Electronic Weapons: August 29, 2000

Archives

Boeing is developing its Joint Strike Fighter prototype to provide for new tactics. Whenever a stealthy aircraft opens its weapons bay doors, the interior surfaces of the weapons bays are more reflective than the aircraft, causing its radar return to increase by a factor in the hundreds. Boeing's design provides for two weapons bays, which open to the side rather than down. This would allow the aircraft to turn one (stealthy) side toward an enemy radar, then open the weapons bay on the other side and launch a weapon which would pass under the fighter and attack the target. Boeing says that its weapons bays are larger than the competing design and would allow growth in future weapons. The most likely new ones are larger bombs to penetrate hard bunkers and an improved anti-radar missile to replace HARM. (Raytheon has a new anti-radar missile under development in a classified program.) The Air Force also wants a new air-to-air missile with a range (100 miles) to match the improved radar on the F-22 and JSF. The new radar has 1,000 separate elements (the one on the F-22 has twice that). Many of these could be used to jam enemy radars. This would allow a pair of JSFs to operate as a team, with one staying above and behind the other to jam enemy radar while the lead aircraft actually bombs the target. (Because the radar has only a relatively narrow forward field of view, the jamming plane would have to stay back several miles in order to cover all potential ground radar sites.) After the initial attack, the two aircraft could reverse roles. Alternatively, a "train" of JSFs could attack a target, each one covered by the jamming of the plane behind it. Another tactic would be for two JSFs to fly a racetrack pattern over friendly territory so that one is always focusing its jamming on a particular sector of enemy territory. --Stephen V Cole


 


Article Archive

Electronic Weapons: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close