The only feasible way to try to counter stealth?

datafuser

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In the mid-90's, British researchers at DERA told RAND researchers that "The only feasible way to try to counter stealth, representatives told us, is to procure a very high speed, extremely agile long-range missile and to employ third-party targeting." (see page 29, The Gray Threat published by RAND in 1995)

It seems the British are really walking the talk, by developing the Meteor ramjet missile and trying out third-party targeting - the first test was done in March 2009.

The question is, what others are doing and will it work?
 

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flanker

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Well, that is kinda what Russians are doing with K-37M and MiG-31BM.
 

flanker

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Well, i guess it means that neither the seekerhead or plane's radar is doing the work?

MiG-31's can transfer information between themselfs in a line (4 of them can cover area of 1000 km), so i guess if one aircraft is actively looking with its radar, it can send information to some other MiG-31BM that can fire. I admit i am not expert on electronic, or how the K-37M "thinks", so it depends if that can be looked on as third party.
 

datafuser

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flanker said:
Well, i guess it means that neither the seekerhead or plane's radar is doing the work?

MiG-31's can transfer information between themselfs in a line (4 of them can cover area of 1000 km), so i guess if one aircraft is actively looking with its radar, it can send information to some other MiG-31BM that can fire. I admit i am not expert on electronic, or how the K-37M "thinks", so it depends if that can be looked on as third party.

In the March 2009 test, the hunter sent the target information to the shooter via MIDS. The shooter, whose radar was turned off, verified the target probably by using its IRST.

The hunter kept the target in its radar field of view, sending mid-course updates, again via MIDS, to the shooter, who in turn sent mid-course updates to the AMRAAM in flight.
 

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Russians are not using AMRAAM. So, please be more specific. And don't shout.
 

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You are forgetting the Mk I eyeball, which has ca. 500M years of evolutionary development and was used by the Serbs in the Kosovo war to narrow the window in which the F117s were operating.
 

quellish

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datafuser said:
In the mid-90's, British researchers at DERA told RAND researchers that "The only feasible way to try to counter stealth, representatives told us, is to procure a very high speed, extremely agile long-range missile and to employ third-party targeting." (see page 29, The Gray Threat published by RAND in 1995)

I do not think that is accurate. If you look through the US MCTL, S-5230.28, etc, you will see long lists of effective counter low observables technologies and tactics.

For example:
"
The CLO suite of subsystems includes wideband radars, infrared and electro-optical (IR/EO/laser) sensors, visual and acoustics components and systems used to detect low observable air, sea and land-based targets. The importance of accomplishing signal processing in very short time is a critical capability."

Both the Navy and Air Force have long running "third party targetting" programs (I can't recall the name of the Navy program, but can look it up later).
 

datafuser

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flanker said:
Russians are not using AMRAAM. So, please be more specific. And don't shout.


Of course, the Russians are not using AMRAAM. What matters is whether the shooter remains radar silent and who - hunter or shooter - provides mid-course updates to the missile.


BTW, I didn't change the font size. It was done automatically somehow.
 

Avimimus

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Resurrecting this post to discuss something I've been wondering about - namely another way to counter stealth.

What would happen if you used low frequency and intermittent radar returns to guide a missile to within about 25km of the target and then had the final acquisition - in addition to the terminal homing phase - by infra-red?

You'd need an advanced motor - capable of restarting for the terminal phase. You'd also need an advanced seeker - possibly with semi-active antenna as a back-up to the mid-course update and an off-boresight infra-red seeker which also had a search/acquisition mode.

All of this suggests a larger diameter weapon like the Izdelie 810...

Any thoughts? Do you think this could work?
 

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Frankly, if you can get a missile within a few miles of an LO aircraft, an internal x-band seeker (or whatever high frequency device is used) might do the job. At such low ranges low RCS only helps you so much when you are blasting the target with energy.
 

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Didn't one very long range K-37M test shot require mid-course updates to be provided by a Su-30 closer to the target?
quellish said:
(I can't recall the name of the Navy program, but can look it up later).
CEC?
 

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Trident said:
Didn't one very long range K-37M test shot require mid-course updates to be provided by a Su-30 closer to the target?


Original K-37, part of the trials for the MiG-31M program.
 

quellish

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Trident said:

I believe so, though it was part of a larger effort that was more sensitive. I was trying to recall which PE the container was. LINK PLUMERIA maybe.

Avimimus said:
What would happen if you used low frequency and intermittent radar returns to guide a missile to within about 25km of the target and then had the final acquisition - in addition to the terminal homing phase - by infra-red?

The Ballistic Intercept Missile was similar in concept. A low frequency or over the horizon radar detected bombers far away, a ballistic missile put a terminal homing AA bus into the "basket" and you can guess what happens next. Terminal seeker was not IR but radar.

Most successful CLO systems use networked sensors and a whole lot of software. So say you have two flights of F-15Cs 20 km apart. Those 4 radars, if effectively networked, would form a pretty effective bistatic radar system.
 

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AeroFranz said:
Frankly, if you can get a missile within a few miles of an LO aircraft, an internal x-band seeker (or whatever high frequency device is used) might do the job. At such low ranges low RCS only helps you so much when you are blasting the target with energy.

This might actually be one of the times when semi-active homing might be helpful. You'd be able to put more wattage through the aircraft's array then you'll ever get into the missile's.
 

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quellish said:
Most successful CLO systems use networked sensors and a whole lot of software. So say you have two flights of F-15Cs 20 km apart. Those 4 radars, if effectively networked, would form a pretty effective bistatic radar system.

Isn't that partly how the F-22's counter LO cruise missiles?
 

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_Del_ said:
AeroFranz said:
Frankly, if you can get a missile within a few miles of an LO aircraft, an internal x-band seeker (or whatever high frequency device is used) might do the job. At such low ranges low RCS only helps you so much when you are blasting the target with energy.

This might actually be one of the times when semi-active homing might be helpful. You'd be able to put more wattage through the aircraft's array then you'll ever get into the missile's.

Yes, but the illuminating aircraft is way farther from the LO target than the missile. The radar range equation varies with the fourth power of distance, so you have to pump WAY more power to get the same return.
 

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Thanks for the replies and thoughts. I get goosebumps thinking about the PAK-FA (four aircraft mean twenty radars linked)...
 

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AeroFranz said:
_Del_ said:
AeroFranz said:
Frankly, if you can get a missile within a few miles of an LO aircraft, an internal x-band seeker (or whatever high frequency device is used) might do the job. At such low ranges low RCS only helps you so much when you are blasting the target with energy.

This might actually be one of the times when semi-active homing might be helpful. You'd be able to put more wattage through the aircraft's array then you'll ever get into the missile's.

Yes, but the illuminating aircraft is way farther from the LO target than the missile. The radar range equation varies with the fourth power of distance, so you have to pump WAY more power to get the same return.

Even with the inverse square law, you're able to put "WAY" more power out of the aircraft. You can generate that power and not rely on the batteries in the missile which are going to limit your available power.
 

quellish

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Sundog said:
quellish said:
Most successful CLO systems use networked sensors and a whole lot of software. So say you have two flights of F-15Cs 20 km apart. Those 4 radars, if effectively networked, would form a pretty effective bistatic radar system.

Isn't that partly how the F-22's counter LO cruise missiles?

Partly. And they can (effectively) only use this capability with other F-22s. Which, given the F-22's role, isn't much of a problem for this mission. If they were escorting a strike package of non F-22s, it would be useful to be able to share the networked battlespace picture with those platforms - but that is not currently financially feasible. I am not sure if BACN is currently able to fill that gap.

IIRC, some of the newer western AEW&C aircraft have similar capabilities though they may not yet have the datalink bandwidth to fully utilize it.
 

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Avimimus said:
Thanks for the replies and thoughts. I get goosebumps thinking about the PAK-FA (four aircraft mean twenty radars linked)...

When it comes to hunting stealth, it would have nothing on a Super Hornet with the AIRST and some of those long range Sidewinders.
 

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As much as I think the Super Hornet upgrades are a good idea ...aren't you overlooking the Sukhoi's IRST systems and the infra-red version of the RVV-AE/R-77 when you say that?
 

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_Del_ said:
AeroFranz said:

Yes, but the illuminating aircraft is way farther from the LO target than the missile. The radar range equation varies with the fourth power of distance, so you have to pump WAY more power to get the same return.

Even with the inverse square law, you're able to put "WAY" more power out of the aircraft. You can generate that power and not rely on the batteries in the missile which are going to limit your available power.


Granted. For that matter you can also get an antenna with better gain on the aircraft. That being said, i just plugged a few numbers to see the orders of magnitude. Assuming you could lob a missile within two miles of the target, and that your fighter was 50 miles behind it, the missile requires 1/390,000 of the power to get the same return the aircraft does. Now, this assumes the aforementioned missile seeker and aircraft radar operate on the same wavelength and have same gain, which they most certainly don't, but I don't know that it would tip the balance the other way.
If someone has got some realistic numbers we can plug them and see.
 

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Curious, as your phrasing/my comprehension is fuzzy: are you here computing the wattage needed for the missile's radar to have the same return strength as the aircraft's array? Or did we compute the power needed to get the return to the missile's array the same from either source?
ie: aircraft to target to aircraft=missile to target to missile
or
aircraft to target to missile= missile to target to missile

The way you worded it sounds closer to the former. Either way the numbers are going to look substantially better at 30 or so miles out than they do at 50...

I'm equally curious on how much you can pump out of an AMRAAM, let's say, for any amount of time to compare with a modern fighter array.
 

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Void said:
Avimimus said:
Thanks for the replies and thoughts. I get goosebumps thinking about the PAK-FA (four aircraft mean twenty radars linked)...

When it comes to hunting stealth, it would have nothing on a Super Hornet with the AIRST and some of those long range Sidewinders.

Keep in mind that that IRST is the F-14D's IRST coupled to a new processor. We're already selling F-15s abroad with IRST, and reportedly, during a Raptor visit to the UK, Typhoons with Pirate were able to detect F-22s at surpisingly long ranges.

Interstingly enough, the main reason USN is moving forward rapidly with AIM-9X Block III is not so much to counter steatlh (it uses the same sensors, fuze and datalink from Block II but concentrates on increased performance and range), but rather because of concern about jamming, especially involving X-Band.
 

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Avimimus said:
Thanks for the replies and thoughts. I get goosebumps thinking about the PAK-FA (four aircraft mean twenty radars linked)...

While most reports indicate 5 AESA radars, the two in the wing are suspected to be for IFF only due to lack of vertical scan. Unless... they have some magic going on. We know nothing about its e-war suite at the moment.
 

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It is interesting that you say that - I'd assumed that the big L-band antennas were geared to picking up returns of stealthy aircraft that are optimised for other wavelengths. I wonder if this would still work at all without vertical movement or if it has a passive component that can do this at broader angles? In any case, IFF is useful BVR... so I can see why it would be done if that were the purpose.

We can probably discount the two side-ways facing AESA - as they most likely just extend the off-boresight capabilities (allowing the aircraft to turn away earlier and keep out of the ZNE without having to cease giving command updates to its missiles or lose situational awareness).
 

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So far, PAK-FA is all about sensor fusion. Having the OLS redundantly functioning alongside the fixed cameras is an interesting approach.
 

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_Del_ said:
Curious, as your phrasing/my comprehension is fuzzy: are you here computing the wattage needed for the missile's radar to have the same return strength as the aircraft's array? Or did we compute the power needed to get the return to the missile's array the same from either source?
ie: aircraft to target to aircraft=missile to target to missile
or
aircraft to target to missile= missile to target to missile

The way you worded it sounds closer to the former. Either way the numbers are going to look substantially better at 30 or so miles out than they do at 50...

I'm equally curious on how much you can pump out of an AMRAAM, let's say, for any amount of time to compare with a modern fighter array.


I was computing the former. I don't claim to be an EE, so maybe someone can double check my numbers.


I used this equation:


Range =( (Ps . G^2 . lambda^2 . RCS)/(Pe.(4.pi^3))^.25
found here: http://www.radartutorial.eu/01.basics/rb13.en.html (equation 12, symbols defined in the text)


if you assume that RCS, lambda, Gain, and Pe are the same for the missile and the aircraft (big simplifying assumptions, I know), then you find that Power varies with the fourth power of range (same thing with RCS).
If you calculate the two cases (missile and aircraft at respectively 2 and 50 miles) you get a ratio of Ps of ~390k.
I also agree that this is an extreme case and that at shorter ranges the bigger radar on the aircraft has the advantage because of the larger antenna and power available. In the case of a long range shot, something with an active seeker seems to make much sense, especially if the target deploys ECM.
 

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"How the Navy's New Block III Super Hornet Could Crush China's J-20 or Russia's Su-57"
by Dave Majumdar

May 25, 2018

Source:
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-the-navys-new-block-iii-super-hornet-could-crush-chinas-25964

As new adversary fifth-generation stealth fighters such as the Russian Sukhoi Su-57 PAK-FA and the Chengdu J-20 emerge from development, the United States Navy is working on developing and fielding new capabilities that will allow naval aviators to defeat the threat.

The key is Boeing’s new F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornet—and the advanced new technologies incorporated into the jet—combined with the upgraded capabilities of the Boeing/Lockheed Martin Infrared Search and Track (IRST) Block II pod. By upgrading older platforms with new datalinks, massively increased processing power and new sensors, Boeing and the Navy have found a way to negate the threat to carrier aviation from emerging low observable threat platforms. “IRST—infrared search and track long range counter-stealth targeting technology,” Dan Gillian, Boeing’s vice president of F/A-18 & EA-18 Programs for Strike, Surveillance and Mobility, told reporters on May 23. “This is filling a gap for the carrier air wing, bringing that sensor back to the carrier air wing in a networked kind of way.”

Boeing is well into the development of the new Block III Super Hornet, Gillian said. The production of the first six new build Block III jets is expected to start in fiscal year 2018 with production transitioning fully onto the new variant in 2019. The fleet should start receiving their first operational Block III aircraft in 2020 and the jet should deploy onboard a carrier by 2022, Gillian said.

Meanwhile, starting in 2022, Boeing will start to upgrade older Block II aircraft into the Block III configuration as part of the Navy’s Service Life Modification program. Eventually, the entire Navy Super Hornet fleet will be brought up to the Block III standard. Altogether, the Navy intends to modify more than 500 Block II Super Hornets into the Block III configuration and build 116 new Block III aircraft by 2024, however, the fleet could be operating a mix of Block II and III aircraft for quite some time into the 2020s given the program’s ambitious schedule. Together with the Lockheed Martin F-35C, the Block III Super Hornet will remain the backbone of the Navy’s frontline strike fighter fleet for decades to come.

The Block III Super Hornet aircraft incorporates a host of new capabilities ranging from an upgraded 9000-hour airframe, new range-extending conformal fuel tanks (~120 nautical mile boost in mission radius), radar cross-section improvements, enhanced satellite communications, to a new advanced cockpit display system. But the two most significant developments are the addition of the Distributed Targeting Processor-Networked (DTP-N) computer—which exponentially increases the Super Hornet’s processing power—and the high-speed, high-bandwidth, high-throughput anti-jam Internet Protocol-based Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) datalink.

When the power of the DTP-N and TTNT are combined with the IRST Block II sensor, the resulting capability allows for a pair of Block III Super Hornets to engage enemy stealth aircraft from well beyond visual range—far beyond the range of the jets’ Raytheon AN/APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

As Gillian explained, while the IRST Block II is not part of the Block III program, the advanced processing, datalinks and sensor-fused display onboard the new Super Hornet variant enable the new capabilities envisioned for the new sensor. As Bob Kornegay, Boeing’s capture team leader for domestic F/A-18E/F and EA-18G programs, explains, the critical Common Tactical Picture sensor-fused display will be enabled by the Block III aircraft’s powerful high speed anti-jam TTNT datalink and the sheer computing power of the DTP-N processor, which is needed to run the complex algorithms that make multi-aircraft data-fusion possible.

What makes the new IRST particularly capable is that it operates in the long wave infrared band, which allows the sensor to passively detect and track targets well beyond the range of the APG-79 radar. “It can see a hot airplane,” Kornegay said. “It has much longer range—it is a long wave long range IRST—so it can see much further than radar can.”

Boeing has taken into account the traditional limitations of infrared sensors, where performance can be severely degraded by inclement weather—particular clouds and atmospheric moisture—when testing the new sensor, Kornegay said. The new IRST is so advanced that it still consistently generates tracks at extended ranges even taking into account inclement weather and other factors. “We’re not assuming a clear day,” Kornegay said.

A single Block III Super Hornet equipped with a Block II IRST would be able to detect and track a low observable enemy aircraft such a J-20 or Su-57 at extended ranges. However, that lone Block III jet would not be able to generate a weapons quality track on that enemy stealth aircraft because an infrared sensor cannot independently generate range data.

“If you have a single IRST ship, with your IRST, you can get a line of bearing—it’s going to see a hot spot out there, what direction it’s in, but it doesn’t have the distance. You don’t have a weapons quality track,” Kornegay said. “Now if you combine two aircraft, the fusion algorithm, now you have lines of bearing from two different sources. Where those two sources cross, the algorithm is going to compute a weapons quality track on that aircraft. So that’s a huge advantage for the warfighter to see that long before you’re in the enemy’s radar range.”

Indeed, as Gillian noted, the IRST is explicitly a counter-stealth development designed to defeat enemy low observable aircraft. “If the enemy aircraft coming at you is low radar cross section—low radar signature—it is still emitting a heat signature,” Kornegay said. “So it helps us as the enemies are starting to develop their stealth aircraft. It helps us to defeat that by moving outside of that X-band range.”

The U.S. Navy demonstrated the capability of the networked IRST, DTP-N and TTNT during the service’s Fleet Exercise 2017 onboard a pair of specially modified Super Hornets. The feedback from the naval aviators who flew during the exercise was that the capability was “eye-watering”—they were developing weapons quality tracks on targets that they had never seen before, Kornegay said.

Capt. David ‘DW’ Kindley, the Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265) program manager, said that he could not talk about the specific types of platforms that the Navy practiced against during Fleet Exercise 2017. “Can’t talk about specific experiments and specific threats, but IRST is designed to be a long-range counter-stealth technology,” Kindley said.

Indeed, the Block I IRST was so effective during Fleet Exercise 2017 and other tests that the U.S. Air Force—which has traditionally been the Pentagon’s leading proponent of stealth technology—is planning on buying 130 of the pods for its Boeing F-15 Eagle fleet as a counter to emerging enemy stealth aircraft. Thus, ironically, the best counter to fifth-generation threats is a fourth-generation fighter equipped with new sensors and networking capability.
 

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SAAB has done a lot of work in networked fighters - since the Draken, I seem to recall. Interesting to see the US Navy pick up that thread.
 

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the USN has launched (jointly) the F-35 program that stands as the reference today for "networked" fighters...
 

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TomcatViP said:
the USN has launched (jointly) the F-35 program that stands as the reference today for "networked" fighters...

Many people forget that the Tomcat was the pioneer in networked fighters.... It was a networked fighter/interceptor a long, long time ago.
 

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The problem with datalinks in this instance is that the Obama administration sold off
the chunk of the L-band spectrum that TTNT was to have used.

So the Navy has been scrambling to relocate TTNT to a portion of the S-band where
a mobile emitter basically screams: "I'm a fighter aircraft."
 

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marauder2048 said:
The problem with datalinks in this instance is that the Obama administration sold off
the chunk of the L-band spectrum that TTNT was to have used.

So the Navy has been scrambling to relocate TTNT to a portion of the S-band where
a mobile emitter basically screams: "I'm a fighter aircraft."

Yeah. The bandwidth selloff even affected the B-2A's radar!!
 

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Airplane said:
marauder2048 said:
The problem with datalinks in this instance is that the Obama administration sold off
the chunk of the L-band spectrum that TTNT was to have used.

So the Navy has been scrambling to relocate TTNT to a portion of the S-band where
a mobile emitter basically screams: "I'm a fighter aircraft."

Yeah. The bandwidth selloff even affected the B-2A's radar!!

Not to mention that the B-2 was first affected by a similar blunder during the Clinton administration. Plus ça change...
 

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[quote author=marauder2048]The problem with datalinks in this instance is that the Obama administration sold off the chunk of the L-band spectrum that TTNT was to have used. So the Navy has been scrambling to relocate TTNT to a portion of the S-band where a mobile emitter basically screams: "I'm a fighter aircraft."[/quote]
[quote author=Airplane]Yeah. The bandwidth selloff even affected the B-2A's radar!![/quote]
[quote author=Grey Havoc]Not to mention that the B-2 was first affected by a similar blunder during the Clinton administration. Plus ça change...[/quote]

So wait, what, does other than military operators

using one or another band spectrum categorically render that band unusable or unavailable for military purposes? Wouldn't any force or unit have to contend with at least somewhat cluttered, "spoiled" or indeed actively challenged EM environment, necessitating deconfliction (at the minimum) and other (counter)measures anyway? To my knowledge there are also both indefinite and temporary examples of geographic EM restrictions instituted as necessary, as well as otherwise remote regions available and suitable. And how do US band allocations in any way affect operating in other nations' airspace, or international airspace for that matter?

I'm not even going to delve into whether different presidential administrations' decision making process between the FCC and military branches is appreciably different or how one would even make a truly commensurate effort at that comparison through the respective changes in available technologies, not to mention intraparty dynamics having proved to become more drastically varied in intent and quality than the policies themselves that come out of the interplay of congress and the executive branch (often "bipartisan" whether in the worst or best sense of that term).
 

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Airplane said:
TomcatViP said:
the USN has launched (jointly) the F-35 program that stands as the reference today for "networked" fighters...

Many people forget that the Tomcat was the pioneer in networked fighters.... It was a networked fighter/interceptor a long, long time ago.

As mentioned above by another contributor the Swedish Air Force would laugh at you and raise you you the Draken.
 

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kaiserd said:
Airplane said:
TomcatViP said:
the USN has launched (jointly) the F-35 program that stands as the reference today for "networked" fighters...

Many people forget that the Tomcat was the pioneer in networked fighters.... It was a networked fighter/interceptor a long, long time ago.

As mentioned above by another contributor the Swedish Air Force would laugh at you and raise you you the Draken.

Who would in turn be laughed at by the USAF and raise you the SAGE networked F-101,F-106, etc.
 

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