Penetrating Counter Air / Next Generation Air Dominance

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

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Unread post27 Dec 2018, 17:26

element1loop wrote:
jetblast16 wrote:The 8 AAM internal load-out is a conservative estimate; it could potentially hold more, but I wanted to emphasize a serious internal fuel load


Tardis weapon bay? (bigger inside than out)

F-36A Terminator :P


That's the trick though with PCA: It has to carry both an astronomical fuel and weapons load. I don't see what the point is if you can penetrate/loiter all day with just... 8 missiles? We already know from some war sims the F-22's 8 missiles are too few. Sure, they can hang around longer to provide targeting/SA to other assets but... what other assets are going to go as far as PCA and stay on station for any length of time?

They're either going to pony up huge $ to get those capabilities or... accept some compromises.I tend to think it'll be the latter, given the USAF is going to have all it can handle in buying adequate numbers of F-35's, B-21's, new tankers, trainers and God knows what else. This is another reason why I don't think the F-15X has a snowball's chance in hell of coming to fruition...
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wrightwing

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 04:39

mixelflick wrote:
element1loop wrote:
jetblast16 wrote:The 8 AAM internal load-out is a conservative estimate; it could potentially hold more, but I wanted to emphasize a serious internal fuel load


Tardis weapon bay? (bigger inside than out)

F-36A Terminator :P


That's the trick though with PCA: It has to carry both an astronomical fuel and weapons load. I don't see what the point is if you can penetrate/loiter all day with just... 8 missiles? We already know from some war sims the F-22's 8 missiles are too few. Sure, they can hang around longer to provide targeting/SA to other assets but... what other assets are going to go as far as PCA and stay on station for any length of time?

They're either going to pony up huge $ to get those capabilities or... accept some compromises.I tend to think it'll be the latter, given the USAF is going to have all it can handle in buying adequate numbers of F-35's, B-21's, new tankers, trainers and God knows what else. This is another reason why I don't think the F-15X has a snowball's chance in hell of coming to fruition...


The F-35, KC-46, and B-21 buys should be close to ending, by the time PCS starts ramping up, though. PCA is a 2035-2040s timeframe entry date.
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strykerxo

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Unread post28 Dec 2018, 05:43

Not a fighter? Maybe not a F-? but a new or old designation, P-50 Penetrator, "P" for Pursuit.

If the PCA is to work alongside of the B-21 Raider and "not a fighter" and in support of legacy AC. Characteristics that have not been seen for generations of AC, a vehicle that can protect a bomber all the way to its target. The B-17/P-51 combination during WW2 dramatically impacted the war, no other fighter could do it at the time. Generations of jet fighters have had one glaring shortfall, legs, the PCA may change this?

Intruder, Prowler, Raider - good but taken, P-50 Invader, nickname "Vader"
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firebase99

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Unread post29 Dec 2018, 02:45

strykerxo wrote:Not a fighter? Maybe not a F-? but a new or old designation, P-50 Penetrator, "P" for Pursuit.

If the PCA is to work alongside of the B-21 Raider and "not a fighter" and in support of legacy AC. Characteristics that have not been seen for generations of AC, a vehicle that can protect a bomber all the way to its target. The B-17/P-51 combination during WW2 dramatically impacted the war, no other fighter could do it at the time. Generations of jet fighters have had one glaring shortfall, legs, the PCA may change this?

Intruder, Prowler, Raider - good but taken, P-50 Invader, nickname "Vader"


Wow, I was about to write pretty much the exact same thing.
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jetblast16

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Unread post29 Dec 2018, 02:59

F-24A (F-36A) Shadow Hawk
F-24A (F-36A) Shadow Bolt
F-24A (F-36A) Penetrator

:)
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jetblast16

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Unread post29 Dec 2018, 03:06

Mixel, the laser "cannon" is a bit of a stretch...now, but maybe not in 10 years. Remember, this platform will be designed to counter threats in the 2030s timeframe, and beyond.

As long as there is kerosene or fuel onboard to run the engines, to spin the generators, to make the electricity...the solid-state laser can fire. You had raised concerns about "8" AAMs internally; I have raised the stores count to 10, PLUS the laser :mrgreen:

With 50+ Kilowatts, the right beam management, and pointing, the F-24A could potentially down other fighters within visual range, along with air-to-air missiles. I suppose with the right atmospherics, beam pointing, and output power, the laser could engage certain ground vehicles, like trucks, cars, etc.
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mixelflick

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Unread post01 Jan 2019, 17:34

Given the timeline and what's been spent, where do you feel it is in the development cycle?

I'm thinking prototypes have to be flying soon. The F-22/YF-23A first flew in what, 1990? And the F-22 wasn't operational until 15 years later. Granted, I know they deliberately slow walked it due to the "peace dividend", but assuming 5 years to test and another 5 to refine, that brings us to about the 2030 timeframe.

I know the USAF SAYS they want it to be less revolutionary vs. evolutionary to accelerate the process, but let's be honest: When was the last time the USAF ever did that? It's almost always "we want the latest, greatest tech" in the bird - and nothing less. I just don't see them using much "off the shelf" tech to get this done. Without a doubt, the airframe is going to be new. The weapons will have to be new (AIM-120D will be old by then), and ditto for the engines. Only the sensor suite from the F-35 could be ported over in my mind, and that too will likely be "new and improved".

It's clear an F-22 on steroids isn't going to cut it. First flight needs to be soon, and boy oh boy am I looking forward to seeing the first pics of this beast... :mrgreen:
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jetblast16

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Unread post01 Jan 2019, 21:41

Given the timeline and what's been spent, where do you feel it is in the development cycle?


I believe it is somewhat behind schedule now. The DOD / USAF, possibly the Navy, need to decide if the PCA will be comprised of a single platform or a networked set of stealthy platforms. Seeing as to where the world is going technologically, if based on a single platform, my prior fantasies may not be so far off base, as its current name implies, the PCA will need range and possibly speed to defeat (penetrate) a Tier 1 IADS in the 2030s-2040s.
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jetblast16

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Unread post01 Jan 2019, 21:42

Only the sensor suite from the F-35 could be ported over in my mind


Or a multi-spectral DAS / EOTS :wink:
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Unread post01 Jan 2019, 23:12

I have heard the frontal RCS is the smallest, back is the next smallest, sides of an aircraft can appear 1000 times more huge in size than compared to the front. But it appears to me that the ventral RCS or underside of an aircraft has the highest RCS because of alot of surface area.

1. Can someone give me a reference of the size estimation the underside would be than compared to the front of a aircraft?

2. Does anyone have sources on the angle approach of aircraft, altitude height, angle view of a SAM radar to determine the distance the aircraft would be tracked along with what percentage the ventral or frontal RCS is being viewed?
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Unread post02 Jan 2019, 08:42

fidgetspinner wrote:I have heard the frontal RCS is the smallest, back is the next smallest, sides of an aircraft can appear 1000 times more huge in size than compared to the front. But it appears to me that the ventral RCS or underside of an aircraft has the highest RCS because of alot of surface area.

1. Can someone give me a reference of the size estimation the underside would be than compared to the front of a aircraft?

2. Does anyone have sources on the angle approach of aircraft, altitude height, angle view of a SAM radar to determine the distance the aircraft would be tracked along with what percentage the ventral or frontal RCS is being viewed?

The F-22, F-35, and eventually PCS, are all aspect VLO. There's no angle where they have an RCS 1000x larger than head on. There's also no angle, where a fire control radar will detect/track them at long ranges.
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Unread post02 Jan 2019, 09:41

wrightwing wrote:The F-22, F-35, and eventually PCS, are all aspect VLO. There's no angle where they have an RCS 1000x larger than head on. There's also no angle, where a fire control radar will detect/track them at long ranges.


While I agree with the second part wholeheartedly, I find it hard to believe the first part. It would make more sense if you added "operationally relevant or useful angles". I'm pretty sure that the RCS of a stealth fighter at a 90 degree angle straight down is at least 2-3 orders of magnitude greater than head on - simple physics should still apply. The problem is that the window during which you could track/target the aircraft at those angles is ridiculously tiny, so not really useful.
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Unread post02 Jan 2019, 12:28

I think that 1000x RCS comes from some public RCS models that have been done about F-22 and F-35. There are naturally problems with these models as they are made assuming that aircraft in question is made from fully reflective material (like polished aluminum) for simplicity. That's naturally not the case as modern aircraft are made from carbon fiber composites which have far lower reflectivity. Another thing is that most reflective angles are well known and can be remedied using thicker RAM in the right places. Also we have to remember that while F-35 and F-22 likely have some "bad" angles, they themselves know these angles exactly and all the time and can avoid showing them to enemy radars.
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Unread post02 Jan 2019, 18:00

I'm not so sure about the "bad" angles thing. Perhaps bigger than others, but I doubt they're "bad" per se. Bad (to me) implies a radar spike, thus jeopardizing its stealth. LM would have been crazy to spend all that money on low observable/stealth and then roll out.... an aircraft that could be detected from a certain angle? Not buying it...

It doesn't square up with pilot comments about the F-22/35 either. Several F-15/16 pilots I've spoke to have said, "we can't see them. even when they're close". One F-16 pilot told me they couldn't even see it with their radar when ground control told them to look! "You have 2 F-35's, 12 miles away at your 1:00, 25,000ft". Pilot said he pointed the radar there, nothin' doin'.

12 miles!
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Unread post03 Jan 2019, 01:21

I wonder whether sniper pods with IR sensors can make a difference for legacies vs 5G?
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