F 35 Sensor Fusion and networking

Cockpit, radar, helmet-mounted display, and other avionics
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les_paul59

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Unread post01 Feb 2016, 22:58

I am fairly new to the forum but I have been following the anti-f35 group for some time now and like most of us on f-16.net I'm constantly reminded of just how close minded and short sighted some people can be.

In my humble view the fusion and networking capability of the F 35 is the most impressive and game changing variable in the equation of how future air battles will be fought. The press and public in general don't truly understand the implications of this leap towards 5th gen warfare. Most of the time the press gets caught up in a discussion questioning the validity of "stealth" (i really hate this term) because it misleads the public into thinking that if the f 35 can be detected than the "stealth" has failed.

But even stealth is not representative of what a 5th gen platform brings, we have had stealth aircraft in the past (b2, f-117)
The sensor fusion is what sets the F22 and F35 apart; and is what brings the situational awareness to new levels. I believe this is why the F35 has broken the mold entirely and can't be described by the term fighter. The F 35 is really a fighter, awacs, electronic attack, ground attack platform, and unlike previous multirole jets it can truly do all of these things at a very high level. Stealth is only a contributing factor to why the F35 will do these things well, it is not the end all be all as many aviation commentators seem to think.

As we have seen with the Dutch pilots training interoperability between their f-16s and new f-35s, just the presence of one f-35 using the link 16 datalink made the f-16s much more lethal. General Hostage has also repeated this sentiment, that the level of situational awareness provided by the f22 and f35's sensor fusion makes them game changers if they are just present. These two 5th gen platforms don't even have to shoot to contribute greatly to the fight because it will extend the lethality of the 4th gen platforms and keep them relevant into the 2020's.

I have also listened to Billy Flynn (lockheed test pilot) say that even if the f-35's sensors were not as great, the fusion software would still make for a better picture of the combat zone compared to 4th gen fighters. Fusion not only makes for better situational awareness but completely controls radar emissions. Just like the F22, a stealth jet isn't so stealth if its blaring radar signals all over the sky. Fusion is able to fix this problem by only using just the right amount of power to find the range of a target while minimizing the chance that the signal is detected.

This is why you can't just put the apg 81 in a Su-35s and say that now the Sukhoi is better. Not only are the russians far behind in the realm of individual sensors but they also have not shown the ability to produce a aircraft with the same level of fusion as the American 5th gen platforms.

Is there anything I'm not understanding correctly about fusion?
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eloise

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 00:46

I still think the most valuable point of fifgen fighter are their RCS
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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 02:37

eloise wrote:I still think the most valuable point of fifgen fighter are their RCS


It's also the one single thing that cannot be retrofitted to a 4th gen asset.
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les_paul59

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 04:24

The low rcs makes everything the f 35 will do easier and it shouldnt be discounted, i was just venting my frustration at the apa not even bothering to recognize sensor fusion as a serious game changer. Fusion actually helps lo jets be more stealthy by controlling active emissions and using offboard data and fusing that with data from onboard sensors....they really go hand in hand
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eloise

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 05:03

les_paul59 wrote:The low rcs makes everything the f 35 will do easier and it shouldnt be discounted, i was just venting my frustration at the apa not even bothering to recognize sensor fusion as a serious game changer. Fusion actually helps lo jets be more stealthy by controlling active emissions and using offboard data and fusing that with data from onboard sensors....they really go hand in hand

APA are full of misleading information anyway , so why bother?
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hornetfinn

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 07:31

IMO, sensor fusion along with networking (they go hand in hand) greatly improve the situational awareness of F-35s over any existing fighter aircraft. Especially a group of F-35s will have far better SA than a group of any other fighter aircraft. On the other hand the very low RCS of F-35 significantly lowers the SA of the enemy. They won't see any F-35s most of the time when other fighters (save F-22) are easily tracked. Together they improve the combat effectiveness enormously.

I don't think you can retrofit 4th gen fighters with F-35 level sensors and sensor fusion without completely rebuilding the airframes and designing basically a new aircraft. Theoretically it's possible, but I doubt anybody will spend the money to do that as it would be very expensive..
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 14:40

hornetfinn wrote:I don't think you can retrofit 4th gen fighters with F-35 level sensors and sensor fusion without completely rebuilding the airframes and designing basically a new aircraft. Theoretically it's possible, but I doubt anybody will spend the money to do that as it would be very expensive..

F/A-18E/F Block III ASH (Advanced Super Hornet) is an example. F-35 style cockpit, internal EOFLIR, EODAS type system, AESA radar, I doubt it has a Barracuda analog though.
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bigjku

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 16:33

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:I don't think you can retrofit 4th gen fighters with F-35 level sensors and sensor fusion without completely rebuilding the airframes and designing basically a new aircraft. Theoretically it's possible, but I doubt anybody will spend the money to do that as it would be very expensive..

F/A-18E/F Block III ASH (Advanced Super Hornet) is an example. F-35 style cockpit, internal EOFLIR, EODAS type system, AESA radar, I doubt it has a Barracuda analog though.


Never saw an actual price for that though. Which is the real issue. If the government would just hand the tech over to say Eurofighter or F-18 and say here have it for free you would still have a billion, very conservatively, in R&D cost. Your fielding cost would probably broadly in line with the F-35. So in the end no one will bother. That is kind of the key for all of this. Yes you could do a lot of these things. But it may well be cheaper to simply buy more F-35's than mess with this. I think the current F-15 program is about as extensive of these kind of programs one is going to see. Interest in doing these things is going to crater over the next few years.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 17:45

bigjku wrote: I think the current F-15 program is about as extensive of these kind of programs one is going to see.

And new F-15s cost more than LRIP F-35s
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hb_pencil

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 20:35

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:I don't think you can retrofit 4th gen fighters with F-35 level sensors and sensor fusion without completely rebuilding the airframes and designing basically a new aircraft. Theoretically it's possible, but I doubt anybody will spend the money to do that as it would be very expensive..

F/A-18E/F Block III ASH (Advanced Super Hornet) is an example. F-35 style cockpit, internal EOFLIR, EODAS type system, AESA radar, I doubt it has a Barracuda analog though.


Except that it isn't. What you are describing is basically the same as what most 4th generations have: high quality sensors; limited central data processing (much of it is done by the sensors individually). That's really the core of the fusion for the F-35. Its basically how do you process all of that data synergistically in order to provide the pilot with a single consistent display of the battlefield. I'm certain that Boeing will incorporate some limited efforts to add some aspects of fusion, but it will pale in comparison to what the F-35 offers. It won't have the accuracy or fidelity that the F-35 has, partly because it will be limited to the Link 16 to share data, and architectural/poewr constraints that prevent it from employing the data crunching algorithms that is in Block III. Really that's where the majority of the cost difference between the F-35 and other aircraft emerges from (albeit compressed due to higher production rates.)
Last edited by hb_pencil on 02 Feb 2016, 20:39, edited 1 time in total.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 20:38

btw, the ASH does not have EODAS-like sensors. It barely has a MAWS.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 21:01

I could have sworn that I had read an article whose exterior pictures included several glass windows. I can't find any pictures now to support it so I will chalk it up to seeing/remembering something wrong. Sorry.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post02 Feb 2016, 21:10

That was them finally adding an IR MAWS to the SH.

btw, That "internal IRST" is just that, only an A2A IRST.

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neptune

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Unread post03 Feb 2016, 00:57

SpudmanWP wrote:btw, the ASH does not have EODAS-like sensors. It barely has a MAWS.


Spud,

Not that you would care to keep up with this, but any info on the General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Type 4 Advanced Mission Computer for the SBug?

I know the Navy and Boeing tested it, certified it and had it pending for the future SBugs.

I can find no appropriations, contracts or "Approvals" for the Type 4 in the pending SBug purchases.

Do you think this will happen in this "last" batch of SBugs (ASH?)?

Thanks, whichever.

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SpudmanWP

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Unread post03 Feb 2016, 04:57

Have not heard anything recent about it.
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