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This is a discussion on USAF News and Discussion within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by Toblerone Heh that's why I said "an" answer. Basically, considering the difference between USA and Russia in ...


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Old November 2nd, 2015   #76
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Heh that's why I said "an" answer. Basically, considering the difference between USA and Russia in budget and general prowess of the military industry, there isn't much flexibility for the russians.

They will be stuck with flanker variants loooong after the F-35 goes fully operational and in mass production. Powerful radars and jamming-resistant BVR missiles fired in succession are an answer. And threatening the carrier group with a possible AShM saturation attack.

Now about these laz0rs ... aren't they dramatically dependent on the weather/clouds/humidity?
Well...yes. But weather and clouds can play hell with the usability of other sensors/weapons as well. Even a radar isn't all too happy about trying to operate through cloud cover. So aircraft generally try to stay the hell out of bad weather...which is usually pretty easy for them to do, which also means it's easy for them to minimize the effects of environmentals on their lasers.

Now ships...that's another story. You're stuck with what you've got.
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Old November 3rd, 2015   #77
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Laser tech is proving to be more adaptable to adverse athmospheric conditions based on actual tests using a relatively low-power 10kw laser. Aircraft lasers such as HELLADS will be in the 150kw category and should for the most part enjoy more favorable weather conditions.

Neither rain, nor fog, nor wind stops Boeing's laser weapon destroying targets

Neither rain, nor fog, nor wind stops Boeing's laser weapon destroying targets
If you've ever gone outside on a foggy night and shined a laser pointer about, you’ve seen two things: how flashy a raygun it makes, and the problem laser weapons face in such conditions as fog and rain scatters the energy that should be destroying missiles. However, in recent tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Boeing and the US Army have shown that their High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) is capable of successfully locking onto and taking out targets in very laser-unfriendly foggy, rainy, and windy maritime conditions.
The HEL-MD is the US Army's first mobile, high-energy laser, Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) platform. It consists of a 10-kW high-energy laser mounted on an Oshkosh tactical vehicle and is capable of tracking and engaging (a polite way to say blasting out of the sky) a variety of targets.

It has already undergone extensive testing at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico in 2013 and at Eglin earlier this year, and now Boeing says that it has managed to engage 150 aerial targets. And not just in the clear, sunny skies of New Mexico, but in the windy, rainy, and foggy conditions in Florida that whould normally make for a bad day for the lasers. But the HEL-MD still managed to deal with its targets, including 60 mm mortars and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
Exactly how this was done is something that Boeing is keeping close to its chest, but it’s likely that it involves using a reference laser beam to probe through, for example, the fog so that computers could analyze how the atmospheric conditions were distorting the laser. The optics in the HEL-MD would then refocus the weapon beam, so the distortion, instead of spreading it or bending it off course, puts it back into the right shape.

Last edited by barney41; November 3rd, 2015 at 08:52 AM.
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Old November 3rd, 2015
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Old November 3rd, 2015   #78
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And plans are to to got 50kw and then 100



http://www.smdc.army.mil/FactSheets/HELMD.pdf
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Old November 3rd, 2015   #79
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Laser tech is proving to be more adaptable to adverse athmospheric conditions based on actual tests using a relatively low-power 10kw laser. Aircraft lasers such as HELLADS will be in the 150kw category and should for the most part enjoy more favorable weather conditions.

Neither rain, nor fog, nor wind stops Boeing's laser weapon destroying targets

Neither rain, nor fog, nor wind stops Boeing's laser weapon destroying targets
If you've ever gone outside on a foggy night and shined a laser pointer about, you’ve seen two things: how flashy a raygun it makes, and the problem laser weapons face in such conditions as fog and rain scatters the energy that should be destroying missiles. However, in recent tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Boeing and the US Army have shown that their High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) is capable of successfully locking onto and taking out targets in very laser-unfriendly foggy, rainy, and windy maritime conditions.
The HEL-MD is the US Army's first mobile, high-energy laser, Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) platform. It consists of a 10-kW high-energy laser mounted on an Oshkosh tactical vehicle and is capable of tracking and engaging (a polite way to say blasting out of the sky) a variety of targets.

It has already undergone extensive testing at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico in 2013 and at Eglin earlier this year, and now Boeing says that it has managed to engage 150 aerial targets. And not just in the clear, sunny skies of New Mexico, but in the windy, rainy, and foggy conditions in Florida that whould normally make for a bad day for the lasers. But the HEL-MD still managed to deal with its targets, including 60 mm mortars and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
Exactly how this was done is something that Boeing is keeping close to its chest, but it’s likely that it involves using a reference laser beam to probe through, for example, the fog so that computers could analyze how the atmospheric conditions were distorting the laser. The optics in the HEL-MD would then refocus the weapon beam, so the distortion, instead of spreading it or bending it off course, puts it back into the right shape.
The article glosses over some of the physics.

Adaptive optics are useful for turbulence (wind), not for dealing with moisture in the air. Moisture is an attentuation problem (laser energy getting absorbed by water molecules in the air). There's not a whole lot you can do about it other than go somewhere it isn't or try to power through (which has its own problems).

Not denying the test results, but it's a big step in power required going from shooting down 60mm mortars in a C-RAM setup or small UAVs with composite skins, and trying to shoot down missiles or full sized metal aircraft 10's of klicks out.
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Old November 6th, 2015   #80
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Not denying the test results, but it's a big step in power required going from shooting down 60mm mortars in a C-RAM setup or small UAVs with composite skins, and trying to shoot down missiles or full sized metal aircraft 10's of klicks out.
Agreed. The tech seems to trend towards bundling power modules, scaling up the power to achieve the desired effect in lieu of a monolithic approach.
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Old November 7th, 2015   #81
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Agreed. The tech seems to trend towards bundling power modules, scaling up the power to achieve the desired effect in lieu of a monolithic approach.
its very much in line with the broader philosophy of distributed power, distributed energy management across a while pile of areas.

the risk mitigation is improved
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Old November 7th, 2015   #82
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One notes the momentum and expectations are growing and progress is being achieved in many fronts as previous investments are starting to pay off. Here's more detail on progress achieved in allowing airborne lasers to deal with turbulence.

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Originally Posted by CB90 View Post
Adaptive optics are useful for turbulence (wind), not for dealing with moisture in the air. Moisture is an attentuation problem (laser energy getting absorbed by water molecules in the air). There's not a whole lot you can do about it other than go somewhere it isn't or try to power through (which has its own problems).

404 Β· Lockheed Martin

Turbulence-taming Turret: Lockheed Martin Prototype Expands Laser Performance at Jet Speeds
Turbulence-taming Turret: Lockheed Martin Prototype Expands Laser Performance at Jet Speeds
Nearly 60 Flight Tests Completed

A prototype turret developed by Lockheed Martin for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory controls and compensates for air flow, paving the way for laser weapon systems on tactical aircraft. Here, a green low-power laser beam passes through the turret on a research aircraft. (Photo: Air Force Research Laboratory.)
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 15, 2015 – Because enemy aircraft and missiles can come from anywhere, a laser weapon system on a military aircraft will need to be able to fire in any direction. However, the laws of physics say that a laser only can engage targets in front of an aircraft that is travelling close to the speed of sound – unless atmospheric turbulence can be counteracted. That’s exactly what Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has done in developing a prototype laser turret for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), paving the way for laser weapon systems on tactical aircraft.

More..
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Old November 7th, 2015   #83
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a sight to see:

http://theaviationist.com/2015/11/07...n-tyndall-afb/

the most I've seen at once is 6 of them.... lucky photographer
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Old November 12th, 2015   #84
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Upgrades approved for Legacy USAF F15 C/D models

AESA and other upgrades approved for the first 46 legacy aircraft



Boeing to upgrade radar systems on 46 Air Force F-15C/D jet fighters and F-15E fighter-bombers



Good news IMO
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Old November 13th, 2015   #85
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Are they still operating over there?
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Old November 13th, 2015   #86
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Are they still operating over there?

Uogrades will be maxes stateside, not to OCONUS deployed systems
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Old November 13th, 2015   #87
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AESA and other upgrades approved for the first 46 legacy aircraft

Boeing to upgrade radar systems on 46 Air Force F-15C/D jet fighters and F-15E fighter-bombers

Good news IMO
The first 46? I thought this began a while ago - & I'm not including the single squadron in Alaska almost 15 years ago, as that was a one-off with a first generation AESA fighter radar, but there have been reports of orders for & deliveries of APG-63(v)3 & APG-82 radars to the USAF & USANG for F-15C & E for a few years.
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Old November 20th, 2015   #88
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USAF looking at additional F15/16 purchase

Interesting news I thought


LONDON — The U.S. Air Force may solicit bids for 72 new Boeing F-15s, Lockheed Martin F-16s or even Boeing F/A-18E/Fs as budget issues put planned production rates for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter out of reach, according to senior service and industry officials at the Defense IQ International Fighter Conference here.


Question is, what model? Maybe the F15SE the IAF has suggested purchasing 24 of?


Rest of article is here

US Air Force Considers New Boeing F-15s or Lockheed Martin F-16s | Defense content from Aviation Week
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Old November 20th, 2015   #89
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Not going to happen... likely just the musings of mid level DoD personnel.
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Old January 16th, 2016   #90
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The USAF is delaying the retirement of the A10 Warthog because of its capabilities being in demand for the air campaign against Daesh. Commanders have been asking for the aircraft. The Washington Post article states only for the duration of the air war against Daesh however the Air Force Times (behind pay wall) states that the retirement delay is indefinite.
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