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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/12/2018 in all areas

  1. 2 points

    Israeli AFVs

    IDF Reveals Brigade Combat Team Structure For the first time the IDF is revealing so comprehensively the structure of its BCT's (Brigade Combat Team). This is coming ahead of a Ground Warfare Exhibition and Conference in 15-16.8.18, where the IDF is due to showcase new capabilities and various Israeli defense companies such as Elbit, RAFAEL, IAI, UVision, and subsidiaries, are due to show what they've built to provide these capabilities as well as their own concepts that drive their development efforts.The following is a direct translation from the IDF's website. Link for reading in Hebrew.===================================================================== How the IDF's brigades will decide the next war, and what weaponry will affect the results of the future battle? 36th Division and Ground Arm Command are unveiling the "Gideon BCT" - The new combat conception of the IDF, and provide a rare glimpse at the first experimentation of the combined arms. In the framework of the wide military exercise conducted throughout the course of this week in the Golan Heights, 36th Division forces tried for the first time the new combat conception "Gideon BCT" - the future fighting form of the IDF's maneuvering brigades. For a long time the GAC (Ground Arm Command) are working hard on developing the new conception that will provide a powerful solution to the enemy the IDF will meet in its next war. It's a "hidden and concealing" enemy, that operates covertly, fights from within urban areas, and utilizes multiple dimensions of combat, such as sub-terranean and cyber warfare. The Gideon BCT, as explained by the GAC, offers a new structure to the maneuvering brigades of the IDF throughout the course of fighting. Until this day, every combat brigade operated with its own uniqueness and association of arm. For example, the 7th brigade was an armor brigade, and the Golani was an infantry brigade. However now, within the framework of the BCT, in times of war, the brigades will be assembled from infantry, armor, combat engineers, and artillery, that will work side by side. The new structure should help the IDF in its efforts to conquer new territory and be decisive against the formations of the ever-changing enemy, via fast mechanized maneuver, combination of vast and various firing capabilities, and all that while maintaining common discourse and multi-arm coordination that will reinforce the survivability and lethality of the forces on the field. So how will the brigades fight the next war? The new brigades will consist of no less than 6 battalions, among them 3 infantry and armor battalions, an engineering battalion, a recon battalion, and an HQ unit. All these will be specialized battalions. To them, will join a Fire Battalion Combat Team (BatCT). The Fire BatCT is an artillery battalion that has evolved to acquire independent combat capabilities such as recon, target acquisition, target destruction, and independent maneuver. It will do a dual work - Acquire and destroy its own targets, and receive targets to destroy from other maneuvering elements of the BCT. During the exercise that was conducted last week, the 77th and 82nd battalions of the 7th Armor Brigade, along with the 13th battalion of the Golani Infantry Brigade and the 603rd Combat Engineers battalion, joined forces to test their cooperation and effectiveness of the new structure. Other than the new brigade structure, the battalions themselves have also undergone quite a few changes. The recon battalion, that up until now was made of one light recon company, one engineering company, and one AT company, will now transform to receive two primary capabilities: 1. Attacking and seizing complex areas deep within enemy territory with powerful and independent raiding companies. 2. Special purpose companies that will acquire quality intel through reconnaissance, and destroy hostile targets through advanced weaponry. We are building better acquisition and destruction capabilities from our understanding that we're operating against a sneaky enemy, one that operates in ways that allow him to avoid meeting us in face to face combat. We are thus more capable to destroy the enemy more quickly and more precisely. The HQ unit is also a unique addition on the brigade level. Its purpose is to ease the control and operation of the brigade, and ensure the independence of the BCT from the division level or GAC level. Ground-breaking weaponry Additionally, during the BCT exercise numerous new systems were tried for the first time. Those are advanced electronic systems whose purpose are to either locate the enemy and neutralize it, or to defend the forces. However during the exercise the forces also used brand new and very accurate means of fire activation that will physically aid in capturing territory. First and foremost, we tried the "Gideon's Shield", capable of defending the combat units from various threats like mortars, rockets, and it can even attack aerial vehicles, thus providing the forces with great advantage over the enemy. It's a mobile battery that moves together with the forces, and provides a sort of an "Iron Dome" for the maneuvering forces through combined capabilities of firing missiles, lasers, and even EW for interception. The commander in charge of the battery is the BatCT commander or BCT commander, and he can decide whom he wants to protect and what assets to utilize. Another element is "Gideon's Grid". It's a sensor system capable of detecting all sorts of targets by laying an entire blanket on a certain grid, that can detect enemy signals. (Other sources say the plan is to use 24 aerial vehicles per brigade with various sensors). Once a target it sighted, or a source of emissions is detected, the system quickly translates the source to accurate coordinates and sends them through the Fire Weaver system. Additionally, Rafael's Fire Weaver was used. It's a system that can direct all the different firing sources at a certain target, after which it can select what firing source is best suited for the task, and finally give the order to fire.This system tremendously contributes to the multi-arm cooperation of the BCT's units.Also, new vehicles were used for the first time as well, such as robotic convoys, i.e unmanned vehicles capable of autonomously provide them with a logistical solution without endangering the drivers.Namer IFVs with cannons were also used with armor piercing munitions. Installation of the cannon on the Namer turns him from a well protected vehicle capable of safely maneuvering with the forces - to an especially lethal fighting vehicle.=====================================================================Other sources have also added some valuable information. Walla and Ynet.In points, what they add: BCT tried a new guided mortar round in the 120mm caliber. Guided artillery shells will enter service soon. Up to 50% of the arsenal will be guided munitions. Every BCT will have its own aerial fleet and small airstrip. The fleet will consist of at least 24 reconnaissance aircraft that will be able to pick up signals. Every BCT will get a far-reaching broadband internet, dubbed the "3 100's". 100Mhz, 100MB, and 100km. Every BCT will have its own air defense battery. Below 300m the BCT's aerial wing will operate freely. Between 1km and 300m the BCT will cooperate with the air force. And above 1km only the air force works. The drones will be operated by an air control unit belonging to each brigade. ===================================================================== Summary There's quite a lot going on here. Both a very serious restructuring, and new capabilities that are also independent of the BCT effort but greatly enhanced by it. Under the program, a total of 10 BCT's will be formed eventually, if not more. Both active and reserve. They're not really even brigade-sized anymore, but are closer to being twice the size of a typical brigade, or 50% larger for already large brigades. The largest brigade in the IDF is Kfir with "only" 5 battalions, which still falls short of the 6-battalion BCT. But let's talk weaponry, shall we? 1) Fire Weaver from RAFAEL. This video explains better than anyone could, what this system does: My take on it? It's the next generation of BMS and the only thing left to do, to get a very streamlined process of sensor-to-shooter is to give the MBTs the ability to designate targets through the IronVision helmet they'll get with the Barak. 2) Mobile Iron Dome. From my understanding it's multiple systems, one is probably the Iron Dome, and the other is a shorter range laser system suitable for downing drones. None was selected yet as far as the public knows. RAFAEL have showcased their mobile Iron Dome in 3D models, but nothing real yet. The model shows a missile launcher with 10 tubes on the back of a MAN truck, and a radar dome above the cabin. This gives half the static Iron Dome's missile capacity (original 20). However a typical Iron Dome battery should have a launching capacity of 40 missiles prior to reloading. The mobile Iron Dome is dubbed iDome or I-Dome. It's a good solution, but leaves much to be desired. First, there is still an urgent need for a 100kW laser system, dubbed Iron Beam, which has been stuck in limbo for the past decade, and this could be the only hint for its future existence (note: 100kW combat lasers were demonstrated recently). Second, such a setup, of missiles on a truck, although cheap and flexible, require preparation time prior to firing, and are less maneuverable. The coverage issue could be fixed by moving one unit at a time out of 4, but perhaps a more suitable solution would be its placement on an Eitan vehicle. 3) 24 drones with various payloads including SIGINT, flying below 1km, or sometimes below 300 meters, per brigade, is quite a task. A very good candidate for this could be Elbit's Hermes 90, although they are talking about having small runways for each brigade, while the Hermes 90 is runway-free. So it could be a new development.
  2. 1 point

    Tanks guns and ammunition.

    via otvaga forum
  3. 1 point

    Swords And Their Historical Context

    Kukri making: Very cool, but the quenching step is wild.
  4. 1 point
    The parker space probe to the sun has launched. Example report, with launch video: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45160722
  5. 1 point
    @Walter_Sobchak, I think it's important to understand that many conservative and poor Americans felt completely left out of both parties. The Democrats were no longer the party of the working man and the poor (which they never really were - but the good branding had finally worn off), but clearly revealed as a party of elites feeding their own interests at the expense of the country and especially the middle class. Not only did (and does) the Democratic and left-wing chatter center around concepts that feel alien to blue collar Americans, but any attempt at dissent or even discussion would quickly result in the label of "racist" or "Nazi" being slapped onto the dissenter. Any blue collar worker who piped up with beliefs as innocent as that they believe legal immigration is a good thing, but they'd like the US to stay demographically similar to what it is now would find themselves branded with labels they had worked hard for years to escape. Prior to the Obama years, most rural Americans took tolerance seriously, even if they didn't understand it entirely. But now, despite all that, they were cast out anyway. Their treatment by Republicans was not much better, either. The GOP might as well have been a clone of the DNC, but with less power, less social capital, and less ability to win elections. This was such common knowledge that there were even South Park episodes about it. McCain was the final capstone of this long-time project to "liberalify" the GOP, as before the campaign he had been considered a Democrat in all but name by virtually everyone. No surprise that McCain walked away with a halfhearted turnout and a second place sticker. Romney was more of the same! Trump's appeal lies in his destructive power. Trump vexes the DNC and cucks the GOP, both of whom left his base behind long ago. Trump talks a good game on foreign policy, bureaucratic reform, immigration, etc., which is frankly more than any recent previous candidate ever did. Trump also acts like he likes being around the salt of the earth, a far cry from Obama's barely-concealed Ivy-league contempt of them. Precisely because he's a wrecking ball who is shaking things up, many people aren't taking anything for granted anymore and that brings them hope. Because everything was that bad before. Our foreign policy was insane. Our immigration policy was retarded. Our bureaucracy was out of control. People knew all this for a long time but the existing structure had calcified so much that nothing could be done about any of it. Maybe it's different now, maybe Trump will break or has broken enough stuff that some real progress can be made. I dunno that I have that much hope, but hope is there for a lot of people, and no amount of off-color tweets will change that.
  6. 1 point
    "This is BMD-747, flight is normal, engines are ok"
  7. 1 point

    What are we playing?

    Splinter Cell: Conviction. Was released in 2010, i recently re-played it and it is time for a review. If i remember right this part of SC was stuck in development for some time. Originally they wanted to do interesting take on Splinter Cell with Sam leaving organisation and going under radar/hiding, while somebody wanted to find him. But it was scraped and/or re-developed. What we got in the end is not exactly a Splinter Cell. Visuals For game released in 2010 visuals are not bad. Saw some reviews that found them mediocre, for me it also looks passable… when you are not in shadows. I will explain this in a moment, but before this few more words on visuals - texture work and models were made well enough, although sometimes you still can see low-resolution textures or obvious low polygon count even on main character models. Levels and places have different look, level designers work is pretty good – detailed rooms, corridors, streets, labs. Animation is also “AAA” quality, especially Sam’s takedowns (a lot of animation was done for them – with and without weapons, with different type of weapon, from different sides of enemy, etc.). Devs decided to get rid of almost all HUD/make it minimal, and your stealth meter was one of victims. Previous games had a meter that showed how much character was illuminated (how visible he was for bad guys), in SCC there is no such element of UI/HUD, it was replaced by color filter of whole screen that left only black, red and white, with very small amount of color on few selected objects unaltered by it. Also, they made stealth to be just a 2-state system, when you are either visible or totally invisible. When you enter invisible state, this filter is turned on. In a stealth game, where you are supposed to be in shadows as much is possible this decision obviously lead to visual quality of the game being hit as a player vast majority of playing time look at black and white picture with few drops of red. I found myself not destroying light sources in levels just to not have completely black screen and after fight was over i jumped into illuminated areas just to have a moment of observation of color and life, at times stepping from dark places felt like getting out of 1940s documentary right into world with blue skies, green grass, pink teddy bears and happy rabbits. This black and white filter also made all levels feel less various. Without black-white-red filter Avoid playing SCC prolonged time in order to avoid similar situation. And just to note that this decision to kill all color during sneaking was a bad idea - next Splinter Cell (Blacklist) did not had this system, they went with small light appearing on character model when he was in dark places. Gameplay SCC can be called stealth-action game. It is a mix between older SC and cover based 3rd person shooter. Yes, and shooter part is as generic as it sounds. There are few gimmicks, but overall shooting part is not very interested. You duck behind a cover, shoot bad guys, maybe throw a grenade and done. There is no blind fire in SCC and no suppression effect on AI, so firefights are just “cover-aim-shoot-next target” until all are dead. Sometimes enemies will throw a grenade at you or get from other angle, but this is rare and don’t affect metagame routine of firefights enough. Only positive thing is that most of automatic weapons feels not bad to shot, although late in the singleplayer campaign enemies have higher HP that lead to firing too many bullets at them for my taste. Encounters are usually quick, so action part will take small part of SCC playing time. There is weapon upgrades/unlock system with points and challenges (like fart 3 times near group of guards without them understanding that it was you and similar shit). You also get gadgets, but all of them are just explosives with different ways to explode (mine, remotely detonated bomb, grenades, camera with a sound speaker and explosives inside, EMP grenade). Stealth is not much better than action part of Splinter Cell Conviction because of several changes developers made. First – spotting/visibility system. As I noted earlier, now it is 2 states system – you either nearly invisible demon of darkness or you are a Christmas tree with pressure-sensitive firecrackers strapped to your boots, both of which are extremes with nothing in between. Not only this system operates just in 2 extremes, but it also clearly shows (via visual filters) in which state you are, and that nearly completely eliminate moments of doubt in a player’s head about his next move against bad guys. Comparing my playtime with a Thief 2, where stealth system was less “streamlined” I feel that SCC lacks in emotion behind player interaction with stealth system. 2 clearly conveyed certain states/situations allows for rational approach to playing SCC, but leaves out irrational emotional response to uncertainty of classic stealth systems. Add here decision to make Last Know Position (LKP) visible to a player in form of white outlines of Sam body in a place where you was spotted, making very clear what bad guys are looking for, where and if there are already understood that you are not there on top of simple but certain stealth system. LKP BTW was used in game AIs since like Theif 1 times and even earlier. In short, players know almost exactly what will happen most of the time in SCC as a result of his actions, living suspense and tension of higher chances to fuck up out of most encounters in SCC. I am master of darkness. Second reason is that there is no need to really be stealthy. Sam Fisher is capable to fight several well-equipped PMC alone with his pistol and most of the time being spotted does not affect anything outside of piece of level where you have an encounter with current group of AI agents. Sam’s pants have black holes pockets with unlimited ammo for any pistol you take before mission or pick up, and ability to 1 tap almost all bad guys with a headshot kind of tells you that quicker and maybe more bombastic way to play SCC is to machine pistol all bad guys. Combining stealth and action makes SCC pretty easy game even on realistic difficulty. On top of that there is an execution mechanics in SCC, which I call “skip gameplay” button. After a melee kill Sam earns ability to kill several bad guys in LOS in certain range (according to each weapon stats) by pressing an “execute” button. Maximum amount of baddies you can “press F to inflict deaths” is 4 IIRC (one of assault rifles), smallest – 2. This ability allows to player to jump in the middle of the room and with single button clear it without problems in matter of seconds. And this is not the end of this crap! Some of weapons upgrades give you ability to… autoaim. It kicks in when you press aim/zoom button and work for sew seconds, placing reticle on a head or another visible body part, but hey, in this game you don’t even need to aim well. Third reason is that level designers were probably better at making maps for shooters than stealth games. In places where you are supposed to have shooting gallery map makers put good old Red Barrels filled with explosive communism, there are giant chandeliers over a group of really evil PMC guys and so on. Not much of secret vents entrance or some sort of movable pushcart with Metal Gear-branded cardboard boxes on it to stealthily make your way inside. A deadly piece of art And forth reason is that all game mechanics and levels were made for intended type of gameplay, which itself have a problems. Gameplay that was vision by devs looks (for me) as this – you jump into shadows, approach a group of evil bad guys and mark them. You see one guy in dark corner, you take him out with power of Sams fists and earn ability to kill that group. You are getting closer until all of them are in a kill radius, press “execute” and room is full of dead mercenaries. If weapon was suppressed – you go to next group of bad guys. If not, or you used other noisy way to deal with this group, other group hears that and rush inside. They spot you and you jump back into the shadows, with enemies now trying to push your LKP. You sneak above/around them, take out 1-2 of them and execute rest of them in cool-looking animation. You jump out of shadows, do your deadly bombastic action, jump back to disappear and move to a new victim. There is even an EMP generator gadget to help you with disappearing in darkness part of this gameplay loop. Quick, deadly, sneaky, “fashionable, stylish, youthful”. When you do this first several times, SCC feels fun to play. Problem with that vision is that is very limited and narrow, restricted. There is not much for a player to fuck up, add, change, subvert, etc. and it feels almost on the rails after several times you do it because all needed information is given to you (in fact, there are wallhack goggles in SCC that Sam gets about 1/2 or 3/4 in story mode). When I play exactly in this way, game is pretty fun, but after this gameplay loop become a routine I realized that there is almost noting more in SCC interactive stealth-action. You can play in other way, but game is not designed for it and other play styles are less supported by level design, weapon/stealth systems and AI. Google's Wallhack gogglestm Other things that bothered me is that there is no security systems that affect gameplay in SCC. There was a jumping puzzle disguised as laser "trap" like once in a whole game, and thats all. In Chaos Theory there was many systems, from usual locked doors and password digital locks, to fancy like laser grid and turn of laser nearest to guards with special chip in their uniforms, laser-activated turrets, retinal scanners and cameras with IR light source to see in the dark and so on. Controls I will mention them because there are not very good. Game controls are optimized for people who play by pushing 2 plastic nipples with their thumbs, so part of actions are binded to a single button. And they are contextual and you need to have pixel perfect aim. I was running to this weapon stash and pressed "Use" button... Plot It exists. No, seriously, there are even cutscenes and dialogues! Well, ok, I will be more specific. Plot is dogshit about stolen Russian Nuclea EMPs with some bad guy trying to get a promotion or something, White House is under attack, PMC, terrorism, Iraq and Hillari Clinton is a president. Characters are “Secondary NPC with custom 3D models” at most, there is no interesting world, or idea in SCC, all evil bad guys are evil because they don’t like smiling people and all of them are SUPA SERIOUS, DUDE. At least you can hack EMP and fry bad guys... for some reason. AI and enemies. I already covered part of AI here: In short - they are rather generic overall, with exception of few behaviors that are noted above - ability to lock down/overwatch entrances and few other smaller abilities. Somewhat challenging in big numbers and in not very good parts of level (no flanking route/dark places). Unlike Venom and Metro AIs, enemies here can't get into sewer/vents to chase you, so player have safe spaces from them around levels. Not very good at searching (very undeveloped part of their behavior), and because of LKP mechanics AI can be easily exploited (and this is part of gameplay loop). Cover detection system also not the best, sometimes they take cover behind coffee table with 99% of their body visible and open for bullets. Team work is very limited, most of the time you are looking at Brownian motion of professional-looking PMC mercenaries around the level during searching phase. During combat they are also playing a 3rd person cover-based shooter. No interesting type of enemies or enemy-faction-only gadgets. Although, their agressive combat style was a positive moment for me. They are not that interesting to fuck around with either. For example in Splinter Cell Chaos Theory you could play with guards sanity using stealth system ability to create uncertain situation. You could walk into badly lighted place where guards could sort of spot you (Who is there?) and then move back into darker place, do same thing several times and guards start to freak out and fire/spray in full auto into the darkness while screaming. Also, in Chaos Theory and earlier, almost all guards that you see on the level could be disarmed and interrogated. They could give you usefull info, or tell something interesting, funny ("Are you ninja? Wow, cool, i am being killed by a real ninja!") and so on. Nothng like this is in SCC, they are just human shields when you disarm enemies. In each level bad guys in SCC can refer previous level "You will pay for what you done at/on _X_, Sam!", but that is not as advanced as diologues between guards during search in Chaos Theory. Even if they hear lightbulb breaking, they can go to investigate and have dialogues about it ("-That crappy thing is broken again! -You know that they are now pretty shitty..."). That made those walking bots to be something more in previous SC than what they are in Conviction and feel more human. Although animation system for baddies is better in Conviction. Conclusion. SCC is short game with intended gameplay that can carry less than a singleplayer campaign lasts (which is 4-5 hours). It feels that this "panther" type of stealth-shooter gameplay, where you pop out of shadows, do max damage and disappear, should have been only part of bigger game IMO. On it's own this gameplay is fun, like Jason Bourne movie that became interactive. In fact, i would like this game more as movie-based shooter. But as Splinter Cell, Conviction is lacking. Story is way too stupid even for Splinter Cell standarts, almost all gadgets are just fancier grenades with explsoves, gameplay is not developed outside of one specific way to play Conviction. It feels like fancier powerfantasy than stealth sneaky game. But something like Painkiller don't bother will pretending that it is a stealth game. So for those who never played Splinter Cells and not into stealth games much, doesn't care about plot, interesting cutscenes, dialogues, characters, Conviction could be very fun if played exactly how it was intended. For others - you are not missing anything worth your time.
  8. 1 point
    I don't think the microfighter concept is a strong one with current technology. I also think that fighters designed by small countries are at a very large disadvantage because of the current state of engine technology. This wasn't always the case, but it is the case now. Sweden made fighters that were perfectly competitive with those of the USA and USSR throughout the Cold War, and during WWII small nations like Romania and Australia managed to turn out fighters that were perfectly competitive with those of major powers, at least for a time. I should clarify that I mean "small" in the sense of economic power, not land area. The UK and Japan could both turn out decent fifth-generation fighters in the near future if they decided it was a priority (UK more easily than Japan). The main problem is that state-of-the-art jet engines can only be made by a handful of companies. Only those companies have the experience and expertise to design and produce the high temperature components of a top-of-the-line jet engine. John Golan's Lavi book explains that the Israelis were confident that they could produce every single component of the Lavi except the engines. The Lavi was not low-tech, far from it. The entire fuselage was to be filled with Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) jamming devices, the nose would contain a look-down-shoot-down radar, and the wings would be made of aeroelastically tailored carbon fiber composites. All of this stuff was comparably advanced to anything the US or Soviets had airborne at the time, and in some cases (notably the wing composite structure and jammers) it was better. But they categorically could not make the engines in Israel. In fact, any license-production of the engines would amount to mere assembly of knock-down kits of engine components. In order for a jet engine to have better efficiency and power density, the core inside the engine needs to experience greater temperature gradients: The Y axis is pressure and the X axis is volume. Pressure multiplied by volume is work, so the entire area enclosed by the diagram is the work the engine produces. Since a gas increases in temperature when it is compressed, improving engine performance necessarily entails the use of materials that can withstand greater temperatures. Current top of the line gas turbine blades are made of mono-crystal nickel alloys, and those are a stone cold bitch to make. Only a handful of companies worldwide can do it. But these exotic, difficult materials aren't just a luxury. They're fundamental to achieving a high performance thermodynamic cycle. A jet engine can certainly be made that doesn't use these exotic nickel alloys, but they're bigger, heavier and less efficient than one that does. Check out this comparison of a GE F404 with a GE J79: The earliest versions of F404 produced nearly as much thrust as the last versions of the J79, and later versions eclipsed it entirely, all while being narrower, much shorter, slightly more fuel efficient, and requiring enormously less maintenance. Mono-crystal nickel alloy blades are the sine qua non of modern jet fighter engines. Off the top of my head, there's one company in the UK that can make these things, two in the USA, one in France, two in Russia and one in China, but they're still getting their feet under them. The Japanese have enough expertise in industrial turbines and exotic materials science that I think they could figure it out if they threw a huge wad of money at the problem. India is trying to develop independent expertise, but... it's Indian defense. This means that any country that wants to develop a new fighter that is not on the list above has to make do with engines from a country that is on the list above. This means that a lot of the fundamental decisions about the aircraft are made for them. At what altitude and airspeed will the fighter be most efficient? A small country that can't design engines has to choose from a handful of already available engines and hope that the parameters of the existing designs closely match what they want. There is also the possibility that the small country doesn't get the engine they want at all. SAAB is stuck with a weaker version of the General Electric F414 for the Gripen E/F that only produces 98 kN. Since the Gripen E/F is quite a bit heavier than earlier versions, this leaves it somewhat underpowered. General Electric had calculated that, with enough development money, they could develop a souped-up variant of the F414 capable of producing 120 kN of thrust. They pitched this idea, called the F414 EPE, to the US Navy as an upgrade for F/E/A-18E/F/G-e-i-e-i-o fighters. The US Navy was initially interested, but ultimately decided to spend the money elsewhere. So SAAB is stuck with an underpowered Gripen E/F and can't do anything about it, as they're not really in a position to spend the megabucks that GE will want for engine development. Another problem is that the current air warfare paradigm doesn't really favor small fighters. I wrote a post about the effects of scaling on fighter performance on another forum, so I'll copy-paste it here: From simple physical scaling effects, smaller fighters should have an edge in maneuverability but should be at a disadvantage in terms of range and speed. With the fifth generation of fighter jets emphasizing supercruise capability and long range (in order to help compensate for small fleet sizes), a relatively small fighter is not looking like a great trade-off. There are other problems with micro-fighters under the current fifth-generation paradigm. Radar performance (range, resolution) is directly related to the size of the antenna. Bigger fighters can support a larger radar. Internal weapons bays are more or less a must for stealth, and a small fighter is going to have a much harder time supporting internal bay that can carry all the sorts of ordnance it might need to carry. The hybrid light strike/trainer concept has more merit, but I am not sure that this idea is a wise allocation of resources. Combat aircraft designers have moved towards multi-role designs that double as fighters and as attack aircraft because individual aircraft have become more expensive and because mission electronics have become so much better. But aerodynamically speaking, a multi-role aircraft is not an attractive idea. In order to have the requisite agility needed for air to air combat, fighters need to have lots of features that compromise their efficiency. Fighters have huge wings, proportionally speaking, so that they can produce lots of lift. They have vortex generators like canards, dogteeth and LERXs to allow them to pitch to very high angles of attack. They have gigantic vertical stabilizers, ventral fins and other auxiliary and oversize control surfaces to maintain control while they are performing extreme maneuvers. All of this stuff improves agility, but adds weight and drag. A light strike aircraft that doubles as an advanced trainer might be able to perform useful missions in a strike role (as the L39 albatross is today in Syria), but it won't do very much in an air-to-air role. If, in any realistic war, it would just be killed in any sort of contested airspace, it makes more sense to stop pretending that it can double as some sort of fighter, and get rid of all of the features that make it more agile, and just use it as a light bomber. Better still, make it a drone. I think that is the balance of considerations based on modern technology. Changes in technology could change this balance a lot. For instance, General Electric is working on silicon carbide turbine blades, since mono-crystal nickel alloy blades are nearing the limits of their potential. Once the silicon carbide technology is mature, it might turn out to be much easier to produce than the mono-crystal nickel alloys. It is also possible that computers and CFD software will improve to the point where institutional experience in engine design matter less, and small nations will be able to reasonably design and produce their own fighter jet engines. But that is speculative. For right now, I think fighter aircraft are really only competitive if they're fairly big, and if they come from fairly big nations.
  9. 1 point
    Late stage meiosis, mayhap? (can't be mitosis - I refuse to believe the guy has the right number of chromosomes)
  10. 0 points
    Also, my dudes. It has come to my knowledge that Mike Sparks. THE Mike Sparks, also known as JamesBondisReal, denies being associated with BlackTail Defense.
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