Author Topic: Australian-built aircraft military milestone - Boeing Loyal Wingman  (Read 1489 times)

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Offline Dimsum

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The first military aircraft to be designed and built in Australia in more than 50 years has been rolled out as part of a partnership between the Royal Australian Air Force and Boeing Australia.

The Australian Government has invested up to $40 million in the Boeing Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program, alongside Boeing’s largest investment in a new unmanned aircraft program outside the United States.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new capability would help protect and support Australia’s most valuable Defence aircraft and the pilots who fly them.

"We're investing to enhance the agility and capability of the Australian Defence Force so we can protect our nation and our allies. It means Australia can sharpen its edge and prepare for the future," Mr Morrison said.

"Our investment also highlights our Government’s commitment to growing and developing our local defence industry, creating jobs and boosting our global export potential.

"The Loyal Wingman program has helped support around 100 high-tech jobs in Australia. Such projects will be critical to bolster growth and support jobs as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic."

The Loyal Wingman will have a range of more than 3700km, enabling Defence to better understand how these types of aircraft can be used as a force-multiplier, helping to project power forward while keeping manned capabilities out of harm’s way.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the partnership allowed Defence to bring innovation to Australia in an exciting, future-focused technology space.

"The program will examine how autonomous unmanned aircraft can support existing manned aircraft, such as our Joint Strike Fighters, Super Hornets and Growlers," Senator Reynolds said.

"This is Australian ingenuity at its finest and presents Australia and our allies with opportunities for critical capabilities to fight emerging global threat systems."

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the program was welcome news for Australia’s defence industry, particularly suppliers from small businesses.

"This is a truly historic moment for our country. It’s the first time that Australian industry are locally designing, developing and manufacturing an aircraft of this type," Ms Price said.

"This demonstrates the importance of the relationship that Defence has with companies like Boeing, and defence industry more broadly, and provides a fantastic example of the innovation we can achieve together."

The first aircraft is scheduled to begin ground trials soon.

https://news.defence.gov.au/capability/australian-built-aircraft-military-milestone?fbclid=IwAR0HfWPaICjdv4J7HJ5oJH1dTmE86MybVEd0iE6osG3zmtzxXmE8r3JMQYA
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Offline MilEME09

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Can we get say three dozen?
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Offline SeaKingTacco

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Can we get say three dozen?

Only if they are used...

Offline Chris Pook

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Only if they are used...

Not a problem.  Fly them off the lot.  Take a loop around Australia for the RAAF. Hey presto!  Used Wingmen.  Sell them on to the RCAF for more than market value. 

Like many Loyal Canadian and Australian Wingmen, they can be bought. 
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Offline Drallib

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Re: Australian-built aircraft military milestone - Boeing Loyal Wingman
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 10:36:45 »
Loyal Wingman preparing for first flight.

Quote
Boeing Australia ‘fires up’ engine on first Loyal Wingman aircraft

Boeing Australia powered up the commercial turbofan engine on the first Loyal Wingman aircraft in September, as part of ground testing and preparations for first flight.

This milestone comes on the heels of Boeing completing the first unmanned Loyal Wingman aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force earlier this year, a major step forward for the unmanned vehicle serving as the foundation for the global Boeing Airpower Teaming System, an artificial intelligence-powered teaming aircraft developed for the global defense market.

“This engine run gets us closer toward flying the first aircraft later this year and was successful thanks to the collaboration and dedication of our team,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, program director of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. “We’ve been able to select a very light, off-the-shelf jet engine for the unmanned system as a result of the advanced manufacturing technologies applied to the aircraft.”

https://www.skiesmag.com/press-releases/boeing-australia-fires-up-engine-on-first-loyal-wingman-aircraft/

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Australian-built aircraft military milestone - Boeing Loyal Wingman
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 14:21:10 »
Interesting. Thanks.

Officially designated as Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology.

Low Cost

Global Hawk - 120 MUSD / AC - designed to survive
Tomahawk - 1.4 MUSD / AC - disposable
LCAATs Target - 2 MUSD / AC - attritable

At 2 MUSD it is pricier than the Tomahawk but they hope to get more than one mission out of each A/C

My suggested standard of "Acceptable Attrition?"  25% surviving 30 missions?

"Canadian pilot and author Murray Peden recalls: “The crews faced formidable odds, odds seldom appreciated outside the Command. At times in the great offensives of 1943 and 1944 the short-term statistics foretold that less than 25 out of each 100 crews would survive their first tour of 30 operations."

"The successes of Bomber Command were purchased at terrible cost. Of every 100 airmen who joined Bomber Command, 45 were killed, 6 were seriously wounded, 8 became Prisoners of War, and only 41 escaped unscathed (at least physically). Of the 120,000 who served, 55,573 were killed including over 10,000 Canadians. Of those who were flying at the beginning of the war, only ten percent survived."

https://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/bomber-command/bomber-commands-losses/

Comparable Aircraft?

Tomahawk - LxW 20 ft x 9 ft, MTOW 1600 kg, Power 3 kN, ceiling 200 ft, range 1350 nm, speed mach 0.74 - 450 kg warhead

The Brits describe their Qinetix Taranis as equivalent to a BAE Hawk in size.

BAE Hawk - LxW  41 ft x 33 ft, MTOW 9100 kg, Power 29 kN, ceiling 45,000 ft, range 1360 nm, speed mach 0.84 - 3000 kg useful load

Qinetix Taranis -     LxW 41 ft x 33 ft, MTOW 8000 kg, Power 44 kN, ceiling ?, range "intercontinental", speed mach >1.0 - 2x weapons bays

Boeing Loyal Wingman - L 38 ft, MTOW ?, Power ?, ceiling ?, range 2000 nm, speed ?, - ?

Dassault etc NEURON - LxW 31 ft x 41 ft, MTOW 7000 kg, Power 40 kN, ceiling 46,000 ft, range ?, speed mach 0.85, - 2x 230 kg

Kratos Valkyrie XQ-58A - LxW 29 ft x 22 ft, MTOW ?, Power ?, ceiling ?, range 2000 nm,  speed mach 0.85, - 8x 250 kg

Boeing X-45 - LxW 27 ft x 33 ft, MTOW > 5600 kg, Power 28 kN, ceiling 40,000 ft, range 1300 nm, speed mach 0.75, - 8x 250 kg

Grumman X-47B - LxW 38 ft x 62 ft, MTOW 20,215 kg, Power 65 kN, ceiling 42,000 ft, range >2100 nm, speed mach >0/9, - 2x 1000 kg

Boeing MQ-25 Stingray Tanker .......?

EADS Barracuda - LxW 27 Ft x 24 ft, MTOW 3250 kg, Power 14 kN, ceiling 20,000 ft, range 200 km, speed mach 0.85 - 1x300 kg


Excluding highs, lows and unknowns the spec seems to be

A 2 MUSD Aircraft capable of carrying 8x 250 kg Small Diameter Bombs (stand-off range of 60 nm) for 2000 nm at mach 0.85 and 40,000 ft.  Maximum Take Off Weight in the neighbourhood of 8000 kg and  turbo-fan power plant in the 40 to 50 kN range.  And capable of a 25% survival rate after 30 missions.

Cost per mission - 50 to 70,000 USD for the UAV and 8x 40,000 USD for stationary targets = 400,000 MUSD per mission plus gas and maintenance.

Cost per mission rises to something like 2.1 MUSD if targeting moving objects as the SDB IIs cost 250,000 MUSD apiece.


Suggestion for a Surface Strike sortie?  2x CF-18s take off with 4x Notional UAVs each with 8x SDB IIs and shepherd them to a hand-off where a CP-140 monitoring a target takes over and directs the UAVs to the target.  The CF-18s orbit to deliver the survivors of the flock of UAVs back to base.  Neither the CP-140 nor the CF-18s ever engage the target.  The CF-18s never see the target.

What specifications are now necessary for the CF-18 and CP-140 replacements?







Note "Intercontinental" - the distance from Dover to Calais is 22 nm.









"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

"If change isn’t allowed to be a process, it becomes an event." - Penny Mordaunt 10/10/2019

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ignoramus et ignorabimus

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Australian-built aircraft military milestone - Boeing Loyal Wingman
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2020, 15:07:00 »

Suggestion for a Surface Strike sortie?  2x CF-18s take off with 4x Notional UAVs each with 8x SDB IIs and shepherd them to a hand-off where a CP-140 monitoring a target takes over and directs the UAVs to the target.  The CF-18s orbit to deliver the survivors of the flock of UAVs back to base.  Neither the CP-140 nor the CF-18s ever engage the target.  The CF-18s never see the target.

What specifications are now necessary for the CF-18 and CP-140 replacements?

Oh, the fast air pilots won't like that.  :stirpot:

But you're right.  "Self defence" becomes probably the major weapons requirement for the manned aircraft.  If they can stay behind DCA (manned or not), then there's no need for a CF-18 to escort the RPAs to the CP-140.  If anything it'd be more like this:

RPAs fly themselves to the hand-off.  CP-140/AWACS/whatever guides them to edge of DCA or to target (if its sensors go that far).  At edge of DCA, escort fighters (manned or not) escort them to target and back.  May not even need the AWACS to guide them home.
“If you run into an a-hole in the morning, you ran into an a-hole. If you run into a-holes all day, you're the a-hole.”

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Australian-built aircraft military milestone - Boeing Loyal Wingman
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 15:17:19 »
Oh, the fast air pilots won't like that.  :stirpot:

But you're right.  "Self defence" becomes probably the major weapons requirement for the manned aircraft.  If they can stay behind DCA (manned or not), then there's no need for a CF-18 to escort the RPAs to the CP-140.  If anything it'd be more like this:

RPAs fly themselves to the hand-off.  CP-140/AWACS/whatever guides them to edge of DCA or to target (if its sensors go that far).  At edge of DCA, escort fighters (manned or not) escort them to target and back.  May not even need the AWACS to guide them home.

Sorry.  For the uninitiated please clarify the role of the Daily Christian Advocate in the above scenario.   :cheers:

Edit - I assume some geezer in an armchair with a coffee pot in Nevada could also direct the UAVs from his Predator Eye View.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 15:24:06 by Chris Pook »
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

"If change isn’t allowed to be a process, it becomes an event." - Penny Mordaunt 10/10/2019

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

ignoramus et ignorabimus

Offline Dimsum

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Re: Australian-built aircraft military milestone - Boeing Loyal Wingman
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2020, 15:21:40 »
Sorry.  For the uninitiated please clarify the role of the Daily Christian Advocate in the above scenario.   :cheers:

Defensive Counter-Air.  Specifically, I was thinking about airborne DCA. 

From Wiki: 

"The opposite term is Defensive counter air, primarily referring to the protection of territory, men and/or materiel against incursion by enemy aircraft, usually with a combination of ground-based surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery but also through defensive combat air patrols."
“If you run into an a-hole in the morning, you ran into an a-hole. If you run into a-holes all day, you're the a-hole.”

- Raylan Givens, Justified (cleaned up for content)

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Australian-built aircraft military milestone - Boeing Loyal Wingman
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2020, 15:25:12 »
Ta much Dimsum.

Appreciated.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

"If change isn’t allowed to be a process, it becomes an event." - Penny Mordaunt 10/10/2019

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

ignoramus et ignorabimus