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Darren Roberts

New IRST for the F-18E/F in the fleet already

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1 hour ago, GW8345 said:

And actually, the primary contributor to FOD during takeoff/landings are loose fastners, landing gear/wheels are very low on the list of FOD contributors.

 

I meant the loose fasteners etc kicked up by the wheels, not the actual wheel....  :coolio:

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6 minutes ago, habu2 said:

 

I meant the loose fasteners etc kicked up by the wheels, not the actual wheel....  :coolio:

On the deck there is rarely any loose fastners, a FOD walk down is conducted before flight operations are started and if there is FOD  suspected being on deck all flight operations for that area is suspended and a "Combat" FOD walkdown is conducted.

 

Runways at home are walked each month and are "swept" daily by the FOD truck.

 

Loose fastners lying around really isn't a problem and rarely cause FOD'ed engines, loose fastners falling off and getting sucked down the engine is a bigger problem.

 

The bigger concern for the IRST Pod is the grease that gets kicked up from the nose gear during a cat shot.

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1 hour ago, GW8345 said:

The bigger concern for the IRST Pod is the grease that gets kicked up from the nose gear during a cat shot.

 

Don't worry that fancy new electric catapult will eliminate that problem.

 

Oh wait.....

 

:bandhead2:

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Seems like a motorized cover could be adapted to protect the lens area during launch and recovery ... :dontknow:

 

-Gregg

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Posted (edited)
On 4/4/2020 at 7:45 PM, Darren Roberts said:

From what I've read, the IRST system is to help defeat "stealth" capabilities, if you will. In the article, is said the Russians had bought into this concept in the 80's, but the technology wasn't all that great. This is supposed to be leaps and bounds beyond what's being fielded now. Of course, all that can probably be taken with a grain of salt.

 

IIRC, the Soviets envisaged it as a backup to radar for intercepting US bombers in case their ECM renders the radar lock impossible.

 

The center fuel tank location seems like the cheapest option, but it does have some issues. Besides the potential damage from FOD as already mentioned, it also has a pretty big blindspot from the fuselage above it. I guess that's not an issue when a wider spaced formation is used, though.

Edited by ijozic

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If you have the IR sensor on the nose ahead of the cockpit, you have a pretty big blindspot from the fuselage below it, , so the only "perfect" place for it would be the tip of the nose...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jenshb said:

If you have the IR sensor on the nose ahead of the cockpit, you have a pretty big blindspot from the fuselage below it, , so the only "perfect" place for it would be the tip of the nose...

 

It's not really comparable as the sensor mounted at the front of the fuselage has the nose curving down ahead of it factored in with the fact that the IRST sensor covers only a limited angle (e.g. 30 degrees in elevation).

 

Additionally, the top nose location is normally more useful tactically as then you can scan the area above you (that is, if your IRST scanning elevation can be adjusted) which can be used for stealthy approaches to a target from a lower altitude (ground clutter).

Edited by ijozic

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The reason it was mounted on the fuel tank is because there is no internal room for it in the fuselage, unless you'd be willing to give up the gun...

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2 hours ago, mrvark said:

The reason it was mounted on the fuel tank is because there is no internal room for it in the fuselage, unless you'd be willing to give up the gun...

 

Well, they seem to think they don't need one on the F-35, so what the heck, mount it where the gun usually goes. Hey, I have a modeling idea......😈

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Considering they only gave the gun about 3 second's worth of ammo, would they really be giving up all that much to get rid of it altogether?

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Joe Hegedus said:

Considering they only gave the gun about 3 second's worth of ammo, would they really be giving up all that much to get rid of it altogether?

I'd be curious what the pilots think.  Keep the gun or have an internal IRST?  

 

Also, another downside - the SH isn't exactly long-legged to begin with.  How much fuel did they lose due to this modification?  

 

Edited by 11bee

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1 hour ago, 11bee said:

Also, another downside - the SH isn't exactly long-legged to begin with.  How much fuel did they lose due to this modification?  

 

I was under the impression that the fore/aft end caps on most external tanks were primarily aerodynamic fairings and were empty anyway, the fuel being stored in the center section.  If so the volume given up for the IRST would not be a factor.

 

I imaging the big mod was the running of the necessary databus wiring from the cockpit to the centerline pylon.

 

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Just now, habu2 said:

 

I was under the impression that the fore/aft end caps on most external tanks were primarily aerodynamic fairings and were empty anyway, the fuel being stored in the center section.  If so the volume given up for the IRST would not be a factor.

 

I imaging the big mod was the running of the necessary databus wiring from the cockpit to the centerline pylon.

 

I'm definitely not an expert.  Maybe the ends of the tank were just empty fairings, I always assumed the entire tank was available for fuel but have no idea....

 

As far as the wiring, aren't all the pylons wired for high bandwith data?  I forgot the spec but I thought there was a universal "plug and play" data bus on these jets, not sure if there would be sufficient power at the pylon for the IRST though. 

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Not a Super Hornet expert but, if only "dumb" stores like a centerline tank were cleared for that station, there would have been no need for the 1553 or 1667 MUX bus.  I know that is/was the case for F-16s.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, 11bee said:

I'd be curious what the pilots think.  Keep the gun or have an internal IRST?  

 

Also, another downside - the SH isn't exactly long-legged to begin with.  How much fuel did they lose due to this modification?  

 

 

480 gallons down to 330 gallons.

Don't forget, Block III Upgrade gets conformal fuel tanks.

 

-Gregg

Edited by GreyGhost

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45 minutes ago, habu2 said:

Not a Super Hornet expert but, if only "dumb" stores like a centerline tank were cleared for that station, there would have been no need for the 1553 or 1667 MUX bus.  I know that is/was the case for F-16s.

 

Habu, not to go all OT on this but doesn't the F-16 carry ECM pods on centerline?   Wouldn't they be integrated into the aircraft's data bus?  

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I'm old, with all that implies.  :crying:  I'll have to revisit that, been quite a few years since I worked on Viper avionics.

 

 

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