How unstealthy is a f-35 with external stores of aim-9

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MD

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Unread post29 May 2015, 01:37

neurotech wrote:Thanks Gums.

IMHO Its more a case of having low RCS to defeat SAMs, and flying low are both options. The goal would be to avoid situations where a F-35 becomes vulnerable to AAA and MANPADs, similar to the F-117 shootdown incident.


Unfortunately, a good part of the 117s shootdown was lazy and repetitive mission planning. Failing to learn from the first few nights of Linebacker II. That was the major error.

Contributory was the inability of the pilot to realize he was being targeted in the first place, due to not having anything to tell him so.

Quicksilver: I realize the Tornado pilots were engaged and a few times shot down by AAAs and small arms fire over Iraq. The 4.5th and 5th gen battlefield is going to be a lot different than previous wars. According to legend, various strike pilots over Iraq in DS 91 were flying low enough they had to "pop-up" because the AAAs were on relative high ground, and they flew in between, below the AAA elevation.


Much of the Brit and Italian Tornado losses in DS were the result of the delivery parameters for runway denial muntions being utilized. Wasn't good for survivability.

For the A-10 and it's losses, they went to war with a day VFR low-level mentality.....which had been their method of ops for the past decade and change against the Warsaw Pact forces in the hill country of Europe. Didn't work so well in the flat desert, and even when pushed up to medium altitude, was still high risk for them. Night ops were brand new, as night was only a fam event back then, and even then, it was bombing under LUU-2 flares, or hitting LUU-1/5/6 logs that were marking targets. NVGs were not in use then in the A-10. Use of the AGM-65 as a "poor man's FLIR" was the extent of seeing in the night that they had.
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Unread post29 May 2015, 01:41

Salute!

Well, neuro, one of my studs was the astronaut that died in Columbia. He was on the raid at the nuke site. Don't know if "Ben" was there, but he was the senior pilot for that one, and only one class, from the IAF. Security was very tight, and they called us and we could not call them for schedule changes and such. Interesting times.

Our understanding was they did not fly in at low level. The Iraqi air defense was not all that great, and they used a commercial air route and such until a few minutes to drop.

BTW, they used CCIP with dumb bombs!!!!!!

I feel that the old days tactics are just that. They are old.

The new stuff would kill us if there back in the 60's, 70's' 80's, 90's and so on.

Gums sends...
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Unread post29 May 2015, 02:24

MD wrote:
neurotech wrote:Thanks Gums.

IMHO Its more a case of having low RCS to defeat SAMs, and flying low are both options. The goal would be to avoid situations where a F-35 becomes vulnerable to AAA and MANPADs, similar to the F-117 shootdown incident.


Unfortunately, a good part of the 117s shootdown was lazy and repetitive mission planning. Failing to learn from the first few nights of Linebacker II. That was the major error.

Contributory was the inability of the pilot to realize he was being targeted in the first place, due to not having anything to tell him so.

Quicksilver: I realize the Tornado pilots were engaged and a few times shot down by AAAs and small arms fire over Iraq. The 4.5th and 5th gen battlefield is going to be a lot different than previous wars. According to legend, various strike pilots over Iraq in DS 91 were flying low enough they had to "pop-up" because the AAAs were on relative high ground, and they flew in between, below the AAA elevation.


Much of the Brit and Italian Tornado losses in DS were the result of the delivery parameters for runway denial muntions being utilized. Wasn't good for survivability.

For the A-10 and it's losses, they went to war with a day VFR low-level mentality.....which had been their method of ops for the past decade and change against the Warsaw Pact forces in the hill country of Europe. Didn't work so well in the flat desert, and even when pushed up to medium altitude, was still high risk for them. Night ops were brand new, as night was only a fam event back then, and even then, it was bombing under LUU-2 flares, or hitting LUU-1/5/6 logs that were marking targets. NVGs were not in use then in the A-10. Use of the AGM-65 as a "poor man's FLIR" was the extent of seeing in the night that they had.


,,,which illustrates my point -- if one has a choice (which F-35 and Raptor will have) one should not be down there.

Before DS/DS EVERYONE was training down low. There was even lotsa understated chestbeating by the RAF about low flying (we'll show you Yanks how it's really done) until they found out what a s---storm it was down low when real bullets were flying. At some point early-on they ceased spending time at low altitude. Same for the Mud Eagles...same for everyone except the helo guys (many of whom 'carry 'em around in a wheelbarrow').

In US forces, we have about 12-13 years' worth of experience droning around plinking stuff with T-pods. Folks are re-learning counter IADS work, but the threat is only getting worse. F-35 is going to be an enormously valuable tool in dealing with that increase in threat sophistication, but it's not about "going low."
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Unread post29 May 2015, 02:51

Gums wrote:Salute!

Well, neuro, one of my studs was the astronaut that died in Columbia. He was on the raid at the nuke site. Don't know if "Ben" was there, but he was the senior pilot for that one, and only one class, from the IAF. Security was very tight, and they called us and we could not call them for schedule changes and such. Interesting times.

Our understanding was they did not fly in at low level. The Iraqi air defense was not all that great, and they used a commercial air route and such until a few minutes to drop.

BTW, they used CCIP with dumb bombs!!!!!!

I feel that the old days tactics are just that. They are old.

The new stuff would kill us if there back in the 60's, 70's' 80's, 90's and so on.

Gums sends...

I knew Col. Ramon was on that mission, and on Columbia. Sad times! A couple of the crew came from Pax River, and some friends knew them well.

It was pretty much confirmed that CCIP with dumb bombs was used, because the F-16 won a bombing competition a few weeks later.
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Unread post31 May 2015, 02:17

MD wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:...Didn't help that the 117 had no RWR of any kind....

Wait, WHAT? I know the US military isn't exactly forthcoming in being the most logical institution on Earth, but leaving out the RWR on an aircraft which relies on not being detected to live? Can I get confirmation on this?
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Unread post31 May 2015, 04:31

silavite wrote:
MD wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:...Didn't help that the 117 had no RWR of any kind....

Wait, WHAT? I know the US military isn't exactly forthcoming in being the most logical institution on Earth, but leaving out the RWR on an aircraft which relies on not being detected to live? Can I get confirmation on this?



The goal was to have no emissions coming from the plane whatsoever. I know that the majority of car radar detectors can be detected by police on the latest radar systems mounted in cars (the Escort Redline is supposedly the only radar detector on the market that emits no EM signature at all), so it's possible that RWR equipment of that vintage wasn't completely silent.
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Unread post31 May 2015, 05:23

silavite wrote:Wait, WHAT? I know the US military isn't exactly forthcoming in being the most logical institution on Earth, but leaving out the RWR on an aircraft which relies on not being detected to live? Can I get confirmation on this?


What confirmation do you need? I just told you. 8)

I've read people here and there, who have no clue what they're talking about, including on this very site, talking about "the RWR couldn't detect this or that, which is why it didn't go off for the pilot and give him warning". No, it didn't go off because it wasn't installed. Never has been. Even the pilot dodged that question when asked in interviews about it, for OPSEC reasons at the time.

mrigdon wrote:[The goal was to have no emissions coming from the plane whatsoever.


Most of the ALR/APRs are passive with no measurable emissions.

For the F-117, an RWR wasn't practical to have onboard, for a number of reasons.
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Unread post31 May 2015, 05:37

I listened to a speech given by the pilot about the shootdown and he never mentioned an RWR.

The hit starts at the 8:00 mark

"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post31 May 2015, 05:51

SpudmanWP wrote:I listened to a speech given by the pilot about the shootdown and he never mentioned an RWR.



And he wasn't going to mention one, or lack of one. In a couple different newspaper interviews, there was question mentioned of it, but he successfully dodged around it.

Best part was Zelko was flying Dwelle's plane at the time, who wasn't deployed with them and was back home, as both he and the jet belonged to the 7th, and was borrowed by the 8th for that deployment. The jet obviously hadn't been sanitized appropriately prior to deployment, with specific identifying marks such as names removed, and so Dwelle's name is all over the news with 806s canopy having survived mostly intact. The national news sees this, finds out his home address in Alamo, and shows up on his doorstep.
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Unread post31 May 2015, 21:42

Salute!

I agree with the post about the RAF flying real low and such. On a complete surprise strike, it might work over half the time or more. Adding in ECM, decoys and such would help.

As MD said, the denial munitions did not work real well unless dropped low. Funny, but we had a system under development 5 years before DS and it was a powered dispenser with INS/GPS guidance. It would puke out dozens of airfield denial sub-munitions and could be launched by even an A-10 from 10 or 15 miles away at 200 or 300 feet AGL. The high altitude launch was 20 - 30 miles!! It was self-aligned and did not require a "smart" airplane to get it ready. I was the control algorithm dude and pilot interface fellow.

At one Red Flag my wingie and I came upon a RCAF F-5 when egressing. He was down at 20 or 30 feet, no kidding. Turning to avoid tall cactus and such as we easily closed and he was not aware of us. No lock on and no RHAW indication. A simple 'winder shot and poof!. We escorted him outta the hight threat zone and then climbed up for RTB to Hill. Talked with him at the debrief, as it was a video conference.

The IAF folks at Hill fold us the best attack on an SA-6 was to have a tank cruise up and blast the sucker! Heh heh. BTW, USAF and IAF would not let us fly ACT missions, only BFM. A2G was more liberal WRT the rules.

Also funny, but IAF would have a representative at our "cockpit review cmte" meeting at GD that determined all the new sftwe and such. They had no "vote" but could contribute. The EPG folks were represented, as was TAC HQ and all the active duty wings. With memory and such as it existed in the early 80's, we would "trade" features for "bytes". So the "E-M" display went away and we added other stuff. The Block 25 stuff was really debated, but by then I had moved to Plans from Academics and could not participate.

Gums sends...
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Unread post01 Jun 2015, 03:42

Gums wrote:Salute!

I agree with the post about the RAF flying real low and such. On a complete surprise strike, it might work over half the time or more. Adding in ECM, decoys and such would help.

As MD said, the denial munitions did not work real well unless dropped low. Funny, but we had a system under development 5 years before DS and it was a powered dispenser with INS/GPS guidance. It would puke out dozens of airfield denial sub-munitions and could be launched by even an A-10 from 10 or 15 miles away at 200 or 300 feet AGL. The high altitude launch was 20 - 30 miles!! It was self-aligned and did not require a "smart" airplane to get it ready. I was the control algorithm dude and pilot interface fellow.

At one Red Flag my wingie and I came upon a RCAF F-5 when egressing. He was down at 20 or 30 feet, no kidding. Turning to avoid tall cactus and such as we easily closed and he was not aware of us. No lock on and no RHAW indication. A simple 'winder shot and poof!. We escorted him outta the hight threat zone and then climbed up for RTB to Hill. Talked with him at the debrief, as it was a video conference.

The IAF folks at Hill fold us the best attack on an SA-6 was to have a tank cruise up and blast the sucker! Heh heh. BTW, USAF and IAF would not let us fly ACT missions, only BFM. A2G was more liberal WRT the rules.

Also funny, but IAF would have a representative at our "cockpit review cmte" meeting at GD that determined all the new sftwe and such. They had no "vote" but could contribute. The EPG folks were represented, as was TAC HQ and all the active duty wings. With memory and such as it existed in the early 80's, we would "trade" features for "bytes". So the "E-M" display went away and we added other stuff. The Block 25 stuff was really debated, but by then I had moved to Plans from Academics and could not participate.

Gums sends...


SA-6 is still a bad mofo of a system, as was found out even in '95. Good crew launching it visual, without turning anything on until end-game, and you have 1-2 secs to just think "what's that?" as the indication for it pops up in your RWR before it kills you. As I've mentioned before, all of these legacy SAM systems are still deadly as hell, as these are the only systems that have killed our planes in combat from Desert Storm onward. We haven't lost anything to a modern double-digit strat SAM system, everything has been SA-2/3/6 for radar and SA-9/13 for mobile IR, MANPADS and a Roland kill notwithstanding.

Kudos on the Tornado IDS guys for maintaining the discipline of flying the strict level-delivery parameters for that JP233 runway denial munitions, even though it got them shot down. Am sure they probably saw the AAA coming that got them. Guess we found out then that runway denial munitions were more hype than they were effective.

Great story about the RCAF F-5. Yeah, so far as the F-117, it's not widely known that there's no RWR, just as its not widely known that the 117 has an arresting hook for taking the runway BAK gear.
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Unread post01 Jun 2015, 04:13

:applause: Thanks 'MD' an interesting factoid for me and my interests (PDFs online about NavAv and hooks and shite - see links at end of my posts) "...not widely known that the 117 has an arresting hook for taking the runway BAK gear." :mrgreen:
"...[F-117] LANDING GEAR: http://iron-eagles.tripod.com/wb_ac_files/f117.htm
Tricycle type by Menasco, with single wheels all retracting forward. Loral brakes and wheels; Goodyear tyres. All doors have serrated edges to suppress radar reflections. Emergency arrestor hook with explosively jettisoned cover...."

Graphic From: http://www.0x4d.net/files/AF1/R11%20Segment%2012.pdf (7Mb)
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F-117underTailHookPanelLocation.gif
Last edited by spazsinbad on 01 Jun 2015, 04:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post01 Jun 2015, 04:33

spazsinbad wrote::applause: Thanks 'MD' an interesting factoid for me and my interests (PDFs online about NavAv and hooks and shite - see links at end of my posts) "...not widely known that the 117 has an arresting hook for taking the runway BAK gear." :mrgreen:
"...[F-117] LANDING GEAR: http://iron-eagles.tripod.com/wb_ac_files/f117.htm
Tricycle type by Menasco, with single wheels all retracting forward. Loral brakes and wheels; Goodyear tyres. All doors have serrated edges to suppress radar reflections. Emergency arrestor hook with explosively jettisoned cover...."


That's correct sir. The arresting hook is inside the jet. On the instrument panel, it was activated by an outer-guarded pushbutton. Pushing the button would activate detonation cord underneath the jet (outlined in red, if you look underneath an F-117), and the hook would pop down. Once down, it took maintenance action to bring it up and reset it. It couldn't be raised again by the pilot, as it could in an F-4 or F-15.

Of course, it was for emergency use only, and was internal due to maintaining the stealth of the jet. And once activated, it FODed the runway with panel pieces and RAM material, so there was that too.

The F-117 has never operationally used it's tailhook for an airfield arrestment. One problem with how it's installed on the jet, is that you can never test it. Maintenance only is able to check that the nitrogen pressure is up to charge. We found out in 2005 (about the time the retirement decision came out) that several of the jets had defective hooks, and when in maintenance with the paneling removed, activation of the tailhook via normal means, resulted in a hook that only came partially down. So, lucky it was never needed.
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Unread post01 Jun 2015, 04:35

Many thanks for explanation 'MD' - I was getting the graphic as you typed. Sure would be a hazard as indicated in the USAF 'rescue' PDF at URL.
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Unread post01 Jun 2015, 04:49

The F-117 never had an RWR because it wasn't feasible to install one. There was no way to on the exterior to have the required sensor "nubs", without affecting the shape of the exterior and thus raising the RCS tremendously. So it was left off. That's why the F-117 has radar reflectors on the sides of the aircraft when flying stateside, so that there's an interruption of the shape allowing air traffic control to at least get a primary radar return. Otherwise if the IFF failed, they couldn't see us. For combat, these were removed, as were the rotating red beacon lights, with their attachment points faired over and covered in RAM.

Unofficially, the AF didn't want an RWR in the 117, because in theory, it should never show anything other than radars in search mode, it should never show a lock by a target tracking radar. Because if it did, well.....then the technology would be shite and garbage, so we the pilots would feel.

Additionally, it wasn't desired to have pilots reacting to RWR indications, as the mission planning in a 117 (without getting into too much detail) is precise enough that it's optimized for flying the planned black line routing, so to speak, and not wandering off course or being tempted to by reacting to an RWR.

Funny story of night 1 of Desert Storm, as related by one of the pilots who was later a civilian academic instructor during my time there. So whether stealth technology worked or not was really unknown for sure during night 1 strikes on Baghdad. This guy was headed inbound, on autopilot like he's supposed to [in the F-117, you're really just a WSO with landing currency], and he sees AAA coming up at him, in a barrage in front of him. He decides to modify course just a bit, but not too much from what was planned, and the AAA shifts with him. A few more times of this and the same thing, but he manages to complete his bomb run without getting hit. Coasting out of the area and crossing the line to friendly territory, he goes to fence-out, only to find out that his external lights are still on. In the 117, having been designed by engineers, the cockpit was not at all ergonomically friendly.....switches for related items were placed all over the cockpit. There was something like 6 switches and rheostats that had to be manipulated or checked in order to ensure that all the various exterior lights were off, and they were all located in different areas in the cockpit. Following his event, a single switch was installed known as the "all external lights" on/off switch was installed on the left cockpit wall, and named in honor of this pilot.
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