Military Aviation => Military Aircraft => Topic started by: Webmaster on January 22, 2013, 04:38:39 PM

Title: F-22 update
Post by: Webmaster on January 22, 2013, 04:38:39 PM
I took a look at the FY2012 DOT&E report for the F-22, of course the oxygen/life support changes are mentioned there as widely publicized earlier, so that's not what I wanted to get from the report, I was wondering about how the modernization is going, then I found this:

F-22A air-to-air weapons are the AIM-120C radar-guided
missile, the AIM-9M infrared-guided missile, and the M61A1
20 mm gun.

I thought it had the M61A2...

Increment 3.2B is a hardware and software upgrade
intended to integrate AIM-120D and AIM-9X missile
systems, and [...] in FY17

I knew AIM-120D wasn't ready yet... but I thought it did have the AIM-9X alrdy.
Title: Re: F-22 update
Post by: shawn a on February 01, 2013, 08:15:54 PM
Isn't it just hilarious that Kuwait, Oman, and Turkey have AIM-9X-2 missiles, and the F-22 (our most "advanced" fighter) does not?
The -22 seems as if it will be a dedicated air superiority fighter in spite of the "Bomb Lamborghini" capability, yet we have failed to put on this aircraft our most advanced air to air weapons.
Doesn't make sense to me.
Title: Re: F-22 update
Post by: Webmaster on February 02, 2013, 01:52:09 PM
On the gun, I'm thinking it must be the M61A2, and M61A1 was just a typo, or the AF doesn't use M61A2 designation.

I guess that the USAF inventory of the -9X is still limited, so integration has been postponed, as they'll be fighting with the -9M for some time, better train in using the -9M. It seems the US Navy is moving quicker than the USAF nowadays when weapon integration is concerned, at least looks to be the case for the AIM-9X, and those new dual GPS/Laser guided weapons, and AIM-120C and JSOW/WCMD previously. The only exception being SDB? Of course, one can argue the USN was in higher need of new weapons than USAF.
Title: Re: F-22 update
Post by: Webmaster on February 02, 2013, 02:10:14 PM
Oh yeah, and still no funding for a HMCS

F-22 Raptors need helmet-mounted cueing system to take full advantage of AIM-9X
Title: Re: F-22 update
Post by: shawn a on February 02, 2013, 10:22:49 PM
Yep, AIM-9X would work better with the HMCS, that's for sure.
I thought the -22 had a "long barreled" version of the gatling, maybe that's what the -A2 means.
I'm sure I've seen photos of the -22 firing an AIM-9X.
It seems as though the Air Force was sold a stripped-down version of the Raptor with all the things needed for "nukular combat toe to toe with the Russkies" removed or postponed since the "Red Menace" had evaporated.
As far as the furball goes, isn't that sort of a last resort for a stealthy fighter? Wouldn't a stealthy plane want the other guy to blow up without knowing it had been targeted?
I guess we are getting pretty good at upgrades of existing planes, and that is probably what is in store for the Raptor. (And the -35)
Title: Re: F-22 update
Post by: Webmaster on February 03, 2013, 07:20:06 PM
My understanding is that the BVR window closes fast, and more often than not in BVR training they quickly find themselves in WVR. Of course stealth tactics probably are to avoid that, but there's instances imagineable where the BVR window isn't there at all, normal QRA scenarios for example. But on the SDB integration... isn't deploying F-22s in that role kind of a last resort too?

Yes, on the firing of the -X, I just can't remember if it was just a launch test though, which says nothing about software integration. I think they are interchangable anyway, which is why we've seen countries ordering it before upgrades were done, right? (Switzerland for example). It's just that probably the F-22's software isn't ready for it, so you'd probably be firing it with a AIM-9M like firing solution and range to target, and you can't use lockon after launch yet. If it's carried internally, wouldn't you need to have the lockon before launch through the aircraft's fire control system instead of the seeker? So the improved seeker can't be used until launch and after having a firing solution? I don't know how it exactly works, I guess it also works with the bay open as this launch rail extends outwards giving the seekerhead a picture, although somewhat restricted? That'd be enough for test firings, testing the launch and aircraft clearance. Anyway if used as a Mike, you'd still have the better speed, agility and IRCCM capabilities of the missile improving hit probability, just not the extended off-boresight, lockon after launch and near beyond visual range acquisition capabilities of the thing.

So guess it's not a big deal and they could use the -9X if desired.

It's just that now, they are obviously not equipping it / and I guess that means they are training within the M's capabilities. Which might explain some of the outcomes of WVR training with fourth generation jets we've heard about. 

Last resort or not, how's it a big enough deal to have it postponed to FY17? Looks like it's just about funding and software dev. cycle like always and that's just sad as we're discussing the world's best fighter here which has been deployed for quite some years now. Just my two cents.
Title: Re: F-22 update
Post by: shawn a on February 04, 2013, 09:54:14 PM
Which is stealthier, the -22, or the -35? Head-on, side, and rear.
Lock on before launch seems to be the only way to go (via the aircrafts' sensors). I assume this means the missile will know where to look once it is free and clear of the missile bay, so it can then lock on after launch.
Hey!, that's belt AND suspenders!
Here in the US, it's always about funding, so software development can also be affected by the financial side of the deal.
I see that integration could be an issue since as far as I know, the -22 does not have an IRS&T to use to tell the missile where to look via IR signature, so Radar must be used to cue the missile seeker before launch, which then scans the sky and detects the target with its' own IR seeker.  Can that be right? Radar in a furball?
Title: Re: F-22 update
Post by: Webmaster on February 05, 2013, 12:44:58 AM
From what I've read, a questionable study, F-22 is stealthier, I think it was for all aspects, dunno, just that the F-35 is very weak for some angles according to that study. I don't know if there have been good simulation studies or real data made public yet, I haven't been paying that much attention to stealth... or stealthy for that matter. But right, the F-35 radar evolved from the -77 and probably doesn't rely on its radar as much for most of its tasks (datalink, eots, hmcs), so that would be the F-22's (comparative!) weak point? APG-77 emissions? Hmm, that's assuming enemy radar detection systems have kept up with the AESA developments. The Russian and Chinese had a lot of catching up to do in terms of range, beam agility and multi-target tracking and engagement, ow and also the MANPAD threat. So I think you're good when keeping full sweeps to a minimum and not get IRSTed.

Ow, you meant that on my SDB remark. Yeah, maybe a good reason, idk. They didn't start fitting bombs to the F-15C for the war Iraq... that's how I see it. Use the F-22 for its intended role.

Can that be right? Radar in a furball?

yeah, at that point I don't think stealth (vs the bandit) is that important anymore to not use radar, only vs other enemies, but even then sounds right, at range passive listening mode instead of active search for detection, then a narrow beam to track (AESA), probably needs very little to get enough data. But I think that passive listening is assuming the enemy uses his radar and his emissions are detected first... hmm, and that's not really what we're seeing... although maybe at range they will, and the ALR-94 has better detection range than the APG-77 apparently. Would that be enough for the APG-77 to do it's job with minimal emissions? I guess yes, for now at least.

It's nice to discuss things I know little about, but I'm feeling out of my depth now, lol.