Should the Army revisit the Comanche program?

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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jessmo111

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Unread post16 May 2017, 19:52

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing–Sikorsky_RAH-66_Comanche

After the cold war and during the times of peace dividends the Comanche was ridiculed as a cold war relic. But now that we are re-arming to fight a neer peer the helo could really prove its worth.

1. Comanches stationed in the Baltics would present a serious threat to Russian planners
2. With newer processors and better materials the chopper could be lighter with better performance.
3. In the Pacific LHD based comanche would allow the Army to get in on the penetrating strike or Armed scout game.
4. Costs could be reduced by building a drone version.

Just by removing the 2 meatballs from the Helo you could add,an insane amount of range.
In conusion, weither its the South China sea or Kalingrad, the thing will be useful. Partner them with F-35Bs and now you have 2 air assets that are highly dispersable.
Discuss.
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arian

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Unread post16 May 2017, 20:54

How much of a role does radar play in helicopter operations? That would tell us whether a stealth helicopter is worth it or not. And even if it does play a role, for example against radar-guided AAA or SHORAD, can you get the RCS low enough to matter at ranges of 10-20km at which those radars operate (or be drowned out by background)? On a helicopter?

Even in the desert, Apaches were able to get close enough to engage Iraqi early warning radar sites in 1991.

Of course, we do have a stealth helicopter ;)
Image

But it's for a different mission rather than battlefield missions.

And with drones becoming abundant and cheap, is it worth developing a very expensive stealth observation helicopter (that's what Comanche originally was for, a replacement for Kiowa)? When we can stand-off at long distances and observe, rather than have to go in close?
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sferrin

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Unread post16 May 2017, 21:46

jessmo111 wrote:Should the Army revisit the Comanche program?
Discuss.


Only to remind themselves of what NOT to do.
"There I was. . ."
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hornetfinn

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Unread post17 May 2017, 09:22

arian wrote:How much of a role does radar play in helicopter operations? That would tell us whether a stealth helicopter is worth it or not. And even if it does play a role, for example against radar-guided AAA or SHORAD, can you get the RCS low enough to matter at ranges of 10-20km at which those radars operate (or be drowned out by background)? On a helicopter?

Even in the desert, Apaches were able to get close enough to engage Iraqi early warning radar sites in 1991.


Ground based early warning radars are very poor at detecting low flying helicopters. Their purpose is to give long range detection of enemy air activity and to achieve this they have to give up ability to detect very low altitude and slow targets. First problem is that to achieve very long range, they have to give up minimum detection range. These radars usually have 5-20 km minimum range which means they can't see any targets closer than this. Earth curvature (radar horizon) and any ground feature (hills, buildings etc) between radar and helicopter will ensure that a helicopter can fly undetected within the minimum radar range. Another problem for early warning radar is that they are usually elevated somewhat (mechanically or electronically) to avoid ground clutter which significantly reduces their long range performance and gives false alarms. Then they usually have pretty high minimum target speed threshold which can exceed the normal flight speed of helicopters. These reasons are probably why they were chosen to take out those radars.

Not sure if helicopter RCS and IR signature can be reduced enough to make them worthwhile. Maybe technology and manufacturing techniques have improved so much with the F-35, F-22 and B-2 project that it's possible to do that. There may not be will to do so as there are many other ways of doing what stealthy helicopter could do. However a replacement for Apache is needed some day and it may well feature a way more F-35 like approach (stealth, SA, networking).
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jessmo111

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Unread post19 May 2017, 20:18

Stealthy helos are not only possible they are here. Did we forget the seal team flying into Pakistan, to attack the Bin Laden compound?
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count_to_10

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Unread post19 May 2017, 21:43

I thought the problem with stealth helicopters was that the rotors are hard to hide from Doppler radar. Thay are always moving at high speeds and constantly sweeping their plane alignments around.
With that in mind, maybe a better idea would be something more like the F-35B.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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popcorn

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Unread post19 May 2017, 22:58

No need. Send in UAVs.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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rheonomic

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Unread post20 May 2017, 02:04

Maybe the Army should consider replacing their rotorcraft fleet with newer vehicles. We could call the project Future, uh, Vertical, uh something?
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geforcerfx

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Unread post20 May 2017, 19:00

rheonomic wrote:Maybe the Army should consider replacing their rotorcraft fleet with newer vehicles. We could call the project Future, uh, Vertical, uh something?


Hmm it's either Thingy or Lift, but I can't remember which :D
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citanon

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Unread post20 May 2017, 23:41

There's some talk of putting stealth into fvl:

http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/s ... e-stealthy
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count_to_10

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Unread post21 May 2017, 14:47

citanon wrote:There's some talk of putting stealth into fvl:

http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/s ... e-stealthy

There is a V-280 thread to post that in.
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=28080&start=30
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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