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International Aerospace Discussion

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

Postby nakul » 19 Oct 2012 10:54

Are you talking about the IUSAV? The yindoos are building one and the first prototype is expected to take flight in 2015. Induction is in 2020. Till then the Tu 142 is being readied for the strategic role. Each of these mighty birds can carry 6 Brahmos missiles. 6 missiles per plane with a total strength of 8 planes is 25% of our total stock of air to air Brahmos. A barrage of 48 missiles from 290 (or 500) km away is enough to take care of Paki & Cheeni Angels (sic) bases. The only possible drawback is that they are based out of 1 base in Tamil Nadu. Its the only runway that is capable to launch these birds. But its intercontinental range more than makes up for it. During war, IN should lend a helping hand to our friends to the north with their inferiority complex. The puny H 6 is not even half as good as Tu 142, which is still in use by Russia as TU 95 for strategic bombing. Inshallah, we develop our Nirbhay 3 with 5000 km range, these mighty birds could deliver a handful of them over the South China Sea without breaking a sweat.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 20 Oct 2012 08:58

Il-476 production pictures

http://sdelanounas.ru/blogs/23968/

member_20067
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_20067 » 20 Oct 2012 09:38

Austin wrote:Il-476 production pictures

http://sdelanounas.ru/blogs/23968/


They are using American Tooling machines .. quite a change from the days of cold war

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby TSJones » 21 Oct 2012 21:16

Prithwiraj wrote:
Austin wrote:Il-476 production pictures

http://sdelanounas.ru/blogs/23968/


They are using American Tooling machines .. quite a change from the days of cold war


Unfortunately, MAZAK is a Japanese company. The former Soviet Union and Russia has been very sucessful in obtaining Japanese tooling machines.

member_20067
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_20067 » 21 Oct 2012 22:49

TSJones wrote:Unfortunately, MAZAK is a Japanese company. The former Soviet Union and Russia has been very sucessful in obtaining Japanese tooling machines.



yes I remember America imposing some sanction on Japanese company for exporting


On January 26, 27, 1987 The United States asked Norway and Japan about the 9-axis machine tool. Norway investigated the incident, revealing Japan's crime. Kumagai received no reply from the government of Japan from December, 1985 until they finally did so on April 27, 1987.

News of the 9-axis violation in Japan appeared for the first time on April 30. The news in Japan of the 5-axis violation appeared for the first time on June 18. The statute of limitations on both violations had already expired. Because the government of Japan knew the details by the end of December, 1985, they had apparently the interval lapse intentionally. He conferred with William C. Triplett, a former CIA analyst, in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July, 1987. Triplett asked him to testify at a United States congressional hearing that he refused it fearing KGB retaliation. Instead, he produced testimony a book on January 30, 1988.[1]

asprinzl
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby asprinzl » 22 Oct 2012 06:57

Well...these days they can source from Germany and Sweden too. If they cannot source from Germany directly, they can do so indirectly via Czech republic. In the meantime, Russian tool machine companies of quality are also being groomed. The world is getting small and there is nothing that the Russian mob cannot get.
Avram

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 22 Oct 2012 09:38

Interesting news on Mig-25R upgrade wish we had upgraded and continues with our Mig-25's

Modernization Prolongs Life of Russia’s MiG-25 Spyplanes

The Russian defense ministry has decided to modernize the air force’s surviving MiG-25 spyplanes for service until 2020. The venerable aircraft will receive a modern navigation suite based on Glonass receivers and laser gyroscopes; digital photo and video cameras; and a new “radio-technical reconnaissance complex.” The latter will include a new side-looking radar for surface surveillance and various communications and electronic intelligence-gathering systems.

Some of the specified equipment is still in development, while the balance comes off the shelf. Sources in the defense ministry say that the Russian air force is short of dedicated reconnaissance aircraft. The MiG-25R refit will bridge the gap until a new reconnaissance airplane becomes available.

Officially, the MiG-25’s top speed is restricted to Mach 2.83 with a specified weapons load on external hard points, but the airplane has exceeded Mach 3 in clean configuration. Although the MiG-25 was followed by the MiG-31, the latter’s top speed and altitude were somewhat lower. Also, the MiG-31 was never produced in a specialized reconnaissance version.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 22 Oct 2012 22:56

Nice write up on Japanese 5th gen fighter

Japan Aims To Launch F-3 Development In 2016-17

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Victor » 25 Oct 2012 20:59

140 mint-condition WW2 Spitfires found buried in Myanmar
Cundall spent $210,000 of his savings on trips to Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, looking for the aircraft before finding them earlier this year. Now he's been given the government's permission to dig them up.

The original find was thought to be about 20 planes, but updated estimates put that number at 140.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 26 Oct 2012 19:44

I knew the Su 27/30 is a big beast but this image really put put things in perspective :D

The lady sure seems to be in love and not wanting to let go :wink:

http://i.imgur.com/kRkLg.jpg

Note: Image from a post by D-Mitch on the Military photos.net website (i was not clear on how to put a thumbnail image)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Arunkumar » 27 Oct 2012 11:11

^^^ nice pic. Seen pics of people standing on wings but never on the elevators. USAF would never try something similar on their climate controlled hangar munnas.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby AdityaM » 05 Nov 2012 18:58

My video of F22 in action
http://youtu.be/jEO4wwxf3bI

realised its very difficult to hold a camera still and track a fast plane at the same time

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby GeorgeWelch » 08 Nov 2012 00:44

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/p ... ortie.html

The Integrated Training Center (ITC) here completed its 500th combined sortie for both the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) and F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft Friday. Flight operations for the F-35 began on the Emerald Coast March 6. There are currently 22 F-35s at Eglin as the fleet continues to grow supporting the team as it trains instructor pilots and maintainers. The team accomplished the 500 sorties in 238 days cutting the time between each milestone sortie:

100th sortie – July 12 - accomplished in 123 days
200th sortie – Aug. 24 - accomplished in 44 days
300th sortie – Sept. 21 - accomplished in 28 days
400th sortie – Oct. 16 - accomplished in 25 days
500th sortie – Nov. 2 - accomplished in 16 days


Note that's just for the ITC. There are now a total 49 F-35s flying, which seems like quite a hefty fleet for a plane that is still years away from IOC.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 08 Nov 2012 06:07

AdityaM wrote:My video of F22 in action
http://youtu.be/jEO4wwxf3bI

realised its very difficult to hold a camera still and track a fast plane at the same time

Even though its short, that is a good video clip. Your hand has been pretty steady

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 11 Nov 2012 14:08


indranilroy
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby indranilroy » 11 Nov 2012 22:25

^^^ Any new news about the developments of the LMFS front?

Mig was in requirement of funding. Probably we could collaborate on the AMCA and LMFS fronts. We both will be able to field our prototypes faster.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 12 Nov 2012 00:45

indranilroy wrote:^^^ Any new news about the developments of the LMFS front?

Mig was in requirement of funding. Probably we could collaborate on the AMCA and LMFS fronts. We both will be able to field our prototypes faster.


I hope not. Too many diffs between the two (single vs. two engines, fly-by-light, etc). Besides if the only client is going to be the IAF then it i not worth it.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby indranilroy » 12 Nov 2012 01:51

Actually, the single engine has been a speculation based on the idea of keeping commonality with the PAKFA. However, Mikoyan was originally designing a replacement for Mig-29 which was double engined (I will try to find out the interview when it was first revealed. May be Austin can help). They planned to get it out only by 2020 or so when even the upgraded Mig-29s near their end of lives. For that weight category, a single engined plane is always going to be underpowered (unless the Russians can lay their hands on the PW F135).

If the LMFS comes to fruition (targeted at 2020) and the AMCA would be very close to each other (as would be the J-31).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 12 Nov 2012 02:54

Perhaps. Trust you know far more than me.

However, is there a reason to change directions - at this late stage - for the AMCA? Late Oct, 2012 article:

India’s other futuristic fighter project, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), is currently in the advanced design and configuration phase. While the IAF supports the AMCA effort, it has decided to focus its energies for now on the Indo-Russian platform. The AMCA is now significantly different from when it was first unveiled in 2009; its planform and contours have taken on a markedly more Lockheed F-22 Raptor-like sensibility.


The last sentence surprises me, if at all I was under the impression that it had taken a turn towards the YF-23 Black Widow planeform. But, I guess time will tell.

Also, I am not too sure where the fly-by-light and the cockpit design is at for the AMCA. IF (BIG if) they are sticking by them then it is too late for any major changes in the thinking. The LMFS will not be able to accommodate such thinking at this stage of the game. And the other way around.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby indranilroy » 12 Nov 2012 03:46

NRao sahab,

I am not speaking of one program to subsume the other. Nowadays most parts are designed to be modular and there will be lots of components (not necessarily related to airframe) which can be co-developed. Share the load and get the prototypes out there ASAP.

Regarding AMCA looking more like F-22, I agree with that observation. And I am in love with this airframe (though I think that some parts of this diagram are not accurately drawn).

Image

Since then aerodynamic studies by NAL show this airframe with LERXs attached.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 12 Nov 2012 05:11

indranilroy wrote:^^^ Any new news about the developments of the LMFS front?

Mig was in requirement of funding. Probably we could collaborate on the AMCA and LMFS fronts. We both will be able to field our prototypes faster.


LMFS is not getting funded atleast not this decade ...the only aircraft program getting funded besides PAK-FA is a Su-25 replacement which is CAS.

Sukhoi and Mig are though jointly working on UCAV program link

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 12 Nov 2012 05:14

Product 476

IL-476 has flown ( via Take Off Mag Pg 10 )

http://en.take-off.ru/arhiv/746

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby indranilroy » 12 Nov 2012 06:57

Austin wrote:
indranilroy wrote:^^^ Any new news about the developments of the LMFS front?

Mig was in requirement of funding. Probably we could collaborate on the AMCA and LMFS fronts. We both will be able to field our prototypes faster.


LMFS is not getting funded atleast not this decade ...the only aircraft program getting funded besides PAK-FA is a Su-25 replacement which is CAS.

Sukhoi and Mig are though jointly working on UCAV program link


It never was getting funded. Wasn't Mig doing it on its own funds?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 12 Nov 2012 07:02

indranilroy wrote:It never was getting funded. Wasn't Mig doing it on its own funds?


Mig did some ground work on LMFS project and had a proposal but the MOD in its wisdom decided not to fund a 5th gen light fighter program , Mig like other design bureau got absorbed into UAC and now they work with Sukhoi on other programs , even the new CAS is a Sukhoi baby but Mig gets its fair share of work.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby indranilroy » 12 Nov 2012 07:24

That is very interesting. Surely, RuAF can't have all PAKFAs in its fleet!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 12 Nov 2012 07:43

indranilroy wrote:That is very interesting. Surely, RuAF can't have all PAKFAs in its fleet!


The wont for sure , they will have new Su-35S , Su-30SM,Su-30M2 ,Mig-29M2/35 for company.

More ever existing fleet are being modernised and that would add another 20 years of service life just like our own 29/2000 upgrade .......plenty of time to think and even Europe is not funding a single 5th gen program but is moving towards UCAV

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 12 Nov 2012 07:52

russian plans seems to be:
- PAKFA
- Su35bm
- PAKDA
- restart of IL476
- restart of AN124
- Mi26T , Mi17v continues in improved forms
- Frogfoot replacement

I wonder what work they are doing on force multipliers like new AWACS and JSTARS types.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby indranilroy » 12 Nov 2012 09:24

Austin wrote:
indranilroy wrote:That is very interesting. Surely, RuAF can't have all PAKFAs in its fleet!


The wont for sure , they will have new Su-35S , Su-30SM,Su-30M2 ,Mig-29M2/35 for company.

More ever existing fleet are being modernised and that would add another 20 years of service life just like our own 29/2000 upgrade .......plenty of time to think and even Europe is not funding a single 5th gen program but is moving towards UCAV


Yeah, but everything there seems to be in the heavy category. The Mig-29 derivatives will probably not be fine past 2025 with the world transitioning to AMCAs/F-35s/J-31s/etc. Clearly, Russia can't start to develop a medium-weight 5th gen plane in 2025.

Anyways,no use breaking my head over it.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 12 Nov 2012 12:22

Singha wrote:I wonder what work they are doing on force multipliers like new AWACS and JSTARS types.


The A-100 project that will use Il-476 will have both AWACS and JSTARS capability built into one aircraft as mentioned by the radar designer VEGA.

Yeah, but everything there seems to be in the heavy category. The Mig-29 derivatives will probably not be fine past 2025 with the world transitioning to AMCAs/F-35s/J-31s/etc. Clearly, Russia can't start to develop a medium-weight 5th gen plane in 2025.


Most of Europe will be on Rafale/Eurofighter/Gripen till 2040 and Su-35S and Mig-35 wont end up being a bad match for it , It would be cheaper for them to maintain a longer production cycle for Su-35/35/30 with lower production cost then to invest in another 5th Gen Fighter considering they already have their hands tied up with PAK-FA , 5th Gen CAS and PAK-DA program ...money is a premium and there is no point wasting in Medium fighter just because India ,China or some one else is doing .

More ever a response to one 5th Gen Medium fighter program is not necessarily another 5th Gen similar program , they have 4 different new types of long/medium range SAM under development and 2 two different ABM systems , key in with IADS and many different radar including VHF types that would be effective response for any stealth/high performance airborne target , No one in the world is doing that kind of Wide SAM and Radar development but it does not get a similar coverage as its lacks the fighter glamour

Fighter program at the end of the day tend to be very expensive and time consuming and they are pushed over internally by Airforces over other programs to keep Fighter lobby happy.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Nick_S » 02 Dec 2012 09:05


krishnan
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby krishnan » 02 Dec 2012 09:10

nice plane

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby SaiK » 02 Dec 2012 09:15

^you can keep the plane as the trade in value! ;)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby pentaiah » 02 Dec 2012 09:16

third picture was truly (w)holesome nice backend too on landing strip

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby SaiK » 02 Dec 2012 09:18

shows how gripen gives importance to rear signatures.:)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Nick_S » 02 Dec 2012 10:44

Looks like good aerodynamics. :)

member_23694
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_23694 » 02 Dec 2012 10:54



Sorry but i can;t see any gripen fighter :wink: :wink: :wink:

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby SaiK » 02 Dec 2012 21:47

grip-hen!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby member_22872 » 03 Dec 2012 20:38

Apologies if posted before:

SKYLON spacecraft's engine passes critical test

SABRE (Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine):
The SABRE engine is capable of operating as a jet engine and a rocket engine, powering aircraft at up to five times the speed of sound within the atmosphere or directly into Earth orbit at twenty-five times the speed of sound. Its ground-breaking technology – an air pre-cooler - is designed to cool continuously the incoming airstream from over 1,000⁰C to minus 150⁰C in less than 1/100th of a second (six times faster than the blink of an eye), effectively doubling the current technical limits of jet engine speeds.

pre-cooler
Engine cut-away
Video link
SABRE Cycle

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby RamaY » 04 Dec 2012 05:57

Don't know where to post this...

http://defense.aol.com/2012/11/28/how-r ... ve-weapon/

he targets were buildings packed with humming computers. A missile streaked overhead and, at preset coordinates, it fired concentrated beams of energy. Computers short-circuited, the lights flickered out and even cameras monitoring the rooms shut off. The missile had turned off all the power in the targeted buildings.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Strategy & Policy
DoD Rebuts GAO Critique Of Okinawa Move EXCLUSIVE
This first successful test of the three-year, $40-million Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) at a Utah test range on Oct. 16 marked a big step forward for technology that has been in development for more than four decades.

The potential of CHAMP and other so-called Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons is enormous, in theory. They could allow an army to bloodlessly disable select portions of an enemy's military capabilities, potentially winning a fight without a lethal shot being fired.

But CHAMP itself, a collaboration between the Air Force Research Laboratory, defense giants Boeing and Raytheon plus Ktech, a small company Raytheon acquired last year, does not necessarily herald "a new era in modern-day warfare," as Keith Coleman, the CHAMP program manager at Boeing Phantom Works, claimed in a press release. Boeing declined to comment for this story.

Experts disagree on the Boeing-Raytheon technology's capabilities and readiness, and the vulnerability of military targets to its effects. "It's an interesting program," Norman Friedman, a respected military author and analyst, tells AOL Defense. But CHAMP "could be PR over reality," he adds. A truly revolutionary EMP weapon might require more work.

Cold War power race
EMP's limitations are evident in its history. Weaponized High-Power Microwaves (HPM) like CHAMP have been in development in the U.S., the U.K., Russia, China and other world powers since the 1960s.

Their genesis was an accident. Charlie Martin, a hydrodynamicist working at the British Atomic Weapons Establishment in '60s, needed more potent power sources for his research than were commercially available at the time. So he developed his own.

"What Charlie Martin did was learn how to make power sources that were not only high voltage, but at the same time high current," explains Edl Schamiloglu, a professor in the Department Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico and an expert in microwave weaponry.

The result: the world's first modern pulsed power -- that is, power that can be accumulated over a long period of time and then be released very quickly in concentrated and potentially destructive bursts.

Scientists in the Soviet Union and the U.S. realized they could use pulsed power to produce very powerful electron beams that, when they hit unshielded wiring, race along its length, overwhelm and disable any devices connected to the wire. Soon the Americans and Soviets were racing to produce more and more powerful beams able to take out more devices over a wider range before running out of juice.

Schamiloglu calls the power race a "pissing contest." "One year at a conference, researchers from the Soviet Union would show the latest, greatest results. The next year, the U.S. would do the same." The contest continued until the 1990s. "By that time they were making gigawatts, billions of watts of power," Schamiloglu recalls.

A gigawatt beam had military applications. Packaged in a strategic warhead and powered by a nuclear blast, a pulsed-power weapon could wipe out the electronics in an entire city -- or more. It was widely believed that the nuclear attack plans of both the U.S. and the Soviet Union included huge, electronics-frying microwave EMP bursts over enemy territory. "The opening shot was EMP," Friedman says.

But short of a nuclear holocaust, Cold War EMP wasn't terribly useful. In a speech at an Air Force conference in July, Schamiloglu compared old-style pulsed-power weapons to flamethrowers. For conventional warfare, the military needed a precise, electronics-disabling weapon more akin to a sniper rifle that could target specific facilities with just enough power to shut them down, while leaving neighboring facilities -- hospitals, schools, homes -- untouched.

For the first three decades of HPM development, that wasn't possible. "The problem we had was beam divergence," says John Geis, Director of Research at the Air Force Research Institute in Alabama. "Power on target is the inverse square of distance," Geis explains. "The more precise or narrow you can make the beam, the more power you deposit on target."

The breakthrough occurred in the mid-1990s in the form of computer modeling and simulation. "The ability to define these [power] sources on the computer came into its own," Schamiloglu says. "Virtual prototyping became so top-notch that today these sources are designed and optimized all virtually." The increased design precision, plus the advent of better capacitors, led to the creation of microwave emitters that combine the high power of previous models with a narrower, more controllable beam.

And that's the technology that the Air Force, Boeing and Raytheon showed off in their October test. The CHAMP vehicle -- some sort of Boeing-made cruise missile launched by an Air Force B-52 bomber -- "navigated a pre-programmed flight plan and emitted bursts of high-powered energy, effectively knocking out the target's data and electronic subsystems," Boeing stated in a press release.

Handicapping CHAMP
CHAMP apparently includes two major parts: a flying platform and an HPM payload that can be likened to a warhead. Boeing, Raytheon and the Air Force have been vague in describing the dimensions and capabilities of both parts, except to describe the platform as a "missile." No photos have been released, but artists' renderings show a vehicle apparently similar in size and shape to Boeing's Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile, which is 20 feet long and 25 inches in diameter.

The platform's dimensions matter because they place physical constraints on the HPM payload, which in turn can limit the emitter's performance. Schamiloglu says modern capacitors can be scaled down to the size of a book and still be militarily useful. The component that converts energy into its microwave form, meanwhile, could be as small as a soda can, he adds. Depending on the number of capacitors stacked inside the device, an entire HPM payload could fit into the same space as a cruise missile's explosive warhead.

But at those dimensions, the HPM payload is going to have a fairly short reach, Geis says. "This is not a super long-range system," he explains. "When you start looking at anti-access, area-denial issues, if you believe Russian claims that some of their [surface-to-air] missiles reach 300 kilometers, I promise you CHAMP doesn't reach that far." As currently configured, the CHAMP missile might have to penetrate air defenses in order to electromagnetically attack its targets.

Raw power is not the only constraint on attack range. Since an electron beam widens over distance, a tactical EMP becomes less precise the farther it must travel to the target. "If someone says it's only supposed to affect a limited set of targets, that means you have to bring the thing closer to the target," Schamiloglu says.

Just how far CHAMP's beam can reach at an acceptable degree of accuracy remains a secret. Also left unstated in Boeing's announcements are the number of useful shots the HPM payload can manage in a single flight and how contained the microwave bursts are.

Minimizing leakage of the microwave energy matters because a vehicle carrying an HPM payload could very well knock itself out the first time it emits power. Leakage is also a threat to any nearby friendly forces. "Obviously you don't want to hit any of your wingmen, either," Geis says.

These three factors also constrain the weapon's military utility, and are themselves dependent on the emitter's characteristics, including power level, pulse length, pulse repetition frequency and the frequency of the microwave radiation, according to a paper Geis wrote for the Air War College in 2003. These specifications also have not been disclosed by CHAMP's developers.

If the HPM payload can be scaled down without sacrificing power and accuracy, CHAMP could be fitted to a wider range of platforms than just Boeing's cruise missile. "If it was small enough, I'd look at something that could be delivered by a small UAV," Friedman advises.

For the enemy, "that would be unpleasantly interesting," he adds. "If I were the bad guys and I were worried about small UAVs and cruise missiles that I might not notice wiping out my command and control systems, that might sober me up some."

...

anmol
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby anmol » 06 Dec 2012 14:21

Aeroscraft dirigible airship prototype approaches completion

By Leon Gettler

December 4, 2012

The dirigible airship, the oddball aircraft of another era, is making a comeback. California-based Aeros Corporation has created a prototype of its new breed of variable buoyancy aircraft and expects the vehicle to be finished before the end of 2012. With its new cargo handling technology, minimum fuel consumption, vertical take-off and landing features and point to point delivery, the Aeroscraft platform promises to revolutionize airship technology.

The Aeroscraft ship uses a suite of new mechanical and aerospace technologies. It operates off a buoyancy management system which controls and adjusts the buoyancy of the vehicle, making it light or heavy for any stages of ground and flight operation. Automatic flight control systems give it equilibrium in all flight modes and allow it to adjust helium pressurized envelopes depending on the buoyancy requirements. It just needs one pilot and has an internal ballast control system, which allows it to offload cargo, without using ballast. Built with a rigid structure, the Aeroscraft can control lift at all stages with its Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capabilities and carry maximum payload while in hover. What makes it different from other vehicles is that it does not need a runway or ground infrastructure.

Aeros has been running for 25 years as an airship producer as well as a research and development firm for the aerospace industry.

First, it has to be said that the Aeroscraft is not a blimp and it’s not a hybrid vehicle. And according to Aeros, it’s definitely nothing like the ill-fated LZ129 Hindenburg airship which crashed and burst into flames in New Jersey in 1937.

At the time, the disastrous crash was seen as the end of airships. But technology has marched on. The Aeroscraft is a completely different and radical design. The United States Patent and Trademark office issue assigned a design patent for the Aeroscraft in July 2012. Design elements include a smart automotive digital flight control system, enhanced envelope fabric and a robotic mooring system that make it superior in operations and maintenance. Of course, that means it has a minimum personnel requirement.


The vehicle is close to being completely built and ready for operation. The multilayer outer cover application is now in complete and the Aeros expects to finish construction over the next three weeks. The two front horizontal control surfaces, known in the industry as Canards, have been successfully tested and are ready to go.

So what can we expect to see next year?

The Aeroscraft prototype is 79 meters (260 ft) long, and while it is not designed to carry a payload, Aeros says the planned full-scale craft will be almost twice as long and will be capable of carrying a maximum payload of 66 tons with no infrastructure requirements. It is much simpler and easier than using a plane, which has the potential to significantly reduce air freight costs.

The vehicle, which promises to cut fuel consumption by one third of what’s traditionally generated by air freight, is designed to deliver payload directly to point of use, bypassing ports and highways, and taking goods to areas with minimum infrastructure. It has vertical take-off and landing capabilities, the ability to operate at low speed and it can hover from unprepared surfaces. Goods can be off-loaded with minimum ground handling.

Aeros says the vehicle would suit commercial operations and humanitarian missions involving search and rescue, emergency relief and airborne hospitals but the obvious area where we would most likely see it initially would be the military. It would be particularly useful for the Pentagon which is already deploying drones. A stationary or slow moving Aeroscraft could provide constant surveillance, potentially lingering over an area for days at a time.

Significantly, Aeros already has a commercial relationship with the US Army, picking up a contract in July for Technology Enabled Capability Demonstrations (TECD) in areas related to force protection. This involves the shrapnel and fragment resistant flexible panels based on Aeros Interfacial Debonding Energy Absorption (IDEA) fabric technology and portable lightweight structural hybrid truss towers based on Aeros’ composite hybrid truss design and fabrication process.

Aeros has already been talking to USTRANSCOM, the United States Transportation Command which is part of the Department of Defence.

Stay tuned for our in-depth interview with Aeros founder and CEO Igor Pasternak.


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