Army Not Afraid to Send Future Helos Against Russian GBAD

Helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft
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element1loop

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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 04:35

Here's Why the Army's Not Afraid to Send its Future Helos Against Russian Air Defenses

5 Jun 2019

Military.com | By Matthew Cox

... The Royal United Services Institute, a United Kingdom think tank, wrote Sept. 4 [2018] that there would be "too many air-defense systems able to engage aviation to be suppressed or destroyed by air strikes or long-range precision fires during the critical stages of any high intensity clash." "Against modern radars, flying low will not grant the same levels of protection as in previous generations," wrote Jack Watling, a research fellow at RUSI. "The reality is that an aviation unit flying over an area containing a Russian army formation will be blown out of the sky."

But Maj. Gen. Dave Francis, commander of the Army's Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Alabama, isn't convinced. "I would argue that many of the folks out there that talk about the survivability of aviation are really using anecdotal examples," he told an audience at an Association of the United States Army aviation symposium. The physics-based modeling that Brig. Gen. Walter Rugen's Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team "are doing right now is giving us data and giving us facts," Francis said. "So, I would disagree with the think tank out there in terms of our ability to go after the threat in this highly contested environment," he added. ...

... Two years ago, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment launched the special operations advanced tactical training effort to stay ahead of enemy threats. The three-phase approach starts at home station when the unit "brings in the experts that know about systems that will defeat aviation platforms out there, both fixed wing and rotor wing," Pepin said. "Our crew members study this in-depth. They use new techniques to assess what the risks will be, and they do all this home-station training and then they ... do reps and sets in the simulators," he said.

Then, the unit travels to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California to go against forces there trained on threat technology, Pepin said. What's impressive, he added, is that the "people operating these systems know we are coming, they know that during these blocks of time we are going to come in with so many aircraft," but it doesn't make any difference. "These are highly trained alert folks that know how to use the systems, know how to read the radar systems ... and the incredible thing, without going into classified systems, is we are able to enter the threat area, defeat the systems with a combination of current modernization efforts as well as tactics, techniques and procedures," Pepin said. "They know there is something out there, but they can't lock on us, and so we are going to continue this process as we develop the FVL program because one of the questions here is how are we going to be able to demonstrate this," he said. ...


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hornetfinn

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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 09:50

I think both of these claims are not totally correct. Helos are difficult targets to engage successfully especially when they are equipped and trained to fly nap-of-the-earth especially during night and in all weather conditions. Terrain masking works wonders no matter what kind of GBAD systems as it totally denies detection with all sensors in many cases. With weapons like Longbow Hellfire and Spike they can engage targets with very little or no exposure. Drones can be used to safely recon the area before attacking enemy units.

Of course there is also the other side of the coin and GBAD systems can definitely unleash hell on any helicopter unit if they get caught in the open. If recon fails for example this might well happen which makes recon really important. Sure helos have EW systems to counter radar systems and dazzlers to counter IR seeking missiles, but many GBAD systems also have other systems for targeting. Defeating optical and thermal sights with laser range finder (or even radar range finder) is not easy to do at all.

I do think that US Army helo force is very well equipped (including tactics and training) to go in areas with strong enemy GBAD. Helos also have the advantage that they set the place and time when they work against GBAD equipped force.
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vilters

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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 10:25

If you fly low and slow enough, the helos will be removed from radar as ground clutter.
Stay below car or train speed, and basically, you are gone from radar.
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 13:13

vilters wrote:If you fly low and slow enough, the helos will be removed from radar as ground clutter.
Stay below car or train speed, and basically, you are gone from radar.


As someone who has actually used such AD radars in actual life for years, this is not really true. Helos are very detectable from their rotors turning fast which creates distinct echo for the radar. Even hovering helicopter can be easily detected and tracked with even remotely modern radars. Range is relatively short (<40 km usually) for that but still longer than radar horizon at lower altitudes, so it doesn't matter. That effect is called micro-Doppler as it comes from the moving parts of the aircraft and not the aircraft itself moving. Systems designed to engage helicopters, such as SPAAGs and SHORAD missile systems usually have radars that are capable of detecting and tracking helicopters flying within ground clutter.

There are radar systems that can detect moving and non-moving human beings. It just depends on how the radar is set up and what the priorities are. Many large and powerful radars are not very good or suitable at all for detecting helicopters. Smaller radars usually are designed to detect and track them. However using terrain masking along makes it difficult to detect helicopters with any sensor.
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 14:19

vilters wrote:If you fly low and slow enough, the helos will be removed from radar as ground clutter.
Stay below car or train speed, and basically, you are gone from radar.


Try hovering. I hear it makes you immune to laser guided bombs. :lmao:
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 17:25

Two well known instances come to mind when it comes to helicopters.
First is the first strike of Desert Storm. AH-64s along with specially modified CH-53 acting as an EW asset destroying early warning radar site creating the first corridor for the rest of the coalition forces to go through and wreck havoc.
Second is Operation Neptune Spear. Classified stealth helicopters flew into Pakistan delievering a USN SMU to kill Osama Bin Laden.

I dont know what type of tactics they are using and refining or high tech wizardy they are testing but I dont believe rotory winged assets will constantly be sitting on the sidelines during a conflict.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 20:11

vilters wrote:If you fly low and slow enough, the helos will be removed from radar as ground clutter.
Stay below car or train speed, and basically, you are gone from radar.



How slow do the rotorblades have to get, Vilters?


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vilters

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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 20:18

How fast do trains go?

When the F-16 came to Europe early 1980's their radars where useless.
They painted all cars on German highways, and most trains on their screens.

Their initial radars had to be "upgraded" to remove all ground clutter like cars and trains.
And if you really want to cheat?
Go hang above and follow a locomotiv or large truck or bus.
And in France and other countries, you need turbo copters to follow the TGV (high speed train)
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juretrn

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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 20:56

Is there a helicopter that has rotor blades that move slower than a car on the motorway???
Seriously, dude.
Russia stronk
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XanderCrews

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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 07:16

vilters wrote:How fast do trains go?


I'm betting slower than the 800 feet per second of a rotor blade, and the tail rotor is farfaster.


When the F-16 came to Europe early 1980's their radars where useless.
They painted all cars on German highways, and most trains on their screens.

Their initial radars had to be "upgraded" to remove all ground clutter like cars and trains.
And if you really want to cheat?
Go hang above and follow a locomotiv or large truck or bus.
And in France and other countries, you need turbo copters to follow the TGV (high speed train)


So the tactic is not only dumb its already outdated?

Vilters LOL youre my favorite poster
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marauder2048

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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 09:16

There's characteristic "blade flash" that radars typically look for which cues filters based on
the doppler spreading effect of the main rotor blades hornetfinn mentioned above.
"blade flash" can be a false positive source from other moving objects like cars.

But against active emitters, helicopters with even modest signature treatments, good
routing, good ESM and a decent inventory of SEAD weapon might be able to kill threatening
emitters before the helicopters are tracked.

My concern would be all of the acoustic sensors that are out there now that can be
unattended, vehicle mounted and networked. They've been used for everything from
hostile fire indication to cueing for C-RAM radars.

Boeing was discussing displaying a real-time ownship acoustic profile for some future version of AH-64E
so that's something else that could be incorporated into route planning.
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vilters

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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 09:30

So sorry guys, I live in the real world, not in some theoretical laboratory.
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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 11:29

Modern radars with good signal processing have not much trouble with helos or slow moving objecs. Early MTI systems (like 1980s radars) in radars were crude and only took target speed (the doppler shift in radar returns) into account as there was not enough processing power available to do much more. Nowadays modern radars do advanced signal processing (with millions of times the computing power) to all radar returns which results in far superior sub-clutter performance. AESA radars are especially good in this as they have hundreds or thousands of receiving elements which de-correlate errors in indiviual receiving elements. So the received radar signal is more pure with less noise and errors coming from the radar system itself. Of course no current Russian GBAD system uses AESA radars AFAIK. But for example AN/APG-81 in F-35 can track multiple moving ground targets, like tanks or APCs.
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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 14:50

vilters wrote:So sorry guys, I live in the real world, not in some theoretical laboratory.



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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 23:15

Nice picture of your mirror laughing at you.

Like I told you before, there is no fight at FL300.
Well, not counting the Red Flag master of Useless Glory of course.

Exept Ruskies doing backslides in overhyped Puntinski stuff, and some state sponsored Chinese trying to copycat the next great thing.

For my part they can play Santa up there. The fight is on the ground.

Not a soul studies the fight between ground level and 10 meters up, and below 60 kts.
Wanna win? That's where you have to be capable.
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