F-35: Super Hornet hedge

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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neurotech

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Unread post10 Jun 2012, 19:09

bjr1028 wrote:The whole ballistic anti-ship missile has two major problems 1) with modern technology, MIRVS can hit stationary targets with modern technology, but hitting something that moves can be rather tough. Much easier to hit the shore infrastructure than the ships. If you want to hit moving targets, you almost have to go high yield nuclear. 2) You have to trust the country that just fired a ballistic missile that its non-nuclear. There's good reason why this was never pursued by either us or the Russians.

I think 2) is the bigger issue. The nanosecond ASBM is launched, The US Navy fleet commander would be launching cruise missiles in response. The force escalation policies of the US (& Russia) would determine the outcome, and it wouldn't be good.

Remember http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainan_Island_incident A senior officer from the USS Kittyhawk, in a conversation, mentioned it was the most intense moment of his career when the EP-3 came down on the island. Any further escalation, and the outcome would have been way different for both sides.
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neurotech

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Unread post10 Jun 2012, 19:41

1st503rdsgt wrote:I don't think the DF-21 is the threat it has been made out to be. At the ranges and speeds we're talking about, a CVN is actually a very-quick, very-small bulls-eye for a conventional warhead.

There has been a few incidents of carriers doing surprisingly fast turns for a ship that size. They risk having jets slide off the deck during abrupt maneuvers.

1st503rdsgt wrote:On the political side of things, I'm not really sure why China is expending effort on this system anyways (if they even are). If it came to them wanting to sink an aircraft carrier, I'm pretty sure things would be well beyond limiting themselves to conventional weapons. If the "carrier killer" does exist, I suspect it is actually nuclear-tipped. As for the possibility of export, none of China's clients have the wherewithal to locate and target a maneuvering target in the open sea, so no worries there.

You really think the Chinese would escalate to using nuclear tips? In that scenario, the US response likely would be an ICBM launch.

Its likely the Navy are looking towards air-launched ballistic missile intercept capability. http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ot-324842/ I'd heard of similar development along the same lines for the Navy, launched by a F/A-18F instead of the F-15C
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post10 Jun 2012, 20:12

The tactic for evading the DF-21 would probably be as follows: Upon detection of a missile in flight, change course in a direction that will force the warhead-bus to make the greatest correction (possibly running it out of fuel). Make another hard turn after warhead separation but before the warhead inters the atmosphere where its control surfaces will take effect; this may force the MARV has to make a greater correction than predicted by the warhead-bus, possibly exceeding its engagement envelope. Make the final evasion turn (perhaps combined with a crash-back) upon atmospheric reentry; but its success will depend on how effective the first two maneuvers were.
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Unread post10 Jun 2012, 20:54

neurotech wrote:
1st503rdsgt wrote:I don't think the DF-21 is the threat it has been made out to be. At the ranges and speeds we're talking about, a CVN is actually a very-quick, very-small bulls-eye for a conventional warhead.

There has been a few incidents of carriers doing surprisingly fast turns for a ship that size. They risk having jets slide off the deck during abrupt maneuvers.

1st503rdsgt wrote:On the political side of things, I'm not really sure why China is expending effort on this system anyways (if they even are). If it came to them wanting to sink an aircraft carrier, I'm pretty sure things would be well beyond limiting themselves to conventional weapons. If the "carrier killer" does exist, I suspect it is actually nuclear-tipped. As for the possibility of export, none of China's clients have the wherewithal to locate and target a maneuvering target in the open sea, so no worries there.

You really think the Chinese would escalate to using nuclear tips? In that scenario, the US response likely would be an ICBM launch.

Its likely the Navy are looking towards air-launched ballistic missile intercept capability. http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ot-324842/ I'd heard of similar development along the same lines for the Navy, launched by a F/A-18F instead of the F-15C


That is an extremely interesting idea, but will it offer any actual improvements over SM-3?? The SM-3 is also ABM-capable, and can be carried in far larger numbers on Tico or Arleigh Burke ships than the 2-4 a SHornet would probably be cleared to carry. Patriot-carrier Hornets would also be operating with reduced endurance and ordnance load, so I just don't see how making them a part of regular CAP sorties makes any kind of sense.
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Unread post10 Jun 2012, 21:25

Given that this discussion has gone rather far afield from the topic of the F-35 and SH, I've started a topic in the technology section.

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-19251.html
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.
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Unread post10 Jun 2012, 23:35

southernphantom wrote:That is an extremely interesting idea, but will it offer any actual improvements over SM-3?? The SM-3 is also ABM-capable, and can be carried in far larger numbers on Tico or Arleigh Burke ships than the 2-4 a SHornet would probably be cleared to carry. Patriot-carrier Hornets would also be operating with reduced endurance and ordnance load, so I just don't see how making them a part of regular CAP sorties makes any kind of sense.

The main advantage is quick response compared to surface vessels and range. A Super Hornet can fly CAP 200+ miles from the carrier. Although not in the fleet yet, the P-8 carries the AGM-65 Maverick & AGM-84 (inc SLAM-ER) It is probably that the P-8 would also be rated to fly with ABM-capable missiles.
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Unread post11 Jun 2012, 10:07

neurotech wrote:
southernphantom wrote:That is an extremely interesting idea, but will it offer any actual improvements over SM-3?? The SM-3 is also ABM-capable, and can be carried in far larger numbers on Tico or Arleigh Burke ships than the 2-4 a SHornet would probably be cleared to carry. Patriot-carrier Hornets would also be operating with reduced endurance and ordnance load, so I just don't see how making them a part of regular CAP sorties makes any kind of sense.

The main advantage is quick response compared to surface vessels and range. A Super Hornet can fly CAP 200+ miles from the carrier. Although not in the fleet yet, the P-8 carries the AGM-65 Maverick & AGM-84 (inc SLAM-ER) It is probably that the P-8 would also be rated to fly with ABM-capable missiles.

I wasn't aware that the USN had even tested firing a SM-3 from an aircraft. Are you sure they've tried this? What about all the guidance issues? How does the Shornet handle those? What's the advantage of firing it from an aircraft anyway? Why would the response be quicker than that of an AEGIS cruiser?
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Unread post11 Jun 2012, 16:13

neurotech wrote:
1st503rdsgt wrote:I don't think the DF-21 is the threat it has been made out to be..very-small bulls-eye for a conventional warhead.
....

Anyone dumb enough to launch a conventional warhead at a carrier battle group should receive an ICBM response. That said, the USNs’ terror of the DF-21 is quite small with regards to SM-2 and 3 capability of the escort vessel's response. If the carrier takes a nuke then the game is over, but that is unlikely with the escort vessel protection capabilities. I pity the Chinese sub captain if he had made the mistake of opening a torpedo tube door while near a CBG, game over. The CBG "tip of the spear" tactical air can deny access to real estate, which can be taken and held by the Marines. The USAF can only achieve this ability after they have established nearby airfield runways that are within the range of their fighters. Tanking on combat missions reduces that fighting capability of the pilots (flight hours) and they are still limited by the requirement to rtb for re-armament. The USAF will be involved in day 1 activities with tactical bombing assignments but this scenario is focused around the CBG thus “long stretches of water” are required to float the boat and are long flights for AF tactical fighters.
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arkadyrenko

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Unread post11 Jun 2012, 16:54

Oh come on, do you really think the US is going to launch an ICBM right after the Chinese shoot of their IRBMs? Everyone knows that the Chinese have a significant arsenal of conventional IRBMs and SRBMs; why would the US invite global thermonuclear war over a suspicion? It is unbelievable and not at all credible.

Next, the USN does have a significant fear of the ASBM, why else would they be pursuing the massively expensive task of making every new escort destroyer ABM capable? That signals a need both for the capability and an ability to take losses in the capability. Though institutional pathology isn't out of the question. And, may I add, there is no proof that the SM-3 can actually shoot down a maneuvering re-entry vehicle. Especially one which is doing high-g evasive turns while on a hypersonic glide path. The intercept geometry will be hellish, at best. Personally, I rate missile intercepts against the terminal stage of the ASBM to be pretty much impossible. The warhead has too much of a speed and energy advantage and can conduct evasive maneuvers too easily. (Lasers on the other hand are much more likely) Mid-course intercept seems to be much more likely, though that does require a ship to be stationed downrange, which will be a very isolated position.

As for the Chinese attack submarines, may I note the USN's return to ASW? New tech exists, and is necessary, because of the Chinese sub threat. Furthermore, if I were the Chinese, I'd gladly exchange one nuclear attack sub for crippling a US carrier. And there was a story about a Chinese skipper who surfaced in the middle of a battle group several years back, that is hardly re-assuring news for the carrier, even if the event was a one-off. Now, the effectiveness of Chinese attack subs against US carriers remains to be seen, and I think that the new ASW tech will help, but we don't know and I"m sure the USN is nervous about it too. (Or, the Chinese can try a multi-axis simultaneous attack...)

The rest of your comment is a combination of marketing hyperbole and ignorance of geography. (Pray tell, what land will the Marines be seizing?) Which reminds me:

The nanosecond ASBM is launched, The US Navy fleet commander would be launching cruise missiles in response.


Please, do you honestly think that the Chinese won't move their TELs in the 15 + minutes it'll take for the cruise missile to reach its target? And if you envision a nuclear response against the TEL, that's insane. (TELs can be located in built - up areas..)


Finally, flight time for the ASBM is 15 minutes. That gives a carrier at best 10 miles to work with. That's not a whole lot of room and I'm sure that the Chinese will have thought about carrier maneuvering. (If they didn't this would be literally the stupidest weapon's procurement effort in the past decade. Its safe to assume they have) Granted, maneuvering + decoys will help, plus the possibility that maneuvering requires the Chinese to salvo missiles into different parts of the ships feasible maneuvering box, but that reduces weapon's effectiveness, it doesn't make it impossible.
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Unread post11 Jun 2012, 17:34

I've read up on the Chinese anti-carrier tactics, and ALL of them involve multi-axis, multi-platform attacks. Subs lanuching cruise missiles, surface ships launching cruise missiles, aircraft lanuching cruise missiles, a couple DFs thrown in over the top- all at the same time, and each platform shooting from a different direction.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/china/air ... ct9935.pdf

"PLAN literature concludes that it takes 8 to 10 cruise missile hits to disable a US
CVN. At the same time, they require an average of 4 cruise missile hits on half the
escorts of the enemy battle group. To achieve this, they estimate 70 to 100 cruise
missiles should be launched on three or more threat axis. If a carrier were to participate
in such an attack, it and its escorts would launch 24-40 cruise missiles as one component
while an air regiment would deliver about 32 cruise missiles on another axis. The
remainder would have to come from surface action groups and submarines. It is very
difficult to coordinate launching such multiple attacks simultaneously. The critical issue
is detecting and tracking the enemy target task force. If this can be achieved, probably by
satellite or MR aircraft, and if all elements of the attacking force could reach firing
position before being engaged, this (Russian) attack concept is potentially effective."


Of course, even they question their ability to pull all those resourses together and use them simultaneously.
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Unread post11 Jun 2012, 18:55

firstimpulse wrote:...Of course, even they question their ability to pull all those resourses together and use them simultaneously.


I agree but if they were to attack,..... four heavy torpedoes into the propellers and the CBG is out of attack and into the defensive mode. :idea: No 'Wind Across the Deck" for heavy lift weapons loads. But, maybe the EMAL could makeup the difference if the nose gear could stand the loads. :?: I would not volunteer for this mission, there would be little possibility for rtb. :(
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Unread post11 Jun 2012, 20:07

arkadyrenko wrote:neurotech - two points: first, we're talking about a maneuvering re-entry vehicle, so it is designed to have significant cross-range capability and the ability to conduct high-g turns. It also wasn't designed to slow down gracefully, unlike the designs of space capsules. Second, the rumored CEP of ICBMs is <100m, I'm sure that it a sufficiently small CEP to allow the missile warhead to maneuver towards a target.


That's against a stationary target, and with a nuclear warhead. With a conventional warhead, and a moving target, the CEP needs to be considerably better than that(not to mention having to rapidly discrimate between decoys/false targets/etc.. ).

May I also note that maneuverable re-entry vehicles have been under development for the past 30 years.


The manuevering was meant to make them more survivable, not to hit moving targets though.
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Unread post11 Jun 2012, 22:00

arkadyrenko wrote:Oh come on, do you really think the US is going to launch an ICBM right after the Chinese shoot of their IRBMs? Everyone knows that the Chinese have a significant arsenal of conventional IRBMs and SRBMs; why would the US invite global thermonuclear war over a suspicion? It is unbelievable and not at all credible.


That's precisely why the Russians never pursued a weapon like this, to prevent it from being mistaken as a nuke. China isn't going to provoke a nuclear response.
Next, the USN does have a significant fear of the ASBM, why else would they be pursuing the massively expensive task of making every new escort destroyer ABM capable?


The ABM capability isn't from a fear of ASBMs. It's part of the layered defense, coinciding with PAC-3/THAAD/ARROW 2, to defend against missiles fired at land based targets. They also have the ability for self defense against the ASBMs as a by-product.


That signals a need both for the capability and an ability to take losses in the capability. Though institutional pathology isn't out of the question. And, may I add, there is no proof that the SM-3 can actually shoot down a maneuvering re-entry vehicle. Especially one which is doing high-g evasive turns while on a hypersonic glide path. The intercept geometry will be hellish, at best. Personally, I rate missile intercepts against the terminal stage of the ASBM to be pretty much impossible. The warhead has too much of a speed and energy advantage and can conduct evasive maneuvers too easily. (Lasers on the other hand are much more likely) Mid-course intercept seems to be much more likely, though that does require a ship to be stationed downrange, which will be a very isolated position.


What was the turn rate of an SR-71 at Mach 3+? Now triple that speed, and tell me just how maneuverable you think these warheads are. They aren't going to be making tight turns/rapid course directions at those speeds, and still hope to get back on course.




Finally, flight time for the ASBM is 15 minutes. That gives a carrier at best 10 miles to work with. That's not a whole lot of room and I'm sure that the Chinese will have thought about carrier maneuvering. (If they didn't this would be literally the stupidest weapon's procurement effort in the past decade. Its safe to assume they have) Granted, maneuvering + decoys will help, plus the possibility that maneuvering requires the Chinese to salvo missiles into different parts of the ships feasible maneuvering box, but that reduces weapon's effectiveness, it doesn't make it impossible.


You're using circular reasoning here(i.e. The Chinese must have thought about this, because if they didn't, it wouldn't be a good idea, therefore they must have managed to overcome that limitation.)
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Unread post11 Jun 2012, 22:59

arkadyrenko wrote:Oh come on, do you really think the US is going to launch an ICBM right after the Chinese shoot of their IRBMs? Everyone knows that the Chinese have a significant arsenal of conventional IRBMs and SRBMs; why would the US invite global thermonuclear war over a suspicion? It is unbelievable and not at all credible.

If a nuclear-tip was involved, then yes, that is when an ICBM launch becomes a very real possibility. I somehow doubt the Chinese would be that stupid to use a nuclear tip, because that would be an escalation that would be a Chinese invitation towards nuclear war.

My earlier comment was that the Fleet Commander would use a cruise missile with conventional warhead, in response to a ASBM launch. This does not mean ICBM/Nuclear response by the US.

It is significantly more likely that the Chinese ASBM would use a conventional tip.


arkadyrenko wrote:Next, the USN does have a significant fear of the ASBM, why else would they be pursuing the massively expensive task of making every new escort destroyer ABM capable? That signals a need both for the capability and an ability to take losses in the capability. Though institutional pathology isn't out of the question. And, may I add, there is no proof that the SM-3 can actually shoot down a maneuvering re-entry vehicle. Especially one which is doing high-g evasive turns while on a hypersonic glide path. The intercept geometry will be hellish, at best.

It is a very real threat.

As for the ABM intercept capability, that is another question. The SM-3 has been upgrades several times. The Block IIA has "High Divert Kinetic Warhead" which is not found on earlier variants. I'm not sure what the terminal speed of a DF-21 is but I'd be surprised if it was faster than Mach 3 as aerodynamic heating would be huge.

arkadyrenko wrote:Personally, I rate missile intercepts against the terminal stage of the ASBM to be pretty much impossible.

The terminal speed is limited by atmospheric heating effects. Aerodynamic maneuverability at Mach 3 is far from simple. Terminal boost with gimbal would be a possibility for an ASBM. The much thinner AIM-120 has a top speed of Mach 4.
arkadyrenko wrote:Please, do you honestly think that the Chinese won't move their TELs in the 15 + minutes it'll take for the cruise missile to reach its target? And if you envision a nuclear response against the TEL, that's insane. (TELs can be located in built - up areas..)

It is highly unlikely that the US would use a nuclear weapon first. A Fleet Commander could fire 100+ data-linked cruise missiles in a short period of time. The datalink allows re-targeting after launch. A F/A-18F or EA-18G can assist in targeting and strike recon using its datalink. This was done in 1998 for Dessert For and later conflicts.
arkadyrenko wrote:Finally, flight time for the ASBM is 15 minutes. That gives a carrier at best 10 miles to work with. That's not a whole lot of room and I'm sure that the Chinese will have thought about carrier maneuvering. (If they didn't this would be literally the stupidest weapon's procurement effort in the past decade. Its safe to assume they have) Granted, maneuvering + decoys will help, plus the possibility that maneuvering requires the Chinese to salvo missiles into different parts of the ships feasible maneuvering box, but that reduces weapon's effectiveness, it doesn't make it impossible.

The CAG would launch their Alert 5 fighters on ASBM launch case like that. A single F/A-18 can carry 4+ AIM-120s and fire them immediately.

From wikipedia;
Raytheon is also working with the Missile Defense Agency to develop the Network Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCADE), an anti-ballistic missile derived from the AIM-120. This weapon will be equipped with a Ramjet engine and an IR seeker derived from the Sidewinder missile. In place of a proximity-fused warhead, the NCADE will use a kinetic energy hit-to-kill vehicle based on the one used in the Navy's RIM-161 Standard Missile 3.


One reason why I don't like RAND-style "simulations" is that it does not substitute for the Air Force or Navy putting missiles in the air to test them. Sending up a ASBM type target towards a carrier group with multiple SM-3 & AIM-120 class missiles fired to counter the threat would be a real threat scenario.
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Unread post11 Jun 2012, 23:26

wrightwing wrote:
arkadyrenko wrote:Oh come on, do you really think the US is going to launch an ICBM right after the Chinese shoot of their IRBMs? Everyone knows that the Chinese have a significant arsenal of conventional IRBMs and SRBMs; why would the US invite global thermonuclear war over a suspicion? It is unbelievable and not at all credible.


That's precisely why the Russians never pursued a weapon like this, to prevent it from being mistaken as a nuke. China isn't going to provoke a nuclear response.

Exactly. There is protocol in place for space launches and strategic weapons tests to avoid misunderstandings of anything that could be mistaken for a nuclear launch.

wrightwing wrote:What was the turn rate of an SR-71 at Mach 3+? Now triple that speed, and tell me just how maneuverable you think these warheads are. They aren't going to be making tight turns/rapid course directions at those speeds, and still hope to get back on course.


Exactly. For the SR-71 or MiG-25 a figure of 180 miles to do a 180 turn was mentioned.

Ever seen a Space Shuttle do 3G turns to bleed energy at hypersonic speed? The shuttle hardly deviates from its trajectory. All it does is bleed energy and heat the skin. The real terminal energy management phase doesn't start til the shuttle is less than Mach 3.
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