F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

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NRao
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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 17 Sep 2008 03:03

Sept 16, 2008 :: AWST :: Retrofit AESAs Set For F-16 Tests Next Year


y Graham Warwick graham_warwick@aviationweek.com

Northrop Grumman plans to begin rooftop testing next week of the Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) under company-funded development for retrofit into the Lockheed Martin F-16 while rival Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR) is in laboratory testing.

Both companies hope to flight test their active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs) in the F-16 in 2009.

The SABR panel array and receiver/exciter/processor line-replaceable units will be tested on a system bench on the roof of Northrop's plant in Baltimore, Md., says program manager Dave Wallace. Aircraft flying in and out of the neighboring international airport will be used as targets.

Flight tests are to begin in November with the radar installed in Northrop's Sabreliner testbed, which is fitted with a complete F-16 nose, including radome. At the same time, Wallace says, the company is talking to Lockheed and potential customers to secure access to an F-16 for flight tests. "We're talking to three or four sources," Wallace says, adding that, although interest in the SABR is coming from international operators, the flight tests would be conducted on a U.S.-based F-16 to avoid export-release issues.

Northrop will pay for safety-of-flight qualification of the SABR on the F-16, "and we feel we will probably pay for the flight demonstration", Wallace says.

Raytheon says it does not plan to fly the RACR first on a surrogate testbed, because of the radar's commonality with the APG-79 AESA already operational in the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Instead the company says its preference is to move directly to flight demonstration in an F-16.

Both the SABR and RACR are intended as direct replacements for the existing mechanically scanned Northrop radars in the F-16A/B and C/D. The AESA upgrade will provide interleaved air-to-air and air-to-ground operation with increased range and resolution and improved reliability.

The SABR is a retrofit kit that can be installed in the field, staying within the available weight, space, power and cooling and using the existing radome. "We plan to offer it for a mechanically scanned price," says Wallace, referencing the latest APG-68(V)9 version of Northrop's existing F-16 radar. "You have to look at the whole lifecycle cost," says Raytheon when asked about pricing for the RACR.

Northrop plans to complete initial development of the radar by year end, then begin working with customers on their specific requirements. "The closer they are to the development radar, the quicker it will be available," he says. Raytheon is working on a similar timeline.

Photo: Northrop Grumman

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 17 Sep 2008 03:08

Eurofighter Typhoon Gets Type Acceptance


Sep 15, 2008

By Douglas Barrie/Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

LONDON — The initial Tranche 2 standard of the Eurofighter Typhoon has received type acceptance from the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA).

Type acceptance clears the way for delivery of the Block 8 standard of the aircraft to the four partner nations: Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. All four already have the Tranche 1 aircraft in operational service in the air defense role. The Royal Air Force previously has had a declared air-to-surface capability with some Tranche 1 aircraft.

Some 60 Block 8 standard airframes are already in final assembly at Eurofighter partner company sites. The Tranche 2 production run — covering 251 aircraft — is due to be completed in 2013.

The intent is that Tranche 2 production will overlap with that of Tranche 3 to avoid a production gap. Tranche 3 production is due to begin in 2012. An industry proposal covering Tranche 3 production has been sent to NETMA, with the former hoping a deal can be signed by the end of this year or early 2009.

The Block 8 aircraft have more powerful mission computers, providing more processing power.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby ranganathan » 17 Sep 2008 09:54

If IAF makes the mistake og going for one of the F-series fighters, will we also buy the KC-10/135 type tanker since IL-78 can't refuel them or will IAf demand they have refueling probes?

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby Drevin » 17 Sep 2008 12:11

Il-78 Midas uses probe-and-drogue system.

I think LM has a similar system installable for the f16blk70IN.

Heard about Buddy-Buddy IFR for the SH which would mean it could be compatible with Midas.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby andy B » 17 Sep 2008 12:26

Drevin wrote:Il-78 Midas uses probe-and-drogue system.

I think LM has a similar system installable for the f16blk70IN.

Heard about Buddy-Buddy IFR for the SH which would mean it could be compatible with Midas.


I have always wondered how would the IAF refuel the solah bcoz it has always used the boom technique. The 78 uses Israeli probe and drogue so we should be able to make it compatible with the 78.

Drevin do you have any source where it says that the solah would be developed to use the probe and drogue instead of the flying boom?

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby PaulJI » 17 Sep 2008 16:24

ranganathan wrote:If IAF makes the mistake og going for one of the F-series fighters, will we also buy the KC-10/135 type tanker since IL-78 can't refuel them or will IAf demand they have refueling probes?

F-18E has a probe, as the US navy uses probe and drogue. Fitting a probe to the F-16 is feasible, if the IAF asks for it. At worst, a probe can be fitted over the receptacle for boom refuelling. Such bolt-on probes already exist.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby arthuro » 17 Sep 2008 16:51

Rafale in Red Flag, and in Switzerland
By Chris Pocock

September 16, 2008
Aircraft




Four Rafale fighters from the French Air Force have completed a month-long deployment to the U.S., where they conducted a squadron exchange at Luke AFB and then took part in a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB. According to Dassault, no shootdowns were scored against the Rafale during the 10-day exercise, and American observers were particularly impressed with the accuracy of the fighter’s Sagem AASM “smart” bombs.

Meanwhile, another Rafale is currently in Switzerland for flight evaluations in connection with that country’s choice of a new fighter. The Saab Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon are also being evaluated, but the French aircraft’s proven multirole capability could make it the winner, especially since the Swiss want to resume air to ground and reconnaissance missions.

The production rate of the Rafale is currently 1.25 aircraft per month, since no export orders have yet been confirmed. Libya and the U.A.E.

have both stated an intention to purchase, and discussions continue. AIN has been told that the bilateral defense pact between France and the U.A.E.

will result in a French Air Force Mirage 2000-5 interceptor squadron being permanently assigned to Al Dhafra airbase. In 2013 this squadron will re-equip with more modern and later-production Mirage 2000-9s that will be transferred from the U.A.E.

Air Force. Rafales will replace these Mirages in the U.A.E.

Air Force. Team Rafale declined to make an offer to Norway, believing that selection of the F-35 is still a foregone conclusion there.

But the Rafale is a contender for new fighter requirements in Greece and India. Until export orders are firmed up, however, the Rafale production rate is likely to drop to one per month.

The French Defense White Paper that was released last June implied that the total French requirement for the Rafale would be reduced from the long-established goal of 294 aircraft to about 250. But Dassault spokesmen told AIN that nothing would be confirmed until a new “Loi de Programme” procurement ruling was issued, probably in January.

http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-ne ... itzerland/

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 17 Sep 2008 17:15

Gents,

Please take ANY discussion to the MMRCA thread.

Thx.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby Dmurphy » 22 Sep 2008 11:03

Another step for the Eurofighter

The first UK Tranche 2 twin-seat Typhoon is now in the final stages of assembly at BAE Systems Warton. The Tranche 2 Typhoon will provide the customer with an increased capability thanks to the improved speed and power of the aircraft’s computers combined with the stronger airframe to enable the aircraft to carry heavier weapons.

The major units of the aircraft (BT017) have arrived at Warton’s final assembly facility after being manufactured in the partner nations’ facilities across Europe – the front fuselage is built at the BAE Systems Samlesbury site in Lancashire. Once delivered to the RAF, in late 2009, the jet will be used to train the next generation of Typhoon pilots.

This latest milestone on Typhoon comes hot on the heels of other major achievements on the programme. On 1 July, the RAF declared Typhoon multi-role capable – this means the aircraft can deliver both an air-to-air and an air-to-ground capability – making it the most flexible aircraft in operation today. Also in the last few weeks, the first two single seat Tranche 2 aircraft made their maiden flights at Warton.

Typhoon is not only the cornerstone of the RAF’s and the partner nations’ air forces, but is also the backbone of BAE Systems’ and indeed Europe’s aerospace industry. The Typhoon programme employs over 100,000 people across Europe and involves 400 suppliers.

BAE Systems is the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 100,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £15.7 billion (US $31.4 billion) in 2007.
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Re:

Postby vrush » 22 Sep 2008 11:53

saptarishi wrote:http://www.airforce-technology.com/project_printable.asp?ProjectID=3067

F-16I Soufa Fighter and Ground Attack Aircraft, Israel

The F-16I Soufa ("Storm") is a modified variant of the F-16D Block 50 and 52 fighter and ground attack aircraft, with the avionics and weapons systems capability modified to meet the requirements of the Israeli Air Force. Israel ordered 50 F-16I aircraft in 2001 and signed the agreement for an optional additional 52 aircraft in September 2001. The Israeli Air Force has selected the F16I in a two-seat configuration only.

The production program, Peace Marble V, is the fifth acquisition of F-16s and will increase the number of Israeli Air Force F-16 aircraft to 362, giving the IAF the largest fleet of F-16 fighters apart from the USA.

The F16I Soufa made its maiden flight in December 2003. The first two aircraft were delivered to the IAF at the Ramon Air Base, in February 2004. Deliveries will be completed at a rate of about two per month over four years, with final delivery in 2008.

There is a significant level of airframe co-production and avionics component production in Israel for the Soufa and for other variants of the F-16. IAI and Cyclone Aviation Products Ltd in Carmiel manufacture the ventral fins, rudders, horizontal stabilisers and engine access doors. The aircraft are assembled at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

F-16I SOUFA FIGHTER DESIGN
The F-16I is fitted with a pair of removable conformal fuel tanks provided by IAI. The conformal fuel tanks (CFT), holding 450 US gallons of extra fuel, are mounted on both sides of the upper fuselage. The very low drag configuration CFTs have a very small effect on the aircraft's agility, handling quality and flight limits. The use of the conformal tanks increases the aircraft's mission range and combat endurance.

The fitting of conformal tanks makes the two wing inner store stations normally used for external tanks (stations 6 and 4, each rated at 4,500lb capacity) available for weapon carriage, doubling the aircraft's air-to-ground weapons capacity.

The F16I is fitted with a dorsal avionics compartment. The first version produced with the dorsal compartment was the Israeli two-seat Block 30 F-16D aircraft, produced in the late 1980s. The large dorsal compartment extends from the rear of the cockpit to the fin and houses additional avionics systems, chaff and flare dispensers and the aircraft's in-flight refuelling receptacle.

F-16I SOUFA FIGHTER COCKPIT
The front cockpit is for the pilot and the rear cockpit is configured for the weapons systems operator or, with the change of a single switch, for a pilot instructor.

The Elbit Dash IV Display and Sight Helmet System enables the pilot to aim the weapon by looking the target. Dash IV shortens the lock-on procedure time for engagements. The helmet measures the pilot's line of sight to the target so the sensors, avionics and weapons are slaved to the target. Dash IV improves situation awareness by helping the pilots to visually detect targets at high angles off the nose of the aircraft, providing critical information in any direction the pilot looks.

The Soufa is fitted with a wide angle head up display from Elop and high definition (120ppi) 4in x 4in colour multi-function displays supplied by Astronautics C.A of Petah Tikva, Israel. Other new features include a colour moving map display, digital video recording equipment, cockpit lighting and external strip lighting compatible with night vision goggles and a high capacity data transfer set.

F-16I SOUFA FIGHTER AVIONICS
The Soufa has an advanced avionics suite including general avionics computer, colour display processors and interfaces all produced by Elbit Systems.

The communications systems include a Rafael UHF/VHF radio and an HF radio, Elta satellite communications and an IAI integrated tactical video data link.

The navigation system includes a combined ring laser gyro inertial navigation system and global positioning system (RLGINS/GPS) and a digital terrain system. Rafael developed the algorithms for the digital terrain system.

F-16I SOUFA FIGHTER WEAPON SYSTEMS
Elbit is supplying the aircraft's central mission computer, the signal processing unit for the displays and the stores management systems. RADA Electronics Industries in Netanya, Israel, and Smiths Aerospace, USA, have developed the aircraft's data acquisition system with an advanced digital data server and data recording system. Israel Military Industries supplies most of the weapons pylons and racks and the external fuel tanks.

The mission data and video is downloaded to a ground debriefing station provided by RADA. The system has potential for three-dimensional, multi-aircraft mission creation.

The Rafael Litening II targeting and navigation pod is equipped with a third generation forward looking infrared (FLIR), charge-coupled device (CCD) television, laser spot tracker and rangefinder and infrared marker. The system enables the pilot to detect, identify, acquire and track ground targets for the delivery of conventional and precision guided weapons, such as laser guided or GPS guided bombs.

The aircraft is also equipped with the Lockheed Martin LANTIRN navigation pod which provides night navigation and all-weather automatic terrain following.

F-16I SOUFA FIGHTER AIR-TO-AIR MISSILES
The air-to-air missiles will be the short range Python 4 and Python 5 and the short range to beyond visual range radar-guided Derby, both supplied by Rafael.

The all-weather Derby has an active radar seeker, look down / shoot down capability, lock on before or after launch, and programmable electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM). The lock on before launch mode is deployed for tight dogfights.

The F16I will be equipped with the Rafael Python 5 air-to-air missile when development has been completed. The Python 5 is capable of lock on after launch and uses imaging infrared guidance. The new seeker uses a dual wavelength focal plane array and is equipped with robust infrared counter countermeasures capability.

F-16I SOUFA FIGHTER AIR-TO-GROUND SYSTEMS
The air-to-surface weapons are carried on the two pairs of inboard underwing stations and include anti-ship missiles, anti-radiation missiles, laser guided bombs, GPS guided bombs and Israeli Military Industries (IMI) runway attack munitions. The F-16 aircraft has been used in carriage trials of IMI's STAR-1 anti-radiation weapon which is in the development phase.

F-16I SOUFA FIGHTER COUNTERMEASURES
The electronic warfare suite, being supplied by Elisra, includes radar warning receivers, missile approach warners and jamming systems, including the Elisra SPS 3000 self-protection jammer which is installed in the large spine. The chaff and flare dispenser is supplied by Rokar.

F-16I SOUFA FIGHTER RADAR
The aircraft has the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-68(V)9 multi-mode radar, which has five times the processing speed and ten times the memory capacity of the previous APG-68 radars on the F-16. Elta is involved in the co-production of the radar.

The modes of operation include high resolution synthetic aperture (SAR) ground mapping and terrain following. The radar provides autonomous, all-weather, stand-off precision weapon delivery. Air-to-air modes include range while search, air combat mode, multiple target track while scan, cluster resolution, single target tracking and target illumination pulse Doppler tracking. The radar increases the air-to-air detection range by 30% compared to earlier generation systems.

F-16I SOUFA FIGHTER ENGINES
The Soufa is powered by the Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-229 Increased Performance Engine (IPE). This new, more powerful engine allows the aircraft a maximum take-off weight of 23,582kg. The aircraft is also fitted with heavyweight landing gear.



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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby vrush » 22 Sep 2008 12:05

Dmurphy wrote:Another step for the Eurofighter

The first UK Tranche 2 twin-seat Typhoon is now in the final stages of assembly at BAE Systems Warton. The Tranche 2 Typhoon will provide the customer with an increased capability thanks to the improved speed and power of the aircraft’s computers combined with the stronger airframe to enable the aircraft to carry heavier weapons.

The major units of the aircraft (BT017) have arrived at Warton’s final assembly facility after being manufactured in the partner nations’ facilities across Europe – the front fuselage is built at the BAE Systems **** site in Lancashire. Once delivered to the RAF, in late 2009, the jet will be used to train the next generation of Typhoon pilots.

This latest milestone on Typhoon comes hot on the heels of other major achievements on the programme. On 1 July, the RAF declared Typhoon multi-role capable – this means the aircraft can deliver both an air-to-air and an air-to-ground capability – making it the most flexible aircraft in operation today. Also in the last few weeks, the first two single seat Tranche 2 aircraft made their maiden flights at Warton.

Typhoon is not only the cornerstone of the RAF’s and the partner nations’ air forces, but is also the backbone of BAE Systems’ and indeed Europe’s aerospace industry. The Typhoon programme employs over 100,000 people across Europe and involves 400 suppliers.

BAE Systems is the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With approximately 100,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £15.7 billion (US $31.4 billion) in 2007.
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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby PaulJI » 30 Sep 2008 04:27

Scroll down to F-16 -

The biggest (& original) manufacturer of probe and drogue AAR refuelling equipment in the world, Cobham plc, is making a probe for the F-16.

The Division secured an important development contract to
supply telescopic probe hardware for the F-16 conformal air refuelling tank system. This programme will enable the F-16 aircraft to demonstrate probe and drogue compatibility - a key requirement for the upcoming Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft competition.


http://cobhamsite.hemscottir.com/news-i ... 8964254044

BTW, Cobham also makes buddy kits for the Su-30, & has sold them to Malaysia - but that's a little off-topic.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 01 Oct 2008 05:51

Not related to India bid:

Gripen Delivers Fighters To South Africa


The South Africa Air Force (SAAF) has taken delivery of the first four of 26 Gripen NG advanced fighter aircraft ordered at the biennial Africa Aerospace and Defense show in Cape Town, South Africa.

Nine of the fighters are two-seaters and 17 single-seaters. Deliveries are scheduled through 2012.

Armaments

Currently the fighters are said to be armed with only a 27mm Mauser cannon. The short-range IRIS-T air-to-air missile is on order from Diehl BGT and additional weapons are under development. { :roll: } The first class of six instructors are now in training at Makhado.

Denel SAAB Aerostructures (DSA) has delivered 220 pylons for Gripen aircraft, with 80 more contracted. The South African company is set to receive another follow-on contract to make 80 more pylons through a modified design, bringing the total to 380.

Modification kits for the earlier pylons will also be produced under a separate contract. SAAB predicts there will be further requirements for pylons until 2013, implying further work for DSA, according to a trade magazine.

In addition to the pylon contracts, DSA has longstanding contracts for the manufacture of the Gripen main landing gear and the rear fuselage sections, for both the Swedish air force and all export customers. These contracts form part of SAAB’s Defense Industrial Participation Program for South Africa.

Major milestone

Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said the ceremony was “a major milestone in the continuing process of re-equipping and revitalizing the SA National Defense Force – a process that started with the conceptualization of a new defense policy in the White Paper on Defense of 1996.

“From the inception of our democratic South Africa it was envisaged that the Defense Force should be a modern, technologically advanced force,” Lekota added. “The Gripen, the first truly modern front-line fighter aircraft in SA since the acquisition of Mirage fighters in the mid-1970s, is a potent symbol of that aspiration.”

This year has been a busy one for Gripen, with the aircraft participating in numerous fighter bids, including for Denmark, India, Norway, Switzerland, Croatia and Brazil.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 04 Oct 2008 18:47

Aug, 2008 :: Saab updates sales vision for next-generation Gripen

By Niall O'Keeffe

Saab's Gripen Demo aircraft, intended as a bridge to the next generation version of the fighter, has completed its third test flight, and is expected to log between 40 and 60 by year-end, as the project builds towards its second phase.

In its Phase I guise the demonstrator incorporates a new landing gear and weapons pylons, plus a General Electric F414G engine. Phase II upgrades will include a new modular avionics system, which Saab says will use layers and partitions to isolate system components and separate flight-critical from mission functions.

Other enhancements will include increased internal fuel capacity and a 1,700 litre (450USgal) external fuel tank, integration of small diameter bombs, enhanced satellite communications and a broadband datalink, an active electronically scanned array radar and missile approach warners.

Image

Saab's Gripen International marketing arm meanwhile expects to announce "three to four" new customers within the next two years, says sales and marketing senior vice-president Bob Kemp. Three categories of potential customer have been identified: new NATO members seeking to replace ageing Soviet aircraft non-aligned countries looking to migrate from the Dassault Mirage and Sepecat Jaguar and current Northrop F-5, Lockheed Martin F-16 and Boeing F-18 customers planning to renew their fleets.

Kemp acknowledges that this third category of business is the "most difficult" to win, but is hopeful that Malaysia and Switzerland may follow the example of Thailand, which in October 2007 ordered six Gripens to replace some of its F-5Es.

Switzerland has a requirement for up to 33 aircraft to replace its F-5Es from 2012, with responses to its January request for proposals due during July. Flying evaluation will take place later this year, followed by best and final offers in the first quarter of 2009 and a government decision in the third quarter of next year. Boeing has already withdrawn its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from the competition, and Kemp claims that selection of the rival Dassault Rafale or Eurofighter Typhoon would not fit with Switzerland's mooted budget of around $100 million per aircraft.

Other potential next-generation Gripen customers include Canada, which is expected to issue a request for information next year to replace 70 CF-18s, Denmark and Norway, which will both by year-end decide on how to replace their 48 F-16s, and the Netherlands, which will issue an RFP in early 2009 to replace 85 F-16s.

The putative Norwegian order is widely considered to be crucial to the Gripen NG programme. Although it is a partner in Lockheed's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project, Oslo has part-financed the Gripen Demo project, and should the nation commit to the Swedish type it is likely that its development will be brought forward.

NATO members Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia are also looking to replace their RSK MiG-29 fleets, but have yet to allocate budgets, while Croatia has already received RFI responses for a 12-aircraft requirement. An RFP should be released late this year, with the new aircraft to enter service in 2010.

In the "non-aligned" category, Brazil and India are seen as leading sales prospects. Brazil has allocated a budget of over $2 billion for an initial 36 aircraft, and is expected to issue an RFP and award a contract in 2009, ahead of deliveries from 2015. Bidding companies meanwhile have until 4 August to submit offset proposals linked to New Delhi's requirement for 126 multirole aircraft, 108 of which must be locally manufactured.

Kemp says his goal is to sell 400 Gripen C/D fighters over the next 10 years, plus more than 500 next-generation "E/F" examples.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 04 Oct 2008 18:55

Aug, 2008 :: EA-18G “Growler”: New platform and capabilities set to un-level the SEAD playing field

By John Croft

If the battlefield were an American football field, the US Navy's venerable but well-worn Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler might be thought of as an offensive lineman clearing the path for a running back carrying the ball.

In this case, the Prowler's goal would be the suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) from a stand-off position using on-board electronic jammers to disrupt radar and communications, clearing the way for the navy, marines or air force strike forces to do their jobs. The Prowler generally carries two AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARM) to use against radar sites if needed.

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EA-18 Growler
© Boeing

Given that the navy's fleet of Prowlers is set to be retired in the 2013 timeframe because of airframe life limits, the military has a unique opportunity to grow significantly the role of the "lineman" that will replace the Prowler.

Enhanced Functions

That replacement is the $60 million EA-18G "Growler", a platform with enhanced SEAD capabilities, self-protection and networking abilities that will allow it take on command and control functions as well as SEAD. Using the football analogy, the Growler is poised in the future to become both lineman and quarterback on the navy's playing field.

Operational evaluation of the Growler is to begin shortly, with initial operations capability (IOC) set for September 2009 after the VAQ-132 carrier squadron, the first of 10 navy aircraft carrier squadrons to transition to the Growler, receives its contingent of five aircraft.

So far, prime contractor Boeing Integrated Defense Systems has delivered one aircraft (the fourth production unit) on 3 June to the Fleet Readiness Squadron (VAQ-129) for training, with three earlier production units and two engineering models remaining in the test programme at the Naval Air Warfare Center's Patuxent River, Maryland and China Lake, California sites. Boeing says the first three production aircraft (G1, G2 and G3) may later be delivered to the fleet. The $1.2 billion development programme, started in December 2003, is to conclude in mid- to late next year.

The navy "programme of record" calls for Boeing to deliver 85 Block 1 aircraft with Northrop Grumman-provided airborne electronic attack (AEA) systems up to fiscal year 2013 12 for VAQ-129 and five for each of the 10 carrier squadrons, plus spares. The marines plan to use the existing Prowlers for a longer period, while the air force is investigating the potential for using B-52H bombers with pods for stand-off jamming.

Based on the $54 million Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet and its twin General Electric F414-GE-400 turbojet engines, the two-seat EA-18G will have a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.95 (with wing pods attached), up 10% from the Prowler's maximum speed of M0.86.

While carrying the same AGM-88 missiles, ALQ-99 low- and high-band tactical jamming pods and multi-mission advanced tactical terminal (MATT) satellite communications gear as the most advanced Prowler (ICAP-III), the Growler will have the ability to protect itself with two AIM-120C medium-range air-to-air missiles, freeing other aircraft from performing that role. The Growler will carry the ALQ-227(v)1, a new digital version of the EA-6B's USQ-113 communications countermeasures set (CCS) that is better able to locate enemy communication channels and disrupt communications over a wider set of frequencies through the ALQ-99 low-band jammer pod.

Image
F-18 Expanded Payload Options

Receiver System

The EA-18G also has a more compact version of the Prowler's ALQ-218 RF receiver system (sensors carried on top of the tail of the Prowler and on the wingtips of the Growler), that when combined with the long baseline interferometer (LBI) antennas located fore and aft of the aircraft, geo-locates radar locations and provides selective reactive jamming capability. The Growler carries the electronics for the ALQ-218(v)2 receiver system in its nose compartment in place of the Super Hornet's M61A1 20mm Vulcan cannon.

All new for the EA-18G is an interference cancellation system (INCANS) that allows the aircraft to maintain UHF communications while jamming, a capability unavailable on the Prowler. The Growler also has the F/A-18's APG-79 active electronically steered array (AESA) radar, allowing for aircrews to track multiple targets simultaneously, as well as the Super Hornet's joint helmet-mounted cueing system (JHMCS), which lets pilots fire missiles simply by looking at a target, and multi-information distribution system (Link 16), which increases battlefield situational awareness.

Mike Gibbons, Boeing EA-18G programme manager, says the pivotal technology on the aircraft is a new software package called the data-correlation mechanism that automatically correlates streams of data generated by all of the Growler's on-board sensors, including the APG-79, ICAP-III receivers and AGM-88E high-speed anti-radiation missile.

Variable Configuration

Although the "normal" carry for the Growler will be three jamming pods, two AIM-120Cs, two AGM-88s and two external fuel tanks that allow the aircraft to carry an extra 2,950kg (6,500lb) of fuel, or more than 9,070kg in total, the aircraft can be configured for as many as five pods or four AGM-88s. A host of other options are available, including clean-wing arrangements that allow the aircraft to fly with no speed restrictions. Power for the ALQ-218, MATT and CCS is provided by the aircraft while the ALQ-99 jammers use ram-air turbines attached to the front of the pods.

In total, the new and improved features appear to be successful in creating, as designed, a command and control holism that will be greater than the sum of the parts. While the results of an early June navy-led multi-force exercise that included four Growlers (two modified Super Hornets and two production aircraft) are classified, Gibbons says officials are "extremely excited" about the outcome. The Growlers were used in ways that there were "no chance" of the EA-6B being used, Gibbons says.

The navy's long-range plans promise more to come. "There are quite a few growth and development items waiting in the queue for study," says Gibbons.

In the near term are plans to replace the MATT due to the "obsolescence of the network it was connected to" in the 2012 timeframe, says Gibbons. In addition to the change in network, Gibbons says the new system, now in a feasibility study phase by the navy, will have increased reliability and require less maintenance. "Back-up batteries have been a real nuisance," he adds.

Also envisaged by the navy in the near future are options to carry the same weaponry as the Super Hornet, including laser-guided bombs. Gibbons says the Growler will be the lead platform for the 2010 test and 2012 fielding of the next generation HARM missile (AARGM), which will have multiple guidance modes to target radar sites that shut down to foil traditional HARM missiles.

Gibbons says the EA-18G will also be the primary platform for the navy's next-generation ALQ-99 jammer, a device that is likely to be fielded in the 2018 timeframe. In addition to carrying the new system, the navy is keen to "extend the mission" of the Growler. Gibbons says studies are under way to look at using the Growler as a "localised command and control vehicle" that would have access not only to next generation jamming pods being flown on other aircraft, but also of unmanned air vehicles and other assets in the force.

Image
Growler General Arrangement

From a human factors standpoint, Boeing planned well in advance for the Growler with just one pilot and one weapons system officer to outperform the Prowler's three electronic counter measures officers (ECMO). The company in 1997 began testing EA-6B pilots and ECMOs in a purpose-built simulator in St Louis, ultimately weighing input from 500 crewmembers when developing early on the EA-18G crew interface software, which allows the crew to share information and tasks.

Crew Training

Crews will learn how to co-ordinate their actions at the navy's fleet readiness squadron (VAQ-129) at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, using three tactical operational simulators built by Boeing and L-3. The navy plans to offer basic pilot front seat training using the Super Hornet at existing training sites and "difference training" at Whidbey for Growler-specific missions using the seven-screen simulators, the first of which earned its "ready for training" status on 23 June.

The navy is contemplating a fourth simulator to support a Growler roll-out schedule that calls for three more deliveries this year, 11 next year and as many as 22 a year by 2011.

Boeing assembles the wings, forward fuselage and performs the final assembly of all F/A-18s in two plants in St Louis. The rear fuselage is built by Northrop in El Segundo. While the ALQ-99 jamming pods are integrated at the navy's Whidbey Island facility, Boeing installs the ALQ-218 wingtip pods in St Louis, attaching the devices to the same two attach points that hold the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles on the Super Hornet. Total build time for the Grower is 18 months, says Boeing.

Aircraft Funding

The navy to date has funded the first 56 aircraft, although Boeing expects a contract for the remaining 29 aircraft in the programme of record next year. Boeing says a fleet of 85 Growlers leaves a gap for one reserve squadron and three expeditionary squadrons that now use the Prowler and will decommission the aircraft in 2012.

Image
EA-18 Growler
© Boeing

At Boeing's St Louis plant, the production process for the Growler is virtually indistinguishable from that of the Super Hornet. Many of the internal changes required to route 1.6km (1 mile) of cabling - including 318 RF cables - connecting various SEAD systems have been retrofitted into the Super Hornet line to maintain commonality. Also in common with the F/A-18F are forward fuel tank pass-through modifications needed to route cabling from the Growler's electronic bays in the nose to its components in the wings and tail.

By 1 May, Boeing had delivered 197 F/A-18Fs and 157 F/A-18Es (single-seat) to 19 navy squadrons and nine aircraft carrier wings. As the Growler and Super Hornet have more than 90% commonality in terms of parts, economy at scale will reduce operational costs.

Like the Super Hornet, Growlers will be covered by Boeing's integrated logistics support for the first year, followed by a Boeing's F/A-18E/F integrated readiness support teaming, a performance-based logistic programme in which the navy pays Boeing to provide a set level of readiness for the Super Hornet fleet. According to Boeing, the navy increased the F/A-18E/F mission capable rate from 57% in 2001 to 73% in 2006 by taking part in the logistic programme.

Externally, there are numerous change that are Growler-unique, some more subtle than others. Most noticeable are changes to outer portions of the Growler's wing, put in place partially because of "the buffet onset at high-g manoeuvres" experienced with Super Hornets, says Boeing.

As part of a Super Hornet transonic flying qualities programme launched before the advent of the Growler, four design changes were developed by engineers at Boeing. When the navy decided to launch the Growler, Boeing offered to include the improvements, in part to minimise motion of the wingtip pods to better locate threats. "We wanted to make the manoeuvres smoother for the [Growler]," says Tony Bargeon, Boeing's EA-18G configuration manager. "We wanted to make the wingtips quieter too."

Leading edge fairings now form a smooth "saw tooth" transition from the outer wing (the outer section that folds up and over for carrier operations) to the inner wing, replacing "snag" edge between the two on the Super Hornet. A 12.5cm (5in)-high by 150cm-long wing fence has been placed on the top surface of each wing about midway along the span, and there are now aileron "tripper strips" just ahead of the aileron hinge line. The two-strip arrangement forms a triangle rough 0.95cm high, eliminating the "aileron buzz" experienced by Super Hornet pilots during the same high-g manoeuvres. Engineers also replaced the perforated hinge fairing between outer and inner wing with a solid hinge fairing to help with the buffeting.

Boeing EA-18G chief engineer Kevin Fogarty says Boeing offered to make the same changes on the Super Hornet production line, but the navy declined.

The RF receiver pods mounted on the wingtips for the ALQ-218 system were designed to maintain the weight, moment of inertia and control feel as the AIM-9 missiles they replace. Engineers originally had placed four fins around the circumference of each pod at the front and back (eight in total) to "improve lift at lower airspeed", says Bargeon, but officials later decided to remove all lower fins after tests showed little value in placing the fins there.

In addition to a new 33cm blade antenna for the communications countermeasures set on the dorsal, the Growler has eight LBI antennas, also known as "bug eyes" at the front and back of the fuselage. One antenna is just ahead of the aircraft's angle-of-attack sensor, causing oscillations in its measurements, an issue engineers solved through software filtering in the flight-control computer. Wingtip pods each contain 28 antenna elements.

Flight Tests

Fogarty says the more than 350 navy flight tests did not uncover any aeromechanical issues with the Growler. "The main objective was to validate that nothing was impacted by the changes," he says. Those changes included not only the SEAD pods, but modified flight-control gains based on the new external configuration with the pods. Boeing first simulated the changes before live testing. Along with the M0.95 speed limit when carrying the with the under-wing pods, Fogarty says there are also roll and pull-up limits.

Problematic from an electronics standpoint were unanticipated temperature changes on the cabling connecting the Growler's ALQ-218 wingtip pods affecting the phase of the signals being sent to the internal electronics in the fuselage. The shifts caused an out-of-tolerance phase condition during testing, affecting system performance, says Fogarty. The solution - duplicating the problem in the laboratory and installing different cable from the same vendor - solved the problem.

As of mid-June, Boeing was testing the final software for the Growler, expecting to be finished by mid- to late July in time for a test readiness review, a necessary hurdle before operational evaluation testing in August.

Also on tap for this summer are the EA-18G's first carrier trials, set to take place on an unnamed carrier at an undisclosed time.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 04 Oct 2008 18:58

FARNBOROUGH 2008: Superbug makes giant strides

The Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet on display here has become a familiar sight at the world’s air shows, invariably flying impressive displays. And the aircraft – known affectionately by its crews as the ‘Superbug’ – has been amassing an enviable reputation in service with the US fleet.

The Block II version of the aircraft incorporates improved displays, a decoupled aft cockpit and new computers, and enhanced network centric capabilities thanks to the integration of Link 16 MIDS, as well as an ATFLIR targeting pod, the joint helmet-mounted cueing system and the game changing AN/APG-79 AESA radar.

It is also much cheaper to produce, with a new forward fuselage that has 40% fewer parts, 51% fewer fasteners and which takes 31% less time to build.

Image
F-18

APG-79 was incorporated in new build aircraft coming off the production line in 2005, but service introduction of the Block II F/A-18E/F with AESA has been delayed. The first squadron equipped with Block II aircraft achieved ‘safe for flight’ status in October 2006.

The Block II aircraft was originally expected to undertake a cruise with VFA-213 in 2007, but this was cancelled shortly after the original operational evaluation judged that it represented a "quantum leap" in air-to-air capability but at the same time reported that it was “not effective and not suitable for combat operations.”

Apart from VFA-213 (Black Lions), the Block II Super Hornet is now in service with VFA-106 (the West Coast Super Hornet training squadron) and VFA-22 (the Fighting Redcocks) received Lot 29 FA-18F Super Hornets equipped with the APG-79 in April 2007. VFA-211 and VFA-137 achieved Safe to Fly certification last week.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 04 Oct 2008 18:58

Discussions in M/MRCA thread please.

Thanks.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 07 Oct 2008 01:50

Spanish Typhoons To Test Voice Recognition

A speech recognition system that can work with any English-speaking pilot, regardless of accent, is to be flight tested on Eurofighter Typhoons in Spain.

Unlike the current General Electric Aerospace direct voice input (DVI) system in the Typhoon, the new system is designed not to require specific “training” to recognize voice commands from particular pilots. Like the existing DVI, the “speaker-independent” system is designed to reduce pilot workload by executing voice control over more than 26 operating functions ranging from radar mode and display switching to various navigation tasks.

Developed by Redmond, Wash.-based speech-recognition specialists Conversay, the system is now being integrated directly with the flight control system computers. The system was picked for further development by General Dynamics U.K. after initial flight trials with EADS Casa, and will continue in the next phase with the installation of speaker-independent systems on two Spanish air force Typhoons.

“The intent is to verify the accuracy of the new recognition system,” says Conversay president Peyvand Khademi, who adds the initial flight trial phase did not interact directly with aircraft systems, but simply displayed words on a read-out to verify voice recognition. The system works with the Green Hills Software-developed Integrity real-time operating system selected in 2005 for the development and implementation of mission-critical systems in updates to the Typhoon.

Aravind Ganapathiraju, executive vice president of technology at Conversay, says two key breakthroughs enabled the development. These were software to interpret the different accents of British, German, Italian and Spanish pilots, and recognition systems that could make out commands despite background noise from airflow over the canopy, g-induced voice distortion and the regulator in the pilot’s oxygen mask.

“After recording all the significantly different acoustic signatures we figured out a way of encoding different pronunciations, and developing a system to handle the idiosyncrasies of various nationalities when they speak English,” Ganapathiraju said.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 07 Oct 2008 02:23


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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 08 Jan 2009 23:01

AESA’s Advantages

Monday, September 1, 2008

AESA’s Advantages
Standard equipment for fifth-generation fighters, Active Electronically Scanned Array radars are breathing new life into legacy military and Coast Guard aircraft

Ed McKenna

The operational launch of the F-22 Raptor clearly signaled a changing of the guard for the United States fighter force. Bristling with advanced sensors and weapons systems, the fifth-generation Raptor, along with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, will take the lead in future war fighting efforts.

These new aircraft are also prompting a renewed retrofit focus on former generation fighters, including the addition of next-generation technologies to make many F/A-18, F-15 and F-16 fighters viable over the next two decades.

Critical to these upgrade efforts is Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. This technology, which is standard on the fifth-generation aircraft, will become the sensor backbone for many of the earlier platforms. Lauded for its versatility, AESA radar also is being deployed on U.S. Coast Guard HC-130H surveillance aircraft and fighters destined for international customers.

Despite the operational and financial benefits, the campaign to outfit legacy fighters with AESA technology is running into some challenges, namely power, cooling and system costs.

AESA is the "latest and greatest (and) most desirable radar technology out there," said William Ostrove, electronics analyst for Forecast International, Newtown, Conn. The growth in AESA sales will help boost the worldwide radar market to $50 billion over the next 10 years, Ostrove said. Radars based on mechanically scanned arrays will still make up the bulk of the systems on the market, but the more expensive AESA units will account for a growing percentage of production over the decade.

AESA manufacturers, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman top Forecast International’s list of radar producers. There are also a number international consortia and companies involved, such as Selex Galileo, Thales and Israel Aerospace Industries.

Carving out a niche in the U.S. military market, AESA radar is also being sought by a number of countries that are purchasing aircraft, such as Singapore and United Arab Emirates. The Indian air force has made AESA radar a requirement in its Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft competition. That tender for 126 aircraft features a faceoff between six of the world’s leading fighter aircraft — the Lockheed Martin F-16, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Mikoyan MiG-35 and Saab Gripen.

System Benefits

The demand for these new radar systems is largely driven by the significant performance improvements and increased reliability gained over legacy systems, according to industry and military officials. Generally, legacy systems rely on mechanically driven antennas that move back and forth to scan. An AESA antenna, on the other hand, does not move but rather consists of a matrix of small, solid state transmit/receive (T/R) modules, in which timing differences between the signals at each module are used to form and steer the radar beam.

On a practical level, the AESA radar "will register a 40 percent savings in life cycle costs over the legacy systems," said Patrick Geraghty, executive vice president radar systems, with Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems U.S. When you replace "the central traveling wave tube technology with a distributed multi-element array, you eliminate that single point of failure risk and get an inherent reliability increase," Geraghty said.

Also, the AESA antenna "has a gradual degradation," said Bill McHenry, Lockheed Martin F-16 business development director. There is no single antenna, but "hundreds of T/R modules, and if you lose one you still have (many) left." If you monitor the situation, "you can plan your maintenance and repairs (and) still fly the airplane and perform your missions."

Reliability was a key selling point for the U.S. Coast Guard when it tapped the Selex Seaspray 7500E AESA surveillance radar to replace the mechanically scanned Raytheon APS-137 on 16 of its HC-130Hs. The APS-137 has been "a very capable radar," but the system’s wave guides are "failing about every 80 hours," said Capt. Douglas Menders, aviation program manager, U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Acquisition.

The 7500E prototype has been deployed on an HC-130H for more than a year and "really has yet to fail," Menders said. In that time, the system has racked up more than 450 hours of operation.

The Coast Guard AESA radars have about 300 T/R modules, fewer than fire control radars on fighter aircraft, which can have more than 1,000 modules. It is "what we call a partially filled array," Geraghty said.

The system, which costs less than the higher density radars, requires fewer modules "because it is surveillance related."

The 7500E technology was developed in European programs including the Airborne Multirole Solid State Active Array Radar and CAPTOR Active Electronically Scanning Array Radar, Geraghty said. SELEX also offers its Vixen 500E AESA radar for fighter aircraft and UAVs as well as fixed and light helicopters.

Slated to be deployed by late 2009, the Coast Guard radars will cost $49 million, Menders said.

While it was standalone acquisition, the AESA radar will fit nicely with the new cockpit avionics suite, including five or six multifunction displays, that the Coast Guard is planning for the HC-130H, he said. The aircraft — some which date back to the early 1980s — are projected to continue in service to at least 2027.

Operationally, AESA radar is expected to deliver a 2-to-3 times boost in performance, said Mike Henchey, Raytheon director of strategy and business development, Tactical Airborne Systems (TAS). The technology extends "the range at which you are able to detect a target" and, "because you’ve got many, many small radars (or T/R modules), updates the target’s position very, very quickly," said Geraghty.

AESA radar can "truly be a force multiplier," said Dave Goold, Raytheon’s business development director for the F-18. On a two-place Super Hornet with decoupled cockpit, for example, "you could have the front cockpit doing an air-to-air mission, while nearly simultaneously the aft cockpit is performing air-to-ground."

The radar "supports multiple radar modes that include real beam mapping, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mapping, sea surface search, ground moving target indication and tracking and air-to-air search and track," said Cmdr. A.J. McFarland, F⁄A-18 and EA-18G radar integrated product team military lead for the Navy.

"These modes can be interleaved and operated near-simultaneously, demonstrating a quantum leap in combat capability over our legacy radars."

The Navy plans to deploy 437 F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G Growlers — the latter an electronic attack version of the F/A-18F slated to replace the EA-6B Prowler. About 304 will be delivered off the line from Boeing, while 133 will be retrofitted with radars "procured directly from Raytheon on a schedule of roughly 20 per year," McFarland said.

In July, Raytheon delivered its 100th APG-79 AESA system to Boeing and the Navy for the F/A-18 and EA-18G.

The first unit to deploy F/A-18s with the AESA radar is VFA-22, the "Redcocks," from Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore in California. "They deployed aboard USS Ronald Reagan in May (and) are currently in the Western Pacific," McFarland said in July.

The VAQ-129 Electronic Attack Squadron at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., is the first EA-18G squadron to deploy the radar.

System Challenges

For all its potential, AESA technology also provides challenges. Selex’s Seaspray system, for example, includes many more modes than the older system, and "those modes are pretty robust," said Menders. "There are a lot of different interfaces and target symbologies (involved), so there is going to be a pretty good learning curve for the operators."

"In many ways, aircrew workload will increase because the AESA radar is capable of providing much more information than previous radars could provide," said McFarland.

"However, the improved range of the AESA also provides the aircrew with exponentially better situational awareness, enabling them to make better informed tactical decisions sooner than they could using legacy radars."

Radar manufacturers have faced and continue to face development challenges.

"Weight, costs, electricity and cooling — those are the big challenges," especially in the retrofit of these technologies, said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group.

Eight years ago, the first generation array was deployed on the F-15C because it is a "bigger fighter with a real solid structure and it could carry some weight," said Henchey. In fact, the system was so much heavier than the mechanical systems "ballast had to be placed in the back of airplanes," he added.

Current systems weigh about half as much as earlier radars, or about the same as mechanical systems, and will continue to decrease as the AESA gets thinner, Henchey said. Eventually, the array will become flexible enough to mount in areas other than the nose "because the requirement for flat mounting space will be backed off." The radar will be able to be oriented in different directions and provide a broader perspective.

The U.S. Air Force plans to upgrade the radars in 177 F-15Cs and 224 F-15Es — the two models are slated to remain in the fleet through 2025 and 2035, respectively, Henchey said.

In the marketplace, weight, cooling and power issues helped drive Lockheed Martin to build the separate F-16 Block 60 to meet United Arab Emirates’ requirement for 80 aircraft with AESA technology. The airplanes required "some cooling and power upgrades or enhancements," said McHenry. The first aircraft with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-80 was delivered to UAE in 2005.

Lockheed is looking at upgrading some of its F-16 Block 50 aircraft.

"We are cautiously optimistic that this is a doable do and won’t involve a significant modification to the airplane," McHenry said.

The optimism is based on two recently launched programs: Northrop Grumman’s Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) and Raytheon’s Advanced Combat Radar (RACR). The two programs are targeted at F-16 retrofits at least in the short run.

SABR is designed specifically to address F-16 electrical and physical interfaces without modification and fit within currently defined power and cooling requirements, according to Northrop Grumman. SABR demonstration flights are planned for later this year on Northrop Grumman’s Sabreliner, which emulates the F-16 avionics suite and has been used for previous F-16 radar testing. The SABR program "is our investment toward maintaining the F-16’s combat capability," said Chris Sheppard, F-16 Sensor Systems Program Development manager.

Similarly, RACR, unveiled at the Farnborough Airshow in July, "is designed to work with existing aircraft power and cooling," Henchey said. The RACR system can be "dropped with minimal impact into to the airplane."

The programs also tout lower prices. In fact, all of the manufacturers say prices have been on the decline, and there is evidence in the market to support this. "As it is being produced more and more and technology is maturing, the price is starting to go down, which is further increasing demand" for the systems, Ostrove said.

"We have been running the program since the early 1990s and have been able to over that time evolve the costs down to the point where we can readily compete with the traditional mechanical systems," said Geraghty.

It is "not exactly dollar for dollar; but when you compare the cost of acquisition compared with the life cycle cost savings, it is a very compelling argument."

"AESA is one of those technologies that is emerging and is now becoming cost effective," said McHenry. "By 2020 or 2025... it will be an accepted part of fighter airplanes."

However, outside of the Indian competition, "I don’t have any other customer who has an RFI [request for information] or RFP [Request for Proposal] on the street that says an AESA is a requirement. But I do have customers that are interested in talking about it," McHenry said.

AESA Developed For Communications
A versatile technology, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar is being developed as a base for high-speed communications. However, the initiative is running up against funding challenges that are thwarting its progress.

Spearheaded by L-3 Communications, the effort to deploy this communication capacity is being abetted by both Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. The goal is allow for speedy transmission of the mass of critical data gathered by advanced sensors on fighter aircraft to others that may need it on the ground or in the air.

"What we have done is modify one of the common data link waveforms and turned it into a waveform that enables data to be carried on a pulse carrier signal instead of traditional continuous wave carrier," said Bruce Carmichael, vice president of Air Force Programs with L-3 Communication Systems West, based in Salt Lake City.

This waveform, called the Radar Common Data Link (R-CDL) or Pulsed Common Data Link (P-CDL), has been developed and was successfully flight tested about a year ago, Carmichael said. In practical terms, the capability would be "a new mode for the radar — a communications mode of operation," said Carmichael.

The capability of that mode encompasses a range of potential operations, from one-way broadcasts to interleaved "fully duplexed" exchanges between two stations, said Dave Robbins, an engineering lead for R-CDL at L-3 Communications.

Raytheon has demonstrated the system can transmit data at rates of 274 megabytes a second — "a speed that starts to approach instantaneous," said Mike Henchey, Raytheon’s director of strategy and business development, Tactical Airborne Systems. It is a speed that easily eclipsed the current military standard. "If you are relying on a tactical data link like Link 16, it might take you close to an hour to get a 72-megabyte file off of the aircraft," said Carmichael. With R-CDL, that transmission "is a matter of 3 to 5 seconds," he said.

The system could be used to provide close air support or help take out surface-to-air missile sites, said Joe Nunes, program manager for the Northrop Grumman R-CDL team at L-3 Communications. "Our sources told us that once a SAM site knows it is painted it can move in as little as six minutes," so time is of the essence, Nunes said. R-CDL can also provide real-time battle damage assessment to decision makers on the ground for re-tasking.

As far as system development is concerned, "we have gone through the basic challenges — the next step is to integrate the capability on the aircraft themselves... along with the man-machine interfaces," Carmichael said.

However, to do this and keep the program team together, the initiative needs funding. "That is the biggest thing right now," Carmichael said. "Our team is in a funding gap, so it is hard to keep the team together and go ahead," said Nunes.

On the positive side, "it has been recognized as a requirement for the F-22, so that is a major step forward," said Carmichael. — Ed McKenna

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby KrishG » 11 Jan 2009 23:15

Not th thread for discussions. Please read thread title.
Rahul.
Last edited by Rahul M on 11 Jan 2009 23:22, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited OT post.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby k prasad » 06 Apr 2009 17:23

Given that MMRCA trials will start in a month, we'll start seeing a lot of technical info becoming available in public domain about the contenders. Thus, to prevent these details getting lost in the discussions on the MMRCA thread, I think its a good idea to resurrect this thread.

Perhaps, if the mods think fit, we can keep MMRCA thread as a discussion thread, which this can be a tech/news resources thread... what say??

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 08 Apr 2009 01:43

AWST :: Mar 20, 2009 :: Rafale Production Drop Confirmed

Dassault Aviation confirms that deliveries of Rafale fighters to the French air force and navy will slow as a result of redrawn priorities in France's new 2009-13 defense spending plan.

The plan, currently awaiting parliamentary approval, is oriented towards protection of forces in the field, deep strike, force projection and ballistic missile defense. To help defray the cost of these initiatives, Cold War programs like the Rafale and Tiger helicopter will be cut back.

...........................................

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby Kartik » 08 Apr 2009 02:25

here is a list of companies who are (or at least were) involved in the Gripen A/B/C/D variants. they may have changed a bit for the NG variant, not sure. much of these systems are now indigenously developed in India itself, which has considerably added to the development effort and time. anyway, the point is that there are multiple vendors involved in a Gripen sale.

Here is a list of some of the main Suppliers of the systems of the Jas 39 Gripen

 Presentation and recording systems, general and weapons computers, flight control actuators and air data sensors: Ericsson Saab Avionics
 Radar (PS-05/A) and system computers (SDS 801): Ericsson Microwave Systems
 Turn around, servicing, maintenance and testing equipment: Celsius Aerotech
 Engine: Volvo Aero Corporation in co-operation with General Electric
 Radar dome: Nobel Plastics
 Flight control system: Lockheed Martin, USA
 APU: Sundstrand, USA
 Landing Gear: BAE Systems, UK
 Main landing gear, wing attachment assembly of complete centre fuselages: BAE Systems, Brough, UK
 Main Landing Gear Unit (actually a large, major lower central section of the fuselage with lots of associated systems): Denel Aviation, South Africa. (from late 2001 for all Gripens)
 Fuel system: Intertechnique, France
 INS: Honeywell, USA
 ECM dispensers: CelsiusTech; Ericsson Saab Avionics is responsible for the EWS 39 system
 HUD: Kaiser, USA
 Radio: Rockwell, USA
 Hydraulics: Abex, Germany and Dowty, UK
 Generator: Sundstrand, USA
 Air and cooling: BAE Systems, UK
 Escape system: Martin Baker, UK
 Stores pylons for the export version: Denel Aviation, South Africa
 Airbrake and scoop actuators: Jihlavan a.s., The Czech Republic
 Parts of the tail cone: PZL, Poland
 Fuselage components: Danube Aerospace, Hungary

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby dorai » 15 Apr 2009 07:12

Martin-Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd. is a British manufacturer of aircraft ejection seats.

RAFALE: Mk F16F Rafale
http://www.martin-baker.co.uk/Products/ ... afale.aspx
EUROFIGHTER: Mk16A-1 EFA
http://www.martin-baker.co.uk/Products/ ... ghter.aspx
GRIPEN: Mk 10 S10LS
http://www.martin-baker.co.uk/Products/ ... k--10.aspx

(Slightly ironic that French pilots sit in a British chair considering all the nationalistic arguments some fanboys use on the web 8) )

@ Kartik, that list is very much outdated even for the 39C/D jets. Especially since Saab went on a shopping spree and bought some of those companies. But overall they use Swedish-British-American companies for hardware but software and sensors is Saab which in my world is more important than where a fuel pump came from....

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby Kartik » 16 Apr 2009 03:37

Saab Gripen line is nearing closure and needs some orders soon to be able to continue it beyond a couple of years.


Saab Fails to Land Gripen Orders, Threatening Output


By Sabine Pirone

April 14 (Bloomberg) -- Saab AB, the Swedish maker of the $40 million Gripen jet fighter, may fail to win enough orders to guarantee the plane’s future as the build rate slows and parts- makers halt production.

Norway dealt Saab a blow in November with a contract for 48 Lockheed Martin Corp. Joint Strike Fighters after analysts predicted the Gripen would win. The Netherlands selected the JSF as the best candidate to replace 85 older aircraft a month later, and Denmark may also pick the U.S. plane this year.

Work on Gripens for South Africa and Thailand runs out in 2012 and only 26 deliveries remain, pushing output down to 10-12 aircraft a year from about 15 previously. Linkoeping-based Saab is holding out for orders from India and Brazil to rescue the flagship product of an aeronautics unit that contributes 20 percent of sales. Suppliers including Volvo Aero, maker of the plane’s RM12 engine, are already winding down production.

“After South Africa we have no more orders and that’s a fact,” said Fredrik Fryklund, a spokesman for the Volvo AB unit, which gets 7 percent of its revenue from work on the Gripen. “Next year some time we’ll probably deliver the last engine. Maybe another country will like our Gripen with the RM12. Otherwise, the production line will be closed.”

Saab reiterated after losing the Norwegian contract that it aims to sell 200 more Gripens abroad and is marketing the 1,320 mile-per-hour plane to eight potential new customers. Spokesman Lasse Jansson says the production rate has always been flexible and that the company has no supply-chain problem because it only buys parts based on the orders it receives.

Cheaper, Better

Norway said it placed the 18 billion-kroner ($2.7 billion) JSF order, worth another 145 billion kroner in maintenance and repair over 30 years, after judging the plane to be 6 billion kroner cheaper than the Gripen and better in all of its main duties. Saab said Dec. 10 that the pricing was faulty and it was “surprised” at the choice, given that Norway had indicated it wanted closer cooperation with neighboring Sweden.

Lockheed’s hand may have been strengthened by Norway’s role as one of eight partner countries helping the U.S. develop the JSF, also called the F-35. Denmark is also involved, as is the Netherlands, with 84 Dutch companies making parts including cables and doors valued at 750 million euros ($1 billion).

Dutch defense ministry spokeswoman Sascha Louwhoff said that while the competition will remain open until a contract is signed next year, the JSF has become important to the industrial base, with the government having invested $800 million. Two demonstrator planes are about to be ordered.

Dutch Jobs

“We’ve invested a lot of money in the JSF program, you cannot wipe that out,” she said. “For the armed forces it’s important that they have the best aircraft. For the Netherlands as a whole it’s also important that we get orders and jobs from it. It’s a two-way approach.”

Danish defense spokesman Henrik Levysohn said the country will also hold an open contest between the Gripen, JSF and Boeing Co. F/A-18 Super Hornet, with a preliminary choice to be made this year. Test aircraft will be commissioned before a contract is signed in 2012.

“The potential is still there, but as they lost in Norway, the likelihood of success in European countries like Denmark and the Netherlands has decreased,” said Stefan Cederberg, an analyst at Enskilda Securities in Stockholm who recommends buying Saab stock.

Saab rose 0.8 percent to 66.25 kronor as of 10:15 a.m. in Stockholm trading. The stock has declined 7.3 percent this year.

Supply Chain

While Saab can sustain Gripen production at a reduced level, the company needs contracts now if it’s to safeguard the supplier base, since companies normally provide parts well ahead of manufacturing, said Sandy Morris, an analyst at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London with a “buy” rating on the stock.

“They need an order in 2009,” Morris said. “Gripen production may not cease this year, but further down the chain, suppliers are likely going to run out of work.”

While Saab may be able to keep production lines moving by doing upgrades, that won’t in itself be enough to retain design capabilities and the supply chain, he said.

The Gripen’s suppliers include aircraft-electronics manufacturers Honeywell International Inc. and Thales SA, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which makes the wheels, Martin-Baker Aircraft Co., an ejector-seat specialist, and Rheinmetall AG, which makes 27 millimeter cannon, as well as dozens of smaller companies, many Swedish.

Richard Aboulafia, an analyst at Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia, said deliveries generally need to be running two years ahead to sustain the supply chain.

‘Crunch Time’

“If they don’t get orders soon, the production line starts to dry up,” he said. “It is coming down to crunch time. You can be flexible in speeding up or slowing down, but if a line goes cold it’s out of your hands.”

Saab says it has submitted binding responses to tenders from Brazil, Denmark, India, Romania and Switzerland and is also looking at bidding for orders from Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece, as well as the Netherlands. The Gripen made its first flight in 1988 and entered service in 1993. The first export contract was signed by South Africa in 1999.

Awards from India or Brazil -- which may number 126 and 36 aircraft respectively -- are still some way off and any contracts in Eastern Europe have receded by at least five years because of the global financial crisis, Morris said.

Switzerland has delayed selection until December at least and may represent Saab’s best chance of a new Gripen contract, analysts say. Swiss relations with Germany, where the rival Eurofighter Typhoon program is based, have been strained by the countries’ dispute over tax evasion.

GE Engine

Volvo Aero said that while Switzerland is a candidate for planes using the RM12 engine, based on the F404 from Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric Co., any contract from India or Brazil would probably be for the Next Generation Gripen with power plants direct from GE.

“We have been preparing for a commercial change in our company for many years,” Volvo spokesman Fryklund said from the unit’s base in Trollhaettan, Sweden. “We have foreseen this, so we are not in trouble.”

Leach International, a supplier of electrical-power distribution assemblies for the Gripen, has already finished shipments, spokesman Jean Emmanuel Metz said by telephone from Strasbourg, France.

While Sweden may provide further upgrades to keep the Gripen line going, Saab may have to drop plans for a new assembly line or close it temporarily, Morris said.

The Gripen has 250 orders, 204 of them from Sweden, which has leased out 14 planes to the Czech Republic and is also upgrading a further 31. South Africa has ordered 26 planes, of which 20 are still to be delivered, and Thailand has contracts for six. Hungary has leased 14 planes which it may buy after 10 years of operation.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby dorai » 17 Apr 2009 10:12

Googled this... That framework text below could give some indication to total user costs if bought in large numbers but the price also includes development and hopefully IAF wouldn't need to pay same amount as Sweden did.

To sum up: 200 armed gripens for 10 bn usd.

The Swedish defence material agency, FMV, says the total cost of the Gripen program between 1982 and 2009 is 99 billion Swedish krona (worth $ 13.54 billion at current exchange rates), including weapons and simulators but excluding Value-Added Tax, for 204 aircraft.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae/articles/communiques/FighterCostFinalJuly06.pdf


More detailed but only for period 1997-2008;

Economic Framework JAS 39 Gripen
Object framework for the JAS 39 will cover the period from 1997 until 2008.

The economic planning framework to reach a maximum of 74 611 million kronor (US$9,6Bn) in the 2008 price level. Object framework should have the following material content and reported by the Armed Forces in the following sub-assemblies:

• Development Batch 3; (39C/D)
• adjustment programs avionics and sensors,
• acquisition of 110 aircraft JAS 39A and B in Batch 2;
• acquisition of 64 aircraft JAS 39C and D in Batch 3;
• acquisition of the maintenance system;
• acquisition of sensor and countermeasure systems;
• the purchase of communications equipment Batch 1, 2 and 3;
• acquisition of planning and evaluation system,
• acquisition of flight training system,
• acquisition of reconnaissance capsule
• procurement of radar hunting robot 99 AMRAAM
• acquisition of IR-hunting robot 98 IRIS-T
• purchase of attack weapons
• further development and retro modification of aircraft from Batch 1, 2 and 3 (+31 additional C/D)
• interest on the Defense Materiel work, working capital,
• common costs,
• Defense Materiel Administration overheads,
• interest expense for advances to the industry.

174 complete aircraft plus 31 jets being rebuilt to C/D standard. Weapons, Simulators, Development, Support System. For $9,6Bn.

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showpost.php?p=3798544&postcount=1340

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby dorai » 26 Apr 2009 20:57

Unusually small holders on the HUD itself makes it blend into the sky really nice.

Image
Image

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 29 Apr 2009 22:53

XPosting johnny_m:

Gripen NG AESA has new revolutionary design offering wider field of view.

Image

Advanced mission capabilities provided with the Gripen NG AESA Radar

Improved Target Tracking With the inherent beam agility, target tracking can be more adaptive and time efficient. This will increase the radar tracking performance in a dense target environment. This facilitates the ability to choose the right target for weapon engagement, and to prepare the weapon with more accurate data i.e. enhance the fire control
capability.

The beam agility will also increase the capability to perform search for new targets within a larger search volume while retaining the target track updates for current tracks. This will increase the pilot’s situation awareness.

Wide field of regard With the swashplate solution the Gripen NG AESA radar has the ability to cover a scan angle up to ±100°. This will increase situation awareness and be used to increase the quality of SAR images. In BVR combat, wide angle scan also allows the aircraft to maintain track on the target whilst executing a 90° manoeuvre. This minimises closure rate with the target, places one’s own aircraft in the enemy’s clutter return and still allows full guidance of BVR missiles.

Mode Flexibility With the beam agility it is possible to interleave different modes. This capability further increases the situation awareness for the pilot. For example, the pilot can use Air-to-Ground modes in parallel to Air-to-Air search and track.

Low Probability of Intercept The AESA radar has qualities that makes the aircraft more difficult to detect by an enemy and thereby increases the aircrafts survivability. These qualities include lower radar cross section, ability to operate with reduced output power levels and side-lobe levels, and the agile beam used for random search and track patterns.

Flexible beam and waveform control makes it possible to optimize modes for long and short range target acquisition. The AESA system is also able to be cued by other onboard sensors, eg Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) or by data from off-board resources such as Erieye. This will increase the pilot’s situation awareness and make it possible to take action earlier.

Improved Electronic Counter-Counter Measures Future adaptive beam forming facilitate improved target detection in presence of several jammer signals. Situation awareness can then be maintained even in a dense RF-environment. This is important for survivability.

Increased Operational Availability The modular design of the antenna, including the large numbers of transmit/receive modules, ensures graceful degradation. This means that the antenna will maintain excellent performance even with a percentage of failures. This ensures high availability which is an essential pre-requisite for high intensity operations.


http://www.gripen.com/NR/rdonlyres/8E65 ... _Radar.pdf

X-post from Keypub forums. Posted by signatory

These links show the advantages of such an assembly as normal fixed AESA radars have a narrower field of view.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... a6c47c0879

http://www2.theiet.org/oncomms/pn/radar/Roulston.pdf

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby k prasad » 30 Apr 2009 17:02

Very interesting NRao... would be interesting to see how much noise level they get out of it, and how they are countering the increased noise level that comes with the rotary joints and other stuff that comes with a swashplate solution....

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby negi » 30 Apr 2009 19:47

^ Hain... what has a swashplate got to do with signal noise ? and afaik moving swashplate will not affect the TR module performance (i.e. if you are referring to the noise generated by mech movt. ). However obviously moving components mean increased complexity,maintainance issues and cost.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 01 May 2009 02:32

Gents,

This has been posted in the MRCA thread too, so please continue discussion there.

This thread is for "resources" only.

Thx.


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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby k prasad » 07 May 2009 16:38

negi wrote:^ Hain... what has a swashplate got to do with signal noise ? and afaik moving swashplate will not affect the TR module performance (i.e. if you are referring to the noise generated by mech movt. ). However obviously moving components mean increased complexity,maintainance issues and cost.



I'm replying on the MRCA thread....

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby Dmurphy » 12 May 2009 07:54

Edited
Last edited by JaiS on 13 May 2009 13:09, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: News titled: "Typhoon Pressure Grows on UK" was deleted as this is a tech-only thread


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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby rkhanna » 15 May 2009 21:16

Got this from another forum. Courtesy Thunder (Comments+Pictures) at WAFF.. Furthers the EF Vs Rafale Debate..

IR Signatures

EF
Image

Rafale
Image

Much have been said in this forum, in particular about the way they were taken and the source of the Rafale IR Spike behind the cockpit.

To be CLEAR.

The Typhoon and Rafale were BOTH Shoot by an equivalent IR sensor in similar conditions.

SUBSONIC AND LOW LEVEL.

BOTH were taken with similar generation mobile SAM system IRSTs during Airshows and difference in conctrats is rather meaningless, these IRSTs are of similar performances and Airshow flight conditions similarly restricted all over Europe when it comes to MTO conditions including ceilling and temperatures.

I got the Typhoon photo from a British magazine forum and that of a Rafale from another source.

The picture of the Rafale could be either that of a Rafale M flown by Hives Herherve at Farnborough or the C01 previous to 1995 anyway.

This particular year, i have personaly spoken by telephone to Dassault-Aviation Rafale programe manager on the subject after emailing the photo to them, i was also involved with a non-selected Flight simulation for them.

The source of the IR spike is the the exhaust of the avionic bay vent situated behind the cockpit.

The reply of the Rafale programe manager was that this picture was taken before ALL IR sources had been TREATED.

You wont find this sort of IR spike on the serie Rafale today.

The ony noticeable difference between the two is that Rafale picture is taken from ABOVE weither that of Typhoon from under.

One could argue that Typhoon visit panels are thiner under than the skin on the top fuselage, but this is unlikely.

The reason for Typhoon higher IR signature are well documented, and NOT as some cartoon characters are trying to make up, assumptions from myself used to make false points.

IR signature on M-88 is treated on three points, an extra cooling channel and dual condi-nozzles, the extra engine casing which is itself externaly cooled using the same channel than that exhausting between the two sets of con-di nozzles.

EJ2000 on the other hand doesn't posses this extra engine casing and the colling airflow between the engine etxernal casing and the airfframe skin in more limited.

Morer to the point; its components WERE advertised as runing HOT with REDUCED COOLING before the manufacturer webpage was revamped.

So those who assume here, are those who won't admit that when i bring evidences i have duely done my home work before making my points and know what i am saying, i have archives you only can dream of to back up my "claims".


Pictures of EF Engine Tests and Brochure
http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r279/sampaix/spliirjetengine110dc4.jpg

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r279/sampaix/NO_JOKE.jpg

Rafale Brochure

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r279/sampaix/IR_Detectabilty-1.jpg

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby NRao » 21 May 2009 03:01

GE Eyes More Powerful Engine For Super Hornets, Growlers

May 14, 2009



By Guy Norris/Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - General Electric is testing a modified version of the F414 engine for the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and EF-18 Growler that could increase thrust by 20% while improving durability and reducing fuel burn.

Although full details are not yet available, it appears the U.S. Navy-supported development is a combined product of two F414-400 upgrade efforts. One of these was originally focused on increasing the baseline durability of the engine, while the other is an ongoing study aimed at increasing overall thrust.

The former effort, dubbed the enhanced durability engine, was begun to improve foreign object damage resistance, and includes specific fuel consumption (SPC) saving benefits that "will pay for itself over the life of the engine," says Bob Gower, Boeing vice president for F-18 programs.

In addition to this work, which principally concerns improvements to the high-pressure core, GE is also studying a new fan design "which could significantly increase thrust by around 20%," Gower adds. The thrust boost, thought to be produced by dramatically upping fan flow, is achieved without changes to the engine's outer mold line and "will be a form, fit and function replacement at this point," he adds. Gower also says the "the needs of the market will drive the need for increased thrust."

Boeing, Navy talking

News of the enhanced performance engine, as the augmented thrust variant is dubbed, comes as GE secures an additional $7.5 million Navy contract to demonstrate new fuel-saving technologies on the F414. This is in support of the Near Term Energy Efficiency Technology Demonstration and Research Project, and was awarded as part of the U.S. government's stimulus package under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The bulk of the work (more than 90%) will be performed in Lynn, Mass., while the balance will take place in Evendale, Ohio, and is expected to be completed in December 2010.

Gower adds that Boeing is still engaged in discussions with the Navy about a potential multiyear procurement (MYP) for additional Super Hornets, even though budget plans for FY 2010 cut the Super Hornet buy to 31 aircraft, including 22 electronic-warfare G models. So far the Navy has funded 485 Hornets through early acquisition contracting, as well as MYP 1 (210) and MYP 2 (213), plus another 20 aircraft funded with ostensible supplemental warfighting appropriations (four in '07 and 16 in '08). Deliveries of MYP 2 aircraft are to be completed by the end of 2011. Despite a planned reduction of carriers to 10, Boeing believes it is highly probable the Navy will require a further 89 aircraft (including 32 Growlers). This, it says, will be made up of 31 in FY '10, 34 in FY '11 and 24 in FY '12, including the possibility of an MYP 3 covering 149 aircraft total in five years.

'Fighter inventory shortfall'

Gower says that on top of the "fighter inventory shortfall" driven by the early retirement of current jets and the delayed introduction of the F-35, the Quadrennial Defense Review could include an additional 20-30 Growlers to satisfy joint expeditionary electronic warfare support needs. This requirement is likely to become more acute while the Navy accelerates the retirement of the EA-6B Prowler, which is to go by the end of 2012.

Gower also said the international sales potential remains buoyant in the wake of the export sales success to Australia, which will officially receive its first aircraft in a July 8 ceremony in St. Louis. The second tranche of 24 Australian F/A-18E/Fs will be built with wiring to support the G configuration. Beyond Australia, Super Hornet is competing in Brazil (with a final offer scheduled for June 2), India, Canada, Denmark, Kuwait and Japan.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby narayana » 21 May 2009 12:39

F-18 Super Hornets to Get IRST

This IRST approach can defeat radar stealth in some instances, by focusing on engine exhaust or on the friction of the aircraft as it powers through the atmosphere. As F-14 pilots will recall, long range electro-optics also offer positive identification, conferring the ability to use a plane’s missiles to their full ranges, without creating friendly fire concerns. Best of all, IRST offers a passive way to locate and target enemy aircraft – one that won’t trigger radar warning receivers. When coupled with medium-range IR missiles like some Russian AA-10 variants, France’s MICA-IR, or even future versions of AMRAAM NCADE, an IRST system offers a fighter both an extra set of medium-range eyes, and a stealthy air-to-air combat weapon.

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Re: F-16, F-18, Grip, MiG-35 and Rafale Technical Resource Only

Postby dorai » 22 May 2009 08:46

Just a notice that the Rafale T/W is not correct on the English wikipedia.

Rafale C has 4750Kg of internal fuel as this photo shows (Dassault's web confirm):

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/6766/kerorafale.jpg
http://www.dassault-aviation.com/en/def ... s.html?L=1

With the empty weight 9500Kg the AB T/W on Rafale C is 1,08 not 1.13 as the wiki says. That is before adding pilot and weapons. The Rafale M has a ratio of 1.03.

I don't want to debate this but just issue a warning about wiki info (should not need to tell anyone this...) and many people are too lazy to check the sources. The page editors also ignore multiple official sources on max speed being M1.8 and instead use a rare source for M2.0. I don't know what else is made to look better than reality...


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