U.S. leads mass creation of new fighter Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, which, as is often claimed, in its combat features exceed all planes. With all this now the F-35 can not fully reveal their potential, using only existing types of weapons. Especially for the latest expansion capabilities fighters company Lockheed Martin is developing the currently newest guided missile short-range class «air-to-air.» Result of a project entitled CUDA should be the creation of aviation rockets having a highest properties in comparison with existing ammunition.
Work on the project started CUDA approximately 2010-11. As you know, the company Lockheed Martin in 2011 registered the title of his own new project as a brand. Perhaps by this time the development of aviation ordnance left from the stage preparatory study species. In September last year a conference was held in Washington, DC Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2012, organized by the Association of the U.S. Air Force. After some time the magazine Air Force Magazine published photos from this event. On one of the photos was captured layout of the F-35 with some new missiles gruzootsekah. Soon representatives of Lockheed Martin told about the existence of a new project entitled CUDA, and the conference accomplished its first demonstration of the limited number of individuals.
According to the company-developer, at the time the project was being coordinated with the technical requirements of the customer in the face of the Air Force of the United States. The main purpose of the creation of the missile was called CUDA increase ammunition newest fighter in two or three times. With all this, talking about the latest rocket general public, representatives of Lockheed Martin noted that due to the secrecy of the project while it is impossible to voice most of its details. In this regard, all available in the public domain information about the rocket CUDA are estimated temper. Estimates are made on the basis of announced information and images posted promising aviation ordnance.
Despite the lack of disk imaging, you can imagine the approximate form of rocket CUDA and try to guess its prospects. Layout of photos from the exhibition can make some conclusions about the size of the rocket. For its size it looks like a compact bomb GBU-39 SDB (Small Diameter Bomb — «small diameter bomb»). Recall ammo GBU-39 has an overall length of 1.8 meters and a diameter of 19 cm So makarom missile CUDA approximately two times shorter than the American aircraft medium-range missiles AIM-120 AMRAAM. Specifically dimensions newest rocket allow further significant increment ammunition fighters. Starting weight rocket CUDA unknown. Comparison with the AIM-120 suggests that this option will be the newest missiles within the boundaries of 70-80 kg.
Based on available data, the rocket CUDA will have unusual power plant resembling rockets used on some other classes. In the rear of the housing will be located solid sustainer engine. In addition, the images on the missile in front of the chassis is visible to the corresponding perforation. Perhaps, in addition to the aerodynamic handlebars promising aviation ordnance receive a huge amount of gas rudders. This control system is able to provide the highest maneuverability. Opportunity to actively maneuvering need rocket due CUDA unusual method of destroying the target.
Representatives of the developer already told that the missile CUDA will not be a combat unit in the ordinary awareness. The implication is that this round will produce so-called kinetic interception. This means that the system of missile guidance should bring it right on target. Moving with high velocity ammunition capable inflict severe damage only through the self-energy. A similar method of attack goal has both advantages and disadvantages. The great thing is the ability to intercept kinetic facilitate missiles because it does not need a separate warhead with an explosive charge and fragmentation shirt or ready shrapnel. The main drawback of this method defeats the purpose — need guidance system capable of providing a clash with the aim missiles at high flight speeds.
It is now clear that the missile CUDA will be equipped with active radar homing (ARGSN). This will allow for conducting missile combat method «launched and-forget». But similar seeker causes some questions to which the answer is no. Thus, the available kinetic interceptors used in the U.S. missile defense system, equipped with infrared homing (IKGSN). After reading about some details of disk imaging type missiles CUDA among professionals and the public’s interest began to doubt the viability and prospects of using active radar seeker. Yet, we should not forget that the project comes to CUDA test stage only a couple of years. Because constructors company Lockheed Martin has plenty of time for the creation and finishing of a workable system with the required precision guidance.
In the context of missile guidance systems promising also need to remember guesses as to the circumstances in which CUDA receive ARGSN. Seeker of this type may be more applicable for use with the new South American fighters, equipped internal compartments for ammunition. Missile with an active radar head is capable of rapidly and firmly retrieve goal after their gruzootsekah aircraft. In the case of the introduction of infrared homing start of the inner compartment can reduce the effectiveness of the fighter. The fact is that before starting the modern missiles with IKGSN need preparatory capture objectives. This operation after starting at the current time does not provide the required reliability of the search and capture target.
Flying characteristics of modern aircraft missiles «air-air» while classified. Based on the available information about the method of interception of targets can make approximate guesses. To defeat modern and promising aerodynamic purposes CUDA rocket must accelerate to speeds of more than 2M. In addition, the kinetic interception means higher maneuverability with high resistance to longitudinal accelerations.
Adopting the latest rocket CUDA, certainly, visibly rouse combat potential of the U.S. Air Forces in close combat missile. So, in the image of Air Force Magazine magazine layout of the F-35 «carrying» 12 rockets at once CUDA. While early read exactly how it will be possible to combine these aircraft armament, but nothing prevents speculate on that. For example, the F-35 aircraft only in the interior compartments will be able to carry four missiles AIM-120 AMRAAM and CUDA. Such armament will allow fighter with sufficient effectiveness to produce intercept targets at short and medium distances. In addition, as required, may be the introduction of external hardpoints that increases the number of ready to use several types of missiles.
Main battle will be the work of missiles CUDA attack aerodynamic targets located on a small range of the destroyer. With all this, according to some rumors, the aircraft carriers of these missiles will have a tool for the destruction of foreign ammunition. There is a theory according to which the rocket CUDA fails to storm and destroy ammunition «ground-to-air.» Hardly a similar use of missiles targeted and makes sense. The speed of modern anti-aircraft ammunition such that CUDA may simply not have time to make the necessary maneuver and kill the enemy missile, faced with her. Yet, we can not exclude that the experts at Lockheed Martin does not examine the use of this promising missiles.
As we see, despite the reticence of the developer, already have the opportunity to get an idea of the latest rocket for modern American fighters. We should not forget that all this is only speculation and real view missiles CUDA may differ significantly from them. Regardless of the correctness of those or other guesses can confidently talk about the fact that a new project, because of certain features of the claimed future missiles, could become one of the most difficult in the history of firm Lockheed Martin. To achieve big damn missiles need to do immediately is somewhat more complicated systems, which according to his abilities will surpass modern equipment. If the project is CUDA crowned success, then the U.S. Air Force in the foreseeable future will be able to expand the range of their own weapons and combat potential increment, at least with regard to the quantitative qualities ammunition fighters.