Author Topic: AWACS competitors  (Read 6793 times)

Offline The Big Gimper

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AWACS competitors
« on: November 21, 2012, 05:47:53 AM »
Found this over at Secret Projects. Includes DC-8 with camo, C-141, E-3 with the UFO, I mean dome on top of the tail.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 06:21:34 AM by The Big Gimper »
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Offline jschmus

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 12:54:55 PM »
That E-3 with 8 TF-34s is tasty.
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Offline Diamondback

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 01:39:21 PM »
IIRC, the reason the TF33 was selected as a J57 replacement on the B-52H was that at the time an 8xTF33-powered AWACS was being planned.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 03:01:51 PM »
IIRC, the reason the TF33 was selected as a J57 replacement on the B-52H was that at the time an 8xTF33-powered AWACS was being planned.
I'm afraid the B-52H predates AWACS by several years.  The last B-52H was constructed in 1964.  The replacement of the J57 by the TF33 was a natural since the TF33 is a faned version of the same basic core engine (civil equivalents are the JT3C for the J57 and the JT3D for the TF33).  The 8X TF34 arrangement was to allow a fuel-saving cruise on four engines while having all eight available for takeoff and landing.

Offline Daryl J.

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 03:08:33 PM »
Turbopropped DC-7
Convair 880

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Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 03:12:11 PM »
Turbopropped DC-7
Convair 880
Or do the P-3AEW rather earlier.  If you need more room, develop it from an Electra directly.  Mind you, neither, nor the DC-7, has as wide a cabin as the first generation jetliners but, on the other hand, they do have more comfortable cabins than the E-2 (speaking from experience, I've been in both E-2 and EP-3 cabins).

Offline Daryl J.

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 04:48:39 PM »
C-133 then.
kwyxdxLg5T

Offline kitnut617

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 10:49:41 PM »
I've had this idea of an EB-52, it would have a E-3 sized radome but not above the fuselage.  My idea is that the aircraft would fly at extreme altitude so to make the radome more effective it would hang out under the fuselage on a streamlined boom.  When on the ground the radome is stuck away in what was the bomb bay area so that the bottom of the radome is about flush with the bottom of the fuselage.  I did some 'match-up' of parts sometime ago and I don't see any real issues with the installation. The boom would be 'flyable', taking some design idea from the refueling booms of the C-135's. Instead of having a room full of operators and to save space inside the cabin, the whole system would be "real-time' data-linked to a ground operations room, something like how UAV's operate.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 10:58:30 PM by kitnut617 »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2012, 02:11:00 AM »
Hmmm...take one E-3...add engines from B-52....
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Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2012, 02:45:33 AM »
Go fast or go home ...



Source: http://www.edwardsflighttest.com/b70.html
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 02:47:04 AM by The Big Gimper »
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2012, 03:51:50 AM »
I've had this idea of an EB-52, it would have a E-3 sized radome but not above the fuselage.  My idea is that the aircraft would fly at extreme altitude so to make the radome more effective it would hang out under the fuselage on a streamlined boom.  When on the ground the radome is stuck away in what was the bomb bay area so that the bottom of the radome is about flush with the bottom of the fuselage.  I did some 'match-up' of parts sometime ago and I don't see any real issues with the installation. The boom would be 'flyable', taking some design idea from the refueling booms of the C-135's. Instead of having a room full of operators and to save space inside the cabin, the whole system would be "real-time' data-linked to a ground operations room, something like how UAV's operate.
Why use a long  boom?  What you describe is very close to the installation of the "M&M" antenna and radome in the underside former "weapons bay" of the EP-3.  In use it deploys down just far enough to clear the bay and retracts for takeoffs and landing.  There's quite the hydraulic and drive set-up to do all that and it's actuated from a simple lever tucked into a corner of the pressure cabin.

Offline Diamondback

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2012, 04:10:00 AM »
Evan, you're right--misremembered, it was the A-10 that had its engines chosen for commonality. (Pro experience burns things in pretty well, but one of the hazards of being a knowledgeable amateur is that if you spend too long away from the subject fragments of information start blending together in memory.)

And, IIRC, one of Dale Brown's mutant "Old Dog" B-52s in his novels had a radar mounted on its spine that gave it some AWACS capability, but it was an ISAR system, and probably an AESA rather than moving antenna--it was described as a wedge on top of the bird.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 04:23:41 AM by Diamondback »

Offline Cliffy B

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2012, 05:06:48 AM »
Oh man, I wonder how long it would take the engineers to rig the rotodome and its support struts for Mach 3  ;D
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2012, 06:39:43 AM »
I've had this idea of an EB-52, it would have a E-3 sized radome but not above the fuselage.  My idea is that the aircraft would fly at extreme altitude so to make the radome more effective it would hang out under the fuselage on a streamlined boom.  When on the ground the radome is stuck away in what was the bomb bay area so that the bottom of the radome is about flush with the bottom of the fuselage.  I did some 'match-up' of parts sometime ago and I don't see any real issues with the installation. The boom would be 'flyable', taking some design idea from the refueling booms of the C-135's. Instead of having a room full of operators and to save space inside the cabin, the whole system would be "real-time' data-linked to a ground operations room, something like how UAV's operate.
Why use a long  boom?  What you describe is very close to the installation of the "M&M" antenna and radome in the underside former "weapons bay" of the EP-3.  In use it deploys down just far enough to clear the bay and retracts for takeoffs and landing.  There's quite the hydraulic and drive set-up to do all that and it's actuated from a simple lever tucked into a corner of the pressure cabin.

That's interesting to know Evan, I was thinking that it had to be well clear of the fuselage like how the top mounted system is.

Offline Diamondback

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2012, 06:54:26 AM »
I'd suspect, since most of an AWACS radome's radiation is emitted downward, it's at least partially for crew safety--the high standoff above keeps the cabin out to minimum safe distance to avoid crew cooking, belly radomes don't have that problem.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2012, 11:32:22 AM »
Just a thought for an EB-52, a Phalcon phased-array system mounted on those slab sides, a pressurized capsule in the weapons bay as on the ERB-47, and a couple crew stations in the cockpit converted to command and control positions.  Add in a satellite link to network command and control and you'd have a formidable aircraft.  Personally, though, I think you really need to add modern engines but that's another arguement.

Offline Diamondback

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2012, 11:41:33 AM »
Or stretch the fwd crew compartment for a couple extra rows of seating (at least one, moving the Offense/Nav team upstairs gives you the whole lower deck as a control compartment), and use the bomb bay for fuel, electronics and defensive weaponry. A prof and I once hatched a dedicated fighter-killer BUFF that would've had "Combat AWACS" capability...

Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2012, 11:56:03 AM »
*laughs* On the B-2, some of us wiled away some time looking at what variants the modular construction method would allow.  While the most obvious are RB-2 and KB-2 variants, we did look at others.  But, given what Tacit Blue was originally intended for (the radar portion of Pave Mover), we did discuss some EB-2 variants, though you'd likely need the satellite relay back to a control center to properly use the data.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2012, 11:16:38 PM »
Just a thought for an EB-52, a Phalcon phased-array system mounted on those slab sides, a pressurized capsule in the weapons bay as on the ERB-47, and a couple crew stations in the cockpit converted to command and control positions.  Add in a satellite link to network command and control and you'd have a formidable aircraft.  Personally, though, I think you really need to add modern engines but that's another arguement.

I'm not up on radar systems Evan, is that Phalcon system in addition to the dish system ? or are they two different systems ?  I'm thinking four CF6's for engines (Aircraft in Miniature now sell these separately, with pylons)

I've had this plan on making a version of every B-52 (in 1/72 scale), and for the RB-52 I started to make a recon' pressurized capsule.  I found that a HO/OO train fuel tanker car body is just about the right size for the capsule, suitable modified with camera ports etc ---

Offline Diamondback

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2012, 11:25:14 PM »
Kitnut, my understanding is that the Phalcon system is flat-panel antennas for air-search, and just like any other aircraft with it existing weather/nav/etc nose radar would be retained.

Re engines, CF6 or JT9D are both plausible, BUFF testbeds have flown with them replacing J57's on the #3 pylon... for Go Big or Go Home, my prof (who used to command a fighter squadron) and I went with an uprated GE90 at 125k# thrust since we were rewinging anyway. (Personal bias: "enough power" is when you can accelerate straight up even loaded.LOL)

Offline kitnut617

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2012, 11:30:26 PM »
Kitnut, my understanding is that the Phalcon system is flat-panel antennas for air-search, and just like any other aircraft with it existing weather/nav/etc nose radar would be retained.

DB, I didn't phrase that very well, would the Phalcon system be in addition to the E-3 dish system, as I understand it the E-3 is an AWAC system and not a dedicated air-search system.

Offline Daryl J.

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2012, 12:51:08 AM »
In this day of electronic miniaturization, can that huge disc be reduced in size or eliminated altogether?

[edit].  Answer pleasantly found below, thanks!
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 03:08:48 AM by Daryl J. »
kwyxdxLg5T

Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2012, 02:40:28 AM »
Kitnut, my understanding is that the Phalcon system is flat-panel antennas for air-search, and just like any other aircraft with it existing weather/nav/etc nose radar would be retained.

DB, I didn't phrase that very well, would the Phalcon system be in addition to the E-3 dish system, as I understand it the E-3 is an AWAC system and not a dedicated air-search system.
Phalcon is instead of the dish.  the rotating dish is replaced by large AESA transmitter-receiver flat-panel antenna arrays giving considerably more capability.  In theory, you could combine AWACS and JSTARS into one antenna fit that way and a few more algorithms could give an air-search mode, too.  *grin* Replace the nose radar with a full-up fighter radar and be able to add guidance to missiles launched from your platform or other platforms.  Part of my thought for a P-3AEW mod'd for interceptor missile operations would be an AN/APG-71 or, a bit farther back in time, AWG-9, and carrying Phoenix missiles as well as being able to take hand-offs on ground-launched Nike-Phoenix missiles or Sea-Phoenix missiles.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2012, 01:24:08 PM »
One thought for mods to late-model B-52s, B-1s, and B-2s; all there are set up to use the CSRL (Common Strategic Rotary Launcher) (B-1 and B-2 can each carry one in each weapons bay, making for 3 and 2 respectively, and I'm not certain how many a B-52 can carry).  These can be loaded with a wide variety of stores for different missions.  In addition, all three can be configured to carry "conventional" bombs with different guidance packages.  This could make for interesting options in conjunction with an AEW&C option (fill the potential third seat in the B-2 with a battle coordinator working with the sat-linked control center as well as what ever armament options the B-2 has (I've one variant of the B-2 in mind where the RH weapons bay has the aux. tank fitted and the LH one has a radar pallet with a large LO AESA radar installed in a suitable fairing (shaped much like an enlarged TSSAM with the front contours mirrored to the back).  With a bit of care, you could even add some long-range electro-optical systems behind a LO window or windows.

Offline Diamondback

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2012, 02:07:51 PM »
Stock B-52 is one CSRL, the "stretch" my ex-fighter-jock prof and I pitched would take two. CSRL is only used on 2000-lb-size bombs (Mk 84, JSOW, JDAM) and ALCM, 500-pounders are loaded into conventional racks (sadly, the space-wasting low-density ones they were built with, the high-density clips made for Project Big Belly are all scrapmetal as far as I can find).

Hardcore BUFF-geek who's actually had 15 minutes of pilot-seat time in a parked -D, over here. :) (55-094, Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita at the 50th Birthday party. Got the photo, too...)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 04:11:29 PM by Diamondback »

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2012, 04:22:49 PM »
Got the photo, too...)

No photo, no proof... ;)
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Offline Diamondback

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2012, 04:30:36 PM »
Not my fault if my ugly mug from when I ditched classes for a week causes anyone nightmares... Photo courtesy of a fellow B-52 Association member.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2012, 11:56:32 PM »
Stock B-52 is one CSRL, the "stretch" my ex-fighter-jock prof and I pitched would take two. CSRL is only used on 2000-lb-size bombs (Mk 84, JSOW, JDAM) and ALCM, 500-pounders are loaded into conventional racks (sadly, the space-wasting low-density ones they were built with, the high-density clips made for Project Big Belly are all scrapmetal as far as I can find).
Odd thought, can a CSRL take MERs?

Offline Diamondback

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2012, 12:23:55 AM »
Far as I know it's never been tried--I was wondering something similar re BRU-61 strongbacks for SDB, and every time I remember my walkaround inside -094's bomb bay I end up right back at the same conclusion, that the BUFF's bay is better suited to clip racks than rotaries. Do remember, though, the BUFF was designed at a time when it was meant to carry a single Tallboy-size thermonuclear device or eight smaller Mk 28 nukes in four-shot clips, and conventional munitions were an afterthought at best.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2012, 01:10:38 AM »
Stock B-52 is one CSRL, the "stretch" my ex-fighter-jock prof and I pitched would take two. CSRL is only used on 2000-lb-size bombs (Mk 84, JSOW, JDAM) and ALCM, 500-pounders are loaded into conventional racks (sadly, the space-wasting low-density ones they were built with, the high-density clips made for Project Big Belly are all scrapmetal as far as I can find).
Odd thought, can a CSRL take MERs?

What about CSRL in circular pods hanging off the B-52 pylons, would there be any advantage ?

Offline jcf

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2012, 02:55:13 AM »
In this day of electronic miniaturization, can that huge disc be reduced in size or eliminated altogether?

[edit].  Answer pleasantly found below, thanks!


The 737 AEW&C uses a flat-sided MESA 'top-hat' array rather than a dish.



BTW on one of the earlier configurations the aircraft had a refueling boom mounted above the flight-deck
rather than a flying-boom receptacle. It gave the aircraft a very different look.
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Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2012, 03:56:26 AM »
And why couldn't an aircraft have both the probe and a flying-boom receptacle?  if one wanted to pay the cost and weight penalties, you could do that on a F-35A, for example.  Common systems and structures means that the -A's forward section has the space where the retractable probe would go left empty; you'd have the cost and weight of design work to add it and the door mechanism in, but it would definitely free you up on refueling platforms. 

Offline Daryl J.

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2012, 02:34:57 PM »
What will Raytheon come up with next.......? :icon_music: 8)
kwyxdxLg5T

Offline Diamondback

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2012, 02:45:22 PM »
What about CSRL in circular pods hanging off the B-52 pylons, would there be any advantage ?
Might work, IF there's enough ground, fuse and engine clearance on the pylon, IF it can take the weight (I think the heaviest stores hung on a single pylon have been 12x M117 750#, 6x ALCM, 1x AGM-28 Hound Dog or 2x AGM-142 Have Nap (aka Popeye). In THEORY it could work other than the huge added drag, but in theory if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle. LOL

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2012, 05:44:21 PM »
What will Raytheon come up with next.......? :icon_music: 8)

Why Raytheon?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Daryl J.

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2012, 05:52:28 PM »
The Sentinel is pretty cool.   Being the Whiff-verse, that could open many doors, some integrous, some corrupt.
kwyxdxLg5T

Offline jcf

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2012, 06:40:34 AM »
What will Raytheon come up with next.......? :icon_music: 8)

Not Raytheon, Northrop-Grumman through it's Electronic Systems division, which has its roots in Westinghouse.
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Offline Daryl J.

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2012, 06:49:29 AM »
I thought the Hughes ASARS-2 came into the Raytheon fold.   My bad :icon_crap:
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 07:27:34 AM by Daryl J. »
kwyxdxLg5T

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2012, 07:02:40 AM »
What will Raytheon come up with next.......? :icon_music: 8)


Not Raytheon, Northrop-Grumman through it's Electronic Systems division, which has its roots in Westinghouse.


That's what I was getting at when I asked "Why Raytheon?"...sorry for being cryptic.

This is what Raytheon actually proposed for the Wedgetail AEW Contest:

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Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2016, 09:43:21 AM »


I referenced a B/W image of this design at the start of this thread but on Facebook someone posted a colour version.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #40 on: July 31, 2016, 11:16:38 AM »
Raytheon make me laugh sometimes, they strike me as being the corporate equivalent to the over confident bloke who always pushes to the front and takes the credit, not out of malice but because they deludedly believe they are that good.  AWD project, ASC Shipyard on a government owned common user facility and driving in the first thing you see is a meters high illuminated "Raytheon" sign on the side of the warehouse adjacent to the Systems Centre appearing to indicate it is the Raytheon Systems Centre, shipyard and CUF.  Sadly some in Raytheon actually believe it is the case.

The number of Raytheon wonks who honestly seemed to believe they were the prime contractor rather than an alliance member, that they were the combat developer when what they were actually doing was integrating features to an already developed Lockheed Martin / Navantia design.  They had a finger in every pie and once in tried to take over, even when they didn't actually understand what was required. Almost every function they believed they had the lead on was actually undertaken by career ASC, DMO personnel and contractors hired in to cover off Raytheon's lack of expertise.

Some great people working for them but their corporate culture could almost be called corporate delusion, unfortunately however that delusion has bled through to the media and general public through very proficient and effective brand marketing and their confident self delusion.

Sorry for the ramble by the "Why Raytheon?" seemed like a question worth answering from my perspective.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 11:25:48 AM by Volkodav »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2016, 12:43:03 AM »
From my own experience, not overly impressed by how they (mis-)managed Beech Aircraft and their merger of CTAS and E-Systems.  The first has now passed through a holding company to Textron ownership (almost recreating Travelair, save that Stearman's company was acquired by Boeing and the remains left to Spirit when Boeing abandoned Wichita).  The merged CTAS and E-Systems is now a division of L-3 Communications and seems to be doing fair (experiences with Bell in dealing with another division of L-3 are "something else").

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2018, 10:28:49 PM »
Interesting it looks like the RAF may be looking at Wedgetails to replace their E-3s.
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Offline nils

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #43 on: October 04, 2018, 11:42:01 PM »
would make sence, lots of commonality with the newly ordered P-8 Poseidon MR.1's
on the bench:
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Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #44 on: October 05, 2018, 02:45:30 AM »
To unified the RAF aircraft fleet, I'd like to also see:

F-8 FGR1 Fighter
T-8 Trainer
C-8 Transport
KC-8 Tanker
MQ8-A UAV

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Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
  • I'd rather be dirtbike riding
Re: AWACS competitors
« Reply #45 on: October 05, 2018, 05:48:25 AM »
Interesting it looks like the RAF may be looking at Wedgetails to replace their E-3s.

would make sence, lots of commonality with the newly ordered P-8 Poseidon MR.1's

Personally, I think they should go along with India and use the A330 platform. more common with their Voyager aircraft