Can the Raptor's radar be geo-located?

Anything goes, as long as it is about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post01 Jul 2012, 08:46

Full on Growlers have not had much luck against the F-22, what makes you think a "lite" would fare any better?
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neurotech

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Unread post01 Jul 2012, 21:13

geogen wrote:Would be interesting to test it against a couple Growler-lites with updated ALQ-218 and see if a rough geo-location vs LPI AESA is in fact possible, especially when cueing long-range IRST as a cumulative search component? Well, one could hope there is such detection and location capability in the works, by either USAF or USN(?), as it will very likely be required within the next 8-10 yrs or so.

Funny you mention "Growler-Lite" because its probable that a F/A-18F+GLite would need to go in for a gun kill (EA-18 doesn't have a gun or typically carry AIM-9s) or possibly manually lock an AIM-9 onto a stealth target.

The F-22 has multiple LPI AESA modes so if somebody happened to analyze the radar emissions during an exercise, air show or patrol, enemy ELINT wouldn't have enough data to effectively detect the F-22.

The F-35 EODAS could probably detect a F-22 because it has a large aperture, and the ability to computationally process the incoming data. I don't think a Su-30MKI could use its OLS against a F-22 so easily, because it would have to know exactly where to look. If a F/A-18F carried a ATFLIR sensor with a wide aperture, it might have a chance, except that it would have to be placed inside the nose, under the canopy to get the field of view at higher altitudes where F-22s fly.

One "vulnerability" is the F-22 may leave a contrail, but I'm sure F-22 pilots know how to avoid that problem in combat.
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geogen

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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 01:13

Good points, neurotech.

I was just conjecturing that if there currently was some tactical aviation-based platform which could have any remote ability for even coming close to geo-locating an F-22's radar emission -- as good as it is even with going on 10 years now -- it would probably be a couple of Growler-lites in formation (possibly enhancing triangulation of a rough location), which might be able to provide the best chance.

The dedicated large-aperture IRST system could then theoretically be cued to an area to potentially get a confirmation of a quasi-located target. I mentioned 'G-lites' only because to merely geo-locate, (ie, be electronically-aware) it's apparently only the passive wing-tip receivers ALQ-218 which are employed and not the full-on jamming pod suite which are the emitters in the case of the G. As far as what to do once the 'blue forces' in this hypothetical DACT exercise have actually geo-located an LPI radar fitted to a VLO platform... go figure, but that was not the question posed in the thread's subject ;)

But you're right, without the gun, one obviously wouldn't take a Growler-lite into a gun-fight!

So I guess my main point is that, in the case that there is still No capacity in Blue Force's current tactical airborne inventory (or AWACS?) to geo-locate such an LPI AESA set, then absolutely Blue Forces better start 'innovating' on how to stay on-top of that capability gap, ASAP... as surprise, surprise... complacency to not get cracking could shift competitive balance of power to a considerable disadvantage in the very near future, out of the blue.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 01:47

Triangulation requires a datalink... which would betray the Growler's location to the F-22 without the F-22 ever having to turn on it's radar. Without the F-22's radar the Growler (even with a IRST pod) would not have anything to cue towards and would not have any clue they were under attack until the AMRAAM goes active 5-10 seconds before impact.

As far as future Geolocation is concerned... that's what the F-35's Barracuda and its directional MADL is for.
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pants3204

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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 01:54

SpudmanWP wrote:Triangulation requires a datalink... which would betray the Growler's location to the F-22 without the F-22 ever having to turn on it's radar. Without the F-22's radar the Growler (even with a IRST pod) would not have anything to cue towards and would not have any clue they were under attack until the AMRAAM goes active 5-10 seconds before impact.

As far as future Geolocation is concerned... that's what the F-35's Barracuda and its directional MADL is for.

Speaking of MADL and datalinks, would use of MALD by the growler betray its position to the F-22, like you said?
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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 03:08

This topic has essentially been discussed before. See (http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... c&p=209624), especially the fourth post down.
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geogen

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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 03:27

Spud, I know what the current future is expecting in terms of next-gen systems wrt F-35. So if that could geo-locate an F-22 type LPI AESA, then good for that sys also.

As far as Growlers needing to data-link/emit in order to triangulate.. probably true, but then maybe the actual switch to data link/triangulate doesn't need to be flicked until there is an initial ping being passively received?
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neurotech

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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 03:36

SpudmanWP wrote:Full on Growlers have not had much luck against the F-22, what makes you think a "lite" would fare any better?

EA-18s don't have guns & rarely carry AIM-9s because the usual 1/9 stations have AN/ALQ-218s and the stations 5 & 7 can only carry AIM-120 which are almost useless against a F-22. It would be unlikely that a EA-18 would sacrifice the two wing tanks for AIM-9s.

The idea of a Growler-lite configuration is that a AN/ALQ-218s would provide enhanced radar detection capabilities, but not the AN/ALQ-99 EW technology was used over Libya to laser designate targets for other jets. The AN/ALQ-99 is heavy and has a high drag, which would degrade the ACM performance. A Growler-Lite would have an advantage flying without those pods.

I have not heard of any reliable information to suggest red-air EA-18 used its EA suite to engage a F-22 successfully from BVR. All information to date suggests they were WVR and a few were lucky by keeping the F-22 visual for a kill.

Also, The Flight Global story is short on details of how EA-18 got an AIM-120 shot are suspicious at best. It is quite possibly that the EA-18 was below the F-22 and the Luneburg lens (radar reflector) allowed the missile to lock on during an exercise.
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neurotech

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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 04:11

SpudmanWP wrote:Triangulation requires a datalink... which would betray the Growler's location to the F-22 without the F-22 ever having to turn on it's radar. Without the F-22's radar the Growler (even with a IRST pod) would not have anything to cue towards and would not have any clue they were under attack until the AMRAAM goes active 5-10 seconds before impact.

One minor detail here. The ALQ-218 system is not self-contained to the two antenna pods. The (common) signal processor can geo-locate targets based the two antennas.

When a F-22 fires an AIM-120 or AIM-9, the data-link becomes active and transmits targeting to the missile, however brief. This could theoretically allow a EW suite to detect a F-22 from the data-link.

There is also the possibility that a smart adversary will use drones to lure a F-22 into firing its missiles, and giving out its position visually, leading to a WVR dogfight.
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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 04:26

neurotech wrote:I have not heard of any reliable information to suggest red-air EA-18 used its EA suite to engage a F-22 successfully from BVR. All information to date suggests they were WVR and a few were lucky by keeping the F-22 visual for a kill.


Huh? Where are you hearing this?
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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 05:12

Scorpion1alpha wrote:
neurotech wrote:I have not heard of any reliable information to suggest red-air EA-18 used its EA suite to engage a F-22 successfully from BVR. All information to date suggests they were WVR and a few were lucky by keeping the F-22 visual for a kill.


Huh? Where are you hearing this?

It is known that F-22s has been downed during exercises before, without totally shredding the rules of engagement. http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-7605.html

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... -exac.html is one public source of handling F-22 dogfight techniques. Dogfighting is not an airshow performance. An F/A-18 can get into firing position by turning tight and then the F-22 comes outside and overshoots the turn. This relies on the F-22 pilot screwing up and getting inside the F/A-18s preferred flight envelope. The F-22 might have enough thrust but not enough G-Limit available to turn at the higher speed.

Another scenario is when the F-22s canopy reflects sunlight allowing the bandit to get a fix and either stay visual or use OLS/FLIR to engage into a missile shot.
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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 05:23

geogen wrote:As far as Growlers needing to data-link/emit in order to triangulate.. probably true, but then maybe the actual switch to data link/triangulate doesn't need to be flicked until there is an initial ping being passively received?


There will always be a ping being passively received ... Satellite Jammers, MALDJ's, F-15,16,18's, Rhino's, Growlers .... you name it, will be filling the air with all sorts of spam. A single pulse train from an F-22 is just another voice in the crowd and will be just quiet enough that its no louder than any of the ambient noise.
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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 05:34

munny wrote:
geogen wrote:As far as Growlers needing to data-link/emit in order to triangulate.. probably true, but then maybe the actual switch to data link/triangulate doesn't need to be flicked until there is an initial ping being passively received?


There will always be a ping being passively received ... Satellite Jammers, MALDJ's, F-15,16,18's, Rhino's, Growlers .... you name it, will be filling the air with all sorts of spam. A single pulse train from an F-22 is just another voice in the crowd and will be just quiet enough that its no louder than any of the ambient noise.


The Growler has better EW signal processing capabilities than other fighters, except the F-22. Separating a weak ping from noise is what a 4.5+ EW suite is designed for.
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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 06:02

Fair point munny, always, and indeed everything is speculative in this disucssion given the obvious 'unknown' and classified nature of the exact technical capabilities of any such systems.

For conjecture though, it's an unknown how capable an updated ALQ-218's algorithmic programming allows the platform operating it to distinguish various types of noise and the direction of such noise (eg, frontal sphere, side, rear,, etc). That was the point only... ie, the capacity of the system to distinguish sufficiently, the direction (let's say if a couple Growler-lites were leading a 4-ship formation) of an unknown active AESA-type emission, vs say, a known type emission such as a sat link or a couple F-16s in the area, etc. That's where the back-seat technician can probably come into play, to help distinguish and decide to verify some noise of interest and help cut through any particular crowd to verify location of the source.

So granted, it's just raw speculation... nothing more.. regarding an ALQ-218 type receiver (with sufficient algorithmic programming), or a future F-35 block III for that matter, being able to adequately geo-locate an LPI AESA. (especially when coupled w/ IRST and accompanied with other tactical tricks, etc).
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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 06:16

neurotech wrote:
Scorpion1alpha wrote:
neurotech wrote:I have not heard of any reliable information to suggest red-air EA-18 used its EA suite to engage a F-22 successfully from BVR. All information to date suggests they were WVR and a few were lucky by keeping the F-22 visual for a kill.


Huh? Where are you hearing this?

It is known that F-22s has been downed during exercises before, without totally shredding the rules of engagement. http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-7605.html

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... -exac.html is one public source of handling F-22 dogfight techniques. Dogfighting is not an airshow performance. An F/A-18 can get into firing position by turning tight and then the F-22 comes outside and overshoots the turn. This relies on the F-22 pilot screwing up and getting inside the F/A-18s preferred flight envelope. The F-22 might have enough thrust but not enough G-Limit available to turn at the higher speed.

Another scenario is when the F-22s canopy reflects sunlight allowing the bandit to get a fix and either stay visual or use OLS/FLIR to engage into a missile shot.


I fail to see those links supporting what you said about EA-18 getting F-22 WVR kills.

If you meant other fighters, not the EA-18 in your second sentence, then you weren't clear on that.

Also, I do know F-22s have been killed WVR in exercises before. Newsworthy because it very rarely happens (funny how people will point and cling to this yet seems to ignore how many times the F-22 crushed the opposition). Analysis has almost always shown it was "pilot error". The jet was fine, but if the pilot doesn't do something right, it's not the jet's fault.

There is no surefire F-22 killing technique / tactic. Anybody who has fought it will tell you that.
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