Defense Issues

Defense news and analysis

Comparing modern fighter aircraft

Posted by picard578 on August 30, 2014

Nature of air to air combat

 

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

—G. Santayana

 

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

 

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments »

Rafale passive targeting capability

Posted by picard578 on August 30, 2014

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Close coupled vs long arm canard

Posted by picard578 on August 23, 2014

Canards overview and general effects

Canard is a small control surface placed in front of the main wing, similar to how tail is behind it. There are two main variations – long arm and close coupled canard.

Canard has a major advantage over the horizontal tail in the level flight. As aircraft passes through the transonic region, aircraft experiences an increased nose-down trim change. Control surface has to counter it; and while horizontal tail provides download, causing a large trim-drag penalty, canard can help provide upload, reducing need for elevon/tail trim and thus reducing level-flight drag. Further, canard also allows for an aerodynamically clean end of the aircraft with superior area distribution when compared to the tailed configuration, reducing supersonic drag.

Canard provides lift when aicraft is turning Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 20 Comments »

NATO air forces proposal 3

Posted by picard578 on August 23, 2014

Current state

Aircraft costs FY2014

COMBAT: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Forward air controller aircraft proposal revised

Posted by picard578 on August 16, 2014

Historical lessons

Since UAVs are very bad at actual observation (except maybe as an inexpensive help for individual infantry platoons, controlled by those same platoons), this aircraft will also be manned. Aside from this concern, UAVs are also not adaptable.

First airborne FACs appeared during World War I. In that war, aircraft were employed for surveillance due to ground commander’s difficulties in interpreting the unfolding battlespace. First aircraft used had a crew of two, a pilot and an observer who would sketch the situation for the ground commander; information was later used to make battlefield maps, and aircraft also helped in directing artillery barrages. This led directly to development of CAS fighters and interceptors: some observers started dropping small bombs from aircraft on enemy positions or strafe trenches with guns, and both sides tried to prevent the enemy scouting.

Observations made were often inaccurate – strength of enemy formations could be misreported by thousands. However, information was provided far sooner by airborne observers than by other means, though development of CAS (and thus FAC) doctrine was being neglected in favor of failed strategic bombing deep behind enemy lines; only in 1917 did France and Germany realize its true value.

Interwar period led to the separation of FAC and CAS duties, since performing CAS often led to the FACs neglecting their primary duty. Only US Marine Corps, having no separate air service, was able to concentrate aircraft on CAS duties. And while World War II led to many (soon forgotten) improvements in carrying out CAS missions, appearance of airborne forward air controller had to wait until Korean war. While doctrine did permit use of airborne FAC in air-to-ground operations, there was no equipment allocated for such function, nor was any training undertaken specifically for the mission. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 29 Comments »

Single vs twin engined fighters

Posted by picard578 on August 9, 2014

Single engined fighters have typically been favored due to their low procurement and operational costs, ease of maintenance and assumed better air-to-air performance. Yet there is also a belief that single-engined fighters are inherently less survivable and lower-performance than twin-engined fighters. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in weapons | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 33 Comments »

Air superiority fighter proposal 6 overview

Posted by picard578 on August 3, 2014

Due to the excessive length of the original article, I have decided to post the overview. For those interested in entire design process and thinking behind the FLX, full article can be found here. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Air superiority fighter proposal 6

Posted by picard578 on August 2, 2014

Requirements

Introduction

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

Nature of air to air combat

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

—G. Santayana

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

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

—Colonel Erich “Bubi” Hartmann, GAP

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

Posted in proposals, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 65 Comments »

Aircraft costs 2013-2015

Posted by picard578 on July 26, 2014

http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2015/fy2015_p1.pdf

 

NOTE: Since spending does not include R&D or any associated equipment, it is a good indication of actual aircraft cost.

 

Pg.40:

 

FY2013

EA-18G: 967.725.000 USD for 12 aircraft – 80.643.750 USD Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Saab Gripen vortices

Posted by picard578 on July 19, 2014

saab39_vortices_representation

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 10 Comments »

 
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