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Subject: What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a ?harrier-carrier??
rayott    10/5/2005 5:21:28 AM
Today several nations have small ?harrier carriers? and no ?conventional? carriers, including the UK, Italy and Spain (not to mention the Wasp carriers of the USMC). I?ve heard that while these smaller carriers are cheaper (by several times) then a conventional carrier, they cant handle nearly as wide a variety of planes, including a real AWAC plane. Is this true? Isn?t there anything at all that could be used? Isn?t there some way possible to create a craft that has S/TOVL capabilities that can be used as an awac? Couldn?t a few NH-90?s (or other helicopters) be converted to carry radar pods? Couldn?t a few UAV?s carry some radar pods and send the radar info back in a steady stream to an ?air control room? on the base carrier? I?m asking this out of a honest curiosity regarding the technicalities involved.
 
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TheArmchairCmd    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a ?harrier-carrier??   10/5/2005 6:04:48 AM
Sea King AEW http://www.stevenwillingale.com/cv/aew1.htm http://www.geocities.com/lucktam/awacs/skaew.htm Possible Merlin AEW http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EH-101 http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/seaking/images/seaking2s.jpg ALT=Sea King AEW> http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/ka31/images/Ka-31_5s.jpg ALT=KA31> Other http://www.strategypage.com/messageboards/messages/9-1967.asp TAC
 
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Galrahn    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a �harrier-carrier�?   10/23/2005 9:14:57 PM
Helicopters support these types of missions on VSTOL carriers. The future French and UK conventional carriers will both support the E-3 Hawkeye. As is happening with the EA-18G Growler, both countries will likely look to the JSF as an alternative for ECM in the future.
 
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Phaid    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a ?harrier-carrier??   10/24/2005 7:50:29 AM
The British are quite pleased with their Sea King AEW, which they have been using on the Invincible class since the mid 1980s. Basically a Sea King fitted with the Searchwater radar from the Nimrod maritime patrol plane, the current models pack all of the features you would expect in an AEW aircraft, including data links and highly automated workstations. Their main limitation is range and limited coverage due to their lower operating altitude compared to fixed-wing aircraft. Of course, in a short while a lot of the Sea King AEW's features will become moot, as the British are retiring the Sea Harriers and the Harrier GR7/GR9's have no datalink, radar, or BVR weapons. But those features will be available on the JSF. A lot of follow-on solutions have been proposed for the CVFs, ranging from an AEW variant of the V-22 Osprey to updated Turbo Trackers (!). But I imagine what will really happen is that the Sea Kings will soldier on and eventually be replaced by a Merlin AEW variant.
 
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rayott    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a ?harrier-carrier??   10/24/2005 5:04:28 PM
What is the exact difference between AEW and a AWAC (like the kind used by the airforce)? Does a Sea King have the capability to "see" a long way (through radar) in order to act as a "battle control" like awacs during a major long range air battle, or does it just act as early warning for the carrier?
 
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Phaid    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a ?harrier-carrier??   10/24/2005 5:32:30 PM
Does a Sea King have the capability to "see" a long way (through radar) in order to act as a "battle control" like awacs during a major long range air battle, or does it just act as early warning for the carrier? Well, the current Sea King AEW.7 has recently been renamed Sea King ASaC.7, for "Airborne Surveillance and Area Control". It can perform the battle management roles that an AWACS can do, only at a much shorter range and with less capability due to its smaller crew (normally 3 including the pilot). In the 2003 Iraq war, Sea King AEW's were used to detect Iraqi land forces and control British helicopters and ground troops, so they definitely have battle-management capabilities in addition to being pretty good radar pickets.
 
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french stratege    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a ?harrier-carrier??   10/24/2005 7:42:20 PM
Ideal platform (and feasible) would be: -A modified french orchidée Helo with its radar dedicated to track low level moving targets (up to 2000 at 200 miles), -A modified V22 with Swedish AEW system. SeaKing AEW has a too small antenna and radar.
 
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Phaid    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a ?harrier-carrier??   10/24/2005 9:09:40 PM
-A modified french orchidée Helo with its radar dedicated to track low level moving targets (up to 2000 at 200 miles), Orchidee (basically a Cougar with a surface mapping radar) has less than half the range or endurance of an EH101 or a Sea King. And the Orchidee is not a standalone system; it sends its radar data to a ground station for processing. -A modified V22 with Swedish AEW system. Possibly, but I can't see any navies which use V/STOL as their primary carrier aircraft buying this. Too expensive and not domestic. I could see the US Navy doing something like this, but why when they have E-2's. SeaKing AEW has a too small antenna and radar. Why? It is the same Searchwater as used on the Nimrod MRA, and is an excellent SAR radar and operates well in maritime clutter as well as over land. The limitations on the Searchwater's range are due to the Sea King's operating altitude, not on its dish size. Note that the Italians are already using an AEW version of the EH.101 Merlin on their Harrier carrier.
 
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rayott    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a �harrier-carrier�?   10/25/2005 5:09:49 PM
"...The future French and UK conventional carriers will both support the E-3 Hawkeye. As is happening with the EA-18G Growler, both countries will likely look to the JSF as an alternative for ECM in the future..." Is ECM the same thing as AEW and/or AWAC? Isn't Electronic warfare different from battlefield control and early warning? I thought that EW planes shot Harm missles at the enamies radar (and SAM) sites?
 
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blacksmith    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a ?harrier-carrier??   10/25/2005 9:52:19 PM
The Sea King radar is too small for AEW. It is a surface search radar. The E-2 has a 24 foot dome for its air surveillance radar. Different class entirely. Same as it is dwarfed by the 40 foot dome on the E-3 AWACS. Speed is another issue with helo based AEW. An E-2 can push forward allowing the CV to stay farther from shore and increasing the detection range from the ship. The helo, due to range, endurance, and speed, can't get very far from CV.
 
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Phaid    RE:What kind of an AWAC platform could be used on a ?harrier-carrier??   10/26/2005 10:40:40 AM
The Sea King AEW's radar performs as well as any radar could for helicopter-borne AEW. The problem with helicopter AEW is altitude, range, and endurance. But putting a larger radar on a Sea King wouldn't really help. Keep in mind that in terms of fleet defense, a surface radar like the Searchwater is adequate if it is operating in conjunction with shipborne search radars. The Sea King's job is to locate low-flying aircraft and missiles that are below the ships' radar horizon, not to be an all around AEW platform like the Hawkeye. The major advantage of the Hawkeye of course is that it gives the carrier group a lot more flexibility and allows the surface vessels to operate in total radar silence. And no, the CVF will not be able to operate any kind of CTOL aircraft, including E-2 Hawkeyes. The initial AEW aircraft for the UK CVFs will almost certainly still be Sea King ASACs, to be replaced eventually by Merlins carrying some sort of AEW radar.
 
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