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Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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boogieman

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 02:43

Yes with a weapon that could stay undetected until the sprint stage kicked in it makes more sense, but he was describing a weapon that would be strictly turbofan powered and just meander after its targets for long periods of time. pK would rarely be very good methinks...
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marauder2048

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 03:25

boogieman wrote:Yes with a weapon that could stay undetected until the sprint stage kicked in it makes more sense, but he was describing a weapon that would be strictly turbofan powered and just meander after its targets for long periods of time. pK would rarely be very good methinks...


I've seen the case made for these weapons before. Basically, JP-10's greater energy density permits the
fighter-like turbojet SAM to make multiple passes and outlast the target fighter in a close-in
ACM-style engagement.
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boogieman

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 03:52

marauder2048 wrote:
boogieman wrote:Yes with a weapon that could stay undetected until the sprint stage kicked in it makes more sense, but he was describing a weapon that would be strictly turbofan powered and just meander after its targets for long periods of time. pK would rarely be very good methinks...


I've seen the case made for these weapons before. Basically, JP-10's greater energy density permits the
fighter-like turbojet SAM to make multiple passes and outlast the target fighter in a close-in
ACM-style engagement.

Same, but I am still extremely skeptical. It would put tremendous pressure on engagement geometry to get the weapon close enough (nose hot bandits only?) and guidance/seeker performance. Such a slow missile would give some countermeasures an awfully long time to work their magic. Adding a terminal sprint stage may solve this problem, but only if the weapon remained undetected during the lower speed cruise stage.
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madrat

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 04:01

boogieman wrote:Yes with a weapon that could stay undetected until the sprint stage kicked in it makes more sense, but he was describing a weapon that would be strictly turbofan powered and just meander after its targets for long periods of time. pK would rarely be very good methinks...

Sounds about as brilliant as equipping Hawk trainers as front-line fighter reserves...
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marauder2048

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 06:06

boogieman wrote:Same, but I am still extremely skeptical. It would put tremendous pressure on engagement geometry to get the weapon close enough (nose hot bandits only?) and guidance/seeker performance. Such a slow missile would give some countermeasures an awfully long time to work their magic. Adding a terminal sprint stage may solve this problem, but only if the weapon remained undetected during the lower speed cruise stage.


I guess it depends on how predictable your target is during the long flyout.

With a slower missile there's more time for the seeker (imaging infrared in this case) to discriminate.
The missile can throttle back if it's decoyed, reverse and make another pass.

And a lot of countermeasures are premised on causing break lock just long enough to get the protected
asset out of the FOV of the seeker which when combined with the typical high mach of the missile
tends to ensure that the seeker is not going to be able to re-acquire.

But it's a fair point about detectability given how good MLDs will continue to get.
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boogieman

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 06:34

marauder2048 wrote:
boogieman wrote:Same, but I am still extremely skeptical. It would put tremendous pressure on engagement geometry to get the weapon close enough (nose hot bandits only?) and guidance/seeker performance. Such a slow missile would give some countermeasures an awfully long time to work their magic. Adding a terminal sprint stage may solve this problem, but only if the weapon remained undetected during the lower speed cruise stage.


I guess it depends on how predictable your target is during the long flyout.

With a slower missile there's more time for the seeker (imaging infrared in this case) to discriminate.
The missile can throttle back if it's decoyed, reverse and make another pass.

And a lot of countermeasures are premised on causing break lock just long enough to get the protected
asset out of the FOV of the seeker which when combined with the typical high mach of the missile
tends to ensure that the seeker is not going to be able to re-acquire.

But it's a fair point about detectability given how good MLDs will continue to get.

Yeah, I think at best you might be looking at a niche weapon that might be adequate for targets with limited kinematic and self defence capabilities like tankers or ISR aircraft. Against 5th gen fighters you are going to have problems sneaking that weapon in close enough, when detection + a simple change of course to flank or extend is going to ruin the missile's pK. At extended range you're going to need some sort of RF/INS/mid-course datalink until the IIR seeker takes over, leaving the bandit with plenty of time to go to work with EA from its onboard AESA or any other EW tricks it may have up its sleeve.

In the absence of an AAM design stealthy enough to elude the current gen of fighter sensors + MAWS, I think the ideal AAM is one that is actually as fast as possible while still providing onboard (and possibly offboard) sensors enough time to sort decoys, clutter etc from the desired target.
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lbk000

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 18:26

marauder2048 wrote:I've seen the case made for these weapons before. Basically, JP-10's greater energy density permits the
fighter-like turbojet SAM to make multiple passes and outlast the target fighter in a close-in
ACM-style engagement.

So... just... walk away? Just literally fly away dude, whats the missile going to do, accelerate past Mach 1? LOL

Definitely one of those ideas formulated by the worst sort of armchair combatants.
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marauder2048

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 18:29

lbk000 wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:I've seen the case made for these weapons before. Basically, JP-10's greater energy density permits the
fighter-like turbojet SAM to make multiple passes and outlast the target fighter in a close-in
ACM-style engagement.

So... just... walk away? Just literally fly away dude, whats the missile going to do, accelerate past Mach 1? LOL

Definitely one of those ideas formulated by the worst sort of armchair combatants.


If the missile forces the enemy aircraft to run away that's kind of a desirable outcome.
The missile will just pursue until one of them runs out of fuel.
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lbk000

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 19:03

Well, you'll need to saturate the air with what are effectively aerial mines because they're not intercepting anything that isn't flying into them, but that's where ignoring the cost benefit analysis comes into play...
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marauder2048

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 19:16

boogieman wrote:Yeah, I think at best you might be looking at a niche weapon that might be adequate for targets with limited kinematic and self defence capabilities like tankers or ISR aircraft. Against 5th gen fighters you are going to have problems sneaking that weapon in close enough, when detection + a simple change of course to flank or extend is going to ruin the missile's pK. At extended range you're going to need some sort of RF/INS/mid-course datalink until the IIR seeker takes over, leaving the bandit with plenty of time to go to work with EA from its onboard AESA or any other EW tricks it may have up its sleeve.

In the absence of an AAM design stealthy enough to elude the current gen of fighter sensors + MAWS, I think the ideal AAM is one that is actually as fast as possible while still providing onboard (and possibly offboard) sensors enough time to sort decoys, clutter etc from the desired target.


Given that all modern A2A missiles are dependent on datalinks and INS I'm not sure why
that's anymore of a limitation for a MALI-style round than anything else.
Given typical closure rates we are still talking about engagement times in single digit minutes.

LCI/MALI were premised on being cheaper and to a degree smaller and lighter than AMRAAM so if
Blue needs to pattern fire 2 against a target to bracket it that's potentially still a win at range.

If Red has to evade or needs to expend missiles in its defense Blue is still ahead for a follow-up.
And getting below 0.01 m^2 is pretty straight forward for a weapon like this.

It's by no-means a war winner but it is a way for Blue to get:

a. magazine depth
b. very long range shots
c. low cost per shot

So it can't be dismissed out of hand.
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marauder2048

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Unread post30 Jun 2020, 19:41

lbk000 wrote:Well, you'll need to saturate the air with what are effectively aerial mines because they're not intercepting anything that isn't flying into them, but that's where ignoring the cost benefit analysis comes into play...


Given that the smaller, lighter LCI was premised on a cost < 1/4th that of the contemporary
AMRAAM that doesn't strike me as an issue from a cost perspective.
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boogieman

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Unread post01 Jul 2020, 03:48

marauder2048 wrote:
boogieman wrote:Yeah, I think at best you might be looking at a niche weapon that might be adequate for targets with limited kinematic and self defence capabilities like tankers or ISR aircraft. Against 5th gen fighters you are going to have problems sneaking that weapon in close enough, when detection + a simple change of course to flank or extend is going to ruin the missile's pK. At extended range you're going to need some sort of RF/INS/mid-course datalink until the IIR seeker takes over, leaving the bandit with plenty of time to go to work with EA from its onboard AESA or any other EW tricks it may have up its sleeve.

In the absence of an AAM design stealthy enough to elude the current gen of fighter sensors + MAWS, I think the ideal AAM is one that is actually as fast as possible while still providing onboard (and possibly offboard) sensors enough time to sort decoys, clutter etc from the desired target.


Given that all modern A2A missiles are dependent on datalinks and INS I'm not sure why
that's anymore of a limitation for a MALI-style round than anything else.
Given typical closure rates we are still talking about engagement times in single digit minutes.

LCI/MALI were premised on being cheaper and to a degree smaller and lighter than AMRAAM so if
Blue needs to pattern fire 2 against a target to bracket it that's potentially still a win at range.

If Red has to evade or needs to expend missiles in its defense Blue is still ahead for a follow-up.
And getting below 0.01 m^2 is pretty straight forward for a weapon like this.

It's by no-means a war winner but it is a way for Blue to get:

a. magazine depth
b. very long range shots
c. low cost per shot

So it can't be dismissed out of hand.

Still not sold. Single-digit minutes is an eternity at the business end of an air to air engagement where events measured in seconds (or less) can have a significant effect on the outcome. This gets even worse when you factor in a target set that includes LO (supercruising?) 5th gen aircraft using modern EW. I'd posit that they are likely to offer you heavily time-restricted engagement windows that favour a much quicker weapon. Especially so when J20/31 with EODAS-ski probably make sneaking the weapon in undetected unlikely.

I'd add that bracketing your bandits still provides you with next to no ability to kill them from the rear hemisphere and leaves you vulnerable when said bandits simply fly around/over your lumbering AAM(s) and carry on with the task of killing you (with a much quicker weapon no less). To my mind we are discussing the air combat equivalent of this:
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