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jhelb
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    Future Dogfights

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:08 am

    There is a difference between Su-30MKI program and FGFA program. Su-30MKI was a customized version of Su-30 with hi-tech features like TVC, better radars, canards etc. And Russians later used the same concept to export it to Malaysia, Algeria and even ordered over 100 units for themselves.

    The Su-30 is actually the Su-27UB operational trainer. The Su-30M was given a better radar and was used by the PVO as a mini AWACS type aircraft to operate with lighter fighters as an airborne GCI vehicle.

    The aircraft was used as the basis for the Su-30MKI because India wanted a multirole two seater aircraft and it was the obvious choice.

    Apart from the addition of canards there wasn't really much of a structural change for the aircraft from the Su-30M design.

    Most of the real changes was the internals and avionics and systems.

    Where the FGFA differs is that it is not a customized T-50 based on Indian needs. It is rather a JOINT-VENTURE, where India and Russia are paying equal amount of money for complete R&D.

    The T-50 is already pretty much designed... Indian money is not going to radically change it that much unless they want it to be even stealthier which might lead to increased purchase and operational costs.

    At the end of the Day the difference between the operational PAK FA and the operational FFGA is that the latter will be developed in the directions India wants with the electronics and systems in it that India wants.

    Current T-50 as per Sukhoi themselves is a 5(-) fighter, but FGFA is going to be a true 5+ gen fighter and Stage 2 variant of the vanilla T-50.

    Sukhoi haven't developed a shell, they will have been perfecting fully integrated electronics for the aircraft for the last decade. The Su-35S will have -5th gen avionics developed for the T-50 and the first T-50 prototypes will have those avionics installed with improvements developed and ready for the first serial fighters.

    India might go with those components or they might choose domestic or French or Israeli components too... Russia might choose some Indian made components but are unlikely to choose Israeli or French components for obvious reasons.


    I don't expect the final Indian and the final Russian variant of the T-50 to be that different. Perhaps the Russian variant may have slightly better avionics and missiles, but even that has to be seen!

    Better in this context is meaningless... India will get the avionics they want and the Russian AF will also get the avionics they want... there wont be better.

    even Su-30MKI, Su-35S, and even stage 1 T-50 all have 2D TVC that is mounted in a ---\ /--- V-axis and can generate both vertical as well as lateral force, and can provide thrust even in the yaw plane(apart from the usual pitch axis thrust).

    Hence some people call this kind of canted TVC as "virtual 3D "TVC, some prefer to call it 2.5D TVC.

    The butterfly tail of the YF-23 with 45 degree tail surfaces can in theory simulate vertical and horizontal surfaces, but is not totally efficient at the job so they are not widely used.

    TVC engine nozzles are the same... they allow some Yaw control at the cost of less efficiency with vertical and horizontal deflection effect.

    Lets see whether they can develop something like that. Cause if they can, it would mean all aspect stealth like F-22 along with post-stall manoeuvring of the super-flankers(if not like that of Mig-29OVT)

    My own personal opinion is that Full 3D TVC is more valuable than the minor advantage rectangular nozzles offers... note the F-35 does not have rectangular nozzles either.


    Last edited by GarryB on Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:52 am; edited 1 time in total
    Indian Flanker
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    Post  Indian Flanker Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:33 pm

    My own personal opinion is that Full 3D TVC is more valuable than the minor advantage rectangular nozzles offers... note the F-35 does not have rectangular nozzles either.
    What if an engine with rectangular/flat nozzle has "virtual 3D " TVC Very Happy

    Can the Russian engineers do it?
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    Post  AlfaT8 Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:38 pm

    Indian Flanker wrote:
    My own personal opinion is that Full 3D TVC is more valuable than the minor advantage rectangular nozzles offers... note the F-35 does not have rectangular nozzles either.
    What if an engine with rectangular/flat nozzle has "virtual 3D "  TVC  Very Happy

    Can the Russian engineers do it?
    That would be unlikely, unless the Russian engineers are able to create a thrust vector nozzle that can not only change directions, but also its very shape, if sought a nozzle were to be created it would resolve much of the performance vs stealth compromises that has been plaguing the development of these stealth fighters.  study 
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    Post  collegeboy16 Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:01 pm

    make it rotate is my guess
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:55 am

    What if improvements in stealth design allow the stealthy creation of curved engine nozzles...

    Why flat nozzles only... what about hexagonal nozzles that are stealthy and still offer 3D thrust vector control?
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    Post  Walther von Oldenburg Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:14 pm

    Isn't the concept of dogfighting obsolete anyway? Modern fighters fly so fast that it would be enxt to impossible for a human pilot to survive them.

    Ok, so I'll be mor specific. I mean effectiveness of AF in two distinct situations when
    1) Enemy does not have good hard AD but possesses good passive AD (things like Nakidka, Shtora, jammers and other devices) - basically Serbia of 1999 with better passive AD.
    2) The enemy possesses both modern active and passive AD

    I am not generally interested in shooting down enemy aircraft but how effective can these things be in preventing enemy ordnance from hitting ground targets - basically a situation when the enemy theoretically does possess control of the sky but still can do shit.
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    Post  jhelb Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:26 pm

    Walther von Oldenburg wrote:Isn't the concept of dogfighting obsolete anyway? Modern fighters fly so fast that it would be enxt to impossible for a human pilot to survive them.

    Ok, so I'll be mor specific. I mean effectiveness of AF in two distinct situations when
    1) Enemy does not have good hard AD but possesses good passive AD (things like Nakidka, Shtora, jammers and other devices) - basically Serbia of 1999 with better passive AD.
    2) The enemy possesses both modern active and passive AD

    I am not generally interested in shooting down enemy aircraft but how effective can these things be in preventing enemy ordnance from hitting ground targets - basically a situation when the enemy theoretically does possess control of the sky but still can do shit.

    Dogfighting is certainly not obsolete. Say a F 15 detects a Su 30 at a distance of 100kms and fires a AIM missile. However it fails to hit the Su 30. By the time the F 15 can fire another missile the Su 30 is already up close with the F 15, because these aircraft are travelling at speeds of Mach 1 and above.

    Tactical responses to air defenses vary, with European air forces favoring low altitude penetration, in contrast to the preference of the American Air Force for medium altitude penetration facilitated by air superiority and jamming.As a general rule, the US Air Force is pursuing programs that will allow greater reliance on stealthy systems rather than reliance on jamming to penetrate air defenses.

    While accuracy, speed and invulnerability to counter-measures is obviously important, the primary measure of merit for air defenses is range.The longer the range of the defensive system, the larger the "foot print" attacking aircraft need to defeat or avoid. Effective air defense combines and synchronizes the actions of all available air defense assets to form an integrated air defense system (IADS). IADS effectiveness results from shifting from one degree of control to another. The selected degree of
    control depends on the ROE, the air picture, and the ability to communicate with the weapons systems. The degree of control can vary from centralized to decentralized. Under certain conditions, air defense units may conduct autonomous operations. Effective coordination of air defense assets must occur.

    http://in.rbth.com/economics/2014/05/12/5_of_russias_most_advanced_aerial_defence_systems_35131.html

    Susceptibility to electronic attack can be minimized by understanding the enemy’s electronic warfare capabilities and training, and by employing proper electronic protection; e.g., using decoys, brevity codes, chattermark procedures or frequency hopping radios.

    Check out this forum thread. Some great guys and some great discussions

    https://www.russiadefence.net/t3374-russian-air-to-air-ground-missiles
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:43 am

    In Vietnam dogfighting was supposed to be obsolete because modern fighters had short and long range missiles that made dogfighting obsolete.

    the problem there was that missile technology was still flaky so dogfights happened.

    Today missile technology has moved on and is rather more capable but then missile defence technology has also moved on so the chances of an aware enemy defending themselves against your missiles is still there... and when missiles fail there is dogfighting.

    Good dogfighting capability with your aircraft means higher kill probabilities with missiles and with guns.

    For instance an R-73 fired from directly behind a target is more likely to get a kill than one fired head on... but thrust vectoring and helmet mounted sights means when a Flanker or Fulcrum pilot sees an enemy aircraft they can turn their nose and therefore also their missiles directly at the target before firing... which means the missiles fuel is used to accelerate the missile towards the target and not wasted turning hard on launch.

    If your missile hits him first then you have a much better chance of surviving than if you have to keep watching your enemies aircraft and firing missiles at him and trying to track any missiles they have fired at you.

    When all the missiles miss then you have to be able to get cannon on target... again manouver capability is critical...

    Assuming modern Russian jammers work against AMRAAM and DIRCM jams IR guided missiles a fight between an F-35 and Su-35 or MiG-35 will start with missiles and then end up with guns. If the F-35 is stealthy then it will have 6 AAMs at most, if it is not then it will have more missiles but will not be stealthy so engagements can be started earlier.

    Assuming both can defeat the others missiles then it will come down to the gun... and manouver capability.. in which case my money is on the Russian fighters.
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    Post  nomadski Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:20 am

    Seeing the vulnerability of ground targets to UCAV, attacks. And problems in countering this threat by  all.  Would, using manned light fighters, to intercept and shoot down drones, prove a cost effective and practical measure?

    This method of defence, would not rely on countering UCAV, threat by using tracker air to air UCAV. Which itself is vulnerable to jamming. And needs great infrastructure. And short range optical air defences, may not be available. Or be expensive, and itself become a static ground targets. Vulnerable to said UCAV.

    Many ultralight plastic planes available. With pusher arrangement. Allowing for small calibre 0.22 machine gun in nose. And pilot. Can defeat many UCAV. that have to be necessarily large, to allow big warhead. And carry large amount of fuel. Long range. A visible target. What you think?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadler_Vampire
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:22 am

    Seeing the vulnerability of ground targets to UCAV, attacks. And problems in countering this threat by all. Would, using manned light fighters, to intercept and shoot down drones, prove a cost effective and practical measure?

    The core solution involves an IADS ground based network that can detect and track targets and allocate air defence systems to deal with them.

    Fighters cost a lot of money to use and to fly around, and the missiles they generally carry are expensive too... especially in comparison with the price of your average drone... flying around in normal fighter or even jet fighter trainer aircraft would be very expensive and not hugely effective... a drone launched from 1km away takes very little time to reach a nearby target base to attack.... even quite fast aircraft would struggle to cover the entire conflict zone...

    An IADS is expensive, but managing threats and spotting targets would require a very decent one.

    Everyone would need to be vigilant... the first warning might be the buzz of the prop or a dot in the sky on your thermal camera...

    This method of defence, would not rely on countering UCAV, threat by using tracker air to air UCAV. Which itself is vulnerable to jamming. And needs great infrastructure. And short range optical air defences, may not be available. Or be expensive, and itself become a static ground targets. Vulnerable to said UCAV.

    The advantage of an optical tracker is that it would be passive so enemy would need to locate it manually which is pretty hard... like trying to spot a sniper.

    A radar detection and tracking system broadcasts its position, but is also longer ranged and more effective.

    Some sort of DIRCMS type system could be used to detect the TV and optical cameras in the drones and blind them... EW sensors can detect their datalink control channels and data transmissions and jam them... DEW can send EM pulses to fry electronics or perhaps set off explosives... missiles like SOSNA(PINE) and TOR and Pantsir (including dedicated mini missiles) as well as obsolete missiles repurposed like Sagger missiles and Fagot and Konkurs and also new missiles like Kornet and Bulat and Metis could be used with proximity fuses and HE warheads, as well as MANPADS like Igla-S and Verba, plus of course gun fire like PK and RPK MMG/LMG, but also 23mm cannon and of course the new command detonated air burst 30mm cannons will be very effective as well as other guns with similar ammo like 40mm grenade launcher grenades and 57mm grenades and cannon rounds will also be effective.

    Not just one answer and solution... all of them...

    And of course your own drones with a 40mm grenade launcher designed like little fighter planes with HE grenades designed to automatically explode after travelling 40-50m with a fixed cheap fuse and HE charge and fragments designed to fire forward like a claymore mine.... this makes it simpler and cheaper so you can make millions of rounds and use it widely.

    The complicated stuff can be in the UCAV with a laser range finder and thermal sight and ballistics computer so it fires the grenades at just the right distance for the grenade to explode and obliterate the target without needing to get direct hits.

    Units on the ground could use more sophisticated and slightly more expensive grenades with a laser command detonating system from the 30mm cannon shells where the target is lased and optically tracked and so is the grenade that is fired so as the grenade approaches the target the laser can set it off close enough to do serious damage.

    The problem with rifle fire or machine gun fire is that rifle bullets can be dangerous out to 3-4km or more... so half a dozen people blazing away with rifles and machine guns at targets flying low over their position could result in those rounds hitting nearby units or civilian structures you were supposed to be protecting... having airburst grenade and cannon type rounds makes them more expensive per shot, but vastly more effective at bringing down air targets so you also use rather less rounds as well.

    Many ultralight plastic planes available. With pusher arrangement. Allowing for small calibre 0.22 machine gun in nose. And pilot. Can defeat many UCAV. that have to be necessarily large, to allow big warhead. And carry large amount of fuel. Long range. A visible target. What you think?

    Replace the light gun with a grenade launcher and suitable grenades and it would be interesting... being unmanned you could make it stronger and able to handle enormous gs, but the airburst grenades would be critical... imagine it flying over your base spraying gun fire all over the place trying to shoot down drones... the enemy could fly drones low over your parade ground and your own drone would spray the troops in your own base with machine gun fire...

    As I said above the solution needs to include a wide range of solutions and unmanned fighters would be part of the solution... remember with command detonation grenades you could sent it to enemy territory to fire on troops on the ground having the command detonated grenades explode just above the ground to spray the troops with lethal fragments instead of the grenade burying itself in the ground before exploding...

    In mountains you could fire into the snow above the enemy position to start an avalanche...
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    Post  nomadski Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:30 pm

    @ GarryB


    ".... The core solution involves an IADS ground based network that can detect and track targets and allocate air defence systems to deal with them....."

    Any reason why, pusher planes, can not be integrated into the system. As another layer of defence.

    "...... Fighters cost a lot of money to use and to fly around, and the missiles they generally carry are expensive too..."

    Well a pusher plastic one seater plane, is hardly a fighter. Cost of these, homemade is about 10 to 20 thousand Dollars. Using 100 hp, motorcycle engine, like BMW flat twin. Altitude about 3 to 4 thousand feet.  This cost is less than SA 18, at 100, 000 Dollars. The ammo of 0.22, gives long barrel life. Of a million rounds. A magazine of 1000 rounds, gives plenty of one second bursts. Much cheaper than missiles.

    "...................... a drone launched from 1km away takes very little time to reach a nearby target base to attack.... even quite fast aircraft would struggle to cover the entire conflict zone..."

    This problem can be overcome by having light pusher plane in constant flight over battle zones. Plane lands, gets petrol, new pilot goes up. You only need a few UCAV hunters, to cover large area.


    "...... The advantage of an optical tracker is that it would be passive so enemy would need to locate it manually which is pretty hard... like trying to spot a sniper......."

    Agree. And one the best trackers, is the human eye. I saw footage of Iranian Karrar hunter UCAV, in air to air mode. Impressive. Passive detection. But I think data link to ground control, weak point. Can be jammed. Unless acts  like missile. Homes automatically. But again here, there can be countermeasures. A piloted plane, difficult to fool.


    "....... And of course your own drones with a 40mm grenade launcher designed like little fighter planes with HE grenades designed to automatically explode after travelling 40-50m with a fixed cheap fuse...."

    Yes good idea. But even this simple setup needs redesign of equipment. For future models of hunter UCAV.  For now, a cheap 0.22 machine gun mounted in nose of pusher. Immediate solution.

    "...... The problem with rifle fire or machine gun fire is that rifle bullets can be dangerous out to 3-4km or more... so half a dozen people blazing away with rifles and machine guns at targets flying low over their position could result in those rounds hitting nearby units or civilian structures........ "

    If pilot instructed to fire horizontally, at target altitude of 4000 feet. Given correct ballistics. Then rounds should fall vertically down. Helmets and armour and bullet proof jackets, worn by soldiers will protect.

    "..... the enemy could fly drones low over your parade ground and your own drone would spray the troops in your own base with machine gun fire..."

    Bad tactics. If enemy drones comes low, it can be hit by ground fire. The video of drone attacks show , attacks from high altitude. To clear mountains also. Avoid obstacles.

    "....... As I said above the solution needs to include a wide range of solutions.........."

    Agree. I leave all the complicated stuff, for the experts. Mine is the simple solution.

    https://youtu.be/7h0s_62jXuk

    For better flight cross section, and better g-force tolerance, a pusher pilot can lie flat in plane. Almost flat. Better LOS shooting too.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:54 am

    Any reason why, pusher planes, can not be integrated into the system. As another layer of defence.

    No reason at all but you would need to be very sure it was clear to all the defences that they were friendlies.

    Also honestly I would think a bigger heavier platform would be more useful so I would go for a twin engined aircraft fitted with a nose mounted turret with grenade launcher and laser (ranging and setting off command detonated grenades) and even EMP "gun" to disable ones you can't catch or line up properly.

    Well a pusher plastic one seater plane, is hardly a fighter. Cost of these, homemade is about 10 to 20 thousand Dollars. Using 100 hp, motorcycle engine, like BMW flat twin. Altitude about 3 to 4 thousand feet. This cost is less than SA 18, at 100, 000 Dollars. The ammo of 0.22, gives long barrel life. Of a million rounds. A magazine of 1000 rounds, gives plenty of one second bursts. Much cheaper than missiles.

    Putting a person in it immediately restricts its use to only over friendly territory and also to about a 5 g limit.

    Yes... I know people can withstand 9g but they are not performing their job at 9g they are just surviving.

    Bullets are dangerous and will punch a neat little hole only in things they directly hit... flying above a friendly base spraying bullets all over the place is a very dangerous thing for those on the ground... even when you hit the targets you aim for there will be large numbers of bullets that blow past the target and hit things on the ground.

    In fact a tactic the enemy could use is simply send drones to hover over your troops and have your drones shower your own troops in bullets trying to shoot down the enemy drones... out in the open an enemy drone could hover over a childrens school bus or a car with nuns in it....

    This problem can be overcome by having light pusher plane in constant flight over battle zones. Plane lands, gets petrol, new pilot goes up. You only need a few UCAV hunters, to cover large area.

    A pilot in a small light aircraft would struggle to find drones in flight... having a proper IADS with radars and other systems like TOR and PANTSIR means you can detect and track such targets... the point of these light drones is not so much combat air patrol to find drones, but to be directed by other platforms to deal with the drones in an affordable way. Essentially the drone is a platform that carries a cheap anti drone weapon or payload close enough to the drones where ever they are to deal with the enemy drones. In this case I would suggest a 40mm grenade launcher with command detonated HE frag rounds or fixed fuse grenades that explode at a set distance from the launcher which would be the cheapest options... especially when one or two grenades would devastate each drone...

    Agree. And one the best trackers, is the human eye. I saw footage of Iranian Karrar hunter UCAV, in air to air mode. Impressive. Passive detection. But I think data link to ground control, weak point. Can be jammed. Unless acts like missile. Homes automatically. But again here, there can be countermeasures. A piloted plane, difficult to fool.

    Human eye is easy to fool with camouflage and simply sending drones at night... I would want some sort of optronic system...especially if they could also use command guided missiles... something like Sagger or Swatter or Shturm with HE frag warheads that can be command detonated near the target...

    40mm grenades would be the primary weapon but having cheap alternative weapons on board perhaps even including an 80mm rocket pod with laser homing rockets for certain targets... production in enormous numbers to drop the price and make them affordable...

    Yes good idea. But even this simple setup needs redesign of equipment. For future models of hunter UCAV. For now, a cheap 0.22 machine gun mounted in nose of pusher. Immediate solution.

    When you say 0.22 do you mean .22 rimfire rabbit gun rounds... or do you mean 5.56mm/5.45mm assault rifle calibre rounds that are not so cheap.

    There are some very high velocity reduced calibre rimfire rounds in .177 calibre or 4.5mm calibre that are expensive but very flat shooting short range calibres that are made of cheap rimfire ammo so mass production in enormous numbers could make them very affordable (not many guns use them now so they are not so cheap but still cheaper than centre fire ammo). Their light projectiles and very high velocity make them very effective at ranges of up to about 150m but their performance rapidly falls away beyond that so in terms of shooting from the air would be less dangerous to those on the ground.

    If pilot instructed to fire horizontally, at target altitude of 4000 feet. Given correct ballistics. Then rounds should fall vertically down. Helmets and armour and bullet proof jackets, worn by soldiers will protect.

    What if the drones are not at 4,000 feet... what if they are flying low to avoid these new manned aircraft that are trying to shoot them down.

    They might operate at medium and high altitude to begin with because it makes them safer from small arms fire from the ground but you have to assume that if you are going to make manned fighter planes to attack them at that altitude they are either going to go much higher or go low... it happened with bombers and fighters during WWI and WWII...

    Once they are operating low the threat to ground targets would become high and not everything you have on the ground is safe with body armour or helmets.
    People lying down taking cover or lying on stretchers... ammunition and fuel dumps... buildings... unarmoured vehicles...

    When you open fire you need to be aware of what is beyond the target... it makes no sense to use planes to defend your base or friendly forces if it ends up killing more friendlies or doing more damage than the enemy drones do.

    A command detonated 40mm grenade limits its danger zone to probably a cone of 30-40m in front of the grenade when it detonates and that is often up in the air... but if enemy troops are spotted it could be used against them too... angle your fire down and when the grenade is 10m short of them... boom and a shower of hot fast moving fragments pummels them like a claymore mine... except you could fire a burst of 20 of them at a group of troops if you need to...

    Bad tactics. If enemy drones comes low, it can be hit by ground fire. The video of drone attacks show , attacks from high altitude. To clear mountains also. Avoid obstacles.

    Tactics change, and very quickly too. In the mountains sometimes it is easier to launch a 5km range ATGM like Shturm to deliver a HE Frag package into an enemy position than to launch a drone... and being supersonic they wont be able to fly a fighter plane to shoot it down with a .22 weapon or grenade launcher of any kind.

    The missiles are not cheap but they are already paid for and becoming obsolete so using them to stop a drone attack or hit an enemy unit in the mountains makes a lot of sense... even fitting them under the wings of drones to shoot down other drones makes sense too.

    For better flight cross section, and better g-force tolerance, a pusher pilot can lie flat in plane. Almost flat. Better LOS shooting too.

    Taking the man out of the platform makes it smaller and lighter and cheaper, and with a gun turret in the front it would be much harder to destroy by ground fire too because it does not need to be flying directly at what it is shooting... With rangefinders and modern optics that are all weather and ballistics computers you could put a range of missiles and bombs and guns on it so you have a selection of weapons to use the cheapest and most suitable weapon for the target...

    Agree. I leave all the complicated stuff, for the experts. Mine is the simple solution.

    I would enjoy the challenge of developing such a system... we should both send in a CV and go for that job.... Twisted Evil

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    nomadski
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    Post  nomadski Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:50 am

    About a bigger plane, I agree. If used over friendly territory. As you said, could carry more. And use safer method of killing drones. Like grenades. Also if bigger engined, or twin engined, can climb up to 20,000 ft. The altitude of some recent drones. Also the bigger size, would not provide easier target for enemy air defence, since further away, from front line. And if pilot ejects. Then over friendly territory also.

    A smaller unmanned drone. Could use a machine gun in the nose. No problems using this in a more offensive mode, over enemy territory. Also could be launched rapidly by RATO. Near front line. Could use existing mini - jet. Fast turning. Could even hit enemy drones, before launch. On the ground.

    Detection of enemy drones, could be by ground radar or optics. Directing our drone hunting plane to correct place. The pilot then using eyes to detect. Or if at night, could use off the shelf image intensifiers. During WW2, the V1, was picked up by both ground crew and pilots alike. So they can be seen.

    I am too old, for a new job. But I hope that any idea I give, will help someone with limited means, to defend against a stronger and wealthier opponent.

    https://youtu.be/iKZpUvz4MZo

    And  Iran making composite light planes.

    https://youtu.be/uqMTWJ1sl4o

    Can make new design, with gun in the nose, for drone hunting. New Market!

    https://youtu.be/vsng7M6fBDE

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:33 am

    The features of the drone we are suggesting can be used for a wide range of jobs, so making it a little bigger would be useful... you could make its nose modular and have wing or fuselage mounted rocket pods of the new square type that could be lowered down to fire and then retracted back up into the fuselage for low drag operations... which means when spotted they wont know what sort of fire power it is packing... perhaps even a rotary launcher with a mix of long narrow MANPAD missiles like Igla-S or Verba, and also ATGMs for ground targets like Shturm or Ataka that are relatively cheap but accurate and with decent range when launched from altitude...

    The grenade launcher with airburst rounds would be the simplest and cheapest option I think and also very versatile... with command detonated grenades you could fire them from any altitude, yet set them off at their closest to the target even ground targets...

    A reasonable sized drone could carry hundreds of grenades and lots of fuel and could remain on station so long the operator might need a break but the drone itself wont.

    For protecting fixed positions the control centre could be deep in a bunker with just a few antenna poking out in various places, but for roaming missions you might want an airborne control station on a light transport aircraft or something...

    You could have a relay drone operating at 12km altitude over mountains bouncing signals from ground stations to drones operating in the mountains against a low tech enemy, but encrypted directional control signals could be used when the enemy has "Help".

    A smaller unmanned drone. Could use a machine gun in the nose. No problems using this in a more offensive mode, over enemy territory. Also could be launched rapidly by RATO. Near front line. Could use existing mini - jet. Fast turning. Could even hit enemy drones, before launch. On the ground.

    I am probably not conveying this well enough... using a drone to just go out and shoot drones sounds like Battle of Britain stuff... which was fine when it was German fighters and bombers that were being engaged because they were both visible from reasonable distances and also relatively easy to identify, and shooting at such large targets with machineguns makes sense... make sure you get close enough and fire a burst where most of your rounds hit and you should get a kill because planes are full of fuel and people and ammo and things that keep the aircraft in the air so hitting most of that will make it crash.

    The problem with sending small drones into the enemy rear to shoot things up is that if you are going against other drones most of the time it would be like going after birds... and I can tell you firing at birds in the air with a rifle is a total waste of time... even if you miss by 2mm it is a miss and the target is uneffected.

    Tunguska fires 5,000 30mm shells a minute, and is devastating against helicopters and planes, but against drones or enemy missiles it would only be effective with airburst rounds. And that is because instead of hundreds of shells per 5 square metre target, an airburst shell directs hundreds or thousands of small pieces of fragments at each target which massively increases the chances of a hit.

    Don't get me wrong... a small drone in Syria against the terrorists with a machine gun would be good... I would fly around and shoot up any oil transport vehicles I spot heading to or from the oilfields... fill the ammo mag with armour piercing incendiary rounds and high explosive incendiary rounds at the tankers and certain pipes in the oilfields to disrupt their income... Belly mounted release points would be good too... get an RPG-7 rocket... don't attach the propellent part to the rocket and glue a bundle of rags to the tail end and tuck them into the drone so when it is release the rags spread out and flutter in the wind and cause the rocket to fall point forward. Seconds before launch take the safety cap of the nose of the rocket... any impact at all on the nose will now set off the warhead.... fly in low and drop it as you are flying over an oil tanker... first few times you will likely miss but then you still have your gun, but with practise... and who can't source some RPG-7 rockets in Syria...

    Detection of enemy drones, could be by ground radar or optics. Directing our drone hunting plane to correct place. The pilot then using eyes to detect. Or if at night, could use off the shelf image intensifiers. During WW2, the V1, was picked up by both ground crew and pilots alike. So they can be seen.

    Of course they can be seen but there might be thousands of them all over the place... you might be wasting time dealing with an observation only drone at altitude while smaller drones the size of a remote control 1m long plane is flying into targets with a 3kg HE payload.

    The problem is that seeing small targets at low altitude and finding the right target to engage means you need situational awareness... and the vast majority of radar is not good enough for drones... it was designed to detect and track manned aircraft and would probably struggle with cruise missiles... most of europe right now is probably vulnerable to cruise missile attack and drones are harder to spot and defeat than cruise missiles.

    I think putting the pilots in vans or bunkers with day/night optics to zero in on targets while being directed by the IADS system and local radars and optical positions... remember drones are not all seeing... they can't tell if there is a person on the ground with a pair of binoculars tracking them and radioing information to HQ.... some sort of laser system like the anti sniper stuff that detects camera lenses and optical ports would be an excellent way of detecting drones... and using a laser to blind the drone even just temporarily could make it ineffective and allow it to be shot down much more easily...

    BTW regarding Canard designs... what about the MiG-8?
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    Post  nomadski Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:32 am

    "..... have wing or fuselage mounted rocket pods of the new square type that could be lowered down to fire and then retracted back up into the fuselage for low drag operations......"

    Too complicated an engineering problem. Requires heavy mechanics on wings or body. Airflow no good. Also for composite plane, even opening up to fire, creates radar return. If armament stored in nose in modular form. Better. Even gun barrels, could be recessed inside body. Covered with RAM plug. Plug retracted before firing. Also no metalics in cabin. All plastic. Any structural elements in cabin, buried low, inside body. Propellers composite. Airflow over engine and exhaust by intakes, allow hot and cold air mixing.

    "...... because they were both visible from reasonable distances and also relatively easy to identify, and shooting at such large targets with machineguns makes sense..."

    I saw an Armenian soldier on the ground, shooting at drone with AK47!  Of course he had little chance. But to settle the argument, then simple study can be carried out. Arrange for crop duster to loiter at station. With a couple of guys on each side, armed with machine guns. Send in drone. And see the results. I think it will work. But  I may be wrong.

    "..... The problem with sending small drones into the enemy rear to shoot things up is that if you are going against other drones most of the time it would be like going after birds... and I can tell you firing at birds in the air with a rifle is a total waste of time... even if you miss by 2mm it is a miss and the target is uneffected....... "

    A shot gun easily brings down birds. I knew a child that used to kill birds on the wing. With catapault!
    A rapid firing MG, similar to shot gun. Again a simple experiment, will determine. But what if I am right?  What a cheap and practical and fun way to kill drones. BTW, drones that are launched with any useful payload, must necessarily be larger. Plus range, needs to be greater. For safety of launch point. So they have to be size of present Harop. Smaller drones, can be hit from ground, using shot gun.

    ".... Tunguska fires 5,000 30mm shells a minute, and is devastating against helicopters and planes, but against drones or enemy missiles it would only be effective with airburst rounds....."

    Any ground based AD,  better make sure that it sees the drone first. And fires first. And fires further. The drone launches missile from 14 km. Sees from that distance. Everything else being equal, the drone has advantage. Because mobile and low RCS. So in real combat, we loose a few ground based AD. However another mobile platform, such as hunter UCAV, or plane, firing similar missiles. Will have better survivability.


    "..... Of course they can be seen but there might be thousands of them all over the place... you might be wasting time dealing with an observation only drone at altitude while smaller drones the size of a remote control 1m long plane is flying into targets with a 3kg HE payload...... "

    Mico drones, will have limited range. The launch vehicle, be it a cruise missile or plane or larger drone , will have to come very close to release. It will then provide a good target. Ground launched mini drone swarms, have same problem. Needs large vehicles, near front line. Good target. So I don't think that swarms of hundreds or thousands of drones are practical. The present size and range of attack drones, have been optimised for maximum survivability and effectiveness. They are some 3 to 4 meters long.

    https://youtu.be/PFmTMHkjPM0

    Yes. Designer Armenian too. Similar to Vampire pusher I posted earlier.  Design could be altered to accommodate different engines. Or mini jet. What is wood stealth quality?  Better than plastic?

    https://youtu.be/NqE0WyAdSqs

    This guy has not lost his Russian acci-yent!

    https://youtu.be/WOoUVeyaY_8

    Automated. And belt fed.

    https://youtu.be/Aa9inSZvMsk

    Here is your grenade launcher.

    https://youtu.be/WV379084djs

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    Post  GarryB Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:43 am

    Too complicated an engineering problem. Requires heavy mechanics on wings or body. Airflow no good.

    What do you mean?

    A flat squared off rocket pod built in to the fuselage... top and bottom... that could be lowered down or raised up (depending on whether it is belly or roof mounted) to launch rockets and then retract back when done.

    Very easy...

    And this report which I posted on another thread would be relevant in this case:

    https://tass.com/defense/1207849

    Because it talks about the new rocket pods they are developing and the new rocket pods have electronics inside them to allow mini drones and suicide drones to be carried and launched from the rocket tubes.

    In other words before a mission you could decide on a target area to fly to and fit say 4 drone rockets and 4 suicide drone rockets and perhaps 2 smoke rockets to a 10 shot rocket pod that is lowered on the ground for loading and then retracted up into the belly of the drone.

    After the drone takes off and flys to the target area it looks around with its optics and identifies certain enemy positions from a safe height of perhaps 5km... it lowers its belly mounted rocket pod and sends target and flight path data electronically to one of the drone rockets which it then launches and monitors its signal to locate enemy positions... any positions revealed... perhaps because they shot down your rocket drone... can be dealt with immediately by lasing the target to get its precise coordinates and lowering the rocket pod and launching a suicide drone to attack it... you could fire 40mm grenades at the area around the target to get them to put their heads down so they don't see the suicide drone coming till it is too late...

    Any targets found that need something more powerful, the drone could call up a heavy aircraft and could mark the targets with a smoke rocket... just like the old days...

    Also for composite plane, even opening up to fire, creates radar return.

    If you are defending your own bases and chasing enemy drones who cares if you have a radar return... and opening fire doesn't create a radar return, though it might create an IR signature that night vision cameras might detect.

    Covered with RAM plug. Plug retracted before firing. Also no metalics in cabin. All plastic. Any structural elements in cabin, buried low, inside body. Propellers composite. Airflow over engine and exhaust by intakes, allow hot and cold air mixing.

    I think the measures you suggest wont matter against Syrian rebels or Azeri invaders... it might matter against US invasion forces trying to take down Iran but it would also drive up costs and reduce performance... cheaper and simpler and in huge numbers... especially unmanned.

    I saw an Armenian soldier on the ground, shooting at drone with AK47! Of course he had little chance. But to settle the argument, then simple study can be carried out. Arrange for crop duster to loiter at station. With a couple of guys on each side, armed with machine guns. Send in drone. And see the results. I think it will work. But I may be wrong.

    Soldiers often fire at drones and normally miss by enormous distances because they are rarely trained for such things. It is more for moral than anything but essentially while it makes them feel less powerless it is rather a waste of ammo most of the time.

    A shot gun easily brings down birds.

    What it is designed for.

    I knew a child that used to kill birds on the wing. With catapault!

    The distances he could do that from... was it more than 100m?

    Because hats off to him, but it is not practical to issue catapults to soldiers to bring down drones.

    A rapid firing MG, similar to shot gun.

    No it is not... not by any stretch of the meanings of either words.

    At 500m the bullet spread from any machine gun will be several metres square, and while firing that machine gun being continuously able to follow a small target to continue to try to hit it as it moves about would be almost impossible... the chance of actually hitting a drone sized target would be negligible, while conversely the chances that all those bullets you are firing up into the air will come down and do some damage on the ground is quite high and the longer you do it the higher it gets.

    Shotgun pellets are small and light and travel in large bunches so its chance of getting a hit at close range (20-30m) is very high, but the effectiveness is about zero by the time you get to 60-70m away from the muzzle. Heavier pellets like buckshot retain velocity better but even then by 40-50m they are so far apart they are useless for anything other than sounding a warning.

    Machine gun bullets on the other hand remain potentially lethal to several kilometres distance... 3-4km in fact... yet their chances of hitting a small target are low.

    Shotguns are designed to hit very small fast targets on the ground or in the air.

    A machine gun is supposed to be used against large targets... groups of enemy... aircraft... vehicles... they were never intended to be used against tiny fast moving targets like small birds.

    But what if I am right? What a cheap and practical and fun way to kill drones. BTW, drones that are launched with any useful payload, must necessarily be larger. Plus range, needs to be greater. For safety of launch point. So they have to be size of present Harop. Smaller drones, can be hit from ground, using shot gun.

    Even against large drones the problems of firing bullets into the air remains... it is cheap but it is not practical... just like using shotguns from the shoulder to shoot down drones. They simply lack a useful range.

    Mounting a shotgun in a model plane and flying it around and getting within 30m of a drone target before firing and you have a viable useful system that would be more effective than a machine gun because a single shotgun shell with light pellets... say number 3 or number 2 shot which is metal balls about 2-3mm across... about 150-200 per shell gives you pellets heavy enough to do damage but light enough and small enough to be carried in large numbers per shot so the target will most likely get hit with a lot of pellets at once. At about 20m you would spread those pellets over a circle of about 1m which means even a small drone will get a few hits which should be enough to bring it down... certainly two or three shots could be fired to increase the likelyhood of bringing it down too.

    Any ground based AD, better make sure that it sees the drone first. And fires first. And fires further. The drone launches missile from 14 km. Sees from that distance. Everything else being equal, the drone has advantage. Because mobile and low RCS. So in real combat, we loose a few ground based AD. However another mobile platform, such as hunter UCAV, or plane, firing similar missiles. Will have better survivability.

    A drone that launches missiles from 14km is a bigger drone which means TOR should be shooting down both the drone and the drones missile...

    And by the way if that missile is optically guided then DIRCMs and anti sniper systems can blind them easily enough...

    Good target. So I don't think that swarms of hundreds or thousands of drones are practical. The present size and range of attack drones, have been optimised for maximum survivability and effectiveness. They are some 3 to 4 meters long.

    Swarm attack is US bullshit... a 122mm EMP burst round fired into a cluster of swarm drones should knock out most of them in one shot...

    What is wood stealth quality? Better than plastic?

    What sort of radar based ground defence systems do the Azeris have?

    Right now even HATO countries would be vulnerable to drones without needing 100% stealth design... their biggest problem is that most of the weapons they would use to bring down a drone would cost multi million dollars each and more importantly because they are so expensive they only made a dozen or so and will therefore run out very quickly.

    BTW funny you post that video of the belt fed shotgun, because I was thinking of this video with a fully auto .22lr weapon when you were talking about a .22 machine gun...



    It can use a 275 round mag, but there is no reason you couldn't scale it up and make it much bigger... the rounds are tiny and light and rather cheap to buy...

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    Post  nomadski Fri Nov 06, 2020 4:50 pm

    https://youtu.be/wmTKktd9xCc


    Yup. Crop duster will bring down, using machine gun. Or Helicopter. Long term may be a need to develop new composite light interceptor. Pusher driven, like Mig 8. And also interceptor drone  over hostile territory. I guess in this video, they fired about 100 rounds. From about 100 meter range. So once cost of plane is paid for. It should be a cheap way  to bring drones down.
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    Post  GarryB Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:14 am

    An An-2 would be much cheaper and easier to use for such a role, but the obvious problem is... what happens when there are a mix of normal drones and a few suicide drones... a single suicide drone with a 10kg warhead could easily have flown into that helicopter or any other slow flying aircraft and destroy it easily enough.

    The Serbs used helicopters with door guns to shoot down drones two decades ago... this is not new or amazing...

    And just look at how close the helicopter had to get to the target before the gunner actually started getting hits on target... how are helicopters going to deal with dozens of incoming threats...

    More importantly... where are they going to be shooting at the drones... a western military base in the middle of Kabul and of course they wont worry too much about blasing rifle calibre machine gun fire at targets flying over civilian areas... but over London or Paris it might not be the best solution...

    Equally a white painted drone over sea water is easy to spot and engage at low speed... what about better camouflaged targets moving faster and weaving between buildings at very low level...

    A rifle calibre machine gun is a poor choice of weapon and having manned aircraft to use them is also poor.

    Using more sophisticated unmanned turrets with stabilised grenade launchers with air detonating shells makes it safer and more effective...

    Such drones and ammo can also be used against ground and air targets too so being mobile can defend a convoy or a remote base and defend from drones and ground forces...

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    Post  nomadski Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:35 am

    "......... An An-2 would be much cheaper and easier to use for such a role,........."

    Agree.  However the gun has to be placed either high and central on the wing. Or positioned on either  side of wing, to clear the props.  So the pilot looses the LOS, aim point, if gun was central to his position. The AN-2,  would be excellent choice, capable of  turning fast.  But pilot has to be trained to shoot well, given the off / Centre position of gun. Also, the point about new low RCS plane, is that, it will mix with the swarm. And enemy can not distinguish it, and shoot down. But if  enemy Radar is jammed, then it could be used, just as well.


    ".... a single suicide drone with a 10kg warhead could easily have flown into that helicopter or any other slow flying aircraft and destroy it easily enough......"

    Yes a helicopter, would be easier target for  air to air attack drone. But even now, drones have difficulty  in  dog fighting . They can only perform interception role.  So an agile plane, can out manouver a drone.


    "..... The Serbs used helicopters with door guns to shoot down drones two decades ago... this is not new or amazing..."

    There is a tendency for people to dismiss tactics or equipment, that look old or dated. I think it is a result of the Arms industry. Trying to sell new versions.


    ".... And just look at how close the helicopter had to get to the target before the gunner actually started getting hits on target... how are helicopters going to deal with dozens of incoming threats..."

    Agree that helicopters may not be ideal platform. But one way to hunt down dozens of targets, is to have more planes in the air. Over battle zones. In a holding or loiter position. One plane, should be able to hunt several drones, given right training and weapon.  Those drones that escape, can be hit from the ground, at lower altitude. There is not going to be hundreds or thousands of drones, because the small size, means short range. The launch platform, be it ground based or air based, will not normally survive an attack. In reality, we deal with number and size of present drones.


    "...... More importantly... where are they going to be shooting at the drones... a western military base in the middle of Kabul and of course they wont worry too much about blasing rifle calibre machine gun fire at targets flying over civilian areas... but over London or Paris it might not be the best solution..."

    Drones are not armoured. At least for now. A shotgun can be used to fire . It should penetrate at 50 meters. Or damage prop or camera. Or use 12 gauge new frag or Hesh round. I never heard of anyone being injured  by falling shotgun pellets. 50 meters, should be safe margin, for plane to avoid the worst of the explosion.

    ".... Equally a white painted drone over sea water is easy to spot and engage at low speed... what about better camouflaged targets moving faster and weaving between buildings at very low level..."

    Micro - drones are a problem. But at least, they will be slower and lower. Trained shooters from the ground, should be able to bring down. At least easier to shoot down, than a mortar round.

    "..... Using more sophisticated unmanned turrets with stabilised grenade launchers with air detonating shells makes it safer and more effective..."

    This, has to be proven in practice. No reason why a manned plane, can not be designed, to also fly as an unmanned drone. Simply replace pilot, with extra fuel tank !

    Safe rounds.

    https://youtu.be/l6Z_YiOiwtg

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    Post  nomadski Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:33 pm

    https://youtu.be/w-8wrAqwOSM

    Amazing. Two questions :

    ( 1 )  Is the view good enough to allow dog fights?

    ( 2 )  Can data link be  secured against jamming ?

    https://youtu.be/VlhuEhqlLNA

    Yup. All that remains, is to install a rotational and directional gimbaled laser receiver, on the rear of the UCAV dog fighter, to remember and always point, to the sender......

    https://youtu.be/jUASG20-4uk


    Seems to point to ground target......

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    Post  GarryB Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:33 am

    Agree. However the gun has to be placed either high and central on the wing. Or positioned on either side of wing, to clear the props. So the pilot looses the LOS, aim point, if gun was central to his position. The AN-2, would be excellent choice, capable of turning fast. But pilot has to be trained to shoot well, given the off / Centre position of gun. Also, the point about new low RCS plane, is that, it will mix with the swarm. And enemy can not distinguish it, and shoot down. But if enemy Radar is jammed, then it could be used, just as well.

    The An-2 is capable of safe low speed flight, it has a large cabin size and decent payload capacity and flight range performance...

    Honestly I would modify it with a belly and roof mounted radar... something like the one above the Mi-28NM... the lower one could retract for takeoff and landing... and I would have a turret on the rear fuselage spine top and bottom and side blister turrets too.

    Each turret mount will have a 40mm grenade launcher and day and night optics and a laser range finder and target marker and munition detonator.

    The turrets would be automatic with men in the cabin sitting at display consoles.

    The upper and lower radar balls will locate very small RCS targets and optical systems similar to modern DAS systems will also be used to detect flying objects with little or no radar return... target data will be shared with other aircraft and also ground based air defence.

    If one or two drones are detected then the aircraft can close to close proximity and deal with it... the stabilised turrets should be able to deal with these targets using a single shot engagement most of the time... the HE mass of a 40mm grenade plus potential space for fragments is rather good... those grenades are big.

    If there are large numbers of drones attacking at once then the information the aircraft is collecting can be shared with other drones and ground forces and air defence vehicles. EMP rounds could be developed too that could be launched into the centre of large groups of drones to take out numbers of them at a time... a 152mm gun battery could use GLONASS guided shell fuses on EMP rounds to fly the payload into the centre of incoming drone groups and disable all drones within 100m of the detonation point...

    Of course an aircraft could also be customised for the job with a cheap simple engine... nice stable design that is easy to fly... you could automate the system so instead of men on board at displays the information from the radars could be used to direct the turrets and they can use their EOs to send target visual information to the men on the ground in the control vehicles controlling this anti drone drone...

    The thing is that a ground vehicle using radar can be detected and targeted with a drone strike, but an aircraft moves too much for targeting its position so much more complicated and bigger drones would be needed to take it out and with its radar and EO systems it actually has a good chance of defending itself...

    It could fly over a TOR battery and they could shoot down anything supersonic coming to get it...

    Yes a helicopter, would be easier target for air to air attack drone. But even now, drones have difficulty in dog fighting . They can only perform interception role. So an agile plane, can out manouver a drone.

    AFAIK the Serbian use of helicopters was quite successful... the target drones had poor Situational awareness so the helicopters were able to fly along side while door gunners shot them down.

    You need to be flexible... it is a cheap and simple solution but you do need to be able to direct your helicopters to where the targets are... which is not as easy as it sounds.

    And after talking about the stuff above regarding An-2s I am forgetting that the Russians are modifying their Mi-28NMs to enable them to intercept drones for which I would expect they will use radar and EO and of course their 30mm cannon with laser detonated HE shells... which would be ideal...

    The helicopter itself is not cheap but its sensors means it will detect the drones and be able to kill them with a very cheap and simple but effective weapon for the job.

    250 odd rounds for the standard load out would mean it could engage a lot of drones in one flight. Wing mounted ATGMs and Verba missiles to deal with larger heavier drones...

    There is a tendency for people to dismiss tactics or equipment, that look old or dated. I think it is a result of the Arms industry. Trying to sell new versions.

    It was a clever use of available resources but could have easily terribly backfired for them... the Americans could simply have started targeting their helicopters with fighter aircraft to stop them shooting down their drones.

    Drones at that stage were more about trying to find targets rather than suicide drones or armed drones... so camouflage and sneaky tactics are useful against such things as well as swatting them down.

    Agree that helicopters may not be ideal platform. But one way to hunt down dozens of targets, is to have more planes in the air. Over battle zones. In a holding or loiter position. One plane, should be able to hunt several drones, given right training and weapon.

    The basic problem is that most aircraft have radars that can't track very low speed targets that are also very small... and drones are not like enemy planes... they might be launched from just outside the enemy base they are about to attack so the flight time might be 5 minutes which is not enough time to scramble aircraft or even divert aircraft except possibly ones operating from that base.

    I do think helicopters have a role to play... the Mi-28NM has MMW radar and optics that have a much better chance of detecting even hand launched drones from useful distances, but the solution is going to be including an enormous range of things from ground based air defence vehicles and jammers and EMP weapons and DEWs and gun fired rounds and cheap simple missiles to your own drones, but I don't think your fighters will contribute much.

    I think 5th gen fighters flying around electronically looking at drones and their wifi connections to the operators that can be used for artillery strikes makes sense too, because if you just chase the drones then you will be doing it forever... take out the sources and the numbers will dwindle making them easier to deal with too.

    There is not going to be hundreds or thousands of drones, because the small size, means short range.

    There might be at some stage but I agree... anyone who tries to launch more than a dozen or so drones at one target will struggle to manage the attack without good AI and good AI means communications for coordination which can be targeted and exploited too.

    Drones are not armoured. At least for now. A shotgun can be used to fire . It should penetrate at 50 meters. Or damage prop or camera. Or use 12 gauge new frag or Hesh round. I never heard of anyone being injured by falling shotgun pellets. 50 meters, should be safe margin, for plane to avoid the worst of the explosion.

    The beauty of the shotgun is that the projectiles it fires in mass are like bomb fragments in that they start off fast but rapidly lose speed and therefore become rapidly less dangerous.

    Obviously this means their effective range is limited, but that is a good thing to prevent widespread damage too.

    Micro - drones are a problem. But at least, they will be slower and lower. Trained shooters from the ground, should be able to bring down. At least easier to shoot down, than a mortar round.

    ?? trained shooters can't shoot down mortar bombs... micro drones will have very short range and very limited payload and most often will be used for surveillance, so blinding lasers and EM countermeasures would probably be the best solution for them. If the enemy can't see what the drone sees in real time then they don't really benefit from their use.

    This, has to be proven in practice. No reason why a manned plane, can not be designed, to also fly as an unmanned drone. Simply replace pilot, with extra fuel tank !

    True, and an unmanned drone can perform all sorts of manouvers at all sorts of altitudes without fear of crashing or g forces rendering crew ineffective.

    Having said that the best anti drone weapons are probably Mi-28NM and the Pine ground based SAM system... the former because of its sophisticated sensors and weapon optimised for engaging small drones and the latter because of its low cost ammo and non emission detection EO system that means it can see without being seen necessarily... and its cheap missiles.

    ( 1 ) Is the view good enough to allow dog fights?

    ( 2 ) Can data link be secured against jamming ?

    I would say rather than have a camera that can move it would be better to have multiple fixed cameras that create a complete 360 degree picture of the airspace around the object so you can look in any direction and see what is happening without having to move anything.

    Increases the amount of data that needs to be sent but should not be an enormous problem.

    Yup. All that remains, is to install a rotational and directional gimbaled laser receiver, on the rear of the UCAV dog fighter, to remember and always point, to the sender......

    Eyesafe and invisible to the human eye but not invisible and could be used to locate communication nodes.

    This is similar to a system the MiG-35 has and was developed by a Russian company for secure communications between satellites. In space it is secure because there is no atmosphere or dust particles to give the beam away...

    Not suggesting it is useless... it is like a Russian laser beam riding missile... to block the signal you have to get between the missile and the launcher which is normally not practical, and because the laser goes from emitter to sensor, unlike a laser guided bomb where the emitted has to shine a beam onto the target and have the beam strong enough that it reflects off the surface of the target all the way to the seeker, so it can be much much less powerful and therefore less likely to be noticed.

    With tanks and laser beam riding missiles the brightness of the beam is so much lower most laser warning systems are not triggered. Laser beams for marking targets for semi active laser homing missiles or bombs like Copperhead or Paveway are vastly more powerful because the beam has to travel both ways off a surface that is nothing like a mirror. This means that to get your laser warning system to detect the much much less powerful beam of a laser beam riding missile you have to set it to ultra sensitive... which means laser rangefinders or reflections from your own laser target marker will set it off so it will be going off all the time so you end up turning it off anyway.
    nomadski
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    Post  nomadski Fri Dec 11, 2020 8:42 am

    The problem of laser beam, being spotted  and targeted  can be overcome to some extent by low power and difficulty in detection, as you said. Otherwise decoy laser  can be used in large numbers making targeting a very expensive and impractical venture.

    Having multiple ( two,  each receiver covering a hemisphere) receivers on the UCAV has advantages , as you said. Allowing the UCAV to chase target in outward as well as inward ( towards sender)  motion.

    However only one receiver  should be exposed and open to sender at any one time. Since  the receiver pointing away from sender ,  can be blinded or jammed by other plane. This means the receiver has to be slaved to sender. Not as difficult as it seems. Since local LPS can fix the position of sensors , so they are always aligned.

    Since a lot of decoy lasers are used, it is important also to have this gimbaled arrangement, to stop interference. The other obstacle that I can think about is weather conditions. Can clouds significantly interfere?  I guess it depends on wavelength?


    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181017111033.htm

    Hmmmmm........

    https://hackaday.com/2019/05/06/x-rays-are-the-next-frontier-in-space-communications/


    So that's what they get up to in ISS.......... Passes through clouds and dust.
    Isos
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    Post  Isos Sat Dec 12, 2020 4:15 pm

    We saw leopard 2 and t-90 being attacked by laser homer ATGMs and none of them detected the launch.

    Laser warning receivers are not perfect.

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    nomadski
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    Post  nomadski Sun Dec 13, 2020 8:38 pm

    AI could augment the UCAV dog fighter. Take over from operator , perform automated evasive maneuvers, hard for operator to perform from ground.


    https://youtu.be/x-8JGzIbMY8
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:14 am

    If you have ever played a computer game against the computer controlled opponent and then add the bonus that g force doesn't effect him like it would effect you, and it becomes pretty obvious that air combat in the future will be automated... but you still need some serious safeguards like making sure the fighter only fights during an actual war and can distinguish between enemy and friendly targets...

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