The Problem of Future Aggressor Training

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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neurotech

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Unread post10 Dec 2013, 23:04

IMO We'll end up with KAI F/A-50 derivative as the aggressor jets. This would help resolve the issue of the F-35 benefits for Korea.

Also, The F414 EPE engine can put out enough thrust for better than 1:1 TWR in a F/A-50, and allow very rapid maneuvering, especially when only carrying training pods. Its only when the jet gets into a close knife fight that the differences from TVC become significant to engagement technique. Training rules generally restrict US pilots from flying closer than 500 ft in a knife fight.

Boeing are undecided at the moment regarding their "clean sheet" trainer and how much technology borrowed from the (Advanced) Super Hornet they'll use. It's possible they'll spec it so that it can fill the light fighter role, after F/A-18 stops production.
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zero-one

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Unread post11 Dec 2013, 05:46

Maybe we'll see a combination like we do now.

If I'm not mistaken, F-16 and F/A-18 aggressors generally mimic Mig 29s and F-15s mimic Flankers.
and I beleive Boeing has had some talk of acquiring licenses to build Grippens as an alternative to Lockheed's F/A-50 GEagles.

So maybe
F/A-50s (or Grippens) and some F-35s for LO target training WVR
The rest of BVR training maybe from CG targets
I'm worried about the PAK-FA and Su-35 WVR training though, I think only the Raptor can provide a realistic model of those two.

Though the F-35 can do post stall maneuvers, I'm not sure if its in the degree of the PAK-FA and Flanker E
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huggy

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Unread post11 Dec 2013, 09:14

neurotech wrote:IMO We'll end up with KAI F/A-50 derivative as the aggressor jets. This would help resolve the issue of the F-35 benefits for Korea.


zero-one wrote:So maybe
F/A-50s (or Grippens) and some F-35s for LO target training WVR
The rest of BVR training maybe from CG targets


Gents... put down the crack pipe.
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neurotech

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Unread post12 Dec 2013, 20:08

huggy wrote:
neurotech wrote:IMO We'll end up with KAI F/A-50 derivative as the aggressor jets. This would help resolve the issue of the F-35 benefits for Korea.

Gents... put down the crack pipe.

Haha :D

The A-4 and F-5E during the 80s and 90s were the mainstay aggressors, and they still are relatively cheap to fly. The F-16s and F/A-18s are significantly more expensive to fly.

The reason why I think the F/A-50 is the front-runner for aggressor, is that in some respects its a smaller/cheaper/lighter version of the F-16. The jet is practically a Lockheed jet, component wise. The avionics interface, flight computers etc. are compatible with those in the F-16C. The side-stick is a somewhat different feel, but definitely closer than the T-38 center stick.

BTW I didn't doubt for a second that Korea would purchase the F-35. The only question being how many, and where they complete final assembly. Industrial benefit and offsets just help sell it to the politicians.
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huggy

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Unread post13 Dec 2013, 07:08

Just for the sake of the argument...
I'd admit that there is a lot to love about the T-50, F/A 50, whatever version/variant.

I'd love to be a Lieutenant again, with that showing up as the new UPT trainer.

And in my mind, that's the only way it would get sold as an aggressor platform... or a platform for any other use. It will only happen if it gets purchased as the T-38 UPT replacement in 10 years, and there is some money to buy more at a reduced cost.

At ~$25M per jet, we just can't go there. The USAF's budget for 2014 is going to be even worse than 2013. I really don't think many folks realize just how tough it is going to be. I see live it and see it every day. The "good old days" are gone for at least a few years.
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flighthawk128

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Unread post27 Dec 2013, 17:30

zero-one wrote:F-16 and F/A-18 aggressors generally mimic Mig 29s and F-15s mimic Flankers

zero-one wrote:I'm worried about the PAK-FA and Su-35 WVR training though, I think only the Raptor can provide a realistic model of those two


zero-one has got it pretty much spot on (although I disagree with the Viper fitting the flight profile of a Fulcrum). Although the option with the Raptor doing WVR training as an aggressor probably wouldn't pan out... :P
But don't forget, the most likely opponent USAF and USN faces would be Flankers and Fulcrums, so Hornets and Eagles would probably suffice. Think about it, the way USAF tailored their forces, with Eagles and Vipers forming the backbone (though they're getting replaced with Lightning IIs) and Raptors being the trump card for air superiority. The Russians and whoever their customers are (India, Chinese clones) would probably follow the same air force format (Flankers/Fulcrums/Terminators are backbone, PAK-FA is air superiority). So I think any DACT training could probably use the legacy fleet of Eagles and Hornets.
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zero-one

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Unread post29 Dec 2013, 10:26

Thanks Flighthawk128

Question is, how accurately will Eagles and Hornets be able to replicate advanced TV equiped adversaries.

They may be able to do a fine job mimicing a high speed turning fight, but will they do the same on post stall situations and such?
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Unread post29 Dec 2013, 15:03

It has long been proven that in close combat "energy management" is extremely important.

Post stall fantasy's are not part of that game, but "show-off" nicely in airshows.
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neurotech

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Unread post29 Dec 2013, 22:33

vilters wrote:It has long been proven that in close combat "energy management" is extremely important.

Post stall fantasy's are not part of that game, but "show-off" nicely in airshows.

Didn't a F/A-18E get a "slapshot" kill against a F-22? The F/A-18 couldn't maintain the turn rate, but it was enough to get the nose onto the bandit. If a second bandit was maneuvering towards the F/A-18s six, the jet would have to regain airspeed fast or get shot down.

Reports from Iraq '91 indicate when the belly of the MiG-25 was facing the F-15 it made it a lot easier to get a AIM-9 seeker on the target. Similarly, Flying high alpha maneuvers in a knife-fight is a high risk strategy. TOPGUN was created to teach Air Combat Maneuvering, and the lessons learned in combining nose-pointing strategy with energy management still apply today.

If a F-22 pulls up hard against a bandit that is above and high on their six, there is a chance the bandit could close for a kill while the F-22 is heading vertical. Its as much about relative angles as it is about energy states.
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southernphantom

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Unread post14 Jan 2014, 17:12

DACT isn't about creating the most ludicrously-maneuverable aggressor aircraft, it's about simulating a realistic threat environment. The main innovation to be worried about is LO. Frankly, until the F-35 becomes available in sufficient numbers, I suspect that it can be simulated with software, possibly active emitters on the aggressor to simulate RCS for numerous threats.
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zero-one

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Unread post14 Jan 2014, 18:46

southernphantom wrote:DACT isn't about creating the most ludicrously-maneuverable aggressor aircraft, it's about simulating a realistic threat environment. The main innovation to be worried about is LO. Frankly, until the F-35 becomes available in sufficient numbers, I suspect that it can be simulated with software, possibly active emitters on the aggressor to simulate RCS for numerous threats.


Exactly, the question is, will the current crop of aggressor birds be able to realistically simulate the latest threats?

The F-35 can more than simulate the PAK-FAs and J-20s low RCS airframes,
but what about their flight charactaristics?

In my oppinion only the Raptor can provide an accurate representation of the PAK-FA, but I could be wrong
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Unread post17 Jan 2014, 09:16

If only the Mitsubishi F-2 were still in production...

Add thrust vectoring GE-132, updated avionics, IRST pod, call it a day.

Perhaps a modified Gripen NG could fill the hole??
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FlightDreamz

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Unread post17 Jan 2014, 19:05

zero-one In my oppinion only the Raptor can provide an accurate representation of the PAK-FA, but I could be wrong

The F-22 is certainly capable of simulating the Sukhoi T-50/PAK-Fa (ditto for China's Chengdu J-20 stealth aircraft). Question is are there enough F-22's to go around?
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neurotech

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Unread post17 Jan 2014, 19:12

geogen wrote:If only the Mitsubishi F-2 were still in production...

Add thrust vectoring GE-132, updated avionics, IRST pod, call it a day.

Perhaps a modified Gripen NG could fill the hole??

The only way that could potentially make sense is if the requirements needed a UCAV with thrust vectoring, then use the same engine to upgrade the the aggressor jets.

I think the issue of thrust vectoring for aggressor trainers is overblown because neither Raptor or Su-35 pilots are going to want to get into a knife-fight. Besides, it would violate the training RoE to engage closer than 500 ft. The Top Gun movie had the jets fly closer than normally allowed so they could be filmed in the same shot.
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Unread post19 Jan 2014, 20:12

Salute!

Zero and Southern have it nailed.

It is not super maneuverability. It's about tactics and some degree of aircraft capabilities should things come down to a knife fight. Increasingly becoming less common, but still likely.

In the old days, it was the small Fishbed and later, the maneuverabilty of the Flucrum ( as well as its size).

The problem we had was practicing against like aircraft types with like capabilities and, yes, tactics. The original aggressors, and those I saw at Red Flag, did not engage in prolonged knife fights. They exploited really great GCI, and first sight was as they bounced us or were pulling off after firing an Atoll sim. Can testify to that. They prolly had lots better GCI than any threat we were gonna face, but what the hell. To be honest, seems their model was based on the North Vee experience. Without real experience versus PACT jets in actual combat, it was the best we had to go with.

I discount the IAF experience due to their ROE and the quality/training/experience of the opposition - Bekka comes to mind, as did the Libyan encounter by two Tomcats, and the Serbian or whoever encounter by Vipers in the 90's.

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