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  • Jō Asakura
    多聞天
    • Jan 2011
    • 1302

    #41
    Thanks, interesting stuff B_I_O. Me thinks the US military is biding it's time whilst the next generation (GaN based) technology matures, before making a decision on service/application- wide standardisation. Much like the Russian military but on a much larger scale.

    Without being too specific on details, my best guess would be 'GaN on Si/PD' and a 'system-in-package' (SiP) approach based on low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) technology - as opposed to the current MMIC/PCB-PA architecture.

    B737-700 airframes appear to be the optimal choice for performance and a 'Wedgetail' type antenna affords the the greatest array size to range coverage (both air & surface) combined with aerodynamic efficiency. JMTs.
    sigpic

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    • bring_it_on
      2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
      • Jun 2004
      • 12480

      #42
      Jo, I do not think that they are really looking at incorporating GaN into these types of assets. I spoke to a few industry folks not too long ago and they basically said that as a technology GaN has to earn its way into a system with some OEM's more ambitious with what they choose then others. From what I see, the JSTAR is going to be left alone since the service is quite happy with the performance. What they would seek would be better reliability, lower cost to operate and better uptime for the sensor. A smaller aircraft with more automation and a reduced crew coupled with a modern sensor would naturally make the product cheaper compared to the status quo.

      I doubt that they expect a JSTARS like platform to be survivable or would build it to be survivable so for missions where you really need to bring out the high_performance - High_cost approaches you would have to develop different ISR platforms. Neither the JSTARS nor the E-3 would survive against any near peer enemy so really no need to begin to invest giant amount of money or technology into these platforms. They would continue to seek solutions that lower life cycle cost and provide the reliability usually associated with modern systems. Its the command and control portion where technology can play a big role in these platforms being the integrators of a lot of information etc. So while GaN has been selected for ground radars (Gator, Patriot, 3DELRR) ship radars (AMDR), and electronic warfare packages where that capability is absolutely required to get a desired performance from a finite (space) requirement or where GaN is absolutely critical or an enabling technology to achieve performance (NGJ), I really doubt they would want to invest that sort of money on a system that would be largely useless in a non-permissive environment. Simply put, there is no way you could develop an ultra expensive JSTAR (based on a Business jet) that can provide targeting and ISR to say the LRS-B/B-3 so for those solutions you would have to invest in "something else":


      http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...orizon-200103/

      http://www.aviationtoday.com/regions...l#.VKYI5MYirzJ

      http://aviationweek.com/awin/reading...mber-isr-plans
      Last edited by bring_it_on; 14th January 2015, 05:13.
      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

      Comment

      • Jō Asakura
        多聞天
        • Jan 2011
        • 1302

        #43
        I note & appreciate your points B_I_O, but just some caveats.

        As per your links, 'Smart skin' and conformal arrays are all very well, but for any operational effectiveness as per operational requirements post 2020, by very definition they would have to be GaN based. GaAs power amplifiers are available with power levels up to about 5W (that’s roughly the upper power limit for GaAs devices, since they cannot withstand the high voltages, currents, and heat levels of silicon or GaN). As a comparison, the latest GaN RF PAs will deliver 5W per mm without breaking a sweat.

        Much has changed since the date of your first two links. The likes of CREE and TriQuint are already touting GaN PAs for airborne AESA (including fighter) applications.

        Also, developing complicated algorithms for the curved, conformal array will be at the expense of range and resolution (a problem compounded if GaAs devices are used). For non-stealth, stand-off platforms such as the E-3 and E-8, the 'planar' array will remain king.

        I don't deny the statements of your industry sources, obviously there are everyday vested business interests in defence procurement. I just think a decade from now if the USAF fielded a 'Wedgetail' type platform with an air-to-air & air-to-surface detection range of 400nm and a combined ISR role (like a fusion of E-3, E-8 and RC-135), not only would this make them berry heppy, but the replacement of 3 platforms with 1 would be a considerable cost saving in itself.

        JMTs.
        sigpic

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        • bring_it_on
          2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
          • Jun 2004
          • 12480

          #44
          From a project stand point i really do not see such a thing happening. The current RFI is for a JSTARS replacement only while the E-10 was long cancelled (except the Ground radar for the MRTIP GH application). They are likely to sometime in the future have an E-3 replacement but i really do not see them doing it all in one frame with all missions combined. The JSTAR replacement that would IOC in the early 2020's is likely to last for decades in that role. There is no program of record for the E-3 replacement and I doubt that whenever that happens it would be something that they would look to cover multiple missions with (from a cost and risk basis). Going into the 2020's, the F-35 procurement, LRS-B development and procurement and the tanker program (KCX, KCY etc etc) and JSTARS program would cover a lot of the hard cash set out for capability. E-3 replacement program would probably not start until the middle to end, and given that at that point in time it would have to compete with the F-22 and the drone (predator, reaper) replacement programs, I doubt it would look for anything other than a low risk solution that delivers a set capability at a desired time-frame without much technical risk. A lot can change given the political dynamics, but I seriously doubt that a joint E-3/JSTARS/Rivet Joint replacement program (like the E-10 MC2A was back in the day) would be revisited anytime soon.

          Regarding your point about the sensor craft and future derivatives. It was just one program that was to mature a certain capability more than a decade ago (it had its roots in the late 90's iirc). It could well be the case that GaN solutions would be required for ISR in non-permissive environments given the capability they seek. It would be quite logical for them to have a highly sophisticated support craft for the LRS-B acting as a mission enabler and the now confirmed RQ-180 could very well be such a thing as has been speculated in one of the articles from aviation week. What sensor technology it carries, and what they plan to put on future platforms for that mission (non-permissive ISR) is anyone's guess, as its likely to be based (at least to a large part) on classified research.

          Regarding the industry's point of view - it all depends upon solutions being sought. At the moment you could have new system RFP's that absolutely warrant a GaN based solution (such as the NGJ), could warrant a GaN solution but could also be accomplished with GaA AESA's with the positive of being a low-cost solution compared to the competitor etc. The NGJ was an example of a former where it would have been quite difficult to compete with a GaA solution, the space fence had offerings from suppliers that used conventional AESA (GaA) and GaN based solutions with the simpler/lower risk solution winning the contract award. From the industries point of view, they would respond with what is required of them. Both northrop grumman and Raytheon have the industrial capability to offer GaN based solutions in volume for the projects requiring them (Raytheon would build up huge capacity through the AMDR over time) yet also have GaA base that can deliver a low risk solution for projects that absolutely do not need it.

          With Russia it would be different, since the IADS emphasis, investments and development would be significant compared to what the Pentagon spends in that area, so I fully expect them to race ahead in terms of the number of radars and the type's procured.

          The USAF isn't going to go out and start directing the industry to move to GaN based AESA's for its fighters. The focus would be for the next decade to stabilize the JSF's cost to a point where they could affordably procure 2000+ fighters they intend on procuring. Fleet modernization would be a top priority from an investment perspective. Of course the flow of R&D cash into these radar "teams" through other programs would make sure that the capability is de-risked and ready to deliver whenever required. I don't expect the USAF to start a competition for Next generation fighter radars until the middle of next decade (for the F-22 upgrade or replacement program) as the current focus is solely on reducing cost and increasing production of the current radars being delivered in large numbers for the F-35 and the legacy modernization programs. Outside of the small number of Gator, 3DELRR's being procured the real drivers of GaN (Volume..) AESA in the US are the AMDR and the NGJ programs and they would remain so throughout the acquisition cycles well into the 2020's.

          This is obviously outside of any R&D and acquisition plans that the USAF is executing for the LRS-B program which are not known.
          Last edited by bring_it_on; 14th January 2015, 07:27.
          Old radar types never die; they just phased array

          Comment

          • djcross
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jan 2000
            • 5464

            #45
            AESA upgrade battle heats up for F/A-18 Hornets
            If Boeing has any say, Raytheon would be selected, because Boeing always uses Raytheon radars.
            If it were a Lockheed Martin jet, it would have a NG radar.

            Comment

            • ocay84
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jun 2008
              • 181

              #46
              What is the average cost of F-16 AESA retrofit?

              Comment

              • haavarla
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Dec 2008
                • 6715

                #47
                With the glooming prospect of US defence funding for the next decade, does the USAF really expect to recieve 2000 F-35?
                It sound highly optimistic at this point.
                Thanks

                Comment

                • bring_it_on
                  2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                  • Jun 2004
                  • 12480

                  #48
                  With the glooming prospect of US defence funding for the next decade, does the USAF really expect to recieve 2000 F-35?
                  No, they expect to receive around 1700.
                  Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                  Comment

                  • haavarla
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Dec 2008
                    • 6715

                    #49
                    Originally posted by bring_it_on View Post
                    No, they expect to receive around 1700.
                    Yeah, i've seen est figures in the 1600-1700 range, but there is also the 2000+2500 swimming around on different forums.
                    F-16.net is like up way up there..

                    oh and i meant this decade, not the next. The US Defence funding might improve a little bit in the next decade though, or at least at the end of it.
                    Thanks

                    Comment

                    • bring_it_on
                      2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                      • Jun 2004
                      • 12480

                      #50
                      2500 odd is the overall purchase by the Pentagon, and involves the F-35C for the Navy and the USMC, as well as the F-35B for the USMC. The USAF (F-35A) plans on ordering 618 F-35's in the 10 year period between 2015 and 2024. This would be on top of the jets the receive prior to 2015.
                      Last edited by bring_it_on; 20th January 2015, 19:25.
                      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                      Comment

                      • djcross
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 5464

                        #51
                        My bet would be that USMC and USN orders will be filled, but USAF quantities will be cut in half.

                        Comment

                        • a89
                          a89
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Sep 2011
                          • 376

                          #52
                          How would an upgraded AESA F-15 compare with a current EF-2000 (mechanical radar)? The American fighter has obtained a few contracts in recent years, beating more modern airframes. I think it's combination of range, performance, avionics and weapons is still hard to beat.
                          History and Military Technology blog

                          alejandro-8en.blogspot.com

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                          • swerve
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jun 2005
                            • 13612

                            #53
                            Since Typhoon is getting an AESA radar, I don't think the answer to that question matters much now. I think that the F-15 may have got its last new-build order, though: the countries that might have bought more F-15s have either already done so, or are going to get F-35. Saudi Arabia is getting new F-15Es, & also upgrading its current fleet to the same standard, including AESA radars. I think Saudi F-15C/Ds are not being upgraded.

                            What'll be interesting is how many Typhoons get the AESA.

                            In terms of number of retrofits, the F-16 market looks to be the biggest.
                            Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                            Justinian

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                            • Rii
                              Rii
                              Senior Member
                              • Oct 2010
                              • 3449

                              #54
                              Originally posted by haavarla View Post
                              oh and i meant this decade, not the next. The US Defence funding might improve a little bit in the next decade though, or at least at the end of it.
                              I wouldn't bet on it. An ageing population (proportion of US population >70yrs of age jumps 50% from 2015-2030) will place significant upward pressure on two of the largest components of domestic expenditure: healthcare and social security.
                              Last edited by Rii; 21st January 2015, 13:24.

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                              • bring_it_on
                                2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                • Jun 2004
                                • 12480

                                #55
                                Israel to upgrade F-15Is with new radar


                                The Israeli air force is upgrading the capabilities of its Boeing F-15I strike aircraft, including the installation of a new radar system.

                                The sensor most likely to be fitted is the Raytheon APG-82(V)1 active electronically scanned array, which was also fitted to the US Air Force's F-15Es in place of the ageing APG-70.

                                The selection of the US-made radar instead of an Israeli-designed option is likely the result of the fact that Israel can purchase the APG-82(V)1 using the Foreign Military Funding it receives annually from the USA.

                                "The F-15I is still our strategic jet. It holds the largest number of capabilities and has the ability to carry many weapons and reach far destinations," the head of the F-15I branch told the air force's website. Tasks range from "routine missions related to the combat formation to special missions which will remain confidential", says the official – identified only as Maj A.Israel's comprehensive systems upgrade for the F-15I is a direct outcome of a delay in the delivery of the Lockheed Martin F-35.

                                The nation has ordered 19 conventional take-off and landing F-35As at a cost of $2.75 billion, with the first two due to arrive in Israel in 2018. Late last year, the defence ministry also received approval to acquire another 14 of the stealthy type.

                                http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...-radar-408113/

                                http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita.../an-apg-82.htm

                                On the topic of F-35 Procurement, I seriously doubt that the USAF would significantly move away from its F-35A planed acquisition strategy for the next decade. The numbers are given in the SAR.
                                Last edited by bring_it_on; 21st January 2015, 15:13.
                                Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                Comment

                                • Levsha
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jan 2006
                                  • 2856

                                  #56
                                  Originally posted by Rii View Post
                                  I wouldn't bet on it. An ageing population (proportion of US population >70yrs of age jumps 50% from 2015-2030) will place significant upward pressure on two of the largest components of domestic expenditure: healthcare and social security.
                                  The populations of most developed nations are aging rapidly, in fact, I thought the USA had a younger aged population than most other industrialised countries? Americans are certainly younger in age compared to Japanese and Germans.

                                  Comment

                                  • Rii
                                    Rii
                                    Senior Member
                                    • Oct 2010
                                    • 3449

                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by Levsha View Post
                                    The populations of most developed nations are aging rapidly, in fact, I thought the USA had a younger aged population than most other industrialised countries?
                                    This is true, but does not make it any easier for the US to sustain or increase defence spending going forward -- it just means other nations will confront the same problem.

                                    The latest Long-Term Budget Outlook from the Congressional Budget Office makes the naive assumption that currently mandated spending constraints will remain in place until 2024, by which time defense spending will have declined to 2.7% of GDP -- lower than at any point during the Clinton administration, and a figure which is sure to give the Pentagon (which has been pushing 4% as an "absolute minimum") a heart-attack. The fact that one has to get to page 53 before the CBO gets around to addressing DoD says something of itself, I think. Fortunately, present observation, history and theory all agree that DoD has little reason to be concerned that present budgetary constraints will actually be maintained, and it is entirely possible that the Pentagon will enjoy robust funding growth over the next decade and beyond -- at corresponding cost to the long-term fiscal outlook, of course.
                                    Last edited by Rii; 21st January 2015, 22:29.

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                                    • bring_it_on
                                      2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                      • Jun 2004
                                      • 12480

                                      #58
                                      For all Economic, budget related, or population age related discussion please create an appropriate thread here.



                                      http://forum.keypublishing.com/forum...ral-Discussion
                                      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                      Comment

                                      • SajeevJino
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Jan 2013
                                        • 104

                                        #59
                                        .

                                        The Israeli's comes first

                                        The Israeli air force is upgrading the capabilities of its Boeing F-15I strike aircraft, including the installation of a new radar system.

                                        The sensor most likely to be fitted is the Raytheon APG-82(V)1 active electronically scanned array, which was also fitted to the US Air Force's F-15Es in place of the ageing APG-70.
                                        Flight Global
                                        To be a Free Nation in our own Land. The Land of Zion and Jerusalem My Blog

                                        Comment

                                        • bring_it_on
                                          2005-year of the RAPTOR!!
                                          • Jun 2004
                                          • 12480

                                          #60
                                          Northrop Grumman have demonstrated a G550 based JSTARS replacement to the Air Combat Command.


                                          Metzger said Northrop Grumman has done trade studies on “over 120 different types of airplanes and racked and stacked them all. I would say there are three or four that are leading candidates, whether you want a business jet or business liner-type aircraft, and so any number of business jets will work.” The company looked at 737s and Airbus products, and there are “pros and cons” associated with them all, Metzger said. The final choice for what Northrop Grumman may offer will be driven by USAF’s requirements, he said.





                                          Metzger noted that Northrop Grumman has outfitted a Gulfstream 550 aircraft with a radar and workstations, proving out various concepts it could offer when the Air Force nails down its requirements. It has taken the jet to Air Combat Command headquarters at JB Langley-Eustis, Va.; to Hanscom AFB, Mass., home of Electronics Systems Center; to JB Andrews, Md., for members of USAF HQ and other Pentagon officials to look at; and to Robins AFB, Ga., where the current JSTARS is flown.


                                          The demonstrator showed off “the aircraft itself, the outer mold lines, the things we have done [with] advanced BMC2 consoles, capabilities, and most importantly, the mission software, which I would characterize as an 85-90 percent solution.” The G550 is also an airplane in USAF’s inventory, as the basis of the C-37 executive transport.
                                          http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineA...ARS-Recap.aspx
                                          Old radar types never die; they just phased array

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