SDB II Scores Hits in Flight Tests

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element1loop

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Unread post20 Aug 2019, 02:45

weasel1962 wrote:Can even be ground-launched kamikaze drones e.g. Harpy/Harop which have 500km range. Flyboys follow up in case the SAM radars get turned off.


Yeah, I was thinking in terms of across the Air-Sea-Gap type scenario, delivered by air.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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element1loop

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Unread post20 Aug 2019, 02:53

weasel1962 wrote:Can even be ground-launched kamikaze drones e.g. Harpy/Harop which have 500km range. Flyboys follow up in case the SAM radars get turned off.


Come to think of it, I can't see why something like a dozen Harpy with datalinks can't be seeded by a standoff Reaper to provide the loiter station availability and range extensions, then the 6-hour 1,000 km endurance of a Harpy from launch point, provides time for F-35A to launch and get into place to support the terminal homing phase (plus support the datalink with target updates).

Then F-35A mops-up what remains with SDBII.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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marauder2048

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Unread post20 Aug 2019, 05:10

weasel1962 wrote:CRAM still has difficulties handling multiple vector saturation attacks. Even "low speed" glide bombs are still travelling at 150m/s which limits counter-saturation capabilities. Same goes with AA cluster warheads (which can't handle multiple vector). The key is just to increase the numbers of munitions per target.


When you have multi-panel Ku-band FCR AESAs cheap enough to mount on light trucks and
active-seeker guided shells selling for $18k, saturation isn't what it used to be.

Slow, cheap drones need to spend time sniffing out LPI/LPD radars while avoiding destruction
or having their man-in-the-loop datalinks disrupted. And RAND was suggesting that their
small warheads could be defeated by kevlar blankets thrown over the targeted array.
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weasel1962

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Unread post20 Aug 2019, 10:07

Marauder, good points but if we're talking S-300/S-400 series radars, those aren't the low cost truck mounted AESA radars. Its going to be disruptive to SAM ops if one has to put a Kevlar blanket over a radar and then remove it when the need arises only to put it back when under threat again. And again, there's the flyboy backups that are going to send JDAMs to help warm those blankets.

If an entire SAM battalion can be eliminated, that's a few hundred million dollars. Well worth 100 SDB/JDAMs which costs $3-7 million, even if defences can shoot down 90.

Noted there was talk previously of making the MALD-J into an air-launched harpy equivalent. That's a decent 100lb payload that costs as low as a JDAM.
https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-p ... 1669729445
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Unread post20 Aug 2019, 12:44

I think that JDAM-ER could be very interesting used in conjunction with other weapons like JASSM and AARGM-ER. AARGM would make using radars more difficult and dangerous. JASSM could target most difficult targets and JDAM-ER could be used to engage softer ones or they could mop up after AARGM and JASSM have done their part. Of course in many cases SDB would be better depending on target type due to smaller size and more numerous weapons with similar accuracy and good range. However JDAM-ER does give nice punch at long range and with rather low cost compared to JASSM or even JSOW. Longer range helps a lot with more freedoms in attack geometries etc. Of course going against high end air defences using only JDAM versions is not going to be easy. But naturally many targets are not protected by such systems at least not fully.

B-2 with JDAM-ER would be very interesting.
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Unread post20 Aug 2019, 13:59

I'm fairly skeptical there would be some policy where two approaching missiles are deemed "easy to hit" thus ignored in favor of cheaper inexpensive weapons. The whole "rings of defense" thing, it would take an awful lot of faith in the inner ring to disregard something you think you can hit at long range in favor or point defense.

Is someone from Iran really going to look at incoming 40 miles away on radar and say "hah those are just glide bombs, hold your fire" or are they going to launch longer range SAMs hoping to have a better chance of destroying what threatens the high value target they are defending?
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squirrelshoes

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Unread post20 Aug 2019, 14:03

hornetfinn wrote:B-2 with JDAM-ER would be very interesting.

Indeed. A pair of B-2s could put 32 2,000lb JDAM-ERs in the air without being seen until dropped.

IMO most IADS would have to respond by desperately throwing everything they could into the air to counter, regardless of cost.
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Unread post21 Aug 2019, 03:22

Get nasty and carry 26 JDAM-ERs and 8 MALD-Js to escort them on the way down. :mrgreen:
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Unread post21 Aug 2019, 05:52

SDB-I

Small bombs deliver big capability


Bombing capacity of F-35As has quadrupled with the arrival of small diameter bombs introduced to No. 3 Squadron in June.

The GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb, Increment 1 (SDB1), packs about 16kg of modern high explosive, guided by GPS-aided inertial navigation.

Wing Commander Simon Bird, Chief Engineer at Aerospace Explosive Ordnance Systems Program Office (AEOSPO) – Explosive Materiel Branch, said it was Air Force’s most advanced bomb and made best use of the F-35A's internal weapon bay.

“We’ve got a next-generation bomb to go with our fifth-generation fighter,” Wing Commander Bird said.

“Where you used to carry one JDAM [joint direct attack munition] in a position on the aircraft, SDB1 allows you to carry four bombs that each achieve very similar effects. Although at 285lbs the SDB1 is lighter than a 500lb JDAM, it’s highly accurate and packs a more powerful, modern explosive.

“SDB1 is also designed to penetrate harder targets, or can fuse above ground to create area effects.”


“We’ve got a next-generation bomb to go with our fifth-generation fighter.”

The bombs make use of ‘Diamondback’ wings, which deploy after release to provide greater stand-off range.

“With JDAMs you’ve got to be very close to the target to engage it, but because of the wings on SDB1, a single F-35A can engage up to eight separate targets from outside the range they can defend against,” Wing Commander Bird said.

“What’s more, because an SDB1 is carried internally, the F-35A can remain low observable and will not be affected by any extra drag from carrying eight bombs.”

Four bombs are fitted to new bomb release unit racks before loading on the aircraft.

“With an old JDAM, you had to take all the components and build it up, but that takes time, equipment and people,” Wing Commander Bird said.

“You can test the SDB1 without opening the box; you can test them before they’re even shipped to the base you’re going to operate from.

“This weapon comes fully assembled; you basically take it out of the box and load it.”

About 15 armament technicians from No. 3 Squadron received familiarisation training on the bombs before planned test firings in coming months.

AEOSPO’s engineering, logistic and technical staff ensured introduction of the weapons and their delivery was a milestone towards the F-35A’s initial operational capability in 2020.


https://news.defence.gov.au/capability/ ... capability
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marauder2048

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Unread post21 Aug 2019, 21:25

weasel1962 wrote:Marauder, good points but if we're talking S-300/S-400 series radars, those aren't the low cost truck mounted AESA radars. Its going to be disruptive to SAM ops if one has to put a Kevlar blanket over a radar and then remove it when the need arises only to put it back when under threat again. And again, there's the flyboy backups that are going to send JDAMs to help warm those blankets.


And I was focusing on the terminal defenses that are expected to accompany them.

Given the short displacement times for even the larger FCRs, there's every possibility the radar is in motion
given the long time of flight of these glide weapons. For reference, the medium truck Q-53 needs two minutes
to displace so even doubling that there is decent margin.



weasel1962 wrote:Noted there was talk previously of making the MALD-J into an air-launched harpy equivalent. That's a decent 100lb payload that costs as low as a JDAM.
https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-p ... 1669729445


Even MALD "classic" was well over $200,000.

The previous Raytheon presentation on the matter gives 40 pounds of payload (total) for the MALD truck version.
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Unread post21 Aug 2019, 21:40

squirrelshoes wrote:I'm fairly skeptical there would be some policy where two approaching missiles are deemed "easy to hit" thus ignored in favor of cheaper inexpensive weapons. The whole "rings of defense" thing, it would take an awful lot of faith in the inner ring to disregard something you think you can hit at long range in favor or point defense.


Who said anything about missiles? These are slow moving glide weapon and the defense is more likely to
be confident in their characterization of these weapons and the estimate of predicted impact points.

Cruise missile defense is different since you want to hit them as soon as possible while the missiles are
relatively fuel heavy and therefore less maneuverable and potentially less alert to hostile radars.

There's a preference to commit the cheaper interceptors first since the high-end interceptors tend to be (provided the targets are not within their range minima) capable of very late engagements if the earlier, cheaper stuff fails.

We are talking about a disciplined opponent who will be making every effort to solve the
hard (in the computational complexity sense) interceptor allocation problem.
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Unread post22 Aug 2019, 07:56

I'm even more sceptical that 'slow moving' glide bombs would be ignored by more expensive SAM batteries.
Afterall, there's no guarantee that point-defences can reliably mop them up (nothing is 100%). Especially when swarm tactics can be so easily employed by the attacker.

For example, there's this infamous video of a functioning & loaded Pantsir system failing to stop an Israeli attack:
https://youtu.be/NI0REqlYhmc
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Unread post22 Aug 2019, 12:26

marauder2048 wrote:Cruise missile defense is different since you want to hit them as soon as possible while the missiles are relatively fuel heavy and therefore less maneuverable and potentially less alert to hostile radars.


Non-VLO JDAM-ER glide-bomb has wings just big enough for a constant weight within a narrow glide-speed range so will be comparatively easy to track at much longer ranges and will seriously lack maneuverability (except in a fairly steep terminal dive), due to the tendency to stall or quickly lose viable range to the target. It offers potentially a lot of undesirable early-warning via the high-end SAM sensor.

That weapon requires a very cheap medium-range and low-performance interceptor against something that can't do agile. And can't hide without a MALD-J or such supporting them.

But the cruise missiles will increasingly mimic VLO JASSMs or JSM type airframes, a clean VLO glide-body and short swept but wider wings for the speed and agility, plus designed to cope with efficient cruising at high-altitude, while it has the full-fuel load for a maximum range extension.

The result will logically be much later detections and tracking, and very problematic targeting challenge, at much closer range when it's almost out of fuel, and much lower weight. They will approach the target with very large control surfaces for the weight (i.e. surfaces designed to cope with much higher weight in rarefied air). Plus the terminal phase has much more oxygen available and a much lower weight at either full power, i.e. a thermally self-destructive thrust level for maximum speed. Or else it may use no power for a maximized range and colder slow stealthy glide-in at near to maximum achievable range reserving a steep terminal fast and agile dive.

So they will be very agile and especially hard to target and engage (i.e. like anything else VLO that breaks the kill-chain easily), so tracking will be much later, and locking-on should be a big problem that's hopefully too difficult until it's too late.

For that you need very expensive sensors and a very agile and very fast high-performance short-range interceptor (not much time for shoot-look-shoot).

Personally, I don't see where a long-range SAM is that desirable, unless you're going after a high cruising F-35 with some sort of multi-meter VHF wavelength tracking system with enough track precision for a self-guiding terminal phase to complete a lock after launch when close.

But of course an F-35 DAS is going to produce a YATO warning early, and it's almost certain to then break the track and move out of the way of the terminal seeker, thus easily trashing some very expensive missiles (and also firing at the sensor simultaneously with an AIM-260).

Thus extended-range heavy-weight SAMs may be just the wrong missile emphasis for a 5th-gen and agile VLO cruise missile fight.

Which is nice.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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sferrin

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Unread post22 Aug 2019, 14:44

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:TOR was overwhelmed by SDB/SPEAR swarm. JASSM-ER is powered and stealthy. Take your pick. I have full confidence in the ability of an F-35 to get within SDB range of S300/S400/TOR without being fired upon.


The latest TOR can handle four simultaneous targets and there's never just one vehicle. And they would have plenty of time to shoot down an SDB swarm. JASSM is stealthy but it's flying directly to the radar trying to detect it. It will be detected. Now if they made a variant with submunitions that dropped off, say, 35 20lb terminally guided gliders from 10-15 miles out. . .I don't know how you kill that short of DEWs.
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Unread post22 Aug 2019, 15:27

sferrin wrote:The latest TOR can handle four simultaneous targets and there's never just one vehicle.

being able to engage 4 targets simultaneously means nothing. 8 command guided missiles per vehicle vs 8 SDBs per aircraft that has the most effective jamming suite on earth. Saying there is more than one vehicle just means more than one F-35 is needed to drop an SDB swarm. The TOR has to rely on 100% hit rate to survive. The F-35 doesn't.
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