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Okabe Rintarou

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It's self contradictory. If 6th gen birds can have a dew protection suit than carrying small drones for self defence is redundant since a wall or layers of energy offer far more robust protection than any number of small drones can. Secondly internal weapons bay can only be so much bigger . We see giant aircrafts like f22 and j20 struggling with 4-6 air to air missiles. Even much bigger planes will still just carry only a bit more. Drones will take as much space if not more.

Ultimately it's a game of optimization . What best utilise the space. Ew defence soft kill defence through energy weapons seems much better way of protection .

Overall the goal is to keep the aircraft out of harms way totally that's why unmanned team is there to enter the enemy territory so that 5-6 gen jets can stay out of danger and keep commanding mission from afar. This is also why longer range weapons are upcoming. USA recently announced 1700 miles range missiles.

That's where future is going now.

We may see some dedicated motherships for smaller drones swarms. But what's Stopping from using current bombers for thag purpose.
Not exactly.
Its complementary, not contradictory.
DEW are still limited by onboard energy available. They can't keep firing again and again, need some time to charge up again. Add to that they need time to hardkill a BVRAAM. and can only hardkill one at a time so its easy to overwhelm DEW defences. Yes, for softkill, DEW can handle a swarm, but not for hardkill.
As for missile capacity, I am talking about miniaturization for a reason.

Americans are already working on this capability today. Here: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...t-against-enemy-missile-attacks-moves-forward


Asked why they are looking at this capability, they are saying this is to enable penetration into contested A2AD environment. And this is being developed now. Imagine where this tech will be in 2040 and beyond. So the goal is stand-off capability, but that is not the only goal. There is a requirement to be able to breach A2AD environments at will. There is a reason USAF calls its 6th Gen program Penetrating Counter Air
 

Okabe Rintarou

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TD phase done?
I think I read this document couple months ago. Where does it say that the TD phase is done? Its simply saying that funds are required for these.

Imo 6th gen would be known as data centres,with their processing power they would become flying computers and i think focus would be more on soft kill than kinetic kill.
Focus on soft-kill is already immense in 5th Gen. 6th Gen will focus on Hard-kill.
 

SavageKing456

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I think I read this document couple months ago. Where does it say that the TD phase is done? Its simply saying that funds are required for these.


Focus on soft-kill is already immense in 5th Gen. 6th Gen will focus on Hard-kill.
not much on 5th gen
what much is achievable in hard kill?
except missles?
 

Okabe Rintarou

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not much on 5th gen
what much is achievable in hard kill?
except missles?
Current:-
5th Gen Soft-kill countermeasures: ECM, DIRCM, Stealth, Chaff, Towed Decoys
5th Gen Hard-kill countermeasures: Maybe wingman drone kamikazeeing down a hostile AAM or SAM (not a capability integral to the jet itself, not the primary purpose, more of a last resort)
Future:-
6th Gen Soft-kill countermeasures: ECM, DIRCM, Stealth, Chaff, Towed Decoys, DEW (against IIR guided missiles), HPM based EMP
6th Gen Hard-kill countermeasures: DEW against few Radar guided missiles, HTK Defensive Mini Missile swarm to defend against swarm of hostile AAM or SAM.

So we can see that in 5th Gen, hard-kill is an afterthought. In 6th Gen it will be a central aspect.
 

SavageKing456

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Current:-
5th Gen Soft-kill countermeasures: ECM, DIRCM, Stealth, Chaff, Towed Decoys
5th Gen Hard-kill countermeasures: Maybe wingman drone kamikazeeing down a hostile AAM or SAM (not a capability integral to the jet itself, not the primary purpose, more of a last resort)
Future:-
6th Gen Soft-kill countermeasures: ECM, DIRCM, Stealth, Chaff, Towed Decoys, DEW (against IIR guided missiles), HPM based EMP
6th Gen Hard-kill countermeasures: DEW against few Radar guided missiles, HTK Defensive Mini Missile swarm to defend against swarm of hostile AAM or SAM.

So we can see that in 5th Gen, hard-kill is an afterthought. In 6th Gen it will be a central aspect.
You included DeW in both
 

SavageKing456

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Low power ones, yes. But for 6th gen jets, they are planning to use it as hard-kill in some situations. I think there was a youtube video about it. Let me look for it.
Either way,lets wait for few years to get exact technologies involved.
I think US would again be the winner in 6gen race as usual.
 

omaebakabaka

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Current:-
5th Gen Soft-kill countermeasures: ECM, DIRCM, Stealth, Chaff, Towed Decoys
5th Gen Hard-kill countermeasures: Maybe wingman drone kamikazeeing down a hostile AAM or SAM (not a capability integral to the jet itself, not the primary purpose, more of a last resort)
Future:-
6th Gen Soft-kill countermeasures: ECM, DIRCM, Stealth, Chaff, Towed Decoys, DEW (against IIR guided missiles), HPM based EMP
6th Gen Hard-kill countermeasures: DEW against few Radar guided missiles, HTK Defensive Mini Missile swarm to defend against swarm of hostile AAM or SAM.

So we can see that in 5th Gen, hard-kill is an afterthought. In 6th Gen it will be a central aspect.
Except, there hasn't been 5th gen based wars yet to draw any conclusions on their vulnerabilities....they are too expensive and vulnerable if you ask me. So for now mostly on paper and as deterrence?
 

omaebakabaka

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And that makes our fab capabilities more needy , we need semiconductor here
True, I think DRDO fab capabilities are good in strategic ones like missiles but great lag in 4 gen+ aviation and sensors....although some progress seen in sensors side. We need commercial semi that can lead to dual purpose long term. Pandemic is going to cost us another decade
 

Okabe Rintarou

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Except, there hasn't been 5th gen based wars yet to draw any conclusions on their vulnerabilities....they are too expensive and vulnerable if you ask me. So for now mostly on paper and as deterrence?
5th Gen are already moving past the paper phase, especially with the F-35 production picking pace. They have been used in some combat operations. And they are being used in war games as well. I would say their strengths and vulnerabilities are being explored as much as possible without going to full scale war. While a war is the best test of a weapon, it is not the only test and the only way to figure out its vulnerabilities.
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You are right, they are vulnerable. The hard-kill measures I listed that are being developed today for future air warfare is exactly because of their vulnerabilities. As I have said before, its going to be an extra layer of protection just like hard-kill APS are on tanks and armoured vehicles. Current problem USA is facing is sophisticated Air Defences on China's coastline. Till date their approach has been to use stand-off weapons. But now, with the PLAN fleet growing leaps and bounds and the enlarging A2AD bubble around China's coast, Americans are seriously considering ways to breach that A2AD bubble at will. Their 5th Gen fighters might work today but won't work tomorrow. Like you said, they are vulnerable. Which is why USAF is looking at a 6th Gen program called Penetrating Counter Air. Its in the name. They realize that relying on stand-off weapons alone is not going to cut it anymore. You can see the effects of this realization in other programs of the American military as well, such as the USN's MQ-25 Stingray.
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We can say that these things are not battle-tested, but they won't be until they are developed and actually used. USA is moving ahead with these ideas of 6th gen, you can say its risky, but its calculated and without risk there is no reward. This approach suits the Americans, it doesn't suit us yet. Which is why USA keeps a technological edge over militaries like ours. If we want to reduce this edge, we need to figure out what the future of air warfare is going to be and then start funding technologies for it today so that once the Americans have come out with a next generation platform, we can quickly build on our new technologies to develop a next generation platform of our own based on an ASQR prepared after through understanding of American reasoning and our situation.
 

omaebakabaka

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5th Gen are already moving past the paper phase, especially with the F-35 production picking pace. They have been used in some combat operations. And they are being used in war games as well. I would say their strengths and vulnerabilities are being explored as much as possible without going to full scale war. While a war is the best test of a weapon, it is not the only test and the only way to figure out its vulnerabilities.
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You are right, they are vulnerable. The hard-kill measures I listed that are being developed today for future air warfare is exactly because of their vulnerabilities. As I have said before, its going to be an extra layer of protection just like hard-kill APS are on tanks and armoured vehicles. Current problem USA is facing is sophisticated Air Defences on China's coastline. Till date their approach has been to use stand-off weapons. But now, with the PLAN fleet growing leaps and bounds and the enlarging A2AD bubble around China's coast, Americans are seriously considering ways to breach that A2AD bubble at will. Their 5th Gen fighters might work today but won't work tomorrow. Like you said, they are vulnerable. Which is why USAF is looking at a 6th Gen program called Penetrating Counter Air. Its in the name. They realize that relying on stand-off weapons alone is not going to cut it anymore. You can see the effects of this realization in other programs of the American military as well, such as the USN's MQ-25 Stingray.
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We can say that these things are not battle-tested, but they won't be until they are developed and actually used. USA is moving ahead with these ideas of 6th gen, you can say its risky, but its calculated and without risk there is no reward. This approach suits the Americans, it doesn't suit us yet. Which is why USA keeps a technological edge over militaries like ours. If we want to reduce this edge, we need to figure out what the future of air warfare is going to be and then start funding technologies for it today so that once the Americans have come out with a next generation platform, we can quickly build on our new technologies to develop a next generation platform of our own based on an ASQR prepared after through understanding of American reasoning and our situation.
It is going to be exponentially difficult for US to continue and maintain its lead going forward considering they are running on empty treasury and massive social obligations. If China gains in some of the sectors that it still lags vs west then they have edge over US unfortunately....US is trying to refocus but it feels more like Nazi's and Japanese end of WW2 days efforts...too difficult of a task and most of all US has no leadership to address it efficiently....thats my opinion....sure they will have some good things coming out that are already
in the pipeline

If we have chops, then GOI and DRDO should try to take advantage of uncertain and vulnerable west and get the semis and some other extremely difficult and challenging sectors into deep partnerships.....
 

omaebakabaka

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We can say that these things are not battle-tested, but they won't be until they are developed and actually used. USA is moving ahead with these ideas of 6th gen, you can say its risky, but its calculated and without risk there is no reward. This approach suits the Americans, it doesn't suit us yet. Which is why USA keeps a technological edge over militaries like ours. If we want to reduce this edge, we need to figure out what the future of air warfare is going to be and then start funding technologies for it today so that once the Americans have come out with a next generation platform, we can quickly build on our new technologies to develop a next generation platform of our own based on an ASQR prepared after through understanding of American reasoning and our situation.
One other comment I would make here probably OT...
Working in chemical engineering side, I overwhelmingly see chinese from their top universities like Tsinghua vs very few Indians....I know lot of IIT guys from electrical and electronics go into semi's and a lot into MBA's now but shame that not many stay in Engineering side now.....this is not so true when it comes to China. They are dominating specialized engineering discplines in US and West now....these are my observations working with global giants.
 

Okabe Rintarou

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One other comment I would make here probably OT...
Working in chemical engineering side, I overwhelmingly see chinese from their top universities like Tsinghua vs very few Indians....I know lot of IIT guys from electrical and electronics go into semi's and a lot into MBA's now but shame that not many stay in Engineering side now.....this is not so true when it comes to China. They are dominating specialized engineering discplines in US and West now....these are my observations working with global giants.
I'll add to it. I've seen that their own universities are putting out better research year after year even in futuristic fields like soft robotics. I've seen them do some pioneering research work in my specialization and one particular Research Group belting out bleeding edge research for past 15 years has continuous funding from both their industries and their government. Chinese are moving towards an industry-academia partnership for producing tech-heavy products that has defined Western Economies for long. In a couple of decades, they will be in position to compete with USA openly. Meanwhile, we are just getting started, with most our R&D still Government led and funded and done in Government labs like DRDO, ISRO, CSIR, BARC, etc. Hopefully our industry starts funding some R&D in core engineering fields in the near future.
 

SavageKing456

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You are talking about the upcoming generation of drone swarms. Future drone swarms will have much better autonomy due to leaps in AI technology (which will happen much faster than leaps in other areas of air combat). In addition, the kind of swarms I am talking about will be carried inside 6th gen fighters and will be used to defend against missiles. A kind of swarm of tiny interceptor missiles. Current CATS systems don't have anything like that. The kind of future system I am takling about won't just plug and play with current 4th and 5th gen fighters because it relies on magazine capacity for effectiveness. Large 6th gen planes will be able to carry a swarm inside them.


^At 2:43 Serrio Mal intercepts Rocinante's missiles.

^At 0:43 Rocinante's missile swarm intercepts the UNN battleship's missiles and defends the Razorback.

I know its "just a TV show" but the idea has merit. A swarm of HTK interceptors carried inside or flying as wingmen to your jet and if enemy BVRAAMs come close and evasion; soft-kill through ECM and DIRCM; hard-kill through DEW, all fails, you use the HTK interceptor swarm to block multiple BVRAAMs. And why just stop at HTK interceptors. Some of these mini interceptors can have an HPM warhead that EMPs the incoming BVRAAM.
This will force future BVRAAM to evolve as well, relying on AI to evade HTK interceptors and flying in swarms to saturate enemy jet's hard-kill defences. This then points to requirement of a larger BVRAAM carriage capacity, all hinting towards heavier fighter jets.

The major technological challenges towards making such a swarm of HTK defensive missile swarm will likely be:-
  • Control: By 2040, AI will easily evolve to be autonomous enough to not require human intervention to complete a BVRAAM interception and to keep up with AI of future BVRAAM.
  • Propulsion: Simple solid rocket motors won't work. Throttling and ramjets will become indispensable. Good that we have SFDR to rely on. More energy dense fuels will be needed, there is progress in that as well.
  • Manuever: Much higher Gs will be required to handle interceptions from the rear. Can be done through advances in composite material tech, especially better reinforcement fibers. Tiny attitude control thrusters in the nose are already a thing in missiles.
  • Miniaturization: One thing that works in favour is the defensive nature of the HTK missiles which won't have to fly far to hit the incoming BVRAAM. The more challenging part will be miniaturization (and ruggedization) of electronics.
Although this tech looks super-advanced, by my assessment, the Americans will have the capability to make these things by 2040-45. As you said, drone capability can be added later, so even if Americans roll-out their 6th gen fighters by 2040, they can add this capability 5 years later. DEW will be required to be ready by 2040. Looking at their current progress, I think they can have DEW weapons ready by 2040. These two will be some of the defining capabilities of 6th gen fighters. Now imagine 4th gen fighters supported by a swarm of current CATS systems going against this machine. 4th gen are going to be toast. Hard-kill against BVRAAM completely changes the game, and that is how 6th Gen air warfare should (and likely would) be defined.
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What the Europeans are doing looks like a half-hearted attempt at a 5.5th Gen fighter. Despite of what they say, other than the engine and a couple of planned capabilities such as cooperative engagement, nothing about their jets is 6th Gen. Heck, take away the engine and everything else they are planning is already planned for AMCA Mk2.
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Overall, 6th Gen should be able to:-
  • Fly further with much larger weapons load (meaning it needs breakthroughs in engine efficiency which is already happening with major leaps in materials, CFD and adaptive cycle)
  • Have better stealth (newer RAM, RAS; tailless design and fluidic thrust vectoring; better IR suppression due to third airstream in engine)
  • Have capability to hardkill BVRAAM swarm (DEW and large capacity of autonomous HTK defensive missile swarm)
  • Advanced Avionics (Photonic radar; Advanced AI-assistance to pilot enabling just one pilot to handle the wingmen swarm, defensive missile swarm, any offensive BVRAAM swarm launched, flying the jet itself i.e. optionally manned, combat manuever, tactical decisions, etc; Advanced, all-aspect, fused sensors with quantum communication that is capable of networking to the level that each sensor of each asset on a battlefield is able to act like a part of a gigantic distributed aperture, and therefore each 6th gen jet should be able to seamlessly share data (5th Gen has already addressed this to an extent); hardening of avionics against future HPM devices and DEW. Fusing data from all these things will require a much higher computing power)
  • All Electrical actuators
  • Next Gen AI enabled BVRAAM that can tackle swarms of enemy defensive HTK missiles and still defeat enemy jets.
  • Simpler maintenance, better availability and quicker turnaround times (AI enabled predictive Structural Health Monitoring, robotics, modularization, no hydraulics, more rugged RAM/RAS, fluidic thrust vectoring, etc)
First step is defining what 6th gen warfare will look like based on technologies expected to mature in next two decades. Next step is deciding the role of the fighter jet in it (including mission profiles). After that the first step in design of a 6th gen fighter is "sizing". I've briefly laid out all these steps and to me it looks like 6th Gen fighters should be heavy.
what it is?
 

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