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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 2nd Sep 2016, 17:44
  #9701 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Last ever unmanned QF-4 flight acted a target for an F-35 firing 2 x AIM-120, and survived. Some scepticism as to the claim it was supposed and the Mx were made to self-destruct.

https://theaviationist.com/2016/08/3...-and-survives/
I wonder how many other missile test firings this particular QF-4 has 'survived' during its service? It's almost as though someone might want to retain its DAS and other expensive gizmos and recover the full telemetry data for detailed analysis.

I believe we've even flown the odd re-usable target drone in the past ourselves.
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Old 2nd Sep 2016, 19:00
  #9702 (permalink)  
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Well they are "missiles" not "hittiles", and designed for a near miss so that the warhead chops the plane in half, rather than hitting the jet pipes etc. With the proximity fuses disabled a hit is a misfortune rather than a success.

I'm just bemused at the self-destruct excuse, I thought the telemetry was used to show how close they came, and the self-destruct was that built in regardless to ensure no blue-on-blue fratricide if they missed the planned target.
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Old 2nd Sep 2016, 19:54
  #9703 (permalink)  
 
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We don't fire live rounds with any of the fuzes disabled. What is the point of throwing an AIM120 warhead into the sea? The real question is was it purely a telemetry round?

The reporting is, for good reasons, a little vague. The bottom line is if the ac radar can get the missile to a pol with a decent Q, the missile does the rest. That what the slammer does.
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Old 2nd Sep 2016, 23:10
  #9704 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FODPlod View Post
I wonder how many other missile test firings this particular QF-4 has 'survived' during its service? It's almost as though someone might want to retain its DAS and other expensive gizmos and recover the full telemetry data for detailed analysis.

I believe we've even flown the odd re-usable target drone in the past ourselves.
ROFL.

Sure let's leave the data "lying around" to be recovered.

After all it's only the performance of the primary AA weapon with the future mainstay of western manned aviation.

Mind you, probably safer than being held on a LM database.

ROFL.
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Old 2nd Sep 2016, 23:15
  #9705 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Well they are "missiles" not "hittiles", and designed for a near miss so that the warhead chops the plane in half, rather than hitting the jet pipes etc. With the proximity fuses disabled a hit is a misfortune rather than a success.

I'm just bemused at the self-destruct excuse, I thought the telemetry was used to show how close they came, and the self-destruct was that built in regardless to ensure no blue-on-blue fratricide if they missed the planned target.
I dont get the destruct gig unless it was

1. to sanitise wreckage/debris #

2. weapon heading ofrange (again?? the cousin's ain't that gash)

# many moons ago I was "attending" a accident scene when some polite civilian chaps drafted me to "vet" certain bags of detritus, I was able to convince them that all IC's and supporting components could in theory retain code, but there was no sign of a ferrite iron core in the slightest ...
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Old 3rd Sep 2016, 00:12
  #9706 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by glad rag View Post
Originally Posted by FODPlod View Post
I wonder how many other missile test firings this particular QF-4 has 'survived' during its service? It's almost as though someone might want to retain its DAS and other expensive gizmos and recover the full telemetry data for detailed analysis.

I believe we've even flown the odd re-usable target drone in the past ourselves.
ROFL.

Sure let's leave the data "lying around" to be recovered.

After all it's only the performance of the primary AA weapon with the future mainstay of western manned aviation.

Mind you, probably safer than being held on a LM database.

ROFL.
Education can be a wonderful thing:
The Final Mission: The USAF’s QF-4 Target Drones by Mark Munzel
...In support of U.S. test and evaluation activities, Phantom drones also act as targets for non-lethal tests of missiles, radar and other sensors, and defensive systems. They also support Air Force and Navy training, such as "Combat Archer" missile shoots. Both services also employ sub-scale target drones, which are less costly to operate than FSATs. But only a full-scale target offers the flight characteristics, performance envelope – including subsonic and supersonic flight at altitudes up to and above 50,000 feet – endurance, radar and infrared (IR) signatures, and damage resistance of a real aircraft....

...To evade the weapon system under test, the drone’s flight profile may include defensive maneuvers (including 6-G turns and vertical maneuvers), chaff and flare releases, and radar jamming. Test results are recorded by telemetry and, at WSMR, by optical systems. If the drone is destroyed, its wreckage falls onto the range...
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Old 3rd Sep 2016, 00:17
  #9707 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FODPlod View Post
It's almost as though someone might want to retain its DAS and other expensive gizmos and recover the full telemetry data for detailed analysis.
The QF-4 does not need to survive a missile shot to have the telemetry data recovered, it's all transmitted live during the flight by the 'expensive gizmos', having the jet back on the ground provides no more info than if it was actually shot down, except for maybe the blast/frag pattern if it survives a live warhead shot...

-RP
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Old 3rd Sep 2016, 00:44
  #9708 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rhino power View Post
The QF-4 does not need to survive a missile shot to have the telemetry data recovered, it's all transmitted live during the flight by the 'expensive gizmos', having the jet back on the ground provides no more info than if it was actually shot down, except for maybe the blast/frag pattern if it survives a live warhead shot...

-RP
Bandwidth and/or non-lossy data compression must have improved significantly to permit real time radio transfer of all fine detail recorded data, including hi-res video, since my day but I'm prepared to take your word for it.
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Old 3rd Sep 2016, 01:11
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Originally Posted by FODPlod View Post
Bandwidth and/or non-lossy data compression must have improved significantly to permit real time radio transfer of all fine detail recorded data, including hi-res video, since my day but I'm prepared to take your word for it.
I guess so, the QF-4 carries no onboard recorders, even regular squadron jets have been carrying ACMI/RAIDS pods for years now which transmit real time telemetry during ACM, so it's not without precedent...

-RP
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Old 3rd Sep 2016, 07:33
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Whatever the cause, good that the jet survived it's last mission.
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Old 3rd Sep 2016, 08:01
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Originally Posted by RetiredF4 View Post
Whatever the cause, good that the jet survived it's last mission.
+1

Lets hope when the last manned flyers are finally retired in December, that those painted up in heritage colours are preserved and not just unceremoniously dumped on some weapons range...

-RP
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Old 4th Sep 2016, 07:40
  #9712 (permalink)  
 
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I was going to make a new post. However, I thought this news should go here..
Not sure on how old this is BTW..


CNN is reporting that 435 F15's are to be modified;


Air Force investing $12B in F-15s - CNNPolitics.com


But isn't the idea of 'stealth' and particularly the F35 - is to see the enemy before they can see you? And its been said, that as you (the enemy), can see it, you're already dead?


So how important is it to have a dog-fighting plane in todays Gen 5,6 world?
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Old 4th Sep 2016, 08:35
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Obba, I think being a good dog fighter is important if it's non-stealth vs non-stealth. The somewhat rhetorical question is, "how many F-15 kills were as a result of a dog fight won?"
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Old 4th Sep 2016, 09:45
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Could it be that the current velocity of radar technology improvement is dictating that stealthy aircraft are pretty well a waste of time? Could it be that the combination of radar that can detect but not designate and aircraft/missile radar that can designate simply make stealth pointless? Hence the refurbishment of the F-15. And maybe the pointlessness of the F-35.
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Old 4th Sep 2016, 11:22
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Royalistflyer, I think that's an over-simplistic assumption which doesn't account for the sheer technical difficulty of such a concept. To suggest that the USAF's decision to upgrade their F-15 fleet is proof that stealth is "pointless", is a bold leap. Stealth isn't - and has never been - a panacea. It re-baselines the lethal and survivable characteristics of air platforms in the face of newer, more clever radars and EW; radars and EW that may render non-stealthy inventories extremely vulnerable in a near-term fight.

If I have a fleet of jets with hours left to fly on them, I'd like them to be useful in conflict for their remaining life. Ergo, I upgrade them to keep that vulnerability as low as possible, in itself making them more lethal as a result; clearly I'd add direct lethality improvements as well. Agile, E-scan radars, digital EW and a bunch of other eye-watering tech can give a decent hike to an aged platform for relatively low cost, but it will never have the already-described pedigree that stealth affords.

We ignore our potential adversaries' capabilities at our own peril, but we're also very quick to criticise our own. Ultimately, that approach keeps us honest, focused and may even give false succour and confidence to our foes. It's a good thing, IMHO.
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Old 4th Sep 2016, 11:29
  #9716 (permalink)  
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We ignore our potential adversaries' capabilities at our own peril...
one wonders why the Indians aren't inquiring about the F-35?
Chinese LRIP J-20 photographed in Tibet. Might just be high level trials, might not....

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Old 4th Sep 2016, 12:15
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MSOCS: In the past we (our misguided politicians?) have made bold predictions that turned out to be very wrong. Nevertheless, I have the impression that near term fights seem unlikely given the air-to-air missile range capabilities. The idea that one approaches unseen and kills the opponent - and that by the time he can see you, he is dead seems to be the "dogfight" premise for the F-35/F-22. However given that the likely arms sellers to our possible opponents are already developing aircraft with similar stealth to F-35/F-22, then when you can "see" him, he can "see" you too. Doesn't that sort of cancel out? Marginal technological advantages will come into play and last for a short while. Nevertheless, I just don't see us (UK) in conflict with any major player who could own such technology. Russia isn't going to attack west. China is more interested in buying us than fighting us. And if we're seriously smart we won't go getting involved in a fight with Iran. So I would question our need for F-35/F-22 technology.
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Old 4th Sep 2016, 12:59
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Ah, the old conundrum, per Cold War then: they'll never attack us so why bother! Sadly we need full-spectrum capabilities for self-assurance so that argument fortunately never takes hold with those who have a responsibility to protect.

You assert that Russian/Chinese stealth is equitable to F-22/F-35. That, again, is a bold statement. There are physical aspects in the pictures of both J-20 and T-50 that tell me they are reduced signature compared to Mig X and Su-Y, but perhaps not true LO or VLO. Whether that reduced signature can be maintained, relatively cheaply in-Service ("supportable"), is also another consideration of importance.

Beyond this, we seem to have little debate on the tactics and training either "side" employs for these latest capabilities. The USA are THE global experience in the 'operationalising' stealth in combat aircraft.
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Old 4th Sep 2016, 13:19
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And the Japanese can't build motorcars - or so Fors and GM chortled and sneered back in the 70s. And all the Chinese build are sheep watches - but now they make electronic innards of just about everything we use.

Never rest on your laurels, and never underestimate your potential enemy.
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Old 4th Sep 2016, 13:34
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Indeed ORAC, and never pass up an opportunity to patronise anonymous posters on an Internet forum.
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