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Thread: USAF not F-35 thread

  1. #1021
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    New EW self protection upgrade for the AC/MC-130J aircraft using solid state AESA based technology. Likely to have significant commonality with BAEs GaN based EPAWSS -

    BAE Systems Selects Harris Corporation’s Advanced Aircraft Electronic Warfare Transmitter Technology


    MELBOURNE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BAE Systems has selected Harris Corporation’s (NYSE:HRS) advanced electronic warfare transmitter technology to help protect the U.S. Air Force Special Operations AC/MC-130J aircraft from electronic threats. The contract was awarded during the fourth quarter of Harris' fiscal 2017.

    Harris’ phased array antennas will provide the transmit capability for BAE’s electronic warfare countermeasure systems. The active, electronically scanned arrays use next-generation semiconductor technology and provide fast, agile beam pointing and high reliability.

    “Aircraft like the AC/MC-130J fly at low-altitude and spend extended periods in hostile territory, exposing special operators to a wide range of lethal threats,” said Ed Zoiss, president, Harris Electronic Systems. “Harris phased array technology will ensure BAE’s electronic countermeasure systems have the directional transmitting power essential for protecting aircraft and crews and bringing them home safely.”
    Harris has obviously been doing this for some time, having demonstrated (to the Navy) solid state, GaN AESA based transmitters with DBF back in 2012 while it was competing (as part of the ITT/Boeing bid) for the Next Gen. Jammer award. It is also partnered with BAE on EPAWSS.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 25th August 2017 at 12:04.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  2. #1022
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    Air Force asks Raytheon to build lightweight missile to arm UAVs, surface warships, and aircraft


    EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – U.S. Air Force airborne weapons experts are asking the Raytheon Co. to build a lightweight missile and glide bomb that features low collateral damage and is suitable for launch from a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), military manned aircraft, and surface warships.
    Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., announced a $104.9 million contract Thursday to the Raytheon Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., to build, test, and support the AGM-176 Griffin missile.
    Griffin is a lightweight, precision-guided munition that can launch from the ground, from the air as a rocket-powered missile, or drop from the air as a guided bomb. It carries a relatively small 13-pound warhead for low-collateral damage, as well as for use in irregular warfare.
    The munition comes in two versions. Griffin A is an unpowered precision munition that can be dropped by aircraft from a rear cargo door or a door-mounted launcher. Griffin Block II B is a short-range missile that can be fired from UAVs as well as manned helicopters, attack aircraft, U.S. Air Force AC-130W gunships, and U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J tankers.It has been used in combat by the United States military in Afghanistan. The small munition offers GPS-aided inertial guidance and a semi-active laser seeker.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  3. #1023
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    Courtesy James Drew, Aviation Week



    Lockheed's concept for an optionally reusable, low-cost unmanned combat air vehicle. The aircraft is designed to fly collaboratively with manned jets or on its own missions, with a range of more than 2,500 mi.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  4. #1024
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    Well nice concept but the issue is what Lockheed means with "low cost".

    Nic

  5. #1025
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    Lockheed's definition is less important here since what matters to them and virtually all other design teams is how USAF/AFRL defines its reusable, attritable crafts going forward. The LCASD effort is mature and Kratos is building it right now with a flight test program to begin next year. Going forward, as the Loyal wingman program grows it will be interesting to see where the curve lies in terms of cost and capability. Cost as expected will likely be driven by systems that go inside it so there may well be variants and versions that have mission systems that need to be reused and aren't meant on a one time, one way mission. So far, the one award AFRL has made to Kratos for the LCASD the had the following vehicle requirements as far as cost is concerned :

    LCASD cost and capability goals set down by the AFRL include a unit acquisition cost of not more than USD3 million for the first unit up to 99 units, and USD2 million or less for 100 or greater volume purchases; a 1,500 n mile mission radius with a 500 lb (230 kg) payload; and an internal weapons bay sized to carry and deliver at least two GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs.


    One would assume that they would look to create similar capabilities at various cost, and capability points ranging from a reusable MALD likely vehicle to something that is significantly larger, and more expensive. You could have $2-$3 million vehicles carrying a $5 Million systems payload, or larger vehicles that carry weapons as the Kratos LCASD vehicle is required to do. Reusability allows more expensive electronic payloads to be incorporated as mission specific (SIGINT, EW etc) and networking packages since the cost can be amortized over multiple uses.

    As a reference, the expendable MALD has an APUC in the $500K, to $700K range iirc
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 2nd September 2017 at 14:19.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  6. #1026
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    Appears that L3 has been awarded (finally) the contract for the EC-X (Compass Call re-host). As expected, to be based on the G550. Courtesy Marcus Weisgerber -

    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  7. #1027
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    Air Force Taps L3 to Develop Future EC-X Compass Call on Gulfstream 550

    The EC-X will replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of EC-130Hs, modified C-130s made by Lockheed Martin Corp. that carry electronic jamming equipment designed to thwart an adversary’s command-and-control communications. Lockheed, however, only makes the airframes while L-3 Communications, now L3 Technologies, is the sole aircraft integration and depot maintenance contractor, while BAE Systems secures the mission equipment.

    The latest decision follows months of turbulence between defense companies vying to build the next aircraft.

    Last month, the Government Accountability Office denied both Boeing Co. and Bombardier’s protests against Air Force plans to choose the next Compass Call plane.

    In a closed decision posted on Aug. 25, the GAO simultaneously denied the requests; Boeing and Bombardier argued that if the Air Force cedes authority to L3, they will be overlooked because the latter already has a business relationship with business jet-maker Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., which is part of General Dynamics Corp.

    Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the service’s military deputy for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition at the Pentagon, has defended the Air Force preference to primarily source the contract to L3, saying the move is cost-effective and timely.

    “L3 has … played that role as the systems integrator as we have modernized these aircraft for the last 15 years,” Bunch told lawmakers at a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces hearing May 25. “They are the ones that are very familiar with the mission equipment that is on there.”

    Compass Call reached full operating capability in 1983.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  8. #1028
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    Confirmed that the classified aircraft that crashed outside Nellis was not an F-35 , as some were speculating, by General Goldfein (and the F-35 isn't classed anyway). Probably not a B-21 due to no mention of crewman and Schultz was a fighter pilot (Rip), though no way of being sure. Some speculation it could have been a foriegn aircraft as Su-27 are spotted flying near Groom.
    Last edited by FBW; 10th September 2017 at 16:48.

  9. #1029
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    If it has anything to do with the LRS-B program it would not be the B-21 flying given the current stage/milestone for the program. More likely to have been something aiding in the program's development effort but not directly the primary design article. The foreign aircraft theory is likely more valid although one can never tell as there are really so many different possibilities.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  10. #1030
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    It could also be some of those flying triangles that the USAF flew over Texas on a clear sunny day at contrail altitudes for everyone to see.


    It's obvious the USAF wanted folks to see these aircraft flying.

  11. #1031
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    Confirmed that the crash outside of Nellis was a "foreign" aircraft. Odds are an Su-27 as they are commonly seen outside Groom.

  12. #1032
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    You have a link (not that i don't believe you) so that i can read more about it?

  13. #1033
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    AvWeek- unless you have a sub, there's a paywall.

    Shultz had been named head of detachment 3 of 53rd TEG. The former "red hats".

  14. #1034
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    Lockheed Martin wins F-15C IRST competition



    Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod has been selected as the infrared search and track (IRST) system for the US Air Force’s (USAF's) Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15C fleet, according to a company statement.

    Lockheed Martin said on 19 September that it will produce more than 130 systems, which will be delivered for aircraft integration. Boeing, serving as the USAF’s prime contractor, source selection authority, and aircraft integrator, will award Lockheed Martin an engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD) contract for Legion Pod in 2018.Equipped with infrared sensor and advanced data-processing capabilities, Legion Pod provides long-range detection and tracking of airborne threats in radar-denied environments. Lockheed Martin will deliver its first Legion Pod for the programme in 2018, with additional deliveries planned for 2019. Lockheed Martin previously completed more than 25 flight tests with Legion Pod on the F-15C and F-16, successfully demonstrating its integration, detection, and tracking capabilities.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  15. #1035
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    The Legion pod looks very promising.
    Thinking of it.. Its just the thing VKS Need to raise the SA.
    So no feature like building it inside a large pylon?
    Thanks

  16. #1036
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    The pod uses the mature IRST-21 sensor that has existed for a while now. This was really the only realistic option for Boeing since the sensor itself has been integrated into the F-15 family for international customers, and because they are funded for additional improvements via the Navy. Having chosen the NG option would have meant two fairly small scale IRST sensors requiring two separate improvement funding streams. Competition is better for the AFRL program for Next gen. IRST systems that is currently a R&D program but for a small scale integration for the USAF commonality and familiarity likely made Boeing chose this option.



    http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/new...egion-pod.html
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 22nd September 2017 at 10:14.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  17. #1037
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    The Legion pod looks very promising.
    I don't like it.
    A 500 pound pod for a simple IRST. That's a quite a massive weight and drag increase. For comparison, Gripen's Skyward IRST system is around 50 kg but that's internal of course. Sensor and processor as used in the Hornet tank i.e. also external are 115+42 lbs and that's the same system as used in Legion pods. So where's the 350 additional pounds coming from. TigerEye isn't that big either.
    If you're going to add IRST, do it right: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mIU8l8LGJL...SDF-FLIR-1.jpg
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

  18. #1038
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    Requirements generally drive product decisions from the vendors and this process generally begins much earlier than a formal RFP is put forward. Looking at these offerings put forward, it is easy to guess that the USAF wanted a multi-mission capable pod that they could acquire 100-150 examples of at a given cost and then add capability enhancements over time.


    Hey explained that Legion Pod can allow for simultaneous operation of multiple sensors [IRST plus others]. "The reason we can accomplish that is that it was purposely designed with an open architecture for flexibility ... This is where we see the future and what the warfighters are asking for."

    Among the other capabilities under consideration are providing communications packages to allow pod-to-pod or air-to-ground datalink communications, integrating a synthetic aperture radar, and incorporating some of the company's missile launch detection capabilities...

    The company has responded to RfIs released in 2015, and anticipates requests for proposals (RfPs) to be released later in 2016. LMMFC believes that the IRST Legion Pod can also accommodate the necessary communications capability, offering a saving on acquisition.

    LMMFC is also addressing international interest. "Since we launched Legion Pod and completed the first flight, we have received enquiries from several international customers," Hey said. "The interest is out there and we are working with the US government to get release approval to offer Legion Pod internationally....

    he concept of a 'multifunction sensor system' moved forward in June 2015, just ahead of the Paris Air Show, when Northrop Grumman launched its OpenPod system. Described by the company as a new modular, open-architecture sensor system, OpenPod will enable aircrews to customise pods according to specific missions and sensor needs. It is designed from line replaceable units (LRUs) and interchangeable sensors that can be exchanged quickly to accommodate the mission requirements. At that time, the company indicated that OpenPod in IRST configuration would be offered to the USAF as part of an upcoming competition, although it declined to specify exactly which competition....

    The company is leading the OpenPod roles with an IRST front end, using state-of-the-art IRST sensor system technology based on the Selex ES Skyward-G (for Sweden's Gripen-E programme), plus the latest advances in target identification, clutter rejection, and tracking (from the F-35's distributed aperture system), clutter control radar, and IR countermeasure products.

    The other major partner in the OpenPod project is Rafael. However, Gillespie was unable to say exactly which elements of OpenPod Rafael is involved with.

    ~ Jane's International Defence Review

    If you're going to add IRST, do it right:
    And if you can't afford to physically modify aircraft you can keep your pilots deprived of that capability indefinitely? Even eliminating EPAWSS modifications on the F-15C fleet is under active consideration (in fact that is likely the normal now and they'll have to add to the program to get back to the original plan).
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    Last edited by bring_it_on; 22nd September 2017 at 21:07.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  19. #1039
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    "The world can no longer tolerate imprecise weapons"

    One of the greatest problems with urban warfare is limiting civilian casualties and leaving much of the city standing, as the latest battle for Mosul illustrates in Iraq. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, during a Q and A with reporters, pointed to directed energy weapons (think fricking lasers! and related technologies like electronics-frying microwaves) as potentially useful tools. She also repeated a point she’s been making recently, that no one will tolerate the US using dumb munitions any more.

    “The world can no longer tolerate imprecise weapons, at least from the United States of America,” she said when I asked her and the chief about what might an urban warfare Air Force look like. During her recent tour of Central Command, she learned about an airstrike against Daesh (now known by the Trump administration as ISIS).
    Source:
    BreakingDefense.com

  20. #1040
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    Requirements generally drive product decisions from the vendors and this process generally begins much earlier than a formal RFP is put forward. Looking at these offerings put forward, it is easy to guess that the USAF wanted a multi-mission capable pod that they could acquire 100-150 examples of at a given cost and then add capability enhancements over time.
    I realise that and I wasn't 100% serious. It's just that I'd rather see a nice lightweight and low drag internal solution rather than adding this draggy pod to my favourite aircraft.
    As to it's other, growth capabilities like com. relay, why not update existing data links. And things like missile warning should be part of EPAWSS. Ideally. With pods being simpler, cheaper solutions.

    And if you can't afford to physically modify aircraft you can keep your pilots deprived of that capability indefinitely? Even eliminating EPAWSS modifications on the F-15C fleet is under active consideration (in fact that is likely the normal now and they'll have to add to the program to get back to the original plan).
    Yeah I guess a podded IRST is better than no IRST at all, agreed. And it prevents carriage of the even draggier TALON HATE pod.
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

  21. #1041
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    As to it's other, growth capabilities like com. relay, why not update existing data links. And things like missile warning should be part of EPAWSS. Ideally. With pods being simpler, cheaper solutions.
    As I had mentioned, EPAWSS for F-15C is now in doubt. In the lasted BMs the USAF has lowered the number of systems it is acquiring by 192 with most of the cuts focusing on the F-15C. They still intend on EPAWSS retrofit on the entire planned F-15E aircraft. I believe the latest Selected Acquisition Report on the EPAWSS reflects this change.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  22. #1042
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    Any chance EPAWSS for the C fleet will come back or is that a final decision?
    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
    Yngwie Malmsteen

  23. #1043
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    Yes there is always a chance since the program will spend a number of years fulfilling the demands of the F-15E fleet upgrade. Budget uncertainty is forcing short term requirements to trump long term needs so it is quite likely that if there is more certainty post BCA (2022 and beyond), it is possible the USAF looks to get back on some of these programs.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  24. #1044
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    EPAWSS likely will not find its way onto the C because the biggest threats to Cs are not SAMs. Also, while BAE products are capable, they are extremely expensive. The cost-benefit business case doesn't pass the test.

  25. #1045
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    At this stage, It is not known If the C will soldier on given the cost to refit the center fuselage.

  26. #1046
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    deleted
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 23rd September 2017 at 22:06.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  27. #1047
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    EPAWSS likely will not find its way onto the C because the biggest threats to Cs are not SAMs. Also, while BAE products are capable, they are extremely expensive. The cost-benefit business case doesn't pass the test.
    The cost has very little to do with BAE since it was up to Boeing to choose which OEM it thought could best meet the requirements laid out by the USAF. The cost generally tracks with the capability that is demanded and the risk associated with development, production and schedule. BAE has delivered EW solutions on both 5th generation platforms and is heavily involved with other advanced systems as well. We do not know what others in this domain cost out for similar capability. BAE also had an advantage here having delivered a modern digital EW suite for the F-15 family with DEWS. What was the per unit cost of the falcon edge system Northrop sold to the UAE? The unit cost estimate of the EPAWSS system with a massive reduction in the number of systems acquired (by 192), is now $8 Million (APUC). URF at Full rate production (25-30 units per year adjusted for reduction in F-15C quantities) is estimated at $6.6 Million in TY $M. The cost-benefit business case existed for the F-15C based on which the program was actually set up. Of course things change and you have to give things up in order to fund other priorities.

    It made sense to equip the F-15 Eagles with the TEWS at the time despite a similar role, and it made sense in the 2000s to contemplate significant upgrades to the EW capability via EPAWSS. Clearly the USAF wanted the F-15C to have a modern digital EW suite upgrade if money was not an issue. The issue has to do more with modifications and supporting the F-15C to upgrade close to 200 aircraft than with EW in general. The F-15Es are more heavily utilized and have much more life left in them so that will be protected at the expense of letting go of the F-15C if it comes to purely financial decisions.

    December, 2016 SAR



    As you can see, the PAUC estimates have grown on account of a smaller denominator (by 192 units) but APUC has largely held steady at this stage (it completed CDR earlier this year). Of course the President's budget is never the last word and Congress has indicated support of adding those F-15C systems back so lets see how this plays out in the long term.
    Last edited by bring_it_on; 23rd September 2017 at 21:48.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  28. #1048
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    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  29. #1049
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    From AW&ST :

    Amid SR-72 Rumors, Skunk Works Ramps Up Hypersonics: Guy Norris

    FORT WORTH, Texas—[b]Lockheed Martin is ramping up development of hypersonic system technology as observers report the first sightings of a demonstrator vehicle believed to be linked to the Skunk Works’ planned SR-72 high-speed aircraft project....

    Skunk Works is believed to be planning the start of FRV development next year, with first flight targeted for 2020. The FRV will be around the same size as an F-22 and powered by a full-scale, combined-cycle engine. However, in the run-up to the demonstrator development, Lockheed is thought to be testing several discrete technologies in a series of ground and flight tests.

    According to information provided to Aviation Week, one such technology demonstrator, believed to be an unmanned subscale aircraft, was observed flying into the U.S. Air Force’s Plant 42 at Palmdale, where Skunk Works is headquartered. The vehicle, which was noted landing in the early hours at an unspecified date in late July, was seen with two T-38 escorts. Lockheed Martin declined to comment directly on the sighting.
    Old radar types never die; they just phased array

  30. #1050
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    Time for a "What If!" picture
    Click image for larger version. 

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