Friday, December 28, 2012

F-15SG (F-15E Strike Eagle Advance Variant)

F-15SG (Singapore specification) is the F-15E Strike Eagle advanced variant or world most advanced version of F-15E SE. F-15E Strike Eagles is the latest variant of F-15 production series. It's design for all weather multi-role fighter jets and air superiority fighter aircraft. It is the most capable multi-role strike fighter with unparallel range, speed & weapon loads.


In 2005, Singapore government signed a contract for 12 F-15SG with an option for additional of another 8 F-15SG (which exercised). During early tender competition, F-16E/F Block 60, JAS-39C/D Gripen, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, SU-30 fighter family, Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale & F-15E SE was participated.
The finalist shortlisted for the new multi-role fighter  aircraft was Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale & F-15E Strike Eagles. F-15E later chosed as the new multi-role fighter aircraft for RSAF with certain modification to suit with RSAF requirements which later known as F-15SG.
In 2007, RSAF ordered additional 4 F-15SG to make a total of 24 F-15SG.

F-15SG powered by 2 x GE F110-GE-129C afterburning turbofan engines with 29,000 lbs of thrust each engine. It's top speed is Mach 2.5 and 65,000 feets ceiling. It can carry 23,000 lbs of payload. F-15SG can bring bring medium range air-to-air missile (AIM-120C) & short range air-to-air missile (AIM-9X).
For air-to-ground / surface, it can be fitted with AIM-7 Sparrow, GPS-guided AGM-154 JDAM, JSOW, precision guided bombs, AGM-65 Maverick, SLAM-ER, Small Diameter Bombs & AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile.

F-15SG was fitted with Raytheon AN/APG-63v3 AESA radar which become the first F-15 production with AESA radar outside US. AESA radar has full capability in air-to-air and air-to-ground at longer detection range. AESA radar offers 2-3 times boost in range, true simultaneously air and surface capability, agile beam capabilities which can reduced detection range by enemy aircraft, expandability (new software modes can included high band-width communication & electronic warfare, better reliability & low maintenance cost.

For surveillance & targeting, Lockheed Martin Sniper AT (Advance Targeting) surveillance & ground targeting pod was fitted (replace LANTIRN pods system normally fitted in F-15 variants). Sniper AT also become reconnaissance platform with day / night camera which can pick out small target from far away. It also can geo-locate the targets with GPS co-ordinate & attack using GPS guided weapons. Sniper AT was fitted with FLIR for sighting, tracking & ranging of targets with enhance detection range & has laser spot tracker which allows F-15SG to deliver target with precision guided weapons for day / night.

For electronics optics (EO) suites, it consists 2 pods for precise navigation & attack where navigation pod with Terrain Following  Radar & Forward Looking Infra-red (FLIR) for low altitude navigation at night or any weather condition (possibly ATFLIR). It also can be fitted with laser range finder & laser designator  which can be integrate with laser guided weapons (AGM-65 Maverick / Paveway laser guided bomb).

In aerial flights, IRST (Infr-red Search & Tracking) can be added which allows to detect & track objects through heat emission from enemy aircraft at long distance (using passive air-to-air detection) and to launch weapons without to operate radar which decreasing probability to be detect by enemy aircraft.
Joint Helmet Mounting Cue System (JHMCS) can point head to the target & weapon to be direct at enemy aircraft (first look, first shoot) with high of boresight capabilty. It'salso can accurately direct sensor & weapons against enemy aircraft while performing high G.

TigerEyes electronic warfare suite which integrate electronic support & countermeasure system mainly consists of warning receiver, radar jammer & chaff & flare dispenser. EWS system effectively detect, identify & counter the threat. It was also reported that F-15SG was fitted with Israel electronics & self defense system.

For communication, MIDS-LVT units which includes Link-16, all the data form F-15SG can be share with other Link-16 equipped aircraft & ground radars.

Monday, December 24, 2012

F/A-18D Hornet (Boeing)

F/A-18 Hornet deployed in early 80's replacing F-4 Phantom II & A-7 Corsair II. Later it was replace A-6E Intruder in 1990's. F/A-18 Hornet involved in Operation Desert Storm performing as fighter / attack and in former Yugoslavia.

F/A-18D is a dual-seat variant of F/A-18C/D version. F/A-18C/D is the last version of F/A-18 Hornet before Super Hornet produced in early 2000. The F/A-18C Hornet is a single-seat variant.
F/A-18 has twin-engine, carrier-based supersonic and was design to suit with US Navy requirement for all-weather fighter & attack aircraft.

F/A-18D Hornet capable to perform an airstrike mission deep inside enemy territory providing itself self-defense capability & can be equipped with Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles. It also can perform close air support mission & fighter role for fleet air defense mission.
F/A-18D Hornet is an improved version of F/A-18B Hornet with improvement in updated missiles & jamming devices & night attack capability with more powerful F404-GE-402 (with 18,000 lbs thrust) engines & new radar, AN/APG-73.

F/A-18D Hornet is in services with USMC, US Navy, Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain & Switzerland.
It can be equipped with an air-to-air missiles (AIM-9 (M-X)) short-range air-to-air missiles & AIM-120C AMRAAM (medium range / BVR). For anti-armour missiles, AGM-65 Maverick can be equipped & AGM-88 HARM missile for anti-radiation. AGM-84D Harpoon used for anti-ship missile.
For land attack cruise missile, AGM-84H SLAM-ER (Surface Land Attack Missile Extended Range) stand-off weapons & AGM-84E SLAM can be fitted.
M61A1 20mm gun pre-installed inside the nose of Hornet.

F/A-18D Hornet can can carries up to 6,227 kg external ordnance / weapon using 9 under-wing hard-point stations with 2 x wingtip sidewinders, 2 x on-board wing station for air-to-air missiles & air-to-ground missiles.
2 in-board wing stations for fuel tanks / air-to-air weapons / air-to-ground weapons. 2 nacelles fuselage stations for AMRAAM / AIM-7 Sparrow / sensor pods & 1 centre-line station for fuel tanks / air-to-ground weapons.

For targeting, laser target designator / ranger (housed FLIR) can integrate with precision laser-guided bombs to deliver laser-guided bombs accurately. Early version of F/A-18D Hornet fitted with NAVFLIR (Navigation Forward Looking Infra-red) used for navigation in any weather condition, day or night.

Navigation & targeting pods like NITE Hawk, LITENING AT & AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR can be fitted / added on F/A-18 Hornet which can integrate with precision-guided munitions like Paveway laser-guided bombs.

For protection system, AN/ALE 50 Towed Decoys, AN/ALQ-165 Radio Frequency Countermeasure & AN/ALR-67 Radar Warning Receiver can be fitted / added.


Length - 17.1m
Height - 4.7m
Wingspan - 12.3m
Propulsion - 2 x F404-GE-402 EPE engines
Ceiling - 15,250m
Top speed - Mach 1.8
Combat radius - >900km

Monday, December 17, 2012

F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet (Boeing)

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is an advanced variant of F/A-18(A-D) Hornet. It's commonality with F/A-18 Hornet is less than 40% it's size from Super Hornet. F/A-18E/F enlarged in all dimensions & fitted with 2 extra weapons pylon.

Super Hornet powered by new more powerful GE F-414 engines instead of F-404 which powered Hornet. F/A-18E is a single-seat & F/A-18F dual-seat with reduce range due to re-sizing fuel tank to accommodate second crew.
Super Hornet is a multi-role fighter which able to compete with any 4th generation fighters. Super Hornet relies on next-generation AESA radar, JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mounting Cue System) HMD (helmet-mounted display) system, pilot-friendly controls and software to maintain F/A-18 E/F as air superiority fighters.

In 2003, F/A-18F Super Hornet Block II was build with redesigned forward fuselage & electronic enhancement. Most important upgrade are the new AN/APG-79 AESA radar which can perform simultaneously air and surface detection which offer advanced improvement on reconnaissance, jamming & communication capabilities.
Other modifications including internal IRST to detect infra-red emissions from enemy aircraft, enclosed weapon pods to lower radar signature , full spherical laser & missile warning system, new cockpit based on large touch-screen technology & improved F-414 engine (EDE/EPE) & conformal fuel tanks mounted to boost it's range.

Electronics counter-measures are upgraded by replacing the on-board jamming system AN/ALQ-65 with AN/ALQ-214 IDECM (Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasure) jamming which can integrate with towed decoy (ALE-50/ALE-55) & RFCM (radio-frequency Countermeasure). Countermeasure suites designed for use against radar guided missiles.
Advanced Crew Station (ACS) complete with Advanced Mission Computers & Display (AMC & D) that offer wide screen area & upgrade the mission computers from an assembly language  to an open architecture higher order language.
A fiber channel network switch and digital video map computer round out the ACS improvement. Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) was fitted.

For defensive suites / systems AN/ALR-67v3 Radar Warning Receivers system will alert the pilot about enemy radar targeting at their aircraft & provided accurate identification lethality & azimuth displays of both hostile & friendly emitters. It also controls the electronic warfare data bus & interfaces with EWS, on-board radar, air borne mission computer & weapon system.
DTS (Distributed Targeting System) improve on-board hardware & software processing to produce precise ground targeting solutions.

 Super Hornet also can perform tactical re-fueling role with specially equipped drop tanks that can extend re-fueling hoses. It can act as Aerial Re-fueling Store (ARS) where F/A-18 tanks can act as low capacity hose-and-drogue aerial tankers.

Super Hornet can be equipped with air-to-air missile (AIM-9 (up to X model) ASRAAM) & AIM-120C AMRAAM, air-to-ground/surface (JSOW, JDAM, SLAM-ER, AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-88 HARM (anti-radiation), precision guided bombs (Paveway II/IV).

It added size & weight has hurt the design acceleration compare to others 4th generation fighters aircraft like SU-30MKI, SU-35, MiG-35, Eurofighter Typhoon, Rafale & JAS-39 Gripen.

F/A-18F Block II base airframe & equipment with some equipment modified / added for conversion which equipped with jamming pods latter known as EA-18 Growler. It removes 20mm gun in the nose to add with underwing jamming pod, new electronics & mount special electronic warfare pods on the aircraft underwing (AN/ALQ-99) &wingtip pylons (AN/ALQ-218).
EA-18G retains 2 fuselage slots & underwing slots for weapon carriage can be used for extra fuel through wing pylon drop tanks. Weapon loads for EA-18 Growler included AGM-88 HARM/AARGM anti-radar missiles & AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile for air defense. It will replace EA-6B Prowler aircraft.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter

Carrier based variant of the F-35C in flight with the US Navy

F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter quoted as the largest global defense programmed in history. It was a major multinational program to developed and produce affordable stealthy multirole fighter aircraft. F-35 JSF developed in 3 variants, F-35A conventional version developed for US Air Force & others participant countries, F-35B Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) for US Marines & British Royal Navy & F-35C conventional carrier launched version for US Navy.

Origin named of Lightning II was after the P-38 Lightning (Lockheed Martin) & English Electric Lightning Jet. It was developed & produce by Lockheed Martin Aeronautic Corporation as Lead Integrator& manufacturer (surveillance & targeting System, weapon interfaces) BAE System (UK) for aft fuselage lead, Electronic Warfare System & HMSS (Helmet Mounted Symbiosis System), Northop Grumman for APG-81 AESA radar, DAS 360 degree sensors, communication, navigation & identification avionics & software.

United Technologies Pratt & Whitney involved in designed & developing F135-PW-100 turbofan engine (F-35A & F-35C) & F135-PW-600 turbofan engine with LiftFan & rotating nozzle (F-35B). Others company involved in developing F-35 including Martin Baker (ejection seat), Rolls Royce (F-35B LiftFan), Stork Fokker (wiring system), VSI (Rockwell & Elbit) (Helmet-Mounted Display System) & General Dynamics (25mm Gatling gun & cockpit display).

It's development partners participation divided into 4 Tier. For Tier 1, involved in design and development, US & UK participated. For Tier 2, involved in significant investment of F-35 program, Italy & Netherlands fill this tier. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway & Turkey can catogery in Tier 3 , for ordering commitment of F-35.

Singapore & Israel participate in Security Cooperation Partners. Israel commits to order 20 F-35i with option for another 75 planes in future. Singapore still did'nt commits any F-35 order in near future.

Japan become the first export customer for F-35A with 42 F-35A's order.

It's stealth designed as an affordable stealth multirole for air-to-air and air-to-ground mission. F-35 larger single engine without supercruise and supermaneuverability and less stealthier compare to F-22 Raptor. It was designed for 'low-observable' stealth when viewed from the front and less stealth to radar looking from sides & rear aircraft.

F-35 Lightning II powered by Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 (FF-35A &F-35C) & F135-PW-600 version with LiftFan and a nozzle that can rotate to point down for vertical landing. It's maximum speed can reach Mach 1.6.

F-35 was equipped with sensors that can act as high-end reconnaissance aircraft. Advanced APG-81 AESA radar is smaller and less powerful compare to APG-77v1 for F-22 Raptor.
APG-81 AESA radar can simultaneously detect & target for air-to-air and air-to-ground, ease maintenance & high-bandwidth communication benefits.
It's sensor fusion designed with several of sensors types embedded around the airframe which able the F-35 to perform top-level reconnaissance.
F-35 was superior in infra-red and ground looking sensors. It's also has a potential as electronic warfare aircraft. All sensors are connected computers for single-picture view & the pilot able to see everything in one screen. F-35 doesn't have HUD display which was replace with JHMDS helmet (VSI) or HMSS (BAE System). All-aspect DAS (Distributed Aperture Sensors) allow or 360 degree targeting of the aircraft around F-35 which can combine with inertial guidance and datalink features of modern missiles like AIM-9X ASRAAM and AIM-120C AMRAAM.

ALIS information & diagnostic system was fitted for auto diagnostic and record.

F-35 Lightning II standard internal weapons ((inside weapon bays) is 2 x AIM 120C AMRAAM & 2 x JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition).
For external fix weapons, AIM-9L/M/X sidewinder, AIM-132 ASRAAM, GBU-39 SDB (GPS guided), GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided, Paveway IV laser/GPS/GPS guided & AGM-154A/C JSOW GPS/IIR guided glide bombs.
For future, MBDA Meteor long-range air-to-air missile & MBDA SPEAR medium range strike missile plan for installation on British F-35. Kongsberg JSM (Joint Strike Missile) for Norway F-35 & Python-5 SRAAM for F-35i for Israel.



F-35A is Conventional Take-Off Landing (CTOL) version for US Air Forces & others country. F-35A is the most number of F-35 orders / export. It was less expensive due to largest production program. Estimated cost for F-35A is US $108.3 million. It was designed for 9G capability maneuverability limits with Air-to-Air capability similar toF-16 fighter jet.
It's improved stealth to reduce detection ranges with internal weapon bays & electronic superiority. It was fitted with 25mm Gatling gun / cannon. For air-air refueling, it fitted with Dorsal Refueling Receptable for refueling using aerial tanker boom.

F-35B STOVL (Short Take-off Vertical Landing)

F-35B is the most expensive F-35 Lightning II fighter variant. It's estimated cost around US $138 million. This version is for US Marines and UK Royal Navy.
It can take-off in short distances & vertically landing (due to large LiftFan and nozzle rotate down) on ships.
It use retractable mid-air refueling probe for air-air refueling.


F-35C designed was 30% larger wing area compare to others F-35 with larger tails & continuous wingtip ailerons. It provides the precise low-speed handling for carrier approach and reinforced structure to strengthen the aircraft for ship landing.
It was fitted with retractable refueling probe for mid-air refueling. It's estimated cost is US $125 million each.


Length        : 51 m
Height        : 14 m
Wingspan   : 35 ft (F-35A/F-35B) & 43 ft (F-35C)
Engine        : F135-PW-100 (F-35A & F-35C) & F135-PW-600 with LiftFan (F-35B)
Thrust         : 25,000 lbs (F-35A & C) & 26,000 lbs (F-35B)
Max speed  : Mach 1.6 at altitude
Max Gs      : 9g (F-35A) / 7.5g (F-35C) / 7g (F-35B)
Max weight : 70,000 lbs (F-35A & F-35C) / 60,000 lbs (F-35B)
Range (IF)  :  1200 nm (F-35A & C) /900nm (F-35B)
Max payload : 18,000 lbs

Thursday, December 6, 2012

AH-64D Longbow Apache Block III Attack Helicopter

During early staged, AH-64D Block I which cover block 2 to Block V. Lot VI of AH-64 D, included the mast compatible with dual-mode Hellfire II missile, updated self protection suites & better cockpit displays.
AH-64D Longbow Apache Lot VII till Lot X later built as AH-64D Block II Standard adds improved electronics and software to include the Longbow mast, compatible duel-mode Hellfire missile capability, color cockpit displays which include moving digital maps & more advance self-protection suites.

In early 2007 saw the latest conversion of AH-64D, later known as AH-64D Extended Block II Standard, which later known as AH-64D Block III.
AH-64D Block III system upgraded includes improved flight performance with Digital Electronics Control, upgraded drive system which increase helicopter power. The new composite rotor blades combine with upgraded engines will improve AH-64D Apache Block III cruise speed, climb rates and payload.

New avionics allow to fly in clouds & bad weather. Taiwan was the first foreign customer for AH-64D Block III.

Block III sensor performance was upgraded to extend it sensor range for air & land attack & can be pair with new long range weapons / missiles. Mast mounted radome for houses AN/APG-78 long bow fire control & radar for long range detection & attack. It's use millimiter-wave sensing which will improve radar performance under poor visible condition. The short wavelength with narrow beam-width is more resistant to electronic countermeasure when the radar guided a missile to their target.
The radar range for Block III is extended range from previous Block II.

At the same time, this radar has an option to use Unmanned-Aerial-System Tactical Command Data-Link Assembly (UTA) than mounted on the mast. The UTA can control the UAV flights, payloads, laser designators from inside helicopter. The UAV will streaming their sensor feedback to Apache Block III displays. It can helping Block III Apache to designated the targets & surveillance of the area where it going to target / attack.


Engine - T700-GE-701D engines
Sensor & targeting targets - Arrowhead modernised TADS / NNS sensor & targeting turrets
Missiles - Air-to-Air (Hellfire fire and forget light strike & Stinger anti-aircraft missile
Radar - AN/APG-78 millimiter wave radar guidance defensive system ((Fire Control Radar) & AN/APR-48A Radar Frequency Interferometers
Rockets - 70mm rockets
Avionics - Transponder, simulator, GPS / Initial Navigation System (INS) & communication equipment
Countermeasures - AN/ALQ-144 Av3 Infrared Jammers; AN/APR-39 Av4 Radar Signal Detection Set; AN/ALQ-136 v5 Common Missile Warning System
Gun / Cannon - 30mm Automatic gun  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Eurocopter EC 725 Cougar Long Range Military Helicopter

Eurocopter EC-725 start designed in 1996 when the French Air Force needed a new helicopter designed for CSAR (Combat, Search And Rescue) mission. Initially they chose AS 532A2 Super Puma / Cougar. Later on French Air Force requested for major modification of Super Puma / Cougar that needed for a new variant designated as EC 725 Cougar. It maiden flight was in November 2000.

Eurocopter EC 725 Cougar is a combat proven multirole 11 tonnes military helicopter designed for CSAR, Special Forces operation & medium utility roles. EC 725 Cougar was capable in challenging operation conditions & was designed to fly under most extreme conditions.
French EC 725 Caracal was the first production line of improved Cougar rotary wing family.

EC 725 Cougar missions were Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH), special operations, SAR / CSAR, maritime patrol, naval missions. It's large cabin enables EC 725 Cougar to transport 28 soldiers with 2 crew & carry wide variety of weapons & sensors.
For medical mission (Medevac), it can accommodate 12 stretches casualty carrying installations & 4 attendants. It can do a naval mission including anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), search and rescue (SAR) when equipped with naval mission systems like a sonar, sonobuoy dispenser, SAR cabin configuration with rescue hoist & emergency float.

EC 725 Cougar fitted with in-flight refueling probe, multipurpose engine air intakes & FLIR (Forward-looking-infra-red). It's fuel load is 990 gallons and can fly for more than five hours.

Cougar designed with new spheriflex main rotor head & spheriflex tail rotor head. The S blade rotor system designed for very low vibration level, high performance & easy to maintain.
New main gearbox, Mk2 MGB reinforced by deep nitrogen hardening of the driving input bevel / gear with 8 % more power and can dry run for 30 minutes (gearbox protection).
Full glass cockpit with AMLCD (Active Matrix LCD) with 4 screens 6" x 8", 2 crew 4" x 5" displays.
The air-frame was from mixed composite metallic with extensive use of composite material to reduced radar signature (low radar signature.
Armouring cockpit doors & armouring crew seat was for crew protection.

For avionics, it was equipped with highly advanced 4-axis autopilot with full envelops protection. It can be fixed with surveillance & targeting turrets & carry most modern avionics & navigation equipments.

General Characteristic:

Crew - 2 pilots
Capactiy - 28 troops
Length - 19.5 m
Rotor diameter - 16.2 m
Height - 4.6 m
Empty weight - 5,330 kg
Loaded weight - 11,200 kg
Power plant - 2 x Turbomeca Makila 1A4 turboshafts engines with 1,800 kw each engine


Maximum speed - 324 km/hr
Cruise speed - 285 km/hr
Maximum range - 857 km
Service ceiling - 6,095 m
Rate of climb - 3.6 m/s


It can be fitted with:

- 2 x 68 mm Thales Brand or Forge Zeebrugge side mounted rocket launchers (19 rockets for each
- 2 x 20 mm pod mounted GIAT cannons with 180 rounds
- Dassault Electronique EWR-99 FLUIT RWR (radar warning receiver) for electronic protection suite
- Alkan ELIPS multipurpose chaff & flare dispenser (countermeasure)

User Countries

French EC 725 Caracal was the first EC 725 in operation. Brazil ordered 50 EC 725 Cougar. Mexico, Malaysia (12 units), Indonesia (6 units), Kazakhstan (20 units) & Thailand (CSAR configuration) (4 units) was the others user.