90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2016, 02:58
by neptune
https://www.dvidshub.net/news/190982/90th-fighter-squadron-first-combat-operational-f-22-raptor-unit-use-aim-9x-advanced-sidewinder#.VtjqHGecGC8

90th Fighter Squadron first combat-operational F-22 Raptor unit to use AIM-9X advanced Sidewinder

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs
Story by Airman 1st Class Kyle Johnson

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson's 90th Fighter Squadron officially became the first combat-operational F-22 Raptor unit to equip an F-22 with an Air Intercept Missile-9X, March 1. The increased lethality of the AIM-9X coupled with the F-22's capabilities combine into a much more effective fighting unit, said Chief Master Sgt. Chuck Jenkins, 3rd Wing Weapons Manager.

"This has been in the inventory for the Air Force and Navy for some years; it's nothing new to the military," Jenkins said. "But to put it on the Ferrari of aircraft - the F-22, the most advanced aircraft we have - it gives the pilots more maneuverability, larger range, and it's a much faster missile. "Giving that to a combat commander downrange really increases his capabilities."

Air Force Lt. Col David Skalicky, commander of the 90th Fighter Squadron said the AIM-9X worked flawlessly in its first flight today. "Every aspect about this missile, it's a huge capability increase in all facets," Skalicky said. "We can employ it in more scenarios, at greater range, and reach edges of the envelope we would have had a more difficult time reaching with the AIM-9M.

"Similar to how the F-22 is a generation beyond the fighters that came before it, the 9X is a generation beyond the previous Sidewinder missiles we used before. It's a huge advance in lethality for the F-22."

Path to the flightline

With the support of the 673rd Logistics Readiness Squadron and Communication Squadron, 3rd Munitions, 3rd Maintenance, and 3rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, weapons Airmen created a multi-organizational hub from which Airmen from the 525th and 90th Aircraft Maintenance Units alike came together to finish the parts needed to adapt the AIM-9X to the F-22 ahead of schedule, Jenkins said.

"We sent a small team to Nellis [Air Force Base] to get a small taste of what's coming," Jenkins said. "We brought that knowledge back and staged that team in a consolidated area. We gained proficiency by doing that. Nellis let us borrow two of their [parts] and we started last week getting these load crews through our weapons standardization - and we've got 10 load crews out of our 28 right now already done within a week." After the load crews are certified to load AIM-9Xs onto F-22s, they have to maintain their certification on a monthly basis, Jenkins said.

Behind the weapons crews, Jenkins listed off nearly a dozen supporting agencies who provided crucial support to the mission. "3rd Maintenance Squadron's Low Observable Flight was critical in making the timeline for the internal structure modification inside these launchers," Jenkins said. "Precision-guided munitions section were tasked with a software upgrade on this that come down about two weeks ago, and they had to work through some serious speed bumps to get this done, last Friday in order to get this loaded for today. "There's a big bubble of people, no single person made this happen."

The arrival of the AIM-9X to the F-22 very well may signal a new era in Air Force airpower. "This missile makes the most lethal combat aircraft the world has ever seen even more capable. It's a giant enhancement to the already formidable F-22 arsenal," Skalicky said. "We've invested a lot of resources getting this missile to the combat Air Force, and now it's finally here."

:)

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 00:57
by Scorpion1alpha
Neptune, I re-titled your post to streamline it to better fit into the space allotted.

Congratulations to all those involved at 3rd Wing in making the necessary modifications to allow the F-22 o carry the 9X.

I'll add that the F-22 community has actually been preparing to include developing and practicing tactics simulating 9X carry for a long time. They'll be off and running with this weapon faster than expected. I look forward in seeing their first WSEP 9X shots. Should be spectacular results.

If anyone thought fighting the F-22 in close was a headache before, your headache just got worse.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 01:05
by popcorn
IIRC therr sas mentio previojslh that the -9X was being fielded in -9M mode. Is this true and if so what are the implications ?

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 02:15
by ChippyHo
popcorn wrote:IIRC therr sas mentio previojslh that the -9X was being fielded in -9M mode. Is this true and if so what are the implications ?

Say WHAT???? I speak English ,French, Hungarian and some Italian but............

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 02:30
by count_to_10
So, with the smaller fins on the -9X, is there enough room in the bays to theoretically fit two in each?

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 02:35
by cantaz
popcorn wrote:IIRC therr sas mentio previojslh that the -9X was being fielded in -9M mode. Is this true and if so what are the implications ?


The only reason to operate a 9X in 9M model would be some sort of incompatibility on the aircraft side, so the aircraft is unable to support all features of the 9X.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 02:44
by popcorn
cantaz wrote:
popcorn wrote:IIRC therr sas mentio previojslh that the -9X was being fielded in -9M mode. Is this true and if so what are the implications ?


The only reason to operate a 9X in 9M model would be some sort of incompatibility on the aircraft side, so the aircraft is unable to support all features of the 9X.

Yeah, that's what I gathered. Obvioisly it won't benefit from a helmet-mounted sight at this time. I wonder if the data link is supported?

Add edit- If AIM-9X Blk 1 then no datalink capability.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 04:19
by durahawk
popcorn wrote:
cantaz wrote:
popcorn wrote:IIRC therr sas mentio previojslh that the -9X was being fielded in -9M mode. Is this true and if so what are the implications ?


The only reason to operate a 9X in 9M model would be some sort of incompatibility on the aircraft side, so the aircraft is unable to support all features of the 9X.

Yeah, that's what I gathered. Obvioisly it won't benefit from a helmet-mounted sight at this time. I wonder if the data link is supported?

Add edit- If AIM-9X Blk 1 then no datalink capability.


Yep. Hopefully the AF will fix the HMCS issue soon, Scorpian has been test integrated already so it might just be a matter of funding at this point. JHMCS is apparently incompatible with the Raptor cockpit for some reason. Using the 9x without HMCS would seem to somewhat neuter the HOBS capabilities of the missile.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2016, 04:57
by Scorpion1alpha
Yep. Hopefully the AF will fix the HMCS issue soon, Scorpian has been test integrated already so it might just be a matter of funding at this point. JHMCS is apparently incompatible with the Raptor cockpit for some reason. Using the 9x without HMCS would seem to somewhat neuter the HOBS capabilities of the missile.


No. The 9X doesn't need the helmet to take advantage of it's high off-bore sight ability. It's WEZ is significantly better than the 9M which is available to the Alaskan F-22s now. I'll refer you to Lt. Col. Skalicky's quote in the article, if you didn't see it:

"We can employ it in more scenarios, at greater range, and reach edges of the envelope we would have had a more difficult time reaching with the AIM-9M.


At Edwards, clearing the 9X for the F-22 took more time because the Raptor's maneuvering envelope is huge. The 9X needed to verify the safe clearance from the F-22 during the extremes of it's flight envelope, some of which a short range missile has never cleared from before.

If it's the helmet that some of you are so focused on, the Raptor Helmet Mounted Display & Cueing System (RHMDCS) is scheduled to be fielded in bout 4 years time.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 09:12
by charlielima223
It is my understanding that the F-22 is one of the very few (if not the only) US aircraft (or very few) that is able to deploy its weapons during aggressive maneuvers. I am guessing that was one of the big things the Xray had to prove. In either case the Raptor just got better claws. If people thought the F-22 was a tough costumer in a phone booth this would be even worse... it would be like fighting Jason Bourne. The up coming block 2 Xray would be another improvement.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 22:19
by Scorpion1alpha
Interestingly, despite the 9X having to clear the extremes of the F-22’s maneuvering envelope (which, again, is massive), I suspect it’s not how it will be employed the majority of the time.

What is unique is not the weapon itself, as it has been in service for years now. What is different is the integration of this missile with a new beast (the F-22). Because of the F-22’s performance along with its advanced avionics and sensors, the missile integrates with the jet differently than on previous platforms and thus the 9X’s already impressive performance will literally be enhanced further. For example, the 9X is deemed a Near Beyond Visual Range (NBVR) missile because it already has a longer range than the 9M. Now launch that 9X from an F-22 at the altitudes and speeds it routinely flies at, and you have an enhanced Sidewinder that will cover impressive distances. It is literally like giving the F-22 an additional 2 BVR missiles.

The F-22’s stealth, supersonic maneuvering and advanced integrated avionics and sensors played key roles in ending the fight pre-merge (about 2-3 miles out) before many of its victims was even aware of it being there. If that merge requires a turning fight, the F-22’s slow speed maneuverability means it’ll just out turn the victim and point its nose at it for a gun kill or get within the previous 9M’s WEZ for a missile shot. Now with the 9X, the F-22 can reduce the maneuvering time with the adversary to get within the 9X’s larger WEZ. This is available now to the Alaskan F-22s, and look, no helmet(!) required.

Specific details on F-22 / AIM-9X tactics will, of course, be highly classified. If it’s anything I think it is, the combination is unmatched now. And it’ll just get even better when the F-22 fleet start getting their RHMDCS helmets in about 4 years.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 08 Mar 2016, 13:53
by charlielima223
Scorpion1alpha wrote: For example, the 9X is deemed a Near Beyond Visual Range (NBVR) missile because it already has a longer range than the 9M. Now launch that 9X from an F-22 at the altitudes and speeds it routinely flies at, and you have an enhanced Sidewinder that will cover impressive distances. It is literally like giving the F-22 an additional 2 BVR missiles.


Wasn't the USN trying to push for the Block 3 Xray? From my understanding the main difference between the block 2 and block 3 was that the 3 had extended range.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2016, 21:04
by spikef22
So then when do the raptors get A HMD?

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 06:34
by charlielima223
spikef22 wrote:So then when do the raptors get A HMD?


well if all goes right and it isn't cut because of funding...

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... by-413962/

http://fightersweep.com/2526/helmet-mou ... -the-f-22/

... a few years from now.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 06:52
by SpudmanWP
This year's budget has it starting in the 2021/2022 timeframe.

Keep in mind that the same subprogram (F22007) has been around since 2003 :bang:

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 12 Mar 2016, 13:34
by mixelflick
OK so...

When does the F-22 get it and use it operationally?

Is that today? A year from now??

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2016, 07:49
by mmm
So, what kind of seeker FoV will we be looking at when employed from sidebay, when compared to, say a traditional wingtip position? I'd speculate it's gonna be more or less of an entire hemisphere less from either bay. It may be one of the reasons why HMD has not been a priority, since the gain will be somewhat limited anyways without full fledged LOAL.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2016, 17:49
by count_to_10
mmm wrote:So, what kind of seeker FoV will we be looking at when employed from sidebay, when compared to, say a traditional wingtip position? I'd speculate it's gonna be more or less of an entire hemisphere less from either bay. It may be one of the reasons why HMD has not been a priority, since the gain will be somewhat limited anyways without full fledged LOAL.

The cheek bays point the sidewinders outward and down slightly. It looks like the seeker is fully clear of the bay doors, and has a clear line of sight vertically, so it's area of regard is probably significantly more than half the hemisphere.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 12:09
by gideonic
I also don't buy the half-a-hemisphere argument. Look how far forward the missiles are from the following pictures. It should just about see past the nose and the wing definitely doesn't cover the seeker's Field of View. The seeker is actually visible even on the rightmost F-22 on the lower picture, and on both sides! I initially thought it was the upper bay door, but on closer inspection it clearly is not, as fins can also be seen, though barely:

Image

Image

Now think about it, if the optimal launch envelope is just a bit to the side and up, not exactly straight forward, the missile should have a wider FoV, than from any under-the-wing pylon. Only the wingtip stations on F-16 probably have an edge there. And when you think about Raptor's nose pointing ability, and even the usual positioning of the enemy during a "turning-battle" in a dogfight ... then IMO the direction the missiles are pointing to, makes a lot of sense.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 19:02
by zero-one
Question, without the helmet, how does the seeker know where to look? If for example there are more than 2 targets in the seeker's field of view how does it know which target the pilot is aiming for?

Also how does it use it's HOBS capability, is it Slaved to the Raptor's sensor suite?

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 19:10
by SpudmanWP
The avionics can queue the 9x based on any track regardless of the track's source(radar, ESM, datalink, etc), just as it is in the F-35.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 14 Mar 2016, 19:19
by cantaz
There should be the usual target designator control on the throttle assembly, under the left index finger. Allows you to move a cursor around on the relevant display.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2016, 07:31
by hornetfinn
Helmet mounted sights improve HOBS capabilities due to having wider field of view than radar. They also provide quicker target designation against close-in targets. So HMS will definitely give additional performance for F-22 and AIM-9X combo. If F-22 got same helmet and EODAS system as F-35, it would be even better. That however is likely not going to happen as it would be very expensive. However I think F-22 is not going to need that as it will likely use AIM-9X with radar cueing anyway most of the time.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 05 Apr 2016, 18:37
by mmm
APG-77 with instant beam steering is quite a step up compare to legacy mechanically scanned radar, even in WVR fight. At WVR range you can afford to use the full +/-60° in elevation and azimuth FOV at cost of detection range. I imagine the targeting can be pretty fast, maybe as fast as HMDS. Not saying HMDS is pointless on F-22. Even as flight instrument alone HMDS has great value in a sensor fused fighter like F-22.

Re: 90th FS uses AIM-9X on F-22 Raptor

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2016, 00:45
by mixelflick
When do the other F-22 units get the 9x?

I would have thought Langley got first dibs??