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Are UCAV's really The Answer??

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posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by ORIEguy
UCAVs don't "think for themselves." The C stands for controlled. WE control them, and fly them in some cases.



Er, no actually. The C stands for Combat, as in the difference between a UAV and a UCAV, the UCAV is a warplane.




posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 05:53 PM
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I'm not an expert. I'm not even close. However I do like the idea of a
UCAV being able to exceed 20 Gs and manned AC about 9gs. I've read some estimates as high as 30-40g's. That would spank a "Flanker" into a maneuver known as the "flaming Cobra"!



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 11:19 AM
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F2,

>>
Your argument should be supported with emotionless facts and you should keep personal opinion, especially where that personal opinion is derogatory to certain individuals / groups, to a minimum. It’s a sure-fire way to turn off your audience.
>>

Fine. The U.S. Air Services were in the PG because they were a cheap way to get cheap oil. It was their presence there which made 9/11 happen. If pilots were not worshipped as heroes instead of assassins, their use as 'instead of combat' moralless replacements for a commitment to policies that torture other nations rather than openly fighting them would be seen in much the same light as they should be: Unnecessarily Cruel and Wastes Of Money.

>>
Right or wrong, there’s nothing we believe that we can’t at least take on. That’s half the battle; believing you can do something.
>>

The difference between the average fool who wants to believe the Hollywood answer you just blathered and me is that I don't see being able to 'do something' as necessarily equating the moral right to bleed a society of resources just to prove how many crutches and payoffs you need /not to/.

Wars are about winning. If you can fight a war without having to win it, you are commiting to a sport-war concept of policies which, in the eyes of others, you DON'T want to win. Only prosecute to their detriment.

9/11 came about because we thought that we could play in the Arab's sandbox with the same mindset as we cheer our teams in the NFL.

Thanks but no thanks. If you make our nation feel 'safe' to be a bully demanding oil-tribute through back channel merc use of airpower to isolate and excoriate a country we don't have the moral commitment to overrun or leave be, you contribute to the lessening of standards by which we exist as a people 'by for and of freedom'.

I don't care /how/ elite _you_ feel about it.

>>
I worked for a short time for a Colonel that was soon to retire. Here was a Vietnam vet, old-school fighter pilot who was forced to give up his command and flying billet because he announced his retirement. Room had to be made for the next in line for command. He spent his last couple of months playing goat herder to a bunch of non-rated shoe clerks. Luckily, the Colonel still came by the squadron bar on Fridays to have a beer or two with the boys. I’ll never forget him telling us that in his nearly 30 years in the Air Force he had never doubted a task to get done when given to a fighter pilot. He had also never been lied to by another Air Force officer until he started herding ‘goats’. You want integrity and a ‘the-buck-stops-here’ attitude? Call a fighter pilot. Sure, we screw up and bad things happen. But real fighter pilots don’t make excuses. Flying in a drug-induce haze was just some poor excuse dreamed up by a desperate defense lawyer.
>>

Google Go/No-Go and read the story about the PILOT who said he had to take them. But oops, I guess that messes up your 'get things done' attitude or you would already have done it.

The fact remains that however you raise chins and brag to your fellow officers 'as a class apart', you are not up to the task of hunting down time critical targets over a period of weeks and months because you cannot generate the _presence_ over their areas of operation needed to do so.

So whatever smug allure your existence has to the ignorant mob who want to live a knights-code 'just like you', the ultimate definition of your capabilities as a slaughterer of men just falls way damn short of what is needed. And that means you should be 'downsized' in preparation of for industry revamp towards an airpower mode which DOES work.

Even when it's run by simple slobs with a trail of snore-spittle and donut sprinkles on their perfectly starched little uniform shirts.

Because THEY are not the ones creating presence on the battlefield. And the airframes which are, are cheaper to use and more endurant for want of YOU not being there.

There is no point in creating symbols of a life properly lived if living that life does not match the conditions of the society whose needs are not fulfilled by it.

>>
The nice thing about web sites such as this is they offer near perfect anonymity. You can say just about anything you want about anyone without fear of any real reprisal. If you don’t like what they say you just have to turn your computer off. There’s no real requirement for open debate or real embarrassment. No one really knows who you are. What happened in your case? Did you not get selected for pilot training? Did you wash out of pilot training? Did some mean fighter pilot pee in your corn flakes or take your woman? Do you suffer from jealousy that is only soothed by belittling those of whom you are jealous? Does this make you feel better?
>>

I speak in contempt of _your class existence_ as the most elitist of a societal appendix which, yearly, takes the King's Cut of discretionary budget.

And you automatically assume it's because of something /one/ of you did?

How jolly. How displacement indicative of a bully psychology that thinks the best way to 'deal' with someone is always one on one.

You just cannot stand to wrap your head around the notion that SOMEONE sees thru the illusion to the truth that fighter 'piloting' as a whole is a grotesque waste of money to maintain a skillset which is itself vestigial because we WILL NOT use war to /take/ what we need.

When we can thieve it.

At that point the combined loss of real resources spent preparing for something we won't do but 'always prepare for' (over someone else's airspace). And the moral vanity if not vacuousness of assuming that the hatred we engender by playing casually 'restrained' butchers without intent to do more than stomp on the necks of those who oppose our _economic_ tape worm politics.

Is greater than any degree of 'safety' that the tools and men we empower give us.

Show me a single program in this country which spends as much money on finding a _replacement_ for our oil-as-coc aine dependency as we are currently wasting on the JSF.

And I might believe the 'need' for you is transitory rather than by venal design. As is, all I see is a class unto itself. Protecting itself. With RICO chargeable (corrupt organization whose sole purpose is to further an ongoing conspiracy) criminality of FRAUD at it's heart. You make the Mafia look like amateurs sir.

Yet why should we worship that?

>>
Let’s get back to your points. I’m sure you would agree that any point should be supported by verifiable facts. Some of your facts, however, make me wonder what your sources are. It certainly isn’t from having the ‘been-there-done-that’ T-shirt. Here are some examples:

“in Kosovo, where we lost 26 UAVs but only 3 Predators vs. 2 manned aircraft (an F-117 and a Puma IIRR)”

Did you forget about the Block 40 F-16CG from Aviano Air Base? The pilot was a good friend of mine and was one of my Fighter Weapons School classmates. Thankfully, he was picked up shortly after getting on the ground. He was the squadron commander and had his flagship shot out from underneath him. We still give him a hard time about it. Now he’s a Brigadier General – select. I should’ve gotten shot down. I’d be a General too.
>>

What point does "IIRR" not support? Is YOUR argument so weak that you fail to see that /whatever/ the loss of manned aircraft, _if there had been no man aboard_ there would be no 'friend in danger'?

Baaah.

>>>
“The F-15s ran at Mach 1.7 which is the maximum they can run with Sidewinders aboard”
>>>

>>
Does this mean the F-15 can’t overcome drag to go any faster than 1.7 M with Sidewinders onboard or is placarded to a maximum of 1.7 M when carrying Sidewinders? Since I do have the F-15 been-there-done-that T-shirt, I’ll tell you that the F-15C has no problem exceeding 1.7 M with a full load of missiles. It is also not placarded to a maximum of 1.7 M with any air-to-air missile. I’m looking at T.O. 1F-15A-1 which is the flight manual for the F15A, B, C and D. The manual is open on my desk as I type. The chart I have from Chapter 5 of the above document concerning AIM-9 carriage states ‘BAL’ which means basic aircraft limits (2.5 M / 800 knots indicated). Some variants of the AIM-120C are placarded to 2.3 M, but those are the only carriage limits I see for air-to-air missiles. Any speed above 2.3 M for the F-15 is limited to one minute maximum.
>>

According to a fighter pilot I once knew and respected, the AIM-9's seeker dome cannot sustain the friction temps of speeds higher than Mach 1.78. I chose 1.7 because I figured if I 'rounded up' to 1.8, someone like you would nit pick that I was 'knew nothing because I was going too fast'.

As I recall, the man's name was Walt Bjorneby. You might look on RAM newsgroup. Or you might not.

The point I made remains true. If knights of the sky lived so perilously close to some kind of internal moral compass, they would have all fallen on their swords when they discovered in 1982 that the en-masse shutdown of ADC was in the process of rendering America's skies open to the attentions of overt threats as much as internal terrorism.

As is, you were 'we can do anything besides ADTAC is just a bunch of /interceptor pilots/' too proud to do more than continue the fantasy by which it's okay to do unto others what they could not prevent being comes-around returned favor here at home.

Don't win over there.

Don't protect here.

Time for a new solution.

>>>
“even as we bouth (spelling?) about 615 F-16C.40's”
>>>

>>
I’m not sure how many Block 40s were built because other countries also bought Block 40s. Among them were Egypt, Greece and Bahrain. Korea? Perhaps. If the ‘we’ means the USAF, according to T.O. 1F16CG -1 (the Block 40 Flight Manual), the number is 409 Block 40 / 42s. T.O. 1F16CG-1 contains a list of all aircraft to which it is applicable. All the combat-coded, active-duty units that fly the F-16CG fly the Block 40 since it is equipped with the more powerful General Electric F110-GE-100 engine and not the Block 42’s Pratt and Wimpy F100-PW-220 (the same engine that powers some of the later-model F-15Cs). The Block 42 is a PIG.
>>

I didn't use a direct quote because this site does not allow me to cut and paste in support of my arguments.

I did Google the number-

www.f-16.net...

Which seems to me to indicate that I am more interested in research than you are in disproving the thrust of my argument. Which is principally that _with the number of MQ-1s in service today_ (no, I am NOT going to look that one up for you) we could do the Kosovo mission set /better/ than the F-16CG, in all it's flaming hordes. Mind you, I chose the F-16CG for it's 'smart bomb' capability because the actives were too protective of their non-existent SEAD mission (or maybe their MIB connections) to buy the LITENING from a NorGrumman/Israeli connection. It had nothing to do with the types lack of aero performance. Because the only performance that counts is endurance and LO and it had neither. It _does_ however reflect poorly on the pilots that both their sensors and their judgment is so bad (Say, is that a John Deere tractor or a truck full of genociders down there?) that they have to have a /drone/ back up their calls.

Some sanity check 'common sense onboard' eh?

>>>
“Take this another step further and look at an F-22 firing out an acoustically and Q fire hydranted sidebay onto targets as much as 20,000ft below from a high end supercruise. The pilot rolls to acquire with JHMCS, and then the targets reverse under to deny the shot…”
>>>

>>
The F-22 has no JHMCS or any other helmet-mounted display or cueing system.
>>

Are we even in the same thread here or are you introducing 'personal grudges' from others?

Never mind, it will by the time it goes to war and Code One even emphasizes this in one of it's later articles. Look it up.

>>>
“The only thing useful about the MiG-29's close-in weapons suite is the OEPS-29 IRST. And even that has lost about 70% of it's functionality with the deactivation of the KOLS laser ranger. Largely this is because they Luftwaffe MiGs didn't have the latest standard in R-72 (45 degree boresight capability which is roughly the same as the AIM-9M /after/ lockon, realy primitive IRCCM qualities and the older autopilot/motor)…”
>>>

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This is another case of having the been-there-done-that T-shirt. I flew the MiG-29 for nearly 3 years as an exchange pilot with the Luftwaffe. The only useful thing about the MiG-29’s close-in weapons suite was not the OEPS IRSTS (infrared search and track system). The KOLS was a POS and could have been deleted from the Fulcrum with no noticeable impact on combat capability.
>>

No. Because the setup on hi-lo PRF and range gating of the No-19 was so primitive that the only way the MiG-29 could be used effectively in a NATO environment was as a GCI vectored aircraft whereby stern conversion which allowed the full effectiveness of the optical head to be employed when _the radar dumped_ and /assuming/ you had an operational ranger.

>>
The most useful thing(s) about the Fulcrum’s close-in weapons suite was the helmet-mounted sight (HMS) and R-72 IR-guided missile (NATO AA-11 Archer). The HMS could slave the radar and the German-owned R-72 up to 60 degrees off boresight (missile slaving limits) and the IRSTS within its full envelope of plus or minus 15 degrees in elevation and plus or minus 30 degrees in azimuth. For the radar and missile, the 60 degree limit applied to the pure vertical / horizontal axes (in relation the aircraft). In between those 4 points, the maximum off-boresight angle was somewhat less than 60 degrees. The Luftwaffe had the R-72 version 1, which has limited capabilities against countermeasures (flares). It had all the same kinematic capabilities of the version 2 which has very robust capabilities against flares. We test fired 12 Luftwaffe R-72s from Luftwaffe MiG-29s in 2003 as part of a weapons evaluation. We wanted to test the extreme in-close envelope of the Archer. We consistently slaved the missile to nearly 60 degrees off-boresight during target acquisition and had a couple of cases where the missile left the jet at near its gimbal limits of around 90 degrees. Eleven shots were successful in that they guided to the target. There was one missile autopilot failure. We also successfully fired 12 AA-10 Alamos.
>>

The original R-73 was a 45` HOBS weapon. Since you don't even get that part right, why should I support your argument which is extraneous to THIS thread?

Oh, that's right, it's 'all about being cold with the facts' in context ain't it?

>>>
“As to the Archer as granddaddy of all 'expanded envelope' threat missiles, this system is /highly/ overrated. True, the original missiles had a 40-45` HOBS capability (at a time when the AIM-9L was about 27.5`) but the combination of IRST bore cue and helmet tracking are both dependent on dated electronics equivalent to the 1972 VTAS system wherein 'if the radar sucks, so does your handoff' (not to mention sill lines on the Flanker and Fulcrum and the terrible electromechanical 'flashing LED' latency of the systems themselves).”
>>>

>>
See above. I was very impressed at how well this system worked and how simple and reliable it was. Unfortunately, this was about all I found impressive with the MiG-29. OBTW, the Luftwaffe did not operate some watered-down export version of the Fulcrum A. They had the same radar, same weapons computer and just about everything else as the Motherland.
>>

And this is relative to what on a UCAV?


>>>
“But it works because the Luftwaffe drivers were only wanted as 'threat emulators' whereby they flew WARPAC tactics utterly unsuited for few-on-few engagements.”
>>>

>>
We didn’t fly WARPAC tactics – ever! No one ever asked us to or required us to do so. The attitude of our training adversaries was ‘bring it’.

So now some of your facts have been proven to be suspect (or just plain wrong). What does this do the credibility of your other ‘facts’ and the points you are trying to make?
>>

Why bother quoting about half a dozen magazine articles and briefs which state the opposite? Why bother with RAM and RAM-N chatter which state the opposite. If every time I do so, I get censored and censured by the ATS crowd?

The last time including a three day suspension by an ATS moderator who never felt the need to explain why beyond "I'm the boss, I will chop your text as I feel like!"

I did do the research.

I don't trust or accept 'your word' in light of publically available data which states otherwise.

>>
You want UCAV-like aircraft to take over for manned aircraft. One reason you give is cost. Another reason is that pilots are idiots, morons or whatever name you can think of. UCAVs, as you say, will be able to do the job better and reduce fratricide and collateral damage.

Another reason is just man in general. You seem to hold man in contempt because man is imperfect. I’m just wonderin’ how imperfect people can build ‘perfect’ machines with ‘perfect’ software? There seems to be a disconnect there.
>>

Ever hear the old knob about how 'Doctorates think of the idea, Masters write the orders by which it is made real, Bachelors build it, HSDs sweep the floor after the important people are done for the day..." ??

It doesn't really matter if you haven't.

Because the nature of human imperfection is in the stress of an urgent moment reactive mistake more than a protracted design. Fighter pilots, adrenal junkies of the highest degree, seek that 'urgency' as if it was life's fire.

Less stress = better decisions. And the /overwhelming/ numbers of pilot-induced causes in both Class-A mishap accidents and Fratricidal Combat Losses proves that whatever 'class act' personal superiority you wish to imply as being solely the province of your ego, in fact doesn't exist.

Your own psychosis proves it wherein the desire to 'do something about it in a tight corner' (rack up 'tee shirt' kills in the limited periods of play-war where your true natures are allowed out without frown) and the fear of death and 'a miss is as good as a mile' lost opportunities to look cool if you wait.

_Pilots_ (whom I don't class as being humans because they don't) desire for dynamicy makes them the root of evil in combat design.

Something we no longer should put up with the cost as much as cause celebre`as their shortcomings as warriors are now 'protected' by standoff munitions and LO whose very 'level wings, never too close' dicta of enhanced survival useage make the energetic panderings of childish spirits _pointless_ prima donnaism.

>>
So you can respond in some emotional manner and rant and rave how I don’t know WTF I’m talking about. I don’t really GAF. You’ve already called me an idiot once for stating that an F-16C has better range than a similarly configured F-15C. You really hurt my feelings – not.
>>

If I didn't hurt your 'personal honor' feelings you wouldn't waste half a page of text in an unrelated thread to spout your outrage at being proven wrong. Fighter Pilots can't stand to be treated with the very contempt of engagement by which they IAM/LGB attack the helpless 20,000ft under them and 'back to base before happy hour' are away from the fight that they couldn't win but for the technology sitting under them.

Which is why nobody 'minds' when Iraqi soldiers jam ice picks in your ears, break your bones and generally _get even_ when a lucky hit puts you in their midst as equals. You're plenty 'human' then, aren'tcha?

Of course what I refuse to accept is the blatant reality that that technology which you THINK makes you more than the rest of us, in fact no longer needs /you/.

So why should we pay BILLIONS of dollars for you to have 'my other car is...' playtime? Why should a nation built on openness and equality in every act and concept create it's own martial elite? When that elite are such moralless cowards as to /enjoy/ the status of WHO they are. But not to PROSECUTE a war to pay for their special privileges in a way that has real benefit to those of us who only see your so called prowess as a means to incite other 'just humans' to acts of such vile barbarity as can only be visited UPON THE CIVILLIANS YOU FAIL TO PROTECT EITHER.

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This is supported in an article in the Spring of 1989’s edition of the “USAF Fighter Weapons Review”. The article was even written by an F-15 pilot. I’ll give you that when you start hanging bombs on the F-16, range does suffer. I often wondered what I was doing there when I pulled into the arming area in my F-16 carrying 2 JDAM and parked next to an F-15E carrying many times more than that. The F-16 was saddled with the wrong mission. It should have been primarily an air-to-air machine. Why not hang bombs on the F-15C and give it a real mission?
>>

What does this have to do with UCAVs? The F-15/16 debate is a wasted discussion because THAT money has already been 'hi-low, the new way to sell pilot dole!' thrown away three decades ago. It was a waste then. About the only question to be debated now is why we haven't learned any better. Of course the answer is simple. There are no independent-of-union-bias counter arguments.

In any case, the answer as to why you don't hang bombs on the F-15C is simple. It can carry four 500lb class AAM without losing it's base range and station time, over Germany. Out of England. In Europe. You want to pull an 'air supremacy' victory out of certain defeat in a 1979-85 NATO war (our 'window of vulnerability') you have to acknowledge the certainty that the LGPOS will never swing Sparrow or fight in a Euroclag.

OTOH, the Albino cannot win a SARH war either.

But only the LGPOS needs a 350lb-before-ARH solution.

If the F-16 wasn't worthless, they wouldn't design a crutch for it's 'sales success' which was based around a missile which the extant technology base couldn't acheive IOC on before 1991. Something we knew when we spec'd out the requirements in 1976.

>>
I preferred the F-16’s avionics over that of the F-15C (2000 hours in the Viper and 1000 hours in the Eagle). When you don’t need the airframe to support the ‘emergency’ engine, you can invest more in avionics.
>>

When you only need 500-750 of one type vs. the 2,500+ (yes, here I am winging it) we have money-at-wolves thrown to industry for the LGPOS, you can do a lot more with 'the avionics'.

Where 'avionics' means man interface in the cockpit, the F-15E beats the F-16C before CCIP and color MFD.

Where 'avionics' means a functioning Mk.XII and EOID backup to NCTR for 'fighting in constricted ROE or the Middle East', neither jet is more than a red barons wet dream compared to COE as a BVR platform enabled preference they _should have been_ from the outset.

SEA taught us, not that BVR didn't work. But that excessive rules (what, 3 jets and a gunboat?) which prevent it's proper employment, along with a 'hands off' constriction on OCA and airbase attack, _generated the conditions_ by which visual fights became inevitable. And that it was those /visual fights/ which made the attrition happen.

Visual fights whose 3/9 encounter conditions ended up being nearly random because of the lack of adequate LDSD and poor raid planning which didn't saturate so much as stream through the IADs. Result: You went A2A when someone flashed across your nose or your wingman blew up beside you.

A condition which, doppler aside, could very well have been replicated in Europe with the numeric density overwhelming the ACP improvements and _no datalink_ sort to make up for the slowness of voice vector out of Geilenkirchen. OTOH, the Russians had no problem with BVR volley fire from the start. Guess who was smarter.

Of course I don't need to 'speculate' because most pilot's answer is the LGPOS. Rather than a firm belief in the systems engineering INVESTMENT doctrine which says "We never accept battle on their terms. We yield ground because we know that we can fly back over it at 600 knots when they are all gone. And we slaughter our enemies like snipers, not WVR morons fighting a kodiak in a coat closet."

>>
Don’t say the F-15’s radar can see further. That’s a mute point
...
>>

STT is not a moot point when you can use it like a lash with a silent-midcourse weapon whose range is at least 150% greater than what even the 7Mike could achieve.

Am I killing you? Am I 'serious'? Keep Flying Into Me Mister AND FIND OUT. Two shots out, fade and return. Two shots out and RTB.

Given the USAF persisted in a fluid four approach throughout SEA and /continued it/ as the baseline division 'wall of Eagles' approach during tactical workup on the F-15A, the least you can do is acknowledge what happens when your first launches come at 50nm and your first kills at 35.

Something no LGPOS will ever achieve with the APG-66 which we would have taken into a NATO war if the Russians hadn't been bear-over-mountain bluffed into Rudyard's Poem.

>>
Against the normal RCS adversary fighter. I would concede a big edge to the AESA boys in Alaska but they are the exception.
>>

I don't Twiz in my coffee. Do you? With a decent missile, the only thing you need to beat is the trackbreaker pulsing dynamics at the noise-threshold receiver gate and for what it's worth, I can make STT /look like/ TWS if I want to.

>>
Did you know the F-16’s radar has greater peak power than the F-15’s radar?
>>

And the Hi-PRF lockup mode on the AIM-120 beats both, for an instant. And which version of APG-66 (around which the LWF-becomes-F-16A _production_ decision was 'Deal Of The Century' profiteering based) would that be btw.? How many PRF layers? How many channels coming out of the TWT? What's the density on the range gate overlaps going into the RSP?

Don't BS me with veiled techno-wow /crap/. I will spit Maxwell's Equations right back at you as to how big an antenna and how many MCOPS it takes to run a longrange missile fight.

>>
However, the F-16 radar’s lower duty cycle means that its average output power is less than that of the Eagle. For pure performance, I still prefer the F-16. That’s my opinion and it doesn’t make me an idiot; especially when someone who has not flown both aircraft claims I am. You don't like the F-16. I'm OK with that.
>>

I don't like any mechanical pedestal array that chooses physical performance over IFDL shared volume coverage. This was something that WAS 'within the SOA' given only that w paid for JTIDS T2 in a small force rather than waiting 15 years for MIDS/IDM after it was all over but the bragging.

Gee thanks, Mister Uber Alles LGPOS.

Of course the whole screwup with technology inserts into a reasonable force structure was in no small part due to the fact that we based 'MSIP' around building new airframes to justify capabilities that should have been baseline without TELLING AMERICANS that what they were buying was not a war winning strategy of mixed capability and numbers.

No matter which jet actually got the benefit of export sales payoffs.

The F-16 was purely a military industrial base profiteering scheme designed to get rich quick. It worked because pilots want to be pilots even when they are incompetent for the role they are fighting.

Which only leaves the 'sensible people' to replace Victor Alert with Pershings and Gryphons which were the REAL (nuclear tripwire in the 80's just as the 50's) stiff arm means by which we bluffed the Russians by threatening to end the world. 'Them First'.

Of course nobody heard that viewpoint in the U.S. because cable didn't include BBS newscasts about /why/ The Greens were so pissed at being the nuclear firebreak.

>>
CH1466, in the immortal words of wise Sergeant Hulka, “Lighten up Francis”.
>>

You exist with humour because your world is secured in lollypop past visions of what has been. Not the ruinaton that your /class system/ is visiting upon us now economically and setting us up for worse of geo-politically, in future.

Don't pretend to be a 'polite' acquaintance or a personal advisor so long as you support that narrow minded view of how 'good' you are as the sole justification for why the system you support needs to exist.

It doesn't. As far as I'm concerned, YOU don't. Live with that.


KPl.



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 11:46 AM
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ch1466 / Kurt,
Thanks for the answer. You think I'm a worthless idiot and I think your're an efite snob. I really do hate typing so I'll leave you to your opinions and I'll stick with mine.



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 11:58 AM
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I don't think that UCAVs should replace manned aircraft totally, but I would like to see them take over certain missions.

First: I'd like to see UCAV's take over the SEAD and most ground attack missions with the exception of CAS. My reasoning behind this is that these are the missions that put pilots at the greatest risk. I don't care how capable or expensive your aircraft is the Golden BB is alive and well. Historically more aircraft have been lost on ground attack that in air-to-air missions. The reason that I exclude CAS is due to the current capabilities of UCAVs and the flexability that Close Air Support requires. Actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown that CAS can be provided by heavy bombers using JDAM's.

Second: I'd also like to see them take over most of the Recon and Patrol missions. My reasoning here for the Patrol mission is the ability to relieve the tedium and boredom associated with these missions. I don't suggest this to make life easier on the aircrews, I believe that it will result in more accurate information. My reasoning on the Recon side is aimed primarily at the post-strike missions. There is no sense in risking a pilot by sending him into a hornet's nest after you have hit it with a stick.

During my military service, one of my main duties was Search And Rescue. I have a great appriciation of the aircrews who fly into combat as well as the people who follow them in to get them out if something happens. I would have no problem with using technology to enable the mission to be accomplished by putting as few people as possible at risk. I think that UCAVs might be a good way to accomplish this.

Fulcrumflyer. Thanks for the information. Give me a choice between booksmart and BTDT I'll take BTDT anytime.




posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 12:33 PM
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Fulcrumflyer,

Thanks for that commentary. Having an USAF Lt.Col (ret.) who was an Eagle driver for an uncle has provided me with some interesting insight in these areas, much of which jives with your statements. Having someone on the board who drove Fulcrums is really cool, and will add some interesting insight in combat aircraft conversations and speculation.

Don't worry about ch1466. I think he is single-handedly attempting to corner the market on the expression "ignotum per ignotius"....




posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 05:13 PM
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JIMC5499,

>>
I don't think that UCAVs should replace manned aircraft totally, but I would like to see them take over certain missions.
>>

Which is like saying you don't want to flood the scene with superior designs, only get your toes wet contemplating what they /might/ do. Quality breeds success. And for those who can only associated quality with their own nature on another face, they have lost the appreciation of true evolution of both design and doctrine which allows for ideas to promulgate into hardware beyond a fixed form and through multiple functions.

>>
First: I'd like to see UCAV's take over the SEAD and most ground attack missions with the exception of CAS. My reasoning behind this is that these are the missions that put pilots at the greatest risk.
>>

The need for SEAD is a function of having a radar come up that thinks it can track a LO aircraft long enough to cue a missile before it eats one.

With ramjet powered, independently seekered, weapons like HSARM, this is neither possible nor necessary. Light off your 100 million dollar S-300/400 battery radar. I will /gladly/ trade a 20 million dollar UCAV. While whatever platform I use to fire the 200nm SHARK weapon won't really need your radar to home on because it will have overlapping cues of it's own from standoff radar platforms and ELINT to put it's MMW terminal seeker into grazing footprint.

SEAD-only UCAV was always a joke because the weapons systems and targeting for _both_ sides have migrated vastly beyond the level of Weasels and Cobras dancing the SAM dance.

OTOH, Strike/Interdiction (against fixed targets) is a role best served by CM. With the exception of a very few HDBT, the air delivered munition is simply not as accurate, cheap or unreduced-defenses effective as the cruise weapon and aeroballistics are rapidly fixing that.

>>
I don't care how capable or expensive your aircraft is the Golden BB is alive and well.
>>

Something only likely to be encountered if you are lolo'ing in daylight which is typically where CAS 'lives and breathes'. Because humans need light to give their best diurnal fight.

>>
Historically more aircraft have been lost on ground attack that in air-to-air missions.
>>

Historically, AAW is the mission most flown and least fought of all missions certainly in the jet age if not WWII.

That fact, coupled to the extreme underperformance of manned systems and the -huge- exposure risk they face in generating 'OCA forward' temporary dominance over an active threat IADS (TARCAP or Sweep) should cause it to be the FIRST of missions replaced by UCAVs.

The real question then being why you choose to look for trouble from an enemy that cannot find you.

If the answer is that you can only afford a mixed-force construct of conventional and LO signature airframes, then you may still be better off using the increased numbers of lightweight IAM available today to (pre) reduce as much as 'live' roll back the defensive threat because it is easier to keep track of everybody and to mass support missions (SOJAM and Recovery Escort and CSAR if need be) on fewer assets commited than large ones.

i.e. Manned forces only advantage, presently, is their huge inventory excess. And rather than replace in 'like not kind' for X dollars...

Especially in the ARH/autonomous age, flying a gorilla package into enemy territory is only really giving the enemy that many more pot shots to freely take above and beyond any dedicated or selfprotect systems real ability to individually jam or seduce seekers.

Don't wanna die? Don't get detected.

>>
The reason that I exclude CAS is due to the current capabilities of UCAVs and the flexability that Close Air Support requires. Actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown that CAS can be provided by heavy bombers using JDAM's.
>>

The only action in AfG which needs points to a new lightbulb screwed in the brain socket is the instance when the SWO daddy decided to switch his batteries on a GPS targeting radio and didn't check to see that the coordinate memory had reset to HIS zero point.

Darwin Award Granted, move on.

All the infantry over there preferred the USMC CAS model based on coordinate point 'CAS stack' fast-pass with both dumb and smart munitions in preference to the largely dumb (which is to say /stupid/) 'overhead' methods practiced by the A-10 and AH-64.

Given that the IAMs in general don't need to 'home' onto any particular signature and thus there is no real worry about designator codes or possession in a particular unit. Nor in flying a particular basket or designator wheel flight profile beyond that needed to put a (winged=15-25nm range) weapon into initial flyout envelope conditions.

Something which again removes much of the 'human factors' problem from CAS.

At the same time, laptop type modem terminals (such as the Rover system now in use) can in fact assign munitions by gridpoint _as well as_ providing downlook sensor views of what the aircraft sees. Something that can be critical in both mountainous and MOUT fighting against irregular forces moving up in to ambush.

The only thing then remaining being the need to make sure said aircraft is THERE and not back at base with the registered bloodbag having a daiquiri. This is something that can only be achieved, at cost, if you move to a robot which has not only the 10-20hr potential endurance. But also the low flight hours (maintenance) costs needed to be sortied in numbers fit to make CAS as 'better to run them down than blow them in place' replacement for the wholesale slaughter of civillian infrastructure which results from Ira Eaker style warfare.

One thing to note is that the average delay for CAS in OEF was 26 minutes. Largely because the USAF refused to drop on uncertain targets with 'valuable' PGM and the grunt ETACs didn't have the ability to say "Fine, bill _me_!" on second slit trench from the hooch on the left or farthest rock on the from the river basis of offsets.

OTOH, if you weren't on that days frag list, you could end up waiting as much as 17hrs. And that typically meant you were dead.

All because a jet on a 700nm radius mission is itself upwards of 5-7hrs out. And will have 20-40 minutes in the target area. Not so a UCAV.

"Get Thar Fustest With The Mostest..." Is still valid. But "Stay thar Longest with the Least Effort." is now quickly coming to be seen as just as important. Because you cannot kill what you are not present to attack.

>>
Second: I'd also like to see them take over most of the Recon and Patrol missions. My reasoning here for the Patrol mission is the ability to relieve the tedium and boredom associated with these missions. I don't suggest this to make life easier on the aircrews, I believe that it will result in more accurate information. My reasoning on the Recon side is aimed primarily at the post-strike missions. There is no sense in risking a pilot by sending him into a hornet's nest after you have hit it with a stick.
>>

This is nothing new, we have been doing it since the mid-60's at least with systems like the Firebee and all it's derivatives. What most people fail to recognize is that a sailplane model for recce is both fragile and slow enough to effect both it's loiter in-area and it's /overall/ mission suitability as a function of 'operational losses' (not related to combat) which a heavy, high thrust to weight ratio, jet is not subject to suffering.

Along with the perfection of drone-LO, miniaturization of sensor packages and proliferation of network comms systems which can handle the bandwidth, the result is a 500 knot platform that 'might as well' carry weapons because it has both the spare internal volume and the flexibility to stay with manned combat aircraft.

A concept which is sufficient to turn fighter pilots blood cold because they /know/ that the real money is in strike and strike recce (BIA etc.) on a level responsive to on-the-fly target refoldering is inherently going to be more efficient than their bloated 'multirole' systems packaging.

>>
During my military service, one of my main duties was Search And Rescue. I have a great appreciation of the aircrews who fly into combat as well as the people who follow them in to get them out if something happens.
>>

CSAR suffered a 50-70% (by era and locale) _failure rate_ in SEA. Partially as a result of this, the ARRS were been completely subsumed by AF SOCOM and in Desert Storm CSAR was completely laughed at because calls were 'unheard' (ignored) or responded to so late (flying all the way up from FOL dets on the Kuwaiti border) that there was no purpose in their being launched because the pilots were picked up by the time they got there.

Bosnia and Kosovo were a /little/ better, largely because the ranges were so much slower but the fact remains that the Serbs knew exactly where both O'Grady and the F-117 pilot were and simply chose not to bag them because they had the aircraft.

>>
I would have no problem with using technology to enable the mission to be accomplished by putting as few people as possible at risk. I think that UCAVs might be a good way to accomplish this.
>>

The only lives that need saving are those on the ground. All other 'missions' are purely support oriented. Where piloted airframes are less able (and orders of magnitude more expensive) to undertake that function, they should be retired, en masse.

What will 'save' the pilot community is the sudden realization, around 2015, that they don't like being flash boiled in their own red oil as a DEW vaporizes them along with their precious aircraft.

>>
Fulcrumflyer. Thanks for the information. Give me a choice between booksmart and BTDT I'll take BTDT anytime.
>>

Which is why people follow tyrants and fools into battle and their own mass destruction on the basis 'of the wisdom of experience' in what has /never been done before/. A loss foreordained by a military which spends their economy into ruin planning for the previous war. Gee Thanks.

Buy the damn tee shirt. Paint it red to cover the imminent blood stains. Hand over your wallet at the door, they only need 256 BILLION dollars this time.


KPl.

[edit on 16-2-2006 by ch1466]



posted on Feb, 17 2006 @ 11:26 AM
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ch1466,
There might actually be some useful information in your last post, if I can get past the smartassed rhetoric that you keep spouting off.

As far as UCAV's are concerned I am looking at their capabilities with current technology. The F-22 is going to cost something like 100 million dollars a plane. How many UCAVs can be built for that price?

As far as the surface to air threat is concerned, SAMs are very economical and effective. Stealth in my opinion is very over-rated. Stealth aircraft are too delecate for everyday use. They can only be used effectively on certain missions under certain conditions. I think that the B-2 is a formidable weapons system, with one major flaw. It can be seen.

I see nothing wrong with disposable UCAVs. If you've spent $100 million on your radar, that means that you probably overpaid for the missiles that it controls. I have no problem with getting you to waste all of them on a bunch of $75,000 UCAVs. My plan would be to over saturate the target and when you run out of missiles then the fun begins.

My comment on the Golden BB was referring to the first night over Bagdad during the First Gulf War. When you saw all of the tracer fire from the anti-aircraft weapons. I don't care what you are flying, if I put enough rounds into your airspace I have a good chance of knocking you down. Stealth or no stealth, if I happen to damage your plane, stealth goes out the window.



posted on Feb, 17 2006 @ 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by justin_barton3
they will operate like any computer game, they will have codes written by humans that they cannot change or exceed.

justin



That a silly statement. Deep Blue was a better chess player than any of its programmers.


UCAVS are the future, if for no other reason than that the pilot limits fighter performance. You could build an airframe to perform 20g turns, but the pilot would pass out at 9g.

What hope could a human pilot have against an opponent that pull 20g turns?



posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 05:46 AM
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Originally posted by ElTiante


Originally posted by justin_barton3
they will operate like any computer game, they will have codes written by humans that they cannot change or exceed.

justin



That a silly statement. Deep Blue was a better chess player than any of its programmers.


UCAVS are the future, if for no other reason than that the pilot limits fighter performance. You could build an airframe to perform 20g turns, but the pilot would pass out at 9g.

What hope could a human pilot have against an opponent that pull 20g turns?


Deep blue was a better chess player than any of its programmers because it coul analysise a board better and could calculate the odds of what each move would do far better. But it still operated within the limits of what its programmers set. For example it could not paint a picture or sing a song.

What i was saying in the statement that you call silly is that the ucav wont be able to turn round and attack its own base or the pentagon. ucavs will be able to attack targets on their own, but the ucav will have targets specified for them before or during the mission and they will not be able to bomb/attack anything else without permission from a human.

While we are on the subject of silly statements talking about deep blue on a thread dedicated to ucav versus manned is fairly silly.

However i do agree that ucavs are the future.

Justin



posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 06:00 AM
link   

Originally posted by justin_barton3

Originally posted by ElTiante


Originally posted by justin_barton3
they will operate like any computer game, they will have codes written by humans that they cannot change or exceed.

justin



That a silly statement. Deep Blue was a better chess player than any of its programmers.


UCAVS are the future, if for no other reason than that the pilot limits fighter performance. You could build an airframe to perform 20g turns, but the pilot would pass out at 9g.

What hope could a human pilot have against an opponent that pull 20g turns?


Deep blue was a better chess player than any of its programmers because it coul analysise a board better and could calculate the odds of what each move would do far better. But it still operated within the limits of what its programmers set. For example it could not paint a picture or sing a song.

What i was saying in the statement that you call silly is that the ucav wont be able to turn round and attack its own base or the pentagon. ucavs will be able to attack targets on their own, but the ucav will have targets specified for them before or during the mission and they will not be able to bomb/attack anything else without permission from a human.

While we are on the subject of silly statements talking about deep blue on a thread dedicated to ucav versus manned is fairly silly.

However i do agree that ucavs are the future.

Justin


Very good point. When you start thinking up "Terminator" or "Matrix" type doomsday stuff you're talking about "real" Artificial Intelligence, as in well and fully independent.

Right now, we're having a hard time as it is getting a vehicle to successfully drive from point A to point B given a set of GPS waypoints. Sound familiar to anyone? DARPA Grand Challenge, it took the teams involved literally YEARS using some of the best and brightest from our nation's top engineering schools.

Forget independent targeting. For the near future, at best they'll do strikes on fixed targets, which from a big picture perspective means we get "reusable cruise missiles."



posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 06:46 AM
link   


Originally posted by ORIEguy
Deep blue was a better chess player than any of its programmers because it coul analysise a board better and could calculate the odds of what each move would do far better. But it still operated within the limits of what its programmers set. For example it could not paint a picture or sing a song.

What i was saying in the statement that you call silly is that the ucav wont be able to turn round and attack its own base or the pentagon. ucavs will be able to attack targets on their own, but the ucav will have targets specified for them before or during the mission and they will not be able to bomb/attack anything else without permission from a human.

While we are on the subject of silly statements talking about deep blue on a thread dedicated to ucav versus manned is fairly silly.

However i do agree that ucavs are the future.

Justin


Very good point. When you start thinking up "Terminator" or "Matrix" type doomsday stuff you're talking about "real" Artificial Intelligence, as in well and fully independent.

Right now, we're having a hard time as it is getting a vehicle to successfully drive from point A to point B given a set of GPS waypoints. Sound familiar to anyone? DARPA Grand Challenge, it took the teams involved literally YEARS using some of the best and brightest from our nation's top engineering schools.

Forget independent targeting. For the near future, at best they'll do strikes on fixed targets, which from a big picture perspective means we get "reusable cruise missiles."


The DARPA challenge showed that even a medium as tough as terrain can be tackled by a bunch of college kids. Its a lot harder to drive than fly.

The problem with UCAVs isnt target acquisition and tracking, and its not flying the plane itself, computers have been doing this stuff for decades.

[edit on 18-2-2006 by orca71]



posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 08:36 PM
link   

Originally posted by orca71


Originally posted by ORIEguy
Deep blue was a better chess player than any of its programmers because it coul analysise a board better and could calculate the odds of what each move would do far better. But it still operated within the limits of what its programmers set. For example it could not paint a picture or sing a song.

What i was saying in the statement that you call silly is that the ucav wont be able to turn round and attack its own base or the pentagon. ucavs will be able to attack targets on their own, but the ucav will have targets specified for them before or during the mission and they will not be able to bomb/attack anything else without permission from a human.

While we are on the subject of silly statements talking about deep blue on a thread dedicated to ucav versus manned is fairly silly.

However i do agree that ucavs are the future.

Justin


Very good point. When you start thinking up "Terminator" or "Matrix" type doomsday stuff you're talking about "real" Artificial Intelligence, as in well and fully independent.

Right now, we're having a hard time as it is getting a vehicle to successfully drive from point A to point B given a set of GPS waypoints. Sound familiar to anyone? DARPA Grand Challenge, it took the teams involved literally YEARS using some of the best and brightest from our nation's top engineering schools.

Forget independent targeting. For the near future, at best they'll do strikes on fixed targets, which from a big picture perspective means we get "reusable cruise missiles."


The DARPA challenge showed that even a medium as tough as terrain can be tackled by a bunch of college kids. Its a lot harder to drive than fly.

The problem with UCAVs isnt target acquisition and tracking, and its not flying the plane itself, computers have been doing this stuff for decades.

[edit on 18-2-2006 by orca71]


A lot of those teams were led by leading robotics professors, while the college kids did the grunt work. And it took them YEARS to get it right, I know a couple of "college kids," actually grad students, that actually took an entire year off just to work on the damn things.
Does MITRE qualify as "just a bunch of college kids?" Hardly. And their car failed as well, while it just BARELY finished in the qualifying race which wasn't even in the desert.

But that wasn't the point. I know terrain is a more dynamic and difficult medium than air. The point is to show the limitations of "AI" in independently dealing with complex dynamic situations with preprogrammed solutions.

For example, when delivering CAS how do you program it to respond to a mixed crowd of armed insurgents and civilians heading towards a friendly crash site? You can't. They're difficult enough decisions for we as humans on scene OR with a God's eye view to make.



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 04:17 AM
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JIMC5499,

>>
There might actually be some useful information in your last post, if I can get past the smartassed rhetoric that you keep spouting off.
>>

There usually is when you have to roll back the sea of ignorance and preconception in as well as around you. That's the nature of defeating distractory attack on new concepts and ideals. You spend 90% of the time fighting the BS spouted by 'real experts'. And it makes you jaded.

>>
As far as UCAV's are concerned I am looking at their capabilities with current technology. The F-22 is going to cost something like 100 million dollars a plane. How many UCAVs can be built for that price?
>>

As usual 'it depends' on which time frame reference and how many systems you buy of a given model.

The ONLY way to achieve economies of scale is to commonize on a deployment as much as inventory (what good are jets sitting unused because they can't /land/ where the fight is) model of force structure and useage.

These two-

www.afa.org...
www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil...

Point towards a cost between 10-12 million depending on service (UCAV/UCAV-N) variant and developed model standardized for production. The figures I used were always higher, towards 12-15 million.

This for an X-45A type system rather than the bloated monstrosity that the A-45C has become. Under the deliberate direction of an Air Farce only interested in 'developing it' until it is just expensive enough to be unaffordable, in their eyes. Oh how Fitzgerald must laugh.

THAT airframe I put in the 25-30 million dollar category.

Which is still less than the 65 million flyaway and 95 million (and climbing) PAUC cost they are looking at for JSF.

The real denominator being the TLC2 or COO as Total Life Cycle Costs as a Cost Of Ownership modifier. And here some estimates show numbers as low as 25% of the F-16 (which the JSF will never beat thanks to the stupid STOVL/CVTOL drivers) and as high as 50-80%, again depending on how you shape your buy and how much usage you make of it.

>>
As far as the surface to air threat is concerned, SAMs are very economical and effective.
>>

Both Patriot and S-300 cost more than a SCUD on a per-missile basis. On a battery level, they are orders of magnitude more expensive. Another great lie about air defense being that the cost of the threat is greater than the cost of the solution to suppressing it, at least as it involves the use of systems like ARMMD and other aero or full ballistic response, you will be slinging S-300's left right and center to defend a relatively tiny protected area.

>>
Stealth in my opinion is very over-rated. Stealth aircraft are too delecate for everyday use.
>>

Not any more. The B-2 came into inventory with a paint+tape+putty system that can only be described as a 'drywaller's approach to VLO'. Yet it now operates within an AHFM 'spray on stealth' maintainability spec that includes computer automated (automotive technology) robotic application AND VERIFICATION system which takes 90% of the more-art-than-science human screwup element out of the first-we-try-then-we-fly speedgun and butter game.

>>
They can only be used effectively on certain missions under certain conditions.
>>

The problem is less that they don't work or that they are picky about their operating condition than the simple fact that rollback itself doesn't work when supporting anything of larger signature.

1966-68. 1 SAM 1 Weasel. Usually through RFCG though occasionally with EOCG and often in blindfire as a kind of heavy flak rocket with the ability to home on jam lobes. Even if the Weasel dies (and something like 70% of the initial F-100F crews did so), you've only traded basically a single airframe for a single engagement either as the Iron Hand rolls in to obliterate the 1,500ft wide pentagram. Or the main target.

1972-73. Now you can look at 2-3 missiles per target and while engagements are still largely 1.v1, the SA-6 gives you a kinematic and sensor (CW swath SARH) capability that is both very hard to defeat and largely amenable to engaging tight bearing multiple threats (as it will eventually be modified to do). The real danger then being the trashfire that the SA-6 forces you to fly down into as a layered-death. Our HAWK was much the same way, first, so there is no real excuse for 'not knowing better'.
Fortunately, companion jam, sophisticated long range ARM and the first drones fitted with chaff bundles and decoy repeaters are also debuting while our ability to generate QRC responses to ELINT'd signature thumbprints has never been better.

1979-82. The first debut of TVM systems whereby you have a combination of CG and SARH in which the missile tells you where it is relative to what it thinks the target is doing and the radar (now the first LPARs) tracks both target while sending commanded course corrections. This is the first time that real trouble (as the MIM-104 and SA-10) occurs because the Russians mast their sensors to defeat low-horizoning (a technique which also 2D pins the strike aircraft like a butterfly on a collectors board) and each battery can actually fire the majority of it's missiles 'many vs. many', before being destroyed. Something which is far from assured since now SAM sites are also protected by both goalkeeper weapons able to knock down ARMs. And a plethora of active and passive decoy/alert mechanisms. Perhaps the greatest development however is simply range. With a total mass of (S-300) well over a ton and a half, even pure rocket propulsion leads to ranges in the 40-60nm category. At which distance threats may not even be able to see the threat before it enters terminal distance. Later mods will take this to well over 100nm. With systems of this nature, a single SEAD aircraft may not be enough to prevent an entire package of conventional signature aircraft from being ravaged.

1999-2001. With the IOC of S-400 and PAC-3 you have significantly shorter ranging weapons but ones of much higher burn out velocity (Mach 5-7) which means that radars now have to survive only a very short while indeed before they can 'hand off' to launch boxes which are essentially little more than storage and transport containers equipped with digital modem interfaces that serve to pass volume-prediction data to SAM's with fully active, independent, homing. What this means is that there may well be NO 'direct illumination' fire control signature. And little ability to reach (via airlaunch) search/surveillace systems 'on the far horizon' (or even in another country or even as a Ding Hao visual observer corps system) while providing targeting handoff less to 'sites' or 'batteries' than individual clutches of 4-16 missiles. Yet because those weapons are pointed into a cube of airspace without requirement to see the target from launch, even fleeting or estimated contact of strobe jam protected conventional signature airframes are likely to be lethal because as many missiles as can separate-channel emit will shotgun-activate their own seekers at stepped ranges for which burn through is assured (and indeed many may operate in HOJ). That conventional MRAAMs such as VLS Adder and MICA and SLAMRAAM as well as export happy MEADS/PAAMS (Aster) also occupy this category may point the way towards a future in which every 5th or 10th mile will be a _cheap_, _inconspicuous_, missile box, not a radar, which fires on threats 'as they pass', from the border all the way to the deepest heartland.

2015. While the individual lethality of systems may not have gained much the nature of their employment has. For no longer are weapons separated from target search by seeker mode. Rather than wait for target entrance to envelope, they come seeking their prey under sustained turbine propulsion. The Chukar, Mirach and Reis target/decoy/recce systems of your having evolved into lethal pack hunters in their own right. Furthermore, a penchant for avoiding the trashfire threat means operating largely above any weather interference so that the stealth game will switch to optical hunting by skirmish line. Quite possibly with the intent, not of directly attacking but of cueing DEWS based systems into making blink-of-eye kills at 25-60-100km (relay mirror dependent).

Under the above outlined progressive evolution, stealth (as RFLO) not only DOES work but is the _minimum_ baseline behind which a given airframe -30dbsm signature can shelter in the glare of increasingly ineffective SOJAM. Not simply in terminal engagement. But in the most transient of acquisition/tracking. Optical LO will be important but it will have to be achieved on an RF invisible platform.

>>
I think that the B-2 is a formidable weapons system, with one major flaw. It can be seen.
>>

I think the B-2 has as much national-symbol vested value in it as a CVN. And as such, it's only proper role is as a standoff CM (AGM-158) or aeroballistic (AGM-131 as FRSW) launch platform in SIOP or WMD 'emergency management' (imminent strategic threat) conditions. OTOH, I also believe that the notion of flying 18-36hrs to drop eight or eighty bombs is /absurd/. Both because tacair 10,000 miles closer to the active theater than Whiteman can triple the number of sortie rates (and thus aimpoints serviced).

And because you cannot cover enough area with one asset as to hit the kinds of TST/TCT threats out there which the B-2 should nominally 'specialize in'. Tacair suffers from the same problem in that they are unable to loiter in the target area for 9-10hrs at a time and so even their greater numbers are not a significant advance upon the sheer density of battlespace sanitization which is necessary as 10-20 hours in tacjets is no more realistic than 40-50 in the Batarang. It is simply beyond the ability of any realistic inhabited weapons platform to maintain a strictly 'cockpit posture' (no relief crew) alertness.

>>
I see nothing wrong with disposable UCAVs. If you've spent $100 million on your radar, that means that you probably overpaid for the missiles that it controls. I have no problem with getting you to waste all of them on a bunch of $75,000 UCAVs. My plan would be to over saturate the target and when you run out of missiles then the fun begins.
>>

Depends on how you define the threat.

This-

www.newsmax.com...

Speaks of Russian sourced S-300's as being a 300 million dollar (per battery) for the PMU-1 export system. While HQ-15's (a Chinese derivative with 'improvements' sourced to Israeli Patriot leaks) are only 30.

Similar figures for a sale of six, 12 vehicle, batteries, each with 48 missiles, to India approach 1 Billion while a single sale of an expanded battery complex of 20 vehicles is shown as being 660 million when first offered to Crete-

cns.miis.edu...
www.fas.org...

It also depends on what you consider to be a UCAV-

www.findarticles.com...

Would have you believe that a BGM-109 running about 600 grande (I've seen numbers as low as 295,000 on Boeings site in 2001 and more recently 730,000 for 2,200 inventory refill with Raytheon) is a 3-5hr UCAV. Then you compare it to a 21,000 dollar JDAM and a 64,000 dollar SDB and you start to question the value of throwing away the horse you rode in on. Namely because the CM is predictable in it's own behavior relative to direct target approach to use it's kill mechanism, leaving the weapon vulnerable to both the S-300 itself and to any bodyguard companion unit such as the SA-15.

Myself, I rate the payload bus vehicle by the nature of it's targeting and it's basing mode. Tomahawk is unavailable in a fair number of landlocked campaigns and it's low altitude profile and tiny sensor aperture limits it's ability to perform wide area sanitization, even as it never leaves the heart of the trashfire envelope (most recently, the Russians have put forth the use of AHM's with dual _passive_ acoustic-IR pointing to destroy CM on the cheap, as little as 10,000 dollars). This can be crucial because once the air vehicle is gone, it's gone forever which means that your sensor coverage in any one zone evaporates at a time when presumably all remaining battery vehicles will be displacing, even if you get the principal Flap Lid/Tombstone/Arabel radar. With the presumed use of multiple shell game tactics, dummy targets and secondary traffic (MTI) C3D distractions, you can be sure that the asset value of the S-300 systems will cause them to /disappear/ with much the same alacrity as the Iraqi's hid SCUD. Only to popup somewhere else in the 'tween raids window.

As I stated before, this makes even a nominally successful weasel-vs.-radar engagement trade less than useless because the whole battery must be wiped out before you can be sure that remaining TELs don't just switch to another cuer. And that means more warheads and more time to hunt.

Unfortunately, current standoff targeting platforms such as JSTARS are not as redundantly invulnerable for they must continually illuminate across broad sectors in providing wide area search and so can be attacked based on their own emissions with very little exposure to the SAM.

It is a lot easier for the S-300 to stiff arm it's hunters than for them to pin it down.

Yet all is not lost if disassociate the value of the bus/search platform from that of the kill mechanism as the UCAV with sub-100,000 dollar systems like the GBU-39 and LOCAAS/SMACM-

www.nationaldefensemagazine.org...
www.fas.org...

Suggests is possible.

For in making an arrow-vs.-arrow trade you are forcing each 800,000 dollar SAM to /trade down/, the engagement scale even as greater force densities and LO suggest that relatively intermittent (UCAV) illumination will require massive 'counter investment' in volume searching for what may well not be the shooter platform. For where _every_ aircraft has to have 'the basics' of a 25-40nm FLIR and SAR capable radars (EOTS and XTRA) you may be looking for a target _80nm_ the opposite side of an engagement sphere from the threat that is killing you 5 minutes into the future.

This is less an ELS 'listen for the downbeat and follow it home' game of airborne direction finding. Than it is shining a flashlight at the floor and then stepping off while your buddy snipes who ever beams-back at you.

So long as the F-22 has neither sensor suite nor profile optimization, it will never be able to hit more than what is visible to overhead or otherwise preplanned targets. So long as the F-35 costs what the F-22 does (and it will, while Iraq eats the budget and total production numbers go down) it will suffer the double whammy of both foreign sales slumping like a punctured balloon based on inadequate offsets and LO in the airframe. And the ability of the jet to _be present_ during the critical days when aircraft gather optical and radar recce as much as EOB data.

The real difference then being that a UCAV can remain on station for 9-10hrs and never have to yield coverage for want of not being carrier compatible or 'in range' to push inland to a forward base or orbit. While costing, _at worst_, one fifth as much as I estimate the F-35 will. Couple this to fewer principal bowtie opposed lobe angles and generally fewer 'detail' features like tails and cockpits, and you have a system whose value is independent of the platform:threat trade behind which conventional SEAD is tease-the-cobra made. Because it doesn't have to sacrifice itself for manned systems which are inferior to begin with.

It can do both interdiction (stay silent and I will kill your momma) and active SEAD (ollie ollie oxen free!) and /do both with standoff/ sufficient to variablize it's shot position from the expected lanes that a heavy SAM must be sited to cover.

>>
It can be seen.

...

My comment on the Golden BB was referring to the first night over Bagdad during the First Gulf War. When you saw all of the tracer fire from the anti-aircraft weapons. I don't care what you are flying, if I put enough rounds into your airspace I have a good chance of knocking you down. Stealth or no stealth, if I happen to damage your plane, stealth goes out the window.
>>
Pierre Sprey, a well known and only partially corrupt (card carrying member of the original LWF Fighter Mafia which more or less makes him crossed-fingers unclean to me) defense statistician has oft been quoted for his testimony before House Armed Services Committee investigator Jim McCrery of Louisiana on the causal effects and outcomes of various Desert Storm folktales. One specific area that supposedly REALLY raised eyebrows was his analysis of the performances of such notable types as the F-16, F-117, A-10 and F-111.
His basic conclusion (which was factually correct if technically incomplete) is that flying above 10,000ft rendered nearly all aircraft safe from attack because that was the maximum ceiling or 'floor' to which the guns below 57mm could reach without radar compensation and after about Day 6 there just weren't many working radars out there. Of course the Iraqi's had 57, 85 and supposedly some 100mm weapons. They also had Roland, Rapier and SA-8 ADV systems which could and did have the ability to fire in EOCG mode, day and night. Before scooting.
Nonetheless, the firestorm you saw over Baghdad, especially first night, was a result not of 'being seen' so much as being heard. The F-117s having been supported by standoff EA-6B and EF-111A jamming whose whiteout effect was what both triggered the final shutoff of Baghdad's lights. And the flakstorm which (from the tracer signatures I saw) could not have done anything to the Nighthawks. The only targets being shot by Iraqis were other Iraqis as their own ordnance fell back upon them. And, at least if you believe the stories, while this was 'not good' in the eyes of the 117 pilots, the heating of the tubes before the /second/ wave of 117's arrived actually helped lower whatever minimalist chance the Iraqi's already had as the ballistic scatter effect went even wilder.
A more serious condemnation of the Allied strategy came about 3-5 days later when 'just for grins', the CAOC frag team decided to see if they could ram a Gorilla down the mouth of the Dragon and pull it out the other end. The combination of the poor mission planning, jammed up tanker tracks and general disparities in performance between F-16 models and other aircraft more or less assured that while the head of the chimp went down fine, the feet of the monkey got royally chewed as SEAD/EA assets met their hold times and bingo'd on out. And the last raiders got the full measure of an integrated IADS functioning at ALL levels (the SAMs force you down into the flak, continually trading altitude for G.) for one of the more costly mistakes of the war.
Such is the ONLY time when 'golden BB'ism' truly effected the tactics of most shooters in the interdiction mission and it thereafter caused the F-117 and Cruise to be selectively chosen for all targets 'Downtown'. This in turn meant that the 117's tactical flexibility was compromised (by weather among other things) and the cruise systems over-used in the predictability of their own ONE MAIN ROAD turnpoint within the high-contrast limits of their TERPROM/DSMAC targeting.
Which is perhaps the key flaw in your argument. Not that stealth can be seen. Because modern 'day' stealth with sensors and PTOD munitions standoffs of 20-40nm is no more visibly /targetable/ to the naked eye (I suppose you might see distant contrails ala United) than it is vulnerable to the weapons which are cued by them (MOB). Rather that _limited_ stealth tends to be employed in ways which are dangerous and abridging to the overall mission force capacities in terms of restricting the ability to hit diverse targets without excess care-and-feeding of either the black or the white assets that are risk shared no matter what is said about 'one plane, one target' nonsense.

Myself, I have _never_ understood the need to send in aircraft at 12-15,000ft altitudes to lay down SALH weapons in a streaming raid tactic when the principal ops theater has running scud at 5-10,000ft for much of the year in daylight and dense surface mist (sleet, ice, hail) at night and early morning throughout the winter. Nor can I comprehend why, when fixed targeting has absolutely no functional purpose in being 'man rated' for flexibility after /years/ of DMA pre-survey, we risk HDLD (HVA) systems to hit them, night after night.

CONCLUSION:
But then again, I don't have anything but contempt for manned airpower in general because they are so incredibly lousy at every mission they fly _compared to what we need to be able to do_ and their fear of being discovered as such incompetents drives them to disrupt and then take over prior to aborting the very systems which can and should help save this nation from both our adventurist policies of martial arrogance in place of diplomatic gravitasse and the economic exsanguination of our budget in covering up the failure of same to achieve a militarist endgame.

And that is what the Air Force and Navy have done when they first decreed that the A-45 had to do 'SEAD' as a principle mission. Then decided (squids) to alter that creed for the purposes of ensuring the UDS didn't hit exit phase until after the 2006 JSF/SDD 'production decision'. And then, when it appeared that the LIE of a 'joint' airframe was finally going to be queer-duck exposed through massive weight gains, reroled the program as the J-UCAS, an armed weapons system. Only to massively upscale it to the bloated level for which it became a 'spiral' (out of control) equivalent to the JSF for timeline if not cost. On the basis of carrying heavier weapons, farther. This latter is what really makes them veritable dipped-in-**** SKUNKS because _SEAD_ is not done with 2,000lb JDAM. And the X-45A and certainly B could already make payload-radius and station time with the SDB, 'unscaled'.

i.e. The Pilot Mafia spec'd a need which did not have to be met and then when it was, dumped the program to protect their precious piloted alternative. Even though it is even less capable at the original mission need _which has not changed_ than the drone is. And even though, there is _no doubt_ that if the JSF as over Iraq right now, it would do no good. But the UCAV would.

I hope they choke on their pride when JSF collapses on the export front. I hope Congress WAKES UP and pulls another AGM-86 vs. B-1 wise choice out of their nether regions once they realize that the JSF as a



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 04:20 AM
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Originally posted by ch1466
There usually is when you have to roll back the sea of ignorance and preconception in as well as around you. That's the nature of defeating distractory attack on new concepts and ideals. You spend 90% of the time fighting the BS spouted by 'real experts'. And it makes you jaded.


Pot calling kettle? What?



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 05:37 AM
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Originally posted by ch1466
There usually is when you have to roll back the sea of ignorance and preconception in as well as around you. That's the nature of defeating distractory attack on new concepts and ideals. You spend 90% of the time fighting the BS spouted by 'real experts'. And it makes you jaded.


Can you stop writing so much in your posts. im sure that they are very informative and intresting but i just cant be assed reading it all. No offense man but your posts are just too long.

Justin



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 05:54 AM
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English translation; distractory = disctractionary, I looked it up in my dictory, err



posted on Aug, 3 2014 @ 08:24 PM
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UCAV seem to be the next logical evolution of UAV. I'm refering UCAV here as an AIR-TO-AIR UCAV instead of the Predator type ground attack UAV.

I foresee a combination of specialized ground-attack UCAV supplemeted by Air Superiority UCAV , with the Controlling / Monitoring Operators nearby in an big body type aircraft like boeing 767



posted on Aug, 3 2014 @ 09:39 PM
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a reply to: st3ve_o

So to try and answer the original question posed by the OP: in my opinion I would say you have to define "what is the question" before deciding whether the UCAV is the (correct) answer. At this point, it seems a foregone conclusion that UAVs of multiple types have a role to play in theatre, but that role is defined by multiple factors. When it comes to recon, the ability to loiter on station at altitude gives the unmanned platforms an advantage. For offensive missions, platform capability and availability, risk/reward (taking into account a less risk-averse approach with UCAV), threat assessment, and mission parameters would (or should) all be taken into consideration in mission planning to select the appropriate platform. (Again, just opinion. Take it for what it's worth.)

To me the really interesting question is how UCAV will be utilized assuming AI continues to advance. How much control over offensive systems would any military command be willing to cede to an autonomous computer intelligence? I know - or imagine - that I would personally have real reservations about such a scenario.

And then, two observations: this thread seems to have brought out axes to grind, which surprised me. And, is there a way to get paid by the word here?



posted on Aug, 4 2014 @ 07:05 AM
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the very idea of operating UCAV is very tempting .. if it can be done it should be done , but it is wiser to create a combination of manned and unmanned platforms that works together.. the manned platform as the local area controller / integrator and the 'swarm' of UCAV the ones entering the harm's way.

it would be a great saving for USAF to reduce their pilot requirement by half or more..

no more CSAR needed.. no exorbitant pilot training budget and upkeep...



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