F-35 vs Active Radar AAM

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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Unread post14 Mar 2019, 14:42

Salute!

Yeah, Finn and Rics..... I can see the dual mode seekers coming real soon. I can say this because we have developed and tested the dual mode SBD's down here at Eglin.

If you can see the Stubbie or Rap, you can likely lock on and guide with a Lima or Mike. Our "all aspect" Lima actually guided on glint from the other guy's canopy or even his white "warshot" missiles. That was 40 years ago this year for this olf fart, heh heh. I was coming back into the merge on my first ACM hop and the IP calls a Lima shot when he's about 4 miles out front HO. And remember what JR007 here used to say, " burning debris never reversed on anyone"

I can also see one variation of the dual mode seeker and it would be HOJ. The other guy will have to keep his radar off or have AESA with cosmic modes.

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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 13:49

hornetfinn wrote:
ricnunes wrote:As such I can agree that an IR seeker could see a F-35 (for example) at a somehow longer range than a current Active Radar (ARH) seeker like the ones found on the AMRAAM.
Perhaps future AESA ARH seekers would change this?


Yes, I think with the maturation of GaN technology AESA seekers will become more widespread in missile seekers. I think missile seeker designers will basically skip GaAs AESA phase and go directly to GaN seekers when they become really available. GaN allows much better efficiency with lower power and cooling requirements and/or better performance. It's entirely possible that future GaN seekers have several (like 3-5) times the effective range compared to current ARH seekers. That will change the equation quite a bit. Naturally IIR seeker tech is also getting better and very significant improvements over current AIM-9X/ASRAAM class seekers are possible.

But like said, combining IIR and ARH seekers (and possibly passive radar homing capability) and sensor fusion will allow much improved capabilities against elusive VLO targets compared to either one alone. Naturally it would also improve resistance to countermeasures immensely. Cost and complexity and processing requirements will be pretty high and thus it will take some time before actual operational systems become available. Maybe year 2030 or so...


Hi hornetfinn, i have a question...

When a radar detect an airplane, can it to know inmediately which kind of fighter is it? if is it enemy or friend airplane or need wait for other sensors as IFF for to know what is it?
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 15:00

falcon.16 wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:
ricnunes wrote:As such I can agree that an IR seeker could see a F-35 (for example) at a somehow longer range than a current Active Radar (ARH) seeker like the ones found on the AMRAAM.
Perhaps future AESA ARH seekers would change this?


Yes, I think with the maturation of GaN technology AESA seekers will become more widespread in missile seekers. I think missile seeker designers will basically skip GaAs AESA phase and go directly to GaN seekers when they become really available. GaN allows much better efficiency with lower power and cooling requirements and/or better performance. It's entirely possible that future GaN seekers have several (like 3-5) times the effective range compared to current ARH seekers. That will change the equation quite a bit. Naturally IIR seeker tech is also getting better and very significant improvements over current AIM-9X/ASRAAM class seekers are possible.

But like said, combining IIR and ARH seekers (and possibly passive radar homing capability) and sensor fusion will allow much improved capabilities against elusive VLO targets compared to either one alone. Naturally it would also improve resistance to countermeasures immensely. Cost and complexity and processing requirements will be pretty high and thus it will take some time before actual operational systems become available. Maybe year 2030 or so...


Hi hornetfinn, i have a question...

When a radar detect an airplane, can it to know inmediately which kind of fighter is it? if is it enemy or friend airplane or need wait for other sensors as IFF for to know what is it?


Hello falcon.16!

That depends on radar. Most radars are not going to immediately know what kind of target it is. IFF systems are used for reason for long range ID of friendlies. Many modern radars can classify targets quickly, like tell if the target is helicopter, missile, small aircraft or large aircraft. More detailed classification usually requires some time to collect more detailed signatures from the target. There might be spesific modes for this in the radar, especially with older MSA and PESA radars. Those work best when Some higher frequency (like Ka-band and above) radars can generate very detailed images from the target and can use image recognition techniques to identify targets. Naturally these radars have short range due to high frequency.

Best solution is sensor fusion using different sensors to ID targets using different signatures like what F-35 does. Radar missiles can probably use some kind of target recognition methods, but they are likely rather limited. Definitely aimed more to ignore countermeasures than actually ID the target.
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 15:18

There is also NCTR by JEM which the F-15 was the first to employ in the Gulf War but is not totally reliable.

viewtopic.php?p=404543#p404543
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/21 ... -15c-fleet
https://www.ukessays.com/essays/informa ... -essay.php

2. These kind of mishaps led to the requirement of having a system which could identify aircraft without the active involvement of the unidentified aircraft. The concept of NCTR dates back from the mid seventies. A program started by the USAF code named ‘Musketeer’, introduced the idea of NCTR for the first time. In this program, the aircraft radar was used to count the fan blades in the engine [11] . This technology was later named as ‘Jet Engine Modulation’ which would explained in detail in the subsequent chapter. The radar signature was unique to each engine. Since most aircraft had different engines, this technique was exploited for identifying the type of aircraft.

3. Though the concept was introduced in the mid seventies, the computational technology then was not adequate. The radar per se only gathers data and the extraction of useful information has to be done by the radar computers. Hence NCTR technology had to wait till mid eighties for the computer technology to catch up. [12] Thereafter the USAF had incorporated NCTR modes in the An/APG – 63 radar of F-15 C aircraft. During the Gulf war in 1990- 91, use of this technique was made in conjunction with Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) for identifying hostile aircraft [13] .

4. Post Gulf war some progress was made in Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) systems. These systems did not restrict themselves to aircraft radars and were mostly ground based systems using millimetric wave radars [14] . The ranges of these radars were significantly lesser than airborne interception radars. While these radars were completely different in terms of technology and operating ranges, the basic concepts were similar. However the computations involved in aerial target recognition was much higher than ground targets. Though many experiments were conducted on ATR systems, the progress in NCTR was not at the same pace.

5. Post 1985, NCTR was tried and fitted on the USAF F-14, F-16 and F-18 aircraft. In addition, NCTR was also fitted on selected foreign F-15s (Israeli), British Tornados and French Mirage 2000-5s [15] . Today, in 2010, the technology has still not fully matured and still cannot be used in isolation for aerial target identification.
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 15:56

The F-35 can have up to 650 ID parameters to juggle: viewtopic.php?f=54&t=54846&p=409611&hilit=parameters#p409611
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 20:41

hornetfinn wrote:
falcon.16 wrote:
Hi hornetfinn, i have a question...

When a radar detect an airplane, can it to know inmediately which kind of fighter is it? if is it enemy or friend airplane or need wait for other sensors as IFF for to know what is it?


Hello falcon.16!

That depends on radar. Most radars are not going to immediately know what kind of target it is. IFF systems are used for reason for long range ID of friendlies. Many modern radars can classify targets quickly, like tell if the target is helicopter, missile, small aircraft or large aircraft. More detailed classification usually requires some time to collect more detailed signatures from the target. There might be spesific modes for this in the radar, especially with older MSA and PESA radars. Those work best when Some higher frequency (like Ka-band and above) radars can generate very detailed images from the target and can use image recognition techniques to identify targets. Naturally these radars have short range due to high frequency.

Best solution is sensor fusion using different sensors to ID targets using different signatures like what F-35 does. Radar missiles can probably use some kind of target recognition methods, but they are likely rather limited. Definitely aimed more to ignore countermeasures than actually ID the target.



I understand it.

So, for example a search radar as Big Bird from the S-400 can detect a f-35 in some moment (around 30-40 kms), but i think search radar can not tell to the pilot (hey man, i have detected a very low observable airplane and less if it is a F-35 or F-22), so pilot know some airplane is detected but not what kind it is until cue radar (grave stone) can detect it and with the most resolution radar maybe to tell to pilot, it is this kind of airplane...or with other sensors inside airplane,,...irst, nctr, etc...

Is it more or less like this?

Thanks everybody...
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Unread post20 Mar 2019, 22:44

falcon.16 wrote:...
Is it more or less like this?

Thanks everybody...


As has been pointed out in other conversations. This is a fourth gen question, and fundamentally not applicable in the 5th Gen world. Things like "how fast, turn rates, climb rates, sensor ranges etc." are 4th gen concepts.

Concerning the F-35, the answers are, it is good enough in 4th gen ways that if it ever mattered ... ? 1 out of 100 times? pick a number, then the F-22/35 pilot screwed up. ... but it is still likely good enough that it will match or exceed other 4th/4++ gen aircraft and get to come home to be chewed out for being stupid.

It (F-35/22) is more or less like this
1. Because of "off the charts" Situational Awareness, unknown in previous gens, the F22/35 knows where everything is ... everything .. commercial planes, piper cubs, military transports, trainers, fighters, fishing boats, corvettes, lamborghinis, good guys, bad guys, FAA radar, mobile defense radars, at what range such things begin to have a slight chance of detecting (not tracking) the 22/35. All of this is fused into a single display of "the world" with targets that matter, and those that just need to be left off the screen. This includes indications of the ranges at which a ground/fighter radar "might" detect you.
1b - because of this the F-35 pilot can see and assess the situation, where the ground radars are, where the airborne radars are -- and stay at ranges, because of stealth, where he is never detected. He can, if he's good, keep from ever being detected by anything that would threaten him. That's what 5th gen does.

2.Before the enemy (ground or air) even knows he is airborne in the theater, the F-35 can maneuver to a place (classified as to actual), say 5 'oclock low? at a 10 degree offset, such that the aircraft is already inside his missile's NEZ (no escape zone) before he even preps to launch the missile. Stealth gives him that. In some circumstances, (as in the F-22 and Iranian F-4 incident) he can slide right in on the target's wing and yell "Boo!" without the target knowing he had taken off.

3. Cooperative functions. The F-35 knows all of this, plans his actions, is fully ready WHILE he is taxiing out to the runway, because he links up with all the other F-35's flying while ON THE GROUND. He also doesn't need any weapons of his own, because he can direct launches from other F-35's or even surface to air missiles (ex: ships at sea,) and control those missiles to the target, or launch his missiles and let another F-35 send it to a target. ALL THE WHILE ... the enemy doesn't even know if he is airborne or not. I used to call this, "the F-22 flying MiG cap from the O-Club," since the enemy might think he's there, when he isn't even in his flight suit, near the plane.

4. Because of the above, Most (?? >90+% pick a number) of the time the only sign that the enemy has that he is there, is when the other three planes in his flight explode. And assuming the enemy doesn't die shortly after that he isn't really sure it was a hostile kill at all, instead of an unlucky aircraft malfunction simultaneously happening to all his friends. Even if the attacking F-35 is "WVR" the enemy likely will not know this ( Stealth/5'oclock low as above) and is still a blind target for a gun kill, trying to find out what happened before he dies.

5. The F-35 can send 4th gen (F-16/18/Tiffy/Raffy etc.) in a controlled approach (like an AWACS) and use them as "safe/protected from attack" wingmen. It can selectively engage narrow electronic attack "shielding" the specified wingman. It can do this with all allied aircraft in the battle space until it gets down to bingo fuel. All of this is true for ground targets as well, including modern IADS surface to air batteries.

That is what it is "more or less like."

If that doesn't happen, the F-35 pilot is in for some serious dressing down when he returns. (which he likely will because of superior 4th gen attributes)

Now in light of this, at what range might an xyz sensor, kind of detect, the F-35 at some specific aspect/direction? Well only the F-35 and his data linked wingmen know that .. and they aren't going there.

Soooo ... why do we care?


MHO,
BP
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Unread post21 Mar 2019, 12:00

blindpilot wrote:
falcon.16 wrote:...
Is it more or less like this?

Thanks everybody...


As has been pointed out in other conversations. This is a fourth gen question, and fundamentally not applicable in the 5th Gen world. Things like "how fast, turn rates, climb rates, sensor ranges etc." are 4th gen concepts.

Concerning the F-35, the answers are, it is good enough in 4th gen ways that if it ever mattered ... ? 1 out of 100 times? pick a number, then the F-22/35 pilot screwed up. ... but it is still likely good enough that it will match or exceed other 4th/4++ gen aircraft and get to come home to be chewed out for being stupid.

It (F-35/22) is more or less like this
1. Because of "off the charts" Situational Awareness, unknown in previous gens, the F22/35 knows where everything is ... everything .. commercial planes, piper cubs, military transports, trainers, fighters, fishing boats, corvettes, lamborghinis, good guys, bad guys, FAA radar, mobile defense radars, at what range such things begin to have a slight chance of detecting (not tracking) the 22/35. All of this is fused into a single display of "the world" with targets that matter, and those that just need to be left off the screen. This includes indications of the ranges at which a ground/fighter radar "might" detect you.
1b - because of this the F-35 pilot can see and assess the situation, where the ground radars are, where the airborne radars are -- and stay at ranges, because of stealth, where he is never detected. He can, if he's good, keep from ever being detected by anything that would threaten him. That's what 5th gen does.

2.Before the enemy (ground or air) even knows he is airborne in the theater, the F-35 can maneuver to a place (classified as to actual), say 5 'oclock low? at a 10 degree offset, such that the aircraft is already inside his missile's NEZ (no escape zone) before he even preps to launch the missile. Stealth gives him that. In some circumstances, (as in the F-22 and Iranian F-4 incident) he can slide right in on the target's wing and yell "Boo!" without the target knowing he had taken off.

3. Cooperative functions. The F-35 knows all of this, plans his actions, is fully ready WHILE he is taxiing out to the runway, because he links up with all the other F-35's flying while ON THE GROUND. He also doesn't need any weapons of his own, because he can direct launches from other F-35's or even surface to air missiles (ex: ships at sea,) and control those missiles to the target, or launch his missiles and let another F-35 send it to a target. ALL THE WHILE ... the enemy doesn't even know if he is airborne or not. I used to call this, "the F-22 flying MiG cap from the O-Club," since the enemy might think he's there, when he isn't even in his flight suit, near the plane.

4. Because of the above, Most (?? >90+% pick a number) of the time the only sign that the enemy has that he is there, is when the other three planes in his flight explode. And assuming the enemy doesn't die shortly after that he isn't really sure it was a hostile kill at all, instead of an unlucky aircraft malfunction simultaneously happening to all his friends. Even if the attacking F-35 is "WVR" the enemy likely will not know this ( Stealth/5'oclock low as above) and is still a blind target for a gun kill, trying to find out what happened before he dies.

5. The F-35 can send 4th gen (F-16/18/Tiffy/Raffy etc.) in a controlled approach (like an AWACS) and use them as "safe/protected from attack" wingmen. It can selectively engage narrow electronic attack "shielding" the specified wingman. It can do this with all allied aircraft in the battle space until it gets down to bingo fuel. All of this is true for ground targets as well, including modern IADS surface to air batteries.

That is what it is "more or less like."

If that doesn't happen, the F-35 pilot is in for some serious dressing down when he returns. (which he likely will because of superior 4th gen attributes)

Now in light of this, at what range might an xyz sensor, kind of detect, the F-35 at some specific aspect/direction? Well only the F-35 and his data linked wingmen know that .. and they aren't going there.

Soooo ... why do we care?


MHO,
BP


Thanks, but i am not talking about F-35, you have not understood my question. i know all you said, only i ask about enemy radar.

Is an enemy radar avalaible for discriminate when detect some object or need wait to fire control radar engage the object for to tell to the operator that detected object is a F-15 or F-35?

I think no, I think search radar can not tell nothing more it have detected some object but not what kind of object it is. but i wish confirmation about it.
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Unread post21 Mar 2019, 13:08

Basically when talking about only about radars, NCTR capabilties tend to be rather limited in usual military wavelegths. The longer the wavelength, the poorer the resolution tends to be and also possibilities for NCTR. There are some methods like JEM like mentioned earlier. JEM can give ID information if target has engine fan blades visible from where to get signal modulation information. This means that it's basically useless against aircraft when fan blades are not visible because of design (like VLO and LO aircraft) or orientation. Some data can be gathered from radar signature info, but that usually allows only very generic categorization. It's just that military radars usually operate using wavelengths that don't give enough information for accurate identification. This is why there are IFF systems in military equipment and why sensor fusion is so important nowadays. If radar would be able to accurately identify their targets, these would not be needed.
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Unread post21 Mar 2019, 16:42

hornetfinn wrote:Basically when talking about only about radars, NCTR capabilties tend to be rather limited in usual military wavelegths. The longer the wavelength, the poorer the resolution tends to be and also possibilities for NCTR. There are some methods like JEM like mentioned earlier. JEM can give ID information if target has engine fan blades visible from where to get signal modulation information. This means that it's basically useless against aircraft when fan blades are not visible because of design (like VLO and LO aircraft) or orientation. Some data can be gathered from radar signature info, but that usually allows only very generic categorization. It's just that military radars usually operate using wavelengths that don't give enough information for accurate identification. This is why there are IFF systems in military equipment and why sensor fusion is so important nowadays. If radar would be able to accurately identify their targets, these would not be needed.


So, I understand normally search radar on low frequencies is not capable to identify objects tthat was detected.

This is important because although a VLO fighter is detected, operator radar do not know nothing about nature of the threath with the search radar.

Hornetfinn, when search radar detect some airplane, can tell to the operator wich RCS (db) has the signal detected?

Maybe on this way, operator can have some light idea about the nature of the treath...
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Unread post22 Mar 2019, 07:30

falcon.16 wrote:Hornetfinn, when search radar detect some airplane, can tell to the operator wich RCS (db) has the signal detected?

Maybe on this way, operator can have some light idea about the nature of the treath...


Yes, RCS can be calculated in radar modes which give range information. Radar knows what kind of signal and how powerful one it has sent and what kind of signal it receives. There it can calculate the RCS of the target. Problem is that RCS varies a lot with aspect angle, bank angle relative to radar and for example external stores and other more or less random effects. So clean F-15E flying straight and level and fully bomb laden F-15E making hard turns will have very different RCS characteristics. The latter will have very fluctuating RCS which means it can go from fairly low RCS in one moment to extremely high RCS the other. Basically the radar would need to collect a large number of samples from radar returns and try to match the RCS characteristics to some precalculated or simulated RCS models. Of course if the radar can get JEM info also, it can help with the identification.

Also target flight performance can also give hints about the type of threat. If the target speed is above Mach 2.5 at 70,000 ft, we can be pretty sure about the type of aircraft if the alternatives are say MiG-23, MiG-29 and MiG-31. Same with acceleration and turn performance which can be calculated or estimated from radar returns. But all these require getting fairly large number of samples meaning it takes fairly long time to do. So those are not applicable to missile radars. And if the target flies at Mach 0.8 at 30,000 ft, it will not help determine the target type. It might as well be a regular passanger jet or jet trainer.
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Unread post22 Mar 2019, 11:35

hornetfinn wrote:
falcon.16 wrote:Hornetfinn, when search radar detect some airplane, can tell to the operator wich RCS (db) has the signal detected?

Maybe on this way, operator can have some light idea about the nature of the treath...


Yes, RCS can be calculated in radar modes which give range information. Radar knows what kind of signal and how powerful one it has sent and what kind of signal it receives. There it can calculate the RCS of the target. Problem is that RCS varies a lot with aspect angle, bank angle relative to radar and for example external stores and other more or less random effects. So clean F-15E flying straight and level and fully bomb laden F-15E making hard turns will have very different RCS characteristics. The latter will have very fluctuating RCS which means it can go from fairly low RCS in one moment to extremely high RCS the other. Basically the radar would need to collect a large number of samples from radar returns and try to match the RCS characteristics to some precalculated or simulated RCS models. Of course if the radar can get JEM info also, it can help with the identification.

Also target flight performance can also give hints about the type of threat. If the target speed is above Mach 2.5 at 70,000 ft, we can be pretty sure about the type of aircraft if the alternatives are say MiG-23, MiG-29 and MiG-31. Same with acceleration and turn performance which can be calculated or estimated from radar returns. But all these require getting fairly large number of samples meaning it takes fairly long time to do. So those are not applicable to missile radars. And if the target flies at Mach 0.8 at 30,000 ft, it will not help determine the target type. It might as well be a regular passanger jet or jet trainer.


Thanks, i see it is not easy for the radar. :thumb:
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Unread post22 Mar 2019, 17:33

hornetfinn wrote:Basically when talking about only about radars, NCTR capabilties tend to be rather limited in usual military wavelegths. The longer the wavelength, the poorer the resolution tends to be and also possibilities for NCTR. There are some methods like JEM like mentioned earlier. JEM can give ID information if target has engine fan blades visible from where to get signal modulation information. This means that it's basically useless against aircraft when fan blades are not visible because of design (like VLO and LO aircraft) or orientation. Some data can be gathered from radar signature info, but that usually allows only very generic categorization. It's just that military radars usually operate using wavelengths that don't give enough information for accurate identification. This is why there are IFF systems in military equipment and why sensor fusion is so important nowadays. If radar would be able to accurately identify their targets, these would not be needed.


How would a radar/IADS trying to do NCTR deal with DRFM jamming, especially coming from a decoy drone? DRFM jamming should be able to modulate the signal to give the protected target the cover of a false signature that looks like anything from a 747 passenger plane to a MiG-21 to a Tomahawk, correct?

Provided your IFF system works well enough and civilian risk is acceptably low, isn't the main point of NCTR to avoid 1) wasting precious ammo and 2) revealing your position either through emitting or firing on decoys and false targets?
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Unread post22 Mar 2019, 22:02

Currently there's another NCTR method coming up which is using Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging or ISAR. This method is be able to build a 2D or even a 3D image of the target and then compare it to a data base in order to obtain the target's ID.

For example, the F-22 radar uses ISAR for NCTR as it can be read in the following link:
https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... apg-77.htm

The F-22 and its APG-77 radar will also be able to employ better Non-Cooperative Target Recognition (NCTR). This is accomplished by forming fine beams and by generating a high resolution image of the target by using Inverse Synthetic Aperture radar (ISAR) processing. ISAR uses Doppler shifts caused by rotational changes in the targets position to create a 3D map of the target. The target provides the Doppler shift and not the aircraft illuminating the target. SAR is when the aircraft provides the Doppler shift. The pilot can compare the target with an actual picture radar image stored in the F-22's data base.


So if the F-22/APG-77 can do the above then surely the F-35/APG-81 can do it as well!


Just to complement hornetfinn's post above, I would also say that another reason why no-one will rely solely on NCTR for positive target ID is because there's a chance that both sides of the conflict/war might have/operate the same aircraft.
Lets for example imagine a conflict between Greece and Turkey. Both sides have F-16's, right? Then imagine for example a flight of Greek F-16's and a flight of Turkish F-16's fighting against each other. I believe it's not hard to imagine that in this case NCTR could/would be pretty much "useless". So in this case other means of ID such as IFF would be vital.
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 post22 Mar 2019, 22:25

So in this case other means of ID such as IFF would be vital.


Or IRST like EOTS/DAS. F-35 has all the bases covered. Sensor fusion gets all the sensors/links on the targets automatically and assigns a percentage confidence as to the identity. Takes the guesswork out and saves a lot of time that was historically lost in target ID'ing.
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