Israel Attacks Syria with F-16s and F-35s

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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element1loop

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 09:39

As I mentioned a day or so ago there's a version of the GBU-39 SDB with 137 lb (62.1 kg) of explosive content (IIRC it has a carbon-fiber case).
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knowan

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 09:53

element1loop wrote:As I mentioned a day or so ago there's a version of the GBU-39 SDB with 137 lb (62.1 kg) of explosive content (IIRC it has a carbon-fiber case).


That's the Focused Lethality Munition/FLM version with Dense Inert Metal Explosive/DIME filler. By design, those have a small blast radus, likely smaller than the 16 kg filler versions.

Near as I can tell, the penetrating steel case of the other warhead type was replaced with a lightweight composite case to allow for the heavier DIME filler, so that variant doesn't have much capability against hard targets either.
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element1loop

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 10:26

knowan wrote:
element1loop wrote:As I mentioned a day or so ago there's a version of the GBU-39 SDB with 137 lb (62.1 kg) of explosive content (IIRC it has a carbon-fiber case).


That's the Focused Lethality Munition/FLM version with Dense Inert Metal Explosive/DIME filler. By design, those have a small blast radus, likely smaller than the 16 kg filler versions.

Near as I can tell, the penetrating steel case of the other warhead type was replaced with a lightweight composite case to allow for the heavier DIME filler, so that variant doesn't have much capability against hard targets either.


No, that's just the thing, it's the FLM SDB version that has the highest explosive weight.

And the carbon-fiber case can penetrate 1 foot of concrete intact, according to this:

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... s/dime.htm

The Wiki warhead description gives weight of FLM as:

SDB FLM (GBU-39A/B)
137 lb (62 kg) AFX 1209 MBX ("multiphase blast explosive"), composite case


The text says:

GBU-39[b]A/B – SDB Focused Lethality Munition (FLM)

Under a contract awarded in September 2006, Boeing developed a version of the SDB I which replaces the steel casing with a lightweight composite casing and the warhead with a focused-blast explosive such as Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME). This should further reduce collateral damage when using the weapon for pin-point strikes in urban areas.[38] On 28 February 2008, Boeing celebrated the delivery of the first 50 FLM weapons.[39] ... In December 2013, Boeing delivered the last of the 500 FLMs under contract.[41]


Thus contrary to the usual presumption/expectation the FLM is actually designed to have a much stronger local impulse (i.e. ~500 lb equivalent) just minus frag. But the explosive itself has small light metal fragments that decelerate very quickly. In testing they found:

"Unfortunately, the high-velocity, high temperature inert metal particles found in DIME fills have proved to be extremely damaging to traditional pressure measurement instruments. Hence, new measurement diagnostics had to be developed to investigate DIME formulations."

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... s/dime.htm


Nasty.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 10:43

They could've used this weapon also:
http://www.imisystems.com/wp-content/up ... MSOV-1.pdf

Basically like heavier JSOW and it has been in Israeli use for a while (first test launch was 20 years ago). Israel definitely seems to have a lot of options for their operations...
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ricnunes

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 17:28

I guess that another possibility would be the SPICE Bomb.
The SPICE Bomb is basically an EO/GPS kit which can be fitted to Mk-83 and Mk-84 bombs in a similar way that for example a JDAM can be fitted to the same (or other) bombs.
It is not very dissimilar from the LJDAM but instead to having a Laser Seeker working on "tandem" with a GPS seeker it has an EO seeker which also works in "tandem" with a GPS seeker.
Here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spice_(bomb)

Image

Image

IMO, a good candidate would be the version of the SPICE attached to the Mk-83 bomb which can be observed on the images above since it has folding winds and as such as a long range glide weapon.

This weapon - the SPICE Bomb - also has "man-in-the-loop" capability which may explain the fact that F-16 pilots/crew "lost contact" with some of the weapons.

Also and probably an even better candidate is another and a smaller version of the SPICE Bomb that Israel also developed, the SPICE 250 which carries a 100-kg (250-pound) warhead and 16 of such weapons can be carried by an F-16. Here:
https://unitedwithisrael.org/israelis-d ... s-jamming/
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 18:02

Salute!

Yeppers, Ric, I go with the SPICE/Mk-83. EO/IR terminal sensor.

Our JDAM II study concluded the EO/IR sensor was best for autonomous use and the laser guidance from "help" at the end game was best for CAS and tactical use. The tgt we are looking at is one of the easiest for autonbomous recognition as it is very geometric and stands out in a fairly random-looking area. TThat characteristic is also a biggie for we human "guidance" units when acquiring and hitting something in a big city or other large complex.

The deal was that GPS could get very close, but was not so good in hilly country or versus caves and other embedded tgts like big guns, or it might be jammed with 10 or 15 seconds to go. Although acquisition range would be short, the EO/IR tgt recognition unit was very fast and demonstrated 1 meter accuracy ( by the vendor, heh heh). That vendor had equipped/fielded at least one more weapon in USAF and USN inventories.

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ricnunes

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 23:22

Thanks Gums :D

The funny thing about the SPICE in my personal perspective is that I probably wouldn't have learned about it (or knowing that it even existed) if it wasn't for a PC combat flight sim - Falcon BMS or more precisely an addon theater (Israel) for that same sim.

From what I read about the SPICE is that when used against pre-planned targets (such as the ones previously shown here), the target imagery is uploaded to the weapon and during the final flight stages when near the target that same imagery is compared to what the EO is actually seeing in order to ensure a better precision while at the same time being imune to any GPS Jamming. That car-parking target sure looks like a fine candidate for this kind of guidance.

Like I previously mentioned, the SPICE can also be "man-in-the-loop" controlled and some hints from some articles posted here could indicate that some of these weapons could be using this engagement profile.

I could be wrong but I have the impression or I believe that the SPICE could also be used similarly to a Maverick missile, or resuming using its EO sensor while still attached to the launching aircraft's pylon to lock the target and later self-guiding into it. Of course that this possibility would be by far the shorter ranged engagement profile and as such it surely wasn't used in this attack.

So this weapon (SPICE) seems to allow with lots of different tactical uses/possibilities. From what I also read about it, its main drawback is that and specially when compared with similar weapons, namely compared to the JDAM or to any of its derivatives such as the LJDAM is the cost. The SPICE seems to be much more expensive (and quite so, if I'm not mistaken) than a JDAM or a LJDAM.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post29 Dec 2018, 13:47

Somewhat off topic (but mostly on I think) = what is the state of Israel and custom weapon loads on F-35?
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Unread post30 Dec 2018, 02:10

There's been no confirmation that anything's happened yet; Israel is going to be receiving a one-off test airframe F-35 in 2020 however, so they may be waiting for that specific aircraft to arrive before modifying the F-35 or attempting integration of indigenous weapons onto the aircraft. I'm also not sure that integration (without performing tests with the JPO in the US) of indigenous weapons is possible at the moment, as the aircraft doesn't yet feature UAI, and Israel doesn't have access to the jet's software.
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Unread post03 Jan 2019, 05:47

Are't bombs harder to defeat than missiles due to their lack of engines?
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Unread post03 Jan 2019, 07:46

armedupdate wrote:Are't bombs harder to defeat than missiles due to their lack of engines?


Well, it depends. Lack of engine in bombs means they have very low IR and visual signature and do not need to deal with their or their intake radar signature. They are also smaller (for the same destructive power) due to lack of engine and fuel, which is also helpful in many ways (detection and higher number carried). They are also cheaper which means more of them are available and losing some of them is not much of a problem.

Missiles on the other hand usually have much longer range which is useful especially with 4th gen aircraft by avoiding detecting the aircraft themselves. They also have more covert low level flight path which avoids most enemy radars using terrain masking. They also have much higher freedom of maneuver due to having engine power and range. Bombs fly within enemy sensor coverage for much longer time and rely on stealth to avoid detection and destruction.

So both have pros and cons and it depends on situation which one is better or if combination of both is best option.
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Unread post03 Jan 2019, 12:53

Dragon029 wrote:There's been no confirmation that anything's happened yet; Israel is going to be receiving a one-off test airframe F-35 in 2020 however, so they may be waiting for that specific aircraft to arrive before modifying the F-35 or attempting integration of indigenous weapons onto the aircraft. I'm also not sure that integration (without performing tests with the JPO in the US) of indigenous weapons is possible at the moment, as the aircraft doesn't yet feature UAI, and Israel doesn't have access to the jet's software.

I think this answers a lot of speculation on what weapons (if any) were used. Unless Israel has purchased JSOWs or SDBs they would have been plain ole' Paveways or JDAMs.
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Unread post03 Jan 2019, 16:06

Salute!

Bombs and bullets are very good defeating tgt defenses for several reasons.

- they are true "launch and leave". The enema must defeat the launch platform. Terminal defense such as GPS jamming, optical foolery, turning off the tracking radar, and so forth is not nearly effective nowadays due to fantastic INS systems that can be produced on a small chip and provide 10 meter accuracy after 30 or 40 seconds. The strapdown INS systems of the early 90's had drift rates less than 1.6878 feet per second ( think AMRAAM ). Looking at my iPhone nav system, I would think the current drift rate would be half of that.
.
- they have a smaller RCS and IR signature than powered weapons, so detection and tracking is more difficult than for the latter. OTOH, many missiles are only powered for a few seconds, then coast and/or glide. Problem is launch signature. Back in the day you could spot a Sparrow lurch from 20 miles away!!

- you can drop a lot more bombs in a few seconds than launch missiles

I would not give up on dumb bombs, and of course, the rounds from a GAU-8 or other gun

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element1loop

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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 03:03

squirrelshoes wrote:Unless Israel has purchased JSOWs or SDBs they would have been plain ole' Paveways or JDAMs.


They have SDB already.
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ricnunes

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Unread post04 Jan 2019, 19:05

Dragon029 wrote:There's been no confirmation that anything's happened yet; Israel is going to be receiving a one-off test airframe F-35 in 2020 however, so they may be waiting for that specific aircraft to arrive before modifying the F-35 or attempting integration of indigenous weapons onto the aircraft. I'm also not sure that integration (without performing tests with the JPO in the US) of indigenous weapons is possible at the moment, as the aircraft doesn't yet feature UAI, and Israel doesn't have access to the jet's software.


Just to be clear, the SPICE Bomb possibility that I previously posted was not for the bomb/ordinance carried by the Israeli F-35A's but instead the potential bomb/ordinance carried by the Israeli F-16I's.

This being said, I would say that the Israeli F-35A's could be carrying any of the already certified weapons, such as the GBU-12 (Paveway), GBU-31 (JDAM) or the SDB (and like element1loop said, Israel already has the SDB in its inventory).
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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