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Why not replace missiles in the air?

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Tejpal, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Tejpal

    Tejpal Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Someone more knowledgeable, can you tell me what the technical reasons are for not replacing missiles mid-air?

    There is air-to-air refuelling, why not air-to-air missile replacement?
     
  2. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    Why would you want to replace missiles in the first place? Only reason for them to come off mid-air is when they're launched.

    If you mean to imply shortening of the time needed to outfit a fighter with a different mission load (like swapping AAMs with ASMs mid-air instead of waiting for the plane to land, re-equip and take off), it isn't something you plan on happening. Only way I see such a requirement becoming paramount is when you actually expect the tactical scenario to change drastically mid-sortie.

    When a plane, say Rafale, takes off with an A2A payload (all MICAs/Meteors) it's because the scenario clearly demands an air-to-air-only capability. In a multi-mission scenario, you equip the plane with a varied payload including AAMs and PGMs so that it can attack the designated ground targets while being able to handle any air threat that could emerge.

    [​IMG]

    In case you mean it as a way of prolonging the combat-effective flight time of an aircraft even after exhausting it's payload, then too, the said capability was never considered worth having. That's what you maintain multiple aircraft in the theatre for.

    While A-A Missile Replenishment can be considered a good thing to have...there is no effective way of achieving that without building a specialized aircraft or mechanism, and that's gonna cost a lot more than just having the plane land back at the base and begin a new sortie. Simply, ends don't justify the means.

    Good part is that the said AAMR capability is not really needed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  3. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel REGISTERED

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    Someday we may invent a propulsion system that will allow zero air speed. Then we might create a type of mid air rearmament system. This could even take a 100 years.

    Right now, it is impossible.
     
  4. kiduva21

    kiduva21 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Not impossible. All new fighter have internal weapon bay. so we can can create a canister like system which can be mount on to the weapon bay. different type of missiles/bombs can have their own canisters but all canisters could be easily integrated into the weapon bay in same manner. even use a contact less communication for communication between canister and fighter.

    an inverted quadro copter powered by cable from re fill aircraft can be used to carry canisters for mid air re fill.
     
  5. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel REGISTERED

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    It's an engineering challenge, and the risks are not worth it. Accidents happen when loading missiles on the ground, forget doing that in the air.

    The quadro copter will have to do 300-600Kmph, not possible with today's technology. Even today's helicopters are limited to less than 300Kmph.
     
  6. sam2012

    sam2012 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    @Martian may be china has this tech of replacing fighter missile in Air with tanker kind of aircraft if I'm not wrong you can provide link , like the one you provided for 450 mega ton thermonuclear stuff

    @venureddy watch the fun now
     
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  7. venureddy

    venureddy Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    :agree::cheers:
     
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  8. venureddy

    venureddy Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    as random radio said risks are too high and as of now such a tech is not available.
     
  9. kiduva21

    kiduva21 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Loading surface to air missile to its launcher is similarly risky that's why they developed canisters.

    with quadro copter i intended to stabilize and support the weight the replacing canisters. its speed , altitude all will still be provided by the re filling air craft

    simply hook up a cable like re fueling probe and transfer the replacement like a cable car .
     
  10. kiduva21

    kiduva21 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    with HALE (high altitude long endurance) drone in place in future reloading weapons and fuel will be a normal thing. just like Arial refueling today.
    if tech is not available we have to develop.
     
  11. venureddy

    venureddy Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Maybe in future but it is not that easy. Mid air refueling is a dangerous job in itself let alone replenishing missiles. One gust of wind is enough to destroy both the fighter and the replenishing craft. And to top that those fighters will be in enemy territory and if a replenishment job is to be done in a enemy airspace I guess it doesn't work out so well.
     
  12. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel REGISTERED

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    Who is going to replace the canister on a pylon? How are you going to replace weapons inside weapons bays? And how are you going to deal with vibration? The airflow will also affect the rearmament.

    [​IMG]

    Weapons are not just clipped on in a second, it takes a lot of people and a lot of time to do it on ground. If you do aerial rearming, then it will simply become far more expensive and practically a nuisance. An aircraft that lands can be refueled and rearmed simultaneously. An aircraft that's getting new weapons in the air will have to waste time refueling anyway. So it becomes pointless.

    The future will be directed energy weapons anyway. Those will come with unlimited shots, so rearming will become unnecessary.
     

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