Dealing with UAV swarms

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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weasel1962

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Unread post18 Jan 2018, 11:15

Just throwing ideas out-there. Increasingly UAV swarms are being designated as a threat. Notwithstanding talk about how short ranged a UAV can be, small UAVs even such as the scaneagle can have pretty long endurance which coupled with GPS or 3rd party guidance can be a potential threat. Expensive missiles like SM-2,3 or 6s cannot be expected to be expended for such defences. CIWS may be too short ranged to deal with the threat or can they?

Just thinking out loud. For the tankies, there are canister rounds that spread over a wide area to take out multiple targets. Fragmentation rounds are now increasingly used for AA guns. Any potential for a fragmentation missile or gun round for defense against UAV swarms? Or would the best defence against a UAV swarm be another UAV swarm? Lasers? EW jamming?

Just imagining an F-35 loaded with 6-10 AIM-120 Canister rounds that blast multiple targets...

What would be your best bet?
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post18 Jan 2018, 17:13

DEWs (both microwave and laser) are the only long term solution.
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bigjku

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Unread post18 Jan 2018, 17:39

SpudmanWP wrote:DEWs (both microwave and laser) are the only long term solution.


Agree in principal but I do think people get the cost equation wrong for defending against missiles and drones at times. It’s not just a comparison of the cost of the offensive and defensive munition but rather the cost of the damages they offensive weapon would otherwise inflict. This is more prominent among those worried about anti ship weapons than drones though.
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botsing

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Unread post18 Jan 2018, 20:38

SpudmanWP wrote:DEWs (both microwave and laser) are the only long term solution.

Current MASER research looks promising:

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1710.07726.pdf
Continuous-wave room-temperature diamond maser wrote:It should not be overlooked that although we used a frequency of 9.2 GHz in this study, which is close to the 9.193 GHz of a caesium atomic clock, any required frequency may be produced simply by changing the magnetic field and using a high Purcell factor cavity, resonant at the appropriate frequency. Hence, we expect that our work will form the basis for a new generation of microwave devices.
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steve2267

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Unread post18 Jan 2018, 21:01

If it is small enough to replace flares & chaff, would the MSDM be well suited for UAV swarm defense? Of course, it depends on the number of UAVs in the swarm.

A swarm has physical dimensions / space / volume associated with it. Do you have a notional size? 100m? 500? 1km? 5km?

If the swarm were small enough, perhaps a CHAMP-type response would be appropriate? Fire a counter-SWARM (CSWARM?) missile into the center of the swarm cloud and detonate a microwave weapon which would fry the electronics on each UAV. For a swarm to be effective, the individual UAVs / swarm nodes need to be relatively cheap, which suggests they may be vulnerable to EMP-type attack. I am going to guess that hardening a UAV against EMP will be cost and weight prohibitive... but I may be entirely wrong on this account.
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steve2267

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Unread post18 Jan 2018, 21:04

Someone mentioned EW...

Continuing the "thinking out loud" meme... I wonder if the F-35's APG-81 might be effective from both a destructive burn out the UAV's electronics angle as well as a cyber vector: defeat the swarm's ability to communicate / navigate (e.g. GPS jamming) to inject commands into the swarm to misdirect navigation or give them false 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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SpudmanWP

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Unread post18 Jan 2018, 21:15

"It could cause actual physical damage to a system … providing it’s on the X-band," a common frequency for military radars, said Wayne Wilson, the director of fighter business development for Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.


Keep in mind that X-Band radars are in the microwave freq range. Focusing the AESA radar on a tight enough spot would be equivalent to putting that object in a microwave oven.
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steve2267

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Unread post18 Jan 2018, 21:31

SpudmanWP wrote:
"It could cause actual physical damage to a system … providing it’s on the X-band," a common frequency for military radars, said Wayne Wilson, the director of fighter business development for Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.


Keep in mind that X-Band radars are in the microwave freq range. Focusing the AESA radar on a tight enough spot would be equivalent to putting that object in a microwave oven.


That's kind of where I was going with that... could the F-35 fry small UAVs now with its APG-81? How long would it take to fry one UAV? Could it zap multiple UAVs in one pass? How close would it have to be to zap it?
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 post18 Jan 2018, 21:50

It depends on how well the circuits are isolated (ie hardened) from EM radiation.
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Unread post19 Jan 2018, 00:33

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sferrin

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Unread post19 Jan 2018, 02:20

SpudmanWP wrote:
"It could cause actual physical damage to a system … providing it’s on the X-band," a common frequency for military radars, said Wayne Wilson, the director of fighter business development for Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.


Keep in mind that X-Band radars are in the microwave freq range. Focusing the AESA radar on a tight enough spot would be equivalent to putting that object in a microwave oven.


I'd think you'd need something more like this:

090309-f-0001w-0001.jpg


Krasukha-2_(Красуха-2)_Unloaded.jpg


sitting in the potential target area. An APG-81 sitting miles away. . .would it be able to put as much energy on the target?
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