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Clark Griswold

Trends in Air to Air Combat

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Folks,

Side-bar, but looking for feedback (see attached).

Elevator sales pitch version (target audience: USAF CAF dude):

Current TTPs do not quantify how pilots create and solve energy problems. I propose that we do so using an 'energy cost function' model. This will validate existing TTPs and expand debrief capabilities, capturing lessons that were previously impossible to articulate.

I've used publicly-available performance data.

EM Redux.pdf

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I enjoyed the read but realistically I’m just wondering if you are going to get the train moving to modernize EM in 2017.

It seems by the F-35 that our focus isn’t on fighter EM.

Has there been a A/A fight since Vietnam where EM has been the deciding factor?

Not trying to take away from your work. I’m just trying to picture a B-1 crew applying the concept vs telling them what seems obvious....if you are in front of escort and an A/A threat pops up...run.

1964 EM in fighters was everything but today a highly capable EM fighter can be easily defeated by better technology which is where our focus has been.

Let’s say hypothetical an F-35 vs a Eurofighter.

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9 hours ago, di1630 said:


Let’s say hypothetical an F-35 vs a Eurofighter.

Trick question: the fuel from the fuel truck was too warm, F-35 doesn’t get airborne, Eurofighter bombs F-35. 

 

Sorry for the derail. I digress. 

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Thanks for the read.

Here's the kicker: I would say that BVR uses EM just as much as WVR.  I think dudes already do this in execution when they inflict energy costs on the enemy's aircraft/missile combo to create a BVR advantage.  Those tactics take the form of rules-of-thumb (distance, time, geometry, etc.), but I would argue that those are merely simplifications of an underlying energy relationship.

That's the idea of the paper: depending on the missile and the tactics, the 'blue' region might extend out to 69 NM and span +-69 degrees from boresight.

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17 hours ago, Supercritical said:

Thanks for the read.

Here's the kicker: I would say that BVR uses EM just as much as WVR.  I think dudes already do this in execution when they inflict energy costs on the enemy's aircraft/missile combo to create a BVR advantage.  Those tactics take the form of rules-of-thumb (distance, time, geometry, etc.), but I would argue that those are merely simplifications of an underlying energy relationship.

That's the idea of the paper: depending on the missile and the tactics, the 'blue' region might extend out to 69 NM and span +-69 degrees from boresight.

So, do you have some examples of how an air-to-air pilot might apply these principles to employment in 2017?  What am I going to do or think differently in an F-22 or even an F-15 as I commit ~100 NM from some inbound hostiles?  Back to the B-1 for a moment, when faced with a known threat approaching a BVR WEZ, what is that pilot who is well versed in this line of thinking going to do today that he wouldn't have done a week ago before he read your paper?

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Non-fighter pilot asking:

Is it the fighter's EM that matters more now or the EM of the weapon that really matters?  With late generation AAMs and the capabilities of the cueing sensors (AESA radar, JHMCS, etc...) is that really the EM battle that matters more now?

Off+boresight+missile.png

Just from this open source graphic of a Python 4's capabilities, it seems to me that a fighter still needs maneuverability but with the capability of the missiles/sensors, I would really want the capability to defend/disengage/countermeasure and reposition for round 2.

That defensive move might be a high g turn or from my perspective it would probably be better to have really good transonic acceleration to separate from the bandit and his weapon while giving me time, distance and energy to fix the glitch..

Edited by Clark Griswold

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Non-fighter pilot asking: Is it the fighter's EM that matters more now or the EM of the weapon that really matters?Off+boresight+missile.png

 

from my perspective it would probably be better to have really good transonic acceleration to separate from the bandit and his weapon while giving me time, distance and energy to fix the glitch..

 

 

  

 

568c8541f9c765cc97a8f5ea8c3ef65e.gif

 

1. Both

 

2. No

 

3. That picture is only 180 deg of a high aspect engagement showing your shots of opportunity. Anyone who quits turning there to run away is getting killed.

 

 

 

 

 

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I wonder how pushed in both offensive and defensive DE weapons are going to change what is important to all of us in the Air.

 

Hard kill is growing into about the only option for the RF field for all us slow low people on the battlefield and DARPA is definitely chasing that dragon.

 

I wonder if similarly that was made, proven, and integrated into the High speed end of the spectrum how much would that change you guys emphasis on this stuff above vs managing and processing the information at your use for the greatest efficiency to inflict maximum destruction on the other guy.

 

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38 minutes ago, Clark Griswold said:

That defensive move might be a high g turn or from my perspective it would probably be better to have really good transonic acceleration to separate from the bandit and his weapon while giving me time, distance and energy to fix the glitch..

Concur with Kenny.  Unless you can do a Millennium Falcon jump at the merge, no amount of currently available "transonic acceleration" is going to help.  You would probably need to already be going 1.5+ to even have a prayer.  If you're talking accelerating from turning speeds after a merge, forget it.  Separating from an aware 4th Gen or better fighter at the merge or even worse, post-employment from a valid WEZ ain't happening without weapon failure or pilot error.

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1 hour ago, Kenny Powers said:

 

568c8541f9c765cc97a8f5ea8c3ef65e.gif

1. Both

2. No

3. That picture is only 180 deg of a high aspect engagement showing your shots of opportunity. Anyone who quits turning there to run away is getting killed.

anigif_sub-buzz-21633-1509050282-5.gif?d

But Merry Christmas too... ;-)

1 hour ago, JeremiahWeed said:

Concur with Kenny.  Unless you can do a Millennium Falcon jump at the merge, no amount of currently available "transonic acceleration" is going to help.  You would probably need to already be going 1.5+ to even have a prayer.  If you're talking accelerating from turning speeds after a merge, forget it.  Separating from an aware 4th Gen or better fighter at the merge or even worse, post-employment from a valid WEZ ain't happening without weapon failure or pilot error.

Copy both and that was not a perfect graphic for what I was thinking of, more of an engagement at something greater than the proverbial knife fight in a phone booth, greater than WVR but less than a stand off 30 NM BVR fight and definitely not the cheesy movie out running a missile or doing 69 turns and then defeating said missile by dumping your external tanks or some other bullshit.

My clumsy idea poorly communicated was to get out of a bad situation by changing one aspect of your energy state (velocity) but should have been caveated if time and conditions permit.

 

Edited by Clark Griswold

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18 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

Non-fighter pilot asking:

Is it the fighter's EM that matters more now or the EM of the weapon that really matters?  With late generation AAMs and the capabilities of the cueing sensors (AESA radar, JHMCS, etc...) is that really the EM battle that matters more now?

Off+boresight+missile.png

Just from this open source graphic of a Python 4's capabilities, it seems to me that a fighter still needs maneuverability but with the capability of the missiles/sensors, I would really want the capability to defend/disengage/countermeasure and reposition for round 2.

That defensive move might be a high g turn or from my perspective it would probably be better to have really good transonic acceleration to separate from the bandit and his weapon while giving me time, distance and energy to fix the glitch..

I'd recommend shooting first.  And not missing.

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3 hours ago, HU&W said:

I'd recommend shooting first.  And not missing.

Agreed but the not missing is up to the missile.

Break Break..

New stealth eurofighter:

maxresdefault.jpg

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a26933/airbus-planning-next-generation-european/

Since the F-22 restart is in the rearview mirror forever probably, join in with them to have a viable option to the F-35?

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Agreed but the not missing is up to the missile.
Break Break..
New stealth eurofighter:
maxresdefault.jpg
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a26933/airbus-planning-next-generation-european/
Since the F-22 restart is in the rearview mirror forever probably, join in with them to have a viable option to the F-35?

Never EVER ever join a European program....look at the Eurofighter and Gripen.

Europe couldn’t produce a F-22 equivalent today. Their EF’s still roll off the line with mech scan radars.

Let’s just get ready for 6th gen.

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On 12/5/2017 at 1:22 PM, JeremiahWeed said:

So, do you have some examples of how an air-to-air pilot might apply these principles to employment in 2017?  What am I going to do or think differently in an F-22 or even an F-15 as I commit ~100 NM from some inbound hostiles?  Back to the B-1 for a moment, when faced with a known threat approaching a BVR WEZ, what is that pilot who is well versed in this line of thinking going to do today that he wouldn't have done a week ago before he read your paper?

1.  It doesn't have to change TTPs to be worth the while.  Today's TTPs are built on the trial and error of guys figuring out what works, but there's no overarching model tying it all together.  The proposal here bridges WVR with BVR, and incorporates existing EM to boot.  If it's able to debrief and validate TTPs where we couldn't before, it's better than anything we've had previously.

2.  Despite all of that, a value-add is that this paradigm makes it easier than before to think outside your MDS.  Guys will always have the self-preservation instinct to defeat the threat only WRT their own jet/formation.  The Red Flag example shows how to debrief those decisions in a larger context.  In situations not as clear-cut, the heat map would show where to sacrifice individual survivability for the sake of the entire package (SEAD, escort and strikers alike).  Even the day prior: you could generate the map to show CFACC how ALR is exceeded in the target area.  We spend fortunes at WSINT and RF in pursuit of that bigger-picture SA.

AFTTPs, JAAM, EM overlays, rules-of-thumb: they all create a lethal system, but are missing a common foundation to tie them all together.  This takes us closer to that goal than anything else I've seen.

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5 hours ago, di1630 said:

Never EVER ever join a European program....look at the Eurofighter and Gripen.
Europe couldn’t produce a F-22 equivalent today. Their EF’s still roll off the line with mech scan radars.
Let’s just get ready for 6th gen.

Valid critique but... they have improved and evolved the Gripen (ref Gripen NG and E) and the EF is finally getting an AESA.  They get some stuff right, Meteor and PIRATE EO/IR sensor but I see your point.

Just a WAG but at best this new jet could be ready to test in 5 years (if you started today and worked like crazy) so a collaboration would be a moot point as the F-35 will be x hundreds of airframes delivered by then

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Valid critique but... they have improved and evolved the Gripen (ref Gripen NG and E) and the EF is finally getting an AESA.  They get some stuff right, Meteor and PIRATE EO/IR sensor but I see your point.
Just a WAG but at best this new jet could be ready to test in 5 years (if you started today and worked like crazy) so a collaboration would be a moot point as the F-35 will be x hundreds of airframes delivered by then

The problem with anything Europe is that the bureaucracy/joint work just drags the entire process down.

Let’s take the EF. Terrific airframe / power plant per as designed in mid 80’s to be a Cold War dogfighter. Delays delays delays, cost overruns and more delays.....here we are in 2017 with a fighter that is awesome....for 1997 A/A.

Power/maneuvering.....terrific.

Radar...Captor billed as the worlds most advanced mech scan radar....awesome for 30 years ago. Captor-E Aesa...great, but not funded and years behind so we’ll see when it gets installed.

Tranche 3 Eurofighters are rolling off the line at about $110 million per copy.

Luckily most decent allies have gotten theirs and the F-35 is stepping in. Only people ordering them now are the Arabs. Austria is returning theirs and suing.

Europe produces/buys military jets to create jobs. That’s the focus, not actual capability.

Luckily they learned their lesson and allies who missed out in the F-16 in favor of the EF2K are buying F-35’s.

I’m loving the EF guys who hate the fact that they are being pushed into A/G multi role, are getting destroyed by the fatter, slower and less maneuverable F-35 in the A/A arena.

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The problem with anything Europe is that the bureaucracy/joint work just drags the entire process down.

Let’s take the EF. Terrific airframe / power plant per as designed in mid 80’s to be a Cold War dogfighter. Delays delays delays, cost overruns and more delays.....here we are in 2017 with a fighter that is awesome....for 1997 A/A.

Power/maneuvering.....terrific.

Radar...Captor billed as the worlds most advanced mech scan radar....awesome for 30 years ago. Captor-E Aesa...great, but not funded and years behind so we’ll see when it gets installed.

Tranche 3 Eurofighters are rolling off the line at about $110 million per copy.

Luckily most decent allies have gotten theirs and the F-35 is stepping in. Only people ordering them now are the Arabs. Austria is returning theirs and suing.

Europe produces/buys military jets to create jobs. That’s the focus, not actual capability.

Luckily they learned their lesson and allies who missed out in the F-16 in favor of the EF2K are buying F-35’s.

I’m loving the EF guys who hate the fact that they are being pushed into A/G multi role, are getting destroyed by the fatter, slower and less maneuverable F-35 in the A/A arena.



We talk amongst ourselves about the procurement nightmare caused by generals coming up with continuously updated lists of must haves....

I can only imagine how much compounded suck you get when you then start mixing countries with very different ideas on how and what their Air Force requirements are.

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3 hours ago, Lawman said:

 


We talk amongst ourselves about the procurement nightmare caused by generals coming up with continuously updated lists of must haves....

I can only imagine how much compounded suck you get when you then start mixing countries with very different ideas on how and what their Air Force requirements are.

 

Just look up what it takes to change anything on the F-35

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12 hours ago, di1630 said:

The problem with anything Europe is that the bureaucracy/joint work just drags the entire process down.
Let’s take the EF. Terrific airframe / power plant per as designed in mid 80’s to be a Cold War dogfighter. Delays delays delays, cost overruns and more delays.....here we are in 2017 with a fighter that is awesome....for 1997 A/A.
Power/maneuvering.....terrific.
Radar...Captor billed as the worlds most advanced mech scan radar....awesome for 30 years ago. Captor-E Aesa...great, but not funded and years behind so we’ll see when it gets installed.
Tranche 3 Eurofighters are rolling off the line at about $110 million per copy.
Luckily most decent allies have gotten theirs and the F-35 is stepping in. Only people ordering them now are the Arabs. Austria is returning theirs and suing.
Europe produces/buys military jets to create jobs. That’s the focus, not actual capability.
Luckily they learned their lesson and allies who missed out in the F-16 in favor of the EF2K are buying F-35’s.
I’m loving the EF guys who hate the fact that they are being pushed into A/G multi role, are getting destroyed by the fatter, slower and less maneuverable F-35 in the A/A arena.

No argument that they need to up their game on domestically sourced hardware, that vaporware fighter could be a chance to break that paradigm (looks good but in reality...)

Your comments are not the first time I have heard that the EF is lacking in the Air to Ground game and it puzzles me why the EF operators would let ostensibly their premier fighter lack in the mission that is done operationally 99% of the time by a fighter.

Losing the French in the consortium hurt the Typhoon program but aside from just giving up on building their own jets, if the EU + UK nations don't band together, they just can't / won't put enough of their own money on their own solo projects to actually get them done but just my opinion, collaborative aircraft projects can work, you just have to agree to the minimum amount of collaboration required to get the costs down to what everyone can afford and agree to then with a modular design let each country add whatever capabilities they feel they need.

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it puzzles me why the EF operators would let ostensibly their premier fighter lack in the mission that is done operationally 99% of the time by a fighter.


The easy answer is most European countries simply don’t care much about A/G and are clutching the Cold War A/A emphasis mentality.

Most would be shocked at how poor the A/G capes are across the board. French and brits are the best but still lag us.

Most would be shocked at many of our other allies in the A/G spectrum.

Sad part is they don’t know how low their capes are because they are a solid 30 years behind in some areas. All they know of CAS is OEF so imagine how they think of it as a mission. CSAR...non existent.

But they think they know what’s going on..on paper at least and that’s what matters.

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10 hours ago, di1630 said:

The easy answer is most European countries simply don’t care much about A/G and are clutching the Cold War A/A emphasis mentality.
Most would be shocked at how poor the A/G capes are across the board. French and brits are the best but still lag us.
Most would be shocked at many of our other allies in the A/G spectrum.
Sad part is they don’t know how low their capes are because they are a solid 30 years behind in some areas. All they know of CAS is OEF so imagine how they think of it as a mission. CSAR...non existent.
But they think they know what’s going on..on paper at least and that’s what matters.

Yup that checks with what the AF taught me...

Changing the channel...

Referencing @Lawman's comment above, "lasers" may be on fighters relatively (2021 or so for testing) soon: https://www.wired.com/story/lockheed-martin-fighter-jets-lasers/

My druthers and with billions of TP dollars...

Give the Eagle an encore career with a role as a super duper 4+ gen fighter armed to the teeth (bajillion missiles, laser turret, etc...)

An operational version of this tactical laser 

Unknown-680x447.jpeg

Adapted into an advanced Eagle

maxresdefault.jpg

Easier I suspect than trying to integrate it into the 35 and can work out the kinks prior to integration into new 5th / 6th gen

Edited by Clark Griswold
too quick on enter key

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As tech increases, you need to keep platforms that have ease of expansion, excess generator and ECS output and minimal carriage restrictions alive.  When the 69lb brain trusts make the death-star-turn-it-on-and-you-auto-win system (likely first fielded in a pod) we can't afford to spend $690B and wait 15 years (ala aim-9x) to get it on a Raptor or 35.  There's some pretty cool crap already out there, integration on the 5th gen is a monster.  

At the unclass level, the whole idea and execution of RCS reduction (I won't call it stealth for 4th gen) has advanced considerably.  Can't turn an Eagle, Hornet or Falcon into a Raptor but you can bring those threat wez's into something more manageable - particularly if we actually put some interest in offensive EA game. 

Hi/lo mix still makes sense from a lot of perspectives - a lot of the monetary pain we see right now comes from the significant gap in fundage towards sustainment of 4th gen during the 90's and 00's. Chickens have come home to roost in that department so instead of upgrading mission stuff we're buying new wings for multiple platforms and finally trying to figure out just how many hours we can really fly these things.  

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2 hours ago, EvilEagle said:

As tech increases, you need to keep platforms that have ease of expansion, excess generator and ECS output and minimal carriage restrictions alive.  When the 69lb brain trusts make the death-star-turn-it-on-and-you-auto-win system (likely first fielded in a pod) we can't afford to spend $690B and wait 15 years (ala aim-9x) to get it on a Raptor or 35.  There's some pretty cool crap already out there, integration on the 5th gen is a monster.  

At the unclass level, the whole idea and execution of RCS reduction (I won't call it stealth for 4th gen) has advanced considerably.  Can't turn an Eagle, Hornet or Falcon into a Raptor but you can bring those threat wez's into something more manageable - particularly if we actually put some interest in offensive EA game. 

Hi/lo mix still makes sense from a lot of perspectives - a lot of the monetary pain we see right now comes from the significant gap in fundage towards sustainment of 4th gen during the 90's and 00's. Chickens have come home to roost in that department so instead of upgrading mission stuff we're buying new wings for multiple platforms and finally trying to figure out just how many hours we can really fly these things.  

Wise words.

I would expand on Hi / Lo mix to a Hi / Medium / Lo mix with 5th Gen / 4+ Gen / LAAR.

The idea of a modular but semi-common fleet for 4+ Gen platforms IMO is more feasible going forward based on the financial / technical realities of 5th Gens.  Trying to get the usual suspects and some new ones to buy into a EF 2020 or Silent Eagle with advanced capabilities and survivability may be a viable COA if the F-35 family doesn't grow (Germany, Canada, Aussies, SK, etc...) 

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With all the new wizzbang actually usable tech from 1960s concepts like laser...

 

How good would these systems have to get before the emphasis on building block ways you guys train on the idea of being able to also reach for the contingent circumstances changed. Every time I see the conversation about the gun in ATA with 35 it’s never really about “when we run out of Missiles” that starts the argument but instead “we forgot it in Vietnam with the F4 and it was terrible.” Is anybody really gonna pretend that the tech of the 60s and the tech of today aren’t light years apart in expected performance? I see the possibility of some ideas like DE based defensive/offensive systems as very quite possibly being the magic auto-kill/auto-defeat god mode in the game we have always dreamed of. Like if tomorrow somebody put a forcefield on the jet that could just absorb a flying telephone pole of death that will absolutely kill you without it... how much time and money would you spend on the contingencies to that system.

 

I’m not gonna speak to the idea “you need to do____” for ATA, I’m just curious what point do you think the hold for old cultural norms would still be overriding reality of what you have.

 

Watching the tech fight the culture has been interesting the last couple years with the rotary wing world in the IR MANPADS game. I can only imagine the same fights are existing in other communities.

 

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