KPI as usual comes up with his doom and gloom assestment, though as always in includes some valid questions and concerns.
Snicker, not 'D&G' just pragmatic. If I want to hunt helicopters, all's I need is a 75,000 dollar MALI and an observer corps with cellphones.
THAT is the 'threat ceiling' on how far and how much, attack helicopters deserve to be invested in on a continuing plateau'd-out technology basis.
Anything which puts out that much noise, blade doppler and optical shimmer without being able to outrun even a 500 knot missile is just a mort waiting
to happen as Najaf proved (once again).
Re situational awareness and target cuing. Most (all?) current generation attack helicopters have to face their adversery in the frontal arc to engage
because their crew, sensors, weapons etc are all facing forward. They also have to raise most of the helicopter above the treeline to engage.
Which is the same as saying that just because it's 'always been done that way' that it must continue to be so. So why introduce a new model-year
with a different paint scheme? You ain't Ford or Chrysler.
NOTE: Airwolf, a nominally 'advanced helicopter', had it's primary sensor apertures on the side of the aircraft. The Mi-24K Hind-G2 had a 27"
big bore artillery spotting telescope looking out a modified passenger cabin door. The French Orchidee` and U.S. SOTAS systems both had their primary
apertures dangling in giant canoes BELOW the helicopter.
Mast mounts and roof mounts and nose mounts for playing bobup whackamole games _are stupid_. Not simply because of the LOS problem but the fact that
you are ASS-U-ME'ing that you are going to be /at range/ with a threat that can SHOOT you as much as SEE you if he half tries.
What's worse, this assumption continues to the conclusive point where he is only going to nail your butt to the ground from the point where he is
himself **most vulnerable**.
On his own damn vehicle.
If I want to kill Attack Helicopters threatening my armor, I'm going to LAYER a defense composed of fixed wing, LDSD long-spear shooters. Preplanned
artillery fires on every /possible/ ridgeline, treeline, outhouse and doghouse within 10,000 meters of my adjacent route pass by. UAVs and other
Attack Helos as optical overwatch on those self same hides and masked approaches before and after I make my point of closest approach. And last but
not least, leapfrogging MANPADS teams and maybe even preemplaced wires and mines (the 'AHM' goes back to Vietnam with the NVA putting selfmade mines
in treetops likely to be swept by rotorwash people) on the routes that the /threat/ is likely to use to cross over the FLOT and get into position.
YA AIN'T NEVER GONNA GET CLOSE. Certainly not without my knowing about it.
And knowing you're there, it's 99.5% likely you will _never see_ the fires platform which kills you.
Why bother trying if you can spot _me_ from 4-5 times as far out? Why _slow to a stop_ a platform which can maintain the same picture at 250 knots
that it does at 0?
That's what ALERT and AMUST were all about you know. Realtime processing of widepipe spectrum, half of which was sensor-noded offboard in a
Turret mounted sensors are already popular, but (not withstanding the difficulties of reload, limitations of what can be fired from this position
APY-8 Lynx operates at upwards of 30-40km. By 15km it's able to see 4" 'pixel to pixel' synthetic video MTI displacements. WHY THEN is the
APG-78 labelled as a 10-12km sensor system?!? The heavier Orchidee` and similar dedicated MLRS cuing systems were effectively mini Pave Movers with
multitarget sightlines on the order or 60-80km able to sort HUNDREDS of vehicle traffic signatures.
DO NOT BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
Stay in motion. Stay on the fringes of the main forces battle area. Realize that the helicopter security/screening (cav force) mission is as much
about AREA SENSOR coverage swaths (like SLAR only more variable in overlap and realtime) as anything remotely related to the 'turreted targeting
pod' nonsense which is essentially what the TADS and it's relatives are.
REALIZE that the biggest sensor window on your bird is not the damn nose. It's the sides of the fuselage. A fuselage which can be angled and
deep-RAM'd and given a fully electronically fenestrated radome/optics cover to get _better_ LO while maintaining the largest possible radar or EO
USE that enhanced sensor system to do a wideangle snapshot in radar and then zoom-in with the optics. ONLY once you've got your _total picture_ (20
target locations), send a datastream to whatever netfires launcher, high-fast-far SDB slinging UCAV, or _dumb wingman_ you have.
And let particularly the last do the terminal attack bleep with a holdful of SMACM or Dominator or some other cheapass multipass missile that can pass
back closeup video. A hunting cruise missile you can afford to lose if they shoot at it. Because you can also afford to have a second shot coming up
behind on a separate bearing that dives on the muzzle source or drops a smart-EFP on it.
Got to go, will continue laters.....
Ah shucks and here I just about had a bead on'ya...
We lost 5,036 helos in SEA people. We 'rebuilt' at least half as many again from scraps and pieces. Killing Beanie Prop Airpower is NOT a new
business. It's a booming franchise of some thirty years proven longterm success by the dumbest a-technologic forces on the planet. Something to
think about when you do your Blue Thunder wannabes.
[edit on 12-8-2006 by ch1466]