AIM-174 Very Long Range AAM (SM-6)

Leaving a 13.5" warhead in the middle of a 21" tube would drive everyone insane.

It could be done as an interim measure while a new 21" warhead was developed, if you look at the AGM-88G AARGM-ER it still uses the original AARGM warhead but there's plenty of room to increase the warhead size.
 
It could be done as an interim measure while a new 21" warhead was developed, if you look at the AGM-88G AARGM-ER it still uses the original AARGM warhead but there's plenty of room to increase the warhead size.

Exactly. Wider rocket motor on existing warhead and guidance stack for more range. Nothing the SM-6 does desperately requires a bigger warhead or seeker. It may not sink your destroyer, but it likely won’t play the piano again.
 
Exactly. Wider rocket motor on existing warhead and guidance stack for more range. Nothing the SM-6 does desperately requires a bigger warhead or seeker. It may not sink your destroyer, but it likely won’t play the piano again.
For damaging ships, the difference between 60 kg-ish(WW2 ligh cruiser 6" shell)and 150-ish(WW2 heavy cruiser 8" shell, but with much, much higher explosive load) is massive.
SM-6 hits are nothing to scoff at, but a few unlucky hits can very well not stop ship even doing its primary function. With Ib, destruction radius and energy of splinters will basically ensure a sub-10k digital combatant will be mostly out of fight, and probably busy with its own survival.
 
What altitude does the Mk72 booster burn out at, though? I'm under the impression that it only burns for ~5-10 seconds, so while it might get the missile up to mach 1+ it's not out of the thick part of the atmosphere where all the drag is. While an air launch at subsonic speeds from 33,000ft/10km gets the missile above most of the atmosphere so it deals with far less drag.

Which would give a subsonic air launched SM6 better range because the missile doesn't have to burn any range to overcome drag.

Although even if we're talking a 500km range air launched, that's ~20% over what is being talked about for AIM260 (200nmi).
Yep, i was under wrong impression that both burn time and release altitude/speed were much higher. It's a huge booster after all.

Still, I don't think the difference will be massive - a patch of thick atmosphere(not the thickest) for crossing M=1 drag spike on your own(with a rather thick missile) is a trade.

And this in turn makes me feel that the whole concept is a bit forced and urgent. Compared to this, tomcats could patrol much further and for longer, and could do their own high supersonic dash into the intercept position.
AIM-174 is unique that it's indeed a "missileer" type weapon on a relatively low energy platform with drag and fuel limitations.

USN navair quite urgently needs its next-generation fighter, more so than the AF, but has to maintain capability until its appearance.

I.e. below 10'000 t standard.
 
I don't think adapting the larger SM-6 Block 1B* into an air-to-air missile would be worth the trouble. That's significantly more in-flight drag and weight which isn't a problem on a ship but is when being carried on an aircraft.

The idea that the Block 1B was originally (and perhaps exclusively) intended for ASuW doesn't seem to make much sense to me. What is the point of such redesign for what is a very secondary use of the Standard SAMs? Fielding something like the LRASM-B would provide a vastly more capable AShM.

*I had mistakenly written Block 1A earlier
 
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The idea that the Block 1B was originally (and perhaps exclusively) intended for ASuW doesn't seem to make much sense to me. What is the point of such redesign for what is a very secondary use of the Standard SAMs?

Light ballistic missile with warhead heavier than modern USN and Russian light ascms(NSM§Kh-35) and range probably approaching 1000 kms.

Conveniently, carrying it doesn't require a separate storage of unprotected explosives on the deck. Instead, it increases at the same time AA, ASUW and strike firepower.

All that available now, not xy years later.

Like it's such an obvious no-brainer.
SAPs(commons) were better in anti-surface role than AA FRAGs since WW2. And since WW2 it was decided that it isn't worth it.

Burkes dropped harpoons the moment sm-2ers(with IR seeker allowing ASUW use) became available. Because, well, why bother.
 




No need to recover with it full.

Not only no need, it's prohibited. Max. amount of fuel in the pod when landing is 500 or 800 lbs (not quite sure).
Btw. max, amount of fuel in the wing drop tanks when landing is 800 lbs, combined with the tank's empty weight of 381 lbs gives a max. store weight of 1181 lbs.
 
Burkes dropped harpoons the moment sm-2ers(with IR seeker allowing ASUW use) became available. Because, well, why bother.

Nope. First, the decision to drop Harpoon from the Burkes happened before 1992, while the decision to go ahead with SM2 Block IVA with an IR seeker was c. 1995/6. Second, the IR seeker was specifically for TBMD use. Third, SM-2 Block IVA was never available in significant numbers.

The Burkes lost Harpoon because there was no money for it, no pressing need, and essentially no deck area to put them on (there was a very unrealistic reconstitution plan to put it back if money and need appeared). The expectation was that Tomahawk TASM would be used (it was not withdrawn until several years after the Flight IIA decision was made). They also envisaged one of the embarked helos being configured for OTH antiship strikes using Penguin.


And of course any SM2 is potentially an antiship weapon within radar line of sight to the target. Ask the Iranians.
 
Not only no need, it's prohibited. Max. amount of fuel in the pod when landing is 500 or 800 lbs (not quite sure).
Btw. max, amount of fuel in the wing drop tanks when landing is 800 lbs, combined with the tank's empty weight of 381 lbs gives a max. store weight of 1181 lbs.

Makes sense. I have been scouring DVIDS and can't find any recovery pictures for Super Hornet with much of anything in terms of ordnance -- the odd Mk 83 or equivalent JDAM but that's it. I'd guess most live ordnance flights are operationally sensitive enough that any pics don't get published.
 
Light ballistic missile with warhead heavier than modern USN and Russian light ascms(NSM§Kh-35) and range probably approaching 1000 kms.

Conveniently, carrying it doesn't require a separate storage of unprotected explosives on the deck. Instead, it increases at the same time AA, ASUW and strike firepower.

All that available now, not xy years later.

Like it's such an obvious no-brainer.
SAPs(commons) were better in anti-surface role than AA FRAGs since WW2. And since WW2 it was decided that it isn't worth it.

Burkes dropped harpoons the moment sm-2ers(with IR seeker allowing ASUW use) became available. Because, well, why bother.
A missile with multiple uses is a great thing to have, but if the SM-6 Block 1B was intended exclusively or primarily for ASuW it would seem like a poor use of resources. Perhaps that was just an error made in that presentation. The size of ship that could be reliably destroyed or disabled by the warhead an SM-6 carries probably aren't going to be engaged at the extreme range the redesigned propulsion section allows for.
Secondary AShM capability of the Standard Missile series aside, I think going forward our frigates, destroyers, and cruisers (if we can ever figure that one out) should have some dedicated AShMs. These would be in VLS cells on the larger classes of course but on the smaller ships some box launchers with NSM are better than nothing.
 
Defewnse Updates has put out a video about why the AIM-174B would be a nightmare for the PLA:


On July 2, 2024, two AIM-174B missiles — the air-launched version of the SM-6 missile — carried by a F/A-18E Super Hornet from the VFA-192 “Golden Dragons” on the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier (CVN-70) were photographed as the aircraft taxied at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The prefix letter N indicated that these missiles were modified for special tests.The aircraft is taking part in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) drills.
RIMPAC is the largest international maritime exercise hosted by the United States and is keenly watched by its adversaries, including China and Russia.
US Navy has provided a confirmation regarding this to several news portals with a statement that read “The SM-6 Air Launched Configuration (ALC) was developed as part of the SM-6 family of missiles and is operationally deployed in the Navy today.”
This is a major development since this means that the missile is combat-ready.
In this video, Defense Updates analyzes why the SM-6-based AIM-174B armed Super Hornet on USS Carl Vinson is horrifying for China ?
Chapters:
00:11 INTRODUCTION
02:14 THREAT FROM PL-15 & PL-17
04:16 AIM-174B
06:36 ANALYSIS
 
I don't think adapting the larger SM-6 Block 1A into an air-to-air missile would be worth the trouble. That's significantly more in-flight drag and weight which isn't a problem on a ship but is when being carried on an aircraft.
SM-6 air launched version is about 1890 lbs, it is not that heavy, just about the same weight of JASSM which F-15/F-16/F-18 frequently carried, drag and weight isn't a massive issue when it has ultra long anti air range. This help the carrier fleet have much easier time defend against air threats, likely engage them before they have the chance to attack.
It also give these plane additional unique tool for anti ship mission, they previously have to rely on Harpoon which is extremely slow

The idea that the Block 1B was originally (and perhaps exclusively) intended for ASuW doesn't seem to make much sense to me. What is the point of such redesign for what is a very secondary use of the Standard SAMs? Fielding something like the LRASM-B would provide a vastly more capable AShM.
Block IB likely can be used for both anti air and anti ship mission, having a dual role missile is good since there is a limit on the number of total VLS cell and they can't be reloaded at sea. Having 100 SM-6 block IB that can serve as both SAM and AShm can give quantitative advantage over 50 SAM + 50 AShm.
For higher performing AShm, you already have HALO for that, no point for LRASM-B
 
A missile with multiple uses is a great thing to have, but if the SM-6 Block 1B was intended exclusively or primarily for ASuW it would seem like a poor use of resources. Perhaps that was just an error made in that presentation. The size of ship that could be reliably destroyed or disabled by the warhead an SM-6 carries probably aren't going to be engaged at the extreme range the redesigned propulsion section allows for.
Secondary AShM capability of the Standard Missile series aside, I think going forward our frigates, destroyers, and cruisers (if we can ever figure that one out) should have some dedicated AShMs. These would be in VLS cells on the larger classes of course but on the smaller ships some box launchers with NSM are better than nothing.
I don't think any destroyer or Cruiser operational nowadays is really designed to take hit from hypersonic missile. A hypersonic SM-6 block iB should be quite easily disable and destroy the fire control radar section or the VLS section of any ship and render them useless.
Another advantage of SM-6 is that since it is a solid rocket fuel missile, the design would be more simple and we can have it earlier compared to things like HALO
 
China owns the refinement process and the source on Neodymium, Gallium Nitride and oh, by the way, about half our debt.

If the Chinese want to cripple U.S. defense electronics performance, they need only take away the high temp GaN HEMTs. Along with about a dozen other components which are sole-source to China, where DOD does 90% of it's shopping.

Using missiles to shoot missiles is a dumb idea unless you are talking nukes or a very, very, high end defended asset, like a carrier.

Let's talk costs... Say, 20 million dollars for a DF-26, 10 million dollars for an SM-3, 7 million dollars for an SM-6, and a 12 billion dollar CVN.

If there are an average of 20 SM-3 per ship and six ships in the inner screen which can cover a carrier, at an SSPK of .5, the Chinese only have to suck it up and build 100 ASBM for every carrier group and they will defeat the 60+ SM-3 (dual round) engagements.

If there are another 40 SM-6 per AAW/BMD Hull and SSPK is 33% due to the defensive maneuvering and high energy thermal regimes inherent to an 80-and-below environment, they only have to build 90 more to defeat the plurality of BMD effectors. So, 90+100 X 20 million = 3.8 billion dollars.

For each carrier sunk. Why China thinks they need a Fujian when they have a rocket program, I do not know.

Fleet Problem IX (1929) says that carriers last less than a day or three raids, in the littorals, before they are sunk. When they reinstituted the FP exercises (as CPE elements of RIMPAC) in ~2011, the USN were still losing in 36hrs or less. The last exercise, held in 2018-19 (just before COVID) saw the U.S. forces finally pull a draw out of a Tawan/SCS fight. By keeping all CSGs east of Guam which was treated as a giant festung for BMD equipped assets to help defend as the B-2s and VPM subs went forwards.

The future of inshore defense of Taiwan is a dedicated Columbia Class conversion into SSGNs with 150+ warshots. Targeted by a bevy of very long range (1,500nm radius + 10hrs on station or more), high end stealth, ISR platforms.

ASBMs don't sink boomers. And if your typical F-35 is 110 million dollars (POGO says so and I trust them and CBO far more than LM and Navair), every Algernon you don't buy is the equivalent of 11 ARRW or HALO or similar (HGV/HCM) munitions with which to smash an invasion or enable one.

'Where are the carriers?' should equate to 'Where is the fresh-from-cow delivered milk?'. For which the only realistic answer is: 'Someplace in the prior century...'.
 
I wonder if hanging half a dozen under an MQ-25 would not be judicious. Let´s be honest, you could have them on station 24/7.

From what we have seen, there are potentially two (2) hard points on the MQ-25, each capable of carrying one LRASM. There is no capacity to hang six weapons of any sort, much less ones weighing about a ton each.
 
From what we have seen, there are potentially two (2) hard points on the MQ-25, each capable of carrying one LRASM. There is no capacity to hang six weapons of any sort, much less ones weighing about a ton each.
Plus with six such missiles, even if there were 6 hardpoints for them, the MQ-26 would be unlikely to fly for long. Probably not allowing a single carrier to maintain one on station 24/7.
With 76 MQ-25 planned, 10 carriers and some planes saved up, it seems plausible that 6 might be deployed to a carrier.
Also, given that the Navy's goal for the aircraft is to be able to deliver 16,000 lb (7250 kg) of fuel at a range of 500 nmi (580 mi; 930 km), and given its size - i would say that MQ-25 carries maybe 9-10 tons of fuel altogether. If it uses 2 tons of fuel to fly some 2000 km, then it might have fuel to fly some 10 000 km, when completely clean, over 20 or so hours. Give or take.
Carrying six missiles and additional pylons, it'd probably not be able to do even 4000 km. Not even 8 hours. Though with just two missiles I guess it might fly for some 7000 km, or for roughly 14 hours.
 
Well...it's not like the Super Horror could get any slower and not be an AFV. And when you are at Ps=0 at Mach 1 and 20,000ft, you are not going to beat a threat with a missile which has the exact same motor diameter, length and mass (AIM-260, 12ftX8"X510lbs) as your primary threats: PL-15, R-77-1, Meteor.

OTOH, a genuine 400km ranged weapon, if you can target it from overhead or something like a micro-RCS UCAV with a giant IRST, allows you to do this-

F/A-18E w/ AIM-174 vs. J-15 w/ PL-15
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9H3X3bEQRQ&


With missile tipping into A-Pole about the time the threat decides to launch. What this means is that, provided you can maintain steering efficiencies in the ultra high loft mode, there is nothing the fast-jet threat can do in the 90nm->60nm of your weapon midcourse that makes it more survivable than say a bomber. The ERAM kinematic overlaps everything, even a pump.

Which bring us to the bomber threat... JATM is a bay weapon. AIM-174B is not. At least not on a fighter. But the same over-commit on a fighter is twice as bad on a bomber until you acknowledge the much greater munitions lengths which are possible with an MPRL, on a stealth.

You cannot afford the 1,000 knot closure dynamic with a 400 knot B-21. Even if they only have a 90nm PL-15, you cannot get out of your own way in time to shoot and evade.

So you do this-

Skyborg UCAV+IRST Forward, AIM-174 Shooter, Well Back
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3VUK7h6x8A


And take your Mach 7 midcourse out into the ~150nm, based on a 40-60nm IRST detection and 60-90nm ELS track. That's your LREW engagement model with a 110nm outer A-pole and a shield wall of sacrificial UCAVs, screening you.

I'm not convinced that CCA is going to go the distance, even as a sacrificial asset, nor carry the shot counts/sensors needed to win as robotic escorts. But if your jet looks like an X-45A with a _stated_ 1,100nm + 2.3hr, unrefueled.

And you blow that up to X-45B/C levels. Maybe you get a 1,500nm radius platform which can launch from a Carrier or Andersen and pick up its escorted B-xx airframe, coming out of JBER or Darwin. As a means to stay completely away from the cans of ASCM/ASBM.

Until your ISR can find the TELs and kill them.

That said, what does 'B' mean? Is it a nomenclature reference to the SM-6 Blk.1B? Because, as stated, that's a Mach 4.5 to Mach 7 kinematic improvement and if you can see through the tip shock at those speeds, that also makes the missile a LOT more high-angle defense penetrative (MAKO equivalent) in this scenario-

AIM-174 As ASBM
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8CiCfShm-o


Keeping in mind, the Russians are now shooting down PAC-3 with Buk-M3 to clear the road for UMPK bombers, could we do the same with ASCM and an (AGM-76 equivalent) 'lethal decoy'?

At Mach 5-6 terminals (DCS models air a lot chunkier than reality I'm told) could you at least well and truly stress the HHQ-9/HHQ-16 with a timed TOT as the AGM-158C clear the radar horizon and/or the ALQ-249 S/Nr floor?

What bothers me a bit more is the notion that this thing is the assertioni that this thing is an ABM. In the HLTK advertisements, the F-15s are always shooting at very low level threats moving at likely <Mach 3 'from just offshore'. Which strongly suggests a missiles-in-box merchantmen threat of something roughly the size of SS-26 or MGM-140.

Ignoring the scramble lag problem, that's not going to be very practical for a lot of ships in the inshore AIS/VTS tracking system. WDC (as the only city likely to rate a standing CAP) is...90nm inland from the Atlantic? If you push another 100nm offshore for a gone-dark merchant cruiser in a divert mode, that's a long ways for the likes of a Fateh-110 to make a DT strike.

And if you go high level, then suddenly the combination of target speed and likely offset from the civilian airways around Dulles/Reagan means you have a defended footprint problem which a weapon like PAC-3 (as HLTK) cannot breach the backside of on a falling warhead intercept problem. It just doesn't have the energy.

SM-6 is better than PAC-3, in terms of total impulse in the 1B versus MSE version. But only from altitude and speed which means an 1,800lb, 15ft long, high-fast loft.

There also doesn't appear to be an ACM, which means your high endo option in the 80-90K range is going to be limited. This has always been something which bothered me about SM-6.

And while the exceedingly large black patch which is labeled 'Power And Telemetry' on the existing diagrams (vs. 'Autopilot And IMU' on the SM-2 Blk.III) could be 'something else' than a Proximity Fuse, the reality is that you aren't going to have a large number of FORCAP jets up to aid the existing VLS counts so...BMD is not likely? I say this because, looking at the clearances, it doesn't look like the F/A-18 can double bubble _and_ ERAM up. So you have a persistence problem, even if you prelaunch a bunch to do something like a SUWCAP assist for fleet trains or a landing force.

So...what about BPI/API as a fall back intercept on nukes over Korea or Iran?

When we did Raptor/Talon, back in the 90s, the Peregrine was basically a shrunk Sprint with an ASAS can on the back. Intended to be flung from heated-bay gondolas on the RQ-4, with a stripped out satcomms/sensor package (flown in a standard RQ-4, lower down) to keep weight down.

You get DSP launch alert, the TBM comes up and a secondary radar track is confirmed via AEGIS or a dedicated missile tracker ship, followed by a tertiary optical plume characterization off the GHawk as the missile clears the cloud layer. The Peregrine is fired, any direction, and 'loops up and over' to match bearing and speed. Until the two touch in the low Meso boundary. Prior to staging/fractionation.

Provided the weather isn't too bad, at 60-70K you have a fair amount of time as cross track standoff to make the intercept event happen without actually casting a shadow on the launch pad. But from low level, under the IAMDS horizon, vs. something like an Iskander or perhaps Tsirkon, can the RIM-174 run the threat down, from below? I really kinda doubt that...

Are we going to risk a B-21 as a BMD platform? Since they unscalloped the back end and readjusted CG for lift, the Raider is now a genuine 50-60 block airframe again (as the B-2 was supposed to be before low level capability was KPP'd in). But to me, it looks like you're right on the edge of reactivity without big-bore optics sensorization for autonomy. And using a kill effector which fails to drop tail-wags-dog motor pipe mass and does not have the forward steering needed to ride the tip shock and make the intercept happen under fading aerodynamic control.

The Raider AAM option
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwDXgwQ54A4&


The Raider Supplantation Of NGAD In The Deep Air Supremacy Mission
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWeUKByjCQw


The B-21 would be an interesting, persistent, BMD solution. But unless you KNOW the threat are using nukes, it would seem to be a really risky gambit for what is likely to be an intermittent availability, HDLD, asset in an LPT environment where a bunch of sounding rockets makes your 7-10 million dollar interceptor a wasted shot throwaway.
 
From what we have seen, there are potentially two (2) hard points on the MQ-25, each capable of carrying one LRASM. There is no capacity to hang six weapons of any sort, much less ones weighing about a ton each.
Isn´t the 25 derived from an attack UAS airframe?
I would like to think that the Navy would see here their next Missileer. With missiles that have that much range, and UAS that can loiter that long, that would seem like a near perfect match.

With 76 MQ-25 planned, 10 carriers and some planes saved up, it seems plausible that 6 might be deployed to a carrier.
I think the numbers would be vastly different given the absence of training and rest cycles in the operational availability of the airframe.
We might have seen quoted numbers that double your guess estimate.
 
A missile with multiple uses is a great thing to have, but if the SM-6 Block 1B was intended exclusively or primarily for ASuW it would seem like a poor use of resources. Perhaps that was just an error made in that presentation. The size of ship that could be reliably destroyed or disabled by the warhead an SM-6 carries probably aren't going to be engaged at the extreme range the redesigned propulsion section allows for.
Secondary AShM capability of the Standard Missile series aside, I think going forward our frigates, destroyers, and cruisers (if we can ever figure that one out) should have some dedicated AShMs. These would be in VLS cells on the larger classes of course but on the smaller ships some box launchers with NSM are better than nothing.
SM6Blk1B is on the order of 3500lbs.

You know what other missile was ~3500lbs? Talos. And there's no question about the levels of damage a Talos could do to a ship.

Block 1Bs are going to be hitting at a good 4x the impact speeds of a 16" HE shell, and have roughly the same weight bursting charge inside.



China owns the refinement process and the source on Neodymium, Gallium Nitride and oh, by the way, about half our debt.
The US also owns a hell of a lot of debt from previous Chinese governments. So much so that the US can basically agree to pay the Chinese calling our debt by forgiving the debt that China owes the US.

Now, the PRC doesn't want to accept that debt, but that's not how sovereign debt works. And China trying to disavow the previous-government debts will immediately see everyone calling all current PRC debts. And probably some scary things involving any treaties China is party to, as the words/promises of the government of China are now valueless.


Why China thinks they need a Fujian when they have a rocket program, I do not know.
Because carriers do things missiles cannot do.
 
With all the doubts related to NGAD... would it be feasible to build a twin F135 supersonic stealth fighter with an internal weapon bay large enough for 4*AIM-174s ? And the related radar to guide them ? Might end as a huge beast the size of weight of a MiG-31... or a Tu-128. Hopefully not as big as an YF-12 !
EDIT - drats, I realize it would be akin to a US J-20 ?
 
On Wednesday, July 10, 2024, Growling Sidewinder posted this Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) video depicting a hypothetical scenario of a legacy F/A-18C Hornet armed with four AIM-174s:

As illustrated below by King (1995), each of the F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornet's weapon stations was stressed for the following capacity (p. 2-12):
F-18 Air-to-Ground Weapon Stations.PNG
SOURCE: King, D. R. (1995). A Review of Fighter Aircraft Capability for Smart Bombs. Defense Technical Information Center. Retrieved from https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/tr/pdf/ADA300588.pdf

Sadly, the U.S. Navy has already retired its F/A-18C/D Hornet in February 2019. The U.S. Marine Corps is still flying the F/A-18C/D Hornet in its land-based aviation units.

Frustratingly, I could not find information on the weapon stations capacity for the larger F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Does anyone know how much each of the Super Hornet's weapon stations could carry?
 
SM-6 air launched version is about 1890 lbs, it is not that heavy, just about the same weight of JASSM which F-15/F-16/F-18 frequently carried, drag and weight isn't a massive issue when it has ultra long anti air range. This help the carrier fleet have much easier time defend against air threats, likely engage them before they have the chance to attack.
It also give these plane additional unique tool for anti ship mission, they previously have to rely on Harpoon which is extremely slow


Block IB likely can be used for both anti air and anti ship mission, having a dual role missile is good since there is a limit on the number of total VLS cell and they can't be reloaded at sea. Having 100 SM-6 block IB that can serve as both SAM and AShm can give quantitative advantage over 50 SAM + 50 AShm.
For higher performing AShm, you already have HALO for that, no point for LRASM-B
I made a mistake in that post and should have wrote SM-6 Block 1B. It is the 1B that has the larger 21" propulsion section, which in my opinion would be a poor choice to adapt into an air-to-air missile due to the increased weight and drag compared to the earlier SM-6 Block 1A that the current AIM-174B is derived from.

As for HALO is it not possible that it might be some further development of work done for ASALM and LRASM-B?
 
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On Wednesday, July 10, 2024, Growling Sidewinder posted this video depicting a hypothetical scenario of a legacy F/A-18C Hornet armed with four AIM-174s:

As illustrated below by King (1995), each of the F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornet's weapon stations was stressed for the following capacity (p. 2-12):
View attachment 734342
SOURCE: King, D. R. (1995). A Review of Fighter Aircraft Capability for Smart Bombs. Defense Technical Information Center. Retrieved from https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/tr/pdf/ADA300588.pdf

Sadly, the U.S. Navy has already retired its F/A-18C/D Hornet in February 2019. The U.S. Marine Corps is still flying the F/A-18C/D Hornet in its land-based aviation units.

Frustratingly, I could not find information on the weapon stations capacity for the larger F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Does anyone know how much each of the Super Hornet's weapon stations could carry?
Not to crap on Growling Sidewinder (or any other DCS influencer) but most of those aren't great representations. Missile "mods" for DCS are notoriously difficult to get a realistic representation out of. This is because while modders for aircraft are allowed the API for advanced flight models the missile equivalent is held by eagle dynamics and not available to users. Modders can alter various missile performance parameters but that usually throws off the guidance programming and can give wonky results. GS also tends to employ in BVR combat in some weird ways that are unlikely to be representative on how these would be used IRL IMO.
 
Not to crap on Growling Sidewinder (or any other DCS influencer) but most of those aren't great representations. Missile "mods" for DCS are notoriously difficult to get a realistic representation out of. This is because while modders for aircraft are allowed the API for advanced flight models the missile equivalent is held by eagle dynamics and not available to users. Modders can alter various missile performance parameters but that usually throws off the guidance programming and can give wonky results. GS also tends to employ in BVR combat in some weird ways that are unlikely to be representative on how these would be used IRL IMO.
It's a fun channel to watch but I'd have to assume that estimates and physics used in player-added aircraft mods are similarly flawed even though usually only the AI can control them. There was some scenario which included some hypothetical F/A-XXs covering a strike group and they looked like they were based off one of the Boeing concepts. But I noticed the AI on at least one F/A-XX decided to get into a dogfight with a bunch of old Chinese fighters and lose a few hundred million $ worth of aircraft to some ancient copy of the Fishbed.
 
Very deadly. Probably has greater reach and interconnectivity than the Russian R-37m or Chinese PL-17. Makes our aviators essentially flying anti aircraft complexes. With the right surveillance and datalinking it could shoot beyond the fighter's own sensor horizon.
 
I believe I posted this at the time on the Space Corps thread but find this tangential to the targeting at extreme range issue.
 
I believe I posted this at the time on the Space Corps thread but find this tangential to the targeting at extreme range issue.

There is another, similar program that is not as tangential
 
It is the Block 1B that has the larger 21" propulsion section, which in my opinion would be a poor choice to adapt into an air-to-air missile in my opinion due to the increased weight and drag compared to the earlier variant.

Where the air-launched SM-6 Block-IB would be useful is in shooting down specialised aircraft such as the Beriev A-50 AEWACS and its' accompanying Illushin Il-22M command aircraft. Another good use for this missile would be in its' secondary roles as an AShM or ASM, it would be very handy in the scenario for instance if the PRC decides to invade Taiwan.
 
Where the air-launched SM-6 Block-IB would be useful is in shooting down specialised aircraft such as the Beriev A-50 AEWACS and its' accompanying Illushin Il-22M command aircraft. Another good use for this missile would be in its' secondary roles as an AShM or ASM, it would be very handy in the scenario for instance if the PRC decides to invade Taiwan.
Air launched SM6-1B should be solidly hypersonic and have at least a 500km range in a ballistic flight profile. And I'm betting more like 750-1000km, since air-launched missiles that go to a surface mount with the same rocket motor (RIM7, etc) lose half to 2/3rds of their range.

So it'd make an easy off-the-shelf hypersonic that is small enough for tactical aircraft to carry a couple.

I'm not seeing a quick answer, does the SM6 have divert thrusters like Patriot? Because that'd make for a really evil AShM, using drunkwalk semi-random jinks all the way down to impact...
 
Where the air-launched SM-6 Block-IB would be useful is in shooting down specialised aircraft such as the Beriev A-50 AEWACS and its' accompanying Illushin Il-22M command aircraft. Another good use for this missile would be in its' secondary roles as an AShM or ASM, it would be very handy in the scenario for instance if the PRC decides to invade Taiwan.
another need for larger craft carrying larger systems & weapons where is UCRAV/CCA in this...oh it isnt.
 
When Ukraine gets its' F-16s it would be good if they got a dozen or so AIM-174Bs so they could then wipe out Russia's remaining A-50s and Il-22Ms which would seriously screw Russia's abilities to track and coordinate its' air and ground forces.
 
another need for larger craft carrying larger systems & weapons where is UCRAV/CCA in this...oh it isnt.
IF the CCAs had external pylons and the weight capacity for a couple of SM6s (or bays big enough), they could have a place here.

But carrying SM6s is currently a job for either 4gen fighters or B21s.

Right now, the "air-to-air" model for the CCAs has them carrying 2-4 AMRAAMs et sim. Maybe some "HalfRAAMs" as well, to put more weapons into each bay.
 

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