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avatar1234

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The F-117s in these shots are looking factory fresh. Very impressive for such an old jet that has been “retired” for quite a while now.
They've probably picked the best few airframes out of the 50ish f117 there were, perhaps used various bits of airframe from various planes. Possibly even applied some new RA materials to the f117 to better represent new threats.
Still, is it really more cost effective to do all that and use f117 to play aggressor than simply dedicate a few F-35s for the same role? Stealth can always be dialled back with some add-ons to the airframe, if needed.
 

meckhardt98

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Not until the USN gets a surface combatant with enough onboard power generation for at least one railgun. The Large Surface Combatant design probably won't start until the mid 2020s, in all likelihood.
They said that they would order the first unit in 2023, awfully optimistic if you ask me.
 

siegecrossbow

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Perhaps it’s a step in the right direction, however these are laser dopplers that are used to blind optical equipment and “dazzle” onlookers. Russia has already had this technology implemented for some time in a smaller package. I think it’s a useful technology however they’ve sacrificed that spot which could mount a CWIS/CRAM for a glorified laser pointer. Just my opinion.

ODIN could be used to hard-kill small UAVs and possibly rafts/speed boats used by terrorists but its primary purpose is to blind optical sensors on missiles. Since the platform is presumably stable enough to track a high speed missile, all it really needs to turn into a hard-kill weapon is to ramp up the wattage.
 

Kaine

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ODIN could be used to hard-kill small UAVs and possibly rafts/speed boats used by terrorists but its primary purpose is to blind optical sensors on missiles. Since the platform is presumably stable enough to track a high speed missile, all it really needs to turn into a hard-kill weapon is to ramp up the wattage.
Do you know the range of ODIN on high speed missiles

I assume that if the range is at the lower end, then even with damaged optical sensors, the missile could still follow its current trajectory and still hit the target.

Ofc the other assumption is that it can only damage optical sensors and not the whole missile
 

siegecrossbow

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Do you know the range of ODIN on high speed missiles

I assume that if the range is at the lower end, then even with damaged optical sensors, the missile could still follow its current trajectory and still hit the target.

Ofc the other assumption is that it can only damage optical sensors and not the whole missile

If you just need to blind or dazzle sensors on a missile the range can actually be quite long because unlike with hard-kill, the laser intensity does not need to be as high. The laser "spot" can also be several magnitudes larger, which makes it comparably easy to track and engage the target. A Chinese ground-based variant called LW-30, which has similar wattage to this one (30KW), was stated to be able to blind sensors at 20KM. No reason that ODIN couldn't do the same if weather permits.
 

MarKoz81

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They've probably picked the best few airframes out of the 50ish f117 there were, perhaps used various bits of airframe from various planes. Possibly even applied some new RA materials to the f117 to better represent new threats.
Still, is it really more cost effective to do all that and use f117 to play aggressor than simply dedicate a few F-35s for the same role? Stealth can always be dialled back with some add-ons to the airframe, if needed.

If your goal is to train humans and develop tactics against all-aspect stealth then yes.

F-35 is stealthy only in Lockheed Martin's PR pieces. It has a very narrow aspect of X-band VLO from the front and is not particularly stealthy in other aspects including from above and below.

Borrowing Carlo Koop's images:

640px_JSF-RCS-Qualitative-A-XLVHF.png
640px_JSF-Beam-Specular-1.png

When F-35 was being designed - in the 1990s and the 2000s - there wasn't an option to practically model AESA radars and distributed networks, let alone factor in machine intelligence. So it is stealthy by those standards but not by the standards of 2020s and 2030s. Not in the same fashion that F-117 was in 1991 - and even then it wasn't really that stealthy.

But F-117 was designed to be as stealthy as possible from every aspect so what you do is you reduce the capacity of your radar which is programmable and then train tactics with a "proper" stealth aircraft. Front, back, top, bottom and IR reduction.

The only other option is to fly F-22A or B-2S and those are more expensive and every single one of them is needed.
 

siegecrossbow

Lieutenant General
Staff member
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If your goal is to train against all-aspect stealth then yes.

F-35 is stealthy only in Lockheed Martin's PR pieces. It has a very narrow aspect of X-band VLO from the front and is not particularly stealthy in other aspects including from above and below.

Borrowing Carlo Koop's images:

View attachment 75019
View attachment 75020

When F-35 was being designed - in the 1990s and the 2000s - there wasn't an option to practically model AESA radars and distributed networks, let alone factor in machine intelligence.

F-117 was designed to be as stealthy as possible from every aspect so what you do is you reduce the capacity of your radar which is programmable and then train tactics with a "proper" stealth aircraft.

The only other option is to fly F-22A or B-2S and those are more expensive and every single one of them is needed.

None of the currently in service fifth gen fighters is particularly stealthy other than the frontal aspect and that includes the F-22. Side RCS can spike to around 1m^2 despite optimizations because of the presence of vertical slabs. Rear aspect RCS can be even worse depending on the angle.
 

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