Monday, November 21, 2011

MQ-9 Reaper

The MQ-9 Reaper is a medium-to-high altitude, long endurance unmanned aircraft system. The Reaper's primary missions are close air support, air interdiction, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR.  It acts as a Joint Forces Air Component Commander-owned theater asset for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of the Joint Forces Commander.The MQ-9 is a system, not just an aircraft.  A fully operational system consists of several air vehicles (with sensors and weapons),  a ground control station, or GCS,  a Predator Primary Satellite Link, or PPSL, and spare equipment along with operations and maintenance crews for deployed locations.

The basic crew consists of a rated pilot to control the aircraft and command the mission and an enlisted aircrew member to operate sensors and weapons plus a mission coordinator, when required. To meet combatant commanders' requirements, the Reaper delivers tailored capabilities using mission kits that may contain various weapons and sensor payload combinations.

The MQ-9 baseline system carries the Multi-spectral Targeting System, or MTS-B, which has a robust suite of sensors for targeting.  The MTS-B integrates an infrared sensor, a color/ monochrome daylight TV camera, an image-intensified TV camera, a laser designator and a laser illuminator into a single package. The full motion video from each of the imaging sensors can be viewed as separate video streams or fused together.

The unit also incorporates a laser rangefinder/designator which provides the capability to precisely designate targets for laser-guided munitions; such as the GBU-12 Paveway II. The Reaper is also equipped with a synthetic aperture radar to enable GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions targeting. The MQ-9B can also employ four laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles which possess a highly accurate, low collateral damage, anti-armor and anti-personnel engagement capability.

Each MQ-9 aircraft system can be disassembled and loaded into a single container for deployment worldwide. The entire system can be transported in the C-130 Hercules or larger aircraft.  The MQ-9 aircraft operates from standard U.S. airfields with clear line-of-sight to the ground data terminal antenna which provides line-of-sight communications for takeoff and landing. The PPSL provides over-the-horizon communications for the aircraft and sensors. 

An alternate method of employment, Remote Split Operations, employs a GCS for takeoff and landing operations at the forward operating location, while the CONUS-based crew executes the mission via beyond-line-of-sight links. 

 General Characteristics
  • Crew: None onboard (controlled remotely by pilot and sensor operator)
  • Landing Type: runway
  • Launch Type: runway
  • Length: 36 ft (11 m)
  • Wingspan: 66 ft (20 m)
  • Height: 12.5 ft (3.6 m)
  • Empty weight: 4,900 lb (2,223 kg)
  • Fuel Capacity: 4,000 lb (1,800 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 10,500 lb (4,760 kg)
  • Power Plant: Honeywell TPE331-10 turboprop engine, 900 shp (671 kW), with Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC)
  • Maximum speed:  (482 km/h, 300 mph)
  • Cruise speed: (276–313 km/h, 172–195 mph)
  • Range: 1.000 nautical miles (1.852 km)
  • Endurance: 14–28 hours (14 hours fully loaded)
  • Payload: 3,800 lb (1,700 kg)
    • Internal: 800 lb (360 kg)
    • External: 3,000 lb (1,400 kg)
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15 km)
  • Operational altitude: 25,000 ft (7.5 km)
  • AN/APY-8 Lynx II radar
  • AN/DAS-1 MTS-B Multi-Spectral Targeting System
  • 7 hardpoints
    • Up to 1,500 lb (680 kg) on the two inboard weapons stations
    • Up to 750 lb (340 kg) on the two middle stations
    • Up to 150 lb (68 kg) on the outboard stations
    • Center station not used
  • Up to 14 AGM-114 Hellfire air to ground missiles can be carried or four Hellfire missiles and two 500 lb (230 kg) GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs. The 500 lb (230 kg) GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) can also be carried. Testing is underway to support the operation of the AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missile.


A long-range supersonic interceptor aircraft, the MiG-31 Foxhound, a two-seat aircraft developed principally for the Russian and Kazakhstan Air Forces, was derived from MiG-25 Foxbat. The maiden flight of the MiG-31 took place in September 1975. Mikoyan is the designer and manufacturer of the MiG-31.
MiG-31 can work efficiently in all weather conditions while fulfilling visual flight rules (VFR) and instrument flight rules (IFR), day and night. It is equipped with state-of-the-art digital avionics. MiG-31 was the first soviet fighter aircraft to have true look-down and shoot-down capability.
Approximately 500 MiG-31 aircraft had been produced to 2009, out of which 370 were delivered to the Russian Air Force and 30 are in service with Kazakhstan Air Force. The remaining aircraft were upgraded to different variants under several upgrade programmes. Only some of the Russian MiG fleet have been upgraded to MiG-31BM standards under the upgrade programme.
In 2007, Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) signed two contracts worth $1bn with Syria. One contract was for MiG-29M and another for MiG-31. The deliveries of MiG-29M are ongoing, but those of MiG-31 were not effective till 2009 when the UAC confirmed its plans to deliver the eight MiG-31 aircraft to Syria as part of the $1bn contract. The eight MiG-31 aircraft were ordered in a deal worth $400m signed in 2007. The order was cancelled in May 2009 due to pressure from Israel and lack of funds.The armament of mig 31 includes four long-range Vympel R-33E air-to-air missiles are installed in the MiG-31 aircraft. The R-33 can be launched in inertial navigation mode to shoot the target at extreme range. It can be guided in semi-active radar homing (SARH) mode for initial acquisition and mid course updates. It is used for attacking large and high-speed targets such as the SR-71 Blackbird, the B-1 Lancer bomber, and the B-52 Stratofortress.
The aircraft is also equipped with four short-range R-60MK missiles and two Bisnovat R-40TD1 medium-range missiles. A six-barrel 30mm internal cannon (Ghs-6-23M) is installed above the starboard main landing gear bay of the MiG-31 aircraft. The cannon contains 800 rounds of ammunitions and can fire at a rate of over 10,000 rounds a minute.
MiG-31BM can accommodate the AA-12 Adder missile and various Russian air-to-ground missiles (AGMs) such as the AS-17 Krypton anti-radiation missile (ARM).

 General characteristics
  • Crew: Two (pilot and weapons system officer)
  • Length: 22.69 m (74 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 13.46 m (44 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 6.15 m (20 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 61.6 m² (663 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 21,820 kg (48,100 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 41,000 kg (90,400 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 46,200 kg (101,900 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Soloviev D-30F6 afterburning turbofans
    • Dry thrust: 93 kN (20,900 lbf) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 152 kN (34,172 lbf) each
  • Maximum speed:
    • High altitude: Mach 2.83 (3,000 km/h, 1,860 mph)
    • Low altitude: Mach 1.2 (1,500 km/h, 930 mph)
  • Combat radius: 720 km (450 mi) at Mach 2.35
  • Ferry range: 3,300 km (2,050 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 20,600 m (67,600 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 208 m/s (41,000 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 665 kg/m² (136 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.85
  • Maximum g-load: 5 g

Sunday, November 20, 2011


The SEPECAT Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet ground attack aircraft, originally used by the British Royal Air Force and the French Armée de l'Air in the close air support and nuclear strike role, and still in service with several export customers, notably the Indian Air Force and the Royal Air Force of Oman.
Originally conceived in the 1960s as jet trainer with a light ground attack capability, the requirement for the aircraft soon changed to include supersonic performance, reconnaissance and tactical nuclear strike roles. A carrier-based variant was also planned for French service, but this was cancelled in favour of the cheaper Dassault Super Étendard. The airframes were manufactured by SEPECAT, a joint venture between Breguet and the British Aircraft Corporation, one of the first major joint-Anglo-French military aircraft programs.
The Jaguar was successfully exported to India, Oman, Ecuador and Nigeria. With various airforces, the Jaguar was used in numerous conflicts and military operations in Mauritania, Chad, Iraq, Bosnia, and Pakistan, as well as providing a ready nuclear delivery platform for Britain, France, and India throughout the latter half of the Cold War and beyond. In the Gulf War, the Jaguar was praised for its reliability and was a valuable coalition resource. The aircraft served with the Armée de l'Air as the main strike/attack aircraft until 1 July 2005, and with the Royal Air Force until the end of April 2007. It was replaced by the Panavia Tornado and the Eurofighter Typhoon in the RAF and the Dassault Rafale in the Armée de l'Air. India plans in the long term to replace its Jaguar fleet with the developing Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).

General characteristics
  • Crew: One
  • Length: 16.83 m (55 ft 2½ in)
  • Wingspan: 8.69 m (28 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 4.89 m (16 ft 0½ in)
  • Wing area: 24.2 m² (220 ft²)
  • Aspect ratio: 3.12:1
  • Empty weight: 7,000 kg (15,432 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 10,954 kg (24,149 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 15,700 kg (34,612 lb)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 (1,699 km/h, 917 knots, 1,056 mph) at 11,000 m (36,000 ft)

  • Guns: 2× 30 mm (1.18 in) DEFA cannons, 150 rounds/gun
  • Hardpoints: 5 total: 4× under-wing and 1× center-line pylon stations with a capacity of 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
    • Rockets: 8× Matra rocket pods with 18× SNEB 68 mm rockets each
    • Missiles:
      • AS.37 Martel anti-radar missiles or
      • AS-30L laser guided air-to-ground missile.
      • 2× R550 Magic air-to-air missiles on underwing pylons
    • Bombs:
      • various unguided or laser-guided bombs or
      • 1× AN-52 nuclear bomb
    • Other: ECM protection pods, Reconnaissance Pod, ATLIS laser/electro-optical targeting pod, external drop tanks for extended range/loitering time

Beriev A-50

The A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) was developed and manufactured by the Beriev Aircraft Research and Engineering Complex Joint Stock Company based at Taganrog in the Rostov Region of Russia. The A-50 aircraft was developed from the llyushin Il-76MD military transport aircraft manufactured by the Ilyushin Aviation Complex Joint Stock Company based in Moscow.
The aircraft is known in the West by the Nato codename Mainstay. Beriev aircraft normally carry the Russian designation Be- followed by the number, however, the A-50 aircraft retained the well-known A-designation which Beriev allocated to the original prototype.
The A-50 entered service with the Russian Air Force in 1984. Currently, 16 aircraft are operational in the Russian Air Force. The service life of the Russian AF A-50s has been upgraded to 2020. The overhauled A-50M Mainstay aircraft began official testing on 10 September 2008.
The modernised A-50 aircraft can now take more fuel on board with the same take-off weight, while increasing the range and mission time performance. A satellite navigation system integrated into flight and navigation complex offers a dramatic increase in the navigational accuracy.
The A-50 entered service with the Russian Air Force in 1984, and is thought to have 16 aircraft still in service. The latest version, the A-50U was shown in 1995. Russian AF A-50s are being upgraded to extend their service life to 2020. The upgraded aircraft entered service in 2008.
The A-50 aircraft detects and identifies airborne objects, determines their coordinates and flight path data and transfers the information to command posts. The A-50 also acts as a control centre, guiding fighter-interceptors and tactical air force aircraft to combat areas in order to attack ground targets at low altitudes. The role of the A-50 is comparable to that of the US's E-3 AEW system developed by Boeing.
India selected three A-50EI / Il-76 variants equipped with Phalcon AEW radar systems in 2001. Elta of Israel provided the AEW radar systems. A contract for the sale was signed in March 2004. The AEW aircraft which was expected to be delivered to the Indian Air Force in 2007-2008 was delayed and finally the first AEW aircraft was delivered on 28 May 2009. The second AEW aircraft is expected to be delivered by early 2010 and the third aircraft in 2011. Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) purchases the aircraft from Ilyushin and TAPC.
China also ordered four A-50/A-50M/U aircraft from Russia.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 15
  • Length: 49.59m (152 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 50.50 m (165 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 14.76 m (48 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 300 m² (3,228 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 75,000 kg (165,347 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 170,000 kg (374,786 lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Aviadvigatel PS-90A turbofan, 157 kN (35,200 lbf) each
  • Maximum speed: 900 km/h (559 mph)
  • Range: 6,400 km (3,977 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,371 ft)

Boeing YC-14

The YC-14 military transport was built to carry troops and equipment into battle zones with short, temporary airfields. Cargo and wheeled vehicles could be loaded into the wide fuselage via a built-in tail ramp. The high-wing, two-engine YC-14 demonstrated excellent capabilities for short takeoffs and landings, while still capable of cruising with modern jet efficiency.

The Boeing YC-14 and McDonnell Douglas YC-15 were designed for the Advanced Medium STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) Transport (AMST) program to meet the need for a large STOL cargo aircraft to replace the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The YC-14 first flew in 1976 and a competitive fly-off against the YC-15 was completed in 1977.
Although the YC-14 never went into production, its two prototypes, built in 1976, introduced significant technological breakthroughs.
The upper-surface-blowing design for high aerodynamic lift used two jet engines that blew high-velocity airstreams over the inboard portion of the wing and over special trailing-edge flaps. The large multisection flaps extended rearward and downward from the wing's trailing edge to increase the wing area, thus creating extra lift, which was further augmented by positioning the engines so their jet blast across the upper wing surfaces created still more lift.
In addition, the placement of the engines above the wing prevented the engines from ingesting dirt and debris and shielded some of the engine noise from the ground so that the transport could make a quieter approach.
Another new feature was an advanced flight display using cathode ray tubes Boeing developed for the Supersonic Transport (in work at the time). The CRT flight display format was adapted for use on the YC-14 and later tested on the NASA 737 transport systems research vehicle to help gain acceptance for the "glass cockpit" concept, used on the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
The first flight of the YC-14 demonstrated superior STOL performance and low-speed maneuverability. Even with its 27,000-pound STOL payload, the YC-14's takeoff run was 1,000 feet, and it could land in a slightly longer distance. From a long runway, it could take off with 120,000 pounds.

 General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Capacity: 81,000 lb or 150 troops (STOL: 27,000 lb)
  • Length: 131 ft 8 in (40.1 m)
  • Wingspan: 129 feet (39.32 m)
  • Height: 48 ft 4 in (14.7 m)
  • Max takeoff weight: 251,000 lb (STOL: 170,000 lb) (113,850 kg (STOL: 77,100 kg))
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric CF6-50D turbofans, 51,000 lbf (227 kN) each
  • Maximum speed: 504 mph (811 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 449 mph (723 km/h)
  • Range: 3,190 mi (5,134 km)
  • Service ceiling: 45,000 feet (13,716 m)
  • Rate of climb: 6,350 ft/min (1,935 m/mi

Saturday, November 5, 2011

U-2 "dragon lady"

Development of the U-2 began in the spring of 1954 to meet a joint CIA/USAF requirement for a high-altitude strategic reconnaissance and special-purpose research aircraft. It took place in the Lockheed 'Skunk Works' at Burbank, California, where - after acceptance of the design in late 1954 - two prototypes were hand-built in great secrecy by a small team of engineers. The aircraft's true purpose was cloaked under the USAF U-for-Utility designation U-2, and the first flight took place on or about 1 August 1955.
At about the same time US President Dwight D. Eisenhower was proposing his 'Open Skies' policy, one of mutual East/West aerial reconnaissance of territories. President Eisenhower hoped that his policy would reduce tension between East and West, thus preventing the growth of the nuclear arms race. Unfortunately the Soviet Union would have nothing to do with this proposal. Consequently 'Kelly' Johnson's new 'spy plane' assumed greater importance. The prototypes were followed by production of about 48 single-seat U-2A and U-2B with differing power plant, and five two-seat U-2D. Some U-2B were converted later to U-2D standard. An additional batch of 12 U-2R was ordered in 1967. A new version, known as the TR-1, is currently in production as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft, equipped with a variety of electronic sensors.
The requirement for high altitude and long range posed enormous problems: the former needed an aircraft with low wing loading, the latter large quantities of heavy fuel to confer the necessary range. Therefore the U-2 is of very lightweight construction, dispensing with conventional landing gear and pressurisation to save extra weight, and having wings of large area. Landing gear is of bicycle type with single wheels fore and aft, and balanced on the ground by wing-tip 'pogos' - a strut and wheel device which drops away when the U-2 becomes airborne - was selected. The pilot is accommodated on a light-weight seat, dressed in a semi-pressure suit with his head enclosed in an astronaut-type helmet, and forced to breathe pure oxygen for his survival. A medium-powered turbojet is adequate to lift this lightweight aircraft, and long range is possible by shutting it down and gliding for long periods.
In addition to photo and electronic reconnaissance, U-2 were used for weather reconnaissance, high-altitude research, measurement of radiation levels, and for the tracking and recovery of space capsules. They were used for reconnaissance during the Cuban crisis, in Vietnam and during the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mirage 2000

The Mirage 2000 is very similar to the Mirage III/5 and 50, though it is not a variant of the Mirage III/5 or 50 but an entirely new aircraft with advanced interceptor controls. In its secondary ground-attack role, the Mirage 2000 carries laser guided missiles rockets and bombs. There is a two-seat version of this aircraft, the 2000N (Penetration) which has nuclear standoff capability.
The wings are low-mounted delta with clipped tips. There is one turbofan engine mounted in the fuselage. There are semicircular air intakes alongside the fuselage forward of the wings. There is a large, single exhaust which protrudes past the tail. The fuselage is tube-shaped with a pointed nose and a bubble canopy. There are no tail flats. The fin is swept-back and tapered with a clipped tip.
The Mirage 2000-5 is a multi-role single-seater or two seater fighter. It differs from its predecessors mainly in its avionics; its new multiple target air-to-ground and air-to-air firing procedures linked to the use of RDY radar and its new visualization and control system. As a multi-role combat aircraft with versatile air-to-air mission capabilities, the Mirage 2000-5 integrates the state-of-the-art of the know-how based on the experience gained from the previous Mirage 2000 versions (Mirage 2000 DA, Mirage 2000 E, Mirage 2000 D) and is designed for the most-advanced armaments. The Mirage 2000 D, derived from the Mirage 2000N operated by the French Air Force, is a two-seater air-to-ground attack aircraft. The Mirage 2000D tactical penetration two-seater fighter carries air-to-ground high precision weapons which can be fired at a safe distance, by day or by night. Its navigation and attack system enable it to fly in any weather conditions, hugging the terrain at a very low altitude. Beyond the nuclear-weapons capabilities adopted for the Mirage 2000 N, the Mirage 2000 D armament includes laser-guided weapons, low-drag bombs, and the aircraft can also carry the APACHE cruise missile. The Mirage 2000 D geometrical characteristics and the main performance data are the same as those of the Mirage 2000-5.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

CH-53 Super Stallion

The Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter first flew in 1974 and entered service with the US Marine Corps (USMC) in 1981. A total of 172 Super Stallions have been delivered and 165 are in service with marine corps squadrons in the Pacific Fleet and in the Atlantic Fleet. The helicopter is also in service with the marine corps reserve, training and experimental squadrons. The final Super Stallion for the USMC was delivered in November 2003.
The marine corps uses the Super Stallion in the amphibious assault role and for transporting heavy equipment. The US Navy also use the Super Stallion for vertical delivery and recovery of damaged aircraft on aircraft carriers.
In 2000, the USMC announced the CH-53X programme to upgrade the CH-53E and extend its service life to 2025. Upgrades would include a new engine, substantially increased payload capacity, all-composite rotor, elastomeric rotor head and glass cockpit with fly-by-wire controls.
In March 2004, a USMC analysis of alternatives (AoA) determined that a new-build airframe would be a more cost-effective solution. Sikorsky was awarded an initial system development and demonstration (SDD) contract for the new helicopter, which is designated CH-53K heavy-lift rotorcraft (HLR), in January 2006 and the full SDD contract in April 2006. The GE38-1B engine was selected to power the CH-53K in December 2006. Requirement is for 156 helicopters and service entry is planned for 2015.
The fuselage is watertight and of light alloy, steel and titanium construction. The cockpit includes glass fibre and epoxy materials.
The seven-bladed main rotor is fitted with a Sikorsky blade inspection system. The main rotor blades are of Nomex honeycomb construction with a titanium spar and a composite glass fibre and epoxy skin. The rotor head is primarily titanium and steel.
The Super Stallion is equipped with an ATK AN/AAR-47 missile warning system and chaff and flare dispensers.
An initial six CH-53 helicopters of the German Armed Forces are fitted with the EADS AN/AAR-60 MILDS missile warning system, also fitted on the NH90 and Tiger helicopters.
In June 2007, Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract to equip the USMC CH-53E helicopters with the directional infrared countermeasures system (DIRCM).he only original armament on a CH-53E was two 0.50-calibre machine guns mounted in the windows on the sides of the helicopter. These could only cover the front and most of the sides, leaving the rear exposed.A ramp-mounted weapon system (RMWS) has been developed and evaluated by the US Marine Corps. The M3M RMWS is a Fabrique Nationale Herstal GAU-21 0.50-calibre reduced-recoil machine gun soft-mounted on the ramp, which can be removed and installed in less than two minutes. The M3M has a rate of fire of 1,100 rounds a minute. The US Navy helicopters will be fitted with the GAU-21 machine gun by 2011.

MH-60S Knighthawk

The MH-60S Knighthawk was developed to replace Navy's fleet of CH-46D Sea Knights, SH-3 Sea Kings, and HH-60H Seahawk helicopters. A hybrid prototype, consisting of an Army UH-60L airframe and Navy SH-60F engines and avionics, was produced and tested between 1997 and 1998. In 1999-2000 the Navy conducted additional testing with the prototype (designated YCH-60S) to evaluate its ability to take on an additional role as an airborne mine-countermeasures platform, which would allow the Navy to retire the MH-53E Sea Dragon as well.
The first production Knighthawk flew in January of 2000 and was delivered to the Navy (HC-2) in 2001. Originally designated the CH-60S, the Knighthawk was redesignated the MH-60S in February of 2001. The first production AMCM capable MH-60S was flown in July 2003. Full rate production of the MH-60S was initiated in 2002 with a total production run of 271 planned (of which 66 will be dedicated to the AMCM mission.) The final MH-60S aircraft is expected to be delivered in 2011, by which time it, along with the MH-60R, which is replacing the SH-60B/F series in the ASW role, will be the only two types of helicopters in service with the Navy.
The MH-60S is currently in production and in active service with the fleet.The MH-60S Knighthawk is a twin-engined medium lift utility helicopter.  It is equipped with a single 4-bladed rotor and a single 4-bladed tail rotor.  The basic crew compliment for the MH-60S is four; pilot, co-pilot, crew chief and gunner.
The empty weight of the MH-60S is 13,648 pounds, while the maximum take off weight is 23,500 pounds.  The external cargo carrying capacity (cargo hook) is 9,000 pounds and the internal cargo capacity is 4,000 pounds.  Total lift capacity is 10,000 pounds
The maximum level speed of the MH-60S is 145 knots (167 miles per hour) while the cruising speed is 139 knots (160 miles per hour.)
The maximum range of the MH-60S on internal fuel and at maximum take-off weight is 278 statute miles.
The MH-60S can be armed with two 7.62mm machine guns (one per pintle mount at the gunner?s stations) and two .50 caliber machine guns (mounted at weapon stations in the crew compartment.)  With the ESSS mounted, the MH-60S can accommodate up to 16 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles or four 2.75" rocket pods.  The 30mm AN/AWS-1 system can also be mounted on the ESSS station.  The MH-60S is also AGM 119 Penguin capable.

Monday, October 3, 2011

AH-64 "Apache"

The Boeing  AH-64A Apache is the Army's primary attack helicopter. It is a quick-reacting, airborne weapon system that can fight close and deep to destroy, disrupt, or delay enemy forces. The Apache has been designed to fight and survive during the day, night, and in adverse weather throughout the world. The principal intended mission of the Apache is the destruction of high-value targets with the HELLFIRE missile, primarily hostile armor. It is also capable of employing a 30mm M230 chain gun and the Hydra 70 (2.75 inch) family of rockets that are lethal against a wide variety of targets. The Apache has a full range of aircraft survivability equipment and has the ability to withstand hits from rounds up to 23mm in critical areas. The AH-64 is air transportable in the C-5, C-141 and C-17.
The AH-64 Apache is a twin-engine, four bladed, multi-mission attack helicopter designed as a highly stable aerial weapons-delivery platform. It is designed to fight and survive during the day, night, and in adverse weather throughout the world. With a tandem-seated crew consisting of the pilot, located in the rear cockpit position and the co-pilot gunner (CPG), located in the front position, the Apache is self-deployable, highly survivable and delivers a lethal array of battlefield armaments. The Apache features a Target Acquisition Designation Sight (TADS) and a Pilot Night Vision Sensor (PNVS) which enables the crew to navigate and conduct precision attacks in day, night and adverse weather conditions.
The Apache program had to the potential evolve into four different models in service simultaneously. These models were, the AH-64A, an AH-64+ with product improvements applied, and an AH-64D Longbow Apache with glass cockpit display, advanced engines, wiring for Longbow systems, radar interferometer, and the Longbow missile system. This AH-64D standard was previously known as AH-64C. Approximately 1/3 of the Longbow fleet was planned to also be equipped with the Longbow millimeter wave fire control radar, the original AH-64D standard. Converting an A model to a D model costs about $10 million. The Longbow FCR adds another $3.6 million to the price tag.
As part of the reduction in the planned buy of the Comanche in late 2002, the Army was directed to formulate a service life extension program for the Apache. Although DoD did not provide the Army a specific end-date for the Apache, the AH-64 Longbow had the potential to remain in service until 2030.
The Apache can carry up to 16 HELLFIRE (Helicopter-Launched, Laser-guided, Fire and Forget) laser guided missiles. With a range of over 8000 meters, the HELLFIRE is used primarily for the destruction of tanks, armored vehicles and other hard materiel targets. The Apache can also deliver a maximum of 76, 70mm/2.75" wrap-around fin aerial rockets (WAFAR) for use against enemy personnel, light armor vehicles and other soft-skinned targets. Rounding out the Apache's deadly punch are 1,200 rounds of ammunition for its Area Weapons System (AWS), featuring the M230 30mm Automatic Gun.An on-board video recorder has the capability of recording up to 72 minutes of either the pilot or CPG selected video. It is an invaluable tool for damage assessment and reconnaissance. The Apache's navigation equipment consists of a doppler navigation system, and most aircraft are equipped with a GPS receiver.

CH-47 "chinook"

In 1960, Boeing bought Vertol Aircraft Co., a helicopter manufacturer in Philadelphia, Pa. The company had three tandem-rotor helicopters under production: the Chinook for the Army, the Sea Knight for the Navy and the Marines, and the commercial 107-11 for the airlines. Vertol started out as the P-V Engineering Forum, owned by Frank Piasecki, which established the "banana-shaped," two-rotor helicopter in 1945. Piasecki left the corporation in 1955, and it was renamed Vertol the following year.
The first in the long line of Chinooks was the YHC-1B tandem-rotor transport helicopter that rolled out in 1961. It was designed to serve the Army and Air Force as a medium-lift helicopter and evolved into several versions.
Chinooks first were used in combat in 1965 during the Vietnam conflict. By 1968, the Chinook had put in 161,000 hours of flying time, carrying 22.4 million passengers and more than 1.3 million tons of cargo. During the last days of the war, one Chinook is reported to have carried 147 refugees in a single lift. CH-47A, B and C models served with distinction for a decade until the war's end in 1975.
After the war, Boeing and the Army began planning a major fleet upgrade that led to development of the CH-47D. Almost 500 early model Chinooks went through an extensive modernization process in Philadelphia that produced an essentially new CH-47 fleet. Boeing completed first D-model deliveries in 1982 and concluded the program in 1994. Only two U.S. Army CH-47Ds were built to replace aircraft losses during the Persian Gulf War. All other D models are modernized aircraft.
The CH-47D remains the U.S. Army standard and features composite rotor blades, an improved electrical system, modularized hydraulics, triple cargo hooks, avionics and communication improvements, and more powerful engines that can handle a 25,000-pound useful load, nearly twice the Chinook's original lift capacity.
The CH-47D Chinook was a central element in U.S. Army operations in the Persian Gulf War, where more than 160 Chinooks carried U.S. and Allied troops to outflank Iraqi forces and cut off their retreat from Kuwait. During 2002, the Chinook's high speed and large payload gave it the lowest cost-per-ton-mile of any transport helicopter available.
During 2002, Boeing was developing the CH-47F, scheduled for first production in 2004, and was under contract to modernize at least 300 Chinooks to the new F-model standard, which features reduced vibration effects, an integrated cockpit control system and more powerful engines with digital fuel controls. These improvements will make the Chinook fully compatible with 21st century operational and war-fighting requirements and improve the aircraft's efficiency and effectiveness.
U.S. Army Special Operations Forces operate Special Operations Chinooks, designated MH-47Ds and MH-47Es, among the most advanced rotorcraft in operation today. They have fully integrated digital cockpits; forward-looking infrared, terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar; long-range fuel tanks; and aerial refueling capability. The MH-7E's integrated avionics system permits global communications and navigation.
Using the Chinook airframe, Boeing Helicopters also built the Model 234, the commercial Chinook used for passengers, cargo, oil and gas exploration, and logging.


The Transall C-160 first flew in 1963. Production was completed in 1972, but in 1977 the program was reinstated to produce a "new generation" C-160 for France. The last of these new generation aircraft entered service in 1987. The wings are high-mounted and equally tapered outboard of the engines with blunt tips. Two turboprop engines are mounted under and extend beyond the wings' leading edges. The fuselage is long, thick, and tapered to the rear with a round, solid nose, stepped cockpit and upswept tail section. The tail flats are mid-mounted on a thinned body, equally tapered with blunt tips. The fin is tall and tapered with a blunt tip and a fairing in the leading edge.
The two-engine C-160 airplane is similar to the C-123 in appearance and performance. Like the C-130, the Transall is a versatile veteran from the 1960s and a workhorse in numerous air forces, including French, German, Turkish and South African. The C-160 can carry 55 paratroopers or up to 14 tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 319 mph and be aerial re-fueled in its role in the country's rapid deployment Force Aerienne de Projection. Two Rolls Royce MK22 turboprops power the Transall. The Transall, which entered the French Air Force in 1967, is scheduled to be replaced by the European A400M, a four-engine tactical aircraft larger than the Hercules.
In 1994, an upgrade program for French Air Force C-160s which was completed in 1999. The upgraded cockpit is equipped with a new head0-up display and an upgraded electronic warfare suite with a radar warning receiver, missile approach warner and chaff and decoy dispensers.
The aircraft have been fitted with a new EFIS 854 TF Electronic Flight Instrumentation System, which includes Electronic Attitude Director Indicator (EADI) and Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI). A flight management system with two Gemini 10 computers and a new radio management system have been installed. Three new sensors have been installed for aircraft position and attitude control: an inertial reference unit (IRU) an attitude and heading reference unit (AHRU) and a global positioning system (GPS). German Air Force C-160Ds have been upgraded with BAE SYSTEMS High Integration Air Data Computer (HIADC), Litton ALR-68 radar warning systems and Rockwell FMS-800 Flight Management and Global Positioning System.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The first prototype Vulcan medium bomber flew on August 30, 1952. The Vulcan B.1 long-range medium bomber entered production in 1953, with the first production model flying on February 4, 1955. Planned re-equipment of Nos. 44, 50 and 101 Squadrons of RAF Bomber Command and No. 230 Operational Conversion Unit squadrons with this type was completed by the beginning of 1960. The B.Mk. 1A had electronics in a bulged tail-cone but was otherwise similar to the B.Mk. 1. Both versions carried five crew members, and progressively more powerful turbojets were installed during the production life of the B.Mks. 1 and 1A versions of the Vulcan. The Vulcan B.2 was an extensively developed version of the basic design, featuring a wing of reduced thickness/chord ratio with more pronounced compound sweepback on the leading edges and slightly swept trailing edges. A prototype flew for the first time on 31 August 1957, and the first production aircraft flew a year later. Deliveries to No. 83 Squadron commencing in July 1960, and No. 617 Squadron was the second unit to receive this type as well as being the first to receive the Avro Blue Steel Mk. 1 stand-off missile which was the standard weapon of the Vulcan B.2. The Vulcan B.2 was initially powered by 17,000 lbst. Olympus 201 turbojets but was progressively engined with the Olympus 301.


The MiG-29 is marketed worldwide and equals or surpasses the F-15C in several areas. The MiG-29's wings are swept-back and tapered with square tips. LERXs are wide and curved down to the front. LERX begins on the nose below the mid-mount point, and the wings  trailing edges end at a high-mounted point. Twin jet engines are mounted low and to the sides of the fuselage. Diagonal-shaped air intakes give a box-like appearance. There is a large exhausts. The fuselage is made of a long, thin, slender body with long, pointed drooping nose. There is a high-mounted bubble canopy. The tail fins have sharply tapered leading edges, canted outward with angular, cutoff tips. Flats are high-mounted on the fuselage, movable, swept-back, and tapered with a negative slant.
The MiG-29 is a widely exported aircraft, flown by Iraq, Iran, North Korea and Cuba. The MiG-29 has a few advantages over its more electronically advanced American counterparts. At about 40 miles apart, the American planes have the advantage because of avionics. At 10 miles the advantage is turning to the MiG. At five miles out, because of the MiG weapons sight and better maneuverability, the advantage is to the MiG. The weapons sight is a helmet-mounted system that allows the missile to follow the line of sight of the pilot's helmet. Where the pilot looks is where it goes.
The US Department of Defense of the United States of America and the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Moldova reached an agreement to implement the Cooperative Threat Reduction accord signed on June 23, 1997, in Moldova. The Pentagon pounced on the planes after learning Iran had inspected the jets and expressed an interest in adding them to their inventory. Although Iran already flies the less-capable Fulcrum A, it doesn't own any of the more advanced C-models. Of the 21 Fulcrums the United States bought, 14 are the frontline Fulcrum C's, which contain an active radar jammer in its spine, six older A's and one B-model two-seat trainer. This agreement authorized the United States Government to purchase nuclear-capable MiG-29 fighter planes from the Government of Moldova. This is a joint effort by both Governments to ensure that these dual-use military weapons do not fall into the hands of rogue states. From Oct. 20 to Nov. 2, 1997, loadmasters and aerial port experts squeezed two MiGs apiece, sans wings and tails, into the cargo holds of C-17 Globemaster III transports from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. The Charleston airlifters delivered the MiGs to the National Air Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio. If the NAIC can discover how the Fulcrum works, Air Force pilots might gain an edge if they face the Fulcrum in future combat.
The MiG-29K was initiated in 1984 as a Russian Air Force development program for a multi-role fighter, and in 1989 - 1991 the MiG-29K underwent tests aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser. The MiG-29K differed from the MiG-29 production model, featuring a new multi-function radar, dubbed Zhuk; a cabin with monochrome display and use of the HOTAS (hands-on-throttle-and-stick) principle; the RVV-AE air-to-air active homing missiles; antiship and antiradar missiles; as well as air-to-ground precision-guided weapons. The MiG-29K program was revived in response to the decision of the Indian Navy to acquire the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier. This called for the provision of the ship with a multi-role ship-based arrested- landing fighter of the MiG-29K size. The ship's combat group will include 12 MiG-29K planes. The aircraft has a remote control system, large-area (42 m2 vs 38 m2) folding wing, adjustable center-line air intakes with retractable screens protecting the engines during operation from ground airfields, reinforced landing gear, hook, corrosion- protected reinforced fuselage made specifically for deck-based aircraft.


The Jian-10 (J-10) is a multirole, all-weather fighter aircraft designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The aircraft was designed by the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute (611 Institute) and built by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of AVIC. The aircraft has been operational with the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) since 2003. The J-10 is available in the single-seat fighter variant J-10 and two-seater fighter-trainer variant J-10S. A further improved single-seat fighter variant designated J-10B reportedly made its maiden flight in February 2009.
The J-10 adopts a “tailless delta-canard” aerodynamic layout, which was originally developed for the cancelled J-9 fighter. The aircraft has the horizontal control surfaces moved forward to become a canard in front of the wing. When the aircraft pitches up, instead of forcing the tail down decreasing overall lift, the canard lifts the nose, increasing the overall lift. Because the canard is picking up the fresh air stream instead of the wake behind the main wing, the aircraft can achieve better control authority with a smaller-size control surface, thus resulting in less drag and less weight.
The aircraft employs an adjustable, chin-mounted air intake that supplies air to the single Lyulka-Saturn AL-31FN afterburning turbofan jet engine. The upper portion of the air intake is incorporated with an intake ramp designed to generate a rearward leaning oblique shock wave to aid the inlet compression process. The ramp sits at an acute angle to deflect the intake air stream from the longitudinal direction. This design created a gap between the air intake and the forward fuselage, and requires six small beams to enhance the structure for high-speed flight. This air intake design was reportedly replaced by a diffuser supersonic inlet (DSI) on the latest J-10B variant.
The tailless delta-canard configuration is inherently aerodynamically unstable, which provides a high level of agility, particularly at supersonic speeds. However, this requires a sophisticated computerised control system, or “fly-by-wire” (FBW), to provide artificial stabilisation and gust elevation to give good control characteristics throughout the flight envelope. The J-10 uses a digital quadruplex (four-channel FBW system developed by the 611 Institute. The software for the FBW system was developed by the 611 Institute using ADA language.
The pilot sits in the cockpit located above the air intake and in front of the canard. The two-piece bubble canopy gives the pilot great vision at all directions, a vital feature during air-to-air combat. The onboard digital flight control computer ‘flies’ the aircraft for the pilot, providing automatic flight coordination and keeping the aircraft from entering potentially dangerous situations such as unintentional slops or skids. This therefore frees the pilot to concentrate on his intended tasks during the combat.
The fixed armament of the J-10 includes an internally-mounted Type 23-3 twin-barrel 23mm cannon, located on the port side of the front landing gear. The gas-operated cannon has a combat weight of 50.5kg, a length of 1,530mm, and a maximum rate of fire of 3,000~3,4000 rounds/minute. The cannon fires 320g, 23X200mm high-explosive/incendiary with tracer round and armour-piercing round, with a muzzle velocity of 715m/s. The cannon is electric-driven using 27V 8A DC.
The aircraft has 11 external stores stations for weapon carriage, three under each wing and five under the fuselage. The centreline under-fuselage station and the two inbound wing stations are pumped to carry drop tanks, with a 800 litre tank for the centreline station and a 1,700 litre tanks for each of the wing stations. The two under-fuselage stations at front (under air intake) could be used to carry various targeting or navigation pods for operations at night and in complex weather conditions

Saturday, October 1, 2011

F-20 Tigershark

Northrop developed the F-20 Tigershark in response to a US Government call for the private development of a tactical fighter specifically tailored to meet the security needs of allied and friendly nations. The Carter Administration wanted a small fighter, less sophisticated than the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, for Foreign Military Sales (FMS). When the Reagan Administration decided to allow the international sale of the F-16, the F-20 program was doomed. On 17 November 1986 Northrop terminated its F-20 Tigershark program.
Northrop built the F-20 Tigershark, without benefit of government funds, for export to third world markets. The first flight of the Tigershark was made August 30, 1982. Despite lobbying by Northrop, the F-20 was never seriously considered for US Air Force service, and the US Navy eventually decided to buy F-16s rather than F-20s for its aggressor aircraft program. These two facts essentially doomed the F-20 foreign military sales (FMS), since international customers tended to buy the F-16 because it was used by the USAF, and the F-20 was not. When Northrop canceled the program, and $1.2 billion of private investment and 2,000 American jobs were lost.
The F-20 Tigershark was final expression of the F-5 / T-38 family. While bearing considerable resemblance to these earlier aircraft, the aerodynamics were improved by a redesigned nose and leading edge extensions, a single, more powerful engine (similar to the F-16's) replaced the pair of engines in earlier models, and the internal systems were updated throughout. Initially designated the F-5G, the Mach 2 class F-20 Tigershark's basic single-seat configuration was formally designated the F-20A. Three prototypes were produced - two in a bright red-and-white paint scheme and one in a metallic grey -- of which two crashed during sales demonstrations.
The F-20 combined propulsion, electronics and armament technologies with improvements in reliability to sustain high sortie rates in adverse weather. The F-20 incorporated a combination of advanced technology features. The F-20 could carry more than 8,300 pounds of external armaments and fuel on five pylons. It could carry six Sidewinder missiles on air-to-air missions. For air-to-ground missions, more than 6,800 pounds of armament could be carried. Two internally mounted 20mm guns were standard equipment on the Tigershark.
The avionics system features a General Electric multimode radar, Honeywell laser inertial navigation system, General Electric head-up display, Bendix digital display and control set and Teledyne Systems mission computer. Once airborne, the F-20 pilot utilized his multimode radar, which could detect and track targets at ranges of up to 48 nautical miles "look up" and 31 nautical miles "look down." The F-20 mission computer coordinated the aircraft's weapons systems. The head-up display placed critical weapons, target and flight data at the pilot's eye level. This allowed him to fight without having to look down. Northrop designed a new panoramic canopy for the F-20 that gave the pilot a 50 percent increase in rearward visibility over previous Northrop fighters. An improved seat and headrest design combined to substantially expand over-the-shoulder visibility, which is critical in air-to-air combat.
The F-20 is powered by a General Electric F404 engine, with 17,000 pounds of thrust. The F404 is recognized as one of the world's most reliable advanced technology engines. It is also used to power the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps F/A-18A Hornet strike fighter. Aerodynamic features of the F-20 included an enlarged leading edge extension to the wing, which generated up to 30 percent of the lift maneuvers. The "shark-shaped" nose allowed the F-20 to maneuver at much higher angles of attack than current operational fighters. The F-20 airframe could withstand nine G's.
The F-20 was reliable and easy to maintain. Based on comparisons with the average of contemporary international fighters, the F-20 consumed 53 percent less fuel, required 52 percent less maintenance manpower, had 63 percent lower operating and maintenance costs and had four times the reliability.

T-50 "golden eagle"

The T-50 has the maneuverability, endurance and advanced systems to prepare future pilots to fly current and next-generation fighters like advanced F-16s, the F-22 and the Joint Strike Fighter. These same characteristics give it an excellent capability as a lead-in fighter trainer and potential light-combat aircraft in many air forces.
There is a very real problem emerging in the fighter community today. The aircraft currently used to train fighter pilots started production in the 1950s and 1960s and are approaching the limit of their service life. Age and attrition as well as widening gaps between past and current technologies are creating concern in many fighter communities around the world.
Because 4th generation fighters today are more complex and capable than ever before, fighter pilots must properly trained to operate their aircraft at the maximum envelop to fully utilize the fighter capability during combat. To address these critical issues, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has commissioned Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company (LM Aero) to develop and produce the T-50 for the ROKAF.
Under a partnership arrangement, KAI and LM Aero have jointly invested in the T-50, making it the only recently developed advanced supersonic trainer. The T-50 is designed as an advanced trainer for fighter pilots selected to fly world's 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft. It is the highest efficiency training system because it provides trainee pilots rapid transition to a modern fighter environment utilizing the latest advancement in aviation technology. T-50 can also function as a Light Combat Aircraft for the defense of national borders. T-50 is the advanced jet trainer for tomorrow's fighter pilot.
Designed for high performance, the T-50 features digital fly-by-wire for precision aircraft handling, relaxed static stability to improve maneuverability, variable camber wing with strakes to maximize the lift to drag ratio and improve directional stability, and tandem seating for superior visibility, and efficient turbo-fan engine utilizing proven technology for maximum reliability and safety, and advanced nav-attack sensor for multi-role mission, and the On Board Oxygen Generating System. T-50 is the only advanced Trainer for the 4th and 5th generation fighter.
The T-50 has a maximum take off gross weight of 26,400 lbs, and empty weight is 14,200 lbs. The engine provides 17,700 lbs of thrust giving the aircraft the maximum speed of 1.4 mach. The aircraft load factor is ranged between -3 and +8 g. The T-50 service ceiling is 48,000 fts and airframe has a structural life over 8,000 hrs. The T-50 is powered by GE-F404 engine. A high performance engine combining the latest technology and engine reliability and safety. It features full authority digital engine control: rapid throttle response without throttle restrictions and automatic engine monitoring with excellent stall free operation and no visible smoke.
The T-50 advanced cockpit features the bubble canopy and tandem seating for superior outer vision. It has a Head-Up Display with excellent field of view for displaying flight information. Two large 5" color multi-function displays for displaying mission and aircraft data as well as weapon selection and control for the light combat aircraft variant. Digital instrumentation and integrated HOTAS operation to allow head up operation.
The T-50 is the first trainer to employ electronic fly-by-wire and digital flight control for precision maneuvering. The digital flight controls are triple redundant and triplex digital flight control provides mult-mode control laws and a flight envelop limit. The actuator is direct drive with actuator reconfiguration mode.
As an advanced jet trainer, the T-50 is used to train pilots on basic cockpit operation, maneuvering and situation awareness. The T-50 is also designed as a Lead In Fighter Trainer where tactical skills and advanced flight instruction are all taught. The T-50 is a total training system. Classroom training provides student with basic theory and operation of the aircraft and mission. The ground base training system is a computer assisted learning tool designed to transition the classroom instruction into practical flying skills. The simulator is used to emulate the aircraft cockpit and flying profile. Trainees using the simulator can transfer their flying mission back to the ground base training system for mission playback to analyze their performance. The trainees are then taken into aircraft for flight training. Basic aircraft instrument and handling are taught along with advanced tactical and new operational skills and weapon delivery.


The Yak-28 had a large mid-mounted wing, swept at 45 degrees. The tailplane set halfway up the vertical fin (with cut-outs to allow rudder movement). Slats are fitted on the leading edges and slotted flaps are mounted on the trailing edges of the wings. The two Tumansky R-11 turbojet engines, initially with 57 kN (12,795 lbf) thrust each, are mounted in pods, similar to the previous Yak-25. The wing-mounted engines and bicycle-type main landing gear (supplemented by outrigger wheels in fairings near the wingtips) are widely spaced, allowing most of the fuselage to be used for fuel and equipment. It was primarily transonic, although Mach 1 could be exceeded at high altitude. It was on an Yak-28 that captain Boris Kapustin and lieutenant Yuri Yanov made their heroic feat: on the 6th of April 1966, when one of the engines on their aircraft stopped, they managed to divert their aircraft from a housing estate in Berlin. Both heroes were posthumously awarded with the medal of the Red Banner. Their bodies, along with the wreckage, were raised from the lake by British troops.
  • Crew: two
  • Length: 21.6 m (75 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.50 m (41 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 3.95 m (12 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 37.6 m² (405 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 9,970 kg (21,980 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 15,000 kg (33,069 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 20,000 kg (44,092 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Tumansky R-11 afterburning turbojets, 46 kN dry, 62 kN with afterburning (10,140 lbf dry, 13,670 lbf with afterburning) each
  • Maximum speed: 1840 km/h (1142 mph)
  • Range: 2,500 km (1,550 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 16,750 m (54,954 ft)
  • Wing loading: 531 kg/m² (108.6 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.62

Tupolev Tu-142 "bear"

This huge  aircraft has been in Russian service since 1955 when four flew over Moscow on Aviation Day. Although swept winged the Bear's turboprop engines seemed old fashioned even for the 1950s and this has caused the aircraft to be often underestimated. The Bear has seen many duties from anti-submarine and Maritime recon to a nuclear cruise missile launch platform. Most Bears are rebuilds of the 300 built between 1955-61 although the Bear-F ASW version is the exception first appearing in 1973 although the Bear-D is the most common variant, first seen in 1967. The Bear is a very old fashioned aircraft not only with turboprop engines whose good fuel economy make them suitable for long range maritime aircraft but with a manned tail gun turret reminiscent of World War II bombers. Despite this they have served the Russians well and the thought of these giants carrying the huge AS-3 Kangaroo nuclear missile, itself the size of a fighter aircraft, which although inaccurate carries a 800 kiloton payload caused many NATO planners nightmares during the Cold War. The Russians had planned to use this weapon against carrier groups where even a near miss by the weapon would have been devastating. The Bear has operated from many countries including Cuba, Angola and Vietnam (unlike the B-52 which normally operates from U.S. territories such as Guam, as well as one recent deployment from RAF Fairfield). Maximum Speed; 925Km (575mph).
Weapon load; 20412 kg.
Maximum Range with 11340kg (25,000lb bomb load) 12550km (7,800 miles)

Convair B-58 Hustler

The Convair B-58 Hustler was the first operational supersonic jet bomber capable of Mach 2 flight.The aircraft was designed by Convair engineer Robert H. Widmer and developed for the United States Air Force for service in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the 1960s. It used a delta wing, which was also employed by Convair fighters such as the F-102, with four J79 engines in pods under the wing. It carried a nuclear weapon and fuel in a large pod under the fuselage rather than in an internal bomb bay. Replacing the B-47 medium bomber, it was originally intended to fly at high altitudes and supersonic speeds to avoid Soviet fighters. The introduction of highly accurate Soviet surface-to-air missiles forced the B-58 into a low-level penetration role that severely limited its range and strategic value, and it was never employed to deliver conventional bombs. This led to a brief operational career between 1960 and 1969 as it was succeeded by the smaller, swing-wing FB-111A. The current B-1B Lancer deleted the Mach 2 capability of the original design but is a long range bomber.
The B-58 received a great deal of notoriety due to its sonic boom, which was often heard by the public as it passed overhead in supersonic flight.

XB-70 Valkyrie

North American Aviation built two XB-70 Valkyrie as prototypes for the proposed B-70 Mach 3 nuclear long range bomber for evaluation by the USAF Strategic Air Command as a potential replacement for the long range Boeing B52 bomber and the supersonic Mach 2 Convair B-58 Hustler bomber.
Design started in the late 1950's and the first prototype flew in September 1964, five years later in 1969 the B-70 Valkyrie project was abandoned, the main Strategic nuclear deterrent platform had become ICBM's and and was clearly moving towards submarine launched missiles like Polaris, additionally advances in anti-aircraft missile design had resulted in the "fly high and fast" invulnerability idea becoming outdated as had already been proved by the shooting down of  Francis Gary Powers Lockheed U2 Spy-plane in May 1960 whilst over Soviet territory.
It is of note that following a photo-shoot on the 8th of June 1966 the second prototype Valkyrie tragically crashed after a collision with a F-104 Starfighter, it is thought that the F-104 Starfighter was rolled into the Valkyrie prototype by the wake vortex produced by the Valkyrie's wingtip.
North American XB-70A Valkyrie Specifications:
  • Crew: Pilot and Co-Pilot
  • Length: 185 ft 10 in (56.6 m)
  • Wingspan: 105 ft 0 in (32 m)
  • Height: 30 ft 9 in (9.4 m)
  • Empty weight: 210,000 lb (93,000 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 534,700 lb (242,500 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 550,000 lb (250,000 kg)
  • Engines: Six 28,800 lbf(128 kN) General Electric YJ93-GE-3 afterburning turbojets
  • Maximum speed: Mach 3.1 (2,056 mph, 3,309 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: Mach 3.0 (2,000 mph, 3,200 km/h)
  • Range: 4,288 mi ( 6,900 km)
  • Service ceiling: 77,350 ft (23,600 m)

Thursday, September 29, 2011


A-5M is a single-seat, twin-engine supersonic fighter developed by the Nanchang Aircraft Company of China. Of the 60 aircraft of this class acquired by Pakistan, as of mid-1999 only 49 remained in service. Some are reportedly capable of carrying a single 5-20 kT nuclear bomb. It offers enhanced combat performance particularly at low and super-low altitude. It is the latest renovated type equipped with imported navigation and attack systems. It is used mainly to assist ground troops in attacking concentrated targets on land, key transportation points and ships near the coast. It can also intercept and fight enemy aircraft. It has two WP-6 after burning type of turbojet engines, a fuselage 15,65 meters long, a height of 4.33 meters, and a wingspan of 9,68 meters. Its maximum takeoff load is 11,300 kg. It carries a cannon in each wing, mounted near the fuselage, and it can be loaded with air to air weapons. It can carry bombs and canisters in its hold and various kinds of bombs, rockets and spare fuel tanks in the racks under its wings.


The BACKFIRE is a long-range aircraft capable of performing nuclear strike, conventional attack, antiship, and reconnaissance missions. Its low-level penetration features make it a much more survivable system than its predecessors. Carrying either bombs or AS-4/KITCHEN air-to-surface missiles, it is a versatile strike aircraft, believed to be intended for theater attack in Europe and Asia but also potentially capable of intercontinental missions against the United States. The BACKFIRE can be equipped with probes to permit inflight refueling, which would further increase its range and flexibility.
After designing the TU-22, the Tupolev design bureau started working on a new bomber that was based on the TU-22. Initially Tupolev considered modifying the TU-22 by changing the angle of the swept wings and equipping it with more powerful engines. However after developing the design "106" and various analysis, the design did not meet the flight characteristic requirements. Tupolev also developed the design "125". The aircraft was supposed have two VK-6 engines, a range of 4500-4800 km and an operating speed of up to 2500 km/h. The design provided for the use of titanium alloys and advanced electronic systems.
In 1962, the "125" design was examined by the Government but rejected, as the T-4 aircraft designed by KB Sukhoi was accepted. As an alternative to the T-4 aircraft, KB Tupolev developed the "145" airplane which was a modification of the TU-22. This airplane represented a multi-mode supersonic bomber which was capable of flying at subsonic speed at small altitudes and at supersonic speed to overcome air defenses. The range at subsonic speed was supposed to be 6000-7000 km. The wings are swept-back and had a variable geometry to meet the speed and range requirements. The aircraft should carry Kh-22 air-to-surface missiles which had already been deployed on other aircraft. After activities on the T-4 bombers were halted, KB Tupolev was officially charged with building the "145" aircraft in 1967. The new bomber was intended to have a maximum speed of 2300 km/h and a range of 7000 km without refueling. It received the designation TU-22M. The Tu-22M designation was used by the Soviets during SALT-2 arms control negotiations, creating the impression that the Backfire-A aircraft was a modification of the Tu-22 Blinder. This designation was adopted by the US State and Defense Departments, although some contended that the designation was deliberately deceptive, and intended to hide the performace of the Backfire. Other sources suggest the "deception" was internal, because this made it easier to get budgets approved. According to some sources, the Backfire-B/C production variants were believed to be designated Tu-26 by Russia, although this is disputed by many sources. At Tupolev the aircraft was designated the AM.


The Tu-160 is a multi-mission strategic bomber designed for operations ranging from subsonic speeds and low altitudes to speeds over Mach 1 at high altitudes. The two weapons bays can accommodate different mission-specific loads, including strategic cruise missiles, short-range guided missiles, nuclear and conventional bombs, and mines. Its basic armament of short-range guided missiles and strategic cruise missiles enables it to deliver nuclear strikes to targets with preassigned coordinates.In the future, after the aircraft is equipped with high-precision conventional weapons it may also be used against mobile or tactical targets.
The Tu-160 was the outcome of a multi-mission bomber competition, which included a Tupolev proposal for an aircraft design using elements of the Tu-144, the Myasishchev M- 18, and the Sukhoi a design based on the T-4 aircraft. The project of Myasishchev was considered to be the most successful, although the Tupolev organization was regarded as having the greatest potential for completing this complex project. Consequently, Tupolev was assigned to develop an aircraft using elements of the Myasishchev M-18 bomber design. The project was supervised by V.N. Binznyuk. Trial operations in the Air Forces began in 1987 with serial production being conducted at the Kazan Aviation Association.
The Tu-160 is characterized by low-mounted, swept-back, and tapered, variable geometry wings with large fixed-center section. The variable geometry wings (from 20 degrees up to 65 degrees) allows flight at supersonic and and subsonic speeds. Four NK-32 TRDDF [turbojet bypass engines with afterburners] of 25,000 kilograms-force power the T-160. The four turbofans, developed by OKB Kuznetsov in 1977, are mounted in pairs under the fixed-center section with square intakes and exhausts extending behind the wings trailing edges. The fuselage's slim structure is marked by a long, pointed, slightly upturned nose section and a stepped canopy. Tail flats are swept-back, tapered, and mid-mounted on the fin. The tail fin is back-tapered with a square tip and a fairing in the leading edge. The tail cone is located past the tail section. During the design of the aircraft, special attention was paid to reducing its signature. Measures were applied to reduce the signature of the engines to infra-red and radar detectors. Tests of these survivability measures were first tested on a TU-95 aircraft in 1980.
As the most powerful combat aircraft of the Soviet Air Forces, the T-160 flies at 2,000 km/hr and can exceed the 2,000 mark with a mission-specific load. The T-160 can climb 60-70 meters per second and reach heights of up 15,000 meters. The bomber can be refueled during flight by IL-78 and ZMS-2 tanker aircraft. The air refueling system consists of a probe and drogue airborne refueling system.
The TU-160 can carry up to 12 Kh-55 long range missiles and Kh-15 short range missiles. The weapons bays can accommodate different loads: carries various bombs: From fee falling nuclear and regular up to 1500 kg bombs. The bomber is not equipped with artillery armament.
The Tu-160 is equipped with a combined navigation-and-weapon aiming system, RID; [radar] for detecting targets on the ground and sea at long distances, an optical-electronic bombsight, an automatic terrain-following system, and active and passive radio-electronic warfare systems, as well as a probe-and-drogue airborne refueling system. It is equipped with K-36DM ejection seats. The cockpit instruments are the traditional electromechanical type. The aircraft is controlled with the aid of a central control column. The engine control throttles are located between the pilots' seats. There is a rest area, a toilet, and a cupboard for warming up food.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The F-35 is the result of the Defense Department's Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, which sought to build a multirole fighter optimized for the air-to-ground role with secondary air-to-air capability. The JSF requirement was to meet the needs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allies, with improved survivability, precision engagement capability, and reduced life cycle costs. By using many of the same technologies developed for the F-22, the F-35 has the opportunity to capitalize on commonality and modularity to maximize affordability.
The Lockheed Martin X-35 was chosen over the competing Boeing X-32 primarily because of Lockheed’s lift-fan STOVL design, which proved superior to the Boeing vectored-thrust approach. The lift fan, which is powered by the aircraft engine via a clutched driveshaft, was technically challenging but DoD concluded that Lockheed has the technology in hand. The lift fan has significant excess power which could be critical given the weight gain that all fighter aircraft experience.
Lockheed Martin developed four versions of the Joint Strike Fighter to fulfill the needs of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and the United Kingdom Royal Air Force and Navy. All versions have the same fuselage and internal weapons bay, common outer mold lines with similar structural geometries, identical wing sweeps, and comparable tail shapes. The weapons are stored in two parallel bays located aft of the main landing gear. The canopy, radar, ejection system, subsystems, and avionics are all common among all different version as is the core engine which is based on the F119 by Pratt & Whitney.
Additional systems on the F-35 include:
  1. Northrup Grumman advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) multi-function radar
  2. Snader/Litton Amecon electronic countermeasures equipment
  3. Lockheed Martin electro-optical targeting system
  4. Northrup Grumman distributed aperture infrared sensor (DAIRS) thermal imaging system
  5. Vision Systems International advanced helmet-mounted display

F-117A Nighthawk

The F-117A Nighthawk is the world's first operational aircraft designed to exploit low-observable stealth technology. The unique design of the single-seat F-117A provides exceptional combat capabilities. About the size of an F-15 Eagle, the twin-engine aircraft is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines and has quadruple redundant fly-by-wire flight controls. Air refuelable, it supports worldwide commitments and adds to the deterrent strength of the U.S. military forces.
The F-117A can employ a variety of weapons and is equipped with sophisticated navigation and attack systems integrated into a state-of-the-art digital avionics suite that increases mission effectiveness and reduces pilot workload. Detailed planning for missions into highly defended target areas is accomplished by an automated mission planning system developed, specifically, to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the F-117A.Streamlined management by Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, combined breakthrough stealth technology with concurrent development and production to rapidly field the aircraft. The F-117A program has demonstrated that a stealth aircraft can be designed for reliability and maintainability. The aircraft maintenance statistics are comparable to other tactical fighters of similar complexity. Logistically supported by Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan AFB, Calif., the F-117A is kept at the forefront of technology through a planned weapon system improvement program located at USAF Plant 42 at Palmdale, Calif. The Air Force thinking today is that it will phase out the Nighthawks after 2018.

AV-8B Harrier

 The AV-8B V/STOL strike aircraft was designed to replace the AV-8A and the A-4M light attack aircraft. The Marine Corps requirement for a V/STOL light attack force has been well documented since the late 1950's. Combining tactical mobility, responsiveness, reduced operating cost and basing flexibility, both afloat and ashore, V/STOL aircraft are particularly well-suited to the special combat and expeditionary requirements of the Marine Corps. The AV-8BII+ features the APG-65 Radar common to the F/A-18, as well as all previous systems and features common to the AV-8BII.
The mission of the VMA STOVL squadron is to attack and destroy surface and air targets, to escort helicopters, and to conduct other such air operations as may be directed. Specific tasks of the AV-8B HARRIER II include:
  • Conduct close air support using conventional and specific weapons.
  • Conduct deep air support, to include armed reconnaissance and air interdiction, using conventional and specific weapons.
  • Conduct offensive and defensive antiair warfare. This includes combat air patrol, armed escort missions, and offensive missions against enemy ground-to-air defenses, all within the capabilities of the aircraft.
  • Be able to operate and deliver ordnance at night and to operate under instrument flight conditions.
  • Be able to deploy for extended operations employing aerial refueling.
  • Be able to deploy to and operate from carriers and other suitable seagoing platforms, advanced bases, expeditionary airfields, and remote tactical landing sites.

A-4 Skyhawk

The Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk is a lightweight, single engine attack aircraft. The mission of an A-4 attack squadron is to attack and to destroy surface targets in support of the landing force commander, escort helicopters, and conduct other operations as directed. Developed in the early 1950s, the A-4 Skyhawk was originally designated the A-4D as a lightweight, daylight only nuclear capable strike aircraft for use in large numbers from aircraft carriers. There are numerous models of the A-4 in use. The A-4M and the TA-4F are currently used by Marine Corps Reserve squadrons. All models have two internally mounted 20mm (.8 inch) cannons, and are capable of delivering conventional and nuclear weapons under day and night visual meteorological conditions. The A-4M uses a heads-up display and computer aided delivery of its bomb load with the angle rate bombing system. The Marine Reserve has two squadrons of A-4s with 12 aircraft each. Additionally, each squadron has two TA-4 aircraft.

AH-1W Super Cobra

The AH-1 is fully capable of performing its attack mission in all weather conditions. Additional missions include direct air support, antitank, armed escort, and air to air combat. The TOW missile targeting system uses a telescopic sight unit (traverse 110º, elevation 60º/+30º), a laser augmented tracking capability, thermal sights and a FLIR to allow for acquisition, launch, and tracking of all types of TOW missiles in all weather conditions. The Cobra also uses a digital ballistic computer, a HUD, Doppler nav, and a low speed air data sensor on the starboard side for firing, and has in-flight boresighting. External stores are mounted on underwing external stores points. Each wing has two hardpoints for a total of four stations. A representative mix when targeting armor formations would be eight TOW missiles, two 2.75-in rocket pods, and 750x 20-mm rounds. The gun must be centered before firing underwing stores. Armored cockpit can withstand small arms fire, and composite blades and tailboom are able withstand damage from 23-mm cannon hits.small arms fire, and composite blades and tailboom able to withstand damage from 23-mm cannon hits. The Marines depend on attack helicopters to provide close-in fire support coordination in serial and ground escort operations. Such support is required during amphibious ship-to-shore movements and subsequent shore operations within the objective area. AH-1 is designed for the following tasks:
  • Armed escort for helicopters carrying personnel and cargo
  • Landing zone fire suppression support
  • Visual armed reconnaissance
  • Target marking and direction for high-performance attack aircraft
  • Convoy escort and fire suppression for ground units
  • Operations from air capable ships
  • Point target attack of threatening armor
  • Self-defense and protection of helicopters carrying personnel and cargo from threatening air-to-air weapon-equipped helicopters

P-3 Orion

The P-3C is a land-based, long range anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol aircraft. It has advanced submarine detection sensors such as directional frequency and ranging (DIFAR) sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) equipment. The avionics system is integrated by a general purpose digital computer that supports all of the tactical displays, monitors and automatically launches ordnance and provides flight information to the pilots. In addition, the system coordinates navigation information and accepts sensor data inputs for tactical display and storage. The P-3C can either operate alone or supporting many different customers including the carrier battlegroup and amphibious readiness group. The aircraft can carry a variety of weapons internally and on wing pylons, such as the Harpoon anti-surfacemissile, the MK-50 torpedo and the MK-60 mine.
Each Maritime Patrol Aviation (MPA) squadron has nine aircraft and is manned by approximately 60 officers and 250 enlisted personnel. Each 11-person crew includes both officer and enlisted personnel. The MPA squadrons deploys to sites outside the United States for approximately six months, and generally spends one year training at home between deployments.
In February 1959, the Navy awarded Lockheed a contract to develop a replacement for the aging P-2 Neptune. The P-3V Orion entered the inventory in July 1962, and over 30 years later it remains the Navy's sole land-based antisubmarine warfare aircraft. It has gone through one designation change (P-3V to P-3) and three major models: P-3A, P-3B, and P-3C, the latter being the only one now in active service. The last Navy P-3 came off the production line at the Lockheed plant in April 1990.Since its introduction in 1969, the P-3C has undergone a series of configuration changes to implement improvements in various mission and aircraft systems through updates to the aircraft. These changes have usually been implemented in blocks referred to as "Updates." Update I, introduced in 1975, incorporated new data processing avionics and software, while Update II in 1977 featured an infrared detection system, a sonobuoy reference system, the Harpoon antiship missile and a 28-channel magnetic tape recorder/reproducer. 

B-1B Lancer

The B-1B is a multi-role, long-range bomber, capable of flying intercontinental missions without refueling, then penetrating present and predicted sophisticated enemy defenses. It can perform a variety of missions, including that of a conventional weapons carrier for theater operations. Through 1991, the B-1 was dedicated to the nuclear deterrence role as part of the single integrated operational plan (SIOP)
The B-1B's electronic jamming equipment, infrared countermeasures, radar location and warning systems complement its low-radar cross-section and form an integrated defense system for the aircraft.
The swing-wing design and turbofan engines not only provide greater range and high speed at low levels but they also enhance the bomber's survivability. Wing sweep at the full-forward position allows a short takeoff roll and a fast base-escape profile for airfields under attack. Once airborne, the wings are positioned for maximum cruise distance or high-speed penetration. The B-1B holds several world records for speed, payload and distance. The National Aeronautic Association recognized the B-1B for completing one of the 10 most memorable record flights for 1994.
The B-1B uses radar and inertial navigation equipment enabling aircrews to globally navigate, update mission profiles and target coordinates in-flight, and precision bomb without the need for ground based navigation aids. Included in the B-1B offensive avionics are modular electronics that allow maintenance personnel to precisely identify technical difficulties and replace avionics components in a fast, efficient manner on the ground.
The aircraft's AN/ALQ 161A defensive avionics is a comprehensive electronic counter-measures package that detects and counters enemy radar threats. It also has the capability to detect and counter missiles attacking from the rear. It defends the aircraft by applying the appropriate counter-measures, such as electronic jamming or dispensing expendable chaff and flares. Similar to the offensive avionics, the defensive suite has a re-programmable design that allows in-flight changes to be made to counter new or changing threats.
The B-1B represents a major upgrade in U.S. long-range capabilities over the B-52 -- the previous mainstay of the bomber fleet. Significant advantages include:
  • Low radar cross-section to make detection considerably more difficult.
  • Ability to fly lower and faster while carrying a larger payload.
  • Advanced electronic countermeasures to enhance survivability.