The U.S. Senate has approved a $371 million U.S. Army budget for General Dynamics‘ Stryker armored vehicle. General Dynamics will equip the Stryker 8×8 armoured vehicles with a Medium Caliber Remote Weapons Station. At AUSA 2014, Konsgberg from Norway has presented a project of Stryker vehicle fitted with its Protector turret MCT30. Stryker 8×8 armoured vehicle fitted with Konsberg MCT30 remote weapon station at AUSA 2014, defense exhibition in Washington D.C.
The PROTECTOR MCT30 provides highly accurate firepower for wheeled and tracked combat/armored vehicles. The system is remotely controlled and operated from a protected position inside the vehicle compartment. The main armament is a 30mm automatic cannon equipped with a link less ammunition handling system for increased reliability compared to traditional link fed cannon systems.
The system is remotely controlled and operated from a protected position inside the vehicle compartment.
XM813 rapid-fire 30mm autocannon
Linkless Ammunition Feed System with Two 75 Round Ammo Boxes on Each Side of 30mm CannonTraditional link fed cannon systems
The Konsberg Protector RWS (Remote Weapon Station) on the LAV Demonstrator was armed with an ATK Mk44 30mm automatic cannon and a co-axial 7.62mm machine gun located to the top and left side of the main gun.
ATK Mk44 30mm automatic cannon
The turret is remotely operated under armor to increase the protection for the gunner. It is equipped with a dual ammunition feed with 75 rounds each and can carry a total of 150 rounds ready to fire.
The ammunition boxes for the main gun and the coax gun that were generally in the basket for the two-men turret have to be relocated to the turret hull. The former 2 men turret hull did not include these, so it usually means you have to increase the turret hull size to accommodate the ammo boxes. These ammo boxes takes up considerable volume inside the turret hull for a remote turret.
The medium caliber automatic cannon and coaxial machine gun combined with optional non-lethal effects provides the vehicle crew the necessary tools to engage in a wide spectrum of situations and to conduct Escalation of Force. The availability of having two ammunition types simultaneously gives the flexibility to configure the system to engage both soft and hard targets beyond 3,000 meters.
US Army projects developing more accurate and lethal 30mm and 50mm guns
Medium [30mm XM814, 30mm Mk310, 50mm PABM] Caliber Weapon Systems (About $10 million in 2015 and 2016 and $16 million i 2017
This effort matures and demonstrates advanced medium caliber ammunition, weapon, fire control, and ammunition handling systems optimized for remote operation. This effort demonstrates cannon-super high elevation engagement, high performance stabilization, remote ammunition loading, weapon safety and reliability, improved lethality, accuracy, ability to fire a suite of ammunition from non-lethal to lethal, and escalation of force capability in one system.
In 2015, Optimized technologies from Weapon, Fire Control and Turret functional areas together in preparation of demonstrating a system level platform integration with an advanced medium caliber weapon system within a Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) variant. In support of this effort, finalized and optimized a prototype turret and drive system to support the XM813 30mm weapon system; optimized and matured the advanced sensors (down range wind sensor, dynamic metrology sensor and improved laser range finder) and the scenario based fire control system supporting the XM813 30mm weapon system, 30mm armor piercing (AP) munition and the Mk310 30mm programmable air bursting munitions (PABM); performed the integration of these technologies within the BFV and demonstrated improved accuracy and lethality performance at a system level. Additionally, finalized 50mm fuze improvements and performed a fuze shoot off and demonstration to down select and optimize the burst point accuracy of the 50mm PABM munition.
Accurate Medium Caliber Armament system for stationary and fire on the move capability with turret/vehicle integration
• Programmable Air Bursting Munition (PABM): Optimized effects against Personnel targets (behind walls and in the open)
• Armor Piercing munition (APFSDS-T): Optimized effects against Materiel targets
• Integrated Fire Control Enhancements: Scenario Based Fire Control System (SBFCS), Graphical User Interface (GUI), dynamic MET Sensor, down range wind sensor and enhanced laser rangefinder
• Improve burst point accuracy and PD reliability of fuze technology for 50mm PABM
• Validate and refine existing 30mm Error Budget model for use in 50mm system projections
• Develop turret to demonstrate growth from 30mm XM813 to 50mm Enhanced Bushmaster III
• Perform platform integration of turret for 50mm system level test and evaluation
PROTECTOR MCT-30 – monch.com
The PROTECTOR MCT-30 provides highly accurate firepower for wheeled and tracked combat/armored vehicles. The system is remotely controlled and operated from a protected position inside the vehicle compartment.
The main armament is a 30mm automatic cannon equipped with a link less ammunition handling system for increased reliability compared to traditional link fed cannon systems.
PROTECTOR MCT-30 is:
Under delivery to the US Stryker Brigade
The first remotely operated turret to be qualified and fielded within the U.S. Army
Precision fire control system that enables highly-precise engagements across all battlefield conditions and operational scenarios
Operated and reloaded from under armor
Supporting various protection (armor) levels
Flexible design allowing for customer tailoring and growth.
A Commander’s sight solution, based on the PROTECTOR RWS family, gives the commander an independent surveillance and lethal/non-lethal engagement capability and enables a two way hunter/killer capability.
PROTECTOR MCT-30 Specifications
MK44 30mm Bushmaster Automatic Cannon First round select Effective range > 3000 meters Upgradeable to fire 40×180 mm ammunition (Optional)
Hongdu L-15 is a twin engine, modern jet trainer or light attack aircraft designed and manufactured by Hongdu Aviation Industry Group (HAIG) of China. It has been built as a rival to Guizhou JL-9/FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle. The L-15 will be used as a lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF). About five prototypes have been built by HAIG.
July 1, 2013 at 13:04 pm, a yellow factory painting coaches -10 “Falcon” senior trainer, in a central airplane in central China flew to the blue sky, the scene guests have applauded. According to sources, the coach-10 “Falcon” advanced trainer conducted the first test flight, it is learned that the aircraft will soon be delivered to the PLA Air Force, allegedly, our air force and naval aviation forces equipped with L-15 aircraft has been “Coach -10” official number, in the June 29 to complete the delivery of the first overseas users after the ceremony, “Coach -10” delivery ceremony has also been a complete success. (Globe picture) -Image: y3.ifengimg.com
A Hongdu brochure obtained at the 2015 Paris Airshow indicated that a lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) version was also being developed. The LIFT version was said to have “afterburning engines, high-performance fire control radar, and weapons-carrying capacity for combat missions.”
Images appeared on Chinese websites in October 2015 showing an L-15 carrying a small radar, possibly a passive electronically scanned array (PESA) with a reported range of about 75 km: a development that would greatly improve the aircraft’s air-to-air combat capability.
Adding to the confusion, a model of an armed L-15 described as the attack/fighter/trainer (AFT) version was displayed during the Singapore Airshow in February.
An L-15 was not seen flying with weapons until the Hongdu anniversary video appeared on Chinese websites in early May. The aircraft was seen taking off with PL-5II air-to-air missiles, a centre-fuselage pod carrying a 23 mm cannon and underwing fuel tanks.
It also carried two Luoyang Electro Optical Technology Development Center LS-6 extended-range guided bombs. Introduced in 2006, the LS-6 has fold-out wings that give it a range of up to 60 km.
The L-15 in the video appeared to have non-afterburning turbofans, most likely the Lotarev DV-2s or the non-afterburning Progress AI-222-25 used in the L-15 prototypes. The production version of the L-15 is expected to use the 5 tonne-thrust Minshan afterburning engine that is currently being developed by the Guizhou Aero Engine Research Institute. Source janes.com
Hongdu L-15 trainer aircraft orders
PLAAF ordered four Hongdu L-15 trainer aircraft in April 2006. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is planning to procure Hongdu L-15 supersonic jet trainers from HAIG to replace its existing K-8 Karakorum jet trainer. The procurement will allow PAF to reduce its trainer aircraft from four to two.
It was rumored in September 2013 that JL-10 might be adopted by PLAN as a carrier-based trainer but this has not been confirmed. Several foreign countries have expressed serious interest in acquiring L-15. It was reported that 6 L-15Z upgraded AFT version (Attack/Fighter/Trainer) were ordered by Zambia in 2012.
These L-15Zs could carry PL-5II AAMs, LS-6 GPS/INS bombs, a belly 23mm gun pod and be used as a light attack aircraft. As a result a small fire-control (PESA? max range 60nm/111km) radarmay have been installed. It was reported in June 2014 that Venezuela expressed the intention to acquire 24 L-15s. Uruguay also showed some interest in August 2016. Source chinese-military-aviation.blogspot.com
The first Chinese-made Hongdu L-15 supersonic light attack/jet trainer for Zambia has broken cover at Africa Aerospace and Defence in the markings of the air force’s 15 Sqn.
According to Flight Fleets Analyzer, Lusaka has ordered six of the Motor Sich AI-222-25-powered aircraft and the first example – AF-001 – arrived in Zambia “earlier this year”, says 15 Sqn’s Maj Paul Besa, who has been flying the type since 2015, initially in China, with “no problems”.
The L-15 was displayed with an array of Chinese weaponry, including a PL-5E II air-to-air missile and LS-6 guided glide bomb.15 SEPTEMBER, 2016 SOURCE: FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL BY: MURDO MORRISON – Source flightglobal.com
Uruguayan Air Force eyeing China’s Hongdu L-15:Here
Hongdu L-15 design
HAIG unveiled the L-15 aircraft design in September 2001 during the 9th Aviation exhibition in Beijing. The large leading edge extensions (LEX) design allows the aircraft to offer a maximum angle of attack of 30°. The aircraft can also be changed into light air-to-ground attack aircraft with minor modifications.
The aircraft has been designed to train pilots of the third-generation fighters encompassing Su-27, Su-30, J-10, and J-11. The enhanced design provides safety to the pilot while cutting down the training cost compared to its rivals.
Two variants are being developed initially. One is advanced jet trainer (AJT), powered by two Ukraine AI-222-25 turbofan engines. The other is lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT), powered by two AI-222-25F with afterburner which give L-15 a supersonic capability. Source chinese-military-aviation.blogspot.com
HAIG L-15 development
The development of Hongdu L-15 began when Hongdu planned a modern trainer aircraft which would meet the requirements of PLAAF’s new generation fighters. Russian based Yakovlev Design Bureau aided in the L-15 manufacturing as its design resembles that of the Yak-130 aircraft.
The initial prototype was rolled out in September 2005 and took its maiden flight in March 2006. The second prototype completed its first flight in May 2008. The first and second prototypes are powered by two ZMKB-Progress (Lotarev) DV-2 engines. An improved version, the DV-2F, which boasts of afterburner capabilities, was fitted in the third model. Ukraine’s Ivchenko-Progress AI-222K-25F turbofan engines with afterburner are incorporated in the later L-15 versions.
The Hongdu L-15 was displayed at the Dubai Air show organised in November 2009 to promote its aircraft in the potential Middle East market. HAIG will receive export orders from Africa, the Middle East and South America.
The first operational variant powered by Ivchenko-Progress AI-222K-25F turbofan engines was introduced in August 2010 upon completion of six months production.
06 LIFT prototype stretched nose housing a small PESA radar
The 06 LIFT prototype finally took off on October 26, 2010. It features a stretched nose housing a small PESA radar developed by the 607 Institute (range ~75km), an improved glass cockpit with three MFDs, and two AI-222K-25F turbofans capable of supersonic flight. Source chinese-military-aviation.blogspot.com
L-15B Attack Variant of Jet Trainer Rolls Out:Here
The L-15B is an enhanced version of the L-15 LIFT (Lead In Fighter Trainer) variant used by both the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force. Both use the Ukrainian Ivchenko-Progress afterburning AI-222K-25F turbofan, giving the L-15B supersonic speed up to Mach 1.4. According to AVIC’s specifications, the L-15B has a maximum takeoff weight of 11.6 metric tons (25,573 pounds) and operational range of 2,600 km (1,616 miles).
L-15B LIFT fitted with afterburner performed maiden flight 21 Dec 2017
The Hongdu L-15 features a full glass cockpit which can accommodate two crew members, either a student pilot and instructor, or an official pilot and weapons systems officer. A multi-colour head down display is fitted on both front and rear cockpit, while the head up display is installed at the cockpit front. Digital fly by wire (FBW), and hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) flight control systems are also installed in the aircraft.
New Glass Cockpit
The Hongdu L-15 comprises six hard points of which four are located under the two wings and two under the wing-tips. It can accommodate 3,000kg of payload. The aircraft can carry short range air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, bombs and rocket pods.
The PL-5 (霹雳-5) air-to-air missile (PL stands for Pi Li, “Thunderbolt” in Chinese, the generic designation for all PRC air-to-air missiles) is a short-range, Infrared homing missile use by Chinese fighters. It is based on AA-2 Atoll technology and resembles the AIM-9 Sidewinder. The PL-5 have been continuously upgraded by Luoyang and the latest variant, the PL-5EII added a dual band, multi-element detector as well as a laser proximity fuse similar to the PL-9. According to Chinese export/import agency CATIC, the PL5E has an all-aspect capability with the seeker having a maximum off boresight angle of ±25° before launch, and ±40° after launch.
PL-12/SD-10 active radar-homing MRAAM
The PL-12 is claimed to have an operational ceiling of at least 21 km, with a maximum effective range of 100 km and a minimum engagement range of 1,000 m. The missile has a 38+ g manoeuvering limit and, according to CATIC, it has been tested for a 100-hour captive ‘live flight’ life. According to Chinese claims, PL-12 is more capable than the American AIM-120 A/B, but slightly inferior than the AIM-120C. Source airforceworld.com
PL-12 (K/AKK-12?) was under development at LETRI/607 Institute since early 90s. The missile was expected to be in the same class as AIM-120A/B and its active seeker may have evolved from the earlier AMR-1 design (R-129? based on Russian 9B-1348 seeker & datalink for R-77). Its tailfins appear to have fin tips as well as the leading edges of the fin root cropped. These specially designed tailfins are believed to possess lower drag for greater speed and higher torque for better maneuverability. Two datalink antennas can be seen next to the nozzle for mid-course correction. Several dielectric strips are seen along the middle warhead section which house the radio proximity fuse. PL-12 completed its development test in December 2004 and was certified in 2005. Its export version is called SD-10 (SD-10A as the improved version) and was first revealed to the public during the 2002 Zhuhai Airshow. Currently it is in the service with J-8F, J-10, J-11B, J-15 and Su-30MK2. In addition SD-10A is being carried by JF-17 currently in service with PAF. Some specifications of SD-10: length 3,850mm, diameter 203mm, wing span 674mm, weight 180kg, max g-load 38g, max speed 4M, range 60-70km. Recently produced PL-12 is expected to feature an improved seeker with new digital processor and SINS. The improved PL-12 (PL-12A?) is thought to be comparable to American AIM-120C4. It was reported in November 2010 that PL-12 may feature an active/passive dual mode seeker in order to achieve greater ECCM capability and kill probability. Source chinese-military-aviation.blogspot.com
This lightweight AShM recently entered the service with PLAN as part of the weapon package of Z-9D. Up to 4 missiles can be carried by Z-9D at a time. YJ-9 may have evolved from the earlier TL-10B developed by Hongdu. YJ-9 is a light, active radar guided anti-ship missile used against smaller FACs and gun boats (<1,000t). Its range is 15km, speed is Mach 0.8, weight is 105kg, and its warhead weighs 30kg. Besides Z-9D, YJ-9 is expected to be carried by the new Z-18F ASW helicopter as well. Its export version is dubbed YJ-9E. The missile has three versions depending on the guidance: YJ-9E (radar), YJ-9EA (TV) and YJ-9EB (semi-active laser). Recent news (September 2016) indicated that Zambian AF has ordered some YJ-9E ASM for its newly acquired L-15AFT aircraft. Source chinese-military-aviation.blogspot.com
In 2016, Hongdu disclosed the TL-20 small-diameter guided bomb at the Zhuhai Air Show and officially entered the field of precision guided bombs.
According to the Zhuhai Air Show public data, the TL-20 small diameter guided bomb weighs 100 kilograms, similar to the SDB, and also uses the gliding range extension kit, but the TL-20 uses a large aspect ratio flat wing, which is used by the SDB. It is a diamond-shaped wing. The aerodynamic design and structure are simpler than the latter. The development difficulty and cost are lower than the latter. However, the performance is not inferior to that of the SDB. The TL-20 has a high altitude of 85 kilometers. The TL-20 is also equipped with a composite guide. System to improve the accuracy of bomb placement, TL-20 basic guidance system inertial guidance plus satellite navigation positioning receiver, with day and night all-weather ground strike capability, in order to further improve the accuracy of TL-20 attack, it can also be equipped with terminal guidance system, for example Equipped with semi-active laser guidance system or other guidance system, TL-20 adopts inertial navigation plus satellite positioning and navigation composite guidance system in the middle section, and the semi-active laser guidance system or other guidance system is used for guidance at the end to improve the accuracy of ground attack. Source xuehua.us
LS-6 GPS/INS bombs
The LS-6 designation is applied to a family of guidance kits for a range of low drag bomb bodies. Known variants of the tailkit are for 500 kg, 250 kg, 100 kg and 50 kg bombs. The former variants are glidebombs, the latter variants strake equipped analogues to the US GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB).
The 500 kg / 250 kg LS-6 glidebomb design is modelled in many respects on the concept of the Australian developed planar wing Kerkanya glidebomb kit, more recently adapted to form the JDAM-ER. Unlike the Kerkanya which uses a low wing monoplane configuration with a blended adaptor fairing, the LS-6 glide wing kit is much simpler in design and the weapon flight configuration is that of a high wing monoplane. Cited range for an 11 km release altitude at 900 km/h is 60 km, considerably less than the Kerkanya/JDAM-ER design4.
Luoyang Description for 500/250 kg Variants (Cite):
LS-6 guided glide bomb is a low-cost but highly effective air to surface weapon for standoff precise attack on fixed ground targets, such as airports, seaports, bridges, commander centers, etc. With a wing kit and GPS/INS guidance unit, the conventional low-drag aerial bombs are modified into precision guided bombs with standoff attack ability.
Launched outside mid/short range air defense firepower
All-weather, day & night attack capability
Low cost but highly effective
Fire and forget capability
Excellent anti-interference capability
Modular guidance and control unit
Single target or multiple targets attack capability
The LS-6 standoff guided glide bomb (SOGGB) utilizes high-altitude and high-speed launching, high lift-drag ratio aerodynamic configuration and suitable control scheme to ensure a remote gliding control. Before the bomb is dropped, its on-board INS coordinate system must be aligned with that of the aircraft and the fire control system downloads the mission planning into the bomb. Within a specified period of time after the bomb being dropped, the stabilizing system of the bomb starts to work to ensure the bomb and the aircraft being separated safely. And then, the folded-wings expand, putting the bomb into the autonomous flight course, and the on-board control system of the bomb starts to operate to keep the bomb body stable. A combined GPS/INS navigation is adopted during this course. The guidance system translates and calculates the guidance commands and outputs to the autopilot to ensure the bomb flying in a planned trajectory. Based on the relative position of the bomb to the target, the bomb will enter its terminal guidance at a preset distance from the target. On the terminal course of the trajectory, attitude control will be performed via a vertical lead-bias to improve the kill effect.
a) Kill Area：
For normal target：5,000 – 10,000 m2
For armored targe：100 – 500 m2
b) Operational Altitude and Speed：
Launch altitude：4,000 – 11,000 m
Launch speed：600 – 1,000 km/h
c) Maximum Launch Range：No less than 60 kilometers with a launch altitude of 11,000 meters and an initial speed of 900 km/h.
The Minshan was displayed at the recent Airshow China in Zhuhai.
The 614 Institute of the Aviation Industrial Corporation of China (Avic), which is part of the state-owned conglomerate’s jet engine division, is sometimes referred to as the Gas Turbine Establishment (GTE). A Fadec system shown at the recent Airshow China in Zhuhai demonstrated how the GTE has been able to apply this technology to military aircraft engines. It was included in the Minshan engine, which is in the same class as the Ukrainian Ivchenko AI222-25. The Minshan could eventually replace this engine in the Hongdu L-15 jet trainer. source ainonline.com
JL-10/L-15 could be powered eventually by the domestic Minshan turbofan engine (WS-17? max thrust 4,700kg with A/B) developed by the Guizhou Aero Engine Research Institute. The engine was rumored to have been tested onboard a L-15 prototype. In early 2013 one prototype (01?) was converted into a UCAV technology demonstrator with the aft cockpit loaded with remote control and monitoring equipment. Source chinese-military-aviation.blogspot.com
The Hongdu L-15 can climb at the rate of 150m/s. Its maximum speed is 1,715km/h. The range and combat radius of the aircraft are 3,100km and 550km respectively. The service ceiling of the aircraft is 16,000m. Its maximum loitering time is two hours. The aircraft weighs around 4,960kg and its maximum take-off weight is 9,500kg.
The US Army presented today a new concept vehicle designed to explore how to design current and future combat vehicles to better protect the warfighters riding in those vehicles to combat. The Concept for Advanced Military Explosion-Mitigation Land (CAMEL) vehicle designed by the Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC), demonstrates the ‘Occupant Centric Platform’ (OCP) concepts developed at the center. A 30-ton 8×8-class troop carrier, CAMEL is designed to safely and securely transport nine troops and two crew-members safely and securely. The goal is to reduce combat vehicle casualties well below 50 percent, compared to current combat vehicles.
This CAMEL demonstrator is ergonomically designed around the Soldiers and their gear, incorporating cutting edge technologies to increase comfort and efficiency while improving soldier safety, by diverting blast energy away from its occupants. TARDEC recently evaluated the vehicle with fully equipped active-duty troops, to gather feedback from soldiers who would use such vehicles in the future. The demonstrator is undergoing tests, including live fire, that are designed to evaluate its safety, comfort and blast resistance.
U.S. ARMY RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING COMMAND
“This is a new concept in that we are designing the vehicle around the soldier,” said Steve Knott, the Associate Director of Ground Systems Survivability at TARDEC. “There are a lot of vehicles that, when you get in the back, it is tight. There are protrusions that could cause injury and loose gear that can be harmful in certain situations. These OCP demonstrators are designed around the occupant and offer a new level of survivability for our warfighters”.
The OCP Technology Enabled Capability Demonstrator (TECD) program aims to reduce casualties on legacy platforms by as much as 50 percent, using OCP concepts. The ultimate goal is to eliminate crew injuries for any occupant position.
U.S. ARMY RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING COMMAND
Blast protection is the basic consideration for the design of the hull, seating and ergonomics. Two primary factors contribute to the dissipation of blast effect caused by an underbelly explosion – the distance (height) from the source and the shape of the hull. An OCP-designed vehicle uses a U-shaped hull, with a deflector shield that channels shock waves away from the vehicle’s hull and interiors.
The CAMEL Demonstrator’s crew compartment significantly increases Soldier protection through technologies such as reconfigured seats, easy-to-reach safety harnesses, 360-degree situational awareness, a decoupled floor and dedicated spaces for gear and ammunition storage. (U.S. Army TARDEC photo.) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)
An look into the troop compartment shows the padded ceiling, canted corners, blast isolated ‘floating floor’ and individual seating, with head and foot rests, stowage for the personal gear and ‘virtual windows’ – vision blocks displaying a video image taken from 360 degree cameras located all around the vehicle.
U.S. ARMY RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING COMMAND
OCP-designed vehicles are equipped with individual seating, fitted with harness straps and foot rests – their role is to isolate the passenger from the blast affecting the hull, while maintaining comfortable and ergonomic design. Seat angles are designed and shaped to prevent spinal injuries, and the ceiling contains impact-absorbing materials to reduce the chance of head injury. The hull is designed with protective trim on the top and sides, also reducing the danger of injury. 360-degree views with cameras capturing the surroundings outside the vehicle and beaming the video onto internal screens provide situational awareness inside, without exposing the crew to hostile fire.
The fighting compartment can be reconfigured to provide space for stretchers, carrying injured squad members. The litters are designed specifically for the vehicle and hang from straps attached to hooks on ceiling-mounted anchor tracks to isolate the wounded from the floor (preventing further injury from blast).
These illustrations show how the CAMEL concept compares to the MRAP Caiman (minus turret). The CAMEL’s low center of gravity and wide track reduce rollover risk, while it also maintains ground clearance to aid in blast mitigation. The CAMEL’s U-shaped hull also channels blast waves away from the interior. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)
Source: Thread: Wheeled Armoured Vehicles Part Deux
The Mi-24 (NATO designation Hind) is one of the most widely-known assault helicopter gunships in the world, and remains in service with at least 50 air arms.
The Mi-24 was developed from the tried and tested Mi-8 multirole transport helicopter and was first flown in V-24 prototype form in 1969. Production commenced in 1971 and ceased in 1991. Over 2,300 Hinds of all variants were produced.
The definitive initial production variant was the Mi-24D Hind-D (Mi-25 for export). This introduced heavily-armored, stepped cockpits ant an undernose gun turret. Vital components of the helicopter are also armored. This gunship has a crew of three and can carry up to 8 fully-equipped troops.
Russia to start fitting Mi-24 gunships with Vitebsk electronic warfare system:HERE
From 1976 to 1978, the Hind-D was joined in service by the up-engined Mi-24V Hind-E (export Mi-35), which also featured improved armament of tube-launched 9M114 Shturm (AT-6 Spiral) ATGMs.
The 9K114 Shturm is an anti-tank missile system of Soviet origin. It was developed in the early 1970s and is employed since 1976. The system is called 9K114 Shturm and is missile is known as the 9M114 Kokon. In the West the NATO reporting name AT-6 Spiral is used often. The 9M114 was designed to provide attack helicopters with a more capable anti-tank missile than the Falanga (AT-2). Besides helicopters it is also used on vehicles and ships.
The 9M114 has a better performance than the older Falanga (AT-2) and Malyutka (AT-3) in range, penetration and accuracy. During Western tests accuracy proved poor while Russian sources claim 75 to 85 percent effectiveness in the Afghan war. The original 9M114 missiles penetrates about 560mm RHA and has a maximum range of 5 km. The 9M114M2 extends this range to 7 km and penetrates 600 to 650 mm RHA. A thermobaric version is available.
Combat experience in Afghanistan led to the development of the Mi-24P Hind-F with a 30-mm GSh-30K twinbarrel cannon mounted on the forward fuselage. Later specialised Hind variants include the Mi-24RKR Hind-G1 NBC reconnaissance helicopter; Mi-24K Hind-G2 for artillery fire correction; Mi-24BMT minesweeper conversion and Mi-24PS for paramilitary use.
30-mm GSh-30K twinbarrel cannon
It is designed for firing with fragmentation-mine, armour-piercing-explosive and armour-piercing-tracer shells from different types of aircrafts and helicopters at air and ground targets. Operation of automated mechanism is based on use of powder gases energy.
The gun can be used on right or left feed.
The gun is produced in two modifications: GSH-30 — with length of barrels of 1500 mm installed on aircrafts “Su-25” type; GSH-30K — with length of barrels of 2400 mm, evaporative cooling system of barrels and variable rate of fire. The gun is installed on helicopters of “Mi-24P” type.
Fixed resource, shot
Overall dimensions, mm, not more than
At the beggining of the 21 century Mi-24s remains in widespread service, the Russian army being the most significant operator with around 700 helicopters. Other major users include Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Libya and Poland. The Mi-24 has seen widespread combat action, fighting in Afghanistan, Chad, Angola, Sri Lanka and, most recently, in the wars in Chechnya in 1995 and 1999. The market for upgrades is substantial, with an estimated 1 500 Hinds remaining in service. A number of programmes are available.
Pilot SeatGunner seat
The Mi-24VM (export designation Mi-35M) is available from Mil as a staged upgrade that includes a refurbished airframe for prolonged service, Mi-28 dynamic systems, upgraded 2,194-shp (1 636-kW) TV3-117VMA engines, and MFD-equipped cockpit compatible with night vision googles, pilot’s head-up display, forward-looking infra-red, a nose turret carrying a GSh-231 23-mm two-barrel cannon, 9M120 (AT-12 Swinger) ATGMs, and compatibility with 9M39 Igla (SA-18 Grouse) air-to-air missiles. Mil proposes to upgrade around 200 Russian Federation Hinds to these standards as Mi-24VMs, but the future of this programme is uncertain.
2 x TV3-117VMA engine
2,194-shp (1 636-kW) TV3-117VMA engines
The TV3-117VMA turboshaft engine is used to power in civil helicopters.
The TV3-117VMA turboshaft is one of the world`s best engines as regards its fuel efficiency and weight performances. High-tech development and perfect mass-production process have ensured the engine`s superior reliability and extensive service life.
Main advantages of the engine:
low specific fuel consumption;
low weight-to-power ratio;
long service life;
steady operation in harsh dust and smoke conditions;
possibility of long-time operation in maritime conditions.
2.5- minute power rating,
with one engine inoperative (OEI) (SLS, ISA):
Power, shp (kW)
30- minute power rating,
with one engine inoperative (OEI) (SLS, ISA):
Power, shp (kW)
Specific fuel consumption, kg/hp•h (kg/kW•h)
Cruise power condition (SLS, ISA):
Power, shp (kW)
Dry weight, kg
GSh-231 23-mm two-barrel cannon
GSh-231 23-mm two-barrel cannon
Gas operated, Gast principle
Twin barrel, 1.000 m, rifled, 10 grooves, 575 mm right hand twist
The Yak-B is a late Cold War era gatling gun of Soviet origin. It was developed for use on the Mi-24 attack helicopter as a far more capable machine gun than the UB-12.7 as used in the early models of the Mi-24. The Yak-B is a much heavier weapon than a heavy machine gun, but its 12.7mm caliber is much lighter than autocannon ammunition.
The Yak-B fires the 12.7x108mm round that is commonly used in Soviet heavy machine guns. The rate of fire is 4.000 to 5.000 rpm. In the Mi-24 it is fed by a 1.470 round belt. The Yak-B proved effective against infantry in the open and soft skin vehicles. Against dug-in infantry and armored vehicles performance proved poor.
Wing-tip pylons can only carry the 9M17 Phalanga (in the Mi-24A-D) or the 9K114 Shturm complex (in the Mi-24V-F).
Bombs within weight range (presumably ZAB, FAB, RBK, ODAB etc.), Up to 500 kg.
MBD multiple ejector racks (presumably MBD-4 with 4 × FAB-100)
KGMU2V submunition/mine dispenser pods
First-generation armament (standard production Mi-24D)
GUV-8700 gunpod (with a 12.7 mm Yak-B + 2 × 7.62 mm GShG-7.62 mm combination or one 30 mm AGS-17)
UB-32 S-5 rocket launchers
S-24 240 mm rocket
9M17 Fleyta (a pair on each wingtip pylon)
The large size of the gondola (3 meters) allow you to stow up to 1800 7,62x54R caliber rounds and 750 rounds caliber 12.7 × 108.
Alternatively, the Yak-B can ‘be replaced by an automatic 30mm grenade launcher AP-30 (9A800), and that’ the Air Force version of the more ‘known AGS-17infantry. With the AP-30 mounted the ammunition load drops to a maximum of 300 shots.
Aiming is done through a traditional viewfinder collimation.
Gondala Universalnaya Vertolotnaya 8700 Name in Cyrillic: Универсальная вертолётная гондола 8700; English name: Universal Helicopter Pod 8700; Nationality ‘: USSR / Russia; Type: gun-pod for helicopters; Armament: two machine guns quadrinate GShG 7,62x54R caliber machine gun and a quadrinata Yak-B caliber 12,7 × 108 or an automatic grenade launcher AP-30 30mm; Length: 3000 mm diameter: 480mm Weight
empty: 140 kg
with weapons and ammunition: 452 kg Total loaded ammunition: 1,800 rounds cal. 7,62x54R, more ‘750 shots 12,7x108mm gauge (300 30mm for the AP-30) Compatible aircraft: I-24/35; Mi-8/17; Ka-25; Ka-50/52.
In the early 90s a BTR-90 was developed in Russia. It had a more powerful armament, improved protection greater mobility and increased internal volume, comparing with the previous BTR-80. However it was not accepted to service, possibly due to funding problems. Since 2010 Russia stopped purchasing the older BTR-80 APCs. Currently an improved BTR-82 is being obtained as a stop-gap measure until a new vehicle is available. In 2011 Russian MoD issued a requirement for a modular family of armored vehicles instead of the BTR-90.
The project is known as the Bumerang (boomerang). A baseline vehicle is an armored personnel carrier. It was developed alongside a new-generation Kurganets tracked armored vehicle family. The whole project was kept in high secrecy. The new APC was revealed to Russian military officials in 2013. During the same year first Bumerang APCs were delivered to the Russian Army for trials and evaluation. It was first publicly revealed in 2015. In 2015 a handful of pre-production vehicles were delivered to the Russian armed forces. As of early 2017 this APC is till being tested by its manufacturer. Full-scale production could begin within the next couple of years.
Once operational the new-generation Bumerang APC should replace a whole host of ageing Russian armored vehicles. The estimated requirement is for at least 2 000 wheeled armored vehicles.
The Bumerang is a clean sheet design. It is not based on any previous Russian armored vehicle. Actually it resembles Western designs. A number of components and subsystems of the Bumerang are interchangeable with the Kurganets family of tracked armored vehicles.
Bumerang APC and Bumerang IFV
Engine of the Bumerang is located at the front of the hull. Troops enter and leave the new vehicle via rear power-operated ramp with integral doors. It is worth mentioning that a rear-mounted engine of the BTR series APCs was a significant drawback, as troops had to leave the vehicle via side doors. Cramped side entry and exit hatches are even worse on BTR-70 APCs, which is still in service with the Russian Army. If such vehicles are ambushed, troops usually have to leave it under direct enemy fire.
The Boomerang has a wave breaker at the front, deployed when the vehicle enters the water. The belly is also protected by an armor plate seen at the lower front.
This new armored personnel carrier has a crew of 3, including commander, gunner and driver. It can carry 9 soldiers. Firing ports for the troops were deleted in order not to compromise armor protection.
Vehicle has a welded hull and turret. Its armor is modular, so protection level can be tailored to suit mission requirements. So far its protection level is classified. However it seems that all-round protection with maximum armor is against 14.5-mm armor-piercing round.
Vehicle has a V-shaped hull that deflects mine blasts away. As usually this vehicle is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. It has been reported that the Bumerang can be fitted with active protection system.
The Bumerang uses the same unmanned turrets as Kurganets APC and IFV. This 8×8 armored personnel carrier comes in two basic version. One version fitted with the same turret as used on Kurganets APC. It is armed with a 12.7-mm machine gun.
The K-16 Boomerang Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) is equipped with a small unmanned turret featuring a sensor array and a 12.5mm machine gun. The K-16 is expected to enter service with the Russian Armed Forces by the end of 2016. It is intended for use by both Russian Army and Russian Navy amphibious assault units. Source deagel.com
Another version is fitted with a turret of Kurganets IFV and packs a formidable punch. It is armed with a 30-mm cannon, coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and 4 external launchers with Kornet-M anti-tank guided missiles.
The new APC is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine. Two engine alternatives are available. These are 17-liter ChTZ-Uraltrac 2V06 opposite engine, developing 450-510 hp or YaMZ-780 inline engine with two turbochargers, developing 750 hp. As of early 2017 it is unclear which engine will be fitted on production model. It is planned that the same engine will be used by Kurganets family of tracked armored vehicles.
It looks like the engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Vehicle has an 8×8 configuration with all-wheel drive. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system and run-flat tyres. The Bumerang is fully-amphibious. On water is is propelled by two waterjets.
Two waterjets used for amphibious operations
Other armored vehicles of the Bumerang family will include armored ambulance, command post vehicle, reconnaissance vehicle, anti-tank missile carrier, air defense missile launcher, fire support vehicle, mortar carrier, and other. It seems that with these vehicle Russia plans to equip rapid deployment brigades, similar in concept to US Stryker brigades.
RUSSIAN NAVY MARINES TO BE ARMED WITH BUMERANG:Here
The Military Industrial Company (VPK) has started to test an amphibious armored fighting vehicle, developed on the basis of a unified wheeled armored platform Bumerang.
The Military Industrial Company (VPK) which is a leading manufacturer of armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and armored vehicles for the Russian army, started preliminary testing of an amphibious armored fighting vehicle, developed on the basis of the unified wheeled armored platform Bumerang, the Izvestia Daily newspaper reported.
Like Deadly Legos: New Details on Russia’s Bumerang APC/IFV Combat Platform: Here
In 2017, the Arzamas Machine-Building Plant is slated to begin mass production of the K-16.
In a new analysis for Russia’s independent online newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa on the Bumerang’s capabilities and prospects, Tuchkov recalled that the vehicle, “completely new” in design terms, “differs fundamentally from the machines Russia presently has in its arsenal in this class of weaponry.” Russia’s aptly named Military-Industrial Company (VPK LLC) was selected to develop the Bumerang platform in 2011, and was given a list of capabilities requirements that was “extremely tough.”
“First and foremost,” the military analyst recalled, “it was necessary to protect the APC and other military vehicles created on the Boomerang platform from the detonation of mines. In previous comparable APC and (IFV) designs, this had been the vehicle’s most vulnerable area….VPK solved this task with flying colors.”
Number of Engines: 1
Wheel Drive: 8×8 Dimensions
Main Gun Caliber: 12.5 millimeter Performance
Ballistic Protection: 30 millimeter
Max Range: 800 kilometer (497 mile) Power
Power: 510 hp (380 kW) Speed
Top Speed: 100 kph (62 mph)
Top Swimming Speed: 2 kph (1.08 knot) Weight
Combat Weight: 20,000 kilogram (44,092 pound)
The light combat helicopter (LCH) was designed and built by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL). It is an attack helicopter derived from the existing Dhruv helicopter.
The LCH can be deployed in various roles, including tracking slow-moving aerial targets, insurgency, destroying enemy defences, search and rescue, anti-tank and scouting. A datalink system transmits mission data to mobile platforms and ground stations operating within the network.
The LCH was developed to meet the requirements of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army, who have ordered 62 and 114 units respectively. Its maiden flight took place in Bangalore in March 2010.
The Indian Air Force will procure 64 LCHs as part of a $4bn contract signed with Hindustan Aeronautics in March 2011. The helicopters will be armed with Helina missile with an extended range of 7km, a missile warning system and anti-missile countermeasures. Deliveries are scheduled to take place between 2013 and 2014.
HAL light combat helicopter design
The LCH is effective as both an anti-infantry and anti-armour helicopter. Main and tail rotor diameters are 13.3m and 2.05m respectively. The two-seater craft also has a tricycle crashworthy wheel landing gear and stealth capabilities. The flight controls and hydraulics of Dhruv have been redesigned for the LCH.
India Launches $500 Mln Program to Acquire 15 Light Combat Helicopters:Here
New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian government has ordered fifteen locally developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) for fulfilling urgent requirements of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. These will be manufactured at the Bengaluru facility of Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) which was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.
The selling point of the twin-engine LCH is that they are not only lighter compared to the American AH-64E Apache attack helicopters but also come at half the price i.e. $35 million per unit.
The helicopter is equipped with electronic warfare systems and advanced weapons systems, including a chin-mounted, twin-barrel M621 20mm cannon on a Nexter THL-20 turret, 70mm rockets, MBDA air-to-air, air-to-surface and anti-radiation missiles, and Helina anti-tank guided missiles. Explosive ordnance includes iron bombs, cluster bombs and grenade launchers.
M621 20mm cannon
The M621 is a French 20 mm automatic cannon, designed by GIAT (now Nexter Systems). It is used on armored vehicles, aircrafts, helicopters and small coastal vessels in France, India, Romania and other countries. Its variants include THL 20, chin mounting for helicopters; SH 20, door mounting for helicopters; CP 20, pintle-mounted naval gun, and others. The gun entered service in 1973 and is still in service today.
Type: Automatic gun
Calibre: 20×102 mm
Gun Weight: 100.3 lbs (45.5 kg)
Gun Length: 86.9 in (220.7 cm)
Bore Length: 57.5 in (146 cm)
Capacity: Belt fed, platform dependent capacity (160 for model 15A naval mounting, 300-750 for THL 20)
Rate of fire: 750 rpm
Muzzle velocity: 980-1030 m/s depending on ammunition type
The THL20 turret is designed to be fitted to attack helicopters and upgrade helicopters initially intended for transport or observation. This turret is developed around the 20 M 621 cannon, widely known for its great versality and firing the NATO-standard 20mm x 102 ammunition. The THL20’s highly reduced integration requirements (weight, overall dimensions, recoil force) and its simplicity (operation and maintenance) make it a turreted cannon which is ideally suited for upgrading existing helicopters.
– Weapon: 20mm 20 M 621 turreted cannon
– Average firing rate: 750 rounds per minute
– Ammunition stowage capacity: from 300 to 750
– Effective range: up to 2,000m
– Firing modes: Single shot, limited or unlimited bursts Â Â
Status: In service on the Romanian IAR 330 helicopters and the Indian LHA helicopters.
Helina anti-tank guided missile
Indian Helina anti-tank guided missiles
The Nag (Hindi for “Cobra”) is an Indian indigenously developed anti-tank missile. It was developed by DRDO – India’s premier defence agency. This missiles enables the Indian Armed Forces to destroy tanks up to the distance of 4 km. The Nag is comparable to the FGM-148 Javelin, Spike or PARS 3LR.
The missile was developed under Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) which was first initiated in 1982 by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Under this program various missiles were developed which includes – Agni, Akash, Nag,Prithvi and Trishul. The program was approved by the Prime Minister and her Scientific Team in 1980 and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was inducted to lead the program.
The Nag is a 3rd generation fire-and-forget type missile. It has an 8 kg tandem HEAT warhead. The Nag is a top attack missile. During flight it when approaching the target it flies upwards and then suddenly dives towards the target. This method of attack is very suitable to destroy tanks, because most of them have only a minimum level of armor protection in the upper part of the turret. The Nag can penetrate the latest generation armor, like explosive reactive armor and composite armor.
For guidance the Nag uses imagining infrared passive seeker system which is difficult to jam. The guidance system is also equipped with a CCD camera. Before the launch missile locks on the infrared image of the target. In flight it automatically guides itself onto the target. Hit probability with a single missile is 77%.
The body of the missile is fully made of fiberglass structure. The rocket motor of the missile uses nitramene-based double base sustainer propellant which is smokeless and makes hard to trace the shooter. Missile has a flight speed of 230 m/s.
The Nag is used by the missile carrier known as the NAMICA. There is also a helicopter based version known as HELINA (HELIcopter NAg). The NAMICA version uses a ‘lock on before launch’ system which means that the missile locks on to a target and is then launched. However the HELINA version uses ‘lock on after launch’ system so the range of the missile is extended to 7 km. The HELINA variant of this missile is on the verge of completing its trail. The HELINA missile was test fired in July 2015 near Jaisalmer, India. It hit 2 out of 3 targets. Source military-today.com
Late in 1998, Israel Aircraft Industries, MBT weapon Systems Division, revealed that it had developed, under contract to the Israel Defence Force, a new laser-guided anti-tank missile called the LAHAT (LAser Homing Anti-Tank) which can be fired from existing 105 mm and 120 mm tank guns.
IAI believes the LAHAT missile, a gun launched projectile designed to destroy armoured vehicles as well as helicopters, is a cost-effective way for countries to update their existing 105 mm fleets that are becoming outgunned on the battlefield.
For the United States market, Israel Aircraft Industries, MBT Weapon Systems Division, has teamed with General Dynamics Ordnance Systems of the United Siates.
To defeat MBTs fitted with explosive reactive armour the LAHAT missile includes a tandem High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) and is claimed to have a high angle of attack for effective armour penetration. Source army-guide.com
HAL’s LCH passes rocket trials; will participate in ‘Iron Fist’ exercise:Here
After completion of basic performance flight testing and outstation trials, the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has now satisfactorily fired Rockets (70 mm) from its prototype, TD-3 in weaponized configuration, a HAL press release said.
“The initial rocket firing trials have been carried out at Jaisalmer, establishing satisfactory integration of hardware and software, structural integrity and safe separation of rocket ammunition. Integration of weapons such as Rocket, Turret Gun (20 mm) and Air to Air Missile on LCH will further continue”, said HAL ‘s CMD T. Suvarna Raju.
The LCH has a glass cockpit accommodating two crew, who sit one behind the other. The cockpit is equipped with multifunction displays, target acquisition and designation systems, and a digital video recorder to capture footage of the battlefield for use in debriefing. A helmet-mounted target system controls the turret guns mounted on the helicopter’s fuselage.
‘JedEyes’ helmet-mounted targetting system
The tandem-seat cockpits each have twin side-by-side AMLCDs, will be NVG-compatible, will provide NBC protection to the crew, and have a ‘JedEyes’ helmet-mounted targetting system co-developed by HAL and Israel’s Elbit Systems. JedEyes is designed for day, night and brownout flight environments. JedEyes TM has a 70 x 40 degree FOV and 2250×1200 pixels resolution. JedEyes addresses the special needs of helicopter pilots and offers dramatic improvements over existing HMDs, not only through its ultra-wide Field of View (FOV), but also by providing razor-sharp, high resolution imagery and allowing pilots to take in wider than ever areas of ground and sky, with everything in sharp focus. Exciting features and unique technologies combine to provide dual vision 3D imagery on the See-Through Visor as well as processing and manipulation of a variety of visual cues and video sources such as UAVs, digital maps and on and off-board sensors.
A Tadiran SDR-7200AR multi-bandwidth software-defined radio, and the QuadEye panoramic night vision goggle is also on the proposed list. The IAF has also demanded that the LCH be equipped with anti-missile defence system like BAE Systems’ ‘Boldstroke’, which uses modular open-system architecture and non-proprietary standard interfaces that support interchangeability, technology insertion, and diminishing manufacturing sources resolution. It allows for direct and fibre-coupling between the laser and pointer/tracker, providing installation flexibility to meet the size, weight, and power requirements of both light and heavy rotary-winged platforms. It is much lighter, has fewer moving optical parts and uses mirrors instead of a physical ‘light pipe’ to shoot its laser. The entire unit is housed in one box. A helicopter with ‘Boldstroke’ mounted on either side would have 360 degrees of assured protection from IR-guided anti-aircraft missiles. Source fullafterburner.weebly.com
Sensors and countermeasures
The LCH is also equipped with state-of-the-art sensor suite. It includes a charge-coupled device camera, a forward-looking infra-red camera and a laser designator. The two cameras capture the location and position of enemies, ensuring clear visibility during bad weather conditions. The laser range-finder and designator aim laser-guided bombs and missiles towards the target.
The helicopter is also fitted with radar and laser warning receivers, a missile approach warning system, countermeasure dispensing systems and a missile jammer.
The helicopter is powered by two HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft engines, each of which can generate up to 871kW and can run for up to 3,000 hours without maintenance. Each engine weighs 205kg and has an output speed of 21,000rpm.
HAL/Turbomeca Shakti turboshaft engine
The Turbomeca Ardiden is a family of turboshaft engines featuring simple, modular and compact design. They are built around a gas generator with two centrifugal compressor stages, coupled to a single-stage high-pressure turbine. The power turbine comprises two stages. The engine is controlled by a dual-channel Engine Electronic Control Unit (EECU). The Ardiden engines offer very low cost of maintenance and ownership. Developing from 1,200 to 2,000 shp of maximum power, the engine is suitable to power helicopters in the five to eight tons class. Besides, the Ardiden engines satisfy the most demanding mission requirements, while retaining full performance under high altitude and hot temperature conditions.
The Shakti, also known as Ardiden 1H1, is a turboshaft engine jointly developed by Turbomeca (France) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) based on the Ardiden turboshaft to power weaponized variants of the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).
The engine received European Aviation Safety Agency certification in 2007. It features a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control system, which decreases the work of the pilot by automatically counting engine cycles.
The LCH has a cruise speed of 260km/h and a max speed of 275km/h. Its never-exceed speed is 330km/h. It can climb at a rate of 12m/s, and hits its maximum and altitude and service ceiling at 2,743m and 6,500m respectively. The helicopter has a ferry range of 700km.
The US Navy F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet maritime strike attack aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, flew for the first time on November 29 1995. The Super Hornet is about 25% larger than its predecessor, the F/A-18C/D, but contains 42% fewer structural parts. The single-seat F/A-18/E and the two-seat F/A-18/F fly greater ranges with heavier payloads, have more powerful engines and provide greater survivability.
The first low-rate initial production aircraft was delivered in December 1998, and all 12 of the first batch were delivered by November 1999.
In February 1999, the US Navy placed an order for 30 Super Hornets, in addition to the 12 already ordered. Following successful completion of operational evaluation, in June 2000 the USN ordered 222 fighters to be produced over five years.
The first full-rate production aircraft was delivered in September 2001.
A second multi-year contract was signed in January 2004 for 42 aircraft to be purchased between 2005 and 2009. Total requirement was for at least 545 aircraft. Over 500 aircraft had been delivered by April 2011.
Super Hornet programme and development
In July 2002, the F/A-18E/F began its maiden operational deployment on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). In November 2002, the aircraft made its combat entry, striking air defence sites in Southern Iraq with Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM). The aircraft was also deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.
Improvements scheduled for Block 2 aircraft include a redesigned forward fuselage which has fewer parts and changes to the aircraft’s nose to accommodate the Raytheon APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. The first aircraft was delivered in September 2003.
The aircraft is fitted with new mission computers, fibre-optic network, Raytheon AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR targeting pod, Boeing joint helmet-mounted cueing system and Raytheon AIM-9X next generation Sidewinder air-to-air missile.
In April 2007, Boeing announced that it had been asked by the US Navy to provide an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system for the F/A-18E/F. Boeing has selected Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control to supply the system. In November 2011, the US Navy awarded a $135m contract for engineering and manufacturing development of the IRST sensor system. The IRST system is expected to achieve initial operating capability by 2016.
U.S. Navy Purchases F/A-18E/F Infrared Search and Track Systems
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, is being awarded an $82,084,777 fixed-price-incentive-firm contract for the procurement of 12 low-rate initial production infrared search and track (IRST) systems for the F/A-18E/F aircraft. The IRST system is a long-wave infrared detection system that targets airborne vehicles in a radar-denied environment. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida (50 percent); St. Louis (38 percent); Santa Ana, California (7 percent); and Irvine, California (5 percent). It is expected to be complete in January 2020. Fiscal 2016 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $82,084,777 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304( c)(1). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-17-C-0026). Source afcea.org
F/A-18E/F Infrared Search and Track System IRST21 AN/ASG-34
F-14D AAS-42 – Image: sistemasdearmas.com.br
Lockheed Martin’s IRST is a development of the AN/AAS-42 system that was originally carried by Northrop Grumman F-14D Tomcats. However, it has been undergoing development since then, first for the abortive pod-mounted system for the F-15 Eagle, and now further refined for the Super Hornet application. Source ainonline.com
The F/A-18E/F IRST system is installed in the nose section of the centerline fuel tank on the aircraft. The IRST is the next generation of the F-14D AN/AAS-42 IRST that accumulated over 200,000 flight hours aboard US aircraft carriers. Boeing awarded the technology development contract to Lockheed Martin in May 2009. The US Navy has a requirement for 150 IRST systems with first deliveries due in 2011.
The new IRST technology developed by Lockheed Martin features high resolution providing dramatically improved raid cell count at maximum ranges. Compared to a radar at a maximum range the IRST is 40 times more accurate. The information gathered by the new sensor can stand alone or be fused with other sensor data to enhance situational awareness, ensuring first-to-see, first-to-shoot capability. It also enhances the engagement range of high performance air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM. The IRST has been designed to complement the latest generations of tactical radars providing long-range detection of airborne targets with low false alarms under subsonic and supersonic speed and clutter backgrounds such as blue sky to severe mountain and urban terrain. An additional benefit is that the IRST systems are effective against low radar cross section targets while reducing the threat posed by anti-radiation missiles and radar warners. Source deagel.com
F/A-18E/F IRST system – Image: deagel.com
The U.S. Navy received Milestone C acquisition approval earlier this month to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP) of an infrared search and track (IRST) sensor pod for the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Manufacturer Lockheed Martin and partner Boeing will deliver six pods in the first LRIP lot.
The AN/ASG-34 IRST sensor gives the F/A-18E/F a long-range, passive search and tracking capability against multiple targets, supplementing the jet’s APG-79 active electronically scanned radar and other sensors. The pod is mounted on the nose section of the Super Hornet’s centerline fuel tank. It completed a first flight aboard an F/A-18F in February.
“Integrating the infrared pod onto the Super Hornet revolutionizes how we fight on a networked battlefield,” said Capt. Frank Morley, Naval Air Systems Command PMA-265 program manager. “IRST advances the Super Hornet’s role in air-to-air combat operations, keeping us ahead of our adversaries in an evolving threat environment.”
The IRST program “was not impervious” to defense budget cuts, said Michele Moran, the PMA-265 electro-optics/infrared integrated product team lead. “Our team was able to completely restructure the program, overcome the budget constraints and press forward with Milestone C.”
Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, made the Milestone C approval on December 2. The six LRIP pods will enable the program to work toward initial operational capability of the system, which the Navy expects in 2017. Source ainonline.com
In February 2007, Australia requested the FMS of 24 F/A-18F Block 2 aircraft. The contract was placed in May 2007. The first five aircraft were delivered in March 2010 and and rest of them were delivered by October 2011. The F/A-18F Block 2 aircraft cover the capability gap between the retirement of the F-111s in December 2010 and the delivery of the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Australia in 2013.
The US Navy has approved System Development & Demonstration (SD&D) for an electronic attack version of the Super Hornet, the EA-18G, to replace the EA-6B Prowler. The EA-18G incorporates the Improved Capability III (ICAP III) suite developed for the Prowler. Two SDD aircraft were delivered. First flight of the EA-18G was in August 2006.
US Navy kicks-off Super Hornet Block 3 effort with IRST contract
A mock-up of the integrated Block 2 IRST system seen forward of the nosewheel on this Super Hornet that was fitted with the improvements planned under the International Roadmap. This moniker was changed to the Advanced Super Hornet, and has now become the Super Hornet Block 3. (IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings)
Gareth Jennings, London – IHS Jane’s International Defence Review
26 May 2017
The US Navy (USN) has begun the process of upgrading its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to the latest Block 3 standard, with a contract award to Boeing to incorporate the Block 2 Infrared Search and Track System (IRST) onto the combat aircraft.
The cost-plus-incentive-fee contract, which was announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 25 May, is valued at USD89 million and covers the initial design and development, procurement of prototyping hardware, technical risk reduction efforts, integrated product support, and technical reviews of the Block 2 IRST with the F/A-18E/F to support the system through the preliminary design review. Work is expected to be completed in April 2020.
The USN’s Super Hornets already field an IRST in the guise of the podded AN/ASG-34. This system, which was developed by Lockheed Martin, with assistance from Boeing and General Electric, is not integrated into the aircraft but is instead housed in a modified centreline drop tank that is carried on the centreline hardpoint. With this system, the Super Hornet is able to identify and track aircraft from their thermal signature (either through the engine or the aerodynamic heating of the airframe). Not being integrated, the AN/ASG-34 is very much an interim solution prior to the navy adopting an internal system.
The Block 2 IRST is one of a number of enhancements for the Super Hornet that the USN is set to incorporate under its Block 3 plan to take the aircraft’s service life out to the end of the 2040s. Block 3, which was previously known by Boeing as the Super Hornet International Roadmap and then as the Advanced Super Hornet, is built around a new more powerful processor than the one currently fitted to the aircraft. Source janes.com
Super Hornet Block III differs from the earlier proposed Advanced Super Hornet in that Boeing is no longer focused on improving the fighter’s stealth capability relative to the F-35’s, said Dan Gillian, F/A-18 and EA-18 program manager. Rather, it proposes to integrate networking components that along with other improvements would make the Super Hornet an equal partner with the F-35 in future strike formations.
Boeing would enable the Block III fighter by installing a Distributed Targeting Processor-Networked (DTP-N) computer and tactical targeting network technology (TTNT) Internet-protocol-based, high-speed datalink, both program-of-record upgrades for the Super Hornet’s EA-18G Growler electronic warfare variant, Gillian said. It would have an advanced cockpit with a 10-by-19 inch Elbit Systems large area display as the pilot interface, similar to what Boeing has installed in the F-15 and the clean-sheet jet it developed for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X advanced jet trainer requirement. In terms of cost, “the delta between a Block 2 and a Block 3 is a couple million dollars,” Gillian said.
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System software with powerful applications including: primary flight display, situational awareness, digital real-time moving map, fusion of sensor video with digital maps, digital terrain elevation, threat intervisibility, data sharing, messaging, and EFB.
Packaged in the smallest volume possible with the lowest power consumption and weight
The networking system upgrade, matched with the already approved Lockheed Martin AN/ASG-34 long-range infrared search and track (IRST) sensor pod and evolutions of the Raytheon APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and Harris AN/ALQ-214 integrated defensive electronic countermeasures (IDECM) self-protection system, prepare the Super Hornet for the future threat environment, Boeing contends. As with the Advanced Super Hornet, the Block III Super Hornet would come with shoulder-mounted conformal fuel tanks containing 3,500 gallons of fuel, increasing the fighter’s range by about 120 nm and/or time on station by about 20 to 30 minutes depending on its mission payload, Gillian said.
Harris AN/ALQ-214 integrated defensive electronic countermeasures (IDECM) self-protection system
The ALQ-214 is the next generation integrated countermeasures system carried by the U.S. Navy F/A-18 Carrier-based aircraft. It has also been delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force for its F/A-18 aircraft.
Sensitive receivers and active countermeasures form an electronic shield around the F/A-18
The system blends sensitive receivers and active countermeasures to form an electronic shield for the U.S. Navy and RAAF F/A-18 fighter aircraft. The RF countermeasure system responds to threats autonomously with a specific series of measures designed to protect the aircraft from detection and engages any fired threats to the aircraft, to ensure mission success. Source harris.com
Conformal fuel tanks CFT
Tests have shown the CFTs installed on the upper fuselage increase the Super Hornet’s mission radius by up to 130 nm, for a total radius exceeding 700 nm. The CFTs add no drag to the aircraft at subsonic speed; at transonic or supersonic speeds they produce less drag than a centerline fuel tank, Boeing said. Enhancements to the aircraft’s radar cross section, including the EWP, produced a 50-percent improvement in its frontal low-observable (LO) signature. “We have worked very hard to make sure that the CFTs were not a negative contributor to the [radar] signature,” said Paul Summers, Boeing Super Hornet and Growler director.
Radar Cross Section (RCS) improvements – Minor treatments to improve the low RCS levels of the aircraft. The mostly consist in a redesigned muzzle (in the nose of the aircraft) as well as improved angle of attack sensors (located on the sides of the nose). Source navyrecognition.com
CFTs on the Growler would provide equivalent mission performance in terms of range and performance, but with 3,000 pounds less fuel, compared to an EA-18G fitted with two 480-gallon external fuel tanks, three jamming pods and two AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missiles. Summers said the removal of the external fuel tanks would enable the ALQ-99 tactical jamming pods and their planned replacement system in 2020, the Next Generation Jammer, to have an unobstructed field of regard for jamming. “Historically, the fuel tanks tend to block some of the radiation coming off of the airplane,” he said. Source ainonline.com
The IRST pod is especially a differentiator, he argued. “That’s something Super Hornet brings to the air wing that nobody else has—then you leverage it with things like the conformal fuel tanks and the DTP-N and TTNT and now your networked carrier air wing is much more effective,” Gillian said. The F-35’s integrated electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) infrared search and track sensor represents “medium range air-to-ground versus long range air-to-air” capability, he asserted.
Boeing expects to secure a first contract from the Navy early next year to begin a service life modernization program that will extend the service life of Block II fighters from 6,000 to 9,000 hours. New build Block III Super Hornets would already be 9,000-hour fighters, which Boeing could start delivering in the early 2020s; Block II fighters could be retrofitted through the service life modification “a little later than that,” Gillian said.
With the Navy burning through the service hours it needs to fly Super Hornets into the next two decades, and with President Donald Trump questioning the cost of the F-35 program and hinting at a major new F/A-18 order, Boeing has ramped up promotion of the Super Hornet Block III. Source ainonline.com
Situational awareness Multi-Spectral Fusion
Detailed view: New satellite link/GPS antenna – Image: navyrecognition.com
New computers and datalink – They would allow Block III Super Hornet to exchange large quantity of data with Growlers and E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes through the TTNT (Tactical Targeting Network Technology) network and fuze real time information. Source navyrecognition.com
Tactical Targeting Network Technology
Low-latency, ad hoc, IP-based networking for today’s warfighter
Rockwell Collins’ Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) is a secure and robust IP-based waveform that delivers the fastest ad hoc mesh network to the tactical edge. It’s a proven and mature system that instantly and accurately shares secure voice, video and data across a dynamic battlespace, meeting the rapidly changing networking needs of today’s warfighter. Features & benefits
Provides low-latency, ad hoc, IP-based networking to more than 200 users at any given time
Self-forming and self-healing, so platforms automatically enter and leave the network without the advanced planning required with other networking options
Allows for instant and accurate sharing of vast amounts of secure voice, video and data at speeds up to Mach 8
Statistical priority-based multiple access (SPMA) protocol ensures critical data is sent and received by holding off the transmission of lower priority data until needed
Strong anti-jam performance for contested environments that extends far beyond line-of-sight using multi-hop relay and automatic routing
Platforms simultaneously transmit and receive up to four data streams
Enhanced version of current GE F414-400 engines
The enhanced powerplant is also more durable and maintainable. Technology changes extend the time between overhaul from 2,000 to 4,000 hours for the hot section, and from 4,000 to 6,000 hours for the turbine fan.
In May 2009, Boeing received a contract worth $48.9m for the development of Distributed Targeting (DT) system for super hornet aircraft.
In November 2011, the US Navy awarded a $48m contract to develop the Type 4 Advanced Mission Computer (AMC) for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which will replace the Type 3 AMC currently in use. It is expected to be completed by 2012.
Type 4 Advanced Mission Computer (AMC)
Boeing will collaboratively develop a new mission computer for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler following a contract awarded by the US Navy. According to a company statement issued on 10 November 2011, Boeing received the $48 million contract for the Type 4 Advanced Mission Computer (AMC).
The Type 4 Advanced Mission Computer (AMC) will replace the current Type 3 on the Super Hornet and Growler aircraft, both of which are manufactured by Boeing. The company said that the new hardware will increase aircraft performance, address obsolescence issues, and improve image- and mission-processing functions, ‘increasing warfighter capabilities for both domestic and international customers’.
The system will also better position the aircraft for future Navy Flightplan capability upgrades, which will see the US Navy ensure that the Super Hornet and Growler remain ahead of future threats. Boeing expects a production contract during 2012. Source shephardmedia.com
In September 2011, Boeing and the US Navy proposed to offer F/A-18E Super Hornet Block II version aircraft to the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF).
In September 2011, the US Navy awarded a $5.297bn contract that includes delivery of 66 Super Hornet aircraft between 2012 and 2015.
Since IFF requests have to be received and answered from all directions, there are a total of five antennas on the F / A-18 flight cell covering the entire airspace. In addition to receiving and responding to requests, the system can also send such requests via an antenna at the front of the machine. In order to protect the inquiries from interception and interference by the enemy, they are encrypted in various ways. The APX-111 is equipped with a computer with the designation KIV-6 / TSEC.
The cockpit in the F/A-18E/F is equipped with a touch-sensitive control display, a larger multi-purpose liquid crystal colour display, which shows tactical information, two monochrome displays and a new engine fuel display. The aircraft retains the mission software and a high proportion of the avionics found in the C/D models.
Pilot seat WSO
Honeywell AMPD 5-by-5-inch display
The AMPD rugged display family consists of 5-by-5-inch forward avionics displays; 5-by-5-inch aft displays, and 8-by-10-inch avionics displays.
The AMPD replaces obsolete cathode ray tube (CRT)-based displays in legacy aircraft, and uses state-of-the-art active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) technology.
The displays are full color, high density, and can be used during the day, at night, and with the night vision imaging system (NVIS). Of the AMPD family, the 5-by-5-inch versions are for the F/A-18E/F/G models, and the 8-by-10-inch versions are for the F/A-18F/G aft cockpit. The 8-by-10-inch model includes a direct digital video input.
The displays provide symbology, raster, and hybrid display formats, and support mono and full-color modes.Source militaryaerospace.com
The cockpit also has a colour digital map and the pilots are equipped with night-vision goggles. The zero/zero ejection seat is the SJU-5/6 from Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd in the UK.
The Super Hornet has 11 weapon stations which include two additional wing store stations and will support a full range of armaments including AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, guided air-to-ground weapons such as Harpoon, SLAM/SLAM-ER, GBU-10, GBU-51, HARM and Maverick; and free-fall air-to-ground bombs, Mk-76, BDU-48, Mk-82LD, Mk-82HD and Mk-84. The aircraft can also carry the GPS- / inertially guided JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), JSOW (joint stand-off weapon) and JASSM (joint air-to-surface stand-off missile).
F-18E – Image: michael_block
Boeing is the prime contractor for the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) for the Super Hornet, to be fitted to Block 2 and retrofitted to Block 1 aircraft. Vision Systems International (jointly owned by Kaiser and Elbit) is the major subcontractor. JHMCS is currently in full-rate production. Deliveries of full-rate production systems began in 2005, although the system was deployed operationally during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS)
The F/A-18E/F new lightweight gun system is the General Dynamics M61A2 20mm Gatling gun, which has a switchable firing rate of 4,000 or 6,000 shots a minute and a fully integrated linkless ammunition feed system.
The M61A1 and M61A2 produced by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems are externally powered six-barrel 20mm Gatling gun systems that offer lightweight, highly lethal combat support for a variety of air, land and sea platforms.
The M61A1 and M61A2 increases multiple-hit probabilities when compared to single barrel guns operating at lower rates of fire. The M61A1 and M61A2 weapons are based on the proven Gatling principle of operation and provide reliability up to 10 times greater than single-barrel guns.
The M61A2 shares the same features as the M61A1, but is 20 percent lighter. The M61A2 will meet or exceed the M61A1 gun’s reliability, maintainability and supportability features. It is now available for applications where weapon system weight reduction is critical.
The Lima was followed in production in 1982 by the AIM-9M, which is essentially an improved AIM-9L. The Mike has improved background rejection, counter-countermeasures capability and a low smoke motor to reduce the visual signature of the inbound weapon. The AIM-9M has the all-aspect capability of the AIM-9L model, but provides all-around higher performance. The M model has infra-red countermeasures, enhanced background discrimination capability, and a reduced-smoke rocket motor. Deliveries of the initial AIM-9M-1 began in 1982. The only changes from the AIM-9L to the AIM-9M were related to the RaytheonGuidance Control Section (GCS). Several models were introduced in pairs with even numbers designating US Navy versions and odd for US Air Force. All AIM-9M GCS are comprised of three major assemblies; a seeker assembly for detecting and tracking the target; an electronics assembly for processing detected target information; and a servo assembly that transforms electrical tracking signals to mechanical movement of the fins. An umbilical cable assembly provides electrical interface between the missile GCS and the aircraft launcher. The umbilical I-3 cable also allows the flow of coolant from the LAU-7 to the missile GCS. AIM-9M GCS versions include the WGU-4A/B used in the AIM-9M-1 and AIM-9M-3, the WGU-4C/B used in the AIM-9M-4, the WGU-4D/B used in the AIM-9M-6, and the WGU-4E/B GCS used in the AIM-9M-8. The WGU-4E/B GCS uses advanced technology that has evolved through the WGU-4D/B development, while expanding the potential of the IRCM detection circuitry and improving the missile’s capability with respect to tactical IRCM deployment. Source scramble.nl
The AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) is one of the most modern, powerful, and widely used air-to-air missiles in the entire world. After it entered limited service in 1991, this missile has been exported to about 35 countries around the world, where it has certainly been proven with over 3 900 test shots and 10 combat victories.
By the 1980s, the US deemed its current stock of air-to-air missiles, particularly the medium-range AIM-7 Sparrow, were obsolete, or at least not as capable as the latest Soviet missiles of the time. While the Sparrow was effective, with about 60 kills, it was not effective enough. In particular, it had one crushing fault—it was not fire-and-forget, meaning that the pilot was forced to remain on the scene and in danger until the missile reached its target. So, development of the AIM-120 AMRAAM began, along with European development of a short-range missile, resulting in the ASRAAM. In 1991, the AMRAAM entered limited service in the US Air Force. Two years later, it was fully operational there as well as the US Navy, while other countries started to show considerable interest.
The Harpoon missile provides the Navy and the Air Force with a common missile for air, ship, and submarine launches. The weapon system uses mid-course guidance with a radar seeker to attack surface ships. Its low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and warhead design assure high survivability and effectiveness. The Harpoon missile and its launch control equipment provide the warfighter capability to interdict ships at ranges well beyond those of other aircraft.
The Harpoon missile was designed to sink warships in an open-ocean environment. Other weapons (such as the Standard and Tomahawk missiles) can be used against ships, but Harpoon and Penguin are the only missiles used by the United States military with anti-ship warfare as the primary mission. Once targeting information is obtained and sent to the Harpoon missile, it is fired. Once fired, the missile flys to the target location, turns on its seeker, locates the target and strikes it without further action from the firing platform. This allows the firing platform to engage other threats instead of concentrating on one at a time.
An appropriately configured HARPOON can be launched from an AERO-65 bomb rack, AERO-7/A bomb rack, MK 6 canister, MK 7 shock resistant canister, MK 12 thickwall canister, MK 112 ASROC launcher, MK 8 and MK 116 TARTAR launcher, or submarine torpedo tube launcher.
The AGM-84D Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system produced by Boeing [formerly McDonnell Douglas]. The Harpoon’s active radar guidance, warhead design, and low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory assure high survivability and effectiveness. The missile is capable of being launched from surface ships, submarines, or (without the booster) from aircraft. The AGM-84D was first introduced in 1977, and in 1979 an air-launched version was deployed on the Navy’s P-3 Orion aircraft. Originally developed for the Navy to serve as its basic anti-ship missile for fleetwide use, the AGM-84D also has been adapted for use on the Air Force’s B-52G bombers, which can carry from eight to 12 of the missiles.
The AGM-84E Harpoon/SLAM [Stand-Off Land Attack Missile] Block 1E is an intermediate range weapon system designed to provide day, night and adverse weather precision strike capability against high value land targets and ships in port. In the late 1980s, a land-attack missile was needed. Rather than design one from scratch, the US Navy took everything from Harpoon except the guidance and seeker sections, added a Global Positioning System receiver, a Walleye optical guidance system, and a Maverick data-link to create the Stand-off Land Attack Missile (SLAM). The AGM-84E uses an inertial navigation system with GPS, infrared terminal guidance, and is fitted with a Tomahawk warhead for better penetration. SLAM can be launched from land-based or aircraft carrier-based F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. It was employed successfully in Operation Desert Storm and UN relief operations in Bosnia prior to Operation Joint Endeavor.
The SLAM-ER (Expanded Response) Block 1F, a major upgrade to the SLAM missile that is currently in production, provides over twice the missile range, target penetration capability, and control range of SLAM. SLAM-ER has a greater range (150+ miles), a titanium warhead for increased penetration, and software improvements which allow the pilot to retarget the impact point of the missile during the terminal phase of attack (about the last five miles). In addition, many expansions are being made to improve performance, survivability, mission planning, and pilot (man-in-the-loop) interface. The SLAM-ER development contract was awarded to McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (Now BOEING) in February of 1995. SLAM-ER achieved its first flight in March of 1997. All Navy SLAM missiles are currently planned to be retrofitted to SLAM-ER configuration. About 500 SLAM missiles will be converted to the SLAM-ER configuration between FY 1997 and FY 2001.
Air-to-surface anti-ship missile
Maritime ship attack
Navy and Air Force
Boeing [ex McDonnell Douglas]
Teledyne Turbojet and solid propellant booster for surface and submarine launch
12 feet, 7 inches
14 feet, 8 inches
13.5 inches (34.29 centimeters)
3 feet (91.44 centimeters)
Greater than 60 nautical miles
Sea-skimming cruise with mid-course guidance monitored by radar altimeter, active seeker radar terminal homing
inertial navigation system with GPS, infrared terminal guidance
AGM-88 HARM high-speed anti-radiation missiles Range: 150 kilometres; 92 miles (80 nmi) Speed: 2,280 km/h (1,420 mph)
The Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AGM-88E) provides the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and Italian Air Force the latest and most advanced weapon system for engaging and destroying enemy air defenses and time-critical, mobile targets. AARGM is a supersonic, medium-range, air-launched tactical missile compatible with U.S. and allied strike aircraft, including all variants of the F/A-18, Tornado, EA-18G, F-16, EA-6B, and F-35 (external).
Designed to upgrade the AGM-88 High-Speed, Anti-Radiation Missile system (HARM), AARGM features an advanced, digital, anti-radiation homing sensor, millimeter wave (MMW) radar terminal seeker, precise Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) guidance, net-centric connectivity, and Weapon Impact Assessment transmit (WIA). Missile Impact Transmitter capability is available for approved customers. The missile offers extended-range engagement, as well as organic, in-cockpit emitter targeting capability and situational awareness.
New capabilities for the warfighter include:
Anti-radar strike with advanced signal processing and vastly improved frequency coverage, detection range and field of view
Time-critical, standoff strike with supersonic GPS/INS point-to-point or point-to-MMW-terminal guidance
Missile-impact zone control to prevent collateral damage through tightly coupled, Digital Terrain Elevation Database-aided GPS/INS
Counter-emitter shutdown through active MMW-radar terminal guidance
WIA transmission prior-to-impact for bomb damage assessment
Orbital ATK is teamed with MBDA to provide this advanced, cost-effective weapon system to U.S. and approved allied customers.
The AGM-154A (Formerly Advanced Interdiction Weapon System) is intended to provide a low cost, highly lethal glide weapon with a standoff capability. JSOW family of kinematically efficient, air-to-surface glide weapons, in the 1,000-lb class, provides standoff capabilities from 15 nautical miles (low altitude launch) to 40 nautical miles (high altitude launch). The JSOW will be used against a variety of land and sea targets and will operate from ranges outside enemy point defenses. The JSOW is a launch and leave weapon that employs a tightly coupled Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS), and is capable of day/night and adverse weather operations.
The JSOW uses inertial and global positioning system for midcourse navigation and imaging infra-red and datalink for terminal homing. The JSOW is just over 13 feet in length and weighs between 1000-1500 pounds. Extra flexibility has been engineered into the AGM-154A by its modular design, which allows several different submunitions, unitary warheads, or non-lethal payloads to be carried. The JSOW will be delivered in three variants, each of which uses a common air vehicle, or truck, while substituting various payloads.
AGM-154A (Baseline JSOW) The warhead of the AGM-154A consists of 145 BLU-97/B submunitions. Each bomblet is designed for multi-target in one payload. The bomblets have a shaped charge for armor defeat capability, a fragmenting case for material destruction, and a zirconium ring for incendiary effects.
AGM-154B (Anti-Armor) The warhead for the AGM-154B is the BLU-108/B from the Air Force’s Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) program. The JSOW will carry six BLU-108/B submunitions. Each submunition releases four projectiles (total of 24 per weapons) that use infrared sensors to detect targets. Upon detection, the projectile detonates, creating an explosively formed, shaped charge capable of penetrating reinforced armor targets.
AGM-154C (Unitary Variant) The AGM-154C will use a combination of an Imaging Infrared (IIR) terminal seeker and a two-way data link to achieve point target accuracy through aimpoint refinement and man-in-the-loop guidance. The AGM-154C will carry the BLU-111/B variant of the MK-82, 500- pound general purpose bomb, equipped with the FMU-152 Joint Programmable Fuze (JPF) and is designed to attack point targets. Source fas.org
GBU-38 500-pound, GBU-31 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a low-cost gravity bomb guidance kit manufactured by Boeing. It converts existing unguided General Purpose Bombs into accurately guided smart weapons. JDAMs can be launched from a distance of more than 17 miles (28 km) from the target and receives updates from U.S. Air Force GPS satellites to help guide the weapon to the target. Boeing builds JDAM weapons at the company’s St. Charles, Missouri facility.
The JDAM guidance kit uses either the 2,000-pound BLU-109/Mk 84 (GBU-31 JDAM), the 1,000-pound BLU-110/Mk 83 (GBU-32 JDAM) or the 500-pound BLU-111/Mk 82 (GBU-38 JDAM) warhead as payload. The Air Force is developing the BLU-137 which is a modernized warhead penetrator to replace the BLU-109. This new warhead uses a modified JDAM tail kit hardback assembly to include an Arming Generator Relocator Adaptor (AGRA). JDAM enables employment of accurate air-to-surface weapons against high priority fixed and relocatable targets from fighter and bomber aircraft. Guidance is facilitated through a tail control system and a GPS-aided Inertial Navigation System (INS). The navigation system is initialized by transfer alignment from the aircraft that provides position and velocity vectors from aircraft systems. Body strakes provide additional stability and lift. Source fi-aeroweb.com
CBU-97 1,000-pound Sensor Fuzed Weapon
GBU-10 2,000-pound, GBU-12 500-pound, GBU-16 1,000-pound Paveway II
GBU-24 2,000-pound Paveway III laser-guided bomb
Mk 62/63 Quickstrike Naval Mines
Mark 63 “Quickstrike” Mine. USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in November 2003. U.S. Navy Photograph 031104-N-1573O-036. – Image: navweaps.com
Conversion of Mark 82 [500 lbs. (227 kg)] bomb. Superseded Destructor EX-52. Marks 62, 63 and 64 are known as the “Quickstrike” series and have a variable influence target designation system that can be used against either land or sea targets. Quickstrike was conceived as a new series of ground mines, replacing the ones that had become compromised as a result of the Vietnam War. These new mines use the same design concept as do “smart” bombs, that is, they are simple bolt-on additions to a standard air-dropped bomb. Quickstrike’s design emphasizes ease of maintenance and ease of mine preparation for use. For example, the older mines required refrigeration of their batteries to prolong life, the Quickstrikes do not. Source navweaps.com
JASSM / JASSM ER (AGM-158A/B)
The JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) is a conventional, stealthy, air-launched ground attack cruise missile designed for the U.S. Air Force and international partners. An extended range version, AGM-158B JASSM-ER, was developed alongside the standard variant, and went into service in 2014.
JASSM At A Glance
Originated From: United States Possessed By: United States, Australia, Finland, Poland Class: Cruise Missile Basing: Air-launched Length: 4.27 m Wingspan: 2.4 m
Launch Weight: 1,021 kg Warhead: 450 kg WDU-42/B penetrator Propulsion: Turbojet (AGM-158A), Turbofan (AGM-158B) Range: 370 km (AGM-158A), 1,000 km (AGM-158B) Status: Operational In Service: 2009-Present
JASSM utilizes a low-observable airframe designed to defeat various targets, to include enemy air defenses. The missile’s low-profile airframe is particularly important given the proliferation of sophisticated air defenses such as the S-300 (and newer variants). The JASSM-ER will eventually incorporate a weapons data link (WDL) into the missile allowing for course corrections after launch.2This is a critical upgrade for road-mobile and maritime targets.
The missile is fitted to the B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit, B-52H Stratofortress, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16C/D, F/A-18C/D, and possibly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The B-1B is considered the starting point platform, and can carry 24 missiles, and is currently the only one equipped with JASSM-ER. The B-2 can carry up to 16 missiles and the B-52H can carry 12 internally on rotary launchers. Fighter aircraft can carry one or two missiles under each wing. The F-35, if certified to carry the JASSM, would have to carry the weapon externally, because the missile would not fit in the main internal weapon bays the aircraft boasts.
The standard variant has a range of 370 km, whereas the JASSM-ER has a range of approximately 1,000 km. Their airframes are identical, so the weapons cannot be distinguished merely by appearance. The primary differences lie in a larger internal fuel tank, and a more efficient turbofan engine. The airframe itself can be described as angular, similar to the Taurus KEPD 350, although more rounded and fluid. When the missile is carried by aircraft, the fins and wings are folded, and then unfolded by small explosive charges after released. Source missilethreat.csis.org
Raytheon awarded contract for upgrades to Small Diameter Bomb
An F-15E fighter aircraft, pictured, can carry seven groups of four SDB II bombs, for a total of 28 weapons. Photo courtesy of Raytheon
Sept. 28 (UPI) — Raytheon has been awarded a $450 million contract for engineering changes and development of the Small Diameter Bomb II, an update for the U.S. Air Force.
The contract, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense, is for design, development, integration, test and production engineering for changes to the SDB.
Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be finished by Aug. 31, 2024. No funds have been obligated yet for the award, which was the result of a sole-source acquisition.
The SDB II is capable of three modes — a millimeter wave radar that detects and tracks targets through all weather, imaging infrared for improved target discrimination, and a semi-active laser allowing it to track lasers in the air or on the ground.
The bomb can strike targets more than 45 miles away and has a small size, so more of them can be carried by fewer aircraft.
The SDB II is being integrated for use on the F-35 and F/A-18E/F by the U.S. Air Force and Navy, and Raytheon is expected to have it prepared for integration with the F-15E by the end of the year. Source upi.com
SDB II Bomb
Raytheon, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy have begun SDB II™ bomb integration activities on the F-35, F/A-18E/F and F-15E aircraft.
The seeker works in three modes to provide maximum operational flexibility: millimeter wave radar to detect and track targets through weather, imaging infrared for enhanced target discrimination and semi-active laser that enables the weapon to track an airborne laser designator or one on the ground.
This powerful, integrated seeker seamlessly shares targeting information among all three modes, enabling the weapon to engage fixed or moving targets at any time of day and in all-weather conditions. The SDB II bomb’s tri-mode seeker can also peer through battlefield dust and debris, giving the warfighter a capability that’s unaffected by conditions on the ground or in the air.
The weapon can fly more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets, reducing the amount of time that aircrews’ spend in harm’s way. Its small size enables the use of fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as previous, larger weapons that required multiple jets. The SDB II bomb’s size has broader implications for the warfighter and taxpayers, as it means fewer attacks with less time spent flying dangerous missions.
The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy have begun SDB II bomb integration activities on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Raytheon will complete integration on the F-15E Strike Eagle in 2017. Source: raytheon.com
A 100-Drone Swarm, Dropped from Jets, Plans Its Own Moves:Here
What’s small, fast, and is launched from the bottom of a fighter jet? Not missiles, but a swarm of drones.
U.S. military officials have announced that they’ve carried out their largest ever test of a drone swarm released from fighter jets in flight. In the trials, three F/A-18 Super Hornets released 103 Perdix drones, which then communicated with each other and went about performing a series of formation flying exercises that mimic a surveillance mission.
The AN/ALQ-124 integrated defensive countermeasures system (IDECM) provides a coordinated situation awareness and manages the on-board and off-board deception countermeasures, the expendable decoys, and signal and frequency control of emissions. The system has been jointly developed by BAE Systems information & electronic warfare systems (IEWS – formerly Sanders) and ITT Electronic Systems.
The IDECM system includes the ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser, the ALE-50 towed decoy and the AN/ALR-67(V)3 radar warning receiver. IDECM began operational evaluation in December 2002 and was successfully deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The BAE Systems Integrated Defense Solutions (formerly Tracor) ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser system is capable of dispensing chaff cartridges, flares, and the POET and GEN-X active expendable decoys.
ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser
ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser and associated equipmentsALE-47 countermeasures dispenser under F-18E – Image: michael_block
The ALE-50 Towed Decoy, from Raytheon E-Systems, provides long-range detection and extremely fast deployment against most radar-guided threats.
ALE-50 Towed Decoy
The AN/ALE-50 towed decoy system was developed by Raytheon to protect multiple US military aircraft from radar-guided missiles. The ALE-50 consists of a launch controller, launcher and towed decoy. It can be used on a variety of platforms without modification. When deployed, the ALE-50’s expendable aerial decoy is towed behind the aircraft. The decoy protects the host aircraft providing a more attractive target and steering the radar-guided missile away from the aircraft and right to the decoy. ALE-50 has countered both surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. Currently, the ALE-50 is installed on F-16s aircraft and is planned for installation on B-1B bombers and F/A-18 aircraft. The ALE-55 is a derivative of the ALE-50 would be the production decoy installed on B-1B bombers. Source deagel.com
BAE Systems AN/ALE-55 fibre-optic towed decoy
BAE Systems AN/ALE-55 fibre-optic towed decoy has completed development testing and will replace the ALE-50 from December 2009 when it enters service. The Raytheon AN/ALR-67(V)3 radar warning receiver intercepts, identifies and prioritises threat signals, which are characterised in terms of frequency, amplitude, direction and pulse width.
Raytheon AN/ALR-67(V)3 radar warning receiver
The AN/ALR-67(V)3 Advanced Special Receiver is a radar warning receiver (RWR) designed to meet Navy requirements through the year 2020. This is an upgrade to the ALR-67 (V)2 system currently used on F/A-18 Hornet, F-14 Tomcat, and AV-8 Harrier aircraft. It will enable Navy and Marine Corps tactical aircraft to detect threat radar emissions, thus enhancing aircrew situational awareness and aircraft survivability. The program is in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, with development work by Hughes, Los Angeles, CA.
The AN/ALR-67(v)3 ASR contributes to full-dimensional protection by improving individual aircraft probability of survival through improved aircrew situational awareness of the radar guided threat environment. Source fas.org
The Super Hornet is equipped with the APG-73 radar manufactured by Raytheon. The APG-73 radar has an upgraded processor with increased speed and memory capacity in comparison to the AN/APG-65, which was installed on the earlier builds of the Hornet. The modes of the APG-73 include air-to-ground tracking, air-to-air velocity search mode, range while search and track while scan.
Raytheon’s AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) fire control radar will increase the F/A-18’s air-to-air target detection and tracking range and provide higher resolution air-to-ground mapping at longer ranges. The The AN/APG-79 AESA entered Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) in September 2003 and began Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) in July 2006. It is being fitted to block 2 aircraft and retrofitted to 135 block 1 aircraft. The radar is planned to begin operational deployment on the USN F/A-18s in 2008.
APG-79 multi-mode radar
APG-79 multi-mode radar with passive detection mode and active radar suppression
With its active electronic beam scanning — which allows the radar beam to be steered at nearly the speed of light — the APG-79 optimizes situational awareness and provides superior air-to-air and air-to-surface capability. The agile beam enables the multimode radar to interleave in near-real time, so that pilot and crew can use both modes simultaneously.
Now in full rate production for the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, the APG-79 demonstrates reliability, image resolution, and targeting and tracking range significantly greater than that of the previous mechanically scanned array F/A-18 radar. With its open systems architecture and compact, commercial-off-the-shelf parts, it delivers dramatically increased capability in a smaller, lighter package. The array is composed of numerous solid-state transmit and receive modules to virtually eliminate mechanical breakdown. Other system components include an advanced receiver/exciter, ruggedized COTS processor, and power supplies.
In addition to the APG-79, Raytheon supplies the F/A-18E/F aircraft with several other systems. Among these are the current APG-73 radar, ATFLIR forward-looking infrared targeting pod, ALR-67(V)3 digital radar warning receiver, ALE-50 towed decoy and a variety of missiles and bombs, including laser-guided weapons such as the Paveway and JSOW. Source raytheon.com
The Super Hornet also carries Raytheon’s Miniature Airborne Global Positioning System Receiver (MAGR-2000). Using an open systems architecture, the receiver provides improved position, velocity and time performance reporting, resulting in a more accurate weapon delivery.
MINIATURE AIRBORNE GPS RECEIVER (MAGR) 2000 AND MAGR 2000 SAASM
The MAGR 2000 design is a GPS Receiver Applications Module (GRAM) based open system architecture that is modular in design and incorporates modern electronics. The MAGR 2000 is a form, fit, and function backward compatible replacement of the MAGR, and provides enhancements including improved acquisition and GPS solution performance, all-in-view GPSsatellite tracking and GPS integrity. Source raytheon.com
The aircraft is being fitted with the Raytheon AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR (Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared) precision targeting pod. ATFLIR consists of a 3-5 micron staring focal plane array targeting FLIR, BAE Systems Avionics high-powered diode-pumped laser spot tracker, BAE Systems Avionics navigation FLIR and CCD TV camera. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) was achieved in April 2003 and the system is now in full-rate production.
The AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) is a multi-sensor, electro-optical targeting pod incorporating thermographic camera, low-light television camera, target laser rangefinder/laser designator, and laser spot tracker developed and manufactured by Raytheon. It is used to provide navigation and targeting for military aircraft in adverse weather and using precision-guided munitions such as laser-guided bombs. It is intended to replace the earlier AN/AAS-38 Nite Hawk pod in US Navy service.
Image: Avia News
ATFLIR is 72 in (183 cm) long, weighs 420 lb (191 kg), and has a slant range of 40 mi (64.3 km), said to be useful at altitude of up to 50,000 ft (15,240 m). It has fewer parts than many previous systems, which is intended to improve serviceability (although early examples, in service with VFA-115 ‘Eagles’ in 2003 experienced problems). Crews indicate that it offers much greater target resolution and image accuracy than previous systems.
ATFLIR presently is used only by the US Navy on the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the earlier F/A-18C/D and with Marine F/A-18Cs when deployed onboard aircraft carriers. It is normally carried on one of the fuselage hardpoints otherwise used for AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. 410 pods were delivered to the U.S. Navy. Pods have also been delivered to Switzerland and Australia, and six pods will be delivered to Malaysia. Source revolvy.com
US Marine Corps aircraft are being fitted with the Northrop Grumman Litening AT Advanced Targeting pod, with 540 x 512 pixel FLIR, CCD TV, laser spot tracker, infrared laser marker and infrared laser rangefinder / designator.
Northrop Grumman Litening AT Advanced Targeting pod
Northrop Grumman’s widely fielded LITENING system is a combat proven, self-contained, multi-sensor targeting and surveillance system. LITENING enables aircrews to detect, acquire, auto-track and identify targets at extremely long ranges for weapon delivery or nontraditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. LITENING’s 1K FLIR, 1K charged-coupled device (CCD), laser imaging sensors, advanced image processing and digital video output provide superior imagery, allowing aircrews to identify and engage targets under a wide range of battlefield conditions.
LITENING is in operation worldwide
The pod is currently flown by the U.S. Marine Corps, all components of the U.S. Air Force, and international customers. The latest configuration, LITENING G4, is authorized for export to NATO countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Korea.
LITENING targeting pods feature:
Full 1K FLIR and CCD, the highest resolution available in any fielded targeting pod
Digital, high definition video to the cockpit
Laser imaging sensors for more accurate identification
Color symbology for reduced pilot workload and integration with new cockpit displays
Multiple fields of view for a complete view of the situation
Advanced two-way plug-and-play datalinks, including NET-T integration, that seamlessly communicate with ground stations
Flexible upgrade path to bring older pods to the latest configuration affordably.
LITENING by the numbers
More than two million hours flown, including more than 770,000 combat flight hours
Greater than 97% availability
Integrated on the F-16 Block 30, F-16 Block 40/50, A-10C, AV-8B, B-52, EA-6B, F-15E and F/A-18 C/D.
F/A-18F aircraft also being fitted with the Raytheon SHARP multi-function reconnaissance pod, set to replace USN Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod (TARPS), currently flown on the F-14 Tomcat. SHARP is capable of simultaneous airborne and ground reconnaissance and has sensors manufactured by Recon/Optical Inc. 16 LRIP systems have been ordered and the first was delivered in April 2003. The system is deployed on aircraft operating from USS Nimitz carriers.
Raytheon SHAred Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP)
The U. S. Navy requires an organic, all-weather, day/night, manned, tactical air reconnaissance capability to provide continuous and immediate intelligence support to the Battle Group Commander (BGC) in the prosecution of independent, joint, or combined operations as well as to provide intelligence data for the security of those forces under his/her command. This capability is required to replace the F-14 Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod (TARPS) capability, scheduled for phase-out in FY03. To meet this requirement, the Department of the Navy will incorporate a SHAred Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) on the centerline of the F/A-18E/F that will employ a suite of sensors to collect infrared, visible, and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) digital imagery at medium and high altitudes.
SHARP will be a major contributor to the precision strike capability of GPS and digital, image-guided weapons and will IOC with the first FA-18F squadron. The system will utilize COTS/NDI dual-band electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensors and subsystems in a pod for tactical and other aircraft. It will provide all altitude over flight and long range stand-off EO/IR imagery and SAR, capable of near real-time datalink to afloat and shore-based JSIPS stations. The SHARP program is currently funded to meet the Navy’s minimum warfighting requirement of 24 pods. The inventory objective is 50 systems (40 operational and 10 pipeline).
The required capability described herein must be supportable within the capability of the deployed carrier air wing or the F/A-18E/F aircraft forward deployed support posture. The complete airborne reconnaissance system must employ digital technology and be compatible with Common Imagery Ground/Surface System (CIG/SS) compliant ground stations. The reconnaissance system must include overflight and standoff capability in both day and night conditions. The full range of reconnaissance capability may be provided through separate and interchangeable medium and high altitude sensors that can be easily reconfigured into optimum mission suites. However, a single sensor that could meet both medium and high altitude requirements is desirable. To ensure true multi-mission capability of the F/A-18E/F aircraft the SHARP pod must be capable of being installed or removed with full mission turnaround capability of less than one hour. Source fas.org
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet with Lockheed Martin’s AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod – lockheedmartin.com
In 2015, Sniper flew its first successful flight aboard a US Navy F/A-18F at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California. Lockheed flew the pod on the Super Hornet’s centerline, whereas ATFLIR rides on the aircraft’s cheek station.
Lockheed Martin’ Sniper pod
Lockheed Martin’s Sniper ATP (Advanced Targeting Pod) Picture: Lockheed Martin – Image: navyrecognition.com
Sniper pods provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilized surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. The Sniper pod enables aircrews to detect and identify weapon caches and individuals carrying armaments, all outside jet noise ranges. Superior imagery, a video datalink and J-series-weapons-quality coordinates provided by the Sniper pod enable rapid target decisions and keep aircrews out of threat ranges.
High resolution imagery for non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR) enables the Sniper pod to play a major role in Air Force operations in theater, providing top cover for ground forces, as well as increasing the safety of civilian populations.
The Sniper pod is combat proven on U.S. Air Force and international F-15E, F-16 (all blocks), B-1, A-10C, Harrier GR7/9 and CF-18 aircraft. Lockheed Martin is also in the final stages of integrating the Sniper pod on the B-52. The pod’s plug-and-play capability facilitates moving the pod across platforms without changing software.
Sniper pods include a high definition mid-wave forward looking infrared (FLIR), dual-mode laser, HDTV, laser spot tracker, laser marker, video data link, and a digital data recorder. Advanced image processing algorithms, combined with rock steady stabilization techniques, provide cutting-edge performance. The pod features automatic tracking and laser designation of tactical size targets via real-time imagery presented on cockpit displays. The Sniper pod is fully compatible with the latest J-series munitions for precision weapons delivery against multiple moving and fixed targets.
Advanced Targeting Pod – Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE) design upgrades include enhanced sensors, advanced processors, and automated NTISR modes.
The Sniper pod’s architecture and modular design permits true two-level maintenance, eliminating costly intermediate-level support. Automated built-in test permits flightline maintainers to isolate and replace an LRU in under 20 minutes. Spares are ordered through a user-friendly website offering in-transit visibility to parts shipment.
The Sniper pod’s modular design also offers an affordable road map for modernizing and enhancing precision targeting capabilities for U.S. Air Force and coalition partner aircraft.
General characteristics Primary function: positive identification, automatic tracking and laser designation, NTISR Prime contractor: Lockheed Martin Length: 98.2 inches (252 centimeters) Diameter: 11.9 inches (30 centimeters) Weight: 446 pounds (202 kilograms) Aircraft: F-15E, F-16 Block 30/40/50, A-10, B-1 Sensors: high resolution FLIR and HDTV, dual mode laser designator, laser spot tracker and laser marker
The aircraft’s power is provided by two F414-GE-400 turbofan engines from General Electric. The engines are an advanced derivative of the GE F404 engines installed on the Hornet. The air inlets have been enlarged to provide increased airflow into the engines.
The engines each provide 22,000lb thrust, with afterburn giving a maximum speed in excess of Mach 1.8.
The structural changes to the airframe on the F/E variant of the aircraft increase the internal fuel capacity by 3,600lb, a 33% higher fuel capacity than the F-18C/D variant. This extends the mission radius by up to 40%.
F414-GE-400 turbofan engines
General Electric F414 turbo-fan engines
The General Electric F414-GE-400 is a 22,000-pound class afterburning turbofan engine. The engine features an axial compressor with 3 fan stages and 7 high-pressure compressor stages, and 1 high-pressure and 1 low-pressure turbine stage. At a weight of 2,445 pounds, the F414-GE-400 has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 9. The F414 is one of the U.S. Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft engines. It incorporates advanced technology with the proven design base of its F404 predecessor – for example the F414 features a FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) system – to provide the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler with a durable, reliable and easy-to-maintain engine.
Manufacturer: General Electric Co. Thrust: 22,000 pounds Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 30 Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 9 Compressor: Two-spool, axial flow, three-stage fan LP-HP Compressor Stages: 0-7 HP-LP Turbine Stages: 1-1 Combustor Type: Annular Engine Control: FADEC Length: 154 in (3.91 m) Diameter: 35 in (88.9 cm) Dry Weight: 2,445 lbs (1,109 kg) Platforms: F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; EA-18G Growler
US Navy studying major upgrade of F/A-18E/F & EA-18G engines:Here
The US Navy has revived interest in studying a major upgrade of the engine that powers the Boeing F/A-18E/F, EA-18G and two foreign fighters, including the possible addition of new technologies.
In early February, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) notified industry that it would ask GE Aviation to submit a proposal for a contract for the company’s engineers to perform a study on an “F414-GE-400 core enhancement evaluation”.
Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated
Revised Apr 09, 2017
Updated Jun 06, 2020
Primary Function: Multi-role tactical fighter and attack aircraft Prime Contractor: Airframe: McDonnell Douglas (The Boeing Co.); Engines: General Electric Co. Power Plant: 2x General ElectricF414-GE-400 afterburning turbofan engines Thrust: 14,000 pounds dry thrust; 22,000 pounds thrust with afterburner (each engine) Wingspan: 44 ft 9 in (13.68 m) Length: 60 ft 1 in (18.5 m) Height: 16 ft (4.87 m) Weight (Empty): 32,000 lbs (14,520 kg) Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 66,000 lbs (29,930 kg) Payload: Max. 34,000 lbs (15,420 kg) Speed: Max: Mach 1.8+/1,034 kts/1,190 mph (1,934 km/h) Service Ceiling: 50,000+ ft (15,240+ m) Range: 1,275 nm/1,467 miles (2,346 km) – clean plus two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles Combat Radius: 390 nm/449 miles (723 km) Crew: E models: One; F models: Two
Pantsir-S2, is an updated version of the Pantsir-S1 — a short-range, mobile, fully autonomous air defense system combining two 2A38M 30mm anti-aircraft guns and six 57E6-E ready-to-fire missiles in steered launch containers
Pantsir-S2 has a 2 faced radar – RLM-SOC, more powerful, faster, more agile, less susceptible to jamming, covering 360 ° continuous ……… sometimes called JANUS (forcesdz.com)
Chart exhibit of VKS 2017 SAM (Pantsir-S1/2?) “kills” in Syria
2 x 2A38M 30mm anti-aircraft guns. The cannons are fired alternatively with a combined rate of fire of between 3,900 and 5,000 rounds per minute (1,950 to 2,500 rpm for each gun), and have a muzzle velocity of 960 m/s. Bursts of between 83 and 250 rounds are fired as determined by the target type, with an engagement range between 0.2 and 4.0 km and to an altitude of about 3 km. HE-T and HE-I shells are used and fitted with a A-670 time and impact fuze which includes an arming delay and self destruct mechanism.
30 x 165 mm Round with HE-T Projectile
The 30 x 165 mm Round with High Explosive Tracer Projectile is intended to engage air and ground targets.
The round is fitted with distance-armed, delayed action, self-destruct fuze.
The ammunition is safe in transport, storage and handling and ensures the reliable performance of the gun systems in all weather conditions.
The automatic guns 2A42, 2A38, 2A72 and modifications are mounted on the following carriers:
Infantry Fighting Vehicles BMP-2, BMP-3, BMD-2, BMD-3, BTR-80A and their modifications
Reconnaissance Vehicle “RIS”
Air-Defence Complex “Tunguska”
Attack Helicopters Ka-50 and Mi-28 and modifications
57E6-E missiles The missile has a bicalibre body in tandem configuration, separable booster and sustainer with separation mechanism. The sustainer contains the warhead and contact and proximity fuses. The missile weighs 65kg at launch and has a maximum speed of 1,100m/s. Range is from 1km to 12km. It has an expanded engagement zones up to 20 km in range and up to 10 km in altitude.The 57E6YE surface-to-air missile features a short flight time at the boost phase (t = 1.5 s, Vmax = 1.300 m/s). High agility after separation of the booster is accompanied by small ballistic deceleration during post-boost flight (40 m/s for 1 km of flight). Also noteworthy is the heavy weight of the warhead (16kg – 20 kg) at the small launch weight of the SAM, along with the employment of rod subprojectiles in the warhead ensuring positive engagement of a broad class of targets. Its warhead is described by the Russians as being of “elongated rod” pattern, presumably a form of what is termed “continuous rod” in the West. The effectiveness of an elongated rod warhead is proportional to warhead length and inversely proportional to warhead diameter. The air-dynamic control actuator is available without limitations in terms of service life. Source globalsecurity.org
Number of Stages: 2
Max Range: 20,000 meter (10.8 nautical mile)
Min Range: 1,200 meter (0.65 nautical mile)
Target’s Max Altitude: 10,000 meter (6.22 mile) Speed
Target’s Max Speed: 1,000 mps (3,601 kph) Weight
Warhead: 20 kilogram (44 pound)
Weight: 75 kilogram (164 pound)
The new missile will increase the system’s range of fire from 20 to 30 kilometers. “The dimensions of the missile will be altered slightly but it will fit in as usual and no changes will be required.
The armament consists of 12 surface-to-air guided missiles and two 30-millimetre automatic guns. It is provided with multi-range radar capable of detecting aerial targets with effective surface of dispersion of up to 2-3 square meters at a distance of more than 30 kilometers and track them down from a distance of over 24 kilometers.
Target detection radar (1РС1-1Е) (Panstir S1)
It can also operate in a passive mode using an infrared channel in the long-wave band with logical processing of the signal and automatic tracking.
Type: Passive electronically scanned array Coverage: 360° Maximum detection range: at least 32 km (20 mi), up to 36 km (22 mi) and with a high probability to 45 km (28 mi) Band: UHF. Source theinfolist.com
1RS2/1RS2-E Shlem or SSTsR fire control system
1RS2/1RS2-E Shlem or SSTsR
This pulse Doppler radar is designated the 1RS2/1RS2-E Shlem or SSTsR (Stantsiya Slezheniya Tsel’a i Rakety – Target and Missile Tracking Station), initially designated the 1RS1 and 1RS1-E for export. Cited tracking range performance for a 2 m2 target is 30 km. Cited RMS angular errors for X-band operation are 0.3-0.8 milliradians, for Ku-band operation 0.2-0.4 milliradians, with a 5 metre range error.
The X-band component of the SSTsR is used for target tracking, and uplink of missile steering commands., the Ku-band component for target and missile beacon tracking. The system typically guides one or two missile rounds against a single target.
In 2004 the requirement for the PVO engagement radar changed, when it was expected that the program would be cancelled. A new requirement was issued to increase the number of concurrent targets to be tracked and engaged, and engagement range was increased. This likely reflects the success of the US GBU-31/32/35/38 JDAM and emergence of analogues globally, where more than two weapons would be released from an aircraft concurrently. With the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb intended to be released eight at a time, the Roman and Shlem would be saturated in a single aircraft attack.
This resulted in the development of an entirely new PESA based radar, curiously designated the 1RS2-1 / 1RS2-1E, but also labelled by a Russian source as the 1RL123-E. VNIIRT has been credited with the development of this design. To date all imagery has excluded views of the PESA antenna without the protective radome, so the following description is based on recent public disclosures and is yet to be validated:
Operating centre wavelength claimed by KBP to be “8 mm in the K-band” – antenna geometry suggests 15 mm (20 GHz) to 18 mm (16.7 GHz);
Beamsteering angles of up to ±45° of arc;
Mechanical PESA boresight steering in elevation between -5° and 82°;
Track while scan of nine separate targets;
90% probability of initial target acquisition within 1 second of coordinate transfer from the 2RL80 with errors of ±2.5° in azimuth, ±2.5° in elevation, ±200 m in range and ±60 metres / sec in radial velocity;
Tracking errors of 0.2 milliradians in azimuth, 0.3 milliradians in elevation, 5 metres in range and 2 metres / sec in velocity;
Ability to track airborne targets at velocities between 10 to 1,100 metres / sec;
Ability to capture 4 missiles after launch;
Ability to track 3 to 4 outbound missiles at velocities between 30 to 2,100 metres / sec;
Detection range of 24 km against a 2.0 m2 RCS airborne target; 21 km against a 1 m2RCS airborne target; 16 km against a 0.5 m2 RCS airborne target; 10 km against a 0.1 m2 RCS airborne target; 7 km against a 0.03 m2 RCS airborne target;
High countermeasures resistance is claimed for the 1RS2-1 and 2RL80, but not detailed beyond the standard descriptions found in brochures.
The primary antenna is used for target and missile tracking, it is supplemented by a command link antenna which is part of the APKNR (Apparatura Peredachi Komand i Naprovadzaniya Raket) subsystem for datalink control of the missiles. Source ausairpower.net
The system can conduct fire at two targets at the same time and attack up to 12 targets within a minute. The system’s effective range for missiles is 20 kilometers and the maximum altitude is eight kilometers, and for artillery shells up to three and four kilometers respectively.
Early variants of the Tunguska series introduced an electroptical tracker to provide silent angle tracking in jamming environments. The electro-optical tracking system includes a longwave (8 – 14 μm band) thermal imager for target acquisition and tracking, and a dual band short (3 – 5 μm) / midwave (0.6 -1.1. μm) IR tracker for angular measurement of the missile beacon.
In the Pantsir S1 the AOP (Avtonomniy Opticheskiy Post) is cued by the radar system, and provides angle tracking of the target and missiles. The cited system specifications are :
Azimuth coverage of ± 90 °;
Elevation coverage from -5 ° to 82°;
Angular tracking rate of 100° / sec;
Angular acceleration of 170° / sec;
French Sagem MATIS LR midwave thermal imager with WFOV of 4.17° x 6.25°, and NFOV of 0.87° x 1.3°, with a 0.05 mrad angular track error;
Acquisition performance: F-16 at 17 to 26 km; AGM-88 HARM at 13 to 15 km; cruise missiles at 11 to 14 km, and glidebombs at ~10 km;
TTX IR finder ZUR:
the spectral sensitivity range – 0,77-0,91 m
Angular field of view – Horizontal
-2.5 .. + 2.5 °
-0.4 .. + 0.4 °
Angular field of view – Vertical
-1.0 .. + 4.0 °
-0.3 .. + 0.6 °
Accurate determination of coordinates of the laser transponder ZUR
Translated by google – Source militaryrussia.ru
The probability of destroying the target is 0.6 to 0.8 depending on its type and obstacles. The time of response is 5-6 seconds.
Using a digital data link system up to six Pantsir-S1 combat vehicle can operate in various modes.
Stand alone combat operation: All the combat sequence from detecting a target to its engagement is fulfilled by a single Pantsir-S1 combat vehicle without employing other assets.
Operation within a battery (“master-slave”): One Pantsir-S1 operates both as combat vehicle and as “master” command post. 3 to 5 Pantsir-S1 combat vehicles acting as “slave” receive target designation data from the “master” and subsequently fulfil all the combat operation stages.
Operation within a command post: The command post sends target designations to the Pantsir-S1 combat vehicles and subsequently fulfill the designation order.
Operation within a battery with command post and early warning radar: The command post receives air situation picture from a connected early warning radar and sends target designations to the Pantsir-S1 combat vehicles and subsequently fulfil the designation order.
Russia’s new Pantsir-SM air defense system to roll off production lines in 2 years: Here
Panstir SM – Vitaly Kuzmin
The upgraded Pantsir-SM combined surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system, equipped with a multifunctional targeting system, will be able to destroy targets 40 kilometers away – twice the range of the current configuration, the first deputy CEO, chief designer of the Instrument Design Bureau KBP, in Tula (an affiliate of Rostec), Alexander Khomyakov, told the media.
Panstir SM – Tula news service
“The newly-developed multi-functional targeting system incorporating an active phased array radar doubles Pantsir’s effective range,” Khomyakov said.
He recalled that the range of fire of the current system Pantsir-S1 is about 20 kilometers, while the next generation, Pantsir-SM can hit targets 40 kilometers away.
Panstir SM – rg.ru
Panstir SM – rg.ru
The new Pantsir will be able to identify targets at a distance of 75 kilometers (in contrast to the current model’s 40-kilometer capability, Khomyakov said.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta also cited open sources as saying that the Pantsir-SM is due to be equipped with a new high-speed missile and that the range of detection and destruction of targets will increased by about a half.
Pantsir-SA Arctic air defense missile system:Details
The new radar set up RLM SOC S-band (Panstir S2)
The new SOTS S-band search radar increases detection range from 36km’s to “over 40.” The system can now track in excess of 40 incoming targets up from 8-10, and can now engage targets traveling at up to 1,200 meters per second up from 1,000 m/s. Search azimuth has also been increased from 80 degrees to 90 degrees owed to electronic beam steering.
Launch customer for the new variant is Algeria. Several dozen vehicles will be delivered to them this year.
Note the location of the friend or foe beacon has been changed. The early sand colored prototype has the antenna on the bottom, but on the series produced green vehicle above the antenna is on top of the radar.
The radar is a Janus-faced ESA, evidently intended to generate track outputs at a significantly higher rate than the VNIIRT 2RL80/2RL80E on early production systems for the Russian PVO and export clients. The system is claimed to be for an export client, not disclosed, who may be Middle Eastern given the desert camouflage on the prototype vehicle. A higher tracking rate would provide a better capability to track PGM targets, especially variants of the AGM-88 HARM/AARGM. Source ausairpower.net
The Armed OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, in service with the US Army, is supplied by Bell Helicopter Textron of Fort Worth, Texas. Around 375 Kiowas are in service and the single engine, double-bladed armed reconnaissance helicopter has been deployed in support of United States armed forces around the world including Haiti, Somalia and the Gulf of Arabia (Desert Storm and Desert Shield).
In 2002, Kiowas were deployed as part of Nato’s SFOR forces in Bosnia and, in 2003, 120 Kiowas were deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 29 helicopters were lost during that operation. The US Army Kiowa fleet achieved a total of 750,000 combat hours until the end of 2011.
Croatia Air Force / Laith Jobran
latest model, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, is primarily operated in an armed reconnaissance role in support of ground troops. The OH-58 has been exported to Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia. It has also been produced under license in Australia. Source wikiwand.com
OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed The reconnaissance helicopter role
The primary mission of the helicopter is in the scout attack role. The helicopter can be optionally equipped to carry out transport and utility roles using equipment kits installed externally on existing hard points.
A cargo carrying hook is rated to carry loads up to 2,000lb. Emergency casualty evacuation can be carried out transporting two casualties on litters (stretchers), plus over 320kg of supplies to an operating radius of more than 185km. The Kiowa can be used for insertion of up to six troops for critical point security missions.
Two Kiowas can be transported in a C-130 aircraft. For air transportation the vertical tail fin pivots, the main rotor blades and the horizontal stabiliser are folded, and the mast mounted sight, the IFF antenna and the lower wire cutter are removed. The landing gear can kneel to decrease the height.
Next-generation armed reconnaissance helicopter
The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior was to be replaced by the next-generation armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) within the US Army. A contract worth $211m for the ARH, a military version of the Bell 407, was awarded to Bell Helicopter in July 2005. Under the contract, Bell was required to supply 368 helicopters between 2008 and 2013.
In order to replace four Army National Guard attack helicopter battalions, the number of helicopters to be delivered was increased from 368 to 512. In July 2008, the US Army discovered that the ARH programme had exceeded cost-growth limits of the Nunn-McCurdy Act. The ARH programme was therefore terminated in October 2008.
Kiowa safety enhancement programme (SEP)
To maintain the safety and effectiveness of the Kiowa fleet until retirement, a safety enhancement programme (SEP) was launched as a part of the Army Scout refreshment programme in 1998. The SEP provided engine upgrades and improved computer control systems for 292 Kiowa helicopters. The programme was concluded in 2011.
In March 2009, the US Army awarded a contract to Bell Helicopter to upgrade an additional 27 OH-58D aircraft under the Kiowa Warrior SEP.
Upgrade work on the 27 aircraft began in April 2009 and deliveries began in the last quarter of 2009 at a rate of three aircraft a month. In March 2010 the US Army awarded a contract to modify the final 30 OH-58D aircraft under the SEP. Work on the final lot of aircraft in the SEP was started in March 2010 and completed in 2011. The upgrade was carried out at Bell Helicopter’s plant 1 facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres)(Released)
OH-58F Fox helicopter
In October 2010, the US Army provided the “Fox” designation to the upgraded version of OH-58D Kiowa Warriors. The new version is known is OH-58F or Fox and will have an upgraded cockpit and sensor. The upgraded fleet is expected to be deployed in the fourth quarter of 2015.
OH-58F – Image: Star-Telegram
The OH-58F is the next generation Kiowa Warrior designed specifically for the Army’s next generation Scout mission. Building on the proven strengths of its predecessor while adding the latest in advanced technology, the OH-58F answers the call for tenacity, stealth and lethality. The OH-58F features enhanced sensors, new cockpit control hardware and software, three color multi-function displays, a dual-redundant digital engine controller and the latest aircraft survivable equipment. Level II Manned-Unmanned Operations (MUM-O) technology is also incorporated to provide increased situational awareness and improved battlefield command and control.
Key Features and Benefits
OH-58F – Image: scoutsout.com
Nose Mounted Sensor
New Control and Display Subsystem 5 (CDS5)
Integrated Common Missile Warning System (CMWS)
Dual Channel FADEC
Integrated Level II MUM-O (Manned-UnManned Operations)
Hidden exhaust, small presented area, and low IR signature
OH-58F – Image: scoutsout.com
Cruise Speed with Weapons
2 crew seats in cockpit
Maximum Gross Weight
One (1) Rolls-Royce 250-C30R3
OH-58F Block II
OH-58 Block II demonstrator
Bell says the OH-58 Block II demonstrator “takes an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and makes it a fast-fielding, low-risk and lowest-cost solution” to the Army’s expected “high-hot” operational requirement of 6,000-foot, 95-degree performance. That performance can be attained with propulsion and drive-train upgrades to the existing platform, the company says.
The Block II aircraft builds on the OH-58F-model cockpit and sensor upgrade program (CASUP) by adding a new Honeywell HTS900 engine, transmission and rotor system. The CASUP program replaces the OH-58D’s mast-mounted sensor with a nose-mounted sensor, updates the cockpit with color, multifunction displays, and incorporates full authority digital engine control and common missile warning system. As with the EADS candidate helicopter, the OH-58 Block II aircraft can be fitted with M3P machine gun, 2.75-inch rockets and Hellfire missiles. Source ainonline.com
Honeywell HTS900 engine (OH-58F)
“The Honeywell HTS900 engine is a new type design engine to provide superior performance at high, hot conditions, fuel efficiency, and operating costs” said Mike Cuff, Honeywell Vice President, Helicopters and Surface Systems. “This certification demonstrates Honeywell’s continued success in developing the world’s highest performance turboshaft engines for both the commercial and military segments.
“The Honeywell HTS900 engine produces more than 1,000 Shaft Horsepower (SHP) uninstalled at sea level on a standard day – and has accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours,” Source aero-news.net
The Kiowa was the first US Army helicopter to have an all-glass cockpit. The cockpit is supplied by Sperry Flight Systems and is equipped with a multiple target tracking / moving target indicator, an ANVIS (aviation night-vision system) display symbology system and helmet-mounted display.
The primary multifunction displays provide situation information, communications control and the mast-mounted sight video. A video recorder stores television and thermal imagery from the mission and allows playback in the cockpit.
The OH-58D is equipped with two universal quick-change weapons pylons. Each pylon can be armed with two Hellfire missiles, seven Hydra 70 rockets, two air-to-air Stinger missiles or one .50-calibre fixed forward machine gun.
Aircraft throughout the years
Primary Function: Air-to-surface and surface-to-surface point target/anti-armor missile Prime Contractor: Hellfire Systems, LLC – A Boeing – Lockheed Martin Joint Venture Propulsion:ATK (now Orbital ATK) solid propellant rocket motor (IM HELLFIRE Propulsion System);
AGM-114A: ATK M120E3; AGM-114B: ATK M120E4; AGM-114L: ATK M120E4 Length: 5.33 ft (1.62 m); AGM-114L: 5.77 ft (1.76 m) Diameter: 7 in (17.8 cm) Wingspan: 28 in (0.71 m) Weight: 98 to 109 lbs (44.5 to 49.4 kg); AGM-114R: 109 lbs (49.4 kg) Speed: Subsonic Range: AGM-114 K/L/M/N: 4.97 miles (8,000 m)
AGM-114R fired at 3,000 ft (914 m):
4.97 miles (8,000 m) – LOAL, high trajectory
4.41 miles (7,100 m) – LOAL, low/direct trajectory Guidance: Semi-Active Laser (SAL) seeker; AGM-114L: Millimeter wave (MMW) radar seeker Warhead: AGM-114 A/C/F/K/K-2/L/P/P+: Shaped charge warhead
AGM-114F-A/K-2A/P-2A: Shaped charge warhead with frag sleeve
AGM-114M/N: Blast fragmentation warhead (AGM-114N is a thermobaric version with metal augmentation charge)
AGM-114R: Multi-purpose Integrated Blast Frag Sleeve (IBFS) warhead
In the following, the nine main variants of the Hydra-70 rocket are presented:
The M151 HEPD is a unitary fragmenting 10-pound anti-personnel, anti-material warhead with the M423 Point Detonating Fuze. Upon detonation, the warhead fragments into thousands of small high velocity fragments. The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.3 pounds.
The M156 white phosphorus (smoke) is primarily used for target marking. The M156 has the same ballistic characteristics as the M151 warhead and is of similar construction. Filler for the M156 is 2.2 pounds of white phosphorus with a 0.12 pound bursting charge of composition B. The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.65 pounds.
M229 High Explosive:
The M229 High Explosive warhead is a heavier version of the M151. The U.S. Army is currently not buying this variant. The fuzed warhead is 26″ long and weighs 17 pounds.
82nd Combat Aviation Brigade / Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Eric Pahon
The M255A1 Flechette warhead consists of a nose cone assembly, a warhead case, an integral fuze, 1,179 60-grain flechettes and an expulsion charge assembly. The primary fuze (M439) is remotely set with the Aerial Rocket Control System (ARCS) Multifunctional Display (MFD) or Rocket Management System (RMS) to provide a range from 500 meters to 7,200 meters. At expulsion, the 1,179 60-grain, hardened-steel flechettes separate and form a disk-like mass which breaks up with each flechette assuming an independent trajectory. The flechette uses kinetic energy derived from the velocity of the rocket to produce the desired impact and penetration of the target. The fuzed warhead is 26.9″ long and weighs 14 pounds.
M257 Illuminating Flare:
The M257 Illuminating warhead is designed to provide battlefield illumination and does not require the use of Infrared (IR) goggles. The M257 flare rocket can be launched by from either fixed wing or rotary-wing aircraft. The M442 motor burnout fuze functions after a 9-second delay. The fuzed warhead is 29.1″ long and weighs 11 pounds.
101st Combat Aviation Brigade / Photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Matson
M261 Multi-Purpose Submunition (MPSM):
The MPSM warhead (weight is 13.9 pounds) provides improved lethal effectiveness against area targets such as light armor, wheeled vehicles, materiel, and personnel. The M73 Submunitions are deployed over the target and descend almost vertically. The M261 Warhead is a cargo warhead consisting of a nose cone assembly, a case, integral fuze, nine submunitions, and an expulsion charge assembly. The primary M439 warhead fuze is remotely set with the Aerial Rocket Control System (ARCS), Multifunctional Display (MFD) or Rocket Management System (RMS) to provide a range from 500 meters to 7,200 meters.
M264 RP Smoke:
The M264 RP (red phosphorous) Smoke is used as a red phosphorous filled smoke rocket propelled by the Mk 66 motor and the smoke is deployed at a range set remotely from within the aircraft cockpit. The M264 warhead is used for smoke obscuration in the visible light spectrum. The fuzed warhead is 26.9″ long and weighs 8.6 pounds.
M274 Smoke Signature (practice):
The M274 warhead is a smoke/flash signature practice warhead used for pilot/gunner training missions and consists of a cast iron warhead modified with vent holes, an aluminum nose cap with firing pin, a M423 fuze safe and arming device, and a smoke/flash cartridge. The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.3 pounds.
M278 Infrared Flare:
The M278 Infrared Flare warhead is designed for battlefield illumination for use with Infrared (IR) goggles. The flare rockets can be launched from either fixed wing or rotary-wing aircraft. The 442 motor burnout fuze functions after a 9-second delay. The fuzed warhead is 29.1″ long and weighs 11 pounds.
The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.3 pounds.
M3P (or M296) .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine gun
12.7x99mm NATO (.50 cal)
From 1,680mm (66.1″) to 1,800mm (70.9″)
37 kg (81.5 lb)
5 kg (11 lb)
Ball, Tracer, API, APEI
Cyclic rate of fire
1,025 (+/- 75 RPM)
2,500m (2,734 Yards)
Left or right side (M9 links)
Right or left side
Lockheed Martin successfully test fired its DAGR guided rockets from OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter in March 2010.
A single DAGR installed on a Kiowa Warrior prior to test firing. (photo – Lockheed Martin)
2.75-inch/70mm DAGR missile
The 2.75-inch/70mm DAGR missile is a precision-strike, multi-role, multi-platform munition that effectively neutralizes lightly-armored and high-value targets close to civilian assets or friendly forces. DAGR offers strike capability with the reliability of a HELLFIRE II missile while further limiting collateral damage.
The DAGR system puts HELLFIRE II missile and Joint Air-to-Ground Missile technology in a 2.75-inch guidance section that integrates seamlessly with legacy Hydra-70 rockets. Like HELLFIRE, DAGR offers lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) and lock-on-before-launch (LOBL) capability, target handoff, enhanced built-in testing on the rail, and laser coding from the cockpit. The result is a laser-guided missile that offers capabilities beyond those of a simple guided rocket.
The DAGR rail-mounted canister (RMC) mounts to HELLFIRE-compatible digital and analog launchers (e.g., M299/M310 and M272). The RMC readily integrates with all HELLFIRE platforms, including unmanned aerial vehicles and Apache, Kiowa, Little Bird, Cobra, and Tiger helicopters.
Plug-and-play HELLFIRE II compatibility allows aircrews to mix loadouts between HELLFIRE and DAGR missiles on the same launcher, providing the flexibility to meet any challenge on an ever-changing battlefield. When increased loadout or reduced weight is a must, DAGR delivers. Source lockheedmartin.com
Mission processors control the suite of mission subsystems via a military standard 1553B bus. An onboard computer provides laser ranging and target location within 10m.
55th Signal Company (Combat Camera) / Photo by Spc. Kristina Truluck
The countermeasures suite includes an AN/ALQ-144 infrared jammer, radar warning receivers against pulsed and continuous wave radars and a laser warning detector.
Self-defence: AN/APR-39(V)1 or -39A(V)1 RWR. Phase 1 adds AN/ALQ-144 IR jammer, second RWR (AN/APR-44(V)3) and AN/AVR-2 laser detection system. Source aviastar.org
AN/APR-39(V)1 or -39A(V)1 RWR
The APR-39 provides continuous 360-degree coverage to automatically detect and identify threat types, bearing and lethality before alerting a cockpit crew to each threat with a graphical symbol on the cockpit multifunction display or video display. This cost-effective system features state-of-the-art technology in a small, lightweight configuration that protects a wide variety of fixed-, rotary- and tilt-wing aircraft from today’s most modern threats.
“For the past two decades Northrop Grumman’s AN/APR-39 has been the primary radar warning receiver and electronic warfare management system for the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force rotary wing aircraft,” said Mark Kula, vice president of Radio Frequency Combat and Information Systems at Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division. “The AN/APR-39 is specially designed to maximize survivability by improving aircrew situational awareness.”
To date over 6,000 APR-39 systems have been installed on both domestic and international AH-1W/Z, UH-1N/Y, MV-22B, KC-130T, UH-60, OH-58D, CH-53, CH-46, AH-64A/D and CH-47 aircraft. Source dailyairforce.com
SENSORS / EW:
AN/APR-39A(V)1 – (Army) ESM
Role: RWR, Radar Warning Receiver
Max Range: 222.2 km
AN/ALQ-144 infrared jammer
AN/ALQ 144C(V)1 countermeasure set new version 03/06
The AN/ALQ-144 IR Countermeasures Set is an always-on infrared jammer, providing protection against infrared missiles over a wide environmental range. The system is extremely flexible, as it offers multiple configurations to complement small-to medium- signature helicopters. It may operate independently or cohesively with a missile warning system and flares.
The AN/AVR-2A Laser Detecting Set was developed by Raytheon to warn military helicopter crews of threats from laser-aided weapons. It has 4 sensor units and a central processing unit that detect, identify, characterize and displays laser-aided weapons. AVR-2A has a coverage of 360-degree circumference and +45/-45 degree elevation about the aircraft. Once threats detected, the system displays each threat in priority order of lethality. The AN/AVR-2A is in production for US military helicopters.
AN/AVR-2 – ESM
Role: LWR, Laser Warning Receiver
Max Range: 18.5 km
Fire control and observation
The distinctive mast-mounted sight (MMS) from Boeing, situated above the rotor blades, enables the Kiowa Warrior to operate by day and night and to engage the enemy at the maximum range of the weapon systems and with the minimum exposure of the helicopter.
The MMS contains a suite of sensors which includes: a high-resolution television camera for long-range target detection; a thermal imaging sensor for navigation, target acquisition and designation; a laser rangefinder / designator for target location and guidance of the Hellfire missiles and designation for Copperhead artillery rounds; and a boresight assembly which provides in-flight sensor alignment. The laser rangefinder / designator is also employed for handoff to an AH-1 Cobra helicopter for TOW missile engagements.
The MMS is principally used for collecting imagery and target acquisition data of the battlefield during the day or night, under extreme adverse conditions.
Television Sensor Low Light Silicon Vidicon
Spectral Range 0.65 – 0.9 µm
Line Format 875
Field of View Narrow 2.0°; Wide 8.0°
Thermal Imaging Sensor 640 x 480 element InSb detector
Spectral Range 3.8 – 4.8 µm
Line Format 875
Field of View Narrow 1.6° x 2.0°; Wide 4.9° x 3.7°
Stabilization Better than 20 µ Rad
Field of Regard ±190° Azimuth, ±30° Elevation
Interface Architecture MIL STD 1553
Track Capability Auto – Tracker (Centroid, Scene, Offset)
Laser Rangefinder Designator 1.06 µm NdYAG
Turret Dimensions 25.5 inch diameter, 47 inch height
DRS Technologies is currently responsible for the sensor suite and, in March 2004, was awarded an $8.2m contract to upgrade the thermal imaging system on the MMS. The thermal imaging system upgrade (TISU) provides enhanced target detection and range. Deliveries began in August 2005 and were completed in early 2006.
U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland
The contract is part of a five-year $514m master indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract awarded to DRS in December 2003.
In February 2006, the US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) awarded another TISU contract worth $33m. Product deliveries began in February 2006 and were completed in December 2008.
A new five-year contract (January 2009-December 2013) worth $913m was awarded to DRS in February 2009 to support the maintenance, repair and service of the MMS on the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. This is a follow on of the previous $514m contract.
Under the contract, DRS was awarded a $110m contract to supply spare components, repairs and programme services for the MMS in April 2009. The contract includes delivery of new spare parts from June 2009 to March 2013 with repair and maintenance services scheduled from June 2009 to January 2012.
Navigation and communications
82nd Combat Aviation Brigade / Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Eric Pahon
The US Army OH-58D is equipped with an attitude heading reference system (AHRS) from Litton and an integrated Global Positioning System and Inertial Navigation System, GPS/INS.
A data-loading module allows the pre-mission storing of navigation waypoint data and radio frequencies. The mission equipment includes an improved data modem for digital battlefield communications, (IDMDBC). The communications system is based on the Have-Quick UHF and SINCGARS FM anti-jam radio.
Kiowa Warrior engine
The OH-58D helicopter is equipped with a Model 250 485kW turbine engine from Rolls-Royce. The transmission has a transient power level of 475kW. The engine and transmission system have been upgraded to provide high performance levels in high temperature and extreme climates.
One Allison 250-C30R (T703-Ad-700) turboshaft, (C30R/3 with improved diffuser in Kiowa Warrior) with an intermediate power rating of 485kW at S/L, ISA, FADEC. Transmission rating: Kiowa 339kW continuous; Kiowa Warrior 410kW continuous. One self-sealing crash-resistant fuel cell, capacity 424 litres located aft of the cabin area. Refuelling point on starboard side of fuselage. Oil capacity 5.7 litres. Source aviastar.org
The Maneuver Combat Vehicle, or MCV, was designed by Japanese MoD Technical Research and Development Institute. This armored vehicle is also referred as the Type 16. Its development commenced in 2008. It was first publicly revealed in 2013. It was planned that this fire support vehicle will be deployed in 2016. It will be produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Some 200-300 of these vehicles will be produced and replace ageing main battle tanks.
In concept the Japanese Maneuver Combat Vehicle is similar to Italian Centauro. The main role of this vehicle is to provide direct fire support for infantry units. It can engage hostile armored vehicles, buildings and field fortifications. In some cases it supplements main battle tanks. Wheeled fire support vehicles are cheaper to produce and maintain than main battle tanks. Also these have high speed and mobility on hard surface roads and can respond rapidly to various threats.
It is worth noting that main battle tanks require heavy equipment transporters to relocate them if long distances are involved. By acquiring wheeled fire support vehicle Japanese MoD plans to reduce the number of main battle tanks from 740 to only 300 units within the next few years.
The Japanese MCV is armed with a 105 mm rifled gun. It is compatible with standard NATO 105 mm ammunition. For some reason this gun lacks automatic loader and is loaded manually. Around 40 rounds are carried for the main gun. Around 15 rounds are stored in the turret bustle and are ready to use.
The MCV is fitted with a modern fire control system with the latest generation optics. This vehicle has a hunter-killer engagement capability. The commander uses a panoramic sight to search for targets. Once the target is selected the gun is laid on the target automatically and the gunner completes al the aiming and firing process. During that time commander looks for the next target. Such hunter-killer engagement method is present on all modern main battle tanks. It allows to acquire and engage targets faster.
The MCV is capable of engaging most armored fighting vehicles, buildings and field fortifications. It can even successfully engage enemy main battle tanks. However its primary role is infantry fire support rather than anti-tank combat.
There is a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and a roof-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun.
This fire support vehicle is relatively light. It is likely to have a steel armor hull. Also there is modular add-on composite armor. It seems that the front arc withstands hits form 35 mm or even 40 mm guns. Maximum level of all-round protection is likely to be against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell splinters. Damaged add-on armor modules can be easily replaced in field conditions. Also modules can be upgraded as soon as more advanced armor becomes available.
The Maneuver Combat Vehicle has a crew of four, including commander, gunner, loader and driver.
This fire support vehicle uses an entirely new 8×8 chassis. It is not based on any existing armored personnel carrier. It seems that it was specially designed to withstand the violent recoil of the main gun. A number of other fire support vehicle are simply created by merging an existing armored personnel carrier chassis with a gun turret. However such designs usually have various problems with excessive recoil, that the armored personnel carrier chassis was never designed for.
The MCV is powered by unspecified turbocharged diesel engine, developing 570 hp. Powerpack is located at the front of the hull. It is claimed that operational range on roads without refueling is only 400 km. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. Tyre pressure can be adjusted to increase mobility over various off-road terrain.
This fire support vehicle can be airlifted. Unlike main battle tanks the MCVs can be easily transported by Kawasaki C-2 tactical cargo aircraft. In case of emergency Japan plans to quickly airlift numerous Maneuver Combat Vehicles to remote islands where these are needed.