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Raptor Revelations: Latest Raptor Update

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posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 08:06 PM
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The F-22 recently showed just how dominant it was in a series of exercises in Alaska. The information comes from 3 AWST articles:

Raptor Scores in Alaskan Exercise

F-22 Raptor Maintains Gunfighter Heritage

First Large-Scale F-22 Exercise Triggers Surprise

Some of the findings:

An F-22 rolled in from its high perch and scored a gun kill on an F-16 which never detected its presence. It used guns because it had expended all of its missiles.

Supercruise was used a lot due to the size of the range. But once on station, it would loiter at low power / high altitude then use the supercruise to deal with threats etc.

F-22 pilots prefer the 65000 feet perch from which they can look down on the battle field. When needed it would drop down to take out a low flying adversary

Enemy packages ramped up in capacity and at times the strike packages were up to 40 bogie's.

Raptors would work in pairs and and integrated with friendly F-15C's or F-18 E/F's (Its unclear if the AESA equipped F-15's were used. The Raptor would direct fire for the other aircraft as they could spot targets much sooner. In essence it served as a mini AWACS

The aircraft was able to cover a simulated SAR mission that had dropped off of the AWACS screens 150 miles away when they began flying nap of earth patters in valleys. It was able to keep an eye out for threats to the SAR package

because of the data links there is very little chatter between Raptor pilots.

The stealth was far easier to maintain than previous generation aircraft. A Signature Assessment System is used to determine what needs to be fixed and what is okay. Repairs to the signature were done on the flight line. The stealth coating is not damaged by rain.

During the exercise the F-22 managed a 97% sortie rate.

The 12 F-22's were dragged by 2 KC-10 tankers from Langley to Elmendorf. The logistics footprint was a bit higher than say the F-15 but that is expected to improve a lot.

Mod Edit: Spelling Monkey, from the company that brought you Trunk Monkey... A Monkey for for whatever your daily life needs.



[edit on 12/1/2007 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 02:35 AM
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I read all those articles and it raised a number of questions in my mind.

The range of the APG-79 radar is given as over 100 miles but more likely to be nearer 150 miles. I suppose it depends what size the RCS is of the target. An F15C will be detected sooner than a F/A18E since the former has a much larger RCS than the latter. Nevertheless it does lend credibility to pilots statements that the Raptor give a "God's eye view of the battlefield", that "it is like an AWACS."

I was interested in the suggestions that future improvements to the radar would increase the detection range to "250 miles or more". What improvements and when will these be forthcoming?

Also interesting was the talk about high resolution infrared images from the Raptor. I always thought that the Raptor did not have infrared search and track (this is supposed to be one of the advantages of the Eurocanards). There is the suggestion that the Raptor might be able to distribute those images to other friendly units with the right links.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 02:50 AM
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Originally posted by DickDasterdly


I read all those articles and it raised a number of questions in my mind.

The range of the APG-79 radar is given as over 100 miles but more likely to be nearer 150 miles. I suppose it depends what size the RCS is of the target. An F15C will be detected sooner than a F/A18E since the former has a much larger RCS than the latter. Nevertheless it does lend credibility to pilots statements that the Raptor give a "God's eye view of the battlefield", that "it is like an AWACS."

I was interested in the suggestions that future improvements to the radar would increase the detection range to "250 miles or more". What improvements and when will these be forthcoming?

Also interesting was the talk about high resolution infrared images from the Raptor. I always thought that the Raptor did not have infrared search and track (this is supposed to be one of the advantages of the Eurocanards). There is the suggestion that the Raptor might be able to distribute those images to other friendly units with the right links.



I would imagine that the Raptor's radar already has the 250 mile range, considering the F-15A's APG-63 had a 160 mile range in 1973, and the F-14's AWG-9 had a 195 mile range in 1972. It may very well have a longer range than that. Perhaps that 100-150 is for fighter size targets.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 02:51 AM
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Wow, thats one helluva review FredT.


As far as stealth, i recall reading that the older stealth ships need to be kept dry, so apparently they've gotten over that problem, as you note? That's impressive.


Why is there little chatter because of the 'data links'?



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 11:10 AM
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D2,

>>
I read all those articles and it raised a number of questions in my mind.

The range of the APG-79 radar is given as over 100 miles but more likely to be nearer 150 miles. I suppose it depends what size the RCS is of the target. An F15C will be detected sooner than a F/A18E since the former has a much larger RCS than the latter. Nevertheless it does lend credibility to pilots statements that the Raptor give a "God's eye view of the battlefield", that "it is like an AWACS."
>>

Until and unless you can exploit the range with weapons, it's worthless and to get there from here almost certainly means gel or ram not solid.

>>
I was interested in the suggestions that future improvements to the radar would increase the detection range to "250 miles or more". What improvements and when will these be forthcoming?
>>

How about we get a working SAR to drop bombs with first?

>>
Also interesting was the talk about high resolution infrared images from the Raptor. I always thought that the Raptor did not have infrared search and track (this is supposed to be one of the advantages of the Eurocanards). There is the suggestion that the Raptor might be able to distribute those images to other friendly units with the right links.
>>

I've long wondered if the AAR-56 is in fact solely a MAWS or if it fulfills the equivalent of an SAIRST if not visionics function (out to at least 10nm) as well. It makes little sense to me to sacrifice the clean-dry-high advantages of a unithermal environment at those altitudes (the testbed IR-OTIS on the JAS-39 frequently outranges the PS-05 at 40,000ft) when YOU have the lookdown on **their** hotside. There is also the problem of shot cueing with weapons like the AIM-9X which, without HMDS, is going to be looking down a pretty steep graze a large part of the time.

What exactly was so important in the wingroots that they had to pull the original EOSS from there anyway? Is it a doppler ELS, something akin to the ALQ-228 or part of the 2DISAR NCTR system the aircraft is rumored to possess or what?

And does an AIRST installation under the nose come down to an either-or choice with the cheek arrays or can the Raptor (cooling, power, volume) do both?


KPl.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Why is there little chatter because of the 'data links'?


The articles did not go into to depth, but Im assuming its because of the added sitiational awareness (What one sees, all sees) on thier screens, they all get the same information at anyrate.

THis I think is one of the keys in the whole net centric warfare. The Raptor would be a generator and reciver of information from UAV's, other aircraft, ground and spaced based assests, take that data use it and pass along relevant information to other assests etc. With it fast and stealthy, it can either deal with a threat or hand it off to someone else etc.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 04:48 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
As far as stealth, i recall reading that the older stealth ships need to be kept dry, so apparently they've gotten over that problem, as you note?


The F-22 features several improvements when it comes to maintaining stealth features.

It uses less RAM than the F-117 and B-2.
It uses a new type of RAM.
It does not require climate controlled hangers for repairs or storage.
Usually it does not require significant time or extensive equipment when repairs are needed.
It offers increased time between repairs (compared to the F-117 and B-2).
You can work on it's LO features out in the flight line.
Weather does not affect it's stealth features, specifically it's RAM coating (it is an all weather/climate A/C).
The Raptor has sensors which monitor it's LO signature and present warnings when repairs are needed.
The aircraft can pull high G and Alpha maneuvers without "shedding".

And yes, you can also walk on the A/C with nothing more than rubber boots and some plastic covers.


[edit on 15-1-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Why is there little chatter because of the 'data links'?


Data linking has always made fighters more deadly since it came into use. There is no need to call out where the enemy fighters are on the radio, because what one sees, they all see. It's just a matter of making sure they don't all jump the same target. Even with a frequency agile radio the enemy can still pick up the radio signal, even if they can't hear what's being said.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
The F-22 features several improvements when it comes to maintaining stealth features.


The biggest deal is that the coating on the B-2 requires a temerpature controlled hanger to cure the coating. The F-22 ALSO requires that if the whole airframe is being coated, but minor repairs as noted can be done on the flightline.

They also have a tool they refused to discuss that evaluates the RCS fo each airframe after each flight and allows the crews to determine which nicks and dings have to be fixed and which are not effecting the RCS at all.

Rain does not effect the coating but I bet snow or hail may have an effect



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 07:58 PM
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It's called the Signature Assessment System. From what I understand, and I'm putting it into laymen's terms. It's basically a bunch of sensors embed in the aircraft that monitor it's overall LO condition and give warnings when something requires repairs.

Also, the F-22 passed climate condition testing in which it was exposed to rain, wind, snow, extreme cold and ice. As for hail, it probably does have an effect, depending on the size.


Relevant Videos (weather condition testing)

Linky One
Linky Two

[edit on 15-1-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 08:01 PM
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Actually it also may involve an external sensor package that uses long and short wave EM energy to measure returns from the A/C as well (from what I have heard.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 08:06 PM
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I can tell you that hail absolutely does. So does some rain. I've seen MANY planes come in with the paint stripped right off the nose and leading edges of wings and tails from rain storms. It peels it right off the airframe. It would do the same to the LO coating if they weren't careful.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 08:07 PM
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It's just a matter of making sure they don't all jump the same target.


With new links (and some older ones) the display indicates who and what sensor is targeting which target, thus making target deconfliction easier. As for sorting targets, the usual sorting criteria remains, or the flight or element lead can stipulate who targets what.



posted on Jan, 15 2007 @ 08:09 PM
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Actually in the article, a Raptor pilot talks about that. Being able to see who was targeting who and redirect missile fire to open targets etc.



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 01:00 AM
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How Ironic.

The Russians /pioneered/ NCW via a modified form of the Wests Markham datalink and were called 'backward and centrist' in their lack of tactical innovation for being totally passive and steered-to-target for all but the actual radar-on-shoot! engagement endgame.

WE do it with a system that actually includes vastly greater amounts of /who the target is/ exploitable data and we're 'such geniuses'.

Of course there is a difference inherent to letting each platform act to node-support the network as much as be a signed user presence on it. But what most people don't understand is that while you can SEND a lot of data simply by pointing your APG-77 AESA at it and cutting loose with digital bits imbedded in the radar waveform to RECEIVE such data requires that:

1. You have an equivalent (very high datarate) receiver antenna system which is 360` capable.

2. You _report your position_ either directly upon interrogation by an appropriately (IFF encoded) sender. Or (if LO yourself) via secondary secure (satellite or pseudolite UPLINK to whatever network manager/host system is out there.

The first gets to be expensive and heavy, especially for drones which are the primary generators of high definition, streaming, ISR and thus the most likely to be exposed to threat defenses.

The second is tricky because it requires the ability to either 'sweep the airspace' until you get an LPI 'lock on my beacon' backflash. Or to maintain a positional update list of all network members discrete from the general-access network.

In theory, almost any RF squeal will generate some 'burbling' in the background ether that can be exploited ala PCLS and if you have a giant flashlight-in-sky X-band sender effect and a 'stealth aerostat' fleet to get high enough to achieve LOS to see it, you can pretty well get an idea which sectors they are looking at and either direct fires into them. Or jam from a high elevation angle.

CONCLUSION:
Any way you look at it, datalink technology is not new. The F-14 has had it almost since service entry (albeit they didn't gain the ASW-27C fighter:fighter capability until just before ODS) and the F-15 since the late 80s with the Type II JTIDS terminal (subsequently deemed 'too expensive') and MPCD. Even F-16/18 size airframes have been operating on cheap IDM-as-PRISM type systems through their conventional UHF radio suite since the mid 90s (ATHS was tested in 1989 on the NYANG F-16As).

What will prove the system /useful/ is how they link it through hardware to generate a mosaic lethal-ISR system inherent to UCAV multipoint _persistent presence_ over the battlefield.

Because that is what will both tax the followon TTNT architecture to the limits of development. And provide the greatest depth of coverage in making the _ground war_ an interpretable rather than sheepgut revealed reality.

Right Now, the F-22 may pretend to be a signals collection vacuum and distribution primary node. But what it does and the way it does it is highly restricted to both the available (high rate) receivers it services and an air-only mode of operations that is ultimately only as important as the enemy cares to play at as a -game-.

Not a winnable warfighter strategy.

You need only look at the number of air vs. ground kills in the last two decades and the switch to cruise and ballistic systems as primary airpower modeals by BOTH conventional **and** guerilla force models to see how largely irrelevant the geographically and time isolated 'fighter' mission is to achieving overall theater objectives.


KPl.


P.S. Kicking the crap out of a limited silver-bullet fleet by storing it outdoors is stupid. Both because it potentially exposes them to terror threats they would not otherwise be vulnerable to. And because there is nothing wrong with keeping both your speartip and your speartip polisher under controlled environmental conditions to maximize the effectiveness of maintenance. EVERY new jet has a 'kick tires, light fires' low maintenance threshold. /As they age/ this tends to worsen and the degree to which it does so depends a great deal upon both the initial manufacturing qualities (the unannealed titanium wingspar stupidity) and the degree to which they were babied with ready spares and tender utilization cycles early on in their lives.

It the F-22 fleet never grows much beyond its initial 183 jets (as a function of democratic spite or because someone with a brain actually sees past the snakeoil salesmanship ongoing to realize how useless the Raptor is _being kept from becoming_ in the A2G driver role), the USAF will come to regret all these beat-on-me-I-can-take-it shows of force. Because they will want to have cherry birds to send on GSTF missions and a lot of them will be flat out broken to the level of training hacks or worse.

Don't believe me? Head on out to AMARC and count the numbers of low-serial coded and effectively FSD-as-A-model standard airframes that are in the boneyard because they are 'too tired and beat up to be worth fixing'.

Idiots.




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