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  • Unipidity
    replied
    Originally posted by Franco Lolan
    They represent a possible "advantage" if developed correctly. The DoD must efficaciously invest its funds on certain R&D programs relating to un-manned combat platforms. However, it must be careful that it indeed costs less to develop these programs than other programs. The program should not be developed with reducing human casualties as the primary purpose. Case Study: the ridiculous armed robots deployed for testing in Iraq. The program has been given almost $200 m and produced what? A supertoy?
    Thats what... 1/1000 of the cost of the war. Every casualty avoided is a PR disaster avoided (or was... individuals dont really make a difference anymore), and by doing that research we find out that little robots are not suitable at the very least. And they might end up being the primary weapon of the GI in 10 years time. Who knows. One of the great advantages of the F-22 is that despite enormous development costs, at least until 1994, they were pretty fundamental (id imagine). Had ATF been cancelled in 88, would JSF look even vaugely similar, or more like an uprated Harrier?

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  • Franco Lolan
    replied
    They represent a possible "advantage" if developed correctly. The DoD must efficaciously invest its funds on certain R&D programs relating to un-manned combat platforms. However, it must be careful that it indeed costs less to develop these programs than other programs. The program should not be developed with reducing human casualties as the primary purpose. Case Study: the ridiculous armed robots deployed for testing in Iraq. The program has been given almost $200 m and produced what? A supertoy?

    Leave a comment:


  • ajaybhutani
    replied
    in that case u can just log in and then shift the "go back one page" to reach that page and post. It works for me when i get auto-logged out.

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  • Unipidity
    started a topic UCAV Design...

    UCAV Design...

    Just a test. real thread will come soon. I just wrote a 500 word post that got lost in the system because I was auto logged out.

    Anyway; this post is just a fairly random collection of thoughts I have had about UCAV design. Im not an aeronautics engineer, nor a civil servant in charge of defence acquisition, so this is purely subjective analysis. Id appreciate comments.


    UCAVS will supposedly revolutionise air combat, and represent the largest fundamental advance since airborne radar. Most advantages thus put forward seem to stem from the ability to exceed human acceleration tolerances. Im not really convinced... so here goes


    UCAVs remove the pilot from the front line. This takes away the potential loss in terms of cost of training and political/personal cost. I have little doubt that the US military would pay millions just to avoid a single death, and the cost of training must also be factored it. The upshot of this is that airframe survivability becomes less of an issue- airframe replacement cost is almost the only cost of a combat loss.

    The advent of very good BVRMs make aerodynamic performance less of an issue as WVR combat becomes less relevant. Stealth and radar performance are about the only inputs that have significant effects against a 'perfect' missile.

    Loiter time is the primary measure of air superiority. The Raptor has a nice long range for strike missions, but its loiter time is mediocre.

    Top speed is irrelevant excepting where is impacts on missile effectiveness. Cruising speed is not relevant for a defensie-posture air dominance fighter.

    Cost spirals endanger the development of every new generation fighter aircraft. The trend set by the F-22 et al cannot be followed and numbers are always going to be able to match ability to some extent. Other national security concerns make spending $400b+ on an air combat fleet seem extravagant, and other fighter systems are going through hell in congress just to get built.

    Anyway; here then is a design template for a purely air-superiority fighter UCAV operating without AWACs support.

    A slow (subsonic), poor aerodynamicaly (+2g? 10,000f/min), supremely stealthy against fighter radar (raptor without any damn aerodynamic problems), large internal fuel capacity, many BVRM payload UCAV. In BVR engagements the equal of an F-22 on the offensive. Defensively cannot survive even a semi-hit. Could be downed by an SE5 in WVR engagements. The enormous downgrading of engines, survivability and aerodyanmics represent cost savings.

    This to me represents the biggest advantages of UCAVs. For a fraction of the price, a weapons system the equal of a Rapor on a platform with a fraction of the ability.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Unipidity; 06 Apr 05,, 16:21.
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