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Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby RetroSicotte » 01 Nov 2018, 08:15

dmereifield wrote:If that is the case, why is the Rafale cheaper than the Typhoon?

In many cases, Rafale has been a lot more expensive than Typhoon.

How a country's home industry is set up matters a great deal in how much it pays to use things it makes itself. What they "count as" the price, what that price includes, how much is returned, etc etc.

It's almost impossible to compare home manufacture costs.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 01 Nov 2018, 15:52

Frenchie wrote:If the Franco-German project is not successful we will be under American domination, the monopoly is not good for business, if our American friends are the only ones to manufacture combat aircraft and drones, they will set the price.


Who is "we" ??

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 01 Nov 2018, 15:54

dmereifield wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:Whilst I agree, the size of the programme will be too small with just Sweden and Italy on board. The requirements form these countries plus the UK could be as few as 200 or even less. This would mean the cost would still be too high and probably unaffordable if funded by the defence budgets of these three countries. Any future programme is going to be a numbers game with production totals needing to be more akin to Typhoon or Tornado to make it viable, we therefore need more partners with firm requirements. On the plus side the fact the Franco/German FCAS has to be carrier capable will make that programme even more expensive, so any UK led future manned (or unmanned) platform may appeal to more countries as long as its price is competitive to the next generation of US platforms.


If that is the case, why is the Rafale cheaper than the Typhoon?


The quick answers are that a) it's smaller and b) France subsidizes exports in a way that Eurofighter does not.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby dmereifield » 01 Nov 2018, 19:14

Ron5 wrote:
dmereifield wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:Whilst I agree, the size of the programme will be too small with just Sweden and Italy on board. The requirements form these countries plus the UK could be as few as 200 or even less. This would mean the cost would still be too high and probably unaffordable if funded by the defence budgets of these three countries. Any future programme is going to be a numbers game with production totals needing to be more akin to Typhoon or Tornado to make it viable, we therefore need more partners with firm requirements. On the plus side the fact the Franco/German FCAS has to be carrier capable will make that programme even more expensive, so any UK led future manned (or unmanned) platform may appeal to more countries as long as its price is competitive to the next generation of US platforms.


If that is the case, why is the Rafale cheaper than the Typhoon?


The quick answers are that a) it's smaller and b) France subsidizes exports in a way that Eurofighter does not.


Thanks, but that was what I was getting at. If the original assumption was to hold true, it would be true now also...

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 01 Nov 2018, 20:14

Sorry I was being kinda slow.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 02 Nov 2018, 01:04

Well I suppose if any and all Governments involves in a Future programme were to heavily subsidise the programme, both for development and manufacture, like certain nations do as a matter of principal even though it goes against the regulations set down by various trade bodies, then the platform that resulted would be more affordable when it came to defence spending, but the UK Government for one, doesn't like to do things that way believing that the private sector should be capable of supporting itself and the Treasury likes this because it reduces Government spending and producing nice round figures on their spreadsheets. The only real way the cost of any programme will be reduced is by scale and numbers produced.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Nov 2018, 07:54

Lord Jim wrote: The only real way the cost of any programme will be reduced is by scale and numbers produced.


The reason for an 'interim' jack-of-all-trades F-35 prgrm and a global 'partnership' for it
- the next one will be 'proprietary' to the US only (again, like the F-22, which paid for many of the tech break-thrus that the F-35 is harnessing)

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 02 Nov 2018, 08:07

Lord Jim wrote:The only real way the cost of any programme will be reduced is by scale and numbers produced.


I would disagree to a point scale and numbers only get you so far before costs start to stay constant as rate tooling and and touch labour means costs will not reduce. The only way reduced cost is not to develop everything from new in one platform and don’t set unrealistic requirements. We’re poor at both

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Nov 2018, 08:35

You said it yourself
SW1 wrote: The only way reduced cost is not to develop everything from new in one platform

but let me emphasise the point (and I doubt anyone coming back, saying that automotive industry, in its current state of transformation, is irrelevant to warship design&build or Project Tempest, tasked with coming up with subsystems that could go onto many fighter designs, perhaps even onto the ones in service) https://blogs-images.forbes.com/innovat ... odel-S.jpg

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby shark bait » 02 Nov 2018, 09:15

SW1 wrote:The only way reduced cost is not to develop everything from new in one platform


Correct. Build a new air frame, uprate an existing engine, and use existing sensors in an open system to be incremented over time. I posted a slide from the USAF on page 37 that repeats this message.

The scope of recent projects has been to huge to handle, the F35 being the best example, three new air frames, two new engines, and loads of new systems! Sounds like a terrible idea with hindsight.

To accommodate the above on Tempest I'd suggest building a brand new airframe, that uses an uprated EJ2000, and build in an internal payload bay that will fit existing podded sensors on the inside to manage RCS.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Nov 2018, 09:30

shark bait wrote:internal payload bay that will fit existing podded sensors on the inside


That's a new idea... once the doors of the bay are opened, then RCS mgt goes 'out of the window'.
- so which sensors would be on the airframe, and what kind 'hidden' in the bay?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby shark bait » 02 Nov 2018, 10:39

Wouldn't suggest putting doors on the bay, but instead repackage an existing podded sensor to fit flush with the payload bay. Pretty much making a round sensor pod fit a square hole.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby RetroSicotte » 02 Nov 2018, 11:24

Probably better off just doing the pod how F-35s done it. Integrated into the fuselage. Permanently available with no hardpoint use or RCS loss.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby shark bait » 02 Nov 2018, 12:06

Not convinced that's something to be repeated. Its not good to design a bespoke subsystem for an aircraft that takes so long to develop end to end its obsolete by the time its in service.

Some form of modular payload, with a life cycle isolated from the air frame, would be a step in the right direction. Essentially take a Litening targeting pod, and fit it internally on the next gen.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby RetroSicotte » 02 Nov 2018, 14:00

shark bait wrote:Not convinced that's something to be repeated. Its not good to design a bespoke subsystem for an aircraft that takes so long to develop end to end its obsolete by the time its in service.

Some form of modular payload, with a life cycle isolated from the air frame, would be a step in the right direction. Essentially take a Litening targeting pod, and fit it internally on the next gen.

EOTS is not "obsolete". Every aircraft has things on it that have newer developments by the time they're made. That's just the reality of design today. EOTS is still a very capable targeting pod. Just because it's not the bleeding edge this year top of the line doesn't mean that it's instantly worthless and obsolete. And the benefits it offers the aircraft's performance are remarkable in terms of range, aerodynamics, persistence of having said capability in places that other planes can't afford to use it and no need to compromise RCS to conduct pod based recce.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby shark bait » 02 Nov 2018, 14:22

"just reality of design today" - that's bullshit, it's the reality of poor design.

EOTS is too tightly integrated to be an easy upgrade, 5th generation have lost an ability their predecessors had, and that is something that needs to change in the next generation. There has to be a push towards modular payloads for the aircraft in design now.
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Nov 2018, 14:45

shark bait wrote:EOTS is too tightly integrated to be an easy upgrade

- there is an upgrade
- is it easy? Someone else here can tell?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 02 Nov 2018, 15:52

SO why not have a modular avionic/sensor bay in the nose where you can use modular sensors, but have a common aperture for what ever is installed that is part of the airframe. If enough platforms are built the manufacturers of such systems will probably design the sensors and bear the development cost themselves.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 02 Nov 2018, 16:26

An issue with a/c that rely on signature management and in particular their cross section shape is it drives significant cost into there manufacture it also means changing the shape and any aperture is extremely difficult particularly increasing them in size. So any future upgrades needs to fit into a shape defined very early in the a/c’s design. A/c that do not wish to place signature management so high as a design driver has much more freedom

shark bait wrote:Correct. Build a new air frame, uprate an existing engine, and use existing sensors in an open system to be incremented over time. I posted a slide from the USAF on page 37 that repeats this message.


I would agree they are obvious learning from Saab on this as this was the core of the gripen upgrade. But the system has to be true open architecture many systems claim they are but when you scratch the surface they really aren’t. In particular US ITAR restriction are a complete pain.

On the main points of your argument shark bait I would agree and have for some time thought the same. On engines you could have an engine option of an ej200 or f414 for example should you wish but this would need to be agreed very early and a common set of interfaces for both power plants. The one thing this future jet needs to ensure is the power plants have sufficent power and thrust growth for the life of the product ej200 has this in spades.

On podded systems I think this is key they are much easier to upgrade and allow smaller companies and countries to contribute a high tech solution without the need to invest in designing there own aircraft. The best example on current aircraft is as mentioned the litening pod. How do you this going fwd well as an example in the civil world you can certify an aircraft to fly with or without its wingtip fairing for example.

So how about clearing a series of “pods” or external fuel tanks. So say removable wing tips for das or side radars, Also design an aerodynamic shape with a specified weight and c of g that can be the bases for either fuel, senors of any type, or a series of weapons and clear it early in the flight test program. There is significantly less effort required to certify the pods if shape/weight/ and C of G remain constant . Everybody who then wanted a new sensor or weapon in the aircraft knows what they need to design it around. If the pod held future weapons, like with paveway 4 if they’re clever in the design then new variants can be integrated with much less pain. (Think tornado Hindenburg tanks and raptor)

Lastly and it moves into thru life maintenance, I’ve never been on civil program that at its heart hasn’t attempted to push service intervals to there max and limit aircraft down time, as well as incorporating features that mean your maintenance people need less training, it can be as simple as not using locking wire on a nut or having self lubricating bearing so they don’t need greased, right up to replacing hydraulic systems with electrical ones, to the design of some of the structural members it doesn’t seem to placed as high up the requirement list on military programs as it should. But it all needs considered and designed in for the start.

The ultimate starting point is does your combat force need to be entirely low observable and while I don’t think it does it’s a debate that I’m sure will be at the heart of the problem team tempest will have to answer

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 02 Nov 2018, 16:33

Do all your troops wear camouflage?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Timmymagic » 02 Nov 2018, 16:56

shark bait wrote:EOTS is too tightly integrated to be an easy upgrade,


Didn't the F-35 programme announce a very easy upgrade recently?
They're replacing the E/O sensors with new versions. Not even from the original manufacturer.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... or-416631/

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby topman » 02 Nov 2018, 20:00

SW1, do you post as mark on TD?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 02 Nov 2018, 21:00

topman wrote:SW1, do you post as mark on TD?



I do came over here bit more entertainment, specially winding up the naval bods.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Pseudo » 03 Nov 2018, 00:25

SW1 wrote:
topman wrote:SW1, do you post as mark on TD?

I do came over here bit more entertainment, specially winding up the naval bods.

Wouldn't you rather engage honestly in discussion than wind people up?

Sorry, I've never really got the trolling thing.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 03 Nov 2018, 08:33

Pseudo wrote:
SW1 wrote:
topman wrote:SW1, do you post as mark on TD?

I do came over here bit more entertainment, specially winding up the naval bods.

Wouldn't you rather engage honestly in discussion than wind people up?

Sorry, I've never really got the trolling thing.


It appears humour is the first thing to go online! What happens here or online anywhere won’t change a thing. All for debate open and honest the problem is the answer usual is right we must have more navy now let’s find a question that ensures that’s the answer.


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