F-18E/F 2017

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

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Unread post20 Jan 2020, 03:48

Would wingtip based IRST pods be useful at all? I always thought having targeting pod out there might give them a better view compared to the spots they typically run, you could also incorporate EW or extra sensors for missiles warnings or some type of basic DAS system for covering the side and rear hemispheres.


Also thanks for the answer 35 aoa
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hornetfinn

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Unread post20 Jan 2020, 10:38

geforcerfx wrote:Would wingtip based IRST pods be useful at all? I always thought having targeting pod out there might give them a better view compared to the spots they typically run, you could also incorporate EW or extra sensors for missiles warnings or some type of basic DAS system for covering the side and rear hemispheres.


That's an interesting idea and it could give some interesting capabilties. It could give pretty good stereo vision with widely spaced sensors for the IRST system meaning that it could do passive ranging much better than with having only one sensor. They would also give wider FoV or even 360 degree coverage. Possibly have both long range IRST sensor (with narrow FoV) and two short range ones (with wide FoV) to allow MLD/MAWS functionality. One would be facing forward along with the long range sensor and the other would look back. Each one would have similar coverage to EODAS in F-35. With modern small, light and effective uncooled sensors this might be doable even in small wingtip mounting.

Real targeting pod would likely be too large for wingtip mounting and I doubt it would give much benefits there either. You'd need two pods for balance and coverage and I don't think that's better than having one larger targeting pod on the center.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post20 Jan 2020, 18:13

hornetfinn wrote:They would also give wider FoV or even 360 degree coverage. Possibly have both long range IRST sensor (with narrow FoV) and two short range ones (with wide FoV) to allow MLD/MAWS functionality. One would be facing forward along with the long range sensor and the other would look back. Each one would have similar coverage to EODAS in F-35. With modern small, light and effective uncooled sensors this might be doable even in small wingtip mounting.

Real targeting pod would likely be too large for wingtip mounting and I doubt it would give much benefits there either. You'd need two pods for balance and coverage and I don't think that's better than having one larger targeting pod on the center.


That's actually where the idea kinda came from was a cheaper easier solution to give our 4th and 4.5 gens some DAS capabilities to improve survivability and improve the pilots SA (would be a nice upgrade on the Super Hornets imo). I always thought the targeting pods on the smaller aircraft were carried to one side and the intake/fuselage would block the views of the other side but looking at some pictures and videos again I guess not to much. I know the F-14, F-15 mounted there's for almost perfect forward sector vision.

Do you really think they would be wide enough apart to do passive ranging? I figured a few hundred feet or more would be needed from what i read on earlier threads 35-50 seems pretty small.
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Unread post20 Jan 2020, 19:12

geforcerfx wrote:Do you really think they would be wide enough apart to do passive ranging? I figured a few hundred feet or more would be needed from what i read on earlier threads 35-50 seems pretty small.

yeah, with an angular resolution of 0.0225 degrees per pixel (4kx4k with 95deg FOV) two sensors 35ft apart will only see an angular difference at ranges under 14nm. Meanwhile, two planes 10nm apart can cooperatively range out to "infinity" (24,000+nm)
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Unread post20 Jan 2020, 20:11

Rather than dedicated wingtip irst how about dropping a IIR-equipped MALD to fly about 5 or 6 miles off your wing?
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Unread post20 Jan 2020, 20:12

or just network with your wingman the way the F-35 does?
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Unread post21 Jan 2020, 09:57

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
geforcerfx wrote:Do you really think they would be wide enough apart to do passive ranging? I figured a few hundred feet or more would be needed from what i read on earlier threads 35-50 seems pretty small.

yeah, with an angular resolution of 0.0225 degrees per pixel (4kx4k with 95deg FOV) two sensors 35ft apart will only see an angular difference at ranges under 14nm. Meanwhile, two planes 10nm apart can cooperatively range out to "infinity" (24,000+nm)


Sure it's a lot better to range co-operatively with wide spacing between aircraft like F-35 does. However this was supposed to be relatively cheap and straightforward upgrade to 4th gen fighters without similar data links or sensor fusion engines. Another thing is that the ranging could be done with narrow FoV sensor like regular IRST systems do. Of course for MLD/MAWS functionality a wide FoV sensor would be needed (like EODAS in F-35 or DDM-NG in Rafale). However I don't think 4kx4k sensors could be used as those need to be cooled AFAIK. In this we might use 1kx1k uncooled sensors (because of restrictions in weight, cooling and space) with say 3 degree FoV for the IRST sensor and at least 95 degrees for the MLD/MAWS sensor. Naturally this kind of system would be a lot more expensive than current IRST upgrades for F-15 and SH.
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Unread post21 Jan 2020, 16:13

hornetfinn,

The F/A-18C-G already have Link-16 for datalinking ownship positions as well as radar contacts. And as I even type this I realize the sheer magnitude of contacts spherical systems track and the processing power it takes to classify them. This is not "Hey, I see a hot pixel as az1/el1, what do you see?" followed by some basic geometry.

I withdraw my "Do what the F-35 does" statement. It was built from the ground up for that.
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Unread post22 Jan 2020, 10:23

I agree that F-35 is really unique when it comes to networked sensor fusion. It has superior sensor system with superior sensor fusion engine and all connected with superior networking capability. I think it's really difficult to understand how much of a difference all that makes when it comes to SA and also providing that SA to others (especially C2I nodes). We could probably install (and likely will) some of those capabilties to 4th gen fighters with recent advances and cost reductions in Link 16, IIR sensors and computing systems. Super Hornet seems like good candidate for such upgrades as those will be used for some time and has advanced 4th gen avionics suite already. But even IRST21 required some other upgrades (new mission computer, networking IIRC) even when it has only single IRST sensor. Legion pod seems to be good system but it's pretty big, so it might not be easy to do wingtip mounted systems with good enough performance in comparison. Those seem to have their own pod to pod data links and sensor fusion system to do stuff like triangulation and passive ranging co-operatively.
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Unread post22 Jan 2020, 13:31

If you're tracking within 14nm then it makes sense to not use expensive wingtip solutions. But if you are searching in a directional manner only then it may as well be mounted on a location where fuel mass can be used to regulate temperature in them. Are they so expensive where mounting on each side of the fuselage or on a wing (tiseo-like) is impractical? The chinese seem obsessed with adding a MAWS-like system on future Flanker derivatives to keep them relevant. And most of their Flankers are two-seat versions, so their system is likely a nod to situational awareness and survivability being important to them. It looks like Dassault opted for improving the basic Rafale to where fleet numbers suffered, but the ability of each aircraft increased. Having a better aircraft at some point is more important than raw numbers.
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Unread post06 Feb 2020, 00:47

In a surprise announcement, the U.S. Navy revealed on Tuesday that it had successfully flown tests involving unmanned versions of the EA-18G Growler electronic attack fighter. The tests involved a single manned EA-18G controlling two unmanned versions of the same aircraft, opening up the possibility that the U.S. Navy could fly armed unmanned aircraft sooner than originally thought


https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... nned-navy/
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Unread post17 Mar 2020, 04:28

Air Weapons: LRASM Challenges Tomahawk

March 16, 2020: Australia has become the first export customer for the new American LRASM (Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile), which entered service in 2018. Australia order3ed 200 LRASM, 11 LARSAM training versions, as well various other training and maintenance items plus training and extended maintenance and tech support. The total cost of the Australian purchase is nearly a billion dollars. Australia will employ LRASM on its F-18E jets fighters.

In the U.S. LARSM was first deployed in late 2018 for U.S. Air Force B-1 bombers. LRASM was familiar to air force personnel because it is basically a new version of the existing AGM-158 JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile). This was recognized in 2015 when the air-launched version of LRASM was given the official designation of AGM-158C. This followed a 2014 decision to take the LRASM research project and put it into service as a stopgap until a more advanced successor to the Tomahawk cruise missile is ready in the mid-2020s. The air force is equipping other bombers and fighter-bombers to use LRASM. Deliveries of the naval version began later in 2019, first for the carrier based F-18E. This is the one Australia will get for its land-based F-18Es.

While LARSM is a cruise missile, it evolved from smarts bombs that had small wings added to enable them to glide long distances. After that a small jet engine was added it was a cruise missile. In contrast, the Tomahawk was designed, forty years ago, as a cruise missile and is one of the earliest examples of a guided missile that was originally designed for heavy bombers eventually going on to be a weapon for surface warships, submarines and shore-based systems. Cruise missiles designed for use on bombers and fighter-bombers are increasingly popular for other uses. Thus in 2017, the U.S. Navy carried out a successful test of its LRASM launched from a container mounted at an angle on the deck of a ship. This version of LRASM used the same fire control hardware and software used for the VLS (Vertical Launch System) cells built into many new warships. The deck-mounted LRASM makes it possible to install this anti-ship missile on older ships as well as some new ones (like aircraft carriers) that don’t have VLS.

One popular feature LRASM lacks is a high-speed final approach. Russia pioneered this feature to overcome close-range defenses already in use to take down subsonic anti-ship missiles. Adding the supersonic final approach makes missiles heavier (by 50 percent or more) and even more expensive. There has not been enough actual combat experience to decide which approach is more cost/effective. In any event, LRASM is a lighter, less expensive alternative to Tomahawk.

LRASM is based on JASSM missiles, which are 1,045 kg (2,300 pound) weapons that are basically 455 kg (1,000 pound) JDAMS (GPS guided bombs) with a small turbojet added. JASSM was designed to go after enemy air defense systems or targets deep in heavily defended (against air attack) enemy territory. LRASM was based on JASSM ER, the version with the longest range (930 kilometers). Because of the additional sensors and electronics LRASM weighs 1,100 kg (2,500 pounds) with a 450 kg (1,000 pound) warhead and a range of 560 kilometers. The air-launched version used from ships or land has a booster rocket added to get the LRASM moving and high enough into the air so that the turbojet engine can take over. With the booster, added LRASM weighs 2,000 kg (4,400 pounds).

LRASM began in 2009 as a research project to develop a stealthier cruise missile. LRASM was part of an effort to develop autonomous hunter-killer missiles that can seek out targets without remote control and in the midst of enemy countermeasures (electronic and otherwise). LRASM underwent its first field test in 2013 when one was launched from a B-1B bomber and sent off in the direction where three destroyer size unmanned ships were moving about. LRASM flew via GPS waypoints for several hundred kilometers and then began flying a search pattern, seeking electronic or visual signs of one of the target ships. One was found and LRASM, armed with an inert warhead hit it.

LRASM is not just equipped to seek out targets in a general area (of several thousand square kilometers) but is also fitted out with electronics to resist GPS jamming and other anti-missile electronic defenses warships carry. LRASM also has a highly accurate INS (inertial guidance system) that cannot be jammed and serves as a backup to GPS. The ultimate LRASM design will also incorporate stealth features like a special shape and largely passive sensors. The original LRASM development model was basically an existing long-range bomb (JASSM ER) with a much improved guidance system and that turned out to work.

One reason JASSM was selected as the basis for LRASM was that JASSM went through a pretty tortuous development process itself. Work on JASSM began in the late 1990s and was expected to enter production by 2002 but that was delayed two years. Then there were more delays, lots of delays. From 2006 to 2009 the U.S. Department of Defense was on the verge of canceling the $6 billion JASSM program. Lobbying, pleading, large orders from Australia and South Korea, and the growing possibility that the missile would be useful against Iranian, Chinese or North Korean air defense systems, gave the program a few more lives.

The only problem JASSM had early on was that, well, it often didn't work. Until 2009 the tests had been mostly failures. But the manufacturer was able to identify all the problems and convinced the government that these were the result of poor manufacturing. This issue, the builder promised, was fixed. Fortunately, tests in late 2009 were over 90 percent successful. That kind of good news has arrived just in time and JASSM finally entered service. Although the U.S. Air Force had ordered the AGM-158 JASSM into full production in early 2004 only a few were produced because of test failures. Air force purchasing plans were cut way back because of the reliability problems, and this delayed shipment of the missiles to combat units until 2011.

JASSM is stealthy and uses GPS and terminal (infrared) guidance to zero in on heavily defended targets (like air defense sites.) The terminal guidance enables the missile to land within three meters (ten feet) of the aiming point. If there were a war with North Korea, for example, JASSM would be essential to taking out enemy air defenses, or any other targets that have to be hit early in a war. This capability is apparently what attracted the South Koreans, who now have F-15K aircraft that can carry JASSM.

JASSM/LRASM was designed to handle the most modern Russian surface to air missiles, which are also being sold to China. North Korea has older stuff, and can't afford the newer Russian SAMs. But even these older air defenses can be dangerous and are best addressed with long-range missiles. So there is a need for a missile like JASSM/LRASM, at least one that works.

https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htair ... 00316.aspx

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