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A Cheyenne By Any Other Name


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#1 DB

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 0848 AM

https://defence-blog...k-like.html/amp
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#2 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 0852 AM

I have to ask the obvious question, are we sure we need a manned attack helicopter at all?

 

Besides, Airwolf was SO 1980's....


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#3 rmgill

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 1026 AM

Mk1 Eyeball. And tele-operated stuff is vulnerable to jamming is it not? 


Edited by rmgill, 16 May 2019 - 1027 AM.

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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 1227 PM

Its not that vulnerable, or we wouldnt be developing combat drones like X47. For that matter, neither would the Russians.


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#5 Chris Werb

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 1241 PM

Ryan is right that the Mk 1 eyeball with its huge field of view and onboard human brain make a huge difference to situational awareness. I can't see how you could achieve that without VR using very high resolution omnidirectional sensors and a massive chunk of highly jammable bandwidth. Manned aircraft are with us to stay in many roles for the forseeable future.


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#6 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 1307 PM

Apache pilots are already overworked today, and in the E model apache they are fitting drone data links to further overwork them. IMHO its the wrong approach, they would do well to have Blackhawks stand off say 5-10 miles and have them operating drones.

 

Its not like combat drones are a new technology. As long ago as the 1970's the USAF modfied a Ryan Firebee to outfly their aircraft in DACT. In fact, walking in the Weston Helicopter museum you can see a dual rotor helicopter drone from westland as long ago as the 1970's. The USN had them doing ASW work (admittedly none too successfully) a decade earlier. This is fairly mature technology, even in rotary wing.

 

If they insist on having a pilot in the firing line, it needs to be stealthy. Nothing of that illustration shows stealth features of a kind they had with the Comanche. They are going back to an aircraft that was out of date by the 1970's, and if anything front line air defences are more lethal than they were then.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 16 May 2019 - 1310 PM.

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#7 Nobu

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 1415 PM

Credit to Boeing for the foresight to accelerate the rollout of as much as it can while their man is secretary of defense.

 

There is a point where the tradeoff between manned capability versus platform vulnerability + VR computing capability becomes unfavorable.

 

The relative vulnerability of the attack helicopter platform will make that point a reality sooner than it will with other aviation platforms. The proliferation of combat drone tech is an indicator of this.


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#8 Adam_S

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 1629 PM

In a high intensity, 3rd Shock Army pouring through the Fulda Gap type scenario, wouldn't the Apache be standing off behind cover anyway? IIRC the idea with the MMW Hellfire and the Longbow system was that (as originally envisioned), scout helicopters would go ahead to identify targets and the Apache could sit behind terrain and lob missiles onto the battlefield. A cheap(ish), expendable, maybe stealthy drone would be great for that scout role.

 

Streaming Hi-Res, 25fps video over a datalink is going to require a lot more bandwidth than sending a command to a drone to fly to this co-ordinate, do a 360 scan and bounce the results off the satellite to me. With the Apache operating down below and behind cover, you're not going to get a line of sight to a drone and I'm not sure how many hunter-killer Apache/drone teams a satellite uplink could support if they're all streaming hi-res video in real time. There's also a lot less of a workload on the crew if the drone can more or less take care of itself and not need to be flown hands-on.


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#9 rmgill

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 1726 PM

l'll bet you that Shep, as a trained pilot would find it FAR easier to fly a route and avoid obstacles with his Mk1 Eyeball and other sensors augmenting it in his field of view than he would flying a drone with even a high res forward view camera. The input you get from the aircraft's movement is part of the sense of how you fly. You don't get that sitting in a chair unless it's gimbaled like a simulator would be. 

What ever resolution you can shoot through a downlink to provide to the operator, you can get far more fidelity and simulated vision (IR, synthetic aperture to goggles) to the pilot sitting in the seat on the bird. For one, you're not dealing with any sort of delay and return which makes something remotely operated more sluggish. 

Without the Drone doing it's own decision making you'll NEVER have the fidelity to remotely control any sort of aircraft flying like this:



Add in a sat link to get your coms more secure and you've added delay of half a second to the input and return. One leg of the path to geostationary is ~280 milliseconds. That assumes direct to the Sat and down to the ground station. Add in the return path and worse some networking in between so you can share that satellite and you're well over half a second. 

He Shep, how hard would you find it flying a Cessna with a half second delay in your feedback for flying? 


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#10 KV7

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 1851 PM

Apache pilots are already overworked today, and in the E model apache they are fitting drone data links to further overwork them. IMHO its the wrong approach, they would do well to have Blackhawks stand off say 5-10 miles and have them operating drones.

 

Its not like combat drones are a new technology. As long ago as the 1970's the USAF modfied a Ryan Firebee to outfly their aircraft in DACT. In fact, walking in the Weston Helicopter museum you can see a dual rotor helicopter drone from westland as long ago as the 1970's. The USN had them doing ASW work (admittedly none too successfully) a decade earlier. This is fairly mature technology, even in rotary wing.

 

If they insist on having a pilot in the firing line, it needs to be stealthy. Nothing of that illustration shows stealth features of a kind they had with the Comanche. They are going back to an aircraft that was out of date by the 1970's, and if anything front line air defences are more lethal than they were then.

You cannot do VLO rotary craft, unless you are willing to make some crazy thing like a flying saucer with a huge shrouded fan.

I agree that air defense is a big problem, especially as low altitude flight is no longer an effective defense, due to vastly more effective ground clutter discrimination. But the US is probably working on the assumption that enemy air defense in the locality can be largely reduced to Manpads and AAMG.
 


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#11 rmgill

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 1921 PM

I have to wonder why there's not a range of surface to surface ARMs on the scale/size of NLOS Spike specifically for prosecuting AA radar based emitters that are too wanton with their emissions. In tier 1 power vs a lesser power conflict, I can see emitters becoming very short lived. 

Ground based sensors with small UAV's localize emitters, use 2 to fix the position and you fire an ARM at that target. If it stays on it's toast. If it's does not, flip to an EO mode and search for a likely source in the localized area and nail that on the way in. I suspect that computer based pattern matching would not have a hard time finding such a target and, given power levels, I suspect that even switching to the dummy load on the radar emitter won't be proof against a sufficiently sensitive ARM's sensors. 


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#12 Simon Tan

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 0012 AM

How does this handle rotor torque? There is no tail rotor? Is the pusher able to generate the torque corrections?

 

ETA:- Oh I see it! It is very small in the pic.


Edited by Simon Tan, 17 May 2019 - 0012 AM.

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#13 DougRichards

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 0126 AM

Looks like it is designed for Avatar 2


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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 0156 AM

 

Apache pilots are already overworked today, and in the E model apache they are fitting drone data links to further overwork them. IMHO its the wrong approach, they would do well to have Blackhawks stand off say 5-10 miles and have them operating drones.

 

Its not like combat drones are a new technology. As long ago as the 1970's the USAF modfied a Ryan Firebee to outfly their aircraft in DACT. In fact, walking in the Weston Helicopter museum you can see a dual rotor helicopter drone from westland as long ago as the 1970's. The USN had them doing ASW work (admittedly none too successfully) a decade earlier. This is fairly mature technology, even in rotary wing.

 

If they insist on having a pilot in the firing line, it needs to be stealthy. Nothing of that illustration shows stealth features of a kind they had with the Comanche. They are going back to an aircraft that was out of date by the 1970's, and if anything front line air defences are more lethal than they were then.

You cannot do VLO rotary craft, unless you are willing to make some crazy thing like a flying saucer with a huge shrouded fan.

I agree that air defense is a big problem, especially as low altitude flight is no longer an effective defense, due to vastly more effective ground clutter discrimination. But the US is probably working on the assumption that enemy air defense in the locality can be largely reduced to Manpads and AAMG.
 

 

 

Well, the copter that was found on the Bin Laden Raid would seem to indicate otherwise, wouldnt it? And Commanche flew perfectly well and was stealthy, it just died in the budget battles. You dont need full stealth, you just need something that is going to buy you another 3 miles or 30 seconds or so.  And even that wont necessarily help much against thermal or visual systems.

 

It strikes me this is a concept in pursuit of a particular fixation the Army has, in using Helicopters in deep strike. They fell into this fixation in the 1980's (where it caused alarm among the rotorhead community) and it be came doctrine in 1991, before showing all the flaws of what happens when you do it against an alerted enemy in 2003. If they DO plan to fly helicopters in deep strike, I would argue this is going to get shot to pieces. Because you still have an aircraft that can do just over 200 knots. So the A10 ISNT survivable on a modern battlefield, but a 250 knot helicopter is?

 

Either go stealthy or go drone. This, to my opinionated mind at least, looks like the Fairey Battle for the 21st Century. A great idea in theory, but stupid.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 17 May 2019 - 0220 AM.

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#15 KV7

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 0224 AM

 

 

Apache pilots are already overworked today, and in the E model apache they are fitting drone data links to further overwork them. IMHO its the wrong approach, they would do well to have Blackhawks stand off say 5-10 miles and have them operating drones.

 

Its not like combat drones are a new technology. As long ago as the 1970's the USAF modfied a Ryan Firebee to outfly their aircraft in DACT. In fact, walking in the Weston Helicopter museum you can see a dual rotor helicopter drone from westland as long ago as the 1970's. The USN had them doing ASW work (admittedly none too successfully) a decade earlier. This is fairly mature technology, even in rotary wing.

 

If they insist on having a pilot in the firing line, it needs to be stealthy. Nothing of that illustration shows stealth features of a kind they had with the Comanche. They are going back to an aircraft that was out of date by the 1970's, and if anything front line air defences are more lethal than they were then.

You cannot do VLO rotary craft, unless you are willing to make some crazy thing like a flying saucer with a huge shrouded fan.

I agree that air defense is a big problem, especially as low altitude flight is no longer an effective defense, due to vastly more effective ground clutter discrimination. But the US is probably working on the assumption that enemy air defense in the locality can be largely reduced to Manpads and AAMG.
 

 

 

Well, the copter that was found on the Bin Laden Raid would seem to indicate otherwise, wouldnt it? And Commanche flew perfectly well and was stealthy, it just died in the budget battles. You dont need full stealth, you just need something that is going to buy you another 3 miles or 30 seconds or so.  And even that wont necessarily help much against thermal or visual systems.

 

It strikes me this is a concept in pursuit of a particular fixation the Army has, in using Helicopters in deep strike. They fell into this fixation in the 1980's (where it caused alarm among the rotorhead community) and it be came doctrine in 1991, before showing all the flaws of what happens when you do it against an alerted enemy in 2003. If they DO plan to fly helicopters in deep strike, I would argue this is going to get shot to pieces. Because yous till have an aircraft that can do just over 200 knots. So the A10 ISNT survivable on a modern battlefield, but a 250 knot helicopter is?

 

Either go stealthy or go drone. This, to my opinionated mind at least, looks like the Fairey Battle for the 21st Century. A great idea in theory, but stupid.

 

An LO attack helicopter is going to be easily picked up as soon as or before it brings the enemy into range, either by radar or electro-optical/IR means.

LO will still help with insertions into sparsely defended territory and getting to the battlefield.

Anyway a drone saucer would be cool.


Edited by KV7, 17 May 2019 - 0224 AM.

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#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 0233 AM

 

 

 

Apache pilots are already overworked today, and in the E model apache they are fitting drone data links to further overwork them. IMHO its the wrong approach, they would do well to have Blackhawks stand off say 5-10 miles and have them operating drones.

 

Its not like combat drones are a new technology. As long ago as the 1970's the USAF modfied a Ryan Firebee to outfly their aircraft in DACT. In fact, walking in the Weston Helicopter museum you can see a dual rotor helicopter drone from westland as long ago as the 1970's. The USN had them doing ASW work (admittedly none too successfully) a decade earlier. This is fairly mature technology, even in rotary wing.

 

If they insist on having a pilot in the firing line, it needs to be stealthy. Nothing of that illustration shows stealth features of a kind they had with the Comanche. They are going back to an aircraft that was out of date by the 1970's, and if anything front line air defences are more lethal than they were then.

You cannot do VLO rotary craft, unless you are willing to make some crazy thing like a flying saucer with a huge shrouded fan.

I agree that air defense is a big problem, especially as low altitude flight is no longer an effective defense, due to vastly more effective ground clutter discrimination. But the US is probably working on the assumption that enemy air defense in the locality can be largely reduced to Manpads and AAMG.
 

 

 

Well, the copter that was found on the Bin Laden Raid would seem to indicate otherwise, wouldnt it? And Commanche flew perfectly well and was stealthy, it just died in the budget battles. You dont need full stealth, you just need something that is going to buy you another 3 miles or 30 seconds or so.  And even that wont necessarily help much against thermal or visual systems.

 

It strikes me this is a concept in pursuit of a particular fixation the Army has, in using Helicopters in deep strike. They fell into this fixation in the 1980's (where it caused alarm among the rotorhead community) and it be came doctrine in 1991, before showing all the flaws of what happens when you do it against an alerted enemy in 2003. If they DO plan to fly helicopters in deep strike, I would argue this is going to get shot to pieces. Because yous till have an aircraft that can do just over 200 knots. So the A10 ISNT survivable on a modern battlefield, but a 250 knot helicopter is?

 

Either go stealthy or go drone. This, to my opinionated mind at least, looks like the Fairey Battle for the 21st Century. A great idea in theory, but stupid.

 

An LO attack helicopter is going to be easily picked up as soon as or before it brings the enemy into range, either by radar or electro-optical/IR means.

LO will still help with insertions into sparsely defended territory and getting to the battlefield.

Anyway a drone saucer would be cool.

 

 

Yes it would. :D

 

Here, there one should appeal.

27_UAVdrone_WestlandReconDrone_unrealair


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#17 KV7

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 0312 AM

No, like this:

uXE8Sy8.jpg


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#18 Dawes

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 0841 AM

The original AH-56A Cheyenne was canceled when most of it's issues seemed to have been corrected or had solutions in the works. Of course, some of it's systems, while cutting edge at the time of design and prototyping, were approaching obsolescence in 1972.

 

If the Cheyenne had been de-bugged and seen limited combat in Vietnam in, say, early 1973 and had been successful then the Apache would most likely have not existed. But since the Cheyenne was optimized for high-speed tactics, would the Army had cancelled it anyway?  


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#19 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 0848 AM

Ive got a feeling (and I cant swear to it) that the USAF was part of the reason Cheyenne was killed, because they felt that it was starting to encroach on what was 'their' particular slice of the pie. And if you think about it, the YA9 YA10 flyoff occurred in 1972, same year Cheyenne was canned. At which point, you wonder if Cheyenne was an elaborate bluff by the Army to get the USAF to  build something they wanted. That probably overly cynical of me, but after the inter service rivalries perhaps not.

 

You have to ask the question, well why would such an aircraft not cause similar squabbles now? And of course it would. I think perhaps the only people that might get away with it would be the USMC, and inside the USMC there would be the question of why you have Harrier or F35B if you are going to buy this.


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#20 Mr King

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 0953 AM

The little kid in me thinks it looks cool as hell, like GI Joe in real life. 

 

UKO2uWo.jpg​


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