro-optical and other sensors.

Additional tests may be performed subsequently by manufacturers in their own countries, and other metrics will be evaluated through the use of simulators. Overall, the HX Challenge is designed to verify the claimed performance of each candidate, rather than pit them against each other in a five-way fly-off.

The HX Challenge represents the first phase of the performance evaluation process. The second phase will be conducted in simulators to assess the success of four-aircraft flights in the key missions set out in the requirement, based on the performance values verified in the flying assessment. A third phase will see how the contenders fare in a long-term wargaming evaluation.

Finland’s government first issued a request for information in April 2016, followed by a request for quotation (RFQ) in October 2019. A best and final offer is due to be delivered later this year following responses to the RFQ. Although fighter capability and performance is a critically important factor in the selection decision, procurement and life-cycle costs, security of supply, domestic industry benefits, and national security/defense policy impact are also major considerations.



Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 31 Jan 2020 04:47

New Japanese F-X conceptual image
Image

Japan prepares F-X partnership framework


The Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) expects to formalise a "framework" by the end of this year through which it will collaborate with a foreign partner on its programme to develop and build a next-generation fighter aircraft, the MoD has indicated to Jane's.

The MoD also confirmed that the programme is now officially termed as "F-X" and that it has proposed a new "conceptual image" of the new aircraft, which is intended to replace the Japan Air-Self-Defense Force's (JASDF's) Mitsubishi F-2 fighter aircraft in the 2030s.

The image is the first known official depiction of the proposed Japanese fighter.

"The JASDF's F-2s are scheduled to retire from around 2035," the MoD spokesperson told Jane's. "We will develop the F-X so that we can deliver the first production type [of the new aircraft] before the F-2 retirement starts."

The spokesperson added, "We will continue to discuss with potential partners, then we would like to determine a preliminary framework regarding development partners by December this year when we will finalise the draft cabinet budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021."

The spokesperson did not elaborate on what this framework might contain. However, the plan is likely to identify a foreign industry partner and its role in the F-X development project.


The MoD spokesperson also revealed that funding for the F-X development programme will reach about JPY28 billion (USD256.5 million) in FY 2020. A total of JPY16.9 billion of this funding (60%) will be spent on "F-X related research projects", said the spokesperson, with the remaining JPY11.1 billion (40%) allocated for "conceptual design in Japan-led development" activity.

The spokesperson also confirmed that the official name of the aircraft development programme was changed from Future Fighter to F-X in December 2019. The name change prompted the MoD to release a conceptual image of the aircraft.

tsarkar
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2910
Joined: 08 May 2006 13:44
Location: mumbai

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby tsarkar » 31 Jan 2020 11:13

Kartik wrote:Seems rather strange to me..how the heck will B'desh be able to afford any worthwhile numbers of Apaches? Even India can barely afford 2-3 dozen of the AH-64Es.

The Bangladesh economy is doing phenomenally well under the Sheik Hasina Govt. Many Indian businesses are investing there. My company is seeing 4-5x volumes growth and 2-3x margins growth in Bangladesh compared to India.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8297
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 31 Jan 2020 21:49

As I said in my earlier post, the sort of Fire Control Connectivity being developed for the F-35 and the IBCS alone justifies not holding a competition (not that anyone could have bid a 5GFA). This is game changing capability and a real force multiplier..

Poland Signs 4.6B USD Deal For The Purchase Of 32 F-35s

On Jan. 31, 2020, Poland signed the deal for the purchase of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft at the Dęblin Air Force Academy.

The agreement finalizes the Harpia procurement program aimed at acquisition of 5th generation fighter aircraft for the Polish Air Force. The deal, however, does involve some controversy, as Poland resigned from making the Harpia acquisition a competitive procurement procedure, as it did happen in case of the counterpart procurement processes, such as the one conducted in Finland or Switzerland. This sparked a lot of debate with analysts unanimously saying that this approach may have driven the price up.

During the event in Dęblin, Polish President Duda emphasized the role Poland played getting involved in the NATO operations (Baltic Air Policing) suggesting that this involvement has contributed to the Polish F-35 deal. He referred to the F-35 as the “aircraft that transfers the Air Force that uses it to a whole new era“. Duda thanked the PM and the head of the MoD and the US Ambassador to Poland for their support in concluding the deal. Duda also said that the F-35 relevantly reinforces the Polish national security, along with Patriot and HIMARS acquisitions, adding that the F-35 deal is a proof of a good relationship that the US has with Warsaw.

Polish PM, Mateusz Morawiecki, said that Poland is trying to get rid of its Soviet and Russian ties – saying that after 1993, when the Russian troops left Poland Warsaw has been making efforts to get rid of the post-Soviet equipment such as MiGs and Sukhois. Morawiecki noted that modernization of the Air Force would be accelerated by the F-35, thus ennding the Russian hardware domination in tyhe Polish mmilitary. Morawiecki referred to the F-35 as a milestone, marking a new era placing Poland at the forefront of NATO. Mariusz Błaszczak, head of the Polish MoD, also emphasized the interoperability that the F-35 exhibits with regards to IBCS/Patriot system and F-16s. Błaszczak said that the government and the President remain obligated to make Poland safe. He thanked Duda and Morawiecki for the diplomatic and budgetary arrangements made with regards to the modernization efforts. Błaszczak also pointed to other Polish acquisitions – helicopter or Patriot system procurements. He said that acquisition of the F-35 has been made with the Polish pilots and national security in mind.Georgette Mosbacher, referring to the deal, noted that the F-35 is the only 5th generation MRCA in existence today, also appreciating the Polish authorities’ vision of national security. She also referred to US military presence in Poland and the cooperation between Poland and the US.

The F-35 agreement has been signed by the head of the Polish MoD, Mariusz Błaszczak and then received by the US Ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, on behalf of the US.

The delivery of the first Polish F-35 is expected to happen in 4 years. This is a milestone that finalizes the Harpia program aimed at acquisition of the new generation fighter aircraft for the Air Force.

Deal in numbers is as follows:

Delivery of the first examples to Poland (6) is planned to happen between 2024 and 2025. 32 examples would be delivered by 2030. The first six aircraft would be staying in the US for the sake of training for the Polish Air Force. This most probably refers to the Luke AFB. Poland will get a single spare engine.

Poland is acquiring the F-35 in the Block 4 variant, and the agreement also includes a modernization package that would involve subsequent upgrades introduced by Lockheed Martin.

Polish F-35 aircraft will be fitted with a drogue chute, similar to the one used by the Norwegians.
Extras that come with the Polish aircraft include ground support equipment, integrated training centre and 8 Full Mission Simulators, logistics support within the GSS system (until 2030) and training of 24 pilots (up to the instructur level), along with 90 members of the ground crew.

Pricetag of the Polish F-35 deal is defined as 4.6B US dollars with unit price of 87.3M dollars (net), engine included – according to the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD.

The agreement also includes a modernization package that envisages that upgrades introduced later on would be implemented on the aircraft delivered before those upgrades.


Return to “Military Issues & History Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Cain Marko, Khalsa, Manish_P and 65 guests