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Author Topic: Eat lead ... sucker...!!!
MigLancer
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posted 05-03-2000 12:50 PM     Profile for MigLancer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
"Britain scraps Eurofighter gun to save money
By Tim Butcher, (Telegraph) Defence Correspondent

THE RAF's new Eurofighter combat aircraft will be unable to strafe targets
because the Ministry of Defence has scrapped the plane's cannon to save
money.

RAF insiders say that the Government has decided that it cannot afford the
ground support equipment needed to operate the 27mm Mauser cannon fully.
The first jets to enter service with the RAF in 2002 will carry the 220lb
gun, but only as ballast. It may be replaced in later versions by a lump of
lead. "

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MigLancer


Posts: 66 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged
Lucky_1
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posted 05-03-2000 02:20 PM     Profile for Lucky_1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
They're asking for it, the USAF did the same thing in NAM, they would regret it and finally install guns on their planes.

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Two beers, or not two beers. There is no question.


Posts: 635 | From: Knoxville, TN. | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Rosco
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posted 05-03-2000 03:07 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
While I don't think this is a good idea, I doubt much actual harm will come of it, given the effectiveness of present and near-future ultra maneuverable vectored thrust 90 degree + off-boresite helmet sighted monster dogfight missles. And that's if you can get past the medium and long range stuff.

There hasn't been a cannon kill against a fighter in at least 20 years. Today's missles will work in extremely demanding conditions where's Vietnam era AAMs could fail to connect with an entire volley in optimum conditions.

As for strafing, it's not worth wading into great danger at low level just to put a few wimpy cannon shells on target, IMO. If you need to do a quick, cheap ground attack in an RAF Typhoon, the CRV-7 is probably a better choice.

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"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"


Posts: 984 | From: Hazzard County | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Shotgun
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posted 05-03-2000 03:55 PM     Profile for Shotgun   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, you make some good points about missle technology, but what about target identity?

There is nearly always a need in certain situations to put a Mark One eyeball on 'em.

If I've gotta' get that close it might be nice to have a weapon with no minimum range.

Shotgun


Posts: 199 | From: Oklahoma City, OK USA | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Dan.
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posted 05-03-2000 05:20 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Rosco,

Agree with you about 99%. In your opinion, what of the possibility that we someday do get into a protracted air war, where we see more engagements closer than BVR and where the heatseekers and turning rates really start to mean something? At that point, I see a few pilots taking guns shots again. We just haven't had that kind of war since Vietnam.

Big "if" though....

Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Dan


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Rosco
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posted 05-03-2000 05:20 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The Eurofighter and most new fighters have sophisticated electro-optical systems that give crisp IR and sometimes even zoom T.V. images, making a close pass unnessessary. If nothing else a pilot could always bring a telescope with him for a final visual I.D. of the bogey.

Also I don't know the minimum effective range of the new style dogfight missles but I wouldn't be surprised if it was much shorter than the last generation, heck the Russian medium/long range AA-12 is supposely effective to a very short range.

On intercept missions, the cannon retains some use as a stream of tracers could be a good pursuader in some situations, However I'd be a little leery of pulling up too close to even a suspicious low flying Cessna these days, some drug smuggler could stick a shoulder launched SAM out the window and get lucky.

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"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"


Posts: 984 | From: Hazzard County | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Lud von Pipper
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posted 05-03-2000 05:25 PM     Profile for Lud von Pipper   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
About the cannon issue, you keep the option to let loose a burst on the enemy at close range, where the missiles are inpossible to lock.
In a scissor, or a close head on pass, it's usefull to back up your plane with the good gun.
And you can afford to snapshot your enemy on the tail of your mates without risk to lock your missile on the wrong plane (if you'd take a read at the repore of Cunningham vs Tomb airduell you would know what I'm speaking of)!

Well, in the end let's hope we'll keep the gun on our "Tifone"
LvP


Posts: 273 | From: Italy | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Rosco
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posted 05-03-2000 05:44 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Dan,

I think in the coming era of stealthy, supercruise capable fighters with powerful ECM, it IS possible that relatively close fighter combat could occur again despite the advances in long range weoponry and sensors.

In fact, he Russians are banking on it, they want a close fight inside of missle range. Their future aircraft, which wouldn't be no slouches in BVR combat themselves, would have features to aid closure like moderate platform stealth and the oft mentioned "plasma shielding" and a Russian concept called invulnerability, in which R-73/74 dogfighting missles would be used as part of an anti missle/fighter point defence system cued by an integrated sensor system to protect the aircraft.

I've also heard of scary things like guided 30mm cannon shells and 3-D moveable cannon nozzles, imagine such a system on the very maneuverable SU-37 or worse, the Berkut.

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"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"


Posts: 984 | From: Hazzard County | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
hoser
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posted 05-03-2000 06:16 PM     Profile for hoser     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Here is a link to the story from aviation week:
http://www.aviationnow.com/TwoShare/getPage?sid=6375117137934005415


Also, this link from the bottom of that page:
http://eurofighter-typhoon.com/bulweap.htm

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hoser


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VprDvr
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posted 05-03-2000 07:30 PM     Profile for VprDvr   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Deja Vu? This sounds very like Nam. They said with missiles and electronic gizmos gun is obsolete.

May be gun isn't as important but you still need it.

Take a tank for example. It may have the best gun and trajectory computer availabe, but the crew still need side arms (such as M-16), just incase anything "unexpected" happens.


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Shavah
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posted 05-03-2000 07:56 PM     Profile for Shavah   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
What happens once all your missiles are gone?

Plain and simple, fighters need a cannon to be complete.


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Rosco
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posted 05-03-2000 08:29 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Who says that new dogfight missles need to have a minimum range? Heck the Python 4 can re-attack missed targets and hit targets below and behind the aircraft it's launched from, I think it would be easily technically feasible to reduce the practical minimum range to almost nothing.

Also the difference between AAMs now and 30 years ago is that today's weopons actually work and far more of them are often carried. If you run out of missles then think you could take on a fighter {or maybe even a helicopter} armed with helmet cued R-74s, MICAs, ASRAAMs, IRIS-Ts, Python 4s or AIM-9Xs etc with a boresighted cannon...well good luck!

I personally would prefer to have the cannon option available, especially seeing as they're just replacing it with deadweight anyway, but I often wonder if even dogfight missles are worth wasteing too many weopons slots on.


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"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"

[This message has been edited by Rosco (edited 05-03-2000).]


Posts: 984 | From: Hazzard County | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Envelope
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posted 05-03-2000 09:35 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Unbelievable. Didn't anyone tell them about the F4?

It's better to have something and not need it then to need it and not have it.


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Rapier
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posted 05-03-2000 10:20 PM     Profile for Rapier   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, about the British removing the gun on their Typhoon's, it not that surprising. The Britsih have never valued their people that much historically. Just look at their doctrine since the begining of the industrial age. Frankly they're never had the best top of the line equiment but they have always managed to get by because of their men.This is again despite the poor treatment their people recieve in pay, shelter and equipment. So really it doesn't surprise me that they'd screw over the RAF to save a few bucks; it's just typically British.
Posts: 123 | From: Calgary, AB, Canada | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
patriotSTORM
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posted 05-03-2000 10:49 PM     Profile for patriotSTORM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Treason I tell you! It is treason!

Why spend so much money on such a manoeuvreable fighter when you could just throw a heap of missiles on a larger plane? Because it is still presumed that missiles will be used during a dogfight. And what happens when you are in a dogfight? you get closer to the enemy! And when you are too close for missiles, guess what? You screwed. Cannon provides the aircraft with unprecedented flexibility - both offensive and defensive.

About the cost - cannon ammo is hell of a lot cheaper than any missile. There is a small enemy Cessna you want to splash (just presume it, ok?) so are you gonna waste a missile? The missile is more expensive than the Cessna!

I suppose it will have the ability to carry a cannon pod?

And finally, what are they doing with the computer industry? Imagine F4 without cannon only dogfighting......oh for humanity!

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WHO DARES WINS


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Rosco
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posted 05-03-2000 10:50 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well I think it is better that the British leave the just the gun out than what the Germans did and decide not to include the critical PIRATE Electro-optical system on their Typhoons. I do still think the Brits are pretty stupid for deleteing a weopon they've already got in service in exchange for a giant fishing weight.

Patriotstorm, agile dogfighter aircraft were the "in" thing conceptwise at the start of the Eurofighter's developement period, I don't think it was ever forseen that BVR combat would so quickly eclipse traditional visual range air combat engagements.

Also, a ASRAAM may cost more than an empty Cessna but what about one filled with cocaine or even Semtex or biological weoponry, never know right? That ground hugging, night flying, no lights, no answer private aircraft you've just intercepted could be part of Bin Laden Airlines.

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"And if you don't like it, you know what to do"

[This message has been edited by Rosco (edited 05-03-2000).]


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Fishbed77
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posted 05-04-2000 12:08 AM     Profile for Fishbed77   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Rosco, Don, etc.,
If I am not mistaken (and I know that I am not), there were several gun kills by Royal Navy Sea Harriers during the Falklands War.

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Heretic
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posted 05-04-2000 12:35 AM     Profile for Heretic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yes there was i even saw a gun kill scored by a harrier on a VERY stupid Argentinian Mirage....(on a documentary)

The stupid did an overhead pass (going few degress descending (probably overshooted the harrier) all the brit did was pull the trigger and admire the firework as the idiot put himself on the gun vector!!!!
The sucker was killed, probably never understood what happened.....but hell i never saw such a dumb/overconfident manoeuver....

Heretic

The only time i tryed to insult a mig in a sim i did the same and got kicked.... maybe they should train in PC sims...i think its afordable even for them...


Posts: 546 | From: Brasil, Rio de Janeiro | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Rapier
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posted 05-04-2000 03:04 AM     Profile for Rapier   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'd rather have the gun then a electro-optical system personally. You can always use datalinks, radar and the EW suite to find your enemy. Atleast the Luftwaffe isn't quite stupid enough to forget the most basic lesson learned over Vietnam about a close in knife fight though I agree that it was incredibly stupid to remove the Pirate EOS. And like you mentioned the gun is already in srvice with the RAF, so it even stupider off them. Atleast over here the USAF/USN/USMC will never accept an aircraft without a gun (I hope, but who knows?).Hell we even developed the new composite barrelled M61A2 with 480 rounds for the F-22A Raptor and Boeing wants to use a version of the Mauser 27mm for the JSF.
Posts: 123 | From: Calgary, AB, Canada | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Lud von Pipper
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posted 05-04-2000 07:38 PM     Profile for Lud von Pipper   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
If this means something, even the low cost (but high effective, as the Kossovo campaign has shown) AMX has an internal vulcan!
LvP

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Rosco
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posted 05-04-2000 08:31 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Rapier, I think EOS is a must in this era of stealthy aircraft, even an F-22 probably couldn't get closer than 40-50 miles without been picked up by a new EO system. I think the A-A cannon is a vestigal remnant and that Vietnam air combat happened several long weopons generations ago.

Had the Vietnam flyers had even AIM-9L's, instead of immature finned fireworks they were forced to use, then you'd hear very little about lossed kills and pilots who died for want of a gun. I think there's as great a chance of a bomber tailgun downing a frontline fighter today as a gun kill on a modern fighter.

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"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"


Posts: 984 | From: Hazzard County | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Lucky_1
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posted 05-04-2000 09:00 PM     Profile for Lucky_1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rosco:

There hasn't been a cannon kill against a fighter in at least 20 years. Today's missles will work in extremely demanding conditions where's Vietnam era AAMs could fail to connect with an entire volley in optimum conditions.


On the contrary Rosco. There has been, although very few, gun kills in the last 20 years.

During the Falklands Conflict of 1982, 4 kills were from guns, 16 from IR-Guided missles. Roughly, 20% guns, 80% missles.

In Persian Gulf Conflict 1990-1991, 2 AC were shot down by guns, 24 from Radar missiles, and 13 from heatseekers.

Obviously, the trend is going toward less and less gun kills, but I don't think they should be taken away from any military aircraft.

One of the most important considerations for today's budget concious militaries is cost. This is an important factor with today's developing aircraft, shooting missles is more expensive than shooting cannon rounds, as we all know.

Another factor is that aircraft coming out have lower radar cross-sections, less heat signatures. Therefore, these newer planes might sneak past the newer missiles firing envelopes. Which in turn would lead to cannons.

Cannons could also be used on non-important targets that some country would not want to waste a Multi-Million dollar missile on.

In conclsion, unlike a missile, a gun cannot be fooled by gadgetry from another aircraft. It is, in a way, a direct extension of the pilot, a final tool if all electronic gadgetry goes wrong.

Despite the potential drawbacks of the gun, it offers flexibilty in combat. In combat, flexibilty can mean the difference between life and death.

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Two beers, or not two beers. There is no question.


Posts: 635 | From: Knoxville, TN. | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Vector
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posted 05-04-2000 10:10 PM     Profile for Vector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rosco:
I think there's as great a chance of a bomber tailgun downing a frontline fighter today as a gun kill on a modern fighter.


Ever played JF-18? Never get behind a Bear.

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-\/ector, Flight Sim Sympathizer


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Envelope
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posted 05-04-2000 10:17 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
...and Falcon 4.0, and Janes F-15.
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patriotSTORM
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posted 05-04-2000 10:35 PM     Profile for patriotSTORM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
What I think is so scary that the RAF will lose their close-in dogfighting skills here. Looks like a repeat of pre-Vietnam here, as everyone has said. Someone raised the new PIRATE weopon system - I will admit ignorance..........can anyone enlighten me? Could it be the cannons "successor"? Every modern fighter has an internal cannon (am I right?) so what is Britian doing? Obviously they are thinking that the Typhoon could never beat the likes of a Berkut or Raptor in a knifefight, so are opting for a longer range victory. Who I feel sorry for is the Brit pilots - if their air force is proved wrong, then they will suffer devestating losses in a large conflict.
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Rosco
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posted 05-04-2000 10:49 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Luck_1,

I'm kind of playing devil's avocate here and I personally would want a gun in my fighter but I don't think it's the worst thing to be worrying about. In the end, I applaud the British MoD's decision, I hope we'll finally see a good Rafale sim now that the 'best' version of the Typhoon has been "ruined"

Vector,

LOL, actually I've only had to use even my AIM-9X missles twice in JF-18's Campaign let alone close within gunnery range.

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"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"


Posts: 984 | From: Hazzard County | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Rosco
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posted 05-04-2000 11:45 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
patriotstorm >

PIRATE is a sensor system, it a supercooled dual mode infared tracking system that can passively detect aircraft at up to 80 miles and also function as a FLIR in ground attack situations. You can track and attack your target without warning and without giving away your position like a radar would.

I've done this with the ATFLIR pod in JF-18 and it works great since the target doesn't have time to really get into evasive maneuvering since their's no RWR warning, your missle will have a nicely cooporative target. Only problem is that the ATFLIR pod has a range of maybe 15 miles tops in A-A mode and that it must be cued by an outside source like radar or an MSI link to work.

The Electro-Optical Systems permanently mounted in most new fighter are stand alone systems, they don't need a previous sensor lock to start tracking, not to mention they see a lot farther than 15 miles. The AAS-42 infared tracker on the F-14 D can see a cruise missle at 100 miles, where's even that fighters very powerful radar will only detect one at something like 65 miles.

These systems can give you a informative {relatively} high resolution thermal image of your target, even a stealthy one, instead of a just a radar blip or possibly nothing at all. they aren't really affected by ground clutter and not at all by jamming or any other current countermeasures. There's also the possible side benefit not having to take an external FLIR pod along.

That plasma stealth device we've all heard so much about would simply make the aircraft using it a better target for opponents using any sort of EO tracking system. Given all this capability, that's why I say the German's made an even worse mistake when they chose not to include the PIRATE system on their Typhoon than the Brits made by choosing not to go with a gun.

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"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"


Posts: 984 | From: Hazzard County | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
TWalt
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posted 05-05-2000 10:59 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Rosco,
Great info except the PIRATE is actually limited to about 30-50 NM depending on target emission (looking at front of aircraft or looking at engines). The 80 was looking at an enhanced IR target under ideal conditions.

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Bogey
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posted 05-05-2000 03:37 PM     Profile for Bogey   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Wouldn't IFF take care of target ID?

Anyway, I think that they make space for it so it can be attached (built-in or whatever) if the need should arise in the future...
Personally, I think guns are cool...

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Up there, where the air is rare...


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tony draper
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posted 05-05-2000 04:56 PM     Profile for tony draper   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
i believe the usaf very quickly brought out a gun pod for the f4 in vietnam perhaps that would be the best option...tony d
Posts: 1280 | From: england | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
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posted 05-05-2000 07:35 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Aircraft Cannon need to be better and the pilot needs to go before we get overly anxious about to duck hunt or not to duck hunt.

One thing they do is give those aircrews a visible 'fun factor' and competitive marker for morale purposes while providing both them and their ground crews a cheap and easy means of coparticipating via the paint marks on the flag/dart or the acoustic replay on some of the more sophisticated tow-targets.

It's ironic that what one of the other poster's mentions is probably more true than most realize. An IR tracked laser in a gimballed head covering most of the upper front hemisphere has the potential to blind for life any pilot upon which you deign to lay a 'scan the cockpit shape hole' dazzle.

Most IR weapons these days have some form of autopilot (allowing radical turn-to boresight freedom), TVC and/or a very loose aeros stability margins for 3 second, 180`, turns and are going towards imaging which removes much of the look-into-clutter and seduction problems (Directed IRCM is another matter...).

Do I think it's a mistake? Yes and No. It's always a mistake to take the toy-factor away from the boy (or girl) and make them just another suit on the way to work-war.
Ground Simming and button-presses-monkey Currency work interrupting a continual paper chase does not a killer spirit invoke on the way 'up or out'.

OTOH, maybe once we completely remove the human-factors 'challenge' (potential of error) and everybody flies in fear of a kinematic or seeker envelope, we will finally see how wasteful most wars really are.

In any case, since I know this to be an instinctive lie, I look forward to the day when drones do what the X-31 and Su-27 do... Bell and Hook at 400+ knots.

'Superagile' in a missile-world useful quantification of knots+G fit to retire the manned aviation definition as the pathetic immitation it is.

Designed with max-LO and dual axis constraints on maneuver, fitted with a 2.5nm ranged, 20Kspm/10Kfps, 'instant TOF', cannon.

And 'You' WILL be able to break past the BVR and WVR envelopes to go-gunninng, very cheaply, again.

Only you will likely fight them in packs with a 'playbook' of quarterbacked preengagement datalink squirts because you won't be able to keep up with their Team Terminator reaction rates, in real time.


Kurt Plummer


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patriotSTORM
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posted 05-05-2000 08:25 PM     Profile for patriotSTORM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
thanks Rosco, great help! Just another dumb question, how does Pirate compare to the Russian IR system? And can it be used without in place of radar? I can remember in the original EF2000 there was an IR recognition panel directly under the HUD, is this PIRATE?

Now getting a bit of topic, will the EF2000 be using helmet-mounted sights and data (like the agile eye in Firefox) we have been hearing so much about? If this is the case would PIRATE be linked in?

Kurt Plummer, I totally agree with what you have said. Some good points, I hadn't considered that when fighting with "drones" combat would be too fast for humans......our flight sim days are numbered.


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Rosco
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posted 05-05-2000 09:54 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Patriotstorm >

I believe the Russians are into their second generation of IRST system with the third being linked to the appearance of their next generation of fighters that they can't pay for like the SU-37, Berkut and MiG 1.42 or whatever it's called.

I really don't know much about the PIRATE but I would say it outperforms the the first generation systems seen on the early '80s vintage MiG-29A/B/C and SU-27 handily, and perhaps the newer second generation setups seen on the SU-33 and the imminent MiG-29SMT as well. If the SU-37 ever makes it into service, or anything comes of the Berkut or MiG 1.42, programs, I'd expect their E-O systems to equal that of the Typhoon.

The Typhoon does have a helmet mounted sight, which is used to cue the capable new vectored thrust, tail controlled AIM-132{?} ASRAAM {Advanced Short Ranged Air to Air Missle} dogfight missle, a better weopon than the equally new AIM-9X in my opinion. This missle, and others like it, with their flare rejecting, wide angle seeker heads, excellent control layouts and general nastiness, could make dogfighting unsurvivable overnight.

The Typhoon, and all new fighters do make extensive use of datalinking, every information gathering source, onboard and offboard the fighter, including the PIRATE system, would be tied together and the info gleaned by everyone using the datalink. Having multiple sensor types feeding the datalink instead of just radar would greatly boost its effectiveness. The information is displayed in simplified fashion to avoid information overload, on a 360 degree "god's eye" top view display.

Regarding the EF2000 game, don't know, don't have that game, it's possible though, that the PIRATE data is displayed on two screens, one would give you a thermal image of the target {if you were close enough} while ordinary IR based target data would just be added to your radar screen.

Kurt >

You are treading dangerously close to neophyte decipherability with that last postation, henceforce high order nomenclature and ancronyminization are expected or I will be forced to pull your resident evil genius card, you have been warned.

Rosco



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Kurt Plummer
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posted 05-06-2000 04:30 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey PatriotStorm,

<<I hadn't considered that when fighting
with "drones" combat would be too fast for humans......our flight sim days are numbered.>>

Actually, 'simming' would be the /best/ place to try some of these ideas out. It's only the game companies fixatioin with 'realistic' airframes (we haven't had a new-different one in nearly 10 years so perhaps that should change) to meet the Hardcore market expectations that really keeps things from working out better.

The way it would work:

Take the Virtual Tech being designed for the JSF (360` integrated camera apertures without the cockpit) and make that your 'assumed interface' for the drone.

Fly into combat with a constant G-for-altitude-for-airspeed marker. Spread your flight out perhaps 20K in height (40-60K) and 10nm between section elements.

If you're the 'high' element press a button and all of a sudden you're horizon is 'snap rolled', virtually and you _pull_ /down/ (this is what I mean when I say dual axis, structure rated to maximum or near-max in both pitch planes).

And at say 800 knots you generate a 16G snapdown from 60K while the 'low' flights at 40K pincer-in. All under control of my Patented 'Who/Do/Why' control system.

Left block-attacks right, Right block-attacks left, High blitzes the quarterback through the opening up the middle. WHAM!

And it's all recorded so that once you exit the 'test range simulation' portion of the simulation, you get an ACMI type replay. In which you can adjust specific 'waypoint' (3D) combat segments (or even refly from another player-perspective) 'tuning' the fight before labelling the fight tactic as: "Elway Goes Down for the Count" and storing it in your onboard F-22 tactics memory.

To be used as you see the situation needing.
In this area of predictive spatial understanding Humans still have a masterful insight-edge that most computers cannot even come /close/ to emulating.

So Why So High and Wide? Because with the sensor and datalink integration that Rosco mentions (and it doesn't have to be IR-fighter, the E-2 Hawkeye is about to get a 200nm IRST of it's own...), it may very well be that to escape the -sensor cone- of your opponent, you need to fly very high+wide around him and/or generate a 'push pull' effect on where his main (long range) apertures are pointing.

IOW, you're not just evading one aperture scan coverage but rather, via the enemies own intraflight datalink 2, 4 or even 8 linked/bistatic IRST/radars. And with phased arrays, there is no 'barXdegree' elevation hole either.

Of course you will still need 'help' to get through to the merge and this is where the 2-seat F-22X or F/A-22 (whose lots have been 'reserved' as a possible Strike Eagle followon) come in.

Like the Firefox, the Raptor is less than optimally weaponized to take maximum advantage of it's (physical envelope) potential.

Even as the recent surge in IR and low-band, 'television bistatic' rf tracking technology does much to negate their traditional military wavelength (C-Ka) VLO measures.

To stay outside threat IR angletrack predictiveness, as well as to cover large theatre areas with a pitifully token force purchases we must move from Mach-4/5 unitary AAM to Mach-10 'cluster bus' systems.

What is a cluster AAM? Well let's describe what it does and then take a look at the pics at the end.

Say at 100-150nm out, the Front Seater fires a weapon looking rather like a cross between the Sprint/Spartan ABM, an ATACMS artillery rocket, the Starstreak MANPADS and the MALD decoy.

With an easy Mach-2 parent boost from the Raptor, the booster portion of the weapon (Sprint) quickly accelerates to roughly 2 miles per second and as a consequence Eats Up the downrange distance, making any enemy retrograde (if they see the Raptor at all) unimportant.

At about 45nm from target and 130K up, the munition deploys an ablative ballute drag collar and uses pitch down rockets to get laneage on the cluster burst.

And at about 50K and 20nm out, it's down to around Mach 3 where it pops the sideshells (ATACMS like) and deploys 1-4 /hunting/ (Starstreak) minimissile submunitions.

These hunters then deploy tailcontrol surfaces and 'break up' (surfing the shock) to further retrograde their velocity vector down to about Mach 1.5 where they deploy wings and _start a turbojet motor_ (MALD).

With 10-20 minutes of .9Mach flight and 2-5 minutes of Mach 1.4 'boost' THESE are your actual 'maneuvering warhead' kill vehicles.

So what's so special about a 'hunting' weapon?

_It can miss and reattack_, in packs.

So when the enemy 'makes his 9-11G man-max-macho' break sure, the first missile misses.

The second one doesn't and the third one attacks another target while the first _comes around again_. Something no rocket or even ram powered (expensive as hell) weapon can currently do.

Now let's go back to the drones. Their closure past the Adder/BVRAAM BVR pol is assured by the timed prearrival of the cluster-AAM 'keeping the bad guys busy' and as the enemy formation discipline breaks up, they swoop in to the attack with SRM and super-guns at minimal counterfire vulnerability.

USING YOUR PREPROGRAMMED ATTACK STYLE. As predefined in the 'simulator'.

Okay, if you're still awake, this is where things get interesting: imagine this kind of a fight taking place online in massively multiplayer fights. Star Wars (speeds and maneuver sharpness) with real-tech!:-))

60 drones, 10 manned jets, 20 pilot/RIO teams and you /game the tactics/ just as if you were playing football or soccer. Only in 3D with a 'kill the quarterback' (20 followon T-60 stealth bombers armed with Biologic Weapons) type endgame goal (have to give the chauffer /some/ fun...;-).

IMO, this is the way future battles _will be fought_.

We simply don't have the balls to accept anything other than 'zero friendly losses' and yet our pockets are no longer deep enough (nor the pilots capable enough) to dictate the terms of the skybattle, 'Mano-a-Mano'.

A ten million dollar drone and a 1 million dollar cluster AAM gives you back the edge on all three levels:

Cost
Performance
Sacrificial Gaming (including cross-border)

And I for one will be grinning ear to ear when the FrancoBrits try and sell their 50nm-FMRAAM Typhoons to the next Slobodan Hussein only to get blasted from the air 100nm further out /anyway/.

In this way, Game Mimics Combat, /before/ combat becomes 'real'.

If a company would HIRE ME, I could help them blend the current (recognizeable sales point: Raptor) and the future (new and different game concept: UCAV and Cluster AAM) over several linked titles like this.

In some ways I pity todays simulation conglomerates. They have gotten big and bloated on success but now have so much 'history' to acknowledge that they either have to redo-to-perfection a platform or a title that has a 'classical precomparitor' or they have to try and combine several-into-one and still come up short in one area or many.

If they had some guts, they would stop looking to the ACTUAL military to 'lead the way' and begin to again set the pace in the field by developing something so new and so radical that they wouldn't get trapped by the boredom-meets-expectations-of-excellence idiotic repetition.


Kurt Plummer


LINKS-
Sprint ABM (the perfect ballistic shape) http://www.brook.edu/FP/projects/nucwcost/sprint.htm http://www.brook.edu/FP/projects/nucwcost/sprint.htm http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/arrow.htm http://www.aerorocket.com/tripoli/photos/sprint/s5.jpg

ATACMS (Yeah, Bus Them Babies!) http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/atacms.htm http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/atacmsblockIa.jpg http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/atacmsblockIIa.jpg

Starstreak (More IS Better) http://www.army-technology.com/projects/starstreak/index.html http://www.army-technology.com/projects/starstreak/star2.html http://www.army-technology.com/projects/starstreak/star4.html http://www.army-technology.com/projects/starstreak/star1.html

MALD (Look Out! Here I come again...) http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/equip/mald.htm http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/equip/mald.jpg

UCAV (Anyway you Break, I'll G-ain On You) http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/ucav.htm http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/sabuav.jpg http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/ucav_fate_1_5.gif

P.S. So Rosco, do I get to keep my secret decoder ring?


Posts: 672 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Major Tom
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posted 05-07-2000 12:19 PM     Profile for Major Tom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I like the Tornado IDS gun set up. It has not one, but two cannons! There's something about more than one gun on a diminutive aircraft flown by Brits and Germans that worrys me.

Heh heh heh...

(Sorry Tornado lovers, but the IDS one tiny aircraft compared to any modern fighterbomber...even an F-16, I saw a Luftwaffe IDS at an airshow.)

It's definately an aircraft you don't get in, you put it on.


Posts: 1352 | From: Prescott, AZ | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
SuperGroove
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posted 05-07-2000 01:16 PM     Profile for SuperGroove   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Kurt,

You're back! Haven't seen you in a while. Anyways...you said...you said it! With what you say, little boys can't dream of being fighter pilots anymore. Might as well tell them to throw away that copy of Top Gun!

Okay Okay, let me stop crying. Sure man is the weak link for ultra sophisticated, ultra maneuverable machines, but the Air Force is looking to reduce their dependency on man too. If this was an appealing solution, by God, they would already be planning to do it. As of now, the only non manned aircraft that play a pivotal role in the air force, are the recon UAVs. They're progressing, but IMO, they're an indication of how advanced UAVs are.

Meh...Anyways, that was a meager post. All I wanted to originally is, Britain should've bought F-14s long ago, when they had the chance! Their budget would be large enough now to equip their Typhoons with Cannons. Instead, they passed, bought some surplus F-4s, and waited...and waited...and waited for the already obsolete Tornado. The IDS is a highly capable ground attack aircraft...but what were they thinking with that pig of an aircraft, the ADV?! In the Gulf War, they were well out of the range of getting into combat. The F-14 was too, but at least it got a kill. It's sad though, the missile the F-14 fired was probably more expensive than the helicopter. Meh.

Anyways, sure missiles get the majority of the kills, but still, with stealth, you either get killed BVR, or you gotta use that maneuverability to plug him with some cannon fire. With stealth technology that demands low IR, it's up to the good ol Mark 1 eyeball to get the job done.


Posts: 800 | From: Colorado | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Rosco
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posted 05-07-2000 02:48 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think the current generation of fighters will be about 20-25 years old before we see UCAV's start doing the heavy lifting in combat. Also I think the first generation of UCAVs will merely be pilotless versions of today's and tomorrow's tactical fighters that will be influenced by a manned version of that fighter much as we flight simmers direct our computer generated "wingies".

A swarm of technologically mature UCAVs would be deadly for sure, opposing in a manned aircraft would be like diving in a pool of piranahs. Of course, if said manned aircraft was a hypersonic bomber skimming the upper atmosphere, the pilot could piss from a great height on the digital aggression of the UCAV collective.

Lastly I again question the air-to-air cannon's utility and think that a "dogfight" today will consist of aircraft maneuvering supersonically several miles away from each other as was the case in some of the F-15 vs. MiG-29 over the former Yugoslavia. Make no mistake, I think the cannon's _role_ is still valid, but as Kurt alluded to, something will have to replace the chemicaly powered charcoal burners in order to fufill that role.

Kurt >

That remains to be seen, the omniscient eye of the RB Cabal is apon you.

Rosco


Posts: 984 | From: Hazzard County | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Lucky_1
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posted 05-07-2000 08:16 PM     Profile for Lucky_1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Before the UAV's the Air Force did experiment with pilotless airplanes. A plane called the D-21. It was supposed to be a spy plane. It was a total failure. It would be launched from a B-52 then take pictures of China and Russia.

Many were shot down, crashed or just plain disappeared. I think they recovered 2 of em. One was in the ocean and was a total loss. This program discouraged the USAF's idea on pilotless planes.

Although, this was way back in the late 50's and 60's, and technology has changed alot as we all know.

------------------
Two beers, or not two beers. There is no question.


Posts: 635 | From: Knoxville, TN. | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
patriotSTORM
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posted 05-07-2000 10:08 PM     Profile for patriotSTORM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Kurt...that was amazing. Jeez....wouldn't that make a great movie! Just a little confused on these "attack weapons" - what makes them able to keep making passes? Would they themselves have missiles on them which they can fire while it's mothership turns away? And the kind of combat you envisaged - obviously it would cost a huge amount in development costs, but once the superpowers had them would it become cheaper for poorer nations to equip a quality air force? One other thing, the weak point of the fighters would be their communication with base. Imagine......new secret weopon used in battle.......enemy aircraft sighted, jammer swithced on breaking signal with home.....hundreds of planes falling out of the sky.... My question is how secure the commands would be - would we be looking at another theatre of electronic warfare, where before planes can fly the air has to be secured from enemy jamming? I think we are looking at a blockbuster here.....

------------------
WHO DARES WINS


Posts: 404 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Hy
unregistered

posted 05-07-2000 10:50 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The D-21:

June 24, 1965: First launch, after flying a large distance, runs out of fuel and crashes into ocean

July, 1965: Drone performs perfectly and follows waypoints, flying at Mach 3.5 after being launched from an SR-71. Crashes when a hydraulic pump burns out.

June 15, 1966: Drone performs perfectly, follows waypoints, takes pictures, etc. Does not eject the film package due to electronic failure.

July 30, 1966: Drone crashed into rear fuselage of SR-71 it's launched from. One pilot dies.

November 9, 1969: Drone launched perfectly into China, comes out, and disappears. Monitors claim it is never picked up by Chinese radars due to its extremely low RCS. It is presumed that it crashed in Siberia due to guidance malfunction [later this is confirmed].

March, 1971: Drone performs without error. The Navy fails to recover the camera package though, because the boat floats over it and causes it to sink. Silly Navy men.

March, 1971: Drone flies into China then disappears. Cause undetermined.


None were presumed shot down.


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