CSBA Analyst Calls For F-35C Redesign

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sferrin

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 19:46

wrightwing wrote:
popcorn wrote:If the idea is to put 1000 miles between the CBG and the DF-21D. it should be relatively easy for the Chinese to field even longer ranged AShBMs.

It's not the range of the missiles so much as the ability to target, at increasingly extended ranges. The Chinese have yet to demonstrate that they can generate targeting data against a moving/maneuvering target, at extended ranges. They've hit static targets, at known locations and at much shorter ranges. Hitting a target that doesn't want to be found, at 1000nm, (or 500nm, for that matter), under highly degraded ISR conditions, and that is protected by SM-2/3/6, is a challenge. In a shooting war, the OTH radars would likely be taken out by subs with Tomahawks, and bombers with JASSM-ER (and XR in the coming years.) Manned and unmanned ISR platforms would likely be engaged kinetically or non-kinetically, to degrade their kill chain. I wouldn't bet on their satellites being unmolested, either. We have a lot more resilience/redundancy built into to our systems, in that kind of scenario. In the mid 2020s and beyond, the carrier air wing will have a lot longer legs, with MQ-25 and ACE motors. With a 30 to 35% range increase on internal fuel, plus tanking up 500nm out, an F-35C will easily reach well past 1000nm (probably closer to 1250+.) If the USN ever buys JASSM-ER/XR, that would allow F-35s to hit targets at 1800 to 2200nm+ from the carrier. Even with JSOW-ER and JSM, F-35Cs could hit targets over 1500nm away.



Not too long ago the USN demoed the SM-6 Dual I shooting down an MRBM. I don't recall if they've tested it against an IRBM.
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steve2267

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 20:23

sferrin wrote:Not too long ago the USN demoed the SM-6 Dual I shooting down an MRBM. I don't recall if they've tested it against an IRBM.


According to Wikipedia, the USN intercepted MRBM-representative targets in 2016 and 2017 with the SM-6. The US DoD classifies "Medium Range" Ballistic Missiles out to 3000km, or about 1620nm. So the SM-6 should be able to intercept DF-21. DF-26 might be stretching it a bit? But the SM-6 is being used in the terminal phase -- the "last few seconds before impact" -- so the inbound vampire is more-or-less coming straight down on top of you. That should make targeting easier, shouldn't it? Upon further reading of Wikipedia concerning MARV's (MAneuverable Re-entry Vehicles), it seems that Martin Marietta (Pershing II) and McDonnel Douglas (MARV contractor) may have been able to create an RV capable of evading ABM defenses. I can only surmise that a Mach 8+ RV is able to generate enough cross-track acceleration & velocity to evade a rising ABM. Sounds like a fascinating technical problem.
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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sferrin

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 20:40

steve2267 wrote:
sferrin wrote:Not too long ago the USN demoed the SM-6 Dual I shooting down an MRBM. I don't recall if they've tested it against an IRBM.


According to Wikipedia, the USN intercepted MRBM-representative targets in 2016 and 2017 with the SM-6. The US DoD classifies "Medium Range" Ballistic Missiles out to 3000km, or about 1620nm. So the SM-6 should be able to intercept DF-21. DF-26 might be stretching it a bit? But the SM-6 is being used in the terminal phase -- the "last few seconds before impact" -- so the inbound vampire is more-or-less coming straight down on top of you. That should make targeting easier, shouldn't it? Upon further reading of Wikipedia concerning MARV's (MAneuverable Re-entry Vehicles), it seems that Martin Marietta (Pershing II) and McDonnel Douglas (MARV contractor) may have been able to create an RV capable of evading ABM defenses. I can only surmise that a Mach 8+ RV is able to generate enough cross-track acceleration & velocity to evade a rising ABM. Sounds like a fascinating technical problem.


PAC-3 shooting down a maneuvering Pershing II RV:

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steve2267

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Unread post12 Feb 2019, 20:56

The intercept angle appears far closer to 90° than the 0° that I was suggesting. Very impressive. SM-6, if I recall, uses aerodynamic-only control surfaces, whereas PAC-3 has those divert motors for aggressive (?) terminal maneuvering. (Or am I mistaken?) PAC-3 is hit-to-kill, whereas SM-6 uses an explosive warhead. I wonder if that limits SM-6 effectiveness against the more energetic DF-26 type missiles (i.e. longer range IRBM's)?
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 post12 Feb 2019, 21:08

Japan is partnering with the US MDA on the SM-3 IIA missile system. The SM-6 uses a seeker / radar based on the AIM-120C, but with a 13.5" dia rather than the 7" dia of the AMRAAM. Could an AESA seeker based on the work Japan is doing be in the SM-6's future? Would it bring any additional capability to the SM-6 in the ABM role?
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 post12 Feb 2019, 23:48

steve2267 wrote:Japan is partnering with the US MDA on the SM-3 IIA missile system. The SM-6 uses a seeker / radar based on the AIM-120C, but with a 13.5" dia rather than the 7" dia of the AMRAAM. Could an AESA seeker based on the work Japan is doing be in the SM-6's future? Would it bring any additional capability to the SM-6 in the ABM role?


I doubt the radar will have any impact on the ability of a SM-6 to hit a ballistic target. The most important factors are going to be intercept geometry and warhead fuzing. Given speed of intercept, the intercept geometry is going to be set by the launching ship long before the SM-6 would have the ability to detect the target. Additionally, I would expect the engagement to be conducted with semi-active homing as opposed to active homing. A secondary IR homer might be useful, especially since the target will be very hot and all by itself in the sky.
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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 00:02

usnvo wrote:I doubt the radar will have any impact on the ability of a SM-6 to hit a ballistic target. The most important factors are going to be intercept geometry and warhead fuzing. Given speed of intercept, the intercept geometry is going to be set by the launching ship long before the SM-6 would have the ability to detect the target. Additionally, I would expect the engagement to be conducted with semi-active homing as opposed to active homing. A secondary IR homer might be useful, especially since the target will be very hot and all by itself in the sky.


If I understand you correctly, the Arleigh Burke will be radiating so much power through its Aegis system to light up Mars, the SM-6 just needs to see the reflection off the inbound? I think the terminal homing on all the ABM SM-3 Blk 1A/1B/2A is all InfraRed. Not sure if the SM-3's use radar to get close, or if they are command guidance until they get close and acquire with IR?

Re: AESA on SM-6... it might make more sense then, for attacking aircraft, cruise missiles etc -- other targets.
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 post13 Feb 2019, 00:09

steve2267 wrote:The intercept angle appears far closer to 90° than the 0° that I was suggesting. Very impressive. SM-6, if I recall, uses aerodynamic-only control surfaces, whereas PAC-3 has those divert motors for aggressive (?) terminal maneuvering. (Or am I mistaken?) PAC-3 is hit-to-kill, whereas SM-6 uses an explosive warhead. I wonder if that limits SM-6 effectiveness against the more energetic DF-26 type missiles (i.e. longer range IRBM's)?

That's more of a fusing issue, than agility.
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popcorn

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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 01:21

It's one thing to computer model the effectiveness of a SAM to intercept a MaRV but to have a high degree of confidence I would expect DoD to prioritize developing a MaRV emulator for actual field tests.
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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 01:26

popcorn wrote:It's one thing to computer model the effectiveness of a SAM to intercept a MaRV but to have a high degree of confidence I would expect DoD to prioritize developing a MaRV emulator for actual field tests.


I am confused by your statement. Are you stating or implying the DoD has not used a MaRV or MarV emulator in any tests? I thought one of the Youtube videos posted earlier today showed a PAC-3 intercept of a MaRV from a Pershing II?
Last edited by steve2267 on 13 Feb 2019, 02:21, edited 1 time in total.
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 post13 Feb 2019, 01:30

steve2267 wrote:
popcorn wrote:It's one thing to computer model the effectiveness of a SAM to intercept a MaRV but to have a high degree of confidence I would expect DoD to prioritize developing a MaRV emulator for actual field tests.[/quote

I am confused by your statement. Are you stating or implying the DoD has not used a MaRV or MarV emulator in any tests? I thought one of the Youtube videos posted earlier today showed a PAC-3 intercept of a MaRV from a Pershing II?

I'm not aware of any SM-6 intercepting a MaRV...happy to be corrected if otherwise.
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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 01:31

wrightwing wrote:
popcorn wrote:With a 30 to 35% range increase on internal fuel, plus tanking up 500nm out, an F-35C will easily reach well past 1000nm (probably closer to 1250+.) If the USN ever buys JASSM-ER/XR, that would allow F-35s to hit targets at 1800 to 2200nm+ from the carrier. Even with JSOW-ER and JSM, F-35Cs could hit targets over 1500nm away.


With the support of two MQ-25s (and 3rd for backup) the F-35C would be able to get about another 650 nm on top of that. That's serious strike range with a VLO weapon. Or about 5 tankers to get 2 x F-35C with 4 x JASSM-XR out to about 2,750nm, for initial USN opening shots. Nothing wrong with that, come ~2025. Just flight time there and back is getting up a bit, but a good part of that is missile flight range, so not as fatiguing as it first appears.

It'll be repeatable the next day.
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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 02:31

element1loop wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
popcorn wrote:With a 30 to 35% range increase on internal fuel, plus tanking up 500nm out, an F-35C will easily reach well past 1000nm (probably closer to 1250+.) If the USN ever buys JASSM-ER/XR, that would allow F-35s to hit targets at 1800 to 2200nm+ from the carrier. Even with JSOW-ER and JSM, F-35Cs could hit targets over 1500nm away.


With the support of two MQ-25s (and 3rd for backup) the F-35C would be able to get about another 650 nm on top of that. That's serious strike range with a VLO weapon. Or about 5 tankers to get 2 x F-35C with 4 x JASSM-XR out to about 2,750nm, for initial USN opening shots. Nothing wrong with that, come ~2025. Just flight time there and back is getting up a bit, but a good part of that is missile flight range, so not as fatiguing as it first appears.

It'll be repeatable the next day.


As I said in another post convert the B-2's to tankers after they retire. These could refuel the F-35C's and MQ-25's. That would push the range way out....
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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 05:54

Corsair1963 wrote:
Really, what threat is the F-35C ill prepared to handle in the foreseeable future??? :|


Image

While I don't believe the F-35 is "ill prepared" to handle foreseeable future threats/competitors; I wont completely discount any potential threats/competitors. China has been making very quick strides to modernize and at an astounding rate. Non-stealthy gen 4 and 4.5 platforms wont stand much of a chance against the F-35. Against other threats that are reaching 5th gen design and capability would be a completely different story even though the US and other F-35 users will have a substantial benefit with more experience and tactics of 5th gen platforms.
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Unread post13 Feb 2019, 05:58

steve2267 wrote:Japan is partnering with the US MDA on the SM-3 IIA missile system. The SM-6 uses a seeker / radar based on the AIM-120C, but with a 13.5" dia rather than the 7" dia of the AMRAAM. Could an AESA seeker based on the work Japan is doing be in the SM-6's future? Would it bring any additional capability to the SM-6 in the ABM role?


They are also working on a new version of the SM-6 with the 21" motor from the SM-3 IIA.
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