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F14B Upgrade Programm


KewlerMouh
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Hey Guys,

 

doesn't concern us future virtual Pilots and RIOs, but I thought it might be interesting.

In the spring of 1992, the F-14B Upgrade (F-14B(U)) program was started to replace the F-14B.s old architecture with this modern digital bus system. The main objectives of the F-14B Upgrade program were to incorporate digital technology to gain computing, growth, reliably and maintainability improvements to this still capable, 20 year old aircraft design.

 

Operational Flight Program 317

The hardware and software configuration for the first phase of the upgrade program would be called Operational Flight Program 317 (OFP 317). The F-14B(U) was created with three new digital data buses: Avionics, Armament, and Electronic Warfare (EW). The basic foundation of the MIL-STD-1553B data bus was the requirement for a bus controller (BC) to run the bus. The new F-14 Mission Computer would accomplish this task. The FMC, the 5400B computer, contained two subsystems with a common memory. These were the Weapons Control Processor (WCP) and the Mission Data Processor (MDP). The WCP, interfaced with the other subsystems and correlated the information, and it had twice the speed and about three times as much memory compared to the old 5400 computer. The MDP incorporated a very high speed-processing moduleand provided the bus control for the avionics bus. Next, to display information in the cockpit, the aircraft needed new displays, which would act as remote terminals (RT.s) on the bus. The new displays included: the RIO.s main tactical display, the 8 inch by 8 Inch PTID; the PMDIG components of the pilot.s Vertical Display Indicator (VDI); and the Electronic Counter Measures Display (ECMD) in each cockpit. To integrate with the armament bus, hardware was required to accomplish two roles, one as an RT on the avionics bus and another to act as a BC on the armament bus. The new weapons computer, the AWG-15H FCS, provided control and interface for the selection, preparation, release, firing and jettisoning of all weapons. The AWG-15H would be the key to future weapons expansion in the F-14, as it would provide the functions and distribution processing for the weapons system and weapons stations. To tie all of these systems together, each piece of new hardware had to be programmed with it.s own software and then integrated to function on the bus.

In June 1997, testing was complete on OFP 317 and delivered to the fleet. On a separate test and evaluation path, precision strike on the F-14 was now being provided through the LANTIRN targeting pod. Previously the F-14 could deliver LGB.s, but only with the aid of a ground based laser or a laser emitted by another aircraft. Now the F-14 could autonomously deliver LGB.s and it had a digital backbone to allow for future expansion.

 

Operational Flight Program 320

Prior to the completion of OFP 317, planning began for the next hardware and software configuration, called OFP 320. The next cycle in the upgrade of the F-14B,

would outfit the aircraft with GPS navigation and expand the digital architecture to the aircraft weapons stations. Building on the MIL-STD-1553B data bus structure, an Embedded GPS / Inertial Navigation System (INS), called EGI, replaced the unreliable F-14 navigation system. The EGI was a strap-down navigation system that combined a ring laser gyro INS with GPS capability. The three selectable navigation solutions were GPS and INS information blended through a Kalman filter, an INS-only solution, and a GPS-only solution. Additionally, the Controls and Displays Navigation Unit (CDNU), was added to the bus and was the RIO.s main EGI input keypad for navigation control and display. The CDNU acted as the BC for the MIL-STD-1553B Navigation Bus (NAVBUS), linking the EGI, Computer Signal Data Converter (Replacement) (CSDC®), and CDNU. The CSDC® provided the interface between the Navigation System and the F-14 Mission Computer [15]. In addition, the F-14 was modified to provide aircraft data bus information to the aircraft.s four underbelly weapons stations through a common MIL-STD-1760 interface. This alteration, known as Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) 329, would also provide GPS satellite signal information to both the new navigation system and to the LANTIRN targeting pod, through the use of a splitter/amplifier [16]. For OFP 320, the weapons stations wiring was installed then capped and stowed, for future use in the next phase of the upgrade program.

OFP320 entered the Fleet in 1999, after an expeditious operational test and evaluation in order to support the Navy.s involvement in the conflict in Kosovo.

Operational Flight Program 321

Before OFP320 testing was completed in 1999, planning was underway for the next round of improvements to the F-14B(U). These hardware and software Upgrades would be called OFP 321, and included the GPS-guided weapon, JDAM, and a new Head Up Display (HUD) for the pilot. The modifications were: new software in eight of the 16 processors and new MIL-STD-1760 wiring to four of the F-14.s four weapons stations - those used to carry and support JDAM.

OFP 321 and JDAM testing began in 1999 with the developmental flight-testing complete by December 2000. In 2001, dedicated operational testing began and by the end of year, the F-14B(U) with JDAM was introduced into the fleet.

Source and full article:

http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3487&context=utk_gradthes

 


Edited by KewlerMouh
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I wonder if we will be seeing any of the F14B upgrade aspects in the DCS:F14B, because the EGI, GPS/JDAMm, ECMD and Sparrow HUD are some of the items that can really make the F14 shine.

 

So does that mean that for the employment of the LANTIRN pod the PTID was required? I thought I read somewhere that the LANTIRN image could also be displayed on 'fishbowl' TID. Also, seeing as the Pilot can mirror the TID display, does that also mean he can view the LANTIRN footage on the HSD?

 

Also, what is the Multiple Display Indicator in the RIO seat used for? Interaction with the weapons / waypoints / ECM (RWR)?

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I dont think so.

I guess if HB WILL get into all the work to bring another improved version, they would go for all and build the D.

 

 

The amazing aspect for me is the cost effective way how the US Navy upgraded the Cat to a capable Strike Fighter.

Compare the Budget the US Air Force had to build a complete new Strike Aircraft out of the F15 Airframe :)

 

 

As far as I know, LANTIRN images could be shown on the classic TID, so the upgrades won't be needed. Same image could also be shown on Pilots HSD.

 

 

If you mean the second small MFD right of the PTID you see on some Rio Cockpit Screens, this was only in the D Version.

 

 

But there are some gents here on the forum who are real experts, perhaps they join in.


Edited by KewlerMouh
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I might think a "D" model would be difficult as I don't think the navy is interested in giving out information on such an advanced model of Tomcat, seeing as they have an adversary operating it (Iran)

 

The Navy didn't give out a ton of info about the A and B Tomcats either, yet there is enough out there to do so.

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I might think a "D" model would be difficult as I don't think the navy is interested in giving out information on such an advanced model of Tomcat, seeing as they have an adversary operating it (Iran)
Yep but they are operating the A model.

 

Frustratingly there is not a lot of info about the WSO cockpit and it's evolution through the years, the other thread about the Stick project had me looking through my books but there is not much info about the backseat driver's position :) not a lot of pics of the lefthand panel layout either been a searchin but not a lot found, was looking for details of the Left hand control stick.

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I might think a "D" model would be difficult as I don't think the navy is interested in giving out information on such an advanced model of Tomcat, seeing as they have an adversary operating it (Iran)

 

Iran operates the older F-14As from the late 1970s. The F-14A in the sim will be a block 90 IIRC- updated beyond what Iran has.

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  • 9 months later...
...

As far as I know, LANTIRN images could be shown on the classic TID, so the upgrades won't be needed. Same image could also be shown on Pilots HSD...

 

If that's true, that would be great. Otherwise would be very boring as Pilot if you as act as AFAC with a human RIO

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Iran operates the older F-14As from the late 1970s. The F-14A in the sim will be a block 90 IIRC- updated beyond what Iran has.

 

According to this page, Block 90 vs from FY75, so I guess it's quite older than late '80s.

 

http://www.topedge.com/alley/text/f14a/f14ab90.htm

 

Tomcats made for Iran are listed between Blocks 85 and 90 here so presumably those made for Iran are roughly Block 90 standard?

 

http://www.joebaugher.com/navy_fighters/f14_2.html

 

Unfortunately, there are no details on what was changed in the subsequent Blocks.


Edited by Dudikoff

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I was wondering myself today if we'd see further evolutions in the form of DLC for F-14 owners... it has to be something they've considered.... has this not been addressed already by the HB team as to whether they will do this or not?

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Out of curiosity - I wonder how the art assets for the selected B model we are getting were found, as I understand it we are getting a 1993 circa F-14B which is basically the original A+ configuration of +F110s and +RWR but nothing else.

 

The various Tomcats in museums are usually A models which were gifted during the service life of the Tomcat and as such were the oldest airframes, since the B (new) and B (upgrades) were all done on the younger airframes. or they were gifted after the jet was retired and are mixed A/B/D models in their final configurations from 2003+

 

So either Heatblur located a B model which set the standard for the period that would be modelled or they have managed to hodgepodge various sources, for example using an older A cockpit as the primary source then swapping in the changes?

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I was wondering myself today if we'd see further evolutions in the form of DLC for F-14 owners... it has to be something they've considered.... has this not been addressed already by the HB team as to whether they will do this or not?

 

 

They said they considered it, but it depends on how reception goes. But that was ages ago.

 

I want Sparrowhawk, PTID and JDAMs for the F-14B, I was disappointed finding out the A and B they picked to model will be so similar. I thought they would do an Upgraded B so it would feel more like two different aircraft.


Edited by Wizard_03

DCS F/A-18C :sorcerer:

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I wonder if we will be seeing any of the F14B upgrade aspects in the DCS:F14B, because the EGI, GPS/JDAMm, ECMD and Sparrow HUD are some of the items that can really make the F14 shine.

 

So does that mean that for the employment of the LANTIRN pod the PTID was required? I thought I read somewhere that the LANTIRN image could also be displayed on 'fishbowl' TID. Also, seeing as the Pilot can mirror the TID display, does that also mean he can view the LANTIRN footage on the HSD?

 

Also, what is the Multiple Display Indicator in the RIO seat used for? Interaction with the weapons / waypoints / ECM (RWR)?

 

I dont think so.

I guess if HB WILL get into all the work to bring another improved version, they would go for all and build the D.

 

 

The amazing aspect for me is the cost effective way how the US Navy upgraded the Cat to a capable Strike Fighter.

Compare the Budget the US Air Force had to build a complete new Strike Aircraft out of the F15 Airframe :)

 

 

As far as I know, LANTIRN images could be shown on the classic TID, so the upgrades won't be needed. Same image could also be shown on Pilots HSD.

 

 

If you mean the second small MFD right of the PTID you see on some Rio Cockpit Screens, this was only in the D Version.

 

 

But there are some gents here on the forum who are real experts, perhaps they join in.

"F-14B with Sparrowhawk and PTID is unlikely. We'd rather spend that time on building an F-14D."

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=205983&page=8

Can't pretend fly as well as you can.

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"F-14B with Sparrowhawk and PTID is unlikely. We'd rather spend that time on building an F-14D."

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=205983&page=8

 

That answers my question...

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The amazing aspect for me is the cost effective way how the US Navy upgraded the Cat to a capable Strike Fighter.

Compare the Budget the US Air Force had to build a complete new Strike Aircraft out of the F15 Airframe :)

 

Not that surprising considering the F-15E is/was a much more capable strike fighter than the F-14B. Retrofitting a TGP and four LGBs doesn't make it competitive with purpose-built strikers like the F-15E, Tornado, or Aardvark.

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Not that surprising considering the F-15E is/was a much more capable strike fighter than the F-14B. Retrofitting a TGP and four LGBs doesn't make it competitive with purpose-built strikers like the F-15E, Tornado, or Aardvark.

 

The F-14B Upgrade is not THAT far off given the amount spent on it. It basically lacks a TFR, a better navigation system and ground radar modes, all of which would have been part of a relatively affordable upgrade pitched by Grumman as F-14 Quick Strike.

 

Not sure if a more capable ECM set was also included in the deal, though.


Edited by Dudikoff

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DISCLAIMER: My posts are still absolutely useless. Just finding excuses not to learn the F-14 (HB's Swansong?).

 

Annoyed by my posts? Please consider donating. Once the target sum is reached, I'll be off to somewhere nice I promise not to post from. I'd buy that for a dollar!

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Not that surprising considering the F-15E is/was a much more capable strike fighter than the F-14B. Retrofitting a TGP and four LGBs doesn't make it competitive with purpose-built strikers like the F-15E, Tornado, or Aardvark.

 

Yes but they didn't strap that kit onto a cardboard box- they strapped it onto a tomcat- that is a very advanced airframe and able to carry heavy loads long distances and has a larger screen for the targeting image than your listed aircraft. It is up there with those aircraft but as funded was not able to compete with the number of weapons carried. If the F-14 was prioritized like the F-15E and an equal amount spent to develop it, you would have an aircraft easily as capable.

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This is why I wanted the upgraded F-14B for DCS so we could see its use as a tactical strike aircraft, and one day be able to compare the two in the sim. But I suppose an F-14D will be just as effective for comparison, If HB goes that route.

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The F-14B Upgrade is not THAT far off given the amount spent on it. It basically lacks a TFR, a better navigation system and ground radar modes, all of which would have been part of a relatively affordable upgrade pitched by Grumman as F-14 Quick Strike.

 

In other words, all the things that make strike fighters strike fighters.

 

The affordability of the initial upgrade is one thing. The affordability of continuing to operate it, when far more cost effective platforms exist (like the F-15E), is another. An F-14 strike aircraft would undoubtedly have been retired long ago for the same reasons the actual Tomcat was retired.


Edited by Jester2138
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In other words, all the things that make strike fighters strike fighters.

 

 

TFR and A2G radar aren't really used anymore IRL during deep strike/interdiction missions. Turns out pointing high powered radars at the ground in hostile territory is a great way to let everyone know your coming.

 

The F-14 would be just as good today if not better in the strike role then the F-15E had it got the same sort of upgrades other aircraft get. Cost alone killed the F-14 not Capability. It didn't get the SLEPs it needed like other jets because of costs, it never got enough updates because of costs and they never built new ones because of costs.

 

Not spending enough money leads to more cost and then in turn, more not spending enough money. Without getting too political that was the death of the tomcat. But it was a fantastic platform and highly effective as a strike fighter. Very fast, long range, and decent payload capacity made it very capable


Edited by Wizard_03

DCS F/A-18C :sorcerer:

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