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    UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

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    GarryB
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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Fri May 27, 2011 9:24 am

    Indeed.

    I am sorry, but I disagree.

    You know what HALE stands for... the Long Endurance doesn't just fall from the sky... by weight most of the MTOW of a HALE UAV will be fuel, and the propulsion will be optimised for fuel efficiency not as a power generator to support tons of electronics.

    Garry you know that if you have chip with a better performance it means: 1) Either you can reduce the amount of chips to process the same amount of data. Or 2) You can significantly increase the emount of data being processed by the same number of chips but more powerfull. Those watches could take you on the moon, provided they will be part of a system capable to do so.

    I don't think you appreciate the process a chip has to go through to get into service.

    It is not a case of Intel have a new 8 core 4 Ghz processor... lets fit it into all our electronics.
    Hardware needs to be tested and made rugged... most of the problems they had with HALEs was electronics freezing and failing.
    There is EM sensitivity and compatibility and of course it has to endure weeks and weeks of vibration and heating and cooling.

    In many ways for a JSTARs role I am starting to think a large airship would be a better option than a drone HALE aircraft.

    Those are UAVs flying very high at high speeds where the flow of cold fresh air is everywhere arround you. By properly designing air intakes or feeding fresh air from engine air intake you can cool down those gadets without problem. Or you can use liquid cooling and in that case you have even better cooling efficiency.

    I rather doubt a UAV will have the excess power generation capacity to power all the electronics the UAV will need.

    Thats true. But what i wanted to say is this: For SAR with the capabilities similar to the JSTARS from the 90s, you would need significantly smaller antennae (sensor) with much smaller energy consumption, and the computing segmentn of the system will compensate by running many more mathematical formulas on the signal received from the sensor.

    The problem there is that the things the new aircraft will be listening to will also be newer and more capable from signal encryption on cellphones through to processing an enormous number of targets and of course these targets will be using newer technology to evade or disguise their communications, and of course all the noise from all the other technology transmitting too.

    A JSTARS like aircraft will always need state of the art new electronics to cope with the enemies use of state of the art electronics.

    A little UAV alone will not do the job.

    I think a JSTARS built around something like an Il-96 with the support of UAVs and satellites could do a good job. I don't trust UAVs on their own.

    I do understand what you are trying to say and in some cases I agree.

    When Russia gives the Kuznetsov an upgrade/overhaul I hope they do fit catapaults and rather than putting steam cats on it I would prefer to see them put electromagnetic cats on it because there is no point wasting money developing old technology that is about to be replaced with new.

    Steam catapaults are tricky to get right and have no guarantee of success.
    EM cats have a lot of advantages but will need money to get right.

    For heavy AEW at sea the Russian navy needs aircraft carriers with cats, the defence of a carrier group needs that effective outer layer of AEW and fighters to see and strike at decent distances.

    In this case however I think the benefits of UAVs... ie penetrating enemy airspace without serious problems of captured or killed crew... "It was off course" really doesn't cut it because these types of aircraft operate at a standoff distance.

    Regarding cost the enormous cost of electronics on board this aircraft makes the savings in crew costs negligible, but the risk of handing enemy intel worth its weight in gold makes it a bad idea in my opinion.

    If the Il-96 is not possible then I think an airship designed to operate at high altitude makes rather more sense with enormous antenna arrays... and it really doens't matter about processing power... the biggest antenna is always the best.

    I will tell you a better example. Do you know the ICBMs early warning, detection and tracking radars? In the 80s they were huuuuuge. Today they are significantly smaller, with smaller energy consumption, but altogether better performance and technical characteristics. Because they are compensated with huge computational power. You have dedicated integrated circuits called DCS = digital signal processors that are specifically designed to perform operations on such input signals like those from radar. They are widely used in AESA.

    The transmit receive modules of an AESA include digital signal processors. Part of what makes them useful.
    Problem is they are active and therefore able to be jammed or deceived.
    The best antennas on a spy plane are passive... and as big as you can make them.

    And there migh be such level of noise that even ear plugs won't be enough.
    I have rad an article about A-50 being very inferior in this to E-3.

    And the Tu-126 was supposed to be useless too. Indians found it rather useful however.

    The point is that the A-50 is based on the Il-76 transport plane, while the E-3 is based on a commercial airliner airframe (747). The Tu-126 is based on the Tu-95 Bear and made rather more noise than either the 747 or Il-76.

    I think what you read was probably about the Tu-126 because of ignorance.

    The Bear, when revealed in the west was seriously underrated because it was seen as being a WWII propeller driven aircraft and not a modern new jet like a B-52.

    The thing is that propellers were seen as being slow, while jets were the new thing.

    The irony is that the Bear is a jet. It is a turboprop, which is a jet engine powering a propeller.

    The problem with propellers is that when you start going for high speed you start getting problems.

    Anyone who has been near a UH-1 Huey helicopter, or a Texan/Harvard trainer will know when they wind up the engines their blades make enormous noise because the blade tips of both aircraft become supersonic and the tips make a lot of noise which reduces thrust and power for the sake of making a sharp thumping noise.

    Westerners assumed the Bear would suffer the same problems at high speed flight, but the Bear uses a constant speed propeller that doesn't go faster or slower as the throttle is moved. The angle of the blades changes and to go faster the blades turn to a sharper angle and dig more into the air to increase thrust.

    Most prop driven aircraft have straight wings because drag is not a problem.

    The Bear is the worlds fastest propeller driven aircraft and needs its swept wings to reduce drag at top speed... which is only about 50km/h slower than the B-52 Jet at high altitudes and it is actually faster than the B-52 at low level, and of course more fuel efficient with half the number of engines fitted.

    There are plenty of claims the Bear is noisy in the west, yet there are only complaints about the noise the Blackjack makes by crews.

    As said. The Actual A-50 have cabin, with pilot display intruments, it have operator terminals with seats, it have behind a walkway behind and commander seat - everything with CRT technology.
    These things simply consume soo much space and weight - that UAV not having them would be significantly smaller. Thats the thing im pointing to. Because there will be higher level of automation and the operators will be on thhe ground.

    I would expect LCDs by now, and all that empty walkway consumes space but not weight.

    To be effective you want the biggest antennas you can manage and a big aircraft to hand them on. The crew stations would not be that big a deal because human operators are still better than extra computers. No UAV is big enough to carry those antennas, all that electronics, the required power supply and all the fuel and still remain light enough to be high altitude and long endurance.

    An airship on the other hand trades speed, which is not important in this role, for enormous space for antennas and electronics, solar panels and batteries can keep it up for months or it could operate from lower altitudes on a tether feeding power and drawing data on a fireoptic connection that can't be tapped.

    It wouldn't need to be manned either.

    Well this is questionable. I mean it depends from system to system. If you increase the amount of data, that does not necessarily mean you also need to increase the size of the system.
    Today you have fast multinode optical interconnects that one cable can be used for paralel transfer of many data streams each of differrent wavelength, and it is very fast.
    This coupled with paralel processing capabilities of single chip with multiple cores might results into a system which is smaller, consumes less energy producess less heat or the same amount of heat, it is lighter, maybe iniatially more expensive, but is more capable and is considerably cheaper from the perspective of operational costs.

    At the end of the day what is needed is 3-4 super computers each tasked with a particular related set of antennas... not going to fit in a UAV but will fit in a large wide bodied airliner like the Il-96 or an airship.

    As said because those things are in development.
    But having seen many of the photos, sketches, articles etc. this is the trend we are aproaching undoubtfully, wether you like it or not.

    The Russian military has admitted it sorely lacks in areas of C4ISR and that areas of priority are C2 systems unified amongst all branches.

    Once the communication and command structure is up and working they will need recon and elint assets to feed info into that system.

    I have read talk of high altitude platforms like aircraft (M-55/M-17 based aircraft) and airships mentioned operating at 100,000ft plus, and of course satellites.

    UAVs are simply not a mature technology in Russia yet for such an ambitious program... now or in the next 10 years at least.

    There are no hints or articles about future possible JSTARS based on Il-96 or any other existing conventional aircraft and i think there is a reason behind this.

    Because it is secret and they never talk about such critical info unless it is for export... which this most definitely will not be?

    On the other hand we clearly see on the UAV sketches SAR aperatus radome on ZOND, on Global HAWK and who knows where else.

    It is advertising for something looking for money. If they had full sized models they would show them in competition to the Dozor series models.

    Well you could also ask from technical point of view what mission Army or the Navy won't be capable to perform that only Airforce would?
    Recon? Well you have navy reckon ships and ground recon troops/patrols. You could send them to check onto some area, or blow up some stuff, monitor enemy comms from sea or ground as well as other types of inteligence gathering, observation and military actions (aka blow up stuff). However airforce is more efficient in some of these. So efficiency is the name of the game.

    Actually I disagree. I think when properly developed the Russian Navy is the only branch of the Russian military except the strategic rocket forces that actually has global reach.

    With USUK vertical launch tubes in their new subs they can operate with a range of cruise missiles that can attack land and sea targets globally.

    And not just me, but there is considerable proof among the experts community indicating that they believe UAVs are more efficient, even to the point they are feasible.

    The usefulness of UAVs is not in question, they are more than just cruise missiles with a TV camera instead of a warhead.
    However they are still a new technology and not really mature within the Russian military.
    They have huge potential in some areas, but those areas are danger and boredom.

    When it is too dangerous to send a manned aircraft into enemy airspace send a UAV or UCAV and watch what happens to it and what it can see.
    If an enormous area of land has to be monitored then send a high flying long endurance drone with powerful sensors to fly preprogrammed flightpaths to cover the area looking for things of interest... lost sailors, lost hikers, lost skiiers, drug smugglers, illegal immigrants, illegal fishermen, illegal poachers, etc etc
    If you want to set up a refuelling point in safe friendly airspace with a tanker to just fly an orbit till it gets a hookup after which it will fly straight and level till the aircraft disconnects and then return to its orbits till its onboard fuel is used up then that makes a lot of sense.

    Personally however I think a JSTARS like aircraft will be incredibly expensive whether it is manned or unmanned, it will be safe enough in either case because it is too expensive and secret to risk losing.
    I think it will spend more time listening than transmitting and that is good for its safety too.
    A UAV will transmit a lot more than a manned equivelent and for that reason alone I think it should be manned... or an airship out of reach at 300,000 ft.

    If i would convert what you are saying into the field of 5th generation airplane technology. Russians should first build small bomber (F-117), then a larger one (B-2), and then finally move to the stealth figther concept? Nooo thats not the way it works!

    I disagree.

    I think what you are saying is that computing power has advanced so far that Russia doesn't need a JSTARS aircraft... because the T-50 should be able to do it.

    A stealthy JSTARS that can defend itself. It is already reported to have at least 5 AESA radar antennas and the design of the brake chute suggests it might have a rear facing radar too.

    Why bother with a manned T-50 because the man takes up space and increases weight and cost and volume and imposes limitations on the aircraft like g limits.

    The simple fact is that air combat is about situational awareness... knowing where the enemy is and bringing your weapons to bear on him before he can do the same to you.

    Anybody who has played a computer game about fighter aircraft knows the enemy computer controlled aircraft can be very effective and they are limited by the model created for the game to try to make the enemy planes mimic enemy human fighter pilots.
    Imagine a UCAV with 20 R-37M and R-77M missiles and 360 degree AESA able to pull 30 g turns and fitted with an IRST system that allows it to track incoming missiles and out fly them.

    And since they have made it to the stage where Air Force is evaluating and testing a model of such tanker, it indicates that they DO have faith in its reliability, effectiveness and usefullness.

    The USAFs confidence in a USAF UAV means nothing to Russia.

    The USAF needs systems that allow it to project power.

    It needs to be a portable war machine that can go to places and blow stuff up.

    The Russians don't need that. They have very different needs. They have the largest country with the largest border to defend.

    This is not about having the same presents the USAF got for Christmas, it is about getting the job done.

    The difference between having JSTARS and not having JSTARS would likely be much fewer aircraft losses in Georgia.

    There is no reason to believe a UAV JSTARS could have done a better job than what JSTARS could have done.

    A UAV JSTARS does not warrant the extra costs because such an asset is never expendable.

    The USAF will not use a UAV JSTARS to protect its own borders... it will use it to accidently fly off course into Chinese airspace to record where all the airbases are and their interception communications and radar frequencies and response times, and of course which HQ hubs light up, and which communications routes take those communications etc etc.
    If the drone survives it will also lose its way over North Korea and Iran and most likely Syria and Libya depending on how that last one turns out.

    Why do you think Russians would not be able to produce up to date reliable HALE UAV, when today they have all the means to do so?

    I am sure they will make a very good HALE, they have territory that requires long range and long endurance and high altitude flights means it is less of a problem for civilian air traffic along with the benefits of reduced fuel consumption and extended view.
    What I don't think they will do is try to shoehorn the contents of a JSTARS type platform into a UAV when the platform doesn't fit the role.
    They are clearly spending money on the A-100 replacement for the A-50 and they have already revealed that it is not based on a UAV, but an Il-476 airframe.

    Considering they already have an AEW system based on a platform that doesn't have onboard processing (Ka-31 AEW helo) and that if the ZOND model with the large antenna was anywhere near mature would make an ideal platform for high altitude operation as a naval AEW it could be next... but clearly isn't I will go out on a limb and suggest that UAV technology and military confidence is not high enough in Russia to warrant even thinking about such things.

    In USA very few companies fund a project that is not sponsored by goverment, but it is deemed to be promising for future potential customer needs. Be it on home market or outside. Russians were doing this very often.

    That is simply not true.

    Russian companies never had money to throw on gambles and in practise rarely gambled on things the Russian military was not interested in.
    The only successful program I can think of would be the Su-25 and it was not a huge gamble.

    Black Eagle tank, Arena active protection, Su-37, Su-47, Mig 1.44 tons of examples.

    Black Eagle was a program to develop and upgrade to improve existing model tanks to eliminate their major errors without developing a new tank. In many ways the Black Eagle was the competition for the T-90AM but it had the misfortune of being based on the T-80 whose underfloor autoloader design was flawed and had to be removed completely.
    Arena is just a further evolution of active defence systems paid for and tested by the Soviets in the 1980s. Drozd was tested in Afghanistan and if there was no economic collapse Arena would be in service now having replaced the previous Shatory system(Spelling).
    The Su-37 was a test bed with thrust vector engines in an Su-35 (old Su-27M)... the equivelent of the Mig-29OVT. A test model to prove the concept and try to sell the program.
    Su-47 and Mig 1.42/1.44 were part of the MFI program that while not fully funded it was expected for each company to partially fund military programs from their own funds.

    None were made for export in mind.

    Now we don't know how much money sukhoi have invested into zond and where they are with the project. But the lone fact that russian armed forces were not interrested in this till 2008 does not mean that company did not lead the project to certain more advanced status than just a sketch.

    They will not have funded a military model too far because before 2008 there was very little chance of any money at all, and after 2008 they demand a full system.
    Any hardware will be oriented to civilian use if it even exists... this branch of Sukhoi is not making money so it will receive little funding till there are real prospects. It is hard enough to make a profit with no money in the system... there is little benefit in gambling the little money you get from the ultra conservative military.

    They might be closer to finish it than we think. When it comes to the requirements: I think it would be naive to think they don't have enough idea what to expect and demand from domestic uav manufacturers.

    They certainly could be well on their way to developing a capable system, but there has never been any suggestion of a JSTARS capable UAV... this is an airborne radar system to aide air traffic control... it isn't even an AWACS in its proper terms.

    So many things you can do... thinking that they don't know what to expect is really naive as you might have seen that they have rejected couple of domestic designs because they KNEW that foreign ones had better technical characteristics.

    Yet they didn't know what specifications to give the UAV developers to meet before hand, they just asked for UAVs.

    They have had a little play with older generation Israeli UAVs and they will buy about 100 for a training facility they have already set up. No point buying lots of UAVs if their officers don't know how to use them in planning and operational roles, so operational manuals need to be made up and the UAVs need to be tested to see what they can and cannot do, and the interface needs to be looked at so any conscript can operate it without breaking the damn things.
    The required UAVs range from hand held gizmos that will show a soldier what is behind the building in front of them, though Skat type strike models and HALE recon vehicles that grunts wont get anywhere near.

    Anyway usually you have the UAV operator staff on airfield which is hell well protected and considered to be very safe.

    In very low intensity conflicts hard targets like airbases are relatively safe, but if the UAVs are effective then the other side might decided to drive a truck full of explosives into that airfield over there near that group of vans...

    No body in the air force is getting rich by flying planes into combat zones.

    So overall i think they know what they are doing and that they have a perfectly valid reason why they don't plan to have manned aircraft as JSTARS, rather than UAV.

    Do you have any evidence at all that this is true?

    Yakovlev have a picture on their website showing all sorts of proposed variants of their Yak-130... and the Russian Airforce is only buying the trainer model AFAIK.

    when America is indicating that the HALE UAV segment has matured enough,

    Excuse my language but WTF does America have to do with this?
    If the US decides it is ready to start making 200,000 ton super carriers with EM catapaults and EM artillery guns able to fire artillery shells thousands of miles does that mean the Russian Navy should start doing the same?
    Really?

    There is a huge difference between not having a JSTARS like aircraft and having one of whatever design.
    The difference between having it in a large airliner and a small UAV however is not so large or important.

    At the end of the day I suspect the Russians will radically upgrade their satellites and start working on airships instead.

    It represents a succesfull develoopment of KAB-500S and its integration with Su-34 by GosNIIAS institute. The institute studies netcentric capability required for KAB-500S to work effectively(you need to discover enemy positions and transmit its coordinates to strike platforms to use sat guided bombs), as you can see they are seeking to develop a JSTARS like plane with broader ELINT,SIGINT and command post capabilities - pretty interesting.

    http://www.russiadefence.net/t16-vvs-air-force-videos

    The Su-34 would be a more survivable platform and could certainly go places an airliner or an airship couldn't.


    Flanky
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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Flanky on Sat May 28, 2011 12:31 pm

    Garry < For some reason you seems to be "mislead" in several things:
    The best antennas on a spy plane are passive... and as big as you can make them.
    - Bigger does not necessarily mean better. Again im pointing to the current ABM defense radars - in the past they tend to be huuuuge, today they are significantly smaller and significantly better in performance. The size of the sensor is determined by the state of the material technology used and also state of the underlying electronics used. For the past decade this technology made an exponential boost in performance gain and was made significantly smaller. So today if you see SAR antena smaller, you might think its coverage is smaller as well, but in fact it is waaay better than the old one. And saying you need to have as big radome as possible because of advanced enemy ECM features is baseless as well as i will explain further below.
    I don't think you appreciate the process a chip has to go through to get into service.
    It is not a case of Intel have a new 8 core 4 Ghz processor... lets fit it into all our electronics.
    Hardware needs to be tested and made rugged... most of the problems they had with HALEs was electronics freezing and failing.
    There is EM sensitivity and compatibility and of course it has to endure weeks and weeks of vibration and heating and cooling.
    - Problems American faced with their electronics, will be the problems Russians will face as well. Take into consideration also fact that each US Shuttle planned mission had some sort of problem before scheduled liftoff. I don't remember the time when they didn't had problem. Im not saying they are not capable to make good electronics, im saying that they are much less capable to make it on "first delivery", and many times over they need thorough testing and evaluation/patches/rework. This is much less the case to our Russian comrades. Although they don't have very big domestic electronics industry, they are far more capable in terms of delivering rugged and reliable avionics that simply works. Why? Because they are using allmost the same approaches designing space avionics for use on satellites - and they DO have to be reliable as hell. And today you don't have embargo between former foes. When Russians are deisning HALE UAV electronics or any other subsystem, they could contract either France, Israel or American guys to get some knowledge. Im fairly sure they won't share their knowledge cheap, if they will share it at all - but this means you don't have to reinvent the wheel totally from scratch and it saves you a lot of time and problems as well. Remember the F-35 VTOL? They used consulting from Yakovlev to design the vertical engine and this way they have made it in record time and without too much of hassle.
    I rather doubt a UAV will have the excess power generation capacity to power all the electronics the UAV will need.
    - ELINT processing needs a "nuclear power plant" as a source of energy. Again what makes you think so? Because the E-8 JSTARS is like such power plant? But do you know that the displays inside the terminals are consuming (a whole lot) more power than the processors needed for the signal processing? They are sooo many elements in a JSTARS aircraft crew related that are consuming so much electricity, that if you would throw them out you would be able to save ATLEAST 50-60% of energy and not counting space and weight.
    And lets not forget about lights, lets not forget oxygen system, pressuring system, do not forget terminal elements like sound card and graphic card electronics. Garry you have no idea how much power you could save by not having these systems on UAV and having truly only the core electronics and sensor suite. Coupled with new efficient APUs... and ofcourse there is still a possibility to carry some solar cells.
    If you look at your most recent smarthpone. What part do you think consumes the most energy? Your cpu, microphone or speaker, camera? No... it is your display.
    JSTARS airplane is no exception. Ofcourse there are electronic subsystems consuming more than a display, but when energy management comes to play they are much more energy efficient than display which have nearly constant high energy consumption.
    I think a JSTARS built around something like an Il-96 with the support of UAVs and satellites could do a good job.
    - Having everything centralized on single platform is better. It might not be. You know what netcentric capability is about? It is about hundreds or thousands of its elements acting as one. When one see an enemy, it can share his info with the second one which can attack that enemy. Having a cetralized ground forces intelligence gathering onboard a JSTARS aircraft might not be that good of an idea. What i mean is it can be shot down and then without HALE UAVs flying or covering enemy territory you are blind. Another possible approach might be several JSTARS UAVs flying or covering areas partially redundantly. So if one is show down somehow, it would be a great loss but it won't be a total loss of JSTARS aerial capability since the other one still flying can take it over. The same approach might be used with manned aircrafts, but you know the operational costs and maintenance costs would be muuuuch higher. Not to mention when you'll loose one together with its crew. So the redundancy might be another good feature which would be more efficient on UAVs. But as said HALE UAVs were not designed to be expendable - and they are not.
    I think a JSTARS built around something like an Il-96 with the support of UAVs and satellites could do a good job. I don't trust UAVs on their own.
    - You don't trust UAVs but you trust satellites (which are - if we take out the airframe and jet engine also autonomus vehicles)? Many of the autonomus guidance architecture designs, experience and even subcomponents were reused from satellites. In Russia many companies that are in space business are actually in aircraft business as well. They are the same companies producing electronics for both.
    - Consuming space does not mean consuming weight - it does and very much in case of terminals.
    Here check out an console tech spec example:
    http://www.barco.com/en/product/2110
    In general by weight one console = one man crew member. Now count all the operators onboard E-8 and you have a significant number.
    The problem there is that the things the new aircraft will be listening to will also be newer and more capable from signal encryption on cellphones through to processing an enormous number of targets and of course these targets will be using newer technology to evade or disguise their communications, and of course all the noise from all the other technology transmitting too.
    A JSTARS like aircraft will always need state of the art new electronics to cope with the enemies use of state of the art electronics.
    - So maybe you are suggesting ECCM is done today by burning trough noise levels produced by enemy ECM? - it isn't.
    Today ECCM is done mostly on the computational part of the subsystem by utilizing newer invented algorithms on signals input and then determining if you have catched a valid target or it is just a noise. For this you don't need redicolusly huge sensors.
    The crew stations would not be that big a deal because human operators are still better than extra computers.
    - Human operators are still better than extra computers. What makes you think so? You know Russians are experts in reducing crew. Ka-50, T-80, T-90, their diesel subs.
    All this and more, a perfect exampels of automation in place. You WANT to reduce the crew as much as possible. Because first: computers are muuuch faster and two: they don't make mistakes. Im not saying that it is good to put out the human element. But leave humans as sort of overseers and reliably automate as many things as is feasible.
    I think when properly developed the Russian Navy is the only branch of the Russian military except the strategic rocket forces that actually has global reach.
    - So their long range aviation does not have a global reach? Ah c'mon. When refuelled in air, they could go anywhere in the world within 24 hours. The question here would be, who will refuall them, where, and to which airspace they would be allowed to fly. So again we are at the roots -> effectiveness.
    - A-50 is not having high noise level problems? I was suggesting it does have this problem:
    http://www.spyflight.co.uk/mainstay.htm
    This is just an example article i found, i have read this on several differrent sources.
    The USAFs confidence in a USAF UAV means nothing to Russia.
    - It means a WHOLE LOT. Actually it means a WHOLE MUCH than a whole lot. Russia and America are allways looking onto each other what the other one have in its arsenal. And they are allways trying to catch up with each other within their financial limitations. You would say that America have the biggest naval force. And it does, however Soviet Union planned to catch with with the proposed construction of OREL class carriers which were planned to be as big as Nimitz class. But Soviet Union disintegrated and financial meltdown came. Russia is financially currently not that good than America. But then again america is spending muuuuuch more than they are earning. So it is a trip straight to hell, but anyway you see many times over and over from history that when someone came with a good idea and implement it, it would not take long before the other one gets the same idea into reality. Be it jet engines, be it scramjet, be it aesa, be it cruise missiles, be it i don't know what else... there are simply too many examples to mention and saying that it means nothing to Russia - now sorry but thats a complete bullsh*t. To them it means that Americans have developed systems that are for now reliable, that can do their job efficiently and without risking their own crew. Now it would be naive to think that Russians that needs all this and something more would not tell to themselvs "For christ sake, americans did it, why we shouldn't be able to?". And in order not to sound it only one-way, Americans took the T-95 Russian autonomus turret idea and are developing the M1A3 based on this idea. So it very well works both ways.
    Russian companies never had money to throw on gambles and in practise rarely gambled on things the Russian military was not interested in.
    - But they did had projects they developed on their own without goverment interrest. The ultra long range Novator K-172 is another project of this kind. And now they have Indian fundking to further bruise the missile to the Indian needs. And there are other such examples.
    A UAV JSTARS does not warrant the extra costs because such an asset is never expendable.
    - HALE UAVs are expendable? No HALE UAV was made to be expendable, if it is SAR equipped or not.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Sun May 29, 2011 9:47 am

    - Bigger does not necessarily mean better.

    In antenna size it does.

    Again im pointing to the current ABM defense radars - in the past they tend to be huuuuge, today they are significantly smaller and significantly better in performance. The size of the sensor is determined by the state of the material technology used and also state of the underlying electronics used. For the past decade this technology made an exponential boost in performance gain and was made significantly smaller. So today if you see SAR antena smaller, you might think its coverage is smaller as well, but in fact it is waaay better than the old one. And saying you need to have as big radome as possible because of advanced enemy ECM features is baseless as well as i will explain further below.

    One of the features that the USAF likes about the F-15 that may result in a new model called the Silent Eagle is its larger nose size which allows a larger radar antenna.
    The larger a radars antenna is, the sharper its sight becomes.
    It is like mirror sizes for telescopes... if you can make them as efficient then bigger is better.
    That is not to say you want a 12m mirror telescope in your back yard...
    Obviously there are limits imposed... once you get to a diameter that is big enough there is no reason to continue making it bigger.
    ABM radars are smaller in aperture because space based sensors are now used for the role because they can directly monitor the launch sites.

    - Problems American faced with their electronics, will be the problems Russians will face as well.

    So why add to the potential problems and at the same time actually spend money on a Russian designed airliner instead of creating a new UAV?
    A commercial airliner like the Tu-214SM would be a good platform for JSTARS like applications, and if terminals and crew space is such a drag on the design why not just have two flight crews with a rest and sleeping area for them without the specialists positions?

    It will get the Tu-214SM into full production (along with other military orders for tanker and other types based on the same plane) and at the same time offer growth potential and spend money on an aircraft that could compete with this sort of investment in it.

    - ELINT processing needs a "nuclear power plant" as a source of energy.

    I never said that. You are talking about a UAV weighing 10 tons at operational weight doing the job of JSTARS which tips the scales at over 150 tons.
    Do you really think the electronics weighed that much in the 1990s?
    Probably 4-5 tons of its weight is fuel, so with a dry weight of maybe 3 tons we are probably talking about 2 tons for payload and comms.

    Garry you have no idea how much power you could save by not having these systems on UAV and having truly only the core electronics and sensor suite. Coupled with new efficient APUs... and ofcourse there is still a possibility to carry some solar cells.

    Call me Mr Skeptical but I don't agree that the savings are that great. LCD screens use bugger all power and when mounted in an airliner sized aircraft like the 707 the JSTARS is build on there is plenty of excess power generation from four large jet engines with plenty of capacity for electricity generation without APUs... and oxygen generation too.

    If you look at your most recent smarthpone. What part do you think consumes the most energy? Your cpu, microphone or speaker, camera? No... it is your display.
    JSTARS airplane is no exception. Ofcourse there are electronic subsystems consuming more than a display, but when energy management comes to play they are much more energy efficient than display which have nearly constant high energy consumption.

    JSTARS is not a smart phone. Display screens will use an insignificant amount of the available power.

    The point is that all the electronics for a JSTARS platform... whether it is manned or not will require a significant and reliable power supply... a four jet airliner like a 707 can manage that easily... powering LCD screens is no big deal on a 707 which will have lots of power fro the four large jet engines it has... a 10 ton UAV on the other hand with its single small engine optimised for long endurance high altitude flight might not have the capacity to manage a large amount of electronics.

    - Having everything centralized on single platform is better. It might not be. You know what netcentric capability is about? It is about hundreds or thousands of its elements acting as one. When one see an enemy, it can share his info with the second one which can attack that enemy. Having a cetralized ground forces intelligence gathering onboard a JSTARS aircraft might not be that good of an idea. What i mean is it can be shot down and then without HALE UAVs flying or covering enemy territory you are blind.

    The Purpose of JSTARS is standoff recon. It is not supposed to go anywhere near enemy airspace and so having it all centralised makes a lot of sense because one sensor might detect something of interest that might need a different type of sensor to check. Transmitting that out on the ether might make the target go to ground, but on a JSTARS aircraft another sensor can be brought to bear without emissions and the target checked.

    Net centric is about networking multiple elements, but it is not about sharing noise, it is about sharing information.

    The point of combining JSTARS with UAVs is to enable the UAVs to take the risks and for the JSTARS to remain safe and not get shot down.

    Another possible approach might be several JSTARS UAVs flying or covering areas partially redundantly. So if one is show down somehow, it would be a great loss but it won't be a total loss of JSTARS aerial capability since the other one still flying can take it over. The same approach might be used with manned aircrafts, but you know the operational costs and maintenance costs would be muuuuch higher.

    With the huge improvements in electronics and sensors surely a new JSTARS with modern electronics should be able to operate even further back from enemy territory than the 1990s JSTARS.
    In addition to restoring their satellite recon/intel network a manned JSTARS should be enough.

    But as said HALE UAVs were not designed to be expendable - and they are not.

    So they lose their primary benefit.

    - You don't trust UAVs but you trust satellites (which are - if we take out the airframe and jet engine also autonomus vehicles)? Many of the autonomus guidance architecture designs, experience and even subcomponents were reused from satellites. In Russia many companies that are in space business are actually in aircraft business as well. They are the same companies producing electronics for both.

    There are only a handful of countries that can shoot down satellites... compare that figure with the number that can shoot down light subsonic aircraft.

    In general by weight one console = one man crew member. Now count all the operators onboard E-8 and you have a significant number.

    Yet it manages to get off the ground on a regular basis.

    JSTARS aircraft are incredibly expensive things... the cost of having them manned is not the reason they cost so much.

    A UAV would not be significantly cheaper to buy or operate.

    - Human operators are still better than extra computers. What makes you think so? You know Russians are experts in reducing crew. Ka-50, T-80, T-90, their diesel subs.

    The extra crewmen in T series tanks were not replaced by computers.

    The Ka-50 was found to be useless in night operations because flying at night is a full time job. Hense production of the Ka-50 was stopped at less than 20 aircraft.

    All this and more, a perfect exampels of automation in place. You WANT to reduce the crew as much as possible. Because first: computers are muuuch faster and two: they don't make mistakes. Im not saying that it is good to put out the human element. But leave humans as sort of overseers and reliably automate as many things as is feasible.

    Replacing crew whose role can be efficiently replaced makes a lot of sense, but replacing too many is a mistake. Look at the popular two crewman tanks that started WWII where the commander was gunner and loader too. The Germans crushed them with tanks that had a man for each specific role so each man could concentrate on their own role all the time.

    A French Char tank on the other hand will have a commander looking for targets, but when he spots a target he becomes loader... searching for the correct shell type and loading it and then he becomes the gunner and aims the gun and fires and keeps looking to confirm a hit and to look for signs of a kill.
    In the German tank the commander also looks for targets but when he spots the target he tells the loader what shell to load and tells the gunner where the target is, how far it is and issues the order to open fire while looking for other targets and threats.

    These days the loader can be efficiently replaced with an autoloader and there is talk of reducing to two crew but no one will do it any time soon.

    - So their long range aviation does not have a global reach? Ah c'mon. When refuelled in air, they could go anywhere in the world within 24 hours.

    Hahahahaha... even the USAF has problems getting to some locations when denied the necessary overflight permissions and landing rights. Inflight refuelling is OK as long as you can get tanker aircraft to where you need them when you need them.

    Much easier to sail an Oscar or other sub to an area and launch a few Kh-555s.

    The question here would be, who will refuall them, where, and to which airspace they would be allowed to fly. So again we are at the roots -> effectiveness.

    And there is a difference between letting some planes overfly your territory for an exercise and letting them fly over with real weapons on a combat mission.

    Subs on the other hand can sail most of the oceans without transit permission requirements.

    - A-50 is not having high noise level problems? I was suggesting it does have this problem:
    http://www.spyflight.co.uk/mainstay.htm
    This is just an example article i found, i have read this on several differrent sources.

    The last para says it all...
    With this in mind, I very much doubt that any advanced western technology will be exported to China, particularly as, like Russia in the past, they tend to steal western technology and then copy it, without ever actually paying the companies who actually own the copyright.

    A bold statement. When western technology is available for purchase the Russians have a long history of paying for it... from the Gatling gun and the Maxim machine gun through various Ford truck designs, Christie tanks, DC-3s... etc etc all paid for.
    The only exceptions I can think of would be the Sidewinder missile and the B-29.
    The sidewinder missile was copied because it was so fundamentally different from other Soviet missiles that it would have taken too long for its lessons to filter through development to production. The sidewinder was a simple basic design that was modular, whereas the AA-1 was a mess... a tangle of mixed components in comparison.
    The B-29 was a four engined bomber with long range... something the Russians had ignored during WWII because such a thing was not necessary for WWII.
    Post WWII it became important and there was little time to do anything about it.

    Ironically it was the Russians that saved the B-17 bomber in the mid 1930s as it was about to be cut from the budget by the US Congress. Then an ANT-25 lands in the US after a non stop flight from Russia and its funding is saved.

    Back to the link given... sounds like a stereotype to me.

    A bit like the stories about one armed tank crew in the Russian military because the auto loaders rip their arms off.

    The Il-76 was a transport plane and not an airliner so the sound reduction materials used in its design will not be so efficient, but to suggest it is a threat to the crew is nonsense.

    It is a bit like ground crew complaints about the Blackjack because of excessive noise during maintainence. It later turns out that they had been issued faulty hearing protection, but ever since there persists the rumour that Blackjacks are "loud".

    Clearly repeated by people who have never been near a B-52 or other large jet aircraft while it is testing its engines.

    - It means a WHOLE LOT. Actually it means a WHOLE MUCH than a whole lot. Russia and America are allways looking onto each other what the other one have in its arsenal. And they are allways trying to catch up with each other within their financial limitations.

    You misunderstand.

    USAF confidence in the reliability of the Global Hawk UAV means nothing to Russia unless the USAF is willing to sell Global Hawk UAVs to Russia.
    What you are trying to say is that because Russian liquid fuelled ballistic missiles are reliable and powerful that the US should suddenly drop their solid propellent rockets and ignore the solid fuel technology they developed and use the inferior liquid rocket fuel they were using before because Russia has proved that it can be made much better than the old US developed stuff.

    You logic is faulty.

    You would say that America have the biggest naval force. And it does, however Soviet Union planned to catch with with the proposed construction of OREL class carriers which were planned to be as big as Nimitz class. But Soviet Union disintegrated and financial meltdown came.

    There were all sorts of naval plans... and that is their job... to plan.

    The Kuznetsov is nothing like western carriers... how many western carriers have 12 supersonic anti ship missiles in vertical launch tubes under their decks?

    The Soviet strategy was to use missiles for strike and anti ship missions. For the west they wanted to use aircraft for that.

    For the Soviets the threat was US carrier groups. For the US the solution the carrier groups offered was a mobile air and land force that could intervene anywhere in the world. For that they needed fighters and strike aircraft and marines with their own air power and carrier support. The Soviet Naval Infantry was a much more limited force that was more designed to take a port or piece of ground and hold it till the ground forces got there. It wasn't really expected to operate completely on its own globally.

    and saying that it means nothing to Russia - now sorry but thats a complete bullsh*t.

    The Russians are no longer interested in "keeping up with the joneses". The soviet Union couldn't afford it and Russia can afford it even less. If the US decides to put its JSTARS stuff in UAVs the Russians wont do the same... they will further develop their ability to shoot down UAVs from longer ranges.

    Now it would be naive to think that Russians that needs all this and something more would not tell to themselvs "For christ sake, americans did it, why we shouldn't be able to?".

    The US designed and built JSTARS as part of their net centric military and have spent trillions on it and on the development of UAVs. That is why Russia will not be able to do it overnight. If you could just sit and watch development and then simply emulate the results in one step the Chinese would currently be the most powerful military on the planet. They are not. It is not that simple.
    Very simply the USAF spent a lot of money and time developing and testing JSTARS. They spent a lot of time and money on UAVs. Now they have decided that they are ready to shoehorn a JSTARS into a UAV.
    Well that is nice, but it means nothing to Russia who has really only seriously started looking at UAVs.
    They are working on JSTARs type platform because now they are also working on a net centric environment for it to be part of.

    Trust me... even if they wanted a UAV the size of Global Hawk as a JSTARS platform it will not happen this decade.

    They will certainly be working on HALEs and in many ways a HALE is already type of JSTARS in that it gathers intel, but it will having nothing like the performance of JSTARS and they will likely develop a manned JSTARs platform before looking at their unmanned options.

    And in order not to sound it only one-way, Americans took the T-95 Russian autonomus turret idea and are developing the M1A3 based on this idea. So it very well works both ways.

    It has already happened in the Bradley... the early prototypes had one man turrets and the driver and commander in the hull beside the front mounted engine. When the BMP-2 was revealed the Bradley design "changed".

    - But they did had projects they developed on their own without goverment interrest. The ultra long range Novator K-172 is another project of this kind. And now they have Indian fundking to further bruise the missile to the Indian needs. And there are other such examples.

    The KS-172 was developed for the same long range anti AWACS anti JSTARS anti troop transport role the R-37M was developed for. It lost and is looking for export clients to fund its development.

    Flanky
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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Flanky on Sun May 29, 2011 6:16 pm

    In antenna size it does.
    Only to certain extend, beyond which it is useless to further make the sensor bigger, because you also need to have adequate electronics performance on the background.
    Ill use this comparision: You might have a huge "telescope" optics for a IR camera, it would be totally useless when its IR filter on the background would not be sensitive enough to detect heat from such distance, the optics would be able to focus on sharply. Radars are the same. You might make the sensor bigger, but it is actually hundreds of small elements mini radars that you will add. For that you will need more energy and you will have wave density that you will need exponentially more DSP processing capabilities to ensure functioning in a more dense radiowave enviroment and on larger distances. Its simply ineffective. Unless you absolutely need ultra long range detection capability like the ABM radars.
    One of the features that the USAF likes about the F-15 that may result in a new model called the Silent Eagle is its larger nose size which allows a larger radar antenna.
    Now sorry but this looks perfectly to me like a marketing stunt.
    The whole Silent Eagle is a joke from technological point of view.
    Its just for all those politicians of prowestern countries that were complaining that US guys havent approved the sale of F-22 to foreign nations.
    F-15 was never a serius fighter. It was allways fighting opponents from another light fighter classes and allways in superior numbers.
    I remember a story about F-15 and Iraqui Mig-25. Mig shot down a UAV, F-15 was closing in to intercept - they shot like 8 AMRAAMS, without success.
    Mig-25 was simply able to easily outperform F-15. Lets not forget F-15 was specifically made to counter the Mig-25 threat.
    But when we are at it: How much is the Silent Eagle nose bigger from the rest of the F-15?
    ABM radars are smaller in aperture because space based sensors are now used for the role because they can directly monitor the launch sites.
    If you count out the space element then the current ground based ABM elements are mch more capable in performance and much smaller in size.
    So why add to the potential problems and at the same time actually spend money on a Russian designed airliner instead of creating a new UAV?
    I would turn it back to you: Why to bother developing manned JSTARS, rather to put the system on HALE UAV since this is where the others are heading and Russia will need a HALE UAV platform anyway for other missions as well.
    You are talking about a UAV weighing 10 tons at operational weight doing the job of JSTARS which tips the scales at over 150 tons.
    I never said it would have to be a UAV with the exact same performance characteristics like the Global HAwk - meaning single engine, under 10 tons, etc.

    Call me Mr Skeptical but I don't agree that the savings are that great. LCD screens use bugger all power and when mounted in an airliner sized aircraft like the 707 the JSTARS is build on there is plenty of excess power generation from four large jet engines with plenty of capacity for electricity generation without APUs... and oxygen generation too.
    If you really think that the electronics (the core) is consuming so much energy that you need a very good electricity generation system of a 4 jet engined airliner -> E-8, than a 2 engine jet airliner simply won't do (Tu-214) :/
    a 10 ton UAV on the other hand with its single small engine optimised for long endurance high altitude flight might not have the capacity to manage a large amount of electronics.
    And who said it will have to be 10 ton HALE UAV?
    The point of combining JSTARS with UAVs is to enable the UAVs to take the risks and for the JSTARS to remain safe and not get shot down.
    Point taken, but with the upcomming 5th generation stealth fighters how can you really say when you are safe? If they are employed you might be even 1500 km from the "danger zone" and you are still not safe - with JSTARS aircraft you would be very likely a priority target for the airforce fighter pilots in case of conflict. Since they can interdict any of your aircraft deep inside your territory because they would be hard to detect, none of your air assets is safe and this goes for airships as well - which would be in such case a sittings ducks. In such scenario a loss of HALE UAV would be a much better option.
    So they lose their primary benefit.
    This is not even their second benefit, least to say their first. First is operational costs, second is long endurance (long range) and maybe third would be crew safety - a partial expendability. But as said many times over and over they are not meant to be expendable.
    There are only a handful of countries that can shoot down satellites... compare that figure with the number that can shoot down light subsonic aircraft.
    Weren't we talking previously about reliability of such systems and not about possible threats to the platform?
    A UAV would not be significantly cheaper to buy or operate.
    And what makes you think so? Im allmost certain that if you would exchange RQ-4 with some manned aircraft with similar or identical features, it would be atleast 2x that expensive if not more. Because all those crew support systems = added space = added weights = more powerfull engine.

    The extra crewmen in T series tanks were not replaced by computers.
    The Ka-50 was found to be useless in night operations because flying at night is a full time job. Hense production of the Ka-50 was stopped at less than 20 aircraft.
    In T series you have autoloader = -1 crew member.
    Ka-50 was discontinued mainly because of conservative imbeciles like Poppov that did not believed it is possible to control an attack chopper by single pilot.
    As far as i know the "flying at night is a full time job" argument is baseless here, since there were version of the chopper Ka-50N or Ka-50Sh, and reportedly they performed quite well with high level of automation.

    And there is a difference between letting some planes overfly your territory for an exercise and letting them fly over with real weapons on a combat mission.
    Subs on the other hand can sail most of the oceans without transit permission requirements.
    Provided they are not detected by some underwater system similar to SOSUS and chased by ASW ships and airplanes or other submarines. You know today it is not that hard to detect nuclear sub in the waters. However diesel electric subs are a problem. So again we are reaching keyword "effectiveness".

    The Il-76 was a transport plane and not an airliner so the sound reduction materials used in its design will not be so efficient, but to suggest it is a threat to the crew is nonsense.
    You said it. It is not dangerous but it is loud enough not to let you sleep.

    USAF confidence in the reliability of the Global Hawk UAV means nothing to Russia unless the USAF is willing to sell Global Hawk UAVs to Russia.
    What you are trying to say is that because Russian liquid fuelled ballistic missiles are reliable and powerful that the US should suddenly drop their solid propellent rockets and ignore the solid fuel technology they developed and use the inferior liquid rocket fuel they were using before because Russia has proved that it can be made much better than the old US developed stuff.
    US maybe not interrested in selling HALE UAVs but France and other Europeans would not hesitate too much.
    And by the way about rockets - yes basically you are right, US guys are slowly forsaking their solid proppelant rocket engines for Russian liquid ones. USA have setup a joint venture with Russians to manufacture the RD-180 engine for US needs on Atlast carriers.

    For the Soviets the threat was US carrier groups. For the US the solution the carrier groups offered was a mobile air and land force that could intervene anywhere in the world. For that they needed fighters and strike aircraft and marines with their own air power and carrier support.
    Its called differrent military doctrine. However targets are the same.

    The Soviet Naval Infantry was a much more limited force that was more designed to take a port or piece of ground and hold it till the ground forces got there. It wasn't really expected to operate completely on its own globally.
    They are called "shock force". To capture important infrastructure to make a way for the arrival of the main forces by air or land.

    The Russians are no longer interested in "keeping up with the joneses".
    Oh this is a mistake on your side thinking they are not. They are, but money are an issue on Russian side compared to america which is ok with such astronomical debt.
    I guess they are preparing 3rd world war after which they would not need to pay back all the debt.

    Trust me... even if they wanted a UAV the size of Global Hawk as a JSTARS platform it will not happen this decade.
    Trust me it will be sooner than you can imagine Smile

    GarryB
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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Mon May 30, 2011 7:45 am

    Its simply ineffective. Unless you absolutely need ultra long range detection capability like the ABM radars.

    In a modern WWIII type scenario a high flying target is dead if it has to fly over enemy territory.
    The purpose of larger antenna is to extend range and if you want a stand off recon aircraft whether manned or unmanned then you need the biggest antennas you can fit to allow the best reception from a distance.

    There is no advantage to putting on smaller antennas on a UAV and just flying closer because flying closer means getting shot down or having to fly into enemy territory to get full coverage of enemy territory.

    It makes more sense to use a bigger aircraft with bigger sensors.

    F-15 was never a serius fighter. It was allways fighting opponents from another light fighter classes and allways in superior numbers.

    But when we are at it: How much is the Silent Eagle nose bigger from the rest of the F-15?

    The Silent Eagle is a much cheaper option than more F-22s.
    For a start the Eagle is still in production (in the F-15E model for South Korea and other customers) and it offers advantages over restarting F-22 production in several areas including getting 3-4 F-15s for the price of 1 F-22. 3-4 F-15s in 90% of roles would be better than an F-22 because of the bigger radar and larger warload of weapons it can carry.

    I remember a story about F-15 and Iraqui Mig-25. Mig shot down a UAV, F-15 was closing in to intercept - they shot like 8 AMRAAMS, without success.
    Mig-25 was simply able to easily outperform F-15. Lets not forget F-15 was specifically made to counter the Mig-25 threat.

    So the Mig shot down an unarmed UAV, and then ran away so fast the F-15 was not able to catch it. In close combat the F-15 would kill a Mig-25... much as I am pro Russia and very biased on some things the Mig-25 is a recon aircraft in some ways as good as the SR-71 (not as fast but fast enough and much cheaper to operate and with an armed option too), as an interceptor it is second only to the Mig-31 and perhaps the F-14D, but it is not a fighter.

    The F-15 is a very capable fighter with excellent engines, radar, and adequate missiles.

    The simple fact is that the USAF will not take on an enemy on even terms so if they have more aircraft then the US will start by launching cruise missiles to crater the enemies runways and then send in fighters to each airfield to hit the hangars with local superiority in numbers for the win.

    War is not a game and the US knows it. You don't get honour points by playing fair... you win or you die.

    If you count out the space element then the current ground based ABM elements are mch more capable in performance and much smaller in size.

    The difference is that an AESA uses active radar elements, whereas older radars used large reflector dishes for antenna size. The old radars became more sensitive by making the reflecting dish larger. Modern AESAs improve by having more elements and smaller elements... there is a reason AEGIS class cruisers and S-300 and S-400 SAM systems have such large flat radar antenna arrays when modern electronics should (according to you) allow them to have much smaller antennas.

    The new antennas are still large because they have to see further because the new missiles have much greater reach and can operate in a much wider altitude band.

    I would turn it back to you: Why to bother developing manned JSTARS, rather to put the system on HALE UAV since this is where the others are heading and Russia will need a HALE UAV platform anyway for other missions as well.

    I would say that the Russian military is moving to a net centric environment so the need is not to have what the US has, but to have a working system... and to have a working net centric system you need information capture platforms. HALE will be one important source, but JSTARS will be another and much more capable than any HALE they could possibly develop in the next 10 years. On the other hand a JSTARS for the Russians would just be an Il-20 on steroids in a new larger more modern platform like a Tu-214 with more operators and larger antennas and new 3D L band AESAs and other systems that might be useful.
    Cramming all that into a UAV is not necessary right now, or possible for Russia... unless the US wants to share this technology with them they will have to spend the money and develop it themselves.

    I never said it would have to be a UAV with the exact same performance characteristics like the Global HAwk - meaning single engine, under 10 tons, etc.

    They haven't even got that and you want them to take an even bigger leap?

    Where is the urgency for such a risk?

    If you really think that the electronics (the core) is consuming so much energy that you need a very good electricity generation system of a 4 jet engined airliner -> E-8, than a 2 engine jet airliner simply won't do (Tu-214) :/

    Most modern civilian airliners allow plenty of electrical power generation from the jet engines to power onboard avionics and bits and pieces for the cabins like LCD screens in the back of each seat for movies and games etc.

    A UAV designed to operate high and for long periods needs to be very fuel efficient and not over powered which will leave very little leeway for electricity generation as the engine is often fairly low powered already.

    And who said it will have to be 10 ton HALE UAV?

    The heavier it is the more expensive it becomes... make it too big and it wont be cheaper than a manned aircraft based on an existing airliner design.

    Point taken, but with the upcomming 5th generation stealth fighters how can you really say when you are safe? If they are employed you might be even 1500 km from the "danger zone" and you are still not safe - with JSTARS aircraft you would be very likely a priority target for the airforce fighter pilots in case of conflict.

    Employed 1,500km from the danger zone a JSTARs is in danger from enemy stealth aircraft in the same way any other aircraft is in danger... except a JSTARS like aircraft has sensors up the wahzoo and with L band and even longer wave radars able to detect datalink communications, and also a self defence suite that can include side looking AESAs with 20,000 elements instead of most fighters' 1,500 elements one would expect that any stealth fighter might have problems attacking it because AESAs can direct enormous amounts of concetrated radar energy... which means burning the mind of a little AMRAAM missile directed at it. I would expect such a valuable aircraft would be fitted with DIRCMs to protect it from any short range AAM like ASRAAM, and to protect it from guns... 1,500km from the conflict zone the JSTARS could be orbiting over 3-4 S-400/S-500 SAM batteries just waiting in a SAM trap to shoot down any enemy stealth planes who want to play... and there could be several Flankers and T-50s with IIR guided missiles and guns also protecting the JSTARS too.

    The point is that it will be protected because it generates valuable info for the Russian military and fills gaps that satellites can't always fill.

    ...it can also be hard to find if it is not emitting that much... most of the time it will be listening.

    It is clear from USAF experience that JSTARS never need to be put at risk in conventional wars the US is likely to participate in. Russia is likely to be involved in even fewer conflicts so most of its operational life it will likely spend in international or Russian airspace listening over borders.

    Since they can interdict any of your aircraft deep inside your territory because they would be hard to detect, none of your air assets is safe and this goes for airships as well - which would be in such case a sittings ducks. In such scenario a loss of HALE UAV would be a much better option.

    Actually an airship operating at 30-35,000m would be the safest option... F-22s couldn't get anywhere near it and neither could their AMRAAMs.

    Using hydrogen even direct hits would not likely start a fire because of the lack of oxygen at that height... and one or two missile hits would likely only cause the airship to descend slowly... and having said that there are no known AAM that could hit such a target.

    Weren't we talking previously about reliability of such systems and not about possible threats to the platform?

    But the reality is that UAVs operating alone will be vulnerable... as shown just before the Georgian conflict where that Mig-29 shot down that Georgian drone which was clearly over water. If it was a manned aircraft I rather doubt it would have been shot down, but once it is IDed as an unmanned drone it is rather more likely to be shot down than escorted out of enemy territory or forced to land.

    And what makes you think so? Im allmost certain that if you would exchange RQ-4 with some manned aircraft with similar or identical features, it would be atleast 2x that expensive if not more. Because all those crew support systems = added space = added weights = more powerfull engine.

    Because the UAV you are talking about doesn't exist and needs to be designed from scratch.
    An existing recon UAV design will not cut it because an existing recon drone has a few cameras and bits and pieces but is nothing compared to a JSTARS aircraft that takes years and huge amounts of money to put together.
    Designing a new large UAV and filling it with equipment a JSTARS would carry without having developed a JSTARS in the first place is nonsense and would be very expensive.

    What you are suggesting is development of a JSTARS system and then cramming it into a tiny container and then making it work.

    I am suggesting that developing a JSTARS into a platform like a Tu-214 or even Su-34 recon/jammer version makes 100 times more sense because it is more realistic and the Russian military will get what they want without too much risk.

    Look at the Armata... it was going to be all electric drive but it was realised that the technology for electric motors of that power and battery capacity was not good enough so now they are going for a hybrid with electric and diesel propulsion.

    What you are suggesting is going from no JSTARS to mini JSTARS in one step that will take the USAF 20 years to do. The Russians don't have the experience of either JSTARS or UAVs to do it... not now and not in 20 years because the US had a military budget of 1/3rd to 3/4ths of a trillion dollars to spend on their military EACH of those 20 years!

    I admire your optimism, and I understand you don't want them to waste money in unnecessary extra steps.
    In 15 years time when the military will likely be even smaller than it is now, BUT UAV and UCAV technology is more mature, then UAVs and UCAVs can start to do more than recon and dangerous missions and reduce the requirements for boring jobs as well as dangerous jobs in the air force.

    In T series you have autoloader = -1 crew member.

    Yes. One crewman replaced by a machine, not a computer, for a job that was largely mechanical in nature... the same way the automatic rifle replaced the bolt action in most infantry roles.

    Ka-50 was discontinued mainly because of conservative imbeciles like Poppov that did not believed it is possible to control an attack chopper by single pilot.

    The Ka-50 was chosen over the Mi-28A in the role of replacing the Mi-24 Hind.
    The military however decided to change its focus from day, clear weather fighting to day/night and all weather aircraft.

    The Single pilot configuration of the Ka-50 counted against it because flying at night is a full time job. The Mi-28N won the new competition against the Ka-50N and Ka-52 and all other variants of the Kamov design.

    One of the reasons it was chosen was because parts developed for the Mi-28N could be retro fitted to the Mi-24 to upgrade the remaining good condition helos and for spares commonality and to get the new parts into production and use quicker.

    As far as i know the "flying at night is a full time job" argument is baseless here, since there were version of the chopper Ka-50N or Ka-50Sh, and reportedly they performed quite well with high level of automation.

    The Ka-50 was developed on the basis that a Mig-27K or Mig-29SMT could attack ground targets at night using guided weapons. The problem is that these fighters don't fly at tree height where a moments inattention will result in a collision.

    The whole purpose of developing the Ka-52 was to put a weapon operator in there to help the pilot operate the aircraft and find and attack targets.

    Provided they are not detected by some underwater system similar to SOSUS and chased by ASW ships and airplanes or other submarines. You know today it is not that hard to detect nuclear sub in the waters. However diesel electric subs are a problem. So again we are reaching keyword "effectiveness".

    Look at the countries that have been "attacked" in the last 20 years.
    Even if you include the ones attacked by the west... none of them have effective anti sub capability... that is an incredibly expensive capability.
    And in deep waters when it is trying to be quiet... yes it is hard to find a nuke sub.

    Kh-101/2 missiles with a range of 5,000km and a conventional warhead would be incredibly hard to defend against, but even more so for a country like Somalia or Yemen... or dare I say it Pakistan?
    For coastal targets then a 300km range Brahmos would be pretty hard to stop for a modern military power... what would Britain do in the 2-3 minutes warning it got of such an attack?
    Most countries would be in even worse positions.


    You said it. It is not dangerous but it is loud enough not to let you sleep.

    And yet it has been used successfully in naval deployments in the Atlantic in exercises where it acted as AEW for the Kuznetsov for extended periods with inflight refuelling. Perhaps they use zombies that don't require sleep.

    Il-76s are used for long range transport already and the crews on board sleep during flights.

    I suspect any excessive noise would be from fans cooling the electronics.

    There is a significant upgrade of the A-50 being introduced and the replacement A-100 is being developed... if it is even a problem I am sure it will be corrected in either or both of these programs.

    I have several books on small arms and in everyone under Stechkin machine pistol it is called backwards and useless because it is a machine pistol when the west does not do machine pistols. It is called heavy and underpowered and unpopular.

    Funny thing is that I have talked to people who have used it and read books written by soldiers who have used it and they all think it is wonderful. They call it accurate and powerful... twenty shots at the target is better than 8. It is not much bigger than a 45 colt and it is lighter and carries 20 rounds ready to fire instead of 7.

    Read the latest small arms book from Janes and it will repeat the obsolescence of the Stechkin because no one uses machine pistols any more because they are not effective.

    You see an expert in the west makes a comment based on western experience and everyone else repeats it as if it is a fact and anything anyone might say to suggest otherwise is commie propaganda. It is the wests way or the highway.
    When it was first revealed that the T-62 had a smoothbore gun everyone in the west talked about how inaccurate it would be for a little extra velocity.
    Now western tank guns are mostly smoothbore and you'd think they came up with the idea.

    BMPs are crap but western IFV that copy the BMP design like the Bradley and Warrior are OK. BTW them ruskies copy everything... have never seen anything the Russians have designed that look like the M113, but the FV432 the British used look a heck of a lot like it.

    US maybe not interrested in selling HALE UAVs but France and other Europeans would not hesitate too much.

    They have never developed JSTARS aircraft of their own and certainly never one that is optimised for the needs of the Russian AF.

    How will the French react to a request for a JSTARS that can detect and track NATO aircraft like Rafale and Typhoon and F-35s let alone F-22?

    These sort of aircraft are not bought from rivals or former enemies.

    And by the way about rockets - yes basically you are right, US guys are slowly forsaking their solid proppelant rocket engines for Russian liquid ones. USA have setup a joint venture with Russians to manufacture the RD-180 engine for US needs on Atlast carriers.

    Only for space... and only for cryogenic fuelled rockets.

    Basically a rockets performance is based on the exit velocity of the material coming out the rear and at the moment the highest velocity stuff is hydrogen which of course when burnt with oxygen results in water vapour.

    Ion engines accelerate subatomic particles to a much higher velocity but produce rather less thrust. In fact the difference is quite significant but for deep space travel the lower thrust is not important... the fact that an ion engine can operate for months on a few kgs of fuel that gives low but constant acceleration while a rocket might give a thousand times more thrust... but only for 10 minutes at the most and then you coast the rest of the way, so in a race the rocket will blast ahead initially but the ion engine will catch up and pass the rocket and the ion propelled vehicle will get there first. Of course the ion propelled vehicle takes as long to slow down as it does to speed up so it is no good for unintended stops or returning early.

    Its called differrent military doctrine. However targets are the same.

    No. Completely different really. The US navy carrier groups had several jobs including protecting itself, it also had to keep open sea lanes of communication and it had the role in WWIII of penetrating Soviet airspace to deliver tactical nukes to various targets. The Soviet fleet on the other hand had no sea lanes to protect and just had to survive and take out any US carrier groups that approached the Soviet Union. Initially there was a need to try to protect SSBNs, but eventually the range of the weapons on Soviet SSBNs meant they could fire without leaving their sub base so there was a reduced need to protect subs as much as protecting sub bases.

    They are called "shock force". To capture important infrastructure to make a way for the arrival of the main forces by air or land.

    They are indeed, and would be a potent force against rear area units defending various targets.

    Oh this is a mistake on your side thinking they are not. They are, but money are an issue on Russian side compared to america which is ok with such astronomical debt.

    When the Space Shuttle started operating the Soviets feared it would have a military role. Such fears were not unfounded because more than 3/4ths of the space shuttles missions were classified military missions mainly deploying sensitive satellites etc.
    The Soviets looked carefully at the design and built a rather radically different vehicle that used the same external shape.
    NASA had spent 2 billion dollars perfecting the shape of the Space shuttle... why waste more money testing other shapes?

    The result was that the Space shuttle was a seriously underpowered airplane with an enormous belly mounted droptank and two enormous expensive RATO rockets to get it moving.
    The Buran on the other hand was a glider that sat on a big rocket that took it into space.
    The Space shuttle was incredibly expensive to operate because those solid fuelled rockets had very expensive and toxic fuel. Once they started they could not be throttled or turned off.
    The idea of reusing the central tank to save money ended up costing rather more money than imagined. Recovering the tank and then repairing it and inspecting it cost enormous amounts of money.
    The Shuttle had to carry its main engines... which were part of the shuttle throughout the flight which after takeoff were 10 tons of dead weight of little further use throughout the flight.
    The result was a $600 million dollar per launch vehicle that could carry about 10 tons of payload into orbit.
    In comparison the Buran sat on an energyia rocket and had no large powerful rocket motors on it and can carry a payload within the Buran of 30 tons to orbit.
    Without expensive solid fuelled rockets or reusable tanks each launch is significantly cheaper.
    If you want to build a space station building stuff in space is hard... you can't just put a screw down and expect it to still be there when you reach for it.
    Sending already built large components makes building space stations much easier.
    With the Buran you can remove the Buran completely from the energyia rocket and fit an entire piece of a space station weighing up to 110 tons when the Buran normally sits with a nose fairing to protect it during launch.
    The Buran uses a solid surface rather than tiles so it is simply resurfaced for each launch rather than needing careful x ray checks to test each tile and replace faulty tiles before launch.
    Buran also has an ejection system for the crew... would not likely have helped in a reentry accident but in a launch accident like Challenger it likely would have saved the crew.

    At the end of the day apart from a lack of available funds what killed the Buran was the Mir. The US was using the Space shuttles as mini space stations that could operate for a week in space to do testing and experiments.
    The Russians didn't need a shuttle for that... they had MIR.

    I remember an American astronaut saying they were told about long term space flight issues with weakening muscles and bones losing strength over long flights by the Soviets. He said they just thought the Soviet exercise regime and food were the problem and he said that while he didn't say anything at the time he secreted decided that after his 3 months in space he was going to undo his own safety belt and walk to the transport instead of just sitting there and have someone else to do it to show these Soviets how America gets things done. Well he went through the 3 month flight and after touch down he said he reached for his belt to open it himself and found he couldn't raise his arm by himself.
    Technology is no substitute for experience.

    I guess they are preparing 3rd world war after which they would not need to pay back all the debt.

    A real third world war is not something the US should be lusting after. During WWI the world was huge, by WWII the airplane had made the world much smaller. For WWIII cruise missiles strategic ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads have made the world tiny...the US might fantasise about war... Red Dawn and all that rubbish, but any country that has actually been through real war will tell you it is no movie or computer game.
    In WWIII everyone loses.

    Some Americans might prefer that to the austerity measures America is going to have to impose on all those nice people who bailed out the rich bankers... the people of Greece don't seem to like it. War is no alternative. All that mineral reserve in Afghanistan and all that untapped oil in Libya hasn't done anything for the US to date and likely wont make much difference while both countries are war ravaged sht holes... which looks likely for the foreseeable future.

    Trust me it will be sooner than you can imagine

    I am sure a large recon UAV is very well developed in Russia, but I rather doubt it will be comparable to JSTARS.

    Flanky
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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Flanky on Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:14 pm


    In a modern WWIII type scenario a high flying target is dead if it has to fly over enemy territory.
    The purpose of larger antenna is to extend range and if you want a stand off recon aircraft whether manned or unmanned then you need the biggest antennas you can fit to allow the best reception from a distance.

    There is no advantage to putting on smaller antennas on a UAV and just flying closer because flying closer means getting shot down or having to fly into enemy territory to get full coverage of enemy territory.

    It makes more sense to use a bigger aircraft with bigger sensors.
    Garry check out the SAAB Erieye AWACS. With its tiny antena compared to E-3 it has a range of about 400km. Which is in most cases good enough. Now that thing is over decade old. Can you imagine that tday you can basically with slightly larger antenae get 600 km? And that antena would be still way smaller than E-3. Simply repeated again bigger does not mean better! Because the sensor is not enough, you need underlying electronics for detection calculations and this is getting smaller and at the same time better in performance.
    Navy surveilance satelites does not have such huge sensors although many times over they operate and detect ships from orbit that is higher than 400km above surface.
    You have many examples where small sensors are used for long range detections. Lets not forget up to date fighter radars. Although the ground clutter is significantly reducing the capability of detecting ground targets over long distances, but you cannot compensate that with the sensor size, rather than the computing subsystems running that much more algorithms on resulting signal to determine if it is a valid ground target or just earth surface. The "tiny" SAR on the Global HAWK have a coverage of 200 km with the same GMTI (groundm oving target indicator) capability like JSTARS! And this is early 2000 technology! Thats couple of years back!

    The Silent Eagle is a much cheaper option than more F-22s.
    For a start the Eagle is still in production (in the F-15E model for South Korea and other customers) and it offers advantages over restarting F-22 production in several areas including getting 3-4 F-15s for the price of 1 F-22. 3-4 F-15s in 90% of roles would be better than an F-22 because of the bigger radar and larger warload of weapons it can carry.
    Yes but the marketing point of Silent eagle is stealth. It is presented as a plane with significantly reduced RCS, which is simply not true. they made slight adjustments to the weapons carriage basically and thats all. Engine inlets are still the way there are... detectable from very long distance.

    So the Mig shot down an unarmed UAV, and then ran away so fast the F-15 was not able to catch it. In close combat the F-15 would kill a Mig-25... much as I am pro Russia and very biased on some things the Mig-25 is a recon aircraft in some ways as good as the SR-71 (not as fast but fast enough and much cheaper to operate and with an armed option too), as an interceptor it is second only to the Mig-31 and perhaps the F-14D, but it is not a fighter.

    The F-15 is a very capable fighter with excellent engines, radar, and adequate missiles.

    The simple fact is that the USAF will not take on an enemy on even terms so if they have more aircraft then the US will start by launching cruise missiles to crater the enemies runways and then send in fighters to each airfield to hit the hangars with local superiority in numbers for the win.

    War is not a game and the US knows it. You don't get honour points by playing fair... you win or you die.
    War is not a game, you don't get points by playing fair. Mig-25 achieved its goal through speed, F-15 failed to intercept it. Mig was not made to fight dogfight.
    F-15 was specifically made to counter the Mig-25 threat and it failed to do so.
    Simple as that.

    The difference is that an AESA uses active radar elements, whereas older radars used large reflector dishes for antenna size. The old radars became more sensitive by making the reflecting dish larger. Modern AESAs improve by having more elements and smaller elements... there is a reason AEGIS class cruisers and S-300 and S-400 SAM systems have such large flat radar antenna arrays when modern electronics should (according to you) allow them to have much smaller antennas.
    The AEGIS system and S-300 and S-400 systems while being relatively new, have been in development for quite some time and used up to date electronic components of the timeframe they have been in development. Such systems are not born from one day to another. They are developed for years, and they use components that by now technologically 10 years old or even more. So you stated inadequate examples.

    The new antennas are still large because they have to see further because the new missiles have much greater reach and can operate in a much wider altitude band.
    You might have a piece of big metal / dish and it won't detect "anything". While you can have small diameter AESA radar and it will see airplanes 450km away.
    Bigger sensor is not the determining factor of the operational range. It is the power source and AESA electronic elements, which againas i say are becomming smaller in size and thus not requiring the whole AESA element field to be so big, resulting in either the overall size decrease of the sensor on increase in AESA elements density in order to enable the system to track more targets at the same time or have multiple modes at the same time. Size doesn't matter so much, and power is becomming less important as well.

    I would say that the Russian military is moving to a net centric environment so the need is not to have what the US has, but to have a working system... and to have a working net centric system you need information capture platforms. HALE will be one important source, but JSTARS will be another and much more capable than any HALE they could possibly develop in the next 10 years. On the other hand a JSTARS for the Russians would just be an Il-20 on steroids in a new larger more modern platform like a Tu-214 with more operators and larger antennas and new 3D L band AESAs and other systems that might be useful.
    Cramming all that into a UAV is not necessary right now, or possible for Russia... unless the US wants to share this technology with them they will have to spend the money and develop it themselves.
    And again here is the question: HALE platform is being developed. If there are proper design specs requirements for the platform, then... the task to make a JSTARS version of it would be minimal effort compared to make a JSTARS version out of a aircraft like Tu-214. Simply because you need to mak the airplane that much more safer because you have crew onboard, AND you need to equip devices that will interface the crew with the system. Such devices consume lot of power, space and weight. Resuling design will have to be much more costly than the JSTARS version of a HALE platform. And to have working system? Are you suggesting that they will have problems with this? I have several times mentioned the reliability of automation of their space technology which is used on aircrafts as well. They are doing such systems for long time. Additinally HALEs are of such size that conventional military ngines originally meant for manned aircraft can be reused for HALE as well. There are so many things that makes HALE UAV JSTARS the military option you would want rather than manned JSTARS.

    They haven't even got that and you want them to take an even bigger leap?
    Where is the urgency for such a risk?
    They made Buran autonomous. Please don't forget that.
    Buran is several times bigger and heavier than any HALE UAV.
    From technological point of view he was an Unnmanned Vehicle during his mission controlled remotely.
    So if you are suggesting that they are venturing into something they don't know, i would suggest otherwise.

    Most modern civilian airliners allow plenty of electrical power generation from the jet engines to power onboard avionics and bits and pieces for the cabins like LCD screens in the back of each seat for movies and games etc.
    A UAV designed to operate high and for long periods needs to be very fuel efficient and not over powered which will leave very little leeway for electricity generation as the engine is often fairly low powered already.
    Are you suggesting those civilian airliners don't have to be fuel efficient? Whan you are an airlines company, of the decisive factors in buying new aircraft is fuel efficiency.
    So you need to have an engine which will produce as much power as possible, while consuming fuel as low as possible and weighting as low as possible. And there is such technology today. Even to the point that the same engines could be reused for HALE UAVs, and so will have the power generating capacity and fuel efficiency at the same time.

    The heavier it is the more expensive it becomes... make it too big and it wont be cheaper than a manned aircraft based on an existing airliner design.
    You said it before... Russia needs a working system. If such system will be for example 5 tonsh eavier than Global Hawk. Be it so.... nobody would care so much as long as it will work. Oh and if such system will be equiped with domestic electronics and components, it will certainly be cheaper than Global Hawk. Because of the work price.
    You know bigger does not automatically mean more expensive. I know bigger means more weight, and that means more powerfull engine. But you also have to ask what is it thats causing the plane to be big and heavy? More electronics components that are substantially increasing the potential of the platform and its reliability? Then yes that would make the aircraft more expensive, but at the same time much more capable than its manned version.

    Employed 1,500km from the danger zone a JSTARs is in danger from enemy stealth aircraft in the same way any other aircraft is in danger... except a JSTARS like aircraft has sensors up the wahzoo and with L band and even longer wave radars able to detect datalink communications, and also a self defence suite that can include side looking AESAs with 20,000 elements instead of most fighters' 1,500 elements one would expect that any stealth fighter might have problems attacking it because AESAs can direct enormous amounts of concetrated radar energy... which means burning the mind of a little AMRAAM missile directed at it.
    Do you know why this is not a valid defensive feature and why there is not much talk about it? Simple... do you know something that is called farraday cage? It is a steel case that will protect anything thats inside from outer radioelectromagnetic radiation. And this is a 100% protection of electronics against such types of EMPs.
    Receivers and tranceivers could be divided from the main electronics body through either opto isolators or optical channels which will not distribute the EMP into the electronics inside the farraday cage. I think the Russian TOPOL or Bulava ICBMs (don't remember which) are having such protection already. And they are developing a system which would dissipate heat from energy weapons more efficiently. So if JSTARS is attacked with such small AAM with this protection, then they are in serious trouble.

    I would expect such a valuable aircraft would be fitted with DIRCMs to protect it from any short range AAM like ASRAAM, and to protect it from guns... 1,500km from the conflict zone the JSTARS could be orbiting over 3-4 S-400/S-500 SAM batteries just waiting in a SAM trap to shoot down any enemy stealth planes who want to play... and there could be several Flankers and T-50s with IIR guided missiles and guns also protecting the JSTARS too.
    True but don't forget they might employ ultra long range missiles with passive seeker head.
    Meaning the parrental fighter plane will be out of danger zone.
    While the JSTARS plane will be for huge troubles...

    ...it can also be hard to find if it is not emitting that much... most of the time it will be listening.
    It will have a huge ir signature, it will have huge RCS, it would be possible to track it through sigint on its comms.
    It won't be that much of problem to determine its position, and once thats done - you are in a very dangerous situation.
    Oh and please don't forget directed energy weapons development.
    In future a surface to air laser could be used, or even its airborne variant.
    So to sum it up, the JSTARS plane will be protected, but that does not mean it will be impossible to shoot it down.

    Russia is likely to be involved in even fewer conflicts
    Now this is a complet baseless statement. None of us could predict what future holds, but designing an aircraft with "ah well be fighting only weak enemies, so don't take it too seriusly" approach will be a very serious error. When taking decisions on things like this, you have to "hope for the best, but expect the worst". All these things are speaking for the HALE UAV JSTARS platform. Even Nuclear radiation from possible weapons of mass desctruction. Soviet planes were made to withstand the radiation and EMP.

    Actually an airship operating at 30-35,000m would be the safest option... F-22s couldn't get anywhere near it and neither could their AMRAAMs.
    Now now... first of all quite back you were pointing how the Russians can make such a leap towards nonexistent HALE UAV platforms, and now you are suggesting that they would easily construct a trully nonexistent airship operating so high? Dude this would be a even bigger challenge than to develop a manned jstars, let alone its UAV HALE version.
    And finally even this would not protect the platform -> America does have in possesion ASAT weapons capable to reach huge heights and distances with ease.
    SM-3 being one example. Stationary airship in 35km would be a "cannon fodder" for such system.
    And there were ofcourse plane launched ASAT missiles as well. Lets not forget airborne laser. Too many threats that would make its mission a suicidal one.

    But the reality is that UAVs operating alone will be vulnerable... as shown just before the Georgian conflict where that Mig-29 shot down that Georgian drone which was clearly over water. If it was a manned aircraft I rather doubt it would have been shot down, but once it is IDed as an unmanned drone it is rather more likely to be shot down than escorted out of enemy territory or forced to land.
    You said it before... "War is not a game and the US knows it. You don't get honour points by playing fair... you win or you die."
    You will shoot, or you'll get shot down. Do you think in a war scenario manned jstars won't be shot down? If there will be high chance of ambushing enemy fighters during escort of enemy jstars on a friendly airport, they will mercilessly shoot down the manned jstars with ease because it is a enemy military asset and they won't make too much of differrence if it is manned or not. The differrence is: UAV costs are several tens of millions at max, manned jstars is several hundred millions of dollars + the crew lives = priceless.
    Again something UAV is clearly a better option.

    Because the UAV you are talking about doesn't exist and needs to be designed from scratch.
    Again what makes you think so?
    This is actually quite similar to what you discussed in T-95 about non-existent new Russian penetrators.
    You have new autoloaders, new main tank weapon. It would be naive to think they have not developed new penetrators right?
    You believe so. You have new airforce requirements, there are several proofs that Russian companies have made extensive HALE UAV studies... what makes you think so these projects are non-existent? I see a little bit of inconsistency in your thinking compared to the T-95 topic. The main driving force behind this is a strong need for HALE UAV platform.
    I have no doubts that they exists and not just one, but several of them.

    What you are suggesting is development of a JSTARS system and then cramming it into a tiny container and then making it work.
    What does it mean to you tiny? Like Global Hawk? Again... i never said it needs to have similar specs to global hawk.

    Su-34 recon/jammer version makes 100 times more sense because it is more realistic and the Russian military will get what they want without too much risk.
    Now what makes you thinks so? Because the Su-34 as a platform already exists and it is used in the airforce? As i said.... Russia needs the HALE UAV platform minly for other missions than JSTARS, so they will develop it anyway. And if you want to make such JSTARS system, then it would be on a HALE UAV platform which will be significantly less expensive than the basic Su-34 45 mill dollar platform, and you would like to have 2 guys safe on ground rather than having 2 guys risking their lifes being onboard.

    What you are suggesting is going from no JSTARS to mini JSTARS in one step that will take the USAF 20 years to do. The Russians don't have the experience of either JSTARS or UAVs to do it... not now and not in 20 years because the US had a military budget of 1/3rd to 3/4ths of a trillion dollars to spend on their military EACH of those 20 years!
    Garry i think you misunderstood the entire UAV industry. When developing a UAV you are NOT developing fundamentally new technology. You are just combining technology from differrent sectors. Automation and optics from space vehicles for example, aerodynamics and engines from aerospace industry, weapons from choppers or something. It is not like you are developing a new energy beam weapon that takes 20 years. + you have the option for foreig assistance, consultations and there is also the industry espionage.
    And lets not forget Russians already had UAV in their service in Commie times: Tu-123, Tu-141, Tu-143. So its not like they don't have no UAV experience.

    Kh-101/2 missiles with a range of 5,000km and a conventional warhead would be incredibly hard to defend against, but even more so for a country like Somalia or Yemen... or dare I say it Pakistan?
    For coastal targets then a 300km range Brahmos would be pretty hard to stop for a modern military power... what would Britain do in the 2-3 minutes warning it got of such an attack?
    Most countries would be in even worse positions
    Russian navy does not have enough subs patrolling at the same time arround the world, so that they would be able to effectivelly react to any foreign threat within 48 hours.
    To position the sub off the coast and fire the missile.... it often requires more than 48 hours. In this manner airforce is much more responsive.

    And yet it has been used successfully in naval deployments in the Atlantic in exercises where it acted as AEW for the Kuznetsov for extended periods with inflight refuelling. Perhaps they use zombies that don't require sleep.
    First of all: From medical point of view human brain can function with minimal state of attention, thinking and consicusness more than 24 hours, however that does not mean the human that is doing it feels comfortbly and he is able to perform his task on 100%. And if they refuelled i hardly believe they were aloft for more than 24 hours. Because first of all 4000 km is like A-50 maximum range and from Carrier there is not much options to refuel, provided they were not refuelled by any NATO country.
    Russians have for Su-33 low capacity refueling pod, they don't have dedicated tanker.
    But overall i know what you mean. Westerners tend to make "fun" of eastern technology while many times over and over it is better. When i was kid i had a chance to fly onboard a civilian Il-76 and from the memories i got im aligned with the opinion of this journalist that sleeping in such noise enviroment was uncomfortable and often impossible.
    They have never developed JSTARS aircraft of their own and certainly never one that is optimised for the needs of the Russian AF.

    How will the French react to a request for a JSTARS that can detect and track NATO aircraft like Rafale and Typhoon and F-35s let alone F-22?

    These sort of aircraft are not bought from rivals or former enemies.
    French are developing several MALE and HALE UAV platforms now.
    + Whole europe was (is) developing JSTARS aircraft of AGS.
    You know people tend to think that foreign military sales to Russia are a fantasy, and then the Mistral deal really guided them out from their fantasy into reality.


    A real third world war is not something the US should be lusting after. During WWI the world was huge, by WWII the airplane had made the world much smaller. For WWIII cruise missiles strategic ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads have made the world tiny...the US might fantasise about war... Red Dawn and all that rubbish, but any country that has actually been through real war will tell you it is no movie or computer game.
    In WWIII everyone loses.
    Eeee not everyone. Those t hat will be in DUMB - deep underground military bases would be safe. Remember Hitler? Hitler also took huge loans to put Germany on its feet, and then when the time came to pay back the loans, he started world war 2. You know what? Im really wondering how america might be still considered a world class economy with such stronomical debt? And regarding the Shuttle history... yes you are totally right. Americans tend to make things very expensive. Now Global HAWK UAV is like 40 mill dollars. You can imagine how cheap the Russian counterpart will be.

    GarryB
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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:11 am

    Garry check out the SAAB Erieye AWACS. With its tiny antena compared to E-3 it has a range of about 400km.

    Is it really that tiny?



    In a rotating dish shape I really don't think it is actually smaller than the radar used in the the E-3.

    Radar antenna size is dictated by its frequency and longer frequencies require larger antennas... case in point the antenna fitted to the Su-35 and Pak FA for L band detection that were too big to fit in the nose and had to be fitted in the wing leading edge. Miniaturisation of the electronics is one thing but the actual antenna size is still very important.

    Because the sensor is not enough, you need underlying electronics for detection calculations and this is getting smaller and at the same time better in performance.

    The underlying electronics are not part of the radar antenna normally, they are in the big boxes behind the antenna usually on a fighter.

    Navy surveilance satelites does not have such huge sensors although many times over they operate and detect ships from orbit that is higher than 400km above surface.

    The nuclear powered Soviet RORSAT satellites had antenna 11 metres long.

    You have many examples where small sensors are used for long range detections.

    For passive detection a general direction is sufficient.

    If, however in the role of JSTARS you need to plot the location of the emissions however you need a large antenna.

    Lets not forget up to date fighter radars. Although the ground clutter is significantly reducing the capability of detecting ground targets over long distances, but you cannot compensate that with the sensor size, rather than the computing subsystems running that much more algorithms on resulting signal to determine if it is a valid ground target or just earth surface.

    In the past they have used doppler shift. When a radio beam hits a target the beam itself is squished or stretched if that target is moving toward the emitter or away. This leads to the return wave being slightly deformed which is easy to detect.

    For look down radar it is very simple to only display objects that are moving towards or away from the radar.
    Note that is why the beaming method is so popular for evading enemy radar detection... in one of the "Defeating or avoiding AMRAAM" threads on this forum the suggestion that you turn and fly so that the incoming missile is at 90 degrees to your flight path... the missile will not detect you because there is no doppler shift in your return signal because you are not getting closer or further away from the antenna in relation to the things around you.

    The other method to evade is to do a tail slide at low level... when looking down at the ground the entire signal you send is returned in a big mess so if you write off everything that is not moving like roads and houses and you put a speed limit of say 120km/h so you don't see cars on the motorway then all that is left is enemy aircraft.

    Obviously a plane in a tail slide would also disappear from the radar screen as it is too slow and is removed from the screen as noise.

    Another method is to use a computer to process the radar return and each scan there will be things that move and things that don't move.

    With serious computer processing power you can eliminate small things that don't move but display significant radar returns that might be of interest... ie large metal vehicles that might be tanks or tractors.

    Even more modern systems like the MMW radar system for modern attack helos use very high frequencies that can actually determine shape and use a database with known shapes stored so that when a target is detected it can be compared with a library of shapes to determine if the target is known and if it is what it is.

    IIR AAMs will have the same capability so when a target that looks like an F-4 is detected the missile will know it is after an F-4... it has a wide angle seeker however so if it spots an F-35 it might see that as a higher priority target and attack that instead.

    The "tiny" SAR on the Global HAWK have a coverage of 200 km with the same GMTI (groundm oving target indicator) capability like JSTARS! And this is early 2000 technology! Thats couple of years back!

    Again... not Russian, so not relevant.

    Yes but the marketing point of Silent eagle is stealth. It is presented as a plane with significantly reduced RCS, which is simply not true. they made slight adjustments to the weapons carriage basically and thats all. Engine inlets are still the way there are... detectable from very long distance.

    Stealth is only important if the enemy has working radars. The first targets of the war will be likely an attempt to kill the enemy leader plus the beginning of taking down the air defence network. This means communications hubs and major civilian and military radar sites. Once most of those are hit in the first 2-3 days then stealth is no longer important and LO and non stealthy aircraft can be used.

    War is not a game, you don't get points by playing fair. Mig-25 achieved its goal through speed, F-15 failed to intercept it. Mig was not made to fight dogfight.
    F-15 was specifically made to counter the Mig-25 threat and it failed to do so.

    The F-15 was designed to defeat what the US thought the Mig-25 was. The F-15 was designed as an air superiority fighter and when the Mig-25 runs away (perfectly understandable as an interceptor like the Mig-25 is not designed to dogfight with anything) the F-15 gains control of the air.


    The AEGIS system and S-300 and S-400 systems while being relatively new, have been in development for quite some time and used up to date electronic components of the timeframe they have been in development.

    S-300 was in service in the 1970s.


    Such systems are not born from one day to another. They are developed for years, and they use components that by now technologically 10 years old or even more. So you stated inadequate examples.

    You were talking about the old radars used to detect Russian bombers flying over the north pole... I was pointing out that ESA radars they use now are different from the older dish radars they used before.

    The bigger the dish the better the accuracy. For ESA the more elements in the array the better the signal and range and performance. AESA is better than PESA, but PESA retains many of the advantages of AESA without the costs and some of the problems of miniaturisation.

    The reality is that PESA is very mature technology in Russia while AESA is new.

    If AESA technology was as advanced in Russia as PESA technology is now their might be a case, but there isn't.

    My point is that the old dish radars didn't need to be that big because of the backwards state of electronics. The dish itself could be made any size, but they made them big because the bigger they were the more precise their angular accuracy is.

    If you think of a dish radar as a normal torch.

    The light itself is a bulb sitting in front of a curved dish of mirror like reflective material.

    The light coming directly from the bulb shines over a wide area and as such it is a relatively dim light.

    The light from the bulb that goes back and reflects off the shiny material is focused into a narrow beam which is concentrated and bright out to much greater distances than the light from the bare bulb.

    A radar is just like this except the bulb is designed so that you can't see the bulb itself from the front you can only see its reflection in the dish.

    This greatly reduces the weak direct signal so only the strong beam can be seen.

    This is very important for a radar because it is the reflection of the strong beam that is important and the bulb does double duty as both sending and scanning for the beam.

    The larger the dish the more precise the measure of the returning signal. The shape of the dish is known so the angle of return and the time it has taken for the signal to go out and travel back can give the location in 3 dimensions.

    The smaller the dish the more precise the angular measurement or the less airspace it can cover at a time.

    When dealing with signals travelling to 600km or more the scan rate is limited by the need for the signal to have time to go out and come back.

    The added problem is that distance reduces the signal strength by several orders of magnitude. Doubling the distance does not halve the signal strength.

    If aperture was not important then why waste signal processing time trying to simulate aperture with SAR techniques?

    Why make Fighters with such big nose mounted radars?
    Smaller noses would be much more aerodynamic...

    You might have a piece of big metal / dish and it won't detect "anything". While you can have small diameter AESA radar and it will see airplanes 450km away.

    An unicorns might exist in rainbow land, but dish radars were working perfectly long before any AESA radar became available.
    A big dish is more likely to detect a target at long range than a smaller dish given all the same electronics and technology behind it.
    For AESA as technology moves on the individual elements are getting smaller, but rather than making the antenna smaller because of it they are staying the same size but are getting more elements fitted, because the more elements the better the coverage and range etc.

    Size doesn't matter so much, and power is becomming less important as well.

    Size and power determine max range.

    How do you make the AESA radar in the F-22 more powerful?

    You put it in the nose of the larger F-15 and add more of the same elements.

    The technology is the same, the elements are the same size and design, it is just that the array has more elements in it which improves range and performance.

    In twenty or thirty years time there might be new technology to make AESA elements the size of a human hair, in which case they could put an AESA the power of the current model F-22 in the palm of your hand... but they wont... they will build them as big as they do now to enable them to track the stealth aircraft of the time with RCS of 0.000000000000000000001 sqm RCS.

    And again here is the question: HALE platform is being developed. If there are proper design specs requirements for the platform, then... the task to make a JSTARS version of it would be minimal effort compared to make a JSTARS version out of a aircraft like Tu-214.

    Hang on, you already said the Zond UAVs can perform AWACs missions, yet it is known that the A-50 has been upgraded to A-50M standard and that its replacement called A-100 will be built on the Il-476 aircraft design.

    If they are not putting something as simple as AWACs (ie Ka-31 AEW) in a UAV then why would they put JSTARS like electronics in a HALE?

    Also your argument is flawed. It is easier and cheaper to put lots of electronics and antennas into a large aircraft than it is to put it in a small UAV.

    Simply because you need to mak the airplane that much more safer because you have crew onboard, AND you need to equip devices that will interface the crew with the system.

    The UAV version of JSTARS will never be cheap and the extra fail safes it will need will not be any cheaper than that fitted to a civilian airliner.
    Interface devices and displays will be the cheapest part of the aircraft.

    Such devices consume lot of power, space and weight.

    The weight of electronics and communications systems that will be needed will certainly consume a lot of space, power, and weight. The Tu-214 has plenty of space, power, and weight capacity. A HALE does not unless you are prepared to give up a lot of fuel space which will cost you the LE, and the extra weight will also make HA a bit of a stretch as well because high altitude requires a good power to weight ratio, and long endurance means minimal engine power and lots of fuel.

    And to have working system? Are you suggesting that they will have problems with this? I have several times mentioned the reliability of automation of their space technology which is used on aircrafts as well.

    Any new system they have not operated before will have problems to be solved. I have no doubt at all they have the capacity to solve them, but they will need time to solve them like anyone else trying something new and having no one to ask who already has experience. The problem of making a Tu-214 or other similar aircraft into a JSTARS is simpler and easier than the problem of making a reliable HALE into a JSTARS.

    Very simply they have made reliable airliners in the past. They have never make a HALE UAV.

    They made Buran autonomous. Please don't forget that.
    Buran is several times bigger and heavier than any HALE UAV.

    Bigger and heavier actually makes it easier to put in stuff like automatic control.

    From technological point of view he was an Unnmanned Vehicle during his mission controlled remotely.
    So if you are suggesting that they are venturing into something they don't know, i would suggest otherwise.

    If the US had developed Buran they would have saved themselves billions of dollars, because it is a better, cheaper, much more flexible design.

    They could have used the Saturn 5 rocket instead of Energyia and by now their shuttles would still be going strong.

    Building space stations would be easy and cheap because you can launch them in 100 ton chunks simply by putting the parts on the back of the Saturn 5s instead of the shuttles with small manouvering rockets to get them into place.

    For the Soviets however who already had a space station and didn't really need a space shuttle... which just turned out to be a space station for a week or two and then return, Buran was an enormous waste of money and effort.

    They built it because they thought the Space shuttle had a military role as a super bomber that couldn't be intercepted.

    That was the cold war where risks had to be taken to avoid being vulnerable to potential new technologies.

    Are you suggesting those civilian airliners don't have to be fuel efficient? Whan you are an airlines company, of the decisive factors in buying new aircraft is fuel efficiency.

    Are you suggesting that only the most fuel efficient airliners in each class size are bought and the rest die a slow death?
    Are French airlines buying American aircraft that are more fuel efficient than Airbus aircraft?
    Are American airlines buying Airbus aircraft that are more fuel efficient than US aircraft?

    Are you trying to say that if the Tupolev company make a new plane that is 5% more fuel efficient than any other similar sized aircraft available that every airline in the world will buy it?

    It is important in the lifetime costs of operating an aircraft, but the cost of spare parts and maintainence, as well as bulk purchase deals come in to it too.
    Politics will always play a part as well... there are plenty of airlines that will simply not consider anything other than an Airbus or Boeing.

    So you need to have an engine which will produce as much power as possible, while consuming fuel as low as possible and weighting as low as possible. And there is such technology today. Even to the point that the same engines could be reused for HALE UAVs, and so will have the power generating capacity and fuel efficiency at the same time.

    It is a problem of scale. A large aircraft needs lots of power to take off and climb, but when cruising at operational altitude it is using very low power settings on its engines for long range cruise. A UAV will need rather less power to do the same thing and will have less takeoff power to run electronics etc.

    You said it before... Russia needs a working system. If such system will be for example 5 tonsh eavier than Global Hawk. Be it so.... nobody would care so much as long as it will work. Oh and if such system will be equiped with domestic electronics and components, it will certainly be cheaper than Global Hawk. Because of the work price.

    The state of Russian electronics is not good.

    It is easier to fit all the needed electronics and equipment into a shipping crate than a shoebox. Making a UAV JSTARs will create all the problems of making a JSTARS, but add the problem of making a HALE at the same time plus the added problems involved in making the HALE into a JSTARS.

    Making a normal JSTARS and getting experience at using it will lead to experience which might result in a few core sensors and systems revealing themselves as being the most useful. These core sensors and systems could be put into a HALE and used but I think trying to put everything into a HALE is a huge risk and I doubt the Russian military will go for it.

    The smallest I think they will go is an ELINT version of the Su-34 as a sort of armed JSTARS.

    More electronics components that are substantially increasing the potential of the platform and its reliability? Then yes that would make the aircraft more expensive, but at the same time much more capable than its manned version.

    It doesn't matter how much electronics you can pack into a HALE, you can always get more in an airliner. BTW more components mean exponentially more component interactions which means less reliability... not more. Unless all the new components duplicate the results of the existing components which is expensive redundancy.

    Do you know why this is not a valid defensive feature and why there is not much talk about it? Simple... do you know something that is called farraday cage? It is a steel case that will protect anything thats inside from outer radioelectromagnetic radiation. And this is a 100% protection of electronics against such types of EMPs.

    Except that 100 protection from EMP also means electronic isolation from the outside world.
    A copper lined cage will protect you from the government sending radio transmissions to the electronic chip they put in your brain, but when your job is to detect and analyse electronic emissions that farrady cage is just going to be a pain in the ass...

    Ironically plasma stealth could be useful here.

    If you build and outer shell around the cabin area of your aircraft and fill the gap between with a few exotic gases then when the enemy tries the EMP you could run an enormous current through the exotic gases which will ionise them.
    This will absorb incoming radio waves and EMP pulses and protect the electronics inside.

    Just like a reentering spacecraft loses radio contact with the earth as the heated air ionises and absorbs incoming and outgoing radio signals... the difference is that instead of using enormous heat and friction to ionise the gas, the Russian technique is high voltage electricity... like those plasma balls you can get that look like lightning in a glass ball.

    And they are developing a system which would dissipate heat from energy weapons more efficiently. So if JSTARS is attacked with such small AAM with this protection, then they are in serious trouble.

    My point was that the threat from an F-22 for example is not the F-22 itself, but rather the weapons the F-22 can carry.

    That means AMRAAM, AIM-9X, and cannon armament.

    AMRAAM has a small radar seeker that can be overwhelmed by the AESA antenna array the JSTARS will be carrying to look for targets 600km+ distant.
    AIM-9X is an IIR seeking missile so DIRCMs should deal with that threat.
    Cannon armament requires the F-22 to get within 1km, which offers the chance for the JSTARS to fry its electronics with raw power from its AESA, but it also becomes vulnerable to any fighter escort the JSTARs might have.

    JSTARs is no super plane but in a long range strike mission to take it down an F-22 might find itself in a trap rather than an easy kill because its only reliable weapon for this job would be its gun.

    True but don't forget they might employ ultra long range missiles with passive seeker head.
    Meaning the parrental fighter plane will be out of danger zone.
    While the JSTARS plane will be for huge troubles...

    JSTARS is not an AWACS aircraft... 99% of the time it will be listening and not emitting any radiation at all.

    The incoming missile would have to be active homing and towed or disposable jammers would probably do the best job in defeating such a threat.

    It will have a huge ir signature, it will have huge RCS, it would be possible to track it through sigint on its comms.
    It won't be that much of problem to determine its position, and once thats done - you are in a very dangerous situation.

    It wouldn't have an excessive IR signature... and its RCS only matters if you are scanning and if you are scanning it will do its job and plot your position and pass it up the chain to HQ.

    In fact in many ways it will look like a civilian airliner regarding RCS and IR signature.

    Oh and please don't forget directed energy weapons development.
    In future a surface to air laser could be used, or even its airborne variant.

    Being developed by both sides... the difference is that the US system is for ABM defence, while the Russians are developing their system for anti EO use.

    So to sum it up, the JSTARS plane will be protected, but that does not mean it will be impossible to shoot it down.

    I never said it was impossible to shoot down. If used properly it should not be shot down often if at all.

    Now this is a complet baseless statement. None of us could predict what future holds, but designing an aircraft with "ah well be fighting only weak enemies, so don't take it too seriusly" approach will be a very serious error.

    I would say that it is pretty clear that the Russians have no global empire to maintain, and no ideology to spread, it has a few border issues but I feel confident that the west has already intervened in more places than Russia is likely to in the next 20 years since the end of the cold war.

    They simply don't want or need more land.

    Continuing to prepare for WWIII against the West is pointless because that is what the strategic nukes are for. Preparing smaller, lighter, more mobile forces with a range of capabilities from polar to mountain fighting as well as heavy forces for serious stuff is sufficient.

    They don't need to continue the miracle of parity with the US on 1/10th the budget.

    All these things are speaking for the HALE UAV JSTARS platform.

    The smaller lighter better managed net centric doctrine requires data collection platforms... it doesn't dictate whether the JSTARS is airliner or UAV based, manned or unmanned.

    Plainly the Russian Military Industrial Complex is not ready to provide UAV sized JSTARS platforms, but it could easily provide JSTARS in a larger manned platform.

    The important thing is that within the time frame of developing an putting into active service a JSTARs aircraft there is unlikely to be a breakthrough in UAV technology that allows it to mature to the level where it can replace AWACS let alone JSTARS.

    A manned JSTARS will get into service first and cheapest soonest... maybe in 2025 they will have HALE based JSTARS, but they have a whole military to reequip with new stuff and while JSTARS is a high priority (ie recon platforms) unmanned JSTARS is not going to offer cost saving benefits for now or for a decade to come.

    When the technology is mature in RUSSIA (it doesn't matter if the US is ready or not) then they can take that step.

    The reality is that the more you look at where other people are on the stairs and start skipping steps to catch up the more likely you are to fall on your a$$ and all of a sudden with a broken leg that step is suddenly much bigger than it ever was.

    Now now... first of all quite back you were pointing how the Russians can make such a leap towards nonexistent HALE UAV platforms, and now you are suggesting that they would easily construct a trully nonexistent airship operating so high? Dude this would be a even bigger challenge than to develop a manned jstars, let alone its UAV HALE version.

    Actually it wouldn't. All the technologies are pretty mature and ready and they have been talking about such things for rather a long time.

    They have already sold tethered relay and monitoring airships to China.

    An airship offers enormous volumes of free space and with solar cells and onboard fuel cell technology they could remain on duty for months.

    You could even put a small landing strip on the top of them to land UAVs carrying support payloads of parts of food and water etc.

    SM-3 being one example. Stationary airship in 35km would be a "cannon fodder" for such system.

    First off in a conflict with the US JSTARS will be of secondary usefulness as most of the real talking will be done with ICBMs.

    Second the only missiles that could threaten it an aircraft at 35km up would be SM-3 and THAAD... both of which have hit to kill warheads of little effective use against an enormous airship filled with a mix of helium and hydrogen.

    Their only chance of really destroying the airship at that altitude would be to start a fire, and there is not enough oxygen at that altitude to sustain a fire.

    The hit to kill warheads will streak through the envelope at massive speeds and punch a small hole in one side and out the other.

    It won't puncture enough internal air bags to reduce lift to the level where a crash is certain.

    And there were ofcourse plane launched ASAT missiles as well. Lets not forget airborne laser. Too many threats that would make its mission a suicidal one.

    JSTARs is a stand off recon aircraft... there is nothing that can shoot it down that could not itself be shot down first.

    You will shoot, or you'll get shot down. Do you think in a war scenario manned jstars won't be shot down?

    Except for a WWIII scenario no they wont... and they haven't.

    In a conflict against China or NATO or the US they are as vulnerable as any other platform... which is to say not very because they don't operate in a vacuum... they will see an attack coming and will have a part to play in their own defence.

    If there will be high chance of ambushing enemy fighters during escort of enemy jstars on a friendly airport, they will mercilessly shoot down the manned jstars with ease because it is a enemy military asset and they won't make too much of differrence if it is manned or not.

    Don't really follow you here, but if you are trying to say that JSTARS is a high value target worth losing fighters to take out, I would agree with that.

    But unless you don't have AWACS air air defence of your own it is also a target worth protecting and will not fly in enemy airspace or even very close to it.

    Enemy fighters will have to get through lots of layers of defence to get to it, and if they try it is a plane and can be repositioned further back during an attempt to take it out meaning even more layers needed to be penetrated to get it.

    If they actually manage to shoot one down... well obviously make more than one.

    The differrence is: UAV costs are several tens of millions at max, manned jstars is several hundred millions of dollars + the crew lives = priceless.
    Again something UAV is clearly a better option.

    If it has the same capability and was a reliable platform I would agree, though the lives of a crew are unfortunately priceless.
    The value of the information they can provide with the info they collect will save rather more lives than can be fitted on a single aircraft of any type.

    Again what makes you think so?
    This is actually quite similar to what you discussed in T-95 about non-existent new Russian penetrators.
    You have new autoloaders, new main tank weapon. It would be naive to think they have not developed new penetrators right?
    You believe so. You have new airforce requirements, there are several proofs that Russian companies have made extensive HALE UAV studies... what makes you think so these projects are non-existent? I see a little bit of inconsistency in your thinking compared to the T-95 topic. The main driving force behind this is a strong need for HALE UAV platform.

    The difference is that they have talked openly for the last decade about the new T-95 with is larger calibre gun.
    You don't design a gun and then design ammo.
    You decide what the gun needs to do (penetration and range) and then you work out if the current gun can be made to meet those performance criteria.
    If it can't then you start to work out what increase in calibre will give you the figures you want with a growth potential and then you do the calculations to make sure it will do what you expect.
    You then make a few guns and a few hundred rounds of ammo to proof test it all.
    Once you have tested it and it meets the requirements then you start looking at how it will fit in your tank (both the gun and the ammo) and start preparing for its mass production.
    We know the Russians want HALEs, but a HALE is not a JSTARS, and a JSTARS is not a HALE.
    We have seen a model of a ZOND with AEW capabilities, but again that is not JSTARS either.

    If they have publicly said their are developing a heavy UAV with a SLAR and ELINT equipment INSTEAD of developing a manned aircraft to perform the same role then you might have something, but AFAIK they are working on JSTARS aircraft AND they are working on HALE UAVs but such work is not being combined.
    Nor is it logical that they would be, simply because the job of JSTARS is enormous and complex and difficult enough without also having to cram it into a shoebox.

    What does it mean to you tiny? Like Global Hawk? Again... i never said it needs to have similar specs to global hawk.

    If it is too big then all the advantages of unmanned go out the window.

    Now what makes you thinks so? Because the Su-34 as a platform already exists and it is used in the airforce? As i said.... Russia needs the HALE UAV platform minly for other missions than JSTARS, so they will develop it anyway. And if you want to make such JSTARS system, then it would be on a HALE UAV platform which will be significantly less expensive than the basic Su-34 45 mill dollar platform, and you would like to have 2 guys safe on ground rather than having 2 guys risking their lifes being onboard.

    The company developing the net centric system is working on the Su-34 to make it compatible.

    In this video (look at about the 3 minute mark) you can see a Tu-214 like aircraft in the video demos of how Su-34 will use Sat guided bombs... with a Tu-214 like aircraft providing the information... the same way a JSTARS aircraft would.



    Mistakenly thought they would put JSTARS equipment because of your talk about making it small enough to fit in a UAV from this:

    http://www.russiadefence.net/t16-vvs-air-force-videos

    Note Andys post at the bottom?

    Garry i think you misunderstood the entire UAV industry. When developing a UAV you are NOT developing fundamentally new technology. You are just combining technology from differrent sectors. Automation and optics from space vehicles for example, aerodynamics and engines from aerospace industry, weapons from choppers or something.

    If only it was that easy. It is a whole new world of datalinks and people who couldn't fly a paper dart let alone a sophisticated aircraft controlling a aircraft worth lots of money. It is separating the user from the product in such a way that the product does the job and the user can't stuff it up. Yet any user with minimal training needs to be able to use it.
    That is hard enough on a computer game let alone a UAV.

    And lets not forget Russians already had UAV in their service in Commie times: Tu-123, Tu-141, Tu-143. So its not like they don't have no UAV experience.

    I appreciate their history, but we are not talking about stuff reserved for experts in recon, we are talking about JSTARS, an ELINT type they have limited experience in in terms of putting it all into one aircraft and using.

    Their recon aircraft are no longer up to date (Su-24 and Tu-22M3 shot down over Georgia) and need upgrades, though reportedly a preproduction Su-34 was used in a JSTARS/Jammer like role using its improved radar and defence equipment, but not weapons apparently.

    Russian navy does not have enough subs patrolling at the same time arround the world, so that they would be able to effectivelly react to any foreign threat within 48 hours.
    To position the sub off the coast and fire the missile.... it often requires more than 48 hours. In this manner airforce is much more responsive.

    Except that it isn't. When has the Russian AF shown an ability to hit targets in Africa or south America within 48 hours?

    When problems come up an SSN could be sent anywhere in the world within a week and after that stay on station for a couple of weeks to be relieved by another SSN.

    Persistence can be as important as quick response.

    And if they refuelled i hardly believe they were aloft for more than 24 hours. Because first of all 4000 km is like A-50 maximum range and from Carrier there is not much options to refuel, provided they were not refuelled by any NATO country.

    A tanker can fly out with them... refuel them and return home. They can get another top up a few hours later by another tanker that makes the trip.

    They don't have an enormous tanker fleet but they can support one AWACS aircraft 4000km from Russia.

    When i was kid i had a chance to fly onboard a civilian Il-76 and from the memories i got im aligned with the opinion of this journalist that sleeping in such noise enviroment was uncomfortable and often impossible.

    You flew on a cargo transport?

    You do realise the only difference between an airliner and a cargo plane is that they don't bother with sound proofing liners on cargo planes?

    It is not like cargo planes have super noisy engines or anything.

    An AWACS aircraft would also have sound proof lining too.

    BTW in cruise flight the 14 ton thrust engines of the Il-76 operate at about 2 tons thrust level to maintain speed and altitude... I guess at takeoff when using all four engines at full power totalling 56 tons thrust must kill the crew members compared to the 8 tons thrust the four engines are operating at at normal cruising speed.

    It is even worse with the PS-90M engines they are going to use in the Il-476 because its engines produce 16 tons of thrust each... which will likely rip the plane apart.

    84 tons of thrust on takeoff!

    French are developing several MALE and HALE UAV platforms now.

    HALE and MALE are not JSTARS.

    You know people tend to think that foreign military sales to Russia are a fantasy, and then the Mistral deal really guided them out from their fantasy into reality.

    The US will not help Russia with JSTARS no matter how much money is on offer.

    The rest of NATO is in the same boat as Russia with regards developing JSTARS... except the fact they have used US JSTARS aircraft in combat.

    Now Global HAWK UAV is like 40 mill dollars. You can imagine how cheap the Russian counterpart will be.

    A Russian Global HAWK UAV will likely be 20 million, but GH is not JSTARS.

    Eeee not everyone. Those t hat will be in DUMB - deep underground military bases would be safe.

    Yes... everyone loses. Remaining in a deep underground facility for years till the radiation levels dropped will mean life after the war will never be the same as it was before. Even in the unlikely even everyone you know was in there with you and there was plenty of food and water for your stay underground when it is safe to go back to the surface things will be rather different and certainly harder.
    What if you didn't hit them as hard as they hit you and just as you are ready to come out they fire another volley of weapons at you... or they aimed their missiles to hit along geologic fault lines and caused damage that trapped you in your little hole forever...

    Flanky
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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Flanky on Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:49 am

    Hi Garry

    Sorry i didn't had much time recently to reply to you.
    But now im ok.

    So:


    In a rotating dish shape I really don't think it is actually smaller than the radar used in the the E-3.

    Radar antenna size is dictated by its frequency and longer frequencies require larger antennas... case in point the antenna fitted to the Su-35 and Pak FA for L band detection that were too big to fit in the nose and had to be fitted in the wing leading edge. Miniaturisation of the electronics is one thing but the actual antenna size is still very important.
    Well if the Swedish one isn't even optically smaller to you than the E-3 radome, then i really don't know what to say... ofcourse it is way smaller.
    Look at it from the perspective of volume.
    Now its not true that for higher frequencies you need large antenaes. Your Notebook wifi is operating at 2,5 Ghz and it is a tinny antenae. What is important here is amplitude. In other words how high the "sinusoid" is reaching, if you imagine the graph. Using old technology the higher the amplitude the higher you were able to reach excluding special cases. Today however you are able to reach even further than that using mixed signals with smaller amplitudes. And the detection of objects is made on the computational part of the system using digital signal processors that run the calculations on the echoed signal. This is why i am expressing over and over the fact that physical size of the sensor doesn't matter that much anymore. And that you CAN have with mdern technology smaller antenaes compared to the older technology that required the use of larger radomes.


    In the past they have used doppler shift. When a radio beam hits a target the beam itself is squished or stretched if that target is moving toward the emitter or away. This leads to the return wave being slightly deformed which is easy to detect.
    This was not so easy to detect as the detection was heavily dependent on the computational potential of the sensor logic. And old processors used for the tiny differences on the return signal did not have enough bits of accurancy and the D/A A/D converters were also not accurate enough to make anough signal samples during a single second so that the calculations will be made fast enough. However with introduction of modern RISC processing and DSP this was changed.


    The underlying electronics are not part of the radar antenna normally, they are in the big boxes behind the antenna usually on a fighter.
    They are part of the entire radar system.



    The nuclear powered Soviet RORSAT satellites had antenna 11 metres long.
    That was a very old 1970s technology used aboard the spacecraft. Toay it won't need to be so big.



    Note that is why the beaming method is so popular for evading enemy radar detection... in one of the "Defeating or avoiding AMRAAM" threads on this forum the suggestion that you turn and fly so that the incoming missile is at 90 degrees to your flight path... the missile will not detect you because there is no doppler shift in your return signal because you are not getting closer or further away from the antenna in relation to the things around you.
    This would be true only in case that there is something on your background that will reflect the amraam radar signal. Like earth in a situation the missile would be launched on you in a "dive". But such situations are very rare and in a common BVR fight you don't have any radar reflective background behind your plane so what the amraam seeker sees as a contact is allways your plane. However there are other active and passive measures how to spin off such threat. ECM in conjunction with maneuvering usually works because the missile will switch to "home on jam" and thus will have only bearing information, no range info. Another possible defense is launch of your own short range ir guided missile. Current electro optical inrared systes used on planes are sensitive enough to detect high speed 0 angle incomming missiles and guide an attack on them... however this opportunity would usually lie within a 2-3 seconds time window which is very risky, because in case of failure it does not give pilot a second chance to react.



    Again... not Russian, so not relevant.
    If it is not a Russian one it is not relevant? Garry first you were talking that SAR with GMTI calpability onboard a HALE UAV is impossible and here you have Global Hawk.
    Yes it is american, so what? Does that mean that Russians won't be able to do that? C'mon... they did far more superb things than that...



    Stealth is only important if the enemy has working radars. The first targets of the war will be likely an attempt to kill the enemy leader plus the beginning of taking down the air defence network. This means communications hubs and major civilian and military radar sites. Once most of those are hit in the first 2-3 days then stealth is no longer important and LO and non stealthy aircraft can be used.
    True however if somebody would use Silent Eagle as a stealth plane to use this tactic to get rid of an opponent, then he is for one heck of a suprise... figuring out how unstealthy thosep lanes will be.


    The F-15 was designed to defeat what the US thought the Mig-25 was. The F-15 was designed as an air superiority fighter and when the Mig-25 runs away (perfectly understandable as an interceptor like the Mig-25 is not designed to dogfight with anything) the F-15 gains control of the air.
    You don't call that a control of the air when you are unable to defend your own space assets from the attack of the enemy. You call that survival...



    S-300 was in service in the 1970s.
    It still is in the service. Countless modernized versions were developed. And recently another version was adopted for the military in Russia.



    The reality is that PESA is very mature technology in Russia while AESA is new.
    Oh and here is where you are significantly wrong... Russians had known the "know how" behind the AESA long time ago...
    Im not saying they were the first to develop them, but they certainly do know about it a lot.
    Actually the differrence between PESA and AESA is not that big as the beam direction control is already handled by PESA.
    Some Russian PESA radars had features of AESA radars long time ago. Like BARS and IRBIS radars. Both have been multichannel and paralel multimode.
    And from this its not far to a AESA technology. So if i were you, i would not indicate Russians to be newbies in the AESA field.
    They do have systems for Airplanes, Ground and Warships. Not many, but they have. And as Russians are moving towards modern industrialized economy, the mass production of the tranceiver/receiver AESA elements is becomming less and less of a problem.


    Why make Fighters with such big nose mounted radars?
    Smaller noses would be much more aerodynamic...
    In modern fighters, you have the radar in front right? Right after the radar is cabine. We have today some crew standards that dictates the size of the cabine for a single pilot. So having a small nose would be ridiculous as right after the nose there will have to be the relatively big cockpit. And this is why they are not reducing the nose size, rather than putting a radar with equal size but significantly better performance compared to the older one with the same size.
    With aesa technology today you don't need to send megawats of radio power out to detect a target 400 km away. You dissipate couple of kilowatss across entire frequency spectrum and then analyze a returned echo. All using a smaller antenae alltogather with smaller energy output. Alltogether preventing a positive RWR identification of radar source. This is the main advantage of AESA radars. To not to use icredibly big amount of energy to detect the target far away, rather than to use smaller amound of energy acros wide frequency spectrum to detect that target far away, and this enables to use also smaller antenas. At the end you need more processing power to analyze the returned echo across the whole spectrum.



    For AESA as technology moves on the individual elements are getting smaller, but rather than making the antenna smaller because of it they are staying the same size but are getting more elements fitted, because the more elements the better the coverage and range etc.
    Finally you understand this. So in the end if you would like with AESA technology to maintain the same performance than the older radars you would end up with a smaller sensor size right? This is the stuff i was telling you all the time... the technology have progressed ahead that today you don't need so big radars. And you were allways telling me otherwise. Sometimes i feel that you contradict yourself Smile



    The technology is the same, the elements are the same size and design, it is just that the array has more elements in it which improves range and performance.
    Elements are the same size? Nonono i strongly object... they are certainly not! This is where you are making another mistake. Most of the SMT components will remain the same size but some operation amplyfiers, optoisolators, comparators, D/A - A/D converters would have been made in smaller packages resulting in reduction of the element size, and thus allowing for a sensor with the same size but with higher element density - in turn allowing for a better coverage.
    If you increase the emount of elements, or exchange the elements for ones with better performance (accuracy), you will have input of the processor so high he will not be able to process the input in real time fast enough, and in case he will be aiming through datalink a missile, the result might be that the missile can be provided data of a target that were "valid" 5 seconds ago. In a scenario where this missile would be intercepting another missile like cruise missile or ICBM, this would have catastrophic results. The missile will miss its target... if you remember in Israel Patriot systems were having these problems intercepting Scud. It turned out that the guiding softare was processing one decimal number less than he should. Results were highly lethal :/ So the underlying point here is, you might have a better performance in a smaller sensor if it is supported by adequately powerfull processing capability, without this even a bigger sensor won't do its job.




    Hang on, you already said the Zond UAVs can perform AWACs missions, yet it is known that the A-50 has been upgraded to A-50M standard and that its replacement called A-100 will be built on the Il-476 aircraft design.

    If they are not putting something as simple as AWACs (ie Ka-31 AEW) in a UAV then why would they put JSTARS like electronics in a HALE?

    Also your argument is flawed. It is easier and cheaper to put lots of electronics and antennas into a large aircraft than it is to put it in a small UAV.
    I have described my opinion that today we have technology present that it would be feasible to build a AWACS UAV for a reasonable price. JSC SUKHOI study is there to prove my opinion. The fact that A-50 will be upgraded yet again does not rule out this study and possibility to build an AWACS UAV, let alone a JSTARS UAV because the A-50 does not have JSTARS capability. And when designing electronics for the UAV today the EDA software is so advanced that you are abl to design the components fairly quickly, run simulation for test-cases, design the PCB layout automatically having high parts density. And UAV aircraft will certainly need way less safety systems than a manned one. Safety systems are what makes the price differrence so huge. When you design am anned aircraft you put in safety systems that are meant to save the lives of the crew, and they are allways made with a mindset that human life is invaluable. So such systems tend to be very expensive because you exchange the price with life... You would not need to have concerns like that designing UAV.


    The weight of electronics and communications systems that will be needed will certainly consume a lot of space, power, and weight. The Tu-214 has plenty of space, power, and weight capacity. A HALE does not unless you are prepared to give up a lot of fuel space which will cost you the LE, and the extra weight will also make HA a bit of a stretch as well because high altitude requires a good power to weight ratio, and long endurance means minimal engine power and lots of fuel.
    This depend on the requirements of the customer. There might be HALEs with 24 hours of endurance and there might be ones with 20 hours endurance. While those 4 hours of endurance might be the cause of additional sensory equipment that will significantly enhance the potential of the platform. It depends very much from the customer what he wants...
    You might have aircraft that is bigger, but higher percentage of composites might be used reducing its weight and more powerfull and better fuel efficient engine might be used.
    There is so much you can do... or even solar panels you could use. Russians might use Globlal Hawk, DarkStar, Polecat and others as a reference point to design their own HALEs. But they don't need to... What i am certainly sure is that each and every american HALE UAV, when produced in Russia would be atleast half the price. So if Russian AF will set a requirement to produce a comparable HALE UAV to Global Hawk for half the price then it is a very realistic goal. The same goes for a much more potent HALE UAV design for the same price as Global Hawk - be it bigger in size and thus more well equiped, heavier, but with more fuel and better engine... if it is able to do its job and meet the requirements.
    Requirements are important.



    Any new system they have not operated before will have problems to be solved. I have no doubt at all they have the capacity to solve them, but they will need time to solve them like anyone else trying something new and having no one to ask who already has experience. The problem of making a Tu-214 or other similar aircraft into a JSTARS is simpler and easier than the problem of making a reliable HALE into a JSTARS.

    Very simply they have made reliable airliners in the past. They have never make a HALE UAV.
    First of all they have UAV experience from past the REISS was a good drone.
    Secondly: as already stated flight automation systems are a field very mature in Russia.
    Third: They are already launching autonomous vehicles into space that last for years with advanced electronics and sensors.
    So all that remains is to mix all the experience and hardware from these differrent fields into a single platform - certainly a task not easy, but neither a very difficult one as you present. Completelly differrent situation this was to israel, which was not so proficient in making space satellites and suddenly they wanted to go into UAV business. They had to acquire many experience in the field of flight automation, reliability, rugedness, resiliency, manufacturing, testing - something Russians already have... They do have also High altitude platforms.



    Are you suggesting that only the most fuel efficient airliners in each class size are bought and the rest die a slow death?
    Yes, if they are not supported politically like the Boeing is. Without that Boeing would be dead long time ago. Airbus would have dominated the segment.
    Tupolev and SuperJet are ofcourse politically supported on homefront and would be in their segment more economic than its Airbus counterpart.



    The state of Russian electronics is not good.

    It is easier to fit all the needed electronics and equipment into a shipping crate than a shoebox. Making a UAV JSTARs will create all the problems of making a JSTARS, but add the problem of making a HALE at the same time plus the added problems involved in making the HALE into a JSTARS.

    Making a normal JSTARS and getting experience at using it will lead to experience which might result in a few core sensors and systems revealing themselves as being the most useful. These core sensors and systems could be put into a HALE and used but I think trying to put everything into a HALE is a huge risk and I doubt the Russian military will go for it.

    The smallest I think they will go is an ELINT version of the Su-34 as a sort of armed JSTARS.
    It is not good because they are missing 32, 45 nm fabrication facilities. But they do have the capabilities to design processors like that. But let me also point this out. Americas are not producing all the electronic components themselves. In other words they are not selfsufficient either. But Russians are not limited to domestically produced electronics. They might have state of the art SMT parts at their disposal. You are exaggerating the problem of size too much. And again making a JSTARS UAV or manned JSTARS, thats all a problem of military doctrine. What do they have faith in and what do they want. You have mentioned earlier Ka-50 being phased out of production because of its night flying capability. They believe night flying is a full one man job... well american believed this to be the case even for day time. And yet Russians built their Ka-50 as a single pilot chopper that performed during the day outstandingly without doubt. And i believe nightflight operation would be without problem as well. Now lets switch back to UAV, in your words americans believe JSTARS is a role for a manned platform, i see it clearly possible that Russians would prove them otherwise. And if you analyze the current geopolitical situation arround Russia, in any future potential conflict involving Russian JSTARS - be it a manned platform would be a very high risk for its crew as a priority target. American JSTARS was designed in a mindset that it would be used mostly against opponent that will hae no or very limited airdefense capability. While Russians might be up in the future against Chinese, Japanese, NATO. All of which have significant air defense capabilities - and in such cases JSTARS will be priority for enemy airforce, which might consist of stealth fighters capable to interdict deeply into your own territory. In such case you would want to have unmanned jstars platform, because if it would be shot down you would loose significantly less money and most importantly no human life casualties. On top of that HALE UAV JSTARS platform would be certainly faster build from scratch than its manned airliner version. So the manufacturer will certainly react faster on demand to restart the production in case of sudden demand (war).



    It doesn't matter how much electronics you can pack into a HALE, you can always get more in an airliner. BTW more components mean exponentially more component interactions which means less reliability... not more. Unless all the new components duplicate the results of the existing components which is expensive redundancy.
    But you have all that AND muuch much more in a manned airliner jstars. Like crew safety systems, man machinei nterface terminals etc. So manned means exponentially more expensive.
    You don't have that many redundant systems in a hale uav platform.



    Except that 100 protection from EMP also means electronic isolation from the outside world.
    A copper lined cage will protect you from the government sending radio transmissions to the electronic chip they put in your brain, but when your job is to detect and analyse electronic emissions that farrady cage is just going to be a pain in the ass...
    Yep it does, however you can have optics as an data input and you might design certain subsystems to withstand temporary high voltage pulse.
    Even sections of the curcuit might be divided using optoisolators. Farraday cage would be used to protect the integrated circuits. Overall it is not difficult to protect against EMP in a small systems like a missile guidance is.



    If you build and outer shell around the cabin area of your aircraft and fill the gap between with a few exotic gases then when the enemy tries the EMP you could run an enormous current through the exotic gases which will ionise them.
    This will absorb incoming radio waves and EMP pulses and protect the electronics inside.
    Except that there will be no warning prior to EMP attack urging you to form the gas coverage of the airframe. You would need to have a permanent gas protection for which you would need big gas tanks adding to the weight, which is not efficient.



    JSTARs is no super plane but in a long range strike mission to take it down an F-22 might find itself in a trap rather than an easy kill because its only reliable weapon for this job would be its gun.
    As i stated before it is not so hard to protect against EMP, there have been many revisions of AMRAAM guidance seeker and i guess it wont be too huge effort to put it inside a farraday cage. If that happens, manned jstars would be a sitting duck.... a cannon fodder :/



    JSTARS is not an AWACS aircraft... 99% of the time it will be listening and not emitting any radiation at all.
    Now i don't know where did you get that?
    Its SAR apperature for GMTI is a passive element?
    Even a standard airliner traffic radar is an active element it it is surely present.
    Beside that you have Command & Control which is duplex communication.
    Garry JSTARS is JSTARS because it is not ELINT. I would say that there was more emphasis put on its active sensory suite than its passive (the american one).
    But Ruskies ofcourse might have differrent requirements for their jstars.



    It wouldn't have an excessive IR signature... and its RCS only matters if you are scanning and if you are scanning it will do its job and plot your position and pass it up the chain to HQ.

    In fact in many ways it will look like a civilian airliner regarding RCS and IR signature.
    Except that civilian planes don't pass through war zones right?
    Airliners do have a huge IR signature simply because there is no effort to make the engine exhaust more heat dissipative.
    Airliners are not warplanes, they are mainkly designed to transport people peacefully.
    Last thing is that modern AESA radars are hard to detect so JSTARS might be locked unknowing that there is any enemy stealth fighter nearby, let alone that is preparing to attack it.



    They simply don't want or need more land.
    Taht doesn ot mean somebody would not want their land.



    Plainly the Russian Military Industrial Complex is not ready to provide UAV sized JSTARS platforms, but it could easily provide JSTARS in a larger manned platform.

    The important thing is that within the time frame of developing an putting into active service a JSTARs aircraft there is unlikely to be a breakthrough in UAV technology that allows it to mature to the level where it can replace AWACS let alone JSTARS.
    Well i said that previously already. They are certainly developing a HALE UAV platform and it seems not just one. If they are wise enough not to think just 10 years into the future, then i see the chances for UAV JSTARS far higher than for its manned platform. Because for the UAV most of the systems are already used today, so they don't have to reinvent the wheel. They just need to mix them together and that is not so difficult task as you think. I see very realistically 2017/2018 time frame you might see the first models.



    Actually it wouldn't. All the technologies are pretty mature and ready and they have been talking about such things for rather a long time.
    Individual UAV subsystems are pretty mature technology in Russia as well. Yet you are talking about it as if there was none at all.



    An airship offers enormous volumes of free space and with solar cells and onboard fuel cell technology they could remain on duty for months.

    You could even put a small landing strip on the top of them to land UAVs carrying support payloads of parts of food and water etc.
    Thats too much of sci-fi. First of all the current trend calls for development of airborne and ground based lasers that have huge operational range and allmost instant effect.
    Such airship would be very vulnerable to that. Secondly the uav to deliver support payload will have to be a HALE one which is for Russians no easy task according to you.
    When thinking like this you need to also takei nto account future weapons that will be developed. I haven't mentioned here magnetic railguns of which both Russia and USA have been testing already.



    Their only chance of really destroying the airship at that altitude would be to start a fire, and there is not enough oxygen at that altitude to sustain a fire.
    And heres the secret. They won't need to start the fire. It would be sufficiently to fire a salvo of 2 missiles aimed at crew compartments and the airship mission will be in jeopardy. You will have some of the crew losses as they wil be thanks to the inner cabin pressure catapulted out of the cabin, on top of that you will have internal oxygen levels drop, you will have internal sensor and electronics damage, forcing the ship to abort its mission. That would be sufficient.




    In a conflict against China or NATO or the US they are as vulnerable as any other platform... which is to say not very because they don't operate in a vacuum... they will see an attack coming and will have a part to play in their own defence.
    Today everyone is talking about 5th generation warplanes and their technology. But people forget one important thing. None of them was used in a real combat yet.
    You cannot say or predict how will future air operations and tactics utilizing this new element look like.
    Today a situation where you might consider a manned jstars to be safe might not be considered safe in the time span of 5 years anymore.
    One 5th generation fighter might be able to wipe out 8 jstars escorting fighters at ease. And as suddenly as he might show up, he might also dissapear.
    They will have the super cruise capability after all and stealth.



    In a conflict against China or NATO or the US they are as vulnerable as any other platform... which is to say not very because they don't operate in a vacuum... they will see an attack coming and will have a part to play in their own defence.
    I would say that if your enemy will posess 5th gen fighter, he will be very daring deploying him deeply inside your territory.
    You can go only as far to protect against an enemy you can see, however stealth fighter would be hard to detect. On t op of that they would super cruise - giving them the ability to quickly shake off any incomming enemy fighters or missiles. It would be very hard task to protect jstars i assume.



    We have seen a model of a ZOND with AEW capabilities, but again that is not JSTARS either.
    One of the ZOND models is said to have SAR apperature. SAR apperature is a covering significant JSTARS mission duties.
    It might not be an entire jstars in its functionality, but might cover signifcant portion of its functions.
    Knowing Russian MIC you cannot really say what they are working on or what they are not. They are a big state secret on their own.
    They do like to make PR stunts quit often. So if you see some model of airliner and couple of guys sitting behind terminal, that does not mean they are activelly developing manned jstars. They might just perform a study of feasibility and mission effectiveness.



    If it is too big then all the advantages of unmanned go out the window.
    Well what is too big for you might be not too big for the AF officials.



    If only it was that easy. It is a whole new world of datalinks and people who couldn't fly a paper dart let alone a sophisticated aircraft controlling a aircraft worth lots of money. It is separating the user from the product in such a way that the product does the job and the user can't stuff it up. Yet any user with minimal training needs to be able to use it.
    That is hard enough on a computer game let alone a UAV.
    Well i am kind of lost what did you mean by this statement.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:07 am

    Hi Flanky,

    Glad we could continue this discussion... Smile

    Well if the Swedish one isn't even optically smaller to you than the E-3 radome, then i really don't know what to say... of course it is way smaller.
    Look at it from the perspective of volume.

    Look at it from the perspective that the 9m long Erieye radar on the back of a plane that is 20m long is difficult to compare with an 8m long radar in a disc shaped fairing on a plane the size of a 707.

    Look at this document:

    http://www.es.northropgrumman.com/solutions/awacs/assets/AWACS.pdf

    On page 6 of this document to the right hand side near the cutaway picture there is a title Antenna Array and it says it is 8m long.

    On this page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_340_AEW%26C

    under the specifications section it says:

    Radar:

    Radar Antenna Unit Length 9m Radar Antenna Unit Weight 900 kg Radar Frequency 2 GHz to 4 GHz Azimuthal Coverage 360° Range Against Fighter Aircraft Target 350 km.

    So both have an antenna array, the E-3s antenna is 8m long and the Eireye radar antenna is 9m long.

    The E-3s radar looks larger because it is suspended in a disc to allow it to rotate and give 360 degree coverage, but the actual Erieye radar antenna is bigger.

    If you took the fixed Erieye antenna and fitted it on to an E-3 then the disc that holds the current antenna would be too small by 1 metre.

    In other words if the E-3 had reduce requirements to scan and no longer needed to scan 360 degrees and could be fitted like the Erieye antenna it would be 1m shorter.


    Now its not true that for higher frequencies you need large antenaes.

    Longer frequencies are lower frequencies. You can make a high frequency X band radar AESA module quite small even now, but metric wave or long wave or low frequency radars need larger modules... and it has nothing to do with technology but the physical length of the waves.

    Here are two Radar antennas... one is long wave (VHF) 3D AESA radar and the other is much shorter wave (X band) PESA... One has been made with state of the art technology and the other was in service almost 30 years ago and has since been replaced in service. Can you tell them apart?





    This is why i am expressing over and over the fact that physical size of the sensor doesn't matter that much anymore. And that you CAN have with mdern technology smaller antenaes compared to the older technology that required the use of larger radomes.

    I am telling you your example is flawed... 2.5 GHz is high frequency, not low frequency.

    If it was VHF, which contrary to what the letters mean (ie Very High Frequency) is a very low frequency for radar waves then a decent antenna would be huge.

    The picture below is of the 55Zh6-1 Nebo UYe which is a brand new state of the art design. It is the size it is not because the Russians are backwards or don't have the technology. There is no smaller western equivelent. There is no western equivelent.

    The antenna array is the size it is because of the necessary size of the antenna array elements and they are that size because of the wavelength they operate at.



    This was not so easy to detect as the detection was heavily dependent on the computational potential of the sensor logic. And old processors used for the tiny differences on the return signal did not have enough bits of accurancy and the D/A A/D converters were also not accurate enough to make anough signal samples during a single second so that the calculations will be made fast enough. However with introduction of modern RISC processing and DSP this was changed.

    Actually it had little to do with processing power. When something making noise is approaching you and you can hear it the pitch of the sound it makes is distorted by the fact that it is approaching. After it has passed and it changes from an approaching target to a receding one the pitch is changed again. The sound wave itself like the radar wave is physically changed by the fact that it is either approaching or receding... no processing of the signal is required.

    That was a very old 1970s technology used aboard the spacecraft. Toay it won't need to be so big.

    The size of the antenna was dictated by the frequency it operated and the resolution required. For the purposes of scanning for ships a resolution of 20m would be good enough for example.

    This would be true only in case that there is something on your background that will reflect the amraam radar signal. Like earth in a situation the missile would be launched on you in a "dive".

    You are correct, but AMRAAM is a long range missile and doesn't simply fly directly at a target. It will normally fly and optimised flight profile that maximises its flight range and speed, so unless it locks on very soon after launch (ie the radar lock on range for AMRAAM is about 20km so if the target is at 40km it will climb and fly at high altitude for 20-25km and then turn on its active radar seeker to get a lock. It will have climbed to improve range so it will be looking down on any target so it will see background "noise" most of the time.
    The exception would be a short range launch within 20km where it goes active almost immediately and flys directly at the target.

    Another possible defense is launch of your own short range ir guided missile. Current electro optical inrared systes used on planes are sensitive enough to detect high speed 0 angle incomming missiles and guide an attack on them... however this opportunity would usually lie within a 2-3 seconds time window which is very risky, because in case of failure it does not give pilot a second chance to react.

    Once it gets within 20km of you and turns on its own active radar seeker there should be little problem detecting the incoming missile. Firing a passive radar homing missile like R-27P or R-27EP might get a kill with its proximity fuse.

    There are rumours that the Russians have developed 30mm cannon shells with corner reflectors etched into them so that while tiny they have a much larger RCS than they should and firing a burst of 3-5 rounds might distract the missile seeker too.

    If it is not a Russian one it is not relevant? Garry first you were talking that SAR with GMTI calpability onboard a HALE UAV is impossible and here you have Global Hawk.
    Yes it is american, so what? Does that mean that Russians won't be able to do that? C'mon... they did far more superb things than that...

    What I mean is that if the Russians have not spent money and developed a technology, and the people who have... whether they are French or Chinese or American... don't want to sell it to the Russians then it is not important.

    If Israeli UAVs can fly 100 times around the world at 40,000m up and have super sensors that can detect anything it doesn't mean Russia needs it and should develop it.

    Russia does need a JSTARS like aircraft because it is developing a net centric battle management C4IR system for itself. It will also need HALE UAVs and possibly even HALE UCAVs. There is a huge risk involved in trying to make a HALE JSTARs UAV and I don't think it is worth the huge risk involved. JSTARS should not be operating in danger zones so any advantage of being unmanned is greatly reduced. It makes a lot of sense to man a JSTARS and have the data processing capability on board the aircraft because that greatly reduces the amount of transmissions from the aircraft to HQ and the network.
    An unmanned JSTARS would transmit all raw data to be processed on another platform... that is a lot of data traffic that can be intercepted and subverted and makes detection easy. Processing the raw data and only transmitting important information in short burst transmissions means much less radio traffic that is less likely to be intercepted.

    True however if somebody would use Silent Eagle as a stealth plane to use this tactic to get rid of an opponent, then he is for one heck of a suprise... figuring out how unstealthy thosep lanes will be.

    The point is that when a big super power like the US takes on a little country they rarely actually do it alone. Often they have the important bits of NATO with them too and can systematically take down the enemies air defence network piece by piece.

    So far it has worked fine because anything big enough to reach high altitude was both huge and very expensive which means hard to hide, hard to move, and probably not bought in the numbers really needed. Such targets can be seen from satellite and can be targeted by cruise missile. You don't need to wipe out the entire site... just hit the tracking and search radars and then send in medium altitude F-16s with laser guided bombs to take out all the other vehicles on the site.

    Once all the big sites and big radars are down that leaves the smaller stuff and the enemy air power. Bomb hangars and runways and fly above the other stuff and systematically smash anything you want... hit a baby milk factory and call it a chemical weapons factory. Blow up bridges to make life difficult, but claim you were preventing them moving their military forces.

    Of course this period is reaching an end because the latest Russian SAMs like Pantsir-S1 can reach up to 15km altitude and are very mobile and can even fire missiles and guns while moving so when these systems start entering service NATO and the US will not have it so easy.

    Note cruise missiles were effective in Libya because the large SAM systems they operated were not very good at engaging low flying low RCS targets and could only handle one at a time. Fire 3-4 at each SAM site and 2-3 will hit what they were aimed at, which should render the site no longer operational so any further attacks should allow the destruction of the missile vehicles and command and control vans etc.

    S-300 systems from the 1970s would have been enough to make that sort of tactic ineffective and instead of firing 120 cruise missiles in the first day they would have had to have fired several hundred. With Pantsir protecting the S-300s they would need so many it simply wouldn't be financially viable... which is why the US and Israel is so against Iran getting S-300s.

    You don't call that a control of the air when you are unable to defend your own space assets from the attack of the enemy. You call that survival...

    Actually you do. When you can control the bits of the air that you want to when you want to then you have air superiority. If you totally wipe the enemy air force from the sky and you control it totally it is called air supremacy... which they didn't really get.


    Oh and here is where you are significantly wrong... Russians had known the "know how" behind the AESA long time ago...
    Im not saying they were the first to develop them, but they certainly do know about it a lot.
    Actually the differrence between PESA and AESA is not that big as the beam direction control is already handled by PESA.
    Some Russian PESA radars had features of AESA radars long time ago. Like BARS and IRBIS radars. Both have been multichannel and paralel multimode.
    And from this its not far to a AESA technology. So if i were you, i would not indicate Russians to be newbies in the AESA field.

    I am not suggesting the Russians don't know anything about AESA. I stand by what I said... they have plenty of experience with PESA and it is a mature and very widely deployed technology in their armed forces. They have rather less experience with AESA radars. Having said that they have more experience with VHF AESA radars than the west does because it is an area the west has ignored.
    They certainly have produced PESA radars with some of the features only associated in the west with AESA radars and they have been called hybrid designs by some specialists which confer some advantages of AESA while retaining the advantages of PESA.

    They do have systems for Airplanes, Ground and Warships. Not many, but they have. And as Russians are moving towards modern industrialized economy, the mass production of the tranceiver/receiver AESA elements is becomming less and less of a problem.

    They have invested a lot of money to develop AESA TR modules in the latest materials and I have every confidence that from about 2015 they will reap the benefits of that investment and likely every SAM system they will operate will likely have an AESA radar supporting them.
    They will have to experiment a lot with their new radars and I am confident that many of the areas the west has developed like low probability intercept modes and EW and jamming features will be developed too, but you need working AESAs before you can start that sort of practical work.

    In modern fighters, you have the radar in front right? Right after the radar is cabine. We have today some crew standards that dictates the size of the cabine for a single pilot. So having a small nose would be ridiculous as right after the nose there will have to be the relatively big cockpit. And this is why they are not reducing the nose size, rather than putting a radar with equal size but significantly better performance compared to the older one with the same size.

    Sorry, but that is simply not true. Look at the front view of any fighter and the width of the nose is significantly larger than the width of the cockpit canopy.

    Also on the Flanker and Fulcrum behind the radar is an IRST and lots of boxes for avionics and the radar.

    With aesa technology today you don't need to send megawats of radio power out to detect a target 400 km away. You dissipate couple of kilowatss across entire frequency spectrum and then analyze a returned echo. All using a smaller antenae alltogather with smaller energy output.

    Basic physics tells us that to get range we need a powerful signal. To detect a target that is 400km away the radar wave has to travel 800km. The larger the antenna the more "return" signal is captured so a large antenna means longer range too.

    If you think the way you do why do you think the Erieye uses a 9m long antenna?
    That is nine times the width of a fighters nose mounted radar.

    AESA radars are getting smaller as the individual elements are getting smaller due to improvements in materials and design, but they tend to add more elements to the new arrays rather than make the array smaller in area for aircraft.

    This is the main advantage of AESA radars. To not to use icredibly big amount of energy to detect the target far away, rather than to use smaller amound of energy acros wide frequency spectrum to detect that target far away, and this enables to use also smaller antenas. At the end you need more processing power to analyze the returned echo across the whole spectrum.

    I disagree. You are talking about improving radar performance by increasing the processor technology behind the radar. I would suggest that improving the processor technology only goes so far. A larger antenna using the correct frequency for the range to the target, the current atmospheric conditions, and for the reflectivity of the target make more impact on performance.
    It is like a telescope for observing deep space objects... you are saying smaller mirrors are better because computer processing can correct for atmospheric conditions and the optical performance of the mirror.
    I am saying better CCD sensors and better processing of the image will certainly help, but having a large mirror is always a good thing too because having a good big mirror means the quality of the data all that processing power has to work with makes the resulting information much better quality.

    There is an old computer term called GIGO, which means garbage in garbage out.
    Basically if your antenna is small and crap then its results will be rubbish too.
    There is no advantage to upgrading the electronics if the source of the information (ie radar antenna) is not improved too. Making the AESA elements smaller does not improve their performance... it just means they take up less space. Adding more elements is what improves performance.

    Finally you understand this. So in the end if you would like with AESA technology to maintain the same performance than the older radars you would end up with a smaller sensor size right?

    Not necessarily. Look above at the VHF frequency AESAs.

    AESA radars are different from old radars. An old dish radar has a large and often parabolic reflector that focuses the beam on a sensor. To "Scan" the whole structure was spun around with the reflector focusing the signals transmitted into a beam and the received waves were focused back to the single sensor. The obvious problem was that the scan rate of a particular sector was limited by the speed the reflector could be moved but also because the signal had to have time to travel to the target and back before the reflector moved on. With ESA radars the elements don't move, each element covers a specific sector and it scans by having the elements turned on and of and listening for the return signal.

    The more elements in the array means the smaller the area of the beams and the better the coverage.

    This is the stuff i was telling you all the time... the technology have progressed ahead that today you don't need so big radars. And you were allways telling me otherwise. Sometimes i feel that you contradict yourself

    Lets test your argument... the radar of an old system should be larger than the radar for a new system... but those big PESA radars of the S-300 system are huge and every bit as big as the older systems used before them.
    The new radars for S-400 are the same size or even bigger.

    JSC SUKHOI study is there to prove my opinion.

    Sorry, it doesn't. AWACS is more than just a radar on a plane. The Zond is just a radar on a UAV. Making sure civilian aircraft keep to the airspace they are allocated to and don't crash into each other is not the same thing as what an AWACS does.

    The fact that A-50 will be upgraded yet again does not rule out this study and possibility to build an AWACS UAV, let alone a JSTARS UAV because the A-50 does not have JSTARS capability.

    JSTARS and AWACS are two separate missions. JSTARS is intel gathering and recon. AWACS is as its acronym suggests airborne warning and control system.

    When you design am anned aircraft you put in safety systems that are meant to save the lives of the crew, and they are allways made with a mindset that human life is invaluable. So such systems tend to be very expensive because you exchange the price with life... You would not need to have concerns like that designing UAV.

    And I disagree here too. Most of the stuff there to keep the crew safe also keep the plane flying and that sort of stuff would be needed in a UAV as well... unless the sensors and electronics were expendible... which they are not.

    Requirements are important.

    Requirements usually come from previous experience.

    First of all they have UAV experience from past the REISS was a good drone.

    Do they? How many of the people who developed Reiss are now foreigners? Ukrainians etc.
    How many have been driving taxi cabs for the last 20 years and remember nothing about building Reiss?
    Experience is a transient resource... you lose it over time.

    Third: They are already launching autonomous vehicles into space that last for years with advanced electronics and sensors.

    They built the first robots to land on the moon, but when Chernobyl exploded they asked an American university for robots to go into areas of high radiation to help deal with the problem. The US government intervened and banned the university from helping them BTW and so they sent people in instead.

    The point is that experience in building a light recon UAV like Pchelka does not translate into experience that can be used to build a JSTARS HALE UAV.

    They need a JSTARS platform... they don't need it to be unmanned. As budgets get tighter and personel numbers reduce then UAVs will become rather more important, but even the US has no real active program to replace JSTARS with UAVs and there is no reason for Russia to take the same gamble.

    Yes, if they are not supported politically like the Boeing is. Without that Boeing would be dead long time ago. Airbus would have dominated the segment.
    Tupolev and SuperJet are ofcourse politically supported on homefront and would be in their segment more economic than its Airbus counterpart.

    When was the last sale of anything internationally that wasn't political or influenced by politics?
    Fuel burn rate means zip... Superjet could be the first plane to fly 2,000km and land with more fuel in its tanks than what it took to the air with and American/French/British/etc airlines will still not buy a commie plane.

    And again making a JSTARS UAV or manned JSTARS, thats all a problem of military doctrine. What do they have faith in and what do they want.

    Faith has little to do with anything. They have a requirement for a JSTARS like platform. The lack of maturity in the Russian UAV industry means a UAV base solution is a huge risk. There is no reason to take the risk of making their first JSTARS platform unmanned. The money saved in making them unmanned will be lost with the first platform when it crashes.

    You have mentioned earlier Ka-50 being phased out of production because of its night flying capability. They believe night flying is a full one man job... well american believed this to be the case even for day time.

    The logic the Russian designers used was that if an Su-25 pilot operate with one pilot then why not a helicopter. The automation in flying the Ka-50 and its targeting system meant it can be operated during the day as a single seat aircraft which it was successful at.

    The fact that there are no American helos comparable to the Ka-50 is why they think flying during the day is a full time job... because their way of using CAS aircraft and their systems are less automated.

    Now lets switch back to UAV, in your words americans believe JSTARS is a role for a manned platform, i see it clearly possible that Russians would prove them otherwise.

    They possibly could, but for a lot less risk and a lot less money they could simply produce a platform to provide the information they need.

    And if you analyze the current geopolitical situation arround Russia, in any future potential conflict involving Russian JSTARS - be it a manned platform would be a very high risk for its crew as a priority target. American JSTARS was designed in a mindset that it would be used mostly against opponent that will hae no or very limited airdefense capability.

    For use against all of Russias neighbours the benefit of a JSTARS aircraft would be to find and identify force dispositions and posture and the location of fixed and mobile forces. During peacetime they can create a database of equipment and its deployment and during a conflict it can be used to monitor the movement of that equipment in real time. Russia has the ground based SAM and air based fighter capacity to protect a JSTARS like aircraft in most situations.

    In such case you would want to have unmanned jstars platform, because if it would be shot down you would loose significantly less money and most importantly no human life casualties.

    In a full conflict I think the Russian military would be more interested in the information such an air asset could gather over the lives at stake.

    A UAV JSTARS might be sent into harms way and lost, whereas if a manned JSTARS was sent into harms way efforts would be made to protect it.

    On top of that HALE UAV JSTARS platform would be certainly faster build from scratch than its manned airliner version. So the manufacturer will certainly react faster on demand to restart the production in case of sudden demand (war).

    It makes rather more sense to develop a JSTARS mother ship with UAVs carrying specific antennas that can be launched separately and flown much higher but also much closer to the enemy. The UAVs would not be cheap nor expendable and would need fighter cover, but in times of conflict the information from a JSTARS is worth more than 1,000 lives and 20 billion dollars. Sending UAV after UAV to get shot down does not give you the information you want and need.

    [qutoe]But you have all that AND muuch much more in a manned airliner jstars. Like crew safety systems, man machinei nterface terminals etc. So manned means exponentially more expensive.[/quote]

    A crew terminal is cheap and simple, and most of the crew safety systems are built in to the airliner design already. A screen, a keyboard and a mouse will not break the bank.

    You don't have that many redundant systems in a hale uav platform.

    Of course you do... without them and the slightest problem leads to several million bucks worth of bonfire.

    Except that there will be no warning prior to EMP attack urging you to form the gas coverage of the airframe. You would need to have a permanent gas protection for which you would need big gas tanks adding to the weight, which is not efficient.

    You could design it so that the EMP pulse itself ionises the gas so there is no need for a reaction system.

    As i stated before it is not so hard to protect against EMP, there have been many revisions of AMRAAM guidance seeker and i guess it wont be too huge effort to put it inside a farraday cage. If that happens, manned jstars would be a sitting duck.... a cannon fodder :/

    The only country on the planet that could use F-22s to kill a Russian JSTARS is the US. In that case who cares? The F-22 vs JSTARS result will not be as important as the TOPOL-M and Yars vs Washington DC match.

    The JSTARS would be a sitting duck for most enemy fighters, and the same could be said for inflight refuelling aircraft, AWACS aircraft, troop transports etc etc.

    That is why such aircraft are not flown over enemy air bases during conflicts.

    It would be the dumbest reason in the world to suggest not having them because when they are doing their job they basically tell you where all your enemies stuff is and what he is doing... the sort of information that most commanders would kill for in wars.

    Now i don't know where did you get that?
    Its SAR apperature for GMTI is a passive element?
    Even a standard airliner traffic radar is an active element it it is surely present.
    Beside that you have Command & Control which is duplex communication.
    Garry JSTARS is JSTARS because it is not ELINT. I would say that there was more emphasis put on its active sensory suite than its passive (the american one).
    But Ruskies ofcourse might have differrent requirements for their jstars.

    For an aircraft the size we are talking about they could very easily use AESA radars with LPI modes, but you are right, my mistake, they would emit a lot more than 1%.

    I would rather suspect that a Russian JSTARS would be equipped with sensors to detect and track longer wave radar/radio waves to enable stealth targets be detected and tracked... including long wave radar and various wavelength IR and perhaps even Lidar.

    Except that civilian planes don't pass through war zones right?

    JSTARS wouldn't fly right through war zones either.

    Except that civilian planes don't pass through war zones right?

    Actually you might be surprised. The turbofan engines used by most jet airliners trade heat and airflow speed for air mass flow. The air coming out the back includes a lot of air that is only warm because it has been compressed.

    Airliners are not warplanes, they are mainkly designed to transport people peacefully.

    The 707, 747, and lots of other airliner types are used by many military forces around the world.

    Last thing is that modern AESA radars are hard to detect so JSTARS might be locked unknowing that there is any enemy stealth fighter nearby, let alone that is preparing to attack it.

    And vice versa.

    Remember this is going to be a Russian JSTARS... it is rather more likely to be used over friendly territory to defend against an attack from an external aggressor than the way the US uses theirs.

    Taht doesn ot mean somebody would not want their land.

    Which means operation over friendly territory is most likely, and adds ground based assets to detect stealthy threats including long wave radar and EO systems and satellites.

    If they are wise enough not to think just 10 years into the future, then i see the chances for UAV JSTARS far higher than for its manned platform. Because for the UAV most of the systems are already used today, so they don't have to reinvent the wheel. They just need to mix them together and that is not so difficult task as you think. I see very realistically 2017/2018 time frame you might see the first models.

    They could put a larger array of sensors and equipment in a decent sized airliner... which at the same time will support their civilian airliner financially with orders which is important too BTW. I rather doubt they could build a JSTARS UAV by 2018 let alone get it into production. It is not about reinventing the wheel... it is about walking before you try to run.

    Individual UAV subsystems are pretty mature technology in Russia as well. Yet you are talking about it as if there was none at all.

    No they aren't. They have lots of prototypes and test models but the only models in full production are the Pchelkas. They made some Tipchaks, but there were complaints they were too noisy and their cameras were not stabilised.

    Nothing any where near big enough to be a JSTARS.

    Thats too much of sci-fi. First of all the current trend calls for development of airborne and ground based lasers that have huge operational range and allmost instant effect.

    I am talking about an unmanned platform that can operate for months with an antenna array that would replace the radar of the AWACS aircraft.

    A ground based laser with huge operational range and instant effect sounds nice... a nice target for a cruise missile and currently scifi.

    Much cheaper and easier to make an airship that operates at 30,000m than a laser that can attack it.

    Such airship would be very vulnerable to that. Secondly the uav to deliver support payload will have to be a HALE one which is for Russians no easy task according to you.

    Rubbish. It would simply need to be a HA... there is no requirement for LE to fly up to deliver supplies and then fly back down again.
    Making a simple high altitude aircraft able to carry a payload would be straight forward and a large airship could have a barrier type net arresting system to crash the plane in to.

    When thinking like this you need to also takei nto account future weapons that will be developed. I haven't mentioned here magnetic railguns of which both Russia and USA have been testing already.

    The purpose of the airship is monitoring the airspace and ground in a large area around it. Shooting it down would be an act of war... especially as it will be operating over Russia. The purpose is not some invincible super air defence system, the purpose is to monitor the enormous border Russia has. Making it unmanned is not to make it expendible, it is to make it cheap so that a few men can monitor an enormous area of border remotely. Shooting one down will be tricky and will only draw the attention of the border security forces.

    And heres the secret. They won't need to start the fire. It would be sufficiently to fire a salvo of 2 missiles aimed at crew compartments and the airship mission will be in jeopardy. You will have some of the crew losses as they wil be thanks to the inner cabin pressure catapulted out of the cabin, on top of that you will have internal oxygen levels drop, you will have internal sensor and electronics damage, forcing the ship to abort its mission. That would be sufficient.

    The airships are unmanned.

    Today a situation where you might consider a manned jstars to be safe might not be considered safe in the time span of 5 years anymore.

    The military branch responsible for air defence in Russia is the air and space defence forces and their monitoring of Russian air and above air will be a combination of Ground, air and satellites in space based radars. The Air based radars will be mounted in all sorts of aircraft that include A-50, A-50M, and A-100 when ready. They have also said it may include unmanned airships.

    One 5th generation fighter might be able to wipe out 8 jstars escorting fighters at ease. And as suddenly as he might show up, he might also dissapear.
    They will have the super cruise capability after all and stealth.

    And what does that 5th gen fighters chances become when it is 5th gen fighters protecting the Jstars? If that Jstars is operating at 35km up where he cannot fly and his AMRAAMs are useless. If the Jstars is operating directly above an S-400 battery that also has an S-500 battery co-located with it.

    A 4th gen fighter would make short work of a JSTARS, but the point is that it will never get the chance unless they make quite a few serious mistakes.


    I would say that if your enemy will posess 5th gen fighter, he will be very daring deploying him deeply inside your territory.

    Only one country in the world has 5th gen fighters operational currently and its deployment of any of these aircraft to airbases within range of Russia would lead to the movement and targeting of quite a few nuclear armed missiles at the bases they operate from... not to mention the careful scanning of various long range OTH-B radars used to detect rather small objects flying around the place.
    The Russian systems can apparently track paint chips in orbit.
    Humint would also likely be important here because F-22s flying around Russia would be pretty much an act of war without their permission and assuming even just one was detected it would likely be assumed to be part of a low flying strike mission to take out Russias nuclear strike ability... which would likely lead to it being used before it was lost. Did you say something about Jstars?

    In fact you have hit on the perfect reason against UAV based JSTARS.

    To detect and track stealthy aircraft at useful ranges they will need AESAs with enormous processing power and enormous arrays... means a big aircraft with lots of electrical power to run it all.

    Very much counts against a small cheap UAV solution.

    You can go only as far to protect against an enemy you can see, however stealth fighter would be hard to detect. On t op of that they would super cruise - giving them the ability to quickly shake off any incomming enemy fighters or missiles. It would be very hard task to protect jstars i assume.

    But that works both ways doesn't it? When the US sends F-22s into Russia the Russians can launch T-50s into NATO airspace. BTW a supercruising F-22 would glow beautifully on the IRSTs fitted to all modern Russian interceptors and their long range IR guided BVR missiles would be the ideal tool to deal with such a threat.

    BTW flying at mach 1.5 (~400m/s) will not save you from SAMs flying at 2km/s or faster.

    Knowing Russian MIC you cannot really say what they are working on or what they are not. They are a big state secret on their own.

    Quite true.

    They do like to make PR stunts quit often.

    Funding doesn't fall from the sky. You can't get foreign investors for secret programs they don't know about.

    Knowing Russian MIC you cannot really say what they are working on or what they are not. They are a big state secret on their own.
    They do like to make PR stunts quit often.

    Hardly a PR stunt. A JSTARS aircraft is enormously expensive incredibly specialised aircraft... manned or unmanned and is not something any company of any size would risk making on their own without a signed military contract to make it... otherwise they are just p!$$ing away enormous amounts of money they will never recover.

    Well i am kind of lost what did you mean by this statement.

    It is a whole new world of datalinks and people who couldn't fly a paper dart let alone a sophisticated aircraft controlling a aircraft worth lots of money.

    Modern UAVs are not flown like manned aircraft. They basically fly under an autopilot from navigation point to navigation point. It can also fly preprogrammed manouvers like an orbit over a coordinate or raceway circuit to remain over a point or an area of interest.

    From take off to landing there is no real need for manual control of a UAV... if you need to loiter over an area a few orbits or setting a circuit in the appropriate place.

    The so called UAV pilots are actually just operators that direct the cameras on board the UAVs and make changes to the nav points where necessary.

    They don't even land or takeoff.

    It is separating the user from the product in such a way that the product does the job and the user can't stuff it up.

    By taking the piloting out of the equation then anybody could be trained to perform the roles the UAV performs because the flying is done automatically.

    Yet any user with minimal training needs to be able to use it.

    This is a general problem. Small hand held UAVs need to be usable without having to train the operators because the operators are soldiers in the field and they have enough to learn without having to learn to fly a plane. Reducing their role to merely directing the UAV and using its cameras to see what they want to see makes the system easy to use by anyone with no pilot training needed.

    That is hard enough on a computer game let alone a UAV.

    Play DCS:Hokum on realistic settings... a dozen switches before you can even take off.

    The point is that the UAV needs to have a very simple job because for complex or on the fly human decision making stuff it is still easier to use a human.

    Hense high flying camera, or aerial tanker or the long boring Maritime Patrol Aircraft stuff is fine for UAVs, but complex stuff like fighter, or JSTARS you need people.

    Flanky
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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Flanky on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:47 pm

    Garry you have previously expressed opinion that for high frequencies you need big antena. Thats simply not true, you need big antena for long waves. And thats not the same thing as high frequency. You were mixing up 2 differren things. the higher the frequency you have, the smaller the wavelength is... and harder it is to reach farther distance together with crossing of obstacles.

    Longer frequencies are lower frequencies
    Frequency cannot be longer, wavelength however can Smile
    When i was expressing my believe that current radars with moder technology does not need to be so big, you were trying to prove me otherwise.


    Here are two Radar antennas... one is long wave (VHF) 3D AESA radar and the other is much shorter wave (X band) PESA... One has been made with state of the art technology and the other was in service almost 30 years ago and has since been replaced in service. Can you tell them apart?
    As far as i know the ground based radars like NEBO are big like that because of physical fact that long waves (wavelengths) are ideal for over the horizont scans and are reportedly also ideal for detecting and tracking stealth planes. However if you'll build an Ultra High frequency AESA radar with much higher frequency band of that size with huge amounts of elements, you will have overall a muuuch better range and capabilities than those of NEBO. But the problem would be that your waves won't be reflected by ionosphere and it won't be a over the horizont radar rather than a straight "line of sight" ABM and Space vehicles tracking radar. But that does not mean it will have worse charracteristics than the NEBO. You have again stated inadequate example Smile

    Check this out:


    Look certainly smaller than NEBO right? And with this you have coverage of thousands of kilometers. Not just hundreds of kilometers like NEBO.
    Americans are using them as well for space tracking. Don-2NP based on the same principle. Those are not the same AESA radars as the ones on the aircraft but, they are as well composed of smaller elements that are also present on its airborne equivalents.


    Actually it had little to do with processing power. When something making noise is approaching you and you can hear it the pitch of the sound it makes is distorted by the fact that it is approaching. After it has passed and it changes from an approaching target to a receding one the pitch is changed again. The sound wave itself like the radar wave is physically changed by the fact that it is either approaching or receding... no processing of the signal is required.
    If no processing power was needed then why are there processors based in those radars? they are there for some purpose because just by listening to the returned echo you can't calculate the azimuth, bearing othe target, its height, speed and distance. All this is done relative to the previous readings, results compared, and returned signal analyzed compared to the signal that was sent. You need processing power and you need as much as possible. Even more so on AESA radars.


    The size of the antenna was dictated by the frequency it operated and the resolution required. For the purposes of scanning for ships a resolution of 20m would be good enough for example.
    Size of the antenae was dictated by the wavelength required to fulfill the purpose of the radar, not by its frequency.



    Russia does need a JSTARS like aircraft because it is developing a net centric battle management C4IR system for itself. It will also need HALE UAVs and possibly even HALE UCAVs. There is a huge risk involved in trying to make a HALE JSTARs UAV and I don't think it is worth the huge risk involved. JSTARS should not be operating in danger zones so any advantage of being unmanned is greatly reduced. It makes a lot of sense to man a JSTARS and have the data processing capability on board the aircraft because that greatly reduces the amount of transmissions from the aircraft to HQ and the network.
    An unmanned JSTARS would transmit all raw data to be processed on another platform... that is a lot of data traffic that can be intercepted and subverted and makes detection easy. Processing the raw data and only transmitting important information in short burst transmissions means much less radio traffic that is less likely to be intercepted.
    It seems no matter what kind of argument i can tel you your manned jstars stand firmly in your mind. Ok never mind that. However what do you expect a JSTARS SAR operational range would be? couple of hundreds of kilometers. Do you think such a range would be a problem for enemy fighters. What i am trying to say is that manned jstars will have to be positioned close to the enemy frontline - and even if it would be in a friendly airspace, that doesn't mean it will be invulnerable.


    Actually you do. When you can control the bits of the air that you want to when you want to then you have air superiority. If you totally wipe the enemy air force from the sky and you control it totally it is called air supremacy... which they didn't really get.
    But being unable to prevent an attack of Mig-25 on your own air asset is clearly a demonstration other than air superiority/supremacy. Air superiority it would be when you would be shooting down that mig sooner than he would reach its target, to prove that you really have control over the air space arround you. But this is just a game of words.



    Sorry, but that is simply not true. Look at the front view of any fighter and the width of the nose is significantly larger than the width of the cockpit canopy.

    Also on the Flanker and Fulcrum behind the radar is an IRST and lots of boxes for avionics and the radar.
    Well it is a bit wider but i would not call it significantly and mostly you could contribute that to the transition from the nose to the trailing edges of the wings of the plane.
    In other words an aerodynamic feature.


    Basic physics tells us that to get range we need a powerful signal. To detect a target that is 400km away the radar wave has to travel 800km. The larger the antenna the more "return" signal is captured so a large antenna means longer range too.
    Ok if you want this compare a 400 km 55Zh6-1 Nebo UY radar sensor size with the E-3 spherical radome radar that has range OVER 400 km despite being much smaller than nebo... isn't here something that sounds the bell?!?
    There are all over facts when a smaller sensor have better performance.
    I will tell you if NEBO would have been long wave AESA model, it would certainly be much smaller than this one. Old radars had to have very powerfull signal because its reception systems of the echoed signals were not sensitive enough to pick up the very weak signal and moreso if this signal was distributed across the whole frequency spectrum, there were no means of performing the calculations on the received signal to determine if it is the one send from the radar and what are the parameters of an object the signal was reflected from. You serously need to do some research on this... it is not something i have invented Smile


    I am saying better CCD sensors and better processing of the image will certainly help, but having a large mirror is always a good thing too because having a good big mirror means the quality of the data all that processing power has to work with makes the resulting information much better quality.
    I am saying that adding processing power will allmost allways help, while making an antenae bigger alone won't do any better without any additional changes to the radar design.
    On top of that in AESA radar you can exchange the elemens for ones with better performance, and smaller size. This alone can greatly improve the performance, without making the sensor bigger.


    There is no advantage to upgrading the electronics if the source of the information (ie radar antenna) is not improved too. Making the AESA elements smaller does not improve their performance... it just means they take up less space. Adding more elements is what improves performance.
    This is the same as if you would say that you need a washing machine as big as an rocket carrier because the chips that were used to guide apollo on their mission to moon are exactly those that are now used in washing machines.
    in 1996 you had 100 mhz pentium cpu... today your smartphone you have 600 mhz cpu couple of times smaller. Simply put, miniturization and enhancement of performance are possible and widely accepted as a modern evolutionary trend. You can't deny that unless you are missing a common knowledge...



    Lets test your argument... the radar of an old system should be larger than the radar for a new system... but those big PESA radars of the S-300 system are huge and every bit as big as the older systems used before them.
    The new radars for S-400 are the same size or even bigger.
    Thats because the miniturization of such radar antena was not a priority task on the SAM system. What was a priority task was great improve on detection range such system would be able to achieve. Compare the detection ranges of old radars, and todays similar size pesas and you will find the huge differrence. However in system like HALE UAV JSTARS size would matter, and not just size but energy consumtion as well.



    Sorry, it doesn't. AWACS is more than just a radar on a plane. The Zond is just a radar on a UAV. Making sure civilian aircraft keep to the airspace they are allocated to and don't crash into each other is not the same thing as what an AWACS does.
    Ok on top of that it is a command and control post. Something that UAV would logically be not - and it would be considered a feature "not a bug" Smile



    And I disagree here too. Most of the stuff there to keep the crew safe also keep the plane flying and that sort of stuff would be needed in a UAV as well... unless the sensors and electronics were expendible... which they are not.
    But crew/passenger safety systems are by no means only a electronic that makes sure the plane will reach its target destination. Those are water vests, oxygen systems, pressure systems, MRE bags, fire extinguishers, ventilation systems, materials with extended fire resistivity, catapults and tons of other systems that are veeery expensive and UAV would certainly not need them.



    Requirements usually come from previous experience.
    Which does not neccessarily have to be your own experience - you know the saying, wise man learns from the mistake of others.
    But when first uav was aloft, there was no previus experience... there was just an idea how it could be used, and from there it all begun.



    Do they? How many of the people who developed Reiss are now foreigners? Ukrainians etc.
    How many have been driving taxi cabs for the last 20 years and remember nothing about building Reiss?
    Experience is a transient resource... you lose it over time.
    And you think if all of the engineers are dead there will be no knowledge and experience left. Ah c'mon garry... you know the Russian academy of sciences exists exactly for this purpose to retain knowledge and experience and to teach/educate future engineers and scientists. Knowledge does fade out, but certainly not that fast as you think. I would be worried if Russians would not design any aircraft for 40 years (one generation), but this is certainly not the case.



    They built the first robots to land on the moon, but when Chernobyl exploded they asked an American university for robots to go into areas of high radiation to help deal with the problem. The US government intervened and banned the university from helping them BTW and so they sent people in instead.
    Thats fine, everything all right, but that does not mean they were not able to build them themselves. They were just in a very urgent need to have them right in that time...



    When was the last sale of anything internationally that wasn't political or influenced by politics?
    Well was your foreign car purchase influenced by politics? Because mine wasn't Smile I hardly believe French goverment would back Airbus in a head to head competition with Boeing backed up by US. We here in EU are small fries to be able to do that... no matter how i wish that to be true.



    Faith has little to do with anything. They have a requirement for a JSTARS like platform. The lack of maturity in the Russian UAV industry means a UAV base solution is a huge risk. There is no reason to take the risk of making their first JSTARS platform unmanned. The money saved in making them unmanned will be lost with the first platform when it crashes.
    Ahm, faith in technlogy is the alpha and omega. Even you now describe your faith in manned JSTARS while you have no proof that it would trully perform its mission better than JSTARS UAV simply because there is not a known model to us with which we would be able to compare the mission effectiveness data. You only believe in your opinion to be the right one, but you don't have any scientific evidence to prove it. Thats your faith in the manned technology...




    The logic the Russian designers used was that if an Su-25 pilot operate with one pilot then why not a helicopter. The automation in flying the Ka-50 and its targeting system meant it can be operated during the day as a single seat aircraft which it was successful at.

    The fact that there are no American helos comparable to the Ka-50 is why they think flying during the day is a full time job... because their way of using CAS aircraft and their systems are less automated.
    Now use the same kind of logic for HALE JSTARS UAV. Russians made countless of reliable rugged space based automated sensor, why not to make a atmospheric platform?
    Americans have manned JSTARS... its their way of making systems less automated. Simple as that.



    Russia has the ground based SAM and air based fighter capacity to protect a JSTARS like aircraft in most situations.
    Chinese and Japanese are both developing their indigenous 5th generation fighters. China have the F-X project, Japan have project Shinshin.
    Do you think that Russia will have the strength and numbers to defend its manned JSTARS from Chinese 5th gen fighter? And even if so, if they would utilize a ground based laser to attach such aircraft it will have longer operational range that the range of its SAR sensor. Manned JSTARS will ALLWAYS be a much more risky business.



    In a full conflict I think the Russian military would be more interested in the information such an air asset could gather over the lives at stake.
    The era of Soviet Union is over. There is no longer a goverment with mindset "couple of deaths of our own people?? thats just a statistic". Today they do care about the well being of their armed forces personell, as they no longer possess the numbers to retain the old soviet thinking and doctrine.


    It makes rather more sense to develop a JSTARS mother ship with UAVs carrying specific antennas that can be launched separately and flown much higher but also much closer to the enemy. The UAVs would not be cheap nor expendable and would need fighter cover, but in times of conflict the information from a JSTARS is worth more than 1,000 lives and 20 billion dollars. Sending UAV after UAV to get shot down does not give you the information you want and need.
    So you suggest that they should develop a manned jstars and a hale uav jstars? Or a airship mixed with the hale uav? Wouldn't that kill the main reason why UAV would be utilized => maintenance, operational and development costs? They sure need a reckon platform but costs matters.


    Of course you do... without them and the slightest problem leads to several million bucks worth of bonfire.
    Ok please tell me which UAV have quadrupple fly by wire system. Because i know several manned aircrafts that do have such system.


    You could design it so that the EMP pulse itself ionises the gas so there is no need for a reaction system.
    There needs to be a special gas substance to do that. There would need to be a system to dispense the gas in required intensity/volume/density and for a entire flight time. This i see as mission impossible as i see it - the gas tank have to be huge and heavy.



    The only country on the planet that could use F-22s to kill a Russian JSTARS is the US. In that case who cares?
    You are surpisingly simpleminded in this matter. F-35 development finish is arround the corner. And even if we count out the F-22 and F-35, in next 10-20 years China, India, Japan and others are going to introduce 5th generation fighters beside Russia. If you foresee future this way like a true Airforce professional official then you DO care... because you design your requirements for JSTARS thinking 20-30 years ahead to the future.



    STARS wouldn't fly right through war zones either.
    What is a war zone for you? I would imagine a warzone airspace to be a frontline and everything within 600 km radius from it. And JSTARS will surely be within that airspace.



    Actually you might be surprised. The turbofan engines used by most jet airliners trade heat and airflow speed for air mass flow. The air coming out the back includes a lot of air that is only warm because it has been compressed.
    IR heat seekers will see that as a bright star on a dark night sky...



    The 707, 747, and lots of other airliner types are used by many military forces around the world.
    But they were not primarily designed as military planes.



    It is not about reinventing the wheel... it is about walking before you try to run.
    Again you present them as if they had no experience whatsoever no subsystem experience. You might end up being very surprised and very sooon.



    I am talking about an unmanned platform that can operate for months with an antenna array that would replace the radar of the AWACS aircraft.

    A ground based laser with huge operational range and instant effect sounds nice... a nice target for a cruise missile and currently scifi.

    Much cheaper and easier to make an airship that operates at 30,000m than a laser that can attack it.
    Nice target for a cruise missile? Even if it would be mobile like MTHEL and with primary role to defend against enemy artilery shells? Those lasers would be certainly multipurpose - used in fields where they would be the only effective weapon to do the job. Shooting down some airship will be a strawberry on a cake.
    And regarding the laser sci-fi. You can read something here... http://chinaview.wordpress.com/2007/01/19/china-developed-ground-based-laser-weapons-with-russia/ i would say that sci-fi is right now behind the doors already knocking...
    And for your knowledge its not a problem for modern airdefense to defeat a cruise missile - unless it is a hypersonic maneuvering vehicle.


    Shooting it down would be an act of war... especially as it will be operating over Russia
    Do you think Georgians would care?


    The airships are unmanned.
    Then they would not need any HA UAVs to resupply them right?


    They have also said it may include unmanned airships.
    MAY... not will... Smile


    And what does that 5th gen fighters chances become when it is 5th gen fighters protecting the Jstars?
    Can you really say that enemy won't use conventional fighters to catch the attention of escorting fighters while its sltealth fighter will attack the jstars. Or that they will not use ultra long range missiles similar to K-100 from Novator? Because i can't...



    Only one country in the world has 5th gen fighters operational currently and its deployment of any of these aircraft to airbases within range of Russia would lead to the movement and targeting of quite a few nuclear armed missiles at the bases they operate from... not to mention the careful scanning of various long range OTH-B radars used to detect rather small objects flying around the place.
    The Russian systems can apparently track paint chips in orbit.
    Humint would also likely be important here because F-22s flying around Russia would be pretty much an act of war without their permission and assuming even just one was detected it would likely be assumed to be part of a low flying strike mission to take out Russias nuclear strike ability... which would likely lead to it being used before it was lost. Did you say something about Jstars?
    Hmmm.... Ok so nobody would dare to enter into a conventional conflict with Russia because of their nuclear capability right? But oh wait, in 2008 Georgians did that... 5th generation stealth aircrafts will be devloped only in few countries, but they will be eventually sold arround the world and used by other countries as well. Countries like goergia that will not hesitate to wage a war with Siberian Bear (providing they will have as much crazy of a president as Saakashvili) - but he proved that it is possible, and your thinking "nobody will attack us because we have nuclear weapons", proved to be wrong unfortunatelly. And that is why you need to have JSTARS UAV.... even more so that special forces of enemy country could penetrate your country borders on foot and use some advanced stingers to threaten your jstars platform.


    To detect and track stealthy aircraft at useful ranges they will need AESAs with enormous processing power and enormous arrays... means a big aircraft with lots of electrical power to run it all.
    To detect and track a stealthy aircraft reliably you need ground systems and so called triangulation, or you need metric radar systems which you have no chance of putting onto any aircraft yet, let alone a UAV. That is why NEBO is so huge... so to intercept a stealth craft you would need a GCI station with input from such radar to guide its friendly aircraft close enough to the enemy fighter to use its onboard sensor for attack.



    But that works both ways doesn't it? When the US sends F-22s into Russia the Russians can launch T-50s into NATO airspace. BTW a supercruising F-22 would glow beautifully on the IRSTs fitted to all modern Russian interceptors and their long range IR guided BVR missiles would be the ideal tool to deal with such a threat.

    BTW flying at mach 1.5 (~400m/s) will not save you from SAMs flying at 2km/s or faster.
    In super cruise F-22 wont afterburn, don't forget that. While IRST today is very sensitive... don't forget the heat dissipation architecture of the engine outlet is also a pretty effective thing redusing the IR signature several fold. Long range IR BVR missiles are easy to shake off. You just need to turn your aircraft head on with the incomming missile and it will loose your IR signature quite quickly. They are used for tail on scenarios within no-escape launch zone.
    And don't forget all of the Russian SAMs are PESAs so they are easily tracked by RWR and their no escape zones are also known. Its a piece of cake for a supercruise F-22 to avoid no escape zone while attacking JSTARS.



    Funding doesn't fall from the sky. You can't get foreign investors for secret programs they don't know about.
    Do you remember the S-47 Sukoi demonstrator. At the time of the first public performance nobody was sure that this was just a demonstrator. Everyone believed to be a genuine fighter project. Yet it was not... the same goes for Mig 1.42



    By taking the piloting out of the equation then anybody could be trained to perform the roles the UAV performs because the flying is done automatically.
    Which makes the AF officials even more possitive to this kind of JSTARS approach.



    Play DCS:Hokum on realistic settings... a dozen switches before you can even take off.
    Well i'd love to. I have flamming cliffs 2.0... but i would rather see this reality be implemented on a simulation of an aircraft rather than a chopper. I know they released A-10, but who cares about western crap. And regarding the uber fast Ka-50 starting procedure... i have seen a guy on youtube flying in about 40 seconds, which is quite good.




    GarryB
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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:28 am

    Garry you have previously expressed opinion that for high frequencies you need big antena.

    No I haven't. Big antennas improve angular discrimination at longer ranges, but it is only long wave low frequency radars that demand larger TR elements.

    For a given frequency a larger radar dish or larger number of elements improves performance... which becomes rather important at longer ranges.

    As far as i know the ground based radars like NEBO are big like that because of physical fact that long waves (wavelengths) are ideal for over the horizont scans and are reportedly also ideal for detecting and tracking stealth planes.

    Look up the stats these are no OTH-B radars, these are long range search radars that might be attached to an S-300 or S-400 battery for collecting surveillance data on LO and stealth aircraft at long range.

    However if you'll build an Ultra High frequency AESA radar with much higher frequency band of that size with huge amounts of elements, you will have overall a muuuch better range and capabilities than those of NEBO.

    The design and purpose of stealth is to directly effect the performance of high frequency short waveband radio emissions. Trying a brute force route as you suggest here is short sighted. To defeat an enemy you don't attack them where they are strong, or where they are expecting you to attack from. An F-22 is hard to track in high frequencies, so the obvious solution is to use frequencies it is not designed to evade... hense NEBO.

    But the problem would be that your waves won't be reflected by ionosphere and it won't be a over the horizont radar rather than a straight "line of sight" ABM and Space vehicles tracking radar. But that does not mean it will have worse charracteristics than the NEBO. You have again stated inadequate example

    NEBO is not and was never intended as an over the horizon radar.

    Look certainly smaller than NEBO right?

    No. That radar is enormous... look at the size of the buildings in the picture!

    Those are not the same AESA radars as the ones on the aircraft but, they are as well composed of smaller elements that are also present on its airborne equivalents.

    AESA is an active electronically scanned antenna radar. It doesn't need to look like the thing in the nose of an F-22 to qualify, it simply needs multiple TR modules in an array of elements in an antenna.

    It is not a question of technology level even the US right now could not make an antenna physically smaller in the same frequency with the same performance.

    If no processing power was needed then why are there processors based in those radars?

    Let me turn that around and ask how could they possibly fit radars into WWII night fighter aircraft? What sort of electronic processing power did they have then?

    Size of the antenae was dictated by the wavelength required to fulfill the purpose of the radar, not by its frequency.

    So frequency and wavelength are unrelated?



    Long wavelength is low frequency and high frequency is short wavelength.

    This is complicated because there are bands of EM energy we have special names for so high and low frequency light waves are all clearly much higher frequency and much shorter wavelengths than anything we call radio waves as you can see above.

    Gamma waves, xrays, then the light spectrum of UV, visible light, and IR light, and then microwaves down to radio waves and long radio waves where all the frequencies of radar are.

    It seems no matter what kind of argument i can tel you your manned jstars stand firmly in your mind. Ok never mind that. However what do you expect a JSTARS SAR operational range would be? couple of hundreds of kilometers. Do you think such a range would be a problem for enemy fighters. What i am trying to say is that manned jstars will have to be positioned close to the enemy frontline - and even if it would be in a friendly airspace, that doesn't mean it will be invulnerable.

    If a manned aircraft is so easy to shoot down then why have any at all? Manned or unmanned a shot down aircraft is useless as it will not be able to perform its function of collecting data.

    But being unable to prevent an attack of Mig-25 on your own air asset is clearly a demonstration other than air superiority/supremacy. Air superiority it would be when you would be shooting down that mig sooner than he would reach its target, to prove that you really have control over the air space arround you. But this is just a game of words.

    The Iraqis did not shoot down a single JSTARS, nor did the Serbs in Kosovo. This suggests despite being a high priority target they are not as vulnerable as you want to suggest.

    Russia doesn't need uber invincible JSTARS... it just needs JSTARS. It really doesn't matter a huge amount whether it is manned or unmanned as long as it does the job. Trying to make it unmanned will make it much more expensive and much more vulnerable.

    Well it is a bit wider but i would not call it significantly and mostly you could contribute that to the transition from the nose to the trailing edges of the wings of the plane.

    I think you mean leading edges of the wings... and there is no reason why the front of the aircraft has to be as wide as it is... compare the Su-34 and the Su-27. It is wide on the Su-34 because of the side by side seating, but on the Su-27 it is the width of the radar that makes the nose as wide as it is, not the cockpit.

    Ok if you want this compare a 400 km 55Zh6-1 Nebo UY radar sensor size with the E-3 spherical radome radar that has range OVER 400 km despite being much smaller than nebo... isn't here something that sounds the bell?!?

    Again... NEBO is a low frequency long wave radar antenna. The radar disc on the E-3 covers the radar AND has space for it to rotate 360 degrees. Imagine the volume of NEBO if you put a ball around it that would allow it to spin 360 degrees within it.

    There are all over facts when a smaller sensor have better performance.

    Now you are just being silly. The Russians already have an E-3 sized radar in their A-50... do you really think NEBO was in any way related to the radar in the E-3 and that they are comparable? First of all NEBO is an AESA and the E-3 radar is NOT.

    I will tell you if NEBO would have been long wave AESA model, it would certainly be much smaller than this one.

    NEBO is a low frequency long wavelength AESA. It operates in the KHz range... and if you look above at the spectrum I posted the kilohertz range is 10^3 which puts it at about 10^5m, which means a single pulse is 100,000m long.

    Stealth comes from two areas... shaping and materials. The shaping works by deflecting radio waves in all other directions than the one the waves came from so very little energy goes back to the emitter. Materials is all about absorbing radio waves and converting them... normally into minor amounts of heat.

    Old radars had to have very powerfull signal because its reception systems of the echoed signals were not sensitive enough to pick up the very weak signal and moreso if this signal was distributed across the whole frequency spectrum,

    Wait what? If old radars had to be very powerful to work why are modern radars much more powerful than old radars? The reception systems are the same as the transmission systems except for bistatic systems that separated the transmitter and receiver. The beams were doppler shifted by moving objects but a change in frequency??? An X band radar has a transmit and receive sensor that detects X band emissions... if it was converted into signals across the whole frequency spectrum... well I look forward to your explaination of how an X band radar could detect gamma rays and xrays and visible light and IR light or UV light for that matter.

    there were no means of performing the calculations on the received signal to determine if it is the one send from the radar and what are the parameters of an object the signal was reflected from. You serously need to do some research on this... it is not something i have invented

    So you are saying that in the 1950s and 1960s there were no digital computers with computer chips so all radar from that period and before didn't actually work.

    Let me politely disagree.

    I am saying that adding processing power will allmost allways help, while making an antenae bigger alone won't do any better without any additional changes to the radar design.

    I half agree. Better processing power is useful to a limit. Improved antenna design is the other piece of the puzzle. You can improve the processing all you like but if the antenna is what is limiting your performance then spending more money and time on the processing will not help with performance. The antenna provides the data that is processed so the better designed the antenna the better quality the data.
    You can't just keep upgrading processing power and expect that all of a sudden you can detect smaller targets at longer ranges.
    One of the advantages of AESA radars is that each TR module has a processor attached to it to remove noise and improve data quality, so preprocessing is built into the antenna itself.

    On top of that in AESA radar you can exchange the elemens for ones with better performance, and smaller size. This alone can greatly improve the performance, without making the sensor bigger.

    Not normally true. Usually a reduction in AESA element size alone is not where the performance improvement comes from... it comes from the fact that on the same platform with smaller elements a radar can have a larger array with more elements of the same or similar performance. The improvement comes from the extra elements. Simply by making the array larger and fitting more of the older larger elements you could have gotten similar improvements in performance at the cost of extra weight and heat etc.

    in 1996 you had 100 mhz pentium cpu... today your smartphone you have 600 mhz cpu couple of times smaller. Simply put, miniturization and enhancement of performance are possible and widely accepted as a modern evolutionary trend. You can't deny that unless you are missing a common knowledge...

    In the mid 1980s I had an Amiga 500 computer with a 7Mhz processor... I am quite familiar how far computers have come and I am suggesting to you that pure clock speed alone is a very poor measure. If computer chips had aided other fields as much then we would have finger nail sized radars able to track tens of thousands of targets at thousands of kilometres range, and cars that could drive 100s of thousands of kms on one tank of fuel at thousands of kms per hour.

    Reality is that other fields have not had the same logarithmic growth in performance.

    Thats because the miniturization of such radar antena was not a priority task on the SAM system.

    Of course it would. Small antennas are more mobile and can be fitted to much smaller and cheaper trucks. The simple facts of the matter are that electronics have improved, but so have the threats and instead of looking for 5msq targets in the 1980s they are now expected to deal with 0.01msq targets from even longer distances because the range of the missiles has also increased too.

    JSTARS radars will have the same problem... technology has improved, but so have the threats become more sophisticated. Kit like Nakidka can make a tank 6 times less radar reflective and reduce its IR signature 2-3 times too.

    Those are water vests, oxygen systems, pressure systems, MRE bags, fire extinguishers, ventilation systems, materials with extended fire resistivity, catapults and tons of other systems that are veeery expensive and UAV would certainly not need them.

    A UAV would need most of the above... electronics need to be kept at optimum temperatures. Fires need to be put out, but with on person to direct fire extinguishers you need a whole lot more set up all over the place with redundant backups in case of failure. Fireproof materials, ventilation systems would be needed even more so on a UAV... any moisture in an unpressurised unheated part of the UAV becomes solid ice at 10,000m...

    Which does not neccessarily have to be your own experience - you know the saying, wise man learns from the mistake of others.

    Quite true, but requires cooperation from those that have been down that road... so all the Russians have to do is find people who have made JSTARS platforms before and ask them an enormous number of questions about it right?

    But when first uav was aloft, there was no previus experience... there was just an idea how it could be used, and from there it all begun.

    That is exactly right. They took money and time and they did what they thought was right. They had to make a lot of choices and had no one to guide them and sometimes they made mistakes... mistakes that were time consuming and costly.
    Over time and with money spent they gained experience.

    That is what I am suggesting. Gain experience by building a manned JSTARS aircraft. It will likely save one Russian designed airliner, and will do a job required of it, and will lead to experience that in 20-25 years might lead to UAVs that could support the mission and perhaps in 25-30 years from now lead to a UAV that could do it all by itself.

    And you think if all of the engineers are dead there will be no knowledge and experience left.

    REISS is not HALE, and certainly nothing like JSTARS, or JSTARS in a bottle.

    Thats fine, everything all right, but that does not mean they were not able to build them themselves. They were just in a very urgent need to have them right in that time...

    They didn't have them then and they didn't have time to develop them because they needed them right away. JSTARS is needed and the timeframe is not huge because it is a useful part of a Net Centric system that will benefit such a system as soon as it is available for operation. They could be using it right now over Chechnia monitoring movements in the mountains etc.

    Well was your foreign car purchase influenced by politics?

    Of course it was. Lots of people will not touch certain car brands because they are French or commie or whatever.

    I hardly believe French goverment would back Airbus in a head to head competition with Boeing backed up by US.

    So how many Boeings are there in French military service? I would suggest only the E-3s. If Airbus had an aircraft available already developed it would get the nod over any American alternatives.

    For an Intel gathering aircraft like this Russia can hardly risk a foreign aircraft to base it on.

    Even you now describe your faith in manned JSTARS while you have no proof that it would trully perform its mission better than JSTARS UAV simply because there is not a known model to us with which we would be able to compare the mission effectiveness data.

    I can say with confidence that EM powered guns offer performance levels well above conventional models currently in use. I can also say that the new Russian tank that will be ready in 2015 will have a conventional 125mm gun. They could spend billions of dollars and develop a 60mm gun that fires 3kg projectiles at 5km/s that can defeat any existing or future tank... but I know it is very unlikely they will. They have much more money to spend but they have to pretty much upgrade everything. They are spending money on what they need... not what would be cool. This limits the amount they can spend on each item so a manned JSTARs, while expensive is a relatively low risk... it has been done before and has a proven record. Unless they make a fundamental serious mistake their model will be useful too. The point is that being too ambitious leads to more risk... unnecessary risk that could lead to a failure. UAV JSTARS is a step too far in my opinion.

    They are certainly spending on UAVs and by 2020 there might be grounds to look to use them outside the roles of recon and as light attack platforms.

    Thats your faith in the manned technology...

    In Russia... proven and mature technology.

    Now use the same kind of logic for HALE JSTARS UAV. Russians made countless of reliable rugged space based automated sensor, why not to make a atmospheric platform?
    Americans have manned JSTARS... its their way of making systems less automated. Simple as that.

    If they are going to make an unmanned JSTARs then why waste time making it a UAV?

    Put it in orbit and make it safe from 95% of the worlds militaries. Shooting down a UAV drone is nothing... Russia did that just before the war with Georgia. Shooting down someone elses satellite however is something the US would never be able to justify or condone because they have too much to lose if that became acceptable international behaviour.

    Chinese and Japanese are both developing their indigenous 5th generation fighters. China have the F-X project, Japan have project Shinshin.
    Do you think that Russia will have the strength and numbers to defend its manned JSTARS from Chinese 5th gen fighter? And even if so, if they would utilize a ground based laser to attach such aircraft it will have longer operational range that the range of its SAR sensor. Manned JSTARS will ALLWAYS be a much more risky business.

    Do you think a JSTARS that couldn't detect stealthy objects would be much use?
    If manned or unmanned JSTARS are deathtraps then why bother with them in the first place? Both will be very expensive so if they are so easy to take out why not put them in orbit?

    The era of Soviet Union is over. There is no longer a goverment with mindset "couple of deaths of our own people?? thats just a statistic". Today they do care about the well being of their armed forces personell, as they no longer possess the numbers to retain the old soviet thinking and doctrine.

    Perhaps you come from a country where war is for fun. Getting information about the enemies forces, their positions and movements would be critical in a real battle.
    It is not that the crew of a JSTARS are expendible, it is that the information they provide might turn the course of the battle and lead to much better control and use of forces which might cost 20 lives from the air force, but save thousands of lives of the ground forces that didn't fall into a trap and were able to accurately target enemy force concentrations from a distance with artillery instead of stumbling forward blind.

    So you suggest that they should develop a manned jstars and a hale uav jstars? Or a airship mixed with the hale uav? Wouldn't that kill the main reason why UAV would be utilized => maintenance, operational and development costs? They sure need a reckon platform but costs matters.

    It would be safer from a design perspective to develop in smaller steps... manned Jstars first which could be augmented with parasite UAVs with sensors that could either fly higher or closer to the target area for example.

    Ok please tell me which UAV have quadrupple fly by wire system. Because i know several manned aircrafts that do have such system.

    Any aircraft that is not expendable will have redundant control systems and that includes JSTARS UAVs. Giving it a single system will just make it much more likely to crash... and there goes any savings you made by making them unmanned.

    There needs to be a special gas substance to do that. There would need to be a system to dispense the gas in required intensity/volume/density and for a entire flight time. This i see as mission impossible as i see it - the gas tank have to be huge and heavy.

    No. Would be quite easy actually. Get a honey comb material and fill the air pockets with the gas. Line the entire fuselage with the material and it will work as a sound insulation too.

    You are surpisingly simpleminded in this matter.

    I think you mean shortsighted, and no, I don't think I am.

    A large JSTARS aircraft can carry enormous radar antenna on its sides... and internally it would have an enormous capacity for processing power... do you really think downgraded export F-35s will be invisible to something that is designed to look for barbed wire fences 300km away?

    because you design your requirements for JSTARS thinking 20-30 years ahead to the future.

    And in 20-30 years time think of the radars and electronics they will be using on it...

    What is a war zone for you? I would imagine a warzone airspace to be a frontline and everything within 600 km radius from it. And JSTARS will surely be within that airspace.

    JSTARS will not be operating alone, it will have AWACS and fighter support and no doubt the Russian forces below it will have an enormous range of SAMs that could be used against the JSTARS's attackers too.

    IR heat seekers will see that as a bright star on a dark night sky...

    DIRCM.

    http://www.scorpion.com.gr/overview-manta.html

    Nice target for a cruise missile? Even if it would be mobile like MTHEL and with primary role to defend against enemy artilery shells?

    A laser is a system that uses light to transmit and concentrate energy. For a cruise missile the front 50mm could be made of an ablative material that can withstand very high temperatures with Glonass guidance.

    Lasers are expensive and very few of Russias neighbours could afford them. Also... a UAV would not be any safer so what difference does it make?

    Do you think Georgians would care?

    Of course they would care about giving the Russians a clear and internationally acceptable reason to wipe them off the planet in a way that even the US wouldn't be able to object to.

    Then they would not need any HA UAVs to resupply them right?

    The Russians have developed unmanned models so far. A larger manned system might be developed and could use UAVs to resupply it.

    Can you really say that enemy won't use conventional fighters to catch the attention of escorting fighters while its sltealth fighter will attack the jstars. Or that they will not use ultra long range missiles similar to K-100 from Novator? Because i can't...

    Can you really see a conflict involving Russia where the enemy has lots of 5th gen stealth fighters flying around Russian airspace where the survival of JSTARS aircraft is more important than TOPOL-M?

    There are plenty of Russian weapons that will totally destroy an Abrams tank. The Kh-29 has been in service for more than 20 years... I have photos of it under the wing of a Mig-27 in the mid 1980s... it has a 10-30km range depending on the model and a 320kg shaped charge warhead that would turn the crew of any tank ever even thought of into jam without even penetrating the armour. Is that a good reason not to bother with building Abrams tanks?

    The fact that a new JSTARS could be shot down is not news... anything can be shot down. In fact a B-2 bomber is way more vulnerable than a JSTARS because it has to fly all the way to the target area to do its job. Anyone in an early model Mig-29 with an IRST and 30mm cannon shells could take a B-2 down. Yet they made them anyway.

    Hmmm.... Ok so nobody would dare to enter into a conventional conflict with Russia because of their nuclear capability right? But oh wait, in 2008 Georgians did that... 5th generation stealth aircrafts will be devloped only in few countries, but they will be eventually sold arround the world and used by other countries as well.

    It is the same thing I would say about the US manned JSTARS. Any opponent capable enough to threaten JSTARS will be so capable that JSTARS will not be needed... ICBMs will do the talking. The Georgians didn't pick a fight with Russia or Abkhazia... they picked a fight with South Ossetia. They ran away from the fight with Russia.

    Countries like goergia that will not hesitate to wage a war with Siberian Bear (providing they will have as much crazy of a president as Saakashvili) - but he proved that it is possible, and your thinking "nobody will attack us because we have nuclear weapons", proved to be wrong unfortunatelly.

    A Russian Manned JSTARS in the Georgian conflict would have been of much reduced value without a network that could take the real time information and convert it into commands to soldiers on the ground.

    And that is why you need to have JSTARS UAV.... even more so that special forces of enemy country could penetrate your country borders on foot and use some advanced stingers to threaten your jstars platform.

    You just don't get it do you? A dead JSTARS is as much use as tits on a bull... if it was unmanned it means it is still now useless. They only want about a dozen JSTARS, if they are unmanned they wont buy more and when they are lost there will be a hole in their performance.

    To detect and track a stealthy aircraft reliably you need ground systems and so called triangulation, or you need metric radar systems which you have no chance of putting onto any aircraft yet, let alone a UAV. That is why NEBO is so huge... so to intercept a stealth craft you would need a GCI station with input from such radar to guide its friendly aircraft close enough to the enemy fighter to use its onboard sensor for attack.

    Early thermal imagers used a single line of IR sensitive elements. Using a vibrating mirror they could generate a 2D image at x number of frames per second. They can do the same on an aircraft. Use a single line of radar elements that can move vertically and use all that wonderful processing power to make them appear like a block of elements instead of a line. Signal processing can determine range and doppler can determine closing speed.

    In super cruise F-22 wont afterburn, don't forget that. While IRST today is very sensitive... don't forget the heat dissipation architecture of the engine outlet is also a pretty effective thing redusing the IR signature several fold.

    Flying at supersonic speed generates hotspots on the front edges of the fuselage and wings due to friction. An SR-71 would heat up to well over 300 degrees C at an altitude where the air temperature is minus 70 degrees C or colder.

    To supercruise the F-22 has to fly high so clouds and atmosphere will be less of a problem.

    Long range IR BVR missiles are easy to shake off. You just need to turn your aircraft head on with the incomming missile and it will loose your IR signature quite quickly. They are used for tail on scenarios within no-escape launch zone.

    I have seen IIR seeker views of an F-4 phantom and it was flying sub sonically and you could clearly see all its details from the front including canopy.

    And don't forget all of the Russian SAMs are PESAs so they are easily tracked by RWR and their no escape zones are also known.

    What? Electronically scanned arrays have the same benefits in terms of low sidelobes and narrow beams that are not detectable unless they are tracking you.

    The no escape zones for the missiles are estimates. A radar 400km away lighting you up does not mean that directly below you there is not another missile battery with their radars off getting target data from the distant radar and are about to launch a missile at you in optical mode.

    Its a piece of cake for a supercruise F-22 to avoid no escape zone while attacking JSTARS.

    Who is to say there are no T-50s in the area ready to shoot down any F-22s that approach?

    Do you remember the S-47 Sukoi demonstrator. At the time of the first public performance nobody was sure that this was just a demonstrator. Everyone believed to be a genuine fighter project. Yet it was not... the same goes for Mig 1.42

    I remember clearly. It was not a demonstrator, it was their competitor for the MFI program, which changed to the MFS program, and then it became their prototype demonstrator to win the right to develop build the PAK FA. The Mig-1.42 and Mig-1.44 went through the same process.

    Which makes the AF officials even more possitive to this kind of JSTARS approach.

    Yeah... cause Air Force personel hate pilots and think the Air Force should be broken up and handed over to the Army to be used in a purely support role... NOT.

    Most AF officials were pilots and don't trust computers to do what they did except in a few specialised areas where humans are not needed.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  medo on Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:56 pm




    Photo of Searcher 2 in Russian army.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:03 am

    It is likely that these Israeli drones will be used mainly in training units, while active in service systems will be Russian or at least part Russian designed.

    note: http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?rurl=translate.google.com&tl=en&u=http://lenta.ru/news/2010/11/03/own/&usg=ALkJrhj3gNZyQmmYcfIViWKuUw0tzqUA4g

    The Israeli systems are mature systems, but not state of the art. They are a good base to work from and of course the range of systems goes from tiny hand held systems used by individual soldiers to see what is over the next hill or behind the building in front of them, right up to large aircraft with enormous flight ranges and endurance capabilities.

    For most army systems they will not be super long range systems.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:22 am



    The Lutch UCAV.

    With a payload capacity of 150 to 170kgs including weapon director I would suspect its primary weapon will be Kornet-M.

    The guidance component on the original Kornet was about 26kgs, so lets say the new system increases that to 30kgs, and the max weight of 170kgs means that there is 140kgs left. At 33kgs per missile that means it could carry 4.2 missiles, which should be enough weight capacity for 4 missiles and pylons.
    With medium altiude air launch the range of the missiles will likely be increased to up to 15kms with the added bonus of higher average flight speeds as well.

    Alternative loads might include the 7 shot 80mm rocket pods used by light aircraft, perhaps with guided rockets, and probably gun mounts like 30mm grenade launchers and 30 and 50 cal mgs.

    It could also carry two or three FAB-50 bombs... and it wouldn't be a huge stretch to fit an FAB-50 bomb with a satellite guidance kit for GLONASS guidance.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:38 am



    Funny really... when the story of the Russian military calling Russian UAVs crap and buying Israeli UAVs came out it was pounced on and widely reported.

    This story doesn't seem to have been widely reported so quickly...

    Russia completes domestic UAV tests

    Russian domestically built unmanned aerial vehicles have completed a series of tests, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

    The tests were carried out in Nizhny Novgorod Region in central Russia and were observed by a special military commission led by Col. Gen. Alexander Postnikov, chief commander of the Ground Forces.

    Domestic UAV manufacturers were found to have made "significant progress" in improving their models, many of which can now enter service.

    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said in April that Russia had spent about 5 billion rubles ($172 million) on the development of indigenous drones, which eventually failed tests.

    Russian Air Force head Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said in November 2009 that Russian UAVs do not satisfy the requirements for speed, altitude and other specifications.

    Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Russia plans to team up with foreign firms, in particular Israel and France, to jointly manufacture UAVs on its soil.

    On September 10 the Defense Ministry said some 50 Russian military servicemen were undergoing training in the use of Israeli-built UAVs and that a total of twelve had been bought.

    Russia has reportedly signed two UAV contracts with Israel. Under the first contract, signed in April 2009, Israel delivered two Bird Eye 400 systems (worth $4 million), eight I View MK150 tactical UAVs ($37 million) and two Searcher Mk II multi-mission UAVs ($12 million).

    The second contract was for the purchase of 36 UAVs, worth a total of $100 million, to be delivered later this year.

    Russia and Israel are currently negotiating the establishment of a joint $300-million venture to produce UAVs.



    MOSCOW, September 20 (RIA Novosti)


    and

    Russia's Federal Security Service 'happy' with indigenous UAVs

    Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) is satisfied with the domestically produced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) it is using, a UAV maker said on Friday.

    Vega CEO Vladimir Verba said the FSB was "quite happy with the quality of our equipment."

    "The FSB is giving us new orders and we are cooperating successfully."

    He offered no indication as to how many UAVs had been bought or ordered.

    Verba did not rule out that the Russian Defense Ministry could buy UAVs abroad.

    "There is nothing terrible about that," he said.

    Verba said earlier on Friday his company would be able to produce UAVs able to compete with those produced abroad by 2013.

    Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Thursday Russia would team up with foreign firms to manufacture UAVs on its soil.

    On Monday the Defense Ministry said some 50 Russian military servicemen were undergoing training in the use of Israeli-built UAVs and that a total of 12 had been bought.

    The minister said that alongside Israel, France could become one of Russia's partners in making UAVs.

    Russia has reportedly signed two UAV contracts with Israel. Under the first contract, signed in April 2009, Israel delivered two Bird Eye 400 systems (worth $4 million), eight I View MK150 tactical UAVs ($37 million) and two Searcher Mk II multi-mission UAVs ($12 million).

    The second contract was for the purchase of 36 UAVs, worth a total of $100 million, to be delivered later this year.

    Russia and Israel are currently negotiating the establishment of a joint $300-million venture to produce UAVs.

    Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said in April that Russia had spent about 5 billion rubles ($172 million) on the development of indigenous drones, which eventually failed tests.

    Russian Air Force head Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said last November that Russian UAVs do not satisfy the requirements for speed, altitude and other specifications.

    GELENDZHIK, September 10 (RIA Novosti)


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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:48 am

    The heaviest 80mm rocket I am aware of is the S-8BM which is 15.2kgs.

    The 7 shot 80mm rocket pod designed for light aircraft has an empty weight of 40kgs, so the max weight of a fully loaded 7 shot pod should be just under 150kgs.

    Another 30kgs for optics package including a stabilised LTM would allow Ugroza packages to make it useful against point targets.

    I would think that two internal FAB-50s with satellite guidance might be more useful... perhaps a KAB-50S designation might be used.

    Of course it really depends on the real purpose of the aircraft... for most real recon purposes it could get by with the 7 smoke rockets which, at about 11kgs are much lighter than the standard rocket and would save 24kgs over 7 rockets of the exploding kind.

    Considering the payload capacity of this UAV it might be better just to equip it with 170kgs of optics and radar and extra fuel and use it to mark targets to real platforms like Su-25TM with Hermes missiles using SALH.

    Of course the 30kg optics and guidance system of the Kornet-M plus 4 x 33kg missiles... two under each wing would be long range and precision guided and would pack a decent punch would likely be their best choice.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Flanky on Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:26 am

    Hi Garry

    Long time no see.
    Growing kind of tired arguing why do i think we will see a hale uav in Russia pretty soon, i will skip that part...
    As much as the UAV industry is important, they should not forget that similar industry is now being discovered in the underwater enviroment.
    Americans are developing unmanned underwater vehicles and Russians should not really look into this field in order not to fall behind too much.
    I haven't heard about KAB-50 bomb. Anyway i remember you were saying that Russians have in development their "JSTARS plane", it did came to my mind when i have seen reports of Tu-214ON from MAKS. Well to me it seems they want it to be used as this form of recon but not as a full "JSTARS" capable asset. So that it seems that the groundm ilitary operations commanding structure will remain on the ground and that they will probably use UAV with SAR aperatus (TMI) capability.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:21 pm

    Hey Flanky,

    Nice to see you back.

    Please don't think of our discussion as an argument... I certainly didn't.

    I think of it more two enthusiasts sharing opinions and comparing notes to work out what those Ruskies are going to show us next... Smile

    Growing kind of tired arguing why do i think we will see a hale uav in Russia pretty soon, i will skip that part...

    We didn't disagree on that... I think they will be working hard on such things... they need them for their new net centric military force and no one is going to sell them anything worth a damn so they have to make it themselves.

    Americans are developing unmanned underwater vehicles and Russians should not really look into this field in order not to fall behind too much.

    When they had problems with the Kursk they bought a whole lot of western stuff. When that other deep submersible got caught in a "fishing net" they had systems but didn't have qualified operators available so they called in western help for that, but I rather suspect they have quite a few systems in operation now.

    I haven't heard about KAB-50 bomb.

    Smile It is my suggestion to the Russian armaments industry for light aircraft and also for precision attacks where larger bombs just make too much mess.

    The real problem seems to me to be they don't want to invest in new Russian airliners... which seems very strange to me, as most of their designs are very good, they just need to make that step (leap) from hand made individual planes for testing and proof of concept, through small scale production and error correction and mass production.

    BTW glad you revived this thread as the Lutch UAV revealed at MAKS2011 looked nothing like the photos I posted... it seems the problem is that Lutch is the name of the UAV maker and therefore is the name of quite a few UAVs that they make.


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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Flanky on Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:33 pm

    Actually about the airliners, this seems strange to me as well. I have been reading that they want to cancel the production of Il-96 which would be a complete shame. As this one is the only long range wide body jetliner in Russia now. But maybe it is because of factory production limits. In the light of recent aircraft disasters they want to phase out their old soviet made transport planes, and exchange them with new ones. This i guess needs a huge focus on new skilled workforce, tooling, project management, automation etc. Or they might have some contracts in place with Airbus. Sometimes i am left wondering what do they actually want or plan.

    Regarding the UUVs - its ok that we haven't seen any actual testbed models, but i haven't even read or heard rumors about them being interrested in this field.
    We are not talking here about deep submersible rescue vehicles. We are here talking about unnmanned armed mini submarines.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:39 am

    Sometimes i am left wondering what do they actually want or plan.

    It looks a bit chaotic from the outside... hopefully they will get it right eventually.

    The problem is everything needs fixing and some areas are easy to shine attention on than others.

    Certainly Boeing and Airbus would not be doing so well if there weren't domestic orders from their respective militaries to help them fund and produce products that would otherwise have trouble getting off the drawing board.

    Right now the Russian military is in serious need of a replacement for the Tu-142 MPA, the Il-38 MPA, the Il-22 and Il-20 in its various intel roles. At sea is where the real problem is because ASW is very expensive, very computer intensive work demanding a lot of processing power, so the new models wont be cheap, but will offer a dramatic increase in potential performance.

    Of course they need a lot of new transports as well, and in my opinion this would be a good time to dust off the Il-106 program for a medium/heavy transport in the 80-100 ton payload class to rival the C-17 and replace the An-22s currently in service with a Russian plane.

    We are not talking here about deep submersible rescue vehicles. We are here talking about unnmanned armed mini submarines.

    Ohh please Flanky... you should put quotes around rescue in DS"R"V. It is clearly a contradiction in terms. Most DSRVs operate at depths where survival is unlikely which makes the R recovery rather than rescue.

    The Russians have a lot of "special subs" and there is talk about what the two or three Akula/(NATO codename TYPHOON) will be upgraded to... some suggest very long range mother ship to naval spetsnaz diver teams and mini subs and UUVs that allow unmanned exploration of "dangerous waters" and covert operations. Other suggestions include heavy cruise missile carrier, and underwater research vessel mothership.

    Now they seem to actually be getting funding so the future seems pretty bright for the Russian military as a whole, though there are many areas of neglect to be sorted out.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Cyberspec on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:45 am

    The Lutch UAV is based on the Sigma-5 ultra light aircraft...it's definitely an interesting aircraft and should be quite agile


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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Flanky on Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:11 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    The Russians have a lot of "special subs" and there is talk about what the two or three Akula/(NATO codename TYPHOON) will be upgraded to... some suggest very long range mother ship to naval spetsnaz diver teams and mini subs and UUVs that allow unmanned exploration of "dangerous waters" and covert operations. Other suggestions include heavy cruise missile carrier, and underwater research vessel mothership.
    Well as far as my knowledge goes... one Delta III (Dolphin) was converted specifically for the use of Naval special forces and that is the Orenburg (BS-136).
    Another one is reportedly being converted Delta IV (BS-64) Podmoskovye
    I have no imformation about the other subs.

    But the point is... it seems they don't have any UUVs of the upcomming generation in the development. Or if they do have... then they are doing one hell of a good job keeping it secret.

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:47 pm

    They have lots of "special" subs they don't talk about.

    They have one sub that is testing a small nuclear reactor like the ones used in space craft... it is about 1m square and about 4 metres long and generates 10-20 kilowatts for about 20 years.
    It is being tested as an alternative to fuel cell technology for charging batteries basically instead of using a noisy diesel.

    There is also the Loshark, which is a deep sea diving sub, and of course there are several mini subs they had made in Finland for deep sea research.

    As I said they have about 3 Typhoons they are going to upgrade that will have a few options, and they bought a few of the British systems used in the Kursk recovery too.

    The Deltas are easy to tell from the Indias:



    And of course being nukes they are much faster and can stay on site with the only limitation of food.

    plus they have a range of mini subs like these:



    If you can read Russian then perhaps you could translate this for me:



    Then we have the new manned mini sub:



    And of course actual UUVs:




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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  Flanky on Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:55 pm

    ok i will be more specific...

    what i wanted to express is that Russians does not seem to have something like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6L1HdCeNdY

    or this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIoCF-HOmjE

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    Re: UAVs in Russian Armed Forces: News

    Post  GarryB on Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:08 am

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    These videos of US Navy concepts show their plans for the next 10-20 years.

    I am sure rebuilding their navy will be their first priority, though their sub force normally has better funding than the rest so I suspect they will be watching what the US Navy is doing and looking into their own designs at the same time.

    Just my opinion of course.

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