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Of Flitting around with Red Barrels

zen

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Been pondering the idea of a British Heavy Bomber Destroyer type, somewhat inspired by the semi-real Red Barrel concept and the Soviet Tu-148 type.

In essence the idea being to tote a 6ft diamter AI radar and large AAM combination.
By reducing the 'weapon system' down to a manageable number of engines and missiles, it would require a 'new' design but provide for long range CAP and potentially growth for other missions. One can envision a number of V-bomber systems being applied to this such as SLAR, EW, etc..

So the first logical stab would be in the mid to late 50's, and Options would seem to be a scaled up AI.18 set or some sort of lightweight AIR version of the new Type 85 Firelight main set that was in development for Green Flax (Thunderbird II SAM).

Thunderbird itself is.....a bit big and heavy, though something in the scale of Red Hebe or the US AIM-47 Falcon is the right sort of size and weight.

AI.23 is a bit later but could be included.

Engines would logically have several contenders.
DH's Gyron actually had a paper version involved in Saro's F155T proposal, this being the PS52 of 25,000lb dry and 35,000lb with reheat.
One can easily imagine a Olympus development being offered by Bristol
RR would offer a development of the Conway or a yet further scaled up RB.106 version.
AS might still try in this period with something, let's dub it the 'Anaconda' or 'Jade'.

Airframe options

Initially:-

Likely a conservative RAE view.

EE would likely propose a version of the P10E
Avro could offer a Vulcan variant, though its also possible something like the OR.339 design is possible
Vickers might carry on with it's trend for canard and modest delta wing designs (as per the supersonic recce bomber and F155T fighter).
AWA's trend is clear so like it's research and F155T bids a simple high wing and podded engines on a long thin fusilage.
Saro's P.187 is not far from this sort of thing anyway.
Hawkers might walk away from this.
Shorts ? Maybe another PD concept
Handley Page might propose another crescent wing design
 

CJGibson

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Interesting Zen,

The Red Barrel, ie heavy bomber destroyer, proposals I've seen are the VC10-based technical exercise by the RAF Technical College from around 1962, the RRE's 1958 Victor B.1/Green Flax and the mid-1970s Woodford Vulcan/Sea Dart/Phoenix. The last one appears to have been looked at seriously, at least by Woodford. You could say that Warton's P.17 and TSR.2 ADV variants were Red Barrels and the F-4/AD proposals were getting there, but I'd argue that the Tornado F.3 was the ultimate iteration of the concept: parked over the GIUK gap with a big missile load.

You're correct about F.155 types being almost that, but lacked the legs, which was pretty much the ongoing theme - smaller airframes with AEW and Tanker support, rather than a big airframe doing the lot.

It's all in Battle Flight.

Chris
 

Archibald

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Gloster P.376, the ultimate "Thin wing Javelin" iteration, was that kind of monster.
 

zen

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So firstly thank you Chris for your post, I've certainly bought and read the books.

However this is not advocacy for a Victor or Vulcan converted to the role. More like the Tu-128 and Tu-148 in concept.
Equally like certain giant fighter efforts in the US.
Though perhaps it does have merit as an 'Escort Fighter/Bomber' for the V-Bomber force, as well.

Assuming that the project continues.....
We can see a potential run off between a developed AI.18 and AI.23. Both of which ought to be able by the mid to late 60's to pick out targets at over 90nm with the 6ft dish.
However of the two we know that the AI.18 can gain a reasonable 'look-down and lock-on' capability in a reasonable time.
The real questions are thus....
Is it better to continue with developing the Red Hebe AAM or some new AAM likely based around the A5 seeker?
 

CJGibson

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Those Vickers AAMs lacked the legs to make use of a long-range radar. I think that's why modified SAMs were being looked at e.g. Sea Dart/SIG.16.

AAM development (AIM-47/AIM-54/AMRAAM) and radar capabilities had improved so much into the 70s, a long-range multi-missile platform was possible in a fighter which, with AAR and AEW force multipliers, made the flying battleship concept pretty much defunct.

Chris
 

zen

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So to take this forward.

Either there is development of a new large AAM, and such designs certainly were mooted (HSA's Family series coming to mind here), or there are two US options, AAM-N-10 Eagle and AIM-47 Falcon.
Of these the Falcon reached hardware and testing.
 

CJGibson

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By the late 70s there was no need for such things once AEW and AAR became the norm as force multipliers and flexibility enablers (how's that for a Monday morning). Only the Soviets fielded a 'Red Barrel' in the form of the Tu-128 Fiddler and its AA-5 Ash missiles. I'd go as far as saying that the Soviets/Russians took the Red Barrel concept and 'reversed' it with the likes of the Novator KS-172 and Kh-31 variant described as AWACS killers.

Chris
 

zen

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SO...
no I don't think Tornado is an ideal system.

no while I might be persuaded that the F14 gets there, it's heavily restricted.

So I'm tending to something larger, internal carriage of AAMs (which has benefits) and the flexibility to endure without drop tanks for 4 hours or more. Possibly I might tend towards a crew of 3. Because even with modern advances of the times, the sheer weight of tasks on even a crew of 2 is a heavy proposition.

No...not some variant of the TSR.2, this is not Alternative History, more properly it is Theoretical and Speculative.
Hence why it's here and not posted elsewhere.

Eventually I might manage to not just sketch some ideas, but get them scanned in and up here.
 

overscan

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Sounds like a Tu-148, like you said. 2m diameter radar antenna (precursor of MiG-31's Zaslon). internal weapons bay. It was mooted not just as an interceptor but a TFX-ski. Radar range was 200-250km.

Fakel OKB designed some missiles to go with it -

V-148 was a 650kg missile with a range of 250km designed for the Tupolev Tu-148 advanced interceptor. Maximum target speed was 4000km/h, warhead weight 60kg, length 5m, diameter 0.42m, span 1.02m

V-155 was a 480kg missile with a range of 120km designed for the Mikoyan MiG-31 interceptor. It was reduced in length (to 4.3m) but was otherwise practically the same design.

Both designs used liquid propellant engines- 1 cruise engine and 4 control engines- and semi-active radar homing. They competed with Molniya/Bisnovat's K-100 and Vympel/Toropov's K-33 designs, of which the K-33 was chosen for production. R-33 range was a mere 120km :)

I'm not sure what you are intending to use such a big fighter for. It would be the F-111 writ large; if the missiles don't work, its a dead duck.
 

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CJGibson

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I'd say Tornado F.3 with AMRAAM, AEW and tankers is exactly the system you want. Unfortunately it all came together about 20 years after it was needed. It could (feasibly) mix it with the heavier end of the fighter spectrum it might meet up north. It was flexible.

Chris
 

kitnut617

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What about a RAF F-15. I've read (either in an AeroMilitaria article, or one of Chris' or Tony' books) that the RAF looked at the F-15 but in a two seat variant. It was discarded because the second seat eat into the fuel tankage area but this was before the conformal tanks were developed. Which from what I've read, was happening about the same time.

A project I'm working on is an F-15B but using the Tornado F.3 radome and conformal tanks. The F.3 radome has the same height to where it would fit onto an F-15 but is wider width way. Nothing that couldn't be rectified with F-15's built in the UK (something that was considered by McDonnell'. at least in Europe somewhere).

For a missile system I been thinking about a Martel/Sea Eagle development (supersonic with turbojet power) as an very long range AAM (mainly because I think the AIM-54 would have been unobtainable)
 

Avimimus

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
I'm not sure what you are intending to use such a big fighter for. It would be the F-111 writ large; if the missiles don't work, its a dead duck.
Presumably intercepting bombers or transport aircraft in areas where more manoeuvrable fighters were unlikely to be encountered (e.g. Siberia, North Atlantic).

Btw. What about this 'K-25' air-to-air missile in the drawings? Any info on that?
 

overscan

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K-25 was an AIM-7E clone from examples recovered from Vietnam made by Vympel. It was eventually abandoned as no improvement on the R-23, though there was some technical input into R-27.
 

kaiserd

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CJGibson said:
I'd say Tornado F.3 with AMRAAM, AEW and tankers is exactly the system you want. Unfortunately it all came together about 20 years after it was needed. It could (feasibly) mix it with the heavier end of the fighter spectrum it might meet up north. It was flexible.

Chris
I’ve read your wonderful books on exactly this subject and I would agree that the Tornado ADV was the best compromise the UK could manage at the time.
It was less than brilliant for the Tornados ADV’s reputation that by the time it was entering service it potentially had to deal with escorting Flankers and Foxhounds and then the (otherwise very positive) wind-down of the Cold War.
In a changed world and in retrospect more “flexible” F-15s, or even F-16s or F-18s, suddenly looked all the more attractive but most of the factors leading to the ADV still in place and such a changes would have been the death of what later became the Eurofighter Typhoon.
 
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