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F-35 Laser Designator NOT Allowed to be Used outside the US

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posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 10:03 AM
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This is one of those 'WTH' moments.

Apparently, the laser designator on the F-35 cannot be used outside a very certain range of circumstances. People cannot be closer than 9 km from where it is being used and no optical devices can be within 33 km. The Brits are seeking permission to be able to use and test the laser in the UK rather than just Stateside and this is the reason these rules came to my attention.

There are two possibilities here, IMO.

1. The designator is more powerful than past ones and has a significantly higher probability of harming someone or some optical equipment than past desginators. That would be worrisome for operational reasons later, but it does some sort of sense for civilian safety.

2. The spy folks are worried about some sort of intel than can be gleaned from observing the F-35's laser, whether for jamming or improving other nations' tech. Or perhaps something else.

What do you guys think?

alert5.com...




posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 10:13 AM
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a reply to: anzha


Apparently, the laser designator on the F-35 cannot be used outside a very certain range of circumstances. People cannot be closer than 9 km from where it is being used and no optical devices can be within 33 km.

Generally, the higher tech a weapons system, the more limited its usefulness.

And they don't want anyone recording its spectrum or frequency. In other words developing counter measures.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: anzha

The whole EOTS system still hasn't been certified that it's not going to cause mutant children, or burn holes in ground crew walking past the aircraft yet. The certification process takes awhile and is understandably fairly low on the priority list.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: anzha

I think it's a little bit of both of your concerns.

Technically, laser weapons that blind are against a UN agreement, so high powered lasers cannot be merely played with/practiced at any time.

Second, it's possible that the laser codes are new and DoD wants to protect the codes from spoofers.

My only other thought was perhaps the system is not fully vetted and has some operational risks.

I always enjoyed flying next to my wingman, and seeing the pod turn towards me, and pray to God that he had the laser off. I like seeing.

Cosmo



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 12:04 PM
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a reply to: cosmania

We got a great demo of an F-15E after dark. Guy turned on the FLIR and other bells and whistles. He said he'd really like to show off the laser but there was a 50/50 chance it would break and they didn't have any spare pods handy.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 12:33 PM
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Correct me if I am wrong here, but this does not say that MOD can only train in the US. It only states that, given the restrictions, the UK is too small (or has training environments that are too small) to comply.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: Imperium Americana

Yes. There are only a couple of places in the UK that meet the restrictions.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 06:04 PM
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Targeting lasers are usually infra-red. Optical sensors works best at these frequencies. The big hazard in the UK is due to the population density and other aircraft. There are enough issues with pocket laser pointers and entertainment venue lasers causing harm to commercial pilots. You simply couldn't fire off a laser targeting system out towards the horizon without the hazard of causing an accident somewhere.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:53 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: anzha
The certification process takes awhile and is understandably fairly low on the priority list.


Does it have the new super sekret die-before-using OAM multi-target designator rig? Maybe they don't want the Rooskies to get a look at it quite yet.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: Bedlam

Shhhh. Yer not supposed to mention that!

At least it doesn't have the spotlight they mounted on the Nimrod. Less than 10 feet away, no matter how bright it was outside, it would knock you cold if they turned it on.
edit on 8/2/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 09:21 PM
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Maybe it burns...



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 09:40 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Is it time to post one of THOSE threads on swarm munitions? The sort you put on RATS so it takes Them® longer to get antsy? :p



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 09:41 PM
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a reply to: Bedlam

You know it HAS been awhile. I think it might be that time, actually.



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 04:52 AM
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My understanding is EOTS is essentially equivalent to an early-mid-2000's targeting pod and the newest targeting pods are actually superior, hence why EOTS may be upgraded to advanced EOTS with block 4 F-35 (starting 2019). There's not too much special about EOTS (if anything) except for being integrated directly into the F-35 avionics suite and stealthy airframe. So if I had to guess, I would say this is a precautionary measure that will be removed shortly.

My understanding is other targeting pods also had this limitation early in their careers.


a reply to: intrptr

So what you're saying is the Fokker Dr.I is more useful than a F/A-18?
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posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 05:37 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz


So what you're saying is the Fokker Dr.I is more useful than a F/A-18?

Not at all. Attack aircraft are not designated as a weapons system, they are a delivery system. I know I'll get flack for that.

A weapons system is the weapon and any guidance/homing technology it employs to get the weapon to the target after release.

That they don't allow optical 'devices' anywhere near testing belies they don't want anyone monitoring its capabilities.

Further: Not sure how effective multiple tracking of targets by passive means is going to be in a fur ball. Stealth fighters can't utilize radar becuuuz the signature gives them away, right? So their range is greatly reduced by using passive optical infrared and heat signature detection. Close enough stealth becomes immaterial, pilots can see each other. If you can see it you can kill it.

Onboard weapons stores are limited, also because of stealth requirement. Outboard pylon stores increase radar signature, again reducing stealth.

The F14 Tomcat targeting system could track umpteen targets out to a hundred miles simultaneously, fire and forget 6 Phoenix missiles, turn and bag ass before Opfor missiles could be employed.

Stealth didn't matter. Cost a lot less, too.

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posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 11:49 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

If I recall, the F-22 systems can employ AMRAAMs passively through the net, so they can sustain stealthiness while engaging A/A targets. The AWACS/E2/Ground Radar can paint the target and the Raptor/F35 can shoot missiles based on their networked track.

In the Furball, it's all visual anyway. WVR, they can use radar because they are WVR. High Off Boresight weapons are you best bet there anyway.

Back to thread, laser targeting pods are weird systems.



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: cosmania

If I recall, the F-22 systems can employ AMRAAMs passively through the net, so they can sustain stealthiness while engaging A/A targets.

How may AMRAAMS they can carry internally is probably a carefully guarded secret.



The AWACS/E2/Ground Radar can paint the target and the Raptor/F35 can shoot missiles based on their networked track.

AWACS shows up on radar, right? It gets shot first. Grond radar is fine at stand off ranges, closer up not so much.



posted on Aug, 3 2016 @ 01:15 PM
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a reply to: cosmania

The F-22 radar is one of the best out there and extremely hard to detect, even with newer sensors. The F-35 is an upgraded version of the AN/APG-77 used on the -22.




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