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Special Report

Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft Technology Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft – The Need to Continuously Develop An Upward Trend for Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft? Perfecting the Science of Precision Operation Unified Protector: Multi-Role Aircraft in Action Glimpses of the Future

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Published by Global Business Media


GRIPEN – THE BACKBONE OF A TRUE MULTI-ROLE AIR FORCE. Getting things done. That’s what the Gripen fighter is all about. Chosen by Air Forces around the world for its excellent capabilities and oustanding low life cycle cost, it has set the bar as the Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter. But it doesn’t stop there. The unique open architecture of the Gripen platform allows for easy incorporation of new technologies, providing future-proof flexibility that’s second to none. The continuous development of the platform will keep Gripen ahead of its competition for years to come, providing a rock-steady backbone for a true Next Generation Multi-Role Air Force. An Air Force with the ability to really get things done. www.saabgroup.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft Technology Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft – The Need to Continuously Develop

Contents

An Upward Trend for Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft? Perfecting the Science of Precision Operation Unified Protector: Multi-Role Aircraft in Action Glimpses of the Future

Foreword

2

Mary Dub, Editor

Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft – The Need to Continuously Develop

3

Peter Nilsson, Vice President, Business Development – Air Domain, Group Market & Sales Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

“Next Generation” Aircraft “Multi-Role” Capabilities Generating Air Power A Closer Look at Costs A Fighter Platform Must Always be a Perfect Fit

An Upward Trend for Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft?

Publisher Kevin Bell

European Manufacturers Look East and South Meanwhile, East and Central European Markets are Positive The Saab View A Coherent Threat Assessment

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

Perfecting the Science of Precision

Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2012. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

6

Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

8

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Sensor Data Fusion the Dominant Consideration in Avionics Saab Gripen Avionics New Materials Reduce Weight Reduced Weight Improves Fuel Performance

Operation Unified Protector: Multi-Role Aircraft in Action

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Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

Wider Lessons Learned from the R2P Campaign The Role of Precision, Sensor Fusion and Targeting Decision-Making in R2P Operations The Role of the Weather The Role of Dynamic Targeting to Ensure Precision Precision Munitions were Highly Prized

Glimpses of the Future

12

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Indian Government Preferences India Favour Dassault Military Offset Considerations of Critical Importance Cost and Technical Specifications Still Key for Swiss Airpower for the “New World Disorder”

References 14

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

Foreword T

his Special Report follows the flight of

Advances in avionics and data sensor fusion are

multi-role fighter aircraft. It has become a

central to delivering real-time situation awareness

cliché to assert that command of the air is critical

on the ground, air and at sea. Its role in adding

in 21st century warfare in what one of this edition’s

clarity to complexity and facilitating faster decision

commentators calls ‘the new world disorder’.

making from cluttered images is highly valued by

However, the price of aircraft and the choice of

pilots and commanders alike. This is the subject of

capabilities and associated technologies present

the third article. In counter insurgency campaigns

an increasingly complex picture.

where the avoidance of casualties is central to

The Report opens with an article that looks at the

prevailing in the final political outcome of a conflict,

concept of the multi-role fighter – one that has the

sensor fusion can amalgamate data from UAVs,

ability to perform more than one mission type in

and aircraft sensors with wider fields of vision to

parallel or, at least, during, the same sortie. It goes

allow better insight into how to choose targets.

on to describe what is meant by ‘Next Generation’

In a thought provoking insight into the Libya

– the ability to constantly integrate new systems

campaign of 2011 the fourth piece dives deep into

into the aircraft. The Swedish Gripen Fighter,

the lessons learned from the ‘Operation Unified

manufactured by Saab, fulfils this role, generating

Protector’. There is some strong evidence for

Air Power capable of defending user nations and

upgrades in intelligence and surveillance.

securing their interests. This is achieved not only

The view of the future in the end piece can never

through its total reliability and availability, but also

be as clear as hindsight, but signs in the market

in a cost-efficient manner that provides the lowest

of important continuing trends in customers

operating cost of any modern fighter.

demanding fuel economy, ruggedness and

The second piece takes a panoramic view of

excellent technological performance are strong.

market and technological trends in NATO-led countries, Asia, South America and the Middle East and reviews threats to national security, which the

Mary Dub

multi-role aircraft is designed to meet.

Editor

Mary Dub has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft – The Need to Continuously Develop Peter Nilsson, Vice President, Business Development – Air Domain, Group Market & Sales

M

ulti-Role, Swing-Role, Omni-Role – the names are many, but the definition is more or less the same – “A fighter aircraft’s ability to perform more than one mission type in parallel or, at least, during, the same sortie”. The concept was developed during the 70s and the 80s when the need from the armed forces was defined and the technology allowed it. Today, to a greater extent, every modern fighter claims to have the capability to perform more than one mission type during a single sortie. One of the most successful concepts that defines the term Multi-Role is the Swedish Gripen Fighter, manufactured by Saab. This Medium Weight fighter of the Next Generation constantly surprises by bringing new technology and capabilities to the frontline, year after year. While other, larger

nations and bigger manufacturers appear to have difficulties in delivering capabilities to the desired level as and when needed and struggle to limit costs to reasonable levels, Saab and Sweden are able to stay on track with a highly advanced and yet affordable fighter programme. How this possible, one is could ask? The first part of the answer to this question is to be found in the term “Next Generation”. The second part can be found in the term “Multi Role”.

“Next Generation” Aircraft By claiming that a fighter belongs to the “Next Generation” it is imperative to secure its capability by constantly integrating new systems into it. One aspect of this is the ability to update the fighter’s avionics – its “brain” – and by doing that secure the ability to plug-in new systems.

GRIPEN

The day your fighter aircraft fail to adapt and grow by incorporating new technology in terms of interfaces, weapons, sensors and subsystems – that is the day your air force begins to lose its capability to meet your nation’s and/or coalition’s requirements. And it will lose it fast…

Gripen fighter during air-to-air refuelling

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

Gripen sets the bar as the Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter. With a sensor suite second to none, including AESA radar, Infra Red Search Born to stay airborne. Gripen needs only ten minutes to refuel and rearm

and Tracking (IRST) and a fully digital spherical Electronic Warfare System, Gripen leads the way.

In Gripen, the engineers at Saab have built an “Open Architecture” avionics structure. What this basically means is that the structure allows for easy integration of new and updated systems, while offering full transparency to its customer air forces. This concept gives the fighter its well earned title “Next Generation” since Gripen, during its lifetime, can always be kept up to date. When its competitors start to lose their capabilities, Gripen’s capabilities will continue to grow.

“Multi-Role” Capabilities The term “Multi-Role” is not just about the aircraft’s ability to perform a multi role mission from a system perspective. The aircraft also requires a wide spectrum of modern sensors and weapons onboard to fulfill a true multi-role mission. During the latest conflicts, such as the one over Libya, it became clear that some fighter systems lack the capability to perform true multi-role tasks. One of many reasons was the un-balance in their sensors and weapon suites. Even here, Gripen sets the bar as the Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter. With a sensor suite second to none, including AESA radar, Infra Red Search and Tracking (IRST) and a fully digital spherical Electronic Warfare System, Gripen leads the way. This sensor suite, carefully balanced with a wide spectrum of the latest weaponry, gives Gripen NG the upper hand in future operations. As the world’s only carrier of the new European BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missile, the METEOR, together with precision engagement weapons such as the SDB (Small Diameter Bomb), the antiship missile RBS 15F-ER and the air-launched 4 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

cruise missile TAURUS to mention a few, Gripen delivers power projection on all fronts.

Generating Air Power The original reason for establishing an Air Force was to generate Air Power in order to defend a nation and secure its interests. Today, an Air Force must perform a more varied array of missions and assignments, and as such, provide Air Power. Many Air Forces have Concepts of Operations that also include air operations from air bases both on and offshore, protecting those bases, working co-operatively with other services, allied forces, coalition partners and security partners. The single most important factor in generating Air Power is a system’s total reliability and availability, performing “high-tempo” operations, continuously, 24/7. Gripen was designed and manufactured to be where it should be – in the air. While many other platforms have extensive maintenance schedules in order to fly a single mission, Gripen is designed and built to minimize maintenance times. Other fighters normally have a failure rate of between 2-5 hours between flight times, while Gripen flies around 8 hours between its failures. This simple fact allows a Commander with Gripen fighters to deploy twice as many assets in the air at any one time – generating true Air Power. Supportability is another important factor in the claim to be a “Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter”. Extremely rapid turnarounds, meaning the time for refuelling and re-arming between sorties, gives Gripen a leading position in generating Air Power. With only ten minutes required to refuel and rearm, no Commander will be disappointed. Ten minutes on the ground for 180 minutes in the


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

A Closer Look at Costs No one likes to speak about costs, especially not Gripen’s competitors. But costs must be considered. At the end of the day there is a price on capabilities. You have to consider not just the acquisition of a system, weapon or a sensor, but also the costs associated with training your personnel on the new system and the costs of supporting the system through its lifetime. Talking about Multi-Role fighters of today we normally calculate about 30-40 years for a fighter’s lifecycle. With 200 flight hours per year this gives you around 6000-8000 hours per aircraft. In total, an Air Force will maybe fly around 700,000 hours with a fighter fleet throughout the aircraft’s lifetime. In other words – operating costs are equally as important as acquisition costs. Gripen achieves the lowest operating cost of any modern fighter. In comparison, no one even comes close. Gripen´s flight hour cost is less than US$ 5000. A number you would have to multiply by at least a factor of five to find out the flight hour cost of its competitors. Gripen´s extremely low flight hour cost is accomplished by combining an advanced system design with commercial off

the shelf (COTS) components, meaning the best products at the best prices.

A Fighter Platform Must Always be a Perfect Fit Sometimes the focus is too much on a single platform and its capabilities. It is as part of a wider defence system that a single platform should be looked upon. A Next Generation MultiRole Fighter Aircraft capability is a good start. However, it is not until that single platform, with its weapon and sensors, fit into the rest of the armed forces system, can we begin to discuss generating Air Power. This is why fighter platforms needs continuous development, and this is the reason why Gripen excels. With its unique open architecture, Gripen, as a true Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter, will not just bring tomorrow’s capabilities to the fight. It will turn your Air Force into a Next Generation Multi-Role Air Force.

Contact Details: Saab AB, Aeronautics, SE-581 88 Linköping, Sweden Tel: +46 13 180000 Fax +46 13 182411 info@saabgroup.com www.saabgroup.com

GRIPEN

air. No one comes close to Gripen, giving the expression “Fighters do no good on the ground” a whole new meaning.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

An Upward Trend for Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft? Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

“The advent of airpower . . . is one of the great revolutions in the conduct of war. Many nations have been characterized as land powers, and others have been notable sea powers; but only one nation – the United States – has managed to adopt airpower in such a comprehensive and dominant fashion.” Eliot A. Cohen, United States Air Force historian.

When defence and air force procurement budgets are under the spotlight, it is highly relevant to review the task that these multi-role aircraft are being asked to perform.

T

he command of the air over battle space that a fighter jet delivers is critical to the national security of the United States and many other countries. The hope that Spring 2012 may bring a recovery in the market for next generation multi-role fighter aircraft is based on an assessment of the potential in markets outside the United States and Western Europe. The Dubai Air Show (November 2011) is one of the premier showcase events for many of the major aircraft manufacturers. The sentiment there was optimistic about the growth of emerging markets. Defence manufacturers, meanwhile, are adjusting to the prospect of reduced orders for combat aircraft from their traditional customers in western NATO countries, including the United States. “Development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter manufactured by Lockheed Martin of the US has been hit by delays, leading to predictions that the Pentagon will cut the planned US order of 2,443 aircraft. One option would be to axe the jump-jet version of the F-35. I think it’s likely the Pentagon will cut the number of F-35s,” said John Louth, an analyst at the Royal United Services Institute. “My feeling is that one version will get the chop.”1

European Manufacturers Look East and South It’s not just America’s Joint Strike Fighter; the Eurofighter Typhoon is a case in point: “The Typhoon has already been delivered to its four launch customers in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. So far, 285 jets have been delivered to those countries, with a further 187 to come. But as European governments grapple with large budget deficits, they are cutting back defence spending. It now looks all but certain that no new orders will come for the Eurofighter Typhoon (manufactured by EADs, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems) from its four launch partner countries, leaving the fighter dependent on winning export customers. 6 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

This explains why aerospace companies are intensifying their search for deals in emerging markets, where some countries have military ambitions to match their fast-growing economic clout. The Eurofighter consortium is on a shortlist of two suppliers of 126 combat aircraft to India, which could be worth $20bn, while Boeing is hoping to secure orders for its F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet in Brazil, in a deal that could be worth $5bn.”2

Meanwhile, East and Central European Markets are Positive While no “new European” country can match the order numbers generated by the United States, together they add up to a useful source of income. “With many countries making cuts to defence budgets, a series of planned fighter jet purchases in emerging Europe over the next few years is a welcome boost to the beleaguered defence industry. Up to eight countries are looking at new aircraft over the next decade, which the defence industry expects to generate sales of up to 250 jets. According to industry sources, Bulgaria is looking for 16 aircraft, Romania 24-48, Serbia 18-22, Croatia 12-24, Slovakia 12-15, Poland 32, and Turkey 40-80. One of the first up is the Czech Republic, which will soon announce its intention to buy 14 supersonic fighter jets. The cabinet will receive “in several weeks” a report from the defence ministry on the tender, with the government aiming to launch the process by the end of March” according to a top-ranking government source.3

The Saab View Key commentators are analyzing the trend. “There is a shift towards looking at the bottom line, especially since the crisis, because defence budgets are being cut across the board,” said Daniel Boestad, vice president for Central and Eastern Europe for Saab, which makes the Gripen


fighter jet that the Czech Air Force currently uses. “This point was hammered home by NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen in September, at a gathering in London. At a time of declining defence spending, the cost of military equipment is rising faster than GDP and faster than inflation. The solution, he said, is what he calls “smart defence” – to prioritise, to specialise, and to seek multinational solutions.”4

A Coherent Threat Assessment When defence and air force procurement budgets are under the spotlight, it is highly relevant to review the task that these multirole aircraft are being asked to perform. One view of the immediate threats to United States National Security is summarised by Thomas Erhard for CSBA (the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments). He sees a three fold threat: first, defeating both the Sunni Salifi-Takfiri and Shia Khomeinist brands of violent Islamist radicalism; second, hedging against the rise of a hostile or more openly confrontational China and the potential challenge posed by authoritarian capitalist states; and thirdly, preparing for a world in which there are more nuclear-armed regional powers.5 The question then arises, what type of fighter aircraft are most appropriate to meet

these challenges. Some criticise the high cost and the insufficient range of the Joint Strike Fighter. Is it best suited to meet the needs of irregular warfare and the need to meet a potential threat from China or a nuclear-armed state? Some don’t think so. “The most significant finding in measuring current plans against future challenges is that the Air Force is building a “middle-weight” force structure that is much too sophisticated and expensive for relatively low end or irregular conflicts, while simultaneously lacking needed capabilities and capacities to address challenges at the high-end of the military competition. By way of example, the F-35 Lightning II – by far the Service’s most expensive modernization effort –represents a classic “middle” capability that lacks critical performance characteristics (e.g., range) needed to meet highend challenges, while it is over specified and over priced for low-end challenges.”6 Erhard goes on to argue for a less technologically advanced and less fuel hungry aircraft, better suited to the needs of irregular warfare, rather than conventional warfare for which it was originally designed. Like the other Services, the Air Force could have been more aggressive in adapting to the demands of longduration irregular warfare.

GRIPEN

SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

Perfecting the Science of Precision Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

“Today, airpower is the dominant form of military power. Does this mean that all future wars will be won solely by airpower? Not at all. But what it does mean is that airpower has clearly proven its ability not merely to be decisive in war – after all, it had demonstrated decisiveness in the Second World War and, to a degree, as early as the First World War – but to be the determinant of victory in war.” Dr Richard P. Hallion, Senior Adviser for Air and Space Issues, Directorate for Security, Counterintelligence and Special Programs Oversight, US Department of Defense7

An application of sensor

precision strike mission area. Precision strike requires human elements such as image analysts and mission planners involved in command, control, communication, computers, information, surveillance, reconnaissance (C41SR) and pilots involved in weapon delivery. Benefits of sensor data fusion for the human element include reduced workload, improved throughput, and improved accuracy. Sensor data fusion also improves safety of the pilot and friendly forces/ civilians in the target area.”9

data fusion is the use of ATR (Automatic Target Recognition) to

Sensor Data Fusion the Dominant Consideration in Avionics

accurately detect and identify targets in a computationally efficient and timely manner.

T

o be decisive in war in the 21st century, airpower has to be precise and deliver weapons precisely. And since 1987 sensor data fusion has played a key role in delivering the situation awareness and added usefulness to the data streams available to pilots, the soldier on the ground and the commander. “Sensor data fusion was defined in 1987 by the Joint DOD Laboratories (JDL) subpanel on Data Fusion as ‘the process dealing with the association of sensor data and the estimation of entity kinematics, attributes, and identity to achieve assessments and projections of a situation. Sensor data fusion combines different sets of data from one or more sensors. Fusion can occur over multiple wavelengths, space or time. As the data channels are combined, the processing evolves from signal processing to information processing, resulting in information of higher value to the human element”8. Its benefits are important: “Sensor data fusion has numerous military applications, including the

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Fleeman at Boeing argues that the sensor fusion does not replace the human element in decision-making or resolving ambiguity, but its algorithms can enhance and add clarity to overwhelming complexity: “Although an autonomous system does not have the human frailties of fatigue or variation in performance over time, autonomous systems are not foolproof. In the foreseeable future, sensor data fusion algorithms are unlikely to embody the capability of the human element to resolve ambiguities and errors in target identification. Image analysts, mission planners, and pilots will provide oversight monitoring to ensure that correct targets are selected. Sensor data fusion will provide a leveraging of human efficiency, rather than a replacement of the human element.”10 Frequent installations of updates in sensor data fusion applications for avionics are critical to modern fighter aircraft avionics systems. Sensor data fusion adds to the robustness and certainty of image data allowing better real-time decision making:


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

Saab Gripen Avionics Saab’s new multi-role aircraft the Gripen has a highly competitive avionics system with data fusion. “The JAS 39 Gripen uses the modern PS-05/A pulse-doppler X-band radar, developed by Ericsson and GEC-Marconi, which is based on the latter’s advanced Blue Vixen radar for the Sea Harrier (which inspired the Eurofighter’s CAPTOR radar as well). The radar is capable of detecting, locating and identifying targets 120 km (74 mi) away, and automatically tracking multiple targets in the upper and lower spheres, on the ground and sea or in the air, in all weather conditions. It can guide several air-to-air missiles at beyond visual range to multiple targets simultaneously.” This is achieved through its sensor data fusion avionics. It has “a fully integrated avionic mission system operating on five 1553B digital data bus highways. This provides total sensor fusion resulting in enhanced combat capability guaranteeing precision delivery of smart weapons. A combination of low radar, IR and visual signatures, along with the long range PS05 multimode radar and sensor fusion, including world leading new generation weapon integration, ensure a high kill ratio in long range engagements.”12

New Materials Reduce Weight While algorithms and avionics are leading fighter aircraft to compete on leading edge technologies, other areas are moving fast as well. Materials science is leading to new developments in the use of composites. For example, Boeing, in its commercial aircraft, is using increasing percentages of composites to reduce the weight of its aircraft. Boeing started the latest product development battle with a greatly increased use of composites in the 787. Composites account for 50 per cent by weight of the 787, and aluminium has shrunk to only 20 per cent – compared with 12 per cent composites and 50 per cent aluminium in the Boeing 777, the US group’s last new aircraft before the 787. Composite materials – the A350 will have a similar share to the 787 – allow lighter, simpler fuselage and wing structures, reducing weight and fuel consumption. The promise is also that the materials will not fatigue or corrode.

Reduced Weight Improves Fuel Performance Fighter aircraft fuel consumption and fuel/ power ratio is important because many if not all purchasers are aware of the importance of the rising price of fuel. The case in the United States is an extreme example, which makes the point: “The Air Force consumes more petroleum each year than any other agency of the US Government, and thus is more susceptible to rising petroleum prices. According to the New York Times, the Air Force burned 3.2 billion gallons of aviation fuel in 2005, over 50 percent of the US government’s total consumption. Due to steadily rising oil prices, Air Force leaders revealed that they paid $1.4 billion more for aviation fuel in 2005 than the year before, admitting that the higher fuel costs were creating a “budget crisis.”13

GRIPEN

“An application of sensor data fusion is the use of ATR (Automatic Target Recognition) to accurately detect and identify targets in a computationally efficient and timely manner. Challenges include weather, clutter, and changes in the target signature. Changes in the target signature could include target wear, orientation, and camouflage. Although no ATR system is perfect, sensor data fusion provides robustness in false alarm rate and detection.”11

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

Operation Unified Protector: Multi-Role Aircraft in Action Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

“The contribution of non-NATO nations was seen in a very positive light. Sweden contributed for the first time to an air campaign, initially in the defensive air combat role, and then in a tactical reconnaissance role, collecting imagery through sensor suites. The Gripen aircraft proved outstanding in this latter role and outstripped other combat assets with the quality of its tactical ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance). Sweden’s longstanding collaboration with NATO as a Partner for Peace made co-operation relatively seamless, and may mean that Sweden will participate more readily in future operations.” RUSI Short War Long Shadow, editors Adrian Johnson and Saqeb Mueen14

Operation Unified Protector, a coalition-led campaign to help Libyan insurgents against their government in 2011, had a number of features that made it a unique campaign.

O

peration Unified Protector, a coalition-led campaign to help Libyan insurgents against their government in 2011, had a number of features that made it a unique campaign. As an air campaign without any ground forces (except perhaps Special Forces) the overriding criteria was the avoidance of casualties. “Perhaps the most crucial aspect of military diplomacy was the evident need to avoid civilian casualties at all costs. The operation was in pursuit of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 that was designed wholly to protect Libyan civilians. Nothing could have derailed the operation so quickly in the minds of a non-committal public at home, and of Libyans themselves, than civilian casualties among those the operation was explicitly mandated to help.”15

Wider Lessons Learned from the R2P Campaign Many different analysts will continue to take different perspectives on the long-term lessons of the campaign. However, focussing on the availability of multi-role aircraft, a number of commentators noted not only the contribution of the Swedes, but the failure to play a role of other countries. “There is some evidence to suggest that Eastern European nations used Germany’s decision to sit out on ethical grounds as an excuse to do the same, although this may have hidden more serious problems. Indeed, Robert Gates stated that few of those who did not contribute actually had the ability to commit high-quality air assets or personnel. This contrasts starkly with

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the Qatar Emiri Air Force, which managed to commit two thirds of its twelve combat aircraft to the operation.”16

The Role of Precision, Sensor Fusion and Targeting DecisionMaking in R2P Operations The fast moving political situation on the ground highlighted the importance of accurate situation awareness and enhanced image quality. “Operation Unified Protector was conducted at a somewhat slower pace, in part because much of the fixed Libyan military command infrastructure had been destroyed during Operation Odyssey Dawn and because it was increasingly difficult to distinguish Gadhafi loyalists from the rebels: ‘We found ourselves with both sides having the same equipment and both sides dressed in similar fashion. And in fact, a lot of the equipment would shift back and forth within hours from


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

The Role of the Weather “Weather also played a crucial role in hindering air operations at this stage, and indeed it was only the all-weather Sentinel R1s and JSTARS which could operate their sensors through the thick cloud.” Such was the importance of intelligence and reconnaissance information that the role of these capabilities may lead to a reassessment of their critical contribution. “The success of the military campaign will likely have an impact on how the UK, and many of its European partners, structure their forces in an era of defence budget austerity. Operations over Libya highlighted the vital necessity of effective battlefield intelligence assets. And not simply in a technical sense: minimising civilian casualties – a sine qua non of political support – demands effective and up-to-date

targeting information. Advanced ISTAR assets, therefore, will be essential to both sustain the military effort and the political will behind humanitarian interventions.”

The Role of Dynamic Targeting to Ensure Precision The RUSI Whitehall report highlights the importance of dynamic targeting to ensure accuracy. “Many of the aircraft flying air-to-ground strike missions were undertaking dynamic targeting, using their targeting pods to identify their own targets, perform collateral damage assessment and – if appropriate – destroy them. The lack of forces on the ground meant that some tasks – laser designation, first-stage battle-damage assessment – were also undertaken from the air.”17

Precision Munitions were Highly Prized “Advanced munitions, particularly low-collateral, inert and fused weapons such as Hellfire, Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone and Paveway IV were highly prized. They allowed extraordinary precision from aircraft operating at up to 20,000 feet. This was a significant leap forwards from Operation Allied Force over Kosovo, which was the first operation to use GPS-guided munitions in large numbers. Pictures shown on news channels of command-and-control nodes destroyed leaving adjacent buildings intact, or of airstrikes that had targeted specific floors on buildings, demonstrated the care with which targets were selected. Even those weapons that were deemed ‘off target’ usually only missed their target by a maximum of 5 metres.”

GRIPEN

one to the other… This lack of intelligence and real-time dedicated ISTAR feeds, more than the lack of combat or tanking assets, was a limiting factor for NATO forces wishing to attack targets, owing to difficulties in distinguishing between loyalist and rebel forces on the front line. Symbols painted on the roofs of technicals were often copied by loyalist forces and it was only by studying the movement of forces using widearea surveillance platforms which could indicate where groups of vehicles had come from (known loyalist or rebel territory) that groups could be identified (targeting pods or Predator feeds have a much narrower field of view). There were, however, certain behaviour markers: loyalists forces could sometimes be identified, for instance, because they used military manoeuvring techniques.”

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

Glimpses of the Future Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

The value of a multi-role fighter aircraft to deliver against national security threats in Asia, South America and the Middle East depends on more than the technical capabilities of the aircraft.

T

he value of a multi-role fighter aircraft to deliver against national security threats in Asia, South America and the Middle East depends on more than the technical capabilities of the aircraft. While price, maintenance contracts, ruggedness and avionics among many other features are of critical importance in one country or another, an overriding feature is the political relationship of the two dealmakers. India is in the market for an $11bn contract to deliver 126 multi-role fighter jets. India shortlisted two European manufacturers, Dassault and Eurofighter over the competing American and Russian tenders, but because the deal is loaded with political capital, it is highly prized. “The winning bid is expected to shape India’s air power for the next three decades and serve as the bedrock of a strategic partnership.”18 Top Indian officials and politicians had indicated that they wished to buy US military hardware to improve a fast-warming relationship between the two democracies in the wake of the transformative nuclear deal. The US had pitched Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed’s F-16 Super Viper against the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault’s Rafale, Sweden’s Saab Gripen and Russia’s MiG-35. Defence experts considered the US fighters to be less advanced than some of the competition. But rival bidders were worried that political clout from Washington would give US competitors an advantage.

Indian Government Preferences Cmdr. Uday Bhaskar, a defence analyst, said that the jets had been assessed on technical grounds but the final decision could not be divorced from geopolitics. “There can be no doubt that the bilateral US-India relationship will be significantly influenced by this decision,” he said. However, the Indian government said that technical considerations were overriding: India’s ministry of defence insists its preferences in the fighter competition were purely technical. The European aircraft were viewed as the most technologically advanced since the US was not offering its latest generation products.19 What is more, India did not want to become involved in binding ties with the United States: “Cmdr. Bhaskar said New Delhi had baulked at the monitoring and verification requirements that 12 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

Washington imposes on recipients of its highestlevel defence technology. “India’s response was, ‘we will take your equipment, but we don’t want to get into these binding agreements’,” he said. “There is a glass ceiling to US-India technological cooperation because of these problems.”

India Favour Dassault The multi billion contract is still unsigned and, although the French Dassault company, producer of the Rafale, which demonstrated its qualities particularly well over Libya in 2011, is the frontrunner, other countries are not withdrawing their bids yet. “The contract, estimated to be worth $15bn-$20bn, will help shape India’s airpower for the next three decades and serve as the bedrock of a strategic partnership. It also has the potential to reinvigorate the French defence industry when military budgets are being slashed across Europe. The decision is a blow for Eurofighter, whose Typhoon aircraft was seen as the clear frontrunner. But it is a huge boost for Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s then-president, and Dassault, which has yet to secure an export order for the Rafale. David Reeths, a consultant at IHS Jane’s, said: “It’s of particular importance to Dassault as [this competition] is really their last, best chance to continue high-end fast jet production.”

Military Offset Considerations of Critical Importance India’s decision came after evaluating the lifecycle cost of the aircraft, the acquisition cost and so-called military offset considerations. The offsets include the level of technology that European companies will disclose to India and the share of investment they will bring to India’s defence industries. The four companies in the Eurofighter consortium, led by the FrancoGerman EADS and including Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Finmeccanica, have vowed to fight on given India’s recent history of stripping companies of their preferred bidder status after long, drawn-out negotiations. “We are disappointed, but it’s not all over until the contract is signed. We don’t yet know the final decision,” one UK diplomat said. India’s defence ministry said a final contract would be awarded in the financial year beginning April 2012. It said the Rafale was the cheaper of the rival bids.20


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

While India and other countries put geopolitical and offset considerations as critical criteria, other countries place weight on technological advancement and cost effectiveness. An example is the recent deal in Switzerland to buy 22 fighter aircraft from Saab of Sweden. “Given that Switzerland is known globally for applying the highest procurement standards and requesting state-of-the-art technologies, ‘Saab is both proud and delighted that Gripen has been chosen as the Swiss air force’s future multirole fighter aircraft,” Saab said in a statement. The Swiss government said all three aircraft had clearly met their technical requirements, and could have been purchased. But the Gripen – which is single rather than double-engined and therefore lighter – was not just the cheapest of the trio, but also the jet with the lowest expected running costs over its lifespan. Some believe that the reason why the Gripen is competitive over the

Typhoon is the low operational costs, up to 50% lower in most cases. The Gripen can operate with minimum maintenance personnel and ground support from the simplest of road bases. The Gripen also has in-flight refueling capabilities.22

Airpower for the “New World Disorder” The last word on the future of next generation fighter aircraft should go to Flight Lieutenant Sandy McKenzie who argues cogently that airpower is critical for national security. “The ‘New World Disorder’ that unfolded in the aftermath of the Cold War has provided numerous examples in which the utility of airpower is evident across the spectrum of conflict. Airpower will never succeed in delivering policy ends in isolation, but given the necessary preconditions, as illuminated in Libya, and hard headed objectives, it will offer politicians the opportunity to seize ‘relative advantage’ in crises that are too important to ignore, but too costly to fully resource.”23

GRIPEN

Cost and Technical Specifications Still Key for Swiss

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MULTI-ROLE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY

References: 1

 FT com: Aerospace 2011 FT market overview November 11, 2011 4:28 pm Overview: Eastern dawn lightens the gloom - By Andrew Parker and John O’Doherty FT com: Aerospace 2011 FT market overview November 11, 2011 4:28 pm Overview: Eastern dawn lightens the gloom

2

- By Andrew Parker and John O’Doherty http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2011/10/10/cee-a-fillip-to-defence/#axzz1qKqixzMe

3

October 10, 2011 3:30 pm by beyondbrics http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2011/10/10/cee-a-fillip-to-defence/#axzz1qKqixzMe

4

October 10, 2011 3:30 pm by beyondbrics An Air Force Strategy for the Long Haul BY THOMAS P. EHRHARD “CHALLENGES TO US NATIONAL SECURITY, CSBA

5

http://www.csbaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/2009.09.17-An-Air-Force-Strat.pdf An Air Force Strategy for the Long Haul BY THOMAS P. EHRHARD “CHALLENGES TO US NATIONAL SECURITY, CSBA

6

http://www.csbaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/2009.09.17-An-Air-Force-Strat.pdf An Air Force Strategy for the Long Haul BY THOMAS

P. EHRHARD “CHALLENGES TO US NATIONAL SECURITY, CSBA

http://www.csbaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/2009.09.17-An-Air-Force-Strat.pdf An Air Force Strategy for the Long Haul BY THOMAS P. EHRHARD “CHALLENGES TO US NATIONAL SECURITY, CSBA

7

http://www.csbaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/2009.09.17-An-Air-Force-Strat.pdf SENSOR DATAFUSION TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRECISION STRIKE

8

9

E. L. Fleeman The Boeing Company 2600 Westminster Blvd. Seal Beach, CA 90740 USA SENSOR DATAFUSION TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRECISION STRIKE

10

11

E. L. Fleeman The Boeing Company 2600 Westminster Blvd. Seal Beach, CA 90740 USA SENSOR DATAFUSION TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRECISION STRIKE E. L. Fleeman The Boeing Company 2600 Westminster Blvd. Seal Beach, CA 90740 USA SENSOR DATAFUSION TECHNOLOGIES FOR PRECISION STRIKE E. L. Fleeman The Boeing Company 2600 Westminster Blvd. Seal Beach, CA 90740 USA

12

http://www.airrecognition.com/index.php? option=com_content&task=view&id=148

13

An Air Force Strategy for the Long Haul BY THOMAS P. EHRHARD “CHALLENGES TO US NATIONAL SECURITY, CSBA

http://www.csbaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/2009.09.17-An-Air-Force-Strat.pdf 14

RUSI: Whitehall Report Short War Long Shadow Introduction: edited by Adrian Johnson and Saqeb Mueen 2011 RUSI.org

15

RUSI: Whitehall Report Short War Long Shadow Introduction: edited by Adrian Johnson and Saqeb Mueen 2011 RUSI.org

16

RUSI: Whitehall Report Short War Long Shadow Introduction: edited by Adrian Johnson and Saqeb Mueen 2011 RUSI.org

17

RUSI: Whitehall Report Short War Long Shadow Introduction: edited by Adrian Johnson and Saqeb Mueen 2011 RUSI.org

18

Asia-Pacific, Africa, Asia-Pacific India shuns US in $11bn fighter deal

By James Lamont and Amy Kazmin in New Delhi http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/39422380-7179-11e0-9b7a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1qKj5WEol

last updated: April 28, 2011 7:41 pm Eurofighter’s Typhoon proved its value in Libya earlier this year

19

20

21

April 28, 2011 3:02 pm US lobbying fails to mask fighters’ flaws by Amy Kazmin and James Lamont in New Delhi FT.com: January 31, 2012 8:21 pm India boost for Dassault as jet is frontrunner By James Lamont in New Delhi, James Boxell in Paris and Carola Hoyos in London November 30, 2011 7:08 pm - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/676f617e-1b73-11e1-8b11-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1qKj5WEol ‘Saab lifted as Swiss choose the Gripen’ by Haig Simonian in Zurich

22

http://www.defenceaviation.com/2012/01/gripen-saabs-eurofighter-rival.html Gripen, SAAB’s Eurofighter RivalGripen, SAAB’s Eurofighter Rival

23

http://www.airpowerstudies.co.uk/APR%20Vol%2015%20No%201.pdf Air Power Review: The Renaissance of Air Power By Flight Lieutenant

Sandy McKenzie - http://www.airpowerstudies.co.uk/APR%20Vol%2015%20No%201.pdf

14 | www.defenceindustryreports.com


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Special Report – Next Generation Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft Technology