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Thread: Modern Aircraft: Affordability and complexity...

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by JanH View Post
    Not if you take out a hangar with F-22s or F-35s!
    True, but how likely is that? If the situation makes it likely that people are likely to chuck cruise missiles at you then all your aircraft will either be airborne or dispersed in reinforced concrete hard-stands all around the base area. (Which is why air bases are so big, yet they only appear to use a tenths or less of the area)
    As a result a hit will at most take out one aircraft, assuming it actually hits an occupied hard-stand. After all, the majority were built during the fifties and sixties when the various air forces had a lot more aircraft. So in order to ensure a total knock out you'll need as many as ten times the amount of missiles as your enemy has planes, and then we haven't even accounted for air defences.

  2. #62
    well during the book red storm rising they had tomahawk cruise missiles come in low under the radar because they were launched by subs. i think like 24 were launched from like 4 los angels class subs and it took out most of the russian backfire fleet.but that was the 80s. and a book.

  3. #63
    Tom Clancy writes decent books, but his approach to military hardware is an odd mixture of heavy western bias, a lack of understanding of eastern block equipment and a tendency to ignore context. (See his treatment of the Kilo class and SSKs in general)

  4. #64
    Second Lieutenant ikalugin's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mowers View Post
    hmmm, I struggle with the above.

    The T-50 isn't in production and costs $100m and is unproven. The AESA radar has yet to be seen and there are only 24 months before production is meant to start which, based on my analysis of Russian production historical patterns, a very big problem. The Russians now buy in their newer EW Suites, which probably means second rate Elbit gear or Eletronica for the jammer, god knows what for the EOIR component? Who has built the mission computer? If this and the databus are anything short of a massive leap forwards then it's not going to be effective. What about the datalink? It's the heart of the platform in a NCW battlefield. And support costs? Have you seen how much SU-30s cost to operate per hour? And what the Algerians had to say about their shoddily put together aircraft? Why are significant countries who are acquiring the SU-30s insisting that elements of EW system be bought in from foreign suppliers?

    The Eurofighter is in production and costs $94m for a T3 aircraft (and only 71 for a T1 type) and is combat proven. The future AESA radar, yet to be in production, has at least been demonstrated and has a datalink, comms systems and mission computer that can effectively harness it. The EW Suite is second to none bar the F-22, with high quality RWR, MW and jammer from italy and the UK. The mission computer is on its 3rd? Major incarnation is way ahead of anything that the T-50 can hope to have based on historical precedent. With the numbers of units that have been built support costs are low and falling, indeed, despite your claim, the NAO report shows that the relative support costs for this platform are not high.

    The Eurofighter is extremely effective in the environment it was designed for, high intensity air to air. Which is why the Japanese were seriously keen to acquire it (political reasons pushed it out), why the Indians are (probably) set to acquire it and why the Saudis already did. Who is buying the T-50? no one. Who is buying SU-30Mk1+s? Uganda, Venezuela, Vietnam, Algeria (who is currently refusing to accept them) and Indonesia.

    Eurofighter Useless ? No.
    An extremely expensive investment that had no role in a post cold war environment? Yes.

    The Euro fighter story is just not as simple as the popular mass media would like to portray; a largely inaccurate, head line grabbing sort of journalism. Indeed, my short comment here is a very simplistic analysis of a much more complex assessment. In fact if Europe had properly come together, as I have been advocating, then many of the design delays would not have occurred. But ultimately the main drag was driven by the end of the cold war, why rush an aircraft into production that you don't really need at that moment?

    The F-22 is just so far ahead of anything else because it was designed a node in a network, not on the basis that it has various 5th Generation attributes; such as thrust vector nozzles, or stealth, or high speed. This revolution in capability design is why Japan and Israel have desperately tried to acquire the aircraft, only to be told that because of it's advanced systems they can't have it; the American's would rather shut down the production line rather than sell the aircraft to their closest allies.

    Do I believe the T-50 be a successful aircraft when it, finally, gets into production? Sure, but I really struggle to see how the T-50 will be able to match the F-22 or the AESA equipped Eurofighter short of a revolution in Russian EW and MS capability, which will be a miracle considering the current capability of SPO-15s, Su-30 Comms systems & mission computer. Engine power, aircraft maneuverability and A2A missiles are all Russian strengths that we can expect to see in the T50 but not terribly relevant in the NCW environment, great in 1974 but not in 2014. One could argue it's how the T-50 is employed that will make a difference but, from what I have seen, and I am not a Russian aircraft expert at all, this platform is being designed a platform first and a system second.
    Radar was shown in MAKS 2011. Data buses would be similar to Su35s. Electronics for domestic fighters are domestically produced, only export variants received foreign electronics.
    Infra flight data-links existed since early Su27 and Mi31, currently an updated version is being fielded.
    Also T50 would have cheek apertures (unlike canceled ones on F22A), optical sensor both forward looking and DAS like (again, unlike F22A) and would also have a much better air to air and air to ground capabilites (With Kh58 USHK, R37M)

    USA got infra-flight data-links in 2000s (except limited capability on F14+E2), F22A only started receiving link 16 datalink for receiving data (it still wont share data with other aircraft).

    Overall T50 program is going ahead as planned the first LRIP aircraft are expected before 2015, by 2020 we expect to have fleet of 60 T50 aircraft with first generation engines. Post 2020 we expect a second generation engine and rear side remodel. First generation engine fulfills all requirements of supercrusise range and so on.

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