F-35B as a solution for AEWC on small deck carriers.

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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Corsair1963

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Unread post23 Nov 2016, 04:49

hornetfinn wrote:EV-22 (or whatever the AEW&C version of V-22 would be called) would make a lot of sense IMO for many users. Of course such variant doesn't exist at the moment and would likely be pretty expensive especially if USN/USMC don't want such a system. Helicopters are easier and cheaper to convert to AEW&C, even though their performance is definitely less. Especially since UK doesn't have any V-22s and aren't even planning to.



The Osprey with the Vigilance System that I posted above. Would be very reasonable in cost and easily mount in pods on the sides of the V-22. It also uses the same AN/APG-81 that the F-35 does. So, really this is a no brainer....


In addition the V-22 is a must for the Queen Elizabeth Class in other roles too. For example she has no COD to bring in materials and people from ashore. Plus, what about a dedicated tanker??? As the short ranged F-35B's aren't going to fly to far without "tanker support". Again the Osprey is the only viable solution...

So, honestly what the UK should be focusing on. Is how to find the funds for a small number of V-22's. Any other discussion is just a total waste of time.

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Unread post23 Nov 2016, 05:00

'Corsair1963' said:
"...what the UK should be focusing on: Is how to find the funds for a small number of V-22's. Any other discussion is just a total waste of time."

Yep. The UK is not wasting any time. They have MERLINS for 'AEWC' and they are not interested in tanking. So wot now?
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Unread post23 Nov 2016, 05:03

I can think of a few senarios where the F-35Bs will be tasked with cap rather than cas. Lets start with Super Hornets having an undesirable exchange ratio versus more modern fighters. What good is it have the big decks support if SHs are falling from the sky?
I just don't have confidence that the Super bug can hold it's own versus the J-20,Su-35,T-50 ect.[/quote]

By the time the T-50, or the J-20 are deployed so will the F-35C. Though the SU-35 may be the odds on favorite over the SH in a guns only fight, the SH would still have a big advantage BVR. As for the J-20, or T-50 that would depend on how stealthy they really turn out to be.

Again please paint a scenario where the marines have to land someplace against heavy opposition, that is strong sea, land and air force, where the marines don't have support from CVNs, or land based air? The Med in the Libya operation was massively supported by land based air support. All our experience shows us to never try to land on a hostile shore unless you have naval, and air superiority. Having F-35Bs on LHA won't change that. It would simply be unsound to plan an operation that way.
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Unread post23 Nov 2016, 05:16

spazsinbad wrote:'Corsair1963' said:
"...what the UK should be focusing on: Is how to find the funds for a small number of V-22's. Any other discussion is just a total waste of time."

Yep. The UK is not wasting any time. They have MERLINS for 'AEWC' and they are not interested in tanking. So wot now?


The Queen Elizabeth Class won't be able to exploit the F-35B's without Tanker Support and the only viable solution is the Osprey. As for the Merlin sure they will use a AEW&C System on the Merlins. Yet, the same system on the Osprey would offer far better performance....


Nonetheless, my guess is the UK will acquire the Osprey at some point. I am just making the case that sooner is better than later....
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Unread post23 Nov 2016, 05:56

'Corsair1963' said:
"...The Queen Elizabeth Class won't be able to exploit the F-35B's without Tanker Support and the only viable solution is the Osprey...."

Funny how the UK and RN/RAF do not have the 'F-35B/CVF exploit' problem. There is a lot of info about this on the 'MOD in Muddle' thread. But by all means continue to encourage them to buy what they don't need with money they don't have.
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Unread post23 Nov 2016, 09:38

tincansailor wrote:
geforcerfx wrote:If they are using the F-35 for CAP then it already would kinda act like a AEWC system wouldn't it? I would assume 2 of them would be up on CAP if not 4 and they would be networked together plus with the aegis cruiser in CBG, seems like that could make a pretty large picture of whats going on around the CBG. If they could make a roll on roll off AEWC system for the V-22 then I am for it, would let any one of the MV-22's on board be a troop hauler, cargo hauler, AEWC or Air tanker.


Your correct about F-35Bs being used for CAP. The problem for all this is you only have 6-8 F-35Bs on most LHAs. USS America could have up to 20 which would be enough to sustain the kind of CAP your talking about. However America was a compromise sacrificing ship to shore capability, which is the ships primary mission. Again were back to the issue of should the United States build light carriers, or stay with the more expensive, and bigger CVNs.

It's just hard for me to imagine an ARG conducting a landing vs. anything other then token resistance without the support of a CBG. If there's a CBG in the fight the F-35Bs will be doing CAS, not CAP. Additional versions of the Osprey are a good idea, but would be more use to the British because the QEs can't launch E-2s. Without Cats & Traps as big as they are the QEs are still effectively light carriers.


Going forward the marines should be able to operate more aircraft from the LHA decks, since they will actually have them (100 harriers -> 350 F-35B's). From what I have read all of the LHA's can operate up to 20 fixed wing aircraft, the America's can still operate a few MV-22's if they have that many F-35's on board. They are currently testing 12 aircraft on the America, so 2 for CAP and 10 on deck seems like the air wing could handle that stress. If they were operating as a small deck carrier and had more then 12 on board it would have a even smaller impact on the air wing aboard. Any major operations and they are prob operating in a CVN's Umbrella.
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Unread post23 Nov 2016, 18:14

spazsinbad wrote:'Corsair1963' said:
"...The Queen Elizabeth Class won't be able to exploit the F-35B's without Tanker Support and the only viable solution is the Osprey...."

Funny how the UK and RN/RAF do not have the 'F-35B/CVF exploit' problem. There is a lot of info about this on the 'MOD in Muddle' thread. But by all means continue to encourage them to buy what they don't need with money they don't have.


While I agree it would be nice to have, we needn't panic to the level of un"able to exploit." The Osprey is not the "only" solution, even if better. We (land based AR) used to deploy for remote operational missions that dropped fuel and went home. The UK leased tankers can do that for at sea missions, even if other (US) support isn't available. We did it. I've refueled sorties as remote as in the middle of the Indian and Pacific oceans. Land based Air Refueling assets "have legs." VL does not require recovery tankers. The Bee is not a Harrier. It has an exploitable combat radius without AR.

The Merlin is also a decent helicopter for transport, and even at far remote ranges, can "hop ship to ship" worse case for transportation tasks.

I think I could exploit an F-35B combat radius, and Merlin range, of 450 nm, but that's just me. These are not 100 mile Harriers and Bell Griffins.

This option is not crippling to the point of being unable to exploit. It is a very powerful Task Force. As always cost is not how much money you have, but best value for the next dollar.

MHO
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Unread post23 Nov 2016, 19:17

Interesting about the mid ocean ARF 'BP'. The Brits have given that idea the nod also so they think it is a viable concept.
PACFLT’s Swift: Amphib USS Wasp Will Deploy With Surface Action Group in 2017
23 Nov 2016 Sam LaGrone

"WASHINGTON, D.C. — When amphibious warship USS Wasp (LHD-1) deploys the first time from its new homeport in Japan in late 2017, it’ll ship out with some extras: a squadron of Marine F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, three guided-missile destroyers, a Marine general and a Navy admiral.

The deployment will be a test for a so-called upgunned Expeditionary Strike Group that will combine a traditional three-ship Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with a three ship guided-missile destroyer surface action group (SAG), Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told reporters on Friday.

The six-ship force – paired with a Marine Expeditionary Unit – is designed to relieve the pressure of the demand for the Navy’s 11 carrier strike groups by U.S. combatant commanders (COCOMs), Swift said.

“It’s not the same as a strike group, it doesn’t have that depth the strike group brings, not the same number of aircraft and capability, [but] if you look at the demand signal for Carrier Strike Groups from a COCOM perspective from around the world, it’s 15 carrier strike groups,” he said. “With these upgunned ESGs, you have three to four of these that helps bridge that desire on the part of COCOMs.”

The assembly will be built on the composite warfare concept the Navy uses with its CSG.

“[The ESG] will be integrated with the same [command and control] structure as a Carrier Strike Group,” Swift said.
“They will be assigned to [Combined Task Force] 76, who will be embarked on USS Wasp, and they will operate that Wasp ESG just as we do a carrier strike group.”...

...Swift said those new air platforms like the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor and F-35Bs prompted the U.S. Pacific Fleet to give the idea another shot.

“I’ve had people criticize me because we’ve done this before and it’s failed. We’ve done it with some rigor. We did it with 3rd Fleet and it didn’t go well,” Swift said. “One of the reasons it didn’t go well is that we don’t have the capacity and capability to support the concept. Two things have changed that. One is V-22 and the other is F-35Bs. The F-35 is an incredible platform just as a sensor. It sucks in so much data. It sucks in so much [situational awareness] it takes a flag officer in order to manage that. [UhOH!] You get much better insights into the environment.”

For example, while the upgunned ESG won’t have an equivalent of a CSG’s E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning radar aircraft, the F-35’s onboard sensors could expand the targeting ability of the three-ship SAG. In September, the Navy successfully used sensor information from a F-35B to remotely target SM-6 missile in the Navy’s White Sands test range. The capability could pair the Wasp’s F-35s with a Baseline 9 destroyer operating with the ESG to extend the range of the air defense systems of the group...."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2016/11/23/pacflt ... group-2017
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Unread post24 Nov 2016, 00:44

And detractors scoff when the F-35 and MV-22 are describes as "transformational" and "game-changing". Great article.
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Unread post29 Nov 2016, 09:46

Amongst future ISR VTOL unmanned vehicles are TERN (below) & VIGILANT (to follow). Probably any V-22 ISR is - NO.
Northrop Grumman Passes Key Development Milestones on DARPA/Navy Tern Program

http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2015-12-28 Earlier
28 Nov 2016 SEAPOWER

"SAN DIEGO — A future with highly autonomous unmanned aircraft conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), targeting and strike missions from small-deck U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps ships gained momentum recently when Northrop Grumman Corp. successfully passed two key milestones for the Tern program, the company announced in a Nov. 28 release.

The company is developing this potentially revolutionary system — designed for multiple medium-altitude, long-endurance missions — in partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research.

In mid-October, the Tern team completed a critical design review (CDR) of the air vehicle’s General Electric engine, a derivative of a proven turboshaft family. The reviewers approved an engine configuration that will allow Tern, with its unique tail-sitter design, to fly both vertically and horizontally. The CDR builds on a series of development and test efforts executed during Phases 2 and 3 of the Tern program.

The engine CDR was followed by a successful CDR of Tern’s vehicle management system. The review produced an approval of the hardware and software architecture that will allow the air vehicle to launch and recover vertically from small-deck ships and transition to horizontal flight.

“Tern’s unique combination of speed, long endurance, range and altitude would give the Navy and Marine Corps a cost-effective, transformational capability to conduct ISR, light strike and other missions from the sea at ranges exceeding 600 nautical miles,” said Bob August, program manager, Tern, at Northrop Grumman. “These successful milestones add confidence to our plan to demonstrate this new vehicle capability in 2018.”

According to August, Tern addresses the services’ growing demand for ships to be able to deliver intelligence and decisive offensive and defensive capabilities, even in the absence of traditional carrier air wings or land-based patrol aircraft.

The Navy’s emerging concept of distributed lethality allows the surface fleet to conduct ISR and targeting missions around the clock at operationally relevant ranges. Tern would also support emerging U.S. Marine expeditionary mission requirements for large ship-based, long-range, long-endurance unmanned air systems.

DARPA awarded Northrop Grumman the Tern Phase 3 contract in December 2015. Phase 3 goals include completion of detailed aircraft design, development of two full-scale demonstrator aircraft, land-based testing and at-sea demonstrations of air vehicle launch and recovery."

Source: http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20161128-tern.html
Last edited by spazsinbad on 29 Nov 2016, 10:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post29 Nov 2016, 09:53

Bell Helicopter Introduces Bell V-247 “Vigilant” Tiltrotor Unmanned Aerial System in Ship-Borne Configuration
22 Sep 2016 BELL PR

"The Bell V-247 tiltrotor is an unmanned aerial system (UAS) that will combine the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft. The revolutionary UAS is designed to provide unmatched long-endurance persistent expeditionary and surveillance capability and lethal reach, as well as runway independence to operate successfully in maritime environments and locations without secure runway availability.

The Bell V-247 Vigilant satisfies the comprehensive spectrum of capabilities outlined in the 2016 Marine Corps Aviation Plan, and could be available for production as early as 2023. The Bell V-247 Vigilant is a solution designed to address the evolving demands of the military and transportation sectors for unmanned aircraft for a shipborne UAS platform, including:

• The ability to operate successfully without a runway, such as in maritime environments
• Seamless performance in locations without secure runway availability, such as at shrinking land bases in contested areas
• Significant reduction of the logistical footprint while retaining the superior operational performance by combining the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft
• The capacity to control the battle space effectively with 24-hour intelligence provided by unmatched long-endurance persistent expeditionary and surveillance capability

A Group 5 UAS, the Bell V-247 Vigilant is designed to combine unparalleled capability with unprecedented flexibility to execute a wide array of mission sets, including electronic warfare, ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), escort, C4 (Command, Control, Communications, and Computers), persistent fire missions and tactical distribution. The UAS is expected to accomplish all of this with the benefits of extended endurance through plug-and-play mission packages....

...Bell Helicopter utilized its decades of applied tiltrotor experience to develop this next generation UAS. The Bell V-247 Vigilant design and capabilities bring to bear experience from the V-22 tiltrotor program and UH-1Y/AH-1Z programs, capturing the V-280 Valor’s unmatched design and performance standards in order to provide unparalleled competency to support ship-board compatibility."

GO HERE for STUFF: https://textron.app.box.com/s/q55d95bfh ... u91kgr8ns2

Source: http://www.bellhelicopter.com/news/pres ... 7-vigilant
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Unread post06 Dec 2016, 12:05



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Unread post06 Dec 2016, 23:57

If you ask me they could just use a tethered blimp... Realistically their requirement for AEW doesn't extend beyond a massively elevated mast for radar, tethered blimp IMHO gives you most cost effective radar coverage over your head.
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Unread post07 Dec 2016, 12:05

mmm wrote:If you ask me they could just use a tethered blimp... Realistically their requirement for AEW doesn't extend beyond a massively elevated mast for radar, tethered blimp IMHO gives you most cost effective radar coverage over your head.


They sound great, but blimps have their own problems, especially for naval use. They must be pretty huge to be able to lift the radar and associated systems which makes them pretty clumsy for ship use. I'd bet they'd have some problems with difficult weather conditions. They also restrict ship movement and maneuverability (you do not want to lose the blimp and the radar system by cutting cables) and also create problems for shooting weapons from ship that tows it (you do not want to shoot it down yourself). It would also create some radar shadow for shipborne radars.
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Unread post08 Dec 2016, 16:21

I just don't have confidence that the Super bug can hold it's own versus the J-20,Su-35,T-50 ect.[/quote]

Finally, someone said it: The SH isn't some world beater in air to air, a consequence of its compromise design. Excellent BVR? WVR? Yep. Against today's threats..

But it faces serious performance issues when pitted against what's known about the SU-35, and projected in the J-20 and T-50. Not the least of which is range and speed/altitude. All 3 foreign airframes significantly out-perform it, and unlike their purported stealth, virtually certain to manifest/already do.

It's a crime our naval aviators were handed this aircraft, an outgrowth of the legacy hornet - which still holds the dubious distinction of the one teen series aircraft to be downed by a Foxbat. An aircraft designed a full generation before it. It's not "awful". But it also fails to deliver the historical advantages of American fighters that came before it..
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