Skip to comments.China’s new stealth fighter’s missile launch rails prove Beijing can improve U.S. technology
Posted on 03/26/2013 2:31:34 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Chinas new stealth fighters missile launch rails prove Beijing can improve U.S. technology
In order to preserve their stealthiness and keep the RCS (Radar Cross Section) as low as possible, radar-evading planes rely on weapons bay: bombs and missiles to be fired are kept inside the bays until its time to use them.
For instance, the F-35 can carry one AIM-120D (AIM-120C8), on a trapeze : when needed, the BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missile is lowered into the airstream on the open bomb bay door, and ejected.
F-22 Raptors use canted trapeze to put the AIM-9 Sidewinder seeked into the airstream to achieve a lock on the target as the side bay doors are open.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force
Once the missile is fired, the bay doors close up.
Obviously, such method requires the stealth plane to fly with the open bay doors for a certain amount of time, a condition that can limit the aircraft performance, maneuverability, and increases the overall planes RCS, with a temporary exposure of the aircraft to the enemy radars.
Something that can be quite lethal in a Within Visual Range scenario.
The problem is to be partly solved with the use of missiles featuring the Lock On After Launch capability. With this kind of missile (available on the Raptor when the AIM-9M will be replaced by the AIM-9X Block II) the bay doors remain open just the time it is needed to eject the missile into the airstream.
However, China might have found a clever solution to the problem, as the latest images of the J-20 Mighty Dragon stealth fighter jet, emerging from the Chinese Internet, seem to suggest.
Indeed, the second prototype of the aircraft features a missile deployment device on the side weapons bay which extracts the selected air-to-air missile and then closes the door to keep the reduced RCS.
Simpler and probably cheaper than the use of LOAL missiles, the J-20′s deployment device shows that Chinese engineers are not simply copying U.S. tech: if not improving it, they are at least troubleshooting some of the issues already faced by their American counterparts, with some clever ideas.
The missile launch rail was used to carry the PL-10 IR air-to-air missile during tests.
Anyway, its worth noticing that along with AIM-9X missiles, the F-22 pilots will receive Scorpion HMCS (Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems) that will be particularly useful in case of dogfight. There are no information about similar helmets being fielded to Chinese fighter planes.
Id guess that every piece of military hardware Ive ever been involved with had potential improvements that the military wasnt interested in. Not because they didnt want the improvements, but because changing the paperwork cost too much. Often, it didnt even matter if the improvement was a cost advantage that paid for itself. Changing the training material and the documentation was usually a different budget. If theres no money in that budget then no change is made.
So the questions are - Do China's neighbors have deterrent(s)?
We are an aging, failing state. Too worried about gay marriage, and budget battles to actually care about defense.
We will no longer innovate, we will no longer achieve. The best that we can hope for is a slow decline, praying that a stronger, more determined state doesn’t decide to claim a piece of our land for their own.
I wonder what’s stamped on Chinese missiles...Made in the U.S.???
“....to actually care about defense.”
How wrong you are!
We are going to have women in combat and that will scare the living hell out of the enemy.
Only for a week every month.
The other three weeks, the guys in the pink tutus fill in ...
Idiots, what is simpler with the weapon hanging out in the wind and reflecting with a radar signature still attached to the aircraft. It does not solve the problem.
“I wonder whats stamped on Chinese missiles...Made in the U.S.???”
Close. What is actually stamped on them is “Courtesy of William Jefferson Clinton.”
Why not launch out the rear, then have the missiles lock on? a little flap that lifts up, the missiles ‘eject’, and then the fire control radar directs them to target? no bay door opening, no increase in RCS. The bay doors would only open for loading/unloading.