Campbell30177
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DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:21 am

Extra Large ‘arsenal plane’


A humble suggestion that Ash Carter may want a bit larger airframe for the ‘arsenal plane’ in the article:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/dod-reveals-arsenal-plane-and-microdrones-in-budge-421516/
 
jetwet1
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:47 am

From what I am reading, they are looking at an existing airframe, so B-52's ?
 
Ozair
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:25 am

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 1):
From what I am reading, they are looking at an existing airframe, so B-52's ?

I was thinking a B-1 would be a better option. Boeing proposed something like this a few years ago, the B-1R.



Quote:
The B-1R is a proposed upgrade of existing B-1B aircraft. The B-1R (R for "regional") would be fitted with advanced radars, air-to-air missiles, and new Pratt & Whitney F119 engines. This variant would have a top speed of Mach 2.2, but with 20% shorter range.

Existing external hardpoints would be modified to allow multiple conventional weapons to be carried, increasing overall loadout. For air-to-air defense, an Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar would be added and some existing hardpoints modified to carry air-to-air missiles. If needed the B-1R could escape from unfavorable air-to-air encounters with its Mach 2+ speed. Few aircraft are currently capable of sustained speeds over Mach 2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockwell_B-1_Lancer#Variants

Scratch the new engines, especially if it results in shorter range, but I think the rest matches well with what they are trying to do.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:45 pm

Excellent. I suppose the arsenal concept will make its way onto a host of platforms - some swimming or submerged - over the next cycle of innovation.

Above XL arsenal plane concept [source?] strangely reminds me of the Russian Ilya Muromets WWI bomber, derived from the first four engined passenger plane.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_Ilya_Muromets

I still wonder whether a rejiggered P-8 platform might provide an affordable and flexible arsenal bomber for current asymmetrical conflicts, what with an unrivalled global sustainment infrastructure, its own kind of low profile on the ground, long loiter time, and optional higher crew count for a host of expanded missions. Combined with cheap, expendable ground surveillance drone swarms, of course.
 
avnut43
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:11 pm

Why build a new airframe for an arsenal plane, look at Boeing's 747 proposal from way back. Cruise missiles were the primary weapon, but now add in small GPS guided munitions or other smart munitions into the mix and you have an extremely effective weapons system loitering high over the battlefield.

Why Boeing's Design for A 747 Full of Cruise Missiles Makes Total Sense
http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why...l-of-cruise-missiles-ma-1605150371
 
Ozair
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:18 pm

Quoting avnut43 (Reply 4):
Why build a new airframe for an arsenal plane, look at Boeing's 747 proposal from way back. Cruise missiles were the primary weapon, but now add in small GPS guided munitions or other smart munitions into the mix and you have an extremely effective weapons system loitering high over the battlefield.

The point of the arsenal plane is to support 5th generation aircraft whose stealth and advanced sensors will allow precise targeting over enemy territory.

Quote:
“[Arsenal plane] takes one of our oldest aircraft platforms, and turns it into a flying launch pad for all sorts of different conventional payloads,” Carter says. “In practice, the arsenal plane will function as a very large airborne magazine, networked to fifth-generation aircraft that acts as forward sensor and targeting nodes – essentially combining different systems already in our inventory to create wholly new capabilities.

For A2G situations if you move to smaller GPS guided munitions then you are forced to bring the platform closer to the FEBA, potentially risking that platform to long range ground based SAMs. For A2A, the arsenal plane will probably need to be close enough to ensure that A2A missiles launched by itself will have the reach required to support the 5th gen aircraft. Both situations probably necessitate a platform that has some level of self defence capability making a 747 or 737 impractical in most scenarios.

Hence why I favour a B-1, which already has both speed and RCS advantages over a B-52. There is probably some dev work required for both the platform and enhancements to munitions range so a lot may be possible.

Practically, this probably means F-35 with its large internal fuel load and subsequent long range can prowl over enemy territory, perhaps loaded only with an internal A2A config, and designate ground targets at will.
 
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LAXPAX
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:27 am

Why should Arsenal get their own warplane? If anyone deserves one, it's Everton!      
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Oroka
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:32 am

Couldnt they just build an A2A missile rack and put it in the bomb bay of the B-1B?


I dont like the idea of using airliners (737 or 747) as a combat aircraft. I see 'oops we splashed your 747 full of people, thought it was an arsenal 747'. Even the P-8s... they can attack. The KC-46... its a tanker, which is a valid target, but it wont shoot at you.
 
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:18 am

Quoting LAXPAX (Reply 6):
Why should Arsenal get their own warplane? If anyone deserves one, it's Everton!     

Beat me to it.. I was gonna say Man City though  
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:45 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 2):
Scratch the new engines, especially if it results in shorter range,

Why? I think the shorter range comes from trying to push the Bone through the air at Mach 2, not because the new engines would be less efficient.
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:12 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 5):
The point of the arsenal plane is to support 5th generation aircraft whose stealth and advanced sensors will allow precise targeting over enemy territory.
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 9):
Quoting Ozair (Reply 2):
Scratch the new engines, especially if it results in shorter range,

Why? I think the shorter range comes from trying to push the Bone through the air at Mach 2, not because the new engines would be less efficient.

Corporate pigs need to feed at the government trough, so it'll be an all-new frame.

Either that or they will pick one so fouled up that it'll need so much re-work that they'll make as much profit re-working it as they would starting from scratch.

Some will say B-1 will fit that bill perfectly.

Quoting sturmovik (Reply 8):
Quoting LAXPAX (Reply 6):
Why should Arsenal get their own warplane? If anyone deserves one, it's Everton!

Beat me to it.. I was gonna say Man City though

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Ozair
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:55 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 10):
Corporate pigs .

Really? There are plenty of hard working intelligent people at all levels of defence contractors whose main focus remains supporting the warfighter.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 10):
so it'll be an all-new frame.

Either that or they will pick one so fouled up that it'll need so much re-work that they'll make as much profit re-working it as they would starting from scratch.

Some will say B-1 will fit that bill perfectly.

Except Carter clearly stated it would be an older airframe.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 5):
“[Arsenal plane] takes one of our oldest aircraft platforms

While an older airframe may have some hidden costs due to age it would be nowhere near what a new airframe would cost. The USAF also knows it doesn't have the budget to fund F-35, LRS-B, KC-46 and a whole new arsenal aircraft. So a modified airframe makes more fiscal sense.

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 9):
Why? I think the shorter range comes from trying to push the Bone through the air at Mach 2, not because the new engines would be less efficient.

I haven't seen any of what I would call accurate figures on the sfc of the F119.

If reduced life cycle costs and perhaps better serviceability are a requirement a better option might be the F110 to replace the existing F101s. The F110 is slightly longer but thinner and would provide significant improvements and certainly is the engine of choice for foreign F-15 variants. It would probably cost more but the F100-PW-229EEP may be an option as well. Both would have reasonable fleet commonality.

Question is does the arsenal aircraft need to go Mach 2? Will that speed realistically allow it to avoid threats given it may not be able to sustain that for very long. An arsenal aircraft could potentially, using 5th gen aircraft as targeting nodes, pave their way into the battlespace destroying ground threats and survive on self-defence capabilities, including for instance these new external pod mounted lasers being spoken about, and heavy EW.
 
Ozair
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:49 am

Somewhat related to the topic...at Ashton Carter's recent speech to sailors in San Diego the other day he mentioned numerous improvements to the SM-6. The SM-6 has been tested and capable of being employed as an anti-ship missile as well as already demonstrated land strike missile and of course SAM.

Quote:
The Navy is continuing to push the envelope with the newest edition of the missile, the SM-6. In recent years, the SM-6 has been used against land targets. But a role as an anti-ship missile rounds out the portfolio of things that it can conceivably blow up.
http://news.vice.com/article/us-defe...nything-it-wants-any-time-it-wants

One of the most interesting, perhaps just for me, was that the F-35 and the SM-6 have already been tested together with the F-35 able to take control and direct the SM-6.

Quote:
The US has already run tests with the SM missile and the F-35 fighter-bomber, in which an SM missile has been fired from a ship but with no target identified. An F-35 in flight took control of the missile in midair, and then as the missile proceeded downrange, handed control of that missile to another F-35. Thus you could imagine a small, hardened launcher on an island popping up a missile and flinging it way into China, where it gets vectored on to target by a stealthy F-35.

That is a pretty impressive capability and should provide a significant improvement to the accuracy of the missile for these very long range engagements. I could see this being quite effective for missile defence of USN carrier groups by allowing the missile to be detected and engaged earlier, especially as the F-35C will have a longer reach and better sensors than all present USN carrier aircraft.

Appears to be another method to increase the number of targets an F-35/5th gen can prosecute while in a stealthy configuration.
 
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:32 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 11):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 10):
Corporate pigs .

Really? There are plenty of hard working intelligent people at all levels of defence contractors whose main focus remains supporting the warfighter.

And yet we see piggish corporate behavior in the defense sector all the time to the point that corrupt bids and massive overruns are now the norm, despite all your hard working intelligent people focused on the warfighter.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 11):
Except Carter clearly stated it would be an older airframe.

Till Boeing/Lockheed/NG/etc insist otherwise.

Using older airframes might actually be good news for the B-1 in that they might actually pull some of the spare parts birds out of the desert and get them into working condition again, and in turn the active fleet might get refreshed, but I'm sure the price to pay will be made to be as dear as possible. Just a hair below an all-new fleet, not a penny less.
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ThePointblank
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:32 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 12):
Somewhat related to the topic...at Ashton Carter's recent speech to sailors in San Diego the other day he mentioned numerous improvements to the SM-6. The SM-6 has been tested and capable of being employed as an anti-ship missile as well as already demonstrated land strike missile and of course SAM.

The SM-2 has been used as an anti-ship missile before; the USN has used the SM-2 against ships in the past during Operation Preying Mantis, and SM-2's have been used in exercises in Sink-EX's as well. Nothing really new.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
And yet we see piggish corporate behavior in the defense sector all the time to the point that corrupt bids and massive overruns are now the norm, despite all your hard working intelligent people focused on the warfighter.

The defence industry's profit margin is actually very small. For example, per their most recent earnings report, Lockheed Martin's net profit margin is 10.14%, while Northrop Grumman was at 8.63%, while General Dynamics was at 9.78%. BAE's net profit margin per their last earnings call was at 4.97%.

In contrast, McDonald's profit margin per their last earnings report is 19.2%, while Restaurant Brands International (parent company of Burger King and Tim Horton's) had a net profit margin of 17.94%.

In short, it's more profitable to be a fast food company selling burgers, than to be a defence contractor!

And quite a few defence contract overruns is because of the customer changing the specs, not caused by the contractor screwing up. It's a very rare situation that a defence contractor screws up that badly.
 
Ozair
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:06 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
And yet we see piggish corporate behavior in the defense sector all the time to the point that corrupt bids and massive overruns are now the norm, despite all your hard working intelligent people focused on the warfighter.

More generalisation... The US spends approx US$250 billion per year on procurement, research, DT&E and construction. We hear about scandals and overruns on less than a 10% and probably less than 5% of that. Most of these programs are lowest bid contracted and most programs run to a defined profit margin, often in the single digits. Often overruns are the result of poor government project management, oversight or requirements definition and not the result of defence contractor fraud or corruption. To blame everything on the contractors is naive, stupid and clearly not accurate.
 
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:24 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 14):
And quite a few defence contract overruns is because of the customer changing the specs, not caused by the contractor screwing up.

So you're insinuating that the military and the defense contractors might be colluding to rip off the tax payer? Shocking! President Eisenhower pointedly warned us about this exact thing, and I'm sure every president from Roosevelt to Lincoln to Washington had similar thoughts.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 14):
It's a very rare situation that a defence contractor screws up that badly.

Rare? F-22, F-35, VH-71, ....

Maybe relatively small in frequency but huge in magnitude, IMHO.
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ThePointblank
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:55 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):

So you're insinuating that the military and the defense contractors might be colluding to rip off the tax payer? Shocking! President Eisenhower pointedly warned us about this exact thing, and I'm sure every president from Roosevelt to Lincoln to Washington had similar thoughts.

More of the customer not knowing what they want, or changing their minds mid-way through development, or figuring out that an idea that they had wasn't going to work.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):
Rare? F-22, F-35, VH-71, ....

Maybe relatively small in frequency but huge in magnitude, IMHO.

The F-22's and F-35's development issues are related to the customer requesting design changes (and then subsequently backtracking on those changes), and in the case of VH-71, a TON of requested design changes.

One anecdote regarding the VH-71 was posted as follows:

Quote:
A senior Lockheed executive once described how, partway through the program, the Navy came to Lockheed (the prime contractor) and said: "We need this bird to have a built-in ladder, so we can do maintenance wherever the helicopter is without external support equipment." AgustaWestland said yes, we have an off-the-shelf version of the airframe that has a built-in ladder. Then the White House came back and said, "That ladder is on the right side, and it will show in all the pictures of the president getting in and out of the helicopter. We want it on the left side." AgustaWestland: "We don't have an off-the-shelf helicopter with the ladder on the left side, but we can build that custom." Then the Navy came back and said: "According to Navy standards, each rung has to hold a 200-pound mechanic plus parts." Which meant AgustaWestland had to beef up the internal structure, and once again you're getting further away from an off-the-shelf helicopter. It also added weight, which required follow-on changes to meet the performance specifications. And those changes required other changes...

According to the Lockheed executive, there were dozens of in-process modifications like this – even before accounting for the cost of the electronics and other presidential-specific gear

In short, what was billed as an off-the-shelf aircraft slowly was turned into a whole new custom aircraft developed from scratch because design changes were constantly flowing from the Navy and the White House.

In short, the only major case of contractor incompetence in recent memory has been the A-12 Avenger II case, and even then, the US Navy had some culpability there as well, as they didn't understand or listen to experts that knew the design requirements and what they entailed.
 
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:27 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):

In short, what was billed as an off-the-shelf aircraft slowly was turned into a whole new custom aircraft developed from scratch because design changes were constantly flowing from the Navy and the White House.

There is a lot of that going around.

The Army had a radio program they ended up canceling a few years back, it was to create a single box radio to run on HF/VHF/UHF bands built in comsec ect. But by the time it was prototyped the Army had bought so many off the self individual radio sets that the new radio system was redundant.
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:19 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 16):
President Eisenhower pointedly warned us about this exact thing, and I'm sure every president from Roosevelt to Lincoln to Washington had similar thoughts.

Ike's "warning" and people like you heeding it and consequently convincing yourselves that taxpayers are being ripped off whether they are or not is precisely why we have the situation we have today.

The services are doing what they have to do to execute their missions as best they can in a (needlessly) hostile environment and contractors are giving the services what they are asking for.

If you think defense procurement is messed up, look in the mirror. It's your fault.
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:21 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 15):
More generalisation... The US spends approx US$250 billion per year on procurement, research, DT&E and construction. We hear about scandals and overruns on less than a 10% and probably less than 5% of that.

And 10% of $250B is $25B. Per year. By focusing on the percentage you ignore the magnitude of the problem. For instance what would you rather make 5% on, a fighter that costs $100M each or one that costs $200M each? Best way to do that is bloat the program as much as possible up front (see F-35 for the poster child of that) so that later airframes bring in more dollars each.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 15):
Often overruns are the result of poor government project management, oversight or requirements definition and not the result of defence contractor fraud or corruption. To blame everything on the contractors is naive, stupid and clearly not accurate.

And to blame everything on the government and ignore corporate greed is naive, stupid and clearly not accurate.

Of course I didn't blame everything on one party, I just pointed out the role that one party plays. Good on you for pointing out the other party too, but don't insinuate that I'm stupid or naive.
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Ozair
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:44 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
Best way to do that is bloat the program as much as possible up front (see F-35 for the poster child of that) so that later airframes bring in more dollars each.

Which shows you have little knowledge of the program.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
And to blame everything on the government and ignore corporate greed is naive, stupid and clearly not accurate.

Of course I didn't blame everything on one party, I just pointed out the role that one party plays. Good on you for pointing out the other party too, but don't insinuate that I'm stupid or naive.

No one has claimed that the contractors are faultless but to claim a systematic industry wide problem is simply wrong. The irony of your claims are that the US Primes have far lower rates of corruption that most other Defence companies and countries. Look at the following link, http://companies.defenceindex.org/

In the top bracket are three US companies, Fluor, LM and Raytheon. In the second bracket are NG and United Technologies. Those ranks are based on publicly available information. For those companies that provided internal info the US Primes almost all appear in the top bracket.

So, instead of sensational claims and broad generalizations we have facts and assessment on valid criteria to assess the corruption and ethical behavior of the US contractors. Compared to the rest of the world, they appear to be doing very well. It's a good thing you don't live in Europe or Asia or the Middle East, there you might actually have something valid to complain about.
 
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SeJoWa
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:46 pm

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 3):
I still wonder whether a rejiggered P-8 platform might provide an affordable and flexible arsenal bomber for current asymmetrical conflicts, what with an unrivalled global sustainment infrastructure, its own kind of low profile on the ground, long loiter time, and optional higher crew count for a host of expanded missions. Combined with cheap, expendable ground surveillance drone swarms, of course.

QUOTE Bob Work on the Third Offset/
...
“Just imagine an airplane going in against an IAD (Integrated Air Defense) system and dropping 30 of these out that form into a network and do crazy things.” (Work didn’t give details, but acting as sensors and/or decoys seems likely). “We’ve tested this,” he said. “We’ve tested it and it works.”
...
/UNQUOTE

SOURCE:
DepSecDef Work Details 2017 Budget: Offset Just Beginning EXCLUSIVE
on February 09, 2016
http://breakingdefense.com/2016/02/h...president-bob-work-on-2017-budget/

Edit: of course I'm not advocating sending in P-8s to do SEAD. Let's not do that useless discussion.

[Edited 2016-02-09 15:48:20]
 
Ozair
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:27 am

Quoting SeJoWa (Reply 22):
DepSecDef Work Details 2017 Budget: Offset Just Beginning EXCLUSIVE
on February 09, 2016
http://breakingdefense.com/2016/02/h...dget/

Looks like my hope for a B-1B re-mod have been dashed with the article specifically referring to the B-52 as the arsenal plane.

Quote:
That’s why Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s Strategic Capabilities Office focuses on relatively small investments that get more use out of existing assets, like repurposing the 54-year-old B-52 as an “arsenal plane”
 
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:19 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 12):
That is a pretty impressive capability and should provide a significant improvement to the accuracy of the missile for these very long range engagements. I could see this being quite effective for missile defence of USN carrier groups by allowing the missile to be detected and engaged earlier, especially as the F-35C will have a longer reach and better sensors than all present USN carrier aircraft.

Would be neat if the US could develop an A2A missile with greater range than opposing A2A, if not S2A missiles. Let the F-35s save their AMRAAMs for when they really need them and have the BUFFs loiter in uncontested airspace outside the range of S-300/S-400 SAMs while lobbing missiles into the fray that the F-35s take over and direct to enemy aircraft the way they do the SM-6s. Would you even need the F-35 to do that? Could an AWACS aircraft be set up to do the same thing using its radar while also staying a safe distance away while the F-35s fly a protective screen to stop anything that makes it through?
 
Ozair
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:21 am

Quoting tjh8402 (Reply 24):
Would be neat if the US could develop an A2A missile with greater range than opposing A2A, if not S2A missiles. Let the F-35s save their AMRAAMs for when they really need them and have the BUFFs loiter in uncontested airspace outside the range of S-300/S-400 SAMs while lobbing missiles into the fray that the F-35s take over and direct to enemy aircraft the way they do the SM-6s. Would you even need the F-35 to do that?

It is a great idea. I know Raytheon was talking about a bigger missile for longer range which included the concept of an AMRAAM seeker mated to an ESSM.

Quote:
Description: The AMRAAM-ER, also known as the SL-AMRAAM-ER, is a medium range surface-to-air missile intended to defeat air breathing targets such as fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). It has been offered by Raytheon to extend the range of SL-AMRAAM missile-based air defense systems. The AMRAAM-ER may feature greater range compared with the SL-AMRAAM missile. The new missile's aerodynamic design has received influence from other key surface-to-air missiles also developed by Raytheon: the ESSM and the SM-2 Standard Missile. Externally, the AMRAAM-ER bears no resemblance to AMRAAM missile.
http://www.deagel.com/Surface-to-Air...Missiles/AMRAAM-ER_a001921001.aspx

I'm not sure how much additional range would be achieved when launched from an aircraft at 30k though, perhaps double the ground launch range?.

A better option may be a ramjet booster for AMRAAM similar to the Meteor that would allow an AMRAAM variant to push out past the already impressive AIM-120D range.

Quoting tjh8402 (Reply 24):
Could an AWACS aircraft be set up to do the same thing using its radar while also staying a safe distance away while the F-35s fly a protective screen to stop anything that makes it through?

Given F-35 can already do that with SM-6 and other nations have or are acquiring long range SAMs/AAMs I think keeping the support assets as far from the front as possible is the best option.
 
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RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:50 am

Quoting tjh8402 (Reply 24):
Would be neat if the US could develop an A2A missile with greater range than opposing A2A, if not S2A missiles. Let the F-35s save their AMRAAMs for when they really need them and have the BUFFs loiter in uncontested airspace outside the range of S-300/S-400 SAMs while lobbing missiles into the fray that the F-35s take over and direct to enemy aircraft the way they do the SM-6s.

This is the state of current tactics with having a mixed force of 5th generation and 4th generation aircraft. The 5th generation aircraft, by virtue of their stealthiness and better situational awareness will play the quarterback and direct the engagement. It is only when the 4th generation fighters have ran out of missiles will they go in for the kill.

Quoting tjh8402 (Reply 24):
Would you even need the F-35 to do that?

The F-22 is capable, but is limited because they don't have a compatible data link with older aircraft. Specifically, the F-22 doesn't have Link-16 transmission capabilities, only receive only. The F-22 has IDFL, which is specific to the F-22. As such, a F-22 must coordinate the fight over radio.

For the F-22, there is a need for a bridge to connect the F-22 to existing assets; the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) is designed to do that. It can take data link transmissions from Link 16, IDFL, Link 11, EPLRS, and act as a relay or a bridge to convert the different waveforms into another, allowing all assets in theatre to share the same picture.

The F-35 on the other hand, has full Link-16 capabilities, and adds MADL. This allows a F-35 pilot to share his sight picture as the pilots sees it on his sensors to other friendly assets in the area.

In the future, new radios and datalink modules can help solve the compatibility issues being faced today between different systems; while the F-35's communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system use software defined capabilities to allow the F-35 to transmit and receive 27 different types of radio and data links wave forms, and can have new wave forms added through software updates, older aircraft will need hardware updates or completely new terminals to add new systems. I believe Northrop Grumman is marketing a new terminal, called Freedom 550, which is also a software defined radio, able to transmit and receive in multiple different formats.

Quoting tjh8402 (Reply 24):
Could an AWACS aircraft be set up to do the same thing using its radar while also staying a safe distance away while the F-35s fly a protective screen to stop anything that makes it through?

Yep. There is a past story I've relayed in regards to the use of AWACS to coordinate a engagement.

You would think that a fight between a RAF Tornado ADV and a USAF F-15 Eagle would lead to a situation where the F-15 would dominate any engagement, but when RAF Tornado ADV's were initially fitted with the then new Joint Tactical Information Display System (JTIDS) and the associated displays, the Tornado ADV pilots devised a tactic that would allow them to ambush USAF F-15's not fitted with JTIDS and beat them on a regular basis in exercises because of their superior situational awareness.

Specifically, what Tornado ADV's would do is fly in cooperation with RAF E-3 Sentry's, also fitted with JTIDS and ESM. The AWACS would use its radar and ESM to detect targets, passing the information over JTIDS. The Tornado's would stay passive (leave radars off) and get into AMRAAM launch parameters without activating radars. The end result is that the USAF F-15's had little or no warning that the Tornado's had launched weapons (or even knew they were in the first place) until it was too late to react, and were literally sucker punched in those engagements.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3904
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

RE: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:55 am

The arsenal plane concept keeps morphing. Below is a still from a video released by DARPA late last year.


From the article itself.

Quote:
As first seen in DARPA "system of systems" promotion released last year, the video depicts an aircraft with an eight-engine Boeing B-52 bomber wing with the body of a Lockheed Martin C-130 turboprop.

This aircraft mash-up is relevant, because the Pentagon has not revealed whether its arsenal plane will be a re-purposed B-52 or a smaller cargo airplane like the C-130, or perhaps faster types like the C-17 or B-1B.

The project is funded in the Pentagon’s “advanced innovative technologies” budget under a new, mostly-classified programme labelled “alternative strike”. Almost $200 million has been dedicated to the project in fiscal year 2017, and flight demonstrations would start in late 2017 or 2018 and run through 2020.
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ane-concept-at-air-warfare-422472/

Clearly the US isn't going to merge the C-130 with the B-52 but it shows the design and concept is still fluid and it appears that they aren't sure yet which direction they will go.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3904
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:30 pm

The below report from FlightGlobal feels to me like the arsenal concept is going ahead albeit is a form that will be common across most of the B-52 fleet.

The addition of a large AESA to the B-52 opens up some interesting possibilities such as high capacity AAM carriage. The radar will be more than capable of supporting that and almost certainly the new AIM-260 and self defence missiles being developed. Combined with new engines and the associated range increase, loyal wingmen and other enhancements the B-52 will continue to be a significant force projection tool for the USAF for many years.

Boeing B-52 bombers to get new Raytheon AESA radars

The US Air Force (USAF) plans to upgrade the radar on its fleet of Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers to new active electronically scanned array (AESA) systems, which will be developed by Raytheon.

Boeing says it selected Raytheon to design, develop, produce and sustain the radars, which will be based on the company’s APG-79/APG-82 radar family used on the USAF’s F-15E fleet. Low rate initial production is scheduled to start in 2024 and the radar is intended to be used on the bomber fleet beyond 2050.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... rs-459620/
 
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JetBuddy
Posts: 2126
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:04 am

Re: DOD Reveals ‘arsenal Plane’

Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:03 am

Ozair wrote:
The below report from FlightGlobal feels to me like the arsenal concept is going ahead albeit is a form that will be common across most of the B-52 fleet.

The addition of a large AESA to the B-52 opens up some interesting possibilities such as high capacity AAM carriage. The radar will be more than capable of supporting that and almost certainly the new AIM-260 and self defence missiles being developed. Combined with new engines and the associated range increase, loyal wingmen and other enhancements the B-52 will continue to be a significant force projection tool for the USAF for many years.

Boeing B-52 bombers to get new Raytheon AESA radars

The US Air Force (USAF) plans to upgrade the radar on its fleet of Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers to new active electronically scanned array (AESA) systems, which will be developed by Raytheon.

Boeing says it selected Raytheon to design, develop, produce and sustain the radars, which will be based on the company’s APG-79/APG-82 radar family used on the USAF’s F-15E fleet. Low rate initial production is scheduled to start in 2024 and the radar is intended to be used on the bomber fleet beyond 2050.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... rs-459620/


That's very interesting. Beyond 2050 means that these planes might reach 100 years old. That's completely bonkers. Hopefully they'll have some newer engines by then.

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