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Trackingpoint Technology for Fighter Aircraft


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The premise is that the weapon won't allow release of the round until the natural movement happens to intersect with the desired POI. 
 




It's nothing new and didn't really go anywhere that I'm aware of.  I'm not so much interested in this on the rifle end, but I definitely could see a use for this technology on both anti-aircraft / missile cannons (like SPAA/CIWS) and fighter aircraft. 

Regarding CIWS, this sort of technology can help compensate for mount vibrations and cannon flex between rounds, reducing dispersion to that inherent to inconsistencies in ammunition rather than ammunition plus mount. 

Regarding fighters, this would allow them to make better use of limited available ammunition - the radar / IRST would track the threat and account for all source variables, and the pilot can pull the trigger confident that the rounds will only be released if a hit somewhere on the threat aircraft is certain to happen. 

One thing I notice watching dogfights at least in simulators is that often an enemy fighter will briefly be out of view when the pilot is pulling lead, being just under the nose, then it suddenly crosses the HUD for a fraction of a second.  Or alternatively you may have an opportunity for a split second, high aspect shot. A hit could end the fight, but it's high risk for a miss too.  A conservative pilot might not try it to save ammunition, while an aggressive pilot might try too often wasting ammunition.  In either case, it's plausible that they may not get another opportunity - either because they used the last of their energy to point their nose, or they don't have sufficient ammunition to keep going.  With technology like this, the pilot can go ahead and pull the trigger, and if it was going to end up being a hit the gun will fire, if it wasn't then it won't.

 

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Until you're out of them. I thought that the Russians had a system like this years ago on Su-27 and maybe MiG-29. Laser rangefinding included.

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2 hours ago, DB said:

Until you're out of them. I thought that the Russians had a system like this years ago on Su-27 and maybe MiG-29. Laser rangefinding included.

I think the solution would be more missiles and not better guns, unless your opponent is similarly out of missiles.

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It wasn't correct to remove guns from the F-4. I think that it's probably not quite right now, but it's true more missiles is a good thing.

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The chief designer of the F22 Raptor has gone on record as saying that installing a gun on it was a mistake. It seems that guns are now obsolete on aircraft.

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4 hours ago, DB said:

It wasn't correct to remove guns from the F-4. I think that it's probably not quite right now, but it's true more missiles is a good thing.

A half century old precedent doesn't strike me as particularly relevant in the field of A2A. If you are out of missiles and your opponent isn't, I think you just lose. Even that AIM-120 shot after the sidewider miss in Syria was like 3 miles; there really isn't a minimum range or terminal guidance problem anymore.

Edited by Josh
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On 6/2/2023 at 10:45 PM, Burncycle360 said:

The premise is that the weapon won't allow release of the round until the natural movement happens to intersect with the desired POI. 
 




It's nothing new and didn't really go anywhere that I'm aware of.  I'm not so much interested in this on the rifle end, but I definitely could see a use for this technology on both anti-aircraft / missile cannons (like SPAA/CIWS) and fighter aircraft. 

Regarding CIWS, this sort of technology can help compensate for mount vibrations and cannon flex between rounds, reducing dispersion to that inherent to inconsistencies in ammunition rather than ammunition plus mount. 

Regarding fighters, this would allow them to make better use of limited available ammunition - the radar / IRST would track the threat and account for all source variables, and the pilot can pull the trigger confident that the rounds will only be released if a hit somewhere on the threat aircraft is certain to happen. 

One thing I notice watching dogfights at least in simulators is that often an enemy fighter will briefly be out of view when the pilot is pulling lead, being just under the nose, then it suddenly crosses the HUD for a fraction of a second.  Or alternatively you may have an opportunity for a split second, high aspect shot. A hit could end the fight, but it's high risk for a miss too.  A conservative pilot might not try it to save ammunition, while an aggressive pilot might try too often wasting ammunition.  In either case, it's plausible that they may not get another opportunity - either because they used the last of their energy to point their nose, or they don't have sufficient ammunition to keep going.  With technology like this, the pilot can go ahead and pull the trigger, and if it was going to end up being a hit the gun will fire, if it wasn't then it won't.

 

SImilar tech has been used on tanks for decades.

 

7 hours ago, DB said:

Until you're out of them. I thought that the Russians had a system like this years ago on Su-27 and maybe MiG-29. Laser rangefinding included.

The JA37 had a system, where the fire control system, had partial controll of the aircraft (the Viggen didn't have a FBW-system) in air to air mode and when the trigger was depressed. In a modern aircraft, giving the FCS full controll of the FBW-system and only firing when the FCS calculates that the aircraft might hit, shouldn''t be to hard.

 

5 hours ago, Josh said:

I think the solution would be more missiles and not better guns, unless your opponent is similarly out of missiles.

Unless you go after waves of drones and/or cruise missiles, and runs out of missiles, no matter what. We might also se drones armed with autocannons.

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18 hours ago, Olof Larsson said:

Unless you go after waves of drones and/or cruise missiles, and runs out of missiles, no matter what. We might also se drones armed with autocannons.

Seems inevitable to me. Thanks partly to the Ukraine war, we are transitioning between the era of high-dollar, gold-plated, high-performance UAVs* and aerial HiLuxes. I predict numerous armies will soon be fielding relatively low-cost UAVs, and putting a cannon on them for thinning an attacking herd (fleet) of cheap OPFOR drones and/or groundpounder support.

A key thing to successfully thinning the herd, I suspect, will be some sort of "hive mind" processing of onboard radar intercept data; each budget drone picking the next OPFOR drone to go after, so that the defender fleet aren't all going after the same attacker. Target deconfliction, so to speak. 

* The US Army is now using the term UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) which drives me nuts...

 

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