New A2A Missile???

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PhillyGuy

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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 03:44

Anyone have any recent knowledge or information about what's happening development wise with this sittuation? Is there any program of record by any of the services? Industry projects of note? What about the rest of the world, anyone out there working on next generation stuff? It seems everyone has kind of given up and shrugged their shoulders on a next generation A2A missile since what we have now are "good enough" and the standard. I feel this issue has the potential to be like the dud torpedo problem for the USN at the start of WWII. Everyone thought they worked and would work until they were used in combat and in ways hard to theorise or adequately test during training.

Between the phantom programs and canceled plans and a multitude of possible future concepts, the fact remains that nothing is being done to replace the AMRAAM, or another significant upgrade package beyond the D version?

It's quite frankly hard to believe. We will soon have a fleet of 5th generation aircraft, from fighters to bombers to unmanned, while equipping them with 4th generation missiles that become more outdated by the day. Very very risky to have half a billion dollar aircraft designed to operate past 2040, using a missile from the late 80s and which is vwry close to parity with adversarial weaponry.

What is the hold up or prognosis/thinking here? Are we waiting for some breakthrough in hypersonic air breathing engines to build a future air to air missile around? I assume propulsion is the biggest challange and unknown and we've reached our ability to maximize range and speed with the xurrent solid fueled rocket motors while minimizing weight and dimensions.

The electronics, guidance and connectivity is already here. If this technology could be mated to a longer ranged, more capable engine within the same footprint as the AMRAAM, that would be ideal.

But what happens to aircraft like the F-22 and F-35, with necessitated internal weapons bays fixed in dimension and limited in payload. What is the Raptor doomed to basically only use the AMRAAM for the next 30 years because that's what it was designed around?

What about the F-35, if a future missile is a little larger or different and only 4 can fit internally, what kind of weapons load is that. It is imperative the B-21 and existing bombers are outfitted to carry and launch a large number of A2A munitions for the tactical fleet, ala a networked missile truck concept.

Just looking to see if anyone has heard anything.
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count_to_10

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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 18:01

Future missiles will be designed for the F-35.
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Unread post19 Jun 2017, 00:09

The need for advanced missile has been expressed. Lots of concepts under consideration. Some testing to validate tech. Hopefully a program of record is next.
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Unread post19 Jun 2017, 12:04

I think one important thing is to make the missile less expensive than what they have become or at least stop the cost rise. Latest BVR missiles cost somewhere between 1 and 2 million US$ a piece and shorter ranged missiles (usually IR) cost something like half a million to a million (depending on calculation and type). High cost means lower procurement numbers which further escalates unit costs. There is not so much of an advantage in small missiles if they are too expensive to buy in large enough quantities. I'm sure this is something that will be high in the priority list in development, but may be harder to do in real life. Getting high performance tends to be expensive.
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Unread post19 Jun 2017, 15:47

When it comes to weapons, you buy what you need. The US has a certain number of AAMs and it does not stockpile for the sake of stockpiling. If the AIM-120D cost 20% less it would not be buying 20% more, it would be buying the same amount.
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Unread post20 Jun 2017, 15:09

Would be nice to see an AIM-120D kill, although I'm sure it'll come in time.

Do the Israeli's use it? They're always fighting someone, or so it seems. I also think they'll use the F-35 before anyone (in anger), as they have what - 5 examples flying? It won't be long before they have a full squadron, or enough jets to hit the Iranian's..
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arian

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Unread post21 Jun 2017, 00:39

hornetfinn wrote:I think one important thing is to make the missile less expensive than what they have become or at least stop the cost rise. Latest BVR missiles cost somewhere between 1 and 2 million US$ a piece and shorter ranged missiles (usually IR) cost something like half a million to a million (depending on calculation and type). High cost means lower procurement numbers which further escalates unit costs. There is not so much of an advantage in small missiles if they are too expensive to buy in large enough quantities. I'm sure this is something that will be high in the priority list in development, but may be harder to do in real life. Getting high performance tends to be expensive.


I don't think those are unreasonable prices. $1-2 million for a missile to shoot down a $100 million plane, of which the enemy has only a limited number of? Sounds good to me.

Also I'm not sure how one would be able to tell, comparatively. AIM-9 and AIM-120 are probably produced more than all other air-air missiles in the world...combined. So I'm not sure one could argue, compared to any other missile, that these aren't being bought in large quantities.

In the last 10 years the US has purchased ~3,900 AIM-9X and ~2,600 AIM-120s. AIM-120 production seems to have doubled in the last couple of years and now is more than AIM-9X.

I agree that the costs and capabilities of smaller missiles are becoming the same as larger missiles. And vice-versa. And missiles like AIM-9X and other short-range missiles may well be a thing of the past and the next generation will probably be a single missile for close in and long-range engagements.

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