Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
18-12-2014, 06:44 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
(18-12-2014 04:44 PM)Machias Wrote:  
(18-12-2014 04:36 PM)Sam Wrote:  Back in the early '60s, many "experts" declared dogfighting to be obsolete due to radar guided and heat seeking missiles... By the time of Vietnam, the US Air Force's primary front line fighters such as the F4 Phantom were not equipped with guns, and were far from maneuverable... The result was that the USAF suffered a high loss rate to the Vietnamese pilots, equipped with agile MiGs.

Eventually the Phantoms were supplied with a gun pod. But it was never a very good dogfighter. It was an excellent interceptor though.

When the new generation of fighter aircraft were developed (the teen series), maneuverability was considered to be exceptionally important. Fighter aircraft can only carry a limited number of air to air missiles. And there are ways of evading them.

With two opposing flights of fighter aircraft meeting head on, they are going to merge in a very short amount of time... At short range, missiles are too dangerous to use, and so pilots resort to doing it the old fashioned way, with their wits, guns and flying skills.

There have been several air-to-air fighter engagements since Vietnam. Sporadic encounters with Libyan fighters, the Falklands war and the Gulf War for example.

Manned ground attack aircraft will probably be rendered obsolete by drone technology in the near future, but I can't see fighter aircraft being replaced any time soon.

Modern air-to-air missiles can be fired before the enemy is even in sight,

Quote:The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM (pronounced "am-ram"), is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-and-fit factors as the previous generation of semiactive guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget missile with active guidance.


Radar guided missiles can target beyond visual range, but it's less clear how effective they would prove against stealth technology. Which dramatically reduces the chances of acquiring and maintaining radar lock.

But even so, guided missiles do not guarantee a kill... They can be evaded, deceived and jammed. And a fighter can only carry a limited number of missiles.

Within a certain range, firing a missile can endanger the pilot's own aircraft, and so at close range they cannot be used.

Situations frequently occur where opposing aircraft merge very quickly. It's a standard tactic of aerial warfare... Close with the target in order to force him into a turning dogfight.

All Western modern fighter aircraft are designed to be as maneuverable as possible, and they all carry a machine gun or cannon. Because it would be very foolish to rely solely on technology.

[img]

via GIPHY

[/img]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
18-12-2014, 09:44 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
(18-12-2014 04:36 PM)Sam Wrote:  Back in the early '60s, many "experts" declared dogfighting to be obsolete due to radar guided and heat seeking missiles... By the time of Vietnam, the US Air Force's primary front line fighters such as the F4 Phantom were not equipped with guns, and were far from maneuverable... The result was that the USAF suffered a high loss rate to the Vietnamese pilots, equipped with agile MiGs.s and flying skills.

*Holds up hand*

This turn of events was caused by the imposed 'Rules of engagement' and not the flying philosophy of those involved.

If you wind the clock forwards the retired Tomcat could kill enemy planes long outside 'standard' missile ranges with it's radar and pheonix missile system.

However, again, the rules of engagement were imposed upon the pilots and planes which insisted that visual confirmation of said radar target be obtained. Since the MK 1 eyeball has a shorter visual acuity range than that of a radar... this shortened the envelope for firing again. To which, as a way of addressing the problem, a long range camera pod was installed under the nose.

So... we have many competing things happening.

1) What the customer insists on having in their plane.
2) What the designer and current technology/knowledge of physics will allow to have in the plane.
3) What the politician's/Law/policy makers insist the planes operators actually do regardless of the previous two things.

Also most modern missiles if they succeed in detonating within range of modern aircraft but do not out right destroy the target? Will still effectively 'mission' kill things such that the receiving plane is now doing all it can to survive against further hits and making it home over doing anything else.

(18-12-2014 04:36 PM)Sam Wrote:  Radar guided missiles can target beyond visual range, but it's less clear how effective they would prove against stealth technology. Which dramatically reduces the chances of acquiring and maintaining radar lock.

'Stealth' technology can be viewed as simply 'emission reduction within a certain spectrum'. It is not some sort of super invisibility. The principles have been known for quite a long time actually and the counter measures have been evolving as well.

Hence the loss of an F-117 in the Balkans area those years ago.

This, again, is kind of shifting from the opening post.

So... will aircraft continue to change as the previous three points advance/change/develop? Yes.

Will the Mk1 Processor and Mk1 Eyeball be replaced for those 'Go to' moments? Again, not any time soon.

So... for certain things a pilot strapped into hardware will still be insisted upon by the powers that be. The shape wrapped around the chair will change... What that shape does...? That's actually pretty unchanging most of the time. Take weapon system (A) to place (B) and deliver enough to FUBAR sh!t right up.

Much cheers to all.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-12-2014, 12:37 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
Addressing the problem of air to air combat the pilot is the weakest link. 10g is the limit of a pilot's ability to withstand gravitational force. More than that and he passes out. Pilotless aircraft can be designed to withstand 100 or 1000 g, probably a lot more. A plane capable of turning 100 g will easily defeat one limited to 10 g.

Top Gun notwithstanding the problem of engaging another aircraft in air to air combat is a very simple one in terms of artificial intelligence. Basically you figure out where the opposing aircraft is going and fire a missile or gun to intercept. At the simplest level you need to know how fast the opponent is going, which direction, is he accelerating/decelerating, is he turning? More information such as "is he changing his rate of turn" improves accuracy and is more of a programming problem than a hardware problem.

The pilot also places limits on the plane's design. He probably weighs up to 150 pounds and needs a life support system. Arnold Schwartzenegger would not make it as a fighter pilot. He's too tall and weighs too much. By eliminating the pilot and his support system a pilotless aircraft can be made much smaller and just as deadly.

As for drones, I think the trend is going to be to make them smaller and cheaper. If you launch 1000 bumblebee sized drones and 90% of them don't come back who cares as long as the mission is accomplished?

Sapere aude
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes f stop's post
19-12-2014, 01:44 PM
RE: Has Technology outpased the need for aerial combat
(19-12-2014 12:37 PM)f stop Wrote:  Addressing the problem of air to air combat the pilot is the weakest link. 10g is the limit of a pilot's ability to withstand gravitational force. More than that and he passes out. Pilotless aircraft can be designed to withstand 100 or 1000 g, probably a lot more. A plane capable of turning 100 g will easily defeat one limited to 10 g.

This is partially true.

The one thing the pilot has is the MK1 processor (Brain) that so far hasn't been equaled in adaptability etc. So.. for some things 5 lbs of tooth paste will be what people will stick with, even if the cost of training and maintaining said bundle of grey matter is 'relatively' expensive.

(19-12-2014 12:37 PM)f stop Wrote:  Top Gun notwithstanding the problem of engaging another aircraft in air to air combat is a very simple one in terms of artificial intelligence. Basically you figure out where the opposing aircraft is going and fire a missile or gun to intercept. At the simplest level you need to know how fast the opponent is going, which direction, is he accelerating/decelerating, is he turning? More information such as "is he changing his rate of turn" improves accuracy and is more of a programming problem than a hardware problem.

As I pointed out previously. A lot more determines air combat than targeting solutions. Hence the design philosophy changes of aircraft over the decades and subsequent adjustments to air frames during their service lives.

It is never just the pilots or Wing commanders making the decisions. Over all tactics can and are decided by people with no combat experience or investment what so ever a lot of the time.

(19-12-2014 12:37 PM)f stop Wrote:  The pilot also places limits on the plane's design. He probably weighs up to 150 pounds and needs a life support system. Arnold Schwartzenegger would not make it as a fighter pilot. He's too tall and weighs too much. By eliminating the pilot and his support system a pilotless aircraft can be made much smaller and just as deadly.

This is true. Though pilot position/posture can change this. Smaller fuselages, however, lead to other problems such as range, carrying capacity and structural ruggedness.

There are reasons the A-10 has to be the size it is. The gun is the main factor, but other things such as wing loading, engine choice etc also add up.

(19-12-2014 12:37 PM)f stop Wrote:  As for drones, I think the trend is going to be to make them smaller and cheaper. If you launch 1000 bumblebee sized drones and 90% of them don't come back who cares as long as the mission is accomplished?

But a 1000 bumblebee sized drones will do little more than tell you where the enemy is. To hurt a modern target that is not a squishy human will need a war-head of enough power to at least severely mission kill said target. This payload, the distance it has to travel and such will then effect the size of the drone.

1000 bumblebee or sparrow sized drones? Yeah, a modern warship might have problems stopping even a fraction. They'll do no practical damage to said warship other than scratch the paint.

1000 Sidewinder sized drones (Not counting the needed wingspan) rushing a target, even one the size of a warship? They will have a hard enough time not running into themselves in the swarm, let alone hitting the target.

Flock/Schooling flight dynamics are still a huge area of study. This is another level of programming over and above getting the drone to practically survive in a dog fight situation.

Again, drones will have their place but they do nothing to address the opening post of "Why aren't more forces fielding aircraft at all/at each other."

To which I think my statement still stands and makes the best answer.

Much cheers to all.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: