JF-17/FC-1 Fighter Aircraft thread


Mohsin77

Junior Member
Registered Member
You have to be careful with integrating IRST. There are downsides of this arrangement. Not only does it increase the per unit cost, it also increases weight. So the advantages of increased thrust that you just gained may vanish if you keep packing in more subsystems.

I think a podded IRST + Datalink is a better solution over all. That gives you the flexibility of selecting 1 aircraft in each group to mount an IRST, and it can share the picture with everyone else via datalink. That's also what the USN is doing with the Super Hornet's upgrade.

The decision to upgrade the engine has given the whole project more time in development (like 2+ years.) They can use that time to pack in more capability, but they need to choose wisely and only select the most needed systems which will have the highest impact.
 
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Austin Powers

New Member
Registered Member
You have to be careful with integrating IRST. There are downsides of this arrangement. Not only does it increase the per unit cost, it also increases weight. So the advantages of increased thrust that you just gained may vanish if you keep packing in more subsystems.

I think a podded IRST + Datalink is a better solution over all. That gives you the flexibility of selecting 1 aircraft in each group to mount an IRST, and it can share the picture with everyone else via datalink. That's also what the USN is doing with the Super Hornet's upgrade.

The decision to upgrade the engine has given the whole project more time in development (like 2+ years.) They can use that time to pack in more capability, but they need to choose wisely and only select the most needed systems which will have the highest impact.
Pods increase drag. Precisely the thing newer planes like J-20, F-22, F-35, Su-57 avoid. Also datalink can be jammed so it's not a safe bet.
 

Mohsin77

Junior Member
Registered Member
I missed this, apologies for the late reply:

Pods increase drag. Precisely the thing newer planes like J-20, F-22, F-35, Su-57 avoid.
That's not the main reason why 5th gen aircraft avoid pods (it's to lower RCS.) The Block III is meant to be a 4+ gen aircraft on a budget. Even the Super Hornet is carrying IRST in a pod, and even the Eagle 2040C concept won't be able to avoid pods altogether, and that's supposed to be a 'low RCS' version.

Also datalink can be jammed so it's not a safe bet.
If/When your datalink gets jammed, you have bigger problems than not sharing IRST.
 
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Brumby

Major
That's not the main reason why 5th gen aircraft avoid pods (it's to lower RCS.) The Block III is meant to be a 4+ gen aircraft on a budget. Even the Super Hornet is carrying IRST in a pod, and even the Eagle 2040C concept won't be able to avoid pods altogether, and that's supposed to be a 'low RCS' version.
The Super Hornet could not mount an internal IRST pod without giving up something in return.

I do not understand the general fixation of the JF-17 needing an IRST capability. The IRST21 development was to target the J-20. The PAF do not have such a requirement as the main adversary platform will likely be the SU-30 MKI. An AESA equipped JF-17 by my estimate will detect such a platform at least 200 kms away. The utility of an IRST in such an operational context is just not conceivable unless the PAF is going for a high end system. The IRST21 pod is estimated to cost more than $13 million each.

It is not about getting an IRST system. It is how much you are prepared to pay. A cheap system will not give you any decent mileage. That was the lesson with the OLS-29 for the MIG-29.
 

Mohsin77

Junior Member
Registered Member
The IRST21 development was to target the J-20.
That would surprise me, it may only have been its marketing pitch. Let's remember that the USN is basically regaining a capability that it had on the Tomcat, which used IRST for verifying radar/IFF contacts. Capabilities of next gen IRSTs have increased, but I doubt they can help Rhinos against J-20s, except for very limited scenarios and in ideal conditions.

With that said, I totally agree that the operational contexts against MKIs/Rafales are overestimated by people. IRSTs offer more versatile tactics, but AESAs + good BVRAAMs (+ECM/ECCM/Kinetic performance/Range/Cost etc.) should be more important for the PAF.
 

Brumby

Major
That would surprise me, it may only have been its marketing pitch. Let's remember that the USN is basically regaining a capability that it had on the Tomcat, which used IRST for verifying radar/IFF contacts. Capabilities of next gen IRSTs have increased, but I doubt they can help Rhinos against J-20s, except for very limited scenarios and in ideal conditions.
I am surprised that you think the IRST21 is some kind of marketing pitch. Since this is a JF-17 thread I will be brief.

It has been in active development since 2016 with Block I having been completed and has gone IOC. Block 2 is the main aim as the intention is not only to detect (in Block I) but to have the capability to passively target at ranges in excess of typical radar distances. The program is a $2.4 billion program of record.

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