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Radar (FCR?) questions


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First what does FCR stand for? 
 

Since it’s a dome  I assume it’s 360 degrees that you can look at? Or no?

 

Is it ground radar only, or air as well? Or does it behave differently than I would expect given experience with dcs jets? 
 

Would it be reasonable to assume a decent Apache (or Kiowa for that matter) pilot in multiplayer could maneuver to a forward position , hide amongst trees and buildings, and provide datalink radar for ally jets?

 

Apache team or Apache/Kiowa could roll into badguy land , take out some Sam threats, then provide forward radar coverage for friendly jets when awacs isn’t available.

 

is this correctish?

 

I also assume that the longbow could find a nice hidey spot, light up the sams with his radar, and transmit the targeting data to f18s, 16s, a10s?

 

 

 

 

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FCR = Fire Control Radar

 

According to the market piece from the manufacturer it looks like our version of the Longbow radar will not have 360 degree targeting capability since that was a recent upgrade applied to the AH-64E, but I could easily be wrong about that. 

 

it is capable of both AA and AG 

 

as far as I know the apache doesn't have link16, but it should be able to talk to other Apaches, Kiowas, and land units. 

 

with an 8km range it probably won't be very useful for AWACS duties. 

 

 

 


Edited by Repth
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According to Northrop Grumman's open source website, some of that information is available outside of restricted documentation.  The Longbow FCR is unfortunately probably the most difficult aspect of the AH-64D to model due to very little un-restricted, open-source (ie internet or other media) info available.

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Posted (edited)

I’m confused as to why apaches and Kiowas can share targeting data but they can’t share with jets. Is it a compatibility issue? As the poster stated, the lack of link16?

 

oh and I didn’t realize it had such a short (8km) range 

 

 


Edited by Relic

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Ok hmm, even if it’s an 8km detection range and no capability to send targeting data electronically, technically you could still sneak a team into enemy territory undetected , detect enemy aircraft, and then radio BRA to friendly planes. Assuming friendly awacs can’t see the area.

 

I know the hellfires have a medium range of like 7-11 nm. Cant remember exact number. But presumably you could find a hidey spot and then laze targets from further away than that to help fast movers deliver payload. That’s a buddy laze thing though not FCR related. Just thinking about scenarios 

 

 

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Kiowas would probably be the primary source for buddy lasing in that scenario, however, you can have an 18, 16, 10, or AV-8 lase for the Apache, they can still talk to each other via radios, just not digitally share targeting data directly. They could probably do that via JSTARS though. Too bad we don't have that in DCS. 


Edited by Repth
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15 minutes ago, Relic said:

I’m confused as to why apaches and Kiowas can share targeting data but they can’t share with jets. Is it a compatibility issue? As the poster stated, the lack of link16?

 

oh and I didn’t realize it had such a short (8km) range 

 

Keep in mind the Apache wasn't designed to be simply an attack plane with a rotor instead of wings. What a fixed-wing aircraft considers "short-range" might be considered long-range from a ground maneuver perspective, at least outside artillery terms.  In the US military, the Apache was designed to be used as an Army "maneuver" unit, much like a company of tanks.  8 km is a pretty good standoff in an armor battle where most armor formations are limited to a few kilometers with their main tank guns and ATGMs.

 

As to the target sharing between the Kiowa and Apache, there was an old system called ATHS, but it was rarely if ever used in combat, and it didn't "share" targeting data as most people associate with Link16, nor did it directly share FCR data. Think of it more like an email system like what the Ka-50 has. It really just sent a target location via a radio, but was a point-to-point sender/receiver thing, not publishing a track onto a massive network for everyone to see.

 

There are a metric crap-ton of various network protocols and datalink types out in the world. Link16 just happens to be the most common and well known among NATO air forces.  Very few of them are directly compatible, nor do they need to be since different platforms have different information requirements to accomplish their mission.

 

As to the Hellfire having a 7 to 11 NM range, not sure where you heard that, but that is equivalent to 13 to 20 km. I can assure you a Hellfire cannot go that far, and thats just using open source info.

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16 minutes ago, Raptor9 said:

 

Keep in mind the Apache wasn't designed to be simply an attack plane with a rotor instead of wings. What a fixed-wing aircraft considers "short-range" might be considered long-range from a ground maneuver perspective, at least outside artillery terms.  In the US military, the Apache was designed to be used as an Army "maneuver" unit, much like a company of tanks.  8 km is a pretty good standoff in an armor battle where most armor formations are limited to a few kilometers with their main tank guns and ATGMs.

 

As to the target sharing between the Kiowa and Apache, there was an old system called ATHS, but it was rarely if ever used in combat, and it didn't "share" targeting data as most people associate with Link16, nor did it directly share FCR data. Think of it more like an email system like what the Ka-50 has. It really just sent a target location via a radio, but was a point-to-point sender/receiver thing, not publishing a track onto a massive network for everyone to see.

 

There are a metric crap-ton of various network protocols and datalink types out in the world. Link16 just happens to be the most common and well known among NATO air forces.  Very few of them are directly compatible, nor do they need to be since different platforms have different information requirements to accomplish their mission.

 

As to the Hellfire having a 7 to 11 NM range, not sure where you heard that, but that is equivalent to 13 to 20 km. I can assure you a Hellfire cannot go that far, and thats just using open source info.

Wikipedia says the K and L model hellfires currently in use have 8,700 yd range. So that’s 5 miles publicly. Like I said I had forgotten the number and was just typing from memory. 
 

thanks for the insight into the other stuff though 😄

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30 minutes ago, Repth said:

Kiowas would probably be the primary source for buddy lasing in that scenario, however, you can have an 18, 16, 10, or AV-8 lase for the Apache, they can still talk to each other via radios, just not digitally share targeting data directly. They could probably do that via JSTARS though. Too bad we don't have that in DCS. 

 

I know it’s a sore spot but my understanding is kiowas got canned because apaches can do their job just as good. Not saying I know for a fact that that’s true, just assuming that if we’re simply talking NOE flight and ninja lazing I bet the Apache can do it just fine in terms of DCS.

 

Yeah being lazed onto the Sam by the fast mover would be sweet. Pair of F18s or whatever with targeting pod lazing from long ways off. Can get some good use out of the Apache while it’s in EA as an A model that way, or if for some reason the FCR wouldn’t be able to pick up the target.

 

Or simply having f18s perform SEAD, others provide cap, and apaches go in to take out tanks and troops would be a nice mission.

 

lots of fun scenarios can be done

 

cant freaking wait lol

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The Apache can't do the job of the Kiowa as well as the Kiowa anymore than the Kiowa can do the Apache's. This is why the Army is trying (again, for the 5th time I think we are up to) to find a small armed recon helicopter to replace the Kiowa (FARA program). The reason the Kiowa was divested from the fleet was because of extremely tight budgets during the years of sequestration in the first half of the last decade. It wasn't just removing operational funding requirements, but also to remove the logistical supply chain costs of an entire helicopter airframe inventory. Although the OH-58D was the cheapest to fly in terms of dollar per flight hour, it was also the oldest.

 

Some of its missions could be handed off to drones, especially in the COIN-type of missions the US military has been bogged down with in recent years, but UAVs cannot do the job of armed recon as well as a dedicated, manned platform for the mission.

 

Also, a D-model Apache without the radar is way more capable than the A-model; there is a lot more to the D-model upgrade over the A than just the FCR. I know that comparison is made a lot on the ED forums and discord, but that would be like saying the OH-58D is simply a Vietnam-era OH-58A but with a periscope to see over hills. As one forum poster stated, the Longbow FCR is more akin to a TGP that can be optionally mounted to give a plane more targeting capabilities or options.


Edited by Raptor9
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So, basically:

 

360 degree scan only applies in the A/A mode for the radar. A/G for this era is limited to the forward sector. It is capable of scanning for both air and ground targets, but only out to 8km for this particular version. The short range is due to the characteristics of MMW, since being such a high frequency means that the waves are affected by even gasses in the atmosphere -- but you get a lot of advantages with it. It has already been elaborated on, but 8km is more than adequate for the kind of targets the AH-64 is intended to deal with; it's about the max range that the SA-8 and SA-19 can shoot, which were the key threats to the aircraft.

 

The AH-64D has an IDM for data linking with other AH-64Ds and aircraft capable of talking with the IDM. Thus, it is possible for a FCR equipped aircraft to find targets and send them toward NR/DWO aircraft. Only the more recent AH-64E models have Link 16, so prior to that you need to have some intermediary to distribute data between different aircraft.

 

OH-58D-AH-64D teaming is more like "use the cheaper aircraft to poke and prod the enemy, not the really expensive one." As with a lot of things, this has changed over time and reality. Not much in the way of datalinking between the two because OH-58D didn't get a lot of upgrades over the years til the F, which they canned. Big Army figured the RAH-66 would've taken care of that problem. That one turned into constipation; it never came out. OH-58D guys then got told "sucks to be you."

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4 hours ago, Raptor9 said:

According to Northrop Grumman's open source website, some of that information is available outside of restricted documentation.  The Longbow FCR is unfortunately probably the most difficult aspect of the AH-64D to model due to very little un-restricted, open-source (ie internet or other media) info available.

That won't be a problem.😉

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7 hours ago, NeedzWD40 said:

So, basically:

 

360 degree scan only applies in the A/A mode for the radar. A/G for this era is limited to the forward sector. It is capable of scanning for both air and ground targets, but only out to 8km for this particular version. The short range is due to the characteristics of MMW, since being such a high frequency means that the waves are affected by even gasses in the atmosphere -- but you get a lot of advantages with it. It has already been elaborated on, but 8km is more than adequate for the kind of targets the AH-64 is intended to deal with; it's about the max range that the SA-8 and SA-19 can shoot, which were the key threats to the aircraft.

 

The AH-64D has an IDM for data linking with other AH-64Ds and aircraft capable of talking with the IDM. Thus, it is possible for a FCR equipped aircraft to find targets and send them toward NR/DWO aircraft. Only the more recent AH-64E models have Link 16, so prior to that you need to have some intermediary to distribute data between different aircraft.

 

OH-58D-AH-64D teaming is more like "use the cheaper aircraft to poke and prod the enemy, not the really expensive one." As with a lot of things, this has changed over time and reality. Not much in the way of datalinking between the two because OH-58D didn't get a lot of upgrades over the years til the F, which they canned. Big Army figured the RAH-66 would've taken care of that problem. That one turned into constipation; it never came out. OH-58D guys then got told "sucks to be you."

 

Cool info here. So 360 scan in A/A mode with 8km range so unless I'm a bit slow we're talking a scan covering 16km. A pair of apaches flying hidden could cover quite a lot of territory with that A/A scan and radio intercept information to friendlies. 

 

The other thing I was wondering, the Northrup Grunman website that was linked her stated the FCR  could provide the "location and classification of up to 256 simultaneous moving and stationary targets. From these, the system then prioritizes the top 16 targets for immediate evaluation and, if desired, engagement by the aircrew." Am I to understand that these 16 priority targets are basically like a set of TWS track files that would allow the apache to ripple fire 16 L-model hellfires? If so that would make for some really interesting scenarios too. 

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4 hours ago, Relic said:

 

Cool info here. So 360 scan in A/A mode with 8km range so unless I'm a bit slow we're talking a scan covering 16km. A pair of apaches flying hidden could cover quite a lot of territory with that A/A scan and radio intercept information to friendlies. 

 

The same friendlies who can pick up those targets from 60nm+ and can cover way more volume in azimuth and altitude around your heli from as little at 20nm away?   Stick to doing something useful with that apache radar instead, like hunting vehicles.  There may be some very limited scenarios where air to air work is useful, and they would be mostly contrived.

 

Quote

The other thing I was wondering, the Northrup Grunman website that was linked her stated the FCR  could provide the "location and classification of up to 256 simultaneous moving and stationary targets. From these, the system then prioritizes the top 16 targets for immediate evaluation and, if desired, engagement by the aircrew." Am I to understand that these 16 priority targets are basically like a set of TWS track files that would allow the apache to ripple fire 16 L-model hellfires? If so that would make for some really interesting scenarios too. 

 

Yes, they are effectively TWS tracks.


Edited by GGTharos
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guys stop nameing the apache we get in early acces as an "A"! what we get is the AH-64D Apache! After the FCR is released it will still be the AH-64D Apache but with the Longbow Radar. the A and D model are worlds a apart system wise, cockpit layout wise and also from the outside. even the D without the radar is more capable than a A-Model

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3 hours ago, 1stBEAST said:

guys stop nameing the apache we get in early acces as an "A"! what we get is the AH-64D Apache! After the FCR is released it will still be the AH-64D Apache but with the Longbow Radar. the A and D model are worlds a apart system wise, cockpit layout wise and also from the outside. even the D without the radar is more capable than a A-Model


Most A models, dash depending, didn't even have GPS and a old school INS with tons of drift. You had to update the INS by overflying/lasing known points. If you had more than 7 waypoints you had re reprogram them in flight. No tactical situation display (TSD) for the back seater to navigate and build situational awareness from. The CPG had to help his backseater navigate to the correct RV point and such. The D model even without FCR was a game changer. The amount of integration of systems, even today, is hardly rivaled. Just look how clean the cockpit is.

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On 3/5/2021 at 1:35 PM, Relic said:

I’m confused as to why apaches and Kiowas can share targeting data but they can’t share with jets. Is it a compatibility issue? As the poster stated, the lack of link16?

 

oh and I didn’t realize it had such a short (8km) range 

 

 

 

 

 

Different datalinks

 

Today its a different story, they probably can now since the Ah64E's now have Link 16.

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Iirc, block 2 apache IDM has the following modes, Longbow protocol (AFAPD), tactical internet (TI) and tacfire (ATHS).

For communicating with the Kiowa, you would be using the tactical internet JVMF for airfire missions, spot reports, sitrep, free text etc.

The ATHS tacfire is an older system, it was totally replaced by JVMF on later apaches, it has similar functionality and a dedicated MPD page.

As it has said, only late AH-64E's have link 16.

Also, non-radar AH-64Ds are still D models, not A, regardless if it has the mast mounted assembly installed.

The only 360° radar mode is for the air targeting (ATM) and air surveillance mode.

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4 hours ago, fargo007 said:

It's my understanding that the FCR is very seldom used IRL to actually locate targets.  

In a current theater stand point, yes. If something popped off peer to peer it would likely be used a whole lot more. 

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The apache would receive a massive situational awareness boost if ED decides to model all the various support elements that the LBA is capable of exchanging information with.

For start, the AFAPD protocol (longbow) can also receive/send information from JSTARS.

The tactical internet allows you to receive continuous SA data, they are displayed as cyan, yellow or red color coded icons on the TSD, which you can open with your cursor in order to get more detailed information, like friend/foe, type, subtype, etc.

Cooperation with artillery via JVMF or AF missions with the kiowa.

All of these would be very complicated to implement since they are completely different systems from link-16/MIDS and some are dependant of AI assets. (JSTARS, artillery, etc).

Regarding the FCR, it is capable of prioritizing up to 1023 targets, of which up to 256 can be viewed on the TSD page, and 16 priority targets are displayed on the FCR page for target engagement.

The PSP stores priority schemes for the FCR that allows you to prioritize ground targets, airborne or moving targets depending the mission.

 

 

 

 

 

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hace 8 horas, daviddou80 dijo:

I see a lot of people saying that the AH-64E has a Link16, but actually it already has it on the AH-64D BLKIII

 

AH-64D block 3 and AH-64E are the same aircraft.

They were redesignated as AH-64E around 2012-2013.

D Block 3/ early AH-64E didn't have link-16, APKWS, or external fuel tanks.

I believe link 16 integration came with the AH-64E lot 4, which was delivered around 2016 as far as public information goes.

 

 

 


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