F-22 MAWS?

Anything goes, as long as it is about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
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Unread post20 Feb 2018, 04:07

hornetfinn wrote:
I don't doubt that AN/AAR-56 could be upgraded to do much more than be just MLD/MAWS system. I get the impression that it's pretty much stand-alone system and isn't integrated with sensor fusion system (at least fully). So that would need some hardware changes in both AN/AAR-56 and also in the sensor fusion processing part and networking between those two. Of course there would need to be quite major software changes and additions with associated testing required. All that would be pretty expensive, although it would also give some nice new capabilites as well.

Side looking AESA arrays would also be interesting, although also expensive and having rather short range compared to main array. I think networking and large separation between aircraft is better solution than side arrays. I would go for upgrading AN/AAR-56 for SAIRST system and maybe they could also manage to squeeze long range IRST system somewhere in the airframe (for ID purposes mainly). Technology could come from F-35 naturally.

I agree that upgrading the AN/AAR-56 to be more than just a MLD would require a serious financial backing as well as overhaul of some hardware and software. The cameras of the AN/AAR-56 are still very good. Again it doesn't need to exactly like the AN/AAQ-37. It doesn't need to provide imaging to the Raptor pilot's visor of the helmet. Merely it just needs to be upgraded to the point where it can assist with cueing, tracking, and ID. I know, easier said then done but go with me here. IF the F-22 ever got a shiny new helmet, it wouldn't have to be like the HMD of the F-35. Instead just a more advanced version of current JHMCS. If such a hypothetical helmet could provide 360 cueing and basic symbology; that would be an increased benefit to the F-22 pilot.

Of course a side looking AESA radar array would have significantly shorter range than the main array, it would be smaller and less powerful. However would provide significant off bore tracking and scanning. Newer GaAs and even GAN modules would give it some extra "umph". However it would seem F-22 pilots agree with you about wide area separation between aircraft

In a fourth generation jet, a wingman must provide “mutual support” within visual range, “welded” to the flight lead just a few miles away. But “pretty early on in Raptor tactics development, we realized that, based on the capabilities of the airplane, we didn’t need visual mutual support. We needed a mutual support by presence, which, for us, can be upward of 10, 15, 20 nautical miles away from one another,” said Moga.

Again this is just me self indulging in the fantasy/idea.

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