Skip to comments.Humidity blamed for split U.S.-made missile radomes in Taiwan
Posted on 03/19/2012 9:30:10 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Humidity blamed for split U.S.-made missile radomes in Taiwan
Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Taiwan's wet climate has been identified as the main cause of splits in the radomes of some of the U.S.-made missiles used by Taiwan's F-16 fighter jets, the Air Force said Monday.
In a statement, the Air Force said it has followed U.S. suggestions for improved measures for storing its AIM-120 medium-range air-to-air missiles in a condition that will reduce the influence of moisture on the radomes.
The statement came after a local newspaper reported earlier in the day that automatic breakdowns have been occurring in some radomes equipped on the AIM-120 missiles for three consecutive years.
The Air Force said it has asked the United States to help deal with the split radomes, adding that the situation has not undermined Taiwan's defense capabilities.
Radomes are used to protect the radar equipment on the missiles. Taiwan has purchased 200 AIM-120 missiles from the U.S., the most advanced medium-range missiles used in Taiwan.
(By Elaine Hou)
Are they made from aramide? That stuff sucks up water like crazy. Great for RF transparency, though.
Personally, I like my breakdowns to be manually controlled.
Humidity in Taiwan is a famously known issue.
The much bigger issue in the Pentagon ought to be why this is an after-the-fact issue and not an issue that was resolved ahead of time; and how many such issues are being ignored in our own domestic arsenal??
This is a problem that is not simply because of humidity, as the F-16 has been flying for decades in all sorts of weather conditions. . .world-wide. . .and has not had this problem.
The problem is maintenance—local maintenance is shoddy. Jets are maintained well most all other places of the world, and the maintainers do a pretty good job. If the maintainers don’t do their job then you have problems.
The way the article read, the way the report sounded, the humidity problem was not specifically with the aircraft, it was with thhe AIM missiles. That is not an issue related directly to flying the aircraft or one waits to be solved after the missiles are aboard the aircraft.
i.e. "In a statement, the Air Force said it has followed U.S. suggestions for improved measures for storing its AIM-120 medium-range air-to-air missiles in a condition that will reduce the influence of moisture on the radomes."
My original point was that I find only an incompetent Pentagon would have NOT informed an ally about everything necessary to the proper use and storage of the AIM missiles, in the first place. Maybe there are other checks the Pentagon is incompetently failing to make.
Yeah, I knew that.. the AIM-120.
I knew that and why I wrote “jet” I never will know.
These missiles fly under all sorts of conditions (like the jets), in all sorts of weather and temperature ranges, from 150 deg to minus 50, rain, snow, moisture of any type, sea-level to 50,000 feet (massive pressure changes). . .all on a single sortie. . .for years on end. They stand up well. There are no “issues” with the missile. It is a matter of maintenance.
Part of a FMS jet or weapons sale is the “total package approach (TPA). That means we provide everything from training to hardware as part of a single deal. . .to ensure they know how to keep and maintain the stuff, as well as how to employ it. If the country can’t handle the technical demands of a (weapon) system, then they contract for trainers/maintainers.
The hardware to the publications, from initial qual training to recurring and upgrade training, how to load/unload, store and handle, it is all part of Line 999, the “training” line of the LOA. So, the Pentagon was not holding anything back from anybody. . .other than certain FMS-restricted codes to ensure the US maintains a technology edge.