F-35 Ready For Missile Defense By 2025: MDA Chief

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spazsinbad

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Unread post18 Jan 2019, 09:24

Pentagon considers an ICBM-killing weapon for the F-35, but is it affordable? [BEST READ at SOURCE]
17 Jan 2019 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — Over the next six months, the Defense Department will weigh whether to develop a new weapon for the F-35 fighter jet that will enable it to strike down an intercontinental ballistic missile in the early stages of flight. And it’s the Pentagon’s lead official for developmental technologies who is bullish on the prospect, telling reporters Jan. 17 that a new weapon could be both operationally effective and low cost.

"For certain regional geographies — North Korea comes to mind — we actually think it’s entirely possible and cost-effective to deploy what I will loosely call air-to-air interceptors, although possibly of new design, on advanced aircraft [and] using the aircraft as either sensor or weapons platforms to affect a missile intercept,” said Mike Griffin, under-secretary of defense for research and engineering. "We will, as the report implies, be studying that again, but I've seen recently any number of assessments, several assessments, which indicate that this is something we should be looking at."

The Trump administration’s Missile Defense Review, released Thursday after months of anticipation, carves out an enticing new potential role for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The jet “has a capable sensor system that can detect the infrared signature of a boosting missile and its computers can identify the threatening missile’s location,” the review states. “It can track and destroy adversary cruise missiles today, and, in the future, can be equipped with a new or modified interceptor capable of shooting down adversary ballistic missiles in their boost phase and could be surged rapidly to hot spots to strengthen U.S. active defense capabilities and attack operations.”

The report gives the Air Force and Missile Defense Agency six months to deliver a report on how best to integrate the F-35 into the larger missile defense architecture….

...Throughout the Missile Defense Review, the Pentagon shows interest in developing boost-phase missile defenses, said Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association. However, he pointed to a 2012 report by the National Academy of Sciences that said such technologies are not practical or feasible. “Long-standing challenges to effective boost-phase defense include the short time ICBMs are in powered flight, the need for the defense platform to be located very near launch sites, and the availability of faster-burning solid-fueled missiles as a countermeasure,” Reif said.

In short, F-35s, equipped with a new interceptor, would have to be located very close to missile launch sites to be within range of an intercept during the boost phase, and “it would be very expensive to keep the planes on extended patrol and take them away from other missions,” he said. “A drone would be a better option than the F-35. And even then there would still be big challenges as the 2012 National Academies report noted.”...

...Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, citing research he apparently saw from Los Alamos National Laboratories, said the F-35 could use an AMRAAM to take down an ICBM in the boost phase, reported Inside Defense in November 2017. A December 2017 report from Defense One detailed a 2014 experiment conducted by the Missile Defense Agency and Northrop Grumman, which posited whether an F-35 could use its distributed aperture system to monitor and track ICBMs.

At least two F-35s would be needed in range to converge on the exact location of the target, Northrop officials told the news organization.

From there, the F-35s would be able to “[take] data from the sensors, [run] it through algorithms developed by Northrop and MDA’s Enterprise Sensor Lab, [generate] a 3D-moving picture of the missile’s trajectory, and [convey] it over the Link 16 tactical data exchange,” Defense One reported. With that capability, it’s possible the F-35 could be used to collect intelligence about an enemy’s ICBM movements and transmit targeting data to other U.S. systems used to intercept the missiles, such as ballistic missile destroyers or missile defense systems like the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or Patriot systems."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/01 ... afford-it/
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Unread post18 Jan 2019, 10:40

It will be pretty cool if they design something similar to NCADE for F-35
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Unread post18 Jan 2019, 13:42

Best I can think to achieve that design goal is some sort of big honking missile carried externally, like an air lauched SM-3 or SM-6.
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Unread post18 Jan 2019, 17:24

knowan wrote:Best I can think to achieve that design goal is some sort of big honking missile carried externally, like an air lauched SM-3 or SM-6.


There was also an Air Launched Hit To Kill (PAC-3) once:

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Unread post18 Jan 2019, 18:38

MORE on story but less about F-35 because: AvWEAK: Missile Defense Review Directs Numerous Studies 17 Jan 2019

http://aviationweek.com/defense/missile ... us-studies
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Unread post18 Jan 2019, 19:02

Good re-iteration of OLD NEWS in this article but similar story otherwise, I'll quote from OLD NEWS again....
Trump's Missile Defense Review Calls for Space Sensors, Drone Lasers
17 Jan 2019 Oriana Pawlyk

"...The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter:
The Pentagon wants to equip its latest and most advanced stealth fighter "with a new or modified interceptor capable of shooting down adversary ballistic missiles in their boost phase," the report states. While the idea has drawn skepticism, Northrop Grumman conducted an experiment with the Missile Defense Agency in 2014, saying the plane could be retrofitted to track intercontinental ballistic missile launches...." [quote link below]

OLD NEWS: 06 Dec 2017 "...The F-35 sensors aren’t meant to replace the infrared satellites that detect launches, or the sea-based X-Band Radar that can feed targeting data about missile launches to destroyers . Rather, Northrop officials said, the DAS data would help the other missile-defense gear get a targeting track on a missile more quickly, improving the odds of nailing the shot. (You also need two of them in the air for triangulation.)

“That information can go straight to the Patriot [missile system], THAAD, or anywhere else, who has communication with that platform,” John “Bama” Montgomery, a business development manager at Northrop’s ISR & Targeting Division, said on Tuesday. “You can give that information to a shooter. That shooter now has information to go and put his information in the right place. Thus the radar doesn’t have to search. It goes, ‘I know where it is; it’s right there.’”

The end result is a “tactically significant” improvement in targeting, Montgomery said. Just how significant? It took several years to figure that out, and that’s one reason why the news is only being released now. “We wanted to get our understanding of how this could change the battlefield. We’ve since done a series of modeling and [simulation] events and teamed with other governmental partners and industry.” Those numbers, he said, are classified. But: “I can tell you right now that this system, as depicted here, really does help the ballistic missile environment.” https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... ms/144365/


Source: https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2019/0 ... asers.html
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Unread post18 Jan 2019, 20:34

A F-35 ABM capability is valuable as long as it doesn't take too much money away from other requirements.

I would expect that it would be fairly straightforward to program a F-35 to be able to identify and engage a climbing ICBM/IRBM with a AIM-120 while it is in the atmosphere and not going much beyond Mach 2. It should just be a matter of programming your data fusion engine to identify a ICBM (or similiar missile) launch, project the trajectory to the intercept point (this is actually pretty hard since you can't use the missiles actual course and speed at anytime or you get in a tail chase as the target is both climbing and accelerating at the same time), and program your AIM-120 to get ahead and above the target for intercept. You might also need some changes on the AIM-120 intercept and fuzing algorithms. Having said that, it will give you a fairly short ranged intercept capability. It is also inexpensive, being purely software, and easy to test, just try to track and/or shoot down a Minuteman III or Trident D-5 OT launch.

There are probably two conditions that you would need to plan for;
- The US is at war with the side possessing said ballistic missiles
- The US is in a state of heightened tension with the side possessing said ballistic missiles.

In either case, the ability to detect and track the target has utility. With the proper connectivity, the F-35 can effectively contribute to the early detection and tracking of the missile even if they can't do anything about it. Additionally, they are not vulnerable like a E-3, RC-135, or other large aircraft is.

In the first, wartime case, even a limited engagement range, say 20nm from the launch site, can give you a tactically significant capability. F-35s will be hunting the silos, missiles, and TELs, so they should be nearby to the launch site, there should be a lot of them, they are carrying AIM-120s anyway, and they have weapons free allowing for a very rapid decision loop. I mean, missiles are pretty distinctive and it is not as if the other side is launching space tourists or anything. And being stealth assets, the other side can not just wait until they leave since they can't be sure if they are detecting them or not.

In the second case, the capability to engage is probably limited without a new missile, which is where big bucks start to come into the picture. However, even with a limited capability, you have a strong psychological deterrent. Much like a submarine that the enemy can't find, a stealth fighter forces the enemy to assume it is potentially overhead. So it can act as a deterrent even if it is not there at all.

The real question is how much is it going to cost.
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Unread post18 Jan 2019, 20:53

hythelday wrote:
knowan wrote:Best I can think to achieve that design goal is some sort of big honking missile carried externally, like an air lauched SM-3 or SM-6.


There was also an Air Launched Hit To Kill (PAC-3) once:



That could be a simple external solution but the F-35 will not really be stealthy lumping those around. Internally a solution could be marriying this to the eventual AMRAAM replacement and would ultimately dictate a multi stage rocket missile which would benefit in both altitude/speed performance against BMs and range/maneuverability performance against aircraft/missiles. Seems like it could be another requirement to put into the replacement specification. You could get serious hypersonic speeds out of a multi-stage rocket missile so would be useful too against hypersonic missiles. Now you just have to fit it into an F-22/F-35 missile bay which would imply going wide rather than long like a Phoenix.
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Unread post18 Jan 2019, 21:54

US Air Force looks at using F-35 as ballistic missile interceptor
17 Jan 2019 Garrett Reim

"The US Air Force and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) are examining integrating the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II into the US ballistic missile defense system....

...The Missile Defense Review also noted the potential uses of airborne lasers as a counter ballistic missile weapon.

“Intercepting offensive missiles in their boostphase (before the re-entry vehicle separates from the booster) using kinetic interceptors and/or directed energy would increase the likelihood of successfully countering the threat,” says the report. That would “complicate an aggressor’s attack calculus by reducing its confidence in its missile attack planning, and reduce the number of midcourse or terminal active defense interceptors needed to destroy the adversary’s remaining offensive missiles.”

Using the F-35 as a platform for shooting lasers at launching ballistic missiles was not mentioned in the review, though the MDA’s Low-Power Laser Demonstrator programme was noted. In September, as part of that programme the agency awarded nearly $70 million in contracts to Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems to further develop airborne anti-ballistic missile lasers."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... il-455100/
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Unread post19 Jan 2019, 01:47

I've been tossing this around my head today... for a first cut, I'd look at having Raytheon chop an SM3-IIA down to 161" length. My swag is you could get to Mach 10, and maybe 100-200nm range. Rather than a tail chase, which I see as not possible... I think the thing to do is to get a good track, then try to hang the kinetic kill vehicle in space in front of the boosting missile. That is... try to get on a reverse ballistic path. Not sure that is even doable. A tail chase you are going to lose. With something a LOT larger than AIM-120, I am guestimating you have 2, 3 minutes tops to make the intercept. The good news, from a side intercept angle, is that the boosting missile is NOT going to be able to maneuver. From (hopefully prior) intelligence of test missile shots, you should have a good idea of time vs altitude vs Mach, so that gives you a decent idea how to extrapolate the boost trajectory and figure where you have to have your interceptor by when.

The problem of a "chopped" SM-IIA is lessened to some extent in that you don't need a booster to get you from SL to 50,000ft... assuming you can CAP the enema missile launch fields at around 50K.

An SM-6 appears to max out around 3.5 Mach, so I don't think that booster will work.

However, if you can't get high enough, fast enough with the "chopped" SM3-IIA to deploy the KKV, and you have to keep a payload fairing at the front from an aero standpoint, then switching in the 13" dia SM6 AIM-120 seeker section + guidance might be an option. But that is a YUGE swag.

The Lightning's weps bays appears wide enough, but would be sure nice if they were about 7.5' longer if you wanted to tuck in a hypersonic AGM / AAM or ABM.

FWIW.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post19 Jan 2019, 01:56

Something like a B21, perhaps unmanned, probably has the weapons bay size to fit several such ABM's based off an SM-3 IIA/B weapon. Let it go hang up around 60K 4-500nm down range flying racetracks...

Or put a platform with the F-35 sensor suite up there just as a "radar / EOTS" picket plane.

OR... if you do use F-35s as a BM CAP / picket... once tracks are established and broadcast to the net... loose the Panthers on the missile launch fields and all other goodies in that area.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post19 Jan 2019, 02:57

steve2267 wrote:OR... if you do use F-35s as a BM CAP / picket... once tracks are established and broadcast to the net... loose the Panthers on the missile launch fields and all other goodies in that area.


I would think you could combine TEL hunting with ABM missions. Load up your F-35s with SDBIIs and have them operate in pairs, one at 50kft on ABM mission, one lower hunting TELs in their designated boxes. Or, if the threat requires, have them operate in fours in their boxes. Once the TEL hunter is winchester, rotate positions. Ideally you catch the missile before launch but if not, you have an F-35, possibly two, that can fire two AIM-120s at it and another F-35 that can pounce on the TEL.

You couldn't guarantee success, but you could attrite the launchers and reduce the number of missiles to be intercepted later, and not just ICBMs, you would also be in position to take out anything from SRBMs to IRBMs.

Even with each box being 40nm x 40nm, you could probably cover all of the likely launch areas in NK with 12 aircraft.
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Unread post21 Jan 2019, 21:28

Pentagon Unveils Missile Defense Review, Urging Investment in New System
17 Jan 2019 Brian Everstine

"...The report highlights the Air Force and the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s effort to upgrade the aircraft that monitor the US airspace with new sensors that can track and target offensive air threats. Additionally, the military needs to progress the F-35’s capability to track and target offensive missile threats, the review states.

Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, told reporters the F-35 could be used in certain geographies—“North Korea comes to mind” —as a cost-effective way to employ what he “loosely calls air-to-air interceptors.” The F-35 has sensors that could be effective, though new weapons systems would need to be studied to allow the aircraft to target ballistic missiles. “We’re looking at possibly newly developed missiles, I don’t think an AMRAAM from an F-35 is likely to do the job,” Griffin said. “But that doesn’t mean that no missile launched from an airplane could ever do the job.”

USAF Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, told reporters that MDA and the Pentagon will soon integrate F-35s into missile tests to assess their capability. Because of the total number of jets the military will field, along with its sensor capability and integration into multi-domain command and control, it could be a “very powerful” capability to add to the missile defense system. "We will test it to verify if it works, if it comes with limitations, or if it doesn’t work,” Greaves said.

The Air Force has six months to study and present a report on how it could integrate its F-35s into missile defense, both for homeland defense and to defend regional partners, the review states...."

Graphic: "The Defense Department's Missile Defense Review, unveiled Thursday, outlines a planned schedule for new missile defense systems. This includes the demonstration of laser systems on remotely piloted aircraft, space-based sensors, and defenses from hypersonic glide vehicles. Defense Department graphic" http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pub ... DR.jpg.png


Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... ystem.aspx
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