Fighter Radar Dome Sizes

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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PhillyGuy

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Unread post16 Aug 2007, 03:49

Does anyone know the relative class (size) of the radar dome on most of todays front line fighters? Just curious as I was trying to see what radar would fit into what. Thanks.
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Roscoe

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Unread post19 Aug 2007, 11:15

Can't answer the question (well, I can, but "It depends on the size of the radar" isn't what you're looking for :))

But...I LOVE your quote!
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toan

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Unread post19 Aug 2007, 15:30

MIG-31 (1.4 m in diameter) > Su-27/35 > F-15 (90 ~ 100 cm in diameter) > F-22A (> or = 90 cm in diameter) > F-35 (80 cm in diameter) > or = EF-2000 (75 cm in diameter and will be a little bigger after incorporating AESA in post-2013) > F/A-18E/F > Rafale (55 cm in diameter)
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PhillyGuy

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Unread post19 Aug 2007, 18:27

Thanks for the replies. Toan are you sure about the Super Hornet? That seems small compared to the others. I know the original AN/APG-65 was 28 inches in diameter, or 71 cm. I did not know that the Rhino has a smaller radar dome than the legacy Hornet.
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dwightlooi

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Unread post19 Aug 2007, 20:14

toan wrote:MIG-31 (1.4 m in diameter) > Su-27/35 > F-15 (90 ~ 100 cm in diameter) > F-22A (> or = 90 cm in diameter) > F-35 (80 cm in diameter) > or = EF-2000 (75 cm in diameter and will be a little bigger after incorporating AESA in post-2013) > F/A-18E/F > Rafale (55 cm in diameter)


Actually... the diameters are

F-20/T-50 => ~500mm (APG-67 family)
F-15 => ~950mm (APG-63, APG-70 families)
F-16 => ~660mm (APG-66, APG-68, APG-80 families)
F-18 => ~700mm (APG-65, APG-73, APG-79 families)
F-35 => ~700mm (APG-81)
F-22 => ~900mm (APG-77)

Gripen => ~500mm (PS/05 family)
M2000 => ~500mm (RDM, RDI, RDY families)
Rafale => ~600mm (RBE family)
Typhoon => ~700mm (ECR-90/CAPTOR family)

MIG-29 => ~624 mm (N019, N010 families)
SU-27/30 => ~1000 mm (N001, N010 [924mm antenna ver], N011 faimilies)
MIG-31 => ~1400mm (N007 family)

In general, the radar aperture (antenna area) doubles with a 1.41 times increase in diameter. With all else being constant it takes an increase in aperture of 10x to double the range of a radar. Technologies like AESA antennas increase the output and sensitivity of a radar for any given size. Advanced T/R module technology and smaller T/R modules also do that. PESAs generally reduce sensitivity. Both types of ESAs allow instantaneous beam steering and high beam focus. Only the AESA can form multiple beams simultaneously.

The problem with radar improvements is that while output and sensitivity gains have increased radar performance by about 20~30x in the past 30 years translating to an increase in range for a given physical aperture of up to 2.6 times. The advent of VLO airframes has reduced RCS to roughly 1/1000~1/10000th that of 4th generation jets. To make up for this through radar improvements will require an improvement of radar performance by 1000~10000x which is not projected to be possible with known and projected technological road maps.

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