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F22 Analysis 2

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Picard, Mar 3, 2012.

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  1. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    F22 Analysis
    Updated version

    I decided to start a new thread so that this analysis (which is not modification of old one, but rather new analysis with some new data) does not get lost amongst posts.

    Here we go:

    Program history

    F22 program is a prime example of bad management – large developmental and production costs meant reduction in number of planes procured; that, in turn, increased per-aircraft cost even more, and led to further cuts. Result was that original number of airframes was cut from 750 to 680 during H. W. Bush' administration. In 1993-94, Clinton Administration cut number further, to 442 planes; 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review cut number to 339 aircraft – about three wings worth, althought it did leave option of buying two more wings if air-to-ground capability was introduced into F22. In 2002, there was another attempt to cut numbers further, but it did not pass, but in 2003, number was cut to 279, and in 2005 to 178 aircraft. Later, four aircraft were added to procurement plan.

    In 1990s, Air Force cancelled program to develop multi-role replacement for F16, and, along with the navy, begun a new effort – Joint Advanced Strike Technology program, or JAST, which led to development of F35 Joint Strike Fighter. Marine Corps also joined in.

    In December 2010, Program Budget Directive, pushed by Rumsfeld, slashed 10 billion USD from F22 procurement, leaving it at anemic levels of only 183 planes, number later raised to 187.

    Here is how number of F22s to be procured changed over time:
    1986 – 750 F22s
    1991 – 648
    1993 – 442
    1997 – 339
    2003 – 279
    2005 - 178

    Lt. Gen. Daniel Darnell estimated that, by 2024, USAF will be short of its 2250 fighters requirement by some 800 aircraft (it must be noted that US policy had its military ready for two major theater wars – however, it is unlikely that either Russia or India will join China in the event of US-China war; actually, opposite is far more likely, especially in case of India). Problem is even worse since air superiority is crucial element of all US military plans.

    Major problem was abandonment of "fly before you buy" policy, meaning that bugs were being discovered during production; same mistake is being repeated with F35. Also, low-level production made it difficult to cancel outright.

    Capabilities also changed – in 2002, limited ground attack capacity was added, earning it designation of F/A-22, which was in 2005 changed to F-22A.

    Costs

    F22 is, as it is obvious to everyone who knows something about it, very costly airplane to both produce and use. But, what are real numbers?

    F22 is perhaps more famous for its perpetual increase in costs than for its hyped abilities. There are many resons for such increase, such as false cost estimates made by Lockheed Martin, reduced orders and problems with aircraft itself. Official numbers are 150 million USD as a flyaway cost, and 350 million USD as unit procurement cost. However, these numbers are outdated.

    Unit costs

    Currently, one F22 has a flyaway cost of 250 million USD and unit procurement cost of 411 million USD, as opposed to official numbers of 150 million and 350 million USD, respectively. Developmental costs have increased due to many patch-ups (such as structural strenghtening of rear fuselage) and fixes.

    Maintenance and operating costs

    F22 is supposed to replace F15 fleet, but operating costs of brand-new F22s are already greater than F15s - namely, F22's operating cost is 61 000 USD per hour; compare that with operating cost 30 000 USD per hour for F15C.

    In short, F22 costs two times more to operate than aircraft it is supposed to replace, while comparing F22 with F16 and its twelve times lower operating cost of 4 900 USD per hour just does not seem fair.
    When we compare that to promises of Lockheed Martin about F22s lower operating costs when compared to F15, it becomes obvious, not only that Lockheed Martin cannot be trusted (that much already is obvious) but that military-industrial complex desperately wants to protect Cold War status quo, which allows them to get richer – by downplaying future consequences of current decisions, they can continue loading defense budget with even more costly and complex weapons.

    Modernization costs

    F22s electronics components are not federated – they are designed to work only with another component of same design, thus any electronics upgrade would see replacement of entire electronics system. Computer chips are already outdated.

    Strategical analysis

    Effects of numbers

    Effects of numbers are various. First, fewer planes means that these same planes have to do more tasks and fly more often, therefore accumulating flight hours faster and reaching designed structural life limit faster. Also, smaller force will attrite faster; more flight hours per plane will mean less time avaliable for proper maintenance as well as greater wear and tear put on planes, further reducing already limited numbers.

    In combat, side capable of putting and sustaining greater number of planes in the air will be able to put a larger sustained pressure on the enemy.

    F22s shortcomings – force size and quality

    To stop aging of its fighter inventory, USAF should have had acquired 2500 fighter planes between 1998 and 2013. In contrast, only 187 F22s were produced, and no F35s. Only low cost option is to restart production of F16 – for one F22, one can get four F16s; seven, if we go with F22s unit procurement cost.

    Acquiring only 180 aircraft means that USAF will use 80 planes for training and home defense, 50 for European and 50 for Pacific theater. When these numbers are combined with low maintenance readiness, owing due to its complexity and stealth coating, it will reduce F22s operational avaliability and strategic impact to insignificance. Also, only 130 of these planes are combat-coded.

    Not only that, but in 2009, its avaliability was 60%. It had serious maintenance problems, such as corrosion.

    187 F22s in inventory can, at best, generate 60 combat sorties per day, which is pathetic number against any serious enemy – whereas F16s bought for same cost would generate 1000 combat sorties per day, F22s presence likely will not even be noticed in strategic sense. Number of sorties will also become even lower as combat attrition and increased maintenance take its tool. There is also fact that per-unit maintenance costs for new F22s are larger than those for 30-year-old F15s, and will increase as time passes.

    Also, while simulators may be good for cockpit procedures training, they misrepresent reality of air combat; as such, F22s unreliability also harms pilots training.

    Effects of training

    As US commander in Gulf War said: "Had we exchanged our planes with the enemy, result would have been the same". Even best hardware on planet will not help if pilots are undertrained – and F22 pilots are on way to become that, due to F22s high maintenance requirements.

    When Israeli Air Force swept Syrian MiGs from sky in invasion of Lebanon in 1982 with exchange ratio of 82-0, Israeli Chief of Staff made same comment.

    Between 1970 and 1980, Top Gun instructor pilots, who logged 40 to 60 hours of air combat manouvering a month, used F5s to consistently whip asses of students in F4s, F14s and F15s. Currenly, F22 pilots get only 12 to 14 hours of flight training per month. Between 1970 and 1980, instructors at Navy Fighter Weapons School, who got 40 to 60 hours of air combat manouvering per month, used F5s to whip students, who got only 14 to 20 hours per month, in their "more capable" F4s, F14s and F15s.

    Tactical analysis

    BVR combat

    Since development of first BVR weapons, each new generation of fighters would make someone declare that "dogfighting is a thing of past". Invariably, they have been wrong. In 1960, F4 Phantom was designed without gun – and then Vietnam happened.

    US went into Vietnam relying on a AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided missile. Pre-war estimated Pk was 0,7 – Pk demonstrated in Vietnam was 0,08. Current AIM-120 has demnostrated Pk of 0,59 in combat do this date, with 17 missiles fired for 10 kills. However, that is misguiding.

    Since advent of BVR missile until 2008, 588 air-to-air kills were claimed by BVR-equipped forces. 24 of these kills were by BVR missile. Before "AMRAAM era", four out of 527 kills were by BVR missile. Since 1991, 20 out of 61 kills were done by BVR missile, while US itself has recorded ten AIM-120 kills. However, four were NOT from beyond visual range; US fighters fired 13 missiles to achieve 6 BVR kills; Iraqi MiGs were fleeing and non-manouvering, Serb J-21 had no radar, as was the case with Army UH-60 (no radar, did not expect attack), while Serb Mig-29's radars were inoperative; there was no ECM use by any victim, no victim had comparable BVR weapon, and fights involved numerical parity or US numerical superiority.

    In Vietnam, Pk was 28% for gun, 15% for Sidewinder, 11% for Falcon, 8% for Sparrow, and essentially zero for Phoenix. Cost of expendables per kill was few hundred dollars for gun, 15 000 USD for Sidewinder, 90 000 USD for Falcon, 500 000 USD for Sparrow, and several millions for Phoenix. Overall cost for destroying enemy with BVR missiles – including training, and required ground support – has never been computed.

    In Cold War era conflicts involving BVR missiles – Vietnam, Yom Kipuur, Bekaa Valley – 144 (27%) of kills were guns, 308 (58%) heat-seeking missiles, and 73 (14%) radar-guided missiles. Vast majority of radar-guided missile kills (69 out of 73, or 95%) were initiated and scored within visual range. In true BVR shots, only four out of 61 were successful, for a Pk of 6,6 %.

    In Desert Storm itself, F15s Pk for Sidewinders was 67% as compared to Pk for BVR Sparrow of 34%. However, Iraqi planes did not take evasive actions or use ECM, while there was persistent AWACS avaliability on Coalition part – none of which can be counted at in any serious war.

    Post-Desert Storm, there were 6 BVR shots fired by US during operation Southern Watch – all missed.
    Breakdown in BVR combat, offered by Air Power Australia, produces (when corrected for few unrealistical assumptions) Pk for BVR missile of 0,077.

    WVR combat

    In Desert Storm, US forces fired 48 WVR missiles, achieving 11 kills, for Pk of 0,23. However, historically, Pk for IR missiles was 0,15, and 0,308 for cannon. While F16s fired 36 Sidewinders and scored zero kills, at least 20 of launches were accidental, due to bad joystick ergonomy, which was later modified.

    Effects of numbers

    In WVR, numbers are usually decisive. Thus, F22 relies on a (flawed, as shown above) concept of decisive BVR engagement to compensate for larger numbers of enemy fighter planes it can be expected to engage.

    However, even in BVR, numbers do matter. Lanchester square criteria, which holds that qualitative advantage of outnumbered force has to be square of outnumbering force's numerical advantage, is even more applicable for BVR combat than for WVR, due to lack of space constrains. Thus, due to Su-27s costing 30 million USD, as opposed to F22s 250 million, F22s would have to enjoy 70:1 qualitative advantage just to break even – which is extremely unlikely. Historically, 3:1 was usually a limit of when quality could no longer compensate for enemy's quantitative advantage, in both BVR and WVR. (There is also Lanchester square criteria, which says that outnumbered side must have qualitative edge that is square of outnumbering's side quantitative advantage just to break even).

    In short, F22 supporters have to learn to count.

    F22s shortcomings in air combat

    For beginning, four major characteristics were not met – one, 26 per cent increase in weight has led to wing loading and thrust-to-weight ratio slightly inferior to those of F15C; meaning that, for reasons of physics, there was no increase in manouverability – from outstanding, F22s manouverability was reduced to ordinary. Also, weight increase led to decrease in fuel fraction, from 0.36 to 0.28, which is too low even for a supercruise fighter. Even supercruise characteristic has failed – 50 year old F104 can match F22s supercruise radius, and F15C is one of worst fighters in terms of supercruise range. Stealth itself was not achieved beacouse F22 is, due to its size, is very visible in visual, infrared and acoustic spectrum, and its radar can be sensed by advanced RWRs, as demonstrated by Eurofighter Typhoons at China Lake. Avionics system itself is outdated. Also, when cruising supersonically, loud sonic boom betrays its location.

    F22s shortcomings in WVR combat

    In WVR combat, F22 is pretty much very observable fighter – it is very large, which does not serve purpose of stealth. As noted above, its manouverability is comparable to that of F15C, and usage of gun doors and weapons bays increase response time, making snapshots within brief optimal "windows" a wishful thinking. While it is superior to F15E and F35, it is inferior in manouverability to F15A and F16A, and is inferior in physical size to all current US fighters; as TopGun saying goes: "Largest target in the sky is always first one to die".

    That fact has been proven in exercises – whenever "Red" aircraft entered visual range, F22 invariably died (so far, list of F22 "killers" contains F16, F18 "Growler", Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale). Even thought in one such instance, F22 managed to "destroy" three F16s out of four, fight in question started in BVR; when last F16 got to WVR, F22 died.

    Also, missiles have MINIMUM weapons engagement zone; usually around a mile or little less, as missile's warhead takes time to arm, and depending on missile's g-capacity. Thus, gun is often only remaining option – option which, in F22s case, is unsatisfactory, due to usage of Gattling design in combination with gun doors; both of that mean that F22 is unable to perform crucial split-of-second shots, due to combination of gun spin-up time and requiring doors to open increase time between press on a trigger and first bullet leaving barrel to around a second.

    While missiles can perform 30-g manouvers, they move far faster than fighters, which means both increased turn diameter as well as increasing possibility of missile to miss target for no clear reason. This, combined with probability of fighter simply running out of missiles – which is, with F22s low numbers, very likely - means that gun combat is far from outdated; and in it, F22 is limited.
    Also, while F22 may have thrust vectoring, it bleeds off energy, is only really useful in post-stall manouvers (thought it may improve manouverability a bit), and non-VLO plane with thrust vectoring, such as Su-37, will always be more manouverable, as thrust vectoring cannot compensate for aerodynamical deficiencies and weight.

    F22s shortcomings in BVR combat

    No IRST, short supercruise range due to small fuel fraction.

    Comparasion with other fighters

    Su27

    Su-27 family of planes are large planes with even larger radomes – Russian radar manufacturer Phazotron is developing a Flanker-sized powerful radar – Zhuk ASE – which will outclass every single radar in US inventory except for that of F22.

    However, IRST carried by Flankers is far greater problem, as explained in "counter-stealth" section.

    F15

    As explained above, F15C is equal to slightly superior in regards to F22 in most basic characteristics: thrust-to-weight ratio, wing loading and fuel fraction. It is superior to F22 in rearward cockpit visibility, as well as fact that no gun doors and externally mounted missiles allow for split-of-second snap-shots critical for dogfight.

    Eurofighter Typhoon

    Eurofighter Typhoon is another plane famous for its cost overruns. Currently, Tranche 2 Typhoon has unit procurement cost of 142 million USD per plane, and unit flyaway cost of 118 million USD per plane. Tranche 3's costs are 199 million USD per plane unit procurement, and 122 million USD per plane flyaway cost.

    Also, both F22 and Eurofighter Typhoon have same top speed of Mach 2; F22 also can achieve Mach 1,5 while supercruising, while Typhoon is limited to Mach 1,2.

    There are reports that Typhoons engaged and defeated F22s in a mock dogfights; with Typhoon's DASS suite allowing it to close range to F22 and enter a dogfight in which Typhoon was superior, due to its better manouverability (as noted above, F22s manouverability is similar to F15s, and Typhoon trainer managed to defeat F15s in a two-to-one WVR dogfight).

    Counter-stealth technologies

    Stealth versus classical radar

    Su-27s radar performance has doubled over past 8 years, and by 2020 Flanker family radars will be able to detect VLO targets at over 46 kilometers.

    VHF radar

    VHF radars have wavelengths in 1-3 meter range, meaning that key shapings of 19-meter-long, 13,5-meter-wide F22 are in heart of Raleigh scattering region (that is, where radar wavelength is equal to or greater than phyiscal size of target); same with resonant scattering wavelength. However, their low resolution means they are limited to ground-based systems.

    Russians and Chinese already have VHF radars, with resolution that may be good enough to send mid-flight update to SAMs. Also, it is physically impossible to design fighters that will be VLO in regards to both low power, high-frequency fighter radars, and high-power, low-frequency ground-based radars.

    While VHF radars detect not only stealth planes but also meteorological patterns, wildlife etc., digital processing and various filters can help it "recognize" VLO plane (seriously, what was last time you saw duck flying at Mach 0,9?).

    Also, RAM coatings used in many stealth planes are physically limited in their ability to absorb electromagnetic energy; one of ways RCS reduction is achieved is active cancellation – as signal reaches surface of RAM, part of it is deflected back; other part will be refracted into airframe, and then deflected from it, and signals will cancel each other on way back. However, thickness of RAM coating must be exactly half of radar's frequency, meaning that it does not work against VHF radar for obvious reasons.

    IRST

    All Su-27 variants, as well as most modern Western fighters, carry IRST as a part of their sensory suite. Russian OLS-35 is capable of tracking typical fighter target from head-on distance of 50 km, 90 km tail-on, with azimuth coverage of +-90 degrees, and +60/-15 degree elevation coverage.
    Fighter supercruising at Mach 1,7 generates shock cone with stagnation temperature of 87 degrees Celzius, which will increase detection range to 55 km head-on. Not only that, but AMRAAM launch has large, unique thermal signature, which should allow detection of F22 and missile launch warning up to 93+ kilometers, while AMRAAM moving at Mach 4 could be detected at up to 83 kilometers.
    Integrating Quantum Well Infrared Photodetector technology greatly increases performance – Eurofighter Typhoon already has one with unclassified detection range for subsonic head-on airborne targets of 90 kilometers.

    There are also infrared imaging systems, which provide TV-like image of area being scanned, which translates into inherent ability to reject most false targets. Also, while older IRST systems had to be guided by the radar, newer ones can do initial detection themselves. Given that stealth planes themselves rely on passive detection in evading targets, using passive means in detecting them is logical response for fighter aircraft.

    While there are materials that can supress IR signature of a plane, most of these are highly reflective in regards to radar waves, thus making them unusable for stealth planes.

    Passive radar

    Passive radar does not send out signals, but only receive them. As such, it can use stealth plane's own radar to detect it, as well as its IFF, uplink and/or any radio traffic sent out by the plane.
    Not only that, but it can (like Czech VERA-E) use radar, television, cellphone and other avaliable signals of opportunity reflected off stealth craft to detect them. Since such signals are usually coming from all directions (except from above), stealth plane cannot control its position to present smallest return.

    Also, EM noise in such bands is extensive enough for plane to leave a "hole" in data.
    However, simply analyzing and storing such amount of data would require extreme processing power as well as memory size, and it is prone to false alarms. It is also very short-range system, due to amount of noise patterns being required to detect, map and store.

    Lidar

    Doppler LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging; doppler LIDAR senses doppler shift in frequency) may be able to detect high altitude wake vortices of stealth aircraft. While atmospheric aerosoils are not sufficient for technique to work, exhaust particles as well as contrail ice particles improve detectability to point that aircraft may be detected from range well beyond 100 km; exhaust particles themselves allow for detection of up to 80 km.

    Wake vortices are byproduct of generating lift, and are, as such, impossible to eliminate – aircraft wing uses more curved upper and less curved or straight lower surface to generate differences in speed between two airflows. As result, upper airflow is faster and as such generates lower pressure when compared to airflow below the wing, generating lift. That, however, has result of creating vortices behind the trailing edge of the wing.

    Background scanning

    In that mode, radar does not look for stealth plane itself; instead it looks for background behind stealth plane, in which case sensory return leaves a "hole" in data. However, that requires radar to be space-based; or, if stealth plane is forced to fly at very low altitude due to defence net, radar can be airborne too.

    Another possibility is using surface-based radio installations to scan the sky at high apertures and with high sensitivity, such as with radio telescopes.

    As it is known to radio-astronomers, radio signals reach surface uninterrupted even in daytime or bad weather; and since map of stars is well known, it can be assumed that any star not radiating is eclipsed by an object, such as stealth plane. And as with very snsitive radio-astronomical equipment, every part of sky is observed as being covered with stars. It is also doable by less sensitive detecting equipment, simply by serching for changes in intensity of stars.

    Over-the-horizon radar

    Over-the-horizon radars invariably operate in HF band, with frequencies around 10 Mhz and wavelengths of 30 meters, beacouse it is band in which atmospheric reflection is possible. Also, at that point, target will create some kind of resonance and shaping will be largely irrelevant, as will be RAM coating, as explained above.

    However, lowering frequency of radar means that size of radar aperture has to grow in proportion to radar wavelength to maintain narrow beam and adequate resolution; other problem is that these bands are already filled with communications traffic, meaning that such radars are usually found in early-warning role over the sea.

    Bistatic / multistatic radar

    Since VLO characteristics are achieved primarly by shaping airframe to deflect radar waves in other direction than one they came from, and thus make it useless to classic systems. However, such signal can be picked by receiver in another position, and location of plane can be triangulated.
    While every radar pulse must be uniquely identifiable, that feature is already present in modern Doppler pulse radars. What is more difficult is turning data into accurate position estimate, since radar return may arrive to transmitter from variety of directions, due to anomalous atmospheric propagation, signal distortion due to interference etc.

    Acoustic detection

    Planes are noisy, engines in particular but also airflow over surface. In former case, bafflers are added, while in latter, noise is reduced by shaping plane so as to be more streamlined. However, internal weapons bays, when opened, create a great amount of noise.

    Ultra-wide band radar

    UWB radar works by transmitting several wavelengths at once, in short pulses. However, there are problems: 1) it is more effective to transmit power in one pulse, 2) UWB antenna must work over factor of ten or more in wavelength, 3) it would offer numerous false clutter targets. In short, if, for example, UH frequency and VH frequency were used, such radar would combine UHF's and VHF's advantages AND disadvantages.

    Detecting LPI radar

    F22s radar uses frequency hopping to counter radar recievers. However, it can only use relatively low spread of frequencies, and can be detected by using spread-spectrum technology in RWRs.

    Exercises charade

    F22 proponents use exercises in which numerically inferior F22 force swept skies clear of enemy fighters as a proof of its supposed effectiveness. However, exercises are preplanned, unrealistical and designed to play at F22s strengths while ignoring its weaknesses as well as reality of air combat.
    What is missing from claims of F22s superiority could fill a Bible. First, exercises assume fighters charging at each other with identities clearly known; then, F22s use their radars to detect adversaries – which are not equipped with modern radars or any radar detectors – then, they launch computerized missiles which rarely miss.

    Adversaries, meanwhile, were simulating very simple OPFOR tactics ("Damn the AMRAAM, full speed ahead!"), equal fleet costs and fleet readiness were not represented in fights. Forgotten is the possibility of assymetric response – such as IRST or anti-radiation missiles. Forgotten is unreliability of BVR missile shots. Forgotten is unreliability of BVR identification- utterly impossible if forces shut down IFF (which they do, so as not to be tracked).

    Notes

    When USAF chief of staff was aked wether he really believes claims he makes about F22, answer was "I express opinions about F22 that I am told to express.".

    RCS size vs detection range

    Target – RCS size in m2 – relative detection range
    Aircraft carrier – 100 000 – 1778
    Cruiser – 10 000 – 1000
    Large airliner or automobile – 100 – 1000
    Medium airliner or bomber – 40 – 251
    Large fighter – 6 – 157
    Small fighter – 2 – 119
    Man – 1 – 100
    Conventional cruise missile – 0,5 – 84
    Large bird – 0,05 – 47
    Large insect – 0,001 – 18
    Small bird – 0,00001 – 6
    Small insect – 0,000001 – 3

    (note: birds and insects still don't fly at 5 000 meters at supersonical speeds).
    Effective range is calculated by formula (RCS1/RCS2) = (R1/R2)^4, where RCS = radar cross section, while R=range.

    RAM coatings

    RAM coatings can be dielectric or magnetic. Dielectric works by addition of carbon products which change electric properties, and is bulky and fragile, while magnetic one uses iron ferrites which dissipate and absorb radar waves, and are good against UHF radars only.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
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  2. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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  3. Vritra

    Vritra Major ELITE MEMBER

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    Carlo Kopp observed that gallium arsenide chips are a very recent development for Russia, and will take some time to mature. He also observed that the Zhuk-AE, in its current form, has about 70% of the performance and efficiency of similar sized western AESA designs. Its cooling system is also flawed, largely due to its construction, and So the future of the Zhuk-AE/ASE depends entirely on Phazotron's ability to improve their GaA MMIC size and power ratios. Only simulations suggest that the Zhuk-ASE will outperform western AESA design, and those simulations rely very heavily on assumed evolution of Phazotron's technology. That the Russian MoD lacks confidence in the design is evident in the fact that the Zhuk-AE is missing from the recent order issued for MiG-29Ks to replace Su-33s on the Admiral Kuznetsov

    For now, production Flankers are intended to use the Irbis-E hybrid PESA design. Tikhomirov is also designing two independent AESA radars; one as an upgrade of the BARS/Irbis-E and another entirely new design for the T-50. There have been rumours about the Zhuk-ASE's possible involvement in the Su-30MKI upgrades, but given its smaller versions rejection in the MRCA, I highly doubt the veracity of the claims.

    I don't think the Zhuk-AE/ASE have anything on the APG-77.
     
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  4. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    Picard i am voting for you to be a researcher or a Think Tank on IDF,
    I like you analysis,
    YES, i read the whole thing


    I liked this one line the best

    :yahoo:
     
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  5. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    When subtlety doesn't help, brute force can.

    Russian radars may not be as advanced as Western ones, but they are not that far behind, and pure physical size and power can compensate for some of their shortcomings.

    Radar (physical) sizes go Su-27 family > F15 > F22.

    Anyway, thanks for comment.
     
  6. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    As always, comments and suggestions appreciated.
     
  7. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    Also, I have forgotten to include few things I have included in pervious analysis - namely, ability of VHF radar to detect air disturbances created by aircraft.
     
  8. Vritra

    Vritra Major ELITE MEMBER

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    Size and power are one thing, clusters of T/R modules another. Despite its smaller size, the APG-77 has very tightly packed T/R modules, giving it a high array count. With the current technology of Phazotron, even the Zhuk-ASE would have a smaller count of T/R modules, and power is a no-go since they'd burn out far too quickly for a viable lifespan.

    Tikhomirov NIIP have more experience with ESAs, and their AESA proposal is a radar of 0.98m diameter with a count of 1640 T/R GaA MMIC (at least, I believe it to be their proposal, because details on the PAK FA avionics have been vague at best: I'm deducing this from RIA Novosti and MoD insider reports), so that's a radar to look forward to.

    My original quarrel was with the statement that the Zhuk-ASE can outperform the APG-77, which I maintain is not possible in its current form. And since enough isn't known about the T-50's radar, there's really no point in speculating.

    I like your analysis though.
     
  9. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    Zhuk-ASE mentioned was Flanker version (Su-27, Su-33, Su-35, Su-37), not PAK-FA version.
     
  10. gambit

    gambit FULL MEMBER

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  11. Vritra

    Vritra Major ELITE MEMBER

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    And I was referring to Russian AESA designs as a whole, not stating that the Zhuk-ASE is to be used on the PAK FA.
     
  12. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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