F-35 JSF vs Eurofighter Typhoon

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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marsavian

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Unread post07 Jan 2019, 14:31

hornetfinn wrote: But F-35 has far superior IRST/FLIR system to what other fighters (like EF Typhoon) carry. It carries 7 very advanced IR systems which provides better range and far superior coverage.


Later technology sure but still only MWIR whereas Pirate has that and LWIR too making it more reliable at range and different conditions as well as starting out as a dedicated IRST rather than an adapted SniperXR air to ground pod.
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garrya

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Unread post07 Jan 2019, 16:56

fbw wrote:EOTS has more functions than IRST but not as good as a dedicated system like Pirate and skyguard-g.

The main different between a dedicated IRST and a FLIR is the fact that IRST has an automatic air to air scan/track mode which not available on FLIR pod
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However EOTS is not just an internal Sniper-XR, it also has an automatic air to air tracking mode, so it can operate exactly like a dedicated IRST
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fbw

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Unread post07 Jan 2019, 17:49

garrya wrote:
fbw wrote:EOTS has more functions than IRST but not as good as a dedicated system like Pirate and skyguard-g.

The main different between a dedicated IRST and a FLIR is the fact that IRST has an automatic air to air scan/track mode which not available on FLIR pod


However EOTS is not just an internal Sniper-XR, it also has an automatic air to air tracking mode, so it can operate exactly like a dedicated IRST


Yes, it does but that wasn’t the point I was contesting. The hardware is derived from the Sniper XR as a MWIR targeting sensor, not a dual band or LWIR like Pirate or IRST21. There is a reason why USAF contracted for the Legion pod instead of adding software mods to Sniper ATP (though they have limited IRST capability). When NG and Selex teamed on OpenPod for the IRST requirement, it included the same sensor as Skyward-G, and lockheed’s Entry wasn’t derived from Sniper pods like EOTS but a deticated LWIR sensor derived from the F-14D’s AN/AAS-42. In brief, Yes EOTS provides scan and track but as for original claim of greater distance than a larger aperature dual band system like Pirate? No, and we don’t need to guess on that otherwise F-15C’s wouldn’t be adding Legion pods.
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Unread post07 Jan 2019, 19:43

fbw wrote:Yes, it does but that wasn’t the point I was contesting. The hardware is derived from the Sniper XR as a MWIR targeting sensor, not a dual band or LWIR like Pirate or IRST21. There is a reason why USAF contracted for the Legion pod instead of adding software mods to Sniper ATP (though they have limited IRST capability). When NG and Selex teamed on OpenPod for the IRST requirement, it included the same sensor as Skyward-G, and lockheed’s Entry wasn’t derived from Sniper pods like EOTS but a deticated LWIR sensor derived from the F-14D’s AN/AAS-42.

LWIR has the advantage of able to see objects with lower temperature than MWIR, which make them suitable to find aircraft at higher altitude against cold sky background (because if you can see colder target then technically you can see the same target at longer distance, but LWIR sensor is not very suitable against target at lower altitude within surface/cloud background, because the contrast is too low)
on the otherhand, MWIR has more contrast (because there are fewer stuff that emit in MWIR), which make them more suitable for finding targets at lower altitude than yourself within cloud/surface background.
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fbw wrote:In brief, Yes EOTS provides scan and track but as for original claim of greater distance than a larger aperature dual band system like Pirate?.

1- I don't think Pirate has bigger aperture than EOTS at all.
2- Material combination which allow dual band operation has weaker respond than material combination which allow single band operation. For example: the responsive of MCT sensor in SWIR and MWIR is far weaker than InGaAs and InSb sensor, so there is price to pay for wide band operation
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ricnunes

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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 00:17

marsavian wrote:I am not saying it, the manufacturers are saying it, > 74 km which is about 50 miles but which you are still blithely ignoring because it doesn't fit your narrative.


Well, others have already replied to your points probably better than I could, however I would like to add something to what was already said, namely regarding to your points which I'll quote here (which includes the above):

Here you are again, coming up with that 74 km value like a magician comes up with rabbits from his hat.

The PIRATE IRST or any other IRST for that matter will never, ever detect a F-35 frontally and subsonically at such range (74 km). Heck, I even doubt that the PIRATE will detect a F-35 frontally while flying supersonic at that same range (74 km).
The only way that the PIRATE will detect a F-35 at a range of 74 km is IF the F-35 is flying away from the Typhoon/PIRATE (with the rear/engine exposed to the IRST) while on afterburner!
That's what the manufacturer is likely telling you (without of course telling you the whole story). This 74 km is the maximum detection range on IDEAL conditions which includes:
- The target flying away with the engine exposed and preferentially with afterburner.
- It's a clear day (or night - likely better at night) where there's no clouds or other obscurants.

Resuming, you're "forgetting" that IRSTs have wide and drastic diferences in detection ranges when facing different conditions such as (again), weather, aircraft aspect, type of aircraft/target, etc...

As you see, garrya pointed out a much realistic value of 48km for the PIRATE as a maximum detection range against a frontal aspect aircraft (and not necessarily an IR signature reduced F-35) in OPTIMAL conditions which isn't far from the 50km (which is the max that I'm willing to believe).

marsavian wrote:Not significant but incremental which I already quantified in the quote with Mach 1.5 and high altitude loft examples which are in the study too ! Still less than 100 km best case against a non-maneuvering target coming head on at low altitude.


And again, you're ignoring all other evidence that points out that even an AIM-120C5 has a longer maximum range than 100km. The other variants (-C7 and -D) have of course even longer ranges.
This being said an AMRAAM shot by a F-35 against an unwary Typhoon at a range somewhere between 50-100 km could have a good chance of success.

marsavian wrote:If that were true then F-15s with bigger AESAs would be doing that too at those medium BVR distances but they are not in mock exercises. If Pirate can pick up an F-35 at 75km (all your IR reduction techniques can get rid of the manufacturers '>') then an AESA with 1400 elements is picking up a less than 0.0001 sq m RCS object at about 15 km which is the 5 to 1 ratio. F-35s are just not being picked up by 4th gen fighters at any sort of range in excercises because even if the most powerful AESA can spot them at 20km they will use EW to reduce that number yet again. IRST is the only real chance against radar stealth aircraft preferably allied to IR missiles.


Even if you're right about your assessment about AESA radars that you mentioned above about 20km detection range against the F-35 that's not 5 times less than 48km or lets say 50km. And please drop that 74km value, will you?? Which and BTW, I noticed that oddly you already sightly increased it to 75km... :roll:


marsavian wrote:
F-35's have been shot down during Red Flag by SPAWNING/REVIVING enemies!
SPAWNING/REVIVING enemies don't exist in real battlefields for Christ Sake!


You are missing the point which is F-35s have been shot down when they have been detected. Obviously the hard part is for F-35 being detected before being shot down yourself but Typhoons have a long history of not being shot down in Red Flags.


Really, what's the part of SPAWNING and REVIVING which you didn't get?? :roll:

Gee lets see:
- The F-35's were apparently far outnumbered by aircraft which after being "shot down" could continue to fight nonetheless, perhaps even SPAWNING/REVIVING around the same area where they were shot down.
After this, I would say it would be total surprise IF NO F-35's were shot down at all and not otherwise!
But if you're willing to accept that this is a setting that someone would encounter in real life then I guess that you could add elves to the unicorns in your beliefs...
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 04:07

The current EOTS system is more capable than Pirate, OSF, or OLS, and the Block 4 upgrades include even greater detection ranges and resolution, as well as SWIR, high definition television, infrared marker, etc....
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marsavian

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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 09:01

Yet LMT are still mooting a F-35 LWIR IRST upgrade too. At the cold of altitude that's what detects any skin heating best. As to >74km I won't drop it as that is the most conservative figure out there, there are German reports of Pirate detecting Mig-29/Tornado at 100km and even claims of 150km. I am also strictly talking about detection not identification which is 50-70% of the detection distance.
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garrya

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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 10:20

marsavian wrote:Yet LMT are still mooting a F-35 LWIR IRST upgrade too.

I don't think i have seen that, can you provide the source for thís?
marsavian wrote:there are German reports of Pirate detecting Mig-29/Tornado at 100km and even claims of 150km. I am also strictly talking about detection not identification which is 50-70% of the detection distance.

I am somewhat skeptical. Can you cite the source?
More importantly, what was the aspect? because tail aspect detection range can be around 3-4 times greater than head on
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hornetfinn

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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 10:43

fbw wrote:
But F-35 has far superior IRST/FLIR system to what other fighters (like EF Typhoon) carry. It carries 7 very advanced IR systems which provides better range and far superior


This is the second time this has been stated. It’s not accurate. Selex is widely regarded as the leader in IRST technology, so much so that NG was looking to partner with them. EOTS has more functions than IRST but not as good as a dedicated system like Pirate and skyguard-g. The L-M IRST21 (legion pod) is basically the same hardware as the IRST fitted to the F-14. The US hadn’t produced an IRST in nearly 30 years.


NG teamed up with Leonardo (formerly Selex) because they already had suitable components and systems available. That was way to reduce costs as NG would've needed to develop them which would've been expensive. Leonardo themselves teamed up with Thales and Spanish Tecnobit for Pirate IRST.

IRST21 does not use the same hardware as the IRST fitted to the F-14.
https://www.naval-technology.com/news/b ... -contract/

Awarded to Lockheed Martin, the contract covers the complete development, platform integration, flight test and qualification of the IRST21 sensor technology for the Block II Super Hornet multirole fighter aircraft.

The new sensor system uses the latest infrared search and track technology that helps improve the detection, tracking and ranging capabilities of the IRST sensor system.


https://internationalwarplanes.wordpres ... perhornet/

IRST21 is the next generation of Lockheed Martin’s legacy IRST sensor system, which accumulated more than 300,000 flight hours on the U.S. Navy’s F-14 and international F-15 platforms. The long-range IRST21 sensor uses infrared search and track technology to detect, track and enable the Super Hornet to engage threats with air-to-air weapons.
“Lockheed Martin and Boeing have proven the maturity of the IRST21 sensor and the IRST system and are poised to get this advanced capability out to the fleet to support Navy carrier strike group objectives,” said Ken Fuhr, fixed wing program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.


So they refer to legacy of having made IRST systems earlier, but say that IRST21 is new and next gen system. There is no way they are using F-14 AN/AAS-42 IRST hardware at all as that's mid-1980s technology. Nobody is manufacturing components and spare parts for that any more. Besides performance and reliability would be really horrible compared to modern day technology.

European companies hadn't developed IRST systems for fighters ever before Pirate, so that point is rather moot.

I don't get how dedicated IRST system is necessarily better than combined targeting system and IRST like EOTS. Targeting pods haven't had IRST functionality as they haven't had space, cooling and power available for having both

EOTS has more functions, clearly has superior sensitivity and resolution (about 15 years difference in detector technology) and better long range optic. That's where targeting pods have traditionally been clearly superior to IRST systems (sensitivity/resolution and optics). Pictures and videos show that EOTS has is much superior in image quality. Of course it also has long range laser which can provide very accurate range information about long range targets. And I'd say that being directly integrated to central processing and sensor fusion engine in F-35 is pretty big deal.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 11:23

fbw wrote:
garrya wrote:
fbw wrote:EOTS has more functions than IRST but not as good as a dedicated system like Pirate and skyguard-g.

The main different between a dedicated IRST and a FLIR is the fact that IRST has an automatic air to air scan/track mode which not available on FLIR pod

However EOTS is not just an internal Sniper-XR, it also has an automatic air to air tracking mode, so it can operate exactly like a dedicated IRST


Yes, it does but that wasn’t the point I was contesting. The hardware is derived from the Sniper XR as a MWIR targeting sensor, not a dual band or LWIR like Pirate or IRST21. There is a reason why USAF contracted for the Legion pod instead of adding software mods to Sniper ATP (though they have limited IRST capability). When NG and Selex teamed on OpenPod for the IRST requirement, it included the same sensor as Skyward-G, and lockheed’s Entry wasn’t derived from Sniper pods like EOTS but a deticated LWIR sensor derived from the F-14D’s AN/AAS-42. In brief, Yes EOTS provides scan and track but as for original claim of greater distance than a larger aperature dual band system like Pirate? No, and we don’t need to guess on that otherwise F-15C’s wouldn’t be adding Legion pods.


Legion pod has a lot of space used for powerful processing system (for multi-target tracking and sensor fusion) and pod-to-pod data link (since Link 16 is not good for that). All those would not be possible to do with current targeting pods as they lack required hardware. EOTS is totally different as almost all the processing is done in central sensor fusion system with massive processing power and data linking is done using MADL.

LWIR is often used in IRST systems often because of cost reasons. Decent LWIR sensors are much less expensive than MWIR sensors and require less processing power due to LWIR having less background clutter (which again reduces requirements and costs). However high end MWIR sensor generally have superior performance in most conditions, although LWIR has some advantages.

Very good description about pros and cons of LWIR and MWIR: http://a05fa6f7cba89c6644b4-b7912ee3417 ... r_LWIR.pdf

However, the thermal contrast (target flux normalised to background flux), which actually makes the thermal image, is usually greater in the MWIR band, this is one of the reasons why MWIR is often the preferred choice when customers can afford it. Moreover, MWIR is also a better option if you want to detect airplanes or missiles, and the
hot exhaust plumes are significantly more visible in the MWIR than in the LWIR.


Besides, basically only one source claims that Pirate has LWIR and MWIR and all other web pages have copied that. For example here it claims that it uses just LWIR (just like Skyward-G):
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... r-irst-pod

Giorgia Balza, head of IRST and Skyward programs for Selex ES, explained that the company had developed sophisticated IRST technology via the Eurofihter partnership (the Pirate LWIR sensor), followed by a dual-band IR system for Italy’s aircraft carrier, and the MWIR system that has recently been successfully flight-tested on the pan-European Neuron UCAV. The latest application is the LWIR Skyward-G sensor for the new E/F version of the Saab Gripen fighter. For the partnership with NG, Selex ES has repackaged the latter sensor into a smaller space, namely the interchangeable Open Pod nose. The processor similarly plugs-in to the rear interchangeable section of the Open Pod.
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marsavian

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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 11:29

Garrya, sources ...

F-35 LWIR

http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/loc ... grade-f-35

Lockheed Martin has revealed an internal project focused on significantly improving the ability of the F-35 to passively detect other aircraft at a long distance by their heat ...


viewtopic.php?p=402044#p402044

1.
An internal project proposed by LM
2.
Different from Advanced EOTS which adds the SWIR capability and grows the aperture to get significantly improved range performance, this upgraded EOTS will add the LWIR capability for long range air-to-air detection purpose.

3.
St. John said it's very attractive to develop the passive sensor-only killed chain that using multi-ships IRST capability.

4.
They have completed a prototype by their internal funding and provided this concept to JPO office to decide whether inserting this project to block 4 upgrade list.



Pirate up to 150km,
Author: Lieutenant Colonel dG Mag. Reinhard Zmug, born in 1968. Invaded in 1986 to the Antiaircraft Battalion 2 in Zeltweg. 1987-1990 officer training at the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt, retired as an air traffic control officer in the Military Control Center to Vienna. From 1997 to 2000 general training course at the national defense academy in Vienna, afterwards use as G4 in the command air force division respectively command air forces. Early 2004 use in the BMLV, department training A; since May 2004 use in the armaments department / air force department as head of the staff unit in the project group air surveillance aircraft. Since 1 April 2008 use of troops as head of the Fliegerwerft 2 in Zeltweg.

http://www.bundesheer.at/truppendienst/ ... php?id=807

FLIR PIRATE

In addition to the "Captor" as a primary sensor for target finding, tracking and target acquisition, the Eurofighter "Typhoon" also has the advanced infrared sensor FLIR PIRATE (Forward Looking Infrared Passive Infrared Infrared Airborne Tracking Equipment). This second generation infrared imaging sensor was developed by the EUROFIRST consortium (FIAR from Italy, Thales Optronics from the UK and Tecnobit from Spain).

FLIR PIRATE can be used as both IRST (Infrared Search and Track) in air-to-air mode and as FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) in air-to-ground operation. It is housed in a spherical housing to the left of the cockpit in the bow of the machine.

The system uses Infrared Charged Couple Device viewfinders (IR CCDs), an analog signal processor, a moving mirror, and related software, and is fully integrated with the Attack Identification System (AIS) and coupled with other sensors. The infrared sensor works with wavelengths from three to eight and from eight to eleven microns. Infrared Assisted Search and Track (IRST) allows the FLIR PIRATE to passively search for and track air targets at high altitudes with the infrared sensor looking for heat sources. Different air-air modes are offered:

Multi Target Track (MTT);
Sector acquisition;
Slaved Acquisition (SACQ);
Single Target Track (STT);
Single Target Track Identification (STT Identification).

In Multi Target Track mode, the FLIR PIRATE searches for a predefined range. It is able to track and prioritize up to 200 targets simultaneously while searching for more targets. A limited number of targets can also be displayed to the pilot with a particularly high priority.

In Sector Acquisition mode, the FLIR PIRATE scans an area defined by (for example, the radar) very closely for targets.

In the Slaved Acquisition mode, the FLIR PIRATE searches for targets that are transmitted to the "Typhoon" from external sources.

When the target is detected, the FLIR PIRATE immediately switches to single target track mode, which is used for single target acquisition. The information about the destination is updated quickly and target data is delivered.

There is also a single target track identification, an identification function, where the FLIR PIRATE creates an image of the object. This allows visual target identification outside the optical field of view. Furthermore, it is possible to identify ground targets.

The infrared-based target search and target tracking allows the "Typhoon" to detect, track, detect and identify air targets passively (ie without their own radiation), thus enabling the use of infrared-controlled air-to-air missiles.

The range of the system is between 50 and 80 kilometers, but could be up to 150 kilometers. The destination identification can be made from more than 40 kilometers. However, the weather conditions affect the performance of the infrared-assisted target search and target tracking considerably.

The alignment can also be done via the radar and the helmet visor or by means of external source information on targets and is an effective supplement to the "Captor". In addition, various air-floor functions are offered. When used as a forward looking infrared (FLIR) device, the FLIR PIRATE can produce high-resolution infrared images of the landscape ahead, which are then displayed on different displays. The pilot thus sees, even in the darkest night or in bad weather, what is happening in front of his machine. This facilitates attack operations under such circumstances, landings and flying in general, especially at low altitudes. Through the connection with the helmet visor and the helmet display on which the FLIR image can be projected.
Last edited by marsavian on 08 Jan 2019, 13:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 13:37

I do not have a stake in this debate. Nor do I care if the Typhoon has an IRST that can see Pluto or that the F-35 is an F-18 with twelve engines.


Here is what an F-22 pilot had to say about it when he talked with a Typhoon pilot:

"Both the IRST and HOBS were developed for I guess that toolbox that pilots carry. Just one more to help win the day...

I will say this......when it comes down to WVR, and you’ve gotten to that point.....things are gonna start happening very quickly. Most WVR fights are very short and quick. One reason we developed HOBS systems was to try and get advantage on today’s “ maneuvering “ jets in the close up game. In my days in the Raptor at least, I tried to end the fight within 60 seconds, if I was lucky
First look is key. I had a “Tiffie” pilot tell me that the IRST system on his jet was great, but he still had to know where to look. He said sometimes searching out in space with the IRST was like trying to find someone looking thru a plastic straw. I found it odd that he always considered it a failure if he allowed himself to get to WVR. He said with today’s systems and platforms, even older 4 th gens, it was inherently dangerous."


And the link:
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=54668&p=406502#p406502
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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 14:28

marsavian wrote:
The range of the system is between 50 and 80 kilometers, but could be up to 150 kilometers. The destination identification can be made from more than 40 kilometers. However, the weather conditions affect the performance of the infrared-assisted target search and target tracking considerably.


You are looking through a straw. What it means is that to DETECT a target at 150 km you need to have your Pirate 3x192 (if I remember correctly) line scanning array to dwell on a small amount of sky for enough time to count enough photons from that 150 km distant target to detect anything. Now consider you can focus your array so that each pixel represents 25m by 25m at that 150 km which gives you an area of 3x192x25x25 m2 or a 360000 m2 stare. Wow! Except that with a FOV of 1/8 sphere at 150 km the sky is 282600000000 m2 big, which you are searching with a sensor that struggles with its time budget relative to a radar, thus PROBABILITY TO DETECT at range sucks. The Pirate may detect a target at those ranges under optimal circumstances, but the likelihood that it does so is poor.
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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 15:03

bumtish wrote:
marsavian wrote:
The range of the system is between 50 and 80 kilometers, but could be up to 150 kilometers. The destination identification can be made from more than 40 kilometers. However, the weather conditions affect the performance of the infrared-assisted target search and target tracking considerably.


You are looking through a straw. What it means is that to DETECT a target at 150 km you need to have your Pirate 3x192 (if I remember correctly) line scanning array to dwell on a small amount of sky for enough time to count enough photons from that 150 km distant target to detect anything. Now consider you can focus your array so that each pixel represents 25m by 25m at that 150 km which gives you an area of 3x192x25x25 m2 or a 360000 m2 stare. Wow! Except that with a FOV of 1/8 sphere at 150 km the sky is 282600000000 m2 big, which you are searching with a sensor that struggles with its time budget relative to a radar, thus PROBABILITY TO DETECT at range sucks. The Pirate may detect a target at those ranges under optimal circumstances, but the likelihood that it does so is poor.


Pirate has IIRC 4x768 pixel line scanning array which means it's definitely very capable IRST system with good resolution. However you are correct that it will be like looking through soda straw at those ranges even with something like half a megapixel resolution it has. At 150 km away, each pixel would equate almost 10 meters if FoV was 3 degrees which is pretty standard narrow FoV for IRST systems. Targeting pods generally have even better, most under 1 degree FoV which would increase tracking/ID range even further but would be useless in searching for targets. I'd wage that EOTS also has similar very narrow field of view capability due to it being targeting FLIR system.

Problem with these comparisons is that it's definitely possible to use Pirate or other IRST to detect a target which is already known via other means like fighter's own radar or from data link track (like from AWACS or other sensors). That would not be likely with F-35. IRST is pretty poor for long range search as it's either very slow to scan due to narrow FoV or would have short range due to wide FoV. It will also not be able tell range to target except in some rather special conditions.
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Unread post08 Jan 2019, 15:06

Pirate has IIRC 4x768 pixel line scanning array which means it's definitely very capable IRST system with good resolution. However you are correct that it will be like looking through soda straw at those ranges even with something like half a megapixel resolution it has. At 150 km away, each pixel would equate almost 10 meters if FoV was 3 degrees which is pretty standard narrow FoV for IRST systems. Targeting pods generally have even better, most under 1 degree FoV which would increase tracking/ID range even further but would be useless in searching for targets. I'd wage that EOTS also has similar very narrow field of view capability due to it being targeting FLIR system.

Problem with these comparisons is that it's definitely possible to use Pirate or other IRST to detect a target which is already known via other means like fighter's own radar or from data link track (like from AWACS or other sensors). That would not be likely with F-35. IRST is pretty poor for long range search as it's either very slow to scan due to narrow FoV or would have short range due to wide FoV. It will also not be able tell range to target except in some rather special conditions.
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Nice sum up of data fusion rationales no?
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