What new tactics for the F-35/networked warfare enable?

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

michaelemouse

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 89
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2017, 10:29

Unread post03 Jul 2020, 22:55

What tactics do you think are currently possible or might be in the next two decades using the F-35 or, more broadly, networked warfare?
Offline

sprstdlyscottsmn

Elite 4K

Elite 4K

  • Posts: 4951
  • Joined: 10 Mar 2006, 01:24
  • Location: Nashua NH USA

Unread post04 Jul 2020, 00:03

feeding targeting date to anything and everything with a proper Datalink setup. They already demonstrated an over-the-horizon SM-6 shot and a 70km HIMARS shot.
"Spurts"

-Pilot
-Aerospace Engineer
-Army Medic
-FMS Systems Engineer
-PFD Systems Engineer
-PATRIOT Systems Engineer
Offline

squirrelshoes

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 133
  • Joined: 08 Nov 2016, 23:53
  • Warnings: 1

Unread post07 Jul 2020, 23:27

Using only one aircraft's active sensors while others don't emit.

Even with just two F-35s this is a huge advantage since the silent one gets the same battlefield picture with MADL as the emitter, so they get the best of both worlds.
Offline

lbk000

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 355
  • Joined: 04 May 2017, 16:19

Unread post08 Jul 2020, 00:49

Playing emission hot potato where nodes quasi-randomly emit for the entire network to passively receive and fuse. LPI all your LPI.
Offline
User avatar

element1loop

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1566
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2015, 05:35
  • Location: Australia

Unread post09 Jul 2020, 09:31

Will a ubiquitous high-bandwidth secure reliable directional integrated network be available 100% of the time if an effective conventional weapon were developed which negated in-service datalinks? F-35 would become more reminiscent of F-22A and F-117A level tactics nearer 2005 era.

The teen fighters became far more survivable and effective than was ever envisioned as their technology, weapons, tactics and performance evolved over 40 years. And it was only when teen capabilities were copied and produced in larger numbers that supplemental stealth fighter-bombers became essential in defended airspace (F-117A, then F-22A). We’d be back to closer where China is now if datalinks could be effectively attacked with a conventional energy weapon. So it seems to me the Chinese and Russians will be looking for the weapon which levels the network and stealth potential, which would at least give them a fighting chance.

So I'd rather a lot more effort was put into making sure datalinks can't be shutdown and damaged, than to focus on forging ahead with a default expectation that an effective network will always be there and that degradation will be tactical and brief. That is their highest priority, after all.

If the network was continuously present long-range non-refuelled loyal-wingman plus forward loitering cruising sensors combined with longer-range LO standoff and stealthy A2A missiles using that reliable datalink tech makes F-35 far more survivable and effective than ever envisioned (just like the teens became). In which case long-range HF and VHF detections and sub-target-quality air-pictures wouldn't change the outcome for the opposing force.

Deterrence would be sustained, air war less likely.

Until the ongoing block F-35 evolution is replicated in equally large numbers of aircraft with pilots up to it, and a fully integrated joint-force behind it and enabled it via a bullet-proof datalink systems, F-35 will dominate probably for another 30 to 40 years.

I don't see how anyone can predict future tactics development without knowing what future in-service technology and weapons would bring. My supposition is that lasers will require a new level of low-observable developments. Anything moving fast is going to be wiped out, including > Mach 5 attack missiles. DDGs and armor are getting early versions now.

More transonic viable LO and standoff will suddenly be needed, in small airframes and small weapons.

And are practical 'sci-fi' active energy shields or dissipators possible, against active energy weapon attacks? If not, things are going to get more messy.

"Captain! Klingon ship is charging weapons!"



And no such 'early warning' system? :P
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
Offline

lbk000

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 355
  • Joined: 04 May 2017, 16:19

Unread post14 Jul 2020, 20:10

Anyone think maybe active radar homing missiles might go by the wayside as a primary guidance method? Imagine if you could just get a target quality track through fusion and then just guide the missile through datalink, which may even be receiving guidance data from multiple sources.
Offline
User avatar

blindpilot

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1300
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2013, 18:21
  • Location: Colorado

Unread post14 Jul 2020, 21:03

lbk000 wrote:Anyone think maybe active radar homing missiles might go by the wayside as a primary guidance method? Imagine if you could just get a target quality track through fusion and then just guide the missile through datalink, which may even be receiving guidance data from multiple sources.


Yes and no. From the pilot's perspective it will be "through fusion, through datalink, from multiple sources" but he will not know which sources and the missile may well (indeed perhaps even most of the time) be "via active radar homing channels" ... It's just neither the pilot nor the missile will know it. Because that data is in the big stir pot of fusion, yet it's tracking just as the active radar missiles do today .... UNTIL IT GETS JAMMED .. or whatever ... and then it will be using IR/EO data, but neither the pilot nor missile will know that happened either.

Fused networking will be the "primary method." but plain vanilla radar homing may still be a main, even "primary" implementation of the network's management... or not ... depending ...

MHO,
BP
Offline

lbk000

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 355
  • Joined: 04 May 2017, 16:19

Unread post14 Jul 2020, 21:55

I get it, fusion is about allowing us to go completely agile, just as software has allowed us to make flight control surfaces completely function-agnostic. The F-22 and F-35 don't have "ailerons", "elevators", "rudders", and "airbrakes"; any surface can go up or down in any combination as long as it achieves the aerodynamic effect desired. Similarly there is no more "radar", "radio", "RWR", but a unified RF-avionic complex that performs any manipulation desired through software. Fusion is the same, just on a much bigger scale: a total integration of all elements to achieve an end effect.

And so just as it's inappropriate to view the modern integrated flight control system in terms of classical "ailerons and elevators" (I mean, how many times have we been confounded by control surface deflections seen on the F-35 during airshow maneuvers?), perhaps we need some more new words to help break through the gravity well that established terms and their definitions impose upon our thinking?
Offline
User avatar

blindpilot

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1300
  • Joined: 01 Mar 2013, 18:21
  • Location: Colorado

Unread post14 Jul 2020, 22:15

lbk000 wrote:.... just as software has allowed us to make flight control surfaces completely function-agnostic.... don't have "ailerons", "elevators", "rudders", and "airbrakes"; ... Similarly there is no more ... "radio", ... perhaps we need some more new words to help break through the gravity well that established terms and their definitions impose upon our thinking?


Good analogy. To this I will add something you may not have caught. There REALLY is NO RADIO on the F-35. It's all software for every RF system, with some generic "useful for everything" hardware equipment types, antenna and such. There is no "radio" on the F-35 to break. That highlights what we're talking about very well.

FWIW,
BP
Offline

quicksilver

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3168
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2011, 01:30

Unread post15 Jul 2020, 15:37

To add clarity for some who may be less familiar than BP and other long-time participants, F-35 communicates in a variety of waveforms; it doesn’t use a ‘traditional‘ federated avionics architecture to do so. The ICP, the CNI system, the fusion engine and a variety of apertures contribute.
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2432
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post15 Jul 2020, 16:56

Actually, the F-35 comms can still do more traditional comms like link-16. Just that it doesn't in lo mode. The old concepts of radio as in AM and FM are today replaced by DM or digital modulation which can be manipulated. That manipulation is just more sophisticated today with the software sophistication coupled with the hardware capability growth e.g bandwidth. Yet, like radios, it still needs an antenna.

The an/asq242 is technically a radio because it functions as a comms system (of which the madl is a key capability) but it's more than that because it integrates many other functions e.g.navigation, iff etc so no one calls it a radio. Sounds a lot cooler and costs a lot more.

In layman terms, it's like a smartphone. You can talk using it but it does a heck lot more like Google maps, checking who you are talking to and all the fancy apps and security apps that come with it. The only difference is that we still call it a smartphone and not a CNI system. In the F-35, it's an untrackable smartphone that works in the sky, zooms with a large network, share large files, watch video, helps you to get to places and a lot more....
Offline

aussiebloke

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 146
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2017, 22:29

Unread post15 Jul 2020, 17:45

weasel1962 wrote:Actually, the F-35 comms can still do more traditional comms like link-16. Just that it doesn't in lo mode.


Why not? It seems to be at theoretically possible given that the F-35 has directional antennas.
Another aspect Link 16 shares with the new generation of military waveforms is its inherent low probability of intercept (LPI) and low probability of detection (LPD) capability, which allows platforms using it to operate and survive in harsh electromagnetic environments through its jam resistance. Some of the receiver processing techniques being fielded on software defined radios using these new waveforms are also applicable to Link 16, Camana says.
LPI can be achieved by using a directional antenna and Link 16 can also be power controlled, which hasn’t been the traditional approach to using the system, notes Camana.

https://www.afcea.org/content/connectin ... ed-content
Offline

marauder2048

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1453
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2012, 06:46

Unread post15 Jul 2020, 18:52

aussiebloke wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Actually, the F-35 comms can still do more traditional comms like link-16. Just that it doesn't in lo mode.


Why not? It seems to be at theoretically possible given that the F-35 has directional antennas.
Another aspect Link 16 shares with the new generation of military waveforms is its inherent low probability of intercept (LPI) and low probability of detection (LPD) capability, which allows platforms using it to operate and survive in harsh electromagnetic environments through its jam resistance. Some of the receiver processing techniques being fielded on software defined radios using these new waveforms are also applicable to Link 16, Camana says.
LPI can be achieved by using a directional antenna and Link 16 can also be power controlled, which hasn’t been the traditional approach to using the system, notes Camana.

https://www.afcea.org/content/connectin ... ed-content


This is a rival vendor (they do TTNT which the Air Force rejected a decade ago as being completely unsuited to the high-end threat environment) talking about a notionally evolved Link-16 variant with directional antennas that
by virtue of the frequency at which Link-16 operates are going to be much larger than the MADL antenna to achieve
the same levels of LPI. And forget about bandwidth.

Return to F-35 Armament, Stores and Tactics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests