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Network Centric Airborne Defense Element (The latest AIM-120 Variant)

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posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 07:45 PM
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According to AWST Raytheon has developed a new AIM-120 variant called the Ncade. The missile which would use the AMRAAM first stage coupled to a new second stage and the seeker from an AIM-9X would have the ability to engage ballistic missiles in thier boost phase.



In the meantime, Raytheon officials are also showcasing a new Amraam variant, called the Network Centric Airborne Defense Element (Ncade). The system would use an Amraam first stage, a new second stage developed by Aerojet and a modified AIM-9X seeker to engage missiles in their boost phase. But program officials say it could be employed in cruise missile defense scenarios.
AIM-120 Variant




posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 07:56 PM
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Yaaaaay!!
The military has finally done something that uses already available components! (apart from 2nd stage) I am shocked.
Anyone remember the Nike programs? lol

Now they'll stick em on ships and encircle North Korea.

But I always thought that the Patriot could be employed to defend against cruise missiles?



posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 08:00 PM
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The only thing about this is the range factor. You'd have to be pretty close to use this successfully. It's a great idea though.



posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 08:09 PM
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Most of these developments come from an AWST article about the F-22 being used in the cruise missile defence role.

They are also fielding yet another AIM-120 variant the AIM-120C-7.

It is charecterized as having a 2 way data link as well as:



The AIM-120C variant with clipped wings was developed to reduce missile size in order to allow for increased internal carriage in the F/A-22. Lethality improvements have been incorporated into the missile, culminating in a new warhead and lengthened rocket motor
www.globalsecurity.org...



posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
The only thing about this is the range factor. You'd have to be pretty close to use this successfully. It's a great idea though.


I think that the C-7 variant has a longer motor and has more range on it, but details are pretty thin at this point



posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 08:29 PM
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The AIM-120C-7 is supposed to have a longer range than the C-5 which according to this source has a range of ~65 Miles. Of course range will be vastly improved by the new D version currently under testing, maybe Raytheon will use the AIM-120D motor and power-plant section?


The AIM-120C-5 is a C-4 with a slightly larger motor in the new WPU-16/B propulsion section and a new shorter WCU-28/B control section with compressed electronics and ECCM upgrades. Deliveries of the AIM-120C-5 began in July 2000. It was followed on the production line by the AIM-120C-6, which features an updated TDD (Target Detection Device). The AIM-120C-7 (P3I Phase 3), development of which has begun in 1998, incorporates improved ECCM with jamming detection, an upgraded seeker, and longer range.

-------

The AIM-120D (P3I Phase 4, formerly known as AIM-120C-8) is a development of the AIM-120C with a two-way data link, more accurate navigation, an expanded no-escape envelope, improved HOBS (High-Angle Off-Boresight) capability, and a 50% increase in range. The AIM-120D is a joint USAF/USN project, and is currently in the early testing phase.

Link



posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 10:42 PM
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Even if they use a 120D, you're still looking at under 200 miles max. If you use the 65 mile range of the C-5, you're looking at somewhere around 130 miles for a D. I'd much rather want something like ABL that can reach out at longer ranges, or the AEGIS system. Something that can hit farther out and doesn't rely on an "in the right area at the right time" kind of situation that this seems to require.



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 01:00 AM
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Sounds like tailored solution for NK scenario, 130miles is enough for small peninsula, but i see no use for this against Russia, China, Pakistan or India



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 08:00 AM
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Zap no doubt an ABL would be better, but how many of them will be produced? IMO it’s not bad having a limited area defense system which you can employ in large numbers and which can overlap with existing ABM systems. A squadron of fighters equipped with this AMRAAM performing area defense could be an effective defense depending on how well the missile performs.



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 10:00 AM
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FredT,

>>
According to AWST Raytheon has developed a new AIM-120 variant called the Ncade. The missile which would use the AMRAAM first stage coupled to a new second stage and the seeker from an AIM-9X would have the ability to engage ballistic missiles in thier boost phase.
>>

This is ancient history AND peanuts. BPI or Boost Phase Intercept was a system 'under review' from the mid-90's when AvLeak published an article on both AMRAAM and 'HARM-ASAS' derived interceptors.

The 'multiple threat scenario' problem that prevented fielding at the time being:

1. The USAF couldn't let it be openly known that their newly fielded APG-70/LANTIRN wunderkitten combination had let SCUDs launch from practically right underneath the nose and FAILED, utterly, to kill even the TELs in SCUD alley. Which is effectively what the coverup was about regarding zero ground kills and 'besides we have a new missile coming online!' would have amounted to. Ballistics are a growth industry as is...

2. The Army was hip deep in PAC-land (both pro early and neg later on) and wanted to maintain their own little piece of turf inherent to the PAC-2 upgrade and later PAC-3/ERINT (via FLAGE). Unfortunately, these fine folk are 'almost as good' as the Squiddies in terms of running a missile program. And thus they lost their own upper tier as THAAD is effectively hopeless for terminal trajectory profile sensitivity and cross-track ability.

3. The fighter pukes didn't like wombat hunting with 'one thumb up' awaiting a shot and yet would not /think/ of delegating the mission to a Drone. Even though the RQ-4 actually had four weapons pylons and was not then rated a 'national asset' (pre-EP-3E). Something which actually has /some/ merit when you consider how aerodynamically worthless a triple tanked F-15 (or especially F-15E) is at 30-40K altitude, vulturing over an active IADS.

4. Without BSIRS or a Bright Eyes followon or even an SAIRST on an E-2/3, it was very hard to cue the system using missile independent midcoursing (especially against shorter range FROG/SS-21 etc. type systems) because fighter tracking depended on range gated doppler values (and a tiny bar-slice of sky) that didn't capture missiles well. AESA is probably better now but look how freakin' long it took them to put 18 of the V(3) on F-15C (along with 400lbs of ballast).

5. The missiles frankly sucked. HARM had the impulse but with the ASAS front end was almost as long as a 610 gallon tank and couldn't get shorter without pifpaf or tail controls (something HARM /still/ needs, in the worst way). AMRAAM didn't have the umph and frankly, neither system's IMU was up to the dynamic trajectory handoff while similarly, HALM type seekers were 2-3 years away at the earliest and the closest thing we had to an SFPA was a platinum silicide unit sitting on FOG-M. Perhaps worst of all, no digital tethers were then in existence for AAM. Again _arming a strategic UAV_ would have helped here, quite a bit, because it virtually doubled the missile kinetic envelope and gave the weapon a better look-thru angle on the rocket plume crossing the bright horizon terminator. But 60-70K launches posed their own problems and without a full LEAP or equivalent capability (I've read that ASAS is similar to a shrunken ASAT KKV head) the missile aerodynamic regime was just too close to topout to position the terminal kill mechanism.

6. Of course 'somewhere in here' were the remnants of Star Wars and the beginnings of NMD and that is what the AF was really after anyway. Which suited the incoming Clinton administration later just fine because it meant another budget savings rather than a tiered overlap.


CONCLUSION:
With a digital autopilot incorporating GPS and a smart tether, MP-RTIP radars on the way for wide angle lookacross coverage on the GHawk and a 5+7 inch, 'full fill' AIM-120D motor to shove along a staring array seeker, this new system may be just enough to allow NCADE to function as a near-term solution to a hidden-fist Iranian threat to hostage oil fields with covert nukes on their Shahabs (yes, I think they already have them). Or the equivalent Norkian Taepo Dongs. Either way, it's just that, a bandaid. Because once you get to a certain class of ballistics experience, it becomes pretty simple to adjust trajectory mechanics to either get a fast burn/rapid bus or a depressed linear arc value that takes away too much of the (very slow, Mach 5 boost, Mach 7 terminal on the HARM ASAS as I recall) interceptor's effective envelope overlay.

If there is one, singular, hope it is in fact that persistent UAVs, coupled to small-IAM on 'real' (strike) commited sorties, mean you can actually afford to frag assets to this kind of flashlight-in-dark-stadium mission.

Myself, I would just as soon let them know that we will remove their worthless presence from the book of human history if they so much as breath hard. There is just something about the extinction of your culture and society that puts serious saltpeter into your typical dictator's megalomaniac 'conscience'.


KPl.



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 12:09 PM
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Uhh, correct me if Im wrong, but the original article made no reference to ballistic missiles specifically just 'boost phase'. It then goes on to specifically mention cruise missile defence, which would be more in keeping with the net-centric warfare.




The AIM-120 would have to be launched from within 20 miles of the ICBM launch I'd guesstimate [going with the ICBM being non-interceptable 30 seconds after launch due to it being quicker than the missile itself at that point], 30 secs at mach 3 is around 17 miles, 20 miles leaves a nice margin of error. You can be sure that the airspace around a ICBM launch site will be extremely lethal, even for F-22s.


A proper boost phase intercept talks about interceptors with speeds of 6-10 km/sec - thats Mach 20 +.

Look here:
www.cbo.gov...



The AIM-120 is not, and never will be a viable ICBM boost interceptor, they must be talking about cruise missile defence.



posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 12:57 AM
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Killcoo316,

>>
Uhh, correct me if Im wrong, but the original article made no reference to ballistic missiles specifically just 'boost phase'. It then goes on to specifically mention cruise missile defence, which would be more in keeping with the net-centric warfare.
>>
IR weapons are notorious for 'seeker smear' in tracking truly lolo threats buried in clutter. Furthermore, the way you cue to CMs is through sidelook (radar) search across the expected ground track 'en passant' as they provide a lateral body signature and potential radalt glint. For the F-22, without an AIRST and with limited force numbers, once you have tracking, there is little reason to waste time subsequently swinging round onto a wave-attack (1st, 2nd, 3rd = 20-30-40 missiles) just to deliver a snapdown IR shot against a maybe jet plume.
OTOH, if you an find a CM in 'boost phase' (just out of the launch trailer with the blip acceleration motor still burning), then _why are you not bombing the TEL!_. Assuming you have air overhead in a contested environment, you may have /minutes to hours/ to kill a cruise weapon but TBM engagement windows are measured in seconds.
NO.
If I want to effect a useful CM defense, I keep the airplanes with bombs going forward into enemy territory where their effect is most felt irrespective of any spite-reaction attempts to widen the war.
Then I put multistatic JLENS systems in a series of X patterns as route defense in front of defended targets and run MALI or some other extended-LOAL 'over the horizon' system forward until they can acquire the target on a _flat_ LOS with Mountain Top type handoff sureties via a digital tether and tracking overlap of the cueing radars.
Then I use ATL on a C-130 or M-THEL on the back of a Semi Trailer or a SeaLITE on a ship to get approaches overwatch as the last of the area defenders come off the mid ABZ.
And finally, I put Red Rover Come Over (I dare'ya!) Skeet->AHM->ACM systems scattered in depth all over the terminal lanes to the highest value threats.
Lastly, I _do not commit_ to an infrastructure or ground force disembarkation strategy with an advanced threat capable of making me choose between defending what I have and prosecuting their behinds to the utmost 'with prejudice' degree possible. Half of losing is showing an enemy that you care more for what you have than what you want to do to him. It's a loss of initiative that feeds their coup-sense of gamesmanship and tactically it is a waste of force logistics when your SOLE offensive capability is airborne.

>>
The AIM-120 would have to be launched from within 20 miles of the ICBM launch I'd guesstimate [going with the ICBM being non-interceptable 30 seconds after launch due to it being quicker than the missile itself at that point], 30 secs at mach 3 is around 17 miles, 20 miles leaves a nice margin of error. You can be sure that the airspace around a ICBM launch site will be extremely lethal, even for F-22s.
>>
The problem here is that of wasted sorties with a small force vs. coverage likelihoods on distributed threats and 'protected' targets. Indeed, nukes remain fools weapons whose incredible destructive ability and lingering aftermath make it impossible to achieve the purpose of the strike without doing -so much- damage that you cannot avoid a similar escalation (counter force to value) in kind. Similarly, ballistic delivery parabolics simply points a finger at the idiot about to burn his country to ground level.
OTOH, if I had wanted to really put a crimp in the 3rd IDs advance on Baghdad, saturation (surround sound = from behind as well as before) attacks by 150-250km ballistic missles on the order of ATACMS, stuffed with even dumb submunitions, would have been the way I went about it. Then I need only look at the likely AAs being used and the rates of advance as relayed by ground observers with _no intent_ of direct engagement.
_Theoretically_ (no DCA, limited S2A, non functional ADGE warning), under these specific conditions, it is wiser to have a stationed force of dry-humping interceptors doing nothing but hold-up-the-sky with a couple BPI mechanicals than it is to try and leapfrog PAC-3 batteries offset from the axes of advance in a fashion that often put them /ahead of/ the spearheads. And in danger of attacking allied air as much as anything really headed towards the armor units. Given enough cutoff and a headstart, an NCADE can probably handle a Mach 3-5 tactical/battlefield ballistic weapon.
It -may- also give the Iranians something to think about should they try to 'defend' a set of fixed, high value, assets with depressed trajectory strategic shots against U.S. forces disembarking or stationed elsewhere in theater. Nothing like having radioactive bits of your own vengeance weapon fall back on your head to make you look like a well-deserving jerk for having attempted the horrific. Again, assuming you can find the TEL and put air overhead (where S2A BPI is largely impossible).

>>
A proper boost phase intercept talks about interceptors with speeds of 6-10 km/sec - thats Mach 20 +.
>>

TBMs (Theater Ballistic Missiles) typically run much slower and lower, around Mach 8-12 (5-7,000mph). Since even Shahab-5/6 (if they have them) are about 1,500-2,000 miles short of hitting CONUS though they may make the Canucks rather miserable. If you are looking at MRBM or lower class systems, you can 'get by' with as little as a 4km/sec interceptor (which I think is a treaty imposed limit for 'dual role' SAM systems employed tactically) _provided_ you have the early cue to get it up and the lane-coverage to put the weapon into collision course.
The ability to hit crosstrack threats is what defines the limits of ALL mechanical interceptors.
It is why Arrow works and THAAD doesn't as an NMD system which comes across trying to defend the 'likeliest routes' out of Norkia and into CONUS with all of 10 interceptors rather than one which is essentially just an upper tier umbrella for a very narrow ground target footprint (roughly the size of New Jersey) all of whose 'highest value' assets are terminally cross coverable (Haifa, Jerusalem, Zekariyah, Dimona at least) with 1-2 primary arcs of midcourse loft to get into track. Backed up by smaller ERINT level systems for short range weapons (Syria and her horde of TBMs).
Now look at things from the Iranian viewpoint of 'wanting to rule the world, again' (2,500 years on). They don't need to win. They just need to make it look like the bad ol' Western Powers are bullying a small state into a position wherefrom they 'must stand up for themselves or else'. On the basis of "If you attack us, we wll obliterate the Jews and irradiate the Saudi oil lading/refinement capabilities." Spoiling for others what they have neither rights to nor need of, themselves.
This act is what shows the true colors of the Iranian mind.
Of course an attack with nuclear capable systems (yes, I think they have them now) would result in instant NQA retaliation by either the House of Saud and the Israelis. But to pound your enemy into ash by pulling the temple down around you in a 'Samson' policy, only works if you believe that Ahmadinejad is like Stalin, a bully without balls who can be backed down. Instead of a madman leading a like minded horde of the unwashed barbaria. If "God is pleased." by an instant of martyrdom stupidity, you must defend at the same time you obliterate for your enemy is truly rabid an without moral compunction for his own life.
Again, in some ways, it makes sense to do this on the launch end when Mach number is low, the weapon has not bussed and there is no MIRV/MARV/LO technology factors to consider.



posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 12:58 AM
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>>
The AIM-120 is not, and never will be a viable ICBM boost interceptor, they must be talking about cruise missile defence.
>>

It should also be stated that there is no real reason to stage an in-atmosphere weapon as the effects on overall weapon stability and particularly seeker lock while the weapon snowplows down into thicker air are risky to endgame performance. You stage a high Endo or Exo KKV so that the 'dart' has minimal tail-wags-dog residual mass problems with a largely useless (no air = no ability to mass-ballance with conventional controls) booster segment.

KPl.

LINK-
Iranian Missile Reach Reality Check, Poor Eu-ian/Russkians I Just Have A Whole Bag Fullah Crocodile Tears For You.
fas.org...



posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 07:08 AM
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ch... uhm, yeah whatever...

I think from all that rambling I gathered that the AIM-120 might be useful for engaging TBM (for example scuds) in their boost phase.



I've no idea of the acceleration of a TBM or MRBM so can't really say. If its 3g (which is about average for an ICBM I'm led to believe) then it will be out of range of the AIM-120 (for a boost stage intercept) in 30 secs as well.



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