International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 24 Feb 2019 06:54

AMRAAM-ER wind tunnel testing moves missile closer to production


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Raytheon say it has successfully completed more than 1,700 rigorous wind tunnel tests on the newest, extended-range variant of the AMRAAM air-to-air missile.

AMRAAM ER is made up of the front-end of an AMRAAM missile and the back-end – or the rocket motor – of Raytheon’s Evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM).

Testing is a major step in the missile’s qualification for integration with the NASAMS surface-based system, say the firm.

The AMRAAM-ER missile is a ground-launched weapon that will intercept targets at longer distances and higher altitudes. The missile’s bigger rocket motor and smarter flight control algorithms give it a boost in range.

“During these tests, we put AMRAAM-ER through a full range of potential flight conditions to validate the missile’s future performance on the battlefield,” said Kim Ernzen, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president.

“Raytheon is developing this missile to enhance ground-based air defense for our customers worldwide.”

Raytheon say its engineers will now analyse data from the wind tunnel test runs to verify and update the AMRAAM-ER missiles aerodynamic models to maximise its performance.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 26 Feb 2019 17:20

A rare look at the Iranian reverse engineering of the F-5 and its engine. (I’d like to see if they made any attempt at RE’ing the F-14.)

Owj turbojet. Copy of the GE J-85. Front is a test prototype. Rear is the production model.

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Iran says the Kowsar is now in production:

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The Kowsar is a near complete copy of the F-5:

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2019 03:17

Boeing Will Unveil This 'Loyal Wingman' Combat Drone For Australia's Air Force Tomorrow


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The Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) was first to get the details of the new drone on Feb. 26, 2019. The day before, Boeing had teased the official reveal of the unmanned aircraft, which is still scheduled to come on Feb. 27, 2019.

The unmanned aircraft in the picture has a twin 'taileron' configuration similar to the YF-23 Black Widow, as well as wings centrally mounted on either side of the fuselage. The wings are similar to those found on General Atomics Predator-C/Avenger and more recently on a set of mysterious Scaled Composites test airframes. It also appears to have travazoidal air intakes on either side of the fuselage, likely feeding a single jet engine recessed at the rear to minimize infrared signature. The drone's planform is distinct from the company's MQ-25 Stingray drone tanker for the U.S. Navy and appears to be completely unrelated to the earlier Phantom Ray flying wing design.

The report suggested that the UCAV could be close to 40 feet long and feature a modular payload bay capable of accepting sensors, electronic warfare systems, and ordnance.

Boeing has reportedly been developing the unmanned aircraft locally in Brisbane, Australia, as a part of a classified "Loyal Wingman" program for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Australia's Department of Defense (DOD). Australia's Defense Minister Christopher Pyne will be the one to formally unveil the drone tomorrow, according to ABC.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2019 04:55

Boeing Unveils 'Loyal Wingman' UAV Developed In Australia

Excellent coverage/scoop from Graham Warwick. Posting some select lines with the full article behind the AWIN paywall -


The aircraft is being developed by Boeing Autonomous Systems and Boeing’s Phantom Works International unit in Australia, where a concept demonstrator is scheduled to fly next year.

Initial variant designed for intelligence and electronic warfare

Being developed commercially by Boeing, but in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with funding from the Canberra government and the involvement of local suppliers, the ATS is intended to be produced in Australia and marketed to defense customers worldwide.

The demonstrator is being developed under the Loyal Wingman Advanced Development Program, which is being supported by A$40 million ($28.5 million) over four years in Australian government funding and A$62 million from Boeing—its largest investment in an unmanned-aircraft program outside the U.S.

The 38-ft.-long aircraft has a stealthy chined fuselage, lambda-planform wing, caret inlets and butterfly tail and is powered by a single commercial turbofan—an unspecified light business-jet engine.

The ATS has a range of 2,000 nm and the ability to keep up with the types of platforms with which it will team, such as the RAAF’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft and electronic-attack EA-18G Growlers, and its commercial-derivative airborne-early-warning E-7A Wedgetails and maritime-patrol P-8A Poseidons—all of which are Boeing-built....




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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Thakur_B » 27 Feb 2019 09:29

^^ Very sleek and TFTA design.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 27 Feb 2019 10:00

This was likely their proposal which the USAF Research lab rejected when it selected the XQ-58A for its Loyal Wingman project. Even though they use a business jet engine, it will be difficult to pull off such a large vehicle for the $3-5 Million + GFE price tag the USAF was targeting. While the Valkyrie is not a whole lot smaller (30 ft long with a 27 ft wingspan), Kratos does have a lot of experience of making relatively low-cost air vehicles in small batches. Australia, the UK and others may have a different price point and payload in mind to the USAF so a larger vehicle, which will potentially be more expensive may be worth it for them. USAF had a more attritable system in mind which essentially packaged the sensor and payload demonstrated during the Have Raider experiments into a new relatively affordable and a more attritable UAS. Another uphill climb for Boeing will be Kratos's expected first flight which is expected in the short term (any time between now and this summer).


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 28 Feb 2019 08:56

RR is back at it again bedding chinis.

This time with a plant in Cheen for the CR929 and the A330neo.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-27/rolls-royce-said-to-offer-china-engine-plant-to-win-deal-on-jet

Rolls-Royce Offers China Engine Plant to Win Deal on Jet

Bloomberg News
Feb.27 2019


Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc is offering to build an aircraft engine assembly line in China as it chases a deal to supply turbines for the Asian nation’s first wide-body passenger jet, people familiar with the matter said.

The factory would also be able to make engines for Airbus SE’s A330neo jet, which the European planemaker is eager to get into the Chinese market, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public. A representative for Rolls-Royce declined to comment.

The proposal comes as Rolls competes with General Electric Co. to power the CR929 wide-body plane being developed by Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., known as Comac, slated for commercial sales around 2025. The London-based group is offering a derivative of the Trent 7000 model that’s the sole engine option on the A330neo.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 28 Feb 2019 09:36

The chinese has a good relation with UK and RR , Likely they will opt for RR offer over GE for CR929

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 01 Mar 2019 02:13

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SpaceX is poised to make history Saturday (March 2) with the first-ever test flight of a private spaceship built to carry astronauts into orbit. That Crew Dragon Demo-1 mission won't carry astronauts, but it will be the first launch of a spacecraft built for humans from U.S. soil since 2011 LINK


Image gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqpho ... 881447277/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 01 Mar 2019 19:48

New ground control for the MQ-9 family. The IN will likely get this variant for the Sea Guardians. -

New ground control station controls MQ-9 for the first time

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The US Air Force’s (USAF’s) new Block 50 Ground Control Station (GCS) controlled a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the first time in January, according to a 26 February company statement.
The event took place from the GA-ASI Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in California. The Block 50 GCS cockpit for UAVs is designed with improved capabilities through an optimised human-machine interface (HMI), which significantly enhances aircrew situational awareness and allows for single-seat operations.

The GCS also integrates multilevel security feeds with onboard sensors to display a comprehensive picture of the battlespace, and incorporates improved information assurance capabilities that protect against cyber security risk. Both the Block 50 GCS and the MQ-9 Reaper are developed by GA-ASI.

GA-ASI said on 27 February that there are other versions of this GCS with different customers and requirements. The Certifiable GCS, for instance, flies the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, while other iterations of the GCS have flown every aircraft in the company’s fleet.

GA-ASI will deliver seven Block 50 GCSs to the USAF before May 2021, which is the end of the contract’s period of performance.
The design of the Block 50 GCS provides separation of flight-critical components to increase flight safety posture and enable rapid testing and integration of new mission capabilities. Other features include a ‘glass’ cockpit design, which reduces operator workload and increases effectiveness of mission execution through electronic checklists and integrated mission data information displays.

The Block 50 GCS has demonstrated single-seat operations, which allow one crew member to control both the aircraft and the sensors on board from a single crew station seat. In dual-seat systems, normal operations consist of a pilot and a sensor as the crew, each contributing to the mission from their own crew station seat. The Block 50 GCS also has increased modularity and interface definition to aid in overcoming diminishing manufacturing sources (DMS).

The Block 50 GCS has one-deep line-replaceable unit (LRU) access to reduce maintenance downtime and increase operational availability. It was designed to allow access so the maintainer does have to remove several other LRUs ahead of the one needing replacement, thereby increasing operational availability.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Mar 2019 00:53

chola wrote:RR is back at it again bedding chinis.

This time with a plant in Cheen for the CR929 and the A330neo.


RR isn't doing that great financially and has just decided not to offer an engine for Boeing's next airliner. That said, they are competing for the USAF B-52 re-engine program with RFP release set for this quarter or early next quarter. That will possibly be the largest single commercial airline class engine order in history (608 engines to be procured) and although Boeing is doing the source selection there are probably ways for the Pentagon to box RR out of reckoning so that could potentially be used as a leverage...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby kit » 02 Mar 2019 02:22

chola wrote:RR is back at it again bedding chinis.

This time with a plant in Cheen for the CR929 and the A330neo.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-27/rolls-royce-said-to-offer-china-engine-plant-to-win-deal-on-jet

Rolls-Royce Offers China Engine Plant to Win Deal on Jet

Bloomberg News
Feb.27 2019


Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc is offering to build an aircraft engine assembly line in China as it chases a deal to supply turbines for the Asian nation’s first wide-body passenger jet, people familiar with the matter said.

The factory would also be able to make engines for Airbus SE’s A330neo jet, which the European planemaker is eager to get into the Chinese market, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public. A representative for Rolls-Royce declined to comment.

The proposal comes as Rolls competes with General Electric Co. to power the CR929 wide-body plane being developed by Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., known as Comac, slated for commercial sales around 2025. The London-based group is offering a derivative of the Trent 7000 model that’s the sole engine option on the A330neo.




It won't even become news without the blessings of Westminister, the Queen etc .The UK is desperate to sell its crown jewels

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 02 Mar 2019 15:56

kit wrote:
chola wrote:RR is back at it again bedding chinis.

This time with a plant in Cheen for the CR929 and the A330neo.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-27/rolls-royce-said-to-offer-china-engine-plant-to-win-deal-on-jet



It won't even become news without the blessings of Westminister, the Queen etc .The UK is desperate to sell its crown jewels


They are picking off the crown jewels in Ukraine too.


https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/chinese-to-acquire-stake-in-ukrainian-motor-sich-sign-helicopter-deal-with-russia.html

Chinese to acquire stake in Ukraine’s Motor Sich, sign helicopter deal with Russia

By Jack Laurenson. Published Feb. 26. Updated Feb. 26 at 5:44 pm

...

Despite there being an investigation into the attempted takeover by the Ukrainian State Security Service, or SBU, and a court ruling in April 2018 that froze funds and delayed the acquisition, a trade minister in Ukraine confirmed on Feb. 21 that the Chinese will acquire a stake in the company after all.

The Zaporizhia-based company is one of the world’s largest and most important manufacturers of helicopter engines and parts for civilian and military aircraft. Motor Sich is also considered, by many, to be strategically vital to the Ukrainian state.

Russian-Chinese helicopter deal

On Feb. 19, Russia’s state-owned defense manufacturing conglomerate Rostec announced that their deal with the Chinese, years in the making, would be inked before the end of April.

“We have prepared and will sign in the coming two months a contract of the century with China on the joint development, production and sales of a new generation heavy-lift helicopter. We have spent four years in intense talks on this project,” Rostec’s Viktor Kladov said, quoted by Russian state media.

The Chinese acquisition of a stake in Motor Sich, and the vital technology it will acquire, could be important to its joint project with Russia.

According to Rostec, the new Russian-Chinese helicopter will be powered by turboshaft engines that are based on one developed by the Ukrainian companies Motor Sich and Ivchenko-Progress.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 02 Mar 2019 16:21

Debated over two days whether to post this but decided it’s news nonetheless and we’ll need to deal with it on the international market now that Tejas is maturing and we are actively marketing it since Bahrain.

Anyhoo, after Wednesday shares in Shenzhen-listed Sichuan Chengfei Integration Technology (CAC-SCIT) a stock surrogate for Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC), rose 10 per cent in five minutes – hitting the maximum daily rise allowed on the Chinese stock market. It then hit another 10 percent and the limit on Thursday.

CAC makes the JF-17.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Mar 2019 20:36

Singapore is getting all set to begin the FMS process on acquiring F-35's. Initial plans will be 4 aircraft with 8 options. Follow on orders later as their upgraded F-16's retire into the 2030's. While the Ministry of Defense has not confirmed this, there are rumors that they are interested in the F-35B.

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In Parliament, I showed this infographic of the Next-Generation SAF of 2030 and beyond. This full complement of air, land and sea assets will be able to defend Singapore for another generation.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 02 Mar 2019 20:50

In that infograph all I see is 100 % import based Armed Force.... you can hardly defend your sovereignty with such import no matter how great the toy is

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Mar 2019 20:58

Singapore is a City/Country about a third the size of Delhi as measured by population and is the second smallest country in Asia as measured by land mass, so no one really expects them to A) have a large and robust MIC and B ) design and produce majority of their defense wares. Having said that, they have capable armed forces given their size and regularly participate in training and exercises with some of the top armed forces of the world. Given their other limitations they punch way above their weight in terms of the capability, particularly that of their air-force. Operating capable systems, and learning via training with some of the most well trained armed forces in the world is what they can do to make best of the cards they are dealt with. Having close security ties with key strategic players in the region and beyond is also part of this overall strategy and they have been successful at remaining a "sovereign" for the last 50+ years.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 02 Mar 2019 21:09

they are rich country and can afford to buy small number of the latest toys above.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Mar 2019 21:33

They buy in the amounts they need for their National Security needs in the region. They are limited in terms of the capacity they can sustain because of their physical size but also likely because of human capital resources. They operate around 40 F-15 SG's and around 50-60 F-16's and 5 AEW aircraft along with 10 aerial refueling aircraft. Their Surface based Air-Defense capability is likewise driven by the land mass they have to defend and their ability to adequately man and equip that force so while 6-8 Counterfire AESAs or a handful of SPYDER systems may seem too small it must be looked at in the overall context of what they have to defend and equip. They also operate an unknown number of SAMP/T systems. I think that is some serious capability for a country that has a land mass that is about half the size of London.
Last edited by brar_w on 02 Mar 2019 22:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 02 Mar 2019 21:39

Austin wrote:In that infograph all I see is 100 % import based Armed Force.... you can hardly defend your sovereignty with such import no matter how great the toy is


100% Western imports to be exact. Unlike neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia.

They are an arm of the Westernized east (Japan, SK, HK, Taiwan) in a muzzie majority region — a sort of Israel. So they’ll be protected by the West and especially by PACOM. Also, a 70% chini population so if things get really bad the PRC might intervene. And 15% Indian one so we might be involved too.

Singapore’s sovereignty is secure to the Nth degree. But owning the latest TFTA weapons is still a nice thing to have.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Philip » 02 Mar 2019 21:44

F-35C IOC achieved for the USN.A landmark for the type.
though EMALS has a few problems, launch rates yet to achieve expected rate, but the F-35Cs arrival in combat mode aboard USN CVs will usher in a new era for USN carrier aviation and capability.It is going to be interesting to see how it will compare in ops vs the late-model F-18SHs.Successful experience will boost production and orders from allies.

There was one report recently suggesting that the IN (wisely in my opinion) is coming round to leapfrogging 4++ birds for its future CV and pursue a 5th-gen. option.Considering that even if approval is given in 2020, it would take the yard a decade to build from the track record of IAC-1. A faster route to augementing the IN's naval air power in the next decade would be equipping the 4 amphibs with ski-jumps and angled deck,hoping that at some point of time the F-35B may be available apart from the small NLCA , whatever.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 02 Mar 2019 21:50

Philip wrote:F-35C IOC achieved for the USN.A landmark for the type.
though EMALS has a few problems, launch rates yet to achieve expected rate, but the F-35Cs arrival in combat mode aboard USN CVs will usher in a new era for USN carrier aviation and capability.It is going to be interesting to see how it will compare in ops vs the late-model F-18SHs.Successful experience will boost production and orders from allies.


With 350 built and another 2300 slated for the US armed forces alone, orders were never really a concern.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Mar 2019 21:59

Phillip wrote:F-35C IOC achieved for the USN.A landmark for the type.
though EMALS has a few problems, launch rates yet to achieve expected rate,


EMALS is not tied to the F-35C as the F-35C is not expected to be on the Ford on her first deployment as the first couple of F-35C units are assigned to other CVNs and their cruises. EMALS performance was from mid 2018 i.e. when they first took her out and put nearly 750 take offs and landings on the Ford. Since then it is in availability and getting major upgrades in its hardware and software so the actual performance of the current baseline won't be known till this summer when she embarks on her second developmental test period. You won't see those reports until well into 2020 as this is how the reporting cycles work. Ford's first cruise isn't till 2021 so there is plenty of time to finish DevTests and Operational assessments and put a few thousand cycles on the system out at sea before sending her out on her first deployment. The latest from the PEO is that he does not appear to be overly worried about either EMALS or AAG challenging the deadlines for her first deployment which suggests most of the high risk technical challenges associated with those systems have been retired and now it is just a matter of revving up testing and inserting the upgrades during the PSA periods over the next year and a half.

The transition into the beginning of Developmental testing and the subsequent transition to operational testing is on a curve i.e. you find stuff, you fix stuff and then you validate your fixes. As you advance you usually build momentum as some of the hardest issues are almost always discovered first. The US system is transparent so we get ball by ball coverage as there are two sets of auditors who sit, observe and report (DOTE for all testing activities and GAO for general program auditing). However one has to be careful in how one reviews their reports as they are always dated and reference to a snapshot in time and not the current state of affairs. This is why no one in any position of authority (whether at the Pentagon or in Congress) views them in isolation. Unfortunately, the sensational media almost always tends to leak out these reports during reporting season and almost never leaks out the actual point by point rebuttal from the engineers and program managers running these programs. For those we almost always have to wait for their actual reports to be tabled to Congress during hearings and updates.

Successful experience will boost production and orders from allies.


No current or prospective F-35 user is expected to order or even consider the F-35C.

Chola wrote:With 350 built and another 2300 slated for the US armed forces alone, orders were never really a concern.


Actual deliveries are approaching 400 where I think they'll be by early summer. Firm Orders currently stand at 500 with the number in excess of 700 if you also count orders for which long-lead contracts have been issued already but final negotiations are still ongoing. The USN F-35C experience is separate and the type has very little to do with what the other operators do or do not do. It is just a CV optimized variant so it is not something that anyone else will consider. I think the most important metric to track long term is the production rate as there is quite a bit of risk involved when you have to ramp up production on a 5th generation aircraft that sits at the bleeding edge of capability and the stress on the supply chain. The delivery target for 2019 is 131 aircraft up from 90 odd aircraft in 2018. This is a major increase so has some risk built in. Beyond this the next leap will be crossing the 150 mark in annual deliveries...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby JayS » 03 Mar 2019 12:03

https://twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1 ... 84838?s=19

Brar, would like your comment on this. The Def Secy and USAF both seems to have accepted in no uncertain terms that buying of F15X is something that DoD has imposed on USAF and was not their first choice. LM could have provided 72 F35A to the USAF per year, I dont doubt that too much. Then whats the rational behind F15x, apart from the obviois conclusion that one may draw that it keeps Boring in business for a bit longer..? Does this have anythibg to do with the Operational Preparedness level...? I dont think even bugetary consideration would have much difference for F35 vs F15x.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Zynda » 03 Mar 2019 14:18

Turkey is moving up the ladder on the attack helicopter. They are introducing ATAK-2 - a 10 ton attack helicopter...kinda similar range of Apache.
Image
Source: Keypub Forums

Features MMW Mast mounted radar, DIRCM along with the usual paraphernalia.

Not sure which powerplant will be selected...could be GE.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Mar 2019 20:23

JayS wrote:https://twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1102019393528184838?s=19

Brar, would like your comment on this. The Def Secy and USAF both seems to have accepted in no uncertain terms that buying of F15X is something that DoD has imposed on USAF and was not their first choice. LM could have provided 72 F35A to the USAF per year, I dont doubt that too much. Then whats the rational behind F15x, apart from the obviois conclusion that one may draw that it keeps Boring in business for a bit longer..? Does this have anythibg to do with the Operational Preparedness level...?


Not the Def Secy but the service Secretary. This is a fairly well known fact. The USAF does not want the F-15X at all and never asked for it. However, in the US budget development process ultimately it is the Office of Secretary of Defense that has to do the final scrub and move chess pieces around and Mattis was convinced that the AF needs the F-15X if it wants to grow to meets its new higher squadron count goal unveiled under his leadership last year.

LM could have provided 72 F35A to the USAF per year, I dont doubt that too much.


I have written about this in the US thread but the argument is economic and not LM's capacity to deliver these aircraft (the production system and the supply chain has been designed to sustain a peak delivery rate of one aircraft a day). The F-15C's in the USAF are predominantly operated by the Air-National-Guard with just two active squadrons left outside the ANG. Those units were never slated to get the F-35A and the 1700+ F-35A demand does not factor in those units transitioning from the F-15C into the F-35A. These were units that never received the F-22A because of the end of the cold war and the subsequent reduction in F-22A production and its eventual end.

The cost to convert the entire ANG to an F-35A operator is going to be significant. All their bases would need upgrades, new simulators, new training capacity at Luke, new depot level repair capacity etc etc etc. Basically such a move would have a very substantial non-recurring/fixed cost component beyond just the CAPEX of a higher F-35A purchase. For this reason, the USAF had agreed to just extend the life of the F-15C's by performing a very high end modernization and structural upgrades where they even looked at new built wings on those aircraft. There was always some doubt in the USAF as the how reliably those upgraded aircraft could remain service till 2040 or so and once Secretary Mattis mandated that the entire USAF reach and maintain 80% readiness across its entire fleet then it became quite clear that geriatric F-15C's would not be able to do that into the 2030's and beyond.

Boeing meanwhile proposed the F-15X which is essentially a single seater or two seater variant of the F-15 Advanced Eagle but with USAF specific enhancements like the brand new EPAWSS GaN Based EW/EA suite, new pods, a brand new mission computer (the fasted in the world) and other enhancements developed for export customers. The advantage of such a move was that the entire ANG could be modernized and the new F-15's would essentially slot right into the existing depot level, training, and base infrastructure so the could modernize at a 60-70 Million recurring unit cost with little or no non-recurring cost at all.

The USAF has its internal goal for average fighter fleet age (they want to get it down to 15 years) and for that they need to be buying between 72 and 80 new fighters a year. Currently they are buying 42-48 F-35A's a year and that number goes to about 50 when the Congress is done with their budget adds each year. Once Full Rate production begins the USAF reaches a peak of around 60 F-35A's a year (early-mid 2020s) but that is it, they do not have a higher buy rate scheduled in their long term planning for their F-35As beyond that. What Mattis's OSD pitched was making the deficit via F-15X's so buying around 12-20 F-15Xs each year and using that to modernize the ANG which can then also sustain itself for decades because the F-15X is based on the F-15E and is therefore certified for 20,000 operational hours.

The USAF would rather just buy 70-80 F-35As a year but so far there is not enough money in their budget to support that while still addressing the ANG modernization (via new built aircraft or life extension) so this essentially comes down to a force structure issue of modernizing both the frontline squadrons and the ANG simultaneously. The USAF's position is that if they have enough money, and that money does not eat into its current F-35A acquisition buy rates then they are happy with F-15X's or whatever else for the ANG but their utmost priority is to hit the F-35A annual buy rates which they have published in their SAR -

Image

Here's a quote from the USAF Chief from earlier this year -

“I’m not backing an inch off of the F-35” Goldfein said. “The F-35 buy that we’re on continues to remain on track. And I’m not interested in taking a nickel out of it when it comes to buying anything else in the fighter portfolio.” LINK



I dont think even bugetary consideration would have much difference for F35 vs F15x.


There is a budgetary component. While the F-35's unit price is going to be tough to match, slotting in a couple of hundred F-35A's into the ANG means a nearly complete overhaul of their ability to train, operate, and maintain these aircraft which will come with its own CAPEX. The F-15X on the other hand utilizes the things that are already established.

I don't think that either the USAF Chief nor the Secretary of the AF are very excited about this move but there job is to make the case for more and ultimately the decisions are made by a higher authority. They have now dozens of high end Red-Flags with F-22's and a handful with F-35As and know full well how survivable or capable even the most highly modernized F-15X is against a combined IADS and air-space threat. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out because there seems to be a group of Pentagon officials and politicos who want to move to just add more F-35As into the USAF budget but there are limits to how fast the USAF can absorb these because you have to bed down squadrons, train pilots, and establish adequate depot infrastructure to sustain these rates and so far they are happy to be in the 48-60 range through the mid 2020's as the F-35 buy has to be balanced with other acquisition priorities as well. Such a move also does not address the long term sustainability of the ANG force.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Mar 2019 21:15

Red Flag 19-1 launches -


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 04 Mar 2019 00:37

Singha wrote:i wonder how the JSF with its "manouverability is irrelevant" and reliance on "look first, shoot first" BVR oriented ansible playbook would fare in these kind of realistic ROE ?


The F-35A is a supersonic 9G fighter with a high AOA envelope that extends till 50 degrees, an HMD that has an integrated all aspect CCM (ASRAAM and Aim-9X for now, maybe Python family later) with other performance aspects comparable to the F-16/F-18 as a design requirement. Outside of the F-22A, very few, if any, western fighter has the ability to perform some of the high alpha maneuvers that it has been able to display during its flying routine. Why would the operators who had a say in this requirement demand such things if "Maneuverability was irrelevant"? Wouldn't it be much simpler, and cheaper to create a flying wing based subsonic strike aircraft with 3-4G limits if that were the case?

I don't understand what you mean by "Realistic ROE's" but I think the aircraft has been designed with realistic missions and scenarios in mind and most of the nations that have evaluated it and selected it would tend to agree.


Singha wrote:japan, soko, greece, turkiye, qatar...anybody but khan out on a bush war would have to operate in similar ROE where bvr use dicey in hot peace fights over contested borders.


Why would you engage in BVR or WVR under these instances? Describe a mission and then evaluate the capability, not the other way around. The F-35 has been primarily designed to fight and defeat Integrated Air and Missile Defense systems and highly coupled air and surface threats (advanced fighters integrated with very capable ground based systems). If all you need is an aircraft for peacetime QRA mission then yes, many of those attributes might not provide you with the maximum benefits that they may provide someone who has purchased the aircraft with the intention of utilizing its full multi-role capability across all the designed missions sets, but that is not something unique to the F-35A but applies equally to all fighters. Would you buy a MiG-21 if you need to conduct long range strike? What about an F-16 if you needed a Mach 2+ capable BVR fighter with the ability to loiter for a DCA?


you can see the enemy forming up and coming from far out and take up a blocking position but weapons allowed only after they cross over briefly and start darting back.


Why would you send a stealth aircraft up for this mission? And even if you do, why would an F-35A be any different in performance than an F-16 or an F/A-18 besides the fact that it will have superior sensors, countermeasures and better nose pointing ability?

how does the JSF compare in WVR ACM vs a late model F-16 block50/52? I am sure it has spherical maws and better countermeasures but can it climb and turn with a F-solah and land some hits of its own?


The "Spherical MAWS" is not just a MAWS but a full up Missile warning, and staring IRST that is always looking at the air-space and characterizing all fighters as either blue or red while cross-matching any ambiguity with the EW suite, dedicated IRST and the radar or with others in the formation. It does all this autonomously and all the time while also characterizing missile threats and whether the host aircraft is the intended missile target. In a furball, it tracks red and blue forces all the time and displays them as such so helps out with SA when you most need accurate information in a split second. As far as performance, yes it is designed to have equal or superior performance to the teens in most areas and slow and high alpha is the regime where it really exceeds the performance of both the F-16 and the F/A-18 A-E.

There is a RAND study that surveyed current F-35A drivers and F-15, and F-16 fighter pilots who have gone up against the F-35A or have flown both types asking which aircraft they'd prefer across a set of performance metrics. Google should lead you to it...


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 04 Mar 2019 02:02

nam wrote:
Singha wrote:i wonder how the JSF with its "manouverability is irrelevant" and reliance on "look first, shoot first" BVR oriented ansible playbook would fare in these kind of realistic ROE ? japan, soko, greece, turkiye, qatar...anybody but khan out on a bush war would have to operate in similar ROE where bvr use dicey in hot peace fights over contested borders. you can see the enemy forming up and coming from far out and take up a blocking position but weapons allowed only after they cross over briefly and start darting back.

how does the JSF compare in WVR ACM vs a late model F-16 block50/52? I am sure it has spherical maws and better countermeasures but can it climb and turn with a F-solah and land some hits of its own?


Because of JSF stealth, the opposing jet wouldn't know it is coming, however JSF would know where it's target is and can potentially move on it's blind side( probably fly under the target..). This allows it to have the first shot.

If both of them are aware of each other, then I guess it could be anyone.

However in case of Khan, they would have their usual if the enemy comes with X km, it get a Aim120. Khan always starts the war, so there is nothing like "LoC".

We tried to be the good guys by letting PAF cross the LC. Even then, once the first LGB was dropped, we should have dropped the PAF jets flying in PoK with BVR.



The way F-22 and F-35 work is that they increase the Air Defense (QRA, DCA fighters and ground based IADS) burden and density required to counter a force that have these aircraft in large numbers i.e. they can penetrate and have a much higher degree of freedom within a defended airspace compared to non VLO aircraft. Likewise, in a defensive scenario they can set up their DCA formations and the adversaries SA is going to be degraded trying to develop routes and penetrate a defended airspace. If all you need is a QRA jet with two air-bases 50-100 km from each other then you are essentially looking at different atributes but most users don't look exclusively at that mission but want a more multi-role capability.

SidSoma wrote:
Again the battle is being tailored for the plane and not vice versa. It seems to be a given that F-35 is not a dog fighter. with the Change is circumstances it is not a given that BVR battles are the only kind that are going to happen in the future...


And where did you get that impression? It is a 9G fighter designed around maneuverability which is what you need for the close in fight. Its close in performance largely reflects the requirements of the F-16 and F/A-18 with one big difference in the high Alpha regime where it exceeds both of them significantly. On the mission system sides it has aids that provide it a significant capability both in an offensive and a defensive setting namely, an HMDS capable of guiding HOBS missiles, EODAS capable of constantly providing 360 degree short range IRST and constantly tracking blue and red forces in a furball. It has multiple WVR missiles integrated with more to come. There is absolutely nothing that points to it not being a dog-fighter.... if this were the case why would the users be stupid enough to pay for all these design features, weapons and capabilities?

3:00 Onward (Keep in mind that at the time the pilot being interviewed was flying a 2B jet which was 7G limited and did not have the final CLAW updates which all jets now have):


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 05 Mar 2019 22:17


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby JayS » 06 Mar 2019 00:52

Thanks brar for the detailed respons. Great as usual. I didnt have ANG in my mind at all. Thats what I was wondering, something seemed amiss, hence my query.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 06 Mar 2019 02:06

JayS wrote:Thanks brar for the detailed respons. Great as usual. I didnt have ANG in my mind at all. Thats what I was wondering, something seemed amiss, hence my query.


Not just you, many in the media who have written on this matter seem to have totally ignored or didn't realize the fact that all but a tiny few (I think 2) USAF F-15C squadrons are in the ANG or the fact that over the last year under the current administration the USAF decided to ADD Combat fighter squadrons over and above the current levels, and IS REQUIRED to comply with the Pentagon directive that all fighters be at 80% readiness or better. (can no longer trade readiness accounts for modernization accounts as they did under Obama). There is no way they can sustain the latter with F-15C's beyond the mid 2020's..those old aircraft simply break down more often and structural upgrades won't get them to a level where they are as reliable as new builds.
Last edited by brar_w on 06 Mar 2019 17:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 06 Mar 2019 17:18

Singha wrote:
while the f22 has no real worries, I wonder how the JSF will fare in such contests with a "near peer adversary" with 4++ gen a/c and HOBS aam?
its going to be exported all around the world and later given as baksheesh to pliable regimes.
:twisted: "manouverability is irrelevant" ? (in the words of a famous JSF manager) ...

greek vs turkey seem to have have dozens of "friendly" 1vs1 gun camera fights over the aegean sea islands f16vsf16 or m2kvsf16.

JSF may be perfect for the way usaf fights and its vast support ecosystem (incl the best EW libraries and e-orbat sniffing) . i wonder if the 2nd rung like uk/italy/japan can provide the same ecosystem and avoid getting into tough corners...granted they can always count on some usaf support if they get into a fight.... but the 3rd rung like TSP/gulfies/turkey certainly do not have that ecosystem.


You keep saying that for the JSF, maneuverability is irrelevant but repeating that over and over would not make it true. There are a set of performance requirements for which it has been designed (9G fighter, 50 AOA etc etc) and it carries missiles and mission systems that aid in WVR which goes counter to the point that anyone working on it thought that maneuverability would be irrelevant. I've already answered the part and tried to demonstrate why this was not the case and how on the F-35A, even the most conservative agility metrics have been designed to meet or exceed the performance of the teens while it is one of the best western fighters in the High AOA, close in regime behind the F-22A. If you have objections to any of my claims you can bring them out and we can debate them.

While 4.5 Generation aircraft can show up with HOBS, the F-35A too will show up with its DAS+HMD and a HOBS Missile under such an engagement, and because it enjoys freedom of maneuverability farther out it has an advantage in picking and choosing how it enters close in combat on many occasions i.e in many ways it can dictate when and how it enters WVR.

Below is a screen grab of a Dutch F-35A pilot who shares some anecdotes about BFM between F-35A and teens. You can read it for further knowledge but the video posted in my earlier post (above) also has a current F-35A and former F-16 pilot talking about how the excellent Post Stall maneuverability of the F-35A is a huge advantage in the WVR arena. Again you are dealing with some very tight margins. The difference between a superior dogfighter and an inferior dogfighter may just come down to the superior pilot/aircraft combination winning 6 out of 10 engagements at best given the umpteen variables and the uncertainties associated with close in combat. That is why designing for marginal improvement to that outcome begins to yield diminishing returns compared to the same amount invested in other areas.

https://i.postimg.cc/rsgvS7cK/Combat-Aircraft.png

let us say bigly AWACS on both sides are scanning and a hostile hot peace patrol without bvr roe suddenly turns violent! eg japan vs plaaf or greece vs turkey or norway vs russia.


Let's imagine that. What happens next and why do you think Japan, Norway, or Turkey don't factor these things when they assess aircraft performance and utility? I mean if it is something we can gin up here why wouldn't the actual subject matter experts think of these things?
Last edited by brar_w on 06 Mar 2019 17:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 06 Mar 2019 17:42

^^^ During the Pacific War with Japan, maneuverability was found to be secondary to performance. After the first year of the Zero turning inside every allied plane, the remaining three years saw a turkey shoot of powerfully engined Hellcats and Corsair zooming and booming the nimble Jap fighters to oblivion.

My gut feeling is the performance of the missile and radar set now replaces the performance advantages of the engine in Amreeki reckoning. Turning fights are a coin toss and too risky to do repeatedly. Far better percentages are the BVR fight where your weapons and sensors outrange the enemies and your stealth diminishes theirs to create a massive and safe gap between them and you.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 06 Mar 2019 17:53

chola wrote:My gut feeling is the performance of the missile and radar set now replaces the performance advantages of the engine in Amreeki reckoning. Turning fights are a coin toss and too risky to do repeatedly. Far better percentages are the BVR fight where your weapons and sensors outrange the enemies and your stealth diminishes theirs to create a massive and safe gap between them and you.


With the F-22 and F-35 agility requirements (within other mission parameters) were very closely informed by studies conducted in the 80's, and 90's and experiments conducted during the same time as well that studied what future close in fights will look like, what attributes will matter and where the investment focus on performance improvements should be. A lot of focus on Post Stall maneuverability was demonstrated and experimented later with actual mock battles between PSM capable variants of F teens (F-16 MATV, F-18 HARV etc) and other dedicated PSM capable experimental aircraft (X-31 for example). The F-16 MATV was the world's first aircraft/engine fitted with a 3D Thrust Vectoring System (AVEN) and was able to validate a lot of theoretical analysis that predated it.

It is absurd to claim that teams that actually invested time, money and effort into all this work of designing, producing modified variants of existing jets and new experimental aircraft altogether, and then spent months if not years to test and validate the theoretical work simply ignored any "lessons" learned when it came time to apply this stuff to actual requirements for a fighter that would be the backbone of its forces for the coming decades. It is not a coincidence that the designers of the F-35A set the AOA limit at 50 degrees for the aircraft - double that of the F-16 it replaces. In fact, the designers specifically point to (in the F-35 AOA paper at AIAA) the X-31 experiments and analysis validating the decision to set it to 50 degrees and to transition the CLAW to the High AOA logic beyond 25 degrees AOA or so.

As I said, with the advent of HMD and HOBS and things like thrust-vectoring and post-stall maneuverability you are dealing at the margins of potential improvements in effectiveness in the classic one vs one or two on two close in dogfight. A better pilot/machine may only have a 10-15% better chance of winning consistently against an inferior pilot/machine. We aren't moving to 15G capable aircraft anytime soon so there are limits to how much you can improve in this area particularly given the fact that missile agility will continue to outpace aircraft agility at least in the slow speed area...Designers must therefore look at the overall performance of their aircaft and then decide where they want to make their investments/bets...Do they see more utility in improving the likelihood of a dogfight victory by 5% or do they want to give the aircraft more fuel for example so that it can light the burners and get out of a bad spot if need be..These are real trades that aircraft designers have to balance when developing a multi-role aircraft

chola wrote:
My gut feeling is the performance of the missile and radar set now replaces the performance advantages of the engine in Amreeki reckoning. Turning fights are a coin toss and too risky to do repeatedly. Far better percentages are the BVR fight where your weapons and sensors outrange the enemies and your stealth diminishes theirs to create a massive and safe gap between them and you.


As your competitive advantage diminishes due to hard limitations (G limits, aircraft cost and competing mission needs) you seek advantages elsewhere. I see absolutely no way that a 5th generation aircraft can exceed the best maneuverability attributes of the F-16 and Su-27 designs (here i refer to families so feel free to include F-16 MATV and Su-35++ as well) by a significant (justifying a generational leap) margin. For good or bad you are stuck within largely the same performance trade space having to decide where to optimize performance with small incremental performance improvements in some areas.

So if that is the case, and you cannot produce 15G aircraft that can turn much much harder than the pure 4th gen designs you can either to continue to go down that road or you can be smart and seek competitive advantages elsewhere where there is more scope for a generational leap. On the F-35 and F-22 they went to RCS, mission systems and networking. Moreoever as far as the USAF/N are concerned they couple this with massive investments in training with 3-4 Red Flags and multiple other large force exercises (Northern Edge, Green Flags etc etc) each year which are the largest and most complex of their kind in the world. They also couple that with the largest and the most capable A2A combat target and missile development and test program to develop a repository of performance attributes against varying degree of capabilities (manuverability, supersonic, and DFRM jamming etc). These things perhaps are of little importance to us enthusiasts but in the real world when you have a finite resources you invest in a balanced fashion to obtain a competitive advantage over your adversary and the intensity and fidelity of your training, and the ability to model and test (in a controlled and operational environment) new and novel technologies against your weapons (and vice versa) is an important source of creating and maintaining that competitive advantage.

In our simple 1 vs 1 analysis here we almost always assume pilot and weapon capability to be at par, while in the real world this is seldom the case as nations and air-forces have to invest heavily to obtain parity or superiority over their adversaries in this regard and it is not something that one can simply assume particularly when one enters the analysis of a very large force conflict involving dozens of aircraft and the space, air, land and sea domains. These too contribute to a massive competitive advantage, as the MiG-21 v F-16 dogfight proved - better training and tactics can very easily trump a more modern aircraft given the right set of circumstances.

At the end of the day the performance is measured in mission success and overall effectiveness across missions and not via holding a jousting contest against a older generational aircraft. The 6th gen designs will be interesting to look at when they come to fruition. Significant RCS reductions over 5th generation designs will constantly put them at odds with other requirements (need to go supersonic, 9G performance and close in agility) so it will be interesting to see where they seek that margin of advantage that justifies their cost over the alternative of incrementally evolving 5th gen designs.

As the Dutch F-35A pilot comments in the article posted earlier, the F-35A does manage to get the better of the F-16 in a BFM but it just does it differently, leveraging different attributes. This is noteworthy because a pure BFM is probably an arena where the competitive advantage of an F-35A vs the F-16 is the smallest. It just goes downhill for the F-16 very quickly from there...

@Singha - Here's the video of the T-38 vs F-22A, I was talking about. Again, we do not know the context but as F-22 instructor pilots have spoken about over the years their objective here is to stress the F-22A pilots and one way of doing it is to put them at a disadvantageous position where winning the engagement is an uphill climb. When you do DACT and BFM with your own people or other nations the utility you get out of that exercise is by running these scenarios as the ultimate point of investing millions to run these exercises is to extract the most training benefits from them. Sometimes one side is simulating red-force tactics while other times they are asked to get out of a tough spot. Unless you know the context they are of purely entertainment value.



^ Though we don't have the context and mission parameters here, would you argue that the F-22 designers should have squeezed out 5% more performance from the design? 10% more? 20% more?? How would that have affected this outcome?

My point here is that given the right set of conditions, training, tactics and information mismatch an aircraft that first flew in the late 1950's just trumped the USAF's most capable Air Superiority fighter.

I would argue that no reasonable investment in the F-22 design would have likely changed this outcome..so you are better off spending that money to acquire superior SA, training, developing and honing in tactics and to know when and most importantly WHEN NOT to get into a knife fight with a particular opponent. Those investments will probably result in better outcomes - and this is the very point of training this way and why the USAF has spent hundreds of millions of $$ over the last decades to go out and acquire MiG-21's, MiG-29's and Su-27's and put their own test pilots into them so that they can develop more realistic and accurate models of their performance using it to precisely develop those training and tactics sets.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2019 04:52

FIRST LOOK - New USAF F-35A Full Aerobatic Demo



F-35A Slow High Alpha Pass to Burner Climb DOGE ZOOMed



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Thakur_B » 07 Mar 2019 09:29

RR has pulled out of Turkish TF-X program. This leaves only Korean and Indian programs as F-35 peers in the near future.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2019 09:33

Thakur_B wrote:RR has pulled out of Turkish TF-X program. This leaves only Korean and Indian programs as F-35 peers in the near future.


GE has already been selected for the TF-X. The RR partnership was for an eventual GE replacement with a home grown (with TOT :rotfl:) propulsion solution which always seemed like a pipe dream. While the TF-X is moving ahead, at least notionally it still remain a highly ambitious and probably a grossly unrealistic project for the Turkish industry so there is a chance that it just fizzles out and never materializes.

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... ghter-jet/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2019 17:25

brar_w wrote:This was likely their proposal which the USAF Research lab rejected when it selected the XQ-58A for its Loyal Wingman project. Even though they use a business jet engine, it will be difficult to pull off such a large vehicle for the $3-5 Million + GFE price tag the USAF was targeting. While the Valkyrie is not a whole lot smaller (30 ft long with a 27 ft wingspan), Kratos does have a lot of experience of making relatively low-cost air vehicles in small batches. Australia, the UK and others may have a different price point and payload in mind to the USAF so a larger vehicle, which will potentially be more expensive may be worth it for them. USAF had a more attritable system in mind which essentially packaged the sensor and payload demonstrated during the Have Raider experiments into a new relatively affordable and a more attritable UAS. Another uphill climb for Boeing will be Kratos's expected first flight which is expected in the short term (any time between now and this summer).


XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator completes inaugural flight

Image

The XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator, a long-range, high subsonic unmanned air vehicle completed its inaugural flight March 5, 2019 at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona. The Air Force Research Laboratory partnered with Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems to develop the XQ-58A.

This joint effort falls within the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) portfolio, which has the objective to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft. The objectives of the LCAAT initiative include designing and building UAS faster by developing better design tools, and maturing and leveraging commercial manufacturing processes to reduce build time and cost.

Developed for runway independence, the aircraft behaved as expected and completed 76 minutes of flight time. The time to first flight took a little over 2.5 years from contract award. The XQ-58A has a total of five planned test flights in two phases with objectives that include evaluating system functionality, aerodynamic performance, and launch and recovery systems.

“XQ-58A is the first example of a class of UAV that is defined by low procurement and operating costs while providing game changing combat capability,” said Doug Szczublewski, AFRL’s XQ-58A Program Manager.


4500+ km range, runway independent (with the ability to be recovered from water) and with a price target of <$3 Million + GFE for a production batch of 100. While the official USAF readout suggests that this is part of a "LCAAT portfolio" and that it is the "first example", I doubt that Boeing will be able to get the USAF to re-consider its aircraft as Kratos is on contract for two additional classified drones, at least one of which is claimed (Company results call from the last earnings) to be larger than this LCAAT and could possibly be what the AFRL press release is talking about...

More Analysis HERE


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