Eurofighter Typhoon using American IRST system?

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

armedupdate

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 419
  • Joined: 05 Aug 2015, 21:11

Unread post06 Jan 2017, 01:58

Title

I read an article on the Aviationist that the AAS-42 is equipping the Eurofighter Typhoon despite it having an IRST already.

How true is this?
https://theaviationist.com/2014/02/21/r ... ed-nellis/
Offline

madrat

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1605
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2010, 03:12

Unread post06 Jan 2017, 05:02

The UK was interested in it back in 2013, but Tiger Eyes isn't exactly a bolt on option.
Offline

armedupdate

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 419
  • Joined: 05 Aug 2015, 21:11

Unread post06 Jan 2017, 05:23

Funny how EU fanboys claim other nations far above USA in IRST tech.
Offline

airforces_freak

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 417
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2011, 03:26

Unread post06 Jan 2017, 10:52

Deal Will Bring Selex Infrared Tech to US
By: Tom Kington, May 11, 2015
http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /26508459/

ROME — As the market grows for infrared search and track (IRST) sensors that can function like radars on fighters, one American firm has signed a deal with a European counterpart that will bring to the US infrared technologies already honed on the Eurofighter.

Northrop Grumman has launched a partnership with Italian firm Selex ES under which Selex's infrared know-how will enter the US and possibly be turned around for export products for Foreign Military Sales customers.

"Selex has partnered with Northrop Grumman to bring IRST to the US," a Northrop Grumman spokeswoman told Defense News, adding that further details on the applications for new IRST products would be announced in May.

The deal pushes into the US market the technology Selex has worked on for the Eurofighter's PIRATE (passive infrared airborne tracking equipment) sensor, for the European Neuron UCAV technology demonstrator, and, most recently, for Sweden's Gripens.

As passive sensors, IRST systems cannot be jammed like radar, nor do they give away the position of the emitter, like radar. They are also a useful complement to radar when it comes to tracking aircraft with a low radar cross-section. Even if the target aircraft are nearly invisible to radar, they will generate heat thanks to air friction, leaving an infrared signature.

IRST can be used for air-to-air, air-to-ground and land-based tracking, although humidity and clouds can interfere with results, unlike radar.

One US analyst said that IRST had not received much attention from the Pentagon over the past few decades.

"The US has lagged on development after getting a strong start in the 1980s when Lockheed Martin put a system on F-14s," said David Rockwell, senior electronics analyst at the Teal Group. "The US dropped back for 20 years, but IRST is potentially a huge market," he added.

"There was a requirement for IRST on the F-22 but the program was cut due to lack of funding, while the IR sensor that Northrop Grumman has put on the F-35 is 360 degrees without an equivalent long-range search-and-track sensor," he said.

In February, Lockheed unveiled its Legion IRST pod, which it claimed will bring long-range infrared tracking to fourth-generation aircraft like the US Air Force's F-15 and F-16 fighters.

The 500-pound pod carries the firm's IRST21 sensor, which was approved for low-rate initial production on the Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet in January.

An Air Force request for proposals is expected for an IRST to mount on the F-15C, with a 2018 delivery date.

A Lockheed official has said the pod-to-pod communication allowed by its Legion pod could also facilitate communication between newer and older fighters.

"If they enter the market, Northrop Grumman and Selex could benefit if the US wants competition, but today Lockheed has the market sewn up. However, it is unlikely Northrop will benefit from the same combination of market factors — including immediate needs after 9/11 — that made Litening successful in the US," he added.

On the other hand, Rockwell said there could be a large market for adding pods to existing fighters around the world, just as US firms are now marketing active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar upgrades for fighters.

Northrop has already had success by teaming with Israel's Rafael to market its Litening targeting pod. It also has a track record with Selex. The Italian firm, which is a unit of Finmeccanica, has long supplied components for Northrop Grumman's directional infrared countermeasure system.

Selex has meanwhile worked on the PIRATE air-to-air sensor for the Eurofighter, which can act as an IR camera or a passive radar operating in the 8-12 micrometers IR band.

Other contracts have followed. The firm built an air-to-ground IRST sensor for the European Neuron UCAV and a sensor for the Turkish Navy in 2012. The Italian Navy has requested a multiheaded version of an IRST for its new multifunctional vessels. A version is already on board Italy's Cavour carrier.

Selex has used the testing of its sensors to improve the algorithms that ensure the IRST can exclude false signals and identify vehicle or vessel types tracked.

This month, Saab awarded Selex a production contract to supply 60 Skyward-G IRST systems for its Gripen E fleet, and Selex is also expected to supply the system to go on board Brazil's Gripens.

Selex is also supplying its AESA radar, identification-friend-or-foe and decoy systems to the Gripen, making it responsible for 30 percent of the aircraft's avionics.

Meanwhile, the firm is waiting for an order to upgrade the PIRATE sensor on Eurofighters.

The Skyward system, which weighs 40 kilograms and consumes about 380 kilowatts of power, projects images onto the plane's head up display.

Likely to interest Northrop is Selex's parallel work on a pod version for use on existing aircraft.

Email: tkington@defensenews.com
Offline

basher54321

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1206
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2014, 15:43

Unread post06 Jan 2017, 14:28

Deal Will Bring Selex Infrared Tech to US
By: Tom Kington, May 11, 2015

"The US has lagged on development after getting a strong start in the 1980s when Lockheed Martin put a system on F-14s," said David Rockwell, senior electronics analyst at the Teal Group. "The US dropped back for 20 years, but IRST is potentially a huge market," he added.


The 80s huh guess Gums never had a real IRST in the 102.

"There was a requirement for IRST on the F-22 but the program was cut due to lack of funding, while the IR sensor that Northrop Grumman has put on the F-35 is 360 degrees without an equivalent long-range search-and-track sensor," he said.


Not what is advertised for EOTS - sounds like confusion with EODAS :doh:
Offline
User avatar

sferrin

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 4218
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2005, 03:23

Unread post06 Jan 2017, 15:51

basher54321 wrote:
The 80s huh guess Gums never had a real IRST in the 102.



Or F-101, F-106, F-4, F-8, and YF-12 (which had two of them).
"There I was. . ."
Offline

mixelflick

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1562
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:26
  • Location: Parts Unknown

Unread post06 Jan 2017, 18:20

Whether its American or otherwise, isn't the reason for this to detect "low observable" aircraft more readily?

Someone here (forget who) said something to the effect that if an aircraft moves that fast through the air, it's going to have a heat signature (beyond just the engines). How true is this? And if it is true, would an IRST "sweep" be able to pick it up/get a lock and firing solution?

I've always wondered. One a final note, I'm glad the Typhoon is on our side. Damn, beautiful jet..
Offline

hythelday

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 141
  • Joined: 25 Jul 2016, 12:43

Unread post06 Jan 2017, 22:29

mixelflick wrote:Whether its American or otherwise, isn't the reason for this to detect "low observable" aircraft more readily?

Someone here (forget who) said something to the effect that if an aircraft moves that fast through the air, it's going to have a heat signature (beyond just the engines). How true is this? And if it is true, would an IRST "sweep" be able to pick it up/get a lock and firing solution?

I've always wondered. One a final note, I'm glad the Typhoon is on our side. Damn, beautiful jet..


Aircraft do in fact get hotter because of friction (air against fuselage) and thus can be detected earlier by IR sensors. However, it seems to me that you are confusing "aircraft travelling through the air and leaving trail" with Schlieren optical effect, which allows to visualize gas flow motions. Some speculate this is ultimate "stealth-killer" technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLp_rSBzteI
Offline

collimatrix

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 101
  • Joined: 10 Jul 2016, 15:27

Unread post07 Jan 2017, 08:17

IRST is advantageous against fifth-generation fighters because the mach waves generated by a supercruising fighter at hot and have a (potentially) detectable infra-red signature.

It works like this: the plane is moving supersonically, therefore the air can't get out of the way fast enough. The air piles up and creates a mach wave where the air is accelerated extremely rapidly. As the air exits the mach wave it begins to slow down, dynamic pressure is converted into static pressure, but the process isn't reversible and so some of the kinetic energy is converted into heat. So you have a big cone of hot air radiating infra-red in front of the airplane. This link discusses it in some detail.

As I understand it, the thermal signature of the mach cone is smaller than that of the engines, and I'm not sure that current IRST tech is up to detecting the things at great distance. However, you can do things to limit the thermal signature of the engines. Making the mach cone less radiant is much more difficult, the designers would be wrestling with some fairly fundamental aerodynamics and thermodynamics.

So once thermal sensor tech gets good enough, it could be very hard to hide supercruising aircraft.
Offline

hornetfinn

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2066
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2013, 08:31
  • Location: Finland

Unread post09 Jan 2017, 07:30

armedupdate wrote:Title

I read an article on the Aviationist that the AAS-42 is equipping the Eurofighter Typhoon despite it having an IRST already.

How true is this?
https://theaviationist.com/2014/02/21/r ... ed-nellis/


I think the whole thing was just badly worded. I think the article was trying the say that Typhoon also carries IRST system and not AN/AAS-42 specifically. I've not seen any evidence that EF Typhoon has carried it and I doubt it would give much improvement over Pirate, which still has pretty good specs for IRST system.
Offline

hornetfinn

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2066
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2013, 08:31
  • Location: Finland

Unread post09 Jan 2017, 11:45

airforces_freak wrote:
Deal Will Bring Selex Infrared Tech to US
By: Tom Kington, May 11, 2015
http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /26508459/


Now, that was rather poorly written article with a lot of errors. Like F-35 not having long-range IRST or Skyward-G taking 380 kilowatts of power (380 watts is closer to reality). Also how has USA dropped back for 20 years and at the same time list the IRST systems now entering service with US made fighters? Development work has definitely been going on for years. US companies have also produced some targeting pods with IRST functionality.

Basically only EF Typhoon and Dassault Rafale have had some time to be the only fighters with modern imaging IRST systems. Mentioning Gripen E fleet is funny as there is exactly one development aircraft in existence and it hasn't even flown yet. Russian systems are not much to worry about as their tech level is from 1960s and the capability is very modest in comparison.

US companies have the most advanced high-end thermal detectors around with UK, French and other European companies closely following. Japanese and South Korean companies have some good systems also. NG probably went for Leonardo (Selex) for existing IRST solution as they don't have such a system and wanted to compete in the area too as there is lucrative market for them. IRST systems are not rocket science when you have good detector systems available. I'm sure NG could've developed one all by themselves, but that'd take too much time and give competitors too much head start.
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 6772
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post09 Jan 2017, 16:52

I thought Rafale removed the IR half of their IR/TV IRST duo a while back?
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

hornetfinn

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2066
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2013, 08:31
  • Location: Finland

Unread post11 Jan 2017, 13:09

SpudmanWP wrote:I thought Rafale removed the IR half of their IR/TV IRST duo a while back?


I've found very conflicting info about this. Most French sources seem to indicate that they do have the IRST system installed on at least some Rafales:

http://www.safran-electronics-defense.c ... /optronics

Safran Electronics & Defense is responsible for the infrared search & track (IRST) and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) part of the FSO, while Thales provides the daytime video channel and laser rangefinder.


http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae/sp ... ox3_14.pdf (page 11)

A new generation infrared sensor for passive search and track of airborne targets and for night identification could be integrated into the FSO at a later stage. Such an infrared sensor operating in the 8 to 12 µm band has been fielded in the French Air Force F2 Standard Rafales, and an updated variant working in the 3 to 5 µm band is being studied for the future growth of the FSO.


https://www.thalesgroup.com/sites/defau ... 060208.pdf
Offline

hornetfinn

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2066
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2013, 08:31
  • Location: Finland

Unread post11 Jan 2017, 13:52

IMO, main reasons why IRST systems have gained popularity are:

- IR technology is now good and cheap enough to make it worth the cost
- Modern IR sensors require little maintenance and have long service life
- Sensor fusion systems allow data integration with other sensors (radar, RWR/ESM) to have single targeting data instead of multiple ones

IR systems have unique features and important advantages when compared to other sensors. Of course they also have several limitations also.

I'd say that airframe heating is not much of an issue in fighter aircraft speeds and supercruising F-22 is probably detectable only at somewhat longer ranges because of it than flying subsonically. IMO, engines are and will always be the main sources of IR radiation for fighter aircraft and thus set how detectable a fighter is in IR spectrum in most cases. Next is probably avionics which require quite a lot of electrical power which also means quite a lot of heat. I doubt the shock cone has large enough IR signature to really matter much in comparison.
Offline

gideonic

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: 06 Sep 2015, 13:54

Unread post11 Jan 2017, 14:40

hornetfinn wrote:I'd say that airframe heating is not much of an issue in fighter aircraft speeds and supercruising F-22 is probably detectable only at somewhat longer ranges because of it than flying subsonically. IMO, engines are and will always be the main sources of IR radiation for fighter aircraft and thus set how detectable a fighter is in IR spectrum in most cases. Next is probably avionics which require quite a lot of electrical power which also means quite a lot of heat. I doubt the shock cone has large enough IR signature to really matter much in comparison.


According to CSBA Trends in Air-to-Air combat, there is a pretty big difference between high subsonic and low supersonic speeds (p. 49):
http://csbaonline.org/research/publicat ... uperiority

Image
Next

Return to Modern Military Aircraft

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests