F-35 vs AEW&C

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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nathan77

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 04:26

The Wedgetail is quite an impressive bird. Unclassified, it has a 360 degree radar with a range of in excess of 600km, and ESM of over 850km. It also brings persistence - it's not uncommon for it to provide coverage over the battlefield for 16 hours or more. But the most important thing it brings to the table is its Command and Control capabilities - it's the traffic control tower of the battlefield. This involves everything from ensuring the rendezvous of tankers with strike aircraft, managing drones like predators, and deploying strike aircraft as the battle-plan evolves in real-time.

If anything, I see the F-35 and Wedgetail are complimentary. The F-35 can act as a forward scout allowing the Wedgetail to peer even deeper into enemy territory. This information is vital for real-time strategic planning and battle management while the F-35's is busy focusing on tactical level concerns and persecuting targets. The Wedgetail can also act as a comms bridge between the F-35 and 4th generation aircraft.

I don't see the overlapping of sensors as being problematic - the F-35's are going to be focused with the fight on the front-lines while the Wedgetail can provide situational awareness for drones and and an ancillary aircraft, provide surveillance over the rear and flanks, and fill in any gaps - no matter which way the F-35's are facing.
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weasel1962

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 04:42

SpudmanWP wrote:The MADL data link is designed for 25 nodes in the "local network". This will typically be 6x4 plane groups with the 25th node (ie Wedgetail) serving as a gateway to the rest of the network.

Also, imagine the benefit of Wedgetail (ie an ESA array) when they figure out how to do airborne bistatic radar.


The theoretical limit is actually limitless, since a data link can link to another data link that can provide connectivity to another 24 nodes. Even the number of control stations onboard the AWACs is less of a bottleneck since everyone is supposed to have the same pic.

nathan77 wrote:I don't see the overlapping of sensors as being problematic - the F-35's are going to be focused with the fight on the front-lines while the Wedgetail can provide situational awareness for drones and and an ancillary aircraft, provide surveillance over the rear and flanks, and fill in any gaps - no matter which way the F-35's are facing.


The main issue that Kopp mentioned way back, is the efficacy of datalinks under jamming conditions if the AWACs is way back vs a nearer jammer (notwithstanding that the jammer will probably get taken out by an F-35).
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 05:10

Real-time data sharing is limited to the 25 nodes. Beyond that and you are restricted to whatever intermediary datalink you are using.
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weasel1962

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 05:38

Google joint tactical data enterprise migration plan which likely was published somewhere on this forum. Putting the "joint" into the network.

Also Darpa's dynamo.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 05:51

I understand the premise behind where they want networks to go... just keep in mind most of the highspeed datalinks are line-of-sight.
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nathan77

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 06:44

weasel1962 wrote:The main issue that Kopp mentioned way back, is the efficacy of datalinks under jamming conditions if the AWACs is way back vs a nearer jammer (notwithstanding that the jammer will probably get taken out by an F-35).


Then Kopp doesn't understand MADL. It is a line-of-sight mesh communication network. This makes it almost impossible to detect or jam. It's like trying to jam laser - you would need to physically get between the F-35 and every other destination node (which also includes satellites). Even if one link is blocked, comms can be relayed through another nodes.
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lbk000

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 07:40

I have much reservation about the practicality of AWACS-slayer missiles. 160NM takes a significant amount of time to traverse, even if the missile is going Mach 5. On the other hand, the longer ranged the missile, the larger it will have to be by necessity -- making it more detectable. With prompt detection, a defending unit can generate a surprisingly large amount of displacement, even if they were "merely" high subsonic.

In addition, a 160NM Rmax is frankly not particularly impressive these days. In a world where MRMs are reaching past 90NM head-on range, the threat envelope of picket units is going to be far out enough that an AWACS killer will likely at best be forced to launch near the edge of its envelope. What is also not clear is whether or not 160NM is true range or against head-on aspect target, because in the likely case that it is an optimal max range against head-on, then the true practical range would be much degraded as AWACS would generally be in beam aspect to the threat. In contrast, attacking units are forced to engage into high aspect shots favorable to defenders, especially if they want to try to get AWACS closer into the NEZ.
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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 08:52

weasel1962 wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:The MADL data link is designed for 25 nodes in the "local network". This will typically be 6x4 plane groups with the 25th node (ie Wedgetail) serving as a gateway to the rest of the network.

Also, imagine the benefit of Wedgetail (ie an ESA array) when they figure out how to do airborne bistatic radar.


The theoretical limit is actually limitless, since a data link can link to another data link that can provide connectivity to another 24 nodes. Even the number of control stations onboard the AWACs is less of a bottleneck since everyone is supposed to have the same pic.

nathan77 wrote:I don't see the overlapping of sensors as being problematic - the F-35's are going to be focused with the fight on the front-lines while the Wedgetail can provide situational awareness for drones and and an ancillary aircraft, provide surveillance over the rear and flanks, and fill in any gaps - no matter which way the F-35's are facing.


The main issue that Kopp mentioned way back, is the efficacy of datalinks under jamming conditions if the AWACs is way back vs a nearer jammer (notwithstanding that the jammer will probably get taken out by an F-35).

You do realise that Kopp is a computer tech and is just a fanboy with a grudge, don't you? He has no access and has never had access to any military info above a google. You might as well use anyone here as a source.
Last edited by optimist on 03 Mar 2018, 09:10, edited 1 time in total.
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element1loop

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 09:04

lbk000 wrote:I have much reservation about the practicality of AWACS-slayer missiles. 160NM takes a significant amount of time to traverse, even if the missile is going Mach 5. On the other hand, the longer ranged the missile, the larger it will have to be by necessity -- making it more detectable. With prompt detection, a defending unit can generate a surprisingly large amount of displacement, even if they were "merely" high subsonic.

In addition, a 160NM Rmax is frankly not particularly impressive these days. In a world where MRMs are reaching past 90NM head-on range, the threat envelope of picket units is going to be far out enough that an AWACS killer will likely at best be forced to launch near the edge of its envelope. What is also not clear is whether or not 160NM is true range or against head-on aspect target, because in the likely case that it is an optimal max range against head-on, then the true practical range would be much degraded as AWACS would generally be in beam aspect to the threat. In contrast, attacking units are forced to engage into high aspect shots favorable to defenders, especially if they want to try to get AWACS closer into the NEZ.


Why fire at Rmax if you're VLO? You could close to half that range and get a missile off before anyone could stop you.

What's needed is an airborne standoff VHF VLO
detector net (drone) and a VLO medium weight utility jet, that can serve as host to an E7 follow-on system.
Last edited by element1loop on 03 Mar 2018, 09:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 09:10

weasel1962 wrote:https://www.popsci.com/china-new-long-range-air-to-air-missile

Check your source. "cjdby.net", Is this a reliable news source?
The existence itself is still speculation.
No evidence can prove the existence of this "super long range A2A Missile". It could be a A2G missile.

And, no test is conducted to demonstrated its range. Can you find any official claim on its range?
Last edited by gta4 on 03 Mar 2018, 09:45, edited 1 time in total.
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element1loop

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 09:25

optimist wrote:You do realise that Kopp is a computer tech and is just a fanboy with a grudge, don't you? He has no access and has never had access to any military info above a google. You might as well use anyone here as a source.


I hear he's been published in Sputnik.
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weasel1962

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 10:00

nathan77 wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:The main issue that Kopp mentioned way back, is the efficacy of datalinks under jamming conditions if the AWACs is way back vs a nearer jammer (notwithstanding that the jammer will probably get taken out by an F-35).


Then Kopp doesn't understand MADL. It is a line-of-sight mesh communication network. This makes it almost impossible to detect or jam. It's like trying to jam laser - you would need to physically get between the F-35 and every other destination node (which also includes satellites). Even if one link is blocked, comms can be relayed through another nodes.


All signals can be jammed. Its just damn bloody difficult with madl due to fast switching, directional packed signals but that does not guarantee comms in a high ew environment. you dont really need to be in between the signals.
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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 17:12

weasel1962 wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:What does this mean: "The wedgetail was procured at A$3.43b in 2003 budget dollars which represents roughly US$500m a plane so we're talking about 5-6 more F-35s each wedgetail...." Please explain.


How I'm reading the 1st post in the thread is the assumption that if wedgetail isn't effective, then the difference is cost savings of not buying a wedgetail is to procure more F-35s. So the question of how many F-35 per wedgetail. If we're talking about a different matric then the 1st poster should clarify.

For the benefit of the 1st poster, I'm reading Spudman's post is probably a reference to how many F-35s a wedgetail will support in an operation.


Sorry I was not very clear -- anyway, Weasel1962 you did read my first post correctly, I was asking how many F-35 would fit into the budget of one Wedgetail.

Spuds information was definitely interesting as well, even if it was based on a misinterpretation of my (admittedly confusing) posting :)

Thanks to both.
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loke

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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 18:26

nathan77 wrote:The Wedgetail is quite an impressive bird. Unclassified, it has a 360 degree radar with a range of in excess of 600km, and ESM of over 850km.


Hmmm. I may be wrong but I believed that for modern (Western) AEW systems the horizon was the limit and that therefore the range would basically say something about altitude...?

600km range, what altitude does that correspond to?
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Unread post03 Mar 2018, 20:58

loke wrote:Sorry I was not very clear -- anyway, Weasel1962 you did read my first post correctly, I was asking how many F-35 would fit into the budget of one Wedgetail.


Per the S.Korean contract in 2006, $400 mil each or $509 in FY2019 dollars. So about 4-5 F-35As.

https://web.archive.org/web/20130524000 ... 7a_nr.html
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