Commander Naval Air Forces wants more F/A-18s

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marauder2048

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Unread post20 Mar 2018, 22:44

element1loop wrote:
Ok, thanks for that.

I wouldn't rule out JSM-ER at some point, using newer explosives tech in a smaller lighter but just as energetic warhead, plus updated propulsion. If they can keep costs down it also will sell in the thousands.

BTW, as I see it, LRASM-B defeats itself via not being low observable enough, too hot, too fast, to give no early warning of what's coming, which is critical for a Long-Range weapon. I think subsonic LRASM has nailed the requirement.



Getting new energetics aboard carriers is tricky because of the (justifiably) stringent
IM requirements. The Navy was looking to wave it for SM-3 IIB for surface ships so if
the threat is urgent (which I think it is) it might be more doable.

I guess it's unclear how challenging supersonic high-divers are to intercept but I really
saw the utility of LRASM-B for submarines or signature reduced surface combatants.
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element1loop

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Unread post20 Mar 2018, 23:39

marauder2048 wrote:I guess it's unclear how challenging supersonic high-divers are to intercept but I really saw the utility of LRASM-B for submarines or signature reduced surface combatants.


I see it the other way, a missile that's too fast and hot defeats the shooters signature reduction, and points to where they are (snippers hide for that reason). With LRASM it's not really a problem, it doesn't provide any track, pointing back to the distant launcher, especialy for a sub, and means they can keep attacking and provide no early-warning or clear idea of what just hit them. i.e. the weapon 'effects' are more than the explosion and damage.

Maximising ambiguity of what hit and where it originated from makes the job quite a bit harder and more demoralising, plus harder to organise and focus on a hunt for a known target. Give them no target and keep them dispirited, unsucessful, initiative plus focus denied. If they can't even see a weapon or a shooter but weapons keep coming fast, a sense of hopelessness and being out-matched will grow (as with ODS). But if they see the weapon and where it came from, they immediately have a hope, a motivation, anger and some initiative.

LRASM maximises those 'non-kinetic effects', on top of the kinetic effects, but LRASM-B provides the other guy an immediate focus and options, the ability to act, a possibility of sucess, potential morale boost.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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marauder2048

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Unread post21 Mar 2018, 02:45

The surface or sub-surface launch signature of LRASM A is pretty prominent too.
So particularly for sub skippers it's always a delicate choice.

The short time of flight is still useful for imprecisely located targets or say
a FAC moving between island sanctuaries.

Don't get me wrong. LRASM A is good but it's long overdue; 10 years from an urgent
operational need to IOC with a small POR quantity for a spiral development (JASSM-MI)
that was studied/proposed in FY04.

In the meantime, Lockheed has been awarded a contract for OML changes to extend
JASSM-ER's range which would mean (if its possible to do so) more integration
work/time/cost to rehost/test/fly the LRASM components on this new variant.
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marauder2048

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Unread post21 Mar 2018, 03:00

marauder2048 wrote:The surface or sub-surface launch signature of LRASM A is pretty prominent too.
So particularly for sub skippers it's always a delicate choice.

The short time of flight is still useful for intermittently located targets or say
a FAC moving between island sanctuaries.

Don't get me wrong. LRASM A is good but it's long overdue; 10 years from an urgent
operational need to IOC with a small POR quantity for a spiral development (JASSM-MI)
that was studied/proposed in FY04.

In the meantime, Lockheed has been awarded a contract for OML changes to extend
JASSM-ER's range which would mean (if its possible to do so) more integration
work/time/cost to rehost/test/fly the LRASM components on this new variant.
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element1loop

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Unread post21 Mar 2018, 07:40

marauder2048 wrote:In the meantime, Lockheed has been awarded a contract for OML changes to extend
JASSM-ER's range which would mean (if its possible to do so) more integration
work/time/cost to rehost/test/fly the LRASM components on this new variant.


They may opt for both, put current ER on deck, then upgrade to a new standard next decade.

Subs need to be careful no matter what, but how can you launch an SLCM safer than using a long-range LRASM? That's about as good as it can get, for now. Maybe out of phase active noise cancellation might help, if that can be made to work during a launch.
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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 12:21

:shock: Fi FY Fo FUM I hear the sound of the TWEETie of TRUMP dum de dum dum.... :devil: LARA Gets It. Sort of... :roll: :crazypilot:
Boeing’s Next-Gen Super Hornet Will Be (Sort Of) Stealthy
22 Mar 2018 Lara Seligman

"...Gillian [Dan Gillian, Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18 program manager] confirms that an improved low-observable (LO) coating will be one of five key characteristics of the Block III Super Hornet. The fighter is already “a very stealth airplane today”—he says, declining to elaborate—but there are new coatings engineers can apply on different surfaces of the aircraft to make it even more survivable, he says.

The F/A-18 was not designed specifically to be stealthy and lacks many of the fundamental stealth characteristics baked into Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and F-22 airframes. But there are other ways to enhance stealth, such as adding LO coating and radar-absorbent material improvements in certain locations on the airframe. A few simple changes “can buy us just a little bit of performance that’s low-cost and easy to go do,” Gillian says.

The souped-up aircraft the Navy has agreed to buy looks very different from Boeing’s original 2013 proposal for an “Advanced Super Hornet,” which focused on stealth. Boeing engineers found they needed to make design compromises to significantly reduce the aircraft’s radar cross section—for instance, by restricting payload, Gillian told Aviation Week in 2017. This drove Boeing to drop certain features of the 2013 proposal, such as an enclosed weapons pod and internal infrared search-and-track (IRST) sensor, from the newest package.

The Navy will begin procuring the Block III Super Hornet in fiscal 2019 with a 24-aircraft buy, the first of which will come off the production line in 2020. Over the next five years, the Navy proposes buying 110 additional Super Hornets, including a three-year procurement, which is a significant boost from last year’s budget request. Meanwhile, the Navy will accelerate divestiture of the legacy Hornets, with the last active component squadron transitioning to the Super Hornet in 2018. The service plans to send the last F/A-18 A-D to the boneyard no later than the fiscal 2030 timeframe.

Boeing aims to deliver one Block III squadron per carrier air wing by 2024 and two squadrons of Block IIIs per carrier air wing by 2027, Gillian says. Boeing will achieve this goal both by building new Super Hornets and by upgrading the older Block II aircraft to the Block III configuration i -depot. Boeing intends to start service life modification (SLM) work on the Block II aircraft in St. Louis in April.

The SLM’s initial focus will be extending airframe life to 9,000 hr. from 6,000, Gillian says. Later, SLM will incorporate efforts to make the aircraft more “maintainable”—for example, grooming wire, fixing corrosion and replacing ducts. Boeing is also working with the Navy on a “reset” of the Super Hornet’s environmental control system following a spike in hypoxia-like physiological episodes in the fleet.

SLM will expand to include the full Block II-to-Block III conversion in the early 2020s, Gillian says. This means LO improvements; an advanced cockpit system with a large-area display for improved user interface, a more powerful computer called the distributed targeting processor network, a bigger data pipe for passing information called Tactical Targeting Network Technology and conformal fuel tanks (CFT).

The CFTs will extend the range of the aircraft by 100-120 nm. They are designed to replace the extra fuel tanks the Super Hornet currently slings under its wings, reducing weight and drag and enabling additional payload....

...Finally, the Block III upgrade also will include a long-range IRST sensor that will allow the Super Hornet to detect and track advanced threats from a distance...."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing- ... t-stealthy
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 16:06

The funny thing is that by the time SH finishes with Block 3 development (2030-ish), the F-35 will be in Block 5. That takes into account Blocks 4.1, 4.2, TR3, 4.3, 4.4, and TR4. :doh:
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loke

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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 16:44

They will buy another 101 SH!? Or did I misunderstand something?

And it seems they start to deliver the SH block III from 2020 already?

Could this mean that Finland will be offered SH block III not block II?
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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 16:54

They want to retire all the Block 1 SH and replace them with new-built Block2/3 SH. Keep in mind that "Block 3" for the SH is not a singular update but a series of pre-panned and new-plan updates to the SH that will stretch to 2030+.
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optimist

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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 18:00

They are also doing a frog and putting an aesa on the AN/APG-73. ( was offered to aus and others about 10 years ago?) So the CD hornets will also be around for a while. (seeing the US is paying for the development, it may find it's way to FMS, canada?)
http://www.janes.com/article/78735/usmc ... aesa-radar
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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 18:12

Here is Raytheon's RACR install on a Classic Hornet.




Northrop's SABR could be done miliarly as it is a "drop in" unit for the F-16.
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marauder2048

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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 18:46

SpudmanWP wrote:The funny thing is that by the time SH finishes with Block 3 development (2030-ish), the F-35 will be in Block 5. That takes into account Blocks 4.1, 4.2, TR3, 4.3, 4.4, and TR4. :doh:


The complete absence of discussion/questions on cost for Block 3 (beyond CFT EMD) is
pretty much par for the course for the Super Hornet.
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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 19:18

marauder2048 wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:The funny thing is that by the time SH finishes with Block 3 development (2030-ish), the F-35 will be in Block 5. That takes into account Blocks 4.1, 4.2, TR3, 4.3, 4.4, and TR4. :doh:


The complete absence of discussion/questions on cost for Block 3 (beyond CFT EMD) is
pretty much par for the course for the Super Hornet.


Not totally true, the IRST (of which 170 are currently planned to be ordered) is pegged at a total cost of just over $2B, but that was a decision made before Block III and is technically part of an upgrade for Block II unrelated to Block III. It certainly wasn't advertised though.
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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 20:27

No. It's totally true since the IRST the Navy has spent the last 10 years developing
has no combat utility in its present form.

And it's been a horribly managed project in general that tried to
illegally hide RDT&E in procurement funds.

So it's par for the course for the Super Hornet.
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Unread post22 Mar 2018, 22:43

optimist wrote:They are also doing a frog and putting an aesa on the AN/APG-73. ( was offered to aus and others about 10 years ago?) So the CD hornets will also be around for a while. (seeing the US is paying for the development, it may find it's way to FMS, canada?)
http://www.janes.com/article/78735/usmc ... aesa-radar


Only 98 aircraft being upgraded, the last of the hornet's that are expected to fly until the late 2020's. Could mean by around 2022 any fighter flying off a big deck has a AESA radar on it.
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