International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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kit
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby kit » 07 Mar 2020 02:10

https://digit.site36.net/2019/12/21/drone-power-turkey/

Turkish manufacturers develop long-range drones

The „Akıncı“ is controlled via satellites, which considerably increases the range compared to the „Bayraktar TB2“ or the simple version of the „Anka“. Its payload is stated to be almost 1.5 tons, of which 900 kilograms can be transported under the wings as armament. Unarmed, the „Akıncı“ can be equipped with optical sensors, radar systems, interception devices or technology for electronic warfare.

The competitor Turkish Aerospace Industries is also developing a long-range drone with two engines. The „Aksungur“ is said to have similar capabilities to the „Akıncı“ and was flown for the first time in March. The „Akıncı“ also completed its first test flight two weeks ago. According to media reports, the system should be ready for operation next year and will initially be equipped with air-to-ground missiles with a range of 250 kilometres. A first test of the weapon was rated successful by Baykar. According to the company, the „Akıncı“ can also be used in air combat.

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2020 05:14

M982 Excalibur just completed its longest range test till date. Guided precision shot that took out a static pick-up truck (surrogate target) at a distance of 65 km. Near direct hit.

The US army used a M109A7 PIM upgraded with ERCA (58 cal)..The objective is 70+ km so they'll continue to push towards longer ranged shots. The target for the next generation rounds is 120-150 km. The Excalibur and the Excalibur S's precision and range really makes it a highly viable option for CAS in danger close..

In the tests, conducted at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, the 58-caliber XM1299 cannon used a “supercharged” propellant to fire two types of munitions about 65 kilometers — much farther than a traditional howitzer’s 18-kilometer range. The Excalibur precision-guided munition hit a “precise” target, officials said. The other, the rocket-assisted XM1113, was tested for range, not precision, the officials said. It was the longest test yet for the cannon, which is essentially a modernized howitzer being developed under the Extended Range Cannon Artillery program....

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... un/163604/



Video of the Excalibur test can be seen courtesy of Ashley Tressel and Tony Bertuca - https://twitter.com/ashleytressel/statu ... 3495761920

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2020 18:12

brar_w wrote:The MALD, the MALD-Jammer, the MALD-J/X and the MALD-N have all evolved via testing new payloads, and tactics/conops at Exercise Northern Edge in Alaska. NE 2020 could possibly kick this off as well..

Small Bombs, Jet-Powered Decoys To Demo Semi-Autonomy


ORLANDO, Florida—Small Diameter Bombs and Miniature Air-Launched Decoys (SDBs and MALDs) will demonstrate a new semi-autonomous weapon technology later this year, an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) official says.

A new technology named Golden Horde, selected as one of five “Vanguard” priorities by AFRL in 2019, seeks to change how the U.S. Air Force employs long-range weapons, said John James, an AFRL spokesman.

James spoke at the Air Warfare Symposium here.

[b]For the demonstration, AFRL will replace the laser seeker in the SDB with an autonomy package, which includes a radio frequency data link and a processor. The processor includes “play calling” software. A set of “plays,” or employment options, are loaded into the processor.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 10 Mar 2020 03:51

Israel approved for KC-46A while USAF problems persist

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on March 3 that the U.S. State Department had approved a potential Foreign Military Sale to Israel of the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker. Worth an estimated $2.4 billion, the proposed purchase includes up to eight aircraft, up to 17 Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engines (one spare), and 18 Raytheon MAGR 2K-GPS SAASM (selective availability anti-spoofing module) jam-resistant navigation systems, as well as other communications systems and support activities.

Congressional approval of the sale follows a Letter of Request (LoR) being submitted by Israel in May 2019. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has a pressing need to replace its elderly fleet of Boeing 707-300 Re’em tankers, some of which have been in service since 1977. In 2019 the fleet was temporarily grounded, but only as a precaution following an accident suffered by a C-130 Hercules. Such is the urgency for a new tanker that it has been reported that Israel has inquired about early delivery of two KC-46As, taking over production slots currently filled by U.S. Air Force aircraft.

Israel Aerospace Industries’ Bedek division has engineered its own tanker conversion of the Boeing 767 airliner, known as the K-767 Multi-Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT). One Series 200-based tanker/transport was sold to Colombia, and Brazil signed up for three, based on the 767-300ER. Bedek has a thriving 767 cargo conversion program and had hoped to perform more MMTT conversions for the Israeli air force. Local media outlet Globes reported in August 2018 that Boeing would refuse to issue the necessary license to IAI to convert 767s for the IAF as they would be competing directly with the KC-46A. Israel intends to pay for its KC-46As mostly with funds from U.S. military aid.


..


Considering that the Boeing KC-46A will compete with the Israeli KC-767 MMTT conversion (which will much cheaper than brand new KC-46As) Boeing could well do the same for the Indian Air Force tanker contest as well. i.e. refusing to issue the necessary license to IAI Bedek to convert 767s in K-767 MMTTs.

IAF would be well advised to ensure that IAI Bedek has the necessary license well before allowing it to proceed on the RFP.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 10 Mar 2020 04:07

Seems like the Germans have a mess rivaling ours when it comes to decision making.

German in gridlock over nuclear capable fighter replacement

Germany's Air Force has a special mission: deliver American nukes in the case of a nuclear strike. But its Tornado fleet is rapidly nearing the end of its shelf life. So why has Germany yet to decide on a replacement?

In a given week in late November, the number of flightworthy Tornado fighter jets stationed at Büchel Air Base varied widely: Sometimes, twelve out of the 45 planes were operational; soon after, less than a handful. "That's pretty tight," according to one pilot.


He spoke to DW on condition of anonymity. For the air base, tucked away amid the picturesque plateaus of the Eifel region in western Germany, has a special, secret mission: It is here that American nuclear bombs are stored in what is officially termed a "nuclear sharing agreement."



Upkeep of Tornado fleet skyrocketing

But as Germany's Tornado fleet is swiftly nearing the end of its shelf life, the cost of maintaining a fleet for the nuclear mission is skyrocketing.

"The increase each year is brutally high," as one parliamentarian put it.

DW has obtained a copy of an official document from the Ministry of Defense, which puts the expenditure for the Tornado fleet, including maintenance, procurement and development, at €502 million ($562 million) in 2018. This year, the figure is estimated to reach €629 million.

The problem is that the planes date back to the early 1980s. Until a few years ago, the fleet, which once numbered roughly 350 planes, was progressively reduced, meaning that retired airplanes could be cannibalized for spare parts.

Now, parts for the remaining 85 airplanes have to be manufactured at great cost — or taken from jets that are undergoing maintenance and built into those about to be returned to the Air Force, leading to long delays in planes becoming airworthy again.

The situation is so dire that pilots are struggling to fulfill the quota of flight hours needed to maintain their license — and it is leading to a shortage of flightworthy planes needed for the nuclear sharing agreement and other missions.


Spare parts 'more and more difficult'

In early December, in an imposing purpose-built hangar at an Airbus' compound, civilian and military mechanics were busy doing maintenance on twenty disassembled Tornados — some of them were stripped of their varnish, a tangle of cables visible in their fuselage, their distinctive black nosecones propped beside them.

It is here, in the vast compound close to the sleepy Bavarian town of Manching, that the Air Forces' Tornado fleet undergoes its routine maintenance.

Planes rotate in every three years — and most stay for roughly 350 days, according to Katharina Semmler-Schuler, head of Tornado Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul at Airbus Defence and Space Germany.

Spare parts, she said, were indeed a problem — the process of rotating them from one plane to the next added an extra 20 days to the maintenance, she said. "And it's getting more and more difficult."


Competing interests and heel-dragging

But despite the problems, Germany seems in no hurry to replace its fleet: While most other European countries have retired Tornado jets or are in the process of doing so, the German government has yet to decide which plane to replace it with.

DW spoke to several government and opposition politicians and members of the German Air Force — and they all agreed that a decision was urgent. The Tornado's operational capability is only guaranteed until 2025. After that, the costs for extending the fleet for another five years could be as high as €13 billion. Once a deal has been reached, it could still take several years for the airplanes to be built and then finally reach the Air Force hangars.

The decision has pitted different strategic, political and industrial interests in Germany and abroad against each other, making it difficult to reach a consensus for a deal that could be as high as €10 billion.

Three options: F-35, F/A-18 or Eurofighter

Talk to politicians and Air Force officials, and they name three possible airplanes: The F-35, F/A-18 or Eurofighter Typhoon. Many within the German Air Force prefer the American F-35 fighter jet produced by Lockheed Martin, the most modern airplane available on the market. American planes would come with established logistics chains and programs to quickly train pilots, compared to training in Germany which can drag on for years. The other European nuclear-sharing countries — Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy — have all opted for the F-35.

French pressure against American F-35 jets

But here this option seems to have been quietly dropped, in part due to French pressure: For Germany and France are in the early stages of developing a joint fighter plane — the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which combines manned fighter jets with swarms of cloud-connected drones.

"We let the French blackmail us," one parliamentarian, who favors the F-35, told DW. The French threatened to go FCAS alone, should Germany buy the modern American F-35 jets, which could make the government here less inclined to pour billions into the development of a possibly only slightly more state-of-the-art European jet that could take years, possibly decades, until it reaches the market.

And, there is another reason some politicians are wary of the F-35: It is, they concede, basically a black box. "You don't know which information or data may be transmitted to America," one parliamentarian told DW.

..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 10 Mar 2020 04:39

No one is going to take the Germans seriously if they talk the talk but don't walk the walk. They can integrate nuclear weapons on their Typhoons. But it will take billions and lots of time to do so. Likewise, they could have developed an F-35 competitor but chose to pursue 4+ generation aircraft which continue to lose competition after competition when they have to compete against the F-35. Same with SEAD. They can turn the Typhoon into the Growler like capability but it will be a multi-billion dollar, multi year (if not decade) project which will result in a platform that will be inferior compared to the Growler and end up costing at least double if not more once development cost is factored in.

The FCAS is going to run into significant challenges as well, After a couple of years of intense negotiations, political handshakes, photo ops, and mockups (pre design contract award mockups I might add) they ultimately signed an eye popping $160 Million contract last month. At this rate they won't deliver anything before late 2030's or early 2040's at the earliest in terms of a production ready program. That's nearly two decades that different political parties in both countries (and Spain) will have a say in what and how the program jumps through the various developmental hoops. A good recent example of the political issues that FCAS will have to navigate through is the Euro MALE program. Lots of ambitions but they only spend about 1.2% of their GDP on defense, and this number may only rise to around 1.5% by 2025.

What might be the one advantage the Tempest and the FCAS have is that the US NGAD, with its Pacific focus, is likely to be so drastically different from an "F-35 competitor" or "replacement/complement" that this may just leave the entire market for such type of a fighter (for Euro Canard upgrade market) all to them in the post 2040 time-frame. Though in the 2030's, a block 5 F-35 will likely be still selling for about a $100-120 Million (in those years) which will likely be significantly cheaper than FCAS so it will test a lot of European budgets and will to spend more to arm up.

European MALE UAV will not arrive until late 2020s: OCCAR

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 10 Mar 2020 19:48

This was always an expected mission. Initial F-35A filled in the role of the F-117 capability that the USAF retired earlier. Now that the fleet size is growing by 60-70 aircraft annually and the system is maturing the aircraft is being opened up to other missions across the F-16 and even the retired EF-111A space. I expect both the B-21 and F-35 to employ TP stand in jamming in the form of a Gremlins or XQ-58A like SIJ platforms. This way they’ll be able to better manage the EMS while leveraging their own strengths in terms of RCS and LPI/LPD comms.

Middle East SAM Discovery Highlights F-35’S Evolving Role - Steve Trimble Aviation Week March 09 2020

As a series of Block 4 upgrades are set to elevate the Lockheed Martin F-35’s profile for the counter air-defense mission, a top program official shared an operational anecdote highlighting the aircraft’s latent capability against surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems.

Twelve F-35As deployed last year to the Middle East to support operations against the Islamic State group (ISIS), logging 150 weapons employed during about 7,300 hr. flown on 1,300 combat sorties, said Brig. Gen. David Abba, director of the Air Force’s F-35 integration office, speaking at the Mitchell Institute March 9. “The numbers were pretty remarkable,” Abba said.

Although ISIS forces posed little threat to the F-35A, the deployment provided opportunities for the stealthy fighter to demonstrate capabilities against a more sophisticated opponent.

Abba described an operational scenario that involved a mobile SAM system. The U.S. intelligence community normally tracks the locations of such systems as closely as possible, but in this case the mobile SAM had not been seen “in a while,” he said.

Meanwhile, two F-35As were en route to perform an unrelated mission when an indication of the missing, mobile SAM appeared on their cockpit displays, Abba said. The inference was that the F-35’s onboard sensors, such as the BAE Systems ASQ-239 electronic-warfare suite, detected and identified the threat. The pilots used the data to cue the radar-mapping mode of the F-35’s Northrop Grumman APG-81 active electronically scanned array radar to establish “targetable” coordinates for the SAM.

“We didn’t end up employing ordnance against that [threat], but it was fed back into the [command-and-control] structures in the intelligence community,” Abba explained.

Although the F-35 is not primarily an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, Abba described this latent F-35 capability as “drive-by ISR.”

But the anecdote highlights the F-35’s evolving role within the U.S. military for the suppression or destruction of enemy air defenses (SEAD/DEAD) mission.

Make no bones about it, this aircraft is the preeminent SEAD/DEAD platform,” Abba said, “and that’s what we need to optimize it for.”

The description of the F-35 as the “preeminent” platform for the SEAD/DEAD mission is striking. Only four years ago, the Air Force’s written testimony to Congress described the F-35A as possessing only a “limited” SEAD/DEAD role. The aircraft also lacks certain features such as a stand-off jamming system and an anti-radiation missile, which are the tools of the trade for other aircraft performing the SEAD/DEAD mission, such as the Boeing EA-18G.

But the F-35’s potential as a counter air-defense system is growing. The Air Force last year launched development of the Stand-In Attack Weapon to give the F-35 a long-range anti-radiation missile, which is adapted from the Navy’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range. The Block 4 modernization program also would add the MBDA Spear missile, which includes an electronic-warfare capability.

More recently, the F-35 also has demonstrated an ability to act as a stand-in sensor for long-range, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles.
Last edited by brar_w on 10 Mar 2020 21:10, edited 1 time in total.

kit
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby kit » 10 Mar 2020 19:57

Kartik wrote:Seems like the Germans have a mess rivaling ours when it comes to decision making.

German in gridlock over nuclear capable fighter replacement

Germany's Air Force has a special mission: deliver American nukes in the case of a nuclear strike. But its Tornado fleet is rapidly nearing the end of its shelf life. So why has Germany yet to decide on a replacement?

In a given week in late November, the number of flightworthy Tornado fighter jets stationed at Büchel Air Base varied widely: Sometimes, twelve out of the 45 planes were operational; soon after, less than a handful. "That's pretty tight," according to one pilot.


He spoke to DW on condition of anonymity. For the air base, tucked away amid the picturesque plateaus of the Eifel region in western Germany, has a special, secret mission: It is here that American nuclear bombs are stored in what is officially termed a "nuclear sharing agreement."



Upkeep of Tornado fleet skyrocketing

But as Germany's Tornado fleet is swiftly nearing the end of its shelf life, the cost of maintaining a fleet for the nuclear mission is skyrocketing.

"The increase each year is brutally high," as one parliamentarian put it.

DW has obtained a copy of an official document from the Ministry of Defense, which puts the expenditure for the Tornado fleet, including maintenance, procurement and development, at €502 million ($562 million) in 2018. This year, the figure is estimated to reach €629 million.

The problem is that the planes date back to the early 1980s. Until a few years ago, the fleet, which once numbered roughly 350 planes, was progressively reduced, meaning that retired airplanes could be cannibalized for spare parts.

Now, parts for the remaining 85 airplanes have to be manufactured at great cost — or taken from jets that are undergoing maintenance and built into those about to be returned to the Air Force, leading to long delays in planes becoming airworthy again.

The situation is so dire that pilots are struggling to fulfill the quota of flight hours needed to maintain their license — and it is leading to a shortage of flightworthy planes needed for the nuclear sharing agreement and other missions.


Spare parts 'more and more difficult'

In early December, in an imposing purpose-built hangar at an Airbus' compound, civilian and military mechanics were busy doing maintenance on twenty disassembled Tornados — some of them were stripped of their varnish, a tangle of cables visible in their fuselage, their distinctive black nosecones propped beside them.

It is here, in the vast compound close to the sleepy Bavarian town of Manching, that the Air Forces' Tornado fleet undergoes its routine maintenance.

Planes rotate in every three years — and most stay for roughly 350 days, according to Katharina Semmler-Schuler, head of Tornado Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul at Airbus Defence and Space Germany.

Spare parts, she said, were indeed a problem — the process of rotating them from one plane to the next added an extra 20 days to the maintenance, she said. "And it's getting more and more difficult."


Competing interests and heel-dragging

But despite the problems, Germany seems in no hurry to replace its fleet: While most other European countries have retired Tornado jets or are in the process of doing so, the German government has yet to decide which plane to replace it with.

DW spoke to several government and opposition politicians and members of the German Air Force — and they all agreed that a decision was urgent. The Tornado's operational capability is only guaranteed until 2025. After that, the costs for extending the fleet for another five years could be as high as €13 billion. Once a deal has been reached, it could still take several years for the airplanes to be built and then finally reach the Air Force hangars.

The decision has pitted different strategic, political and industrial interests in Germany and abroad against each other, making it difficult to reach a consensus for a deal that could be as high as €10 billion.

Three options: F-35, F/A-18 or Eurofighter

Talk to politicians and Air Force officials, and they name three possible airplanes: The F-35, F/A-18 or Eurofighter Typhoon. Many within the German Air Force prefer the American F-35 fighter jet produced by Lockheed Martin, the most modern airplane available on the market. American planes would come with established logistics chains and programs to quickly train pilots, compared to training in Germany which can drag on for years. The other European nuclear-sharing countries — Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy — have all opted for the F-35.

French pressure against American F-35 jets

But here this option seems to have been quietly dropped, in part due to French pressure: For Germany and France are in the early stages of developing a joint fighter plane — the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which combines manned fighter jets with swarms of cloud-connected drones.

"We let the French blackmail us," one parliamentarian, who favors the F-35, told DW. The French threatened to go FCAS alone, should Germany buy the modern American F-35 jets, which could make the government here less inclined to pour billions into the development of a possibly only slightly more state-of-the-art European jet that could take years, possibly decades, until it reaches the market.

And, there is another reason some politicians are wary of the F-35: It is, they concede, basically a black box. "You don't know which information or data may be transmitted to America," one parliamentarian told DW.

..


i though the nuke capable fighter bombers were under NATO command ? and paid as such ? Does Germany even deploy nuke weapons as a part of the Luftwaffe ?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 10 Mar 2020 22:12

The aircraft are under Germany command. The nuclear weapons and arming codes are under US control until such time that the nuclear clearance is given upon which time they will be loaded on to German Tornados and whatever eventually replaces that mission.

In peacetime, the nuclear weapons stored in non-nuclear countries are guarded by United States Air Force (USAF) personnel and previously, some nuclear artillery and missile systems were guarded by United States Army (USA) personnel; the Permissive Action Link codes required for arming them remain under American control. In case of war, the weapons are to be mounted on the participating countries' warplanes. The weapons are under custody and control of USAF Munitions Support Squadrons co-located on NATO main operating bases who work together with the host nation forces. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_sharing

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 10 Mar 2020 23:13

One thing that Steve Trimble got wrong or didn't mention in the article above, is that the ASQ-239 and the AN/AAQ-37 on the F-35 (all variants) are capable of developing tracks and geo-locating targets under different circumstances. In fact the DAS has even demonstrated ID and geolocation abilities against tanks and other ground fires. It has also now demonstrated (via multiple DAS sensors) development of 3D ballistic missile tracks which have the requisite fidelity for AEGIS BMD interceptor launch. This is going to get better when Raytheon's Next Generation DAS comes on board over the next couple of years.




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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 12 Mar 2020 02:30

F-35 program update as of March 2020 :-

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 12 Mar 2020 05:28

USAF to upgrade F-16s with pylon based MAWS from Elbit

The US Air Force (USAF) has contracted Elbit Systems of America to equip its reserve Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft with a pylon-based missile approach warning system (MAWS).

The USD471 million contract, which was announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 5 March, will run for 10 years and see an undisclosed number of F-16s operated by the Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) fitted with pylon-based infrared missile warning systems.

Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and will run through to February 2030.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 12 Mar 2020 10:39

TBH, neither France nor Germany needs the FCAS to be ready before 2040. There is no pressing need and they have large enough fleets of 4th gen fighters that can meet their needs for the next 20 years at least.

I can understand the viewpoint of Germans wanting to go with the Eurofighter since it means money spent (even though higher) remains mostly within the EU and benefits many more local industries than the F-35 or Growler will. Jobs may not be the only issue at stake- it also will mean development of technology that otherwise will only be developed for FCAS at a much later stage. Other EU nations like Netherlands and Norway don't have as much of a stake in high technology development for any future program so going with the F-35 makes more sense for them.

Frankly, for all their defence needs, NATO is there. Russia isn't a threat that the Germans need to face alone. France is another matter altogether and far more independent.

One thing I don't understand- why would it take 10 years for the US to get the Eurofighter certified to carry the B61 nukes? Just to spike the chances of the Eurofighter being able to carry the B61 nukes and thus hand the nuclear strike role to the Super Hornet or F-35? It can't be that complicated that needs 10 years worth of effort.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 12 Mar 2020 10:58

Germany's Tornado's wont last till 2040. So from a fleet planning perspective they cannot replace the Tornado with the FCAS. The Typhoon is likewise a sub-optimal Tornado replacement for a whole host of reasons one of which is the billions required to actually get that capability and the fact that even when it is delivered it will take longer, will be more expensive and in many ways inferior to what is currently available off the shelf.

Why will it take them a decade to certify the Typhoon for the nuclear mission, integrate the B-61 with it, and then run the entire test and verification program? Cost is likely one driver. As is range and test infrastructure availability as the US is itself certifying the upgraded B-61 and running two nuclear integration programs in the near term (F-35 and B-21) not to mention developing the LRSO with its classified stream of funding and testing. They can speed it up, and indeed they have mentioned 2025 (so a similar time-frame as the F-35A but unlike the F-35A there is no funding to lock down schedule or range/infra availability) as a likely schedule if they weren't challenged by other concurrent programs in the nuclear sphere. It will just cost a lot more to speed it up. In fact, even if we go with that decade estimate (which is just an estimate but not solid) it is probably still going to be quicker than how long it would take Germany to say execute a fleet wide AESA or DASS upgrade on their existing Typhoons. Part of this schedule is also host nation/sponsor dependent. Doing that sort of an integration, and then then the entire scope of testing (not just stores separation but testing that the nuclear-delivery platform can perform its mission as intended) is a partnership between the two countries, the multiple OEM's and then dependent upon lab and range and resource availability. All this takes time and $$. No reason they couldn't have planned for it..but like most things they just talked and didn't do much else.

Germany can obviously create a completely different nuclear weapon and integrate it on the Typhoon..but that will cost a lot more and take even longer. This is what you get for not planning fleet replacement properly and not listening to those subject matter experts within your own country when they warn you to do so. But now they want to do both i.e. develop and promote indigenous capability but also under fund programs that are going to make all this happen. As a result they will get neither an increase in indigenous capability in any meaningful way, nor field a capable replacement - worst of both worlds!

On the FCAS taking this long - Any joint European program is subject to intense political volatility and funding uncertainty and this is further compounded when their is no one clear dominant financial or operating party (like one nation buying 50% of the demand for example). The longer these tend to be in scope, and complexity the harder it is going to get. Recent Euro MALE is one fine example of that. They intend to field a reaper competitor by 2028-2030. The USAF just announced yesterday that the service will launch its MQ-9 replacement program in 2022. The more complex and stretched the FCAS is, the higher likelihood that it fails as currently envisions. Just like the last time when the French walked out and build the Rafale. A 20+ year program basically gives multiple political parties in these nations to exercise their judgement when things don't work out over partnership/scope etc. And the very slow stream of funding, relative to competition or what is actually required, means that technical progress is going to be slow given they did not invest in 5GFA capability and skipped fielding a whole host of other high end technological efforts (like operational stealth aircraft) that could pave the way to a cheaper or smoother program.

Kartik wrote: There is no pressing need and they have large enough fleets of 4th gen fighters that can meet their needs for the next 20 years at least.


I don't think they have large enough 4th gen fleet at all. The French Rafale procurement has been very anemic and same for the German Typhoon modernization effort. How many Rafale's have they purchased in the last 2 decades? And the cost has been very high. No indigenous RPA capability, and compromises in strategic and tactical lift, logistical and air-tanker support is slow to grow. The Tornado replacement in Germany is following a similar sort of trend. And recently these guys were floating the idea of a EU Carrier force (
no kidding ). Converting the Typhoon into a nuclear bomber platform isn't going to help with the FCAS development at all. Neither is converting it into a sub-optimal (compared to the Growler) SEAD/DEAD platform.

Kartik wrote:Frankly, for all their defence needs, NATO is there


They are NATO and the whole idea of the shared nuclear mission is to keep NATO's largest force aligned with a low-yield nuclear weapon in Europe as a safety net and to share the cost of it all so that whatever collective defense funds are available don't go on duplicating capability.

Kartik wrote:Other EU nations like Netherlands and Norway don't have as much of a stake in high technology development for any future program so going with the F-35 makes more sense for them.


Those two aren't the only F-35 operators in Europe. The UK and Italy are both partners, and the latter has an F-35 FACO. Both of those countries also have investments being directed at the Typhoon upgrade program, and the Tempest program along with a whole host of other efforts. Spain is also likely to operate the F-35 in the future while also being the next nation to sign on to FCAS as a junior partner. These aren't as mutually exclusive as they may seem. The US, Germany and Italy were some of the main NATO providers of SEAD/DEAD..The US has modernized its capability, the Italians have done it to a little extent while the Germans just sat around contemplating a funding stream that never came all the while dreaming up replacement programs that were beyond their financial commitment. My problem isn't that they want to do this on their own. My problem is that they have these grand plans to do so and then don't back it up with any strategic investment and as a result just keep pushing these decisions down the road while others within NATO have to pick up the slack.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2020 03:31

Some pictures of the Norwegian F-35A's during the NATO Iceland QRA Mission (via Scramble) -

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby arvin » 13 Mar 2020 21:01

Kartik wrote:USAF to upgrade F-16s with pylon based MAWS from Elbit

The US Air Force (USAF) has contracted Elbit Systems of America to equip its reserve Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft with a pylon-based missile approach warning system (MAWS).

The USD471 million contract, which was announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 5 March, will run for 10 years and see an undisclosed number of F -16s operated by the Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) fitted with pylon-based infrared missile warning systems.

Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and will run through to February 2030.


Since these will be mostly older C/D version what could be the reason for equiping them with MAWS so late in their life. I guess lessons learnt on feb 27 are at play here. The pig next door must have squealed about R 73, Unkil is now fixing the vulnerability in its fleet.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2020 21:23

arvin wrote:


Since these will be mostly older C/D version what could be the reason for equiping them with MAWS so late in their life. I guess lessons learnt on feb 27 are at play here. The pig next door must have squealed about R 73, Unkil is now fixing the vulnerability in its fleet.


The USAF F-16 upgrade plans have existed for a decade plus and were pushed to the right to accommodate the sequestered budget and to prioritize F-35 acquisition and modernization of the F-15 E fleet as a priority (because of its higher utilization in combat operations). With the increase in funding that came via Trump, they have accelerated these upgrades. This is all planned as the F-16 will be an important part of the Active AF, and the guard and reserves for the next 15-20 years. Upgrades include fleet-wide AESA radars (on the fleet that will serve over extended time period), Auto Ground Collision Avoidance System implementation, service-life extension of the older aircraft, digital RWR's, new mission computers, a central display for some aircraft, and other networking upgrades that will improve interoperability. The 2018-2023 spend on some of these alone exceeds $5 Billion fleet wide with more to follow in the 2023-2030 time-frame. In total, at least 375 aircraft will go through these upgrades with majority of them being operated by the USAF Air national guard..

arvin wrote: The pig next door must have squealed about R 73, Unkil is now fixing the vulnerability in its fleet.


The F-16 MWS upgrade RFI was released in 2014 following a sources sought notice a year earlier.
Last edited by brar_w on 13 Mar 2020 21:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby arvin » 13 Mar 2020 21:33

Thanks brar. Thats quite a extensive upgrade path.
Quite impressive miniaturization by elbit to be able to fit sensors and dispensors in a pylon foot print.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2020 21:38

arvin wrote:Thanks brar. Thats quite a extensive upgrade path.
Quite impressive miniaturization by elbit to be able to fit sensors and dispensors in a pylon foot print.


Terma's PIDS solution has existed for quite a while and is operational with European F-16 users. This is also the platform the USAF has selected, with an Elbit supplied off-the-shelf MWS solution. They wanted something that didn't need development and could be procured OTS. Both of these products were mature and available for a demonstration.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 16 Mar 2020 04:39

Brig Gen David Abba (F-22 background) Director of the F-35 Integration Office provides a lengthy update ( March 2020 ) on the F-35 program .


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 17 Mar 2020 01:00

From AW&ST

U.S. Explains 12% Premium Added To Poland’s F-35A Price Tag

When Poland signed an order for 32 F-35As on Jan. 31 with deliveries starting in 2024, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) raised some questions by citing a unit price of $87.3 million.

Although such a non-recurring cost per aircraft seems a bargain compared to the $89 million sales price for F-35As delivered in 2019, it’s almost 12% higher than the program’s quoted rate of $77.9 million for aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2022.

Aerospace DAILY asked the Joint Program Office (JPO) for an explanation on Jan. 31, and received a response six weeks later.

Special surcharges and inflationary adjustments account for the $9.4 million disparity between the officially quoted price tag for aircraft delivered in 2022 for the F-35A and the Poland MoD’s $87.3 million estimate for aircraft delivered between 2024 and 2030, the JPO said in an emailed statement.

The surcharges reflect Poland’s participation in the F-35 program as a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customer.

For the eight foreign countries that invested in the development program between 2002 and 2003, the U.S. government waived the 3.2% contract administrative surcharge applied to all FMS deals and a special, non-recurring cost charge of $2.42 million for each F-35A airframe and F135 engine sold to an FMS partner, the JPO said.

The combined charges add up to about $5 million extra for each F-35A delivered to Poland. The list of FMS contract buyers includes five more countries: Belgium, Israel, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

In addition, Poland’s $87.3 million quote is an average price of all 32 aircraft delivered between 2024 and 2030 and adjusted for inflation, the JPO said.

Poland also purchased a brake parachute for each F-35A. The cost of the parachute is not included in the quoted price for a non-FMS customer, but only increases the overall price by 0.0007%, the JPO said.

The Block 4 version’s Technical Refresh 3 package, which adds a powerful new mission computer, upgraded panoramic cockpit display and an improved data memory unit, arrives in F-35As delivered in fiscal 2023, but Lockheed officials have said those upgrades won’t materially add to the non-recurring cost of each aircraft.

The JPO’s statement backed up Lockheed’s promises.

“None of the differences between the Lot 14 quote of $78 [million] and [Poland’s] $87.3 [million] figure is attributable to Block 4 upgrades,” the JPO said.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2020 01:41

^^ Five million per aircraft is a bargain for Poland because it means that the US Government negotiates for these aircraft along with its larger block/multi-year buy. Had they tried negotiating themselves, had the F-35 been available via DCS, they would have probably paid more than a $5 Million premium given they had no other OEM that could compete in a bidding process with a 5GFA. It has been known that block-4 hardware and software upgrades are going to be cost neutral for the most part as the higher cost for some of these is offset by a larger contracted buy given it will be in Full Rate Production.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Philip » 17 Mar 2020 08:26

Brar, what N-ordnance would the Germans use? Why must it also cost bilions to configure Typhoons? I don't think it cost us billions to configure first Jaguars,then M-2000s,plus MKIs for the role.
German aircraft would most probably use an LRCM for the same or shorter ranged missiles with tactical nukes to stop Ru armour and ground forces .Free fall N- weapons too? Have the Brits configured their Typhoons for nuclear delivery or are they placing all their options on their SSBNs?

Incidentally, 2 pairs of TU-142s monitored USN N-sub exercises 50 nm off the coast of Alaska ,spending 4 hours on station.F-22s intercepted them.I mention this to remind some of the continuing relevance of these CW Sov. era birds,now upgraded too, in LR ops.The UK says that there are 3 to 4 similar TU-142 missions of the UK/ Scottish mainland " every week". A pity we retd. the type.A few could've been retained for such LR missions while the P-8 Is handled LRMP ASW ops. I see from an above titbit that B-52s too will be re- engined.Excellent news.My fav.US aircraft! Nothing else can carry MOAB.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2020 08:40

The Typhoon will carry the B-61 and its upgraded variant . Why is it going to cost them a fair bit? Obvious reasons - The Typhoon's developers would have to do all that it would take to harden it for the mission, integrate the aircraft into the US/NATO nuclear command and control capability and provide all the capabilities that are expected from such a platform, be it the F-35A, Tornado, F-15 or any other aircraft. Quite a bit of the cost would be to run the test and validation program..its going to involve multiple industrial partners and the US integrator and test and evaluates and will likely run 5 or more years.

The MOAB is carried by the MC-130H aircraft. The B-52 is getting a Raytheon supplied AESA radar, a new defensive suite, and new engines (still 8 ) that would give it about 35% more range and shave off something like 2000+ kg from its all up weight. The reason is that the B-52's are quite young and much younger frames then the B-1's which are going to be retired once B-21's begin coming online. B-52 can easily serve for about 40 additional years if not more. B-2's are also likely to be retired starting when the B-21 is nuclear certified.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Philip » 17 Mar 2020 08:50

Tx. about MOAB.Then what was the largest conv.bomb it could carry? It dropped a v.heavy load I remember in Afghanistan,setting some record. Why didn't the Typhoon manufacturers not envisage a nuclear role for the aircraft and not engineer it for the same at inception? All EU users are NATO members.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Mar 2020 08:59

The B-52 can carry pretty much everything the US has..(too many to list). This is the reason why they want to retain 8 engines and not look to mount 4 more powerful engines in there. The stores separation and the re-testing and certification that would be a result(of the 4 engine option) would pretty much eat all of their budget for testing on that fleet. Consequently, the B-52 commercial engine program will now probably result in the largest civil airliner engine order, possibly in the history of commercial aviation. I don't think any airline in the world has ever ordered 650 or so engines in one single contract (USAF wants a commercial engine). Going forward (long term), the US Air Force plans to be a two bomber fleet - B-52's and B-21's but to get there will likely take 15-20 or so years as the B-21 inventory is built up allowing for B-1 and B-2's to be phased out.

Nuclear strike or EA/SEAD was never a Eurofighter mission and none of its development partners demanded it. Germans too never pushed it because they had the Tornado which was good till the mid 2020's and the Italians are F-35 partners and will eventually retire their Tornado's and use the F-35's for the SEAD mission. Since only one Eurofigther partner needs the nuclear mission, the Germans will have to carry the entire developmental cost and any test and integration effort required from the US side. The F-35 nuclear certification cost was shared by the US and other F-35 nuclear operators plus amortized over a huge buy.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Mar 2020 01:35

International Operations ⚡
@Luftforsvaret
F-35As and a
@usairforce
B-2A conduct aerial operations over Iceland in support of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-2...LINK


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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby narmad » 18 Mar 2020 18:34

Could not find a relevant thread, so posting here.

legendary-special-operations-aviator-reveals-bin-laden-mission-details-for-the-first-time

Englen’s lone Chinook on its way back was engaged 3 times by a Pakistani F-16.

'It was as an electronic fight...I was able to evade him electronically. That’s all I’ll say. But, he was searching and hunting for me, & 3 times came very close to actually launching a missile."

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby darshhan » 18 Mar 2020 21:23

narmad wrote:Could not find a relevant thread, so posting here.

legendary-special-operations-aviator-reveals-bin-laden-mission-details-for-the-first-time

Englen’s lone Chinook on its way back was engaged 3 times by a Pakistani F-16.

'It was as an electronic fight...I was able to evade him electronically. That’s all I’ll say. But, he was searching and hunting for me, & 3 times came very close to actually launching a missile."


One of the reasons why Bharat should go easy on imports when it comes to weapons procurement.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Mar 2020 22:37

Looks like the T/F-50 is the front-runner for USAF's RFX experimentation program -

RFX Contract Revives USAF Hopes For Losing T-X Aircraft


Two advanced jet trainers—Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin’s T-50 and Leonardo’s M-346—dueled for decades for a chance to replace the U.S. Air Force’s T-38 fleet, only to lose to the Boeing/Saab team’s upstart and recently branded T-7A.

The T-X competition ended 18 months ago, but a quietly heated competition between the T-50 and the M-346 to land a new Air Force contract called the “RFX” continues.

To be sure, the Boeing/Saab team’s grip on the $9.2 billion T-X contract remains safe. The Air Force is still counting on Boeing to deliver potentially 351 T-7As, with the first aircraft and simulator scheduled to be delivered to Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, in 2023.Before the T-7A can arrive, however, head of Air Combat Command (ACC) Gen. Mike Holmes has defined a requirement for the RFX: It would consist of access to 4-8 advanced jet trainers, each rented annually for about 4,500 flight hours over a five-year period.

In an ironic twist, as a result of the RFX, one of the two losing aircraft for the T-X contract could play a pivotal role in transforming how the Air Force uses and bases the future T-7A fleet.

Holmes says the T-7A’s modern capabilities offer a generational chance not just to replace the 60-year-old Northrop T-38 fleet but also to revamp an 80-year-old pilot-training system that he says produces too few pilots and emphasizes the wrong skills.

Last year, Holmes unveiled an ACC-led plan to reshape the pipeline for fighter and bomber pilots. His “Project Reforge” with the RFX, originally published on the War on the Rocks online publication, proposes to eliminate Formal Training Units and mix advanced jet trainers such as the T-7A with frontline fighters in operational squadrons.

But first Holmes wants to validate that his ideas work. By renting flight time on advanced jet trainers available now, rather than waiting for T-7As after 2023, Holmes wants the ACC to be ready for a dramatic shift in training practices as the Boeing/Saab aircraft come into service. Thus, Holmes’ timeline rules out using the T-7A for the validation phase.
Boeing has produced only two industry-funded prototypes, and both are needed to support the T-7A development program, which is scheduled to end at the initial operational capability milestone in 2024. As a result, the ACC quietly opened discussions last May with two competing private companies that now represent the T-50 and M-346 to select a bidder for the RFX.

Hillwood Aviation, a Perot company, proposed T-50s to the ACC for the RFX contract. Mission System Solutions (MSS), an aerospace engineering services firm, offered M-346s.

From the beginning, the Air Force’s requirements strongly favored the T-50. The initial request for information (RFI) for the RFX released last May included a requirement for supersonic speed, which is a highly touted feature of the T-50 but eliminates the subsonic M-346.

The ACC released the first request for information about the RFX services contract in May 2019, but Arlington, Texas-based MSS was initially unaware of the proposal, says MSS CEO David Nichols.

MSS had played a key role in the Leonardo team’s bid for the M-346-derived T-100 bid for the T-X contract, providing aircraft engineering services during the lengthy source selection process. Following Boeing’s loss in the competition, MSS moved to secure access to at least four “white-tail” M-346s produced by Leonardo without a customer. In May 2019, MSS then proposed to offer those M-346s to the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) as a stopgap to cover a shortfall of T-38s until the T-7A became available, Nichols says. It was during a presentation about the stopgap proposal to AETC that MSS first learned about the ACC’s RFI for the RFX, Nichols says.

After MSS proposed the M-346, the ACC’s requirements changed. The ACC dropped the requirement for a supersonic aircraft, calling instead for an aircraft that can achieve a closing speed with another of the same type of aircraft at 1,100 kt. Two M-346s can achieve a closing speed of 1,400 kt., Nichols says, so subsonic speed was no longer a disqualifying factor for the ACC.

But the ACC later added a new requirement: The RFX aircraft must be ready to carry a radar. South Korea operates a version of the T-50 with the Israel Aerospace Industries EL/M-2022 radar, so that aircraft remains eligible for Project Reforge. Leonardo is still in the process of qualifying its Grifo radar on the M-346, Nichols says. But the radar integration for the M-346FA requires engineering changes that are not retrofittable to the white-tail aircraft available to MSS, Nichols says.

Based on the radar requirement, the ACC decided in January to disqualify all other aircraft except the T-50s offered by Hillwood Aviation, whose chairman is Michael Moseley, former head of the ACC and Air Force chief of staff.

“The T-50 provides the advanced displays, training systems and active radar needed for the RFX. The M-346 variant provides advanced displays and training systems needed for the RFX but does not have an active radar at this time, and the timeline for incorporating one was unknown. Therefore, only the T-50 meets the basic requirements for the RFX,” an ACC spokesperson explained to Aviation Week.

A representative for Hillwood Aviation declined to comment.

The ACC notified industry in January that it intends to award a sole-source contract to Hillwood Aviation’s T-50s for the RFX requirement.

The late addition of the radar requirement for the RFX surprised and baffled MSS, Nichols says.

“The radar was just an attempt to justify a sole-source award to the T-50—that’s the way it appeared,” Nichols says. “[It was] the fact that they never talked to us to say, ‘Do you guys have a radar?’”

Although the ACC says the radar integration schedule for the M-346 is “unknown,” Nichols says that MSS offered to provide Grifo-equipped M-346s for the RFX within 12 months of contract signing.

Nichols, an industry participant in the Air Force’s search for a T-38 replacement for a decade, suspects the original supersonic requirement for the RFX speaks to an internal desire within pockets of the ACC for a trainer with greater speed than the M-346 offers.

“You still have factions within the Air Force that are looking for a high-performance aircraft for a trainer aircraft, and the T-50 scratches that itch,” Nichols says.

The ACC notified industry of the decision to award a sole-source contract to Hillwood Aviation in January but has taken no further action since then. In the interim, MSS has intensified its efforts to reverse the decision, enlisting congressional supporters to lobby the ACC and launching a media campaign focused on advertising the capabilities of the M-346 for the RFX requirement, Nichols says.

In order to win the award, MSS is seeking to pressure the ACC to drop the requirement for an active radar in the RFX fleet. In Nichols’ view, the radar is unnecessary because the M-346’s embedded training system is designed to emulate all of the sensors, including radars, on the Air Force’s fleet of operational fighters. MSS’ proposed M-346 aircraft comes equipped with Elbit’s embedded training system, which Boeing also selected for the T-7A, Nichols says.

MSS’ proposal is based on an agreement with a third-party financier, which will acquire the white-tails and provide them to MSS for the RFX, Nichols says. He declined to identify the financier. Once the five-year validation project is completed, MSS has an agreement with another operator to continue using the aircraft, Nichols says. The aircraft can provide a broad range of services, including advanced pilot training and adversary air contract services, he says.

“We believe that there’s a market” for the M-346 white-tails, Nichols says. “Whether it is doing pilot training, [adversary] air or supporting international air forces, we will find a way to keep our service going here in the States.”

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Re: MiG-21 Bison shoots down F-16 in Kashmir

Postby Rahul M » 19 Mar 2020 00:42

narmad wrote:Could not find a relevant thread, so posting here.

legendary-special-operations-aviator-reveals-bin-laden-mission-details-for-the-first-time

Englen’s lone Chinook on its way back was engaged 3 times by a Pakistani F-16.

'It was as an electronic fight...I was able to evade him electronically. That’s all I’ll say. But, he was searching and hunting for me, & 3 times came very close to actually launching a missile."

I found it interesting that an NCO was piloting the chopper and indeed was in charge of the air operations of Neptune s spear.
AFAIK, in our forces, piloting is an officer only job.
Deejay, care to weigh in ?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 19 Mar 2020 12:21

F-35 ALIS open deficiencies grow to over 4700 over 2 years

Lockheed Martin has made several improvements to the F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), but the technology remains plagued by about 4,700 deficiencies.

A new Government Accountability Office (GOA) review of ALIS, the F-35’s ground-based software support system, outlines the scope of problems still affecting the technology, which has long been plagued by issues.

The report says 66% of outstanding deficiencies came to light in the last two years, and 22% are “Category 1’ or “Category 2” problems.

“Category 1 deficiencies are considered critical and could jeopardise safety, security or another requirement,” says the GAO’s report. “Category 2 deficiencies are those that could impede or constrain successful mission accomplishment.”

The report does break out numbers of Category 1 versus Category 2 deficiencies.

ALIS, made by Lockheed Martin, is a ground-based computer that supports F-35 operations. Its software manages prognostics, maintenance, supply chain, flight operations and training.

For instance, ALIS’ prognostic system tracks time before parts must be replaced; the maintenance system schedules and tracks aircraft maintenance; the supply chain system manages parts inventory; the operations system plans and debriefs missions; and the training system tracks pilot and maintainer training records.
..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 19 Mar 2020 12:22

Union warns Germany against Super Hornet selection

One of Germany’s biggest aerospace employee unions has warned the country’s government that it risks jeopardising the entire European defence industry if it selects a US-built fighter to replace the Luftwaffe’s Panavia Tornado fleet.

Berlin is currently weighing options for a successor aircraft, with a decision expected in early 2020; Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter are both in contention.

..

Although the Super Hornet does not carry a nuclear payload, integration work would take considerably less time than on the Eurofighter, according to reports, if the USA allowed it at all.

But in an open letter to Germany’s defence and economy ministers, plus the head of the chancellery, the IG Metall union warns against selecting the F/A-18E/F, even as part of a split-buy.

IG Metall says that 25,000 jobs in Germany and 100,000 in Europe as a whole depend solely on Eurofighter production; a decision against that programme “jeopardises the future of our workforce”, it says.

Developing new capabilities for the Europe-built aircraft, such as EW or advanced sensors, is also essential to provide suitably skilled workers for the Franco-German Future Combat Air System programme, the union says.
..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 19 Mar 2020 12:43

Image
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L-39NG passes key fuselage strength test

Aero Vodochody’s L-39NG has passed fuselage strength tests, as the company works towards certification of the advanced jet trainer.

Using the fuselage of aircraft 7002, which is earmarked for static trials, the test saw the structure initially taken to the limit load, which corresponds to the maximum possible load during flight. Subsequently, this was increased to the ultimate load, or 150% of limit load. It was only at 110% of this higher level that a structural failure occurred.


..

“During previous tests, the fuselage was loaded by bending, by inertial forces of the engine and also by forces from the horizontal tail. The last realised test represented the most critical case, it is the combined bending load of the horizontal and vertical tail.”

Evaluations were discontinued after the structural failure appeared so as not to destroy the fuselage, which is needed for additional trials, such as the pilot hinge seat test.


..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 19 Mar 2020 22:08

More F-35 and B-2 pictures from the recent European deployment -

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Vips » 21 Mar 2020 05:22

Pentagon says successfully tested hypersonic missile.

The United States announced Friday it has successfully tested an unarmed prototype of a hypersonic missile, a weapon that could potentially overwhelm an adversary's defense systems.

The Pentagon said a test missile flew at hypersonic speeds -- more than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5 -- to a designated impact point.

The test followed the first joint US Army and Navy flight experiment in October 2017, when the prototype missile demonstrated it could glide in the direction of a target at hypersonic speed.

"Today we validated our design and are now ready to move to the next phase towards fielding a hypersonic strike capability," Vice Admiral Johnny Wolfe said in a statement.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Mar 2020 06:27

Video below. It was the second test of the fully integrated BGV (with warhead and guidance) and probably concludes the test effort for it. Next step would be to fully test the Navy and Army specific Booster and then do an integrated test shot. This weapon will deploy in 2023.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Pratyush » 21 Mar 2020 13:15

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... jet-engine

Potentially a revolutionary development as it will make possible to develop longer ranged powered SDB type missiles possible or the decoys to mimic flight profile of jet aircraft to be developed.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Mar 2020 19:56

Pratyush wrote:https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/32669/air-forces-gray-wolf-program-tests-game-changing-small-low-cost-jet-engine

Potentially a revolutionary development as it will make possible to develop longer ranged powered SDB type missiles possible or the decoys to mimic flight profile of jet aircraft to be developed.


Gray Wolf originally started with the intention of producing a Cruise Missile that was 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of the JASSM. At around $1.2 Million per JASSM, this would mean a possible unit cost of just $300K for the entire package (engine, airframe, warhead, guidance, data-links etc). Some targets pointed it to be even lower as a target (low 6 figures). The second element of the program was to design the propulsion and guidance solution so that that price point was as independent of production rate as possible i.e. the cost would be that low irrespective of LRIP or a large production scale that brings EOS. The final element was to enable semi-autonomous (eventually fully autonomous) missile to missile coordination and coordinated attack capability based on supplied mission plans etc. In 2018 this was scaled back with just two objectives - demonstrate a low cost, production rate independent, engine and the semi-autonomous / autonomous missile to missile coordination technology. The former is still part of the original program, while the latter was de-coupled from it and is moving ahead under the golden horde program which will demonstrate this capability on the SDB-I and MALD platforms to start off with.

Video -

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7625&start=1480#p2419120

https://www.janes.com/article/94620/afa ... mo-in-2020

Golden Horde is a group of technologies the USAF is evaluating for network collaborative autonomous capabilities within existing weapon systems, Colonel Garry Haase, AFRL munitions directorate commander and director at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, told Jane's on 28 February at the Air Force Association's (AFA's) Air Warfare Symposium. The service, he said, will experiment with how to have a group of weapons talk and interact with one another and pass data back and forth into a network so they can better prosecute targets and better prioritise.

The USAF wants its Golden Horde weapons to be able to reform and reprioritise targets if some are taken out. The AFRL refers to this as 'playcalling'. A play is an established collaborative behaviour enabled, or disabled, when certain predefined conditions are met by the swarm.

Golden Horde uses a collection of plays called a 'playbook'. Loaded prior to a mission, the playbook provides a choice of plays from which the weapons can choose.

The upcoming demonstration will centre around what the AFRL is calling the Collaborative Small Diameter Bomb 1 (CSDB-1), integrated by Scientific Applications & Research Associates Inc. (SARA) which is based on the Boeing GBU-39B/B Laser Small Diameter Bomb (LSDB) form factor. Col Haase said AFRL will use multiple CSDB-1s and have them work together to prosecute a target.

The AFRL will also add in a Collaborative Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (CMALD), integrated by the Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp (GTARC), to provide longer endurance and power platform. The goal, he said, is to demonstrate two different platforms talking and working together collaboratively to provide greater capability.


Think of a few ARM's and MALD-Jammers being followed by a swarm of SDB's that can coordinate and re-adjust their attack plan based on the damage that the ARM's have done or based on what damage the defensive systems in an IADS has been able to do to the ARM's or to their own formations. HOJ and Anti Radiation variants SDB already exist and are operational with the USAF. Missiles and munitions that can sense, and act accordingly will be a major challenge for Air Defense systems to deal with..especially when they are used in conjunction with things that are designed to degrade their performance such as stealth and stand off jamming or cyber electronic warfare.

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