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  • Hotshot
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jul 2014
    • 1127

    Stealth planes using SAMs

    What kind of tactic could be used to optimize stealth fighters with SAM launchers? If the stealth fighters have the proper datalink they can send the order to fire a salvoe of SAMs well before they are in AMRAAMs range. The USN wants to do that with the F-35C using the NIFC-CA network, but it could be generalized.

    As an example of tactic, the stealth planes could loiter 50km apart 75km behind the SAM launchers. When they detect enemy targets coming in at low altitude, they turn towards the target flying at minimal speed to reduce the closing speed and their IR signature, and order the launch of a salvoe of SAMs, 2 missiles per target. They might have enough time to launch a second salvoe of SAMs. After the missiles have reached their targets, they can engage the survivors with their own AMRAAMs and quickly escape.

    If the stealth plane doesn't use its own missile, it doesn't have to open its bays so it keeps its stealth at all times. Also it doesn't take the risk of disclosing his position with the IR signature of its missiles at launch.

    The SAM needs to be network enabled and ideally the stealth plane would not have to use his link-16 directly. Like there could be a MADL/link-16 Gateway on a ground station. The missiles would be guided by link-16.

    Another situation where a fighter can use SAMs would be when the enemy plane is fleeing at high speed and the fighter's missile don't have enough range to catch up with it. In that case the fighter can launch a SAM from a launcher in front of the target if one is available.

    The technology seems to be available to do that. With the high cost of stealth planes and their limited missile capacity it would make sense to invest in that kind of networked engagement. An AWACS could be used to guide SAMs, but they are vulnerable to long range missiles ( SAMs and AAMs ) and have a very high cost.
  • hopsalot
    Senior Member
    • Aug 2012
    • 3166

    #2
    Originally posted by Hotshot View Post
    What kind of tactic could be used to optimize stealth fighters with SAM launchers? If the stealth fighters have the proper datalink they can send the order to fire a salvoe of SAMs well before they are in AMRAAMs range. The USN wants to do that with the F-35C using the NIFC-CA network, but it could be generalized.

    As an example of tactic, the stealth planes could loiter 50km apart 75km behind the SAM launchers. When they detect enemy targets coming in at low altitude, they turn towards the target flying at minimal speed to reduce the closing speed and their IR signature, and order the launch of a salvoe of SAMs, 2 missiles per target. They might have enough time to launch a second salvoe of SAMs. After the missiles have reached their targets, they can engage the survivors with their own AMRAAMs and quickly escape.

    If the stealth plane doesn't use its own missile, it doesn't have to open its bays so it keeps its stealth at all times. Also it doesn't take the risk of disclosing his position with the IR signature of its missiles at launch.

    The SAM needs to be network enabled and ideally the stealth plane would not have to use his link-16 directly. Like there could be a MADL/link-16 Gateway on a ground station. The missiles would be guided by link-16.

    Another situation where a fighter can use SAMs would be when the enemy plane is fleeing at high speed and the fighter's missile don't have enough range to catch up with it. In that case the fighter can launch a SAM from a launcher in front of the target if one is available.

    The technology seems to be available to do that. With the high cost of stealth planes and their limited missile capacity it would make sense to invest in that kind of networked engagement. An AWACS could be used to guide SAMs, but they are vulnerable to long range missiles ( SAMs and AAMs ) and have a very high cost.
    This is already being done.

    The Navy and Lockheed Martin are planning to demonstrate a beyond-the-horizon anti-ship missile detection and defense technology using an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

    The system, referred to as Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air, or NIFC-CA, uses Aegis radar, an airborne sensor and SM-6 missile to find, track and destroy approaching threats such as cruise missiles at ranges well beyond the typical radar horizon, Navy officials said.

    Alongside Aegis radar and an SM-6 missile, NIFC-CA uses an E-2D Hawkeye aircraft as an airborne sensor to help relay threat information to the ship from beyond its normal radar range.

    Lockheed is working closely with Naval Sea Systems Command, or NAVSEA, to plan a NIFC-CA demonstration at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., sometime this year or next year, a Lockheed executive said.

    We are looking at alternative airborne sensors, the executive said.

    The idea with a demonstration, sources indicate, would be to use the F-35 as an airborne relay node or sensor in place of the E-2D Hawkeye. This could allow NIFC-CA to operate against an increasingly complex set of targets such as stealthy targets, the Lockheed executive explained.
    http://defensetech.org/2015/01/22/na...on-technology/

    Comment

    • Nicolas10
      Senior Member
      • May 2005
      • 4523

      #3
      Well why you need an F35 you just send a drone up and you're good.

      Nic

      Comment

      • Hotshot
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jul 2014
        • 1127

        #4
        Originally posted by Nicolas10 View Post
        Well why you need an F35 you just send a drone up and you're good.

        Nic
        That could work indeed. It would be more survivable than an AWACS. But it wouldn't have much capability to escape.

        Comment

        • Hotshot
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jul 2014
          • 1127

          #5
          Originally posted by hopsalot View Post
          Maybe most of the subsystems ( gateways, etc... ) maybe already exist to make it work with army medium/long range SAMs. What's needed is the software to control the virtual payload. I guess it might be possible to have a standard software interface for any virtual payload. Whether the virtual payload is on another plane, a SAM launcher or even a MLRS launcher ( for surface launched SDBs ), it is transparent. The pilot sees on his display what the launcher has available, the missiles status etc...

          Maybe even LM could integrate its MEADS with the F-35s, that would be a good combo.

          In defensive air to air, an enemy strike package would be attacked twice with the SAM launchers, once when it is on his ingress way, once when it is on its egress way. In the second case, the F-35s chases the enemy planes like 100km behind to avoid a counter attack, and orders the SAMs to fire when the enemy planes are in range of the launchers.

          Comment

          • Nicolas10
            Senior Member
            • May 2005
            • 4523

            #6
            If I'm not mistaken, a controller on board a frigate (for instance) can make a Rafale launch a Mica.

            I think what you're describing is just integrated air defense.

            Comment

            • Hotshot
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jul 2014
              • 1127

              #7
              That kind of capability may already exist. Like the AMRAAM can supposedly be guided by an offboard sensor. That kind of capability might be classified.

              It would be great if the fighter pilot could use the SAMs as if it were his own missiles. And he would even keep his own AMRAAMs for self defense in case the bad guys get too close or the SAMs launchers are too far. By doing so he can remain as stealthy as possible.

              Comment

              • SpudmanWP
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jan 2009
                • 5292

                #8
                That's the plan although I think it's the SAM operator that launches the missile using the plane's sensors.
                "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                Comment

                • Hotshot
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 1127

                  #9
                  It would be good if the pilot could see the SAMs on his screen with the time to target etc. The more automatic and transparent it is the more various the tactics could be.

                  Comment

                  • SpudmanWP
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jan 2009
                    • 5292

                    #10
                    With the short range of US land-based SAMs, I don't see this happening anytime soon.

                    A least the USN has some long-range SAMs.
                    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

                    Comment

                    • haavarla
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Dec 2008
                      • 6715

                      #11
                      All this capability, might sound nice and dandy.
                      But if you ask me, "information overload" for a singel pilot.
                      Hense you would need a two crew jet for this kind of work.

                      We are far away from what Hotshot discribe above.
                      Thanks

                      Comment

                      • Hotshot
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jul 2014
                        • 1127

                        #12
                        The PAC-3 doesn't have that much range. The PAC-3 SME is said to have 35km range against ballistic missiles according to wikipedia. Don't know what kind of range it would have against a tactical plane, but it's a bit short. I guess 100km range would be pretty good but not many western missiles have that kind of range.

                        Comment

                        • Hotshot
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Jul 2014
                          • 1127

                          #13
                          Originally posted by haavarla View Post
                          All this capability, might sound nice and dandy.
                          But if you ask me, "information overload" for a singel pilot.
                          Hense you would need a two crew jet for this kind of work.

                          We are far away from what Hotshot discribe above.
                          Depends on the level of automation of the system. It could be done almost all automatically by software.

                          Comment

                          • Nicolas10
                            Senior Member
                            • May 2005
                            • 4523

                            #14
                            Some people need to watch terminator again!

                            Comment

                            • haavarla
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Dec 2008
                              • 6715

                              #15
                              Lol, the does the Keywords "software" and "Integration" mean anything to you hotshot?

                              There exist report allready that the HOBS and Helmet integration on F-35 is not up for the task.
                              Like i said we are still a long way from your Automation of system.

                              Really.. its still an concept at this stage. And the F-35 is its demonstrator.
                              Thanks

                              Comment

                              • Hotshot
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jul 2014
                                • 1127

                                #16
                                I don't know if you're familiar with the concept of technological singularity. Some people are scared.

                                Comment

                                • Hotshot
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jul 2014
                                  • 1127

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by haavarla View Post
                                  Lol, the does the Keywords "software" and "Integration" mean anything to you hotshot?

                                  There exist report allready that the HOBS and Helmet integration on F-35 is not up for the task.
                                  Like i said we are still a long way from your Automation of system.

                                  Really.. its still an concept at this stage. And the F-35 is its demonstrator.
                                  I don't see why the software could not build his own target list automatically. It would have the list of launchers and missiles in the database. It would calculate the time to target of the missiles to optimize the which launcher should launch against each target. After that it's a question of datalink and automation on the SAM side to launch automatically when the order is received.

                                  Not sure it is impossible.

                                  Comment

                                  • haavarla
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Dec 2008
                                    • 6715

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Hotshot View Post
                                    I don't know if you're familiar with the concept of technological singularity. Some people are scared.
                                    The F-35 may be the front runner on such Hi-Tech development, but..
                                    Seriously.. Lets get back on this topic when the F-35A is flying combat missions over Iraq and Syria. I'm a patiently person..
                                    Last edited by haavarla; 26th October 2015, 16:01.
                                    Thanks

                                    Comment

                                    • Hotshot
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Jul 2014
                                      • 1127

                                      #19
                                      I know that the F-35 development is slow and painful, to not say exasperating...

                                      The block 3I should have a very powerfull computer. It should be well enough for what I describe. What really takes the most computer power is the fusion, the target recognition with the mission data files, etc. After that creating a target list with a bunch of parameters for prioritization of targets, and sending the order to fire the SAMs seems pretty straightforward.

                                      The F-35 could attack many targets at the same time with several missiles per target. I don't know what the max could be but probably more than 10.

                                      Comment

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