How will the F-35 deal with a CUDA/MSD-like threat?

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armedupdate

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Unread post30 Jul 2018, 05:08

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With sensors getting better and better, soon fighters can use their missiles to engage enemy missiles. The US is trying to make the MSD to protect it's fighters. What happens when the enemy uses a similar type interceptor? The problem I see with the F-35 is it has a limited internal payload compared to a large fighter than can carry many interceptors on the wings.

IMO the air superiority role will likely in the future, the shooter will be dozens of UAVs, with the F-35's primary role being a sensor.
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eloise

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Unread post30 Jul 2018, 05:34

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The rise of missiles truck?
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element1loop

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Unread post30 Jul 2018, 07:02

What if ...

Several fighter DIRCMs from your flanking flight, scorched the sensors required for the detecting of an approaching slammer, so that nothing functional was left to counter it? Would a slammer's launch even be needed in that case if you could soft-kill or negate bogies at mid-BVR range of a slammer? i.e. there are many other options opening up in parallel to possible counter-counter missile approach to 5th-gen BVR.

Given the development in 5th-gen optimised air to ground weapons, and air to surface weapons, their small size, their target prioritizing selectiveness, their very high surge numbers---for the foreseeable, an air opponent would really struggle to mount a sustained air to air threat and response capacity. Not to mention their EA support. The first major expensive thing an OPFOR needs to address is to build a phenomenal network of passive point defence SHORADS, to keep their air bases and wider IADS from degrading too fast.

Thousands of SDBs are mildly expensive to deliver, but defeating them, in flight, will empty the coffers, as well as become insufficient in a sustained battle.

I'd say defeating a hundred or so terminal slammers won't really help, not to mention the possible secondary frag damage to own aircraft if successful on a late detection.

Sure, OPFOR will develop that capacity, but in the wider context, will it be enough to affect an air campaign win when a simple change of tactics renders the countering of BVR AAMs more or less ineffective?

And if the launching F-35s remain discretely VLO unseen, at high BVR radius, they still hold all the best cards regardless--it ain't over. There's no replacement for not being seen or fired at, in the first instance.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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armedupdate

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Unread post30 Jul 2018, 08:28

One big problem I see with this new tech is that fighter radars aren't BMD radars. They may not be able to track multiple targets at those speeds and guide reliability with their missiles.
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element1loop

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Unread post31 Jul 2018, 03:46

armedupdate wrote:One big problem I see with this new tech is that fighter radars aren't BMD radars. They may not be able to track multiple targets at those speeds and guide reliability with their missiles.


C4i Picture -->
Commanders -->
Operations -->
Off-aircraft C4i sensors -->
Networked data-stream -->
On-aircraft passive multispectral sensors -->
On-aircraft active multispectral sensors -->
MADL -->
Flight/SQN plugged-in data (Lightning Cloud™) -->
Data-fussion -->
MADL -->
Auto classification -->
Auto-prioritization -->
MADL -->
Flight/SQN sensor and weapon cueing -->
Flanking multi-axis orientations -->
Sychronous multi-aircraft synergistic actions -->
Rinse, repeat -->
Near real-time BDA for Flight(s)/SQN(s) -->
Near real-time BDA to Network -->
C4i picture -->
Commanders -->

On the granular weapon verses target level there are multiple unseen sensors (and/or/else active) observing same events from multi-axis viewing angles and sharing/updating a composite image and vector picture display to both Lightning Cloud™, and scores of connected pilot's eyes.

It can't really get much more ideal for exploiting, with on-going development.

The datalink is the obvious key factor, but where the observations and comms are LPD/LPI, with more or less uninterupted LOS beamed comms DL. Difficult to simultaneously disrupt all of a flight's links, or to prevent those who maybe detected and jammed/blocked, from just being updated anyway, via other flight members/nodes, using other distribution link direction/paths/MADL array panels, thus updating their Lightning Cloud™ picture, regardless.

How do you stop it?

The older early-build F-35s now being discussed for retirement could be bought to 3F standard, converted to unmanned, then tested or sacrificed within a series of live-fire A2A exercises, to prove the concepts in quasi real-world air battles, to proof the concepts, tactics and tech.

From completed operational testing, to destructive pre-combat testing, removing ambiguity/FUD, while debunking CONOPS.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Dragon029

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Unread post31 Jul 2018, 04:54

An F-35's #1 tool against a swarming threat is avoiding engagement, whether that be via stealth, EW, cyber, physical avoidance, etc.

If China or whoever does develop missiles like the SACM or MSDM, then directed energy weapons (be it lasers or masers [directed microwave weapon]) are your best bet. If an F-35 can mount a ~150kW laser at that time, then great; if not, then a dedicated DEW platform (EA-18G, F-15E, B-52, KC-46 or whatever) with a (ideally even more powerful) laser / maser and connected via MADL is your best bet. Nothing beats a laser / maser for magazine depth if it's powered by a generator (vs just batteries) and speed-of-light interception is your best bet for having a pK and reaction speed fast enough to intercept incoming missiles. Lasers and masers have their flaws, but it's better than trying to carry more MSDM equivalents than your enemy or wasting your own SACMs against their incoming missiles.
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element1loop

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Unread post31 Jul 2018, 07:44

From reading proposed engine update the surplus generation is scaled for a directed energy counter measures system (and described as such, i.e. not a weapon class device, as such) rather than a brutt energy system. Makes sense that we'll see an intermediate powered directed-energy system before a high-powered system. More likely it's a transition device with secondary weapon-like potential and effects, and a whole new way of examining tactics, effects and force. i.e. making the most out of what you have rather than what you wanted.

A 50kW device if precisely aimed, rapid-fire with high beam quality is still a terrifying prospect. Good news is you need lots of thrust to make it useful, so a further high engine power threshold to aim for by a prospective opposing force.

Then it's a question of how much thrust you sacrifice to make electrons, rather than enhance agility, etc. You could elect to have a lower thrust mix of say 4 F-35s per sqn with lower thrust, but a more capable energy-weapon, and CFTs (to permit higher engine power settings when needed).
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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Dragon029

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Unread post01 Aug 2018, 01:25

Thrust reduction isn't that bit of a deal; don't forget that in STOVL mode the F135 is transferring around 14 or 20 megawatts of mechanical power via drive shaft and still producing around 20,000lbf of thrust itself. With an electrical generator having an efficiency of around 85% and a laser generator having an efficiency of around 30% you can generate a 50kW beam with current technology with only a reduction of something like 1lbf per 0.25kW of laser generated.
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element1loop

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Unread post01 Aug 2018, 03:22

And would an active cooling system be needed on both the device and a high output generator, for sustained fire rate and high enough energy level? Suspect so.

99.9% of the time the generator would not be charging up the device of course, thus reducing engine load anyway. Which indicates to me there would be little need for a separate generator system (or significant redesign). So the existing generation capacity would be redesigned to beef-up and cooled it, to supply the device, and its active cooling.

Which arrangement should not add much secular load to engine output anyway, mostly a transient load. Thus most of the excess thrust would be available, for most of the time, with little attenuation, even during tactical use.

From your numbers they suggests either the directed-energy capability is being added to an arguement to justify and help secure an engine upgrade. Or, as you seem to have concluded, a significant thrust requirement exists, and indicates a high output device in the works, and/or substancial growth potential for one.

Much more likely it's a 'multi-role' variable output device (i.e. output self-sellects automatically depending on target type and aim point on the target) that is also capable of a single high-output burst, with a significant cooling period. If not a self-destructive single-use output option, for those times when you've got to be sure you deposited the most energy possible into a target.

If high-energy, there's a boost-phase capability (so you may be right ... in which case every aspect of air combat changes).
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth

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