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Battlefield Support Fighters - SABA, Skorpion, ATLAS etc

JAZZ

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Back in the 1980's and early 90's there seemed know end of battlefield support fighter projects...PZL-230, IML AXM, Aeroprogress T-752 and 720, SiBnia Saba, BAe saba, Ares, ATLAS, Hamilton Aerospace HX-11 to name some.

However, of the proposals it is the British TW-02 Project virus which I have very little information on other than this accompanying illustration...any body shed some light on this project?
 

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JAZZ

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I have managed to source the impression of the TW-02

So if anyone has access to Jane's Defence Weekly - 22 December 1984 P1113-4 There is an article by Brian Walters...could some one read that an post a summary. Much obliged.

JAZZ
 

JAZZ

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Been looking into battlefield support aircraft and aircraft that may be useful for convoy escort in certain types of military operations. Some interesting differrent concepts - mainly what-ifs. Here is a photo list...it may be interesting see this list added to or more information on those shown being brought to light.
 

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Antonio

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JAZZ,

a very interesting complilation, several designs are unknown for me. But I can't understand the difference between support convoy duty and support aircraft. The S-66 was the rival design to Lockheed AH-56, so it role was similar to USAF Skyriders. This is full combat support duty and not only a dedicated chopper escort. May I suggest a change it to the other picture?

Information about Sikorsky Rotorcraft and Grumman FAAV is available at Scott Lowther's APR.
I can post more about Nord Tilt Fan if you're interested

What is the Marchette's and Fancopter manufacturers?
Have you got more info about VFW-Fokker H9?

The Nutcracker it is not a naval aircraft?. (US VTOL projects topic on this forum)
About the Freewing Scorpion :
http://www.freewing.com/ucav.html

Antonio
 

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Some images of the designs already referred

-'80s drawing of the BAe SABA

-Ground trials of the 25mm gun installed in the Ares.

-Scale model of the PZL 230 "Scorpion" presented in Le Bourget 95.
 

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JAZZ

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A bit of a mixture to be true, more looking at the differrent design concepts and their adaptability to US needs for conoy duty in Iraq. they are going with the OV-10 nBronco.

battlefield support aircraft - concept dated back to the 1990's focus on anti-helicopter and attackes on both soft and armoured vehciles. Convoy support is just aircraft that can be brought into defend convoys from ground based attack.

Fancopter was a gyrocopter development of Germany's Fantrainer, depicted in Miltary Technology Journel. I will try and look into Marchette and VFW-Fokker H9 - both german projects.

Nutcracker - was to be used on ships, but its configuration as a VSTOL can be adapted to use by land-based forces.
 

JAZZ

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Correction Marchetti LP design is in fact French.

VFW Fokker H9 was a design in response to a resquest German armed forces for an armed escort in 1968 - other desig n alos submitted was MBB-BBH.
 

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Jemiba

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This unidentified design seems to be remarkably similar to the BAe P.1233, as
shown by Tony Buttler in "Secret British Projects, Jet Bombers".
 

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Antonio

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Arriba il SABA, l'anti-elicottero by Gianni Cortese
Italian mag Volare (late 80's I don't know the precise year)

P.1238. A preliminary design in the SABA program
 

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Antonio

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Arriba il SABA, l'anti-elicottero by Gianni Cortese
Italian mag Volare (late 80's I don't know the precise year)

CAS study from US Institute for Defence Analisis ???(directly translated from Italian by my own)

Anybody can add more details for this design?
 

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JAZZ

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Pometablava, the CAS drawing has many features similar to this rendering - ATLAS. Not sure if they are related.
 

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Antonio

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Thanks a lot for the pic JAZZ and Paul for the identification ;)
 

Antonio

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JAZZ,

I found some Virus TW-02 "Twinwing" data on Revista de Aeronáutica y Astronáutica (Spanish Ejército del Aire Magazine) March 1985

Designed by a British-Swedish team in 1974

Span: 8 m
Lenght: 9.6 m
Height: 3.2
Engine: RR Viper 18 KN
Empty weight: 2266 Kg
Max TO weight: 3342 Kg
Take off run: 300 m (sea level, ISA, Max TO weight)
Combat Radius: 200 Km (Internal fuel and typical warload)

Cheers
Antonio
 

Mike Pryce

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Found the 1984 Jane's article on Virus

Data same as above, except span 8.2 m.

Reported that 100 (yes, 100) flying models of it tested, mostly R/C although some tests in RAE Farnborough wind tunnel.

The pic is the TW-02 version, a refinement on the earlier version. In 1984 3 versions were being planned, the E, F and G models. Latter two would have lower aspect ratio rear wings to improve performance as well as the Garrett TFE731 in place of the E's Viper. Lots of composites, with Kevlar around the cockpit.

200 km combat radius (1000km max range) on GA, AD and recce with 30mm cannon plus relevant stores. 610m runway needed.

Article says discussions being held with European and US manufacturers, with Middle East customer in prospect. 'Respected' UK/Swedish design team not named, but price tag of $1.88m given.

The article also discusses the ALR Piranha (see http://www.alr-aerospace.ch/Piranha.php ) and the Addax projects (see http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,235.0.html )
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Did it have anything interesting on either?

I'm just about to post some Piranha stuff...
 

Mike Pryce

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Piranha info was same as in other books I have seen - the web reference I included had the same GA as shown in the article.

I read a UK MoD appraisal at Kew of the Piranha from late 1970s (re AST.403). It was more of a small Viggen than small Gripen. Ferranti put in a bid for the Nav/Attack system, and RB.199 engine was listed as choice in 1984, but it seems it was intended to include the engine/avionics of 'your choice'.

Nothing on Addax that was not in the Air International article from 1983 or already on this forum.

Both, plus Virus, intended for build in third countries, to develop aerospace industries, presumably in Middle East.
 

boxkite

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Back in the 1980's and early 90's there seemed know end of battlefield support fighter projects...PZL-230, IML AXM, Aeroprogress T-752 and 720, SiBnia Saba, BAe saba, Ares, ATLAS, Hamilton Aerospace HX-11 to name some.

Jazz, I'm not familiar with Hamilton HX-11 (do only know the Hamilton designations A-II, H-1, HA-1, HX-1, HX-321, and HXT-2). Could you give more details or a source, where I can find a description?

Thanks.
 

Just call me Ray

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Ok, this might be a bit out of the blue, but I wonder if we can make a UAV now for this role, perhaps even an adapted Reaper?

I understand that there's already the USAF's "hunter-killer" project, but 1.) that always seemed more fitted to the battlefield interdiction or not as much to a CAS role and 2.) seems pretty inactive/stillborn in the end, like a lot of CAS projects *sigh*
 

yasotay

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Just call me Ray said:
Ok, this might be a bit out of the blue, but I wonder if we can make a UAV now for this role, perhaps even an adapted Reaper?

I understand that there's already the USAF's "hunter-killer" project, but 1.) that always seemed more fitted to the battlefield interdiction or not as much to a CAS role and 2.) seems pretty inactive/stillborn in the end, like a lot of CAS projects *sigh*

While the Reaper is doing great work, CAS and close in work will need a lot better resolution on the sensor(S) before they would give a UAV operator the situational awareness of an aircrew trying to put fires in at "danger close". Remember that right now the sensor operators don't see a lot of things that the mark 1 eyeball can. To be sure sensors can see things the eye cannot, but they are not as wide angle and they do not process as much information as the mark 1 attached to the gray computer. Someday we will probably get to a point when UAV operators will get great almost real-time data from the air vehicle and be able to react that close in but for the time being I would still prefer manned systems for close support.
 

Rickshaw

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Considering the accidents that do occur with "Mk.1" and the "grey computer" in the loop, even with IFF and other recognition systems, one wonders perhaps if it might not be better with a UAV than you think. ;)
 

Just call me Ray

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rickshaw said:
Considering the accidents that do occur with "Mk.1" and the "grey computer" in the loop, even with IFF and other recognition systems, one wonders perhaps if it might not be better with a UAV than you think. ;)

Yeah I know :p

I have some other thoughts and opinions but I'll save that for the UAV topic :)
 

yasotay

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War is a chaotic business and until you make it an inhuman endeavor it will remain so. There have been targets attacked by UAV that are not correct as well. Add into that that GPS jamming and the bandwidth challenge (even as it grows exponentially) will make unmanned aircraft CAS problematic. Jamming comms with a manned aircraft means the pilot will have to make decisions. Jamming signals for a UAS... mission over.
 

Rickshaw

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Couldn't agree more. My problem is the assumption that a human pilot makes no mistakes. Evidence suggests otherwise. What I find interesting is that it is invariably (but not always, I admit) the USAF which makes these sorts of mistakes and ends up hitting Allied troops. While I admit that recognition from an aircraft is not always possible but it seems the old tales I was told by survivors of the New Guinea campaign that the safest place to be when the US air force carries out a CAS mission was on the target. :D
 

yasotay

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rickshaw said:
Couldn't agree more. My problem is the assumption that a human pilot makes no mistakes. Evidence suggests otherwise. What I find interesting is that it is invariably (but not always, I admit) the USAF which makes these sorts of mistakes and ends up hitting Allied troops. While I admit that recognition from an aircraft is not always possible but it seems the old tales I was told by survivors of the New Guinea campaign that the safest place to be when the US air force carries out a CAS mission was on the target. :D
:D I too have heard that line. Of course the USAF will quickly tell you that it was then the ARMY Air Force. I doubt anyone who has actually been involved in combat would honestly say there is really much that will cause no chance of fratricide. Personally I think trying to do CAS from 20 to 30 thousand feet is ludicrous. This is what makes attack helicopters so valuable in ground operations, they are in the fight, not passing through the area.
 

Abraham Gubler

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yasotay said:
Jamming comms with a manned aircraft means the pilot will have to make decisions. Jamming signals for a UAS... mission over.

What kind of UAS are you thinking about? A drone flown by remote control? Or the systems that are actually being developed and used:

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2005/q1/nr_050214s.html

UCAVs are designed to be autonomous. That is use the same decision making processes a pilot would to decide whether to attack the target or not. Machines are not capable of creative thought. One can argue the same of a combat pilot. Or more politely point out that creative thinking is not actually required in a cockpit. Flying and fighting a plane is almost exclusively the domain of responsive thinking.
 

Rickshaw

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yasotay said:
:D I too have heard that line. Of course the USAF will quickly tell you that it was then the ARMY Air Force. I doubt anyone who has actually been involved in combat would honestly say there is really much that will cause no chance of fratricide. Personally I think trying to do CAS from 20 to 30 thousand feet is ludicrous. This is what makes attack helicopters so valuable in ground operations, they are in the fight, not passing through the area.

Choppers certainly have moved into the niche. I wonder if attempting a move back to fixed wing is wishful thinking? While there are some advantages to fixed wing, politics means its not going to happen. Armies would be better off thinking of ways to use what they have got and improving it, rather than trying to open the Caye West agreement for renegotiation.

As for the USAF trying to claim it was the USAAF - they both wore the same insignia. ;)
 

Abraham Gubler

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yasotay said:
Personally I think trying to do CAS from 20 to 30 thousand feet is ludicrous. This is what makes attack helicopters so valuable in ground operations, they are in the fight, not passing through the area.

This is a downgraded, public releasable view through the ATFLIR pod from 38 nmi away:

ATFLIR-Imagery-2.jpg


That's 231,000 feet away.

The shooter doesn't need to be close to the target to achieve CAS. Not in the 21st century.

Aircraft like the SABA and LARA were all designed for different requirements and battlefield environments than exist today. The LARA was designed to operate from the battalion headquarters because in 1960 that was the only way to ensure close communications between the air support and the ground pounders.

One of the key contemporary requirements for CAS is to not be based in theatre and to transit from a third country base into theatre and then loiter overhead 24-7. This is to reduce the in-theatre footprint to reduce the force protection load.
 

Rickshaw

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You may be able to see a building from that distance, Adam but you won't be able to distinguish friend from foe, either on foot or in an AFV with any degree of surety. As an old member of the PBI at one point, I'd like to know that the pilot who is supposed to be supporting me can tell me from the blokes he's supposed to be blowing up. ::)
 

Abraham Gubler

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rickshaw said:
You may be able to see a building from that distance, Adam but you won't be able to distinguish friend from foe, either on foot or in an AFV with any degree of surety. As an old member of the PBI at one point, I'd like to know that the pilot who is supposed to be supporting me can tell me from the blokes he's supposed to be blowing up. ::)

Please note that I wrote:

Abraham Gubler said:
This is a downgraded, public releasable view through the ATFLIR pod from 38 nmi away:
That's 231,000 feet away

I would expect that extrapolating the quality of this image would lead one to realise that through a FLIR from 20,000 feet viewing real image the quality would be much higher.

Also the role of the strike aircraft in CAS is as the shooter. The FAC and the TAC are also involved with the later being eyes on the ground with the PBI providing the target identification.

Plus is anyone trying to claim that the view from 20,000 feet through a FLIR/EO (day camera) is somehow worse than through the cockpit glass at 500 feet? The field of view and relative motion from 20,000 feet is considerably better than in amongst the weeds.

Personally as someone with a bit of offensive support experience who has ridden in multiple aircraft, including fast jets at low altitude, I would much prefer my CAS coming from someone orbiting at 20,000 feet with a FLIR pod, digital map, data link and LGB/JDAMs rather than someone roaring in on the deck, orientating map to ground while managing the engine, cued by voice radio shooting with unguided rockets and cluster bombs
 

Rickshaw

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There is an assumption on your part, Adam that your CAS being conducted from 20K feet is going to be occurring in a benign environment. Once you throw in AD and counter-air, suddenly your platform moves from being nice and steady to very jerky, gyro-stabilisation and all. Yes, I'd say I'd prefer a pilot viewing directly at 500 feet over a pilot at 20K feet, doing CAS through a FLIR/EO system. At 500 feet, he's much more likely to ID which side is what, than he is at 20K feet. Particularly if he's moving at < 200 knots (in a chopper) as against 600+ knots (in a jet aircraft). Fast moving aircraft are better suited to interdiction missions than CAS, anyway. Your FLIR/EO system will do fine at identifying bridges/buildings/POL/Supply dumps/etc. rather than figuring out whether that column of tanks belongs to your side or the bad guy's.
 

yasotay

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Abraham Gubler said:
Personally as someone with a bit of offensive support experience who has ridden in multiple aircraft, including fast jets at low altitude, I would much prefer my CAS coming from someone orbiting at 20,000 feet with a FLIR pod, digital map, data link and LGB/JDAMs rather than someone roaring in on the deck, orientating map to ground while managing the engine, cued by voice radio shooting with unguided rockets and cluster bombs

Personally as someone who has been on both the receiving end and provided for troops (no Sir you don't have to find a FAC or ETAC, tell me where you want the bullets), I can tell you that weapons from 20,000 feet are grand and do a marvelous job on identified targets. However a JDAMS or even a SDB etc., are not so marvelous when the enemy elects to fight you from 100 meters, from the windows of the hospital or mosque. They do this because they learned that if they let us use our technical superiority from 20,000 feet we will win every time. They dress like the locals and will be the first to invite CNN to look at the hole in the ground that used to be a school. Never mind that they held the kids captive and shot at us from the windows. They learned it over and over again from recent conflicts.

I am not espousing there is no place in close combat for precision weapons from on high. JDAMS is mighty fine if the enemy will let you maneuver such you can put one on the target. Also in many cases the fact that the enemy never hears what hits them is a plus too. If the bad guys elect to go back to massed formations and we can defeat the associated AD the fast mover will once again demonstrate superior capability.

As to the "someone roaring in on the deck, orientating map to ground while managing the engine, cued by voice radio shooting with unguided rockets and cluster bombs". As an Army Aviator I can tell you that the roaring around is exactly what the ground soldier wants to hear (I was one of those too). Why do you think the A-10 is unequivocally the favorite USAF aircraft with the grunts. The GAU is to moral as three to one. These days the engines manage themselves as do the maps. The attack helo's use FLIR and other targeting sensors and a Hellfire missile is not unguided and comes in many flavors now. When shooting rockets at 100knots they tend to fly straight and if you shoot them at targets within 1000 meters they tend not to disperse. The US Army and Navy are both working on small guided missiles to overcome the "uncertainty".

As an Army Aviator I lived with and learned with ground combat officers. I speak their language and more importantly understand it. I do not need a special trained crew to do the mission. I am not disparaging ETACs or FACs. It is really nice to have them around to talk to cause they DO know their business, but when SGT Jones is pinned down and about to be overrun without either of them, I do not wait for clearance and authentications, I put rounds where SGT Jones wants it. If need be I might even fly over his position when out of bullets to draw fire away from him. If the infantry wants effects within 50 meters of his unit that’s where I put it, using laser designation if I can, but I know how to do fixed gun too.

It is not cut and dry either way. Putting big rocks on the heads of the enemy stupid enough to engage from 500 meters will make the day of any infantryman, but if he is in a knife fight the CAS needs to be up close and personal.
 

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TsrJoe said:
BAe. P.1233-1 SABA. manufacturers display model (a 1/72 resin kit of the type is a forthcoming release from 'Spot-On designs')

cheers, joe

A test shot built of the above kit

Fun build and a neat little aircraft

Geoff
 

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