It's good progress for the Meteor but not much of a change for the Gripen program. The Gripen, along with the Typhoon, Rafale and F-35 are all going to get the Meteor. Other than the Swedes, I can't see too many Gripen customers ordering Meteor as its probably more missile than most of them need.
Does show how flexible and cheap the Gripen is though. It has become the preferred platform for testing new airborne weapons as the software is open, easy to access and the jet has a low cost per flight hour.
tommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4304 times:
As of today, the Meteor is not planned to be integrated onto the F-35. Unless someone steps forward and pays for that, it won't happen. So far that has not happened. While MBDA has said they can fit the Meteor in there in a modified format and that it can theoretically be integrated onto the F-35, it has to happen. Nobody has ordered that work and that missile version to date.
This gives competitors a theoretical edge over the F-35 in A2A patrols, as the Meteor has a throttleable ramjet and has a much larger no escape zone. NEZ is NOT a zone where a hit is guaranteed; rather, it is a zone where enemy aircraft cannot outrun a missile, waiting for it to run out of fuel, but rather has to outturn it.
Meanwhile the USA budget has no money to develop a counterpart:
However, BVR missiles have questionable utility anyway, IMHO. The historical data indicates that when fired against a maneuvering and ECM equipped opponent, the BVR hit rate is only 11%. ECM is only getting better over time, negating any advances in radar, IMHO. Long range IR is probably more useful, which makes the cancellation on the USA side a blessing in disguise, as the USA is now working on long range BVR IR guidance for missiles.
ThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1675 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4165 times:
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 2): As of today, the Meteor is not planned to be integrated onto the F-35. Unless someone steps forward and pays for that, it won't happen.
The British probably will, as they are the primary user that will request Meteor integration.
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 2): This gives competitors a theoretical edge over the F-35 in A2A patrols, as the Meteor has a throttleable ramjet and has a much larger no escape zone.
AIM-120D has a comparable range and performance. It gains its additional kinematic and weapon effectiveness performance from a GPS-aided navigation system plus new guidance software. In short, AIM-120D is a 'smarter' weapon.
And of course, one can always upgrade the radar in the missile to a AESA set; I believe the Japanese have already developed and are fielding a AESA-equipped missile designated the AAM-4B. No one else has a similar weapon.
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 2): However, BVR missiles have questionable utility anyway, IMHO. The historical data indicates that when fired against a maneuvering and ECM equipped opponent, the BVR hit rate is only 11%.
Pay attention to the circumstances of the employment of BVR missiles. You can easily manipulate the data to show that BVR missiles are useless, by excluding "non-BVR" successful warshots, instances where more than one missile was successfully fired at a target and include instances where missiles were fired WELL out of their NEZ with the pilots aiming to suppress a threat and achieve a "mission kill" knowing full well the missile was unlikely to achieve an actual kill. Once you start weeding out shots deliberately fired out of envelope to chase off or mission kill and ones where multiple weapons were salvoed at a single target to achieve one kill, suddenly Pk starts looking healthier.
AMRAAM from it's beginning boasts active, semi-active and inertial reference guidance modes, with later variants including "home on jam" capability, 2 way data-link capability (to among other things expand off-board targetting control of the weapon in-flight) and GPS/INS guidance assistance. The weapon therefore may not always go "active". Many current weapon systems do not (naval and land based surface to air missiles especially) and AMRAAM maintains that capability.
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 2): ECM is only getting better over time, negating any advances in radar, IMHO.
Careful, radars are getting better at filtering through ECM. Both sides aren't staying static on this front. Besides standard jamming, one method used to decoy missiles is repeater jamming (or DRFM), which some (I.e. Kopp and Goon) see as the end-all in air-air warfare. However, repeater jamming depends on picking up the radar emissions of the missile/aircraft - if the ESM doesn't detect the radar and recognize it (such as if the radar is AESA LPI set, a la F-35 and F-22), it doesn't have any signal to repeat back to the receiver, and so it can't create false targets.
For DRFM to work, it has to detect a signal (radar pulse or pulses) to memorize and to generate the false targets. LPI radar on the other hand tries to hide the real radar signal in noise to counter that. The problem for jammer is that it doesn't know what kind of signal the radar is sending (mismatched filtering), but the radar of course does (matched filtering). This is not a problem with relatively simple radars as the signals they send are also simple and do not change. So once the signal is detected, it can be stored and easily used against the radar.
Modern LPI radar on the other hand does a lot of things to make things very difficult for EW systems. They send complex waveforms that is like noise and can only be made sense with filtering. The radar uses matched filtering as it knows exactly the characteristics of the radar signals it has sent (like frequency, PRF, modulation, pulse width). The EW receiver of course does not and must only guess the parameters and thus uses mismatched filtering. Even if the LPI signal is detected and stored, it is not that useful as the radar has already changed the signal parameters and the stored signal will not even give the radar extra work as it would not match the changed filters. AESA sets add the challenge of being able to quickly switch between every parameter at a moment's notice and very randomly, which will put the jammer behind the radar.
Alternatively, the fighter could just switch to SARH mode, and guide the missile in with it's radar set. To be effective, a jammer has to focus it’s energy at the receiver, not the transmitter. This is hard to do with an AAM that is flying in a high arch and in SARH mode. If the jammer goes all-aspect, the AAM can also use HOJ mode.
Quote: Air Marshal Brown: I think if you have a look around on an F16 sometimes that is not wonderful either. But getting back to the situational awareness, the ability to actually have that data fusion that the aeroplane has makes an incredible difference to how you perform in combat. I saw it first hand on a Red Flag mission in an F15D against a series of fifth-generation F22s. We were actually in the red air. In five engagements we never knew who had hit us and we never even saw the other aeroplane at any one particular time. That is a current fourth-generation aeroplane.
The data fusion in the stealth makes such a difference to your overall situational awareness it is quite incredible. After that particular mission I went back and had a look at the tapes on the F22, and the difference in the situational awareness in our two cockpits was just so fundamentally different. That is the key to fifth-generation. That is where I have trouble with the APA analysis. They tend to go down particular paths in the aeroplane, whether it is turn rate performance or acceleration. These are all important factors, but it is a combination of what you have actually got in the jet and the situational awareness that is resident in the cockpit of a fifth-generation aeroplane that makes the fundamental difference…
To me that is key: it is not only stealth; it is the combination of the EOS and the radar to be able to build a comprehensive picture. In that engagement I talked about at Nellis, in Red Flag, the ability to be in a cockpit with a God's-eye view of what is going on in the world was such an advantage over a fourth-generation fighter—and arguably one of the best fourth-generation fighters in existence, the F15. But even with a DRFM jamming pipe, we still had no chance in those particular engagements. And at no time did any of the performance characteristics that you are talking about have any relevance to those five engagements.
The AIM-120D may have similar range and max speed, but that is not the main difference. The Meteor has a much higher end speed and end kinetic energy, increasing the no escape zone considerably. It's guidance is also more advanced, with a very short wave radar band to try and "burn" it's way through jammers. GPS on the AIM-120 may be good for cruise missiles, but for an A2A missiles? All the datalinks in the world can be jammed. Besides the Meteor has the same, if not more datalinking capabilities as the AIM-120 does.
And maybe Japan has an AESA missile. Nobody in NATO does and none are planned or ordered. Pure theory.
Regarding the F-15 Vs. F-22
USAF F-15s lack IRST. They have none and neither does the F-22. Almost all other modern fighters do.
F-15s also lack DFRM jammers optimized or set up against LPI radars, as used on the F-22 and F-35. This is changing. The USAF and F-15s also do not have AESA jammers. Even the Gripen NG will have some of these things in the future. The day when the F-22 was all conquering will diminish as these technologies are developed or when IRST is used. The USAF F-15 lack a lot of things that are effective against F-22.
Planes like Rafale can datalink guide their missiles towards their targets via on board IRST - passively, and when close in, the missiles hopefully lock onto the targets.
Basically, the days where LPI radars are unjammable and undetectable, are coming to an end. Fun while it lasted but nothing is forever.
Your opinion that the historical hit percentages for BVR missiles are better than 11% (that's generous), on manoeuvring and ECM equipped targets, requires a lot of assumptions on your part. US doctrine is to fire a single missile at any one target. Russians doctrine is to fire multiple missiles. However, the 11% is not counting Russian missiles. We will have to disagree.
If the enemy is so weak, that they lack effective ECM, then any fighter with decent missiles would do the job just fine. If they are capable with decent ECM, I need good IR missiles and IRST at the very least - and a cannon - to do the job - or run.