Thursday, July 16, 2015

Is the Pentagon betting all on the "Cuda" Missile to save the F-35 in air-air combat?

It should be obvious to all that the F-35 is dead meat in a dogfight.

Additionally it should be obvious that unless a major breakthrough is achieved in our missile technology, that even the mighty F-22 will be fighting at a disadvantage against numerically superior foes.

Element of Power blog arrives to give the fanboys hope...
Connor’s focus in the paper isn’t on getting into the nuances of the CUDA/SACM’s capabilities, but the higher performance of the CUDA concept indicated by the data is supported by his observations within the text as well:

The main characteristics of the new missile technology examined in our research include hit-to-kill technology in which the missile uses a kinetic warhead to attack the target, agility in that the missile’s guidance, propulsion, and control surfaces allow it to maneuver more flexibly towards a target, and a smaller size allowing each fighter to carry more missiles. These new weapons have the potential for dramatically changing the range of possible tactics and mission roles allowed. (p.1)

Tactics best suited to the new missile are ones that maintain BVR to take advantage of the increased engagement ranges and possibly combined tactics that allow the flexible maneuvering characteristics of the new missiles to engage enemy aircraft at angles that the enemy aircraft will be unable to counter. (p.102)
There’s a lot of other ‘food for thought’ on many air combat topics in the paper. Connor was meticulous in documenting what he could of the methodology that he used including the limitations, ground-rules and assumptions. There’s also some excellent sources listed for further reading in the list of references.
So there you have it.

The stealth zealots in the USAF are betting the farm not on the failed F-35....they're quietly betting it all on the F-35's payload.

A new wonder missile that will sweep the skies of enemy fighters while being 25% faster and longer ranged than the missile we currently have in service?

Payloads over platforms except that in this case the platform is breaking the bank. 

What I will be interested in finding out is how will this affect LEGACY aircraft?  If a F-35 can carry 12, then a Super Hornet will be able to carry twice as many!  What about the Typhoon and the Rafael?

Long story short?

Planes that are fast, high flying, carry big AESA array's are super maneuverable and have great range will still (in my opinion) have the advantage over the F-35.

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