International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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chola
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Re: Tejas Mk.1 & Mk.1A: News & Discussions: 23 February 2019

Postby chola » 01 Aug 2020 00:04

darshan wrote:Even when chinese build the commerical places, they have dual purpose in mind. Their eyes are never off the target.


Commercial aircraft support and enhances the whole industry.

In the end, your design can be realized only by the ability of your industry to build it. The LCA and Kaveri had world class specs. The problem with the designs is not the ability of our designers to imagine great things. It is the ability of our industry to realize their visions.

If you don't create that underlying industrial framework then it is more like a lab project than an industrial one. To be honest, the chini projects like the Amreeki ones seem more industrial processes while ours are more like lab projects.

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Re: Tejas Mk.1 & Mk.1A: News & Discussions: 23 February 2019

Postby m_saini » 01 Aug 2020 00:51

How can we get in front of that any time soon?


True, we can't. Chinis do what they do and chinis plan like do because they want to realize their "mandate from heaven" or whatever they're high on. Everything is a stepping stone towards that. Pakis have the same obsession and if they weren't inbred, they'd use that hatred to prop them up like chinis instead of suicide-bombing.

Americans have that shiny MIC mostly because at first they were forced into it by ww1&2 and after that their MIC simply didn't want to let go of the gravy train that is federal contracts.

We have none of that. No mandate of heaven and whatever the chinis are doing in ladakh, though it is forcing us to pass the "import ban list", it just isn't at the scale of a ww. We have no obsession and mostly just want to be left alone to live off our lives in huts and enjoy gol gappas once in a while. Our MIC is just a reflection of that.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 01 Aug 2020 01:40

Italian Air Force F-35B Makes Official Debut During Expeditionary Proof of Concept Exercise


On Jul. 30, 2020, the Italian Air Force presented its capability to use short runways and project power on very short notice from forward operating locations as part of an “Expeditionary” PoC (Proof of Concept) held at Pantelleria, the tiny island located in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, some 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Sicily and 60 km (37 mi) east of the Tunisian coast.

The exercise saw the participation of the first F-35B STOVL aircraft of the Italian Air Force, the airframe serialled MM7453/32-14: the goal of the PoC was to deploy an F-35B aircraft to the Pantelleria airport with accompanying operational/technical-logistical support, in order to demonstrate the ability of the air force to project and use the 5th generation aircraft far from home, in a semi-permissive environment, on an austere/bare runway normally not usable by other conventional aircraft and with limited Force Protection provided by the host nation.

For this reason, the drills involved several units of the Italian Air Force: the F-35B of the 32° Stormo (Wing) from Amendola Air Base was supported on its way to Pantelleria by a KC-130J tanker. The landing area was surveilled by an MQ-9A Predator B (also from the 32° Stormo) that streamed live imagery to the “Combat Controllers” (Italian Air Force Raiders of the 17° Stormo) whose role was to take over the control of the airfield and provide coordination and control of the flying activity. The Air Riflemen of the 16° Stormo, provided the Force Protection of the deployed personnel and assets.As part of the PoC, after performing a short landing, the F-35B was refueled on the ground directly from the KC-130J tanker aircraft using the Air Landed Aircraft Refuelling Point (a special system providing simultaneous refueling on of up to 4 aircraft by pumping fuel from the KC-130’s tanks) and was armed in a very short time before taking off again; an activity that saw the involvement of the RSV (Reparto Sperimentale Volo – Italian Air Force Test Wing), because it had never been carried out operationally before.

“The F-35B is probably the most eye-catching, considered that it is the first time you see it, but it represents just one of the elements of a larger expeditionary system that makes the Air Force capable to project power; a capability that not only is important for the Air Force, but for the whole nation” said Lt. Gen. Rosso, Italian Air Force Chief of Staff during the media briefing of the exercise. “This kind of exercise has a technical relevance, as it allows us to train and prepare all the components that are needed to conduct expeditionary operations: we can fix minor issues that a new capability brings and find the right integration between all the players. Moreover, from a strategic point of view, we can demonstrate that the Italian Air Force is among the few air arms in the world to be able to express an aerospace power projection capability: we are not only able to operate from home, from our usual airbases; we are able to operate from other airbases that already make the logistics and support available; and we are able to project, when and if needed, our capabilities, in an autonomous way. It’s an important capability that we are really proud of.”

“This capability is extremely important to face new scenarios or situations like the one we had during the Gulf War”, added Rosso. “Our Tornado jets were deployed to an airbase [Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE] that was far away from the area of operations: this implied that our aircraft had to fly several hours and carry out several aerial refuelings before reaching their targets. The ability to operate from shorter runways can allow the selection of a closer airbase and solve the problem. In terms of flexibility, just think that in Africa there are about 100 runways that have a length between 2,800 and 3,000 meters but there are 20 times as many runways between 1,000 and 1,500 meters in length. Being able to use short runways allows you to multiply your ability to deploy where needed, in a more convenient and faster way, especially closer to the area of operation. Having an aircraft that is capable of taking off from shorter runways allows incredible flexibility even in those scenarios that are currently only barely conceivable. In case of conflict, aircraft that are able to operate from shorter runways can also be dispersed to increase their survivability. This flexibility to operate from bare/austere runways or even highways makes the air power more unpredictable and represents a fundamental capability in any scenario. For this reason, after carefully studying all the scenarios and costs, the Italian Air Force has identified, as done by other air arms, a mixed fleet of F-35A and B aircraft, as the most economically convenient and effective configuration.”

When asked about the possible creation of a joint management of the F-35B fleet between the Italian Air Force and Navy, Rosso said: “This is one of the things we are discussing. I believe that a joint capability is important regardless of the machine and the systems you use. I think nobody can afford to work alone, but we have to do teamwork, because we are a single defense tool at the service of the country. Beyond what may be some controversies, as reported in the newspapers, I think there is the awareness and desire to make each one’s own competence and skills available to the country in a synergistic way. It is clear that the F-35B is an aircraft that has great flexibility and is capable of solving a series of problems or addressing a series of needs of both the Navy and, in my opinion even more, the Air Force. Being able to put together the skills and experiences that the individual Armed Forces are able to make available, respecting the tasks of each, I think is something the whole country will benefit of. I trust that this will be the direction in which we will move, without any service wanting to override the other, respecting the prerogatives of each armed force. I think working together for a single goal as a single Armed Force is a duty towards the taxpayer.”

In order to understand what’s the status of the F-35B program and the controversies Rosso referred to, I suggest you reading the article this Author wrote in February 2020.

As a side note, while it explores the capabilities of the new F-35B with the support of the RSV, the 32° Stormo continues to grow its experience with the F-35A it first received in 2016: the Wing’s child unit, the 13° Gruppo (Squadron), that achieved the IOC (Initial Operational Capability) in Nov. 2018, has just successfully completed their second tour of duty in support of NATO’s Icelandic Air Policing mission, dubbed Operation Northern Lighting II.




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Re: Tejas Mk.1 & Mk.1A: News & Discussions: 23 February 2019

Postby YashG » 01 Aug 2020 10:17

chola wrote:The PRC aerospace industry is of an infinitely greater depth and breadth than HAL (which is basically our entire
industry.) The more you chinimil-watch the more you are impressed with not their fighters but all the other stuff like the CJ-6, Jl-9, Y-5, Y-7, Y-8, Y-9, Y-12 that are powered by pistons, turboprops, turbojets.

There is nothing we can do in the short term to take us ahead of all that.



Yes their depth is impressive. Truly nothing is stopping India from replicating their depth except decisive will. Indian scientists can build better tech than Chinese but the industrial production is a resut of not how brilliant our scientists are but how much we invest in production gear. Our remote sensing resolution still exceed china's capability btw. ISRO still achieves in less budgets more spectacular results than Chinese. & Im so proud of LCA from the time it took its first flight. I truly think making the world's smallest multirole aircraft from scratch is something!

But MIC is just about investment in production infrastructure and it is not about brilliance, its about just putting in money and faith. Whats stopping us to replicate Tejas lines? Like everyone says here - we just arent investing in our miltech. To be a dissapointment, the current goverment has just taken baby steps. If someday our government & babudom decides to throw $10 billion dollar into Indian MIC, our scientists will achieve better in less than a decade. Maybe thats my hope.

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Re: Tejas Mk.1 & Mk.1A: News & Discussions: 23 February 2019

Postby chola » 01 Aug 2020 14:10

YashG wrote:
chola wrote:The PRC aerospace industry is of an infinitely greater depth and breadth than HAL (which is basically our entire
industry.) The more you chinimil-watch the more you are impressed with not their fighters but all the other stuff like the CJ-6, Jl-9, Y-5, Y-7, Y-8, Y-9, Y-12 that are powered by pistons, turboprops, turbojets.

There is nothing we can do in the short term to take us ahead of all that.


But MIC is just about investment in production infrastructure and it is not about brilliance, its about just putting in money and faith. Whats stopping us to replicate Tejas lines? Like everyone says here - we just arent investing in our miltech. To be a dissapointment, the current goverment has just taken baby steps. If someday our government & babudom decides to throw $10 billion dollar into Indian MIC, our scientists will achieve better in less than a decade. Maybe thats my hope.


Saar, we just bought 36 Rafales for $10B. We are praising it to high heavens. We agreed to $7B for 83 Tejas Mk1 after much wrangling over price. Appropriate that this discussion is in international aerospace since we are among the greatest financial supporters of international aerospace.

Jeff Immelt, the former CEO of GE, said in order to challenge a company like GE in aerospace (engines) is to invest billions every year for decades after decades. Our billions are not concentrated in our industry. They are diffused all over the world.

Again brilliance unmatched by a practical industry leaves you with a series of lab projects . We are importing a lot of components for Tejas, including engine, radome and radar among others, because our designers came up with a design some two decades ago that can't fully be realized even today.

When I began following the LCA and Kaveri those many moons ago, the J-10 and WS-10 were our evil twins. We were ahead in both airframe and engine during those initial heady years.

In the years that followed though, we poured billions into screwdriver giri and outright phoren buys in the MKI and MiG-29K (we practically funded development of this plane for Russia.) The Kaveri languished for lack of funds. The LCA did not receive a formal contract until 2016. The chinis OTOH put their billions from the start on continuous marks of their own fighter and their own engine until the J-10C is now mass produced with the WS-10.

We have a naval jet that successfully landed on a carrier in the NLCA. But there will be no orders. It has an immaculate test record in an inherently dangerous role.

The chini J-15 crashed many times during prototype and LSP stages. But they continued to plug away at it. Spending billions in-house.

So yesterday:
https://mobile.twitter.com/RupprechtDeino/status/1289334200680812545
Allegedly a first image of an improved J-15B (Batch 03) in flight which is said to feature a new AESA radar (from the 607 Institute), WS-10 engines and able to carry PL-10/PL-15 AAMs.


They put their money as a bet on themselves. With enough money and iterations, they get things right (right enough that they can be mass produced.)

We have the MWF, AMCA, TEDBF and ORCA coming. Ambitious projects all. If we put our billions on them and not get sidetracked then the future is bright. But that remains to be seen.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 01 Aug 2020 16:51

Fresh batch of F-35 I Adir's has been delivered to Israel (4 aircraft). One of them is the IDF specific test aircraft which can be seen carrying the blade antenna likely where the F-35 SATCOM terminal is located -

Image

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Israel is looking at possibly 25 more F-35 I's -

Israeli also laid out its plans to build up its forces over the coming years, with a major emphasis on new aircraft – all of them to be bought from the US:

The IDF wants to buy two additional fighter squadrons: 25 stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighters – to break through anti-aircraft defenses at the outbreak of war — and 25 of the latest upgrade of the non-stealthy F-15, the F-15EX – which can carry heavier bombloads through the resulting gaps in the enemy air defense.
To keep these fighters operating at long ranges, Israeli wants to purchase the new KC-46A aerial refueling tanker, despite the program’s many problems.
Finally, to support its ground forces, Israeli is seeking a new heavy-lift helicopter to replace its aging CH-53Ds, with the choice down to Lockheed’s much-upgraded CH-53K and Boeing’s CH-47F Block II.


https://breakingdefense.com/2020/07/us- ... yria-arms/

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Re: Tejas Mk.1 & Mk.1A: News & Discussions: 23 February 2019

Postby YashG » 02 Aug 2020 09:25

chola wrote:When I began following the LCA and Kaveri those many moons ago, the J-10 and WS-10 were our evil twins. We were ahead in both airframe and engine during those initial heady years.

In the years that followed though, we poured billions into screwdriver giri and outright phoren buys in the MKI and MiG-29K (we practically funded development of this plane for Russia.) The Kaveri languished for lack of funds. The LCA did not receive a formal contract until 2016. The chinis OTOH put their billions from the start on continuous marks of their own fighter and their own engine until the J-10C is now mass produced with the WS-10.

We have a naval jet that successfully landed on a carrier in the NLCA. But there will be no orders. It has an immaculate test record in an inherently dangerous role.

The chini J-15 crashed many times during prototype and LSP stages. But they continued to plug away at it. Spending billions in-house.
They put their money as a bet on themselves. With enough money and iterations, they get things right (right enough that they can be mass produced.)

We have the MWF, AMCA, TEDBF and ORCA coming. Ambitious projects all. If we put our billions on them and not get sidetracked then the future is bright. But that remains to be seen.


Correct! In areas where we are ahead - we don't invest. We are not much far behind China in cryogenics. Quality wise - we are even ahead. Our third stage cryogenic engine is the most powerful in the world - also among the most complex/efficient. If ISRO is given just enough money, they will surpass China in 5 years.

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Re: Tejas Mk.1 & Mk.1A: News & Discussions: 23 February 2019

Postby chola » 02 Aug 2020 10:53

YashG wrote:Correct! In areas where we are ahead - we don't invest. We are not much far behind China in cryogenics. Quality wise - we are even ahead. Our third stage cryogenic engine is the most powerful in the world - also among the most complex/efficient. If ISRO is given just enough money, they will surpass China in 5 years.


Yash ji, Cheen led the world in launches the last two years by a pretty good margin even over Unkil. They are ahead again this year.

Last year they launched 34 rockets to our 6. This year with Covid they launched 21 so far while Isro suspended launches for the year.

So in space, like in aircraft, they are an industry. For them, launches are like the automobiles industry. We didn't stop making cars because of the Wuhan virus. They didn't stop launches. ISRO stopped launches because we are not quite an industry yet.

So no we can't surpass them in 5 years even with more money. We have to commit to investment for years on end.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby YashG » 02 Aug 2020 13:41

Cholaji, by surpassing i do not intend in terms of quantity. But demonstrable quality leadership and capabilities. We have missions lined up for venus, moon and we have plans for building heavy lift, superheavylift rockets and even recoverable shuttle based on just a single SCE 200 engine combos, which btw going to be among the most powerful rocket engines in the world. SCE is already planned to go up in 2021, but budgets are probably going to delay it. Covid too. If we just do all this in time - dnt pinch pennies from isro ...we would earn our place, quantity not withstanding. We would still be behind in number if launches but hopefully we would look just as capable. Even with all that quantity, beidou has a lower accuracy than irnss, we have more efficient cryo and other small wins. I just hope we look as good and better in many ways if not all. But okay this is already OT. Mods are abt to place this in space thread.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Aug 2020 18:44

Sumeet wrote:
Brar 6th gen was a typo as I mentioned in reply to Rakesh.

Also, I mentioned equivalence with F-35 in terms of Sensors, Data fusion and NCW (I missed this in my original post) definitely not stealth or VLO shaping.

I totally agree with you that capacity of growth of engine's electric output & cooling F-35 is radically different from Rafale and even F-22. Hence more powerful and rich in terms of capability avionics and sensors can be easily fitted to F-35. In its overall lifetime it will be much superior to what can ever be fitted into Rafale. And for this same reason MWF if well planned can out do Rafale as well by significant margin...


Thanks for the run down on F3R and F4 and what may happen in the F5. The rafale will get healthy upgrades in the near to mid term but the question is out whether it will get the same level of investments when the financial pressures for SCAF R&D kick up to their highest level. How much of Rafale tech (AESA, sensors, EW suite) has flowed back into French M2K's? (I don't know but this is worth looking into). Given very low production volumes, and no program partner it will rely solely on French funding for growth (Dassault is a fairly small A&D company and with international sale prospects not really looking that good, they aren't likely to pour a ton of money in product development with government support especially so given their financial risk on the SCAF). Unless the IAF maintains a force of 70-80 Rafale's, I don't see it or the MOD stepping up and investing a ton of money into a parallel baseline where they take over some of the development and upgrade work. I suspect much of it will have to rely on initial seed investments and support from the French MOD and Dassault.

So I see the gap not narrowing but growing when it comes to its avionics capability (quality+quantity) compared to the F-35. As I wrote earlier, the F-35 is architectured for significant growth. The power availability isn't a small hill to climb. It generates 60% more power than a twin engine heavy strike fighter (F-15). This is a resaon it can get away carrying a larger radar than the Rafale (by module count) and heaps of other equipment and flight control systems that use electric power. There will be electric and thermal efficiency gains in future systems and sub-systems but the availability of power allows them to get better performance out of them while "banking" the gains via efficiency for other applications. So the possibilities are endless as the baseline platform can accept a lot of growth before tapping out. And knowing that it may begin to tap out sometime in the future, movement has already started on an path to get adaptive engine technology into it which would increase performance and put them on a path towards thermal management system growth. This could be a precursor to getting a DEW on the aircraft as well down the road.

Let us see what the F-35 has/does today, or is otherwise capable of doing today (validated through high fidelity simulations or real-world component testing) within the scope of its sensors, fusion and computing (pending software development like modes etc) –

• It generates about 60% more electric power for its sub-systems than an F-15. Or about 25% more than even the 5th Gen. F-22A. It doesn’t need to be re-architectured to get there. It does so at baseline. That’s more power for mission systems, electrical components, thermal management, etc etc etc. As the advanced propulsion concepts under study continue to be defined, it will only get better in that regard.
• It has an AESA that is roughly 50% larger than that of the Rafale as measured by T/R count. That is quite a fair bit of performance advantage especially given that the AESA on the F-35 is an MFA at baseline i.e. at the current state it is expected to perform multiple core missions. From sensing, to electronic attack.
• Its current EODAS sensors have been shown to detect, categorize and locate even RAM type of fire events. This in real world sensor testing. Similarly, the US Missile-Defense-Agency has used the very same sensors in real world testing and has verified that the sensors can confirm missile launch, and place a Ballistic Missile in a 3-dimensional track with enough fidelity to supply targeting information for the AEGIS combat system.
• F-35A has a functional LPI/LPD, always working, high bandwdth data-link that allows aircraft in a four ship, for example to collaborate on executing a target. It isn’t relying on a low frequency legacy data-link to exchange information far and wide. When penetrating defended air-space, it is using a secure, directional, high frequency data link that can handle exchange of raw data as opposed to just sharing a common operating picture like L-16 enables at default (unless one upgrades to the higher frequency versions like the S band US Navy “big pipe” but even that is not directional and not LPI/LPD)

Here’s what is coming on the Block-4 starting Lot 14/15 –

• The AN/AAQ-37 EODAS sensors are getting replaced. The new ones, made by Raytheon, are expected to offer 2x improvement in performance and consume lower power which means lower thermal footprint as well.
• The F-35 is getting a new mission computer which is expected to be the fastest on any fighter surpassing that of the F-15 E and EX’s ADCPII which is currently the fastest.
• New EW bands are coming on board, as well existing bands are being upgraded
• Two new EOTS drop ins. Both multi-spectral. One option is to add a SWIR channel to the existing MWIR sensor, and another to add a LWIR channel. Both options available and marketed by LM to new customers or those looking to upgrade. The EOTS is embedded and flush mounted. It need not occupy a hardpoint though I suspect block 4/5 will see the F-35 become capable of external recce payloads , particularly some of the more sensitive ones.
• The already impressive all touch cockpit of the F-35 is getting an upgrade. Full LED implementation.
• The Gen. 3 helmet is already available and will probably continue to see weight reduction, and performance improvements in block 4 and beyond
• Hardware and software upgrades to the AESA radar focused on performance improvements, survivability and to inject more modern systems into it
• Multi-ship IRST is coming on board (there is talk of this already having started) – This allows the fusion-engine to divvy up a given airspace and allow networked F-35’s to efficienctly scan airspace for threats (passively) and autonomously checking each others geographical boundaries to verify new threats

These are just some of the improvements. Some are not going to be known for quite a while given the sensitive nature. But rest assured, block-4 is a MAJOR overhaul. It literally completely changes the innards of the F-35. From huge leaps in computing to a complete overhaul of the EO/IR sensors, and EW capability. It isn’t a tweak here and a tweak there.

So like I said, I only see the gap widening and not narrowing. And this isn't just with the Rafale..

It is with every other 4th-4.5 gen fighter be it the Block 3 (future Block 4) Super Hornet, F-15EX, Typhoon or the Gripen NG. There is a reason that France, Germany, UK, Sweden, Italy and Spain are all teaming up (on two programs) to develop something that they could begin offering to the market in the 2030's and get it into the hands of operators by the late 2030's/early 2040's. Sure there is a domestic need to field a replacement but there is an industrial and export component to this as well. With the current baseline F-35 already eating into most of their international sales, they realize that having no 5GFA is not a winning export strategy going forward. Especially when the F-35 is being offered at similar or lower cost. They realize that there are a few remaining India-like markets where the F-35 can't or won't participate and competitions restricted to advanced 4th gen aircraft only. Given open competitions, and those that are likely to open in the next 4-5 years, outside of some Middle-East customers there really isn't a chance of the F-35 not competing head on.


Sumeet wrote:My main point is Rafale is the closest we can get to 5th gen capability (in terms of Avionics, Sensors, Data fusion and NCW) and given its planned upgrade path that will put pressure on our adversaries; something we are not able to do with MKI since we lack indigenous equipment that is state of art and Russia is cash strapped unable to pursue meaningful technology enhancements for itself.


I love the Rafale. It is a great aircraft and you are absolutely correct that it was the best the MOD/IAF could get their hands on. It is/was the "most complete" aircraft out there when it was offered. But the era of trying to sell it as a "near 5th Gen" is pretty much over now and even Dassault and the French/Germans are moving ahead to SCAF realizing that this strategy has failed on multiple occasions with customers (who had a choice) choosing the F-35 over it EVERY TIME they competed. Buying a $100MM+ 4.5 Gen aircraft is a bad decision in 2020, for 99% of those out there to whom the F-35 is available (MOD/IAF obviously not being in the cohort at the time) unless there are other reasons (like industrial offsets, operational decisions,etc).

Point kept in mind for Rafale F4/F5 is that it has to operate in NCW env alongside F-35 and down the road Franco-German FCAS.


Any NATO aircraft can operate alongside the F-35 as long as the two operators have the appropriate data-link crypto key which is a bi-lateral decision (not NATO wide). The F-35 comes equipped with a fully capable bi-directional Link-16 capability. This is true for any other Link-16 compliant aircraft working with any other Link-16 compliant aircraft. However, when the F-35's operate with the F-35's they have access to the high band LPI/LPD data-links which have autonomy baked and allow for raw data sharing as opposed to more narrowly defined SA sharing via Link-16 which is used for the purposes of developing a common operating picture. And they can do this right into the high threat areas because the high bandwidth links are directional and instead of using all transmit terminals to broadcast to all available nodes they can be daisy chained so one aircraft is only communicating with one terminal (hence hard to detect and hard to jam (you literally have to be in between those transmissions). Again, this is baseline capability. Expect this to get some serious attention going forward given DARPA has taken up improving this system as one of its goals -


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And they don't have to find housing for these future upgrades. They will be drop in replacement for flush mounted MADL arrays already equipped on 100% of the F-35 fleet. Also, the subtle hint at emerging LEO capability isn't a "theoretical". The USAF awarded the first contracts for Link-16 via LEO last year. If they go towards a MMW architecture of this emerging capability then you are looking at a much higher bandwidth system that is a lot more survivable to jamming and disruption. And allows an F-35's inherent LPI/LPD data-link to communicate both within the atmosphere using the MADL waveform and with the broader community via a LEO based L-16 that can be set up to be dual-band (high bandwidth MMW arrays for low latency links with fewer platforms and low frequency traditional L16 for rest of the fleet). Again, not theoretical, contracts were awarded last year. They are moving along at a nice clip -

Viasat Contracted to Deliver the World’s First Link 16-Capable Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Spacecraft


Sumeet wrote:Stand In jammers using mini UAVs -- will be used as decoys so that SAM positions become visible, perhaps saturated and/or forced to malfunction (On a side note MBDA UK is working on Spear EW system that can be an option for Rafale as well)
Active radar decoys -- self contained jammers programmed to defeat latest missile seekers


Stand in Jammers are a must have TODAY as a tool that sits atop of Stand Off Jammers. Good to see they are at least developing ones for the future if not fielding these systems today. But the entire point of stand-in jammer systems is that they can be designed with enough range and loiter in mind to not have the "user" bring them to the fight. For example, the USAF has an inventory of thousands of stand in decoys and jammers. They are capable of being launched by multiple aircraft including larger transporters and aircraft. They need not occupy a precious weapon or sensor hardpoint on an F-22 or F-35 which are better off carrying a payload more suited to their mission.

The Rafale already tows an RF decoy (at least IAF aircraft will do). The F-35 too has that capability. The US Navy has put two companies on contract to develop a new dual-band towed decoy which will naturally find its way into the F-35.

Sumeet wrote:HAMMER Block 3 -- Fusing can be programmed in flight, pilot can select delay/impact/airburst modes hence increasing weapons destructive power depending on target structure


Will the HAMMER Blk 3 allow them to strike moving targets with a GPS/INS plus IIR variant? Currently, the do not yet field a fully networked HAMMER though I suspect that may change. They also have moving target capability only on the SAL variant which is of no use for situations when you don't have the ability to put a laser on the target. The F-35 can put an autonomous IIR munition on a moving target today and the ranges at which it will be able to do so will only increase in the short term as will the number of such weapons it can put on target (8 internally vs 2 internal that is currently possible).

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Sumeet wrote:On a side note MBDA UK is working on Spear EW system that can be an option for Rafale as well


You mean the French will integrate a US engine laden, UK weapon on the Rafale? :D Qui vivra verra!

I don't think they've yet to even integrate the SDB into the platform (though I could be wrong) which would have improved the exportability of the platform to NATO users (and the F16/18 replacement market in general) greatly. Also, since the Rafale has no ARM munition or weapon, an SDB with its HOJ payload would have been a good product to have on offer, as would a dedicated SEAD weapon like other contemporary fighters.

This theoretical discussion avionics capability is all well and good but do keep in mind that a lot of that capability gets impacted when you are penetrating at 1000 ft altitude. This is why VLO tech is being inserted into every next generation fighter program because it allows for you to be at that 30-40K altitude (or more) and get full coverage out of your active and passive systems. Low penetration is great if you know what your target really is. It isn't great if you are expected to fight your way through and then find and fix your target while discriminating it from countermeasures, decoys and other attempts at deception. It is therefore unwise to compartmentalize VLO design and highly capable integrated avionics and sensors. These go hand in hand as each makes the other more potent - VLO allows you to optimally employ your sensors, while the passive sensor suite allows you to remain silent, yet effective, and enhance your stealthiness.
Last edited by brar_w on 04 Aug 2020 02:05, edited 16 times in total.

YashG
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby YashG » 03 Aug 2020 19:13

+101 very informative

pandyan
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby pandyan » 05 Aug 2020 07:12

Spirit Aerosystems, the largest aerostructures manufacturer is in serious trouble. Two major customers Boeing and Airbus are themselves in trouble.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/spirit-a ... 12545.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 06 Aug 2020 21:50

Barath wrote:
brar_w wrote:.. What the UAE got was an AESA equipped Viper, ...when only one or two aircraft types had an operational AESA anywhere in the world. .


One of them being the F2, Japan's F16 variant., the first aesa in a combat fighter, the first co-cured composite in tactical combat fighter etc.

Though with the passage of time, the F16V was able to sidestep the uae royalty. The block 60 wound up with no exports, iirc.

Good try, can't win them all.

Unfortunately we really ought not to be waiting that extra generation for technology to develop elsewhere..


The block 60 had a combination of technologies and capabilities that few fighter had at the time so it was a major leap in capability that few, if any, could deliver to the UAE at the time within the same schedule and at the same cost. These weren't things you could just publish as an RFP and hope to get multiple OEM's to respond with a YES. One can track the evolution of competing designs to see when they acquired some of these capabilities.

It is easy to miss how advanced it was for its time. Just about the same time as the USAF operatioanlized its F-22A's, UAE had an AESA that utilized the same modules (to 1st gen APG-77), an AESA derived EW suite that was one of the most cutting edge additions to the F-16 (Ever), and they were also able to tap into the MMI and cockpit upgrade work Lockheed had done on the F-22A. This was much much more superior to what they could have had on the M2K or by buying new built Super Hornets or other aircraft for example. Part of this was because Lockheed had both internally, and via government contracts, done a fair bit of work to study the F-16 U configuration and what it would take to get there. The F-16 Block 60 adopted much of the avionics minus the airframe re-design. None of the competitors offered UAE that capability as a turn key solution with a 2003-2005 delivery window.

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And it wasn't just the platform. The UAE also got a tremendous leap in capability as far as net centric and PGM employment were concerned. From 200+ km cruise missiles, to 80 km IIR glide munitions and a large stock of SDB-I's. And of course the standard JDAMs and LGBs. It was a very diverse payload of air to air and air to ground munitions that they ultimately acquired (either with the purchase or after concluding deliveries as a follow on). The block 60 could employ all these weapons stock without requiring any hardware or software upgrades. Keep in mind that it wasn't till the second half of the 2000's that the Rafale acquired its comprehensive multi-role stand off attack and designation capability and the F1 standards which were operational around the same time had little in terms of A2G capability that the platform currently enjoys.

The access to API and royalties was important because this allowed UAE to manage upgrades and have an assured ability to shop around. Contractor owned API and tighter restrictions would have allowed them less flexibility when it came to shopping around upgrades when multiple vendors were offering them upgrades. They've recently started block 61 upgrades and with them and beyond, control of the APIs should be helpful.

The F-16 V, in contrast, was designed to be an upgrade to existing F-16s as much as new built aircraft. In fact the market for upgrades is many times larger than new builds so the focus was very much on taking an F-16 and transforming it to the V standard within a reasonable cost. That led to the exclusion of many block 60 technologies. The AESA and the Falcon edge cannot be retrofitted on older F-16s without a major overhaul of the airframe and other systems. The components chosen for the V can be dropped in much more easily than that and are therefore much more attractive even for those who have low residual airframe life left on their aircraft (and who don't want a structural mod). Keep in mind that many of these "V" technologies were first funded by the USAF for an ANG upgrade. ANG does important missions but a full block 60 like transformation is too impracticable from a financial perspective for ANG and AF Reserve aircraft. So while the V/blk 70 does sidestep many of the block 60 technologies, it is also ultimately an inferior product from a design and upgradability stand point because it still hovers around the electric and thermal margins of the platform while the block 60 expanded them considerably. Ultimately though, what killed F-16 block 60 export prospects was the F-35 program with many F-16 and F-18 customers being perfectly happy to wait a decade (between 2005-and late 2010s) or more to replace their aircraft with 5th generation capability that would be more enduring and future proof and not too different in terms of the cost to buy and upgrade.

Not that the cost matters to an oil exporting UAE but still, the deal was pretty affordable given that the capability they were seeking almost put them in a monopoly situation with the US. Their total per unit development cost was around $35 million which is pretty decent given that they had zero partners from a cost-sharing perspective and what they got was a completely overhauled and modernized Viper instead of some minor upgrades over the block 50/52.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Aug 2020 22:09

Pilots try out new helmet display in F-16V flight tests


Recent flight tests of the F-16V fighter jet incorporated a new version of the pilot’s helmet that introduces a visor with optical inertial trackers and is designed to provide improved durability, accuracy and comfort for long flights.The Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System II is manufactured by Collins Elbit Vision Systems, a joint venture between Collins Aerospace and Elbit Systems of America.

The flight tests followed a safety qualification test for the helmet last year meant as a step toward making the JHMCS II the baseline helmet for the F-16 Fighting Falcon Viper (V) Block 70/72, made by Lockheed Martin. The safety test was performed on the ground, and the helmet was subjected to wind blasts.Jeff Hoberg, a co-general manager with the joint venture, said the helmet was specifically created for aircraft like the F-16V and builds on the legacy of the earlier JHMCS variants used on F-15, F-16 and F-18 jets.

With an optical inertial tracker, the JHMCS II is more accurate than previous models, and its improved center of gravity mitigates pilot fatigue, as the helmet aligns better with the spine, Hoberg said. The optical tracking is made possible by upgrades to algorithms and software, the placement of a tracking part on the front of the helmet above the eyes, and a reference unit on the dashboard console of the aircraft.

“Likewise it has a color display, and when you add color to the display, air crew can absorb more information,” he added.

The next step for the helmet, Hoberg explained, is to continue flight tests this year and through early next year, with the expectation that the new variant will be certified as the baseline helmet for the F-16V. The JHMCS II is the only helmet-mounted display integrated and tested on the F-16V.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 09 Aug 2020 20:44

Israel's 2nd F-35I squadron is now operational -

Second “Adir” Squadron Becomes Operational


After six months of intensive preparations, the 116th (“Lions of the South”) Squadron, the IAF’s second “Adir” (F-35I) squadron, has officially become operational. From now on, its personnel will take an active part in the IAF’s operational activity

About six months ago, the 116th ("Lions of the South") Squadron's personnel stood proudly as four "Adir" (F-35I) fighter jets flew over them. The date was January 16, 2020, the opening of the second squadron to operate the most advanced aircraft in the IAF. Today (Thursday), the squadron marked another milestone and officially became operational. From now on, the "Lions of the South" are ready to take part in the IAF's extensive operational activity.

Before being announced as operational, the squadron was required to undergo a long process, during which it gained experience in various fields - everything from defining training processes to planning the squadron's tactics. For the last six months, the squadron's personnel were met with the various scenarios that they were required to face as part of their preparation for the operational fitness inspection that took place this week - they will be prepared for real situations. "The operational fitness inspection provides an official seal of approval for the operational capability of the 116th Squadron to carry out all the missions of the ‘Adir' division. The squadron's tasks include its management during routine and periods of war, as well as maintaining functional continuity", explained Maj. Edi, the squadron's technical officer.


The 116th Squadron's personnel were not exposed in advance to the scenarios they had to face as part of the test week, just as during combat they will not always be able to anticipate what will happen. "The inspection simulated the operational arena and the current regional tensions. Several scenarios led to a simulated war on all fronts, and aircrew members took off for missions in all of Israel's regions", shared Maj. G, leader of the operational fitness inspection and aircrew member in the squadron.


Some of the operational commands already reached the squadron last week, to give the aircrew members enough time to prepare for their aerial tasks. "Various personnel from different departments in the IAF's HQ came to the squadron to examine us", said Maj. G. "During the IAF's continuous activity and combat, these people give operational commands to the different squadrons - the commands that describe the mission, the desired result and the policy of action set by the Commander of the IAF. We are required to take those operational commands and plan and execute them".



The operational fitness inspection simulated 72 hours of intensive combat. "We worked 24 hours a day, nonstop", described Maj. Edi. "Soldiers, officers and NCOs alike, worked for 16 hours a day and rested for the remaining eight. The squadron operated in shifts, to simulate its activity during warfare".


Throughout the week, the squadron's technical department was tested on many different scenarios that can affect its way of functioning. "We dealt with situations of missile attacks, and were tested on our ability to handle them properly", said Maj. Edi. "When missiles hit the squadron, a fire broke out and there were injuries - they examined our decision-making process, management during combat, and ability to maintain functional continuity. That is just one example out of many. There wasn't a single scenario that we were not prepared for".

"The entire squadron participated in the operational fitness inspection, ranging from new soldiers who arrived this month to reserves who were specially recruited to take part", said Maj. G. "From the moment the squadron was established to this day, we were accompanied by a feeling of desire to be part of a team. We all want to succeed and be the best we possibly can. Throughout the past half-year, the 116th Squadron's personnel gave one hundred percent of their energy and abilities to ensure that it would be among the leading squadrons in the IAF. There is anticipation and a feeling of preparedness - we came prepared to the operational fitness and now get to prove ourselves".


What will the 116th Squadron look like as of now? "The next significant milestone will be our first operational mission", concluded Maj. G. "We are still a small squadron, and will continue to recruit new people and aircraft in the coming months".



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Mukesh.Kumar
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 10 Aug 2020 18:32

Very interesting read and developments.

DARPA- Training AI to Win a Dogfight

Trusted AI may handle close-range air combat, elevating pilots’ role to cockpit-based mission commanders


One facet of AI were keep ignoring I'd hope it can be used to enhance even legacy platforms by reducing work load on pilots.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Rakesh » 10 Aug 2020 21:17

https://twitter.com/IcarusAerospace/sta ... 69153?s=20 ---> Introducing our TAV™, a clean-sheet aircraft. A force-multiplier solution for the world’s security and armed forces.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Aug 2020 06:05

Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band pod takes first flight on Growler

The Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) successfully completed its first mission systems flight with an EA-18G Growler at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, Aug. 7.

“What an incredible day for the U.S. Navy, our Australian partners, and the Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) community,” said Capt. Michael Orr, AEA Systems (PMA-234) program manager. “We witnessed a successful first flight with the NGJ-MB capability fully integrated onto the EA-18G Growler, validating the last four years of development and the extensive efforts of these last several months in preparation. I’m extremely proud of the entire Government and industry team.”

The first flight, conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, is a Safety of Flight (SOF) checkout that ensures the pods can be safely flown on the EA-18G aircraft for follow-on test flights.

“There was a lot of discussion on how the NGJ-MB pod would affect how the Growler handles and it was exciting to have the jet feel like any other flight,” said Lt. Jonathan Williams, VX-23 test pilot. “We have a great test team to thank for making today happen and I look forward to seeing how the Growler team brings out the full potential of the NGJ-MB pod.”

The NGJ-MB system, developed by Raytheon Intelligence and Space, is part of a larger NGJ system that will augment, and ultimately replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) currently used on the EA-18G Growler. NGJ-MB is an external jamming pod that will address advanced and emerging threats using the latest digital, software-based and Active Electronically Scanned Array technologies and will provide enhanced AEA capabilities to disrupt, deny and degrade enemy air defense and ground communication systems.

“The AEA community has been relying on the ALQ-99 TJS for decades,” said Lt. Jonathon Parry, NGJ-MB Aeromechanical Project Officer. “Gone are the days of isolated Surface-to-Air Missile systems that operate on a small frequency spectrum and do not integrate into a larger Integrated Air Defense System. Modern adversaries are developing complex emitters that use advanced techniques to defeat legacy jamming. NGJ-MB will provide new capabilities to the fleet to ensure spectrum dominance against current and future threats.”

PMA-234 is responsible for acquiring, delivering and sustaining AEA systems, providing combatant commanders with capabilities that enable mission success.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 11 Aug 2020 14:08

Rakesh wrote:https://twitter.com/IcarusAerospace/status/1292795864222769153?s=20 ---> Introducing our TAV™, a clean-sheet aircraft. A force-multiplier solution for the world’s security and armed forces.


'Clean sheet' :D

Looks like what a modernized OV-10 Bronco would look like...


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