Defense Issues

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Posts Tagged ‘fighter aircraft’

Measuring fighter aircraft maneuvering performance

Posted by picard578 on March 21, 2016

Maneuvering performance can be divided into several types. Those types are transient maneuverability, angular maneuverability, energy maneuverability and endurance. Transient maneuverability denotes aircraft’s ability to quickly switch from one maneuver to another. Energy performance measures aircraft’s ability to gain, lose or maintain energy (speed and/or altitude). Angular (turn) performance measures aircraft’s ability to achieve and sustain a certain turn rate. Endurance measures aircraft’s ability to stay and fight without refueling. All these characteristics are important for winning a fight, and thus measures should be found to reliably measure them. There is also a significant overlap: acceleration (energy gain/loss) is in nature energy maneuverability characteristic, but is also part of transient maneuverability. Similarly, pitch and turn onset rates, while transient in nature, also factor highly in turn performance (up to a point). And too short endurance can force the pilot to preserve fuel, thus negatively impacting aircraft’s actual energy and turn performance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

A fighter for Canada

Posted by picard578 on December 21, 2015

Introduction

Canada is a Western country that at the first look has most at common with Russia. It is huge, but vast majority of its population is concentrated in a narrow swath of land to the south, near the US-Canadian border. It borders United States to the south and west, while to the east is rest of the NATO and to the north is inhospitable Arctic, with its vast natural riches and strategic importance.

Defense of northern Canada depends mostly on three or four forward operating locations – fourth one is the only with permanently assigned squadron, and that one consists of transport aircraft. Only the far east and south of Canada have proper air bases. CF-18s are based in Bagotville to the extreme south-east and Cold Lake to the south-west. Extreme north is patrolled by long-range patrol squadrons using CP-140 Aurora aircraft; no fighter aircraft are present there on a continuous basis, despite primary mission of Canadian fighter jets being to patrol Canadian airspace. Main warning system is a chain of radar stations making up the North Warning System (DEW Line). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Weapons Systems Analysis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

Characteristics of aircraft types

Posted by picard578 on June 1, 2015

ROLE AIR SUPERIORITY BOMBER INTERCEPTION GROUND ATTACK CLOSE AIR SUPPORT
SIZE small (surprise, agility) large (range, missile load) medium-large (surprise vs range, weapons load) small-medium (surprise, agility vs endurance, weapons load)
NUMBER OF ENGINES single (agility, surprise, operating cost) twin (top speed) twin (damage tolerance) twin (damage tolerance)
COCKPIT/CANOPY TYPE bubble (situational awareness) sunk (drag reduction) sunk (drag reduction) bubble (situational awareness)
WING SWEEP moderate (maximum/cruise speed, turning performance, airfield perf.) moderate to high (high altitude performance vs maximum speed) low to moderate (low speed/altitude performance) none to low (low speed agility, airfield / low altitude performance)
WING LOAD low to moderate (agility) low to moderate (high altitude performance) high (gust sensitivity) low to moderate (low speed agility, airfield performance)
CREW 1 1-2 2 1-2
GUN CALIBRE 20-30 mm (firepower vs loadout) 25-30 mm (firepower vs loadout) 25-30 mm (firepower vs loadout) 25-30 mm (firepower vs loadout)
GUN TYPE revolver / linear action (response time) rotary (maximum rate of fire) rotary (maximum rate of fire) rotary (maximum rate of fire)
SENSORS IRST, RWR, LWR, MAWS radar, IRST, RWR, LWR, MAWS radar, FLIR, RWR, LWR, MAWS RWR, LWR, MAWS, (FLIR)
ENGINE TYPE afterburning turbojet / afterburning low bypass turbofan (speed, acceler.) afterburning turbojet / afterburning low bypass turbofan (speed, acceler.) afterburning turbofan (speed, endurance) nonafterburning high bypass turbofan (endurance)

NOTE: reason for selection of certain characteristics is explained in brackets. Aircraft that are intended for more than one of listed roles will have characteristics of several types.

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , , | 233 Comments »

How to reduce fighter aircraft costs

Posted by picard578 on May 15, 2015

There are three basic principles of fighter aircraft cost reduction:

  1. keep it small
  2. keep it simple
  3. keep it single

However, they are not the only relevant issues; others will be adressed here as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in spending | Tagged: , , , | 26 Comments »

Air superiority fighter camouflage patterns proposal

Posted by picard578 on March 15, 2015

flx1-standard Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in proposals | Tagged: , , , , | 14 Comments »

Missile and aircraft turn performance

Posted by picard578 on March 1, 2015

I have often encountered claims that testing proves performance of modern BVR missiles. Baloney.

Most if not all missile tests nowadays are against QF-4, which has 50% greater turn radius than the F-15 (itself hardly an agile aircraft compared to more modern fighters), and even QF-16 will be weighted down by necessary equipment added. None of them are anywhere as agile as modern fighters, and UAV always has inferior OODA loop compared to a manned fighter, even if operator is sitting right there, whereas drone can’t really compare. In other words, missile Pk based on testing is unrealistically optimistic, even if UAVs/drones used were equipped with modern onboard jammers. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , | 108 Comments »

Fighter aircraft gun comparision

Posted by picard578 on February 1, 2015

Introduction

Despite repeated proclamations about the “end of the dogfight”, gun has always remained an important part of fighter aircraft’s armament. There are several reasons. Having a gun provides a psychological security of having a fallback option if missiles are expended. Gun also has far lower minimum range than even most agile of modern dogfighting missiles (very short ranges reduce missile kill probability even if target is not within missile’s minimum range), and is the most versatile weapon aircraft has – it can be used in dogfight (shooting down aircraft), in air policing (warning shots) and ground attack. While some fighter aircraft sent into Vietnam war didn’t have onboard cannons, low kill probabilities of missiles – especially long-range radar-guided missiles – resulted in guns being reintroduced. Another issue is that, even today, visual identification of target is the only reliable way of identifying it – and many fighter aircraft still do not have imaging IRST or other optical sensor capable of identifying targets at beyond normal identification range of several hundred meters. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , | 26 Comments »

Fighter aircraft engine comparision

Posted by picard578 on December 6, 2014

Introduction

This article will compare several engines used in modern fighter aircraft: EJ200 (Typhoon), M88 (Rafale B/C/M), RM-12 (Gripen A/B/C/D), F-135 (F-35A/B/C), F-119 (F-22A), F404-GE-402 (F-18C/D), F-414-400 (F-18E/F, Gripen E/F), AL-31F (Su-27, Su-30, J-11). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 85 Comments »

Comparing modern fighter aircraft

Posted by picard578 on August 30, 2014

Nature of air to air combat

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

—G. Santayana

Fighter aircraft exist to destroy other aircraft, and allow other aircraft to carry out their missions without interference from enemy fighter aircraft. That being said, there exists a colloqial – and incorrect – use of term “fighter aircraft” as being applicable to any tactical aircraft, even those that are primarly or exclusively designed for ground attack, such as the A-10 and the F-35. Task of the aircraft is to enable pilot to bring weapons systems in position for a successful kill.

You never make a big truck and tomorrow make it a race car. And you never can make a big bomber and the next day a . . . fighter. The physical law means that you need another airplane. . . . You should do one job and should do this job good.

—Colonel Erich “Bubi” Hartmann, GAP Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 88 Comments »

Air superiority fighter proposal 6

Posted by picard578 on August 2, 2014

Requirements

Introduction

Modern air forces are getting loaded with highly complex, expensive “mutirole” aircraft. Result is decreasing force size for same or increasing cost, while at the same time combat effectiveness of these air forces decreases. Main reasons are lack of understanding of components of fighter aircraft effectiveness, inability to enforce design discipline upon service and industry, and infatuation with new (and old) technologies without understanding wether, and why, certain technologies work or do not work.

Nature of air to air combat

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

—G. Santayana

Fighter aircraft exist to destroy other aircraft, and allow other aircraft to carry out their missions without interference from enemy fighter aircraft. That being said, there exists a colloqial – and incorrect – use of term “fighter aircraft” as being applicable to any tactical aircraft, even those that are primarly or exclusively designed for ground attack, such as the A-10 and the F-35. Task of the aircraft is to enable pilot to bring weapons systems in position for a successful kill.

You never make a big truck and tomorrow make it a race car. And you never can make a big bomber and the next day a . . . fighter. The physical law means that you need another airplane. . . . You should do one job and should do this job good.

—Colonel Erich “Bubi” Hartmann, GAP

Most important factor in aerial warfare is pilots’ skill. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in proposals | Tagged: , , , , , | 151 Comments »