U.S. upgrade «potential enemy aircraft»
Aviation Combat Command U.S. Air Force wants to upgrade the fighter «aggressors» during exercise play a role combat aircraft possible opponent. In the short term goal of modernization is clearer imitation weapons and flight characteristics of Chinese or Russian fighters fourth generation, and in the long — warplanes fifth generation. Promising than simulate aircraft is not yet clear. As an interim measure, the South American military plans to use the virtual target.
U.S. began sformirovyvaetsya squadron of combat aircraft, during a training exercise designed to simulate a dogfight with enemy fighters possible, in the late 1970s — after the Vietnam War, which ended in 1975. Creating combat formations occurred during the «cold war» with the Soviet Union, and the new squadrons for the most part had to play the role of Russian Air Force fighters. Planes, mostly South American production, had camouflage coloring, suitable for the Air Forces of the USSR and Russian markings.
New Squadron received a common title «aggressor.» They were recruited and only now are recruited on a voluntary basis experienced pilots with more than 600 hours of flight time and the trainers. Fighters «aggressors» during exercise should lead dogfights in accordance with the rules and instructions of — potential enemies. With all this selection of aircraft squadrons to be done so Makarov, that they conform to its characteristics about fighters «enemies.»
To simulate the Russian MiG-17 and MiG-21, namely, the U.S. Air Force used their own combat aircraft A-4 Skyhawk and F-5A / E Freedom Fighter / Tiger II respectively. In the first half of the 1980 South American Department of Defense leased fighters Israel Kfir (as part of the U.S. Air Force, they were designated F-21A), which were to imitate Russian MiG-23. Later major aircraft «aggressors» were F/A-18 Hornet and F-16 Fighting Falcon, played the role of Su-27 and MiG-29. Since 2005, the South American squadron and began to use the F-15 Eagle.
In the 1980s, the Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy have formed their own squadron to prepare for air battles with enemy aircraft likely — where they received the general title «Enemy» (Adversary). As part of these flights make fighter squadrons Hornet and F-16N. Last designed specifically for fleet. They got hinged containers Luneburg lenses on the sides vozduhopoglotitelya, that increment effective scattering area to the same indicator Russian fighters, and enhanced design of the wing and fuselage.
In the 1980s, «Aggressors» based not only on the location U.S., and often conducted training fights in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Philippines. With the collapse of the USSR first 1990s USAF squadron disbanded «probable enemies» due to the configuration of international political situation, but in 2003-2006 «aggressors» were formed anew. Currently, they imitate more Russian Air Force fighters, China and the Near East countries. In the U.S. Navy operates school TopGun, in which pilots uchyat wage war fighters with the «enemy.»
Besides American technology «aggressors» and belong to Russian aircraft production, acquired mostly from the former Soviet republics after the collapse of the Russian Union. Namely, the military owned MiG-21, MiG-29, Su-27, helicopters Mi-2, Mi-8, Mi-24 and An-2 transporters. This technique is used to study the flight characteristics of aircraft and helicopters, as well acquainted with the peculiarities of its pilots flying.
Now the U.S. Air Force are 18 Squadron «aggressors» Eylsen AFB in Alaska, and 64th and 65th Squadron «aggressors» at Nellis AFB in Nevada. In addition, part of the Air Force is composed of 26 Squadron «space invaders» (preparation for the Protection of cosmic objects from the U.S. electronic means to combat and defeat possible enemy systems) at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, 507 Squadron «aggressor defense» at Nellis AFB and 527 Squadron «space invaders» based on Shriver.
By the time many of the true fighter «aggressors» already significantly outdated and do not allow the aircraft to simulate a possible opponent completely. About this publication Flightglobal said Maj. Gary Barker, manager of training close to reality Aviation Combat Command U.S. Air Force. According to him, «aggressors» has become more difficult «to reproduce a picture danger that pilots may encounter in the melee.» Is a question not only about the ability of an aircraft flying in general, and the ways and customs of introduction simulated weapons.
To remedy the situation, the Air Force plans to expose modernization fighter F-16 Block 30 and Block 32, were armed with the 18th and 64th squadrons «aggressors». Aircraft scheduled to make better programmke SCU-8 (System Capabilities Upgrade 8), in which on the F-16 will be installed detection system with the helmet-mounted display information on the screen, big function screen on the dashboard and weapons simulation system with the ability to launch missiles rassredotachivaniya points , fixing objectives and assessing the effectiveness of the implementation of the simulated weapon.
In the current time «aggressive» F-16 does not have the ability to simulate, for example, for highly maneuverable missile launch combat P-73, were armed with the Russian Federation since 1983. According to Barker, USAF simply do not have missiles «air-air» with an infrared homing head, which would correspond to features of the P-73. Because pilots have to use training missiles AIM-9X CATM Sidewinder, start implementing them only from a distance and angle at which the R-73 is able to capture the target.
At the moment such training missile launches performed «by eye» when the pilot visually identifies the correct distance, speed and angle. All data about the shots «aggressors» are analyzed after the fight on the ground, but usually not taken into account in the formation of strategy, as are incorrect. Are taken into account only the missile tests made with thorough coincidence characteristics start with R-73. Modernization of the F-16 will allow this situation to correct — the system will detect the desired characteristics and give the command to launch missiles, passing information to the ground.
In 2010, the Israeli Air Force announced plans to make a network of simulators simulator fighter F-16I, located in different parts of the country. It is expected that such a network will allow to connect to virtual fighter fighting force. In addition, this same connection in the virtual space and will be able to join the actual F-16I, are in flight training. All flight characteristics will be transmitted from these aircraft to the network and displayed on the screens of simulators. Newest system of the military want to use for working out joint air combat pilots methods and implementation tools, including virtual aircraft against possible enemy. The central node of the new system will be located at the airbase Hazor.
Fighters «aggressors» also planned to equip the new electronic warfare systems navesnoymi, whose characteristics are comparable to those of combat systems applicable Russia or China. Yet, according to Barker, the U.S. Air Force will have to try to convince Congress and the Pentagon need to modernize the F-16 — at the present time in the United States are campaigning to reduce defense spending and funding of certain military programs curtailed.
Meanwhile, the aircraft which have Squadron «aggressors», — F-15 and F-16 — with the highest degree can simulate fighters adequacy fourth generation of possible enemies, but can not be assigned to a role combat aircraft fifth generation. Namely, they fail to mimic the promising Chinese fighter J-20 and J-31, also Russian T-50 (PAK FA). South American «aggressor» aircraft do not meet them either in flight characteristics or recruitment of equipment used, either in the area of effective scattering.
Certain recipe to solve this puzzles USAF until proficient. Ability to use the aircraft to simulate a possible opponent standing armed F-22 Raptor no military need these fighters in service, well and use them for educational purposes will be very expensive. However, in the long term, the military does not preclude the ability to transfer to the rank of «enemy» fighters F-35 Lightning II. In the meantime, as a temporary solution you plan to use virtualization, which is already involved in the development of a number of American companies.
It is a question not only of land simulators, and a system that allows to simulate the traffic situation on the real aircraft devices. Namely, it is planned to make a single GOCC, which will transmit the data to onboard systems fighters on the objectives, which is essentially in the air is not. In this case, the pilots will have to fight with the invisible enemy that simulates real battle strategy possible «aggressor.» However, before the system will be applied, developers have to solve a number of problems, including integration into the airy space, and combining virtual with the real objectives in order to avoid collisions.
Enemies for money
Meanwhile, the demand for «aggressive» services on the world market, first with the United States, constantly grows. According to various estimates, the need for the U.S. Air Force, Canada, Israel and NATO is 260-280 thousand hours of simulated air combat, from which countries are able to meet only 35-40 thousand hours. Some of these needs in a military aircraft to the enemy pursue personal companies that do not provide services of air combat, but provide different aircraft guidance for testing and evaluation of radar and weapons.
Namely, the service light «aggressor» is not performing aerobatics or not maneuvering intensely now have company ATAC USA, Top Aces Combat Support, Advanced Training Systems International and Hawker Hunter Aviation in the U.S. and Canada. These offices have aircraft L-39, Alpha Jet, Saab Draken, BD-5J, Kfir and A-4.
In September 2010, a Dutch businessman Melville ten Cat announced plans to convert the former U.S. airbase Icelandic Keflavik training ground. There was planned to open a personal school pilots aces Top Gun. It was assumed that the newest school will be bought Russian fighter production, which Air Force pilots states — members of NATO will be able to sharpen air combat techniques. Namely, negotiated with one of the Belarusian enterprises for delivery of 15 Su-27 fighters in the amount of 1.2 billion euros and the ability to grow on the purchase of 18 aircraft.
To achieve the objectives in the Netherlands was created company ECA Program. In late 2011, the project of creation of the school aces in Iceland was closed, and the company changed its overarching provision of «enemy of services.» Company for a fee taken to implement or transfer to the customer leasing possible enemy aircraft with all necessary equipment, including surveillance systems for simulated combat, ground simulators and equipment maintenance. This system has the title IOPFOR (Integrated OPposing FORce) and is designed to change the outdated warplanes «enemy» Kfir, Alpha Jet, MiG-21, A-4, MiG-29, L-39, Hawker Hunter and some others.
Currently, the Dutch company leases 24 fighter fourth generation (what specifically is not specified, but judging by the disk imaging on the company’s website, it is about Su-27), on the basis of which is ready to provide services to the «enemy» in the preparation of pilots or on exercises. In the future, ECA Program wants 26 Swedish fighter JAS 39 Gripen NG, 10 Russian Su-30 and Su-14 35. The main suppliers of military equipment and computer technology for training company names Russia, CIS, USA, Israel, Netherlands, UAE, India, Brazil and South Africa.
Customers at ECA Program yet. Currently, checks carried IOPFOR USAF. Namely, for these purposes, the South American military in 2012 were delivered two fighters and all necessary related equipment, including system planning and forecasting, tracking stations and simulators effective dispersion area and the «thermal signature» aircraft. It is expected that the active introduction of ECA Program U.S. will begin in 2013. In the same year, the project can join NATO.
In general, the Dutch company is still developing and is currently providing services is not yet ready. So, companies are required pilots aged 28 to 45 years old with a touch of more than 1.5 thousand hours, of which tyscha hours — fighters. With all of this prescription flight combat aircraft for such pilots should not exceed three years. Pilots are required to have the status of an instructor. In addition, ECA Program gains technicians, administrators, controllers (with the knowledge of Russian, German, Spanish and British languages) and doctors with experience in aviation for more than eight years.
Now many countries have resorted to «role play» for working in the aviation combat strategies. Its counterpart «aggressors» than the U.S. has Canada and other countries at times appointed to exercise the «enemy» aircraft out of service. And Our homeland is no exception. However, in terms of research combat materiel lucky Yankees more than anyone else — after the collapse of the Soviet Union the United States were able to get a huge number of models of aircraft and helicopters, remaining on the ground of the former Russian republics and Warsaw Pact states.