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Aviation Monthly
Cobretti
post 13 Jan 2014, 4:32
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Hey guys, this is the first installment on a magazine style review of the weapons and technology used in the ROTR world. I'll be doing most of the US aircraft first, I do plan on moving on to other faction's aircraft later on and perhaps expanding to ground vehicles, firearms, and warships. (Ever wanted to learn more about the Spirit of Freedom and it's sister ship?) Here's the first part:

Aviation Monthly: September 203x
United States Airpower, Part I
- Written by Amy Kelly
As tensions rise in Eurasia over the recent skirmishes in Africa and economic stagnation in Russia, so too has the specter of another major war in Europe and the eventual American involvement. Despite the downfall of NATO after the ill-advised US retreat from Europe 15 years ago, the Bradford administration maintains a strong anti-Russian expansionist policy and indications hint at possible military and economic action in favor of the European Continental Alliance should hostilities break out.

Ever since the Second World War, the United States military has relied extensively on air dominance to achieve battlefield superiority. As any member of the USAF or Naval Air Force can tell you, no US soldier or Marine on the ground has been killed by enemy aircraft since the Korean War. Even after the post GWOT cutbacks, the US military has maintained a strong Air Force and naval air capabilities, and seeks to further expand said capabilities in an ever more dangerous world. This article seeks to explore information about the aircraft used today by the various branches of the US armed forces.

TRANSPORT/AIRLIFT:
Though the majority of heavy airlifting by the USAF is done today by conventional aircraft such as the C-130J Super Hercules and C-17B Globemaster III, VTOL aircraft have become a more and more capable replacement for helicopters and light cargo transport.

Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey: Although the V-22 Osprey had a troubled development phase, today it serves as the main medium lift aircraft used by the US Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy. Even though newer designs such as the V-25 Goshawk are planned to eventually phase out the Osprey, it still sees heavy use as a transport aircraft by American combat forces and will see heavy use in the foreseeable future.

Bell-Boeing V-25 Goshawk: The V-25 Goshawk is one of the newest aircraft used by the US Armed forces, and is the end result of the JMR-Heavy Future Vertical Lift program. By the end of the last decade, the US Army desired a new VTOL transport to replace the aging CH-47 Chinook fleet, which had been wearing out through heavy use in the past two decades. Although the Army had declined to take part in the V-22 program, they looked with interest in the further development of tiltrotor aircraft. The V-25 Goshawk was the intermediate step between the light V-22 Osprey and the heavy V-34 Starlifter II. Compared to the CH-47 Chinook, the V-25 is capable of carrying more cargo faster, longer, and at a higher altitude. As an infantry carrier, it can transport a platoon of infantry or a single Cougar MRAP or HMMWV. In contrast to the Osprey, the Goshawk is a semi-tilt-wing with 250% more wing surface, roughly 60% of which tilts along with the engine nacelles, and a lifting body, significantly improving glide capability and allowing to remove the fancy - and heavy - transmission, converting the engines to straight-up carbon composite turbine turboprops with only standard reduction gearboxes remaining. Today, the US Army and US Navy are the main users of the V-25 Goshawk whilst the USMC and US Air Force are considering purchasing them to replace their aging Ospreys.

Bell-Boeing V-34 Starlifter II: The first examples of the V-44 entered the late prototype testing phase during the end of the GLA War, but budget cutbacks slowed its entry into service until quite recently. By the end of the last decade, the US Army desired a new VTOL transport to replace the aging CH-47 Chinook fleet, which had been wearing out through heavy use in the past two decades. Although the Army had declined to take part in the V-22 program, they looked with interest in the further development of tiltrotor aircraft. As the end result of the Bell-Boeing Quad Tilt Rotor program, the V-34 is the direct replacement of the CH-47 Chinook and the CH-53 Super Stallion, and is planned to phase out the C-130J Super Hercules. The quad tilt rotor engines give it a cruising speed of over 350 knots and allow it to land in places the C-130 cannot. It is capable of carrying around 26,000 kilograms of cargo (or several M5A1 Schwarzkopf ”Crusader” light tanks or IFVs), or 110 paratroopers/150 infantry.

Lockheed-Martin C-130J Super Hercules, Boeing C-17B Globemaster III, & Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy: When heavier lifting is required by the US military’s expeditionary forces, the fixed wing airfleet comes into play. Though the C-130J Super Hercules and C-5M Super Galaxy are old (yet proven and popular) designs, the more advanced Boeing C-17B Globemaster III is an increasingly common sight in the US Air Force as well as the air forces of other nations. The C-17 underwent a mid-life upgrade even before the newer export production run, including double-slotted flaps, an additional main landing gear on center fuselage, more powerful engines (F-117-PW-200 turbofans) and other systems for shorter landing and take-off distances, a LANTIRN AN/AAQ-13 pod and passive radar installed into the nose, and an optional bulkhead separating the troop bay from the cargo bay for passenger comfort.

~~~

I hope you enjoyed the first part, stay tuned for Part 2!

This post has been edited by DerKrieger: 29 May 2014, 15:52


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MARS
post 13 Jan 2014, 7:09
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Very cool premise, although some of the technical designations are off in the light of certain updates that are yet to be posted. Nothing that a simple revision after the update couldn't fix though, so nice work. The timeline is a little off though: Bradford became president in 2044, Russia's recession began after the African debacle of 2041 and in the late 2030s, the US was more concerned with Russia's expansion into Africa rather than the possibility of a Russo-European War. By the way, there will be a pre-1.85 update that'll provide some background on the USS Spirit of Freedom which you may want to wait for first just to be safe.

PS: V-25 Goshawk, eh? I appreciate the EndWar reference^^
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Cobretti
post 13 Jan 2014, 20:20
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Ah, my bad, I thought that WWIII started in 2039 rather than in the mid 2040s. The next update will be on some US combat aircraft (likely fighter jets) so it'll be a while until I get to work on warships. I've already kicked around ideas as for stuff about the navies and air forces but it'll be some time before I get to them much less the Spirit of Freedom and its sister ship(s).

For the most part I've been envisioning the US Navy as being fairly conservative doctrine and design-wise, using Carrier Battle Groups centered around a seabase used as a home-port when away from Hawaii, Guam, or the continental US. In addition as a floating base for aircraft that can't be deployed from carriers, the seabase would serve as a resupply, repair, and refueling station for whatever CBGs are attached to it. You'd have a CBG consisting of a Nimitz or Ford class supercarrier as a flagship with Lexington-class drone carriers serving in the same role as escort/light carriers did in WWII, in addition to Littoral Combat Ships, AEGIS destroyers & Zumwalt gunboats, submarines, amphibious assault ships, and whatever support ships are needed.

And the Goshawk is indeed an Endwar homage. Given that there are already several such homages in ROTR you can expect to see a few more from here on out. ^^


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MARS
post 14 Jan 2014, 9:27
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As for the MOBs, I currently operate under the premise that the US only have a total of two of them, the Spirit of Freedom in the Atlantic and the Spirit of Independence in the Pacfic. They're both the size of several football fields and include three runways that can even be used by transport planes and strategic bombers when required. The USN would still use 'classic' super carriers, but also drone carriers, submersible ships and generally employ a lot of automation and AI support on their ships to reduce the size of the crews and pack more weaponry/protection in their place.
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Svea Rike
post 14 Jan 2014, 13:16
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(sorry if off-topic) MARS, I think I have found a solution to this whole aircraft carrier naming convention: President Paulson was quite unpopular (y'all know why) so the sailors despise calling their carriers after Presidents. They made up their own nicknames, like Daedalus or Olympia! Does this make sense?


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MARS
post 14 Jan 2014, 15:25
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To be honest, I'd simply ignore those two names entirely. Any attempt at explaining them would only draw more attention to how unfitting they are.
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Cobretti
post 14 Jan 2014, 19:38
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QUOTE (MARS @ 14 Jan 2014, 3:27) *
By the way, if you are going to talk about the Raptor, I have revised my personal take on the matter to a certain degree to keep things simple:
F-22B = The Raptor you build in-game, essentially a more affordable downgrade of the F-22A which is still the best fighter in the ROTR world
F-22N = The Sea Raptor is the carrier version used by the Navy, but in terms of appearance and function, indistinguishable from the B-version in-game
F-22A = What used to be referred to as the King Raptor in ZH plus some modular upgrades.

As for the MOBs, I currently operate under the premise that the US only have a total of two of them, the Spirit of Freedom in the Atlantic and the Spirit of Independence in the Pacfic. They're both the size of several football fields and include three runways that can even be used by transport planes and strategic bombers when required. The USN would still use 'classic' super carriers, but also drone carriers, submersible ships and generally employ a lot of automation and AI support on their ships to reduce the size of the crews and pack more weaponry/protection in their place.


I was operating under assumption that there were only two MOBs as well, one for the Atlantic and one for the Pacific.

I've already written up the F-22 article, and it is rather similar. I thought the F-22 variant in use by ROTR was called the F-22C but it looks like it's been retconned to F-22B. I took the King Raptor to be an advanced model of F-22 with more advanced avionics, an rotary arms rack in the weapons bay, a point defense laser system, and carbon-nano tube armor. Some of the avionics upgrades were later fitted to the F-22B and the F-22B can mount the point defense laser system but it isn't standard as it was on the King Raptor. The King Raptor was in part conceived as a test bed for technologies for a 6th generation fighter aircraft which will be mentioned in the article.

The Sea Raptor is an issue of controversy: an aerospace engineer friend of mine has told me in the past that converting the F-22 to a carrier based fighter would be so complicated and thus expensive (and would likely compromise the aircraft's performance) you'd might as well design an entirely new aircraft for the role. I was operating under the assumption that the US's carrier based combat aircraft are F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets, some sort of UAV based on MQ-47C Pegasi, and F-35C Lighting IIs (F-35Bs for the USMC's amphibious assault carriers). The aforementioned 6th generation fighter jet will also have a carrier based variant.


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Kalga
post 14 Jan 2014, 22:19
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QUOTE (MARS @ 14 Jan 2014, 9:25) *
To be honest, I'd simply ignore those two names entirely. Any attempt at explaining them would only draw more attention to how unfitting they are.


Or just explaining that they were officially classified as "aviation cruiser" (with reason being to get the budget pass through congress or some other such nonsense), they will still be called carriers by everyone else because, well, no one (except maybe congress) is fooled by that for even one minute.

QUOTE (DerKrieger @ 14 Jan 2014, 13:38) *
The Sea Raptor is an issue of controversy: an aerospace engineer friend of mine has told me in the past that converting the F-22 to a carrier based fighter would be so complicated and thus expensive (and would likely compromise the aircraft's performance) you'd might as well design an entirely new aircraft for the role. I was operating under the assumption that the US's carrier based combat aircraft are F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets, some sort of UAV based on MQ-47C Pegasi, and F-35C Lighting IIs (F-35Bs for the USMC's amphibious assault carriers). The aforementioned 6th generation fighter jet will also have a carrier based variant.


Since it's the future a quick handwave with something like "the higher state of US military infrastructure and tech base in general" make conversion more feasible... or something like the fact that the downgraded version of the Raptor is simplified enough that a sea version conversion is actually feasible.


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Cobretti
post 17 Jan 2014, 2:29
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GUNSHIPS:

((NB: There may be another addition to this, I'm not quite sure where to put this other airplane in. I'll likely reserve a special update for it at some later date...))

Lockheed-Martin AC-130U Spooky II: The USAF still maintains a small number of the older AC-130U gunships, although the airframes are slated to be replaced by the more advanced AC-17 Spectre II gunships in the coming decade due to age of the remaining aircraft and the ever-diminishing supply of spare parts for the aging Bofors L/60 cannons and M102 howitzers mounted on the aircraft.

Boeing AC-17 Specter II: The AC-17 Specter II first saw combat in the later part of the Global War on Terror as a replacement to the earlier C-130 based generation of gunships. Though it lacked stealth capabilities, its supersonic capability, heavy armament and armor, and advanced sensor systems made it a feared opponent for the GLA, especially during the invasion and liberation of Iran and the second Battle of Baikonur.

Though active use of the search radar is mainly relegated to reconnaissance UAVs, the Specter II retains an extensive search and targeting suite for detecting and engaging targets from long range, as well as a passive radar and multiple passive optical sensors.

As with the AC-130 the AC-17 Specter II’s main gun is located aft of the wing, enabling the cargo bay door and ramp to be used to easily load ammunition onto the aircraft. Instead of the manually-loaded 105 mm M102 of the AC-130 it uses an auto-loaded M777 155 mm howitzer, specially modified to increase inertia and thus lessen recoil. The howitzer aboard the AC-17 is normally loaded with either HEAT rounds or Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions. Each bomblet of the latter shell has enough power to punch through the top armor of a main battle tank.

Mounted under and slightly behind the wing are the twin linked radar targeted GAU-12/U Equalizer 25mm autocannons and a 6000 round magazine. When loaded with explosive shells as normal, these cannons serve as an anti-soft target weapon. The GAU-12/Us aboard the AC-17 are liquid cooled and feature advanced inertial dampeners to increase accuracy and lessen recoil.

The fore gun deck houses two Bushmaster II GAU-23/A 30mm cannons for mid-ranged targets. It was the inclusion of these two weapons, as well as the desire for the AC-17 to have a high response time, that necessitated the addition of two GE TF39 engines (in addition to the existing four F-117-PW-200 turbofans) with new compressors and digital management systems to prevent compressor stalls when the weapons were fired. The swing wing configurations and overpowered engines are enough to give the AC-17 a maximum speed in excess of Mach 1, allowing it to reach the area of operation much faster than the AC-130. There are plans to phase out the 30mm cannons on the AC-17 in favor of the new XM2342 railgun due to complications caused by the recoil.

Finally, the AC-17 features four Gunslinger launch systems capable of launching AGM-176 Griffin missiles, AIM-9X Sidewinders, GBU-44/B Viper Strike glide bombs, or AGM-305 Joint Air-to-Ground missiles. One Gunslinger is mounted on the chin, another on the upper fuselage near the tail, and one on each wing.

The AC-17 is well stocked with chaff and flares to defeat enemy ground fire, and is equipped with an ECM station, a directed infrared jamming device, as well as a towed decoy. It additionally features 20 mm ceramic plating, and the fuselage is separated into several critical compartments containing crew and armament and semi-empty non-essential areas under the outer skin. The Specter II’s fuselage features self-healing materials and a limited self-repair subsystem to increase survivability.

This post has been edited by DerKrieger: 17 Jan 2014, 2:37


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MARS
post 17 Jan 2014, 8:40
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Again, a very nice factual breakdown of the various systems some of these technical designations would be well-suited to spice up Wiki descriptions in the future. A little bit of clarification is required though: The -current- gunship, the AC-17, is actually referred to as the Spectre III and was only introduced after the GWOT when the Air Force was the only branch that came out of the crisis with its budget largely unscathed. The plane we saw in ZH was actually the Spectre II. I haven't come up with an alphanumeric designation for it, but it has been said that it was actually a project of the Navy which tried to create a compact, carrier-capable gunship that was more deployable than the classic AC-130. It was purpose-built for that function, but unfortunately prone to mechanical issues due to the booser/variable geometry setup.
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Cobretti
post 17 Jan 2014, 20:02
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Alright, I was under the impression that the gunship was the same one from Zero Hour due to the strong resemblance, the RotR gunship appearing to be a much more detailed model of the stock Zero Hour version. It looked a bit too large to be launched from a carrier.


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Svea Rike
post 17 Jan 2014, 20:52
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Sometimes I wonder, Kriger, if you read descriptions of the renders.

Also MARS your new avatar is badass, is that a logo from a game?


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MARS
post 17 Jan 2014, 21:35
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Easy there, Swedish, not everyone can dedicate as much attention to the fluff as you tongue.gif

The logo is from Tom Clancy's EndWar, EFEC Battlegroup 22. I liked that game ever since The_Hunter brought it to my attention because it has great futuristic unit designs and an interesting setting. Bit of a shame that there isn't much of a narrative to speak of and the gameplay isn't exactly objective-based, but it's fun and diverting every once in a while.
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Serialkillerwhal...
post 19 Jan 2014, 12:53
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They may name the carriers after presidents, but odds are the MOB series aren't considered carriers at all.

Maybe these larger craft are named after key concepts to the US (Freedom, Independence, Liberty, Patriotism, Democracy)


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Cobretti
post 23 Jan 2014, 3:39
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Aviation Monthly: October 203x:
US Airpower, Part II
by Dan Kim


TANKER:

Boeing KC-46B Pegasus: This tanker based on the successful Boeing 767 freighter/airliner has changed little from its original 2010’s incarnation, the B variant featuring increased automation and two wing-mounted Flight Refueling Limited MK.32B drogue hose pods that allow refueling of two fighter craft instead of one.

AWACS/AEW/RECON:
Boeing E-3 Sentry/Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS/Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint: In the past few decades the E-3 Sentry has continued to serve as the main AWACS system for the USAF, though it and its airframe cousins the E-8 Joint STARS and RC-135W Rivet Joint are currently being phased out by the EAL-797 AWACS. All three have had their original engines replaced with more reliable and fuel-efficient Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 turbofans (CFM56 on the RC-135) as well as full glass cockpits.

Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk Block II/MQ-4C Triton: The original Global Hawk was deemed too expensive for widespread use the US Air Force, although the program was salvaged by the cheaper Triton maritime surveillance variant purchased by the US Navy. During the Global War on Terror the Global Hawk proved to be a useful surveillance UAV, later being equipped with the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar system for tracking targets. The Global Hawk has also been developed into the KQ-4 tanker drone, augmenting the KC-46 tanker at a fraction of the cost.

Boeing P-8 Poseidon: The P-8 Poseidon, based off of the 737 airliner, serves as the US Navy’s anti-submarine and anti-ship aircraft. When compared to smaller carrier launched aircraft, the P-8 Poseidon has longer range and greater loiter capability. Furthermore, the recent deployment of the Spirit of Independence and the pending completion of its sister ship Spirit of Freedom make the P-8 Poseidon much easier to be deployed almost anywhere in the world. The P-8 Poseidon is usually armed with Mark 54 MAKO 324mm guided torpedoes or glide bombs in its internal bay, as well as AGM-84K SLAM-ER/Harpoon Block III anti-ship missiles on its underwing external mounts.

Northrop Grumman QE-2E Hawkeye: Although the US Navy’s plan for a new light utility aircraft was canceled after the GLA War, the US Navy has managed to refurbish and upgrade the E-2 Hawkeye AWACS into an unmanned aircraft. Its AN/APS-145 active-passive radar is now augmented with computer processing and is supplemented with the short-range sensors needed for optionally manned operation. In addition to the US Navy, the E-2E Hawkeye has been exported to other nations requiring carrier based AWACS systems such as France and Japan.


General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle/MQ-9 Reaper:
Derived from the first-generation MQ-1 Predator, the MQ-1C Gray Eagle & MQ-9 Reaper are the primary reconnaissance and light attack UAV (respectively) used by the US Air Force and many other militaries worldwide. Even though technically superseded by more advanced UAVs such as the AQ-360 Hunter-Killer and the FQ-47C Pegasus, the MQ-9 Reaper still is an effective reconnaissance and strike platform due to its low cost, high loitering capabilities, and Gorgon Stare surveillance system.

This post has been edited by DerKrieger: 8 Jul 2014, 18:04


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Cobretti
post 23 Jan 2014, 20:14
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Aviation Monthly, October 203x
US Airpower, Part III
By Dan Kim

HELICOPTERS:


Sikorsky UH-60N Ghosthawk/MH-60 Seahawk:
This stealthy evolution of the UH-60 Blackhawk proved to be a less expensive alternative successor for the Blackhawk helicopter. Infamous for its first known use in the bin Laden raid in Abbottabad back in 2011, the Ghosthawk combined the proven airframe and design of the Blackhawk with a stealthier fuselage and more advanced electronics. The UH-60N features updated engines and a new lightweight composite fuselage giving it greater speed and maneuverability than the first generation Ghosthawk, and has a fly-by-wire system and a Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit suite. The US Navy uses the MH-60 Seahawk as a transportation and SAR helicopter, it's anti-submarine and reconnaissance purpose supplemented by the MQ-23A Guardian tilt-rotor.

Bell UH-1Y Venom:
The UH-1Y Venom serves as the main light transport helicopter of the US Marine Corps, and has received incremental upgrades since its initial deployment back in 2008.

McDonnell-Douglas MH-6M Little Bird: The MH-6M Little Bird is the main light attack helicopter and Special Forces utility helicopter used by the US Army's 160th SOAR. It remains in use as it can insert and extract special forces in situations the V-25 and UH-60N cannot.

Boeing AH-64E/F Apache Guardian: The AH-64E Apache Guardian was the US Army's main attack helicopter through the 2010s-2020s. During the Global War on Terror, however, concerns arose over the vulnerability of the Apache to ground fire. Losses during Operation Iraqi Freedom and an incident in Yemen early during the conflict with the GLA where several Apache gunships were shot down, necessitating a rescue operation led to the US Army to consider a new stealthier gunship design. Today the AH-64E is commonly seen in reserve units and the armed forces of foreign nations, as most front-line US attack helicopter units have since transitioned to the AH-66B and AH-64F since the end of the Global War on Terror.

The F model of the Apache further improved the Apache's electronics, speed and operational ceiling as well as introducing a faster and less-vulnerable vectored thrust ducted propeller tail design. The AH-64F model was also adopted by the Israeli Defense Force and the Japanese (under the title "Yumi") and Korean armed forces in addition to the US Army.

Bell AH-1Z Viper: Even though the US Army has mainly moved on with a new attack helicopter design, the US Marines maintain their AH-1Z Viper gunships. Like the UH-1Y little major upgrades have taken place to the airframe.

Bell MQ-23A Guardian: Due to concerns about the lack of space on warships for helicopters, particularly aboard the Freedom and Independence class littoral combat ships, the US Navy decided to develop a new UAV that would cheaply and more compactly perform reconnaissance and ASW missions. Bell's MQ-23 Guardian tilt-rotor design, based loosely on their Eagle Eye concept aircraft, won the competition and subsequently replaced the MQ-8 Fire Scout as a reconnaissance platform as well as performing anti-submarine duties.
The MQ-23A utilizes a single GE T700 turbo-shaft to power its twin transverse six-blade ducted rotors modified for low acoustic signatures, and is equipped with an AQS-13 dipping sonar as standard as well as two Mark 54 MAKO torpedoes. It is also capable of mounting Elint, FLIR, and anti-surface radar pods.

Boeing-Sikorsky AH-66B Comanche:
The AH-64 Apache’s vulnerability to AA systems was an increasingly troubling factor during the Global War on Terror. A particularly notable event was during the invasion of GLA-controlled Yemen where several Apache gunships were shot down, necessitating a rescue operation for the stranded aircrew. However, Boeing-Sikorsky had a somewhat inexpensive solution in mind; the AH-66B, an enhanced gunship version of the canceled Comanche reconnaissance helicopter.

The AH-66B Comanche was first used by units such as the 160th SOAR whenever stealth was needed. Its stealth and agility were well liked and it was only a matter of time until the US Army and Marine Corps began to order the aircraft in number. The helicopter's advanced fly-by-wire makes it easier to pilot than previous generations of helicopters and its targeting system is a unique innovation. Previous gunship targeting systems were connected to the gunner's helmet, pointing the gunship's cannon at wherever the gunner is looking. The Comanche's advanced targeting system takes this premise one step further and actually monitors the gunner's eyes making targeting virtually instantaneous and incredibly precise. Additionally, the Comanche features a sophisticated sensor suite with a low-profile rotor mounted AESA radar, passive radar and ground search radar, as well as an ECM suite, Link-16 data-links, and UAV control compatibility. The helicopter is powered by two Honeywell T800-6H hydrogen turbo-shafts with 2,100 horsepower each.

As for armament the AH-66B retains the internal arms bay of its predecessor and is capable of carrying AGM-305 Joint Air-To-Ground Missiles, Hydra-70 rockets, and AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles. The AH-66’s stub wings are capable of mounting extra armament if necessary, though this degrades the stealth capability of the helicopter as long as unstealthy armament is carried on the wings. The rotor blades are made out of ceramic nanocomposites, the same material as the bulk of the fuselage.

This post has been edited by DerKrieger: 7 Oct 2015, 17:08


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Cobretti
post 3 Feb 2014, 5:31
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Aviation Monthly, November 203x
US Airpower, Part IV
By Richard Wynorski

FIGHTER/ATTACK:

Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block III/EA-18H Growler: Today the F/A/-18E/F Super Hornet is the main fighter aircraft of the US Navy in conjunction with the F-35 Lighting II. The latest models of the Super Hornet and the Growler electronic warfare aircraft include updated General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans, an infrared search and track system, conformal fuel tanks, and under-wing armament pods which increase the aerodynamics of the airframe as well as stealth capability. A large center-line pod is capable of carrying larger munitions such as the AGM-158B JASSM-ER. In addition to the ECM role performed by the Growler, the Super Hornet can be used as a carrier-based tanker aircraft.

Lockheed Martin F-22C Raptor: The continuation of the F-22 production line shortly before the GLA war proved to be somewhat fortuitous for the US Air Force. Fears regarding the development of 5th generation fighter aircraft from nations such as China and Russia were a major factor in deciding to resume the production of the F-22. The cost per aircraft was lowered greatly from the original due to economies of scale, though the total cost of the program was not inconsiderable. Costs saving elements from the F-35 program such as a more durable radar absorbing coating were implemented as well. Further funding was acquired for the deployment of the advanced F-22X King Raptor variant, as well as the export of the F-22 to several friendly nations. Lockheed-Martin was successfully able to export models of the F-22 to Japan, Australia, Israel, and Korea.

Initially developed as a possible midlife upgrade for the F-22 as well as a test bed for possible 6th generation fighter designs, the F-22X King Raptor was by far the most advanced fighter jet built yet. It featured more advanced avionics than the F-22A as well as a miniature Rotary Launcher Assembly within its internal weapons bays, giving it a larger internal payload. When equipped with AIM-210 Cuda missiles or the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, the F-22X King Raptor has frightening offensive capabilities. The most ambitious features of the F-22X King Raptor were its integrated 150 kW A-THEL (Tactical High Energy Laser) laser point defense system and its carbon nano-tube armored fuselage, making the aircraft a powerful multirole tactical bomber. Alhough the A-THEL system could be mounted on most US aircraft with the capability to power it, the F-22X had it integrated as standard.

However, the high cost of the F-22X King Raptor prevented all of its upgrades from becoming a standard upgrade to the entire F-22 fleet, especially after the heavy military cuts in the wake of the GLA War. Still, the F-22C mid-life upgrade program has managed to incorporate most of the improvements of the F-22X King Raptor. The carbon-nano tube fuselage and Rotary Launcher Assembly were deemed too expensive to implement, but most of the avionics upgrades featured on the F-22X were retained. This means that the AN/APG-77 radar from the A model is still used in the F-22C rather than replacement by the more advanced AN/APG-81 of the F-35, albeit the radar and the AN/ALR-94 ESM have undergone upgrades. The latest incremental upgrade blocks to the F-22C include two L-band intercept radars, and multipoint radar capabilities and high-resolution down seeking upgrades to the AN/APG-77, as well as a “smart skin” multipoint phased radar array along the entire fuselage.

While the A-THEL system and Rotary Launcher Assembly were not made standard issue on the F-22C, the F-22C has the full capability to mount and utilize the A-THEL and has a redesigned armament bay allowing for the carrying of larger JDAMs. As of today, the A-THEL is often equipped on F-22C fighter jets deployed in theaters where they are likely to encounter significant enemy resistance. In addition, the F-22C Raptor has upgraded F119 2D thrust vectoring engines that not only have cooler exhaust, but increase the F-22's already considerable top speed and acceleration.

The normal air-to-air load-out of the F-22C are two AIM-9Z Sidewinders, one in each of the two side bays, and six AIM-120 AMRAAMs (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles) in the three main bays (twelve of the miniature AIM-210 Cuda radar-guided missiles). When equipped with the powerful ramjet AIM-120E AMRAAMs as is standard, the F-22C makes an extremely effective long range fighter. Although not as used as often as the F-35 in the air-to-ground role, the F-22C is capable of carrying most bombs 1000 lbs and less used by the USAF, including Small Diameter Bombs, GBU-35 JDAMs and the AGM-154 JSOW.

Lockheed Martin F-35A/B/C Lightning II:
Despite the expansion of the F-22 Raptor’s production line, the F-35 serves as a front line stealth attack aircraft and tactical bomber in several branches of the US armed forces. The A variant serves as the USAF’s primary strike fighter, the B variant the US Marine Corps’ rapidly deployed stealth fighter from Wasp & America class amphibious assault ships, and the C the US Navy’s primary stealth tactical fighter, based from the Nimitz & Ford class supercarriers.

Though the design has had mainly incremental updates throughout the years, most notably advancements to the avionics, stealth capabilities, weapons payload, and the ability to mount A-THEL air defense lasers, the biggest advancement was the development of the laser armed F-35 during the GLA War. Despite most of the advanced weapons systems developed by DARPA and General Townes falling by the wayside due to postwar budget cuts, lasers and particle beam weapons persisted as anti-aircraft/missile/satellite weaponry and for specific precision strikes. The F-35 Laser Lighting II was one of the very few weapons systems used by General Townes that was not completely decommissioned after the war.

Back in the first two decades of the 21st century, the high cost of the F-35 was a controversial feature of this advanced fighter jet. What was unknown to the public at large was that DARPA had discovered that the space in the F-35 A & C variants left from the absence of the vertical turbofan found in the B variant made for a perfect space to install a capacitor for a laser weapon. The apparent rising costs of the aircraft were a ruse to mask the funds being poured into developing aircraft mounted laser weaponry. General Townes, the head of the division of DARPA dedicated to directed energy weapons, jumped at this chance and led the effort to develop a powerful laser weapon based on the F-35 platform. The end result was a powerful platform for long range interdiction missions. During the war, General Townes used the F-35 modified with focused laser pulse emitters to burn out entrenched GLA as well as surgically eliminate hostiles with a minimum of collateral damage and a maximum of psychological damage to the enemy. Unsurprisingly, seeing one’s comrades vaporize instantly with no warning was often enough to make GLA fighters turn and run.

After the war, this particular advancement to the F-35’s future was in question, however. Even though laser weapons were proven to be highly effective on the battlefield, their high cost and need for intensive maintenance made them unsuited for general issue throughout the US armed forces save for specific applications such as missile and artillery defense, anti-air/missile applications, and surgical strategic strikes. The funding simply wasn’t there to equip every F-35 with laser weapons despite their unquestioned effectiveness, and further procurement of the system was put on hold until the later years of the O’Connell administration. More F-35s have been seen equipped with laser weaponry in recent years, though barring full US entry into a Eurasian conflict it will be quite some time, if ever, before directed energy weapons ever become standard on any F-35 model.

Boeing F-24 Rapier:With the possibility of hostilities with Russia over contested resources in Africa comes the possibility of the US Air Force and Navy having to deal with a modern air force equipped with a sizable number of bomber aircraft capable of carrying long-range anti-ship missiles as well as 5th generation fighter aircraft. Although the US military is confident that the F-22 and F-35 are at least a match to any other combat aircraft, the US military has never been one to rest on its laurels when it comes to technological advancement.

Boeing's F-24 Rapier is the winner of the US military's Next Generation Air Dominance competition for a new 6th generation fighter aircraft. Initially started by the US Navy in order to produce an advanced long-range fighter/bomber, it found the US Air Force as an additional backer after the post Global War on Terror economic crisis. Currently, the F-24 Rapier is planned to enter service with the US Navy and Air Force in the 2040s.

The F-24 Rapier's sensor suite consists of a hybrid AN/APG-83 AESA/PESA radar with a singular emitter for high power at long range, and emitter-capable individual elements for precise short-range operation. In addition to the radar the F-24 features an optical seeker for close range targeting, an AI suite for target analysis (and optional unmanned flying), and front and rear infrared detection.

The weapons bay of the F-24 differs greatly from the F-22 Raptor; each of the aircraft's two main weapons bays can house up to three AIM-120s or LJDAMs in a staggered column. There is also a shallow midline bay and a small bay on each side of the fuselage for AIM-9 missiles. In lieu of a Vulcan cannon, the F-24 Rapier is armed with an A-THEL laser weapon as a close-range anti-aircraft weapon. The laser also can serve as a target designator for Paveway laser guided bombs. Test pilots report that the F-24 serves as an effective bomber in addition to a fighter/interceptor, being able to use the laser to paint the target before their own bombs hit.

Its airframe is comprised of titanium alloys, ceramic scale armor, and classified metals to improve heat distribution, vital at speeds over M3. The F-24 Rapier also has a new type of stealth coating based on that used on the F/B-40 Aurora bomber in addition to the usual array of passive stealth measures and an Integrated Countermeasures Complex of ECM, chaff and flares. It is also capable of carrying ADM-141 TALDs.

Perhaps the most revolutionary feature of the F-24 is its twin General Dynamics Mk2 pulse-detonation engines. Similar in design to the pulse-detonation engines used on the new EF-3000 Hurricane fighter, these engines use plasma ignition to ignite normal JP-8 fuel to propel the aircraft to maximum speeds in excess of Mach 3 and supercruise speeds of over Mach 2. For boosts at top speed, the F-24 has a scramjet booster (similar to the engines of Boeing's Stratobird airliner and Northrop-Grumman's F/B-40 Aurora bomber).

Crew: 1 pilot (zero with AI guidance)
Length: 22.80m
Wingspan: 25.53m
Height: 4.60m
Powerplant: 2 × General Dynamics Mk2 Pulse Detonation engines
range: 4,000 nmi (7,400km+)
Max Speed: Mach 4+ (5,550km/h+)
Armament: 1 × solid-state pulse laser (100 kW output), and a wide assortment of missiles and bombs (AIM -9Z Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-210 Cuda, GBU-35 & GBU-53B SDB, GBU-16/GBU-48/GBU-50 Paveway, AGM-130, AGM-154 JSOW, AGM-88E AARGM, AGM-240 Persistent Anti-Radiation Missile, AGM-178 Joint Air-to-Ground Missile, AGM-190 LRASM, 150 kW A-THEL weapons and defense system

Fairchild A-10C Thunderbolt II: The A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately referred to as the “Warthog” is the premier close air support aircraft of the US military. Its survivability from both enemy fire and attempts among the US military to retire it have been legendary, as is its capability of delivering overwhelming firepower in support to ground forces. The A-10 has changed little from its original incarnation, though the aging airframes and vulnerability to the latest anti-aircraft weaponry make it an ever less common sight on today's battlefields. Still, the effectiveness of the A-10 Thunderbolt II against ground vehicles ensure that it'll be a mainstay in close air support for the near future.

Northrop Grumman FQ-47 Vindicator II:
Unlike the earlier prototype models developed before the Navy budget cuts, the production model (based on the X-47C) is considerably larger with greater range and payload. During its initial deployment by the US Navy in the early years of the formation of the North American Union, the FQ-47 was seen as an effective choice of strike and reconnaissance aircraft due to its low cost, small size, and capability to be deployed on the Nimitz & Gerald R. Ford class supercarriers.

In spite of its low cost, it comes equipped with two dozen multipurpose optical sensors, a laser targeting designator for laser guided munitions, two (or rather, thanks to the processing system, one) wing leading edge AESA radars, and standard-issue passive radar. Its armament consists of two wing bays capable of carrying three AIM-9X/Z missiles, AGM-154s, or GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs each, in addition to a lesser number of smaller ordinance (up to 4,500 kg). The FQ-47 is also capable of carrying an Elint pod or an AN/AAQ-13 LANTIRN.

Though the FQ-47 was not originally designed to use self-editing software unlike the later AQ-360 Hunter-Killer, Northrop-Grumman quickly modified the FQ-47 with an artificial intelligence core, making the aircraft capable of learning and adapting. Like the AQ-360, it is roughly about as intelligent as a large dog. Despite its size, it has comparatively long range and loiter time due to its single high-bypass afterburner-capable Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 turbofan.

General Atomics AQ-360 Hunter-Killer:
During the first two decades of the 21st century, the MQ-9 Reaper UAV gained notoriety for their effectiveness and capability to conduct surgical strikes on enemy targets without risking US military personnel, all at a lower operating cost than a traditional fighter bomber. Yet in recent years General Atomics have produced an even more advanced UCAV.

Dubbed the Hunter-Killer, the AQ-360 uses the latest in aerospace technology to provide a cost-effective close air support and strike fighter unmatched anywhere else in the world. Unlike previous aircraft such as the Reaper, the Hunter-Killer is controlled by an autonomous AI core. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney turbofan, the Hunter-Killer is capable of loitering over the battlefield for around 20 hours at a high sub-sonic speed without any input from the ground. Its integral weapons bay can carry over 1,600 kg in ordinance in addition to the six wing-mounted hardpoints, and the Hunter-Killer’s advanced wide-area AESA radar provides unparalleled targeting and surveillance capabilities to merit the successor to older models of UCAV.

This post has been edited by DerKrieger: 23 Sep 2015, 19:05


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"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."-- George S. Patton


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Cobretti
post 8 Feb 2014, 21:31
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Ok folks, there will be two more US aircraft that will be mentioned in the next update but this just about does it for the US faction. I haven't quite decided on what to do next but I am taking suggestions if people have anything technical about the RotR verse that they want to see me write about!

Aviation Monthly: December 203x:
US Airpower, Part V
by Richard Wynorski

BOMBERS:

Boeing B-52H Stratofortress: The long-serving B-52H is projected to remain in the USAF inventory until the 2040s, a historic record for service length of a combat aircraft. Even though strategic bombers are an arguably obsolete concept the B-52 is a cost-effective means of delivering large amounts of JDAMs and cruise missiles on target.

Boeing B-1B Lancer: Though the B-1B Lancer's role is quickly being superseded by the F/B-40 Aurora the B-1B still sees service when large weapons payloads are a requirement. The B-1B has been upgraded with more advanced electronics systems, RAM coating (though the design of te aircraft renders it less effective than that used on the B-2), the capability of carrying the latest generation of ordinance, and new F101-GE-203 afterburning turbofans that allow the aircraft to reach a top speed of Mach 2 as well as featuring new bypass contours to improve stealth from IR sensors.

Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit:
Consistent upgrades to the B-2 airframe have ensured its utility even today. In addition to upgrades to the avionics and computer systems, the B-2 (and all other stealth aircraft) has received a new, more economical radar absorbent coating that doesn't require climate controlled hangars as well as upgraded GE F118 engines that are stealthier and cheaper to maintain. The B-2 is also the only aircraft capable of carrying the GBU-57 Block 3 Massive Ordinance Penetrator, a 30000 lb bunker-buster warhead that was famously used against the GLA in the later stages of the campaigns in the Middle East. When armed with the AGM-214 Waverider HSSW cruise missile, the B-2 Spirit finally has a standoff nuclear capability.

Northrop-Grumman F/B-40 Aurora: The aircraft we know today as the F/B-40 Aurora's history stretches a long way back into the 1980s, where DARPA, along with Northrop and Lockheed's Skunk Works experimented with a hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft intended to replace the SR-71 Blackbird. This first generation Aurora had a top speed of Mach 4-5 and was powered by liquid methane-fulled ramjet engines. At the time, there was no way to correctly deploy bombs or other ordinance from an aircraft moving at such high speeds.
The development of more sophisticated spy satellites and the end of the Cold War put an end to the Aurora project in the mid 90's. The project lay dormant though the technology developed for the engines would live on in spaceplane concepts and a new generation of rocket boosters.

DARPA was currently running a black project program designed to produce a hypersonic bomber, and Northrop-Grumman saw a perfect opportunity to recycle their Aurora and F/B-23 projects. Additionally, the USAF was also seeking for a new medium strategic bomber design to replace their aging B-1B and F-117 aircraft. The resulting aircraft was dubbed the Aurora after the code name for the original prototype aircraft.

The new Aurora was powered by two ramjet engines in an over-under configuration which were far more efficient and sophisticated than the engines of the original 1980's design. General Electric's new ramjet design used methylcyclohexane (MCH) as fuel and thermal management medium instead of the cryogenic methane of the original engine. MCH has roughly ten times the energy capacity of hydrocarbon fuels and is much safer and more practical to store and utilize than hydrogen or methane, important due to the extreme heat generated due to atmospheric friction when moving at high speeds and for avoiding IR detection. The principle behind MCH thermal management is based on a catalytic reaction transforming MCH into Toluene and Hydrogen, which are then used to fuel the aircraft. A fuel pump pressurizes the fuel to avoid boiling, and the preheater heats the fuel to the proper reaction temperature while removing heat from a secondary coolant. After preheating, the fuel passes through the catalytic heat exchanger/ reactor before being ignited by the engines. The secondary coolant, Syltherm, circulates to the hot spots to maintain skin temperatures to within specified tolerances. At low speeds, the Aurora's ramjet engines act as normal turbojets; at hypersonic speeds the compressor and turbine are switched off so the engines can operate as ramjets. However, there is a cost. The fuel consumption when in hypersonic mode is significant as is the heat buildup from both the ramjet and atmospheric friction. Normally hypersonic mode is used when carrying out an attack or when going sub-orbital, and the pilot conserves fuel by flying at high altitude at a subsonic speed after the attack is complete. The F/B-40A was capable of reaching Mach 6 in the atmosphere and was capable of boosting the engine enough to reach sub-orbit for short periods of time. The fuselage of the aircraft was primarily made of titanium alloy with the outer edges being made of Inconel, a heat-resistant stainless steel. At Mach 5 speed the leading edges of the air-frame would glow red above 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

As for avionics, the F/B-40 Aurora has an APG-81 LPI AESA radar based on the same radar used in the F-35. This gives the F/B-40 Aurora high-resolution SAR imaging, improved resistance to jammers, and ECM capabilities. Two APG-W-29 L-band AESA radars are implemented in the wings, and a tail-mounted APG-T-24 X-band AESA is also standard. It also incorporates the ALQ-110 Next-Generation Jammer, which uses six AESA arrays for all around coverage, a full digital radio frequency memory (DRFM) jammer, a stealthy version of the ALQ-41 Distributed Aperture System, an internal contraphasic radar jammer, and chaff and flares.

Needless to say the Aurora being submitted to the Next Generation Bomber competition was a surprise to the USAF. Northrop-Grumman had managed to deliver DARPA's hypersonic bomber project early in time for the Next Generation Bomber. Though the Aurora was highly expensive, it was deemed to be far more cost-effective than purchasing both a subsonic Next Generation Bomber and a more advanced 2037 Bomber. The USAF adopted the aircraft as the F/B-40 Aurora and intended it to replace the F-15E Strike Eagle and the B-1B Lancer. The “fighter” designation has generally been accepted as misinformation to mislead foreign intelligence agencies; though the F/B-40 could feasibly be used as an interceptor there is no evidence suggesting that it is routinely used as such.

After the full entry of US troops into the Middle East and Central Asia as a result of the Global War on Terror, the F/B-40 Aurora had its time to shine in combat. The new aircraft was used as a deep strike bomber whenever speed was needed, and the F/B-40 was forward deployed at RAF Lakenheath, Diego Garcia, Bagram, and Andersen AFB during the conflict in addition to deployments in CONUS at Whiteman, Barksdale, Mountain Home, Seymour Johnson, and Eglin. Common armaments for the F/B-40 Aurora included the JDAM series (including the GBU-31(V)4/B “bunker buster” bombs) and the devastating GBU-44 10,000 lb thermobaric bomb.

Despite its numerous successes during the war the F/B-40 Aurora's service record was marred due to the infamous Aurora scandal and the later Shakhdara incident. The Aurora was initially a top secret project that was to be revealed as the USAF's Next Generation Bomber at some later date. However, a few Air Force staffers carelessly leaked recordings and non-critical, but still classified information about the aircraft to an anonymous source. The Air Force staffers were subsequently discovered and punished but the proof of the F/B-40 Aurora existing was already out there for all to see.

The Shakdara incident came about from the aftermath of a successful covert mission to destroy a well defended convoy of GLA moving black market nuclear and chemical weapons to Afghanistan through a pass in the Shakhdara mountains of Tajikistan ended up as a PR embarrassment for the USAF when one of the Aurora strike aircraft which carried out the mission was shot down on egress over Pakistan when returning to Diego Garcia. The F/B-40 Aurora pilots had decided to fly low to avoid possible detection and international incident by Russian or Chinese radar whilst in contested airspace. As mentioned before, the Aurora had little defense from possible enemy aircraft if its fuel was low and caught at low speeds. When the Auroras were returning to Diego Garcia at low altitude over Pakistani air space, GLA fighters on the ground were able to spot the aircraft and were able to intercept them with surface-to-air missiles. Despite the Aurora's stealth features, the GLA managed to shoot down one of the aircraft, its pilot managing to eject and evade capture before being rescued. The pictures of the wreckage were circulated widely online by GLA agents and the heretofore secret operation was now public knowledge. With the Incirlik attack and public reveal of the Aurora broadly in the public mind the USAF had yet another serious blunder on their hands, made even worse since it involved one of their most advanced black projects.

Despite the Shakhdara incident, the F/B-40 Aurora served well during the Global War on Terror, and it became feared among the GLA for its capability to drop a GBU-44 bomb anytime, anywhere, with absolutely no warning. Lockheed Martin and Boeing even developed an even faster variant, the F/B-40B, with a more powerful engine capable of Mach 8 flight in the atmosphere as well as an A-THEL anti-missile laser for defense. These Aurora bombers were given a flat black paint scheme instead of the grey camouflage of the F/B-40As and the F-22 & F-35.

After the war the Aurora's future was in question due to the high cost of producing and maintaining the aircraft. It was due to the skilled manipulation and arguments of General Eugene Griffon that Congress allowed the production run of the aircraft to continue as per the original plan. Today the Aurora serves in the USAF under more auspicious circumstances.

General Characteristics:

* Crew: 1; may have unmanned capability
* Length: 35 m (115 ft)
* Wingspan: 20 m (65 ft)
* Height: 6 m (19 ft)
* Wing area: 125 m² (1,345 ft²)
* Empty weight: 29,480 kg (65,000 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 71,215 kg (157,000 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× scramjet/turbine (500 kN est. thrust) each

Performance:


* Maximum speed: Mach 5-6 at altitude (unknown at sea level); F/B-40B; Mach 8+ at altitude
* Combat radius: over 2,400 km (1,500 mi)
* Service ceiling: over 100 km (62 mi)
* Thrust/weight: unknown
Fuel types

* MCH
* Possible use of MHD (MagnetoHydroDynamics) technology.

Armament/Equipment:
Max Payload: 3,600 kg (8,000 lbs) internal ordinance capacity, optional pylons on wings adding additional 8,000 lbs of ordinance. Capable of carrying nuclear weaponry.
Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, reconnaissance, and command & control equipment allowing the Aurora’s pilot to direct friendly forces. C4ISR and AESA radar standard.

This post has been edited by DerKrieger: 23 Sep 2015, 19:29


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"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."-- George S. Patton


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Svea Rike
post 8 Feb 2014, 21:37
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That's one interesting take on the Aurora scandal. Seeing as how 90% of my Auroras in ZH were shot down on the return trip I am not surprised.


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Cobretti
post 9 Feb 2014, 0:07
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For sure, it was the most obvious way to interpret the Aurora scandal. I also was inspired by the time that F-117 got shot down over Serbia during the NATO bombing back in 1999.


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"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."-- George S. Patton


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Pepo
post 9 Feb 2014, 0:33
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is me or did you forget the f-117 dry.gif

good job with that writings, i really like the info given about USA planes

This post has been edited by Pepo: 9 Feb 2014, 13:12
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Cobretti
post 9 Feb 2014, 0:46
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I didn't, I couldn't figure out a plausible reason for it to still be flying with the F-35 and such around so I took it that the Nighthawk in Generals was a F-35.

And thanks, I have two more aircraft to cover then I'm going to move on to some other factions stuff and/or take requests. I have some ideas about some of the other tech in RotR and how it operates, so I'd like to get to them sometime.


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"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."-- George S. Patton


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Svea Rike
post 9 Feb 2014, 1:40
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The Nighthawk is obviously not an F-35. Maybe you could come up with something, like budget costs, cutbacks or maybe an explanation from MARS?


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Knossos
post 9 Feb 2014, 6:15
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A credible explanation would be that when the F-35 was finally put to the test, it was a multipurpose stealth fighter jet that wasn't multipurpose, wasn't stealthy, and isn't qualified to be called a fighter credibly, necessitating the USAF to bring back the Hog and the predecessor of all stealth jets, the F-117.


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8igDaddy8lake
post 9 Feb 2014, 7:16
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It might also be reasonable because the F117 is one of the few planes able to carry those bunker busters. I doubt an F35 could carry one of those...also, it could be explained as a much upgraded Nighthawk, made with more cost-effective stealth materials from other projects and better electrical systems.

This post has been edited by 8igDaddy8lake: 9 Feb 2014, 7:18
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