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Are the Russians developing a clone of APKWS laser rockets?

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    #21
    Originally posted by Lucas_From_Hell View Post
    Yup, Ugroza predates APKWS by a long shot. However, Russian helicopters have relied more on the Ataka, Vikhr and Shturm instead.

    To answer the question, the second generation Mi-24 (P, V, VP) did not have a laser designator. A few were modified with a range finder, but that's that. In DCS, you'll be able to use both Shturm and Ataka missiles, usually four, with a maximum of eight.
    The Russian variant didn't require more than 1 second designation, that is why you can use it with all that can just range the distance as well because ranging is not so quick and fast as people think.

    But you don't get a guidance on maneuvering target with just one second lazing as you need to track target.
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      #22
      Originally posted by Fri13 View Post
      The Russian variant didn't require more than 1 second designation, that is why you can use it with all that can just range the distance as well because ranging is not so quick and fast as people think.

      But you don't get a guidance on maneuvering target with just one second lazing as you need to track target.
      Where did you get the information that the system doesn't require laser designation till the impact? That makes no sense.
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        #23
        It does, if they have some kind of gyroscopic autopilot in addition to the laser seeker. This is possible to do, but will be less pinpoint accurate. It's like a rocket-powered LJDAM, basically, only with INS instead of GPS.

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          #24
          Originally posted by Dragon1-1 View Post
          It does, if they have some kind of gyroscopic autopilot in addition to the laser seeker. This is possible to do, but will be less pinpoint accurate. It's like a rocket-powered LJDAM, basically, only with INS instead of GPS.
          So, let's complicate (and make more expensive) the cheap rocket further to remove the benefit of adding the laser guidance in the first place? Again, that makes no practical sense.

          I presume the OP simply misunderstood something.
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            #25
            Originally posted by Dudikoff View Post
            Where did you get the information that the system doesn't require laser designation till the impact? That makes no sense.
            Why it doesn't make sense?

            The rocket doesn't start to deviate after correction, it flies straight for a while before gravity starts to pull down more and more like normal unguided rocket.

            If you time the laser to end of flight, you get them fly far first and then capture laser to correct flight trajectory.

            I have wondered the 1 second laser period minimum as being it takes a second to find the spot in flight, or it takes second after launch to start searching the spot, or it simply requires one second to allow rocket to use its correction boosters in the nose to correct heading.

            But same thing as with APKWS, laser designation is not required, you launch then those with just ballistic curve (and waste the more expensive seeker module doing so) and you don't need to designate through whole flight, as just enough to get the rocket stabilize it's trajectory at the target and laser can be stopped.

            It doesn't mean that longer designation doesn't help to avoid gusts and other inaccuracies in the last moments, and isn't required to track a moving target.

            But just that your rocket doesn't go crazy if laser is stopped prematurely before impact. And one second should be enough for Russian variant.
            It is mentioned so in few rare places where information is available about it.
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              #26
              Originally posted by Dudikoff View Post
              So, let's complicate (and make more expensive) the cheap rocket further to remove the benefit of adding the laser guidance in the first place? Again, that makes no practical sense.
              It makes as much sense as the LJDAM. You put in a gyroscope to stabilize the rocket after launch, and a laser seeker to point it at the target. Notice that unlike the LJDAM, Ugroza doesn't "talk" to the launch aircraft, and it has to somehow be told where to hit.

              Notice that from helicopters in particular, dumb rockets are very inaccurate. Any kind of stabilization would be a huge improvement.
              Originally posted by Fri13 View Post
              But same thing as with APKWS, laser designation is not required, you launch then those with just ballistic curve (and waste the more expensive seeker module doing so) and you don't need to designate through whole flight, as just enough to get the rocket stabilize it's trajectory at the target and laser can be stopped.
              This depends on how smart the seeker is. One difficulty with making a laser-guided rocket is that unlike a bomb, it generally doesn't have the energy to fly straight at the laser, and will fall short if it does that. So, it needs to be smart enough to fly a slightly more complex, more efficient trajectory. The question is, how does APKWS implement this? If it uses some kind of law based on the position of the laser point with relation to the sensor, then it'll go stupid if it loses the laser, and likely hit long like a Paveway III in a similar situation. If it tries to correlate the laser spot with a point in space and guide to that, then it should still hit the general area if the spot vanishes. Ugroza, it seems, uses the second method.

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                #27
                An Russian equivalent APKWS would be an massive upgrade to our Russian rotary air wing.
                If the hind can laze it then the MI-8 can kill it... they would be an awesome pair.

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                  #28
                  Originally posted by Rick50 View Post
                  Interesting! Thanks for the replies!

                  I guess it might be like a lot of projects: development starts, then you don't hear anything for years, and suddenly a decade later you find out it's now being used in the field... or got cancelled 5 years ago!

                  I remember the idea of the APKWS was being considered as a "what if?" concept back in the mid-90's, and then years went by with no word of any of it. I remembered thinking "Hmm, an Apache could carry a lot of those rockets... that would have big implications on the battlefield".
                  The APKWS project for cancelled in the mid 2000. But it was then restarted as APKWS II project little later.

                  In the end of 90's there were few other laser guided rockets programs that you likely remember.
                  From all of them, the APKWS II is most promising and easiest to take in use. Same old warhead, same old rocket but just new guidance module between.
                  Others were with new warhead that has guidance module with it too, that requires whole warhead penetrator to go through the guidance section first.

                  There are many challenges on each of the guidance method types, laser spot tracking is not the best of them all, but one of the simplest while not most reliable either.
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                    #29
                    Originally posted by Dragon1-1 View Post
                    It makes as much sense as the LJDAM. You put in a gyroscope to stabilize the rocket after launch, and a laser seeker to point it at the target. Notice that unlike the LJDAM, Ugroza doesn't "talk" to the launch aircraft, and it has to somehow be told where to hit.

                    Notice that from helicopters in particular, dumb rockets are very inaccurate. Any kind of stabilization would be a huge improvement.
                    The Hydra rocket doesn't need stabilization as its trajectory is already achieved with fins and rotation. The only part you need to stabilize for the APKWS is the seeker head.

                    Originally posted by Dragon1-1 View Post
                    This depends on how smart the seeker is. One difficulty with making a laser-guided rocket is that unlike a bomb, it generally doesn't have the energy to fly straight at the laser, and will fall short if it does that. So, it needs to be smart enough to fly a slightly more complex, more efficient trajectory. The question is, how does APKWS implement this? If it uses some kind of law based on the position of the laser point with relation to the sensor, then it'll go stupid if it loses the laser, and likely hit long like a Paveway III in a similar situation. If it tries to correlate the laser spot with a point in space and guide to that, then it should still hit the general area if the spot vanishes. Ugroza, it seems, uses the second method.
                    It's the same principle as the bomb, actually, it's just that having a partly powered weapon allows you a bigger engagement envelope (e.g. from low altitudes).

                    Regarding the trajectory, the APKWS missile locks on after launch so the Hydra rocket flies its normal powered ballistic trajectory and then engages the seeker in the final descending stage. The bigger issue is how to actually translate the seeker signals to correct the path of a rolling rocket towards the target.

                    Originally posted by Dragon1-1 View Post
                    If it tries to correlate the laser spot with a point in space and guide to that, then it should still hit the general area if the spot vanishes. Ugroza, it seems, uses the second method.
                    Again, this makes no sense. There are no gyros and INS autopilots in these rockets, it defeats the original purpose of reusing cheap rockets.

                    Besides, how do you imagine a cheap sensor would identify a spot to hit from 2 km away if the laser illumination is stopped? It would translate to a huge CEP which is why these weapons don't work this way.
                    Last edited 10-16-2020, 09:13 AM.
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                      #30
                      Originally posted by Dudikoff View Post
                      Regarding the trajectory, the APKWS missile locks on after launch so the Hydra rocket flies its normal powered ballistic trajectory and then engages the seeker in the final descending stage. The bigger issue is how to actually translate the seeker signals to correct the path of a rolling rocket towards the target.

                      APKWS isn't spin-stabilized. The control surfaces on the front wings stop the rolling momentum after the wings deploy.

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                        #31
                        Originally posted by drPhibes View Post
                        APKWS isn't spin-stabilized. The control surfaces on the front wings stop the rolling momentum after the wings deploy.
                        Yes, you are correct, my mistake, though technically that's BAE APKWS II. The original APKWS was using a de-roll bearing to stabilize the sensor.
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