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F-35 Weapon Bay

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posted on May, 30 2005 @ 11:14 AM
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Greetings,

I was wondering, after seeing the thread about the the plans to arm some of the F-35's with the Meteor missiles, I was wondering if it will be able to carry the HARM Missile system inside its bomb bays?

- Phil




posted on May, 30 2005 @ 02:42 PM
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Why not? It can carry the 2000lbs JDAM so I don't think Harm is a problem. At least for A and B version. But the marine(and british) STOVL versions will have shorter bomb bays, so I don't know if it will fit into it.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 02:49 PM
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The STOVL version is the B version, but I catch your drift. Incidentally, It seems from this site; www.aerospaceweb.org...

that the weapons bay is identical on all versions. According to this page all F-35 versions will be compatible with all weapons that are required by its customers, ie the USAF and USN F-35 will be compatible with ASRAAM even though only the RAF will carry it etc.

According to this table Harm will only be carried externally along with Storm Shadow. Although not mentioned on this (quite old) table I think it is impossible that the RAF will not be able to use ALARM on the F-35 as well.

[edit on 30-5-2005 by waynos]



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 04:53 PM
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Hey,

Thanks for your reponses, I was just wondering if the F-35 would be able to carry them internally, based on the fact that it is meant to take over the role from the F-16 in SAM attack based on the current data

Thanks Folks



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 09:49 PM
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No, HARM is too big to fit internally on the F-35. HARM has enormous wings that make the weapon too big for the bays on either the F-35 or F-22. A replacement for HARM based on the HSAD milssile is under development, but this weapon is still quite large and probably will not fit in internal bays. My opinion is that a new, smaller anti-radiation missile compatible with internal bays is a critical need for the US military.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
According to this table Harm will only be carried externally along with Storm Shadow. Although not mentioned on this (quite old) table I think it is impossible that the RAF will not be able to use ALARM on the F-35 as well.

[edit on 30-5-2005 by waynos]


The table is the most up-to-date available, and ALARM isn't on it. I would agree with you that it seems like a weapon the British would push for, but it has not been included for some reason. Most of the weapons left off have been done so purely to reduce costs. Integrating weapons onto aircraft has become increasingly expensive in recent years because of software development costs and the expense of testing.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
The STOVL version is the B version, but I catch your drift. Incidentally, It seems from this site; www.aerospaceweb.org...

that the weapons bay is identical on all versions. According to this page all F-35 versions will be compatible with all weapons that are required by its customers, ie the USAF and USN F-35 will be compatible with ASRAAM even though only the RAF will carry it etc.

According to this table Harm will only be carried externally along with Storm Shadow. Although not mentioned on this (quite old) table I think it is impossible that the RAF will not be able to use ALARM on the F-35 as well.


The weapon bays were originally suposed to be compactible, but I heard the B(marine) version weapon bays were shortened as a part of weight saving measures. That means it's now not capable to carry 2000 JDAMs (I think the current length allows to carry only 1000lbs like F-22) now and maybe also other (longer) weapons. I think I have read it on the Strategypage, but I don't have exact link. I'm pretty sure about this, they stated it's not such big handicap, because the STOVL version would be used mainly for CAS with SDB.

[edit on 30-5-2005 by longbow]



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 04:11 AM
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Cheers longbow, I hadn't heard that. It would seem odd that different bays would be used as this necessitates different components and that would unavoidably increase costs as it reduces compatibility (you know, instead of making a third lot of identical components they have to make them different just for this version). However if the weight saving was critical then so be it.



posted on Jun, 5 2005 @ 07:48 PM
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The HARM is about 13.75 feet long. The AGM-154 JSOW is something like 13.3. The JDAM varies quite a bit but is in fact shorter than any equivalent LGB in either 1 or 2Klb variants because of the absence of a CCG. I seem to recall the numbers scale out to about 153 inches for the longer BLU penetrator. This may change, for the worse, when and if the DAMASK or equivalent terminal guidance kit is adopted.

In any case, IF (and I have never seen a picture as I have with the F/A-22) the F-35 can carry the GBU-39 (which is six feet long and dual-paired in tandem on the BRU-61 rack), the length issue is indeed not that big a deal for the F-35A and C models.

Indeed, given the span of the AGM-154 with it's lateral pitots compromising the X-configuration, vastly exceeds it's nominal 13" body diameter I would not even be surprised if the HARMs tails don't also clear. Again, having _never_ seen a JSOW inside an F-35 (as I have on the X-32 PWSC).

Yet the reality remains that it is the monster 44" wingspan which makes the HARM utterly incapable of internal clearance and so this-

news.xinhuanet.com...

Is likely the future of U.S. DEAD hard-kill. Originally spec'd as part of the 'AARGM' program when the latter was being run out of the CRADA group; the HSAD or High Speed ARM Demonstrator is different in moving the inlets down from the sides of the airframe to a 'clutched' diagonal setup like the Meteor BVRAAM uses.

In terms of capabiltiy, this system gets you out to about 185 klicks and incorporates all the HARM-VI (PNU) upgrades to a 1760 interface instead of the old STARM derived one and employs digital rather than mechanical FOG/GPS navigation so that the weapon can come full about, fly 100nm downrange and then 'thread the needle' between identified exclusion zones (friendly or neutral emitters) rather than lobbing out like a HARM did during OAF and taking out a radar 'one country over' in Albania I think it was.

Equally important, given access to very long range targeting FLIR and ISAR radar footprinting off of DRFM cued micro-bearing RWR alerts (including those of the RC-135's massive long baseline arrays), HSARM (the operational High Speed ARM which will perhaps come out of HSAD) will be able to _directly target_, with advanced recognition/classification algorithms, the radar van and/or command vehicle as a discrete MMW signature.

This is important because ARMs work with such small aperture diameters and have to cover such a large total bandwidth that they often don't have the most precise of spatial resolution when operating in purely passive radiation homing mode. This is especially true of the HARM whose original wound-spiral antenna incorporated receiver blocks like pine cone wedges and didn't even /have/ the gimballed array that say the earlier Maxson seeker on the AGM-78 STARM did.

In terms of ALARM, well, I've never seen the fascination with this weapon to be honest. It's only a couple hundred pounds shy of the HARM in weight (660 vs. 810 IIRR) and while it has a significantly smaller span, it's _14 foot length_ entirely removes it from 'SRARM' class as a SideARM type auxilliary weapon.

Equally importantly, there are rumors (Janes type rumors) that the round which the Serbians recovered sometime in the mid-90's was NOT fully 'safed' and thus they got hold of not only the operating electronics but also the software which drives modern RF threat cataloguing and thumbprint signature homing. ARMs are very vulnerable to this type of exploitation because they are -totally- dependent on threat emission tags (PRF, refresh, dwell and peak-rise definitions of lobe and scan etc.).

IMO, it is no coinkidence that the profusion of cheap decoys and ARM-Alarm type devices that began to show up in both the Serb and Iraqi defensive OrBat came after not simply an awareness of the ARM+ALD (TALD/Chukar etc.). But also after numbers of both weapons were likely recovered and analyzed.

The principle advantage of an ARM is not to 'loiter' in a paradrogued or lethal-decoy type fashion, rather it is to put iron on the antenna in a _speedy_ fashion, before too many scans can paint a big enough picture to start putting ARH type SAMs into the air (R-77 VL, S-400, Aster, MICA VL etc.). In this, you cannot afford to be playing 'weasel teases cobra' games over multiple suppression shots. When the round arrives, it has to KILL, first time.

And only the speed of a 10" motor diameter driving what amounts to a longbow Hellfire forward to midrange distances, ensures that will happen. Because the seeker looks for the vehicle or fixed antenna. Not the signal it is emitting.

Unfortunately, last I heard both the fullup production ICAP-III and the AARGM demonstration had been cancelled in a typical USN move of 'throwing the baby up and daring Congress not to $upply some more bathwater before it comes down, headfirst, into the pan'. Whether either capability will be integrated is somewhat questionable to me, especially given that it only emphasizes what a _bad choice_ the F-35 itself is, less in terms of weapons bay carriage box volumetric. Than in total number of stations.

You go internal DEAD and you have no bombs. Now you _have to_ increase the number of aircraft in the formation to put the same number of conventional targets back on the frag list. And so you end up with an F/A-18C (or 16CG/CJ) situation wherein you are doing the support mission -anyway-. With an airframe twice as expensive as the ones it replaced.

Something has to give and it will either be D1/R1 overmatch on 'self defense' weapons. Or less rapid reduction of 'OCA+Interdiction Class' aimpoints so as to enable a shift to OBAS/BAI where the real utility of airpower is at.

All of which happens at twice the radius for which the previous generation of F-teens can muster equivalent flyout for gas and cruise-point (cluttered wings) Mach, let alone 'terminal exposure'. Which, against S-400 at least, will be very high, even with standoff ARM/AAM.

One possible solution to all of this is the UCAV.
Since it is ONLY a cheap bomber, with equal or greater (longer) internal weapons bay carriage and better stealth features, you send it in to do the direct attack with JDAM or the sling-bombing with Quickshot and SDB. Leaving a much smaller support force of JSF and Raptor to carry what they need to of DEAD weapons without worrying about direct approach or the loss of R2.

Another is the use of aeroballistic weapons like HyFly and FRSW so that you can bus out clusters of LOCAAS or MALD type hunters ahead of the strike package using the '800nm in 10 minutes' speed of hypersonic cruise weapons from whatever GLCM or Naval VLS starting point you choose (even bombers are possible with FRSW). The nice thing here is that the MALD and LOCAAS each have upwards of 20-30 minutes of loiter so that you can put them into holding pends adjacent to particular defensive zones and if they light up, HOLD the strike package while the hunting weapons go in and seek out the specific threats via datalink relay.

The next option is to dump the dedicated ARM and shift all 'support missions' into a common missile airframe with dual AAW/DEAD roling via very sophisticated seeker algorithms. The Ku bandwidth needed for really delicate surface imaging will stand against the A2A missions requirement for lots of power and ranged volume scan but it could work; the 'only problem' then being, what do you do when the enemy starts lofting their own version of 'Turbo-SAM' endurance S2A assets that mass like a minefield and can advance in a swarm from the most fleeting of (longwave) EWR surveillance system hits. Using grouped optical search in a kind of wall-of-Sidewinder to defeat VLO by simple pack tactics. Now, you may well need every AAM you can get and yet the conventional boost-slide threat systems will not go away.

The last option is something like a TAV/FOBS. The FALCON project comes to mind as being a system which can potentially bus minimarv terminally guided submunitions over New York to hit targets in Kansas City before returning to land in Akrotiri with virtually no defensive intercept possible over 'home defense' airspace. The problem here is going to be targeting connectivity and specifically /vulnerability/ of our 'high frontier' overhead assets to DEWs which will probably come on the scene around 2015. And be totally saturative by no later than 2025.


KPl.



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