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Are Fighters obsolete?

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posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 09:46 PM
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It has been observed that in the history of warfare, the balance between offensive and defensive supremacy is marked by the advance of technology, and that that for for each "ultimate weapon" a counter has been developed.

The current air dominance enjoyed by the U.S. is the result of a not just superior aircraft, but a whole range of tools, C3I, and basing avantages.

But the point of the spear still seems to focus on manned fighter aircraft capable of targeting ground and air assets of enemy countries and attacking them with impunity.

But this technology seems to have reached it's end point in terms of affordability, and I would argue that it seems the technology has caught up with it, too.

I would cite the increasing capabilities of laser weaponry: www.space.com/businesstechnology/technovel_darpa_lasers_050830.html

I would point to the vulnerability of having a few aircraft available instead of great numbers.

Finally, reluctantly, I would mention the affects of asymetric warfare of the type being practiced by the Jihadis in Iraq today on the long term success of military involvement.




posted on Sep, 1 2005 @ 09:57 PM
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In my opinion, yes, the age of fighter aircraft is drawing to a close.

You mentioned some good points, but you forgot a major one. The advantages of RC fighters. Less weight, better performance, no morale loss from casualties, instantly replaceable (unlike trained pilots), and they are also smaller, which makes them less vulnerable to tracking and destruction.

I'd say RC planes are superior in every way but one. They lack the human element that can sometimes be a huge factor in victory. That aside, it makes much more sense to field a hundred drones than one super fighter. Money, risk, intimidation factor, all these things speak to the benefit of remotely controlled aircraft.

Just consider the amount of weight reduction and performance enhancement inherent in removing the ejection seat. That thing alone probably weighs a ton, and wreacks havoc on the performance of the plane. Removing humans from the cockpit means you can remove all the expensive, heavy failsafes modern military aircraft employ.

RC is the wave of the future, for sure.

As far as asymetric warfare, I disagree. The terrorists are not conducting asymetric warfare, they don't even understand the concept. They're playing directly into the hands of the powers that be, doing just what they're expected to. Asymetric warfare is the style of warfare where you do exactly the opposite of what your opponent wants you to do.

This isn't the case now. I think what you mean is unconventional warfare, which is indeed what's going on in the world. This sort of enemy is admittedly hard to fight with a traditional army. The Pentagon knows this, they're retooling the military accordingl (or at least they claim to be - in reality it's a contract feeding frenzy in the big pool with the good 'ol boys.

When it comes to the new corporate military, battlefield efficacy takes a backseat to boardroom presentations.

Interesting topic though. I believe it's been dicussed here once before, try a search if you want to find some other opinions on the subject.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 01:52 AM
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Aircraft that are strictly fighters are obsolete, while Multi-role fighter/bombers are the future.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 05:19 AM
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The end for fighters is near indeed but it all depends on how quik ai's develop. Current rc planes are simply no matches for current fighters. I think it will take at least 20 years and quite possibly only for the rich countries then. I think it will take 50 years before the fighter market has lost its pilots entirely.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 09:40 AM
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Yeah, the Brits won the Battle of Britain because of the radar, not just because of the pilots...



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 10:28 AM
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I think UAV's will have thier day coming soon, but it may be a short day. If I can use a weapon that delivers a blow at light speed, then all the technical marvels that travel at supersonic speeds are slow and vulnerable.

Again, I think this works in favor of the defense, unless a way is found to be space-based with lasers and still have an effective amount of energy to hit ground targets.

Networked sensor and targeting systems employing destructive lasers that are ground or aerostat based just seem to offer a quantum leap over the ineffective SAM technology that great powers use today.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 02:12 AM
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Chances JSF will be replaced by UCAVs when it retires = 50%

Chances Raptor will be replaced by UCAVs when it retires = 10%

[edit on 3-9-2005 by NWguy83]



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 02:44 AM
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If by fighters, you are referring to aircraft, then the answer to your question is no, they are not obsolete, but they are rapidly getting there.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 02:50 AM
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Does anyone know how hot lasers get? I know that it depends on the size (watts) of it and how long its on the target and the distance, but I just want an estimate. Like the ABL's 1 megawatt laser, how hot does it get in 1 second?

Cause lasers arn't perfect, and theres ways around them, one way is that you could have a supersonic UCAV capabable of extremely high G's (like over 20), and have it keep maneuvering and rolling so the laser isn't focused on one spot, and have it be either some composite or carbon that dissipates heat quick, or a very high melting point of metal, like tungsten, which melts at 6170 F. Or...why not just make the aircraft a mirror, one side could be one big smoothly curved chunk of mirror, and when it gets to its target to drop bombs it rolls a 180 degrees and opens its bomb doors and releases its load...then rolls back over again for its laser protection.
What do ya think?



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 03:38 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
Does anyone know how hot lasers get? I know that it depends on the size (watts) of it and how long its on the target and the distance, but I just want an estimate. Like the ABL's 1 megawatt laser, how hot does it get in 1 second?

Cause lasers arn't perfect, and theres ways around them, one way is that you could have a supersonic UCAV capabable of extremely high G's (like over 20), and have it keep maneuvering and rolling so the laser isn't focused on one spot, and have it be either some composite or carbon that dissipates heat quick, or a very high melting point of metal, like tungsten, which melts at 6170 F. Or...why not just make the aircraft a mirror, one side could be one big smoothly curved chunk of mirror, and when it gets to its target to drop bombs it rolls a 180 degrees and opens its bomb doors and releases its load...then rolls back over again for its laser protection.
What do ya think?


Really hot. I think I read that the COIL (Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser) for ABL reaches 1500F. The system has to cool for a couple minutes after each shot, which is just a few seconds.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 09:00 AM
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but how much damage would a shot of only a few seconds do? I think that is enough to take out every plane. So perhaps in the near future we will have multiple lasers in a battery.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 09:45 AM
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Shooting aircraft down with lasers isn't going to work unless you can see them coming. To do that you'd have to pick em up from space and direct the ground batteries accordingly.
Does anyone remember the British TRS2. It scared the pants off everybody - that's why it got scrapped. Everything was destroyed except the engines which were used to power Concord.
This plane - even with old technology - could "hedge-hop" that is fly under radar, way faster than sound - so you couldn't see it coming and you couldn't hear it coming - and once it had gone by a missile couldn't catch it.
Now computers are way better, communications are way better, video cameras are better and smaller - you can have a remote aircraft zipping in
at you at an altitude of zero feet and no ground battery of lasers is going to be able to take it out. Add a pilot who is sitting in a bunker thousands of miles away and your only worry is 'ping' - and I gather the fast network reduces this to a very tiny problem. Also, once you take the pilot out of the plane, all of a sudden you can go for performance beyond what the human body can take - so it's going to be harder to target and hit.
Another point is that without humanlife on board maybe you don't need to bring the craft back. If that's the case it won't need too much fuel, so it can be way smaller - like an intelligently directed ram-jet version of a cruise missile - but with advanced performance capabilities.
Another problem with any laser is that the target is going to be able to see
it before it gets destroyed. It could either transmit the precise location of a stationary laser to a follow-up attack system - or launch an attack on the laser before it is destroyed. Or as has been used with conventional air defence systems - a swarm of drones can use them up before offensive weapons systems are deployed.
Seems to me that piloted craft are going to be no real match for remotes - and that lasers won't touch them.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 12:26 PM
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kando - You seem to think that lasers wont be much help at all in the future...I completely disagree.

Also...Kando, you could use radar to track the missile and then take it out with the laser. You can have a mach 5 bomber, but if the laser on the ground has a good radar array and can follow your movements in real time...then its all over, cause you cant out-maneuver the speed of light. I think you only option is for your aircraft to either have a miror bottom, or made out of an excellent heat dissipating material (Ex: The Space Shuttles tiles can handle up to 4000 F)



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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"Are Fighters obsolete?"

In a nut shell, YES!

The most efective weapon is to have an enemy destroy itself, and you use MIND CONTROL, to do this. Look at america right now, are we not at each others throat? Look at the rest of the world. The true enemy is from within.........



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 01:13 PM
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Murcielago you make an aircraft out of composite carbon carbon tiles, and your not going to fly at mach 5.


[edit on 3-9-2005 by WestPoint23]



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Yeah, the Brits won the Battle of Britain because of the radar, not just because of the pilots...



And I quote:

"Never in history have so many owed so much to so few"..
or something to that effect.. I rest my case..

How do you americans say??.."Deep blue hero stuff"..


Btw I just saw the movie stealth and man i just don't know what to say..



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Murcielago you make an aircraft out of composite carbon carbon tiles, and your not going to fly at mach 5.
[edit on 3-9-2005 by WestPoint23]


I was just giving an example of a heat dissapating type of vehicle.

But just for curiosity...Why not?



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 04:40 PM
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I think some venues of aircraft are pretty much doomed, but others will continue to be a factor in future air forces.

Firstly I will discuss RC a bit. UAV's are definitely going to become more common in the future. There is no denying the use of UAV's, and no denying that they have advantages over man. There are also disadvantages. While a UAV may be able to handle more stress, operate remotely, and do all that dance and song, a man in a fighter jet has yet to lose to a UAV in test combat. A UAV is simply not flexible enough to be able to adjust to change the way a human can.

I'd also like to point out a major difference between an RC aircraft and an AI aircraft. A remote-controlled, or RC aircraft is being remotely piloted by a human in an office building with a joystick and a few controls. It is still being piloted by a man. However, UAV support systems are still not able to match the ability of a manned fighter jet. Now an AI-controlled aircraft is an aircraft controlled by a computer brain and program. While superior in some aspects to a human, the AI's currently experimented with are not yet advanced enough to take on a human pilot. Also, they are not innovate and cannot change their mission profile or their methods to their advantage. A human in an A-10 Warthog, for example, if out of bombs and guns, could launch a wing mounted sidewiner missile, unguided, at a ground target and damage it if the target were significant enough. While not ideal, it is still effective. An AI could not do this. They are simply not yet innovative or creative in the way a man can be.



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 04:47 PM
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But just for curiosity...Why not?


Cost, practicality, and capability that's what will keep such a system from going mach 5 or even flying for that matter.

[edit on 3-9-2005 by WestPoint23]



posted on Sep, 3 2005 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

But just for curiosity...Why not?


Cost, practicality, and capability that's what will keep such a system from going mach 5 or even flying for that matter.

[edit on 3-9-2005 by WestPoint23]


yeah, of course it wouldn't happen because of money and practivle reasons. I thought you were saying that it couldn't happen...thats why I asked.




Darkpr0
A human in an A-10 Warthog, for example, if out of bombs and guns, could launch a wing mounted sidewiner missile, unguided, at a ground target and damage it if the target were significant enough. While not ideal, it is still effective. An AI could not do this.

Yes, an AI could do that...thats the whole point of them...so they can think for themselves. Of course we cant do that today though, but eventually. There are no AI in any aircraft right now, the only AI research is in the humanoid looking robots, and some wheeled vehicles...nothing flying.




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