F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2015, 19:19
by mixelflick
Saw this Northrup Grumman pic they just released today, of their proposal for a 6th gen fighter..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... ealed.html

Note the reference to an airborne laser pod, to be carried by fighter sized aircraft "sooner than most people think..". It looks as if it'll be a lot bigger than the F-22, due to range requirements.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2015, 19:47
by sferrin
It's likely just a place holder, not their actual design.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2015, 21:25
by mixelflick
Yeah, I figured.

Any chance they'll be dusting this baby off, and beefing her up for their 6th gen?

Soooo ahead of her time... :mrgreen:

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2015, 21:30
by cosmicdwarf
The 6th generation fighters are likely to be larger than the YF-23/F-22.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2015, 00:53
by cosmicdwarf
There's really no way a fighter jet can save you from terrorism. Need to be able to defend and penetrate into areas with air defenses to attack targets, yes.

Plus this is going to have, if the requirements are to be believed, more range and weappns than current fighters.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2015, 10:55
by charlielima223
mixelflick wrote:Yeah, I figured.

Any chance they'll be dusting this baby off, and beefing her up for their 6th gen?

Soooo ahead of her time... :mrgreen:



Image

We can rebuild him. We have the technology...

*skips a few lins*

Better, stronger, faster...

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2015, 12:51
by hornetfinn
cosmicdwarf wrote:The 6th generation fighters are likely to be larger than the YF-23/F-22.


I think there might be chance of using good sized AESA side arrays in such a large 6th gen fighter instead of very small ones proposed for F-22 and PAK FA. Of course it depends on cost, but with new technology and thinning of antenna arrays, the side arrays might be as large as main array or even larger (especially wider which would be good for search modes). With GaN modules, the range performance could be 2-3 time better than the AN/APG-77 performance and radar coverage +-160 degrees or so instead of +-60-70 degrees. This would mean instantaneous radar coverage could be 5-10 times larger geographical area. This could open totally new possibilities to using radar arrays for ESM, EW and communications besides basic radar functionality. Especially so considering the wide instantaneous and total bandwidth capability of GaN technology.

Lasers could also be used for very high data rate communications as has been already demonstrated couple of years ago. Lasers could also illuminate many kinds of targets for weapons. How about laser illumination for air-to-air missile? Enemy stealth aircraft could be illuminated with laser wavelength the missile seeker can detect.

I think 6th gen fighters will carry very capable IRST sensors all around with much higher resolution and much longer range than F-35 DAS currently has. There are many ways this could be achieved like having large number of detectors or combined scanning and fixed sensors.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 16 Dec 2015, 14:19
by mixelflick
A 6th gen will be awful handy, in a situation as it relates today to what's going on in the South China Sea. There are too few Raptors, and the extra legs/VLO characteristics in that theater will be much welcomed. Just something to consider..

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2015, 06:27
by KamenRiderBlade
hornetfinn wrote:
cosmicdwarf wrote:The 6th generation fighters are likely to be larger than the YF-23/F-22.


I think there might be chance of using good sized AESA side arrays in such a large 6th gen fighter instead of very small ones proposed for F-22 and PAK FA. Of course it depends on cost, but with new technology and thinning of antenna arrays, the side arrays might be as large as main array or even larger (especially wider which would be good for search modes). With GaN modules, the range performance could be 2-3 time better than the AN/APG-77 performance and radar coverage +-160 degrees or so instead of +-60-70 degrees. This would mean instantaneous radar coverage could be 5-10 times larger geographical area. This could open totally new possibilities to using radar arrays for ESM, EW and communications besides basic radar functionality. Especially so considering the wide instantaneous and total bandwidth capability of GaN technology.

Lasers could also be used for very high data rate communications as has been already demonstrated couple of years ago. Lasers could also illuminate many kinds of targets for weapons. How about laser illumination for air-to-air missile? Enemy stealth aircraft could be illuminated with laser wavelength the missile seeker can detect.

I think 6th gen fighters will carry very capable IRST sensors all around with much higher resolution and much longer range than F-35 DAS currently has. There are many ways this could be achieved like having large number of detectors or combined scanning and fixed sensors.


If you use lasers for communication, how close will an enemy IRST have to be to see the communication beam?

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2015, 07:20
by eloise
KamenRiderBlade wrote:
If you use lasers for communication, how close will an enemy IRST have to be to see the communication beam?

:mrgreen: you could use the laser to damage their IRST too

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 17 Dec 2015, 09:49
by hornetfinn
KamenRiderBlade wrote:If you use lasers for communication, how close will an enemy IRST have to be to see the communication beam?


IMO, it would be extremely difficult to see the communication beam. Laser beams are very directional (far more so than any radio communication systems) and very small amount of energy dissipates to other directions. Communication beams can use very small amounts of power. We are talking about about maybe 1 to 10 watts of transmitter power depending on range requirements. I'd say detecting laser comms would be far more difficult than detecting even the most advanced directional RF comms like MADL.

Some interesting info about laser comm:
http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2013/January/Pages/Game-ChangingLaserCommunicationsReadyForFielding,VendorsSay.aspx

While rain, fog, clouds, snow and such atmospheric phenomena affect laser comms, they do affect it less than generally believed. Another thing is that such a 6th gen fighter would mostly fly above altitudes where those phenomena exist to be serious issue. There are difficulties in the tech as it requires very high precision and stability for working aircraft installation.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 18 Dec 2015, 02:45
by popcorn
Been discussed kn varoous threads already but not surprising NG chooses to highlight laser tech in it's 6Gen press release. Expect Boeing and LM to follow suit.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/12/17/polit ... index.html

Laser-armed fighter jets by 2020, U.S. Air Force says

The test beds for these kinds of weapons likely could be pod units installed aboard so-called fourth generation fighter jets, Hammett said. The commander of Air Force Combat Command, Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle, revealed last May that a test is in the works involving an F-15 Eagle. "I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll see a prototype test case in the next year or two," Carlisle told Air Combat Command.

A mix of laser and conventional weapons could result in "a totally transformed battle space in 20 to 25 years," he said.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2019, 10:13
by zero-one
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... air-combat

Still early but there are some proposals going around that I don't agree with.

U.S. Air Force Major General Scott Pleus, who is currently Director of Air and Cyber Operations for Pacific Air Forces, recently told Air Force Magazine. “A B-21 [Raider stealth bomber] that also has air-to-air capabilities” and can “work with the family of systems to defend itself, utilizing stealth – maybe that’s where the sixth-generation airplane comes from.”


This was what I was afraid of. A lumbering slow moving target that needs to rely on standoff weapons and escorts. If we're talking about going into operation in the 2060 time line to replace the F-22. Then this thing will most likely go up against upgraded variants of the J-20 and other stealth platforms which will also be VLO and will be faster and more maneuverable than it.

If anything, a heavily upgraded “F-35E” variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is far more likely to serve in the role of a future manned tactical fighter for the USAF based on fiscal constraints alone.


Why take a platform that is optimized for the strike role and spend truck loads of money "heavily modifying" it to fulfill an air to air role.

I know I'll be labeled a fanboy for this, but whatever. I think an F-22 will require less modifications to modernize and to restart production.

In the Air Force's mind, "this is not going to be a 2040 version of the F-22, an aircraft that can close almost any kill chain the Air Force has today all by itself," Steve Trimble, who has been actively following the evolution of the service’s aerial combat concepts, told The War Zone by Email. "This is going to be a family of aircraft, with each optimized to close one or two links of the chain. …


So does that mean the system is interdependent and cannot work alone.

Anyway, I understand its too early and that these are all ideas at this point.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2019, 12:51
by mixelflick
"this is not going to be a 2040 version of the F-22, an aircraft that can close almost any kill chain the Air Force has today all by itself," Steve Trimble, who has been actively following the evolution of the service’s aerial combat concepts, told The War Zone by Email. "This is going to be a family of aircraft, with each optimized to close one or two links of the chain. …

A "family" of aircraft strikes me as potentially more expensive, vs. a do it all platform. Sure, each one will cost less than a full up Raptor type, but how many family members are needed? If it's any more than 2, I can see it getting pretty unwieldy and expensive. Logistics of supporting 2 or more types in a given combat theater? Lugging all those weapons and sensors to altitude isn't going to be cheap, even if its spread over 2 or more aircraft types.

And I'm concerned too this is going the way of the flying wing. Great solution for bombers, tankers and perhaps transport aircraft. Not so good for fighters IMO. Has there ever been an effective, standalone flying wing fighter platform?

None that I can recall, and I rather doubt Russia's Hunter drone will be the first...

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2019, 14:36
by southerncross
zero-one wrote:Still early but there are some proposals going around that I don't agree with.

This was what I was afraid of. A lumbering slow moving target that needs to rely on standoff weapons and escorts. If we're talking about going into operation in the 2060 time line to replace the F-22. Then this thing will most likely go up against upgraded variants of the J-20 and other stealth platforms which will also be VLO and will be faster and more maneuverable than it.

It may be just the need to publish a catchy entry, but the statements they have gathered indeed sound like if USAF had desisted from getting PCA, maybe it was not realistic, given the speed at which rival air forces are progressing too. Per-piece prices mentioned were insane and on the other hand, the requirement to develop and field it fast were also not credible. Even worse, they may end up with something already obsolete before entering operation, since the progress in unmanned aviation is so fast currently that it is difficult to know what will be possible in 15 years time. I would say technical possibilities are well ahead of operational doctrine and so, if AFs are in need to deploy UCAVs, they should be capable of shortened schedules. But getting advanced planes developed in three years as they are demanding is a pipe dream, unless the plane is some kind of standardised platform and hence not really optimized for performance. Maybe AI-boosted design can manage a breakthrough here, we don't know.
Why take a platform that is optimized for the strike role and spend truck loads of money "heavily modifying" it to fulfill an air to air role.

I know I'll be labeled a fanboy for this, but whatever. I think an F-22 will require less modifications to modernize and to restart production.

I tend to agree too, since they seem to ditch an advanced new platform, they will need to update F-22, but this may in fact be a better idea than wasting hundreds of billions in the next technological wonder that ends up being not so good and not so cheap, ten years late. Engine should be changed to an adaptive version of the F119, maybe some CFTs are developed, AAMs need a serious update, maintenance needs should be lowered. And if they are to be the pillar of US air power, then a restart of the production is a must I would say. It will maybe not support wet dreams about absolute air dominance but this is also good since it will reinforce restrain and diplomacy, which are way cheaper and more effective in the long run. F-15C is still a beast with its extremely light construction, I would not just retire it but rather give it some serious engines and avionics too.
mixelflick wrote:And I'm concerned too this is going the way of the flying wing. Great solution for bombers, tankers and perhaps transport aircraft. Not so good for fighters IMO. Has there ever been an effective, standalone flying wing fighter platform?

None that I can recall, and I rather doubt Russia's Hunter drone will be the first...

Okhotnik is not a fighter, at least that I know, and frankly I would be surprised if an aircraft with this design can perform that role effectively. To me it is an intelligence and strike platform to spare manned platforms (and crews!) the attrition of fighting within high end ADs. This approach makes sense for any air force and for US too. So, they will probably keep the current fighter fleet and upgrade it as much as they can while they keep adding U(C)AVs to the mix. The concept of the big flying wing with intelligence and A2A capabilities seems to be also acknowledged in Russia, PAK-DA seems to go that way too. This is reasonable, but it doesn't sound as optimist or rather triumphalist as PCA did. It is a more sober (and IMHO realistic) approach to use UCAVs than ultra-expensive manned platforms.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 02:40
by element1loop
“A B-21 [Raider stealth bomber] that also has air-to-air capabilities” and can “work with the family of systems to defend itself, utilizing stealth – maybe that’s where the sixth-generation airplane comes from.”

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... air-combat


Having air-to-air capabilities does not mean missiles. it more likely refers to high-energy lasers in a platform that's large enough to support 360 degree coverage via such a laser, plus a lot of fuel, and embodies the most advanced VLO tech available.

Bioengineering, lasers and more drones: Griffin outlines the Pentagon’s tech wish list

Directed energy:

Griffin said laser weapons are the future of warfare, and always will be. But he believes certain systems are showing more promise than others. “We haven’t had money for everything that we might like to do, so we’re focusing on nearer-term applications of directed energy, particularly lasers of higher power than we currently have,” Griffin said. That means aiming for systems in the “hundreds of kilowatts” as well as investing in high-powered microwave technology, he noted.

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/defense ... -wishlist/


As regards kinematic performance being sacrificed, this has been discussed at length for years, have you forgotten this 2011 SMSgt Mac, "Elements of Power" blog post:



And despite a proliferation of AAR tankers, the real fighting still tends to be transonic, in jets which can go much faster no matter what 'gen' was involved in the fight. Maintaining stealth, to be able to shoot first, and to own the SA, just makes this even more desirable. In other words, speed is for intercepting by interceptors, and that interceptor can be a loyal-wingman, which can be visually exposed briefly to a Tu160 crew to send a message, or else to kill it, while the slower manned system remains always hidden. But that Tu160 knows it's out there, for sure.

If you're facing a flight-of-4 of future prospective NGAD VLO platforms utilizing a 250 kilowatt laser weapon, and that flight can use networking to simultaneously dwell four of those lasers on to a single target, and YOU are in that targeted jet ... you'd rapidly become a fervent advocate for not being seen (at all wavelengths), and maintaining a high-radius with respect to their sensor's detection range.

In fact, should you even be in the air when their loyal wingmen in support are trying to sniff you out for their lasers?

Stealth would be far more important than kinematic performance when high-performance AAMs are no longer the most dangerous weapons. Including SAMS, which such a multi-beam laser defense network would make actually obsolete, if not a bit pointless, given the lasers could burn up launchers without recourse.

In which case who would care about building a platform that can counter the kinematics of an evolved J-20?

Maybe just fly a flight-of-4 over the J-20 production lines and deep-maintenance facilities and their engine production factory and burn them all down, during the course of a single mission, whilst a few B-21s eliminate their operating bases.

Who says you've got to fight them?

As per the signature line ... Always choose Stealth

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 09:44
by zero-one
element1loop wrote:
Stealth would be far more important than kinematic performance when high-performance AAMs are no longer the most dangerous weapons.


Okay first off I'd like to say I agree with you. Personally I'd put SA as the most important then Stealth then Kinematics.
But having said that, Lockheed said this:
https://sldinfo.com/whitepapers/buildin ... ground-up/
This slide depicts two VLO aircraft on the left, the B-2 and the F-117. These airplanes are not considered 5th generation because they lack agility.
The B-2 and F-117 flew at night in order NOT to be detected visually. If any other 4th generation fighter just happened to see them it would all over.
Without agility it is extremely difficult to defend.
The F-22 and F-35 on the other hand enjoy VLO stealth along with agility.
In other words, stealth is an enabler, but not the whole story.


So to me, why do we need to choose. Why not have the best of everything. It's not impossible. the J-20 is claimed to have super-cruise, super maneuverability and extreme range.

I don't think sacrificing kinematics completely for bomber levels of range is the way to go specially since you'll be going up against fast and supermaneuverable VLO fighters that can realistically get close to you.

When that happens, you have no choice but to shoot them down first. That will put future pilots on a hair trigger because they cannot afford to have any aircraft get close to them. How will they perform the typical escort mission or no fly zone.

I understand that DIRCM and defensive lasers will offer some protection against missiles at close range. But because you are so big and lumbering, the gun becomes a real threat.

It will be extremely difficult to defend. I just don't see WVR going away completely anytime soon. Specially since DE weapons are also affected by range and atmospheric conditions.

I rather have the F-35E proposal but personally, I'd like an F-22C more. CFTs, ADVENT engines. More fuel. give it a combat radius of 1,000+ NM, then develop an Airforce version of the MQ-25 as part of the "family of systems".

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 16:30
by southerncross
@elementloop1:
All these arguments revolve around enjoying crushing technological superiority vs. your rivals, it does not matter if we talk about lasers, VLO, engines, missile technology, EW, radars, networking, SW, or whatever. With China being at the top in scientific production and Russian level in basic sciences and military technology, this is in question and I guess that is the crux of the matter. USAF has (apparently) seen a superior air platform would be extremely expensive and dubious in terms of effectiveness. I can support USAF going the UCAV way, what I cannot understand is that you suppose only US is going to have lasers and other new tech while others sit idle. Just my :2c: , with full respect for your opinion

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 16:59
by quicksilver
All of this ignores the fundamental discontinuities in the conceptual underpinnings for the aircraft when it was announced —

https://breakingdefense.com/2016/09/b-2 ... ign=buffer

They needed a long-range penetrating bomber (which they got in the B-21), but it apparently can’t do the penetrating part in contested airspace without an escort (the PCA). So how does PCA ‘escort’ (or accompany or whatever semantic reference you want to use) a B-21 — at ranges achievable by that aircraft — without being susceptible to the same threats that put the B-21 at risk?

A very, very difficult challenge...

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2019, 23:41
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:So to me, why do we need to choose. Why not have the best of everything. It's not impossible. the J-20 is claimed to have super-cruise, super maneuverability and extreme range.


And a distinct lack of compelling strike options (at present), so they don't have everything and I question the 'super-maneuverability', as that's not been demonstrated, nor sustained. But that's for another discussion. Just doubt it can out-turn a laser pointer.

zero-one wrote:I don't think sacrificing kinematics completely for bomber levels of range is the way to go specially since you'll be going up against fast and supermaneuverable VLO fighters that can realistically get close to you.


Hard to do if the '6th-gen' (or whatever) has a latest DAS equivalent and a 300 kilowatt bacon crisper.

But the sig-line does not suggest I think it's all about stealth, acceleration, altitude, the ability to establish and maintain a chosen radial distance and thus aspect control, and to have te capacity to exploit the weaknesses in an enemy platform and systems through MDF, and where to be oriented to avoid it gaining SA. All of that requires good transonic to low-supersonic maneuver kinematics and recovery (which a very high bypass 6th-gen engine is going to produce with a lower temp thermal plume).

But the B-2 and F-117A never had the innate SA and horrifying potential of a high-energy laser driven by a data fusion-engine and flown in wide-open self-supporting waves of attack and the ability to defeat AAMs or something trying for surprise or a gun kill.

zero-one wrote:When that happens, you have no choice but to shoot them down first. That will put future pilots on a hair trigger because they cannot afford to have any aircraft get close to them. How will they perform the typical escort mission or no fly zone.


I don't agree, a soviet era fighter with an Archer was just about as deadly and difficult to survive at short-range, and it did not lead to immediate missile duels when they encountered NATO jets. Lasers would be the same, and this is about actual combat, so were talking about known Bandits which the fusion engine smokes at the speed of light the moment the pilot gives the system the go ahead to kill them as they are detected, tracked, PID and still at considerable range.

Plus a larger aircraft can use a larger DAS and EOTS aperture, to provide more SA and better first (passive) look to first kill, with a very short reaction time, and no fly-out delay. In an actual fight of that sort the gun isn't a tactical option.

I'd rather be in the '6th-gen' derivative in that case, rather than an evolved J-20.

zero-one wrote:It will be extremely difficult to defend. I just don't see WVR going away completely anytime soon. Specially since DE weapons are also affected by range and atmospheric conditions.


If you're talking about actual strategic attack operations against an enemy's homeland, then with such an aircraft WVR is going away.

zero-one wrote:I rather have the F-35E proposal but personally, I'd like an F-22C more. CFTs, ADVENT engines. More fuel. give it a combat radius of 1,000+ NM, then develop an Airforce version of the MQ-25 as part of the "family of systems".


You're describing a PCA, and an evolved F-35'E', and/or a distributed flock of loyal-wingman to enhance SA, with a drone auto-tanker supporting, may be sufficient for a mutually supporting networked laser-defense to survive.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 00:03
by element1loop
quicksilver wrote:All of this ignores the fundamental discontinuities in the conceptual underpinnings for the aircraft when it was announced —

https://breakingdefense.com/2016/09/b-2 ... ign=buffer

They needed a long-range penetrating bomber (which they got in the B-21), but it apparently can’t do the penetrating part in contested airspace without an escort (the PCA). So how does PCA ‘escort’ (or accompany or whatever semantic reference you want to use) a B-21 — at ranges achievable by that aircraft — without being susceptible to the same threats that put the B-21 at risk?

A very, very difficult challenge...


Agree, though I think this is where a ~5,000 km JASSM-XR standoff comes into it. No need for that level of exposure to hit highest-priority rear items. A forward Island-based INF range VLO GLCM (JASSM-XR with a fast booster) also has the ability to reach western China fast and in advance of heavy aircraft. And to clean-up fast whatever the aircraft miss and would otherwise need to revisit.

Not to get off topic but the Chinese mainland strategic geography is a much bigger challenge to defend than to approach and attack. If I were the CHICOMS I would not be digging in my heals about extending the (nuclear-system oriented) INF treaty and also agreeing to verifiably eliminating its ballistic and GLCM systems within that range, if only to keep US equivalents away from the mainland's approaches. But of course they won't at this point, any more than the Russians will.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 08:48
by zero-one
element1loop wrote:
And a distinct lack of compelling strike options (at present), so they don't have everything.

Well at least they claim to have the range levels the PCA could have without sacrificing Traditional values too much.


element1loop wrote:But the B-2 and F-117A never had the innate SA

I saw an Hornet pilot once say something along the lines of.
SA without speed and maneuverability isn't very useful as well because if you can't turn or run then you end up having complete situational awareness of that thing that kills you....

He has a point, taking away speed and maneuverability for extreme range allows you to get into the fight but limits you once you are actually in the fight.

element1loop wrote:I don't agree, a soviet era fighter with an Archer was just about as deadly and difficult to survive at short-range, and it did not lead to immediate missile duels when they encountered NATO jets. Lasers would be the same, and this is about actual combat,


In theory yes, but has this ever been demonstrated in practice. Historically most jet vs jet kills have been conducted against fighters with a large technological disparity between them. Top tier fighter vs fighter with proper support assets have never happened.

So the theoretical performance of HOBS may or may not perform as expected. Remember the one time Aim-9X was used in anger it missed or malfunctioned. The first time A-A missiles were used in combat the Pk was abysmal. Even today the AMRAAM has an official Pk of 60% against less than top tier targets.

What if lasers go through a similar learning curve. Right now practical lasers that can fit on turrets on aircraft are small with very short ranges.
-HELIOS is just 60KW and is considered just a dazzler and is to be installed on large destroyers,
-HEL-MD will eventually develop a 100 KW laser but with no given deadlines yet.

So I really think we are a long way from developing extreme high powered long range lasers mounted on fast turrets.
the first generation of destructive aircraft lasers would most likely be front facing (as depicted on Northrop's promotional video)

element1loop wrote:If you're talking about actual strategic attack operations against an enemy's homeland, then with such an aircraft WVR is going away.

That has yet to materialize, correct me if I'm wrong but every single war with significant air to air combat has had at least a few WVR incidents. This is despite the fact that the technological disparity is massive. What happens when adversaries are flying VLO as well.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 10:08
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:So I really think we are a long way from developing extreme high powered long range lasers mounted on fast turrets. the first generation of destructive aircraft lasers would most likely be front facing (as depicted on Northrop's promotional video)


It can however be a case of creating a platform designed for such a laser to have upgradeability in-built, as per an EOTS module which can be swapped out for an up-rated plug 'n play version 5 to 10 years after service entry.

This was one of the key concepts for fast-prototyping a PCA, i.e. have a 5th-gen with vanilla features at time of service entry but not much that's new, in order to shorten the time to service-entry. Thus to obtain the basic operational advanced VLO multirole platform in service with less initial capabilities than an F-35A but is then able to evolve fast and continuously in service, as weapons, tactics, and threats require, such as during 30 to 50 years of change. A high level of adaptability was to be built in, so such a new laser weapon can, "... crawl -> walk -> run ...", and the tactics an systems implemented evolve as the laser weapon's capability evolves.

And there are boneyards full of old fighters to turn into drones, and practice real-world realistic combat-like scenarios to find out what works on them, and what does not, and precisely why.

Got to say, I'm not swayed by endless references to rare WVR 'exceptions' within unequal low-level conflicts. As always such examples are irrelevant noise as this is about a high-end fight over a Chinese main where who is hostile isn't ambiguous. And in a conflict against militia like ISIS, within a Syria-like context, the B-21 is absolutely escort-able and defend-able (if it were employed). But even in a WVR context, a 1/4 megawatt laser is the weapon I'd want pointing at threat aircraft as it can kill a missile, destroy targeting sensors, or disable and kill a pilot very quickly, as can a B-21's escort.

What happens when adversaries are flying VLO as well.


You invest heavily in multi-domain sensors, and in advanced A2G weapons (i.e. like what is occurring).

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 10:31
by weasel1962
One possibility might be to put a defensive laser (like shield) on a non-stealthy UAV. Let the UAV absorb the missile attacks whilst shooting it down in bunches and let the manned fighters do what they do best. If the UAV goes down, no issue. UAV can even be fighter launched.

Separating the capability might help to accelerate PCA development.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 10:39
by element1loop
weasel1962 wrote:UAV can even be fighter launched.


Or carried internally (given it's non-VLO) inside a B-21.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 11:30
by zero-one
element1loop wrote:
Got to say, I'm not swayed by endless references to rare WVR 'exceptions' within unequal low-level conflicts. As always such examples are irrelevant noise as this is about a high-end fight over a Chinese main where who is hostile isn't ambiguous.


But thats the reality of the world we live in. The last real high end peer vs peer conflict was World War 2. If you remember, the F-105 was created solely to fight high end peer to peer nuclear wars as a high speed low level penetrator.
In theory it could also perform conventional attack runs in a lower intensity conflict. That did not end well.

And the fact that WVR still occurs despite the massive disparity in S.A. tells me it won't be completely eradicated any time soon. Specially when we're talking VLO vs VLO.

Anyway we're beating the dead horse here and we both have differing views on the matter. I believe BVR will form the majority not the entirety of air combat. But even if it does. BVR tactics still require maneuverability. the F-pole, Bat turn, BVR oriented maneuvers done by high performance fighters during BVR.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 11:35
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:BVR tactics still require maneuverability. the F-pole, Bat turn, BVR oriented maneuvers done by high performance fighters during BVR.


Or you could just sic the bacon-crisper on them and have another cheesy poof.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 13:31
by southerncross
zero-one wrote:And the fact that WVR still occurs despite the massive disparity in S.A. tells me it won't be completely eradicated any time soon. Specially when we're talking VLO vs VLO.

True for many reasons, like increasing speed of the engagements, pk of missiles (with consideration of the effects of ECM, need to re-engage targets etc.), all compressed if reduced detection ranges due to low RCS are to be considered. And it gets even better. The first application of lasers turrets in aircrafts, DIRCM, is supposed to render IR missiles less and less effective and may have the paradoxical effect of making the cannon relevant again, at least for some time.

BVR tactics still require maneuverability. the F-pole, Bat turn, BVR oriented maneuvers done by high performance fighters during BVR.

Indeed, we are seeing in the operational performance thread, with realistic figures, how challenged AAMs can be in terms of kinematics and turning at high altitude. Missiles can be out-turned and out-run, and maneuverability and kinematics are key for that.

IMHO first type of real DEW will be RF ones. It is already known that manned platforms of fighter size are not suitable for their employment due to adverse effects of such strong EM fields on the human body. Maybe platforms of bomber size can manage to carry the type of shielding needed, and all three US, China and Russia seem to be developing such platforms of similar characteristics and pprobably similar intentions.

Only latter on we may talk about lasers with real capability to disable a missile, but then many countermeasures are of application, like highly conductive and highly reflective bodies, ablative coatings, aerosol or plasma shielding, measures for reduction of direct visibility of the missile and probably many more.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 13:35
by zero-one
element1loop wrote:Or you could just sic the bacon-crisper on them and have another cheesy poof.


I don't know, a BVR laser would probably need to be in the Megawatt range.
The first generation hundred kilowatt lasers will most probably be forward facing on a fixed orientation requiring some maneuverability. It will still most likely be augmented by missiles.

Realistically, the defensive, DIRCM and anti missile laser turrets will be installed first which may necessitate the use of short range guns and large, front facing lasers as the only effective A-A weapons. This will be much more useful in an F-22 or F-35 type air frame than a B-21.

My bottom line is, I don't see turbo laser turrets small enough to be installed on bombers installed any time soon.
DIRCM, yes
Dazzlers sure
Anti missile CIWS, maybe
but bacon crisper, destroying J-20s from 15 Nautical miles out? I think its too early.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 14:56
by disconnectedradical
zero-one wrote:I don't know, a BVR laser would probably need to be in the Megawatt range.
The first generation hundred kilowatt lasers will most probably be forward facing on a fixed orientation requiring some maneuverability. It will still most likely be augmented by missiles.

Realistically, the defensive, DIRCM and anti missile laser turrets will be installed first which may necessitate the use of short range guns and large, front facing lasers as the only effective A-A weapons. This will be much more useful in an F-22 or F-35 type air frame than a B-21.


Fixed orientation laser? What? This isn't Star Wars, lasers are easily gimballed using lenses, or with a turret. See YAL-1. Even in Navy's LaWS the laser is generated below deck and transported to beam director with fiber optics.

zero-one wrote:My bottom line is, I don't see turbo laser turrets small enough to be installed on bombers installed any time soon.


WTF is a turbo laser? That term literally doesn't exist outside of Star Wars and Warhammer 40k.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 16:52
by element1loop
disconnectedradical wrote: WTF is a turbo laser? That term literally doesn't exist outside of Star Wars and Warhammer 40k.


I'm pretty sure Battlestar Galactica had those.

A laser with a gimballed mirror, plus a jet with enough yaw and AOA authority can point a laser in any direction desired within about two seconds. LM mounted a gimballed laser aperture on the door of a light business jet for goodness sake.

Word has it BVR radars and radar-guided AAMs are not effective against 5th-gens, even at WVR distances. Laser DIRCMs have been around for almost 15 years now. And compact 40 to 60 kilowatt solid-state lasers are reality, plus there's been much optimistic talk about fully achievable and much higher-energy lasers for at least 5 years now.

And I'm not accepting for one second that while having 4 ~50-kilowatt lasers dwelling on your canopy simultaneously, you're going to be just chewing on a ham sandwich and prosecuting a WVR attack against a target which has a 50 kilowatt laser pointed in your face.

I think you're deliberately trying to not, "get it", z1.

But I suppose one could put a crash test dummy in a full flight suit and helmet, within a real cockpit in a boneyard, and have it illuminated by a 50 kilowatt laser 10 km away, and see how long it takes for the dummy's face to become charcoal, or even incandescent?

Now do it with four of them, simultaneously.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 17:05
by zero-one
disconnectedradical wrote:
Fixed orientation laser? What?

Remember thats exactly how Northrop depicted their Directed energy weapon on their promotional video. It wasn't on a movable turret. it was so massive that it needed to be part of the the fuselage.


disconnectedradical wrote:WTF is a turbo laser?


Its the term I like to use for a laser that can actually damage heavy fighters at considerable ranges. Right now, laser weapons are massive and have to be placed on ships or on large trucks and can only produce a 10 KW beam. In the future that may jump to 50 KW.

But in order to actually destroy fast and agile fighters, you'll need to inflict damage in a short period. 250 to 500 KW maybe. A.K.A. this type of weapon is still well within the realms of science fiction, hence the term Turbo lasers.

But thats just my opinion. If you can give examples of small turreted or gimbaled lasers within the 100 KW range under development then I'll eat my crow. Right now those devices are gigantic and they're not even that powerful.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 17:26
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:Right now, laser weapons are massive and have to be placed on ships or on large trucks and can only produce a 10 KW beam. In the future that may jump to 50 KW.

But in order to actually destroy fast and agile fighters, you'll need to inflict damage in a short period. 250 to 500 KW maybe. A.K.A. this type of weapon is still well within the realms of science fiction, hence the term Turbo lasers.


You better include bombers and drones on that list of possible platforms.

Lasers, Hypersonics, & AI: Mike Griffin’s Killer Combo

March 20, 2019

More than any other of the areas in my portfolio,” undersecretary Griffin said, “I think the leverage of directed energy is so high … that it is right at the top of my investment priorities.

“My principal goal for directed energy actually is to have it stop being ‘the technology of the future and already will be’ and move it into the fleet, move it into the field,” Griffin told the CSBA-BAH Directed Energy Summit here this morning. ” “We hope, by the end of another year or so, to have some of these things operational at the tens or low hundreds of kilowatts level on real DoD platforms. Put them into the field, try them out, see what they can do for us.”

“but I also believe in the value of 75 kilowatts on top of the Stryker, or 100 kilowatts on the Littoral Combat Ship, or a couple of hundred kilowatts on a KC-46 next-generation tanker so that it can self-defend.”


https://breakingdefense.com/2019/03/las ... ler-combo/

--

Bioengineering, lasers and more drones: Griffin outlines the Pentagon’s tech wish list

Sept 3rd, 2019


Directed energy: Griffin said laser weapons are the future of warfare, and always will be. But he believes certain systems are showing more promise than others. “We haven’t had money for everything that we might like to do, so we’re focusing on nearer-term applications of directed energy, particularly lasers of higher power than we currently have,” Griffin said. That means aiming for systems in the “hundreds of kilowatts” as well as investing in high-powered microwave technology, he noted.


https://www.defensenews.com/smr/defense ... -wishlist/

Pentagon Shifts Focus on Directed Energy Weapons Technology
By: Ben Werner September 5, 2019 11:51 AM

... The Navy, for example, plans to install a High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance (HELIOS) weapon system aboard a West Coast-based Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA destroyer in 2021 ...


https://news.usni.org/2019/09/05/pentag ... technology

They are under rapid development, one to two years from deployment.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2019, 18:08
by disconnectedradical
zero-one wrote:Remember thats exactly how Northrop depicted their Directed energy weapon on their promotional video. It wasn't on a movable turret. it was so massive that it needed to be part of the the fuselage.


What promo video? Generating a laser can take up a lot of space in the fuselage, but directing the beam is easily done with lenses, mirrors, and fiber optics. A laser is not like a "gun". Again, look at YAL-1 or even smaller scale laser designators like in targeting pods.


zero-one wrote:Its the term I like to use for a laser that can actually damage heavy fighters at considerable ranges. Right now, laser weapons are massive and have to be placed on ships or on large trucks and can only produce a 10 KW beam. In the future that may jump to 50 KW.

But in order to actually destroy fast and agile fighters, you'll need to inflict damage in a short period. 250 to 500 KW maybe. A.K.A. this type of weapon is still well within the realms of science fiction, hence the term Turbo lasers.

But thats just my opinion. If you can give examples of small turreted or gimbaled lasers within the 100 KW range under development then I'll eat my crow. Right now those devices are gigantic and they're not even that powerful.


See the links element1loop posted above.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 08:15
by zero-one
disconnectedradical wrote:
What promo video?

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/6th-generation-fighter/


disconnectedradical wrote:See the links element1loop posted above.


I already saw them, Helios currently generates a 10KW laser, the goal is to eventually jump to 50KW by 2021. Maybe someday this can be be used to generate a 100KW laser, but this is not the goal as of now, the goal is to have HELIOS produce a 50KW beam by 2021.

I have not seen current projects to produce Turbo lasers (>250 KW range) at this point.
If you have a link then please share. The most powerful currently in development is Raytehon's FEL which is a 100 KW laser

https://breakingdefense.com/2015/08/ret ... ser-drone/
The Airborne Laser took 55 kilograms (about 120 pounds) to generate a kilowatt
Syring said, which is why a megawatt (1,000 kW) took a 747 Electric lasers currently in the lab take 35-40 kilograms per kilowatt,


So if you were to build a 500KW laser now. it would weigh 17,500 - 20,000 lbs empty. And thats not the only problem.
http://www.airborne-laser.com/how_does_it_work.php

The manned Airborne Laser maxed out at an altitude of about 40,000 feet, where clouds and turbulence made it harder to keep the beam on the target. “65,000 feet is where we think we need to be,”

Air turbulence deflects and distorts the laser beam.
The main laser, located in a turret on the aircraft nose, is fired for 3 to 5 seconds, causing the missile to break up in flight near the launch area.

The ABL is not designed to intercept TBMs in the terminal, or descending, flight phase.
Thus, the ABL must be within a few hundred kilometers of the missile launch point. All of this occurs in approximately 8 to 12 seconds.

Current plans call for each 747 to carry enough laser fuel for about 20 shots


what worries me is that even with a 1 MW "Turbo laser", it could take up to 5 seconds to destroy non maneuvering missiles. Fighters are far more resistant to damage than missiles, I mean just judging by how F-4s survived missile detentions from close proximity and all the stories of how an F-15 landed with 1 wing missing.

I know what you're thinking. All of these problems and shortcomings will be resolved if you throw enough dollars and time at it. But the link I posted was clear in that the USAF does not want to another 10 year development cycle, they want to use existing, mature systems. So the B-21 and F-35 are leading candidates for the PCA's manned component.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 08:33
by botsing
zero-one wrote:"Turbo laser"

Please stop using this wrong term, you are watering down the discussion with it. It's as wrong as calling the F-22 engine a "supercharged V8" .

Call it "in the 10kW, 100kW, 1MW, etc. range".

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 09:25
by disconnectedradical
zero-one wrote:
disconnectedradical wrote:
What promo video?

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/6th-generation-fighter/


That video doesn't work. I don't see any videos showing a laser that only points forward. Are you talking about this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsfypEJYqXU

Because that video doesn't have any lasers.

zero-one wrote:So the B-21 and F-35 are leading candidates for the PCA's manned component.


This is just one of many ideas for PCA. Just like for ATF there were many proposals during RFI, some were even faster and more maneuverable than F-22 but not so stealthy, some were subsonic flying wing, some were nearly Mach 3 interceptors. Right now they're looking at all options for what PCA will be, so getting hung up on just one of the ideas isn't productive especially when we know much less than people actually in the program.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 10:39
by zero-one
disconnectedradical wrote:Because that video doesn't have any lasers.

Its my fault, I'm getting the videos mixed up. It was a USAF promotional video not Northrop.



disconnectedradical wrote:
zero-one wrote:So the B-21 and F-35 are leading candidates for the PCA's manned component.


This is just one of many ideas for PCA.

[/quote]

Yes but it was just to emphasize the point that PCA is meant to look like a SuperHornet type of program and not an ATF or JSF type.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 11:24
by disconnectedradical
How is PCA meant to look like a Super Hornet program? Just because some ideas involve using modified version of existing aircraft? That's just one of many ideas, again everything is still in conceptual stage.

I also wouldn't use concept art as proof of anything. Just look at all the concept art of the ATF in early 1980s and see how different they are from F-22. I can also show you a Northrop concept of F/A-XX with gimballed laser.

Image

You'll notice that a recurring theme of PCA is tailless supersonic aircraft. That seems to be what Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing are all pursuing, at least if going by their concept art, and even USAF concept art. I personally think that's really cool concept and would be amazing if they can make it happen. But even then that's not guarantee PCA will look like that. Just like how a lot of ATF concepts had canards.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 13:15
by zero-one
Okay, but there has to be a noticeable difference between the ATF program and PCA program.

ATF: Develop revolutionary technologies, non existent during the 1980s but plausible in the 2005 time frame.
(According to Paul Metz)

PCA:Use existing, mature technologies and avoid protracted development cycles.

Can you envision a clean sheet design not requiring a 10 year development cycle. Remember PCA is leaning more towards a family of systems approach rather than a single super jet.

So if the manned component happens to be a B-21 or F-35E or F-22C then they'll still need to develop the unmanned and support components.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 14:36
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:I already saw them, Helios currently generates a 10KW laser, the goal is to eventually jump to 50KW by 2021.


When ABL was under development testing the actual output was very much under wraps but 100 kilowatts was mentioned a lot, and development blurbs mentioning the possibility of eventually reaching 200 kilowatts being "achievable" were floated at the time, but not confirmed, IIRC.

Now we see figures of ABL being 1-megawatt discussed in the open, so I don't think we know what Helios output is planned to be in 2021, so I'll go along with the Griffin suggestion that DoD is planning to field a "hundreds of kilowatts" laser on a real operational platform by 2021.

zero-one wrote:But the link I posted was clear in that the USAF does not want to another 10 year development cycle, they want to use existing, mature systems. So the B-21 and F-35 are leading candidates for the PCA's manned component.


This is not correct, as I already pointed out yesterday, the platform(s) can be bought into service without the laser, and have it integrated after the initial platform is made fully operational. They don't get developed together but they do get developed to be plug-'n-play integrated.

zero-one wrote:So if you were to build a 500KW laser now. it would weigh 17,500 - 20,000 lbs empty. And thats not the only problem.


This is no impediment, B-2 carries 60,000 lb of 2 x MOP. An initial 250 kilowatt laser may use only 1/4 of its available weapon payload. In terms of crawl->walk->run, this is what I had in mind as the crawling stage with an operational system. It's 'walk' is 500 kilowatts for same size and weight. And 3/4 of payload is still available for internal missiles and bombs.

zero-one wrote:
The manned Airborne Laser maxed out at an altitude of about 40,000 feet, where clouds and turbulence made it harder to keep the beam on the target. “65,000 feet is where we think we need to be,” ... Air turbulence deflects and distorts the laser beam. ... The ABL is not designed to intercept TBMs ...


... Fighters are far more resistant to damage than missiles ... So the B-21 and F-35 are leading candidates for the PCA's manned component.


Tougher solid-fueled ICBM destruction range would likely be limited to 300 km, too short to be useful in many scenarios, according to a 2003 report by the American Physical Society on National Missile Defense. http://www.airborne-laser.com/how_does_it_work.php


Firstly, this aircraft will not aim for a 300 km effective range against a TBM (maybe later).

It's more like a maximum of ~125 km range engagements, so a lot less path-distortion is involved. You would only light-up an aircraft that can't be avoided from detecting or tracking you, within the range of your own passive detection and engagement sensor-array. Or else you aim at damaging its weapons at closer range. The closer the aircraft or weapon approaches, the better the beam quality and pointing, and the sooner what you specifically aim at is degraded to destruction.

Operating effectively at common tactical altitudes is not a problem for beam-quality and the range you need to operate it out to (limited by your passive sensors, of which the laser aperture will be one).

As for hitting an armored vehicle or ground target, contrary to one of your links, the same applies. If you're an unmatched quality VLO stealth platform, you can approach closer and have a shorter path to a ground target. And the vehicle itself may survive superficially, but will its systems, sensors and antennas? Such as a driver's optics? Aiming system? You may not kill the vehicle but you can make it ineffective and a sitting duck, via selective targeting parts of it, thus delivering your own ground forces major advantages.

Plus a TBM is narrow and fast moving. Many aircraft are larger and all are slower and exposed for longer, with a much longer time to approach. There will be more than enough time to engage them with multiple laser strikes. You don't have to burn a wing off or cut through the structure. Sensors and comms antennas (sometimes the same things) are more vulnerable than the skin and structures. But lose those and it's probably done in a fight. Or at least it is now highly vulnerable to a single AAM attack to finish it off.

A cockpit, and what's in it, is likewise highly vulnerable and it's the most easy to access and contains the most fragile and exposed components to any direct energy attack. Even if the pilot is shielded, the damaging and distorting of a canopy frame, and the 'plexiglass' layering may cause so much damage or heat and smoke from seals that the pilot is forced to turn away, is incapacitated, or must eject. This will also induce serious shock-heating and cooling stresses in the canopy, and possibly delaminate or collapse it depending on energy levels.

If 250,000 watts hits a fan face on an Su57's engine for 2 seconds that fan is likely to have some distortion and terminal perimeter clearance issues. Performance suddenly drops, the jet starts to crab-walk. It's now highly vulnerable to being picked-of and you're probably no longer the pilot's first priority ... suddenly discovers he needs to be somewhere.

The survivability of the 'B-21' has been much increased by the laser and even if what it shoots at does not die, it can complete its mission that day, and the next.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 15:45
by zero-one
HELIOS is a US navy project meant to be installed on ships not aircraft. The highest estimate I've seen for HELIOS is to eventually reach 150KW. (https://www.laserfocusworld.com/lasers- ... ans-expand)

If they are already struggling to go to 50 KW, what makes us think they can go to 1MW with a practical system within the short development cycle the USAF is requesting for. YAL-1 was canceled for a reason, it was impractical, according to Def Sec. Gates. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_YAL-1)

So if the plan is to simply dazzle or damage sensors before finishing them off with missiles, then the aircraft will still need some speed and maneuverability.

The moment, you cook off an opposing fighter's sensors, it can still fight by using targeting data from other fighters via data link. If each fighter requires a 5 second burst, then how many can you cook off before you are within range of their weapons. Isn't your orientation relative to the target a factor, what if the enemy is pointed away from your laser, will it still fry the cockpit or the IRST you're trying to fry.

Having a sluggish, non maneuverable bomber type platform armed with these dazzlers looks too risky, thats all I'm saying.
If they can get a clean sheet or F-22/35 type design that can fight with lasers, dazzlers, missiles and guns then fine, but removing a hundred years worth of fighter capabilities because of an over reliance on new untested technology seems too risky

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2019, 17:13
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:HELIOS is a US navy project meant to be installed on ships not aircraft. The highest estimate I've seen for HELIOS is to eventually reach 150KW. (https://www.laserfocusworld.com/lasers- ... ans-expand)


So it's gone up from 50 kW to 150 kW, in just a few hours?

I'm sticking with what Griffin says in plain English.

Lasers, Hypersonics, & AI: Mike Griffin’s Killer Combo - March 20, 2019
... “We hope, by the end of another year or so, to have some of these things operational at the tens or low hundreds of kilowatts level on real DoD platforms. Put them into the field, try them out, see what they can do for us.” “but I also believe in the value of 75 kilowatts on top of the Stryker, or 100 kilowatts on the Littoral Combat Ship, or a couple of hundred kilowatts on a KC-46 next-generation tanker so that it can self-defend.
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/03/las ... ler-combo/


zero-one wrote:If they are already struggling to go to 50 KW, what makes us think they can go to 1MW with a practical system within the short development cycle the USAF is requesting for.


Who mentioned going to 1 megawatt? Only you.

And how do you know what a "practical" laser attack weapon is against an aircraft? If I point 4 separate networked 250 kilowatt lasers at your cockpit, simultaneously, would this be sufficiently practical enough to admit those can burn your head clean off your shoulders, with one shot, at the speed of light?

I'm speaking of hundreds of kilowatts because Griffin says that's realistic, and also what they're going to do with the highest of budget priorities. I'm not going to try to misconstrue that into something else.

zero-one wrote:So if the plan is to simply dazzle or damage sensors before finishing them off with missiles, then the aircraft will still need some speed and maneuverability.


" ... or a couple of hundred kilowatts on a KC-46 next-generation tanker so that it can self-defend. ..."

That's where the money is going, tankers that can self-defend against BVR fighters and their missiles, using a laser who's added weight and space is not detracting much from off-load capacity.

zero-one wrote:The moment, you cook off an opposing fighter's sensors, it can still fight by using targeting data from other fighters via data link.


I said sensors and antenna.

zero-one wrote:If each fighter requires a 5 second burst, then how many can you cook off before you are within range of their weapons.


Once! Four separate simultaneous 250 kW lasers with adaptive optics use the type classification provided by the data fusion-engine, to inform using MDFs data to auto-focus on the weakest available kill point - its cockpit.

Does this need to be repeated several more times yet? :doh:

(psst: I hear this sort of energy level can implode a boost-phase theater ballistic missile's structure in 3 seconds of dwell, so should clear up a runny sinus problem nicely.)

zero-one wrote:Isn't your orientation relative to the target a factor, what if the enemy is pointed away from your laser, will it still fry the cockpit or the IRST you're trying to fry.


What do I even care, it doesn't like me and is going away. If it points its butt at me I'll melt its hot-section turbines and turn it into a glider, I'm flexible! :)

zero-one wrote:Having a sluggish, non maneuverable bomber type platform armed with these dazzlers looks too risky, thats all I'm saying. If they can get a clean sheet or F-22/35 type design that can fight with lasers, dazzlers, missiles and guns then fine, but removing a hundred years worth of fighter capabilities because of an over reliance on new untested technology seems too risky


Sorry, this does not compute. How is giving the world's most advanced (and fastest) A2A capability to a stealth bomber, which was previously defenseless, taking something away from its air defense? You seem to struggle with this basic phased-adoption concept of crawl->walk->run?

And who said anything about removing fighter capabilities? Only you ... once again.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 07:43
by zero-one
element1loop wrote:So it's gone up from 50 kW to 150 kW, in just a few hours?



Thats the optimistic range. The realistic target is 50KW but hey if they can go up to 150 why not.


element1loop wrote:Who mentioned going to 1 megawatt? Only you.


Because if it takes 5 seconds for a 1 MW laser to damage fragile TBMs, then how much longer will it take a 250 KW laser to do the same to fighters which can survive with 1 wing sheered off, 20 seconds?

element1loop wrote:And how do you know what a "practical" laser attack weapon is against an aircraft?

Those are not my words, its from Robert Gates.

Robert Gates wrote:So, right now the ABL would have to orbit inside the borders of Iran in order to be able to try and use its laser to shoot down that missile in the boost phase. And if you were to operationalize this you would be looking at 10 to 20 747s, at a billion and a half dollars apiece, and $100 million a year to operate. And there's nobody in uniform that I know who believes that this is a workable concept."


Remember this is even with a 1 MW laser. The ones you are hoping for are just hundreds of kilowatts hopefully and just 50 kilowatts realistically.

element1loop wrote:Once! Four separate simultaneous 250 kW lasers with adaptive optics use the type classification provided by the data fusion-engine, to inform using MDFs data to auto-focus on the weakest available kill point - its cockpit.


So 4 aircraft will do what 1 fighter use to do. What about the wing man or other flight elements? Are we going to assume that he won't get close and gun down the 4 lumbering bombers that can't run.



element1loop wrote:What do I even care, it doesn't like me and is going away.

So you can only attack things that are pointed at you?

element1loop wrote:If it points its butt at me I'll melt its hot-section turbines and turn it into a glider, I'm flexible! :)

Well thats if the butt is pointed directly at you? and since you're a bomber that can't turn or run, well tats going to be difficult. Congratulations, we successfully took away all aspect targeting capability.


element1loop wrote:And who said anything about removing fighter capabilities? Only you ... once again.

[/quote]
Did you even read my link, it says that one of the angles being looked at is to use the B-21 as the manned component of PCA.

Thats my entire argument I'm not against lasers.
I'm against turning the B-21 into the PCA. The B-21 is a bomber, even if it had a 300 KW laser on it, that would only give it added offensive/defensive capabilities but it won't be a fighter.

If you can put that laser on an F-35E or better yet an F-22C then I'm all for it. but using the B-21 and saying its a fighter is just ridiculous.

P.S. If I said that we can keep the F-22 and just slap on ADVENT engines that will eventually give it 500% more range, people will call me out on it. So whats the difference between HELIOS that currently only produces 10 KW, targeting 50 KW by 2021 and hopefully someday, in 2050 maybe it can reach hundreds of kilowatts, maybe 500.

Remember the YAL-1, it had a 1MW laser, but was considered impractical because you needed 20 or more to be inside Iran just to shoot off fragile TBMs. By the way the TBM needed to be in its launch phase, the ABL cannot intercept it while in its terminal phase.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 10:17
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:If you can put that laser on an F-35E or better yet an F-22C then I'm all for it. but using the B-21 and saying its a fighter is just ridiculous.


Oh please. I think I can tell the difference between a fighter, and a bomber which has a laser self-defence capability against fighters and their weapons, or else SAMs. Mutually supporting fields of fire are not new to bomber operations when defending against flights of fighters, and lasers can do it much faster and more efficiently with scale-able output and effects. And of course the role of a loyal-wingman was also discussed within that context, which you also seem keen to avoid acknowledging.

At no point have I discussed fighters with lasers on them. But don't stop yourself from pretending that this is what the discussion is about. It isn't, but I'm sure at this point that you can't (or won't) comprehend the difference.

But if you think that a bomber becomes a fighter just because it has a laser defense against fighters, then that's your problem, not mine. A Lancaster with machine guns that killed fighters, was also not a fighter, it was a bomber with an A2A self-defence capability. A fighter pilot with a boiled brain after the first shot, is going down, and the BOMBER that did it will carry on its mission.

Apologies if the pending advent of high-energy lasers on bombers and tankers interferes with the much anticipated mid-21st century WVR gun-fight renaissance. :mrgreen:

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 11:09
by zero-one
This thread was dead, the last post was in 2015.
Then I posted on it with this argument

zero-one wrote:This was what I was afraid of. A lumbering slow moving target that needs to rely on standoff weapons and escorts.


That was my opening argument. To which you responded with.

element1loop wrote:Having air-to-air capabilities does not mean missiles. it more likely refers to high-energy lasers in a platform that's large enough to support 360 degree coverage via such a laser, plus a lot of fuel, and embodies the most advanced VLO tech available...

As regards kinematic performance being sacrificed, this has been discussed at length for years,


You were actually implying that a slow bomber with no missiles can be used as an air to air fighter...
Now you're saying, nobody said anything about removing capabilities, Actually you did or at least implied that its okay.

The problem is whenever someone advocates that Kinematics still have their place in modern air combat, you automatically associate them as being unable to move on from WW2 gun fights.

Sorry no, BVR needs speed and maneuverability too.
F-35 and F-22 test pilot Tom Morganfeld can be quoted as saying "maneuverability will always be important in a fighter" as a response to how HOBS will affect modern air combat.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 11:22
by garrya
zero-one wrote:Sorry no, BVR needs speed and maneuverability too

Technically speaking Arleigh Burke has neither but it is an extremely dangerous BVR platform

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 11:34
by zero-one
garrya wrote:Technically speaking Arleigh Burke has neither but it is an extremely dangerous BVR platform


In theory sure. but I'd still take an F-15 over it as I'm sure everyone else will.
How many BVR kills does the Burke have? (Legit question, I really don't know). I hope it wasn't just the airliner.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 12:33
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:You were actually implying that a slow bomber with no missiles can be used as an air to air fighter...


I did not respond to any of your remarks, I responded in a general way to this text, which I first quoted:

“A B-21 [Raider stealth bomber] that also has air-to-air capabilities” and can “work with the family of systems to defend itself, utilizing stealth – maybe that’s where the sixth-generation airplane comes from.” https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... air-combat


I did not quote you at all, nor was I responding to you. You've assumed wrongly from the beginning.

zero-one wrote:Now you're saying, nobody said anything about removing capabilities, Actually you did or at least implied that its okay.


Nope, I said an added air defense capability does not have to be assumed to be missiles, it can be a laser defense, which is being referred to by U.S. Air Force Major General Scott Pleus. That's the first thing I said.

Here it is again, my first remark:
Having air-to-air capabilities does not mean missiles. it more likely refers to high-energy lasers in a platform that's large enough to support 360 degree coverage via such a laser, plus a lot of fuel, and embodies the most advanced VLO tech available.


You've assumed, ... “A B-21 [Raider stealth bomber] that also has air-to-air capabilities” ..., will mean missiles alone. But you were not paying attention to what I wrote.

Given no bomber has either AAMs or a H-E laser, how could that possibly be construed as my, "removing capabilities"? :doh:

Zero, honestly mate, your assumptions, avoidance and tangential accusations do my head in. :mrgreen:

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 13:22
by zero-one
element1loop wrote:Given no bomber has either AAMs or a H-E laser, how could that possibly be construed as my, [i]"removing capabilities"


This whole thread is about the F-22 vs 6th gen proposals or PCA. And in more than 1 occasion you implied that having a B-21 as the basis for the PCA is okay as long as it has lasers.

In fact your beliefs on lasers are still based on science fiction. Just like when you said this
element1loop wrote:And compact 40 to 60 kilowatt solid-state lasers are reality,

Really? give us examples of that.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 13:53
by marsavian
I don't think a billion dollar B-21 with air to air capability is very export friendly which is why PCA should still resemble a fighter albeit a big and rangy one. The B-21 may still develop A-A capability but only for enhancement of existing fleet.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 16:11
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:
element1loop wrote:Given no bomber has either AAMs or a H-E laser, how could that possibly be construed as my, [i]"removing capabilities"


This whole thread is about the F-22 vs 6th gen proposals or PCA. And in more than 1 occasion you implied that having a B-21 as the basis for the PCA is okay as long as it has lasers.

In fact your beliefs on lasers are still based on science fiction. Just like when you said this
element1loop wrote:And compact 40 to 60 kilowatt solid-state lasers are reality,

Really? give us examples of that.


Frankly your comments are so far wide of the mark at this point I don't really care what you have to say on the topic.

Solid-State High-Energy Laser Systems

Gamma [13.5 kW]

... Gamma is the first product in Northrop Grumman's next-generation FIRESTRIKE Developed with internal funding, Gamma's real achievement is in its packaging and ruggedness. The Gamma demonstrator is built in a form factor that implements the size and weight reduction goals of the FIRESTRIKE™ design, which cuts the weight of the finished laser chain to 400 pounds and shrinks the volume to 23 inches by 40 inches by 12 inches, or about the size of two countertop microwave ovens.

The Gamma demonstrator is a single "chain" or building block that is designed to be combined with other chains to create laser systems of greater power, as was demonstrated in Northrop Grumman's 105 kilowatt Joint High Power Solid State Laser .

The laser has also been ruggedized to demonstrate readiness to begin transition to operational use.


https://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabil ... fault.aspx

It takes 8 Gamma blocks to create this 105kW solid-state laser the physical size of 16 microwave ovens, and it weighs 8 x 400 lb = 3,200 lb. That is small enough and light enough to fit in a pod on a fighter's wing.

US Army to Test Powerful New Truck-Mounted Laser ‘Within Months’

MARCH 16, 2017

New solid-state lasers plus ever-more-powerful mobile generators brings directed energy weapons a big step closer to reality.

Progress in battlefield lasers is exceeding some of the most optimistic expectations of just a few years ago. The latest evidence comes from Lockheed Martin, which on Thursday announced a new record:: 58 kilowatts of direct power from a solid-state fiber laser. Lockheed will send it to the Army in a matter of months for testing on a High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck, or HELMTT, according to Lockheed’s Robert Afzal, a senior fellow for laser and sensor systems. But Afzal says that the scalability of the laser opens up use on everything from drones to massive ships and at different levels of power.


https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... earch_navy

zero-one wrote:... you implied that having a B-21 as the basis for the PCA is okay as long as it has lasers.


And that's just BS, what you have to say is being "implied" is only because you can't get anything right about what I've actually said, so you're just making stuff up.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 17:52
by garrya
zero-one wrote:In theory sure. but I'd still take an F-15 over it as I'm sure everyone else will.
How many BVR kills does the Burke have? (Legit question, I really don't know). I hope it wasn't just the airliner.

If by "everyone" you mean only internet enthusiasts then I totally agree, F-15 has better cool factor. However any general or air defense expert would rather having a Burke defense his base than an F-15.
I don't know how many BVR kills does Burke has, but I don't think kills is neccessary the good way to evaluate the effectiveness of a weapon over another. Little boys bomb killed so many people while nuclear ICBM haven't kill any. Which is more effective killing machine

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 18:04
by botsing
garrya wrote:If by "everyone" you mean only internet enthusiasts then I totally agree, F-15 has better cool factor. However any general or air defense expert would rather having a Burke defense his base than an F-15.
I don't know how many BVR kills does Burke has, but I don't think kills is neccessary the good way to evaluate the effectiveness of a weapon over another. Little boys bomb killed so many people while nuclear ICBM haven't kill any. Which is more effective killing machine

Also none of the professional users would just pick "one" of these assets and let it out on it's own.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 18:05
by zero-one
Gamma is not exactly an example of a 40 to 60 KW solid state laser.
Its a series of weak lasers that can be combined into a building block format to create a 50 - 60 kw lasers
I admit I did not know that was possible. But I'm curious as to why they didn't add more or develop this concept in order to link more. why stop at 100 kw.

HELMTT on the other hand is not compact, its on a truck, a 58KW laser on a truck. yes it can be carried by a plane, but its too big and too weak to be a practical long range weapon.

When I read your post, I have the impression that you are on-board with the USAF proposal to base the PCA on a B-21 air frame so long as it is armed with lasers. So just to settle this, do you agree with that or do you agree with me that even with lasers, PCA would still need kinematics. That an F-35, F-22 or a clean sheet design which can still pull Gs and accelerate to mach quickly is still needed.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2019, 18:21
by zero-one
garrya wrote:If by "everyone" you mean only internet enthusiasts then I totally agree, F-15 has better cool factor. However any general or air defense expert would rather having a Burke defense his base than an F-15.

Not just internet enthusiast.
Carrier battle groups are set up to have F-14s or F/A-18s to perform first line of defense in what they call the Outer air battle, with Aegis equipped Burkes and Ticcos in the inside in what they call the inner air air battle.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Carr ... air_battle)

And BVR is not just, defense, in offensive BVR, give me a squadron of F-15s or F-14s you can have the Burke.
garrya wrote:but I don't think kills is neccessary the good way to evaluate the effectiveness of a weapon over another. Little boys bomb killed so many people while nuclear ICBM haven't kill any. Which is more effective killing machine


But then again there were weapons out there that should have performed a certain way in theory but did not. I'm not saying I don't agree with you, the F-22 is an airplane that should dominate in theory but has 0 kills so far.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2019, 02:19
by element1loop
zero-one wrote:Gamma is not exactly an example of a 40 to 60 KW solid state laser.
Its a series of weak lasers that can be combined into a building block format to create a 50 - 60 kw lasers. I admit I did not know that was possible. But I'm curious as to why they didn't add more or develop this concept in order to link more. why stop at 100 kw.


Gamma is an in-house development, they demonstrated how solid-state lasers could be scaled to purpose. I guess they decided they'd spent enough of the company's money at 105 kW, and had demonstrated the potential of their compact modular solid-state lasers.

zero-one wrote:HELMTT on the other hand is not compact, its on a truck, a 58KW laser on a truck. yes it can be carried by a plane, but its too big and too weak to be a practical long range weapon.


It's a small truck and demonstrates clearly that compact 60 kW solid-state lasers are not "science fiction", they're real.

zero-one wrote:When I read your post, I have the impression that you are on-board with the USAF proposal to base the PCA on a B-21 air frame so long as it is armed with lasers. So just to settle this, do you agree with that or do you agree with me that even with lasers, PCA would still need kinematics. That an F-35, F-22 or a clean sheet design which can still pull Gs and accelerate to mach quickly is still needed.


I have not been specifically discussing PCA or any fighters, I have discussed B-21 with a laser A2A self-defense, working with an agile 'loyal wingman', supported by an autonomous drone tanker. That may be enough to allow B-21 to achieve its penetrating bombing attack in contested OPFOR airspace.

As far as I'm concerned 'PCA' (Penetrating and Countering enemy Airpower) in fighter terms is a large agile supersonic multirole fighter (optionally manned) that counters all OPFOR aircraft in air and especially on the ground, over a heavily defended enemy mainland, in a conventional strategic attack.

B-21 could attack air-power and its enablers on the ground with missiles and bombs, and defend itself in the air if tracked but will never be a platform of choice for air intercept or hunting for and eliminating fighters, in the air. Though it would clearly overlap with PCA objectives in its ability to destroy enemy airpower quickly on the ground. And it's not clear that even a heavy fighter would be as good at doing that in the shortest possible timeframe.

However, B-21 could one day be used to hunt support aircraft, or even maritime patrol aircraft, if its laser scaled-up suitably to provide more energy at higher ranges. Which may be useful if a USAF PCA system-of-systems could not get out to those larger wider ranging aircraft due to range limitations or a lack of AAR resources, due to attrition.

It's been made more than clear that PCA may not be a single platform and most probably won't be, so I won't insist it be specifically a manned fighter, when all it has to do is penetrate and kill OPFOR air power and survive doing that. PCA defines a desire for an evolving system-of-systems which can achieve eliminating enemy airpower at greatly extended range as technology evolves over decades.

B-21 and its weapon mix would quite obviously be a major component of that penetrating and air-power killing force (and it's pointless to deny that it would be). Hence why a Major General is considering B-21 with an air-to-air self-defense capability to aid its own survival. And it should not be merely presumed that he means B-21's using BVR AAMs against fighters.

Which was the whole purpose of my first comment.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2019, 04:58
by garrya
zero-one wrote:Not just internet enthusiast.
Carrier battle groups are set up to have F-14s or F/A-18s to perform first line of defense in what they call the Outer air battle, with Aegis equipped Burkes and Ticcos in the inside in what they call the inner air air battle.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Carr ... air_battle)
And BVR is not just, defense, in offensive BVR, give me a squadron of F-15s or F-14s you can have the Burke.

The point is that you don't need to have speed or maneuverability to have a BVR platform, even a very lethal one, speed and maneuverability are nice to have but not a must.
If they have to choose one over another, 1 Aegis equipped Burkes or 1 F-15, no one will choose the F-15.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 14 Sep 2019, 10:17
by zero-one
garrya wrote:The point is that you don't need to have speed or maneuverability to have a BVR platform, even a very lethal one, speed and maneuverability are nice to have but not a must.
If they have to choose one over another, 1 Aegis equipped Burkes or 1 F-15, no one will choose the F-15.


Well, AESA is just nice to have, Stealth is also nice to have, SM-6 is nice to have, but if you strip it down to its bare bones, you can actually perform BVR combat with an SA-2. Its also very lethal, just ask any Vietnam war vet.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 14 Sep 2019, 23:37
by vilters
garrya wrote:
zero-one wrote:Not just internet enthusiast.
Carrier battle groups are set up to have F-14s or F/A-18s to perform first line of defense in what they call the Outer air battle, with Aegis equipped Burkes and Ticcos in the inside in what they call the inner air air battle.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Carr ... air_battle)
And BVR is not just, defense, in offensive BVR, give me a squadron of F-15s or F-14s you can have the Burke.

The point is that you don't need to have speed or maneuverability to have a BVR platform, even a very lethal one, speed and maneuverability are nice to have but not a must.
If they have to choose one over another, 1 Aegis equipped Burkes or 1 F-15, no one will choose the F-15.


This is one post that makes sense. => You don't need speed, and you don't need maneuverability.
The F-14 had 150 miles missile range.

Hang them under an AWACS, a STARS, a B-737 with an A2A radar for my part, and you are BVR capable.

Re: F-22A vs. 6th Gen Proposal

Unread postPosted: 14 Sep 2019, 23:59
by element1loop
vilters wrote:This is one post that makes sense. => You don't need speed, and you don't need maneuverability. The F-14 had 150 miles missile range. Hang them under an AWACS, a STARS, a B-737 with an A2A radar for my part, and you are BVR capable.


Just strap an SA-2 to them and you're good to go!