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CF-188 Hornet, Canada's jet fighter

dimsum

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All true

But is a drone going to be closer in cost to and F35 or to a Harpoon?

100 MUSD or 1 MUSD?

I'm betting on the low end of the scale. 2-5 ?
It depends on a bunch of things.

Airframe is just one - there's data bandwidth (which depends if you're using SATCOM or line of sight) cost, and whether there is a ground control station (unlikely for the Kratos ones, so the crewed aircraft have to control it somehow, even if just to give directions to follow it).

Probably other costs too that don't come up for traditional aircraft.

So, while the aircraft itself may be cheap(er), adding those other costs will boost the price per unit.

How much? No idea.
 

SupersonicMax

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Don't even need to do that. The MQ-9A Reaper has already successfully test-fired A2A missiles.

(A2A = Air to Air)

Completely spitballing here, but it's not a huge leap to put an A2A radar and load it up as a "missile truck" to complement crewed fighters, or use as a "defensive barrier". Probably more stuff too but those are the two A2A roles off the top of my head.
It is a fairly big leap actually, especially given the power requirement of modern radars and required integration (one thing I learned in flight test is to never underestimate how much of your time and money integration takes, and yet, it’ll still be sub optimal). Shooting an AIM-9 is one thing. Shooting AMRAAMs is an entirely different ball game.
 

Kirkhill

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It is a fairly big leap actually, especially given the power requirement of modern radars and required integration (one thing I learned in flight test is to never underestimate how much of your time and money integration takes, and yet, it’ll still be sub optimal). Shooting an AIM-9 is one thing. Shooting AMRAAMs is an entirely different ball game.

I guess I was focusing on the Air to Ground mission rather than the A2A mission.

That would cover Interdiction and Strike, SEAD and Close Air Support missions and leave the Air to Air missions to the manned aircraft.
 

dimsum

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I guess I was focusing on the Air to Ground mission rather than the A2A mission.

That would cover Interdiction and Strike, SEAD and Close Air Support missions and leave the Air to Air missions to the manned aircraft.
Reapers, etc already do the A2G mission. It won't be a big jump for the Kratos aircraft, etc.

Last I read (a while back), the whole "Loyal Wingman" project was to have an RPA wingman for both A2G and A2A missions. So the intent is not just having manned aircraft do A2A.
 

Kirkhill

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Reapers, etc already do the A2G mission. It won't be a big jump for the Kratos aircraft, etc.

Last I read (a while back), the whole "Loyal Wingman" project was to have an RPA wingman for both A2G and A2A missions. So the intent is not just having manned aircraft do A2A.

Seen.

I think I also saw something to the effect that the Brits have kicked their Loyal Wingman programme into the long grass on the grounds that they believe there are now cheaper ways to achieve their goals without the high-end AI aircraft.

 

MTShaw

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FYI, the more modern reaper is the MQ-9B.


This is the version that will be used by our allies and the front runner for our RPAS program.

 

dimsum

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Seen.

I think I also saw something to the effect that the Brits have kicked their Loyal Wingman programme into the long grass on the grounds that they believe there are now cheaper ways to achieve their goals without the high-end AI aircraft.

The RAAF and Boeing's MQ-28A Ghost Bat is still going strong (I think)

 

Kirkhill

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The RAAF and Boeing's MQ-28A Ghost Bat is still going strong (I think)


That seems like a reasonable thing to do. From the RAF perspective. Let the Aussies proceed down that path and continue with observer status and see what eventuates. It costs the RAF nothing and allows them to spend their shillings on nearer term possibilities that can integrate into the existing fleet and potentially be integrated into whatever the Aussies and the Yanks come up with.
 

SeaKingTacco

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I think they meant to say…”every time they operate from runways that the Government is too cheap to lengthen to let them land normally without crashing off the end.”
It is fine, as long as the brakes are good…or the runway isn’t icy….
 
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