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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:57 pm

Will they actually have a back seat? Just empty?

Could be they are eyeing for future mod, where they will remove the back seat and put a load of electronics in that area?

Things are getting too convoluted to make me think that there isn't something else behind the scene.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:27 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Will they actually have a back seat? Just empty?

Could be they are eyeing for future mod, where they will remove the back seat and put a load of electronics in that area?

Things are getting too convoluted to make me think that there isn't something else behind the scene.

bt

Pretty standard that a USAF two seat aircraft can be flown single seat and any two seat F-15,16 and 18 has that capability. It will come off the line in the standard two seat configuration with flight controls in the second seat. I expect an all two seat fleet makes conversion onto the jet easier and cheaper. It also doesn't drive up the flight hours on a subset two seat fleet so they can manage that burn rate across the whole fleet.

I highly doubt the USAF will remove the back seat and fit electronics in its place, unless the, highly unlikely, intention was to create a dedicated single seat EW version. The second seat does allow the aircraft to be rerolled in the future to replace E models or perhaps modded for loyal wingman control etc.

Nothing convoluted, just better flexibility with the second seat for an increase in cost that is almost a rounding error across the planned for fleet.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:15 pm

Ozair wrote:
Pretty standard that a USAF two seat aircraft can be flown single seat and any two seat F-15,16 and 18 has that capability. It will come off the line in the standard two seat configuration with flight controls in the second seat. I expect an all two seat fleet makes conversion onto the jet easier and cheaper. It also doesn't drive up the flight hours on a subset two seat fleet so they can manage that burn rate across the whole fleet.


Except they’re not going to buy any.

I highly doubt the USAF will remove the back seat and fit electronics in its place, unless the, highly unlikely, intention was to create a dedicated single seat EW version. The second seat does allow the aircraft to be rerolled in the future to replace E models or perhaps modded for loyal wingman control etc.


So that begs the question why not reroll Mud Hens into ANG? Especially from units converting to F-35?

The Mud Hen already is a great multi-role platform with a strengthened airframe. We’re the only nation that uses them in the pure A2G role. In fact as soon as it was available we should’ve been switched deployed C units with them (ok not that simple but it had always been a ready option in the 90s towards the middle of last decade).
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:55 pm

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
Except they’re not going to buy any.

Sure, I’m of that opinion as well but that doesn’t stop us discussing the two seat being the selected model.

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
So that begs the question why not reroll Mud Hens into ANG? Especially from units converting to F-35?

The Mud Hen already is a great multi-role platform with a strengthened airframe. We’re the only nation that uses them in the pure A2G role. In fact as soon as it was available we should’ve been switched deployed C units with them (ok not that simple but it had always been a ready option in the 90s towards the middle of last decade).

That suggestion has been made a number of times by myself and others over the life of this thread. It is certainly a possibility but if it was going to happen I think we would have seen that plan put forward. Saying that the first F-15EX, if ordered, doesn’t arrive in USAF service for 3.5 years anyway so plenty of time for that to happen.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:54 am

What is the time line for the budget to be approved? With all the other issues that this Congress are juggling with, I would not be surprised if they just let this buy proceed and find something else to haggle over.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:38 pm

bikerthai wrote:
What is the time line for the budget to be approved? With all the other issues that this Congress are juggling with, I would not be surprised if they just let this buy proceed and find something else to haggle over.

bt

The FY19 budget wasn't approved until August last year. Now with a democratic controlled Congress I don't expect the process will be quicker. Yes there are quite a few controversial items this year but I don't expect they will let the F-15x, given it has already been the subject of discussion and protest, slide through without some serious scrutiny.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:41 pm

It’s not particularly political, as Mizzou and Texas are both ‘red’ in the senate, but having 2 US senators opposed from Texas makes it tricky, anyway. I don’t see a big ‘win’ to killing F-15X for the House dems, but making it dramatic is perhaps a goal for that side.
 
777PHX
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:04 pm

texl1649 wrote:
It’s not particularly political, as Mizzou and Texas are both ‘red’ in the senate, but having 2 US senators opposed from Texas makes it tricky, anyway. I don’t see a big ‘win’ to killing F-15X for the House dems, but making it dramatic is perhaps a goal for that side.


Mizzou is a university, not the state.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:45 pm

777PHX wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
It’s not particularly political, as Mizzou and Texas are both ‘red’ in the senate, but having 2 US senators opposed from Texas makes it tricky, anyway. I don’t see a big ‘win’ to killing F-15X for the House dems, but making it dramatic is perhaps a goal for that side.


Mizzou is a university, not the state.



...it’s a shorthand.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
777PHX
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:40 am

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
777PHX wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
It’s not particularly political, as Mizzou and Texas are both ‘red’ in the senate, but having 2 US senators opposed from Texas makes it tricky, anyway. I don’t see a big ‘win’ to killing F-15X for the House dems, but making it dramatic is perhaps a goal for that side.


Mizzou is a university, not the state.



...it’s a shorthand.


No one calls Missouri, "Mizzou". Missouri is a state, Mizzou is a college.

Source: I lived in MO for 29 years and went to Mizzou.
 
JHwk
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:32 am

777PHX wrote:
No one calls Missouri, "Mizzou". Missouri is a state, Mizzou is a college.

Source: I lived in MO for 29 years and went to Mizzou.


And after you have left you can affectionately refer to it as Misery.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:04 pm

OMG you never know who will be offended by what here. I mis typed something and it must have corrected it to mizzou on my iPad (I follow SEC sports). Sorry for your misery, all.
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:47 pm

I have been following this discussion and so have been plagued with the following question: How can the anti-sat mission be dismissed so easily?

If someone in the pentagon is doing planning for a hypothetical war with a first world nation (Russia - China) it seems to me that an effort to nullify the opponent's surveillance satellites, GPS systems and communications satellites would be a first order of importance. If there are no war planning taking place for a conflict with such a first world nation, then the F-35, F-22, B-21 and B-2 programs must be seen as unnecessary and should be cancelled for a lack of need: F-18s and A-10s are fine for everyone else.

We are told that anyone planning a shooting war in the regions just above the Earth's atmosphere would have to be crazy because such a battle would cloud the orbital space above earth with debris that would render the use of low Earth satellites impossible for generations; I say that anyone planning a shooting war with a near peer would be even crazier if they considered entering into such a conflict while the opponent's sat systems were functional. Anyway, after such an exchange, who would be better placed technologically than the US to create replacement technologies?

It seems to me that the taking out of a satellite system is very doable and in practice; this would not be attempted piecemeal lest the following terrestrial war take place with the opponent's sat system only slightly degraded; an energenic effort against a peer nation's satellites would have to be done all at once so that the time between the opponent noticing that some of their satellites are failing to respond, to the time that they have no (or very few) functioning satellites, would be in the order of 30 minutes or less. Doing so would open a window for re-negotiation of whatever issues are before the adversaries, it might circumvent an actual war on the ground.

Now to the F-15X: one way this could be done is with multiple antisat launchers operating at many parts of the globe simultaneously; the aggressor nation would need a number of these heavy lift satellite launchers, presumably coupled with navy ships and a centralized combat center which would calculate the timing needed to orchestrate an attack that would be designed to nearly simultaneously take out (X number of) the opponents' satellites.

Really now, this nonsense about keeping a Boeing assembly line open for a few years to manufacture an unneeded aircraft makes no sense, even with the DOD as a subsidiary of Boeing, there are plenty of billion dollar projects that could turn out something more useful than an already obsolete airplane. If the USAF wants to fly F-15s on into the mid 21st century (which they don't) they could just re-wing the ones they already have. There has to be an ulterior motive. Does anyone have a better suggestion for this ulterior motive?
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:57 pm

Spar wrote:
I have been following this discussion and so have been plagued with the following question: How can the anti-sat mission be dismissed so easily?

If someone in the pentagon is doing planning for a hypothetical war with a first world nation (Russia - China) it seems to me that an effort to nullify the opponent's surveillance satellites, GPS systems and communications satellites would be a first order of importance. If there are no war planning taking place for a conflict with such a first world nation, then the F-35, F-22, B-21 and B-2 programs must be seen as unnecessary and should be cancelled for a lack of need: F-18s and A-10s are fine for everyone else.

We are told that anyone planning a shooting war in the regions just above the Earth's atmosphere would have to be crazy because such a battle would cloud the orbital space above earth with debris that would render the use of low Earth satellites impossible for generations; I say that anyone planning a shooting war with a near peer would be even crazier if they considered entering into such a conflict while the opponent's sat systems were functional. Anyway, after such an exchange, who would be better placed technologically than the US to create replacement technologies?

It seems to me that the taking out of a satellite system is very doable and in practice; this would not be attempted piecemeal lest the following terrestrial war take place with the opponent's sat system only slightly degraded; an energenic effort against a peer nation's satellites would have to be done all at once so that the time between the opponent noticing that some of their satellites are failing to respond, to the time that they have no (or very few) functioning satellites, would be in the order of 30 minutes or less. Doing so would open a window for re-negotiation of whatever issues are before the adversaries, it might circumvent an actual war on the ground.

There are a number of factors with ASAT that need to be considered.

The first is getting to the satellite itself. The charts I linked to above show that in US service the SM-3 Blk IIA is so significantly better than an air launched ASAT that the contest is now over. The USAF is better placed now to put all their eggs in the SM-3 basket than spend a couple more billion for an air launched ASAT that likely won’t have the range, speed or spread the SM-3 does. China and India also have their ASATs baed on ground baed missiles.

The second is the impact an ASAT has on neighbouring satellites. Of the tests and intercepts conducted the US and Indians test were all against relatively low satellites where the debris was able to de-orbit comparatively quickly. After the US test the last piece, of tracked debris, apparently deorbited in 2009 a couple of years after the test. That SM-3 hit was at approx. 250km. The Indian test was apparently at 300km so higher and the debris will likely stay in orbit a lot longer. The Chinese ASAT impact was at approx. 850km altitude, a much bigger issue for debris and that debris will likely remain in orbit for many many years if not essentially indefinitely. That debris becomes a significant risk for other satellite operators, including the US, who have to contend with that potentially impacting their own systems. A mass ASAT launch/kill could put so much debris into orbit that it may very well close off space access for a time and almost certainly impact existing satellites.

The next two things to factor in are how satellites are changing in nature and also how they may be impacted.

Satellites constellations are changing and the era of the small/micro sat is now emerging. We are seeing applications for literally thousands of small/micro sats to be launched and provide wide coverage and capability. Space X has approval for approximately 12000 satellites over the next decade alone. The ability of a rival nation to impact one of these constellations of small/micro sats with an ASAT is essentially nill and if Space X can launch these for a civilian customer they will function for a military customer just as well. There will still be some big satellite constellations launched, such as GPS out to MEO and perhaps RSATS, but I expect that much of the earth observation satellites will transition to smaller systems at lower orbits. Hence the usefulness of an ASAT is fading.

The last main factor is how a nation may impact a satellite constellation instead of using an ASAT. I could see cyber being a significant factor by stopping the constellations from communicating with each other, perhaps blinding imagery satellites with lasers, jamming radar satellites, hitting ground control centres with hypersonic weapons etc. To me the lower cost, including impact to your own satellite systems in orbit, is to impact the earth based systems and not try to spread debris all over orbit that creates a significant issue you have to deal with at the time and for a long time to come.

Spar wrote:
Now to the F-15X: one way this could be done is with multiple antisat launchers operating at many parts of the globe simultaneously; the aggressor nation would need a number of these heavy lift satellite launchers, presumably coupled with navy ships and a centralized combat center which would calculate the timing needed to orchestrate an attack that would be designed to nearly simultaneously take out (X number of) the opponents' satellites.

A cold war scenario might have seen an adversary removing the ability for the US to monitor ICBM launches. In that context how much more trigger happy would the US be to launch their own ICBMs? China and Russia both maintain enough ICBMS to ruin someone’s day so removing satellites that for instance monitor those launches would significantly increase tensions and the likelihood of a pre-emptive ICBM launch. You could easily consider a coordinated ASAT launch as akin to the same issue. How do you do that and maintain a conventional conflict in that context when your adversary has removed the ability for you to monitor their ICBM launch capability. Any inbound missiles might be interpreted as ICBMS and evoke a retaliatory launch?

Spar wrote:
Really now, this nonsense about keeping a Boeing assembly line open for a few years to manufacture an unneeded aircraft makes no sense, even with the DOD as a subsidiary of Boeing, there are plenty of billion dollar projects that could turn out something more useful than an already obsolete airplane. If the USAF wants to fly F-15s on into the mid 21st century (which they don't) they could just re-wing the ones they already have. There has to be an ulterior motive. Does anyone have a better suggestion for this ulterior motive?

I can understand why the US may want to retain an alternative production site for fighter aircraft, noting that the F-16 has moved to Greenvile and the F-15 and F-18 are manufactured in St Louis. It isn’t necessarily a good idea but it is a justifiable standpoint.

Perhaps hypersonics is the ulterior motive? The early missiles are likely to be quite large in size and having an in production aircraft to launch those from outside the battlespace, akin to the arsenal plane concept but with a smaller platform, is certainly possible. You could easily see the USAF pushing F-35s forward and using them to cue hypersonic missiles launched from rear echelon aircraft such as B-52s and F-15s.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:57 pm

Maybe the DOD doesn't want to explicitly state what the mission is they are interested in for the procurement of the newer Eagles.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:17 am

The author of this commentary is from the Mitchell Institute which has generally been quite vocal against acquiring the F-15EX over increasing the F-35 buy. Irrespective though, some reasonable, sane and logical points that all highlight why the decision remains baffling to so many.

The Pentagon’s cost assessment office needs to reassess its F-15EX findings

For months, many in Washington have been scratching their heads over the Air Force’s fiscal 2020 budget submission requesting fourth-generation F-15s — a design first flown in 1972. Ever since F-117 stealth fighters amazed the world in Operation Desert Storm, the service committed to fifth-generation fighter modernization via the F-22 and F-35. Their stealth designs and information gathering capabilities reset the rules of the air superiority mission for friend and foe alike. The scale of the development was akin to the telephone’s evolution from landlines to smart devices. Circumstances surrounding this decision became even more clouded when Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson explained: “Our [FY20] budget proposal that we initially submitted did not include additional fourth-generation aircraft.” To explain this decision — and perhaps to provide acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan with some top cover — officials at the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, or CAPE, held a press briefing last week.

While their arguments were meant to bolster the case for buying 1960s-era designed F-15s, a deeper look reveals that the Air Force should ramp up F-35 procurement and aggressively press forward with the service’s next-generation air dominance program. The stakes in this decision are significant, for air superiority is a keystone mission in the Department of Defense — no other form of power projection is viable without it.

Press accounts reveal that CAPE focused its case on four main points: boosting Air Force combat capacity in the near term; driving down aircraft sustainment cost; additional standoff capabilities; and ensuring diversity in the fighter-aircraft industrial base.

These are important issues, but buying new F-15s is not the smartest way of accomplishing them.

CAPE is correct on the first issue — the Air Force is too small. However, in building tomorrow’s Air Force, it is crucial to acquire the right balance of capabilities. The Air Force currently has 1,753 air superiority fighters, but just 186 F-22s and approximately 175 F-35s meet modern demands in an era of peer conflict. This is an 80-20 percentage split between fourth- and fifth-generation fighters — a troubling reality given that strategic imperatives, the threat environment and the National Defense Strategy demand cutting-edge, survivable capabilities. Concurrent global demand, force rotation factors and the sheer scale of regions like the Pacific mean that just a handful of F-22s and F-35s would be available at any time and place. Combat operations are not viable for the long haul if airmen cannot execute their missions successfully and get home safe. That is a recipe for disaster that could see ships at sea, soldiers on the ground, space and cyber facilities, regional bases, and support aircraft at risk.

Addressing this shortfall demands boosting F-35 acquisition to at least 72 aircraft per year, not bolstering a fourth-generation inventory that is already too large from a proportional vantage.

Regarding F-35 sustainment costs, they are coming down rapidly. F-15 and F-35 rates are set to intersect soon in the $25,000-$30,000 per flying hour range. It is also important to consider that it takes far more F-15s to accomplish a mission that a single F-35 can achieve, with the latter at far less risk.

This is not a new trend. In Desert Storm, it took roughly 19 non-stealthy aircraft to do what a single stealthy F-117 could accomplish. One F-35 pilot recently explained: “Five to eight years ago, we would plan an entire force package of [fourth-generation] aircraft, about 20-30 aircraft, all to maybe have a slim hope of taking down a modern surface-to-air threat — just one. Now, we train to accomplish the same mission with far greater certainty using just a few F-35s, while continuing to execute a host of other tasks.” Mission costs matter, and by this measure the F-35 is a far more prudent choice.

As for standoff weapons, while they afford commanders with valuable options, the Air Force has no shortage of standoff weapons carriers. They need more stand-in airplanes. The entire legacy fighter force of over 1,000 aircraft, along with B-1 and B-52s, can carry standoff munitions. Nor are more modern types like the B-2, B-21, F-22, and F-35 precluded from employing these weapons. There is also a basic monetary consideration when balancing stand-in and standoff capabilities. The latter is far more expensive on a per unit cost — in excess of $1 million a missile versus thousands of dollars for an air dropped munition. A theater-level air campaign involves upward of 40,000 aim points — do the math. Nor are many of these standoff munitions stealthy. They stand a high risk of being shot down.

CAPE is rightly concerned about the industrial base. Since the end of the Cold War, the nation has seen a diverse base of manufacturers consolidate into a few companies. However, there is a difference between sustaining legacy assembly lines and investing in forward-leaning design expertise. The latter is a far more difficult competency to cultivate and has little relation to producing additive copies of a mature design. Honing this talent demands harnessing new technologies and cutting-edge concepts of operation to meet tomorrow’s air superiority challenge. Committing resources to the next-generation air dominance program — concepts like Kratos’ XQ-58 Valkyrie uninhabited loyal wingman and Boeing’s manned-unmanned Airpower Teaming System — are all right steps in this direction. The B-21 also presents tremendous value, with long-range strike missions able to eliminate adversary air targets. Procuring more F-15s crowds out funding from these essential efforts.

Congress needs to take these points into consideration as it assesses the best air superiority path forward.

CAPE is right to be concerned, however. Their prescribed solution is far off the mark and risks exacerbating the problems they are trying to address. In fact, the FY20 budget submission sees F-35 acquisition numbers reduced by a squadron’s worth over the Future Year’s Defense Program versus plans outlined in the FY19 FYDP.

The near-term air superiority gap is best met by boosting F-35 production, while the longer-range challenge demands new programs and fresh thinking. Airmen are charged with the mission of flying, fighting and winning. We had better equip them appropriately.

https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/com ... -findings/
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:23 am

DigitalSea wrote:
Maybe the DOD doesn't want to explicitly state what the mission is they are interested in for the procurement of the newer Eagles.

Could very well be the case but if so why wouldn't they have just hidden the whole acquisition within the black budget (which is huge already)? They could have kept it secret for two to three years before announcing it and even painted the jets a similar colour to the F-15Es when they came off the line. I expect few people would have been able to tell the difference.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:50 am

Spar wrote:
I have been following this discussion and so have been plagued with the following question: How can the anti-sat mission be dismissed so easily?



Gee, I dunno. It’s not like we have something like THREE DOZEN HEAVY CAPITAL SHIPS each independently capable of the ASAT mission nor have we ever very publicly demonstrated this capability! You’re right, ASAT is only physically possible with the F-15, for reasons only Boeing marketers know and in true Airliners.net tradition a complete failure to exercise critical thinking skills!
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:15 am

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
Spar wrote:
I have been following this discussion and so have been plagued with the following question: How can the anti-sat mission be dismissed so easily?



Gee, I dunno. It’s not like we have something like THREE DOZEN HEAVY CAPITAL SHIPS each independently capable of the ASAT mission nor have we ever very publicly demonstrated this capability! You’re right, ASAT is only physically possible with the F-15, for reasons only Boeing marketers know and in true Airliners.net tradition a complete failure to exercise critical thinking skills!
If you want to take out 50 - 100 satellites all within a fifteen minute period of time, you would need to have the asat missiles positioned where the satellites would be at H hour, when H minute occurs. That would mean you would have to have asats positioned in places that navy ships can't go, like maybe the northern fringes of Siberia or over Africa etc. The navy could only bag a fraction of what would be needed for that kind of mission, even if they were all at sea, and could all be positioned without telegraphing intent.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:08 am

Spar wrote:
I have been following this discussion and so have been plagued with the following question: How can the anti-sat mission be dismissed so easily?

Only by a few.

Ozair wrote:
The charts I linked to above show that in US service the SM-3 Blk IIA is so significantly better than an air launched ASAT that the contest is now over.

Quite the opposite. A 2000kg class ASAT lsunched from an F-15 would have a kill volume probably a dozen times larger than the SM-3 Blk IIA

All the ASAT kills to date the ship was in a near perfect position. If the ship was 1000nm to the left or right of the satelites path the missile could not intercept.

SuperiorPilotMe wrote:
Gee, I dunno. It’s not like we have something like THREE DOZEN HEAVY CAPITAL SHIPS each independently capable of the ASAT mission nor have we ever very publicly demonstrated this capability! You’re right, ASAT is only physically possible with the F-15, for reasons only Boeing marketers know and in true Airliners.net tradition a complete failure to exercise critical thinking skills!

You would need hundreds of ships spaced in a grid to provide total ABM and ASAT coverage. So 30,000+ crew and a thousand missiles floating on the ocean versus 24 F-15's on standby that can be in position within the hour.

You are not wrong about the lack of critical thinking skills..

The US will also get their own satelites shot down in a peer war. Launching low earth orbit micro satelites from F-15's to provide a backup network is common sense. They can provide backup for GPS, visual surveillance and act as a relay network for 5th gen aircraft data links. I am probably saying too much.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:35 am

RJMAZ wrote:
Quite the opposite. A 2000kg class ASAT lsunched from an F-15 would have a kill volume probably a dozen times larger than the SM-3 Blk IIA

And your evidence for that claim is given no such weapon exists? Operationally the SM-3 Blk IIA has an expected range of anywhere between 1450-2000km with the GDI also approx 2000km. The ASM-135 was apparently limited to approximately 500-600km with a similar air launched Soviet system, the Kontakt, also about that altitude. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2473/2

RJMAZ wrote:
All the ASAT kills to date the ship was in a near perfect position. If the ship was 1000nm to the left or right of the satelites path the missile could not intercept.

Besides the fact the charts linked show a clear ability for the SM-3 to engage targets significantly out past that distance how is the intercept from an aircraft any different?

Let’s recount what had to happen for the ASM-135…
Pearson made his first rendezvous with a tanker about 200 miles from Vandenberg Air Force Base within the exact timing criteria for the rendezvous.
Anthony recalls, “The pilot would take off and fly what are called ‘waypoints,’ and an onboard computer would tell him where to go and when to be there. It required precise flying skills to arrive at the points and ultimately be in position, speed, and attitude to launch.”
“The system required the launch to occur at the preplanned time to be able to complete the intercept,” recalls Pearson. “Each point had tighter and tighter tolerances, and my correction ability became more constrained the closer to the launch time. If I arrived at each point on time, my confidence improved significantly that I would reach the launch point within all the constraints. By the time I got to the last point, the launch point, I was precisely on time.”
The moment came at 12:42 p.m., three and a half hours after Pearson took off. At 30,000 feet and in level flight, Pearson lit the afterburners, accelerated the airplane to Mach 1.3, and pulled into a 60-degree climb. The F-15 slowed to Mach .96 as the countdown started. At zero, Pearson pushed the pickle button.

https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... 180968349/
Clearly a lot of effort was required to get that aircraft into a very specific position for a single intercept. The ship actually just has to sit pretty knowing that depending upon the orbital path of the satellite it will come into position at least once a day (as for the US 2008 intercept) and likely more frequently now with the Blk IIA missile. Meanwhile, it can continue to operate its other roles. Given low earth orbit satellites have a period of somewhere above 100 to 200 minutes then they would come within range of any vessel likely twice a day. When using one vessel it might only have a limited shot window but that multiples when you have multiple vessels spread across the globe.

RJMAZ wrote:
You would need hundreds of ships spaced in a grid to provide total ABM and ASAT coverage. So 30,000+ crew and a thousand missiles floating on the ocean versus 24 F-15's on standby that can be in position within the hour.

Somewhat of an over exaggeration don’t you think… Are hundreds needed, of course not. Would multiple be required for the fictional scenario, certainly. Once you add in additional ground launch stations already being built then the spread you require for this task reduces again.

A fleet of F-15s is no more flexible, especially given the evidence above on the profile that Pearson had to fly.

To continue the fictional and highly off topic multiple ASAT launch. The following indicate that the capabilities of the Aegis system,
The PAA system is highly mobile. The 43 planned Aegis ships could be positioned optimally to stage a “sweep” attack on a set of satellites nearly at once.

https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/fi ... ellite.pdf
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:48 am

From what I can see all the shipboard Aegis/SM-3 system is capable of is plinking a few satellites "as they pass by" and not many of these ships will be available for this task in a time of heightened tension because they would be needed for fleet protection duty and ABM missions to protect CONUS. They wouldn't be detached to go off on anti-sat missions.

If one wanted to go on an offensive against a fleet of satelittes, a more flexible delivery system would be necessary anyway. This could be a small fleet of special purpose built F-15s as we are seeing here. With the delivery of the first plane years away there's plenty of time to put together the necessary asat missiles, there's no great technical challenge in that and the funds are certainly available, todays news tells us that the intelligence community is funded for 81 billion in black funds. That doesn't even cover the DOD afik.

But as is mentioned above, the mission for these planes could be to deliver a new hypersonic missile or maybe they think they might have a laser weapon available to hang on them in that time frame. Whatever the purpose of the F-15 purchase is, it is it's not just to keep a Boeing assembly line open to put together 1990s era planes. If they just want to keep extra manufacturing facilities available they would be better off to make 787 wings, at least that's more modern technology. The XQ-58A would also be a great idea as long as we're just churning out things to keep the line open.

If the funding gets through congress, we can be sure that there is a hidden purpose behind this story. Unless there's a real reason for these planes Congress will kill the project.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:18 pm

If you listen to the latest argument from the Pentagon and not all the opinion pieces on various publications, the two major issues are:

Industrial Base and Short Term capacity.

Industrial Base:

It has been one generation (in human terms) since the JSF contract was awarded to Lockheed. During all that time much of Boeing's fighter knowledge have been reduced. This has to be the last hurrah for the USAF to keep two viable companies going until their supposed last manned fighter completion (sixth generation).

Industrial base can also be code word to keep Lockheed honest. Ozair has argued that the cost per flight hour for the F-35 is coming down. But it has not gotten there yet. So this could just be another incentive to keep the trend line going and not stall out. The Pentagon is putting out numbers saying that the F-15X will cost less to operate than the F-35. If you can not believe their numbers, then who can you believe.

The other gorilla in the room is Boeing Commercial Division. One aspect of keeping the industrial base is to keep Boeing Commercial at bay. Without future F-15 work, Boeing will surely start converting their military facility and personnel in St Louis to support their commercial line. This has already happened in Seattle in the Boeing Field area with the former F-22 and B-2 sites. It has begin in St Louis with buildings used to support 777X work. This will no doubt accelerate when the 797 gets going. Once you lose a factory to BCA, it will be difficult to get it back.

Short Term Requirements.

As Ozair has stated, in order field more F-35's, you need to pull existing crew and commit them to months if not years of training. In the short term (2-5 years) this can not be achieved without impacting operation tempo. The argument the pentagon is putting forward is that the F-15X will allow operation tempo to be maintained until the F-35 can be ramped up as planed. The same requirement is why they feel that upgrading the F-15C/D is not the preferred approach, they do not want to pull frames out of commission while they do the upgrade.

So while some of the above statement may just be my interpretation of what the Pentagon is actually saying, it is still based on what is the official argument and not a bunch of opinion pieces. Sorry I can not quote the article, I believe it is from Aviation Week behind a pay wall.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:46 am

bikerthai wrote:

Industrial base can also be code word to keep Lockheed honest. Ozair has argued that the cost per flight hour for the F-35 is coming down. But it has not gotten there yet. So this could just be another incentive to keep the trend line going and not stall out. The Pentagon is putting out numbers saying that the F-15X will cost less to operate than the F-35. If you can not believe their numbers, then who can you believe.

The operating cost numbers have to be calculated on what they know today, hence the higher F-35 numbers. Clearly supporting and sustaining a modern designed single engine aircraft that will likely see 3000 manufactured is going to be cheaper than a production run of perhaps 400 total large old and twin engine design, noting Boeing claims of significant commonality with the F-15C, a design last built in the late 80s…

bikerthai wrote:

The other gorilla in the room is Boeing Commercial Division. One aspect of keeping the industrial base is to keep Boeing Commercial at bay. Without future F-15 work, Boeing will surely start converting their military facility and personnel in St Louis to support their commercial line. This has already happened in Seattle in the Boeing Field area with the former F-22 and B-2 sites. It has begin in St Louis with buildings used to support 777X work. This will no doubt accelerate when the 797 gets going. Once you lose a factory to BCA, it will be difficult to get it back.

The Us Government owns many of the factories that military hardware is manufactured in, such as the LM facility at Fort Worth Air Force Plant 4), I assume the Government own none of the Seattle facilities and from what I can tell none in St Louis either? Given the T-X production, or more correctly final assembly, will be in St Louis as well as production and overhaul of the SH I shouldn’t think there is too much fear of losing production capacity there.


bikerthai wrote:
As Ozair has stated, in order field more F-35's, you need to pull existing crew and commit them to months if not years of training. In the short term (2-5 years) this can not be achieved without impacting operation tempo. The argument the pentagon is putting forward is that the F-15X will allow operation tempo to be maintained until the F-35 can be ramped up as planed. The same requirement is why they feel that upgrading the F-15C/D is not the preferred approach, they do not want to pull frames out of commission while they do the upgrade.

The important thing to remember here is that the F-35 was never slated to replace the F-15C/D or E fleet. The program of record production numbers for the aircraft are aligned with replace F-16, A-10, AV-8B and legacy Hornet fleets. There is also no dependence or limitation on LM increasing the production rate, it could do so well within the timescale when the USAF will start receiving F-15EXs which is 3.5 years from now but the aircraft it is slated to replace are also themselves aging.

A valid claim to make would be that delays to the F-35 have now prevented it from replacing the F-15C/D fleet. Had the F-35 been on time then it would have had a sufficient production rate and scale of service numbers, so much so that to replace the F-15C/D with anything else would have been crazy.

The downtime for the ANG units is a big factor as the F-15EX is a seamless transition although it could be no different to upgrading the C/D fleet (but with likely some increased per hour costs with the older jets). There are plenty of F-15Cs sitting in the boneyard that could be rotated through units while current serving jets are upgraded, it is just the unknown unknowns of the upgrade path that are scaring the USAF.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:11 am

Ozair wrote:
There are plenty of F-15Cs sitting in the boneyard that could be rotated through units while current serving jets are upgraded, it is just the unknown unknowns of the upgrade path that are scaring the USAF.


That is a technical risk that could be addressed if they have the funds. The shortfall that no money can address is the lack of personnel while crew are being retrained.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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seahawk
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:29 am

F-16C in the boneyard are there for a reason. They are not up-graded avionics wise and did not receive the structural checks and work of the current fleet. So to take them out of the desert would require them to be up-graded to current standard, only that you then can upgrade the current fleet to an advanced standard.

Imho the most simple solution would be to give the Air Force 400 Super Hornets.
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:55 am

seahawk wrote:
F-16C in the boneyard are there for a reason. They are not up-graded avionics wise and did not receive the structural checks and work of the current fleet. So to take them out of the desert would require them to be up-graded to current standard, only that you then can upgrade the current fleet to an advanced standard.
If we went the upgrade route they would get new wings anyway and so would be rebuilt from the radar to the empennage and everything in between. The first eight or so would have to come from the "boneyard" so as to not disrupt the readiness of any of the units operating the type. That would be the cheapest way if the goal was to provide the CONUS fleet with durable F-15s for the next 20 or thirty years. But I don't think that's the goal here.

There are two things this conversation has been missing IMO.

(1) Trump has announced that he wants a space force. This has ramifications, and we're seeing them here. We are not operating under the old paradigm as far as satellite warfare goes. This is actually a more reality based starwars program than the nonsense that Reagan proposed (unless there are unpleasant surprises ahead). Sat warfare it is, anything else discussed as a purpose for these F-15X's is a strawman.
BTW Trump is severing treaties with the Russians and charging headlong into conflict with China. So there's that.

(2) In the real world, nobody would ever want to shoot down a satellite, as in a single satellite. If things have progressed to the point that you want to cripple somebody else's (China - Russia) GPS or shut down their satellite communications network or blind them by knocking down their eyes in the sky, then you want to take them all out and nibbling away at them isn't the way to do that. The war would be over before any objective were accomplished that way.

Related to this subject: if we are going to have B-21's, Boomers, ICBM's and a couple thousand modern fighters, and we are doing anything but throwing money down a rathole we should give some thought to when these things might come into use, if for no other reason, than to decide whether we really need them.

If we need them, then we also need a way to shut down the other guy's satellite network. If we don't have a way of crippling his satellites, we should probably save a lot of money and just cancel the above.

My assumption is that the F-15X will be powered by the F-135 and that it will have hard points to carry a much larger version of the ASM-135 and they may be able to carry four of them up to 50,000 feet or beyond, so that they can attack satellites that are on trajectories a thousand miles distant from the launch point.

Welcome to the twentyfirst century.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:00 am

Spar wrote:

My assumption is that the F-15X will be powered by the F-135 and that it will have hard points to carry a much larger version of the ASM-135 and they may be able to carry four of them up to 50,000 feet or beyond, so that they can attack satellites that are on trajectories a thousand miles distant from the launch point.

Welcome to the twentyfirst century.

You need to come back to reality mate...
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:41 pm

Heh, I kinda doubt any Eagles will ever be fitted with any F-135’s, too. An F-119 derivative is perhaps fun to contemplate, but that also is at least exceptionally unlikely.
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:25 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Heh, I kinda doubt any Eagles will ever be fitted with any F-135’s, too. An F-119 derivative is perhaps fun to contemplate, but that also is at least exceptionally unlikely.
Isn't an F-135 just a derivative of an F-119? Is this a hairsplitting exercise? Whatever it will be called it will have a fan sized for the room available and so will probably get it's own number. I don't think it will have PW F-100s. But we'll see.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:42 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
Quite the opposite. A 2000kg class ASAT lsunched from an F-15 would have a kill volume probably a dozen times larger than the SM-3 Blk IIA


Hmm interesting. Not as interesting as the sources you generously gave to back this up tho.

ASAT got canceled because we have a better system: a baseball thrown so hard by President Trump’s left arm it leaves orbit. I HAVE ALTERNATIVE FACTS DON’T BELIEVE YOUR FAKE NEWS!

All the ASAT kills to date the ship was in a near perfect position. If the ship was 1000nm to the left or right of the satelites path the missile could not intercept.


You are not wrong about the lack of critical thinking skills..


Yeah I know case in point: You.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:26 pm

Spar wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Heh, I kinda doubt any Eagles will ever be fitted with any F-135’s, too. An F-119 derivative is perhaps fun to contemplate, but that also is at least exceptionally unlikely.
Isn't an F-135 just a derivative of an F-119? Is this a hairsplitting exercise? Whatever it will be called it will have a fan sized for the room available and so will probably get it's own number. I don't think it will have PW F-100s. But we'll see.

Spar, do all of us a favour and take the time to read some factual information before you post stuff like this...

There is no F135 or F119 or other new fan size engine in the F-15X. The Boeing webpage makes it clear it will use either the F100 or F110.

Two P&W F100 or two GE F110 turbofan engines in 29,000 lb (13,154 kg) thrust class with afterburning

https://www.boeing.com/defense/f-15/#/t ... ifications

If you don't believe the Boeing website you seem like someone who would appreciate a "The Drive" reference,

The F-15X will have a gross weight of 81,000lbs and will be powered by either General Electric F110-GE-129 or Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-229 turbofan engines, both of which are in the 29,000lb thrust class.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... m-per-copy

Anything else would require a significant development program and years of flight test and would remove commonality with the existing USAF F-15 fleet which is one of the primary reasons this acquisition may be able to move ahead.
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:15 pm

Oziar, the engine statement was an aside, not at all central to post #478. I was pointing out, or making the assertion, that the F-15X model is likely to have been chosen for the coming mission because of it's power and its ability to lift heavy loads very high and release them at high velocity: more so than a F-35 would be able to do and apparently also more so than a F-15C in standard configuration would be able to do. Otherwise, why would the DOD want to spend two and a half times the money (40 million vs approx. 100 million) for aircraft that accomplishes the exact same task and has the same effective useful life as a rewinged C model? If I was off the mark on the exact model of engine most appropriate to boost the performance of an F-15, I most humbly apologize.

At the time I was making that post I was more concerning myself about how emphatic I should be in pointing out that the idea of building dozens or hundreds of brand new (two seater) F-15s, just to stock the National Guard with the same type of aircraft they already are flying is absurd. Beyond the bounds of common sense. I was trying to understand why any knowledgeable person would swallow such an obvious falsehood. So I might have been distracted from the peripheral details. I'll try to do better in the future.

We are obviously entering into new territory with the current administration cancelling arms control treaties with Russia, threatening military confrontation with China and leading us into another war in the ME. I think we should be paying attention to what moves our leaders are engaging in surreptitiously. And this certainly looks like such a move.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:44 am

Spar wrote:
Oziar, the engine statement was an aside, not at all central to post #478. I was pointing out, or making the assertion, that the F-15X model is likely to have been chosen for the coming mission because of it's power and its ability to lift heavy loads very high and release them at high velocity: more so than a F-35 would be able to do and apparently also more so than a F-15C in standard configuration would be able to do.

I don’t see that assertion being valid. What current or future weapons exist or are planned that could be carried by a tactical fighter jet and restricted to a single jet? You and RJMAZ have suggested an ASAT missile of approx. 2,000kg in weight. That is loadable on the F-35A today, which has two wing stations rated to 5,000lbs. Perhaps a heavier hypersonic missile will emerge but the likelihood that the F-15X is the sole aircraft to carry that seems small, especially when the USAF is looking to continue flying B-52s, a more versatile payload, persistent and long ranged platform, into the 2050s.

Will the F-15X have some significantly superior kinematics to an F-35A with two 5,000lb weapons on the wings? Unlikely, it may be a little better but not a lot better, certainly not enough to make that the sole justification to acquire 80+ over the next 5 years.

Spar wrote:
Otherwise, why would the DOD want to spend two and a half times the money (40 million vs approx. 100 million) for aircraft that accomplishes the exact same task and has the same effective useful life as a rewinged C model? If I was off the mark on the exact model of engine most appropriate to boost the performance of an F-15, I most humbly apologize.

While I have argued for the upgrade for much of this thread the preference for a new jet should be pretty clear, it is the prospect of unknown unknowns. They are terrified that even after an upgrade of the F-15C/D fleet there is a currently unidentified issue that will restrict the airworthiness and subsequently availability.

Spar wrote:
At the time I was making that post I was more concerning myself about how emphatic I should be in pointing out that the idea of building dozens or hundreds of brand new (two seater) F-15s, just to stock the National Guard with the same type of aircraft they already are flying is absurd. Beyond the bounds of common sense. I was trying to understand why any knowledgeable person would swallow such an obvious falsehood. So I might have been distracted from the peripheral details. I'll try to do better in the future.

Logically it doesn’t make a lot of sense but then at this point in time it is a proposal. Plenty of things get suggested but not followed through with, for example the intention to retire the Truman. Congress is highly unlikely to let that happen and we have already seen a significant group of bipartisan Congress members advocate for increasing the F-35 buy.

Restocking the ANG is not really a point of argument, the ANG does not just get old jets retired from USAF service. We have an ANG squadron flying F-22s as well as multiple ANG squadrons converting over to F-35s in the next three years, while the Active USAF force also transitions to F-35.


Spar wrote:
We are obviously entering into new territory with the current administration cancelling arms control treaties with Russia, threatening military confrontation with China and leading us into another war in the ME. I think we should be paying attention to what moves our leaders are engaging in surreptitiously. And this certainly looks like such a move.

I think that has nothing to do with this, if any of that is even actually happening.

The Pentagon does not plan on the whims of the President at the time, especially given that Congress holds the purse strings for the defence budget. The USAF has a stated desire to increase the force structure but must do so in a time of strongly competing acquisition and budgetary priorities. There are clear force plans and structures in place that look past a current President or even future president and go directly to the US Military fulfilling its mandate.

If the F-15X buys goes ahead it will be because the US Congress believe the US DoD that the F-15C/D fleet is aging out and the least risky solution (not necessarily the cheapest) to maintain availability is to acquire a replacement jet that allows near seamless transition and readiness for those units.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:58 am

Ozair wrote:
Will the F-15X have some significantly superior kinematics to an F-35A with two 5,000lb weapons on the wings? Unlikely, it may be a little better but not a lot better

The F-15X would definitely have superior kinematics. The internal weapons bays and huge internal fuel capacity is a big limit on the F-35 in this niche roll.

With 10,000lb of external weapons we might be looking at launch altitudes of 50,000ft mach 1.4 with the F-35 versus 60,000ft at mach 1.6 for the F-15X. While 10,000ft and mach 0.2 may appear a small advantage to the F-15X with the same weapon that would translate into 25+% extra range and altitude to the missile. The F-35 might then need a 8,000lb missile to hit the target of the 5,000lb missile on the F-15X.

The big range boost comes from the fact that going to low earth orbit approx 75% of the rockets fuel is used in the first 25% of the flight. So launching it supersonic at 50,000ft would nearly double the range of the same missile launched from the ground. This is why the ship based missile have to be so big. You do not need graphs or sources to justify this. The ship based systems were simply the quickest way to get ABM defense. That does not mean it is the most efficient way to do it.

Secondly, we do not know the exact requirement or specs of the missile. It could be too big for the F-35's wing station and the F-15X would carry it on the centre pylon. The missile might also require a faster launch speed and altitude of say mach 2 at 60,000ft. Only the F-15X could reach that with one big missile on the centreline.

We have multiple programs for missiles that all got funding, some successful. Pretty obvious they have gone black.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:52 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Will the F-15X have some significantly superior kinematics to an F-35A with two 5,000lb weapons on the wings? Unlikely, it may be a little better but not a lot better

The F-15X would definitely have superior kinematics. The internal weapons bays and huge internal fuel capacity is a big limit on the F-35 in this niche roll.

With 10,000lb of external weapons we might be looking at launch altitudes of 50,000ft mach 1.4 with the F-35 versus 60,000ft at mach 1.6 for the F-15X. While 10,000ft and mach 0.2 may appear a small advantage to the F-15X with the same weapon that would translate into 25+% extra range and altitude to the missile. The F-35 might then need a 8,000lb missile to hit the target of the 5,000lb missile on the F-15X.

That RJMAZ is another pluck with no substantiation.

RJMAZ wrote:
[The big range boost comes from the fact that going to low earth orbit approx 75% of the rockets fuel is used in the first 25% of the flight. So launching it supersonic at 50,000ft would nearly double the range of the same missile launched from the ground. This is why the ship based missile have to be so big. You do not need graphs or sources to justify this. The ship based systems were simply the quickest way to get ABM defense. That does not mean it is the most efficient way to do it.

Contrast the ASM-135 and the SM-3Blk IIA,
Length: 5.5 m to 6.5m
Weight: 1200kg to 1600kg
The missile is not so much bigger proportionally and what you are proposing is a missile incrementally bigger again than the difference between the ASM-135 and SM-3 while the SM-3 Blk IIA already goes the distance required.

RJMAZ wrote:
Secondly, we do not know the exact requirement or specs of the missile. It could be too big for the F-35's wing station and the F-15X would carry it on the centre pylon. The missile might also require a faster launch speed and altitude of say mach 2 at 60,000ft. Only the F-15X could reach that with one big missile on the centreline.

It also doesn’t exist… Given the known range of the SM-3 there is absolutely no reason to suggest an air launched ASAT would require such an aggressive launch profile.

RJMAZ wrote:
We have multiple programs for missiles that all got funding, some successful. Pretty obvious they have gone black.

Some evidence of an ASAT program that started and went black would aid your cause. Until that is provided there is plenty of counter claims I could make about the cancelling of said programs because of the performance of the Blk IIA missile.

Irrespective of whether the missile has gone black or not, ASAT through kinetic means is not the favoured option of the US Military and has not been for many years. As the highest user of space they stand the mostly to lose from an ASAT conflict given the debris successful intercepts create, especially at the altitudes suggested.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:39 pm

USAF officials have attended Senate Armed Services Committee hearings regarding the Defence budget and already been heavily questioned.

An interesting comment made by Inhofe was the following,
After the hearing, Inhofe told reporters that Air Force officials were defending an approach they did not agree with. “They didn’t like it any better than I like it. You don’t expand your force by going from a fifth generation to the fourth generation, which is essentially what your doing,” Inhofe said.


Fair use of the article.

US Air Force defends F-15X buy to skeptical Inhofe, Reed

U.S. Air Force officials on Thursday defended their reversal to pursue Boeing’s F-15X, a fourth-generation fighter jet, saying it will not derail plans to buy Lockheed Martin’s F-35, a fifth-generation fighter jet.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee on the Air Force’s fiscal 2020 budget request, the service’s top official said the decision to seek eight F-15X aircraft is a short-term patch, as 800 fewer F-35s are operational than planned. They pitched the move as the most cost-effective way to replace the retiring F-15C Eagle, using the same hangers, equipment and maintainers.

“We absolutely [are] adamant that the F-35 program, the program of record, absolutely stays on track and we don’t take a dime out of the F-35,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, calling the jet the “quarterback of the joint penetrating team.”

Goldfein also reassured lawmakers who recalled the cancellation of Lockheed’s fifth-generation F-22 Raptor that there would be no repeat. The plan is still for its fleet to be made up of 80% fifth-generation aircraft by the 2040s, he said.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/congress/20 ... hofe-reed/

More at the link.
 
texl1649
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:48 pm

Inofe has zero credibility about...well anything. The 15X program has zero implications for going ‘from 5th generation to the 4th generation.”
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:27 am

Ozair wrote:
That RJMAZ is another pluck with no substantiation.
.......Contrast the ASM-135 and the SM-3Blk IIA,
Length: 5.5 m to 6.5m
Weight: 1200kg to 1600kg
The missile is not so much bigger proportionally and what you are proposing is a missile incrementally bigger again than the difference between the ASM-135 and SM-3 while the SM-3 Blk IIA already goes the distance required.
.....Given the known range of the SM-3 there is absolutely no reason to suggest an air launched ASAT would require such an aggressive launch profile.

While the SM-3 does make a good proof of concept demonstrator, it isn't much more than a public relations gimmick other than that. It certainly isn't an actual weapon for use against an enemy's satellite communications or intelligence gathering network in a wartime environment. As I pointed out earlier, Aegis equipped ships would never be available for a coordinated attack on an enemy's satellite network; the exact time of any attack on a satellite network would be the exact time in an Aegis ship's entire forty year lifetime when it was most needed for defense of the fleet or CONUS or Guam etc. Even if these ships could be dispatched hither and yon to position them for a coordinated attack against a sat network they wouldn't be able to cover all bases, they could only position themselves at sea and not even everywhere that the sea has to offer. And once again, an Aegis / SM-3 launcher would have to be directly under each targeted satellite's flight path at the time it enters the ship's quite narrow kill zone.

Even a disbursed fleet of aircraft carrying asat missiles could be hard pressed to knock down an adversary's comms and intel capability quickly and completely given constraints on the size of of the attacking force, and keep in mind that not every asat missile is likely to complete it's mission. These are some of the reasons why the requirement for longer range asat missiles exists. Longer range missiles reduce the number of aircraft needed for the mission and also loosen the timing demands on the attacking aircraft; they shouldn't have the same limitation of the SM-3 system: needing to be directly under a targeted satellite's flight path.
Ozair wrote:
Some evidence of an ASAT program that started and went black would aid your cause. Until that is provided...............
Given the fact that there have been treaties in place banning asat technologies, it a certainty that such research would have taken place out of the public eye. So you're asking RJMAZ for the impossible.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:12 am

Spar wrote:
While the SM-3 does make a good proof of concept demonstrator, it isn't much more than a public relations gimmick other than that. It certainly isn't an actual weapon for use against an enemy's satellite communications or intelligence gathering network in a wartime environment.

Mate, you promised you would do a bit more research…

A concept demonstrator would be a weapon that isn’t ordered or in service. Instead the US, Japan and Korea all use or have ordered the weapon. Belgium is looking at it, Australia is the only nation sharing cooperative engagement capability with the US and an SM-3 acquisition is a near certainty.

As for how effective it is…
US test in Oct 2018
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and U.S. Navy sailors aboard USS John Finn (DDG-113) successfully conducted an intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile target with a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missile during a flight test off the west coast of Hawaii.

http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.ph ... -9-c2.html

Japanese test in Sep 2018
Japan Successfully Shoots Down Ballistic Missile in Test
Japan and the United States have successfully tested the Aegis ballistic missile defense system on Tuesday.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/09/japan-s ... e-in-test/

This link https://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Inter ... PDATED.pdf will show you that the SM-3 has had 34 of 42 successful engagements since 2002. Those engagements were against ballistic missile targets, a more difficult target than a satellite, while the SM-3 already destroyed a satellite in 2008.

It is hardly a public relations gimmick…

Spar wrote:
As I pointed out earlier, Aegis equipped ships would never be available for a coordinated attack on an enemy's satellite network; the exact time of any attack on a satellite network would be the exact time in an Aegis ship's entire forty year lifetime when it was most needed for defense of the fleet or CONUS or Guam etc. Even if these ships could be dispatched hither and yon to position them for a coordinated attack against a sat network they wouldn't be able to cover all bases, they could only position themselves at sea and not even everywhere that the sea has to offer. And once again, an Aegis / SM-3 launcher would have to be directly under each targeted satellite's flight path at the time it enters the ship's quite narrow kill zone.

Mate again… you promised you would do a bit more research…

Where is this understanding on engagement ranges coming from? You do understand that satellites orbit the earth and in so doing are on predictable flight paths. Most LEO satellites orbit the earth every 90 minutes or so and cross the same point of the earth at least once a day. That means no matter where the ship is it will have the opportunity to engage the satellite every day. That is possible for every single Aegis cruiser/destroyer available…

I have already provided the flight envelope of the SM-3 Blk IIA and that clearly shows it does not have a “narrow kill zone”.

Spar wrote:
Even a disbursed fleet of aircraft carrying asat missiles could be hard pressed to knock down an adversary's comms and intel capability quickly and completely given constraints on the size of of the attacking force, and keep in mind that not every asat missile is likely to complete it's mission. These are some of the reasons why the requirement for longer range asat missiles exists. Longer range missiles reduce the number of aircraft needed for the mission and also loosen the timing demands on the attacking aircraft; they shouldn't have the same limitation of the SM-3 system: needing to be directly under a targeted satellite's flight path.

You need to stop creating fictional scenarios for a mission and air launched missile that doesn’t exist. The SM-3 Blk IIA already covers all of the LEO orbit, where 62% of satellites are, with 30% in GEO which is currently beyond any of the ASAT systems.

Spar wrote:
Given the fact that there have been treaties in place banning asat technologies, it a certainty that such research would have taken place out of the public eye. So you're asking RJMAZ for the impossible.

Please tell me what these treaties are that banned ASATs?

Let’s be clear mate, this is what RJMAZ said…
RJMAZ wrote:
We have multiple programs for missiles that all got funding, some successful. Pretty obvious they have gone black.

So he claimed there were multiple programs that were funded, with some successful? Which were successful would be a good question since the only ASAT the US has launched since the ASM-135 is the SM-3…

So, I see no reason not to have some evidence of these programs and the successes they have had.

By the way, India now has ASAT capability from a ground launched missile, China has ASAT capability from a ground launched missile, Russia has ASAT capability from a ground launched missile while Israel likely has ASAT capability with the Arrow 3.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:08 pm

Ozair wrote:
Some evidence of an ASAT program that started and went black would aid your cause.


While not direct evidence, I would speculate that the more likely black project for ASAT would be ground or airborne lasers. The ABL project was shelved after a series of testing that proved the tracking system but showed that the chemical laser was not the way forward. Given the various other laser projects floating around, it would not surprise me if the Air Force has one or more laser based ASAT program going.

That brings us back to the F-15X. Everyone is playing it as the F-15X vs. the F-35. Even the Airforce say that it's not the case. I am resigned to believe that when it comes down to it, the most mundane of reasons, such as basing, pilot and crew training requirement will carry the day. Not sexy, just necessary.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:19 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Some evidence of an ASAT program that started and went black would aid your cause.


While not direct evidence, I would speculate that the more likely black project for ASAT would be ground or airborne lasers. The ABL project was shelved after a series of testing that proved the tracking system but showed that the chemical laser was not the way forward. Given the various other laser projects floating around, it would not surprise me if the Air Force has one or more laser based ASAT program going.

Certainly possible and far.more likely.

bikerthai wrote:
That brings us back to the F-15X. Everyone is playing it as the F-15X vs. the F-35. Even the Airforce say that it's not the case. I am resigned to believe that when it comes down to it, the most mundane of reasons, such as basing, pilot and crew training requirement will carry the day. Not sexy, just necessary.

bt

Agree, the justification is about a smooth transition for ANG units that maintains readiness and to a much smaller extent industrial concerns.

This is essentially an application of occum's razor, the simplest solution is far more likely to be correct than some complex hidden scenario or intention.
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:04 pm

Ozair wrote:
Mate A concept demonstrator would be a weapon that isn’t ordered or in service. Instead the US, Japan and Korea all use or have ordered the weapon. Belgium is looking at it, Australia is the only nation sharing cooperative engagement capability with the US and an SM-3 acquisition is a near certainty.
Mate, the SM-3 is an ABM missile, that's what it was designed for, that's why nations purchase it. Any anti-sat abilities it has are just a byproduct of its ABM role.
Ozair wrote:
Mate Where is this understanding on engagement ranges coming from? You do understand that satellites orbit the earth and in so doing are on predictable flight paths.
Mate I understand that. So does everyone else here. But thanks for the tutorial.
Ozair wrote:
Mate Most LEO satellites orbit the earth every 90 minutes or so and cross the same point of the earth at least once a day. That means no matter where the ship is it will have the opportunity to engage the satellite every day. That is possible for every single Aegis cruiser/destroyer available….
Mate Satellites have varying periods, unlimited possible inclinations and may be anywhere in a broad altitude range. A satellite can only be engaged by an SM-3 that is launched from under it's flight path.
Ozair wrote:
I have already provided the flight envelope of the SM-3 Blk IIA and that clearly shows it does not have a “narrow kill zone.
I saw information on the flight path of the SM-3 in its ABM role, but you didn't provide a chart showing what the lateral range limitation would be for various satellite altitudes.
Ozair wrote:
You need to stop creating fictional scenarios for a mission and air launched missile that doesn’t exist. The SM-3 Blk IIA already covers all of the LEO orbit, where 62% of satellites are, with 30% in GEO which is currently beyond any of the ASAT systems.
Please don't be obstinate, the SM-3 of any block can only "cover" the orbit of a satellite that passes very nearly overhead of its launch position. And as far as "creating fictional scenarios" keep in mind that I and several others have been quite polite in rebutting your absurd assertions and defenses of the idea that the F-15X program is for the purpose of replacing aging F-15 Cs. The paradigm you've been trying to sell here doesn't pass the smell test so I think you would do well to calm your rhetoric a bit.

There is a reason for this F-15X proposal and it has nothing to do with CONUS defense or supporting the nation's ability to produce 1970's technology, that's for sure. I propose that the actual reason is for an asat role. If you don't agree, or if for some reason you feel compelled to push back at the anti-sat idea, fine, but there's no reason for you to get bitter about it.
Ozair wrote:
Please tell me what these treaties are that banned ASATs?
The SALT 1 treaty of 1972 bans interference with national technical means of verification, which has until recently been assumed to include anti-satellite deployments.
 
DigitalSea
Posts: 119
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:15 pm

If our strategic competitors are experimenting with ground based lasers to disable satellites, I'd have to imagine that the US has had the same technology for a while. I wonder what's unique about the F-15X/ASAT role if true. Not to mention disabling a satellite via laser would be a far cleaner approach.

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/02/china-russia-building-attack-satellites-and-space-lasers-pentagon-report/154819/
 
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bikerthai
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:11 pm

Spar wrote:
The SALT 1 treaty of 1972 bans interference with national technical means of verification, which has until recently been assumed to include anti-satellite deployments.


SALT 1? :spit:

The same agreement as quoted from Wiki?
" The agreement expired on December 31, 1985 and was not renewed. "

Come to think about it, is there any nuclear treaties that are still relevant? I understand they will be putting nukes on cruise missiles again . . . and we just pulled out of the intermediate range nuke treaty in Europe.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Spar
Posts: 184
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:44 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Spar wrote:
The SALT 1 treaty of 1972 bans interference with national technical means of verification, which has until recently been assumed to include anti-satellite deployments.


SALT 1? :spit:

The same agreement as quoted from Wiki?
" The agreement expired on December 31, 1985 and was not renewed. "

Come to think about it, is there any nuclear treaties that are still relevant? I understand they will be putting nukes on cruise missiles again . . . and we just pulled out of the intermediate range nuke treaty in Europe.

bt
SALT I begat SALT II which begat the START I treaty which begat the NEW START treaty. So goes the history of agreements that would have made the DOD want to keep the development of an anti-sat missile in the black budget.

I suggest that the name for the F-15X project should be the STRAWMAN fighter, because all the arguments so far in favor of this project by its fans are strawmen arguments, meant to deflect from actual discussions of what this plane is and what its purpose would be.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3790
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:18 am

Spar wrote:
Mate, the SM-3 is an ABM missile, that's what it was designed for, that's why nations purchase it. Any anti-sat abilities it has are just a byproduct of its ABM role.

Yes it is. Do you know that the ABM mission is harder than the ASAT mission, that a missile that can accomplish an ABM intercept is capable of the ASAT role.

In case you need someone other than me making this clear,
The same kinetic-kill interceptors that can destroy a missile in-flight could also be capable of destroying a satellite in low Earth orbit (and in doing so, effectively become anti-satellite weapons, or ASATs). This was unequivocally demonstrated by the previously mentioned Operation Burnt Frost, which only required minor modifications, reportedly just software, to an existing Aegis SM-3 interceptor to destroy a satellite (USA-193), albeit one that was in the initial stages of atmospheric re-entry.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1474/1
I think the above is quite clear enough but I’ll add another source for good measure.

ASAT Capabilities of U.S. Missile Defense Systems
Because missile defense systems are intended to destroy ballistic missile warheads, which travel at speeds and altitudes comparable to those of satellites, such systems also have ASAT capabilities. Furthermore, while these systems might not prove effective against ballistic missiles (because of countermeasures de-ployed by the missiles, etc.), they could be far more effective against satellites.35

In many ways, attacking satellites is an easier task. Satellites travel in predictable orbits that ground facilities can accurately determine. An attacker could plan the time of the attack in advance, and would be able to take as many shots as necessary to destroy the target, without having to deal with the same sensor allows the interceptor to home in on the tar-get and destroy it by direct impact. If launched against satellites in low earth orbit, the interceptor could use some of its fuel to reach out laterally over thousands of kilometers, allowing it to hit satellites in orbits that do not pass directly over the launch site—placing a large fraction of satellites in low earth orbit within range of the GMD interceptors.

https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/fi ... lo-res.pdf

Spar wrote:
Mate I understand that. So does everyone else here. But thanks for the tutorial.

Problem is I don’t think you do. You keep making claims about narrow engagement zones and windows that belie a lack of understanding of the concept of a LEO.
Spar wrote:
Mate Satellites have varying periods, unlimited possible inclinations and may be anywhere in a broad altitude range.

We are talking about LEO satellites, that all reside between 300 and 2000km in altitude, have a period less than 128 minutes and an eccentricity of 0.25 or less with known trajectories. There isn’t anything magical or unknown about these…

Spar wrote:
I saw information on the flight path of the SM-3 in its ABM role, but you didn't provide a chart showing what the lateral range limitation would be for various satellite altitudes.

Perhaps you need to look just a little harder, like the previous page on this thread? To save you the trouble I will post it here again.

Image

Spar wrote:
Please don't be obstinate, the SM-3 of any block can only "cover" the orbit of a satellite that passes very nearly overhead of its launch position.

Very nearly overhead you say. Well have a look at the above chart again.

To hit a satellite at 1400km altitude the intercept can occur 500km from the launch vessels position.
To hit a satellite at 1250km altitude the intercept can occur 1000km from the launch vessels position.
To hit a satellite at 1000km altitude the intercept can occur 1500km from the launch vessels position.
To hit a satellite at 500km altitude the intercept can occur at 2000km from the launch vessels position.

Let’s put those distances into context,

500km either side of the vessel is a little less than Los Angles to Albuquerque, New Mexico
1000km either side of the vessel is the same distance as Los Angles to Dallas, Texas
1500km either side of the vessel is the a little further than Los Angles to Mobile, Alabama
2000km either side of the vessel is a little less than the distance between Los Angles and New York.

So, if we consider the ASAT mission the Chinese conducted in 2007 at an altitude of 800km the Aegis equipped vessel could have launched its missile while sitting somewhere in the middle of the continental US and been quite close to intercepting the target. That is not a narrow window directly above it…

Did you know since the above chart was published the range estimates for the SM-3 are actually out to almost 2000km in altitude and not 1400km as the above indicates…


Spar wrote:
And as far as "creating fictional scenarios" keep in mind that I and several others have been quite polite in rebutting your absurd assertions and defenses of the idea that the F-15X program is for the purpose of replacing aging F-15 Cs. The paradigm you've been trying to sell here doesn't pass the smell test so I think you would do well to calm your rhetoric a bit.

My absurd assertions? Have you read any of the news articles posted in this thread? Nearly every single one have indicated the intent of the F-15X acquisition is to replace the F-15C/D fleet. The Office of the Secretary of defence briefed the public on the budget and stated quite clearly that was the intent. The USAF’s highest ranked general has indicted that very thing in testimony before the US Senate Armed Services Committee… This is not me making some unusual concept up, it is the stated intent of the USAF and US DoD.

Can you find me a single news article that indicates ASAT is a possibility?

By the way I don’t think the F-15X is a good idea, I would much rather see the USAF acquire the F-35, a significantly more capable platform for the mission required than the F-15X, but it would likely result in significantly more down time as the squadron converted so isn’t great from the readiness perspective. At the very least upgrade the C/D fleet and then replace in 10 years with the F-35A or upgraded F-35 variant.

Spar wrote:
There is a reason for this F-15X proposal and it has nothing to do with CONUS defense or supporting the nation's ability to produce 1970's technology, that's for sure. I propose that the actual reason is for an asat role. If you don't agree, or if for some reason you feel compelled to push back at the anti-sat idea, fine, but there's no reason for you to get bitter about it.

I’m not bitter, I just tire of people who post without actually considering the facts, or don’t post facts that support their position but then claim others are wrong.

Spar wrote:
The SALT 1 treaty of 1972 bans interference with national technical means of verification, which has until recently been assumed to include anti-satellite deployments.

Spar, you do realise the US has had a ground launched ASAT capability in some form or another consistently since the 60s right?

There is no current treaty and throughout the SALT and START treaties the US and Russia both maintained the capability to intercept (with limitations) LEO satellites.
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:41 pm

Oziar do you have a source for that unlabeled chart you are using to show lateral ranges for the SM3? It looks to me as if that is showing the up-range / down range distances, not how far the missile can engage targets from the side of the flight path of the target.

Attacking a ballistic target or an orbiting vehicle from the side of its flight path adds a lot of complexity to the targeting solution, I'm not sure you're aware of that. If your chart is showing lateral distances, it is suggesting that the Aegis system is far far more capable than any other source that I can find claims.

BTW
Your "distances into context" needs some work. For example, LA to NY is more than 1,200 miles.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:48 pm

Spar wrote:
Oziar do you have a source for that unlabeled chart you are using to show lateral ranges for the SM3? It looks to me as if that is showing the up-range / down range distances, not how far the missile can engage targets from the side of the flight path of the target.

Attacking a ballistic target or an orbiting vehicle from the side of its flight path adds a lot of complexity to the targeting solution, I'm not sure you're aware of that. If your chart is showing lateral distances,

It is showing exactly what I am demonstrating it is showing, from the article it was taken from,

Its increased performance is illustrated in Figure 2, in (so-called) fly-out contours, i.e. the horizontal distances (measured over the surface of the Earth) and altitudes that the missile can reach at different times after launch. The contours were calculated based on open source data.

https://breakingdefense.com/2013/10/why ... -politics/

Spar wrote:
it is suggesting that the Aegis system is far far more capable than any other source that I can find claims.

As for how much more capable the Aegis system is, the SM-3 especially in Blk IIA form is significantly more capable, and expensive, than the SM-2 and SM-6 used for atmospheric targets. Fell free to quote or reference your sources, that is after all a forum rule.

Spar wrote:
BTW
Your "distances into context" needs some work. For example, LA to NY is more than 1,200 miles.

Either side of the ship mate. That chart shows one half slice of a dome that exists around the system. Therefore the engagement envelope flows out both sides of the Aegis vessel, or ground station. The 0,0 mark on the chart is obviously the position of the ship.

Use this link https://www.freemaptools.com/how-far-is ... a_-usa.htm to understand what the distance is between New York and Los Angles, you can even use miles and Kms.
 
Spar
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Re: USAF Considering New Build F-15X

Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:58 am

Ozair wrote:
It is showing exactly what I am demonstrating it is showing, from the article it was taken from

The article you linked, provides a depiction of the constraints on an ABM missile which is attempting to intercept ICBMs launched from either an unstated location in southern Iran or Tatishchevo in western Russia. Because it is analyzing an ICBM intercept, the analysis is focused on the speed of the interceptor vs the flight path of an ICBM or the timing of an intercept. For an anti-satellite mission, such a speed analysis is irrelevant, any version of the SM-3 is fast enough to get to altitude because a satellite's inclination, velocity and period are known beforehand; even a relatively slow missile can be launched early enough to meet a targeted satellite.

What we, or at least I am looking for is information on what the slant range capabilities of an Aegis / SM-3 are when targeting a satellite. Some information on that spec can be derived from your link, but only some.

When plotting the hypothetical intercepts used at the linked page, we find that an SM-3 IIA launched from Redzikodo is capable of making an intercept of an ICBM launched from southern Iran but unable to make the intercept on an ICBM launched from Tatishchevo Russia. This tells me that an SM-3 can intercept a target passing at an altitude of about 1000km (derived from the chart) when the offset is about 100 miles, as is the case for the Iranian ICBM, but is unable to make the intercept (because of timing issues) when a similar trajectory is in the order of 500 miles offset from the launch point (derived from a plot).

Conclusions:
(1) The chart, along with the text, suggests that a SM-3 IIA missile is able to get to the 1000km altitude of a flight path while offset by 500 miles and the chart also seems to indicate that an SM-3 IIA can get as high as 1400km (about 850 miles) which would be enough to cover the lower to mid regions of LEO. But no information is provided as to whether, or what the odds are for a successful hit on a target at longer ranges or greater angles of interception, or both.

(2) It is nowhere stated that the IIA can actually be effective on targets at the 1400km altitude, nor how that maximum altitude is affected by offset distance. Information revealing what the maximum total altitude/slant range abilities for the IIA are missing, and they are necessary for an understanding of the Aegis system's effectiveness against satellites.

(3) The earlier models of the SM-3 (the ones we have now) don't have enough range (altitude capability) for actual anti-sat tasking other than picking off the low hanging fruit.

(4) The SM-3 IIA is scheduled for deployment in 2022 if I have this correct.

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