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Old 22nd Nov 2018, 16:34
  #11615 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Age: 65
Posts: 1,954
Originally Posted by PEI_3721 View Post
Smart sensors, but sensors can be to other aircraft, fusion - smart comms, which could also be fitted to other aircraft. On board intelligence and management, why put all of the expensive brains in the front line whereas with data link the real smarts could be elsewhere.
you can add lotsa new tech to old aircraft, but it's usually a lot harder than it looks. Take the Typhoon. AESA radars have been around for well over a decade and after years and years of testing, the Typhoon fleet has yet to get it. Super Hornet Block 3 is in the works and it does not have everything in terms of sensors and systems that F-35 already has. As for onboard processing vs off board processing, doing the processing on board tremendously reduces the datalink bandwidth required to transmit raw sensor data. The price of computing continues to go down so it makes sense to process locally, while no matter how many very very expensive secure transponders they put in orbit, we never have enough bandwidth to go around. Further, processing locally means the pilot is able to act on the data immediately and independent of ground support. And further still, it means the pilot can turn off his datalink as necessary to preserve/enhance stealth.

Longer range weapons - other aircraft. So this leaves ‘stealth’; what for, when, where, and how long will it be effective.
Is a 32 ship ‘walk’ about to answer these questions; I doubt it, so what other purpose was there?
What purpose? Usually the purpose of such exercises, especially the first time they are done, is not to answer questions but to enable planners to ask the right questions so as to develop the best tactics and procedures to best employ the available assets. Later exercises will wring out the tactics and (hopefully) answer more questions than they raise.

And BTW, one of the reasons for a huge exercise like this is not to test the aircraft or even the flight crews, but to test the maintainers and the logistics infrastructure. If a mass launch is required, can the maintainers and the logistics tail provide enough airframes all at once to satisfy such a massive surge requirement. Once they're satisfied the logistics can handle such a massive surge, the next step will be to see if the armorers can handle such a massive surge. It's one thing to launch dozens of fully fueled full mission capable aircraft at once. It's another to launch get them all fully armed. Learn to walk before you try to run.

KenV is offline