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Old 10th Dec 2012, 08:06   #41 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Quote:
and with a couple of pods of sonobuoys (sp?)
LJ,

The problem is, the pods would need to be the size of a Ford Transit....

which is one of the reasons the S3 Viking became unuseable as an ASW platform.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 09:18   #42 (permalink)
 
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Smile Airships!

Surplus;

it's Airships that have got us into this mess, and Admirals and Generals we have too many of them. We need a few more Corporals and Flight Lieutenants perhaps but please no more bleedin' Airships.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 09:29   #43 (permalink)
 
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PN,

Sorry; I couldn't resist!

You are quite correct. UAVs are fine if they are in the correct place (although I struggle to think where the are going to put 200 odd sonobuoys!); however, if they are in the wrong place, it (currently) would take a long time to get on station. Useful for fleet protection, perhaps, but I'm not sure how it would deal with location of an 'intruder'.

Duncs
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 10:12   #44 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
It seems strange that none of the UAV fashionistas seem to be able to explain why the US, with all its access to technology, are investing in a fleet of P-8s? Have they got it wrong? And if I'm wrong I will gladly get out my gun and start shooting the flying pigs for the BBQ.
Indeed, Roly. If it was that straightforward to use drones for the task, surely the US would already be doing so?

Or perhaps they have more sense than to rush into daft solutions for military requirements - such as PFI tankers and contractorised flying training...
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 11:10   #45 (permalink)
 
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You can just imagine the conversation between Hammond and the BAES UAV rep…….

Oh yes Phil, we quite agree, the age of the large MPA is long gone. We wouldn’t dream of going down that route.

But this is your lucky day.

We have been developing the next evolution of UAV, just for this eventuality.
We are calling it the Jindivik MRA4!
Oh we have big plans and even bigger bills…..eeeer I mean dreams for this nearly brand new platform.

We have a stock of nearly new airframes and we are going to put new wings on them……yes new wings…..this would not have been considered possible a couple of years ago. What’s more we are going to put in a new engine as well. But not just any old engine……we are developing a warp drive engine – we’ve seen it on the TV, so it must be possible. You’ll be able to get on task before you’ve gotten airborne. It will be truly amazing.

We are also developing, just for you mind, and might I add, at great expense to ourselves (well at least for the time being) a magic telescope that can do everything you want. It can look half way around the world, look through hundreds of feet of water, look around corners (day or night). In fact I am confident that we can tell you that it can do everything you would want it to do – and more.

Of course, we have a special offer on at the moment, seeing as it’s nearly Christmas, if you wanted to order, say 9 of these unbelievable air vehicles we would only charge you for 21 – what a deal.

I tell you what, as you are our best and most gullible customer – I’ll throw in a set of magic genie lamps that will compliment your magic telescope nicely. When rubbed this little fat man appears (looks a little like your friend George, from Number 11) and offers you three wishes. He is preprogramed to ignore questions such as “Can we have a proper MPA”, or “Can we have some trained aircrew with a wealth of MPA experience”, or “can we have a proper MPA base along with a team of dedicated personnel”.

What’s that you say? Contracts? Oh Phillip, you hurt my feelings – don’t we trust each other? You don’t want to waste all your money on expensive lawyers. Tell you what, as a sign of good faith, we can write up the contracts and let our bankers look over them for you……and as you’ve caught me in a good mood, I won’t charge you a penny, not a penny…..you are a very busy man, all you will have to do is sign on the dotted line.

Just one thing…..some of this technology isn’t quite ready yet, so you might have to wait a little while longer. Also, whilst we are on the subject we could use a little advance on the deal, just to ease our cash flow and keep our investors and directors happy.



Don’t worry old boy, we’ve done this all before.

Last edited by INT ZKJ; 10th Dec 2012 at 11:26.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 13:09   #46 (permalink)
 
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I'd laugh if only it wasn't so true! Especially the bit about the magic telescope. I thought that was still TS!

Duncs

Last edited by Duncan D'Sorderlee; 10th Dec 2012 at 13:09.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 13:14   #47 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
What’s that you say? Contracts? Oh Phillip, you hurt my feelings – don’t we trust each other? You don’t want to waste all your money on expensive lawyers. Tell you what, as a sign of good faith, we can write up the contracts and let our bankers look over them for you……and as you’ve caught me in a good mood, I won’t charge you a penny, not a penny…..you are a very busy man, all you will have to do is sign on the dotted line.

Just one thing…..some of this technology isn’t quite ready yet, so you might have to wait a little while longer. Also, whilst we are on the subject we could use a little advance on the deal, just to ease our cash flow and keep our investors and directors happy.

This would be funny were it not for the fact you are suggesting that MoD actually tighten up its contracting methods. I thought it was the norm to fork out 10 times the original price and ask for nothing in return.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 14:22   #48 (permalink)
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DD, RP touched on part of it so I shall expand. Time late at datum, drawing at the wrong end of a field a high speed dash at 400k came in very handy. Covert radar search, did it still exist, revisit times meant you needed to balance a search speed against endurance.

Will there be separate single mission type UAV? The high altitude one for sowing and monitoring a field with perhaps an additional surface surveillance capability; one for low level weapons delivery and a low altitude surveillance capability?

Maybe a return to an Ikara type system where the torpedo can be rocket launched from altitude - a second Ford Transit van?
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 15:32   #49 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
You can just imagine the conversation between Hammond and the BAES UAV rep……
INT ZKJ

It sounds just like the bloke who tried to sell me a conservatory last week. He's probably working for BAE now!

YS
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 16:12   #50 (permalink)
 
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PN,

I agree entirely.

Duncs
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 18:03   #51 (permalink)
 
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Why are sonobuoys the size they are ?

Is it because there has never been a need to make them smaller given there has always been plenty of space on the aircraft ? Unattended Ground Senors were originally very large, and are now very small.

Too many people saying it cannot be done when the whole premise of the size of a sonobuoy is incorrect ? A few years ago the suggestion of armed drones was derided by the pilot community, but thats the way the money is going.

Or could a small sonobuoy be developed which could be deployed by other platforms?
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 18:07   #52 (permalink)
 
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GrahamO, I think the need for smaller buoys has been recognised for years. Everyone wants them smaller and lighter, especially those who operate smaller aircraft like the S3 and helicopters. Only physics has got in the way.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 18:17   #53 (permalink)
 
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Graham O, oh Graham O! There's always one, isn't there? Just as the boys boys are having a jolly good time, someone has to come along and stick their oar in.

If we wanted smaller sonobuoys, we'd have asked for them. Now get with programme and accept that these people know what they're talking about.

First time for everything around here, I suppose.

MPA is not for UAVs.

Actually, just realised, I might be getting dangerously close to a new "Decission to axe Nimrod is bonkers" thread.

Hat, coat,etc...
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 20:47   #54 (permalink)
 
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If wiki is to be believed, then Sonobuoys are ~3ft long and ~5in in diameter. Here is a picture of some being loaded on a P3...



...now either the man is a giant, or they ain't "the size of transit van"!

Now here is an early Predator B with a Virginia Air National Guard (VANG) pod...



...Again, unless the chap is a midget (or Elf to be seasonal), then it is about 3ft in depth and could probably fit around 20-30 sonobuoys in it vertically stacked. That's 40-60 total for a single aircraft. Let's put a pair up and that gives 80-120 sonobuoys to go hunting with. Endurance 14-16hrs, 180-200kts TAS and the ability to "change out" crews into the control cabin. Operate at ~3-4k/hr at full cost and also able to deliver a multi-mode RADAR, EO/IR, other intel packages and weapons either with small yield Hellfire or Brimstone or another MQ-9 with a big weapon.

How often did the 'Rod deploy a weapon during it's life in anger? Should we leave submarine weapons to SSSNs and surface ships? Would our new flat tops be able to deliver a better weapon from F-35 or a helo as a coup de grace?

Finally, the US have been using MQ-9 in the counter piracy role for several years from the Seychelles. Here is picture of one with a high powered maritime RADAR under the right wing...



It might be the only thing we can afford by re-using the REAPER UOR when it's not needed in Afghanistan. How on earth can that not make sense? Surely worth looking at rather than being a 'nay sayer' and having nothing?

LJ
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 20:58   #55 (permalink)
 
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Also, I thought Sonobuoys operated on ~2metre wavelength VHF across about 40Mhz of spectrum? I don't see monitoring that frequency, digitally encoding it and then firing it back to operator as a particular technical challenge.

Perhaps, you could elaborate upon the technical difficulties of this for say an array of 99 sonobuoys on seperate frequencies?

LJ
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 21:11   #56 (permalink)
 
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It might be a slight challenge operating them in all weathers over the North Atlantic though, or is there a plan to give Reaper some effective ice protection?
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 21:12   #57 (permalink)
 
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Yes, it had obviously never occurred to aviators, both fixed wing and rotary, conducting ASW, or the companies making the sonobuoys, that smaller lighter buoys would be a good idea for carriage in airborne assets where space/weight is an issue....

So glad one of you non MPA boys thought of it...

Sonobuoys

Look at the picture on the right, which you can click on to enlarge for some idea of sonobuoy size options.

The laws of physics, battery size, length of hydrophone cable, hydrophone size and possible array requirement, making it capable of surviving a drop from height, etc all set certain physical size limits, if you want your buoy to be at all effective that is....

Look at the picture about half way down the page on this link and see what you have to potentially get in the casing:

http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explor...echnology.html

As to sonobuoy usage per hour - just don't go there..... Have you any idea how long 120 sonobuoys would last you on task - I'd say the simple answer is almost certainly no!

Why don't you accept that the (ex) MPA community do actually have some idea of what they are talking about, and their comments aren't simply about preserving their (defunct) jobs?

Still, ASW must be easy, as all ex-AD types are such instant experts in it

Last edited by Biggus; 10th Dec 2012 at 21:22.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 23:04   #58 (permalink)
 
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Icing?

Quote:
The Guardian carries a Raytheon electro-optical and infrared turret similar to the Predator B but with Raytheon SeaVue radar under its belly, offering persistent target acquisition and tracking capabilities and 30h endurance for maritime operations. New features slated for first use on the Guardian include an electromagnetic expulsion de-icing system for wing and tail leading edges, an onboard traffic alert and collision avoidance system, a l@ser altimeter-based landing guidance system for pilots at altitudes below 100ft (30m), and a Jeppesen electronic flight bag for mission planning and weather information in the ground control station.
But, hey, let's not bother spending 100s of millions developing this because the (ex) boys from Kinloss say it can't be done...

Last edited by Leon Jabachjabicz; 10th Dec 2012 at 23:05.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 23:10   #59 (permalink)
 
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It seems, on paper, that the Guardian has the ability to cover the peacetime ASUW aspect of an LRMPA, I suspect, however, that should the contacts need to be attacked, a second weapons carrying platform may be needed.

But in order to see whether UAVs can undertake the ASW aspect of Maritime Patrol, I have a question for the UAV specialists:

How many UAVs would be needed to provide 24 hour coverage in a 'Choke Point' North of the UK.

Only current UAV platforms modified with current technologies are invited to tender.

Conditions:

1. They would need to carry enough active and passive sonobuoys (approx 200 for 6 hours onsta) to search, localise, track and attack a low range submerged target doing a transit speed. The smallest currently available passive sonobuoys are G size:

Dimensions..............................................16.5 0 in (419 mm) long by
4.875 in (124 mm) diameter
Weight ............................................................ ....... 11.22 lbs (5.1 kg)

The currently available most used active sonobuoys are A size, twice the length of the G size:

Weight ............................................................ ........ 16.4 kg (36 lbs)

2. Must have a Radar with a periscope detection capability. (A Maritime Radar pod is shown in one of LJ's photos - takes up one wing station.)

3. MAD is needed to refine the attack criteria. (or some other 'Top Secret' method of providing accurate positional information.)

4. A suitable weapon needs to be carried, if a one shot - one kill weapon is not available, then multiple weapons need to be carried.

The UAVs can be based at any current airfield and must be able to operate high or low level in North Atlantic weather conditions.

It would take 3 or 4 currently in service (Not UK obviously) LRMPA platforms, I'm sure the Nimrod MK4 program workers could furnish the numbers needed to achieve this task, I suspect it would only have needed 2.

Last edited by Surplus; 10th Dec 2012 at 23:18.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 23:23   #60 (permalink)
 
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Proof if ever it was needed that there are people who know what they are talking about and those that don't. I think Leon must be CAS and i claim my £5.

As a clue Leon sonobuoy usage rate varies depending upon the target, it's speed, it's changes in direction, it's changes in depth, it's noise signature to name but a few. And any! change in just one of these will likely require a relay of a tracking pattern

And of course previous comments about the size of a transit van relates not to one buoy but the several hundred you have to carry to ensure sufficient to track a submarine. And then of course there is weight, but lets not allow that to get in the way of a good theory. A standard A passive directional size buoy, as shown in Biggus's link, are 3 feet long and weigh approximately 31 lbs x a half load of about 100 buoys (note, not a war load) = 3100lbs. Pred B payload is..... Oops! You certainly won't be carrying hellfires and sonobuoys.

Of course the Pred might be doing Indian Ocean surveillance, but again that is ABOVE water not UNDER water. Most on here aren't saying that it can't be used for above water radar picture (assuming of course you can keep clear of cloud and icing conditions) just that there is a lot more to tracking a submarine than people assume. And let's face it, submarines are only going to get quieter! Against some current vessels you wouldn't need your 14 hour endurance, you would have run out of sonobuoys long before that!
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