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Iran: Stealth 'Flying Boat' Successfully Tested

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posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 11:19 AM
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I’ll admit that Iran’s stealth flying boat looks like a Junkyard Wars reject, but when I stopped laughing I began to be concerned. I don’t know if it could handle one of those Shikval type torpedoes due to their size and weight, but I don’t see where a couple of anti-ship missiles couldn’t be hung on it. I can see where it would be hard to detect on radar. The Persian Gulf is not that large of a body of water and at some points it can be down right narrow. If you had a bunch of these attacking at high speed, near a coastline they would create a real headache for a ship’s radar to detect until they were close enough to attack. Yes they might be able to be tracked by infra-red but again if they were near a coastline they would be difficult to pick out from the heat signature given off by a landmass.

If you could detect them in time, what would you attack them with? My vote would be helicopter gunships with 2.75 inch rockets and 30mm cannon. The only way that they could be attacked by a Phalanx system would be visually and by that time they are close enough to have launched their attack. Aircraft may be able to attack them with their cannon and possibly Rockeye cluster bombs, but it would be difficult. In one of the other forums that I belong to we were discussing what types of weapons to use on the pirate boats off of Somalia and realized that there wasn’t that much for a cruiser or destroyer to attack with. If you use the ship’s guns you let them get too close and they are too maneuverable for missiles like Standards and Harpoons.

Even if these craft are used as suicide boats, they are going to be a problem to defend against with the armaments currently carried on warships. From what I can see in the pictures that have been posted they look to be easy to maintain and should need little in the way of specialized facilities to support them. There goes the idea of just bombing the hell out of their base.




posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 11:29 AM
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jim, I don't think that particular WIG craft couldcarry a meaningful missile but in general terms WIGs have a real potential as low-observable attack craft. One problem that needs to be overcome is launch of the missiles - they can't be carried under the wings because they would be in close contact with the water - so you have to launch them out the top which gives seperation complications.

A (EDIT: 1980s) Russian WIG firing an anti-ship missile:



[edit on 5-4-2006 by planeman]



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by planeman
jim, I don't think that particular WIG craft couldcarry a meaningful missile but in general terms WIGs have a real potential as low-observable attack craft. One problem that needs to be overcome is launch of the missiles - they can't be carried under the wings because they would be in close contact with the water - so you have to launch them out the top which gives seperation complications.



Drop them in a floating tube and let them launch themselves, kind of like a CAPTOR mine. Targeting info is fed to the missile then it is ejected. When the tube stabilizes the missile fires itself. Shouldn't take more than a few seconds.



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499

Drop them in a floating tube and let them launch themselves, kind of like a CAPTOR mine. Targeting info is fed to the missile then it is ejected. When the tube stabilizes the missile fires itself. Shouldn't take more than a few seconds.
An interesting suggestion - wouldn't the launch "pod" need a motor to orientate it? - unless it was verticle launch.



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by planeman
An interesting suggestion - wouldn't the launch "pod" need a motor to orientate it? - unless it was verticle launch.
You got it. Look at the VLS system on a US ship. The missiles are stored in a self-contained cartridge as an expendable unit. The VLS system is one of the reasons that I am concerned about this "flying boad". VLS isn't too good against close in surface targets.



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 12:03 PM
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Jim,
I would have to respectfully disagree with your opinion. The US Navy is not completely helpless against the small surface threat. Also, there are many different factors to take into consideration when dealing with these so-call "WIG threats"...

1. Targeting. Assuming an Iranian WIG vehicle could be armed with a credible anti-ship weapon, one has to wonder just how said vehicle would obtain targeting information of a quality and reliability sufficient to allow a BVR or OTH launch of a weapon. The obvious answer would be a small surface search radar. But then, you are now immediately susceptable to detection via ESM and your sensor is now top of the list for active ECM. Visual? That means a pilot (flying a craft less than 100 ft above the ocean surface) would have to get awfully damn close to a US Navy warship to obtain enough visual data in order to conduct a BOL. Have you ever been in the Gulf? From 8am to 5pm it is very hazy, and visuals can be pretty crappy (less than 5 nm) on a regular basis. ESM? Just where the hell is EA equipment going to go on this WIG anyways, with it carrying weapons and all? No room, it seems to me. Based upon the size of the vehicle in the video, and even if there was a model slightly bigger, there seems to be no room for support equipment.

2. Surface Ship Weapons. Even the small ships in the Gulf pack a decent punch. Take the FFG-7 for example, most likely the smallest US surface combatant you will find in the Gulf. SM-1MR performance is admittedly poor against low altitude ASCM's. However, I highly doubt that the WIG being discussed and previously depicted has anywhere near the low RCS of a modern ASCM. Anything flying around with a propeller or turbofan is going to generate a huge RCS that even the limited MK 92 FCS will be able to easily pick out of the clutter. Not to mention that the surface detector-tracker might have something to say a bout "surface targets" moving in excess of 100 knots, or whatever these things travel at. Seems to me that these things are a tailor-made target for the MK 75 gun mount, being that they travel not too fast, and are not too agile. Not to mention that most surface ships deployed to the Gulf are usually outfitted with extra small gun mounts (.50 cal, MK-19 grenade launchers, etc.) to deal with "small boat" threats or anything else who decides to try to get within "max depression range". When I was last there, my ship had a Mk-38 Bushmaster 25-mm chain gun added to the starboard quaterdeck. That gun was neat!

No, this is simply an effort to use pretty pictures to sell bad real estate. The technology is old and tired, and the Russians explored it to its full military potential, and decided it wasn't worst the cost. WIGs may have useful roles as longe-range, high-speed transports, but the idea of manufactuing single-seat, fighter-sized WIGs to interdict naval shipping seems like a really bad idea to me.

The baby ASCM's launched from the back of a truck looked way more interesting and dangerous......



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 12:45 PM
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I don't think that particular design represents a real threat to USN in the immediate future, but the potential for WIG craft to be developed into stealthy FAC is quite obvious. The targeting of the weapons will always be a problem, but with the littorial nature of the Gulf they could be quite a threat.
Doodle of a stealthy WIG:



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 02:39 PM
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What can ships engage this thing with? If a ship launches a SAM at it, the boat can land in water and the SAM will miss. I know SM-2 has some limited anti-ship capability but if the flying boat has a low enough of a profile and keeps still, would the SM-2 still hit? Harpoons would be out of the question cos the boat can just take off and the missile misses.

What about IR missiles from aircraft? It might work if the craft is in flight and the engine is running but again what if it lands in the sea again and let the water cool the plane off and launch off some flares?

I think maybe it can only be destroyed by laser guided weapons or cluster bombs, etc...

[edit on 5-4-2006 by Taishyou]



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by planeman
jim, I don't think that particular WIG craft couldcarry a meaningful missile but in general terms WIGs have a real potential as low-observable attack craft. One problem that needs to be overcome is launch of the missiles - they can't be carried under the wings because they would be in close contact with the water - so you have to launch them out the top which gives seperation complications.

A 1960s Russian WIG firing an anti-ship missile:



Actually that's the Lun Ekranoplan that iskander kept going on about. First "flew" in 1987.



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 03:42 PM
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I am going to quote myself from earlier in this thread….


Originally posted by missed_gear
Correct me if I am wrong, but an Ekranoplan requires the wings of the vessel to be in close proximity to the water for added lift.


The Iranian depiction of their ‘flying boat’ is not an Ekranoplan.

mg



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 04:28 PM
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Originally posted by missed_gear
I am going to quote myself from earlier in this thread….


Originally posted by missed_gear
Correct me if I am wrong, but an Ekranoplan requires the wings of the vessel to be in close proximity to the water for added lift.


The Iranian depiction of their ‘flying boat’ is not an Ekranoplan.

mg
It sure has all the hallmarks of a WIG craft and at any rate WiG can fly outside the influence of the ground, just with poorer efficiency. What makes you think it isn't a WIG?



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by planeman
What makes you think it isn't a WIG?


The initial outside information I read and my faulty memory lead me to believe it was designed primarily for sustained flight above ground effect, specifically, as an amphibious support airplane. In searching for the information to support my original findings I found that Jane’s sources state this vessel’s cruising height is under 4 meters and is only capable of 50 meter jumps.

Therefore, the vessel is a WIG.

According to the International Maritime Organizations (IMO) classifications under the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Craft (HSC code) this vessel should be classified as a Type ‘B’ WIG. Summarized… the vessel is capable of sustaining flight for very short durations without the benefit of ground effect; but utilizes ground effect to initiate flight and also operates primarily in ground effect. Type “A” and Type “B” are certified as boats, Type “C” is certified as airplanes. (Simple Classification Link)

The following image is of a Type “B” WIG which appears to be very close to the Iranian version.



You are correct.


mg



posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 10:24 PM
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Cool, brave man admits his mistakes. Kudos.

FWIW, I think that there is some merit to the gut feeling factor; if it looks like a WIG, smells like a WIG... lol. To me thhe wing form and tail on the design, together with though to a lesser extent the lack of aerodynamic concern over the engine mounting and cockpit, all stink of WIG.

[edit on 5-4-2006 by planeman]



posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 01:01 AM
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I was trying to remember and locate an article (2004 or 2005) on Iran’s Malek Ashatar University of…[insert specialty as news/propaganda requires] ...collaborative research with Russia’s Irkut in the pursuit of a small tandem seat militarized amphibious aircraft, capable of handling above normal seas, for use in remote coastal regions. It has always stuck out in my mind as odd because the artist conception was ridiculous looking with a huge bulbous bow.

The basic idea was to incorporate a ‘lifting body’ into a hull/fuselage for greater surface area and lift with a winged aircraft. This was to be accomplished by using the reverse delta platform similar to the now defunct Flarecraft (Airfish 3, Lippish WIG design link). When I saw the vessel as seen the original poster’s opening, I immediately thought of the video (link go about 1/4 through) where I had seen the posted vessel before (2005) although it is not related to the article about the above mentioned prototype I can not locate... yet.

This "new flying boat" appears to be a direct scaled knock-off of the above Airfish 3 and is more than likely a spin-off from the program...

mg



posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 01:02 AM
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"Due to its advanced design, no radar at sea or in the air can detect it. It can lift out of the water," the television said. It said the boat was "all Iranian-made and can launch missiles with precise targeting while moving."


the television said.....
for starters i wouldn't be listening much to the television if he was telling me about flying boats....

and yeah with that big donk sticking out of the top of this "plane boat" it would be very vulnerable to heat sensitive equipment.... like a sidewinder.

it appears to travel ultra mega slow.... and looks as if it can barely support its own weight let alone a super mega fast torpedo.
It wouldn't be able to carry armour plating if it has to fly so that makes it an easy target to any G.I's packin AR15's.

beware!!!! this could all be U.S government bullshirt to instigate a war....
like, all of a sudden iran's flying dingy's and water proof fire crackers have become a threat to a 200,000 tonne aircraft carrier.



posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 03:40 AM
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hi guys
I am from Iran and generally interested in weaponry.
Logically should be supportive of my country but not this regime.
Just wanted to say if you new anything about how Iranian government works
you would not spend that much time on "SUPER MODERN STEALTH FLYING BOAT !"
The second I heard the news about it I felt another embarrassment caused for my country. those idiot just want to show off something to get more money from the new no elected president.
My knowledge of aircrafts is not advanced but :
- This toy is not stealth and you don’t need to be Einstein to know it. Just look at that bloody engine for God sake!
It has no radar to control missiles, the only effective way of this to work
is to be very close to the target or be used as kamikaze
at the end you need to lunch it from a base or something.
If any war happens (I extremely hope it does not) according to previews experience there would not be anywhere in the whole Persian golf safe for any kind of base or something for this ,
if be used as standalone unit ( being distributed in the whole cost )
and against oil carriers it could be a little beet harmful.
at the end of the day it is a joke (a racist one, which in the wrong time and the wrong place can be a beet insulting)
Sorry for my English, I am still learning.
PS : don’t forget there are some extremists in two sides of the sea who believe causing this war is a religious obligation as a result making a big deal out of nothing can be extremely helpful for them.





posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 03:48 AM
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Reza, don't worry about your english, you got your point across perfectly. Those are great points, and thanks for your input.



posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 09:51 AM
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I have installed periscopes on submarines...several. I know that there are radars which can pick up a periscope sticking out of the water from a submerged submarine. I wont go into any other details but you need to know this about this particular ground effect craft and the effectiveness of radars...thier resolution ..ability to clearly pick up details.
Combine this with frequency agile radars.
Also you need to know that the aircraft or vessel doing the attacking is not necessarily the one transmitting or receiving with thier radars. They can be using the information from another radar platform or system to make thier attack.
This is not done or performed now days as do most peoples think.

Agree with the poster who said you can find this kind of ground effect craft in back issues of Popular Mechanics or Popular Science..right next to the gyrocopters.

Unless they can scale this up in size and payload this craft will not carry much of anything...cargo wise or weapons wise. This is obvious in watching it perform.

One more thing....when you show weaponry...you show your kings...like in poker..you dont show your aces. Understand????

When the ships come in you see the news media at the Carrier and destroyer piers...you dont see them at the submarine piers.

If you show this type of equipment as military hardware...you know it is kings or less...understand???

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 09:54 AM
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Hey Reza,

Keep posting ..your doing a great job. Your English is better than many of us "Yanks" here in the states. It is great that you know more than one language. Well done too..good post.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 01:20 PM
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Again, as I have mentioned in my previous post, piton engine has a MUCH lower IR signature then a turbine, and can easily be MUFFLED, and DUCTED to mix the exhaust with cold air, thus further reducing its heat signature.

The craft shown had an open engine, which logically is very easy to cover with a thermally insulated RAM coated housing.

Again, as I have previously stated, the propeller can be manufactured out of composite materials and bypassing costly methods of masking the blades of a turbine from radar emissions. The only questions is how pulse-doppler radars will interpret the return from a composite propeller, and how will AWACS and ship based phased-radar arrays will interpret such returns.

If anybody can share factual information regarding to how various radar systems will filter emission returns from composite propellers, please share it with us.

As per targeting, WIG platform makes a perfect "lightning response" concept for sub support. A type of support mission helo's are regularly used for by all Navy's. Targeting data can be fed to the torpedo from various sources, even from the sonar buoys dropped by a helo.

For example, WIG concept has a number of advantages over anti-submarine helicopters. Higher speeds, longer endurance with higher payload, ability to land, etc. While conventional anti-submarine helicopters have a range of about 200km with maximum speed of 270km/h, ekranoplan can just sit in the water until its needed.

White helicopters dipping sonar is easily detectable by the sub and gives up the position of its carrier, ekranoplan can be pre-deployed ahead of the predicted course of enemy sub with its sonar deployed, and just sit there in ambush.

IMHO it make such a concept a perfect deterrent value, at a fraction of the cost. Consider the following;

A torpedo armed ekranoplan takes of as soon as its dark and flies to the engagement are. Upon reaching its patrol are it simply lands, deploys a dipping radar and sits there. keeping subs and ships out of the area. At dawn it takes of and flies back to its base. Repeated as needed. A very cheap and effective way of establishing a Naval defensive perimeter, keeping both subs and surface ships out of the area.

What is more likely, and logical, is that the craft will be simply used as a weapon delivery "taxi". For example, considering Iran's midget subs capabilities, targeting data can be sent to the delivery craft from the subs which are held away from possible threats.

As orangetom1999 correctly pointed out, moder anti-ship missiles do NOT require targeting radar data, only an approximate target location. All modern cruise missile use a "search pattern" navigation mode in case of heavy ECM or bad weather.

Considering the limited operational area of the Gulf, modern anti-ship missiles can be simply launched in a "search pattern" mode, and eventually they will find their targets. The limitations of such use are inability to target any ship in particular, and will not allow simultaneous deployment of Iran Navy.

American military might can not be countered with conventional means, it is a s simple as that. The question is in how effective such "back yard" concepts can be in "leeching" resources from traditional deployment strategies used by US Navy.

It is obvious that the craft shown has very limited to non existent military capacity, and serves only as "messenger" to display possible capacity of Iran's counter defenses.

Again, as I have pointed out in my previous posts, WIG craft do not have to be built to the same tolerances as conventional lift craft, meaning that the whole airframe can be built entirely out of composites, thus BY DEFAULT giving such a craft stealth properties.

Combined with super-low IR emissions of a properly "suppressed" piston engine, this combination automatically enables such a craft to operate well outside of calculated defense parameters of the traditional Navy concept.

WIG effect advantages in payload capacity is its main advantage over traditional lift concept, allowing it to carry a dramatically larger payload while expending significantly less energy/fuel to do so. It is simply the nature of WIG effect.

This naturally leads to the conclusion that a larger WIG craft will make an excellent anti-ship weapon delivery platform, a concept Russians explored since the 60s, effectiveness of which they have indeed proved with their Lun concept.

As I have already pointed out, Iran's repeated tests simply show their capacity to seriously jeopardize traditional approach of US Navy in the case of hostilities.

They are in fact showing us a magazine loaded with armor-piercing ammo, and leave it to us to call them of their bluff of where ever they have the gun to shoot such ammo or not. I say it's a pretty high gamble.



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