F-35B and internal AAMs?

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

geogen

Banned

  • Posts: 3123
  • Joined: 11 Mar 2008, 15:28

Unread post14 May 2013, 04:54

Of course, 'fitting' does not necessarily equate to 'clearing'. And finite funding on such an unprecedented expensive development Program will of course come into play too.

We'll likely have to wait and see until Block V (2023-24?) therefore, as to whether or not 6 rounds will actually be employed on the 'B' variant, let alone the CTOL.
The Super-Viper has not yet begun to concede.
Online

Corsair1963

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 7798
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2005, 04:14

Unread post14 May 2013, 05:28

geogen wrote:Of course, 'fitting' does not necessarily equate to 'clearing'. And finite funding on such an unprecedented expensive development Program will of course come into play too.

We'll likely have to wait and see until Block V (2023-24?) therefore, as to whether or not 6 rounds will actually be employed on the 'B' variant, let alone the CTOL.



I think 6-AAM'S will be a given on F-35A's (Blk 5+). As a number of nations will use the Lighting as there primary Air Defense Fighter.
Offline

aaam

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 972
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2010, 22:52

Unread post14 May 2013, 19:45

Corsair1963 wrote:
geogen wrote:Of course, 'fitting' does not necessarily equate to 'clearing'. And finite funding on such an unprecedented expensive development Program will of course come into play too.

We'll likely have to wait and see until Block V (2023-24?) therefore, as to whether or not 6 rounds will actually be employed on the 'B' variant, let alone the CTOL.



I think 6-AAM'S will be a given on F-35A's (Blk 5+). As a number of nations will use the Lighting as there primary Air Defense Fighter.



As always, money is the driver. And, of course, while there was a chance of saving F-22 production, USAF was showing not interest in developing in developing a luncher for the F-35. Given what the USMC intends to use their F-35s for, it's doubtful whether they'd want to fund the launcher module, especially since it might be different from the one fort the A&C. Not being able to carry more than two AIM-120s internally wouldn't really be an area of concern to them Given that the UK wants ASRAAM and Meteor in there, maybe they'd fund it.

For the A&C, the eight round launcher would be a valuable addition. Would USAF/USN fund it? Or maybe they'd forgo their version and just fund a six round system. This would have export potential to the UK and Italy.

First, though, someone's got to come up with the money..
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 8408
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post14 May 2013, 20:04

Air-policing will be the main job for the F-35 no matter where it goes (even the US) so a 6-pack internal rack will benefit everyone,

Another benefit to the 6-pack is that an AMRAAM-sized HARM type missile will eventually come about and you can never have too many HARMs.
Last edited by SpudmanWP on 14 May 2013, 21:12, edited 1 time in total.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

aaam

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 972
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2010, 22:52

Unread post14 May 2013, 20:54

SpudmanWP wrote:Air-policing will be the main job for the F-35 no matter where it goes (even the US) so a 6-pack internal rack will benefit everyone,

Another benefit to the 6-pack is that an AMRAAM-sized HARM type missile will eventually come about and you can never have too few HARMs.


Not saying it's not a benefit, just that for the specialized role the USMC will use theirs for, they probably won't see the value in it for them. The only reason the USMC was willing to fund the integration of AIM-120 on the AV-8B, given its role, was because if they promised to do that, other countries who operated the aircraft agreed to help fund the integration of surplus APG-65s on the Harrier. Again, it all comes down to who's wiling to pay for it.

I think you want to change "few" to "many" in your last sentence . :)
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 8408
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post14 May 2013, 21:19

Thanks for the catch :)

Given that the USMC is already looking at the F-35 as it's next EA platform, the ability to carry as many HARMs internally is an important feature even for them.

Also, they can mix-n-match capabilities. This would allow them to carry 4 JDRADMs in one bay, and 4 SDB1/SDB2/SPEAR3 class munitions with either a JDRADM or other AAM in the other bay.

Remember too that development funds are a percentage of the customer's airframes. The USAF would be paying for the lion's share of the costs.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

aaam

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 972
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2010, 22:52

Unread post14 May 2013, 22:09

SpudmanWP wrote:Thanks for the catch :)

Given that the USMC is already looking at the F-35 as it's next EA platform, the ability to carry as many HARMs internally is an important feature even for them.

Also, they can mix-n-match capabilities. This would allow them to carry 4 JDRADMs in one bay, and 4 SDB1/SDB2/SPEAR3 class munitions with either a JDRADM or other AAM in the other bay.

Remember too that development funds are a percentage of the customer's airframes. The USAF would be paying for the lion's share of the costs.


Sadly, there aren't going to be any JDRADMs. the Administration canceled it in the FY13 Budget request.

Marines have shown so far that they're perfectly happy to carry most of their stuff externally. Given their CAS focus, that's not a big problem for them. .I guess the real question is whether the Navy (which is where the Marines' money comes from) and USAF would be willing to help fund a launcher that would work in the B if they could have a larger version for themselves.
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 8408
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post14 May 2013, 22:48

While the JDRADM project (renamed NGM) was halted, the underlying tech and requirement are still there. The delay for filling the need has more to do with budgets and the delay in F-35IOC than anything else.

It will happen, just not as soon as some would like.

Even if they started it now, the earliest it could go IOC is mid 2020's as Blk4 is being put together now so they would have to wait for Blk5. In that timeframe they will have plenty of Growlers/F-16s & AARGMs to get the job done. The F-35 is due to get AARGM in Blk6.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

aaam

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 972
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2010, 22:52

Unread post14 May 2013, 23:46

SpudmanWP wrote:While the JDRADM project (renamed NGM) was halted, the underlying tech and requirement are still there. The delay for filling the need has more to do with budgets and the delay in F-35IOC than anything else.

It will happen, just not as soon as some would like.

Even if they started it now, the earliest it could go IOC is mid 2020's as Blk4 is being put together now so they would have to wait for Blk5. In that timeframe they will have plenty of Growlers/F-16s & AARGMs to get the job done. The F-35 is due to get AARGM in Blk6.


Well, JDRADM/NGM is still dead. Don't forget it was also slated for the F-15 and -22 as the AIM-120 replacement, which is why AIM-120 enhancements for the foreseeable future were mostly in the evolutionary model as NGM was supposed to be the major leap ahead. Regarding AGM-88E, I think the HARM upgrade kits for the first full-rate production order are only going to reach USN's fleet next December. HAS USAF even ordered any?

I am concerned what the loss of the NGM program could mean, F-35 or no.
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 8408
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post15 May 2013, 00:36

USN: As of FY 2014 they will have ordered 419 HARM Mod kits to bring them up to AARGM standards. Total program is 1871 AARGM kits for the USN.

USAF: The HARM improvement program is stalled for the most part as the USN is the tip of the spear when it comes to EW.

I see the AIM-120 becoming a quasi NGM with a dual mode seeker that has HARM capabilities (no IR). This can be accomplished with the least amount of mods to the missile and would allow internal F-22 & F-35 carriage.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline
User avatar

count_to_10

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3300
  • Joined: 10 Mar 2012, 15:38

Unread post15 May 2013, 00:37

Defense programs aren't dead until Congress gets done with them. What the president requests is little more than a suggestion. Which is not to say that congress won't kill it.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

Uncertainty: Learn it, love it, live it.
Offline

aaam

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 972
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2010, 22:52

Unread post15 May 2013, 21:35

count_to_10 wrote:Defense programs aren't dead until Congress gets done with them. What the president requests is little more than a suggestion. Which is not to say that congress won't kill it.


Well, it wasn't in the FY13 "budget" (actually Continuing Resolution since the gov't hadn't passed a budget since 2008) , and it's not in the FY14 submission, so that's pretty dead. :(

No money, no program. :cry:
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 8408
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post15 May 2013, 22:14

The overall JDRADM/NGM program is stalled but the underlying tech dev continues (and is currently funded), thanks to DARPA and the ONR.


More info found on the ATK new motor tech development.

The Development contract (started in 2009) appeared in the FY2013 budget as it's own line item (STK-FY09-03) as part of the Sea Strike section of "PROJECT 3346: Future Naval Capabilities Adv Tech Dev"

http://www.dtic.mil/descriptivesum/Y2013/Navy/stamped/0603673N_3_PB_2013.pdf

FY2013plans
EC: STK-FY09-03 Enhanced Weapons Technologies
- Complete Counter Air Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Improvements - Demonstrate propulsion system, manufacture hardware, cast propellant grains, assemble rocket motors and test in both environmental and static conditions.
- Complete High Speed Components - Demonstrate an advanced radome, fabrication of full scale radome and performance testing under relevant environmental conditions.
- Continue Counter Air Defense Improvements - Demonstrate propulsion system, manufacture hardware, cast propellant grains, assemble rocket motors and test in both performance and insensitive munitions conditions.



Here is the relevant section from the recently released FY2014 budget.

FY 2014 Plans:
EC: STK-FY09-03 ENHANCED WEAPONS TECHNOLOGIES
- Complete Counter Air Defense Improvements - Finish materials and design concepts, and develop high temperature resin-fiber and high temperature oxidative-exhaust resistant materials with associated design implementations.



Searching for more info From the ONR comes up with:

http://www.onr.navy.mil/Media-Center/Fact-Sheets/Counter-Air-AMRAAM.aspx

What Is It?

The Counter Air (CA) Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Improvements Future Naval Capability (FNC) will increase the kinematic performance of the AIM-120D medium-range air-to-air missile, thus enabling extended range and decreased time to target.


How Does It Work?

The CA FNC will achieve this through a combination of propulsion technologies that include higher energy propellants, highly loaded grain design, composite motor case design and low erosion nozzles.


What Will It Accomplish?

By improving the kinematic performance of existing air-to-air weapon systems like the AIM-120D AMRAAM, CA will ensure the U.S. warfighter maintains the tactical edge in air-to-air engagements against any peer competitor.


The CA AMRAAM Improvements FNC is developing a missile propulsion system with substantially improved kinematic capabilities for the AIM-120D AMRAAM. To achieve this, the FNC is developing and integrating four advanced technologies: High Energy Propellants; Highly Loaded Grain; High-Stiffness/Pressure, High Temperature Capable Composite Case; and Low Erosion Nozzles. The kinematic performance enhancements are focused on improving the “no-escape range,” “time-to-target” and terminal phase maneuverability.

Many of the technologies being matured in this FNC are the fruits of ONR investment in a joint-service propulsion program known as Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technology (IHPRPT). Developmental high energy propellant formulations from both industry and government will be considered on the basis of increased total impulse power achieved across the spectrum of operational environments. Highly loaded grain technologies will be investigated to enable the “end-burning” propellant grain, which will allow for higher volumetric loading of propellant within the rocket motor. A lighter weight composite case will be developed to offset the weight delta incurred by the new propellant and grain designs. Lastly, low erosion nozzles are needed to maintain motor efficiencies while enduring greater erosive forces, temperatures, and pressures yielded by the new higher energy propellant and grain designs.

The CA AMRAAM Improvements product is responding to higher kinematic performance requirements for AMRAAM as expressed by the Fleet. These kinematic performance improvements provide the potential to achieve warfighter-defined tactical advantage in the near future. The product will extend the missile’s no-escape range, while also decreasing time of flight to target at maximum range and increasing terminal maneuverability for air-to-air engagements. Additional benefits derived from the highly-loaded grain and composite case features are their inherently positive effect on Insensitive Munitions (IM) compliance.

The product is focused on transition to a pre-planned product improvement (P3I) program for the AIM-120D AMRAAM, but it could also serve as a solid rocket motor technology demonstrator for use in any potential future missile development effort.



The good new is that the program is funded & on track. BAd news, looks like Dual-Pulse is out in favor of more energetic fuel.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

hobo

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 324
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2010, 14:39

Unread post15 May 2013, 22:36

Also worth being aware of:

The T3 program seeks to develop a supersonic, long range missile that can engage enemy aircraft, cruise missiles, and surface-to-air missiles. The speed, maneuverability, and network-centric capabilities of the Triple Target Terminator (T3) should significantly improve U.S. aircraft survivability and increase the number and variety of targets that could be destroyed on each sortie. The T3 missile should enable an aircraft to rapidly switch between air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities, and is designed to be carried internally by 5th generation aircraft (F-22 and F-35), as well as externally on 4th generation aircraft (F-15, F-16, and F-18 ). The enabling technologies are: air-breathing propulsion, advanced data networking, multi-role guidance and control, and advanced thermal and power management.

The program plans to culminate in a live-fire T3 missile demonstration against the three target types in the fall of 2013.


http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/TTO/Programs/Triple_Target_Terminator_%28T3%29.aspx[/url]
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 8408
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post15 May 2013, 22:45

Almost forgot about T3. Here is the info & status from the FY2014 budget.

Description: The Triple Target Terminator (T3) program will develop a high speed, long-range missile that can engage air, cruise missile, and air defense targets. T3 would be carried internally on stealth aircraft or externally on fighters, bombers, and UAVs. The enabling technologies are: propulsion, data links, and digital guidance and control. T3 would allow any aircraft to rapidly switch between air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. T3's speed, maneuverability, and network-centric capabilities would significantly improve U.S. aircraft survivability and increase the number and variety of targets that could be destroyed on each sortie. The program is jointly funded with, and will transition to the Air Force.

FY 2012 Accomplishments:
- Conducted hardware-in-the-loop integrated subsystem testing.
- Conducted propulsion system ground testing.
- Completed fabrication of small form factor radios for network testing and design integration.
- Initiated range coordination with Point Mugu Test Range to receive flight test approval.

FY 2013 Plans:
- Fabricate and ground test flight test articles.
- Obtain final flight test approval from Point Mugu Test Range.
- Conduct captive carry test of flight test articles.
- Conduct separation and boost tests of flight test articles.
- Begin airborne launch demonstrations of test articles against three target types.

FY 2014 Plans:
- Complete airborne launch demonstrations of test articles against three target types.
- Complete and deliver final test report.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
PreviousNext

Return to General F-35 Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests