Lockheed develops rack to make F-35A/C a six-shooter

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

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Unread post05 Jun 2019, 09:58

Corsair1963 wrote:
wolfpak wrote:If AIM-9X carriage is important it's surprising to me that they haven't tried to modify the AIM-9X to make it or its carriage more stealthy. Setting the fins at 60, 120, 180, 240 degree spacing, a truncated pyramid cross-section for the body and RAM. For carriage options either carrying them semi-submerged on a pylon mounted rail or within a faceted stealthy pod. Would assume the pod would have a fly-thru nose section that could be replaced if used.



My guess is short them the external AIM-9X's have a small impact on the F-35's overall RCS. While, long-term more capable and advanced Air to Air Missiles are in development. Which, will allow the F-35 both greater reach and in larger numbers. (internally)


I'd bet so also. While external AIM-9X's will likely slightly increase the RCS of F-35, it will still have far lower RCS than almost anything currently flying. Also most of the increased RCS come from close to directly perpendicular to the aircraft and missile which makes it easy to manage. Returns from frontal sector are likely very small with AIM-9X as they are rather small even with older AIM-9 class weapons with much higher amount and area of reflective surfaces.

It's also a choice that is made according to mission needs. I'd bet that in attack missions against fully functioning IADS, F-35s would not carry them. On the other hand when they are tasked for OCA or DCA, they might well carry them. There slightly increased RCS is not going to matter much especially when it most likely has low impact on front sector RCS.

ASRAAM is another weapon for external carriage and I'd bet it has even lower RCS than AIM-9X with very small fins.
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Unread post06 Jun 2019, 19:50

The money they'd use to develop it might as well just spend it developing a dual mode seeker for AMRAAM. Same tech could go towards next gen missiles.
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Unread post06 Jun 2019, 20:08

hornetfinn wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:
wolfpak wrote:If AIM-9X carriage is important it's surprising to me that they haven't tried to modify the AIM-9X to make it or its carriage more stealthy. Setting the fins at 60, 120, 180, 240 degree spacing, a truncated pyramid cross-section for the body and RAM. For carriage options either carrying them semi-submerged on a pylon mounted rail or within a faceted stealthy pod. Would assume the pod would have a fly-thru nose section that could be replaced if used.



My guess is short them the external AIM-9X's have a small impact on the F-35's overall RCS. While, long-term more capable and advanced Air to Air Missiles are in development. Which, will allow the F-35 both greater reach and in larger numbers. (internally)


I'd bet so also. While external AIM-9X's will likely slightly increase the RCS of F-35, it will still have far lower RCS than almost anything currently flying. Also most of the increased RCS come from close to directly perpendicular to the aircraft and missile which makes it easy to manage. Returns from frontal sector are likely very small with AIM-9X as they are rather small even with older AIM-9 class weapons with much higher amount and area of reflective surfaces.

It's also a choice that is made according to mission needs. I'd bet that in attack missions against fully functioning IADS, F-35s would not carry them. On the other hand when they are tasked for OCA or DCA, they might well carry them. There slightly increased RCS is not going to matter much especially when it most likely has low impact on front sector RCS.

ASRAAM is another weapon for external carriage and I'd bet it has even lower RCS than AIM-9X with very small fins.


I don't really buy that. We give Su-57 so much sh*t for RCS shaping such as round nacelles and perpendicular angles, but with these pylons it's the same thing. AIM-9X has no LO shaping, and especially at lower frequencies it's going to be worse.
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Unread post06 Jun 2019, 20:19

Go ahead and think whatever you want. When an AIM-9L (big fins) was looked at for RCS with a RAM coat it was only 0.001 from the front sector. Now take into account the smaller (by a lot) fins of the AIM-9X, and that the PYLON has RAM and shaping so some energy reflected from the missile will be absorbed or redirected by the pylon. Some of the energy will be further absorbed and reflected by the aircraft itself. They knew what they were doing when they made the bent pylon design.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post06 Jun 2019, 20:26

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Go ahead and think whatever you want. When an AIM-9L (big fins) was looked at for RCS with a RAM coat it was only 0.001 from the front sector. Now take into account the smaller (by a lot) fins of the AIM-9X, and that the PYLON has RAM and shaping so some energy reflected from the missile will be absorbed or redirected by the pylon. Some of the energy will be further absorbed and reflected by the aircraft itself. They knew what they were doing when they made the bent pylon design.


Physically smaller doesn't always been lower RCS. Smaller fins can resonate more with X-band radar frequencies. I'm not saying it will totally kill F-35 stealth and even with external AIM-9X it will still be stealthier than a clean Super Hornet, but it just seem unnecessary compromise since there's space for 6 missiles in the bays.
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Unread post06 Jun 2019, 21:28

If the EW systems on the F-35 can hide F-16s loaded with A2G ordnance, how difficult do you suppose it'd be to hide F-35s with AIM-9X?
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Unread post17 Jun 2019, 17:17

"...By the time of Lot 15 production, Lockheed aims to increase the internal weapons bay capacity from four to six missiles and integrate new weapons into the aircraft. ..."

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ ... s-for-f-35
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Corsair1963

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Unread post04 May 2020, 05:15

USN requests Sidekick internal weapons rack for F-35C to carry 6 AIM-120s

Posted on May 4, 2020


The Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2021 Unfunded Priorities List has put in a request to equip low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 15 F-35C fighters with the Sidekick internal weapons rack.

http://alert5.com/2020/05/04/usn-reques ... -aim-120s/
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bring_it_on

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Unread post04 May 2020, 05:27

Corsair1963 wrote:USN requests Sidekick internal weapons rack for F-35C to carry 6 AIM-120s

Posted on May 4, 2020


The Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2021 Unfunded Priorities List has put in a request to equip low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot 15 F-35C fighters with the Sidekick internal weapons rack.

http://alert5.com/2020/05/04/usn-reques ... -aim-120s/


This probably just confirms that LOT 15 aircraft were going to have that hardware capability. At least the CV variant. Good to know for sure.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post04 May 2020, 05:31

Capable Capacity: 19 Feb 2020 https://files.nc.gov/deftech/blog/files ... UPL-c2.pdf [front page attached]
“F-35C Lightning II (+5 aircraft). Additional low-rate m1t1al production (LRIP) Lot 15 F-35C aircraft provide advanced capability not currently available in the fleet to include the following: Sidekick/6-in the Bay, aft heavy weapons (Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER)), and Block-4 TR-3 Processors.”
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Corsair1963

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Unread post04 May 2020, 05:43

Well at least the ball is finally rolling....
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bring_it_on

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Unread post04 May 2020, 16:22

Corsair1963 wrote:Well at least the ball is finally rolling....


I remember the time when basement dwellers used to complain that Sidekick is merely Lockheed marketing and a distraction that is not going to come online EVER. ;)

Now the wait word on CUDA flight demonstrations and to see what the block III AIM-9X looks like..
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Unread post04 May 2020, 17:03

marauder2048 wrote:Between LREW, MSDM, ErWn and SACM, I can't see the Air Force spending the time and effort
to integrate AIM-9X, a missile at the limits of its growth potential, internally.

Since it's unclear if the other efforts with be exportable, that would leave it up to the partners.


THIS...

So many better weapons to integrate, so little money...
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bring_it_on

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Unread post04 May 2020, 17:36

LREW, ERwN seem to not be weapons programs (as far as I can tell). AIM-260 is probably the most critical to the F-35 C2D2 with probably a mid 2020's window for full capability. Its arrival should do away with the need to integrate the AIM-9 internally even though the Navy and the AF will continue to buy the sidewinder into the 2030's. SACM is probably a higher priority in terms of development and integration internally.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post05 May 2020, 00:51

In the end the F-35 will likely have the largest selection of weapons available to any modern day fighter! 8)
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