This is a discussion on Royal Air Force [RAF] discussions and updates within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Heheh..hadn't thought about it that way
Wonder if there's any plans to get ASRAAM a data link like 9X? Might ...
One weapon that I think is perfect for the F-35 CAS is the Laser Guided Zuni. It’s made by MBDA, comes 4 to a pod, has a dual-mode 40 lb (18kg) warhead, and 10 mile range. Btw, that is twice the warhead of a Hellfire/Brimstone.
Using the same adapter that I showed the PavewayIV using (the BRU-69/A MPBR), you could trade out just 2 Paveways and get 8 ZUNIs.
I think they would be a nice, quick reaction / low collateral damage complement to the Paveways.
It seems like there's a gap in the area for a weapon that size, looking at the RAF inventory there's nothing in that region, but i'm still a bit unsure as to if it'd be worth it. Brimstone is by and large a weapon for targetting vehicles of all descriptions and is well known for being a low collatoral damage weapon.
Still, for the RAF the F-35B will initially have Paveway IVs which considering it's going to be "the backbone of the RAF's Air-to-Surface bombing capability", it's good we're getting it right off the bat.
The future looks promising with the F35, ASRAAM, AMRAAM/Meteor, Paveway IV, Brimstone 2, Storm Shadow, SPEAR 3. Quite a wide target window, then if weapons like Paveway III - but not II as IV will end up replacing II and Enhanced II - it'll be quite a strike aircraft (I'd still like an AShM though . . . )
It could be useful, no denying that. As a side note, AFAIK Hellfire could be used for such roles so Brimstone probably could be too.
It's an interesting idea, it'd certainly be a complementary set of capabilities to PWIV. If we trade out 2 PWIV we could get (for regular CAS duties for one cab in a flight with the other being more complementary) overall 2 AMRAAM, 2 ASRAAM, 4 PWIV and 5 LZUNI. Not bad at all.
In UK use, non starter - we already traded out StarStreak orders from Thales for FASG-L which is basically a laser guided rocket. If you want bigger terminal effects, we've HE-SIAP CRV-7 and Brimstone. Plumbing LZUNI into that mix overlaps too many other systems to be worth qualifying.
LMM is a far lighter weapon & my understanding of HEISAP is that it'd pretty much make a mess of everything inside of a hardened structure but the structure would remain - largely - complete. But i'd like to find out what'd actually happen.
I'm not very up on the cabailities of Brimstone, is it able to take out bunkers and stuff? Because if so, then by and large that'd be all we need if we wanted something less than a Paveway IV.
I think the F-35 program will last far too long to discount any weapon that is available. One of the things I really like about it is UAI which would allow one customer (likely the USMC) to get the L-ZUNI integrated which would allow all the other customers to get in on the fun once it proves it's use.
Here is some info I found on the LMM:
The initial LMM will be a 13 kg/ 28 pound weapon, carrying a laser beam-riding missile with a range of up to 8 km/ 4.3 miles, which packs a 3 kg/ 6.5 pound blast fragmentation/ shaped charge warhead traveling at about Mach 1.5.
It sounds like a modular, purpose built weapon in the APKWS class but initially will be a beam rider, not SAL.
About Brimstone: It started life as a Hellfire sized MMW radar guided anti-tank weapon. It has recently been upgraded where they added a SAL seeker to the MMW. It has a programmable fuse that can be delayed for bunker busting. Also, While the Brimstone can be used on fast-jets, Hellfire cannot (motor issues I think).
About the size of a Hawk jet trainer, the 8-ton Taranis will demonstrate autonomous controls, stealth and other technologies for possible inclusion in an operational aircraft.
Government and an industry team comprising BAE, GE Aviation Systems, QinetiQ and Rolls-Royce launched the jointly funded effort to design and fly Britain’s largest unmanned air vehicle in December 2005 with a plan to have the aircraft airborne during 2010.
A September first flight would almost coincide with plans by BAE and partner Dassault Aviation to lodge proposals with the British and French governments to launch a possible follow-on program involving a UCAV operational demonstrator.
About time, interesting times ahead for UK aviation. I doubt that we'll see a UK built Typhoon replacement - I'd expect some F35A's in the future - so if the UK wants to remain in the high end aircraft game then proceeding with UAV development is our best shot.
The RAF is supposed to be recieving it's first Chinook HC6 from the order of 14 by the end of this year
Speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire on 20 July, Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice-president in charge of the CH-47 programme, said the UK's first three aircraft are now involved in testing in the USA. One of these is being flown in Mesa, Arizona, with another flying at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, where the third is also undergoing ground-based electromagnetic testing. "We are tracking well on the programme," Dabundo says.
First flown in March 2013 (above), the UK's HC6 derivative of the Chinook is being produced with a Thales-sourced cockpit developed for a legacy fleet modernisation effort dubbed Project Julius. The latter is to bring the RAF's previous 44 HC2/2A and HC3-standard aircraft to a common HC4 avionics configuration. The HC6 model, by contrast, introduces new equipment such as a digital automatic flight control system, Dabundo says.
A decent investment, offsets the loss of the Merlins to the Navy and the reduction of Pumas with the upgrade from HC1 to HC2 IIRC.
An expected end to UK combat involvement in Afghanistan before the end of 2014 is unlikely to mean the end for its General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Reaper remotely piloted air systems (RPAS), according to Royal Air Force assistant chief of the air staff AVM Edward Stringer.
"While the [Ministry of Defence] has yet to decide on the exact composition of our Reaper force beyond combat operations in Afghanistan, there is no doubt that persistent surveillance will be in demand as we transition to a more contingent footing," says Stringer. "It is hard - but not impossible - to imagine a future where these [RPAS] assets will not be a part of our force mix."
Asked whether the current type could be retained beyond the UK's involvement in Afghanistan, during a pre-DSEi unmanned air systems conference in London on 9 September, Stringer said: "There are extant programmes out there, such as Scavenger, and one must assess whether Reaper can play into that requirement. Clearly, there's a very good chance of it so doing."
Which would be good, I would be happy to see it become part of the core budget and eventually get Brimstone attached. But it's also VERY good to know that it's mentioned in the article that it wouldn't last long in an environment with a significant air threat. Hopefully that pushes Taranis development, which IIRC is due to take it's first flight soon. . . . ..
The UK have bought two BAE-146 aircraft to act as tactical transports in Afghanistan, they are likely to be removed after 2014. But this is an interesting proposal. BAE believes the setup could deliver fuel at speeds of 300 knots maximum, 7t of fuel regularly but up to 18t if external fuel tanks were added.
BAE believes a tanker-equipped aircraft would be capable of delivering fuel at flight speeds of 120-300kt (220-560km/h), enabling it to support types ranging from utility helicopters and tiltrotors to combat types such as the Eurofighter Typhoon. Up to 7t of fuel could be transferred from the type's standard load, with this to rise to around 18t if auxiliary tanks were added, the company says.
"It has the ideal configuration, with a high-wing and T-tail," says Mark Taylor, business development engineer for BAE Systems Regional Aircraft, who adds that the type's 140in fuselage diameter also is only 4in less than that of a Boeing KC-135.
"There is a place for a tactical air tanker," claims Taylor. "It can be justified on training requirements and for the routine movement of aircraft: you don't need to 'punch the sky' with a $100 million aircraft to do dry-contact training."
This sort of thing would be quite handy in the Falklands, our AAR force is getting smaller so keeping one down in the Falklands might not be the best solution, BAE believes it could fuel Typhoons, so would be an interesting solution. If fighters in the future needed to be tanked down in a rush (for whatever reason), deploy tankers with them. The current force should be sustainable with one of these craft AFAIK.
The current force should be sustainable with an A400M (which we're already buying), if we bought a set of AAR kit. But 2nd hand BAe 146s might be cheaper than parking one of our A400Ms down there permanently.
That's what I mean, to deploy an A400M AND an A330 seems like such an investment in the garrison which doesn't seem to justify it. Considering we're not getting the AAR gear for our A400M's, IMO it's the perfect solution than deploying a huge tanker.
In the event of any sort of material transport needed down there, we would set up the air bridge from Ascension. Would both those 146 (one AAR one regular) be fine d'you reckon?
I'd be keen on keeping that freighter in the UK and deploying it to the air bridge than sustaining it down there.