Another Weapon for F-35? - HVPW

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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uclass

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Unread post21 Jul 2013, 11:56

My thoughts exactly. A short-medium range, low volume, strike on a proxy target is easily distinguishable from a full-on nuclear armageddon.
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Unread post07 Aug 2013, 20:18

A LONG LONG article with more acronyms than youse can stick a poke at....

Guidance and control for bunker-busting munitions August 5, 2013 BY J.R. Wilson
"The trick for effective bunker-busting bombs is to enable the munition to penetrate deeply through dirt, concrete, rock, and into the target structure before exploding; without precise timing the bombs can't do their jobs.

Traditional deep, highly reinforced bunkers remain a major part of nearly every nation's strategy to defend its most valuable people, research labs, and command, control, communications, and computer (C4) systems. As new technologies have enabled those to go deeper-and thus more difficult to prosecute from the air-many nations also continue working on improved bunker-busting munitions, with next-generation guidance, navigation, control, and fuzing electronics, greater penetration, and more compressed explosives.

The flagship of the Air Force effort to reach that goal is the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) High Velocity Penetrating Weapon (HVPW), which is scheduled to complete research and development in 2014. To help achieve that, the FY12/13 budgets were increased for new technologies in fuzing, warhead survivability, anti-jam GPS, terminal seeker, angle-of-attack sensing, and propulsion.

According to AFRL's Munitions Directorate (AFRL/RW), the HVPW will provide improved capability to penetrate hard, deep targets with boosted impact, mature technologies that can be applied to the 2014 Hard Target Munition DP and "buy down" risk with a survivable ordnance package, terminal guidance, and improved propulsion performance. With F-35 internal carriage loadout and able to operate in GPS degraded/denied environments, it also is intended to put more targets at risk, giving battle planners a 2000 pound weapon with 5000-pound class penetration as early as 2014....

...The Air Combat Command (ACC) is looking to the HTM to give legacy aircraft, such as the Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle/F-15K Slam Eagle, all considered Generation 4.5 fighters, and 5th Gen F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, advanced capability to attack the super bunkers.

"Next-gen weapons need to be more flexible in terms of the types of targets they can address and, in some cases, may need to be smaller without sacrificing intended weapons' effects," ACC's requirements director, Col. Sam Hinote, says. "This will allow our 5th Gen fighters to have a deeper magazine [increased load-out] and more flexible targeting options."

Perhaps as early as next year, the Air Force hopes to begin work on a 1,000-pound penetrator suitable for use in stealthy weapons bays in the next decade. While specifics remain in development, the options are thought to include a 1,000-pound munition using a rocket motor for increased speed, giving it the effect of a 2,000-pound BLU-109 and possibly a 5,000-pound system without a motor....

...Guidance and navigation
"For guidance and navigation, industry has been asked to prove the weapons they are building can communicate with the Link-16 system and work with the other assets in the battlespace to be more reactive to real-time data," Nolan says. "That is especially true for systems being integrated into the JSF. The United Kingdom is putting great emphasis on that, including how data is transferred across the network."...

..."A large part of the capability in this field essentially is 5- to 10-year-old U.S. technology. Some weapons still have three types of fuzes, although most new weapons have a single fuze that can be adjusted in-flight from control platforms. The F-35's reliance on a networked battlespace and the probable need to strike deeper targets against serious air defenses will require feeding off real-time data from the network. The ability to redefine the targets and mission of a deep-strike bunker buster is guiding the state of the art in the next two or three years."..."

http://www.militaryaerospace.com/articl ... tions.html
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 02:24

Has anyone heard or read about the status of HVPW?

With Iran testing an intermediate range ballistic missile this past weekend, in apparent violation of recent agreements, I don't know if Iran really wants to be bearding the Lion known as Trump.

While there are not enough F-35s, IMO, at this point to take out Iranian nuclear facilities, Natanz (33°43'24.4"N 51°43'37.5"E) is apparently only buried 8m deep. That depth should not pose problems for 2000lb class penetrators. But I don't think any penetrators have been cleared / approved yet for the F-35? The F-117 delivered the GBU-27, a 2000lb Paveway III penetrator, nicknamed the Hammer to very good effect (except for the deepest structures which required the 5000lb GBU-28.)

I did not see any published information for estimated depth for the Qom facility (which appears to be at 34.883945°N 50.999023°). However, that location would appear to be buried into a rock formation in some low hills. If it's deep, it may be untouchable, although you could try to destroy all entry/egress points.

But until HVPW or its successor comes along, the only really big hammer would be GBU-28s on B-2s as even the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast is not a penetrator weapon.


(Google Earth Pro was very useful in looking at these two locations.)
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 03:53

steve2267 wrote:Has anyone heard or read about the status of HVPW?

With Iran testing an intermediate range ballistic missile this past weekend, in apparent violation of recent agreements, I don't know if Iran really wants to be bearding the Lion known as Trump.

While there are not enough F-35s, IMO, at this point to take out Iranian nuclear facilities, ....

I did not see any published information for estimated depth for the Qom facility ... However, that location would appear to be buried into a rock formation in some low hills. If it's deep, it may be untouchable, although you could try to destroy all entry/egress points....the only really big hammer would be GBU-28s on B-2s ...


Well it`s just my opinion, and those who know won`t say and those that say don`t know BUT..
I`m going to guess that a B-2 with 2 30,000lb GBU-57s would make some deep holes, and the Iranians would still be trying to decide what happened after B-2 crew is back in Missouri watching Netflix. At least if I was an Iranian, I wouldn`t bet against it. Even with 1,000 F-35s and new penetrators, the B-2 is probably still the first option. The fighters can play around with digging paths through the defense systems.

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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 04:29

The last I heard they successfully tested the thing at 2500fps and are aiming at achieving a velocity of 3900fps.
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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 04:39

blindpilot wrote:Well it`s just my opinion, and those who know won`t say and those that say don`t know BUT..
I`m going to guess that a B-2 with 2 30,000lb GBU-57s would make some deep holes, and the Iranians would still be trying to decide what happened after B-2 crew is back in Missouri watching Netflix. At least if I was an Iranian, I wouldn`t bet against it. Even with 1,000 F-35s and new penetrators, the B-2 is probably still the first option. The fighters can play around with digging paths through the defense systems.

MHO
BP


Yeah, I had forgotten about the GBU-57 until after I had posted. Published data says the GBU-57 penetrates 200' (I am assuming of earth). The GBU-28 published earth penetration is 100' (& 20' hardened concrete).

I don't have a feel for Pres Trump very well yet. But something whispers to me that if the Iranians want to "play games" or try to intimidate Trump, and if Trump thinks (or is told) that Fordow / Qom can be made smoking holes and the Iranians will never know what hit them... then I wouldn't be surprise to hear on FoxNews one morning that Iran woke up to smoking holes in the ground, and they are trying to figure out what happened...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 05:25

AFAIK the design objective for the HVPW is to provide the punch of the 5000lb GBU-58 in a 2000-lb package that fits in the F-35's internal weapons bay. Basically it would allow the strike fighter fleet to target more numerous hardened targets in a cost-effective manner. Leave the massive superbunkers to the MOP.
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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 14:07

I am going to have to revise my first post on this thread from yesterday. From that great oracle of knowledge, Wikipedia:
Natanz is a hardened Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) covering 100,000 square meters that is built 8 meters underground and protected by a concrete wall 2.5 meters thick, itself protected by another concrete wall. ... In 2004, the roof was hardened with reinforced concrete and covered with 22 meters of earth.


It is a little unclear if that is 8m of concrete overhead, which would exceed the GBU-28's 6m penetration in hardened concrete. But 22m of earth plus at least 2.5m of concrete sounds like the Iranians paid attention to Iraq in 1991 and 2003 and upped their protection. Which makes sense -- they're no dummies (just irritatingly annoying.)

F-35's dropping 5000lb class penetrators (i.e. HVPW's) would therefore probably have no effect. (I wonder, then, what the Israeli's hoped to accomplish with GBU-28's and F-15's a few years ago?)

The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and/or DARPA have stated objectives for developing a MOP (GBU-57) follow-on that would weigh about a third as much yet penetrate as far as MOP but be able to be carried by "more affordable" aircraft. I wonder if this is the real reason, or a major reason for the development of the B-21, as a son-of-MOP carrier?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 15:56

Keep in mind that every impact is going to leave a crater; if the first HVPW doesn't work, the second will have a better chance, as will in turn the third, etc (the crater may not keep getting bigger, but the concrete will get progressively weakened).
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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 19:11

Dragon029 wrote:Keep in mind that every impact is going to leave a crater; if the first HVPW doesn't work, the second will have a better chance, as will in turn the third, etc (the crater may not keep getting bigger, but the concrete will get progressively weakened).


When I worked at Cheyenne Mountain under a half mile of solid granite reinforced with 20 feet plus iron bolts, we used to remind ourselves that with the weapons of the day, nothing was impenetrable. The trick is to make the effort not worth the cost. If they have to waste 4 or 5 meganukes to just go to airborne, or alternate site backups, providing no net gain, the costs might not be worth the targeting.

At least that's what we told ourselves.

In the case of the sites above, a cost benefit attack will likely achieve its goals. And at least for now the stealth platforms today will likely execute successfully ... but even so a cost benefit decision is made even then. A thumbdrive might be cheaper....

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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 19:27

steve2267 wrote:It is a little unclear if that is 8m of concrete overhead, which would exceed the GBU-28's 6m penetration in hardened concrete. But 22m of earth plus at least 2.5m of concrete sounds like the Iranians paid attention to Iraq in 1991 and 2003 and upped their protection. Which makes sense -- they're no dummies (just irritatingly annoying.)

F-35's dropping 5000lb class penetrators (i.e. HVPW's) would therefore probably have no effect. (I wonder, then, what the Israeli's hoped to accomplish with GBU-28's and F-15's a few years ago?)


MOP From 50,000ft... One and Done.
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Unread post31 Jan 2017, 23:39

The HVPW simply provides the benefit of a scalable response. Some targets will merit a MOP but there are an increasingly large number that are being buried/hardened that for which it would be overkill. or as BP notes a virus might be more appropriate.
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Unread post02 Feb 2017, 04:38

steve2267 wrote:I don't have a feel for Pres Trump very well yet. But something whispers to me that if the Iranians want to "play games" or try to intimidate Trump, and if Trump thinks (or is told) that Fordow / Qom can be made smoking holes and the Iranians will never know what hit them... then I wouldn't be surprise to hear on FoxNews one morning that Iran woke up to smoking holes in the ground, and they are trying to figure out what happened...


Not to derail the thread, but one would assume there are also numerous other countries willing to lend a hand, without necessitating direct US involvement. No need to name names.
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Unread post02 Feb 2017, 05:03

arian wrote:
steve2267 wrote:I don't have a feel for Pres Trump very well yet. But something whispers to me that if the Iranians want to "play games" or try to intimidate Trump, and if Trump thinks (or is told) that Fordow / Qom can be made smoking holes and the Iranians will never know what hit them... then I wouldn't be surprise to hear on FoxNews one morning that Iran woke up to smoking holes in the ground, and they are trying to figure out what happened...


Not to derail the thread, but one would assume there are also numerous other countries willing to lend a hand, without necessitating direct US involvement. No need to name names.


True, but if we're talking about direct action from on high, I'm scratching my head trying to come up with a list of nations that can drop something from 40-50000' from an invisible aircraft, sorry, from an aircraft that is not there.

But hey, if thumbdrives work... but unless they have really really really good (German?) pr0n, I don't think that one will work again...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post03 Feb 2017, 03:18

steve2267 wrote:
arian wrote:
steve2267 wrote:I don't have a feel for Pres Trump very well yet. But something whispers to me that if the Iranians want to "play games" or try to intimidate Trump, and if Trump thinks (or is told) that Fordow / Qom can be made smoking holes and the Iranians will never know what hit them... then I wouldn't be surprise to hear on FoxNews one morning that Iran woke up to smoking holes in the ground, and they are trying to figure out what happened...


Not to derail the thread, but one would assume there are also numerous other countries willing to lend a hand, without necessitating direct US involvement. No need to name names.


True, but if we're talking about direct action from on high, I'm scratching my head trying to come up with a list of nations that can drop something from 40-50000' from an invisible aircraft, sorry, from an aircraft that is not there.

But hey, if thumbdrives work... but unless they have really really really good (German?) pr0n, I don't think that one will work again...


Well, lots of actions can be taken and dropping bunker busters from 50,000 feet is just one option. And even that would require support from other assets, and other countries (in allowing transit through their space). And lots of other targets that aren't as hardened. Israel, Saudis, UAE, Qatar, maybe some others who are fighting Iranian proxies throughout the ME etc.

Other means also include, as others have said, cyber attack, special forces or other covert actions. I'm currently reading this book called "Relentless Strike" about JSOC and how they have trained for infiltrating WMD bunkers and facilities of this kind (specifically mentioning Iran as the target), and the fact that they had undercover operatives on the ground in Iran (they published this in the book so I'm not revealing anything...and I certainly wouldn't know jack about what they do anyway). I mean, someone was killing Iranian scientists for a while, and I'm assuming that someone may not have been the US.
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