International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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Singha
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 07 Mar 2019 18:32

with that low a budget like $5million who will pay for any sensors? even a APG79 type radar costs a few million...
what is this thing meant for? recon? but even recon sensors wont be cheap.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Mar 2019 19:27

Singha wrote:with that low a budget like $5million who will pay for any sensors? even a APG79 type radar costs a few million...
what is this thing meant for? recon? but even recon sensors wont be cheap.


The cost target is less than $3 Million plus GFE (Government Furnished Equipment) which will include any sensors, or weapons. < 3 Mill is the cost target for the system, its engine, and its communication and navigation systems that allow it to autonomously mission execute or fly as part of a multi-ship system with manned and unmanned assets and take off and land without needing a runway. The computing brain, and the AI capability to perform the mission execution and even collectively mission plan have already been matured under a separate effort led by Lockheed Martin using a surrogate F-16 under the Have Raider effort.

No one is going to put something like the APG-79 on an attritable system. The role of the Loyal Wingman is to aid in the missions of manned fighters or to collectively execute missions with other UAV's and attritable systems. This is not a UAV or UCAV in the traditional sense but something that while not disposable like a MADL is attritable allowing you to add systems which would otherwise be too costly to go on a cruise missile or MALD like decoy. Think ESM payloads, Jammer payloads, Small Diameter Bomb or even smaller munitions than that etc. It is not supposed to get exotic fighter like sensors, that would totally defeat the purpose.

As far as payload cost, the current Stand-In Jammer payload on the ADM-160 is roughly in the $200-250K range. With more volume and access to more power you can add something much more substantial, perhaps in the $500K- 1 Million range which while cost prohibitive for a MALD like system can work economically on an attritable system that you anticipate using 4-5 times on average. Similarly, lower cost ISR payloads are available which will be more suited for an attritable system. You also do not need exotic sensors to target with SDBs when flying alongside more capable manned or unmanned aircraft. Given its OSA approach, the payload possibilities within a wide range of price points is going to be quite substantial.

No wonder the Europeans also plan on developing loyal wingmen for their SCAF effort in the 2040 timeframe. If you can get a reliable low cost attritable system that is economical even in small batches then you can incrementally add capability and allow payload developers to innovate by targeting price points that they have traditionally avoided because the demands have either been for very cheap payloads meant for cruise missiles or decoys or highly specialized and expensive systems meant for manned and unmanned aircraft. One of the objectives of this AFRL effort is to create a market for payload providers to develop systems around. This is likely why they will most probably field multiple systems at multiple sizes and price points. The UTAP-22, and the XQ-58A are just a start. There are at least 2 other unidentified programs that Kratos has acknowledged as being in the pipeline and there could be more with other OEMs.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Mar 2019 21:10


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Mar 2019 23:49


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby hnair » 09 Mar 2019 13:20

brar_w, what is with the new massive airbrake kind of backward-flipping cover of the lift-fans for the production F35Bs


Wouldnt the old accordion type sideways folding cover of X-35 be better for short takeoffs, from a drag perspective?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 09 Mar 2019 19:37

Here's an article that talks about the transition but I think there is a paper published from the team that further discusses details of their findings and the ultimate decision to move to the current single door. I'll try to find that as well -

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... nk-214382/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Mar 2019 01:15

Keeping the F-35 Ahead of the Bad Guys


Image

Block 4 includes 53 new capabilities “mapped … to six-month delivery cycles over the next six years, to 2024,” Winter said.

Updating every six months instead of every two years marks a cultural shift from “the traditional waterfall acquisition to an agile, rapid capability/continuous delivery” model, Winter noted. The new model is more akin to commercial product cycles, where rapid, iterative software releases are now the norm.

Indeed, the last Block 3F software was delivered in December and the first Block 4 update is planned for April 2019.

Combat operators, rather than program managers, will decide how to prioritize the updates, Winter said. If the combat operator wants to “wait, for whatever operational reason, we have the flexibility to be able to do that.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Mar 2019 06:22

brar_w wrote:Hill Airmen, F-35 a lethal combo at Red Flag

Red Flag aggressors encompass the whole spectrum of an adversary force – advanced integrated air-defense systems, an adversary air force, cyber-warfare and information operations. Because of these diverse capabilities, many Red Flag missions are flown in “contested or denied” environments with active electronic attack, communications jamming, and GPS denial.

“Those situations highlight the fifth-generation capabilities of the F-35. We’re still able to operate and be successful. In a lot of cases we have a large role as an integrated quarterback,” said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron commander. “Our ability to continue to fuse and pass information to the entire package makes every aircraft more survivable.”

During the first week of Red Flag, the F-35 pilots flew in a larger force of Blue Air in a counter-air mission. More than 60 aggressor aircraft were flying against them, blinding many of the fourth-generation aircraft with “robust” electronic attack capabilities.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before.” Wood said. “This is not a mission you want a young pilot flying in. My wingman was a brand new F-35A pilot, seven or eight flights out of training. He gets on the radio and tells an experienced, 3,000-hour pilot in a very capable fourth-generation aircraft. ‘Hey bud, you need to turn around. You’re about to die. There’s a threat off your nose.’”....


>60 Aggressor aircraft (they can also re-generate if simulating more capable Red Force) for Red Flag 19-1. I would have look into the past but this does appear to be a significant quantity increase from most large force exercises. Aggressors have also had some qualitative improvements with live and virtual EW/EA capability added and even full blown GPS black-out happening over hundreds of miles of range space during RF...


I had guessed right. This last iteration of Red Flag was more intense than typical...
Electronic jammers struck as fighter pilots tried to communicate with an E-8 Joint STARS command-and-control aircraft; rear-area command cells had satellite linkages disrupted by cyberattacks. Starbursts of surface-to-air missile launches flashed on the ground below, and cockpit alarms warned that the formation was being painted with multiple radars from enemy aircraft with paint schemes and capabilities designed to replicate the likes of the advanced Sukhoi Su-30 Flanker fighters in the arsenals of both Russia and China.

“On the last week of a Red Flag exercise we really throw everything we have at the Blue Force and replicate the toughest adversary possible, because that’s what they will face in a high-end fight against a ‘near peer’ competitor,” said Col. Travolis “Jaws” Simmons, commander of the 57th Adversary Tactics Group, the umbrella organization for all the Aggressor Squadrons that operate out of Nellis Air Force Base, home to Red Flag exercises and the Air Force’s elite Fighters Weapons School. “We turn the temperature way up in those final missions, because we want the Blue Force pilots and operators to leave Red Flag knowing that they took our best punch, and to take that confidence into combat if and when the time comes. That’s our ideal goal.”

The latest exercise also incorporated some of the political ambiguity, Identify Friend or Foe (IFF) challenges, and proxy war protocols that Air Force pilots have encountered in Syria, where they share the battlespace with Syrian, Iranian, Turkish, Israeli and Russian forces, as well as allied and adversarial paramilitaries and non-state actors.

“On top of those ‘rules of engagement’ challenges, Blue Forces at Red Flag are contested in the air, subject to Aggressor missile strikes on their operating and logistics bases, and hit with cyberattacks on their command-and-control and space systems designed to disrupt satellite communications and GPS [Global Positioning System] targeting,” said Novotny, who notes that the 64th Aggressor Squadron is flying double the number of sorties it logged just last year. “So the Aggressors are a marquee feature at Red Flag, and their mission of knowing, teaching and replicating enemy capabilities is critical to what we do.”



https://breakingdefense.com/2019/03/red ... -in-years/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 13 Mar 2019 05:03

From AW&ST's Bill Sweetman, a known F-35 baiter and the person who wanted the Gripen NG to be termed 6th generation. :D

Test Report Points to F-35’s Combat Limits
Aviation Week & Space Technology Jan 31, 2016
Bill Sweetman

The Block 2B version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which the Marine Corps declared operational in July last year, is not capable of unsupported combat against any serious threat, according to Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E). In a 48-page annual project report to be published shortly, a copy of which was obtained by Aviation Week, the DOT&E states that “the F-35B Block 2B aircraft would need to avoid threat engagement… in an opposed combat scenario, and would require augmentation by other friendly forces.”

Most of the same limitations will apply to the U.S. Air Force’s initial operational capability (IOC) version, the F-35A Block 3i. “Since no capabilities were added to Block 3i, only limited corrections to deficiencies, the combat capability of the initial operational Block 3i units will not be noticeably different.”

The report is “factually accurate,” the F-35 Joint Program Office concedes in an official response, but “does not fully address program efforts to resolve known technical challenges and schedule risks.” Lockheed Martin said it endorsed the program office's views.

Giving more details on the software deficiencies mentioned in a December memo, Gilmore says 11 out of 12 weapon delivery accuracy (WDA) tests carried out during Block 2B developmental testing “required intervention by the test and control team to overcome system deficiencies and ensure a successful event,” Gilmore says that the F-35’s performance in combat “will depend in part on the operational utility of the workarounds” that were used in testing.

At the root of the difficulties in the WDA tests, Gilmore said, was that component tests in the run-up to the WDA events were focused “on contract specification compliance, instead of readiness for combat.” Those tests required only that the subcomponent should work. The actual WDA tests involved the entire kill chain and “highlighted the impact of deficiencies.” The F-35 program leadership altered some of them to achieve a “kill” – for example, by restricting target maneuvers and countermeasures.

Also, the Marines accepted several substantial flaws in their IOC standard, causing problems with the way that the “performance and accuracy of mission systems functions,” including the aircraft’s data fusion system and radar performance, were displayed to the pilot.

Specific technical problems continue to impose speed and maneuver limitations on the F-35, the report says. The weapon bay temperatures exceed limits during ground operations on days warmer than 90-deg. F, and at high speeds below 25,000 feet, if the weapon bays are closed for more than 10 min. (The F-35 is not stealthy with the doors open.) On the F-35A, the time limit is applied at speeds from 500 to 600 kts, depending on altitude.

Heating issues were identified several years ago, but were said to have been addressed with a more efficient fuel pump and other changes: the F-35 uses the fuel as a heat sink to cool the airframe interior and systems, but runs short of cooling capacity under some circumstances. When Air Force operators at Luke AFB, Arizona, announced in December 2014 that they had painted fuel trucks white to reduce the heating problem, the program office stated: “This is not an F-35 issue. There are no special restrictions on the F-35 related to fuel temperature.”

All F-35s are currently subject to g restrictions with full internal fuel. This is due to a problem where air enters a siphon fuel line and causes pressure in an associated tank to exceed limits. A repair scheme is in the works.

Overall, the report says, “the rate of deficiency correction has not kept pace with the discovery rate” – that is, problems are being found in tests faster than they can be solved. “Well-known, significant problems” include the defective Autonomic Logistics Information System, unstable avionics and persistent aircraft and engine reliability and maintainability issues.

Combined with poor aircraft availability, this record leads DOT&E to conclude that the program cannot speed up flight testing enough to deliver Block 3F – the IOC standard for the Navy and export customers and the exit criterion for the systems development and demonstration (SDD) phase – on schedule. Block 3F developmental flight testing started 11 months late, in March 2015. The planned 48 WDAs in Block 3F – most of them more complex and challenging than the Block 2B weapons tests – cannot be accomplished by the May 2017 schedule date “unless the program is able to significantly increase their historic completion rate.”

Moreover, DOT&E predicts, the fleet of production-representative, instrumented aircraft required for initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) – the service-led testing that follows SDD and precedes the declaration of operational capability – will not be ready before August 2017. The IOT&E force will then use these for “spin-up” and training before IOT&E starts, which Gilmore does not now expect to happen before August 2018.

An essential element of IOT&E is a high-fidelity simulation of threats and scenarios too complex to be addressed in live testing. Gilmore has been warning for several years that the program’s own Verification Simulation (VSim) subsystem was flawed and behind schedule. In August 2015, in an unannounced move, VSim was cancelled outright (after $250 million in added investment from 2010 onwards) and will be replaced by a government-led Joint Simulation Environment. But this will not be ready in time for IOT&E, so testers will either have to skip those scenarios or add costly and time-consuming live tests to the program.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Mar 2019 06:10

This is now three years old and Uncle Bill now works for the F-35's largest supplier, and at least two operators have since taken the F-35 to perform combat sorties ;). Also the program the very next year (from when the article was written) performed the largest weapons testing surge that the dev. test team had ever undertaken on any program - something the DOTE argued was not possible as recent as 6 months before it actually occured.

There's a video of a Navy test pilot mocking the DOTE at the 2017 (or 18) Tail Hook when talking about the surge...worth digging up..

https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... e-5906820/

The DOTE and IOTE are only relevant for produciton decisions i.e. a passing score in IOTE is required to enter full-rate production. Beyond this, there is very little use the three US services have for the DOTE which is largely a bureaucracy that has no technical teeth of its own. Instead, each operator performs its own operational assesment and exercises and moves the program to its next operational milestone like IOC, FOC and follow on development. Usually they end up responding to the DOTE with something like " we do not acknowledge any of the director of operational test and evaluation's recommendations.." though sometimes they do fully or partially agree with the conclusions or recommendations and take the proposed action though it is very rare.
Last edited by brar_w on 13 Mar 2019 11:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 13 Mar 2019 07:42

In news from UK.

Never have so many flown so few. Messed up pilot training program after privatization leaves RAF in mess.

Hundreds of trainee military pilots waiting to start flying

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby negi » 13 Mar 2019 11:15

hnair wrote:brar_w, what is with the new massive airbrake kind of backward-flipping cover of the lift-fans for the production F35Bs


Wouldnt the old accordion type sideways folding cover of X-35 be better for short takeoffs, from a drag perspective?
Well the front facing large surface will slow down the air and actually direct it inwards for the lift fan basically during STOL runs it will help direct incoming air into the intake better ; it might never be deployed outside of take off and landing procedures. That is why it opens like pilot's cockpit and not like an airbrake which usually opens back first.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 14 Mar 2019 02:47

From AW&ST


Israel Completes List of Customized F-35 Upgrades


The Israeli Air Force has prepared a list of Israeli-made weapons and other systems that it wants the F-35 Adir to carry.

In order to add their own systems, Israel will need access to core aspects of the stealth aircraft. To enable the customized upgrades, Lockheed Martin has prepared an F-35 equipped with a special suite of test instruments that will be delivered to the air force in 2020, a process that took two years. “This unique aircraft will allow us to test the systems we want the F-35 to carry so it can perform the complicated missions we intend for it,” an air force official says.

Typically, air force upgrades begin immediately after first delivery. In the case of the F-35, most of the adaptations will be made after the test aircraft is delivered.

“All our platforms have been upgraded to enable stretching the flight envelope while using the unique weapon systems made by Israeli industries,” the official says.

The test aircraft will enable the air force’s flight-test center to enhance the air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities of the Adir using the highly classified Israeli systems. Although the details of those systems are restricted, it is known that Israeli companies such as Rafael have developed new versions of existing kits that can be carried by the F-35 in its stealthy mode.

—Arie Egozi in Tel Aviv


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby gaurav.p » 14 Mar 2019 09:56

Infrared search and track technology gives fighter aircraft stealth vision
https://www.airforce-technology.com/fea ... th-vision/

...
Another variant of the IRST system, Skyward-K has also found success in Asia, and will eventually form part of a new regional fighter programme. Balzarotti did not disclose the customer or the programme due to commercial sensitivities, but said Leonardo would supply 20 units over the next two years. This is believed to be part of a wider technology transfer agreement with the domestic company.

In another sign of the growing appetite for IRST on next-generation platforms, Balzarotti also revealed that Leonardo had been awarded a contract from a Far East customer this year to supply a new Skyward sensor variant known as the Skyward-AB. This will be integrated onto a tactical UAV, which “is not the first time we have tested on an unmanned aircraft, but it is the most important one,” he noted.

It is believed that the tactical UAV is still in its development phase and will be ready next year, with the IRST sensors also being delivered next year for use in an air-to-air detection and tracking role. This the first time an IRST sensor has been used on a UAV in an air-to-air role – the past example of nEUROn was exclusively air-to-ground – although no further details are known at this point owing to its confidential nature.
...


any guesses, seems like the bandar?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Thakur_B » 14 Mar 2019 10:28

^^ Probably SoKos.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby gaurav.p » 14 Mar 2019 15:06

Thakur_B wrote:^^ Probably SoKos.


T-50 of SoKos has no reference for IRST on it. 20 KAI-FX won't come in 2 years.

There have been whispers in the past regarding skyward IRST for the bandar. It seems likely that is the case.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Thakur_B » 14 Mar 2019 19:16

The article specifically says UAV.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby gaurav.p » 14 Mar 2019 19:43

The article says two things
Skyward K -> in Asia; new regional fighter programme (20 units over the next two years)
Skyward AB -> Far East customer; tactical UAV

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 16 Mar 2019 05:04

Interesting kill marking on an A-10 -

Image

https://twitter.com/towersight/status/1 ... 2138054656

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 16 Mar 2019 08:10

^ Does Red Flag have ground attack exercises? Could be an outlier result from a low and slow close-in guns scrap between a very experienced Hog driver and a relatively newbie and over-confident Raptor jock..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 16 Mar 2019 08:23

The aviation gods are sometimes quick to bestow gifts to those seeking knowledge :)

Just a couple of days ago i was wondering (in the IAF thread) about the Tornado and why the IAF didn't choose it as a follow-on to the Jag. Got good insights from senior members.

And now Hushkit publishes an interview of a pilot who has flown both to a good extent

Tornado F3 versus Mirage 2000: Pilot of both explains how they would fight and who would win

Biggest disadvantage of each type
“F3? Lack of manoeuvrability perhaps, the fact it was a fighter converted from a bomber meant its high level performance was poor.
M2000? Not a lot, though as a single-seater it had a high workload at night or in poor weather.”


Sensors & countermeasures compared
“The F3 was very poorly placed when it entered service but after years of upgrades was second to none. In fact, the F3s Radar Warning Receiver or Radar Homing and Warning Receiver was superior to the GR4’s.
The M2000 had a host of onboard jammers and infra-red decoys.


Weapons compared
“The F3 began life with four Skyflash and 2 AIM-9L sidewinders this became 4 – later on it was upgraded to take AMRAAM and ASRAAM = both superb weapons – The 27-mm gun was also excellent and very accurate.
The Mirage 2000 had Magic 2 which was actually slightly better than the Sidewinder but during my time Matra Super 530, which was a big missile and not as agile as Skyflash or as resistant to jamming .The internal cannon on the M2000 was also very effective”


Performance compared
“The Tornado F3 was good below 5000 feet — in fact surprisingly good. Limited to 6.9 G it could hold its own with a Hawk at low level mainly due to its RB199 104 engines. Clean in training fit it was a different aircraft to the war fit of 2250 litre tanks and eight missiles, it is often overlooked, but carrying eight missiles added a big weight penalty!

The Mirage 2000 needed to be flown with a bit of trick flying: you had to fly it as a delta not like any other aircraft you had flown. The Mirage 2000 was the master of the ‘Bat Turn’, the ability to make a very quick instantaneous turn and take a shot. The big drawback was the delta wing gave huge amounts of drag so you would bleed energy very very quickly – so you had to be sure if you pulled a quick 9G turn that it was going to achieve a kill.


What should I have asked you?
“Lots I guess, such as why would the RAF never have bought the M2000? Mainly because they need an aircraft that can sit at night over the sea in all weathers for long periods of time — and that is not the M2000.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 16 Mar 2019 20:38

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

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

Image

Image

Image

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 16 Mar 2019 20:47

So they have modelled the j20 as a side benefit

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 16 Mar 2019 20:56

Looks quite different from J-20 in profile though one aspect of doing this work, as opposed to simply flying a bunch of F-35's or F-22's against F-22's or F-35's for the purpose of testing and evaluation, is that an Aerial Target gives you the option of simulating designs and RCS and payload parameters based on your best assessment of your adversaries capabilities..so the RCS of this air-vehicle is likely to have been modeled on the current state of non-US LO aircraft, and the NAVAIR delivered EA payloads are likely simulating some of the capabilities expected to be employed by these aircraft in terms of offensive electronic attack and countermeasures. The 5GAT is expected to be betwen 35-40 ft. in length with a span > 20ft. and a total thrust of around 8000-10,000 lb (not bad for something that is expected to only stay airborne for only about 90-120 minutes).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Mar 2019 07:36

Amazing how much in terms of sensors, RF data links, guidance and other electronics one can pack in very small munition class these days..

USSOCOM, AFSOC test Block 1 GBU-69/B SGM datalink variant


The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), in collaboration with Dynetics, have conducted a series of tests of the Block 1 variant of the Dynetics GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition (SGM) – an enhanced variant of the baseline SGM equipped with a Raytheon-developed X-Net two-way datalink....

The Block 1 GBU-69/B is a 60 lb (27.2 kg)-class precision glide munition, featuring a modular design that provides for multiple common variants and significant design flexibility. By mounting the seeker nose section, tail kit, and wing assembly directly on to the warhead case, the design enables different seekers, warheads, and other subsystems to be incorporated. With a diameter of about 11.4 cm and a wingspan of 71.1 cm, the Block 1 variant SGM incorporates a 36 lb (16.3 kg) blast-fragmentation warhead that can be detonated either on impact or using a variable height of burst sensor. Both the baseline GBU-69/B SGM, which is currently fielded, and the Block 1 variant incorporate the same 36 lb warhead. The munition offers an all-azimuth launch capability, while its deployable wing provides significant stand-off range resulting in a large weapon footprint and a corresponding increase in armed over-watch area. Integrated into a common launch tube (CLT), the SGM is compatible with the battle management system (BMS) of the host platform, as well as other weapon interfaces.

GBU-69/B includes a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS receiver, and a BAE Systems Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker (DASALS) adapted from the WGU-59/B Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System for terminal guidance. It also uses lattice control fins for aerodynamic stability and control, similar to the Dynetics-developed designs used on the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast and the GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator weapons.

Conducted in February, the flight tests with the X-Net datalink “achieved all test objectives including sending via the datalink updated target co-ordinates from the launch platform to the SGM, redirecting the munition to a secondary target located more than a mile from the initial target location, and transmitting an in-flight command to inhibit munition arming,” according to a Dynetics release. The munition also transmitted critical data including its position, velocity, flight mode, and arming status back to the launch platform. Acknowledgement and verification of commands sent to and from the munition were verified via the BMS on board the launch platform as well as a ground control station.

Additionally, during the tests the munition’s SALS was used for terminal guidance, yielding a circular error probable (CEP)90 strike – that is, the radius of a circle in which 90% of successful strikes would occur – on the updated target co-ordinate. The implication is that the addition of the datalink did not affect the weapon’s accuracy. The number of tests, target types, and the category of the launch testbed platform were not disclosed.

The baseline GBU-69/B is understood to equip the AC-130J Ghostrider and AC-130W Scorpion II close air support (CAS) aircraft, for which integration, qualification, and test activities were provided for under a June 2016 contract ‘as part of an immediate combat requirement’ for the USSOCOM’s Stand-off Precision Guided Munitions (SOPGM) architecture.

Integration activities for SGM on Special Operation Forces (SOF) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in 2019 include the Army Special Operations Aviation Command (ARSOAC) MQ- 1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) and AFSOC MQ-9 Reaper platforms.

At 60 lb, SGM offers significant weight savings over the presently fielded 100 lb-class Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire, which currently equips the MQ-1C, MQ-9, Predator C and MQ-1B Predator UAS platforms. However, the SGM warhead weighs several pounds more than Hellfire.

Dynetics is also positioning the GBU-69/B as a candidate for the US Army’s Lightweight Precision Munition evolving requirement, and also for the US Air Force Light Attack Aircraft programme. While SGM is integrated into the CLT, it also enables utilisation of 14-inch launch lugs for external carriage.

The incorporation of a two-way datalink will enhance the capabilities of the SGM, enabling the weapon to be part of a network consisting of other airborne platforms and tactical air controllers. In the future, networked communications will facilitate collaborative strikes and lead to new tactics, expanding SGM capabilities and effectiveness. No determination has yet been made public on whether all future USSOCOM/AFSOC GBU/69B acquisitions will be Block 1 X-Net datalink-equipped variants.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 19 Mar 2019 22:10

Jane's IDR has a very detailed article on the E-2D this month and gets into the details of the APY-9 UHF band radar that it carries - Posting only a portion that pertains to the radar -

Joining the dots: E-2D Advanced Hawkeye builds the bigger picture;Jane's International Defence Review ;Richard Scott, London


At the heart of the increased capability afforded by the E-2D is the new AN/APY-9 solid-state, electronically scanned UHF radar, which implements an advanced space-time adaptive processing (STAP) architecture designed to suppress clutter, jamming, and other sources of electromagnetic interference. The technology underpinning APY-9 was matured under what was originally known as the Radar Modernization Program (RMP).

Compared with the AN/APS-145, the AN/APY-9 represents a two-generation leap in the context of radar detection overland and in clutter, and a similar improvement against casual and intentional electromagnetic interference. This translates to an approximate 20 dB performance in virtually every significant radar parameter. According to Northrop Grumman, the AN/APY-9 radar offers 250% greater coverage than the previous AN/APS-145, pushing maximum range out to about 350 n miles. It also provides improved capacity, flexibility, and accuracy over land and in the littoral.

The APY-9 architecture, as the beneficiary of technology developed and de-risked by an RMP advanced development model during land-based and airborne testing, consists of four principal subsystems: high-power, solid-state, silicon carbide-based transmitter elements; high-bandwidth digital receivers; the ADS-18S 18-channel antenna and associated 18-channel rotary coupler; and the STAP processor.

Use of STAP processing algorithms enable the radar to receive signals on a pulse-to-pulse basis from all the antenna elements, creating and using a pattern of elements that minimises ground returns and interference. This generation of very deep and narrow jammer nulls and suppression of electromagnetic interference, according to Lockheed Martin, gives the AN/APY-9 strong sub-clutter visibility, significantly enhancing performance in overland and littoral environments.

Whereas the TRAC-A antenna associated with the APS-145 radar is mechanical in operation, the new ADS-18S antenna (as part of the OE-585/A antenna group) combines controllable mechanical rotation with the ability to scan the beam electronically in azimuth. This means that the beam can dwell on scanned targets or ‘look back’ in order to update tracks (electronic sector scanning enables increased track update rates in any 90° sector).
The antenna rotation can be slowed, or stopped altogether, to stare in one direction. The rotodome antenna group also incorporates a new electronically scanning 36-element IFF array aligned to the increased performance of the new radar.

The APY-9, coupled with CEC and Link 16, fully integrates the E-2D into the joint integrated air and missile defence role. According to the USN the new radar's advanced detection and tracking capability, in conjunction with the Aegis weapon system and SM-6 missile, “will allow strike groups to deploy an organic, theatre-wide air and cruise missile defence capability to protect high-priority areas and US and coalition forces ashore and afloat”, adding, “[The] E-2D is the key enabler to all kill chains of the [NIFC-CA] capability.”

In FY 2021 the USN expects the operational test and fleet release of DSSC-4, which is intended to enable components of NIFC-CA increment 3.
One new capability embodied in DSSC-4 is the E-2D MIDS/JTRS Tactical Targeting Networking Technology (TTNT). A key enabler for E-2D sensor netting capability in support of the NIFC-CA mission, MIDS/JTRS TTNT integrates Advanced Tactical Data Link functionality into the E-2D.

E-2D Fighter-to-Fighter backlink implements Link 16 Network Participation Group 20 messages for the Fighter-to-Fighter backlink capability in E-2D. This functionality improves interoperability between E-2D and participating USN fighters, including fifth generation aircraft, resulting in enhanced combat effectiveness of E-2D, increased situational awareness, and shortened kill-chain timelines (including NIFC-CA).

A so-called Counter Electronic Attack (CEA) capability is means to enable the AN/APY-9 radar system to maintain performance in a severe jamming environment. CEA is seen as particularly important in ensuring E-2D support for NIFC-CA in an electronic attack environment.

Another component in DSSC-3 is Data Fusion Phase 1. Intended to support NIFC-CA – where successful engagements depend on a clear, unambiguous tactical picture and the shortest possible decision timeline – this functionality will provide a fusion engine to blend all onboard sensor-derived track data (such as ESM) with already blended radar, IFF, and CEC track files.

Also to be introduced with DSSC-4 is the E-2D Secret Internet Protocol Router Chat (SIPRACHAT) capability, which will support integration of current collaboration tools including tactical ‘chat’ (text) communications, real-time tasking, and Air Tasking Order distribution. SIPRCHAT is planned to cut into the production line at aircraft 53
.
Finally, DSSC-4 will include E-2D Navigation Warfare (NAVWAR) improvements designed to prevent loss of GPS. Using a Controlled Reception Pattern Antenna and antenna electronics unit that will provide GPS access in a jamming environment, NAVWAR significantly reduces the likelihood of a loss of critical GPS-derived precision positioning, navigation, and timing functionality.

DSSC-5 is planned for operational test and fleet release in FY 2023. This build will introduce the capabilities necessary for E-2D to meet NIFC-CA increment 3 requirements.

As part of DSSC-5, Sensor Netting will provide for fusion of data from off-board sources via a high bandwidth network that will enable E-2D to support the second spiral of performance improvement for NIFC-CA capability. Further details remain classified.
Stores Performance Assessment Requested Quality (SPARQ) establishes real-time requirements for E-2D sensor contribution to the system of system NIFC-CA solutions. SPARQ will expand and optimise operational employment envelopes, improving the ability of the air wing to take advantage of NIFC-CA’s ‘system of system’ capabilities to reduce operational workload and latency of execution.

Data Fusion Phase 2 introduces a fusion engine to blend all off-board tactical data (such as satellite receiver system data) with already fused organic tracks from the Data Fusion Phase 1 effort. This will enable all-source data fusion to enhance situational awareness and improve tactical decision making.

Another major improvement forming part of DSSC-5 is a package of combat identification upgrades for the AN/ALQ-217 ESM. New digital receiver and processing technology enables multi-ship geo-location and time difference of arrival with other sensors across Link 16 and TTNT, and provide a precision internal clock source to enable netted detection of advanced threat radar systems.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 20 Mar 2019 22:22

From AW&ST. Interesting see-saw swing in Japan on whether to build their own indigenous future fighter or just adapt a foreign design. The current swing is towards an indigenous design.


Japan Begins Moves To Acquire F-35B
.

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Mar 18, 2019 , p. 2
Bradley Perrett

BEIJING—Japan has begun the process of acquiring Lockheed MartinF-35B Lightnings by preparing to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) fighters

The F-35B is the only conceivable candidate.

Separately, development of a Future Fighter for entry into service in the 2030s should begin in the fiscal year beginning in April 2021, local media report.

The government said in December 2018 that Japan will buy 42 F-35Bs, beginning with 18 in fiscal 2019-23, to strengthen the air defense on the Pacific side of the country, where it said airbases are few. Further, the anti-submarine helicopter carriers Izumo and Kaga will be converted to operate STOVL aircraft, meaning F-35Bs.

The next step toward acquisition will be holding a meeting on March 22 to refine the RFP, the defense ministry said in the announcement kicking off the process.

As for the Future Fighter, the government wants to decide how to develop the aircraft and with which partner by mid-2020 and request Parliament to authorize funding in the fiscal 2021 budget, the Nikkei newspaper said. Inclusion in the fiscal 2020 budget is not practicable because the requirements, such as range, are not yet fixed, the paper added.

Development would therefore begin in 2021 and, the Nikkei said, the aircraft would first fly in 2031; testing and initial production would proceed in the following five years and the Future Fighter would be delivered to operational units by March 2036.

Rejecting the possibilities of direct imports or modification of current foreign types, the government decided last year that the Future Fighter should be a new type developed under Japanese leadership.
The likely sources of foreign support are the U.S. or Britain.

The Future Fighter is required to replace the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) F-2 fighter, of which 94 units were built in 2000-11.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 20 Mar 2019 23:59

IIRC the last time they made a F-16 look
Alike it turned out to be more expensive than imported one.

Need to see if they can fund or join India amca program

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Mar 2019 00:27

The point of spending the extra funds and doing it alone is to be able to create, and maintain the design and production industrial base required for a 5.5+ generation - 6th gen fighter aircraft i.e. being able to design, develop, test and produce most, if not all, mission systems and other sub-assemblies required for the aircraft. This is evident from their initial seed investments and prototypes. Everything from the engine to thrust vectoring controls is being developed in house. Partnering is somewhat counter intuitive to that especially when Japan already operates the F-35, assembles it locally, has recently upped its order (and is likely going to be among the top 3 operators in terms of fleet size), and already has a scaled next gen aircraft demonstrator in the air with a propulsion program also in advanced development. If they want to go that route then the spectrum of options is already quite extensive..ranging from F-35 derivatives, to F-22's..

Their problem is the length, cost and the duration of the commitment when compared to other pressing priorities (like ships, subs, missile defenses etc etc). They seem to be walking back on a partnership plan that they themselves floated out with BAE, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin responding or considering responding. One of the proposals was an upgraded F-22A which is right up their in terms of the maximum performance that any other partner can guarantee or promise within a reasonable timeframe so if they passed on that then that speaks quite a bit to what their intentions are - to be able to do this work themselves without relying on partners.

If they go all in then, outside of certain sub-system tie ups with BAE/LMA/BA/NG or other suppliers, they will likely go it alone because a part of the justification for the expenditure is to be able to design and produce something themselves. If it is just building something locally and obtaining a product that is more suited for their future needs then they already have proposals sitting on their desk. Japan also has relatively limited experience of working on long drawn out, joint or multi-national projects..and definitely have no experience of working one that is likely to be measured in the tens of billions when it comes to R&D and production..Lack of experience and well laid out policies and procedures can lead to a drag that can potentially hurt the AMCA project for ADA/HAL as well so that is also something to consider.

Austin wrote:IIRC the last time they made a F-16 look
Alike it turned out to be more expensive than imported one.


The F-2 is larger and heavier and is produced in a relatively small quantity compared to Fort Worth which at its peak was probably cranking out the F-2's entire production run in a year or less. So i don't think they had any intentions of producing something cheaper but the point there was to produce something themselves. With the F-X they are looking to do something in the F-22 class or better.
Last edited by brar_w on 21 Mar 2019 13:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 21 Mar 2019 06:21

Impacts Indian assets.

US Air Force orders review of training procedures in wake of Ethiopia Airlines crash

The US Air Force chief of staff has ordered a review of training procedures for military pilots of large cargo and transport planes, including Air Force One, in the wake of the Ethiopian airlines crash earlier this month.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby SaiK » 21 Mar 2019 19:59

Last edited by Rakesh on 21 Mar 2019 23:48, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Please post in this thread.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby JayS » 22 Mar 2019 16:18

Saw news that USN contracted Boeing for 78 F/A 18 E/F block III jets for 5yr delivery schedule on fixed cost basis worth $4.04B total. Thats like $51Mil per jet..!! Thats much lower than one would expect. What gives..?? Of coarse this does not seems to include PBL, any weapons. But still 51M is low for flyaway cost. In the context of IN contract for 57 jets, F/A18 will have a huge advantage over Rafale-M with this kind of price.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 22 Mar 2019 19:25

^^^ Economy of scale will always work out in favor of the US over France or anyone else for that matter.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2019 19:33

JayS wrote:Saw news that USN contracted Boeing for 78 F/A 18 E/F block III jets for 5yr delivery schedule on fixed cost basis worth $4.04B total. Thats like $51Mil per jet..!! Thats much lower than one would expect. What gives..?? Of coarse this does not seems to include PBL, any weapons. But still 51M is low for flyaway cost. In the context of IN contract for 57 jets, F/A18 will have a huge advantage over Rafale-M with this kind of price.


That is the cost of this contract to completion. There would have been advance long lead costs paid for Boeing to start work in prior years. Based on the latest US budget documents the Gross Weapon System Unit Cost and the Fly-Away Unit Costs of the fighters (in CY 2019) it is acquiring are-

F/A-18 E/F - $80 Million/$67.2 Million
F-35A - $97 Million/$89.9 Million
F-35C - $142.3 Million/126.5 Million
F-35B - $129.5 Million/$117.5 Million

https://i.postimg.cc/W3YMFdQ0/F18EFUC.png
https://i.postimg.cc/85zRzRn1/F35AUC.png

These cover all associated costs that get rolled into GWSU or the recurring unit cost and are the best indicator of the exact unit cost paid rolling in the long lead and cost to complete elements.

The closest number in the Indian Rafale deal that I have seen to a "Unit Cost" is $105 Million but the articles do not define what "unit cost" means.

@Chola, yes EOS has quite a significant influence though so does the overall quantity (i.e. both production rate and production quantity) as you still have to negotiate with suppliers who always look at overall quantity. On the Super Hornet program, consider that the US Navy's current Growler fleet is as large as the entire French Rafale fleet (as it currently stands) and the overall program is around 5-6 times larger so certainly there is more scope for Boeing to negotiate hard with its suppliers to lower costs. The volume also allows you to invest more in lowering production costs, exploring new processes and competing components to find additional efficiencies by having 2 or more suppliers bid for multi-year contracts for components. You can't really do that when your overall production quantity is uncertain and the best estimates are in the 200-300 range or when your production rate is very small (Rafale has been in production since the late 1990s IIRC with less than 200 deliveries). They are literally going to drag out production for a total run of about 30 years with an average annual delivery rate across tha tiemframe likely in the 10-12 range.

The influence on production rate can be seen on F-35B and F-35C which are produced at a much lower rate than the F-35A so their type-specific costs are spread over fewer annual units and since the F-35 is not being procured as part of Multi-Year-Procurement (MYP) like the F/A-18 deal linked by JayS the bulk discounts are less..Once the F-35 begins to be acquired in a Multi-Year fashion (post Milestone-C so beginning 2020 contract negotiations) you can expect those fly-away costs to drop to around $80 Million for the CTOL and close to $100 Million for the B and C.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Rakesh » 23 Mar 2019 10:17

JayS wrote:Saw news that USN contracted Boeing for 78 F/A 18 E/F block III jets for 5yr delivery schedule on fixed cost basis worth $4.04B total. Thats like $51Mil per jet..!! Thats much lower than one would expect. What gives..?? Of coarse this does not seems to include PBL, any weapons. But still 51M is low for flyaway cost. In the context of IN contract for 57 jets, F/A18 will have a huge advantage over Rafale-M with this kind of price.

That is a low number and Brar has explained that "low cost" in great detail. And unit cost - while important - alone with not be the only factor in play for the IN contract. But most importantly, the IN will not get the F-18 Super Hornet at that price.

The IN has estimated the "entire" contract value of the 57 carrier borne fighter contract at nearly US $14 billion or Rs 95,000 crore. See below. From that perspective, each aircraft works out to US $245 million. Awfully close to the 36 Rafales that the IAF bought. I know, I am doing an apples-to-oranges comparison of IAF acquisition versus IN acquisition, but unit cost cannot be examined in a vacuum.

But I will say this, no one can mass produce like how Unkil can. They are damn good at it and that is reflected in their price. And I will give full marks to Boeing and Lockheed Martin for delivering all Indian aircraft (C-130, C-17, P-8I, etc) on time and on agreed price. Nobody does it like Unkil. Kudos to them for this.

Requests for proposals: Indian Navy looks to buy 57 fighters for Rs 95,000 crore
https://www.financialexpress.com/defenc ... e/1136675/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 24 Mar 2019 08:57


Austin
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 24 Mar 2019 10:45

Rakesh wrote:The IN has estimated the "entire" contract value of the 57 carrier borne fighter contract at nearly US $14 billion or Rs 95,000 crore.

Requests for proposals: Indian Navy looks to buy 57 fighters for Rs 95,000 crore
https://www.financialexpress.com/defenc ... e/1136675/


Seriously Navy CAPEX for this year is around 3 USD Billion. link

And they think they can afford to pay USD $14 billion to buy just an aircraft ( 4.5x times their current CAPEX ) for Carrier fleet that is excluding the cost of the carrier and the choppers it carries.

To add to this woe they couldn't buy a Decent Mine Sweeper till date nor they have yet bough ASW choppers to replace SK/Ka, etc. Whatever these Navy folks smoke, it's potent.

They need to just come to the ground and start thinking on using Naval Tejas and 29K for the Carrier Fleet for the next 25 years and spend money wisely on other programs.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Zynda » 24 Mar 2019 20:23

From KeyPub forum:

Can Turkey sell these radars and/or perform F-16 upgrades without Unkil's approval? I have a feeling that Pakis will try to get their hands on some of these radar sets to upgrade older F-16s if possible, especially after the recent engagements. Of course, the above is subject to the fact that Turkey's AESA radar product is successful.

The Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries has officially confirmed that a contact has been signed with ASELSAN- for the modernisation of the Turkish Air Force F-16 Fleet with an Aselsan AESA radar. The entire TuAF F-16 fleet will be modernised by 2021.

The Turkish Air Force F-16 fleet already is not obsolete by any means. They were only upgraded in 2015 with the CCIP program and currently have the following:

The AN/APG-69(V)9
Color cockpit displays
The Modular Mission Computer and new avionics processors
The Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS)
The Link 16 datalink
New identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) transponders
AN/AVS-9 night-vision goggles
Upgraded navigation systems; and BAE Systems' AN/ALQ-178(V)5+ electronic-warfare (EW) system, mounted internally, with radar-warning and jamming capabilities for aircraft self-protection

Turkey will soon be selling 245 x AN/APG-69(V)9 radars which are only 4 years old!

Turkey has also announced that it will offer global F-16 operators an upgrade package similar to the F-16V in future.

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 24 Mar 2019 20:35

^ As you mentioned they have to first develop, test, verify, integrate their AESA radar which is a bit more time consuming than coming up with renderings or even a prototype. They will then have to negotiate with the IP rights holders for the mission systems they wish to integrate the radar with. Once that is done they would then have to put it into production and begin replacing radars. Their aim to produce "V" like upgrades is not going to go anywhere because Lockheed has said that it is not interested in parting with IP rights for upgrades at any cost that undercuts its own V package sales and we have an example of them moving in to cut BAE's plans to offer something similar (using Raytheon's AESA radar) to the South Koreans. So it appears that the plan to somehow skirt around the OEM and begin to offer upgrade packages is also a likely non starter.

They cannot sell their existing radars without approval either though depending upon when it is (5 years from now? 10 year from now?) will likely be easier than actually doing some of the other stuff they seem to want to do like selling the "V" like upgrades.


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